Lawyers, groups, file reports vs P-Noy, senators over PDAF

>> Monday, October 28, 2013

BAGUIO CITY – President Benigno Aquino III and three other senators were accused by lawyers and members of left-leaning groups Monday of taking people's funds for their own pockets in incident reports they filed here at the city police station.

Lawyer-artist Jose Olarte, a former Bureau of Internal Revenue official, said like common thieves, the president, his cohorts in Malacañang and Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla, Jr. took people's money in various forms, either through the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) or the pork barrel funds.

"We are the victims here," Olarte, who represents the Artists Kontra Korapsyon (AKKsyonBaguio) told policemen receiving their complaints.

Lawyers also from the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) and Bayan Muna Party List Rep. Carlos Zarate filed their similar complaints before the police.

NUPL Baguio-Benguet chapter Chairman Kissack Gabaen, Cherryl Daytec and Bayan Muna Rep. Zarate with Perry Mendoza of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Metro Baguio and Cordillera Human Rights Alliance Deputy Secretary General Audrey Beltran filled up incident report forms at the police’s central business district station.

Rep. Zarate accused President Aquino, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Department of Budget Management Secretary Butch Abad of realigning and disbursing funds under DAP to projects not identified under the General Appropriations Act.

Gabaen, Mendoza and Beltran accused senators Enrile, Revilla and Estrada and President Aquino for grand larceny or syndicated theft for deliberate plunder by allegedly converting more than P50 million people’s and government’s money into their personal funds through their connivance with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Olarte said the “act is clearly unconditional and detrimental to the interest of the Filipino people,” while Gabaen said that it is a continuous crime where an unlawful act takes place through a continuous and uninterrupted length of time.

Zarate said their complaint is a symbolic act representing the clamor of the Filipino people to hold the government officials involved in the pork barrel scam responsible for stealing the money of the government raised from the taxes of the people while the delivery of social services and poverty are getting worse.  

“We would not know if where this will lead to, but this is a test to the administration and the police. If common thieves are placed right away on blotters after someone complains, then they are thieves in government who must also be treated the same way.”

Zarate said they hope that the symbolic action reaches Malacanang and delivers the message to the people in the palace and in the government to scrap the pork barrel system.


Mandatory IP reps in gov’t LGUs pushed

By Susan Aro

BAGUIO CITY -- The clamor for a seat for indigenous peoples (IP) in legislative councils to push the IP agenda prompted the sectoral committee on indigenous peoples concerns of   the Cordillera Regional Development Council  to  pass   a resolution  calling for such.

Allotting an IP representative in legislative councils is mandated in Republic Act  8371 otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).

Marcelo Abela, the newly elected CIPC co-chair, who moved for the passage of the measure, said this was in line with the directive of the   Department of Interior and Local Government  for mandatory representation of IPs among local government units as a requirement to qualify in the  Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) silver category award. LGU awardees to the SGH are remunerated under the government’s Performance Challenge Fund.

In the Cordillera, very few LGUs have so far  accommodated  IP representatives in their local legislative bodies.

In an earlier briefing of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples – CAR on the newly issued policies and directives,  Commissioner Zenaida Brigida Pawid urged LGUs to let IP representatives who are appointed to sit down in the councils.

On the contention that  with the Cordillera  inhabited by  predominantly  IP  groups , most of the  provincial board members and city/municipal councilors  are  themselves IPs,  Pawid said this  should not be a reason for non-inclusion of IP representatives  who  have a particular role which is to push for the IP agenda.


Oct. 28 barangay polls set – Comelec 20 nabbed for violating gun ban; 19 guns taken

By Carlito C. Dar

BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Elections said the gun ban is on in time for barangay elections on Oct. 28 even as 19 firearms were confiscated and 20 persons apprehended   
Cordillera regional police director for operations Senior Supt. Ulysses Abellera and Col. Paul Atal of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army,  said security preparation were in place and that they will do their best  to assure peaceful and orderly barangay election.

This, as the Comelec said it is set for the Oct. 28 barangay election in the Cordillera Administrative Region even as the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines  spokesmen said they were  confident of a peaceful and orderly polls in the region.

Comelec-CAR regional director Julius Torres said preparations for the barangay elections were set even as trainings for board of election tellers were earlier scheduled,

Torres said there were about 74 barangays regionwide identified by the PNP as areas of concern.

But he said they were not anticipating any problem as he expressed his confidence on ability of the PNP and AFP in controlling any untoward situation  even in Abra where majority of the concerned barangays  are  located.

In Benguet, Comelec provincial supervisor Julia Elenita Capuyan said election materials will be delivered  earlier and will reach the different barangays  including the in far flung areas  ready  for election day.

Capuyan said election paraphernalia would be delivered starting Oct. 3.

Municipal election officers in Bakun and Kibungan towns earlier  requested that election paraphernalia be delivered to the municipalities earlier  so that  these  would be distributed  and   reach  the  barangays in time  for  election day.

Several barangays in Benguet are accessible  passing thru La Union and Ilocos Sur.

Some barangays can  only be reached by foot or walking several hours through mountainous.

