Century-old clan reunion fun run to raise aid for school gym, college fund

>> Tuesday, December 29, 2015

By Gina P.Dizon

SAGADA, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE- This  century-old clan who traces its sixth  generation since great grandparents were born in the 1800s  shall be  holding a fun-run to raise funds for the completion of a school gym in the occasion of their second grand reunion here.

Ap-on Ganga ya’s Labanet (the grand children of Ganga and Labanet) shall be holding their second grand reunion on January 1-3 at  St Mary’s School gym here. The  clan members numbering nearly a thousand held their first  grand reunion at the same venue January 2-4 last year.    

Said sym is a venue  for school and community activities including conferences and reunions.

The open SMS Gym  is currently being constructed to be enclosed with  bleachers and  the necessary fixtures. The building of the school gym  has been sourced from donations of  SMS alumni and friends including memorial donations to AGL member Norman Longid who died 2014.

Also referred to as Four Sisters Fun Run from SMS to Kiltepan for the sunrise  shall be held  January 2  starting at 4 o’clock in the morning. Open to the public, registration fee is 300 pesos and comes with a t-shirt.

The Baguio-based AGL youth specially  organizes and conducts the fun run.

A  dinner-jam shall be held evening of January 1 featuring AGL  talents  Ely Abad Somebang,  Connie Abad-Tayaotao, Adon Longid Carantes, Wishley  Boclongan, Mark Boclongan, Alfred  Pacyaya  Dizon, Nicole Calabias, Erid Cacay, Jerry Fatiig and this writer.

The dinner-jam raises funds for college assistance for AGL descendants.
Education is a treasured and prized  achievement  which AGL values.

AGL descendants- the late Bishop Eduardo Gaudan Longid and educator Alfredo Ganga Pacyaya-are two of the first four  graduates of St Mary’s School in 1932.

Other AGL descendants  followed suit who studied at St Mary’s School and gained their college education in  tertiary schools in Baguio or Manila among them including  three bishops-  the late Bishop Robert Longid, Prime Bishop  Edward Pacyaya Malecdan aside from Bishop Edward Longid the first  Filipino Bishop in the Episcopal Church in the  Philippines.

 Prime Bishop Edward Malecdan  a descendant from the Masinnay-Pacyaya lineage shall be  delivering the homily during the church service  scheduled at 8:30 in the morning of January 2. 

AGL traces its current sixth  generation from spouses Ganga and Labanet who begat  6 children in the  late 1800s. Four remained to  continue the clan generation-Bistanga, Kaluguidan, Kangkangan and Masinnay.

They  cared and nurtured each other at very  young ages, the youngest Masinnay at 8 months and the eldest  Bistanga at pre adolescence when their parents died when they were infected by an epidemic which hit Sagada in the late 1800s.

The four sisters married their respective  husbands and blessed with many children who in turn married and had children- Bistanga married to Longid, Kaluguidan to Abeya, Kangkangan to  Ag-agwa and Masinnay to Pacyaya from Bontoc.

Ganga and Labanet's children and their children’s children  continue to cherish their origins and let the clan flourish  not only for themselves but for the community as well.


2 troopers from Bulut burial die as truck falls into ravine

>> Tuesday, December 22, 2015

CALANASAN, Apayao -- Two Army soldiers died while five others were injured when their truck fell into a ravine here Tuesday after attending the burial of  the “Father of Apayao” Elias K. Bulut Sr. 
Sgt. Alberto Agustin, 38, and a certain Pfc. Angeles were declared dead on arrival at the Northern Cagayan Hospital in Barangay Namuac, Sanchez Mira town in Cagayan.
Also injured was truck driver Sgt. Presco Zalun. The four others were identified only as Capt. Dingle, Sgt. Belo, S/Sgt. Aguilar and Pfc. Valdez.
Apayao police director Senior Supt. Robert Gallardo said the victims, who were members of the 502nd Army Brigade based in Echague, Isabela, were on their way back to the barracks from the burial of Gov. Elias Bulut Sr.
Gallardo said the truck was traveling along the highway in Barangay Naguilian when it figured in the accident.
He said the road was slippery due to rains brought by Typhoon Nona.
The troopers were part of folks who paid their respects to Bulut who was laid to rest here in his hometown after he succumbed to a lingering illness Dec. 5 at a hospital in Metro Manila.  
The body of the 76-year-old Bulut was earlier laid at the St. Peter’s Chapel in Commonwealth, Quezon City and brought home Dec7.
A public viewing was held at the Mawanana Mountain Resort and Convention Center here of the Calansan mayor’s body in Santa Filomena until Dec 12 after which the body was brought to Poblacion Dec 13.
His body was interred Dec 15 at Calanasan Memorial Park following vigil at the municipal hall.
Bulut authored Republic Act 7878 which separated the province of Apayao from the old Kalinga-Apayao province in 1995.
He was greatly responsible in shaping the future of Apayao and into what is it today through his long years as the province’s kingpin.
He served as representative of the old Kalinga-Apayao and then the first congressman of the province of Apayao.
He served as provincial governor in 2001 until 2010, and elected mayor of Calanasan from 2010 to present.
 His mission for Apayao was to widen the opportunities of Apayao citizens and indigenous cultural communities in the areas of technology acquisition, intensified agri-industrial production, grains pooling, livelihood creation, and infrastructure building.
He authored Republic Act No. 8563   Converting the Apayao Institute of Science and Technology and its Conner Extension High School in the Municipality of Conner,   into Apayao State College
Bulut’s son, Elias Jr., is the incumbent governor of Apayao while daughter, Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, is the lone district representative of Apayao in Congress.
Netizens showed their grief with the demise of the Apayao leader with several post on social media.
“The whole officialdom and workforce of the Provincial Government of Apayao convey its heartfelt grief, sympathy and sincerest condolences to the bereaved family and among us Iyapayaos for the demise of the one great man and political leader of the Province of Apayao, Hon Elias K. Bulut, Sr. Pained we are for his loss. His legacy as the "Father of Apayao," serve us our inspiration to continue his dream and ours for our development for as he believed. That "If we hold on together our dreams will never die,” in a post by the Provincial Government of Apayao official facebook page.

