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NCC confers 'most competitive' provinces award to 3 Mindanao provinces

DAVAO CITY, July 20 (PNA) -- Three provinces in Central Mindanao were included in the top six most competitive provinces by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

The provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat bagged the 3rd, 5th, and 6th places in the ranking respectively and are the only Mindanao provinces included in the top ten list.

Topping the list is Rizal province, followed by Cavite, South Cotabato, Laguna, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Bataan, Aklan, Batangas, and La Union.

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza meanwhile appreciated the inclusion of her province in the most competitive list.

She urged her fellow Cotabateños to take advantage of the recognition by working harder.

"Cotabateños should carry on. Just like all of you, I am a humbled and proud. We all work hard together with our 18 local government units, barangay officials, attached and other line agencies of government, civil societies and NGOs. Our committed partners in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Dodong Ipong. As well our department heads and 1800 dynamic and multitasking provincial employees," she said.

The National Competitiveness Council also named the most competitive LGUs as it recognize the crucial role of local government units in promoting competitiveness in the country.

In their 2016 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), topping the list of overall most competitive Highly Urbanized Cities (HUC) is Quezon City followed by Makati City at 2nd and the City of Manila at 3rd place.

Meanwhile, Naga City secured its position as the overall most competitive Component City, along with the second placer San Fernando City, Pampanga. Legazpi City, Albay landed in the 3rd spot.

On the overall most competitive 1st-2nd Class Municipalities category, Cainta, Rizal is 1st place while its neighbor Taytay, Rizal moved one notch to 2nd place. Last year’s overall top municipality General Trias, Cavite slipped to 3rd rank.

On the other hand, Infanta, Quezon emerged as the overall most competitive 3rd-6th Class Municipality, with Baler, Aurora in the 2nd notch, while Calamba, Misamis Occidental placed third.

Under the Economic Dynamism Pillar for HUC, Makati City performed best followed by Pasig City and Quezon City.

For the Component Cities, Naga City, Camarines Sur got 1st place, while Imus City and Biñan City trailed in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

For 1st-2nd Class Municipalities, General Trias, Cavite topped the category with Cainta, Rizal in 2nd , and Sta. Maria, Bulacan in 3rd place.

For 3rd-6th Class Municipalities, Jimenez, Misamis Occidental ranked first, followed by Manito, Albay and Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

On the Government Efficiency Pillar for HUC, City of Manila is the most competitive, with Quezon City as second and Iloilo City as third.

For Component Cities, Cotabato City led the ranking followed by Naga City and Legazpi City.

For 1st-2nd Class Municipalities, Cainta, Rizal ranked first, with Taytay, Rizal and Midsayap, North Cotabato next in the list.

For 3rd-6th Class Municipalities, Calape, Bohol topped the category followed by Paoay and Pasuquin, both in Ilocos Norte.

Lastly, under the Infrastructure Pillar for HUC, Quezon City is the best in the category, trailed by Makati City and Pasig City.

For Component Cities, Naga City ranked first, while Bacoor City, Cavite and Legazpi City, Albay placed second and third places respectively.

For 1st-2nd Class Municipalities, Cainta, Rizal is the most competitive, followed by Malay, Aklan, and Taytay, Rizal.

For 3rd-6th Class Municipalities, Infanta, Quezon led the category, with Pagsanjan, Laguna and Baler, Aurora next in the list.

Aside from these citations, NCC recognized the most improved LGUs from each category: Taguig City for HUC; Ormoc, Leyte for Component Cities; Pagbilao, Quezon for 1st-2nd Class Municipalities; and Barugo, Leyte for 3rd-6th Class Municipalities.

This year’s CMCI has the largest number of participants, with 1,389 LGUs, 144 of which are cities and 1,245 are municipalities.

This equals to about 85 percent of total LGUs in the Philippines.

When CMCI started in 2013, only 285 or 17 percent of the LGUs in the country joined the index. The data used were gathered with the help of the 16 RCCs, which are composed of public and private sectors and the academe.

CMCI measures LGU’s competitiveness based on the three pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, and Infrastructure.

The increasing coverage of the index signified a higher level of interest and awareness on the importance of being measured based on the three pillars and a stronger commitment to improve LGU performance based on the resulting ranking.

NCC believes that LGUs are the building blocks of national competitiveness, the reason it encouraged the creation of RCCs.

These RCCs are tasked to regularly assess local competitiveness indicators, formulate programs to improve competitiveness, and engage in investment promotion activities to attract investors and create new jobs.

By developing competitive LGUs across the nation, NCC is optimistic that this would contribute to the overall attractiveness of the country as a preferred place to do business.

Aside from the awarding, NCC also launched the 2016 CMCI website, which contains the detailed information on a particular LGU.

The CMCI data may be used by businesses and government, as a tool for policy making, planning, governance, budget management, and investment promotion.

Stakeholders coming from the national government agencies, business chambers, development partners, diplomatic community, and the academe have joined this annual event.

The Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index is an annual ranking developed by NCC through the Regional Competitiveness Committees with the support of United States Agency for International Development and Globe Telecom. (PNA)
JMC/LCM/PR/LDP

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44 rebels surrender in Pampanga

CITY of SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 18 (PNA) -- Forty four members of New People’s Army (NPA) and Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan (RHB) in this province have returned to the fold of the law and were presented to Governor Lilia Pineda during a simple ceremony held on Monday at the provincial capitol executive house.

Sta. Ana town mayor Edilberto Gamboa said that out of the 44 surrendered rebels, 25 were NPAs while the rest were RHBs. <>Gamboa was also a former communist rebel who surrendered to then Lt . Col. Ricardo Visaya, now a general and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (AFP).

Gamboa, who was then known as Commander Ross, surrendered in 2004.

The first term mayor said that during the campaign, he told the rebels that "if ever I win in the election as mayor, I will help them and facilitate their surrender.”

"At first, they were hesitant to approach me. But, I initiated to approach them later and convinced them to surrender," he said.

The surrendered rebels, though not active in the province, still operate in some nearby provinces like Bulacan and Rizal.

The returnees were all residents of Sta. Ana town. Their names were not disclosed pending the processing of the surrender requirements.

Pineda, in her message to the returnees, said that she will give them livelihood and gainful employment.

"Let us unite in making our province progressive and peaceful," the governor added. (PNA) 
LAP/zst/FEM/ps      

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Suspect armed with grenade, firearms busted by Dasmariñas City police - By: Rogelio Limpin

DASMARIÑAS CITY, Cavite July 16 (PNA) -- Operatives of Dasmariñas City police chanced upon a suspect who was holding a grenade on his right hand and about to flee as the cops were responding to a shooting incident in Barangay Datu Esmael in this city on Friday.

According to this city chief of police officer-in-charge Superintendent Rodolfo Caoili Hernandez, his police team were dispatched immediately to investigate a reported shooting incident when they spotted the suspect wielding a hand grenade and about to insert the explosive inside a sling bag.

The police operatives immediately neutralized and nabbed the suspect as the latter attempted to evade arrest.

Investigating cops identified the suspect as Idadalaw Ontawar Saykalabe, 38 of Block 17, Lot 8 North Gate Executive Village, Barangay Sto Cristo in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

They also recovered from the suspect the hand grenade; sling bag containing a caliber 45 model 1911; three magazines with seventeen live ammunitions of caliber 45 and .22 revolvers defaced of their serial numbers and loaded with live ammunitions.

The confiscated pieces of evidence were properly documented and turned-over to the Firearms and Explosive Ordnance unit in Camp Crame, Quezon City for verification.

Police temporarily detained suspect Saykalabe at the Dasmariñas custodial center and proper charges have been filed against the suspect.

According to police investigators, the law provides that possession of a hand grenade is a non-bailable offense. (PNA) 
PGL/SEP/Rogelio Limpin/rcg

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2 more drug dealers killed in firefight with Bulacan cops

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, July 14 (PNA) -- Two more armed drug dealers, who are both included in the target list of the Hagonoy Police Station, were killed in a firefight with lawmen during a buy bust operation in Barangay San Pablo-Sta. Elena Diversion Road, Hagonoy town early Thursday morning.

Acting Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., identified the slain suspects as Ronaldo Viray alias “Onad” and Reynaldo Cruz alias “Rey Ulo”, both of legal age, residents of Barangay Mercado, Hagonoy.

Caramat said the suspects sensed the ongoing police operation and at this juncture, suspect Viray drew a Caliber .38 revolver and fired towards the poseur buyer, who is a police officer, prompting the operative to fire back against him.

The other suspect, on the other hand, ran and also fired his gun (caliber .22 magnum) towards the operatives, prompting them to return fire.

"The exchange of gunfire between the suspects and police operatives resulted to the neutralization of the two suspects. No casualty was reported on the police side," Caramat said.

Scene of the Crime Operative of Bulacan Crime Laboratory processed the crime scene and recovered the following pieces of evidence: one Smith and Wesson Caliber .38 with serial number 000077, loaded with three live ammunition; one Astra caliber .22 Magnum with serial number 182722, loaded with five live ammunition; one fired cartridge case for caliber .22 Magnum; one plastic sachet containing suspected shabu; pack of cigarettes; one Seiko wrist watch; and PHP4,600 cash.

Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Lynelle F. Solomon, public information officer of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, belied circulating reports that P03 Rogelio Sta. Ana committed suicide while under restricted custody of the Bulacan police following his voluntary surrender to Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad who turned him over to Senior Supt. Caramat.

As early as 12 noon Wednesday, unconfirmed reports circulated in the city that Sta. Ana was killed inside the police provincial headquarters.

At 12 midnight, reports began circulating that Sta. Ana hanged himself inside the barracks of the Provincial Public Safety Company based in this camp.

Solomon said that Sta. Ana is alive and well and is still undergoing investigation on his involvement in the sales of prohibited drugs.

A member of the mobile patrol unit of the Malolos City police station, Sta. Ana decided to surrender to Mayor Natividad for “fear of his life” after his buddy, P03 Michael Manalad was found dead with gunshot wounds while still wearing a police uniform in Barangay Ubihan Meycauayan City last week.

"I think that he (Sta,. Ana) will not leave this camp at this time. He feels safe while under the restricted custody of the Bulacan police. We would like to appeal to the public not to believe rumors and baseless information concerning his voluntary surrender,” she said. (PNA)      
FFC/zst/EGGamos/ps  

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Classes in some Central Luzon areas suspended due to monsoon rains

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 11 (PNA) -- Classes in the province of Bataan and in some parts of Zambales province were suspended on Monday due to southwest monsoon that brings more rains in the areas.

Bataan Governor Albert Garcia announced the suspension of classes in all levels, both in public and private, in the whole province.

Localized suspension of classes, on the other hand, were declared in Zambales.

In Olongapo City, Mayor Rolen Paulino also suspended classes in all levels, both in public and private, due to inclement weather.

Mayor Jay Khonghun likewise declared suspension of classes in all levels, both public and private, in Subic town due to anticipated heavy rains.

Mayor Jun Rundstedt Ebdane also suspended classes in all levels, both public and private, in the capital town of Iba.

Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-3 (RDRRMC-3) reported that some 7,452 families or 32,104 persons in Central Luzon were affected by Typhoon Butchoy-enhanced monsoon rains that were experienced in the region the past days.

RDRRMC chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Josefina Timoteo said that 58 barangays in Dinalupihan, Hermosa, and Orani in Bataan; Calumpit in Bulacan; and Olongapo, Botolan, Iba, San Antonio, San Felipe, and San Narciso in Zambales were affected by moderate to occasional heavy rains due to southwest monsoon.

She said that some 150 families in Bataan and Zambales were brought to 14 evacuation centers.

Data from RDRRMC 3 also showed that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided PHP360,940 worth of relief items to Zambales and PHP72,188 to Bataan.

The Department of Health, on the other hand, has provided PHP250,000 worth of medicines and hygiene kits to Zambales.(PNA) 
JMC/ZST/ps

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Bulacan's intensified war vs criminality resulted to crime rate drop

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 9 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado said that the province's intensified and all-out campaign against criminality has resulted to the decline of crime rate here.

Alvarado, during his State of the Province Address (SOPA) Friday, reported a 16.65 percent drop in crime rate for the first quarter of 2016 wherein 6,465 crime incidents were recorded as against the 7,612 reported crimes last January to May 2015, marking a decrease of 1,147 incidents.

"Peace and order is one of the best foundations of a progressive development and Bulacan has remained generally peaceful prompted by heightened police efficiency and our intensified all-out campaign against criminality,” the governor said.

He also reported the continuous upgrading of the Bulacan Provincial Jail (BPJ) to make a strong foundation of the justice system with fairness and respect for the rights of the inmates.

"We added six more units of two-way radio, service firearms and CCTV camera. We also put up perimeter fence within the whole area of the jail facility to ensure that no unauthorized person nor prohibited items could enter there, the governor said.

He also reported that the heightened police efficiency and maintenance of peace and order has resulted to significant arrest of lawless elements and neutralization of notorious crime syndicates operating in Bulacan, Metro Manila and some parts of Central Luzon.

The governor has also vowed to support the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who sworn to carry out an uncompromising crackdown on crime in the country. (PNA) 
PGL/zst/EGGamos/ps

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(Update as of 11:30 a.m.) List of class suspensions in MM, provinces due to 'Butchoy'

MANILA, July 8 (PNA) –- Classes from preschool to college have been suspended on Friday in various areas due to the heavy monsoon rains brought by Typhoon "Butchoy" (international name: Nepartak).

The following areas and schools have announced the cancellation of classes for Friday, as of 11:30 a.m.:

National Capital Region:

Caloocan City - preschool to high school

Las Piñas City - preschool to high school

Malabon - All levels

Mandaluyong City - preschool to high school

Manila - preschool to high school

Makati City - preschool to high school

Marikina City - preschool to high school

Muntinlupa City - all levels

Navotas City - preschool to high school

Parañaque City - all levels

Pasay City - all levels

Pasig City - all levels

Pateros - preschool to high school (morning classes)

Quezon City - preschool to high school

San Juan City - preschool to high school

Valenzuela City - preschool to high school

Provinces:

Bataan province - all levels

Batangas province - all levels

Cavite province - all levels

Meycauyan, Bulacan - preschool to high school

Obando, Bulacan - preschool to high school

San Pablo, Laguna - preschool to senior high school

San Pedro, Laguna - preschool to high school

Angono, Rizal - all levels

Antipolo, Rizal - all levels

Binangonan, Rizal – all levels

Cainta, Rizal - all levels

San Mateo, Rizal - all levels

Taytay, Rizal - all levels

Zambales province - all levels

Colleges/Universities/Schools:

Adamson University - all levels

Centro Escolar University-Manila - senior high school

Colegio de San Juan de Letran - all levels

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde - classes, office operations

De La Salle University (Manila and Makati campuses) - all levels and office operations

Far Eastern University (Manila and Makati Campuses) - classes and office operations

Jose Rizal University - all levels

Juan Sumulong Memorial Junior College (Taytay, Rizal) - all levels

Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila - all levels

Metropolitan Medical Center College of Arts, Science and Technology - all levels

National Teachers College - all levels including graduate school

National University - all levels, office operations

Perpetual Help College of Manila - all levels

Philippine College of Criminology - all levels, office operations

Polytechnic University of the Philippines (all Metro Manila campuses) - senior high school and college levels

Santa Isabel College-Manila - pre-school to senior high school

St. Paul University-Manila - all levels

Trinity University of Asia - all levels

University of the East (Manila and Caloocan City) - pre-school to Grade 11

University of the Philippines-Diliman - all levels

University of the Philippines-Manila - afternoon classes, operations

University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (Las Piñas City) - grade school to senior high school

University of Santo Tomas - all levels, office operations

Valenzuela City Polytechnic College - all levels (PNA) 
JMC/FMC

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Classes in some Central Luzon areas suspended due to "Butchoy"

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 8 (PNA) -- Classes in several areas in Central Luzon were suspended on Friday as Typhoon "Butchoy" enhances the southwest monsoon that brings more rains in the region.

Bataan Governor Albert Garcia also announced the suspension of classes in all levels, both in public and private, in the province.

Red warning level was raised in Bataan due to the possibility of flooding in some flood-prone areas in the province brought by the moderate to occasional heavy rains

Localized suspension of classes, on the other hand, were declared in the provinces of Bulacan and Zambales.

Meycauayan City and the municipality of Obando suspended classes from pre-elementary to high school levels, both in private and public.

In Olongapo City, Mayor Rolen Paulino also suspended classes in all levels, both in public and private, due to inclement weather.

Mayor Jay Khonghun likewise declared suspension of classes in all levels, both public and private, in Subic, Zambales town due to anticipated heavy rains. (PNA) 
JMC/ZST/ps

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100 cops in Central Luzon under probe vs illegal drugs - By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, July 8 (PNA) -- Around 100 police designated in Central Luzon are now under investigation for allegedly have links to illegal drugs trade.

Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon regional police director, on Friday said that most these police personnel were detailed in Bulacan and Pampanga and will be re-assigned in other regions but continues to monitor them.

”Gagawa po kami ng report. Titingnan ko po mga record ng pulis (then) filan (file) ng administrative case (if found guilty). I-assign po sila sa ibang lugar for the meantime at pamomonitor ko po lahat po ng mga kapulisan natin. Tutukuyin rin kung may kasabawat na mga sibilyan,” Aquino said in a radio interview.

When asked to comment on a policeman found dead in Bulacan with strap sign “Pulis na pusher ’wag tularan (This policeman is a pusher. Do not emulate),” Aquino said the said police personnel was one of the three policemen found positive in drug test during drug testing for police officers.

The police identified as PO3 Michael Lee Manalad of the Malolos police was found dead on Thursday morning in the City of Meycauayan.

”Actually, tatlo nagpositive sa atin sa drug test for the past one week -- isa pong major, isang PO1 at yung namatay kahapon isa po yun sa 3 na nagpositive sa drug test. Sa aming CIU (Crime Investigating Unit) report pati sa intelligence group po namin ay may report na involved siya sa drugs,” he explained.

During the 69th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte publicly tagged five police generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

These were retired General Marcelo Garbo and retired General Vicente Loot, now mayor of Daanbatayan; and three active police generals namely: Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 Director Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, former National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Police Director Joel Pagdilao, and former Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Edgardo Tinio.

PNP Chief Director General Ricardo Dela Rosa said the three generals wanted to clear their names and assured him that they will fully cooperate with any investigation.

The PNP chief said he already forwarded the case of the three generals to the National Police Commission (Napolcom) for investigation.

Dela Rosa said despite the alleged involvement of these generals in illegal drugs, the morale of the PNP remain very high adding that they consider the incident as morale booster.

“Ito'y pagsubok lamang, lilipas din ito, high morale kami,” he said. (PNA) 
lgi/CLTC

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2 more dope dealers killed in Bulacan anti-drug sting

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 7 (PNA) -- Two more alleged dope dealers were killed in the on going all out war against illegal drugs in the towns of San Ildefonso and Plaridel while a lifeless body of a uniformed policemen with a placard emblazoned with “Pulis na Pusher wag Tularan” was found in Barangay Ubihan, Meycauayan City on Thursday.

Bulacan Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr.,  identified the two slain suspects as  Nicky Noel Villanueva Santos alias “Nicky”, 40, married, resident of 0325 Sitio Gulod, Barangay Pinaod, San Ildefonso, Bulacan and Aldwin Salvador, who was ranked No. 2 in the top 10 drug personality list of Plaridel Police. He has also several drug cases pending at RTC Branch 80, Malolos City, Bulacan

On the other hand, the arrested suspect Ahren Santos alias “Ayen," who is included in the drug watch list of Sitio Dike, Barangay Banga 2nd, Plaridel, Bulacan.

Appropriate criminal complaint against Santos is now being prepared for filing in court. 

Meanwhile, a body of a lifeless police in uniform was found dumped in Barangay Ubihan, Meycauayan City by the personnel of Meycauayan City Police Station (CPS) on Thursday morning.

Supt. Lailene Amparo, officer-in-charge of Meycauayan City Police Station,  said the lifeless policeman was identified as PO3 Michael Lee Manalad, 34, member of Bulacan Police Provincial Office presently assigned in Malolos CPS, a native of Isabela, Basilan and resident of No. 459 Purok 4, Sta Isabel, Malolos City, Bulacan.

Thorough and extensive follow-up investigation and operation is still ongoing. (PNA) 
BNB/zst/EEGamos/ps   

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QC Mayor Bautista favors giving President Duterte six-year emergency power - By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, July 4 (PNA) -- Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said on Monday a two-year emergency power is not enough for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to solve the worsening traffic woes in Metro Manila.

In a press conference, Bautista proposed that the new Chief Executive be given a full six-year term to solve traffic on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and the other major thoroughfares of the metropolis.

“It is not that easy to address that problem. This will continue to worsen when major infrastructure projects of the national government start,” he told reporters

“Most of them are in Quezon City, and therefore a two-year emergency power is too short for the President,” he pointed out.

According to the three-term mayor, the emergency powers will definitely solve various obstacles to push through with the (past) administration’s infrastructure projects to improve traffic.

