Cabanatuan honors outstanding
Cabanatuan City honored 11
outstanding citizens in the "Gawad
Parangal sa Natatanging Anak ng
Cabanatuan" last February 3, the
highlight of the city's 65th founding
anniversary dubbed the First Banatu
City Mayor Julius Cesar
Vergara said, “This is the heart of this
year's Banatu Festival as it gives
inspiration and motivation to our fellow
citizens to aim high and follow the
footsteps of these people with humility
and love for the city.”
This year's awardees were
Chief Superintendent Ariel Barayuga of
the Bureau of Fire and Protection;
Rodora Bautista, a certified public
accountant; Major General Eduardo del
Rosario of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines; Aurelio Gonzales, an
agriculturist; Corazon Reyes, a nurse
and philantrophist; Engr. Gene Samson,
a medical services innovator;
Sabino Manglicmot, dean and vice
president of the Philippine Maritime
Academy; Supt. Moises Pagaduan of the
Philippine National Police; Dr. Rene
Wilson Veneracion, a cardiologist; Dr.
Edwin Argonza, a surgeon; and Dennis
Scouth Hernandez, a self-made
businessman cited as a role model by the
Department of Trade and Industry.
The week-long Banatu
Festival started last January 30 with a
Mass at the Saint Nicholas of Tolentine
Cathedral followed by a "boodle fight"
at Plaza Lucero led by the city
mayor. Other activities were the
longaniza cook-off challenge, Palaro sa
Parke, Banatu Latin Dance Festival,
Sayaw Cabanatuan, Teachers' Night,
Tricycle Festival and Kite Festival.
Featured last January 30
were a carabao race, a mass wedding, dog
show, Miss Gay Cabanatuan,
barrngay night, song festival, bazaar
and job fair.
Last February 1, a fun run,
adventure fun race, off-road 4x4
challenge and the Bb. Cabanatuan grand
coronation night were held, while the
following day featured the zarzuela
On the final day of the
celebrations, a grand parade was held
featuring drum and lyre, street dancing
and float competitions; a golf
tournament; and the grand celebration
night at Plaza Lucero,.
In his message, Vergara
said the Banatu Festival marked a
significant milestone in the city's rich
The city's name was derived
from the root word "banatu".
He explained that "banatu"
refers to a vine that grows along the
river and used to bind fish traps. He
said the collective concern and love for
Cabanatuan serves as a strong bind in
facing challenges to its march to
progress and development.
Cabanatuan, a former barrio
of Gapan City, became a separate town in
1777 and turned into a chartered city on
February 3, 1950 through Republic Act
acquires 9 Ecija supermarkets
Puregold Price Club, Inc.
expanded its presence in Nueva Ecija and
adjoining provinces with its acquisition
of supermarkets and commercial
properties of NE, Inc.
Puregold acquired nine
supermarkets owned by NE in Cabanatuan
City and San Jose City; Baliwag,
Bulacan; Baler, Aurora; and Santiago,
The second largest grocery
chain in the country said the additional
stores will make it the dominant retail
player in Nueva Ecija.
Aside from the supermarket
chain, Cosco Capital, the investment
vehicle of retail tycoon Lucio Co, also
bought five commercial properties of NE
located at Zulueta Street and San Juan
ACCFA, Cabanatuan City; San Jose City,
Nueva Ecija; Baler, Aurora and Santiago
Puregold President Leonardo
Dayao said the properties in Baler, San
Jose City and Cabanatuan City will be
redeveloped into community malls.
In March 2014, Puregold
acquired NE Pacific Shopping Centers
Corp., the company that owned and
operated the 35,000 square meter NE
Pacific Mall, the largest commercial
mall in Nueva Ecija. ###
students win 11th SWEEP Awards grand
Students from the College
of Engineering of Wesleyan
University-Philippines (WUP) bested
teams from nine schools to win the grand
prize in the 11th Smart Wireless
Engineering Education Program (SWEEP)
Innovation and Excellence Awards for
their mobile application that can check
the prices of agricultural crops,
calculate travel distance and fuel
consumption and buy and sell products
Their winning innovation is
called Smart Market Assistance and
Product Trading (S-MART).
