Volume14 / No. 16                                                                                                            August  31, 2014
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Ecija towns in war vs. drugs

Towns and government agencies in Nueva Ecija declared an all-out war against illegal drugs during a summit in Palayan City last August 29.

This was in response to a report by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency that Nueva Ecija ranks second to Pampanga in Central Luzon based on the number of barangays with documented drug-related cases.

The report said 189 out of 849 barangays in Nueva Ecija are vulnerable to illegal drugs.

Gov. Aurelio M. Umali said the provincial government will allocate P10 million from its peace and order fund to support the anti-illegal drug campaign.

He noted that 70 percent of inmates in the provincial jail are involved in drug-related charges.

Peņaranda Mayor Ferdinand Abesamis, provincial president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, said all towns in the province support the campaign against attempts to invade the province with illegal drugs.

Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas asked for support for a covenant that would get everyone's commitment in the fight against illegal drugs.

Interior Undersecretary Peter Irving Corvera said the government will need better incentives for local enforcers in the fight against illegal drugs.

He wondered why the provision in the 2002 Dangerous Drugs Act on rewards for both informants and law enforcers in successful raids is not being implemented.

He explained that under the present set-up, only civilian informers are allowed to receive P75,000 for every kilo of shabu seized, or a maximum of P2 million for information that can lead to a successful drug bust. ###

Ecija, 2 other provinces to be declared mining-free?

The House committee on natural resources has approved on first reading bills that seek to declare Nueva Ecija, Davao and Biliran as mining-free zones in spite of opposition by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) which claims the measures will have negative impact on the local economy.

MGB Assistant Director Emil Billedo said it is only small-scale mining that should be prohibited, as large-scale miners contribute greatly to the local industry and are under strict regulation by the bureau.

For her part, Gabriela Party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, one of the bill's sponsors, emphasized the need for a proactive law to prevent mining companies from destroying the local ecosystems.

The committee, in approving the declaration of the three provinces as mining-free zones, took into consideration the suggestion of MGB to allow the national government to conduct mineral explorations in the provinces. ###

San Jose City 'sir' among Metrobank Foundation's 10 outstanding teachers

An elementary school teacher in San Jose City made it to the list of winners in Metrobank Foundation's Search for Outstanding Teachers.

Dr. Allan Moore S. Cabrillas of San Jose West Central School was among the four winners in the elementary competition.

Four other teachers won in the secondary competition, and two in the higher education competition.

A total of 312 teachers nationwide were nominated to this year's search, trimmed down to 146 provincial finalists, then 42 regional finalists and lastly, 20 national finalists.

Cabrillas  was conferred a gold medallion, P500,000, a trophy and a plaque of recognition for his school. ###

Ecija rep seeks to rename NLEX to Cory Aquino Expressway

Nueva Ecija 4th Dist. Rep. Magnolia Rosa Antonino-Nadres has filed a bill seeking to rename the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)  to Corazon C. Aquino Expressway (CAEX).

Antonino-Nadres' House Bill 4829 has undergone first reading and is now pending with the House committee on public works and highways.

The lawmaker said renaming the NLEX after the late President will bestow distinct honor on her and perpetuate her memory.

The expressway, otherwise known as Radial Road 8, had been previously called Manila North Diversion Road and Manila North Expressway. ###

5,000 lose firearms in Ecija

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, revealed that there are around 5,000 loose firearms in Nueva Ecija,.

He said the number of firearms unaccounted for is 20 percent of the total number of firearms in the province.

There are 20,000 licensed firearms in the province. Those classified as loose include those with expired licenses. Nieves said many of the loose guns might be in the hands of criminals.

He said that in Central Luzon, Nueva Ecija had the most number of firearms accounted for from January to December 2013 under "Oplan Bilang Boga" and "Oplan Katok", thus drastically reducing the number of loose firearms.

On the other hand, he said the province no longer has any private armed group, based on the latest validation made by the Provincial Police Office. ###

UP frat, relatives ask for release of 2 UP grads

The Sigma Kappa Pi fraternity and Sigma Delta Pi sorority asked the military and the police to release the two University of the Philippines-Clark graduates, claiming that their arrest last August 9 was illegal and unjust.

The mothers of the two -- Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano -- joined protesters in Bulacan for the conviction of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan for the June 2006 abduction and serious illegal detention of two other UP students.

