DepEd Mt Prov heads sued for "violating" SALN

>> Sunday, March 17, 2019

By Gina Dizon

SAGADA Mountain Province -- Two heads of the Dept. of Education- Mountain Province  were charged for not filing their Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN) and not declaring their assets in violation of Republic Act 6713  Section 8  in relation to Section 7 of RA 3019 of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
DepEd provincial superintendent Sally Ullalim and Sagada National High School principal SIxto Daluyen Jr. and were charged for alleged violation of said laws in complaints filed at the Office of the Ombudsman. .
Based on certification from the records officer of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, no available SALN was on file for Daluyen Jr for the years 2010, 2011 and 2014.
RA 6713 provides that “public officials and employees have an obligation to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of, and the public has the right to know, their assets, liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.”
Records from the Office of the Ombudsman revealed that in his SALN for 2008,  
Daluyen Jr allegedly did not disclose his real properties particularly that of a residential lot in Batalao, Sagada inherited in 1998, a house constructed in Batalao, Sagada in 1995 and a house constructed in Baguio City in 1998.
In the same manner Daluyen Jr allegedly also did not disclose his real properties/ assets in his SALN for 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as required in Section 7 of RA 3019 which provides for a true, detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities.
 RA 3019 provides that every public officer shall prepare a “true detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities, including a statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and family expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year.”
In the same development, it was revealed by the records officer of the Office of the Ombudsman that Ullalim had no available SALN for years 2010, 2014 and 2017.
Also, in her SALN for 2008 and 2009, Ullalim did not disclose her real properties acquired on or before 2009 particularly that of a house constructed at Guinzadan Sur, Bauko in 1988, another house constructed at Guinzadan in 2004 and a lot inherited in 1986.
A public officer or employee found to have failed to file his or her SALN in accordance with law is penalized with dismissal from service together with the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and bar from taking civil service examinations


165 fires raze Cordi forests; ‘BFP lacks tools, training’

Fire burns mountain near Philex Mines 

By PNA and Ronamee Galangco

BAGUIO CITY – Lack of training and equipment of fire fighters in the Bureau of Fire Protection is hampering the government agency in fighting forest fires, BFP officials said even as fire engulfed around 10 hectares of forest at Sitio Pukis, Ampucao in Itogon, Benguet around 10 a.m. Wednesday near the open pit of Philex Mines.
Local firemen, Philex Fire Brigade and volunteers tried to stop the fire but it razed vegetation going downhill up to Bomolo of Philex Mines and slowly subsided after burning around 10 hectares of forest.
The fire was stopped by rain around 5 p.m. that day. No person was injured during the incident.
This, as BFP and Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources officials in the Cordillera on Tuesday said 165 fire incidents have been recorded from Jan. 1 to March 12 this year, which led to the destruction of 797 hectares of forest lands.
Senior Supt. Sofia Mendoza, BFP-Cordillera regional director, said out of the 165 fire incidents, 122 were grass and forest fires, 36 structural fire incidents with 27 of them being residential and seven “other” fires.
The BFP estimated the cost of damage due to fire incidents at P20.94 million.
Meanwhile, Augusto Lagon, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera assistant regional director for technical services, said the 122 grass and forest fires had an estimated damage of P4.31 million.
Lagon said 704.23 hectares of natural forests and 92.96 hectares of plantation forests have been destroyed due to “kaingin” or slash and burn farming, arson, indiscriminate throwing of cigarette butts, unattended burning of garbage, and campers who are unable to control the fire from their food burners.
Lagon said most of the forest fires occurred in Benguet involving 683.4 hectares; 88.8 hectares in Kalinga; and 24.95 hectares in Mountain Province.
In a separate interview, Benguet Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) chief Carlos Arida Sr. said based on their assessment, as a result of the aerial survey on March 8, the forest fires were correlated to farming.
“Kasi kung makikita mo ang start ng fire nasa tuktok pababa na parang ang purpose as expansion ng agricultural farms (If you can see, the fire started at the top of the mountain going down which indicates that they are expanding their agricultural farms),” Arida said.
He said filing a case is not feasible due to the difficulty of looking for witnesses.
Arida, however, said they have a case in Mankayan where they caught the perpetrator and the case was amicably settled. The perpetrator paid a fine amounting to the cost of the reforestation of the burned area.
Arida said they have recorded 19 forest fires in all municipalities of Benguet.
He said the fire in January 2018 in Mt. Pulag, which was caused by the uncontrolled fire from the cooking equipment of a camper, is still being heard in court.
He said the parents of the accused in the criminal case sought for the settlement of the administrative case and was fined the amount of P53,900 as a compromise agreement.
The fire destroyed around 23,600 hectares at the summit area of the mountain.
The DENR closed the area for about six months to allow the grass to grow again, preventing hikers from going up to the summit. Campers are only allowed up to the second camp site.
Mt. Pulag has become popular because of the sea of clouds seen by mountain hikers in the area.
In Baguio City, Fire Chief Insp. Roberto Aragon said due to the inaccessibility of forest fire areas, it took at least three days to suppress recent fires completely.
He also added that the techniques and equipment used by BFP personnel are designed to fight structural fires.
However, Fire Fighters of Christ, a non-government organization, is now training BOF personnel here to be better equipped and trained to handle future fire incidents.
Based on the statistics given by Aragon and submitted to the BFP, there were a total of 77 fire incidents in Baguio City,  54 of which were forest fires, 12 grass fires, 8 residential fires, 2 non-residential fires, and one vehicular fire incident.
Damage to properties of these fires was pegged at P2 million. -- PNA