For the feat, the students
won a cash prize of P500,000 and an
equivalent amount in grant for their
Alvin Escobar, member of
the winning team, said the online
application will level the playing field
among sellers or buyers of agricultural
products in Cabanatuan City and Nueva
Galille Villar, WUP
professor and the team's mentor, said
this can get rid of the role of the
middleman in business deals since the
buyer or seller can go direct via the
website, opening opportunities for
farmers to sell their produce online.
During the awards night
last February 13, Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Companies Chief
Executive Officer and President Napoleon
Nazareno said the competition is
designed to encourage students from
different schools to develop innovative
applications and devices that address
various needs of people and
“SWEEP awards can open the
door not only to a successful
professional career, but also to
opportunities for setting new tech start
ups that can become successful
business,” Nazareno said.
He said the program is part
of the corporate social responsibility
of PLDT and Smart Communication, and is
intended to promote technopreneurship in
“We want SWEEP to become a
vital part of the ecosystem for
promoting innovation. This is much more
beneficial not only for students, but
also for the schools, our economy and
the country,” he explained. ###
okays use of Fort Magsaysay as
Ebola/SARS quarantine area
The chief of the 7th
Infantry Division based at Fort
Magsaysay welcomed the proposal by
Governor Aurelio Umali to set up a
quarantine area inside the military camp
for persons afflicted with Ebola and
Maj. Gene.Glorioso Miranda,
7trh ID commanding general, said his
answer will always be yes.
kung ‘yan ang makakabuti sa atin,
then so be it, we will always be a part
of the solution. We don’t want to be a
part of the problem,” Miranda said.
The general, however, gave
a pre-condition that the 7th ID must
first be equipped with the capability
and the facility for isolating Ebola and
Ealrier, Umali proposed
that a part of the military camp be used
to construct isolation facilities for
Ebola-afflicted patients where soldiers
can readily provide security assistance
in case of an outbreak.
Umali aired the proposal
during a meeting of the Provincial Risk
Reduction and Management Council where
he said that isolating patients in the
military camp would be better than
putting them in hospitals that could
cause the spread the deadly disease.
Dr. Hubert Lapuz, director
of the Paulino J. Garcia Memorial
Research and Medical Center (PJGMRMC),
told Umali that the province needs a
quarantine area outside that hospital.
The health department has
identified PJGMRMC, tghe Bataan General
Hospital and the Jose B. Lingad Memorial
Hospital in Pamapanga as possible
isolation sites for Ebola patients in
Central Luzon. ###
to create alternative jobs for
farms workers affected by
Mayor Leonido de Guzman of Santo
Domingo urged the Department of
Agriculture to create alternative
livelihood for farm workers who lost
their jobs because of farm
“I am not
against mechanization. It helps us to
produce more, but we must also take
responsibility for those people who
rely on being farm workers,” the mayor
said the high unemployment rate among
farm workers has increased the risk of
unlicensed firearms threaten Ecija
proliferation of more than 5,000
unlicensed guns is making it difficult
for policemen to successfully enforce
the peace and order campaign.
according to Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves,
provincial police director.
of loose firearms is a crime in itself.
More than that, murders, some homicide
cases, robbery and forcible taking of
tricycles and motorcycles, were
attributed to the use of loose
firearms,” Nieves said.
records show that most violent crimes
are committed by men armed with
unlicensed firearms who use motorcycles
to flee more quickly and ski masks to
hide their identities.
He said some
residents keep unlicensed firearms
believing that having guns is a form of
protection against crimes.
that 191 murder and 193 homicide cases
were committed in the province last
year, may carried out with the use of
assigned one policeman to each of the
849 barangays in the province to
strengthen efforts to maintain peace
and order. Each policemen will
coordinate with barangay officials to
keep a record of people keeping
firearms in that place. ###
torch construction gear
Five men who introduced
themselves as members of the New
People's Army burned a crane used in the
construction of a bridge along the
Bongabon-Rizal Provincial Road at
Barangay Palomaria, Bongabon last
Florentino Cueves said that at about
12:15 A.M., a certain Rizaldy Las Pinas
Wagayen, 43, Bantay Bayan chief,
reported the incident to the police.
