Army troops hunt NPAs in Abra village ambush

>> Thursday, August 17, 2017

BOLINEY, Abra -- Government troops are now hunting communist rebels they clashed with early Monday morning in this remote town.
A platoon of the Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion, based in Abra, was on combat security operations when fired upon by around 20 NPA rebels in Barangay Danac East in Boliney town, authorities said.
The rebels are believed to be under the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya North Abra led by a certain “Ka Payas”
The exchange of gunfire lasted for 30 minutes, said Army Capt. Jefferson Somera of the 5th Infantry Division’s Public Affairs Office.
 No government forces were injured or killed in the firefight, but the military said the rebels suffered casualties.
Lt. Col. Dominic Baluga dismissed the NPA's presence in Abra, saying, there are only around 20 rebels in the province. “Wala nang NPA dito sa Abra, armed bandits, extortionists and terrorists na lang andito.”
In the first week of July, soldiers recovered three M16A1 rifles, an M203 grenade launcher and two M14 rifles from communist guerillas in a brief firefight in Boliney.
 Soldiers were on security patrol to verify tips from villagers of roaming rebels when fired upon in remote Barangay Kilong-olao.
Soldiers captured a wounded rebel after the clash in June.
Police also rescued a wounded 17-year-old guerrilla from a village in the same town after the skirmishes.

At least 15 backpacks with personal belongings, rebel documents, two handheld radios, eight cell phones, assorted medical paraphernalia, binoculars and different types of ammunition and magazines for M16 and M14 rifles were also seized from the rebels who fled when outmaneuvered by government forces.


Rosales fake dentist nabbed

By Eva Visperas 

ROSALES, Pangasinan -- Police arrested a woman for allegedly posing as a dentist in Barangay Carmen West here on August 5. 
Shirley dela Cruz, 40, dental technician, was collared after she allegedly fit a retainer on an undercover agent of the Philippine Dental Association.

The arresting team seized from the suspect assorted dental instruments and marked money paid by the agent.  


Tourist drowns in La Union falls

By Erwin Beleo

SAN GABRIEL, La Union -- A tourist from Manila drowned while diving in the famous Tangadan Falls here on August 5.
Chief Insp. Silverio Ordinado Jr., La Union police information officer, identified the tourist as Jose Moses Sy Ascano, 23, a resident of Malate, Manila.
Police said Ascano and his companions were on a trekking adventure at the waterfalls when he jumped from a cliff which is being used as diving platform.
Upon landing he was swept away by the strong current and drowned.
Rescuers from San Gabriel and San Juan fire stations and municipal disaster management personnel brought Ascano to  the Bacnotan District Hospital where he  was declared dead.

His body was fetched by his relatives and companions who brought it to Manila.


Rights group seeks release of 74-year-old former rebel

BALBALAN, Kalinga -- A nationwide human rights group is calling for the release of a "retired" 74-year-old rebel and native of this town, whom it says is a political prisoner.
When Marcus Aggalao, also known as "Ka Munroe", was arrested in his village in Balbalan last September, he was already a weak former guerrilla ill from pneumonia, dementia and hypertension, Karapatan said.
Aggalao was arrested by a police team supported by the Army's 50th Infantry Battalion for murder and brought to Tabuk City, the provincial capital.
He had a stroke last month and was brought to a hospital and eventually returned to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Tabuk.
Karapatan said the stroke paralyzed half of his body. 
 He was released on bail earlier this year but was arrested again on charges filed against him in Baguio City.
His family said they would have to raise P300,000 for bail on the fresh charges.
On July 26, the Kalinga jail warden wrote Baguio City Regional Trial Court Judge Emmanuel Rasing that the jail does not have the resources to care for Aggalao in his condition.
“This callousness of this government is infuriating, opting to release and hand out favors to the guilty and the rich, while condemning political prisoners to rot in detention,” Karapatan, which said it sees no reason to keep Aggalao in detention.  
Karapatan Secretary-General Cristina Palabay said the government should release Aggalao under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law it signed with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Palabay said jail conditions have been a major factor in the deterioration of the health of political prisoners. In November 2016, peasant organizer Bernabe Ocalsa died after suffering a coma and heart attack due to harsh jail conditions and persisting heart problems.
Ferdinand Castillo, another political prisoner detained in Taguig City, has rheumatic heart disease and has had a transient ischemic attack. Conditions at the Bicutan facility pose a risk to his health, a relative told on Sunday.
As of June 2017, 57 political prisoners have been arrested under the Duterte administration, Palabay said.
On August 2, another community organizer was reportedly arrested in Quezon, Bukidnon.  Ruel Cololot, an Anakpawis member and his companion are currently in the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Palabay claimed.
With the breakdown in peace talks between the government and communist rebels, the Office of the Solicitor General has started calling for the arrest of political prisoners released last year to facilitate the resumption of negotiations.
The New People's Army's Kalinga Lejo Cawilan Command said Aggalao retired from the armed struggle in 2012 due to old age.
 Kalinga NPA spokesman Tipon Gil-ayab said Aggalao’s arrest last year violates International Humanitarian Law because of his age and ailments, and the fact that he is no longer a combatant.

