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Palace commends AFP, NBI on Palparan's arrest By Lilybeth G.Ison

MANILA, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- Malacanang lauded on Tuesday the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the arrest of retired Army Major Gen. Jovito Palparan, who was wanted for the disappearance of two University of the Philippines (UP) students in 2006.

"We commend the AFP and the NBI for their steadfast doggedness in pursuing all leads to find and capture Jovito Palparan. Today, this resolute determination has paid off, the long arm of the law has finally reached Mr Palparan," said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a statement sent to Palace reporters via SMS.

He said President Benigno S. Aquino III has promised that the government will go after those who evade the law.

"That promise to capture General Palparan has been fulfilled today," Lacierda said.

After close to three years in hiding, Palparan was arrested by the NBI Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division in a rented house in Sta. Mesa, Manila at around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Arrested with him were Grace Roa and Reynaldo Ladao, who will be facing charges for violating Presidential Decree No. 1829, or the "Decree Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders," for harboring Palparan.

Palparan is facing kidnapping with serious illegal detention charges before the regional trial court in Malolos, Bulacan for the abduction and subsequent disappearance of U.P. students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in a press conference at the NBI headquarters where the retired army general is temporarily detained, said Palparan would be arraigned on August 18, when he will also be presented to the court trying his case.

His two co-accused -- Army Col. Felipe Anotado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio -- were earlier denied bail by the court. Another co-accused, M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, is still at large.

Palparan went into hiding in December 2011 after a warrant was issued for his arrest. (PNA) 
SCS/LGI

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High tide submerges Obando town, classes in 8 villages suspended By Emil G. Gamos

OBANDO, Bulacan, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- It is a sunny Monday in the entire province of Bulacan but heavy flooding caused by high tide prompted local officials in this town to suspend classes in all levels in eight of the 11 villages here.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that classes were not suspended in the villages of San Pascual, Lawa and Paco where flooding due to high tide were minimal.

PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal said that heavy flooding have inundated the villages of Panghulo, Catanghalan, Pag-asa, Paliwas, Hulo, Tawiran, Binuangan and Salambao.

These villages were submerged under 4 to 4.56 feet of flood water brought by the high tide.

Mungcal said the flooding was also aggravated by the breaching of an earth dike located along the fishing village of Barangay Pag-Asa.

She said that local officials are still in the process of repairing the damaged earth dike which was destroyed when typhoon "Glenda" hit the country last month.

"They are having difficulty in repairing the breached earth dike due to high tide," Mungcal said.

Town mayor Edwin Santos said that aside from the suspension of classes, many areas are now isolated as many roads were rendered impassable to light vehicles.

He said that even the municipal building was not spared as employees have to brave floods .

"We have decided to suspend classes because the students from those flooded areas would have hard time in going to schools," Santos said.

He also said that floods have become a way of life for the people of Obando.

He said that their dilemma was answered by the national government who planned to construct a dike to address the perennial planning but it was mothballed because of the controversy hounding the issuance of disbursement acceleration program (DAP).

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado have instructed Mungcal to closely monitor the situation and coordinate with the MDRRMO of Obando.

"We have asked to closely monitor the floods there. The villages in Obando are always experiencing perennial flooding. But this time, it is worse due to the damaged earth dike," the governor said. (PNA) 
LAM/zst/EGGamos/ps

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Environmentalists, outdoorsmen bare rampant illegal logging at Ipo dam watershed area

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 6 (PNA) -- Environmentalists, outdoorsmen and mountaineers on Wednesday appealed to concerned authorities to look into the alleged illegal logging activities along the Ipo dam watershed area.

Bro. Martin Franscisco, chairperson of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc. (SSMESI), said their group together with members of the University of the Philippines mountaineers and other outdoor groups have documented cases of illegal logging and how the poached timbers are being transported outside of Ipo dam.

He said that the national government should send a team to investigate why timber poaching is still rampant along the watershed of Ipo dam despite pronouncement of officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that primary forests like those in the watersheds are protected areas.

"The illegal logging activities inside the Ipo dam Watershed is a big blow to the government, particularly DENR that said that no one is allowed to cut down trees on primary forests that are considered as protected areas,” Francisco said.

Fred Ochavo, a volunteer of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers (UPM) that has a reforestation project inside Ipo Watershed, disclosed that several planks of hard wood, believed to have been cut by illegal loggers, were recently monitored to be in the process of being transported out of the watershed.

Ochavo said that the illegal transport of wooden planks that were documented being moved through the river system-- piled beside the docking area for the boats beside a PLDT reforestation site signage; being loaded on a boat; carried by illegal settlers and piled along the road inside the Ipo Dam compound-- were monitored to have taken place inside Ipo Watershed on July 11, 13, 19, 26 and 31 this year.

Michelle delos Reyes, education subcommittee head of UPM environment committee, also bared that she was able to document the illegal transport of the wooden planks on July 11 and 31 as she tries to settle everything that are needed for their upcoming tree planting activity such as quality check of seedlings, tree planting site selection and to instruct UPM's caretaker for hole digging.

Francisco, together with several members of UPM, Sagip Kagubatan and other outdoorsmen, said that they wrote President Benigno Aquino a letter, dated April 29, 2014 and received by Malacanang Records Office on May 5, 2014.

The letter that stated that “As outdoorsmen, we have access to remote areas of Ipo Watershed and stood witness to illegal activities which gravely threatens the continued viability and stability of the water supply of 12 million residents of Metro Manila (2010 Census).”

The letter senders have also submitted sworn statements, documentary evidence and copies of reports and documentation “prepared by their organizations to furnish intelligence and information that may help in the government’s forest protection initiatives.”

They noted that they are “greatly alarmed that despite the existence of a legal framework to impose a total ban on the harvesting of forest products from Ipo Watershed, and despite the country’s commitment to international agreements such as the Millennium Development Goals which seeks to ensure sustainable access to safe drinking water, concerned agencies and officials have not taken concrete steps, and sustained effort to address the destruction of the only viable water source of Metro Manila’s 12 million residents.” (PNA) 
LAP/zst/EGG/ps

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Bulacan gov urges 5 Pillars of Justice to fast track pending cases of inmates at provincial jail

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 4 (PNA)-- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Monday called on the “Five Pillars of Justice” to continue working as team and work double time to fast track the pending cases of some 3,000 inmates at the Bulacan Provincial Jail.

"I am expecting that every pillar of justice will help each other and serve for the speedy resolution of the cases of our constituents which we should be given attention," the governor said in his message during the opening ceremony of the “Five Pillars of Justice” month at the Capitol Gym Monday morning.

Alvarado said that by fast tracking the cases of the inmates, it will not only speed up the delivery of justice but will also help decongest the provincial penitentiary.

He said that “it is vital to make a strong foundation of the justice system and this will need the cooperation of all sectors to execute laws with fairness and respect to human rights in accordance to the mandate of the Philippine Constitution.”

The opening ceremony which carries the theme “Katarungan: Gabay at Patnubay tungo sa Pagbabagong Buhay” was graced by the attendance of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief lawyer Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, who stressed the importance of free legal assistance to wrongfully convicted persons.

"If you committed sins, you must rot in jail but if you are innocent, I will defend you up to the Supreme Court," Acosta, the youngest ever lawyer to head the PAO, said.

She said that public attorneys are sworn to uphold only the truth and provide free access to courts in order to ensure social justice as part of the country’s sustainable development.

The 5 Pillars are composed of the Prosecutor’s Office headed by Renato Samonte Jr ; Philippine National Police headed by acting Bulacan Police Director PS/Supt. Ferdinand Divina; Regional Trial Court headed by Executive Judge Ma. Theresa Mendoza-Arcega; Probation and Parole Office consisted of CPPO Teresita Mascuñana, CPPO Cezar Lopez Jr., and CPPO Ramon De Leon; and the community which is composed of the Provincial Government of Bulacan. (PNA) 
LAP/zst/EGG/ps

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DOST chief urges Bulacan LGUs to propagate 'calamity foods' By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 31 (PNA)-- Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo has urged local government officials and community leaders in the province to propagate the use and production of the so-called “calamity foods” or “compressed foods” not only to combat malnutrition but also as survival intervention in times of natural disasters like typhoons and floods.

Montejo made the call during the culminating program of the nutrition month at the provincial capitol gym here Wednesday afternoon.

The program carries the theme: “Kalamidad Paghandaan: Gutom at Malnutrisyon Agapan”.

Montejo said the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of DOST has been propagating “compressed foods” because of the yearly floodings and storms hitting the country.

He said that “compressed food” are ready to eat and made with “cereal-legume” and fortified with milk, vegetable fat and sugar.

The DOST secretary said that “compressed foods” are ideal for relief goods because it is easy to produce, healthy and can be immediately distributed.

He also said that villages in the Philippines are abundant with vegetables and plants that can be added to processed foods like the “malunggay.”

Montejo also lauded the successful programs of the provincial government headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando in combating malnutrition in the province.

He said Bulacan has always been emerging as the best province with an efficient food and nutrition program.

Alvarado, chair of the Provincial Nutrition Council and concurrent chairman of the Central Luzon Regional Development Council, on his part, said that healthy people is vital in propelling growth and development.

“Everyone has the right for nutritious foods and the provincial government is actively supporting the nutrition and feeding programs of local government units. The nation will become more vigor and stronger if there are healthy, active and mighty citizens," he said.

Fernando, for his part, encouraged community leaders to propagate the planting of backyard crops like malunggay and other healthy endemic plants.

Montejo, together with Alvarado and Fernando led the awarding of the bet nutrition program with the mountain town of Dona Remedios Trinidad garnering the first place.

Dona Remedios Trinidad mayor Ronaldo T. Flores and the municipal council received a plaque of recognition and Php100,000 cash incentives for their anti-malnutrition and feeding program.

The town of Calumpit headed by Mayor Jessie de Jesus received the second place award while San Rafael mayor Cipriano Viloga obtained the third place award.

Vilma M. Oronce of barangay San Miguel, Calumpit was adjudged as “Natatanging Lingkod Lingap sa Nayon” awardee.

Likewise, the provincial government distributed some 5,000 malunggay seedlings to barangay community leaders. (PNA) 
JBP/zst/EGGamos/ps

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QC to deploy 360 traffic personnel for Pres. Aquino's SONA on Monday

MANILA, July 27 (PNA) -- Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista has ordered the deployment of some 360 traffic personnel from the city’s Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) to complement the police and traffic management force mobilized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in ensuring public safety during the State-of-the-Nation-Address (SONA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday.

Deployment of QC traffic personnel for the President's fifth SONA at the Batasang Pambansa Building in Quezon City will start at 5 a.m., said Dexter Cardenas, DPOS traffic operations chief.

Meanwhile, the city government has also fielded some 50 barangay public safety officers (BPSOs) to provide assistance to participants of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) centennial celebration Sunday.

The city’s BPSO men deployed in the Bocaue area in Bulacan form part of the public safety legion that has been mobilized by the MMDA for the INC event.

The QC contingent has been sourced by the DPOS from Barangays Talipapa, Sangandaan, Sauyo, Tandang Sora and Pasong Tamo, Novaliches.

As part of the MMDA public safety legion, the QC government is also sending three mobile patrol cars, two ambulances, a fire truck and two dump trucks during the INC celebration.

The MMDA constituted the public safety legion to maintain peace and order, implement a comprehensive traffic management plan and undertake post-activity clean-up operations.

Meanwhile, regular traffic personnel are also deployed by the DPOS to ensure the orderly movement of vehicular traffic in the Balintawak area and along Mindanao Avenue which lead to the North Luzon Expressway. (PNA) 
SCS/LSJ

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Succesful INC Centennial anniversary celebration ends smoothly By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, July 27 (PNA) --The centennial celebrations of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) held on Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Ciudad Victoria here ended smoothly.

Except for at least 140 people who were given first aid due to the intense heat Saturday when multitudes of INC delegates began arriving here, there were no reported incidents even minor crimes.

The grand anniversary celebration, a thanksgiving of faith, was highlighted by a colorful show of aerial fireworks that illuminated Ciudad Victoria giving it a more spectacular ambiance before midnight Saturday.

More than one million INC members and guests attended the grand celebration that also featured the brief history of the Church of Christ in the last days from 1914 to 2014 to reminisce and recollect how God help Brother Felix Y. Manalo and the Iglesia Ni Cristo as fulfillment of His promise.

"I am so proud to be a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo. The Philippine Arena and Ciudad Victoria are blessings that resulted to the trust and faith to the leaders of the Iglesia and love of God to those who believe in Him," an INC member from Malolos City said.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the celebration was a success with no crime reported within the vicinity of Ciudad de Victoria.

He commended the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and members of the traffic and security force for achieving the “Herculean Task” of aiding and ensuring the safety of more than one million people.

Alvarado and MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, who was tasked by President Benigno Aquino to head Task Force Sentenaryo, personally supervised the deployment of traffic and security forces last Saturday.

Aside from ambulances and emergency rescue personnel from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the governor said that the Philippine National Red Cross also sent 13 ambulances and set up more than 20 first aid stations for medical emergencies.

Alvarado also announced that Monday, July 28, will be a holiday for the entire province of Bulacan to make way for clean-up and other post-INC centennial operations.

The flow of traffic along the North Expressway started getting heavy at around 9 a.m. Sunday when delegates began leaving the Philippine Arena. (PNA) 
CTB/zst/EGGamos/ps

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LTFRB to truckers: Avoid NLEX, other roads during INC centennial celebration By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, July 26 (PNA) -- The Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Saturday reminded truckers to avoid passing through North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and several other roads, from July 26-28 for the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) centennial celebration in Bulacan.

The LTFRB in a statement, said they arrived at the decision after due consultation with the Task Force Sentenaryo which is in charge of government actions and responses in connection with the INC celebration.

“…All trucks-for-hire that will pass through NLEX from Balintawak Tollgate-Angeles City Exit and vice versa, McArthur Highway, Cagayan Valley Road from Sta. Rita Exit and all provincial roads in the Province of Bulacan that will be used as parking areas for the buses and utility vehicle (UV) are hereby advised to refrain from passing through these roads on July 26, 27 and 28, 2014 in view of expected heavy volume of traffic before, during and after the INC Centennial Celebration at the Philippine Arena on July 27, 2014 except those carrying perishable goods and food items,” LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said in a statement.

The LTFRB, however, stressed that the advisory was not a truck ban.

“This is an advisory to all Trucks-for-Hire to avoid certain affected areas in Bulacan from June 26-28. This is not a truck ban,” the Board stressed.

Preparations for the INC anniversary is already in full swing in various areas in the country including arranging transport services to bring its members to the event, the LTFRB earlier said.

The INC’s anniversary will be held in the largest domed facility in the world, the Philippine Arena, located in Bocaue, Bulacan. (PNA)
CTB/ANP

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Military to help cops in securing INC 100th founding anniversary

MANILA, July 26 (PNA) -- An estimated 3,000 military personnel from the National Capital Region, Bulacan and Pampanga will be joining the Philippine National Police in securing the 100th year founding anniversary of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) on Sunday, January 27.

This was disclosed by Major Emmanuel Garcia, 1st Civil Relations Group commander, in a message to the PNA.

"Three thousand troops (coming from the NCR, Bulacan and Pampanga) will be helping in the security operations Sunday," he added.

An estimated one million INC followers are expected to join in Sunday's festivities in Bocaue, Bulacan where the group's 55,000 capacity stadium, the Philippine Arena, is located. (PNA) 
CTB/PFN

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MMDA chief, Bulacan guv supervise deployment of traffic and security forces for INC centennial rites on Sunday By Emil G. Gamos

MARILAO, Bulacan, July 26 (PNA)--As the countdown to the centennial anniversary celebration of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) reached its penultimate day on Saturday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino and Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado personally supervised the deployment of 3,200 traffic and security forces along the North Luzon Expressway and the stretch of MacArthur highway from Meycauayan City to Calumpit town to ensure the safe and orderly arrival of an estimated 1.5 million members of INC and their guests at the Philippine Arena in Ciudad Victoria in Bocaue town.

As of 10 a.m. Saturday, buses that ferried INC delegations from Tarlac and other parts of Central Luzon have began occupying the north-bound lane of MacArthur highway in Barangay Tikay here.

“We have been preparing for this (INC centennial anniversary) and we will now implement our contingency plans to ensure a safe and orderly arrival and departure of INC delegations and their guests,” Tolentino, who was appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to head “Task Force Sentenaryo,” said.

Tolentino was joined by Alvarado in Marilao town for the strategic deployment of peace keeping forces as well as traffic aides.

Public and police assistance centers were also put up in key areas along the MacArthur highway from Meycauayan City to Calumpit town and along portions of the Cagayan Valley road from Guiguinto to the towns of Plaridel, Pulilan and Baliwag.

Alvarado said that public traffic advisory have also been sent through the media and social media so that the public may know where the converging points of the vehicles will pass through.

"The plan is perfect. The Philippine National Police and the MMDA have conducted a thorough study and plans for the influx of our INC members," Alvarado said.

The governor said that the world will be watching the Philippines, particularly the province of Bulacan where the Philippine Arena in Ciudad Victoria is located.

"This would happen only once in a period of 100 years and we are lucky that this historic celebration of the INC will take place in our noble province of Bulacan," he said.

He also said that Philippine Army troopers from the Northern Luzon command will also augment the security forces.

In Guiguinto town, police chief Supt. Ernesto Cruz said that Governor Alvarado has allowed them to use the sprawling compound of the Provincial Engineer's Office in Barangay Tabang as a “contingency parking zone.”

Cruz said that the sprawling parking area of a closed super market in Barangay Tuktukan will also be used as a “contingency parking zone”.

He also said that at least 400 buses will parked in Guiguinto.

"We have also put up public assistance centers in every barangay along the MacArthur highway to help and assist the INC delagations and their guests,” Cruz said.

Cruz also assured business companies and local trucking firms that their operations and parking will not be affected.

"There are designated parking areas for them. We will ensure that the flow of vehicles along MacArthur highway and Cagayan Valley road will be orderly," Cruz said as he inspected the different public assistance centers in his areas.

He said that the by noon of Saturday, the influx of the buses and vans of INC delegations will start arriving.

In Malolos City, hundreds of motorcycle-riding INC members with INC flags flying were seen heading towards the Philippine Arena before Saturday noon. (PNA) 
CTB/zst/EGGamos/ps

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Bulacan ready for INC’s grand centennial celebration on Sunday By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, July 25 (PNA) -- Police teams are now being deployed within the vicinity of the mammoth Philippine Arena to ensure security and safety of an expected 1.5 million members and guests of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) who will converge here on Sunday for their centennial anniversary celebrations.

Since last week, teams from the Provincial Engineers Office have also been sprucing up villages around the Philippine Arena in Ciudad Victoria for the week-long INC centennial celebration that kicked-off last Monday with President Benigno S. Aquino gracing the inauguration of the biggest sports and multi-purpose indoor coliseum together with INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the Bulacan Police Provincial Office headed by Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina have also deployed maneuver platoons from the Provincial Public Safety Company to augment local police teams in providing security and police assistance centers to the multitude of INC followers who are expected to flock at the Ciudad Victoria starting on Friday and Saturday for the grand INC celebration on Sunday.

Officials of the North Luzon Expressway have earlier said that they were expecting heavy traffic on Sunday with at least 82,000 vehicles expected to be heading to the Philippine Arena, touted as the biggest indoor coliseum in the world with a sitting capacity of 55,000.

Alvarado said that tens of thousands of Iglesia Ni Cristo members are expected to arrive in more than 10,000 buses and 2,800 vans.

"Congratulations to the Iglesia Ni Cristo on their 100 years anniversary as well as for showing to the world that they can build world class structure like the Philippine Arena in Ciudad Victoria in Bocaue town,” Alvarado said.

He said that after the centennial celebration, more crowd-drawing activities will be held in the Philippine Arena and the adjacent Philippine Sports Stadium inside Ciudad Victoria.

International events are also expected to be held in the area, which is now being tagged as the “New face of Bulacan.”

"This will be a big help for our province and the whole region to be recognized and this will pave way to attract more investors that will give more opportunities to our provincemates. This is a good example that if there is a unity and cooperation, we can achieve our goals," Alvarado said.

The governor, who was with President Aquino and top leaders of the INC, during the inauguration program, said that “the Philippine Arena is not only the centerpiece of the Iglesia Ni Cristo centennial anniversary but is also gem of pride of the people and the province of Bulacan and the entire nation as well.”

The governor said that the opening of the Philippine Arena will further spur growth and economic boom not only in Bocaue but will also spread to the neighboring towns of Sta. Maria, Pandi, Balagtas and parts of Marilao.

“This will usher in a new look for Bulacan which is now on the threshold of growth and development. The Philippine Arena is not only a beacon of strong faith to God but also heralds the dawn of bright future for the province due to its world class characteristic,” he said.

Meanwhile, July 28 (Monday), will be a special non-working day in Bulacan to allow the orderly exit of members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo from the venue of its centennial celebration in the province.

Proclamation 837 dated July 24 indicated that Bulacan province requested the holiday proclamation.

"In order to ensure an orderly procession of the attendees out of the venue, and to facilitate the flow of traffic, the province of Bulacan requests that Monday, 28 July 2014, be declared a special (non-working) holiday," according to the proclamation signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. (PNA) 
LAP/zst/EGGamos/ps

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LTFRB issues traffic advisory on Iglesia ni Cristo's centennial event

MANILA, July 24 (PNA) -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has advised all trucks-for-hire to avoid certain roads in Bulacan province due to expected heavy traffic as the Iglesia ni Cristo holds its centennial celebration on July 26 to 28.

In an advisory coursed through the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the LTFRB said trucks-for-hire should refrain from using the following roads and exits: NLEX from the Balintawak Tollgate-Angeles City exit and vice versa; McArthur Highway; Cagayan Valley Road from the Sta. Rita exit; and all provincial roads in Bulacan that will be used as parking areas for buses and utility vehicles.

The LTFRB said it expects heavy traffic before and after the Iglesia ni Cristo's celebration at the Philippine Arena on Sunday (July 27).

The board however exempted trucks carrying perishable goods and food items, allowing them to use those roads to bring cargoes to Metro Manila.

The LTFRB issued the traffic advisory after consulting the Task Force Sentenaryo in charge of government actions in connection with the Iglesia ni Cristo's centennial event. (PNA)
LAM/PND/as/utb

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PNP all set for INC Centennial celebration on Sunday By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, July 23 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) is all set to provide security coverage and public safety measures in Bocaue, Bulacan on Sunday (July 27) for the Centennial Celebration of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief PNP Public Information Officer (PIO) said on Wednesday.

According to Sindac, the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO 3) led by Police Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta said that the PNP will provide at least 3,200 personnel for security coverage and traffic assistance in addition to the 200 AFP and 1,500 MMDA personnel, and more than 2,000 force multipliers.

”The security coverage is to ensure the safety of the delegates for the INC centennial anniversary. Hoping to attain zero incidents in the conduct of this major event,” Sindac said in press briefing held at PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City

He added the coordination being done since December 2013 and the PNP has been planning the security coverage and of course, the PNP are enjoining support of this desire for the peaceful conduct of the event.

”Assist and supervise outer perimeter, the PNP security coverage, crowd management and traffic assistance,” he said.

Sindac also said that as of this moment, he has not received any significant threat to the incident but the PNP are working on possible scenarios.

”We continue to validate the information received by our intelligence community,” he explained.

The said activity will be held at the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria, Bulacan where an approximate of two million INC members from different Ecclesiastical Districts nationwide and church congregation from almost 112 countries are expected to attend.

“The safety of the delegates and participants on the centennial celebration of INC is the primary concern of the PNP” said Petrasanta.

Signed on July 2, 2014, President Benigno Aquino III issued Proclamation No. 815 declaring year 2014 as Iglesia Ni Cristo Centennial Year which is the largest home-grown Christian church in the Philippines established in 1914 by Brother Felix Y. Manalo.

The PNP asks for the active support of different public and private organizations to help in the successful and peaceful celebration of the event.

SIndac said that all units and offices of the PNP will be placed on heightened Alert Status effective at 3 p.m. on Friday (July 25) for all the upcoming events in particular to INC Centennial Celebration on Sunday, State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino on Monday (July 28) and Eid-al-Ftr on Tuesday (July 29).

”The Unit Commanders are reminded to secure all vital installations, economic key points, as well as places of convergence, and ensure high state of operational readiness to deter unlawful activities,” Sindac said.

He said the alert status of PROs 3, 4A, NCRPO and Special Action Force (SAF) will be upgraded to Full Alert Status effective 5 a.m. on Sunday (July 26) for the SONA.

“The PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima has directed the safety and security of all those that will be part of the sona while exercising SONA,” Sindac said.

Regional Directors of PROs are given the discretion to upgrade their alert level depending on the prevailing peace and order situation in their respective areas of responsibility. (PNA) 
CTB/CLTC/with trainee Elsha Joy I. Soriano (EJIS) and Floraldel G. Flora (FGF)

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‘Task Force Sentenaryo’ firms up traffic, security measures for INC centennial on Sunday

MANILA, July 23 (PNA) -- Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolenitno on Wednesday announced its readiness for the upcoming 100th year anniversary celebration of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) on Sunday (July 27) in Bocaue, Bulacan.

In a meeting held in Manila with Bulacan officials, Philippine National Police (PNP) and local governments, Tolentino said all the necessary traffic and security measures have been finalized to ensure the peaceful and orderly commemoration of the Iglesia Centennial Year, which is expected to be attended by up to three million INC members.

“In coordination with concerned government agencies, provincial municipal government of Bocaue, Bulacan, and the INC leadership, we have finalized our preparations for this big event,” Tolentino said, who was appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to head the task force.

The traffic management measures firmed up by the task force cover the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), MacArthur Highway, Mindanao Avenue Extension and adjacent roads.

MMDA has formed the 2,000-strong Metro Manila Public Safety Legion that will be deployed in Bocaue to maintain peace and order, implement a comprehensive traffic management plan during the event and do a post-activity cleanup at the site.

The legion is composed of traffic constables, rescuers and policemen coming from the 17 local government units in Metro Manila.

Two MMDA headquarters will also be set up in Marilao, Bulacan to respond to any type of emergencies, according to Tolentino.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, will send a company-sized military personnel for additional security, four M35 trucks, explosive and ordnance experts, and K-9 units.

“With all these preparations and contingency measures, we can assure our brothers and sisters in INC that their centennial celebration will be smooth and orderly,” Tolentino said.

Aside from the 2,000-strong Metro Manila Public Safety Legion, Tolentino said 500 traffic personnel will also be deployed to assist delegates coming to and from the venue to augment elements from the PNP Region 3 and the Northern Luzon Command of the AFP.

The contingent will be dispatched Saturday morning Sunday night.

”So yung kick off natin yung initial activity which will commend on the 26th of July 9:00 a.m., operational na lahat. Nandun na rin kami hanggang 28 na yun, so all plans in motion. Ready na very Ready na. Ang DOH nandun na sa loob. Ang LTFRB is issuing advisory in joining trucks to refrain from utilizing NLEX from 26, 27, and 28 except perishable items,” Tolentino told the reporters after meeting.

The MMDA will also field its own rescue teams, mobile patrol and motorcycle units, and personnel from the Metro Parkways Clearing Group and Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group to strategic locations.

“INC will also put up medical booths inside the Philippine Arena for its members,” Tolentino added.

Tolentino said they expected INC members to arrive at the newly inaugurated Philippine Arena in Bocaue, the venue of the anniversary, a day before the event in at least 10,000 buses, 2,400 vans and Asian Utility Vehicles, and private vehicles.

The following areas have been designated as parking areas: Sta. Maria bypass; and Balagtas bypass along MacArthur Highway from Monumento to Calumpit, Bulacan. A portion of the Mindanao Avenue Extension will also be closed for parking purposes.

In case of traffic gridlock along NLEX, a “zipper lane” will be put up to enable northbound vehicles to counter-flow on the opposite lane and ease up traffic flow. Three areas have been already prepared for this with the help of NLEX authorities.

Tolentino said the task force has also suggested to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to dedicate toll booths for Bocaue-bound vehicles and “prepaid toll fees” to hasten the entry of vehicles at NLEX.

He pointed out the possibility of heavy traffic at the SMART-connect interchange and NLEX towards the Arena, especially in the morning rush hours.

In preparation for the big event, Task Force Sentenaryo conducted a “Contingency Planning and Tabletop Exercise” on July 11 at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

For his part, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado suggested the use of Bulacan Medical Center and Rogacian M. Memorial Hospital for medical emergencies.

General Carlito Romero of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has been designated as crisis/emergency commander Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta of PNP Region 3 will act as traffic ground commander.

Tolentino likewise designated Chief Supt. Ricardo Marquez of PNP headquarters at Camp Crame as overall operations officer.

The National Capital Regional Police (NCRPO) will help secure the routes to Bocaue and the billeting areas of INC members, according to NCRPO Regional Director Carmelo Valmoria.

Providing additional muscle for traffic management and securing of staging and parking areas are the PNP-Region 3, 13 municipal governments of Bulacan, NLEX, and other private groups and volunteer associations, Tolentino said.

President Aquino has signed Memorandum Circular No. 66 creating Task Force Sentenaryo for the July 27 celebration of the religious group, with Tolentino as head.

Task Force Sentenaryo has been tasked to handle all actions and responses in connection with the INC event.

Among its members are Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, AFP chief Emmanuel Bautista, and PNP Director Alan Purisima.

The others are Winston Ginez, chairman of LTFRB; Juan Sta. Ana, general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA); Jose Angel Honrado, Manila International Airport Authority general manager; Edmundo Reyes, executive director of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB); and a representative from the INC. (PNA) 
LAM/CLTC/with Elsha Joy I. Soriano/Floraldel G. Flora-OJTs

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President Aquino to inaugurate 'world's largest indoor arena' Monday

MANILA, July 20 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III will inaugurate on Monday (July 21) Iglesia ni Cristo’s (INC) Ciudad de Victoria (City of Victory), a 50-hectare tourism enterprise zone located in Bocaue, Bulacan established by the congregation in time for its centennial celebration on July 27 (Sunday).
President Aquino along with INC executive minister Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo will lead the unveiling of the marker at the gazebo, signaling the formal public opening of the state-of-the art architectural complex to the public.
The President will then deliver a speech inside one of the site’s major construction, the Philippine Arena, which is considered as "the world’s largest indoor stadium" given its reported 55,000-audience capacity.
Vice President Jejomar Binay and other INC officials will accompany the President at the inauguration ceremonies with around 50,000 INC members expected to witness the event.
Manalo once said during the groundbreaking of Ciudad de Victoria in August 2011 that the arena and its other massive architectural marvels had been designed to bring glory to God and honor to the country.
Other major structures expected to be completed in the area in the near future are the Philippine Stadium, New Era University, Eraño G. Manalo Medical Center, and some soon-to-rise shops, hotels, and leisure parks.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has declared July 27 as a special non-working holiday by virtue of Joint Resolution No. 2 signed by President Aquino to commemorate the 100th founding anniversary of INC.
INC is considered as the third largest religious denomination in the Philippines with its members comprising 2.3 percent of the population based on the census of Year 2000 conducted by the National Statistics Office. (PNA)
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INC set to inaugurate Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Monday - By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, July 19 (PNA)--Banners, flags, stickers bearing the colors of red, white and green has engulfed every town and city as the province braces for a momentous event-- the inauguration of the Philippine Arena.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, together with Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando will join the occasion on Monday for the inauguration of the world's largest indoor-domed arena situated at the sprawling 75-hectare eco-tourism zone in Ciudad de Victoria here.
With a capacity of 55,000 seats, the Philippine Arena is owned by the Iglesia ni Cristo and operated by its educational institution--the New Era University.
An eye-catching imposing structure, which is built on a 99,200 square meters of land and has a dome of 36,000 square meters, the Philippine Arena is touted as “the centerpiece” of the many centennial projects of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) for their grand celebration on July 27, this year.
Thousands of INC followers led by its executive minister Eduardo V. Manalo are expected to converge at the country’s biggest coliseum in a former riceland here as they usher the start of celebrating their centenial anniversary literally “with a bang.”
Alvarado said that some 3,000 policemen are now strategically being deployed in the area and nearby vicinity.
He said that since Friday, the Bulacan police headed by Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina have already been conducting security rehearsals and deployment.
“The Philippine Arena is not only the centerpiece of the Iglesia Ni Cristo centenial aniversary but is also gem of pride of the people and the province of Bulacan and the entire nation as well,” he said.
The governor said that the opening of the Philippine Arena will further spur growth and economic boom not only in Bocaue but will also spread to the neighboring towns of Sta. Maria, Pandi, Balagtas and parts of Marilao.
“This will usher in a new look for Bulacan which is now on the threshold of growth and development. The Philippine Arena is not only a beacon of strong faith to God but also heralds the dawn of bright future for the province due to its world class characteristic,” he said.
The arena will not only hold major church gatherings, it will also operate as a multi-use sports and concert venue, capable of holding a range of events from boxing and basketball to live music performance.
The overall vision of the masterplan will eventually see inclusion of shopping centers, a hospital and large scale residential developments
The Philippine Arena was also designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquake and typhoons. (PNA) 
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'Glenda' death toll jumps to 77 -- NDRRMC

MANILA, July 19 (PNA) -- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), on its Saturday update, announced that the death toll for Typhoon "Glenda" nationwide has now reached 77.
In its 6 a.m. bulletin, the agency reported that five persons are still missing with the number of injured now up to 220.
Previously, fatalities for "Glenda" was placed at 64 with 103 injured.
The NDRRMC also added that 330,433 families or 1,600,298 people were affected in Ilocos, Central and Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila.
The NDRRMC also added that areas under a state of calamity include Obando, Bulacan; Cavite; Laguna; Albay; Camarines Sur; Tigaon and Bula, Camarines Sur; Naga City and Samar.
Around 97,055 families or 518,764 people are being served in 1,264 evacuation centers.
Damage to property stood at PHP5,860,756,042.28, including PHP1,049,931,600 in infrastructure and PHP4,810,824,442.28 in agriculture.
The NDRRMC added that PHP10,683,944.33 in relief goods and medicines has been extended to affected families.
Some 27,874 houses were destroyed while 83,498 were damaged.
Power has been restored in Legazpi and Naga Cities, while the Luzon and Visayas grids are now interconnected.
Seventeen roads and three bridges in Cagayan Valley, Central and Southern Luzon, Bicol and Cordillera are still impassable to traffic. (PNA) 
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'Glenda' destroys many houses in Bulacan towns; 1 dead, 2 hurt - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 17 (PNA) -— The strong winds whipped up by typhoon "Glenda" left a swath of destruction in some parts of the province, damaging many houses as well as leaving one dead and injuring two others, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRM) reported on Thursday.
The two injured persons were identified as Arnold Catajan, 35, married, a resident of Barangay Tumana, Sta. Maria and Jersey May Magpayo, 9, resident of Barangay Tabang, Guiguinto.
Catajan suffered injuries when a big Camachile tree fell on him while Magpayo was hurt when the van she was riding was hit by a falling tree.
The PDRRMO earlier identified the lone fatality in the province as Reynaldo Meneses, a 49-year-old vinegar vendor who was crushed to death after a giant Acacia tree fell on his makeshift store at the height of the typhoon Wednesday morning.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday said that many areas in the province have been cleared of debris while damages to crops, infrastructures and properties are still being assessed.
Alvarado said that the PDRRMO has initially reported that 76 houses in Sta. Maria and four houses in Plaridel were totally damaged by powerful winds.
He also said that 204 houses were partially damaged in some villages in the towns of Paombong, Hagonoy, Pulilan and Plaridel.
The PDRRMO also said that a total of 649 families from nine municipalities and in this capaital city were evacuated.
The coastal towns of Obando and Hagonoy experienced flooding due to high tide, but these incidents were not severe.
The typhoon also failed to replenish the dwindling water supply at the giant reservoir of Angat dam.
As of 12 noon Thursday, the water level at Angat dam only reached 165.64 meters, which is still way below its critical level of 180 meters and to its spilling level of 210 meters.
The water level at Ipo dam was 99.55 meters (spilling level is 101.00 meters) while the water level at Bustos was 17.34 meters (spilling level is 17.70). (PNA) 
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(Update) 2 killed, 2 others hurt in Central Luzon due to typhoon 'Glenda' - By Zorayda S. Tecson

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 16 (PNA) -- Two persons were killed while two others were injured as typhoon Glenda on Wednesday unleashed its fury in Central Luzon.
Based on the latest report from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-3 (RDRRMC-3), the fatalities were identified as Reynaldo Meneses Hernandez, 49, a resident from Barangay Tabang, Plaridel, Bulacan and Mario Paulo, 52, of Barangay Burgos, San Antonio, Zambales, who were both hit by fallen trees.
Those injured were Francis Patawaran of Limay, Bataan due to electrocution and a certain Cruz, also from Limay, Bataan, who was hit by a falling tree.
Both of them are now in stable condition after being given immediate treatment.
The RDRRMC also reported that there are 801 families or 3,164 individuals from the flood and landslide prone areas in the region who were brought to the various evacuation centers.
In Aurora, a total of 50 families or 195 persons from Barangays Ibuna and Aplaya in Dingalan town were transferred to safer areas.
In Zambales, 72 families or 315 individuals from the towns of Castillejos, Sta Cruz, Masinloc and San Marcelino were also brought to the various evacuation centers in the province.
In Pampanga, a total of 67 families or 187 persons from the landslide prone Barangay San Juan Bano, Arayat were evacuated to the clubhouse pavillion in the said town.
The Pampanga PDRRM also implemented forced evacuation to those residents living in the coastal towns such as Sasmuan, San Simon, Macabebe and Lubao due to storm surge threat.
In Bulacan, a total of 46 families or 198 persons in Barangay Salambao, Obando town were also brought to the evacuation center.
In Bataan, some 566 families or 2,269 individuals from the towns of Limay, Pilar, Orani, Samal, Mariveles and Balanga City are now in various evacuation centers.
"Aside from the pre-emptive evacuation implemented by the local officials and disaster councils in the region, forced evacuation were also enforced to ensure the safety of the residents," Josefina Timoteo, RDRRMC chairperson and Office of Civil Defense regional director, said.
The RDRRMC also reported that the water elevation in the major dams in Central Luzon is way below the spilling level despite the stormy weather.
Power interruption also hit some parts in the region due to the tripping off of some lines and feeders as caused by strong winds.
At present, the electric power supply in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Aurora have already been restored. (PNA) 
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Central Luzon braces for tropical storm 'Glenda'

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 14 (PNA) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) on Monday alerted all provincial and municipal disaster councils in Central Luzon on the possible effects of tropical storm "Glenda" as it is seen to bring more rains in the region and nearby areas due to enhanced southwest monsoon.
Based on the latest weather bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the seven provinces in the region, namely Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bataan, Zambales, and southern Aurora are now under signal No. 1.
Josefina Timoteo, chairperson of the RDRRMC and regional director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 3, said although the effects of "Glenda" have not yet been felt throughout the region, all concerned members of the disaster councils have been ordered to undertake precautionary measures and other disaster response activities.
Timoteo said the RDRRMC has already alerted the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC) in the seven provinces in the region to implement preparedness measures.
She said rescue and emergency response teams are on standby as well as the pre-positioning of search-and-rescue equipment and personnel have already been put in place.
She also said that local government units (LGUs) in the region have prepared food supplies and disaster response equipment and teams in anticipation of evacuation and other emergencies.
”Local officials are conducting meetings to plan their response on the possible effects of tropical storm Glenda,” she said.
Likewise, Timoteo said the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division has also alerted its disaster response units (DRUs) in anticipation for the conduct of disaster rescue and relief operations at areas to be affected by the tropical storm.
Meanwhile, she asked the public to keep monitoring on the weather reports.
She also advised residents in the low-laying areas to voluntarily leave their houses prior to the issuance of evacuation operations.
”Although the residents along the riverbanks and coastal areas have been properly warned on the possible flooding, it is advisable if they would evacuate earlier and go to higher areas,” she added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to hold media seminar on disaster preparedness

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 12 (PNA)--After enhancing the disaster response capabilities of town, city and village officials, the provincial government, through the Provincial Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Office (PDRRMO), is now set to conduct a “crash course” on how to report and dissiminate pertinent announcement for media practitioners and users of social media.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who is also the concurrent chairman of the PDRRM Council and Regional Development Council (RDC) in Central Luzon, said that the provincial government will also distribute flyers containing information on how to cope with natural calamities and man-made disasters.
“We are now preparing informative and educational materials on what to do when disster struck and we will distribute it,” Alvarado said.
“Our constituents should know what to do and where to go every time there is a disaster," he added.
The governor said that media and users of the social network are vital in times of calamities and the fast way to disseminate important communications aand announcements.
The seminar will be held on Monday at the Hiyas convention center.
PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal said that the seminar is part of the disaster preparedness program of the provincial government.
The PDRRMO has already conducted seminars of map-hazards, trainings of various barangay, municipal and city emergency response teams. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to hold mobile passport service - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 9 (PNA) --The provincial government, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), will once again conduct a Mobile Passport Service to help Bulakenyos acquire passports in a more convenient and easy way.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the move is part of its continuous effort to bring services closer to the people.
"This project offers convenience to Bulakenyos allowing them to save time and money," Alvarado said.
Elizabeth Alonzo, head of the Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture & Tourism Office (PYSEACTO), said that passport applications and submission of the duly accomplished forms and all other requirements will run from August 1-15 this year.
The appearance and final evaluation by the representatives of DFA, on the other hand, will be at the Bulacan Capitol gymnasium on September 13 to process the passport applications, she said.
The release of passports will be announced at a later date, she added.
Alonzo also said that the project will be on a first come, first serve basis.
According to the DFA, new applicants need to submit birth certificate (BC) in security paper (SECPA) issued by National Statistics Office (NSO), two valid identification cards (photocopy) and NSO authenticated marriage contract for married women as requirements.
Moreover, applicants for renewal of passport are required to submit old passport, photocopy of the first, last & all pages with marks in the passport, and marriage contract (MC) in security paper (SECPA) issued by National Statistics Office (NSO) for newly married women. (PNA) 
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32,000 sacks of adulterated rice seized in Bulacan raid - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 7 (PNA) -- Government law enforcement units once again swooped down on a rice mill and warehouse owned by a Chinese businessman at the First Industrial Center in Barangay Tikay here over the weekend and seized some 32,000 sacks of adulterated imported rice
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said that the broken rice residue intended for animal feeds from Vietnam was being mixed with the Blue Diamond rice imported from Thailand and then repacked and being sold as “Golden Bee” Premium Sinadomeng rice.
Roxas, who was accompanied by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad and CIDG director Benjamin Magalong Jr., inspected on Monday the sprawling warehouse and showed to mediamen how the adulterated rice was being processed.
He said the owner of Purefeeds could face multiple violations of Philippine trade laws.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said the raid was part of the government’s campaign to neutralize rice hoarders and unscrupulous rice traders.
Roxas also said that the discovery of the adulterated rice inside the warehouse of Purefeeds Corporation was the result of the National Food Authority’s (NFA) right to inspect rice mills and warehouses in coordination with the Philippine National Police -Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
He said the raid at the Purefeeds was the 18th operations conducted by the CIDG and NFA.
Of the 18 raids, he said only four was found to be engaged in illicit trading of rice.
"They have violations with the NFA, Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Internal Revenue and even to the Bureau of Customs," Roxas said.
The DILG secretary said that operations of the said rice mill will be temporarily suspended.
He stressed that the government is making sure that Filipinos will eat safe rice and can buy quality grains at government-imposed price.
"We will not allow to prevail the illicit activities of some unscrupulous businessmen to the public. We will not stop in pursuing them and not let our citizens to eat such kind of rice," Roxas said.
Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina, Bulacan acting provincial director, said two trucks loaded with 450 sacks each of the adulterated rice was also held at the compound of the ricemill warehouse.
He said that NFA officials are investigating why the said trucks have the logo of NFA complete with licensed number.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue-Bulacan office is also investigating probable violations of Purefeeds Corporation.
Lawyer Sulpicio Agapon, BIR regional district officer, said that Purefeeds was registered with a business address in Sta. Cruz, Manila when it should also have registration to the Bulacan BIR office due to the large scope of their operations.
“I think they (owners) will have a problem with that too, aside from adulterating rice products with animal feeds,” Agapon said.
The owner of the rice mill identified as Jojo Suliman however, said that all their importation permits are legal and that their operations are legitimate.
He, however, acknowledged that they are not registered at the Bulacan BIR office.
But the evidence found inside their warehouse is enough for the raiding team to file appropriate charges against the owners of Purefeeds Corporation, according to Bulacan CIDG provincial officer Chief Inspector Reynaldo Magdalayo.
Governor Alvarado, for his part, said that the government is sincere in apprehending rice hoarders and unscrupulous traders.
He said that NFA rice should be sold at affordable prices and not be diverted.
Mayor Christian D. Natividad said that he suspects that this nefarious operation could have been going on for a long time and this kind of activity must be totally stopped.
This was the second raid conducted by the NFA-CIDG in Bulacan.
Last Thursday, the raiding team seized 5,000 sacks of rice containing rice grains from NFA that were switched to sacks of premium commercial rice at Jommaro rice mill in Barangay Abanagan Sur, Marilao town. (PNA) 
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Government confiscates 4,000 metric tons of NFA rice from private trading company

MANILA, July 6 (PNA) -- The government’s effort in battling overpricing, manipulation and cartel-like activities has led to the confiscation of an estimated 4,000 metric tons of rice, a Palace official said on Sunday.
Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., said the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has seized this much from three out of 12 warehouses they investigated.
“Tatlong bodega ang natagpuang may paglabag sa batas dahil hindi makapagpakita ng dokumento ang mga tinuring na rice traders at ang mga ito ay ipinadlock (padlock) na ng CIDG,” said Coloma in a press briefing over radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“Ayon sa ulat ni NFA (National Food Authority) Administrator Arthur Juan, mula lamang sa tatlong bodega na siniyasat, may natagpuang 80,076 na bags ng bigas na kung tig-50 kilo ang laman, may kabuuang humigit-kumulang 4,000 metrikong toneladang bigas,” Coloma added.
In a similar development, Coloma said Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Modernization Secretary Francis Pangilinan reported that the Malolos Prosecutor’s Office has filed a case against a rice trading company.
The company was found violating Presidential Decree No. 4, for diversion of price and facing price manipulation charges under the Price Act, where they can face five to 15 years imprisonment.
Coloma also said NFA Administrator Juan reported that NFA-Bulacan Provincial Manager and NFA-Region III Director were both tasked to explain how NFA rice found its way to the hands of a private company when it should only be traded by cooperatives.
“Pinapatunayan lang nitong pagkilos ng ating pamahalaan na totoo ang hinala na meron talagang mga nagsasamantala at nagsasagawa ng mga paglabag sa batas na hoarding at pag-manipula ng presyo. Kaya ngayong nabulabog na sila, at nahulihan na ng konkretong ebidensya ang ilan sa kanila, at nasampahan na rin ng kaso ng ating pamahalaan, inaasahan nating luluwag na ang supply sa merkado,” said Coloma. (PNA)
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MMDA prepares for INC centennial celebration, President Aquino’s 5th SONA

MANILA, July 6 (PNA) -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has started preparing for two big events this month -- the centennial celebration of the religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) on July 27 and the fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III on July 28.
According to MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, President Aquino has formed a task force to oversee the centennial celebration of the religious group and the task force will also help instill order when the President delivers his SONA at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
The MMDA chief was appointed by the President to head the Task Force Centenario.
The members of the Task Force include Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima, as well as the heads or representatives of the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and INC. 
Tolentino said the INC celebration is expected to be a big event since it will be attended by at least three million of its members around the world.
The celebration will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Tolentino said an MMDA team headed by Neomie Recio of the Traffic Engineering Center will conduct an ocular inspection on Monday to adjust the traffic flow in the Bulacan area.
“Sa Lunes, may ocular inspection, kasama si Recio at babaybayin ang mga munisipyo ng Bulacan para maiayos ang daloy ng traffic,” Tolentino said. (PNA) 
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Thousands join Bocaue fluvial festival - By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, July 6 (PNA)--The grandeur of an old tradition is back at the Bocaue river.
In a strong show of faith, thousands of people flocked to the Bocaue river here as they celebrated the feast day of the venerated “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa” in a much safer and colorful fluvial rites on Sunday.
"It is colorful again and the devotion and love to the patron can be felt again," said newsman Ramon Lazaro, a native of this town.
He said that the nine straight nights of novena and prayers was completed without any untoward incident because of the good coordination of the organizers, the local parish of St. Martin of Tours, the police, local government units (LGUs) and the provincial government of Bulacan.
The Holy Cross of Wawa and the image of St. Martin of Tours were placed at the main altar of the three-tiered Pagoda, which has a loading capacity of more than 500 people.
Organizers, however, only allowed 150 to 200 people to ride the Pagoda and everyone was required to wear lifevest.
A more coordinated preparation focusing on safety and security was conducted and implemented in a bid to prevent a repeat of the tragedy where 300 people perished when the three-tiered overcrowded Pagoda tilted and sank in the murky waters of the river on the night of July 2, 1993—the penultimate night of the nine-day novena.
This time, the voyage of Pagoda ran smoothly, signaling a revival of the crowd drawing fluvial festival in Bocaue.
Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the strong devotion of the people has rekindled the “leap of faith” and trust to God as well as the crowd-drawing fluvial festival, which, he said is just one among the many age-old traditions still being practiced and observed in Bulacan.
But this year, he said that peace keeping and emergency response units have properly coordinated with the organizers to ensure a peaceful and safe celebration of the feast day of the venerated Holy Cross of Wawa.
“It is joyful but you can feel the sacredness of the tradition and the fervent devotion of the people. And due to cooperation and deep devotion of the people, the colorful festival in this town of Bocause has been rekindled," Alvarado said.
The governor also said that since the old grandeur of the fluvial festival is once again revived, he said the town of Bocaue is now known for its crowd-drawing “Three Ps”—namely the Pagoda festival, the Pyrotechnic industry and the soon to be inaugurated Philippine Arena.
He said that several days before this year’s Pagoda sailed on the Bocaue river again, he met officials of the provincial police, representatives of the municipal government, fiesta organizers and members of the emergency response teams from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council.
He said that the Bulacan Police Provincial Office headed by Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina has deployed additional police teams from the Provincial Public Safety Managemnt Company to augment local policemen to ensure order and safety of the people.
He also said that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office headed by Liz Mungcal have also deployed two jet skis, ambulance and divers as part of safety-keeping force of the fluvial festival.
Divina said that some 200 bancas joined the procession of the Pagoda.
He said all bancas, including the Pagoda always undergo pre-inspection, before they were given the go signal to sail.
He also said that rescue and paramedics teams from the Provincial Government were backed up by members of the Riverine troops of the Philippine Army, divers from the coast guard and navy and volunteer rescue teams from various civic groups.
Divina also said that policemen are strictly checking every participants and did not allow anyone under the influence of liquor to board any bancas or the Pagoda itself.
“We were also strictly monitoring the participants if they have deadly weapons that might start violence. We also prohibited the throwing of water put in plastic which we used to be doing before," he said.
The Holy Cross of Wawa, a replica of the wooden cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, is set on a pagoda, which is paraded on the Bocaue river with several bancas, as well as devotees swimming alongside the colorful structure.
The festivities also include a nine-day novena, which celebrates the rescue of the Holy Cross of Wawa from the Bocaue River.
Legends also said that a woman was saved from drowning by a floating cross which is presumed to be the Holy Cross of Wawa.
Earlier Fr. Mar Evangelista, parochial vicar of the St. Martin of Tours Parish here, said that they have agreed to revive the fluvial rites after organizers convinced them of the safety measures that will be enforced to ensure public safety.
Fr. Evangelista said that to make the fiesta more lively on the feast day, 11 marching bands circled the 18 barangays of Bocaue. (PNA) 
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President Aquino creates task force for Iglesia ni Cristo centennial celebration

MANILA, July 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has formed an interagency task force to maintain peace and order for the centennial anniversary celebration of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on July 27 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
In a Memorandum Circular No. 66 issued on July 3, the President directed the creation of “Task Force Sentenaryo” headed by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino which would be in charge of all actions and responses in connection with the event.
The task force is also composed of Secretaries of the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health and Presidential Communications Operations Office.
Other members of the group are Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Chief of Philippine National Police, Chairman of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, General Manager of Philippine Ports Authority, General Manager of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Director of Toll Regulatory Board and a representative of Iglesia ni Cristo.
President Aquino said the task force may call upon any department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the government, local government units, non-government organizations and the private sector for assistance.
The President on July 2 also issued Proclamation No. 815 “Declaring Year 2014 as Iglesia ni Cristo Centennial Year.”
Proclamation No. 815 was issued to enhance public awareness on the contributions of the INC to national development.
The same proclamation also directed the Postmaster General to cause the design, printing and issuance of a special postage stamp to commemorate the said event.
INC is the largest home-grown Christian church in the Philippines, with ministries in at least 102 countries. (PNA)
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Police kill 2 suspected motorcycle thieves in Bulacan shootout

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, July 3 (PNA) -- Two suspected motorcycle thieves were killed in Balagtas, Bulacan on Thursday as the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) intensified efforts against criminality in Central Luzon.
In a report reaching here, an armed encounter between the elements of the Balagtas Municipal Police Station and the three suspected thieves took place along Bypass Road, Borol 2nd, Balagtas, Bulacan.
Prior to the encounter, a female victim reported to police that her black Yamaha Mio with plate no. 3354 OG was forcibly taken from her at gunpoint by the unidentified suspects.
With this, the elements of Balagtas Municipal Police Station immediately chased the suspects who were spotted heading towards the Bypass road.
An exchange of gunfire ensued between the suspects and police which resulted in the instantaneous death of the two suspects while the other suspect managed to elude arrest.
One of the policemen was wounded and is now undergoing medical treatment.
The identities of the suspects are still being verified as the Bulacan Police Crime Laboratory Office conducted scene of the crime operations.
Police Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, PRO-3 regional director, commended the operating troops for a job well done.
He also assured the public that PRO-3 will continue its campaign to eradicate all forms of criminality within the region. (PNA) 
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Update: Food security Czar Kiko Pangilinan orders law enforcers to step up crackdown against nefarious rice traders and hoarders - By Emil G. Gamos

MARILAO, Bulacan, July 3 (PNA)--National food security czar Sen. Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday called on law enforcement units to step-up their campaign against hoarders and unscrupulous rice traders following the arrest of 20 persons caught switching National Food Authority (NFA) rice into sacks of commercial rice.
Pangilinan, who arrived at around 2 p.m. Thursday at the Jomarro Star Rice Mill in Barangay Abangan Sur here, was briefed by Bulacan PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Team provincial officer Chief Inspector Reynaldo Magdaluyo that the owners of the rice mill and warehouse managed to elude arrest but they were able to nab a certain Juan San Luis, who was allegedly the rice mill manager and 20 workers switching the NFA well milled rice to sacks of commercial rice.
Magdaluyo also told Pangilinan that at least 5,000 sacks (50 kilos each) of NFA rice are being brought and switched inside the rice mill warehouse daily.
Pangilinan said that when computed the daily earnings of the rice miller could reached at least P6.7 million a day.
He said that a kilo of NFA well milled rice commands a market price of P25 to P27 pesos and when switched to sack of commercial rice it will be sold much higher to P47 up to P50 per kilo.
Pangilinan said that he has already instructed the Bulacan PNP-CIDT and the Marilao police headed by Senior Supt. Marcos Rivero to padlock the rice mill.
Police are also digging deeper into the possible involvement of a rice cartel.
"This is just one. There might be others involved in this nefarious activity. Thus, we ordered our police to intensify their campaign in order to avert this kind of scrupulous activity. We want to give our citizens good kind of rice at cheaper price but there are businessmen who arer taking advantage," he said.
Joint operatives of the Bulacan PNP-CIDT and the Marilao police station raided rice mill/ warehouse and arrested 20 persons repacking 100 sacks of NFA rice into the sack of commercial rice in Barangay Abangan Sur here on Thursday morning.
The PNP-CIDT agents led by Magdaluyo and Marilao policemen led by Supt. Marcos Rivero also intercepted two 10-wheeler trucks each loaded with 5,000 sacks of NFA rice inside the warehouse compound.
Rivero identified the owners of the warehouse as spouses Roberto and Regina Paulenco, who were not in the area when the raiding team swooped down.
Appropriate charges, ranging from violation of Price Regulation Act and economic sabotage are being readied against the couple, the manager and the 20 workers repacking the NFA rice into the sacks of commercial rice. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops nab 20 persons switching NFA rice into sacks of commercial rice - By Emil G. Gamos

