‘Breakup’ of Cordillera under federal gov’t looms

>> Thursday, July 20, 2017

As CAR commemorates 30th founding anniversary 

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY– As the Cordillera Administrative Region is celebrating its thirtieth founding anniversary this July, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan warned of a possible breakup of the CAR once Congress, as a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution, will decide to delete provisions that mandate establishment of autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao to suit the administration’s bid to shift from the present presidential form to federal government.
The mayor said the potential breakup of the Cordillera is not a threat to those who are against the renewed quest for regional autonomy but it is a reality that can happen once a number of provinces will ratify the autonomy law once enacted by Congress and signed into law by the President and once the constitutional provisions mandating establishment of autonomous regions will be deleted during the charter change.
“We do not intend to threaten anyone regarding the possible disintegration of our region in the future once the situation warrants it that is why it is high time for us to unite to achieve autonomy as this might be our last chance to do so amidst the administration’s planned shift to federal form of government within the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
He added that Cordillerans are lucky because President Duterte, through Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, is supportive of the region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy unlike during the previous administration and Cordillerans must reciprocate the support by showing their interest in establishing the autonomous region in the Cordillera.
Domogan said Cordillerans were actually treated as second-class citizens when some parts of the CAR were parts of Region I and II during the martial law regime and people do not want the problem to be repeated once the region will disintegrate if the autonomy law is rejected or once the renewed quest for regional autonomy will be overtaken by the planned shift to federal form in the future.
Republic Act 4695 or the Division Law divided the previous Mountain Province into four independent provinces namely, Bontoc that retained the old name of Mountain province, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Benguet. However, when former President Ferdinand Marcos issued Batas Pambansa No. 1 or the decree that divided the country into regions, the Cordillera was again disintegrated wherein Benguet, Baguio city and Mountain Province went to Region I while Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao joined Region II.

After the signing of the September 13, 1986 historic Mount Data peace agreement, former President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No. 220 that reconfigured the Cordillera Administrative Region which brought back Abra, Benguet, Baguio city and Mountain Province from Region I and Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao from Region II to comprise the CAR. Later, the former Kalinga-Apayao area was divided into two independent provinces by virtue of Republic Act 7878. Under the provisions of House Bill 5343 or the bill that seeks to establish the autonomous region in the Cordillera, cities and provinces that will not vote in favour of the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera will revert back to their original regions allowing the cities and provinces that voted in favor of the autonomy law to compose the autonomous region in the Cordillera. 

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Kalinga Rep Mangaoang now Mt Province ‘caretaker’ solon

Speaker Alvarez issues designation 

By Erlindo Agwilang, Jr.

