Int’l rights group to P-Noy: Probe Abra kins’ massacre

>> Sunday, March 30, 2014

BAGUIO CITY – President Aquino was urged last week by an international human rights coalition and religious groups to investigate the recent massacre of the Ligiws, an indigenous activist family allegedly by military men in Baay-Licuan, Abra.

This, as another human rights worker, also a community organizer identified as William Bugatti of Ifugao Peasant Movement was shot by still unidentified men while on his way to Kiangan, Ifugao night of March

The Tongtongan Ti Umili, a non-government organization based in Baguio said, Bugatti died from three gunshot wounds.

According to the TTU, Bugatti was named in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’s list of “target persons.”      

Meanwhile, the non-government Cordillera Human Rights Alliance together with the Ligiw family filed a complaint against the 41st Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army March 26 with the Commission on Human Rights-Cordillera here pressing independent investigation by government on the massacre to pinpoint perpetrators.

Later they held a press conference at Mandarin Restaurant here and pressed for justice for the slain family members.

The International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines – Canada chapter, condemned the brutal killing of Freddie “Fermin” Ligiw, Edgar Ligiw and their father, Licuben Ligiw on March 2 in at Sukaw, Domenglay Baay-Licuan allegedly by members of the 41st IBPA.

              “In solidarity with their family and indigenous community, we demand speedy justice for them. We call on you to immediate order an independent and impartial investigation, prosecution of those responsible for this heinous crime and speedy justice for the victims,” the ICHRP-CC urged the President in statement. 

“Elements of the 41st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) are believed to be responsible for the killing,” the statement said.

“On Feb. 19, soldiers from this battalion forcibly took Freddie to serve as a guide in their operation against suspected New People’s Army combatants in the area,”The group told the President.  “Subsequently, Fermin and his brother and father were reported missing and their dead bodies found on March 7. The 41st IB has a long record of human rights violations in Abra province that includes harassment and intimidation, political vilification, arbitrary arrest and detention of ordinary civilians.”  The massacre of the Ligiw family, the coalition said, was  “the latest in spate of killings, abductions and similarly grievous human rights violations committed against leaders and members of people’s organizations that have been reported since January 2014. Freddie was a member of a youth organization, Sidakan-Anakbayan, and with his brother and father and other family members was member of the Cordillera People’s Alliance,  KASTAN – Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin ti Nagtaudan (People Defending the Ancestral Land) and BaayLicuaan Stand Up for Your Rights that successfully resisted the exploration activities of Canadian company, Olympus Mining Co. “

The rights coalition said “Even as we are writing this letter, another human rights advocate has been killed. Romeo Capalla was killed on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Oton, Iloilo. The 65-year old Capalla was the chairperson of the board of directors of the Panay Fair Trade Center, a member organization of the International Federation of Alternative Trade.  

“Mr. President, we are deeply troubled by the deafening silence of your administration in the face of this brutal violence committed by state agents against citizens of your country. Your government’s commitment to human rights has lost credibility.  The Aquino government is following the pattern of past President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who played deaf and blind to the extrajudicial killings that escalated into a crisis during her administration, which to this day, has remained unabated. 

“Our observation is supported by the occurrence of extrajudicial killings almost every week since the beginning of 2014: Marcelo Monterona, killed on January 5 in Maco, Compostela Valley ArmanPadino, killed on January 13 in Hacienda Dolores in Pampanga; Henry Orbina,  killed on January 30 in Cabid-an Sorsogon City;Rolando Ambungan, killed on January 31 in Buenavista, Agusandel Norte; Julieto Lauron, killed on February 5 in Haindangon, Valencia City; and RosauroRayteran, killed on Feb. 6 in San Pascual,  Libon, Albay.

“The pattern indicates to us that the Philippine government is intensifying its implementation of the Operational Plan Bayanihan.   It is cynical of the Philippine government to be ramping up the counter-insurgency war, which the United Nations and human rights organizations around the world have pointed to as the root of the extrajudicial killing crisis, while seeking a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“We call on the Philippine government to immediately order an independent, impartial and competent investigation into the killing of Freddie “Fermin”, Edgar and Licuben Ligiw and speedy prosecution of those responsible for the crime in order to render speedy justice to the victims.”

The group also demanded pull-out the 41st IBPA and all military troops from Abra to ensure the investigation is independent and impartial

They also demanded formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the above mentioned incidents of human rights violations, and to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

“We demand the immediate withdrawal of Oplan Bayanihan, the Philippine government’s counterinsurgency program to demonstrate its serious intent to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory to.

Resume the formal peace talks of the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to discuss the roots of the armed conflict, and  an end to militarization of communities.”

Signatories included those from Akdaan, Anakbayan, Asilo, Basics Community News Service, and Bayan.

