Kalinga governor’s office denies weekly’s articles

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Removal of DOTC director, ‘political misunderstandings’  

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Office of the Governor denied articles in a weekly newspaper the alleged role of Gov. Jocel. Baacin  “political misunderstandings” in Kalinga, removal of Celina Claver, former Transportation and Communications regional director and purported rift between him and Sangguniang Panlalawigan secretary.

“I would like to submit my comments as a defense to the integrity of honorable Governor Jocel C. Baac regarding the articles published by Atty. Antonio Pekas on his column in Zigzag Weekly for two consecutive weeks,” said Henry B. Gupaal, executive secretary to the governor. “Both were unfair and slanted tending to cause divisiveness and misunderstanding among people of Kalinga to say the least.”

Pekas, in his first column, reportedly said reason why Claver was relieved from her office was becauseFarnawClaverwas running against Baac, a liberal stalwart in Cordillera. (Farnaw is the brother in law of Celina and son of former Kalinga congressman William “Billy” Claver).

“This is a preposterous and false statement. Governor Baac has nothing to do with the appointment and removal of regional directors which is the responsibility of their departments, and in the case of Claver it is the DOTC (Dept. of Transportation and Communications) and the Office of the President. Governor Baac is only limited to the Provincial Local Government Unit of Kalinga. Therefore, the relief of Claver is only the sole act of the Office of the President who appointed her. She has every right to question her relief in proper venues or courts which has jurisdiction or authority to hear her case. For the information of Atty. Pekas Gov. Baac did not have any running mate as LP when he ran for re-election in 2013,” Gupaal said.

“Why does Atty. Pekas keep on repeating the incident that took place between Gov. Baac and SP Secretary Mathew Matbagan? This incident arose by reason of their office – their respective duties and responsibilities are defined by law. It did not happen just because Gov. Baac is a Kalinga and Mr. Matbagan is an Igorot. It happened because Mr. Matbagan was remiss of his duties as secretary to the SP in the formulation of SP Resolution No. 2015-058 which pertains to the Kalinga Mija Kim Medical Center in Agbannawag, Tabuk City, being operated by the province.

“That Mr. Matbagan as an Igorot is incidental and the same is true with Gov. Baac. Atty. Pekas must not create a situation or condition in such a way that this will create animosities between the Igorots in Kalinga and the Kalingas. To be sure the Igorots in Kalinga are married to our own sons and daughters and vice versa; and they are doing good businesses in Kalinga and we Kalingas do not envy them. They are in fact a big contributor to the development of our province which they call their own,” Gupaal said.

“We are indeed proud of them. So why does Atty. Pekas create this unnecessary misunderstanding and try to incite hatred between the Kalingas and the Igorots when in reality it does not exist. To be fair, the two daughters of Governor Baac are married to sons of Igorots. And Gov. Baac has appointed and promoted Igorots to different positions in the provincial government. The presupposed “hate campaign” against the Igorots is not true. “This is time to win the governor’s seat” is just a conjecture of Atty. Pekas, and this will depend on the electorates of Kalinga.

“We do not promote hatred and biases. To use Atty. Peaks’ word, it is not a “crime” to be an Igorot or a Kalinga. It is a fact and is the reality that all the different ethnic tribes here in Kalinga are living in peace and harmony. We do have problems sometimes but we can settle them ourselves. We do not promote ethnic-unitary society but a pluralistic society wherein everyone regardless of ethnic origin can live and prosper in Kalinga.

Gupaal added, “It was most unfair and an argumentum ad hominem to describe Governor Baac as involving or posturing “hooliganism”. Atty. Pekas’ insinuation that the good governor is still at odds with Jerome Tabanganay is not true because both have made up and reconciled and they are even running under the same party,  Tabanganay as board member and Gov. Baac for re-election.

“The truth of the matter is that the Province of Kalinga graduated from the club of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines; and we are now number 44 as per data of the National Statistical Board in 2012. And during the term of Governor Baac he was awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping and Good Governance by the DILG for three consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014); and the DA also awarded the Province twice for being one of the top ten rice producing provinces in the country. Now, is this the reason why Atty. Pekas is campaigning against Governor Baac and the other Liberal Party candidates in the forthcoming 2016 elections?

“So, why are you keeping on destroying the image and credibility of Gov. Baac and other Kalinga candidates? Perhaps the best thing one can do is to concentrate campaigning for his favored candidates and not to destroy and denigrate other people just to promote the interests of protégées and subalterns.

“Remember that Governor Baac is not just a governor for the Kalingas but all citizens of the province of Kalinga – Governor Baacis a governor of the people of Kalinga. We would like that good journalism would be promoted by those who practice it for the benefit of the common good.”


