Cordi execs confident Arroyo will help pass regional autonomy bill

>> Tuesday, July 31, 2018

BAGUIO CITY -- Cordillera leaders said they were confident the autonomy bill pending before Congress will be passed with the election of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as new Speaker of the House of Representatives.
 “We are hoping that Speaker Arroyo can help us," Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said here Wednesday.
"We are just waiting for the reorganization in the Lower House if there is something like that would happen. We are getting an appointment with her and whoever will be, if they will not change Congressman Rodolfo Farinas as majority floor leader and Congressman Pedro Acharon, chairman of the committee on local governments.”
Domogan chairs the Cordillera Regional Development Council, the highest policy-making body of the region.
“Let us help our congressmen push for our autonomy bill to be calendared,” Domogan said, citing that the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was passed by both Houses of Congress and is now in the Office of the President for signature.
He said both the BOL and the Cordillera autonomy being pushed are hinged on Section 15 of Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution.
“We are hopeful that Speaker GMA and other officials of the House will help our congressmen because all of them unanimously authored the House Bill on Cordillera autonomy.”
He also cited in the press briefing the latest information from RDC co-chairman and National Economic Development Authority Regional Director Milagros Rimando that Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito is going to co-author the Senate Bill 1678, together with Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who expressed support and filed the bill at the Upper Chamber of Congress.
Domogan expressed confidence there will be other senators, who will help push the Cordillera autonomy. “I am sure there will be those other senators who will join them,” he said.
 Recalling President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, he said he and other leaders of the upland region were all hoping that the Cordillera autonomy would be mentioned. But it was not.
 “I was hoping that it would be mentioned because the information that reached me before the SONA was that the Cordillera autonomy would be one of the priorities,” he said.
He  urged Cordillerans who hope for self-determination not to be discouraged and continue pushing for it. -- PNA


ConCom member to Cordillera leaders: Push autonomy bid

BAGUIO CITY -- A member of the Consultative Committee reviewing the constitution has encouraged leaders of the Cordillera, through the Regional Development Council to continue their efforts towards autonomy.
“It is very beneficial for the Cordillera if it continues to pursue its autonomy, same thing with the Bangsamoro,” ConCom member Dr. Virgilio Bautista, a former chairman of the Cordillera RDC, said at a press conference on Monday.
The 1987 Constitution provides that there would be autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao, which the ConCom assured will continue to be in the Constitution being drafted.
The same assurance was given by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque during his recent visit in Bontoc, Mountain Province early this month.
Bautista urged the RDC to continue with their efforts to get the autonomous region status, as the ConCom is set to hand its draft Constitution to President Rodrigo Duterte in early July.
The draft will then be transmitted to the Congress, which will convene as a constituent assembly to review the ConCom draft and adopt the proposed revisions to the constitution. The revisions will then be submitted to a plebiscite by the Filipino electorate.
“It's just that we have to be realistic, whichever comes first, the objective is the same. Federalism is self-governance, the power will come from the region rather than the central office,” Bautista said.
Bautista said that in the draft Constitution that the ConCom has created, “the federated region of the Cordillera shall include the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Baguio City, and the component city of Tabuk.”
“All our provinces and two cities are recognized in the Constitution,” he added.
Bautista said the Cordillera autonomy would be “constitutionalized”, further protecting it and strengthening the region’s bid.
Cordillera at present remains an administrative region, pending the approval of an organic act in Congress, and a similar bill at the Senate authored by Senator Miguel Zubiri, creating an autonomous region in the uplands.
The BBL, however, is now in the bicameral committee of the two houses, and is expected to be acted on before the 17th Congress goes on recess.
Commissioner Eddie Alih, who is from Mindanao, said that in the draft Constitution that they would transmit to the President, the Cordillera and the Bangsamoro are provided with specific characters.
“There are provisions specific for Bangsamoro and another specific for Cordillera," Alih said.
Cordillera has been banking on the passage of the BBL in Congress, as both clamors are anchored on only one provision of the Constitution, which is hoped to be achieved under the present administration. – PNA


Common terminals for Baguio PUVs pushed

By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY  – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing common terminals for buses, vans and other public utility vehicles travelling to and from cities, municipalities and provinces to the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Edgar M. Avila stated that the local government shall not allow terminals within the central business district for buses, vans and other public utility vehicles travelling to and from cities, municipalities and provinces to the city once the common terminals have been properly identified.
The ordinance added the local government aims to improve facilities, innovate on the transportation sectors service the end users by adopting a technology and other norms for its people.
Under the proposed ordinance, the common terminals shall serve as the loading and unloading points for buses, vans and other public utility vehicles travelling to and from cities, municipalities, provinces to the city, for south-bound transportation, the common terminal shall be located along Marcos highway preferably at the Baguio Dairy Farm property conveyed to the city through deed of usufruct, for north-bound transportation.
The  common terminal shall be located at the Slaughterhouse Compound area or at the property owned by the local government, for west-bound transportation, the common terminal shall be located in barangay Irisan or at the property owned by the local government, for east-bound transportation.
The common terminal shall be located at Outlook Drive within the property owned by the local government or in a property identified by the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources as city needs.
The common terminal shall be equipped with covered loading and departure sheds with at least five bays to accommodate at least 10 vehicles side by side, the common terminals shall have covered and air-conditioned loading platforms for its passengers with minimum of 20 seats per vehicle per bay with clean rest rooms complete with basic facilities, adequate water supply, telephones, public address systems, free hot and cold water, charging stations, television sets and other amenities.
Terminals shall have separate ingress and egress for incoming and departing vehicles; the common terminal shall have a garage for the public utility vehicles and parking areas for waiting vehicles, a frontage area paved with asphalt or concrete, a waste disposal facility placed in strategic areas and a workable and efficient drainage system.
Space capacity for each transport shall be 65 square meters per vehicle for bus, 55 square meters per vehicle for mini-bus and 40 square meters per vehicle for van and funding for the common terminals shall be sourced from the local government, Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the national government or in a joint venture scheme as provided by public-private partnership.
The ordinance stipulated that existing operators who have made permanent improvements in lands they own may be exempted from the coverage of the measure which is now pending deliberations before the local legislative body.


