Hits since May 13, 2000
Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.
La Divina Pastora's
50th Coronation Anniversary
A rare photo of the
original miraculous Divina Pastora
image wiithout vestments.
lead to Gapan City in Nueva Ecija on
April 26 for a historic religious event
– the 50th Canonical Coronation
Anniversary of La Virgen Divina Pastora,
the object of the biggest Marian
pilgrimage in Central Luzon.
with the Canonical Coronation Golden
Jubilee is the 28th anniversary of the
declaration of the Three Kings Parish
church as the National Shrine of La
Virgen Divina Pastora.
Antonio Mangahas, Three Kings Parish
priest, said five bishops and some 50
priests from the Diocese of Cabanatuan
and Diocese of San Jose, will
concelebrate the Golden Jubilee Mass to
be officiated by Cabanatuan Bishop
Sofronio Bancud at 2:00 P.M. in the
National Shrine of La Virgen Divina
bishops include Lingayen-Dagupan
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, San Jose
Bishop Roberto C. Mallari, Tarlac Bishop
Florentino F. Cinense and Batanes Bishop
current president of the Catholic
Bishops Conference, will be the guest
homilist and will re-enact the
Mass, a grand procession will be held
featuring the 49 patron saints of Gapan
City’s barangays and sitios. Capping the
event is the unveiling of the Golden
Jubilee marker and a fireworks display.
attend the event are top government
officials led by Nueva Ecija Gov.
Aurelio M. Umali and Vice Gov. Jose Gay
Divina Pastora fiesta hermano and
hermana are Dr. Janette Valmonte de
Leon-Padiernos, wife of the Vice Gov.
Jose Gay G. Padiernos, and retired Maj.
Gen. Ruperto R. Pabustan
to the Divina Pastora was started by
Dona Juana Valmonte in the late 1700s
with the arrival of the original
miniature image from Spain. Not long
after, stories of miracles attributed to
the intercession of the Virgin Mary
through the image began to circulate.
What was supposed to be a family
thanksgiving fiesta for abundant harvest
held every May 1 began to be joined by
pilgrims who would show up uninvited to
pray before the image to ask for favors
or give thanks for those granted. In
time, the Gapan parish, noting the
popularity of the devotion to the image,
adopted the Divina Pastora as its second
patron saint after the Three Kings.
In the 1950s,
the Church enthroned the Divina Pastora
as patroness of the Diocese of San
Fernando that used to encompass the
provinces of Pampanga, Bataan and Nueva
19, 1963, Pope Paul VI issued a papal
bull for the canonical coronation of the
image of the Divina Pastora of Gapan.
The honor is bestowed by the Church to a
Marian image that is historically old,
acclaimed in a certain locality and, in
times of need, serves as beacon of faith
and hope among the people. The
coronation rites took place on April 26,
1964, officiated by the first bishop of
the Diocese of Cabanatuan, Mariano
Gaviola. On that occasion, Divina
Pastora was declared as patron saint of
the newly created diocese that, at that
time, covered the whole province of
On April 26,
1986, the Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines through its president,
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, declared the
Gapan church as the National Shrine of
La Virgen Divina Pastora.
occasion, the Valmonte family donated
the original image of the Divina Pastora
to the Three Kings Parish, where it is
now permanently enshrined at the altar
of the left side chapel. ###
Early preparations for
rainy season underway
summer season has just begun, the
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Council has already in place
a preparedness program for the rainy
season, including over P28 million in
quick response fund.
The council, presided by Department of
Interior and Local Government Assistant
Regional Director Abraham Pascua as
co-chair, approved the P93.97 million
local risk reduction and management fund
investment plan that provides for over
P28 million as stand-by fund for relief
and recovery program for areas stricken
by disasters, calamities, epidemics and
other complex emergencies.
Pascua said that climate change is the
reason for the early preparations.
He said that under the program, the
local council will procure early warning
systems, disaster preparedness
equipment, medical supplies and relief
He said trainings and seminars for
relief and rescue teams will be held,
including simulation exercises and
drills at all levels.
The PDRRMC will also rehabilitate
flood-mitigating infrastructure like the
Santa Monica Dike Phase II in Aliaga
costing P21.9 million and the
Luyos-Buliran Overflow Bridge in San
Antonio costing P13.3 million.