“To the Greatest Iapayao ever, The Godfather of Apayao, the honorable Congressman, Governor and Mayor Elias Bulut, Sr. may you rest in eternal peace, Sir. Your footprints and legacy are manifested all over Apayao and beyond and in our lives,” read a post in the ApayaoIpasindayawfacebook page. – With a report from Redgie Melvic Cawis


More anomalies seen in Ecija palay graft cases

12 NFA officials relieved; procurement stopped 

By Manny Galvez

CABANATUAN CITY – The National Food Authority office in Nueva Ecija, which is investigating the reported misclassification of 32,695 bags of palay, is looking into other possible anomalies in the procurement deal, NFA Region 3 director Amadeo de Guzman said Wednesday.
Following this, the NFA in Central Luzon suspended the operation of its mobile procurement teams in Nueva Ecija in the wake of the misclassification of some 32,000 bags of palay.
“Misclassification is just a tip of the iceberg. Marami pang lalabasdiyan (Many more anomalies will come out),” De Guzman said of what officials here said of the graft scandal.
He said misdeclaration in the handling of the procured grains could have possibly been committed.
“We will also look into that. That will be part of our investigation,” he said.
Earlier, De Guzman said some agency officials and personnel could be conspiring with some unscrupulous businessmen.
Two top NFA officials and 10 personnel were earlier relieved from their posts for misclassifying 32,695 bags of palay.
De Guzman said instead of declaring the bags of palay wet, the NFA personnel classified these as dry and clean.
With the misclassification, the personnel made it appear that the procurement amounted to P27.8 million, when the actual cost was only P17.9 million.
Two NFA officials based in Nueva Ecija and five others were relieved from their posts Dec. 3 in connection with the misclassification of 32,695 bags of palay.
De Guzman identified the officials as George Roca and Daniel Valenzuela, NFA provincial manager and assistant manager.
Earlier, five NFA personnel were relieved from their posts over the same case.
De Guzman said he decided to relieve Roca and Valenzuela pending the results of an investigation by a fact-finding team.
He said no case has been filed yet against the two officials.
De Guzman and NFA assistant regional director Marciano Alvarez took over Roca’s and Valenzuela’s posts in concurrent capacities, respectively.     
The relief of the seven brought to 12 the total number of sacked NFA personnel.
Relieved earlier were solar dryer engineer Edmar Torres, quality control officers Cesar Paul de Guia and Adam Rayo, pest control officer Leo Thereso Ramos and acting provincial quality assurance officer Jimmy Mallari.
De Guzman said four others would be included in the investigation to determine their involvement in the misclassification of stocks.
De Guzman said the relief of Roca and Valenzuela was ordered by Renan Dalisay, who directed the security and investigation services department, the internal audit services department and technical research and services department to investigate the case.
De Guzman clarified that the 32,695 bags of palay were not typhoon-damaged, as earlier reported.
“These palay bags were not typhoon-damaged but were misclassified,” he said, noting instead of being declared as wet, the bags of palay were made to appear as dry and clean.       
De Guzman said the five teams have stopped operating and their tasks were turned over to the stationary procurement teams.
“Because of the anomalies in the procurement, we deemed it best to suspend the operations of our mobile teams,” he said.
De Guzman said each of the five mobile teams is capable of procuring up to 1,000 bags of palay.
He clarified that the suspension applies only to Nueva Ecija, where the anomaly was discovered.
“Palay procurement by our mobile teams continues in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales,” he said.
The NFA is investigating the misclassification of 32,695 bags of palay in the province.
The two agency officials and 10 personnel relieved for classifying the bags of palay dry and clean, when it should have been listed as wet are now being investigated by the agency’s four probe teams, including three from the central office.

Initial investigation showed the procurement officers declared the cost at P27.8 million, when the actual cost was only P17.9 million.


2 Itogon miners die of gas poisoning in tunnel

ITOGON, Benguet – Two small scale miners died of gas poisoning inside a tunnel here at the Baguio Gold area in Barangay Tuding around 7 a.m. Tuesday.
A police report identified victims as Edgar Campus Santos, 29, of Purok 3, Bantug-Petines, Alicia, Isabela, and Jordan Lindayo Cortez, 25, of Paracelis, Mt. Province. Both were Tuding residents.
Investigation disclosed the victims entered the mine tunnel of a certain Fred Segundo around 7 a.m.
Their co-worker named as Julio Palua noticed the two failed to come out from the tunnel until 4 p.m. of same date that prompted him and his co-workers to look for the two inside the tunnel.
The lifeless bodies of the victims were recovered around 150 meters deep in the tunnel and were brought out at about 7 p.m.
Their bodies were brought to Benguet Corp. field office in Tuding around 12 midnight of Dec. 16.

