Volume 15 / No. 11                                                                                                               June 15, 2015
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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.
2014

Prov'l. govt. refuses to  recognize Huerta as new Pantabangan mayor

Governor Aurelio Umali said the provincial government is not recognizing Pantabangan Vice Mayor Ruben Huerta as the town's new mayor following the dismissal of Mayor Lucio Uera, without any directive from higher authorities such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Court of Appeals (CA).

“The DILG has to step in and tell us to recognize Vice Mayor Huerta.You cannot go by inference in implementing the law,”  Umali said.

Explaining the refusal of the provincial government not to recognize Huerta as the lawful mayor after the expiration of of the 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the CA on May 24 in favor of Uera and the mayor's failure to get a writ of preliminary injunction, Umali said when the court issued the TRO, it told Huerta to comply with the order until further notice.

Umali advised Huerta to wait for the order from  DILG and the CA.

Uera, after being dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman last May 24, has refused to vacate his office.

Huerta has been discharging the functions of mayor at the vice mayor's office since May 25.

Last March 18, he assumed the post of mayor but stepped down six days later after Uera was able to secure a TRO.

In a memorandum to his own set of chiefs of offices, he informed them that he had re-assumed the post of mayor while First Councilor Vincent Uera had taken over as vice mayor based on a directive from DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero.

Huerta also informed Umali of his assumption as mayor.

Provincial Administrator Alejandro Abesamis replied that the provincial capitol was not in the position to recognize him on account of the letter of Panadero. ###


Pantabangan vice mayor's aide sought for indiscriminate firing

A security aide of Pantabangan Vice Mayor Ruben Huerta is being hunted for indiscriminately firing his gun and creating trouble in front of the house of a son of Mayor Lucio Uera.

Huerta's aide, identified as a certain Jervie, was gone when responding policemen came to look for and investigate him after the shooting incident.

Mayor Uera had alerted the police about the shooting incident at about 8:20 P.M. in front of Huerta's house in Barangay East Poblacion which happens to be just across the house of Tracy Uera, the mayor's son and the town's Association of Barangay Captains president.

Huerta's aide reportedly fired his gun four times and challenged Uera's security personnel -- Florde Doctolero and Juanito Villanueva -- to come out, saying “Lumabas kayo mga mayayabang kayo, papatayin ko kayo.” 

Before the policemen arrived, the suspect was told by Huerta to get into his house.

Investigators recovered from the area three caliber .45 shells. ###


Umali calls for abolition of recall elections

Governor Aurelio Umali, in his capacity as executive vice president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), wants the abolition of recall elections.

“It makes sense to review the recall law. Anyway, there is an election every three years, so why recall? Why not wait for the next election?” Umali explained.

He was reacting to statements by Commission on Elections Chair Andres Bautista that the commission is considering changes to the law on recall elections to remove elected local officials.

Bautista had said that there is a need to amend the provisions on recall elections, noting the brief term of three years of elected local officials.

Under the Local Government Code, a recall election cannot be held within one year from the start of an official's assumption of his office, and within one year before the next local election. ###


Talugtog first town in region to identify recipients of DSWD community grants

Talugtog is the first municipality in Region 3 to identify which barangays will become beneficiaries of community grants from Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Last May 21 and 22, the municipality pinpointed which of its 28 barangays would receive funds for implementing community projects through the program.

Centra lLuzon became part of the coverage area of Kalahi-CIDSS only in 2014 although the program started implementationias early as 2003.

The priority barangays In Talugtog were chosen based on poverty incidence, population size, and income class level of the municipality. Talugtog, a fourth class municipality, has a 26.82% poverty incidence and a population of 36,720. It received a community grant totaling P8,516,400.

The chosen Talugtog  barangays participated in the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum-Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA) where their representatives voted which proposed community projects would be funded by the program.

Officials and staff of the Kalahi-CIDSS national and regional offices and the local government unit also attended the activity.

Barangays floats were paraded and the proposed projects were presented through songs, poems and dances.

Three community project proposals were selected from three barangays: Barangay Maasin’s potable water system, Barangay Mayamot I’s access road improvement, and Barangay Villa Rosario’s irrigation system. A fourth Talugtog barangay may be included, pending the finalization of the village’s resource mobilization. 

Aside from funds from Kalahi-CIDSS, the local government contributed a counterpart fund of P450,000.

Talugtog Mayor Reynaldo Cachuela, in expressing his thanks for the program, said “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa karangalan na ang Talugtug ay naisama sa programang ito ng gobyerno. I appreciate the trust of our government today. They are putting emphasis on our grassroots level. Dahil dito, ibibigay namin ang aming suporta, rest assured of our commitment." ###


Aboitiz company donates piglets, feeds to 10 Ecija backyard farmers

Pilmico, a flour and feed subsidiary of Aboitiz Group, distributed twenty piglets and full cycle feeds to 10 backyard farmers in Nueva Ecija to encourage backyard farming as a sustainable form of livelihood.