Sabangan folks file cases over tax declarations

SABANGAN, Mountain Province -- A petition for a citizen and class suit for the enforcement of rights and obligations under environmental laws, issuance of a permanent environmental protection order (PEPO) and cancellation of tax declarations was filed by some 42 residents of this town and non-residents who hail from said municipality last Oct. 28.  

The petition seeks to recover and stop the developments and excavations being conducted at Barangay Data here, site of decades-old barangay picnics and Scout jamborees, said petitioner LunesaTany.  

The case for the petition, she said, was raffled to Judge Joseph Patnaan of Branch 35 Bontoc Regional Trial Court who issued a temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) last Nov. 5 effective for a period of 72 hours or three days upon notice to the parties.  

The subject of the petition is the vast track of land located at Am-Amoting/Batacang in Barangay Data classified as “outside the alienable and disposable zone” as per land classification map No. 2017 and certified as such since July 30, 1956 by the director of Forestry during said period.  

But the said area has now been tax declared to private individuals named as private respondents to the petition.  

The tax declarations were allegedly issued in the names of spouses Robles and Rose Maliones, spouses Edward and Rosita Quino, George Bati-el and Eugenio Sawate. 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources represented by regional director for Cordillera engineer Ralph Pablo, representatives of the provincial and municipal assessors office and barangay captain of Data were named public respondents. 

The petitioners contend that the said tax declared vast track of land is where the people of Data freely pastured their farm animals, venue for their barangay picnics and scout jamboree of students and pupils of  Sabangan and Mt. Province for decades.  

“Because it is now tax declared in the names of private respondents, they claimed it as their private lands,” they said.  They introduced and are continuously introducing improvements on the land to the exclusion of the general populace of Barangay Data”.  

In the first hearing held last Nov. 10,  in Bontoc, lawyer Mario SomebangTimario Jr., counsel and co-petitioner, asked the court that the TEPO issued be extended until the hearings for the case are concluded. 

Patnaan has not acted on said motion by the petitioners yet.  


5 killed, 30 hurt in mishaps; Region 3 CIDG chief dies

Lady Fire officer dead 

Road accidents claimed five lives and injured 30 persons in Ilocos Sur, Isabela, and Ilocos Norte even as a high-ranking police official in Central Luzon also died from injuries he sustained in an accident along the North Luzon Expressway.

In Ilocos Sur, two of 38 passengers aboard a Partas bus driven by 29-year-old Joy Jobert Brioso were killed as it blew a tire and collided head-on with a Red VA1 bus driven by 39-year-old Sonny G. Galano and carrying 48 passengers along the national highway in Barangay Bulbulala, Santiago town.

Killed in the 8:30 p.m. accident were “calamay” (rice cake) vendor Reynaldo Pineda, 49, and Senior Fire Officer 1 Jenny Rose Cadaos of the Vigan City Fire Station.

Out of the 29 hospitalized, 10 of them from the Partas bus and 12 of them from the Red VA1 bus were released after treatment of minor injuries.

Cadaos, 33 and Pineda, 49, died while being treated at the Candon City Hospital and St. Martin de Porres Hospital, respectively, according to provincial police director Senior Supt. Nestor Felix.

The bus hit a tree on the opposite side of the road, causing the Redval Bus (AWC– 969) to hit it.

Galano, said it was too late to avoid the Partas bus.

Galano and his passengers, which included a teacher and 17 students of the St. Joseph Institute, were taken to different hospitals in Candon for treatment, along with Senior Fire Officers 1 Benjamin Lopez, 41; Erwin Quilana, 38, and Fredelino Raquel, 59.

Galano surrendered to responding police officers.

In Ilocos Norte, two motorcycles collided and crashed in along the national highway in Barangay Bani, Bacarra town, causing one of the riders – businessman Jose Queja, 64, of Barangay Teppang, Bacarra town – to die.

Chief Inspector Jonathan Papay, Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (PPO) spokesman, said the motorcycle driven by 28-year-old Cliefford Pagaduan was speeding to overtake Queja’s motorcycle when the fatal collision happened at 7:50 a.m. Pagaduan was injured in the accident.

In Isabela province, Warlito Macaranas, 47, and Joseph Paringit, 29, were killed after their motorcycle slammed into the rear end of a truck (WKN-847) along the national highway in Barangay Barucboc, Quezon town.

The truck driver, Joel Baldonado, 47, surrendered to police, but investigation later showed that Macaranas, who was driving the motorcycle at high speed, was under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Ismael Casis Fernandez, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 3 chief, died at a hospital in San Fernando City on afternoon of Nov. 13, three days after his Honda Accord (XMR-856) crashed on the southbound lane of NLEX in Pampanga.

