Florida University confers top award to MPSPC faculty

>> Sunday, May 26, 2019


Annie Grail F. Ekid

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Mark Preston S. Lopez, a Fulbright scholar and a faculty of the Teacher Education Department, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College here was bestowed the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award during the College of Education recognition dinner 2019 held at the University of Florida Hilton Convention Center recently.
Lopez was chosen through a rigorous evaluation of a list of nominations for the outstanding leadership award.
Based on correspondence from COE Dean Dr. Glenn Good, Lopez was chosen for “exemplifying the finest attributes of service, leadership, and professional preparation” as evidence of his eligibility for the said award. Two other awards in the graduate level, the Outstanding Graduate
Professional Practice award and the Outstanding Graduate Research award were conferred to Philip Daniels and Wilhelmina Van Dijk, both from the School of Special Education, Psychology and Early Childhood Studies (SESPECS).
Lopez is from the School of Teaching and Learning (STL).
Three faculty members, including his academic advisor, wrote letters in support of his nomination for the leadership award.
His main nominator was Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt, the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in STL and the current advisor of the Student Alliance of Graduates in Education (SAGE). Dr. Maria Coady and Dr. Anne Corinne Huggins-Manley submitted their respective letters of support, outlining the reasons why Lopez should be given the award.
In his main nomination letter, Dr. Ritzhaupt wrote: Mr. Lopez is faithfully serving as the president of SAGE this academic year, and in this role, I have observed his commitment to the intellectual and diverse culture in the COE community.  In this capacity, Mr. Lopez has coordinated a series of relevant workshops for the COE community, refreshed and launched the new SAGE website, and provided guidance and leadership in the planning and implementation of this year’s COE Symposium. Mr. Lopez has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to service and leadership for the betterment of the COE community. Recognized as the winner of the Alec Courtelis Award, Mr. Lopez is recognized for contributions beyond his role as President of SAGE. During his short tenure at UF, he has served as a highly competent and qualified teaching assistant and research assistant in the ESOL program, and has contributed to the growth of teachers and students in Levy County.  However, Mr. Lopez’s accomplishments are not merely in the realm of service, he has also worked tirelessly with his major professor – Dr. Maria Coady – on six peer-reviewed journal articles in leading journals in his field, like TESOL Quarterly, International Journal of TESOL, International Journal of Multilingualism, and over 15 peer-reviewed presentations at state, national, and international conferences. He has also received accolades for his research contributions, including the International Fellowships Program Alumni Award from the Institute of International Education. In my assessment, Mr. Lopez is a well-rounded scholar.
Earlier in 2018, Lopez was awarded the International Student Certificate of Excellence, and he was recognized for taking the lead role in coordinating the COE Research Symposium 2019.
His research paper also won the Best Paper award during the 2018 COE Symposium. Lopez is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on teachers’ culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and hopes to complete his degree in Summer 2019.
He plans to return to the Philippines after graduation and continue teaching at the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College.


Baguio SEAG wushu players to train in China

By Pigoen Lobien

BAGUIO CITY – Five wushu players from Cordillera will undergo a five-month training in China as part of their preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.
“(May) 28 or 30 po ang sabi sa amin (We were told, we will leave on May 28 or 30),” said Divine Wally, a former world wushu champion, in an interview with Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.
Wally, a bronze medalist in the 2018 Asian Games and former SEA Games gold medalist, said they will undergo training at the Wuhan University in Hubei, one of the elite Chinese universities and oldest in China.
“Sa Wuhan University po kami this time, kasi taga dun yung bagong Chinese coach namin (This time, we will train at Wuhan University because our Chinese coach came from there),” said Wally, who will compete in the Sanda category.
Wally will be joined by Daniel Parantac, Gideon Padua, Thornton Quiney Sayan and Jones Inso.
“It is a tentative date, but then we will surely be flying for China to train for the SEA Games late this year,” said Parantac, also former SEAG gold medalist, in a separate message to PNA.
While training in China, they will compete in the 15th World Wushu Championship from Oct. 19 to 23 in Hong Kong.
“We have hectic scheduled because from China, we have World champ then SEA Games,” added Parantac, who will compete in “taiji”, a traditional Chinese exercise.
Parantac, the team captain, will represent the Philippine wushu team in the “Taolu” category.
Parantac, Sayan and Inso - along with Agatha Wong, won gold medals in the first Traditional Wushu Championship in Nanjing, China in December last year. -- PNA