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez has designated Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang as Legislative Caretaker of the Lone District of Mountain Province effective July 5 by virtue of HREP Memorandum Order No. 17-94.
Mangaoang was a former vice governor of Kalinga and former mayor of Balbalan town in the province. 
This after the family of the late Maximo B. Dalog requested Alvarez to designate Mangaoang. 
The office became vacant with the death of Dalog who died June 5 at the age of 70. He was serving his third and last term.
Lawyer Cyphrine Maxcel Dalog, chief of staff of Mountain Province’s Congressional Office affirmed it was the family’s prayer that Mangaoang be designated as caretaker citing the following reasons:
Dalog and Mangaoang are both members of the Nacionalista Party and Mangaoang is from Mountain Province, his mother, being a native of Sagada.
She said Mangaoang was aware of Dalog's vision for Mountain Province because as a neophyte representative, the latter had been with him as a mentor and adviser.
“We believe that Congressman Mangaoang personally feels, understands and knows the plight and needs of our province in so far as legislation is concerned because of the aforementioned reasons,” she said.
“This being said and done, we assure that the programs and services as envisioned by Cong. Dalog will advance in favor of the people of Mountain Province especially that of our medical assistance, educational assistance, social services and infrastructure development. In addition, the House measures filed and co-authored by him will be pursued at the House of Representatives and the Senate until such bills will reach their approval into law,” Atty. Dalog added.
With Mangaoang's designation as legislative caretaker, Atty. Dalog urged the people of Mountain Province to unite by setting aside political and personal aspirations, and instead prioritize the province's development. “Let us continue to do what is best for Mountain Province,” she said.
The Speaker has also extended the services of the current plantilla staff of the late Dalog until 2019.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mangaoang has accepted his designation.
In a statement, the Kalinga solon said he was honored to have been designated by Speaker Alvarez as caretaker of Mountain Province. “Together with the staff of the late Congressman Dalog, we will try our best to continue the legislative agenda, plans, program, projects and advocacy of the late congressman for the best interest of Mountain Province so that quoting the late Cong. Dalog, “By the grace of Almighty God, gumawis pay koma nan Mountain Province,” Mangaoang said.
“With this designation, I wish as well to convey my heartfelt thanks to the family of the late Manong Max and the people of Mountain Province for giving me the trust and confidence to become their caretaker,” he furthered.
Representative Mangaoang has also written all local chief executives, heads of offices and line agencies to address all communications, issues and concerns affecting Mountain Province to the undersigned through Atty. Cyphrine Maxcel Y. Dalog at the following addresses: North Wing 219, House of Representatives, Constitutional Hills, Quezon  City, 1126 or Congressional District Office 4th Floor, Provincial Capitol Building, Bontoc, Mountain Province.
With this, the projected special elections to choose a congressman for Mountain Province was put in the back burner as the leadership of the House of Representatives did not declare the post vacant but instead appointed Mangaoang as caretaker congressman.
The Speaker can appoint a caretaker if Congress will not declare a vacancy with the death of its member.
The Commission on Elections can hold a special election not later than 90 days if Congress declares a vacancy. The special election can also be held to coincide with a general election.
It is the second time that a Kalinga lawmaker became the caretaker congressman of Mountain Province.  In 2008, the House named former Kalinga lawmaker Manuel Agyao as caretaker representative after congressman Victor Dominguez died. Agyao served until the elections in May 2010.
 The Commission on Elections earlier said it will need at least P40 million for a special election after Dalog’s death.
Provincial election supervisor Ricardo Lampac told media the P40 million will cover allowances of Comelec officials and personnel and members of the Board of Election Inspectors at the precinct level and Board of Canvassers, transportation, allowances of the police and military, election supplies and paraphernalia.
 The House of Representatives needs to certify the vacancy of Dalog's seat before the Comelec can submit a list of expenses for mandatory special elections. 
 The House will "download" to the poll body the required budget for the preparations and conduct of the special elections.
Lampac said the Comelec cannot unilaterally move or act on its own. "Without the declaration of the position as vacant, we are in a wait-and-see situation at this time."
Lampac added the 90-day period from which to conduct the special elections will only be counted once the House certifies that the province’s congressional seat is vacant.
Once a special election is called, the winning candidate will serve the unexpired term but it will be counted as one full term for the elected official.

Members of the House can only serve three consecutive terms.

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Ex-Ilocos Sur mayor, 4 others face graft charges


STA. CATALINA, Ilocos Sur -- Former Mayor Carlos Racadio Asuncion of this town has been charged with eight counts of graft and four counts of malversation before the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division in connection with the alleged misappropriation of public funds intended from the Tobacco Excise Tax in 2012.
Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Zarnette E. Sanceda charged Asuncion and private individuals Mamelfa Amongol, Rosita Ragunjan, Virginia Rafanan, and Genoveva Ragasa for violations of Sections 3(e) and 3(j) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corruption Law), as well as Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.
They were accused of conspiring with one another in order to course P100,000 from the municipality’s share in the tobacco excise tax to four chapters of Bayanihan ng Kababaihan – in Cabittaogan, Subec, Paratong, and Sinabaan – on June 15, 2012.

Sanceda said that Asuncion had “lack of authority from the Sangguniang Bayan of Sta. Catalina, lack of proper appropriation and non-compliance with Commission on Audit Circular No. 2007-01” when he offered the financial assistance.

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16 hurt in crash along Benguet-Ifugao road


KABAYAN, Benguet – Sixteen passengers including the driver were seriously hurt when the van they were riding in rammed a boulder on a mountainside here Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. at the one-way ascending portion of Benguet-Ifugao road in Tuidan, Ballay.
The vehicle, an Isuzu H Spur L300 van bearing plate no. TRL 572, was driven by Michael L. Timpicao, 36, of Samoyao, La Trinidad, Benguet. The driver who also owned the vehicle  only had a temporary professional driver’s license.
 Police said the van came from Ambuclao, Bokod, Benguet and was on its way to Barangay Tawangan, Kabayan, with 16 passengers including the driver to attend an ordination of Pastor Nap Lumecio, when the engine of the vehicle suddenly stopped causing it to slip backwards, swerved left, rammed and climbed into the boulder on the mountain side of the road, tumbled and rested left side up in the road.
 All the passengers were brought to Abatan Lutheran Hospital located at Buguias, Benguet by Kabayan Municipal Health Office Ambulance, and Kabayan Emergency vehicle.
Except for Luis Dagano Jr. 35, of Poblacion, Tinoc, Ifugao, all victims were  residents of Baguilin, La Union.
They were identified as follows;  Romy Satur, 55;Fred Cabillo, 26; Rosa Tombagan, 60; Melody Sibayan, 42; Dorie Baguling, 52; Victor Sibayan, 43; 8) Victor Sibayan Jr, 21; George Bugtong, 40; Beleno Nang-is; Fredo Cabillo, 26; Rafy Batil, 25; Daryl Batil 20; Marie Cayamcam, 17 and Cristy Canuto, 25.

