NCIP officials hit for delaying’ issuance of ancestral land titles

>> Wednesday, May 28, 2014

By Erlindo Ocay Agwilang

Officials of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) were assailed by Lower House members for delaying issuance of ancestral land titles among other issues.

Congressmen said NCIP officials appear to be in contrast to their mandate of implementing Chapter III, Section 12 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) giving cultural communities the option to secure certificate of titles with respect to their individually-owned ancestral lands.

In a meeting at the House of Representatives through the special committee on North Luzon growth quadrangle on May 20, Reps. Maximo B. Dalog (Mountain Province), Dakila E. Cua

(Quirino) and Deputy Speaker Carlos M. Padilla (Nueva Vizcaya) asked the NCIP why up to now, the IPRA is not being implemented when it is supposed to benefit indigenous peoples in the Cordillera and Northern Luzon.

 Section 12, Chapter III on the right to ancestral domains reads, “Option to Secure Certificate of Title under Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land Registration Act 496.  Individual members of cultural communities, with respect to their individually-owned ancestral lands who, by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, have been in continuous possession and occupation of the same in the concept of owner since time immemorial or for a period of not less than thirty (30) years immediately preceding the approval of this Act and uncontested by the members of the same ICCs/ IPs shall have the option to secure title to their ancestral lands under the provisions of Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land Registration Act 496.

“Said individually-owned ancestral lands, which are agricultural in character and actually used for agricultural, residential, pasture, and tree farming purposes, including those with a slope of 18 percent or more, are  hereby classified as alienable and disposable agricultural lands. The option granted under this section shall be exercised within 20 years from the approval of this Act.”

 During a meeting with the NCIP and its commissioners last March 5,  Section 12 was tackled with Padilla urging the NCIP officials to look more closely on plight of IPs, most coming from Mountain Province and the Cordillera to onsider such IPs qualified and be awarded CADT on the ground they have been in possession of their lands for more than 30 years.

He said such has been endorsed by the regional director and the implementation of the subject provision is awaiting the signature of DENR Secretary Ramon Paje.

 It was however found out at the May 20 meeting that it was NCIP who had reservations in the signing of the draft rules and regulations governing the implementation of section 12 of RA 8371.

Lawyers Arthur Herman of NCIP Legal Affairs Office and  Jonathan Adaci of the Ancestral Domains Office said reason for the delay was due to change of management and the draft was still being reviewed by the legal department so proper safeguards will be incorporated.

The NCIP officials said this will prevent previous events wherein such was abused and lands were distributed to non-IPs in the case of Mindanao.

 Dalog said it is ironic that the NCIP which is supposed to be the principal agency in implementing said law is the one delaying and not performing its mandate.

 “How will it be abused when this is just purely giving the IPs the option on how they will title their lands? In fact, the scenario that happened in Mindanao could have been even more avoided if this IRR was approved earlier,” he added.

The NCIP officials admitted that there have been lapses in implementing the NCIP’s mandate and commissioners are divided whether or not to approve the IRR draft especially because there are a lot of new members to the 5th commission.

Dalog however said the lapses of some personalities within the NCIP should not be a reason not to approve the draft. “Let us remember that this particular section of the law will lapse in four years considering that we were given twenty years from the approval of IPRA. Are we going to just let this pass and deprive our fellow IPs their rights?” he said.

Rep. Cua supported his fellow lawmakers saying there was no reason why an implementing agency like NCIP should delay the crafting and implementation of the law. “The NCIP does not have any reason to sabotage the implementation of section 12,” he said.


3 killed in La Union mishap

CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur — Three people were killed in a vehicular accident involving a tricycle and a 10-wheeler truck in Barangay Ili Sur, San Juan, La Union Tuesday.

PO2 John Bayan, duty officer of San Juan town’s police station, identified the victims as Ronald Larana, Domingo Tangonan and Aries Tugade; all carpenters and from Bolinao, Pangasinan.

Investigation showed victims were on their way home on-board a tricycle when it collided into a 10-wheeler truck with plate number RBX 202 driven by Marlon Visconde.

Due to the strong impact of the accident, the three were seriously hurt in the different parts of their bodies.

The truck driver is now under police custody while follow- up investigation is ongoing. -- Freddie Lazaro


House to probe PNP gun licensing process

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- The Philippine National Police welcomed the investigation of the House of Representatives on the process of firearms licensing, saying it would cooperate fully on inquiry by Lower House.