Baguio City gov’t to stop illegal wells’ construction

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – Outgoing Mayor Mauricio Domogan on May 14 directed the City Engineering Office to stop the construction of deep wells that have no excavation permits in the city.
In Memorandum No. 108 series of 2019 to City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo, the mayor said the Baguio Water District had raised concern over the proliferation of private deep wells that causes the city’s groundwater supply to dwindle.  
“Considering the seriousness of the said concern because of its effect, you are hereby directed to stop the construction of deep wells that have no excavation permit,” the mayor noted.
Domogan’s move intends to help the BWD address the growing problem on illegal deep wells in the city over which the department admitted its powerlessness.
“BWD can only do so much to protect its existing water sources and cannot impose sanction/s on private deep well owners considering that pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines, control and regulation over the utilization, exploitation, development, conservation and protection of water resources are primarily vested upon the NWRB (National Water Resources Board,” the BWD noted in a resolution adopted by the Board of Directors last April to bring the problem to the attention of the NWRB.
Resolution No. 13-2019 requested the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to give the BWD “direct involvement” in the approval of water permits particularly in the investigation and studies process and in the monitoring and regulation of water extraction of private deep wells in the city.
The Board said that the at the moment, BWD can only file protests and opposition against some applications for private deep wells as allowed under Presidential Decree No. 198 or the Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973 and for deep wells that operate without permits, the office merely reports them to the NWRB for its appropriate action.


DepEd Benguet trains mentors on journalism

By Augustin A. Dao-anis

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- To equip elementary teachers with skills in coaching and mentoring pupils on campus journalism, the Benguet Schools Division Office held campus journalism training for 70 new school paper advisers here at the Cordillera Regional Science High School here May 22-24.
In her inspirational message, curriculum instruction division chief Rizalyn A. Guznian urged participants to learn as much as they can to be effective and efficient school paper advisers.
“I hope that after this seminar you will come up with your school paper in your own respective school,” she added.
Macarthy B. Malanes, education program supervisor for Filipino, mentioned said participants held workshops on news writing, sports writing, editorial writing, photojournalism, editorial cartooning, feature writing, column writing, copyreading and headline writing, science writing, and layouting.
EPS for English Francis F. Peckley said participants needed to undergo intensive training on basics of campus journalism because they were first-time school paper advisers.
Some participants still needed to establish their own school paper.
He said a few schools have not yet established their school publications. thus pupils who were interested in journalism could not join division schools press conference because school paper is the main qualification.
Participants said they were thankful for the training because they learned campus journalism from experienced school paper advisers who served as resource speakers and facilitators.


DOH Cordillera games, pageant winners bared

By Erwin Batnag

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Winners in the recent 3rd Dept. of Health inter-agency friendship games here at the capital town were cited in the event hosted by Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital.
Provincial administrator Amador P. Batay-an who delivered the message of Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., urged participating health agencies to make the event a venue to strengthen their relations and solidarity as health providers through sports competitions.
The governor reminded participants to uphold the spirit of sportsmanship and to consider sports as a tool for self-discipline. 
During the opening program, guest speaker DOH-CAR regional director Dr. Amelita M. Pangilinan led the oath of sportsmanship.
In her message, Dr. Pangilinan cited the government’s efforts in addressing health concerns in the country through health programs and policies as evidenced by the significant increase in the DOH’s expenditures in the last three years.
Other guests who further inspired the participating health providers through their respective messages were lawyer Cyphrine Maxcel Y. Dalog, chief of staff of Office of Congressional Representative and Dr. Eduardo B. Caplito, LHMRH medical center chief.
Participating agencies in games were LHMRH (Bauko, Mountain Province), Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (Baguio City), Far North Luzon General Hospital and Training Institute (Quirino, Luna, Apayao), Conner District Hospital (Conner, Apayao), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth- CAR) and DOH- CAR Regional Office.
Meanwhile, DOH-CAR emerged as champion in the dance-exercise while Conner DH and BGHMC emerged as second and third place, respectively.
The Mr. and Ms. Friendship Game 2019 was also held wherein ladies and gentlemen from DOH-retained hospitals and attached agencies showcased not just beauty and wit but also good practices in their  agencies.
Leon C. Saleo-an, Jr. (Nurse II) of LHMRH and a native of Bontoc was crowned Mr. Friendship Game 2019 while Ms. Grace Hope Bello (Medical Officer III) of BGHMC and who hails from Baguio City was Ms. Friendship Game 2019.
Chorale and folk-dance competitions were also held simultaneously with the pageant. Group, individual and indigenous games were as well played as part of the three-day event.
As a result, the LHMRH emerged as the overall champion for garnering 357 points and the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center was only 2 points shy from the winner with 355 total points. Meanwhile, the DOH-CAR regional office comes third with 217 points and was followed by PhilHealth-CAR, Conner District Hospital and Far North Luzon General Hospital and Teaching Center.


