Volume 17 / No. 21  |  November 15, 2017
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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.

Sec. Villar bothered by issue of
fund realignment of San Antonio
flood control projects

Department of Public Works and Highways Sec. Mark Villar was said to be "deeply bothered" by published reports that San Antonio Mayor Arvin Salonga was set to file technical malversation charges against some local DPWH officials over the controversial realignment of funds originally intended for four flood mitigation projects totaling P155 million approved under the 2017 General Appropriations Act.

Salonga said DPWH Assistant Sec. Roberto Bernardo called up last November 2 and asked for a meeting with him so the issue of realignment could be settled once and for all.

Bernardo told the mayor that Villar was "deeply bothered" by reports that some of his men were involved in the controversial fund realignment and wanted to know the real score behind the story.

Salonga remained firm that the P155-million realigned budget should be returned to San Antonio because it was solely programmed for the municipality and they were the ones to ask for its approval and not the other adjoining towns.

The mayor repeated his accusation that 4th District Rep. Magnolia Antonino allegedly intervened resulting  in the delay of the implementation of the San Antonio projects. The congresswoman allegedly wanted the funds transferred to the towns of San Isidro, Jaen and San Leonardo.

The realignment issue surfaced again after two members of the DPWH Nueva Ecija 2nd Engineering District went to the office of Administrator Hilario Ortiz last October 27 and allegedly tried to bribe the mayor with P30-million worth of dike project in Barangay Luyos.

Salonga identified the two as Engrs. Ricardo Fernandez, officer-in-charge of the Construction Section, and Serafin Reyes, project inspector of the Planning Section, who allegedly offered the mayor the P30-million worth of flood mitigation project that has yet to be funded under the General Appropriations Act of 2018 in exchange for the original P155-million worth of projects already approved by President Duterte under the 2017 budget.

Salonga said he is ready to file technical malversation charges against the DPWH  personnel involved in the realignment scheme.

Sana nga maging model itong gagawin nating legal action kontra sa mga pananabotahe ng ganitong mga proyekto,” Salonga said.

Earlier, the Nueva Ecija Chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines led by Peñaranda Mayor Ferdinand Abesamis gave their full support to Salonga. ###

Ex-Gapan mayor's house repeatedly fired at

The house of the late Gapan City Mayor Ernesto  Natividad was strafed by unidentified men aboard a sports utility vehicle in the early hours of November 6.

Supt. Peter Madria, city police chief, said the wife of the late mayor, Juanita, sought police assistance after their house in Barangay San Lorenzo was fired upon by suspects riding a Toyota Fortuner at 1:13 A.M.

No one was hurt in the shooting but the attack left bullet holes in the steel gate, plant box and concrete fence of the Natividad house.

Juanita told the police that his son-in-law, Philip Dee of Barangay Santa Cruz was still awake when the shooting happened. She said he heard several shots outside and immediately alerted his housemates.

The Natividads recovered two caliber 9mm shells and two deformed slugs which were turned over the police.

The family also gave a copy of CCTV footage of the incident showing the suspects' vehicle driving towards the east.

Madria said they were still investigating the incident,. ###

Cabanatuan environment officer attacked by 2 scavengers

An environment officer of the Cabanatuan city government was attacked by two garbage scavengers who barged into a waste transfer station facility last November 14.

Supt. Ponciano Zafra, city police chief, identified the victim as Rodolfo Bautista, 62, city environment officer, of Block 5, Barangay Camp Tinio.

In his complaint, Bautita said the assault happened at 11:15 A.M. while he was on duty in the garbage transfer facility in Barangay San Isidro.

He said the suspects, Anatalia Martines, 63, widow, and her grandson, Gino Buenconsejo, 27, both of Purok 1, Barangay Valle Cruz, tried to attack him after they allegedly trespassed in the facility.

Bautista said the two  were armed with a rake and a knife. He said he was able to evade the attack.

Charges of assault and other forms of trespass are set to be filed against the two at the City Prosecutor's Office. ###

Talavera checkpoint nets 2 with gun, grenade

Two motorcycle-riding men wearing camouflage uniforms and in possession of a hand grenade and a revolver were intercepted at a checkpoint in Talavera before midnight last November 7.

Sr. Supt. Eliseo Tanding, provincial police chief, identified those arrested as Pedro Caagbay, 35, of 11 EJV Urias St., Tayabas City, Quezon, and Johnny Ulip, 46, of Barangay San Jacinto, Victoria, Tarlac. 