SN Aboitiz Power Group attains safety records; no injuries

SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) Group recently attained safety records without lost-time injury (LTI) in its hydropower facilities in Isabela and Benguet. This achievement marks a significant milestone for SNAP Group, which inaugurated the 8.5 Maris hydroelectric power plant in Ramon, Isabela earlier this year.
The Ambuklao hydro has recorded LTI-free man-hours of 2,019,493 since April 2012, its running best record; Binga has attained 1,581,616 hours since October 2013; and Magat has achieved 1,019,008 hours LTI-free since March 2015.
“This speaks to SNAP’s commitment to the highest standards of workplace safety,” SNAP President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph S. Yu said. “More importantly, it reflects our team’s dedication to ensuring the safety of each team member who works in our plants.”
Over the past decade, SNAP has implemented policies and programs to ensure its continuing commitment to keeping its employees, contractors, and host communities safe. Earlier this year, SNAP-Benguet passed the certification audit of its Integrated Management System (IMS), which includes ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System, as well as the surveillance audit of the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System. SNAP-Magat is up for IMS re-certification in September of this year.
SNAP’s Safety, Health, Environment, Security and Quality (SHESQ) team recently relaunched its reporting system for accidents and near misses, Report of Unwanted Occurrences, through a digital platform called eRUO. The system fosters a sense of personal responsibility and empowers all employees to be aware and proactive about reporting unsafe or potentially unsafe work conditions.
Other proactive approaches to safety are Take 5, a five-step process that encourages all personnel to stop, think and carefully consider the impact to safety before engaging in any task. Teams also hold daily or weekly toolbox meetings to discuss safety, health, or environmental concerns and matters on the planned activities for the day or week. Safety Share, launched in 2017, is a three- to five-minute discussion about safety, health, and environmental topics at the beginning of a meeting, covering general information on safety, health, and environment, lessons learned from any incidents, or best practices. These initiatives are implemented across all SNAP facilities, including its corporate office in Manila.
Promoting safety as a value also extends to its host communities. SNAP continues to partner with the municipal and barangay local government units and partner agencies on annual emergency drills and training programs for dam and water safety.
“These and other initiatives serve to reduce risk and reinforce safety as a corporate value and as a culture, making each employee an advocate,” Yu said. “We’re proud to achieve this milestone, and we’ll work continually to maintain the highest standards and make sure that our facilities remain a safe place to work.”
SNAP Group is a joint venture between SN Power and Aboitiz Power. It owns and operates the 360-MW Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant located on the border of Isabela and Ifugao, the 8.5-MW Maris Hydroelectric Power Plant in Isabela, as well as the 105-MW Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant and the 140-MW Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant in the province of Benguet.  


DOH-CAR cites health bills passed during PRRD's term

By Pamela Mariz Geminiano

BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Health in Cordillera is happy about the large number of health bills passed during the first two years of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, Assistant Regional Director of DOH in the Cordillera Administrative Region, expressed this in an interview on Tuesday.
“Actually, it's not only in the President’s SONA. It was during his time when many of the Republic Acts (RA), health bills were passed into law,” Pangilinan noted on the sidelines of the Philippine National Health Research System press conference here on Tuesday.
The local health official cited, for instance, the Executive Order on anti-smoking, the lifting of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Reproductive Health (RH), the implementation of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PHIC) Z-package, the ban on fireworks and pyrotechnics, the Mental Health Law, and the Universal Health Insurance.
“Ako, personally, I look at it as ang term na ito ang tuwang tuwa ako kasi ang daming naisabatas na bill and we are actually reaping the fruits of many years na pagla-lobby. Yung smoking na nga lang pati yung RPRH (Personally, I am happy because it is during this term, when there are many laws passed and we are reaping the fruits of many years of lobbying, let alone the smoking law and the Reproductive Health),” Pangilinan said.
Prior to the lifting of the TRO on RH, Pangilinan said local health officials were worried. But with the lifting of the TRO, which she said was the result of lobbying, aside the President’s expressed desire for its implementation, the DOH-CAR was able to implement its reproductive health programs.
She also noted the ban on fireworks and pyrotechnics that had led to a big drop in the number of cases of people getting injured or killed during the Christmas season.
“Talagang sa isang EO lang niya, wala na (Its just one EO from him [President Duterte] and it's gone),” she said.
Pangilinan added that Duterte's landmark Mental Health Law now provides services down to the barangay level.
“Kasi ang psychiatrist, they are only in the capital towns or cities. Ang daming mga mentally challenged na kababayan natin na nasa baba and the sorry state is they are being caged, very inhuman karkaru nu psychotic na very harmful nga agbatu (There are many mentally challenged residents in the barangays and the sorry state is that they are being caged, which is very inhuman, especially if they get harmful and throw stones),” she said.
Under the law, Pangilinan said, municipal health officers are being trained on handling mental health gaps, blood screening, and administration of medicines. She said that in Kalinga province alone, there are five registered patients who are now being assisted.
She also lauded the PHIC’s new system and reforms like the Z-package, which includes a coverage on preventive health care to prevent health complications among Filipinos.
“We all know that the driver of health reforms is insurance,” the doctor said, adding that benefits from such reforms are now being felt in the entire Cordillera region.
Pangilinan also noted a huge increase in the government's budget for health.
“Meron nang barangay health stations na malapit sa mga barangay," she said, adding there are now more local public health nurses and midwives available to the locals,”
Before, she said, Cordillerans, especially those from remote villages, still had to go to the nearest capital town for health care. Now, even birthing homes are strategically located, she said, equipped with trained midwives, supplies, and equipment.
She, however, said more needs still have to be done to meet the target of having one health worker in every barangay. --- PNA



