Ecija mega drug rehab center
President Rodrigo Duterte
flew to Fort Magsaysay last November 29
to inaugurate the country's biggest
rehabilitation center for drug addicts,
that is able to house as many as 10,000
patients once fully operational.
The facility was
constructed inside the military camp
with the help of donors, mainly Chinese
billionaire Huang Rulun.
In his speech, the
President said the new center, called
the Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation
center (DTRC) symbolizes the
government's anti illegal drug campaign.
Duterte said illegal drugs
remain a serious threat.
“Drugs are a very virulent
agent in any society. The campaign
against drugs will continue until the
last day of my term. I will not stop
until the last drug pusher is out of the
street and the last drug lord or king
killed,” he said.
Dr. Eric Tayag, Department
of Health spokesperson, said DTRC would
initially accommodate 2,000 patients but
later on serve a maximum of 10,000.
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businessman expresses support for
campaign vs. illegal drugs
The Chinese patron of the
newly inaugurated Drug Treatment and
Rehabilitation Center in Fort Magsaysay
expressed his support for President
Duterte's campaign against illegal
Huang Rulun, chair of
China's Century Resources Group, called
illegal drugs "the common enemy of all
In his speech during the
inauguration of the rehabilitation
facility, Huang said the Philippines and
China are close neighbors whose
relationship will be "strong and
everlasting" under the leadership of
Duterte and China President Xi Jinping.
Huang said the first phase
of the project, using 60,000 out of the
100,000 square meters allotted for the
construction of two rehabilitation
centers inside Fort Magsaysay, can
accommodate 10,000 new patients and more
than 1,.000 employees.
Huang was born to a poor
family in Fujian, China. He was a
small-time businessman in the
Philippines in the 1980s, spending five
years in the Binondo Chinatown before
returning to China to establish Century
San Antonio ex-mayor, 11
others charged with plunder, graft
The former mayor of San
Antonio and 11 others have been charged
at the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
For Luzon for plunder and graft in
connection with over P102 million worth
of local projects of the previous
administration whose bidding was
allegedly rigged and overpriced.
The complaints were filed
by Luste's rival, incumbent Mayor Alvin
Among the alleged anomalies
cited by Salonga were the construction
of a P52.1-million two-story commercial
building, a P45-million slaughterhouse
and integrated terminal complex and the
purchase of an agricultural lot for P5
Charged were former Mayor
Antono Lustre, spouses Julito and
Maritta Semacio, Engineers Eloy
Castillo, Michael Galang, Renato
Bustamante, Roberto Odulio, Julito
Galang, Jr., Daisy Pili, Mercy Reyes and
Constancia Salonga and Papisss Inc.,
represented by Engineer Pedro Perez.
Named respondents in the
plunder case aside from Lustre,were
Perez and Bids and Awards Committee
chair Bustamante and members Juilito
Galang , Pili, Reyes and Constancia
For malversation, charged
were Lustre, the Semacio couple, Eclar,
Bustamante, Michael Galang, Odulio,
Juito Galang Pili, Reyes and
In the commercial building
project, Lustre was accused of entering
into a contract with Papiss Inc.,
represented by Perez, on Dec. 29, 2015
without any authority from the
Sangguniang Bayan (SB). The project was
not specified in the annual budget and
the bidding was rigged to favor
In the slaughterhouse and
terminal complex project, the complaint
said that on June 6, 2014, Lustre
entered into a contract with MB Eclar
Trading and Construction represented by
Michael Galang for its construction
without any authority from the SB and
likewise rigging the bidding in favor of
Eclar. The project was also found to
have been overpriced by P1.3 million.
In the case of the lot, the
complaint stated that Lustre signed to
purchase a lot in Barangay Santa Cruz
for the slaughterhouse, terminal and
commercial center for P5 million without
SB authority, and despite the fact that
the lot is under litigation, which price
is way above its fair market value and
without consulting first the provincial
appraisal committee (PAC). The purchase
was also done without a project study
and without clearance from the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
prior to the execution of the contract
of sale. ###
nuclear plant in San Jose proposed
The chief operating officer
of San Jose City I Power Corp. suggested
that the government abandon the
controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
and build a new one in Nueva Ecija or
some other place.
