>> Saturday, June 2, 2007

1 person slain, 3 others hurt in Ilocos shooting

CABUGAO, Ilocos Sur – One person was killed, and three others were wounded night of May 30 when a barangay captain and a kagawad allegedly shot them with carbine rifle here in Barangay Torod-patak.

Senior Supt. George Regis, provincial police director, said a case of murder and multiple frustrated murder have been filed against Barangay Captain Edgardo Sondo and Kagawad Nestor Tabula for the fatal shooting of Allan Tabarrejo and wounding of Marlon Tabula, Juan Taberna and Josephina Tabula, all of Barangay Torod-parak.

Regis said the group of the victims was having a drinking spree in a house of one Fernando Duran, when they were suddenly fired upon by with a carbine rifle.

The victims positively identified the suspects Kapitan Sondo and Kagawad Tabula as the men who shot them, saying the area where the assailants positioned themselves was just 12 steps away from where they were.

Regis said before the shooting, the group of the victims and the suspects had an altercation over politics.

Police found 18 empty shells of carbine bullets at the shooting site.

In adjacent Abra province a retired policeman was earlier shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Sitio Duguioan, Barangay Bai, Lagayan town.

Policemen were looking into the political angle. Police reports stated that the victim, identified as Leonardo Gangas, was tending to his carabao in his farm when the unidentified gunmen suddenly shot him with an M14 Armalite rifle.

The victim’s body bore several bullet wounds. It was recalled that Barangay Bai was where gunmen ambushed with gunfire a group of civilians aboard a Pajero vehicle owned by a congressional candidate Cecille Luna shortly before the election, resulting in the killing of six men and wounding of three other persons.

No suspect has been arrested.

Anglicans barred from mass; urge CHR to probe MP solon’s rights ‘abuse’

SABANGAN, Mountain Province - Some 33 worshippers at the demolished building of St Peter’s Probational Aided Parish sought the assistance of the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an investigation on “religious oppression” allegedly perpetrated by re-elected Mountain Province congressman Victor Dominguez and contractor Felipe Moises.

In their letter to Chairperson Purificacion Valera Quisumbing of the CHR, the petitioning congregation requested the CHR’s legal investigation unit to probe and monitor the human rights violation done on the parishioners who “fear vengeance from the authority” of the re-elected solon.

The congregation in their resolution said on May 20, parish priest Rev Fr Gregorio Nacatab was on his way to the newly constructed gymnasium to prepare the Sunday service when he was allegedly barred by Sabangan resident, Felipe Moises, contractor of the infrastructure project.
Moises reportedly told the priest not to proceed to avoid bloodshed. Nacatab told Dominguez and Moises to allow him then to get church vestments and sacramental effects. A terrified and hurt congregation proceeded to the municipal hall to observe the Sunday service.

The congregation heard mass again at the Municipal Hall on May 27.

Built under protest due to issues of lot ownership, a multipurpose gymnasium was constructed in place of the wooden St Peter’s Church building here at Sitio Lengey, Barangay Poblacion.

Construction early 2005 and the wooden church building was demolished on July 2006.

Funds for the construction of the public building was sourced from the Priority Development Assistance Funds of the solon and implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The solon, in several occasions claimed the lot is owned by the Poblacion of Sabangan. The Episcopal Church on the other hand claimed that the lot is owned by the church as it was purchased by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary of the Protestant Church in the United States (now Episcopal Church in the Philippines) in 1958 from the owner, Aglipayan Church through former caretaker of the property Pedro Compalas Aglipay. Anglicans here started their church services in 1958.

Nacatab said the solon told him to abide by the decision of the court.

Now under litigation, the land dispute reached the Court of Appeals where it ruled that the Poblacion of Sabangan is an indispensable party to the land dispute and that the lower courts violated due process.

The CA reversed the earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court finding that the lot is owned by the Episcopal Church. The RTC upheld the decision of the Municipal Trial Court where it held the Episcopal Church as the lawful possessor of the lot where the church structure was built on.

