Volume 16 / No. 6    |   March 31, 2016
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
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Umali, Padiernos no show
Antonino, Sarmiento bare plans in CLSU forum

Only gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Antonino of UNA and vice-gubernatorial candidate Raymond Sarmiento of  PDP-Laban showed up at "Tugon 2016: Local Debate Forum" organized by Central Luzon State University (CLSU) last March 28.

The other candidates who were invited but failed to attend were 3rd Dist. Rep. Cherry Umali (LP) who is running for governor, and vice-gubernatorial candidates Vice Gov. GP Padiernos (LP), Melchor Joson (UNA) and Henry Bello (Independent).

Antonino said the three pillars of his administration will be a development plan, transparency and not leaving anyone behind.

He promised farmers and farm workers to create irrigation systems, pave farm-to-market roads, strengthen farmers' cooperatives, provide financial subsidies and crop insurance and tap the expertise of agriculture-related agencies in the province.

To increase the livelihood of farmers, he said there is a need to create more agriculture-based products so agricultural products need not be sold as raw materials.

Antonino said he would make education more accessible in the province by enhancing special education programs, creating municipal college program and opening free dormitories for students.

“We want education to be inclusive so our scholarship program, as it is in my district, will have no entrance exams... After graduation, we have massive employment programs so the students can immediately find work,” Antonio said.

Vice-gubenatorial candidate Santiago said he would push for a policy that will ban imported rice, onions and other agricultural products in the province.

He said he will give alternative livelihood to farmers affected by new machinery, create cooperatives and stop the entry of new technology from other areas that disrupt agriculture in the  province.

Sarmiento said he will continue the scholarship program of the provincial government and said the country's educational system needs to be reformed.

“We need to change our perspective on education. We are outward looking. Once we get our education in the province, we move forward to Manila or other countries. We have a brain drain,” Sarmiento said.

To create more opportunities for graduates, he said he plans to invite more companies to open business and create livelihood opportunities in the province. ###

Ecija added to PNP's election watch list areas

Nueva Ecija has been included in the Philippine National Police (PNP) lf election watch list areas that are prone to election-relation violence and politically-motivated incidents.

Two other provinces were included in the list -- Abra and Lanao del Norte.

Director General Ricardo Marquez, PNP chief, said that while no significant events have been reported in the three provinces, they were added to the list as a "proactive measure".

Last December, the PNP identified six provinces as election watch list ares. These were Pangasinan, Masbate, Negros Oriental, Western Samar, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur.

Marquez said the PNP is closely coordinating with the military and other deputized agencies of the Commission on Elections to form a joint security plan covering all election-related activities related to the May 9 elections. ###

Army worms attack N.E. onion farms

Nueva Ecija onion farmers are affected by the destruction of their crops due to the attack of army worms.

The infestation has affected some 22,3389 hectares of onion farms in the province.

Provincial Agriculturist Serafin Santos said he has discouraged affected farmers from the use of too much pesticides to save their crops. He said too much chemicals may affect the quality of their products, resulting in these being rejected for being hazardous to people's health.

Worst hit by the army worm infestation is Santo Domingo, with 346.30 hectares affected in five barangays, causing local officials to declare a state of calamity.

Also affected are Bongabon, 90 hectares; Palayan City, 139 hectares; Laur, 96 hectares; Quezon, 47 hectares, Talavera, 34 hectares; Cuyapo, 254 hectares; Science City of Muñoz, 10 hectares; and Aliaga, 6.8 hectares. ###

Villar gives livelihood assistance to 5 repatriated Ecijano OFWs

Senator Cynthia Villar awarded livelihood and financial assistance to five overseas Filipino workers from Nueva Ecija who had been repatriated after experiencing misfortunes abroad.

The beneficiaries included Nova Corbe and Juvy Dizon of San Jose City and Joyce Wy of Cabiao who were sent back to the country after being abused and maltreated by their employers in the Middle East, and Elaiza Nicolas and Maricel Miguel, both from San Jose City, who were victims of human trafficking in Malaysia

In simple ceremonies in the Senate, the OFWs received financial assistance and start-up sari-sari store package each from Villar, witnessed by their family members.

"We can only hope that this livelihood assistance would be instrumental in taking their minds off the misfortune they went through and in the process, earn a little and provide for their family's needs," Villar said.

She said the sari-sari store is the easiest business to start and can be done at home without the need for rigorous training.