 La Union kagawad shot dead in house

TUBAO, La Union -- A newly elected barangay kagawad of Poblacion here was shot dead 6: 20 a.m. Thursday.
Police Chief Supt. Romulo E Sapitula, PRO1 regional director, said the victim Nielo Figueroa Baltazar was on board his car parked in front of his residence when he was shot several times by unidentified suspects on board a white van.
Police said that Baltazar was linked to “Amang Drug Group” which operates in La Union.
He is also listed in the drug watch list as “pusher” in the municipality.
“Some members of the said drug group were arrested and some died in police operations,” Sapitula added.
The neighboring police stations were alarmed and directed to conduct dragnet operations for possible arrest of the suspects.
Sapitula directed his men to conduct thorough investigation. -- Liezle Basa Iñigo

Vehicle falls Apayao cliff; 2 cops injured 

CONNER, Apayao – Two cops were injured when the vehicle they were riding in fell down a ravine here July 21 around  7 p.m.
A police report said the white Tamaraw FX with plate UAK 133 was owned and driven by PO1 Jerson Manaoag Menzi, 25 of Mankayan, Benguet with passenger, PO1 Rommel Bunay Gumidam Jr, 25 of Poblacion, Kabugao.
Apayao both are presently assigned at Apayao Provincial Manuever Force Company based at Turayok, Buluan,Conner.
Investigation disclosed the victims went to buy mineral water at Segundo Store at Centro, Buluan in the town but the vehicle incurred mechanical defect making driver lose control over the steering wheel.
Menzi suffered injuries on his head and right arm while Gumidam suffered injuries on his head, face, chin and fracture on his right arm and chest.
Both victims were brought to Conner District Hospital for treatment. Menzi was transferred to St. Paul Hospital, Tuguegarao City while Gumidam was transferred to Divine Mercy, Tuguegarao City for further medical treatment.

NPA rebel surrenders

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- A regular member of the New People’s Army  A medical officer-underground organizer/recruiter from Kilusang Larangang Gerilya MARCO, Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee surrendered recently to the 54th Infantry Battalion and intelligence units under the Joint Task Force (JTF) “TALA”.
Lt. Col. Isagani G. Nato of the NOLCOM command public information’s office, said the NPA regular member also turned-over his high-powered service firearm to the authorities, an M14 Rifle bearing a Serial Number 1019174.
The personality, whose name was not disclosed, is currently undergoing custodial debriefing with different PNP and AFP units in Calanan, Tabuk, Kalinga.

Charges set vs farmer for raping daughter 

BUGUIAS, Benguet – Charges were prepared against a farmer for allegedly molesting and raping his daughter here.
The mother of the victim accompanied her minor daughter and reported at the police station here Monday that her daughter was raped by her 38-year-old husband.
The child narrated to her mother that her father sexually abused her inside their bedroom sometime in March 2017 when she was in grade 2 and again sometime in March 2018.
Accordingly, her father usually molested her early in the morning whenever her mother left them to work at La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post.
The victim was brought to Northern District Hospital in Bekes, Buyacaoan, Buguias, Benguet for medical examination.

Crim student nabbed for selling marijuana

STO. TOMAS, La Union – A fourth-year criminology student was arrested by authorities during a buy-bust operation here in Barangay Lomboy recently.
Police identified the suspect as Mark Anthony Salazar, 19, a resident of Barangay Sta. Rita, Agoo, La Union.
According to Sto. Tomas police station that Salazar was arrested for selling illegal drugs to an anti-narcotic agent who posed as a buyer in a buy-bust operation.
Seized from the suspect are 8 sachets of alleged marijuana and boodle money.
Suspects denied the accusation; he has been detained at the Sto. Tomas police jail station for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. -- Erwin Beleo

Laborer severely mauled at Chico River Bridge
BONTOC, Mountain Province – A laborer was mauled by a certain Normal Ola and several of his unidentified companions here at Chico River Bridge around 8 p.m. of July 20.
The victim identified as Francisco Ittang Paspas Jr, 36, married, laborer of Samoki, is now suffering severe headaches as a result.    
The victim’s mother Caroline Paspas, complained to police saying her son was mauled without any apparent reason by Ola’s group while on his way home from Poblacion.
The victim after the incident managed to go home and his mother seeing his son with a bleeding nose brought the victim to Bontoc General Hospital wherein he was admitted by his attending physician for multiple abrasion his body.
The victim was scheduled to undergo CT scan at Luis Hora Memorial Hospital in Bauko town.
A police report did not say if Ola and his companions were arrested.