Edgardo Alfonso said one of
the viable areas for the new nuclear
plant is San Jose City where a number of
power plants are already operating,
including a biomass plant powered by
The 12-megawatt, P1 billion
biomass power plant is a joint venture
of Lucio Co, who controls San Jose City
1 Power Corp. and owner of the Puregold
chain of supermarkets, and 21 local rice
The plant is in Barangay
Tulat, an industrialized zone designated
by the city government, where majority
of the big rice mills are located. ###
agriculture official denies hoarding
The head of the Office of
the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA)
denies claims that widespread onion
hoarding was the cause of the
shortage of that product in Nueva Ecija,
known as the onion capital of the
Serafin Santos, OPA chief,
explained that in August this year, the
farmers' supply of onions ran out in the
province since it was the harvest
He said that now, farmers
have begun planting onions in their
farms and are not affected by the
current low price of the product in the
Santos explained that they
tentatively used a stop-gap measure that
allows the importation of onions from
neighboring countries to prevent the
steep rise of the price of the product
in the provine while farmers continue to
plant local onions.
maaapektuhan nito ay yung mga traders
at hindi ang mga magsasaka. Yung mga
nakaimbak na sibuyas ngayon ay
pag-aari ng mga traders at hindi ng
mga magsasaka. Ganunpaman hindi sapat
ang supply para i-accommodate ang
pangangailangan ng sibuyas kaya
nagkaroon ng pag-aangkat," he
Santos said that in
September, they received an advise from
the Bureau of Plant Industry to conduct
an inventory of current onion stocks.
This was due to the fear that the supply
may fall short because of the damage
done by army worms during the last
It was discovered that the
current stocks in storage facilities
would not be enough to meet the market
“The onion traders were
hurt and slighted. They were probably
anticipating an increase in onion prices
but prices went down instead due to the
influx of imported onions. But
this is temporary. There is no cause for
alarm even for traders.” Santos
baratillo 'heartless and anti-poor'
Cabanatuan CityVice Mayor
Emmanuel Antonio Umali called the
setting up of a flea market or baratillo
in the city's business district is
"heartless and anti-poor".
He said the flea market has
resulted in the closure of two busy
market streets, heavy traffic and
complaints from market stall holders and
vendors that they are being deprived of
the opportunity to more much during the
The flea market is operated
by M.V. Lo, who had been issued a
special permit by the city government in
exchange for P37,500, but who charges
flea market stall holders P50,000 each.
At the Sangguniang
Panglungsod, councilors have clashed
over the legality of the flea market,
disagreeing on whether a public hearing
should be held to allow Lo to operate.
SP Member Ruben Ilagan V,
an ally of Mayor Julius Cear Vergara,
said a public hearing is no longer
necessary since the closure of the two
city streets is only temporary.
SP Member Nero Mercado, an
ally of Umali, said a public hearing
should be held to get the sentiments of
affected stall holders in the public
market.He said previous flea markets
thrived because no one in the city
council opposed it, including former
Vice Mayor Marius Garcia, a party mate
Umali cited a Supreme Court
ruling in the cases of Makati City and
Parañaque City that flea markets are not
allowed to be set up on streets. ###
'Unang Sigaw ng Nueva
Ecija' the movie?
A group of tourism officers
plan to produce a movie on 'Unang Sigaw
ng Nueva Ecija", the province's revoltd
against Spanish rule on September 2,
1896 led by Generals Mariano Llanera and
The Association of Tourism
Officers in Nueva Ecija (ATONE) has
conferred with scriptwriters and
historians for the proposed movie that
could star Robin Padilla and his brother
Rommel, both from Cuyapo.
Darmo Escuadro, ATONE
president and San Jose City tourism
officer, said another Novo Ecijano
actor, Jason Abalos of Pantabangan,
could also play a role in the movie.
“Many want to help us make
the movie, which may be started in the
first quarter of 2017,” Escuadro said.
The project is estimated to
cost between P5 and P8 million. ###
San Jose City
lights 'Unity Christmas Tree'
San Jose City residents
witnessed the lighting of a giant
Christmas tree at the city hall compound
last November 18..
City Mayor Mario Salvador,
his wife Veronica and sister Michaela
Salvador-Violago, 2nd District
representative, led the ceremonial
lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree
at the city social circle.
