expressways to shorten travel time
To ease the traffic
congestion along the Nueva Ecija stretch
of Maharlika Highway and shorten travel
time between the province and Metro
Manila, two new expressways are set to
Nueva Ecija Governor
Aurelio Umali and Bulacan Governor
Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, in a joint
statement at a recent meeting of the
Central Luzon Regional Development
Council (CLRDC), identified the projects
as the North Luzon Expressway East Luzon
(NLEx) and Central Luzon Link Expressway
The council said NLEx East
Luzon, with a length of 92.1 kilometers,
will connect San Jose del Monte City in
Bulacan to Cabanatuan City, while the
65.4 kilometer CCLEx will be connected
the Luisita interchange of the
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) in
Tarlac to Cabanatuan City.
Umali said the NLEx East
Luzon is among the priority projects of
Malacaņang and was the only proposed
expressway project mentioned by
President Aquino in his first State of
the Nation Address back in 2010 as among
those to be built by way of
NLEx East Luzon will cost
P15.8 billion and will start from the La
Mesa Parkway and pass through
Norzagaray, Angat, San Ildefonso and San
Miguel in Bulacan, and on to Gapan City
and Santa Rosa up to Cabanatuan City.
The expressway will cross the Angat,
Peņaranda and Pampanga rivers.
On the other hand, CCLEx
will start 2.5 kilometers from the SCTEx
Luisita interchange and lead to San Jose
The first phase costing
P15.1 billion covers 30.7 kilometers
from La Paz, Tarlac to Zaragoza and
Aliaga and end in Cabanatuan City.
The second phase, at a cost
of P7.6 billion, will connect Cabanatuan
City and San Jose City, a distance of
Umali and Alvarado, chair
of the Regional Development Council,
have committed the resources of their
local governments to hasten the start of
the construction of NLEx East Luzon. ###
town hall inaugurated
The new P17 million
municipal hall of San Antonio that
replaced the one destroyed by fire one
and a half years ago was inaugurated
last January 8.
The rites were led by Gov.
Aurelio Umali with his wife, 3rd Dist.
Rep. Czarina Umali, Vice Gov. Jose Gay
Padiernos, Mayor Antonino Lustre, Vice
Mayor Jose Balagtas and former
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
Director Jose Taruc V.
Fund for the construction
of the two-story building was sourced
from the governor's intelligence funds.
Umali, in his speech, said
the municipal hall is his
administration's gift to the people of
San Antonio, hoping that it will serve
them regardless of their political
colors and leanings.
Recalling the "anger and
wrath" of the residents over the burning
incident, Umali said "It is time for the
people to move on and open their hearts
to forgiveness, to forgive themselves."
Umali said, "It's time for
San Antonio to become known as a zone of
The former municipal hall
was destroyed in a pre-dawn fire
on June 7, 2013, two days after
the ballot boxes stored there, involved
in the election protest of former Mayor
Arvin Salonga against Lustre, were
ordered transferred to the Regional
Trial Court in Gapan City. ###
Gapanenses set to award scholarships
The Gapan City Association
of Southern California (GAPASCA) will
award the initial batch of college
scholarships to 12 deserving graduating
high school students of Gapan City
during a luncheon to be held at the City
Hall Auditorium on March 7.
Larry Camus, association
president, said the scholarships will be
awarded to Daincy Pearl Mariano of
Divina Pastora College High School
Department who intends to take up
Accounting; Ryza Mae Noval of Kapalangan
National High School, Education; Shara
Mae Valleser of Pambuan National
High.School, Accounting; Angel Velayo of
Maruhat National High School, Hotel and
Restaurant Management; Apryl Paras of
San Nicolas National High School,
accounting; Carlo Buenaventura of San
Roque National High School,
Biology/Medicine; Harold John Marcelo of
Santa Cruz National High School, Civil
Engineering; Leonard dela Cruz of
Herminio G. Nicolas High School,
Accounting; and Juan R. Liwag Memorial
High School students Yusela Kris Aquino,
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology;
Marry Joy Calpito, Journalism; Mary Jane
Pablo, Agribusiness; and Liliane Suares,
They were culled from a
total of 36 scholarship applications
received and evaluated.
awards will also be given to the other
twenty-four applicants in recognition of
their academic achievements and for
their time and effort in applying for
Camus said about half of
the GAPASCA scholars plan to go to
Central Luzon State University, two to
Wesleyan University-Philippines and
others to the Nueva University of
Science and Technology.