Luzon power supply tight until August: NGCP exec

Residents of Luzon will continue to experience tight power supply in the next three months.
At a briefing on Wednesday, Fidel Dagsaan, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines division head for power network planning, said the Luzon grid is expected to normalize in September yet when hydropower plants resume operations after the rainy season.
Dangsaan said yellow and red alerts could still be raised in the Luzon grid until September.
“Projection wise, (power supply will normalize) around September,” he said.
The Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert anew from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, with available capacity of 11,161 megawatts while peak demand was projected to reach 10,182 MW.
On Wednesday, a yellow alert, the sixth for the month, was raised from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with available capacity at 11,845 MW and peak demand expected to reach 11,214 MW.
A yellow alert means there are not enough reserves to cover the largest running generating unit at the time, but does not necessarily lead to power outages. 
Power supply was also reportedly affected by the forced outage of the 345-MW Unit 1 of GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. since Tuesday.
The 60-MW Unit 1 of Bacman Energy Inc. is also on unplanned shutdown since May 14.
Several power plants are operating on derated capacity while hydropower plants are operating at limited capacity due to low water level.
“The projection remains. We see hitting 11,400 MW next week, between May 20 and 24,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuen-tebella said.


Thieves dig city Pizza Hut floor; flee with P49-K

BAGUIO CITY – Still unidentified thieves dug a tunnel from a canal around seven meters away and opened a hole at the floor of the Pizza Hut fastfood establishment here along Marcos Highway and ran away with P49,000 from the cashier’s machine.  
A police report said the theft was discovered around 8 a.m. on May 17. 
Investigation disclosed suspects dug a hole connected from the canal about seven meters away from the main entrance of the said establishment and opened a hole at the flooring as entry point and took P49,000 collection money.
The case is under investigation.
Folks here said the thieves could have been part of a gang of highlanders whose expertise is to dig underneath establishments like banks in their heists in Manila and other parts of the country. 
Some years ago, still unidentified thieves made a tunnel underneath the Tiong San Department Store here along Magsaysay Road and ran away with cash and items worth millions of pesos.


Bontoc folks from disaster area urged: Finish houses

By Alpine L. Killa

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Mayor Franklin Odsey urged beneficiaries of the Core Shelter Assistance Project of the De­pt. of Social Welfare and Development  Barangay Caneo of this capital town to finish incomplete construction of their core shelters units.
Beneficiaries were part of at least 79 families in Sitios Fabfey and Chawwang whose houses were confirmed by the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau- Cordillera Administrative Region in 2014 as within a disaster-prone area and recommended their relocation.
As a long term solution, the Bontoc LGU in coordination with the provincial government sought assistance from concerned national government agencies which resulted to the implementation of the project in the said barangay in 2014.
Odsey met beneficiaries on May 22 in Caneo and committed additional counterpart of the Bontoc local government unit to ensure all core shelter units in the said village are 100 percent complete and ready to be turned over to the beneficiaries.
Latest report from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office said of the 79 CSAP family-beneficiaries, only 28 completed construction of their core shelter units while the remaining 51 have yet to construct windows, doors, comfort rooms and flooring.
With this, Odsey said the Bontoc LGU shall shoulder the purchase and delivery of 10 bags of cements to each beneficiary, toilet bowls and steel bars for those who have yet to complete the construction of flooring and comfort rooms of their units.
Sand, gravel and manpower shall be the counterpart of beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the mayor cited officers of the CSAP and beneficiaries who constructed their units.
An amount of P70, 000 was provided by the DSWD to every CSAP family-beneficiaries purposely for the purchase of construction materials needed to build their core shelter units.
Aside from this, food for work packs were also distributed to the beneficiaries.
As its counterpart, the Bontoc LGU provided eco-blocks, eco-bricks and toilet bowls for the construction of the Comfort Rooms, and the delivery of construction materials purchased out from the 70,000 grant provided by the DSWD. 
It has also mobilized officials and employees as additional manpower during the construction of the core shelter units. Schools, various organizations and volunteers were also tapped to provide additional manpower.
With the additional counterpart to be provided again by the Bontoc LGU, the mayor expressed high hopes that the construction of the core shelter units in Barangay Caneo will be 100% complete before the year ends.


