Volume 15 / No. 16                                                                                                         August 31, 2015
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.

PNP tags 3 Ecija cities,
1 town as possible crime hot spots

The cities of Cabanatuan, San Jose and Gapan and the municipality of Cabiao are among 19 areas in Central Luzon identified by the Philippine National Police as possible "crime hot spots", prodding the police to intensity its anti-crime operation called "Oplan Lambat-Sibat".

Chief Supt. Ronald Santos, officer in charge of the Police Regional Office 3, said the "hot spots" include ten cities and nine municipalities in seven provinces in the region.

Aside from Cabanatuan, San Jose and Gapan, Santos identified San Jose Del Monte and Malolos in Bulacan; San Fernando, Mabalacat and Angeles in Pampanga; Balanga in Bataan and Tarlac in Tarlac province

The crime-prone municipalities, aside from Cabiao, are Marilao and Meycauayan in Bulacan; Arayat, Mexico and Sta. Ana in Pampanga; Mariveles and Dinalupihan in Bataan and Subic in Zambales.

Santos said that in Nueva Ecija, Gapan City is increasingly becoming a concern with regard to crimes.

He said integrated checkpoints will be set up in boundaries of cities and municipalities to effectively run after criminals.

He cited the recent neutralization of a robbery-holdup gang in Gabaldon, where lawmen killed a civilian suspect and arrested two policemen. ###

Bishops oppose P50 billion Ecija prison project

The prison ministry of the Catholic Church opposes the plan to build a P50.2 billion prison facility in Nueva Ecija through the public-private partnership program (PPP).

The Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines called the project "unnecessary".

ECPPC Executive Secretary Rodolfo Diamante said they have long opposed the transfer of the prisons on the ground that it is not the solution to the problem of the Bureau of Corrections.

He said that the government should instead focus on improving the facilities of the country's seven existing penitentiaries to where some of the inmates in the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City could be transferred.

He also said that the Good Conduct Time Allowance, a scheme approved by President Aquino to allow the reduction of time served by inmates, could help if applied.

“There’s really no need to spend P50 billion on what is believed to be a modern Alcatraz,” Diamante said.

He questioned the motive for the push to build a new facility in a portion of the Fort Magsaysay military reservation in General Tinio town.

“We suspect that the administration wants to satisfy real estate developers who are after the NBP reservation,” he said. ###

Anti-political dynasty campaign kicks off in Ecija

A group's advocacy against political dynasties was presented to students and school officials of Wesleyan University-Philippines last August 26.

The forum on political dynasties conducted by Movement Against Dynasties (MAD) resulted in the formation of the MAD Youth Sector-Nueva Ecija Chapter.

Quintin San Diego, MAD chair, said political dynasties are prevalent in the country and has had a negative impact on governance.

"Ang gusto natin ay isa lang kada angkan,"San Diego said.

He said they have been fighting for this for the past four years and became optimistic when President Aquino mentioned the issue in his last State of the National Address.

San Diego said there may not be enough time left to act on the issue but they are pleased that the President has sent an anti-dynasty message.

The campaign was conducted by MAD in Nueva Ecija in the light of the may 2016 national and local elections that will see the participation of several political clans in  the province, among them the Umalis, Vergaras and Antoninos.

San Diego said he is hopeful that despite the non-passage of the anti-dynasty bill in the current Congress, MAD's campaign will have an effect on  the 2016 elections. ###

Poe visits Ecija

Senator Grace Poe continued with her school tours, this time going to Nueva Ecija, the province that gave a big margin of victory to her father, Fernando Poe, Jr., when he ran for president in 2004 against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Poe attended a student leadership forum at Constancio Padilla National High School in San Jose City.

She exhorted the students to be trustworthy even in small things.

Quoting the Bible, Poe said,“Whoever can be trusted with very little, can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little, will also be dishonest with much."

Poe also asked Novo Ecijanos to help her push for the passage of a bill providing for free lunch to every public school student in the country.

She said the bill fits the povince of Nueva Ecija, being the country’s rice granary and also home to one of the best-tasting longganisas in the country today.  