Others included Beaconsfield United Church (Montreal, Quebec), Beaconsfield Initiative ,Binnadang-Migrante (Toronto, Ontario) Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (Montreal, Quebec), Centre des travailleusese ttravailleurs immigrants - Immigrant Worker's Centre (Montreal, Quebec), Filipino Christian Fellowship, Toronto, Canada, Filipino Migrant Workers’ Movement (Toronto, Ontario); Gabriela – Ontario (Toronto, Ontario), IWworkers - Association of Filipino Women Workers (Toronto, Ontario), Migrante Canada, Migrante – British Columbia, Migrante – Ontario; PATAC (Toronto, Ontario), Philippine Solidarity Group – Toronto (Ontario); United Church of Canada; Logan Sellathurai, retired trade union activist,  Rev. Stuart Lyster, retired United Church minister among others.

 The International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)  is a global network  of organizations  outside the Philippines who are concerned about human rights Philippines and committed to work for just and lasting peace in the Philippines.


La Union official killed in ambush

BACNOTAN, La Union – A 70-year-old councilor of this town was killed in an ambush while on his way home Tuesday night, police said.

The victim, Onofre Almojuela, who was serving his third and last term as councilor, sustained several gunshot wounds in his back, killing him on the spot.

Initial investigation showed Almojuela, also a former barangay chairman, was driving a L-300 van when the assailants fired at him as he was crossing the road going to his house in Barangay Mabanengneng 2nd at around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The gunmen fled on a motorcycle.

Police recovered 11 empty shells from an unknown firearm in the crime scene.

Investigators were still determining if the killing had something to do with politics or personal grudge. 

Almojuela’s wife, Revelina, chairwoman of Barangay Mabanengbeng 1st, said she was not aware of any disagreements her husband had with anybody. 

Bacnotan Mayor Ma.MindaFontanilla condemned the killing and asked the Philippine National Police to fully investigate it. 

“We are clueless (on Almojuela’s killing). I asked the police to take all the names and licenses of motorcycle riders passing by in our town, check where they are going, whoever and whatever they are,” Fontanilla said. 


46 illegal houses in PMA reservation demolished

By Dexter A. See 
FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – Forty six illegal structures were  demolished by the administration of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA through its anti-squatting task force during the massive dismantling operations held inside the military reservation over the past two days.

Maj. Agnes Lynette Flores, PMA spokesperson, said the plan to demolish the illegal structures has been relayed to the concerned illegal settlers through a pulong-pulong /dialogue held at Lot 6 area Fort Del Pilar Baguio City on 18 February, 01 March and 22 March, 2014 whereby it was inculcated to the owners of the illegal structures the need to dismantle their houses considering that the Academy needs the 13-hectare property for the use of its operations.

Earlier, the City Government had expressed its support for PMA’s Anti-Squatting Plans and efforts based on the results of the dialogue conducted at Baguio City Hall last February 24, 2014 between PMA-REO, Atty. Carlos Canilao and Atty. Melchor Rabanes-City Administrator and City Legal Officer.

To strengthen PMA’s claim over the contested parcel of land, Judge Edilberto T. Claraval, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 60, denied Ms. Rebecca Dulawan’s prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to restrain, prevent, and prohibit the defendant from proceeding with the demolition considering that the purported land reform beneficiaries were not able to show sufficient proof of their qualification and legitimacy to occupy the property that was earlier declared as a military reservation. The demolition was supposed to have been conducted last October 31, 2012. However, the court granted Ms. Dulawan’s Plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order TRO. Ms Dulawan is the President of the Land Reform Beneficiaries Association Inc. (LRBAI).

Judge Edilberto Claraval noted that the affected households were not able to provide enough evidence on how they were able to possess their property. It is the first condition under Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court, that before a preliminary injunction may be granted, it must be established that the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, which in this case is the property where their structures where constructed, and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained or, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually.

Unfortunately, in this particular case, the evidence submitted by the plaintiff, has not established that the LRBAI has real and actual interest over the property to entitle it to the relief prayed for. Therefore, the Regional Trial Court has denied Ms. Dulawan’s request for a writ of preliminary injunction for lack of merits.

In the conduct of the dismantling, Flores disclosed PMA demolition team members observed with utmost respect the rights of the affected households and adhered to the procedures required by the law in the undertaking of the demolition.

She said an invitation was also sent to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to act as observers during the actual day of demolition.
“PMA  also offered limited assistance to the affected households in dismantling their structures and transporting the dismantled materials within 5 kilometers distance from the Camp before the actual conduct of the demolition,” Flores stressed.

According to her, demolition team members are now conducting mapping up operations after the demolition activities were completed late Tuesday afternoon.