Fernandez was on his way back to Camp Olivas in San Fernando City from Angeles City when the accident happened before dawn Tuesday. -- By Mar T. Supnad and Freddie G. Lazaro and RaymundCatindig


OMB suspends Tuguegarao mayor over defective boats

TUGUEGARAO CITY -- The Sandiganbayan has placed Mayor Jefferson Soriano here under a three-month preventive suspension for his alleged involvement in the anomalous procurement of defective rubber boats in 2008 and 2009, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) announced Tuesday.

In Manila, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said graft investigators found that Soriano, then chairman of the bids and awards committee, awarded on Dec. 18, 2009 four separate supply contracts for rubber boats worth P131.5 million.

Upon delivery and inspection, Morales said various defects in the equipment were discovered “which make their use risky to end-users.”

The boats and engines were also not functional when fitted together, rendering them unusable for disaster operation efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The OMB also filed in 2013 graft charges against eight PNP officials for the purchase of alleged defective police rubber boats.

In a separate case, Morales said the Sandiganbayan also ordered the suspension of officials from the Department of Budget and Management, Technology Resource Center and National Livelihood Development Corporation, for their alleged involvement in the anomalous utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund of former Benguet Congressman Samuel Dangwa.


Nueva Ecija gov denies harassing rival

CABANATUAN CITY – Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali denied allegations that he harassed his rival in the 2016 election.

Umali has dared Vergara, wife of Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara, to show her passport.

“I am not a vindictive person. Just let her face and answer the accusations and show her passport,” Umali said.

Vergara, who is running against Umali in the third district congressional race, cried harassment after a disqualification case was filed against her before the Commission on Elections in Manila.

The case was filed by Philip Piccio, a voter of Barangay Kapitan Pepe Subdivision in this city and an ally of Umali.

The petition sought to declare Vergara ineligible in the 2016 elections and delete her name from the list of candidates in the third district.

Piccio said he filed the petition after Vergara indicated in her certificate of candidacy that she is a registered voter of Barangay Rizdelis in this city.

He said Vergara holds an American passport, citing her travel records.

Vergara said Piccio has an ax to grind against her because in 2013, she filed nine counts of libel against him.


Retiring BSU prexy urges support to his successor

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Benguet State University president Dr. Ben D. Ladilad opted to retire rather than ask for reappointment for  additional four years term even as he urged BSU employees to support his successor.

Ladilad gracing probably his last BSU flag ceremony as university president cited some of his administration’s accomplishments, saying BSU under his administration is now a step in grasping its vision as “premier state university in Asia.

He said BSU for years consistently appeared in the country’s academic map in terms of passing rate. “In fact, the university’s passing rate is higher than the national passing rate in nine out of the 10 fields of licensure examinations. With this, enrollees continue increase in number from 17,429 of SY 2011-2012 to 19,204 as of second quarter of this SY 2014-2015. In the granting of scholarships, the university yearly increased their student scholars from 1,558 of 2012 to 2,280 of 2014.”

Manpower development among teaching personnel was also a highlight with 88 percent or 22 out of 25 of masteral degree aspirants of 2012 increasing to 100 percent in 2013 and 2014.

This, while PhD percentage is constant at 100 percent since 2012, he said. The university also sent 107 teaching personnel international for studies or events while 1,806 were sent to nationwide seminars/workshops during Ladilad’s administration.

“BSU produces sharp graduates while it breeds high level educators. Win-win for both BSU teachers and students”, said Ladilad.

Ladilad cited vital role of the university’s research and extension function, in which he increased research and extension programs of the institution. Ladilad said he acquired counterpart funds for programs with international agencies for research.

A total of 440 research projects were conducted and completed on schedule. From these, 105 were granted intellectual property rights. Among these were copyrighted manuals, brochures, monographs and literary works.

A total of 145 were journal publications, conference proceedings, books and training manuals/workbooks. All of these will be used for the university’s instruction programs.

Research paper presentations also increased during Ladilad’s administration from the 149 and 122 of 2012 and 2013 to 215 of 2014 a total of 486 which were presented nationwide and overseas.

“These research projects notably brought honor to BSU. From 2012 to 2014, BSU bagged a remarkable number of 97 awards. 52 of which were institutional, eight were regional, 27 were national and the remaining 10 were international awards”, said Ladilad.

Development and upgrading of laboratories was also done.

He added in maximizing Commission of Higher Education’s national budget allocation amounting to P17 million, BSU erected and upgraded three major laboratory facilities: Regional Tissue Culture Laboratory, Analytical Service Laboratory Center and laboratory facilities for materials and machine testing and metal works.