MARILAO, Bulacan, July 3 (PNA) -- Law enforcers on Thursday foiled a nefarious activity of a rice trader here engaged in the switching of government rice into commercial rice.
Joint operatives of the Bulacan PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Team and the Marilao police station raided a warehouse and arrested 20 persons repacking 100 sacks of National Food Authority (NFA) rice to be sold as commercial rice in Barangay Abangan Sur here.
Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina said that Bulacan PNP-CIDT agents led by Chief Inspector Reynaldo Magdaluyo and Marilao policemen led by Supt. Marcos Rivero also intercepted two 10-wheeler trucks each loaded with 5,000 sacks of NFA rice inside the warehouse compound.
Rivero identified the owners of the warehouse as spouses Roberto and Regina Paulenco, who were not in the area when the raiding team swooped down in the area.
Rivero also said that the raiding team arrested a certain Juan San Luis, who claimed to be the warehouse manager.
Divina said that appropriate charges, ranging from price regulation act and economic sabotage, are being readied against the couple, the manager and the 20 workers repacking the NFA rice into the sacks of commercial rice.
Upon learning of the incident, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado condemned the nefarious business practice, saying that government rice should not be altered and must be sold at affordable price to the public.
Alvarado also instructed the police to intensify their operations against rice hoarders.
"Those behind these nefarious activities should be held responsible. The objective of the government to provide enough supply of food and cheap rice to the citizens is nice. However, there are indeed unscrupulous businessmen. They should face the consequences of what they did," he said.
The governor also said that once the NFA rice was switched, it will be sold as commercial rice at a higher price. (PNA) 
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Bulacan conducts simultaneous “quake drills” - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 2 (PNA) -- With sirens blaring from all directions, occupants of the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) here systematically rushed-out from the “shaking” building as firefighters and rescue teams started arriving during a simultaneous “earthquake drill” on Wednesday.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the provincial government, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) , is constantly conducting drills to prepare personnel to properly respond to any given situation, including worse-type scenarios like a powerful earthquake.
“We cannot predict earthquakes but it is better to be ready than to be caught flatfooted. We are training our emergency response teams to be swift when such situation occurs. We are also training medical personnel what to do and how to evacuate patients,” Alvarado said.
The simultaneous “earthquake drill” kicked-off at exactly 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Dr. Protacio Badjao, BMC medical director, said that each floor of the three-story hospital has their own section chiefs that will “shepherd” them out of the building to a designated safe area within the hospital compound.
He said that hospital personnel have been debriefed on their tasking when emergency situation arises and know what agency to call.
Dr. Paul Camina, planning section chief of BMC emergency response team, said they are also assessing the response time in evacuating patients and people inside the hospital which caters to at least 2,000 patients every day.
"We are determining on how fast the firetrucks and other rescue units could arrive and as we saw, it is faster and there a system on how to coordinate with the hospital officials," Camina said.
PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal said similar drills are also being conducted in crowded areas like schools, malls and other places of convergence.
She added that rescue teams from the province’s 21 towns and cities are also undergoing trainings on the use of modern equipment in saving lives in times of emergencies. (PNA) 
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Bulacan joins National Disaster Consciousness Month

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 1 (PNA) -- The provincial government has joined the nation in the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July that would promote public awareness on natural hazards and disseminate information on the steps to be undertaken to mitigate the adverse effects of calamities.
With this year’s theme “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon ng Kaunlaran”, the kick-off activity was held during the Monday's flag raising ceremony where the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) distributed 100 whistles to provincial capitol employees.
“The province has always been doing efforts to heighten the province’s awareness and the need to implement mitigation measures. Proper steps on how to deal calamities should be in place because of its direct connection with the planned development in the province," Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said.
As part of its efforts to strengthen preparedness and response, the provincial government has lined up various activities that include the month-long distribution of IEC materials and the implementation of the “Ang Bote Mo Kaligtasan Ko, Buong Taon Na Ito” program.
On Wednesday, there will be an earthquake drill at the Bulacan Medical Center.
There are also training on first aid/CPR on July 2 to 4 and water safety and fire suppression on July 7-9 at Malolos Resort Club Royale.
Likewise, a 10-day first aid and /BLS-CPR refresher course are set on July 10-11, 14-19, 21-22 at the Bulacan provincial capitol gymnasium.
Other activities are the 11th Central Luzon First Aid and Basic Life Support Olympics on July 23-24 at Malolos Convention Center; Multi Hazards Maps Information, Education and Information Campaign in 569 barangays on July 7 at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center and July 14-15 at 8 Waves Waterpark in San Rafael, Bulacan.
An ambulance management training will also be held on July 28-29 at Balagtas Hall, HBCC in Malolos while the much-awaited 4th Bulacan Rescuelympics is scheduled on July 31 at the Bulacan Sports Complex and Capitol Gymnasium.
“We know that disasters, when they occur, hit the poorest and the most vulnerable the hardest. And while we cannot fully control the occurrence and the impact of disasters, the provincial government has already focused on improving its capacity to respond to disasters and public health emergencies by making a concrete disaster contingency planning in anticipation to diverse set of threats due to disasters and crises of all magnitude” the governor added. (PNA) 
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Bocaue Pagoda organizers ensure public safety, say 1993 tragedy will never happen again - By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, June 29 (PNA) –“No lifevest, no ride!”
Authorities and organizers of the Bocaue fluvial festival in honor of the venerated “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa” are strictly implementing safety measures on the “voyage” of the “Pagoda” on the Bocaue river to avoid a repeat of the July 2, 1993 Bocaue Pagoda tragedy where 300 people died.
Ruben Mercado, president of this year’s fiesta committee, said a prominent daily newspaper has donated 250 lifevest for the fluvial rites that they revived 21 years after the overcrowded Pagoda tilted and sank in the murky waters of the Bocaue river on the penultimate night of the nine-day Novena.
“Everyone who will board the Pagoda is being provided with a lifevest. Aside from this, various rescue teams, including well trained divers, are also circling the river to ensure public safety,” Mercado said.
He said that the new pagoda has a capacity to carry at least 300 people but they were only allowing 150 people to board the boat carrying the altar of the Holy Cross of Wawa.
The nine-day novena is now on its 3rd night and so far, the river voyage of the Pagoda is going smoothly, Mercado added.
He thanked provincial and municipal officials for helping them revive an old tradition in honor of the venerated “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa”.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the people of Bocaue has moved on and it only shows that their faith to God has become more stronger.
The governor also said that rescue and medical teams from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have been deployed and will provide assistance until the fluvial festival is over.
Alvarado added that the Bulacan police under Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina have also deployed maneuver platoons from the Provincial Public Safety Company to ensure security during the festival.
Earlie, Fr. Mar Evangelista, parochial vicar of the St. Martin of Tours Parish here, said that they have agreed to revive the fluvial rites after organizers convinced them of the safety measures that will be enforced to ensure public safety.
The Holy Cross of Wawa, which is a replica of the wooden cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, is set on a pagoda, which is paraded on the Bocaue river with several bancas, as well as devotees swimming alongside the colorful structure.
The festivities also include a nine-day novena, which celebrates the rescue of the Holy Cross of Wawa from the Bocaue River.
Legends also said that a woman was saved from drowning by a floating cross which is presumed to be the Holy Cross of Wawa.
Fr. Evangelista said that there is now a growing clamor among multi-sectoral groups and the local government to resurrect the old grandeur of the fluvial rites prior to the tragedy where 300 people perished when the three-tiered overcrowded Pagoda tilted and sank in the murky waters of the river on the night of July 2, 1993—the penultimate night of the nine-day novena.
He said that to make the fiesta more lively on the feast day—first Saturday and Sunday of July—11 marching bands will circle the 18 barangays of Bocaue town. (PNA) 
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Bocaue fluvial festival sets maiden 'voyage' Friday

BOCAUE , Bulacan, June 27 (PNA) -- After 21 years, the stigma of the Pagoda tragedy still lingers but the “leap of faith” and adoration of the people here on the venerated “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa” have never wavered and continue to grow stronger.
And while the century old fluvial rites is slowly reemerging in past several years, the Catholic church here wants to maintain the solemnity of the tradition and at the same time revive its old glory.
Fr. Mar Evangelista, parochial vicar of the St. Martin of Tours Parish here, said that the nine days novena is still being observed and the the venerated Cross is still being paraded.
The Holy Cross of Wawa, which is a replica of the wooden cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, is set on a pagoda, which is paraded on the Bocaue river with several bancas, as well as devotees swimming alongside the colorful structure.
The festivities also include a nine-day novena, which celebrates the rescue of the Holy Cross of Wawa from the Bocaue river.
Legends also said that a woman was saved from drowning by a floating cross which is presumed to be the Holy Cross of Wawa.
Evangelista said that there is now a growing clamor among multi-sectoral groups and the local government to resurrect the old grandeur of the fluvial rites prior to the tragedy where 300 people perished when the three-tiered overcrowded Pagoda tilted and sank in the murky waters of the river on the night of July 2, 1993, the penultimate night of the nine-day novena.
He said that to make the fiesta more lively on the feast day, first Saturday and Sunday of July, 11 marching bands will circle the 18 barangays of Bocaue.
Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government is actively supporting the preservation and promotion of old traditions in Bulacan.
He said that there are many festivals in the province but many have learned from the tragedy and they are making sure that it will never happen again by deploying additional well-trained emergency response and rescue teams.
“Like in Bocaue, there are also fluvial rites in Calumpit known as “Ligiran”. We saw the faith to God of our townmates are continuously getting stronger. Even though there was a Pagoda tragedy that happened in Bocaue, the festivity is continuously being observed and the patron saint is still being paraded, a tradition that testifies the strong faith of our constituents to our Lord," the governor said.
He said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office headed by executive officer Liz Mungcal has already briefed rescue teams and will be deployed on the different parts of the river to ensure that the fluvial festival will be safe.
Alvarado also instructed Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina to augment the Bocaue police and ensure public safety.
Meanwhile, newsman Ramon Efren Lazaro, a Bocaue resident, said that preparations are being done to make the first “voyage” of the Pagoda on Friday night safe.
“The security and safety of the devotees are strictly being monitored. They will no longer allow too many devotees to get into the pagoda. There will be limits. However, the pagoda will still go around the river," he said.
He said that a “Save the Bocaue River” campaign will also be launched to clean the river and save it from getting severely polluted. (PNA) 
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Earthquake prompts new call for rehab of aging Angat dam  By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 26 (PNA) -- The magnitude 5.7 earthquake that jolted Batangas and nearby provinces, including parts of Bulacan Wednesday night, has once again prompted provincial leaders here to urge the national government to immediately start the repair and strengthening of the 46-year-old Angat dam in the mountains of Norzagaray town.
Experts said that the Angat dam is sitting along the West Valley fault line and could collapse if jolted by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado reiterated the call during the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Summit held on Thursday at the Hiyas Pavilion here.
Alvarado said an earthquake is different from other equally devastating natural disasters.
“It comes like a thief in the night, without warning and cannot be predicted unlike typhoons. The magnitude 5.7 earthquake that jolted many parts of Luzon, including some areas in Bulacan might be a wake–up call to make our national leaders realize that as days pass by, the aging Angat dam is becoming a ticking time and a virtual ‘sword of Damocles,” the governor said.
He said the dam has a life span of 50 years and was built in a period when modern technology was only starting to grow.
The repair of the dam has been approved by President Benigno Aquino III, who allocated P5.7 billion for the structure's repair and strengthening.
The rehabilitation got stalled, however, after the Supreme Court declared as “constitutional” the bid of a Korean firm (K-Water) to operate the 46-year-old dam with a Filipino company controlling the majority shares.
Under its contract with the Philippine government, K-Water should shoulder the repair and rehabilitation of the dam but until now it has yet to happen.
Alvarado said that the provincial government through the PDRRMO is regularly conducting drills, seminars and massive information drive on disaster control awareness.
“A little preparation is better than no preparation at all,” he said.
During the Provincial DRMM Summit, experts and resource speakers from Project Noah, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (NDRRMO) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) briefed participants from various emergency rescue teams and the municipal and city DRRMO on gaining resiliency through mitigative measures and the Yolanda experience.
The summit was attended by Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, OCD-3 regional director and Central Luzon DRRMC Chair Josefina Timoteo and Bulacan DRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops commended for capture of fugitive

BALIWAG, Bulacan, June 23 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Monday commended the Bulacan Police Provincial Office for capturing an armed and dangerous fugitive as he reiterated his call for the police and other peacekeeping forces to step up the war against criminal gangs and lawless elements.
The governor said that Bulacan is now on the threshold of becoming the booming growth center in the region and that criminal elements has no place in the province except behind bars.
Last Friday night, police operatives swooped down on a house in Barangay Concepcion in this town and arrested a man wanted for murder and several cases of heinous crimes.
Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina identified the arrested felon as Edilberto Santos, 47, married and a resident of Barangay Sulivan, Baliwag town.
The accused is isted as the no. 1 Most Wanted Person in Baliwag and also as the no. 10 Most Wanted Person in the province.
Divina said that Santos was arrested by joint operatives of the Baliwag police station headed by Supt. Enrico Vargas and the Regional Intelligence Unit at a house in the said barangay.
He said the police team served two warrants of arrest against the suspect, one for murder and one for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Santos was turned over to the court and is now detained at the Bulacan provincial jail. (PNA) 
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PNP steps up monitoring of sales of explosives, ingredients

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) -- The Explosive and Management Division of the Firearms and Explosive Office (EMD-FEO) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has stepped up its monitoring and accounting of explosives and explosives ingredients in every region of the country to ensure that they do end up into the wrong hands.

Senior Supt. John C. Bulalacao, chief of the EMD-FEO, said that the move was in accordance with the directive of PNP Civil Security Group Director Melito M. Mabilin to ensure that the procurement of explosives and its ingredients are properly accounted and that no laws are being violated by legitimate end users, particularly those engaged in the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry.

In a letter addressed to Lea Alapide, acting president of the Philippines Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc (PPMDAI), Bulalacao said that the accounting of explosives and its ingredients was prompted by series of reports that dealers and purchasers are colluding with alleged personnel of the explosive division in some regions to violate certain provisions of pertinent laws.

He said that during one of their inspections of explosives storage facility in Central Luzon, they found out that an applicant to purchase explosive ingredients still uses a non-existing project or project that was already completed as purpose for their request.

“We are investigating the possible involvement of some police personnel. Since the dealers and purchasers are in collusion with them, they have arbitrarily endorsed the request, unmindful of the possible consequences,” Bulalacao said.

To avoid the occurrence of these procedure, Bulalacao said they are requiring manufacturers and dealers of pyrotechnics to set aside copy of all receipts of delivery of explosive ingredients from their dealer and submit them to the office of the EMD-FEO not later than June 30, 2014 and every 5th day of the following months.

He said that this will help the EMD-FEO to strictly monitor and account the movement and sales of explosives and its ingredients and their end-users.

In response, PPMDAI chairman emeritus Celso C. Cruz said that they will help the EMD-FEO by disseminating the procedures to all manufacturers and dealers of pyrotechnics in the country to ensure that all their members are complying with the new Implementing Rules and Regulations being enforced by the PNP. (PNA) 
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Fire destroys Bulacan school for boys founded by 'Papal Knight'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 13 (PNA) -- A prominent Catholic school for boys beside the historic Basilica Minore (Malolos Cathedral) here founded by a ”Papal Knight” was gutted by a big fire that broke out amid heavy downpour early Friday morning.

Firefighters from all over the province helped put out the fire at the Immaculate Concepcion School for Boys (formerly Immaculata Academy) which began around 3 a.m. and spread rapidly, the Malolos City police said in a report.

As of 7 a.m., firefighters were exerting efforts to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent Malolos Cathedral, which served as the Palacio Presidential of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo after he was inaugurated as President of the First Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899.

Initial reports said that the big fire has razed to the ground the old building of Immaculada Academy that used to host the Chapel of German nuns known as the “Holy Spirit Sisters”.

Also destroyed were the school library, auditorium and the high school department classrooms.

Several vehicles serving as school transport service were also burned, police said.

Police and arson probers are still investigating the early morning fire that gutted one of the prestigious Catholic Church-run private schools in this historic city.

Residents said that they were awakened by the peeling of old bells which made some think that a Holy Mass will soon start at the Basilica Minore.

However, thick smokes and raging fire greeted early risers within the vicinity of the historic church.

The Immaculate Concepcion School for Boys was founded by Archbishop Cirilo Almario and founding-school principal Rodolfo Bagay in 1989 before it was transformed into an exclusive school for boys.

Like the Don Bosco school, the institution was formerly known as the Immaculata Academy, which was transferred in Barangay Sta. Isabel and renamed “Holy Spirit Academy.”

Bagay was conferred a “Papal Knight” (Order of St. Silvester) by then and now St. Pope John Paul II in 1987. (PNA) 
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President Aquino leads commemoration of 116th Philippine Independence Day

NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur, June 12 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday led the flag-raising and wreath-laying rites held at the Plaza Quince Martires in this province to commemorate the 116th Philippine Independence Day.

Plaza Quince Martires was chosen by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), with the President’s approval, as the venue for this year’s Independence Day celebration to honor the 15 Martyrs of Bicol whose travails helped ignite the revolution in 1896.

Taking off from the Independence Day theme of “Pagsunod sa Yapak ng mga Dakilang Pilipino, Tungo sa Malawakan at Permanenteng Pagbabago," President Aquino paid tribute to the country’s martyred heroes, who sacrificed their lives to free the Filipinos from the oppression of Spanish conquerors, leading to the proclamation of the country’s independence and the declaration of the First Philippine Republic.

“Ngayong Araw ng Kalayaan, sama-sama po tayong nagbibigay-pugay sa mga bayaning ipinaglaban ang tama. Gamitin natin silang inspirasyon sa patuloy nating paglalakbay sa daang matuwid,” President Aquino said before hundreds of Nagueños who gathered at the plaza.

“Isapuso natin ang iniwan nilang aral: ang malasakit sa ating kapwa ang maghahatid sa atin sa mga inaasam natin bilang isang lahi. Sa ganitong paraan lamang po natin masasabing tunay tayong karapat-dapat sa kanilang mga sakripisyo; sa ganitong paraan lamang po natin maitataguyod ang isang Pilipinas na ganap na makatarungan at malaya.”

President Aquino was joined by NHCP chairperson Maria Serena Diokno, Naga City Mayor John Bongat, Camarines Sur Representative Maria Leonor Robredo, National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista, and other local and military officials during his activities here.

Representative Robredo, for her part, thanked President Aquino for choosing to be in Naga City to celebrate this year’s Independence Day and for acknowledging the sacrifices rendered by their forefathers.

“Ikinagagalak po namin, Mahal naming Pangulo, ang inyong kapasiyahan na dito sa aming lungsod ipagdiwang ang 116 na araw ng kasarinlan. Ikinalulugod po namin na matapos ang mahabang panahon, nabigyan din ng kaukulang pagpapahalaga ang mga pamana at papel na ginampanan ng mga tinitingala naming mga bayani. Mula ngayon, hindi na lamang sila mga martir ng Bicol, mga bayani rin sila ng buong Pilipinas,” she said in her message.

Apart from the flag-raising and wreath-laying rites in Camarines Sur, other Independence Day-related activities were simultaneously held at the Rizal Park in Manila, Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Cavite, Barasoain Church in Bulacan, Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine in San Juan City, Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City, Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion at the North Cemetery in Manila, and the Pamintuan House in Angeles City.

President Aquino was also slated to meet with members of the diplomatic community for the traditional Vin d’Honneur at Malacañang Palace to celebrate the occasion. (PNA)
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Police save wounded kidnap victim in Bulacan

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan, June 11 (PNA) -- Quick response of the police has saved a wounded kidnap victim here who, together with his brother in-law, were abducted and intended to be executed by their abductors Monday afternoon, a belated police report said.

One of the two kidnap victims survived while the other died on the spot when six suspected members of a kidnap-for ransom gang brought them in Barangay Kaypian here and repeatedly shot them.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina identified the survivor as Noah Corpuz, 36 , married, jobless, native of Baguio City and presently residing at Block 14, Lot 12, Barangay Sta Cruz II, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

He sustained a gunshot wound on the back of his body when found by responding policemen.

His brother–in-law who was identified as Edwin Orsal died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds.

Divina said that, earlier, elements of Police COMPAC 1 Of the San Jose del Monte City police station received a telephone call coming from Patrol 117 stating that a robbery hold-up transpired in Kaypian Road, Barangay Kaypian, City of San Jose del Monte.

Immediately, upon receipt of the information, Divina said that elements of COMPAC 1 were dispatched to validate the report.

Upon reaching the place of occurrence, instead of a robbery hold-up incident, they saw the wounded Corpuz who was rushed to the district hospital for treatment.

Initial investigation based on an interview conducted on Corpuz revealed that he and his brother-in-law Orsal were abducted by the unidentified suspects last June 2 in Dasmarinas, Cavite.

This, after the suspects pretended as customer and rented the L-300 van owned by Corpuz.

The victim also told police investigators that on the night of June 9, the suspects blindfolded them and loaded them in a taxi cab and brought to Barangay Kaypian, City of San Jose Del Monte where they were shot several times by the suspects with the use of a shotgun and .38-caliber revolver.

Corpuz, who sustained five gunshot wounds at the back of the body, managed to ran away while his brother-in-law died on the spot.

A SOCO team from the Bulacan Provincial Office led by Chief Inspector Gina Ledesma recovered from the crime scene a spent cartridge of a 12-gauge shotgun.

Divina said they have already coordinated with the Cavite police on the incident.

He said that further investigation and follow-up is presently being conducted.

He added the survivor revealed there was ransom demanded. (PNA) 
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Bulacan ready for school opening on Monday 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 1 (PNA) --Its all systems go for the opening of classes in this province as schools are now spic and span and smiling policemen are ready to secure the various schools to ensure safety of students and teachers during the school opening on Monday.

Provincial officials headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado made last minute inspections of school campuses in the province to ensure that everything is in order as students troops back to school.

Alvarado said that public schools in the 21 towns and three cities of Bulacan have already been spruced-up for the Monday's opening of classes.

He also said that the Bulacan Police Provincial Office under acting provincial director Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina has deployed maneuver platoons from the Provincial Public Safety Company to augment police assistance centers that were set up in various schools.

He said that Divina has also instructed the policemen to always be respectful and smiling.

“First impression lasts. That is why we wanted our new batch of school kids as well as all students to start their classes on a good note. Teams have already been deployed to provide security and assistance to students, teachers and parents,” Alvarado said.

The governor also commended students, teachers, parents and community leaders for rekindling the Filipino virtue of “Bayanihan” during the recently concluded “Brigada Eskwela”.

Alvarado said that 457 public elementary schools and 85 secondary schools have already been spruced and are now ready for the school opening.

Teachers and students along the so-called University Belt in this city also thanked the governor and his wife Bulacan 1st District Rep. Ma Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado for the pedestrian overpass along the busy Macarthur highway, partuclarly those located at the Bulacan State University and at the junction in Barangay Dakila where several public and private schools are located.

They said that the pedestrian overpass will help prevent accidents from now on and ensure the safety of many students who have to cross the busy MacArthur highway. (PNA) 
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Former Baliwag mayor offers P.5M for whereabouts of kidnapped bodyguard 
By Emil G. Gamos

BALIWAG, Bulacan, May 31 (PNA)--Former town mayor Romy Estrella on Saturday announced that he is offering half million pesos for anyone who could provide information on the whereabouts of his close-in security Joselito Hizon.

Hizon was forcibly taken at gunpoint by a group of heavily armed men wearing military uniforms that stormed the Crystal Lodge in Barangay Bagong Nayon here Thursday afternoon.

In a live radio interview during the Saturday morning program of broadcaster Rommel Ramos, Estrella said he and his family are keeping a prayer vigil hoping that Hizon, whom they fondly called “Nitoy”, will return safe.

Hizon and Estrella were having a coffee break at the former mayor’s office at the Crystal Lodge together with former provincial board member Enrique Viudez and Ruben Delfoso last Thursday afternoon when a group of heavily armed men arrived at the said lodge.

Estrella said the men told the lodge’s staff that they are looking for the owner—who happens to be the ex-mayor—and that nobody would be harmed.

A secretary of the mayor immediately informed the mayor and told him to hide.

Estrella said he was able to hide at a nearby room before the armed men barged inside his office where they hogtied Viudez and Defoso.

Initial police reports said that the suspects took cash and jewelries before taking at gunpoint Hizon.

Estrella said that when he managed to hide, he was able to call the town’s police station and informed a duty policeman that armed men have stormed his office and need immediate police assistance.

The former mayor, however, said that a police team arrived an hour after the suspects have fled.

Police said that the incident was a case of robbery hold-up but the former mayor insisted that it is politically motivated because the men were looking for him and they could have taken him instead of his security aide if he was not able to hide.

"I am their target because recall petition was already been filed against the incumbent mayor because of lost of confidence, worsening peace and order condition and abuse of authority," Estrella said.

Before the incident at Crystal Lodge, Sonia Estrella, wife of the former-mayor, filed a recall petition at the local Comelec's office Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado instructed Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina to speed up their investigation and double their efforts to locate and save Hizon.

He also told Divina to investigate the slow response of the Baliwag police even if they were already informed of a serious situation that requires immediate police assistance. (PNA) 
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PRO-3 requires personnel manning checkpoints to wear reflectorized straps/vests

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, May 27 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) has required police personnel manning checkpoints to wear reflectorized straps/vests.

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, PRO regional director, issued the order so as to avoid similar vehicular accident that killed Police Officer 1 Mark Stewart Martinez.

Martinez, 28, a member of Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB3), was overran by a dumptruck along Quirino highway in Barangay Maharlika, City of San Jose Del Monte, over the weekend.

The victim was crossing the highway when he was overran by Hyundia dump truck (UQY-774) being driven by Reany Acob, 33, a resident of Barangay Sta. Lucia, Angat, Bulacan.

The victim was taken to Sapang Palay Medical District hospital but expired while undergoing medical treatment.

The driver of the dump truck was arrested by San Jose Del Monte Police Station.

Senior Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan, deputy regional director for operations, said Martinez was performing his duty as sentinel in Anti-Hijacking Control Point when accidentally overran by the speeding dumptruck loaded with coal.

“All PNP personnel manning checkpoints and anti-hijacking checkpoints especially those wearing camouflage uniform shall wear reflectorized straps/vests when on duty on the streets doing nighttime to avoid accidents,” Gaerlan said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan guv urges Central Luzon PNP to step-up drive vs. crime 
By Emil G. Ramos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 27 (PNA) --Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Tuesday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 3 to step up and strengthen its campaign against criminal gangs and lawless elements.

Alvarado, chairman of the Regional Peace Advisory Council (RAC), said it is evident that public security and maintenance of peace and order is one of the vital concerns of society and a booming region like Central Luzon.

He said combating crime and law offenders are both the concerns of the police, military and the local government units (LGUs).

“It is part of our duties to work hard and be aggressive in fulfilling the reform agenda and the fight against criminalities in the region," Alvarado said.

Meanwhile, police regional director Chief Supt. Raul Delfin Pentrasanta lauded Alvarado for the support and cooperation of RAC in the implementation of Integrated Transformation Program-Performance Governance System that aims to make good governance a shared responsibility between the PNP and the stakeholders.

RAC is composed of prominent personalities in Central Luzon with a common goal to further sustain and improve the PNP peace and order agenda with deeper commitment in curbing criminality in the region.

“If we do work toward the realization of this hope and find ways that may transform the way we understand others, we can achieve peace as it is the first necessity of human progress,” the governor said.

Alvarado also cited the efforts of newly installed Bulacan police acting provincial director Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina in increasing police presence as well as improving the quick response of police teams in assisting the public.

“I also told Col. Divina to solve unsolved cases and step up their campaign against criminal gangs and lawless elements,” the governor told members of the local press here. (PNA) 
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Calumpit bridge collapse a 'blessing'

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, May 24 (PNA) -- A regional official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Central Luzon on Saturday described the collapse of the Calumpit bridge Friday noon along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Gatbuca here where two workers were injured as a “blessing and a favor.”

Engineer Jess Obordo of DPWH-Region 3 said in a live radio interview wit broadcaster Rommel Ramos that the collapse of the mid-section of the old Calumpit bridge is a big favor that will hasten the pace of work.

Obordo explained that the bridge collapsed when they were begging to demolish the old structure to pave the way for the launching of the girder or base support for the new bridge.

“The construction firm is now demolishing the old structure. It just happened that it collapsed, thus saving us many days to hasten the removal of the steel trusts,” he said.

He also said that they already knew that the section of the bridge will soon fall and that workers are already demolishing it when it collapsed Friday noon.

Two workers identified by the police as Jerry David and Robert Baydelbaid sustained injuries and were immediately rescued and brought to the nearby Sta. Cruz hospital for treatment.

"That's why there was a crane operating there when the bridge collapsed because they were demolishing the old structure. The crane operator got scared and jumped, causing him to get a sprain," Obordo said.

Asked if DPWH will give sanction or investigate the construction company, Obordo said "no because the collapse of the bridge is expected."

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, on the other hand, said that the bridge -- like the public -- has also became impatient and decided to fall by itself.

The governor, together with town mayor Jessie de Jesus asked DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson to strictly implement safety measures at the construction site to prevent accidents from happening again.

They also asked DPWH to speed up the pace of construction of the new bridge and the strengthening of the temporary bridge before the onset of the rainy season.

The bridge, which links northern part of Bulacan to Apalit, Pampanga, was scheduled to be finished last April but was delayed after engineers found old structures under the river and has to be bored for its support base. (PNA) 
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Calumpit Bridge collapses, 2 workers hurt 
By Emil G. Gamos

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, May 23 (PNA) -- Two workers were injured when the middle portion of the old Calumpit bridge which is under construction collapsed before Friday noon.

The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Friday while construction was going on at the bridge. Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson recently ordered to expedite works on the bridge due to long delay.

Police identified the injured as Robert Baydelbaid, 30, crane operator and Jerry David, 40, construction worker.

Police said the two victims were working on the middle portion of the bridge when it suddenly collapsed.

They were immediately rescued by the teams from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Calumpit Emergency Rescue Unit and brought to the nearby Sta. Cruz Hospital here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus immediately went to the site and talked with construction engineers and Provincial Engineer Glen Reyes and discussed measures to prevent accidents from happening again.

The two local officials also appealed to the DPWH to fast track the construction before the onset of the rainy season.

“The general welfare and safety of the public and the workers must be given priority consideration. The construction company must strictly implement safety measures to ensure that nobody will get hurt while the construction of the new bridge is being done,” Alvarado said.

The governor also said that Mayor de Jesus has deployed village watchmen in both ends of the bridge to ensure public safety 24 hours a day.

He also said that teams from the municipal government are no longer allowing fishing boats to pass under the bridge while construction is going on.

He also called on the regional office of DPWH to speed the construction of the temporary bridge where thousands of people cross everyday.

“The people can no longer bear the inconvenience caused by its delay. Everyday, thousands of people has to cross the river over a hanging bridge, which is now alarmingly becoming a disaster waiting to happen because its wear and tear has now become imminent. The delay has affected businesses and has already cost too much to the economy of the affected towns,” the governor said.

The bridge links the northern villages of Calumpit and provinces in Central and Northern Luzon to Malolos City and Metro Manila.(PNA) 
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'Brigada Eskwela' rekindles 'Bayanihan' spirit in Bulacan - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 19 (PNA)--The Filipino virtue known as “Bayanihan” was rekindled in school campuses all over the province on Monday morning.

Armed with brooms, mops, water pails and grass cutters, teachers, students and parents were joined by provincial officials community leaders as they trekked back to school campuses in this province as part of the nationwide repair and cleaning of schools known as “Brigada Eskwela.”

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said “Brigada Eskwela” does not only make school campuses spic and span for the school opening but also instill to the students the spirit of “bayanihan” or working together for a good cause.

“A clean school will give students an environment that will enhance their studies as they seek knowledge for better future. It is nice to see that all are helping one another to ensure that schools are clean and safe for students this coming school opening," Alvarado said.

At the same time, the governor said that the concerted effort of students, teachers, parents and community leaders is also very helpful in destroying the habitat of disease carrying mosquitoes and prevent germs that may cause sickness from spreading.

“In spite of the hot weather, it is indeed very inspiring to see our people working together to repair and clean our schools. This is a labor of love for our children and their good future,” he said.

The “Brigada Eskwela” program also brings to young students the values of unified efforts and instilling to them at an early age they have important roles in protecting the environment, he said.

Alvarado also said that providing quality education is among his administration’s seven-point agenda.

He said that at present the province of Bulacan has now zero back log in the construction of classrooms in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

Education officials have earlier hailed Alvarado for consistently supporting the government’s goal of creating more educational facilities and providing quality education for the young people of Bulacan.

Since he assumed post as governor, Alvarado and the provincial government in partnership with DepEd has already built 900 classrooms all over Bulacan.

Meanwhile, the DepEd has issued a list of things people can do to help make schools clean and safe in time for the opening of classes.

These are to coordinate with DepEd division; identify and communicate support that will be provided to schools; secure a copy of school preparedness checklist; signify interest to assist school during preparation for class opening; participate in school preparatory meetings for Brigada Eskwela; attend disaster risk reduction and management orientation; assist in the conduct of risk profiling and support the school preparedness strategies. (PNA) 
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Guv orders new Bulacan PNP OIC to step up war vs. crime - By Emil E. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 17 (PNA)--Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Saturday reiterated his marching order to the new officer-in-charge of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) to increase police presence and intensify its crackdown against criminal elements.

Alvarado also told Senior Supt. Ferdinand O. Divina to review and solve previous cases and prevent crimes from happening.

The governor said that Divina is a hardworking police officer and a competent partner in the maintenance of peace and order in the province.

“The province of Bulacan is now booming. While we, at the provincial government, are creating an environment conducive to business investments, we are also creating an environment not conducive to criminals and other lawless elements. Those lawless elements are not welcome in Bulacan, the only place for them here is behind bars,” Alvarado said.

Divina called Friday his first command conference at the provincial headquarters at Camp Gen. Alejo Santos here.

It was attended by Supt. Rolando Santos, Deputy Provincial Director for Operation (DPDO) and Supt. Jesus Reyes, Deputy Provincial Director for Administration (DPDA).

Also present in the command conference were the Bulacan PPO Command Group, Provincial Staff, Provincial Public Safety Company, PO Support Units and all chiefs of police (COPs) in the different towns and cities of Bulacan.

The COPs from San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) City Supt. Joel Estaris; Malolos City PNP Supt. Donato Bait and Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) Chief Inspector Manuel de Vera presented brief descriptions of their area of responsibility (AOR) crime situation and deployment for crime solution.

Preparations for the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) in May and Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Centennial Celebration were also discussed in the meeting. (PNA) 
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Obando’s fertility dance: Where devotion, festivity 'collide'

MANILA, May 17 (PNA) -- What's the best way to end summer besides swimming, traveling and partying? Join a memorable festival!

The province of Bulacan has long been known for having grand festivities including Sto. Nino Festival, Pulilan Festival, Luyang Dilaw Festival, Plaridel Horse Festival, and so much more.

For the last wave of summer heat, Bulacan is kicking-off its Obando Fertility Festival.

Formerly known as Kasilonawan Festival, the so-called “Sayaw sa Obando” is celebrated annually from May 17 to 19. The celebration is known to make miracles for those longing to have a child, those searching for mates, and farmers who would like to have a good harvest.

To prove its authenticity, Jose Rizal in his novel Noli Me Tangere wrote that Dona Pia Alba (Maria Clara’s mother) was said to have danced in Obando in order to have a child.

Festival, prayerful appeal

The Obando fertility dance is both a festival and a prayerful appeal for devotees.

It is a festival where a number of couples hoping to be blessed by children gathers and performs on the street in a long procession. This old-age tradition to the present day has attracted a lot of tourists from around the world.

Since pre-Spaish times, Obando, Bulacan has hosted this festival which has been part of the tradition even before the Spanish conquest of the Philippines. Before, childless native couples dance in front of idols to request for children. When the Spanish arrived, they persuaded the natives to keep the Fertility Dance, but would dance to images of saints instead of idols.

Nowadays, the celebration is held in honor of San Pascual de Bailon, Sta Clara, and Nuestra Senora Immaculada Conception de Salambao. Prayers are offered to the patron saints for religious virtue, for the childless, and for a bountiful catch for fishermen.

Every year, it is observed that a huge number of childless couples, thankful parents, and grateful fishermen clad in colorful traditional costumes, dancing to the deep, sensual and eccentric affair beat of musical instruments made out of bamboo materials.

This tradition of dancing, along with images of patron saints carried by participants, is done to bring to life the mysterious forces of reproduction.

Evidently effective

Locals claim that the "ritual" is evidently effective, saying that one proof would be the population growth in the province of Bulacan.

Whether true or not, the fertility dance is a timeless tradition that bounds people into prayer of both thanks and pleas. People in the country believe that taking part in the festivity every year is one of the best ways to enjoy life.

With an unrestrained enthusiasm in the celebration, Filipinos show to visitors from different parts of the world that it is “more fun in the Philippines.”

So, if you are really looking for the best way to end your summer, brace yourself for the pure tradition of “Sayawan sa Obando” that the Philippines offers. (PNA) 
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Bulacan officials closely monitoring impact of dry spell as Angat dam water level continues to dip 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 13 (PNA) -- As the water level at Angat dam continues to plunge below its critical level of 180 meters, provincial officials are now closely monitoring farmlands in this city and in the towns of Bocaue and Bulakan where irrigation supply is badly needed to save rice plants not yet ready for harvest.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said teams from the Provincial Agricultural Office are now bringing water pumps to rice lands being hit by the dry spell.

He said that while the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) has assured that it will still release six cubic meters per second of water from Bustos dam for 10 days, the provincial government is also now assessing the impact of the impending “El Nino” weather phenomenon and coming up with mitigation plans.

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, the water level at Angat dam was 179.45 meters which is now way below the critical of 180 meters.

Provincial agriculture officer Gloria Carillo said that there are still less than 5,000 hectares of farmlands planted with palay that have yet to be harvested.

He said that rice lands in the province's first district can still bear the dwindling irrigation supply.

However, she said they are also monitoring the so- called “Habol Tanim” or newly planted rice plants in the towns of Balagtas and Bulakan.

Carillo also said that they are focusing on the impact of the dry spell on land preparation that usually takes place in the last week of May or early days of June.

She said that if the water supply at the dams continues to dry up, at least six hectares of rice fields in the coastal town of Bulakan will be bereft of irrigation supply.

"There will be difficulty in reaching the ricefields there if NIA stopped the releasing of irrigation water," she said.

Last Sunday, the National Power Corporation (Napocor) announced that it cut off its water supply for irrigation for Bulacan and Pampanga to prioritize potable water supply to Metro Manila.

Napocor president Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita said that water supply for Metro Manila remains at 42 cubic meters per second (cms) until May 21.

Sta. Rita said the National Water Resources Board is set to meet to discuss if water supply to Metro Manila will be reduced.

Napocor said that with a rate of reduction of 32 centimeters per day, the water level is expected to reach 170 meter above sea level (masl) after 29 days.

Though rains are expected to come by then as per forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Angat dam can still supply water to Metro Manila even if it reaches 170 masl level.

Napocor has reiterated its call to the public to conserve and use water wisely.

It was in year 2010 when the lowest water level was recorded at Angat Dam at 157 masl, way below the dam’s minimum operating level of 160 masl for water supply.

Sta. Rita also reiterated the Bureau of Soils and Water Management’s statement that cloud seeding operations at Angat dam and the watershed area will commence once the clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is secured.

Meanwhile, the cultural minonity group known as "Dumagat" tribe performed on Tuesday the traditional "subkal" to ask their god “Makedepat” for rains.

The Dumagat tribe, which lives within the Angat watershed, are the first ones that will be affected should the dam level continue to decrease because it is one of their major sources of livelihood. (PNA) 
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Bulacan steps up measures to get rid of rice black bugs

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 9 (PNA) -- The provincial government, through the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), is stepping up efforts to control the infestation of rice black bugs (RRB) which have been sighted in four municipalities in the province.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said that the PAO headed by Gloria Carrillo is strictly monitoring the reported sightings of the pest in the towns of San Miguel, San Ildefonso, San Rafael and Baliwag.

"Our farmers should not get worry with the RRB sightings as the provincial government is doing all possible ways to control and get rid of the pest in our crops, particularly in palay, which is the major source of income of the Bulakenyos," Alvarado said.

Carillo said that although the RBB situation in the province has not yet reached the distressing stage, their office is implementing some precautionary measures to prevent possible infestation.

"We do massive information campaign. We included the topic about RBB in the Integrated Pest Management Seminar for our farmers and agricultural workers for them to gain knowledge on how to control pest," she said.

According to the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PhilRice) Crop Protection Division, the RBB, which was reported to have infested some countries in Asia in the past years, are small, cryptic and highly invasive pest species attacking all growth stages of the rice plant, but which can be controlled naturally.

Carillo said that one of the PhilRice's recommended technique is to use light traps.

PhilRice experts said that light trapping of insects should start five days before and after the full moon and to use 2000-3000 watts or super light during outbreaks and set them up every night to obtain the most number of bugs.

The effective light trapping is from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m.

Carillo said that flooding, herding of ducks in the field, and sanitation also prevent pest infestation.

Aside from those techniques, she said PhilRice experts are also encouraging farmers to minimize the use of insecticide so as not to kill the natural enemies of RBB which include wasps; ground and coccinellid beetle; wolf, lynx, and long-jawed spider; red ant; and damsel bug.

"Weeding to destroy the habitat of RBB can also help exterminate the said pest," she added. (PNA) 
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25 hurt as bus falls into ravine in Aurora 
By Marilyn E. Galang

CAMP RAVINA, Aurora, May 9 (PNA) -– Twenty-five passengers, four of whom youngsters and an elderly couple, escaped death aboard a bus that fell off into a ravine in Maria Aurora town Thursday morning.

Senior Superintendent Elmer Bantug, provincial police director, said the passengers were on board a Papin bus liner with license plate CWC-847 cruising along the road in Sitio Dimutol, Barangay Dianawan, Maria Aurora at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday when its driver Celestino Marzan lost control of the steering wheel.

The bus, which was bound for Cabanatuan City, then skidded and fell into a 15-feet deep ravine.

Senior Inspector Victor Morales, Maria Aurora police chief, identified those injured as conductor Charito Pajela, 29; Linda Gutierrez, 53, of Dianawan, Maria Aurora; Francisco Josue, 40, of Alicia, Isabela; Reynaldo Apilado Jr., 37, of Florida, Maria Aurora; Joanne Tangonan, 34, of Barangay 1, Maria Aurora; Leonida Valdez, 37, and children Joyce Valdez, 10, and Lloyd Valdez, 7 and Daisy Baldove, 28, all of Ditale, Dipaculao, Aurora; Rodelio Abero, Pacita Romero, 59 and Kim Cedric Romero, 9, of Mejares, Dipaculao; Rodrigo Dagdag, 57 and wife Martina Dagdag, 56, both of Buenavista, Dipaculao;

Amelita Ordonia, 45, of Ipil, Dipaculao; Donalyn Licad, 40, and daughter April Krizzia Licad, 13, both of Dipaculao, Aurora; Noriel Briones, 22, of Sapang Kawayan, Dipaculao, Aurora; Marivel Montanez, 47, and Rodgievel Montanez, 18, both of Mucdol, Dipaculao; Erwin Suarez, 28, of Ligaya, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija; Arcadio Mendoza, 58, Coral na Bato, Bulacan, Bulacan; Arceli Ramirez, 71, of Dimanpudso, Maria Aurora, and MJ dela Cruz.

The injured passengers were brought to the Aurora Memorial Hospital in Barangay Reserva and to the Premiere General Hospital for treatment.

PO3 Jaquel Sigua, duty investigator of the Maria Aurora police, said before the accident, the passengers heard something snapped and the driver tried to apply the brakes to no avail and the bus dived into the cliff.

Sigua said the area where the accident happened is not considered accident-prone.

“In fact, it was the first time such accident happened there,” he said.

Marzan has been detained at the Maria Aurora police stockade. (PNA) 
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Interpol lauds PHL police for busting int'l cyber extort group

MANILA, May 3 (PNA) -- The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has lauded the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its recent busting of an international syndicate engaged in cyber extortion.

This was revealed by Chief Supt. Rueben Theodore Sindac, PNP public information office chief, in a statement Saturday.

This came in wake of the PNP's arrest of 58 "sextortion" suspects and confiscation of 250 pieces of electronic evidence in simultaneous raids in Bicol Region, Laguna, Bulacan and in Taguig City on April 30.

The Interpol acknowledged the Philippine National Police and its Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) for the success of Operation “Strikeback”.

Following the Interpol Case Operational Plan (COPlan) “Strikeback”, a campaign against the prevalence of sex extortion activities in the Philippines, the PNP led the said multi-agency operation against sex extortion which was joined by representatives from Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, Department of Justice, Police Scotland, Interpol, Hong Kong Police, Singapore Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigation, Child Exploitation Online Protection and Australian Federal Police.

“I would like to thank them (PNP and ACG) for their professionalism and dedication, and without whose cooperation and efforts we would not be here today and this Operation would not have been successful,” Interpol Director Sanjay Virmani said.

“It is also important to highlight that while the arrests made this week were made here in the Philippines, these crimes are not limited to any one country and nor are the victims," he added.

Virmani also encouraged international cooperation in investigating "sextortion" as this is massive and run with just one goal in mind -- to make money regardless of the terrible emotional damage they inflict on their victims. He also assure that Operation “Strikeback” shows that no matter where criminals carry out their crimes or try to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, law enforcement is equally determined in their efforts to track them down and bring them to justice. (PNA) 
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PNP bags 58 'sextortion' suspects in series of raids, 250 electronic gadgets seized

MANILA, May 2 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) on Friday announced that its operatives have arrested 58 "sextortion" suspects and confiscated 250 electronic gadgets during a series of raids in Bicol, Laguna, Bulacan and Taguig last April 29.

PNP ACG commander Senior Supt. Gilbert Sosa, in a statement forwarded to the Philippines News Agency Friday, said the operation is dubbed "Strike Back".

He said they were aided in the series of raids by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, Department of Justice, Scotland police, Hong Kong police, Singapore police, US Homeland Security Investigation, Child Exploitation Online Protection and the Australian federal police.

The operation stemmed from the 1st Interpol Eurasion Working Group Meeting in Singapore in November 2013 that highlights the growing number of sextortion victims in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States with potential victims in Australia, Korea and Malaysia.

The meeting resulted in the formulation of a joint investigation model to combat the increasing sextortion cases worldwide. This was followed by intelligence sharing between cybercrime departments of Hong Kong, Singapore, Scotland UK, Australia, Philippines and others through Interpol that linked victims and cybercrime cases among these countries.

Hence, a 2nd Operational Meeting in Singapore was held on March by the Interpol Digital Crime Centre, also participated by payment systems and judicial representatives.

The joint operation was divided into three groups, the Bicol Group led by Senior Supt. Elmo Francis Sarona, Laguna and Taguig Group led by Senior Supt. Bernardo Yang and Bulacan Group led by Senior Supt. Arnold Gunnacao.

The three groups were augmented by the Police Regional Police 5, Regional Public Safety Battalion 3, and San Jose Del Monte Bulacan Police Station.

A Tactical Operations Center was also established in the main office of PNP ACG to receive reports from the ground during the implementation of search warrants and serve as the focal coordinating office for all 15 teams that were strategically deployed with Sosa as the overall officer-in-charge.

There are four target establishments in Bicol region particularly in Naga City, Libmanan and Nabua in Camarines Sur, and in Legazpi City. The Money Maker Portal Solutions, Money Magnet Portal Web Solutions, Money Builder Marketing Web Solutions, and Mocha Bytes Web Solutions are located in the places mentioned earlier are linked together validated during actual surveillance.

On the other hand, Laguna and Taguig Group successfully arrested Vincent Regori Bravo, Jomar Palacio alias Park Jiman and Gian Tolin. These suspects are responsible for financial sextortion of victims mostly from UK.

Bravo was arrested in Binan, Laguna at around 1:30 am while Tolin was arrested at around 5:00 am of April 30, 2014 with Palacio who was then sleeping in his place at Barangay Hagonoy, Taguig City.

Bulacan Group arrested employees of Alfredo Gacasa Jr. of Barangay Muzon, San Jose Del Monte Bulacan at 4:00 a.m. on May 1. They are Aldrin E. Villamonte, Jemuel C. Matuguina and Emuross O. Dela Cruz.

Seized from the joint operation were assorted mobile phones, identification cards, assorted documents, laptops, network and storage devices, assorted SIM cards, assorted credit and ATM cards, pornographic materials, cameras, CCTV equipment, live ammunition, tablets, telephone sets, desktop computers, assorted cards believed to be used in their illegal activities.

These pieces of digital evidence will be analyzed by the forensic team of PNP ACG with the help of experts from involved countries to identify any additional victims and for follow-up investigations.

Sextortion is defined as sexual blackmail to a person to whom sexual information or images are extracted through social media, mobile phones or other online services. These images or information are then used to extort sexual favors or money from the victim with the threat of sharing these to others if not favored.

Operating in this kind of online scheme or “sex extortion” by agents as they call themselves, is making money ranging from 22,000 to 90,000 pesos per successful client. They also get bonus incentives during holidays, cash or mobile phones for reaching financial targets.

Suspects arrested in Laguna and Taguig City were charged for Violation of Access Devices Regulation Act (RA 8484) and Anti-Child Pornography Act. Suspects in Bulacan were charged for Violation of RA 8484 and Robbery/Extortion. For those arrested in Bicol, charges are being readied for Violation of RA 8484 and Violation of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, particularly for cybersex.

Operation “Strike Back” provided the opportunity for information-sharing and continuous collaboration, cooperation and coordination among our international and local partners in cracking down cybercrimes around the world. (PNA) 
LAM/PFN

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P1-M worth of 'shabu' seized, 16 persons nabbed in Bulacan dope raids

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, April 30 (PNA) -- Government anti-narcotics operatives arrested Tuesday 16 persons and seized methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" estimated to be worth more than P1 million during a series of raids in Northville, Barangay Bayugo here.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, Bulacan police director, said joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Regional Intelligence Division of PNP Regional 3, Provincial Public Safety Company and the Meycauayan City Police Station swooped down on five houses in the said village where illegal drug sessions and trade were being held.

Orduna said the raiding team was armed with a search warrant issued by Olongapo City RTC Branch 72 Judge Richard Paradeza.

He said that at least 16 persons engaged in pot sessions and illegal drug trade were arrested.

The team also seized plastic sachets containing shabu and drug paraphernalia.

Meycauayan City police chief Supt. David N. Poklay said that based on intelligence information, the said houses were being used as dope dens and suspicious persons were frequenting the area.

The arrested suspects are now in police custody while appropriate charges are being readied against them.

Earlier, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado gave a marching order to the Bulacan police to step-up their operations against drug dealers and criminal gangs.

He said that there is no place in Bulacan for lawless elements except in jail. (PNA) 
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(Update)31 persons dead, 123 hurt during Holy Week observance -NDRRMC

MANILA, April 21 (PNA) -- The death toll during the Holy Week rose to 31 due to various incidents, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday.

In its update, NDRRMC said of the 31 fatalities, 16 were due to drowning, 13 from vehicular accident, one from gunshot wounds due to shooting incident and one by fire incident.

NDRRMC also said that 123 were injured from Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 5,10and CAR.

NDRRMC said that as of Monday, a total of 50 incidents were monitored in Regions I (Ilocos), II (Cagayan Valley), III (Central Luzon), IV-A (Calabarzon), IV-B (Mimaropa), V Bicol), VIII (Eastern Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao), National Capital Region (NCR), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The incidents involved the following:

19 vehicular accidents (1 in Santiago, Ilocos Sur; 1 in Bani, Pangasinan; 1 in Sto. Tomas, La Union; 1 Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; 1 in Pulilan, Bulacan; 2 in Bocaue, Bulacan; 1 in Plaridel, Bulacan; 1 in Nasugbu, Batangas; 1 in Mexico, Pampanga; 2 in Sariaya, Quezon; 1 in Maragondon, Cavite; 1 in Bacoor, Cavite, 1 in Libmanan, Camarines Sur; 2 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental; 1 in Pinukpuk, Kalinga and 1 in Baguio City.

•1 Maritime Incident in Odiongan, Romblon

•2 Hazardous Materials Incidents in Nasugbu, Batangas and Catbalogan City

•7 Fire Incidents (1 in Tumauini, Isabela, 1 in Bauan, Batangas, 1 in Binangonan, Rizal, 1 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, 1 Pantar, Lanao del Norte, 1 in Tatalon, Quezon City and 1 in Grace Park, Caloocan City)

•16 Near Drowning and Drowning Incidents (1 in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, 1 Aglipay, Quirino, 1 in Cabagan, Isabela, 1 in Echague, Isabela, 1 in Cauayan City, Isabela, 2 in Ballesteros, Cagayan, 1 in Maragondon, Cavite, 1 in Sariaya, Quezon, 1 in Infanta, Quezon, 1 in Ternate, Cavite, 1 in Nasugbu, Batangas, 1 in Real, Quezon, 2 in Tabuk City, Kalinga Province and 1 Pinukpuk, Kalinga)

•2 Flooding Incidents (1 Tagum City, Daval del Norte and 1 in Carmen, Davao del Norte)

•1 Shooting Incident in Nagtipunan, Quirino Province

•2 Vehicle Fire Incidents in Atimonan, Quezon and San Jose, Batangas. (PNA) 
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Divine Mercy Shrine a place for prayer, inner peace and healing (Feature) 
By Aerol B. Patena

MARILAO, BULACAN, April 18 (PNA) -- Groups of pilgrims have flocked to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Santa Rosa I, Marilao, Bulacan because they believe it is a place for prayer, healing and inner peace.

The pilgrimage site draws a regular attendance of around 5,000 churchgoers which usually peaks during the Holy Week.

As early as the evening of Holy Wednesday, people from all walks of life coming from nearby towns of Meycauyan, Bocaue, Santa Maria, to name a few, visit the church to pray and spend time with their families as well.

Young devotees in groups prefer to walk while the elderly ride on their bicycles and motorbikes on their way to the shrine.

The devotees bring along food and water to help sustain themselves amidst the scorching heat of the sun.

Foreigners were also taking pictures and videos of the religious icons at the shrine.

One of the most popular attractions to visit in the shrine is the Guadalupe Chapel at the church basement where the picture of Our Lady is enthroned with its flowing water that many pilgrims consider healing.

Mrs. Manalo, a longtime devotee of the Divine Mercy, shared that her son used to suffer from an acute viral infection which affected his speech, mobility and cognitive skills.

"My son was suffering of an acute viral infection which affected his speech and mobility. Thus, I really prayed hard to God that He give me a sign which would give me courage that my son will be able to recover," Mrs. Manalo said in an interview.

Eventually, she accompanied her son to visit the shrine to pray for his full recovery and that was on a Good Friday seven years ago.

"Several months after, doctors have noted a remarkable improvement on his condition. Up to this very moment, he continues to recover ," according to her.

"From then on, my family and I made a personal vow to visit the shrine as often as we could without missing a Good Friday," she added.

Meanwhile, among the shrine's other features include a model of Calvary with life-sized statues from the Stations of the Cross at the back of the church, a Little Poland museum which features a replica of the house and basement where Pope John Paul II lived, a chapel where the vision of the Divine Mercy appeared to Sister Faustina Kowalska and the prison cell where St. Maximilian Kolbe was martyred.

It was elevated to the status of National Shrine by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on November 30, 2002.

As pilgrims made their way home, they never miss to buy native delicacies such as bibingka, suman, puto, cuchinta, among others, where Marilao is noted especially for foreigners. (PNA) 
FPV/ABP

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5 die, 7 seriously injured when passenger but hits cargo truck

LEGAZPI CITY, April 16 (PNA) -- Five passengers died while seven others were seriously injured when a bus hit a parked truck loaded with scrap materials along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Bikal, Libmanan, Camarines Sur, on early Wednesday morning.

A police report identified the casualties who did not reach the Libmanan District Hospital alive as Alexander Belen, of Bacacay, Albay; Jayson Purita, 23, single, of San Miguel Island, Tabacao City; Cindy Garcia, 17, single, of Concepcion, Marikina City; and Arneli Dacullo, and his son, Mark Kiven, 2 , residents of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

Being treated at the hospital were Jeric Buelia of Bacacay, Albay; Pamela Brozo, 33, of Ifugao Province; Dennis Brozo, 37, of Mandaluyong City; Pablo Dacullo, of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; Alicia Frimesta, 51, of Concepcion, Marikina City; Vicente Magdaraog, 55, of Barangay Calzada, Taguig City; and Michael Ochoa of Caloocan City.

The report said the accident happened at about 4:00 a.m. while the Bragais Liner bus driven by Joey Bermas, 42, of Tabaco City, was negotiating the highway when it rammed the rear part of the parked mechanically troubled cargo truck owned by Pacific Royal Basic Foods Inc. of Pasong Tamo, Makati City, and loaded with scrap metals.