The donation is part of the company's Mahalin Pagkaing Atin campaign to promote sustainable entrepreneurship and homegrown produce and instill the concept of "pride of product, price of place" among farmers and consumers.

Pilmico President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz said "Pilmico has been true to its corporate social responsibility keeping aligned with the Aboitiz Group's call to implement projects that encourage community involvement and those that have sustainable impact."

To kick off the campaign, Pilmico held  Food and Livelihood Expo in Nueva Ecija, where seminars on animal husbandry and nutrition were held, together with cooking and baking demonstrations to showcase the different flavors of the province to advocate local delicacies.

Last year, Pilmico spent some P14 million on its corporate social responsibility projects that benefited more than 6,000 Filipinos all over the country. ###


Ecijano small and medium entrepreneurs to get 20  training sessions from DTI

Small and medium entrepreneurs in Nueva Ecija stand to benefit from 20 training sessions under the Small and Medium Enterprise Roving Academy of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

DTI Regional Director Judith Angeles said the new sessions are geared towards preparing small and medium entrepreneurs for bigger and more complex markets, free trade and development of climate-smart industries in the context of climate change and global value chain.

Among the trainings to be offered this year are Business Continuity Planning, Financial Management, Compliance with Tax Regulations, Understanding Trademarks and Copyrights, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Integration, Pro Green Economic Development and Hazard Analysis, and Critical Control Point for food processors.

Aside from the 20 training sessions in Nueva Ecija, similar activities will be held in Bulacan with 36 sessions; Pampanga, 31; Tarlac, 22; Bataan, 20; Zambales, 14; and Aurora, 9.

Expected to benefit are about 2,800 small and medium enterprises. ###


Cabanatuan barangay chair shot dead

The chair of Barangay Camp Tinio in Cabanatuan City was shot and killed by two motorcycle-riding men in front of his house last June 7.

The victim, Roger Pascual, 52, was taking coffee in front of his house along the Cabanatuan-Fort Magsaysay Road at about 5:40 A.M. when when fired at by the suspects.

Pascual sustained three bullet wounds and died at Good Samaritan Hospital.

He was the second barangay chair to be attacked in the province in one week.

Last June 3, Barangay Chair Arsenio Santos of Santa Rita, Jaen sustained four bullet wounds but survived a gun attack by two motorcycle-riding suspects while he driving his motorcycle home after attending a meeting at the municipal hall. ###


Gapan health center worker killed

A utility worker at a barangay health center in Gapan City, waiting to pick up his son from school, was shot dead by gunmen riding a motorcycle in tandem at about noon last June 11.

Police identified the victim as Ernesto Jimenez, 48, widow.

Sr. Insp. Jeffrey Alvina, police investigator, said the attack happened in front of Santa Cruz Elementary School in Barangay Santa Cruz.

One of the suspects riding a black Bajaj motorcycle approached the victim and repeatedly shot him, killing him on the spot.

The victim's body was brought to La Funeraria Teresita in Barangay San Lorenzo for autopsy but his family signed a waiver declining the procedure. ###


Killing of forester might affect illegal logging cases

The killing of forester Alberto Miranda, Jr. by motorcycle-riding suspects could affect a number of anti-illegal logging cases pending in various courts in the province.

Ric Lazaro, community environment and natural resources officer for Nueva Ecija South, said Miranda was a star witness in many cases against suspected illegal loggers.

“He’s been very busy attending to many court cases in the trial courts in Gapan, Palayan and Cabanatuan City,” Lazaro said.

Miranda was head of the utilization division, in charge of anti-illegal logging operations. Having served the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for over 20 yers, he was a member of the anti-illegal logging provincial task force, participating in most operations that resulted in the recovery of hot lumber and vehicles and becoming the star witness in the ensuing cases.

:Lazaro said the legal department of DENR Central Luzon has indicated that Miranda's death would affect the cases.

He said Miranda's killing has also affected the morale of their operatives who go about their work unarmed.

Para mabalik ang sigla ng opisina ay kailangang magkaroon ng justice itong pagkamatay niya,” he said. ###


2 cops, OFW robbed

Two policemen and an overseas Filipino worker were robbed in three separate incidents in the province.

In Santa Rosa, PO1  Benedict Reyes, 27, of Barangay Tagpos, assigned with the local police and the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Intelligence Branch, lost his clutch bag to unidentified thieves after conducting anti-illegal drug surveillance last June 8.