Nimfa Castro, GAPASCA
chair, said each scholar will receive up
to P40,000 in tuition assistance.
The scholarship fund comes
from adopt-a-student benefactors, donors
and fund raising events.
Invited to the scholarship
award rites are Governor Aurelio Umali,
Vice Governor Jose Gay Padiernos, City
Mayor Maricel Natividad-Nagaņo and local
Department of Education officials led by
the schools superintendent and high
Teofilo Estrella, GAPASCA
board director, said it is the hope of
the organization that the scholarship
grants will inspire Gapan students to
excel in school academically and
GAPASCA is headed by Larry
Camus, president and Nimfa Castro, chair
of the board; with Gina Patulandong as
vice president for budget and finance;
Marissa Yamsuan, vice president for
membership; Ramil Garcia, vice president
for ways and means; Vangie Garcia, vice
president for programs; Cindy Garces,
treasurer; Marlyn Reams, secretary;
Armahn Tinawin, auditor; Agnes Nerona,
PRO; Steve Johnson and Germelie Morales,
affairs coordinators; Randy Estrella,
Veta Garcia, Rolly de Guzman, and
Adoracion Palisoc, advisers; Tipin
Johnson, board secretary; and Teofilo
Estrella, Percival Garces, Emmanuel
Liwag, Gener Nerona, and Wilfredo
Ecijano wins P150-M
A retired soldier from Nueva Ecija has
claimed the P160 million prize for the
January 11 draw of 6/49 Super Lotto.
Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting
chair of the Philippine Charity
Sweepstakes Office, said the lone
jackpot winner bet on the combination
06-13-19-31-34-38 for the P160,083,688
Rojas said the 50-year old winner
availed himself of the early retirement
program of the Armed Forces to devote
his time to his wife and only child.
The winner has been a lotto bettor
since the game was launched in 1995.
He plans to buy a house and lot, invest
in business and share his prize money
with his siblings and parents. ###
Dam's irrigation area down by 20%
Pantabangan Dam, which is
intended to irrigate 114,000 hectares of
farm lands in
Central Luzon, will not be able to
irrigate a total of 28,142 hectares, or
about 20% less than the usual area.
Engr. Reynaldo Puno,
operations manager of the Upper Pampanga
River Integrated Irrigation Systems,
said that with the 202.79-meter water
level of the dam, only 85,857.72
hectares of farms have been included in
the dry season irrigation program
covering December 2014 to May 2015. ###
Year's Eve revelry aftermath
In the Science City of
Muņoz, a nine-year old boy was injured
when a piccolo he just lighted exploded
in front of him last December 30.
The victim, Renzy Jake
Batangan of Purok 2, Barangay
Cabisculan, injured his eyes and left
He was rushed to the city
health office and later transferred to
Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research
and Medical Center.
In Guimba, an explosion
caused a big fire at a firecracker zone
along Faigal Street, Santo Cristo
District at about 10:00 A.M. last
Destroyed were 24 makeshift
firecracker stalls and four motorcycles
parked around the area. Also partially
damaged was the roof of a classroom of
the adjoining Guimba West Central
Supt. Renato David, Guimba
police chief, said they were still
looking into the cause of the fire that
allegedly started at a stall owed by a
certain Teresa Silva.
Damage to property was
estimated at P560,000. No one was
In Santa Rosa and San Jose
City, a total of three persons were
arrested on New Year's Eve for selling
banned firecrackers. ###
A member of a gun-for-hire
group involved in the killing of a
former party-list group member and a
court process server in Gapan City last
year was arrested last January 7.
