PANGASINAN- Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas
has created a panel to look into the accusations against Pangasinan Gov. Amado
Espino which included getting payoffs of P900 million form jueteng even as the
provincial police chief was sacked Wednesday for failure to stop the illegal
Roxas has tapped Undersecretary for Administration
Rafael Santos to lead the investigating body with members including
Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero and the DILG Legal
Roxas also revealed that the panel has sent a letter
of request to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Bureau of Internal Revenue and
other government agencies to check on Espino’s financial records.
“Well, we can say that there is a lifestyle check.
if Gov. Espino’s lifestyle matched with his statement of assets, liabilities
and net worth (SALN). Reports had it that he received P900 million, so where is
the money,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Mariano Luis Verzosa Jr.,
who took over as OIC police director last July, was fired from his post and
transferred to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at Camp Crame in
His relief order was signed by Director Elpidio de
Asis, personnel and records management chief of the Philippine National Police.
Verzosa was replaced by Senior Supt. Manolito
Labrador, deputy director for operations of the Region 1 police, in an acting
Sources said the jueteng controversy had something
to do with Verzosa’s relief.
Other sources, however, said he lost his post as his
daughter Ma. Andrea Verzosa-Meneses is running for re-election as councilor of
this capital town.
Last week, Bugallon town Mayor Rodrigo Orduña, a
confessed jueteng operator, surfaced and accused Espino of receiving protection
money from the illegal numbers game. He subsequently filed a plunder case
against Espino before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Following the exposé, Interior and Local Government
Mar Roxas was reported to have ordered the relief of police chiefs in this
province. But no official order was
received by the provincial police as of Wednesday.
Verzosa could not be reached for comment. Hours
before his relief though, he told reporters that police officers like him must
be ready to lose their post any time.
In a media forum in Dagupan City Wednesday, Alaminos
City Mayor Hernani Braganza, from whom Orduña sought help prior to his exposé,
said the jueteng issue may be politically motivated because the illegal numbers
game is politically tolerated.
Braganza is running for governor under the Liberal
Party against re-electionist Espino of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Braganza said it is the most convenient way for an
official under attack like Espino to claim that the allegation is politically
“But to us, when we are under attack by the
governor’s supporters, the media included, we roll with the punches,” he said.
He added that Espino should not be onion-skinned
about the allegations against him.
Both Braganza and his running mate, retired PNP
chief Arturo Lomibao, admitted the jueteng issue against Espino works to their
“Ric (Orduña) has a mind of his own, maybe he has
matured in politics the way he looks at things. That’s beyond personal
consideration so let’s give it to him on what will happen to this issue, so be
it. Everybody has a day in court,” Lomibao said.
Braganza said there has been no jueteng in Alaminos
for many years. “I am not moralizing on it. It is our own personal conviction,”
Espino has tapped a pool of 12 prominent lawyers not
only to defend him in the plunder case but also to run after his political
rivals who are behind the “smear campaign” against him.
Lawyer Abraham Espejo, Espino’s lead legal counsel
Abraham Espejo, yesterday said Espino instructed them to prepare criminal
actions against his “political enemies who bankrolled the smear campaign
against him in time for next year’s midterm elections.”
Espino’s camp believes that his “overwhelming
election” in previous polls and his “exemplary record” as a government official
and police officer could be reason behind the black propaganda linking him to
“Recent surveys show that Gov. Espino is leading by
a very big margin over his opponent,” Espejo said.
He added that Espino will remain as a loyal member
of the NPC and will continue to support the ruling coalition of President
Espejo is a known lawyer of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
He is joined in the legal team by lawyers Alexis Medina, Citedina Magno-Zarate,
Nancy Ocampo-Omatdo, Madel Villaroman-Fiel, Allen Blair Boy, Janice Regoso,
Salvador Medialdea, Loreto Ata, Zann Paolo Pacificador, Lorna Imelda Suarez,
and Alexander Poblador, a known lawyer of Sen. PanfiloLacson.
Meanwhile, the ruling Liberal Party (LP) may be out
to remove Espino in the wake of accusations he is involved in jueteng, the
Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) said yesterday.
Valenzuela City Rep. Rex Gatchalian, NPC spokesman,
said the allegations against Espino, who belongs to the coalition, could be
attributed to politics.
The ruling LP and NPC have forged an agreement to
support a common senatorial candidate in next year’s elections. However, such
an agreement does not extend to the local level.
President Aquino had
advised Espino Jr. to stop complaining about alleged political harassment and
just face squarely the plunder charges filed against him over his alleged
involvement in jueteng.