Among the projects are all phases of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, North Luzon Expressway-Circumferential 5 Road Segment 8.2, Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, Visayas Avenue Extension, Ateneo de Manila University-Miriam College viaduct, Metro Manila Interchange Phase 4, Metro Rail Transit Line 7 and Light Rail Transit Line 2 expansion projected to have target completion dates of 2020 and beyond.

“Some of these projects have not yet started. After two years of having the emergency powers on traffic, the President will have to seek an extension,” he noted.

The President earlier said he could only provide band-aid solutions if he could not secure emergency powers to fix the worsening traffic in the metro.

Metro Manila’s traffic jam is causing a PHP2.4-billion economic loss per day to the country. By 2030, the loss is expected to balloon by PHP6 billion a day.

The local chief executive pointed out that the President’s emergency power must not only cover the National Capital Region, but also expanded to the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan.

“Because these areas would be the recipients of the impact of the traffic solutions in the metropolis. If we do not include them, where do we relocate affected informal settlers to be displaced by the traffic reduction measures?” he asked.

“Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan will stand to benefit from the metro’s decongestion, and they must be part of the (inclusive) plan,” Bautista stressed.

He said that in Quezon City alone, the national government’s infrastructure projects will affect 55,000 informal settler families.

The President’s emergency power, if approved by the august body, must span its authority over the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management, National Housing Authority, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Department of Transportation and Communications in solving the metro’s gridlock, Bautista said. (PNA) 
SCS/SFM

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7 more dope dealers killed in shootout with Bulacan cops

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, July 4 (PNA) -- Like dominoes, drug dealers are falling one after another in the ongoing all-out war being waged by the government against the proliferation of illegal drugs.

At least seven persons engaged in the sales of illegal drugs were killed over the weekend, barely 48 hours after wanted dope dealers were killed in an armed encounters during a series of anti-drugs operations last week.

In the latest dope sting in the province, Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr.,  said three were neutralized in Meycauayan City, one in Pandi, one in Calumpit, one in Obando, and one in Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.

Caramat identified the slain suspects as Bobby Lanoto alias “Baba," a resident of Barangay Banga, Meycauayan City and was No. 9 in BADAC watch list; Randy Rusiana, who was identified through his driver’s license and a resident of No. 4049 Golden Rod, Mapulang Lupa, Valenzuela City; Eric Tolentino, 38, jobless; Ronnie Medina alias “Jay-R/Pipoy”; Koji Harada, 27, presently residing in Barangay Pag-asa, Obando; Alfred Allan Abella, 25, a known notorious drug pusher and list as No. 1 in drug watchlist personalities in Dona Remedios Trinidada; and one still remains unidentified.

No casualty was reported on the police side.

Confiscated from the slain suspects were assorted firearms and ammunitions; sachets of containing white crystalline substance of suspected shabu; marked money and other drug paraphernalias.(PNA)
FFC/zst/EGG/ps  

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Malolos City mayor starts working shortly after taking oath

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 1 (PNA) -— Shortly after taking his oath as city mayor of this historic capital city for his third and last term, lawyer Christian D. Natividad, who is popularly known as “Agila” here, rolled up his sleeves and led his supporters walking toward the newly constructed public market which was inaugurated and blessed Thursday afternoon.

On the same day, people already noticed that the road leading to the new public market was cleared of ambivalent vendors and is once again open for traffic.

"I am reminiscing the glory days of our city. I owe it to the people of Malolos to give them convenient places and fast service,” Natividad said.

In his address, Natividad said he did not prepare any speech.

But the mayor emphasized that the best legacy he can leave is to prepare the future leaders of this historic city which will continue his programs and good governance that made Malolos City one of the top 10 Next Wave Cities in the Philippines.

He said that his administration has already worked hard to give the people of Malolos a good future by establishing schools in every village.

He also announced that there will soon be 6,000 jobs available for the 24-hour call center that will soon rise at the Information Technology hub of Malolos, which will be constructed near the new City Hall (now under construction) beside the Malolos City Sports and Convention Center along the MacArthur highway in Barangay Bulihan here.

He said that the best is yet to come, but right now “we will walk our talk” and establish the foundation and identity of a growing metropolis that is blessed with a colorful past.(PNA)  
LAP/zst/EGGamos/ps

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6 dope dealers killed in Bulacan anti-drug operations

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, July 1 (PNA) -- Six notorious drug dealers were killed after shooting it out with lawmen in a series of anti-illegal drug operations in the towns of Norzagaray, San Ildefonso, Hagonoy, San Rafael, Guiguinto and Malolos City Thursday and on Friday morning.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., said that a wanted drug dealer was killed during a follow up buy bust operation at around 2 a.m. Friday in Barangay Iba-Ibayo Hagonoy town.

The slain suspect was identified Lauro Reyes alias “Lupin.”

Reyes is out on bail due to an earlier illegal drug charges filed against him after he was earlier arrested in a buy-bust operation in Paombong town.

Caramat said a police team pursued Reyes after his companion, identified as Lamberto Morales, fired at the approaching lawmen serving a search warrant at his house in Barangay Iba, also in Hagonoy town around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Morales, according to Bulacan police, heads the criminal group “Bobsy Gang” which is involved in the series of shooting incidents, motornapping and robbery-hold-up in many areas in the province.

In San Ildefonso town, Oliver dela Cruz alias “Aga” was killed during a buy bust operation in Barangay Pala-pala at around 1 a.m. on Friday.

In Norzagaray town, a subject of search warrant in Barangay FVR identified as Keith Del Pilar Gibson was killed when he fired on the police at around 1:45 a.m. Friday. The police team was implementing a search warrant issued by Judge Celso Baguio of Gapan City, Nueva Ecija.

In the City of Malolos, an unidentified suspected drug dealer was killed when he fired on policemen during a buy-bust operation along the Diversion Road in Barangay Mojon around 1:45 a.m. on Friday.

In Guiguinto town, another armed drug dealer was killed after shooting a policeman acting as poseur buyer,

The slain suspect was only identified as a certain “Anok," who sold PHP500 worth of shabu to PO2 Jay-R Noprada.

The suspect drew a handgun and shot Noprada after his alleged cohort identified as Barry Tuazon arrived riding a Black Yamaha Mio Soul, without an attached plate number and shouted the following words, “pulis yan (that is a policeman)."

Noprada was hit in the chest portion of the bullet vest he was wearing, causing him to loose his balance.

Luckily, he did not sustain any injury while the security/back up members of the operating team, who were positioned in a dim privately owned backyard, rushed to the scene upon hearing suspect Barry Tuazon shouting.

Subsequently, SPO1 Rogelio Gregorio, who was the first to rush-in, fired on the armed suspect, who died instantaneously after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in the body.

Simultaneously with the firefight, the other members of the operating team blocked suspect Barry Tuazon who tried to elude arrest riding the motorcycle.

When he was frisked, two pieces of small heat sealed transparent plastic sachet were recovered inside the small right pocket of his maong pants. (PNA) 
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Elected officials in Bulacan to take mass oath-taking on June 30

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 27 (PNA)- Third termer Governor-elect Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado will lead the oath-taking of all the elected officials in this province at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium here on June 30.

Executive Judge Albert Fonacier will administer the oath-taking of the officials in the provincial and district levels while the elected local government officials of the three cities and 21 municipalities in the province will swear their oath before the elected governor.

With the theme “Mapanagutang Pamamahala: Susi sa Maunlad at Nagkakaisang Bulacan,” Alvarado said that the mass oath-taking would be a great opportunity for all public servants, regardless of their political affiliations, to unite in serving and leading the province into greater heights of success through good governance.

The governor will also take the opportunity to present his accomplishments and future plans for Bulacan in order to achieve rapid and inclusive economic growth through his seven-point agenda that prioritizes pervasive development in the field of good governance, health, education, nature and environment, livelihood, peace and order, and history and culture

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Bulacan will also formally receive its International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001-2008 Certification from TÜV Rheinland Philippines for its commendable provision of public service to the Bulakenyos. (PNA) 
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(Feature) Bocaue’s Pagoda sails for unity and strong faith - By Emil G. Gamos  

BOCAUE, Bulacan, June 27 (PNA) -- Will the resurrected "Pagoda ng Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa" heal the political turmoil that ripped this town after the mayoralty post in the last May elections was decided through a toss coin and is presently under protest?

The response is somewhat pragmatic but devotees of the “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa” believe that the voyage of the Pagoda will in time help heal the political wounds just like the tragedy when the three-tiered boat carrying the holy cross with hundreds of people on board tilted and sank in the murky river on the night of July 2, 1993, drowning more than 200 devotees.

"Our people have moved on since then and after 21 years, our faith has remained strong and our Pagoda is again sailing,” said a former mayor who requested not to be named.

After the tragedy in 1993, the Pagoda once again set its maiden voyage in July 2014 and this is the third consecutive year that the famous fluvial festival is being celebrated in honor of the venerated Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa and the town’s patron saint -- St. Martin of Tours.

In 2014, business communities and local folks then led by Ruben Mercado and the Roman Catholic Church under the parish priest Msgr. Albert Suatengco decided to revive the long lost sailing of a grand Pagoda with an aim to regain what they perceived to have also good tidings in the town.

The new Pagoda built for this year’s celebration of the Feast of the Holy Cross on July 3 sailed the river shortly after it was inaugurated on the eve of the start of its nine-day novena voyage.

This year’s theme “Nagkakaisang Sambayanan sa Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa” aims to unite the people, have cooperation and further deepen the religious faith, according to Michael Yanga, one of the fiesta committee chairmen, together with Gloria Lazaro and Josefina Santiago.

Msgr. Suatengco said the resiliency and the strong faith of Catholic devotees have fortified the voyage of the Pagoda as well as its impact on the town.

Every afternoon, since Thursday last week, the holy cross is being carried out from the Parish Church and placed into an altar, the centerpiece of the Pagoda, for the nine-day novena before the main parade on its feast day on July 3. (PNA) 
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Philippine Army joins war vs crimes, illegal drugs

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 27 (PNA) -- The Philippine Army troopers have joined the police in the all-out-war against illegal drugs and criminality.

The 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion and policemen from the Dona Remedios Trinidad PNP Station confiscated one sachet of shabu and a handgun Sunday in Barangay Pulong Sampalok, Dona Remedios Trinidad town.

The troops under 2Lt Jan Michael Jamelarin of Bravo Company, 48IB and PNP personnel led by Police Senior Inspector Isagani E. Santos III while conducting checkpoint, flagged down a Honda Wave motorcycle with plate number 8979 whose rider was identified as Roger Sayson Enriquez for not wearing a helmet.

Upon verification of pertinent documents, Enriquez fled towards the grassy hill of the said barangay. Personnel on the said checkpoint pursued the suspect but to no avail.

The suspect left his motorcycle and a red pouch containing one cal .22 revolver, four ammunitions of cal .22, one heat sealed sachet of shabu, and PHP200. The said items were brought to Bulacan Provincial Police Station for proper disposition.

Major General Angelito M. De Leon, commander of 7ID of Philippine Army, in his guidance said that areas covered by the division will not only be secured from insurgents but also from threats coming from lawless elements and drug syndicates.

Aside from this, Col. Felimon T. Santos Jr., commander of 703rd Brigade, said that success of 48IB’s anti-illegal drug campaign is achieved through effective joint operations with PNP.

Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV,, 48IB commanding officer, for his part, said that 48IB will maintain close coordination with PNP to thwart drug-related activities in Bulacan and other provinces covered by the unit. (PNA) 
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PNP Chief orders probe rift between NCRPO and Baliwag police during checkpoint operation
By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, June 24 (PNA) – Outgoing Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez on Friday ordered an investigation into the rift between operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and Baliwag Police over a checkpoint incident in Baliwag, Bulacan last Tuesday.

The 17 cops and assets of NCRPO, onboard five vehicles were stopped at a checkpoint in Baliwag after which were caught with kilos of shabu. But the NCRPO cops denied owning the contraband, claiming that they recovered it from a buy-bust operation.

”Napatunayan ng NCRPO na their presence there was legitimate. so last night i was also shocked to hear that PRO 3 is filing(charges) so I have asked Inspector General (IG) to investigate kung ano talaga nangyari sa operations na yun,” Marquez told reporters when asked for a comment.

The PNP Chief also said that earlier, he told his men to open a investigation to strengthen the idea of the operations.

”Laging sinasabi ko ang mga pulis dapat iopen sa investigation para to strengthen the idea na yung ating operations are from the very beginning regular so that yung mga gawain nung mga unang panahon ay maiwasan,” he said adding that the investigation would determine the truth and when people step beyond the line of regularity then they should investigate and if they found irregularity they would face charges.

”(The) scope nung investigation will be a big part of what we would want to find out bakit nangyari yun and how do we prevent it from being repeated in the future,” Marquez added. (PNA)
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PRO-3 chief vows to file charges vs NCRPO operatives, assets

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, June 24 (PNA)--Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Central Luzon, vowed on Friday to pursue charges against policemen who were caught with the illegal drugs in Bulacan.

Aquino , who made his first command visit here, said the controversial confiscation of  large volume of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu from policemen and supposed assets of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has boosted the morale of regional police operatives in their anti-illegal drug campaign.

"It serves as an accomplishment to us. You know when you got caught policemen with illegal drugs such as this, it is an accomplishment. At least, from here, we were able to cut their illegal acts,” Aquino said, saying they have found enough grounds to file charges against the 12 policemen and five alleged assets.

"Hopefully, we are able to file charges as there is no bail then," Aquino said.

The statements of NCRPO men, he said, are filled with conflicts.

He maintained that the NCRPO should present an arrested suspect if the operation was indeed a buy bust.

"What is surprising is that why the illegal drugs were in their assets' gray Montero vehicle. Those illegal drugs should be in the possession of the policemen," he stressed.

An investigation of the task force, headed by Senior Supt. Benjamin Hulipas, deputy regional director,  Aquino said, also belied claim of a ranking NCRPO officer that a certain group is out to have them fighting.

He also stressed that the checkpoint set up in Baliwag, Bulacan was a legitimate police operation. (PNA) 
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20 nabbed as cops bust cybersex den in Bulacan - By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, June 23 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) arrested 20 persons for cybercrime charges during an operations in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, PNP-ACG director, Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said on Thursday.

Eleazar said that before midnight Wednesday the cybercops raided a cybersex den in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan where they arrested 20 persons, 13 of them males accused of recording the sex act of their victims and threatening to send the video to their target’s families if their extortion demand is unheeded.

“Thru our Strikeback Operation 2016, we have smashed another local cybersex ring victimizing foreigners and even Filipinos, luring them into webcam chats and blackmailing the victims with the footage showing them in uncompromising situation,” said Eleazar.

Strikeback is a massive operation of the PNP ACG aimed at neutralizing cybersex syndicates in the country particularly those involved in so-called ‘sextortion.’ The Interpol has tagged The Philippines, Morocco and Ivory Coast as the top three countries where ‘sextortion’ rings are operating.

However, Interpol authorities last week lauded the Philippine government specifically the PNP ACG for its continuing massive effort to identify and arrest members of ‘sextortion’ syndicates operating in the country.

Eleazar said that around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Cybercops from the PNP ACG Cyber Response Team led by Superintendent Jay Guillermo raided the office of the Jaira Online Marketing Services located at the 2nd and 3rd floors of 8650 ME Building in Eraño Manalo Street, Purok 6, Area-C in Barangay San Martin, SapangPalay, San Jose del Monte City on the strength of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybersex Act of the Philippines issued by Judge Ramon D. Pamular of the Guimba, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court Branch 32.

The authorities, with the assistance of the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Office 3 and the San Jose del Monte City Police Station arrested the 20 suspects and seized 39 computer sets, three computer servers, three TP Link routers, two PLDT DSL, one CPU without monitor, 16 different cellphones and one Ipad during the operation.

Eleazar identified the arrested suspects as Sherly Jean Avellana, 25; Ma. Elena Mercolita, 30; Maricar Pagwagan, 18; Carmela Carmelo, 23; Jenalyn Tazarte,25; Teresa Rayo, 39; and Cathy de la Rosa, 19; and males Ezer Victorino, 30; John Carlos Vergara, 20; Raymond Sudario, 27; Russel Canlas, 27; Norman Fortich, 21; Steven Jommel Rico, 24; Sherwin del Rosario, 29; Alcel Jan Cruz, 26; JavemarVegaño, 32; Reymark Roldan, 27; Benedict Jade Duran, 27; Surewin Carreon, 21; and Julius Christian Realba, 29.

All 20 suspects who are residents from different parts of Bulacan were taken to the PNP-ACG headquarters in Camp Crame for documentation after they were apprised of their constitutional rights, said the PNP-ACG director.

Eleazar said that the ‘sextortion’ rings target males in all ages. The syndicates’ modus operandi goes like this: A beautiful sexy young girl will send a message to a user of Facebook and any social media site and will try to establish an instant interpersonal connection.

As soon as the target befriends the suspect, their conversation will start to get sexual in nature and the suspect will start sending her supposed naked pictures and invite the target to have a live video chat wherein she can be seen performing sexual acts.

Once the target is hooked, he will be encouraged to do the same by showing his face and genitals on webcam. Unknown to him, the chat video is not a live performance but a recorded video downloaded from porn sites. Mostly, the suspects behind the webcam are also males who know how to use tools to show recorded videos on live chat conversations.

“Your sexual acts will be recorded and the never-ending extortion will start as the suspect has already profiled your account and captured all of your friends’ list. He or she will then threaten to send the video to your friends, your officemates or classmates and even to your family if you will not give them money,” Eleazar said.

The PNP-ACG director renewed his call on the public to fully cooperate with them in going after ‘sextortion’ gangs who preys on both the young and the old, students included as they use Facebook and other social media in the country.

"We are very much aware of the possibility that young students may end up victims of ‘sextortion’ in the country with the opening of regular classes this month since during the summer period, we made at least three sextortion-related arrests with students as victims," Eleazar said as 25 million students returned to regular school this week.

Eleazar said they have activated their Operation Strikeback 3 designed to arrest cybercriminals victimizing women, children, and men with their ‘sextortion’ activities. He said that ‘sextortion’ syndicates usually demand USD500-USD2,000 from their victims and the demand will increase further.

The official said members of the "sextortion" group would create fake Facebook accounts of fictitious young and attractive women and entice and lure victims with pornographic materials after striking up online chats with them.

With the advent of Internet, Eleazar again asked parents to have more time in communicating with their children particularly minors to prevent them from failing victims to Internet predators.

“This is the reason we are encouraging parents and children to report to the PNP ACG all Internet or computer crimes. We also assure them that all information they will provide us will be treated with utmost confidentiality,” he said. (PNA) 
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10 kilos of shabu seized in Bulacan anti-drug sting

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 23 (PNA) -- Mystery shrouds the anti-drug operation in Baliwag town Wednesday afternoon that led to the recovery of 10 kilos of high grade shabu inside a van at a police checkpoint along the Dona Remedios Trinidad highway in Barangay Tarcan here but ended without any suspects or drug dealers getting arrested.

In a press conference at the police provincial headquarters here, Chief Supt. Benjamin Hulipas, deputy regional director for administration of Police Regional Office 3, said that Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino has formed a special investigation team to dig deeper into the said anti-drug operations.

The joint operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division -Special Concern Unit of PRO3 and the Baliwag police intercepted a silver Mitsubishi Montero driven and occupied by assets of the Regional Intelligence Division of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), who claimed they were conducting legitimate anti-drug operations and claimed they have 10 kilos of shabu in their vehicle.

Hulipas said the special investigation team will try to establish if something irregularity has transpired in the said dope deal and will file appropriate cases.

He said they will investigate the two civilian assets of the NCRPO who were taken to this Camp for investigation but was later released after ranking officers from the NCRPO confirmed that the anti-drug operation in Baliwag was legitimate.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., said that at around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, the Baliwag police headed by Supt. Froilan Uy flagged down the driver of the Mitsubishi Montero with plate number VVM-122 and instructed him to park at the side of the highway.

While the police were verifying the identities of the occupants and the illegal drugs, Caramat said more or less six vehicles stopped and the occupants alighted and identified themselves as members of RAIDSOTG of the NCRPO.

Caramat said that the team leader of the group identified himself as Police Inspector Johnny Garcia and told the Baliwag police chief that they are conducting follow-up operations after consummating buy bust operations at the 8 Waves Resort in San Rafael, Bulacan,

Caramt said that they brought the team and the drugs to the police headquarters and at around 1 a.m. Thursday, Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban, chief of the Regional Intelligence Division of NCRPO, arrived  and coordinated with him regarding the operations conducted by RAID-SOTG.

Caramat said that Chief Inspector Roberto Razon, chief of the RAID-SOTG of NCRPO, arrived and claimed that he is fully aware about the operations of his men.

Lukban said that even if the target drug dealers managed to elude arrest, the police was successful in recovering the 10 kilos of shabu which he said has already saved many possible victims.

He explained that drug transactions nowadays have become “high tech”.