 The rebel spokesman also accused the government of fabricating criminal charges against Aggalao.


P1-B P’sinan-Vizcaya road work halted; NPAs sighted

By Liezle Basa IƱigo

SAN NICOLAS, Pangasinan — Construction of the P1-billion Pangasinan-Nueva Vizcaya road project also known as the Valle Verde Trail has been suspended due to New People’s Army sightings in this town for the safety of at least 100 workers and personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways,
“We were committed to Public Works Secretary (Mark) Villar that by December this year the Villa Verde trail will be finished and will be opened,” said engineer Larry Flores of the DPWH 33d Engineering District-Pangasinan.
However, engineer Narchito Arpilleda, administrative officer, said the P1-billion project had to be temporarily suspended based on security concerns over the presence of NPA rebels as raised by both the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Both the PNP and the AFP called for suspension of ongoing construction for  safety of the workers following last July 28’s encounter which resulted in the death of one and the wounding of another in Barangay Malico, here.
The DPWH personnel are still waiting for the go signal from the PNP to operate and continue construction activities, said Flores.
Arpilleda said that once completed, the Villa Verde Trail would be used as an alternative route from Manila to Isabela and Cagayan provinces when the Dalton Pass Road in Sta. Fe is closed due to landslides and vehicular accidents.

Flores vowed to work double-time on the project once they resume construction. “Hahabol kami sa aming pangako kay secretary (We’ll catch up with the work to deliver what we promised the secretary),” he said.


Tarlac cops gun down fleeing motorcycle thieves

By Nelson Bolos

TARLAC CITY – Two unidentified “motornappers” were killed in an armed encounter with the police while fleeing with a stolen motorcycle at Barangay Binauganan here around Wednesday around 3:30 a.m.
Supt. Luis Ventura Jr., the newly assigned head of Tarlac Police Provincial Office Intelligence Branch bared this in a report to 
Tarlac Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Ritchie Medardo Posadas, Ventura said the two motornappers were chased by his police intelligence personnel after receiving report that a motorcycle was stolen at Barangay Paraiso.
“Hinabol sila mula Mac Arthur Highway pero nang abutan sila sa by-pass road sa barangay Binauganan, pinutukan nila ang ating mga operatiba. Doon sila nagkamali, dahil mas sanay bumaril ang ating mga pulis,” said Ventura.
This city was recently plagued by several cases of motornapping which a police source said were committed “most probably by drug addicts and pushers”.
As of this writing, the 2 remained unidentified and their remains were brought to Lotus Memorial Homes here.
One was described as around 5’6” in height, medium built, around 25 to 28 years old and wearing white shirt and denim pants.
The other was around 30 to 35 years, more or less, 5’ 2”, in black shirt and maong pants.

An unmarked Cal.38 pistol with three bullets and a Cal. 22 were recovered at shootout area by police. Three plastic sachets of shabu were also found from the pocket of one of the slain motornappers.  


Benguet’s capital town sets green market policy

By Dionisio Dennis Jr.