The RTCL was established in 2013 and has five greenhouses for the acclimatization, seeding production and eventually production of tissue cultured cutflowers. “This is to heed the farmers’ clamor for clean planting materials for flowers, vegetables and fruit crops. Also, the facility provides an avenue for students taking up Plant Tissue Culture subject for them to have a hands-on experience on tissue culture and to impart training venues for entrepreneurs and farmers with regards to tissue culture”, said Ladilad.

The BSU-ASLC on the other hand, according to Ladilad will enable BSU clients with modern equipment such as graphite furnace AAS, microwave digester and kjeltic nitrogen analyzer.

These high-end laboratory equipment will assist also BSU students in increasing their entry-level competency. “These will also aid them in their studies requiring chemical testing analysis together with heavy metal analysis, if needed. This way, it will bring them closer and have a hands-on utilization of these mentioned modern equipments and they need not to go down to Manila to have their samples and studies analysed”, said Ladilad.

The Materials and Machine Testing, and Metal Works Laboratory was established to elevate the then mediocre state of laboratory equipment in College of Engineering and Applied Technology.

Now, modern equipment is used in CEAT laboratory to include Metal lathe machine, portable hardness tester, engine dynamometer, sheet and forming machine, digital torque tester, hydraulic press, metal sheet roller, oxy-acetylene welding, hydraulic pipe bender, arc welding machine, universal testing machine, bed type milling machine, automatic oxy-ascetylene cutter and auto electrical system.

Ladilad added  the collaborative project was entered between BSU and Department of Science and Technology wherein they acquired computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines amounting to P17 million to serve needs of small local metals and engineering industry in Cordillera and other regions.

For BSU CEAT students, it will give them opportunity to go on-the-job trainings (OJT) on CNC turning/lathe and milling machine programming and operation. What’s more, it will also assist faculty and staff in conducting their research and development activities in relation to fabrication and production of equipment.   

In the Production function of BSU, by means of the implementation of its Research and Development project, the University was able to score an incidental income of Php 2,404,312.04 as of 2013.

“Profits came from different institutes/centers within BSU from OES, Research Services-Strawberry Runner Production, Benguet Vegetable Processing Certer, Cordillera Organic Agriculture Research and Development Center (COARDC), Horticulture Research and Training Institute (HORTI), Institute of Highland Farming System and Agroforestry (IHFSA), IHFSA-Biodiversity Program scoring P303,945.00, P231,703.18, P1,335,471.86, P10,300.00, P62,397.00, P448,415.00 P12,080.00 respectively totaling to an amount of P2,404,312.04”, said Ladilad

On the BSU land use plan, Ladilad said they facilitated an intensive campus master planning workshop held last February.

A draft of the land-use plan was crafted, but still awaiting BSU board’s approval.

Based on the land-use plan draft, the general direction structures will be introduced and current configuration will be modernized in order to conform to advance standards and to the constantly changing demands of demands of the environment. These structures will also accommodate the yearly influx of students, faculty and staff. Technological innovations in facilities and equipment will be adopted to meet the global standards.

Proposals include expansion and improvement of buildings, facilities and equipment, establishments of new land uses, buildings, facilities and equipment, Relocation of programs/projects, and Restoration of old facilities.

The Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) was also established which according to him, will play a huge role in serving less-privileged Benguet farmers from production to commerce. “Once fully operational at the soonest, probably December, with project cost amounting to P 655,555,522.53, BAPTC will be the largest trading center in the country”, said Ladilad

“Here BSU will be employing their three functions, appropriate researches from the Research function of BSU will be put into play to serve our farmers gearing them the necessary tools for global competitiveness in preparation for the ASEAN integration though AFTA. BSU making use of its Extension function will be also bestow technical assistance for the operation of the said facility. But more importantly, BAPTC will serve as training ground for BSU students from agricultural production, postharvest handling, processing to entrepreneurship”, said Ladilad. 

Ladilad said he will retire on Dec. 5. He ended his speech by urging his fellow employees to render their utmost support to the next university president like what they did during his administration. 



Young man forced to drink poison inside PNP camp
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A young man from Bontoc, Mountain Province was nearly killed when three unidentified men forcibly put poison inside his mouth inside the compound of  regional police headquarters here around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police identified the victim as Norbert Jones Faba-an Kalagui, 21. Investigation disclosed the victim came from Bontoc and decided to go home at the residence of his uncle, a certain Senior Insp. Vicente Tamid-ay. Near the house, he met the three men and one of them asked him (victim) if he knew Tamid-ay which he admitted. The suspects allegedly claimed that they were agents of said police officer. While the victim together with the suspects were infront of the gate of the house of the said police officer, two of the suspects held his hand and pointed a knife on his body while the other forcibly opened his mouth and poured liquid placed in a bottle that caused him to vomit making him lose consciousness.

