Volume 15 / No. 10                                                                                                                 May 31, 2015
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.

DENR officer shot dead in Cabanatuan

A forest ranger of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) actively involved in anti-illegal logging operations, was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding men in a morning attack along Zulueta Street in Cabanatuan City.

The victim was identified as Alberto Miranda, 46, of Barangay Magsaysay Sur, Cabanatuan City and connected with DENR-South.

Police investigation showed that Miranda was driving a pick up at about 8:00 A.M.when repeatedly shot by the suspects.

He died on the spot.

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said a dragnet operation has been launched against the suspects.

The motive for the killing has yet to be established. ###

Court orders arrest of Veloso recruiters

A regional trial court has issued an arrest warrant for the alleged recruiters of Mary Jane Veloso who had been sentenced to die for drug smuggling in Indonesia last April 29 but was granted a reprieve.

Claro Arellano, chief of the National Prosecution Service, said Judge Nelson Tribian of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37 of  Baloc, Santo Domingo issued the warrant against Ma. Cristina Sergio and her live-in-partner Julius Lacanilao.

They were ordered detained at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Jail.

Sergio and Lacanilao had been under the custody of the the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) when the warrant was issued. After the commitment order was served, the two were transferred from the NBI detention facility in Manila to the RTC in Nueva Ecija.

The warrant also covered other still unknown persons similarly charged with large scale illegal recruitment  in cases filed last May 8.

The justice department based the filing of criminal charges of large scale illegal recruitment against Sergio and Lacanilao on the complaints of three alleged victims. ###

Ecijana is oldest living SC ex-justice

The judiciary marked last May 11 the 93rd birthday of Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera, the oldest living retired Supreme Court Justice and chancellor emeritus of the Philippine Judicial Academy.

Herrera was born on May 11, 1922 in  Cabanatuan City. She is the daughter of Jose Melencio, a career diplomat, and Carmen Aguinaldo, a teacher, suffragist and daughter of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

She studied law at the University of the Philippines and graduated as valedictorian and cum laude in 1947.She topped the bar examination that year, the third woman to do so. She got a score of 93.85 percent, the highest grade ever received by a woman bar examinee until now.

She engaged in private law practice, then was appointed judge for trial courts in Quezon province and Manila. In 1971, she was appointed to the Court of Appeals.

Herrera became the second woman Supreme Court justice after Cecilia Muñoz-Palma retired in 1978. She was appointed to the high court by President Ferdinand Marcos the following year.

After the EDSA revolution in February 1985, Herrera and other Supreme Court justices appointed by Marcos were asked by President Corazon Aquino to resign. However, Herrera was reappointed by Mrs. Aquino two months later.

She retired in 1992.

Herrera was married to the late Dr. Florentino Herrera, Jr., chancellor of the University of the Philippines Manila. They have three children -- Florentino III, Victoria Lourdes and Milagros Gloria. ###

San Antonio beauty places 2nd in 'Miss Philippines  Earth 2015'

Chanel Olive Thomas, a Fil-Australian model whose mother traces her roots to San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, bagged the second place in the Miss Philippines Earth 2015 pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 31.

Thomas was crowned as first runner up with the title of Miss Philippines Earth Air 2015.

In an earlier interview, she said she was never a pageant girl before but found the Miss Earth pageant to her liking because she wants to create a change in the environment.

She said she felt honored to represent San Antonio, the hometown of her mother, aunt and grandmother, and which she calls "my home now".

Thomas has been modeling for 10 years. She took up Business Administration in Australia and plans to continue studying. She is interested in Broadcast Journalism as a course to take up after the pageant.

Her message to girls who want to pursue their passions: "“Just follow your dreams. Don’t let any self-esteem issues or anything hold you back. Don’t let your fear override, because you don’t want to look back and regret. You need to just do it. You only live this one life, it’s better to try anything. If it fails, then sige, you do something else but don’t ever not do it just because you’re thinking, ‘Oh what if this fails?’ No, just go, PUSH.”

Another Novo Ecijana in the pageant, Diana Mackey of Cabanatuan City, made it to list of top15 finalists. ###

Ex-Gapan mayor dies

 Ex-Mayor Natividad's remains are borne on a horse-drawn carriage during his funeral procession.

Former Gapan City Mayor Ernesto L. Natividad died while under hospital arrest at the Philippine General Hospital last May 19.

