Cordi PNP chief orders drive against gambling; 15 nabbed

>> Sunday, June 24, 2018

2 cops arrested by Camp Crame group victims of frame up? 

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- A total of 15 jueteng bet collectors and gamblers were nabbed in Cordillera last week after Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Rolando Zambale Nana ordered his men to increase drive against illegal gambling and other crimes.
Nana urged the public to report also policemen who are accepting money or operating illegal gambling in their communities after two cops, one from the Cordillera were arrested in La Trinidad two weeks ago by members of a task force from Camp Crame for alleged involvement in illegal gambling and extortion.
Entrapped two weeks ago on complaint of a certain Ryan Abing Olsina and Jerbin Pulac Velasco who both claimed to be a collector and operator of STL in La Trinidad were SPO2 Paulino Lubos Jr. and SPO4 Gilbert Legaspi who were assigned with the Intelligence Division of the Benguet Provincial Police Office.
This, as out of the 15, six suspects were separately arrested playing games in Baguio City. A total P4,485 bet money was reportedly confiscated with several gambling paraphernalia while six cases were filed in court.
Police Station 10 cops arrested Ador Raquipo Geron, 46; Vergel Bucal Talabis, 34; Catalino Sadcoyan Adiwang, 55, in Purok 7, Barangay Dontogan.
This, while personnel of  Baguio Police Station 2 arrested Lander Fedcha, 25; Jeffrey Padilla, 28 and Justin Alejandro, 25 at No.1 Bokawkan Road. 
Confiscated during the operation was P740 bet money and gambling paraphernalia. 
The persons were also nabbed in Barangay Banacao, Bangued, Abra named as Concordia Almazan Blanes, Macrilda Dacayan Blanes and Ednalyn Belledo Bersalona.
Confiscated from them was P335 bet money as a set of playing cards.
Meanwhile, the two police officers who were nabbed were reportedly “scapegoats” in a gambling turf war as they were nabbed by a heavily-armed anti-scalawag PNP unit for allegedly extorting money from two bet collectors (kubradores) of the Small Town Lottery.
The local PCSO branch office has not admitted that complainants were PCSO employees.
Reports said those behind the arrest of the two cops and who financed the lightning operation were afraid of being eased out from STL and jueteng operations in Benguet once illegal gambling cases are filed against the bet collector and operator.
The police operatives reportedly believed the two complainants’ statement that Lubos and Legaspi allegedly demanded money from P5,000 to P40,000 from them in exchange for not filing any cases against arrested employees of the illegal operation of STL.
These statements by the complainants were reportedly made part of the police operative unit’s report to their boss, and made part of the plan to make the issue bigger and to justify their operation.   
The two arrested cops, along with their companions were reportedly driven around Baguio before they were brought to Manila where charges were filed against them, instead of bringing them to the Benguet Prosecutors Office for inquest proceedings.
In Manila, a DOJ official, after more than 200 hours since the arrest, issued a resolution indicting Lubos and Legaspi of the crime of violation of Article 294 Section 5 of the Revised Penal Code or simple robbery for the alleged amount of P3,000.
Lubos and Legaspi were reportedly illegally detained against their will even as   Prosecutor Borgy Vedana Calugay recommended in his resolution bail of P100,000 each for their provisional liberty for “robbing” P3,000.
There is reportedly no Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC) or STL operator in Benguet or the other provinces in the Cordillera Region.
However, an STL operation is collecting bets in Baguio and Benguet which is outside its operating franchise, supposedly a violation of the agreement with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Observers said it is public knowledge that STL bet collectors are given green vests and IDs to wear to show the public a semblance of legitimacy, but STL bet collectors are the same guys who collect bets for jueteng.
Sen. Ping Lacson confirmed this in a Senate hearing last year saying jueteng bet collectors use the IDs for guerrilla operations the PCSO issued.
“It’s happening on the ground and the police know that,” said the senator, a former chief of the Philippine National Police.
Somebody in the police hierarchy is reportedly protecting jueteng and illegal STL operations fearing that it will be found out that the former has bigger collections than the latter.
The PCSO is being cheated out of an estimated P50 billion a year in its STL operations, according to Lacson.
Since STL and jueteng operations could not be controlled, there is reportedly fear among operators that both gambling operations may be removed altogether.
STL was launched by government supposedly to stamp out jueteng, an illegal numbers racket in the country.
But gambling lords instead used STL as a front for jueteng as the two games have similar mechanics. STL and jueteng involve betting on two-number combinations from 1 to 40 for the former and from 1 to 37 for the latter.
A congressional inquiry in 1990 found that franchises for STL had been awarded to the same people behind jueteng.
In Lacson’s committee hearing last year, PCSO officials blamed the PNP for supposed lack of commitment to eliminate jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said he was disappointed and dismayed by the performance of the police.
Balutan, a retired Marine general, said they received reports of police officials receiving payola from gambling lords in spite of Executive Order No. 13 that President Duterte signed last year.
As for PCSO, observers said it maybe allowing the illegal operations of STL and jueteng in an area outside the jurisdiction of its franchise like Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation – a company that has been accused by former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as the competitor to STL across provinces in Luzon.
Meridien is allegedly behind the jueteng-like operations in provinces namely; Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Rizal, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Camarines  Norte and Albay. Not all of these provinces have STL franchises.
To be able to operate STL legally in an LGU, the PCSO-approved franchise must be accompanied by an ordinance and a memorandum of agreement.
In some LGUs, public approval through public hearings is held.
No such things were ever conducted in any municipality in Benguet, but bets are reportedly still being collected by shady characters in green vests and IDs.  


