Dengue cases in Kalinga, Baguio decreased: DOH

>> Wednesday, July 31, 2019


BAGUIO CITY-- The dengue cases here and Kalinga province have dropped as the Dept. of Health in the Cordillera Administrative Region has intensified its dengue prevention drive, an official said Tuesday.
“The latest is wala ang CAR sa alert level (CAR is not in the dengue alert level). But we are not waiting for this to happen, We are doing intensified surveillance and health promotion, 4S Kontra Dengue advocacy, and clinical case management of dengue reiteration; [we have] dengue fast lanes,” DOH-CAR officer-in-charge Dr. Amelita Pangilinan said in a text message.
On Monday's meeting of the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, DOH-CAR entomologist Alexander Baday reported that from January 1 to July 13, Baguio has recorded downtrend in the incidence of dengue which they attributed to the residents’ adhering to the “search and destroy” of possible mosquito breeding sites.
DOH-CAR data how that during the period, there are 210 cases with one death recorded in the city, or a 15-percent decrease compared to the same period in 2018 where 246 cases were reported.
It also noted that Kalinga province also recorded a 43-percent decrease in cases with 289 dengue cases from January 1 to July 13 compared to the 509 cases in the same period last year.
Baday said the DOH noted an increase in dengue cases in Ifugao, Mountain Province, Apayao, Benguet, and Abra.
Apayao has 616 cases compared to the 329 cases last year which is an 87 percent increase while Benguet has 565 cases, with three deaths, compared to the 462 in 2018 or 22 percent increase.
On the other hand, Abra has 517 cases or a 26 percent increase compared to the 409 cases in 2019. Ifugao recorded 354 cases this year compared to the 105 cases in 2019 which is a 237 percent increase while Mountain province has 207 cases compared to the 85 in 2018 or a 144 percent increase in dengue incidents.
Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issued a national dengue alert to make the public aware of the mosquito-borne virus and prevent the further spread of dengue.
The DOH has also advised the public to watch out for dengue symptoms and immediately consult a doctor.
The symptoms include joint muscle pain and pain behind the eyes, weakness, skin rashes, nose bleeding when fever starts to subside, abdominal pain, vomiting of coffee-colored matter, and dark-colored stool. (PNA)

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Tattoos used to identify corpse dumped in Bulacan


By Minka Klaudia Tiangco

Those who were close to 23-year-old Jaybee Castor would describe him as a true “family man.” In fact, he was so close to his family that he had tattoos of the names of his parents and the faces of two of his three children on his body.
His partner, however, never imagined that these same tattoos would be used to identify his corpse which was found dumped in a secluded area in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan on July 6, a few weeks after he was abducted in his home in Caloocan City.
The autopsy report showed that Castor suffered from three gunshot wounds on his head and ligature marks around his neck and ankles. According to a police report, seven sachets of suspected shabu and a sign accusing Castor of being a drug addict and a thief were found beside his corpse.
But his partner denied these accusations and stressed that they did not see any piece of evidence in the pictures they were sent.
Castor lived in an alley in Caloocan dubbed “Patayan Street” by residents due to the number of killings in the area.
One of those who were killed three years ago was 17-year-old Michael Dela Cruz who was Castor’s childhood friend.
Castor’s partner, who requested anonymity, recalled that they were having dinner with their children—aged five years old, three years old, and nine months old—and Castor’s father and siblings at about 9 p.m. on June 25 when four armed men wearing masks and hoods went inside their house.
The men grabbed Castor, dragged him out of the house, and pushed him inside a white Ford Everest van before speeding away.
“Sinasabi nung asawa ko ‘Sir, sandali lang po’ (My partner was begging the men, ‘Sir, please, wait’),” Castor’s partner said. “Ang lakas ng ulan noon. Hinabol namin siya ng mga anak ko (It was raining hard then but my children and I chased after them).”
Castor’s brother, who followed the men, told them “Hindi na makatao ‘yang ginagawa niyo (What you are doing is inhumane).” But the assailants only pushed him aside and said “Umalis na kayo dito, kung hindi, babarilin namin kayo (Leave this place or we will shoot you).”
Castor’s sister immediately went to the police for assistance after the incident, but the policemen said her brother can only be considered a missing person if he is not found after 24 hours.
The incident left Castor’s partner and his eldest son traumatized. Every time the five-year-old boy saw a white car, he would chase it down, hoping that his father was inside. Castor’s partner would flinch whenever she would hear keys unlocking a door and see white vans and motorcycles, remembering the men who took away her partner. Still, they continued their search.
Three days later, they came to the Caloocan City Police Station for help but the policemen told them that they should not write a blotter report until they have searched in Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, and Quezon City, Castor’s partner said.
After two weeks of searching, Castor’s partner saw a Facebook post by the San Jose Del Monte Police Station dated July 5 which showed a body with Castor’s tattoos.
The next day, they went to Bulacan to take Castor’s body back home. They claimed his body at Faith Funeral Services and on July 8, he was laid to his final resting place at the Manila North Cemetery.
“Gusto ko na mabigyan siya ng hustisya, pero wag muna ngayon. Nanganganib pa ang mga buhay namin. Natatakot pa ako (I want him to receive justice for what happened, but not now. Our lives are still in danger. I’m still afraid),” Castor’s partner said.