 The House committee on public order and safety is set to conduct an inquiry into the move of the PNP to centralize processing of firearms licenses in Camp Crame, which allegedly would benefit a private courier company.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed a resolution seeking investigation on decision of the PNP leadership to centralize firearms licensing process.

Moreover, Negros Occidental Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer, chairman of the committee on public order and safety, said that the PNP has bungled the drafting of the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of the Republic Act 10591 and even though the Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the centralization of the gun licensing procedures and the PNP has reopened its regional offices, people would still have to go to Camp Crame for their firearms license approval.

 The PNP, in a press statement, disputed allegations that the centralization of firearms licensing was intended to benefit the private courier company.

“The MOA between the PNP and the courier service for firearms licenses was done in an honest and open manner,” the  statement said.” No money was involved in the deal. One of the salient features of the MOA shows that the PNP will allow WERFAST to provide courier services for application and renewal of firearms licenses. WERFAST, on the other hand, shall collect reasonable service fees directly from applicants who avail of the door-to-door service (pick up of documentary requirements and delivery of firearms license).”

 Since the Supreme Court had issued a TRO last April 8, the PNP has reportedly stopped the utilization of courier services in the delivery of firearms license cards.

Cordillera police director Isagani Nerez said here the new firearms licensing process was intended by the PNP as a measure to update and upgrade its database as well as to cleanse its records and remove the prevalence of fixers.

The PRO-COR had processed application of 50 persons who renewed their firearm licenses last January before stop of processing of firearms license in the Firearms and Explosives Office for two months.

The Supreme Court issued TRO for the PNP to continue to accept, process and approve licensing and renewals in the PNP regional offices of which PRO-COR immediately started accepting applicants this month.


Tuguegarao City mayor, IBP decry lawyer’s slay

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – The city government and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cagayan chapter have condemned the killing here of a trial lawyer on May 14 and called on authorities for the immediate arrest of those behind his slay.

IBP Cagayan chapter president Alexander Simeon Jr., in a statement, also appealed to the public to refrain from making speculations surrounding the killing of lawyer Isagani Garcia, which came in the wake of the filing of graft cases against Mayor Jefferson Soriano.

“We do not want to speculate on his murder or point an accusing finger to anyone. We do not have personal knowledge as to the circumstances of his death,” said Simeon, describing their colleague’s killing as “unacceptable” and an “act of barbarism.”

Soriano, a lawyer himself, deplored the killing a few hours after the incident, dismissing insinuations from his political rivals that Garcia’s slay might have something to do with the two graft cases which he was handling against him.

The graft cases against Soriano were filed by city councilor Maila Ting-Que with Garcia reportedly acting as the legal counsel before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Que is a daughter of former mayor Delfin Ting, whom Soriano, also a former police general, defeated in last year’s elections. Soriano’s victory ended the Tings’ political dominance over the city’s top post, which they held for more than two decades.

 “I did not even know that (Garcia) was the legal counsel of the graft cases against me. I have nothing to do with his deplorable killing. I called on my former colleagues in the Philippine National Police for the arrest of those behind the killing,” he said.

Garcia, 35, who hailed from Tumauini, Isabela, was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men while on board his car along the provincial road here night of May 14.

Reports said he sustained at least 10 gunshot wounds.

Reports said Garcia, also a law professor at the Cagayan State University-Tuguegarao campus, also reportedly handled high-profile cases, including election-related ones, at the time of his killing.

Supt. Jay Cumigad, city police chief, said Garcia had just attended his class when his assailants overtook his car and fired at him.


P’sinan political leader seeks end to mudslinging

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The founding chairman of Biskeg na Pangasinan (Strength of Pangasinan) provincial political party urged Monday warring elected officials in the province to stop politicking and mudslinging, noting it deprives people of the services they deserve.

Secretary Antonio Villar Jr., chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, said politicians should stop sowing intrigues as it only creates divisiveness.

“It’s not good for them, it is not good for the people, it is not good for the province,” Villar, who is considered a political godfather in Pangasinan, said.

He said there is a time for politicking but for now, they must focus first on their job. 

“Their resignation was only board member (Alfonso Bince Jr.’s) idea. But I, myself, am not in favor of what they did,” he added, referring to the reported resignation of five provincial board members from the Nationalist People Coalition (NPC).

He said the resignation letter created a crack in the party, as political leaders close to both the camps of Gov. Amado Espino Jr. and former fifth district congressman Mark Cojuangco are now divided.

