No. 214 /  March 16-31, 2009
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The first among Nueva Ecija private schools
Wesleyan U. granted
autonomous status

Wesleyan University-Philippines (WU-P), the oldest private higher education institution in Nueva Ecija, has been granted a five-year autonomous status from March 11, 2009 to March 30, 2014, by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

Autonomous status –  for as short as one year to as long as five years – is granted to a school that passes the CHED criteria such as the number of Level III accredited programs, outstanding overall performance of graduates in licensure examinations under the Professional Regulation Commission and long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation. It is the highest status that a school can aspire for.

Dr. Emmanuel Y. Angeles, CHED chair, formally informed WU-P President Guillermo T. Maglaya, Sr. through a letter, about the grant of autonomy to Wesleyan, congratulated him and expressed the hope that the school would continue its tradition of offering quality education.

In a subsequent meeting with academic and administrative heads, Maglaya expressed  gratitude for the latest honor that WU-P received under his administration, and credited all university personnel, from the vice presidents and deans down to the janitors, for working for the attainment of the autonomous status.

With WU-P’s autonomous status, it now joins the exclusive league of some 22 autonomous private schools nationwide that include Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle,  Assumption College, Miriam College Foundation, St. Joseph’s College of Quezon City, University of Santo Tomas and Centro Escolar University, among others. In Central Luzon, Wesleyan is only the fourth private school to be granted autonomy.

Prior to autonomy, Wesleyan had enjoyed a five-year deregulated status, the first and only  higher education institution in Nueva Ecija to be given such a privilege.

As an autonomous university, Wesleyan is now exempted from the issuance of Special Orders and monitoring and evaluation activities of CHED, and entitled to subsidies and other financial incentives and assistance from the commission.

It has been given the privilege to determine and prescribe curricular programs to achieve global competence,  offer new courses or programs in the undergraduate and graduate levels and establish branches or satellite campuses without the need for prior approval of CHED, offer extension classes and distance education courses to expand access to higher education and establish affiliations with recognized foreign higher education institutions in pursuit of international standard of education

Wesleyan can now also grant honorary degrees on its own, without seeking the approval of CHED. ###

High Court stops arrest of Cuyapo mayor

A temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the First Division of the Supreme Court prevented the arrest of Cuyapo Mayor Amado Corpuz, Jr. who  had been accused of masterminding the gun slaying of Sanggunian Bayan Secretary Angelito Espinosa last June 4, 2008.

Corpuz returned to work at the municipal hall after the High Court granted his urgent petition for a writ of preliminary injunction against the Guimba Regional Trial Court Branch 33 that had indicted him for murder and ordered his arrest last February 26.

The respondents in Corpuz's petition were Judge Ramon D. Pamular; Priscila Espinosa, widow of the slain SB official as the private complainant; and Provincial Public Prosecutor Floro F. Florencio.

The TRO stopped Pamular from implementing his arrest order and proceeding with the case.

The case arose from the shooting to death of Espinoza, who was then only on his third day as SB secretary, allegedly by Carlito Samonte, driver and security aide of Corpuz.

Corpuz said that he "hibernated" while using all legal remedies to stop attempts to unseat him, and claimed he was still the mayor of Cuyapo. ###

Cabiao vice mayor accused of malversation

Cabiao Vice Mayor Marcelino Simbillo has been charged with malversation of public funds after allegedly pocketing one million pesos intended for the purchase of a piece of land for the town's solid waste management program.

In an 11 page complaint filed with Office of the Ombudsman, Roberto Galang and Jose Guevarra, both Cabiao residents, claimed that Simbillo received a one million peso cash advance for the over 14,000 square meter lot in Barangay San Vicente.

It was also claimed that the landowner, Melani Mina, was a close relative of the vice mayor. ###

Umali not affected by charges

Gov. Aurelio M. Umali said he was not bothered by accusations of widespread corruption in his administration, saying that not one of the charges filed against him by his political opponents has been proven true.

This was Umali's reaction to the well publicized charges filed against him by the Josons whom he unseated after 48 years in power.

"Nilamangan ko si Boyet Joson nang may 120,000 boto, tapos tatawagin lang nilang tsamba lang iyon" Umali said, adding that the Josons have not accepted the fact that he had defeated them in the polls. ###

Thousand attend anti illegal drug summit

Thousands of Novo Ecijanos gathered for an unprecedented anti illegal drug summit at the Nueva Convention Center in Palayan City last March 25.

Gov. Aurelio Umali led the participants in undergoing voluntary drug testing.

He urged officials from 849 barangays in the province to fight illegal drugs and promised infrastructure projects to barangays that will succeed in clearing their territories of illegal drugs.

Chair Efraim Genuino of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), in his keynote speech, said that the Nueva Ecija summit was the first to be held outside Metro Manila after the Batang Iwas Droga (BIDA) that he recently launched.  BIDA made it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest rally against illegal drugs in the world.

Genuino later raffled off 20 cellular phones and distributed 20 service vehicles to participating barangays.

Umali asked Genuino for funding for the Nueva Ecija Rehabilitation, Training and Research Center  in Palayan City headed by Dr. Vision de Guzman. Rehabilitation is an important aspect of the fight against illegal drugs, he emphasized.

