Ombudsman suspends Kalinga governor, mayor

>> Thursday, June 22, 2017

TABUK CITY – The Office of the Ombudsman recently suspended the Kalinga provincial governor and  a town mayor  over separate cases
Gov. Jocel Baac of Kalinga province was served a six-month suspension by the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government Tuesday after being found guilty of administrative violations by the Office of the Ombudsman.
After serving Baac the suspension order, DILG-Cordillera Administrative Region director Marlo Iringan administered the oath of Vice Gov. James Edduba to assume the post as acting governor.
Likewise, lawyer Shirlynne Alunday took her oath as acting vice governor.
Last May 30, the OMB issued the memorandum for Baac’s suspension after being found administratively liable for cases of simple misconduct, abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The governor’s suspension stemmed from the previous court case filed against him by former vice governor Allen Jesse Mangaoang who is now Kalinga congressman.
The penalty meted out on Baac stated he was being suspended without pay.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Rizal, Kalinga  was also suspended for 90 days.
Marcelo de la Cruz Jr. was found guilty of simple misconduct, the Office of the Ombudsman said. 
In an eight-page ruling recently approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, graft probers said De la Cruz authorized the release of funds from the savings of the municipal government for the grant of cash gifts and incentives to municipal and barangay employees in 2014 in violation of Section 336 of the Local Government Code.    
The ombudsman said a mayor could not use the savings of the local government to augment an item provided in the municipal budget.

Sangguniang Bayan members Rogelio Lawad, Robert Echalar, Frank Wad-asen, Colin Dalanao and Ponz Anthony Orodio filed the complaint.


DPWH hit over MP bridge; Duterte urged to intercede

Started 4 years ago but still unfinished 

By Gabriel Moguet

SABANGAN, Mountain Province – Officials of this scenic town assailed the Dept. of Public Works and Highways and a contractor for not finishing construction of a bridge here along Halsema Highway started four years ago which they said, had caused much inconvenience among commuters.       
Tired of hearing complaints from their constituents, the Sangguniang Bayan of this town recently passed a second resolution urging the DPWH to expedite construction of Sabangan Jumbo Bridge here at Nacagan, Tambingan which links this province to Benguet and Baguio City.
The resolution was coursed through the Office of the President, since according to SB members, they wanted quick action from the DPWH as its long delayed completion had been subject of unpleasant comments specially in social media.
SB records bared the local legislative body passed a resolution and submitted it earlier to  DPWH  Sec. Mark A. Villar,  through the Mountain Province District Engineering Office in Dec. 6, 2016 urging him to hasten completion of the bridge.
“To the dismay of the SB members, there was no reply coming from the central office of the DPWH or from the MPDEO which is very unusual leaving the SB members wondering what went wrong or what happened to their request,” an SB member said.
The SB said Republic act 6713 established code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees mandating they must respond within 15 days to communication letters and must contain their action taken.
Theodore M. Velasco, SB legal research officer said the MPDEO has not given SB members any feedback on what happened to their resolution.
“As standard operating procedure, the MPDEO should have notified the SB members if they have forwarded the resolution or have thrown it in the waste can labeled “nabubulok” or just simply inform them through text messages if they are too busy with their road works,” Velasco added.
The Nacagang Bridge was abandoned by the contractor and had kept the constituents of Sabangan and daily commuters passing the bridge wondering what happened.
The land owners affected by the project were rumored to have stopped the project but then they have publicly posted in the area and even in social media that there was no problem on the road right of way of the bridge citing instead the poor performance of the DPWH and contractor.
To date, commuters are using a detour road constructed on the river a few meters from the bridge to reach the other side.

But during heavy rains, the detour road could not be used as it is often washed away.  


Abra rep: Let police probe ex-vice governor's murder

BANGUED, Abra – Rep. Joseph Bernos has urged his constituents not to jump to conclusions on who killed former Abra Vice Gov. Rolando Somera  who was slain by assassins in Marikina morning of June 17.
Somera was reportedly appointed to the National Tobacco Administration before he was killed prompting gossip the killing may be related to his upcoming position.
 “Let us wait for the result of the police investigation,” Bernos said.
He added jumping to conclusion that “politics of old mired with violence” is behind the killing will not help the province.
 Somera is said to have been picked to replace NTA Director Erasto Castaneda, who died in April.
Flanked by two aides, Somera had just stepped out of the San Roque cockpit arena in Barangay San Roque around 1:15 a.m. and was walking toward his vehicle when his killer shot him at close range with a pistol.
 The former vice governor was shot three times in the back and twice in the chest. He died on the spot.
 Aides Reynaldo de Luna, 46, and Wilfredo Apalisoc, 59, were hit by stray bullets and brought to different hospitals.
 Police have ruled out robbery in the killing as no valuables were reported taken from the former vice governor.
 Recovered from the crime scene were five .45-cal shells.
 Rep. Bernos, admitted that he and Somera were political rivals, but pointed out that the murder was done outside Abra to dispel politics as an angle in the crime. 
 He said that Abra, which has been trying to move away from its old image as “Cordillera’s Killing Fields”, will only suffer in the end if murders and incidents are attributed to political rivalries, Bernos said.
 “We’ve also been a victim of such, so it will not help to conclude unto things,” the congressman, whose older brother was killed while town mayor of La Paz in the 1990s, said.
 He said the last elections had not been marred by violence and deaths like in years past.
Somera’s political career ran for almost three decades.
He was also a former provincial board member and then mayor of Pilar town for nine months.
 He served as Abra vice governor from 2010 to 2013.