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Mt Prov program benefits folks with loans, livelihood


BONTOC, Mountain Province, -- The Provincial Livelihood Program (PLP) of the provincial government here is now providing livelihood assistance to qualified individuals in the province.
Based on data of Provincial Cooperatives Office  in charge of the program, P1,430,000.00 was loaned to 22 individuals in 2018,  and P1,700,000.00  to 18 individuals from January  to  July this year.
This livelihood program aims to help jobless individuals in the province who want to start potential livelihood projects through the provision of financial assistance in the form of loan with very minimal interest. The borrowers invest the money they loaned either in piggery, gardening, goat raising and capital build up in their existing business like sari- sari store.
Supervising Cooperatives Development Specialist Estrella Africano said the maximum amount to be loaned is P100, 000.00 but this depends on the validation of the proposed livelihood of the applicant which will be conducted by the staff of the Provincial Cooperatives Office in partnership with the concerned office.
 Under the terms and conditions of loan as provided in the Provincial Ordinance No. 288, s. 2018, the amount to be loaned shall be used to finance exclusively the approved livelihood activities, payable together with interest, for a period of 18 months.
Payment of the loan shall be made in 18 equal installments which will commence on the fifth month after the release of the loan. An annual interest of six percent and an additional administrative cost of two percent shall be deducted immediately from the loaned amount.
To ensure the effective implementation of the program, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) shall be entered into by and between the provincial government represented by the Provincial Governor, the applicant and his/her co-makers.
The loan shall be secured through co-makers who must be permanent employees of the provincial government. The co-makers shall execute a Special Power of Attorney authorizing either the Provincial Treasurer to deduct from their salaries or benefits or the Provincial Accountant to make the necessary deductions in their payrolls when the borrower cannot pay his/her monthly amortization which become due and demandable until full payment of the loan is made.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR, Mountain Province)


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Beneco hydropower plant to reduce power rates


By Michael Jerome de Guzman

BUGUIAS, Benguet -- The Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) is investing in its own hydropower plant and buy its output to cut the cost of electricity that it sells to consumers, an official said on Thursday.
Engineer Ricardo Pallogan, manager for Beneco’s power generation division, said they expect to start the operation soon of the three-megawatt power plant located here in Barangay Sebang.
On the first year of the operation, the hydropower plant will sell the power at P5.44 per kilowatt hour, almost the same as the cost of power Beneco buys from the generation company that provides their electricity needs.
Proceeds from operation will also cover the loan for the construction and putting up of the hydropower plant.
After the 12th year, it will be able to sell to its consumers at PHP1.54 per kilowatt hour, not retaining anything as Beneco is a non-stock, non-profit electric cooperative owned by the electric consumers within the franchise area of Baguio City and Benguet.
“Beneco or any electric cooperative, should construct, commission and operate their own generation facilities para 'yun ang pagbaba ngrates (to lower the rates),” Pallogan said.
“Beneco will be able to do this as it is not allowed by law to retain profits, it being a non-stock, non-profit," he added.
Beneco passes on to consumers what is charged by the generation and the transmission sector.
Pallogan said Beneco had borrowed around PHP58 million to start building the three-megawatt hydro power plant. It will pay the loan in a span of 12 years. Once paid up, it will give its promised rate of PHP1.54 per kilowatt hour to consumers.
"Go for power generation, for run-off-river technology because it is allowed by law for you to engage in that to lower the cost of power that you sell to your consumers," said Professor Rowaldo del Mundo, an Associate Professor and Program Director of the National Engineering Sector of UP Diliman, specializing in Power System, Electricity markets and regulation. 
In one of the seminars he conducted for government information officers in the Cordillera, del Mundo said that Beneco sold power to the consumers at an average of PHP8.40 per kilowatt hour, around PHP1 cheaper compared to Meralco’s PHP10.20 per kilowatt hour.
The low rate is also a positive effect of the one-digit systems loss of Beneco at 7 to 8 percent, much lower than the ceiling allowed by the distribution sector.
The cheap cost of power provided by Beneco will further be reduced with the schemes being undertaken.
Randy Caralino, head of the billing and collection division of Beneco, said that Baguio City already has the cheapest rates in the whole country.
Aside from the Buguias power plant, Beneco had also entered into an agreement with the indigenous peoples organization in Kabayan, Benguet for a new and bigger power plant, which in the future will add on to the three-megawatt production in Buguias, and further cut the power rates for Baguio and Benguet consumers. -- PNA



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DENR sets public hearing on Baguio high rise building construction moratorium


