Volume 17 / No. 14   |   July 31, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
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Plot to kill San Antonio mayor averted

Police may have prevented an attempt to kill San Antonio Mayor Arvin Salonga with the arrest of two suspected guns-for-hire near the municipal hall last July 31.

The two, identified as Ruelito Roxas, 52, and Alex Panganiban, 42, both of Lucena City, had been placed under surveillance during the weekend after a tip from an informant that they were hiding in a resort with guns.

Chief Insp. Marlon Cuda, town police chief, said Roxas -- a retired police officer -- and Panganiban were arrested outside the town hall after the flag-raising ceremony.

Investigation showed that they were hired assassins with Mayor Salonga as the target.

The suspects were charged with illegal possession of firearms and other weapons after they were caught with three pistols, a hand grenade, a grenade rifle, two knives and several bullets.

Roxas executed an extra-judicial confession taken in the presence of public attorneys Aysac Dalangin and Marilyn Sharina Tovera, pointing to a Sangguniang Bayan member as the one who allegedly hired him to kill Salonga.

Panganiban, on the other hand, denied he was involved in the murder plot.

Initial reports showed that Roxas and Panganiban arrived in San Antonio last July 29 and stayed in a resort.

They were seen in front of Salonga's house and at at the church where the mayor attended Sunday Mass.

After the the Monday flag-raising ceremony, Roxas entered the town hall to ask for business permit forms.

Meanwhile, Panganiban was arrested by policemen while waiting inside a parked car.  Weapons were found inside.

Roxas ran from the town hall when he saw Panganiban being held but was also arrested.

Roxas claimed having received an initial P84,000 from the councilor and said a certain Nora was assigned to deliver the money

Salonga's lawyer said they were preparing charges against the councilor and a former Sangguniang Bayan employee who they think is Nora. ###

San Antonio cops get P645K reward for drug campaign

The San Antonio police have received about P645,000 in cash as reward money since the anti-illegal drug war was launched in the town in July 2016.

Mayor Arvin Salonga said the cash incentives given by the municipal government has caused the intensification by the police of anti-illegal drug operations resulting in the town being 90% cleared of drugs.

Salonga said he honored the local police by giving them citations for their accomplishments, among them the current police chief, Chief Insp. Marlon Cudal and his predecessor, Chief Insp. Arnel Aguilar.

He explained that a P10,000 cash rewarrd was given to the police for every drug pusher or addict arrested, and an additional P25,000 if the pusher or addict was killed in an encounter.

Statistics show that at least 62 drug pushers or addicts have been arrested since July 1 2016 and one was killed in a shootout in Barangay San Mariano during a buy-bust operation. ###

Alleged Red rebels burn Nampicuan agricultural school warehouse

Five armed men who identified themselves as members of the New People's Army torched a warehouse of an agricultural school in Barangay Cadaducan, Nampicuan last July 30.

Sr. Supt.Antonio Yarra, provincial police director, said the men entered the compound of the Gallego Institute of Agriculture Industry at abut 2:00 A.M.

The warehouse caretaker, Reynaldo Lapurga, 56, told police that the suspects introduced themselves as NPA members then fired into the air seven times.

The men then set on fire a motor glider, its spare parts, power generator parts and a water pump until the entire warehouse was burned. ###

Rape-slay suspect, escort cops found negative in paraffin tests

Two police escorts and the suspect in the rape and killing of a girl in Jaen all were found negative of powder buns in the paraffin test conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory.

Supt. Victor Drapet, head of the crime laboratory chemistry division, said police escorts SPO1 Grant Chaluyen and PO3 Felix Parafina both tested negative, together with the suspect, Hilario Herrera.

Herrera had confessed to the July  19 kidnapping, rape and killing of an 8-year old girl in Jaen.

The two policemen were escorting Herrera to his detention cell after attending the inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice when the suspect allegedly grabbed Parafina's pistol and shot himself in the head.

Herrera was declared dead on arrival at the PNP General Hospital.

Drapet said many factors could have influenced the negative paraffin test result like wind direction, direction of firing and even the vintage, type and caliber of the weapon.

The PNP Internal Affairs Service is still investigating if the two escorts could be held liable for the suspect's suicide.

Supt. Glenn Dumlao, Anti-Kidnapping Group head, defended the two police escorts, saying they had followed standard operating procedures. ###

2 killed in Ecija

A mechanic and a lady vendor were killed in separate murder incidentsin CabanatuanCity and Gapan City.

In Cabanatuan City, Supt. Ponciano Zafra, police chief, said Precioso Niņo Aromin, Jr., 31, of Luz de Guzman Street, Villa Luz Subdivision, was resting in his house at 9:40 P.M. when an unidentified man barged in and repeatedly shot him with a pistol.

