No. 282 / January 16-31,  2012
..From the Publisher/Editor
..News Archive
..Novo Ecijanos Worldwide
..National News
..Photo Features
..Jobs Online
..Lutong Pinoy
..Local Weather
..Currency Converter
..Nueva Ecija Connections
..People Finder
..Chat Room
..E-mail Box


Ombudsman orders filing of 
murder charges vs. ex Gapan mayor, 2 others

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has reversed a 2009 ruling of her predecessor and ordered the filing of murder charges against former Gapan City Mayor Ernesto L. Natividad and two others for the killing of siblings Ericson and Ebertson Pascual in a cockpit in 2006.

Also ordered charged were the mayor's brother, Romeo Natividad, and Ricardo Peralta.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) initially ordered the filing of murder charges against the suspects in 2009, forwarding the case to the Office of the Ombudsman for review because of the involvement of a public official.

The Office of the Ombudsman then headed by Merceditas Gutierrez affirmed the DoJ ruling on February 10, 2009 but later reversed this on April 8, 2009 and excluded the Natividads and Peralta from the murder case based on their motions for reconsideration.

Morales, in an order dated December 19. 2011, granted the motion for reconsideration of Cristina Pascual, mother of the two victims, and said that in the first place, the Office of the Ombudsman should not have reversed its earlier ruling affirming the DoJ findings.

She said that based on the statements of credible witnesses, there was probable cause to file the murder charges against the Natividads and Peralta. She said the DoJ ruling should have been affirmed outright as the three accused filed their motions beyond the five day allowable period, and even if they had complied, the Office of the Ombudsman should not have granted the motions.

She said that witness Virgilio Malgapo, who had linked the Natividads and Peralta to the killing, was credible even if he used to work for the Pascuals as a cockpit cleaner. His account was also corroborated by other witnesses.

Malgapo had claimed being part of a meeting where the killing of the Pascuals was planned, with the Natividads and Pascual present.  He said he was assigned to open the cockpit gate to let in those who would carry out the killing.

Morales said that Malgapo had adequately explained why he did not immediately bare the identities of the Natividads and Peralta. He said he did not come out immediately for fear of his safety. ###

1,600 First District political leaders join P-Noy's party

Over 1,600 political leaders from Nueva Ecija's Second Congressional District deserted Lakas-CMD and took their oath as members of the Liberal Party (LP),  President Aquino's ruling party.

The new LP members took their oath before Rep. Joseph Gilbert F. Violago, party chair for the Second  District, at the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse in San Jose City.

They came from San Jose City, the Science City of Muñoz, Llanera and Talugtog and accompanied by Mayor Marivic Belena, Mayor Lorna Mae Vero and Mayor Quintin Caspillo, and Sangguniang Panglalawigan Members Joseph Ortiz and Ed Agliam.

Violago boasted that his district is the most solid in the province as far as the LP members are concerned.

He said that in the First Congressional District, there is no LP mayor while in the Third District, only the governor's wife, Rep. Czarina D. Umali and Palayan City Mayor Romeo Capinpin are LP members. In the Fourth Congressional District, the most prominent LP member is former San Isidro Mayor Sonia R. Lorenzo, executive director of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.

He said that Mayors Efren Alvarez of Muñoz and Romeo Borja, Sr. of Pantabangan have expressed the desire to join the administration party but Borja said he is still ironing some problems in his own party.

In his speech at the oath taking, Violago said he decided to join LP on the invitation of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and because Lakas-CMD has fragmented into three factions and has become disorganized.

He said Gov. Aurelio Umali, Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos and other Lakas-CMD stalwarts had a standing agreement to join LP but only the governor has not done so.

Violago hinted that it could be because of his rift with Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara, an LP member. ###

Umali gifts Ecija cops with gym

The biggest "Umali-type" gymnasium has been built inside the compound of the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office in Cabanatuan City.

The P4 million concave structure was inaugurated by Gov. Aurelio M. Umali on his 46th birthday in rites held at the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) compound, as a symbol of his administration's full support to the local police.

Provincial Eng. Boyet Santos said the nine meter high gymnasium is so far the biggest structure of its kind ever built by the provincial government.

The project was negotiated by Sr Supt. Roberto Aliggayu, provincial police director, and Supt. Edgar Alan Okubo, PPSC director. ###

Civilians to join fight vs. motorcycle riding criminals

Private citizens will be tapped as motorcycle riders to serve as force multipliers to the police in combating criminals who operate by riding motorcycles in tandem.

Gov. Aurelio M. Umali announced this during his 46th birthday celebration where he addressed the 2009-2011 graduates of the executive motorcycle riding course of Region 3 Highway Patrol Group who drove from Paskuhan Village in San Fernando,  Pampanga to the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Headquarters in Cabanatuan City.

He said a province wide motorcycle riding course will start with the training of lawmen.

He said the provincial government will provide additional motorcycles to the local police force for the course. The course will later be offered to civilians who will be used to augment the police in the community based peace and order campaign.

