anti-illegal drugs committee
Nueva Ecija Governor
Czarina Umali was named co-chair of the
Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs of the
Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC)
last March 17.
Tarlac Governor Susan Yap
heads the committee.
RPOC Chair and Bataan
Governor Albert Raymond Garcia said
Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado
was appointed as chair of the Committee
on Anti-Criminality with Olongapo City
Mayor Rolen Paulino as co-chair.
Pampanga Governor Lilia
Pineda was chosen as chair of the
Committee on Internal Peace and Security
with Guiguinto, Bulacan Mayor Ambrosio
Cruz, Jr. as co-chair. ###
shrink as prelude to
The Philippine Statistics
Authority (PSA) said Central Luzon is
moving towards industrialization with
rice farms including those in Nueva
Ecija continuing to shrink which could
have adverse effects on food
PSA reported that in Nueva
Ecija, supposed to be the region's
leading rice producer, farmlands were
recorded at 223,853 hectares in 1991 but
is now down to 196,390 hectares.
PSA's 2015 Gross Domestic
Product, based on the 2002 Census of
Agriculture, reported that Central Luzon
is among three regions in the country
that have become predominantly
industrial, along with the Cordillera
Administrative Region and CALABARZON or
In the review of the
agricultural sector in Central Luzon,
PSA said that in 2002, the region had
552,100 hectares of farms but in 1991,
the total area devoted to farming
totaled 632,500 hectares.
The average farm size
decreased from 1.8 hectares in 1991 to
1.6 hectares in 2002.
PSA said Central Luzon
farms are being converted to industrial
and commercial use, including housing,
industrial and recreational facilities,
despite the prohibition of the
conversion of all irrigated and
irrigable agricultural lands under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Badjaos live in pilot housing area
A total orf 132 Badjao
families now live in housing units
provided for free by the Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
and the Cabanatuan City government.
The Badjao settlement in
Barangay Bakod Bayan is under the
comprehensive program of DSWD for
Sama-Badjaos and its Core Shelter
Assistance Program (CSAP), in
partnership with the Cabanatuan City
government which purchased the housing
"This community was
primarily identified [for] pilot
implementation of our project in DSWD,
in line with the issues and problems of
the Badjaos," said Perla Villanueva of
the DSWD regional office.
The housing project comes
complete with electricity and water.
Access to water was
initially hard with only 16 water pups
servicing over a hundred families.
However, the private firm Solanaland
Development Incorporated, a partner of
the Office of the Vice President,
donated 10 additional pumps.
Norayza Abraham, a
42-year-old parent-leader in the
community, said she used to roam the
streets with other Bajaos to ask for
She said they were given
P10,000 per family for livelihood
Her husband earns by
selling dry goods while she adds to the
family income by helping in he community
activity center for a monthly allowance
The residents were also
provided with technical training like
tinapa-making, mobile phone repair and
Villanueva said since the
Badjao community is a pilot area, the
government continues to study the
effectiveness of the program's
implementation so it can be replicated
in other parts of the country, ###
Palayan City court to handle cases vs.
4 leftist lawmakers
The Supreme Court ordered a
Palayan City regional trial court to
handle the murder cases against four
former leftist lawmakers instead of
remanding the cases to the provincial
Among those accused in the
abduction and killing of supporters of a
rival party-list group were former
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative
and now National Anti-Poverty Commission
lead convenor Liza L. Maza, former
Anakpawis Representative and now
Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V.
Mariano and former Bayan Muna
Representatives Saturnino C. Ocampo and
Teodoro A. Casiño
The four were allegedly
involved in the abduction and killing of
Danilo Felipe in 2001; Jimmy Peralta in
2003; and Carlito Bayudang in 2004.
The decision written by
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen of the
Second Division set aside the July 18,
2008 and December 2, 2008 orders of
Palayan City Regional Trial Court Branch
40 Judge Evelyn Turla sending back the
criminal cases to the provincial
prosecutor for a new set of preliminary
Turla was ordered "to
conduct further proceedings with due and
The Second Division said
the orders to remand the cases to the
provincial prosecutor were improper, and
the judge's action lacks legal basis
considering that she had been given
sufficient documents io rule on the
existence of probable cause.
Te SC said it was Turla's
duty to determine the existence of
probable cause against the accused and
she could choose to disregard the report
submitted by the prosecutors if she
found it unsatisfactory, or even order
that additional evidence be submitted if
arrested in Carranglan
A suspected communist rebel
carrying explosives was arrested by the
military and police in Carranglan last
The suspect was identified
by the Army only through his aliases
"Isaac" and "Moises".
He reportedly served as
front secretary of the Platun Nueva
Ecia-Nueva Vizcaya-Eastern Pangasinan.