Meanwhile,  Benguet provincial police director Senior Supt. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said additional troops would be deployed in four municipalities of the province, particularly in the tri-boundaries of Ilocos Sur and La Union, to ensure safe and peaceful elections due to sightings of New People’s Army.

He said police troops including the Provincial Public Safety Company will augment troops deployed by the Philippine Army this election period to ensure safety of barangays on watch list of the Comelec. 


P160K marijuana confiscated in Sagada drug raid; 7 arrested

By Gina Dizon
SAGADA MOUNTAIN PROVINCE-  A sudden drug search operation by elements of the  regional  Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency ( PDEA) here night of October 24 yielded  P160 thousand worth of marijuana leaves and  processed  hashish  discovered in three establishments of this town.

PDEA information officer Emily Fama said dried marijuana leaves and stalks, four bricks of marijuana hashish, two pots of fully grown marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia were discovered in three restaurant establishments in a search operation by PDEA by virtue of separate search warrants issued by Judge MariaTeresa Estoesta of Branch 7 Regional Trial Court of Manila to four resto owners here.

Four  owners/maintainers on food and drinks establishments from Sagada  with three residents of Tinglayan, Kalinga were arrested by PDEA and charged with violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 filed against them for maintenance of a drug den, possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia before the office of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.  

PDEA director Ronald Allan Ricardo said the search operation has taken a long period of surveillance before the raid was undertaken. 


NPA fielding bets in b’gay polls in Region 1 – police

SAN FERNANDO, La Union  – The New People’s Army (NPA) has fielded some of its members to run as village chiefs or councilmen in the Oct. 28 barangay elections in the Ilocos region, police said.

Senior Supt. Sterling Raymund Blanco, intelligence chief of the Region 1 police, disclosed in a briefing of election and law enforcement officials at Camp Florendo here Oct. 18 at least 23 supposed NPA members taking part in the village polls are being monitored in the provinces of Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and La Union.

“Some of these (NPA members) are incumbents,” Blanco said.       

To prevent the NPA from taking advantage of the barangay elections, either by penetrating local governments or staging terrorist activities, police and military officials have prepared a tight security plan.

Chief Supt. Ricardo Marquez, Region 1 police director, said police, along with the Army and Navy, have beefed up security measures during and after the barangay elections to ensure peace and order.

Col. Vic Castro of the Army’s 72nd Infantry Brigade said they would assist policemen in tightly monitoring the elections to thwart any NPA attacks.

“The NPA might take advantage of the election period because this is the best time to stage an ambush or any kind of sabotage, including (attacks on) vital installations,” Castro said.   

Authorities, along with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), have identified 171 barangays in Region 1 as areas of concern. They also took note of the presence of 14 criminal groups and two private armies.

Lawyer Noli Pipo, Comelec regional director, sought tight security for election personnel and teachers serving in the polls.

“We all know that there is tension, intense political rivalries in the barangay level because those (pitted against each other) are relatives, families, friends and neighbors. We need security for protection,” Pipo said. 

Overall, Pipo said he is confident that barangay elections in Region 1 would be peaceful and orderly.


Abra mayor, six others, nabbed for gun violation

CAMP DANGWA, Benguet -- A municipal mayor was one among six individuals who were arrested in checkpoints in Abra and Benguet for violation of the gun ban law. Last week.

Bangued, Abra police arrested three men after detecting firearms in their car morning of Oct. 19.

Senior Supt.  Benjamin M. Lusad, Abra provincial police director, identified those arrested as mayor AlejoSiddayao Domingo, 63, of Baay-Licuan, and his two companions Noel Culangen Bay-ed, 32, of Kilong-ulao, Boliney, Abra and Eddie Boy BalwegParedes, 30, a resident of Nalbuan, Baay-Licuan.

Police seized a Cal. .45 pistol with with a magazine with six bullets from Paredes, and another Cal.45 pistol with bullets from Bay-ed.

Mayor Domingo reportedly admitted he owned the firearms but was not able to present papers showing his exemption from the gun ban.

Meanwhile, three alleged gun-wielders were arrested in a checkpoint in Beckel, La Trinidad, Benguet at around 11 a.m . Oct. 20. 

Senior Supt. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., provincial police director of Benguet, identified the leader of the group as Sunny Daguio, 22, of Dupao, Pinukpuk, Kalinga and presently residing in Binanga, Tuding, Itogon, Benguet while his two companions were Jomar Mayangao Pagang, 30, of Bauko, Mt. Province now residing in Quirino Hill, Baguio City and Rey Cajigan Pinasig, 20, native of Lepanto, Mankayan, Benguet and resident of Irisan, Baguio City.

Police flagged down a Besta Van were the suspects were in and confiscated Cal. 38 revolver and 17 bullets, a compressor; Crocodile jack; steel cutter; driller, grinder, blow torch; three tanks of Solane with content, gas tank with content, two knives among other items like assorted jewelry placed in a box.

The van was impounded while arrested individuals, with the confiscated items are now under the custody of police while cases are now being prepared for filing before the courts against the suspects.


SC fines ex-La Union judge over ‘midnight rulings’

The Supreme Court (SC) has penalized a former judge in La Union over “midnight decisions” that he handed down on the day of his retirement in 2006.