NPA hits ‘comic reasons’ of PNP in ambush, AFP lies on escaped Red girl’

SAGADA, Mountain Province – The Leonardo Pacsi Command of the New People’s Army said they were amused by “two comic reasons” of the Philippine National Police and their spokespersons for conducting combat operations in  Barangay Aguid here that resulted to a clash last June 4-5 that resulted to the killing of a cop and wounding of 11 others on the government side.
This, even as the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front assailed a story reportedly peddled by the army and PNP about a 14-year-old girl who allegedly escaped the NPA after being allegedly abused by Red cadres. 
The NPA said the PNP claimed they were “on peacekeeping mission” in Sagada and were responding to reported “extortion activities” of the rebels.
“As they were on peacekeeping mission, read as combat mission, they were fully-armed, which means that they were hunting for their prey and ready for combat. And when they were ambushed by the NPA, they cry out “Sagada is a peace zone,” said Leonardo Pacsi Command-NPA spokesperson Ka Magno Udyaw in a statement.
“So convenient for the PNP, AFP, some government officials and other reactionary elements to drumbeat ‘Sagada is a peace zone’ when in truth, they are the ones violating it. They roam around even in tourist spots in full battle gear. The true meaning of peace is peace based on social justice,” he said. “If it were true that they were responding to “extortion activities” in the area,  why only now?”
Ka Udyaw said a few months ago, extortionists were reported in Sagada, Bontoc and Bauko towns, victimizing small hotel owners, government employees and  students.
He said “no one was captured neither a serious effort to identify these perpetrators despite reports from the victims to the police. Is it because the extortionists have connections with the PNP or AFP? And by doing so denigrates the NPA while making money for themselves. Pure alibis”.
“The PNP troops were on a combat operation hoping to make a score against the NPA, with no mention of what provincial police director Senior Supt. Allen S. Ocden has done a few weeks back threatening to bomb the portals of small-scale miners and making good at confiscating piled lumber of the local residents all over the province.”
This, as Simon Naogsan Sr., spokesperson of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front branded as “fake news, poor and lousy propaganda a story of a minor allegedly recruited as an NPA red fighter, whose incredible story is being generously and maliciously being peddled by the 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Office of the 5th ID, PA as gospel truths” and found print in a local paper on its May 6, 2018 issue.
“In a desperate attempt to score pogi points and earn for themselves a promotion from their superiors and in the process line their pockets from rebel bounty hunting, 5th ID PA commanding officer Major Gen. Perfecto Rimando, Jr. and PNP Provincial Director Ocden concocted the story of a young 14-year-old little girl, allegedly recruited in the NPA.
“The red-kid-girl story is entirely false. It is full of lies and innuendoes. It has no factual basis. Her printed story in all likelihood is the handiwork of a dirty truncated mind and machination of PNP/AFP intelligence and psychological warfare department.
                “It was unfortunate for the little girl to be used as a pawn and specimen by overzealous and scheming police/military officers trained in the art of psychological warfare to vilify and cast aspersions against the revolutionary forces. “I feel sorry for the little girl. Whoever pushed her to fall prey as cannon fodder in the PNP’s and AFP’s all-out war is denounced.”
Naogsan said the “NPA strictly follows its recruitment guidelines on age requirement that it will only accept 18 years old and above aside from other requirements. It is pure hogwash the claim that a 14-year-old was recruited by the Leonardo Pacsi Command, the NPA-Mountain Province.
“Further, the innuendo that the girl was being molested by her male co-trainees as part of their military training is far from the truth. The NPA is a well disciplined army that adheres strictly to its so called “3-musts” and “8-disciplines” which  mandate “not to take liberties on women.”
“If that is the practice in the PNP/AFP military trainings as exposed in several instances, it is unfair and malicious to equate the same with that of the people’s revolutionary army.”
He said Ka Udyaw, who is also spokesperson of the Artus Talastas Front Operational Command, NPA-East Mt. Province clarified that they know nothing of a certain Ashiana Chadyaag aka Trese that was ever recruited in Paracelis at the age of 14 and stayed there until she allegedly escaped when she was 16 years old. “If indeed, she joined the NPA unit operating in Eastern Mt. Province, then she would have known and stated in her story recount that she was under ATFOC. This only shows that either the girl is a fake rebel or the manipulator doesn’t know what he is talking about. The story as reported with factsheet emanating from the PNP is not only incoherent and stupid but plain fabrication.
“Consider the following: One, how can she be given a special and delicate mission to assassinate PNP Provincial Director Allen S. Ocden if she was a trainee dropout? It defies all logic to believe that such a tall order to assassinate someone be carried out by a dropout singlehandedly and transmitted simply by way of text messaging? That’s simply stupid! And you expect the reading public to believe that? It’s cheap gimmick! If the very purpose of PNP/AFP spokespersons to peddle such make-believe story is to drum up sympathy support and gain political pogi points for future political ambitions of PNP wannabes, then it is cheap propaganda at the expense of the kid girl.
“The make-believe story cited her intention in going to the barracks to voluntarily surrender to the PNP or 77th IB but collapsed at the gate before reaching the guard house! Which is which? To surrender or to assassinate the PD? And she was carrying with her four cell phones, grenade, subversive documents and cash. That’s hogwash! Are you sure the PNP/AFP did not plant these alleged possessions of the alleged red kid fighter? This allegation is suspect as this is the standard modus operandi of PNP/AFP in crime solving - planting evidence? And it is the police that is talking! It doesn’t make sense at all. What a sloppy intel report! Three, the police could not find the firearms where the girl said she deposited them?
“Or might we say, some other police assigned to do the evidence planting forgot to place those firearms where others would find them! Fourth, the PNP PD does not allow anyone, even media people to interview the alleged rebel kid girl he took under his personal custody.
“And yet the PNP is magnanimous in releasing unverified and malicious information purportedly from the girl to the public. To put into the mouth of the alleged rebel kid girl that she participated in an ambush in Isabela is absurd, and to inject in her mind that she was part of the group that ambushed and killed her own soldier uncle is a calculated psychological torture upon her. It just shows how inconsiderate and brutal these so called PNP/AFP psywar experts can twist and manipulate the young mind of their unsuspecting alleged red kid prey.”