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- This capital town of Benguet has launched a policy urging the use of recyclable bags to reduce residual wastes especially plastic bags in the municipality.
The “green market” policy initiated by the group 1993 & 2002 Public Market Association led by its president, Winston Felipe, said the policy is their counterpart in aiding the local government in managing waste.
He said the policy is also in consonance with municipal Ordinance Number 11 series of 2015.
Authored by Councilor Roderick Awingan, the “La Trinidad Plastic bag, polystyrene and other synthetic packaging materials reduction” ordinance aims to regulate the use of plastic bags and other non-biodegradable materials in the municipality.
The local government failed, however, to implement the ordinance as soon as it was passed, but is now taking advantage of the private sector’s participation to the environment protection initiative.
During the launching on Monday, Awingan said that the annual garbage collection in the municipality had reached 90 tons.
From the total garbage generation, 3/4 is biodegradable. He also said that the municipality spends at least P2 million for the hauling of garbage to Capaz, Tarlac, which affects the town’s coffer.
 “We thank the association for coming up with their own policy which they have already implemented. This is exactly what we want to do in crafting the ordinance,” Awingan said.
Under the green market policy, stall owners will no longer place goods in a plastic bag, thus market goers are urged to bring their own shopping bags.
Awingan said the ordinance imposes a penalty of imprisonment and fine for violators.
In his message, Mayor Romeo Salda said that the cell 3 at the town’s sanitary landfill which was established in February this year is almost full.
The said cell was originally planned to serve the town for two years. The life span of cell 3 is conceived to be a time leeway for the town to finish cell 4.
 “But with the monthly increase of garbage collection we can only use the sanitary landfill until December this year,” the mayor said.
He said that cell 3 has an extension but can only last for a few months, so the the local government unit needs to fast-track the completion of cell 4.
Salda said something has to be done with the help of the residents to regulate or stop the excessive generation of residual waste to prevent facing bigger environmental and health problems in the near future.
As an initial move to promote the green market initiative, the local government unit distributed eco bags while the stall owners promised reduction of residual wastes as part of the green market policy implementation.
Awingan said the ordinance imposes a penalty of imprisonment and fine for violators.
In his message, Salda said the cell 3 at the town’s sanitary landfill which was established in February this year is almost full.
The said cell was originally planned to serve the town for two years.
The life span of cell 3 is conceived to be a time leeway for the town to finish cell 4.
  “But with the monthly increase of garbage collection we can only use the sanitary landfill until December this year,” the mayor said.
 He said that cell 3 has an extension but can only last for a few months, so the local government unit needs to hasten completion of cell 4.
 Salda said something has to be done with the help of the residents to regulate or stop the excessive generation of residual waste to prevent facing bigger environmental and health problems in the near future.

 As an initial move to promote the green market initiative, the local government unit distributed eco bags while the stall owners promised reduction of residual wastes as part of the green market policy implementation.  -- PNA


Bishop disowns priest in drug bust

By Mar T. Supnad

PANIQUI , Tarlac — “Drug addicts are liars.”
This is how Bishop Dindo Ranojo, of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI or Aglipayan Church) Diocese of Tarlac, disowned a drug suspect who claimed he was an Aglipayan priest when arrested with two others in a buy-bust operation in this town recently.
“Randy Valdez is not a member of the IFI,” said Bishop Ranojo. “Randy is not and has never been a member of IFI. Before I became a Bishop, I have worked in our national office and I did not encounter his name.”
Valdez, 35 along with drug targets Camille Franilla, 23 and Mike Raven Quinto, 20 was arrested here last August 5 when he allegedly handed over two sachets of “shabu” to a poseur-buyer during a buy-bust operation by elements of the Municipal Police Station led by Supt. Joel Mendoza.
Upon his arrest, Valdez told investigators he was an Aglipayan priest, said Mendoza.
Ranojo disclosed that Valdez belongs to one of the several “factions” of their church.
“Valdez is a member of the PICC (Philippine Independent Catholic Church). He does not belong to the mainstream (Aglipayan church). Their group occupied some of our churches,” added the IFI bishop.
 “When we accosted Valdez along with the two other suspects, I thought he (Valdez) was joking, or either high on drugs, when he introduced himself as a priest. But it turned out to be true, he is a priest of the Aglipayan church,” Mendoza said.
It turns out that Valdez, who is a native of this town, is the destined priest OF the Aglipayan Church in Cuyapo.
“The target of our entrapment were Camille (Franilla) and Quinto who are both on our municipal watchlist of drug personalities. It was Camille who received the P500 marked money from my policeman poseur-buyer but it was this person (Valdez) who handed the two plastic sachets of shabu. That’s why we arrested them,” explained Mendoza.