5 nabbed in pot sessions in LU inns

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Five persons were arrested by authorities while engaging in a pot session inside a separate lodging inns at barangays Pagudpud and Catbangen here recently.
Supt. John Guiagui, San Fernando’s city police chief, identified two suspects arrested in Wil-Jan Inn at Barangay Pagudpud and these were Mark Angelo N. Zambrano, 21, single, employed as construction driver, Allan Pascual, 18, single, construction worker both residents of Barangay Taboc, San Juan, La Union.
Other three suspects arrested in Jasmine Lodge at Barangay Catbangen and these were John Jabonete, 31, a lending collector, Ronnie Ver Gaba, 35, a chef cook, and Jonathan Ornido, 20, a student. They were residents of barangays San Francisco and Santiago Norte, of San Fernando City, La Union respectively, while the student is from Barangay Taboc, San Juan, La Union.
Investigation showed that authorities from San Fernando City reported these establishments have alleged suspicious smell inside their premises.
Seized from these suspects are 5 pieces sachets of alleged shabu, 6 strips of aluminum foil with residues, 1 piece sachet marijuana fruiting tops, 2 pieces of improvised tooter, and several drug paraphernalia.
All suspects are now in the custody of San Fernando City police station for proper disposition. -- Erwin Beleo

2 NPAs surrender in Pudtol, Apayao

PUDTOL, Apayao -- Two members of the New People’s Army’s Milisyang Bayan  yielded to the authorities recently.
An alias “Sagana” 24, single and and Alvin Bantoc Santiago alias “El”, 20, single, both farmers and residents of Barangay Malibang here surrendered without firearms to Pudtol police and 17th Infantry Battalion (17IB). The two were debriefed.

Laid-off laborer mauls school building foreman

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Cops responded to a mauling incident here Monday around 7:30 p.m. at Mt. Province General Comprehensive High School where a laborer was mauled.
The victim, named William Petilo Emperador, 39, married, construction foreman of the ongoing school building construction and resident of Bue, Baccari, Paracelis town was brought to Bontoc General Hospital for treatment.
The victim revealed that he was on his way to the kitchen when suddenly and without any apparent reason one Raymond Tumalba, laid-off laborer of same construction firm as that of the victim and native of Kalackad, Tabuk City, Kalinga appeared from nowhere and strangled him on the neck, hurled him on the pavement and mauled him.
The suspect fled as responding police personnel arrived. The victim suffered abrasions, strangulation marks.

Drug suspect killed by cops

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan -- A drug suspect identified as Orko reportedly pulled out a gun after sensing he was dealing with undercover agents in San Jose del Monte City last week.
The suspect shot at the officers, triggering a firefight that resulted to his death, according to Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial police director.

 2 miners surrender in ‘tokhang’ operation 

ITOGON, Benguet – Two small scale miners surrendered to police and admitted using marijuana during a “tokhang” operation here Monday around 6:30 p.m. their residence here n Binanga Sur, Tuding.
Surrenderees were named as Montecarlo Api-it Baranda, 28, married of 21, Binanga Sur and Jeric Francisco Arceo, 23.
Both told police they acquired marijuana from a certain Zar of Alphaville, Tuding. Police identified the suspect as a certain Zar Manuel Cayabyab Quizon VI who was arrested in a buy bust operation on June 25 in Alphaville.
Arceo and Baranda were released and told to appear before town police as part of their monitoring and evaluation when summoned

 Charges set vs b’gay official for slay threat  

SAN JUAN, Abra – Charges are being prepared against a barangay councilman here for threatening to kill a ship worker by pointing a rifle at the latter.
Victim Agnos Bosque Tamayo, 52, married, of Barangay Sabangan went Monday to San Juan police station saying around 10 p.m. of July 22, the suspect, his father in-law, Gorio Turqueza Talingdan, 52, of Barangay Tagaytay went in front of the house of the victim and pointed a rifle at the latter and saying in Ilocano “Apay nga agparpariri ka idiay balay? Patayen kan (Why are you complaining about the house? I will kill you).”
Investigation disclosed earlier around 8 a.m. that day, victim went to the house of the suspect to give money he received from his wife, Marjorie Talingdan Tamayo, an overseas worker.
He had a heated argument with the suspect and did not notice Talingdan followed him on his way home.
The victim disclosed the incident caused fear on his part because he believed the suspect was capable of doing what he said.