Baac farm caretaker shoots peer dead

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – A drinking spree between four caretakers of a farm here turned deadly when one shot the other dead Tuesday around 8:30 p.m.
A police report said the incident happened at the Baac Farm in Callagdao, Bulanao wherein victim was identified as Joe Dugyawe, 45, married of Purok 5, Barangay Gobgob, of this city.
The victim with his two co-caretakers including the suspect, Sylvestre Camiso, of of Banneng, Callaccad, Tabuk were having a drinking spree when the victim left the two of his peers and went to the kitchen for  dinner together with two new caretakers of said farm.
While eating the suspect said he still wanted to continue drinking and get another bottle of liquor but Dugyawe tried to prevent Camiso from drinking that made that got the latter irked.
The victim went out from the kitchen but he was followed by the suspect and shot him once at his right shoulder. The suspect thenfled the farm. 
Police are still trying to locate the suspect. Recovered from the crime scene was one spent shell of M16 riffle. The cadaver of the victim was brought to Tampco Funeral Parlor.


Tourists, visitors banned at Benguet forest reserve

BAGUIO CITY-- Members of the Santo Tomas Forest Reserve Management Council (STFRMC) agreed Tuesday to improve enforcement of the court-issued permanent environment protection order (PEPO) preventing human activity like entry of tourists inside the reservation within this city and Tuba, Benguet.
 “We have now a strengthened checkpoint with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). More than 1,700 vehicles were prevented entry to Mt. Santo Tomas from January to March as reported by the Tuba police,” Carlos Arida Sr., Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office chief, said during a meeting of the task force.
"That’s how serious. Kung hindi natin siya mamu-monitor at mare-regulate, there will come a time na lalong lalaki ang environmental problems natin (if we cannot monitor and will not regulate [entry of tourists and vehicles], there will come a time when the environmental problem will be massive),” Arida said.
Arida said the task force has ordered the police to look at the different entry points to Mt. Santo Tomas to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons.
The Court of Appeals (CA) issued a PEPO on May 2015 to the Mt. Santo Tomas Forest Reserve in Tuba, Benguet following the case filed by former Catholic Church Bishop Carlito Cenzon and Archbishop Socrates Villegas, claiming the reservation's degradation.
The court ordered a halt in all activities inside the reservation -- including a stop in the expansion of existing farms and habitation, as well as the stoppage of all business activities in the area covering barangays Tabaan Norte, Tabaan Sur, Twin Peaks and Poblacion.
The court also ordered the prevention of entry of non-residents to the area.
During the meeting, Arida said the police also sought to be furnished with a copy of the base-map, which will allow them to identify the actual boundaries of the reservation.
Arida said the DENR has completed the survey and installation of monuments of the reservation, which will make it easy to provide the request of the police.
He said there is a need to boost the information drive, explaining to the people the “writ of kalikasan” and the PEPO issued by the Court of Appeals.
Included as members of the council are peoples’ organizations, which would teach people farming skills to shift to organic farming.
“We want to intensify the IEC (information education campaign). Some residents are being used so that some can enter. It is unfortunate that entry of tourists continue to happen despite the prohibition which some enterprising people use in making gains,” Arida said.
“This is a challenging task but we are bent on complying with the court’s order,” he added.
He said the municipality has been tasked to act to stop any business establishment in Santo Tomas from operating, which would cease the influx of tourists in the area.
Arida said the council submitted its long-term protection and management plan for the Mt. Santo Tomas reservation to the DENR central office for funding of the programs.
He said the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Cordillera is also preparing the conduct of a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) for the implementation of the long term plan for Mount Sto. Tomas.
“The DENR, PNP showed a detailed order of what they are doing as dictated by the court. Tuba had not also issued any permit to operate any business, allowed registration of a tax declaration and we are complying with the quarterly reportorial requirement of the court,” Arida said. -- PNA


Police issue warning after Cagayan Jamboree tragedy

By Liezle Basa-Inigo

TUGUEGARAO CITY – The Cagayan Valley police warned parents and guardians to be extra careful after a student attending a Scout Junior-Senior Jamboree in Ballesteros town, Cagayan, drowned.
Cagayan Valley police director Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino, said here at Camp Adduru the death of 12-year-old Vince Lucina, a Grade 6 pupil of Solana Elementary School, should serve as warning to those planning to travel to tourist destinations this summer.
Espino earlier ordered the police to set up public assistance centers ahead of the influx of people in resorts and other tourist destinations in the region.
Lucina drowned last Sunday in the lagoon inside the Jamboree site.
The boy was rushed to the Ballesteros District Hospital where he was declared dead.


