Volume 16 / No. 14   |   July 31, 2016
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Duterte visits Fort Magsaysay

President Rodrigo Duterte visited Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City and spoke to soldiers of the Northern Luzon Command just one day after delivering his first State of the Nation Address to Congress.

He reiterated his position of achieving peace in pursuing talks with various rebel groups in the country.

However, he pointed out that the Armed Forces still has to prepare for various scenarios as his administration pursues different ways of achieving peace.

Fort Magsaysay was the fourth military camp visited by the President in less than a week.

He said he was inclined to aprove the hiring of more troops and announced that the gradual pay increases of soldiers will take effect starting next month.

The President was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. ###

Gapan high school researchers bag 3rd prize in ASEAN science tilt

A team of student researchers from Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School (JRLMHS) in Gapan City bagged the third prize in the Second ASEAN Student Science Project Competition held at the National Science Museum in Panthum Thani, Thailand from July 24 to 30.

Team members Jane Nicole Catacutan and Melissa Gaudario, adviser Mary Lorraine F. Lorido and adult-in-charge Wejavina Catacutan were awarded certificates, medals and a cash prize of 8,000 bahts.

Their project “Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Potentials of the Money Tree (Pachir Aquatica) Stem and Leaf Extracts”.competed against 13 entries from eight countries, including one other entry from the Philippines, in the Biological Science Category Senor Level.

The study aimed to transform the economic importance of money tree from being just an ornamental plant to one with medicinal use as anti-cancer agent.

The project of Catacutan and Gaudario served as a preliminary screening of the ability of the plant’s stem and leaf extracts to kill cancer-like cells in brine shrimps, onion roots and zebra fish embryos. The results showed significant activities of the plant’s extract in killing and stopping rapidly dividing cells.

The student researchers recommended the testing of money tree extract on cancer cells of mammals and humans. Noting that the plant is used as herbal medicine in some parts of the world, they recommended the proper monitoring and dosing of the extract, especially among pregnant women due to its toxic effects on embryos.

Consultants of the project were Jordan Ferdin Halili of the University of the Philippines-Diliman and Rich Milton Dulay of Central Luzon State University in the Science City of Muñoz. The study was conducted in those two institutions.

It was the second year that the ASEAN student science project competition was held by the National Science Museum of Thailand and the Science Society of Thailand to encourage students to develop their skills in science and technology such as experimentation, communication and innovation. The activity also allowed the participants to practice problem solving in daily life and provide a venue to foster friendship and establish networking.

The research competitions were limited to junior and senior high school students and covered physical science, biological science and creative innovation applied to science. ###

AFP offers Fort Magsaysay for drug rehab center

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is looking at three major camps in  Luzon and Mindanao -- including Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija -- as sites of drug rehabilitation centers in accordance with the order of President Duterte.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, identified the two other camps as Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal and a yet-to-be-specified camp in Bukidnon.

He said these camps have large spaces for such a rehabilitation program.

He added that the military fully supports the President's ant-illegal drug campaign which includes helping rehabilitate drug dependents.

Padilla said the AFP will need the help of other concerned government agencies like the Department of Health and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as soldiers are not experts in drug rehabilitation. ###

Disqualification case vs. Ria Vergara filed in House and COMELEC

A petition has been filed with the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify 3th District Rep. Rosanna Vergara for "faking her way to run in the May elections and become a member of Congress though bogus documents".

In the July 11 petition filed by Philip Piccio of Parents Enabling Parents (PEP) Coalition, he presented documents to prove that Vergara is an American citizen and had allegedly lied regarding her citizenship to run and win against former Gov. Aurelio Umali in the last elections.

Piccio said he had submitted to the two bodies the alleged falsified oath of allegiance, a Bureau of Immigration record confirming that there was no petition applied for by Vergara for dual citizenship or issuance of an identification certificate.

He warned that Vergara will face a lot of suits if she signs documents in Congress as a legislator since she is deemed ineligible.

Piccio expressed confidence that the concerned authorities, especially  COMELEC, will act on his petition speedily "since all of us would not want an American citizen to sit as a member of Congress." ###

VACC backs Cabanatuan shooting victim

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) chair Dante Jimenez assured the family of Cabanatuan City shooting victim Christopher Libunao of their full support to attain justice.

Libunao, 50, was fired upon at close range allegedly by Cabanatuan Councilor Eduardo Jose "EJ" Joson after a parking altercation in front of victim's house at AGL Heights in Barangay Caalibangbangan.

A witness said that Libunao got mad after seeing a silver grey Toyota Innova parked in front of his gate.

A few minutes later, Joson was reportedly seen attacking and punching Libunao, and shooting him at close range.

Jimenez recommended lawyer Ferdinand Topacio to handle the case on behalf of the victim's family.

Jimenez and Topacio joined other VACC members in going to the wake of the victim to show their support.

