Volume14 / No. 5                                                                                                               March 15, 2014
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Plane crashes in Rizal

Photo courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer.

A trainer airplane crashed on a house in Barangay Poblacion North, Rizal last March 6 after its pilot reportedly flew low to impress his girlfriend.

Sr. Insp. Cornelio Ordanza, town police chief, identified the  pilot as Paul Pafultad, 30, of Binalonan, Pangasinan and his co-pilot, Wen Htet, 21, of Myanmar.

Pafultad sustained a head injury while Htet was unhurt.

Glen Paraiso, 54, owner of the house where the plane landed, suffered bruises on his shoulder.

He said he was in the kitchen when the incident happened at about 8:00 A.M.

"Nagulat na lang ako sa bubong na pala ng bahay ko iyon at nakita ko doon 'yung maliit na eroplano," he said.

Three barangay residents -- Jasmin Gagarin, Pastol Rolando Laminado and Barangay Chair Roberto Lapuz -- said the plane, with tail number RP-C1025, would usually pass over their area so the pilot could show off to his girlfriend living there.

"Inireklamo na ito ng mga residente kasi madalas nga itong ginagawa na tila nagpapasikat doon sa babae, may mga pagkakataon pa nga naglalag-lag siya ng candy sa bahay ng gf niya," Lapuz said. ###

Cuyapo mayor convicted for proxy weddings

For asking another person to preside over two weddings on his behalf, Cuyapo Mayor Amado R.Corpuz was sentenced by the Sandiganbayan to two four-year jail terms.

Corpuz was found guilty of two counts of falsification of public documents by allowing a proxy to stand for him to officiate in two wedding ceremonies in 2009.

The Sandiganbayan First Division composed of Associate Justices Efren dela Cruz, Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos also ordered Corpuz to pay a fine of P5,000 for each case.

In his defense, Corpuz presented the two grooms but the anti-graft court gave more weight to the testimony of the mayor's proxy presented by the prosecution, including wedding photos and the testimony of photographers and wedding sponsors.

Retired Municipal Civil Registrar Thelmo Corpuz testified that he was assigned by the mayor to solemnize the weddings of Manny Asuncion and Dina Lumanlan on October 28, 2009, and that of Alex Pascual and Esperanza Arizabal on December 19, 2009.

He said he decided to admit his role in the crimes because he was getting old and wanted peace of mind.

While it was the civil registrar who presided over the weddings, it was the mayor who signed the marriage contracts as solemnizing officer.

The grooms Asuncion and Pascual said the photos taken during their wedding showed the mayor standing in front of them and their brides during the marriage counseling sessions before the wedding ceremonies.

The photographers contracted by the couples refuted this and said there were no wedding photos showing the mayor in the act of solemnizing the marriages.  ###

Mom of Pantabangan rape victim bares P1M bribe try

The mother of the beauty pageant contestant who accused former Mayor Romeo Borja, Sr. and  his son, Vice Mayor Romeo Borja, Jr., of rape, said there had been an attempt to pay her daughter P1 million to drop the case.

Interviewed in the GMA news program "24 Oras", the mother said "Akala nila mababayan ako... P1 million? Hindi P1 million ang buhay ng anak ko."

According to the victim, she was repeatedly raped by the Borjas from April 2011 to November 2012, after meeting them in a beauty pageant that she joined.

"Natatakot po... Syempre kinakabahan. Pinagbabantaan po nila kami," the victim said. "Yun pong pananakit nila at saka yung sapilitan pong paggawa ng hindi maganda, labag po sa kagustuhan ko. Yung patutok po ng baril sa akin," she added.

The former mayor was arrested in Pangasinan last month and allowed to stay in a hospital in Pampanga due to tuberculosis, while his son was subsequently arrested in  Manila.

Borja, Jr., said "Yan naman ay ating haharapin at masasagot naman natin sa korte yan. Mga ebidensiya na lang natin ang magpapatunay kung ano talaga yung tunay na nangyari."

Meanwhile, two more rape victims of the Borjas have filed complaints with the Department of Justice, including another beauty pageant contestant and a house helper. ###

Ecija builds P20-M police hostel

The provincial government held a ground-breaking ceremony for a P20 million, three storey hostel for policemen -- the first such facility in the country.

The rites were attended by Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, National Police Commission Vice Chair Eduardo Escueta and Commissioners Alejandro Uro and Luisito Palmera.

Gov. Aurelio M. Umali said the facility funded by the provincial government is expected to be finished in six months and intended to provide policemen decent accommodation as a reward for their peacekeeping efforts.

“The police was instrumental in changing the image of the province from a political war zone to a zone of peace. If you can give your life in the service, then the local government should pay respect to you by providing you with decent and dignified place to live in,” Umali said.

The hostel and multipurpose building, inside the Provincial Public Safety Company compound across the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office, boasts of a conference hall, suites and function rooms.