 He ran for Congress in 2013 but lost, and again for vice governor in 2016 under the Nacionalista Party.


KP men soliciting favors for barangay appointment

By Larry Madarang

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The lead convenor of Kilusang Pagbabago assailed KP members soliciting favors from persons for appointment in barangay positions. 
“We condemn all KP members soliciting favors for barangay appointment,  said Cris Lopez during KP oath-taking here Monday.
Lopez, the Pangasinan KP lead convenor of the Kilusang Pagbababago-Lead Organization Inc. said the group has no mandate or authority to appoint barangay officials.
A Kilusang Pagbabago (Movement for Change) statement said it is a “people’s movement for true change towards a peaceful, safe, developed and progressive society in a federal republic of the Philippines.”
Lopez said there are individuals going around the province and in northern Luzon claiming they could facilitate appointments for barangay positions. 
Said individuals are reportedly collecting facilitation fee based on position.
 It was gathered that prices range from P300 to thousands of pesos/
 “Aside from fees collected. it has reached our attention that some individuals are using the Kilusang Pagbabago saying that they must be members of KP to be appointed as OIC barangay officials,” Lopez said.
“There is no truth to this as these individuals are out to sow false hopes and destroy the organization.”
Earlier, President Duterte called for postponement of barangay elections this October.
On June 8, the national leadership of Kilusang Pagbabago issued a warning.
The warning urged the public to beware of people who collect money supposedly for KP. “We are not collecting any amount from members or from the public. If you come across such people, please get his or her name, take a picture, and report the incident to our KP Hotline: (0995) 619 1171.” 
In Lingayen, more than 600 people took their oath as KP members at the Narciso Ramos Gym on June 5.

Majority of those who took their oath were from the 2nd and 3rd Congressional districts of the province namely the municipalities of :Aguilar, Basista, Binmaley, Bugallon, Labrador, Lingayen, Mangatarem, Urbiztondo,  Binmaley,  Mangatarem, Urbiztondo , and San Carlos City.


Vizcaya ‘little ex- governor’ charged

SOLANO, Nueva Vizcaya -- Former Acting Provincial Administrator Manuel Nilves Tabora, who was also Nueva Vizcaya’s Budget Officer, has been slapped with a graft and breach of conduct charge before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division for receiving money in exchange of his services as a local government official.
Tabora was accused of violating Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Section 7(d) of R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Sergio Duke Villar.
On the charge sheets filed against him, Tabora reportedly received P250,000 on April 12, 2011 from Steven R. Shieldkret, representative of International Minerals Marketing and Advising Inc. (IMMAI).
The money was in exchange for his assistance in securing the required permits for IMMAI for one of its ore trading business.
These permits are the Ore Transport Permit and the Mineral Ore Expert Permit, which are issued under the authority of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB), where the provincial governor sits either as chairman or member.
His bail bond has been set at P60,000.

Shieldkret will serve as a witness in the case against Tabora.


P100-K bounty for arrest of Ilocos mayor’s killer

By Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY -- The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) – Ilocos Norte Chapter raised a P100,000 reward for anyone who could provide pertinent information that will lead to the identification and arrest of the gunman in the brutal  killing of Marcos town Mayor Arsenio Agustin on June 3, 2017.
Agustin, 61 and Rusmar Valencia, 35, a backhoe operator were shot dead by a still unidentified suspect at an irrigation dam project site in Sitio Cabua-an, Barangay Mabuti, Marcos town.
Two other individuals, laborers Camilo Vasquez, 60, and Nolan Valencia, 18, were wounded in the attack.
Dingras Mayor Ergio Valenzuela LMP – Ilocos Norte Chapter president, said that the reward money was raised by the national and local LMP leadership.
Earlier, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos condemned the attack and ordered the law enforcement authorities to probe and arrest those behind the killing of Agustin, one of her close political allies.
“We condemn this heinous act.  We will spare no effort to find and punish the killers, said Marcos.
“I extend my prayers and sympathy to his family and friends, who have, over his time as mayor, become close to us,” added Marcos.

Meanwhile, Chief Insp. Dexter Corpuz, spokesperson of the Ilocos Norte police office, said a thorough probe on the incident is ongoing.