The victims were advised to file formal complaint against the driver but they declined. The vehicle had dents on its right door passenger side, and right side.

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Married woman found in inn; commits suicide after confessing ‘sin’


BAGUIO CITY –  A 22-year-old woman died after she reportedly drank cyanide inside an inn here after she called her husband though cell phone that she committed a “sin.”     
The 22-year-old victim of Guinaoang, Dalicno, Itogon, Benguet was found by her husband Tuesday around 9:45 p.m. inside Room 6, Katipunan Inn, Back Street, Kagitingan Barangay.
She was brought to Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center by responding personnel of hospital personnel and pronounced dead around 10:31 p.m. by attending physician Karol Camonayan due to acute respiratory failure secondary due to chemical ingestion.
Prior to the incident, at around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Edwin Wayway Marcelo, father of the victim received a text message from the victim asking forgiveness from her family for “committing sin.” 
At around 8:15 p.m., the husband of the victim identified as  James Earl Busacay Mapanao found his wife in the room where she checked in.
From there, they had an argument since the victim told him she was planning to work abroad unknown to him. 
Mapanao smelled cyanide coming from the mouth of his wife. 
He applied first aid then called for help from his companions at one of the bars along Lakandula Street who called for police assistance.
Police informed medical personnel who brought the victim to BGHMC where she died. 

The cadaver of the victim was later brought to the morgue of the hospital prior transfer at Resurrection Church Chapel.

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Marcos supporters urge Imee: Snub House probe


LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte -- Supporters urged Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos Monday not to attend the House of Representatives committee on good government and public accountability hearing on July 25.
The Katipunan ng Pilipinong Maka-bayan and Kabataan Sandigan at Gabay ng Pilipino Incorporated, both headed by Roberto "Ka Obet" Dela Cerna, dismissed the House probe as "hogwash and pure politicking."
Dela Cerna challenged the panel: "Kung kumpleto ang ebidensiya, bakit 'di sa Ombudsman at Sandiganbayan at Kataas-taasang Hukuman magsampa ng kaso?"
He said whatever statement Marcos, who, along with other provincial officials, faces allegations of misusing the province's share of the tobacco excise tax.
The money was meant for projects to benefit tobacco farmers but was used to buy vehicles for barangay officials.
Philip Terry of Bayanihan Bayan Movers–Pangasinan Organization of Genuine Inhabitants (BBM-POGI) said, ‘the work of the legislative branch is making laws."
Congress, aside from passing laws, has powers of oversight over how the laws are implemented. This is part of the checks and balances in government.
"If that is the objective of the committee, that would be good, but if their purpose is like what they did to the six provincial officials (detained since May 29), there is the risk.  There is political vendetta," Terry said.
Harrold Toledana of the what he claimed is 31,000-strong Buong Bansa Magkaisa (BBM) Youth Movement also urged Gov. Marcos not to attend the hearing. 
"Para sa akin, pag-iipit na lang ito na ginagawa ng Kongreso sa kanya," he said.
The House probe was initiated by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, a former Marcos political ally.
The provincial government had said it used tobacco funds in 2011 and 2012 to purchase motor vehicles delivered to tobacco farmers and barangay captains so they can transport goods from farm to market and back.
Hearings were held on May 2, 16, 29, and on June 20. Six employees have been detained by the House since then for allegedly refusing to answer questions.
But their lawyers said the so-called 'Ilocos Six' did not refuse to answer, but asked to see original documents before they could comment under oath.
The Court of Appeals early in June ordered the provisional release of the six. The House panel voted to issue show-cause orders against the CA justices who ordered the release and has issued a subpoena for Gov. Marcos.
 The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the Philippine Constitution Association — led by its president, former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the Ilocos Norte governor's cousin — backed the CA order.
This, as Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel,  chairman of the House committee on good government and public said Gov. Marcos should not ascribe politics to the investigation by the House of Representatives into the provincial government’s alleged misuse of P66 million in tobacco funds, the chairman of the House panel conducting the probe said yesterday.
“She should just focus on the real issue, which is the alleged misuse of funds and violation of the procurement law in the purchase of minicabs and mini-trucks,” said
Pimentel urged Marcos to attend the hearing on July 25 and explain why she ordered the use of tobacco funds for a purpose different from what the law provides.
He said Marcos should also explain why she resorted to cash advances in the procurement of the vehicles instead of conducting public bidding.
“She should likewise tell us why the documents covering the disbursements and  purchases disappeared...why her underlings have been giving us evasive answers about these transactions,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said Marcos should ask the six provincial officers detained by the House for contempt to cooperate in the investigation.
“It’s unbelievable that they could not remember the...cash advances... and the procurement of vehicles. All of them have the same evasive answers – that they could not remember, that their signatures on the photocopies of documents were a resemblance of their signatures,” Pimentel said.