In a decision obtained by reporters Monday, the SC’s Second Division found retired Judge Santiago Soriano guilty of gross inefficiency and gross ignorance of the law, and slapped him with P40,000 fine “to be taken from the amount withheld from his retirement benefits.”

The SC held that Soriano was “remiss in the performance of his judicial duties.”

“Judge Soriano’s unreasonable delay in deciding cases and resolving incidents and motions, and his failure to decide the remaining cases before his compulsory retirement constitutes gross inefficiency which cannot be tolerated,” read the ruling penned by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Citing previous ruling, the SC said “inexcusable failure to decide cases within the reglementary period constitutes gross inefficiency, warranting the imposition of an administrative sanction on the defaulting judge.”

“Judge Soriano’s inefficiency in managing his caseload was compounded by gross negligence as evinced by the loss of the records of at least four cases which could no longer be located or reconstituted despite diligent efforts by his successor,” it said.

Soriano, it added, “was responsible for managing his court efficiently to ensure the prompt delivery of court services, especially the speedy disposition of cases.” 

Under Rule 3.08, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge is mandated to diligently discharge administrative responsibilities and maintain professional competence in court management.

A judge should also organize and supervise the court personnel to ensure the prompt and efficient dispatch of business, and require at all times the observance of high standards of public service and fidelity.

The court found Soriano guilty of gross ignorance of the law for deciding 12 cases on July 25, 2006, which was the day his compulsory retirement took effect.

Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution states that judges shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of 70 or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.

The case against Soriano stemmed from a judicial audit and inventory conducted by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) on pending cases in the MTCC, Branch 2 in San Fernando, La Union and in the MTC in Naguilian, La Union.

The audit team found that out of the 59 cases submitted for decision in the MTCC, Branch 2, 57 cases were beyond the reglementary period to decide.

A similar finding was made in the Naguilian MTC where 39 out of 41 cases submitted for decision were beyond the period to rule.

The OCA then directed Soriano to decide the remaining unresolved cases and resolve the pending motions or incidents in the other cases.

However, Soriano still failed to decide a total of 36 cases submitted for decision in the MTC and MTCC combined, which were all due for decision at the time of his compulsory retirement. 


MP gov tasks mayors to declare suspension of classes in storms

By Andrew Doga-ong

BONTOC, Mountain  Province – Observing that municipalities of this province have varied weather conditions during typhoon months, suspension of school classes and works in government offices will now be decided by town mayors.

This is to do away with the governor declaring the suspension or cancellation of classes and works in government offices which is of provincial application, said Gov. Leonard Mayaen during a recent Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting.

Mayaen said Executive Order No. 66 of the national government allows local chief executives to suspend or cancel classes and works in government offices in the absence of typhoon signals  and   if they feel danger is imminent.  

The town mayors,  he said, are in a better position to decide whether to suspend classes and works or not in their respective municipalities based on the prevailing weather situation.

Under this scheme, only municipalities  that have harsh weather conditions will suspend their classes and works leaving those towns with fair weather to continue their classes and works.  

This is to avoid the unnecessary cancellation  of classes  which the  students  and the teachers have to replace to complete the numbers of school days required in the school year, Mayaen said.

Mayaen has reportedly issued an executive order  tasking   mayors  to declare cancellation of classes and works in government offices in their municipalities in the absence of typhoon warnings issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The Governor in the same PPOC meeting also reiterated the EO 66 guidelines on the automatic suspension or cancellation of classes in all public and private schools as well as work in all government offices.

When Signal No. 1 is raised by PAGASA, classes at the pre-school level in the affected area shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.

When Signal No. 2 is raised, classes at the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels in the affected area shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.
When Signal No 3 or higher is raised, classes in all levels including tertiary and graduate school levels in the affected area as well as work in all government offices shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.

Department of  Education  Secretary Armin Luistro had earlier said in  absence of storm signal, the school principal, division superintendent or the local chief executive can decide to suspend or cancel classes if only to ensure the safety of the school children during bad weather.

Approximately 20 typhoons hit the country annually that may trigger floods and  landslides. 


Binga Dam set to boost Luzon grid

By Redjie Cawis

ITOGON, Benguet-- The 50-year-old Binga Dam in  Tingongdan , this town  is now fully rehabilitated and is ready to serve the province of Benuet and strengthen the power of the Luzon grid.

On Thursday, the SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet inaugurated the newly refurbished Binga Hydro Electric Power Plant   attended by SN-Abiotiz officials from Norway and the Philippines together with partners from the provincial government of Benguet led by Gov. Nestor Fongwan, and the municipality of Itogon led by Mayor Victoriano Palangdan with stakeholders, indigenous peoples and the private sector..

SNAP president Emmanuel Rubio said the operation of the Binga Dam was start of another 50 more years  of   contributing renewable energy to the Luzon grid. “This is step forward towards achieving the vision of the largest renewable energy provider in the country and today is a dream that started five years ago.”