Ano ba naman ’yung magkaroon tayo ng tapsilog dito araw-araw, mayaman ang ating bansa kaya tayo umuunlad dahil sa ating mga kabataan, dapat huwag tipirin ng gobyerno ang dapat mapunta sa inyo,” Poe said.

She denied reports that she will formally declare her candidacy for president on September 3, her birthday, and said she will announce her decision on October 16, the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Poe was presented with a birthday cake by the forum organizers, including Globe Telecom.

Board Member Joseph Ortiz, a convenor of the Grace Poe for President Movement said "“Dumadagundong just like FPJ. Like father, like daughter.”

Poe was accompanied by Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, City Mayor Marivic Belena, businessman Joselito Violago and other local and school officils.

Before proceeding to San Jose City, Poe visited a number of radio stations in Cabanatuan City. ###

Gapan City honors outstanding citizens

Outstanding Gapanenses were honored in the first-ever "Gabi ng Parangal at Pasasalamat" held last August 22 at the City Gymnasium as part of the city's 14th anniversary.

City Mayor Maricel Natividad-Nagaño led the tribute to the "Anak ng Gapan" awardees that included Gen. Danilo Constantino, retired  Brig. Gen. Maximo G. Caro, retired Gen. Andfres Caro, Police Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, retired Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, retired Major Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, Juanito Lumibao, Jr., Normita Liwag, Ramon Valmonte, Jay Taruc, Dr. Philip G. Caro, Leonardo Guinto and Prosecutor Carmelito Mangulabnan.

Also awarded were Russel Zabat, Engr. Reynaldo Puno, former Justice Undersecretary Ramon Liwag, Dr. Vangie Morals, former Rep. Josie Manuel-Joson, Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos, Eula Valdez and Rhiza Cenon-Simbulan.

Special awards were given to former 4th Dist. Rep. Julita Lorenzo-Villareal who principally authored the bill for the conversion of Gapan into a component city, and Globe Telecom.

Posthumous awards were bestowed on the former Senator Juan R. Liwag and former City Mayor Ernesto L. Natividad.

Guest speaker during the affair was Florida Bijan, Central Luzon director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The activity was spearheaded by the City Legal Office headed by lawyer Arnold Castro.###

Carranglan to stage "1st Tinapay Festival' to honor patron saint

The municipality of Carranglan is expected to draw thousands of Catholics for the celebration of the"First Tinapay Festival" to honor its patron, St. Nicholas of Tolentine, on September 10.

Fr. Richard Lagos, who conceptualized the festival and is one of the organizers, said giving away bread on the feast day of St. Nicholas has a long tradition.

“It is said that when St. Nicholas of Tolentine was about to die of an illness, the Blessed Virgin and St. Augustine appeared to him in a vision, asking him to get a piece of bread, sign it with a cross, dip it in water, and pray for Mary’s intercession. Thereafter, he was healed, and since then, bread became associated with St. Nicholas,” he explained..

Lagos said that despite the fact that it is only now that Carranglan will hold such a major religious event, the devotion to St. Nicholas has been thriving there since the Spanish era.

He said the festival is an expression of gratitude for the many blessings that God has given Carranglan and its people.

Aside from the patron saint's feast day, the people of Carranglan are also set to mark the 250th year of the parish with the theme "Celebrating 250 Years of Joyful Faith, Hope and Love".

The San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish was founded by Franciscan friar Miguel de Soriano in 1765.

The church has undergone repeated destruction and reconstruction, the latest of which was during the1990 Luzon earthquake that totally razed it. The church was rebuilt from 1995 to 200 with donations from the faithful. ###

Marquez to shuffle police officers to prevent politicking

Director General Ricardo Marquez, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNPP), bared a plan to shuffle police officers whose relatives are running for public office in the 2016 elections to prevent them from engaging in partisan politics.

Marquez made a command visit to the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office last August 18, his first such visit since assuming office last July. He was once the Nueva Ecija provincial police director.