At around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, the victim regained consciousness and knocked at the door of the house of his uncle. Tamid-ay sought help from other cops and rushed the victim to Benguet General Hospital.  Tamid-ay earlier noticed a piece of paper infront of the door of his house with a message threatening him and his family. Also recovered at the place was a small plastic cylinder containing marijuana seedlings and powdered leaves. Recovered items were brought to the Crime Laboratory Office for examination.

Old man hacks farmer 
ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao – A 60-year-old man allegedly hacked the head of a farmer for unidentified reason here around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Barangay San Jose. 

Victim was identified as Rudy Saganed Martinez, 46, while the suspect was named Maximo Martin Ortiz Jr., both residents of the above-stated place.

Investigation disclosed that the victim and his family were at home watching television when the Ortiz entered their house and without apparent reason hacked the victim’s head and nape then fled. Victim was brought to Municipal Health Unit of San Mateo, Isabela. Responding cops launched a manhunt that led to the arrest of the suspect at about 1 a.m. Thursday. Ortiz was jailed while charges were prepared against him.

Man arrested for manhandling wife
SAGADA, Mountain Province – A man was arrested for manhandling his wife around 7 a.m. Thursday here at Sitio Digdig, Ambasing. Complainant was Dyrabell Calabias Apil, 38 who filed a case against her husband, Victor Tiabba Apil, 42 for injuries she suffered.

Investigation disclosed that when the victim confronted the suspect about her ill feelings, the suspect suddenly boxed her head and shoulder and took a piece of wood then struck here with it hitting her left ear. 

75-year-old bizwoman loses P32,000 items to female thief
BAGUIO CITY – A 75-year-old businesswoman lost items she wanted to sell worth P32,000 to a female impostor here around 6:23 a.m. Thursday – no thanks to a lax security guard who is now in hot water. Police said the incident happened at the PEZA trade fair area, Loakan Proper. Complainant was Tagumpay Ylaria Floria, businesswoman. 

Investigation disclosed the unidentified female thief went to the area and asked permission from the duty guard saying she will be bringing out some items inside the stall of the complainant, which the security guard permitted without checking identification card of the suspect. The suspect left the area with 35 pieces of assorted bags and other items, all worth P32,100..

Driver killed as trike, van collide
CARRANGLAN, Nueva Ecija -- A tricycle driver died on spot Monday when his tricycle collided with a van at a national highway here in Sitio Maligaya, Barangay Putlan, police said.  Police Regional Office 3  spokesperson Supt. Fe G. Greñas, said the fatality, Ruel Salipan Ayaman, 25, a tricycle driver, of Tactac, Sta Fe, Nueva Vizcaya was traversing the highway when it collided with an incoming van heading towards south about 7 p.m. on Nov. 16.  The driver of the van, Joseph Butiled Deniego, 38, of Paraiso, Tarlac City, Tarlac, was brought to the Carranglan police station while appropriate charge was being readied against him.

Drunk man in trouble
for assaulting cop  
PARACELIS, Mountain Province – A drunk man in now in trouble here for assaulting a cop. A police report said the incident happened about 11:40 p.m. of Nov, 15 at Dagawe, Poblacion. , Paracelis, Mt. Province wherein the suspect was identified as Bryner Ewangan Gonayon. Investigation disclosed cops responded to a call from Elvira EwanganGonayon reporting that her son who was under the influence of liquor, was shouting and kicking everybody in front of their house. Responding personnel tried to pacify the suspect but, he kicked SP04 Eugene N Banugan, 48 of Marat, Poblacion.

Suspect was brought to Paracelis police station but where he continued to shout at police officers, uttered unsavory words and kicked anybody who went near him.

2 killed in motorcycle mishap in Isabela
SAN MATEO, Isabela – Two persons were killed while three others were injured after the tricycle they were riding in collided with a bus along an unfinished portion of the national road in Barangay Sinamar here  Tuesday.

Police said that the tricycle driver, identified as BelBaltazar, 59; and his passenger, Robert Dizon from Maddela, Quirino province, were killed on-the-spot due to serious injuries.

Those injured were identified as Marlita Baltazar, Marina Biligno and Jose Pacacabilan, all from Maddela, Quirino.

It was reported that the accident occurred at about 3:15 a.m. when the victims were on their home after attending a bible study session in Roxas, Isabela.

The accident occurred when Baltazar reportedly lost control of the motorcycle and rammed a barrier that separated the unfinished portion of the road before it bumped into the front side of the slow-moving Dangwa Busline driven by Ryan Antero.

The Dangwa bus was reportedly bound to Tabuk City, Kalinga when the accident happened.

Antero voluntarily surrendered to the police after the accident while the injured victims have been  taken to a local hospital.