Benguet gov: Smuggling, Baguio truck ban killing veggie industry

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso said smuggling and the Baguio City truck ban are killing the province’s vegetable industry which supplies around 75 percent of Metro Manila and the country’s vegetable supply.
He assailed the Baguio City council for not exempting Benguet vegetable traders and farmers from the city’s truck ban saying farmers are losing money due to this.
Following this, a public hearing on the proposed amendments to Baguio City Ordinance No. 5 series of 2017 or the truck ban ordinance has been scheduled on June 20 at 9 a.m. at Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier submitted an administrative order to the city council which said this has to be discussed first in a public hearing.
Vice Mayor Edison Bilog proposed an amendatory measure imposing exemptions to some affected delivery trucks out of necessity.
 The proposed revisions were consolidated in a proposed amendatory ordinance introduced by the committee on public utilities, transportation and traffic legislation headed by Councilor Benny Bomogao.
 “The City Council deems it necessary to provide a regulated exemption to trucks loading perishable goods, mineral ores, those used in the implementation government projects and water delivery trucks.  There is also a need to amend the references of the truck ban to maximize the use of the circumferential roads,” the proponents noted.
 As proposed, heavy vehicles, trailers, dump and other freight trucks with gross weight capacity of more than 4,500 kg. shall not enter, traverse, park, load, unload or pass through main streets in Baguio from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.
But according to farmers, these were prime time when they had to pass city streets so they could catch up with market time to unload fruits and vegetables in the lowlands so these will not wilt.           
Farmers and farmers’ organizations also lamented proliferation of smuggled vegetables in the local market, which had adversely affected the province’s vegetable growing industry.
The farmers and traders raised the alarming issue during a recent visit of Sen. JV Ejercito here.
Ejercito, who authored Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural smuggling law, said that he visited Benguet to enhance cooperation and consult local farmers on effects of the law on local agriculture and farmers.
Pacalso welcomed the Senator during his visit along with La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, Kabayan Mayor Gideon Tadiano, Kibungan Mayor Manny Fermin, Itogon Mayor Victor Palangdan and Atok Mayor Peter Alos and local government officials to discuss the matter.
The Senator said the issue on smuggled vegetables will have a strong opponent in the passed RA 10845,
“We know that smuggled vegetables kill our farmers who are already burdened by the high cost of production,” Ejercito said.
He said for a nation where 60 percent of the population depends on agriculture as  sole means of livelihood, there is need for government to look after welfare of farmers and agricultural sector.
“I know that there are hard times in the agricultural sector, and any existence of smuggling of agricultural products will add insult to the already burdened economy to all of you, who live as subsistence farmers,” Ejercito said in addressing the farmers and the local government officials with regards to the issue.
He said he will call the attention of Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to go after and cause prosecution of smugglers.

Ejercito also promised to dig deeper into reports that smuggled vegetables are laden with formalin to extend shelf life. – With a report from Aileen P. Refuerzo


2 NPA leaders surrender to army brass in Ilocos

By Freddie G. Lazaro

SANTA CRUZ, Ilocos Sur — Two ranking members of the New People’s Army surrendered to officers of the 81st Infantry Battallion last week.
Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV, 81st IB commander, said the identities of the names of the NPA were withheld for security reasons.
“Through our persistent efforts, we were able to convince the NPA rebels to surrender,” said Osias.
Both surrenderees were team leader of the NPA’s Kilusang Larangang Guerilya (KLG) Montes that operates in the tri-boundaries of Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur.
Both of them also turned over their firearms.
One of the surrenderees said that what drove him to surrender was the ‘purposeless’ battles and wars which have affected the lives of thousands of young people for the past five decades.
He added that the government’s development projects are now gaining momentum under the Duterte administration.
Osias said his unit will continue to advocate peaceful resolution of the internal security problem.

“Despite the on-going crisis in Mindanao, we will not cease our efforts in neutralizing the NPA rebels here in Northern Luzon in any way we could,” Osias said.


IP group alarmed over state agents harassing organizer

By Aldwin Quitasol

BAGUIO CITY — The biggest alliance of indigenous peoples in the Cordillera expressed alarm on stalking and harassing of one of its youth organizers by suspected military or police agents.
Early morning of June 3, Rina Mangili Libongen, secretary general of Bileg ken Urnos dagiti Agtutubo nga Ybenguet (Strength and Unity of the Benguet Youth-Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance) was reportedly accosted by one of two men who clasped her forearm.
He only let go when shopkeepers started opening the doors to their stores. 
The two men fled.  But later that day, they tailed her again.
According to the Kabenguetan Agkaykaysa nga Ilaban ken Aywanan ti Biag, Daga, ken Kinabaknang-CPA Benguet Chapter (Benguet Unite to Defend and Nurture Life, Land, and Resources or KAIABANG), Libongen has been organizing youth and children for the theater arts and Cordillera people’s movement since her college days at the Benguet State University in the early 2000s.
The organization added that Libongen was instrumental in establishing the youth group BUDAy in 2010.
“Since May 27 this year, Rima has been stalked and harassed by two men whom we suspect to be military or police agents.  The two have been tailing her both in Itogon and in Baguio City.  On May 30, one of these men monitored the proceedings of a youth assembly that Rima facilitated in the Itogon Training Center in Bua, Tuding, Benguet,” reported the CPA.
On the afternoon of June 3, Libongen received a text message on her cell phone saying “Marami ka palang pinupuntahang lugar” (Oh, so you go to many places).  To avoid getting harassed again by text messages, Rima changed her number.  But on June 8, she received a new message saying, “Tukoy ka na” (You’ve been pinpointed).”
“We, Rima’s colleagues in KAIABANG-CPA Benguet Chapter believe that the two men who have been stalking and harassing Rima are doing so to intimidate her.  They want instill fear in her so that she will give up her activities as a leader and organizer of the Benguet youth movement.  We also fear, however, that their agenda might include more than harassment and intimidation, and so are anxious for our colleague’s safety especially since Rima remains stubborn in her commitment to our shared cause,” CPA stated.