"The drug deal now is unlike before, especially with such a big haul of illegal drugs. What is important is our policemen managed to recover the illegal drugs," he said, adding that the NCRPO is also conducting an investigation of the incident, in coordination with the Bulacan police and PRO 3.

A SOCO team from Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory  led by Chief Inspector Amelita Mendoza conducted inventory of the recovered 10 kilos of suspected shabu placed in 10 big ziplock plastic bags with the presence of NCRPO officers led by Senior Supt. Lukban and Senior Supt. Caramat and the silver Montero van, which is now under the custody of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office.(PNA)       
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Bulacan crime rate drops 16.65% in first quarter of 2016

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 22 (PNA) -- The province's intensified drive against criminality resulted in a 16.65 percent decline in crime rate for the first quarter of the year.

Police Supt. Romeo Caramat, chief of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO), reported during the Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting that there were 6,465 crime incidents recorded in the first quarter of this year, a decrease of 1,147 incidents compared to the 7,612 reported crimes in the same period in 2015.

Caramat said that their all-out campaign against criminality and maintenance of peace and order has resulted in significant arrests of lawless elements and neutralization of notorious crime syndicates operating in Bulacan, Metro Manila and some parts of Central Luzon.

"We have successfully conducted buy-bust operations, implemented Oplan Galugad and Oplan Sita and we have arrested 322 criminals and seven from them were killed during operations,” he said.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the government peacekeeping forces for continuously maintaining an atmosphere of peace and order and for protecting the province from all types of security threats. The governor, who is also the chairman of the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon, also praised the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion for their commendable services in maintaining peace and security in the region, which are necessary for the attainment of sustainable economic development.

“With their continuous conduct of Bayanihan activities and security operations through the support of different local government units (LGUs), enemy was preempted in staging criminal acts and attacking our territory. Government presence and support are evidently felt by the masses with safe and secured environment,” he said.

The governor also expressed his full support to the administration of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, who vowed to ensure peace and security through his intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

Alvarado likewise urged everyone to unite and always remain vigilant against any form of threat on the sovereignty of the country, including the tense situation at the West Philippine Sea.

"Law enforcement agencies and LGU’s cannot make it alone without the cooperation of the people. Let’s do our part to attain lasting peace and order in our communities,” the governor added. (PNA) 
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Two more suspected dope dealers slain in Bulacan shootout 

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 17 (PNA) -- In a span of more than a week, five suspected drug dealers have been killed during armed encounters with policemen conducting anti-drug operations in the town of San Miguel.

After neutralizing three alleged top targets in the campaign against illegal drugs in the said municipality, the San Miguel police killed two more suspected drug dealers during a gun battle in a suspected dope den in Sitio Daang Bakal, Barangay San Juan, San Miguel Thursday afternoon.

Acting Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., identified the slain suspects as Joseph Sarmiento, 47, single, and his brother Feliciano, 49, single, both residents of said barangay.

Caramat also said that one of their cohorts identified as Alex Carpio, also a resident of Sitio Daang Bakal, Barangay San Juan, San Miguel, was nabbed while another  suspect managed to elude arrest and is now a subject of  police manhunt.

Based on the report of  Police Supt. Joel Estaris, officer--in-charge of San Miguel Municipal Police Station (MPS), personnel of San Miguel MPS, in coordination with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-3, conducted an anti-illegal drug operation in Barangay San Juan, San Miguel.

Caramat said that the encounter ensued after one of the suspects, a certain alias “Epak", sold one sachet of shabu to a poseur buyer for Php 500.

However, after the consummation of the buy-bust operation, it was discovered that the Sarmiento brothers, together with Carpio, were a having a pot session.

Sensing of the ongoing anti-illegal drugs operation, Estaris said the Sarmiento brothers fired towards the PNP operatives, prompting the police to return fire.

An exchange of gunfire ensued that resulted in the death of the two brothers and the arrest of Carpio.

No casualty, however, was reported on the police side.

Confiscated pieces of evidence from the suspects were one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet of shabu; one improvised pen gun loaded with one fired cartridge of caliber .38; one plastic container with aluminum foil strips; and Php1,000.

Caramat said that Scene of the Crime Operative (SOCO) processed the crime scene and recovered the following pieces of evidence: two cut-opened transparent plastic sachets; one pouch containing one cut-opened transparent plastic sachet with shabu residue; one metallic fragment; three caliber .22 fired cartridge cases; one deformed fired bullet; one lead case; one fired bullet; one caliber 5.56 fired cartridge bullet; one caliber .38 revolver with no serial numbers and with five live ammunition; and one caliber .38 revolver with no serial number loaded with two ammunition.

The cadaver of the slain suspects were brought to Tuazon Funeral Homes in Barangay Poblacion, San Miguel.

Appropriate criminal complaint is now being filed against the arrested suspect before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutors City of Malolos, Bulacan.

Meanwhile, a follow-up operation is being conducted for apprehension of the other suspect who evaded arrest. (PNA) 
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Bulacan execs hail blood galloners as modern-day heroes

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 16 (PNA) -- Calling them as modern-day heroes, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado hailed volunteer blood donors in the province, saying their “efforts of love” is giving lifelines to their needy fellowmen.

Alvarado, together with Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and regional officials of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Luzon feted hundreds of volunteer blood donors during the “Blood Galloners” recognition ceremony Wednesday at the Pavillion of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

"Because of you (blood galloners), you lighten the load being burdened by those who have illness.You are heroes because you save many lives especially in needy times," Alvarado told the volunteer blood donors who attended the event which is part of the “World Blood Donor Day”.

The governor also announced that starting next month, the blood letting program in the province’s 21 towns and three cities will be chaired by Vice Governor Fernando.

Alvarado also recalled that during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, many changes have happened in the region, even in the coastal town of Hagonoy where he served for 12 years as municipal mayor.

"I still remember that while I was delivering message about blood donation, the volcano suddenly erupted and there was somewhat like a mushroom cloud," he said.

Alvarado said that during that time, their town only needs 50 bags (459 cc per bag) of blood per month. But now, the province needs at least 1,000 bags a month or a target of 40,000 bags per year.

He added that during the term of former Gov. Roberto Pagdanganan, he suggested that its about time that the province should have their own blood bank.

Dr. Joel A. Torregoza, president of Blood Galloners and Dugong Pinoy Foundation, said that donating blood is the highest form of giving back because it really comes from the heart.

Torregoza , 68, has been donating blood since he was 10 years old and has already donated 195 bags of blood and still doing so.

Meanwhile, blood donor blood donor Mario Castillo said that he feels recharged and energized  every time he donates blood.(PNA) 
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Ex-Norzagaray mayor rapped due to delayed GSIS payment

MANILA, June 13 (PNA) -- The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has filed charges against former Norzagaray, Bulacan Mayor Feliciano Legaspi, including Municipal Treasurer Cristeta Esteban and Municipal Accountant Manuel Marcial in connection with the delayed remittance of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) premium contributions for the month of November 2009.

In an 11-page resolution released on Monday, the Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict the respondents for violation of Section 52 of Republic Act No. 8291, or the "Government Service Insurance System Act".

Investigation found that the municipality was able to remit the November 2009 premiums only in February 2010 even if the deadline for remittance was in January 2010.

The resolution said that under RA No. 8291, government employers are required to remit directly to the GSIS the employees' and employers' contributions within 30 days from the day the obligation fell due and demandable.

Otherwise, the employer would be liable for delay, refusal or failure to remit under RA No. 8291. (PNA) 
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Ex-Bulacan town mayor faces 40 counts of usurpation of authority

MANILA, June 13 (PNA) -- The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has upheld the filing of cases before the Sandiganbayan against former Norzagaray, Bulacan Mayor Feliciano Legaspi, Sr. for 40 counts of usurpation of authority or official functions.

Legaspi faces charges for solemnizing 39 marriages and issuing a business permit despite being suspended for six months by the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman has earlier ordered Legaspi suspended for six months from December 2012 to June 2013.

However, Legaspi continued to discharge the duties and responsibilities of a mayor.

Legaspi was ordered suspended after the Ombudsman found him guilty of oppression or grave abuse of authority in a separate administrative case.

In a 15-page resolution released on Monday, it said that "the decision of the Ombudsman is immediately executory pending appeal and could not be stayed by the filing of an appeal or the issuance of an injunctive writ."

It added that "during this period, [Legaspi] was barred from discharging his duties and responsibilities as municipal mayor." (PNA) 
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PNP chief: Aurora one of the most peaceful provinces in PHL

BALER, Aurora, June 8 (PNA) –- This province is one of the most peaceful places in the Philippines and still considered the safest province in central Luzon, according to the country’s top police official.

In an interview, outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Ricardo Marquez said the province, located in a horseshoe-shaped coastal valley overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is generally peaceful and the people are generally friendly.

Marquez lauded the entire police force in this province in maintaining the peace and order situation in their respective area of assignments.

He said that this place's beauty never gets old and is still generally peaceful compared to other provinces.

The PNP chief came over Tuesday at Camp Ravina, Barangay Sabang here to personally give recognition to 10 police officers in Central Luzon for their meritorious and invaluable services rendered during the conduct of 2016 national and local elections.

Marquez said that through their diligent effort and dedication to public service, the police officers contributed immeasurably in the attainment of the PNP organization’s overall mission and objectives.

"By their distinctive accomplishments, the awardees earned lasting credit and honor not only for themselves but for the entire Philippine National Police,” Marquez said.

The “Medalya ng Kagalingan’ was personally awarded by Marquez to the following police officers: Police Senior Superintendent Danilo Florentino, provincial director of Aurora; Police Senior Superintendent Rhodel Sermonia, provincial director of Bataan; Police Senior Superintendent Romeo Caramat, Jr., provincial director of Bulacan; Police Senior Superintendent Cornel, provincial director of Nueva Ecija; Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Recomono Jr., provincial director of Pampanga; Police Senior Superintendent Alex Sintin, provincial director of Tarlac; Police Senior Superintendent Eli Depra, provincial director of Zambales; Police Senior Superintendent Eden Ugale of Police Regional Office Region 3; Police Senior Superintendent Sidney N. Villaflor, City Chief of Police of Angeles City; and, Police Senior Superintendent Jerry Sumbad, City Chief of Police of Olongapo City.

The awarding of “Medalya ng Kagalingan” is in pursuant to the provision of section 21, National Police Commission Circular No. 93-018, in furtherance of section 14 (m), and section 69, RA6975, governing incentives and awards of honor for PNP uniformed personnel.

“I congratulate the friendly people of Aurora and the other provinces here in Central Luzon for their support to our police force, particularly our awardees for doing their job well,” Marquez added.(PNA) 
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Bulacan to join 118th celebration of Philippine Independence

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 7 (PNA) -– The provincial government of Bulacan, along with hundreds of Bulakenyos, will relive the spirit of true independence during the 118th anniversary of the Philippine Independence to be held at the historic Barasoain Church here.

With the theme, “Kalayaan 2016 – Pagkakaisa, Pag-aambagan, Pagsulong”, the celebration will revolve in inspiring every Bulakenyo to feel the independence as well as the responsibilities it holds.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the commemoration of the country’s independence is an opportune time to understand and inspire others of what it takes to be free and be reminded that freedom is not about oneself, but about the country and what one can do for the nation.

“In this time, it is easy to say that we are independent and free but we do not know the true feelings of having lost such independence and the sacrifices that our fellow Filipinos did to regain it,” Alvarado said.

Meanwhile, Senator Cynthia Villar is expected to grace the event as the guest speaker and will lead the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies at the statute of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, together with the local officials here.

Independence Day (Araw ng Kalayaan) is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed every June 12 as a commemoration of the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898 by President Emilio Aguinaldo. (PNA) 
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7 drug pushers in Central Luzon fall

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, June 6 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3), in its intensified campaign to eradicate all forms of illegal drugs in Central Luzon, arrested seven persons in separate anti-illegal drug operations conducted over the weekend in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

Chief Superintendent Arron Aquino, officer-in-charge of PRO3, said operatives of Balanga City Police Station and Limay Municipal Police Station conducted buy bust operations in Barangay Tenejero, Balanga City which resulted in the arrest of Enrico Raymundo, 51, and his brother Jeric, 31, both of Barangay Wawa and Mark William Arboleda, 34, a resident of Barangay Bagong Daan, both in Orion, Bataan.

They were arrested after selling one piece of teabag size heat sealed sachet containing suspected shabu worth PHP3,000 to a poseur buyer.

Confiscated from their possession were marked money and 17 pieces sachets of suspected shabu amounting to about PHP15,000.

Meanwhile, operatives conducted buy-bust operations at Phase 5, Sto Niño, Barangay Bagbaguin, Meycauayan City, Bulacan which resulted in the arrest of Anthony Castro, 47, and Jeffrey Lacson, 41, both residents of said barangay.

Confiscated from their possession were 10 plastic sachet containing suspected shabu weighing approximately two grams, various illegal drug paraphernalia and PHP200 as marked money.

Likewise, operatives conducted buy bust operation on illegal drugs in Barangay Palasinan, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija which resulted in the arrest of Guillermo Victorio, 49, a resident of said barangay and included in the list of top five priority target on illegal drugs personalities.  

During the operation, the suspect’s cohort identified as Maximo Valerio was also arrested for having possession of suspected shabu.

Seized from the duo were four small plastic sachets of suspected shabu, PHP500 marked money, two units of cellular phone and a tricycle.  (PNA) 
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2 motorcycle thieves fall in Bulacan sting

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 3 (PNA) -— The hard stance of President-elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte against criminals is now taking its toll with some of them forced to sell stolen items at cheaper price and getting caught in the process.

Two alleged motorcycle thieves were arrested Wednesday in a joint operation conducted by San Jose Del Monte City Police Station Highway Patrol Group, Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) and Norzagaray Municipal Police Station along Rancho Libis Road, Barangay San Martin-1, Area-C, San Jose Del Monte City.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., acting police provincial director identified the arrested suspects as Jenricdray Villegas, 20, resident of No. 012 Sitio Gulod, Barangay Bitungol, Norzagaray and Danlord Dela Cruz alias “Bilog”/,”Kalbo”, motorcycle mechanic, resident of Block 16, Lot 2, NHV, Barangay Bitungol, Norzagaray.

Based on the report of Supt. Raniel Valones, officer-in-charge of San Jose Del Monte City Police Station, Caramat said that there was an intelligence report that a stolen motorcycle is being sold for Php 5,000.

A police operative who acted as buyer negotiated with suspect Villegas.

Police teams arrested the suspect and recovered from his possession was one Yamaha Mio motorcycle without plate number, engine no. 40C-232446 and chassis no. PA040C000F0274220.

Another joint follow-up operation was conducted at Block 16, Lot 2, NHV, Barangay Bitungol, Norzagaray which resulted in the arrest of Dela Cruz. Recovered from his possession were two suspected stolen Yamaha Mio with plate number 5035 RK, engine no. 40C1-010475, and chassis number PA040C00090009636 and another plate nunber CB-0849, engine number 5TL-352201, chassis number MH35TL0046K352116.

"It seems that criminals are now in panic even to the point of selling stolen items at a cheap price,” he said.

The two arrested suspects are now under the custody of San Jose Del Monte City Police Station.

Criminal complaints for violation of Anti Fencing Law (PD 1612) and RA 6539 (carnapping) are now being prepared for filing before the Office of the City Prosectuors, City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan against the suspects. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos join National Flag Day celebration

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 30 (PNA)-- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Monday reminded the Bulakenyos to always show love and respect to the Philippine flag and the Filipino people.

"Let us respect and love our flag as we respect and love ourselves and our fellowmen," Alvarado said during the 118th anniversary of the Philippine National Flag held in front of the Provincial Capitol Building here.

The governor also called on the Bulakenyos to be strong willed and emulate the country’s heroes who fought for the country’s freedom.

Together with Vice Governor Daniel R. Fernando, OIC PS/Supt Romeo M. Caramat Jr. of the Bulacan Provincial Police Office and department heads, Alvarado also led the flag raising and wreathlaying ceremony in front of the statue of Gat. Marcelo H. Del Pilar.

"This is noblest day as we are commemorating the importance of the country's flag and at the same time, giving recognition to the heroism of our own hero, Marcelo H. Del Pilar. This is a reminder to the next generations on his gallantry and heroism that gave flame in attaining our freedom and independence through the offering of blood, tears and lives," Alvarado said.

On May 28, 1898, the Philippine flag was first raised and received its baptism of fire and victory in the battle of Alapan, Imus, Cavite and after the American government banned this act for decades, it was reinstated in 1919.

By virtue of Proclamation No. 374, s. 1965, May 28 was declared as Flag Day each year and in 1994, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Executive Order No. 179, extending the National Flag Day from May 28 to June 12 for it is an opportune time for all Filipinos to collectively reflect on the significance of the National Flag, in the light of the Philippine Independence celebration. (PNA) 
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President Aquino unveils PHP3.3-B water transmission project in Bulacan - By Emil G. Gamos

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, May 26 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III assured residents of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal and some parts of Cavite of adequate and uninterrupted supply of potable surface water as he led on Thursday the unveiling of the PHP3.3-billion water transmission project at the Ipo dam here.

Accompanied by Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director Richard Bolt and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) administrator Gerry Esquivel, the President inspected the location of the tunnel after viewing the schematic diagram of the project.

The President said that the water transmission project will improve the delivery of fresh mountain water to Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

He said that the project will ensure that there will be no more total disruption of service due to the decades old tunnel which will be rehabilitated and improve with modern standard and technology.

The project is expected to be finished by the year 2020.

"Ang tubig ay bukal ng buhay at mahalagang matugunan natin ang pangangailangan ng ating mga boss. Ang atin pong solusyon ay ang pagtatayo ng panibagong tunnel system upang maisaayos ang ating pasilidad,” the Chief Executive said.

The project is funded through a loan from the ADB.

It will allow further rehabilitation work on the raw water transmission system and will ensure sustainable provision of water supply in the said areas.

Alvarado took the opportunity to thank President Aquino for his initiatives to bring fresh surface water supply to the homes of three million Bulakenyos through the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project.

He said that after almost 50 years of watching their supply of fresh mountain water goes to Metro Manila, the people of Bulacan will now enjoy the bounty of their natural resources.

Alvarado said that Bulakenyos will no longer depend on underground supply of water.

For many years, the mountains of Bulacan has been providing 97 percent the water needs of Metro Manila. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov warns factories, piggeries not to dump waste into rivers, waterways

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 23 (PNA) -- In a bid to further boost the image of Bulacan as an environment-friendly growth center, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has warned factories, piggery and poultry farms not to discharge their waste water to creeks and rivers and comply with existing environment laws or face revocation of their business permits.

Alvarado also ordered the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office headed by Elizabeth Apresto to inspect factories, big piggery and poultry farms if they are complying on the provision of the provincial environment code.

He told Apristo to revoke the permits and the Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) of those who will be found discharging waste waters to creeks and rivers and other violations of the law.Alvarado said that discharging toxic waste to creeks and river does not only pollute but is also hazardous to human health. Bulacan is one of the provinces who has its own environment code that was drafted and passed as an ordinance by the Sanguniang Panglalawigan  after Alvarado assumed post as governor in 2010.

Most of the factories are located in this city, Guiguinto, Marilao and Meycauayan City while big piggery and poultry farms are located in Sta. Maria, Pulilan, Pandi, Norzagaray, San Ildefonso and San Rafael.  (PNA) 
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Fireworks association appeals to President-elect Duterte for a soft stand on fireworks

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 20 (PNA) -- Officers and members of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc (PPMDAI) on Friday appealed to President-elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to go soft on the sale and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics devices, saying that more than half a million Filipinos are dependent on the industry.

Engineer Celso C. Cruz, chairman emeritus of PPMDAI and Marlene Lea DG Alapide, PPMDAI president, made the appeal during the “Fireworks Safety and Display Operators Seminar 2016” at the Paradise Resort in Barangay Dakila here on Friday morning.

The seminar was attended by some 3,000 manufacturers and dealers of fireworks in Central Luzon.

Cruz said that the safety seminar, jointly conducted by the PPMDAI anf the PNP-Civil Security Group, is a requirement to manufacturers and dealers in order for them to get license and permits.

As mayor of Davao City, Duterte has banned the use, production and sale of all types of fireworks in that city for so many years.

The PPMDAI officials expressed apprehension that the incoming President of the Philippines might expand his strong stand against fireworks nationwide which will have a very strong adverse effect on the livelihood of more than half a million people dependent on the industry.

Cruz said that the PPMDAI and the PNP-Civil Security Group are conducting the safety seminars nationwide in order to make sure the safety provisions of the Comprehensive Firecracker Law are strictly followed.

The PMMDAI officials said that in Bulacan alone, there are at least 400,000 individuals who are dependent on the industry and might lose their means of livelihood if the new President bans the use and sale of fireworks nationwide.

"Our vision is to have a pyrotechnic industry in the Philippines that is economically stable, producing quality fireworks with safety as its foremost thrust and aims to eliminate accidents and injuries in the manufacture, storage and transport of fireworks products. Our association and the government authorities are working together in developing programs to minimize and prevent untoward incidents,” Cruz explained.