AFP, PNP, RDC defer delist of 7 Igorots from terrorist list

LAGAWE, Ifugao -- The Regional Development Council in Cordillera is deferring action on a proposed resolution seeking the removal of seven Igorots from the terrorist list of the Department of Justice, pending written recommendation of intelligence agencies in the region.
The Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and other intelligence agencies in Cordillera convened on Monday evening to discuss the issue, National Economic Development Authority regional director Milagros Rimando, who co-chairs the RDC, said.
                “They convened and discussed with intelligence personnel before they can clarify in writing their stand in relation to the RDC-RPOC passing a similar resolution. We hope to get their recommendation at the soonest, so that we can schedule a special meeting,” she said.
                Following their Monday meeting, the heads of the 5th Infantry Division (51D) and the Police Regional Office Cordillera requested the RDC to delay the recommendation on the delisting of the seven Igorots from the DOJ's terrorist list.
5Ist ID commander Maj. Gen. Perfecto Rimando and Cordillera police regional director Chief Supt. Rolando Nana both sought to communicate first with the DOJ to find out the reason for the seven Cordillerans' inclusion in the terrorist list, which named 600 persons in all.
The seven Cordillerans, including a United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria “Vicky” Tauli-Corpuz, are on the DOJ list of alleged officers and members of the communist groups.
The six others are human rights lawyer Jose Molintas, Joanna Cariño, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin De Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid, and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding.
“They could not have been tagged as terrorists without a reason. We want to know why they were branded as such. We hope to study further,” Rimando said.
The police official said tagging people involves certain mechanisms and due diligence is needed before recommending a deletion of their names.
“There should be a mechanism and supporting detail why we will recommend their delisting,” he said.
The officials said it is not easy to tag a person as a terrorist and is even more difficult to delist him or her.
Earlier, the Baguio City Council approved a resolution seeking the deletion of the seven Igorots' names from the terrorist list. A similar resolution was also passed by Sagada in Mountain Province.
Mountain Province provincial administrator lawyer Amador Batay-an added that the tagging affects the whole region, thus the need to immediately act on it.
               It puts not only some provinces but the region in a bad light to be declared that there are some terrorists coming from our region. While it is true that there are some activists, these are not terrorists, they are fighting for rights of their people but they are not terrorists. To equate activism with terrorism is also unfair to those who are fighting for the rights of their brothers and sisters in the Cordillera,” Batay-an said. -- PNA


NPA rebs face raps over Cagayan exec’s slay

TUGUEGARAO, Cagayan, — Police filed criminal charges before the Department of Justice on Tuesday against 16 New People’s Army  rebels in connection with the killing of a councilor in Allacapan, Cagayan on May 24.
Chief Supt. Mario Espino, Cagayan Valley police director, said the communist guerrillas, who are members of the Danilo Ben Command, admitted killing Zaldy Mallari in Barangay Labben.
Police said Cristina Garcia, alias Ka Senyang, and Lolito Rasa, who were among those charged, led the attack on a police station in Allapacan in 2013, which left eight police officers dead, and the killing of a soldier in an ambush in Rizal, Cagayan last year.    


SAP Go assures independent NBI probe on Fr. Nilo slay

By Ariel Avedaño 

GEN. NATIVIDAD, Nueva Ecija — Special Assistant to the President  Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Monday that he will order the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the killing of Rev. Fr. Richmond Nilo.
Speaking at a press conference Monday after attending the inauguration of the newly-constructed evacuation center here, SAP Go said the truth must prevail so that justice can be truly served in the murder of Fr. Nilo.
The priest was gunned down while preparing to celebrate a 6 p.m. Sunday mass at the Nuestra Señora de Las Nieve Chapel in Barangay Mayamot, Zaragoza last June 10.
Adel Roll Milan, 26, a primary suspect in the murder has been arrested and charged while police continue to hunt down at least five other suspects.
Milan’s mother, Mylene who is an overseas Filipino worker in Riyadh, appealed to SAP Go through her Facebook page to conduct an impartial probe on the case, claiming her son is innocent.