Marine electrocuted at Cagayan navy base

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan -- A Marine was electrocuted at a naval base in Sta. Ana, Cagayan on Wednesday.
Police said Cpl. Joces Camacho of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-10 accidentally touched a live wire while repairing an electrical connection at around 9:30 a.m.
The victim was pronounced dead on arrival at the Fr. Gerry Felippeto Memorial Foundation Hospital.


Tuba miner dies of gas poison in tunnel

TUBA, Benguet – A miner died of gas poisoning here inside an abandoned tunnel here Wednesday around 10:30 p.m.
Ulyssis Tomilas Florendo, 26, a resident of Camp 4, Kennon Road identified the victim as his uncle Albert Basilio, 55, single, of Sitio Balococ, Camp 4.
Investigation disclosed the victim was missing for two days. The relatives of Basilio tried to locate him but resulted futile.
At about 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Macario Florendo, elder brother of the victim, decided to enter the abandoned adit and discovered the lifeless body of the victim around 80-100 feet deep from the entrance of the tunnel.


25 towns, 4 cities in Pangasinan declared high risk due to rabies

By Liezle Basa-Inigo

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The Provincial Veterinary Office appealed to the public to help lessen the number of rabies cases in Pangasinan with the observance of National Rabies Awareness Month this March.
Report said 25 towns and four cities in Pangasinan were declared as high risk areas due to cases of rabies in these places.
The Provincial Veterinary Office is encouraging all pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated to avoid getting infected with rabies virus.
Likewise, the agency is urging to support the advocacy of attaining a rabies-free community.
The high risk areas include the towns of Agno, Aguilar, Alcala, Asingan, Balungao, Bani, Bautista, Bayambang, Binmaley, Bolinao, Calasiao, Lingayen, Mabini, Malasiqui, Mangaldan, Mangatarem, Natividad, Rosales, San Fabian, San Jacinto, San Quintin, Sta. Barbara, Sto. Tomas, Tayug and Urbiztondo, and the cities of Alaminos, Dagupan, San Carlos and Urdaneta.
This was based on the confirmed rabies cases recorded by the Provincial Veterinary Office for the year 2018.
Dr. Jovito Tabarejos, assistant provincial veterinarian, advised dog owners down at the barangay levels to subject their pets for vaccination, and to prevent dogs from straying in their community to protect people from any rabies infection from dogs.


Mt Prov students tour eco-farms to promote tourism

By Alpine L. Killa

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Some 50 Junior High School students were toured in farm tourism sites in this capital town March 6 to orient them on role of the youth in promotion of tourism through the use of social media.
The participants were students from Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS) who have subjects on photography and video production.
Municipal Tourism Officer Caren Guinayen said this was the first time an educational tour on farm tourism catering to junior high school students was initiated and funded by the Bontoc Local Government Unit through its Municipal Tourism Office.
The transportation, food and corresponding fees to include the entrance fees and environmental fees were shouldered by the Bontoc LGU.
The activity aimed to equip participants with necessary knowledge on the different tourism sites in Bontoc, encourage students to become tourism ambassadors, and promote Bontoc as a tourism destination through the use of social media. Guinayen added that this was also a way to promote farm tourism in the municipality as it is one of the main thrust of the Department of Tourism. 
She said through farm tourism, people will be encouraged to go back into farming and create dependable source of income. Also, the activity will be an avenue for the students to put into practice what they have learned in school considering that photography and video production is now integrated in their subject in school.
Among the sites visited were the Bontoc Dairy Farm owned by Fonet Modesto Dirige, Lanfang Farm owned by the family of Ben Ayochok, Blue Farm owned by Dan Evert and Shirley Sokoken, Khayad Orange and Dragon Fruit Plant Farm owned by Lynda Khayad and Demo Farm managed by the Bontoc LGU through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist.  Also, the participants have the chance to visit the Maligcong Rice Terraces.
Guinayen said students were oriented to take photos and videos of farm tourism sites they visited and process these using skills they learned in school on photography and video editing to produce outputs.
Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey approved the proposal citing  capabilities of the youth in promotion of tourism destinations of Bontoc through skills they learned in school and through responsible and effective social media posting.
The participants were accompanied by their teachers and were assisted by staff from the Municipal Tourism Office along with students taking up Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management at the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) who are having on the job training at the Municipal Tourism Office


Cops probe death of drowned Abra farmer

LICUAN-BAAY, Abra – Police are investigating if there was foul play in the death of a farmer who allegedly drowned here at Panaklisan falls, Barangay Nalbuan Wednesday identified as Nelson Banganan Bagni, 57, married.
The incident was relayed to police by a municipal Disaster official identified as Erosbon Layugan, 30 prompting police led byVan Kimber G. Kitong who found the victim already dead.
Investigation disclosed that around 4:30 p.m. that day, water supply of the victim stopped so the victim went to fix their water pipeline from its source at Panaklisan Falls located which is located at a cliff.
The victim did not come back making his wife uncomfortable as it was getting dark.
His relatives decided to look for him and at around 8:30 p.m. of same date the victim’s body was found lifeless at said falls by Ifrahim Waset together with his companions.
The victim’s head was injured.


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