Volume 16 / No. 23   |  December 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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At Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office
Cornel out, Yarra in

Nueva Ecija has a new provincial police director.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra replaced Sr. Supt. Manuel Cornel last December 10.

Cornel was placed on floating status and reassigned to the regional police office at Camp Olivas, Pampanga.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon police director, said the relief of Cornel was ordered by Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa amid reports linking the former provincial director to illegal activities that were not specified.

Cornel himself said he did not know the reasons for his relief.

Yarri is credited with helping arrest relatives of former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala who were linked to the illegal drug trade, when he was provincial police director of Quezon.

He headed the Quezon provincial police when undercover policemen and agents of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested on separate occasions Alcala's sister-in-law, nice and nephews linked to illegal drugs.

In a command conference last December 13, Yarra said he would do everything in pursuing the anti-illegal drug campaign in Nueva Ecija.

He said part of his priorities is to validate if indeed there is no shabu laboratory in the province. ###

Malaysian firm turns over P1.6-B government/business hub

The Malaysian company that built the P1.6 billion Nueva Ecija Government Center and Central Business Hub has turned over the project to the provincial government.

The project was built under the public-private partnership scheme by the Kuala Lumpur-based AlloyMTD, which will operate it in the next 30 years.

Chair Isaac David of Alloy MTD Phlippines led the handover of the symbolic key to the facility to Gov. Czarina Umali and Palayan City Mayor Arianne Cueval during the topping off of the the five-story government center and seven-story hotel.

The 75-room hotel will be ready to receive guests on February 28 while the rest of the buildings that will house the business-commercial center and a 5,000 capacity call center will open on March 31.

David said P10 billion in initial investments have been poured in the project that is expected to create more jobs for at least 37,500 Novo Ecijanos, including the youth who will undergo skills training programs as preparation for employment.

The project was negotiated and approved by former Governor Aurelio Umali in 2014, with the groundbreaking held on December 4 of that year.

The Palayan City government donated to the province a 3.4 hectare lot in Barangay Singalat behind the Palayan City Hall as its counterpart for the project..

Among the national government offices expected to move to the government center next year are the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Foreign Affairs, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Land Bank and Philippine Overseas Employment Agency.

Though the DILG, DepEd and NBI have their own buildings in Cabanatuan City, they will be forced to transfer to Palayan City because the old capitol compound where their offices are located is planned for privatization.

The  Malaysian firm that put up the Nueva Ecija government center has completed similar projects with the provincial governments of Tarlac, Zambales, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

Other government centers being constructed are in Balanga, Bataan costing P3 billion, and in Cebu at P7 billion. ###

DTI opens Negosyo Center in Palayan

The Department of  Trade and Industry (DTI) opened its 27th Negosyo Center in Central Luzon, in Palayan City.

DTI Provincial Director Brigida Pili led the inauguration rites for the center that aims to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in expanding their businesses.

Pili, in her speech, encouraged everyone to support the center and patronize its services.

Among the services offered are business registration, partnership and consultation, and other information required in starting up a business including trainings, financial literacy, product design and development, marketing, monitoring, and other support services for MSMEs.

Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Cuevas expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to help local businesses enhance their trade.

Pili and Cuevas later signed a memorandum of agreement for the maintenance and operation of the center.

The Palayan center is the fifth to be set up in the province after those in Cabiao, Gapan City, Cabanatuan City and San Jose City. ###

Supermarket giants to source onion, garlic from Ecija farmers

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the country's biggest supremarket chains will buy onions and garlic from Nueva Ecija growers to dismatle the cartels controlling those products.

The Department of Agriculture  sought the commitment of supermarket chains Robinsons, Rustan’s, Shopwise and Puregold; restaurant operators Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc., Max’s Group, Inc. and Jollibee Foods Corp.; as well as the companies behind the Century and CDO processed food products.

In an article published by the Nortre Dame Broadcasting Center, Piñol said "With this development, I am seeing the start of the liberation of the country's onion and garlic farmers from the control of cartels who have monopolized the industry for ages now."

