Comelec bares poll rules, activities, prohibited acts

>> Friday, January 29, 2016

PNP, AFP set checkpoints; search rules defined 

By Daniel B. Codamon and Joseph Zambrano

The Commission on Elections has set activities and defined prohibited acts for the May national and local election to ensure orderly, peaceful, clean and credible polls even as the Philippine National Police have started to set up checkpoints nationwide to stop or avert violence.
This, as the new sets of vote counting machines for the 2016 election are undergoing extensive testing .in time for voters education roadshow in major cities nationwide.
Comelec Commissioner Louie Tito Guiabared in Baguio City that since October last year, the poll body, political parties and non-government organizations have been reviewing and testing the new vote counting machines.
This will go on for seven months to ensure that the machines will function efficiently properly   from counting to transmission, he said.
With these preparations, Comelec officials said election period started Jan. 10 to end June 8. Prohibited acts include transfer officers and employees in the civil service under the Omnibus Election Code including the bearing, carrying or transporting firearms or other deadly weapons unless authorized in writing by the Commission on Election.
It is also prohibited during this period the use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates unless authorized by the Comelec.
Likewise the organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces or other similar forces and the suspension of elective local officials is prohibited.
Certified list of voters will be posted on Feb. 9.
Feb. 9 to May 7, 2016 will be the campaign period for candidates for President, Vice President, and Senator and Party-list groups participating in the party-list system of representation.
 From Feb. 9 to May 9, giving of donations or gifts in cash or in kind including the appointment or use of special policemen, confidential agents and the like are prohibited.
March 7 will be the last day to file application to avail of local absentee voting and on March 10 is the last day for the Committee on Local Absentee Voting (CLAV) to receive application forms for local absentee voting.
From March 25 to May 7, 2016 will be the campaign period for candidates for Members of the House of Representatives and elective regional, provincial, city and municipal officials.
Campaigning is prohibited on March 24 and March 25 which is Holy Thursday and Good Friday respectively.
From March 25 to May 8, it is unlawful for the appointment or hiring of new employees, creation or filling up of new positions, promotion or giving of salary increases, remuneration or privileges including the construction of public works, delivery of materials for public works and issuance of treasury warrants or similar devises for a future undertaking chargeable against public funds and the release, disbursement or expenditures of public funds.
April 9 to May 9, will be casting of votes by overseas workers and campaigning abroad is prohibited. April 15 is the last day to verify whether the applicant for local absentee voting is eligible to vote as local absentee voter.
May 2 to May 6, will be the testing and sealing of the OMRs or VCMs.
In Lagawe, Ifugao, Comelec Elections supervisor and lawyer Ricardo Bulintao said on the eve of May 8, 2016 until the Election Day on May 9, campaigning is prohibited. Likewise the selling, furnishing, offering, buying, serving or taking intoxicating liquor and the giving, accepting, free transportation, food or drinks or things of value.
May 9, is the Election Day for the casting of votes and thereafter the counting and consolidation of votes.
Also prohibited on May 9 are voting more than once or in substitution of another, soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place or within 30 meters thereof, opening of booths or stalls for the sale of merchandise or refreshments within a radius of 30 meters from the polling place and the holding of fairs, cockfights, boxing, horse racing or any form of gambling.
May 13 to May 15 will be the canvass of the results and proclamation of the winners for Senatorial, congressional, party-list, regional and provincial elections.
Checkpoints set up
In the Cordillera, the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines set up checkpoints under Comelec supervision as part of security precautions for the May polls.
Comelec checkpoints manned by local police are set up in every city and town to implement the gun ban which took effect last January 10 until June 8 and to prevent election-related violence.
Chief Supt. Ulysses Abellera, Cordillera police director, said only visual search of the vehicle is allowed at the checkpoints. The officer on duty simply looks into the vehicle and flashes light without opening the car’s door.
During the election period, the law provides that no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to possess or carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Comelec.
Abellera said bra will be the main focus of the police with its history of violence especially during elections.
“We have lined up several activities for voters education and peace forum   in Abra to end the culture of violence”, Abellera said. “These will be done in cooperation with the various government offices and the private sectors to advocate the peace movement to achieve a zero casualty during the election period in the province.
He added that the police will be ready to prevent election related incidents like ballot snatching which occurred in the last elections in other provinces.” 
Transparent elections
This, as Guia said, to make the election more transparent, the Comelec had been been engaging various stakeholders from the source code review – basic program or code that will be telling the machines what to do; the loading of names of candidates to align it to the election management system up to the customizing of the code to make sure the machines are configured to count the way it should”, Guia said.
After the testing and review, Comelec will go to various parts of the country for a voters education roadshow on the vote counting machines.
“We will be more active in engaging the public and the media for an information and education about the system.  What we want to happen is for the public to actively engage and involve in the process,” Guia said.
He said there are over 95,000 new vote counting machines that can cover all the voting precincts in the country plus reserves for contingency measure. He assured that these machines are newer version and with added features compared to those used in the last automated election.

Guia was in Baguio last week for the launching of the Comelec – Baguio initiated Voter Care Center, the first specialized telephone hotline and action desk set –up for the May 9, 2016 election. 