“They should tell us the truth. Their governor should ask them to tell us the truth,” he said. 

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Bolinao folks protest shadowy Patar white beach claimants


By Liezle Basa Iñigo

BOLINAO, Pangasinan -- Tension brought about by a human barricade and roadblock that cramped the flow of tourists to the famous white beaches of Barangay Patar in this town for two straight days has subsided, police said Tuesday.
“It’s business as usual here in Patar,” said one of local resort owners who declined to be identified.
Police said the roadblock and barricade that started last Wednesday and ended on Friday were the handiwork of local resort owners, operators, employees and other stakeholders to prevent an alleged land-grabbing syndicate from taking over a massive portion of the Patar white beaches.
Almost a thousand individuals with businesses lined up on the coastal village of Patar were intent on preventing the serving of a court order for the conduct of a relocation survey of the beachfront.
The unknown individuals supposedly staking their claim on 1,500 hectares of the beach were reportedly accompanied by a representative of the Pangasinan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office or PENRO.
The identities of these individuals remained a mystery to the locals as of press time.

Pangasinan 1st District Rep. Jesus “Boying” Celeste urged the residents and resort owners to go back to their usual business so as not to adversely affect the local tourism industry.

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POLICE ROUNDUP

Man shot dead in front of house

BANGUED, Abra – A man believed to be a victim of summary execution was found here around 6:30 a.m. in Sitio Dalnatan, Agtangao. Barangay chairman Mario S. Ballo of Agtangao, called police through cell phone informing a cadaver was found in Dalnatan. The cadaver was identified as that of Leopoldo Barbadillo Bernardez, 54, driver, resident of said place.
Police said Leonora Racca Rebellon, 50, single, also a resident of same place was tending her three cattle when she saw the victim lying bloodied with his motorcycle fronting his house. The victim had gunshot wounds on the lower right part of his abdomen and on his right buttocks. According to the victim’s relatives and nearby residents, they heard two gun fires between 12:30 to 1 a.m. of July 10.The case is under investigation.

Body found floating on Chico River

SADANGA, Mountain Province – A still unidentified body was found floating at the Chico River here Tuesday in Sitio Agodong, Barangay Saclit. Police, health workers  and residents retrieved the body.
A certain Lino Tokang Fongafong, 63, of Saclit told police he was walking down amountain near the area around 3 p.m. when  he noticed the body floating on the river. He saw a vehicle coming so, he hurried down the road and asked for them to contact the police station. Victim was descrined as male, about 5”4’, 55 to 60 years old, naked with a wound on his head. The cadaver was brought to Sta. Rita Chapel in the nearby capital town of Bontoc for identification.

Minor escapes rehab, found dead in La Union

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union --  A minor who allegedly escaped from a youth rehabilitation center was found dead here lying face down, mouth covered and hands bound with masking tape and body riddled with several gunshot wounds.
This was how residents found the lifeless body of a minor in the mountainous part of Barangay Calabugao around 7 a.m. on July 9.
The victim was identified as Johnver Valdez, a resident of Barangay Sibuan-Otong, San Fernando.
Residents said they heard five gunshots.
Authorities recovered from the crime scene five empty bullet shells of a Cal.45 pistol, a cigarette butt, transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing suspected marijuana, two transparent heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected shabu and some aluminum foil.
San Fernando City Police said the victim was recently apprehended in an anti-drug operation. Since he was a minor, he was brought to a rehabilitation center in Bauang, La Union where he apparently escaped.
Authorities are investigating motive and persons behind the killing. 