The passenger bus was on its way to Tabaco City from Metro Manila where it left Tuesday night, carrying the victims who would take their vacation with their relatives in Albay.

Residents of the place and authorities rushed the victims to the hospital.

On investigation, police concluded that the passenger bus might have been speeding and did not see the parked cargo truck which it hit, damaging the bus' front part.

Authorities are now holding the bus driver who faces a case for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries. (PNA) 
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Thousands join Bulacan’s 'March for Faith, Walk for Jesus'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 12 (PNA) -- Thousands of Bulakenyos on Saturday woke up early and joined the early morning “March for Faith, Walk for Jesus”, a unified prayer rally for the blessing and protection of the province and its leaders.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and provincial capitol employees joined various religious groups in the “prayer walk” that started at 5:30 a.m. from the activity center of Bulacan State University to the provincial capitol gymnasium.

“We are always praying and we will keep on doing it to ask the guidance, the blessings and the protection of the Lord. And since the Lenten season is now in our midst, I am thankful that many woke up early and joined us in this prayer rally,” Alvarado said.

"Although we belong to different religions and have different beliefs, we are unified in one goal and faith in God that He will guide and protect us from any dangers," he also said.

The governor said that placing faith in Jesus Christ have the benefits of being at peace with God and that the people can surpass everything, including trials and problems.

Bishop Rufino “Bernie” Malitao IV, national chairman of the March for Jesus movement, said that the “prayer walk” which was also dubbed as “Sama-samang Pananalangin at Pag-aayuno para sa lalawigan ng Bulacan” is already a part of history of Malolos City.

“Today, this historic city witnessed the love and strong faith in God of the people of Bulacan. It is high time to have unity among Bulakenyos and this is a good start for continuous development of the province and the strengthening of the faith of the Bulakenyos," Malitao said.

Different religious leaders also offered prayers for the success of the seven-point development agenda, namely health, education, nature and environment, good governance, peace and order, livelihood, history and culture of the administration of Alvarado.

The different religious leaders -- Rev. Cesar Sacdalan (Alliance for Values Formation in Bulacan); Rev. Joel O. Lombos (Cadence-Bulacan); Pastor Oscar Luarca (Unida Evangelical Church), Fr. Gino Hererra (Roman Catholic Church); Bishop Ephraim Perez (Inter-Faith Bulacan); Rev. Fr. Reynaldo Tallara (Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Aglipayan Church) and Bishop Ted Malangen (Jesus Christ the Deliverer) -- also administered a pray over on Alvarado and the people of Bulacan.

Some 5,000 people joined the early morning “prayer walk,” according to a police officer who also participated the event. (PNA) 
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Bulacan has new provincial police chief

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, April 11 (PNA) -- Senior Superintendent Bartolome Bustamante on Friday was installed as officer-in-charge of Bulacan Police Provincial Office, replacing Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna.

Senior Superintendent Agripino Javier, chief of the Directorial Staff (CDS), officiated the simple turnover ceremony held in this camp.

Bustamante said his first order to his chiefs of police in Bulacan is to intensify the campaign against motorcycle riding criminals.

He also ordered the deployment of more policemen to areas where crime incidents, particularly robbery/holdups occurred.

“I also directed all my chiefs of police to personally visit areas prone to crime incidents so they can supervise his personnel,” Bustamante said.

He said he will also activate the radio communications because it is a faster mode of communication than cellular phone.

He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class ’89.

Prior to his new assignment, Bustamante was the chief of the Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

He said that this is the first time that he will be assigned in Central Luzon.

Orduna served more than a year as provincial director of Bulacan police.

He was relieved from his post following the reported increase in the number of crimes perpetrated by motorcycle riding criminals.

He will be assigned at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. (PNA) 
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Chief of staff of Bulacan senior board member slain

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 10 (PNA)--The chief of staff of the province senior board member was killed on Thursday by two unidentified gunmen along the MacArthur highway near the gate of NorthFields Subdivision in Barangay Longos here.

Police identified the victim as Edwin Inocencio, 40, resident of Barangay San Sebastian, Hagonoy and chief of staff of board member Michael Fermin of the province’s first congressional district.

Initial investigation showed that Inocencio was driving their service van on his way to the house of the provincial legislator at the said subdivision when his path was blocked by two men on board a motorcycle near the subdivision gate.

Witnesses said that the suspects who were both wearing helmets drew short firearms and opened fire on the victim.

The burst of gunfire killed Inocencio on the spot, whom police said sustained seven gunshot wounds in the head and different parts of his body.

A witness told police investigators that one of the suspects even approached the already lifeless body of the suspect and again shot him.

Fermin told local newsmen that the killing could be politically motivated.

The board member said he could be the target because in the last few days he and his aides have been receiving threats through text messages from unknown senders.

It was learned that Inocencio has been serving Fermin since 2010.

Meanwhile, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado condemned the killing and ordered the Bulacan Police Provincial Office to track down the suspects.

He also told Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna to leave no stone unturned until the suspects are arrested to shed light on the motive behind the killing.

Alvarado also instructed Orduna to increase police presence along major highways and places of convergence to thwart or deter criminals from doing their nefarious activities.

Orduna said police are still investigating the incident while a special team is now tracking down possible suspects. (PNA) 
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2 alleged gun-for-hire gangmen killed in Bulacan shootout

SAN MIGUEL Bulacan, April 7 (PNA) -- Joint operatives of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office killed two alleged members of a gun-for-hire gang in a running gunfight in Barangay Tibagan here over the weekend.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said the two suspected gangmen were being pursued by police intelligence operatives when one of them opened fire at the pursuing lawmen.

The two, who remain unidentified, died on the spot.

No casualty was reported on the government side, the report said.

Police recovered one cal. 45 pistol, one cal.38 pistol, several rounds of ammunition and one hand grenade from the slain suspects.

Orduna said that the two were riding-in-tandem and believed to be on a liquidation mission when they were spotted by the joint intelligence operatives who were then conducting surveillance operations.

The encounter took place late Saturday night three days after Governor Wilhelmino M Sy-Alvarado gave a marching order to the Bulacan police to intensify their campaign against criminals and other lawless element

Orduna said the San Miguel police headed by Supt Fitz Macariola are still conducting investigation. (PNA) 
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Bulacan declares 'all-out war' against crime groups, lawless elements

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 6 (PNA) -- The provincial government, together with the provincial police force and other law enforcement units, has declared an "all-out war" against criminal groups and lawless elements in this province.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the move is aimed at deterring crime groups from operating in the province, which is now experiencing growth and economic boom.

“Use all police units and logistics in preventing crime and in ensuring public safety in the booming province of Bulacan,” Alvarado told provincial police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna as he issued a marching order to step up the campaign against crime prevention and strengthen police capabilities in the maintenance of peace and order.

Sitting as chairman of the provincial peace and order council, the governor said that “we must implement all resources in our disposal to ensure public safety and send a strong message to criminals and lawless elements that they are not welcome here and have no place in Bulacan except in jail.”

Alvarado said the provincial government has declared an “all-out war against criminals and lawless elements” who, he said, are going to Bulacan due to the rapid growth now being felt in the province.

He also said that “much as the local government units are doing their share in creating an environment conducive for businesses to attract investors to come and create employment, we are also working -- together with the provincial police, other law enforcement units and the Philippine Army -- in creating an environment not conducive for criminals.”

The governor said he convened the provincial peace and order council in the wake of reports over the series of crimes in recent weeks in several towns of Bulacan.

Alvarado also bared that he has issued an executive order requiring all commercial establishments, especially banks and money exchange providers, to put up closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside and outside their areas and immediately allow police to have access on them in order for the law enforcers to gain leads in case of robberies or any other criminal activities.

The governor said he has also urged the Sangguniang Panglalawigan to certify as urgent the executive order and strengthen it with a penal clause for those who will not comply.

He said he will summon bank executives and their security officers this coming week to tackle measures in further beefing-up the campaign against criminals and crime prevention interventions.

“We will not allow criminals to make our province their haven. They are not welcome here and they will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.

Alvarado also called on all local and village executives and every citizen as well to join him in this crusade and help in making Bulacan an ideal place for investors and a safe place for all.

He also instructed Orduna to upgrade all communications equipment and mobile vehicles so that they can swiftly respond at any given time.

Orduna, for his part, said that the Bulacan Provincial Police Office has already beefed up its communications equipment and upgraded their radio networks.

“We have installed tracking systems in our police vehicles so that we will know where to locate the nearest mobile units and create a dragnet when there is a crime being committed,” he said. (PNA) 
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NOLCOM declares Bulacan “peaceful and ready for development”

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 5 (PNA)--The Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has declared Bulacan as a peaceful and progressive province that is ready for more growth and development.

In validating this declaration, NOLCOM awarded a plaque of recognition to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado during its 27th founding anniversary held Tuesday at Camp Servillano A. Aquino, San Miguel, Tarlac City.

Alvarado was recognized for his active cooperation to the NoLCom’s Internal Peace and Security Operations that gives security to the Philippines, particularly the Central Luzon region.

The governor said that the province is always ready to help and cooperate in the projects of the AFP to protect and secure the Filipinos.

"The province of Bulacan is always ready to help the projects and goals of our military and police forces especially if the security and peace of our nation is concerned," Alvarado said.

The governor thanked NOLCOM and the Philippine National Police for their internal security measures that is keeping Bulacan a peaceful province and a magnet for investors and other business prospects.

He said that a peaceful environment is needed to further spur economic growth and stability in the province.

NoLCom Chief Lt. Gen. Gregorio Catapang said he is thankful for the cooperation of the local government units (LGUs) to accomplish their goals in securing the people against criminals, terrorism and even during disasters and calamities.

“The end of war against terrorists does not rest on military alone but to the concerted efforts from the local government units, different private sectors down to the grassroots level of society,” Catapang said. (PNA)
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Two big malls in Bulacan switch-off lights for 'Earth Hour'

MARILAO, Bulacan, Mar 30 (PNA)--It's light out and what a sight to behold for the sake of the world.

Two of the province's leading supermalls, SM City Marilao and SM City Baliwag, simultaneously switched off lights as they joined the world in celebrating the annual "Earth Hour" Saturday night.

SM City Marilao mall manager Bernadette Velasco said that “Earth Hour” at SM City Marilao and SM City Baliwag was even bigger as the two Bulacan malls solidified their commitment to protect and save the environment by switching to LED (Light-Emitting-Diodes) lighting.

Citing the significant energy-saving and awareness-raising benefits of using the lighting alternative, celebrations at both malls were highlighted by light shows of LED brilliance with literally millions of color combinations.

“ 'Earth Hour' is an opportunity to show how our imagination can inspire and engage our shoppers in saving the environment," Velasco said.

“Today, we would like to promote energy-saving alternatives” she said.

The activity was highlighted by the glow in the dark TRON dance or better known as “ElecTRONica” dance movement inspired this year’s theme "Use Your Power".

Performers reinforced the statement of "Be a Superhero for the Planet" by the precisely timed sequences and carefully coordinated LED-luminescent light suit choreography.

Because each of the performers donned custom-designed LED outfits that can be controlled remotely, dancers can immediately appear and disappear in a pitch-black stage providing a super-hero and futuristic-stop motion component as well as amazing visual impact.

Following the TRON dance performance in SM City Marilao, over 300 LED balloons were likewise given to guests and participants during the blackout.

At exactly 8:30 pm, both malls simultaneously switched off the buildings’ logo including external signages, bill boards and lampposts.

Preceded by the 10-second countdown, stores and car park lights were set at the minimum level to conserve energy while ensuring the safety of mall customers.

As soon as the lights were off, a dramatic lighting of LED candles followed at SM City Marilao.

Local government units, guests as well as SM executives turned up the candles forming the symbolic 60 minutes to show solidarity with the worldwide campaign of saving the earth.

At SM City Baliwag, LED-powered strobe lights and the 60+ walk of fame adorned the 50-meter stretch of the mall.

With Spiderman as the 2014 Earth Hour ambassador, youngsters dressed as superheroes led the lighting ceremony of the “Walk of Flame”.

Guests also used colorful glowsticks in a festive performance to brighten the mall grounds.

The ceremonial switch off of lights was led by Mayor Carolina Dellosa together with Rotary Club president Jayjay Ponce Gonzales and SM City Baliwag mall manager Andrew Cristobal in SM City Baliwag.

WWF Philippine project development officer Paul Saludar, who shared the advocacy to protect the environment, on the other hand, headed the ceremonial switch off in SM City Marilao.

Beverly Bernardo Cruz, public relations officer of SM City Baliwag, said that “with hundreds of millions of people, each making small commitments to living sustainably, SM City Baliwag and SM City Marilao along with all SM Supermalls hope to inspire as many individuals to use one’s power in making a difference and saving the earth.” (PNA) 
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Bulacan PNP ties with LTO in enforcing traffic safety and campaign vs road offenders

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 28 (PNA) -- The Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) has joined hands with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in a bid to step-up the campaign against traffic violators and riding-in-tandem criminals.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said a one day training seminar on “Land Transportation and Traffic Enforcement Deputation” was conducted Wednesday at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

This was in coordination with the Malolos District Land and Transportation Office headed by Rufino W. Carpio, chief LTO, Malolos District Office and Rolando F Casilan, chief, LTO Bulacan Licensing Center.

Orduna said that the seminar was attended by 71 police personnel coming from different subordinate units of the BPPO.'

“The participants will be subsequently deputized by the Land Transportation Office in the enforcement of traffic laws all throughout the province. The participants were also briefed on how to enforce traffic rules and regulations and encouraged to develop other innovative counter-measures that will intensify police operations against motorcycle-riding criminals,” he said.

Earlier, some 30 policemen underwent crash training on motorcycle riding to beef up police mobile teams in operations against criminals and ensure public safety on the road.

“They were also trained to ride in tandem to counter motorcycle-riding criminals,” Orduna added. (PNA) 
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Hostage taker stabs 4- year old boy on board police car - By Emil G. Gamos

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, March 23 (PNA) -– A four-year old boy was stabbed to death by an alleged “hostage taker” while on board a police car along the Quirino Highway, in Barangay Maharlika here Saturday morning.

The suspect was subsequently shot dead by policemen when the former began stabbing the boy while on board a police patrol car that responded after concerned citizens reported that a man was holding a boy at knifepoint along the Qurino highway.

Police identified the victim as Dennis Sibbaluca Jr., a resident of Barangay Gumaoc here.

The suspect, on the other hand, was identified as Jose Puyo Jr., a native of Camarines Sur.

The boy sustained five stab wounds on different parts of his body and was declared dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.

Police said that earlier the victim’s father noticed something strange on the behavior of the suspect, his niece, who was working as a helper at a towing service.

He then decided to take the suspect home.

When they reached their house in Barangay Maharlika, the two had a heated argument that led to the suspect’s grabbing the boy, poked a double-bladed knife at his neck.

The suspect, who was carrying the boy, then reached Quirino highway and was shouting that he will kill the boy if someone tries to get near him.

It was at this juncture that the responding police team arrived.

The responding lawmen was taken by surprise when the suspect suddenly boarded the patrol car and repeatedly stab the boy prompting policemen to shot him.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said investigators from the Bulacan Police Provincial Office are now investigating the incident. (PNA) 
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Devotees flock as mysterious image of Jesus Christ caught in CCTV at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Marilao

MARILAO, Bulacan, March 18 (PNA) -- A number of devotees has started to increase at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy here days after the image of Jesus Christ was caught in one of the newly-installed closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs).

Parish priest Fr. Prospero “Pros” Tenorio said it still cannot be called a miracle nor an apparition of the Lord Jesus Christ but can be hailed as a blessing and radiant sign of God's never-ending love for mankind.

“I still cannot say if it is a miracle or an apparition of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is for the bishop to decide and after an investigation the final say will be the Vatican,” Tenorio said.

The parish priest said that he was the one who discovered the mysterious image, a radiant white streak of light similar to the image of the Divine Mercy, at around 11 p.m. on March 3.

He said that the first image was caught by one of the CCTV camera at around 9 p.m. where workers were putting a purple curtain at the back of the image of a crucified Jesus Christ—the centerpiece holy icon at the main altar of St. Faustina hall at the Divine Mercy Shrine.

He said that what makes the footage mysterious was when the lights were shut off at around 10:30 p.m., the radiant image still remain and recorded up to 6 a.m. of the following day (March 4).

Tenorio also showed the footage to video expert Clyde Villegas, who admitted that he was also amazed on what he saw.

Villegas said he looked for possible sources of light that could have produced the image but it was pitch dark in the area during that time.

He said that he looked at the back of the altar where a mosiac of tainted colored glass featuring the image of St. Faustina, Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Divine mercy Image of Jesus Crist was located.

“It was already impossible for a light to penetrate the tainted glass at night time and it is definitely impossible if it was also covered by a thick purple curtain, the image is really a mystery,” he said.

When asked what the mysterious image meant to the Catholic faithful, Tenorio said that it could be that the Lord is sending as a message of love and hope as well as calling the people to repent and get closer to God.

Since then, he said the number of pilgrims has gone up from the regular 3,000 attending the Holy Mass every Sunday to more at least 5,000.

Upon learning of the incident, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that this may be a sign –“a radiance of God’s love and mercy.”

The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy is one of the crowd-drawing sites during the observance of Holy Week where thousands of devotees flock to fulfill their Lenten vows.

The other popular Lenten sites are the Catholic Chapel in Barangay Kapitangan in the coastal town of Paombong where hundreds of bare back penitents and faith healers perform bloody rites by getting crucified at a wooden cross at a man-made Golgotha and the Grotto Shrine in San Jose Del Monte City where giant images of the Station of the Cross continues to draw big crowds during Holy Week. (PNA) 
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Mother who stabbed dead then burned her four children in Bulacan to undergo psycho test

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, March 17 (PNA)—-Police authorities on Monday said they will recommend psychological test to the 32- year old mother who stabbed dead then burned alive her four children at their rented apartment in Barangay Iba here Sunday morning.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the suspect as Marie Durlucio, a resident of said village.

The fatalities were identified as nine- year old Karyl Franz, Seth Benedict, 7; Zane, 3; and York Joshua, 1.

Their charred bodies were found on the second floor inside their rented apartment.

Orduna said that the suspect later admitted to police investigators that she stabbed each of their children , locked them inside the room at second floor and set them ablaze.

Orduna said at first, even arson investigators thought the four children were just victims of a fire that razed the second floor of the apartment but were shocked when the suspect openly admitted to the police that she killed her children and then burned them because of her husband, whom she claimed has neglected them.

“No one in his right mind, especially a mother at that, will kill her children just like that. We will recommend that she underwent psychological test,” he said.

When asked by journalists, she said she had no regrets for what she done and blamed her husband for committing mistakes against them.

Charges of multiple parricide will be filed against Durlucio, Orduna said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan receives another Agri-Pinoy achievers' award

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 15 (PNA) -- This province, through the initiatives and programs of the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, has again reaped the "fruit of the good seeds" it has sown in the field of agriculture.

This after Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala presented the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers' Award to the province of Bulacan which was adjudged as one of the top 12 rice producing provinces in the country.

Alvarado received the award during the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ awarding ceremony held Friday at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City.

This is the second consecutive time that the province was conferred the award.

"I am so happy that the programs that we implemented for the development and progress of our province, especially in the field of agriculture, was again recognized," the governor said.

Bulacan, together with Nueva Ecija, North Cotabato, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Bukidnon, Kalinga, Mindoro Occidental, Laguna and Lanao del Norte emerged as the outstanding provinces in the country with bountiful rice harvests and good farming programs.

In addition, the town of San Rafael was also hailed as one of the outstanding municipalities while Provincial Agriculture Officer Ma. Gloria Carrillo and Provincial Agriculture Office Staff Cynthia Nunez also bagged the agricultural extension workers (AEWs) category award.

Alvarado said that 19 Bulakenyo agriculturists from San Ildefonso, Bustos and San Rafael also got recognitions in the agricultural extension workers category.

Aside from trophies, Bulacan province received P4 million worth of agricultural project grants; San Rafael town got P1 million worth of project grants; and the AEWs also received cash incentive worth P20,000 each.

Alvarado said that the award only shows that Bulakenyo farmers are at par with other farmers here and abroad when it comes to high yield production of rice.

The Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Award is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture to identify the top 10 rice producing communities in the country.

The competition is divided into three categories - Local Government Units (LGUs), Agricultural Extension Workers and Irrigators Associations for the regional level and national level.

Alcala said the awardees contributed 97 percent of the rice production for 2013. (PNA) 
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DPWH chief orders 24/7 work at Calumpit Bridge

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, March 13 (PNA) -- Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson has ordered the DPWH regional office in Central Luzon to speed up the construction of the new Calumpit Bridge along the Macarthur Highway in Barangay Gatbuca here and see to it that the contractor do a 24/7 non-stop work in order to make-up for the long delay.

Singson issued the instruction after Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Rep. Ma Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado and Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus called his attention on the snail paced work being done on the bridge which is scheduled to be completed in April this year.

Singson also instructed the strengthening and improving of the temporary hanging bridge which, the governor said, has already become a “daily punishment” to the thousands of people, especially students and workers, who have to cross the river while the new bridge is being constructed.

Alvarado said the DPWH Secretary, the owner of the construction firm and the DPWH regional officials called his office upon learning of the status of the bridge.

“The Secretary understand the plight of the thousands of people and has ordered the construction firm as well as the regional office of DPWH to speed up the construction and make sure that it will be completed before the onset of the rainy season,” Alvarado said.

The governor told Singson that the people of Calumpit and nearby areas are getting angry because of the daily ordeal they have to bear due to the delay of the completion of the bridge.

“The people can no longer bear the inconvenience caused by its delay. Everyday, thousands of people has to cross the river over an hanging bridge, which is now alarmingly because its wear and tear has now become imminent. The delay has also affected businesses and has already cost too much to the economy of the affected towns,” the governor said.

The bridge links the northern villages of Calumpit and Northern Luzon to Malolos City and Metro Manila.

He also said the construction firm encountered a problem when they found out that there was a concrete structure under the river.

“There was an old bridge that the Japanese Imperial Army destroyed to thwart the reinforcement of US and Filipino soldiers during World War II. The construction firm has to bore through the concrete structures to fortify the base of the bridge which will now cause them more money and since they have made a low bid on the project they are now in a dilemma,” he added. (PNA) 
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New police chief commits self to Baguio City

BAGUIO CITY, March 10 (PNA) –- Appointed Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) officer-in-charge (OIC) P/Sr Supt Rolando Miranda vowed to fulfill the dream of his superior, P/Chief Supt Isagani Nerez to make Baguio City a peace and order role model of the Philippines.

Introducing himself formally in front of the Baguio City council members, Miranda said he will not disappoint his superior officer’s trust.

The appointment in an OIC capacity is more difficult as it will not complete a required tour of duty and the proof of burden will be on his shoulder.

Miranda, replying to the question of his availability, said he is at present residing in Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet but considered renting an apartment in Baguio City to be able to offer his 24-hour attention.

Miranda hailed from San Miguel, Bulacan and belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class 1996. He performed police duties in Metro Manila, the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and finally in the Cordilleras. (PNA) 
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DPWH asked to probe snail-paced construction of bridge in Bulacan

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, March 10 (PNA)--Local officials as well as the residents in the province on Monday appealed to the national government, particularly to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to probe the snail-paced construction of the new Calumpit Bridge along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Gatbuka here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the slow-paced work is not only worsening public inconvenience but has also been hampering progress in the northern towns and provinces of Central and Northern Luzon.

"It is also now triggering adverse effect on the economy of affected towns and villages," Alvarado said.

At present, the residents are using the hanging bridge that was temporarily constructed so as not to cross the the river.

The bridge links the northern villages of Calumpit and provinces in Central and Northern Luzon to Malolos City and Metro Manila.

With the slow pace construction, the governor said the bridge is expected not to finish within its scheduled completion this coming April.

Alvarado said he and his wife 1st District Rep. Ma Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado has set an appointment to meet DPWH Secretary Ronald Singson to personally ask him to intervene in behalf of the people of Bulacan and the neighboring province of Pampanga.

“The people can no longer bear the inconvenience caused by its delay. Everyday, thousands of people have to cross the river over a hanging bridge which is now in a state of wear and tear. The delay has affected businesses and has already cost too much to the economy of the affected towns,” he said.

The governor said he will also bring to the attention of the DPWH Secretary the circumstances behind the delay which, he said, might have been triggered after the Regional Office of the DPWH awarded the contract to a construction firm that bid very low.

Alvarado disclosed that the project was worth P210 million but the winning bidder made a bid that nosedived to P166 million.

"The government has saved P40 million. But, if you are going to look at it, it is only now that they have started working on the bridge while the temporary hanging bridge is starting to weaken due to thousands of our constituents are crossing there daily," he said.

He said the construction firm encountered a problem when they found out that there was a concrete structure under the river.

“There was an old bridge that the Japanese Imperial Army destroyed to thwart the reinforcement of US and Filipino soldiers during World War II. The construction firm has to bore through the concrete structures to fortify the base of the bridge which will now cause them more money and since they have made a low bid on the project they are now in a dilemma,” Alvarado said.

He said he is optimistic that Secretary Singson will act swiftly to resolve the problem.

"I will also ask Secretary Singson to inspect the temporary hanging bridge and strengthen it to ensure the safety of the thousands of people crossing it everyday. (PNA) 
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Three alleged members of white slavery gang in Bulacan arrested

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, March 7 (PNA) -- Police arrested three suspected members of a “white slavery” gang and rescued a 14-year-old girl during a raid in Barangay Tugatog here Thursday afternoon.

Police identified the arrested suspects as Crisalto Calderon, 67, married, jobless, a resident of No. 193 Moises Buning Street, Barangay Hulo, Meycauayan City; Luningning Osorio alias “Neneng”, 47, married, jobless, and Artemio Osorio Acuna, 48, married, electrician, both residents of No. 013 Rosales Street, Barangay Tugatog, Meycauayan City.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said a police team from the Meycauayan City police station swooped down on a house located at Rosales Street, Barangay Tugatog, after the victim’s mother Julie Ann Adajar, 31, a resident of No. 086 Jasmin Street, Barangay Bancal, Meycauayan City personally appeared to Meycauayan City Police Station and sought police assistance for the rescue of her daughter whom, she said was being held inside the house of the suspects.

Orduna said that the police team arrived in the nick of time and were able to rescue the victim safe and unharmed.

Initial investigation conducted by Meycauayan City Police Station disclosed that the victim was invited by the suspects for a drinking session at the house of Artemio Osorio, who was then celebrating his birthday.

The celebrant reportedly informed the victim that they already booked her to a customer.

Orduna said the victim might have sensed that she was in danger and went to the comfort room where she called her mother through her cellular phone and sought for help.

While talking to her mother, the victim told investigators that she overheard the suspects in loud voices that if the victim became tipsy and sleepy, they will mate with her one at a time in exchange of money.

A team of social workers is now helping the victim while charges for violation of Republic Act 9208 (Anti-Trafficking of Persons) are now being readied for filing against the suspects who are now detained at the Meycauyan City jail. (PNA) 
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Dope gang leader, 2 cohorts killed in shootout with Bulacan cops

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, March 6 (PNA)-- Three alleged members of a notorious drug syndicate, including its suspected leader, were killed in a running gunbattle with law enforcers during a raid at the gang's suspected lair in Franscisco homes, Barangay Yakal, San Jose del Monte City Thursday noon.

Initial police reports from the San Jose del Monte City police station identified one of the slain suspects as Wilson Paramio, a resident of said area and alleged leader of a local drug gang.

The two other slain suspects remain unidentified as of press time.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said a team of SJDM City policemen were out to serve an arrest warrant against Paramio when two of his alleged cohorts opened fire at the approaching lawmen.

A brief firefight ensued that resulted to the deaths of the two unidentified suspects while Paramio tried to escape towards the house of his father Ernesto.

Instead of yielding to the pursuing policemen, Paramio opted to shoot it out but was hit in the ensuing gunfight.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Paramio is the the subject of a warrant of arrest issued by the Bulacan Regional Trial Court for previous drug offenses.

Police recovered from the two slain suspects one hand grenade, and a homemade paltik .38 caliber revolver, several plastic sachets of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia.

Orduna said the police team also recovered a .45 caliber pistol and a .38 caliber revolver from the body of Paramio, whom police said is a notorious drug ring leader in the area.

Police are still searching the house of Paramio since there were reports that high powered firearms and ammunition as well as illegal drugs were buried before the law men came.

Orduna said the raid is part of the unrelenting operations of the Bulacan police in response to the call of Central Luzon Police Director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta to conduct no-nonsense and intensified operations against the proliferation of illegal drugs and other criminal activities.

Orduna said investigation is still going. (PNA) 
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Arrest of CIDG head shows PNP’s determination in cleansing its ranks, Palace says 
By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, March 4 (PNA) -- After the arrest of Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Pampanga Chief Bienvenido Reydado, Malacanang on Tuesday lauded the PNP for its effort to ‘cleanse its ranks’.

“(This) shows the determination of the PNP in cleansing its ranks of people who are on the wrong side of the law,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a Palace briefing.

“Bahagi din po yan ng pagpapahusay ng kapasidad ng PNP sa pagpapatupad ng batas,” he added.

Aside from Reydado, reports showed that six civilian agents were also arrested for alleged involvement in illegal activities.

These illegal activities included the recycling of seized illegal drugs. Because of this, all CIDG members in Pamapanga were relieved.

Raids were done last Monday in two CIDG offices in Pampanga and Bulacan, where the regional unit is headquartered.

Recovered during the raids were five high-powered firearms, 11 pistols, a rifle grenade and assorted magazines for different calibers of firearms. (PNA)
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DENR Bulacan gets 'excellent' rating in public service

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, March 3 (PNA) -- Two field offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bulacan received “excellent” ratings for public service during a recent report card survey of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Maximo Dichoso, executive director of DENR in Central Luzon, disclosed on Monday that DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) in Guiguinto and San Rafael were rated “excellent” in the CSC Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) survey.

In the survey, CENRO San Rafael got 94.42 percent for the ARTA provision, and 98.37 percent for overall client satisfaction, or an average rating of 96.52 percent.

CENRO Guiguinto, on the other hand, received 91.62 percent for the ARTA provision, and 89.20 percent for overall client satisfaction, or an average rating of 90.34 percent.

Aside from the excellent ratings, the two CENROs each received the “Citizens Satisfaction Seal of Excellence Award” for public service.

The ARTA Report Card (RC) is based on Republic Act (RA) 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 which aims to curb red tape and eliminate graft and corruption in government.

The Report Card is composed of two components, namely the ARTA provision and the frontline services satisfaction.

The ARTA provision include the “anti-fixer”, “no hidden costs”, and “no lunch break” campaigns, while the frontline services satisfaction consist of service quality, physical set-up, basic facilities, and respondent-client satisfaction.

"I hope that CENROs San Rafael and Guiguinto would serve as models of public service for all DENR field offices in the region," he said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan lines up activities for Fire Prevention Month

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Mar. 1 (PNA) --The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has lined up various activities in line with the celebration of the National Fire Prevention Month this month.

With the theme: “Isulong ang Kaunlaran, Sunog ay Iwasan, Kaalaman at Pag-iingat ang Kailangan,” Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the activities are part of the provincial government's continuing effort to increase public awareness and encourage a proactive approach to fire safety.

The month-long celebration kicked off on Saturday with a motorcade and a fire awareness run.

The PDDRMO staff will distribute flyers and leaflets during Monday's flag raising ceremony at the Bualcan capitol gym on March 3.

A raffle draw of Ang Bote Mo, Kaligtasan ko, a successful project of PDRRMO will also be held wherein rescue tools/equipment for different rescue teams will be given out.

The continuous distribution of paracord and light stick and hanging of tarpaulins will also be held as part of the information drive.

Through the help of the Malolos Bureau of Fire Protection, the PDRRMO will also conduct building inspection in the provincial capitol, in different municipalities and private establishments to ensure compliance of fire safety requirements.

On the second week of March, the Bulacan rescue team will do a lecture and demonstration or a 20-minute fire talk on fire suppression and the proper way of using the fire extinguisher for the capitol employees.

On March 13-14, there will be a training/seminar for all the local government units and non-government organizations' response teams about fire suppression and basic life support CPR and First Aid while a bloodletting activity will be conducted on March 18.

A fire earthquake orientation drill will also be conducted at Marcelo H. Del Pilar High School in Barangay Sta. Isabel on March 21.

The celebration will also feature Aero Marathon, PDRRMO’s new activity on March 28 wherein participating individuals can register and claim a raffle ticket by submitting two 1.5 litre plastic bottles. (PNA) 
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Central Luzon cops hold anti-hijacking summit

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Feb. 27 (PNA) -- Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta has urged operators and owners of trucking companies to work hand-in-hand with police authorities in its campaign against hijacking in Central Luzon.

In an anti-hijacking summit held Wednesday, Petrasanta said the gathering aims to minimize, if not eradicate, criminality in the region, particularly highjacking.

He said one of the salient points of the summit is the revival of the issuance of pass cards to all drivers of cargo trucks plying various routes and main highways in the region.

Being issued a pass card means the cargo of the truck has been inspected and verified by a police control point, to be submitted to another control point, where the vehicle is to exit within the region.

The move, according to Petrasanta, is in line with efforts to curtail the rising cases of highjacking in Central Luzon, wherein Pampanga has the most recorded number of incidents with 13 cases followed by Bulacan with 10 in 2013.

He said the police regional office has deployed more than 900 personnel to man 130 checkpoints around Central Luzon, which serves as a deterrent to prevent highjacking and other crimes in the region.

As this developed, Senior Supt. Ferdinand Noel Villanueva, officer in charge of the Regional Highway Patrol Unit, said there will be more mobile patrol cars in the campaign against highjacking.

Aside from the owners and operators of truck companies, the summit was also attended by media personalities and different police officers in the region concerned with the anti-carnapping and highjacking .

During the forum, anti-highjacking PNP personnel as well their checkpoint locations and contact numbers were given to the truckers as part of the proactive measure being carried out by the regional office. (PNA)
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Malacanang turns over 257 blocks of rare but expensive tea rose marble to Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 26 (PNA)-–The controversy over the rare but expensive tea rose marble might have been finally settled four years after the administration of Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado banned its extraction from the mountains of eastern Bulacan, particularly within the hallowed grounds of Biak-na- Bato national shrine in the boundaries of San Miguel and Dona Remedios Trinidad.

This, after the Office of the President granted the request of Alvarado that some 257 blocks of wire-sawed tea rose marble blocks be turned over to the provincial government.

In a letter from the Legal Affairs Department of the Office of the President signed by Lawyer Michael Aguinaldo, Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Office of the President, Malacanang has given full authority to the provincial government on what to do with the 257 blocks of tea rose marble subject to the terms of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The DENR confiscated the blocks of marbles after the administration of Governor Alvarado ordered the banning of the extraction of the very rare but the most expensive type of marble in the world that can only be found in the mountains of Bulacan.

"When you visit in Las Vegas or even in the luxury hotels in Beijing, China, you would see tea rose marble that can only be found in the mountains of Bulacan. The question is how those expensive marbles reached there? Are those marbles flew over there or illegally extracted in the sacred mountains of Biak na Bato?,''the governor said.

Alvarado banned the extraction of tea rose marble shortly after assuming post in 2010.

Aside from the degradation of the forest and mountain, the illegal mining process has also been desecrating a sacred place in Philippine history, the national shrine of Biak-na-Bato.

It is the site of the Biak-na-Bato Republic which is one of the three republics born in Bulacan during the Philippine revolt against Spanish colonial rule.

The governor said that it will be used for the best interest of the province and people of Bulacan.

The mining of the rare and expensive tea rose marble became controversial because aside from fierce court battle, the pinkish slab of red stone has also been blamed as the cause of many deaths including those of prominent people.

In his daily morning radio program veteran Bulakenyo journalist Dino Balabo on Wednesday said that among the prominent persons that died over the controversial red marble were Rodante Marcial, who was killed by communist rebels; Constantino Pascual, a nephew of Dr. Lourdes Pascual, the owner of Roosmore mining company and later Dr. Lourdes Pascual himself, who were both gunned down.

Balabo said that aside from the violent deaths, fierce court battles, the tea rose marble have also enticed some politicians into embarking into the illegal mining trade before Alvarado made a firm stand in banning it and the illegal extraction of other mineral deposits in the mountains of Eastern Bulacan. (PNA) 
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Pampanga town residents trained to fight calamity hazards

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Feb. 20 (PNA) --–The Save the Children group started Wednesday the conduct of a three-day seminar on family hazard prepared planning and training on global warming which is aimed at preparing residents in the province in reducing the risks brought by hazards and in saving lives during calamities.

The three-day capacity-building on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) seminar are being participated in by the officials and community members of at-risk barangays in Minalin town.

Save the Children gathered 50 chairmen, councilors and community members of Barangays Sta. Rita, Sta. Catalina, San Pedro, and San Francisco I, four identified barangays identified as the most prone to flooding, the main environmental hazard in Minalin town.

Among the topics that were discussed include climate change and global warming; hazards affecting Region 3 (Pampanga, Bulacan, Aurora, Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales); coping with the impacts of hazards; getting to know the vulnerable population groups in the communities; mitigate and cope with the impact of disaster; and identifying strategic activities to build resilience of families and communities to disasters and climate change.

In the seminar, the four barangays identified as the most flood prone villages in Minalin also trained and formed a group to lead the community in times of emergencies.

“Building the capacity of local officials and community on disaster risk reduction and management is one key element in saving lives because they are the people directly making decisions and implementing the disaster risk reduction and management activities,” Save the Children Philippines Director Ned Olney said.

Olney also said that aside from building the capacity of children through their school-based disaster risk reduction efforts, they also aim at building the capacity of the barangay officials, of every family on how to manage and respond to hazards and emergencies.

"Our precious children are the most vulnerable in any disaster, and the tremendous impact of disasters could leave severe consequences. We don’t want this happen, and this is the core reason why we are building the capacity of our local partners on disaster risk reduction and management,”Olney said.

Save the Children is also continuously providing early recovery assistance to children and families affected by the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm in August 2013.

The three-day capacity building is part of the organization’s early recovery assistance to typhoon-hit communities in Pampanga.

Save the Children also provided assistance to the officials of Milanin town in organizing the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council which has not been organized and activated since after the election last year. (PNA) 
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Nueva Ecija gov suspends classes in all levels on Feb. 21-22 INC event

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Feb. 19 (PNA) -- Governor Aurelio Umali has ordered the suspension of classes in all levels in the province as thousands of delegates and members of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) are expected to arrive for its "Lingap sa Mamamayan," in Barangay Maligaya here on Friday and Saturday.

In issuing Executive Order No. 1, Umali affirmed the recommendation of Nueva Ecija police director Sr. Supt. Crizaldo Nieves to suspend classes in all levels both public and private schools to help efforts in securing traffic and "public safety."

About 4,000 delegates and members of INC from the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Aurora "are expected to attend to the activity and will start arriving from all entry points to Nueva Ecija," Umali said.

"Based on experience in similar activities of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the past in other places, huge traffic congestion is expected by reason of the said activity," the governor said.

Nelson Mañebog, INC district minister in Nueva Ecija, said that the Lingap sa Mamamayan, an activity under the "Kabayan ko, Kapatid Ko" program is spearheaded by FYM Foundation Inc., to help people especially victims of calamities and the less fortunate.

"This is to help our fellowmen especially those ravaged by the calamities and the less fortunate by providing them with the free medical and dental services and the basic needs like food and clothing," he said.

He said the main activity will start at 5 a.m. on Saturday. (PNA) 
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Bayanihan Summit launched in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 18 (PNA) -— The young people of this historic province have responded to the call of President Benigno Aquino III on solidifying the "bayanihan" spirit to address the different challenges being faced by the nation, including the effects of climate change.

The youths as well as different organizations in the province joined the launching of the Bayanihan Summit and One Bulacan Movement held at the provincial gymnasium here Monday afternoon.

The Bayanihan Summit is being spearheaded nationwide by the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) via the Pilipinas Natin movement and through the Public –Private Partnership which is being supported by various civil society groups and the private sector led by Pilipinas Natin, Gawad Kalinga (GK), Yes Bulacan, One Bulacan Movement and other parties.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado thanked Undersecretary Jose Mari Oquinena, head of the PCOO Office for Special Concerns and concurrent director general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), for making Bulacan the launching pad of this great undertaking which aims to inspire and instill among the youths the spirit of volunteerism or bayanihan.

Alvarado said the strength of the young generation will be a major factor in spreading the programs and ways on how to cope with the effects of climate change.

“It is a great honor of our province that such kind of undertaking was launched here because this program aims to mold, prepare and unite the youths so that they can face and respond the challenges of the modern times and the ill effects of climate change," the governor said.

Oquinena, for his part, said that the patriotic spirit of the Bulakenyos is an inspiration that will spread to the youths of the country.

He said that through the Bayanihan Summit, the young people of this nation will help build an environmentally stable Philippines.

"We launched in Bulacan the Bayanihan Summit because we saw before in some parts of the province where family, neighbors and friends gather to literally move a house. From this province of the noble heroes, the movement that unite the Filipino youth will grow to jointly face the challenges of the modern times and climate," the PIA director general said.

At the same time, Jun Joson of PCOO and operations chief of the Pilipinas Natin movement disclosed that the Bayanihan Summit will play a big role in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 7 or ‘Environmental protection and conservation’ program.

He also said that the Aquino Administration has issued Executive Order 26 or the National Greening Program of 2011 encouraging various sectors to plant trees to boost the environment conservation program.

Some 200 participants sang and danced after taking their pledge of allegiance to the Bayanihan Summit

Mainstream Bulacan bands like Mojo Rising, composed of guitar artists Moi Aniag, Joel bagay and Julian Cruz, made the event more exciting as the young crowds jammed and danced with their rock and roll strums. (PNA) 
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7 nabbed for hunting wild ducks 
By Magtanggol C. Villar

PANTABANGAN, Nueva Ecija, Feb. 15 (PNA) -- Seven individuals were rounded up Friday by a combined team of town policemen and army personnel for allegedly hunting migrating wild ducks with the use of shotguns at the center island of the Pantabangan dam reservoir here.

Seized from the group of duck hunters were 46 dead wild ducks, and 36 decoy wild ducks.

Taken in for questioning at the town police headquarters were Wilfred Puzon, 62, a resident of Barangay Plainview, Mandaluyong City; Ildefonso Padigos Jr., 50, a resident of Barangay Tabang, Plaridel, Bulacan; Romulo Torres Jr , 60, of No. 28 Legaspi Street, Philam subdivision, Quezon City; Jack Pineda, 21; Urado Del Carmen, 41; Anthony Aglipay, 23; and Anthony Pineda, 14; all residents of Barangay West Poblacion here.

The police also confiscated a a 12-gauge Benili shotgun from Padigos; a 12-gauge Benili shotgun from Puzon; and a 12-gauge Remington shotgun from Torres.

The suspects were unable to present necessary documents or permit or authority from any agencies of the government to undertake such activities, including permits to carry firearms outside residence.

One of the firearms is said to have expired last June 26, 2013.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act and Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition were filed against the suspects. (PNA) 
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Bulacan honors CLRAA champs

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 13 (PNA) -- The provincial government headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday honored the young athletes of Bulacan who once again dominated the 2013 edition of the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) in Zambales last December, where they emerged as the over-all champion.

Alvarado, together with Elizabeth Alonzo, head of the Provincial Youth Sports, Education, Arts, Culture, and Tourism Office, personally congratulated the athletes, coaches and educators who brought pride anew to the province.

The governor also asked for a one minute of silence and offered prayer to young boxer Jonas Joshua Garcia, 16, who died after getting beaten in a boxing match.

He said that instead of being gloomy, the Bulacan athletes was driven to fight well and made the sacrifice of Garcia as their rallying point and inspiration.

Alvarado also recalled a remark of the late Bulakenyo statesman Blas F. Ople who once described Bulakeno fighters as “poetic warriors” because they sing and dance while in the midst of battle.

“In behalf of all Bulakenyos, I would like to congratulate all the athletes, coaches, chaperons and officials on their great performance at the CLRAA meet. We are so proud of your efforts. Each of you embodies the never-give-up spirit of our great race and because of that, you have the admiration and gratitude of the people of Bulacan,” he said.

He encouraged the young champions to be always at their best and pursue their studies too.

“Remember that champions work hard, champions live a good and clean life in order to succeed and champions serve something greater than themselves in life that makes them a whole person,” Alvarado said.

“It is my hope that the lessons learned and skills developed through these sports events will help you prepare and lead your lives with passion and meaning and help each of you to become your very best. Congratulations and I want you to know that this day is precious to all Bulakenyos,” he added. (PNA) 
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Gov’t doctors keep tight watch on condition of conjoined twins born at Bulacan Medical Center

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 10 (PNA) -- Doctors at the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) here are praying and doing the best they can to save the conjoined twins who were born prematurely Sunday.

Attending physician Dr. Grace Alvaran told Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that “the twins are weak and we are trying to stabilize their condition before we could transfer them to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.”

The governor visited the Neo- Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the BMC on early Monday morning to personally check the condition of the baby twins, who are both girls.

Alvaran also told the governor that they have already conducted a series of tests to examine the functions of their vital organs.

“The twins are still weak and have a fifty-fifty chance of surviving but we are praying and doing everything to help them,” Alvaran said, adding that coordination has also been made for the possible transfer of the twin baby girls who were born attached to the chest facing each other.

The twins’ mother, Catherine Lovenario of Barangay Tabing Bakod, Sta. Maria town, and her husband are asking help for their conjoined twins.

Alvarado said that in case the twins will be transferred, they will rent an ambulance with ventilator so that the condition of the twins will not be compromised during travel.

At present, there are five brand new ambulances at the disposal of the government run-hospitals in Bulacan.

Alvaran accompanied the governor at the airconditioned nursery room where the twins are being monitored inside a modern incubator.

She also told the governor that x-ray test has also been conducted but they are still awaiting the results.

She said that the twins must be separated as soon as possible.

The governor, who is constantly working to equip government-run hospitals in the province equipped with modern facilities and provide quality health care, also took the time to check on the improvements being made at the BMC.

He said the NICU of the BMC will undergo an extension to accommodate more pregnant mothers.

“The doctors said the twins are weak, let us pray that their conditions will stabilize so that our doctors can save them. In any case, we would extend help to them and their parents," Alvarado said. (PNA) 
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Strong show of faith engulfs “Bulacan Prayer Rally for Angat Dam Rehabilitation" 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 8 (PNA) -— A strong show of faith has fortified the belief of the multitude of people that joined the “Bulacan Prayer Rally for Angat Dam Rehabilitation” at the mini-forest park here Friday afternoon.

A mammoth crowd joined provincial officials led by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and different religious leaders in the biggest prayer rally the province has ever seen where the Muslim community also offered prayers and support for the event aimed at asking divine intervention for the protection of the province and the nation as well.

The prayer rally became more meaningful when two evangelists from different religious sectors took the stage and led the series of prayers and pray-over after provincial chaplain Fr. Gino Herrera officiated the holy mass that kicked-off the “Day of Prayer” in Bulacan.

Fr. Herrera reminded the “faithful” that people nowadays “tend to forget that God made us stewards of life and life is short that is why we should remember to call on Him and help us in our purpose in our every life.”

“We failed to be stewards because we tend to abuse ourselves and many of us forget that we are stewards of nature and it seems that we do not feel that we have responsibilities, " he said.

Herrera said that Bulacan is blessed because of its leaders who are working “under God’s banner” , seeking His guidance, love and protection for the safety and good life of its people.

After the holy mass, Bienvenido M. Abante, Jr, minister of Gospel and senior pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church and Ministries, led the prayer asking the Lord to protect the province and the country from natural and man-made calamities.

Abante, who is a former congressman, thanked Governor Sy-Alvarado for spearheading a God-oriented gathering which he said is a best way of forming a strong bond between God and the people.

Renato D. Carillo, spiritual director of Jesus is Our Shield, on the other hand, said that he was set to go to some Southeast Asian countries for prayer rallies but instead landed at the prayer rally at the mini-forest park of the provincial capitol.

"I felt that as if someone is pulling me to here. I am not from Bulacan but I considered this province as my second home because 19 years ago, our Lord told me that He will bless this province. This is it, I can now see God's promise," Carillo said.

He said that every municipality and city in the country should emulate what the Bulakenyos and their leaders are doing.

Carillo also execute a pray-over to the governor and vice governor, asking God to guide them and give them the strength and wisdom they need to lead the people of Bulacan.

He also led the prayer asking God to expedite the immediate repair and rehabilitation of the 45-year old Angat dam that experts claimed is sitting along the West Marikina faultline and could collapse if jolted by a Magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Alvarado said that the prayer rally is a continuous undertaking.

"Ever since, there were some disasters that occured but the love of God always prevail.We are not asked to do an ark like during Noah's time. What God is asking us is so simple, that is to be humble, ask for forgiveness and always pray. Thus, we will continuously do this initiative," the governor said.

The prayer rally was also attended by Pastor Kenneth Lagman of “Dakilang Katapatan”, Bishop Danilo Agpoon of Liberty Tabernacle, Bishop Bert Chan of the Four Pillars of Bulacan and local officials from the province’s 21 town towns and three cities.

The affair ended with the singing of “Lord Heal Our Land” led by singer Rino Castro and the Himig ng Bulakenyo. (PNA) 
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Bulacan remembers Blas F. Ople’s birthday

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 3 (PNA) -- Provincial officials led by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando on Monday paid tribute to one of the province's illustrious son, the late statesman Gat Blas F. Ople.

Alvarado, during the commemoration of Ople's 87th birth anniversary at the provincial capitol compound here, emphasized to the young generations of Bulakenos the greatness of Ople, who was born at a simple house in a far-flung barrio in the coastal town of Hagonoy.

“His humble beginnings from a remote town where he was born was never a hindrance for Ka Blas to put his name in the social, political and economic fields not only in his own town, but also in the Southeast Asia and even to the whole world," he said.

The governor said that both in life and in death, Ople's legacy continues to glitter like gold.

He said that the life and times of Ka Blas will always be a shining inspiration to Bulakenyos.

"Ka Blas is a rare jewel of Bulacan that can be considered as one of the great minds of the 21st century," he said.

Alvarado said that while Ka Blas was a simple man, he can be one of those great men mentioned in a classic poem that goes “walking with kings without losing the common touch.”

Veterans from World War II also remembered Ka Blas, who was a guerrilla fighter under the Del Pilar regimen of the Bulacan Military Area.

An octogenarian woman veteran from the Malolos Post even became teary-eyed when singer Rodolfo Arellano sang the patriotic song “Bayan Ko”.

Board member Felix “Toti” Ople thanked the provincial officials and fellow Bulakenyos for remembering his “Tatang”.

From a dock helper, Ople became a journalist, a public relations practitioner, technical adviser, special assistant of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, commissioner of the Social Security System, a cabinet secretary, President of the International Labor Organization, acknowledged father of the Overseas Employment, an assemblyman of the Batsang Pambansa, member of the Constitutional Commission, two-term senator, president pro-tempore of the Senate, Senate President and a high caliber diplomat and statesman.

Ople was born on February 3, 1927 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. (PNA) 
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Malolos mayor‘s bodyguard dies; mayor, 2 others hurt in Pulilan road mishap

PULILAN, Bulacan, Feb. 1 (PNA) — A close-in security detail of Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad died while the city executive and two other companions were injured when the vehicle they were riding in was rammed by a 14-wheeler trailer truck in Barangay Sto. Cristo here Thursday night.

Police identified the fatality as Roderick Santiago, 30, a resident of Barangay Canalate, Malolos City.

Aside from the mayor, the two others injured were identified as Nicanor Reyes, driver, and Maverick Jake Perez, another bodyguard.

The driver of the trailer truck, identified as Roger Garces of Tandang Sora, Quezon City, is now under police custody while appropriate charges are being readied against him for filing in court.

Initial police report reaching Bulacan Police Director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna showed that the Mitsubishi Montero SUV of Mayor Natividad was cruising the road heading towards Plaridel town when it was rammed by the incoming trailer truck from the Plaridel bridge.

Santiago, who was seated at the portion of the car where it was struck hard, died while being treated at the Bulacan Medical Center. He sustained injuries in the neck and body.

The driver of truck told police investigators that the mayor's vehicle suddenly appeared in front of his truck at the intersection near the Plaridel bridge.

The side of the Mitsubishi Montero was crumpled like paper due to the impact.

The city mayor and the other two injured are still being treated at an undisclosed hospital.

Meanwhile, broadcaster Rommel Ramos called the attention of Department of Public Works and Highways District Engineer Ruel Angeles on the said road intersection, saying the place is highly accident-prone. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov appeals for DPWH's intervention on the construction of new Calumpit bridge

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, Jan. 31 (PNA) -- The ongoing construction of the new Calumpit Bridge along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Gatbuka here has now become like “a bridge over troubled water.”

This, after provincial engineers inspected the ongoing construction and found out that workers have stumbled upon an old heavily fortified concrete structure under the river that they have to bore to lay the foundation of the new bridge.

The everyday delay due to the extra boring that the workers have to do has already taken its toll on motorists and the general public.

Due to the public inconvenience, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado is appealing to Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson to intervene to make the construction fast and meet its completion date.

Alvarado said that the new bridge being constructed at the Calumpit river will replace the post-war steel trust bridge which links the province of Bulacan to Pampanga and other parts of Central and Northern Luzon.

The governor said the people of Bulacan are very thankful to President Benigno Aquino III for ordering the immediate replacement of the old bridge and building of a new one after engineers said that the old bridge might collapse.

Alvarado said the construction of the new bridge started on June 18, 2013 and its expected completion is on April 13, this year.

However, reports from reliable sources indicate that the project will not be duly completed on time due to several reasons aside from the seemingly turtle-paced construction on the site.

The governor said that based on a recent inspection of the bridge by government engineers, the project implementer apparently failed to trace the old structure underneath the river.

He said the construction method presently being done at the bridge has resulted in the installation of bored piles which is more difficult to execute.

“This predicament could have been avoided had the construction company conducted soil testing prior to the reconstruction schedule,” Alvarado explained, adding that during World War II the Japanese Army destroyed the bridge to prevent the reinforcement of US and Filipino troops to Bataan.

Aside from this, it was also learned that the contractor’s bid amounting to P166,721,096.98 is 20 percent lower than the approved budget cost of P211,000,000 which could also be the reason the construction firm is having difficulties in shouldering the contingencies such as the cost of drill bit.

The governor also observed that the elevation of the temporary foot bridge along the river unduly endangers the safety of the people and puts their lives in unnecessary jeopardy, especially during rainy season when the water level rapidly rises up.

Alvarado said he is courteously seeking the timely intervention and assistance of Secretary Singson in this pressing matter.

Since the construction of the bridge began, motorists going to Manila or going to Pampanga have been using the San Simon exit of the North Luzon Expressway. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops steps up campaign against riding-in-tandem criminals

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Jan. 24 (PNA)--The top police official in this province on Friday said that it will need a drastic solution to neutralize the activities being perpetrated by the dreaded riding-in-tandem criminals.

“Drastic times need drastic measures,” said Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna during an interview with this reporter on the riding-in-tandem issue at the provincial police headquarters here .

Orduna said that police are making studies and plans to come up with a solution and one of these is to ban backriders on motorcycles.

“It may sound absurd but this is one way that could possibly neutralize the menace of the riding-in-tandem criminals,” Orduna said, adding that there are some proposals being considered to neutralize the riding-in-tandem criminals.

He said that once the back rider is gone, it will be difficult for the motorcycle driver to drive and shoot at the same time.

He said that while increased police presence can deter the commitment of a crime, the riding-in-tandem has evolved in recent years as an effective method for criminals, particularly gun-for-hire gangs and holdup-men as they are now obliged to wear helmets.

“There was a time when crooks have to wear ski masks to cover their faces, but not anymore. Now they can freely hide their face because motorcycle riders are now obliged to wear helmets for their safety, and it is for their own good too, for their protection if there will be accidents” Orduna said.

He also said that while there are instances of riding-in-tandem cases in Bulacan, it has not yet reach an alarming stage.

Orduna also said at the moment, the police are facing the challenge by deploying their own version of the riding-in-tandem style.

He said that the police patrol capabilities of the Bulacan police has been boosted with the arrival last month of some big bikes, which are now being mobilized to augment police mobile cars.

”There are few isolated incidents that were happening but there are more criminals that were also arrested by our police, aside from riding –in-tandems. Our policemen never remiss from their tasks to neutralize criminals even to the point that they were getting hurt or killed,” he added. (PNA) 
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SC chief to grace 115th anniversary of 1st Philippine Republic in Malolos City

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 22 (PNA) -— Philippine flags are flying proudly along major streets leading to the historic Barasoain Church as the province prepares for the commemoration of the 115th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic on Thursday.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the occasion will be more significant because no less than the country’s top magistrate Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno will grace the event as the guest of honor and speaker.