3 dead in North Luzon highway accidents

Three persons were killed in highway accidents in La Union, Cagayan and Isabela last week.
In Sto. Tomas, La Union, a man died and his two companions were seriously injured when their car collided with a passenger bus along the national highway in Barangay Lomboy here Jan. 16.
The driver of the car, Pedro Pablo Sanueta, 65, was pronounced dead on arrival at the La Union Medical Center, said Chief Inspector Artemio Infante, La Union police community relations officer.
Tommy Saldefar and Jun Constantino were brought to the same hospital for treatment. 
Felix Villalobos, driver of the Candon bus, is being held at the Sto. Tomas police station.
Two men also died and another was seriously injured in separate road accidents involving motorcycles in Cagayan and Isabela on Monday.
Raffy Israel, 28, a resident of Barangay Maluyo in Allacapan town in Cagayan, died when his motorcycle collided with a sport utility vehicle in Barangay Lorenzo around 7 a.m., said Chief Inspector Wilhelmino Zaldivar, Lal-lo police chief.
The driver of the SUV, who was injured, was brought to a hospital for treatment.

In Santiago City, Jolas Ramos, 23, died after his motorcycle rammed the wall of a water station in Barangay Patul. The victim was reportedly drunk when the accident occurred. – RaymundCatindig – Jun Elias, Vic Alhambra


SLU tops nursing license exams with 9 in Top 10

Abrenian among topnochers 

By Redjie abraMelvicCawis

An Abrenian lass is among three examinees who   topped the November 2015 Nurse Licensure Examinations even as Saint Louis University in Baguio City has nine examinees in the Top 10
Alyssa May Bringas Madriaga of Poblacion East in Pidigan, Abra had a rating of 86.40% and tied with Alyssa Claire AngurenAlmo of Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation in Tacloban City and Suha Canlas Hassan Magdy Mohammed Ibrahim of the Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila as Top 1 in the recently released nursing board exam.
Madriaga finished her Bachelor Science in Nursing at the University of Santo Tomas.
Meanwhile, Saint Louis University in Baguio City has nine examinees in the Top 10 namely Pamela Baltazar Doctor –Top 3; Frances Jenicah Cuilan Fianza and Gizelle Anne Dacquel Juico –Top 5; Darianne Montesa Jimenez – Top 6; Diane Bondoc  Colcol – Top 7; John Ardy Hagad Redondo and Gehla Dana Marie BonaoTumanan – Top 8; Justine Mae Manaois Gervero – Top 9 and Princess Maureen Aclera Quinsay – Top 10.
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced that 9,114 out of 18,500 passed the Nurse Licensure Examination given by the Board of Nursing in the cities of Manila, Bacolod, Baguio, Cabanatuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Laoag, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga last November 2015.
SLU also remained as one of the top performing schools nationwide in the November 2015 Nurse Board Exams. Its 98.06 percentage rating with 253 passers out of the 258 examinees placed it in third spot.
 The University of Santo Tomas, Mariano Marcos State University-Batac and Xavier University are the number 1 performing schools   with 100% passing rate followed by Cebu Doctors University in the Top 2.

Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.


Mother of PNP officer slain by cop slams police director

For failure to arrest suspect 

By Nelson Bolos

TARLAC CITY -- “Pangako na napako ni general Diaz.”
             So said the mother of the murdered young police officer whose cop-killer was promised to be arrested by police region 6 director Chief Supt Bernardo Diaz. 
Insp. Christian Lee Pineda Nelmida, 24, was shot at close range on his chest with a shot gun inside Camp Tirador, Janiuay, Iloilo, allegedly by SPO1 Arnold Lizada.
His mother, Anita, said that during Nelmida’s wake in Iloilo, Diaz personally promised her to arrest Lizada before the young officer is buried.
“Pinapangako ko na mahuhuli naming si Lizada bago mailibing si Lee (Nelmida)”, Anita quoted Diaz as saying.
Nelmida, who belongs to the Philippine National Police Academy batch 2013, was laid to rest at the Garden of the Ascension here Jan. 17 but Lizada remained at large.
“Nasaan ang hustisya sa brutal napagpatay sa aming anak?Bakit hanggang ngayon hindi pa nahuhuli ang pulis na pumatay?” said Anita.
Nelmida’s family hails from this city but is assigned at the Iloilo Police Provincial office as head of the Camp Tirador-based 2nd Maneuver Platoon of the Iloilo Provincial Public Safety Battalion.
 “Ayon sa aming source,  itinatago ng isang retired police general saLambunao (Iloilo) siLizada. Bakitwalangmagawaang PNP PRO6,?” said Nelmida’s mother. 
A police officer who requested his name withheld revealed that Nelmida’s cold-blooded killing was drug related.
 “Ang alam namin may nahuling big time pusher si Lee (Nelmida) napinapaki-usap ni Lizada. Perohindiniya pinagbigyan si Lizada, kaya ng makakuha siya (Lizada) ng tiyempo binaril niya si Lee”, said the source.
Apparently, Nelmida was about to eat dinner inside the mess hall of the police camp when Lizada came and shot him once on his chest with a shot gun in the presence of other policemen.
Police investigators are still probing how the police-gunman escaped from the camp after shooting Nelmida.
The police camp gate is around 300 hundred meters from the mess hall where Nelmida was gunned down.
For his part, Nelmida’s father, Joselito, who is also a retired senior inspector, revealed that they are yet to be furnished a copy of the police spot report on the brutal killing of the young PNP officer.
Posted on the internet were alleged criminal activities of Lizada including his purported killing of an innocent civilian.