Baguio vice mayor-elect eyes role as ‘peacemaker

BAGUIO CITY – Vice mayor-elect and incumbent city councilor Faustino A. Olowan is eyeing a new role as peacemaker among outgoing and new officials of this summer capital.
According to Olowan, one thrust of newly-elected officials is reconciliation among contending executives in formulation of  projects to boost growth and development of the city.
As a peacemaker and a seasoned labor lawyer, Olowan said the local legislative body will support initiatives of newly-elected mayor, retired Police Maj. Gen. Benjamin B. Magalong, for his administration to succeed in addressing issues left behind by the present administration of outgoing mayor Mauricio G. Domogan.
“We have to call for a people’s summit to ascertain priority legislations needed to be enacted by the local legislative body to sustain growth and development of our city. We will first listen to our people, then we will try to look at how the necessary legislation is in support of the priorities of the local chief executive,” Olowan said.
The vice mayor-elect said the executive and legislative branches of the city government will strive to work out their priorities to harmonize actions of both in support of the programs and projects of the next administration to sustain the growth and development of the city as a premier tourist destination in the country.
He expressed his gratitude to all those who supported and voted for him as the next vice mayor of the city saying he will reciprocate the trust and confidence of the people with utmost and dedicated service for the benefit of the greater majority of the populace.
Olowan hurdled the challenge of incumbent Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) and Councilor Michael Lee Lawana, Councilor Peter Fianza, Councilor Elmer Datuin and human rights lawyer Reynaldo Cortes to the city’s vice mayoralty post.
According to him, proposed legislations must come from the people to help in effectively and efficiently addressing issues and concerns that frequently crop up from the ground so that the city will continue to move on to greater heights in the future.
Olowan called on the public for understanding with the upcoming new city administration as problems of the city cannot be addressed overnight as these need extensive planning, implementation and monitoring, as well as evaluation and assessment stages that are part of the bureaucracy.
He urged various sectors in the city to actively participate in future undertakings of the city government, especially in providing inputs on how to effectively and efficiently implement programs, and appropriate interventions that contribute to overall efforts of finding solutions to the city’s prevailing problems.
 The local legislator assured stakeholders that the City Council will continue to work as a collegial body to uphold the interest of the greater majority of the city constituency through the enactment of ordinances and resolutions beneficial to the people of the city whom they are mandated as duly elected members of the council. -- Dexter A. See


5 drug suspects slain in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija

Five suspected drug traffickers were killed in separate encounters in Central Luzon in the past two days In Bulacan, Edwin Domingo, Arnel Aldana and Bong Retuya allegedly exchanged fire with police officers in San Jose del Monte, San Ildefonso and San Rafael, respectively.
Domingo allegedly drew his gun after sensing that he was dealing with an undercover agent in Barangay Muzon before dawn Tuesday, according to Col. Chito Bersaluna. Two hours later, Aldana was killed following a sting in Barangay Maasim.
Retuya, who was on the drug list of the barangay, was killed in an alleged shootout in Barangay Sampalok on Monday night.
Police said they recovered a .45 caliber pistol and eight plastic sachets containing shabu from Retuya.
In Tarlac, Criz Royo reportedly shot at the officers following a sting in Barangay San Pascual on Monday.
Royo’s two companions managed to escape on a motorcycle, according to Col. Jesus Rebua, Tarlac police director.
In Nueva Ecija, Ronnie Manalili was killed after he allegedly engaged police officers in a shootout in Gen. Natividad town.
Probers said they recovered a rifle, plastic sachet containing shabu and marked money from the suspect. – Ramon Efren Lazaro, Ric Sapnu


Folks file case vs Coheco 500- MG hydro Kibungan project

>> Saturday, May 25, 2019

Court urged: Nullify FPIC

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Kibungan town folks recently filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court here to declare null and void the free prior and informed process (FPIC) conducted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Cordillera regional office on the proposed 500 mega-watt hydro project proposed by the Coheco Badeo Corp. (CBC) over ancestral domain in the municipality.
Petitioners, in case no. 10-CV-3448, urged issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction saying the power to hear the petition is under the jurisdiction of the RTC as decided by the Supreme Court in a related case.
The court is reportedly set to hear the case first week of June.
In their “causes of action,” they said CBC interfered with consensus-building and decision-making of affected indigenous peoples as regards the project and FPIC in violation of their right to participate in decision-making as provided for in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
Petitioners, all members of the indigenous community of Badeo, Kibungan included: John Bagesbes, Paul Laoyan, Dalvin Anapen, Raom Sed-ek, Teresita Mariacos, Gary Wanaten, Danilo Ngalides, Rafael Macanas, Culas Alacdis, Dencio Wan-aten, Robert Papsa-ao, Macario Mariacos, Joel Ngalides, Elis Mariacos, Nover Bagesbes, Remy Molitas, Apsay Langpew, Domionga Colbo, Thomas Bagesbes and Balao Papsa-ao.  
The petition was submitted to the RTC by their Manila-based lawyer Mario E. Moderazo.
In their petition, they said the FPIC team failed to comply with requirements of the IPRA on respecting rights of indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples to natural resources within their ancestral domains.
There also said there were irregularities in the conduct of community assemblies (CCAs) held on the same day in June 14, 2017.
Among others, they said the CCAs did not cover the impact on the environment of the project and there was also no feasibility study that was presented to the people.
Petitioners said they were also not given independent advice like those of experts that will enable them to understand the project and its impact on their community.
Pigs were also allegedly butchered per sitio by proponents of the project in “sponsored dining session” in violation of FPIC guidelines.
On July 2-5 July 2017, CBNC employees identified as lawyer Manuel Komicho, Roger Tugade, Japeth Abance and Norma Anatel with other employees reportedly campaigned for favourable consent to the project in Lebeng, Mocgao and Nan-angan.
Petitioners also said a resolution of consent (to the project) submitted by elders of Badeo did not constitute the decision of IPs and was not an FPIC as defined by the IPRA and should be declared null and void.
In their sixth cause of action, they said the nearby municipalities of Kapangan, Benguet and Santos, La Union, were within the ancestral domain affected by the project and should have been included in the FPIC process.
The exclusion of IPs from both towns, petitioners said, was a violation of their right to be part of the FPIC.
Also on July 8, 2017, the ICCs of Mocgao, Lebeng, Balbalnag and Tableo of Barangay Badeo wrote a letter signed by 92 IPs  expressing they were not in favor of the proposed project.
A copy of the letter was received by lawyer Severino Lumiqued of the NCIP, team leader of the FPIC team.
They cited the following reasons for their disapproval of the project:
They want a prior CBC project, the Coheco 60 MGW in Kibungan completed so they can observe its positive and negative effects.
They want CBC to present their list of investors so the community can directly consult with them.
They also demanded a complete feasibility of the 500 MVV project so they can appraise its effects.