Dulawan questioned the timing of the demolition done by PMA, saying that her group will file a contempt charges against PMA and the city government before the courts in order to penalize those who pursued the dismantling of the structures in violation of the issued TRO that was said to have lapsed.


54th Infantry peace team stops NPA attack, I hurt

By Ruel Tabliago

ASIPULO, Ifugao -- The peace and development team of the  54th Infantry Batallion deployed here at Barangay Camandag warded off an attack of a plotton of around 10 New Peoples Army guerillas around 11 a.m. evening of March 21. 

Commanding officer Cpt  Edward Ricablanca of Alpha (Avenger) Company said  troops who were conducting peace development team operations were resting when attacked by the NPA but the duty sentinel sensed the attackers and prevented them them from maneuvering towards them with gunfire..

Sentinel PFC Benny Faycho from Can-eo, Bontoc  sustained injuries while the NPA elements withdrew after a minute of firefight.  

Faycho is currently  at  Bayombong Veterans Regional Hospital  at Nueva Ecija for treatment. 

Lt. Col  Eddie Pilapil, commanding officer of 54th Infantry Batallion condemned the attack saying saying this signified the NPA are anti- peace since they deny the people of Camandag the peace they long desire.”


Ilocos farmers nix low tobacco prices ‘controlled by big traders’

By Mar T. Supnad and Freddie G. Lazaro

SANTIAGO, Ilocos Sur- Following complaints of low prices from Virginia tobacco farmers and of prices being controlled by big traders,  Gov. Ryan Singson said he would create programs to address  woes of farmers in this multi-billion industry.

This, even as prices of all grades of flue-cured Virginia tobacco leaves per kilogram are above floor price levels in the current trading season in Ilocos region, according to the National Tobacco Administration.

The NTA reported a total of  589,282.40 kilograms had been traded as of March 18 in 15 trading centers in four provinces in Region I upon its opening in February.

Singson’s action came in the wake of reports from the tobacco farmers themselves that the prices of their products for this season was actually below compared to the prices last year.

“I will set immediately a meeting with them (farmers) to determine how come that the prices of their tobacco products was lower this season than last year’s rate; and we will also try to know if the Trading centers are in cahoots with the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) to dictate a lower prices of tobacco products,”  Singson told this writer.

Several tobacco farmers here claimed that the prices of Class A A (Virginia tobacco leaves) has an average only of ranging from P68 to P72 per kilo, way below to the prices last year of P77 per kilo, contrary to what NTA officials were saying.

“Bimmaba pay ngarud ti presyo ti tabako ita kumpara idi napalabas nga tawen; isunga agpakpakaasi kami ken ni Gov. Ryan nga ikkanna koma ti attension toy nakalidliday nga kasasaad mi,” (Prices of tobacco today is lower compared to last year’s; So we are appealing to Gov. Ryan to give attention to our lamentable situation),” said the farmers.

The farmers urged NTA administrator Edgar Zaragoza to go down to the barangay to see for himself their deplorable plight and not resort to just issuing press releases about the high prices of tobacco leaves which, they said, was contrary to what is being happened.

Zaragoza said in earlier news reports prices of high grade Virginia leaf (Class AA) is now P78 up to P86 per kilo, a claim laughed off by the tobacco farmers themselves.

The farmers asked Zaragoza where or what is the name of the trading centers where they can sell their tobacco products of the high prices that he was claiming, so they said, they can repay their gargantuan debt brought about by planting tobacco.

Tobacco is a multi billion industry where the government can earn more than P30 billion a year in terms of taxes, among others.   

 Despite tens of billions of income, the government is neglecting the plight of the tobacco farmers, they said, raising suspicion that the prices of tobacco are being controlled by big traders. This, as Zaragoza said floor prices of Virginia tobacco this year increased by P6 per kilogram across all grades.

The rate of high-grade leaf (AA) is now P78, he said.

The new buying prices for other grades follow: A, P75; B, P73; C, P71; D, P66; E, P65; F1, P59; F2, P56; R, P46.

He said tobacco traders are buying tobacco leaves above the approved floor prices.

Zaragoza dismissed reports on the low prices of tobacco as he claimed the tobacco buying prices are above the average floor price.

“The agency is providing arbitration on leaf classifications and prices of tobacco, whenever issues arise during the trading. Farmers have nothing to worry about,” Zaragoza said.

According to Eleno Natura of Balaoan, La Union, farmers in one trading center in La Union had disagreement with buyer-firms as to classifications of leaves.

“Generally, however, the prices are good in most trading centers,” he said.

“There are some complaints but these are usual ones like disagreements on classifications and prices,” according to Mario Cabasal, head of the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers and Cooperatives.

