convict gets Indonesian reprieve
Mary Jane Veloso, the Novo
Ecijana scheduled to face a firing squad
in Indonesia for bringing in heroin, was
given a reprieve at past midnight last
The execution of eight
other drug convicts pushed through.
The attorney general of
Indonesia, JM Prasetyo, said an
exception was made for Veloso because of
a last-minute plea from President Aquino
to let Veloso serve as witness against a
drug trafficking syndicate.
Veloso's family members who
had been flown to Indonesia to be with
her, rejoiced upon learning of the
postponement of the execution. They were
asleep aboard a coaster on their way to
Jakarta after seeing Veloso for what was
supposed to be the final time at the
execution island when they learned of
Veloso was born to a poor
family in Barangay Esguerra, Talavera.
She was the youngest of five siblings
and reached only first year high school.
She got married early and bore two
children before she and her husband
separated. The family later transferred
to Barangay Caudillo in Cabanatuan
She worked in Dubai as a
domestic helper, then returned to the
Philippines before her two-year contract
ended because, according to her
Indonesian lawyer, she was almost raped.
In 2010, she was offered
another job as a domestic helper in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by her
god-sister, Maria Cristina Sergio, but
when she arrived there, the job was not
Sergio then allegedly asked
Veloso to go to Yogyakarta, Indonesia,
giving her a brand new suitcase and
$500. Veloso noticed that the suitcase,
though empty, seemed heavy.
Veloso arrived in
Yogyakarta on April 25, 2010, where
authorities found packs of heroin in
aluminum foil totaling 2.6 kilos in the
lining of her suitcase. She was arrested
During the interrogation,
she was not provided with a lawyer or
In the trial, the
interpreter provided by the court was
not licensed by the Association of
Indonesian Translators, and translated
the proceedings from Bahasa Indonesia to
English, a language Veloso was not
fluent in. Her lawyer was a public
defender provided by the police.
The trial ended in October
2010, just six months after Veloso's
arrest. The prosecutors asked the court
for a sentence of life imprisonment but
the judges handed down the death
She escaped death when
Indonesia imposed a moratorium on
executions but in October 2014, the new
Indonesian president announced he would
reject all clemency requests from drug
convicts on death row because of the
serious illegal drug situation in the
country. Affected by that decision was
Veloso's request. ###
purges dead voters from list
An intial batch of 1,251
voters in Cabanatuan City have been
deleted from the master list of 5,000
dead voters by the local Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) office.
Leonardo Navarro, city
election officer, said the removal of
dead voters started in May last year and
will continue until October this year,
in time for the filing of certificates
of candidacy for the 2016 elections.
Navarro admitted that dead
voters were able to vote during past
barangay elections because people in the
locality knew who were already dead but
still included in the voters' list.
He said they are verifying
the list of other dead voters and
securing death certificates from the
civil registrar to help speed up the
process of cleaning the voters' list.
owes high rice yield to hybrid seeds
Nueva Ecija is fast
emerging as the hybrid rice seed
In Santo Domingo, Mayor
Leonides de Guzman said the use of
hybrid seeds played a crucial role in
improving the income and quality of life
of rice farmers who are able to harvest
up to 380 cavans per hectare.
Crispulo Bautista, Jr.,
Department of Agriculture assistant
regional director, said based on
official data, Nueva Ecija registered an
average yield of 6.07 metric tons per
hectare in 20124, higher than the 5.30
metric tons per hectare recorded in
2013. It is also much higher than the
national average of 3.9 metric tons per
He said that hybrid rice is
one reason for the increase in the
region's rice production, with hybrid
rice planting expanded to nearly 84,000
hectares this dry season compared to
only 51,000 hectares last year.
During the recent
hybrid rice harvest festiva in Santo
Domingo, the agriculture department and
the municipal government awarded Angel
Morales, who harvested 380 cavans per
hectare; Antonio Martin, 224 cavans per
hectare; and ten others for their
record-breaking production. ###
Dam nears critical level
The water level at
Pantabangan Dam has dropped to below 180
meters and is nearing the critical
operations manager of Upper Pampanga
River Integrated Irrigation
Systems, said the water level as of
April 21 was 178.99 meters.
This was still 7.49 meters
above the critical level of 171.5 meters
but only two meters above the minimum
level required to operate the
Pantabangan power plant.
Puno said the water level
is expected to drop to 177 meters by the
end of April. ###
US soldiers victimized by thieves in
Four American soldiers
participating in the RP-US Balikatan
Exercises were victimized by thieves
inside Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City.
Supt. Leandro Novilla of
the Palayan City police said the
incident happened last April 9 but they
were informed about it only after
The victims were identified
as Army Lieutenants Patrick Tierney and
Thomas Dunne and Staff Sergeants Scotty
Wilson and Dwayne Massey.
Investigation showed that
the robbery happened at about 1:00 P.M.
while the victims were sleeping in the
Exercise Relation Construction compound
at the Special Operations Command of the
7th Infantry Division.