Manufacturers and dealers who attended the safety seminars were debriefed and trained on display requirements, synchronized pyro musical conceptualization and safety guidelines, operation of the display and other concerns.

The seminar was also graced by PNP-CSG officials headed by Police Director Elmer Soria and Bulacan police officials led by acting police director Senior Supt. Romeo C. Caramat Jr.(PNA) 
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2 carnap ring members fall in Bulacan sting

CAMP GENERAL ALEJO S SANTOS, Bulacan, May 18 (PNA) -- Police arrested two alleged members of a notorious carnap gang operating in Central Luzon and recovered two carnapped vehicles, two hand guns, ammunition and a bladed weapon during a joint police operation in Barangay Lambakin, San Miguel town Tuesday morning.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat, acting provincial director of Bulacan PNP, identified the arrested suspects as Jaime Dumias, 28, married, auto mechanic, a resident of Barangay Pulong Malaki, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija; and a certain Tomasito, 25, single, helper, residing in Barangay Sta. Lucia, San Miguel, Bulacan.

Based on the report of Supt. Joel Estaris, officer-in-charge of San Miguel Municipal Police Station (MPS), joint elements of San Miguel MPS and Gapan City Police Station (CPS), together with the Highway Patrol teams of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, arrested the two suspects in a hot pursuit operation after they took and carted away a white taxi Toyota Vios with plate no. ASA 6527, marked Kurt Jericson Transport, registered and operated by Rodolfo Dela Minez, 34, married, taxi operator, resident of Tadeo St., RTC Compound, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City.

Caramat said that the taxi was driven by Ronel Rufo, 40, married, driver, resident of No. 92 Heroes St., DM Compound, Caloocan City.

Investigation disclosed that subject vehicle was forcibly taken at gunpoint from Rufo at around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday while in the vicinity of Barangay Sto. Cristo Norte, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija.

The driver immediately reported the incident to Gapan City Police Station who coordinated with San Miguel MPS and informed the Provincial Highway Patrol Team of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office about the incident that led to the joint police operation.

Recovered from the suspects’ possession were one white taxi Toyota Vios with plate no. ASA 6527 (carnapped vehicle); two caliber .38 revolvers; 10 rounds of ammunition for caliber .38 and one dagger knife.

The arrested suspects and recovered pieces of evidence were turned-over to Gapan CPS for further investigation and filing of appropriate criminal cases. (PNA) 
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PDEA-3 nabs drug dealer in Bulacan

CITY of SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, May 16 (PNA) -- Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Luzon arrested Sunday a drug dealer in a buy bust operation conducted in Meycauayan City, Bulacan and seized some PHP170,000 worth of shabu.

PDEA 3 Director Gladys Rosales identified the suspect as Jeffrey Jimenez, 32, a resident of Barangay Bangkal, Meycauayan City.

Rosales said the suspect was apprehended after he handed over to a poseur buyer a sachet containing shabu in the entrapment operation.

The arrest of Jimenez yielded 50 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of PHP170,000.

The agents also recovered the marked money used in the operation.

The suspect is now detained at PDEA 3 Jail Facilty in Camp Olivas in this province. (PNA) 
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Php 353-M worth of shabu seized in Bulacan drug bust -PDEA - By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, May 16 (PNA) – Combined operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) seized an about Php 353- million worth of methamphetamine hydrocloride , or "shabu," during an anti-drug operation in Bulacan, PDEA official said on Monday.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. said that the operation took place along Bypass Road, Barangay Sta. Clara, Sta. Maria, Bulacan around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday as the joint operatives of PDEA Special Enforcement Service (PDEA-SES) under the direct supervision of Director Ismael Fajardo, Jr. and the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG), arrested Leonardo Pedrosa, 39, a resident of Matang Tubig, Guyang Lote, Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Christian Ultra, 22; and Marlon Cervantes y Esta, 20; both residents of Parola, Tondo, Manila, after they conspired in selling two kilos of suspected shabu to a poseur-buyer.

He said suspects also yielded a black Toyota Vios with plate number AAK-1628 where an additional 10 kilos of suspected shabu were found inside the back compartment.

The driver of the vehicle, Jaime Halili, 28, tried to escape on foot and ran towards a house in Ignacio Subdivision, Sta. Maria, Bulacan where he was subdued. Arrested inside were Frans Espaldon, 20; Glynel Base, 18; and Junvi Ivory Base, 29, who were caught in the act of drying shabu. Confiscated inside the house were more or less 58.7 kilograms of the illegal drug.

The total weight of seized drug is 70.7 kilograms with an estimated market value of Php 353.3 million.

Cases for violation of Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs) and Section 11 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, are now being prepared for filing in court against Pedrosa, Ultra and Cervantes, while Halili, Espaldon and the Bases will be charged for violation of Section 11 of the anti-drug law. (PNA) 
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Former CA Justice Jose dela Rama passes away

BOCAUE, Bulacan, May 12 (PNA) -- Lawyers and students of Law at the Bulacan State University mourn the passing of former Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Jose dela Rama who died last Monday. He was 90.

Dela Rama was a trial lawyer and eventually became a trial court judge and later moved up to become a justice of the Court of Appeals.

Lawyer Julius Victor Degala, who studied law at the Bulacan State University when Dela Rama was the dean of the College of Law, said that even at an old age, Dela Rama was still sharp in the field of legal jurisprudence.

"Deeply passionate about his love for country, he would always fight for the rights of the Filipinos and spearhead groundbreaking movements such as the use of Filipino language in courts. He will be surely missed,” Degala said.

Dela Rama is survived by his wife Dolores Ignacio and their children Rebecca, Josefina, Cynthia, Jose Jr. and Ruth as well as his 12 grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

He is the father of lawyer Jose “Peng” dela Rama Jr., governor of the Integrated Bar of the Philipibnes-Central Luzon chapter.

His body lies in state at the Mary the Queen Memorial Homes located along the bypass road in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

Interment will be on May 15, 2016 in the family estate at the Garden of Peace, NIA road, Barangay Bagumbayan, this town. (PNA) 
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Bulacan incumbent gubernatorial and vice gov sweep the poll race with landslide wins

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 11 (PNA) -- Bulakenyos gave the tandem of Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando an overwhelming victory over their closest rivals in last Monday's elections.

Alvarado, who will be serving the people of Bulacan for his third term as top provincial executive, garnered a total votes of 659,024 while his rival Josie dela Cruz got  380,665.

Fernando, on the other hand, swept the race for vice governorship with an overwhelming 894,575 votes against the 297,560 votes of Phillip Salvador.

Both Alvarado and Fernando thanked their province mates for the trust and confidence and vowed to further boost the programs that will rev up anew the engines of growth in the province.

"The election is just one day. We should again unite and help each other in a continuous effort to develop our noble province and let us further uplift the status of life of every Bulakenyo," Alvarado, who is also the chairman of the Regional Development council, said shortly after he and Fernando were proclaimed as the winning governor and vice governor, respectively, by the Provincial Board of Canvassers at the Pavilion of the Hiyas Convention Center here, Tuesday night.

Except for the winner in the congressional race in the lone district of San Jose del Monte City, all winning congressmen in the province’s four legislative districts have also been proclaimed.

In the first district of Bulacan, young candidate Jose Antonio R. Sy-Alvarado, son of Gov. Alvarado, garnered 159,715 votes as against his rival Michael Fermin, who got 114,413 votes.

In the second district, Apol Pancho got 265,764 votes against the 11,548 of his rival Jaime Villfuerte.

The race in the third congressional district saw former Rep. Korna Silverio made a comeback by beating long time political rival Joselito Mendoza. Silverio garnered a total votes of 119,016 while Mendoza got 109,670 votes.

In the fourth district, reelectionist Rep. Lynabelle Villarica made a landslide victory with 216,962 votes over Joan Alarilla, who got 40,043 votes. (PNA) 
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Bulacan Gov. Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando headed for landslide victory

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 10 (PNA) -— With only the votes from the towns of Bocaue and San Ildefonso and the City of San Jose del Monte still unaccounted as of 12 noon Tuesday, the “dynamic duo" tandem of Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando are pulling away and headed for a landslide win over the pair of gubernatorial bet Josie dela Cruz and her running mate Philip Salvador.

Partial and unofficial returns showed that Alvarado and Fernando, both candidates of the Liberal Party, are leading by more than 300,000 votes that could no longer be surpassed as of 12 noon.

Their lawyers have requested the Provincial Board of Canvassers headed by Bulacan provincial election supervisor Lawyer Lydia V. Florentino-Pangilinan, chairman; Lawyer Renato C. Samonte, vice chairman and Director Romeo Alip, member; that because of the lead of the two provincial officials are mathemathically impossible to overcome, they should be proclaimed as soon as possible.

Pangilinan said that their request is noted but since returns from the towns of Bocaue and San Ildefonso and the City of San Jose del Monte are not yet ready for transmission, they suspended the canvassing and reset it to continue at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Likewise, the lawyer of re-electionist Congressman Gavini “Apol” Pancho of the 2nd legislative district of Bulacan also requested that their client be proclaimed after getting a total of 268,651 votes in the district’s six municipalities.

They claimed that the total votes from Bocaue cannot hampered the overwhelming victory of Pancho.

In the first district of Bulacan, Jose Antonio “Kuya Jonathan” R. Sy-Alvarado, the Liberal Party’s candidate for congressman, clobbered his rival outgoing provincial senior board member Michael Fermin and is expected to be proclaimed anytime Tuesday.

Sy-Alvarado, a son of Gov. Alvarado, garnered a total of 157,828 votes while Fermin got 118,663 votes in the first district towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong Pulilan, Bulakan and the City of Malolos.

Samonte said that with only the votes from Bocaue, San Ildefonso and San Jose del Monte still being waited for transmission to the Provincial Board of Canvasser, the winning provincial officials could be proclaimed anytime Tuesday evening. (PNA) 
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4 cops, 4 other cohorts arrested in Bulacan for gun ban violations

CAMP GENERAL ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan, PNA--Four cops and four other civilians were arrested as firearms and ammunitions were seized in Barangay Kalawakan, Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT) town, this province Friday morning.

Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of Bulacan PNP Sr. Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., identified the arrested suspects as SPO4 Gerald J. Ruiz, 39; PO3 Arnaiz Gan Aguilar, 38; PO2 Emanuel B Carlos, 34 ; PO1 John Kirby DL Merle, 29 ; all from Bulacan Police Provincial Office (PPO).

The four arrested civilians, on the other hand, were Rogelio Lopez, 50, resident of Barangay Kalawakan, DRT; Ronald Piadozo, resident of Sapang Bulac, DRT; Tom C. Otrera, 65, press member, resident of Amparo Village, Caloocan and Mercy Ann Arañego 36, press member, resident of Tondo, Manila.

Sr. Insp. Isagani Santos, Chief of Police (COP) of Dona Remedios Trinidad MPS, said that they received a report from DRT Mayor Ronnie Flores informing that two suspicious vehicles were allegedly boarded with armed men.

Upon arrival of the responding policemen at the said area, they saw incumbent DRT Vice Mayor Hilario Cruz and one of the members of the armed group having a conversation.

Thereafter, Vice Mayor Cruz and his unidentified supporters turned over the apprehended armed group to the responding policemen.

One of the armed group identified himself as a police officer assigned in Bulacan PPO and voluntarily submitted themselves for investigation.

Confiscated from the suspects were one M16AI rifle with SN RP129609; one M16AI rifle SN 72488283; one Norinco  M16 SN   0013-17-09-CN; 12)magazines for M16; one Armscor 45 with SN 1411920; one COLT 45 with SN 110088; and four magazines of cal. 45 loaded with  23 ammunitions, 313 ammunitions for M16; and two vehicles.

Verification from Firearms and Explosives Office FEO, Camp Crame and LTO, Quezon City respectively are now being prepared to determine the real registered owner of said firearms and vehicles.

Appropriate criminal complaints were filed against the suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutors, Malolos City. (PNA) 
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Central Luzon cops vows to be apolitical in May elections

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, May 3 (PNA) -- Officials and personnel of the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) have vowed not to engage in any partisan activity this coming May 9 elections.

Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, PRO-3 regional director, led the signing and oathtaking of non-partisanship during the Monday flag raising ceremony held at the PRO-3 Parade Ground here.

Lacadin said all police units in Central Luzon also signed the oath in their respective stations to show that they would not participate in any election-related activities or campaign for candidates and political parties.

"The entire Central Luzon police force is apolitical, professional and nonpartisan. We focus on our mission to ensure that this national exercise on May 9 will be secured and fair," he said.

The signing and oathtaking of non-partisanship was also participated in by lawyer Emmanuel Ignacio, Assistant Regional Election Director in Central Luzon; Brig. Gen. David Diciano, Assistant Division Commander, 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and other PRO-3 officers.

Meanwhile, Ignacio said that preparations for the local and national elections are now ongoing.

He said that the 8,048 vote counting machines (VCMs) for Central Luzon are now in four identified hubs in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga and to be delivered in all municipalities and cities in the region on Tuesday.

The delivery of ballots, he said will be completed by Thursday, and a simultaneous final testing and sealing of the VCMs is likewise scheduled on the same day.

Meanwhile, a total of 5,488 police personnel were deployed in 2,825 polling centers in the region to ensure safe and fair elections.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will also deploy some 611 military troops to assist the police in the region. (PNA) 
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More support pours for Poe with one week left before May 9 polls - By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, May 1 (PNA) – With one left before the May 9 elections, support for presidential aspirant-Senator Grace Poe continues to pour from the ranks of politicians to showbiz personalities, to civil society groups, business leaders and ordinary folks.

“Pinagbuksan tayo ng pinto sa bawat bahay na kinatok, binigyan ng mainit na pagsalubong sa bawat bayan na dinayo. Salamat sa inyong tiwala at suporta,” she said in a campaign sortie in Marikina City.

Poe said people from all walks of life come to her and pledge their vote to preserve the country and reject a destructive leader.

“Nakakagulat at nakakataba ng puso ang patuloy na pagdami ng mga kababayan nating gustong tumulong. We will finish this fight to the end and will hand victory to the Filipino people,” she said.

Multi-awarded singer and composer Ogie Alcasid was the latest in the roster of supporters to add star power to Poe's bid for the presidency. He vowed to campaign for her among his colleagues in the music industry.

Alcasid, president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), serenaded the crowd of around 25,000 during the 5th National Fireworks Festival at the Marikina Riverbanks Center Ampitheater with his original composition titled Gobyerno na may Puso, a song dedicated to Poe.

The senator was welcomed by former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando, who is running for a congressional post, and his wife, former Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando. The Fernandos are also backing Poe.

Earlier, local executives from the Bicol region, led by Albay Governor Joey Salceda, have joined the campaign for Poe, pledging to deliver votes for her.

Poe also gained new allies from the province of Zambales after several Liberal party candidates for mayor and provincial board members shifted loyalty to her.

In Nueva Vizcaya, the senator is being backed by House Deputy Speaker Carlos Padilla, wife Governor Ruth Padilla and Vice Governor Lambert Galima and his slate.

Women leaders are also making their voices heard for Poe with the recent launch of “Kababaihan para kay Grace Poe” in Quezon City. The group counts among its members former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, former Senator Santanina Rasul, lawyer Katrina Legarda, Sister Mary John Mananzan, film director Bibeth Orteza, leaders of various women's groups, and students, among others.

As a daughter of well-respected artists Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, Poe’s hordes of supporters would not be without the big names in the entertainment industry like Dingdong Dantes, Coco Martin, and Vic Sotto and Pauleen Luna-Sotto.

Beyond words of encouragement, Martin has joined some of Poe’s sorties to personally urge the people to vote for her.

In a statement, Alcasid said, "Saksi ako sa sinseridad ni Grace na magsilbi sa taumbayan. Siya ay may takot sa Diyos at may paninindigan.”

It was the first time that Alcasid joined Poe's campaign sortie. Two weeks ago, he resigned as member of the government's EDSA People Power Commission.

During the event in Marikina, he rallied the audience to vote for Poe, saying she is the candidate who has a heart for the children and the youth.

In her speech, Poe vowed to put focus on programs that would ensure the youth's welfare, such as the free lunch program, which she said she wants expanded to cover more students, including those in day care centers.

Taking note of the tragedy that struck the city when "Ondoy" came in 2009, she said that a comprehensive flood control program should be in place to give the Marikina residents peace of mind that they would not be inundated anew when heavy rains come.

Poe also expressed her desire to revitalize the city's shoe industry not only to provide the residents a source of income, but to showcase the Filipino's ingenious craft.

"Sisiguraduhin ko na masigla ang ating ekonomiya para maraming magbukas na trabaho dito sa ating bansa," she said.

Poe also reiterated her commitment to curb the labor contractualization scheme, which does not give security to the employment tenure of workers.

"Ang kailangan sa ating pamilya ay permanenteng trabaho na may sapat na kita. Kasi paano tayo makakapagplano na bumili ng motor, paano tayo makakapagplano na bumili ng bahay na matitirhan ng ating pamilya kung wala tayong kasiguruhan sa ating trabaho?" she said.

Poe was invited as guest in the grand finals of the fireworks festival. The finalists were from Batangas, Valenzuela City and Bulacan. The event coincided with the 16th anniversary celebration of the Riverbanks Center.

After Alcasid belted out the Gobyerno na may Puso song, the sky brightened with the fireworks display of the competition participants. (PNA)
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PRO2 nets 11 drug pusher in Tuguegarao City

CAMP MARCELO A. ADDURU, Tuguegarao City, April 28 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office 2 (PRO2) arrested 11 suspected drug traffickers, including four minors, as they implemented a search warrant against a suspected drug pusher in Apple Street, Barangay Pengue Ruyu in Tuguegarao City Wednesday.

PRO2 public information officer Chevalier Iringan today said the Tuguegarao City Police Station (TCPS) intelligence operatives together with SWAT PPSC implemented Search Warrant No. 01-2016 against Ace Antonio y Soriano, 27, single, mechanic and a resident of Apple Street, Pengue Ruyu, Tuguegarao City which resulted in the arrest of 10 other persons seen on the act of having pot session inside the suspect'ss house.

Police identified the arrested suspects as: Alan Aguilar y Gatdula, 35, of Liwan, Norte, Enrile, Cagayan; Nestor Tupas y Rico, 28, of Salvador Street, Zone 5, San Jose Baggao, Cagayan; Jefferson Danao y Sekopito, 18, of 143 Maharlika Highway, Leonarda, Tuguegarao City; Marjorie Chan y Gepila, 21, of 51 Burgos Street, Centro 7, Tuguegarao City; Sheila Mae Cobo y Cenas, 20, of 36 Bulacan Street, Quezon City, presently staying at Zone 7, Buntun, Tuguegarao City; Janet Calebag y Manuel, 18, old of 53 A Pengue Ruyu, Tuguegarao City and four minors, all students in Tuguegarao City.

Recovered from the suspects were five pieces of heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu, eight pieces empty transparent plastic sachet containing residue believed to be shabu and 32 pieces tooter placed inside a plastic lunch box.

Also confiscated were firearms and items: one unit Caliber .22 Riffle; one Caliber .45 described as Para Ordance with Serial no. 486237; one dismantled Caliber .38 with serial no. 3394; one dismantled Caliber .38 Derringer F.I.E. and two dismantled/dilapidated motorcycles and spare parts.

Recovered items were inventoried and firearms were submitted to the Regional Crime Laboratory Office for Ballistics Examination while the suspects were administered drug test examination and put under custody of Tuguegarao City Police Station. The suspect-minors will be properly turned over to CSWD for proper disposition. (PNA) 
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Bulacan a Hall of Famer in Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 22 (PNA) -- The province of Bulacan has elevated as Hall of Famer in the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award of the Department of Agriculture (DA), for its invaluable contribution to the national rice sufficiency.

For three consecutive years or from 2012 to 2014, Bulacan has maintained a production yield above the national level despite the problems in irrigation and calamity occurrences experienced by the province.

"It is a great honor for Bulacan to be recognized as a Hall of Famer in Agri-Pinoy. The award is a clear manifestation that we are committed in supporting the agricultural endeavors of the DA in providing sufficient and safe farm produce to the rest of the nation,” Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said.

Aside from the plaque of recognition, Bulacan also received Php1 million worth of project intended for the province's rice productivity enhancement.

The province was also lauded for its appropriate interventions and support to the farmers including the conduct of Palay Check Farmers’ Field School, provision of small-scale irrigation support (STW/OSP), provision of farm machineries and post-harvest facilities, access to financing (SIKAT SAKA Program) coupled with the provision of inputs like organic fertilizer and locally funded seed subsidy.

According to Provincial Agricultural Office, the innovations on the promotion of production technologies through School-on-Air program aired over Radyo Bulacan, the conduct of “Usapang Palay” using a mobile techno-van, and capability building support to AEWs also helped the province in heeding the government’s call in increasing yield that contributes to the attainment of the nation’s thrust of food sufficiency.

