Volume14 / No. 3                                                                                                           February 15, 2014
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Ex-Pantabangan mayor arrested

Former Mayor Romeo Borja, Sr. of Pantabangan was arrested last February 8 for rape, child abuse and trafficking.

He was arrested at a wake in Umingan, Pangasinan by a combined team of Pantabangan and local policemen.

Borja suffered a stroke after his arrest and was placed under hospital arrest in Angeles City.

His son, Romeo, Jr., who is accused of rape, remains at large.

The Borjas face charges of rape and violations of the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act filed with the Department of Justice in May 2013.

The complainant was the mother of a 17 year old woman who was allegedly raped on several separate occasions by the father and son in Pantabangan, Pasay City and Angeles City,.

The Borjas denied the accusations and said politics was behind the cases. ###

Ex-Cabiao mayor's family snubs posthumous award rite

For having been denied appropriate honors when Cabiao Mayor Abundia Garcia died in 2011, her family snubbed a posthumous award offered by town officials during the "Gabi ng Parangal" of the "Paistima Ka sa Kabyawan Festival" organized by the municipal government.

Vice Mayor Ernesto Talens said the late mayor's husband, incumbent Sangguniang Bayan Member Joe Garcia, did not show up at the affair.

Talens said it was sad but they still expect to give the award to the councilor during their next session.

Garcia was elected mayor in 2007 but lost when she ran for re-election in 2011.  She died while awaiting the result of her election protest against incumbent Mayor Gloria Crespo-Congco.

The Garcia family said the former mayor was not given the proper funeral honors as a former town official, and even the funeral cortege was not allowed the enter the municipal grounds.

This was denied by Talens, saying that he and the municipal councilors waited for Garcia's body to be brought to the town hall but the funeral cortege did not arrive.

Mayor Congco, for her part, said the former mayor deserves the award for having contributed to the growth of Cabiao and "politics was long behind us." ###

Umali says 'Santi' victims still awaiting natl. government aid

Gov. Aurelio M. Umali said victims of typhoon Santi which hit the province in October last year, have not received any aid from the national government.

He said the provincial government is continuously distributing roofing materials to the affected families and giving subsidies to farmers for their palay seedling requirements.

On the other hand, First Dist. Rep. Estrellita Suansing said she received P6.5 million from the Quick Response fund for the affected school buildings in nine municipalities.

Nueva Ecija lost some P2.3 billion worth of agricultural produce and infrastructure due to the typhoon. If damaged houses were included in the computation, the amount could reach P3 billion. ###

P-Noy declares February 3 holiday in Cabanatuan

President Aquino declared February 3 as a special non-working holiday in Cabanatuan City on the occasion of its 64th charter anniversary.

In his Proclamation No. 711, the President said the holiday would give residents the opportunity to celebrate the occasion.

Cabanatuan City is considered the commercial and educational center of Nueva Ecija.

It was founded as a barrio of Gapan in 1750 and became a municipality in 1780.

The February 3 holiday marks the elevation of Cabanatuan into a city in 1950 under Republic Act No. 526. ###

Outstanding Cabanatueños feted

The Cabanatuan City government led by Mayor Julius Cesar V. Vergara awarded this year's group of outstanding Cabanatueños in rites held at La Parilla Hotel last February 3 in connection with the celebration of the city's 64th charter anniversary.

Among the "Ang Natataging Anak ng Kabanatuan" (ANAK) awardees -- those born in the city or elsewhere, of Cabanatueño parents -- were Dr. Maria Annette D. Bautista, medicine; Aldeza Ianna S. dela Torre, performing arts; Teresa Daluz-Mababa, public school administration; Lillibeth Trinidad-Santos and Marie A. De Guzman, entrepreneurship/business; Vice Mayor Marius A. Garcia, public service; Elito M. Santarina, mayor pro tempore of Carson City, California, public service; and Supt. Domingo V. Tambalo, agriculture/public service-fire protection service.

The “Ang Natatanging Andukha ng Kabanatuan”  awardee -- resident born not in Cabanatuan but who adopt the city as his residence and adopted by city as its citizen -- was Lt. Col. Rodrigo Medrano, chief of the 107th Contracting Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Procument Service based in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City.

Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Richard Albano, Quezon City police district director, was awarded the "Ang Natatanging Angkan ng Kabanatuan" given to one who has all the criteria for an ANAK award except for his birthplace but who is married to a Cabanatuan clan member or "angkan". ###

ASKI receives Metrobank Foundation PEACE Award

ASKI Executive Director Rolando B. Victoria (left) receives the PEACE Award from
Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepena.

Alalay sa Kaunlaran (ASKI) was among the recipients of the "Partners in Empowerment, Advocacy and Commitment to Excellence" (PEACE) award during celebration of the 35th annniversary of Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) at Le Pavilion, Metropolitan Park, Pasay City last January 29.

MBFI is the corporate social responsibility arm of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank).

