No. 266 /  May 16-31, 2011
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Joson, 2 mayors face graft charges

Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro ordered the filing of criminal charges against former Gov. Tomas N. Joson III, Bongabon Mayor Amelia Gamilla and former Quezon Mayor Eduardo Basilio Joson.

The three are accused of violating a provincial board resolution donating heavy equipment to various local governments in the province.

The Ombudsman said that only heavy equipment were supposed to be donated but the accused added two luxury vehicles to the donation to Bongabon, and  a provincial mobile clinic, a Toyota Revo, a Fort F150 and a Nissan Urvan to the donation to Quezon town. ###

Councilor, 5 others wanted for slay of Licab vice mayor

A Sangguniang Bayan member and five other persons are being hunted by the police after a warrant of arrest was issued in connection with the killing of Licab Vice Mayor Luisito Caraang during the campaign period for the 2010 barangay elections.

Judge Ismael Casabar of Regional Trial Court Branch 31 issued a warrant of arrest dated May 17, 2011 against Councilor Alexander Ventura of Barangay San Casimiro, Licab, and his alleged cohorts Francisco Peralta, Jeremy Itan, Virgilio Domingo, Arturo Bernardino and Nestor Soriano. No bail was recommended.

Policemen led by Sr. Insp. Engracio Colosa, Jr., town police chief, went to the house of Ventura to serve the warrant but the councilor was not there.

A witness found by Task Force Caraang pointed to Ventura and the other accused.

Albert Caraang, younger brother of the slain vice mayor and president of the local Association of Barangay Captains, expressed satisfaction at the way his brother's case is moving.

He expressed the hope that the killing of his brother would be the last in the town's long history of violence. ###

Umali wants Ecija dropped from election hot spot list

Gov. Aurelio M. Umali is asking for the removal of Nueva Ecija from the list of election hot spots in the 2013 elections.

He called on the Commission on Elections and the Philippine National Police to update the list of hot spots and help Nueva Ecija change its image into a new, peaceful and progressive province.

“Four years after I assumed the governorship, Nueva Ecija now enjoys a stable peace and order climate and Novo Ecijanos can now speak freely and openly, irrespective of their party affiliations and loyalty, “ Umali said.

He cited the elections last year when COMELEC recognized the peaceful conduct of the polls in the province, without the usual violent incidents before and after the political exercise. ###

Cabanatuan, Talavera farmers win regional  'Gawad Saka' awards

Eduardo Policarpio of Barangay Palagay, Cabanatuan City was declared as outstanding hybrid rice farmer while Reynaldo Hilario of Talavera won as outstanding high value commercial crop farmer in the regional competition of the Department of Agriculture's Gawad Saka 2011.

The other regional individual winners were Rodolfo Molina of Pura, Tarlac as outstanding corn farmer; Desiree Duran of San Ildefonso, Bulacan as outstanding agri-entrepreneur; Royce Lising of Magalang, Pampanga as outstanding young farmer; Victorio Santos of Orani, Bataan as outstanding in fish culture; Wilfredo Martinez of San Luis, Aurora as outstanding coconut farmer; and the family of Tomy Garma, Sr. of Mayantoc, Tarlac as outstanding farm family.

Also cited were five organizations considered as outstanding achievers in agriculture and fisheries. These are the Guran Sapa Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Santa Ana, Pampanga as outstanding small farmer fisher folk organization (SFFO); Children of Emmanuel RIC of Candaba, Pampanga as outstanding rural improvement club (RIC); MAFC Guagua of Guagua, Pampanga as outstanding municipal agricultural and fishery council (MAFC); Balanga FARMC of Balanga City, Bataan as the outstanding fishery and agricultural resources management council (FARMC); and Zambales PAFC of Zambales province as the outstanding provincial agricultural and fishery council (PAFC).

Agriculture Regional Director Andrew Villacorta said that the Central Luzon awardees will compete with other regional winners. The national winners will receive presidential citations and trophies plus P100,000 each in rites to be held in Malacañang next year. ###

Ecijanos #1 'Cash-for-Work' beneficiaries

The Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office said that residents of Nueva Ecija comprise the biggest number of beneficiaries in Central Luzon of temporary employment and financial assistance through the government's Cash-for-Work Program (CWP) this rainy season.