By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – The Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (DENR-CAR) has set a public consultation on key environmental issues facing the city which includes the draft executive order setting a moratorium on the construction of high rise buildings on July 29, 1 p.m. at the DENR-CAR Conference Room at Gibraltar.
DENR-CAR Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo invited Mayor Benjamin Magalong to attend the consultation which will also tackle the requirements and procedures for the issuance of tree-cutting permits and Environmental Clearance Certificate, the geo-hazard status of the different areas in the city, solid waste management and the draft executive order setting the building construction moratorium.
 “Recently, the environmental state of Baguio City has been on the news due to various issues of public interest such as tree cutting, solid waste management and overdevelopment.  Hence, the DENR-CAR will convene various stakeholders in a dialogue to provide a venue to discuss these concerns, gather inputs and agree on courses of action and possible ways forward,” Pablo noted.
Last week, the mayor said he had worked out with Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano the possibility of having the President issue an executive order mandating the rehabilitation of the city through a one-year moratorium on the construction of high rise buildings with the inclusion of a funding component for the city to implement priority rehabilitative projects like the expansion of the city’s sewerage treatment system.
In their meeting last July 9, Pablo and Magalong agreed that pursuing a halt in constructions in the city would give the city a much-needed breather from building activities and allow the city to concentrate on rehabilitating the city’s environs.
 The mayor said the city is lining up projects that would address its pressing environmental problems among which garbage and sewage management and the dwindling water supply and imposing a freeze on buildings will help the city concentrate its efforts on these aspects.   
Pablo said he is inclined to support the construction moratorium because of the city’s limited carrying capacity.
The moratorium on the construction of high-rise buildings which was first broached during the Senate hearing on the creation of the Baguio-La-Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) Development Authority early this year has been the subject of debates in the city.
Moratorium advocates anchored their petition on safety concerns citing the city’s susceptibility to earthquakes and the need for the city to have proper urban plan that will include “properly conducted and peer-reviewed soil investigation and testing reports for foundations of structures, performed by a licensed geotechnical engineer and that no structures will be constructed over the 8 stories limit specified by the City of Baguio.”
Former mayor Mauricio Domogan said it is doable but would entail a whole new process of amending the Zoning Ordinance which had just been revised in 2016.
“If the issue is on the safety, I believe this had already been answered by experts who during the exhaustive consultations for the drafting of the City Land Use Plan, opined that the soundness of the structures does not depend on the height of the buildings but on ensuring their structural stability, which means compliance with the national building and safety codes including the soil test requirements. If the issue is overdevelopment necessitating suspension on high-rise buildings, then it has to go back to the city council, call back the experts and follow the process again,” he earlier said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo


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Truck falls off Ifugao town ravine; 7 dead


By Dionisio Dennis Jr.

AGUINALDO, Ifugao ---- Seven persons died while three others were injured Wednesday after a truck plunged into a ravine here, police said.
Police Maj. Carolina Lacuata, Police Regional Office Cordillera Information Officer, identified the fatalities as Wilma Chumatog, 18, senior high school graduate; Divina Chumatog Tambiag, 36, farmer; Ngittit Chog-ap, farmer; Josephine Uhuban, farmer; Rosita Paynohon, 68, farmer; and driver Joey Pacyod Tambiag.
They are residents of Barangay Majlong, Aguinaldo town.
Another passenger, Vicente Nagchay Buyag-ao, 58, farmer, of Bunhian, Aguinaldo was declared dead at Potia District Hospital.
Meanwhile, injured were Artisto Nahegpan Paynohon, 39; Kimberly Joy Chumatog Tambiag, 7, elementary pupil; and Gernando Bahiwag. They are now confined in hospitals for observation.
Lacuata said based on the report of the Aguinaldo municipal police transmitted to the regional office, the incident happened around 8:30 a.m. along the national highway at Sitio Montonop, Barangay Chalalo. She said an Elf truck (WGU-945) with nine passengers was bound for Alfonso Lista town from Aguinaldo when the vehicle reportedly lost its brakes while negotiating a curved portion of the road and fell off a 10-meter ravine.
Reports said the passenger-victims hitched a ride with Tambiag at around 8 a.m. from Aguinaldo town to the nearby municipality of Alfonso Lista.
However, upon approaching Sitio Montanop in Barangay Chalalo, Tambiag may have lost control of the truck, which turned turtle and plunged down a 10-meter deep ravine.
Two other passengers were injured and were immediately brought to the Potia District Hospital.
Police are still investigating the incident. -- PNA

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NPA attacks militia camp in Cagayan


By Freddie Lazaro 

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – A group of New People’s Army (NPA) fighters attacked the detachment of the Civilian Active Auxiliary in Barangay Balanni, Sto. Niño, Cagayan on Monday.
Lt/ Col. Jesus Pagala, the commander of the Army’s 17th Infantry Battalion, said Friday the soldiers and volunteers repulsed the rebels.
“No casualty reported on the troops and civilian volunteers as they fired back at their attackers, who were using M-16 Armalite based on the rifle bullets found at the site the next day,” Pagala said.
Pagala said the attack by at least five heavily armed rebels appears to have been spurred by the declaration of the NPA as persona non grata by the Barangay Balanni’s Peace and Order Council last April 13.
“The strafe case is considered as an act of desperation of the rebels as they have already lost their battle in the area of Sto Niño, Cagayan wherein the community abhors the terroristic actions of these rebels resulting to the attackers to forcefully take revenge on the innocent troopers and civilian volunteers who are performing their duties of guarding the peace and security of the area,” he said.
Pagala said the troops of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) were continuously working with different local government units and agencies in isolating and disabling the communist insurgents from pursuing their terroristic objectives.


