By Juan Dammay
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Peasants, religious and cause-oriented groups here urged the government to investigate “corruption” in rehabilitation of Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) by the National Irrigation Administration saying they lost around P10 billion due to two missed cropping seasons due to project’s “anomalous implementation.”
They demanded compensation for “gross negligence” of the contractor for using substandard materials.
According to Timpuyog Dagiti Mannalon ti Kalinga and Kalinga Apayao Religious Sector Association (KARSA), peasants along the Tabuk-Pinukpuk Chico River, the delayed rehabilitation of UCRIS coupled with the El Nino phenomenon led to suffering of farmers.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance-Kalinga and TMK, in a statement, aired support to call of farmers for compensation, investigation on the issue of corruption during the rehabilitation of UCRIS and evaluation of the project on alleged use of substandard materials.
In 2013, the World Bank funded the 10-million dollar for the rehabilitation of the UCRIS through a government loan under the Participatory Irrigation Development Project.
This project was awarded to the Markbilt Construction/RD Policarpio and Co. Inc. with NIA to oversee the implementation of the project.
The rehabilitation project major components were the repair and improvement of the Chico diversion dam; rehabilitation of four assemblies of Chico dam electro-mechanical appurtenances, sluice gates and radial intake gates and lifting mechanism main diversion canal; rehab and improvement of the 21-kilometer main diversion dam canal.
In the implementation of the project from September 2013 to 2015, peasants along with several groups and organizations such as the Tabuk - Pinukpuk Farmers Irrigators’ Association (UCRIS-TPFIA) and KARSA raised their concerns regarding the slow progress of work of the project.
TMK noted the monitoring team sent by the World Bank proved that the implementation incurred massive slippage reached up to 60 percent. “This is clear violation to R.A. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act which states that 15 percent negative slippage is ground for termination of contract,” the CPA said.
The problem of slippage was reportedly further aggravated and exposed when Typhoon Ineng hit Kalinga in August 2015.
The TMK said substandard implementation and the incapability of the contractor to anticipate and mitigate an impact of a typhoon worsened the damaged irrigation.
In the first half of 2016, El Niño phenomenon again aggravated the suffering of the peasants in Kalinga.
NIA extended a subsidy to combat El Nino by providing at least 14 units of water pump package but again marred with alleged anomalous procurement of the said water pump units.
Accordingly, the rehabilitation of UCRIS aimed to increase the water volume and restore an area of at least 1,251 hectares within the 6,801 service area covered by the system in Tabuk and Pinukpuk but up to the present, the farmers are still suffering from insufficient water supply.
CPA-Kalinga and TMK aired support for immediate compensation of farmers who missed two cropping seasons and investigation on the issues of corruption, negligence and substandard materials used on the project. Lastly, TMK urges all sectors to stand and speak for the aspirations and concerns of the peasants for food sovereignty.
Ifugao solon: Cordillerans’ consensus needed
By Susan Aro and Carlito Dar
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Cordillera will be merged with Regions 1 and 2 under the proposed Federal State of Northern Luzon.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr, an advocate for Cordillera autonomy, bared this saying need for Cordillerans to have a consensus and speak in one voice to move forward on what government set-up the region should have.
“Cordillerans must have a common stand through a collective consensus on what they really want, the present unitary or federal form of government,” he said.
Given the timeline until 2021 for the possible shift to federal government as being pushed by President Duterte, he cited need to start discussing and to have more consultations as inclusive as possible to consider all stakeholders so that nobody will be left behind.
Efforts to move forward for an autonomous region should be intensified in this administration, he said.
The call for autonomous region in the Cordillera is overshadowed by the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region due to the issue on armed conflict. Cordillera autonomy was not prioritized in the past administration and the impression is that the Cordillera region is not united without a common stand, according to Baguilat.
The Cordillera region is still in its temporary status until it becomes an autonomous as provided in the Constitution. Its establishment as an administrative region is by virtue of Executive Order 220.
Baguilat suggested four options Cordillerans may choose from - to become part of the proposed federal state of Northern Luzon, to become a separate state if it will be considered in Congress, a special region in a federal state or status quo or remain as administrative region.
As a separate state, Baguilat said they still have to discuss with the Upper Congress for a separate state of Cordillera region. But a federal state has to be fiscally stable with major industries to sustain its economy which Baguilat believes the region can given its mineral resources and vegetable industry.
A special region in a federal state is possible as there are models around the world that have federal states with a special autonomous region. But the repercussions would be problems on ancestral domain and indigenous practice of which the federal state has control over the utilization of natural resources, Baguilat said.
Should the shift to federal government push through, Baguilat said an asymmetric form of federalism is being considered such that the Cordillera region will become a special region not just due to its ethnicity or cultural diversity but its economy and topography. It can deal directly with the federal government and will have different levels of autonomy from different states.
Meanwhile, Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso said, apparently the prospect for autonomy is nil as it is not an urgent bill.
But he agreed should the region pushes for autonomy, the Cordillerans must have one voice.
In Baguio, former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said, “Good governance does not depend on governors alone but also on the governed. If you want good governance to prevail in this country the people must also act accordingly.”
Pimentel Jr. told this to participants of the recent 1st Northern Luzon Federal Forum initiated by Baguio Convenor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Core or Constitutional Reform towards Federalism recently at Teachers Camp.