The suspects were able to
enter the building after digging a hole
at the perimeter fence.
Among the items stolen were
a Samsung cell phone; one pair of
military boots; one pair of rubber
shoes; one wallet containing US credit
card and driverís license; US Army
military ID; one pair of slippers; two
pairs of rubber shoes; and $2,150 and
P2,000 in cash.
The military police later
recovered the stolen items except for
the cash and a pair of rubber shoes.
These were turned over to the US Army
last April 19. ###
gunmen kill 2
Gunmen riding a motorcycle
in tandem killed a lady palay agent and
a man in separate incidents last April
In San Jose City, Dorina
Tolentino, 41, married, palay agent, of
Sitio Kamanggahan, Barangay Piut,
Carranglan was shot dead while sitting
in front of Ilocano Eatery along
Maharlika Highway in Barangay Malasin.
Police said the victim had
just eaten breakfast and was texting a
friend when shot twice from behind by
the gunman wearing a ski mask and bull
The suspect then escaped
aboard a motorcycle driven by his
In Cabanatuan City, Nomerio
Antonio, 376, married, driver, of Purok
2, Baranay Mataas na Kahoy, General
Natividad was repeatedly shot by two
suspects aboard a motorcycle in Camp
Tinio at about 1.30 P.M. ###
Body parts in
garbage bags show up in two places
A human left leg stuffed
into a garbage bag was found in Barangy
Tagpos, Santa Rosa on the night of April
The garbage bag was
reportedly thrown from a speeding
motorcycle in front of the house of
Nazar said she was awakened
after she heard a loud thud in front of
her house while a motorcycle passed by
at 10:40 P.M.
She then asked a cousin,
Armando dela Cruz, who was walking in
front of her house, to check.
Dela Cruz saw a garbage bag
which was found to contain a human leg.
The following day, another
garbage bag with a human right leg was
found by a tricycle driver, Marlon
Caliso of Zulueta Street, at about 3:00
Police are investigating if
the two incidents are connected. ###
body found in San Isidro irrigation
The decomposing body of a
man was discovered floating in an
irrigation canal in Sitio Manggahan,
Barangay Pulo, San Isidro last April 15.
Chief Insp. Julius Caesare
Manucdoc said the body was found by
Roberto Santos, a farmer.
The body was covered with
rice sacks and plastic garbage bags tied
around with copper wires to a huge rock.
The victim had chest
lacerations and was between 35 and 40
years old, from 5'6" to 5'8" tall, of
large build, fair and tattooed with
"Guardians 99 Rossi" and "Jhing" on the
left shoulder. He was wearing black
Colombia sports pants, brown belt, blue
Giordano T-shirt and tri-colored socks.
The body was brought to
Bandy Funeral Services in Barangay
businesswoman shot dead
A businesswoman was shot by
motorcycle-riding gunmen in San Antonio
last April 21.
An initial report by Insp.
Arturo Danipod of the local polce said
the suspect entered the store of the
victim, Merlinda de Laya, 52, in
Barangay Tikiw and shot her thrice.
The suspect escaped on a
motorcycle driven by an accomplice.
The victim was rushed to
San Antonio District Hospital where she
was declared dead on arrival.
Police said motives for the
killing could be a grudge or business
top wanted person arrested
The Number One most wanted
person in Cabanatuan City was arrested
last April 28.
Chief Supt. Ronald Santos,
officer-in-charge of Police Regional
Office 3, identified the suspect as
Edison Manulid of Barangay Kalikid Sur.
He was wanted for statutory
rape, with no bail recommended. ###
for pushing shabu
Three suspected shabu
pushers were arrested last April 23.
Chief Supt. Ronald
Santos, officer in charge of Police
Regional Office 3, identified the
suspects as Benigno Angeles, 45, of
Barangay San Mariano, San Antonio; Ruben
Villanueva, 43, of Barangay Camp Tinio,
Cabanatuan City; and Elizer Quejada, 27,
of Santo Domingo.
They yielded three plastic
sachets oif suspected shabu and marked
money used in the buy-bust operations.
A 39 year old farmer was
shot dead by an unidentified man in
front of his son and nephew while
gathering grass for his carabao in Jaen
last Aprl 17.
The victim was identified
as Mario Victorio, married, of Purok 5,
Victorio was with his
10-year old son Simon and nephew Andrew
Esguerra when shot multiple times by the
suspect from behind.
The suspect, wearing a bull
cap and sunglasses and a handkerchief
covering his face, escaped on foot. ###
accident kills couple
A 52 year old businessman
and his wife died when the motorcycle
they were riding collided with a jeepney
in Quezon town.
The victims, Victorio and
Zenaida Jose, died on the spot from head
The jeepney driver, Gani
Sarmiento, 41, surrendered to the police
and was charged with reckless imprudence
resulting in double homicide. ###