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ISU opens center for indigenous studies


LAMUT, Ifugao -- The Ifugao State University (IFSU) formally opened the  International  Innovation Center for Indigenous Studies (IICIS) at its main campus in Nayon, this town in efforts to strengthen  cooperation on  indigenous knowledge   and sustainable development studies.
IFSU President Dr. Eva Marie Dugyon; Nga-Ping Ong – Chairperson, Department of Ethnology, National Chengchi University (NCU) – Taiwan and Stephen Acabado, associate professor of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) led the opening of the IICIS on July 12.
The center was the product of the memorandum of understanding between IFSU and NCU officials on May 25 this year for the promotion of international academic cooperation and research experiences for both universities.
“It is significant that we are strengthening our cooperation especially at this time when we face considerable challenges affecting our indigenous knowledge systems and practices, our ecology, environment, cultures and even our identity as people,” Dugyon said.
The center is envisioned as the academic pioneer of indigenous knowledge and sustainable development studies; sharing of experience of development and building mutual support between indigenous community in different countries and the Philippine geography and language as a platform of the international academic community.
Among its mission are development studies and regional management and cultural ecology. Its annual goals focus on academic research and social practice and administration with IFSU, NCU, UCLA and University of Hawai’I at Manoa as main collaborative partners.
Eulalie Dulnuan, project manager, said the center aims to become a sustainable institution to share research results indigenous peoples, non-government organizations; build a platform cooperated and managed by the international collaborators and enhance international connections and fund raising. (JDP/MBL, PIA CAR, Ifugao)


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Japanese musicians with ancient instruments, clothes wow Baguio


Audience taken back through time 500 years ago 


By Pigeon Lobien

BAGUIO CITY – A group of out of time seven musicians with ancient instruments, garbed in clothes pretty much in fashion during the time of Queen Elizabeth I are on their way to the Metro to conquer the Manilans – with their music, after Baguio.
Unlike their countrymen who wanted to take Manila some 500 years ago to expand Japanese rule in the Pacific region, the Friends of Collegio from Amakusa, Kamomoto prefecture of Japan, a seven-musician ensemble want only to share the music which the Christians of Japan have loved for more than 500 years.
Led by Hirayama Teruaki, a master craftsman specializing in 16th-century European instruments, the ensemble wants to take the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila on July 23, by storm after their successful performance at the Saint Louis University Center for the Culture and Arts last July 21.
The group was in Baguio on the invitation of the Japanese association in northern Luzon as part of 10th year Filipino-Japanese friendship. Their visit and sharing of the Japanese music is also a part of the Tanabata festival, a summer festival in Japan which is celebrated in the city every July since 2010 with the help of the Japanese embassy.
The encore, a renaissance rendition of Bahay Kubo nearly brought the house down during their afternoon performance as part of the 10th year Philippine – Japanese friendship day and the “Tanabata Festival”.
Hirayama is armed with a self-made “viola de gamba”, a ribbed musical instrument popular in Europe in the 16th to 18th century played between the legs (gamba is legs in Italian). Made of wood, with no modern or plastic component, the viola has strings made from ox gut, “that is the strongest material the renaissance instrument makers could get,” said Hirayama through interpreter Julian Claresby after the performance on Sunday.
Claresby is an Englishman married to a Kamamoto lass, who served as master of ceremony during the two-hour performance on Sunday.
When the ensemble failed to bring their virginal, a 16th to 17th century harpsichord-like instrument (piano-like), Hirayama fashioned a smaller version which he did, amazingly, in just two months, Claresby said.
“The airline won’t allow us to bring it here, because it is too big,” said Claresby referring to the ensemble’s original virginal, whose insides were delicately painted with sakura, while its cover the forested coasts of Amakusa. Both were painted by the over 60 years old Hirayama, who dabbles in painting.
The other members of the ensemble are Matsumura Fumiyo, Kido Hiroyoshi, Uwaguchi Hiroko, Yasou Nobuko, Harada Aya, and Yosioko Nagisa,
Matsumura Fumiyo sits and plays for the ensemble like a typical lady in the Elizabethan court in England or the Medici’s in Florence, Italy during the time of Leonardo da Vinci.
Kido Hiroyoshi, garbed in black hose and doublet with a feathered hat, plays the lute, a mandolin-like stringed instrument that Hirayama painstakingly made for Kido.
Uwaguchi Hiroko plays the tabor, a small drum that has been in use since the Medieval (pre-16th century).
Three female musicians play the recorder. A renaissance flute: Yasou Nobuko who is also the group’s main vocalist; Harada Aya, who plays also the gothic harp, small harp used by troubadours since the middle ages, and crumhorn, a J-shaped woodwind instrument of German origin; and, Yosioko Nagisa, who also plays the crumhorn.
Harada and Yosioko are also back-up singers to Yasou.
Yasou, Harada, and Yosioko during their demonstration of the recorder played the “Voltes V” opening song with Yasou on vocals that sent the crowd, mostly young music students, into a frenzy.
Listen, Hirayama, who can barely speak English, said to fully appreciate their music, one must really listen.
“Modern (musical) instruments are loud, even those used in classical performances like an orchestra because the instruments are (partly) made of plastic,” he said through Claresby.
He said his instruments may not be as sturdy as the modern ones but they produce notes that are pure, the tonality is much better.
“Performances by a group of musicians then were not loud,” he said.
The ensemble played popular tunes in the 16th century when the Tensho embassy of Christian Japanese nobles went to Europe in the 1580s and brought back the same to Amakusa and Shimabara in Nagasaki.
Shimabara’s promotional map “Come travel through time, through Minamishimabara’s history, a past interwoven with European cultural influences.”
The SLU concert orchestra closed the show with two anime (Japanese cartoons) themes: Sakura Sakura and Voltes V, which were both received positively by a predominantly anime crazed young audience.
               Minamishimabara (Shimibara of old) in Nagasaki and Amakusa in Kumamoto are the westernmost prefectures of Japan. These localities have seaports that served as an entry point of Christian missionaries led by Francis Xavier who converted the locals of Shinto-Buddhists belief in the 1540s.
When Ieyasu Tokugawa started the 260-year reign of the Tokugawa shoguns in 1600, the Christians of western Japan were persecuted that led to the Shimabara – Amakusa revolt of 1637 killing more than 27,000 locals, mostly peasants, including children.
The peasants revolted because the Shimabara rulers raised taxes to build their castle and help the Tokugawa rulers in their quest to gain Manila.
As a result, the Christians either went into hiding or fled the country. Japan was closed from the rest of the world after that. -- PNA