 Man, 67 commits suicide in Kapangan 

KAPANGAN, Benguet – A 67-year-old man reportedly committed suicide here Monday for still unknown reason. 
Town police with Kapangan Municipal Health Officer Dr. Lilian Laruan responded and identified the victim as Andrew Chan Tayaotao, 67, married, farmer, and resident here of Deckan, Paykek.
Investigation disclosed around 7 p.m. that day, a daughter of the victim, after coming from school, saw her father through the window of their house with a nylon cord tied around his neck. The cord was tied at the hook of the steel window.
She called the attention of neighbors and reported the incident to police.
Relatives refused to have the victim undergo autopsy because they believe the victim committed suicide because prior to the incident, he informed his daughter and family that he will commit suicide since he didn’t want them to suffer in rearing him because of his illness.

 Narcotics agents shoot dead drug suspect

MEYCUAYAN, Bulacan – A certain Daniel Gelicame, alias Alex, was shot dead when he fired at anti-narcotics agents here in Barangay Lawa, Meycauayan at around 6:15 p.m. on Monday.
Police said the fatality yielded seven sachets of shabu, a .38-caliber revolver and marked money.

6 nabbed in buy-bust operations

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union – Six suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement in illegal drug activities in separate buy-bust operation by joint operatives from the PNP and PDEA Tuesday in San Fernando City, La Union.
Chief Insp. Silverio Ordinado Jr., La Union police information officer, identified the suspects as Stanley Ducusin, 21, resident of Barangay Lancuas, who was arrested in Barangay 2, while four other suspects arrested in Barangay San Agustin and they are Gerald Rilloraza, 22, Gil Garcia, 35, Jose Fontanos, 25, and Randolf Madayag, 29, all residents of Barangay Taberna, Bauang, La Union.
Seized from Ducusin were three sachets of alleged dried marijuana and P500 buy-bust money, while four suspects yielded three sachets of alleged shabu and P500 buy-bust money.
Meanwhile, a tricycle driver Rey Guzman, 38, was also nabbed in a buy-bust operation in Barangay San Pablo, Balaoan, La Union.
Seized from the suspect were two plastic sachets of suspected shabu and P500 buy-bust money. – Erwin Beleo

Farmer commits suicide in Ifugao

ALFONSO LISTA, Apayao – A certain Elmer Rivera Agasita, 45, married, farmer, reportedly committed suicide here on July 22.  
Investigation showed the victim was left by his family and neighbors around 8;30 a.m. while he was looking for herbicide.  Around 11 a.m. Joy Agasita, wife of the victim with their children arrived home from church and saw the victim lifeless kneeling against a bench inside their house with two wounds on his lower abdomen.
Interview conducted with the victim’s wife revealed her husband was known in the barangay as a mentally ill person and he always was saying he was useless to their family and it was better for him to die. 
Families and relatives of the victim were convinced the victim’s death was suicide with no foul play as there was no sign of violence as supported by findings of Dr. Laurice Guillen, Alfonso Lista health officer.
Police found an air gun converted to Cal. 22 believed used by the victim in killing himself.

Shabu, marijuana bricks seized

SAN FERNAMDO CITY, Pampanga -- Police recovered three sachets of shabu weighing 201.345 grams with an estimated street value of P1.3 million in a sting here on Monday.
The suspects were identified as Abdillah Omar, a resident of Dasmariñas, Cavite, and Mariam Baltao, Amenoding Amer and a 16-year-old of New San Jose, Dinalupihan, Bataan.

Tarlac top fugitive nabbed

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — Authorities arrested the second most wanted person of Victoria town, Tuesday morning in San Andres, Victoria, Tarlac.
Arrested was Jeffrey Cainglet y Tuquero, ranked No. 2 most wanted person of Victoria, 27 and resident of the town.
The warrant was issued by Judge Hon. Ramon Pamular of RTC Branch 63, Tarlac City for rape in relation to RA 7610 with no bail recommended.
The suspect is temporarily under the custody of Victoria police for proper disposition. -- Franco Regala

Gays fight it out in Abra disco bar 

BANGUED, Abra – A gay man was confronted here by another gay inside a ladies toilet which led to a confrontation and fistfight between screaming companions of the two. 
A police report said the incident recently happened around 12:30 a.m. at Chalix Disco Bar located here at Zone 5.
Investigation disclosed Willy Ragadio Villastiqui, 35, gay, went inside the comfort room for females to relieve himself when Gretchen Fructuso Valeros, 25, confronted him followed by a heated argument.
The altercation continued until they returned to their respective tables when suddenly one of the companions of Valeros named Carlo Balira Valeros, 38, gay, threw a bottle of beer towards Villastiqui's group who retaliated that turned to a fist fight.
As a result, Valeros sustained injuries on his left elbow and was rushed to the Abra Provincial Hospital for medical treatment.

 Driver, minor survive Kabayan road crash

KABAYAN, Benguet – A young man and a minor were injured when they were pinned inside their vehicle after it hit a road parapet here around 11:50 a.m. recently in Soysoyan, Gusaran.
Police and fire personnel rushed to the area but found victims Frenson Bugtong Cosip, 15 and driver Junie Macario Sacpa Jr., 20 were already rescued by responding civilians.
The responding officers gave first aid before transporting them to the Rural Health Unit at Poblacion, Kabayan.  Investigation disclosed the white Mitsubishi Canter loaded with cabbage bearing plate number RDX 965, owned by Novery Macario Sacpa of Tawangan, Kabayan and driven by  Junie Sacpa Jr., was descending the road when its brakes malfunctioned.
The driver pulled the handbrake but it failed that prompted him to maneuver the said vehicle to the retaining wall but the vehicle continued to move until it bumped the road parapet. Both victims were pinned inside the said vehicle and sustained injuries due to the strong impact.
The injured victims were brought to Baguio General Hospital by Kabayan police for treatment.  The vehicle incurred undetermined cost of damage.

