Volume 16 / No. 21   |  November 15,  2016
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
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San Jose bishop urges Catholic schools
to make stand vs. Marcos burial at LnmB

Bishop Roberto Mallari of the Diocese of San Jose, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Cathechesis and Catholic  Education of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Phlippines, called on Catholic schools last November 15 to remain firm in opposing the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Mallari expressed alarm that the ruling of the Supreme Court allowing a hero's burial for Marcos could give the youth the wrong meaning of the word "hero".

Speaking over Radio Veritas, the bishop said, “Mahalaga ‘yung mga Catholic schools natin i-maintain ‘yung stand that he (Marcos) should not be there (LNMB). Hindi siya dapat ilibing dun dahil hindi siya itinuturing na bayani ng bayan. It will confuse our young people as to who a ‘hero’ is.”

Mallari said educators and students should be one in ensuring that only historical facts and the true essence of the struggle during martial law will be passed on to future generations. ###

MGB: Ormoc-like tragedy waiting to happen in eastern Ecija

The regional chief of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of  Environment and Natural Resouces warns that massive flash floods reminiscent of what happened in Ormoc City could hit the eastern part of Nueva  Ecija due to heavy rains from a killer typhoon.

"We will be counting dead bodies," Eng. Noel Lacadin said.

He said the residents of eastern Nueva Eicja should be ready as strong rains could send debris cascading down the mountains.

Lacadin issued the warning during the first geo-hazards summit sponsored by MGB  in Cabanatuan City that ended last November 12.

He said Palayan City and Cabanatuan City have become susceptible to flash floods because of the Dituhin Creek in Barangay Calabasa, Gabaldon where debris could cause the waterways to overflow.

In October 2015, Gabaldon suffered its worst flood from Typhoon Lando. Two months later, the place was hit again by floods carrying mud and rocks brought by Typhoon Nona.

The massive denudation of the forests in the  Sierra Madre mountain range has been blamed for the Gabaldon floods.

Cabanatuan City, on the other hand, has become prone to floods because it is along the Pampanga River.. ###

NE rehab center open to indigents

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the Mega Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Magsaysay that is scheduled to be inaugurated on November 29 will be open to both drug surrenderees who are indigent and those who can afford

Ubial said those who can afford to pay will be charged "accommodation expenses" but this will be free for those who have no capacity to pay.

She said the facility, which can accommodate up to 10,000 patients, will not cater to specific types of patients.

Ubial expressed hope that the center will fully serve its purpose of treating and rehabilitating drug dependents whom she called "victims" who should be helped to return to mainstream society as productive citizens.

The facility is set to open on November 15 but the date of the inauguration will follow the schedule of President Duterte. ###

Ecija among 'most improved' provinces in CL in controlling illegal drugs

The regional police command has declared Nueva Ecija and Pampanga as the most improved provinces in Central Luzon in terms of reducing the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Bataan has been declared drug-free with most of the pushers and users who had surrendered joining the reformation program.

Aurora was reported as the most peaceful province with zero crime rate.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, regional police director, said 65,757 drug pushers and users have surrendered, with over 13,000 coming from Nueva Ecija.

He said 3,717 suspected drug dealers were arrested, 805 of these in Nueva Ecija.

A total of 307 were killed during police operations while 343 were victims of alleged vigilantes.

Meanwhile, Aquino said the regional police is authenticating an inter-agency intelligence report that 18 Central Luzon officials, mayors and vice mayors among them, have links to drug syndicates. ###

Cabiao mayor, vice mayor escape ambush try; driver injured

Cabiao Mayor Ramil Rivera and Vice Mayor Angelito dela Cruz escaped an ambush attempt when their convoy was fired upon in Arayat, Pampanga last November 9, but the vice mayor's driver was hit in the back.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Region 3 police director, identified the wounded as Ramon Regalado Agao, driver of dela Cruz.

It was learned that at about 11:30 A.M.the mayor and vice mayor were traveling in separate vehicles along the Gapan-Olongapo Road on their way to San Fernando, Pampanga when fired upon by men aboard a black sedan in Barangay Santo Niño Tabuan, Arayat, hitting Agao in the back.

The suspects then fled in the direction of Nueva Ecija.