Aquino made this
suggestion through presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, who also shot down
insinuations that the Aquino administration is harassing Espino, a political
ally from the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
“As we have said and
mentioned, politics is not involved when it comes to this particular case of
Gov. Espino. We encourage him to just answer the charges against him in the
proper forum,” she said over state-run radio station dzRB.
This, as Orduña Wednesday urged Espina to show a
copy of his SALN to prove that he got his earnings from businesses and not from
In a press conference
here, Orduña, also dared Espino to undergo a lie detector test along with him.
Orduña stood firm in
his allegations that Espino had received as much as P900 million in jueteng
payola until his falling out with the governor. He has admitted being an
operator of the illegal numbers game.
Orduña said after
graduating from the Philippine Military Academy, Espino had been a government
employee until he retired as Region 1 police director and got elected as
congressman and governor.
He said it is normal
for Espino to deny the accusations, adding though that he has other witnesses
who could corroborate what he stated in his sworn affidavit in the plunder case
he filed against the governor at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Orduña and his
supporters paid a courtesy call on Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates
Villegas before the press conference.
advised Espino to “look at the mirror and see who’s to blame for the jueteng
mess in Pangasinan.”
In a statement, the LP
in Pangasinan quoted Braganza as saying that Espino should stop from blaming
everybody for the unhampered operations of jueteng and other illegal numbers
games in the province.
“First, he is blaming the mayors of Pangasinan
for issuing permits for jai alai which is now the cover of jueteng operations
in the province. Later, he started pointing his finger at me as the source of
his political problems,” Braganza said.
allegations, Braganza said it was Espino who elevated the status of jueteng
activities in Pangasinan from “guerrilla-type” to “province-wide and
Orduña, who said he
used to be a trusted political lieutenant of Espino, filed a plunder case
against the governor for allegedly receiving about P900 million in protection
money from jueteng and other illegal numbers games in the province.
were corroborated by Fernando Alimagno alias Boy Bata, the PDP-Laban mayoral
candidate in Candelaria, Quezon, who admitted that he was one of the biggest
operators of jueteng and jai alai in Pangasinan.
Orduña alleged that
Espino cajoled him into forming a partnership so they could take over jueteng
operations in Pangasinan immediately after the latter was elected governor in
Espino has denied the
allegations, which he dismissed as “politically motivated” and “an old issue.”
But Braganza said
Espino has the habit of using the term “politically motivated” every time he
would be linked to illegal activities such as black sand mining and quarrying
or would carry out “anti-people” policies such as the 300 percent increase in
real property tax.
On Wednesday, Orduña
told media that the governor should also show proof of his business
enterprises, if any, from which he has earned his riches.
This, as the Pangasinan Mayors’
League (PML) and the SangguniangPanlalawigan (Provincial Council) expressed
Wednesday their full support and confidence in the integrity and leadership of
The president of the Pangasinan Mayors
League, Dasol Mayor Noel Nacar, led those who signed the manifesto during an
emergency meeting at the Capitol Resort Hotel here Monday.
Those who signed the manifesto included
mayors Alfonso Celeste (Bolinao), Carlitos Reyes (Mabini), John Rodney Arcinue
(Sual), Jose Pajeta (Agno), Alberto Guiang (Burgos), AldrinCerdan (Anda),
Lorenzo Cerezo (Binmaley), Eduardo Ballesteros (Aguilar), Ernesto Castañeda Jr.
(Lingayen), Mark Roy Macanlalay (Calasiao), JulierResuello (San Carlos City)
and CarlitoZaplan (Sta. Barbara).
Irene Libunao (San Fabian), Herminio
Romero (Mangaldan), SilverioAlarcio (Laoac), Manuel Collado
(Alcala), Mina Joy Pangasinan (Sison), Amado Espino III (Bautista), Phillip
Peralta (Umingan), Eldred Tumbocon (San Nicolas), LeoncioSaldivar III (Sta.
Maria) and Teodoro Ramos (San Manuel) also signed the manifesto.
Vice Mayor Virgilio Vallarta of Infanta
town, who filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor with Mayor Ruperto
Martinez, who was killed last Dec. 15, as his running mate, was also
present during the meeting.
BANGUED, Abra -- Politicians in this
strife-torn province turned in six
licensed guns in the second wave of temporary surrender of license firearms
ahead of the 2013 elections.
Lacub town Mayor Estelita Bersamina turned in
two AKKAR 12-gauge shotguns; Pilar Mayor JajaDisono, a caliber .30 M2 carbine;
Tubo Mayor Wilma Gattud, an AKKAR 12-gauge shotgun; Danglas Mayor
Esther Bernos, a caliber .45 pistol; and chairman Victor Escalante of Barangay
Velasco in Tayum town village, a .22 homemade pistol with one magazine.
