Volume14 / No. 11                                                                                                                 June 15, 2014
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Lady physician killed

A lady obstetrician-gynecologist was killed and her body dumped in an irrigation canal in the Science City of Muñoz.

The victim was identified as Carolina Talens, 53, of Barangay Mabini, Laur and a resident physician of Bongabon  District Hospital.

Rodrigo Tolentino, elder brother of the victim, said the body bore signs of severe beating and stab wounds and was wearing only underwear when found floating in the canal by a farmer in Barangay San Felipe at around 1:30 P.M. last June 7. A black sock had been stuffed in the victim's mouth which was taped shut, and her feet were tied with a string She was identified only through a mole on her face.

PO3 Gabriel Santiago of the Cabanatuan City police said Talens was last seen driving her SUV at about 8:00 A.M. last June 6 at M.V. Gallego Hospital. She was the subject of a flash alarm the following day after she failed to return home.

The SUV was recovered at 7:00 A.M. last June 8 in a vacant lot along the highway in Purok 1, Barangay Caramutan, La Paz, Tarlac. Hair strands and blood stains were found on the floor mat.

Residents in the area said they head a commotion at around 11:00 o'clock the previous night.

Tolentino said the victim was separated from her husband and had no known enemy. Talens was reported to be also involved in the lending business. She was based in Bocaue,Bulacan and used to report to her clinic at the M.V. Gallego Hospital and the Villareal clinic at least once a week.

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said P100,000 has been raised by "concerned friends" for information that will lead to the arrest of the killers. This is aside from another P100,000 offered by Governor Aurelio Umali to any witness who can help provide information on the case.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) denounced the killing of their member.

"The Philippine Medical Association denounces the brutal killing of our colleague, Dr. Caroline Talens, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Bulacan. We deeply regret the inhumane treatment she suffered from the perpetrators of this barbaric act,” the group said.

PMA also asked law enforcement agencies to pursue the case until the end.

“We challenge them to prove to the people that investigations are not started without eyeing its completion and the integrity of the case upheld.,” the group said.

Dr. Maryn Wy, president of the Nueva Ecija Medical Society (NEMS) also condemned the killing.

"We strongly condemn in the strongest terms Dr. Talens' brutal killing. Wala namang ginagawang masama ang mga doctor, nakakatulong pa nga at nanggagamot," Wy said, adding "Masyado ang ginawang pagpatay sa aming kasamahan, sobrang galit ng mga salarin." 

The group has installed streamers and posters denouncing the killing in several local hospitals, including one at the front gate of the Old Capitol Building.

Wy said she last saw the victim two days before she died when she attended the induction rites of the new set of officers of NEMS at Nueva Ecija Doctors Hospital.

Talens was interred in Laur last June 12. She left behind two daughters, aged 16 and 18. ###

Cuyapeños alarmed by unsolved killings

A group of concerned residents of Cuyapo based here and abroad are pooling their resources to form a foundation to help solve the recent killings of prominent persons in their town.

They claim  there are forces trying to silence the people of Cuyapo.

They pointed to the day-time killing of Arsenio Flores in his restaurant last April 26, a few weeks after Mayor Amado Corpus was found guilty of falsification of public documents for solemnizing two marriages by proxy and sentenced to two four-year imprisonment.

Flores was the complainant in the case filed against the mayor.

The victim's sister, Lola, who is based in Texas, called on Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to look into case and wondered if an impartial investigation could be achieved while the mayor remains in office while appealing the sentence against him.

She said the National Bureau of Investigation has stepped into the case.

The concerned residents also cited the killings of Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Lito Espinosa, a relative of Flores, who was, at that time, gathering information on the alleged illegal activities of town officials, and Municipal Architect Jun Nuesca, who reportedly had a disagreement with the mayor over what he claimed was the corrupt implementation of a project whose budget had already been approved.

The concerned Cuyapeños said they are in a state of shock and fear, and claimed that security and peace and order in their town were non-existent. ###

Nampicuan mayor steps down

Citing his failing health, Mayor Ubaldino Lacurom of Nampicuan will step down from his post effective July 1, in favor of the vice mayor -- his daughter.