The five Novo Ecijano OFWs were the latest beneficiaries of Senator Villar's assistance program for distressed OFWs in partnership with Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) and All Day Convenience Store. ###

Suansing seeks declaration of Nampicuan church as pilgrim/tourist destination

First Dist. Rep. Estrellita Suansing has filed a bill declaring the Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Nampicuan -- the sanctuary of the Holy Face of Manoppello in the province -- as a pilgrimage site and tourist destination.

Suansing's House Bill 5124 mandates the Department of Tourism to come up with a comprehensive development plan for the construction, installation and maintenance of the sacred place, improving the overall feature of the area and ensuring its accessibility to pilgrims and tourists.

Suansing said the Immaculate Conception Parish Church and the municipality of Nampicuan were bestowed a great blessing when the Holy Face of Manoppello -- the veil "no human hands have made" and believed to miraculously bear an imprint of Christ's face -- was formally enshrined in the church on September 15, 2014.

She said that Radio Veritas had reported that Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, rector of the shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, Italy, had chosen the Nampicuan church as the center for the devotion to the Holy Face in the country. ###

'AlDub' faces reproduced on Muñoz rice paddy

The faces of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards or AlDub of the Kalyeserye series and the words "AlDub Rice" appear on a rice paddy in the Science City of Muñoz.

This is a project of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) FutureRice program that implements sustainable agricultural practices and enterprise development in a demonstration farm.

Roger Barroga, program leader, said they hope to raise the interest of the youth in rice farming and agriculture.

The technique to create the art was developed in Japan., It uses the anamorphosis principle in which the effect of an art work can only be seen properly when viewed from a certain angle as used in 3D street and room art.

Nehemiah Caballong, information and communications technology specialist, said they processed the AlDub design through a photo-editing software to incorporate it in the dimensions of the rice paddy.

For the project, purple rice was used, provided by PhilRice's Genetic Resources Division. ###

Cabanatuan school gets new building

The Bakod Bayan Elementary School in Barangay Bakod Bayan, Cabanatuan City was the recipient of a two-story, four-classroom building donated by SM Prime Holdings through the SM Foundation.

It was the 72nd school building built by the SM Group of Companies together with some partners through the SM Foundation.

The new building, to be used by Grades 5 and 6 pupils, will augment the current 10 buildings of the school.

The school's population stands at 1,200, with a ratio of 71 pupils to a room. With the new classrooms, decongestion of classrooms is expected even if the school population increases by 200 this coming school year.

At the turnover ceremony, SM Foundation was represented by executive director for Education Carmen Linda Atayde; Carol del Rosario, assistant manager of SM Cabanatuan, representing SM Prime;  Dr. Rhoda Razon, city schools superintendent;  Josie Palioc, assistant schools superintendent; and Mico Vergara representing Cabanatuan Mayor Julius Vergara..

Trinidad Beltran, priincipal, said, "I prayed for God’s blessings to bring this school into the modern era with caring and dedicated teachers in a safe, comfortable environment for the young generation of our community.” 

Bakod Bayan Elementarry School started as a barrio school offering only Grades 1 and 2, and became a full-fledged elementary school in 1967. The 10,000 square meter lot where the school stands was donated by Rufino Halili. ###

NPA leader dies in Carranglan clash

A political officer of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed while his companion was captured in an encounter with Army solders in Carranglan last March 30.

Maj. Gen.Angelito de Leon, commander of the 7th Infantry Division, identified the fatality as a certain alias Paulo and the arrested companion as Jeoffrey Tolentino, 18.

Recovered from the encounter site were two M16 rifles, two hand grenades, subversive documents and three improvised explosive devices.

De Leon sad the clash happened in Sitio Kabisalan, Barangay Digdig at about 6:30 A.M.

The commander of the 703rd Infantry Brigade, Col.Filemon Santos, said the rebels burned several construction equipment of Pacific Concrete Products last September 30.

The company is constructing a bypass road from Carranglan to Santa Fe, passing through the Caraballo Mountains, to serve as an alternate to Dalton Pass which is prone to landslides. ###

Gapan trader, wife, aide killed and robbed

A 77-year old man, his wife and a female aide were discovered to have been robbed and killed in their house in Barangay San Nicolas, Gapan City last March 28.

Supt. Nelson Aganon, city police director, identified the victims as Rosendo Matias, 77, trader; his wife Erlinda, 73, retired school teacher; both of Pinagpala Street, Barangay San Nicolas; and Jennier dela Cruz, 34, clerk-helper, single, of Purok 3, Sojo, Barangay Mangino.