Bangued Mayor Ryan Luna also surrendered an
active and four “potential” members of a private armed group known as the
“Vincent Guzman group,” said to be the only existing PAG in the province.
“It is a breakthrough in our efforts to
ensure the holding of secure elections in Abra and the province from being
included in the priority areas to be placed under the control of the Comelec,”
Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong said.
At least 38 licensed firearms were earlier
turned over by Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin, La Paz Mayor Joseph Bernos and
other mayors in a bid to curb violence in preparation for the elections.
The firearms will be
returned to the owners after the elections.
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – Nine policemen
narrowly cheated death in a landmine explosion in interior Piat town in Cagayan
on Dec. 16, according to belated reports.
The policemen, who belong to the regional
safety battalion, were on security patrol along the provincial road in remote
Baung village when the blast occurred just near them, said Senior Supt.
Gregorio Lim, Cagayan police director.
A barrage of gunfire from suspected communist
rebels then ensued, forcing the policemen to run for their safety until they
were able to fire back.
The National Grid
Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) disclosed on Wednesday that it would soon
finish its new Back-up Luzon Regional Control Center (LRCC) located at its
Mexico Substation in Pampanga.
NGCP North Luzon Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Officer, said the
back-up control center will serve as the dispatching and control arena of power
supply and demand for the whole Luzon should the main regional control center
It will house the
NGCP’s System Operations’ (SO) equipment, including a new projector system,
telecommunications, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and
Energy Management System (EMS), Gaydowen bared.
According to the
system operator, the project, which costs approximately P125 million, will be
completed before the end of the year.
The Back-up LRCC now
features the new Open 3000 technology – a more advanced software application in
monitoring the grid’s operation.
This makes it akin to
the Luzon Regional Control Center, also known as the National Control Center
(NCC) in Diliman, Quezon City; the Visayas Regional Control Center in Cebu, and
the Mindanao Regional Control Center in Cagayan De Oro City, which were
refurbished and upgraded earlier this year.
“The advantage of
using the Open 3000 software is that the various sub-systems of SO, such as
SCADA and EMS, will be integrated and will share the same platform for common
services like system administration, data access, and reporting tools which
will, in turn, expedite internal procedures.
transmission services will likewise be improved because the grids of Luzon, the
Visayas, and Mindanao will now operate on one platform, thereby ensuring
consistency and compatibility in operations,” Gaydowen explained.
The SCADA pertains to
a set of integrated computer systems used in gathering real-time data regarding
power systems operations from remote locations and equipment to monitor and
control the grid. These data are being managed and consolidated through the EMS
to oversee the grid.
TABUK CITY, Kalinga - Four members of Private
Armed Groups (PAGS) in Kalinga voluntarily surrendered to law enforcers here
last week heeding the call of police and local officials to ensure fair
elections during the May 2013 local polls.
In Camp Dangwa, Benguet, Chief Supt.
Benjamin B. Magalong, Cordillera police director, said the son and nephew of
CosmeBasungitGunnawa, and his wife Grace Pinated Gunnawa surrendered two members
of the PAGs on Dec. 8 at Camp Juan M. Duyan, Bulanao, Kalinga police provincial
Magalong identified the surrenderees as
Cosme Pinated Gunnawa Jr. alias Bongad, the son of the Gunnawa couple and AsleyPinated, alias Atley,
nephew of Ms Gunnawa who are both members of the Virgilio Gunnawa PAG.
Tabuk City Mayor Ferdinand B. Tubban,
Magdalena Moldero Gumangan Alias Apong Dalen of Radio Natin, PO3 Marvin B.
Bocalbos of the Philippine Navy, military officials and Kalinga provincial
police officials witnessed the surrender of Bongad and Atley.
During the meeting, Tubban and the other
personalities bared involvement of the two PAG members and presented documents
regarding their dismissed cases and clearances from the barangay and
On Dec. 11, two brothers, also members of the
Paul Dillaga PAG (formerly GeofreyBanya-ao PAG) voluntarily surrendered at Camp
Magalong identified the other two surrenderees
as Mark Dacnas who was listed as an active member and his brother Eugene
Dacnas, who was previously delisted from the group.
Both individuals presented themselves to
Kalinga provincial police officials.
Both brothers were accompanied by Willy
Cos-agon and barangay captain Rogelio Polon of Barangay Cabaruan, Tabuk City.
The surrender was witnessed by Aquino S.
Perez of DZRK, Radio Ng Bayan, Tabuk City and Pastor SagradoAgdamag.
Both said they surrendered considering that
police launched an all-out campaign to rid the region of PAGs in preparation
for the conduct of peaceful and free elections next year.
PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte – The
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of has ordered
the suspension for one month of Mayor Vicky Aguinaldo of this town over an
administrative complaint filed against her by the municipal council.