He added that Quinto, who yielded five sachets of shabu, has three siblings who are allegedly known drug pushers.


Baguio’s 5- star resort is drugs, drunk-free

By Liza T. Agoot

BAGUIO CITY – The city’s only five-star resort supports President Duterte’s anti drug campaign and is serious about implementing the “no drugs policy” at the Baguio Country Club.
Anthony de Leon, BCC general manager, on Thursday said the club applies a strict policy on employees and guests or club members who are engaged in illegal drugs.
“We do un-scheduled random drug tests on employees to make sure that there are no club workers who are using the prohibited substance,” he said.
This is important not only in support to the government’s anti- illegal drugs campaign but also for the safety of all employees especially the guests and club members.“We do not and will not tolerate illegal drug use of all employees,” whether they are regular workers, probationary or on casual status.
BCC is a membership resort club which is accessible only to registered members and only allows non-members inside the facility when accompanied by a member or with the endorsement of a member.
He talked about an incident in the past where a casual employee was found using and pushing illegal drugs after his short employment with the club, which he presumed was already in the activity while working with BCC. “We will ensure that authorities will investigate” the person even if he is no longer with the club.”
He said that when the club got a word about the person’s arrest, they immediately checked the roster and it was a good thing he was no longer connected to the club. “We take this seriously, each employee including the management undergo regular drug testing,” he stressed.
Aside from illegal drugs, he said that reporting for work under the influence of liquor or even smelling liquor is not allowed to all employees. “It is improper to attend to guests and even to deal with co-workers intoxicated and these are club regulations as part of the maintenance of high quality service to all. In the case of a drunk member who becomes rowdy in the club, we also ask that the person leave the premises.”
Andrew Pinero, Corporate Communication and Customer Service manager also said guests and members are likewise governed by the manual of policies and regulations which specifically prohibits the use and bringing in of illegal drugs in the club premises. “If anyone is caught red-handed, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are brought in the picture for proper disposition of the case.”

 He added that “the rules are very strict for any substance use and brought in the club. For an employee to be found during random drug test of the positive use of illegal substance, it may result to the termination of the employment and their names are forwarded to the law enforcers for proper investigation.”  -- PNA


​Kevin Belingon expects big reward if he beats McLaren

As Kevin Belingon crosses paths with a fellow former world title challenger in Reece McLaren, the Filipino knockout artist sees a big reward if he plays his cards right against the Australian standout.
Belingon is set to square off with McLaren on the stacked card of ONE: Quest for greatness, which takes place at the iconic Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 18.
The 29-year-old Baguio City native hopes that if he secures a convincing victory over McLaren, it will bring him an inch closer to a rematch with Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes for the coveted ONE Bantamweight World Championship title.
“My initial goal is to continue winning until I get closer to the title and become a champion,” Belingon stated.
Belingon had his chance to vie for prestigious gold in January 2016 when he challenged Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship belt, but things did not go his way as the Brazilian champion swiftly submitted him with a Kimura lock in the opening stanza.
Following his submission setback to Fernandes, Belingon took several months off before re-emerging in October 2016 by handing rising martial arts star Muin Gafurov of Tajikistan his second professional loss.
Belingon followed it up with an astounding knockout conquest of Finnish dynamo Toni Tauru last April in front of a sold-out crowd at the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
For Belingon, his three-round bantamweight encounter with McLaren is an opportunity to make a truly impressive statement as his objective is to score a second cage meeting with Fernandes for the organization’s bantamweight title.
According to Belingon, defeating McLaren in decisive fashion may strengthen his bid to get a rematch with McLaren.
“I believe I will face Bibiano Fernandes if I can defeat Reece McLaren impressively. My dream of finally becoming a world champion is still there. It still lives in my heart. My upcoming bout is another journey to elevate my status as a contender for the title,” he stated.
Although a tough task is ahead of him, Belingon is confident that he will have his hand raised in triumph against McLaren inside the ONE Championship cage.
“It’s just the beginning for me. As a competitor, I have to keep on learning and adapt to changes in this forever-evolving sport. Through the years, improvement has been the key to my success. I am ready for Reece McLaren,” he concluded.