Graft raps against Ifugao congressman Baguilat dismissed

THE SANDIGANBAYAN has upheld the dismissal of the graft cases filed against Ifugao Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Baguilat Jr. in connection with the alleged purchase of an overpriced vehicle during his term as governor.
                In a resolution dated June 4, the Fifth Division said the Office of the Ombudsman failed to raise new arguments that would warrant the reversal of a ruling clearing Baguilat of two counts of graft.
The anti-graft court said the ombudsman violated Baguilat’s right to a speedy resolution of the cases.
It said it took the prosecution more than a decade to resolve the complaint, even as the issue involved only a single transaction.
Filed by the ombudsman on Feb. 9, the cases against Baguilat stemmed from the purchase by the provincial government of Ifugao of an alleged overpriced second-hand Isuzu Wagon Trooper amounting to P900,000 in March 2003.
The ombudsman said the vehicle was purchased without public bidding as required under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
It said the purchase was anomalous due to the absence of budget appropriation and execution of the deed of sale ahead of the preparation of the purchase request, canvass report and purchase order.
But in a ruling dated April 19, the Sandiganbayan said the prosecution’s arguments were baseless.
It also questioned why the resolution only came out eight years after the cases were filed.


‘Tambay’ nabbed for frustrated slay of cop

By Erwin Beleo

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union – A “tambay” was arrested for frustrated murder of a policemen and illegal possession of firearms in Barangay Francia Sur, Tubao, La Union at about 5:47 p.m. Monday.
Chief Insp. Silverio Ordinado Jr., La Union’s police information officer, identified the suspect as Richard C. Talamayan, 42, married, jobless and resident of Barangay Francia West.
The victim was identified as PO1 Francisco Geneta of La Union Provincial Mobile Force Company.
Investigation showed Talamayan was having a drinking session of liquor with his friends at a sari-sari store when Geneta entered said place and took off his helmet.
Without apparent reason the suspect got irked and poked a gun at the victim and allegedly pulled the trigger but misfired prompting Geneta to seek assistance at the HI-PAD (Highway Public Assistance Desk) and arrested the suspect.
Seized from the suspect were a handgun Colt MK 4, Cal. 45 pistol with serial number 172855, with one magazine and six live bullets. Talamayan is now under the custody of Tubao police station.
He is facing charges of attempted murder and Violation of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms.


Cordillera leaders hit NPA attack in Sagada

LAGAWE, Ifugao — The Cordillera Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council unanimously endorsed in a joint meeting here Monday a resolution condemning the New Peoples Army's attack on policemen in Sagada, Mountain Province last June 5 that left a policeman dead and nine others wounded, including a colonel.
 The official condemnation was initiated by the Army’s 503rd Infantry Brigade Commander General Leopoldo Imbang, who recommended the issuance of such resolution for the security of the residents.
The 503rd IB covers the provinces and cities in the Cordillera, except for Abra province.
Imbang said the attack should be condemned, not just because there were 10 casualties, but for the atrocities in communities that prevent people from living peacefully and without fear.
Imbang said numerous atrocities were recorded in Sagada alone in the past years, despite having been declared a peace zone by the communities about 20 years ago.
In Philippine setting, especially in northern Philippines, a peace zone means communist rebels are not allowed to put up camps in the area, for the residents' peace of mind.
About seven years ago, soldiers bound to conduct a medical outreach were ambushed in a sitio in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Imbang recalled that around three years ago, members of the 54th Infantry Battalion facilitating a youth leadership summit in Sagada were ambushed by the NPA, resulting in the death of two soldiers and wounding five others.
Imbang reported that based on records, there were 171 violent and non-violent activities by the NPA, 121 of them happened in six barangays in Sagada--Aguid, Fidelisan, Madungo, Bangaan, Tannulong, and Pide.
These villages were declared peace zones by the barangays and the town governments, but still, bloody encounters were recorded in 2010, 2013, 2014. The recent of which was on June 5.
Imbang recommended that members of the Citizens Armed Forces Auxiliary Unit (CAFGU) be stationed at Lake Danum, villages of Aguid and Fidelisan in Sagada, Tinoc town in Ifugao, and in barangays of Aguinaldo and Pinococ in Pinukpuk, Kalinga, where a PHP4.3 billion pump irrigation project of the government is set to be constructed.
 Thomas Killip, a former Sagada mayor and Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon during the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo, also suggested that aside from condemning the NPA atrocities in Sagada, a separate resolution commending the community for their initiative to protect the peace zones be issued.
"Community responses are also important. These are matters that should be appreciated, as (atrocities) degrade the integrity of our peace zone," Killip said. "The officials and elders are not remiss in doing their role.”
Killip said before the June 5 fighting broke out, it was a member of the community, who reported the presence of NPA encampment near Barangay Buasao, where neighboring barangays Aguid and Fidelisan source their water.
He said the leaders and elders of the community in Fidelisan took the initiative to visit the area and talk to those establishing a camp to prevent the pollution of the water source.
Killip said a group of women from Sagada rescued and retrieved the bodies of the wounded and dead combatants in the June 5 clash.
National Economic Development Authority Cordillera regional director Milagros Rimando, who presided over the joint meeting, said the agency had tasked the Department of the Interior and Local Government to collate more data and information to support the resolutions. PNA


