Volume 17 / No. 15   |  August 15, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
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53 graduate from Ecija mega drug rehab center

A total of 53 former drug dependents, including a barangay chair, graduated from the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Fort Magsaysay last August 5.

Health Secretary Pauline Ubial was the guest of honor for the send-off of the graduates, 33 of whom were from Batangas City.

She said the center at present can only care for at least 2,000 patients instead of the 10,000 previously reported in the media.

Ubial said the government expects to operate seven other rehabilitation centers in the country, with 13 more to be put up.

Five of the 13 centers are already being built in Region 9, SOCSARGEN, MIMAROPA, CARAGA and the National Capital Region.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) cited the Department of Health for the feat of operating, maintaining and managing the center.

Epimaco Densing III, DILG assistant secretary for plans and programs, said "This shows that the government is doing a holistic campaign on anti-illegal drugs by giving real support in the recovery of surrenderers."

He said that aside from the 53 patients who had undergone six months of rehabilitation, 360 other patients severely affected by illegal drug use are undergoing treatment in the center.

He said the Nueva Ecija center can accommodate only those severely affected by illegal drugs while those moderately affected are treated in other rehabilitation centers licensed by the health department.###

San Antonio councilor urged to explain side on plot to kill mayor

The Sangguniang Bayan of San Antonio led by Vice Mayor Julieta Maxwell passed a resolution condemning the alleged plot to kill Mayor Arvin Salonga, and urged Councilor Renan Ponce Morales to explain his side after he was tagged as the alleged mastermind of the plan.

The resolution was unanimously approved by the 10-member Sanggunian,  with Morales and Councilor Christopher Cunanan absent.

Morales was accused of masterminding the slay plot after he was identified by former policeman Ruelito Roxas, a hired killer, who confessed having been hired by Morales for P5 million to kill the mayor.

Roxas and his cohort, Alex Panganiban, both of Lucena City, were arrested by policemen last Juy 31 after their car yielded three pistols, a fragmentation grenade, two rounds of 40 mm HE grenades and several rounds of ammunition.

Seized from Roxas was his cell phone with text messages about the alleged plot against Salonga. The phone also bore messages from a number corresponding to that of Morales' phone.

Arnold Castro, Salonga's lawyer, said administrative charges are set to be filed against Morales for grave misconduct, including a case for neglect of duty for his chronic absenteeism, having incurred a total of six consecutive absences.

Morales reportedly flew to Europe last August 6. ###

Muñoz joins lighting of ASEAN lanterns

The Science City of Muñoz joined the nationwide lighting of lanterns to mark the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last August 8.

A total of three ASEAN lanterns were switched on in Muñoz, followed by a fireworks display.

Similar rites took place in Pampanga, Tarlac, Davao and other places.

The 1.8-meter ASEAN lanterns in red and gold  were made by craftsmen from the City of San Fernando in Pampanga, home of the giant "parul". ###

Carabao Center creates 15-kilo pastillas

As part of the government's drive against malnutrition, a 15-kilo bulaklak pastillas made of carabao milk was shared with San Jose City residents at the Pag-asa gymnasium last August 9.

Said to be the largest such kind of pastillas, it was produced by the Milka Krem brand.of Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

The activity was part of the 11th "Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival" by the PCC, Department of  Trade and Industry, Small Medium Enterprise Council of Nueva Ecija and the San Jose City government.

Brigida Pili, DTI provincial director, said the festival is an annual event to promote the nutritional and business values of carabao milk.

Felomino Mamuad, PCC executive director, said the center is tasked with popularizing the carabao for farming, meat and milk.

Marami nang hindi nakakatikim ng gatas ng kalabaw kaya gusto namin makalikha ng maraming gatas para sa kanila,"he said.

The pastillas came in popular flavors such as ube, pandan and mocha. ###

Violago supports higher budget for NFA

Second District Rep.Micheal Violago has called for the increase of the government support price for palay-buying and has joined other lawmakers' calls for additional budget for the agency.

The National Food Authority (NFA) has proposed a P7 billion budget for palay procurement.

At present, NFA buys palay at P18 per kilogram while private traders buy for as high as P20 per kilogram.

The agency also gives additional incentive of 20 to 50 centavos per kilo for delivery, 20 centavos for drying and 30 centavos as cooperative development incentive fund for farmers' organizations.