Pimentel said although passage of the Local Government Code and other legislation allowed the sharing of some power to local government units, the present democratic system remains unitarian and highly centralized as opposed to the federal form of government.
In support to Duterte’s call for a shift to federal system of government, Pimentel said the proposal is a doable, practical plan to speed up the development of the country and the people.
Pimentel said under their proposal, there will be 11 federal states (or more) to be created and with Metro Manila converted into federal administrative region, there will be 12 centers of power, finance and development throughout the country.
For the Executive Branch, there will be elected President and Vice President, federal state Governor and vice governor and still with provincial governors, mayors and other LGU officials.
For the Legislative Branch, the two Houses of Congress will be maintained but with the increasing population, the proposal includes increasing the senators to six senators per state plus three legislators to be elected by the people and three sectoral representatives.
For the Judiciary, Pimentel said speedy delivery of justice will be assured under the federal state. With stricter deadline for decisions, there will be SC branches in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with five assigned justices in each branch.
Pimentel iterated that the proposed federal state will be participatory governance with the people. Whatever mode to be used in changing the Charter, whether Constitutional Convention, Constitutional Assembly or People’s Initiative, the bottom line still is that the change must be approved by the people in a plebiscite, he said.
SAN FERNANDO CITY -- It was tear-jerking to behold. Fathers, moms, sons and daughters separated from their families as drug dependents and then reunited with a new outlook in life away from the clutches of the drug menace.
A 17-year-old boy hugged his father, who is now called a “drug recovery champion” after completing a three-day rehabilitation treatment program dubbed “Lakas ng Pagbabago” Community of Drug Recovery Champions boot camp at the South Central Elementary School, Barangay Tanqui, here.
“Papa, ito na yung pinakahihintay kung unti-unting pagbabago sa iyong buhay (Dad, this is the change in you I’ve been waiting for),” the boy uttered.
There were scenes of husbands kneeling before their wives, asking for a second chance beside sons wanting to return home – all of them promising to do away with a life of drug addiction.
Reynaldo Gajo, president of Kroo Solucion-Gawad Kalinga’s social enterprise and one of the lecturers in the program, said that aside from social-intervention and spiritual guidance, lectures on skills, health and attitude were given to the drug dependents.
The activity was funded and program of the city government under City Mayor Hermenegildo Gualberto approved of Dept. of Interior and Local Government city officer Lily Ann Colisao.
BAGUIO CITY – Businessmen are now using ambulant vendors to sell their wares even if this is illegal.
Following this, the city government’s public order and safety division upped its anti-peddling campaign in public market and major streets and parks to reduce ambulant vendors that constrict pedestrian flow along sidewalks.
POSD chief Policarpio C. Cambod said their anti-peddling campaign aims to restore the cleanliness and orderliness in the different crowded portions of the market and the sidewalks within the central business district and the barangays and parks.
“We have to be consistent with our anti-peddling campaign to send a clear message to our ambulant vendors that we mean business in our to bring back the streets to the pedestrians and motorists,” Cambod said.
He added the anti-peddling campaign is an offshoot of the recommendations of the Baguio-Boracay Re-development Task Force that found out in earlier inspections during previous administration ambulant vendors impeded smooth flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
According to him, the anti-peddling campaign is also an effort to address the plight of legitimate market stallholders on need for local government to rid the sidewalks of ambulant vendors as they pay taxes to the city while those sidewalk vendors do not.
Cambod urged stakeholders in the public market and ambulant vendors to respect regulations to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in the market.
He also called on legitimate stallholders and businessmen to stop using ambulant vendors to sell their goods in the various streets to gain an advantage over their fellow stallholders legally doing their daily trade.
While the existing number of enforcers is not enough to guard the various sections of the market and the sidewalks in the central business district area from ambulant vendors, the POSD chief said that instructions were already given to them to observe maximum tolerance in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities to prevent them from potential complaints of abuse of authority.
He expressed his gratitude to ambulant vendors for their cooperation to the city’s anti-peddling policy despite the presence of hard-headed individuals who continue to vend around the city’s streets.
Cambod said enforcers understand the need for ambulant vendors to do their trade but the vendors should also understand that there are existing rules and regulations that are to be followed to sustain the gains from the city government’s efforts to bring back order and cleanliness in the city’s show window.
By Maria Teresa B. Benas
BANGUED, Abra -- The provincial Department of Interior and Local Government recently facilitated reorganization and election of officers of the Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) and the Vice-Mayors’ League (VML) – Abra Chapter.
Director Millicent B. Carino reported that for the PCL, new set of officers are president - Bienvenido Dion Jr.; vice-president – Judor Zales; secretary-general – Essex Barona; treasurer – Josefino Valencia; auditor – Grady Barbero; PRO – Rebo Berroy; business manager – Elsie Bona.
Members of the board of directors are Ursula Garcia, Apolinar Molina, Romeo Advincula, Launilyn Tabaco, Myrna Toralba, Baltazar Berona, Darwin Linggayo, Crispin Barbieto and Ronel Tordil.
The PCL president automatically sits in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as ex-officio member.
For the VML: President – Garde Cardenas; Vice-President – Christopher Berona; Secretary-General – Marjorie Lagen; Treasurer – Ludevina Go; Auditor – Bruno Domingo, Jr.; PRO – Arnulfo Bisares; and Board of Directors: Eugene Cillo, Joseph Duggay, Casimir Molina, Julius Balao-as, and Geroldo Aznar.