Angry Sagada folk want tourist out; declare him persona non grata

SAGADA, Mountain Province -- For inconsiderate behavior and depriving villagers of their water supply, angry folks here declared resident Austrian tourist Ernest Michael Reiseneder persona non grata saying they wanted him out of their village.

In a series of meetings early this year, barangay officials with a number of residents from Sitio Bitin and Barangay Ambasing declared they wanted Reiseneder out of the village as soon as possible and gave him till the end of March to leave.

As of presstime however, Reiseneder still lives in a rented house at Bitin.

Residents said Reiseneder siphoned water from the community water tank and reportedly used the water ‘extravagantly’ on his garden while the people nearby needed water badly for their domestic use.

Reisender’s siphoning water from the community tank started as early as November last year.
With the peak of the summer season, residents suffered immensely from lack of water, Kagawad Bernard Wassit said.

Local folks source their water from the tank located within the compound where Reiseneder lives with his Filipina partner.

Residents here also complained of Reiseneder having allegedly destroyed the public cemented pathway aside from reportedly, other inconsiderate acts which the people didn’t like.

Early last month, Wassit, neighbor of Reiseneder reported to police the latter allegedly burned Ambogawid Watershed on May 5.

A local help, Junifer ‘Coy-o’ Guidalos, said Reiseneder burned dried leaves which spread throughout the watershed.

Residents also forwarded a letter to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources asking for their appropriate action on the alleged cutting of trees by Reiseneder with the help of hired locals.

Their grievances were forwarded to the office of the municipal mayor for the latter’s appropriate action.

Barangay officials said they would file the appropriate cases against Reiseneder.

‘Back to normal’ for Kalinga politicians after bruising duel

TABUK, Kalinga – It is back to normal in this province after the bruising duel between retired assistant public works and highways secretary Manuel Agyao (Kampi) and James Bejarin (LP) for the lone congressional seat of the province ended in favor of the former.

Agyao obtained 23, 890 votes, while Bejarin chalked up 22, 550 votes.

A last-ditch attempt by the lawyers of Bejarin, a son-in-law of incumbent Congressman and gubernatorial bet Laurence Wacnang, to stop the proclamation of Agyao was rejected by the provincial board of canvassers who proclaimed the former DPWH official together with the winners in vice gubernatorial and District 1 Sangguniang Panlalawigan contests on May 23, ending a most tension-filled election in Kalinga.

Former vice governor Jocel Baac (independent) edged Benigno Duyan (LP) by 1, 997 votes to reclaim his old post.

The following were elected as District board members: Fernando Abay (Lakas-CMD, LP, Alfonso Canao (LP), and Martin Pulittod (LP).

Last Saturday, May 26, 2007, District 2 board members –elect Efraim Orodio (NPC), ANotonio Bakilan (independent), Eduardo Sarol (LP, Lakas-CM) and Eduardo Buliyat (LP) were also proclaimed.

Diasen, who substituted for her husband, slain vice governor and gubernatorial candidate Rommel Diasen, handed Wacnang the first defeat in his two decade political career, garnering 56, 479 votes. Wacnang had 23, 642 votes.

The tension caused by the gubernatorial contest rose last Sunday, May 27, 2007, when supporters of Wacnang flocked to the provincial capitol as his lawyers tried to have the canvassing suspended on the ground that the candidacy of Floydelia is not valid as her husband was an independent bet, among other reasons.

PBOC chairman Ricardo Lampac said the situation nearly went out of hand when the counsel of both parties argued on the motion of Floydelia’s lawyers for partial proclamation because the uncanvassed votes from Tinglayan municipality can no longer affect the victory of Floydelia.

During the argument, a supporter of Floydelia was pushed by a supporter of Wacnang to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall where the canvassing was being conducted.