He added, however, that the agency has addressed these concerns immediately during the trading.

Meanwhile, farmer Virgie Directo from Barangay Dayanki, Burgos, Ilocos Sur disclosed that buying price of her flue-cured full flavor Virginia tobacco has reached P94 per kilo last week.

NTA extension workers assigned for each trading post have reminded farmers of the trading conditions for floor prices, in accordance with memorandum of agreement between the agency, buyer firms and tobacco farmers before the start of tobacco season last year.

According to the agreement, tobacco leaves delivered to the trading centers must be free of non-tobacco related materials and delivery in straight-laid loose in open bale.

“The process of tobacco sale for Virginia will continue till June and the prices will be maintained,” Zaragoza said.

Trading for Burley tobacco has also started in Ilocos.


2 Kalinga tribes agree on peaceful conflict resolution

By Peter Balocnit

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The tribal conflict between the sub-tribes of Mabongtot and Lubuagan this province mediated by a sectoral team was solved with both tribes agreeing on cessation of hostilities.

In mediation here last week at  Kalinga police provincial office here  brokered by government, religious sects and neutral tribe representatives, both tribes agreed to support peaceful resolution of their conflict.

The severance of the peacepact between the two tribes stemmed from the  killing last year of one  Russendyle Ando of the Lubuagan tribe  allegedly by  gunmen from Mabongtot.

In their agreement, they committed themselves not to take revenge and retaliation or harassment of any kind promising also to prevent any act of aggression; to strictly abide to their agreement and support all initiatives geared towards resolution of the conflict.

“Any violation of the agreement shall be ground for the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to file appropriate charges before the court against the liable party,” the memorandum of agreement read.

The agreement was signed by representatives from both sub-tribes and witnessed by Regional Trial Court Judge Marcelino Wacas, Col. Paul Atal, commanding officer of the 503rd Infantry Brigade; OIC PNP provincial director PS/Supt. Victor Wanchacan, Lt. Col. Resurrection Mariano of the 17th Infantry Battalion, provincial DILG director Francisco Gamatero; Engr. Andres Ngao-i of the KalingaBodong Council, Provincial Legal Officer Kristian Wandag; Lubuagan Mayor Johnny Dickpus, NCIP representative Miguel Atumpa, and Ptr. Sabas Ayangwa of the Bilong tribe.

The severance of their peacepact paralyzed economic activities when some families of Mabongtot fled to the forests for safety and school children stopped going to school.

This agreement will not stop or affect law enforcers from apprehending the suspect in the killing of Ando.


Forest fires burn power lines: cause MP electricity shortage

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Forest fires have been ravaging the forests of this mountainous Province resulting to electric posts getting burned, electric lines getting grounded  and power “tripping” resulting to  brown-out  affecting thousands of households.

This, as Mountain Province Electric Company (MOPRECO) general manager Jude Domoguen and Provincial Natural Resources Office (PENRO) officer Manny Pogeyed urged barangay local government units enact rules on forest fire prevention in their respective ordinances.

Updates during during separate press conferences conducted here with members of the Montanosa Press Club that power brown-outs have been noted in Sagada, Besao, Tadian, Sabangan, Bauko, Bontoc and Natonin the past five days from March 19 to March 23 traced to forest fires.

Domoguen said power tripped due to grounded transmission lines and these getting in contact with the other when electric posts got burned or toppled down due to mountain fires.

The raging mountain inferno noted in six municipalities of the Province affected electric feeders 1, 2, and 3 and power blackouts to 19,417 household- consumers of the Province.

Power tripping due to forest fires came earlier than the scheduled National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) brown-out from 7am to 6 pm in March 19 affecting MOPRECO-serviced areas of the 10 municipalities of the Province.

Power tripped at 1:05 a.m. of March 19 covering Mopreco feeder 3 due to four electric poles burned at mounts Balitian and Ipis at Bontoc affecting 13,628 consumers in municipalities Bontoc and Natonin. Power only resumed at 12:14 pm on March 20 after Mopreco crew have to carry the poles up the mountains and replace the burned electric posts.  

On March 20, another power interruption was noted at 10:25 am to 11:16 am resulting from a forest fire at Balili, Bontoc that burned Mopreco’s service drop.

On March 20, power brown out was noted at 3:20 pm to 7 p.m. in Sagada and Besao due to the burning of three electric posts at mount Ampanga at Antadao, Sagada affecting 5,100 consumers.

A power interruption was noted in Sabangan near the vicinity of TESDA building due to the burning of one electric post   from 4:11 am to 9: am on same day of March 22.

Still on the same day, another electric tripping was noted at 10:30 pm which lasted till 10 o’clock morning on the next day March 23 due to an electric line hit by a burned tree at Maba-ay, Bauko traced to a forest   fire.