Backhoe falls into deep water crossing river; driver drowns

By Mar Supnad

CAMP QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur – A backhoe operator drowned Monday  after the heavy equipment he was driving fell into deep water in Buaya River, Barangay San Tiburcio, Salcedo town.
Police report identified the victim as Roel Urbano, 52 backhoe operator and resident of Baranagy Bagani Tocgo, Candon City.
Initial investigation by the police disclosed the backhoe of FNDCC construction driven and operated by the victim flipped while crossing   Buaya River due to a deep excavation in the river bed.
But the victim was trapped inside the backhoe and drowned.
Victim was rescued by the responding disaster officials of Sta. Lucia, and rushed him to Salcedo District Hospital, Barangay Pob Norte, Salcedo, for medical treatment but was declared dead by attending physician Dr. Joan Gacusana.
It was not known who ordered the deep excavation along the river.


'Big 3' rolls back oil prices in Baguio City

By Dionisio Dennis Jr.

BAGUIO CITY -- The so-called "Big 3" oil companies -- Shell, Petron and Caltex denied they were involved in “cartelization” pump prices here saying they cut petroleum products in the city by as much as P2 to P6 per liter for diesel and gasoline, respectively.
 Rep. Mark Go bared this to media on Friday, saying, “They (oil retailers) they lowered the price of diesel by P2 and P6 for gasoline. Now the disparity is trimmed,” Go said in Filipino, referring to the disparity in the pump prices in Baguio compared to other parts of the country.
He, however, said that he is not yet contented as the disparity remains at P5 to P6 in the city and Rosario, La Union when it should only be between P1 and P1.50.
In 2017, Go filed a bill in Congress seeking for an investigation into the P10 to P14 disparity in the prices of fuel sold in Baguio compared to Rosario, La Union.
 “This has been what we were working on since last year and as part of the effort that we have done, we filed a resolution to investigate this,” he said.
 He said that during the week, Mia delos Reyes of Petron called him that they will reduce the price of gasoline by PHP5 and diesel by PHP1.50.
 He, however, said that while the disparity had been lowered, “we are not yet satisfied. We want to know how they get their price and what the basis of the rollback is.”
 While the battle to lower the prices of fuel sold in Baguio goes on, Go said he also filed a bill in Congress to empower the Department of Energy (DOE) to set the price ceiling of fuel to avoid disparity in the selling prices, not just in Baguio, but the whole country. The proposed bill is now with the Committee on Energy at the Lower House.
 Meanwhile, in a consultation meeting on Thursday, owners and retailers of fuel in Baguio city denied allegations of cartelization in oil pricing.
 Retailer and franchise holders of the "Big 3" said they are merely following the suggested retail price handed down to them by their mother company.
 Elmer Tamondong, Rhea Tabanda, and Christina Suello from Shell, Caltex and Petron said that as local retailers, they cannot dictate prices.
 "As a retailer, we don't have the right to change the prices of our products. The decision is from our main office and whatever their decision is, that is what we are following. That is why it is beyond our control," Tamondong said in Filipino.
 During the consultation meeting, DOE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau Director Rino Abad talked about the factors affecting oil price. He said that the absence of a nearby oil depot and big industries' heavy fuel consumption are just some of the factors. He also said that the low consumption in the city relative to La Union is another factor.
"Fuel affects everyone, that's why we are here to discuss with you the issues and concerns that affects oil price, especially that there are reports that the fuel price here has some disparities," Abad said.
 Aside from the retailers of the big three, a representative of Clean Fuel who also attended the meeting, said they sell at lower prices because they have limited expenses, such as advertisements, which are added to the operational cost.
 "We can give our customers as low as we can because we're not like the Big 3 that spend money for advertisement and we do not also pay much in our rentals because some of the lot where our retail gasoline stations are situated are company-owned," the representative said. 


Army overruns Apayao NPA camp

KABUGAO, Apayao -- Army soldiers overran an encampment of the New People’s Army here following two encounters with about 15 armed guerrillas last Monday.
Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, Northern Luzon Command spokesman, said the NPA encampment was discovered by troopers from the army’s 50th Infantry Battalion late in the afternoon in Sitio Sibayan, Barangay Paco Valley.
Nato said the camp could accommodate up to 40 guerrillas.
It was discovered by the troopers under Joint Task Force Tala who were pursuing the 15 NPA rebels that engaged them earlier in the day.
The first encounter lasted about 30 minutes while the second exchange of gunfire between the rebels and pursuing army soldiers happened near the vicinity and lasted about 20 minutes.