Two two were nabbed by the Provincial Intelligence Branch implementing intensified checkpoint operations in relation to the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila and Pampanga.

Provincial Police Information Office chief, Sr. Insp. Jacquline Gahid, said the suspects were stopped at a checkpoint in Barangay San Ricardo at 11:00 P.M. while riding in tandem a Suzuki motorcycle.

They were accosted for their failure to wear helmets and for wearing military jackets without authority.

Aside from a hand grenade and a caliber .38 revolver, the two yielded several identification cards and extortion letters. ###

Robbery suspect nabbed

Policemen arrested a robbery suspect with a standing arrest warrant in a manhunt operation in Santa Rosa last November 2.

Nabbed in Barangay Magpapalayok was Jay-Ar Alfaro alias Kuting, 24, helper, of Barangay Zamora, Santa Rosa.

The warrant used was issued by Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo of Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Branch 24.

Sr. Supt. Eliseo Tanding, provincial police director, said Alfaro was number three in the town's top 10 most wanted persons.

Alfaro was detained at the police station for his inability to post bail worth P60,000. ###

Drunk man arrested for attempt to molest girl in San Jose cemetery

A 49-year old drunk man was nabbed after he tried to molest a 10-year old vendor at the San Jose Cit Aglipayan Cemetery last All Saints Day.

Supt. Marco Dades, city police chief, identified the suspect as Marcelo Cartilla, driver/mechanic of del Pilar Street, Zone 4, Barangay R. Eugenio.

The suspects tried to force the peanut-and-quail-egg vendor, a Grade 5 pupil of Zone 4, Barangay Santo Niño 2nd, to go with him to the cemetery at 6:00 P.M.

Dadez said the suspect had also touched and hugged the girl.

A concerned citizen saw the girl being dragged away and asked the suspect if he was her relative.

The concerned citizen alerted the police at the cemetery and the suspect was arrested.

The suspect faced charges of attempted rape at the City Prosecutor's Office.  ###

Aliaga man hunted for hitting farmer with a steel pipe

Police were tracking down a man who escaped after hitting a 40-year-old farmer in the face with a piece of steel pipe.

The victim, who was seriously hurt, was identified as Jimmy Fer Manialong of Barangay Pantoc, Aliaga.

The suspect was Ayan Rivera of Barangay Bibiclat. He has been charged with attempted murder.

Rivera reportedly hid at a dark side of the road in Barangay Bibiclat at about 8:45 P.M., waited for the farmer on board his tricycle to pass and hit him in the face with the steel pipe.

The victim was rushed to Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan Ciy due to the seriousness of his injury.

The suspect fled after the incident. ###

Man caught with stolen game fowl in cockpit arena

A man who brought a stolen fighting cock to the Peñarada Cockpit Arena was arrested after the cock's real owner caught him in that place last November 11.

Chief Insp. Ranny Casilla, San Leonardo police chief, identified the suspect as Eugene Aberin, 45, jobless. of Barangay 4, Peñaranda.

Earlier, the robbery victim, Ronilo Macaspac, 48, a gamecock breeder, of Barangay Tambo-Adorable, San Leonardo, complained that two of his fighting cocks were stolen from his compound the morning of the same day.

The victim went to the nearby Peñaranda Cockpit at 2:00 P.M. and saw the suspect with the stolen fighting cock.

He reported this to the police which conducted a follow-up operation that led to the arrest of the suspect and the recovery of the fowl valued at P2,500. ###

Illegal bookie joint raided in Gapan

An alleged Small Time Lotterhy (STL) bet collector was arrested and 14 of his cohorts managed to escape when policemen raided an illegal bookie joint in Gapan City on the night of November 11.

Taken in by the police was Rolando Palon, 53, STL collector, of Tramo Drive, Barangay San Nicolas.

Supt. Peter Madria, city police chief, said intelligence operatives raided the bookie joint at and caught the suspects in the act of drawing the winning numbers.

Fourteen other suspects managed to elude arrest.

They were identified as Rosale Mendoza, Natividad Barlis, Joan Palon, Ricky Pereña, Benjamin Palon, Teresa Azarcon, Armie Palon, Angelina Santiago, Cindy Palon, Pia May Palon, Belinda Peralta, Rogelio Palon and Lerma Iglesias, all of Barangay San Nicolas, and Jonathan Santos, of Barangay Santo Niño.

Cofiscated were gambig paraphernalia, 14 STL identificatkion cards and P2,735 in bet money.

The arrested suspect and the 14 others were charged with illegal gambling at the  Gapan City Prosecutor's Office. ###

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