At press time, the cadaver of Jordan Cortez was due to be transported by his relatives to Paracelis, while that of was brought to the Cordillera Funeral Homes for relatives from Isabela province to claim.


Groups hit ‘massacre’ of 1,721 trees along Manila North Road

Officials involved should be removed from office’ 

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Environmental and cause-oriented groups assailed government officials after the contractor widening the Manila North Road in this province has cut all the trees it needed to remove to allow the government project to proceed but spared 108 trees.
The groups said the total number of trees cut along the road was 1,721 “killed by Dept. of Public Works and Highways and their contractors with the blessing of Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Ramon Paje and his leadership team.”
“The DENR, DPWH, and other government officials who instigated and authorized this massacre of these beautiful decades-old trees in Pangasinan and other areas should be exposed and removed from their positions for violating the affected communities’ right to a healthy environment and natural heritage,” the groups said in a statement sent to the Northern Philippine Times.
“Tuwid na Daan”  pabaang widened 4–lane road  sa kabila ng massacre ng halos dalawang libong mga puno?  Tuwid na Daan”  pabaa ng balewalin o di pakinggan ang protesta o panawagan ng napakaraming civil society organizations (COSs) at networks sa patuloy na pagkasira ng kalikasan sa lugar na ito at iba pang mgal ugar sa ating bayan?”
Three days before expiration of an extended tree-cutting permit, workers cleared 481 of 589 trees lining the MNR in the eastern part of Pangasinan, said Narchito Arpilleda, district information officer of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Last week, the provincial board authorized Gov. Amado Espino Jr. to pursue a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction against the DPWH and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to spare trees along the highway.
The provincial government has joined a campaign waged in 2014 by environmental groups to stop the national government from cutting the trees. But in a text message on Monday, lawyer Geraldine Baniqued, Pangasinan legal officer, said the provincial government did not proceed with the lawsuit because all of the trees it intended to save had been cut.
The contractor first felled 1,721 of the 1,829 trees marked for cutting along the 42-kilometer stretch of the MNR traversing the towns of Rosales, Villasis, Binalonan, Pozorrubio and Sison, and in Urdaneta City in November 2013.
The DPWH stopped clearing the remaining 770 trees when the agency’s tree-cutting permit expired in February 2014.
But the surviving trees were girdled, enraging activists, residents and Pangasinan officials. Girdling involves the stripping of a trunk’s bark, disrupting the tree’s absorption of nutrients which would lead to its death.
The agency’s contractor resumed its tree-cutting activities on Nov. 23 when the DENR extended for 45 days the permit it issued to the agency in 2013. The extended permit expires on Dec. 17.
“I was just informed by the project engineer today that they have only one tree left to cut in Barangay Bugayong in Binalonan [town] today (Monday). The remaining 108 trees will be spared… some of them will just be pruned,” Arpilleda said by telephone.

He said the DPWH could complete its road-widening project before end of this year, so the project’s fund would not be returned to the national coffers. 