Meanwhile, the election of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Abra is set on September 16.
By Redjie Melvic Cawis
BAGUIO CITY – Following the Davao City blast which killed 14 persons, regional police director Chief Supt. Elmo Francis Sarona said there is threat of such occurring in Baguio City and Cordillera but police do not discount possibility of violent acts.
“Authorities are on top of the situation. We do not have threat in the Cordillera but we are not taking chances,” Sarona said. “We are just maximizing presence to ensure that everything will go smoothly and peacefully.”
Sarona called on the public not to panic and not to be alarmed of the situation and appealed for more security consciousness from the public.
The regional police office intensified operations including police visibility to ensure safety and security of the public following the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte placing the whole country under “State of national emergency on account of lawless violence.”
Sarona and Baguio City police chief Senior Supt. George Daskeo led the inspection of key areas in the city and placement of checkpoints last week.
The PNP officials met with officials of the Philippine Air Force - Tactical Operations Group 1 led by its commander Col. Onorlie Brillantes and inspected a giant mall chain and bus terminals in the central business district.
The PNP and AFP officials also conducted dialogue with security officers of establishments and transport sector and cited need to conduct operations and placement of additional police officers as partners of the security personnel.
The group also met with with security officers to ensure security measures are coordinated with police.
The team also inspected baggage at bus terminals using the K-9 units.
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Wary of food school children and students eat for health, nutrition and sanitary reasons, local officials here passed an ordinance regulating food sold in school canteens.
Authored by Councilor Roderick Awingan, Ordinance Number 19-2016 regulates operations of school canteens in tis capital town to safeguard health conditions and promote proper nutrition.
School canteens play a vital role in developing eating habits of school children and students.
However, several school canteens sell carbonated drinks, artificially flavored juices, junk foods and other similar products which are scientifically proven to be bad for the health.
The measure said only nutritious food such as root crops, noodles, rice and corn products in native preparation, fruits and vegetables in season, fortified food products with proper labeling and beverages such as milk, shakes, juices prepared from fruits and vegetables in season will be served.
But commercially prepared food with “Sangkap Pinoy” seal which passed Bureau of Food and Drugs approval may be sold upon the approval of school administrations.
Part of the regulation is for school canteens to secure permit clearances such as sanitation permit issued by the Municipal Health Office and health certificates/clearance of canteen personnel.
Personnel are also required to wear clean and proper attire at all times and proper identification cards with photo inside canteen premises. They, including practicum students, are also required to undergo training on proper and safe handling of food before they are allowed to work in school canteens.
In adherence to food safety standards, they are required to have potable drinking water and hand washing facilities; well maintained, clean, well-ventilated and pest-free environment; food covers and containers for safekeeping; hygienic practices on food preparation, cooking display, serving and storage.
The use of controlled iodized salt in the preparation of cooked food is likewise required.
The ordinance prohibits vendors from selling food inside school canteens and premises. Also teachers and school personnel are not allowed to sell within school premises except through school canteen and unless authorized and covered by a written agreement with the school head or principal and or teachers’ cooperative.
The Municipal Health Office through the sanitary inspectors will do the regular monitoring and enforcement of the measure in coordination with the Department of Education Monitoring and Enforcement Team, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education assigned focal personnel including the committee chair on health and education. -- Susan Aro
By Eva Visperas
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – A public school teacher was killed in a gun attack on Monday night.
Rowena Tigno, 38, of the Lingayen Central School was pronounced dead on arrival at the Region 1 Medical Center, where her uncle Mike Vergara and his daughter Michaela, 12, who were wounded, were also taken for treatment.
Initial investigation showed unidentified men barged into Tigno’s house at around 8:20 p.m. and shot her repeatedly.
Probers are eyeing debt as motive for the attack.
P90K heist in Baguio barangay hall mystery
BAGUIO CITY – Police are still investigating an alleged robbery wherein equipment worth around P50,000 and P40,000 cash were allegedly Monday stolen here at Pucsusan barangay hall. A police report said around 7:05 a.m. that day, Kagawad Winston Basilio of No. 33 Purok 3 reported the incident saying unidentified suspects destroyed the padlock of the building and took an LCD projector worth P30, 000, weighing scale carrier set worth P5, 900; printer worth P7, 000, computer set and P40, 000 cash.
Investigation disclosed that about 8:30 p.m. of Sept. 18, Gerald Julian Pang-ao, 23, barangay treasurer went to hall to put the money for honorarium inside hanging wood cabinet.
He reportedly left after locking the hall. The next day around 6:30 a.m., kagawad Basilio went to the house of barangay secretary Pang-ao informing him the hall was robbed a. They went to the building and found the items were reportedly missing. Police found no finger print in the area.
Laborer in Apayao drug list shot dead
FLORA, Apayao – Police reported a shooting incident here wherein a laborer was shot dead around 5 p.m. at Camia Street, Poblacion West. The victim was identified as Edmund Cascayan Tungpalan, 37 who was allegedly shot by two unidentified motor-riding persons.
Investigation disclosed while the victim was unloading furniture bed from his mini dump truck, one of his assilants wearing a helmet on board with a black and white Honda XRM motorcycle stopped and parked along the road. Accordingly, the back rider of said motorcycle approached the victim and suddenly shot him once. The victim managed to run but the suspect chased the latter and shot him twice.