Baguio, Benguet bid to hold 'coolest' Palarong Pambansa

Top world-class athletes, officials push intent 

By Liza T. Agoot

BAGUIO CITY – Top athletes of this city who won in international competitions and officials pushed their intent to hold the “coolest Palarong Pambansa” here and other areas of Benguet province in 2018.
They urged the Philippine Sports Commission to accept “10 hottest reasons” that this city and the province of Benguet are selling in their bid to co-host the 2018 Palarong Pambansa.
In Thursday’s press conference, part of the unity, convergence and signing of the pledge of commitment of support of stakeholders in Baguio and Benguet, Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan said “We have ready event venues and billeting. Crime rate is low coupled with all the amenities which the athletes can avail of". He also spoke well of the hospitality of the people in the city and province.
Baguio and Benguet also have good climate, having the lowest temperature in the country, even during summer season.
The “Coolest Palarong Pambansa” tag is what the two local governments will capitalize on, when they meet with the committee composed of the panel of evaluators on the last week of August for the presentation of their offer to host the event.
 Domogan said good climate and elevation were among reasons “Pambansang Kamao” Senator Manny Pacquiao trains in Baguio before a mayor boxing match. “Pacquiao won the matches where he trained here and lost when he did not come,” the major said in jest.
Benguet Provincial Administrator Noel Ngolob said they were one with Baguio in the quest to bring the 2018 Palarong Pambansa here as he assured that the province will be ready for the events and will take care and extend utmost hospitality to all the guests.
 Mayor Romeo Salda of La Trinidad said they will invest on the venues and billeting, adding that they are also fixing restrooms of the schools to give the delegations comfort and convenience.
 World mixed martial arts 1FC champion Edward Folayang, who is also from this city  said, “We are here to help and support Baguio and Benguet’s bid to host the event. This place is a very good training venue. He added, “lahat naman ng taga baba gustong matikman ang langit (all those in the low lands want to taste heaven),” referring to the elevation of both Baguio and Benguet which have been tagged to be “close to heaven”.
World Pomsei champion Jordan Dominguez who joined the event said “maraming mai-ooffer dito na di mao-offer ng iba (there are many things that these places can offer which others cannot),” as he talked about his years as a young athlete who started training and competing locally.
 Department of Education-Cordillera regional director May Eclar explained that the bid will be heard and evaluated by a panel of evaluators composed of the DepEd secretary, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, regional directors  of the department and PSC chairman.
 Eclar said here main function will be recommendatory based on the offer of the local government units.
She said the big come-on here is the climate, which reduces stress for an athlete, aside from the reality that all resources are already in place.

Representatives from the accommodation industry, business sector, Baguio Water District, Beneco, police from Baguio, Benguet and the regional office as well as the tri-media were present during the occasion to give support to the 2018 Palarong Pambansa bid of the city and province. -- PNA