La Union farmer arrested for shabu

BACNOTAN, La Union – A 41-year-old farmer was arrested by authorities in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Sapilang this town recently.
Police identified suspect as Jomar Halinaganan, single, a resident of Casiaman, Bacnotan, La Union.
Halinaganan was nabbed selling illegal drugs or shabu to anti-narcotic agent who posed as buyer in the buy-bust operation.
Seized from him were two heat sealed sachets of shabu and P500 buy bust money.
Halinaganan was detained at the Bacnotan police station for charges for violation of RA 9165 shall be filed against the suspect. -- Erwin Beleo

Cops nab bocap, 4 others for drugs

TUGUEGARAO CITY– A high-value target and four other drug personalities including a former barangay kagawad were arrested in separate police operations recently.
Police Regional Office 2 in its intensified campaign against illegal drugs nabbed Mark Obena, 20, electrician of Purok 2, Mabini, Santiago City for selling 1 pack of dried marijuana leaves weighing 600 grams to a PDEA agent who acted as a buyer.
Confiscated from the suspect was the buy-bust money.
Next to be arrested on the same day by Solana Police and PDEA Region 2 Southern Cagayan in buy-bust operation was Efren P Balubal, former barangay kagawad of Centro Northwest Solana, Cagayan, for selling one sachet containing suspected to be “shabu”.
The PNP also recovered one sachet containing shabu, the buy-bust money, 1 unit of black & white Honda XRM and one Cal. 38 loaded with 2 pieces live ammunition.
Meanwhile, three drug personalities were arrested in separate drug buy-bust operations in Cagayan Valley. Those arrested were identified as Bernardo Javier, 58, married, a resident of Rosario, Santiago City; Ariel Sabado, 29, married, construction worker, a resident of Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan, and Jerry Galande, 31, a resident of Brgy. Masoc, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
Jose Mario Espino said a case for Violation of RA 9165 is now being prepared for filing against the suspects while another case for Violation of RA 10591 was filed against the arrested high-value target. -- Liezle Basa Iñigo

3 students nabbed for pot session

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Three male students were arrested for engaging in a pot session inside a lodging inn of this city at dawn here recently
Supt. John Guiagui, San Fernando’s city police chief, identified the suspects as Franz Jan T. Buncab, 19, HRM student; Patrick Ian L. Sibayan, 19, nursing student; and Paulo B. Cayago, 20, an electrical engineering student.
Guiagui said the suspects were newly identified drug personalities, who had checked-in at room 6 of Pearl Drive Inn along Gov. Luna St. Barangay 4, this city.
Joint operatives of San Fernando City police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency conducted the drug raid operation at about 1:45 a.m.
Confiscated from them were 4 sachets of shabu, 3 sachets of marijuana, 2 improvised pipes with burnt marijuana, 1 aluminum tooter, 2 strips of aluminum foil with residues, and other drug paraphernalia.
The suspects were subjected to medical examination and were placed under the protective custody of the city police station. -- Erwin Beleo

7 arrested for illegal firearms

BAGUIO CITY -- Seven persons, including five teenagers and a minor, were arrested in separate police operations in the highland provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao, and Benguet in a span of seven days, the police regional office reported.
Police Regional Office Cordillera director Chief Supt. Rolando Nana said the police will look into the extent of involvement of teenagers in illegal gun possession.
In a report released to the media, out of the seven arrested persons, five were teenagers, including a 16-year-old, which is considered a minor.
Five firearms of different calibers were seized from the suspects.
Nana said the lone 16-year-old minor was brought to the custody of the municipal social work office in Benguet province's capital town of La Trinidad.
He narrated that in the evening of July 7, the minor brought out his homemade Cal. 22 handgun out of frustration when the store owner refused to sell him alcoholic drinks. Fortunately, the store owner quickly grabbed the gun from the minor and called the police.
Arrested in Balbalan, Kalinga were Bernard Legaspi Velasco Jr., 19 and Kevin Dave Gammad Dalere, 18, after they were found in possession of caliber .45 Colt loaded with eight live ammunitions. Police flagged them down while on board a motorcycle without a plate number.
The two others, Arnolfo Domingo and Angelo Lamao Gunnawa, both 19 years old, were caught after a brief chase as they tried to evade operating units on the night of July 2 in Barangay Bulanao in Tabuk City.
Nana said the two sped away on a motorcycle after seeing policemen prompting the law enforcers to chase them. A Smith and Wesson caliber .38 loaded with five live ammunitions was seized from the two.
In Ifugao province, Jerry Baldino, 30, of Tinoc town and Domingo Natalac, 25, of Asipulo town, were intercepted in a checkpoint in front of the Lamut police station on the evening of July 3 while onboard a motorcycle. They yielded three guns -- a caliber .45 loaded with five live ammunitions, a magnum 22 loaded with three live ammunitions, and a caliber .38.
Nana said charges for illegal possession of firearms were filed against those nabbed.
In a text message, the Cordillera police chief urged those with unlicensed guns or firearms with expired licenses to surrender their guns to avoid being caught for violation of the firearms law, which is a criminal offense.
Nana also commended the personnel on the field for their anti-criminality efforts.
He directed all Philippine National Police units in the Cordillera Administrative Region to launch more operations against loose firearms. -- Dionisio Dennis Jr./PNA

