against HUC status for Cabanatuan
Gov. Aurelio M. Umali opposes
Cabanatuan City's bid to become a highly urbanized city (HUC).
He said that the move by
the city government under Mayor Jay Vergara is premature and that the mayor
never consulted him about it.
“I think that as of now,
Cabanatuan cannot yet stand on its own that's why we are against its conversion
into a HUC,” Umali said.
Umali did not say whether
he would launch a campaign against Cabanatuan City's HUC bid once a plebiscite
is called among city residents, just like what the Josons did in 1997.
In the 1997 plebiscite based
on Proclamation No. 969 issued by then President Fidel Ramos, the "no"
Once Cabanatuan is transformed
into an HUC, the city's voters will no longer vote for governor and other
provincial officials and become independent of the province, with its own
congressman in the House of Representatives.
Earlier, Vergara said that
they have had enough politics in the past 60 years that Cabanatuan has
been a city.
"We are the first municipality
in Central Luzon to have gained city status, but we still dwell in the
cellar of inactivity. It is about time we get down to thinking about raising
the economic stature of Cabanatuan. All these we can do by being independent,
free from political interference of self-serving politicians who treat
us as pawns for their political pursuits instead of as partners for growth,
progress and development,” he said.
“If we push for either having
a lone congressional district, or an HUC status, we get to have congressional
representation and for which the priority development assistance funds
or ‘pork barrel’ that go with it would surely go a long way towards maximizing
economic development and over-all growth not only in Cabanatuan but spread
throughout Nueva Ecija,” Vergara explained.
He said that he would present
the issue to the city residents in a series of public consultations.
Meanwhile, Umali dared the
camp of Vergara to identify the supposed emissary from the capitol who
reportedly approached members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod and offered
P20 million in exchange for their rejection of the HUC bid.
In a radio program over the
Vergara-owned DZJJ, it was reported that a person said to identified with
Umali and Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos allegedly offered P10 million to
Vice Mayor Marius Garcia and P1 million to each city councilor to vote
against the HUC proposal once this is presented to the council by Vergara.
Vergara hinted that the supposed
emissary was a "factor" behind the alleged massive corruption under former
Mayor Alvin Vergara.
Umali said that the Vergara
camp should prove that the bribe attempt really happened instead of accusing
him and Padiernos of attempting to buy the votes of the city council members.
"They should never issue
statements without a leg to stand on," Umali said. ###
Tinio mayor accuses SP of not doing job
General Tinio Mayor Virgilio
Bote criticized Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos and the majority bloc in the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan for not doing their jobs as legislators and their
failure to act on resolutions from the municipal governments.
Bote, a former ally of Gov.
Aurelio Umali and Padiernos, said that the SP has not acted on a resolution
passed by the General Tinio Sangguniang Bayan recommending that the name
of the town be reverted to "Papaya".
“They are not doing their
job. They seem to be on a vacation mode. And yet they are being paid by
taxpayers of the province of Nueva Ecija,” Bote said.
He identified SP Members
Eduardo Rey Joson and Juanito Juatco, both from the opposition Bagong Lakas
ng Nueva Ecija, as the only ones performing their jobs as provincial council
members since they took office in June.
The proposal to rename General
Tinio as Papaya was first discussed during a joint executive-legislative
meeting on January 14, 2008 by the municipal government led by Bote and
the Sangguniang Bayan led by then Vice Mayor Marcelo Abes, Jr. and attended
by 13 barangay chairs. The major development plans were laid out, including
the possible conversion of the town into a city within 10 years.
On October 13, 2008, the
town council, on a motion of SB Member Melvin Pascual, passed Resolution
117 recommending to the provincial council the renaming of General Tinio
General Tinio was originally
called Barrio de Papaya under the adjacent town of Peñaranda.
It was officially declared a separate municipality on January 7, 1921.
to get P40.8M intel fund
Gov. Aurelio M. Umali is
set to receive an allocation of P48.8 million in intelligence fund under
the province's proposed 2011 budget.