Lizada was charged with murder and is the subject of police manhunt.   


Baguio gov’t to sell PNR lots to public

By JhoArranz

BAGUIO CITY -  Mayor Mauricio Domogan disclosed  the Philippine National Railway (PNR) is set to dispose properties in this tourism resort.
The PNR will sell home lots to legitimate beneficiaries.  Also, the inventory of PNR properties includes areas for disposition to the present occupants in San Luis, San Roque and the PNR Marcoville area.
Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo approved the disposal of PNR properties to the actual occupants through Executive Order No. 48 issued in October 2001: “Declaring non-core properties if the PNR as socialized housing sites and providing for the disposition of the same bonafide occupants.”
This will help informal settlers within the PNR properties the chance to own the land.
Domogan said, “a consultation was conducted to the affected barangays and different concerns and issues were raised with regards issuance of individual titles.”
Accordingly, a significant number of beneficiaries in San Luis have fully paid the agreed amount in exchange of the land.  However, they cannot get their respective individual titles for the reason that the PNR has not complied with the requisites needed for the issuance of individual titles.
On the other hand, San Roque beneficiaries’ concern is the non-processing of the approved subdivision plan of San Roque because of one lot in question.
In the case of Marcoville, the selling price of the land must be laid down together with the terms and conditions for the beneficiaries to comply.

As a result of the different consultations, the city will write the PNR to convene with the board set on Jan. 27 to settle and straighten out the issues and concerns of both the PNR and the beneficiaries.


233 Kalinga ex-rebels given PhilHealth benefits

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Some 233 former rebels in the province were recipients of primary health care in 2015 through their enrollment with the Philippine Health Insurance  Corp. (PhilHealth).
PhilHealth-Kalinga head Rommel Aranca said this was joint undertaking of the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Health (DOH).
OPAPP and DSWD conducted the social assessment and prepared list of qualified applicants while DOH provided the annual premium of   more than P559, 000. Aranca said.
 Former rebels are among the marginalized sectors targeted to be provided quality health care under President Benigno S. Aquino III’s Kalusugang Pangkalahatan or Universal Health Care Program where every Filipino should be provided access to primary health care through enrolment with PhilHealth.

 The health care is on top of other assistance provided by the government to former rebels that include livelihood and education. – Larry T. Lopez 


Balili River houses set as giant artwork; DOT inks MOA

By Redjie Melvic Cawis

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Houses on the mountainous slope along the Balili River in this capital town will soon be transformed into a giant art piece.
DOT regional director Venus Tan said painting of at least 200 houses into a single mural similar to the Favela art of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is part of the tourism transformation plans of DOT-CAR.
The Favela art earned popularity in Brazil after heavily populated urban informal settlements characterized by substandard housing and squalor were turned into tourism attraction by painting houses in a rainbow of bright colors.
Tan said the beautification plan is in consonance with the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment Task Force created in 2013 by President Benigno Aquino III under Memorandum Circular 47.
La Trinidad Mayor Edna Tabanda said Stone Hill residents were consulted and have given their consent for the project before the MOA was signed.
Tabanda said transformation of Stone Hill will be a community effort.  Residents of La Trinidad as well as government employees, police force and other volunteers would be working together in creating the giant canvass.
They will be trained by Davies Paints personnel and be supervised by the artists during the painting process.
Chanum Foundation President Jordan Mang-osan said the mural will feature a connective landscape of sunflowers, strawberries and rainbows as conceptualized by the Tam-awan artists who were commissioned by the DOT.
He said that the design depicts the view of the area before houses were built. It will also highlight the One Town One Product of the municipality which is the strawberry.

Davies Paint shall provide for the paint materials for the houses .The painting is expected to commence after the training of residents and finalization of the design. It is expected to be finished in time for the summer season. 


Pinoy, US doctors on 5-day Ilocos Norte medical mission

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte  – Over a hundred doctors and surgeons from Northern California are on a five-day international mission and started conducting free medical, surgical, dental and optometric services at the Laoag City Hall open court.
Mayor Chevylle Farinas said that the foreign non-government organization offers a great help to the public that includes free surgical operations, medicines and after-operation services.
“The patients after being screened will undergo operations and then the Laoag City General Hospital will cater to their medical needs and check-ups for free of charge,” Farinas said.
Dr. Renato Mateo, Chief of the Laoag City Health Office said that the group, composed of physicians specializing in various fields, are Americans and Filipinos providing charitable work in different parts of the world.
He said the group is touring the country to provide free operations on site, dental services and free medicines and eyeglasses for eye patients with the help of the local government units.
Mateo also said that the medical mission in Laoag City was initiated by the Ilocano member of the organization who wants to give back to his fellow Ilocanos.
Farinas encouraged all Ilocanos to avail of the medical services and get screened for proper medication as services.
The PMSNC is a registered non-profit organization run by volunteer Filipino medical practitioners from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Established in 1972, the organization is keeping with the commitment of conducting community outreach programs and medical missions to selected rural areas in the Philippines since 1978.