 “Instead of working harmoniously, they are creating an unhealthy environment for political leaders due to intrigues caused by the factions. This is not a good sign if we are really for the greater welfare of the people,” Villar said.

He said he had talked to Espino who assured him that he had no hand in the resignation of five board members from the NPC last week.

Espino, an NPC member, told local journalists he was not aware of the resignation move.

Villar had turned over to Espino the leadership of the BiskegnaPangasinan, which he now serves as chairman emeritus.

Four other board members listed in the resignation letter have not yet signed the letter. 

Bince, Danny Uy, Angel Baniqued Jr., Raul Sison and Nestor Reyes signed a letter dated May 7 resigning as NPC members effective June 1.


Ex-Customs exec not running for NE gov: solon-wife

ALIAGA, Nueva Ecija – Neophyte first district Rep. Estrellita Suansing has denied reports that her husband is running for governor in the 2016 elections.

Suansing told journalists that her husband, former Customs deputy commissioner Horacio Suansing, harbors no political ambitions and has no plan to enter the gubernatorial race in 2016.

“Truth to tell, my husband has no political ambitions in Nueva Ecija. Even supposing he has ambitions, he will run somewhere else, not in Nueva Ecija. Never,” Suansing said.

Suansing, a close ally of outgoing three-term Gov. Aurelio Umali, said she and her husband are no political threats to Umali and his wife, outgoing third district Rep. Czarina, and that his planned political foray is pure speculation.

The first-term congresswoman, who ended the Josons’ 15-year dominance in the first district with a landslide victory last year, was reacting to reports that her husband is bent on entering politics in the province.

Earlier, Umali declared that his wife is running for governor in 2016.

Also being reported to be eyeing the governorship are former three-term fourth district congressman Rodolfo Antonino, Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara’s wife Rosanna, and outgoing second district Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago.

Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos, who was Umali’s running mate in the past two elections, is also being mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate.

Padiernos said he has not disclosed his political plans yet even as reports continue to circulate that he has been eyeing the post of either governor, congressman or even mayor of Gapan City.

Suansing, a member of Umali’s Unang Sigaw Partidong Pagbabago, has been reported in the social media as planning to bolt the governor’s camp to join the camp of Antonino, Violago and Vergara.

Suansing denied this, saying she was never aware of any political alliance involving the three. “How can I possibly jump ship and join their camp when I don’t even know of an alliance involving them?” she said, adding she is a friend to all three.

She said she is concerned with helping her district. “More than choosing to join them, I am focused on attending to the needs of my constituents,” she said.


DPWH: Contractors now have to get tax clearance

By Pamela F. Dungala

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is has included  tax clearance as the eligibility requirements of contractors and suppliers intending to do business with the department.

Through Department Order No. 47 series of 2014, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson ordered inclusion of tax clearance as  Class “A” document in determining eligibility of prospective bidders for goods, supplies and consulting services.

This is in compliance to Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) resolution 21-2013 amending the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184 and Philippine Bidding Documents for Goods, Infrastructure Projects and Consulting Services.

Previously, RA 9184 only required registration certificate from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for sole proprietorship, or Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) for cooperatives and Mayor’s permit where the prospective bidder is located as Class “A” document requirements.

Tax clearance us required after post-qualification of a bidder with the lowest calculated bid or highest rated bid.

However, with the approval of GPPB Resolution No, 21-2013, Tax clearance is now included as one of the eligibility requirements of prospective bidders.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issues tax clearance which indicates current assets and liabilities as basis for the computation of net financial contracting capacity (NFCC) of prospective bidders.

Assistant district engineer and bids and awards committee (BAC) chairman Charles C. Sokoken of the Mountain Province District Engineering Office instructed strict compliance of said department order.

“According to Sec. Singson, this requirement application will bare the contractors’ financial capacity,” Sokoken said. This will also be enforced to prospective suppliers intending to do business with the district office.” 


Filing set June: CAR congressmen to file regional autonomy bill

By Michael Umaming

BAGUIO CITY -- The Cordilleran autonomy bill will be filled in Congress this June.

This, according to Baguio Rep. Nicasio Aliping who spoke during the Regional Development Council meeting here May 22.

“We should be categorical about our position on regional autonomy,” he said, addressing regional directors of the RDC.  “If someone asks your position on regional autonomy, it should be categorical Yes – daytoy ti dalan tapno agprpogreso ti Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) (This is the way towards progress for CAR.”