Umali defended the allocation
saying that funds included in the yearly budget are always in conformity
with existing laws that provide some leeway for the intelligence operations
of local government units.
The intelligence fund represents
45 percent of the P89.48-million proposed budget for the Governor's Office
for the coming year and is said to be bigger than the combined proposed
budgets of the Guimba District Hospital and the Santo Domingo District
An Umali ally in the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, BM Joseph Ortiz, chair of the committee on finance and appropriations,
said that the intelligence fund is meant to give teeth to the provincial
government's campaign against illegal drugs. He said that part of the fund
will go to the activation of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
The allocation is expected
to be approved by the pro-Umali majority bloc in the provincial board.
seize firearms owned by barangay officials
The Nueva Ecija police seized
some 29 assorted guns formerly registered under the names of barangay officials.
The guns are considered "unaccounted
Sr. Supt. Roberto Aliggayu,
provincial police director, said that the guns in question were among 131
firearms bought by various local government units and covered by certificates
of registration issued to barangay chairs.
Among the guns that are being
traced are 10 from San Antonio, 10 from General Tinio, five from the Science
City of Muñoz and five from Santo Domingo.
Aliggayu said that before
the barangay and SK elections, the police conducted an audit of the firearms
issued to local officials, including barangay chairs.
“Failure to account for these
guns means that we will subject them to police operations,” Aliggayu said.
“They cannot deny ownership
of these firearms since they have been registered under their names,” he
Police records show that
among the towns that bought guns for their security units and barangay
officials were Quezon, Talugtog, Cuyapo, Santo Domingo, San Antonio, Carranglan,
Gapan City and the provincial government with 10 units each; the Science
City of Muñoz, 20; and General Tinio, 15. ###
gun ban nets 23 firearms
Some 23 assorted firearms
were confiscated by the Nueva Ecija police during the implementation of
the gun ban for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from September
25 to November 10.
The guns came from checkpoints
and inspections in various establishments.
Sr. Supt. Roberto Aliggayu,
provincial police director, warned gun owners that despite the lapse of
the gun ban last November 10, the police will continue its campaign against
loose firearms. He said that some of these are in the possession of criminal
elements while others are owned by those who failed to renew their gun
Saints Day 2010
Jose partners with youth for eco drive
Any child in San Jose City
who brings just a single piece of plastic trash to City Mayor Marivic Belena
gets rewarded with a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.
Belena, actively involved
in the "Kaya Natin!" advocacy group, said that making children aware of
the bad effects of plastic things on the environment would strengthen the
city's drive for proper waste disposal, including waste segregation.
"Kung hindi natin makaya
sa magulang, sa mga bata tayo mag-umpisa," Belena said while being
surrounded by children with trash in their hands during the recent Agad
na Serbisyong Bayan (ASB) program held at the gymnasium of Barangay Pinili.
Belena said that rewarding
children with basic needs such as toothpaste and tooth brush is part of
an awareness campaign among the youths on the bad effects of plastic.
For his part, Board Member
Joseph Ortiz, who had served as city councilor for three terms, said that
the city government has been espousing cleanliness for quite some time.
He said that the city's Diamond
Park in Barangay Tayabo is a consistent winner of the "Pinakamaringal na
Ecological Park" competition and one of the most visited parks in the province.
Belena said that they also
distributed tree saplings to people who sought medical help and other services
in the ASB program.
She expressed hope that the
city's youth could be effective movers in the ecological campaign. ###
files landmark bills
Second Dist. Rep. Joseph
Gilbert Violago filed a bill entitled "Poor Litigants Equalization Act
of 2010" that provides temporary liberty to indigent first time offenders
provided there is no probability of flight upon the determination of a
“While the Constitution guarantees
that no person shall be denied the equal protection of law, it is evident
that in Philippine society, existing laws appear to favor the rich more
than those belonging to the lower economic strata,” Violago emphasized
in his statement.
He said that said the families
of those being charged with felony or a crime punishable with six year
imprisonment will benefit from his bill by using the money intended for
posting bail for their daily subsistence.