According to Mike Hosillos,SNAP vice president for corporate communications, Binga hydroelectric plant is now operating at 125 megawatts (MW) to a maximum of 132 MW from its original capacity of 100MW in 2008 when the facility together with Ambuklao Dam was taken over for privatization by the company.

Hosillos said since the start of the renovation of the power facility in 2010, the SNAP has replaced and repaired most of the major parts of the dam.

The required massive upgrades to be able to operate and increase capacity included a new intake at higher elevation, new headrace, replacement and modernization of plant control system and replacement of electro-mechanical components.

SNAP acquired its Certificate of Compliance (COC) from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) early October marking the 25-megawatt increase of renewable energy supplied to the Luzon grid.

Binga is the second plant that SNAP-Benguet has rehabilitated to achieve modern, state-of-the-art level under its thrust of operational excellence.

The Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant was inaugurated in 2011 and since then has been operating and contributing 105 MW to the Luzon grid.

The increase in capacity translates to a higher generation of power for Luzon as well as trading in the open energy market.

Benguet is a source of renewable energy because of the presence of abundant water supply that helps in the production of clean energy to address the increasing demand for power as a result of rapid urbanization in various investment areas nationwide.

Meanwhile, Fongwan conveyed his gratitude to the SNAP for the development and rehabilitation of the Binga Dam which he said is a great help   for the development of the municipality of Itogon and the province of Benguett hrough  its shares from the taxes and revenues  as well as  corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of the SNAP.

Hosillos said that besides the provision of the renewable, reliable, and sustainable energy, the local government units would also benefit from the different added revenue and the taxes by the operation of the dams in the province.

Rubio said that the  company will l not only conduct CSR activities for the benefit of the community but make the community partners in development.

Ifugao Gov. Dennis Habawel, who was a guest during the inauguration, said that he  learned a lot from the operations of the SNAP and the dams in Benguet  and  he hopes to impart in the operation of the Magat Dam which is being hosted by Ifugao under the SN Aboitiz Power .

The inauguration program was also highlighted by indigenous rituals by the Ibaloi community in Binga to ask the gods for blessing and follow the cultural practices of the host community.



Gang member killed in shootout with Abra cops 
LAGAYAN, Abra--  An alleged gun-for-hire who was reportedly a member of the dreaded Vincent Guzman “private armed group” was killed by policemen in a shoot-out in remote Pang-ot and Collago, both in this town.

Ludring Silbaw was killed when policemen fought at least 12 fully armed members of the group armed with M16 rifles and M203 grenade launchers Tuesday, said Abra police director Sr. Supt. Benjamin Lusad.

Lusad said Abra policemen are still running after the group in their hideouts earlier identified by authorities.

The other day, a barangay tanod was killed in Lagayan town, prompting policemen to be on their toes against the escalation of hostilities there.

Ifugao NPA member surrenders to police
ASIPULO –Ifugao -- A 22- year old member of the New People’s Army under the Nona Del Rosario Command operating in this province surrendered to Asipulo town policemen Monday morning.

Ifugao police director Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro, said Gabino Bantulay Mammay alias Ka Denver, a resident of Sitio Lagan, Cawayan, Asipulo surrendered to them because of the difficulties he was encountering within the rebel movement.

Philippine Army troopers from the 54th Infantry Battalion brought Gabino to the Ifugao police headquarters.

La Union village chief slain
LUNA, La Union - – The incumbent chairman of Barangay Magsiping here was gunned down before noon Wednesday while on his way home from a court hearing in nearby Balaoan town.

The victim, Fulgencio Regunay, 57, according to reports, was cruising a rough road onboard his tricycle when a motorcycle-riding man shot him three times in the back. 

As of press time, police were still confirming if the murder weapon was a .45-caliber pistol.

Investigators were still checking if the killing was related to the Oct. 28 barangay elections.

Regunay was reportedly facing charges before the Balaoan regional trial court after he was arrested for illegal possession of firearms during the midterm elections last May.

Reports said Regunay was on his second term as barangay chairman, but did not file his certificate of candidacy for the upcoming polls. 

10 hurt in Ilocos road accident
DINGRAS, Ilocos Norte — At least 10 persons were injured when a passenger jeepney careened into a waiting shed along the road here in Barangay Suyo Tuesday.

Police identified some of the injured victims as Gracelin Mas of Barangay Bagbago; Ritz Justin Mas of Barangay 4; Joy Estavillo of Barangay 13; Clarence Francisco of Barangay Laureta; Archie Ledesma of Barangay 9; Bless Cristine Mas of Barangay 4, all in Solsona town.

Also among the injured were Resty Asuncion of Barangay Francisco and Rommel Doctor of Barangay Bagut in Dingras town and the jeepney driver.

All injured victims were on board the jeepney when it hit the waiting shed.

Investigation disclosed that the jeepney was heading towards Solsona, Ilocos Norte when the driver claimed to have lost control of the vehicle and hit the waiting shed.

The strong impact from the jeepney severely damaged the waiting shed and injured the passengers including the driver. Police said the injured victims were rushed to Governor Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City for immediate treatment. -- Freddie G. Lazaro

Five nabbed for illegal gambling in La Trinidad 
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Police arrested five men here for illegal gambling Oct. 20.