Other “Hall of Famer” provinces include Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Occidental Mindoro and Davao Del Sur.

The Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award is an annual event organized by the DA National Rice Program in recognition to the outstanding and significant contributions of the local government units, irrigators association, agricultural extension workers and local farm technicians to the Philippine rice industry. (PNA) 
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MRT-7 breaks ground; set to be operational by 2020 - By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, April 20 (PNA) -- Construction of the long-awaited Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) finally kicked off on Wednesday morning with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

The Php69.30-billion project includes the development of a 23-kilometer railway system with 14 stations from North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, passing through Commonwealth Avenue and Quirino Highway in Novaliches.

It is expected to initially accommodate 350,000 daily passengers and shorten travel time from the current 3.5 hours on the road to one hour once completed and operational by its target date in April 2020.

Ultimately, about 800,000 passengers per day — mostly residents from Novaliches, Quezon City and Caloocan City, Bulacan, and neighboring areas in the north are expected to benefit from a faster commute with the completion of the project.

The project also covers the development of an integrated transportation system, which includes the said railway system, a 22-km highway from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Bocaue interchange, and an intermodal transport terminal (ITT) adjacent to the San Jose del Monte Station.

This way, commuters can take public utility vehicles (PUVs) or private cars and use the new highway from NLEX, alight at the ITT, and board the MRT-7 going to North Avenue, Quezon City.

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the groundbreaking ceremony, together with Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya.

Also present was the president of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the parent company of contractor Universal LRT Corporation (ULC), Ramon Ang.

Abaya welcomed the latest development, noting that the project is not only meant to provide better transport but also decongest traffic in Metro Manila and nearby areas in the north.

“The long-awaited MRT-7 will serve commuters who ply the heavily-congested Commonwealth Avenue area for work and school on a daily basis,” Abaya said.

“The new railway system will not only significantly lessen travel time along this corridor, but also help decongest traffic in Caloocan and NLEX,” he added. (PNA) 
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Former Bulacan town vice mayor killed

PANDI, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) — Police are investigating whether the Monday evening ambush-killing of a former vice mayor here is politically related or not.

Police said that former Vice Mayor Roberto Rivera, 61, resident of Barangay Bunsuran, was driving his white Nissan pick-up truck and heading home from his piggery farm in Barangay Manatal here when he was shot several times at point-blank range at around 6 p.m.

Sketchy reports said that a lone suspect shot Rivera three times in the head and once in the body.

The victim was brought to the Rogaciano District Hospital in nearby Sta. Maria town but was declared dead-on-arrival by doctors.

Chief Inspector Victor Bernabe, town police chief, said investigators gathered from some witnesses that the suspect boarded a tricycle before transferring to a blue car after shooting the former vice mayor.

“We are following leads that will help us establish the identity of the killer. We still cannot say if the incident is politically related since the victim is not running for any position in the coming elections,” he said.

Relatives of Rivera told police that the victim had received death threats but ignored them.

Rivera was a known staunch supporter of mayoral candidate Celestino Marquez of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan Party, who is running against reelectionist Mayor Enrico Roque in the May 9 polls.

Rivera served as vice mayor of Pandi from 1992 to 1998.

He started a farm business which he was personally managing while at the same time supporting the candidacy of mayoral candidate Marquez. (PNA) 
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Villegas leaves to voters Duterte's comments on rape victim - By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, April 18 (PNA) -- A high-ranking official of the Catholic Church is letting the public, particularly the voters to decide if they will vote for presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is facing another controversy regarding his comment on the case of rape victim which happened in his city in 1989.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that it was up for the people if they wanted to support the presidential bid of the local chief executive.

“Judge for yourself if this is the right choice,” he said in his Twitter account, @frsocvillegas.

The Lingayen-Dagupan prelate noted that he was keeping his personal opinion on the issue to himself.

“I will keep my personal judgment to myself,” he added.

On the other hand, vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that the comment made by Duterte is inappropriate.

“Nagulat kami. It seems unfortunate and I can only describe it as inappropriate. Biktima ‘yung tao ‘tapos dinagdagan pa natin,” he said in an interview in Bulacan, where he accompanied his tandem, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who was the speaker of the commencement exercises at the Bulacan State University in Malolos City on Tuesday.

Marcos noted that the mayor took the joke too far because the life of a victim of a crime was involved.

“He took a step too far. Kawawa naman yung biktima. Let’s be sensitive to someone who has already suffered as a victim of a crime,” the independent vice presidential said in a separate interview at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City during a luncheon hosted by former Court of Appeals Justice Manuel Lazaro.

Duterte has made the headlines again over his comment on the rape of an Australian woman missionary, which happened several years ago. (PNA) 
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Pena commends Makati cops for arrest of suspected robber, killer-rapist of taxi passengers

MANILA, April 18 (PNA) -- Acting Makati City Mayor Kid Peña lauded the Makati police for the swift arrest last Thursday of Nitro Ison alias “Ricky Ramos”, the suspect tagged in a series of robbery/hold-up, rape and homicide cases in various parts of Metro Manila that started last January.

“I congratulate the Makati police force, headed by Police Sr. Supt. Ernesto Barlam, for the speedy arrest and detention of the suspect who has been positively identified by some of the victims. By doing their job well, they have taken a very dangerous criminal off the streets and paved the way for justice to be served to all his victims and their families,” Peña said.

The mayor said he was very pleased with the outcome of the diligent efforts of the city police force, as his administration does not tolerate impunity. “We shall apply the full force of the law on anyone who commits a crime in our city, especially when the safety and well-being of our residents, transient workers and visitors are at stake,” he vowed.

“Despite the busy campaign period, we still give top priority to keeping the city safe and secure for our constituents and other stakeholders,” Peña added.

In a report to the mayor, Barlam said that Ison, 24 years old, single and a resident of Mandaluyong City, was arrested on April 14, 2016 at San Miguel, Bulacan, and was immediately brought to Camp Crame for further investigation.

Barlam said based on initial investigation, the suspect had been imprisoned in Manila for robbery. He said it was last January that Ison started his modus of posing as a passenger then forcibly taking a taxicab from the driver. He then used the cab to prey on female passengers, whom he allegedly robbed at gunpoint and even raped. One of three victims from Mandaluyong City reported being raped by Ison. The authorities also noted that the incidents happened on the 19th of every month.

Barlam said the suspect has also been linked to the murder of the widow of the late Dominic “Papadom” Gamboa of the Tropical Depression Band.

Amparo Santa Romana-Gamboa, widow of Papadom, was found dead early morning of Feb. 10 by a scavenger at a dump site at Kalayaan Avenue corner Bisaya Street in Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo. The victim, a call center transcriber, was known to usually take a cab going to and from her office in Makati.

Chief Inspector Shirley Bao, head of the Makati police investigation branch, said an abandoned taxi near the area, a Toyota Vios with license number UVY 402, was found with traces of blood, particularly on the passenger seat, seat belt and handbreak. This led authorities to suspect the vehicle’s role in the perpetration of the said crime, which was confirmed when the blood matched that of the victim’s.

Ison was subsequently linked to the Gamboa case after taxi driver Avelino Moran identified him as the passenger who stole his cab on Feb. 8 as they passed through C-5 Extension, Merville, Pasay. (PNA) 
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PDEA-3 nets notorious drug dealer

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, April 18 (PNA) -- Agents of the Central Luzon Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA 3) arrested Sunday a know drug dealer and seized some 200 grams of "shabu" or methamphetamine hydrochloride worth almost a million pesos in a buy bust operation in Quezon City.

PDEA 3 Regional Director Gladys Rosales identified the suspect as Victor Guilani, 42, and resident of Litex, Commonwealth, Quezon City.

Rosales said Guilani is a notorious drug pusher who is responsible for the bulk distribution of shabu in Bulacan and Pampanga.

“PDEA agents were able to negotiate for the purchase of 200 grams of shabu for Php 300,000 from Guilani and first agreed to meet in Apalit, Pampanga then in Malolos, Bulacan and eventually in Matandang Balara, Quezon City where he was collared after handing over the illegal substance to a PDEA agent who acted as poseur buyer,” Rosales added.

The apprehension of the suspect resulted in confiscation of four medium sized plastic sachets containing 200 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of Php940,000 and the marked money used in the operation.

The suspect is now detained at the PDEA 3 Jail Facility in Camp Olivas, City of San Fernando, this province. (PNA) 
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President Aquino returns to Bulacan, asks people to support continuity of govt projects

MEYCAUAYAN, Bulacan, April 16 (PNA) -- President Aquino returned to Bulacan on Friday and met the local leaders and community there insisting the need for the continuity of the programs that he initiated in the province.

He reported about the PPP projects in Bulacan, saying his administration poured a huge amount of money for the province in the past several years.

The government and the private sector have so far spent Php 116.94 billion for the province's PPP projects, he said in a speech at the Meycauayan College on Friday.

One of these projects include MRT 7, in which the groundbreaking will be held soon. The project will shorten travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, bringing great relief for commuters.

The President also reported that C-6, which was originally planned to start from Taguig to Quezon City will be extended up to Meycauayan, Bulacan to ease traffic congestion.

As to the budget coming from the national government, from 2005 to 2010, the previous administration spent Php 5 billion for infrastructure.

Under the present administration, from 2011 to 2016, the government's budget for infrastructure reached Php 19.04 billion, according to the President.

There is also continuous dredging of the Labangan Channel in Hagonoy as well as the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River, he said.

Next year, the bridge in the Plaridel Bypass Road, will be finished once JICA made a confirmation on the project. This is part of the 107,000 lineal meters of bridges and 18,000 kilometers of roads constructed under the present government.

For irrigation system, the government allocated Php 1.38 billion while a separate Php 115.86 million went to the province's post-harvest machineries and equipment.

For health facilities and enhancement program, the government spent Php 181.43 million. The President also said that 2.47 million Bulakenos are enjoying PhilHealth benefits and they are part of the 93 million Filipinos covered by PhilHealth.

In the education sector, he said his administration has so far built 6,758 classrooms in Bulacan.

For job generation, he said TESDA's TWSP program produced 37,000 scholars who recently graduated. Current job placement is at 72 percent under the TWSP program, much higher than the 28.5 percent during the previous administration.

The Aquino government also made major strides in social welfare and security. In 2010, there were more than 5,000 households under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Now, the President said there are 68,348 households enjoying benefits from 4Ps. They are part of the 4.6 million households benefitting from the program.

The President asked Bulakenos to choose the right leaders this coming May election in order for the present programs to continue.

Choosing administration candidates will ensure that those programs could benefit more Bulakenos, he said. (PNA)
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Cayetano receives public apology from ALDUB prayer warriors during rally

SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna, April 16 (PNA) -- Vice Presidential contender Senator Alan Peter Cayetano received a public apology on Friday evening from the Alliance for Duterte and Bongbong (ALDUB) prayer warriors and civil society as among the Duterte camp’s sponsors of the campaign rally at the San Pedro City’s La Marea subdivision here.

Bishop Jessie Ramos, national director of the Hope Church and leader of the prayer warriors and faith-based group apologized to Cayetano before a mammoth crowd that their “ALDUB” group’s vice presidential preference is Senator Bongbong Marcos.

For his part, presidential contender Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the ALDUB as his strong supporters and even raised Cayetano’s hand during the rally.

Bishop Ramos issued the statement to shun any pretense and appeased ALDUB supporters of the situation that Cayetano happened to be there.

He told Cayetano that he supported the political career of the legislator’s father then Senator Renato “Compañero” Cayetano in the past.

The religious leader also led the pray-over en masse for the Duterte team national bets and local aspirants and supporters after the campaign speeches.

Cayetano arrived Friday evening in San Pedro City, Laguna with presidential running mate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte from their tandem’s political sortie in Mindoro on Friday.

The senator thanked the crowd who waited for almost five hours and praised their excitement and clamor for reform and change.

He criticized the snail-paced internet services of telecommunications firms despite huge gross earnings amounting to Php 300 billion and estimated net income of Php 50 billion per year for calls and texts.

Cayetano also pointed to realities of government’s lack on health and medical facilities why people from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Bulacan go to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila where it has complete medical facilities and expert doctors.

The senator proposed to prioritize the use of government funds to also address basic services such as health care, education and agriculture instead of focusing budget allocations for telecommunications due to politically-motivated monetary considerations.

Cayetano said his presidential running mate Duterte made it clear they would not accept any political campaign contributions from the wealthy businessmen who had businesses with government.

He said “in the government we have a choice of either serving the interest of the people or the interest of the few rich” because opting to serve the vested and business interest of the wealth few means abandoning the interest and general welfare of people.

Cayetano assured the Duterte camp would never give up on the Filipino people in their fight against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.

The solon expounded that the exercise of political will requires a strong leadership to enjoin collective efforts even to the grassroots to enforce compliance and implementation of a policy and adherence to the rule of law.

He added that their campaign platform for reform and change includes the concerted plans of stakeholders and an “order of battle” to eradicate crime, illegal drugs and corruption for safe, secured and peaceful communities.(PNA) 
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PNP nabs suspected robber, killer-rapist of taxi passengers - By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, April 15 (PNA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested the suspect in the series of robberies with rape among female passengers of a stolen taxi in metropolis, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Police Director Joel Pagdilao said on Friday.

Pagdilao identified the suspect as Nitro Ison, alias "Ricky Ramos", 24, resident of Blk-41 Zone-7 Welferville Cmpd., Brgy., Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City.

Ison was nabbed in Brgy. Santa Lucia, San Miguel, Bulacan on Thursday afternoon by virtue of Alias Warrant of Arrest issued by Hon. Presiding Judge Alma Crispina B. Collado-Lacorte of Manila RTC Branch 21, for Robbery with Unnecessary Violence and Warrant of Arrest issued by Hon. Judge Ronald B. Moreno RTC Branch 147, Makati for Robbery.

Pagdilao called on other victims to come forward and identify him as the same person who robbed or assaulted them, and to file formal complaints aswell.

Ison faces seven cases in Makati, including the killing of the widow of Filipino musician Dominic Gamboa, also known as Papa Dom of reggae band Tropical Depression, who was found dead at a garbage dump in Makati City last Feb. 10.

Police said Maria Amparo was found dead with a gunshot wound on the head under heaps of trash at Kalayaan Avenue corner Bisaya Street, barangay Guadalupe Nuevo and was only identified by family members.

The 24-year old suspect was linked in a series of carnapping, robbery, homicide and rape in the cities of Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Makati and Manila.

The suspect is now detained at the Makati City lock-up jail. (PNA) 
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Bulacan State University holds gubernatorial candidates forum 2016

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 3 (PNA) -- The Bulacan State University (BSU) hosted on Saturday a forum for candidates in the gubernatorial race in this province.

The forum, organized by the graduate school of BSU, presented questions to the three gubernatorial candidates -- incumbent Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado (Liberal Party), Josefina dela Cruz (Nationalist Peoples Coalition) and Roderick Tiongson (United Nationalist Alliance) -- anchored on health, education, poverty alleviation, agriculture, peace and order, tourism, employment opportunities, land conversion and infrastructure projects.

The candidates were given ample time to present their answers, plans and programs on the issues.

In the peace and order situation, Alvarado said that the police and other peacekeeping forces are doing their best to combat crime and other problems by having a peaceful atmosphere conducive to investments while, at the same time, creating an atmosphere not conducive to lawless elements.

Both Dela Cruz and Tiongson, on the other hand, said that the “high crime rate” should be properly addressed.

On progress and development Dela Cruz centered on entrepreneurship and providing right courses for students.

Tiongson, for his part, emphasized the creation of more farm-to-market roads and boosting of tourism programs.

Alvarado said that while his rivals are proposing such “dreams,” his administration has already set into motion various development programs that are now spurring growth and progress provincewide and at the same time, generating employment and jobs for the people of Bulacan as well.

“We are no longer living in dreams, the people of Bulacan are now enjoying the reality of it. Promises are different to what is real happening. Our constituents have started to feel now the continuing progress and development in our province,” Alvarado said.

The panelists also asked the three candidates on how they will improve services at the provincial hospital (now Bulacan Medical Center) which dela Cruz said should focus on bringing in more doctors and specialists while Tiongson proposed the bringing of anti-rabies vaccines and other medicines to the barangay level.

Alvarado, for his part, explained that the Bulacan Medical Center is now being transformed into a modern hospital which can equal the services of modern private hospitals.

At present, he said patients are now being treated in an air-conditioned emergency room and maternity wards.

He also said that the BMC has now a modern laboratory facility. He added that the number of dialysis machines has increased from 10 to 40 units and the intensive care unit is also being upgraded.

To emphasize the present situation in the province, Alvarado said that “our leaders should not make promises we cannot keep, but we must keep the promises we already made.”

The forum ended with the three candidates shaking and holding hands in a show of a united stand for a clean and orderly election. (PNA) 
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Bulacan top provincial execs get 2016 Golden Globe Filipino Achiever awards

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 1 (PNA) -- A prestigious award-giving body has bestowed to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado a golden “Medal of Distinction” for being one of 2016 outstanding Filipino achievers in the field of public service.

Alvarado together with Vice Governor Daniel Fernando were among the recipient of this year’s Golden Globe Annual Awards for Filipino Achievers.

Director Ramon Juanito Balunes, chairman of the award’s research committee, said that the Golden Globe Annual Awards for Outstanding Filipino Achiever (Medal of Distinction) is conferred to individuals that have noteworthy achievements.

“Our researchers have taken on the daunting task of seeking out the shining stars, the hidden treasures and the diamonds in the rough, and bring them to the pedestal of fame that they deserve. They have conducted research, performed polls and tested services to determine who among the exceptional pool of nominees stand out and are worthy of the seal and endorsement of the Golden Globe Awards for Filipino Achievers," Balunes said.

”This recognition highlights every individual’s milestones of success and victory worthy of commendation and high regard,” he added.

Balunes said that Alvarado, who has been leading the people of Bulacan by completing his term as a municipal mayor of Hagonoy, then as congressman of the province’s first legislative district, a one term vice governor before serving his province as governor (for six years) anchored on his now famous battle cry-slogan “Lalawigan Ko’y Ikaw, Lingkod Mo’y Ako”— was chosen as one of this year’s awardees for being a “man of the people” leading his province to the greater heights of excellence through good governance.

The award giving body also recognized the visions of the Bulacan governor, who was also appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III as chairman of the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon, for pursuing the game-changing concept of public-private partnership with the implementation of the Bulacan Program for Rapid Industrialization and Development (Bulacan-PRIDE). (PNA) 
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Bicol cops nab 10 wanted men

LEGAZPI CITY, March 30 (PNA) -- Different units of the Philippine National Police Bicol regional office arrested 10 wanted persons within this week, the office’s spokesperson said Wednesday.

Senior Insp. Malu Calubaquib, Police Regional Office 5 spokesperson, identified those apprehended as Abelardo O. Magdamit, Teofisto Rosales, Jozel Y. Suriaga, Randy P. Pajares, Raul P. Zamudio, Cornelio P. Austral, Vincent B. Saar, Jayson V. Bercero, Robert N. Oberos and Rene C. Claridad.

Magdamit was caught in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Ligao City at about 9:10 a.m. Monday by elements of Ligao City Police Station (CPS) led by PO3 Errol Escopete by virtue of a warrant of arrest (WOA) issued by Blancaflor V. Joven-Salgado, presiding judge of MCTC, Ligao City for attempted homicide.

Also on Monday, San Pascual MPS (Masbate) personnel led by PO2 Gerald R. Rosales served a WOA against Rosales on order of Judge Teofilo B. Tambago of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46, Masbate City, for violation of Sections 11 and 12 of Article 2 of RA 9165 with a bail of PHP200,000.

Operatives of the Baleno MPS led by PO3 Noli D. Manlapas cornered Suriaga in Baleno, Masbate with a WOA signed by Judge Igmedio Emilio F. Camposano of MCTC, Aroroy-Baleno for theft.

PO1 Joel Vergara of Paracale MPS arrested Pajares for robbery inside the Camarines Norte Provincial Jail in Daet, Camarines Norte on order of Judge Dara SJ Mallorca Torres of MTC Paracale, Camarines Norte.

Members of Mercedes MPS led by PO2 Mardi A Gonzales handcuffed Zamudio in Mercedes, Camarines Norte armed with a WOA from Judge Victoria C. Dino-Reyes MTC Mercedes, Camarines Norte for attempted homicide.

Austral did not resist arrest at his residence in Barangay Itangon, Bula, Camarines Sur when served a WOA for murder penned by Judge Marvel C. Clavicilla of RTC Branch 33, Pili, Camarines Sur.

Saar was caught in the act by PO3 Dennis A. Altez, duty officer of Naga City PS Intelligence Branch Office, while climbing the wall of the comfort room of the office at Barangay Sta. Cruz after forcibly destroying the ceiling made of plywood.

He was charged with attempted rape.

Uson MPS (Masbate) members led by Insp. Arnel N. Buncaras nabbed Bercero by virtue of a WOA for theft issued by Rolando G. Sandigan, presiding judge of MTCC, Masbate City.