Sagada cop dies while responding to alarm

SAGADA, Mountain Province – A police officer responding to an alarm from the Treasure Link Coop here at Poblacion lost his balance and fell making his head hit the pavement which caused his death Wednesday around 7:50 p.m.
The victim identified as Cpl. Ashley Jeff Sulipa Bagangan suffered injuries on his head and was immediately brought to Saint Theodore's Hospital in the Poblacion but died while undergoing treatment.
Town folks said Bagangan’s death was a freak accident and in line of duty.
The police station is a few meters away from the Treasure Link office inside a building of the Anglican Mission Compound being utilized for commercial purposes where canteens and souvenir shops are in operation.
The building is at a junction of a road to Besao town while another goes down to the famed Sumaguing Cave.


‘Sore loser’ Baguio PNP ComRel chief nabbed in Poro Point casino

By Jun Elias

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union -- A police official assigned in Baguio City was reportedly arrested for destroying game cards every time he lost in a game at a casino in Poro Point here on May 19.  
The official was identified as Lt. Col. Arman Gapuz, chief of the community affairs development unit of the Baguio City police.
Sources from the La Union police told this writer an administrative case has been filed against Gapuz, who was expected to explain his side to his fellow officers in the city police. 
Gapuz reportedly violated an order of President Duterte banning personnel of the police and the military as well as government workers from entering gambling establishments.
Casino employees were alarmed when Gapuz reportedly tore the cards every time he lost in a game.
Gapuz was turned over to the Baguio City police after undergoing documentation at the San Fernando City police


Ilocana tops PMA class; 4 Cordillerans in top 10

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – An Ilocana from the remote town of Alilem, Ilocos, leads the 258 graduating Philippine Military Academy Mabalasik (Mandirigma ng Bayan at Sarili Iaalay para sa Kapayapaan) Class 2019.
The roster of graduating cadets was announced Tuesday by PMA Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista.
Cadet First Class Dionne Apolog Umalla,21 will receive the Presidential Saber from President Duterte during the PMA graduation rites today (May 26). Umalla, who was the class valedictorian in high school, will also receive the Philippine Navy Saber and 12 other major awards.
Four other cadets from the Cordillera are in the list of this year’s top 10 PMA graduates.
They are Cadets First Class Jahziel Gunapac Tandoc, of La Trinidad, Benguet, who placed no 3,  Daniel Heinz Bugnosen Lucas of Barlig, Mountain Province (No. 4); Richard Balabag Lonogan of Sagada, Mountain Province (No.6) and Glyn Buansi Marapao, of Buguias, Benguet (No.8).
Also in the Top Ten are Jonathan Eslao Mendoz of Cavite City (No.2); Aldren Maambong Altamero of Kidapawan, North Cotabato (No. 5); Marnel Dinihay Fundales of Leganes, Iloilo (No.7); Ruth Angelique Ricardo Pasos of Pasig City (No.9) and Daryl James Jalgalado Ligutan of Sta. Mesa, Manila (No.10).
Umalla is PMA’s fifth female valedictorian. The others are Arlene dela Cruz in 1999; Tara Velasco in 2013; Andrelee Mojica in 2007; Rovi Mariel Martinez in 2017.
Evangelista said 131 of this year’s graduates will join the Philippine Army, while 63 will go the Philippine Air Force and 64 will join the Philippine Navy.