Umali, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council, cited the police for its efforts in combating criminality.

“Nueva Ecija’s history was written in violence. I have to rewrite it and I can only do that if I have the support of the police,” he said. ###

NEECO I to ERC: P18.6-M repair investment but no effect on rates

Nueva Ecija Electric Cooperative, Inc. I (NEECO I) has petitioned the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve its force majeure ("act of nature") capital expenditure project following the devastation caused by typhoon Santi on October 11 last year.

The petition said the strong winds and rains devastated NEECO I's coverage area, including its distribution lines, poles and other facilities, causing an 11-day power blackout that affected its 70,000 consumers.

NEECO pointed out that the repair and restoration of its damaged facilities cost P18,677.921.89.

The power cooperative said it does not intend to recover from its customers the amount as the general funds were used to cover the cost of restoration and repair of its damaged facilities.

"The project shall have no impact on the rates to its customers," NEECO added.

Last month, ERC reiterated the need of power distributors to restore disrupted electricity supply in their respective franchise areas. It said the reiteration of the guidelines is necessary because unforeseen circumstances may require the revision of the affected distributor's existing capital expenditure plans and loan applications that are pending with the commission. ###

Korean NGO distributes solar lamps to Ecija communities

A South Korean non-government organization has donated solar lamps to poor households in remote communities in Nueva Ecija to repay the help of Filipinos during the Korean war over 60 years go.

Dr. David Yoo, president of the Global Peace Festival Foundation of Korea (GPFFK), recalled that the Philippines persuaded the international community against invading Korea and Filipinos built buildings and communities in his country. He said it is the turn of Koreans to return the favor by building ideal communities in the Philippines.

Yoo, Global Peace Foundation International Chair James Flyn and other foundation officials called on
Gov. Aurelio M. Umalli at the old provincial capitol building in Cabanatuan City.

They also planted trees, attended the launching of a housing project and participated in a walk for peace.

Yoo said the solar lamps were part of the All Lights Village Project launched last January, targeting to light up some 30,000 sitios in the country with LED lanterns.

He said the project hopes to replace the use of candles and kerosene lamps which are fire and health hazards.

In 2013, the group donated solar lanterns to 300 families in Palayan City, Laur and Gabaldon. ###

Lucio Co firm acquires NE Pacific Mall operator

Businessman Lucio Co's investment holding firm, Cosco Capital, has acquired NE Pacific Shopping
Centers Corp., operator of NE Pacific Mall in Cabanatuan City.

In its stock exchange disclosure, Cosco Capital said it has acquired 100% of the capital stock of NE Pacific Shopping Centers Corp. from a group that included Metro Pacific Investments Corp. It also acquired the shares of the remaining stockholders.

In a separate disclosure, Metro Pacific said it sold all of its shares in NE Pacific Shopping Centers Corp., or 36.89% of the issued and outstanding capital stock of the corporation, to Cosco Capital.

NE Pacific Mall, the first large commercial mall in Cabanatuan City, has a gross floor area of over 25,000 square meters with over 400 tenants composed of fashion outlets, fast food chains, specialty shops, supermarket, appliance center, game arcade, banks government satellite offices and three cinemas.

Cosco's assets include a 51% stake in Puregold Price Club, Inc., liquor distribution companies and the oil storage business of Pure Petroleum Corp. ###

DOLE signs MOA with Ecija LGUs for OFW desks

The Department of Labor and Employment and its attached agencies --Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) -- has signed a memorandum of agreement with five towns and one city in Nueva Ecija for the setting up of an Overseas Filipino Migrant Worker's Desk in each locality.

The signatories were DOLE Regional Director Raymundo Agravante, DOLE Assistant Director Geraldine Panlilio, OWWA Regional Director Marilou Reyes, POEA Regional Director Paterno Juridico, incoming DOLE Provincial Director Angelita Fernando and Mayors Adrienne May Cuevas of Palayan City, Nerivi Martinez of Talavera, Mary Abad of Carranglan, Elizabeth Vargas of Aliaga and Lorna Mae Vero of Llanera.

The special desk is being established so OFWs and their families can readily avail themselves of its services in the least expensive way.

The MOA signing was the  highlight of the Advanced Management Training Course-Capability Building for Public Employment Service Office (PESO) managers and coordinators, and conducted alongside the reorientation on PhilJobnet and career coaching tips for PESO managers. ###

Ecija's 'Rice Coffee Queen' exports guyabano tea

Lieticia Basubas of Barangay Maligaya in the Science City Muñoz, who pioneered the manufacture of rice coffee in teabags sold locally and abroad, has gone into the processing and packing of guyabano leaves.

“I am exporting P500,000 worth of pure guyabano tea and guyabano tea with pandan to the United States, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Iceland and Brunei every four to six months." Basubas said.

Her guyabano tea is marketed locally in big malls like SM and other super stores.