The Warrant Section of the Manila Police District confirmed that Natividad, who suffered from kidney disease and regularly underwent dialysis, died at 10:10 P.M.

Natividad had been detained for multiple murder in connection with the deaths of siblings Ericson and and Edelson Pascual and three others during a daytime raid of the Pascual family's cockpit in Barangay Pambuan in 2006.The case was transferred to Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 8 which issued a warrant of arrest

After hiding for some time, the former mayor was eventually found undergoing dialysis in a medical clinic in Quezon City and arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit on January 31, 2013.

He was the father of the incumbent mayor of Gapan City, Dr. Maricel Natividad-Nagaño.

During his successive terms, the former mayor worked with former 4th District Rep. Julita Lorenzo-Villareal  for the conversion of  Gapan into a component city in 2011. He transferred the seat of government to a new city hall in Barangay Bayanihan,constructed  a new public market after the old market was razed by fire, threw his support for the city's slipper industry and institutionalized the "Tsinelas Festival".

Policeman killed, wife wounded in Aliaga

A policeman was shot and killed while his wife was wounded when suspects aboard an SUV repeatedly fired at them in Barangay Santo Rosario, Aliaga, last May 15.

The fatality was identified as PO2 Rolando Bondoc, 50, an operative of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team in Nueva Ecija and resident of Barangay Santiago.

He was declared dead on arrival at Nueva Ecija Doctors Hospital in Cabanatuan City.

His wife, Celerina, 44, a public school teacher, sustained gunshot wounds in her arm.

The victims were about to board their SUV at around 8:30 P.M. to attend an Iglesia ni Cristo gathering when the suspects arrived and repeatedly shot the policeman.

The wife told investigators that the suspects, armed with caliber .45 pistols, fled after the shooting.

She was unable to provide any motive for the attack. ###

Gen. Tinio barangay chair yields hot lumber

Police and military elements seized illegal lumber from a barangay chair in General Tinio last May 19.

The subject of the raid was the yard of Robert Fernandez of Barangay Pias.

Sr. Supt., Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said some 1,700 board feet of lumber with an estimated street value of P55,000 were found in the backyard of Fernandez. ###

Human skeleton found in Palayan

A human skeleton was found by a 13 year old boy under a tree in a grassy lot in Barangay Singalat, Palayan City last May 21.

Jayce Martinez, a Grade 7 pupil,  of Barangay Imelda Valley, was walking with his carabao in Barangay Singalat at 8:00 A.M. when her found the skeletal remains.

Supt. Leandro Novilla, city police chief, said the skeleton was wearing a red shirt marked "Mayor Levi Santos/Vice Mayor Edgar Valdez", black pants with red stripe, black brief, black rubber  bracelet and a rosary around the neck.

The remains were brought to the Nueva Ecija Crime Laboratory for examination. ###

Boy drowns in Gapan swimming pool

The body of a six year old boy was found floating in a swimming pool under construction in Barangay San Roque, Gapan City on the night of May 21.

Investigation by the local police showed that Tomas Sarmiento, 45, caretaker of the swimming pool owned by businessman Ronnie Bautista, was doing his rounds at about 10:00 P.M. when he spotted the floating body of the victim, Ray Jhon Ramos, also of Barangay San Roqne.

A certain Rolando Apariente said that he last saw the victim alive at about 6:00 P.M. while crossing the street toward the compound of his uncle, Bautista.

The victim was also seen washing his feet near the swimming pool.

Investigators said the boy could have accidentally slipped and fallen into the pool that was already filled with water, or was attracted to swim. ###

Girl drowns in Peñaranda resort

A five year old girl drowned in a swimming pool at Jerry de Alicia Resort in Barangay Las Piñas, Peñaranda last May 21.

In a report received by the office of Mayor Ferdinand Abesamis, the victim was identified as Lorraine Jianne Banagbang Maganes of Barangay San Nicolas, Gapan City.

SPO1 Jonathan Malicse said the incident happened at about 5:00 P.M. when the victim followed a family member and accidentally slipped into the swimming pool.

The incident was not immediately noticed. When the girl was finally found, she was administered cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and rushed to a hospital but was dead on arrival.

Apolinar Aberin Abemis, 68, father of the resort owner, said all the expenses for the wake and burial were underwritten by them as help for the family of the victim. ###

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