Inital reports said the suspects were able to take P700,000 in cash from a safety deposit vault of a filing cabinet that was found to have been forcibly opened.

Ricky Matias, 47, son of the couple, a businessman, of Filinvest 2, Quezon City, said his parents would keep the money collected from their business aside from those to be deposited in the bank. However, he could not tell the exact amount of cash in the vault at that time.

The victims' bodies were discovered by Felipe Pablo, 61, backhoe operator, of Deytiquez Street, Barangay San Nicolas, who came to the place located in the middle of a rice field, to report for work at 7:00 A.M. He saw Rosendo's body with gunshot wounds beside a truck parked in the garage. The bodies of Erlinda and Jennifer were later found in the living room.

Police recovered from the scene five caliber .9mm cartridges, a metal fragment, a lead bullet and a deformed bullet. ###

Gapan drug pusher killed

A suspected drug pusher with a standing warrant of arrest died in an alleged shootout with policemen who were out to arrest him last March 28.

The fatality was identified as George Ramos, 36, of Barangay San Vicente, Gapan City, named the city's number one in the priority target list  for neutralization for involvement in the illegal drug trade,.

Supt. Nelson Aganon, city police chief, said an arrest warrant was issued against the suspect by Judge Anamarie Joson-Viterbo of Gapan City Regional Trial Court Branch 36, which prompted him to go into hiding.

The suspect was spotted together with two others in front of the house of Reynaldo Longalong in Purok 1, Barangay Castellano at noon of March 28 and joint elements of the San Leonardo and Gapan police stations went to the place to arrest him.

When the policemen approached, the suspect ran inside the house to get his caliber .38 revolver and pointed it towards the officers.

This forced the police to fire once at the suspect, hitting him in the body.

The suspect was rushed to Lacson Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. ###

Pantabangan's #3 illegal drug dealer killed

A 53 year old farmer, said to be number three in Pantabangan's Oplan Lambat-Sibat priority list of illegal drug dealers, was shot and killed by two motorcycle-riding suspects on the night of March 16.

Sr. Supt Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, said the victim, Rolando Gomez, married, of Barangay Marikit, was walking along the Pantabangan-Baler Road at 8:25 P.M. when two motorcycle-riding suspects approached and shot him four times in the body.

The suspects then fled.

The victim was declared dead on arrival at Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City. ###

Fake 4Ps facilitator nabbed in San Jose City

A man posing as facilitator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) was arrested in an entrapment operation in San Jose City after a couple complained that they were recruited by the suspect to be his agents in exchange for P1,200 each.

Supt. Nolie Asuncion, city police director, identified the suspect as Walter Miguel, 43, single, of MLQ, Barangay Pinagpanaan, Talavera.

Earlier, espouses Ricado and Jovelyn Elauria of Zone 2 Barangay Dizol, San Jose City complained that the suspect, a tenant in their apartment building, introduced himself as an engineer from NAPOCOR and a 4Ps facilitator, and convinced them to become a 4Ps member in exchange for P1,200 each.

The suspect said the amount covered the medical examination and ATM card for each member.

He also lured them to recruit more 4Ps members and charge each of them P1,200 as membership due.

When arrested, the suspect yielded the P500 marked money used in the operation, various documents, his bio-data, fake identification cards and other items believed to belong to his other victims.

Asuncion said the suspect is believed to have been involved in a series of swindling activities in nearby towns, Baguio City and the Cordillera Administrative Region. ###

Girl drowns in Llanera resort

A seven-year old girl drowned after she slipped into a five-foot deep swimming pool at Villa Valentina Resort in Llanera at 3:30 P.M. on Good Friday.

The victim was identified as Princess Rica Romero.

She was declared dead on arrival at Dr. Paulino J.. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Cente in Talavera. ###

Santa Rosa man dies from drinking pesticide

A 49-year old man, diagnosed as suffering from depression, killed himself by drinking pesticide last March 29..

The victim's body was found by his cousin, Mario de Guzman, near his shanty at 5:30 A.M..

De Guzman thought the victim was just sleeping and tried to wake him up.

Found beside the victim's head was a 120-milliliter bottle of Malathion.

Police believed the victim died of poisoning after they found his mouth smelling of pesticide.

The victim's relatives said he was diagnosed to be suffering from depression after a check-up last January at a mental health clinic in Cabanatuan City. ###

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