Libongen is a 35-year old mother of three.  She is a member of the music group Salidummay, She is also a member of the IP music group Salidummay singing songs of Cordillera peoples’ struggle to defend their land and heritage.


OFW files concubinage case against husband

HINGYON, Ifugao – An overseas foreign worker filed a case for concubinage against her husband here last week for allegedly having a paramour and bearing two children with her.  
The OFW, whose name was not disclosed reported to police here Tuesday that her 36-year-old husband who was not also named was having an illicit relationship with a certain Janice N. Mariano of Poblacion East, Lagawe.
 Investigation disclosed that the victim went to Hongkong as an overseas foreign worker on Oct. 24, 2012 leaving their 9-year-old son under the care of her husband and his sister. On November 2012, the husband reportedly started to have an affair with Mariano who later bore a child. Victim was informed about her husband’s affair but the latter denied that he was the father of the child.
 Later, the victim forgave the husband who promised stop his relationship with Mariano. But after a year, word reached the victim that her husband was the father of another child of Mariano.
The husband denied this and urged the victim not to believe the information. But the OFW reportedly saw a Facebook photo showing Mariano, her husband and their two kids. Due to this, the victim came home and stayed at their house. She tried to accept her husband and what he did but after more than a month of staying together, her husband was often out for many days and victim suspected that he was visiting his paramour.
 Police arrested the suspect who was reportedly instilling fear on his children. A case of concubinage was filed at the prosecutor’s office against the husband


Mt. Province Marine leaves grieving family, 2-year-old son

By Larry Fabian

BARLIG, Mountain Province – A son of this remote town was lauded by his comrades for his bravery saying he was a hero for saving several wounded fellow Marines in the battlefield before he was shot by a sniper bullet during the Marine operation in Marawi City last week.
Private First Class Gener Tinangag was among the 13 Marines who lost their lives that day.
Tinangag never said anything about the hardship of his work as one of the Marines who risked his life in war-torn Marawi at the height of the fighting between the government troops and the Maute Group last week.
“It’s okay now. At least my younger sister finished college” were the last words of the young Marine, according to his comrades, who then relayed them to his eldest sister Novelyn.
Novelyn described her brother as a sturdy young man, well focused in his responsibilities to his family, but he would not be dissuaded from his wanting to join the Marines.
“It’s a job and I am going to take it. Don’t worry. If it’s God’s will for me to die as a Marine, so be it. Everybody has to face death in their lifetime,” Tinangag told Novelyn and their mother when he learned that he was going to be stationed in Cotabato after his finishing his Marine basic training in Taguig.
His mother Marcia said she pleaded with him to finish his studies as a fourth year criminology student at the University of Baguio.
She said her son only needed to finish one semester, a few months of on-the-job training (OJT), and then he would graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology degree.
But when he passed the exam at the Marine recruitment unit, he focused on joining the corps.
“He was so eager to work and help his siblings to finish their education, and he was also about to become a father to his now two-year-old son,” Marcia said.
“‘Ma, I do not like hunting for a job later after graduation,’ was his answer to me,” said his mother.
“I never thought he would be gone so soon, but now it is real,” she said.
She added that she and her husband are still devastated over the death of their only son.
His father, Aram Tinangag, went ahead to their hometown in Kadaclan, Barlig, Mountain  Province, to arrange for the burial site for their son, Marcia said. Pfc. Tinangag, 24,  left his wife Jasmin Joy and two-year-old son Clark Mayner.
Sister Novelyn said his death pains their family so much. He was the only male in a brood of five “He was the third child. I never had any problems with him. He was always obedient, and focused on helping his family,” she added.
“We shared financial responsibilities in our younger siblings’ education; that is why maybe his last words were about our sister Jet, who recently graduated from college with a BS in Political Science,” Novelyn  said.
Novelyn added that before the Marawi incident, Pfc. Tinangag was eager to have his few days vacation to see his family and son, whom he missed so much.
“I do not know how little Mayner can handle this,” Novelyn said. “Before we learned of his death, his son was heard saying, ‘Papa Boom,’”

“His comrades who rescued him said that he was still breathing when they carried him to the ambulance, after which he said to his comrades his last words before expiring at the hospital,” Novelyn said.