 Former army man, 96 found dead

BAGUIO CITY – A 96-year-old retired army man was found dead here Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. in his house here at No. 87 Siapno Road, Purok 7, Saint Joseph Village.
The body was identified as that of Felipe Tomas Corpuz, 96. Investigation disclosed on Monday evening, the victim’s sister Avelina Corpuz Darang, 72, and her fiancée Arturo Serapion Abalos ate at the Corpuz’s house with the victim.
On Tuesday morning, the victim’s sister went to the house of the victim to cook for their breakfast and called her brother but he was not responding. She wnet to his room and found him dead and cold. The victim’s sister said Corpuz was suffering from heart ailment and prostate cancer and was taking medication. She  signed a waiver not to subject the body of the victim for autopsy as they were convinced he died a natural death.
Dr. Zoraida C. Clavio, Medical Officer IV and Rowena P. Galpo, City Health Officer found multiple organ failure caused the victim’s death.

Woman stabbed dead in Ilocos Sur

SAN ILDEFONSO, Ilocos Sur -- A woman with several stab wounds was found lying at the provincial road here at Barangay Sagsagat afternoon of July 9.
Police found the victim full of blood on her body who was later identified as Helen Racsa,   of Barangay Dacutan, Magsingal town.
Police rushed the victim to Northside Doctors Hospital, Guimod, Bantay, Ilocos Sur for medical treatment but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician. 

‘Drug dealer’ killed in Cagayan ‘shootout’

GATTARAN, Cagayan - A suspected drug dealer was killed in alleged shootout with police here July 9. Former overseas worker Ulysses Molina, 33, alias Ogie, reportedly drew his gun when he sensed he had sold shabu to undercover agents in Barangay Aguiguican. Police said the fatality was a “street-level” drug target. A gun was taken from him.

Cop loses motorcycle to thief in Bontoc

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Police are trying to establish identity of a man who stole a cop’s motorcycle here on July 9. The victim was named as PO1 Fabian Jr. Calngan Guindalos, 27, PNP member assigned with Regional Public Safety Battalion- 2nd Company and native of Sagada town.
Guindalos told Bontoc police his Honda XRM 125 motorcycle worth P60,000 bearing plate number AF 5817 was registered under the name of Edwin Garcia Pilor of Sagada. His PNP ID, Land Bank of the Philippines ATM card, PNB ATM card and driver’s license card inside the compartment of the motorcycle were taken by the thief. The motorcycle was parked along the road at Omfeg, Bontoc Ili, when it was stolen.
Guindalos said he parked the motorcycle at about 5 p.m. that Sunday. However, when he checked the following day, at about 7:30 AM, he noticed it was missing prompting him to locate the said motorcycle but it proved futile. Investigation revealed that an unidentified person wearing a striped T-shirt and short pants freewheeled the vehicle towards the Poblacion public market and headed towards Barangay Samoki as reflected in CCTV footages reviewed by Bontoc police.

Drunk farmer found dead in Apayao farm

CONNER, Apayao – A drunk farmer was found dead under a tree here Tueday in a farm located at Sitio Putik, Malama. Victim was named as  Gregory Fangki Lupan, 45 who was found dead around 4 p.m.
Investigation disclosed around 10 a.m. Monday, the victim was seen at Centro Malama by his sister.  Accordingly, around p.m. a certain Gonzalo Bassig, noticed the victim lying lifeless prompting him to report the incident to the barangay officials. Based on the post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Teresita Pasiwen, Municipal Health Officer of Conner, no injuries were found on the body of the victim.
 Further investigation disclosed the victim always got drunk a few days ago and lost his consciousness whenever he was intoxicated.

 Man wanted for attempted murder in Baguio nabbed

SAN FERNANDO CITY – Baguio cops arrested here Monday a man wanted for attempted murder in the summer capital. Arrested was Gabriel De Guzman Ellana, 35, of Apugan Irisan, Baguio City.
He was arrested in Barangay Ilocanos Norte after presiding judge Monaliza Tionson Tabora, of RTC Branch 7, 1st Judicial Region, issued warrant against him setting bail of P100,000 for his temporary liberty.
Ellana was incarcerated at the Baguio City jail.

Farmer nabbed for murder in Bangued

BANGUED, Abra – A farmer wanted for murder was arrested here Monday. The suspect was identified as  Jeffrey Turqueza Regunton, 23 of Barangay Bangbangar, Bangued, Abra.
He was arrested in here Barangay Cabuloan after judge Corpus B. Alzate of First Judicial Region, Regional Trial Court Branch 2, Bangued issued warrant against him.

Explosive projectiles found in Sablan construction site

SABLAN, Benguet –  Workers found two pieces of highly explosive projectiles in deteriorating condition at a construction site here Tuesday. SPO2 Godfrey C. Cotay Jr. Got the devises  and kept these at Sablan police station before these were turned over to regional explosives and ordnance disposal unit in Camp Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet for proper disposal.