Palace, IBP assail slay of Pangasinan, Rizal lawyers; PNP task force probe on

MalacaƱang on Tuesday condemned the killing of two lawyers in separate incidents in Dagupan City, Pangasinan and Rodriguez, Rizal on May 17.
“We denounce in the strongest possible terms the recent murders of two lawyers in Pangasinan and Rizal,” Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo also extended his sympathies to the two lawyers’ families, colleagues, and loved ones and assured them that justice will be served.
He urged the Philippine National Police, which has created a special investigation task group to probe into the killings, to speed up the investigation.
“We ask authorities to leave no stone unturned in identifying the killers and the perpetrators of these two separate cold-blooded killings,” Panelo said.
“We assure the families of the victims that all those involved will be brought to the bar of justice,” he added.
Panelo also slammed the murder of Butuan-based radio commentator Francisco Patindol who was stabbed by an unknown assailant on April 20.
He said authorities are closely monitoring the development of the case.
Lawyer Edilberto Golla Jr., 45, was on his way to a meeting when he was ambushed in Barangay San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal at about 8:45 a.m. on May 17.
Less than an hour later, lawyer Val Crisostomo was shot in front of the Dagupan City Justice Hall.
Both Golla and Crisistomo are members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. 
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has condemned the killing of Gollas and Crisostomo.   
“The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is saddened and condemns the murder of Val Crisostomo of IBP Pangasinan chapter and Adilberto Golla Jr. of IBP Manila... Nakikiramay po kami sa kanilang mga pamilya at mahal sa buhay,” Domingo Cayosa, IBP executive vice president, said,  
Cayosa assured authorities that the IBP would help in unmasking individuals or groups behind the killings.  
“IBP will cooperate with authorities to determine and apprehend the killers and make them accountable,” he said.   
“These reprehensible incidents are symptoms of weaknesses in our justice system,” Cayosa added. 
Teodora Cerdan, IBP-Pangasinan chapter president, called for a ”swift and effective investigation” of the murder of Crisostomo.
Crisostomo, legal counsel of the Peryahan ng Bayan in Pangasinan, had just attended a court hearing when he was shot dead in front of the justice hall in Barangay Bonuan Guest. 
Motorcycle-riding men fired at Golla as he was leaving his house on his way to work in Barangay San Isidro, Rodriguez.
Police are still investigating and trying to identify the gunman who shot dead Crisostomo May 17.
Crisostomo, of Manaoag, Pangasinan was representing a local carnival, or a “peryahan ng bayan”, said Col. Wilzon Joseph Lopez, Pangasinan police director.
Probers said the victim was standing in front of the justice hall after attending a court hearing at around 9:15 am when he was approached by a lone suspect wearing black jacket and blue helmet, and shot the victim several times with a pistol.
The suspect fled along with a male companion on a motorcycle that sped towards the east in the direction of Barangay Binloc here.
Crisostomo was rushed at Region 1 Medical Center by responding elements of Dagupan police, but was pronounced dead on-arrival.


7 pastors hurt in Tabuk crash

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Seven pastors of religious denomination Free Believers Church were seriously injured when the the Hilux pickup truck they were riding in was hit by a Delica van here around 5 p.m. on Wednesday along the national road at Barangay Nambaran.
The black Hilux bearing plate number VDR 815, was driven by Aaron Harold Yamashita Chungalao with passengers engineer Ben Bautista, June Ogayan Belmonte, Pio Basia Datul, Mildred Pagtud Malidab, Deborah Onnon, Aguinaldo Dayag Abulo and Michael Romorin Maddela, all FBC pastors based here at Purok 2, Bulanao.
The Mitsubishi Delica van bearing plate number RDP 994 was driven by Dominador Lagasi Maguilao with passenger Devin Mark Maguilao.
Investigation conducted showed the Hilux was headed to Bulanao coming from Nambaran Proper while the Delica was coming from the opposite direction when the latter vehicle hit the left side of the latter.
As a result, the Hilux fell causing injuries to its occupants.
Both vehicles were damaged.
All injured victims were brought to Kalinga Provincial Hospital for treatment.


Ex-La Union solon Dumpit nixes evidence in graft case

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union -- Former La Union 2nd District Representative Thomas De Lara Dumpit Jr. has asked permission from the Sandiganbayan First Division to file a demurrer to evidence in his graft and malversation case in relation to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam back in 2008.
A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss a case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. If the court grants it, then the case is dismissed. But if Dumpit files his demurrer without leave of court, and it is eventually denied, then that means he has waived his right to present his evidence.
In his motion, Dumpit argued that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he acted in conspiracy with his other co-accused. What the prosecution presented, according to him, is nothing but “mere conjecture and speculation.”
“First and foremost, accused Dumpit… does not exercise control over the PDAF. The said fund being under the control of the implementing agency, which in this case is the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR),” the motion read.
He likewise requested that the presentation of defense evidence previously scheduled on May 21, 2019 and all other scheduled hearings be cancelled so as not to render his motion “moot and academic.”
Dumpit was earlier slapped with two counts of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and another two counts of Article 217, in relation with Articles 48 and 171(e) of the Revised Penal Code, also known as Malversation through Falsification of Public Documents.
This was in relation to the reportedly anomalous use of his P14.55-million PDAF, which was supposed to fund livelihood projects for farmers in his district.
The former lawmaker was accused together with NABCOR officials Alan Javellana, Rhodora Mendoza, Romulo Relevo, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, and Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation Inc. (KMBFI) President Marilou Antonio.
Dumpit chose and endorsed KMBFI, a non-government organization (NGO), as project partner for his PDAF-funded projects “in disregard of the appropriation law and its implementing rules, without the benefit of public bidding,” his charge sheet stated. The NGO was also unqualified to undertake the projects.
Dumpit and NABCOR’s Javellana then entered into a memorandum of agreement with KMBFI and released the amounts of P13,095,000 and P1,455,000 on two separate occasions “without having carefully examined and verified the accreditation and qualifications of KMBFI.”
As a result, Dumpit and the accused public officials caused undue injury to the government since the livelihood projects turned out to be non-existent.
Instead of using the PDAF-drawn public funds to finance the livelihood projects, the accused made falsified reports and documents just so the money can be released and the KMBFI unduly profited from the entire fictitious scheme.



