Volume 17 / No. 06   |  March 31, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
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Umali co-chairs RPOC
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. ###

Ecija farms shrink as prelude to industrialization

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 sufficiency.

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 Region 4A.

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. ###

Cabanatuan 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 site.

"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 alms.

She said they were given P10,000 per family for livelihood projects.

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 of P2,000.

The residents were also provided with technical training like tinapa-making, mobile phone repair and doormat weaving.

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, ###

SC orders 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 prosecutor.

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 investigation.

Turla was ordered "to conduct further proceedings with due and deliberate dispatch."

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 necessary. ###

Red rebel arrested in Carranglan

A suspected communist rebel carrying explosives was arrested by the military and police in Carranglan last March 22.

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. ###

3 Cabiao 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 shabu.

Found in Esmeralda's house were four plastic sachets of alleged shabu.

Seized at the house of Velasquez were three plastic sachets of alleged shabu.

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,  ###

2 teens caught with shabu and guns in Cabanatuan

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. ###

Carnapper 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. ###

Pusher dies 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. ###

San Jose 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 Jose City.

Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz, city police chief, identified the victims as Luby Velasquez and her son, Jay, both of San Roque Street, Barangay Abar 1st.

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. ###


Farmer 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 Palasinan.

The wounded victim, chased by the suspects, ran towards a corn field and hid there to escape the attackers. ###

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