In a letter to Governor Aurelio Umali, Lacurom said he was constrained to "slow down" his physical activities because of a heart condition brought about by a mild stroke in 2008 that required him to undergo angioplasty in 2011. He also had a heart pacemaker installed the following year.

“I critically need to slow down the pace of physical and mental activities, but the paramount reason is I want to enjoy my pension as a retired regional trial court judge for a few more years while I live in this world.” Lacurom said in his letter.

The outgoing mayor also pledged his and his daughter's "unflinching loyalty and support:" to Umali and 3rd Congressional District Rep. Czarina Umali who are their Liberal Party mates.

Dr. Abraham Pascua, provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, said Vice Mayor Cora Lacurom's assumption as mayor once her father's resignation takes effect is legal.

Villanueva will be replaced as vice mayor by Sangguniang Bayan Member Marlou Gamboa, also of the Liberal Party. ###

Mayor Jay stops 2 DPWH projects

Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara has stopped two road projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the city for the alleged inconvenience caused to the public and lack of coordination with city authorities.

Ordered stopped were the P11.2-million Cabanatuan City-Papaya Road and the P35.5-million rehabilitation of damaged portions of the Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road that crosses Cabanatuan and Palayan cities.

The notice to halt the projects due to alleged violations of the project contractors -- Lisa Construction and FL Reguyal Construction -- was served to Ulysses Llado, head of the DPWH Second Engineering District in Barangay San Isidro, Cabanatuan.

Vergara told Llado that the projects severely jeopardize the convenience and safety of motorists and the general public.

He said there was no consultation with the city government and no prior approval of the Sangguniang Panglunsod was obtained for either of the two projects as prescribed by law.

Vergara also told Llado to submit detailed plans and specifications, program of works, construction safety and health program and traffic management plan. ###

Jaen high school annex opens

Governor Aurelio Umali, 3rd District Rep. Czarina Umali, Jaen Mayor Santiago Austria and education officials led the opening of a six-classroom public high school annex in Barangay San Pablo last June 2.

Movie and TV personalities Wendell Ramos and Long Mejia joined the opening of the Jaen National High School Annex built in 38 days and funded with a P1.2 million municipal fund and personal donation from Austria.

Ausrtria said the San Pablo annex was the third school built in distant barangaysd under his term to make education accessible to the poor and help them fulfill their dreams.

Austria said bicycles were also distributed to students who live far from the school.to enable them to save up to P7,000 in transportation expenses during the school year, and the local peacekeeping force to make them visible along streets leading to the school..

Classes had to be held in two shifts with the number of enrolees reaching 500 from the original estimate of 300, most of them transferees.

Umali pledged to give P700,000 for the construction of two additional classrooms. ###

Cabanatuan revives rice seed subsidy program

The Cabanatuan City government has revived the "Palit-Binhi" program to increase rice production after the devastation wrought by typhoon Santi last year.

The program was originally launched by Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara onMay 23, 2000 to provide subsidy to local farmers tilling some 10,000 hectares of farm lands.

Under the scheme, a farmer's 40-kilogram sack of ordinary rice seed may be exchanged for the equivalent amount of certified seeds, enough for a one-hectare farm.

Vergara said the reintroduction of the program is meant to address the need for seeds of farming communities.

Gregoria Esguerra, chief of the City Agriculture and Livelihood Management Office, said the market price of a 40-kilogram sack of certified seeds is P1,400. However, the Cabanatuan City Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative headed by James Samson offered to sell their stocks of certified seeds to the city government for only P1,300 per sack.

A total of 2,300 hectares of rice lands in 51 barangays will benefit from the subsidy program that will cost the local government P2.9 million. ###

7ID conducts training on fish cage making

The 7th Infantry Division (7ID) of the Philippine Army held a five-day training on making bamboo floating net cage for cultured tilapia at the Pahingahan Dam Complex in Fort Magsaysay.

The training was covered by the last two memoranda of agreement signed by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office III and the 7ID.