Baguio tribal leaders hit NCIP Cordi head

>> Tuesday, August 15, 2017

For not affirming city council rep 

 BAGUIO CITY – Leaders and elders of different tribes in this city slammed Roland Calde, regional director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for not issuing certificate of affirmation to Roger D. Sinot, the duly elected indigenous peoples mandatory representative to the city council.    
Sinot was elected for the post November last year, said members of the Metro Baguio Tribal Elders/Leaders Assembly, but until now, Calde has not issued the certificate.
Members said the COA is only ministerial and Calde should issue it as soon as possible so Sinot could seat as IPMR in the city council.
“The seeming inaction and indecisiveness of your office, as perceived by many, despite the ample basis or grounds for decision and action, is a cause of great concern for the MBETELA because the longer action is delayed, the more it is causing divisiveness/disunity among the Ibalois of Baguio City and the indigenous peoples of Baguio in general,” they said in a letter to Calde dated July 27, 2017.
“Another important concern of MBETELA is the issue on the IP's representation to the Sangguniang Panlunsod. The unreasonable, unjustifiable and unexplained delay and inaction of your office is virtually depriving the Baguio IP and indigenous cultural communities of their long awaited representation to the City Council,” the letter added.
“If there are protests, complaints and the likes, cannot these be settled in the proper forum, the IP way or otherwise? Let the duly selected representative be issued certificate of affirmation for him to seat down and perform his functions while attending to those protests or complaints. If later, it would be proven that indeed the allegations against him are enough to disqualify him, then, by all means, remove him from office. However, if on your fair, objective and just assessment, the selection was a mockery of the sort then, act and decide on it accordingly. Sir, please, we plead for your clear decision and action. The Baguio IP's and ICC's deserve to see and hear of your action.”
The letter said, “This is to bring to your attention the urgent plea and concern of the Metro Baguio Tribal Elders/Leaders Assembly in a meeting held last July 22, 2017. Please be informed that we are more than glad with the implementation of the IPMR selection for Baguio City, as reported by one of our members who had been closely monitoring the issue.
“It is already more than eight long and agonizing months since the Ibaloi's selected the IPMR and up to this writing, we have yet to hear or see an action from your end. We are in possession of documents that will greatly help you in arriving at your appropriate action and/or decision; such as:
The detailed report of the NCIP - Baguio Field Office; stating among others that, in the selection of the IPMR, all the procedures and processes enumerated in the guidelines were duly adhered to and thus recommending favorably, the issuance of the Certificate of Affirmation by the Regional Director;
 “The report of the evaluation and assessment team that you yourself organized to assess the issues anent the IPMR selection processes and procedures. Their report, was practically a confirmation of the Baguio Field Office's report that the selection process was adequately followed in strict accordance with the approved guidelines, and hence are recommending for the issuance of the Certificate of Affirmation.”
 The letter said the council of Ibaloi Elders which was composed of five members and chaired by Errol Tagle (one of the protestants against the duly selected IPMR) has signed their demand for the issuance of the certificate of affirmation, after they heard and were satisfied with the explanations of the selected IPMR.
“It is the fervent plea, of the MBETELA that your office issue a Certificate of Affirmation to the duly selected IPMR. There are a lot of IP concerns here in Baguio that need to be brought to the attention and appropriate action of the IPMR.
Your most favorable decision and immediate action is hereby urgently and humbly solicited.”
The letter was signed by MBETELA convenors Evelyn Afidchao Miranda and Gerald Chophopen. Calde has not yet responded to the letter at press time. 


Former Ilocos PNP official gunned down

By Jun Elias

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – A former chief of police of this city was shot dead in Sarrat town on Tuesday. 
Supt. Jeffrey Gorospe, was having a drinking spree with his friends at a nipa hut near his residence in Barangay 7 when he was shot.
Gorospe was declared dead on arrival at the Black Nazarene Hospital in San Nicolas town.
Eleven bullet shells for an M16 rifle were recovered at the scene.

The victim was also former spokesman of the Ilocos Norte police.


Search on for driver buried alive by Ifugao landslide

TINOC, Ifugao -- The driver of a vegetable delivery truck who was buried by landslide Tuesday afternoon here in Barangay Binablayan, Tinoc was still missing as of press time.
Search and rescue teams have yet to rescue or recover the victim, identified as Janel Pateyec Baguista 19,  of Gumhang, Tinoc.
The Tinoc municipal police station said that two trucks loaded with vegetables, including the Elf truck driven by Bautista, were cruising along the Tinoc-Kiangan road heading to Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, when they got stuck in the mud at around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Bautista, along with the other truck driver, Bilger Nehyeban, and his helper tried to clear the mounds of mud from the road when the landslide hit them.
Due to heavy rains, a landslide was triggered near the location of the drivers.
Nehyeban and his helper were injured, while Bautista could not be located among the pile of soil and rocks.