Kalinga officials hit recruitment by Cordillera People's Liberation Army

TABUK, Kalinga -- The provincial government condemned recruitment activities of the Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) in the province, a local official said on Monday.
“There is a PPOC (Provincial Peace and Order Council) resolution condemning the recruitment activities of the CPLA (Molina faction) in the province and telling them to stop,” said Andy Ngao-I, co-chairman of the PPOC.
Ngao-I said the resolution was passed in March.
The CPLA is an armed militant group founded by the late rebel priest Conrado Balweg.
Ngao-I said the CPLA uses as a basis for recruitment the group's purported integration into the Armed Forces of the Philippines, claiming the CPLA would be the regional security force in Cordillera once Federalism takes effect.
“That is deception,” Ngao-I said.
He said the regional autonomy being pushed is not a deviation from the Constitutional dictates that there will only be one AFP and one PNP, and no individual security force will be established for the Cordillera alone.
Ngao-I said the CPLA group of Molina actually requested the PPOC, through Gov. Jocel Baac, to rescind the resolution, but he declined.
“Hindi naman madali na ganun (It's not that easy)," Ngao-I said.
Ngao-I is also the president of the unified Cordillera Bodong Administration-CPLA, which had renewed the peace agreement with the government through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPPAP) Secretary Jesus Dureza.
"We had a meeting in Manila OPPAP two weeks ago regarding the support of the CBA-CPLA on autonomy towards federalism,” he said.
Ngao-I said the CPLA's Molina faction CPLA is not part of their group.
"They are not my group. Our group is the unified (one), which entered into a renewed Bodong with the government,” he said.
In a separate interview, Kalinga Provincial Police Office Director Senior Supt. Alfredo Dangani said training that involves only marching and no use of firearms would pose no problem.
“It will be different if they will be using guns or firing them because that would mean verification of the licenses, as well as the authority to establish such an area for gun firing," he said. -- PNA


Dengue cases force Benguet schools to stop skirt-wearing

By Nancy Lee B. Banaña

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Alarmed by increasing dengue cases, Benguet province suspended wearing of skirt uniform in private and public schools until September.
In a memorandum, Benguet Schools Division Superintendent Marie Carolyn B. Verano notified school heads regarding temporary suspension of wearing of skirt uniform among female learners in support to the national campaign for Dengue risk-free Philippines.
“The suspension shall be for the period of June to September since it is during this rainy season that mosquito breeding sites are rampant and it is likewise the peak of dengue suspect cases,” Verano said.
Accordingly, the provincial Health Office of Benguet reported there were already 201 suspected Dengue cases from January to April of this year -- a 64 percent increase as compared to last year’s data on the same period.
The report added affected age groups are mostly school children.
Hence, female learners are not prohibited from wearing black slack pants as school uniform.
An immediate medical assistance shall be given to a learner or school employee who shows symptoms of Dengue fever.
Meanwhile, school authorities were advised to regularly clean mosquito breeding sources in the campus by eliminating stagnant water, draining clogged drainage, and following proper waste disposal.



 5 nabbed for illegal cutting of lumber

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- Five persons were arrested in a span of five days for illegally cutting and transporting lumber in La Trinidad and Tublay towns this province.
In a report released to the media on Friday, Police Regional Office Cordillera  Regional Director Rolando Nana said a total of 3,669 board feet of illegally sawn wood were seized in different operations from May 28 to June 10. Also brought to the custody of the police was a chain saw.
The confiscated items valued at P112,430 were taken from Rodan Aligan Palista, 30; Junior Alibio Aligan, 41; Jurdan Lino Pontino, 41, all residents of Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet; and Melvin Orfiano Marcelino, 20, of Bahong, La Trinidad, Benguet; during an operation of the local police on June 10 in Bahong, La Trinidad.
Also arrested on June 6 by the Tublay municipal police was Arthur Awal Canite, 50, also a resident of Ambassador, in a check point at barangay Caponga for illegally transporting lumber.
The seized forest products were brought to the custody of the arresting police units, and the suspects were charged for violation of the Forestry law. -- Pamela Mariz Geminiano/PNA

Falling boulder crushes vehicle; 4 survive

TUBA, Benguet -- A policeman, together with his wife and their two children, was going on a road trip on Father’s Day when, suddenly, their vehicle was crushed by a falling boulder here along Kennon Road morning of June 17 around 11:30 a.m.
The incident occurred at the Tokang section of the highway located at Camp 3 in the town of Tuba, DPWH foreman Jojo Flores said.
The Tuba Municipal Police Station identified the victims as Police Officer 2 Jefferson Cadap, 28, assigned to the La Trinidad MPS; his wife Ginalyn, 27 and their two children aged 3 and 4.
The report said the boulder totally wrecked the Toyota Fortuner, with Plate No. AHA-3502, which PO2 Cadap was driving through Sitio Tukang, Barangay Camp 3 in Tuba at 11:10 a.m.
A witness told investigators that all four passengers appeared to have suffered only minor injuries and were taken to the Pines City Doctors Hospital.
Flores said the Toyota Fortuner with three persons on board was headed toward the lowland from the city when it figured in the accident.
Kennon Road was opened to motorists several days after it was closed to traffic due to the risk of possible landslides.
The province of Benguet, including Baguio City, has been experiencing continuous heavy rains for more than a week.

 Man nabbed for rape

TUGUEGARAO CITY — A 20-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly tried to molest a teenager in Sta. Ana, Cagayan on June 16. 
Rey Javier allegedly blocked and hit the victim in the abdomen as she was on her way to a store in Barangay Kapanikian at around 8:30 a.m.
Javier was undressing and kissing the girl when her mother arrived.
The suspect fled, but was arrested by responding police officers. -- Raymund Catindig 

Doctor nabbed for estafa cases

BANGUED, Abra  -- A doctor was arrested here Tuesday for estafa. Nabbed was Gemma I. Barbero, 50, of Barangay Calaba after Raphiel F. Alzate, executive judge RTC Branch 1, Bangued issued warrant against her and setting bail of P26,000 each for four cases. The judge also set bail of P60,000 for her in another case.