 Police nab 3 drug peddlers in Angeles

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – PRO3 regional director Chief Supt. Amador V Corpus said three persons were nabbed and confiscated from them over P200K worth of shabu in separate anti-illegal drug operations in Angeles City during the weekend.
Operatives of the Angeles City Police Drug Enforcement Unit (ACPDEU) conducted buy-bust operation along Jake Gonzales St. (Shell gas station) Virgen Delos Remedios, Angeles City which resulted to the arrest of Anjo Muñoz.
Confiscated from Muñoz were seven pieces plastic sachet of shabu weighing more or less 55 grams with an estimated street value of P165,000.00; one blue pouch bag; one P1,000.00 marked money; and one light brown Honda City bearing plate Nr RGB 571.
Operatives of Police Station 5 conducted also buy bust operation at Nr 45 Maligaya St., Barangay Cutcut, Angeles City which resulted to the arrest of Herminio Yanga @ Tangi, 49 of said place and Robert Cayanan y Ocampo, 39, of Bagong Silang, Barangay Cutcut, Angeles City.
Confiscated from Yanga and Cayanan were eight small-size heated sachets of shabu with an estimated street value of P40,000,one empty small violet candy box; one pair of scissors, one bamboo stick; one empty fortune cigarette box; one disposable lighter and one bundle of unused transparent plastic sachets; two hundred peso bills and P500 marked money.
Cases for illegal drugs were filed against the suspects at the Angeles city Prosecutors Office. – Mar Supnad

 2nd most wanted person in Ilocos traced in Caloocan

CAMP GEN FLORENDO, La Union- After almost five years of hiding, the 2nd most wanted person among drug pushers was arrested Tuesday night in Caloocan City by police of Santiago, Ilocos Sur and Caloocan.
Senior Insp. Aristeo Tajon, chief of police of Santiago, Ilocos Sur, identified the fugitive as Renato Collado Tengsico, former president of Association of Barangay Captains and native of Poblacion Norte, Santiago town.
“We conducted the intelligence build-up until we were able to trace him in Caloocan city,” said Capt Tajon.
Tengsico was dubbed co-leader of the Tengsico-Cabreros criminal group which was engaged in illegal drugs in the 2nd District of Ilocos Sur.
Tajon said Tengsico was listed under PRRD Level 2, previously at-large for having been convicted for violation of Section 11 of RA 9165.
The report said that Tengsico, listed as one of the high value target of Ilocos Sur police and a resident of Barangay Poblacion Norte, Santiago, Ilocos Sur was caught off guard inside his rented apartment at Caldino Apartment, Block 1, Lot 28, 1st Street, Shelter Ville Subdivision, Barangay 171. Caloocan City when the government forces swooped down on his hideout.
His arrest was based on a warrant of arrest for being convicted for violation of Sec. 11 of RA 9165 issued by Judge Sixto Deompoc of RTC Br 72, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.
Police said the case against the Tengsico stemmed from the anti-drugs operation conducted against the target on August 29, 2013 in the municipality of Santiago, Ilocos Sur that resulted in the confiscation of 11.456 grams of shabu from his possession, control and custody.
During the arrest, the following items were also seized: four sachets of shabu and one weighing scale. -- Mar Supnad


Peace talks


The Philippine government will demand that peace talks with communist rebels shift from Europe to the Philippines and the insurgents are encamped in designated areas during the negotiations to peacefully settle one of Asia's longest-raging insurgencies.
Presidential adviser Jesus Dureza bared this saying New People's Army guerrillas would also be asked to stop collecting so-called "revolutionary tax" from companies and demanding to be part of a future coalition government.
President Rodrigo Duterte's conditions were finalized in a meeting with top military and police officials last week. They're seen as likely to be rejected by the guerrillas, who fear that holding talks in Manila would expose them — including their Europe-exiled leaders — to military surveillance and harassment.
The low-level, rural-based rebellion, which has raged since 1969, has left about 40,000 combatants and civilians dead, hampered security and economic development in the impoverished countryside for nearly half a century. The military estimates that about 3,900 Marxist insurgents continue to wage the insurgency.
"The doors for the resumption of peace talks are still open," Dureza said in a statement.
Dureza said the president still wishes Norway to continue brokering the broader talks, but added that "in the meantime, localized peace arrangements may be pursued by the local government units with the insurgents."
When he took power in 2016, Duterte resumed peace talks with the rebels but canceled them last year to protest continued guerrilla attacks on troops. He also signed an order declaring the rebel group a terrorist organization, a label the insurgents have opposed. The United States has also designated the rebels as terrorists.
After preliminary talks, both sides agreed to a new temporary cease-fire on June 21, with peace talks to resume a few days later in Norway, which has been brokering the decades-long negotiations. But Duterte delayed the resumption indefinitely to allow public consultations, antagonizing the guerrillas.
Last week, communist rebel leader Jose Maria Sison, who founded the Communist Party of the Philippines and is based in the Netherlands, said the insurgents can no longer hold peace talks with Duterte's administration and that it is better to help oust him and negotiate with his successor. Other rebels, however, said that Sison's recommendation would still have to be approved by other guerrilla leaders.
The volatile Philippine president shrugged off Sison's threat and said he was ready to continue fighting the insurgents. "If they're not willing to talk to me, that's fine. I have no problem so we continue with the war. Anyway, we've been there for 50 years," Duterte told reporters.
As peace talks are stalled, clashes between the government and CPP-NPA ensue displacing civilians who can’t even harvest their crops like in Besao, Mountain Province where hostilities are still raging.  