Rowena Salonga and Marita Cadano demanded the release of their sons, saying they were serving poor farming communities as volunteer organizers.

The two detainees identified themselves to the arresting teams as organizers of the youth organizations Kabataan and Anakbayan.

However, the 7th Iinfantry Division (7thID) said the two were platoon guides of the New People's Army (NPA) unit operating in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Pangasinan.

The 7th ID and the police said their troops were serving a warrant of arrest for Ely Taray alias Ka Emong, a suspected NPA commander in Carranglan when they found his companions Salonga  and  Cadano in a house in Barangay R.T. Padilla, Carranglan.

The Sigma Kappa Pi and Sigma Delta Pi said the detention of the two was based on charges that were made up and utterly without basis. ###

 2 'NPA extortionists' killed

Two men who pretended to be members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed by unknown assailants along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Puncan, Carranglan last August 25.

In a report by Supt. Ricardo Villanueva, chief of the Provincial Public Safety Command, to Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Neves, provincial police director, one of the victims was identified as Ronie Batad Estrada alias Ka Omeng, of Barangay Bagong Sicat, San Jose City. His companion could not be identified.

They were found with multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies.

Recovered from the scene were a caliber .45 pistol, a gun replica and subversive documents including copies of extortion letters.

Police believe the two were involved in hold ups of truck drivers taking a rest near San Jose City, who were also given extortion letters allegedly from the NPA, asking for money in exchange for safe passage through the area. ###

Congressman's bodyguard arrested for indiscriminate firing

A most wanted person said to be serving as body guard of a party list congressman was arrested after firing his gun indiscriminately during a drinking session in Barangay San Carlos, Cabiao on the night of August 24.

Supt. Ricardo Villanueva, chief of the Provincial Public Safety Command (PPSC) identified the person arrested as Arnold Francisco Gamboa, 44, of Purok 7, Barangay San Carlos, and said to be the eighth most person in Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija. He allegedly works as bodyguard for I-Care Party List Rep. Michale Angelo Rivera of Batangas.

It was learned that at about 9:20 P.M., members of PPSC led by Insp. Ferdinand Somera were conducting a checkpoint when they heard repeated gunshots from a group of men engaged in a drinking session. ###

Pawnshop customer loses motorbike to thief

A 19 year old woman transacting inside a pawnshop in Barangay Santo Niņo, Gapan City lost her motorcycle parked outside to a thief.

In a report to City Mayor Maricel Natividad-Nagaņo, Supt. Nelson Almoralde Aganon identified the victim as Rosanna Ortiz Mangilit of Barangay Poblacion, San Isidro.

Investigation showed that the victim parked her motorcycle in front of a Cebuana Lhuilier pawnshop to transact business. While she was inside, her motorcycle was taken away by a certain Mario Figueroa, a resident of that barangay, who managed to escape arrest.

The suspect has been charged with carnapping. ###

Policeman's house robbed

Unidentified men ransacked the house of a policeman in Santa Rosa last August 20 and carted away valuable items including a gun.

Victimized was the house in Barangay Maliolio of SPO3 Victoriano Relucio, 42, a member of the Police Security Protection Group in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Relucio and his wife, Dolores, left for the public market at 3:00 A.M., leaving their son alone in their house. When the two returned, they noticed foot marks on the floor and discovered the robbery.

It was learned that the robbers climbed to the terrace of the house, forcibly opened the door with a chisel, and once inside took assorted jewelry amounting to P40,000, P39,000 in cash and Relucio's caliber .9mm Beretta service pistol. ###

Tricycle driver killed

Rivalry over passengers was seen as the motive for the killing of a 51 year old tricycle driver during a drinking session last August 23 at Sitio Lote, Barangay Tikiw, San Antonio.

In a report to Mayor Antonio Lustre, Chief Insp. Marcelino Veneracion identified the victim as Dante Mendoza Magno of de Leon Street, Barangay Julo.

He sustained ten stab wounds in different parts of his body.

The victim and the suspect, Michael Gonzales Bitangcol alias  Bitoy, 40, of Barangay
San Mariano, reportedly have had arguments over passengers in the past.

During their drinking session, the two had a heated argument that resulted in Bitangcol stabbing Magno.

The victijm was rushed to the San Antonio District Hospital but doctors were unable to save him. ###

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