Volume 16 / No. 4    |   February 29, 2016
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.

President Aquino leads rites
for electrification of sitios

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III led the switch-on ceremony last February 24 for the electrification of 1,197 sitios in Central Luzon under the Sitio Electrificatioin Program (SEP) of his administration  designed to bring electricity to remote areas in the country.,

The event was held at the gymnasium of Nueva Ecija II-Area I Electric Cooperative in Barangay Calipahan, Talavera

The President was assisted by Energy Undersecretary. Donato E. Marcos, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. Paje, National Electrification Administration chief Edita S. Bueno, Governor Aurelio M. Umali and Talavera Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez.

In his speech, the President said his administration could finish the electrification of 32,441 targeted sitios by March or three months before his term ends.

He said the government has energized 98.2 percent of the targetted number set in 2011, pointing out that in Central Luzon, 100 percent of 1,199 targeted sitios had already been energized.

Meanwhile, the President assured more infrastructure projects to support especially the agriculture sector in Nueva Ecija.

He reported that .112 farm-to-market roads have been built with 16 more being constructed, with P374 million pesos budgeted for production and post-harvest machinery to increase the rice production and income of local farmers.

Ther President lateer motored to San Jose City to meet with local leaders and proclaim the administration's bets led by Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo at the Pag-asa Gymnasium in Barangay F. E. Marcos.  ###

RTC reverses ruling on Vergara disqualification case

Third Congressional District candidate Rosanna Vergara stands atop a stack of monobloc chairs to update her supporters on the disqualification case against her.

A Cabanatuan City regional trial court (RTC) has reversed th decision of a municipal trial court (MTC) removing congressional candidate Rosanna "Ria" Vergara from the list of voters in Cabanatuan City.

The RTC, in its February 19 ruling, said the MTC committed a mistake in its February 4 decision excluding Vergara from the list of voters and ordering the Commission on Elections to remover her name from the list of candidates.

“To strip her bare...of her right to suffrage at the 11th hour before election day leaving her without any remedy would be most unfair. She had registered in 1997 and a second registration is not sanctioned under RA 8189 (Voters Registration Act),” the RTC decision said.

Vergara welomed the RTC decision, saying it recognizes an individual's right to suffrage and choose the leaders.

“This sacred right cannot be sacrificed because of technical details and mere procedural lapses. I am very happy... the fight continues.We won,” she told her supporters in an impromptu rally across the city public market.

Philip Piccio, who filed the case against Vergara, said he would appeal the RTC ruling.

Earlier,  the local Commission on Elections office said it had not removed the name of Vergara from the list of voters as directed by the MTC

The election officer of Cabanatuan City, lawyer Wesley del Fonso, said his office had not been served a fnal and executory order from Executive Judge Kelly Belino of the Municipal Trial Couirt (MTC) who had ruled that Vergara was not eligible to vote in the May elections because her  voting right was removed when she became a naturalized American citizen in 1998.

Del Fonso said the local COMELEC office was furnished a copy of Vergara's notice of appeal filed at the regional trial court to contest the MTC ruling.thus the election office may not yet amend the voter list.

For his part, Gregorio Larrazabl, former COMELEC commissioner and Vergara's counsel, said the election registration board is the proper body that should evaluate if the candidate is eligible to vote.###

Solar farms to rise in San Jose City, Pantabangan

San Jose City and  Pantabangan will be the sites of new solar farms to help boost Central :Luzon's supply of renewable energy.

Former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Department of  Energy has awarded a total of 26 new solar energy service contracts to private developers.

Aside from the two sites in Nueva Ecija, the other solar farms will be built in Guagua, Pampanga; Palauig, Zambales; Hermosa, Bataan; and San Idelfonso, Bulacan.

“The thermal or electrical energy from sunlight is the cleanest and most plentiful renewable energy source readily available, so we should take full advantage of it,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri authored the Renewable Energy Law. ###

New plant species found in Pantabangan

A new but much smaller species of Rafflesia, the world's biggest flower, has been discovered in two sites in the Pantabangan watershed area.