NFA spokesperson Marietta Ablaza said the agency could propose up to P22 per kilogram as buying price to encourage more farmers to sell to the government.

Ablaza said despite prioritizing local farmers in NFA's buying activities, the problem is the low buying price which could result in the agency buying less of local produce and increasing its rice importation. ###

Suspected Korean fugitive nabbed in Lupao

A Korean who had gone into hiding for several years in a remote barangay in Lupao was arrested by government agents and policemen last August 2.

The suspect, Jeon Dae Won, 58, was with his Filipina live-in partner when arrested by Bureau of Immigration agents in Barangay San Pedro.

Sr. Insp. Rodney Godio, town police chief, said the Korean had become a familiar person in the community which helped immigration agents and policemen in tracking him down.

BI coordinated with the local police following reports that an overstaying Korean was hiding in the barangay.

Jeon was unable to show travel documents to immigration agents when frisked in his house.

The suspect turned out to be included in the immigration watch list of undocumented foreigners staying in the country

He underwent documentation process at the Lupao police station before being escorted back to Manila by immigration agents. ###

Aglipayan priest arrested in drug buy-bust

A Novo Ecijano who introduced himself as a priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Aglipayan church, was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation in Paniqui, Tarlac last August 7.

The priest was identified as Randy Valdez, 35, of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija.

Two others were arrested, identified as Mike Ruel Quinto, 20, and Camille Franilla, 23.

Supt. Roel Mendoza, Paniqui police chief, said he though Valdez was joking or high on drugs when he introduced himself as a priest and it turned out to be true.

The original targets of the buy-bust operation were Quinto and Franilla. When a policeman who posed as buyer handed a P500 marked bill to Franilla, it was the priest who handed him two plastic sachets of shabu. Five more sachets were seized from the suspects.

Valdez said he started taking drugs even before he entered the priesthood. ###

Cops arrest barangay councilor, ex-rebel in buy-bust

A joint team of operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) based in Nueva Ecija and the police provincial office arrested an incumbent barangay councilor and a former member of the New People's Army in a drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Aglipay, Rizal last August 8.

The suspects were identified as Jayson Tabangay, councilor of Barangay Agbannawag, and his cohort, Edgar Sanchez, former NPA rebel.

Confiscated from Tabangay were one small plastic sachet of suspected shabu and a five hundred peso bill.

Seized from Sanchez were eight plastic sachets of suspected shabu.

Police said the two were included in the drug watch list of President Duterte.

The two were detained and processed for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. ###

Teen drug suspect killed in Cabanatuan police operation

A17-year old boy was killed during a drug buy-bust operation conducted by the Cabanatuan City police last August 6.

The fatality, Ellison Mallubay, and an accomplice were subjects of the operation when the teenager opened fire at an undercover police officer, forcing the other enforcers to fire back.

Supt. Ponciano Zafra, city police chief, said the teenager was brought to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. His accomplice managed to escape.

Police recovered from the crime scene seven sachets of suspected shabu, a marked 1,000-perso bill  and a caliber .22 pistol. ###

Farmer shot dead, teen hurt in San Isidro  attack

A 70-year-old farmer was killed in a gun attack last August 9 in San Isidro town.

The victim, Antonio Francisco, who was driving his motorcycle on his way to his farm, died instantly from multiple gun shots from men riding a sedan who were tailing him.

A 16-year-old female high school student who was riding another motorcycle was hit by a stray bullet. She was taken to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Gapan City for treatment.

Police have not established the motive for the shooting and the names of the suspects. ###

Motorcycle rider killed in Santa Rosa

A motorcycle rider was shot dead by men aboard another motorcycle along the Santa Rosa-Tarlac Road in Saint Joseph village.

The victim, Arthur dela Cruz, 39, of Jaen, was with his wife Alona and a 5-year-old niece when shot at.

Arthur was hit in the jaw, but his wife and niece were unharmed.

Dela Cruz was rushed to a hospital in Cabanatuan City but was declared dead on arrival. ###

Girl drowns in irrigation canal

A two-year-old girl drowned in an irrigation canal in Barangay Malayantoc, Santo Domingo last August 3.

The victim, Mabell Macatuno, was left lone in their house's living room while her mother was busy washing clothes in the kitchen.

The mother, before hanging the laundry, checked on the girl and realized she was missing.

Neighbors later found the girl's body at a grassy portion of the irrigation canal a few meters away from her house. ###

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