Volume 17 / No. 12   |   June 30, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
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San Antonio mayor seeks help for delayed flood control projects

San Antonio Mayor Arvin Salonga has asked for the intervention of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar in stopping the realignment of millions of pesos of funds for the contruction of slope protection and flood mitigation projects in his town.

Salonga said he was surprised and saddened that over P155 million of the P328 million for the projects already identified and approved by President Duterte under the 2017 national budget were asked to be modified and aligned by 4th District Rep. Magnolia Antonino.

In the mayor's letter to Villar coursed through Senator Cynthia Villar,  he cited the utmost importance of the flood control projects to the farmers in particular, and the municipaliy in general.

The affected projects are the concreting of the slope protection and strengthening of dikes in Barangay. Papaya (P30 million), Barangay Santo. Cristo (P30 million), Barangay. Julo (P35-million) and Brangay. Luyos (P30 million).

He asked Villar not to give due course to Antonino's request, saying the projects will save the town from disastrous effects of uncontrolled floods during the rainy season..

Salonga lamented the delay in the implementation of the projects. He said the bidding was already scheduled for February of March but this was abruptly suspended because of Antonino's intervention.

He said he learned of the project's sudden suspension and request for realignment though a letter he received from former District Engineer Ulysses Llado of the 2nd Nueva Ecija Engineering District Office of the Department of Pubic Works and Highways.

He stressed that the office of Antonino did not make any prior consultation with his office of with the residents of San Antonio before asking for the relignment of the funds for the town's projects.

He said that politics should not get in  the way of the implementation of important projects such as those in his town. ###

Abalos foundation gives P1.2M help to sister town San Antonio

Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos and the  Ciara Marie Abalos Foundation gave P1.2 million to San Antonio during a visit there last June 21.

San Antonio is a sister town of Mandaluyong city.

Mayor Arvin Salonga said P1 million was for the construction of a training center for teachers while P200,009 was the livelihood funds of  Ako and Saklay Center of Father Arnold Abelardo.

During the visit, Salonga toured Abalos and her entourage to various sites showing the town's best pratices.

Abalos remarked that the town's agricultural produce, especially its vegetables, could be directly sold to Mandaloyong City,.by passing middlemen, making available to the city residents nutritious, fresh and inexpensive vegetables.

The city mayor noted that in a video presentation touching on the town's walis-tambo industry, the products were labeled "Baguio City:" and suggested that these be also marked "Mandaluyong":to show that they came from the place.

Salonga said Abalos praised the reform and livelihood programs instituted by the Ako ang Saklay Center and said she would send her people to train and learn about the best practices that the city can adopt from that facility.

Other highlights of the visit of Mandaluyong officials were gift-giving at the Luyos Elementary School and the Santo Cristo Elementary School, a visit at a vegetable farm in Barangay. San Mariano and Bahay Pagbabago in Barangay. Luyos, meet and greet with the native cake makers at Julie’s Cake and Puto in Barangay Tikiw, a visit at the Bahay ni San Jose (Home for God’s Special Children) and a carabao race in Barangay Papaya, visit to a solar and mechanical dryer in Barangay San Mariano and a grand boodle fight at the Dr. Jose Lapuz Salonga Memorial Gymnasium. ###

Ex-Gov. Joson seeks to file demurrer on graft case

Former Nueva Ecija Governor Tomas Joson III asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to contest the sufficiency of prosecution evidence and seek the dismissal of the graft case against him.

In his motion, Joson sought the permission of the Seventh Division to file a demurrer after the prosecution rested its case last May.

If granted,Joson would be allowed to elaborate why the evidence presented during the trial would not stand on its own even without rebuttal by the defense.

The case originated from Joson's donation of five vehicles to the municipal governments of  Quezon and Bongabon in February 2007.

Quezon town, whose mayor at that time was Joson's nephew, Eduardo Basilio, also received a mobile clinic.

The Ombudsman's Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), however, said the donations exceeded the provisions of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 37-A, s-2007, which authorized the donation of only heavy equipment.

Joson said the OSP failed to prove that he acted with manifest partiality,even bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence, when he made the donations.

He said the head of the public affairs monitoring office, Dr.Raymund Sarmiento, who initiated the complaint before the Ombudsman, merely claimed that Joson wanted to "paralyze the government of his successor" when he took the witness stand.

Other prosecution witnesses only confirmed that the donations were made.