In another proposed measure,
House Bill 181, Violago wants to exempt private owners who sell their real
properties to the government or any of its political subdivisions or government
owned or controlled corporations from paying capital gains tax. ###
marks silver anniversary
Sen. Francis Pangilinan tries
a drumseeder during the PhilRice anniversary.
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the Science City of Muñoz,
celebrated its 25th anniversary last November .5 with Rice Science for
Development (S4D) as the highlight.
by S4D, PhilRice's medium and long-term plans will be centered on helping
attain and sustain rice self-sufficiency, reducing poverty and malnutrition
and achieving competitiveness in agricultural science and technology.
three day celebration starting November 3 featured spiritual enhancement,
the Santiago R. Obien Seminar Series on improving research management
of research and development institutions, a tribute to the agency's benefactors
and recognition of the achievements of its employees.
the guests and resource speakers were Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, chair
of the Senate committee on agriculture; Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
of the Department of Agriculture; retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato
S. Puno; and Dr. Achim Dobermann, deputy director general for research
of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
a message, Executive Director Ronilo A. Beronio said, “It is my honor to
lead the PhilRice family in celebrating our 25th Anniversary. Having started
at PhilRice in 1986 as its first employee, I have seen PhilRice from its
infancy to adulthood… It is our collective desire to see PhilRice remain
responsive and relevant to the increasing needs of our country and its
a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture,
was created through Executive Order 1061 issued by then President Ferdinand
E. Marcos. ###
Jose diocese set to hold first synod in 2011
Diocese of San Jose will hold its first synod to assess the church's accomplishments
and lay down plans and programs to respond to the changing times.
"Sinodo ng Mabuting Katiwala", the gathering of the clergy, religious men
and women and selected lay leaders will be held from March 20 to 26, 2011.
participants will deliberate on the issues of formation of the laity and
the clergy, call for more servant leaders, propagation of basic Christian
communities called "Damayang Kristiano", the Church's involvement in social
change and proper management of the resources of the diocese.
Mylo Hubert Vergara, the diocese's third bishop, said that not only did
the Catholic faithful increase in the diocese's 26 years of existence.
but also the number of homegrown priests serving the 19 parishes.
the Synod Declaration released in time for his 48th birthday, Vergara cited
the outstanding work of "lider-lingkods" in various communities and recognized
the important contributions of priests in the propagation of basic Christian
Diocese of San Jose was created on February 16, 1984 and made a suffragan
of the Metropolitan of Lingayen-Dagupan. It was canonically erected
on July 14, 1984, comprising of San Jose City and 13 of the northern towns
of Nueva Ecija. ###
among dumping grounds of fake medicines
Nueva Ecija has been identified
as among the hot spots for the sale and distribution of counterfeit drugs.
The Samahan Laban sa Pekeng
Gamot (SAMAHAN), a coalition of public and private sectors to educate the
public on the proliferation and dangers of fake medicines, also identified
Manila, Cebu, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales,
Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon among the hot spots.
The Department of Health
estimates that one in 10 medicines sold in the market is fake.
SAMAHAN said that the international
sources of counterfeit drugs are China, India and Pakistan.
To draw the public's attention
to the problem of fake drugs, the group launched the first National Consciousness
Week against Fake Medicines last November 15.
The campaign called "Totoong
Gamot!" advises consumers to look for the "Rx" symbol and expiry dates
on drugs, and be alert when the prices of these are significantly or unusually
placed on watch list, Velardes elated
family of Ricardo Velarde, former president of the Jaen Association of
Barangay Captains who was intending to run as mayor but was slain in 1994,
expressed elation over the inclusion of former Mayor Prospero Antonio Esquivel,
the alleged mastermind of the killing, in the immigration watch list.
Velarde, the victim's widow, expressed hope that justice will be obtained
once Esquivel is arrested.