She is looking forward to an increased the demand abroad once her processing plant and office get halal certification and accreditation, making them in accordance with Islamic law. and permissible to be used by Muslims

Basubas, who processes some 1,000 kilograms of guyabano leaves per month, said she buys them  from farmers accredited as suppliers at P20 per kilogram.

The leaves, not too young or too old, pest-free and not sprayed with chemicals, are air-dried for three days and heated in an oven to disinfect them.

Guyabano is said to possess medicinal properties, including the ability to fight cancer cells, though reports on clinical trials on humans have yet to be published.

Basubas also produces herbal teas from malungay leaves, ginger, yellow ginger or turmeric, lemon grass, ampalaya, squash and carrot.  ###

Carranglan vehicular accident kills 1, injures 4

A 40 year old woman died while four other companions, including two children, were injured in a three-way collision along a curved downhill portion of Maharlika Highway in Barangay Puncan, Carranglan last March 10.

Police said the accident happened at 4:00 A.M. and involved a 10-wheeler truck loaded with 500 sacks of empty bottles, a tricycle and a Nissan Urvan van, all traveling towards the south.

The fatality was identified as Lorena Geronimo of Alibagu, Ilagan, Isabela. Her co-passengers Nympha Paggao, 77; Althea Allagao, 10; Juan Shelo Geronimo, 5; and Jose Mari Geronimo, 44, all of of the same address, were injured.

They were occupants of a Nissan Urvan driven by Rodolfo Ramirez, Jr. of District II,Gammu, Isabela.

The collision happened when the 10-wheeler truck driven by Albert Nietes, 38, of Barangay Langkaan, Dasmariñas City, Cavite, ran out of control while going downhill at a sharp curve, then hit the rear of a tricycle driven by Hipolito Pajarillaga, Jr., 26, of Barangay Rio Chico, General Tinio, and the Nissan Urvan.

The tricycle and the van then rammed the houses of Gilbert Cayme, 31, and Renato Salamanca, 57, along the highway.

Police said the truck driver was placed under custody pending the filing of appropriate charges against him. ###

Zaragoza brothers punch police chief, grab gun

Two drunken brothers were held after one of them punched the Zaragoza police chief and the other grabbed the officer's service pistol.

This was after one of them was accosted for his "alarming" appearance during the celebration of the town's 136th founding anniversary last March 14.

The suspects were identified as a certain Bernard, 25, and his younger brother Marlon, 22, of Barangay General Luna.

The two were reportedly drunk when apprehended at 8:30 A.M. by policemen led by Chief Insp. Rico Cayabyab, police chief, who were then conducting routine patrol at the town plaza.

Cayabyab said he advised Bernard to dress accordingly because he was in a public place and people there were alarmed by his appearance.

Instead of heeding the advice, Bernard told Cayabyab "Bakit, ano ang pakialam mo?:" then tried to punch Cayabyab but missed.

When Bernard was about to be taken to the police station, Marlon arrived and tried to take his brother from Cayabyab. He also tried to grab the officer's gun from its holster.

The scuffle resulted in Cayabyab's uniform being torn and his wristwatch damaged.

The brothers were taken to La Paz Medicare and Community Hospital in La Paz, Tarlac for medical examination and liquor tests. ###

2 die in motorbike-tricycle collision

Two men died while undergoing treatment after their motorcycle and tricycle collided along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Abar 1st, San Jose City at about 9:40 P.M. last March 9.

The victims were identified as Jayson Mendonez, motorcycle driver, 24, single, of Barangay Burgos, Carranglan, and Mark Grospe, tricycle driver, 23, single, of Barangay Balic, Santo Domingo.

Their back riders Kennetch Mendonez, 18, and Jennifer Elias, 22, were injured.

SPO1 Apolinario Tolentino, officer on case, said the motorcycle tried to overtake the tricycle and got hit.

Mendonez died while undergoing treatment at a local hospital while Grospe, who was taken to a hospital in Cabanatuan City, also died while being treated. ###

San Jose pimp arrested, 2 girls saved

Police arrested an alleged pimp and rescued two teens who were believed being lured into prostitution during an entrapment operation in San Jose City last March 11.

Supt. Manuel Hidalgo, city police chief, identified the suspect as Winnie Ramos, 25, of Zone 8, Barangay Abar 1st.

The girls rescued were aged 16 and 17, both single, one from San Roque Street, Barangay 1st and the other from Zone 8, Barangay Santo Tomas.

The entrapment operation was set up after PO2 Louie Gosuico received a tip on the  presence of a human trafficker recruiting minors.

A policeman disguised as a customer transacted with the suspect through text messaging, setting up a sex deal for P1,500 at Maharlika Suite in Barangay Caanawan.

The operation was led by SPO1 Melissa Eusebio, chief of the Women and  Children's Protection Destk and SPO4 Camilo Alsasua.

A case of child trafficking was filed against the suspect at the San Jose City Prosecutor's Office. ###

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