Joson said the prosecution failed to show undue injury caused to the provincial government and the unwarranted benefits given to the recipient municipalities.

He said it was :"preposterous" to say that the provincial government was placed at  disadvantage when the donations benefited its constituent towns.

Joson's co-accused, former Quezon Mayor Eduardo Basilio Joson and former Bongabon Mayor Amelia Gamilla, also asked the Sandiganbayan to entertain their individual demurrers. ###

Aliaga receives PCSO ambulance unit

General Manager Alexander Balutan of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) went to Aliaga to formally turn over an ambulance to the local government unit at the Aliaga Muncipal Gym.

Balutan, who comes from the neighboring town of Zaragoza, shared with the residents his childhood memories while growing up in the area. He said being in Aliaga felt like it was the good old days and giving back to the community was very important to him.

Balutan also handed out checks as Small town Lottery (STL) shares for the month of May to representatives of seven local government units before the ceremonial blessing and turnover of the ambulance.

Also on hand to receive STL shares were representatives of the regional and provincial offices of Philippine National Police and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

In his remarks, Balutan advised the residents against playing illegal number games because they do not give back to the interest of the people.

"We at PCSO assure you that a portion of the money you pay to play our games has already been set aside for charitable programs such as free ambulance, free medical equipment, endowment fund and most importantly, the Individual Medical Assistance Program. Dito na tayo sa legal, may tsansa na kayong maging milyonaryo at sigurado pang balik-kawanggawa ang inyong tinaya,” Balutan said. ###

Vintage mortars discovered in Zaragoza town hall compound

A total of 79 mortar rounds were dug up in a construction site in the Zaragoza town hall compound in Barangay General Luna last June 24 and 25.

A construction worker said they were digging a hole for the post of an evacuation center being built  when they found 31 mortars.

The explosives and ordnance division of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army took custody of the explosives and discovered 48 more last June 25.

Explosives experts at Fort Magsaysay have yet to determine the origin of the shells. ###

Ex-Rizal councilor held for shabu

A former municipal councilor of Rizal was arrested during a buy-bust operation conducted by the police in Purok 2, Barangay Ganduz,Pantabangan last June 29.

Sr. Insp. Melchor Pereja, town police chief, identified the arrested suspect as Jemuel Alunen, 62, married, of Purok Padapada, Barangay Santa Monica, Rizal.

He said the suspect is one of the station's newly identified drug personalities.

Alunen was arrested by joint elements of the local anti-drug enforcement unit and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency after he allegedly sold a plastic sachet of shabu to a police poseur-buyer.

Seized from Alunen were three plastic sachets of shabu worth P1,500, some drug parapharnalia, P500 in marked money and a  Euro Sports motorcycle used him in the drug deal. ###

Lupao barangay treasurer arrested for illegal drugs

A barangay treasurer, said to be a high-value target in the war against illegal drugs in Lupao, was arrested after a search operation in his house that resulted in the discovery of shabu residue and drug paraphernalia last June 18.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, provincial police director, identified the arrested suspect as Barangay Treasurer Rodelito Collado, 44, married, of Zone 2, Barangay Balbalungao.

Sr. Insp Rodney Godio, Lupao police chief, said his men and members of the Provincial Intelligence Branch under Sr. Supt. Benedict Lagmay implemented the search warrant issued by Gapan City Regional Trial Court Judge Celso Baguio that led to the barangay official;s arrest. ###

2 killed, 1 nabbed in Guimba drug bust

Two men were killed and another one was arrested following an illegal drug bust in Barangay Bantug, Guimba.

Armold Limon, 43, was killed in a gunfight with policemen when he fired at an undercover agent to whom he sold a sachet of shabu at 8::30 P.M. last June 16.

Recovered from Limon were a caliber .38 pistol, two sachets of shabu and a marked P500 bill.

On the other hand, Jon dela Cruz, 38, was chased by the police when seen fleeing from the place. He also fired at the policemen and was shot dead.

Recovered from dela Cruz was a caliber .38 gun and two sachets of shabu.

Meanwhile, Crisanto Duque, 36, showed up at the crime scene while forensic investigators were processing the area. He was caught with a hand grenade.

Police said Limon and dela Cruz belonged to a robbery gang. ###


San Isidro contractor shot dead

A 60-year-old contractor was repeatedly shot by car-riding men as he drove from General de Jesus College in San Isidro after dropping off his three grandchildren and their nanny last June 23.