The suspects escaped to unknown direction using said motorcycle. The victim was brought to Flora District Hospital and transferred to Cagayan Valley Medical Center at Tuguegarao City where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician. The victim sustained one gunshot wound on his left elbow and two gunshot wounds on his abdomen. The victim was in drug watch list of Flora police.
Businessman in La Trinidad drug list shot dead
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A businessman in the drug list of local police was shot dead here here Tuesday inside a billiard hall where he resided with his wife. A police report said that night at about 12:45 a.m., a certain Alvester Basitan Gayaden, 21 and Jonathan Lemya-en Noiwas, 25, reported at town police station that 15 minutes earlier, victim Osias Wassan Dada-an, 36, residentof JC 103 Costina Building here at Barangay Pico was gunned down by unidentified suspect inside the billiard hall.
The victim was reportedly rushed by Gayaden and Noiwas at Benguet General Hospital, La Trinidad where he was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Roland Alipio at about 1:10 a.m.
According to Venus Lonogan Dada-an, 33, store keeper, wife of the victim, the suspect, who was wearing face mask and dark jacket, went inside and shot the victim several times and fled outside where a gray Tamaraw FX with no plate number was parked and immediately headed to unknown direction. A police team led by Senior Insp. Calixto responded and processed the crime scene and recovered five empty shells and two slugs for Cal. 45.
The victim, an alleged drug pusher who surrendered was in watch list of La Trinidad.
Boardmate hacks vendor due to jealousy
BAGUIO CITY – A vendor was hacked by his board mate here at P. Burgos Monday around 7 p.m. The victim identified as Arnel Custodio Bagasina, 33, renting at No. 1 Padre Zamora was reportedly hacked by a certain Norman.
Investigation disclosed victim just came from Centermall and while walking home, the suspect suddenly appeared from behind and hacked the head of the victim. He ran after seeing blood oozing from his head but the suspect chased him. He was able to escape and sought for help from bystanders along Purok 2 particularly at Batoyog Store. Cops immediately responded and brought the victim to a hospital for treatment where he is now in stable condition. The victim told cops his board mate who is nowhere to be found, was jealous of him.
Suspect in Abra hacking nabbed
BANGUED, Abra – A man was hacked while having a drinking spree here Monday around 8 p.m. Police said the incident happened at Barangay Macarcarmay wherein the victim was named as Bartolome Santa Ana Buenafe, 44, farmer.
Investigation disclosed prior to the incident, the victim and his companions, Ruben Doliente Bautista and Hipolito Bernese Cleto, were having a drinking session at the latter’s house when suspect Lorenzo Bobias Paringit, who was under the influence of liquor, passed by. Cleto invited him to join them to which he did. But after a while, the victim and the suspect had a heated argument but were pacified by the victim’s companions. The suspect went home but unknown to the group, he returned armed with a bolo and hacked the victim, thrice. The victim’s companion sought assistance from the personnel of Peñarrubia police and brought the victim to Abra Provincial Hospital, Bangued, Abra for medical treatment.
Police later arrested the suspect.
Painter nabbed in buy-bust operation
BAGUIO CITY – Cops arrested Monday a house painter in a buy-bust operation here at at No. 122 purok 1, Sunnyside Fairview,. Nabbed was Emmanuel Caballa Ringor Caballa, 45, resident of the area. Confiscated from him were shabu and drug paraphernalia.
Laborer attempts suicide after arguing with partner
ITOGON, Benguet – A laborer tried to take his life here Sept. 18 Around 10 p.m. after arguing with his live-in partner who went abroad. A police report said the incident happened at here Goldfield, Poblacion wherein Ricardo Agid Tioxion, 28, his mother heard her son arguing with someone through his cell phone at about 9:20 p.m. Suddenly, the Tioxion became unruly and began breaking glasses inside their house which he might have used in inflicting injuries on his hand and to his neck.
Responding police personnel with the victim’s neighbors rushed the victim to the Baguio General Hospital where he was immediately operated on.
Flora farmer in drug list shot dead
FLORA, Apayao – A farmer in local police drug list, was recently shot to death here by still unidentified suspects here at Barangay Malubibit Sur. The victim was identified as Elvis Mabini Mabini, 40, married.
Police investigation disclosed earlier that day, Freddie, brother of the victim with their uncle, Julio Mabini had a drinking session at the sari-sari store owned by Rubelyn Villoria.
After consuming one bottle of red horse, Freddie went home while Julio was still drinking. According to the father of the victim Victor had a drinking session with Rexon Mabini and Ernesto Tugade.
Later, Elvis proceeded to Julio’s house to watch television. However, while the victim was watching, he was bothered by his uncle Julio prompting the victim to confront his uncle and a heated argument arose between them. Later Julio left riding his tricycle and returned after an hour while the victim went home.
Further investigation disclosed that while Teresita Umuso and her family were watching television, they heard three gunfire but they ignored it.
The next day, Victor awoke and tried to check on his son. He noticed his son was bloodied prompting him to seek help from his neighbor.
Police found four fired bullets for Cal. 45 and three other bullets. The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds on his body.