P.5-M MJ seized in Ilocos Sur

By Jun Elias

ALILEM.Ilocos Sur -- Police arrested a man for possession of a sack of marijuana with an estimated street value of P500,000 here Tuesday.
Rolando Kios, 23, of Barangay Kayapa, Bakun, Benguet was caught carrying 15 rolls and five bricks of marijuana at a checkpoint on Brown street, according to Ilocos police director Chief Supt. Ericson Velasquez.
Before Kios’ arrest, police received a tip that a man on board a jeepney would transport marijuana in Alilem, town police chief Senior Insp. Joel Lagto said.
Velazquez said the local police put up a checkpoint and intercepted the jeepney carrying the marijuana and the suspect.     


Mt Province gov’t to turn over historic Mt. Data Hotel to PTA

By Angel Baybay

The provincial government will return to the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) the management of Mount Data Hotel effective Feb. 8 this year.
Hotel manager Dolly Theodore said their staff is presently making an inventory of furniture and other serviceable equipment in preparation for the turn over.
Built in the 1960’s during the administration of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, the management of the 22 room single storey building and its premises was conveyed to the PTA through a Presidential Decree in 1977.
The hotel stands at the heart of a forested 9.19 hectare lot within the Mount Data National Park, more or less a hundred kilometres away from Baguio City.
For years the facility had been a favourite stop-over of travellers going to and from the tourist towns of Banaue and Sagada.
It also prides itself of having hosted past presidents and foreign dignitaries including historic events such as the signing of the peace accord between the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army and the late President Corazon Aquino on September 13, 1986 popularly known as the Mount Data “Sipat”.
On Feb. 8, 2006, the PTA relinquished the management and administration of the hotel and its premises to the provincial government for 10 years by virtue of a memorandum of agreement.
Sources have it that the MOA was signed after then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo expressly signified her affirmation to the undertaking as proposed by then Gov. Maximo Dalog.
Part of the MOA stipulated that the provincial government shall pay three percent of the monthly gross income to the PTA and hire the services of the hotel employees who were laid off in December 2005.
“No. The province will turn over to PTA the management of Mount Data Hotel after the MOA expires on February 8,” Gov. Leonard Mayaen said when asked if he plans to renew the contract.
“It had been 10 years but the hotel cannot even earn enough for its upkeep and pay the salary and other financial benefits of the employees. It is a losing enterprise and the provincial government could not afford that. In fact, the province is spending more or less three million pesos annually to pay the wages of the employees,” he said.
The governor added the local government unit has hired the employees separated from PTA in 2005 and assumed the responsibility of paying their retirement benefits.

Today, the hotel is manned by eighteen employees. These employees shall be assigned to various provincial government offices after the turn-over of the hotel.


Lagawe most competitive Cordillera municipality

By Marcelo B. Lihgawon and Lynette Abuan

LAGAWE, Ifugao – Last year was fruitful for this capital town  in terms of good governance as it was cited as most competitive municipality under the 3rd to 6th class category in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The municipality of Lagawe was ranked number one in the Cordillera Region and number 17 nationwide in the just concluded 2015 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) joined by 515 municipalities.
The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) conducted an assessment to more than 1,000 LGUs nationwide under 1st to 2nd class and 3rd to 6th categories. This aims to improve the Philippines’ standing in international competitiveness rankings and move the country from the bottom third to the top third tier by 2016.
 The CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Council through the Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCCs) with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development.
It  is a program which encourages LGUs to gather and voluntarily submit data which are used to measure their performance on three pillars anchored on global standards: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.
 “Congratulations to all our stakeholders and partners in the government and private sectors for your unending cooperation and support,” the LGU-Lagawe stated.
The municipality also received the Early Bird LGU Award. (JDP/MBL-PIA CAR, Ifugao with report from /LGU Lagawe)


P533 M set for livelihood projects in Cordillera conflict-torn towns

By Andrew Doga-ong

BONTOC, Mountain Province – P533 million worth of projects would be implemented in “conflict-affected communities” of  six provinces of the Cordillera as identified in the peace pact agreement forged between the government of the Philippines and the Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera People’s Liberation Army in July 2011.
The Cordillera is set to receive this year at least P533 million worth of community development and livelihood projects under the Pamana or Payapa at MasaganangPamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program  to enhance and sustain peace and development initiatives in provinces of the region.
Cheryl Datinguinoo, project development officer of Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), bared the 2016 approved Pamana projects and programs during the 8th Pamana-CAR technical working group meeting in Subic last week.
Construction of local roads got biggest allocation of P363 million, construction of bridges – P80M, construction of post harvest facilities – P1.8M, construction of water systems – P11.6M, community infrastructure – P6.1M, livelihood projects – P26.995M and social protection programs – P 11.355M.
Included in the Pamana-funded program was operational and training support for forest guards to be implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and OPAPP.
Funds of Pamana projects and programs would be given after memorandum of agreement with OPAPP partner implementing agencies such as the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government, Dept. of Agriculture, DENR, Dept. of Public Works and Highways, Commission on Higher Education, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and some local government units.

The PAMANA program is part of the priority economic development program of the Aquino Administration to help win the peace in vulnerable and conflict-affected communities nationwide. 