PNP assails NPA over Lepanto raid

MANKAYAN, Benguet – The regional police command assailed the New People’s Army under the Chadli Molintas Command for destroying properties with explosives and wounding a member of the Philippine Army and a civilian around 10:50 p.m. on June 7at the dam area of Lepanto Mining Corp. here
The incident was relayed to police through phone call by a concerned citizen informing that the chemical and mineral laboratory owned by Xian Jinrui Lianliungang at Cabatuan, Colalo and Dam 5 Gate were under attack followed by a firefight between the alleged NPA members and personnel from the 54th IB, 5th ID, Philippine Army based in said areas.
 Mankayan police led by PCI Ronnie O. Albino and members of Benguet provincial police security company led by Supt. Edward Aquintey went to Cabatuan, Colalo by foot and arrived there around 4 a.m. of June 8.
They found a newly built municipal structure, one backhoe owned by barangay chairman Ambino Padawi and a floating machine for processing copper owned by Jian Lianlungang destroyed with the use of explosives.
Investigation conducted revealed the armed men and an amazon arrived in the area and exploded said equipment with the use of explosives.
 The chief security officer of Lepanto Mining Division told police a lime mixing plant and one bulldozer owned by Flores Construction were destroyed by explosives while two unexploded bombs were left in the bulldozer and backhoe.
 Two security guards posted at Dam 5 Gate and quarry area said suspects approached them and took their hand-held radio with charger, hunting knife and pistol holder and tied them with packing tape.
Later, they exploded the bomb that was planted on the backhoe and carbon in pulp facility in Cabatuan identifying themselves as members of the NPA to the guard posted at the quarry area.
 They also fired upon six members of the Philippine Army who were deployed at the Dam 5 Field Office that led to a short firefight.
As a result, PFC Arthur Bag-ay, 38, of Gobgob, Tabuk, Kalinga was injured on his nape caused by shrapnel while Jerson Guisguiswoang Awini, 26, of Paalaban, Paco, was hit by a stray bullet on his right thigh.
Awini was brought to Lepanto Hospital but later referred to the Luis Hora Hospital in Abatan, Bauko, Mt. Province and is now in stable condition.
The caretaker of the CIP said the armed men were looking for Padawi. Despite the plea of the caretaker not to destroy the CIP because it is the only source of their living, the rebel group reportedly destroyed said facility as it was the property of Padawi.
 The NPA admitted they were responsible for the destruction of heavy equipment and structures at Lepanto Mining Corp. through press statement of the Chadli Molintas Command.

The NPA said it was their retribution to the big mining companies and government for protecting mining companies.


CA starts contempt moves against House for not releasing ‘Ilocos Six’

By Freddie Lazaro

LAOAG CITY -- The Court of Appeals has initiated contempt of court proceedings against the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Chamber’s sergeant-at-arms for their refusal to present before it the six detained employees of the Ilocos Norte provincial government.
Last week, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos said she is determined in fighting for the release of her employees who are now known as the “Ilocos Six” – who were ordered detained by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas since May 29.
A signature campaign has also been launched last week by the provincial government to have the detained workers freed.
The show cause order issued by the CA’s special fourth division was addressed to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and sergeant-at-arms retired Lt. Gen. Roland M. Detabali.
The order was issued late last week after Detabali defied the appellate court’s directive to present the six detained petitioners – Genedine D. Jambaro, Encarnacion A. Gaor, Josephine P. Calajate, Eden C. Battulayan, Evangeline C. Tabuluog, and Pedro S. Agcaoili Jr. – before it in a habeas corpus proceeding.
Detabali also defied the CA’s order for the release of the six detained employees.
In a press statement, lawyer Butch Catubay who represents the six detained employees said that the CA had ruled that it has jurisdiction over the petition since it is a “matter of a habeas corpus case.”
He said the CA had stressed the decisions of the appellate court are “concurrent with the Supreme Court and the Regional Trial Court when it comes to habeas corpus cases.”
Earlier, Ilocos Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and lawyer Vicentito Lazo echoed Catubay’s statement saying, “it is not a question of ‘powers and jurisdiction’ between CA and SC for it is a habeas corpus case,” and that “under an existing law the CA has jurisdiction over the said cases.”
 “We must follow the rule of law,” he added.
On June 8, the CA’s special fourth division granted the plea of the six detained employees for their release from detention.
But the CA sheriff said he was not allowed entry at the House of Representatives to serve the order.
In its ruling, the fourth division of the appellate court said  Detabali should explain why he should not be cited in contempt for disobeying its order to present the detained officials.
The House committee on good government and public accountability, which is investigating the alleged misuse of P66.45 million in tobacco funds to buy motor vehicles, cited them in contempt.  Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said they would continue to hold the officials “until they stop their contemptuous act of giving evasive answers, tantamount to refusal to answer.”
The CA sheriff accompanied by the lawyers of the ‘Ilocos Six’ returned to the House of Representative Tuesday to serve once again the order of release of the six employees.
 Special Fourth Division Acting Chairperson Stephen C. Cruz and Associate Appellate Justices Edwin D. Sorongon and Nina G. Antonion-Valenzuela granted the petitioner the release order Monday afternoon, directing the release of the "Ilocos Six'' who sought a petition for the writ of habeas corpus.
 Chairman of the House committee on good government and accountability and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Ty-Pimentel, said they have not received an order from the Speaker to “immediately release” the six employees, thus declining once again the CA order.
 Detabali initially argued that cases regarding habeas corpus are not under jurisdiction of the CA, but rather under the Supreme Court. 
 Thus, the CA once again directed the House Sergeant-at-Arms "to release immediately the “Ilocos Six.”
 The six employees were being investigated for the Capitol's purchase of motor vehicles sourced from tobacco excise taxes and were cited in contempt by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo "Rudy" C. Fariñas for "refusing to answer questions" and being "evasive"
Family members of six employees were almost prohibited to visit, strictly imposing short visiting hours.