ASKI, represented by Executive Director Rolando B. Victoria, was cited for being the implementing partner of the MetroGold Financial Education and Microfinance programs for 400 overseas Filipino workers in Singapore and 400 family members in the Philippines. Some 322 OFWs have graduated from the program under modules that include financial education, basic entrepreneurship and personality development.

The partnership with ASKI recently won the distinguished Financial Inclusion Award from the London-based magazine The Banker where Metrobank, throuth MBFI, was the lone global recipient.

The affair was graced by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as guest of honor, and attended by national and local government officials, and those from the academe, business, diplomacy and non-government and socio-civic organizations. ###

NE Mall opens in... Baler!

Leticia Uy, president of the NE Group of Companies, led the inauguration rites for a shopping mall and commercial complex in Aurora last February 8.

Called the NE Mall and Supermarket, it is the first complex of its kind in Aurora and located in  Purok 7, Barangay Suklayin, Baler near the provincial capitol.

Ronaldo Rosetes, the company architect who designed the mall project, said the complex is on a one-hectare site, with a supermarket in the ground floor and a restaurant in the second floor, with a 4,000 square meter parking space that can accommodate 200 cars.

He said the complex is similar to NE Crossing in Sangitan, Cabanatuan City.

The commercial complex started construction last September 1 with 40 skilled workers hired from Baler and 70 to 80 from Nueva Ecija.  It was supposed to be inaugurated last December but work was slowed down by typhoons Labuyo and Santi.

During the inauguration rites, Uy was accompanied by officers and members of Soroptomist International-Metro Cabanatuan.

Uy put up the first mall in Cabanatuan City in 1983, housing a supermarket, cinemas, a fast food center, a recreation center, boutiques, drug stores and other shops operated by tenants. It was the first public building in Nueva Ecija to have an escalator.

In 1996, she opened NE-Pacific Mall in partnership with Landco Pacific Development Corp.

In 2008, a branch of Robinsons Mall was set up beside NE-Pacific Mall through a special arrangement.

Uy’s companies later put up a chain of malls, super bodegas and restaurants in Gapan City and San Jose City in Nueva Ecija; Baliwag and Santa Maria in Bulacan; Santiago City and Cauayan City in Isabela; North Edsa; a catering service in San Juan, Metro Manila and overseas in Torrance, California. ###

Palayan automates payroll system

The Palayan City government has automated the payroll of its employees who now receive their salaries through automated teller machine.

Mayor Adrienne Cuevas said about 400 employees benefited from the scheme implemented after the signing of an agreement between the city government and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Aurelio Bagaoisan, Land Bank manager, said the opening of the off-site ATM unit was in response to increasing clamor of card holders to have one in Palayan.

Aside from Land Bank account holders, also allowed are withdrawals for Conditional Cash Transfer and police and military payrolls. ###

Talavera to install CCTV vs. crimes

Talavera Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez wants surveillance cameras installed in strategic places to monitor the movement of people following the spate of unsolved killings in the town in the past weeks.

Martinez said at least five people have been killed since last month and expressed her dismay that the police have failed to solve the cases or arrest any suspect.

The cases include that of two vendors whose bodies were found inside the public cemetery, and the shooting of a 71-year old widower and a 62-year old kagawad.

With the CCTV cameras, Martinez said they will be able to solve and deter crimes.

She has asked the Sangguniang Bayan to allocate P2 million for the purchase and installation of the cameras, which is in line with the plan of the League of Municipalities to set up similar facilities in the 600 barangays of Nueva Ecija. ###

 PPSC hands out anniversary awards

The police Provincial Public Safety Company (PPCS) headed by Supt. Ricardo Villaneuva handed out awards during its 23rd founding anniversary celebration with the theme "One Nation in Prayer".

Among those honored for their support for the PPSC were 3rd Dist. Rep. Czarina Umali, Carranglan Mayor Mary Abad, Regional Trial Court Judge Celso Baguio, Assitant Procecutors Eddie Gutierrez, Francisco Macaraeg and Edwin Bonifacio.

Also cited were District Engineer Ulysses Llado Jr. of the Nueva Ecija 2nd District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways; Provincial Board Bember Napoleon Interior; Barangay Chairs Erwin  Javaluyas (chairman, ABC-Aliaga), Cesar Tolentino (San Nicolas, Gapan City), Joselito Ramos (Poblacion, Peñaranda), and Ramon Gamboa (Bucot, Aliaga); and Rev. Fathers Marlou Tarciso N. Cruz and Simon Jeffrey Ma. Catatista for the religious sector.

Other civilian awardees were Epifanio P. Bautista, of Barangay San Roque; Marcelo L. Matias, Jr. of Barangay San Nicolas; and Jerry D. Balmeo of Barangay Malimba, all in Gapan City.

Among the media personalities awarded were Steve Gosuico of People's Journal and People's Tonight; Jojo de Guzman of Malaya, Abante and DZXO; Armand Galang of Philippine Daily Inquirer, CL-TV 36 and DZXO; Grace Sansano of DZRH; Cris Sansano of TV 5 and  Manila Times; and Julie Reyes and Murphy Santos, both of DWNE.