Traffic scheme set for Baguio, Naguillan, Marcos, Kennon rds

Number coding lifted 

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – A traffic plan has been mapped out for the expected influx of tourists in the city for the Christmas and New Year break even as Mayor Mauricio Domogan this week approved the suspension of the number coding scheme.
The mayor, in administrative order 172, mandated Baguio’s number coding scheme is suspended from Dec. 21 to 31.
Domogan said while it is true that during long holidays the city experiences worse traffic conditions, visitors should also be given the chance to roam around tourist spots with their vehicles.
The suspension was anchored on city ordinance no. 1, section 6 as amended by section 1 of ordinance no. 107, series of 2008 exempting private motor vehicles and chartered public utilities of visitors, tourists and vacationers.  
This, as Domogan said the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee set road contingency measures to address traffic problems experienced last year.
The mayor said the Baguio City Police Office traffic division under Supt. EvelioDegay coordinated with La Union and Pangasinan police for collaboration in monitoring and regulating the flow of vehicles at Kennon Road, Marcos Highway and other major entry points to the city.
The police offices agreed to closely coordinate with each other in ensuring the smooth inflow and outflow of vehicles towards the access points to the city by posting uniformed men and appropriate traffic signs in strategic and chokepoints in areas leading to the city.
Groups will also be tapped to provide motorist assistance in cases of mechanical trouble or road accidents to prevent further travel disruptions, the mayor added. 
Degay who presented the traffic plan before the city council earlier, said they expect the “aggregation of vehicles and pedestrians to peak” from Dec. 24-27 and from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3, 2016 causing moderate to  heavy traffic and shortage of maneuver areas and parking spaces.
Degay said police action will be anchored on the effective deployment of policemen in traffic hotspots, intensified enforcement of traffic laws, posting of additional traffic signs and implementation of traffic systems including diversion or loop system and the control point concept.
They will designate one-way routes along the following:
*Romulo Drive (from Wright Park pool) through Mines View Park and Gibraltar Road until the intersection at Gibraltar barangay hall.
*From Leonard Wood Road bridge until C.M. Recto Road junction (side of Botanical Garden). Motorists from Pacdal circle shall pass through C.M. Recto Road (Navy Base Road).
*Kisad Road will be a one way inbound route from BGH Rotunda towards the central business district. Legarda Road will be a one way outbound route towards Marcos Highway.
For the alternate routes, M. Roxas Road will serve as an alternate route from Leonard Wood Road towards the central business district (CBD) or La Trinidad and vice versa.
Travellers via Kennon Road may turn right towards Loakan Road going to these places: Philippine Military Academy, Camp John Hay, Baguio Country Club, The Mansion, Botanical Garden and Mines View Park.
Degay said they will also implement road clearing operations to remove parked vehicles and other blockages and will adopt a tourist-oriented policing strategy.
The pay-parking areas are the Ganza, Burnham Park, Old City library, Baguio Convention Center, SM, Ang Dating Daan, Center Mall, Cooyeesan, Marbay, University of Baguio, Abanao Square and the Baguio Cathedral and at the Bonifacio, Mabini, Quezon elementary schools and at the Baguio City National High School.
Roadside parking will be allowed along Naguilian Road near station 1, Shagem St. Abanao St. (9a.m.-4p.m.), Session Road (9a.m.-4p.m.), Harrison Road, Harrison Road fronting University of the Cordilleras, Lake Drive, Gov. Pack Road (BCNHS roadside) while contingency one-side parking  will be allowed along Kennon Road, Legarda Road, Botanical Garden roadside, P. Romulo Drive and Outlook Drive.
The truck ban will remain to be enforced from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. within the CBD while the lifting of the number-coding scheme has been proposed from Dec. 21.
Degay said the city police will do their best to contain road situation but the scheme does not guarantee traffic jams as they have no control over volume of vehicles coming to the city. 

“The exodus of tourists and vacationists into the city may cause heavy traffic. It is best to leave your vehicles in the safety of your accommodation then commute or walk and enjoy,” the police said. – With a report from Jho Arranz


Ilocos politician shot dead

By Ariel Paolo Tejada

PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte – A village councilor seeking a seat in the municipal council in next year’s elections was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding men here  Wednesday night.
Salvador Castillo, 55, of Barangay 6 Dilavo, was on his way home on a motorcycle when the assailants shot him in Barangay Caruan at around 7:30 p.m.
Castillo died while being treated at the Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City.
Chief Insp. Jonathan Papay, information officer of the provincial police office, said a special investigation task group has been created to investigate the incident.
Papay expressed belief the killing was politically motivated.     


Chavit to run for councilor; ‘gives’ vicegov vie to brod

By Jun Elias

NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur – Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson has withdrawn his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice governor and will instead run for councilor of this coastal town.
He said he transferred his residence to Narvacan to run for councilor.
Singson has endorsed the candidacy of Vice President JejomarBinay and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for president and vice president, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Narvacan Mayor Zuriel Zaragoza is running for re-election after filing his COC as a substitute for his sister, board member Anicka Zaragoza.



Miner hacks miner
ITOGON, Benguet – Police reported a case of hacking which transpired at about 6:45 p.m. Dec. 7 here in Muyot, Gumatdang. The victim was identified as Venancio Campila Aluking, 32, miner, of Rizal, Kalinga, while the suspect  was identified as Manuel Corestino Wallang, 42, miner, local resident. 
Investigation disclosed the victim was watching TV inside his shanty when the suspect who was armed with a bolo suddenly entered through the window and hacked the victim twice but the victim parried the attack. As a result, his hands were injured and he was rushed to the Baguio General Hospital for medical treatment. Responding police arrested the suspect.

53 Cordillera cops undergo counter insurgency training 
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – The Regional Police Office started here last week 45-day training for 29th Batch Special Counter Insurgency Operations Unit.
Senior Supt. Albertlito Garcia, OIC, regional chief directorial staff welcomed Scout Class 29-2015 while Senior Supt. Joseph Adnol, regional personnel human resource development division declared  opening of training for 53 cops assigned with Regional Public Safety Battalion.
Senior Supt. Donato O. Bacquian, deputy regional director for operations said  Scout training is one of the toughest because it teaches every basic detail in Internal Security Operations (ISO). It also sharpens one’s mind, and strengthens camaraderie. He added that they will be trained to develop physical well-being and withstand pressure in any situation.

Munoz City’s top ‘pusher’arrested
MUNOZ CITY,Nueva Ecija -- Finally, the long arm of the law got her.
In his report, PSupt Ponciano Zafra disclosed the arrest of Maria Linda Santiago y Mangalindan, 24, of Pob. North, listed No. 1 in  top 10 priority target list of drug peddlers.
Santiago was arrested near her residence when she sold a sachet of shabu to PO2 Jerry Manzano who acted as poseur buyer.
“She is a very active pusher and sells drugs usually by the grams. And she has direct connection to bigtime drug suppliers from metro manila,” said Zafra.
Since October, Zafra’s police team arrested 15 personalities involved in illegal drugs including 6 among the top ten drug personalities.
Zafra assumed this city’s chief of police Oct. 5.
Meanwhile, Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Manuel E. Cornel commended Zafra’s arrest of this city’s drug pusher and also recent “neutralization” of three carnappers. – Nelson Bolos

Men land in jail for theft
BAUKO, Mountain province -- An alleged thief landed in jail after being arrested in here last week in Guinsadan Sur. The suspect was identified as Gilbert Cabinta Galatic, 29 whose arrest warrant was issued by Judge Mona Lisa V. Tiongson-Tabora, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, Baguio City who recommended bail of P200.
In Itogon, Benguet, Gamil Mariano Omaguing a.k.a Gamaliel, 26, charged for theft, was arrested at Sorong, Luneta, Loacan. Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera of RTC Br. 5, Baguio City recommended bail of P24,000 for his temporary liberty.