 Three jailed for illegal drugs

BAGUIO CITY – Three illegal drug suspects were arrested here last week.
                Rufino Clavel Merrera Iii aka Jack, Jackson, 33, was arrested in his residence at Kalapati St., Dizon Manzanillo Subdivision. This, after  judge Iluminada Cabato of Regional Trial Court, First judicial Region, Branch 59, Baguio City issued warrant for his arrest with no bail recommended.
Two other suspected drug pushers identified as John Ardee Chan Gamboa, 28 and Elain Red Lamadrid Cabreros, 26 were also arrested in a buy-bust operation at Alfonso Tabora.
Seized from their possession were two sachets containing shabu, P1,000 buy-bust money and additional P6,000.

Laborer nabbed for robbery 

BAGUIO CITY -- Jose Rafer Agnawa, 20, single, laborer, of Barangay Balsigan  was arrested after arrest warrant was issued against him by Ivan Kim V. Morales, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, Branch 59, Baguio City for robbery with bail set at P200,000.
                Amador Quilicol Barroga, 42, farmer of Banglolao, Bucay, Abra, was arrested after Raphiel F. Alzate, presiding judge of RTC Branch 58, Bucay, Abra issued warrant against him for rape with no bail recommended.

Student shot outside bar 

BAGUIO CITY – A student was shot here around 11:20 p.m. of June 15 along the sidewalk in front of the Bonfire Bar at Upper General Luna Road.
Police said Earl Jester Puruganan Ramos, 17, student was shot by still unidentified suspect.
Investigation disclosed the victim and his friends had a drinking session at Likour Bar in the area.  The victim kept  going in and out from the bar until one of his companions named  Ruel Sanchez Idica saw him lying along the road. Idica rushed the victim to the Baguio General Hospital wherein he was found with one gunshot wound on his chest. The victim is still under observation in the hospital. According to the friends of the victim, they never heard a gunshot and no empty shell was recovered at the crime scene. Results of a CCTV footage review was not revealed.

Man cornered for homicide

SAN MANUEL, Pangasinan – A man was recently arrested here at Camangaan, San Roque for homicide. Nabbed at vicinity of San Roque Dam was Wilfredo Duqueza  Gatchalian, 49 after warrant was issued against him by Cecilia Corazon S Dulay Archog, presiding judge of  RTC, Branch 6, Baguio City. Dulay set bail of P200,000 for Gatchalian’s temporary liberty.

3 nabbed for illegal gambling

BAGUIO CITY – Three persons were nabbed here Wednesday at a house along Labsan St. for illegal gambling. Arrested were George Pascua Galvan, Vilma Samson Jose and Irene Nonog Mangaoang.
Confiscated from the suspects were a set of playing cards, three monoblock chairs, P355 and dice.

Violence lands man in Tuba jail

TUBA, Benguet – A man nabbed here recently for violation of Republic Act 9262 (violence against women and children). Arrested was Junifer Bednaen Palatic, single, 51, here of Camp 5, Kennon Road. 
                  This, after Marietta S. Brawner-Cualing, presiding judge of RTC Branch 9, Family Court of Benguet, First Judicial Region issued warrant against him and setting bail of P120,000 and P40,000 for two cases.

Cops nab 4 rob suspects in P1M vape products during buy bust

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga- Four suspects allegedly responsible in a robbery break-in involving more than a million-peso worth of vape products in Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga early dawn of June 10 were arrested by police authorities last week during a buy bust operation at Barangay Sta Lucia, City of San Fernando.
Supt Ronald Agohob, San Fernando Chief of Police, said in his report to Chief Supt Amador V Corpus, regional director, that the arrested suspects were identified as Lester Joseph Layug , said to be newly identified Drug Personality; Russel Villavicencio, target-listed Drug Personality; Mabel Bacani, newly Identified Drug Personality; and one Pating, Akyat Bahay Child in Conflict with Law (CICL) with an existing Warrant of Arrest for Violation of Sections 11 and 13, RA 9165 and target-listed Drug Personality.
Police said at dawn of June 3, the suspects took advantage of the heavy downpour, destroyed the roll-up door of the Hideout Enterprises and once inside carted away the P57,000 cash and vape products amounting to P1,025,850.00.
Seized from their possession and control during the buy bust operation were11 heat-sealed plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu; illegal drugs paraphernalia; assorted Vape Products; assorted tools and Php 500.00 marked money.
The recovered vape products were positively identified by the owners of Hideout Enterprises (burgled vape store) as their stolen products.
Appropriate charges for violation of RA 9165 and Art 293 are already being filed against arrested suspects for the filing of appropriate cases in court.
PRO3 PNP director Corpus said that “This accomplishment proves that we keep on leveling up our anti-criminality measures and our resumed anti-drug campaign to stop lawless elements from doing their illegal activities and eventually put them in jail.” -- Mar Supnad

 Tabuk bizwoman nabbed for estafa

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – A businesswoman identified as Emy Flor Bren Merlin, 39, single was arrested at her residence here in Barangay Appas recently for estafa.
                This, after judge Victor A. Dalanao of MTCC, 2nd Judicial region, Tabuk City issued warrant against her and setting bail of P24,000 for her temporary liberty.