Nueva Ecija has a total of 19,510 beneficiaries, followed by Pampanga with 7,007; Bulacan, 6,049; Tarlac, 5,770; Zambales, 4,518; Bataan, 3,123; and Aurora, 2,111.

Precy Tiopeco, regional CWP focal personnel, said that the program seeks to provide temporary employment to small scale farmers and fishermen during the lean months and improve the facilities of the community in time for the rainy season.

The beneficiaries were chosen through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction that was also used in selecting beneficiaries for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. ###

San Jose City hosts anti illegal drug rally

As if to emphasize the new found theme of the provincial government's anti illegal drug campaign that families should be one and together in the fight against the menace, the Umalis, Padiernoses and Belenas led a huge anti illegal drug fun run in San Jose City last May 28.

They were the stars of the third leg of  "Takbo Laban sa Droga" sponsored by the provincial government, the Provincial Police Office and the San Jose City government.

Among those who participated were Gov. Aurelio M. Umali, along with his wife, 3rd Dist. Rep. Czarina D. Umali and teenage daughter Gabby; his brother, Board Member Emmanuel Anthony M. Umali; Vice Gov. Jose Gay G. Padiernos and his two sons, Janno and Rurick; and Mayor Marivic V. Belena and husband, former Mayor Alexander S. Belena, and their daughters Alyssa, Nerikka and Nicole.

Also with them were Mayors Quintino S. Caspillo of Talugtug and Restituto A. Abad of Carranglan, BMs Joseph R. Ortiz and Edmund R. Abesamis, Provincial Police Director Sr. Supt. Roberto L. Aliggayu and Army 702nd Brigade commander Col. Felicito Virgilio M. Trinidad, Jr. 

Pami-pamilya na, ang laban kontra sa droga dapat magsimula sa bawat pamilya dito sa Nueva Ecija,” Umali said.

The fourth leg of the fun run is tentatively scheduled in Talavera. ###

Bacalzo pins medals on Ecija cops for anti-Huk operation

Ten policemen who led and participated in a recent operation in Rizal that resulted in the killing of eight alleged rebels received the Medalya ng Kagalingan from Philippine National Police Director Gen. Raul Bacalzo last May 17 the provincial police office.

The awardees were Supt. Ricardo Villanueva, head of the provincial intelligence branch; Supt. Edgar Allan Okubo, head of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC); and Insp. Romel Dela Vega, SPO2 Jaime Magno, Jr., PO2s Aristeo Gumarang, Jacinto Gregorio Jr., Julius Lalosin, Erwin Benedicto, Ruel Acosta and PO1 Joel Dimuan.

They were cited for their “highly commendable performance" in the operation held jointly with soldiers from the Army's 81st and 46th Infantry Battalions last May 13, where eight alleged rebels who were about to stage a robbery were killed. 

Bacalzo said that he went to Cabanatuan City to show his love for policemen who may get hurt in enforcing the law.

He emphasized the success of some police forces that managed to defend their stations from rebel attacks despite being outnumbered. 

He also mentioned the government's efforts to beef up police capability, including the procurement of firearms, P200 million worth of communication equipment and construction of 39 municipal police stations, with 15 other stations waiting to be built. ###

Ecija police intervenes in Guimba land dispute

The Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office mediated in an 18 year old land dispute between two opposing group of farmers in Barangay Manggang Marikit, Guimba.

Sr. Supt. Roberto Aliggayu, provincial police director, said that he initiated a dialogue between two groups claiming an 82 hectare property owned by a certain Guy Davis that had been placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Aliggayu talked with members of Listasaka, a group of CARP beneficiaries, and the Mambayu group that insisted that they had been tilling the land since 1992.

Mike Vidon, legal officer of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office-North Nueva Ecija, explained that a certificate of land ownership has been issued to Listasaka after it was found to be qualified. which the Mamabayu group refuses to acknowledge.

Records of the provincial police show that 85 percent of the killings in Nueva Ecija were land related. This prompted Aliggayu to intervene in the Guimba dispute. ###

Cabiao partners with public/private sectors to build classrooms

The local government of Cabiao has enlisted the help of a line government agency and non government institutions to build 12 classrooms for public school students.