The victim was wounded in the head and body and died on the spot.

The suspect immediately fled.

Investigators recovered three caliber .45 shells and a deformed slug at the scene.

In Gapan City, Supt. Peter Madria, city police chief, identified the victim as Lolita Manahan, 45, vendor, of Riles Street, Barangay Santo Niņo.

Madria said the victim was tending her store when attacked by two unidentified men riding a black Mio motorcycle at 4:45 A.M.

The suspects drove past the victim's store and when they saw her, they returned and the back-rider shot her in different parts of the body. Afterwards, they fled in the direction of Baragay San Nicolas.

The victim was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. ###

Guimba highway explosion kills 1, injures 4

A tricycle driver was killed while four persons, including two minors, were hurt in an explosion caused by a suspected improvised explosive device along the national road in Barngay Pasong Intsik, Guimba last July 31.

The fatality was identified as Marvin Barrientos, 40, of Barangay Pacac. His backrider, public school teacher Jose Laurence Mata, was rushed to a hospital in Tarlac City because of eye injuries.

Two minor passengers, a Grade 10 boy and a Grade 11 girl, sustained minor injuries and brought to the hospital.

Another victim was the driver of a tricycle rammed by Barrientos.

Insp.Ronald Stockton, deputy chief of police, said personnel of the Explosive Ordnance Diposal from the Northern Luzon Command had yet to ascertain the explosive used.

Witnesses believe the explosive planted by an unidentified suspect was intended for a team of policemen that had just passed through after an investigation of a warehouse burned by suspected New Peoples Army members in nearby Nampicuan the previous day. ###

Rizal couple shot dead in own house

A couple was shot dead inside their house in Rizal by unidentified men on the night of July 20.

The victims were identified as Mario Castro, 66, farmer, and his wife, Catalina, 56, both of Sitio Ballesteros, Barangay Paco roman.

Investigation showed that after Mario arrived home from his farm,somebody knocked at the door.

Catalina opened the door and asked who the the person outside was. She then called out to her husband that somebody was looking for him;

When the suspect saw Mario approaching, he fired at the couple who died on the spot.

investigators later recovered three caliber .9mm shells.

Police are still investigating the motive for the killings. ###

Gapan trader shoots attacker dead

A 50-year old businessman surrendered to the police after shooting and killing a man who allegedly attacked him in his house in Gapan City.

Sup. Peter Madria, city police chief, identified the trader as Juan Perez of Divina Pastora Subdivision, Barangay Bayanihan.

Killed was Marvin Garcia, 31, of Barangay Santa Cruz.

Madria said Garcia went to the suspect's house at 10:50 P.M. and suddenly fired at Perez.

Perez retaliated, hitting the victim while he was leaving aboard a motorcycle.

Garcia was taken by an unidentified person to Good Samaritan Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Police recovered from the victim a claliber .38 revolver with six bullets while Perez surrendered his Glock .9mm pistol with an empty magazine.

Perez was charged with homicide. ###

Cabiao barangay tanod, wife killed in ambush

A barangay tanod and his wife both died after being ambushed by unidentified suspects on the night of July 27 in Barangay San Antonio, Cabiao.

Chief Insp. Rico Cayabyab identified the victims as Ridardo dela Cruz Abundo, 52, who also works as line disconnector of Nueva Ecija I Electric Cooperative, and his wife Nenita Limpin Bundo, 50,both of Barangay San Antonio.

The victims had just reached home and Ricardo was parking their tricycle when a suspect on board a motorcycle approached him.

The suspect drew his gun and shot the couple who died instantly.

The suspect escaped towards Barangay Natividad North.

Investigators are looking if the shooting was related to Ricardo's job as tanod or as line disconnector. ###

Retired teacher loses P1.2M in cash, jewelry to four persons

A 70-year old retired teacher was victimized of more than P1.2 million in cash and jewelry by four persons, one of whom pretended to be her former student.

The victim was identified as Erlinda Bumanlag, married, of Liwanag Street, Barangay Santo Tomas, Aliaga.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, provincial police chief, said Bumanlag was victimized while inside the Waltermart Supermarket in Barangay Dicarma,Cabanatuan City at 3:00.P.M.

She said one of the suspects approached her and pretended to be her former student.

The suspects managed to sweet-talk her to go to her house and get her P800,000 in cash, assorted jewelry worth P20,000 and her ATM cards.

Aftrer taking the money and jewelry, the suspects were able to withdraw P400.000 from the victim's Bank of the Philippine Islands and Union Bank accounts.

Police are still investigating the incident. ###

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