Total firecracker ban pushed in Abra

BANGUED, Abra – Firecrackcer-related injuries are down in the province this past Yuletide Season, the Provincial Health Office  bared as it urged total firecrackers ban by 2017 to end injuries and death.
Dr. Wilfredo Pascua, OIC Provincial Health Officer, saying there were 25 reported cases down from 30 cases last year. He said majority of victims were children who were injured by ‘pla-pla’, baby rocket, ‘kanyubong’ (devised bamboo canon), PVC gun and whistle bomb.
As observed, the public is now more compliant,  more careful and practical,  Pascua  said as he  claimed that the “IwasPaputok”  as well as the deployment of police  personnel in the different barangays to inspect indiscriminate firing and the use of illegal firecrackers contributed to the decrease of firecrackers related incidents  on New Year’s Eve.

In supporting the total firecrackers ban, he said, “We understand that this is culture. However buying and using one is rather impractical and risky especially for the children. “He tipped the public to spend money on food or for other necessary things or endeavor rather than spending it on hospital bills mending a broken finger or two. -- Ginalyn B. Brioso


Tarlac ex-cop arrested for illegal drugs

By Nelson Bolos

PANIQUI, Tarlac -- From law enforcer to law-breaker.
The Tarlac Criminal Investigation and Detection Group here arrested a former policeman for involvement in illegal drugs.
Former PO2 Rodel Cortez Domacia was apprehended at his residence in Barangay Tablang here after a court-issued search warrant was served.
Chief Insp Angelo Nicolas said, “We have been closely monitoring the activities Domacia because of persistent reports that he is into illegal drugs”.
Domacia is a former cop of this town’s police station but in 2013 he was found positive of drug use in a random drug test of police personnel along with PO3 Emmerson Garcia.
When the result of the police random drug test was released, Domacia went on Absence-Without-Official-Leave (AWOL) and was consequently dismissed from the service.
He was reported to have hidden somewhere in Ilocos for several months.
Garcia, on the other hand, was arrested in a buy-bust in Gerona town in possession of more than 13 grams of shabu.
“He must have been warned of our operation that’s why he was able to ‘clean’ his house but it is good he did not resist arrest”, said Nicolas who personally led the raid on the house of Domacia.
Three live ammunitions and drug paraphernalia, including several pieces of used aluminum foils with drug residue, where seized from Domacia’s house.
Domacia, who again tested positive of drug use, will be charged of violation RA 10591 and RA 9165, Nicolas said. 


‘Mt Province major transhipment point of illegal drugs in Cordillera’

Drug use becoming rampant 

By Angel Baybay

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Provincial Peace and Order Council here has set measures to curb proliferation and use of illegal drugs in the province after provincial police officials said selling and use of the prohibited items was becoming rampant.
This, as the province remains a transhipment point of marijuana coming from other provinces in the region, said Supt. MarcialFa-ed who heads the provincial police Investigation Division during the PPOC meeting Wednesday. 
In the last quarter of last year, at least five people were reportedly nabbed transporting more or less seven kilos of dried marijuana leaves. 
“We admit having received reports regarding some youths using and selling illegal drugs particularly shabu,” said Fa-ed, adding no arrests were made relative to the use and sale of prohibited drugs but they have intensified surveillance to identify those involved.
The revelation caught some by surprise but not PPOC chairman Gov. Leonard Mayaen who said the admission only validated earlier information intimated to him by reliable sources. “That piece of information only corroborates what was told me by some people. I was informed that the use of shabu is becoming more prevalent among students,” the governor said.
With this, the PPOC agreed to focus on the problem before it spreads to alarming proportions. “We have to act now or else it would be late. I will be calling for a meeting particularly among law enforcers so that we can map out our next steps,” Mayaen said.
As agreed, the law enforcers shall provide the technical and manpower support while the PPOC will provide the financial backing.
Mayaen asked personnel of the provincial Scene of the Crime Operations to list equipment that would enable them make tests on suspects involved in drug-related crimes and accidents.
Provincial SOCO head Chief Insp. Emilia Calixto bared they will be asking for  procurement of drug testing kits and important gadgets.
New OIC provincial police director Cornelio Comila called on the people to cooperate with law enforcers so that the problem will be given solution the soonest possible time.
“The fight against drugs and other lawlessness could only be achieved through teamwork. Please help us,” said Comila who assumed his new position last week. Shabu, is slang for methamphetamine.  
It is usually in the form of an odorless crystal or crystalline powder, white in color and bitter in taste.  

As revealed by a recent United Nations report, shabu is the most used illegal drug in the Philippines. 



LA TRINIDAD, Benguet-- The Philippine National Police conferred the Silver Eagle Award to  15 police offices and stations in the Cordillera Region for successfully passing the second stage of the Compliance Evaluation Process of the Performance Governance System (PGS) of the Philippine National Police PATROL Plan 2030 or the Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding of the Rule of Law.
PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations director Wilfredo Franco and Police Regional Office – Cordillera regional director Chief Supt. Ulysses Abellera awarded the Silver Eagle  to six police provincial offices in the region, the Baguio City Police Office, Regional Public Safety Battalion and municipal police stations of Bangued, Abra; Luna, Apayao; La Trinidad, Benguet; Lagawe, Ifugao and Bontoc, Mountain Province,  the  Tabuk City Police Office and Station 7 of the BCPO.
These units were recognized for “Outstanding commitment and unwavering support in the effective implementation of PNP Patrol Plan 2030 for the attainment of “highly capable, effective and credible police service.'"
The compliance evaluation process is composed of three phases – strategic readiness test or SRT, performance audit, and unit revalida. 
Franco commended dedication and commitment of Cordillera police units to the effective implementation of PNP PATROL Plan 2030. 
Meanwhile, regional police office awarded plaques of appreciation to the Regional Advisory Council namely National Police Commission-CAR regional director Atty. Henry Dungala, Baguio – Benguet Public Information and Civic Action Group president Oscar Cadelina and former Baguio City Mayor Peter Rey Bautista as members of the review panel during the PGS compliance stage unit revalida. – Redjie Melvic Cawis