Vice Mayor Peter Felix Aguinaldo and some
councilors questioned the alleged questionable projects that Aguinaldo
implemented in the municipality.
Last Dec. 10, the provincial board
ordered the four-month suspension of Pagudpud Mayor Maja Sales for alleged
abuse of authority.
BAGUIO CITY-- A former armed group in the
region that started the pursuit of
Cordillera regional autonomy was accepted as a new member in the Cordillera
Regional Peace and Order Council.
The Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA)
now known as the Cordillera Forum for Peace and Development (CFPD) was accepted
in the council during the fourth quarter RPOC meeting here recently.
The CFPD has been requesting to become member
of the RPOC after the CPLA-Cordillera Bodong Administration signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine government
last year towards the group's final disposition of arms and forces and its
transformation into a socio-economic force.
CFPD chairman Arsenio Humiding earlier presented
the RPOC documents including registration
to the Securities and Exchange Commission of their group proving that they have
been transformed into a socio-economic group pursuant to the provisions of the
RPOC chairman, Ifugao Gov. Eugene
Balitang, said that the application of
the CFPD to be a member of the RPOC was put on hold in previous meetings due to
process they have been undertaking on their
transformation as unarmed force.
The Philippine Army battalions based in the Cordillera namely the 501st, 502nd and
503rd Infantry Brigades were reportedly supportive
of the move of the former rebel group to join the RPOC and help in peace and
order efforts in the region.
The past months, the CFPD conducted profiling
of its members in Cordillera provinces.
At present, more than 1,000 members have been
Through the Office of the Presidential
Adviser on the Peace Process, the Police Regional Office – Cordillera also conducted
inventory and valuation of
firearms and explosives of the
The turn-over was conducted in six provinces
in the region but the police are still waiting for the final turn-over of
firearms and explosives after only 386 were valuated out of the more than 600
which were previously reported by the CPLA.
PALAYAN CITY – The government and the
National Democratic Front (NDF) have agreed on a 27-day nationwide ceasefire.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Teresita Deles said the ceasefire started Thursday and will end Jan. 15.
This, after a top military general urged
Monday the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army to
declare bilateral ceasefire in geo-hazard prone areas in the country “to prove their real concern to the Filipino
Gregorio Pio Catapang, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division,
aired the appeal to rebels following statement made by the CPP/NPA in Mindanao
they were declaring ceasefire in provinces severely hit by Yyphoon Pablo
challenging them (rebels) to also declare bilateral ceasefire to all geo-hazard
areas throughout the country to let the government forces extend more
assistance to the people without being harassed by the armed groups of
CPP/NPA,” said Catapang.
By doing so, the Army general said, the
public in such areas can be given assistance without fear of encounter
between government forces and rebels.
“Bakit kailangan pang antayin natin na
may mga mamamatay muna sa kalamidad bago ideklarang mga rebelde ang ceasefire
sa mga lugar natatamaan ng matinding bagyo; dapat ideklara nila ang tigil-putokan
din sa lahat na identified na geo-hazard areas sa boung bansa para walang sagabal
ang pagtulong sa mga calamity areas sa bansa,” said Catapang.
The area of responsibility of Catapang includes Central Luzon, Region 1 Northern Luzon and
parts of Davao where a battalion of his men are deployed.
Dubbed “living hero” for his heroism during
the EDSA 1 revolution, Catapang said people need economic development, decent
jobs and a peaceful community as the insurgency problem in the country is
Government data showed that the death toll
brought about by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao reached to more than 1,000 while
more than 800 persons were missing and presumed dead.
DAGUPAN CITY – Ending
months of speculation, philanthropist Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas Thursday
substituted for her daughter, Rep. Ma. Rachel Arenas, in the third district
congressional race in Pangasinan.
Mother and daughter
went to the provincial office of the Commission on Elections here yesterday
morning for Rep. Arenas of the Liberal Party to officially withdraw her
candidacy for what could have been her third term and for her mother to
substitute for her.
The elder Arenas, a
director of the Manila Economic Cultural Office, would run unopposed, making
her a virtual winner in the congressional race next year.
“Serving my much-loved
people here in the third district of Pangasinan has brought me joy unlike any
other. My life has been made more meaningful because you allowed me to be a
part of yours. Together, we have shared the tribulation of tragedies and
calamities and the joy of progress,” Rep. Arenas said.
She said she drew
“examples of true public service” from her mother. “I tried to live by the virtues
she has taught me from the womb and to give back to this community in a manner
that would make her proud.”
She said it would be a
great sacrifice for her mother to give up the “relative peace of her private
life to venture once again in public service.”
meanwhile, denied that she was offered an appointive position. In the meantime,
she said she would help her mother in the third district.
