Ranking NPA leader nabbed in Negros Oriental

Created on Saturday, 07 June 2014

Troopers from 302nd Infantry Brigade, 79th Infantry Battalion and the Tanjay City PNP have successfully arrested a ranking New People's Army (NPA) leader during operations in Tanjay City Friday night.


The arrested rebel was identified only as "Pediong/Nasyo," Secretary of the Southeast Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (SEF, KR-N) of the NPA.


He was bagged around 7:50 p.m. during joint checkpoint operations in line with the AFP-PNP Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC) in Barangay Tugas, Tanjay City.


The former was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant for murder filed at RTC 7th Judicial Region Branch 41 in Dumaguete City.


Former rebels in Negros Oriental who are now in mainstream society identified "Pediong/Nasyo" as the one who carried out various atrocities in the southeastern part of Negros which victimized innocent civilians and destroyed millions of pesos of properties in the area.


Confiscated from the suspect was one hand grenade, an ATM card and identification cards with different identities (Jose Rene H. Bustamante, Jade B. Herevias, Jury Merecido).


The rebel leader is now detained at Tanjay City PNP station for proper disposition.


“This development is certainly a big blow to the CPP-NPA in Negros Oriental as its organizational structure has been dismantled. This is the result of the 'Bayanihan' among the people of the province who are eager to attain lasting peace and live in a place that is conducive for uninterrupted economic development,” 302nd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Francisco M. Patrimonio said. (PNA)

City wells contaminated - DOH Western Visayas

Created on Friday, 06 June 2014

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned anew residents here on the danger of ingesting water taken from wells which have proliferated in the wake of erratic supply of water as laboratory tests have revealed that a vast majority of household wells are seriously contaminated with fecal coliform, and that in the course of time may set off anexplosion of diseases.


This was the disturbing assessment given by Dr. Elvie Villalobos of DOH-Western Visayas who confirmed the unfavorable findings, explaining that a situation in which houses are massed together characteristic of city life will always be fraught with the threat of fecal contamination as septic tanks lie too close to houses thus, allowing vulnerability of underground water to contaminants.


To the extent possible, people should avoiddrinking water coming from wells, but if it is deemed impossible under the circumstances, boiling it for 3 to 5 minutes to kill microbes will suffice.


Likewise, it is strongly advised to boil the water if used for bathing particularly by children as young ones are more susceptible to water-borne diseases, Villalobos said.


In a related development, government experts said contaminants like fecal coliform easily seep into shallow wells of 20 feet and below depth, and fouling up water in the process.


The ideal depth is 30 feet or more of clay soil, as sandy soil like the one found along sea coast hasbeen proven to be prone to contamination. (PNA)

Philippine crocodile appears in North Cotabato irrigation dam

Created on Friday, 06 June 2014

Villagers in a remote barangay here have enjoyed watching a seven-footer Philippine crocodile that appeared, went missing and then reappeared again since Tuesday, officials said.

The crocodile, one of the country’s endangered species, was first seen at an irrigation dam in sitio Kinudal, Barangay Kilada, Matalam, North Cotabato which was adjacent to Barangay Dagupan, Kabacan, also in North Cotabato where it appeared twice, according to village councilman Renato Espino.

Espino said the villagers were stunned at first seeing the large reptile at 10 a.m. Tuesday as it dove into the irrigation canal when it noticed humans around.

The croc last reappeared at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Espino said Domingo Tamayo, a resident of Barangay Dagupan, first saw the croc beside the irrigation canal which had been silted.

Quoting Tamayo, Espino said the villagers did not do anything nor harm the crocodile for they were fully aware of the law prohibiting the capture of Philippine crocodiles.

”We just enjoyed crocodile watching but we are very careful, afraid it will attack humans,” Espino said.

He believed the crocodile came from Kabacan river that overflowed early this week due to heavy downpour and flooded seven low lying villages.

He said on three occasions that the villagers saw the reptile it had opened its mouth as if waiting for something to eat.

Espino said the village officials had already coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources since they do not know what to do if the reptile returns.

Last April a 2.7 meter long Philippine crocodile was captured in Mlang, also North Cotabato but later returned to its natural habitat in the Liguasan marshland. (PNA)

BIFF rebels hurt in clashes with Army in Maguindanao

Created on Friday, 06 June 2014

At least two Moro bandits were wounded in clashes Friday with government forces following an improvised bomb attack in Maguindanao that left a soldier killed and three others wounded, the Army here said.

Colonel Dickson Hermoso, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, said soldiers belonging to the 45th Infantry Battalion, led by Lt. Colonel Donald Hongitan, clashed with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the interior villages of Datu Unsay Friday morning.

No casualty was reported on government side.

Initial report showed two guerillas were seen wounded and carried by their retreating companions as the Army launched offensive.

”They retreated but we are pursuing them,” Hermoso said.

Quoting a report from Lt. Colonel Donald Hongitan, 45th Infantry Battalion commander, Hermoso said there could be more BIFF fatalities after the Army used artillery against the guerillas who fled deep into the forest of Maguindanao.

Hermoso said no reported displacement of civilians as the clash area was far from residential communities.

He said the highway linking Cotabato City and Gen. Santos City remained passable but he advised commuters to refrain from traveling at night and early morning. (PNA)

P2.7M gov't project irrigates 100-hectare farmland in Masbate

Created on Friday, 06 June 2014

Some 100 hectares of rain-fed farms are expected to become more productive as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over PHP 2.757,254.44 worth of communal irrigation system (CIS) in Mobo, Masbate this week.

DAR Bicol regional director Luis Bueno, Jr. said Barangay Sagawsawan of this town will benefit from CIS initiated by the DAR to address the problems encountered by the agricultural sector in their area which is susceptible to drought and the El Niño phenomenon.