12 arrested in La Trinidad pot session

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Six men including a girl were arrested here Monday for having a pot session in Barangay Betag.
Nabbed were Beljimar Nabus Botic, 20, Erickson Bucang, 23, both residents of Barangay Puguis; Jeric Espada Bittong, 19, of Pico; Xaxunyro Ocampo, 27, of Poblacion, km 6 and Jideon Manzano, 49; Rogen Castro Bangoy, 18, both residents of  Betag.
A police report said a concerned citizen informed police a pot session was ongoing in a boarding house.
Joint operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division and members of the Special Drug Enforcement Unit of municipal police station immediately went to the area and arrested the suspects.
Twelve sachets containing suspected shabu and assorted drug paraphernalia were reportedly seized from the suspects who are now facing charges for violation of RA 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Acts of 2002.

Two shot dead in Pangasinan

SAN FABIAN, Pangasinan -- Patrocenio Malicdem, 53 and Solna Parlan, 54, were shot dead here in Sitio Taculit, Barangay Angio on May 18.
Investigation showed gunmen in a yellow vehicle overtook the motorcycle of the victims and opened fire. – Eva Visperas

No casualty in Abra May 18 polls: Army

BANGUED, Abra — The 12-hour vote casting in Abra on May 13 left no casualty, according to Captain Catherine E. Hapin, the spokesperson of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division.
She said the people of Abra successfully participated in the electionsin a peaceful and orderly manner.
Abra was included in the list of election hotspots by the Philippine National Police. Even the Army’s 7th Infantry Division deployed an additional 500 troops to reinforce the election security forces for the said province last week.
With the collective effort of the Commission on Elections, PNP and Philippine Army, the Provincial Election Monitoring Action Center recorded no casualty in terms of election-related violent incidents during the entire period of vote casting in 261 polling centers.
Although several vote counting machines malfunctioned these were immediately resolved by the Comelec.
Major Gen. Lenard T Agustin, 7ID commander, commended the efforts of the 24th Infantry Battalion and 45th Infantry Battalion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) in securing the province and protecting the people as they exercise their right of suffrage.
 “Your Army is thankful for the cooperation of all AbreƱos in making the election day peaceful and orderly,” said Lt. Col. Jearie Boy P Faminial, commander of the Army’s 24th IB. – Freddie Lazaro

 PUJ counter-flows,hits motorbike rider

BAGUIO CITY – A motorcycle driver was injured when he was hit by a public utility vehicle driven by Alejandro Dick Ngalngalo that counter flowed the lane of the motorbike.
Victim Dominador Tuazon Coritana, here of 2 Pias East Camp 7 was descending Magsaysay Ave. around 11:15 Wednesday when he was hit by the PUJ bearing plate number AYF 582.
Coritana was rushed by emergency medical personnel to Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for treatment. 

Drunk motorbike driver rams tree

BANGUED, Abra – A drunk motorcycle driver was injured when his vehicle rammed a Gmelina tree here Wednesday around 11:25 p.m. here along Bacsil- Angad.
Tolentino Cabarubiasat, 24 was driving home his motorcycle when he suddenly lost control of the steering handle causing him to hit the tree. Responding police rushed the victim to Abra Provincial Hospital for treatment where he was confined.

Drug suspect slain in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan -- Nelson Mendoza was killed when he allegedly exchanged fire with police officers here on May 18. Police said they recovered from the slain suspect a handgun, 11 plastic sachets containing shabu and marked money.

‘Pusher’ found dead along Tublay road 

TUBLAY, Benguet – The body of an unidentified man was seen by passing commuter here May 17 around 6:30 a.m. along Kahadong, Caponga.
Investigation disclosed the cadaver was around 40-45 years old,  5' 3" in height, wearing blue T-shirt which rolled up above his chest and wearing black jogging pants. Blood was visible on his chest where a piece of cardboard labeled "PUSHER" was written. Police are still investigating the case.