Laborer mauls waitress 
BAGUIO CITY – A wairess was mauled by a laborer here about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday here inside Vemer Videoke Bar along Otek Street. Police identified the waitress as Richelle Lumahang Orquillas, 23 who was reportedly mauled by Aries Tanacio Macalo, 29, native of Sagada Mt. Province, and resident of Purok 2 Puliwes, San Vicente. 
Investigation disclosed that the suspect and his companions went to drink liquor at the said bar. The victim and the suspect had a misunderstanding regarding the payment of the ordered liquor. As a result, the suspect poured the content of his shot glass on the victim then dragged her face on the table. Not contented, the suspect smashed the shot glass into the mouth of the victim then dragged her to the other table and slapped her right ear. Responding personnel arrested the Macalo.

2 dead, 3 hurt in Isabela mishap
SAN MATEO, Isabela  – Two persons died while three others were injured in a collision involving a tricycle and a bus here at dawn Tuesday.

Bel Baltazar and Robert Dizon were traveling along the highway in Barangay Sinamar Norte when their tricycle slammed into a Dangwa bus driven by Ryan Antero.

Investigators believe Baltazar could have fallen asleep, noting the victims came from an overnight bible study.

The names of the injured victims were not immediately available.

Antero surrendered to responding police officers. – Raymund Catindig

Businesswoman victimized by worker
BANGUED, Abra – A businesswoman was victimized by her employee who took her cash of P58,000 and two fighting cocks.   

A police report identified the victim as Lea Benzon Mina, 45, of Zone 7 while her employee was named as Marvin Petacaa.k.a “Ablog”, of Barangay Dalanguiring, Urbiztundo, Pangasinan.

Investigation revealed said the suspect reportedly took the money and cocks at about 9 p.m. Wednesday. The incident was discovered by the victim when she was informed by his brother-in-law that the suspect entered their bed room. The victim and her husband tried to search the suspect who was nowhere to be found. They said the suspect could now be in his hometown.
Man wanted for rape cornered in home
TUBLAY, Benguet – A man wanted for rape is now now in jail after he was arrested about 8:30 Wednesday here in Sitio Sub-ong, Barangay Ambassador. Police identified the suspect as Edward Balao Paquito, a.k.a “Gualdo” 55. He was arrested at his residence after Judge Rufus G. Malecdan of RTC Branch 9, La Trinidad,Benguet issued warrant against him for two counts of rape.

Girl, 7, drowns at resort party
BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan  – A seven-year-old girl drowned as she was attending a birthday party at a private resort in this town Nov. 14.

The body of Janele Nadado was recovered from the swimming pool of the Ariel and Fe Garden Resort and Restaurant in Barangay Tambac.

Nadado was declared dead on arrival at the Sto. Niño Hospital.

The victim’s relatives believe she slipped while playing near the pool.  

Tricycle driver
arrested for rape
BANGUED, Abra – Cops nabbed JokrisCabantingBorce, 28, tricycle driver, native of Pilar, Abra, and resident of Santa Maria, Pangasinan Wednesday for rape.

The arrest was made at his residence after warrant was issued for his arrest by the regional trial court, Bangued, Abra. Borce was brought to Western Pangasinan District Hospital, Tayug, Pangasinan for medico-legal examination and subsequently to Pilar town police before he was turned over to the court. .
Laborer lands in jail for rape 
BONTOC, Mountain province – A laborer was arrested here Wednesday at Sitio Amcawa, Barangay Tocucan for rape by Bontoc and Sabangan town police. Arrested was Ignacio Equetan Chinanglas, 56, here of Sitio Amcawa, Tocucan.

Judge Ivan Kim B. Morales of RTC Branch 59, Baguio City issued the warrant for his arrest and recommended bail of P200,000 for his temporary liberty. He was brought to Bontoc police station where he was incarcerated.

Fire kills granny
LABRADOR, Pangasinan — A 73-year-old grandmother was killed in a house fire Saturday morning in Barangay Bolo, here. Superintendent Ferdinand de Asis, Pangasinan PPO spokesman, said Celidonia Arboleda was trapped as fire gobbled up her house around 1 a.m. while she was sleeping. Arson investigators were still determining the cause of the fire. – Liezle BasaIñigo

2 caught in Burnham Park sting operation
BAGUIO CITY -- Agents of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Cordillera Administrative Region arrested early morning Wednesday two alleged drug pushers in a buy-bust operation here at Lake Drive, Burnham Park.
Derick de la Cruz Bambico, 37, mobile phone vendor and resident of Sitio Magnolia, Irisan, together with Roben Saydawan Feliciano, alias Ben, 18, of Mankayan, Benguet were arrested in sting operation when they sold a plastic bag containing marijuana stalks weighing 1,043.4 grams with a Dangerous Drugs Board value of P130,425.
The suspects are now detained at the Baguio City Jail while a case for illegal drugs was prepared against them.