“The police should stay neutral and not involve themselves in partisan political activities. Unang-una ang bilin ng ating Pangulong Aquino, dapat ang boss natin ay ang mga tao. Kapag tayo nakialam at nakikampi tayo, magkakaroon ng problema,” he said.

He said the shuffling of police officers related to candidates, something that he implemented in 2010 during his stint as Nueva Ecija provincial commander, aims to remove any doubts about the neutrality of the police

He led a command conference with the province's chiefs of police, together with the new Police Regional Office 3 officer-in-charge, Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, and the Nueva Ecija police director, Sr. Supt. Manuel Cornel.

He told the chiefs of police that they must have a grasp of the real crime situation in their jurisdictions to be able to solve the peace and order situation. ###

Governor, Palayan mayor lead PNP awardees

Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali and Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas led the civilian awardees during the celebration of the 114th anniversary of the police service held at the provincial police headquarters in Cabanatuan City last August 21.

Recipients of special awards were the Nueva Ecija Press Corps; Bless Our Cops Movement for the religious sector; College of Research and Technology, academe; Order of the Amaranth, civic group; Myrna Rees, business, Judge Primo Sio, Jr.,judiciary;and P rosecutor Edison Rafanan, prosecution.

They were cited in recognition of their unwavering support for the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office that contributed to the attainment of the overall mission and objectives of the Philippine National Police.

The awards were handed out by Sr. Supt. Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, assisted by Provincial  Assessor Florante Fajardo who represented Umali, and Supt. Joseph Ocaya, deputy provincial director for administration.

Also given individual  awards during the occasion were Supts. Wilson A. Santos VI, Talavera chief of police, (best senior PCO for admin), and Andrew M. Aguirre, chief of provincial intelligence branch (best senior PCO operation and PRO3 achievement award in police intelligence), Chief Insps. Renato C. Morales, San Leonardo chief of police (best junior PCO for admin), and Julius Ceazar A. Manucdoc, chief of the provincial operations and plans branch (best junior PCO for operation), Insp. Jacqueline B. Gahid (best PCR-PCO-Cabanatuan police), and SPO4 Edmundo E. Afable, of the San Jose City police (executive senior PO of the year).  
Unit awardees of the year were the Nueva Ecija Provincial Public Safety Company (PRO3 unit award for best PPSC), the Cabanatuan City police (best city police station), Talavera police (best municipal station-Class A), San Leonardo (best municipal station-Class B), Peñaranda police (best municipal station-Class C) and 3rd Maneuver Platoon (best maneuver platoon). ###

WUP law school opens

Wesleyan University-Philippines (WUP), the only autonomous private university in the province, has opened a law school with human rights lawyer and former party-list representative JB Bautista as its dean.

WUP President Pacifico Aniag said the Legal Education Board has issued a permit for WUP to operate a law school, a project that he spearheaded and was subsequently approved by the university's board of trustees.

Among the pioneer faculty members are Judge Johnmuel Mendoza, Judge Mildred Villaroman-Hernal, Judge Trese Wenceslao, City Prosecutor Rene Villaroman, Dr. Emelita Portillo, Dr. Amelita Chaohan and lawyer Dante Alejandria.

The WUP Law School is said to have the best stocked law library in the province with more than 800 volumes of brand-new law books, aside from the availability of WiFi for Internet research. ###

Cabanatuan high school students join 'Green Film Festval'

Some 400 students from San Josef National High School (SJNHS) in Cabanatuan City participated in the SM Green Film Festival held last August 20.

Featured was the documentary film "Pagbangon" on the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, produced by GMA News and Public Affairs.

Leonora de Jesus, SJNBHS principal, said the documentary created awareness among students of the impact of natural calamities on Filipinos.

The Green Film Festival  is held in 49 SM Supermalls and six WalterMart malls in the country, where films and documentaries on the environment are shown to students every month for free. ###

8 saved, 6 arrested in San Leonardo bar raids

Eight girls were rescued and a bar owner and five suspected pimps were arrested in an anti-prostitution operation conducted in videoke bars in San Leonardo.