Man slain in shootout at checkpoint
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – A man was killed while another escaped after a shootout with policemen manning a checkpoint in Nueva Ecija before dawn on Wednesday.
Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, Police Regional Office-Region 3 director, said the incident occurred when the motorcycle-riding men refused to pull over and instead fired at the policemen.
Police have yet to identify the slain suspect. – Ric Sapnu

3 nabbed in Kalinga for gun ban violation
TABUK CITY -- Three persons have been arrested for violating the election gun ban in Kalinga since Jan. 10.
George Balawag, David Cuaresma and Regie Guimpalong were nabbed at various checkpoints in the province, Dexter Cawis, Kalinga election supervisor, said Thursday.
Cawis appealed for the cooperation of the public during inspection even as he reminded those manning the checkpoint to observe courtesy.
Violators of the election gun ban face up to six years imprisonment.

2 Ecija pushers fall
MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija – Police arrested two suspected drug peddlers here Tuesday. Supt. Ponciano Zafra, Muñoz chief of police, identified the suspects as Victor Fulgencio, 26, of Barangay Maligaya, and Sandy Santos, 31, of Barangay Malayatoc, Sto. Domingo town.
They were arrested in Purok 1 Barangay Maligaya  after Fulgencio sold  a sachet of shabu to a police poseur-buyer. Santos, who was with Fulgencio during the sting operation, yielded a sachet of shabu.  Zafra disclosed that Fulgencio is in the list of most wanted illegal drug dealers. Mayor Nestor Alvarez commended Zafra and this city’s police force for their persistent efforts to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs. -- Mar T. Supnad

Drug peddlers meted life terms
BAGUIO CITY -- Two drug personalities were convicted by a Baguio court for selling 47,525.5 grams of marijuana to a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency -buyer.
Melchor Martin Lagadeo and Kenneth Sagasa Lagadeo were found to be guilty Monday of violating Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.  They were sentenced to life imprisonment and pay a fine of P1,000,000.
The then suspects were arrested during a buy-bust operation July 9, 2013 at the Lourdes Grotto here when they sold the prohibited drugs to a PDEA agent who acted as a poseur-buyer.
The accused defenses of denial and frame-up were not given weight by the court. In its decision, the Court ruled that, “these defenses, like alibi, have been viewed with disfavor by our courts for being easily concocted and are used as a common defense ploy in most prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act due perhaps to the rotten reputation of narcotics agents.  But for such defense to prosper, the evidence must be clear and convincing.”

House totally burned; Fire engulfs Korean establishment    
BAGUIO CITY – A 3-storey house was totally burned to the ground Tuesday at around 4:15 p.m. here at No. 75 South Central, Aurora Hill, Police said the residential house was owned by barangay officer Jimmy Mateo Estepa, 42. 
Investigation revealed the fire started in the basement of the house until it reached the 3rd floor. The incident allegedly started when the electricity resumed after a brownout. Police responded with fire volunteers and Bureau of Fire Protection personnel who declared fire out. Damage was estimated at P 1.5 million pesos.
Also on Tuesday at around 8:30 a.m. fire engulfed the Seoul Shopping Center Inc. along Legarda Road, owned by Karen Kim, a Korean national and managed by Dianne Francisco Meron, 32.
Investigation disclosed that the fire started in the stock room of the establishment. The fire was due to paper box put beside the generator which was ignited by heat. Personnel of the establishment controlled the fire using fire extinguishers.  
Firemen declared fire out at around 9 a.m. No person was injured and cost of damage was not reported by the manager.

Pangasinan child rape cases up by  36.4 percent
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan --Rape cases involving children in Pangasinan increased by 36.41 percent last year, according to records of the provincial police office.
Documents showed there were 251 cases in 2015 compared to only 184 in 2014.
Most of the victims were aged 17 while the youngest was six years old.
Most of the suspects were either the victim’s father, grandfather, uncle, text mate, playmate, cousin, boyfriend or stepfather.
Meanwhile, the number of rape cases involving women decreased from 55 in 2014 to 51 last year.  The oldest victim was aged 56.  – Eva Visperas
2 motorists yield drugs
TARLAC CITY --  Two motorcycle riders flagged down separately at police check points here were arrested for possession of illegal drugs last Monday.
In his report, Supt Samuel Munoz, commander of the Tarlac Provincial Public Safety Company gave the names of the apprehended motorists as Ramsam De Jesus Corpuz, 30, of Barangay Matatalaib, and Carlito Campo Ocampo, 32, of Barangay San Sebastian.
Ocampo was flagged down along the city’s north-west by-pass road in Fairlane subdivision who yielded 2 sachets of shabu and a small plastic of dried marijuana leaves.
Corpuz was routinely checked at the national highway in Barangay San Isidro but was found in possession of four sachets of shabu.
Munoz also revealed that both Corpuz and Ocampo were in watch list of this city’s suspected peddlers of illegal drugs.     
“Their arrest was not at all by chance. We have been on the look-out for these 2 characters along with the other suspected pushers listed in the watch list of drug personalities”, said Munoz.
The PPSC headed by Munoz is a mobile police company which puts-up police checkpoints all over the province of Tarlac.
Months ago, the PPSC was able to seize 2 guns and several sachets of illegal drugs also from motor riders estopped in Bamban town and in this city who were also in the illegal drugs watch list.
“I require my men to memorize the names and pictures and their motorcycles of those in the (illegal drugs) watch list of the various police stations so they can recognize them if chanced upon at our checkpoints”, also said Munoz.   
Munoz’s group is instrumental in several successful hot pursuit operations of fleeing crime suspects.
Last month, the PPSC Tugis-Bilis teams, together with the Camiling police, slain in a running gun battle 2 fleeing car-riding suspected big time drug pushers of muslim decent.
Meanwhile, Tarlac police provincial director Senior Supt Alex Sintin commended Munoz and his men for the arrest of Corpuz and Ocampo.  -- Nelson Bolos