Salvador said the activity,
called "Liwanag ng Pasko sa Bagong San
Jose", was symbolic, with the Christmas
lights tied together serving to show
city officials bound together for
He added that unity is the
battle cry of the “New San Jose” after
the highly divisive elections last May
which saw him winning over a member of a
long-reigning local political dynasty.
“These Christmas tree and
lights should serve as enlightenment to
all of us, public servants, so we can be
unified and be lightened up in our
efforts to solve the problems
confronting our city,” he said in his
The program also featjred
songs and dances contributed by
Central Luzon State University and city
schools and organizations, and the
launching of the city's Christmas jingle
and music video.
The Salvador couple,
Violago, San Jose City Bishop Roberto C.
Mallari and Fr. Edwin Bravo opened
a mini-bazaar at the area and the
traditional Nativity scene. ###
businessman escapes slay try by
A 64 year
old Gapan City businessman survived an
assassination attempt allegedly by his
nephew and an accomplice last November
Madria, city police chief, identified
the victim as Leopoldo Alfonso of Likod
Street, Barangay San Nicolas.
a gunshot wound in the neck when fired
upon by two motorcycle-riding men at
9:20 A.M. and was rushed to Good
Samaritan Hospital for emergency
Alfonso later identified his nephew,
Darwin Alfonso of Barangay Malapit, San
Isidro, as one of the suspects. The
nephew later surrendered to the police.
was driving his white Toyota Fortuner
when the suspects appeared and fired
once, hitting him in the neck.
managed to evade the attackers by
driving into the compound of a certain
Alexander Mangahas. ###
Jail officer shot dead
on Gapan bridge
officer driving a tricycle on his way to
his assignment in Baliuag, Bulacan was
shot and killed by two motorcycle-riding
suspects near the Gapan end of the Dona
Josefa Bridge at 4:45 A.M. last November
was identified as SJO3 Melanio Moulic,
Jr. of Sitio Ilog, Barangay Mallorca,
driving his tricycle when
repeatedly shot from behind by the
suspects who sped away afterwards.
were still looking into the motive for
councilman survives gun attack
kagawad was shot and wounded by
motorcycle-riding men in Carranglan on
the night of November 17.
Manuel Cornel, provincial police
director, identified the wounded victim
as Ferrer Cayetano of Barangay Piut, who
sustained gunshot wounds in the right
chest and arm.
showed that Cayetano was attacked while
sitting in front of his house in Sitio
Guisang. Despite being hit, he managed
to run for cover while the suspects
from the scene were five caliber .45
shells and a slug.
the attack has yet to be established.
fail in Talavera pawnshop heist
robbers dug a tunnel into a
pawn-and-money-changing shop in Talavera
last November 18 but failed to take away
Leandro Novilla, town police chief, said
the robbery target was the 7MM Pawnshop
and Money Changer in Barangay Matias
owned by Fiscal Melvin Martinez, 38, of
The break in
was discovered by pawnshop appraiser
Olivia Astelero-Peralta and security
guard Eric Saturno when they opened the
shop at 8:30 A.M.
showed that the robbers first rented an
adjacent apartment and began tunneling
towards the pawnshop vault.
at 12:03 A.M. was recorded by a CCTV..
Peñaranda worker nabbed
for sexually harassing girl
construction worker in Peñaranda was
arrested for allegedly sexually
harassing a five-year-old girl while he
was roasting a pig last November 16.
was identified as Alex Pestaño, 43,
single, of barangay Poblacion 3.
arrested by barangay tanods and turned
over to the police after the girl's
parents sought help.
was playing with a friend outside a
slaughterhouse when the suspect
approached them and ordered them to take
off their shorts and show him their sex
then looked at their private parts then
returned to his chore.
was placed under police custody and
faces charges of violation of RA 7610.
Body of Gapan drowning
decomposing body of a girl was found
along the bank of the Pampanga River in
Cabiao last November 23.
identified as that of Elaiza Blance of
Barangay San Vicente, Gapan City, was
discovered at 8:10 A.M. in Barangay
Santa Isabel, Cabiao.
The body was
described as nine to 12 years old,
wearing only pink shorts and already in
an advanced stage of decomposition.
information on the discovery of the body
was transmitted to the Gapan City police
where a case of a missing girl had been
father, Benjamin, later identified the
body as that of his missing daughter.