Sr. Supt. Roberto Aliggayu, provincial police director, said a citizen-backed motorcycle riders group is the "perfect counterfoil" for criminals on motorcycles, noting that most crimes in the province are committed by criminals riding in tandem. ###

Cabanatuan to mark 62nd cityhood anniversary

Cabanatuan City will celebrate its 62nd charter anniversary on February 3 with the theme "Nagkakaisang Mamamayan Hangaring Umunlad ang Cabanatuan.

City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara said the theme expresses the collective aspiration of Cabanatueños to attain real progress and prosperity.

He said that after 62 years as a component city of Nueva Ecija and because of the city's qualifications, Cabanatuan is eager to become a highly urbanized city and a separate congressional district. A resolution to this effect has been passed by the Sangguniang Panglunsod for approval by President Aquino and ratification by city residents.

President Aquino declared February 3 a special non working holiday in the city in Proclamation No. 327 signed by Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa, Jr. last January 31, to give the people of Cabanatuan the opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.

Anniversary activities include the Longganisa Festival featuring a cookfest using that famous Cabanatuan product, a concert, the annual search for Binibining Cabanatuan and Anak ng Kabanatuan awards night.

Cabanatuan started as a barrio of Gapan and was converted into a municipality in 1777.  It became a chartered city on February 3, 1950 by virtue of Republic Act No. 526. ###

Cabanatuan supports E-Trike design contest

The Cabanatuan City government has expressed support for the E-Trike design contest launched by the Department of Energy.

City Administrator Roy Balagtas said the city government will help in disseminating information about the contest, believing that the electric version of the tricycle will not only benefit the environment but the motorists as well.

Cabanatuan is recognized as the "Tricycle Capital of the Philippines" with some 13,500 units plying the streets of the city. ###

Integrated farming launched in Cabanatuan City

Around 300 fish farmers benefited from the distribution of tilapia fingerlings by the Cabanatuan City Agricultural and Livelihood Management Office (CALMO)  to backyard and commercial producers.

Also distributed were vegetable seeds such as string beans, eggplants and peppers,  to some 1,287 farmers who suffered losses from typhoon Pedring last year. The vegetables can be productive in just 90 days.

Gregoria Herrera, CALMO head, said the distribution of fingerlings and seeds is part of the rehabilitation program through integrated farming initiated by City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara. ###

P1M for San Antonio broom makers

Residents of San Antonio town engaged in making "walis tambo" or reed broom recently received P1 million from the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) as the agency pushed for the improvement of the industry as an alternative livelihood.

Pedro Fernando, Jr., DoLE provincial officer, said the grant was given to a group of broom makers in Barangay Maugat.

He urged government agencies and the private sector to help by giving resources such as financial aid and training support.

San Antonio brooms were highlighted in a street dancing competition during the town fiesta last January 17.

The dancers were clad in tiger grass, bamboo sticks and plastic strings -- materials used in producing brooms.

Dr. Angelita Salonga-Esquivel, fiesta hermana, said "Really, it’s more fun in this part of the country where people go to the streets and witness the excellent performance of our students in street dancing."

The locally made brooms have been identified by the Department of Trade and Industry and the municipal government as San Antonio's '"One Town One Product".

Several stalls sold brooms around the municipal gymnasium for P8 up to P300 depending on the size.

Armando Cruz, municipal budger officer, said the broom industry was featured in the town fiesta because everyone knows its potentials and supports it.

Msgr. Felipe L. Dayao, parish priest said, “Before, when I was asked for my parish I would answer, ‘In San Antonio,’ and they would again ask, ‘Where is that?’ Today, when I say San Antonio, they will say, ‘Ah, the home of brooms.'” 

He added that broom making has been a worthwhile activity for the youth in the parish. ###

New Gapan jail inaugurated

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Central Luzon recently inaugurated the newest detention facility in Nueva Ecija -- the Gapan City Jail.

Nigel Arellano, BJMP information officer, said the facility with two bigger cells provides a more conducive atmosphere to some 240 inmates.

He said that the former cramped detention cells were considered inhumane as diseases could easily spread among the detainees.

The transfer to a more spacious facility was made possible through a memorandum of agreement signed by BJMP chief Rosendo Dial and City Mayor Christian Tinio for the use of an adjacent unoccupied city government building.

BJMP allotted P1.9 million for the repair of the facility and conversion of the city jail's former prison cells into offices and personnel quarters. ###

Illegal lumber found abandoned in Carranglan

A joint team from the police, the military and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seized some 380 board feet of illegally sawn narra flitches inside an abandoned Isuzu truck found in Carranglan last January 31.

The team was conducting patrol operations when the contraband was discovered inside the vehicle near sitios Logpond and Binbin in Barangay General Luna at around 3:00 A.M.

Supt. Ricardo Villanueva, provincial police intelligence chief, said the lumber and truck were impounded at the local police station. ###

The Battle of 'UPs':
WU-P beats PUP and UP in national accounting quiz

The three-member team of Accountancy students from Wesleyan University-Philippines (WU-P) in Cabanatuan City came out overall champion in the 12th Nicanor Reyes Cup, a national accounting quiz bowl, held last January 21 at Far Eastern University in Manila.