At least five gymnasiums, serving as
multipurpose facilities, will be
constructed soon to serve as evacuation
centers during calamities. The modified
structures with a total cost of P17.6
million will have toilets for men and
women, kitchen, laundry area, facility
for proper disposal of human waste and
Among the places already identified as
location for the gyms are Barangays
Padolina and Pias in General Tinio; San
Roque and Tambo North Elementary School
in San Leonardo; Gabaldon Integrated
School in Barangay Gabaldon, Science
City of Muñoz; Barangay Casongsong,
Guimba; and Cama Juan, San Antonio. ###
ensures delivery of Pantangan Dam
water to farms
Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga
River Integrated Irrigation Systems
(NIA-UPRIIS), operator of Pantabangan
Dam, is building dike bypasses to ensure
that irrigation water will reach the
tail-end of its service areas,
specifically in southern Nueva Ecija and
parts of Bulacan.
Secretary Proceso Alcala said the agency
has begun the construction of bypass
canals after thousands of farmers
complained of losses when irrigation
water failed to reach their farms
despite the abundance of impounded water
in Pantabangan. He said the bypass
canals will start operating on April 15.
Alcala was in
Talavera for the town's harvest festival
and the opening of the rehabilitated
60-year old Murcon Dam.
Operations Manager Josephine Salazar
said that areas in Bulacan and Gapan
City and Cabiao in Nueva Ecija serviced
by the system's Division 4 primarily
source their irrigation needs from the
Peñaranda River System which normally
provides 31 cubic meters of water per
second. However this dry copping season,
it is able to generate only three cubic
meters per second.
the division to get water from
Pantabangan Dam which had to pass
through the Rizal-Bongabon Irrigation
Ssytem, Cabanatuan City, Santa Rosa and
San Leonardo where there is no longer
any need for that much water.
the building of by-pass canals was a
long-term solution to the problem. ###
Fort Magsaysay area
Fort Magsaysay has been shrinking at an
average rate of 460 hectares a
year due to the issuance of presidential
proclamations and intrusion of thousands
of informal settlers.
Captain Robert Reyes, adjutant of the
7th Infantry Division based in the
military reservation, said the camp is
now only 45,837 hectares from its former
area of 73,000 hectares when it was
established on December 19, 1955.
He said the Army is now looking into
ways to recover and retain its land area
by reviewing different presidential
proclamations and directives. He said
areas that can no longer be recovered
are referred to the Office of the
He cited the case of 3,100 hectares in
Laur which have been set aside as
settlement for victims of the Mount
He said the situation is worsened by the
proliferation of informal settlers who
now number 15,000. He said two
relocation sites have been proposed for
Reyes said there is a plan to use
portions of the reservation for
agricultural production, including 3,000
hectares for bamboo plantation.
A proposed land use plan, meanwhile,
intends to set up a logistics center,
economic and industrial zone,
eco-tourism area, reforestation area,
livestock and vegetable area and 240
hectares for the proposed transfer of
the National Bilibid Prisons to the
portion of the camp in Barangay
Nazareth, General Tinio. ###
of titles of Barangay Militar
Palayan City Mayor Adrienne Mae Cuevas
said the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources(DENR) can start the
processing of land titles for more than
5,700 residents of Barangay Militar.
Cuevas said the residents are no longer
considered squatters after the land they
have been occupying were separated from
the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation
by the late President Corazon Aquino in
Engr. Roberto Quizon, the surveyor in
charge of the DENR's Land Management
Services, said the agency would start
processing the titles based on the
He said Barangay Militar is titled under
the Republic of the Philippines as part
of Fort Magsaysay and declared a basic
political unit under Proclamation 708 of
Barrio Militar was created on March 20,
1960 under General Order 58 of the
Headquarters of the 1st Infantry (Tabak)
A barrio captain was appointed by the
commanding general of the Army, and the
first barrio council was organized with
an Army officer designated as
administrator until March 1991 when the
place was separated from the military
holds boodle fight for Lions World
Lunch Relay Event
The 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division of
the Philippine Army under Brig. Gen.
Glorioso Miranda and the Nueva Ecija
Cardinals Lions Club headed by Jing V.
Fernando fed 625 Army personnel in
connection with the Lions World Lunch
Relay Event last April 4.