SM Markets, the food retail business of Henry Sy, Sr, has placed an initial order of about 20 metric tons of onions with Nueva Ecija farmers. The products were displayed in selected branches of SM Supermaket, Savemore and SM Hypermarket last December 9.

Piñol initially endorsed the Local Onion Growers for National Economy and Trade Cooperative based in Nueva Ecija to SM Markets.

He said he was able to convice NCCC Mall consisting of about 20 supermarkets in Mindanao, to enter the deal.

The  other companies pledged to buy directly from farmers through Go Negosyo head Joey Concepcion, appointed by President Duterte as Presidential Adviser on Economic Enterprise.

"All that is needed now is for the Department of Agriculture to work out a system with which the onion farmers of the country, especially those from Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, will be able to deliver their produce to these chain of supermarkets," Piñol said.

He said he had instructed Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo to make arrangements with tthe Agricultural  Credit Policy Council for a substantial loan package to provide farmers with capital and allow them to build storage facilities. ###

Lady House representatives raise funds for Ecija drug center

The 87 female lawmakers in the House of Representatives joined forces to raise contingency funds for the operation of the 10,000 bed Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitatioin Center in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City.

Third District Rep. Rosanna Vergara said the success of the government's campaign against illegal drugs would require rehabilitation as a major component.

Also joning the effort are the other three lady lawmakers from Nueva Eicja -- Estrellita Suansing, Micaela Violago and Magnolia Antonino.

Among the fundraising activities was a garage sale initiated by Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto to dispose of her old clothes. ###

CSC cites PhilHealth-NE

The Civil Service Commission CSC) cited the Nueva Ecija office of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as among the oustanding government agencies and local government units in Central Luzon.

Rated excellent in the 2016 Anti-Red Tape Act Report Card Survey was the local health office of PhilHealth in Cabanatuan City and its Express Offices in Nueva Ecija.

CSC Regional Director Nelson Sarmiento said the annual conferment of awards aims to motivate government officials and emploees to improve the quality of their performance and instil deeper involvement in public service. ###

Ecija national parks get additional funds

The national government has set aside funds for national parks in Nueva Ecija.

A total of P9 million was allocated for the development of eco-tourism facilities in Aurora Memorial Park in Maria Aurora, Aurora, part of which is in Nueva Ecija.

The funds will be used to set up toilets, an information center and a hiking area.

Arturo Salazar, assistant regional director for technical services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said also to be included in the funding is the Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed Forest Reserve.

Among the other areas that received funding was the Minalungao National Park in General Tinio in the amount of P13 million. ###

Talugtog vice mayor's aide shoots wife

A 44-year old civilian security aide of Talugtog Vice Mayor Benjamin Gamit shot his 36-year-old wife dead after a heated argument last December 9.

The suspect was identified as Gaudencio Mauyor of Barangay Roxas, Talugtog.

Killed was Gina Mayo, a native of Pandan, Aklan.

Sr. Insp. Ronnie Caagbay said the killing happened inside the couple's house.

The suspect reportedly confronted his wife about her alleged lover which she denied, resulting in a heated confrontation that resulted in the shooting.

Gamit later turned over to the police the gun used in the killing, a caliber .45 pistol entructed to him by the vice mayor for cleaning and conditioning.

The suspect is facing a case of parricide at the Provincial Prosecutor's Office. ###

Cop, companion shot dead

A motorcycle-riding policeman and his male back rider were ambushed last December 4.

The victims, PO1 Lus Cordova III, detailed at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Public Safety Company, and his unidentified back rider were shot dead at 10:30 P.M. in Purok Perigola, Barangay Valdefuente, Cabanatuan City.

A CCTV camera caught a pick-up truck speeding away from the crime scene.

Cordova was armed with his service pistol. Recovered form his unidentified companion were a caliber .22  revolver and two plastic sachets of a yet to be determined substance.###

San Jose TODA officer hangs self after misspending funds

The treasurer of a tricycle operator and driver association in San Jose City comitted suicide after squandering the group's collection meant for its Christmas party.