Tabuk businessman shot dead by 2 men
TABUK CITY – A businessman was recently shot dead here by still unidentified persons at Sitio Wanti, Purok-7, Bulanao. The victim was identified as Alfonso Tungkul Dulin, 65 who was shot to death by still two unidentified suspects on board a motorcycle Honda colored red with blue stripe on its side. Victim succumbed to gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.Police said suspects wearing helmets fled towards Bulanao after the incident.
Man hunted in Pugo for frustrated murder
PUGO, La Union – A man was nabbed here recently for frustrated murder at Barangay Cares. A tracker team of Baguio police who effected the arrest named the suspect as Glen Dalida of Calauag, Quezon province.This after Mia Joy Oallares Cawed, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 4, Baguio City, issued warrant for her arrest recommending bail of P200,000.
Laborer arrested in Sablan for concubinage
SABLAN, Benguet – Police nabbed here at Barangay Banangan, Sablan, a certain Rod Olayan Kidpalos also known as. Rodolfo Olayan Kidpalos, 48, laborer, and resident of Pines Park, Km 4, La Trinidad town.
The arrest was made after Marietta S. Brawner-Cualing, [residing Judge of 5th MCTC Tuba-Sablan issued warrant against him for concubinage setting bail of P12,000.
Farmer nabbed for rape, acts of lasciviousness
BUGUIAS, Benguet -- Police Tuesday arrested a farmer here at Barangay Abatan identified as Elmer Mateo Macario, 32, resident of Bulalacao, Guinaoang, Mankayan town. The arrest was made by virtue of a warrant of arrest for acts of lasciviousness and rape issued by Sergio T. Anganganay, Jr. acting presiding judge of RTC Branch 64, Abatanwith no recommended bail bond.
Violation of poll rules lands man in jail
PARACELIS, Mountain Province -- Police arrested here Tuesday a certain Roland Laguiwoy Binuloc, 30, laborer, resident of Barangay Bacarri for violation of elelction rules. Anastacio D. Anghad, presiding judge of RTC, Branch 36 Santiago City, Isabela issued warrant for his arrest. Binuloc was incarcerated at the local jail here.
Three Bontoc houses burned
BONTOC, Mountain Province – Three houses were recently burned here at Barangay Alab Oriente, Bontoc even as local folks helped to put out the conflagration.Investigation revealed the fire started at the house of Melecio Atiwag and reached the nearby house of Elpidio Kaya-as and another house of Mary Kampilo. The fire was declared out by 7:30 p.m. Houses of Atiwag and Kaya-as were totally burned with damages respectively tagged at P700,000 and P800, 000. The house of Kampilo was partially burned. No person reported injured during the incident.
Old woman dies after van bumps her
BAUKO, Mountain Province – An old woman died after she was bumped by a van here Sept. 13 around 1 p.m. along the Bontoc-Cervantes road here at Sitio Picao, Poblacion.
A police report said Sandy L. Valeriano, 62, resident here of Barangay Bila, Bauko, driver of Pregio van only reported the incident at around 9:11 p.m.
Investigation disclosed the vehicle came from Bila headed to Abatan, Bauko, and while at the place of incident, victim identified as Magdalena Calado Modawan, 61, farmer, resident of Barangay Banao, suddenly crossed the road. As a result, she was bumped by said van and was rushed immediately by the driver using his vehicle to Rural Health Office at Poblacion, Bauko for medical treatment but she was transferred to Luis Hora Regional Memorial Hospital, Abatan wghere she died later due to severe brain injury, said attending doctor Annie Claire B. Pekas. The driver voluntary surrendered including his vehicle and is now under custody of Bauko police.
‘Drug group leader,’ aid nabbed for shabu
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- A suspected local drug group leader and his trusted aide were recently arrested in separate buy-bust operations by anti-narcotics agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Cordillera, Baguio and La Trinidad cops.
Rashid Amito Lazim alias Alex, 41of Marawi City and residing at Barangay Buyagan here fell in a sting operation in front of his rented apartment when he sold shabu, weighing 15 grams to a PDEA agent.
Lazim yielded buy-bust money worth P30,000 and a mobile phone. In a follow up operation, Abdullah Lumano Mangoranca, leader of a local drug group, 33 also of of Marawi City and resident of Central Fairview, Baguio City was caught selling shabu to a poseur worth P4,000 near his residence.
Seized from Mangoranca. The 15 sachets of shabu confiscated from the suspect, weighing 42.92 grams was worth P215,673.
Charges for illegal drugs were prepared against them.
DOH to public: Clean breeding sites
By Carlito Dar and Daniel Codamon
BAGUIO CITY – Dengue cases hare alarmingly risen in the Cordillera making Health officials urge the public to clean mosquito breeding sites especially open containers and roof gutters as well as plants that may have trapped rainwater.
With the sun out after days of gloomy weather, new mosquitoes will incubate in few days, they said.
Dept. of Health Cordillera assistant regional director Dr. Amelita Pangilinan bared this in media forum saying from Jan. 1 to Sept. 10, there were 8,183 dengue cases including 21 deaths recorded in the region.
This was 25 percent increase compared to 6,522 cases recorded same period last year.
There is also clustering of cases noted in some areas in every province in Cordillera and in Baguio City, she added.
She urged the public to cooperate in anti-dengue campaigns such as 4S strategy (search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, self – protection measures, seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days and saying no to indiscriminate fogging, aksyon barangay kontra dengue the 4’O Clock habit, among others.