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POLICE ROUNDUP


 4 nabbed in Baguio City pot session

BAGUIO CITY -- Four men were caught here in the act of having pot session at Purok 2, Tam-awan Road, Pinsao Proper night of June 15. Nabbed were identified as as William Sabado Casibang, 26, of Tam-awan, Pinsao Proper; Joemamel Valera Dipatuan, 35, of Bakakeng Central; Rasul Valera Dipatuan, 31, of Cypress Irisan, both street vendors and Dario Embat Dacera, 35, barber, of Victoria Village.
Confiscated from the suspects were three pieces of plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, one black pouch and assorted drug paraphernalia.

 Three men nabbed for marijuana in Bontoc

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Three suspects landed in jail after they were caught in possession of dried marijuana plants here in front of Cable Cafe, Poblacion afternoon of July 14.
They were identified as Michael Marciano Macunat, 27, gym instructor; Kent Tyron Rega Bejasa, 23 and a 17-year- old student, all residents of Muntinlupa City.
They were apprehended after a concerned citizen informed police the suspects were carrying marijuana plants that prompted them to respond. Ten marijuana bunches and a brick of dried marijuana were confiscated from their possession.

 Baguio PCSO agent arrested for shabu

BAGUIO CITY -- A high value target and a PCSO agent identified as Errol Carlos Singson “Errol” Ibuna, 36, of Ilocos Sur and resident of City Camp Proper, Baguio City was apprehended here by police July 11 at NOVA Lodge, Bakakeng Central last week.
Confiscated from Ibuna were three sachets of suspected shabu and assorted drug paraphernalia 

Laborer cornered in Itogon for shabu

ITOGON, Benguet -- A laborer identified as Christian Lopina Caluza, 23, of Delos Reyes St. Outlook Drive, Baguio City was arrested here July 11 at Binanga Sur, Tuding for illegal drugs.
Two sachets of suspected shabu, black Oppo cellular phone and P1,000 cash were seized from Caluza.

Man nabbed for ‘drug pushing’

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- An alleged drug pusher known as Aquino C. Gonayon aka Kenny “Kinnung” Gonayon Gallema, 41 here of Ubbog, Magsaysay was arrested at Silao St., Bulanao Centro on Monday.
Confiscated from Gonayon were one sachet containing suspected shabu and P1, 000 cash.

Farmer, laborer nabbed for shabu

MANKAYAN, Benguet – A certain James Lucas Espada, 42, farmer, and Claire Dicoy Cati-an, 26, laborer, were apprehended here at Sitio Ambabag, Barangay Guinaoang last week.
 Two sachets containing suspected shabu. P1, 000 buy-bust money, six  aluminum foil; two Nokia cell phones and one brown leader pouch were seized from Espada and Cati-an.
Following this, regional police director Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim T. Dickson said, men under his command will continue intensified drive against illegal drugs.

 2 Papua New Guinea nationals nabbed for mauling young man

BAGUIO CITY – Police arrested two nationals from Paspua New Guinea here July 15 for mauling a young man around 10 p.m. at No.135, Bakakeng Old Site.
The victim was identified as Dexter Lachica Tresmanio, 23, single who filed a complaint for physical injuries against Clye Ravini, 23, IT student of University of the Cordilleras, and presently residing at Camdas, Baguio City and Rodnuy Aii, 23, student of Easter College, and  resident of Easter Hills Subdivision, Lower Pinget.
 Investigation disclosed the victim was on his way home when he stopped at Rabang Store to buy coffee but was suddenly approached by the two foreign national wherein one of them challenged the victim to a fist fight and suddenly punched his face.
The victim ran towards their house but the two foreign nationals followed him and continued punching the victim several times.

Man arrested in Banaue for homicide

BANAUE, Ifugao – Police arrested a man here July 15 at View Point for homicide. Nabbed was Jimmy L. Dammitan after Judge Segundo Catral of RTC, Branch 14, Lagawe, Ifugao fissued warrant for his arrest with no bail recommended.
The suspect was brought to Hingyon police of the town where he was jailed.

Man nabbed for estafa in Rizal

RIZAL, Kalinga – Cops arrested a certain Emilio A. Atencio here June 15 I Barangay Kinama for estafa. This, after Judge Marcelino K. Wacas  of RTC  Branch 25 of Bulanao, Tabuk City issued warrant for his arrest with bail of P40,000 for his tempiorary liberty.