Lawyer Marino Salas,
provincial election supervisor, said the basic requirement for substitution is
that “the substitute should come from the same political party as the one
“There should be a
withdrawal and there should be substitution on or before Dec. 21,” he added.
Salas said it is only
in the third district that there is a substitution.
TRINIDAD, Benguet - Development in villages hosting the 105-megawatt Ambuclao
dam in Bokod and the 125-megawatt Binga dam in Itogon will be hastened
following the advance payment of at least P83.56 million real property taxes to
the municipalities and barangays hosting the two power plants.
Emmanuel Rubio, president and chief executive
officer of SN Aboitiz Power Benguet, turned over to Bokod Mayor Mauricio Macai
a check worth P61.35 million representing the company’s advance payment for
realty property taxes to the municipal government for the facilities of the
also turned over to ItogonVice Mayor Noel Ngolob and Councilor Norberto Pacio a
check worth P22.21 million also as advance payment of the company’s real
property taxes next year for the facilities of the Binga dam, which is
currently undergoing rehabilitation and operating at around 62.5 megawatts.
“50 percent of the two payments which is
equivalent to P30.675 million and 11.105 million, respectively, will be equally
divided by the provincial school board and the concerned municipal school board
purposely to build more school buildings and sports facilities as well as hire
additional teachers,” Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan, who witnessed the turnover
ceremonies Thursday at the Ben Palispis hall of the Benguet Capitol, said.
added the remaining 50 percent of the payment will be divided pursuant to the provisions
of the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
Republic Act (RA) 7160, the prescribed sharing of real property taxes shall be
45 percent for the municipal government, 35 percent for the barangay concerned
and 20 percent will accrue to the coffers of the provincial government.
Barangay Ambuclao in Bokod town hosts the Ambuclao dam while barangay Tinongdan
in Itogon hosts the Binga hydroelectric power plant.
year, SNAP also paid its real property taxes amounting to around P61.3 million
in advance to the Bokod municipal government in order to provide concerned
local governments with added income that could be used to bankroll the
implementation of more development projects and improve the delivery of basic
services to the people.
“SNAP Benguet wants to witness the growth of
its host communities simultaneous with its existence in the areas where our
power facilities are situated and leave a worthy legacy for other businesses to
emulate,” Rubio stressed, adding that the company is inclined to maximize the
utilization of the province’s rich water resources and simultaneously guarantee
economic growth and provide more employment and livelihood opportunities for
to Fongwan, the province’s share from the 50 percent advance payment of real
property taxes were used to sustain the hiring of 100 teachers paid by the
provincial school board and the building of more than 10 school buildings in
the different towns and the construction of a P5 million gymnasium in Kabayan
added that this year’s share from the advance real property tax payment will be
used to construct more school buildings in other municipalities that need added
classrooms and the hiring of more teachers who will be asked to teach in far flung
communities and bring education closer to the people.
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Results of the
biodiversity assessment conducted by the Benguet State University – College of
Forestry (BSU) in partnership with the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc (JVOFI)
indicate that the floral and faunal diversity of Benguet is still rich and
needs to be sustainably managed.
The biodiversity assessment was conducted
under the European Union project “Saving the Benguet Watersheds for Water” last
April to May 2012 in the six demonstration sites of the project, namely: Tublay
(Ambassador); Bokod (Poblacion); Atok (Poblacion); Kibungan (Sagpat); Buguias
(Loo) &Sablan (Banangan).
During the assessment, faunal species like
the Philippine Hawk-Eagle, classified to be endemic and vulnerable were seen in
Sablan and Atok. Proof of existence of the endangered deer or Makawas in local
term was derived by the researchers in the communal forests of Kibungan and Sablan. Also, the endangered
Philippine Palm Civet or the Musang/Mutit which is known to produce the
expensive Alamid coffee was seen copious within these communal forests.
Floral species, such as the wild raspberry
and pinit (wild berry) which are also listed as near threatened can still be
found thriving in these communal forests. Dr. Marissa Parao, Faculty of the BSU
College of Forestry said that the results of the assessment are indicative of
Benguet’s rich biodiversity with Benguet Province still a key biodiversity
area. She also added that there are so many forests in Benguet that are very
healthy and intact.
With these, Dr. Parao recommended that the
resources in the areas should be carefully and sustainably utilized to preserve
multiple functions of the forest. The community should learn about the mating
season and migrating season of the faunal species to regulate or prevent
hunting of birds and other animals. They should also relay the use of species
to younger generations for them to value and safeguard their resources. The
community should do rehabilitation and fire protection activities while the
Barangay LGUs are encouraged to enact local ordinances on protection & conservation.