Aquino said the motive for the ambush was yet to be known. ###

Former Lupao mayor, trader post bails for graft raps

Former Lupao Mayor Richard Ramos and businesswoman Sheila Marie Jacalan posted bails last November 8 after surrendering to the San Jose City police in connection with a graft case filed against them at the Sandiganbayan.

Ramos ran under the Liberal Party and served as Lupao mayor for two terms from 2010 to 2016.

Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz, city police chief, said an arrest warrant was issued against Ramos and Jacalan for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, by Rodolfo Ponferrada, chair of the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division last October 24.

He said the warrant reached their office on November 8, with the Sandiganbayan recommending a bail of P30,000 each for their temporary liberty.

The two were immediately released after posting bail at the sala of Judge Cynthia Martinez-Florendo of the San Jose City Regional Trial Court Branch 39. ###

Ecija onion farmers protest importation

Over 1,000 onion farmers from Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Tarlac staged a rally in Bongabon last November 11 to protest an alleged syndicate composed of some agriculture officials and onion traders selling permits to import onions.

Israel Reguyal, president of Local Onion Growers for National Economic and Trade Cooperative, said his group has sent a letter to Director Vivencio Mamaril of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to stop the issuance of import permits but he has not replied.

The onion farmers said some unscrupulous businessmen, allegedly conniving with some BPI officials, continue to smuggle onions despite the assurance of the agriculture department to help local farmers get a steady return on investments.

Josie Balajadia, cooperative official, said the payment for import permits collected by the BPI is P20,000 per container van.

She claimed that around 1,000 container vans arrive weekly at the ports of Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Manila.

The farmers said they could not compete with the low prices of imported onions because of the high production cost of local onions.

Local onions are priced from P80 to P90 a kilo compared to the price of  imported onions of P28 to P30 a kilo. ###

They said the anomalous selling of import permits would mean death to the local onion industry. ###

Vilma Santos-Recto denies running for Ecija gov in 2019

Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto -- a Novo Ecijana -- denied speculations that she plans to run for Nueva Ecija governor in 2019.

The name of Recto has been floated by her cousin, Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara, as a likely opponent of Gov. Czarina Umali in 2019.

The mayor's camp is convinced that only somebody with the stature of Santos-Recto could end the reign of the Umalis in the capitol. ###

Ecija rep commends airport worker for returning P102k

Fourth District Rep. Magnolia Antonino-Nadres commended an airport worker for returning a lost plastic pouch containing cash and bank cards amounting to P102,457.70.

The item was found in a pushcart by Valiente Namion, a wheelchair attendant at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. He immediately turned it over to the Lost and Found Section of the Intelligence and Investigation Division.

:Later, a certain Wendell Tagapulot from the office of Antonino claimed the pouch which had been unintentionally left in the pushcart when the lawmaker met her granddaughter at the airport.

Namion was also praised by Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal and NAIA Terminal 1 Manager Dante Basantra for his honesty. ###

Cuyapo's 3rd most wanted person arrested

Nueva Ecija's third most wanted person for being a member of a criminal group operating in the province and the Ilocos region was arrested in Cuyapo last November 4.

Sr. Supt. Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, identified the suspect as Darwin Villapa, married, jobless, of Barangay Esmeralda, Balungao, Pangasinan.

Elements from the Pangasinan provincial police, Balungao municipal police and Cuyapo police raided the suspect's hideout at 8:30 A.M. and arrested him without any resistance.

The suspect is a member of the Quinto robbery-hold-up group involved in gun-for-hire and carnapping.

Cornel said the suspect is Number 3 in the list of the most wanted persons of the Cuyapo police. ###

Drug suspect shot dead during singing session

A  man who was reported to have been involved in illegal drug activities and included in the barangay watch list was shot dead in Barangay Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City while singing at a neighbor's videoke machine.

Supt. Ponciano Zafra identified the victim as Benedict Puyat alias Bumay/Joko, married, of Block 37, Lot 4, AGL Heights.

He was singing when repeatedly shot by an unidentified suspect, who later boarded a waiting motorcycle driven by a cohort and escaped.

The victim died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds in the body.

Aside from illegal drugs, police are exploring others motives for the murder. ###

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