He said on the part of the CAR congressmen, all are united in the filing of the bill. 

On May 27, at a an RDC executive committee meeting, CAR governors and congressmen will discuss drafting of the bill at the Batasan Complex, Quezon Cityl.

“We shall consider all previous bills on autonomy and the inputs generated during the consultations conducted through the RDC, the young congressman said.  Let us all put the necessary provisions in the bill so that when it is discussed in Congress, the amendments will be by elimination,” he said.

In an earlier RDC meeting, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said current sentiment in Congress is “tapusin natin ang Bangsamoro Framework, next ang Cordillera autonomy (let us finish Bangsamoro, Cordillera autonomy is next). But we want sabay (simultaneous), our future should not be hinged on the future of Bangsamoro.”

According to Cordillera officials, there is growing sentiment in the region that the president is not interested in Cordillera autonomy as he never even made a statement about it. Cordillera autonomy is a constitutional provision and reason behind the creation of the CAR through E.O. 220.  One of CAR’s three mandates is to prepare the region towards regional autonomy.

“We are hoping that in the President’s SONA (state of the nation address) this July, the president will mention of Cordillera regional autonomy,” Aliping said.

This, as top officials of Ifugao said they are are throwing their support to make the Cordillera autonomous.

Gov. Denis Habawel and Rep. Baguilat. said autonomy would hasten socio-economic development, progress and self-governance.

Habawel said with great potential of Ifugao, autonomy is the answer to develop its tourism potentials and make the place a tourist destination.

 “This in turn will attract investors to invest in the province thus creating more job opportunities and afford greater economic benefits to the Ifugao people,” he said.

The governor said autonomy means more subsidy from the national government and more power and benefits for Ifugao aside from present financial assistance  it is  receiving under the Local Government Code.

For his part, Baguilat, said he will pursue in Congress the  move to finally have autonomy in the Cordillera Administrative Region, as mandated under the 1987 Constitution.

 “Granting autonomy to the Cordillera is one constitutional provision that has not been fulfilled. So instead of talking about changes to the Constitution, perhaps we should first seek to fulfill the mandates of the Constitution such as Cordillera autonomy,” Baguilat said.

He said he would file another bill on Cordillera autonomy  as he believes  Cordillerans are more than ready for self-rule in deference to their long history and unique customs and traditions.

 “Now that we are addressing issues for peace and development in Mindanao through Bangsamoro, we should not forsake Cordillera autonomy  which is also driven by desire to give Cordillerans more control of their resources and their political and economic destiny as a unique people,” Baguilat said. – With a report from Marcelo Lihgawon



 Abra PNP chief replaced for promotion in Crame
BANGUED, Abra- Senior Supt. Benjamin M. Lusad, Abrapolice director was replaced of his post last week to pave the way for higher promotion.

Lusadis known as the only provincial police director who transformed Abra from a troubled province into one of the peaceful provinces in the country.  

Right after assuming the directorship here, Lusad, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy class 1985, with assistance of then Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, Cordillera police director, now Criminal Investigation Detection Group director and Gen. Hernando Iriberri, then commander of the 503rd Brigade, now chief of the Phil. Army,  crack down on political war lords, goons and dismantled private armed groups and rid the province of loose guns and neutralized gun-for-hire gangs, mostly handled by politicians.

 Regional police director Chief  Supt. Isagani R. Nerez, presided Thursday morning  turn-over ceremony of the provincial director here at Provincial Capitol.

 Lusad, who is set to go to Camp Crame, passed the command leadership to Senior Supt.Virgilio P. Laya, chief of regional police community relations division  asofficer-in-charge. Laya is not knew to Abra being a former chief of police of Bangued and was also detailed at Police headquarters here.

Present during the ceremony were provincial officials of Abra led by Gov.Eustaquio P. Bersamin and Vice-Gov. Chari Bersamin, mayors and other personalities.

Prior to his departure, an award for Medalyang Kasanayan (Efficiency Medal) was given to Lusad and Laya for leading their respective offices efficiently, in what they called an epitome of genuine and efficient leadership worthy of emulation. 

 Lusad commendably led Abra PNP for almost one and a half year while Laya eminently managed the region’s Community Relation Division for more than three years.

2 drug suppliers fall in buy-bust
BAGUIO CITY – Police arrested two persons May 19 here at Burnham Park for illegal drugs in a buy-bust operation.
Arrested were VirgilioTolen y Gabriel, 37 and Veronica Ana Quismundo y Mejia, 21.