Magarao MPS officers apprehended Oberos at his residence in Magarao, Camarines Sur on order of Judge Rosita L. Lalwani, presiding judge of RTC Branch 28, Naga City.

Claridad was captured by joint elements of Tigaon MPS (Camarines Sur) led by PO3 Wilmor B. Lontoc and Ocampo MPS led by PO3 Jay C. Papin on order of Judge Francisco P. Felizmenio, presiding judge, RTC Branch 19, Malolos City, Bulacan for robbery with PHP100,000 bail recommended.(PNA) 
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3 faith healers 'crucified' in Bulacan town 
By Emil G. Gamos

PAOMBONG, Bulacan, March 25 (PNA) -- Under the scorching heat of the noon-day sun, male actors playing the role of Roman centurions brutally whipped a faith healer who fell into the ground face-down before he was dragged up to carry a wooden cross towards a man-made Golgotha besides a Catholic chapel in Barangay Kapitangan here as the old bloody Lenten tradition continues in this province.

The faith healer, Michael Katigbak, is among the most popular penitents being awaited by thousands of spectators in his reenactment of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This was also the sixth consecutive time that Katigbak was nailed to a wooden cross.

Two other faith healers were also nailed to crosses in the farming village of Kapitangan where thousands of devotees, local and foreign tourists, flocked every Holy Week to witness the centuries old bloody Lenten ritual.

After Katigbak, female faith healer Precy Valencia was equally dragged by “Roman centurions” to the crucifixion site where she stayed nailed on the cross for at least five minutes.

Before fulfilling her Holy Week vow, Valencia told local newsmen that she always received messages from heaven instructing her to follow the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When asked what is the Lord’s message this Good Friday, Valencia said it is only for herself and the people who would seek her help to cure their sickness.

Another faith healer JonJon Tanael, was also “crucified” for the third consecutive time to fulfill his Holy Week vow.

Retired centurion Wilfredo Caparas, recalled that he started playing the role of a Roman centurion when he was 18 years old.

Now 80 years old, Caparas still joined the Lenten ritual in their villages by taking part in the praying for the faith healers who will be nailed to the cross.

“We have nailed to the cross more penitents and three of them were "crucified" for 15 times," Caparas said.

He was referring to faith healers Lucy Reyes, Amparo “Mother Amparing” Santos and Buboy Dionisio who completed their vows by getting nailed to the cross for 15 consecutive years.

Amid the multitude of crowds, the observance of Holy Week in Barangay Kapitangan was very peaceful and orderly, according to Chief Inspector Leo Estorque, the town police chief.

Estorque said the crowd began arriving Wednesday night to witness the bathing in oil of the centuries old and venerated wooden cross (also known as Sta. Cruz) and the image of the crucified Christ.

Old folks believes that the blessed oil can heal ailments.

Estorque said that the bloody Lenten rites began late Thursday afternoon where scores of bare-back flagellants whipped their bloodied backs with stringed bamboo sticks.

He said that this continues as early as 7 a.m. on Good Friday as the bloodied flagellants made their way to the Catholic chapel and made the station of the cross by lying spread-eagle while being brutally whipped.

He said that the provincial government headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has deployed ambulances with paramedics while his son Jose Antonio “Kuya Jonathan” Sy-Alvarado set up a first aid station to assist the crowds as well as the penitents.

Liz Mungcal, head of the provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said public assistance centers were also set up in other crowd drawing areas like the Grotto in San Jose del Monte City, the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao and the Banal na Bundok in San Miguel.

She said emergency response teams were also deployed in strategic areas to assists motorists and tourists. (PNA) 
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Bulacan sets up ‘Lakbay Alalay’ to assist travelers this Holy Week

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 23 (PNA) -- The provincial government, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), has set up round-the-clock travel assistance to guide the motorists and travelers passing or heading to the province this Holy Week.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that Semana Santa Lakbay Alalay (SUMVAC) 2016 is all set wherein Bulacan Rescue Team as well as its partner agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are now activated to give immediate response in times emergency.

He said that assistance booth and first aid station will be set up in the two pilgrimage sites such as Barangay Kapitangan, Paombong on March 24 to 25; Divine Mercy National Shrine in Marilao on March 23 to 25 and in front of the Provincial Capitol from March 21 to 28.

Meanwhile, PDRRMO head Felicisima Mungcal reminded residents to implement safety measures, especially those leaving their houses this Lenten season and during summer vacation.

She also said that the public should immediately call the Bulacan Rescue hotline number 791-0566 or 117 which is the emergency hotline of the Department of Interior and Local Government in case an emergency arises. (PNA) 
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Three most wanted persons in Bulacan fell

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, March 17 (PNA) -- Police arrested Wednesday three most wanted persons in Bulacan through the intensified "Lambat Sibat" operations.

Senior Supt. Timoteo Pacleb, officer-in-charge of the Bulacan PNP, identified the arrested persons as Teopisto Cielo, no. 3 most wanted person, of Balagtas; Reynaldo Lizarondo, no. 9, of Hagonoy; and Rolando De Luna, no. 10, of Hagonoy.

Cielo was arrested by joint elements of Balagtas Municipal Police Station (MPS), Provincial Special Operation Group (PSOG) and Regional Intelligence Unit 3 (RIU) by virtue of warrant of arrest issued by Judge Virgilita Castillo, of RTC Branch 12, Malolos City, Bulacan.

He is presently under the custody of Balagtas PNP.

Lizarondo and De Luna, on the other hand, were arrested by virtue of the alias warrant of arrest issued by presiding judge Gregorio Sampaga of RTC Branch 78, Malolos City.

They were detained at Hagonoy lock-up cells for proper disposition. (PNA) 
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Bulacan intensifies anti-rabies drive

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 11 (PNA) -- The provincial government of Bulacan, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Agriculture (DA), is conducting a province-wide program against rabies starting this March until April of this year.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) is doing a weekly mass vaccination and veterinary medical missions in each municipality wherein there will be free castration, free consultation, free deworming and free treatment not only for dogs but for other domestic pets as well.

The mass vaccination for animals started in the City of San Jose Del Monte last March 1 and in Plaridel from March 8-10, March 11 in Calumpit, March 14 in Balagtas and March 15-18 in Hagonoy.

The schedule of vaccination will resume after Holy Week, from April 5-8 in Pandi, April 12-15, in Guiguinto, April 19-22 in Baliwag and from April 26-29 in Santa Maria.

“Last year, we garnered the most number of vaccinated dogs here in Region III which is 216,474, that is more than 70 percent of the total dog population which is the regular target of every province or municipality,” Dr. Voltaire Basinang, head of the PVO, said.

Basinang also said that the province has dog pounds in the towns of Guiguinto, Santa Maria, and cities of San Jose Del Monte, Meycauayan and Malolos that are actively searching for rabies cases.

“Among all the provinces in the Philippines, we in Bulacan are the only ones who are actively searching for rabies cases. It is our province, therefore, it is our responsibility to eradicate these cases. No excuses. I am not making any promises but I think we are on the right track,” Basinang said.

He also clarified that despite having high number of animal bites on record, Bulacan has lower cases of human transmitted rabies and is continuously decreasing.

Rose May Fernando, rabies coordinator of the Provincial Public Health Office, said that there were 14 mortality cases in 2012; 13 deaths in 2013; 11 in 2014 and five in 2015.

Last year, the province gave complete anti-rabies dose to 19,676 Bulakenyos.

”We are reminding all Bulakenyo pet owners to have their pets vaccinated against rabies and be responsible pet owners,” Basinang concluded. (PNA) 
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Two PNP generals make 'sentimental journey' to Bulacan - By Emil G. Gamos

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, March 9 (PNA) -- Two police generals went down memory lane when they made a “sentimental journey” to the places where they were assigned shortly after graduating from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) many years ago.

Chief Supt. Richard A. Albano, regional director of Police Regional Office 4, and PNP-Civil Security Group director Elmer Soria, were teary eyed after their former operatives saluted them during their comeback visit to this camp Tuesday afternoon.

“It feels good to be back home,” said Albano, who together with some media friends and retired policemen who served under him when he was still the chief of the intelligence branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office under then police colonel Noe A. Wong (now a retired police general), traced back his days as a young police officer.

Albano asked new police officers if they have experienced ghostly encounters at the quarters of the police officers inside this camp, to which they replied “positive, sir”.

The bemedalled regional director of PRO 4 also saluted his former men and thanked them including retired SP04 Teodulo Tangson, who was marked for liquidation by the Sparrow Unit of the New People’s Army during the height of the insurgency war in Central Luzon.

“We were obliged to live in a safehouse to protect him (Tangson). Eventually we were able to neutralize that group,” he said.

He also gave young police recruits some tips on becoming good police officers by remembering “KSA” which means “knowledge, skills, and attitude.”

Albano, who also served as police chief of Marilao, Calumpit and Meycauayan City, was also instrumental in the successful operations of the crack police mobile group of the 170th PNP Company known as “Ruses de Guerre” which was then headed by the innovative Senior Inspector Leon Nilo dela Cruz, now a retired PNP general.

Albano, who was then the executive officer of the 170th PNP Company, has led several operations which led to the neutralization of dreaded criminal gangs and notorious armed drug dealers operating in Central Bulacan.

With three police cars named “Pursuit”, “Tomahawk” and Interceptor” at his disposal, Albano under the supervision of Captain Dela Cruz, conducted a series of police operations which also resulted in the busting of highway robbery gangs responsible for bus hold-ups along the North Luzon Expressway.

His colorful exploits at the 170th PNP Company was equally followed and continued by Soria, who also served as executive officer under then Chief Inspector now retired PNP General Roberto Rongavilla.

“It feels good to see your former colleagues and friends. Gen. Albano and I cannot help but feel emotional about this. We grew up here," Soria said.

He said another police general, Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, was also part of the “sentimental journey” but was not available for interview.

Bulacan PNP Press Corps president Orlan L. Mauricio of Manila Standard and Metro News Bulacan, who chronicled the colorful exploits of the police generals when he was still desk editor of People’s Tonight, said Albano, Soria and Estilles honed their abilities as seasoned lawmen in Bulacan and have figured with many armed skirmishes with insurgents and heavily armed-criminal gangs.

“They became good police officers because of their exemplary stint in Bulacan," he said. (PNA) 
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Dope dealer killed in shootout with Bulacan cops

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, March 9 (PNA)-- A notorious drug pusher was killed in a shootout with police anti-drug operatives during a buy-bust operation in Barangay San Juan, San Miguel town Monday night.

Senior Supt. Timoteo G. Pacleb, officer-in-charge of the Bulacan Police provincial Office, identified the slain dope dealer as Jake Pangyarihan alias “Badjeck”, 23, married, and a resident of said barangay.

Pacleb said that Pangyarihan was listed as the No. 4 drug priority target of the San Miguel Police Station and has been long been under surveillance prior to the drug sting operation that led to the armed encounter.

He said that personnel of San Miguel Municipal Police Station, in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 3, conducted an anti-illegal drug operation in the community.

He said that the shootout ensued after Pangyarihan tried to escape after selling one sachet of white crystalline substance suspected as methamphetamine hydrochloride otherwise known as “shabu” to a poseur buyer in exchange of PHP500 and fired towards the operatives, prompting the police to return fire that triggered an exchange of gunfire, resulting to the death of the suspect .

No casualty was reported on the police operatives’ side.

Scene of the Crime Operative (SOCO) recovered the pieces of evidence, namely two heat sealed transparent plastic sachet with suspected shabu; one improvised pistol (sumpak) loaded with one 12GA cartridge; two 12 GA cartridge; three caliber 9mm fired cartridge; one improvised aluminum foil toother; and one improvised aluminum foil strip with residue.

The suspect's cadaver was brought Cathedral Funeral Homes in Barangay Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan for autopsy while the recovered pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for custody and appropriate examination. (PNA) 
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PDEA-3 seizes Php60-M marijuana; arrests 3 persons in Pampanga

CAMP OLIVAS,Pampanga, March 5 (PNA) --Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-3 (PDEA 3) on Saturday confiscated 60 kilos of marijuana worth Php60 million and arrested three persons in a drug sting in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

PDEA 3 Regional Director Gladys Rosales identified the arrested as Menalao Flores, 40; Israel Flores, 32; and Carlu Quiambao, 37; all residents of Baliuag, Bulacan.

Rosales said the agents initially were able to strike a deal with the suspects for 10 kilos of marijuana and met along Macarthur Highway in Barangay San Agustin, City of San Fernando.

The agents, she said discovered another bundle of marijuana stalks from the suspects during the operation.

"The sting yielded 43 bricks of marijuana, one bundle of marijuana and the recovery of the marked money used in the operation," Rosales said, adding that the anti drug bust was the largest marijuana haul in Pampanga.

Meanwhile, PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr. commended the PDEA 3 for the arrest of the high value targets and another successful high impact operation.

The suspects are now detained at PDEA Jail Facility inside this camp. (PNA) 
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Hundreds of Bulacan students to get summer jobs thru SPES

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 4 (PNA) -- A total of 164 students in this province will get summer jobs through this year’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) of the provincial government of Bulacan and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the program which will start in April up to May aims to help underprivileged but deserving students pay their education by providing additional income through SPES every summer vacation.

”The provincial government wants to help the youths prepare for their future by providing jobs during summer season,” the governor said.

The SPES beneficiaries will receive a salary of which 60 percent will come from their employer while the remaining 40 percent will be shouldered by the DOLE.

Kristine Plamenco, a student of Bachelor of Arts in Communication at Baliwag University, said the program helped her a lot in pursuing her college education.

”Through SPES, I was able to help my parents in paying my school expenses. At the same time, I’ve learned a lot,” Plamenco said, who is a SPES beneficiary for the past two years.

The SPES is being implemented by the Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment and Development Office - Bulacan Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO) wherein deserving students are given opportunities to work in public and private agencies. (PNA) 
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Bulacan's top fugitive, 3 others fall in series of police sting

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan, March 3 (PNA) -- Bulacan police arrested Wednesday the no. 1 most wanted person, along with three other priority targets during a series of manhunt operations in this province.

Bulacan police officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Timoteo G. Pacleb identified the arrested top fugitive as Jayson Cruz, a resident of Villa Prescila Subdivision, Barangay Cut Cot, Pulilan Bulacan.

Pacleb said Cruz was arrested by personnel of Bulacan Provincial Intelligence Branch by virtue of a warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Act 6539 (carnapping) issued by Judge Teodora Gonzales of Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, City of Malolos, Bulacan with a recommended bail bond of PHP180,000.

Cruz is also suspected to be involved in the series of motorcycle theft in Pulilan town and other nearby areas.

Likewise, police arrested Amando Sinson, and Leonardo Melo, who are no. 3 and no. 4 Lambat Sibat priority targets, respectively, in Pulilan town.

Pacleb also said that the San Miguel PNP under chief of police Supt. Joel Estaris reported the arrest of no. 4 most wanted of Malolos City identified as Wilfredo Miranda, a resident of Baluarte, Gapan City Nueva Ecija. (PNA) 
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1 killed, five others arrested in a drug buy-bust operation in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, March 2 (PNA)-- A drug dealer was killed while five others were arrested on Wednesday morning in a drug buy bust operation in San Miguel, Bulacan.

In a report reaching this camp, killed was Ferdinand Sanguyo Jr. alias Camote.

Investigation showed that Sanguyo tried to escape after selling a plastic sachet containing shabu to a poseur buyer and fired at the authorities prompting the policemen to fire back that resulted in his death.

Meanwhile, those arrested were identified as Gerald Peñaflor and Roselyn Peñaflor, both residents of Tunsuya, Malabon City; John Oliver Gonzales, a resident of Barangay Partida; Dennis Salvador, a resident of Barangay Sta. Ines and Ryan Sanguyo, a resident of Barangay Camias, all of San Miguel, Bulacan.

Confiscated from the suspects were six plastic sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as shabu; one caliber .38 revolver with ammunition, and assorted drug paraphernalia. (PNA) 
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Two notorious dope dealers fall in Bulacan sting

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S SANTOS, Bulacan, March 2 (PNA) -- Police anti-narcotics operatives have put an end to the nefarious drug trade of two notorious dope dealers in separate operations in the towns of Norzagaray and San Miguel, this province Tuesday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Timoteo G. Pacleb, officer-in-charge of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, identified the arrested suspects as Francis Agustin, resident of Barangay Minuyan, Norzagaray and Junrey Cerdenia alias “Junrey Muyco”, water supply delivery boy and resident of Barangay San Jose, San Miguel.

Pacleb said Agustin is listed as No. 4 illegal drugs priority target of the Norzagaray Police Station while Cerdenia is listed as No. 5 priority target of the San Miguel Police Station.

According to the report of Norzagaray PNP, Agustin was arrested in Barangay Minuyan at around 3 p.m. Tuesday by virtue of warrant of arrest dated March 1, 2016 signed and issued by Judge Efren B. Tienzo of Regional Trial Court (RTC), Third Judicial Region Branch 18.

Cerdenia, on the other hand, was arrested in Barangay San Jose at around 11 a.m. Tuesday by virtue of warrant of arrest issued by Judge Virgilita B. Castillo, RTC Branch 12, Malolos City. (PNA)
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Murder raps filed vs. Malolos RTC judge's killers

MANILA, March 2 (PNA) -- The alleged perpetrators in the 2015 killing of a Malolos City Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge have been charged with murder before the Malolos City RTC in Bulacan.

In a progress report to Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. Aranal Sereno released on Wednesday, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) disclosed that an information for murder has already been filed against the suspects in the death of Malolos RTC Branch 84 Judge Wilfredo T. Nieves, who was gunned down on Nov. 11, 2015.

Charged with murder were Jay Deogrades Joson with aliases "Jepoy" and "Jefferson," and Raymond Dominguez.

However, the complaint against Arnel Janoras was dismissed because Janoras was already dead, while the complaint against the other respondents, including two "John Does," was dismissed for lack of probable cause.

Based on the report to the OCA by Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina, Director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, it was learned that as of Feb. 1, 2016, the case was already raffled to the Malolos RTC Branch 82 and that a warrant of arrest is to follow.

"Rest assured that the Bulacan Police will continue to monitor and coordinate for progress and best result of the murder case filed against the suspects," Divina said in his letter to the OCA.

Dominguez, who was convicted of carnapping by Judge Nieves in 2012, is currently detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

He was included in the charge sheet after it was established, based on the deceased Janoras' statement, that he had instructed Deogrades Joson to kill Nieves.

The statement of Janoras that Deogrades Joson is a friend of Dominguez was bolstered by the fact that based on the list of visitors of NBP, the former visited Dominguez as a friend.

Nieves was the 25th judge slain while in the service since 1999. (PNA) 
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27 nabbed in anti-cybersex raid in Cabanatuan City 
By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, March 2 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) on Tuesday arrested 27 persons involved in cybersex activities and 'sextortion' in an operation in Cabanatuan City, PNP-ACG Director Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said.

Eleazar said the suspects were arrested inside the office of TLS Synergy Group, an online marketing firm in Cabanatuan City.

“We have reason to believe that the suspects’ activities could lead to 'sextortion' after we discovered that the company was engaged in the maintenance, control and operation of lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activities in front of web cameras for a fee”, said the PNP-ACG director.

The raid led by the Chief of Regional Anti-Cybercrime Office 3, Police Chief Inspector Ronelio O Manaog, came in the wake of an alarm raised by the PNP-ACG over the presence of foreign and domestic cybercrime operators involved in cyber pornography, cybersex dens, illegal gambling, credit card fraud and identity theft.

Eleazar said they raided the office of principal suspect Florendo Holgado, armed with a search warrant for violation of Section 4(c)1 of Republic Act 10175 issued by Judge Richard A. Paradeza of Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72.

The police operation took place at No. 31 Melencio Extension in Kapitan Pepe Subdivision, Barangay San Jose Sur, Cabanatuan City at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

However, Holgado was not around during the raid.

The arrested suspects include seven women who were caught in the act of engaging, chatting, and showing recorded videos of females doing simulated sex.

The suspects are now being held at the PNP-ACG headquarters in Camp Crame. They are set to face raps for violation of Section 4(c)1 (Cybersex) of Republic Act 10175, otherwise known as Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or Immoral Doctrine, Obscene Publications and Exhibitions and Indecent Shows.

The PNP-ACG chief said the operatives seized 30 computers, 31 cellphones, 3 printers, 2 monitors, 2 telephone sets, a router, several raffle coupons, and other pieces of documentary evidence during the raid.

According to Eleazar, they discovered that the 27 persons were hired by Holgado to work for him as Chat Sales Agents/Online Marketing Agents or ‘Chat Operators’ who have been trained for simulated sex videos.

“They are looking for possible victims on various dating sites, social media sites, blogs sites and porn sites that can be easily accessed through the internet,” he said.

PNP-ACG investigators discovered that the ‘Chat Operators’ are engaged in advertising obscene pornographic sites (through www.webcams.com, and www.sexplaycam.com) and online chatting (using Yahoo, Facebook, MSN, and Skype).