The group has coordinated with the newly appointed Cabanatuan police chief, Ponciano Zafra, and Provincial Director Manuel Cornel who both gave assurances of a fair investigation of the case. ###

Aliaga cybersex dens raided

Elements of the police Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) raided two computer centers in Aliaga last July 27 and arrested 11 suspected members of  syndicate engaged in extorting money from foreign nationals through internet sex shows.

Sr. Supt. Reczon Tito Acabado, ACG director, said among the items seized from the raided computer centers in Barangay Santo Rosario were computers, routers, servers, cellular phones, flash drives and documents being used by the suspects in their illegal activities as well as seven plastic bags containing an estimated P3,500 worth of marijuana.

The raids were conducted based on a search warrant issued by Judge Ramon Pamular of the  Guimba Regional Trial Court Branch 82.

He said Nueva Ecija is part of their Oplan Strikeback 3 that targets "sextortion" syndicates. He said the Philippines has been identified by international authorities as one of the three countries in the world with the highest number of such syndicates.

Acabado said the owner and employees of the raided establishments will be charged with violation of sections of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. ###

Peñaranda pa searches for missing son

A 65-year old father from Peñaranda is looking for his 45 year old son who has been missing since July 5.

Tomas Abesamis said his son Eugene, was abducted by unidentified men after doing business at the Land Transportation Office in Cabanatuan City.

Eugene and his seven-year-old daughter took a tricycle on their way home when along Barangay Tagpos in Santa Rosa, five masked men blocked their way and forcibly took him, leaving his daughter alone.

The girl was later turned over to her grandparents by Isaac dela Cruz, chair of Barangay Tagpos, after reporting the abduction to the police.

Abesamis admitted that his son was previously hooked on illegal drugs and after his arrest in 2014 was used by the Peñaranda police as an illegal drug informer. 

The young Abesamis was also reported to have extorted money from illegal drug suspects.

Before he was abducted, Eugene told his father about his "assignment" in Santa Rosa and timed it with his transaction with LTO in Cabanatuan.

Abesamis has asked for the help of his fellow Catholic Lay Ministers, the police, local media and Peñaranda Mayor  Ferdinand Abesamis who is a relative.

He is fearful that his son might be found one day as a victim of extrajudicial killing. ###

San Antonio barangay councilman killed, 2 wounded

A barangay councilman in San Antonio was shot dead while two others were wounded in separate attacks.

The barangay official was identified as Leopoldo Ferrer, 65, councilor of Barangay Papaya. He died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds.

His companion, Rodolfo Mudlong, was treated at a local hospital.

Police said the two, together with two other friends, were holding a drinking session in front of the house of Rony Yola at about 9:00 P.M. last July 21, when fired upon by two suspects who emerged from a black car.

Sources said the motive for the  attack could have been a land dispute.

In another case, Allen Paz, 31, listed in the drug watch list of the local police, survived when two gunmen barged into his house on the night of July 20 and attacked him.

He ran away and jumped over a concrete fence but sustained gunshot wounds in both legs. ###

Cabiao's top illegal drug personality found dead

A construction laborer, identified as Cabiao's top illegal drug personality, was found dead with several gunshot wounds in his body.

Chief Insp. Rico Cayabyab, police officer-in-charge, identified the victim as Nonie Baylon alias Baneknek, 35, construction worker, married, of Purok 5, Barangay San Carlos.

His body, with gunshot wounds in the head and back, was discoverd by Isagani Bautista, Bantay Bayan chief, in Purok 6, Barangay San Carlos at 12:40 A.M.

A week before Baylon died, his house was visited by the police implementing Oplan Tokhang but he was not around.

The victim even met with Bautista, his cousin, to ask if he could accompany him when he surrenders to the police. ###

Drug suspect shot dead while in patrol car

A drug suspect who was in a police patrol car was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men in Barangay Alua, San Isidro last July 15.

Sr. Supt. Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, identified the fatality as Israel Parael, 36, of Barangay San Roque, Cabiao.

He topped the list of drug pushers in Cabiao.

He was seated at the back of the patrol car together with his escorts, on the way back to the Cabiao police station from the Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Cabanatuan City, when shot. ###

Aliaga illegal drug suspect killed

A suspected illegal drug pusher was killed in an alleged gunfight with policemen last July 22 in his house in Barangay San Juan, Aliaga.

The fatality, Rosendo Sagun, was shot dead after he fired at policemen serving him an arrest warrant.

PO3 Philip Cajuco, case invetigator, said policemen recovered a plastic sachet of shabu and a caliber .38 revolver. ###

Licab man in drug watch list killed

A man who was in Licab's drug watch list, was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men last July 31.

The victim,  Vernon Santos, 42, was attacked by the suspects wearing helmets, in front of a machine shop in Barangay Poblacion Sur at 4:35 P.M. ###

Body of salvage victim found in Palayan

The body of a man, hogtied and  with his mouth gagged, was found beside the road in Barangay Singalat, Palayan City last July 29.

The body had a gunshot wound in the head and bore a tattoo on the left arm that said "Nopiel love Ovie".

Strapped to the body was a cardboard sign that read "Huwag tularan! Motornapper, runner ng drugs."###

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