Pushing autonomy; Cordi economy posts huge gain

Alfred P. Dizon

(The article below is by the Philippine News Agency):  

BAGUIO CITY – As Cordillera leaders step up campaign for regional autonomy,  autonomous status, Cordillera recorded the highest economic gain in 2017, marking a 12.1 percent growth, propelled by rebounding industry and services sectors and a steadily improving agriculture.
 In his State of the Region Address at the celebration of the 31st Cordillera Day this July, Regional Development Council chairman and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said all major sectors of the region's economy grew last year, resulting in the highest growth among all regions in the country.
 Industry reversed its negative performance in 2016, rebounding with an 18.6 percent growth in 2017. Agriculture also recovered from a slump in 2016 with a 5.1 percent growth the year after. The services sector also advanced 5.8 percent, although this was a slowdown from the previous year's 7.1 percent growth.
Based on latest records of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Cordillera, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP), commonly known here as the regional economy, increased from an estimated P137 billion in 2016 to P153 billion in 2017.
The GRDP describes the economic performance of a region, which contributes to the gross domestic product or the status of the economy on a national scale. The growth is spurred by the industry sector, particularly manufacturing and construction, with numerous “build, build, build” projects brought to the region, as well as income from the export processing zones and the aggregate contribution of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Industry accounted for half of the region’s total output at 52.1 percent, followed by services at 39.6 percent. Agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing contributed 8.3 percent.
“Industry rebounded from negative growth of 0.3 percent in 2016 to positive 18.6 percent in 2017, brought about by the accelerated growths of manufacturing and construction,” PSA-Cordillera regional director Villafe Alimbuyog said in a report.
Manufacturing posted a robust growth of 19.5 percent in 2017 from 3.8 percent the year before. Construction turned around from negative 26.4 percent in 2016 to positive 23.6 percent in 2017.
Domogan added that employment in the region is at its highest at 95.7 percent and unemployment is at its lowest at 4.3 percent. 
In his address, Domogan also expressed thanks to President Rodrigo Duterte for backing the region's bid for self-determination.
“A milestone for us was our meeting with the President in July 2017 at the Malacañan Palace, where our quest for autonomy was strengthened with the President agreeing to prioritize the passing of the CAR autonomy bill, together with the Bangsamoro Basic Law," he said.
 The RDC, which Domogan heads, has constantly stressed that autonomy is strategic to the development of the Cordillera.
“We need to have political and fiscal autonomy to implement our regional development agenda--an agenda that is responsive to the unique needs of our region and our people,” Domogan said. "We aim for a Cordillera region that is progressive and inclusive.”
“We must pursue a development path that is poverty-reducing, a path that develops the vast potentials of our region, a path that is environmentally sound and sustainable.
How much more can we grow our economy under an autonomous government, where we are in control over our resources? I am certain we can do much more,” he added.
"CAR was the fastest growing economy in the country in 2017," National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Cordillera Regional Director Milagros Rimando said.
“With the declining trend in poverty, we are confident that with sustained growth and improving employment, the region can achieve its poverty target of 15.9 percent in 2022." Domogan said 23 local government units in Cordillera were recognized and given the seal of good local governance in 2017.
This only shows, he said, how the region's local government units (LGUs) have stepped up implementation of government programs for the improvement of their communities.
“We recognize the efforts of our local government units in continually instituting governance reform and sustained local development, especially in promoting transparency, integrity and quality service delivery,” he said.
He added that LGUs in the region also did well in 2017, with regards to the cities and municipalities competitiveness index, based on the our pillars of economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency.
Domogan also reported that Baguio City improved its ranking to 11th in 2017 from 14th in 2016 among highly-urbanized cities in the country.
The towns of La Trinidad, Benguet and Bangued, Abra also made it last year to the top-100 most competitive 1st to 2nd class municipalities in the country.
The towns of Buguias and Tublay in Benguet, Lamut in Ifugao, Bauko in Mountain Province, and Santa Marcela, Apayao were also among the top 100 most competitive 3rd to 6th class municipalities in 2017.
Addressing the LGUs in the region, Domogan said: “To help realize a Cordillera region that is progressive and inclusive, local government units must continually strive to improve conditions for doing business in their area. We reiterate the RDC’s appeal in the past for you to embark on economic enterprises that will augment your finances, to lessen if not remove your dependence on national subsidies like the internal revenue allotment.” 


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