Cop’s house burned in Tabuk

TABUK CITY – The house of a cop was partially burned here June 15 around 11:40 a.m. Laya West. The hosue was owned by Julius D Baribaras who was assigned at Divilacan, Isabela provincial police office.  No person was injured.

 12 biz establishments caught violating city smoke-free law

By Aileen P. Refuerzo and Gaby Keith
BAGUIO CITY – Twelve establishments were caught violating the city’s Smoke-Free Ordinance in a lightning inspection last July 19.
Led by the Smoke-Free Task Force composed of personnel from the Smoke-Free Baguio Project, Permits and Licensing Division, the Public Order and Safety Division staff members and the Baguio City Police Office, the inspection covered 22 establishments   mostly groceries and vape shops located within the central business district.
Most of the violators had no permit to sell as these were located within the prohibited zone or within the 100 meter perimeter of schools, churches, parks and the city market.
Some were found to have been openly displaying their goods and posting cigarette advertisements.
They were issued citation tickets and will have to pay their fines.
Two individuals were also accosted for smoking.
The inspections will continue as the city sustains the smoking drive year-round.
The task force reminded the public on the violations and their corresponding penalties under Ordinance No. 34 series of 2017.
The violations are:
On Section 5 particularly on prohibited areas, those caught violating the ordinance while in the following areas: enclosed or partially enclosed areas, public conveyance, work place, unauthorized Designated Smoking Areas/Designated Vaping Areas, government vehicles, other public place and those allowing or abetting or tolerating above violations will be fined P1,000 for first offense, P2,000 for second offense and P3,000 for third offense;
As to access restriction, the following are prohibited acts:
Selling or distributing tobacco products/ and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to minors, purchasing tobacco products/ENDS from minors, ordering or instructing or compelling a minor to use or light up, buy, or sell or distribute or advertise or promote tobacco products; selling or distributing tobacco products or ENDS in a school, public playground, other facilities frequented by minors, Dept. of Health officers or agencies, hospital, health facility or within 100 meters from any point in the perimeter of these places; selling tobacco products or ENDS within premises of government facilities, without business permit to see, as individual piece or per stick, removed from original pack without proper government regulated and approved health warning, by ambulant or street vendors including mobile or temporary stalls or kiosks or stations or units and selling or distributing sweets or snacks or toys or others in the form of tobacco products which appeal to minors.
Such acts are punishable with fines P2,000 for first offense, P3,000 for second and  P5,000 for third offense.
Persons who fail to perform certain duties and obligations are also liable to wit: 
Failure to post special No Smoking/Vaping or DSA/DVA signage (public or work place or public convenience); failure to remove ashtrays or receptacles in the area; DSA without certificate or permit from the government; failure to post sign in relation to the 100-meter restriction of sale or distribution of tobacco/ENDS products; failure to report violation on 100 meter restriction from perimeter; failure to secure permit to sell tobacco or ENDS products; failure to post special warning on sales or distribution of tobacco/ENDS for minors; failure to remove tobacco/ENDS advertisements or promotional paraphernalia; failure to secure approval and follow specifications for special tobacco/ENDS storage or containment; failure to establish internal procedure or follow specifications when violation occurs; failulre to ensure awareness of employees on the ordinance; failure to allow inspectors to inspect establishment or conveyance or failure to post signage in either the local dialect or in English.
Violators face fines of P1,000, P2,000 and P3,000 for the successive offenses.
On advertisement and promotion ban, the following are prohibited: Placing cinema or outdoor advertisements of tobacco products or ENDS; placing or positing or display or distribution of advertisement or promotion  materials that show brand or company name or logo or insignia in the establishment where minors are allowed entry; conduct of promotional activities or campaigns or events or product sampling in establishments or locations where it is prohibited or where minors are allowed entry; or display or placing of tobacco products or ENDS in open store shelves or racks.
The fines for these violations are P2,000 P3,000 and P5,000
If violators are minors, they have the option to render community service upon referral to the Women and Children Police Unit or the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Anti-insurgency body to craft Cordillera program

By Liza Agoot  
BAGUIO CITY -- The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) here started Thursday to craft anti-insurgency and poverty alleviation programs for the Cordillera Administrative Region.
“The plans and programs of the clusters will be crafted and finalized that will spell out how the clusters will implement programs and activities to attain the goal of not just to end insurgency but also to provide a better opportunity and life for the people,” National Security Adviser and NTF-ELCAC vice-chairperson Hermogenes Esperon said during the press briefing on the sidelines of the workshop.
The regional task force has a national counterpart in which President Rodrigo Duterte acts as the national task force commander.
Esperon said all the directors --members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC)-- will come up with plans and programs that will address the concerns of insurgents.
“These issues are being exploited as issues against the government,” he said.
In the two-day regional planning workshop, the participants will come up with the regional action plan and implementing arms of 12 lines of efforts which include: situational awareness and knowledge management; local government empowerment; legal cooperation; strategic communication; sectoral unification, capacity building and empowerment; basic services; poverty reduction, livelihood and employment; infrastructure, resource management and employment; localized peace engagement; peace, law and enforcement and development support; Enhanced Comprehensive Integration Program (E-CLIP) and amnesty program; and international engagement.
National Security Council Undersecretary Vicente Agdamag said they hope to make Cordillera the model in achieving the ELCAC goals.
“We will focus our effort and will emphasize on the delivery of basic services,” Agdamag said.
The goal primary goal of ELCAC is the development of the place and improvement of the lives of the people.
“It’s not only on ending the local communist armed conflict but more than that, it is about regional development at hindi nagtatapos sa pagtigil ng labanan (our effort will not end by ending insurgency),” Agdamag said.
Also during the briefing, a former New People's Army cadre said the government has the logistics, the resources, and energy but it has to make it felt by the people down to the grassroots and the farthest village in the countryside. (PNA)