 78-year-old man dies as bungalow burns

TUBA, Benguet – A 78-year-old man was burned to death here Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. when the bungalow they were renting caught on fire reportedly due to a cigarette left in the area.
Barangay chief Pedro Gusman told police the house located in km 18 Asin Road in Penged, Nangalisan  was owned by Robert Abance, Jr.
The house was reportedly being rented by Marrisa Benito Tinoyan, teacher, with her father and two nephews. Marissa’s father, identified as Emoy Vicente Benito, 78, who was senile, was reportedly left alone in the house found inside burned to death. A lighted cigarette was reportedly seen near the house before the fire. Residents tried to put off the fire but it was too late. Fire personnel of Tuba responded and declared fire out at about 4:43 p.m. Damage cost was pegged at P354, 700.00.

Nueva Ecija cop slain  by sex enslaver

STA ROSA, Nueva Ecija - - PO3 Marlon Pastrana Francisco who was killed by a kidnapper during a rescue attempt of a kidnap victim-turned sex slave in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija was buried here Thursday.
Francisco, 34, a member of this town’s police, was hacked to death by the fleeing kidnapper when his 9MM Beretta pistol jammed June 6.
Francisco was slain when he and cops of this town were rescuing Daiselyn Popes who was kidnapped here and brought by a certain Aldy Mendez, to a secluded hut in Barangay Buliran in San Antonio town and turned into sex slave.
Popes was rescued and was found with her hands and feet tied to a make shift bamboo bed.
Mendez was surrounded by Francisco’s group in his secluded hide-out but reportedly to shoot it out with cops but ran out of bullets.
Armed only with a bolo, Mendez tried to run away but was met by Francisco.
However, Francisco’s gun jammed, so he was repeatedly hacked by Mendez before he himself was gunned down.
Francisco left behind his wife Jo-ann and two children, Jana Mikaela and Mark Jayden. – Nelson Bolos

Druggie shoots dead Ilocos Sur surrenderee 

MAGSINGAL, Ilocos Sur -- Drug surrenderee Laura Alcantara, 34, was washing  dishes at her house in Barangay Patong, Magsingal when she was shot on Monday. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the Magdingal District Hospital.
A witness said a certain Archie Garcia, another drug surrenderee, shot Alcantara at around 5:45 p.m.

 Taxi driver arrests Baguio holdupper

BAGUIO CITY --– A laborer is now in jail after he was brought to the police station  Wednesday night by a taxi driver who said the former, along with  a still unidentified man, held him up and took his day’s earnings of P1,600.
Police said the hold-up happened around 2:45 a.m. that night here in Dreamland Subdivision, Pico. The victim was named as Enrico Junio Gaspar, 44, while the suspect was identified as Lester Ambatang Banawa, 24, of Barangay Outlook, Purok 12, Baguio City.  
According to the victim, he was flagged down by the suspects along Magsaysay Road Baguio City and asked him to ferry them to Upper Pinget in the city. There, suspects ordered him to bring them to Lower Pinget which the victim did. When they reached area, the suspects again directed the victim to bring them back to Upper Pinget.
The victim sensed a holdup so he asked assistance from another taxi driver through radio call. While on their way to Upper Pinget, one who was seated behind ordered Gaspar to bring them inside Dreamland  Subdivision. About 200 meters away from the gate of the subdivision, Banawa who was seated in front  punched the mouth of the victim twice then the one at the back choked and frisked him and took his cash collection. The victim continued driving until they reached the gate of the subdivision where the suspects escaped. The victim stopped and chased the suspects with the help of the taxi driver he called until they were able to arrest Banawa.

Drug surrenderee shot dead in Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO, Cagayan -- Motorcycle-riding men gunned down a drug surrenderee  here on June 9. Alex Magtanong was driving his motorcycle when he was shot in Barangay Bugallon Norte. Police have not yet identified the gunmen.

Cops knock on door; woman surrenders gun

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Cynthia T. Alhambra surrendered to police a Cal. 38 handgun owned by her late father Alhambra, Leo Anteojo when police knocked on her door Tuesday afternoon.  A police report said the gun was surrendered for safe keeping while renewal and transfer of gun documents to her name were being processed. License of the gun reportedly expired Nov. 9, 2011.

‘Drug  pusher’ nabbed in Nueva Vizcaya

BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya -- Eugenio Campos, 46,  was collared here last week after selling two sachets of shabu worth P4,000 to an undercover agent Barangay Calaocan, Bambang.  Campos was a “high-value” drug pusher and on the list of most wanted drug personalities in the province, police said.

Cops confiscate slot machine in Atok

ATOK, Benguet – Police confiscated here Tuesday a gaming slot machine locally known as “Kulalong” a store along km 24, Barangay Caliking. Cops in civilian attire, acting as customers saw the slot machine displayed at the corner. Nobody was playing that time. The slot machine was taken and was brought to Atok police station.