Mayor Gloria Crespo-Congco said the Department of Education (DepEd), Security Bank Foundation, Inc. (SBFI) and Ateneo de Manila University collaborated in the construction of the school buildings that are expected to be finished in ten days, in time for the opening of classes this June.

Congco, SBFI Chair Rafael Simpao, Jr., DepEd Supt. Tarcila Javier and other local officials led the groundbreaking for the first two-storey, four classroom building at Santa Rita Elementary School last May 25.

Two other buildings will be built in Santa Rita High School and Barangay San Vicente. Each building costs P2.87 million.

Simpao said that SBFI will try to give more to Cabiao as the company celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Congco said that aside from the new school buildings, students of public schools in her town will be given free school items like notebooks and ball pens in collaboration with Ateneo and National Bookstore.

She said that Jollibee Foods  Corp., is also working out a scheme for the feeding of some students. ### 

Diaz proposes transfer of Bilibid inmates to Fort Magsaysay

Former Rep. Renato Diaz urged Malacañang to decongest the New Bilibid Prison by transferring its minimum security compound to Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City.

Diaz, now president of Bancommerce Investment Corp., told the Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel Forum that some 300 to 500 hectares of the 33,000 hectare military reservation have yet to be developed.

He said that inmates from the minimum security compound can be made to do community service by participating in watershed reforestation, farming and livelihood training, with the prisoners guarded by soldiers who can serve as augmentation force to jail guards.

He said the move could also help eradicate drug syndicates operating within the prison system as drug lords would be separated from their runners.

Diaz made the proposal following the arrest of former Batangas Gov. Antonio Leviste who went out of the Muntinlupa prison without authorization. ###

Pantawid Pasada cards distributed to Ecija jeepney drivers

The Department of Energy (DOE) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) started distributing Pantawid Pasada cards last May 31 to duly registered and franchised jeepney operators and drivers.

DOE Director Efren Balaoing said that more than 400 Pantawid Pasada cards were brought for the initial batch of beneficiaries.  The cards will be activated one week after their distribution.

He said that the cards with loads of P1,050 each have a life span of five years, ready for any other promotional activities of fuel companies in the future.

He said that the distribution of cards to owners of franchised vehicles all over the country is expected to be finished by the end of June.

Balaoing and LTFRB Central Luzon Director Bruno Feliciano were met by local transportation officials, officers of transport organizations and Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara. ###

Cabanatuan tricycles convert to LPG

Tricycle operators in Cabanatuan City, dubbed as the tricycle capital of the Philippines, have started to shift to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to run their three-wheeled vehicles to cut fuel expenses.

Under the current pricing, a liter of LPG costs P39 while unleaded gasoline is sold at over P53 per liter.

Mel Licaban, branch secretary of Liquigaz, said that 73 members have signed up for the scheme, most of them coming from Barangay Camp Tinio. 

Only legitimate members of tricycle operators and drivers associations can avail themselves of the offer from Liquigaz that involves free labor for conversion and a six liter LPG tank installed under the side car. But once the operators and drivers stop buying LPG from the company, they have to surrender the gas tank and pay P1,000.

Liquigaz is the only refilling station in Cabanatuan City that offers LPG as an alternative transportation fuel. ###

Cabanatuan agri-aqua projects revived

The Cabanatuan City government is reviving programs on agriculture and aquaculture to uplift the living conditions of barangay residents.

Gregoria Esguerra, head of the City Agriculture and Livelihood Management Office said they are busy re-implementing the "Palit Binhi" program which the Department of Agriculture replicated after it was successfully launched in the city a few years ago.

Under the program, some 4,562 farmers receive certified palay seeds which they are expected to return after harvest.

The palay subsidy program initiated by Mayor Julius Cesar V. Vergara helped a lot in boosting the rice production of local farmers but later failed when the beneficiaries thought that it was a dole out and did not return the equivalent amount of rice seeds that they received.

Esguerra also said that almost one million fingerlings of tilapia, carp and other high value fish species have been dispersed to the city's farmers. ###

27 downed by poisonous mushrooms

The San Jose City General Hospital has recorded a total of 27 cases of mushroom poisoning since May 23.