Charges filed vs 2 men for stealing motor parts

BANAUE Ifugao – Police filed charges at the prosecutor’s office here against two men who allegedly recently stripped motorcycles and tricycles of their parts parked along the road here.    
Suspects were named as Benito Gameje Jr. and Cyril Gano.
               An unattended motorcycle at Paypayan, Bocos here was taken into custody by police. When the motorcycle was checked by Grace Patawon, she confirmed one side mirror of said motorcycle was part of her motorcycle stolen by unidentified suspects on May 28.
                Philip Jansenn Carbon Cacliong also complained to Banaue police saying a battery and carburetor assembly of  said motorcycle were parts of his motorcycle taken evening of May 28.
                His testimony was affirmed by Fernando Piog Bacnis Jr., 38 of Paypayan, Bocos. Accordingly, he saw Gameje Jr. and Gano Jr., dismantling a tricycle parked along the road that night removing spare parts and accessories of the vehicle owned by Salvador Guinannoy and another tricycle parked beside it using tools.
Salvador Guinannoy 37 of Proper Bocos, also said early morning of May 29, he found the carburetor of his tricycle was also forcibly removed.

 Couple jailed for assault on widow

TUGUEGARAO  CITY  -- A farmer and his wife landed in jail after the woman allegedly assaulted a neighbor whom she suspected of having an affair with her husband in Rizal, Cagayan Monday.
Jonel Ladera, 54, and his wife Rosemarie, 52, were arrested by responding police officers.
Rosemarie reportedly attacked Helen Telan, 55, with a crowbar in Barangay Duyun, said town police chief Senior Insp. Ponciano Taliping Jr.
The Laderas were dragging Telan toward their backyard when the woman regained consciousness and cried for help.
Police said the suspects thought Telan was dead and planned to hide her body in the backyard.
The victim was brought to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center for treatment. -- Raymund Catindig 

 Robbers in van cart away valuable P800-K  items

BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan — Robbers on board a van believed to be from a syndicate were tagged in the robbery in some unattended houses in Barangay Buayaen here recently.
The latest incident was reported in Bayambang Police by victims — spouses Gener Ecalner, 43, photographer, and Jocelyn Ecalner, 42 years old, married, businesswoman, both residents of the same place whose house was entered by unidentified culprits.
Around 6 a.m. on June 8, the victims left their house locked and unattended and then went to their photo shop on M. H. Del Pilar Street in Bayambang. At about 4 p.m. of the same date, Jocelyn decided to go back to their house and while approaching their gate’s house she noticed that the main door of their house was opened and there was a gray van parked in front of their gate and whose license plate was covered by a rug, prompting her to call someone.
The van, however, started to accelerate and fled toward the south direction (going to Camiling).
And she immediately entered their house and found that following items were missing: Samsung S Note tablet; four LG home theater speakers; three flat screen LG TVs; assorted pieces of jewelry, three Canon DSLR cameras with complete accessories; six pieces hard drive; one unit of two way radio; one touch screen LG laptop; one Del laptop; and assorted tools with a total estimated cost of P800,000 believed to be taken and carted away by the suspects on board the gray van. -- Liezle Basa-Iñigo

Drug group member falls in Baguio bust

BAGUIO CITY -- Anti-narcotics agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Baguio Office arrested early last week a member of a local drug group in a buy-bust operation along Lower Mabini.
Romeo Abucay Tan, alias Hopia, 55, of Asin Road was arrested when he sold a heat-sealed sachet containing suspected shabu worth P10,000 to an undercover agent.   
Authorities confiscated from Tan the buy-bust money used during the illegal drug trade upon his arrest.
He is now detained at the Baguio City Jail while a case for violation of Republic Act Number 9165 or the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002" will be filed before the proper authorities.

 Thief jailed for stealing coed’s cell phone

BAGUIO CITY – A pickpocket was nabbed here recently for stealing the cellphone of a student. A police report said the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. along Gov. Pack Road.
The victim was named as Carla Mae Juguilon Villena, 19, while the suspect was named as Renz Balangguy Pasi, 18, of Buyagan, La Trinidad, Benguet.
                Investigation showed that the victim was walking alone when the suspect who was hanging out near the entrance of the Commission on Elections entrance followed and took her gold Samsung J1 2016 model cellphone. The victim felt it and followed the suspect who walked normally from her. However when the suspect glanced back and noticed that he was being followed by the victim, he ran and crossed at the opposite side of the road. The victim shouted “Magnanakaw yan (that’s a thief)” to catch the attention of the people at the area. A concerned citizen subdued the suspect who was brought to Police Precinct 3 where the cellphone was recovered from him. 

 Laborers mauled in Kiangan  

KIANGAN, Ifugao – Two laborers were mauled by still unidentified suspects here recently along the road at Poblacion. Victims were identified as Andres Villarose Tacbobo, 19, of Poblacion, Mantikaw, Mindanao and Darwin Serenia Dalundunan, 30, of Ozamis Oriental Mindoro, both staying at St. Joseph School, Pindongan, Kiangan, Ifugao as laborers.
                Investigation disclosed after drinking, the two above victims went out of Calanse’s Bar to go home but while walking, five suspects, one identified as Kurt Eheng mauled the victims without any reason then fled after the incident.
As a result, victims sustained injuries on their faces and were brought by cops to Ifugao Provincial Hospital, Lagawe, Ifugao for treatment.


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