Police caught the suspects playing cards at Emges Eatery and Billiard hall, in Barangay Puguis.

Senior Supt. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., provincial police director named the suspects as Alex Amboy Demeterio, 36 of Barangay Pico; Crisanta Mendoza Perez, 33 of Barangay Lubas; Rammel Mendoza Balatbat, 31 Barangay of Tawang and Samir  Guesnaed Ambacan, 30, also  of Puguis and Francisco Paquito Cabaluna, 29 of Pico, all drivers.

Confiscated from the suspects were gambling bets amounting to P 810 and playing cards. 

Two men nabbed in Mankayan for robbery
MANKAYAN, Benguet – Police nabbed two thieves while another evaded arrest in a follow-up operation here at Poblacion Monday morning.

Senior Supt. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., provincial police director, identified the suspects as Ronald Feken Chumacog, 30, construction worker and Dimas PadiwanCabat, 24, both residents of RHU Compound, Poblacion.

The suspect who evaded arrest was identified as Brent Balacay of Leseb, Bauko, Mountain Province.

The victim, one Joel MaguilaoLomadao, 32, was frisked by the suspects who forcibly took his cell phone.

Nueva Ecija cops get new guns
CAMP OLIVAS, City of San Fernando, Pampanga –Regional police directorChief Supt. Raul Petrasanta personally distributed brand-new pistols to police officers in Nueva Ecija recently.

Petrasanta has been visiting provincial/city police offices of the region to boost their morale.

Last Oct. 7, he visited Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office under Senior Supt. Criz Nieves. Here he led in the distribution of 101 brand-new Glock 17 pistols to PNP personnel mostly assigned with the public safety company and performing field duties.

He said the continuous distribution of the new guns is part of the modernization program of the Philippine National Police (PNP) which aims at attaining a 1:1 police-to-pistol-ratio. -- Mar T. Supnad

Region 1 police nab 3 most wanted persons
CAMPA FLORENDO, San Fernando City, La Union — Police here reported the arrest of three of the most wanted persons in the region and the confiscation of assorted firearms as among its major accomplishments this month.

Chief Supt. Ricardo C. Marquez, director of police regional office in Region 1,  reported the arrest of Giovanni DC. Almonte, alleged member of SOL Group of Pangasinan, and listed as number eight among the Top Most Wanted Person (TMWP) of Asingan, Pangasinan. Almonte is wanted for murder.

Also arrested this month was Jimmy C. Paulo, alleged member of ESPADA Group and listed as Top 10 TMWP of Bacnotan, La Union. Paulo is wanted for three counts of grave threat and violation of Republic Act 8294.

The third most wanted person arrested in Region 1 was Jay R. Yaranon, a native of Barangay Casaratan, San Nicolas, Pangasinan, who is being sought for robbery and homicide.

Yaranon was apprehended at the residence of his sister at Purok 5, Barangay Upper Pinget, Baguio City.

“Yaranon was also the main suspect for the shooting incident which caused to the death of Dr. Custodio G. Dela Cruz, a municipal health officer that was transpired along the provincial road in Barangay Poblacion West, Sta Maria, Pangasinan on February 15 of this year,” Marquez said.

“These wanted persons are now under proper custody while appropriate cases were filed against them in court,” he said.

Marquez also reported that in the initial implementation of the Comelec gun ban police confiscated eight firearms, 237 assorted bullets and 32 magazines from six persons, including one village chief identified as Reynel J. Carpio. -- Freddie G. Lazaro

Drug den maintainers nabbed in Ilocos raids 
CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union — A team composed of members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency  and Philippine National Police arrested two drug den maintainers and a cohort in separate anti-drug operations in Vigan City and Pangasinan on Oct. 17.

PDEA Director General Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. identified the suspects as Anna Rose Salimao, an alleged drug den maintainer from Barangay Ayusan Norte, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; Samson Parayno, another alleged drug den maintainer from Sitio Don Roque, Barangay Bued East, Calasiao, Pangasinan, and Ricky Felizardo of Barangay BonuanCalamiong, Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

Felizardo was caught at one of the drug dens at the time of the raid. Cacdac said that Salimao is one of the Top 4 Provincial Priority Target-listed drug personalities in Ilocos Sur province.

Foreign stude subdues armed attacker
BAGUIO CITY--- A 20 year-old Sudanes taking up  pharmacy course here early Thursday fought an armed suspected robber and subdued the suspect with a friend.

In a report of Senior Insp. Eugene L. Raymundo to Senior Supt. Jesus D. Cambay,Jr., city police director, the suspect armed with a Cal .45 pistol was identified as Marcial Gonzalo,27,of Culong, Sayangan, Atok, Benguet and residing at Pines Park, La Trinidad, Benguet.

Investigation showed the victim identified as Mohamed Alhadi y Badawi, 20, and his friend Ibrahim Hozifa were inside their rented apartment when they heard unusual sounds at their door.
When Alhadi opened the door, the suspect immediately pointed the gun at him. The Sudanese parried the pointed gun at him as as the suspect fired at him.
Scuffle between the victim and attacker ensued until Gonzalo was subdued, and nabbed later by policemen.
The suspected robber became the listed fifth gun ban violator of this city, where the BCPO “Secure and Fair Elections” (SAFE),an innovative police operations had been in implementation the last three weeks until the election gun ban is lifted.