Kagawad Allan Mainim, member of the Barangay
Banangan Committee on Environment said that the existence of the Philippine
Hawk-Eagle in Sablan is proof that their forests are still healthy. “We will
continue to protect our forest that serves as habitat for these species as well
as for all the other animals and floral species that are present in our
forests”, Mainim added.
The biodiversity assessment is one of the
important aspects in the devolution process of forest management from the DENR
to LGUs under the framework of existing legislation (RA7160, DENR-DILG Joint
Memorandum Circulars 98-01 & 2003-01 and DENR DAO 30). The results of these
activities shall be used for the preparation of the forest management plans
which will include appropriate conservation and sustainable development
strategies to preserve biodiversity.
With the support of the European Union, a
manual of the biodiversity assessment results in the mentioned areas will be
produced for the communities & host LGUs.
This will serve as reference for the
community in preparing their comprehensive forest management plans.
TUGUEGARAO CITY – The Liberal Party (LP) has
finally laid down its card in the Cagayan gubernatorial race, fielding
three-term Tuao town mayor William Mamba against Enrile-backed re-electionist
Gov. Alvaro Antonio.
Cagayan election officer Catherine Allas said
Mamba filed his certificate of candidacy as LP candidate last Dec. 18, or three
days before Friday’s deadline for
substitution of candidates.
Mamba is running in place of Apolonio Serrano
Valleros, said to be a close aide of his elder brother, former three-term
congressman Manuel Mamba, now the presidential legislative affairs
“We have stronger chances this time with the
many controversial issues haunting the provincial administration such as black
sand mining,” said the elder Mamba.
The former congressman was defeated in the
2010 gubernatorial race by then second-term-seeking Antonio of the Team Cagayan
of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who hails from Gonzaga town.
Team Cagayan comprises various political
parties such as the Nationalist People’s Coalition and United Nationalist
Alliance under whose banner Enrile’s son, first district Rep. Juan “Jack” Ponce
Enrile Jr., is running for senator.
The elder Mamba, whose wife, former
presidential youth affairs adviser Mabel Mamba, was appointed by President
Aquino as director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, expects the
full backing of the administration party for his brother.
The younger Mamba’s vice gubernatorial
running mate is former OIC governor Melvin Vargas, brother of second district
Rep. Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso. The Vargas siblings are children of the late
long-time governor and congressman Florencio Vargas.
Vargas is up against three-term-seeking Vice
Gov. Leonides Faustino, a relative of the Mambas but whose ties with the clan
soured when he opted to side with Antonio in the 2010 polls.
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – They
mapped out a daring daytime holdup for a bagful of cash, but carted off a bagful
of coffee and canned goods instead.
City police chief Ric David said
his men are now hunting down two motorcycle-riding men who held up
CelestinoSimbulan, 40, and relative ZenyMallari, 54, as they were about to
board their Nissan sports utility vehicle after withdrawing cash from a bank in
Barangay Dolores here last Monday.
The victims though first dropped
by the supermarket before they went to the bank.
When the two men announced a
holdup, Simbulan put up a fight and was hit on the head.
Mallari grabbed the bagful of
grocery items and gave it to one of the two men, who immediately fled thinking
they got the cash.
UMINGAN, Pangasinan -- With the continuing
campaign to protect the forests, the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office
confiscated recently log bolts of acacia tree loaded on an Isuzu Forward truck
in Barangay Dakit, here, police reported.
From a tip by a concern citizen, police
located the truck with license plates RDA-302 and arrested its driver, Marlon
Busalpa, of legal age, and a resident of Gen. Tenio, Nueva Ecija. The 20 log
bolts of acacia tree were about to be transported to Madrigal Woodcraft in
Plaridel, Bulacan, when police intercepted and seized the hot logs.
BANNA, Ilocos Norte- Riding-in-tandem assassins shot dead
a 53-year-old villager last week in this remote town.
James Gapar was
reportedly sitting along the national highway afternoon of Dec. 17 in Barangay
Caribquib when the assassins stopped, the gunman unloaded from the motorcycle
and pumped bullets into him.
A caliber 45 pistol
was used in the killing, police said after finding several shells of the said
firearm in the crime scene.
investigators face a blank wall as to what prompted the killing, but initially
are theorizing that it maybe related with Gaspar being a brother-in-law of
Barangay Chairman Alfred Arce of Fortuna, Marcos.
Arce's house was
raided recently for chemicals used in making explosives.
CAMP BADO DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – The
intensified operations of policemen against wanted persons is gaining ground in
the region following the successive arrest of 14 wanted persons last
In Itogon, Benguet, police arrested a 28-year
old security guard on Dec. 7 at Caltex Gasoline Station, Barangay Tuding
in the town for theft.