Driver shot dead in Bangued

BANGUED, Abra -- Unidentified men shot dead driver Leopoldo Bernardez, 54, who was standing in front of his house in Barangay Agtangao on Tuesday. Cops are still conducting a probe on the incident.

Retired cop shot dead in Isabela

CABAGAN, Isabela -- Retired policeman Nestor Morillos Sr., 63, was driving his motorcycle with his wife when unidentified men on another motorbike opened fire Tuesday along the highway in Barangay Garita, Cabagan, Isabela. 
He died on the way to the Milagros District Hospital, where his wife, who was injured when their motorcycle crashed, was taken for treatment.

4 men shot dead in Bulacan buy-bust

MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Four men known only by their aliases of Toto, Paquito, Tonton and Dolfo were shot dead by cops when they drew their guns when they sensed they had sold shabu to policemen who posed as buyers along Kabihasnan street, Barangay Caniogan, Malolos, Bulacan at around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat, Bulacan police acting director. Bared this saying  sachets of shabu, guns and three motorcycles were recovered from the fatalities.

La Trinidad’s Gerco Hardware robbed

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The GERCO Hardware located here at Central Pico was robbed of P20,000 cash and two cell phones Monday night.
The owner of said hardware was named as Gilbert Del Rosario Sohu, 39 while the suspects are still unidentified.  The incident was reported by GERCO security guard Joel Frias Pidlawan to La Trinidad around 8 a.m. Tuesday
Pidlawan reportedly properly locked and secured the area at about 7 p.m. Monday before going home. At about 7 a.m. the next day, the guard and secretary of GERCO Hardware named Susan Ong Bagni was about to open the said establishment when they were surprised that the do+or going to cashier’s area was destroyed. The secretary checked the drawer at the cashier and found the two cell phones and money were missing. 
The establishment has no security guard at night. NO fingerprints were found in crime scene.

Man charged for drugs shot dead

CABATUAN, Isabela -- Unidentified men in a black sport utility vehicle shot Roy Pingol, 40, along the road in here in Barangay Magsaysay Thursday. Police said Pingol was charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act after sachets of shabu were recovered during raid on his house last year.  

Drug surrenderee shot dead in Bayombong

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya -- Drug surrenderee Harold Wachorna, 34, alias Aloy, was killed when he shot it out with anti-drug operatives in Barangay Buenavista, Bayombong on Wednesday night.
Mcren Jhon Alvaran of Bayombong police was wounded in the shootout.
Wachorna was declared dead on arrival at the Veterans Regional Hospital, where Alvaran was also taken for treatment.

Mayor’s aide nabbed for drugs

REINA MERCEDES, Isabela -- A mayor’s aide was among those arrested as the government continued its war against illegal drugs on Wednesday.
Ruel Agner, 42, aide of Anthony Respicio, mayor of Reina Mercedes, was collared after a raid on his house in Barangay Napaccu Grande yielded sachets of shabu and drug paraphernalia, said Chief Insp. Bruno Palattao, town police chief.

Man finds 2 rifle grenades while gathering bamboo

SALLAPADAN, Abra – A certain Kevin Gumisa Wangiwang, 20, of Barangay Subusob surrendered two rifle grenades here Monday to police.
He told police he found the rifle grenades while gathering bamboo plants at Sitio Lap-lapog, Barangay Subusob earlier around 6:30 a.m.

Isabela town employee shot dead in market

QUIRINO, Isabela -- Unidentified motorcycle-riding men shot dead municipal government employee Richard Ballesteros, 36, in front of the public market here  Monday. The fatality surrendered under Oplan Tokhang last year, police said.

Bulacan druggie shot, slain in buy-bust

BOCAUE, Bulacan -- Winston Cagampang, a resident of Barangay Tonsuya, Malabon, reportedly shot it out with policemen who posed as buyers of shabu here in Barangay Bunlo on July 9.. At least 30 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of P180,000 were allegedly recovered from Cagampang.
Police said they also recovered guns from the fatalities.