Responding rescuers from the Municipal Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council tried to locate the victim, in vain.


Blood extraction as penalty for violators of laws pushed

BAGUIO CITY – Violators of city ordinances of this summer capital may soon find themselves being extracted of their blood as penalty for their infractions.
The city council is now studying the proposal to make blood donation an alternative mode of settlement of administrative fines for violation of city ordinances that carry the penalty of payment of fines.
City Councilor Joel Alangsab who filed the proposal July 20 said the ordinance was referred to the committee on health chaired by Councilor Elaine Sembrano during its last session following its approval on first reading.
Alangsab said the proposal known as “blood for fine ordinance” aims to increase the supply of blood for patients to assure the sufficient supply of safe blood for all.
 The proposal mentioned that under Republic Act 7719 known as the “National Blood Services Act of 1994” it is a declared policy of the state to promote and encourage voluntary blood donation by the citizens and to instill public consciousness of the principle that blood donation is a humanitarian act.”
 It further said that while there is a huge demand for blood supply to saves lives and improve health, millions of patients needing it do not have timely access to safe blood.
 Once the proposal is approved, those meted with a fine ranging from Php500 to Php1,000 can settle the administrative penalty by giving his blood. “Upon apprehension, the violator shall be informed by the law enforcer of the options to donate blood or to pay the corresponding fee.”
 The violator has seven days to donate blood to the Baguio Health Services Office (HSO) and failure to do so within the period will compel the person to pay the fine. The HSO shall bear the cost of the screening the blood and all other expenses needed to pursue the donation.
 However, if it is found that the blood contains impurities, the person shall be required to pay the administrative fine for the violation he committed.
 But because blood donation cannot be done more often than every three months, the person can only take the blood donation option beyond the three months period.
 As a matter of procedure, upon completion of the blood donation, the violator is issued a certification which the person has to present to the city treasurer’s office for the offsetting of the administrative fine.

Alangsab, in an interview, said this will not just be a deterrent for persons from violating the city’s ordinances but in the end will help save lives of people who are facing medical emergencies. -- Liza T. Agoot/PNA


Rep. Mangaoang makes first appearance as MP legislative caretaker

By Wabilyn Mana-od  and Roger Sacyaten

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse Capuyan Mangaoang made his first public appearance here Monday as Legislative Caretaker of Mountain Province during flag-raising ceremonies at the provincial capital.   
 “Thank you for giving me the trust and confidence to be your caretaker,” Mangaoang said after being invited by the provincial government for the occasion.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, on July 5, appointed  Mangaoang for the post to fill up the vacancy of the term left by the late Rep. Maximo Dalog.
Mangaoang is also from Mountain Province. He was born on July 21, 1959 to Jesus Puyao Mangaoang, an engineer from Balbalasang, Balbalan, Kalinga and Rose Capuyan, an educator from Sagada, Mountain Province.
Mangaoang had always been an achiever. He graduated salutatorian at the Balbalasang Elementary School and valedictorian at St. Paul’s Memorial School where he finished high school.
Before he became congressman of Kalinga, he was first elected as vice mayor then mayor of the municipality of Balbalan for three terms and was elected as governor for two terms.
He is a first-term district representative.
In his message, Mangaoang thanked the provincial government for the invitation to join the people of the province for the regular Monday program in his capacity as the province legislative caretaker.
He said that the designation was not his wish but it was the prayer of the family of the late congressman Dalog.
Serving as Legislative Caretaker, he cited three things he would like to achieve: continue legislative agenda, plans, programs, projects, and advocacies of Dalog for the best interest of Mountain Province.
It will include continuation of medical assistance, educational assistance, infrastructure development, livelihood projects, TESDA trainings and all social services in favor of the people of Mountain Province.
“Together with the staff of the Congressman, we shall work closely with our local officials and agency heads to make sure that the necessary funds for the province will not be wasted; rather, it will reach the grassroots in every village, barangay and municipality,” he said.
He also urged government leaders and constituents of the province to unite and continue sharing the vision of a “Gawis ay Mountain Province” as envisioned and introduced by Dalog.
“I urge all of us to forget all about political aspirations and differences for the moment, in favor of our beloved province. Let us prioritize development, rather than disunity. Let us accord each other the needed care and support, rather than introducing hindrance. Let us choose peace and reconciliation rather than hate,” he said. “This was emphasized by Congressman Mangaoang in his message asking everyone’s support to work hand in hand for a Gawis ay Mountain Province.”
In behalf of the provincial government, Gov. BonifacioLacwasan Jr. welcomed and thanked the Legislative Caretaker.
He expressed the full support of the provincial government and the elected officials of the province in the caretaker’s pursuit to continue the programs laid down by the late Congressman Maximo Dalog.
“Let me emphasize the full support and cooperation of the local officials and the people to our care-taker congressman,” told the audience composed of municipal mayors, provincial officials and national line agencies.
After the program, Mangaoang visited congressional district office at the provincial capitol.
He had a short interaction with the staff for him to be acquainted with the district office.
His first official function as caretaker led him to the inauguration of the Malanas bridge in Sadanga along the Bontoc-Kalinga road.
In the afternoon, Mangaoang met with the officials and employees of the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College here urging them to prepare and fulfill the requirements needed for  eventual conversion of the school into a university.
It was learned that this was among the flagship programs the late Congressman  Dalog delegated to him.
Cong. Mangaong regarded the late congressman as his seatmate and mentor at the House of Representatives.