Three men land in jail for firing guns
LA PAZ, Abra – Cops arrested Leo Gandeza Siganay, 40;  Roy Talape Califlores, 26, and Josemar Balingao Claro, 26, all residents of Barangay Poblacion here about 5:25 a.m. Wednesday for allegedly firing their guns. Police earlier recieved information from a concerned citizen that they heard a series of gun shots at Barangay Buli. Cops immediately responded and went in front of the house of Rodolfo Turdil where the three suspects were found drinking liquor. Police searched them and found a Cal .22 handgun loaded with two bullets in the possession of Califlores. A 12 gauge homemade shotgun loaded with one bullet was recovered from Claro.  Three fired cartridges believed to be Cal. 22 were recovered at the crime scene. Suspects were brought to Abra Provincial Hospital for medical examination and later brought to Lapaz police station where they were jailed.

Itogon miner shot, rushed to hospital 
BAGUIO CITY – A miner was rushed Tuesday to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center after he was shot in the nearby town of Itogon, Benguet. A BGHMC security guard informed Itogon cops of the matter who went to the hospital and identified the victim as Jerimaiah Pakipac Chapichap, 31 of Luneta, Loacan, Antamok, Itogon.

Investigation disclosed at about 11:40 a.m. that day while the victim, together with his co-workers were sitting outside their shanty at Luneta, Loacan, he was shot by an unidentified person. He had five gunshot wounds on his back and neck. Investigators went to the place of incident and met Jaime Lingayo Bakiadan Jr., of Luneta, who turned over a homemade shot gun to them. Allegedly, he recovered the gun at the place of incident.

2 nabbed for illegal weapons
JAEN, Nueva Ecija – A thresher operator and his cohort were arrested by police Tuesday afternoon in a checkpoint here for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. Supt. Fe G. Greñas, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO-3), identified the arrested suspects as Hilario Sabino Mendoza, 54, and Armando Oboza Gregorio, 62, both from San Miguel, Bulacan. The two were nabbed after they failed to show pertinent documents for a 12 gauge homemade shotgun which they carried during the inspection. Police also recovered five rounds of live ammunition from their possession. A case for violation of Republic Act 10591 or “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act” is being prepared against them.

Two men jailed
BANGUED, Abra – Two men are now in jail for illegal possession of shabu. A police report said cops arrested Gilbert Millare Belena a.k.a. “Obet”, 35, tricycle driver, of Barangay Lingtan here and Edzel Bonnit Samuel, 22, of Linasin, Zone 1 at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Prior to the arrest, SPO1 Marlon Brioso, was conducting surveillance against the suspects when he chanced upon the two along the barangay road. He saw Belena handing over a sachet of shabu to Samuel. However, Samuel immediately dropped the sachet when he noticed that the police officer was approaching them. Brioso immediately called for back-up which led to the arrest of the suspects. Both suspects are now in jail.  

Farmer hacked for ‘destroying’ pigpen
BUCAY, Abra – A farmer was hacked on the neck for allegedly destroying the pig pen of another farmer here Monday around 8:50 p.m. at Sitio Pinpinas, Barangay Pagala. The victim was identified as Eduardo Testado Pataray, 50 while the suspect was identified as Pedro Bermudez Damian, 55 of Sitio Lampitoc, Barangay Macarcarmay.

Prior to the incident the suspect and the victim had a heated argument regarding the destruction of the pigpen of the suspect by the victim who denied the allegation. At that instance, the suspect, who was under the influence of liquor, suddenly drew his bolo and hacked the victim’s neck. The victim was rushed to Abra Provincial Hospital, Bangued, Abra by responding cops for medical treatment. The suspect was arrested and brought to Bucay police station where charges were prepared against him.


Dalog, DPWH inaugurate Mt. Province infra projects

By Pamela F. Kayachen

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Rep. Maximo B. Dalog and provincial Highways district engineer Wilbur B. Likigan led inauguration of completed infrastructure projects Nov 16 and 17.

The Caluttit Bridge’s  inauguration Monday was attended by  barangay and town officials with Likigan acknowledging cooperation of local folks during construction of the bridge.

The Caluttit Bridge was contracted by JJJ-A Construction and Supplies with a contract amount of P 4,891,398.64.

On Tuesday, the Wala-Bunot-Tawang farm-to-market road and San Rafael Multi-Purpose Building, both in Paracelis town were also inaugurated and turned over to Paracelis Mayor Gavino L. Bucok.

Through Dalog, construction of the Wala-Bunot-Tawang road in Bacarri, Paracelis was funded by the Department of Agriculture.