Alvarado said that this year’s celebration with the theme, “Ang Diwa ng Saligang Batas ng Malolos at ang Kabuluhan nito sa Kasalukuyang Panahon,” will be simple yet meaningful and will focus on how unity and justice which have served as instrument in achieving democracy hundreds of years ago, still remain vital in maintaining freedom and attaining progress.

"Let us all commemorate this important chapter of the history of our country in order to relive in the minds and hearts of every Filipino citizen the significance of freedom and equality. Because without justice, we cannot be considered with total freedom," the governor said.

He said the program will start at 8 a.m. with a flag raising ceremony and wreath-laying activity at the life size statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic.

The program also aims to present our noble province of Bulacan as a place of our heroes and raise the level of awareness, especially the youth about the colorful and significant events in the history of the Philippines," the provincial chief executive said.

He said that they will also be putting flags and tarpaulins along the roads to inform Filipinos to join the celebration.

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, Malolos, Bulacan where Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo took his oath of office as President of the Republic.

City Mayor Christian D. Natividad said that various activities have been lined up to make this year’s celebration more meaningful and actively participated by Malolenyos.

“We are again presenting the noble city of Malolos as one of the sacred places not only in the Philippines but also in the whole world because this was where one republic was born. come, join and savor the fruit of heroism and sacrifices of our heroes,” Natividad said. (PNA) 
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116 informal settlers given new homes in Bulacan

PANDI, Bulacan, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- Some 116 informal settlers who are living along the so-called “danger zone” or “home along the riverbanks” in the province were given a fresh start to rebuild their lives through their new homes.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy Alvarado said the new batch of informal settlers formerly living in the high risk areas along the Angat River were relocated Tuesday at the Pandi Heights in Sitio Bitukang Manok in Barangay Cacarong Matanda here.

Earlier, more than 100 families were already transferred to Pandi Heights.

Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque, who is also the president of the League of Municipalities-Bulacan Chapter, presented the keys for the new housing units to the recipients.

The event was witnessed by some local leaders and officials, representatives from the National Housing Authority, non-governmental organizations and other religious groups.

The new settlers were also given groceries that are good enough for one-week consumption.

Alvarado said the project is a joint venture of the provincial government of Bulacan and the National Housing Authority (NHA) with a mission to build decent housing units for more than 3,000 families who are living in places declared as high risk danger zone.

"There should be no informal settlers in this noble province of Bulacan. Charity begins at homes. We will accept relocatees from other areas but priority should be given to our provincemates especially those living along geo-hazard areas," he said.

He said the other towns that will also benefit from the Angat Riverbank Settlements are Baliwag, Norzagaray, San Rafael, Hagonoy, Calumpit, Angat and Paombong.

"The informal settlers in those said areas will also be moved to safer residential houses, the governor added. (PNA) 
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Top 2 Bulacan officials help contain raging grassfire in Malolos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 18 (PNA) -— The top two provincial officials of Bulacan had to skip a speaking engagement to contain a raging grassfire along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Confradia here that took firefighters more than six hours to contain Friday afternoon.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando established a command post in a residential area threatened by the grassfire that also emitted thick smokes that engulfed the village.

Alvarado and Fernando were on their way to the Bulacan Sports Complex in nearby Barangay Sta. Isabel when they encountered the raging grassfire that, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), was sparked by either a recklessly thrown lighted cigarette butt or children playing fire in the marshy area swamped by fully-grown reed locally known as “balangot.”

The governor immediately directed Bulacan PDRRMO executive officer Liz Mungcal to scramble firefighters from as far as Baliuag, Calumpit and Balagtas since the fire had already eaten a large part of an open field across the Radio Veritas transmitter station along the MacArthur Highway.

Acting as “ground commanders” and wearing goggles and surgical masks, Alvarado and Fernando, together with village officials, directed firemen and rescue volunteers in containing the wildfire that had nearly engulfed several houses.

“The smoke was so thick that there was zero visibility. Somebody had to lead to contain the fire because residents were already panicking. The swift response of city and village officials, firefighters and even grass cutters was so overwhelming to watch as everyone acted in synchronized motion to contain the raging bush fire,” Alvarado said.

A rare wild bird that looked like a crane was also rescued, Alvarado said.

The PDRRMO said the fire started raging at around 3:30 p.m. Friday and was contained at past 9 p.m.

In order to avoid a repeat of the incident, Alvarado instructed Confradia village chief Celso Asilom and Mabolo village chief Carlos C. Vistan that they should cut the reed grass at least a hundred meters away from residential areas.

He also called on the public not to throw lighted cigarette butts or play fire near grassy areas because the grasses are now drying and highly combustible. (PNA) 
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Alleged carnap gang leader, 5 others fall in Bulacan raid 
By Emil G. Gamos

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Jan. 11 (PNA) --Good coordination among different police units led to the arrest of an alleged leader of a notorious carnapping gang during a brief firefight in Bocaue town Thursday night.

Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta on Saturday said that five other gang members were also arrested during an operation against the dreaded Mark Lester Reyes carnapping group.

The operation also resulted to the recovery of six stolen vehicles, assorted pairs of vehicle plate numbers and tools believed being used in stealing cars.

Police identified the wounded alleged gang leader as Pablito Gumasing Jr alias “Jurie”, believed to be the second in command of the Mark Lester carnapping group.

Gumasing was wounded after he opened fire on lawmen who was chasing him when he got cornered along the MacArthur highway in Bocaue town.

He was brought to a hospital for treatment and is being guarded by policemen.

Petrasanta said Marilao policemen headed by Supt Marcos Rivero augmented a team from the Valenzuela City police station who were chasing Gumasing who was driving a stolen Hyundai Getz car.

He said the pursuing mobile team from the Marilao police station led by Supt. Marcos Rivero radioed other police teams from the Highway Patrol Group and the anti-carnapping unit from the PNP-National Capital Region Police Office.

Police also recovered a plastic sachet of shabu weighing approximately 50 grams from Gumasing’s possession.

Petrsanta said that arrested gang members are also engaged in drug pushing activities as evidence by the seizure of drug paraphernalia, including weighing scales when the combined police teams raided the gang’s hideout on San Miguel Street, Marilao town.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that gang members are using high- tech equipment based on the accounts of one of the owners of stolen cars.

He said that the victim told police investigators that his car, a Honda Hunchback, was parked infront of his house in Quezon City when it was stolen.

He said that his car has a removable wheel and equip with sensors and alarm.

He also said that he is still being puzzled why the alarm sensors did not sound.

Orduna said that a special team from the PNP-HPG, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office and the anti-carnapping unit of the PNP-NCRPO are still conducting pursuit operations against the other suspected gang members.

Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the Bulacan police for neutralizing a criminal syndicate that has managed to establish a short-lived lair in Marilao.

“Lawless elements has no place in this province. Our police units are now better equipped and are highly capable in locating and neutralizing them. The combined efforts of the police units has resulted to a job well done,” the governor added. (PNA) 
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RDC-3 to make “bullet train project” a priority in 2014 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 5 (PNA) --The year of the Wooden Horse is seen to bring great expectation as it is said that this is the year for leaders who want to make a difference and make it happen.

Astrologers and geomancers said that in the Year of the Wooden Horse, there are only two choices—”either you join the race or you get left standing by the rails.”

In the booming area of Central Luzon, local executives who are also holding positions at the Regional Development Council (RDC) are expecting a bright future for the region.

An official of RDC-3 announced on Sunday that their ardent intention is to push for the construction of fast mass rail system that will link the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) to the international airport at the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) in Angeles, Pampanga.

Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the RDC will push for either the rehabilitation of the mothballed Northrail mass transport system or the building of the first rapid train system –like the famous “Bullet Train” of Japan—that will ferry goods, cargo and people from Manila to Clark and vice versa via a modern and fast mass transport facility.

He said there were plans to put a new airport in the region and planners are eying the coastal towns of Bulakan and Obando along the Manila Bay but since there is already an existing international airport at the CSEZ, the RDC is proposing to maximize the use of existing facilities at Clark by building the first “bullet train” in the country that will haul cargo and ferry people.

He said the proposed bullet train system, the first of its kind that will be built in the country, will not only further boost the economy of the region, particularly in the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Aurora, but will also change the lifestyle of the people in the central plain of Luzon.

Alvarado said that domestic and international products as well as the public will have the opportunity to reach their destination in a fast mode , thus speeding the progress of economic growth in the region.

He also said that the proposed bullet train project will have a positive and booming effect on business, economy, society, environment and culture in the busting growth corridors in Central Luzon.

The bullet train, he added, will have coaches for economy class, business class and executive class aside from its freight lines.

“The lifestyle of the people in region 3 will be revved up and travel time will be lessen. This project will surely change the landscape and business will definitely boom—in speeding fashion in our region,” the governor said.

Alvarado said that during a RDC meeting in the province last October, Deo Manalo, director of the project development service of the Department of Transportation and Communication, disclosed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is keen on rehabilitating the mothballed Northrail project and other railways of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), that would also link this historic capital city to Calamba, Laguna.

Alvarado said that if this will push through it should not be only from Manila to Malolos but also to the Clark area to maximize the use of the airport and other existing facilities there.

“The rapid growth in Bulacan and other parts of Central Luzon is now taking place and if the fast mass transit system be revived, it should connect Clark airport to Metro Manila. Lets be realistic, investors are now looking north of Metro Manila, since the Calabarzon area are now full.

"If the mass transport system will be put up, this should be placed in an area which it can be more useful. What we are talking here is the viability of the Clark international airport and the booming businesses in the region,” he said.

Alvarado said the RDC will make a recommendation to President Benigno S. Aquino III to approve the bullet train project that will link Metro Manila to Clark airport a priority undertaking this year. (PNA) 
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Service firearms of Bulacan cops inspected; no cops fired guns during Yuletide celebrations

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Jan. 3 (PNA)-- Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna on Friday said that no policemen in this province fired their “tape-sealed” service firearms during the Yuletide season.

Orduna, together with other ranking officials of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, inspected the firearms of provincial policemen during a formation at the provincial headquarters here.

The guns were sealed and signed by Bulacan police officials before New Year’s eve to ensure that no policemen will fire their service firearms.

Orduna was very firm when he told Bulacan policemen that he would not hesitate to throw the books at erring cops who will indiscriminately fire their guns during the New Year celebration.

Following the inspection of the sealed firearms, the Bulacan police director said that he was glad that his men followed the orders of PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima.

He, however ,called on witnesses who might shed light on a case of “stray bullet” piercing the house of Arvin Santos, 28, of Barangay San Sebastian, Hagonoy town.

The wayward bullet hit Santos on the head but he was declared “out of danger” by his attending doctors.

Santos told that he was lucky because the bullet grazed only his head as he tried to kiss his wife to greet her "Happy New Year" when the stray bullet fell inside their house.

Orduna said that the Hagonoy police are still looking for the owner of the gun. (PNA) 
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3 persons hit by stray bullet, 209 others hurt due to firecrackers in Central Luzon

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Jan. 2 (PNA) -- At least three persons were hit by stray bullet while the number of injured persons in Central Luzon due to firecrackers rose to 209, police said Thursday.

Those wounded due to stray bullet were identified as Alieya Sto. Domingo, 6, of Barangay Bertese, Quezon, Nueva Ecija; Marvin Santos, 23, a resident of Hagonoy, Bulacan and Mary Joy Macapagal, 16, a resident of San Ilmanio, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija.

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) director, said that based on the report they received those injured were from Bulacan, 69; Pampanga, 44; Tarlac, 27; Nueva Ecija, 23; Bataan, 18; Zambales, 14; Angeles City, 12; Olongapo City, 1 and Aurora, 1.

Petrasanta, however, said that there were no policemen reported who have discharged their service firearms during the New Year’s celebration.

Superintendent Raul Aganon, chief of the Regional Public Information Office-3 (RPIO3), said that although the number of firecracker victims in the region is higher by at least 26 percent as compared to last year, those injured suffered only minor injuries.

"Most of the injured were victims of small pyrotechnic items," Aganon said.

He said the PRO-3’s campaign against illegal firecrackers has been effective following the strict monitoring conducted by task force to manufacturers, dealers and users of firecrackers. (PNA) 
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36 persons injured in Bulacan’s New Year celebration 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 1 (PNA) --At least 36 persons were injured in the province as big revelers seem to ignore the "Iwas Paputok" campaign of the Department of Health (DOH).

A thick smoke and the stench of cordite filled the air in many parts of the province as revelers lit volume of fireworks as early as 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported the 36 victims were brought to different hospitals in Bulacan.

However, the PDRRMO said that there were no fatality and big fire reported.

There was also no report of victims of stray bullets, the PDRRMO said.

PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal said that 25 of the victims were holding firecrackers while 11 persons were simply watching or participating in lighting firecrackers.

As of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, the PDRRMO reported that 16 of the victims, mostly children, were injured by the toy firecracker called “Picolo”; seven were blasted by oversized firecrackers; six were by “kwitis” or skyrockets; four by sparklers, two by the killer firecracker known as “pla-pla; ” and one by five star firecracker.

Mungcal said at least 22 of the victims were treated for burn injuries, three for lacerated wounds, two for avulsion while the others were treated for contusions and abrasion.

Dr. Paul Ruel Camina of the Bulacan Medical Center said that two male victims have lost fingers after getting blasted by an exploding “crying cow,”a type of firecracker that emits obnoxious fumes while mimicking the sound of a crying cow and a “whistle bomb, a smaller version of the firecracker known as “baby dynamite”.

The victims were identified as Allan Balmes, a resident of Banga 1st, Plaridel and Wilfredo Vegas Jr, of Guiguinto town.

Balmes was holding the baby dynamite (whistle bomb) when it exploded, damaging the fingers in both hands and part of his back.

Vegas, on the other hand, was injured when the seemingly harless “crying cow” suddenly exploded while being lighted.

Camina said that finger bones were already protruding when the victims were brought to the BMC.

Despite the big volume of fireworks that were ignited on New Year’s Eve, the number of firecracker victims in the province was still low as compared to 40 victims last year.

The PDRMMO said that the decrease in the number of victims can be attributed by the preparedness and awareness campaign on the proper handling of firecrackers by the provincial Government , the Bulacan police and other concerned agencies.

Mungcal said that a week before Christmas, PDRMMC chairman Gov. Willy M. Sy-Alvarado has already placed emergency teams, firefighters as well as medical teams on a 24 hours alert status, ready to help at any given instance. (PNA) 
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Central Luzon cops on heightened alert

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 23 (PNA) -– The Central Luzon police are now on heightened alert for possible terror during this Yuletide season.

Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Central Luzon police director, has placed all police units in the region under alert, advising all police personnel to take precautionary measures.

Petrasanta also reminded provincial and city directors to tighten the security of police camps and offices including vital installations, economic key points and places of convergence such as malls and public markets.

He earlier sought an audience with different security managers of malls and discussed with them their respective preparations especially with the influx of shoppers during the holidays.

“This is a preemptive measure to ensure the safety of shoppers,” he pointed out, adding that the focus is not on terror but criminal elements who will take advantage of the situation.

Petrasanta said that police units in areas where major shopping malls are located have been beefed-up, including Subic and Clark Freeport in Olongapo City and Mabalacat City, respectively, Angeles City, Tarlac City, Cabanatuan City and Bulacan.

He also cancelled Christmas and New Year’s break of policemen except in emergency situations.

However, he said the situation will be upgraded into full alert should the need arise. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops smash shabu lab, Chinese chemist nabbed 
By Emil G. Gamos

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Dec 21 (PNA--Police continue to score big in their campaign against the drug menace following the arrest of a Chinese chemist during a lightning raid at a shabu laboratory in Barangay Sta. Cruz here Friday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Liu Shihua alias “Peter Tan Lee."

Except from admitting to be a chemist, other data about the suspect remains unknown.

Orduna said that a police anti-narcotics team swooped down on an apartment on Catleya Street, Sta. Rita Village in Barangay Sta Cruz after a weeklong surveillance which was undertaken after receiving information on the suspicious presence of the Chinese chemist.

He said that police investigators learned that Shihua has been staying at the said apartment for more than three months now, renting the place for P10,000 a month.

It was also learned that the apartment was rented by a certain Johnny Tan, according to landlady Flor Fugoso.

Orduna said the raiding team seized chemical ingredients and apparatus being used to manufacture shabu.

Police said that the shabu lab could produce five to 10 kilos of shabu a day.

The seized evidences were brought to the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory for further examination and documentation.

The arrested suspect is presently under the custody of the Guiguinto police while appropriate charges are being readied against him for filing in court.

Meanwhile, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the Bulacan police for smashing the clandestine shabu laboratory, saying that its discovery and the arrest of the suspect has already saved many youths from the dangers and evil of the dope menace. (PNA) 
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AFP declares Bulacan "cleared of communist affectation and influence" 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec 18 (PNA) -–Long known as among the hotbed of communist insurgency in the country, the province of Bulacan on Wednesday was finally declared “cleared of communist terrorists affectation and influence” by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the Francisco Balagtas Hall of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy- Alvarado, in his capacity as chairman of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and representative of the provincial government of Bulacan, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Col. Henry G. Sabarre, commander of the 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade of 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and Bulacan police director Supt. Joel S. Orduna, declaring Bulacan as “peaceful and ready for further development.”

The MOA signing was witnessed by Northern Luzon Command commander Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., Col. Librado Moog, Imelda Magat of the provincial office of the Department of Interior and Local Government and provincial board member Ramon Posadas, chairman of the Committee on Peace and Order of the Sanguniang Panglalawigan.

Catapang said that the 703rd Brigade, which has operational jurisdiction in Bulacan, has earlier recommended to the higher headquarters of the AFP for the declaration of Bulacan as “cleared” from “communist terrorists” (CTs) affectation and influence as evidence by the decrease in the activities of the insurgents and the improved peace and order situation in the province as attested by local chief executives of formerly affected areas.

“ All the ingredients for progress is now here in Bulacan. We have been fighting insurgency for a long time but finally we have cleared Bulacan and growth and development is now fast accelerating here especially in the mountains of Eastern Bulacan which is rich in mineral resources,” Catapang said.

He also stressed that to achieve long lasting peace, the groundwork for progress must be laid properly and spread prosperity to all the people.

He assured Governor Alvarado and the people of Bulacan that the AFP will continue to protect the province from all types of security threats.

Alvarado said that the MOA is” a manifestation of our long quest for peace”.

He said that the key to progress and peace is unity and this will radiate to the entire country, ensuring national growth and stability.

“This is a challenge to anybody, whatever their creed or ideology, the purpose here, is alleviate the lives of our people and with order there will be peace and when there is peace, progress and development will bloom.

“We could now focus on more pressing problems like addressing the effects of global warming and climate change. Through the unified move and stable relationship, we can the attain peaceful development of our province," the governor said.

The MOA will also further strengthen the internal security operations that will pre-empt the resurgence of communist terrorists and other threat groups in the province. (PNA) 
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OCD-Region 3 chief hails Bulacan officials for successful Angat dam break drill

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 13 (PNA) -- In times of chaos and devastation wrought by a powerful earthquake that could trigger the “destruction” of the 45 years old Angat dam, preparedness, good management and strong leadership can make a big difference in saving as many lives as possible.

This was the assessment of Office of Civil Defense-3 (OCD-3) regional director Josefina Timoteo on the Angat dam break drill conducted by the provincial government on Friday morning.

The drill was made after Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado ordered the review and upgrading of emergency action plans (EAPs) of the provincial government, including various schools in this historic capital city, as part of the adaptation program on the “clear and present danger” being poised by the destructive effects of global warming and climate change.

Timoteo said the drill conducted by the provincial government and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), is “99.9 perfect.”

“Today, we have witnessed an efficient incident command system here that could help save lives even in a worse case scenario like a 7.2 magnitude earthquake coupled with the collapse of Angat dam,” said Timoteo, a native of Paombong town and a veteran disaster control official.

She said Bulacan is blessed with good and competent leaders that people can rely on during times of calamities.

”This kind of preparation is very important and timely. There are lot of lives that can be saved in the right movement and preparation in times of calamities,” Timoteo said as she thanked provincial officials and PDRRM executive officer for coming up with an efficient disaster emergency action plans.

At least 12,000 students, teachers and capitol employees participated in the Angat dam Drill.

They were taught on what to do and where to go when a calamity of destructive proportion struck.

Alvarado said that Bulacan is being constantly hit by severe floodings and yet when the water subsides, its people still has their homes and means of livelihood unlike the unfortunate victims of the most powerful typhoon that ever hit the planet—super typhoon Yolanda.

“But in this situation, we are bracing for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake being aggravated by the collapse of Angat dam. During bad weather, the dams are releasing excess waters and when they release even just two cubic meters per second of water, the low laying towns of Hagonoy, Calumpit and parts of Malolos are being submerged by rampaging floods. But when the dam breaks, it will unleash at least 210 centimeters of rampaging water that will also carries debris like illegally cut logs,” the governor said.

Alvarado also said that they will constantly pray that it will not happen but when it does, the people will now be prepared for the worse.

The governor also ask concerned agencies to use the P5.7 billion given by President Benigno S. Aquino III for the immediate rehabilitation of Angat dam. (PNA) 
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Barangay chairman in Bulacan slain

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 12 (PNA) -- A barangay chairman in Bulacan was shot dead by a still unidentified gunman along General Alejo Santos Highway in Bustos town of the said province Wednesday.

In a report reaching Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, director of the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3), the slain official was identified as Romeo Taruc, 63, a barangay captain of Hinukay, Baliuag, Bulacan.

Police report said that Taruc was shot in the head and body by a lone gunman while he was about to board his car, Mitsubishi Adventure with plate no. RJL-649.

The barangay official died on the spot, the police said.

It was learned that the victim had just went out of the Bustos cockpit around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when the shooting incident took place.

Three empty shells for .45 caliber pistol was found at the scene of the crime.

Police are still investigating the motive behind the incident. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police ready for Monday’s ABC president elections

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 7 (PNA)-—The Bulacan Police Provincial Office is now on full alert for the election of Association of Barangay Captains in the province on Monday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said maneuvers platoon from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company (PPSMC) under Supt. Ross Alvarado are now deployed in key areas of the province.

Orduna said that some teams from the PPSMC will also augment the local police stations in the province's 21 towns and three cities.

“We are watching some areas but generally, we see a peaceful elections on Monday,” he said.

Elected village chieftains in a town or city will choose their president which will represent them in the municipal or city council after which they will again choose their representative to the provincial board.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that this Monday’s election of ABC president is democracy in action that emanates from the grassroot level.

He urged village officials to choose the leader whom they deem can serve the community, the town or city, the province and their country well.

“There are a lot of good barangay officials and they will be our partners in pushing for progress and peace to our noble province," the governor said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops keep tight watch on sale of killer firecrackers

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Dec. 6 (PNA) -- The clandestine selling of oversized and killer types of firecrackers has gone high-tech, police officials disclosed on Friday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that police intelligence operatives have uncovered the new modus operandi of some unscrupulous dealers of firecrackers on the illegal sales of these banned types of deadly noisemakers as among the favorites of some revelers who want to greet the coming of the New Year with a dangerous loud bang.

“Buyers or the so called suki (frequent customer) can still buy these killer types of firecrackers through text messages and other forms of high tech messaging.

"But the police will continue to hunt illegal manufacturers and dealers of banned firecrackers,” he said.

Orduna, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and representatives of the provincial government, inspected fireworks stores in Barangays Turo and Binians.

He warned dealers that policemen will immediately padlock their shops if they will be caught selling killer types of firecrackers.

Among the prohibited types are “Goodbye Philippines”, “Doomsday”, “Pla-Pla”, “Ampatuan”, “Super Lolo” etc.

Orduna also instructed Supt. Ross Alvarado, head of the Public Safety Management Company, to deploy teams along the rows of fireworks stores to ensure that the safety provisions of Republic Act 7183 otherwise known as “The Firecracker Law of 1992” is strictly observed.

“People can celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year without using killer types of firecrackers. There are many safe pyrotechnics devices that can be bought.

"The Bulacan Police will strictly watch these store and will arrest buyers of oversized firecrackers,” he said.

Orduna also said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reminded manufacturers and dealers to sell only fireworks that has passed quality standards bearing DTI-approved seal or stickers.

“Most of the injuries here are caused by smuggled imported fireworks which is slowly killing the livelihood and income of local manufacturers and dealers,” he added.

Orduna said that a provincewide information campaign on the safe use and handling of fireworks and other pyrotechnics devices will be jointly conducted by the Provincial Public Affairs Office and the Public Information Office of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office.

He added that the “no smoking and no testing” policy will be strictly enforced as well as provision on zoning. (PNA) 
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2 female dope dealers fall in Bulacan drug bust

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Dec. 4 (PNA) -– Police operatives are continuously stepping up their campaign in eradicating the drug menace in the province by pounding hard on the lairs of suspected drug dealers.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said the Special Operations Group of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office arrested two alleged female drug dealers during a buy bust operation in Barangay Banga 1st, Plaridel Tuesday night.

Orduna identified the arrested suspects as Melody Gurobat, 20, resident of Barangay Banga 1st, Plaridel and Rhenielyn Reyes, 25, of Barangay Banga 2nd, also in Plaridel town.

Orduna said a team from the Special Operation Group arrested the suspects after selling shabu to a police poseur buyer.

When frisked, the suspect yielded at least 50 plastic sachets of shabu weighing approximately 50 grams, he said.

He said the seized illegal drugs has an estimated street value worth P300,000.

The seized evidence was brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory for testing while drug pushing charges are being readied for filing in court against the suspects.

Orduna said the intensified anti-drug operations is in line with the marching order of Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta to step-up operations against criminal elements. (PNA) 
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Outstanding Central Luzon cops cited

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 2 (PNA) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government in Region 3 (DILG-3) conferred awards to most outstanding policemen of Central Luzon over the weekend.

The awarding ceremony was led by DILG-3 assistant regional director Abraham Pascua.

The search for the outstanding policemen and policewomen of Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) was conceptualized by former PRO-3 regional director and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Arturo Cacdac, in partnership with the JBT Group of Companies of Jose B. Tan.

The search for outstanding policemen and women aims to highlight and pay tribute to the exemplary performance of deserving police officers in Central Luzon.

The awardees were chosen after several months of stringent screening by the selection board composed of DILG regional director Florida Dijan; National Police Commission regional director lawyer Manuel Pontanal; CHED-OIC Virginia Akiate and Msgr. Eugenio Mercado with the Regional Police Community Relations Division as the secretariat.

Among the awardees were the following: senior police chief officer (PCO) category–Supt. Elsa Miranda, Tarlac Provincial Police Office, and Supt. David Poklay, Bulacan PPO; junior PCO category–Insp. Beverlie Allapitan, RPSB3, and Sr. Insp. Alexander Reyes, PPSC, Nueva Ecija PPO; Police Non-Commissioned (PNCO) category-PO3 Maria Gerylines Pacubas, RHQS, PRO3 and PO2 Comet Dumangeng, Pampanga PPO.

Also awarded for achievements outside normal police call of duty was Sr. Insp. Michael Masangkay, Pampanga PPO.

Each awardees received a cash prize, plaque and one computer set.

Meanwhile, PRO-3 director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta said that Central Luzon police will continue to give recognition to deserving police personnel. (PNA) 
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Comelec stops oath of barangay captain in Meycauayan City

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 1 (PNA)--An elected barangay captain in this component city known for its world class jewelry industry was prevented from taking his oath.

This after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) suspended “the effects of the proclamation of Salvador D. Violago as punong barangay of Camalig in this city."

The order was penned by Comelec First Division presiding Commissioner Lucenito Tagle dated November 27.

The poll body found that “the evidence for the grounds of denial to or cancel the certificate of candidacy (of Violago) is strong.”

The Comelec Order virtually barred Violago from taking his oath as barangay captain that was held simultaneously last November 30 for all elected barangay officials in the province at the Bulacan Provincial Capitol here.

The Comelec said that the case stemmed from the disqualification complaint filed by petitioners Lorenzo San Pascual, Victoria Fuerte and Nella Dungo who alleged that Violago, aka “Bogs Violago”, lacked the mandatory six - month residency for a candidate in the barangay elections.

Records showed that Violago ran and lost as a mayoralty candidate in the May 13, 2013 local elections and used his residential address at Barangay Lawa, where his wife, Josefina, is the incumbent barangay captain.

Josefina also ran and was reelected in the October 28 barangay polls but Bogs Violago decided to also ran as a candidate for barangay captain in Camalig where he owns a gasoline station. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to hold 'Dam Break Drill'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 1 (PNA)--If you are a student or a teacher studying in this historic capital city, what would you do if a magnitude 71.2 earthquake jolts the province and the giant Angat dam nestling in the mountains of Norzagaray town breaks?

This question will be answered next week when the provincial government and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), in coordination with the city government, holds a “Dam break Drill” in four big universities here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the drill aims to prepare students and faculty members when calamities of catastrophic proportions happens.

“Prevention is the best way to survive and save lives. No one knows when it will come and we are praying that it will not but it is prudent to be ready and alert,” Alvarado said.

He said that it is not only the destruction that the collapse of Angat that should be addressed but also the destruction of buildings and other structures.

He said that government experts have confirmed that the 45 years old Angat Dam is sitting on the West Valley fault line.

Alvarado has time and again called the attention of the national government for the immediate repair and fortification of the more than four decades old dam.

He said that the people of Bulacan is very thankful to President Benigno Aquino III for his swift response to the issue by giving P 5.1 billion budget fort the immediate repair of the dam.

However, Alvarado and other Bulacan officials, including the local media, are wondering when the repair and rehabilitation of Angat dam will start since it was almost a year when the President released the P5.1 billion budget.

City mayor Christian D. Natividad said the “Dam Break Drill” will be conducted at the La Consolacion University, The Bulacan State University, Centro Escolar University and the Bulacan Polytechnic College.

Natividad said that the city government is also strictly implementing a building code that will ensure the strength and stability of buildings and structures being built in the city. (PNA) 
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Gov commends Bulacan delegation for helping typhoon victims in Eastern Samar

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 29 (PNA)-—They came, they saw, they delivered and they are now back home after bringing help and hope to the survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” at the so- called “ground zero” in Eastern Samar.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday thanked and commended the 104-man delegation from this province who made a long journey to bring medical aid, medicines and relief goods to the people of the heavily devastated areas in Eastern Samar.

”There is not enough words to thank all of you. You are the dignity of our province. What you’ve done whether small or big is now written in our history. It is not how much or how many provinces you have helped but the love who showed to those who was hit by super typhoon,” Alvarado told the 104-man delegation when they arrived back at the Provincial Capitol grounds Thursday afternoon.

Aside from the aid that the Bulacan delegation has brought to Eastern Samar, particularly in the towns of Lawaan, Quinapondan, Giporlos and Balangiga, the governor said donations continue to pour at the provincial capitol.

He said they will turn over the donation to either the Philippine National Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare and Development or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

”During the time we were under the state of calamity, the Visayas extended their help and support to us. We are more blessed. Let us remember that it is better to give than to receive,” he said.

Alvarado said that help will continue to pour to the typhoon-ravaged areas in the Visayan region even when the foreign contingents decide to go home.

Dr. Paul Ruel Camina, who was among the doctors who gave free medical services to the people of Eastern Samar, said the Bulacan delegation was composed of 24 doctors; one dentist; 32 nurses; five lay rescuers; three social workers; six truck drivers; two tanker drivers; 13 police security personnel; five bus drivers; four ambulance drivers; and six support groups headed by Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Joe Gomez and provincial medical consultant Dr. Florante Tuazon.

The province has distributed 1,000 tons of relief goods and medical supplies supported with 10,000 liters of diesel fuel, loaded in two passenger buses, four 10-14 wheeler dump and cargo trucks, four ambulance vehicles and one SUV.

Valerio said the sight of the devastation brought shock to the Bulacan team but they remained undaunted as it only gave them the strength and the will to help the people of Eastern Samar recover and rebuild their ravaged communities.

Valerio presented to Alvarado and other provincial officials including Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and Board member Michael Fermin a sack printed with words written in black paint “Thank you very much to Bulacan, from the people of Lawaan, Samar.”

The two government officials also thanked the Bulacan delegation for doing a “job well done.”

“They are modern day angels to the people of Eastern Samar,’ Fernando said.

For her part, Dr. Joy Gomez said they did not only bring food, medicines and medical aid but also inspiration.

“We planted hope in a hopeless heart, one’s burden got lighter because of us, we caused a laugh that wipes their tears away, our days were well spent in our journey to Samar, we would like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to serve God through them even in a short period of time,” Gomez said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops bust drug dealer with guns, AWOL cop in drug sting operation

CAMP GEN ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Nov. 28 (PNA) -- Police arrested a suspected drug dealer and an AWOL (absent without leaver) policeman during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Lambakin, San Miguel town on Thursday afternoon.

In a report to Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, San Miguel police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola identified the arrested suspects as Ronaldo de Guzman alias “Bat”, 40, married, jobless, resident of said barangay and one P03 Jaime Vitug Mallari Jr., a cop on AWOL status.

Orduna said several grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, guns and ammunitions were seized from the suspects.

He said Macariola and the drug enforcement unit of the San Miguel Police station arrested de Guzman after selling a plastic sachet of shabu to a police undercover agent inside his house which has been the subject of complaints from concerned citizens who claimed that it is being used as a dope den.

When frisked, De Guzman yielded another sachet of shabu, a black widow revolver and a homemade shotgun.

The AWOL cop, on the other hand, was nabbed for visiting a dope den and could also face charges for possession of a gun, a Pitro Berreta 9mm Pistol with a clip of magazine loaded with 12 live bullets.

The confiscated evidence were turned over to the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory for examinations while appropriate charges are being readied for filing in court against the arrested suspects. (PNA) 
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PRO-3 destroys confiscated video karera machines

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Nov. 25 (PNA) --The Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) on Monday destroyed the 12 confiscated video karera and fruit game machines to show its relentless efforts against illegal gambling in Central Luzon.

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, PRO3 director, said the machines were confiscated Sunday by the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) in its anti-illegal gambling operations conducted in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Petrasanta personally supervised the destruction of the confiscated video machines right after Monday 's flag ceremony here.

He said the destroyed video machines worth P100,000.

Petrasanta said that a total of P15,000 different dominations of coins that contained on the 12 video machines will be donated to "Yolanda" victims.

He said that RSOG will continuously conduct monitoring on illegal gambling activities in the region. (PNA)
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CAAP orders probe on private chopper crash in Obando

MANILA, Nov. 25 (PNA) -- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Monday ordered for an investigation as to what caused a private helicopter to crash land in the waters of Obando, Bulacan on Sunday afternoon.

CAAP Director General Willaim Hotchkiss III said he has sent field investigators to determine the cause of the incident after the crash incident near the shorelines of Purok 6, Binwagan, Obando, Bulacan.

Reports reaching Hotchkiss said the chopper which figured in the accident was a Bolkow 150 with registration number RP-C699 piloted by Capt. James Eagle with lone passenger Capt. Iren Dornier, who were both safe after getting thrown life vests by a US C130 PAG-ASA 47 crew responding to a mayday alert .

The chopper came from a humanitarian mission in the Visayas in connection with typhoon “Yolanda” and was flying back to home base in Pampanga from Caticlan when the incident happened.

The pilot of the chopper sent a distress signal and was picked up by a US C130 PAG-ASA 47 which located it with the help of CAAP personnel relaying information and coordinates.

The CAAP Operation Rescue and Coordinating Center also contacted the coast guard teams near the area who immediately sent rubber boats.

Initial reports received by the Philippine Coast Guard said the chopper’s engine overheated thus the accident. (PNA) 
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Two suspected car thieves fall, 12 high end vehicles siezed in Bulacan raid - By Emil G. Gamos

BALIWAG, Bulacan, Nov. 23 (PNA) -– Police arrested two alleged members of a carnapping syndicate and siezed several high-end vehicles during a raid at the gang’s suspected hideout in Barangay Matang Tubig here Saturday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspects as couple Mark Joseph and Jasmine Reyes, both residing on Sampaguita Street, Barangay Matang Tubig.

Oduna said at least 12 stolen motor vehicles, one tricycle and one motorcycle were recovered by joint operatives of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, Baliwag Police Station, Provincial Public Safety Company and the PNP-Highway Patrol Group Region 3 at the Reyes compound.

He said the police team swooped down on the area on the strength of a search warrant issued by the Bulacan Regional Trial Court and was properly documented in the presence of village officials and mediamen.

He said police investigators are looking deeper into the alleged involvement of the arrested suspects in the illegal activities of a big time carnap gang operating in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

Orduna said the raiding team recovered one Toyota Land Cruiser, one Ford Everest, one Honda Jazz, two Honda Civic Hatchback, one Honda City, one Nissan Frontier Pick Up, one Mitsubishi Exceed van, one Mitsubishi L 300 van, one Kawasaki Barako motorcycle with sidecar and one Sangyong Musso car.

He said the suspects are now under the custody of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group.(PNA) 
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Bulacan, Vietnam ink bilateral trade ties

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 21 (PNA)-- A bilateral trade relation was forged Thursday between the provincial government of Bulacan, the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

A five-page memorandum of cooperation was signed between the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam led by Ambassador Truong Trieu Duong and BCCI president Gregoria Simbulan during the trade and investment meeting held at the Pavillion of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

Alvarado said that the signing will contribute to better relations between the two countries and to a more peaceful and prosperous world for the children of the next generation.

“This meeting is a testament to our incredible focus and desire to boost our relationship in different areas for our economic advancement.

"We can look forward to a better time now if we tackle our province in good faith with imagination and determination in seeking the best possible solution for the benefit of both countries,” the governor said.

A powerpoint presentation on the economic and livelihood programs under the “One Bulacan Pride” or Program for Rapid Industrialization and Development was presented during the meeting.

Alvarado said the rapid growth and development now in motion in Bulacan is giving domestic and foreign investors all good reasons to invest in this province.

Bulacan was recently hailed by Superbrands Marketing International, an award-giving body tasked to celebrate the success of brands worldwide, as “the undisputed most progressive province in the country today.”

Ambassador Duong was enthusiastic during his visit in Bulacan and is looking forward to boost the relationship between his country and the province.

“The goal of our visit is to inform the officials and businessmen of Bulacan the opportunities of cooperation and doing business in Vietnam.

"The door of Vietnam embassy is always open for any of your initiatives or inquiries to do business with us Vietnamese. Likewise we would also like to hear about doing business opportunities in Bulacan. I believe that this will result in enhancing our relations and cooperation,” Duong said.

Phan Tuan Khoi, commercial counselor of the Vietnamese Embassy, presented the overview on the trade policy of Vietnam ,including the exports to the country last year such as rice, machinery, coffee and computers, which amounted to US$ 1.871 million as well as the products that are prohibited from import and export like weapons, fireworks, toxic chemicals, and others.

Provincial planning and development officer Arlene Pascual, on the other hand, presented the highlights of the provincial government's initiative on trade, investment and tourism.

For the BCCI, Simbulan cited the common characteristics of Vietnam and the Philippines.

“Aside from food, historically, we have both been colonies of the European countries but it is good to know that there are very strong evidences of active maritime trade between our two countries even before the arrival of the Europeans which we must continue at present,” Simbulan added. (PNA) 
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Police officers undergo 'Balik Aral' program

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 15 (PNA)--Ranking police officers in Central Luzon and in the National Capital Region (NCR) virtually went back to school Thursday after finishing a one-day course dubbed “Balik Aral” where the action plans of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were discussed in a classroom-setting.

Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta said the activity is in line with PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima’s continuing education program where ranking police commanders were briefed on implementation of the national police’s plans of action.

Quezon City police district director Chief Supt. Richard A. Albano said the lecturers in the "Balik Aral" discussed the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030 or the “Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and upholding the Rule Of Law.”

Chief Supt. Ferdinando G. Sevilla, director of Center for Police Strategy Management (CPSM), lectured about the CODE-P and Personal Scorecard of the PNP while Ret. Chief Supt. Rex Milton A. Dolino, consultant of Patrol Plan 2013, discussed the “Four Disciplines of Strategy Execution.”

Makati City police chief Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban said that police commanders from the regional office down to the provincial and local levels have their own scorecards in the implementation of the plans of actions of the national police headquarters.

“This will help policemen to perform their duties well and make their respective areas a safe place to live and do business,” Lukban said. (PNA) 
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Angat dam continues preemptive release of excess water after its spilling level was breached

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 11 (PNA) -- Operators of Angat dam is continuously releasing water from their overflowing reservoir after its spilling level has been breached by one meter since Saturday.

Engr. Rodolfo Herman, general manager of the Angat River Hydro Electric Power Plant of the National Power Corporation, said that they will continue the preemptive release from their reservoir until the water level goes down to 210 meters.

Angat dam engineers opened their spill gates and started preemptive release operations last Saturday afternoon after the water breached its spilling level of 212 meters.

Disaster response team alerted villages along the Angat river that Angat dam will begin releasing water.

The Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said the release will not affect any low lying areas in the province since the Bustos dam can contain the water being released from Angat dam.

Herman said the rising water elevation was due to the huge volume of rainfall spawned by super typhoon Yolanda.

Earlier, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado urged dam operators to conduct preemptive release from their overflowing reservoir.

"They should not test the structural integrity of the 45-year old Angat dam. The water at the dam is overspilling. That's why there is a need to do preemptive release of excess water," Alvarado said.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the water level at Angat dam was 213.31 meters (spilling level 212 meters) while the water level at Ipo dam was 100.64 meters (spilling level 101 meters).

The water elevation at Bustos dam, on the other hand, was 16.46 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters). (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops get new motorbikes against criminals

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Nov 8 (PNA)--Bad news for “riding-in-tandem” criminals operating in this province.

The Bulacan Police Provincial Office is now training policemen to counter the nefarious activities of hoodlums, particularly those riding-in-tandem on motorcycles.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that selected policemen from different police station and the Provincial Public Safety Company are now undergoing motorcycle-riding tactics, specifically to chase and deter criminals on board motorbikes from victimizing the public.

Orduna said that the training course was conducted after giant cement company Holcim Philippines donated 30 brand new motorcycles equipped with radio and public address gadgets early this week.

“We are thankful that companies like Holcim Philippines, through their social responsibility program, are helping law enforcers in battling crime and in the maintenance of peace and order,” he said.

He said that a pair of policemen will now also ride in tandem in patrolling major streets of province.

“We are now training them on how to use these motorcycles and how they respond in any given situation when chasing and neutralizing criminals,” the top Bulacan cop said.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who was present during the turnover of the 30 brand new motorcycles at the provincial police headquarters here, said that the Bulacan police are now better equipped in combating criminals and in preserving the peace and order situation in this province.

“We now have our own motorcycle-riding cops that are capable of thwarting criminal activities in our province. They will augment the mobile patrol teams in maintaining peace and order which is one of the major thrust of provincial government ” Alvarado said. (PNA) 
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Update: Super typhoon 'Yolanda' plows through Visayas

MANILA, Nov 8 (PNA) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Friday said that Typhoon Yolanda continues to move over the landmass of the Visayas as the agency advised the residents to take precautionary measures.

In a interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Elvie Enriquez said typhoon Yolanda has already made three landfalls -- first in Guiuan, Eastern Samar around 4:40 a.m., second landfall over Dulag-Tolosa Leyte around 7 a.m. then as of 8 a.m. the typhoon crossed Ormoc City.

She added that as of 8 a.m. the eye of typhoon “Yolanda” was located at the vicinity of Ormoc City, Leyte (11.0°N, 124.7°E) with maximum sustained winds of 235 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 275 kph and it is forecast to move west northwest at 39 kph.

Enriquez said that if typhoon Yolanda maintains its movement and speed, it is expected to traverse in Bantayan, Cebu around 10 a.m. to 12 noon; then it will move at Estancia, Iloilo around 12 noon to 2 p.m.; then around 2 p.m to 4 p.m. then typhoon will go across Boracay, Aklan; then 4 p.. to 6 p.m and the last possible landfall in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro and Busuanga, northern Palawan around 10 p.m. to 12 midnight.

Enriquez said the super typhoon is expected to exit the Philippine landmass (on Saturday early morning) towards the West Philippine Sea.

Enriquez added that Yolanda is expected to be out of country's area responsibility by Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, PAGASA said on Friday morning issued a red and orange rainfall warning on some provinces in the Visayas due to typhoon Yolanda.

In its twitter account, a red warning signal issued at 8 a.m., PAGASA said heavy downpours are expected in Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Bohol, Camotes Island and northern Cebu.

At 9 a.m., PAGASA included Cebu and Siquijor in its red warning signal.

"Serious flooding is expected in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas," it said.

A red rainfall advisory is issued when downpours constitute an emergency. This is raised when observed rainfall is more than 30 mm within one hour or if rainfall has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm.

When PAGASA raises a red warning, communities should be prepared to respond. It means serious flooding is seen and that residents should be ready to evacuate to safety.

Meanwhile, orange rainfall warning was raise over Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor and rest of Cebu

"Flooding is threatening in low lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas," it said.

The orange rainfall advisory is raised in areas where rainfall is between 15 mm and 30 mm within one hour. Flooding is a definite threat in communities under the orange alert.

PAGASA also said that light to moderate rainshowers at times heavy rains will be felt in Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon which may persist for two to three hours. (PNA) 
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Warden says escape of 9 prisoners in CamSur jail planned, has outside help - By John Mark Escandor

NAGA CITY, Nov. 7 (PNA) -- The escape of nine prisoners from the Camarines Sur provincial jail in nearby Pili town was planned and coordinated and involved people outside of the prison.

This was revealed by Jose Francisco Musa, jail warden, to the PNA Wednesday but, he said, he could not elaborate further on the details and the people behind the escape because it might jeopardize the on-going operation for the capture of the remaining escapees still on the loose.

Musa said he had asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for deeper probe on the circumstances and people behind the jailbreak.

He said they had sightings of five escapees and authorities are undergoing a monitoring operation for their capture or surrender.

Two out of the nine prisoners who escaped last week from the provincial jail surrendered to authorities in San Miguel, Bulacan, and were turned over to jail authorities here Tuesday.

Musa identified the two recovered escapees who are now under the custody of the Provincial Jail of Camarines Sur as Muriel San Joaquin, charged with carnapping, and Erwin Capuz, facing a rap for violation of anti-drug law or R.A. 9165.

He said they still have to capture seven escapees including Richard Tell, facing statutory rape case; Juan Polidario, illegal possession of firearms; Kalim Padillo, frustrated murder; Roy Cabaltera, accused of rape; Eugene Porutas, drug trafficking; Roland Negrido, murder; and Lyod Gilford Embile, robbery.

Musa revealed that Porutas was the leader of the jailbreak. (PNA) 
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CJ Sereno leads 'Justice on Wheels' in Bulacan on Nov. 8

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 6 (PNA) -- The "Justice on Wheels" program of the Supreme Court (SC) scheduled this coming Friday, Nov. 8 here might just be an early Christmas present for some lucky prisoners who are serving time at the Bulacan provincial jail.

Executive judge Ma. Theresa Mendoza-Arcega of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court said the entire resources of the Bulacan judiciary will be mobilized for the summary disposition of at least 140 to 150 cases pending in the different RTC and municipal trial courts of the province.

“In support of the speedy disposition of cases which is the primary aim of the program, I am optimistic that we will dispose off an unprecedented record number of cases to help especially those accused of crimes who are languishing in jail due to technicalities or by reasons of financial difficulties,“ Arcega said.

SC Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will personally lead the mobile "Justice on Wheels" trip to this historic capital city of Malolos, where hearings on pre-designated cases will be conducted on a customized air-con bus.

Provincial prosecutor Renato C. Samonte Jr, for his part, said “we are fully supportive of the Justice on Wheels program because the duty of a fiscal is not to convict but to prosecute and to ensure that justice is done.”

Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Bulacan chapter) president lawyer Pingki B. Bernabe said they are also mobilizing the full complement of the chapter’s pool of free legal aid lawyers to represent accused who will not be assisted by counsel so that their scheduled hearings will push through.

IBP-Bulacan vice president lawyer Percy dela Cruz said the speedy disposition of cases is the primary concern of everyone in order to decongest jails and help unclog the court salas of thousands of pending cases which accumulate every year.

IBP-Bulacan chapter also known as the Gat. Marcelo H. del Pilar chapter was acclaimed as the country's Most Outstanding IBP for the current year due to the sterling accomplishment of its board of directors and past-president lawyer Cecilio "Ted" Villanueva. (PNA) 
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NLEX-southboud heavy, SLEX light; rest of transport terminals have normal passenger volumes

MANILA, Nov. 3 (PNA) -- Portions of the southbound direction of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) on Sunday experienced heavy traffic flow as vacationists trooped back to Metro Manila after spending “Undas” in the provinces.

Liezel Uy, of the Manila North Luzon Tollways Corp. traffic control center, said that as of 6 pm, the southbound lanes of NLEX in San Fernando, Pampanga had heavy vehicular flow due to a multiple collision at kilometer 62+500.

Uy said that once vehicles pass the area, it will be free moving but will experience slow moving traffic once they reach the viaduct between Pampanga and Bulacan. The slow moving traffic will extend all the way to Bocaue in Bulacan.

Uy attributed the slow moving traffic to vehicular volume.

At the South Luzon Expressway, Eugene Grecia, of the traffic control center, said that both directions of the highway experienced light traffic in both directions which he said was probably due to vacationist heading back to Manila on Saturday or some may go back early Monday morning.

At the Manila North Harbor, Jasper Atanedo, passenger terminal assistant, said the sea port experienced normal passenger flow. He said some 1,200 passengers arrived Sunday, while 960 left Manila.

“The number of passengers is our normal passenger flow,” Atanedo said.

It was the same for arriving domestic passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 as the Passenger Arrival Information Center noted an estimated 60 passenger arrivals for every flight that arrives the terminal.

The Quezon City Police District-Tourist Police Assistance Center in Cubao said it was also like a normal day of operations at Araneta Bus Terminal where buses arrive and depart without heavy passenger volume. (PNA) 
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Lack of parking space in cemetery causes traffic jam in Bulacan

MARILAO, Bulacan Nov. 1 (PNA) -- Traffic jam started in some thoroughfares of Marilao, Bulacan as one of its cemeteries, Lias Memorial Park, has no available parking space this afternoon for motorists visiting the cemetery.

Lias Memorial Park is located around 300 meters away from SM City Marilao and is near McArthur Hi-way and along Lias-Saog Road.

Parking spaces are very limited even the management allowed motorists to park their vehicles inside the cemetery.

Heavy traffic started more than 500 meters away along Lias Road and created a bottleneck in McArthur-Lias Intersection.

Stalls selling flowers, candles and food located beside the cemetery also contributed to road congestion.

Barangay traffic aids were assigned to manage the road situation in areas near the Lias Memorial Park.

People flocked to the said cemetery around 4 p.m. and more are expected to come in the evening.

Visitors said they opt to come in the evening to avoid the noon heat.

Police desk representative said they will continue monitoring the situation as many of the visitors will stay in the cemetery until All Soul’s Day, November 2. (PNA)
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‘Undas’ in Bulacan remains peaceful

BULACAN, Nov. 1 (PNA) – Observance of All Saint’s Day remains peaceful in the province of Bulacan, according to Police Provincial Office (PPO) Operations Officer Supt. Dale Soliba.

So far,here are no major crimes or violations reported to BPPO in observance of Undas.

Soliba said 1,134 police personnel are on heightened alert in the province since October 27, the day before the barangay polls.

He noted that PNP help desks were also located in front of cemeteries to ensure security and immediate response from police.

”Yung mga help desks natin nasa harap lang ng mga sementeryo sa buong Bulacan para agad din tayong maka-aksyon kung sakali mang may mangyaring hindi inaasahan sa lugar,” he said.

”Sa mga simpleng aksyon naman, naroon ang ating mga pulis para hingan ng tulong o pagsumbungan sakali mang may kahina-hinalang bagay sa loob o mga lugar na malapit sa sementeryo,” Soliba added.

The BPPO Operations Office also mentioned that groups of policemen are positioned along major thoroughfares in Bulacan such as McArthur Hi-way and North Luzon Expressway exits to assist motorists.

Further, most of cemeteries and roads near cemeteries in the province implemented one-way traffic to prevent road congestion.

Observation from local police recorded that fewer people visited cemeteries in the afternoon compared to last year’s when visitors already flocked to cemeteries on the eve of All Saint’s Day.

However, provincial police are still on alert as they expect more visitors to flock in the evening today.

The Bulacan police also reminded citizens to be responsible especially with their garbage.

”’Yung mga basura naman natin mula sa pagkain o mga dinala galling sa sementeryo, mas mabuti na dadalhin natin pabalik sa bahay at doon na lang itapon para hindi masaydong magtambak ‘yung mga basura sa semnteryo,” Soliba asked. (PNA)
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Police and motorists assistance centers now deployed in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 30 (PNA) -- Police and motorists assistance centers were set up in major thoroughfares in Bulacan in anticipation of the influx of people coming here in the observance of All Saint's Day on Friday.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the Bulacan Police, headed by Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, has deployed additional policemen from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company to augment local policemen in the province's 21 towns and three cities.

Alvarado said the public can call the operations center of the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office for immediate emergency response.

He said the public can also call Bulacan Rescue hotline 044-7910566.

The governor said various civic organizations as well as radio groups in the province have also set up public assistance tents in key areas of every towns and cities in Bulacan.

Alvarado also reminded the public to secure their homes before visiting their departed loved ones in the cemetery.

Orduna said that police station chiefs have already deployed policemen to ensure public safety in the cemeteries where people have began cleaning the tombs of their departed relatives.

The Bulacan police director also reminded that deadly weapons, liquors and sound systems are not allowed in public and private cemeteries. (PNA) 
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No traffic congestion along Bulacan's McArthur Hi-way on election day

BULACAN, Oct. 28 (PNA) -- The busiest thorougfare of Bulacan, the McArthur Hi-way, is not congested on barangay election day.

Despite some barangay elementary schools being located along McArthur Hi-way, motorists experienced light traffic along the major road.

It was also observed that few public utility vehicles, particularly jeepneys, were on the road on election day compared to regular days.

McArthur Hi-way is considered as the busiest road of Bulacan as it connects Manila to other Luzon provinces such as Pampanga, Tarlac, and La Union, among others.

In Bulacan alone, major establishments such as schools and malls are located along the McArthur Hi-way. (PNA) 
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No reported election-related incidents, deaths in Bulacan
By Kris M. Crismundo

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 28 (PNA) -- Bulacan has recorded no incidents and deaths across barangay elections period starting September 28 until Monday.

Bulacan Provincial Police Office (BPPO) Operations Officer Supt. Dale Soliba told Philippines News Agency that peace and order are maintained during elections in all areas of Bulacan.

"So far, and we hope, that our barangay elections will turn out peaceful and successful until proclamations are made," Soliba said.

He cited that a total of 1,134 police personnel were deployed in 24 municipalities and cities of Bulacan to monitor the election situation since last month.

"Supposedly, we only have two personnel in each polling center. Bulacan has 555 polling centers in all 21 towns and three cities. But we added one personnel in each area," he added.

Soliba said each municipality and city of the province has one team of army that will function as Quick Response Team (QRT).

Further, some areas in Bulacan particularly in the third district had requested additional QRT to ensure security of the area.

"We also have these areas of immediate concern like San Ildefonso, San Miguel and DRT (Doña Remedios Trinidad), which requested up to three army teams in their area," he said.

Meanwhile, Soliba said the BPPO has records of violation in gun and liquor ban.

A violation in liquor ban was reported from San Jose del Monte City Sunday evening with minor ages drinking alcohol beverages along the street. (PNA) 
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Last day of barangay polls campaign in Bulacan, festive and generally peaceful — Comelec

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 26 (PNA) -– With sirens and horns blaring as cars, motorbikes and trucks bedecked with balloons and campaign posters, candidates in the 2013 barangay polls on Saturday circled every road in their respective villages as they made their final push to woo voters to vote for them on Monday's election.

Lawyer Elmo Roque, Bulacan provincial election supervisor, said that the final day of the campaign period for would-be village officials in the province is generally peaceful.

“It’s more like its fiesta time, with the bands, the parade and everything. It is merrier and no violence," he said during the weekly radio program of Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos., Saturday morning.

Roque said that it's all system go as far as the Monday’s barangay election is concerned.

He said that the Bulacan police officers have briefed policemen on their poll duties.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said additional police teams from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) will augment local cops and army personnel in ensuring the conduct of a peaceful, honest, orderly and peaceful elections.

In Barangay Sumapang Matanda here, the streets were filled with hues of red, blue and yellow as supporters of candidates joined their bets in making a final round to boost their candidacies.