State Counsel Ricardo Paras had asked the Bureau of Immigration to place
Esquivel in its watch list to prevent him from leaving the country, following
an arrest order issued by Gapan City Regional Trial Court Branch 35 Acting
Judge Virgilio Caballero.
was identified by the suspected gunmen, Rufino Manuel and Edgardo Santos,
as the one who allegedly hired them to kill Velarde
po kami at nakamit na namin ang aming minimithing katarungan sa pagpapalabas
na po ng arrest warrant kay Esquivel,” Rosalin said. She has been living
abroad but returned home to closely monitor the progress of the case. ###
Rosa contractor arrested for illegal gun, video game machines
A Santa Rosa contractor was
arrested after a raid on his houses resulted in the confiscation of a caliber
.45 pistol, gun accessories and 14 "fruit game" machines.
Supt. Edgar Alan Okubo, chief
of the provincial Police Peace and Security Company (PPSC), identified
the suspect as Danilo Bautista, 54, of Barangay Luna.
Elements of PPSC and
the Santa Rosa police station simultaneously raided Bautista's houses in
Barangays Luna and Gomez last November 11 based on a search warrant issued
by Judge Ramon Pamular of Regional Trial Court Branch 32 of Guimba.
Also found in his house were
77 rounds of bullets and silencers for M16 Armalite rifle.
The searches were witnessed
by barangay officials and the suspect.
Bautista was charged with
illegal possession of firearms and illegal gambling. ###
Antonio man found dead in Arayat
The decomposing body of a
Novo Ecijano was found floating in a river in Arayat, Pampanga last November
The victim was identified
as Benigno Magat, 28, of San Antonio town.
His father, Benjamin, who
positively identified him, said the victim had told him that he would go
to the dike in Barangay Luyos but failed to return after several days.
He said that the victim worked
in a bar in Nueva Ecija and acted as a pimp.
Supt. Elbert Pagente, officer-in-charge
of the Arayat police, said that the body had been floating in the river
for three or four days and the local police coordinated with the Nueva
Ecija police to establish its identity.
Police are still investigating
the cause of death. ###
rice mill driver arrested for misspending P3M in casinos
A 44 year old driver/collector
of a Gapan City rice mill was arrested for squandering his P3M collection
Supt. Ricardo E. Villanueva,
city police chief, identified the suspect as Zaldy Santos Espinosa of Camino
Street, Barangay San Nicolas, driver/collector of Brilliant Gains Rice
Mill owned by Dominga Garcia of Barangay Bayanihan.
Elements of the Gapan City
police led by PO3 Albretch Von Ferrer arrested him at 9:00 P.M. last November
10 after the victim complained that the suspect failed to remit his P3
million collection from delivering 4,000 sacks of rice to Olongapo City.
It was learned that after
every delivery, the suspect would go to the casinos.
Before he was arrested, the
suspect confessed to Garcia that he squandered his collections in various
casinos in Olongapo City.
Charges of qualified theft
have been filed against the suspect. ###
Leonardo truck helper killed in motorcycle accident
A 31 year old truck helper
died after he was hit by a passenger bus while driving a motorcycle along
Maharlika Highway in Barangay Tabuating, San Leonardo last November 1.
Chief Insp. Francisco Mateo
III, town police chief, identified the victim as Soreto Matalos Jolongbayan,
a native of Alitagtag, Batangas. He was declared dead on arrival at Gonzales
Investigation showed that
the victim was bumped by Manila-bound Ballesteros Bus. The impact threw
the victim a few meters away and rendered him unconscious.
The bus driver surrendered
to the police and was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
Isidro voyeurs arrested
Three men were arrested while
peeping at a teenage girl who was taking a bath, even taking cell phone
video of her last November 10 in Barangay Poblacion, San Isidro.
Those arrested were identified
as Chris Bernard Bongcayo, 18, native of Negros Occidental; John Paul Berdijo
Evangelista, 21, originally from Catanduanes; and Alfredo Alva Francisco,
25 of Barangay Poblacion, all working as helpers at Zedric Feeds.
The victim, Emily Calanoc
Nakamura, told investigators that she was busy bathing when she noticed
the suspects peeping, with one of them using a cell phone to take a video
of her. She hastily wrapped herself with a towel, went out and confronted
With the help of the police,
the three were later arrested and charged with violation of Republic Act