It was done by provincial DPWH to Upland Construction and Engineering Services/Kuatako Construction and General Contractor through joint venture with contract amount of P31,815,971.46. The project, with a length of 3.845 km was completed August 9.

Funds for the construction of San Rafael Multi-Purpose Building in Bananao, Paracelis was included in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) under the Local Infrastructure Program. The provincial DPWH contracted the project with Bentrix Builders with contract amount of P3,321,636.25.

In his message, Dalog reminded the end-users to protect the structure and to consider it as their own.

Likigan turned over the completed Wala-Bunot-Tawang road and San Rafael MPB to municipal government of Paracelis. 


Pangasinan eyeing P1B 600-MW power plant

By Liezle BasaInigo

SUAL, Pangasinan — In response to the call for the private sector to help produce power, a company is finalizing negotiations for the putting up of a P1 billion investment on a 600-megawatt coal power plant in Barangay Bacquioen, this town.

Mayor Roberto Arcinue said the negotiations with Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. is being finalized and the project proponent has conducted public hearings.

Included in the negotiation are benefits for the town and local folk which includes power rate discounts; guaranteed uninterrupted power supply; priority in hiring residents as workers. Also included in the negotiation is for Trans-Asia to give a P100 million to the town upon signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the local government unit.

Arcinue said that the amount can be used for social development projects like construction of a vocational school for the training of residents, development of the municipal wharf and the seafood paradise; additional budget for the construction of a hospital; and for environment protection and preservation.

It can be recalled that Barangay Bacquioen was the original proposed site for the 1,218-MW Sual coal-fired plant but opposition from the local residents made the proponents abandon the area and transfer to Pangascasan.

The mayor said that while there remains opposition to the new project, some residents see the improvement in the lives of the residents of Pangascasan who hosted the first power plant.


9 new Luzon court branches created

Nine new court branches have been created in Baguio City and in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.

The courts were created by virtue of three laws signed by President Aquino on Nov. 11 and was published in The STAR yesterday.

Republic Act 10694 provided two municipal trial courts (MTC) in Angeles City, one in Mabalacat City and another in Magalang town, all in Pampanga.

RA 10695 formed a new regional trial court (RTC) branch in San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, while RA 10698 created two RTC and two MTC branches in Baguio City.

The new laws amended provisions of Batas Pambansa 129 or the Judiciary Organization Act of 1980, and other related laws, executive orders, rules and regulations.

“The chief justice, in coordination with the Secretary of the Department of Justice, should include in the Supreme Court’s program the operation of the new court branches,” the laws said.

Police found the assailant’s motorcycle abandoned near a gasoline station along MacArthur Highway.

Fernandez, son and namesake of a former member of the provincial board, owned several business establishments, including schools and hotels in Dagupan City.  


Baguio schools gear up for senior high school program

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – The city schools division has stepped up preparations for the opening of the senior high school program of the K to 12 curriculum in 2016.

City schools division superintendent Francis Ceasar Bringas said they have fast-tracked the completion of additional classrooms and facilities to prepare public high schools for the program.

Assistant city schools division head Agustin Laban said seven out of the 21 public high schools in the city have been identified to offer the senior high school program or Grade 11-12 starting 2016.

These are the Baguio City National High School, Irisan National High School, San Vicente National High School, Mil-An National High School, Joaquin Smith National High School, Guisad Valley National High School and Sto. Tomas National High School.  One school in Irisan has been proposed as “stand-alone” senior high school.

Laban said that with these eight institutions, the Department of Education (DepEd) can accommodate 60 percent of students graduating from public junior high schools for the senior high school program.

The remaining 40 percent can enroll in various private schools and colleges with financial assistance from the DepEd through education vouchers amounting to P20,000 per student.

Graduates from private junior high schools can also avail of the assistance from the DepEd amounting to P16,000 or 80 percent of what the public graduates will receive.

Laban said major tertiary and technical-vocational schools in Baguio are also eligible to offer senior high school programs like the St. Louis University, University of Baguio, University of the Cordilleras, Easter College, STI, AMA among others.

The Dep Ed said senior high school is “two years of in-depth specialization for students depending on the occupancy or career track they wish to pursue.”

“Two years of senior high school intends to provide for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies Skills and competencies relevant to the job market.”

The senior high school curriculum offers four academic tracks for the students to choose from:  academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports and arts and designs.

Under the academic track are the following strands: Accountancy, Business and management (ABM); Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) and General Academic Strand (GAS).

Under the Tech-Voc-Livelihood track are the following: Information and Communications (ICT), Industrial Arts, home Economics and Agri-Fishery Arts.

The sports track centers on sports and fitness while the arts and designs include strands on music, dance, film/media, visual arts, indigenous and theater arts.  


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