Six Ilocos women robbery syndicate members nabbed

BAGUIO CITY – Six women syndicate members from the Ilocos Region whose modus operandi is “sandwiching” their victims and stealing their money in this summer capital were arrested last week.
Victim Trinidad Samuel Ollet, 59, of Naiba Tuding, Itogon, Benguet filed theft charges against Theresita Medina Fulgencio, 64; Susan Ipac Imperio, 57 and Lorna Miranda Pagod, 51, all of of Carmen West Sur, Rosales, Pangasinan; Gloria Ferrer Singko, 62, of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur; Grace Venturia Talania, 41, of Pugo, Sinait, Ilocos Sur; Imelda Tabay Singko, 49, of Bungro, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Estrella Galvez and Suzete Tinaza.
A police report said the suspects aided one another in taking her black wallet containing Postal, SSS ID and Temple Recommend IDs and the P7,000.
 Investigation disclosed, the victim and her sister-in-law withdrew money at Metro Bank, Upper Magsaysay and proceeded to Lower General Luna Road unaware that they were being followed by the suspects.
The suspects reportedly started walking very close to the victim but they ignored them thinking they were just passersby. At Upper Mabini, the suspects reportedly sandwiched the victim and she noticed later that her bag was slashed and her wallet was gone.
Following this, the suspects did another “sandwiching” job a few minutes later around 12:30 p.m. inside Jollibee Fast Food at Lower Mabini Street this time, on complaint of Flora Diagan Perry, 80, of Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet.
A police report said the suspects aided each other in taking Perry’s brown wallet containing her senior citizen, Philhealth, United Health Insurance and Boieng Employee Credit Union IDs, Tiongsan discount and SM advantage cards and P6.600 cash.
Investigation disclosed that the victim and her son went to Jollibee for their lunch. After eating, she went to the comfort room but while on her way, two of the suspects walked very close to her with one wearing surgical mask and another holding an umbrella and blocking her way with several female persons  behind her. Suddenly, they all dispersed so the complainant entered the comfort room. However, while at the comfort room, complainant noticed that her bag was wide open and discovered her brown wallet missing. She then reported the incident to the Food Chain supervisor and upon review of the CCTV, it was revealed that the female persons aided one another in taking her wallet which was later recovered by cops but the money was missing.
Cops of Station 7 later arrested six of the eight suspects. The wallet of Ollet in earlier case, was not recovered and believed to have been taken by their two companions who managed to evade arrest. 
Fulgencio asked for forgiveness and pleaded to Ollet not to pursue the case but she refused. The case is set for inquest proceedings.


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