Records show that in 2014, PNP-ACG agents arrested 58 suspects involved in cybersex activities in Bulacan, many parts of Bicol, Laguna and Metro Manila. Eleazar said that the mode of operation of the 58 suspects arrested in 2014 were very similar to that of the TLS Synergy Group in Cabanatuan City, thus triggering the PNP-ACG investigation of the online marketing scheme of the Nueva Ecija-based company.

Eleazar said that they are conducting a thorough investigation to determine the actual involvement of the company in ‘sextortion’ activities.

“We are digging deeper into their possible ‘sextortion’ activities since we found photographs, videos, and messages between the victims and the suspects in many of the digital evidence we had seized,” he said.

Eleazar warned the public anew to be wary of the modus operandi of ‘sextortion’ syndicates operating in the country. He said that in most cases, the ‘chatter’ or suspect will encourage his/her target to take part in a video chat through Skype.

The ‘chatter’ will then show a simulated video of a naked woman and entice the victim to go naked on camera. As soon as the victim agrees, the ‘chatter’ will then record the live video on his/her computer and will later blackmail the victim by threatening to send the recorded video to his Facebook friends once he fails to heed the chatter’s monetary demands.

Eleazar said that the PNP-ACG is currently conducting more police operations against cybersex, sextortion activities, and any violations committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies in the country.

The raid was conducted two days after the PNP-ACG crushed a Manila-based cybercrime syndicate composed of five men engaging in sex and other obscene acts in front of webcams being viewed online by their clients, majority of them foreigners involved in pedophilia and other sexual perversions.

Eleazar said that the suspects were receiving payments for their services through different money remittance services such as Western Union, Palawan Express, Cebuana Lhuiller, Smart Money Master Card, Globe Beep Master Card and other payment systems, such as Payoneer Prepaid Master Card. (PNA) 
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Police probes murder attempt vs Bulacan gov’s son

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 29 (PNA) -- Police is investigating the alleged murder attempt against the son of Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado whose Toyota Fortuner vehicle was reportedly tailed and intentionally bumped head-on at high speed by a car being driven by policeman in front of Northfields Subdivision along MacArthur highway in Barangay Longos here past midnight Saturday.

Police report said that Jose Antonio “Jonathan” R. Sy-Alvarado, who is also a candidate for congressman in the first congressional district of Bulacan, sustained injuries in the head and different parts of his body.

He is still confined and undergoing treatment at a hospital in Manila.

The young Alvarado was sitting at the passenger seat and was on his way home to Calumpit when his driver noticed a car swerving on the opposite side of the highway while heading towards Malolos City.

According to witnesses, the vehicle of Sy-Alvarado has already stopped in front of the gate of Northfields Subdivision to avoid the incoming car.

However, witnesses said its driver seemed to have intention of crashing the Toyota Fortuner of Sy-Alvarado because it has already stopped.

Police identified the suspect as policeman Marlon Calderon assigned the Bulacan Police Provincial Office in Camp Gen. Alejo Santos.

The victim’s family is set to file a case of attempted murder aside from reckless imprudence resulting to multiple injuries and damage to property.

Sy-Alvarado, a magna cum laude graduate of the San Beda College (Master in Business Administration), is leading the congressional race in the province’ first district due to his various outreach programs and livelihood projects. (PNA) 
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President Aquino asks Bulakenyos to support Roxas-Robredo tandem, other LP bets

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 24 (PNA) -- Proudly telling Bulakenyos that he has deep roots in this historic capital city, President Benigno S. Aquino III called on Tuesday Bulakenyos to rally behind Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Mar Roxas and running mate Leni Robledo together with their senatorial slate and provincial candidates led by reelectionists Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando in order for the “Daang Matuwid” leadership to push through with continuity.

The Chief Executive, who arrived on board the presidential chopper at the jampacked Bulacan Sports Complex here, said that he believes that the people of Bulacan will support the candidacy of the LP top bets because of their fervor for good governance and the progress now being enjoyed in the province due to the “Daang Matuwid” policy of his administration.

“Ako po ay naniniwala na susuportahan ng mga Boss kong Bulakenyo ang ating mga pambato (Roxas-Robledo) para ituloy ang tuwid na daan at lalo pa itong palawigin,“ the President told a cheering crowd.

He said that the ancestral house of the Cojuangcos is near the historic Barasoain Church as he calls on his fellow Malolenyos and the people of Bulacan to rally behind the LP candidates.

Alvarado also made a clarion call to his province mates to support the candidates being endorsed by President Aquino.

Alvarado said the country needs a good captain that can steer the nation towards unity and progress.

Roxas and Robledo, who earlier made campaign sorties in San Miguel and Plaridel, thanked the President for his strong support as well as the people of Bulacan for their warm welcome. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to host PRISAA 2016 regional meet

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 17 (PNA) -- After the successful hosting of the recently-concluded Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) meet, this province will also be the venue of this year’s Private Schools Athletics Association (PRISAA) regional meet that will kick off on Thursday at the La Consolacion University Philippines (LCUP) Kalinangan Gymnasium in this city.

More than 40 secondary and tertiary schools in Central Luzon will compete in different sports categories, namely athletics, baseball, basketball, badminton, boxing, chess, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, gymnastics, track and field, golf, table tennis, taekwondo, swimming, football, judo, cycling and volleyball.

PRISAA aims to continuously discover the best young athletes who will compete in various competitions in the country and even around the world.

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Bulacan headed by Governor Wilhemino M. Sy-Alvarado ensures the safety as well as peace and order around the vicinity where the competitions will be held.

”We already coordinated with the Bulacan police and Bulacan Rescue so that we are ready and prepare at all times. We expect that this sports meet will become successful,” the governor said.

The sports competitions will be held in various locations, including LCUP, Bulacan Sports Complex, Robinsons Place Malolos and City Walk Sports Center.

The winners will represent the region in the upcoming PRISAA National Collegiate Games in April 2016.

PRISAA started in 1953 through the initiative of the then Director of the Bureau of Private Schools Dr. Manuel Carreon, who encouraged the private schools all over the Philippines to join the PRISAA for the purpose of promoting sports competitions. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police cited for quick resolve on murder case

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Feb. 15 (PNA) -- The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) on Monday awarded the Bulacan Provincial Police Office with PHP1-million bounty for the quick resolution on the slaying of Judge Wilfredo Nieves, then presiding judge of Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 84 .

The awarding of bounty was held during the regular flag raising ceremony at the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) here.

Nieves was shot dead along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Tikay, Malolos City, Bulacan last November 11, 2015.

Bulacan police headed by Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina solved the cases in less than two weeks following the arrest of the primary suspect Arnel Janoras, who was later killed while trying to escape en route to San Jose Del Monte City, also in Bulacan, for inquest proceedings.

Police Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, PRO-3 director, expressed his gratitude to the RPOC for its unrelenting support to PNP-PRO3.

He said that the accomplishment only proves that PRO-3 is indeed quick in resolving cases and arresting lawless elements.

“The entire Central Luzon police force is keeping on its toes to ensure that our communities are safe. We continue to implement our pro-active measures through SOP Lambat Sibat especially now that we are in the election period to guarantee the attainment of a secure and fair elections this May,” Lacadin said. (PNA) 
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2016 Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association kicks off in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 8 (PNA) -- Thousands of athletes started competing for regional sports supremacy as the 2016 Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) meet unfolded at the sprawling Bulacan Sports Complex in Barangay Sta. Isabel here and other parts of the province.

Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Director Malcolm Garma formally opened the annual sporting event Sunday afternoon which was attended by spectators and delegates from the different provinces of Central Luzon.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando welcomed the athletes in 18 schools divisions in the region.

Alvarado said the hosting of the 2016 edition of the CLRAA is a prelude to possible hosting of the national games or Palarong Pambansa.

He said that Bulacan is now ready to host such event with the biggest open stadium at Ciudad de Victoria, as the possible venue which is located side-by-side with the Philippine Arena in Bocaue town.

Alvarado, who is also the chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Central Luzon said that the annual sporting event is not only the breeding ground of the nation’s future sports heroes but also sharpens the mind and body of the youths.

“With strong minds and strong body, our youths will also have discipline and know the wonders of teamwork as they trek new hopes towards a strong nation with a nationalist mind set,” Alvarado said.

Senator Teofisto “TJ” Guingona III, who graced the occasion as the guest of honor and speaker, encouraged the young athletes to inculcate in themselves trust and friendship.

The game proper started today, February 8 and end on the 12th at the 15 assigned playing venues which include Balagtas Central School, Balagtas Gym, Boying’s Billiard Hall, Bulacan Sports Complex, Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium, Bulacan State University Activity Center, Calumpit Central School, City Walk, CMIS Sto. Rosario, Guiguinto Municipal Athletic and Cultural Center, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center, Marcelo H. Del Pilar National High School Gym, Norzagaray Central School, Philippine Sports Stadium and Richwell College in Plaridel.

Events include archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, and special Olympics such as billiard, futsal and sepak takraw-girls shall be demonstration sports.

The 18 participating schools divisions, on the other hand, include Angeles City; Aurora Balanga City, Bataan; Bulacan; Cabanatuan City; Gapan City; Mabalacat City; Malolos City, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija; Olongapo City; City of San Fernando, Pampanga; San Jose City, Tarlac City, Tarlac, and Zambales. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cites as blood champ in Central Luzon’s 1st blood program implementers awards

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 4 (PNA) -- For providing lifeline to needy patients, Bulacan and its hardworking leaders received new “feather in its cap.”

Its best practices and exemplary innovations on the implementation of blood programs have placed Bulacan as one of the most outstanding provinces in Central Luzon that continuously encourages blood donation as way of life for every qualified healthy Filipino during the 1st Recognition for Outstanding Blood Program Implementers and Stakeholders held on Thursday at Holiday Inn, Clark Freeport, Pampanga.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado personally received the awards in different categories, including the recognition for Home of Galloners with 125 registered blood galloners, Province With Most Number of Mobile Blood Donation, and even recognized as the Most Supportive and Active Governor for his dedicated efforts in supporting the blood services program implementation for his constituents.

“We are always been supportive to the objectives of the Department of Health (DOH) in ensuring that everyone has access to safe and adequate blood all the time. It is a great honor for the province to be recognized and we will continue to serve quality health care and services,” the governor said.

Alvarado said that the province was also recognized as one of the Lead Blood Services Facility in Region 3 and for almost 12 years operations of the blood programs in Bulacan, all efforts have gained momentum in advocacy for blood donor recruitment and mobile blood donations.

”These are few of the achievements of the province of Bulacan. Thus, I would like to thank all our partners in providing excellent services to our constituents,” Alvarado said.

Prior to this, DOH 3 Regional Voluntary Blood Service Program Council said that Bulacan has always been active in supporting the blood donation program that promotes voluntary blood donation to provide sufficient supply of safe blood and to regulate blood banks.

Bulacan as the Home of Sandugo awardees, was also commended for its effective distribution of blood and blood products to hospitals and other health facilities, its functions to cover advocacy, quality assurance program, monitoring rational and efficient use of blood products, financial management and regional blood program coordination.

The first ever awarding aims to recognize the efforts of all stakeholders, donor and galloners from provincial, municipal and barangay level in their untiring dedication to support the blood programs initiated by the DOH. (PNA) 
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President Aquino declares February 3 a special holiday in Bulacan and the City of Cabanatuan

MANILA, Feb. 2 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared February 3 (Wednesday) a special non-working day in the province of Bulacan and the city of Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija province.

President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1204, which declares February 3 a special holiday in Bulacan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Blas Ople.

“Blas F. Ople, who served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Senate President and Secretary of Labor, devoted decades of his life to selfless and dedicated service to our country and our people,” the proclamation stated, adding that the “son of Bulacan is a model citizen and public officer to the Filipino people, especially to the Bulakenyos”.

President Aquino also issued Proclamation No. 1205 declaring February 3 a special non-working day in Cabanatuan City in commemoration of its 66th Foundation Anniversary.

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Cabanatuan, be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” the proclamation stated.

The proclamations were signed last January 28. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to commemorate 89th birth anniversary of Ka Blas Ople

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 1 (PNA)-- Bulakenyos will commemorate on Wednesday the 89th birth anniversary of Ka Blas Ople, one of the most outstanding sons of the province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy Alvarado will lead the commemoration with the theme, “Ka Blas, Huwaran ka sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa” at the Gusaling Gat Blas F. Ople in the city.

Alvarado said the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PHACTO) has prepared a short program to rekindle Ka Blas’ selfless, dedicated and sincere service to the country.

Expected to grace the event are Ople’s children, Susan “Toots” Ople and board member Felix Ople, family members, officials and employees of the provincial government and National Historical Commission of The Philippines Bulacan-Zambales head Alex Balagtas, among others.

His daughter Susan will lead the unveiling of Ka Blas’ bust while his son, board member Felix Ople will represent the Ople family and give a brief message during the program.

The celebration also includes the opening of exhibit of the Hagonoy Art Group, a presentation of Ople’s heroic legacy and leadership.

Bulakenyos consider Ople as their inspiration because of his outstanding leadership and public service not just in Bulacan but in the whole country.

Ople was recognized as “Father of Overseas Employment" and the author of the Philippine Labor Code for the protection of workers' rights.

He also served as Senate President, Foreign Affairs Secretary and Labor and Employment Minister.

He became the first Filipino president of the International Labor Organization in 1975.

Meanwhile, in accordance with Proclamation No. 948, Feb. 3 was declared as a special (non working day) in the province of Bulacan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Ople.

Ople was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan on February 3, 1927.(PNA) 
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PDEA-3 nets son of incumbent officials in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Feb. 1 (PNA) -- Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-3 (PDEA-3) arrested Sunday in a buy-bust operation the son of the incumbent public officials in Pandi, Bulacan.

PDEA-3 director Gladys Rosales identified the suspect as Christopher Bryan Sebastian 34, and a resident of Bagong Barrio Pandi, Bulacan.

Rosales said that Sebastian is the son of the incumbent barangay captain and city councilor of Pandi, which reportedly made him untouchable in the locality.

The PDEA official said that the suspect tried to elude arrest and even used a dump truck as a getaway vehicle.

”A gunfight then ensued between the suspect and the authorities,” she said.

Sebastian sustained a gunshot wound.

Rosales said the operation netted seven plastic sachet containing shabu weighing 57 grams with an estimated street value of PHP250,000 and recovered the marked money. (PNA) 
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Malolos lone district bill now in Senate, residents jubilant

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 1 (PNA)--Bulacan First District Rep. Ma. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado has announced that House Bill 6338, “an Act separating the city of Malolos from the First Legislative District of Bulacan to constitute the lone legislative district of the City of Malolos,” was already approved in Congress.

Sy-Alvarado, who is the author of the said measure, also said that the HB 6338 was already approved for transmittal to the Senate.

She said the House of Representatives has also given advance information to the Office of Senate President Franklin Drilon for calendaring it as official business in the Senate.

“Finally after long delays, the dream of the people of Malolos to be represented in Congress is now advancing to the Senate and might soon become a reality,” Sy-Alvarado said.

Residents recalled that no less than President Benigno Aquino III and former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel Roxas II vouched for and defended the conversion of Malolos into a lone congressional district when they were still senators of the 14th Congress.

Upon learning that the bill is now scheduled for approval in the Senate, residents of this historic capital city are now rejoicing because their dream of being represented in Congress will soon materialize.

The people of Malolos as well as village officials are now calling on the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to hasten the passage of the bill saying that it is about time that the national government give due recognition to the important role of this now booming metropolis in the nation’s history.

“Senator Bongbong Marcos will play a key role in the realization of the dreams of the people of Malolos because he is also a Bulakenyo, being a grandson of Dona Remedios Trinidad, the mother of former First Lady and now Rep. Imelda Trinidad Romualdez Marcos,” said former Barangay Tikay village chief Alejandro “Jhun” Joson Jr.

Joson added that the passage of the bill will be a legacy of Senator Marcos because the historic capital city of Malolos is fast becoming a highly urbanized city thus, it is high time that it becomes a lone congressional district to further boost progress development.

“It is about time that Malolos be given its proper recognition as a lone district, especially on account of its great contribution to Philippine independence and democracy,” Joson said.

In a related development, Rep. Sy-Alvarado also announced that that House Bill 5156 or "An act declaring January 23 of every year a special working holiday in the entire country to commemorate the declaration of the First Philippine Republic” has already been approved in the Lower House and is now in Senate also under the committee being chaired by Sen. Marcos.

Sy-Alvarado said that it is also high time to recognize the national significance of the First Philippine Republic because it was on this date the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation by the international community.

“It was on that very day, January 23, 1899, when our people and country, was recognized by the international community as a free republic and until now continues to gain the respect and admiration of foreign dignitaries, world leaders and even the Pope,” she said.

January 23 is currently special non-working holiday in Bulacan.

It would be a national holiday equal to June 12 commemoration of Philippine Independence Day if HB 5156 gets approved,

The lady solon also explained that January 23 is a priceless gift to the Filipino people, a date that brought democracy in the country and made Malolos the cradle of Democracy in Asia and Africa.

“What happened in this historic capital city 117 years ago is like a shinning comet that continues to serve as beacon of change that will always remind and hopefully unite all Filipinos of their proud heritage as free and independent people of the world,” she added. (PNA) 
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AWOL cop, 8 others nabbed in Bulacan dope sting

CAMP GEN ALEJO S SANTOS, Bulacan, Jan. 28 (PNA) -- Nine persons, including an AWOL (absent without leave) cop, were arrested during an anti-drug sting on Thursday at Ma. Soccorro Subdivision, Marilao town.

Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina, Bulacan police director, identified the arrested suspects as Victor de Guzman alias “Tata Vic,” PO1 Franco Nero Sagudang, 33, an AWOL member of Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB), Police Regional Office 3, Richard Aguado, 30, all residents of Ma. Socorro Subdivision, Barangay Abangan Note, Marilao, Bulacan; Allana Coronel, 50, a resident of Sarmiento Homes, Abangan Norte, Marilao, Bulacan; Alex Mahistrado, 34, a resident of Barangay Guyong, Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Christopher Lumangyao, 43, Dennis De Castro, 48, both live-in residents of Ma. Socorro Subdivision, Barangay Abangan Note, Marilao, Bulacan; Jethro Bentor, 42, live-in, resident of Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan; and Ma. Louralliene Caringal, 24, a resident of Villa Grande Subdivision, Lambakin, Marilao, Bulacan.

Divina said that prior to the arrest of the suspects, a telephone call from a concerned citizen was received by elements of Marilao Municipal Police Station (MPS) informing that a certain “Tata Vic”” is rampantly selling illegal drugs known as “shabu” at his residence in Ma. Socorro Subdivision, Barangay Abangan Norte.

Upon receipt of this information, Divina said that operatives of Marilao MPS conducted surveillance operation at the place and after confirming the same, elements of Marilao police immediately coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in PRO3 Camp Olivas, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, which eventually issued a Control No. 10004- 012016-0391 for the conduct of operation.

Subsequently after a short briefing, the operatives of Marilao Police went to the reported place to conduct buy-bust operation.

Divina said that PO1 Nico Riño, who acted as poseur buyer together with the confidential asset, went to the house of “Tata Vic” which was being used for their illegal drugs transaction.

When the operatives arrived, they approached suspect “Tata Vic” and his cohort Mahistrado, who were then waiting in front of their house and informed of their intention.

Tata Vic” yielded a plastic sachet containing suspected shabu and handed over it to the poseur buyer, in exchange for two pieces of PHP100 as marked money.

However, before the members of the operating team could give the pre-arranged signal to the other operatives in the area, the two suspects sensed the presence of the operating team and hurriedly fled towards their house.

A brief chase ensued wherein the members of the operating team were able to apprehend the suspects inside the house.

The operating team also saw the other suspects, AWOL PO1 Franco Nero Sagudang and six others, in the act of sniffing illegal drugs inside the house of Tata Vic.

Confiscated from the possession of suspect “Tata Vic” were one heat sealed small size plastic pack containing suspected “shabu”; one piece heat sealed medium size plastic sachet containing suspected shabu and the marked money.

Likewise, elements of Marilao MPS also confiscated suspected shabu from Mahistrado's possession.

On the other hand, recovered and confiscated from the possession of PO1 Sagudang and six other suspects were some drug paraphernalia.

The arrested suspects, together with the confiscated pieces of evidence, were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office in Malolos City, Bulacan for drug test and laboratory examination.

Meanwhile, verification with the Regional Public Safety Battalion 3 based at Camp Olivas, City of San Fernando, Pampanga revealed that PO1 Sagudang has pending criminal and administrative cases for serious neglect of duty for his AWOL and grave misconduct, resulting from his criminal case of malversation of government property.

Criminal complaint for violation of Section 5 in relation to section 26, sections 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14, Art. II of R.A. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs of 2002) is now being prepared for filling against the nine arrested suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos hopeful that January 23 will soon be a special nationwide holiday

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 28 (PNA) -- Bulakenyos, particularly residents of this historic capital city, are now pinning their hopes on Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for the materialization of their dreams to make January 23 of every year as a “special working holiday” in the entire country because of its significance in the nation’s history.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said Wednesday that House Bill 5156 or "An Act declaring January 23 of every year a special working holiday in the entire country to commemorate the declaration of the First Philippine Republic” filed by Bulacan 1st District Rep. Ma. Victoria R. Sy Alvarado has already been approved in the Lower House and is now in Senate under the committee chaired by Sen. Marcos.