A brief power interruption was noted at Natonin affecting feeder 3 from 7:00 to 7:11 due to water-grounded transmission lines. 

The brief brown- outs March 21 were unscheduled NGCP interruptions.

Domoguen said prevention of forest fires is a “concern of everybody”. He called on barangay officials to enact their respective ordinances in setting rules on forest  fire prevention.

Pogeyed said barangay officials take note of the danger period when continuous period of absence of rain results to a forests  vulnerable to fire due to moisture lost in and on the surface of the soil, and regulate activities in forested areas.


Daughter follows footsteps of medal of valor awardee father

By Carlito Dar

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City, -- Following the footsteps of her  medal of valor awardee father,  newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Precious Jewel Forrosuelo is joining the Philippine Army.

Forrosuelo  is  a member of  the  223-strong Philippine Military Academy  Siklab Diwa (Sundalong ikarararangal ng lahing bayan is a diwang wagas) Class of 2014  who graduated  March 16 at  Fort del Pilar here.

She is one of  the 19 females of the class  commissioned  by National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin  as second lieutenant and ensigns of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

A great influence in her life was her father, T/Sgt. Claudio Forrosuelo,  who  was posthumously awarded with a medal of valor in 2000, for showing courage and gallantry in action during the military’s all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Camp Abu Bakar, Maguindanao.

With the award, the Forrosuelo family received other rewards and assistance from government such as educational assistance for   children   including Jewel’s guaranteed slot in the PMA.

The medal of valor award is  the highest award given to a military personnel of the AFP.

Jewel’s   entering the PMA was a real challenge. Being a female and a child of an MOV,  the expectations were high  but taking her father’s sacrifices for their family and the nation as an inspiration, she overcame  all challenges  with flying color  finishing 18th in the roll  of  the PMA class of 2014.

 “Continuing the legacy of my father’s heroism would not be easy. Nevertheless, I would not let it be wasted. Though I may not overtly display courage in combat most of the time because of women’s physiological differences with men, the same courage can be manifested through moral integrity and by standing firm on the upright principles of  courage, integrity and loyalty…that they have learned from the academy”, Jewel said.

President Benigno Aquino III, the AFP Commander-in-chief,  in his keynote message to the Class of 2014 commencement exercises,  urged graduates to bring the academy’s honor code and their principles of courage, integrity and loyalty outside of PMA and help in boosting the citizenry’s belief in the AFP’s credibility and effectiveness in bringing lasting peace and development to the country and the Filipino people. 


Barlig, Natonin Balangao tribe set pinuchu signing on Lang-ay

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- The Balangao tribe  of  Barlig and  Natonin Balangao  shall be witnessing the ceremonial signing of their documented  indigenous forest management practices  by  chief executive officers 10 a.m. on April 1 here at the multipurpose  hall  to coincide with the celebration of the  47th Mountain Province Foundation Day and  the  1oth Lang-ay Festival.

The pinuchu and khakay practices of the  Balangaos  of the eastern tribes  from Natonin and Barlig  akin to the batangan system  of the western tribes of the Province  embodies  the indigenous forest management practises documented  by the  Provincial Environment and Natural  Resources Office.

The April 1 signing shall be done by the representative mayors  of Natonin and Barlig, governor of the Province, authorities from the PENRO and the NCIP-Mountain Province and regional offices of the DENR and NCIP.  

The document is in line with Joint Administrative Order of 2008 of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provided for guidelines and procedures for the recognition, documentation, registration and confirmation of all sustainable traditional and indigenous forest resources management systems and practices (STIFRMSP) of indigenous cultural communities or Indigenous Peoples in Ancestral Domain/Land.

The indigenous peoples of Madukayan of Natonin have also documented and affirmed their pinuju practises. 

Forest management specialist  Christopher  Bosaing of PENRO-Mountain Province said  respective  municipal ordinances in furtherance to the  Joint AO of 2008  are currently   being drafted by the  legislative officials of Tadian, Sagada and Besao municipalities .

Tadian which has advanced in its drafting stage incorporates the indigenous batnagan system in its Environmental Code.

Following the confirmation of elders and affirmation of the officials of respective LGUs, the documented indigenous management practices  shall then be endorsed to the Secretary of the DENR for affirmation followed by the LGU-initiated ordinances. 

The municipal ordinances define resource use, and sets rules and supplementary guidelines on  customary forest management practices.

The batangan of the Applai tribe of  western Mountain Province, pinuchu  and khakay of the Balangao trine of Barlig and pinuju system of the Madukayan tribe of Natonin  embody customary practices of   forest management to include that of access, cutting trees and gathering of forest products.

