Volume 16 / No. 12   |   June 30, 2016
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
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Ecija's first lady-governor installed

The first lady-governor of Nueva Ecija, Czarina Umali, was installed last June 30.

The former Third District representative and wife of outgoing Gov. Aurelio Umali challenged elective officials to "become allies and not adversaries".

Umali took hear oath of office before Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Edmund Abesamis, national president of the Association of Barangay Chairmen at the Sierra Madre Suites in Cabanatuan City.

She then administered the oath of office to the elected officials of 27 municipalities and five component cities.

In her speech, the governor said it would be to the best interest of Novo Ecijanos if the elective officials became allies and not adversaries.

"As your governor, my office is open in strengthening our coordination and cooperation,” she said.

She vowed to prove her detractors wrong during her three-year term. ###

COMELEC dismisses citizenshp case vs. Ria Vergara

The First Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has dismissed the citizenship issue against Rosanna "Ria" Vergara, newly elected Third District representative, "for lack of authority: to resolve the matter".

The case was filed by Philip Piccio who claimed that Vergara is an American citizen.

In a resolution signed by Commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Louie Tito Guia and Ma. Rowena Guanzon, the COMELEC said Vergara “did not falsely represent her citizenship, residency, and voter registration status in her [certificate of candidacy].”

The resolution issued on June 7 but received in Cabanatuan only last June 13, said the Supreme Court's March 8 decision in the citizenship case against Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares may have neutralized some of the powers of the commission.

The decision on the Vergara case said, “The commission takes note that the Supreme Court was clear in [reversing Comelec’s disqualification of] Poe-Llamanzares that the commission, in division or en banc, has no jurisdiction over the question of the qualifications of the candidates for President, Vice President, senator and member of the House of Representatives."

The COMELEC said Vergara had complied with the requirements of the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 which directs people seeking elective posts to take an oath of allegiance and  execute a formal renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before a public officer authorized to administer an oath. ###

Oyie accuses COMELEC of favoring administration allies

Former Gov. Aurelio Umali, who lost in his bid to become Third District congressman, accused the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) of being partisan and biased in favor of Aquino administration allies.

This was after the commission went ahead to proclaim his opponent, Rosanna "Ria" Vergara, who was backed by the Liberal Party, even if she had allegedly falsified legal documents to show her Filipino citizenship.

Vergara won over Umali by a margin of only 2,500 votes.

Philip Piccio, who had filed a disqualification case against Vergara at the Municipal Trial Court of Cabanatuan earlier, said he was surprised that the COMELEC ignored the evidence and did not give due attention to the disqualification case against her

He said Vergara's victory was tainted with allegations of massive vote buying and cheating, and falsification of her citizenship documents.

He said the Umali camp has found new documents to prove that Vergara and her party falsified documents to comply with COMELEC eligibility requirements.

“Ria Vergara had made a mockery of our laws, our Constitution and our whole electoral system. They made fools of the Novo Ecijano electorate,” he added. ###

Highlights of 'Taong Putik Festival' 2016

Barangay Bibiclat, Aliaga's unique thanksgiving celebration of the June 24 feast of  Saint John the Baptist.

'Listahanan' finds Ecija with most number of poor households in CL

The results of the 2015 "Listahanan" showed that of the seven provinces in Central Luzon, Nueva Eicja had the most number of poor households totaling 69,048 or 377,432 individuals.

Following Nueva Ecija were Pampanga with 47,831 or 283,087 individuals, Bulacan with 43,246 or 258,679 individuals, Tarlac with 41,124 or 231,953 individuals, Zambales with 18,430 or 105,732 individuals, Bataan with 15,305 or 89,296 individuals, and Aurora with 9,609 or 55,069 individuals.

Listahanan, formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, was established by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)  to target who and where the poor people are. The database serves as basis for selecting beneficiaries of social protection program and services such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program and Kalahi CIDSS.

Reporting on the Listahanan overall findings, DSWD Regional Director Gemma Gabuya said 727,290 of the identified poor individuals in the region are male and 674,588 are female.

A total of 651,584 of those individuals are aged 3-18 years old; 53,019 are senior citizens; 17,564 have disabilities; and 9,912 are indigenous peoples.

Only 5.87% of the identified poor households in Central Luzon have roofing with strong materials while 9.01% have outer walls made with strong materials.

Some 80,370 of the identified poor households in Central Luzon have no sanitary toilet facility; 25,600 have no access to safe water source; and 51,557 have no access to electricity. ###


San Jose City Hall robbed

The accounting office of the San Jose City Hall was discovered to have been robbed last June 28.

The city police received a call about the robbery at 8:10 A.M.

The items stolen included an Acer computer set, an Epson printer, a computer speaker set and two pairs of Levi's 501 jeans.

Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz, police officer-in-charge, said the robbery was discovered after two employees -- Victor Enriquez, 44, and Maria Leah Oliveros - entered the office at 7:50 A.M.

Enriquez opened the office main door at the second floor and when Oliveros arrived and entered the office, she saw some clothes scattered on the floor and the table drawers open.