Seven of the girls were discovered to be minors.

Chief Insp. Renato Morales, San Leonardo police chief, said simultaneous raids were conducted by the police in coordination with the town's fire department and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office.

Arrested in the operation were Dodong Sumande, 50, bar owner; and suspected pimps Ma. Evelyn Baut alias Robert, 34; Jenny Flores alias Jacks, 32; Leopoldo Toregosa, 26, a native of Naga City; Rassel Calixto, 26; and Jojo Enriquez, 43, of Barangay Poblacion, San Antonio.

Those rescued were four 17-year-olds, two 16-year-olds, a 15-year-old and a 20-year-old, mostly residents of San Jose del Monte City,  Valenzuela City and Navotas, Metro Manila.

Morales said the girls were recruited to work as house helpers but were later forced to work as guest relations officers and perform sex with bar customers.

Charges of violation of the anti-human trafficking law were filed against the suspects at the Provincial Prosecutor's Office. ###

Palayan man wounded in gun attack

A man in Palayan City was injured when shot by two motorcycle-riding men who tore down a tarpaulin sign bearing the name of former 4th Dist. Rep. Rodolfo Antonino before midnight last August 18.

Supt. Leandro Novilla, city police director, identified the victim as Avelino Manatad, 55. of Barangay Atate.

Investigation showed that the victim was sitting at the terrace of his house at about 11:30 P.M. when a yellow motorcycle stopped in front of his gate and the two riders destroyed the tarpaulin with the photo and name of Antonino installed in front of the house.

The suspects noticed the victim and shot him several times with a caliber .45 pistol, hitting him in the legs.

The suspects then escaped towards the city proper.

Police are investigating the incident. ###

Quezon farmer dies in shooting

A 33-year old farmer died after being shot five times while preparing for his farm chore in Barangay San Miguel, Quezon.

Chief Insp,. Arien Enriquez reported to Mayor Dean Joson that the victim was identified as Conrado Sarmiento Cuaresma.

Investigation showed that the victim was in his hut at about 5:30 A.M. and preparing his crop sprayer when approached by the unidentified gunman wearing a black jacket and bull cap.

The suspect first hit the victim's face with a bottle of insecticide before shooting him five times with a caliber ..45 pistol.

The victim sustained gunshot wounds in the neck, right chest, back and right thigh, and lacerations on the head and face.

The motive for the shooting has yet to be established. ###

San Antonio businessman stabbed dead

A businessman in San Antonio was found dead with multiple stab wounds in his bedroom last August 23.

Police identified the victim as Bonifacio Valle Español, Jr. of Borja Street, Barangay San Mariano.

His body was discovered by his brother, Victor, at around noon in one of the bedrooms of the house.

The San Antonio police requested a team from the Nueva Ecija Police Crime Laboratory Office to process the crime scene. ##

Guimba pusher arrested, P400K shabu seized

The Guimba police arrested a suspected drug pusher in Barnagay Casongsong last August 31.

Supt. Ricardo Villanueva, Provincial Public Safety Command chief, identified the suspect as Apolonio Acosta, 48, jobless, of Purok 2, Barangay Casongsong.

Acosta is tagged by the police as a "big-time pusher" in Guimba.

Seized from the suspect were 37 sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated street valuer of P400,000; a notebook with a list of possible customers, drug paraphernalia, an improvised Thompson sub-machine gun with a long magazine with 28 bullets and the marked money used in the operation.

Acosta was charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. ###

Girl drowns in Guimba fishpond

An 11-year old girl  drowned in the deep section of a fishpond where she and some friends went swimming in Barangal Bunol, Guimba last August 27.

The victim was identified as Gena Jose-Ramos, a Grade V pupil of Bunol Elementary School.

It was learned that at 9:30 A.M., the victim and her friends decided to swim in the fishpond.

The victim swam at the deep portion of the fishpond until she failed to surface.

Her friends sought the help of people nearby to get her.

The victim was rushed to a local hospital but was declared dead on arrival. ###

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