The Joint Administrative Order of 2008 of the NCIP and the DENR is in pursuant to the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, Presidential Decree (PD) No. 705, as amended, Executive Order (EO) No. 192, Series of 1987,  Republic Act (RA) No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (NCIP Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 1998, and the DENR-NCIP Memorandum Circular No. 2003-01, EO No. 318, Series of 2004.

Areas having certificates of ancestral domain claims (CADC) and certificates of ancestral domain titles  (CADTs),  based on a requirement of the Joint 2008 NCIP-DENR AO. In areas where there is no CADT and CADC, a certificate of assurance is asked from NCIP to enable facilitation of municipal indigenous forestry management codes.

The municipalities of Sagada, Besao, Tadian, Barlig and Natonin are covered with CADCs. 



Businessman nabbed for illegal drugs, guns
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — A businessman was arrested by police morning of March 22 at his residence in Barangay Betag, here, for alleged illegal possession of firearms and for drugs.

Chief Insp. Byron Allatog, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station chief, said Samir Tahir Gandawali, 38, a native of Lanao del Norte, was allegedly under the influence of drugs when he was nabbed. 

LTO deputizes 69 Abra policemen
BANGUED, Abra-- Sixty nine Philippine National Police personnel were deputized to help the Land Transportation Office (LTO) – Abra District Office implement  traffic rules especially in main roads and access roads in this capital town.

The deputization of the PNP personnel was in line with efforts  to reduce traffic violations usually committed by tricycle drivers and to maintain smooth flow of traffic in the province.

According to LTO officer–in-charge Eusebio R. Bidalen, the 69  deputized officers came from the different PNP municipal stations, including the  Special Action Force, Regional Public Safety Battalion and the Provincial Public Safety Battalion.

They received their IDs last March 3 after completing their training and passing their practical examination.

Bidalen said, the 69 PNP personnel may now handle traffic rules as well as conduct formal apprehension and arrest violators as part of their duty.

Bidalen said during their practical examination, police arrested  over 220 traffic violators .

Most of the arrested individuals were either unregistered, unlicensed or those with expired license.

Bidalen also reminded  drivers especially tricycle drivers to bring along with them  photocopy of their official receipt and certificate of registration (OR & CR), license, and franchise to avoid scrutiny or arrest.  – Maritess Benas with reports from Ginalyn Brioso

Junkshop owner turns over vintage bombs to police
BAGUIO CITY – A junkshop owner turned over assorted vintage mortar bombs to city police Station 4 on March 22.

Mercedes SabeloCadiay, 41, of 3MD Junkshop, Magsaysay Drive, Loakan, told police a man sold two 60 mm mortar, one 75 mm Japanese mortar, one 25 mm mortar and 81mm parts of mortar pecric acid in her Junkshop claiming said items were found in Philex Mine.

Vintage bombs were set to be deactivated by police.

Man nabbed for stabbing Tabuk rice mill operator 
TABUK CITY – A laborer was arrested for stabbing his drinking partner here inside Kintoman Rice Mill, Dagupan West on March 22.The victim, a rice mill operator was named as  Marvin Padilla, 37, of Cauayan, Isabela while the suspect was Joen AnarcisoAsero, 24, of Cotabato, Mindanao.

A police report said, both, with their two companions were having a drinking session when a heated argument arose that resulted in a fist fight between the two.

Their companions were not able to pacify them so, they asked for help from the owner and manager of nearby Bilza Resort, and called for police assistance.

Personnel of the resort said they found the victim lying on the pavement shedding blood when they reached the place while the suspect escaped. The victim confirmed along the way to the Almora General Hospital that it was Asero who stabbed him.

After a search, policed arrested the suspect.

Man arrested for beating wife
BAGUIO CITY – A man was arrested after he was caught beating his wife inside their residence here at Purok 5, Pinsao Pilot Project last week.

Station 2 cops collared Larry CatilloBarozzo, 29, a construction worker for slapping, boxing and beating his wife after an argument regarding their child.

The suspect and the victim were brought to the Baguio General Hospital for medico-legal examination and treatment respectively.

A police report did not disclose if charges were slapped against the man.

Asipulo man lands in jail for illegal firearm, ammunition
ASIPULO, Ifugao – Town police led by Senior Insp. AysonTenenan arrested the number 3 top most wanted person in the town March 24.

Senior Supt. John Colinio, Ifugao police director identified the wanted individual as Charlie Mark GuinanoyDaddi, 25, laborer of Tungod, Lagawe, Ifugao who was charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Judge Jennifer Humiding, of the municipal circuit trial court who issedDaddi’s arrest warrant set bail of P60,000.