They were apprehended for selling 8 grams of marijuana worth P202 and 1.7 grams of shabu valued at P10,200.

Also confiscated from the suspects were drug gadgets like weighing scale, cell phone among others.

The two suspects were turned over to the police crime laboratory at Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet  for drug test.

2 suspects in rape.robbery of two teachers arrested
LUNA, Apayao  — Two suspects in the robbery with rape of two teachers, one of them a member of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU), were arrested Monday, after months of manhunt operation by the Apayao Provincial Police Office.

Senior Supt. Robert Gallardo, provincial director, identified the suspects as Sabath Balayang Agsayang, 22, and Michael DoguisPatagui, 29, both of Lacub, Abra and residents of Barangay Cabetayan, Kabugao, Apayao.

Agsayang was arrested by the Kabugao Municipal Police Station after receiving information on his presence in SitioMalabanig, Barangay Cabetayan dawn of Monday. Agsayang is under probation for the crime of theft committed in Laoag City. 

Kubradors nabbed, P750K marijuana plants destroyed
 CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet - After the arrest of seven suspects involved in illegal activities recently, Benguet police scored anew against bet collectors and marijuana plantations in the province recently.

 Two men were caught collecting jueteng bets at km  10Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet Wednesday morning.

Chief Insp. Byron Allatog, La Trinidad police chief, identified the arrested jueteng bet collectors as Jerbin P. Velasco, 29, farmer, and Nario L. Bugtong, 61, of Kapangan, Benguet and both residents of Shilan, La Trinidad.

 Joint operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division and members of the La Trinidad MPS confiscated from the arrested bet collectors assorted “jueteng” paraphernalia and bet collections amounting to P2, 160. 00. 

Velasco and Bugtong were charged for illegal logging. 

Meanwhile, Kibungan town police uprooted P 750, 000 worth of fully grown marijuana plants in SitioTangadan, Barangay Poblacion in the town Wednesday.

Insp. Artimas Kumanab who led the team discovered a 750- square meter marijuana plantation with 3,750 fully grown marijuana plants.

The marijuana plants were immediately uprooted and burned on site while samples were taken as evidence.

No person was arrested despite efforts of the law enforcers to locate the marijuana cultivator in the area.

 According to Senior Supt. Robert D. Quenery, OIC Benguet provincial police director, the arrest of the illegal gambling suspects and the destruction of marijuana plants was the result of the joint operation PRO-COR personnel to clean the province from illegal activities.

Two women nabbed over illegal lot sale
BAGUIO CITY -- Police arrested two women May 13 for falsification of public documents and estafa in relation to a lot sale.

Arrested was Phoebe Luz Palukpok de Castro, 33, of Betag, La Trinidad, Benguetnow resident of Batuan, Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet.

A warrant for her arrested was issued by Judge Jennifer P. Humiding of Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, La Trinidad, whoset bail at P150, 000.

Prior to her arrest, a concerned citizen informed police that the suspect went home to Batuan who immediately arrested her in their house.

A police report said on March 11, 2013, de Castro and a certain Daryl Saingan allegedly falsified a document of titled lot at Nangalisan.

The said certificate reportedly indicated therein that Saingan was owner of the titled lot and was corroborated by De Castro resulting to filing of a case against them.

Saingan was earlier arrested by police on Sept. 14, 2013 at the Asinjeep terminal alongKayangSt.City.– Katelyn May D. Awingan

Wife nabbed for sending shabu to detained husband
BAGUIO CITY -- The top 6 most wanted person of the regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was arrested here May 6 for trying to deliver shabu to her detained husband through a courier who was likewise nabbed.

Arrested at Siapno Rd., Pacdal here was Cristina Oliveros y Bayuga, 58, native of Banaue, Ifugao and a resident of San Carlos Heights here for illegal drugs.

Judge Antonio C. Reyes of Regional Trial Court, Branch 61 issued warrant for her arrest with no bail recommended.

A police report said on May 27, 2012, a certain Joel Altar delivered several goods to inmate Bernard “ Bernie” Oliveros at city jail.

Police inspected said goods handed by the suspect and noticed a plastic sachet containing shabu wrapped with electrical tape and concealed inside uncooked pig intestines.

Investigation revealed the source of the confiscated item came from the suspect, the wife of inmate Bernard Oliveros who is currently detained at city jail for illegal drugs.

On May 28, 2012, the inquest prosecutor found probable cause against Altar for illegal drugs was detained at city jail.

