Nueva Ecija cops bag 'hot' charcoal cargo; 3 haulers nabbed

Created on Monday, 17 February 2014

The police confiscated over the weekend some 500 sacks of charcoal worth about P80,000 and arrested the three persons carrying the reportedly illegal cargo for lack of proper documents secured from the environment and natural resources office authorities.

The cargo on board an Isuzu truck, bearing license plate No. TKP 240, was checked at an anti-criminality checkpoint in Barangay San Roque, this city.

The police checkpoint, manned by operatives of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC)-Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office based in Gapan, led by Police Inspector Joey B. Cabatin, saw in plain view the charcoal haul, giving them enough reason to stop the cargo truck.

Placed under arrest for alleged violation of Presidential Decree 705, otherwise known as the Forestry Code of the Philippines, were Ronie Rodel Apolinar, 30, driver and a resident of Barangay Sta. Rosa; Hariz Yarte, 20, helper, a resident of Barangay Sulbec; and Michael George Damian, 22, helper, and resident of Barangay Zone 7, all of Bangued, Abra.

The office of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-South based in Cabanatuan City, conducted an inventory of the illegal cargo and issued a seizure order. (PNA)

PDEA underlines village chiefs’ crucial role in anti-drug drive

Created on Monday, 17 February 2014

The campaign against illegal drugs is not just the sole responsibility of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 6 but of all starting at the barangay level, PDEA 6 regional director Paul Ledesma stressed.

The regional director said that the very reason why the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) memorandum circular 2009-09 calling for a unified action against dangerous drugs was issued because they recognized the vital role of the barangay chiefs and barangay officials in the campaign against illegal drugs.

Ledesma reacted following reports that some barangay captains are hesitant to cooperate in the anti-drug drive because they fear for their lives.

Ledesma stressed that being a public servant there is always an innate risk one should take.

The very fact that illegal drugs start proliferating at the barangay level thus the first line of defense must also start at the barangay, Ledesma said.

Ever since, Ledesma said, they always underlined the importance of community involvement headed by barangay captains and barangays officials in the bid to eradicate the presence of illegal drugs in the barangay level.

“No matter what we do, how we exerted our efforts to fight illegal if there is no cooperation from the community, it will be hard for us to win the fight against dangerous drugs,” Ledesma lamented.

Under the memorandum circular, barangay chiefs are directed to submit data to the drug agency and the Philippine National Police that identifies drug affected house clusters, work places, streets, puroks, and sitios where delivery, sale or use of illegal drugs are conducted.

Aside from this, they must also come up with plans and programs as well mobilization of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) headed by the barangay captain that will spearhead the anti-illegal drug campaign.

Ledesma warned that barangay captains might be charged of administrative case for gross negligence or dereliction of duty if they fail to do what is mandated them to do in so far as the anti-illegal drug campaign is concerned.(PNA)

Recipients find 'Yolanda' bunkhouses safer, better

Created on Monday, 17 February 2014

Recipients of bunkhouses located at the motocross site in Caiba-an village this city found their temporary shelter safer after experiencing the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda November 8 last year.

Fifty-four-year-old Herminia Israel and her husband Francisco, 56, said that they can now sleep better at night.

The couple prior their transfer to building 13 of the bunkhouse stayed at the tent city when their house situated at Sitio Costa Brava of Barangay 88 in San Jose district was washed out by Yolanda.

Their tent house, however, got flooded when typhoon Agaton affected this city last month.

Clarita Rizano and her husband also of Sitio Costa Brava temporarily transferred at the Tacloban City Convention Center.

She expressed hope that eventually their unit at the Caiba-an will be provided with utilities such as water and electricity once more families have already transferred in the area.

Joe Tambologan of Sitio Mahusay also of Barangay 88 was also among those prioritized in the selection of bunkhouse recipients together with his wife and one child.

“This is far better than staying at the Astrodome,” he said.

The Caiba-an Motocross area is one of the three sites that played host to the bunkhouses or temporary shelters intended for internally displaced persons in Tacloban City. It could accommodate 548 families.