"I am happy and the feeling is different while you are offering services to your villagemates," said first time candidate Arturo Santiago.

In San Miguel town, which has history of political violence, the situation was also festive and still peaceful as of Saturday noon, according to town police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola.

“So far, there is no report of any untoward incidents,” Macariola said.

He said police teams are deployed to ensure that Monday’s poll will peacefully push through.

Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado urged voters to choose wisely in electing their village officials.

Alvarado said the role of village chief and the council is key to the success and progress not only of their village but of the province as well.

"The role they will be playing is important especially now that industrialization is moving towards our province and region.They will be our partner in delivering services to our constituents. They will also our strong partner in pushing reforms and progress to our noble province," the governor added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan PDRRMC bags Gawad Kalasag award for the 2nd time in a row

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct 25 (PNA) --The long hours of dedicated service, its capability in responding swiftly on any eventuality and keen readiness every time a strong typhoon or bad weather disturbance has brought pride and recognition anew to Bulacan’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

The PDRRMC, headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, was adjudged for the second time in a row as the best PDRRMC of the National Gawad Kalasag Awards.

The recognition was bestowed Thursday to the Bulacan PDRRMC at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers’ Club, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Alvarado, who always take first hand supervision on the command center of the PDRRMO and most of the times plays the role of “traffic enforcer” directing the flow of water discharge from the province three big dams (Angat, Ipo and Bustos) during times of calamity, said that “ it is a great honor for the province to be once again recognized as outstanding in disaster risk reduction and management and they will continue in giving their best in serving Bulacan.”

"We never stop but rather further improve so that more Bulakenyos will receive our services," Alvarado said.

He also called for the continuous involvement of the Bulakenyos in disaster control management and preparedness.

"The PDRRMC should not the only one always be prepared and ready. Because, we can only say that the council is effective if there is the cooperation of the citizenry.The council and the Bulakenyos should be hand-in-hand in confronting and addressing the problems in order to lessen the impact to the people and their livelihood in times of calamities," the governor said.

Bulacan PDRRM executive officer Felicisima Mungcal said that the Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Assessment of the council is one of the reasons why the province bagged the said award.

"The in-depth study that we did together with the Provincial Planning and Development Office, that serves as guide on what specific areas in Bulacan that are vulnerable to hazards," Mungcal said.

She also said that the council does not just depend on the criteria given by the Kalasag committee instead they depend on the result of the Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.

The Bulacan PDRRMC received a plaque of recognition and cash incentive.

Recently, the Bulacan PDRRMC also received the Hall of Fame-Regional Gawad Kalasag Award 2013 for the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council during the first Regional DRRM Summit at Heroes Hall, Mini Convention Center, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The Gawad KALASAG, which stands for KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan a search for excellence in disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. (PNA) 
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5 hurt as bus rams GMA van in Bulacan

MANILA, Oct. 22 (PNA) -- Five people were hurt after a Victory Liner Bus bumped a GMA Network van at the southbound portion of the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Marilao, Bulacan early Tuesday morning

Radio reports said that the rear of the GMA vehicle was severely damaged.

Investigators are verifying information that the driver stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting the van but failed to stop in time.

The driver, who was not immediately identified, is now in custody, while the van passengers were brought to the Sta. Clara De Montefalco Hospital.

An initial investigation showed the van's passengers sustained minor bruises.

One of the van's passenger, cameraman Felix Angeles, said that they had just finished taping in Angeles, Pampanga and were headed for home when the mishap transpired.

He added that he and his four other co-workers were slightly hurt in the accident. (PNA) 
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CL disaster control officials formulate emergency action plans in case of quake

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 16 (PNA) --Disaster control officials in Central Luzon on Wednesday met with concerned government agencies together with the operators of Angat, Bustos and Ipo dams and formulated an emergency action plans in case a powerful earthquake hit the region, particularly along the West Valley Fault line where the giant Angat Dam is nestled. (similar to the one that jolted the Visayan region Tuesday hit the region, particularly along the west valley fault line where the giant Angat Dam is nestled.)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the West Fault is capable of producing large scale earthquakes on its active phases with magnitude of 7 or higher.

Josefina Timoteo, Office of Civil Defense regional director in Central Luzon, said that representatives from the provincial government of Bulacan, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (NDRRMC), the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Office of Civil Defense-3 (OCD-3) and the operators of Angat, Bustos and Ipo dams-- the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, the National Power Corporation and National Irrigation Administration, met at the conference room of the Provincial Engineers Office here where they tackled a “worst case scenario” and came up with “emergency action plans.”

“The Office of Civil Defense is constantly coordinating with the different concerned agencies in formulating emergency action plans in a case an overwhelming natural disaster, a powerful earthquake that could break Angat dam, occurred,” Timoteo said.

She said that among the initial phase of the emergency action plans, the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado through the PDRMMO will conduct an education campaign on what to do and where to go in times of emergencies.

She also said that they will also meet different local officials and compared assessments on their own emergency plans like identification of evacuation centers and safe areas.

Timoteo also said logistics, availability and readiness of manpower and even international aid will also be discussed in the next meeting with local and provincial executives.

The OCD and other concerned agencies will also share technical information on the situation, she added.

“In a case of an overwhelming situation, the OCD can also seek the help of the Asean Committee on Disaster Management as well as the United nations,” the OCD director said.

She said the PDRRMO in Bulacan is prepared because of their continuous training programs and capacity building initiatives.

She said that experts are set to inspect the structural integrity of Angat dam and the two other dams.

Repairs and rehabilitation of the 44 year old Angat earth dam may soon take place after the K-Water ( a Korean company), in partnership with San Miguel Corporation, took over the management from the National Power Corporation recently.

The Philippine government has already earmarked billions of fund for the repair and rehabilitation of the dam , he added.

He said that concerned agencies will hold regular meetings to strengthen the emergency action plans which will also be brought down to the different barangays. (PNA) 
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'Santi' death toll now at 15 - NDRRMC

MANILA, Oct. 15 (PNA) --The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday disclosed that the death toll for Typhoon "Santi" has climbed to 15 with property damage now hitting the P3-billion mark.

It identified the latest fatality was 15-year-old Heidi Bunay, of Barangay Bulu in Kabuggao in Apayao.

The latter was aboard a boat that capsized in Apayao River due to strong current, and her remains were found Monday.

The NDRRMC stated that inclement weather brought by "Santi" has injured 32 people with five more missing.

It added that "Santi" had affected 179,899 families or 871,601 people in 770 villages in 76 towns and nine cities in 14 provinces.

Of these, 1,275 families or 5,704 people are still staying in 39 evacuation centers.

At least 10,491 houses were destroyed while 42,549 were damaged in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Aurora, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Zambales.

Damage to property was estimated at P3,077,197,976, including P1.1 million in infrastructure and P3,076,097,976 in agriculture.

San Miguel in Bulacan was declared under a state of calamity. (PNA) 
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Teams start repair of damaged powerlines in flood-hit Bulacan town 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct 13 (PNA)-—As sunny weather began to prevail in many parts of the province, government teams and linemen of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Sunday started the repair and cleaning operations in the flood hit town of San Miguel which was engulfed by rampaging floods at the height of the onslaught of typhoon Santi.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Mangement Office (PDRRMO) is also closely monitoring floodwaters receeding from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija which is cascading downward the perennial catch basin coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy.

The governor is also constantly coordinating with operators of the three big dams in Bulacan namely Angat, Ipo and Bustos on the preemptive and coordinated release of waters from their reservoirs.

Bustos dam opened two wash out gates 8 a.m. Sunday and discharged a total of 156.0 cubic meters per second of water.

The water elevation at the said three dams are still in normal level.

The water level at Angat dam as of 8 a.m. Sunday was 207.16 meters, still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

In Ipo dam, the water elevation was 100.65 meters (spilling level 101 meters) while the water level at Bustos dam was 16.92 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters).

Alvarado also said that the PDRRMO has advised municipal and city health offices to start the distribution of prophylaxes against leptospirosis in flooded areas as well as conduct initial assessment on health situation in the province.

He said that the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has also distributed 677 oral prophylaxes to different response teams, provincial government offices and Bulacan Rescue, Balagtas & San Miguel Municipal Health Offices.

The governor added that relief and medical missions are now being conducted by personnel of the PHO and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

PDRRM ececutive officer Liz Mungcal said that as of 10 a.m. Sunday, major lifelines (electricity and water supply) in San Miguel were still inoperational.

She said that as of presstime, MERALCO teams deployed in San Miguel were conducting repair of powerlines.

Firetrucks also proceeded to San Miguel for augmentation to non-potable water requirements.

Mungcal said that the PDRRMO is coordinating with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the distribution of potable water.

Damages in agriculture and infrastructures were still being assessed, Mungcal added. (PNA) 
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(Lead) Floods from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija now cascading towards 2 Bulacan towns 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 12 (PNA) -– Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado Saturday requested operators of Bustos dam to temporary close its collapsed Gate 4.

This, after receiving latest updates from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) that floodwaters from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija began cascading towards the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy.

These are the perennial catch basin of receding floodwaters from the said provinces and other higher areas of Bulacan.

Bustos dam authorities have fully opened (collapsed) rubber Gate 4 of the dam after its spilling level of 17.70 meters was breached by 8 meters (17.78 m) early Saturday morning when Typoon Santin ripped through the Philippine Area of Responsibilty.

Dam operators have discharged a 492.345 cubic meters per second as of 7:00am Saturday morning.

The water elevation (as of 7:00am Saturday) at Bustos dam has dipped down from 17.78 meters to 17.40 meters. Alvarado said that Bustos dam has enough water capacity and by temporary stopping the release of water from its reservoir, it will give some allowance to allow the flood-prone towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy to brace for the onslaught of backfloods from Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

“Kailangan muna nilang ihinto ang pagpapawala nang tubig, para makaya ng ilog ang papauhong tubig galling sa umaapaw na Candaba swamp at ilang parte ng Nueva Ecija at Pampanga,” Alvarado said.

The governor has been constantly coordinating with officials and engineers of the three big dams in Bulacan –Bustos, Ipo and Angat – regarding the preemptive rewlease of waters from their reservoirs in order to lessen the impacts of heavy floodings to low lying areas in the province’s first and second districts particularly the towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, before Typhoon Santi was detected by weathermen.

Meanwhile, two females and a 78-year-old man were confirmed dead in San Miguel town while two others were reported still missing in this town that was severely affected by 4 to 5 feet flood waters at the break of dawn Saturday.

The body of the first fatality was recovered in Barangay Poblacion. Barangay rescue teams identified the victim as a certain "Kring-kring" believed to have been swept by floodwaters from a nearby village.

The second victim, identified as Teresita Manabat of Barangay Balaong died of drowning after the roof of their house reportedly crashed on their abode at the height of strong winds spawned by Typhoon Santi.

The septuagenarian victim was identified as Arturo Quizon of Bgy. San Jose died after suffering from heart attack which was said to be triggered when the roof of their house was ripped of by powerful winds early Saturday morning

The PPDRMO also received reports from the San Miguel Police that two teenagers from Barangay Kamias were reported by their families as missing as of presstime. (PNA)
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17th Nat'l DanceSport competition Oct 12 at ULTRA

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct 11 (PNA)-- Some 314 athletes will compete in the 17th annual Dancesport National Championships and the staging of the 1st International Friendship Games Wheelchair DanceSport Competitions at the Philsports Multi-Purpose Arena, formerly Ultra, in Pasig City Saturday.

Dancesport Council of the Philippines (DSCPI) president Becky Garcia told members of the Bulacan PNP Press Corps that the athletes include preliminary winners from all over the Philippines, Italy and Taiwan.

Eight World DanceSport Federation licensed adjudicators headed by Gheorghe Raducan of Romania, as chairman, will supervise the judging with the help of DSCPI adjudicators Michael, Mendoza, Ana Dulce Yango and Joel Ocsena.

Other members include: Marco Bartolini of Italy; Mary Yeh/Taipei; Corrie van Hugten/Netherlands; Nobuko Yotsumoto/Japan; Lee Kum-Ok/Korea; Christian Bradbury/Hong Kong; and Mr. Ger van Zandwijk of Netherlands.

The competitions is sanctioned by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, IPC Wheelchair DanceSport, Philspada NPC-Philippines and sponsored by Beauty Kingdom, Inc., Vitug Beach Resort, PCSO, Philippine Orthopedic Institute, Radio High 105.9, Water Zone, Studio 116 and The Greenery Bulacan.

Garcia said that tickets are available at the DanceSport Training Center, Philsports Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City and at the entrance of the Philsports Multi-Purpose Arena (Ultra) on October 12. (PNA) 
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Dwellers along geo-hazard areas in Bulacan get new homes in Bustos town

BUSTOS, Bulacan, Oct 3 (PNA)-–After years of living dangerously along geo-hazard sites, some 72 families became the first batch of informal settlers that will now live in a newly built community in the farming village of Barangay Catacte here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando on Thursday thanked President Benigno Aquino, housing czar Vice President Jejomar Binay and the National Housing Authority (NHA) for swiftly providing decent homes for families living along high-risk danger zones along the Angat river.

Alvarado said that at least 1,000 newly built housing units will be turned over to the affected families at the Bustos Relocation Site in Barangay Catacte here.

“These families are living in geo- hazard areas along the banks of rivers, creeks and irrigation canals and waterways which are prone to severe flooding, landslide and mudslide. The government has provided them with a safe and decent homes with basic amenities like schools, livelihood programs and a multi-purpose hall,” the governor said.

He said the 72 families living dangerously along the banks of Angat River were among the first batch of informal settlers to live in houses that they can now call their own.

Alvarado said that the relocation site in Barangay Catacte will accommodate at least 1,100 families while another 1,900 will be relocated in Barangay Cacarong Matanda in Pandi.

He said the swift response of President Aquino and Vice President Binay is an indication that the government is serious in alleviating the families that are constantly living along the danger zones.

Alvarado also said that while some informal settlers from Metro Manila and other areas are also being relocated in other housing projects, he stressed that the welfare of Bulakenyo shall be considered first and that no relocation will be made in Bulacan without proper coordination with local and provincial officials.

He reminded developers that Bulacan has its land use programs and should observe proper planning and zoning.

“There should always be educational, livelihood and environmental components before they plan to develop housing projects in any parts of the province,” he added.

He also pointed out that CCTV systems should also be installed in these relocation sites to ensure the maintenance of peace and order.

He said that these new communities will spur more growth and development in the province , making Bulacan as one of the “most business friendly province” in the country.

NHA general manager Chito Cruz lauded Gov. Alvarado and the provincial government for providing relocation sites, which he claimed is now impossible to build in Metro Manila. (PNA) 
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President Aquino pays last respects to soldiers killed in Zamboanga standoff

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, Sept. 26 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III paid his last respects and condoled with the family of 1st Lieutenant John Kristofer Rama, the first officer-casualty of the Armed Forces of the Philippines killed in clashes with the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari faction in Zamboanga City, during his visit to the Rama household here on Thursday.

The President, who was accompanied by Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, arrived at Rama's wake at 10:45 a.m.

According to Erlnda, Rama's wife, the President pledged to provide housing and educational assistance for her and her daughter Elisa Irene.

She expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the President's visit and pledge, and said that she felt proud the President chose to honor the memory of her husband with his presence.

After staying some 20 minutes, the President left for Pulilan, Bulacan to visit the wake of 2nd Lt. Florencio Michael Esguerra Meneses and then for Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to visit the wake of 1st Lt. Francis Damian. (PNA) 
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President Aquino visits wake of an army officer in Pulilan, Bulacan

PULILAN, Bulacan, Sept. 26 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III visited on Thursday the wake of an Army officer who died in an encounter between the government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front Misuari faction in Zamboaga City last September 23.

The Chief Executive paid his last respects and condoled with the family of 27-year-old 1st Lt Florencio Mikael Esguerra Meneses, an officer of the 7th Scout Ranger Company and member of the Philippine Military Academy Laon-Alab Class of 2011.

Accompanied by Presidential Management Staff head Julia Abad, President Aquino arrived at the wake on Cueto Street, Barangay Tibag, Pulilan, Bulacan at 11:30 a.m.

President Aquino handed financial assistance to the slain officer's parents Regina and Alberto Meneses. He also expressed his condolences to the officer's siblings, namely Elizabeth Peralta, Janina Reyes and Gracia Chen.

The parents of Lt Meneses expressed gratitude to the President for visiting the wake of their only son who died in Zamboanga City standoff.

During the visit that lasted for 30 minutes, the President told Regina that he directed the Department of National Defense (DND) and other concerned government agencies to further conduct a review of the military systems and procedures with the aim of preventing unnecessary loss of lives during combat.

The President told the family that he acknowledged the bravery of Meneses who gave his own life to serve the country and the Filipino people. (PCOO) 
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Computer on Wheels project to boost Bulacan IT program

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 18 (PNA) -- There is no stopping the rapid industrialization of this province as officials started to step up programs to meet the challenges of modern times through the use of high technology.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado lauded on Tuesday the “Computer on Wheels” project, a joint initiative of the Damayang Filipino—a community-based movement founded by Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and Bagong Henerasyon partylist headed by Rep. Bernadette Herrera.

Alvarado said that the Computer on Wheels” project is a vital tool in the One Bulacan PRIDE or the Program for Rapid Industrialization and Development because it will boost the computer literacy program of the provincial government which is also among the seven-point agenda of his administration.

“The whole province will benefit from this endeavor especially now that Bulacan is fast becoming as the new metropolis of growth in the country,” Alvarado said , adding that the province has recently been awarded as among the Smart Cities in the Philippines.

Under the zonification component of One Bulacan PRIDE, the governor said Malolos City will be the next techno hub of the province, where IT and communication offices will rise at the 17 hectares lot turned over by the national government to the provincial government.

He also said that the City of San Jose del Monte will soon be the site of Hollywood type studios while the Pulilan, Plaridel and Baliwag will be business and growth corridor of the province.

Under the project, Rep. Herrera has turned over five air-conditioned trucks loaded with 16 computers each and computer instructors.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed between the provincial government, the Damayang Filipino (DF) movement and the Bagong Henerasyon Partylist wherein the DF will shoulder the financial compensation of computer instructors.

Alvarado said that he will support the project which aims to propagate computer literacy in the grassroot level by bring the fleet of computer schools on wheels to the different barangays in the province’s 21 towns and 3 cities.

The vice governor said that project aims to increase computer literacy to among out-of-school youth and other Bulakenyos who were not able to go to schools.

He also said that the project will provide adequate technical skills and other job opportunities under the pangkabuhayan program for Bulakenyos.

Herrera said that at least 60 students will be taught basic computer training while 40 students will be trained as computer technicians in two weeks time. (PNA) 
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“Indakan sa Kalye” to highlight Bulacan’s Singkaban Fiesta on Saturday

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept 13 (PNA) -- An explosion of fun, excitement, and cultural show will rock this historic city on Saturday afternoon as approximately 1,000 of the province’s best street dancers compete in “Indakan sa Kalye”, also dubbed as “Best of the Best Street Dance” competition.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that "Indakan sa Kalye" will showcase the different festivals in Bulacan that aims to promote the rich and colorful culture, tradition, tourism and products of the province.

"The Singkaban Fiesta is also replicating the festive mood in this historic city during the convening of the Malolos Congress at the historic Barasoain Church,” the governor said.

According to Provincial Youth, Sports, Education, Arts, Culture and Tourism officer Elizabeth Alonzo, 24 groups will compete and represent their municipality/city’s local festival like Halamanan sa Guiguinto, Halamang Dilaw in Marilao, Fertility Festival of Obando and Carabao Festival of Pulilan.

Alonzo said the said street dance will start at the Basilica Minore de Immaculada Concepcion in this city and will end in front of the Bulacan provincial capitol while the showdown of the groups will take place at the Bulacan capitol gymnasium around 3 p.m.

Winners will receive trophies and P75,000 for the first place, P50,000 and P30,000 for the second and third place, respectively and two consolation prizes amounting to P10, 000.

In addition, special awards will also be given to Best in Street Dancing and Best in Costume to include trophies and P5,000 for each award.

Subsequent to Indakan sa Kalye, more or less 3,000 runners are expected to run for the Singkaban Night Run at 4:00 p.m.

Intended to promote running as a good alternative for health and wellness, the said activity is intentionally set in the afternoon till night for the convenience and comfort of the participants.

The starting point will be in front of the provincial capitol wherein 3K, 5K and 10K runners will run along Mc Arthur Highway passing Bulacan Polytechnic College, Humel Heritage Homes and Metropolis Home Subdivision.

The top three finishers will receive P15,000, P10,000 and P 5,000, respectively.

Singkaban Night Run is a joint activity of the provincial government of Bulacan and Globe Telecom. (PNA) 
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Historic Malolos becoming catch basin of dam water releases

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 8 (PNA) -- Mayor Christian D. Natividad on Sunday disclosed that many areas in this historic capital city is fast becoming the catch basin of water being discharged by the three big dams in the province, particularly Bustos dam.

Natividad lamented the fact that every time the Bustos dam as well as Ipo and Angat dams released big volumes of excess water from their reservoirs, the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy were the ones being tagged as catch basin.

""It has been a long time that many parts of Malolos City submerged to floodwater every time the Bustos dam released waters. However, the media is only focused with the towns of Hagonoy and Calumpit," Natividad said.

He said that every time that Bustos dam releases 500 cubic per second of water, at least 47 villages in this capital city are submerged under two to four feet of rampaging floodwaters.

Natividad said that that many areas in this city were former ricefield with irrigation canals in which the waters from the dams flows.

Earlier, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado,together with disaster control officials and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System administrator Gerry Esquivel, met with operators and engineers of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams after the water elevation at Angat dam breached the 200 meters mark early this month.

The meeting was called when the Angat dam climbed to 203.56 meters, almost five meters from reaching its spilling level of 210 meters about a week ago.

“The 203 meters water elevation at Angat dam is worrisome because before the southwest monsoon came the water elevation was only 193 meters but it suddenly climbed-up to 203 meters. Another surge of intensive rainfall could spell doom in the low-lying towns like Hagonoy and Calumpit as well as the city of Malolos because they will be forced again to discharge their excess water,” Alvarado explained.

The governor urged Engr. Precioso Donato Punzalan, assistant operation engineer of Bustos Dam, to conduct preemptive release so that when the water level at Angat dam breached its spilling level, Bustos dam will have extra room in its water holding capacity.

He also told Punzalan to do the preemptive release during good weather condition and when there is a storm or rainy weather.

He also suggested to operators of Ipo dam to divide the release of its excess water, one should flow to la Mesa dam reservoir and the other at Bustos dam every rainy or stormy weather.

He said that the releasing of waters from the three dams should be properly coordinated. (PNA) 
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Week-long cultural activities usher Bulacan Singkaban Fiesta

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 6 (PNA) -- A week-long of colorful cultural activities will kick off on Monday as the province celebrates its annual Singkaban Fiesta here.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado will lead the opening ceremony of the annual event with this year's theme "Makulay na Sining at Kalinangan: Bulacan, Ipagmalaki at Ikarangal.”

Alvarado urged Bulakenyos to be proud on the flamboyant cultural and artistic heritage of Bulacan.

“Bulacan is known as the cradle of heroes, filling a number of pages in the country’s history. Until the modern times, our province is continuously trudging the path toward a remarkable success not only in economic development but also in the promotion of arts and culture.

We are inviting everyone to witness and join us in a weeklong celebration that includes cultural presentations, arts exhibits and other fun activities that you will surely enjoy,” he said.

The celebration will start with a thanksgiving mass, to be followed by the “Parada ng Karosa at Kasaysayan,” a parade of floats which will feature achievements of Bulacan in 2012 in the field of sports, beauty pageants, arts and governance.

Exhibits and trade fairs showcasing the Bulacan's pride will also be put up within the provincial capitol compound.

Among these are the Bulakenyo trade fair, a display of the province's various products like sweets and delicacies, gifts, toys, clothes, bags and fashion accessories; Manlilikhang Bulakenyo which will feature Bulakenyo inventors and demonstration of their inventions; Dakilang Bulakenyo and Lakan Sining exhibit which will recount the life and contributions of Mariano Ponce in commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary and an exhibition of Bulakenyo visual artists;

The Bulacan Pasalubong Center and Bulacan Packaging Service and Toll Packing Center will also re-launch to draw the attention of the public on the services they are offering.

Other highlights of the celebration is the Bulacan Food Festival Exposition (BUFFEX) wherein the various sectors involved in food production in Bulacan, its partners and down-stream industries will gather together in this annual event.

The activities also include selling, food sampling, on-the-spot cooking demonstrations, and other competitions.

Likewise, tourism students from selected universities and colleges will serve as tour guides of elementary and high school students from different schools in the province in the “24K Lakbay Aral” as they visit the provincial capitol, museum, and mini-forest to heighten their awareness on the exceptional features of the province.

“We are proud of our cultural inheritance that reflects who we are as Bulakenyos. So we are inviting everyone to come, experience only the best, experience Bulacan, experience Singkaban,” the governor added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov urges dam operators to coordinate release of excess water

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado is playing the role of "traffic enforcer" in directing the release of water from the three big dams in the province.

The governor together with disaster control officials and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) administrator Gerry Esquivel met over the weekend with operators and engineers of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams to discuss measures on how to lessen flooding in the province through the proper release of water.

During their meeting, Alvarado urged Precioso Donato Punzalan, assistant operation engineer of Bustos Dam, to conduct preemptive release so that when the water level at Angat dam breached its spilling level, Bustos dam will have extra room in its water holding capacity.

He also told Punzalan to do the preemptive release during good weather condition shortly before a storm or expected onset of heavy rains.

"Another surge of intensive rainfall could spell doom in the low lying towns like Hagonoy and Calumpit as well as the city of Malolos because they will be forced again to discharge their excess water," Alvarado said.

The governor recalled that during the height of the recent southwest monsoon or "habagat," operators of Bustos dam released 500 cms of water which worsened flooding in Malolos, Hagonoy and Calumpit.

He also suggested to operators of Ipo dam to divide the release of its excess water, one should flow to La Mesa dam reservoir and the other at Bustos dam during heavy rains.

"Why the water is always being released in Bulacan. Can it be divided especially when the water carrying capacity of Bustos dam is strengthened," the governor said.

He said the release of waters from the three dams should be properly coordinated with each other.

Esquivel, for his part, suggested to do a simulation and instrumentation to better synchronize the release of waters from the dams.

A disaster control official said that the "dis-oriented" coordination by dam officials in the discharge of excess waters from the three dams could be blamed from the dam protocol they are following.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said that damages to agriculture in the province has already ballooned to P12.81 million while the damages to infrastructure has reached P1.9 million. (PNA) 
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CEO of Boracay West Cove tells Bulacan newsmen their resort will survive black propaganda campaign

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- No amount of black propaganda nor any form of media demolition job can take away the pristine beauty of Boracay West Cove, considered as one of the world class nature-inspired resorts in the Philippines.

This developed as tourists and guests who have enjoyed their stay at the Boracay West Cove resort are bewildered if not amazed by the black propaganda allegedly being waged by a popular radio and TV broadcaster against the world class beach resort in Malay, Aklan.

"In spite of the baseless allegations against Boracay West Cove, we are happy to hear the positive responses of our guests who are continuously giving good messages and encouragement to us," Boracay West Cove Resort chief executive officer (CEO) Cris Aquino told members of the Bulacan PNP Press Corps during a recent press briefing at a local resort here.

Aquino said that despite the existence of modern technology, Boracay West Cove, recognized as the first and only organic architecture in the Philippines, is proud that, from its humble beginnings up to now, all trees inherent in the place are preserved.

He said that just recently, Boracay West Cove received the much-coveted Gold Award during the International Star for Quality Leadership (ISQL) 2013 in Paris, France, for world-class excellence in tourism promotions and quality service.

He said it is also the only holder of a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism (FLAGT) permit in the entire island paradise.

Aquino also reiterated that the management of Boracay West Cove is appealing to the public to disregard false, malicious and misleading news reports that it was operating without the necessary environmental clearance from the national and local government in Malay, Aklan.

He urged Bulakenyos not to believe the black propaganda that the said broadcaster is spreading claiming that it was an obvious scheming effort tainted with vested interests.

It was allegedly reported that the Malay municipal government is set to implement a massive crackdown on more than 300 establishments along the world famous Boracay's white-sand beach which are operating in violation of the "25+5-meters Rule" or the 30-meter shoreline setback.

Aquino clarified that all the structures and improvements at Boracay West Cove were built in accordance with the Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes or FLAG-T issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) based on L.C. Map No. 36-42 under Proclamation No. 1064 issued on Dec. 23, 2009 and valid for 25 years.

"We are a victim of trial by publicity here. Our resort does not fall under the scope of the 25+5 meter Rule because we have no shoreline to speak of. Our cabanas and structures are constructed on a cliff," he said.

Aquino told Bulacan newsmen that the accusations are so distressing that the management of Boracay West Cove, was faced with no other option but to hit back at those who are spreading "false, malicious and misleading news reports."

Aquino said that the charges are based merely on the expose of the popular broadcaster, who is reportedly being financed by a Nueva Ecija mayor supposedly involved in a land-grabbing case in Boracay. (PNA) 
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Several areas in Pampanga, Bulacan remained flooded

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- The heavy rains have stopped for days, but most of the villages in the low-lying and coastal towns of Pampanga and Bulacan still submerged to floodwater.

Latest data from the Regional Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) showed that a total of 179 villages in the two provinces are still under water despite the improved weather condition.

In Pampanga, a total of 111 barangays in the towns of Apalit, Masantol, Macabebe, San Simon, Guagua, Minalin, Candaba, Sto. Tomas, San Luis, Mexico, Sta, Ana, are still under from one to four feet deep water due to slow recession of water in the Pampanga river and other allied rivers, aggravated by high tide.

Likewise, 68 villages in the towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Obando, Paombong and Malolos City are remained under water due to high tide and the effects of backfloods coming from higher towns of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and some parts of Tarlac.

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, there are still some roads in Pampanga that are still not passable to all types of vehicles that include the Baliwag-Candaba-Sta Ana road and the Candaba-San Miguel road.

The Apalit-Macabebe-Masantol road is hardly passable to heavy vehicles while the Sto Tomas-Minalin-Macabebe road is hardly passable to light vehicles.

The Manila North Road-Tulauc-Sto Domingo road is only passable to heavy vehicles while the San Simon-Baliwag road is hardly passable to light vehicles

Meanwhile, four additional casualties were reported in the region due to Habagat, bringing the total death toll to 11 with still one missing.

The latest reported fatalities were identified as Archie Camueda, 37; Nazareth Duldulao, 15; and Rafael Clemente, 43, all from Olongapo City and Rodrigo Telles, 69, of Barangay General Luna, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

The still missing person, on the other hand, was identified as Michael Silverio, 21 of Purok 5, San Pedro, Floridablanca, Pampanga.

The affected population by the onslaught of Habagat, on the other hand, reached to 423,193 families or 1,888,067 persons in 75 municipalities of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

At least 188 houses were totally damaged and 277 partially destroyed. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos to commemorate Del Pilar’s 163rd birthday

BULAKAN, Bulacan, Aug. 27 (PNA)-- Thousands of Bulakenyos led by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy Alvarado will pay tribute to a great son of the province — Marcelo H. Del Pilar, known as the “Great Propagandist of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule — on August 30 as the province’s commemorates his 163rd birth anniversary.

The event will be held at the Dambanang Marcelo H. del Pilar or Del Pilar Shrine in Barangay San Nicolas here.

Alvarado said that in order to give way for this celebration, August 30 has been declared a special non-working holiday in the province of Bulacan in accordance to Republic Act No. 7449 which was approved last April 27, 1992.

Senator Teofisto Guingona will serve as the guest of honor in the event which is anchored on the theme “PLARIDEL: Sa Tilamsik ng Diwa at Pusong Makabansa, Pilipino sa Buong Mundo ay Dinadakila.”

The event will kick off with a civic parade at 5:30 a.m. to be followed with a program at 8 a.m. and wreath-laying ceremony to be led by Alvarado, executive director of National Historical Commission of the Philippines Ludovico Badoy, Mayor Patrick Menesses, Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque and PNP regional director police chief Supt. Edgardo Ladao.

Del Pilar was the youngest of the 10 siblings of the wealthy family Don Julian del Pilar, a gobernadorcillo and Doña Blasa Gatmaitan.

Del Pilar, who was also a lawyer and used the nom-de-guerre (pen name) “Plaridel”, left a life of luxury and died a pauper in a cold and damp room in Barcelona , Spain on July 4, 1896.

His satiric expose in “Dasalan at Tuksuhan” incurred the wrath of the Spanish Friars, prompting him to join Rizal and other members of the propaganda movement in Spain where he edited La Solidaridad.

He was also the editor of the newspaper Diariong Tagalog which strongly criticized the way the Spaniards ran the government and treated the people.(PNA) 
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(Lead) Bulacan declares state of calamity, backfloods still submerging villages in Hagonoy and Calumpit 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug 24 (PNA)-- Residents affected by heavy flooding since Monday, particularly in the still flooded coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, got a sigh of relief as sunny weather began to prevail Saturday.

Dino Balabo, a journalist living in Hagonoy, said floodwaters began to subside in some villages but the effects of backfloods are still being felt in the coastal municipality which, along with Calumpit, has become the perennial catch basin of backfloods from higher towns of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and parts of Tarlac.

"The floods subsided in simultaneous (sic) with the lowering of hide tide. However, the backfloods cascaded here from the still flooded town of Calumpit, Balabo said in a phone interview Saturday noon.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said as of Friday afternoon, some 23 villages were still submerged under one to three feet of floods.

In Calumpit, backfloods has submerged 28 villages, five of them -- Meysulao, Sapang Bayan, Gatbuca, Frances, San Miguel – have already been placed under state of calamity last Thursday.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado Saturday announced in his weekly program “The Governor’s Hour” that the province of Bulacan is now under a state of calamity due to the damage and ill effects of the severe floods that rampaged in many parts of the province since Monday.

Alvarado said that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has passed a resolution declaring the entire province under a state of calamity.

He called on the mayors of the province’s affected towns and cities to use the calamity fund wisely because it is only August and there maybe more typhoons to come.

Senior board member Michael Fermin said that the floods have wreck havoc to farmlands and damages many major roads.

Fermin said that damages in agriculture, fisheries and livestock have already ballooned to P 116,509,373.82 while damage to national roads in the province’s first district has reached P 5,500,000.

The PDRMMO said that a total of 189,831 families or 843,669 persons were affected.

Of these, a total of 4,732 families or 8,528 persons were evacuated from 96 barangays in the province’s 13 towns and three cities.

Officials of Ipo dam has stopped releasing water after closing their Radial Gate 1 and Radial A at around 2 p.m. Friday.

Bustos dam has also stopped releasing water after closing two of their washgates last Friday afternoon. (PNA) 
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Bulacan town’s 5 flood-stricken villages under state of calamity as back floods rush in - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 23 (PNA) -- Rampaging back floods has prompted the municipal government of Calumpit to place five flood-stricken villages under a state of calamity, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) reported on Friday.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRM executive officer, reported to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the villages of Meysulao, Sapang Bayan, Gatbuca, Frances and San Miguel in Calumpit are now under a state of calamity after floodwaters rose to three to four feet late Thursday afternoon.

Mungcal said 23 other villages in Calumpit are still submerged under one to six feet of water brought by intensive rainfall of the southwest monsoon, the release of water from Bustos and Ipo dams and back floods from other Bulacan towns, the Pampanga river, Candaba swamp, Nueva Ecija and portions of Tarlac.

The flooding in some parts of Calumpit, Hagonoy and Obando are also being aggravated by high tide, she said.

In Hagonoy, 23 villages are still submerged under one to three feet of floods.

The PDRRMO are coordinating with the MDRRMO and the municipal government as back floods started to rush in on Thursday night and expected until Friday afternoon.

Last Wednesday, the coastal towns of Hagonoy and Bulakan has joined the flood-stricken coastal town of Obando in declaring a state of calamity due to the damages incurred from severe floods.

Alvarado have asked Thursday the officials of Bustos and Ipo dams to regulate if not to temporarily halt the release of water.

”We have already asked them not to release water more than 500 cubic meters per second because it will have big effect to the already flooded towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy especially now that waters coming from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac are gradually coming down. We are hoping that the Angat river would accommodate the water being released by the dams,” the governor said.

He said that emergency response and rescue teams are still on 24 hours alert, ready to be deployed anytime.

He also said that they are constantly monitoring the water elevation of the three dams—Angat, Bustos and Ipo-as well as the elevation at the Pampanga river and Candaba swamp.

Alvarado also instructed Thursday provincial engineer Glen Reyes to deploy trucks to give free rides from Malolos to Calumpit, Malolos to Hagonoy and Malolos to Meycauayan City as some portions of the roads and Macarthur highway were rendered impassable to light vehicles.

Alvarado will also meet the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) engineers to discuss the severe flooding that hit the capital city of Malolos.

He blamed the mushrooming of subdivisions and big commercial buildings in areas that were once fully irrigated rice fields.

”The natural waterways in some areas in Malolos City lost due to the conversion of the ricefields into subdivisions which most of them have no proper drainage system,” he said.

At least 47 of the 51 villages in Malolos were submerged under one to three feet of floodwater.

The PDRRMO reported that 238 barangays in the province's 14 towns and three cities were affected by the intensive rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon which was enhanced by typhoon Maring.

A total of 189,815 families or 843,594 persons have been affected by severe floods.

Of these, the PDRRMO said that a total of 8,769 families or 34,514 persons were evacuated from 223 barangays of the 13 towns and three cities of the province.

The damages to agriculture was estimated to reach P72,962,952.40 and is expected to increase pending reports from other areas in the province.

”The Provincial Planning and Development Office is still assessing the damages brought by the severe flooding," he said.

Meanwhile, the water level at Angat dam has breached the 200 meters mark at 9 p.m. Thursday when the level reached 200.29 meters, which is still below its spilling level of 210 meters.

The water elevation at Ipo dam was 100.89 meters (spilling level: 101 meters) while the water elevation at Bustos dam was 17.52 meters (spilling level: 17.70 meters). (PNA) 
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(Update) 2 more Bulacan towns placed under state of calamity, flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy continues to rise - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- Two more coastal municipalities in this flood-stricken province were placed under a “state of calamity” as rising floods continued to wreck havoc in 185 villages in 13 towns and three cities of the province.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported on Thursday that the flood-hit coastal towns of Hagonoy and Bulakan are now under state of calamity as rampaging flood waters destroyed fishponds and rice lands in the area.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRM executive officer, reported to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the number of flooded villages in 10 towns and two cities of Bulacan has swelled to 185.

Mungcal said that a total of 66,740 families or 301,373 persons in 200 barangays of 13 towns and three cities of the province, namely Balagtas, Baliwag, Bocaue, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Malolos City, Marilao, Meycauayan City, Obando, Paombong, Plaridel, Pulilan, San Jose Del Monte City, San Miguel and Sta. Maria were affected.

Of these, some 5,069 families or 23,725 persons were evacuated to 117 evacuation centers in the different parts of the province.

Alvarado said that emergency response and rescue teams are now deployed in flood-hit areas of Hagonoy and Calumpit as flood waters coming from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and portions of Tarlac have began to cascade into the two coastal towns which has become the perennial catch basins of back floods in Central Luzon.

Aside from this, the flooding in the two towns are also being aggravated by the release of waters from Bustos and Ipo dams as well as the daily occurrence of high tide.

As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, 28 villages in Calumpit were under one to 6 feet of floods while 20 villages in nearby Hagonoy were submerged under one to three feet of floodwater.

Alvarado also called on officials of Bustos dam to regulate if not stop the release of water in anticipation of the backfloods coming from the Pampanga River and Candaba swamp area.

As of 6:00 a.m. Thursday, the water level at Bustos dam was 17.66 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters) while the elevation at Ipo Dam was 100.48 meters (spilling level 101 meters).

The water elevation at Angat dam was 197.62 meters , still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

He also noted that the number of flooded villages in the capital city of Malolos has increased and reached 41 as of Thursday morning.

He said that the natural waterways in Malolos have been compromised with the mushrooming of big subdivisions which were built and developed from former rice lands.

“Many rice lands, most of them fully irrigated, have been converted into big subdivisions thus wiping away the natural waterways. Most of these subdivisions have no proper drainage systems too. We should preserve the remaining ricelands,”the governor said, adding that he would ask the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to look into the matter. (PNA) 
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Floods hit 63 villages in Bulacan - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 19 (PNA)--Heavy rains spawned by southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Maring has inundated 63 villages in six towns and one city in this province, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported on Monday.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRM executive officer, said the hardest hit are the City of Meycauayan and the coastal town of Hagonoy.

In her report to Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Mungcal said 14 villages in Meycauayan City were submerged under two to four feet of floodwaters.

She also said that 31 families in barangays Calvario and Saluysoy were evacuated to safer grounds.

In Hagonoy, all of its 26 barangays were submerged under three to four feet of floodwater which was worsen by high tide.

The other affected towns were Marilao (six villages under 1 feet), Obando (eight villages under 2 feet), Bulakan (seven villages under 4 feet and Bocaue (two villages under 1 feet).

The governor declared work suspension at the provincial capitol except those involved in disaster operations.

Classes in elementary and high school were also suspended.

Rescue teams were also dispatched and put on standby were heavy floodings were reported, Alvarado said.

He also instructed the PDRRMO to closely monitor the water elevation of the three big dams in Bulacan.

Last Sunday, officials of Ipo dam has opened radial gate A and radial gate four and released a total of 242.9 cubic meters pers second of water after its spilling level of 101 meters was nearly breached when heavy rains pounded the area and brought the elevation to 100.98 meters.

It continued to discharge water as of 12 noon Monday.

As of 8 a.m. Monday the water level at Ipo dam was 100.18 meters.

Since Sunday morning up to 12 noon Monday, the Bustos dam has discharged some 613.76 cms of water when its spilling level was nearly breached due to heavy rains since Sunday morning.

As of 12 noon Monday, the water elevation at Bustos dam was 17.50 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters).

The water elevation in Angat dam as of 8 a.m. Monday was 194.01, still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

Alvarado also instructed the PDRRMO to monitor the water level stations along the Pampanga River Basin in coordination with Pampanga River Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (PRFFWC).

He also assigned the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) to lead the damage assessment and needs analysis and the findings will be included in the rehabilitation plan. (PNA) 
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“Ghost ship” continues to spook Malolos coastal village 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- As heavy rains and high tide swell the waters of Manila Bay, the abandoned Chinese ship MV Huan Yeng continued to spook residents and fisherfolks of the coastal village of Pamarawan here.

Anchored some 400 meters away from residential houses, the imposing presence of the cargo ship still gives anxiety to villagers who are fearing that the ship might smash through their village.

The villagers woke up last Monday morning with a big ship floating on their shoreline.

"It suddenly appeared here and there are fish pens already damaged," JR Vicente, a resident of the village said.

"We are afraid that the ship might drift near the village and smash our houses. There are more fishpens, fishing boats and houses might be destroyed especially if another typhoon hits us and the ship is still here," he added.

A situation report received by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado from Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said the ship MV Huan Yeng is a Cambodian registered ship that was anchored for repairs at the Lucanin anchorage in Bataan.

The governor was also informed that the cargo ship have been docked in Lucanin for four years and was abandoned after its owner failed to pay necessary dues.

During the onslaught the of typhoon Labuyo, the ship was reportedly dragged by strong winds into Manila Bay and drifted to the coastal village of Pamarawan.

Orduna also reported to the governor that ship belongs to the S. American Far Eastern Shipping Company Ltd.

Earlier, the Philippine Coast Guard told city mayor Christian Natividad that they can tow the abandoned cargo ship.

But the mayor did not allow it because he wanted the owners to claim it and pay the damages wrought to the coastal village.

On Thursday, the mayor issued an ultimatum to the owner of MV Huan Yeng.

He said that they will file a civil suit against the shipping firm that owns the old cargo ship because it has already caused damages to the fish pens and fish cages in the area aside from posing danger to some 2,000 villagers.

The mayor said he also wants to know the real score why the ship reached the coastal area of Malolos.

“There’s something fishy here. It appears that the ship did not just run aground and was dragged by strong winds and waves during the typhoon. Our team has discovered that the ship dropped anchor and we are also verifying earlier accounts of local fishermen that there were heavily armed men on board and that the ship was well lighted when it smashed through the fish pens,” Natividad said.

We do not know. It might have done something illegal or dumped any hazardous wastes," he added.

The ship was already abandoned when a team from the Malolos City police boarded it.

The young mayor said they will publish a public notice in a national newspaper and after a week or so will declare it as “public nuisance” and will make a public auction for its sale.

“We want to know why it got there and what are they doing. The ship has already destroyed several fishpens, brought anxiety and fear to some 2,000 fisher folks in the village. We will give them (owners) ample time and if they failed to show up, we have no recourse but to auction it. It just cannot stay there and threaten our people,” Natividad said. (PNA) 
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Malolos City to sue owner of abandoned Cambodian cargo ship 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- The city government here issued on Thursday an ultimatum to the owner of MV Huan Yeng, the abandoned Cambodian cargo ship that ran aground in the shoreline of the coastal village of Pamarawan here at the height of typhoon Labuyo last Monday morning.

Mayor Christian D. Natividad said they will file a civil suit against the shipping firm that owns the old cargo ship because it has already caused damages to fish pens and fish cages in the area aside from posing danger to some 2,000 villagers.

He said he also wants to know the real score why the ship reached the coastal area of Malolos.

“There’s something fishy here. It appears that the ship did not just run aground and was dragged by strong winds and waves during the typhoon. Our team has discovered that the ship dropped anchor and we are also verifying earlier accounts of local fishermen that there were heavily armed men on board and that the ship was well lighted when it smashed through the fish pens,” Natividad said.

"We do not know it might done something illegal or dumped any hazardous wastes," he added.

The ship was already abandoned when a team from the Malolos City Police boarded it.

The young mayor said that they will publish a public notice in a national newspaper and after a week or so after its publication they will declare it as “public nuisance” and will make a public auction for its sale.

“It has already caused damages aside from being a “disaster waiting to happen” in the coastal village of Pamarawan,” Natividad stressed.

He said he has already instructed Supt. David Poklay, the city police chief, to the Lucanin anchorage in Mariveles, Bataan to confirm if the ship did come from there.

A situation report received by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado from Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that the vessel is a Cambodian registered ship that was anchored for repairs at the Lucanin anchorage.

The governor also learned that the cargo ship have been docked there for four years and was abandoned after its owner failed to pay necessary dues.

During the onslaught of typhoon Labuyo, the ship was allegedly dragged by strong winds into Manila Bay and drifted to the coastal village of Pamarawan.

Orduna also reported to the governor that the ship belongs to the S. American Far Eastern Shipping Company Ltd.

It was also learned that the operator of said cargo vessel was a ceratin Shandong Jinghai Industrial Group and its port of registration is from Phnom Phen in Cambodia.

The Philippine Coast Guard have reportedly told Natividad that they can tow the abandoned cargo ship but the mayor did not allow it because he wanted the owners to claim it and pay the damages it has wrought to the coastal village.

“We want to know why it got there and what are they doing. The ship has already destroyed several fishpens, brought anxiety and fear to some 2,000 fisher folks in the village. We will give them (owners) ample time and if they failed to show up we have no recourse but to auction it. It just cannot stay there and threaten our people,” Natividad added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan PDRRMC remains on alert due to 'Labuyo'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said on Monday that the emergency response units of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) remained on alert even though the province was not directly hit by typhoon "Labuyo".

The governor also suspended classes in the pre-elementary, elementary and high school level in the entire province.

"From Signal No. 2 last Sunday, the storm level was lowered to signal No. 1 on Monday morning. Nevertheless, the PDRRMC units are monitoring the situation and all emergency response teams are on standby, ready to be deployed as the need arises," Alvarado said.

He also instructed PDRRMC executive officer Liz Mungcal to closely monitor the water elevation at Angat and Ipo dams, major rivers and the water level stations in the different parts of the province.

As of 12 noon Monday, no casualty was reported to the PDRMMC.

So far, there were also no reports of heavy flooding or flash floods in the province.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, the water elevation at Angat dam was 190.15 meters, still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

The water level at Ipo dam was recorded at 100.88 meters (spilling level is 101 meters) while the water elevation was 17.54 meters (spilling level is 17.70 meters). (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos hail Team Gilas Pilipinas coach as “home grown” hero

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug 11 (PNA)--As pride and spirit of patriotism swept through a euphoric nation following the heartstopping victory of Team Gilas Pilipinas over archrival South Korea in the semi-final round of the FIBA Asia Basketball Championship Saturday night, Bulakenyos feel a distinct pride and are one in saluting coach Chot Reyes as their “homegrown hero.”

“A new Bulakenyo hero and patriot has risen in an arena where the whole world is watching and has given the country the limelight to excel in a playing field normally dominated by big countries,” said Governor Wilhelmino Sy- Alvarado as he joined his provincemates in congratulating coach Reyes and the Gilas Pilipinas team in their pulsating 86-79 win over South Korea sending them into finals against the unbeaten and strong Iranian team.

The win also gave the Philippine team the long elusive ticket to the FIBA World championship in Spain in 2014.

It has also ended the so- called “Korean Curse” that hounded the Philippine basketball team for more than three decades.

Alvarado said coach Chot has shown the distinct quality of a true born Bulakenyo patriot and its fighting spirit in the face of battle.

“One thing that now endears him to the Filipinos is the way he gave the team the chemistry it needs and the strong heart and desire to win for the country. What he and the Philippine basketball team did was a rare feat made more beautiful by the overflowing spirit of unity of our countrymen as we pray and hope for the best to our team” the governor said.

Reyes has been proudly stating in the GilastTeam commercials that he is a true native son of the historic capital city.

City mayor Christian D. Natividad said that the city will always be ready to give coach Chot a “red carpet” welcome anytime he goes home here.

“Of course we feel proud not only for the achievement of our team to the FIBA finals but for having somebody there who is very proud to be a native son of Malolos,” the young mayor, who is still playing basketball in his freetime. said.

Natividad said that as tribute to coach Chot’s magnificent steering of the Philippine Team to the FIBA finals, the city government will provide free public viewing of the championship match on a big screen inside the Malolos Sports and Covention Center. (PNA) 
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President Aquino declares August 15 as special non-working day in Bulacan

MANILA, Aug 5 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared August 15, which falls on a Thursday, as a special (non-working) day in the province of Bulacan in commemoration of its 435th Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 627 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on July 30, to give the people of Bulacan the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

According to the research conducted by the Center for Bulacan Studies, Bulacan was established as a province on Aug. 15, 1578. It is one of the most progressive provinces in the Philippines. (PNA) 
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Roxas leads peaceful send off for informal settlers from San Juan City to Bulacan

MANILA, Aug. 5 (PNA) -– Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Monday led a peaceful send off for 87 informal settler families (ISFs) from San Juan City to their new homes in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

The send off event for ISFs living along San Juan River in Barangay Salanan was also participated in by San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino.

The relocation of the 87 families was peaceful and orderly with the affected residents cooperating with the government agencies in-charge of their documentation and processing.

There was no untoward incident during the event.

”We assure them of good relocation site in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. We briefed them and they listened,” said Roxas.

”They see for themselves where they will be relocated, and that they will not be neglected. There are facilities in the site, and we are planning to improve them,” said Roxas.

According to Roxas, the government is looking on how to assist the relocated ISFs with their livelihood.

”Right now, we are studying livelihood programs in the relocation site to help the ISFs,” he added.

The relocation is part of the government’s all-out efforts to remove the ISFs living along river channels and creeks in Metro Manila from harms’ way. It is also part of the anti-flooding drive.

Those relocated to government housing site will be paying only P200 monthly which will start two years after moving in.

There were previous incidents of ISFs resisting relocation, some even leading to commotions. (PNA) 
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Nueva Ecija top cops cited

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Aug. 3 (PNA) -- Some ranking police officers from the province were cited by an anti-crime group for the recent arrest of the leaders of a notorious gun-for-hire and robbery gang during the last election in Cabiao town.

Supt. Ricardo E. Villanueva, commander of the Nueva Ecija police's Provincial Public Safety Company was named outstanding law enforcer of the year 2013 by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption for his "courage and devotion to duty."

In the recognition signed by VACC founding chairman and president Dante LA Jimenez, it honored Villanueva in leading the Comelec checkpoint that led to the arrest of Carlito and Romeo Sarmiento, leaders of the notorious Sarmiento Gang, in barangay Sta, Ines, Cabiao town on June 7, 2013.

The group was operating in Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, the VACC noted.

It also noted that the duo were listed as most wanted persons in Nueva Ecija.

"The VACC commends the police officer for this outstanding accomplishment that displayed his professionalism and utmost diligence in the performance of his duty," the award that was handed over during the VACC 15th Founding Anniversary in Camp Crame on Friday reads.

Also were Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office director Senior Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, and Chief Inspector Eric De Venancio, chief of police of Cabiao.

Villanueva said police have also recovered firearms and ammunition from the Sarmientos. (PNA) 
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Bulacan town mayor commends police chief for innovative approach vs crime, vices

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Aug. 2 (PNA) -- Mayor Ambrosio “Boy” Cruz has commended town police chief Supt. Rodolfo Hernandez for coming up with an innovative approach in combating criminal activities as well as in the maintenance of peace and order in this town.

Cruz made the remark during the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Guiguinto Suburbs at the Max Restaurant in Puregold Mall in Barangay Tabang Thursday night where the police chief was the guest speaker.

Cruz said Hernandez has come up with a “I-TEXT MO SI HEPE” campaign wherein the police chief has distributed more than 5,000 cards with bearing his numbers and the anti-crime drive of the Guiguinto police.

He said with this approach, the public can inform, give tips or seek police assistance directly to the police chief.

"I have been a mayor for a long time but it is only now that I see this kind of project wherein the police chief will directly answer and respond to the complaints and needs of our constituents," Cruz said.

Hernandez reported that he has also activated two police compact detachments in Barangays Tabang and Malis for immediate police response.

Upon hearing of the police initiatives, Rotary Club of Guiguinto Suburbs charter president Engr. Celso C. Cruz told the mayor and police chief their group will help refurbish the two satellite police stations with paints and other infrastructure needs.

Businessman Tony Tengco of Hiyas Waters said that they will also provide free water service to the police station.

At the said meeting, Mayor Cruz also called on Rotary members to help in the anti-drug and anti-illegal vice campaign of the police.

He said those menace of society are not welcome in this town and called on the support of the community and village officials to help the police neutralize them.

Hernandez said that six suspected drug dealers were arrested in a series of operations and are now facing drug pushing charges.

He said that public participation and the support of local and village officials is now making headway in preventing and combating crimes and other illegal activities.

He said the public can report directly to him if they see suspicious persons in the neighborhood or while seeing crime in progress by texting or calling him at cellphone numbers 0922-8317433 (Sun) or 0917-8289752 (Globe). (PNA) 
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Cops in pursuit of Bulacan bus robbers

MANILA, July 31 (PNA) -- Police in Bulacan are now tracking down at least three suspects who pulled off a bus heist at San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Tuesday night.

Radio reports said the armed suspects declared the holdup and divested the passengers of their valuables upon reaching a secluded area in the locality.

One passenger said she lost her iPod touch media player and ID cards.

Police estimates that the robbers managed to cart away P10,000 in cash and valuables.

The suspects managed to get off the bus immediately after the heist. (PNA) 
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Bulacan RTC junks bail petition of 2 AFP officers on UP students kidnapping case - By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, July 26 (PNA) -- A Regional Trial Court in Bulacan province has dismissed the petition filed by two officials of Armed Forces of the Philippines to post bail for their temporary liberty.

The case involved the abduction of two women students of the University of the Philippines on June 26, 2006.

In the decision dated July 12, 2013, Malolos City, Bulacan RTC Branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales found the evidence presented by the Department of Justice strong to deny bail for accused Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio.

Aside from the two suspects, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palpalran, Jr. was also accused in the alleged abduction of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.

Based on the testimony of the witness of the DOJ, Osorio allegedly tied the hands of the two victims while Anotado served as a "lookout" while they were in the custody of the military.

Before the warrant of arrest was issued, Palparan has already gone into hiding.

Palparan is one of the so-called "Big Five" who are subjects of manhunt by authorities with a monetary reward of P2 million each on their head for their arrest. (PNA)

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Bulacan anti-illegal logging task force brave rains, seized 3,857 board feet of hot logs anew at Ipo dam watershed

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 23 (PNA)--Braving heavy downpour and wet mountain trails, members of the Provincial Multi-Sectoral Anti-Illegal Task Force (PAILTF) continue to pounce hard against timber poachers ravaging the forest covers of the mountains of eastern Bulacan, particularly along the watershed areas of Angat and Ipo dams.

The PAILTF team was formed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado to intensify the crackdown against illegal loggers and protect the watershed areas in the province.