 2 die of electrocution in Pangasinan towns

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan– Two persons died after accidentally touching a live wire in separate incidents in Pangasinan on July 9. 
CJay Pascua, 9, a resident of Barangay Lunec in this town, was on his way to the house of his relatives when he was electrocuted. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Malasiqui Municipal Hospital. 
Myrna Serquiña, 60, a resident of Barangay Bantay in Mangatarem town, was found dead under a bamboo tree. She was declared dead on arrival at the Velasquez Medical Clinic and Hospital. – Eva Visperas, Cesar Ramirez   

6 hurt in Cagayan vehicle mishap

CAGAYAN -- Anacleto Ignacio, 66, was maneuvering his Honda CRV (CSX-198) toward a gasoline station when two motorcycles driven by Renick Lopit, 22, and Mark Christian Garduque, 24, hit his vehicle.
Garduque, his wife Reah, 24, and their daughters Kathrich Kyle, 7, and Exrylle, 2, were taken to a hospital for treatment along with Lopit and his passengers, Rodolfo Garduque, 19, and Cerina Taruc, 19.
Ignacio surrendered to responding police officers.

3 men dead in Santiago City motorbike mishap

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela – Three persons died when their motorcycle collided with a Toyota Grandia along the highway in Barangay Tuao, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya Monday.
John Rey Miguel, 20, and Jun Estrada 36, both  residents of Barangay San Manuel, Echague, Isabela, and Arnel Kiyap, 21, of San Antonio, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya were pronounced dead on arrival at the Veterans Regional Hospital in Bayombong town.
Police said the accident occurred at around 3:30 a.m.  The driver of the van, Francis Agbayani, 33, was injured and taken to the same hospital for treatment. – Victor Martin

Drug suspect shot dead in Bulacan

PANDI, Bulacan -- An alias Dilmar, who is on the drug watchlist of Barangay Mapulang Lupa here, was killed after he shot it out with anti-drug operatives on July 7. Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat, Bulacan police acting director bared this saying an improvised gun and sachets of shabu were recovered from the fatality. 

Bolinao drug surrenderee slain

BOLINAO, Pangasinan -- Drug surrenderee Raffy Penor, a resident of Barangay San Roque here, had just alighted from a passenger jeepney in Barangay Sampaloc when he was shot July 7. Police said they are still investigating motive of the slay.


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Philex completes P40 million infra projects


TUBA, Benguet –Adhering to its duty of implementing public infrastructure in its host and neighboring communities, Philex Mining Corp. has completed P40.34 million worth of projects – such as farm-to-market roads, bridges, electrification, and potable water systems – from the whole of 2016 until the first half of this year.
The total amount represents 60.23 percent of the P67-million budget allotted for the various infrastructure projects under the company’s 2016 SDMP, or Social Development and Management Program, according to Aurora Dolipas, manager of the Community Relations (ComRel) Dept. at Philex Mining’s Padcal mine, in this province.
“More projects are ongoing and we have been working very hard to deliver these during the second semester,” she said. “These as much represent our commitment to community development as our adherence to responsible mining over the past more than six decades of operations.”
Marvin Padinay, a civil engineer who works as projects coordinator at ComRel, said a total of 67 projects were delivered to outlying communities (both host and neighboring) last year, to the tune of P24.5 million or 36.58 percent of the 2016 total infra budget of P66,987,723.13.
The construction of a retaining wall in the Tuba barangay of Camp 3 topped all the other projects done last year at P1.58 million and was completed in July 2016. In 2017, a P3.61-million rehabilitation of a slope protection wall in Itogon’s Sitio Samoyao, Brgy. Ampucao, led the two other projects delivered during the second quarter with a combined cost of P5.95 million.
ComRel’s Marvin Agustin, who monitors the infra projects being implemented, earlier said the company completed P15.84 million worth of public infrastructure during the first half of 2017 that was part of the 2016 SDMP, with those delivered between April and June alone amounting to P5.95 million and, for the first quarter, P9.88 million.
Philex Mining had set aside P81.53 million for its 2016 community-development projects under the SDMP, which, besides public infrastructure, also covers free health-care services to stakeholders and medical missions in remote areas; scholarships for students in elementary, high school, college, and technical-vocational; and livelihood programs.  
Padcal, Philex Mining’s sole operating mine, has Camp 3 and Ampucao for its host barangays, while its neighboring barangays consist of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Dalupirip (Itogon).
Its final 2016 report on social projects also showed that Philex Mining set aside P16.31 million for its media and public campaign on the benefits derived from mining, and another P10.87 million for the development of the industry.
A large-scale miner is mandated to set aside for the current year an amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of its total operating expenses the previous year. The amount is then divided into 75 percent for SDMP, 15 percent for the Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) campaign, and 10 percent for the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).

Philex Mining had allotted a total of P110 million for its 2016 SDMP, IEC, and DMTG based on its 2015 operating expenses of P7.3 billion. Its SDMP-IEC-DMTG allocation for this year, on the other hand, amounts toP110.48 million.