He said the suspects  forcibly opened the door of his Mitsubishi Adventure parked along the road in Barangay San Mariano and took away the bag placed under the driver's seat.

Among the items lost were a Glock 17 service pistol with three magazines and 51 bullets, various identification and ATM cards, a driver’s license, Criminologist PRC card and cash worth P3,000.

Over in San Jose City, PO2 Rhenie Castro, detailed with the Tarlac City police station, of Rufina IV Subdivision, Barangay Santo Niño 2nd, lost his bag containing a loaded Beretta magazine and a Samsung cell phone inside his house.

The robbery was discovered when the victim woke up and noticed the bag missing.

He said the suspect could have inserted a stick through the partially open window of the bedroom to take the bag.

Meanwhile, Marijun Templanza, 37, single, an OFW from Barangay D.L. Maglanoc, Carranglan was robbed after withdrawing P110,000 from a BDO branch last June 10.

She found her bag slashed, with the wallet containing the money gone, after getting out of the bank to go to a nearby cellphone shop.

Police said that based on CCTV video, the incident did not happen inside the bank.

A bank guard on duty saw two unidentified women hurriedly leaving aboard a tricycle before the victim noticed the robbery. ###


Land dispute between two grandpas ends in arson

A quarrel over a piece of land between two old men led to the burning down of a nipa hut built on the disputed property.

Supt. Manuel Hidalgo, San Jose City police director, identified the two involved in the incident as Armando Tabalno, 71, of Zone 6, Barangay Malasin, San Jose City and Gaudencio Mueca, 75, of Barangay Manggahan, Pasig City.

Tabalno was identified as a suspect in the burning of Mueca's hut at about 9:30 A.M. last June 11. He was arrested after Mueca's brother, Conrado, 65, reported the fire to the police and asked for help.

Mueca was not at home when the fire happened.

Damage to property amounted to P20,000. ###


3 duck raisers nabbed for illegal drugs, gun

Three motorcycle-riding men -- all duck-raisers -- were arrested after a gun and illegal drugs were found in their possession during a checkpoint operation in Gapan City last June 14.

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, identified the suspects as Allan Mendoza, 29; Nelson Patiag, 36; and his brother Marlon, 28. all of Barangay Pulo, San Isidro.

The three were riding a Suzuki motorcycle when stopped in Santo Cristo Norte by members of the 5th Maneuver Platoon and the anti-criminality group of the Provincial Public Safety Company.

Mendoza yielded an unlicensed caliber .45 pistol with six bullets and two plastic sachets of suspected shabu.

Nelson had five plastic sachets of suspected shabu, a stainless steel blade and several drug paraphernalia. His brother, Marlon, was found with two plastic sachets of suspected shabu and two disposable lighters.

Charges of violations of RA 9164 and RA 10591 have been filed against them at the Gapan City Prosecutor's Office. ###


Guimba teen rescued from pimp

The Guimba police rescued an 18 year old girl from a pimp in a local hotel last June 11.

Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, identified the victim as Michelle Geronimo of Barangay San Roque, Giuimba.

She was placed under the custody of the municipal social welfare and development office.

The suspect was identified as Manuel Vigilia, 36, of Zulueta Subdivision, Barangay Cawayan Bugtong, Guimba. He was arrested based on a tip from a concerned citizen.

Local police led by Insp. Melchor Pereja conducted an entrapment operation by posing as customers at DND Hotel in Cawayang Bugtong.

When arrested, Vigilia yielded two marked P500 bills.

PO3 Lorella Ventura, officer-on-case, said Vigilia was not a member of a human trafficking syndicate but admitted working as a pimp. ###


Girl discovers mom's body under bed

An 11 year old girl was shocked when she found her mother dead under a bamboo bed in their rented house in San Isidro.

The body of Clarissa Vergara, 36, separated, was discovered by her daughter Julia Walican, a Grade 6 pupil, at about 4:30 P.M. in their house along Sideco Streeet, Barangay Poblacion.

Motorcycle policemen rushed to the place after being alerted by concerned students.

The cause of the victim's death is still under investigation. ###


Boy survives throat-slashing by own pa

A three year old boy survived after his throat was slashed by his own father last June 7 in Cabanatuan City.

Aside from a neck wound, the boy also sustained wounds on his chest and back.

The victim's grandfather said that the day before the attack, they noticed the suspect was agitated and had shouting fits.

He said on the night of the incident, he heard the father shouting "Papatayiin kita, papatayin kita!" and when he checked, he saw the suspect slashing the boy's throat.

The grandfather sustained a laceration on his hand when he struggled with the suspect to get the boy and take him to a hospital.

The incident was seen by two elder siblings of the victim, who admitted that they, too, were often hurt by their father.

The boy's family members were firm in their decision to file charges against the suspect. ###



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