Minors jailed for carnapping
LAGAWE, Ifugao – Police arrested three minors in operations Jan. 9   here and in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya following arrest warrants issued by Judge Romeo Habbiling of Regional Trial Court Branch 14 for carnapping.
The suspects’ names were withheld but police said they were brought to Lagawe police station and later incarcerated at the provincial jail in Baguinge, Kiangan with bail set at P180, 000 each. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

Thieves take expensive items in Sagada house
SAGADA, Mt. Province – Police are now analyzing fingerprints of thieves who broke into a house here Tuesday and took expensive gadgets of a certain CheryllCadioganAgnapan, 36, of SitioMakingking, Barangay Demang.
 Police said the victim left their house and attended a meeting in Poblacion. At around 12:30 p.m., the victim went home and noticed that her HP laptop worth P18, 000 placed on top of the dining table was missing but she ignored it. However, at around 6 p.m. , she noticed that the following items and cash placed inside the room of her son were also missing: Sony Ericson cellular phone worth P12, 000.00, coins amounting to P500.00, and180 US dollars.Investigation disclosed unidentified suspects climbed the water tank stand and unlocked the back door of the room to enter.

Lesbian mauled over love affair
BAGUIO CITY – A lesbian was mauled here Tuesday by a man following an altercation over a love affair.  Police said the incident happened around 9 p.m.
Inside Gold Billiard, 6th floor of Maharlika Building. The victim was identified as  Jaylo Labayo Racille, a lesbian who was reportedly mauled by a certain Jonathan BonifacioPageet.
Investigation showed that the suspect and victim had a drinking session inside the said establishment when Trisha Pabua, ex-girlfriend of the victim, came inside and joined them. The present girlfriend of Pabua, also a lesbian identified only as Neil went near them which resulted in a heated altercation but they were pacified by  employees. Pabua and “Neil” left the place with the suspect asking the victim to follow them for settlement but resulted in another heated altercation. The suspect got annoyed then suddenly punched the victim. The victim sought police assistance and was brought to Baguio General Hoispital and Medical Center for medical treatment.

Three females rob coed inside department store
BAGUIO CITY – A coed was robbed of her valuables which included P4,750 placed inside her wallet by three females inside the Novo Department Store here Monday  at about 2 p.m. along Gen. Luna Road.
Police identified the victims as Sheenalhyn Domingo Disono, 18, of Rosales, Pangasinan, and resident of Lower QM here. Investigation showed the thieves took her wallet containing assorted IDs, cards, receipts, and the cash. The victim and her companions went to the establishment to shop and noticed the three female suspects surrounding them. She was about to pay her selected items to the cashier when she discovered that her sling bag was already half-open and her wallet missing. She reported the incident to the management but was informed the operator of the CCTV was not around. Victim reported the incident to police.

Old man stabs public utility van driver 
BAGUIO CITY – An old man allegedly stabbed a public utility van driver here Monday at around 4 a.m. along Chanum Street. Police identified the victim as Jerald Bentrez,Depayso, 36, resident of Camp 7 here who was reportedly stabbed by PioHumiding, 74, aresident of Barangay Holy Ghost.
Investigation showed that prior to the incident, Depayso noticed Humiding staring at him while he was having a cup of coffee. The Depayso later walked to his vehicle when Humiding reportedly came from behind and stabbed him.  Victim felt pain at his back and discovered blood oozing from back that prompted him to wake his co-van driver identified as Arnold Kis-ewen who brought him to the hospital while the suspect fled to unknown direction. Victim suffered one stab wound on his lower back and ixs now under medication.
Cops responded at the area and arrested the fleeing suspect. Humiding and a homemade knife recovered from him are now under custody of police.

Laborer stabbed by group he joined for drinks
BAGUIO CITY – Cops are now looking for a certain Arvi Apollo, resident of Outlook drive here and his cimpanions who allegedly stabbed a laborere named as Jeffrey Morales Juan, 29, of Pocsosan, Mines View.
Police said the incident happened Monday at about 11:45 p.m. along Military Cut-Off intersection.
Investigation disclosed that the victim and two companions had a drinking session somewhere along Mines View Park when they decided to continue at “Bluenote Bar” located at Military Cut-Off. When they entered the bar, he saw the group of the suspect whom he knows and joined them on their table. After a while, the two companions of the victim left him. They decided to go home when the suspects mauled him to unknown reason and stabbed him at the back upper right of his body. The victim ran away to seek help and brought himself to Baguio General Hospital for medical treatment.
Responding cops scoured the area but suspects were nowhere to be found.