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Man left by wife commits suicide


By Myds Supnad

CAOAYAN, Ilocos Sur- A 34-year-old construction worker died  when he committed suicide after his wife reportedly left him behind in barangay Baggoc, this town while a woman was also stabbed dead in San Ildefonso town.
Police report said that Joel Rapanut Acena of Baggoc, hanged himself July 9 with electric wire and was already lifeless when he was found by his father.
The hanging incident was ported by barangay chief Eusebio Regaspi to police who found the lifeless victim with electric wire still tied on his neck.
The victim’s sister told police the victim was having a problem with his live-in partner who left him last May which triggered him to commit suicide. 
No sign of foul play was seen on the victim’s body, police added.


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Pampanga mayoral row not over; SC rule awaited


By Ding Cervantes

MABALACAT CITY – The former mayor of this city is not giving up the fight to regain his seat.
Marino Morales, who was unseated after the Commission on Elections installed a new mayor last month, is waiting for the Supreme Court decision on his petition to stop the implementation of the Comelec ruling, his lawyer Romulo Macalintal said Wenesday.
“We will follow up next week since the Supreme Court was busy with martial law cases and the election protest of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos,” Macalintal said. Macalintal said they filed the petition two weeks before provincial board member Cris Garbo, who obtained the second highest number of votes, took his oath as city mayor. 
In a resolution approved by all commissioners in May, the poll body disqualified Morales, saying he had served for three terms.

Meanwhile, Garbo said he is confident the high tribunal would affirm the Comelec ruling.

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Three NPA guerillas surrender in Ilocos Sur


STA. CRUZ, Ilocos Sur — Three more New People's Army rebels surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion based in this town. 
This brings the number of rebels who surrendered to 11 since January this year.
Army Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias, who withheld the names of the three, said the surrender is a result of the military's efforts in securing Northern Luzon from communist insurgency.
 Last June 28, NPA rebel “Ka Winter,” a member of Kilusang Larangan Gerilya “Montes” of the CPP-NPA's Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee operating at the boundaries of Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur, surrendered with his US Cal. 30 Springfield M1 Garand Rifle and three bullets.  
On July 6, two other NPA rebels identified only as “Ka Somer,” said to be the logistics officer and a member of Squad Uno, and “Ka Paul,” the squad leader of Squad Tres, also surrendered. Both were from Kilusang Larangan Gerilya “Marco” that operates in Mountain Province.
“Ka Somer” gave up to the military his Cal. 45 Norinco while “Ka Paul” surrendered his US Cal 30 Browning Automatic Rifle.
“Ka Winter”, Osias said, bared how life was so difficult in the mountains, especially this rainy season. 
“We always run out of food and the military is everywhere,” the rebel was quoted by Osias.
 Meanwhile, “Ka Somer” also told the military that he heard of the government program for NPA rebels through the soldiers based in the area prompting him to immediately surrender. 
Major General Angelito de Leon, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division commended the former rebels for their decision to lay down their arms in exchange for a peaceful life with their families.  
 “I call on other NPA members to also take advantage and avail of CLIP (Comprehensive Local Integration Program) so that they can start a new life outside the armed struggle,” he said.
Col. Henry Robinson Jr., commanding officer of the 702nd Infantry Brigade where the 81st Battalion is attached, said the successes of those who surrendered would convince other rebels to reconsider their armed struggle.


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Man who torched own family over facebook post sued


By Mar T. Supnad

STA. RITA, Pampanga -- A 25-year-old man who went berserk last July 6 and set his live-in partner and their two very young children on fire here has been jailed and charged as the youngest of his victims died on July 7.
Ferdinand Igmat was charged with parricide, frustrated parricide and frustrated murder and detained at the Sta. Rita Municipal Police Station.
Senior Supt. Joel Consulta, acting Pampanga Police Provincial Office (PPO) director, identified the fatality as Igmat’s three-month-old son Clinton; and the injured as Igmat’s 20-year-old live-in partner Jennylin Ramos and their one-year-old daughter Jenny Rose.
Consulta said Igmat used six liters of gasoline to pour on his victims to set them on fire, starting with Jennylin in the room they shared; and then taking their two children out of the house where he torched them.
Neighbors came rushing to the children’s rescue with water to put the fire out, investigators said.
The victims were first taken to the Jose Songco Lapid District Hospital in Porac, and later transferred to the Jose B. Lingad Hospital in the City of San Fernando for further treatment.
But three-month-old Clinton died hours later due to severe burns in the body, said Dr. Dunca of the JBL Hospital.
Probers said Igmat was also treated for minor burns before being arrested and charged with the crime, which stemmed from an altercation with his live-in partner over a Facebook post that offended him.



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