Wagayen said he was with
two barangay security men and two
caretakers of LRTIQWUI Builders, when
five armed men arrived and warned them
not to interfere.
The alleged NPA members
splashed gasoline on the heavy equipment
and set it on fire. ###
The chair of Barangay
Dampulan was shot dead in front of the
barangay hall last Feruary 9, by a
gunman riding an SUV
Supt. Crizaldo Nieves,
provincial police director, identified
the victim as Herminigildo Eduardo, 55.
Eduardo, a former police
officer before becoming barangay chair
in 2013, was reported to be a supporter
of Mayor Santiago Austria.
Chief Insp. Alexander
Aurelio, town police chief, said Eduardo
was talking to a constituent in front of
the barangay hall at about 7:20 A.M.
when a grey Mitsubishi Montero with
plate number AAQ-8603 drove by.
The suspect fired several
times at Eduardo from inside the
vehicle, killing him instantly.
Police recovered from the
scene 20 cartridge cases for caliber .30
The motive for the killing
is still being looked into. ###
Jaen Methodist church
Fire destroyed a Methodist
church in Barangay G.E. Antonino at dawn
last February 13.
Gutted was the Blessed Hope
Church of the United Methodist
The loss from the fire was
estimated at P350,000.
Sr. Fire Officer 2 Rufino
Castro of the Jaen Fire Station said the
fire started at a canteen near the
church at about 4:20 A.M.
The fire caused by an
overheated electric fan destroyed the
kitchen, computer room and roof of the
Firetrucks from the
adjacent towns of San Isidro and San
Leonardo helped to put out the fire.###
drug pusher shot dead
An alleged drug pusher was
shot and killed by unidentified gunmen
riding a motorcycle in tandem.
The victim was identified
as Edgardo Pangilinan, 546, of Maria
Cristina Subdivision, Barangay Malapit.
He was hit thrice in the
head and chin and died instantly.
Police said the victim was
number one in its drug watch list.
Investigation showed that
Pangilinan was driving a black
motorcycle along Policarpio Street in
Barangay Poblacion at about 3:50 P.M.
The victim was declared
dead on arrival at Good Samaritan
Hospital in Gapan City. ###
2 Muñoz brothers hacked
For spreading rumor that
their neighbors stole rice seedlings
from their landlord's farm, two brothers
were hacked and wounded.
The victims were Renaldo
Saguiped, 44 and his brother Carlito,
40, both of Purok Parang, Barangay
Maligaya, the Science City of Munoz.
The suspects were
Felizicimo Navarro, 59, and his three
sons Ricky, Arjay and Richard, all of
whom were arrested after the incident.
Supt. Michael Angelo
Zuñiga, city police chief, said the
incident happened at about 3:20 P.M.
last February 3 while Reynaldo was
planting rice in the farm of his boss,
Fernando dela Cruz. The suspects Ricky
and Arjay arrived armed with a wooden
club and a crow bar, followed by
Felizicimo and Richard, armed with a
shovel and a grass cutter.
Felizicismo hacked Reynaldo
in the left leg. Carlito, who saw his
brother being attacked, came to help him
but was also ganged up by the suspects.
Barangay tanods arrived,
arrested the suspects and brought them
to the police station. The two victims
were rushed to the city halth office for
Zuñiga said the motive the
attack was the victims' having spread
the rumor that two of the suspects were
stealing and selling seedlings from the
their landlord's farm. ###
A man is in serious
condition after he was shot by his elder
brother after an altercation over a lot
inherited from their parents, at Zone 2,
Barangay Palestina, San Jose City.
The victim was identified
as Narciso Obra Batugal, Sr., 58, of
Escobar Street, Barangay Don Canuto
Ramos. The suspect was his elder brother
Menelio, Sr. 77, of the same place.
Investigation by SPO1
Apolinario Tolentino showed that at 7:25
A.M., the victim, together with his
siblings Pablo and Felomino, son
Christian and niece Jovylyn were
building a fence around the inherited
lot when the suspect arrived and stopped
A heated argument followed
until the suspect went to his house and
returned with a gun with which he shot
The victim wa wounded in
the shoulder and rushed to the Heart of
The suspect was immediately
arrested and charged with frustrated