Chief Insp. Romeo
Lanzarrote, provincial officer of
Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group, identified the suspect as Joebert
Panila alias Bisaya, 31, a mechanic from
Passi, Iloilo and a resident of Daang
Riles, Barangay Pambuan, Gapan City.
Confiscated from him was a caliber .38
The suspect was reported to
be a member of a Gapan City-based crime
group named after the alleged leader,
Panila was arrested after
his alleged accomplice, Pabilo Marcelo
of Barangay Kapalangan, squealed
on the group and their operation.
Panila, Trinidad and a
third accomplice, identified as Montano
Barlis, have been charged with murder at
the Department of Justice in Manila for
the killing of Mario Garcia, a former
member of ACT-CIS party-list group in
Barangay Santa Cruz, Gapan City on
August 18, 2014.
The three were said to be
also involved in the killing of Leonardo
Legaspi, 64, of Barangay San Josef,
Peņaranda, a Gapan court process server.
Also linked to that case were Donato
Maniquiz alias Don and Andres Soriano
alias Andy, of Barangay San Vicente. ###
official shoots 78-year old
A department head of the
Licab municipal government shot and
wounded a 78-year old neighbor last
January 9 for cutting an ipil-ipil tree
in his backyard.
The suspect, Arsenio
Antonio, 52, municipal social welfare
and development officer, of Purok 1,
Barangay Casimiro, surrendered to the
police after the incident.
The victim, Antonio Jaime,
sustained gunshot wounds in the hand
hand and shoulder.
It was learned that Antonio
confronted Jaime after seeing the old
man cutting an ipil-ip0il tree in his
backyard at 6:30 P.M.
Jaime, instead of
explaining, hit Antonio on the forehead
with a slingshot.
This angered Antonio who
went in his house, took an air gun and
shot Jaime three times.
The victim was rushed to
the Santo Domingo District Hospital for
businesswoman, kin robbed
A businesswoman from the
Science City Muņoz and her
daughter-in-law were victimized by a
motorcycle-riding robber while the two
were waiting for a bus before dawn last
The victims were identified
as Evelyn delos Santos, 62, and her
daughter-in-law, Maricel delos santos,
47, both widows and residents of Purok
Curva, Barangay Bantug.
The robbery happened in
front of a Petron gas station along the
national highway in Barangay Bantug.
Investigators said the
suspect, driving a red Honda Wave
motorcycle, approached the victims,
pointed a gun at them, took their
personal belongings, then drove in the
direction of Barangay Bacal 3, Talavera.
The businesswoman said she
lost her brown bag with various
identification cards, a cell phone and
P15,000 in cash. ###
tricycle driver shot, robbed
A tricycle driver was shot
and wounded by his lone passenger, who
then fled with his vehicle before
midnight last January 12.
Supt. Joselito Villarosa,
Jr., Cabanatuan City police chief, said
the driver, Roberto Rangcapan, 34, of
Purok 7, Barangay Bagong Sikat, was shot
in the abdomen and thigh. He was rushed
to the NE Good Samaritan Hospital.
His attacker fled with his
black Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle.
Villarosa said the suspect
flagged the victim at Sangitan Market in
Barangay Magsaysay Norte at about 11:30
P.M. and asked to be brought to Barangay
Upon reaching Purok 2 of
that barangay, the suspect pointed a gun
at the driver and fired several times
before fleeing with the tricycle. ###
man hacked dead
A happy drinking session by
friends turned tragic when one of them
was hacked to death last January 6 in
Pag-ibig, Sitio Tablang, Barangay Atate,
The victim was identified
as Jonathan dela Paz Jimenez, 23.
Investigation by PO21 Roan
Salupacio showed that at about 7:00
P.M., Jimenez was in a drinking session
with friends, including the suspect
Armando Peria Portana., 49, of
Barangay Pantoc, Aliaga.
Portana became the butt of
jokes by Jimenez and unable to stand it
any longer, he took a bolo and hacked
the victim repeatedly despite efforts of
the other drinking buddies to stop him.
Portana escaped, taking the
bolo with him.
Jimenez was rushed to the
Palayan Emergency Hospital but was
declared dead on arrival. ###