Dela Cruz said the police are examining CCTV footage for the identification of the suspects.

The robbery happened two days before Mario Salvador, former city vice mayor, took over as city mayor. ###

Burglars victimize 4 adjacent Gapan stores

Four commercial establishments occupying the ground floor of the new building of Divina Pastora College in Gapan City were broken into last June 25.

Robbed were Caffe La Tea, owned by Lawrence Danao, 36, of Barangay. Soledad, Santa Rosa; House of Sizzling owned by Jocelyn Simon, 34, married, of Barangay San Lorenzo, Gapan City; R and R Bistro Café owned by Renelyn Maniquiz, 42, married, of Barangay. Las Pińas, Peńaranda; and Netabites Internet Café owned by Mercedes Leonardo, 68, married, of Del Corro Street, Barangay. San Lorenzo, Gapan City.

Police said the robbery was discovered when the stores opened at 7:00 A.M. and the roll-up door locks were found to have been destroyed.

Among the items stolen were an iPad mini worth P16,000, an iPod worth P6,000, and P9,800 in cash from Caffe La Tea; P3,500 from House of Sizzling; P300 from R and R Bistro Café; and P600 and two Samsung tablets worth P5,000 from Netabites Internet Café. 

Police said finger prints found at the crime scene were submitted to the Nueva Ecija Provincial Crime Laboratory for examination. ###

Jaen mayor to drug pushers: Surrender and get P50k

The new mayor of Jaen, Sylvia Austria, said she would give drug pushers as much as P50,000 if they surrender.

Jaen's 27 barangays are plagued by the illegal drug problem.

Under Austria's novel program, a drug peddler who surrenders will get P50,000 provided he or she undergoes counseling and livelihood training.

A drug abuser would initially get P20,000 if he or she submits to rehabilitation, and once rehabilitated, would be given P30,000 to be used for alternative livelihood.

In justifying her program, Austria explained, "Every life is important and every pusher must be granted time to change his or her ways.” ###

3 suspected drug personalities killed, 2 injured

Three suspected drug pushers were killed while two others were injured by unidentified suspects in separate incidents in Guimba, Aliaga and Quezon last June 22.

In Guimba, Robles Acosta, 36, farm caretaker, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in an irrigation canal in Barangay Narvacan II. According to his father, the victim had been involved in the local illegal drug trade.

In Aliaga, three brothers were ambushed by car-riding men as they drove through Barangay San Juan after attending a hearing at the Regional Trial Court Branch 25 in Cabanatuan City.

Shot and killed was Armando Villaviza, while his brothers Vergel and Arnold -- said to be the Number 1 priority target in the province of the police Lambat-Sibat-- were wounded.

Police said the three had been implicated in an illegal drug peddling case

The brothers were aboard a gray Toyota Corolla when fired upon by the suspects aboard a dark sedan at around 10:28 A.M. in Barangay San Juan.

In Quezon, Michael Angelo Roque, 31, of Barangay Dulong Bayan, was shot dead by two unidentified men riding a motorcycle in tandem as he walked along a barangay road and died on the spot.

He was listed as No. 2 in the priority target list of the local  police. ###

3 illegal drug suspects die in San Jose shootout

Three illegal drug suspects died in an alleged shootout with the police at a checkpoint in Barangay Palestina, San Jose City last June 17.

Sr. Supt. Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, identified two of the fatalities as Salman Macapundag of Baclaran, Paranaque City and Ariel Samonte of Novaliches, Quezon City.

The third fatality remained unidentified.

Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz, city police chief, said they were tipped that the suspects aboard a white sedan with plate number TBB-733 would be delivering illegal drugs from Manila, and set up checkpoints to intercept them.

The suspects were briefly chased by the police at around midnight before they engaged the authorities in a five-minute firefight.

Recovered from the scene were a caliber .45 pistol, a caliber .38 revolver, a caliber .22 rifle and shabu worth P500,000. ###

3 killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen

Three persons, among them a 61 year-old woman, were killed while two others were hurt in separate gun attacks by motorcycle-riding gunmen  in San Jose City, San Leonardo and Cabanatuan City.

In San Jose City, Baby Ann Javier, a rice trader from Lupao, was riding a motorcycle driven by her son Jomarie along Canuto Ramos Street when attacked by motorcycle-riding gunmen at 10:45 A.M.

SPO1 Joel Beltejar, case investigator, said Javier died in a hospital while her son was treated for gunshot wounds.

In San Leonardo, Joy Gaton, 29, was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding suspects along Maharlika Highway at 4:30 P.M.

In Cabanatuan City, Alvin Quejada, 37, of General Natividad, and his helper, Reynaldo Bautista, 53, were in an Elf mini-dump truck when they were shot at 11:56 P.M. in Barangay Mayapyap Sur.

SPO1 Ronel Balundo, investigator, said Quejada died from  multiple gunshot wounds while Bautista was treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound in the stomach. ###

Talavera farmer stabbed dead by brother

A farmer in Talavera died when he was repeatedly stabbed by his younger brother during an altercation last June 28.