DTI checks hardware stores in Abra on steel compliance

BANGUED, Abra--To ensure that no sub-standard steel bars are being sold in the province, the Department of Trade and Industry – Abra Provincial Office in cooperation with the local government and Bangued Police Station conducted inspection of hardware stores in this capital town.
Two monitoring teams from DTI   inspected  SGL Trading, G4 Construction Supply, Ubbog Lumber and Hardware, Abra Fairway General Merchandizing and B.A. Builders Commercial.
Each team checked samples of 10 mm and 12 mm steel bars. Proper markings were  first inspected.
The markings were spotted in a distance of every one meter per steel bar.
After the inspection of the markings, the actual weighing and measuring of each sample were done.
All the hardware stores inspected were compliant with the standards on steel bars set by the Bureau of Philippine Standards.
All samples bore the proper markings such as the company logo or the emblem of the brand and all fall within the allowable length and weight.
Prior to the inspection, the team presented and discussed with owners of the establishments procedures to be made.
 “Substandard steel bars cannot withstand shakings during earthquake and there’s a possibility that buildings might collapse if they are not built with quality steel bars,” monitoring team leader Marcos Rex Hall said. Primary materials needed must be compliant to product standards especially with steel bars. (JDP/CAGT-PIA CAR, Abra)




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9 marijuana couriers nabbed in Ifugao, Kalinga checkpoints

>> Tuesday, July 30, 2019


7 ‘tourists’ from Sagada  bound to Manila


BAGUIO CITY-- A total of nine marijuana couriers, believed to have been paid to pose as tourists from Metro Manila, was recently arrested in in Ifugao and Kalinga checkpoints, authorities said Tuesday.
 Police Regional Office Cordillera Regional Director Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson reported the arrest of the seven suspects in Ifugao and two in Kalinga, all of whom came from Metro Manila for illegal transport of marijuana.
 Facing illegal transport of marijuana are Jerick Villacorte Crisostomo, 36, of Mata Extension, Tondo, Manila; Reniel dela Cruz Espinosa, 23, student; Daniel Urbano Gavino Tejada, 22; both from Taguig City; Titus Jacob Tallada, 20, student, of Sta. Mesa, Manila; Joshua Pagador Dacillo, 19, student; Reynaldo Tinagan Jerez Jr., 19; both of San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan; and a 17-year-old male student from Fairview, Quezon.
The seven were on board a CODA bus from Sagada, Mountain Province and were bound for Cubao in Quezon City.
They were arrested at a checkpoint in Viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao on July 21.
 During an inspection, a total of 14 bricks and 4 tubular dried marijuana leaves worth P2.015 million were confiscated from the group.
In the evening of the same day, Delfher Jay Navarrete Abancia, 24; and Zamier Galo, 22, Grade 11 student of Malate Catholic School, both residents of Adriatico St., Malate, Manila were nabbed at a checkpoint at Talaca, Agbannawag, Tabuk City, Kalinga while onboard a Victory Liner Bus from Tabuk City to Manila.
Seized from them were 15 bricks and stalks of dried marijuana leaves, a pack of elongated rolls or tubular dried marijuana leaves and a medium-size plastic bag containing crushed dried marijuana leaves and stalks worth P1.88 million.
 “Marami na kaming natatanggap na report na binabayaran sila para maging turista at pagbalik sa Metro Manila ay may dala na sila namarijuana (We have received several reports that there are young people who are paid to pose as tourists to visit the Cordillera but bring with them marijuana when they return to Metro Manila),” Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera Administrative Region (PDEA-CAR) information officer Rosel Sarmiento said.
“Dahil sa malaking bayad sa kanila at nakakapasyal pa sila (Because they are paid with a large amount of money, they can still visit and see the tourist destinations),” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento said the modus operandi has been popular in the recent months as can be proven by the several arrests made by the Philippine National Police, PDEA and other law enforcement agencies.
“Transporters used to be arrested in checkpoints, most of the men who are of age but due to the arrests during checkpoint operations, the modus operandi shifted to sending young people in tourist destinations for a fee,” Sarmiento said. (PNA)

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Night market slated at Burnham