Dr. Maria Victoria M. Alvarez, dean of the College of Business and Accountacy, reporrted to WU-P Officer-in-Charge Pacifico Aniag that the Wesleyan team beat those from two prominent state universities -- the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)-Manila which placed second and the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, third.

The WU-P team was composed of Alison-Kay A. dela Cruz, Katleen Rose L. Yalung and Christina Yambot.

The same team also emerged as the champion in the First Panfilo O. Domingo Cup held at the University of the East in Manila.

Dela Cruz was the back-to-back champion In the individual category.

Aniag congratulated the team and said the CBA students' feats proved once more that WU-P, the only private university in Nueva Ecija granted autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education, is at par with the biggest schools in Metro Manila in offering quality education. ###

NEUST Phoenix bags Ecija basketball league title

The Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology Phoenix went home with the championship title in the Nueva Ecija Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL).

The team crushed the Central Luzon State University Cobras, 66-59, to take home the trophy and the P50,000 cash prize.

Phoenix member Alvin Cabigting was chosen Most Valuable Player and won a trophy and P10,000. Aside the him, the other players chosen to compose the mythical five are Emil Renze Palma and Manny Julian, Jr. of Phoenix and Edrian Gallardo and Alex Lee of Green Corbra. Each received a trophy and P3,000.

Second placer Green Cobras received a trophy and a P30,000 cash prize.

The league, a youth and sports development project of the provincial government, will resume its games in August. ###

San Jose City eyes supermarts for farm produce

San Jose City Mayor Marivic Belena said the city government is working to find markets for products of farm cooperatives.

In her "Ulat sa Bayan", Belena said the trick is to provide commodities that supermarkets require instead of the traditional way of peddling farm products without sure buyers.

She said talking directly to supermarket giants like CDO and Waltermart helps connect farmers to buyers and consumers. The latest to be benefited by such a strategy is the city's white onion producers.

Belena urged farm cooperatives to ask for the city's help in marketing their products as she promised to continue seeking prospective companies that may need products that San Jose City farmers competently produce. 

She also bared other programs designed to help local farmers such as the concreting of roads that could also serve as solar dryers, and crop insurance. ###

Restaurant owner, guard shot dead

Two men who posed as customers shot dead the owner of a Cabanatuan City restaurant then fired at a security guard who came to help him.

The victims were identified as Arthur Pajarillo, 49, of Jaen, owner of Lamarang Steak and Seafood Restaurant near the Circumferential Road in Barangay San Juan ACCFA, and Elmer de Jesus, 34, of Praetorian Security Agency and a resident of Purok 4, Barangay Sumacab.

Pajarillo was killed less than six months after he was reported to have gone berserk in the house of his live-in-partner, shooting at the appliances there and the woman's brother who came to help her. This was after the woman  told him that she wanted to get out of their love affair.

Investigation showed that the two unidentified suspects had entered the restaurant at about 10:00 P.M. and ordered food when Pajarillo arrived. One suspect approached him at the counter and fired at him at close range.

The security guard who saw the scene tried to fire back but was shot in the chest.

The suspects then fled aboard a motorcycle. ###

Boy dies from worker's prank

A nine year old boy died when a worker in a rice mill in Gapan City played a prank on him by inserting the hose of an air compressor into his anus.

The victim was identified as Mark Jayson Culano.

Police investigators said the boy was playing with the air hose inside the CAA Rice and Palay Trading when the suspect, Lucidro Dimacahilig, a mill worker, grabbed and inserted it into the boy's anus for two minutes.

Roberto Seroma, a worker, said the boy's stomach became bloated before he passed out.

The boy was rushed to a hospital where he died.

Dimacahilig said he did not intend to kill the victim who, according to him, was suffering from mental illness, which the boy's father denied.

Dimacahilig was charged with homicide in relation to Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act. ###

2 'rebels' arrested for extortion try

The San Jose City police arrested two men who pretended to be members of the New People's Army and tried to extort P40,000 in "revolutionary taxes" from a private high school.

The suspects were identified as Noel Macasiray alias Ka Abel Rampador, 51, and Jeric Manalo, 40, both residents of Barangay Abar I, San Jose City.

They pretended to be members of the "Kilusang Makamasang Gerilya" based in Central Luzon.

The suspects sent an extortion letter last January 12 to Jesus Gonzales, administrator of Bettbien School of Excellence in Barangay Abar II, asking for P40,000 to be delivered within 24 hours.

The city police together with the Provincial Intelligence Branch and military intelligence operatives set up an entrapment that led to the arrest of the suspects.

Supt. Peter N. Naboye, city police chief, said a case of robbey-extortion had been filed against the suspects with the City Prosecutor's Office. ###

Man shot dead by lover's ex-hubby

A man s shot in the head by the former husband of his lover in Barangay Curva, Bongabon.

The victim, Jes-Cesar Ramos Diaz, 43, of Barangay Malate, Palayan City, died instantly from a caliber .45 bullet in the head.

Investigators said Diaz was inside the store of his lover, Marissa Sibayan, when suspect Joel Pabulayan Vilar, Sr., Sibayan's estranged husband, arrived and fired at the victim. ###


News Archive