Cristina “Tina” Oliveros was also placed behind bars upon order of the court.-- Katelyn May D. Awingan

Benguet’s top most wanted person, six ‘rapists’ arrested
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Police arrested 13 wanted persons last week including one top most wanted person (TMWP) and a minor for various crimes.

Benguet’s no. 4 TMWP from Sitio Canatngan, Paoay, Atok accused of two crimes landed in jail after Kabayan and Atokr owns police nabbed him Sept. 16 after he raped a 13-year-old minor in Catngangan, Paoay, Atok November last year
Senior Supt. Robert G. Quenery, OIC provincial police director the suspect as Cris Simeon Guevarra, 27, farmer, who was charged for rape with no recommended bail and violation of Republic Act 7610 known as Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse with bail of P200,000 issued by  Judge Francis A. Buliyat of Regional Trial Court, Branch 9 in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Authorities also arrested five other men charged for rape with no recommended bail bond.

They were identified as Ruben Duladol Bunoy, 31 and a minor, both natives of Banaue, Ifugao and residents of Cayapas, Baculongan Sur, Baguias, Benguet were arrested in Loo, Buguias, Benguet; Cando SangaoDalmacio, 62, of Guay, Poblacion, Kabayan, Benguet,  who was arrested in SitioKinmisen, Poblacion, Kabayan; Ricardo Maugao, 52, resident of Pugo, Bolog, Kiangan, Ifugao, and Tiago Pitnic Tomas, 40, native of Conig, Alno, La Trinidad, Benguet, who was arrested in his residence at Sarisa, Ansagan, Tuba, Benguet for three counts of rape  and forcible abduction with rape.

Meanwhile, a Swedish national identified as  Perr Hakan Ostrom, 61, of Solftea, Sweden was arrested in his residence at Banig, Tawang, La Trinidad, Benguet for two counts of Violation of RA 7610 or known as Special Protection of children against Child Abuse with a recommended total bail bond of P160,000.

This, while Sany Balao-in Bandos, 29, laborer, was arrested in his  residence at Upper BakongLoacan, Itogon, Benguet for violation of RA 9262 with a recommended bail of P120,000.

Also charged for theft with recommended bail bonds of P 60,000 and P50,000 respectively were Grail Cogoy Langawan, 19, self-employed, of  Banig, Tawang, La Trinidad, Benguet and Dilan Antonio Florendo a.k.a. “Dilan Antacio Florendo,” 32, of Lower Rock Quarry, Baguio City, while a laborer identified as Mario Belit Kimpa-oy, 24, of Iculan, Tuba, Benguet, and  resident of Taloy Sur, Tuba, also in the province was arrested at Poblacion, Tuba, Benguet for rheft with recommended bail of P10,000.00.

Two farmers were also separately arrested for different offenses. Fernando Pas-a Bandi, 42, was arrested in his residence at Liwan West, Rizal, Kalinga for falsification of public documents with a recommended bail bond of P12,000  and Janjan Espiritu Durias, 22 native of Cordon Isabela who was arrested in Upper Tram, Ucab, Itogon for serious physical injuries with a recommended bail bond set at P 6,000.00.

Chief Supt. Isagani R. Nerez, regional police director said the past two weeks was in their records when the regional command had many rapists arrested.

2 gun wielders, 5 involved in illegal gambling nabbed
 CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Two men were arrested lst week for illegal fireams in the region while five others were manned for illegal gambling.

Chief Supt. Isagani R. Nerez, said  elements of Kalinga Police Provincial Office arrested Bernardo TagnawaDumalsin Jr., 27, a of Purok 7, Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga for caressing a provincial capitol employee while his buddy poked a gun at the victim’s.
Senior Supt. Victor K. Wanchakan, Kalinga provincial police director, said police seized an unlicensed Cal. 45 pistol, loaded with six bullets from the suspect.

Another suspect was also arrested along the national road in Dugong Tungngod Lagawe, Ifugao after ignoring police at  a checkpoint May 16 for him to stop.

Police caught the suspect after a brief chase.

Senior Supt. John Colinio, Ifugao police director identified the suspect as Gerry Puhhay Bummat, 27, driver and resident of Jucbong Lagawe, Ifugao.

Confiscated from his possession was an unlicensed caliber 38 Armscor revolver loaded with six bullets.