Gun ban violators arrested in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY -- Four other gun ban violators were arrested here since Oct. 5.
The first two violators arrested on the same day in separate places were one 17 year old male who accidentally shot a 16-year-old buddy in a drinking spree in Engineers Hill here.
The minor yielded one Cal. 38 revolver and bullets.
Arrested on Oct. 5, by policemen  was Mario Tegwa,Jr. y Sucalo, 28, of Bauko, Mountain Province.
Seized from him was a Cal .38 revolver. The suspect had no gun exemption from the Commission on Elections.
Meanwhile, two gun ban suspects were also arrested at a pension house in Salud Mitra Barangay here.
Government prosecutors are still verifying the claim of one Christopher Pakiwon as member of the police., as well as that of companion Anthony D. de la Pena.
Pakiwon is native of Ifugao Province while de la Pena is a resident of Castillo, Zambales.
The duo yielded one 9 mm pistol. The policemen went to the suspect’s boarding house when neighbors alerted them of gunshots from the area. – Viyo Hidalgo

Gunmen kill 2, hurt boy in Ilocos Sur
MAGSINGAL, Ilocos Sur -- - Alleged guns-for-hire aboard a motorcycle killed here night of Oct 17 two Ilocos Sur residents and hurt one of the victims' son in yet another slaying by riding-in-tandem assassins that authorities have been trying to stem in their continuing drives against private armed groups.

Winston Garcia and Mark Tayaba did not reach the hospital alive after gunmen ambushed them in Barangay Mansante.

Garcia’s son, Jet Lee, 12, is being treated for gunshots, authorities reported.

The three aboard a tricycle were reportedly heading home when the gunmen sprung from nowhere and fired at the victims in front of the Mansante Elementary School.

Investigators found empty shells of .45 caliber at the site where the three were ambushed, while policemen are still digging deep on what prompted the attack.

722 ilocos cops receive new guns  
By MydsSupnad
CAMP FLORENDO, La Union -- Brand new 9 mm Glock pistols were distributed to 722 Ilocos Region police last week here at the regional police headquarters.

Region 1 police director Chief Supt. Ricardo C. Marquez led the distribution of new handguns to police  without firearms  who passed proficiency training on “Glock 17 Generation 4” pistol conducted by the Regional Special Training Unit 1.

Marquez said the first tranche of new service firearms were all issued to police patrollers assigned in four Ilocos provinces: Ilocos Norte, 66; Ilocos Sur,113; La Union, 144; and Pangasinan, 399.

Along with the guns were two spare magazines, cleaning kit user’s manual, carrying case, and a basic load of 28 billets per cop.
Marquez said those with ranks of Police Officers 1 to 3 were prioritized in distribution of new firearms under the PNP’s Capability Enhancement Program in relation to PNP’s CODE-P program focusing on excellence and competence.

Aside from the 722 firearms distributed, additional 1,315 units are set for withdrawal in Philippine National Police headquarters to complete the 2037 quota for Region 1.

The 2037 firearms quota for PRO1 is part of the 74,879 guns purchased by the PNP intended to boost the firearms requirement of the police.
According to the regional director, a Glock 17 has a market price of P40,940 per unit, but the PNP through transparent bidding process, purchased only at P16,659.94 per unit so the PNP saved P200,082,954.24 from the original P1.198 billion allocation that was used in buying additional 15,000 pieces of the same brand pistols.
The 9mm Glock 17 Pistol is the service firearm used by 60 percent of police forces and other law enforcement Agencies in Europe, United States of America and Asia.

Meanwhile, some 1,425 pairs of patrol shoes were also distributed to police patrollers.
Likewise, around 35,366 M16 ammunition and 495 M16 Magazines were distributed to various police units of PRO1.

Marquez  added 22,484 M16 bullets were distributed to four Provincial Public Safety Company of the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan ; 5,904 M16 bullets for provincial police offices and 6,978 M16 bullets Regional Public Safety Battalion.  

An additional 495 M16 magazines were also equally distributed to PPOs and 71 M16 magazines for RPBS1.


Task force removes road Kalinga road encroacher

By Peter A. Balocnit

TABUK CITY, Kalinga- - The provincial road-right-of way (RROW) task force has convinced many informal settlers and other encroachers to voluntarily remove their structures on RROWs particularly along the Bulanao section of the national highway in this city.

Natividad Sugguiyao, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples provincial head and task force member,  told heads of local offices and national agencies that the group  dialogued with informal settlers where they were able to get the support of many  to  cooperate with government by removing voluntarily  their  structures along RROWs, and  to stop opposing or causing delay to ongoing widening and concreting of national, provincial, and roads under the jurisdiction of this city.

She said a lot of illegal occupants also promised not to anymore oppose cutting of trees along RROWs considering the impact of road improvement to the economic well-being of the beneficiaries even as they also committed to help replace cut trees through planting of seedlings.

Sugguiao admitted that the  task force  had difficulty clearing RROWs of stubborn encroachers and that some individuals opposing the cutting of trees were professionals who use the law as their leverage.