The Army said the suspect
was the subject of an arrest warrant in
connection with a homicide case in 2011.
The suspect was arrested in
Barangay General Luna at 1:00 A.M. by
members of the Army's 703rd Infantry
Brigade and 56th Infantry Battalion and
the Nueva Ecija police .
The suspect yielded two
hand grenades, an improvised explosive
device, a handgun with bullets, a
laptop, two mobile telephones, 23 thumb
drives, 23 memory cards, 18 SIM cards, a
transistor radio and batteries. ###
barangay chiefs held for drugs
Three barangay chairs in
Cabiao, identified as high value targets
in the town's war on illegal drugs, were
arrested during separate search
operations in their homes last March 26.
Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra,
provincial police director, identified
the officials as Barangay Captains Noel
Amurao, 37, of Barangay San Fernando
Sur; Armando Esmeralda, 45, of Barangay
Natividad North; and Vladimir Velasquez,
40, of Barangay San Juan North.
A fourth target of the
operations was Eduardo Teves, barangay
kagawad of Bagong Buihay, who was
reportedly the eighth high value target
in the town. However, no illegal drug
was found in his house.
Amurao's house was searched
for illegal firearms but found there
were two plastic sachets of alleged
Found in Esmeralda's house
were four plastic sachets of alleged
Seized at the house of
Velasquez were three plastic sachets of
The operations were
conducted by the Provincial Intelligence
Branch under Supt. Alexander C. Aurelio,
the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit
under Senior Insp. Arnel V. Aguilar, in
coordination with the Cabiao police and
the Regional Office 3 of Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency, ###
caught with shabu and guns in
Two teenaged boys were
caught with two hand guns and three
large sachets of suspected shabu in
Barangay Sumcab Este, Cabanatuan City
last March 22.
The suspects, both 17yers
old, drove a motorcycle though a
checkpoint along Vergara Highway.
Supt. Ponciano Zafra, city
police chief, said the two drew their
pistols but did not firea at the
policemen when arrested,
Zafra said the teens were
residents of Barangay Kaingin, Bongabon.
They denied owning the guns
and illegal drugs. ###
killed in Talavera
Patrolling policemen and a
still unidentified man driving an
alleged carnapped tricycle exchanged
shots along the San Ricado-Bantug
Hacieda Road in Barangay San Ricardo,
Talavera last March 24.
Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra,
provincial police director, said
the policemen were conducting an
investigation on a motornapping incident
that happened in front of Emong's
Pandesal in Barangay Maestrang Kikay
when they received a report that a
tricycle similar to the one missing was
seen in Barangay San Ricardo.
Police went to the area and
saw the tricycle but it made a quick
U-turn when the driver saw the
approaching patrol car.
During a brief chase, the
suspect reportedly fired at the
policemen triggering a firefight that
resulted in his death.
Recovered at the encounter
site were a caliber .38 revolver, two
shells, three bullets and three caliber
.9mm shells. ###
in Gapan clash
A suspected illegal drug
pusher was shot dead in an encounter
with anti-narcotics policemen last March
27 in Barangay San Nicolas, Gapan City.
The fatality was identified
as John Paul Granados alias Paul, 29,
single, of 2660 Int. Domingo St.,
Vito Cruz, Manila.
Supt. Peter Madria, city
police chief, said the shootout happened
when the suspect ran away and fired at
the operatives after sensing that he was
transacting with police poseur-buyers.
The operation was conducted
by the city police in coordination with
the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Recovered from the suspect
were a caliber .38 revolver, 10 plastic
sachets of shabu and P2,000 in marked
money used in the operation. ###
trader killed, son hurt in robbery
A 56-year old businesswoman
was shot dead while her son was wounded
in a robbery staged by three
unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects
last March 29 in Barangay Abar 1st, San
Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz,
city police chief, identified the
victims as Luby Velasquez and her son,
Jay, both of San Roque Street, Barangay
Investigation showed that
the victims had just arrived home from
their store in the city public market
when robbed at about 6:51 P.M.
One of the suspects grabbed
the trader's sling bag containing the
day's sales but she resisted, resulting
in the shooting.
The trader's son is in
stable condition after being rushed to
the Heart of Jesus Hospital.
Recovered from the crime
scene were three caliber .45 shells. ###
wounded in Cabiao shooting
A 42-year old farmer who
was aboard a "kolong-kolong" with his
helpers on their way to his farm was
attacked by two unidentified
motorcycle-riding men.in Barangay
Isabel, Cabiao last March 24.
The assailants came out and
fired at the victim at the foot of
Santa Isabel bridge.
The victim was identified
as Marcos Clemente of Barangay
The wounded victim, chased
by the suspects, ran towards a corn
field and hid there to escape the