“We are wiser than the mosquitoes and we can prevent dengue by cleaning stagnant water especially rainwater trapped in plants and other possible containers or areas in our surroundings,” said Pangilinan. With the sun showing up, new mosquitoes will incubate in four to seven days, she added.
Aside from dengue, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is also a carrier of the Zika virus as well as the Chikunggunya virus, so let us make sure that there are no possible mosquito breeding sites in our homes and surroundings, Pangilinan said.
She urged the public to boost their immune system by having enough sleep, eat more fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
In the same forum, DOH Cordillera cited Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell – Ubial’s directive for more intensive mosquito control campaign with the first DOH confirmed case of locally transmitted Zika virus disease in Iloilo City last week.
In Lagawe, Ifugao, the Provincial Health Office warned growing dengue cases in the province was alarming with the rainy season in.
Provincial Health officer Mary Josephine Dulawan said increasing admission of suspected dengue patients at the Panopdopan District Hospital which is now being used temporarily as the Ifugao General Hospital pending the completion of the new Ifugao Tertiary Hospital in Lagawe was of grave concern .
A 51 year man died of dengue, she said.
Dulawan urged the public to take preventive and precautionary measures against the disease since it has no cure. She said the best preventive measure was destruction of the breeding places of mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus by having clean surroundings, covering water containers that might serve as the breeding places of the mosquitoes, observing a healthful lifestyle and eating the proper nutritious foods.
Dulawan cited need to consult a doctor for early detection and management of the disease if ever they experience flu-like symptoms manifesting dengue such as severe headache, migraine, chills, muscle and joint pains, extreme fatigue, bright red rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and the dropping of the blood platelet count.
Heeding the call, the Municipal Health Office of Tinoc and the rural health units assisted by the police conducted a clean-up drive and mosquito fogging operation at Barangay Poblacion to kill or knock-down any dengue carrying mosquitoes and their larvae.
The group also conducted information drive about the dengue disease. They also told the people of some home remedies for confronting and speeding up the healing process against dengue such as drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day, drinking coconut water, taking vitamin C and A, eating potassium rich food like sweet potatoes and bananas, protein rich vegetables like broccoli, beans, peas, kale and leafy vegetables.
TABUK CITY, Kalinga- - Patients in the province in need of dialysis can look forward to a dialysis center in the province soon as the Provincial Health Office recently recorded 23 deaths from kidney and liver ailments while 38 patients are currently having dialysis procedure in hospitals outside the province.
Vice Gov. James Edduba led last week ground breaking of dialysis center at Kalinga Provincial Hospital compound.
The facility is a joint project between Dept. of Health and provincial government.
Under the partnership, DOH will provide ten dialysis machines including accessories while the provincial government will construct the building as counterpart.
Edduba said P8 million derived from the province’s savings was allotted for the project.
Provincial Health Officer Romulo Gaerlan said DOH will deliver the machines as soon as the building is completed.
Gaerlan said the project is the answer to the pressing need for a dialysis facility in the province with its high cases of chronic kidney disease.
-- Larry T. Lopez
By Aldwin Quitasol
LUBUAGAN, Kalinga -- An indigenous community in this town urged abusive army soldiers who encamped on their homes to leave even as they rejected the proposed setting up of a Citizens' Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) detachment inside their village.
An elder of Barangay Western Uma, Benito Sugao said the 50th IB and 77th IB of the Philippine Army plan to build a detachment in Sitio Ag-agama in Western Uma.
They urged concerned government authorities to make the soldiers leave as they have been committing human rights violations against them.
He said the army called for a community meeting on Sept. 4 and talked about this plan. Sugao said the village folk did not agree.
“The setting up of a detachment inside our village will further put us in danger because they might attack. We will be living in fear,” he said.
The Kalinga elder added that government troopers who came and went their village left a long list of human rights violations that include harassment, physical injury and extrajudicial killings among others.
Sugao said that the proposed area for the detachment is right in the middle of the village surrounded by their houses and rice fields.
He said that with such set up, they fear that they will serve as shield for the detachment because whoever will attack them must pass through their houses and rice fields.
At present there are seven to eight soldiers encamped in civilian houses in Western Uma since Oct. 15.
The community folk recently signed a petition asking for the pull out of these government soldiers from their village saying that their presence poses danger to the community.
The community folk also cited various human right violations these soldiers perpetrated against them.
Among these violations included a soldier pointing a gun to a teenager early morning of last August 17 when he was on his way to their school.
The victim was traumatized that he said his vision went blurred due to extreme fear at the time.
BAGUIO CITY -- The proposed P601 million Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project2 (CHARMP2) Scale-Up Project of the Dept. of Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region was approved by the Investment Coordinating Committee- Technical Board (ICC TB) after two presentations last August 19 and Sept. 1.
The project proposal is now ready for presentation to the ICC Cabinet committee on Sept. 19. ICC clearance is needed for all major projects needing foreign funding support.
The project is expected to benefit about 2,665 households spread over 18 barangays in the six provinces of CAR. If approved by the ICC Cabinet Committee and the NEDA Board, it will be implemented starting January 2017 with a two-year implementation period.