Captain Mark Anthony Ruelos, 7ID public information officer, said the activity aimed to continue the progress of last year's fish cage project, create more means of livelihood for Army staff and personnel and ensure food security in communities surrounding the military reservation. ###

3 Philippine eagles sighted in Gabaldon

A family of three Philippine eagles has been documented  by the Haribon Foundation in Mount Mingan in Gabaldon.

This, following the sighting of a juvenile eagle on the mountain last February.

Direcrtor Theresa Mundita Lim of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said this was a welcome surprise in the continuing efforts to conserve the Philippine eagle.

The 16th "Philippine Eagle Week" is being celebrated this month. ###

Banda Kabyaw goes to CCP

Banda Kabyaw of Nueva Ecija will join a select group of  orchestras, symphonic bands and military bands during the "Orchestra and Band Festival" of the Cultural Center of the Philippines from July 1 to 6.

The Cabiao band will perform on July 2 at the CCP Little Theater with Benedicto de la Peret, Jr. as conductor.

Other groups participating in the festival are the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, ABS-CBN Orchestra, UP Symphony Orchestra, Bulacan State University Band, Malindig Institute Band of Marinduque, UST Wind Orchestra, Bukidnon State University Band, St. Louis University Band of Baguio, De La Salle Santiago Zobel Symphonic Band, Kapisanan Band II of Pulang Buhangin in Santa Maria, Bulacan, Cardona 5, Pampanga Provincial Band, and the Philbanda Wind Orchestra.

For the first time, military bands like the Philippine Army Band, Philippine Navy Band, Philippine Air Force Band, Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band, and the Presidential Security Guard Band will participate in the festival.

Chris Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, said the objectives of the festival are to showcase the artistry of the participants, enable them to get together and learn from each other and create an awareness among the public to the work being done in the classical music scene. ###

P111-M for Talavera roads

The Talavera municipal government has secured a P111 million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to speed up the construction of vital infrastructure projects, including a road network to solve the local traffic problem.

The loan memorandum of agreement was signed by Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez and Land Bank representatives that included Account Manager Lito Rivera and Eduardo Reyes, Jr., department manager, of LBP's Nueva Ecija Lending Center.

Martinez said an important component of the project is the concreting of the road network that links the national highway and public market to Barangay Sampaloc. ###

Search for '2014 The Outstanding Young Novo Ecijanos' kicks off

The Provincial Youth Development Council (PYDC) is now accepting nominations for the 2014 "The Outstanding Young Novo Ecijanos" awards.

The project aims to honor members of the youth sector in the province for their outstanding achievements and invaluable contributions to nation-building.

The search is open to Novo Ecijanos aged 18 to 30, single, of good moral character, with unquestionable integrity and have never been recipients of the award.

This year,  five students and five professionals will be honored.

Nominations may be submitted until August 8 at the PYDC office at the second floor of the Old Capitol Building in Cabanatuan City. ###

Ecija drug group leader arrested

The head of the "Lapina Drug Group" in Nueva Ecija was arrested during a raid on his house in Brentwood Subdivision, Barangay Mambugan, Antipolo City last June 6.

Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac, Jr, director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said Lapina, a native of Cabanatuan City, yielded approximately 30 grams of shabu and drug paraphernalia.

Cacdac said the Lapina Drug Group was engaged in the distribution of shabu and other illegal drugs in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac and Antipolo City.

He said PDEA had been closely monitoring the group's activities in the province that eventually led to the arrest of the group's leader and members. ###

Talugtog barangay kagawad swindled

A barangay kagawad from Talugtog who was buying fertilizer at an agricultural shop in Guimba was victimized by a man who posed as a sales clerk and took away his money.

The victim was identified as Leonardo Salazar, 49, married, of Nangabulan, Talugtog.

Police said the incident happened at William Go Agri-Supply and General Merchandise along Salvador Street, Barangay Santa Veronica, Guimba.

Salazar complained to the police that he was approached by a man that he believed was a sales clerk and gave him P4,000 as payment for the items he was buying..

The suspect then told the victim to go out and park his vehicle property. When he returned to the store, the suspect was gone.

When Salazar complained to the owner, he was told that they had no such employee and that the payment should have been given directly to the cashier. ###

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