The supporter of Floydelia called on his cell phone and in a loud voice for his tribesmates to come to his rescue, claiming that he is about to be killed.

Lapmac called the security people to pacify the agitated supporter, and declared the session adjourned due to the tension.

He said that the tension eased the following day when Wacnang lead counsel Efrain Lassam conveyed the congratulatory message of his client Floydelia.

The PBOC took the gesture as a move for the withdrawal of the objections of Wacnang to the proclamation of Floydelia.

Lampac also related that while there was no incident of violence and ballot snatching, the municipal canvassing in Pinukpuk and Pasil was disrupted by indiscriminate firing of guns. -- EAJ

Artist’s sketches of suspects in Pampanga official’s slay out

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Police released this weekend the artist’s sketches of the two motorcycle-riding men behind the killing of a barangay chairman in Guagua, Pampanga last May 28.

“The suspects are reportedly members of the Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayang operating in the coastal towns of Pampanga,” said Chief Supt. Ismael Rafanan, Central Luzon police director. The RHB is a breakaway communist group.

Based on the sketches, Rafanan described the gunman as chubby and muscular, sporting curly, shoulder-length hair, brown-complexioned, about 40 to 50 years old, and stands about 5’4” to 5’5” tall.

On the other hand, the motorcycle drivers stands about 5’5” tall, has a medium build, brown complexion and black eyes, and was wearing a baseball cap during the killing of barangay chairman Mario Gulud.

Senior Supt. Keith Ernald Singian, Pampanga police director, has formed a task force to go after Gulud’s killers.

Nulud, said to be a supporter of Pampanga governor-elect Fr. Ed Panlilio, was gunned down in front of his house in Barangay San Juan Bautista, Guagua town.

Reports said the killing was politically motivated, but police downplayed this as mere speculations.

“While the investigation is going on, I appeal to the media not to over-sensationalize the issue so as not to mislead the reading public,” Rafanan said.

Meanwhile, police filed charges on May 30 against a certain Alvin Yalung of the fatal shooting last May 23 of Benigno Sigua, a barangay chairman in Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Yalung is reportedly the husband of Sigua’s step-daughter.

“The filing of the case against Yalung only shows that the killing of Sigua had nothing to do with politics as was reported in the media. The case (involves) family problems,” Rafanan said.

Rafanan also expressed doubt on the ambush try on Fernando Santos in Barangay Cangatba, Porac town last May 21.

He said probers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group are looking into some doubtful circumstances on the supposed ambush attempt.

“In due time we will come out with the complete results of their investigation,” he said.

On Nulud’s killing, Rafanan said the RHB was probably behind it because of the barangay chariman’s alleged involvement in the underground movement during his younger days.

Reports said Nulud was allegedly involved in labor conflict at the Pampanga Sugar Development Corp. in the late 80s and also organized a rally against the construction of the Bataan nuclear plant in 1970.

First poll protest filed vs Arenas over congress seat

DAGUPAN CITY – Rachel Arenas, daughter of socialite Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas, still faces a tough battle despite wining the third district congressional seat in Pangasinan as her two rivals filed separate election protest cases at the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

May Tulagan, mother of defeated congressional candidate Generoso Tulagan Jr., said they filed the case at the HRET on May 29. Tulagan’s father is the outgoing congressman.

“It’s another tough fight but we have to do it because as you can see the margin is very small,” she said.

Arenas won by a margin of 617 votes only against Tulagan who ranked second.

Lawyer Reddy Balarbar, provincial election supervisor, said in a separate interview that lawyer Gallant Soriano, who was third in the ranking, also filed the same case at the HRET.

Meanwhile, in Pozorrubio town, defeated mayoralty candidate Ernesto Go filed an election protest case against winning candidate Emma Chan at a regional trial court.

In Aguilar town, defeated mayoralty bet Alberto Zamuco also filed an election protest case against his lone rival, re-elected Mayor Ricardo Evangelista.