He added that Sagawsawan CIS was completed after a year since its groundbreaking on April 10, 2013 and now turned-over to the Sagawsawan-Mobo Irrigators Association through a tripartite agreement and effort of the DAR, Mobo municipal government and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Bueno said that 40 percent of the Php 2.7 million was funded through DAR’s Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project Phase III (ARISP III) and 60 percent through equity provided by the LGU of Mobo. NIA provided technical assistance and acts as the project’s implementing agency.

Bueno added that the Communal Irrigation System which is a worthy convergence of efforts of DAR, Mobo and NIA will bring a positive impact to the food security program of the government and will help boost the economic development of the country.

" The project gave us a flow of life but we must conserve water so that more residents and farmers will benefit from it," Mobo Mayor Percival Castillo said during the turnover ceremony.

NIA Irrigation Engineer Helsy Bermudez said the completed CIS is expected to improve the crop productivity of the farmer-residents in the area as it could supply water, particularly to Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in Barangays Lalaguna, Umabay Interior and Exterior, and Pinamalatican.

CIS will also serve as an avenue for strengthening people’s organizations (POs) and improving connectivity between and among POs, cooperatives, resource institutions and business partners that are in the locality. (PNA)

Senate to donate 10 motorized boats to Iloilo fisherfolk

Created on Friday, 06 June 2014

The Senate of the Philippines through the Senate Defenders Basketball Team will be donating 10 motorized boats to the fisherfolk in Barotac Viejo and Dumangas, Iloilo on Monday, June 9, 2014.

The donation will be done to support the Adopt-A-Banca-Program of Senate Pres. Franklin M. Drilon and the provincial government of Iloilo.

Arriving in Iloilo to represent the Senate are Director Gen. Ronald Golding; Director Gen. Rodel Dascil; Director Lino Ong; Nikka Sotelo, Political Affairs Officer of the Office of Sen. Ralph G. Recto; and Senate Defenders players Kenneth Duremdes and Zaldy Realubit.

The Adopt-A-Banca-Program has been launched in order to raise donations for fisherfolk whose means of livelihood were damaged during the height of super typhoon Yolanda last year so they could once more have source of income.

The Senate donation is in cooperation with AMCHAM Foundation Phils., Inc and Embrace. (PNA)

PBA legends prove peace reigns in N. Cotabato

Created on Thursday, 05 June 2014

The coming over, play and stay of former basketball stars of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) clearly indicate the province is peaceful, one of the PBA legends said Thursday.

Kenneth Duremdes who hails from Koronadal City said the legends did not think twice when invited to play in North Cotabato which is celebrating its 100th foundation anniversary this year.

Aside from Duremdes, the ex-PBA great who played exhibition games over the weekend with Cotabato' Best basketball team were Alvin “The Captain” Patrimonio, Paul “Mr. Excitement” Alvarez, Jerry “Defense Minister” Codiñera, Kenneth Duremdes, Rene “Bong” Hawkins, Jr., Adonis Sta. Maria, Gerry “Mr. Cool” Esplana, Henry Fernandez, Rizaldo Realubit and Bonel “Mt. Balingit” Balingit gave fans pure entertainment.

The legends wowed the crowd of about 9,000 who trooped to the provincial gymnasium in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City.

While impression had it that the province is not safe, the legends proved that the place is peaceful and people loved basketball.

After leaving the province, the legends brought along with them the impression that the province of Cotabato is as peaceful as any place in the country and its people live in harmony.

Alvin Patrimonio, who held several PBA records including most consecutive games played and third most points scored, showed his great appreciation for the thousands of people who greeted them the moment they stepped at the provincial capitol.

This he told thousands of spectators during the game when he was asked to give his message.

“I felt the warm welcome of Cotabateños and I can see the harmony of the people here. Indeed, your place is not like what people in Manila perceived, and on the contrary the province is peaceful,” Patrimonio said

Durable forward and shooting guard Kenneth Duremdes, born and grew up in Koronadal City (Marbel) told the Aksiyon Serbisyong Totoo radio program of the Provincial Government of Cotabato that the coming of the PBA legends in the province is a proof that the place is safe.

“When we were invited for the exhibition games, we did not hesitate at all. Koronadal, where I came from, like Kidapawan and the whole province of Cotabato is safe and sound," Duremdes said even as he thanked Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza and Vice Governor Greg “Dodong” Ipong for inviting the legends.

The admired PBA legends, very famous even many years after their prime, will bear out their experience here in the province.

They came and played a historical exhibition game with the best players of the province. That game was now a benchmark for the peace and order condition and the tourism in Cotabato.

They may have lost the game, but the best players of Cotabato have shown a certain level of sportsmanship admired by the people, including the PBA legends themselves.

This is what Gov. Mendoza and Vice Gov. Ipong would like to convey to everyone – that harmony reigns in the province and that the people altogether, are working to attain long lasting peace in the land. (PNA)

Aklan PNP to launch 'hotline' numbers June 10

Created on Thursday, 05 June 2014

The Aklan Provincial Police Office will be launching its official hotline numbers including its 17 municipal police stations and the Boracay Tourists Action Center by June 10.

P03 Nida Gregas, APPO information officer, said that the hotline numbers to be placed in huge visible posters will be placed in strategic areas especially in the boundaries of the province. The APPO will also install one at the Kalibo International Airport.

"In this way, the public could immediately inform the police via cellular phones in case something may happen along the way," she said.

The launching is part of the Aklan PNP's implementation of the PNP Patrol Plan 2030.

In the same day, the APPO will also revive the Talakayan sa Isyung Police (TSIP) or the weekly PNP Press Forum and the election of officers of the Aklan Press Police and Defense Press Corps.(PNA)

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