One of the victims, Lourdes Escobar, said that her family usually eats mushrooms during the rainy season but this was the first time they were poisoned. Seven members of the family were hospitalized.

Health officials warn that poisonous mushrooms have toxins that cooking or heating cannot neutralize.

Mushroom poisoning victims usually experience vomiting and stomach ache which, if unattended, could lead to death. ###

Gun-for-hire group member arrested

A suspected member of a gun-for-hire group was arrested in Jaen last May 23.

The suspect was identified as Reynaldo Olimpiada Barrion, 35, of Barangay Calumbang, San Miguel, Bulacan.

Police said that Barrion and three companions were on a mission when they engaged members of the Jaen police in a shoot-out in Barangay Dampulan.

Sr. Supt. Roberto L. Aliggayu, provincial police director said that the suspect was cornered in the backyard of PO2 Heminigildo Eduardo, an intelligence operative assigned to the Police Regional Office 3.

Barrion's three other unidentified companions managed to escape.

Seized from the suspect were a caliber .45 pistol and three loaded magazines and two motorcycles.

The group was allegedly out to assassinate an intelligence operative, a NAPOLCOM regional officer and a businessman in Cabiao.

Barrion was positively identified as the one who shot and killed Feliciano Pallarca of Santo Tomas, Jaen last April 18.

Charges of murder, attempted murder, direct assault, carnapping and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition have been filed against Barrion and his three cohorts. ### 

Muñoz top drug trafficker shot dead

A 45 year old man tagged as the top illegal drug trafficker in the Science City of Muñoz was shot dead by two motorcycle riding gunmen last May 18.

The victim was identified as June Angeles of Poblacion West, Muñoz and Bacal 3, Talavera.

He was shot at close range at the back of the Poblacion North barangay hall at about 9:00 P.M.

Supt. Pedro D. Soliba said that Angeles had been arrested thrice for drug pushing and still continued to ply his trade.

Police are looking into the victim's linkages with drug syndicates to determine the motive for the killing. ###

2 arrested in San Jose for illegal lumber...

The San Jose City police arrested two men in Barangay Palestina for transporting illegally cut lumber at past midnight last May 21.

Supt. Sidney N. Villaflor identified the suspects as Ronald Jacob, 24 and Raymond Santos, both of Barangay Cambitala, Pantabangan.

Found in their possession were 19 pieces of wood flitches cut with a chain saw.

Villaflor said that the two were in a convoy of tricycles carrying illegal lumber when stopped at a police checkpoint.

When the suspects failed to show pertinent documents, the police impounded their vehicles and confiscated the illegal lumber. ###

... plus 3 more in Cabanatuan

For transporting illegally sawn lumber, a van driver and his two  helpers were arrested at a checkpoint in Barangay Bangad, Cabanatuan City last May 24.

Those arrested were Gerardo Sareno Vicencio, 40, driver, of Purok Daisy, Barangay South; and his helpers Ronnie Valentin Acosta, 41, and Jaime Manong De Guzman, 18, both of Purok 6, Barangay Pantoc, all in Gabaldon.

Earlier, the police received a tip that a Kia Besta van carrying illegal wood flitches was heading for the city.

The suspects were stopped at the checkpoint along Maharlika Highway at about 5:00 A.M. and yielded 836 board feet of illegally sawn lumber owned by a certain Zeny Taba of Barangay Pantoc, Gabaldon. 

The contraband worth P41,800 was turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office in Cabanatuan City. ###

Gapan mahjong player shot dead

A man was shot dead while playing mahjong in Barangay Santa Cruz, Gapan City last May 22.

Police identified the victim as Dante Abesamis Quiambao, 56, married.  He died on the spot from bullet wounds in the head and chest.

Investigation showed that Quiambao was playing mahjong in the early morning hours with Reynaldo Cabungcal and Richard dela Cruz, both of Purok 3, Barangay Santa Cruz, and Joseph Masilang of Barangay Mangino in the house of Lucy Mallari Santos, when the suspect arrived and fired at the victim.

The suspect, described by witnesses as 5'4" to 5'5" in height, of medium build and wearing a bull cap, T-shirt and short pants, managed to escape. ###


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