 Pangasinan ‘Salisi Gang’ nabbed in Nueva Ecija
MUNOZ CITY, Nueva Ecija – Three members of a “salisi group” from Pangasinan were arrested here Tuesday.
“The group ran away with the personal bag of a store owner by pretending to buy goodies but the three were cornered by our alert policemen on duty,” said Supt. Ponciano Zafra, this city’s police chief. 
Zafra identified those arrested as Jackielyn De Vera y Ballesteros, 26, single, Janice Cabuang y De Vera, 23, single, and Thelma Sampaga y De Vera, 22 , also single. All come from Purok 2, Brgy. Bulusan, San Carlos City, Pangasinan.
According to Mary Ann Casillan, owner of 50-D General Merchandise store, “I have just opened the store when 4 women entered and simultaneously asked for prices of the goods on display. While I was entertaining them, one them went out and later on I discovered that my bag was taken.”
The fourth suspected thief  ran away with Casillan’s bag containing P6,000 cash and valuable personal belongings.
During the investigation, the three arrested salisi gang members refused to give the name of their companion who took the bag but admitted to have done similar thieving in other towns including in Tarlac province.
The three were charged of theft including their fourth companion who remained at large. – Nelson Bolos

Farmer arrested for rape
LAGAWE, Ifugao -- Ernesto Masilang y Rimando, 30, farmer, was nabbed for rape in his residence at Zitanga, Ballesteros, Cagayan last week.  Judge Joseph P. Baguilat of RTC, Lagawe, Ifugao recommend no bail for his temporary liberty.

Chinese drowns in Pagudpud swim race
LAOAG CITY – A Chinese participant in the International Cross Harbor Race in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte drowned during the event Dec. 11.
Tan Xian Guang, 55, a member of the Tianhe Swimming Association from Guangdong, China, was found floating by the race marshals.
Members of the Philippine Coast Guard and the police rescue team rushed the victim to the Bangui District Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Over 100 Chinese participated in the two-day event, which started in Currimao town a day earlier.
The Cross Harbor Race is a physically demanding sports event, which requires both tactical and technical approaches in order to win. Every year, Chinese athletes look forward to the race to promote swimming as a sport for all ages. – Ariel Paolo Tejada

Security guard survives electrocution in Baguio 
BAGUIO CITY – A security guard fixing a water hose at the roof of Good Taste Restaurant here along Rajah Matanda St. was electrocuted Tuesday when he accidentally touched a live wire.
A police report said the incident happened around 1:30 a.m. with the victim identified as Ruel Tabaranza Napoles, 47 of Babay, Leyte.
The victim later said at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center where he was brought for treatment he became unconscious due to the electric shock. Police said the incident resulted to power interruption that affected Barangay T. Alonzo, New Lucban and some parts of Bonifacio Street.     

Miner hacks fellow miner with bolo 
ITOGON, Benguet – A miner attacked another miner with a bolo which resulted to his arrest. A police report said the incident happened around 6:45 p.m. Monday here in Muyot, Gumatdang. The victim was identified as Venancio Campila Aluking, 32 of Rizal, Kalinga, while the suspect was named as Manuel CorestinoWallang, 42, Muyot resident.
Investigation disclosed the victim was watching TV inside his shanty when the suspect who was armed with a bolo suddenly entered through the window and hacked the victim twice but the victim parried the attack. As a result, his hands were wounded and he was rushed to the Baguio General Hospital for medical treatment. Police with barangay watchers immediately pursued the suspect and brought him to the local police office where he was jailed.

San Fernando mayor sets men against firecrackers
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — Mayor Pablo C. Ortega of this city has mobilized civil security personnel, policemen, and firemen to strengthen security and preventive measures against fires and accidents this season of celebration and designated specific areas as exclusive firecracker zones. Ortega also began yesterday the deployment of inspectors for the string implementation of laws on the regulation and sale of firecrackers and fireworks. “We just want to ensure the safety of residents here to avoid fire or any untoward incident caused by firecrackers because there are some unscrupulous traders who sell anywhere.,” he said. -- Erwin G. Beleo

P.4-M drugs seized
CAMP QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur — Operatives from local police units and  Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a three-day anti-narcotics sweep in this province, resulting in the arrest of 44 suspects and confiscation of P462,432 worth of illegal drugs. Apart from the drugs, 12 guns, assorted ammunition, and a hand grenade were also seized in the so-called one-time, big-time police operation under “Oplan: Lambat-Sibat.” -- Freddie G. Lazaro