To address the  perennial problem on  RROWs, the  task force recommended agencies to strictly “keep roads beyond the commerce of man”; not to allow anymore entities to use RROWs whether it be for government purposes even on a temporary basis; for DPWH to assist occupants remove their structures; and request  the Kalinga-Apayao Electric Cooperative not to connect  electric lines  in structures  residents along RROWs.

RROW claims had been one of the causes of delay of projects particularly in the upper Kalinga region where contractors have to shell out portion of the project cost to settle RROW claims by unscrupulous encroachers which on the process affects the quality standard of projects. 


Ilocanos honor hero of two wars

BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte — The heroic deeds and memoirs of the late General Artemio Ricarte were recalled during the celebration of his 147th birth anniversary here Monday.

The significant event for Ilocanos, which has been instituted by the Philippine Vetarans Affairs Office, was attended by hundreds of veterans and their dependents, students, teachers and local officials.

It was highlighted by a Holy Mass, wreath-laying ceremony, a medical mission, and the awarding of surviving war veterans aged 95 and above.

Batac City Councilor Florencio P. Laud, who was the guest of honor and speaker at the celebration, described Ricarte as a model to teachers and an inspiration to the military forces in the country.

Gen. Artemio “Vibora” Garcia Ricarte, who was a teacher, soldier and patriot, was born in Batac on Oct. 20, 1866 to Esteban Ricarte Faustino and Bonifacia Garcia y Rigonan.

Laud narrated that while Ricarte was working as a teacher, he met Mariano Álvarez, another school teacher and a surviving revolutionist  of the 1872 Cavite mutiny.

“Ricarte then joined the ranks of the Katipunan under the Magdiwang Council, where he held the rank of Lieutenant General and he adopted the nom-de-guerre ‘Víbora’ which means ‘viper’ or cobra.

After the start of the Philippine Revolution on August 31, 1896, Ricarte led the revolutionists in attacking the Spanish garrison in San Francisco de Malabon.

He crushed the Spanish troops and took the civil guards as prisoner,” narrated Laud.

He also fought in various battles in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas.

Aguinaldo designated him to remain in Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan.

Ricarte settled down in Japan, where he taught the Spanish language at the Shogio Kugio Gakko in Kanagawa and Kaigai Shokumin Gakko School in Tokyo. He lived a very quiet life there until the outbreak of World War II in 1941.

He returned to the Philippines with the Japanese Army to help in the pacification campaign with the promise of Prime Minister Tojo to grant Philippine Independence after a year, which was held on June 12, 1943.

Towards the end of the war, he refused to leave the country.

He died on July 31, 1945 of dysentery in Barrio Nagparaon, Kalinga at 78.


214 C. Luzon villages on AFP poll watchlist

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), which will assist the police in the Oct. 28 barangay elections in Central Luzon, has identified 214 barangays as “areas of concern” in the region.

Col. Ernesto Torres, operations chief of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, said in a Philippine Information Agency-sponsored forum here Thursday that 61 of these barangays are in eight towns in Aurora and 153 in 29 barangays in Nueva Ecija.

For the barangay polls, Nolcom will deploy 443 field units and 518 augmentation forces in various parts of Central Luzon, Torres said.

This would be on top of quick response forces comprising 147 soldiers from the 7th ID, 518 from augmentation forces, and 685 from field units, or a total of 1,350, to be activated during the elections, he added.

Torres said only one election-related killing has so far been reported in Central Luzon.

He identified the victim as Rogelio Gayla, an incumbent councilman in Barangay San Nicolas in Victoria, Tarlac, who was stabbed dead by a rival last Oct. 10.

Torres said that Nolcom’s 702nd Infantry Brigade would assist the Commission on Elections and the police in the village polls in Aurora and Nueva Ecija, while the 703rd IB would assist in the rest of Central Luzon, including Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, and Bulacan.

Torres said communist groups have fielded candidates in the barangay polls, adding though that the Communist Party is no longer illegal. 

“There is nothing contrary to law if communists run for barangay elections, for as long as there is no violence involved, and they do not carry firearms,” he said.


City gov’t starts annulment moves: Baguio reservations’ land titling unabated

By Ramon Dacawi

BAGUIO CITY – The city government here will start legal moves to annul private land titles issued over parks, forest reservations and watersheds by national government agencies.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan told a technical working group created by President Aquino that private titling of the city’s open public spaces and pine stands had become a major threat to the TWG’s of preparing  “comprehensive plans and programs to preserve and develop” Baguio and Boracay Island

Unless nullified and stopped, these controversial and apparently continuing title issuances would lead to Baguio’s undoing,  the mayor said during a presentation before members of the Baguio-Boracay TWG last week  at Baguio Country Club.

“This is  a very serious problem of the City of Baguio,”  the mayor told members of the TWG headed by Tourism Undersecretary Ma. Victoria Jasmin.
The Baguo-Boracay TWG was created under Memorandum Circular No. 47 issued by President Aquino last May 17.

The President, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa,  noted that “rapid growth, commercialization, and the lack of a comprehensive development and zoning plan caused the degradation and deterioration of the two localities”.