Their latest seizure were some 3, 857 board feet of illegally cut logs in sitio Ipo, barangay San Mateo in Norzagaray town.

This brings to more than 20,000 board feet the total of hot lumber that the PAILTF confiscated during a series of non-stop operations that began Tuesday last week.

The governor also sent a legal team to assist the PAILTF operatives to retrieve already sawed and spliced logs which were discovered stockpiled in some residential compounds in several mountain villages in Norzagaray town.

Alvarado also said that the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) headed by Eugenio Payongayong will conduct a one day seminar for forest rangers and watchers tasked to guard the watershed areas and other forest covers in the mountains of northeastern Bulacan.

The governor reiterated that cutting of trees along the watershed areas of Angat and Ipo dams is strictly prohibited.

He also said that legal teams are now also studying the cancellation of permits of some sash factories and shops in Norzagaray and San Jose del Monte City which are being suspected of buying the illegally cut lumbers.

He lamented that a big part of the forest cover of the watershed area in Ipo dam has already been denuded.

Bro. Martin Francisco, founding chairman of the Sagip Sierra Madre Foundation, disclosed that illegal loggers are getting more sophisticated, well financed and well equipped.

"They can run but we will give them no quarters. We will not stop in guarding and protecting our forests," he said. (PNA) 
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5,000 board feet of illegally cut logs seized in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 18 (PNA)-- Gov.Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado Thursday instructed the members of the Provincial Multi-Sectoral Anti-Illegal Task Force to go deeper and step-up their operations against illegal logging activities along the Sierra Madre mountain range, particularly at the Angat Dam watershed areas.

Alvarado gave the marching order to members of the PAILTIF after a joint team from the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office, the National Power Corporation-Angat Watershed Area Team, the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society, the Philippine Army and the Bulacan police seized more than 5,000 board feet of illegally cut logs and flitches during the past two days of operations along the mountain villages in Norzagaray that ended up to Rodriguez, Rizal.

“This is a big catch but we still have to intensify and improve our strategy against those who are destroying our forest. This is just the tip of the iceberg, we are facing a sophisticated group but we will give them no quarter in our desire to save the forest cover of our watershed and mountains,” Alvarado said.

The governor said that the already sawed and sliced logs only shows that illegal loggers are now slicing-up cut-trees at the heat of the mountain to make its hauling-down more easier.

“We must step-up our strategies with the cooperation of all concerns not only in Bulacan but also in the neighboring provinces of Rizal and Nueva Ecija."

"We must protect our watershed because we are not talking of price here, every single tree is priceless. If we lost the trees, the water supply of Metro Manila will be threatened. Bulacan water is giving life to residents of Metro Manila,” he said.

In response to the total log ban policy of President Benigno S. Aquino III, Alvarado has issued Executive Order No. 20, creating the PAILTF.

The PAILTF was also formed to address the perennial flodding in the province due to the destructive effects of the illegal cutting of trees in the mountains of eastern Bulacan.

Engineer Mendell Garcia, of the NPC-AWAT, said that the confiscated flitches and cut logs are composed of red/white lauan, guijo, yakal and kamagong.

The seized hot logs, which are kinds of hard woods, was turned over to the provincial government to be used in the production of chairs and tables for different schools in Bulacan. (PNA) 
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Three suspected members of a hijacking group arrested in Pampanga

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, July 17 (PNA) -- Three suspected members of a hijacking group were arrested Wednesday in Barangay San Pablo, San Simon town.

Senior Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, Pampanga police acting provincial director, identified the arrested suspects as Elmer San Agustin, 32, Alexile de Guzman, 24, and Jose de Guzman, 30, all residents of Barangay San Pablo.

The three suspects reportedly hijacked a delivery truck loaded with chicken while traversing along the national highway in Sta. Maria, Bulacan on Monday.

Albayalde said the delivery truck was recovered in Barangay San Pablo and allegedly the hijacked chicken were already sold to unidentified persons.

Superintendent Lalaine Amparo, chief of police of Sta. Maria, coordinated with Pampanga police in their follow-up operation at said barangay.

The three suspects were arrested by the raiding team led by Chief Inspector Michael John Riego of the Pampanga police.

The suspects were turned over to Sta. Maria police, Albayalde added. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos hail promotion of QCPD police chief to one star police general

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 16 (PNA) -- Bulakenyos hailed the promotion of Quezon City police director Richard A. Albano to the rank of chief superintendent.

They said the province still remembers his sterling exploits in ridding the notorious criminal gangs during his stint as a young police officer here.

Bulacan PNP Press Corps president Orlan L. Mauricio said Albano had served as police chief of several towns in the province.

This included Meycauayan City as well as head of the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office which he named “Detective and Secret Service Office.”

Mauricio said Albano is primed to be a police general.

He said when Albano, then a young lieutenant and fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1984, first came to Bulacan, he headed several operations that led to the busting of drug syndicates, criminal gangs and other lawless elements. ,p>“He knows how to find and snare even the most elusive of the denizens of the underworld,” said Mauricio, who has covered the exploits of the new police general during his stint as deskman of an evening tabloid.

PNP chief director General Alan LM Purisima pinned Monday the one star general rank insignia to the uniform of Albano in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Purisima said the promotion of Albano was reached through hard work and dedication.

Albano’s promotion was also recommended by the PNP chief and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to President Benigno S. Aquino III because of his sterling performance as a police officer.

Bulacan based-journalists said that Albano has the gift to track lawless elements and the charisma in leading his men to become efficient in solving and deterring crimes as well neutralizing criminals. (PNA) 
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PNP-CSG conducts Bulacan leg of fireworks safety training seminars 
By Emil Gamos

SAN RAFAEL, Bulacan, July 10 (PNA) -- The Civil Security Group of the Philippine National Police has begun conducting the regional safety training seminars for manufacturers, dealers, distributors and aerial display operators of fireworks to minimize accidents and ensure that the safety guidelines of the Firecracker Law is being strictly observed in factories and stores.

PNP-CSG director Gil C. Meneses said the seminars also aim to familiarize stakeholders of the fireworks industry on the 2012 revised Implementing Rules and Regulations governing the administration and enforcement of Republic Act 7183 otherwise known as the “Firecracker law.”

Under the law, Meneses said that it is the primary responsibility of the PNP to implement and enforce RA 7183, an act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics devices.

He said that PNP-CSG in coordination with the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Incorporated has lined up a series of safety training seminars from region 1 to 13 including the National Capital Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Last Tuesday, Meneses together with Senior Supt. Ferdinand B. Daway, chief of the Explosive Management Division; Senior Supt. Allan Pareno, deputy chief of the Firearms and Explosive Office and Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, led the first part of the Bulacan leg of the safety training seminar at the 8 Waves Hotel in barangay Ulingao here.

The event was hosted by the Philippine Fireworks Association headed by Dragon Fireworks owner Joven Ong.

Dragon fireworks is one of the leading quality fireworks makers in the Philippines, specializing in aerial fireworks display.

The second leg of the fireworks safety training seminar will be held at the Agatha Resort and Hotel in Guiguinto town on August 13 in coordination with the PPMDAI.

Parreno, who represented FEO head Chief Supt. Raul D. Petrasanta, opened the fireworks safety seminar for 2013.

He said that the one-day seminar has two phases with the first part starting with the familiarization on the 2012 revised IRR of RA 7183; a lecture on fire safety and preparedness by the Bureau of Fire Protection and procedures in safety handling of fireworks and pyrotechnics devices.

The second phase is a crash course on fireworks display operation for aerial fireworks display operators.

Engineer Celso C. Cruz, PPMDAI chairman emeritus, said that they have been spearheading the conduct of safety and training seminars for the past several years now in the different parts of the country where fireworks and pyrotechnics devices are being manufactured and sold.

Cruz said that their group is also conducting crash courses for fireworks technicians, particularly those involved in aerial fireworks display.

He also said that the PPMDAI is in constant coordination with the provincial government of Bulacan headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and the Department of Science and Technology to make the local fireworks industry in the province more globally competitive. (PNA) 
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Crime rate in Bulacan steadily declines in the past 3 years

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 5 (PNA) -- The crime rate in the province is steadily declining in the past three years.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said that through collaborative efforts of the local officials and the police, the crime solution efficiency in the province has improved since 2010.

Within three years of his administration, Alvarado said the crime solution efficiency in the province has increased from 8.50 percent in 2010 , 13.31 percent in 2011 and 23.06 percent 2012.

He also that the average monthly crime rate continues to decline from 44.23 in 2010 to 30.99 in 2011 and 20.49 in 2012.

He attributed the declining crime rate to the intensified campaign against lawless elements.

The campaign was also evident following the neutralization of criminal gangs, including the notorious Dominguez carnapping group.

Likewise, he said the provincial government is also strictly implementing the no helmet, no ride policy to ensure the safety of the motorists, as well as the people of Bulacan.

Meanwhile, to ensure the effective performance of the Bulacan Provincial Jail’s guards, they were required to undergo six trainings including the proper handling and use of their firearms, he said.

He said training for five K-9 dogs was also conducted in order to assist the guards in tracking illegal drugs within the jail premises and to maintain peace and order in the area.

Life changing and values enhancing activities like mass, prayer meetings, bible seminars, and cursillo classes among others were also conducted to help the inmates in their transformation, he added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan marks Del Pilar’s 117th death anniversary

BULAKAN, Bulacan, July 4 (PNA)--Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday said that Bulakenyos will not disappoint national hero Jose Rizal in his desire for the country to have 100 “Plaridels,”.

Plaridel is the pen name of Bulakenyo hero Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar, who worked to deliver the country from bondage during the time of the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonial rule.

The governor made the statement during the commemoration of the 117th death anniversary of Del Pilar, also known as the "Great Propagandist," held at the Del Pilar shrine in Sitio Cupang, Barangay San Nicolas here on Thursday morning.

The commemoration became more meaningful as residents appreciated the recognition of their native son given by no less than President Benigno Aquino III who sent a wreath of yellow flowers at the statue of Del Pilar.

Alvarado told guests, including journalism and history students, that Rizal was overwhelmed when Del Pilar wrote the satire entitled Caiigat Cayo in defense of the attacks by Fray Rodriguez in his pamphlet entitled “Caiingat Cayo”

He quoted the famous lines of Rizal which states “Ang sinulat ni Plaridel ay nagdulot sa akin ng malaking kaligayahan; ngayon ko masasabi ang saya ng sinabi ni Jacob: ‘ngayo’y maari na akong mamatay nang nasisiyahan, natitiyak kong ang gawaing pinangarap ko ay matatapos. Bakit hindi tayo magkaroon ng Sandaang Plaridel?” (Plaridel's writings brought me great joy; Today, I can say what Jacob stated is fun: 'now I can die satisfied for I am sure that the work I am dreaming for would finish'. Why we do not have one hundred Plaridel?"

Alvarado disclosed that as fitting tribute to the patriotism and heroism of Del Pilar, the provincial government will erect a statue in front of the provincial capitol so that people can look at it and remember the greatness of the Bulakenyo hero.

Del Pilar left the prosperous life of a lawyer and died alone and a pauper in a cold and damp room in Barcelona, Spain on July 4, 1896 — two years before a revolution inspired by his writings paved the declaration of Philippine Independence.

Alvarado said that while the death of Rizal can be likened to a “blockbuster” filled with drama, witnessed by friends and relatives and complete with a breathtaking view of dawn breaking at nearby Manila Bay, Del Pilar’s death is full of sadness inside a dark room in Barcelona, far away from loved ones and his motherland.

“But Del Pilar died with his boots on,” Alvarado said, adding that based on accounts, the “Great Propagandist” died while sitting and holding a pen.

He said that although alone, and being blown like a candle in the wind with tuberculosis, Del Pilar remained strong in spirit and died gallantly.

Alvarado said that Rizal’s wish for a hundred Del Pilars has come true because now there are at least three million children in Bulacan that will soon erect a statue where his legacy will continue to live on and inspire the next generations not only of Bulakenyos but the whole Filipino people as well. (PNA) 
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Two drug dealers, dope user nabbed in series of anti-drug sting in Bulacan

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, July 2 (PNA) -— Two alleged drug dealers and a drug user fell on Tuesday in a series of police anti-drug operations in the towns of Sta. Maria, Hagonoy and Norzagaray.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna identified the suspected drug pushers as Rodel Cabungcal alias “Tango”, 37, a native of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija and a resident of No. 110 Barangay Antipona, Bocaue town and Ramil Manasan alias “Bakbak”, 39, a resident of purok 9, Barangay Sta. Monica, Hagonoy town.

Orduna said that Cabungcal was arrested after the Sta. Maria Police Station received information that a certain alias “Tango” was selling illegal drugs near the Best Mix Corporation in Barangay Guyong, Sta. Maria town.

He said that upon receipt of the report, town police chief Supt. Lailene Amparo initiated a buy-bust operation that was conducted by Municipal Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force, together with a confidential asset, who acted as a poseur buyer.

Upon arrival at the place, a male person arrived on board a black motorcycle.

Orduna said that the suspect was arrested after the marked money worth P1,000 was handed to the suspect in exchange of one small plastic sachet containing suspected shabu.

After the arrest, the suspect yielded eight more small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet, containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride also known as “shabu”, with an estimated street value of P15,000; one piece of P1,000 bill used as marked money, and one black Honda Wave motorcycle, with plate number 4447-CP, registered under the name of one Rolex Bumatay Casilla of No. 29 Ilang-Ilang Street, Saint Michael Subdivision, Barangay Pandayan, Meycauayan City.

The suspect and the confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination, while the motorcycle was brought to Sta. Maria MPS for proper disposition.

In Hagonoy town, Manasan was arrested after selling P500 worth of shabu to a police anti-narcotics agent.

In Norzagaray town, police arrested Ronaldo Sarmiento alias “Taba/Ronald”, 35, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Norzagaray after police swooped down on a tricyle where the suspect and two other companions were allegedly sniffing shabu.

Appropriate criminal charges are now being prepared for filing with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor against the suspects. (PNA) 
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Swarm of flies invades Bulacan town public market
By Emil Gamos

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, June 29 (PNA)-- Traders and consumers at the Balagtas public market are pestered by a new menace -- swarm of flies.

Rommel Ramos, anchor of the radio program “Rommel Ramos Po!”, said his daily program is also being swarmed by callers calling the attention of officials to act on the matter before it becomes a health hazard to the public. He said the swarm became ominous shortly after a big fire gutted a major portion of the public market last month.

Bobby Alonzo, a butcher, said his customers have dwindled in the past days because of the swarm.

"Most of my customers transferred to another market because of the swarm of flies," Alonzo lamented.

Upon learning of the plight of traders, consumers and residents during the weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour” , Gov. Wilhelhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado immediately called and instructed Provincial administrator Jim Valerio and provincial health officer Dr. Joy Gomez to go to the area and act on the problem.

He told the two provincial officials to coordinate with their counterparts at the municipal government to swiftly address the situation.

Traders said that after the fire last month, most of the burned goods, including meats have not been totally cleared out from the premises.

Diosdadao Libiran, OIC market master, said thay have tried to remedy the problem but the flies just keep on coming back.

Residents also said that garbage being dumped at the streets beside a creek at the public market is also being seen as one of the factors why flies are invading every nook of the public market. (PNA) 
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Alvarado leads elected officials in Bulacan to take oath on June 30

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 28 (PNA) -- Second termer Governor-elect Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado will lead all elected officials in the province in taking their oath of office on June 30 at the Bulacan Capitol gymnasium here.

Executive judge Maria Theresa Arcega will preside the oathtaking of provincial and district level officials while Alvarado will swear into office the elected local government officials of the three cities and 21 municipalities in Bulacan.

Alvarado said the mass oathtaking which is dubbed as “Sabayang Panunumpa Nagkakaisang Pamamahala para sa Lalawigang Dakila” is a perfect venue to call all the public servants, regardless of their political affiliations to unite in leading and serving their constituents starting July 1 up to the next three years.

"This is good opportunity to ask again the support of the veteran public servants and the newly-elected officials towards the continuous implementation of projects anchored in our seven-point agenda which include environment, health, education, transparent governance, livelihood, peace and order, and history and culture,” the governor said.

Provincial administrator Jim Valerio said that after the mass oathtaking, Alvarado will also present his accomplishments and future plans for the province of Bulacan.

Other newly-elected officials of the province who will be taking oath are board members from each district are Michael Fermin, Toti Ople, and Ayee Ople for the first district; Buko Dela Cruz and Monet Posadas for second district; Nono Castro and Erning Sulit for third district; and Jonjon Delos Santos , King Sarmiento and Allan Ray Baluyut for fourth district.

New members of House of the Representatives include Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (1st district); Apol Pancho (2nd district) ; Jonjon Mendoza (3rd district); Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th district); and Arthur Robes (Lone district of San Jose Del Monte).

The newly-elected mayors, on the other hand, are Leonardo de Leon of Angat; Romeo Castro of Balagtas; Eduardo Villanueva Jr. of Bocaue; Jessie de Jesus of Calumpit; Ronaldo T. Flores of Dona Remedios Trinidad; Enrico Roque of Pandi; Vicente Esguerra Sr., of Pulilan; and Cipriano Violago of San Rafael.

In the coastal town of Hagonoy, Raulito “Amboy” Manlapaz Jr., of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino; independent mayor Isagani Castro (Paombong) and Alfredo Gelmar of the Liberal Party (Norzagaray).

Reelectionists Mayors Christian D. Natividad of Malolos City and Joan Alarilla of the City of Meycauayan –both from the Liberal party.(PNA) 
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Bulacan PDRRMO, SM City Baliwag strengthen role in disaster preparedness

BALIWAG, Bulacan, June 26 (PNA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) is working hand-in-hand with the private sector in bracing up for the onslaught of the rainy season.

PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal on Wednesday said a team of evaluators from the PDRRMO, Philippine Red Cross and the Bulacan Integrated Association observed and assessed the emergency response program of the personnel and staff of SM City Baliwag during a typhoon and flood drill conducted last Monday.

Mungcal said the provincial government, led by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Govenor Daniel Fernando, is actively taking steps in lessening and mitigating the effects of floods and other forms of calamities by conducting emergency drills.

“Being a crowded place, SM City Baliwag is one of the commercial establishments that is actively preparing and strengthening their response during times of calamities,” Mungcal said.

Beverly Bernardo Cruz, public relations officer of SM City Baliwag, said that the annual exercise aims to intensify and sustain the company’s emergency response program and foster a disaster-ready culture among the mall employees for prompt response during threat of heavy rains and rising floodwaters.

The activity began with a simulation of a worse case storm on signal number 4 setting off the activation of the Emergency Response Group (ERG) which includes the rescue and evacuation units, security and crowd control, medical, communications and engineering teams.

To sustain the ERG’s disaster-preparedness skills, they also underwent a series of trainings and seminars on basic life support and rescue operations prior to the drill.

Cruz said that a potential flooding was likewise anticipated with the opening of the floodgates of Angat dam.

She said that in this scenario, an immediate evacuation to the cinema area’s second level was quickly directed by Rodora Tolentino, the mall’s assistant mall manager and the ERG’s team leader.

“The second floor lobby was transformed into a temporary relief center housing areas for first-aid, rest & comfort inside the theaters, food storage and the communication booth where evacuees can also charge their mobile phones and get information on weather reports,” Cruz said.

To make the drill more realistic, supposed victims of drowning and hypothermia were quickly revived and were given immediate medical treatment after the mock rescue operation.

Cruz said that more than 200 participants, including store tenants, janitorial and security personnel, affiliates and mall employees gathered for a post-drill evaluation.

Aside from the mall’s emergency response efforts, SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI), the company’s socio-civic arm also extended disaster relief programs with the activation of “Operation Tulong Express.”

The SMFI team, together with employee-volunteers takes part in the distribution of food, water, blankets, clothing and other basic necessities given to calamity-stricken areas within the community, Cruz added. (PNA) 
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Fire destroys 14 classrooms at Malolos Central School

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 24 (PNA)--Classes were temporarily suspended at the City of Malolos Integrated School (also known as Malolos Central School) in barangay Sto. Rosario here after a fire of still unknown origin gutted at least 14 classrooms on Monday.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire was noticed at around 4:00 am and was put under control at around 6:00 am.

Police and arson investigators are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Damages were estimated at P3.2 million. (PNA) 
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Gun ban nets 499 violators, 527 assorted firearms in Central Luzon 
By Froilan E. Magtoto

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, June 20 (PNA) -- The implementation of the election gun ban from January 13 to June 12 this year resulted to the arrest of 499 persons and confiscation of 527 assorted firearms in Central Luzon.

Data from the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) showed that Bulacan has the most number of arrests with 191; followed by Nueva Ecija, 101 and Pampanga with 70.

Of the total confiscated loose firearms, there were 132 in Nueva Ecija, 130 in Bulacan and 113 in Pampanga.

Police Supt. Jacqueline Puapo, public information officer of the PRO-3, said those arrested were already charged in court.

“We will closely monitor the prosecution of all cases involving violation of election laws, particularly violations of the Comelec gun ban,” Puapo said.

She said the campaign against loose firearms will continue despite the lifting of the election gun ban.

“We will still carry on our campaign against loose firearms and the Oplan Katok to remind gun owners with expired licenses to renew it to avoid being penalized under the law,” she added. (PNA) 
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Concerned citizen helps Bulacan cops bust dope dealers

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) -- An observant concerned citizen with keen eyes on suspicious-looking persons helped local policemen bust three suspected members of a local drug gang in Barangay Perez here Thursday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspects as Eric Ramos, 40, jobless; Celestino Bongolan alis “Tararong”, 43, tricycle driver, both residents of Brgy. Perez; and Wenceslao Dacillo alias “Saturday”, 43, truck driver, and resident of Brgy. Camohaguin, Gumaca, Quezon.

According to Orduna, prior to the suspects' arrest, a text was received by the Meycauayan City police station from a concerned citizen saying that there are drug pushers in the said area.

The Bulacan top cop said that upon receipt of the report, personnel of Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Task Force of the Meycauayan City Police Station conducted validation that yielded positive result.

Further investigation disclosed that Ramos is transacting his illegal activity through phone and using Bongolan as his courier whenever there are orders from buyers.

Orduna said that the suspects were caught in the act of selling, possession, distribution, and transporting of the mind altering substance known as “shabu.”

Seized from the suspects are three pieces of transparent plastic sachet containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu); one Nokia cellular phone, one black Honda 155 motorcycle (for registration) with sidecar, and seven pieces of P100 bill used as marked money.

The suspects and the confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory examination.

Appropriate criminal complaint is now being prepared for filing at the Office of the City Prosecutor here. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos plant 5,000 trees in Dona Remedios Trinidad town

DONA REMEDIOS TRINIDAD, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) -- Similar cause and cooperation between local government units (LGUs) and the private sector is helping this booming mountain resort town in fortifying the forest cover of its mountains and hills where mining and logging activities are strictly being monitored and regulated by the provincial government.

Staff and personnel of the provincial government of Bulacan, the municipal government of Dona Remedios Trinidad, the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), and the Mighty Corporation on Friday braved wet mountain trails and planted at least 5,000 tree saplings in the mountain villages of Bayabas and Camachile.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the tree planting activity is among the programs and activities lined up by the provincial government in observance of the Environment Month.

Alvarado said that this year’s celebration is anchored on the theme “Kalikasan at Kapaligiran ng Bulacan, Patuloy na Kalingain at Pangalagaan.”

“The more trees we plant, the more we lessen the threat of natural disasters. At the same time, we are also making the mountain resort town looks beautiful with its verdant forest cover,” Alvarado said.

He said that the highland atmosphere at Dona Remedios Trinidad is comparable with those of the cities of Tagaytay and Baguio.

The governor said that progress is good but it should not be achieved at the expense and destruction of the environment and depletion of natural resources.

Alvarado reiterated that the love of environment should be alive in the hearts of everyone.

Re-elected mayor Ronald T. Flores said that the municipal government is working hand-in-hand with the provincial government and private sector to make Dona Remedios Trinidad a popular mountain resort town and at the same time, economically sound and stable through good management of its environment and natural resources. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops nab alleged drug dealer in anti-drug raid

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, June 8 (PNA)-- Police intelligence operatives swooped down on a suspected dope den in barangay Sta. Cruz here Friday afternoon that led to the arrest of a suspected dope dealer and the seizure of several sachets of “shabu” , an air gun rifle and several ammunitions for high- powered firearms.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Sabio Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Gerald Alcontin also known as “Doyet”, a resident of Felville Subdivision in barangay Sta. Cruz here.

Orduna said the operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch headed by Supt. Edwin Quilates raided the said the suspect's house on the strength of search warrant issued by Bulacan RTC executive judge Ma. Theresa V. Mendoza Arcega for violation of RA 8294 and RA 9165.

Orduna said that during the search, Quilates and his men found and seized two heat sealed plastic sachets containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride “shabu”; different drugs paraphernalia; three notebooks containing list of clients’/credit/consign illegal drugs amounting to more or less P138,000; three live ammunitions for 9mm; two live ammunitions for shotgun; four live ammunitions for M16; one live ammunition for M14 and one air gun riffle.

Quilates said the implementation of the search warrant was properly documented aand was witnessed by barangay chairman Ignacio R. Hernandez and chief tanod Aguido Bicol of barangay Sta. Cruz.

The arrested suspect and the seized pieces of evidence are presently under the custody of PIB for proper disposition.

Appropriate charges will also be filed against the suspect. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cited as among Top 10 New Wave Cities in PHL

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 6 (PNA) -- The province of Bulacan is fast becoming as the new frontier of economic growth in Central Luzon.

This came as the province recently cited as one of the Top 10 New Wave Cities in the Philippines for 2012.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said they are proud that the province has been included and acknowledged as a key for economic and technological advancement of the country by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) for three consecutive years.

“It is evident that development is really making its way in our region. It is our vision that Bulacan will become the new engine for economic growth. Our location is strategic. Bulacan is the so-called “Gateway to the North. Industrialization is happening here and it will trigger a much robust business climate in Central at Northern Luzon,” Alvarado said.

Aside from being accessible, “Metro Bulacan” has passed the criteria set by the DOST-ICTO and BPAP which includes favorable environment for business; enough work supply and manpower; strong telecommunication structure; low cost of doing business; and other factors that sustains the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

“Another good thing about Bulacan is that we are so close to Metro Manila. We have many colleges here producing qualified graduates, and majority of BPO employees are mostly from here,” the governor said.

Provincial Cooperative and Economic Development Office head Jovito Saguinsin, for his part, said the provincial government will continue to improve facilities and infrastructures in the province to make it more equip to new investments.

Other provinces/cities cited as 2012 Top 10 New Wave Cities include Lipa City, Dumaguete City, Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite, Baguio City, Iloilo City, Davao City and the two new qualifiers, Metro Rizal and Metro Naga.(PNA) 
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Bulacan police entrap computer hacker

MARILAO, Bulacan, June 5 (PNA) -- Police arrested a suspected computer hacker during an entrapment operation in Barangay Nagbalaon here Tuesday afternoon.

Bulacan police provincial director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Arnold Evardone, 36, a computer technician and a resident of Villa Monteverde Subdivision here.

Orduna said a team from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) headed by Supt. Ross Alvarado conducted a sting operation against the alleged computer hacker after two security investigators of Globe Telecoms Inc , identified as Jon-jon Masiclat, 44, and Jason L Rodriguez, 33, coordinated with the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) for the arrest of the suspect.

He said that according to the telecom’s security investigators, Evardone is allegedly involved in the illegal selling, producing, using, trafficking or counterfeit access device of Globe Telecom Inc. reportedly operating in Barangay Nagbalon here, a high tech criminal offense punishable under RA 8484 otherwise known as ”Access Device Regulation Act of 1998”.

The PPSC operatives, together with the two security investigators, proceeded to the place and conducted entrapment operation which resulted in the arrest of the suspect.

Seized from the suspect were seven pieces of wireless BM622iWIMAX modem; nine pieces of wireless BM622WIMAX modem; two pieces of DSL Globe WIMAX; one antenna for WIMAX modem; one flat screen monitor; one CPU; one shouldering iron; three pieces of internal hard drives; two hot air blower; four pieces of BM622i WIMAX modem mother board; 42 pieces of BM622 WIMAX modem mother board; and one assorted spare parts of WIMAX modem and computer.

The arrested suspect and the confiscated pieces of evidence are now presently under the custody of the PPSC for proper disposition.

Appropriate criminal complaint against the suspect is being prepared for filing in court.(PNA) 
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Bulacan police ordered to step up drive vs criminality

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 2 (PNA) -- Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has issued a marching order to the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) to intensify their campaign against criminality elements, saying the province is not a place for lawless elements.

The governor made the remarks in the wake of the recent slaying of village officials in Balagtas and San Miguel town.

“These senseless killings of officials should stop. The police should give more teeth in their anti-crime drive. They are more well trained than criminals so they should stop them from carrying out their nefarious schemes,” Alvarado said.

The governor said he instructed Bulacan provincial director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna to get the suspects and intensify their operations against criminal gangs and lawless elements.

Alvarado said the slain village officials were slain “with their boots on” doing their jobs when treacherously attacked by still unidentified suspects.

Last Friday, the village chief of barangay Lambakin in San Miguel town was killed by unidentified motorcycle-rising gunmen.

Village chief Feliciano Beltran Liwag Jr., 51, a former policeman and owner of Liwag Pharmacy was shot dead by two suspects at around 2:30 p.m.

Officer-on-case SPO4 Carlos Pascual said the victim was riding his XLT jitney when the suspects arrived and gunned him down.

The killing of Liwag took place five days after the village chief of barangay Santol, Balagtas town was killed by two unidentified gunmen.

Village chief Ernesto “Estong” Ventura was leading the cleaning of the barangay school when he was approached by two suspects armed with handguns and shot him.

Witnesses said that though wounded he tried to fight back to fight but was shot by the other suspect.(PNA) 
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Bulacan joins National Flag Day celebration

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 27 (PNA) -- The provincial government will hold a simple yet meaningful celebration of the National Flag Day on Tuesday.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, together with Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will lead the flag raising ceremony in front of the provincial capitol building here at 8:00 a.m. simultaneous with the same activity nationwide.

The event, which is in accordance with Republic Act 8491, also known as "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," will be participated in by government employees and representatives from the private sector.

"This signals the start of the celebration of Independence Day in our country. Thus, it is only appropriate to give value to the Philippine flag which symbolizes our unity as a nation and the colorful history of how our forefathers fought and died for the independence we are enjoying today," Alvarado said. (PNA) 
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94 persons arrested due to vote buying -– PNP

MANILA, May 16 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police arrested 94 persons engaging in vote buying during the 2013 midterm elections.

PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima said that 59 incidents of vote buying occurred during the campaign period up to election day on May 13.

“Yung vote buying nakita ng mga pulis natin . We need to review further the elements of vote buying, there should be elements present for a crime to be committed”, Purisima said.

In 59 incidents of vote buying the PNP has filed 46 cases while the 13 is still under investigation. The 83 suspects are facing charges while the other 11 are still investigated.

PNP confiscated worth P1.64- million which used for bribing voters to elect a particular candidates.

PNP also said the area with the most arrested persons in vote buying was Region 3 or Central Luzon which included Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales with P505,700.

The second most is Region 1 or Ilocos Region which recorded P224,100 worth of vote buying while the third is Region 9 or Western Mindanao with P131,220. (PNA) 
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(Bulacan) 'Newcomers' unseat 4 incumbent mayors in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 14 (PNA) -– Meet Bulacan's “new kids on the block”.

The just-concluded midterm elections in this province has brought some surprises as newcomers emerged victorious, unseating incumbent mayors in some towns of the province.

Based on the initial monitoring report of the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor, at least four first-timer mayoralty candidates have beaten the incumbent mayors.

The report, however, did not indicate the total votes garnered due to technical and transmission problems encountered by some of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

Bulacan election supervisor lawyer Elmo Duque, however, said that the results in some towns have been forwarded to the Municipal Board of Canvassers and at least 12 municipal mayors and vice mayors were already proclaimed on Tuesday morning.

In the coastal town of Hagonoy, Raulito “Amboy” Manlapaz Jr. of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino unseated re-electionist mayor Angel Cruz Jr.

In Paombong town, independent mayoral bet Isagani Castro, said to be a virtually unknown in the political scene in this coastal town known for its palm vinegar (sukang Paombong) which was ruled for so many years by outgoing national president of League of Municipalities of the Philippines and last-termer Mayor Donato Marcos, beat the latter's wife Mary Ann of the Liberal party.

In Norzagaray town, long-time mayor Fel Legazpi (National Unity Party) was beaten by Alfredo Gelmar of the Liberal Party.

Like Manlapaz of Hagonoy, Castro of Paombong and Galvez of San Ildefonso, this was the first time that Gelmar ran for the mayorship of his town and won.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the other winning mayors of Bulacan based on the monitoring report of the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor are Leonardo de Leon of Angat; Romeo Castro of Balagtas; Eduardo Villanueva of Bocaue; Jessie de Jesus of Calumpit; Ronaldo T. Flores of Dona Remedios Trinidad; Enrico Roque of Pandi; Vicente Esguerra Sr., of Pulilan; and Cipriano Violago of San Rafael.

Reelectionist mayors Christian D. Natividad of Malolos City and Joan Alarilla of the City of Meycauayan, both of the Liberal Party, won landslide victories over their respective rivals but were not yet proclaimed as of posting time.

Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and his wife 1st district Rep. Ma. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado, who both ran unopposed in the just concluded midterm elections, were given fresh mandates by their province mates.

Alvarado’s running mate vice governor Daniel Fernando is also heading to a second term with 696,477 votes against his closest rivals Josie Lopez with 44,500 votes and Manny Ocampo with 20,045 votes.

The province of Bulacan has a total of 1,497,000 registered voters. (PNA) 
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(Elections-Update) Elections in Central Luzon generally peaceful

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, May 13 (PNA) -- The conduct of the national and local elections in Central Luzon was so far generally peaceful.

This was considered to be the most peaceful elections in the region amid the inclusion of two of the seven provinces--Pampanga and Nueva Ecija--in the priority areas of concern.

Except for some glitches on the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines as well as the usual problems and complaints of having difficulties in finding the voters' name, disenfranchisement of other voters, alleged vote buying, and political harassment, there were no election-related incidents reported throughout the region.

Based on the latest report of the Regional Election Monitoring Action Center (REMAC) stationed in this camp, the voting process is so far going well with no political-related incidents reported.

Supt. Fernando Lansangan, head of REMAC, said the political atmosphere in the region was generally peaceful and orderly, a great improvement compared in the past elections.

"Based on the monitoring report we received in the fields throughout the region, there are no election-related violence. Let us all hope and pray that the voting process not only in the region but also throughout the nation ended peacefully," Lansangan said.

In Zambales, Lawyer Panfilo Doctor Jr., provincial election supervisor, said there were report of any untoward incident in the province's 13 towns and in Olongapo City as of press time even to areas considered as hotspots.

In Bulacan, acting police director Joel S. Orduna said the entire province which composed of 21 towns and three cities, was also peaceful as government security forces are strategically deployed in every polling centers.

"So far, there is no untoward incident and we are hoping that it will continue. Let us join together to maintain peaceful and orderly elections," Orduna said.

In Nueva Ecija, the conduct of elections in the province's 27 towns and five cities proceeded peacefully and orderly.

In Pampanga, the voting process in the 19 towns and three cities was likewise peaceful.

Reports have that conduct of elections in Bataan, Tarlac and Aurora were also peaceful. (PNA) 
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(Elections-Bulacan) Election in Bulacan generally peaceful

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 13 (PNA) -- Except for minor problems from precint count optical scan (PCOS) machines in several voting precints in some parts of the province, the conduct of the May 13 mid-term elections in Bulacan is generally peaceful.

Bulacan election supervisor Lawyer Elmo Roque said that there was a heavy turnout of voters in polling places as early as 7:00 am.

People went to their polling precincts early to cast their votes. There were reports that some PCOS machines malfunctioned but technicians were able to solve the problems immediately, Roque said, adding that they are still consolidating reports from the 21 towns and three cities of Bulacan.

In vote-rich Meycauayan City, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said three PCOs machines bogged down at around 9:00 a.m. but was immediately repaired by authorized technicians.

The Bulacan Police Provincial Office said that teams were dispatched to several areas where incidents of vote-buying were reported but no violators was caught.

Bulacan acting police director Joel S. Orduna said government security forces are strategically deployed in every polling centers.

He said that in every polling precincts there are at least four policemen assigned to maintain peace and order.

Earlier, the Bulacan police has tagged the towns of San Miguel, San Rafael, San Ildefonso and Dona Remedios Trinidad — all in the third congressional district of Bulacan - under “heightened alert” based on incidents that occurred there in the past elections.

"So far, there is no untoward incident and we are hoping that it will continue. Let us join together to maintain peaceful and orderly elections," Orduna said.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who is running unopposed under the One-Bulacan team, said he believes that the security forces and their force multipliers are doing a good job in ensuring the conduct of of an honest, orderly and peaceful elections in the province.

"Election is part of democracy; it is the voice of the people. It should not be tainted with conflicts because the government would not succeed if there is no unity. That's why the police and soldiers should ensure the appropriate respect for the sacredness of ballots," Alvarado said. (PNA) 
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Security forces in Bulacan ready for May 13 polls

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, May 4 (PNA) -- With prayers and reminder that “the voice of the people is the voice of God”, contingents of police and army troopers were given final instructions to ensure a safe, free and peaceful elections in the province on May 13 during a send off ceremony here on Saturday morning.

The send-off ceremony was presided by officials of the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) led by Bulacan election supervisor lawyer Elmo Duque, Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna and Lt. Col. Bernardo Ona, battalion commander of the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

Orduna told police and army troopers before the “send-off” at this camp that “once again we are being called to do what we do best. Let’s do our best in serving the people and the best interests for our country.”

He said the security forces in Bulacan and its force multipliers are now ready to face any eventualities to ensure the conduct of an honest, orderly and peaceful election in the province.

The joint security forces will be deployed in the 554 voting centers provincewide for a safe and fair elections in Bulacan.

Duque, for his part, said that it is now “all system go” as far as preparations for the upcoming midterm elections in the province is concerned.

He reminded the security forces there are laws and rules to be obeyed and that the will of the people should be preserved and protected at all costs.

Let us help Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. in a crusade for an orderly, clean and peaceful elections. Let us encourage the public to take the straight path this coming elections, Duque said.

They said that they will put up posters in strategic areas in every towns and cities to remind the people and the candidates as well that “ firearms and deadly weapons are prohibited”.

The posters reminding the public and the candidates that selling and buying of vote is illegal and punishable under the provisions of the Omnibus Elections code will also be put up.

The PJSCC said that the public can call the Provincial Election Monitoring Action Center (PEMAC) through cellphone number 0927-602-8920 for immediate assistance 24/7.

Duque said that official ballots were delivered last Thursday to the different treasurer’s office in the province’s 21 towns and three cities and are now being guarded by policemen and authorized representatives of candidates.

Last Friday, Duque said that all PCOS machines were tested in coordination with the National Support Center of the Comelec.

The voting machines will be delivered to the different municipal and city halls on Sunday and will be tightly secured by police and army troopers.

There are 1,962 PCOS machines in Bulacan with 24 reserved or stand-by machines.

There is also one contingent machine for every town and cities.

Meanwhile, Malolos City police chief Supt. David N. Poklay said joint police and army teams will escort election officials in delivering PCOS machines to the different coastal villages here. (PNA) 
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AFP, PNP ready for elections in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 1 (PNA) -- The joint forces of Bulacan Provincial Police Office (BPPO) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be deployed to different voting centers in the province starting Saturday.

Police Senior Supt. Joel Orduña, provincial director of the BPPO, made this statement during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center on Tuesday.

“We are now in the final phase of deploying our troops in our different voting centers in each municipality supported by 238 augmentations from AFP and one company from First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR),” Orduña said.

He also reported that after implementing the firearms ban, BPPO has accounted a total of 105 high-powered and low-powered firearms and 76 other items confiscated as of April 29.

He also said the total crime volume in Bulacan marked a 33 percent decrease or 1, 850 incidents recorded as compared to last year’s report for the same period.

Meanwhile, Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Bernardo Oña of the 56th Infantry Battalion warned the council members from those individuals who claim to be from the Philippine Army asking for financial support.

"We received reports that there are people going to the mayors and candidates asking for 20 cavans of rice and money for the Army. They are all lies," Oña said.

He said that if candidates are requesting for security it must be properly coordinated to the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC), which is composed of Commission on Elections (Comelec), PNP and the 56th IB, all tasked to address the peace and order concerns in the province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that it is the PPOC’s responsibility to secure a fair and peaceful election in the province.

"Election is part of democracy; it is the voice of the people. I should not be tainted with conflicts because the government would not succeed if there is no unity. That's why the police and soldiers should ensure the appropriate respect for the sacredness of ballots," Alvarado said. (PNA) 
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Five barker vehicles of UNA candidates in Bulacan gutted by mysterious fire

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 30 (PNA) -- Police and arson experts here are investigating a mysterious fire that gutted five campaign vehicles (barkers) of local candidates of the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA)in this city early Tuesday morning.

Former city councilor and UNA–Malolos spokesman Dennis San Diego said that two barkers of UNA mayoral candidate and former city mayor Danilo “Danny” Domingo, two barkers of city councilor candidate Vino Mercado and one barker for the city’s UNA ticket were all gutted by a mysterious fire that broke out at around 2:00 a.m. in a compound in Barangay Lugam here.

San Diego said they are still awaiting the results of the investigations conducted by the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Malolos City Police Station.

He said the five vehicles, two elf pick-up trucks and Tamiya pick-up trucks, were parked at the compound’s garage at around 8:30 Monday night after a house- to- house sorties of the local candidates of UNA in Barangays Balite and Dakila earlier in the day.

He said that the vehicles would usually leave the garage for the sorties of UNA mayoral bet Domingo and his team in the different villages of the city.

He said that all their campaign vehicles are properly checked regularly and are in tiptop conditions.

The fire also destroyed the sound systems attached in the burned vehicles.

When asked if there is foul play or if politics is involved, San Diego said that "I hope it was not because politics is just one day and should not be tainted with violence."

He said that the loss of their five vehicles will affect the campaign sorties because they have to replace it in order to continue their campaign in the different villages of the city.

"It was an unfortunate incident. But we will continue 

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1,500 bikers join pitch for H.O.P.E. 2013

MALOLOS, Bulacan, April 28 (PNA) -- An estimated 1,500 cyclists joined together on Sunday to promote honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE) through the “7th Takbulacan” fun biking event.

Takbulacan is organized by SALIKA Foundation, Inc. which intends to promote camaraderie among Bulakeños through volunteerism, charity and unity. This also serves as an information campaign to support secure and fair elections.

Meanwhile, different cyclist groups from Luzon participated in the event which started at 5 in the morning.

According to Wilfredo Barroquillo Jr. of SALIKA Foundation, they did not expect the turnout of participants. He said that there were more participants this quarter and most of them were not able to have a cycling jersey because it was already out of stock.

The fun biking event started from two staging points; from Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine in Bulakan, Bulacan and the other is from the Grotto Vista Resort in San Jose del Monte City.

All cyclists have completed the route by 9 a.m. and met in the end point at Bulacan Sports Complex, Sta. Isabel, Malolos, Bulacan.

Celso Pangan, a 78-year-old cyclist, was awarded for being the oldest biking enthusiast in the league.

Through the help of Philippine National Police (PNP), the event has successfully achieved its goal and has secured the safety and protection of every biker.

Funds collected from the event will go to SALIKA Foundation’s program such as scholarship, medical mission and livelihood projects. (PNA) 
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Police, students, teachers join TakBulacan 2013 for honest, orderly and peaceful elections

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 28 (PNA) -- Some 800 bike enthusiasts, including policemen, students and teachers, joined the 7th leg of TakBulacan 2013 on Sunday morning.

The event kicked off from the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine in Bulakan town and from the Grotto Shrine in San Jose del Monte City and culminated at the Malolos Sports Complex in barangay Sta.Isabel here.

Organized by the Salika foundation and in coordination with the provincial government of Bulacan, the Philippine Councilors League and other government agencies, the fun biking event was conducted for honest, orderly and peaceful elections (H.O.P.E.) in the province.

Wilfredo Barroquillo of Salika Foundation said the event was successful in conveying to the public the importance of H.O.P.E.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna, said the event does not only help the police and the Commission on Elections (Comlec) in getting public support to ensure the conduct of an honest, orderly and peaceful elections but is also good for the health and physical fitness of the public especially policemen.

All of us want to have an honest, orderly and peaceful elections. Our policemen are always prepared, on guard and ready to respond to ensure SAFE elections, Orduna said.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy. Alvarado, for his part, said the fun biking event will help boost the information campaign that aims to achieve the conduct of H.O.P.E. in the province. (PNA) 
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(Lead) 11 NPAs conducting “permit to campaign” sorties in Bulacan captured

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, April 27 (PNA) -- Government forces Saturday arrested 11 suspected members of the communist New People’s Army while conducting “permit to campaign” operations on politicians running in the May 13 midterm elections.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said joint forces of the Philippine Army and the Bulacan Police Provincial Office captured 11 alleged NPA members during a series of internal security operations in Sitio Sapang Linao, Barangay Kabayunan, Dona Remedios Trinidad town early Saturday morning.

Orduna said the joint operations were conducted after receiving reports that heavily armed men , believed to be NPA members, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, were sighted in the said mountain village in Dona Remedios Trinidad.

The arrested alleged NPA members were identified as Rodolfo Cruz, 65, resident of barangay Bigte, Norzagaray town; Rico Vicene, 43, a resident of San Jose del Monte City;

Cyrhyl dela Cruz,19, resident of barangay Tibagan, Jayson Valmadrid, 25, a resident of barangay San Juan, Randy Puno, 33, Josefino Lupanco, 34, Angel Cabrera, 48; Alberto dela Cruz, 24, all of barangay Salangan, San Miguel town;

Graciano dela Cruz, Billy Asuncion and William Asuncion.

The last three suspects were arrested in a follow- up operations, Orduna said.

Confiscated from the suspects were three caliber .45 with three magazine assembly; four hand grenade; one 12 gauge shotgun with six live bullets; subversive documents , medical kits and personal belongings.

Maj. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, commander of the 7th ID of the Philippine Army, said the government forces also seized from the three other suspects during the follow up operation three M-16 rifles with 9 magazines and 200 bullets; two M-14 rifles with 10 magazines and 181 pieces of live ammunition and one Mitsubishi Delica Van without plate number.

Catapang said the three suspected NPA members were on board the Delica van when they were intercepted by army and police troops.

He said the government forces are now intensifying their internal security operations to neutralize the armed-mulcting operations of communist rebels.

He called on the people to help the government forces by reporting the presence of armed groups in their areas and help them make the coming elections peaceful and orderly.

He added the world is now watching the country if it can hold peaceful elections.

Supt. Fitz Macariola, operations chief of the BPPO, said the arrested suspects were distributing solicitation letters to politicians running in the coming May 13 elections.

The suspects are now in the custody of the Bulacan police while appropriate charges are being readied against them. (PNA) 
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11 rebels captured, 13 firearms seized in Bulacan
By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, April 27 (PNA) - The Armed Forces announced Saturday field units have captured 11 members of the New People’s Army and recovered 13 high-powered firearms and explosives in a security operations in a remote village in Bulacan Friday morning.

At about 4:30 a.m., the 56th Infantry Battalion received information from civilians on the presence of around 30 fully-armed members of the NPA at Sitio Mahangin and Sitio Sapang Linao of Barangay Kabayunan in Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.

According to the report, the armed group has been sending permit-to-campaign letters to the local political candidates in the area.

Upon receipt of the report, the battalion, in coordination with the local police units, organized a joint task-group to catch the armed men and prevent them from conducting terroristic activities against civilians.

Initially, the troops captured eight NPA members and recovered three caliber 45, four hand grenades, and one shot gun including subversive documents and paramedic medical instruments.

This led to a follow-up operation later that day which resulted in the capture of three more rebels and the recovery of two M-14 carbines and three M-16 rifles.

The arrested NPA members and the confiscated firearms and other items were transported to Bulacan Provincial Police Office for proper documentation and filing of criminal charges.

Last February, the AFP has received information that rebels have been sending their “rates,” specifically those in Northern Luzon and in Eastern Visayas.

The AFP appeals to the general public to be extra vigilant.

It is usually during the election season that the NPA exploits the political ambition of certain candidates by vigorously imposing this scheme.

Records show that in 2012, the NPA collected a total P25, 005,000 through their extortion activities, and in 2011, the rebels generated an income of at least P300 million which they derived from extortion activities against companies and other big businesses nationwide. (PNA) 
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Bulacan Comelec chief calls for amendment of Omnibus Election Code

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) -- Bulacan's Commission on Elections (Comelec) supervisor Elmo Duque on Friday called on lawmakers to amend salient provisions of the Omnibus Election Code in a bid to give the poll body more teeth in enforcing them.

Duque made the call during the Kapihan 2013 leg of the Bulacan Press Club at the Maharlika Hall of Club Royale Resort here where he, together with Supt. Fitz Macariola of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, come-backing Guiguinto Mayor Ambrocio “Boy” Cruz Jr, Fr. Darz Cabral and Bro. Arvin Jimenez of the Commission on Social Communications of the Diocese of Malolos (CSCDM), were the guest panelists of the breakfast forum.

Cruz rival incumbent Guiguinto Mayor Isagani Pascual made a “no-show” at the said forum.

The Bulacan poll supervisor said that among the provisions that need to be addressed is the one concerning vote buying.

He said that authorities are doing their jobs in ensuring honest, orderly and peaceful elections but there are still some provisions that are hard to enforce.

“There are provisions that cannot be applied like in vote buying. There is none yet and it is indeed difficult to file charges against those who violated," he said.

Under the law, he said the erring candidate and the voter selling the vote are both liable but the case is very hard to prove due to evidence.

”Who will stand witness on the case of presumed vote buying? Since both are liable, it is impossible to obtain hard evidence to prosecute them,” Duque said adding that it is high time for the next batch of lawmakers to make amendments to some provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. (PNA) 
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Death toll in Bulacan fireworks shop blast rises to 2

BOCAUE, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) -- The death toll from the series of powerful explosions that rocked a fireworks shop in Barangay Duhat here Thursday afternoon rose to two.

Police identified the second fatality as Adrian Paul Gray. He died while undergoing treatment at a local hospital here.

The first fatality was earlier identified as Larry Olano.

Two of their co-workers at the Ollie’s Fireworks owned by one Veronica Cardenas were being treated for burns. They were identified as Ramilito Lunquinas and Cerilo Fernandez.

Arson investigators said that a loud explosion was followed by another Thursday afternoon at the mixing area of the fireworks shop.

An official of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association said that accidental mixing of chemicals at fireworks stall is a common cause of explosions.(PNA) 
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Bulacan cops keeping watch on 3 towns, 1 city as possible areas of concern in the May 13 elections

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) -- Police are keeping a tight watch on three Bulacan towns and one city as probable areas of concern with regards to the conduct of May 13 national and local elections in this province.

Supt. Fitz Macariola of the operations branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office identified the towns of San Miguel, San Rafael, San Ildefonso, all in the province's third congressional district, and the City of San Jose del Monte as among the possible areas where election related incidents could occur.

According to Macariola, Bulacan police acting provincial director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna has sent additional police troops from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) in the said areas to augment the local police force that would ensure the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections.

Macariola said that those areas were identified as possible areas of concern due to previous election-related incidents.

He also told local newsmen during the Kapihan 2013 of the Bulacan Press Club at the Club Royale Resort here, the Bulacan police have apprehended violators of the gun ban.

He also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are constantly monitoring certain areas in the northeastern part of Bulacan for the presence of armed groups.

Macariola also said that the Bulacan police are also closely watching towns and cities in the province where there are reports of intense political rivalries among candidates in the upcoming elections.

Bulacan elections supervisor Elmo Duque said that at the moment there are no report so far on the “permit to campaign” taxation scheme of leftist guerrillas in the province.(PNA) 
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One killed, two injured in Bulacan fireworks factory blast
By Zorayda S. Tecson

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 18 (PNA) -- At least one worker was killed and two others were wounded in an explosion in a fireworks factory in Barangay Duhat, Bocaue town of Bulacan province Thursday.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, Bulacan police chief, said the incident took place around 1:40 p.m.

The fatality was identified as 28-year-old Larry Alano.

Alano’s co-workers Adrian Paul Gray and Ramilito Lunquinas were injured and undergoing treatment at the Mt. Carmel Hospital.

Orduna said that based on initial investigation, the explosion started at the mixing area of the factory owned by one Veronica Cardenas.

He said further investigation was being conducted to determine what caused the explosion that led to a fire.

He said the fire was put out before 3 p.m. (PNA)
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Bulacan's 72 wanted persons fall

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 16 (PNA) -- The Bulacan Police Provincial Office has arrested 72 persons with warrants of arrest in operations in the province for March.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduña, BPPO officer-in-charge, said the apprehensions were part of Bulacan PNP’s continuous conduct of manhunt operations against persons with warrants of arrest in the province.

Part of the focus of police anti-criminality strategy is to get rid the province of criminals and misfits, he said.

Likewise, he said the move is also in response to the directive of Police Regional Office 3 to intensify manhunt operations against wanted persons in the region.

The San Jose del Monte city police station has the most number of arrests reported in March with 10 persons, followed by Baliwag municipal police station and Malolos City police station with seven arrested individuals each.

The Malolos City police station, headed by Supt. David Poklay, also arrested the no. 6 most wanted person in the city.

The Meycauayan police station nabbed six fugitives, Guinguinto with five and Calumpit and Marilao both with four;

The police stations of Hagonoy, Norzagaray, Obando, Pulilan, San Ildefonso, San Rafael and Provincial Public Safety Company have each three captured suspects.

Angat, Balagtas, Bocaue, Pandi, Paombong, Plaridel, Sta. Maria and Provincial Intelligence Branch, on the other hand, arrested one each.

Orduña said the suspects are facing various criminal charges, including murder, rape and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

He credited their accomplishments to the active involvement of various communities during their operations. (PNA) 
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PPCRV says members can campaign for candidates provided they take leave -- By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, April 9 (PNA) -- Members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) can campaign for their candidates in the May 13 polls but they need to temporary leave their jobs in the organization.

“The moment they campaign actively for a candidate they take a leave first. That is not our rules of engagement so to speak,” PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa said in a forum in Manila on Tuesday.

She cited the case of some of their parish priest coordinators in Malolos, Bulacan that already said that they will not be able to participate in the activities of the poll watchdog in the forthcoming elections.

‘They cited the heat in the campaign among their local candidates as reason for this and so to avoid that they said they won’t be as active in the PPCRV for the meantime,” the PPCRV head added.

She noted that the job in the PPCRV is voluntary and they do not force anyone to work with them.

“We don’t force anyone here. This is voluntary. Anybody can leave PPCRV anytime if they wish to do some other work as election,” de Villa added.

On the other hand, she said that they are planning on how to go about with their work in the Archdiocese of Lipa after the latter announced that they will no longer work with the Church-based poll watchdog.

“We respect their decision and we are already thinking of a way on how we can still go about in monitoring Batangas…Hopefully, with God’s grace we can come up with a plan,” De Villa said.

Aside from the PPCRV, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) also accredited the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), One Vote and the C-CARE as its citizens’ arms in the May polls. (PNA) 
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President Aquino declares April 23 as a special non-working day in Plaridel, Bulacan in celebration of Battle of Quingua

MANILA, April 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared April 23, which falls on a Tuesday, as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Plaridel in Bulacan in commemoration of the “Battle of Quingua.”

The Chief Executive issued the declaration by virtue of Proclamation No. 558 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on March 7, to give the people of Plaridel the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.

The Battle of Quingua was fought on April 23, 1899 in Quingua (now Plaridel, Bulacan) during the Philippine-American War. A reconnaissance mission under Major Franklin Bell was attacked by a strong Filipino force under Gregorio del Pilar.

The battle was one of the most significant victories of the Filipinos during the war. (PNA) 
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Cessna plane makes emergency landing in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, April 2 (PNA)-- A Cessna plane made an emergency landing in a rice field at Sitio Tulakan, Barangay Tabon, Pulilan, Bulacan on Tuesday morning.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, Bulacan police provincial director, in a report here said the Cessna plane with body number RP-C-8220 was forced to make emergency landing at around 10:15 a.m. after experiencing engine trouble.

No one was hurt, the police report said.

The plane is being operated by Capt. Don Earl Lourenz Hinayon 24, a flight instructor and resident of Lipa City, Batangas.

Hinayon was accompanied by a certain Iowis, an Indonesian national and a student pilot of Edge International Aviation Academy.

Investigation disclosed that the plane took off at Plaridel airstrip at around 9:35 a.m.