Gamu mayor’s aide, 2 others nabbed for shabu

GAMU, Isabela -- Alex Tabin and Ronnel Ramirez were nabbed in Barangay District 2, Gamu, Isabela on June 9. Also in Isabela, Jimmy de la Cruz, 45, aide of Santiago City Vice Mayor Alvin Abaya, was arrested for selling shabu worth P500 to policemen who posed as buyers in Barangay Batal.

 Tinoc farmer arrested for violence

TINOC, Ifugao – Cops nabbed here Tuesday a certain Bandon M. Vicente, 40, farmer after Cicero B. Jandoc, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court 2nd Judicial Region Branch 29 Bayombong Nueva Vizcaya ordered his arrest for violation of Republic Act 9262 (violence against women and children) docketed under Criminal Case No. 9774 with recommended bail of P24, 000.

Teacher, 2 pushers nabbed in Tarlac

GERONA, Tarlac  - - An Education teacher and two “recidivist” pushers were arrested here Wednesday in buy-bust operations.
Senior Insp. Joel Gamboa, town cops said first to be entrapped was Johnny Linsao Cortez, 53, who was previously apprehended for peddling shabu.
Cortez was arrested selling shabu to a cop in Barangay Luna.
Hernando Linsao Cortez, 50, was also arrested in Barangay San Antonio.Six sachets of shabu and drug paraphernalia, were seized from him.
Johnny and Hernando are brothers and both reside in Barangay Samput, Paniqui town.
Gamboa also disclosed that Department of Education high school teacher Oscar Bacho Linsao Jr., 49 was arrested inBarangay Poblacion 3.
Linsao of Barangay Poblacion Norte, Paniqui teaches at the Moncada National High School, Campo Santo 1 Norte, Moncada.
According to Gamboa,“the successful entrapment on the 3 suspects was the result sleuthing by  PO3 Mike LesterBustillos. – Nelson Bolos

Woman found floating on Agno River unidentified

MANGATAREM, Pangasinan -- Police have yet to determine if a woman whose body was found floating in Agno River here last week in Barangay Caturay was a victim of drug-related killing. The woman, who has yet to be identified, was of medium build, between 5’1 to 5’3 in height and suffered head injuries.

Bakun health officer hurt in road accident

BAKUN, Benguet – The municipal health officer here was injured when the vehicle she was riding in crashed at the roadside Tuesday around 6:45a.m. along Mabuhay Road, Barangay Gambang. The Tamaraw FX with plate number ULZ 509 driven by Sammy Pagaduan Alam-am, 22 with his four passengers when the driver miscalculated the sharp curve causing it to bump the parapet at the side of the road.
 As a result, Dr. Maryjane M. Tayaban, 37, who was sitting in front, bumped her head on the dash board causing a laceration. She was brought to Alunez Clinic in Sinipsip, Gambang by a concerned citizen but was later brought to Benguet General Hospital for further treatment. The  three other passengers were not injured. Both parties agreed to settle the case.

Angeles cop nabbed for killing fellow cop

ANGELES CITY – An active member of the Angeles City police was arrested Monday by elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group after a court issued a warrant for his arrest, along with two other policemen who are at large, for allegedly murdering a fellow policeman.
Chief Insp. Rommel Labalan, CIDG provincial chief, reported that Police Officer Jake Machinal of Angeles police was nabbed inside a house in Sitio Cawayan, Malabanias where he was surprised by the CIDG operatives.
Labalan said two other policemen were ordered arrested by the court but were at large and subject of a manhunt.
According to Major Labalan, Machinal was arrested for the murder of POI Junar Batol, a member of the Mindoro police in Region 4A.
“Napagkamalan lang na carnaper ‘tong biktima dahil naupo sa motorsiklo sa Jollibee ngunit bigla na lang daw siyang pinagbabaril ng mga pulis maski nagpakilalang pulis din yung biktima,” said Labalan.
Further investigation showed the victim was negative for powder burns, indicating he did not fire any gun, contrary to the claim of the Angeles city police.
Judge Eda Dizon-Era of the Branch 60 of Angeles city issued the warrant of arrest for murder and no bail was recommended. -- Mar T. Supnad

Vendor hurt as taxi hits him in Baguio 

BAGUIO CITY – A vendor crossing the Marcos Highway here was seriously injured when he was bumped by a taxi Wednesday around 11:35 p.m. The victim was named as Romeo Gitelen Laus, 58, married, of Barangay Puliwes.
He was crossing the road fronting Bandis All Good Foods and Eatery when he was hit by an Isuzu crosswind wagon taxi with plate number AYT 969 driven by Roman Canonizado Evangelista III, 55, married, of No. 85 Purok 4, Asin Road, Baguio City.
Investigation disclosed the vehicle came from Crystal Cave headed to UP Drive. The vehicle incurred damages on its front right, hood and windshield while the victim was brought to Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for treatment where he was admitted. Police confiscated the OR/CR and license plate of the vehicle then issued a traffic citation ticket to the driver.