Domogan thanked the President for creating the task force but quickly added the titling of parks and reservations would have a costly impact on the preservation and development of Baguio that the Presidential memorandum described as a “national treasure”. 

Domogan  said the city, through the office of city legal officer Carlos MelchorRabanes, and the Solicitor General now have their hands full seeking the nullification of private titles issued over the Forbes Park, Wright Park, the Baguio Dairy Farm and portions of Session Rd. under ancestral land claims, aside from a expanded title within the Green Valley area, and, recently, within the Busol Watershed. 

“Kulang yong ating coordination (We lack coordination),” the mayor told officials and representatives of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Land Registration Authority, and departments of justice, tourism, environment and natural resources during the half-day session of the TWG.

Briefing the TWG members on the legal history of processing and titling of lots in Baguio, the mayor said  recent awards to private individuals of parks, watersheds and reservations, mostly as ancestral land claims,  are of no legal basis.  

“We are not discriminating against ancestral land claims provided these are valid,” Domogan said.

He recalled as a practicing lawyer then, he even served as counsel for some Ibaloy families with rightful ancestral land claims. 

For one, the mayor said, the rule is that if the ancestral claim is in a reservation, it should first be de-listed as a reservation before the claim is acted upon.

This process, he said, was apparently not followed in the titling of some government and forest reservations

In the case of the Wright Park, Domogan said a portion of the Presidential Mansion Compound, together with a 4,000 square-meter titled lot of the city, had been overlapped by the ancestral land titles (CALT) issued by the NCIP.

More or less 10 hectares of the Wright Park is now covered by Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles 129 and 130 under 22 titles issued by the NCIP. Twenty five hectares of the Forbes Forest Reservation along South Drive that was established  such  through Proclamation No. 10 of 1924 were titled under CALT Nos. 26, 27, 28 and 29.

Likewise, more than 62 hectares of the Baguio Dairy Farm, another national government reservation established in 1940 under Proc. No. 603, were  also titled under CALT-37. 

Other ancestral land claimants are seeking nullification of the titles issued over the dairy farm and the Wright Park. 

On the controversial Green Valley area title, the mayor said this was expanded from a 4.50hectare area  to 53 hectares and now overlaps other titles, including the lot on which the elementary school stands. 
The latest, the mayor said, was the issuance of 22 titles over a total area of 7.8 hectares within the Busol Watershed, a major water source of the city and La Trinidad, Benguet and proclaimed as a government reservation in April, 1922.  

The survey over the awarded area, the mayor said, was done last June, after which the transfer certificates of title were issued last June 24. 

Curiously, the mayor said, the original title covering the area in the names of the heirs of Kalomis was invalidated. He added that the derivative titles over the same and in the names of applicants different from the Kalomis heirs were registered with the Registry of Deeds. 

In a meeting with the mayor, members of the Kalomis clan said they will file affidavits of adverse claim opposing the issuance of the 22 titles.

The mayor also directed the city legal office to file the city’s affidavit of adverse claim.

The Wright Park titles are being opposed by relatives of the beneficiaries while the award at the Dairy Farm is also opposed by a clan different from the awardees. 

“You can just imagine what Baguio would become if those parks and reservations are privately owned,” the mayor told the media.  

To avoid conflicts over contentious areas, the mayor reiterated activation of the Baguio Ancestral Land Clearing Committee , a body created by en banc resolution of the NCIP in 2009 and through which applications for ancestral land applications should pass before awards are approved and issued.

On a bigger scale, the NCIP, the Land Registration Authority, the DENR and the Department of Agrarian Reform said on Jan. 27, 2012 Joint Administrative Oder No. 01-12 “Clarifying, Restating and Interfacing the Respective Jurisdictions, Policies, Programs and Projects of (these agencies) in Order to Address Jurisdictional and Operational Issues Between and Among the Agencies”

The joint AO was signed by DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, then NCIP Chair Zenaida BrigidaPawid and LRA Administrator Eulalio Diaz III.

At the TWG meeting, Domogan also submitted to the members documents on the contentious titles issued over the city’s parks and reservations, aside from the city’s opposition to the subdivision of lots bigger than the allowed 200 square meters and below for titling under the Free Patent Law.

The mayor and the city council said the practice of subdividing lots above 200 square meters and then titling these under the FPL process would have negative effects on the city’s population growth density which, at the present 4,300 plus per square kilometer, is already 17 times more than the national average. 

At the TWG meeting, NCIP lawyer John Ray Libiran said the commission is willing to revisit the titles it had issued but that cases on these are pending in court. 

The TWG agreed to help petition the courts for the suspension of the hearing of cases to allow NCIP to revisit said titles. 

The mayor suggested the filing of joint motion to defer the hearings, to which Jasmin replied the TWG will explore all legal remedies and recommend to the President ways to facilitate its work  “to review the environmental, commercial, tourism and law and order situation in Baguio and Boracay for the purpose of developing Comprehensive Plans to preserve these vital national assets”.

Given the land issues here, Jasmin admitted the work towards the development of a comprehensive plan for Baguio will be more difficult than preparing one for Boracay.


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