Meanwhile, Tayum,Abra police confiscated a shotgun while serving a warrant of arrest against CondringBurbano for attempted murder in barangay Lugit, Patucannay, Tayum, Abra, but the suspect was not found.

This, as five individuals were jailed after they were caught by police playing “monte” a card game night of May 17  at 1st gate UcabItogon, Benguet.

Police identified the suspects as Gano Guinanoy Buyagawan, 23; Martin Pagogo Gamida, 27; Renato Dimangna Nganoy, 52; and Clifford Nagulman Umingil, 22, all miners and natives of Kababuyan, Hingyon, Ifugao and Aron Padunan Naboye, 37, of First Gate.

Seized from the suspects were bet money amounting to P320.00 and gambling paraphernalia.  

Senior Supt. Gallardo new Apayao police chief
LUNA, Apayao –Regional police director Chief Supt. IsaganiNerez, presided May 14 turn-over ceremony of the new provincial police director here at the Apayao ec0-tourism and sports complex in Payanan, San Gregorio.    .

Provincial police director Senior Supt. Albertito S. Garcia relinguished his post to Senior Supt. Robert T. Gallardo, chief of  Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division. Present during the ceremony were Apayao officials led by Gov. Elias BulutJr and Rep. Eleanor Bulut Betnang, mayors and PNP personnel of Apayao.
Four Apayao police personnel were also given awards during the ceremony. MedalyangPapuri was awarded to Insp. Dunstan L. Daoay for being number 2 in order of merit of the public safety officers basic course class 2012-142 at the PPSC, National Police College.

Senior Insp. Darwin Clark A. Domocmat  and PO1 Clymond L. Mangalao also received medals for the successful security coverage that resulted in  safety and peaceful conduct of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association games in La Trinidad Benguet.

Medalyang Kasanayan was also given to SPO1 Teodirico L. Resusta, Jr. for being number one in the order of merit of the public safety senior leadership course at Regional Training School 2 in Cauayan City, Isabela.

P32.2M  marijuana burned in Benguet
 KIBUNGAN, Benguet – Police uprooted and burned P33 million  worth of marijuana here in sitioLoksi and  Balbalnag, in Barangay Badeo May 13.

Senior Supt.  Rodolfo S. Azurin, Benguet police  director, said  the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company and Kibungan police discovered nine marijuana plantation sites planted with 4, 750 fully grown marijuana plants worth P 950,000.00.

Police also discovered 250 kilos of dried marijuana stalks worth P 31,250,000.

Chief Supt. Isagani R. Nerez, regional police director, said the illegal plants were burned on site while a few was taken for evidence.

No cultivator was arrested at the site.

3 drug users, pusher fall in drug operations
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- Three illegal drug users and a peddler were recently arrested in Baguio and Abra while drug paraphernalia and illegal drugs were confiscated from their possession

Senior Supt. Benjamin M. Lusad,  Abra police director, said police arrested  Rex MalangenBonnita.k.a “Sebo”, 35 and Edzel Bonnit Samuel, 20, both of Barangay, Zone 1 Linasin, Bangued, Abra.

Confiscated from them were 14 plastic sachets containing shabu, three unsealed transparent plastic sachets containing  shabu residue and drug paraphernalia.

Earlier, police confiscated a Cal. 9mm pistol with a magazine  loaded with seven bullets in the residence of Redelma Bonnit Bersamin a.k.a  Rhinabelle/Madel in barangay, Barikir, Zone 5, Bangued, Abra at around 2:30 in the afternoon, but no person was caught.

Both searches were done in the presence of media representatives Edgar Tanora of DZPA radio station, Barangay Kagawad Jerome Belisario, Filomena Bono, residents of Barangay, Zone 5, Bangued, Abra,  kagawads Arnel del Castillo and Reynaldo Galinato of Barangay, Linasin, Zone 1, Bangued, Abra.

Judge Raphiel F. Alzate, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 1, in Bangued, Abra issued search warrant against suspects for illegal drugs. 

In Baguio City, police arrested a drug dealer along  Maya Street, Dizon Subdivision, Baguio City.

Police and Narcotics elements arrested  suspect Michael F. Palero, 23, of Naga City and presently residing at Lopez Jaena Street.

Confiscated from him was shabu weighing .07 grams and marked money.


P1.3M marijuana seized in La Union

By Freddie G. Lazaro

CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur — Police operatives confiscated dried marijuana leaves with an estimated worth of P1.3 million in a checkpoint operation in Barangay Bumbuneg, San Gabriel, La Union Wednesday.