It has 27 buildings composed of 24 rooms each while nine buildings with 12 rooms are allocated for big families.

Social welfare support staff Rex S. Rosa said the transfer of recipients is being done by batch.

The latest in February 14 was 59 families all from Barangay 88 of San Jose district who were evacuated at the Astrodome.

Earlier, some 129 families have already transferred at the completed bunkhouses.

Another bunkhouse located at the NHA property in Barangay 62B could accommodate 432 families while the site at Abucay Bridge Depot in Barangay 91 can provide temporary shelter to 192 families. (PNA)

Armed conflict, poverty force power firm to incur huge debt

Created on Sunday, 16 February 2014

Armed conflict and other calamities were seen as the reason why the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco) incurred close to P800 million debt with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) since 2005.

Edna Lidasan, general manager of Magelco, admitted to reporters that the armed hostilities in Maguindanao and extreme poverty forced power consumers to skip paying unpaid electric bills.

"Beside, many local government units have unpaid bills and the perennial problem of illegal connections that led to about 46 percent systems loss," Lidasan said.

Because of limited supply from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Maguindanao has been experiencing longer brownouts, the latest lasted for about nine hours.

Lidasan said Magelco is now only getting almost megawatt power since January 30 from as high as 10 megawatt daily.

"It is the main reason why we always experience brown outs," she said, adding that she only inherited the problem from previous administration.

Lidasan appealed to consumers to help bring the glory days of Magelco by promptly paying their electric bills and avoid illegal connections.

"This is your cooperative, you are part of it, please help," Lidasan appealed to member consumers, adding that close to P10 million are still due for collection from Maguindanao LGUs.

While the province is experiencing power outages due to limited supply from NGCP, the Magelco main office and its compound is energized by the privately-owned Cotabato Light and Power Company.


Compounding the problem is the frequent attacks carried by lawless elements on transmission lines of NGCP in Maguindanao. (PNA)

20 ARMM players, coaches hurt in road mishap in Zamboanga Sibugay

Created on Sunday, 16 February 2014

The military here confirmed that at least 20 persons, including teachers and athletes from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), were injured when the bus they were riding in figured in a freak highway accident Saturday.

The victims, who were participants in the ARMM Regional Athletic Association Meet in Marawi City, were heading for home after four days of athletic competition when the accident occurred.

The Army here quoted a radio dispatched from the Western Mindanao Command that the Rural Transit Bus overturned in a remote village of Monching, Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Quoting a police report, the Army said the bus was running normally when it tried to avoid an oncoming jeepney Saturday morning. The driver lost control of the steering wheel, forcing the bus to swerve and eventually turned upside down.

The victims suffered bruises and contusions in various parts of their bodies.

It was the second incident in the same province in five days and involved as victims participants in the ARMM athletic competition.

At dawn on Monday, Abdullah de Guzman, a teacher, was killed while 10 other persons were hurt after the sport utility vehicle they were riding in fell off a 10-minute deep ravine in Barangay Bulaan, Buug town, Zamboanga Sibugay.

De Guzman, who was behind the wheel, died instantly.

Injured in the accident were a school supervisor, a principal, a head teacher, a school nurse and six students.They were on their way to Marawi City, the venue of this year's ARMM Palaro. (PNA)

Baguio City imposes parking fees

Created on Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Baguio City government is implementing parking rates for city-owned and city- administered properties in this mountain resort.

Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 243-2013, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan approved the parking fees for implementation this year.

The AO identifies the Slaughter House Compound, the public market and Burnham Park among the areas where parking fees will be collected.

At the Slaughter House Compound, the parking rates are PhP10 for motorcycles, PhP35 for light vehicles, including jeepneys, cars and public utility vehicles (PUV).

Trucks and buses without contract with the city government will be charged PhP75. Overnight parking for small vehicles is pegged at PhP200 and PhP300 for trucks and buses. The rate for the public market staging area is PhP35.

Dealer trucks will not be charged parking fees at the staging area from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. However, such trucks will be charged PhP20 every hour after 8:00 a.m. and will not be allowed to park at designated street parking at anytime.