Alvarado said that Bulakenyos are optimistic that the bill will be passed because the senator has deep roots in Bulacan as his grandmother Dona Remedios Trinidad, mother of the senator's mother Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, is a native of Baliwag, Bulacan.

Alvarado said that it is high time to recognize the national significance of the First Philippine Republic because it was on this date that the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation by the international community.

“It was on that very day, January 23, 1899 when our people and country was recognized by the international community as a free republic and until now continues to gain the respect and admiration of foreign dignitaries, world leaders and even the Pope,” Alvarado said.

January 23 is currently special non-working holiday in Bulacan. It would be a national holiday equal to the June 12 commemoration of Philippine Independence Day if HB 5156 gets approved, the governor who, together with Chief Justice Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, has also been pushing for the passage of the said measure.

Alvarado also explained that January 23 is a priceless gift to the Filipino people, a date that brought democracy in the country and made Malolos the cradle of democracy in Asia and Africa.

“What happened in this historic capital city 117 years ago is like a shinning comet that continues to serve as beacon of change that will always remind and hopefully unite all Filipinos of their proud heritage as free and independent people of the world,” Alvarado added.

Former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva also said it is about time that the rich and highly important date in Philippine history be given its due recognition.

In the measure’s explanatory note, Rep. Sy-Alvarado said that while June 12, 1898 marks the date when the country achieved independence from Spain, it was on January 23, 1899 that the first Philippine Republic came into being “as the sovereign choice of the Filipino people.”

“It is a conscious choice to reject dictatorial and revolutionary government and establish for all the future Filipino generations the groundwork for democracy,” she said.

The lawmaker said the creation of the first Philippine Republic, the first in Asia, should be a source of pride for Filipinos as this represents “our strong democratic and republican ideals as a nation.

Alvarado said that Bulakenyos has high hopes on Marcos because the senator fully well knows its importance and its value especially to the youths and the next generations. (PNA) 
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First PHL Republic continues to shine like a 'comet of change' —Bulacan governor

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 24 (PNA) -- Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado described on Saturday the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in this historic capital city 117 years ago like a "shining comet that continues to serve as beacon of change."

Alvarado said that the events that transpired at Barasoain Church on Jan. 23, 1899 were equal to the proclamation of Philippine Independence in Kawit ,Cavite on June 12, 1898 because the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic gave credence and legality to the historic moments at the balcony of the mansion of then revolutionary leader Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, making him the president of the 1st Philippine Republic, to the eyes of the international community.

The governor said that Barasoain Church will always be the showcase of the great spirit and love for freedom of the Filipino race.

“We should always look back at the significance of Jan. 23, 1899 and be proud that our forebears had established a government of their own in the middle of a war against two of the most powerful empires in the world — Spain and the United States of America,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado said that Filipino revolutionaries and the Bulakenyos have proven that they can stand up and fight for their rights as sovereign people.

“Our freedom fighters have shown to the world what the Filipino race can do against tremendous odds and achieve their goals,” he added.

Alvarado, together with Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, City Mayor Christian Natividad, and Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina earlier joined the guest of honor, former Secretary Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in paying tribute to the lifesize statue of Gen. Aguinaldo where they offered flowers and a 21-gun salute before the singing of the national anthem during the commemoration of the 117th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic.

This year's celebration carried the theme "Diwa ng Republika Filipino, Batayan ng Mabuting Pamamahala."

Villanueva, in his speech, said he felt somewhat creepy when he set foot at the patio of Barasoain Church as he imagined the day when the people of Malolos were rejoicing the birth of a new republic.

“It’s a nostalgic feeling. It is important to remind the youths of their proud heritage so that the embers of patriotism will burn inside their hearts," he said.

Villanueva, a native of Bocaue town, said that it is time to pursue a historic revolution as he echoed the call of Governor Alvarado to make Jan. 23 of every year a special Philippine holiday just like June 12 or Philippine Independence Day.

“January 23 is very significant to the lives of the Filipinos who now enjoy living as free citizens of the world,” he said.

On Jan. 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic, popularly known as the Malolos Republic, was inaugurated amidst colorful ceremonies at the Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan Province.

This was also the first republic in Asia.

Aguinaldo took his oath of office as President of the Republic at the Barasoain Church. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos to commemorate the 117th First Philippine Republic anniversary

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.22 (PNA)--Bulakenyos will once again relive the heroic deeds of the eight provinces that fought for the country’s independence in the 117th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic on Saturday at the historical church of Barasoain in this city.

With the theme, “Diwa ng Republika Filipina, Batayan ng Mabuting Pamamahala," the celebration will lead by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvardo with former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Emmanuel “Joel” Villanueva as guest of honor.

The event aims to uplift the awareness of the younger generation about the heroic moments in the Philippine history and to highlight the importance of the first republic in guiding the government today.

The program will start at 8 a.m. through a flag raising ceremony and wreath- laying activity at Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s monument.

Local officials, senior citizens, students, teachers, non-government organizations, and other sectors in Bulacan are expected to participate in the celebration as well as the representatives from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Alvarado said that everyone especially the Bulakenyo youth should not forget the sacrifices and wisdom of our revolutionary forefathers that awaken the Filipinos’ aspiration to become free.

”Let us make January 23 every year as a reminder to everyone that we are nation of heroes and this is the reasons why we have democracy and one republic and why we have EDSA and why we are going through the straight path,”Alvarado said.

The First Philippine Republic, popularly known as the Malolos Republic, was the first republic in Asia.

It was inaugurated on January 23, 1899 at the Barasoain Church in this city where Aguinaldo took his oath of office as President of the Philippine Republic. (PNA) 
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18th 'Halamanan Festival' in Bulacan kicks off Saturday

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Jan. 21 (PNA) -- Spectacular and colorful fireworks will illuminate the night skies in synch with festive music as the annual “Halamanan Festival” culminates on Saturday at the back of the municipal gym here.

Now on its 18th straight year, the “Halamanan Festival” has become a crowd gathering affair and one of the most awaited festivals in the province in the mold of the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio, the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, the Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo, the Masskara Festival of Bacolod, among others.

Mayor Ambrocio C. Cruz said that the festival showcases the wonders of Guiguinto and its native products, cultural heritage and its famous and lucrative industry—ornamental gardens and landscaping.

“Every year, more and more people were coming here to join with the celebration of the “Halamanan Festival” where we all together presented the excellence and beauty of our culture, including the native products of Guiguinto,” Cruz said.

The mayor said that this year’s celebration will have a very exciting climax as popular bands blends with mainstream Bulacan bands in the “Rakrakan sa Halamanan” where spectacular fireworks will “dance” in the night sky in sync with festive tunes and rock music.

The “Rakrakan sa Halamanan” will also feature a beer plaza where the world-renowned San Miguel Beer will be sold.

Cruz said the musical fireworks show is a joint collaboration of the municipal government of Guiguinto, the Rotary Club of Guiguinto-Suburbs headed by Rtn. Ernie Gatmaitan and the San Miguel Brewery, which is also celebrating its 125th years of making the best beers in the world. (PNA) 
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Two notorious drug gang members killed in firefight with Bulacan cop

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Jan. 17 (PNA) -- Two armed members of a notorious drug gang who were out to liquidate a police officer known for his hard stance against dope dealers were killed in a firefight with their target lawman in Sitio Tabtab, Barangay Poblacion, Norzagaray, Bulacan on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina, Bulacan police director, said the identities of the slain suspects were still being verified as of press time.

He identified the police officer as PO3 Jonathan V. De Belen, of legal age, married and intelligence operative of the Municipal Anti-Drug Special Operations Task Force (MAIDSOTF) of the Norzagaray Municipal Police Station.

Divina said that De Belen was inside his rented apartment when he heard his dog barking.

He said the policeman went outside to verify what was happening and saw two men suspiciously entering the vicinity of his apartment. Once confronted, the duo drew their firearms and thereafter, a gun battle ensued between De Belen and the two armed men, resulting to the death of the intruders.

Further investigation revealed that prior to the incident, De Belen had been continuously receiving death threats from drug groups relative to the previous successful anti-drug operations of the Norzagaray Police Station and also death threat from a certain Domingo Cabangon, alias “Ambo,” a former New People's Army (NPA) member against whom De Belen was tasked to serve a warrant of arrest for the crime of homicide.

Recovered from the possession of suspect No. 1 were one caliber .45 Colt Mac 4 pistol with one magazine loaded with five live bullets; four plastic sachets of suspected marijuana and one bag containing suspected marijuana.

Seized from suspect No. 2 were one caliber .38 snub-nosed revolver loaded with three pieces of live ammunition; two empty cartridges for caliber .38; one small plastic container with two plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance of suspected shabu; one plastic sachet containing blue crystalline substance and one wallet containing community tax certificate in the name of Joel Garcia.

A Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team from the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory also recovered from the crime scene 12 pieces of empty cartridge for caliber 9mm and seven pieces of empty cartridge for caliber .45.

Divina said a follow-up investigation is being undertaken by the Norzagaray Police for the true identities the two slain suspects. (PNA) 
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PDEA nets 3 big-time drug dealers in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Jan. 13 (PNA) -- Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-3 (PDEA-3) arrested Tuesday three big-time drug dealers and seized shabu worth PHP400,000 in an entrapment operation in the City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

PDEA-3 Regional Director Gladys Rosales identified the suspects as Al Lopez, 32; Danny Diaz, 47; and Jorel Flores, 35; all of Sapang Palay, City of San Jose Del Monte.

Rosales said the three suspects were arrested after handling 100 grams of shabu with a street value of PHP400,000 to a agent poseur buyer in the parking lot of Tito Renz Restaurant located in Barangay Minuyan, City of San Jose Del Monte.

She also said that the seized items were contained in a plastic ice bag and the marked money used in the operation was recovered.

The suspects are now detained at PDEA Jail Facility in this camp.

They will be charged for violation of Section 5 (selling of dangerous drugs) in relation to section 26 paragraph B (conspiracy) of Article II of RA 9165, she added. (PNA) 
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Vigilance of village dad led to the arrest of 2 burglars

MARILAO, Bulacan, Jan. 13 (PNA) -- The vigilance of a village councilor has led to the arrest of two burglars, one of them armed with a handgun, during a joint operation of village watchmen and local policemen in Barangay Saog here Tuesday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina identified the arrested suspects as Ferdinand Policarpio, 25, a resident of S. De Vera St. Barangay Pandayan, Meycauayan City, Bulacan, and Bravery de Juan, 20, native of Baguio City and residing at No. 19 St. Fortune 5 Malinta, Valenzuela City.

Divina said that prior to the apprehension of the suspects at around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, barangay councilor Troy Gallardo of Saog, Marilao, Bulacan saw two suspicious male persons who entered the premises of his house at No. 020 Angeles St. Barangay Saog, Marilao.

Upon observing the suspicious moves of the two suspects, Gallardo immediately informed the barangay tanods of Saog and asked the assistance of Marilao Municipal Police Station who promptly responded that resulted to the arrest of the two suspects.

Confiscated from the suspects during the body search were one .22 caliber magnum revolver with two rounds of live ammunition, and a fan knife.

Divina said that the vigilance of concerned citizens is a big boost to the ongoing campaign of the Philippine National Police against loose firearms which is in line with the implementation of the total gun ban under the Omnibus Election Code.

Complaints for violations of Omnibus Election Code and RA 10592 is now being prepared for filling against the two arrested suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutors Office, City of Malolos, Bulacan. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police, Comelec brace for start of election period

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Jan. 9 (PNA) --Manuever platoons of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) as well as Philippine Army troopers and local police units were given final debriefing on the security plans and implementation of the total gun ban in preparation for the start of the election period on Sunday.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina disclosed that maneuver platoons of the PPSC will augment local police units in the establishment of checkpoints in key areas of the province starting 12 midnight on Jan. 10.

“They are now well prepared and ready for deployment as part of Complan: Safe 2016," Divina said.

The Regional Joint Security Coordinating Center (RJSCC) meeting held last week was presided by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Regional Election Director Temie. Lambino.

It was participated by the senior field commanders from 7th Infantry Division, Police Regional Office 3 Command Group and Provincial/City police directors and provincial election supervisors of Central Luzon.

“Its aim is to have unified efforts among members of the security forces hand-in-hand with counterparts in other government agencies so that the forthcoming elections will be secured and fair,” Divina said.

Pursuant to Comelec Resolution No. 9571, the PNP and AFP are deputized to assist Comelec in its security preparations for the elections.

Divina further explained that the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Center (RJSCC) is a composite organization in the region responsible in the coordinated and systematic utilization of all resources dedicated in the successful conduct of election, implementation of the ban on the bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms and the employment and deployment of security personnel in the region.

“Provincial JSCCs are likewise organized in the provinces headed by provincial election supervisors,” he added.

Lacadin, for his part, called on the citizens as well as candidates to help ensure the conduct of a clean, honest and orderly elections.

He said that with the security preparations and pro-active measures that PRO3 and the AFP have been undertaking, the goal for a safe and fair election will be attained.(PNA) 
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PDEA-3 nabs notorious lady drug pusher in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Jan. 5 (PNA)-- Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Central Luzon (PDEA-3) arrested Monday a notorious lady drug pusher in a buy-bust operation in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

PDEA-3 regional director Gladys Rosales identified the suspect as Sharry Bartolome, 19, of Minuyan Proper, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

Rosales said PDEA agents were able to negotiate for the sale of 50 grams of shabu worth PHP150,000 with the suspect and agreed to meet in front of an hardware at Kalye Demonyo Road 2 in Minuyan Proper.

“Bartolome has been a drug runner since she was nine years old that is why she knew the drug business so well,” Rosales added.

The arrest of Bartolome yielded one plastic sachet containing shabu weighing 53 grams with an estimated street value of PHP243,800.

Bartolome is now detained at the PDEA Jail Facility in Camp Olivas, San Fernando City, Pampanga.

A charge for violation of Section 5 (selling of dangerous drugs) Article II of RA 9165 is being readied for filing in court against the suspect. (PNA) 
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Solon says strict enforcement, tougher laws, will curb firecracker-related injuries - By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA. Jan. 5 (PNA) -- Strict enforcement of the existing laws against illegal firecrackers by the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be useless if law enforcers will not move to crack down on manufacturers of illegal firecrackers, Valenzuela City Rep. Win Gatchalian said on Tuesday.

“The PNP and other law enforcement agencies should strictly enforce the existing laws against illegal firecrackers since enforcement is what is lacking. And this is the reason why manufacturers of illegal firecrackers continue to ply their trade during the holiday season,” said Gatchalian, who is pushing for the imposition of tougher regulations on firework products that are being sold all over the country during the Christmas season.

Gatchalian said banning all types of firecrackers as what Health Secretary Janette L. Garin has been saying will be of no use if the PNP and other law enforcers will not strictly enforce the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 7183 or the law that governs the fireworks industry.

Under R.A. 7183, firecrackers that have explosives content of more than 0.2 grams are considered illegal and should not be sold in the market. There are at least seven illegal firecrackers as their explosive content is beyond what the law provides for and these include Piccolo, Pop Pop, Goodbye Philippines or Crying Bading, Yolanda or Goodbye Napoles, Pla-Pla, Giant Kuwitis and Watusi because of their toxic contents.

Among the legitimate firecrackers that can be used during the New Year revelry are the Baby Rocket, Bawang, El Diablo, Judas Belt, Paper Caps, Pulling of Strings, Sky Rocket or kwitis and the small "trianggulo."

Pyrotechnic devices that can be used include Butterfly, Fountain, Jumbo Regular, Luces, Mabuhay, Roman Candle, Sparklers, Trompillo, Whistle Devices and Pailaw.

Gatchalian pointed out that television reporters were able to interview manufacturers of illegal firecrackers like Goodbye Philippines and Super Pla-Pla in Bocaue, Bulacan which showed that the Bulacan police provincial office had been remiss in enforcing the law against these life-threatening firecrackers.

“I cannot understand why TV reporters can locate illegal manufacturers and interview them while Bulacan policemen remain blind and if ever they confiscate illegal firecrackers, no arrests were made which further emboldens the manufacturers,” Gatchalian said.

Based on 2014 PNP data, only 68 manufacturers, 285 dealers, and 2,551 retailers of firecrackers are licensed by the PNP-Firearms and Explosive Office based in Camp Crame.

In his House Bill No. 4434, Gatchalian expressed hope that amending certain provisions in Republic Act No. 7183 would ensure a healthier environment for Filipinos, especially children who are most vulnerable to firecracker-related injuries.

"We endure the pollutants and countless injuries caused by the use of firecrackers, especially every New Year’s eve. Until when should we endure this cycle of peril to our health and environment?" asked Gatchalian in his bill's explanatory note.

In 2014, the Department of Health recorded 860 cases of firecracker-related injuries in the country. As of morning of Dec. 31, 2015, a total of 185 firework-related injuries were reported in the country, 133 of which were caused by piccolo and four were cases of indiscriminate firing.

Dubbing his bill as "Firecracker Regulation Act of 2014," Gatchalian highlighted the need for the government to do more about fireworks that are also considered as hazards to public safety.

Gatchalian, a member of the House Committee on Trade and Industry, wants local government units (LGUs) to designate pyrotechnic zones in their own locality to avoid fire and injuries.

"These amendments do not entirely do away with time-honored merry-making but enforces to provide stricter regulations in an effort to protect our people," he said.

His bill provides a maximum of PhP5,000 as limit for a single purchase of any firecracker or pyrotechnic device, excluding those with permit from PNP-FEO.

The bill would also prohibit selling fireworks to any person below 18 years old while requiring children who would use firecrackers to be under the strict supervision of their guardians.

Those who will fail to secure their dealer’s permit through legal means would be penalized with a fine ranging from PhP100,000 to PhP500,000 or an imprisonment ranging from six months to three years.

Dealers found guilty of selling fireworks to minors would be imposed with a fine of PhP100,000 and would have their permit revoked.

Meanwhile, parents found guilty of instigating firework deals of their children would be imposed with a fine of PhP10,000. (PNA)
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INC sets four Guinness World Records

MANILA, Jan. 1 (PNA) -- The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) was granted four Guinness World Records during its New Year’s revelry on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016.

In a statement, the influential sect said it was awarded for the largest paying audience for a movie premiere (for the Felix Manalo movie); the most number of sparklers lit in relay; the most number of sparklers lit simultaneously; and the largest fireworks display.

The announcement for the first record was given in the evening of Dec. 31 while the three other recognitions were given early morning of Jan. 1 by Christina Conlon, official adjudicator of Guinness World Records.

The fireworks display lasted an hour from Thursday midnight to 1 a.m. Friday.

Last October, the INC also set two Guinness World Records – Largest Attendance for a Film Screening and Largest Attendance for a Film Premiere at the premiere showing of the Felix Manalo movie, with more than 43,000 people in attendance at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

According to Edwil Zabala, INC spokesperson, some 2,000 participants took part in the lighting sparklers event.

On the other hand, he said that employees of the fireworks company, which he did not mention, were in charge of the firing.

Incidentally, the Philippine Arena holds two world records of its own — World’s Largest Indoor Arena and World’s Largest Mixed-Used Indoor Theater. (PNA) 
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At least 50 injured from use of firecrackers in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 1 (PNA) -- It’s a wet welcome for 2016 in many parts of the province but it was nevertheless noisy and colorful as the rains did not dampen the spirits of revelers in Bulacan, known as the capital of the fireworks industry in the country.

But when the smokes cleared following the lighting of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, at least 50 persons were brought to different government hospitals for treatment of injuries.

Dr. Protacio Badjao, director of the Bulacan Medical Center, said 15 persons were treated in the said hospital due to firecracker-related injuries, the youngest of which is a 7-year-old boy and the oldest a 52-year old man.

The young victim was identified as Gabriel Sotto, 7, resident of Barangay Sta. Rita, Guiguinto.

He was injured when the Roman Candle he was holding exploded and injured his left hand. He was declared out of danger after getting treatment.

The 52-year old victim was identified as Elmer Barreto of Barangay Sipat, Plaridel town.

He sustained abrasion on his body after a powerful firecracker known as dynamite exploded near him.

Doctors said he is now out of danger and recuperating.

Forty-eight other firecracker-related victims were admitted to the different hospitals in the province.

Meanwhile, Lea de Guzman Alipide, president of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc., (PPMDAI) said most of this year’s revelers preferred to use the branded and quality types of fireworks.

She said that those who were injured were caused by the banned types of firecracker like piccolo, dynamite, bawang and other over-sized firecrackers.

“We have time and again appealed to the public not to use these banned types because they are not only illegal but highly dangerous as well when there are plenty of quality types of fireworks that are safe and spectacular,” Alipide said.(PNA) 
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