While the parasitic Rafflesia can reach a diameter of up to 1.5 meters, the newly found Rafflesia consueloae has a diameter of only 9.73 centimeters and holds the word record for being the smallest kind among the giant flowers

The new species was discovered by a team of biologists from the University of the Philippines near the Masiway Hydroelectric Power Plant in Pantabangan., It can only be found in the Philippines and thrives only on Mount Malobok and Mount Pantaburon, two kilometers apart from each other. It is classified as critically endangered.

The flower was named in honor of Consuelo Rufino Lopez, wife of industrialist Oscar Lopez and mother of Federico Lopez, chair and CEO of First Gen Hydro Power Corp., operator of the Masiway power plant. ###

Rizal barangay tanod shot dead

Two armed men who introduced themselves as members of the New People's Army (NPA) shot and killed a 42-year old barangay tanod who had just delivered his daughter to Bongabon Essential School in Barangay Palomaria last February 23,

A report received by the office of Mayor Allan Gamilla identified the victim as Rogelio Ariola Evangelista, Jr. of Barangay Macapsing, Rizal.

The incident happened at about 7:40 A.M. when the suspects approached the victim who was aboard his motorcycle, shot him repeatedly and introduced themselves as NPA rebels to the bystanders,

The suspects walked away and escaped aboard a waiting motorcycle driven by a third companion.. ###

Body of shooting victim found

The body of a man with gunshot wounds in the head and neck was found in a farm in Brangay San Jose, San Antonio last February 28.

The discovery was reported to the local police by Barangay Chair Anocoreta Santos.

A certain Bunso Santos of Barangay Papaya found the body while he was gathering dry tree branches in the area

The victim was about 5' 6" tall, 45 to 50 years old and wearing a green T-shirt, denim pants and sandals.

The body was brought to a  funeral parlor in Barangay Poblacion for autopsy. ###

Dead farmer found in Llanera irrigation canal

The body of a 35-years old Llanera famer was found floating in an irrigation canal two days after he was reported missing.

Sr. Insp. Jaime Ferrer identified the fatality as Renato Uy, married, of Barangay Plaridel.

His body was retrieved from the irrigation canal in Barangay San Felipe.

The victim's relatives said he was last seen wearing a blue sweater and black jogging pants.

The victim's father-in-law, Rudy Alcantara, 62, said Uy, who was drunk, came to irrigate their farm and later went swimming in the irrigation canal..

He said the victim disappeared and was thought to have drowned

Police said the wife of the victim signed a waiver refusing an autopsy on the victim's remains.###

Top wanted man in Guimba nabbed

Guimba policemen led by Insp,. Wilson Kimmayong arrested Mark Anthony Sebstian alias Macoy, the top drug personality in the town.

The suspect, driving a motorcycle, disregarded a checkpoint manned by Kimmayong and his men, forcing them to chase him. The suspect, when cornered, was found in possession of a caliber .38 revolver with four bullets and eight packets of shabu. ###

66-year old man killed by drinking buddy

A 66-year old man was repeatedly boxed in the face by a drinking buddy, causing him to lose consciousness and eventually die.

The incident happened in Purok 4, Barangay Bacal III, Talavera on the night of February 16.

A report to the office of Mayor Nerevi Santos-Martinez identified the fatality as Domingo Bariwan Marzo, driver, of Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya and tmporarliy living in Barangay Bacal III.

The suspect was Raymond Emon Sabado, a resident of the same barangay.

Investigation showed that the two engaged in a drinking session and then left for home at about 7:00 P..M. on board a tricycle driven by Jon Paolo Lumba.

While on the road, the two had a heated argument resulting in Sabado boxing Marzo in the head several times, causing him to lose consciousness.

The victim was taken to the Science City of Muñoz Clinic but he eventually died.

The suspect escaped and is now the subject of a manhunt. ###

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