A simple program was held before the
boodle fight, with Col.Amuerfino
Datu, assistant chief of staff for CEIS
G6, giving a message.
"Heroism is ingrained in the social
consciousness of the7ID Troopers, and we
thank you for impressing this virtue
among your members. Once again, thank
you to Lions Club of Nueva Ecija headed
by Ms. Jing Fernando for feeding a total
of 625 soldiers and for promoting 7th
Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division as one of
the tourist destinations here in Nueva
Ecija. Together, let us craft the legacy
of a fully revitalized 7ID and create a
profound difference in the lives of the
Kaugnay Troops," Col Datu said .
The program also featured a yo-yo
exhibition by Spyro Marco, Ultimate
Talentadong Pinoy Champion 2013. ###
cases filed against employer of
beheaded OFW, brother-in-law
Two men suspected of killing a female
overseas Filipino worker whose head was
found in a plastic bag in an irrigation
canal have been charged with murder.
Dennis Samson and his brother-in-law,
Elcielo Valdez, both of Barangay
Lourdes, Santa Rosa were charged at the
Provincial Prosecutor's Office.
Samson was identified as the employer of
the victim, Maribel Alpas, 30, single,
of Hinona-An, Negros Occidental, who
worked as a domestic helper for his
family for two years in the United
Chief Insp. Eric de Venancio, Cabiao
police chief, said the victim was last
known to be alive last March 20 when she
texted her sister that she would go to
her employer's house and that someone
was going to pick her up at the bus stop
in Barangay Lourdes, Santa Rosa.
A CCTV camera installed at a gasoline
station near the bus stop captured Alpas
getting into a multicap.
De Venancio did not say if the man
driving was Samson or Valdez, but it was
the last time Alpas was seen alive.
Five days later, a plastig bag
containing the head of the victim was
fished out of an irrigation canal in
Sitio Saint Joseph in Barangay San
Fernando Sur, Cabiao. The rest of the
body has yet to be found.
De Venancio said that despite the filing
of murder charges against the suspects,
the motive for the killing was still
under investigation. ###
6 girls rescued in
Cabanatuan, 2 pimps arrested
arrested two alleged pimps and rescued
six young women, most of them minors, in
reaching Camp Crame said the suspected
pimps, Shan Sanchez and Jessielyn
Aquino, were arrested after offering the
services of the girls for P4,000 each to
undercover agents of the 3rd Criminal
Investigation and Detection Unit
undertaking anti-human trafficking
women were turned over to the
local social welfare and development
Former army soldier
killed in Talavera
Philippine Army soldier was shot dead by
unidentified men in Barangay Minabuyok,
Talavera on the night of April 11.
Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police
office chief, reported to Camp Crame
that the victim was Carolito
Rcohermoso, 47, a former member of the
Army and a resident of the barangay.
was on his way to harvest palay at the
farm of Boyet Vinculado and while
walking along an irrigation dike, he was
shot several time by the suspects. The
victim died on the spot due to severe
gunshot wounds in the body.
later recovered two caliber .45
cartridges at the scene.
he had ordered the Talavera police chief
to conduct hot pursuit operations and
identification of the suspects, and
uncover the motive for the killing. ###
Ex-police asset shot dead
police asset was shot and killed by
armed men who had barged into his home
in Barangay Bantug Norte, Cabanatuan
City last April 11.
was identified as Angelo Lucas, 39,
body with gunshot wounds in the head was
found at 7:00 A.M. by a certain Rolan
Lucas who informed the police about it.
Investigators believe the persons
responsible for the killing were members
of a syndicate that Lucas had tipped to
the police. ###
Pa, daughter killed in
San Leonardo traffic accident
A father and
his daughter were killed when the
tribike they were riding collided with a
passenger bus along Maharlika Highway in
Barangay Tabuating, San Leonardo on the
night of Apriil 1.
Renato Morales identified the victims as
Andy Zaragoza Tigao, 47, and his
daughter Angeliine Alguarte Tigao, 6,
both residents of Barangay Tabuating.
showed that at about 8:00 P.M. the
victims were on their way home aboard a
tribike when they were bumped by a
Baliwag Transit Bus (CXM-910) driven by
Luisito Bundoc Ortiz, 56, of Barangay
San Roque, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. The
driver surrendered to the police.
were rushed to Gonzales General Hospital
but were declared dead on arrival. ###