Umali said he would consult with church groups, non-governmental organizations, the media, and the academe on the issue of ridding barangays of the drug menace.

Among the top officials who attended the summit were Senior Supt. Ricardo Marquez, provincial police director; Dr. Abraham Pascua, provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government; Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, commander of the Armys 702nd Infantry Battalion; Provincial Prosecutor Floro Florendo; and National Bureau of Investigation Nueva Ecija-Aurora chief, Pedro Roque, Jr. ###

Ecijano Catholic men rally against Reproductive Health bill

Hundreds of Catholic men marched around Cabanatuan City to protest anti-life actions, specifically the Reproductive Health Bill pending in the House of Representatives.

The march called "Walk for Life" began with a concelebrated Mass by Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud and San Jose Bishop Mylo Vergara and priests from the two Nueva Ecija dioceses.

Among those who joined the pro-life rally were 56 Knights of Columbus and Columbian Squires councils from all over the province, including members from nearby Nueva Vizcaya, and representatives of different religious organizations.

In his homily, Bancud said that it would be very dangerous for people to believe that they can do anything they want about their lives.

Rev. Fr. Benjie Javier said that 3rd Dist. Rep. Czarina Umali has expressed opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill. On the other hand, 2nd Dist. Rep. Joseph Violago also opposes the bill.

San Isidro Mayor Sonia Lorenzo, one of the few women who joined the rally, said people have never been considered a burden in her town.

"We treasure our citizens," she said. ###

Cabanatuan joins 'Earth Hour'

Cabanatuan City joined the observance of Earth Hour last March 28 by switching off the lights at Plaza Lucero from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

Mayor Alvin Vergara led representatives from the city government, private sector, civic and religious groups and schools in expressing concern for the environment.

The Earth Hour program started with information on proper waste disposal to mitigate global warming and climate change. 

Vergara and former Mayor Jay Vergara then turned off a ceremonial switch to mark the start of Earth Hour.

 The city mayor gave a short message on the significance of the occasion.

Dr. Mercedes Cabling, president of the Kapisanan ng mga Kimika sa Pilipinas-Region III and member of the Cabanatuan Solid Waster Management Board also delivered a message.

A documentary video entitled “Panahon Na” was shown to Earth Hour participants to demonstrate the effects of climate change on the Philippines and each citizen’s responsibility in caring for the environment. 

This year, some 650 cities and municipalities in the country joined the Earth Hour. ###

NFA starts buying dry season palay

The National Food Authority (NFA) has set aside P85 million as initial fund for palay procurement this dry copping season.

Edelino Alejandro, NFA provincial manager, said that this April, some 100,000 bags of palay are expected to be bought from farmers and cooperatives despite the high buying price set by private traders.

The NFA implements the P17 per kilo farmers support price for clean and dry palay, including a total of 70 centavos per kilo as incentives for cooperatives, delivery and drying.

It is expected that some seven million bags of palay will be produced in Nueva Ecija this planting season.

Serafin Santos, provincial agriculturist, said that more than 40,000 hectares of farmlands had been planted with hybrid rice with an average yield of 150 to 200 cavans per hectare. ###

Grenade explodes in Old Capitol Compound

A grenade hurled by an unidentified person exploded in the Old Capitol Compound along Burgos Street in Cabanatuan City at about 1:30 AM last March 18.

The grenade hit a blue Toyota Hi-Lux pickup owned by PO3 Sabino Maibuyo Erese, Jr. of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Nueva Ecija police.

No one was hurt in the incident. ###

Gapan police warns vs. repackaged expired chocolates

The Gapan City police warned residents against buying expired chocolates and candies that were discovered to have been repackaged.

Supt. Marlon Bingcang said that three helpers were arrested in Freedom Park, Barangay San Vicente while unloading repackaged expired candies from a van.

Those arrested were Jay-ar Soliman Concepcion, 20; Ruby Amay Ronquillo Concepcion, 20; and Mark Anthony Villanueva, 22; all of Barangay San Mariano, San Antonio and helpers of a certain Agnes Concepcion.

Bingcang said that repackaging of expired products is widely practiced in barangays San Mariano and Julo. These are distributed in small stores near schools. ###

Teenager dies in motorcycle accident

A 15 year old girl died of head injuries after the motorcycle she was driving rammed a concrete wall in Barangay Maliolio, Santa Rosa in the evening of March 20.

In a report submitted by Chief Insp. Reynaldo dela Cruz to the office of Mayor Otep Angeles, the victim was identified as Mary Kylle Angeles Grospe, third year high school student, of Barangay Cojuangco.

Grospe's back rider, Eliza Cuevo Regla, 15, of Barangay Valenzuela, sustained face injuries.

It was learned that prior to the accident, Grospe and her friend took her Honda Wave motorcycle to a mechanic after experiencing mechanical trouble. On the way home,  she lost control of the bike until it collided with a concrete wall along the Santo Rosa-Jaen Road.

Grospe was declared dead on arrival at Nueva Ecija Doctors' Hospital. ###


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