Chief Insp. Baldwin Sokoken, San Gabriel chief of police, identified the suspected illegal drug transporters as Elvin Lanchenebre  Consulta, 42, of Baguio City; and a 15-year old boy, who claimed to be a son of barangay councilor in the town.

Investigation showed that the dried marijuana leaves were confiscated in a checkpoint operation conducted by the lawmen at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The lawmen discovered the marijuana plants when they inspected the items inside the van.

The suspects were arrested after the checkpoint operation.

Sokoken said the suspects came from the mountainous Barangay Balbalayang.

The suspects are now under police custody while appropriate charges are now being readied. 


Budget for 14 Cordillera tourism sites approved

BAGUIO CITY -- Fourteen tourist destinations in different towns and provinces in Cordillera will benefit from the bottom-up budget (BUB) of the Department of Tourism Cordillera this year.

“The region has a lot of tourism destination potential that just needs to be improved to encourage tourists to visit the areas,” Purificacion Molintas, regional director of the DOTC-Cordillera said.

The Bani Hot Springs in Boliney, Abra, where P1.8 million has been allocated and the Panawidan (Sacpal) Falls in Daguioman, in the same province, which got P2 million are the first in the list to receive the budget.

Also approved was the budget for the improvement of access roads in Sagada, Mountain Province to make the Bomod-ok Falls and Pongas Falls more accessible.

A budget for tourism projects has also been poured into Hungduan and Mayoyao in Ifugao; Balbalan and Tanudan in Kalinga; Buguias, Kabayan and Kibungan in Benguet; and the town of Pudtol in Apayao.


Magat Dam can produce power for Luzon grid

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – The Magat Dam, one of Luzon’s major power sources, can still generate power for the Luzon grid even as its water level has dropped below normal due to lack of rainfall.

SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP), which owns and operates the dam’s power facility, said the dam is still capable of generating power although at a reduced level due to the continued drop in its water elevation.

“At present, the dam can still generate power although at a reduced level which is only very minimal from its maximum capacity,” said lawyer Mike Hosillos, SNAP corporate communications officers.

The dam, located along the Ifugao-Isabela border, can generate a maximum capacity of 380 megawatts. It is the second biggest power provider among hydro-dams in the Luzon grid.

Besides power generation, the dam is also the source of irrigation for more than 80,000 hectares of farmlands in Isabela and parts of Cagayan and Quirino. The state-run National Irrigation Administration (NIA) operates the dam’s irrigation component.

Hosillos said the dam’s present volume of water, although considered below normal, is still within the minimum operational level of at least 160 meters.

As of press time, NIA engineer SaturninoTenedor, also Magat’s instrumentation and forecasting officer, said the dam’s water elevation further dropped to 167.2 meters, way below the normal level of at least 180 meters.  

The more than three-decade-old Magat Dam, once Asia’s biggest hydroelectric dam, had its all-time low of 149 meters in July 1991.   

The dam shut down in March 2010 when its water level dropped to 152.7 meters, below the minimum operational level for power generation of 160 meters.

The dam’s irrigation facility would be temporarily shut down if the dam’s water elevation reaches below 150 meters. Authorities, however, allayed fears of irrigation shortage in the region amid the summer heat.

Earlier, Hosillos said the present water volume at the 105-MW Ambuklao Dam, said to be the country’s oldest dam, and the 125-MW Binga Dam, both located in Benguet, was on a safe level for power generation.

SNAP, a Filipino-Norwegian consortium, also owns and operates the two dams.


SC urged to hold Bar exams in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao

Two Mindanao-based lawmakers have called on the Supreme Court to hold the annual Bar examinations simultaneously in Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.

In their  House Resolution No. 1023, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez said it is more practical if the Bar exams are held in the three regions of the country.

"Various law schools in the Visayas and Mindanao have, in recent years, called for the decentralization of the Bar exams and have said exams should be held simultaneously in Manila, Visayas and Mindanao," they said.

"Many Bar takers from outside Manila have additional difficulties in going to Manila and staying there for four weeks and it would be more disadvantageous for the examinees from the provinces, not only financially but also emotionally and psychologically," they added.

But the High Court had argued that it would be very difficult to conduct Bar exams outside of Manila due to budgetary constraints and difficulty of ensuring the integrity of the test questions to prevent leakages particularly when the questionaires are being transported.

At present, the examinations for admission to the Bar of the Philippines are being held annually in the City of Manila.


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