Chief Insp. Fernando Botangen, Itogon police
chief led the team that arrested Richard Botis Guimpatan, of Binga, Itogon,
He said Guimpatan who had a recommended bail
bond of P68,000 was nabbed after an arrest warrant was issued against him by
Judge Danilo P. Camacho of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 62 in
Still in Itogon police arrested
Danilo Bantiw Codmos, 36, of Camanggaan,
Virac in the town on order of Judge Marybelle Demot Marinas of the Rregional
Trial Court Branch 8 in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Demot recommended bail of 34,000.
After the arrest of Codmos, a 30-year old
laborer was arrested by police at Tebteb,
Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet for rape.
Jomel Antoin Wagayan, of Mankayan, Benguet
and a resident of Shamolog, Pico, La Trinidad, was nabbed following arrest warrant issued by Judge Danilo P.
Camacho of the RTC Branch 62, La Trinidad with no bail recommended.
A separate warrant for Wagayan’s arrest was
also issued by issued by Judge Francis A. Buliyat of RTC Branch 09, La Trinidad
who recommended a P20,000 bail bond.
The following day, three wanted persons were
also arrested by Benguet and Mountain Province police.
Members of Tuba, Benguet police led by Chief
Insp. MarloGasinganEvasco arrested a 29-year old laborer on Dec. 11, at
Bejajeng, Taloy Norte in the town following a warrant for his arrest issued by
Judge Maria Clarita Casuga-Tabin, of Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Branch 4,
Roy Labbot Dalus, of Bejajeng, Taloy Norte, Tuba for reckless
imprudence resulting in 0serious physical injuries.
Tabin recommended bail of P6,000 for his
In Paracelis, Mountain Province, police
arrested a driver at around Dec. 11 at a checkpoint operation in Dagawe,
Poblacion in the town for grave threats.
The team led by Senior Insp. Philip M. Liwan,
identified the suspect as Drake Gumanab Cadchan, 22, of Poblacion,
Natonin, Mountain Province.
Judge Luis A. Daoen of the Natonin-Paracelis
Municipal Circuit Trial Court issued the warrant for his arrest.
On the same day, police arrested a 24-year
old private miner at Balatoc, Virac, Itogon.
Chief Insp. Botangen, identified the arrested
person as Alberto WacnangBananao, of Botbot, Lacnug, Tabuk, Kalinga. Jose
S. Encarnacion, MTC Judge Antamok Tram Sub-Office, Ucab, Itogon, Benguet issued
aa warrant for his arrest for violation of Presdiential Decree 581
(highgrading) and recommended bail of 10,000.
The following day, La Trinidad police
arrested a 60-year old employee of the Department of Education at Justice Hall
Kesbeng, La Trinidad, Benguet for Violation of B.P. 22 or Anti- Bouncing Check
Judge Marina Gaerlan- Mejoradaofthe
Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 70, Pasig City issued arrest warrant against
Julius WanasBangnan, of Tadian, Mountain Province.
The following day, elements of the Regional
Special Operations Task Group, Abra Police Intelligence Branch, Provincial
Investigation Division Management Branch, Provincial Public Safety Company and
Special Action Force arrested a 29-year
old man at the residence of former Vice Mayor Jesus Valencia in Tineg, Zone 1,
This, after Judge Corpuz B. Alzate of the RTC
Branch 2 in Abra, issued an arrest warrant for Bernie TaguibaoBanganan, married
and a resident of Barangay Collago, Lagayan, Abra for murder.
On Dec. 9, two wanted persons were arrested
by La Trinidad, Benguet police,
Rhigina S. GuisdanSamidan, 44, married,
businesswoman, of Buguias, Benguet, and of Puguis, La Trinidad, was arrested
following an arrest warrant issued against her by by Judge Delilah N. Gozales
of the Municipal Trial Court in La Trinidad, Benguet for violation of Batas Pambansa
22 or Anti-Bouncing Check Law with no bail recommended.
In Tabuk City, Kalinga, police led by SPO2
John Balcanao arrested a minor on Dec. 9 for theft after by Judge
MarcelinoK.Wacas of the RTC Branch 25 of Bulanao, Tabuk issued a wearrant for
his arrest with a recommended bail of P150,00. On Dec. 10, three wanted persons were arrested in different
police operations conducted by members of Abra and Benguet province.
A wanted person of Lagangilang, Abra was also
arrested by a team of the RSOTG led by Chief Insp. Lou Salvador Claro in the
town for homicide.