After a while, the plane experienced engine trouble that prompted the pilot to make an emergency landing, the police said.

The plane sustained minor damages.(PNA) 
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18 hurt in NLEX road accident

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, April 2 (PNA) -- At least 18 people were hurt when a pickup truck smashed into a bus on the northbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) in Bulacan shortly after midnight Monday.

In a report reaching here, the pickup truck hit the Santrans bus bound for San Jose del Monte City at around 11:30 p.m.

At this juncture, the bus driver lost control of the steering wheel, causing the bus to tip over, the police report said.

The injured victims were taken to the various hospitals in Bulacan.

Initial investigation showed that the pickup truck and the Santrans Bus were traveling north when the pickup truck swerved and then hit the bus.

Police are verifying information that the pickup's driver was drunk at the time.(PNA) 
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Bulacan capitol to strengthen sports development programs

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 1 (PNA) -- The provincial government will strengthen its sport development programs to further hone the skills of Bulakenyo athletes.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government, through the Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office, would conduct more sports trainings to provide the Bulakenyo athletes the best opportunity to develop their physical well-being, compete and excel and carve a name not only in the regional but also in national and international sports arena.

"There are trainings that have been scheduled for our ahtletes to ensure that they would continuously excel in any sporting events," Alvarado said.

Bulacan emerged as an overall champion for 22nd time in the recent 2013 Central Luzon Regional Athletics Association (CLRAA).

The 399 elementary and secondary Bulakenyo athletes took home 114 gold, 87 silver and 80 bronze medals.

The sports events where the Bulacan excelled include table tennis, arnis, badminton, taekwondo, volleyball, lawn tennis, swimming, boxing, chess, athletics, basketball and softball.

Aside from medals, the Bulakenyo athletes also received plaques and cash prizes.

Bulacan was also awarded as the Most Disciplined Team in CLRAA.

The athletes who won first place in their respective sports events in CLRAA will represent the region in the Palarong Pambansa to be held in Dumaguete City on April 22-26 of this year. (PNA) 
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Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in Bulacan revisited (Feature) 
By Severino C. Samonte

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, March 30 (PNA) -- Two scores and eight years after its opening to the public, the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto Shrine here continues to attract many Catholic devotees, especially during the Holy Week -- the blazing summer sun despite.

Situated 30 kms northeast of Manila and just beyond the boundary of this city and Novaliches in the old capital, the 48-year-old grotto was opened for public veneration on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb. 11, 1965.

Since then, thousands of pilgrims have been flocking to the shrine to pray and offer flowers and candles to the Our Lady of Lourdes, giving thanks for prayers answered and favors received and mediating in front of the Stations of the Cross on the Rosary Hill.

The number of visitors usually peak during the Holy Week, particularly on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Mrs. Marietta G. Guanzon-Holmgren, president of the Grotto Shrine Foundation Inc., said at least 1.5 million devotees from Luzon and nearby Visayas provinces flocked to the shrine between Palm Sunday and Good Friday this year.

She told the Philippines News Agency on Good Friday afternoon that thousands more of pilgrims were expected to visit on Black Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The shrine was a project of the religious couple Horacio Guanzon and Anita Guidote-Guanzon, who hailed from known and wealthy families from Pampanga aas well as Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

But they chose to make this former town and later a city as their permanent home.

According to Marietta G. Guanzon-Holmgren’s book “The Grotto Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Philippines,” her mother Anita decided to build the grotto shrine on the family-owned 20-hectare land in San Jose del Monte.

Building it was an act of thanksgiving for her having been cured miraculously of cancer after a pilgrimage to the town of Lourdes in southwestern France in 1961.

The well-known story of the grotto shrine started with the Guanzon family matriarch Anita being diagnosed to have cancer of the uterus in 1961 and given by her doctors only six months to live.

She went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France on June 29, 1961, accompanied by her husband and one of their daughters.

She came home cured of cancer in September of the same year and lived three decades more until she died in March 1990.

She left the management of the grotto to her eldest daughter, Marietta, whose attention is now focused on the completion of another project.

That project was started by her parents before they died – the construction of a basilica that resembles the one in Lourdes, France.

Lourdes, a small town, is 795 kms south of Paris in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains which receives more than 5 million pilgrims and tourists each year because of a set of visions reported by a young girl named Bernadette in 1858.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes incorporates 52 hectares of property and 22 places of worship, including the sacred grotto, two basilicas, and a variety of buildings for pilgrims and the sick.

The grotto shrine’s existing attractions in this city include the Calvary Hill that features 14 Stations of the Cross that portray the agony of Jesus Christ.

There are 127 statues presented in dioramas that took three years to construct, according to sources.

There is also the Rosary Hill, with 155 very big beads made of concrete together weighing over eight tons.

In 1974 the Irish-born Roman Catholic priest Patrick Peyton flew in to the Philippines from the United States to inaugurate the Rosary Hill. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to assist the motorists via Semana Santa Lakbay Alalay

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 26 (PNA) -- The provincial government will provide motorists’ assistance from March 27 to 30 to ensure a safe and worry free travel this Lenten season.

Dubbed as Semana Santa Lakbay Alalay, Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office (PDDRMO) will be in full alert to assist travelers.

He said the PDRRMO will work in collaboration with Bulacan rescue team and its local government rescue teams partners such as Assistance and Rescue through Radio communications for Emergency Situations and Traffic (ARREST), Bulacan Integrated Rescue Association (BIRA), Kabalikat Civicom – Bulacan, Rescue 117, Baliwag Assistance & Rescue Group, Inc. (BARG), Philippine Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police and Spectrum communication.

The governor said the rescue teams will be stationed in three public assistance centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. which includes Divine Mercy National Shrine in Marilao town, Grotto in San Jose del Monte and 24/7 in Barangay Kapitangan, Paombong due to the expected volume of local and foreign tourists that will flock the locale to witness the yearly penitents of devotees.

He said the Bulacan rescue team will also be monitoring the road in the province to give public service in case of emergency and other eventualities. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police to deploy additional troops to major Lenten destinations

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 23 (PNA)— Additional police troops will be deployed along major roads and highways in Bulacan province to augment local police security forces in anticipation of the influx of people this coming Holy Week.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said that maneuver platoons of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) will be assigned at the “crucifixion site” in Barangay Kapitangan, Paombong town where crowds are expected to witness hundreds of bloodied bare-back flagellants and faith healers getting nailed on wooden cross at a man-made Golgotha on Good Friday.

Orduna said security measures will also be strengthened at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao town, Grotto in San Jose Del Monte City and other crowd-drawing destinations in the province.

He said that volunteer radio groups and other organizations will also assist motorists and the public.

Public assistance centers are now also being set-up along strategic areas in the different towns and cities of Bulacan.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and Bulacan Emergency Rescue Center will be on a 24/7 alert and ready to respond and provide assistance.

He said that the Bulacan rescue units can be reached through telephone number 044-791-0566. (PNA) 
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Bulacan candidates hold unity walk, ink peace covenant

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 23 (PNA)-- Provincial and local candidates in the May elections signed a peace covenant for a secure and fair elections (SAFE) 2013 at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here on Saturday.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna administered the unity pledge among the candidates while Lt. Col. Bernardo M. Ona, battalion commander of the 56th IB of the Philippine Army, officiated the “voter’s pledge.”

Prior to the signing of the paece covenant, leaders of different religious groups led by Rev. Danilo Clavio (United Methodist Church), Bro. Benny Flores (Catholic Church), Bishop Edilberto Chan (Baptist Church) and Pastor Nicasio Dionisio (Jesus is Lord) held a unity walk and prayed for a peaceful, fair and orderly elections in the province.

Lawyer Elmo T. Duque, provincial election supervisor, reminded the candidates to observe the election guidelines.

He also urged the voters to choose good leaders.

The event was organized by the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC).

Orduna the PJSCC is composed of the Parish Pastoral Council, the the Commssion on Elections, the provincial government of Bulacan, Bulacan Police Provincial Office and the Philippine Army.(PNA) 
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Cultural minority group in Bulacan elects own governor, provincial officials

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 19 (PNA) --As the election fever heats up, the cultural minority group known as “Dumagats”, living in the mountains of eastern Bulacan, silently elected their new governor and other provincial officials recently.

This was disclosed by Bro. Martin Francisco, chairperson of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc. (SSMESI), who said the election was supervised by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and representatives of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

The SSMESI acted as an observer and in charge of food.

Elected as Dumagat governor of Bulacan was Salvador “Badong” Cruz, the tribal chieftain of Sitio Inuman and former provincial tribal secretary.

Norma Roque from Sitio Pinag-anakan was chosen as vice tribal governor; Helen Aquino from Sitio Ipo as secretary; and Cita Aquino from Sitio Karahume as provincial tribal secretary.

Francisco said that with the new set of Dumagat provincial officers, the questions on the recognitions of their ancestral domains in the Sierra Madre mountain range are still to be completely registered at the Land Registration Authority (LRA).(PNA) 
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Villar makes big crowd in Bulacan sortie laughing, cheering

MANILA, March 14 (PNA) – If it was a contest on how to make a big crowd laughing and cheering, then Cynthia Villar edged out fellow Team PNoy senatorial candidates in a campaign rally in Malolos, Bulacan Wednesday night.

In front of record 20,000 crowd, majority women, the former Las Pinas congresswoman drew the loudest applause when she enumerated the typical habits of housewives when not busy attending the needs of their families.

”When I was campaigning for Congress, I found out that many of our countrymen have no jobs specially our mothers because there is nobody to entrust their children. They were forced to stay in their homes, playing tong-its (card game),” Villar said in Tagalog as the crowd giggled in agreement.

The crowd laughed loudly when Villar added: “naghihingutuhan, nagtitsimisan at nagbibingo (head lice searching, gossiping and playing bingo game).”

Villar, known for her television infomercial ‘Misis Hanep Buhay’ (Mrs. Livelihood), made the crowd clapping when she promised to focus on job creation if she will be elected in the May 13 mid-term elections.

”These are the reasons why I want them (housewives) to have their own source of income,” Villar said to the delight of the biggest crowd that attended the Team PNoy rally since election campaign started last February 12.

The wife of outgoing Senator Manny Villar then related how her father's grandmother, Manuela, made a living out of selling ikmo (betel nut) in Divisoria for 64 years.

”My grandmother was not able to go to school and that’s why she made a living out of selling ikmo to send her children to school, including my father (Felimon), the oldest child, who became Las Pinas mayor for 22 years and congressman until his retirement in 1992,” Villar said.

Villar said life became difficult for her grandmother when she became widow at the age of 30, forcing her to work doubly hard as betel nut vendor to raise her nine children.

”Why I’m telling this to you. Because I want you to be inspired by my grandmother that life, despite difficulties, will have no problem if you have a job and you work hard,” Villar told the audience.

As a former three-term congresswoman of Las Pinas, Villar said she was able to put up livelihood projects in every barangay of Las Pinas.

Villar also turned Las Pinas into one of the greenest and flood-free cities in Metro Manila by dredging the Las Pinas-Zapote river which is now a popular destination of boat ride enthusiasts.

”When we dredged our river, we scoured tons of garbage but these garbage later became source of livelihood in our area using modern technology,” she related.

Villar, whose family owns the Vista Land, the biggest homebuilder in the Philippines, is the present managing director of the Villar Foundation which was founded in 1992, to help OFWs, protect the environment and provide livelihoods.

”As managing director, we were able to put up 111 livelihood projects and 11 centers for abused women but there are more than 1,600 towns and cities in the Philippines. So, in the coming years, rest assured that I will address the lack of employment and livelihood including here in Bulacan,” Villar promised, drawing applause.

In the recent surveys conducted by Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia, Villar ranked No. 4 but she said there is no stopping for her to work harder in following the footsteps of her husband.

”I thank the people for their support that made me the top contender for the Magic 12. I will work even harder to bring my message throughout the country,” she said.

Villar’s husband Manuel used the campaign slogan ‘Sipag at Tiyaga’ (hard work and perseverance) when he ran and lost in the presidential election in 2010.

Aside from Villar, other Team PNoy candidates include Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Antonio Trillanes IV, Riza Hontiveros, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal. (PNA)
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Bulacan capitol intensifies anti-rabies campaign

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 5 (PNA) -- More than 4,000 dogs in seven municipalities and one city in Bulacan have been vaccinated by the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) as part of its effort to eradicate rabies incidence in the province.

This, as Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado encouraged Bulakenyos to become responsible pet owners.

"We really need to intensify our education campaign on responsible pet ownership because this is the very basic and most effective way to eradicate rabies cases in our province," Alvarado said.

Dr. Voltaire Basinang, provincial veterinarian, said they conducted free vaccination first to those priority and critical barangays in the province.

Those are the barangays that have reported rabies cases in the past year, he said.

So far, Basinang said, they have conducted free vaccination to 13 barangays in the province and have schedules for other barangays in the months of March and April, this year.

Aside from this, he said the PVO will also coordinate and tap barangay captains and other local officials to disseminate information, education, communication campaigns that would help encourage fellow Bulakeñyos to become responsible pet owners.

"We want to reduce and eventually eradicate stray dogs in our communities through teaching the residents the proper way to take care their pet animals, Basinang said.

The PVO report showed that 26 dogs were reported positive of rabies and 13 persons died of rabies last year.

"It is frustrating that there are still rabies cases in the province despite our intensified vaccination drive," he said.

He said the PVO vaccinated a total of 110,422 dogs last year, a big increase compared to 13,000 in 2009.

He expressed hope that they would be able to vaccinate more dogs and educate more residents on the proper way to take care their pets. (PNA) 
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Aquino wants Filipinos in Sabah to lay down arms without conditions

MANILA, March. 2 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III asked for the unconditional surrender of Filipinos involved in the standoff in Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysia, to avoid further escalation of the crisis.

“To our citizens in Lahad Datu, from the very start our objective has been to avoid the loss of lives and the shedding of blood. However, you did not join us in this objective. Because of the path you have taken, what we have been trying to avoid has come to pass,” the President said in a statement released Saturday.

“If you have grievances, the path you chose was wrong. The just, and indeed, the only correct thing for you to do is to surrender,” he said.

“To those who have influence and the capacity to reason with those in Lahad Datu, I ask you to convey this message: surrender now, without conditions.”

The Palace said Friday that it hopes the sultanate of Sulu will consider what the government said was a “small window” to end the bloodshed in Sabah following a deadly clash that killed 12 Filipinos and two members of the Malaysian forces.

The President, who visited Bulacan and Pampanga Friday, immediately returned to Manila to tackle the Sabah issue with the members of his Cabinet.(PNA) 
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Pres. Aquino opens the newly-rehabilitated Bocaue bridge - By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, March 1 (PNA) -– President Benigno Aquino III on Friday led the inauguration of the newly-rehabilitated Bocaue bridge in barangay Biñang 2nd here.

Together with some provincial officials, the President unveiled the marker of the bridge that consists of four lanes and has a length of 67.10 linear meterss and width of 14.60 meters.

Immediately thereafter, the Chief Executive made a ceremonial drive-through of the bridge that is part of the over-all improvement plan of the Manila North Road.

DPWH 1st Engineering District monitoring unit chief Benedict Matawaran said the Bocaue bridge was upgraded from two to four lanes to provide enough waterway opening and at the same time, to conform with the fast growing economic activities in these areas.

Matawaran said that unlike an ordinary bridge that can withstand up to 50 years, Bocaue Bridge can last up to 66 years.

He said the bridge was reconstructed from the previous 54 linear meters and two lanes to 67.10 linear meters with four lanes.

With such stability and convenience, motorists who take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will find the bridge as an excellent alternative route, he said. (PNA) 
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Cayetano calls for diplomatic solution of Sabah incident

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Mar. 1 (PNA) – Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano Friday called for diplomatic solution of the Sabah incident despite reports that firefight between Malaysian royal army and Datu Jamalul Kiram’s forces broke out.

”We continued to pray and support the President for diplomatic solution on this problem. I’m also appealing to the Malaysian officials and sultanate forces to discuss this without using arms,” Cayetano said in media interview during a Pampanga campaign sortie.

Cayetano and other Team PNoy senatorial bets in May 13 mid-term elections joined President Aquino in a campaign rally held inside the Heroes Hall along Lazatin blvd here.

After wooing the Pampanga voters to support Team PNoy candidates, President Aquino rushed back to Manila to personally monitor the situation in Lahud Datu in Sabah.

”It is important to resolve the standoff in the area in a diplomatic manner,” Cayetano said.

Before joining the Pampanga sortie, Cayetano conducted a listening tour with the market vendors inside the Malolos public market in Bulacan.

”I want to inform you that our President is working hard to bring down the high economic growth down to the poor,” Cayetano said while having breakfast with the market vendors.

Cayetano told the market vendors that if he gets elected in the upcoming 16th Congress, he would push for legislation that would provide loans with lower interest rates to the market vendors.

”Instead of resorting to loan sharks which offer high interest, our government should come up with a program that will offer lower interest rates and to compete 5-6,” Cayetano said, referring to individuals who offered loans with 20 percent interest rates.

After his market tour, Cayetano proceeded at the Barasoain church where he met with presidents of the senior citizen associations in Malolos.

Cayetano promised to provide financial assistance from his Priority Development Assistance Fund to fund projects that would promote the welfare of the senior citizens. (PNA)
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Aquino leads inaugural drive-through of Plaridel Bypass Road Project in Bustos, Bulacan

BUSTOS, Bulacan, Mar. 1 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inaugural drive-through to formally open the Plaridel Bypass Road project constructed to decongest the traffic at the Pan-Philippine Highway by 40 percent.

In a simple ceremony in Barangay Malamig, Bustos, Bulacan on Friday the Chief Executive on board an open-type pick up was joined by Public Works and Highways staff led by Undersecretary Alfredo Tolentino and other local officials.

The new bypass road, constructed by the DPWH, is funded under a loan agreement between the Philippines and Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The Plaridel Bypass Road Project, as envisioned, involves a total length of 24.61 km of road, 2.40 km access road and 10 bridges.

The road project traverses the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael in Bulacan.

The project is part of the upgrading of the Inter-Urban Highway System along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway that will ease the serious traffic congestion in the vicinity of core urban areas along the Maharlika Highway leading to the Cagayan Valley Road in Bulacan.

The project is being implemented in two phases with the first involving the construction of contract packages I and II starting from North Luzon Expressway via a new interchange in barangay Burol, Balagtas town.

The First Phase is composed of 14.65km road, 2.40km access road, and seven bridges that were completed by November 25, 2012 under the JICA Loan No. PH-P236.

The DPWH had started the procurement process for the implementation of the Second Phase, composed of Contract Package 3 with a length of 2.22 km and 1.12 km bridge, spanning Angat River; and Contract Package 4 with a length of 7.74 km under the JICA Loan No. PH-250 signed in March 2012.

The completion of the bypass road from Burol, Balagtas to San Rafael, will save travel time of about 45 to 50 minutes while the travel distance will be shortened by about five kilometers.

About 15,000 vehicles will be diverted to the Plaridel Bypass, decongesting the traffic at PPH by 40%.

With the completion of Contract Project II, the travel time will be reduced to about 20-23 minutes using the completed sections of the bypass road (CP 1 & CP II) with the Alejo Santos Road as access to Pan-Philippine Highway.The towns of Balagtas, Bustos, Baliuag, Pandi, Plaridel, San Rafael and Angat will benefit from the project.

The opening to traffic of the completed Phase I of Plaridel Bypass (CP I and CP II) eases up the congested traffic at Plaridel town section of Pan-Philippine Highway and creating an alternative route to Angat, Balagtas town proper and Pandi, Bulacan (bypassing Sta. Maria town via Bocaue exit). (PNA) 
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3 persons die, one hurt in Bulacan collision

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 27 (PNA) -- Three persons were killed and another one was injured when a dump truck collided head-on with a bulk carrier in Norzagaray town on Wednesday.

Dead on the spot were Christian Legaspi, 24, dump truck driver; his companion Arcy Solis; and bulk carrier driver Rio delos Santos.

Delos Santos' co-worker, Michael de Sajo, was brought to a hospital here.

Initial investigation showed that the dump truck was speeding along AZT Road in Barangay Matictic, Norzagay when its propeller was detached and rammed the bulk carrier.

A trailer truck parked in the area also incurred damage in the accident.(PNA) 
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RDC-3 approves proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop project

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb.13 (PNA) -- Bulacan is now being groomed as the next “Tourism Mecca” in Central Luzon.

This after the Regional Development Council (RDC) 3 on Wednesday approved the proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop project of the Bulacan provincial government during the joint meeting of the Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development (SCID) and the Special Committee on Tourism (SCOT) held at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

Governor Wilhelmino N. Sy-Alvarado, RDC 3 SCID chairman, said the project aims to capitalize on the opportunities and socio-economic development impact that the on-going construction of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue town.

He said that when finished, the Philippine Arena-–also known as the “Ciudad de Victoria”--will be the biggest domed coliseum in the world that could accommodate at least 65,000 people. It is being built on a 70 hectares of land in Bocaue and parts of Sta. Maria town.

Alvarado said the project will directly affect the socio-economic activities of the influence area including that of seven municipalities and 29 villages with an aggregate total population of 162,200.

“It won’t be long now and the world be focused on the Philippines, and of course, particularly the province of Bulacan. This will definitely spur growth and development in the area,” he said.

The Philippine Arena is being rushed for the centennial anniversary celebration of the Iglesia ni Cristo church in 2014 and could possibly be the next venue of the APEC Summit on 2015.

Arlene Pascual, head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, presented the proposed project via a power-point presentation.

She said that the provincial government intends to improve its tourism road networks through the proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop.

The project will be executed in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Tourism through the DPWH-DOT convergence program.

Pascual said that the proposed project involves the improvement of 25 road segments in the province—two of which are national roads, nine provincial roads, three municipal roads and 11 barangay roads.

She added that the 23 road segments situated generally in Bocaue and Sta. Maria and partly in Marilao aim to facilitate tourism and socio-economic development.

The remaining two segments will traverse the nearby municipalities of Plaridel, Bustos, Pandi and Balagtas to aid tourism growth at the Inang Filipina Shrine in Pandi, the birthplace of the "Republic of Kakarong," one of the three republics established in Bulacan during the Philippine Revolution against Spain, the other two are the “Republic of Biak-na-Bato” in San Miguel and the “Malolos Republic” in Malolos City.

The project will also provide good access to existing tourist destinations and to the “Ciudad de Victoria” (Philippine Arena).

Pascual said that the “Ciudad de Victoria” is expected to become a huge tourist’s destination in Bulacan especially with its accreditation as a “Tourism Enterprise Zone”.

The project has an estimated total cost of P2.2 billion.(PNA) 
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Papin appeals to Comelec to allow her to run for Congress in Bulacan

MANILA, Feb. 11 (PNA) -- Singer Imelda Papin has petitioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reconsider its decision disqualifying her to run in the lone congressional district of San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan in the May elections.

In an 18-page motion for reconsideration, the former Camarines Sur vice-governor said that she should be allowed to participate in the congressional polls as she has established her residency in the city, when she bought a property and opened a soap-manufacturing business in 2002.

“In fact, she lived there for many years. It is unthinkable and without any basis for this Honorable Commission to rule that ‘(n)o proof was shown by respondent that her soap-manufacturing business continued to exist therein during said period,” read the motion.

Papin said that the Comelec-Second Division had erred when it gave credence to the disqualification case filed by the Arangkada San Joseno Political Party.

She added that she had “all the sentimental, emotional and financial connection with San Jose del Monte City as her relatives and her business are also there.

On Jan. 31, the poll body barred Papin from running as congresswoman of the city for failure to meet the residency requirements.

The petition claimed that Papin was a resident of barangay Pasong Putik, North Fairview, Quezon City and not of barangay San Manuel in San Jose del Monte.

“In the enumeration of the documentary evidence submitted by the respondent, this Honorable Commission noticeably omitted the fact that she submitted pictures of the house blessing of her present house in San Jose del Monte City. This is the same house which the petitioner claimed that is not intended for residential purpose or even fit for human habitation,” the motion added.

In an interview, Papin said the filing of the petition is politically motivated.

“This is politics, sa experience ko sa politics talagang pag malakas ka pilit kang gagawan ng issue kaya sabi nga nila malakas si Imelda Papin sa San Jose del Monte City,” she said.

Papin is running against the incumbent Representative, Arthur Robes. (PNA) 
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10 persons, 6 trucks held for violation of Illegal Mining Act

SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija, Feb. 11 (PNA) -- Authorities have arrested 10 persons for an alleged illegal transport and shipment of undocumented copper concentrates in a checkpoint along the Maharlika Highway here over the weekend.

A case for violation of Section 103 of Republic Act 7942, for Theft of Minerals, is being prepared for filing against the six truck drivers, two broker-representatives of a mining and trucking companies and two escorts, who failed to show the original documents of the shipment of suspected copper concentrates.

Upon receipt of a confidential information of the said illegal shipment, the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office (NEPPO) under Senior Supt. Crizaldo O. Nieves, has formed a special team of operatives that set up a checkpoint in Barangay Sto. Niño 2nd here.

The six international tractor trucks with container vans are containing still undetermined volume of copper concentrates that were stopped at a checkpoint reportedly came from the Ocean Gold Mining company located at Barangay Didipo, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

The copper ore shipment was supposed to be delivered at Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union.

Ryan Jayson Mananguiat, a broker representative, of 357 Tanzang Luma, Imus, Cavite and Dominic Wood of B15 L23, Dinar Street, Green Park, Cainta, Rizal, representative of the trucking company NEO LOGIC logistics failed to show to the police investigators the original documents of the shipment of suspected copper concentrates.

Escorting the convoy of the six trucks loaded with the copper concentrates were two Toyota Hi-Lux driven by Albert Gomez, 44, resident of 99 Mayon Ext., San Gabriel Village, Tuguegarao City and Rio Dannug, 42, resident of Alibagu, Ilagan, Isabela.

However, no firearms and other illegal deadly weapons were found inside the two vehicles.

The six vehicles loaded with undocumented copper concentrates and driver-helpers were brought to the San Jose City police station for investigation and/or proper disposition.

The six drivers of the international tractor trucks with container vans were identified as Leonard Sanchez, 33, of Brgy. Shellhouse, Caloocan City; Yulito Palces, 53, of Brgy. Alfonso, Concepcion, Tarlac; Martin Redera 37, of Dagat-Dagatan, Malabon City; Lope Amurao, 43 of Brgy. Talisay, Tiaong, Quezon; Jonny Abrego, 31, of Purok 2, Maag, San Isidro, Davao Oriental; and Jay Laceda, 29, of Cupang, Pandi, Bulacan. (PNA) 
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Bro. Eddie launches campaign in home province

MANILA, Feb. 11 (PNA) -- Bangon Pilipinas candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva is set to launch his Senate bid in the historical grounds of Malolos, Bulacan --his home province -- with various local public leaders set to attend the event tomorrow.

"These leaders may be from opposing camps but all of us are tied by our love for Bulacan. They stand ten feet tall in solidarity to support my attempt to capture a seat in the Senate. The future of Bulacan is beyond politics," Villanueva said in a statement.

Villanueva's platform is anchored on major issues relating to the politics of the fringes. In various media fora, he has discussed the need to focus on the “sagigilid” or fringes. Sagigilid refers to the marginalized provinces and municipalities as well as the marginalized sectors in the country.

"Our economy is growing because of ‘tuwid na daan’, but let us ensure there is no Filipino left behind," he said.

“We need moral leadership. The bedrock of good economics is good politics," he added.

The Malolos kick off will be streamed live so that the various groups supporting Villanueva can join and watch the activities. Other supporters in key cities, including Baguio, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro, will also conduct their respective kick-off events.

Aside from launching his campaign in Bulacan, Villanueva is also set to do an online kick off on February 12, from 7pm to 9 pm, under his Ask Bro. Eddie event teaser.

Ask Bro. Eddie is an online event where Villanueva and his youth volunteers will be on deck to answer questions from netizens. Those interested to join can log on at: www.broeddie.ph/askme.

Villanueva said the online Q&A event was conceptualized by his youth volunteers who are helping him spread the word about his platform and advocacies.

"If I will be successful in this run, we will need the support of the youth,” he said.

Villanueva, a televangelist, ran and lost in the 2010 presidential elections. (PNA) 
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Different religious groups unite in Bulacan's 'Day of Prayer'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 5 (PNA) -- Different religious groups joined in the province's annual "Day of Prayer" held at the provincial capitol gymnasium here Monday.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado thanked fellow Bulakenyos and the different religious groups the include Muslims, Roman Catholics, Protestants and other sectors for participating in the event with the theme “Sama-samang Panalangin para sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan.”

Some 1,500 individuals attended and prayed for the welfare of the province wherein leaders of various religious organizations were given a chance to lead the prayer and give benediction.

This is the second time that the "Day of Prayer" was held at the provincial capitol ground here. The first one was held in January 2012.

Alvarado said that the “Day of Prayer” is anchored on the message of the biblical phrase from “II Chronicles 7:13-14 which states “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

"We are praying to God to save the province from calamities and at the same time, renewed our faith and give thanks for the blessings being received by the province," he said.

Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Jesus is Lord Church said that in God’s eyes, there is no particular religion that will save mankind.

"What is important to God is not religion but our relationship with Him," he said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to mark Ople’s 86th birth anniversary

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 2 (PNA) -- Bulakenyos will commemorate the 86th birth anniversary of the late Gat Blas F. Ople at the capitol grounds here Sunday morning.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government, through the Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PYSEACTO) has set a series of activities that will begin with an offering of flowers at the Ople monument, Sentro ng Kabataan, Sining at Kultura ng Bulacan and a short program to mark the occasion in front of the Gat Blas Ople Building at 8 a.m.

Ople’s family members as well as provincial officials and employees of the capitol are expected to grace the event.

Board member Felix Ople, Ople's son, will give his brief message to be followed by a “salo-salo” at the Ople Museum.

Alvarado described Ople as one of the illustrious sons of Bulacan whose leadership and wisdom is worth emulating.

“Ka Blas continues to inspire us. He was one of those men that rose to greatness using his intellect for the good of mankind.

"He was a genuine patriot and a Bulakenyo,” the governor said during his weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour” which he co- anchors with Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos every Saturday morning.

Ople was a Filipino journalist and politician who held several high-ranking positions in the executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government, including as Senate President from 1999 to 2000, and as Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 2002 until his death.

Ople was also known as the “Father of Overseas Employment" and the author of the Philippine Labor Code.

He was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan on Feb 3, 1927 to Felix Antonio Ople, a craftsman who repaired boats, and Segundina Fajardo.

He has devoted decades of his life to selfless dedicated and sincere service to the country and people.

Ople died on Dec 14, 2003 and was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops bust fake eye doctor

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 31 (PNA) -- Police swooped down on an eye clinic here and arrested a suspected fake optomologist while performing refraction treatment on a male patient in Barangay San Vicente Wednesday afternoon.

Bulacan police officer-in charge Senior Supt.Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Rafael Taganas, 41, a resident of 137 Tanjeco Street, Barangay San Vicente.

Orduna said that last Wednesday, a certain Dr. Manuel Manahan, president of Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrist Inc.-Bulacan Chapter, appeared at the Malolos City police station to lodge a complaint against Taganas for alleged illegal medical practice.

Manahan told city police chief, Supt. David Poklay, that the suspect was conducting refraction on a patient without the authority of the law inside an optical clinic located along Valencia Street in Barangay San Vicente.

Manahan presented a certification from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) signed by Pharson B. Manalo, OIC of Regulations Office dated January 9, 2013, stating that the suspect does not appear in the database of optometrists authorized to practice in the Philippines.

With this, Poklay immediately formed a team and conducted an entrapment operation which resulted in the arrest of the suspect after accepting the P600 marked money in exchange for the services supposed to be conducted to a member of the Malolos police who acted as patient.

The suspect is presently detained at the Malolos City jail while appropriate criminal complaint is being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 
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SC dismisses Bulacan clerk of court

MANILA, Jan. 29 (PNA) -– The Supreme Court has dismissed from the service a Clerk of Court IV of the Mecauayan City, Bulacan Municipal Trial Court.

In a 20-page per curiam resolution of the SC, Clerk of Court Atty. Larriza Bacani was found guilty of dishonesty and gross neclect of duty.

All the retirement benefits of Bacani were also forfeited, except her accrued leave credits.

Likewise, the SC warned the cashier of the Meycauayan City, Bulacan MTC, Veiner Villafuerte, if the incident of non-deposit during the collection period of the court will be repeated, appropriate penalty will be imposed against him.

The SC also ordered Meycauayan City MTC Judge Cecilia Santoyo-Talapian to strictly monitor the financial transaction of the court because she can also be held liable for the wrongdoing of her personnel.

The Office of the Court Administrator conducted an audit of the Meycauayan City MTC after it was reported that Bacani was often times taking a leave of absence for her travel abroad. (PNA)

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Comelec exempts senators, SC justices from gun ban
By Janice Cave

MANILA, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- The Commission on Elections has granted personal gun ban exemptions to senators and justices of the Supreme Court.

Exempted from the gun ban are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, Marvic Leonen, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin;

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Defense Assistant Secretary Zabedin Asis, Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado, and the chiefs of staff of the offices of all commissioners of the poll body.

Meanwhile, the poll body also granted security personnel to Enrile and fellow senators Antonio Trillanes, Loren Legarda and Manuel Lapid, former Senator Teresa Aquino-Oreta, Commission on Audit Chairwoman Grace Pulido Tan, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and Board Member Dennis Pineda.

Brillantes said they have not given any personal gun ban exemption to any private individual. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov orders police to cover hole dug by “treasure hunters” in San Miguel town

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.19 (PNA) -- Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has directed the Bulacan police, in coordination with the local government unit of San Miguel town, to cover and plug with earth materials the 50-feet deep hole that alleged treasure hunters dug up along the road in Barangay Inez.

Alvarado said he also sent a team from the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources office to investigate the other alleged “treasure hunting” or illegal mining activities in the area and stop them.

“Whether they are digging for buried treasures, gold or other mineral deposits, they should first secure the necessary permit before extracting soils or mineral resources in our province. What they are doing is illegal and it should be stopped because they are not only endangering themselves but also the residents, especially children, who could fall into the hole, ” Alvarado said.

Bulacan police officer-in-charge Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said the San Miguel police station headed by Supt. Marcos Rivero swooped down on the excavation site Thursday and caught three alleged “treasure hunters” digging the deep hole which was only covered by a tarpaulin sheet.

The diggers, not immediately identified pending further investigation, initially told investigators they were digging a drainage system.

They said a man whose name they said they did not known paid them to dig the hole for drainage purposes.

At the police station however, Rivero said one of the diggers told police “I am prepared to be jailed, however allow us to continue our digging. We are near the treasures."

Rivero said the hole has been plugged with earth and will no longer pose danger to residents and motorists along the road. (PNA) 
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Three 'treasure hunters' nabbed in Bulacan

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, Jan. 18 (PNA) -- Police arrested three alleged treasure hunters while digging a deep hole along the stretch of the road in the boundary of Barangays Balunturan and Sta. Inez here on Thursday.

Supt. Marcos Rivero, town police chief, said in a report to Bulacan PNP officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Joel Orduna that he sent a police team at the boundary of the said barangays to verify complaints from residents that a group of alleged treasure hunters were digging deep tunnels which they fear could cause accidental landslide or sinkholes that may endanger lives and damage to properties.

When the police team arrived at the site, they saw a portion of road covered with tarpaulin and sacks.

When they removed the cover, they saw the three men digging a hole about 40-foot deep.

The team invited the three men for investigation and learned that a man, who is not a resident in the area, paid them to dig the tunnel.

They claimed it is for the drainage system in the said villages.

Rivero said the municipal government has ordered the digging to stop because the diggers have no permit to do it and the deep holes and tunnels may cause danger to residents in the area.

The three diggers are now in police custody while appropriate charges are being prepared against them.

This historic town that saw numerous battles between Filipino revolutionaries and Spanish, American and Japanese soldiers, is also known for its rich mineral deposits and natural resources. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to strictly implement plastics ban

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- The provincial government will strictly implement the ban on use and sale of plastic bags in the entire province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado made the announcement Wednesday at the launching of the implementation of the ordinance at Mc Donald’s-BSU where they posted tarpaulins for public information.

Alvarado signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-09 also known as “Panlalawigang Kautusang Nagbabawal sa Paggamit ng Non-Biodegradable Plastic Bags, Styrofoam at mga Kauri Nito Bilang Packaging Material sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan at Nagtatakda ng Kaparusahan sa Paglabag Nito” on Dec. 12, 2012.

This is part of the seven-point agenda to protect the environment, health and welfare of the Bulakenyos. Due to climate change, we need to help in protecting the environment through planting of trees and prohibiting the use of plastic which is the major cause of siltation in our rivers, the governor said.

The ordinance prohibits the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags, styrofor and other kinds as packaging materials in the 21 towns and three cities in the province.

Violators will pay a fine of P1,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months to one year (depending on the number of offenses done).

For those who does not have the capacity to pay the fine, he/she must serve the community through environment-related services for three months or longer upon the discretion of the court.

All commercial establishments, stores and markets, on the other hand, will be given 15 days to comply after the publication of the ordinance to avoid retraction of their business permits.

"We need to cooperate for our Mother Earth because I do believe that it is not yet too late to save it. I am asking for your cooperation to support the implementation of the plastic ban in our province," he said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to hold “Bisikleta” fund drive for typhoon Pablo victims

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 5 (PNA) -- The outpouring of support and help continues for victims of typhoon Pablo with the provincial government of Bulacan holding a fund drive dubbed, “Bisikleta para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Pablo” on Jan. 12, this year.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the fund drive was initiated by Benji Santos of the Provincial Youth Sports Employment Arts Culture and Tourism Office to raise more donations for flood victims as well as to inculcate among Bulakenyos the spirit of “bayanihan” and care to those who needs help.

"When our province was hit by typhoon and floods, many of our countrymen in the different provinces of the Visayas and Mindanao helped us. That's why it is only appropriate to help them too in times of need," the governor said.

Santos said everybody can help and join the “bikaton” by sharing P100 registration fee.

As a reward, participants will also have the opportunity to tour the villages of this historic capital city and win exciting raffle prizes.

Santos said that interested can call through telephone number  044-7963338 or cellphone number 09157723504. (PNA) 
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Governor commends concerned agencies for low firecracker injuries

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.5 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the efforts of concerned government agencies for the low number of firecracker injuries in 2012.

Alvarado made the statement during his weekly Radio Program “The Governor’s Hour” which he co-anchors every Saturday morning with Bulakenyo Broadcaster Rommel Ramos over 95.9 FM.

The governor said that firecracker injuries in the province was 16 percent lower with only 40 injuries as against the 61 recorded in 2011.

He hailed the efforts of the Philippines National Police (PNP) in their intensified crackdown against over-sized and killer types of firecrackers as well as their regular inspection of fireworks stores and factories

He cited that even PNP chief Director General Allan Purisima went to Bulacan to personally lead the inspection and operations against violators of the firecracker law.

He also commended Bulacan police officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Joel Orduna and the Task Force: Paputok headed by Supt. Adriano Enong and Supt. Fitz Macariola of the Bulacan PNP Operations Branch for keeping a tight watch on the stores.

Alvarado also hailed the Bureau of Fire Protection for their 24/7 readiness and the health workers for attending to the victims who were treated in the different government hospitals in the province.(PNA) 
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Aquino declares Jan 23 special non-working day in Bulacan

MANILA, Jan. 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared January 23 a special (non-working) day in Bulacan in commemoration of the First Philippine Republic (also known as the Malolos Republic).

The Chief Executive issued the declaration to give the people of Bulacan the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

On June 12, 1898, the Philippine independence was proclaimed and The Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence was read at the Emilio Aguinaldo's ancestral home in Cavite.

After gaining the independence, the Malolos Congress convened on Sept 15, 1898 and produced the Malolos Constitution.

On Jan 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic (also known as the Malolos Republic) was inaugurated at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan.

Emilio Aguinaldo was declared its first president. (PNA) 
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PRO-3 seizes P809,148 worth of illegal firecrackers

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Jan. 3 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO-3) has confiscated some P809,148 worth of illegal firecrackers in 284 operations conducted in Central Luzon.

Data from the PRO3 Monitoring Report also showed that 52 persons were arrested during the crackdown for violating Republic Act 7183, which regulates the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao, PRO-3 director, however, said that despite the intensified crackdown against pyrotechnic materials, the number of firecracker victims in the region has increased compared to last year.

Data showed that 165 persons were reported injured due to firecrackers in the region, higher against last year’s 151 cases.

In spite of the increased number of firecracker victims, we have no reported casualties, Ladao said.

Bulacan has the most number of firecracker victims with 56, followed by Pampanga with 47, Nueva Ecija, 21; Bataan, 19; Angeles City, 12; Zambales, 5; Olongapo City, 3; and Tarlac, 2.

Three persons were also hit by stray bullets - two in Bulacan and one in Nueva Ecija.

Ladao said that although the New Year celebrations may be over, they would continue their operations until January 7.

Meanwhile, he reminded firearm holders that the gun ban in relation with the coming mid-term elections would start on January 13.

He added that only uniformed law enforcers on duty and those with a clearance from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be allowed to carry guns. (PNA) 
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3-yr old boy hit by stray bullet; 40 injured by cracker blast in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.1 (PNA)-- A three- year old boy was hit by a stray bullet while 40 other persons were brought to different hospitals for firecracker injuries during the New Year’s eve celebrations in the province.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) said the three-year old victim is a resident of Barangay Bagong Nayon, Baliwag town. His identity was not released as he is a minor.

Initial reports said that the boy was watching fireworks display when hit by a stray bullet. He was brought to the Baliwag District Hospital but was later transferred to the Bulacan Medical Center in this capital city for further treatment.

At least 40 firecracker-related injuries were treated in different government hospitals in Bulacan.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRMO executive officer, said the number of victims of firecracker blasts in 2012 were lower compared to 61 victims in 2011.

She attributed the low number of victims to the “Ingat Paputok” information drive of the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado.

Alvarado has earlier placed the Bulacan emergency rescue teams on 24-hour alert since December 26 and ordered the Bulacan police and the provincial "Task Force Paputok" to conduct regular inspections of fireworks shops and stores to ensure that the safety guidelines and other provisions of the “Firecracker Law” were strictly observed.

He also said newly installed Bulacan police officer-in-charge Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna launched an intensified crackdown against over-sized and killer types of firecrackers. (PNA) 
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Bulacan cops intensify crackdown against killer firecrackers

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Dec. 28 (PNA) -- Police are keeping a tight watch on the rows of fireworks stores here and other towns to ensure that no oversized or killer types of firecrackers will be sold, newly-installed Bulacan police officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said on Friday.

Orduna, together with Bulacan Task Force: Paputok head Supt. Adriano Enong and Supt. Fitz Macariola of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) operations branch, inspected the rows of fireworks stores in Barangay Turo and nearby areas to see if the safety guidelines and other salient provisions of Republic Act 7183 otherwise known as the Firecracker Law are strictly observed.

“We want to make sure that dealers are complying with the safety guidelines and the firecrackers that they are selling are those allowed by law,” Orduna said.

He said that police teams from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) will continue to make rounds along fireworks stores to augment local policemen in implementing the Firecracker Law.

“We are also urging the public to observe the no smoking and no testing warning when buying fireworks to avoid accidents that could cause explosions or fire,” Orduna said.

Supt. Macariola said that as of December 26, 2012, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office has conducted 13 operations against illegal manufacturers and dealers of firecrackers in different municipalities particularly in Bocaue (7), Norzagaray (1), Baliuag (1), Sta. Maria (1), Balagtas (1), Angat (1) and Bulakan (1) wherein 17 persons were arrested.

The operations also resulted in the confiscation of illegally manufactured, sold and distributed firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices amounting to P137,710.

Six cases for violation of RA 7183 were filed against the suspects, including the owner of the establishment who were caught selling firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices without the necessary permits, Macariola said.

Macariola also said that police teams are intensifying the crackdown against manufacturers and dealers of dangerous and killer types of firecrackers.

“Despite our intensified operations against clandestine fireworks shops and stores, there are still some unscrupulous traders who continues to play “hide and seek” in making and selling dangerous types of firecrackers,” he said,

Amid widespread public awareness on the dangers of using powerful firecrackers, he said there is still a high demand for these oversized and killer types of firecrackers because some revelers prefer to welcome the coming year with a loud bang.

Sources said that some unscrupulous traders have already established a customer network in selling the powerful noise makers.

Killer firecrackers like “Goodbye Philippines”, “Ampatuan”, “Bin Laden”, “Giant Bawang”, “Kabase”, “Pla-Pla”, “Super Lolo” and “Goodbye Earth” can be bought in several stores, including those with license and permits.

The buyers know where they can buy those killer types of firecrackers. It has been a practice long time ago. The selling is discreet. Although expensive and dangerous, there are still some who are buying those powerful firecrackers, the sources said.

They added that those kinds of firecrackers are being sold at prices ranging from P500 to P1,000.

Earlier, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado placed the Bulacan Emergency Rescue units of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in a 24-hour alert in preparation to welcoming 2013.

He said firefighters and paramedics are also deployed in Bocaue and other towns like Sta. Maria and Baliwag where rows of firecracker stores are also located.

Giant tarpaulin billboards were also set up along the streets where fireworks stores are located, reminding the public to safely welcome the New Year.

Alvarado also reiterated that the public can call emergency hotlines: Bulacan Rescue  (044) 791-0566, Bulacan BFP ()44) 796-2900 and Bulacan PNP  (044) 662-0273. (PNA) 
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Sales of firecrackers still slow in Bocaue

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Dec. 27 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has placed the Bulacan Emergency Rescue units of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office(PDRRMO)on a 24-hour alert.

He said firefighters and paramedics were also deployed in Bocaue and other towns like Sta. Maria and Baliwag where rows of firecracker stores are also located.

Giant tarpaulin billboards were also set up along the streets where fireworks stores reminding the public to safely welcome the new year.

Alvarado said that the public can call emergency hotlines: Bulacan Rescue-(044)791-0566, Bulacan BFP-(044) 796-2900 and Bulacan PNP-(044)662-0273.

The safety precautions being taken by the Bulacan government are met by reports that even as the new year holiday draws near, sales of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics remain sluggish.

"Our business is indeed sluggish compared last year. Before, there was a monstrous traffic here due to numerous people buying fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices," said Luisa Sayo, proprietor of “RT Sayo Fireworks”, one of the biggest and popular fireworks stores in this town.

Sayo said that last year, sales began to climb as early as December 23, but now with only four days to go before new year’s eve, their sales remain low.

"In the past years, we were so busy to the extent that we had no time to eat due to so many buyers. But now, our sales crew have even time to manicure and pedicure," she said.

Sayo said she did not know if the “Iwas Paputok” campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) is a factor in the the low turn-out of buyers.

Despite the abnormal situation, she said that many traders are still hopeful that sales will go up before December 31.

Meanwhile,there are still reports that over-sized or the so-called killer-types of firecrackers are still being clandestinely sold.

Sources said that a new powerful kind of firecracker as big as “Goodbye Philippines" — an over-sized firecracker that became a hit here two years ago—has came out from clandestine fireworks family. The firecracker is being called “Gangnam”, named after the worldwide hit Korean dance craze.

Jason Soriaga of Jason Fireworks said that names of powerful and dangerous firecrackers goes with the time.

"There is always new names that coming out. Whatever is hit. Before, there was 'Bin Laden' then 'Goodbye Gloria' and 'Goodbye Philippines'."

And now, there is "Gangnam, he said, adding that he does not know if “Gangnam” is indeed a new type of killer firecracker or a new type of "Picolo."

I have not seen the "Gangnam" yet and I am not sure if it is really powerful, he said.(PNA) 
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New Bulacan police chief assumes post

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 27 (PNA) -- Senior Supt. Joel Orduna on Thursday assumed the post as the new police provincial director of Bulacan.

He replaced Senior Supt. Noli Talino, who served as office-in-charge of the said police office. Talino is also the current deputy regional director for operations of the Police Regional Office (PRO) based here.

The turnover ceremony, which was held in this camp, was officiated by Chief Supt. Wendy Rosario, the police deputy regional director for administration in Central Luzon.

In his acceptance speech, Urduna vowed to do his best and wage an intensified campaign against criminality in the province.

Before his new assignment, Urduna was assigned with the Philippine Maritime Group. He belonged to the Class ’88 Maringal of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).(PNA) 
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PNP shuts down Bulacan firecracker stall due to lack of permit

MANILA, Dec. 24 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO) closed down a firecracker stall in Bocaue town in Bulacan for lack of necessary permit during a surprised inspection Monday.

PNP FEO inspection and enforcement section head Chief Insp. Nelson Bautista said stallowner Susan San Pedro failed to present PNP permit to sell firecrackers and other pyrotechnic products during inspection of firecrackers stalls in Bulacan.

"Hinanapan namin sila ng dokumento at papeles na pinayagan sila ng PNP para magnegosyo. Wala silang maipakita. Ang gagawin ng kapulisan ia-account ang pyrotechnic devices na narito,” Bautista said.

Bocaue is a popular destination for revelers at this time of the year, as it is known for its fireworks industry.

The PNP continues its random inspections of firecracker stalls for the holidays.

Authorities have been trying to minimize firecracker-related injuries this year.

Meanwhile, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima made the rounds of provinces to meet with regional and provincial commanders.

Purisima met with task groups in Northern and Central Luzon to exhort them to crack down on illegal firearms and also pushed for on-the-spot gun checks. (PNA) 
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PNP confiscates P100,000 worth of illegal firecrackers in Bocaue

MANILA, Dec. 25 (PNA) – Police operatives confiscated about P100,000 worth of illegal firecrackers in Bocaue, Bulacan on Monday.

Reports have it that for the last five days, the operatives led by chief, Alan Purisima has been confiscating illegal firecrackers being sold in stores without permit.

Purisima said firecrackers that contain at least 200 ml of gunpowder or black powder was considered illegal.

At present, the Department of Health (DOH) has a record of 12 firecracker injuries before the start of Christmas and New Year.

Both the PNP and DOH are expecting the number of firecracker injuries to increase as the holidays progress. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov inspects fireworks stores

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Dec. 13 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday directed the Bulacan police and other concerned agencies to regularly inspect fireworks stores and factories and ensure that the safety and other salient provisions of the Firecracker Law is strictly observed.

The governor, together with vice governor Daniel Fernando, officials of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) conducted a lightning inspection of fireworks stores in Barangay Turo here Thursday morning.

Alvarado urged fireworks dealers to strictly follow the safety provisions of the law and personally checked if their fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting equipment are in good working condition.

He also encouraged the dealers not to sell smuggled pyrotechnics devices, saying the influx of imported fireworks into the local market is killing the local industry.

The governor also directed the Bulacan police to intensify their crackdown against killer types of firecrackers like “Goodbye Philippines” and other types of oversized noisemakers.

“We are doing this to uplift awareness and guide the public in the proper handling of fireworks especially among children,“ he said.

He also said that fireworks and pyrotechnics devices being sold in Bulacan undergo stringent quality control as he encouraged manufacturers to put safety instructions on the labels of every fireworks products.

Alvarado also instructed PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal and Provincial Public Affairs Office chief Maricel Santos Cruz to produce leaflets and flyers on the safe use of firecrackers and distribute them along fireworks stalls.

He also said that firetrucks and ambulances will be on site as more buyers are expected to flock in this town, dubbed as the “hub” of fireworks industry in the country and other nearby towns like Sta. Maria and Baliuag.

Supt. Fitz Macariola, BPPO operations officer, said that there are at least 163 licensed fireworks dealers and 50 manufacturers in Bulacan.

Macariola said that the provincial “Task Force: Paputok” headed by Supt. Adriano Enong is regularly making rounds on the rows of fireworks stores in Barangay Turo and other parts of the provices to ensure that the safety and zoning provisions of the firecracker law are strictly followed. (PNA) 
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Crime rate down in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 12 (PNA) -- Bulacan continues to enjoy a generally peaceful and orderly condition as crime volume in the province decreased by 34.72 percent for the first 11 months of the year.

Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) officer-in-charge Sr. Supt. Noli Galsim Taliño attributed the low crime rate and the remarkable improvement in the crime solution efficiency ratings from their all-out campaign against criminality such as the vigorous implementation of the Police Integrated Patrol System.

“Compared to other provinces in Region 3, Bulacan is relatively peaceful, although there are still some isolated cases that were reported,” Taliño said, citing reports from Supt. Fitz Macariola of the provincial police operations branch presented during the quarterly Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting held at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

He said that increased police visibility and successful operations against lawless elements by combined forces of the Provincial Public Safety Company, the Provincial Intelligence Branch and local police stations as well as community participation had also contributed to the BPPO’s offensive against criminal activities.

“Definitely, your police shall never waver to intensify efforts to curb criminality, maintain peace and order and ensure security and safety of the people of Bulacan. With the cooperation of the communities and the support of the local government units, we are able to sustain and keep Bulacan a safer place to live, work and do business,” he said.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the prevailing peaceful condition in the province attracted more investors in putting up business ventures.

“I personally congratulate our PNP and AFP for their efforts to maintain peace and order in the province. Particularly now that we are close to the 2013 election campaign, I can see that being not included in the top 15 priority areas means that they are really doing their job to sustain peace in Bulacan,” Alvarado said.

The governor also encouraged law enforcers to speedily resolve unsolved crimes, issues on illegal mining, and pertinent matters that involve peace and security.

Philippine Army 56th IB Commander Lt. Col. Bernardo Oña, for his part, reported that active implementations of environment protection programs has immensely contributed to the prevailing peaceful atmosphere along the countryside and remote parts of the province.(PNA) 
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Bulacan gov orders fast probe on BM Violago’s ambush try

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 1 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Saturday ordered the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) to expedite their investigation on the ambush try on board member Mark Cholo Violago last Friday noon along the by-pass road in Plaridel town.

The governor also announced during his weekly radio program “Lalawigan Ko’y Ikaw, Lingkod Mo’y Ako,” which he co-anchors with Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos every Saturday morning that the BPPO has already formed a task force that would help investigators to identify the perpetrators and their motive.

The governor said that Violago, 29, a resident of Barangay San Roque, San Rafael town and president of the Panlalawigang Liga ng mga Barangay sustained a wound on his right eyebrow and was conscious when he visited him at the St. Luke’s Hospital in Manila Friday night.

The young provincial board member was on board a Starex van with four security personnel bound to Manila when the suspects, in a Ford Escape vehicle, overtook and opened fire on them.

The bullet riddled van was later brought to the Plaridel police station after a scene of the crime (SOCO) team from the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory conducted investigation at the site.

The victim is the son of San Rafael vice mayor Goto Violago, who is running for mayor this coming 2013 midterm elections against the incumbent mayor Lorna Silverio.(PNA) 
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Hundreds of indigenous people to join in this year's Dayaw Festival in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 23 (PNA) -- More than 500 ethnic people from 47 indigenous communities in the country will gather in this historic province to join in this year's celebration of “DAYAW: A National Festival of Indigenous People” on Nov. 27 to 29, this year.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said it is a great privilege of Bulacan province to host this year's gathering of the indigenous people who will celebrate the richness of their culture.

"Our indigenous people play a vital role not only in our history but also in the present times. Here in Bulacan, we are assuring that our ethnic people are being given fair rights, especially in the field of education and livelihood. The visit of the indigenous people coming from the different parts of the country to this province will be a big help for us to learn their varied cultures and at the same time, to show and share them the beauty of our province," Alvarado said.

Elizabeth Alonzo, head of Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PYSEACTO), said that they are also expecting more tourists to arrive in the province so they can have the chance to witness performances, forums, exhibitions, ethnic games and other activities that will be done during the five-day stay of the indigenous groups in Bulacan.

A trade fair will also be set-up wherein the products of the indigenous people will be showcased and made available for sale.

The project is made possible through the efforts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA), Interskills Foundation Inc. and the provincial government of Bulacan.(PNA) 
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Bulacan welcomes piligrim image of Our Lady of Manaoag

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 21 (PNA) -- Catholic devotees on Tuesday flocked to the Sto. Niño de Hiyas Chapel to welcome the arrival of the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Manaoag here.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the visitation of the pilgrim image "aims to bring Mother Mary closer to the Bulakenyos."

"Our request to bring the pilgrim image of the Our Lady of the Manaoag here in (Bulacan) is a clamor to continuously pray and thank our Virgin Mother for guiding us," Alvarado said.

After the vigil at the lobby of the provincial capitol, the pilgrim image will be brought to Bulacan Medical Center, Bulacan Provincial Jail and to the towns of Pulilan, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong, and Bulakan until Dec 3, 2012.