Motornapper nabbed in Tarlac;  shabu seized

CONCEPTION, Tarlac -- Policemen apprehended a certain  Rommel Datu who reportedly stole  a tricycle parked at St Jude Village, Barangay Alfonso here Monday morning.
Datu, 22, was later found positive of methamphetamine hydrochloride and yielded a sachet of shabu.
Supt Luis Ventura Jr. identified the owner of the carnapped motorcycle as Gomer Lingad, 44, of Barangay Alfonso who reported that his tricycle was carnapped while parked with its motor running in front of their house.  
The fleeing Datu, who is from Barangay Jefmin, was intercepted by a police mobile car a few kilometers from where he took the tricycle.
 In his report to Tarlac Police Provincial Director Senior Supt Ritchie Medardo Posadas , Ventura said, “the carnap victim (Lingad)was in a hurry to get some receipts from their house and  left his motorcycle in front of their gate with its engine running. But a few minutes later, he saw the suspect Datu drove the tricycle away. Lingad’s quick reporting of the incident enabled us to block the fleeing carnapper”.
Ventura made the news recently when he entrapped two barangay kagawads who were separately arrested selling shabu. -- Nelson Bolos

 3 men caught in Abra pot session 

VILLAVICIOSA, Abra --      Three drug users were caught having a pot session inside an abandoned house here at Barangay Lumaba Monday morning. Arrested were Regie Pinera, 29; Patrocinio Basseg, 42 and Rogelio Barbero, 44, all residents of Barangay Lumaba. Seized during the operation were seven plastic sachets containing shabu, drug paraphernalia and P1,990 cash.

 Local tourist nabbed in Tinglayan for hashish

TINGLAYAN, Kalinga -- A local tourist identified as Joseph Forcadela Cordova, 22, of Saranay Cabatuan, Isabela was arrested for possession of illegal drugs at the parking area here along the national road at Poblacion morning of June 10.
Cordova was reportedly about to board a vehicle going to Tabuk City, Kalinga to transport marijuana hashish to Isabela, when he was stopped and frisked by Tinglayan cops. Confiscated from him were two pieces of marijuana hashish wrapped in transparent packing tape inserted in his right and left foot covered by his socks, Nokia cell phone and cash amounting to P298..

67-year-old man jailed for gun, bullets

SALLAPADAN, Abra – Cops implementing a search warrant arrested here Monday morning a certain Benito Walis, 67, here of Barangay  Naguilian and confiscated from him a Cal .45 pistol, six bullets and magazine for the gun. Walis was jailed at the town jail.

Charges set vs man for physical injuries, threats

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Charges for physical injuries and threats were filed against a certain Magnum Dulawan for allegedly pointing a handgun at Alcurt Den Laoyan Fuchigami, 25 here around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Both just came
from the Satosan Bar at  km 4 Pico and while at the road, had a heated argument wherein the suspect brought out his firearm. Fuchigami grappled with the suspect until they were pacified by their companion. The suspect fled to unknown direction after the incident.
              Responding police personnel brought the victim to the Benguet General Hospital for treatment while charges were prepared against the suspect.

Bizwoman nabbed for violation of SSS law

BAGUIO CITY – A businesswoman was arrested here Monday around 9:10 a.m. at Upper Mabini St. for violated of Social Security System Law. Arrested was Carmelita Carmelo Calaguas, 68, businesswoman, of No. 108 Hamada Building Upper Mabini St.
The arrest was made after judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong Rivera of RTC, First Judicial Region, Branch 5, Baguio City issued warrant against her. Calaguas posted bail of P10,000 for her temporary liberty.

Police ‘arrest’ woman over dismissed case

BAGUIO CITY – Police “arrested” a woman here at her residence in Camp Allen last week for alleged violation of the Batas Pambansa 22 (Bouncing Checks Law). It turned out the case filed against her was already dismissed. Baguio cops served arrest warrant  against Josephine M. Balquedra, 51, housewife, native of Pampanga saying she was accused in criminal cases No. 13580(16) and 13851(16), issued by judge Analie C. Aldea-Arocena of MTCC1 San Jose City, Isabela. Balquedra presented documents that she posted bail on May 9, 2017 and the case was dismissed May 17, 2017. 

 Man arrested for maltreating niece  

KIANGAN, Ifugao – A man was arrested here Monday for allegedly maltreating his 11-year-old niece. Shelia Buyayo Guibong, 34 of Lower, Poblacion reported to police the incident identifying the culprit as Danny Jhon Daang, 34, laborer. Responding police personnel arrested the suspect and is now in jail at the town police station.

Brothers nabbed for illegal drugs

BAGUIO CITY -- -The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency with police arrested last week two brothers, allegedly both members of a local drug group, for selling prohibited drugs here at Asin Road.
Nabbed during a sting operation were Aprillo Balbin Lagman, alias Apeng and April and his brother Benjamin Jr. alias Benjie. 
They were arrested for selling shabu worth P3,000 to an undercover anti-narcotics agent.  Upon their arrest, the suspects yielded more sachets of shabu and buy-bust money.
They are now detained at the Baguio City Jail and will be facing cases for violation of Republic Act Number 9165, otherwise known as the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002".

 Teacher shot dead in Tuguegarao City

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – A teacher was gunned down by unidentified men in Barangay Caritan in this city on Monday night.
Joey Baquiran, 33, a resident of Barangay Linao, died while being treated in a hospital.
He was a volunteer teacher for the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education.
Police said the victim is not on the drug watchlist. 
An investigation is underway.   


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