Man plays with gun, shoots wife dead
BINALONAN, Pangasinan – A woman was killed when the gun that her husband was playing with went off at their home in this town on night of Dec. 13.
Police yesterday filed parricide charges against tricycle driver Jeffrey Romero, 31, for killing his wife Merilyn, 27. Reports said Romero was under the influence of liquor when he arrived at their home in Barangay Sta. Catalina.
The man reportedly took out a homemade .22 caliber pistol and played Russian roulette. The man put the gun to his head and squeezed the trigger, but it did not go off.
He reportedly aimed the gun to his wife’s head and pulled the trigger.
The gun went off, killing the woman at the scene. Police arrested Romero and recovered the gun used in the killing.
Merilyn’s parents took custody of the couple’s two children. – Eva Visperas    

Miner dies in Benguet tunnel
ITOGON, Benguet – A miner was buried after he died of suffocation after he was trapped in a tunnel here Dec. 12.
Cesar Agustin Paler of Nueva Ecija got out of the tunnel along with his companion Oliver Bunoten when he decided to return to get some ore samples.
Bunoten said he decided to follow Paler to the tunnel when he failed to show up after several minutes.
He said he found Paler lying unconscious, prompting him to call for help from their fellow miners.
Paler died while being taken to a hospital in Baguio City.

Pangasinan cops’ guns sealed with tape
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The muzzle of service firearms of police officers and personnel of the Pangasinan police were sealed with tape following Wednesday’s  flag-raising ceremony here.
The tape-sealing of the guns was led by Senior Supt. Rolie Saltat, officer-in-charge of the provincial police in a ceremony held at the police headquarters here.
The sealing of the lawmen’s firearms was meant to prevent indiscriminate firing during the Christmas and New Year revelries.
Saltat told his men that no one among them is expected to fire a gun without a valid reason. He said the guns should not be fired except during a legitimate police operation and when the lives of the policemen are in danger.
He said police officers would regularly patrol areas frequented by people and more officers would be deployed in churches, especially when dawn masses start this week. – Cesar Ramirez
Lady cop gets medal of honor
CAMP QUIRINO,  Ilocos Sur — Chief Supt. Ericson T. Velasquez, Police Regional Office 1 director, conferred recently the “MedalyangPapuri” (medal of honor) to a rookie policewoman, who helped a pregnant woman safely give birth inside a bus last Nov. 22. Police Officer 1 PO1 Flores Banua-Diga, a nurse by profession, responded to the emergency inside a Fariñas bus bound for Manila and aided Myrna Respicio in giving birth. PO1 Diga’s effort, which was captured on video and became viral in social media, ensured the safety of both the mother and her newborn before being taken to the Candon City Hospital. -- Freddie G. Lazaro

La Union capital steps up drive vs firecrackers
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The city government has tightened security at the plaza where a firecracker zone would be put up to prevent untoward incidents during the holidays.
Mayor Pablo Ortega issued the order yesterday after leading the tape-sealing of firearms of police officers to prevent them from engaging in indiscriminate firing.
Personnel of the city permits and licensing office were directed to strictly implement laws regulating the sale of hazardous firecrackers such as super lolo and bawang.
“We want to ensure the safety of the people and avoid fires or any untoward incidents that may be brought by firecrackers,” Ortega said.
City police chief Supt. Julius Suriben said police visibility has been stepped up at the plaza to ensure immediate response to any untoward incident. – Jun Elias      

Slay of 7-year-old unsolved
CAMP QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur — She was last seen alive playing near their house in SitioRebba, Barangay Pagsanaan Norte in Masingal town, this province, last Wednesday. But after frantic search, it took three days before the decomposing body of seven-year-old “Micha” was found just 50 meters away from her house. Probers, who said she had been bludgeoned to death, only have a blood-stained bamboo pole as a clue, so far, in solving the case. -- Freddie G. Lazaro

Man wanted for
rape cornered
BAGUIO CITY – A man wanted for rape was arrested around 11 p.m. Monday at Maharlika Building here by cops from Buguias, Benguet and Baguio. The suspect was identified as Marlon L. Onsat, 25 of Banawel, Tapno, Natonin Mountain Province.
Danilo Camacho, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 64, issued warrant for his arrest with no bail recommended.

2 teen cousins stabbed to death
STO. DOMINGO, Ilocos Sur — Two female cousins were stabbed to death inside their house in SitioBagumbayan, Barangay Paras here night of Dec. 5. Police said there are yet no suspects in the killing of Rowena Bugarin and her cousin, Vanessa Bugarin, both 19. Witnesses said screams were heard from the house around 9 p.m. and a relative of the victims rushed to the scene. But it was already too late as the two lay lifeless with multiple stab wounds in their bodies. -- Freddie G. Lazaro

3 men nabbed for illegal gambling 
BAGUIO CITY – Three men caught playing card games (tong-it) inside Masungad Mini Gallery Souvenir shop here at No. 4 Purok 6, Barangay  Gibraltar night of Dec. 4 were charged for illegal gambling.
Police identified suspects as Rico Calulod Omiliana, 33, vendor; Froilan Macadaeg Casison, 31, service crew and Rexton Laga Bacowan, 28, laborer.
A police report said the three individuals were jailed for also committing various offenses.