Comelec to cops: Observe courtesy in gun ban implementation
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – With the start of the gun ban   last Jan. 10 for the May elections, provincial Elections supervisor Dexter  Bary Cawis urged police  inspecting motorists and public utility vehicles to observe courtesy and be guided by “plain view principle”.
Cawis said all police station commanders in the province were issued Comelec guidelines on the ban during the Jan. 5 command conference at the provincial police command office here.
The police  set up check points on designated areas for the gun ban inspection.
Cawis asked police field commanders to closely coordinate with municipal election officers for the smooth implementation of the gun ban.
In line with the gun ban, there is temporary suspension of permit- to- carry guns that were issued to gun holders, however, Comelec head office can issue exemption to applicants as provided by law, Cawis said.
Only law enforcers in full uniform and who are on official duty shall be allowed to carry firearms outside of residence.  
Cawis appealed for cooperation during police inspections explaining that the gun ban is part of Comelec measures to ensure peaceful and orderly conduct of the May 9 synchronized elections.
Aside from the gun ban, prohibited acts  during the election period  from January 10-June 8  include use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates unless allowed by the poll body,  organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces or other similar forces , transfer or movement of  government  employees, and  suspension of elective local officials. – Larry T. Lopez  

Baguio sales agent nabbed for theft
BAGUIO CITY – Police arrested Monday a sales agent identified as Walter Torres Joaquin, 26, here alongAbanao St, for theft. Teams of City Intelligence Unitand Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- Baguio nabbed Joaquin following arrest warrant issued against him by Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog of Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 6, Baguio City who recommended bail of
P60,000 for his temporary liberty.

Baguio cops track theft suspect in Urdaneta
URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan – A tracker team of Baguio cops arrested Monday John Rae Nimer Javier, 23, tricycle driver here at Barangay Poblacion for theft after Judge Cecilia Corazon S. Dulat-Archog of First Judicial Region, RTC Branch 6, Baguio City, issued warrant for his arrest. Archog recommended bail of P100,000 for Javier’s temporary liberty..

Driver nabbed for violation of SSS law
BAGUIO CITY – A certain Jones Dacasin Wong, 44, driver, was arrested at his residence at Purok 3, Ambiong Road, Aurora Hill here Monday for violation of Republic Act 8282 or Social Security Act of 1997.
Judge Cecilia Corazon S.Dulay-Archog of First Judicial Region, RTC Branch 6, issued warrant for his arrest and recommended bail of P10,000 for his temporary liberty.  

Buguias cops track carnap suspect in Bambang 
BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya – A tracker team of Buguias, Benguet cops arrested a certain Paul Inway Dinangwatan at vegetable buying station here Tuesday for carnapping.
The suspect was brought back to Buguias where he was wanted for the offense and jailed.

Man jailed for frustrated homicide
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A certain Arjon GuinsoyTiwtiwen arrested here Tuesday in Sitio Buhao, Puguis by Itogon, Benguet police for frustrated homicide.
The suspect was brought back to Itogon where he was wanted for the offense.

Man cornered for rape
TABUK CITY – A man identified as Sanyo Basing-at Bonggawon and wanted for rape was arrested here at Dagupan Centro Tuesday.
A police report did not disclose other details for his arrest.  In Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Ulyssees Abellera commended operatives for successful arrests of the wanted persons in the region. 
He urged the public to cooperate with police and law enforcement agencies as  election period starts and provide relevant and timely information on crime so lawbreakers would be arrested. He urged  the public to contact Twitter-@RDPROCordillera or Facebook Page- PioProcor, or through the following numbers: 09174297628, (074) 422-5515; 09175302679 and 09285591669. 

Tanods corner car stereo ‘thief’ 
BAGUIO CITY – A young man who reportedly stole a car stereo was arrested here Tuesday. The suspect was named as Sonny Boy Larin Astudillo, 19. A police report said the suspect forcibly entered the vehicle along Everlasting St, Lower Q.M. based from  complaint of Bartolome Tenmaccheg Alubong, 38.
Investigation disclosed that the complainant parked his Delica van unattended. Later while barangay kagawads were conducting patrol, they saw the suspect going out from the van holding the car stereo which prompted them to confront the suspect. The suspect tried to escape but was subdued and turned over to cops.

Jeep driver detained for forcible abduction
LAGAWE, Ifugao – A public utility jeep driver was arrested here last week for forcible abduction. Insp. Juliet B. Nalidong, OIC police chief identified the suspect as Rodante N. Dimoclo, 23, driver of Banaue-Bayombong route. The victim’s name was withheld since she was a minor. Dimoclo was detained at the provincial jail in  Tiger Hill, Kiangan town  on order of the court.
Earlier, Marlon B. Bandao, barangay captain of Tungngod told police on Jan. 17 the suspect abducted the minor making cops led by  Insp. Reynaldo B. Timmango, deputy police chief to  proceed to Bayuccan where they interviewed the victim. A pursuit operation resulted to the arrest of the suspect at Sitio Anggacan, Nayon, Lamut town.


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