The victim, Ricardo Magno, lost control of his car and crashed into the concrete wall of San Isidro Central School.

Policemen brought him to a hospital in Gapan City but was declared dead on arrival.

Recovered from the victim's car was a .9mm handgun. ###

Talavera man killed by motorcycle-riding man

A 61-year-old man in Talavera was shot in the head by a motorcycle-riding gunman while he drove his daughter to school on his motorcycle along Maharllika Highway last June 23.

The victim was identified as Danilo Baldadera.

His 13-year old daughter was not hurt in the incident. ###

Bongabon trader survives gun attack by drinking buddy

A businessman in Bongabon survived after being shot at twice by his drinking buddy last June 24.

Chief Insp. George Calauad said the victim, Javier Alvarez, escaped the shooting unhurt inside his compound in Barangay Magtanggol.

The suspect was identified as German Tapulgo, caretaker of J and G. Trading, also of Barangay Magtanggol and a native of Tabungan, Iloilo

It was learned that the victim and the suspect, together with Roel Tandaon, Tapulgo's co-worer, were engaged In a drinking spree when the two had a heated argument.

Tapulgo took ouT a gun and fired at the trader but missed. Alvarez sought cover and Tapulgo again shot at him but missed.

The suspect escaped and is snow being hunted. ###

San Antonio businessman killed

A 48 year old businessman driving a motorcycle on his way home to Cabiao was repeatedly shot at and killed by suspects riding a motorcycle in tandem last June 18.

The victim was identified as Apollinar Santos of Barangay Bagong Sicat, Cabiao.

He was attacked along the barangay road in Purok 7, Barangay Santo Cristo at 9:45 P.M.

Chief Insp Marlon Cudal, town police chief, said the suspects chased the victim while he was traversing the barangay road and upon reaching a dark portion, shot him several times, killing him instantly.

Cudal said the motive for the killing was still being determined. ###

Gang man arrested in Cabanatuan

An alleged member of a crime group engaged in carnapping, swindling and robbery-hold-up was arrested by the Nueva Ecija Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Cabanatuan City last June 26.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra identified the suspect as Ferdinand Valmonte of Purok 3, Barangay Sumacab Sur, Cabanatuan City.

Chief Insp Francis Aldrich Garcia, CIDG provincial officer, said the arrest was based on a search warrant issued by Cabanatuan City Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo of the Regional Trial Court Branch 24 for violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Seized from the suspect was a caliber 45 pistol loded with seven bules and another 15 bullets for a caliber .22 rifle.

He said Valmonte was taggged as a member of the Santos crime group that operates in the proovince and adjacent areas. ###

Palayan school robbed of P.5-M computer sets

A national high school in Palayan City lost almost half a million pesos worth of computer sets to robbers last June 17.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, provincial police chief, said the suspects ransacked two computer rooms of Palayan National High School in Barangay Atate and took away seven Ace computer sets with monitors worth P300,000, an Epson projector valued at P40,000, two laptops, P3,300 in cash and other gadgets all totalling P481,700.

The high school was robbed while being guarded by security guards 24//7.

The robbery was discovered by teacher Jhosel Gallarde, 33, single, of Barangay Magtanggol, Bongabon.

Uarra said the suspects were able to enter  by climbing the fire exit ladder at the back of the administration building.. ###

Fil-American nurse robbed

A Fil-American working as a nurse in the United States was robbed of cash and other belongings valued at P214,000 in her house in Quezon last June 24.

The victim was Arlene Rivera, 52, married, of Sitio Osmeña, Barangay Dulong Bayan, Quezon.

Sr. Insp. Rommel Zagala, town police chief, said the victim reported the robbery to the police at 8:45 A.M.

Among the items stolen were a Michael Kors body bag containing the victim'r US passport, wallet, US driver’s license, two US credit cards, plane tickets, Michael Kors gold watch, IPhone mobile phone, pearl earrings and US$200 and P5,000 bills. 
Also missing were a blue gym bag containing IPhone earphones, black Nikon camera, Betsy Johnson Cross-over bag containing cash amounting to P2,000, Ipad and Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone.
The robbers also took her money worth $800 from the master’s bedroom.

Investigators said the suspects entered the house by forcibly opening the sliding window of a room. They also made an improvised hook out of wire and a tree branch in reaching for the two bags in the master's bedroom. ###

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