The police awardees included Sr. Insp. Alexander Reyes (PCO level), PO3 Reynaldo Camacho (PNCO level), both in the field of operations; PO2 Marissa  Rivera (PNCO level) in the Police-Community Relations; PO3 Jacinto Gregorio Jr. (special skills during police intervention); SPO1 Andres M. del Rosario, SPO1 Edgar San Gabriel, PO3 Melvin Mendoza, PO3 Ruel . Acosta and PO2 Romano Rivera. ###

First unit of San Jose power plant to operate by September

The construction of the first unit of the 24-Megawatt biomass power plant of San Jose City IPower Corp. (SJC IPower) is on track for its projected commercial operations in the third quarter of this year.

Mario C. Marasigan, director of the Department of Energy's Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said the 12-Megawatt unit is scheduled to go online in September, with the site development now going on.

The P2 billion biomass project is on a five-hectare lot in Barangay Tulat, San Jose City.

Edgardo Alfonso, SJC IPower chief operating officer, said the company will use the excess rice husks in San Jose City to be provided by local rice millers.

Sixty-six percent of SJC IPower is owned by Lucio Co's Union Energy Corp. while the remainder is held by 21 rice milling firms in Nueva  Ecija. ###

Gapan councilor escapes grenade blast

A Gapan City councilor survived a grenade attack last Febryary 7, just five months after he and his wife were wounded in an attack by armed men in their house.

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said Sangguniang Panglunsod Member Danilo de Guzman was not hurt when a grenade exploded in his yard in Barangay Malimba.

The councilor and his family were inside the house when two men arrived on separate motorycles near the area and lobbed a grenade at the house.

The blast damaged de Guzman's vehicle parked near the garage.

Nieves said police have yet to establish the motive for the attack, but investigators had already reviewed a video of the incident taken by a nearby closed-circuit television camera.

In August 2013, de Guzman and his wife Julieta were wounded when men armed with rifles barged into their house and shot them.

That attack and three other cases of gun violence resulted in the replacement of the city police chief. ###

7 arrested for poaching wild ducks

Policemen and officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources arrested seven persons for illegally hunting wild Philippine ducks inside a protected area in Pantabangan last February 12.

Pantabangan police said three of the suspects were identified as Romulo Torres, Jr. of Quezon City, Wildred Puzon of Mandaluyong City and Ildefonso Padigos of Bulacan. The four other unidentified suspects were residents of West Poblacion, Pantabangan.

The group had killed a total of 86 ducks with shotguns by the time the policemen and soldiers from the Army's 56th Infantry Battalion caught up with them.

The men could not present hunting licenses or permits to carry three sets of 12-gauge shotguns and 118 shotgun cartridges outside their homes.

They were charged with transporting licensed weapons without permits and hunting wildlife inside a protected area without a license.

Junie Fernandez, community environment and natural resources officer for north Nueva Ecija, said Phlippine ducks known scientifically as Anas luzonica are included in the government's conservation list.

The suspects, if found guilty, could be imprisoned for four years and fined up to P300,000. ###

San Isidro guard shot dead

A security guard was repeatedly shot by two motorcycle-riding men along Gov. Joson Provincial Road in Barangay Poblacion, San Isidro.

Police said the victim, Wenceslao Velasco, 45, of Purok 6, Barangay Mangga died on the spot.

Before the shooting, the victim fetched his 15 year old son William at a small town lottery outlet in Barangay Alua, using a black Honda Wave motorcycle.

While to two were driving home, two men aboard a red Honda Wave motorcycle overtook them and fired at the victim's face at close range.

The back-rider then got off and grabbed the victim's shoulder bag and shot the victim again three times, killing him on the spot. ###

Widower arrested for killing sis-in-law

Police arrested a 42-year old widower for the murder of his sister-in-law whose body was dumped into a sack and thrown in the river in Licab.

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said Alexander Sabado, 42, had confessed to murdering his sister-in-law Marietta Isona, 39, whose body was found floating on the river.

Investigation showed that Sabado and Isona, who were having an affair, had a violent quarrel. Sabado punched Isona, knocking her unconscious. For fear that he had killed her, he placed her body in a sack and threw it into the river. ###

Mother dead, son wounded in Santa Rosa ambush

A woman and her son riding a motorcycle were ambushed in Santa Rosa last February 4.

The victims were identified as Cecilia Pagaduan and her son Juan Carlo.The mother was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.

The suspect was identified as Junel Inocerta, 18. He was arrested at 10:00 P.M. at a checkpoint in San Ildefonso, Bulacan after he yielded an improvised gun and a motorcycle that turned out to have been stolen from his two victims.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that Inocerta was also involved in the shooting of a certain Joselito Palarca, reportedly a relative of the Pagaduans.

Police said the suspect in the Palarca shooting was a certain Jomar Gomez which turned out to be an alias of Inocerta.

A follow up operation in the house where Inocerta was staying yielded unlicensed firearms and ammunition. The owner of the house, Edgardo Dalisay, was separately charged with illegal possession of firearms.

:Police are still looking into the motives for the two gun attacks involving Inocerta. ###

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