Foreman locked in jail for ‘raping’ teacher
BAGUIO CITY -- A foreman was arrested in his office at Prime Peak Subdivision, Purok 8, Barangay Dontogan here Dec. 5 for allegedly raping a teacher inside the victim’s house at Purok 8, Dontogan. Investigation revealed the suspect identified as Martin Baldemor Jr., 38, of San Antonio, Naguilian, La Union raped the victim after the suspect’s girlfriend left to buy food which was requested by the suspect.

Man stabs high school student
KABAYAN, Benguet – A certain Mates Sumakey Lasbacan, 28, of Abucot, Laddet here was arrested in Poblacion night of Dec. 5 for allegedly stabbing a high school student. Prior to his arrest, the suspect together with his other companions attacked the victim while they were walking home with his friends but the victim managed to flee with help of his friends.

Man stabbed during death
anniversary of relative
MANKAYAN, Benguet – A man was seriously injured when he was stabbed Dec. 5 by a relative here during death anniversary of a kin. The suspect was identified as Mayo AgayaoKidkid, 47, farmer, here of Mabileg,Tabio was arrested within the day. Investigation revealed that the suspect and the victim were having a drinking spree when misunderstanding erupted which resulted to a heated argument prompting the victim to leave the suspect who chased and stabbed his abdomen.  The victim was rushed to the Lepanto Hospital but later transferred to Luis Hora Hospital in Bauko, Mountain Province for further treatment.

Suspect lands in jail for getting drunk man’s wallet
Theft suspect identified as Jerald Pagaspas Tayan, 27, a resident of k.m. 5, La Trinidad, Benguet was sent to jail after victimizing an intoxicated farmer napping at the jitney terminal in the early morning of December 7, 2015. Police stated that the suspect took advantage of the intoxicated victim lying in a chair and took his wallet but patrolling policemen saw the suspect that led to his arrest and the recovery of the wallet.

‘Akyat bahay’ man slain in shootout
CAMP JULIAN OLIVAS, Pampanga — An alleged member of the notorious “AkyatBahay Gang” of robbers operating in Nueva Ecija was killed by police in a shootout in Barangay San Nicolas, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, before dawn Dec. 5.  Police tried to accost two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle in Barangay San Nicolas at 3:15 a.m., but one of them shot at police. When police returned fire, they shot and killed the back-rider, Louie Garcia, of Purok Riles, Barangay San Vicente also in Gapan City. The other suspect got away. Garcia, it turned out, is wanted for a series of robbery cases in the province. -- Franco G. Regala

Tarlac police gets 17 new vehicles
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Seventeen police vehicles were turned over to the Tarlac provincial police office at Camp Macabulos on Wednesday.
Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento and Philippine National Police logistics head Director Juanito Vaño Jr. delivered the vehicles, said Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, Police Regional Office 3 director.
“The distribution of patrol jeeps speaks well of the goal of the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) and PNP to increase its capability in running after criminals ...and assisting our people in disaster response operations,” PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said.
The mayors or representatives of the towns of Anao, Bamban, Camiling, Capas, Concepcion, Gerona, La Paz, Mayantoc, Moncada, Paniqui, Pura, Ramos, San Clemente, San Jose, San Manuel, Santa Ignacia and Victoria received the vehicles. – RicSapnu      


Cop in supermarket heist, hired killer in Koreans’ slay nabbed

By Mar T. Supnad

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – An police officer who led the daring robbery at Save More supermarket in San Ildefonso, Bulacan and fled away with P600,000 was arrested Monday by a composite team from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Bulacan police in Malolos City.
Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, Central Luzon regional police director said Police Officer 3 Nolasco B. Juan, is now under custody and is facing charges and dismissal proceedings.
Over in Mabalacat, Pampanga, Lacadin also reported that the suspected leader of hired killers linked to the deaths of several Korean nationals, has also been arrested Tuesday in San Bernardino St., Villa Teodora, Dau, Mabalacat town.
Senior Supt. Benjamin Silo Jr., CIDG regional chief, said PO3 Juan was cornered at around  6 p.m. last week in his hideout after he was identified by witnesses as the one who led the supermarket robbery.
Juan’s two cohorts, Silo said, are now being tracked down by authorities.
Lacadin said that Victor Rivera, a notorious gun for hire and responsible for the killing of a number of Koreans and a number of Filipino civilians, was collared by a team led by  Senior Supt. Richard Caballero, head of Regional Public Safety Battalion, during a raid.
Confiscated by Caballero from the suspect were a shot gun,  .38 Caliber Smith and Wesson revolver,  .40 Caliber Thunder pistol, .30 Caliber Carbine rifle,  .40 Caliber Tanfoglio pistol,  an airsoft rifle,  ammunition, handheld radios,  PNP patrol shirt uniform,  bullet proof vest,  holsters,   scopes,  green laser sight,  NBI Badge and a hand grenade.
Lacadin, said Rivera is being linked to a group of lawless Korean nationals in the country who usually have their business rivals liquidated.

Rivera’s group is also the prime suspect in the killing of Korean Park Yuon Jae last Sept. 17, 2015 in Angeles City.