The 18 barangay beneficiaries which are among the poorest and hard-to-reach barangays in the region are as follows: Nalbuan in Licuan-Baay; Nagbuquel in LUba; Bayabas in Malibcong in the province of Abra; Ferdinand in Calanasan, Calafug in Conner and Lucab in Kabugao in Apayao; Bagu in Bakun. Pongayan in Kapangan and Pappa in Sablan in Benguet; Anao in Hingyon, Abatan in Hungduan and Gumhang in Tinoc in Ifugao; Taloctoc in Tanudan, Bugnay in Tinglayan, and Balinciagao Sur in Pasil in Kalinga; and Bagnen Oriente in Bauko, Balugan in Sagada, and Dacudac in Tadian in Mountain Province.
The project has four main components: social mobilization and participatory investment planning; agro forestry, agriculture, agri business and income generating activities and rural infrastructure development.
Agroforestry and watershed management, and project management components account for 9 percent of the total project cost while the components on Social Mobilization, Participatory Investment Planning, and Agriculture, Agri-business and Income Generating Activities account for 8% each of the total project funds. The RID has the largest share at 64% or about P386 M.
The RID project outputs include the rehabilitation / improvement of about 86 kilometers of farm to market roads, 40,450 lineal meters of foot path, 625 lineal meters of foot bridge, 482 hectares of communal irrigation system plus the construction of 30 community infrastructures (domestic water supply system, tramlines, warehouse, solar dryer, greenhouse).
On the other hand, the agribusiness and income generating activities will provide seed fund to farmers to support various commodities of the farmers.
The watershed components will involve the establishment of agroforestry plots in the barangays.
During the ICC technical board deliberation, NEDA deputy director general Rolando Tungpalan cited need for DA to show complementation of the CHARMP2 Scale-Up Project with the Philippine Rural Development Project, a nationwide project of DA and the Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management Project (INREMP) being implemented by DENR in the Upper Chico River Basin of CAR. He likewise directed DA to show the impact of the previous CHARMP projects.
The first CHARMP project had 82 barangay beneficiaries implemented from 1997 to 2004, while CHARMP2, which had 170 barangay beneficiaries, was implemented from 2009-2016.
With 18 barangay beneficiaries, the proposed CHARMP2 Scaling- Up project is expected to replicate the good practices of the previous CHARMP projects, but this time spreading the benefits to other poorer, hard-to-reach areas in CAR.
The Cordillera Regional Development Council endorsed the proposed scaling-up project to the ICC.
BAGUIO CITY - Communication and broadcasting students of the University of Baguio is set to hold a one-day baking seminar “Bake your Business” on Sept. 29 at the Forplays – The Camp, Leonard Wood Road just across Teacher’s Camp, here.
The event aims to help full-time mothers and interested individuals earn money by starting home-based baking business.
A series of demonstrations and consultation with experts Melanie Seňa of Sweetmates, Charisse De Guzman of Sweet Craving, Charisse and MaritessMalapit of Mom’s Goodies will also take place not only to highlight their experiences from being a novice to being an expert in baking but also to address queries of the audience and discuss the baking industry.
Bake your Business is free admission and organizers are inviting interested individuals to participate. For reservations, kindly contact 0927-985-7232. The event is sponsored by ABS- CBN Northern Luzon, My Only Radio for Life (M.O.R), Northern Philippine Times, Forplays- The Camp, Tiyatro, Sweetmates, Sweet Cravings by Charisse, Mom’s Goodies, Julie’s Bakeshop, Inprint General Merchandise and InCafe. – Layela Joy Barangan
VIGAN CITY – The provincial government of Ilocos Sur launched eating festivals for the celebration of the World Tourism week which started Thursday until Saturday.
The other highlights of the three-day fest were holding of Ilocos Sur’s bicentennial logo making and extemporaneous tour guiding contests; Abel Yloco fashion show and tourism appreciation night, and street party.
The public joined contests on eating betamax, isaw, kwek kwek, and adidas.
Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis V. Singson said the events for the World Tourism Week festival in the province are considered as the pre-load for the celebration of the 200 – year anniversary of the province in 2018.
“Our attractive One- Town- One-Product (OTOP) offerings are showcased during the fest to draw more attraction to our visiting tourists,” Singson said. -- Freddie G. Lazaro
By Erwin G. Beleo
NAGUILLAN, La Union — Mayor Reynaldo “Bobot” Flores, who was tagged by President Duterte last week as high value target in the administration’s campaign against the illegal drugs trade, expressed fears for his and his family’s safety together with his family.
Flores said he was caught by surprise after a validated list of so called narco-politicians was released anew and claimed that there is already an ongoing investigation of his case by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Philippine National Police.
“When my name was first mentioned, I complied and went to these agencies and all the while, I thought the investigation is going well but last Saturday, my name was mentioned again out of 1000 ‘narco-politicians and judges and I was the only one being singled out,” Flores said.
Flores denied the accusation of former La Union Second District Rep. Thomas “Butch” Dumpit, Jr., a former military man, linking him to the illegal drugs activity.
The mayor fears that the allegation would complicate the outcome of the investigation after Duterte, in a speech before troops of the 5th Infantry Division in Gamu, Isabela, announced that the cases of the “narco-politicians” and other drug-listed personalities would be under military supervision.
Dumpit and Flores were former political allies but parted ways and Flores campaigned for the former’s opponents.
Meanwhile, in a text message from Dumpit, who was in Manila, said that “Pres. Duterte finally affirmed after validation that Mayor Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian, La Union is not only a shabu lab protector but considered a high value target, meaning, he is also a major player in the drug trade in the province. I advise him to help the government and tell what he knows especially the big fish.”