By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY  – The local government relocated the booming night market operation from its present site along a 500-meter stretch of Harrison road to the Jose Abad Santos Drive, popularly known as Burnham Lake Drive, to free one of the city’s main roads from being closed every night to pave the way for the said nightly activity.
            Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said the concrete portion of the Baguio Athletic Bowl which was earlier eyed as the relocation site for the night market operation can only accommodate some 544 vendors as per the survey conducted by the City Engineering Office (CEO) compared to the 1,044 vendors actively participating in the night market operations that is why one of the best sites to transfer the night market operation is the Burnham Lake Drive adjacent to Harrison Road.
            Earlier, the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) sent notice to the local government, through the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO), for the relocation of the night market operations as this occupies a national road which should not be unnecessarily closed to vehicular traffic.
            The local chief executive cited need to continue the night market operation as it is the source of livelihood to the over 1,044 vendors participating in the nightly activity,  aside from it being one of the tourist attractions of the city and the fact that it generates some P14 to P16 million annually as income to the city with the least infrastructure development.
            Magalong ordered the CEO to inspect the Burnham Lake Drive and assess the prevailing situation for the eventual transfer of the night market operation from Harrison road to the said area the soonest in compliance to the directive from the agency tasked to oversee the national roads in the different parts of the country.
            However, he recommended there must be uniformity in the designs of the makeshift tents being used by the night market vendors as part of the attractions, apart from making sure that the no cooking policy as recommended by the City Health Services Office will strictly be observed in the area.
            According to him, night market vendors must strictly comply with the prevailing rules and regulations crafted for the purpose of conducting the nightly activity to allow them continuous operations.
            He underscored that based on the assessment conducted by the concerned offices of the local government, the Burnham Lake Drive is so far the most feasible site to relocate the night market operation because it can accommodate the huge number of vendors that are actively participating in what has become a major tourist attraction in the city.
            Magalong also recommended that once the night market operation will be relocated to its new site, proper zoning should be observed so that there will be order in the area and prevent possible confusion among those who patronize the nightly activity that gained global recognition over the past several years due to the shared good experiences of those patronizing the products sold by the vendors.

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290 erring Baguio biz establishments closed


Crackdown on 

By Gaby Keith

BAGUIO CITY – Some 290 business establishments of this summer capital were closed in this summer capital as the city government intensified crackdown on erring businesses mostly without permit.
The latest was a surprise inspection of eatery stalls at Burnham Park located near the Igorot Park, Marcos Highway among others by Mayor Benjamin Magalong Monday afternoon.
He was joined by police chief Allen Rae Co, city buildings and architects head Nazita Banez, permits and licensing head Allan Abayao, representatives from the health services office, engineering office, environment and park management office (CEPMO), public order and safety division, information office, and other departments.
Abayao said more than 290 closure orders of erring business establishments in the city have already been implemented since the new Mayor took office on July 1 and that around 36 more that Magalong signed will be enforced in the coming days.
In his meeting with the stallholders at Burnham Park, Magalong gently but firmly warned them that if he does not see any significant changes in their eateries within fifteen days in terms of sanitation, cleanliness, and in the general aesthetic of their stalls in keeping with Baguio as a major tourism hub, he will be forced to have their stalls closed.
He asked them to have their workers wear   uniforms and sanitation protective gear like hairnets when serving their customers and see to it that their stall area does not encroach or extend on the road. 
The Mayor also ordered the stall owners to stop using charcoal or “uling” in their grilling because he stressed that this causes air pollution. 
He advised them to use alternative means to do their grilling that will not adversely affect the city’s air quality.  He gave them about three months to make the transition.
Magalong said his directive is for the good of the city of Baguio and will benefit its people including themselves and the tourists who visit the Summer Capital and patronize their food stalls.
Earlier, he directed CEPMO, in coordination with other offices of the local government, to introduce the appropriate innovations to improve the state of Burnham Park in the next three months to sustain its identity as Baguio’s premier park and promenade area.
The mayor and the team proceeded to Marcos-Highway where he  led in the inspection of various business establishments located along the major thoroughfare and check whether they have the required permits and other licenses to operate.
He also conducted a surprise inspection late Wednesday afternoon along Legarda Road about reports reaching his office regarding the alleged dire situation of pine trees inside a private lot in the area.
During his first week in office, Magalong ordered business establishments without the required permits to cease their operations or else the city will have to enforce their closure. 
The warning came after he personally led in the closure of six establishments along Session and Governor Pack roads.
He has also caused the closure of several bars, billiard halls and eateries  inside the Maharlika Livelihood Center at lower Session Road for their failure to produce any business permit.
Magalong said that bars along Marcos Highway that are allegedly without business permits will be closed next if they do not comply with the local tax ordinance.

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Abra mayor dismissed for grave misconduct


BANGUED, Abra -- The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of the mayor of Bangued for approving the award of a printing service contract with companies owned by their family.
In an 18-page decision dated June 24 and released Tuesday, the anti-graft agency said Dominic Valera and his wife Mila, the incumbent vice mayor, and three other municipal government officials were found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Valera was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
The vice mayor was suspended for one year.
The ombudsman said acting municipal accountant Henry Bodaño, acting treasurer Romie Turqueza  and budget officer Amelia Bersamira were also dismissed for opting to “remain silent” when they could have stopped the illegal transaction.
The complaint stemmed from the contract entered by the municipal government with Abra Petron Service Center and DMJS Printing Shop worth around P1.9 million.
Graft probers said Valera is the owner of Abra Petron, which was managed by his wife.
DMJS is owned by their daughter Ma. Sylvia and her husband Jay. 
The ombudsman said the Valera couple “actively participated” in facilitating the transactions with the municipal government and received the payments. 
Valera’s acts “tainted the image and integrity of his office and... showed his abuse of authority,” the ruling read.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Local Government and Finance to implement the ruling.

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