Fees will also be collected at the Burnham Park and other city-owned and city-administered parks.

The imposition of fees was recommended by the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) and the Traffic Management Committee (TMC) for regulation and maintenance purposes. (PNA)

Dagupan all set to conduct traffic experiment

Created on Sunday, 16 February 2014

The city government has started painting additional loading and unloading zones along the streets of Dagupan preparatory to the conduct of a traffic experiment here starting within the month.

Mayor Belen Fernandez proposed the traffic experiment aimed at finding a more effective solution to traffic gridlock in the city's downtown area, especially during the rush hour.

The move was the offshoot of a dialogue conducted by Fernandez with members of the transport group who are seeking solutions to the continued traffic problems along the roads that is hindering growth and progress in the city.

"The primary reason for putting up more loading and unloading zones is not only to put order in our streets but also to educate motorists on the proper places to load and unload their passengers and on where the pedestrians can go and wait for their ride," the mayor said.

As the traffic experiment is going on, the effectivity of Article III on Parking Areas and Article V on Loading and Unloading Zones of Ordinance No. 1748-2002 that penalizes traffic violators is also lifted,

Mayor Fernandez noted that the existing loading and unloading areas in the city are for common use by all passenger jeepneys and buses, including those coming from neighboring towns and cities and must have to wait for their turn, further slowing down traffic.

"We are actually trying to put up a better traffic system in the city. Last December when people saw me helping direct traffic in order to unclog the bottleneck, I was actually observing the traffic flow," the mayor said.

As soon as the new loading and unloading zones are in place, there will be a dry run for one week and its resultant effect would be closely monitored.

Fernandez said the city is willing to adjust if there is any adverse effect that can be noted so long as the nagging problem of traffic in the city is finally resolved.

City Engineer Virginia Rosario, said three strategic areas in the city have been chosen as loading and unloading zones for jeepneys in the hope that this can help hasten the vehicular flow in the streets.

In the past, the jeepneys were loading and unloading passengers on any place that the driver wanted, thus blocking the smooth flow of traffic

The 15 newly-approved loading and unloading zones in the city for specific routes are in front of Maradel Building on AB Fernandez Avenue, Matissa Rizal Street, CSI Main, Allied Bank, Jollibee AB Fernandez, CSI, Zamora Street, DR Bowling Lane, University of Luzon, Fernandez Building, Dagupan Chinese Cemetery, M.H. Del Pilar, GSIS Building, and Dy Auto Supply. (PNA)

9 Sarangani prov’l execs convicted of malversation

Created on Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Sandiganbayan has convicted nine Sarangani provincial officials of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents and sentenced them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua or imprisonment of 30 to 40 years.


Those found guilty were provincial board members Cornelio Martinez Jr., Eugene Alzate, Lilebeth Canillo-Prospero, Hernando Sibugan, Juanito Purisima, Marlind Marcelo, Redempto Abiso and Jesus Desedilla as well as Amelia Carmela Zoleta, executive assistant of former Vice Gov. Felipe Constantino.


In a 33-page ruling, the Sandiganbayan said it found that on April 2, 2002, the province of Sarangani disbursed P475,000 as financial assistance to Sea Angels Aqua Marketing Cooperative (SAAMC) for "bagoong" production.


In a special audit, the Commission on Audit (COA) discovered irregularities and deficiencies in the supporting documents such as lack of accreditation papers, financial statements, corporate profile of SAAMC and financial or work plans to support the project.


The prosecution proved that the project was non-existent and that the intended beneficiary did not receive any amount, instead, the fund was pocketed by the accused.


The Sandiganbayan also ordered all the accused to pay a fine of P475,000 and to jointly and severally indemnify Sarangani province in the amount of P475,000.


The case against Felipe K. Constantino and Pyang L. Singcoy was dismissed in view of their death.


For accused Teodorico Diaz and Maria Deposo Camanay who are still at-large, the case was archived.


The case against co-accused Margie P. Rudes was also archived and to be disposed upon sufficient proof of death. (PNA)

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