The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) anti – illegal drugs campaign is getting positive response and cooperation from residents of Santiago, Ilocos Sur.
“Our town has become so peaceful after the police launched Operation Tokhang, making the hundreds of drug users and even pushers surrender out of fear perhaps,” said Mayor Josefino “Boy” Miranda.
Miranda admitted that he himself was shocked to learn that more than 300 of his constituents surrendered to authorities after the police started its crackdown on illegal drugs.
Sr. Insp. James Calibuso, Santiago chief of police, reported that 319 surrendered voluntarily while one death was reported in a legitimate operation and another one was killed by unidentified armed men.
“We are going down to the barangay level asking people to avoid using illegal drugs and knock on their doors gently to inform them about the evil effects of using illegal drugs,” Calibuso said.
In La Union, police chief Silverio Ordinado Jr said drug Albrando Palbusay, 40 was shot dead by the police after he engaged the authrotieis to a shootout in Barangay Upper San Agustin in Bauang.
In Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, two suspected pushers were killed in an encounter after they chose to engage police officers to a gun battle after a buy-bust operation in Barangay Daan Sarile early Tuesday morning.
Supt. Ponciano Zafra identified the slain drug personalities as Angelito Quaimbao and Ariel Malabuyoc.
“Quiambao is a long time drug dealer in our Watchlist of Drug Personalities who surrendered in this station last July but remained involved in illegal drugs in this city” said Zafra.
Zafra, who led the buy-bust operation, said that the bloody encounter happened when Quaimbao and Malabuyoc pulled out their guns opened fire after sensing that they were dealing with a group of police officers.
>> Monday, September 26, 2016
3 La Union mayors, ex-congressman tagged in list
By Erwin Beleo and Genalyn D. Kabiling
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- – Some 124 government officials in Cordillera surrendered to authorities last week as government intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
Data from regional police office here bared those who surrendered in Mountain Province included a provincial board member, mayor, barangay chairman and four public school teachers.
In Abra, a mayor, ex-mayor, five municipal councilors, 18 barangay chairmen, 22 village councilmen, and two government employees surrendered.
In Apayao, surrenderees included a councilor, two barangay chairmen, 20 barangay kagawads (councilor), five tanods (watchmen), 16 government employees, two public school teachers, and two Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) members.
In Baguio City and Benguet, two and four kagawads surrendered respectively.
In Ifugao, a councilor, ex-councilor, barangay captain, and kagawad surrendered, while in Kalinga, councilor, barangay chairman, five kagawads, one village watchman, and a government employee turned themselves in.
Chief Supt. Elmo Sarona, regional police director said most of those who surrendered submitted themselves to police to clear their names.
Others admitted using illegal drugs.
The officials are closely being monitored by the police to make sure they do not return to their old ways.
Meanwhile, Naguillan, La Union Mayor Reynaldo “Bobot” Flores said he does not harbor ill feelings towards President Duterte for tagging him as a “high-value target” on illegal drugs.
“There is a divine intervention in this situation and I am very positive with the re-investigation, authorities will discover for themselves that there are other persons involved in the establishment of the shabu factory aside from those who were already convicted,” Flores said.
The President during his troop visit at the camp of the 5th Infantry Division in Cauayan, Isabela last week, ordered the military to go after those on the list involved in illegal drugs, including Flores.
Flores said he was shocked by the President’s pronouncement because the investigation against him is ongoing after he was first identified publicly along with four other personalities in La Union as “narco-politicians.”
Flores said he has already submitted himself for investigation with the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Aside from Flores, the President also named Mayor Martin De Guzman of Bauang town, Mayor Dante Garcia of Tubao town, and former Congressman Eufranio Eriguel.
All denied involvement in any illegal drug activities.
“I don’t blame the President. This is the work of God. If I was mentioned again, then media and investigators will come to me. So what I would tell them again is about the shabu laboratory,” he said.
Flores, however, is concerned about his safety because he said “high-value targets” are priority in the campaign against illegal drugs.
In an affidavit submitted to Camp Crame, Flores named the mastermind behind the shabu laboratory discovered by authorities in July 2008 in Barangay Bimmotobot in Naguilian.
“I know a lot of (hidden) information about the involvement of several personalities on the shabu lab because I was one of those who conducted the raid against the illegal facility and we know the story behind it,” Flores said.
Flores said he thanked Duterte for naming him as the number one mayor on his list because it would give him the opportunity to tell all about the facility including the mastermind.
Aside from Police Supt. Dionicio Borromeo, the convicted shabu laboratory protector, Flores claimed there were prominent personalities involved in the illegal trade in the province.
Faced with the enormous drug problem in the country, Malacañang is seeking public understanding in the President’s plea for another six months in resolving the drug menace.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President is just being “realistic” to effectively implement his “comprehensive” strategy against illegal drugs.
“Let’s understand the President. Let us cooperate. This is for the greater good,” Andanar said in a radio interview.
During the campaign, Duterte vowed to rid the country of illegal drugs and crime in six months time. Then senatorial candidate and former PNP Chief Panfilo Lacson said it could not be done.
Last week, the President conceded that he still needed six more months to implement the campaign against illegal drugs, saying he only realized how bad the drug problem was after taking office last June.