Miner arrested for estafa
BAGUIO CITY -- A man identified  as Marcia lOrasCadap, 38, private miner  was arrested in his residence at Maridith, Liwanag, Loakan here for estafa and falsification of public document by virtue of warrants of arrest issued by Judge Asuncion Fikingas Mandia of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7.

5 men nabbed in Benguet for various crimes
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Twelve men were arrested last week for various crimes in Benguet.

Arrested were Ranran Maglaing  Parocha, 26, of Lukeb, Ansagan, Tuba,  who was arrested in Poblacion of the town for attempted homicide; Joey Ramos Caoile, 43, carpenter, a of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, who was nabbed at  km 6, La Trinidad, for violation of Republic Act 9262;  Castres Segundo Torio, 43, driver, of Itogon, Benguet who was nabbed at the Dangwa Station, Baguio City for violations of RA 8749 (Disclosure and Readiness Act of 2000) and Presidential Decree  705 (illegal logging); Randy B.  Galuzo aka “Midlak”, 24, farmer and of Sibugan, Buyacaoan, Buguias, who was arrested in Loo, Buguias, also in the province for theft and Weuber Tadina Patingan, 32, driver, and a resident of Poblacion, Bakun,  who was nabbed in SitioTimoy, Poblacion, Bakun, for adultery.

3 nabbed for murder, rape
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – A certain Randy Ferrer Guiling, 33, of Barangay Asin West, Malasiqui, Pangasinan, was nabbed last week for murder while  MarioBalikdang Carting, 40, laborer, of Sitio Maconon, Numpolia Poblacion, Hungduan, Ifugao was put in jail for incest rape. A certain  SamirTahirGandawali, 38, of Betag, La Trinidad, Benguet was also nabbed for Violation of Republic Act 9262.

2 women land in jail for estafa
BAGUIO CITY -- Two individuals were nabbed for aestafa here last week.  Jennifer TantayEteroza, 24, a resident of San Carlos, Pangasinan who was caught along Padre Zamora Streethere  and Rissa Ramirez Damoa.k.a "Malou Salvador", a.k.a "RiserfinaDamo", and a.k.a “Salve Ramirez”, 45, native of Laoag, llocos Norte and a resident of Victoria Village, Quezon Hill, who was collared along Gregorio Drive, Otek Street, for  eight counts of estafa while another warrant in relation to a case of illegal recruitment was served to her inside the jail. 

 PRO-COR awards medals to 15 deserving PNP personnel
CAMP BADO DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet –  Top police brass here recognized 15 cops for exemplary performance and awarded by  regional police director Chief Supt. Isagani Nerez.

The Medalyang Papuri was awarded to three members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion and12 from Benguet Police Provincial Office.

The RPSB men namely Senior Insp. JoselitoLamsen, PO3 Dennis Enomis and PO1 Jonas Habungan were honored for intelligence and community relations activities that resulted in surrender of two New Peple’s Army members.

Senior Insp. R. Guardaya, SPO3 Syner Kapawen, JerimaiasToyocan, Letecia Marinas, Peter Basilio, Faustino Lang-akhan, Chiona Bugnay, SPO1 Ruby Rose Pesase, PO3 Dwight Sean Arukod, PO3 Gayle Jaime, PO2 Joegie Tawaran and PO2 JericaPagnas of the BPPO were adjudged  Ten Outstanding Policemen/Women of Benguet PPO last year by the Rotary Club of La Trinidad.

Ifugao police reports accomplishments
LAGAWE, Ifugao -- The conduct of 2,693 Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) activities resulting to arrest 20 individuals and  confiscation of four  firearms highlighted accomplishment of the Ifugao police first two months of the year.

New police provincial director  Senior Supt. Johnny Taguiling Colinio  reported during the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting  of 20 persons apprehended, 14 were arrested following issuance of warrants for their arrest, five were nabbed  in checkpoints and one  person was arrested.

Four  firearms were confiscated by quick police response to reports of criminal activities.  

Under the “ImplanTugis”, Colinio said they arrested three  municipal most wanted persons anbd 10 other wanted persons.

Under “OplanKatok”, police  sent 702 letters to registered gun owners to renew their firearm licenses but only 184 heeded  their call and renewed their licenses while 19 with unrenewed licenses deposited their firearms for safekeeping.

Police also conducted operations for security and safety of tourists by coordinating with the Department of Tourism instituting tourist and motorist assistance desks.

They also organized a project called Junior Police, Peace and Order Advocate in Kiangan that aims to bring awareness to the community to involve children in peace and order and public safety programs in the barangays.

On drug clearing, Colinio reported there are 17 drug-affected barangays in the province which they are closely monitoring to identify those involved in the drug trade.