Senior Supt. Roberto Quinto Soriano, RSOTG
commander identified the arrested person as Joel QuiacosanManangbao, 40, of
Judge CharitoB.Gonzales of RTC Branch 1 in
Bangued, isdsued the warrant for his
Members of the Abra Police Provincial Office
also arrested a 29-year old man Dec. 12 for violation of RA 9262 known as the
Violence against Women and their Children. By virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Corpuz B. Alzate of
the Regional Trial Court Branch 2, Bangued, Abra.
Saturnino Javier Princena, a resident of
Maleta, Bangued, was arrested in Barangay Agtangao in the town.
He had a recommended bail bond of P24,000.
On Dec. 13, Tuba police arrested an out of
school youth for two counts of rape.
He was arrested in his residence at Poyopoy,
Taloy Sur, Tuba on order of Judge Francis A. Buliyat of RTC Branch 9.
Another wanted person was also arrested by
the joint personnel of the Provincial Intelligence Branch, and Tabuk police for
violation of RA 9208 or Anti-Trafficking in Persons.
Suspect identified as Telson Bommugas Changlapon, 26,
who was arrested at his residence in Barangay Calanan, Tabuk.
Judge Marcelino K. Wacas of RTC Branch 25 in
Bulanao, Tabuk issued the warrant for his arrest.
All arrested persons were turned over to
courts concerned prior to their detention except Codmos and Dalus who later
posted bail bond.
BADO DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – The leadership of the Police Regional
Office in the Cordillera disclosed all the 23 members of the Regional
Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group and other anti-drug operatives
are clear on the presence of THC-Metabolites and Methamphetamine both dangerous
drugs in their systems after the conduct of an unannounced random drug testing
Supt. Benjamin B. Magalong, PRO-COR regional director, said Cordillera police
must be straight in their functions and duties regardless of how deep
operations are being made especially in anti-drugs operations.
are those days when operatives have to be with drug pushers and even have to
use dangerous drugs to penetrate deeper in the underground activities of
lawless elements that greatly affect their performance of their assigned duties
and thereby compromising their operations,” Magalong said.
Superintendent Dalmacio W. Magantino, head of the Regional Crime Laboratory
Office-Cordillera, confirmed that all of the 23 anti-illegal drugs operatives,
twenty are from RAIDSOTG, two are from Benguet PPO and one in La Trinidad MPS
were all negative of any illegal substance in their body thereby indicating
their non-use of illegal drugs.
to him, All operatives were randomly called last Dec.10, for drug testing aside
from the regular quarterly drug testing being implemented by the PNP in order
to check whether or not they have been using illegal drugs while conducting
operations or during the regular course of discharging their assigned duties.
said that the PNP through RAIDSOTG as the primary law enforcement agency of the
country, shall continue to support the campaign against illegal drugs to
conduct forceful, intensive and unrelenting campaign against drug trafficking
and use of illegal drugs region wide and accept its mandate under RA9165 as
significant partner of PDEA in the campaign against the proliferation of
illegal drugs in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — A host of
high-profile personalities led by presidential sister Ballsy Aquino-Cruz hailed
the lantern-making tradition of this city as they judged last week this year’s
“Ligligan Parul (Showdown of Lanterns)” witnessed by over 30,000 spectators.
“Indescribable. You have to see it yourself
and the program is getting better and beautiful” said Aquino-Cruz shortly after
awarding Barangay Del Pilar for ruling this year’s Giant Lantern competition.
Barangay Del Pilar took home a giant
star-shaped trophy and the P120,000 grand prize, while Barangay Telebastagan
came in second place with P60,000 and Barangay San Jose as third placer,
Electrician Antonio Manaloto from Barangay
Del Pilar said their team was preparing almost every night in the past two
months to experiment with the right color combinations in a bid to topple
perennial Lantern December Festival winner, Barangay Sta. Lucia.
Equally elated at awarding held at Robinsons
Starmills was champion lantern-maker Rainier de Vera Turda. “We used 8,500
bulbs worth P300,000, which is lesser compared to our P500,000-worth entry in
2011 when we ranked fourth. Also, we have nine rotors and none of it was
One of the 12 judges – KumikoKoroda, a
musician and wife of the president of Asian Development Bank (ADB) – revealed
that she wanted to bring some of the lanterns in her hometown in Japan.
“Paper lantern” is common in parts of East
Asia for over 300 years now.
To highlight the enduring tradition, City
Tourism head ChingPangilinan bared plans of constructing a lantern museum that
would house the best made crafts.
The LigliganParul, is believed to have
started in 1908 when Francisco Estanislao pioneered the lantern-making industry
in San Fernando.
Estanislao is said to have built a giant
lantern for a Christmas procession during that year.
However, it was only in 1931 when the first
lantern competition was formally organized. The inaugural contest was in honor
of Aurora Aragon Quezon – wife of former president Manuel Quezon.