Volume 17 / No. 11   |   June 15, 2017
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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.
2017

COA calls Ecija govt's attention to idle rice dryers

The Commission  on Audit (COA) has called the attention of the Nueva Ecija provincial government to over P100 million worth of rice drying facilities in the province that have not been benefiting farmers.

It was learned from a COA technical audit that the facilities have not been operated long enough to recover the acquisition and operation expenses because of several issues.

A total of 10 grain drying facilities were built by the provincial government in 2001 at a cost of P10 million each in the towns of Llanera, Santo Domingo, Zaragoza, Quezon, Licab, Aliaga, Peņaranda, San Leonardo, Cabiao and Jaen.

The facilities were intended to help farmers dry and store their crops so these could be sold for a good price.

It turned out that 16 years after the dryers were built, only three of them were deemed operational, although these were last used in 2009.

The provincial agriculturist told COA that only P1.2 million in fees were generated for the use of the facilities from 2007 to 2009.

The dryers earn money from farmers who pay P25 to P35 per bag of rice as drying fees. Small farmers also have to shoulder expenses for the use of the facilities.

Since no  one was using the dryers, COA said these have broken down one by one.

It was noted that the dryer in San Laonardo was used only once because its stolen electrical wiring was not replaced.

COA criticized the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist for lapses in the monitoring of its programs and projects, and the Provincial General Services Office for its failure to regularly monitor the status of its assets.

The facilities were built on donated private lands but COA discovered that the donations were only valid while the dryers were being used, after which the land will automatically revert to the donors.

COA pointed out that the condition was disadvantageous to the government.

One facility has reportedly been turned into a vehicle plant following a renegotiation with the land donor.

In COA's exit interview with provincial officials, the provincial administrator said they are seeking the help of the Department of Agriculture for the rehabilitation of the facilities. ###


Ombudsman  to pursue pork barrel scam charges vs. Antonino

The Office of the Ombudsman will pursue the indictment of former 4th District Rep. Rodolfo Antonino for the alleged misuse of P15 million in pork barrel fund in 2007.

Ombusman Conchia Carpio Morales had denied Antonino's appeal on the resolution finding probable cause to charge him with two counts each of malversation and violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a statement issued last June 14, Morales said the motions for reconsideration were mere rehashes of the issues and claims previous raised and already passed upon by the Ombudsman.

She also reiterated Antonino's liability for the misused funds, pointing out that under the congressional pork barrel system, it is the lawmaker who exercises actual control and custody of the Priority Development Assistance Fund share allocated to him.

Antonino and several others accused allegedly failed to hold a public bidding or follow procurement rules for the distribution of livelihood training kits.

The project was also not supported by any project proposal, physical and audited financial reports and monitoring reports, and no due diligence conducted in selecting the supplier and the non-governrment organization to implement the project.

Field verification also showed that they were ghost project, with several local officials denying having received the training kits. ###


SC orders judges to send addicts to Ecija mega rehab center

The Supreme Court has ordered judges in drug courts throughout the country to refer drug dependents to the rehabilitation facility in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija instead of to local centers.

In the order issued last June 6, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez directed regional trial court judges to refer "as far as practicable" drug abusers and dependents ordered to undergo treatment and rehabilitation to the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center at Fort Magsaysay.

The order was issued after a recommendation and request by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The court circular cited the fact that most government drug treatment an rehabilitation centers are already overcrowded.

The Nueva Ecija rehabilitation center that opened in  November last year is a major project of the Duterte administration. It is a 10,000-bed facility funded by Huan Rulun, a Chinese real estate trader from Binondo, Manila. ###


Cop killed while rescuing kidnapped woman

A policeman and a suspected kidnapper-rapist were killed during a police operation to rescue a woman who had been abducted and repeatedly raped in a farmhouse in San Antonio last June 6.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarrra, provincial police director, identified those slain as PO3 Marlon Francisco, assigned to the Santa Rosa police, and Aldy Mendez ,41, a native of Kalibo, Aklan and living in Barangay Buliran, San Antonio.

It was learned that Mendez went into hiding with his live-in partner Daiselyn Popes whom he abducted and allegedly turned into a sex slave in a farmhouse owned by Pedro Sandoval, Jr.

Yarra said he organized a police team to rescue the woman after learning that the victim and the suspect were hiding in the barangay.

Policemen who were approaching the hideout were fired upon by the suspect, hitting Francisco who was declared dead on arrival at Cabiao General Hospital.

The suspect died on the spot while the abducted victim, who was tied with a metal chain around the neck and legs, was rescued.

Yarra said the suspect was also involved in the shooting of Ricky Agustin last May 16 in Santa Rosa, where the victim was wounded in the leg. ###


Carranglan health worker found dead

The decomposing body of a barangay health worker was found in his home in Barangay General Luna, Carranglan last June 1.

The victim was identified as Renato Reyes, 50, single.