MP sets discount for early tax payers

By Juliet B. Saley

 BONTOC, Mountain Province – Real property taxpayers in the province were urged to pay income tax for calendar year 2016 before January 1 to avail of 20 percent discount.
Aside from paying 1% basic real property tax, taxpayers are also required to pay the additional 1% special education fund tax.
In the notice issued by Provincial Treasurer Cawed Gamonnac, real property taxpayers are given the option to pay their tax in full or in four   equal installments without interest, provided, that payments are made within the allowed period.
 For the first installment, payment of tax shall be made on or before March 31, 2016; second installment is on or before June 30, 2016; third installment is on or before September 30, 2016; and fourth installment is on or before December 31, 2016.
Taxpayers who fail to pay their taxes on or before the prescribed period of payment shall be charged 2%  interest of the amount of delinquent tax for each month of delinquency until the tax has been fully paid, but not to exceed 36 months.


Ex-La Union lady mayor wins UST top women award

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A former mayor of this city has been awarded the 1st Sonia R. Lorenzo Award by the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) and Kaya Natin! Movement,  a non-government organization promoting good governance and ethical leadership.
The award seeks to recognize women who have excelled in the field of leadership and good governance.
Former mayor Mary Jane Ortega was chosen by the panel of judges from among five finalists for her barangay development strategy program, which aligned the villages’ goals with the vision of this city.
“I was overwhelmed when the judges picked me as the winner after our interview,” Ortega said on Saturday. She received received a plaque and P50,000 cash.
The judges described Ortega as an epitome of women empowerment, citing her participation in various organizations promoting women’s rights.
The four other finalists were Councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda of Baguio City and Arlene Jane Alvarez-Reyes of Santiago City, and Mayors Janet de Leon-Mercado of Taytay, Rizal and Evelyn Tang-Uy of Dipolog City.
Tabanda was recognized for her advocacy on transformative leadership, Reyes for treating the civil society as partners in governance, Mercado for the “I Love Taytay” employment project and Tang-Uy for her servant leadership program.
Ortega, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2007, is seeking to regain the post in next year’s elections. – Jun Elias 


10 armed men from La Union nabbed in Bataan

‘Land grabbing, drug syndicate’

By MydsSupnad 

Police are now probing 10 armed men, all natives of La Union,  who were arrested last week in the coastal and remote Sitio Lusong, Barangay Biaan, Mariveles in Bataan whether they belonged to a drug syndicate or land-grabbing gang that is financed by a wealthy businessman.
Land-grabbing “business” in Bataan, police said,  is a multi-million “monkey business” by unscrupulous individuals, some of whom are not residents in the province, who were able to enrich themselves by reselling government lands they forcibly and illegally occupied through armed goons.     
Senior Supt. Rhodel Sermonia, Bataan police director, presented to newsmen the arrested 10 armed men following their arrest during buy-bust operation. 
Arrested were   Omar Anomin, 45 of Burgos town; Artemio Carreon , 45 of Poblacion West, Rosario; Eduardo Macabio, 36 of Namonitan, Sto. Tomas; Mario Macabio, 35  of Bani, Rosario; Josefino Palanon, 46 of San Gabriel town; Eric Dulay, 35 of San Gabriel; Rolando Sarazon of Salangsang, San Gabriel; Erwin Espino, 23 of Namonitan, Sto. Tomas; Mark Brian Peralta of, 25, of Katagintingan, Rosario; and Leonardo de Guzman, 37 of Naguillian town, all  in the province of La Union.
Sermonia said around 9:30 morning of Dec. 10, they conducted  buy-bust operation that  initially resulted to the arrest of two suspects- Anomin and Carreon.
Sermonia told newsmen, before the arrest of the two, Carreon sensed the presence of other policemen and instantly fled towards their hideout, prompting police to give chase.
Sermonia  and his men followed the suspect and swooped down on their hideout, a shanty, and arrested Carreon inside.
The raiding team then chanced upon a group of eight persons who were caught sniffing shabu inside the shanty, and also arrested them.
Sermonia said the operation resulted to confiscation of four guns, including an M16 rifle loaded with 26 bullets, three Cal. 45 pistols with bullets, 17 spare bullets for caliber 45 and one spent shell for carbine.
Also confiscated from the suspects were seven sachets of shabu, four sachets of marijuana leaves and several drug paraphernalia.
During their presentation to newsmen, the suspects claimed that their boss are one Rodel and Dumpit, a prominent name in La Union who, newsmen learned, owns a wide area of lands in Bataan, most of which have been sold to unsuspecting bigtime buyers, amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos.
Sermonia said 10 more other armed men eluded arrest and are now the subject of manhunt by the police.
Prior to their arrest, Sermonia said they received complaints from nearby residents about the suspects’ activities such as using drug and threatening their neighbors in their bid to show force inside their illegally-occupied lands. 


Former Bulacan PNP official’s killers known

JAEN, Nueva Ecija — The suspects in the killing of retired police Supt. Lorenzo Paynor and his aide, DonatoTaar, last week here in Barangay Imbunia have been identified, the Police Regional Office 3 disclosed Wednesday.
In Camp Olivas, Pampanga, Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, Central Luzon police director, however, withheld the names of the suspects in the killing of the 58-year-old former chief of police of Obando, Bulacan, and his 38-year-old security aide and farmhand, pending the execution of sworn statements from witnesses.
The victims were ambushed Dec. 10 in Jaen while on their way to Paynor’s farm. -- Mar T. Supnad


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