Supt. Reynaldo dela Cruz identified the suicide victim as Edwin Ong, 39, of the Rapok City Public Market Drivers Association.

A neighbor discovered the victim hanging inside an abandoned hgouse of a certain Lucena Cunan at 6:00 A.M.

Police said the drivers group was supposed to celebrate its Christmas party last December 11 but the victim could not produce the funds intended for the affair.

The Ong family said the victim could have committed suicide out of embarrassment. ###

3 dead, 5 hurt in vehicular accidents

Three persons, including a three-year-old, died and five were hurt in separate vehicular accidents last December 9.

Those killed were Valerie Heart Gosuico, 3, of Barangay Aduas, Cabanatuan City; Dindo Boy Ganotice, 48, of Barangay Bangayan, Science City of Muñoz; and Jay Ar Apostol, 15, of Barangay Fatima, Pantabangan.

The first accident happened at about 7:05 P.M. at General Luna Bridge in Barangay Valdefuente, Cabanatuan City involving six vehicles

A ten-wheeler truck reportedly plowed through a Toyota Innova, a motorcycle with a side cargo car, two tricycles and the car that Gosuico was riding.

The truck driver, Carlos Bantique, escaped.

Injured were Tixia Kaye Lucas, 25, and Denzel Santa Maria, 15, of Barangay Aduas Sur.

In the Science City of Muñoz, a motorycle driven by security guard Ganotice, collided with a truck driven by Roland Badelis in Baranmgay Bical.

In Pantabangan, a motorycle driven by Apostol figured in an accident along the section of the Pantabangan-Rizal Road in Barangay Cambitala.

Injured were Apostol's passengers Joven Nolasco, 15, and Ricky Irang, 15, both of Barangay Fatima. ###

Jaen drug dealer killed

A 35-year-old man was shot and killed in Barangay Niyugan, Jaen after he tried to grab his four-year old daughter to shield himself  from police operatives who arrived to serve search warrants.

Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, police provincial director, identified the fatality as Jovette Talens of Barangay Tikiw, said to be a notorius drug dealer operating in Jaen, San Antonio, Penaranda, San  Leonardo, General Tinio and Gapan City.

Recovered from Talens were nine sachets of shabu and a caliber .38 revolver.

Talens was previously arrested for illegal drugs in  Gapan City in 2013 but was released after the case against him was dismissed.

He was not a drug surrenderer despite having been subjected to Oplan Tokhang. ###

Cabanatuan drug suspect shot dead; brother, 2 others arrested

A top illegal drug suspect was shot dead while his brother and two others were arrested while policemen were serving a search warrant in his house in Purok 3, Barangay Vijandre, Cabanatuan City.

Supt. Ponciano Zafra, city police chief, identified the fatality as Reagan Lison Mesde, 32.

Arrested were Eduaredo alias Eduad, Romnick Casapao and Elizabeth Tino.

Seized from them were a caliber .38 revolver and 14 sachets of shabu. ###

Llanera palay agent arrested for illegal drug connection

A 39-year-old palay agent who was included in the police watch llist of drug personalities, was arrested after a search of his house yielded illegal drugs.

Sr. Insp. Jonathan Romero, Llanera police chief, identified the suspect as Richard Vicencio, married, of Barangay Victoria, number six in the police list of top 10 drug personalities.

The police raided Vicencio's house on the strength of a search warrant issued by Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo of the Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court Branch 24 for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Seized during the search were three sachets of shabu and other sachets with traces of the substance.

The arrest was made in the presence of Barangay Kagawad Julius Anchueta and Fernando Yango of the Departtment of Justice. ###

Retired Army soldier linked to illegal drugs shot

A retired Army soldier was walking with a woman in Barangay Mapalad, Santa Rosa when unidentified men aboard a car shot him on the night of December 7.

The victim was identified as Fernando Magno, 51, who was on the police drug watch list and had surrendered under Oplan Tokhang recently.

His companion was unhurt in the incident. ###

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