Environment month features monkeys


BAGUIO CITY – Although now almost extinct and they remain only as a figment of a child's imagination, monkeys will take center-stage during the local celebration of World Environment Month.

"The monkeys were gone and so are most of our forests," said Mariko Banasan, executive director of the Cordillera Green Network, an environmental group that helped coordinate with international and local artists a pottery workshop among children in Kibungan, Benguet focusing on monkeys.

The workshop enabled the children to make monkey masks, which shall be exhibited at the Victor Oteyza Community Art Space (VOCAS), top floor, La Azotea Building, Session Road, Baguio from June 5 to July 5.

Dubbed "Where have all the monkeys gone?, the exhibit seeks to educate the public about what happens to certain species when their habitat is ruined.

Monkeys called kibengan or big apes or gorillas used to roam Kibungan, but they vanished after the forests in the upland town were gone, say elders. One legend say Kibungan was named after these big apes.

The workshop in Kibungan and the exhibit at the VOCAS thus suggest that humanity itself, like the monkeys in Kibungan, is at stake if its life-support systems or the various ecosystems are threatened or destroyed, says Banasan.

Still part of World Environment Month, the Cordillera Green Network has also slated various activities, including the launching at 3p.m. on June 5 at VOCAS of the Network's "Little Green Book," a guidebook on Cordillera's environment. Free copies will be given out during the launching.

At 3 p.m. on June 6, artists Midori Hidora (Japanese) and Nurdian Ichsan (Indonesian) will talk about their pottery craft and their environmental advocacies at VOCAS.

Also at VOCAS is a June 5-July 5 art installation by Hirota and artist Kidlat Tahimik dubbed "The Back of Affection."

Slated at Tam-awan Village on June 9-16 is a Japanese pottery exhibition called "The Rising Generation from Traditional Japanese Kilns."

Kyoko Ogawa, another Japanese artist, will also talk about basketry in Tam-awan.

Interested persons can also enlist in a workshop on Japanese pottery on June 9 at Tam-awan Village, which shall be facilitated by Japanese artist Toushin Maruyama. For reservations, please contact telephone number 446-2949 or mobile phone number 0921-588-3131.

Mom pleads for help in treating sick child


“Hello God, it’s me again. 2 a.m., Room 304. Visiting hours are over; time for our bedside tug of war. This sleeping child between us may not make it through the night. I’m fighting back the tears as she fights for her life…”

These lines from the popular song Streets of Heaven sung by Sherrie Austin describe the feeling of a mother which is exactly similar to Helen Ligaten’s situation who is now cradling her sick child, Johnnalen Ligaten, at SLU Sacred Heart Hospital, Baguio City.

Johnnalen, 7, is suffering from acute cerebellar ataxia and cerebelitis (infectious/post-infectious) as per medical certificate issued by Dr. Manolo M. Fernandez, pediatrics/ child and adolescent neurologist.

Fernandez said Johnnalen, a grade I pupil at Enrique Jose Elementary School at Masala, Madaymen, Kibungan, needs high dose steroids for three to five days and continue other medications.

“Kamana garud linglinglingan ibagbaga na (As if she forgets what she says),” said Octavian Miguel, a close relative of Jonnalen, while he watches her screaming in bed.

Meanwhile, Helen said her daughter spends almost P 10, 000 a day for her medicines and other medical needs. Her medicines include Zovivax I.V, Ranitidin, Dexamethasone and Benzylpenicil.

“Imbag koma no baken nababa di repolyo (Good if price of cabbage is not low),” she said referring to her husband, John, who sold his cabbage at two pesos per kilo in a whole sale scale at La Trinidad Trading Post.

Friends and relatives of Johnnalen’s parents visit her at the hospital as they donate a little cash amount but not enough to suffice her medication expenses.

For cash donations, donors may call or text Helen Ligaten’s cell phone number 09103706127 or Octavian Miguel through CP: 09219712470.


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