It was learned that Reyes, who lived alone, had failed to report for work at the barangay hall for three days. His body was found after colleagues checked him at his house.

Barangay authorities asked for the help of the Nueva Ecija Police Crime Laboratory Office to autopsy the body of Reyes. ###


2 Gapan hold-uppers arrested

Two hold-uppers were cornered and arrested by concerned residents after the wheel chain of the motorcycle that the two were riding got detached last June 11 along the highway in Barangay Malimba, Gapan City.

The two had robbed Crislyn Quizon Pascual, 35, and her daughter Gerleen Kriz, 12 years old, both of San Miguel, Bulacan of three cell phones and gold jewelry worth P30,000.

The suspects were identified as Jomar Francisco Ramos and Jeffrey Tadeo Pecayo, both residents of Barangay Manga, San Isidro. ###


Body of 2 'Guardians' dumped in Gapan

The bodies of two unidentified members of the Guardians Brotherhood, both victims of summary execution, were dumped along NIA Road in Barangay San Nicolas, Gapan City.

The bodies were discovered at 5:55 A.M., secured with packaging tape and placed inside sacks of animal feeds.

One body wearing a gray shirt and Dickie's pants was from 35 to 40 years old. It had "RMG" tattooed on one palm and "Guardians, L Victor" on the right shoulder.

The second body wearing a black sweatshirt and checkered shorts, was from 35 to 40 years old, with "Guardians L. Rey" tattooed on the right shoulder. ###


Ecijano gang members killed in Pampanga firefight

The leader and three members of a criminal group based in Nueva Ecija were killed in a firefight along the Apalit-Macabebe Road in Barangay Colgante, Apalit,Pampanga at dawn last June 9.

Sr. Supt. Joel Consulta, Pampanga provincial police director, identified the prime suspect as Julito Fajardo Basilio of Purok 3, Barangay Cama Juan, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, the alleged leader of the "Basilio Gang".

Two of his slain cohorts were Melchor Cucal Ruiz of Barangay Hulo, Santo Domingo and Nestor Vargas Estabillo of Barangay Malaya, Santo Domingo.

One other dead suspect remained unidentified.

Consulta said the Basilio Gang operated in Nueva Ecija and other parts of Central Luzon, engaging in gun-for-hire, carnapping and illegal drug trading.

It was learned that most of the Basilio Gang members have pending criminal cases in various courts in Cabanatuan City and nearby provinces.

Consulta said the suspects, riding two motorcycles, were about to pull off another mission when intercepted by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit and Apalit police.

The suspects tried to avoid the police checkpoint by making a U-turn but were pursued by the lawmen, triggering a firefight.

Confiscated from the suspects were a Yamaha MIO motorcycle without license plates, a Yamaha Sniper motorcycle and a photo of Mayor Arvin Salonga with "Mayor Arvin Salonga 300k" written at the back. ###


San Isidro trader nabbed for illegal drugs

A businessman was arrested during a search operation conducted by the police in San Isidro last June 15.

Arrested was Eriberto Perez alias Manggoy, 43.single, of Purok 1, Barangay Pulo.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, provincial police director, said Perez yielded two plastic sachets of shabu worth P1,000 during the search operation led by Chief Insp. Romeo Gamis, Jr., town police chief.

The search operation was witnessed by barangay officials and the local media. ###


Cabiao 'tokhang' surrenderer arrested 

A fish vendor in Cabiao who had surrendered to the police under Oplan Tokhang was arrested during an anrti-illegal drug search operation

The suspect was identified as Edwin Guinto, 39, married, of Purok 2, Barangay Santa Rita.

Chief Insp. Rico Cayabyab, Cabiao police chief, said seized from Guinto was a plastic sachet with P1,000 worth of shabu, a homemade shotgun and some drug paraphernalia.

He said Guinto was among the surrenderers under Oplan Tokhang last July 2016. ###


Mechanic dies in shootout with cops

A 33-year old mechanic died during a firefight with policemen in a buy-bust operation in Barangy San Roque, Gapan City last June 24.

Supt.Peter Madria, city police chief, identified the fatality as Joel Santiago Pabustan of Sitio Sapang Pajo, Barangay San Roque.

The buy-bust operation was led by PO3 Christopher Soriano together with elements of the Phliippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

When Pabustan sensed that he was transacting with policemen, he fired at them but missed.

The policemen fired back killing him instantly. ###


Ex-OFW shot dead by motorcycle-riding men

A former overseas Filipino worker was shot and killed by unidentified men riding a motorcycle in tandem  last June 10 in Barangay Balangkare Norte, General Natividad.

The victim was identified as Castor Angeles Bolante, 59 of Barangay Mataas na Kahoy.

The shooting happened at around 8:20 A.M.

The suspects sped away in the direction of Palayan city after the shooting.

Recovered from the scene were four caliber .45 shells, and the victim's cell phone and wallet containing P10,000. ###



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