3 hurt in Luna, Apayao crash

LUNA, Apayao – Three persons were seriously injured when the motorcycles they riding on collided here May 19 around 8:10 a.m. along the national highway at Barangay San Isidro Sur.
A police report by Master Sgt. Edmund S. Calizo said the motorcycle owned and driven by Mayvelle B. Pante, 33, forest technician of Sta. Filomena, Calanasan town with her back rider Honeylyn Trumpo Manzano, 21 here of Barangay Marag, Luna, Apayao was sideswiped by a motorcycle driven by Crispin Gawiran Tuldog, married, farmer of Purok 7, Salvacion, Luna.
 As a result, Pante and Manzano suffered multiple abrasions on different parts of their body while Tuldog was unconscious and suffered multiple injuries on his head.
All were rushed to Far North Luzon General Hospital and Training Center in Luna by responding barangay officials and watchmen.
Both motorcycles were damaged.

Hubby maltreats wife holding baby in Trinidad

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A woman complained at the municipal police station saying her husband severely maltreated her at their residence in Windy Hill on May 18 around 11 p.m. even while she was holding their baby.
According to the victim, she arrived home after she attended the wedding of her brother. She called her husband because he took her ATM card and told him to give it to her. When he arrived, she opened the door and went to their bedroom.
The suspect followed her and slapped her while holding the ATM card on his hand then boxed her head many times. He also also held her head and banged it into the wall even she was carrying their baby.
He stopped when their baby cried and went out but after a while he returned and continued hitting her head while slapping her face. The victim narrated that since May 2017 the suspect started hurting her. The identity of the couple was not disclosed by police.

Man arrested for reckless imprudence

BANGUED, Abra – Cops nabbed a certain Rodelio Sus Rosas here on May 17 at Sitio Lingsad, Barangay Agtangao for reckless imprudence resulting to damage to property.
This, after warrant was issued against him by Judge Joeven D. Dellosa of MTC in Cities, Branch. 2, Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Dellosa set bail of P30,000 for the suspect’s temporary liberty.

Woman nabbed for estafa in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY -- A certain Aida Gayman Malanta was nabbed here Wednesday at Purok 21, Irisan for estafa through falsification of public documents
This, after Maria Clarita Casuga-Tabin, presiding judge of MTCC Branch 4, Baguio City issued warrant for her arrest while setting bail of P72,000 for her temporary liberty.

Itogon woman nabbed for revenue violation

ITOGON, Benguet – A certain Teresita Oyas Santiago, 64 was cornered by police at her residence here at Sitio Anteg-in, Barangay Sabkil on May 17 for violation of the Internal Revenue Code.
Judge Maria Casuga-Tabin of MTCC Branch 4, Baguio City earlier issued warrant against Santiago setting bail of P10,000 for her temporary liberty.

Lamut farmer held for violence

LAMUT, Ifugao – A farmer was arrested here on May 17 for violation of Republic Act 9262 (violence against women and children),
Police identified the suspect as Richard Binwag Monayao, 46 of Sitio Malleteng, Barangay Lucban.
The suspect was arrested after Romeo U. Habbiling, presiding judge of RTC Branch 14, Lagawe, Ifugao issued warrant against him.

95-year-old widow nabbed over revenue

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A 95-year-old widow was arrested here May 17 police for violation of the Internal Revenue Code.
The suspect was named as Adela Osting, unemployed, here of Paltingan, Ambiong.
This, after warrant was issued against her by Leody M. Opolinto, presiding judge of MTCC, Third Branch, Baguio City who set bail of P10,000 for the suspect’s temporary liberty. Ostting immediately posted bail and was freed.

Baguio inmates cast votes in May polls

BAGUIO CITY -- A total of 56 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) from the two district jail facilities in this city were escorted to 17 polling centers so they could exercise their Constitutional right to vote in Monday’s mid-term elections.
"Our PDLs still have their right to vote despite their situation," Baguio City Jail warden, Chief Insp. Crispin Dornagon, said.
The 56 PDLs -- 52 from the Baguio City Male Dorm and four from the Baguio City Female Dorm (BCFD) – were in their orange inmate uniform when they went to the voting centers, accompanied by personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Dornagon said they had earlier requested the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set up a polling station inside the jail, but this was not granted.
He said the court order allowing the PDLs to vote was issued by Judge Mia Joy Oallares-Cawed on May 18.
"Our PDLs (would) not be allowed to vote if there (is) no existing court order," Dornagon said, noting that the BJMP strictly implemented their standard operating procedures (SOP) in carrying out the order.
Meanwhile, Jail Senior Insp. April Rose Ayangwa said 10 PDLs from the BCFD were supposed to vote, but only four actually did.
Ayangwa said the six others opted not to vote due to the requirement that they have to be in their inmate uniform, for security reasons, aside from having jail guards escorting them.
"Some of our PDLs were embarrassed to cast their votes since we are strictly implementing our SOP. They need to wear their uniforms and their escorts were really in full uniform," she said.  -- Pamela Mariz Geminiano/PNA


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