He added 10 of the 11  municipal police stations  formulated local anti-criminality action plans which were adopted through  ordinances by respective Sangguniang Bayans except for  Lamut whose LACAP was just submitted for approval and adaption. -- Daniel Codamon
Cordillera accepting police applicants to fill 249 quota
CAMP BADO DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet  – The Police Regional Office-Cordillera is now accepting application for Police Officer 1 (PO1) for this year.

The Directorate for Personnel and Records Management has allotted PRO-COR a quota of 34 for the regular and 215 for the attrition, a share from the PNP total quota of 20, 926 new policemen for this year.

Interested applicants who want to join the PNP and possess all the necessary requirement can submit their application folders to the nearest city/municipal police stations in their places of residence for initial screening before transmitting the same to the Regional Office which will undertake the final screening of the qualified applicants for new police recruits.

The general qualification standards for interested applicants: Filipino citizen; Must be at least one meter and sixty-two centimeters (1.62m) in height for male and one meter and fifty-seven centimeters (1.57m) for female; Must possess a formal baccalaureate degree from a recognized learning institution; Must be eligible in accordance with the standards set by the commission; less than 21 nor more than 30 years of age.

An applicant shall be considered 21 years of age on his/her 21st birth date and shall be considered more than 30 years of age on his/ her 31st birth date.

Applicants must be of good moral character; not dishonorably discharged from military employment or on AWOL or dropped from rolls from the PNP service or dismissed for cause from any civilian position in the government; have no pending criminal case in any court, including  the Office of the Ombudsman or administrative case if he/she is already employed with the government.

Applicants must not have been convicted by final judgment of an offense or crime involving moral turpitude; must weigh not more than or less than five kilogram (5.0 kg) from the standard weight corresponding to his/her height, age and sex; and must pass the psychiatric/psychological, physical, medical and dental and drug tests to be administered by the PNP Health Service and Crime Laboratory Group or by any NAPOLCOM accredited government hospital in determining the appointee’s physical and mental health.

Applicants must submit the following documentary requirements: one (1) folder with tabbing containing the following; Duly accomplished Application form (RSD DPRM Form 2014-1A); Duly Accomplished CSC form 212 (Revised 2005); NSO Birth Certificate; Report of Rating of Eligibility authenticated by the issuing authority; Two (2) pieces 2”X2” colored picture with name tag, one (1) 4R half body picture  and one (1) 4R whole body picture;  Transcript of Scholastic Records and Diploma duly authenticated by the school registrar; Clearances: Barangay, Local Police Station, Regional Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, NBI, Prosecutor and Mayor’s clearance; Photocopy of 2 valid ID’s; Affidavit of Undertaking (RSD DPRM Form 2014-1B); Certificate of Good Moral Character issued by the college/university   last attended by the applicant; General Weighted Average; and Height Waiver (for under height applicant).
For further inquiries, please contact the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Doctrine Division Office at telephone numbers 309-1245 or email us at or visit our website at to download the PO1 application form and Undertaking.

The processing, screening and selection of the best qualified applicant for appointment as Police Officer 1 shall strictly adhere to the provisions of Napolcom Circular No. 2007-009 as amended by Napolcom Resolution No. 2011-004.


LU mayor pushes stop to drug trade

SANTOL, La Union – Mayor Daisy Sayangda has expressed alarm over the transshipment of dried marijuana here, prompting her to propose a dialogue with town officials to stop illegal activities involving minors earlier reported paid P100 per kilo.

According to Lawrence Ganuelas, chief of police of Santol, the mayor also wants to put the PNP detachment along boundaries in Kibungan, Benguet and part of Sudipen, Ilocos Sur so they could monitor and stop the transshipment of dried marijuana leaves.

Last March 21 at 2 a.m., Santol police confiscated P1,750,000 worth of marijuana stalks while the arrested suspect was injured during an encounter with police.

Ganuelas said the suspect, Ham Bardas, 35, of sitio Bekes, Barangay Takadang Kibungan in nearby Benguet, was injured by two bullets during an encounter with arresting policemen at the hilly portion of Barangay Sasaba here.

“Bitbit ni Ham ang dalawang sakong marijuana stalks at inilaglag at ito nagpapaputok kaya napilitan na gumanting putok ang PNP,” Ganuelas said.

Ganuelas and other policemen proceeded to Barangay Sasaba a night earlier night after receiving information on the transshipment of the marijuana along the hilly portion of Santol.

At around 2 a.m. the next day, policemen were surprised when they were fired upon by the suspect who they said was carrying sacks of marijuana.

Policemen retaliated and chased the suspect which resulted in his arrest and confiscation of 14 kilograms of marijuana stalks.

Ganuelas said there were two suspects but the second was able to escape.

Ham had walked for at least 10 kms from Kibungan , where he got the marijuana stalks down to Santol.


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