Valentin Santos Manuel, 31, was declared dead on arrival at the Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center Talavera Extension Hospital.

Responding policemen arrested the suspect, Vivencio Manuel alias Jay R, 29, farmer. Recovered from him was the fan knife used in stabbing his brother.

PO3 Marvin Verde, case investigator, said the brothers had a heated argument in their house in Purok 5, Barangay Minabuyok at bout 8:00 P.M., over the money paid to Vivencio for four days of work in a farm owned by a certain Ruben Fuentes. ###

Laur farmer killed and burned over missing carabao

A farmer from Laur was allegedly killed by two fellow farmers over a missing carabao and his body and house burned afterwards in General Natividad.

Reports reaching the Police Regional Office 3 identified the victim as Danilo Saad, 54, of Barangay Paludpod, Laur.

The suspects were identified by the victim's live-in partnet, Lilia Reyes, 52, of Barangay Panacsac, General Natividad, as Romano Calanday alias Oman, 48; and Green Baremeri, alias Dagul, 46, both farmers from Barangay San Roque, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija.

Investigation showed that the suspects entered the victim's shanty in Sitio Sagingan, Barangay Balaring, General Natividad, then stabbed Saad and then burned the victim together with the shanty.

Reyes, who was not hurt during the attack, said the suspects were drunk.

Before the incident, witnesses saw the victim being about a missing carabao of Calanday.

Police said this could be the motive for the killing but they are still looking at other angles. ###

Hold-upper no match for victims

A 31 year old tricycle driver was arrested and detained after being overpowered by a mother and her daughter that he had tried to rob last June 28 in Purok Riveside, Barangay Bago, General Tinio.

The suspect was identified as Cezario Diaz Madrid of Barangay  Gulod.

Investigation showed that at about 10:00 P.M., the suspect, armed with a bolo, entered the house of Anna Mari Langcay-Guilas, 452, businesswoman, who was busy washing dishes.

The suspect strangled Guilas, forcing her to surrender the day's earning from her store.

Hearing the commotion, Guilas' 13-yer old daughter, Rozel, tried to wrestle the bolo from the suspect.

Gilas was able to grab an empty soft-drink bottle and whacked the suspect in the head.

The suspect was later arrested by barangay watchmen. ###

Aliaga man shot dead in front of wife, relatives

A 45 year old jobless man was shot dead in front of his wife and four relatives in an attack by three unidentified suspects last June 20 in Aliaga.

Sr. Insp. Randy Apolonio, town police chief, identified the fatality as Pablito dela Cruz, 45, of Purok 2, Barangay Bibiclat.

Wounded in the attack was bystander Ebrahim Dodato, 17, a baratillo vendor, of Barangay Isla, Cabanatuan City who was hit in the right leg.

Dela Cruz was with his wife Perly, and relatives Rosemarie Mico, Aliyah Blanca and Jamaiah, and  younger brother Henry, 43, when the attack was perpetrated by the suspects at 11:30P.M.

The group was walking home along the barangay road in Purok 6 after watching a variety show at the barangay plaza when the three suspects blocked their way.

A suspect armed with a caliber .45 pistol shot the victim several times.

Found at the crime scene were 11 shells and a deformed bullet.

The suspects then fled towards the CLSU High School Extension.

Follow up operations are being conducted to identify the suspects and the motive for the attack. ###

Jealousy drives Cabiao hubby to suicide

A husband in Cabiao committed suicide after discovering that his wife was having an affair with another man.

The body of Jonathan Salombro, junkshop helper, was found hanging from a roof truss  inside the Banawe Junkshop in Purok 1, Barangay San Fernando Norte, Cabiao.

The shop owner, Luyzviminda Caingat, discovered the body at 7:00 A.M. last June 29.

Poice said witnesses noticed that the victim  got depressed when he learned that his wife was seeing another man.###

Quarry operator shot dead

A quarry operator was killed while his helper was wounded in a gun attack along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Mayapyap Sur, Cabanatuan City last June 21.

Sr. Supt.Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, identified the fatality as Alvin Quejada, 37, of Barangay Sapang Bato, General Natividad.

He died on the spot while his helper, Reynaldo Bautista, was brought to Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research  and Medical Center for treatment. ###

Car of CLSU prof robbed in mall parking area

The car of a professor of Central Luzon State University was robbed while in the parking area of a shopping mall in Cabanatuan City last June 19.

The victim was Apolinario Domingo, 58, married, of CLSU Compound, Barangay Bantog, the Science City of Muńoz.

The robbery was reported to roving policemen by Francis Nuega, mall manager of SM City-Cabanatuan at around 4:50 P.M.

He said the Toyota Innova of the victim was discovered to have been broken into while parked at the lower ground level parking area of the mall.

Among the items stolen were a brown sling bag containing a laptop with USB, a projector remote control, external hard drive, company ID and a wallet containing a bank passbook and an undetermined amount of cash in various currencies. ###

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