Mama Mary’s Movement Foundation founder Bro. Jiggers Alejandrino, meanwhile, extended his deepest appreciation for the warm welcome extended by the province. (PNA) 
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Bulacan journalists to mark 3rd year anniversary of “Maguindanao Massacre”

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 19 (PNA) -- Members of the working press in this province will hold on Wednesday a candle light parade at the provincial capitol grounds here to commemorate the third anniversary of the infamous “Maguindanao Massacre.”

Dino Balabo, chairman of the Bulacan chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), said the candle light parade will be joined in by journalism students from different universities in the province.

He that three years have already passed since 58 persons, 32 of them journalists, were senselessly and mercilessly killed on November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao.

That day was declared by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) last year as the day of commemorating the International Day to End Impunity (IDEI), Balabo said.

He said the Bulakenyo journalists will converge in front of the provincial capitol building on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and light candles at the statue of the three Filipino propagandists -- Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. Del Pilar and Graciano Lopez Jaena. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to hold free medical mission

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 17 (PNA) -- The provincial government will conduct free medical services on Sunday, from 6 a.m. to 12 noon at the Bulacan capitol gymnasium here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the activity, in partnership with the Bulacan Medical Society and Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM), will provide benefit to least 400 individuals who are at risks with diabetes.

Alvarado said the medical mission is part of the celebration of World Diabetes Day with the theme "Protect Our Future."

Among the activities, he said, include blood sugar and lipid screening for the prevention and control of diabetes.

There will also a cooking demo and forum about proper nutritional diet for diabetic patients and will distribute 24 glucometers for Diabetic club members in the province, he said.

We need to change our lifestyle and have regular exercises to avoid stress and others that might cause diabetes, he added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police intensifies drive vs. illegal drugs

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 9 (PNA) -- Police authorities has intensified its renewed campaign against illegal drugs here.

The anti-narcotics operatives on Thursday swooped down on a suspected dope den in Barangay Bangkal Extension here and arrested six persons who were caught sniffing shabu.

Supt. Sydney Villaflor, city police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Edgar Guevarra, 31, resident of Bunsuran II, Pandi town; Lauro Handrado, 43, of Villarama, Norzagaray; Jonathan Ignacio, 35, of Tabon, Pulilan; Bernardo Genova, 45, of Biñan 1st, Bocaue; Jayson Enriquez, 28, of Saint Peter, Veinte Reales, Valenzuela City; and Racquelyn Duata, 33, of ACA Compound, Kadiwa, Malanday, Valenzuela City.

Villaflor said that prior to their arrest, the Anti-Illegal Drugs Team of the Meycauayan police received a letter from a concerned citizen about the rampant use of illegal drugs at Yakal Street, Bangcal Extension, Barangay Bangcal.

Villaflor said that a rough sketch of the address of an alleged drug den being maintained by a certain Amir Dela Passion was attached to the letter.

Based on the said information, a police team was sent to conduct anti-drug operation in the area, in coordination with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and village officials.

Confiscated from the suspects were aluminum foils with suspected “shabu” residue.

The suspects and the pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination.

A criminal complaint against the arrested persons and Amir Dela Passion, the alleged maintainer of the drug den who is at large, are being prepared for filing in court, Villaflor added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police nabs 113 wanted persons in a month

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov.8 (PNA) -- The Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) on Wednesday announced the arrest of 113 persons with warrants during a month's operations.

Supt. Miguel Atienza, chief of the Provincial Police Information Office, said the series of apprehensions were part of Bulacan PNP’s continuous conduct of manhunt against persons with warrants of arrest in the province.

Among those arrested were one most wanted person in the provincial level and four wanted in the municipal levels.

Apprehended were Francisco Martin, listed as no. 17 of the 20 most wanted criminals in Bulacan province; Jervy del Rosario,no. 8 most wanted in town of Calumpit; Antonio Neri, no.3 in Meycauayan City; and Eric Evangelista, no.10 in Obando.

Atienza said the operations was also in response to the directive of Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Edgardo T. Ladao to intensify the conduct of manhunt operations to arrest wanted persons in the region. (PNA) 
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P594M major road project in Bulacan nears completion -DPWH

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 29 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the P593-million major road project in Bulacan is almost complete.

DPWH regional director Antonio Molano said the construction of the 7.78-kilometer major road connection between Bustos and Plaridel towns in Bulacan to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) has already reached 91-percent completion.

It is ahead of schedule as it surpassed the 75-percent target, Molano said.

The project is part of the Plaridel by-pass road contract package 2, a continuation of the 6.87 kilometers new highway from Barangay Bulihan in Plaridel town linking to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Barangay Burol, Balagtas town.

The Plaridel by-pass contract package 1 was opened to motoring public last March 2012.

The DPWH official said the contractor C.M. Pancho Construction under close supervision of DPWH-Philippine Japan Highway Loan-Project Management Office (DPWH-PJHL-PMO) has already completed the concrete paving of the said project.

The contractor activities are focused on the completion of remaining road intersections and areas wherein embankment construction is still ongoing, he said.

The project contract also covers the construction of seven bridges with a total length of 241 lineal meters, installation of drainage facilities and slope protection works.(PNA) 
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Zero firecrackers-related incidents eyed

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Oct. 23 (PNA) -- Stakeholders in the pyrotechnics industry have joined forces in a goal to make firecracker-related incident zero this coming New Year's celebration.

Virnie Erese, president of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association, said legitimate pyrotechnics workers in regions 1 to 4 as well as police authorities have recently participated in a seminar that tackled the proper way of manufacturing, transporting and selling of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics devices.

"We also taught them the proper way of displaying the products in order to avoid similar firecracker-related accidents in the past," she said.

Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, chief of the Firearms and Explosive Office, said that aside from the seminar, they are now going around the country to monitor the manufacturing of firecrackers.

He said they are also into inspecting the reported storage of firecrackers.

Petrasanta said they are also strictly monitoring the illegal manufacturing of firecrackers and the entry of prohibited imported firecrackers

"We will also intensify the implementation of Republic Act 7183 or an Act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics devices," he added.

He also reminded the public on the firecrackers prohibited by Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry that include watusi, piccolo, super lolo or atomic bomb, pla-pla and others.

Under RA 7183, persons caught manufacturing, selling, distributing and purchasing those items may be imprisoned from six months to a year, and may be slapped with a fine from P20,000 to P30,000. (PNA) 
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Seven suspected carnappers fall in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Oct. 23 (PNA) -- Operatives of the Regional Highway Patrol Team based arrested Monday in Calumpit, Bulacan seven suspected members of a syndicate involved in carnapping activities in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces.

Police Chief Inspector Ferdinand Germino, team leader of the Highway Patrol Team in Bulacan, identified the suspects as Eduardo Lagman Sr., 47, blacksmith and a resident of Barangay Gatbuca, Calumpit, Bulacan; Bong Bong Torres, 42, blacksmith of Barangay Capalangan; Calumpit, Bulacan; Jerry Felipe, 18, helper, of Mendez, Baesa, Quezon City; Erick De Guzman, 18, helper, and resident of Barangay Sta. Monica, Novaliches, Quezon City; Rodel Solpicio, 27, a native of General Santos City and a resident of Lawton, Manila; Maria Luisa Samonte, 30, a resident of Bagong Barrio, Calaocan City; and Analisa Calimon, 22, factory worker and resident of Barangay Masambong, Quezon City.

Germino said that Rolly Adviento, 51, manager-fleet operation of St. Peter Life Plans and resident of Rocka Village, Barangay Tabang, Plaridel, Bulacan, reported that one of their service vehicles, a Mitsubishi L300 Deluxe with plate no. TQT 694, was carnapped in front of the St Peter Chapel in Cogeo, Antipolo City at about 3 to 4 a.m. Monday.

According to Germino, a global positioning system (GPS) attached to the vehicle led them to the approximate location of the vehicle in Purok 1 Barangay Sapang Bayan, Calumpit, Bulacan.

In a subsequent operation, he said his operatives recovered from the scene dismantled spare parts and cannibalized Mitsubishi L300 Deluxe FB, two pieces of plate numbers, GPS gadget, two pieces of acetylene tanks, one hose with gauge and regulator, and one public utility jeep plying the route Project 8-Quiapo.

The jeepney is being used by the group in transporting vehicle parts to Barangay Capalangan in Apalit, Pampanga and Banawe, Quezon City, he said.

Also recovered were several fuel tanks, other parts of a Mitsubishi L300 FB which have been carnapped earlier.

Case of the violation of the anti-carnapping law is now being readied against the suspects. (PNA) 
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Motorists urged to use internet for NLEX traffic condition

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 22 (PNA) -- Motorists who will be taking the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) were urged on Monday to go online to check for traffic updates for a worry-free travel this All Saints' Day.

Toll Regulatory Board executive director Edmundo Reyes, said the motorists could use the NLEX’s real-time travel advisory system called “NLigtas” to plan their travel better by knowing the current traffic conditions along the expressway as well as the approximate travel time.

“Our goal is to really make this 'Undas' safer than the last one,” Reyes said as he added "that is why we are providing travelers with more graphic updates which they can access even before they start their trips.”

The NLigtas system, which is accessible through the TMC, allows users to check out real-time traffic situation at the NLEX.

He said sensors along the stretch of the expressway detect and measure the actual speeds and travel conditions which are processed in real-time by NLigtas software application into useful travel advisory.

The information is real time and 95 percent accurate for the approximate travel time, he said.

Aside from this site, he said, travel information is also available via Twitter @ NLEXTraffic, Facebook page Travel on Great Roads, Variable Message Signs and NLEX hotline (02-35000). (PNA) 
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New Bulacan provincial prosecutor named

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 20 (PNA) -- Veteran trial lawyer Renato C. Samonte, Jr. is the new chief provincial prosecutor of Bulacan.

Samonte assumed the post vacated by Alfredo ‘Gerry’ Geronimo who retired from the government service last year.

He is the eldest son of the late Renato ‘Rening’ Samonte and Lucia dela Cruz of Taliptip, Bulakan, Bulacan.

He was also president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (Gat. Marcelo H. Del Pilar–Bulacan chapter) from 2009 to 2011.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado welcomed the appointment of Samonte as a fitting tribute to the qualification and capability of a true-blue Bulakenyo at the helm of the prosecution service, an indispensable pillar in the administration of justice in the province.

Samonte, who has an extensive law practice in Metro Manila and Central Luzon spanning three decades, finished A.B. Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University and graduated from the San Beda College of Law in 1980.

His skills as a trial lawyer was honed and polished during his more than 10 years practice at the Law office of Dakila F. Castro where he litigated high-profile criminal cases. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to form “Task Force: Paputok”

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 20 (PNA) -- As the production of fireworks in revs into high gear in anticipation of big demand for the Christmas and New Year holidays, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Saturday said that he will form a provincial “Task Force: Paputok” that will enforce safety measures and other salient provisions of the firecracker law.

Alvarado, during the weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour,” which he co-hosts with Bulajenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos every Saturday morning, said he would call a meeting next week among fireworks manufacturers and dealers and officers of the Bulacan police to discuss the safety measures.

He advised local manufacturers and dealers to only produce and sell safe firecrackers. He also reminded them to always follow the safety guidelines to avoid accidents which have claimed lives and destroyed properties in the past years.

Among the problems besieging the local fireworks industry is the influx of smuggled imported pyrotechnics, which is being labeled made from Bulacan but are actually being sneaked into the country from China.

Sr. Supt. Ferdinand Daway, explosives management division chief of the Philippine National Police, said smuggled products could not be allowed because the domestic pyrotechnic industry would suffer.

The law governing pyrotechnics manufacture, sales and distribution allows only totally knocked-down materials, he said.

Daway said smuggled fireworks were openly sold in the domestic market.

Some businessmen are smuggling the products and passing them to the market as locally manufactured, he said.

Vimie Erese, president of the Phillippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI), said the scheme had caused a decline in the domestic pyrotechnics industry.

At present, only 20 registered manufacturers existed, compared to 40 last year, he added.

Engineer Celso C. Cruz, chairman emeritus of PPMDAI, said that some businessmen found it more profitable to smuggle pyrotechnics than produce it locally.

“It is so easy, they will not maintain workers, they will only need a warehouse. But the practice is killing the industry,” Cruz said. (PNA) 
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Bangsamoro peace pact, right path for long lasting peace -- Yes for Peace movement

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 10 (PNA) -- The framework agreement reached by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) creating a new political entity in Mindanao to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is the right path and a big step toward the achievement of long lasting peace in the country.

This was the reaction of Ernesto A. Alcanzare, lead organizer of the Yes for Peace-Bayanihan sa Kapayapaan movement, as praises and support continued to snowball on the newly forged agreement.

Alcanzare said the vision and goals of President Benigno S. Aquino III to end armed hostilities in the country by the end of 2012 is now materializing and gaining more support.

“We welcome the framework agreement of the Bangsamoro, especially on its commitment to forge a comprehensive peace pact in the end of the year which is consistent to the call of the Yes for Peace movement,” he said.

Alcanzare has proposed that succeeding negotiations for the comprehensive peace pact agreement should be held openly pursuant to President Aquino’s vision and goal of a peace program that is transparent and participatory in nature.

“In other words, the negotiations should be held in the Philippines and covered by the media just like the Corona impeachment trial,” he said.

He said that there are still important issues that should be ironed out and among the contentious ones that must be addressed is the disposition of MILF forces and the “policing” of the Bangsamoro.

But Alcanzare believes the framework agreement would open more doors that will pave the way for long lasting peace in the country.

He said that Yes for Peace was inspired by former President Corazon Aquino’s resolve to establish a national consensus for peace in 1988.

Yes for Peace is all about “winning the hearts and minds of the Filipino people, he added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gets 2012 Gawad Kalasag National Award on disaster preparedness

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 10 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government will continue to upgrade and modernize the equipment and logistics of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) to boost its capabilities in responding effectively in times of calamities.

The governor made the statement after Bulacan was adjudged as this year’s “Best Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council” during the 2012 Gawad Kalasag National Awards, a national recognition of excellence in disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance, held Tuesday at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Club in Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Alvarado said the award will always serve as an inspiration to the PDRRMC, adding that, "everyone has a responsibility every time we face the wrath of nature".

"The greatest calamity in life is the daily and hourly destroying our Mother Nature like polluting the seas and rivers and denuding the mountains. We, in Bulacan, we are working together in good faith to succeed in protection our province against disasters made by humans," he said.

The governor also said that the provincial government is working hand-in-hand with local communities and officials in dealing with disaster preparedness and mitigation plans.

Alvarado said that the provincial government is also constantly monitoring the conditions of the watersheds and the rivers, which he said, contributes to the destruction being wrought by severe flooding every time a storm or intense rainfall hits Bulacan.

He thanked and commended the efforts PDRMMC of Bulacan for coping up and coming up with timely plans and interventions in addressing the effects of climate change.

He said the award will also serve as a guiding instrument for them to work hard in saving lives.

Alvarado also mentioned that Bulacan PDRRMC’s School Hydrological Information Network (SHINE) project was recognized on NDRRMC’s current awarding scheme to be one of the best practices in school-based early warning systems.

The said project sets the minds of youths towards a climate change-enhanced curriculum consistent with the principle that disaster awareness should begin in schools.

“SHINE strengthens the flood disaster awareness of schools and communities in Bulacan,” Alvarado said.

The other Gawad Kalasag awardees are Makati PDRRMC (Highly-Urbanized City category); Santiago City, Isabela (Component/Independent Component); San Jose de Buenavista, Antique PDRRMC (1st-3rd class); Sto. Domingo, Albay PDRRMC (4th-6th class); Brgy. Sta. Rita, Olongapo City PDRRMC (Urban); and Brgy. Sipitan-Badiang, Guimbal, Iloilo PDRMMC (Rural).

The awarding rites coincided with launching of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMO) 2011-2028 and graced by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, Undersecretary Benito Ramos and OCD Region 3 director Josephine Timoteo. (PNA) 
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Bulacan intensifies its emergency response

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 10 (PNA) -- The Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) on Tuesday spearheaded a three-day fast craft rescue training at the Ipo Dam in Norzagaray town to enhance the efficiency of rescue and response teams in addressing emergencies in times of calamities.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the province is strengthening its disaster preparedness and enhancing the knowledge and skills of rescuers in using flood rescue boats and other similar life saving vehicles.

Alvarado said the participants will also be trained in giving first aid for flood rescue and search and retrieval operations.

Participants of the three-day training include rescue/response team members of the City and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils, local government units of the cities Meycauayan, Malolos and San Jose del Monte, the towns of Marilao, Santa Maria, Obando, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Pulilan and Norzagaray and non-government organizations (NGOs).

The rescue teams are composed of five members who were already trained, acquired skills in basic water safety, standard first aid/basic life support-cardio pulmonary resuscitation, physically fit and but have not yet attended a fast craft rescue training.

Recently, a simultaneous earthquake drill was held in Angat Dam and Barangay Caniogan in Calumpit town to help the local governments in the planning and management of emergency responses in case massive floods hit the areas.

The drill simulated a scenario from the Metro Manila earthquake impact reduction study where the valley fault system causes a 7.2 magnitude tremor, causing piping failure in Angat Dam.

It was participated in by the Angat Hydro Electric Power Plant Administration, Angat Flood Forecasting and Warning System for Dam operation, Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, disaster units of Calumpit and Norzagaray.(PNA) 
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Student writers invited to join biotech campus journalism contest

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 7 (PNA) --Student journalists and writers nationwide are invited to join the Biotech Campus Journalism Contest organized by the Philippine Science Journalists Association Inc. (PSciJourn), Agham Party-list, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture-Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC).

Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones said the winners and finalists wil join a two-day study tour to TV/radio stations/newspaper publishing offices and biotech laboratories and field trials in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

He also said that participating students will also get a chance to have their work published in national print media publications and biotech websites.

The contest organizers said that participants must submit a feature article with the topic “The Benefits and Potentials of Modern Crop Biotechnology in the Philippines” on or before October 31, 2012.

The science writing tilt is open to students nationwide and divided into high school and college levels.

Palmones said that the Biotech Campus Journalism Contest aims to promote and enhance the knowledge of student journalists and writers on the growing promises of biotechnology for the future of food security and agricultural sustainability in the country by encouraging them to research on the topic and interview Filipino scientists, biotech corn farmers, and even regulators of biotech crops.

Ten finalists, including the top three winners, will be selected from each level. The first, second, and third place winners in both levels will receive cash prizes of P15,000, P10,000, and P7,000, respectively, while the succeeding finalists will each receive P2,000 cash prize.

Palmones added that an Agham Congressional Medal will also be awarded to each winner/finalist.

Moreover, the schools of the two first place winners in both levels will also receive P5,000 cash prize each. They will be recognized and awarded during the opening ceremonies of the upcoming 8th National Biotechnology Week on November 26, 2012. (PNA)
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Filing of COCs in Bulacan, generally peaceful

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct.6 (PNA) -- The filing of the certificates of candidacy[COCs] in the province has been generally peaceful, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office reported Saturday.

Chief Inspector Ysmael Yu, company commander of the Provincial Public Safety Company said that as of Saturday morning no untoward incidents related to the filing of the Cocs was reported.

“It’s generally peaceful and in some cases, the mood is even festive,” Yu said.

Political pundits attributed the peaceful outcome to the unification of rival politicians, particularly in the gubernatorial, vice gubernatorial, congressional and mayoralty race.

They said that Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa Jr., did a ‘masterstroke’ in unifying the politicians in Bulacan and made them agreed on who will be the ruling Liberal Party’s candidate.

They added that the brilliant initiatives of Sec. Ochoa made the delivery of logistics and support from the national government to the provincial level faster and smoothly.(PNA) 
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Bulacan promotes organic farming

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 5 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado on Thursday led the promotion of organic agriculture in the province as part of the observance of Food Security Month.

Alvarado said the organic agriculture responses to some environmental concern and can help in the sustainability of agriculture sector.

“We are establishing eight learning sites which include educating our farmers about vermi composting and preparation of natural inputs like fish amino acid and herbal or botanical pesticide,” he said.

The governor also said that they are conducting Integrated Techno Demo for organic rice, vegetable and goat production which will benefit stakeholders from Malolos City, Pulilan, Plaridel, Norzagaray, San Ildefonso, San Rafael, Sta. Maria, Bustos and Calumpit.

Provincial agriculturist Gloria Carrillo, on the other hand, said that part of the activities for Food Security Month is the continuing crop production program which aims to increase yield, income and productivity on palay, vegetable, corn, root crops and plantation crops.

“We provide assistance on the establishments of community seed banks, distribute farm equipment and post-harvest facilities, conducts on-going season long farmers field school on palay check system and offer technical assistance to our 21 municipalities and three cities,” she said.

Carillo said they also conduct seminars and trainings in coastal municipalities to upgrade fisher folks’ knowledge on aquaculture.

Also, the Provincial Veterinary Office pushes for strict monitoring on compliance of the National Meat Inspection Service rules and regulation on slaughterhouse operations in the province.

Provincial veterinarian Dr. Voltaire Basinang said they are gathering all meat inspectors, market masters and slaughterhouse supervisors for a meeting to discuss with them slaughterhouse policies and regulation as well as hygienic handling of newly slaughtered meat in markets and cleanliness and sanitation in meat stalls.

He said that this is also part of the observance of Meat Safety and Consciousness Week, which starts from Oct. 15 to 19. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov files COC for his 2nd term bid

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct.3 (PNA) -- Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and his running mate Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando filed their certificates of candidacy (CoCs) at the provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec) office here Wednesday morning.

The incumbent governor and vice governor was accompanied by the province's city and municipal mayor at the Comelec provincial office after a mass at the chapel of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center.

Paombong Mayor Marcos and Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad said that this is the first time that the provincial chief executive and his running mate are vying with the full support of the majority of the mayors of the province.

Alvarado and Fernando are both running under the Liberal Party (LP) coalition.

In thanking the local executives and supporters, Gov. Alvarado vowed to continue what he started with more fervor and strong resolve in his bid for a second term as chief executive of the province.

He said that the rare political development in Bulacan is a “masterstroke” initiative of the top brass of the Liberal Party, which he added that this kind of political maturity should be emulated in other parts of the country.

"All of us want to serve and this time, we are ready to work as one team," said Alvarado, who was also joined by his wife, re-electionist 1st District Rep. Ma Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado who also filed her CoC.

Some political pundits viewed this development as the true essence of President Benigno Aquino’s “Tuwid na Daan” policy which is geared towards in making the country politically stable and matured.

Vice Gov. Fernando is virtually unopposed after the Municipal Trial Court of Pandi junked the petition of his rumored rival and fellow actor Philip Salvador for his inclusion in the list of voters in the said town.

Aside from Alvarado and Fernando, re-electionists board members Michael Fermin, Felix Ople, Therese Sheryll Ople (1st District), Enrique dela Cruz and Monette Posadas (2nd District) also filed their CoCs.

Meanwhile, former Malolos City Mayor Atty. Danilo Domingo and running mate former Vice Mayor Noel Sakay filed their CoCs at the City Comelec office in downtown Malolos after hearing a holy mass at the Barasoain Church.

Domingo and Sakay will be facing re-electionist City Mayor Natividad and Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian. (PNA) 
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American miner brings smiles to poor Filipino kids

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 28 (PNA) -- An American miner has become a “Good Samaritan” to poor communities in the country by helping poor children taste the “good life” and grooming them to become good citizens.

Derek C. Weightman, transport coordinator of B.H.P Billiton, takes extra suitcases of clothes for poor children every time he goes to the Philippines.

He said that every time he went to the Philippines, he sees to it that he will be carrying extra suitcases of clothes for the poor children.

“It makes me happy and no amount of money can match the smiles on the faces of the children,” he said.

Weightman has also endeared himself to the people of Area C, a mining site in Australia, as the “Minister of Transport” for ensuring that all the transport logistics needed by the people working at a mine site are arranged both at the site and between site and airport.

The American supervises the operation of 12 buses in Area C, which he makes sure to be always clean, maintained and assigned for both business and special occasions (e.g. Lieghton Contractors VIP visits). He also makes arrangements for transporting employees and visitors.

Weightman has worked as mining operator in Area C and in Onebody, and leading hand driller in Onebody.

He has dedicated himself to fundraising, both in the mining site and offsite. Those who knew him said that it is not unusual to see Weightman, up to the mess hall every night, raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

He said he will never get tired in bringing smiles to poor children and will always bring them nice clothing. (PNA) 
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Rehab of Angat Dam to start early 2013

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 28 (PNA) -- The rehabilitation of the rock-built Angat dam will start early next year.

Liz Mungcal, chief of the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), said the bidding process on the rehabilitation and retrofitting works on the 43-year old dam is set next month.

The project, which has an allocation of some P5.7 billion, is expected to be completed by 2016.

Mungcal said the rehabilitation of the Angat dam will be based on the designs of Tonkin and Taylor International and Engineering Development Corporation of the Philippines (Edcop).

The two companies were tasked by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS) to conduct six-month study and evaluation of the structural integrity of the dam last April.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) earlier said the Marikina fault line is underneath the dam’s reservoir and poses danger to its structural integrity.

The MWSS technical working group has agreed with the findings of Phivolcs that the dam is sitting along the west Marikina fault line and cannot withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Unabated logging and mining activities along the Angat dam watershed area has also compromised the structural integrity of the dam, according to the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society.

MWSS administrator Gerry Esquivel said the rehabilitation work at Angat dam will not disrupt the delivery of water supply to Metro Manila.

The Angat dam provides 98 percent of the water needed by Metro Manila and irrigation for most farmlands in Central Luzon. (PNA) 
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5 suspected armed robbers operating in Luzon, MM, fall in Bataan

DINALUPIHAN, Bataan, Sept. 26 (PNA) -- Five alleged members of the Taguro Holdup Group believed to be operating in Luzon and Metro Manila were arrested by police operatives here Monday afternoon.

Supt. Alfred dela Roca, Dinalupihan police chief, identified the suspects as Richard Morales, 23, alleged leader of the group from Balanga City; Roam Puerto, 30, of Leon Guinto, Metro Manila; Antonio Toribio, 36, of Antipolo City; Angelino Geronimo, 23, of Macabebe, Pampanga; and Jerry Tolentino, 48, of Pasong Tamo in Quezon City.

Also confiscated from the suspects were a 9mm Uzi Ingram with silencer; 34 live ammunitions for 9mm Uzi; one caliber .38 revolver with four live ammunitions and two fragmentation hand grenades.

“The five robbery/holdup suspects will be charged for illegal possession of firearms and explosives,” dela Roca said.

Dela Roca said members of the Intelligence group and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and another team under him set up a checkpoint in Barangay Sta. Isabel after receiving reports that a red car and a motorcycle were suspiciously parked near a warehouse of Gabby’s Marketing here.

He said the suspects in car and motorcycle fled when they sensed that police officers were approaching.

However, the chief of police said that they were able to flag the two vehicles at the checkpoint and in there confiscated the firearms and hand grenades.

Dela Roca said the operation was the result of joint efforts of the Provincial Intelligence Branch, Police Public Order and Safety Office, CIDG and the Dinalupihan police.

He said they planned the operation after a tactical interrogation conducted by the Angeles City Police in Pampanga mentioned the name of Richard Morales as leader of the “Taguro Holdup Group” that conducted robbery/hold-up activities in Bulacan, Manila, Angeles City, Pampanga and Bataan.

He said that Morales was a former employee of Gabby’s Marketing that per intelligence report was the target of the suspects. (PNA) 
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NDRRMC conducts simultaneous quake drill in Bulacan

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, Sept. 24 (PNA) -- Bracing for a “worst scenario” in case the Angat dam in Norzagaray burst during an earthquake, government disaster response teams Monday held a simultaneous earthquake drill from the dam site to the low lying villages in this town.

Provincial officials led by Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando made a first hand evaluation on the immediate response of government emergency teams from the sounding of alarm to the evacuation phase of the drill.

Alvarado said the earthquake drill was part of disaster officials third quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill for critical infrastructures, like Angat Dam.

The drill was supervised by NDRRMC officials led by Eduardo Batac, undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs of the Dept. of National Defense.

“It pays to be always alert and ready so that we will not be caught flatfooted when disaster of such magnitude struck,” the governor said.

The drill started with ground shaking or the recognition of a possible 7.2 magnitude earthquake in which Napocor officials would conduct inspection of the dam and its facilities then check the possible occurrence/identification of dam break/breach.

If such an incident occurs, dam officials will activate its emergency action plans and will immediately notify and disseminate information to local government units, concerned agencies and then activate the early warning system and monitor the situation.

At the same time, officials of Ipo and Bustos dams will also activate their own emergency action plans.

The earthquake drill showed the immediate response of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils of Norzagaray and Calumpit in the activation of their respective emergency action plans, in coordination with local and barangay officials which will conduct information dissemination to agencies and residents.

The PDRMMC will then facilitate the establishments of command posts that will oversee traffic, security, transport, rescue, fire fighting units and logistic teams.

The PDRMMC said that it is also important to prepare families for the evacuation phase which will be handled by village officials in coordination with the Bulacan Rescue, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine Army.

The drill also simulated a scenario from the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study where the valley fault system causes a 7.2 magnitude earthquake causing piping failure in Angat dam.

Ramos said 20 towns in Bulacan, seven in Pampanga and three cities in Metro manila would be affected by inundations as high as 10 to 30 meters.

“This activity is part of the government’s continuing efforts in enhancing public awareness and strengthening the nation’s capability in disaster prevention, management and response,” Ramos said.

Batac thanked Alvarado and the provincial government of Bulacan for their unwavering support, concern as well as the active participation of the Bulacan PDRRMC in the earthquake drill and the disaster prevention and awareness campaign of the NDRRMC. (PNA) 
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Bulacan officials ink covenant to address effects of climate change

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 16 (PNA) –- Local officials here on Saturday signed a declaration of unity and action for global warming and climate change at the Barasoain church here.

This was one of the highlights of the commemoration of the 114th anniversary of the opening of the Malolos Congress.

City mayor Christian D. Natividad said the declaration was signed by mayors and barangay officials of the province.

"The colorful part of our history took place in this historic city more than 100 years ago which served as link for our future. This time, the declaration to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming and climate change was signed here at the Barasoain Church where the Malolos Constitution was drafted and ratified," Natividad said.

During the same occasion, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado led the offering of flowers and tribute to the statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic, together with Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro.

Alvarado said the sacrifices and patriotism of Filipino revolutionaries will always be a guiding light to leaders in effecting reforms and genuine service to the people.

Abad, in his message, cited the importance of the events that transpired at the Barasoain church, saying that all the dreams of the framers of the Malolos Constitution will be fulfilled through the “tuwid na daan” type of leadership being exercised by the Aquino administration.

Education Secretary Luistro, for his part, said they are now instilling to students the importance of Philippine history in partnership with the National Historical Institute. (PNA) 
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Life-size diorama and E-leaning library, latest attraction at Barasoain Historical Museum  By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 15 (PNA) -– Learning and appreciating the country’s history has become more fun and interesting – thanks to the inroads of modern technology.

The statue of a sitting Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic, flanked by key figures of the Malolos Congress, is now one of the main attractions at the newly renovated and modernized Barasoain Church Historical Museum.

The museum, inaugurated Saturday, is the first modernized museum of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, according to NHCP Commissioner Ma. Serena Diokno.

It was jointly funded by the NHCP and the Provincial Government of Bulacan headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado.

On the celebration Saturday during the 114th anniversary of the opening of the Malolos Congress here, provincial and local officials signed a declaration of unity and action for global warming and climate change at the patio of the Barasoain Church.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and City Mayor Christian Natividad as well as Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro offered flowers and tribute to the statue of Aguinaldo.

Diokno said the museum has five galleries where the first two will introduce visitors by explaining the backdrop to the Malolos Congress.

She told reporters in the ante room (Gallery 1), a seven- minute video introduces the museum and then presents the evolution of the idea of freedom as a prologue, while Gallery 2 traces the events leading to the establishment of the Malolos Congress, the Constitution of Biak-na-Bato, the proclamation of Independence at Kawit, Cavite and the decrees of the revolutionary government headed by Aguinaldo.

Diokno said two touch screens in Gallery 2 display the historical overview of facts and sources about the Malolos Congress and the events that preceded and followed it.

The main hall, which serves as Gallery 3, and the smaller hall next to it (Gallery 4) gives focus on Malolos; the Constitutional Congress; the Malolos Congress; the Constitution and the list of delegates to the congress.

Diokno also said Gallery 3 also offers a seven-minute light-and-sound presentation with a life-size diorama of the leading figures of the Malolos Congress.

Gallery 5 provides the epilogue and dwells on the theme—Defense of the Republic—by featuring how Filipinos went to war to defend the republic and the freedom and sovereignty of the people against a new colonizer, the United States of America.

She said among the latest innovations include the E-learning and research facilities and the audio-visual room.

Diokno presented the rooms to Alvarado, Fernando, Natividad, Abad, Luistro and members of the media.

She said the E-learning room is designed for students and equipped with 22 computers containing interactive lessons in Philippine history.

“It is the NHCP’s hope that by modernizing the Barasoain museum, students, visitors and tourists can now better appreciate our history and value the independence our forefathers struggled for,” Diokno said.

Luistro said the Department of Education will adopt the innovations made by the NHCP to make students better understand the importance of Philippine history.

Alvarado, for his part, hailed the NHCP for its new endeavor in preserving the significant role of Bulacan in the nation’s history.

Abad, in his message, cited the importance of the events that transpired at the Barasoain Church, saying all the dreams of the framers of the Malolos Constitution will be fulfilled through the “tuwid na daan” type of leadership exercised by the Aquino administration.

Luistro, on the other hand, said they are now instilling in students the importance of Philippine history in partnership with the National Historical Institute. (PNA) 
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Bulacan hospital to get additional modern medical equipment

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 13 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado on Thursday said that additional modern hospital equipment for Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) will arrive soon for better and efficient delivery of medical services to the Bulakenyos.

Alvarado said the additional medical equipment include CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, and 2D echo among others.

"We are also improving and upgrading our dialysis, oncology and eye center," the governor. He said among the priorities of his administration is to provide health care that is accessible and affordable to all Bulakenyos.

Alvarado, together with local newsmen, visited the medical center to personally oversee the installation of some of the newly acquired medical equipment. He also checked the conditions of patients and their rooms.

During his ocular inspection, Alvarado ordered the General Services Office to send additional personnel at the hospital to make sure that every floor and its surrounding are always clean after he noticed the lack of janitors cleaning the room and wards.

He also ordered Provincial Engineer Glen Reyes to speed up the repairs being undertaken at the province’s premiere medical facility.

He also told hospital officials to ensure that there are always available medicines and clean bedsheets.

Likewise, Alvarado told newsmen that he had asked Executive Secretary Atty. Paquito Ochoa Jr. for the construction of additional wards and buildings inside the BMC compound.

At present, the BMC has 300 brand new hospital beds. (PNA) 
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House defense committee to review DPWH P352 billion flood control plan

MANILA, Sept. 11 (PNA) -- The House Committee of National Defense and Security will review the P352 billion flood control plan of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to ensure that the projects to be undertaken are based on careful and sound studies.

Rep. Rodolfo Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City), author of House Resolution 2679, said the plan includes 11 projects whose development will take up to the year 2035 to implement and that foreign assisted funds would benefit the country.

"There are some factors to be considered such as changing weather patterns, changing topography of areas due to urbanization and development, forest denudation and even the creation of new employment centers in order to decongest existing urban centers," Biazon said.

Biazon said Metro Manila, including the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Bataan, Zambales, Laguna and Cavite experienced heavy rains that caused massive flooding in many of its towns and cities brought by the southwest monsoon or "Habagat."

Biazon cited a study of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) which showed that a total of 56 cities and municipalities from the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions 3 and 4-A were affected by flooding.

The NDRRMC also reported that as of Aug. 14, 2012, 95 persons were reported dead, 11 persons injured, seven persons missing and a total of 825,018 families or about 3,742,674 individuals were affected in 2,498 barangays located in some 173 municipalities and 36 cities in 16 provinces of regions 1, 3, 4-B and the NCR.

Biazon said an estimated cost of damage to infrastructure is P639 million while that of agriculture is P1.6 billion, for a total of P2.2 billion. (PNA) 
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Good governance takes center stage in Bulacan’s “Singkaban Fiesta 2012”

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 10 (PNA) -- The festive mood that engulfed this historic city when Filipino revolutionaries converged at the Barasoain Church more than a century ago was relived Monday morning with the opening of the “Singkaban Fiesta 2012.”

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the weeklong celebration is a fitting tribute to the patriotism of the Filipino revolutionaries and heroes that courageously convened the Malolos Congress at the historic Barasoain Church ( on September 15,1898) where the Malolos Constitution was drafted that gave credence to the declaration of Philippine Independence, making Malolos the “Cradle of Democracy” in Asia.

Alvarado underlined the efforts of the provincial government of Bulacan in giving the highest quality of public service as he led the formal opening of the Singkaban Fiesta 2012 with the theme “Lalawigang Huwaran ang Pamahalaan, Tahanan ng Dakilang Lahi, Sentro ng Kasaysayan ng Bansa – Bulacan, sa daigdig ay ibandila!”

He said that among the priorities of his administration is to provide health care that is accessible and affordable to all the Bulakenyos.

The additional hospital equipment like CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, 2D echo at mammography will soon to arrive. Our dialysis, oncology and eye center is also being upgraded, he added.

Alvarado said that even though they have a simple celebration this year, the true essence of this festival relating to the promotion of the abundant artistic and cultural heritage of the province was achieved.

Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, for his part, said that the festival also poses a challenge for every Bulakenyo on continuously striving to become outstanding in their endeavors.

After the short ceremony, other activities are held such as the Panaderong Bulakenyo which features pandesal spiced with malunggay leaves, presentation of the candidates of Reyna ng Bulacan, and the float parade of different institutions and companies.

The provincial officials also led the opening of the weeklong exhibits such as Tatak Bulakenyo Trade Exhibit which displays the products of Bulacan including sweets and delicacies, beverages, food, bags, shoes, fashion accessories, handicrafts, woodcrafts and other educational toys; Lakan Sining Exhibit which features Bulakenyos’ masterpieces in visual arts; and the Dakilang Bulakenyo Series: Eusebio “Maestrong Sebio” Roque which features the contributions of Maestrong Sebio in the struggle for Philippine freedom were held.

In the afternoon, the awarding for Bulacan as the Outstanding Local Government Unit (LGU) and Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO) partner in Luzon (for the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar, information dissemination and PAIR Help Desk) and the National TESDA Kabalikat Award was held at the Hiyas Pavillion.

It was followed by a signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the LGUs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that aims to fight against anti-illegal recruitment, anti-trafficking in persons, and child labor (CL). (PNA) 
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Revival of the Pampanga River Control System pushed

STO. TOMAS, Pampanga, Sept. 7 (PNA) -- Provincial fourth district board member Nestor Tolentino has urged the local government units (LGUs) along the river bank to support move on the revival of the Pampanga River Control System (PRCS).

Tolentino said the local leaders can pass a joint resolution or a position paper addressed to Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to be adapted in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan asking the public works department to reactivate the defunct PRCS.

“The governor and the provincial board support any move to revive PRCS”, he said.

Being a former supervising civil engineer of the PRCS when it was still active, Tolentino vouched the capacity of the PRCS to maintain and dredge the river system not only in Pampanga but the whole of Central Luzon.

He said that revival of the agency under the supervision of the DPWH will ensure funding to rehabilitate flood control facilities and also the availability of equipment to maintain the conveyance capacity of river channels.

“The PRCS used to have heavy equipment. This is what we need these days for the maintenance of the water and river channels,“ the board member said.

He said that PRCS will also eliminate finger-pointing when it comes to problem on flooding and obliterate dikes, levees, revetments and slope protection.

“During calamities PRCS will be the sole body responsible to any problem brought about by flooding,” he added.

Likewise, Bulacan governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has been pushing for the revival of the PRCS to address the perennial flood problems in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Alvarado said the PRCS, whose personnel were transferred to the Mt. Pinatubo Commission, used to be in charge of dredging the river systems in Bulacan and Pampanga.

“That is one of the primary reasons why most parts of Central Luzon experience devastating flooding for days after a typhoon,” Alvarado said, adding that most of the rivers and waterways in the region are heavily silted.

Twenty years ago, PRCS used to be an attached agency of the DPWH that is mandated to supervise the rehabilitation and dredging of river channels.

However, during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, different agencies was created that resulted to the duplication of functions which led to the deactivation of PRCS. (PNA) 
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TESDA chief congratulates 2,000 new technical education graduates in Bulacan

BALIWAG, Bulacan, Sept. 6 (PNA) -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva on Wednesday congratulated some 2,000 graduates of the technical education courses in the province.

Villanueva, during the graduation rites held at the Baliwag University here Wednesday afternoon, said the new graduates have increased the manpower resources of the country.

“All of you will go onwards, facing the challenges of life and equipped with skills and talents. Wherever you go, please make sure that you will make our country proud. Congratulations!” he said before the jampacked sports center of the Baliwag University.

He said the provincial graduation, which was dubbed “Big V Day” with the letter “V” symbolizing “victory,” is the fight against poverty.

Likewise, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who was represented by Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio, also congratulated the graduates, calling them as the new heroes of Bulacan.

He said that the quality education like the ones being provided by TESDA is opening many doors of opportunities for young people.

TESDA regional director Teodoro “Ted” Gatchalian said that the new graduates came from different schools accredited by TESDA and affiliated with the Bulacan Association of Technical Schools.

TESDA-Bulacan provincial director Cenon Querubin, on the other hand, said the new graduates finished special vocational courses under the “key employment generation” program like welding, electrical installation maintenance, consumer electronics, commercial cooking, bread and pastry, food and beverages servicing, bartending, housekeeping, massage therapy and beauty and wellness.

The event was also attended by the local officials of the towns of Paombong, Baliwag, San Miguel, Pulilan and San Rafael. (PNA)
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Baldoz lauds local execs for keeping a Bulacan barangay child labor-free

STA. MARIA, Bulacan, Aug. 30 (PNA) -- Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz urged over the weekend officials of the DOLE Regional Office No. 3 to document the anti-child labor good practices of Barangay Pulong-Buhangin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, as she commended the barangay for sustaining its eight year-old anti-child labor program.

Baldoz, who, together with Undersecretary Lourdes Trasmonte, visited Pulong Buhangin in connection with the DOLE's Child Labor-Free Barangay Campaign. She was impressed by the barangay's anti-child labor program that started in 2004, and carried on by whoever holds the reigns of the local government.

"I am very pleased about your constancy. At the same time, I am surprised that Pulong Buhangin's achievements in fighting child labor is not so well-known," said Baldoz in her message during her visit.

"Because of this, I hereby instruct our DOLE officials in Region 3 to document your good practices and to popularize them so that other barangays may emulate and follow Pulong Buhangin's example," she added.

Baldoz recalled that Barangay Pulong Buhangin had a previous high incidence of child labor in the pyrotechnics industry, one of the industries which the province of Bulacan is known for, but it had since achieved the status as a child labor-free barangay. It is one of five barangays in Region 3 included in the DOLE's Child Labor-Free Barangay Campaign. The other barangays are Sisiman in Mariveles, Bataan; San Jose in Dipaculao, Aurora; Pandacaqui in Mexico, Pampanga; and Central in San Miguel, Tarlac.

During the visit, Barangay Captain Buenaventura presented Secretary Baldoz a copy of the Sangguniang Barangay resolution informing the DOLE that Pulong Buhangin is a child labor-free barangay and committing that it will remain so in the years to come.

“I commend Barangay Chairman Buenaventura and his officials. I likewise commend the municipal government of Sta. Maria, led by Mayor Omeng Ramos, and the provincial government of Bulacan, under the helm of Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, for their support to the government's anti-child labor program," Baldoz said, noting that Brgy. Pulong Buhangin has a very active Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) supported by the Sta. Maria Municipal Council for the Protection of Children (MCPC) and the Provincial Committee on Child Labor (PCCL).

Convergence with other government agencies in the national and local level, as well as political will, mark the characteristics of Pulong Buhangin's anti-child labor program and which had enabled it to bring back 700 child laborers and children at risks to school from the hazardous work of pyrotechnics-making.

According to the 2011 Survey on Children of the National Statistics Office, there are about 2.93 million children aged 5 to 17 years in Central Luzon. Of this number, 320,000 are reported to be child laborers. The DOLE, as lead implementing agency of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) has been taking very serious effort and in carrying out measures and strategies in the campaign against child labor involving all stakeholders and partner agencies, especially those from the grassroots level.

“Bulacan is a priority target area of the DOLE’s Child Labor-Free Barangay Campaign. It has still children from the marginalized sector who are very much at risk because they are working in the pyrotechnics industry,” said Baldoz.(PNA)
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AFP inducts 80 “peace ambassadors”

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 26 (PNA) -- The clarion call for a long lasting and people-centered peace in the country has gained more grounds as about 80 people were inducted as peace ambassadors by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as part of the military’s Internal Peace Security Plan (IPSP)-Bayanihan.

In an interview, Philippine Air Force Col. Gerardo M. Zamudio Jr., chief of the Public Affairs Division (0J7) of the AFP, said that the new peace ambassadors will help boost the “people-centered” peace initiatives being propagated by AFP chief of staff General Jessie D. Dellosa through the IPSP-Bayanihan.

The IPSP-Bayanihan is a multi-sectoral campaign that opens up space for the involvement of the Filipino people in defining, shaping and ensuring long lasting peace in the country.

Zamudio said that the peace ambassadors were inducted during a ceremony hosted by the Rotary Club of Camp Aguinaldo with the support of Rotary International District 3780 at the Lapu-Lapu Hall of the AFP Reserve Command in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last Friday.

They were sworn-in by Rear Admiral Miguel Jose S. Rodriguez, deputy chief of staff for civil military office (J7), who represented AFP chief of staff Gen. Dellosa.

“We at the Armed Forces are happy to have you as our new partners. We are also happy to learn that the Rotary’s theme is peace through service and that your participation as peace ambassadors will create wider awareness and understanding on our country’s peace situation,” Dellosa said in his message.

Rodriguez, for his part, called on the new peace ambassadors to stand firm in the responsibility of a peace ambassador such as promoting peace in the communities they serve by being messengers and builders of peace and become the face of the country’s peace program.

Among those who attended and witnessed the induction of the new peace ambassadors include Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan, chief of the AFP Human Rights Office; Col. Isidro Purisima, chief of the research and Doctrine Division (J3), Milet Calingo, peace program officer of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; Governor Penny Policarpio of Rotary International District 3780; Beth Directo, Peace President of the Rotary Club of Camp Aguinaldo and Ernesto A. Alcanzare, lead organizer of the “Yes for Peace—Bayanihan sa Kapayapaan” movement.

Alcanzare said it is high time for the Filipino people to take ownership of the IPSP-Bayanihan, adding that “towards this end, the Yes for Peace movement can serve as an initial step in generating democratic support for it.” (PNA) 
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AFP’s “IPSP-Bayanihan” team holds peace forum at Bulacan State University

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 23 (PNA) -- Representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity and the Yes For Peace-Bayanihan sa Kapayapaan movement have joined hands in promoting the growing clamor for a long lasting peace in the country.

Philippine Air Force Col. Gerardo M. Zamudio Jr., chief of the Public Affairs Division (0J7) of the AFP, said the peace and development forum held at the Valencia Hall of the Bulacan State University (BulSU) Wednesday afternoon aims to fortify the networks and cooperation among different groups, including the academe, in advocating a genuine program for a long lasting peace process.

The forum carries the theme “Peaceful Future for a Well Developed Community.”

Zamudio presented to some 50 members of the Alpha Phi Omega (Epsilon Kappa Chapter) headed by grand chancellor Renz Imond V. Ocay and BulSU students the AFP’s “Internal Peace Security Plan (IPSP)-Bayanihan”, a multi-sectoral campaign that opens up space for the involvement of the Filipino people in defining, shaping, and ensuring long lasting peace in the country.

Zamudio explained that the IPSP acknowledges that the contribution of each and every government agency, civil society organization, and even local community, is vital in ensuring peace and security.

“This military plan for peace is now owned by the Filipino people because we believe that a purely military solution is inadequate in addressing the internal security concern of the nation,” he said.

He added that the quest for long lasting peace in the country is everybody’s concern.

He thanked the Alpha Phi Omega, the PNP and the Yes for Peace-Bayanihan sa Kapayapaan for helping them in spreading the AFP’s IPSP.

He also mentioned that they are fortunate that a big organization like the Yes For Peace-Bayanihan sa Kapayapaan is now working hand-hand with all sectors of society down to the grassroots level.

Ernesto A. Alcanzare, lead organizer of the Yes for Peace-Bayanihan sa Kapayapaan, said if there will be no more conflicts in the country, the government can achieve more in propelling the country to growth and development.

Chief Inspector Wendel Arinas, who represented the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said the issues and concern of the peace process is not only the responsibility of the PNP and the AFP but the general public as well.

“The quest for a long lasting peace in our country is a collective effort where every Filipino has a say and has a big role to do towards achieving it,” Arinas said. (PNA) 
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(UPDATE)Rampaging floods destroy 21 houses in Bulacan 
by Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 8 (PNA) -- Rampaging floodwaters swept at least 21 houses in barangays Poblacion, Paltao, Sto. Cristo and Tabing-Ilog, all in Pulilan town, on Wednesday morning.

A house in Barangay Sto. Cristo here was also destroyed after it was crushed by a giant mango tree that was uprooted by severe flooding that has submerged 33 villages in this capital city since Monday.

Another house was also destroyed by landslide caused by an eroded dike in Barangay Lumang Bayan in Plaridel town.

There were no casualties in the said incidents, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported.

The severe flooding being experienced in many parts of the province also claimed the lives of Anob Langres, a six-month old baby boy in Barangay Look here, and Roy Cailan, 47, a resident of Barangay San Pascual, Obando on Tuesday.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRMC executive director, said both victims drowned after being swept by rampaging floodwaters.

A radio message received at the Bulacan Emergency Response and Rescue Operations Center said that two boys were missing after crossing a swollen creek in Barangay Sapang Dayap, San Ildefonso town Wednesday afternoon.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, boarded a dump truck and led a convoy of trucks carrying relief goods to flood victims in Barangay Antipona, Bocaue and Barangay Bayugo in Meycauayan City.

Alvarado also asked the public to call  044-7910566, the hotline of the Bulacan Emergency Response and Rescue Operations Center for assistance.

Rescue and massive relief operations are still on-going.

Troops from the Philippine Army and the policemen from the Provincial Safety Management Company are also assisting in the relief and rescue operations. (PNA) 
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(Update) Bulacan now under state of calamity; 222 villages flooded
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 8 (PNA) -- Citing that the province has experienced one of the worst flooding in years, the provincial government of Bulacan headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Wednesday declared the entire province under a “state of calamity”.

The declaration was announced by Alvarado on Wednesday morning at the command post of the Bulacan Emergency and Rescue Center as he convened the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC). It was backed up by a resolution from the Sanguniang Panglalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando.

Alvarado, who is the chairman of the PDRRMC, said that the occurrence of southwest monsoon brought intensive rainfall in most parts of the province that caused a minimum of one foot to maximum of nine feet flooding.

He said that as of Tuesday night, at least 222 villages in 18 towns and three cities were submerged under one to five feet of floodwaters.

The severe flooding affected a total of 75,365 families.

The governor said that the calamity caused the evacuation of more than 7,000 families spread in 115 evacuation centers and has caused heavy damage to properties, infrastructure and agriculture in the province, which needs immediate actions.

He said the hardest hit was the town of Obando where all its 11 villages have been submerged under two to five feet of floods for two weeks now.

The capital city of Malolos also absorbed much of the flooding brought by the southwest monsoons.

As of Wednesday morning, the number of villages affected has risen to 33, most of which were submerged under one to three feet of floodwaters.

The towns of Baliwag (24 villages under one to five feet of floods); Calumpit (16 villages under one to four feet); Marilao (14 villages under one to five feet), Paombong (14 villages under one to two feet), Bocaue (12 villages under one to five feet), Bulacan (12 villages under one to five feet) and Hagonoy (11 villages under one to five feet) also bore the brunt of excessive flooding brought by intense rainfall in the past two days.

Other areas affected were Bustos (10 villages under one to three feet), Guiguinto (eight villages under one to two feet), Pulilan (eight villages under one to two feet), Guiguinto (eight villages under one to two feet), San Ildefonso (seven villages under one to four feet), Sta. Miguel (five villages under one to five feet), Balagtas (five villages under one to five feet), San Rafael (four villages under one to two feet), San Jose del Monte City (four villages under one to two feet), Meycauayan City (three villages under one to five feet) and Sta. Maria (two villages under one to two feet).

Alvarado also asked operators of Ipo dam and Bustos dam to momentarily close their spill gates and stop the release of water due to the floods coming from Nueva Ecija and Pampanga that is cascading towards the low-lying towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, which have become the perennial catch basin of backfloods in Bulacan.

“Everything is properly coordinated. We have been constantly monitoring the two dams as well as the water elevation of Angat dam and regularly coordinate with dam officials," he added.

He said they are also keeping a tight watch on the water-carrying capacity of the Angat river, where the release waters of Ipo and Bustos dams flows.

“If the Angat river and Labangan channel can, then it will the time we will allow to release but it should be done gradually,” Alvarado added.

The governor said that health and social welfare workers are now attending to the needs of the flood victims.

He said rescue teams are still on alert as many parts of the province are still heavily flooded.

Relief goods and medicines are also being repacked for distributions to affected families still housed at different evacuation centers.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the water elevation at Angat dam was 209.10 meters, which is nearing its spilling level of 210 meters.

The water elevation at Ipo dam was 100.30 meters, the PDRRMC reported. (PNA) 
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(UPDATE)Torrential rains transform many parts of Bulacan into virtual ” water world”, 59 villages flooded

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug.7 (PNA)--Rampaging floodwaters brought by non-stop torrential rains has transformed large parts of the province into a virtual “water world” with at least 59 villages in five towns and two cities submerged under two to five feet of floods, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported Tuesday morning.

PDRRMC chairman Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has put emergency response and recue teams on 24 hours alert.

Rescue teams were also dispatched to severely flooded areas to evacuate affected residents.

Relief goods and medicines were also being readied and hauled to trucks for immediate delivery to flood victims.

Alvarado, who was personally supervising operations at the PDRRMO command center at the provincial capitol here, said they are closely monitoring the status of Ipo and Bustos dams, both of which have opened two spill gates since Monday night and Tuesday morning.

"The Bustos dam is crucial. If it can withstand the water being released by Ipo dam, the massive flooding in the downstream areas might be avoided," he said.

As of 6:30 Tuesday morning, Ipo dam has released a total of 346 cubic meters per second of water after its spilling level of 101 meters was breached Monday night. The water elevation as of 6:50 am Tuesday was 101.22 meters.

The water elevation at Angat dam as of 8:00am Tuesday was 204.18, still below its spilling level of 210 meters.

Severe flooding has inundated the towns of Obando (all 11 villages under two to five feet of floods), Calumpit (13 villages under one to five feet), Marilao (8 villages under two to five feet), Bocaue (four villages under one-five feet), and Pulilan (three villages under one to five feet).

At least 16 villages in this capital city were inundated by rising floodwaters, stranding and forcing many residents to wade into knee-deep floodwaters.

Major roads in the city have been submerged under 2 to 5 feet of floodwaters rendering some unpassable to light vehicles, initial reports reaching the PDRRMC said.

Liz Mungcal, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, said that some 150 persons or 40 families in Barangay San Pascual, Obando and 20 persons (4 families) in Barangay Catanghalan also in Obando were evacuated to higher grounds due to rising floods.

Residents along swollen rivers were also advised to move to safer grounds as early as Monday afternoon, Mungcal said.

Thousands of motorists were stranded along the southbound and northbound of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) caused by flooding in the areas of Valenzuela City, Marilao and Bocaue. All entry points and service roads are now closed.

McArthur highway in Marilao and Meycauayan town is not passable to light vehicles. (PNA)
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Police rescue 47 human trafficking victims in Tawi-Tawi

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 3 (PNA) – Government authorities have rescued 47 victims of human trafficking and arrested two suspects - a policeman and his wife - on two separate operations in the province of Tawi-Tawi, officials disclosed Friday.

Of the rescued 47 victims, 27 are females, including two minors, and the remaining 20 are males, two of them also minors.

Tawi-Tawi police director Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson said 25 - 20 males and five females - of the total number of victims were intercepted on Tuesday at the port of Bongao town, the capital of Tawi-Tawi province.

The victims had just disembarked from the boat that came from Zamboanga City when they were intercepted by policemen and port officials, Jocson added.

Jocson said the other 22 victims - all females - were rescued on Wednesday at a pension house and at the residence of a policeman also in the municipality of Bongao.

Jocson withheld the name of the arrested policeman and his wife, saying they are still being investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Ailyn Repadas of the Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF) disclosed that some of the rescued female victims are bound for Jordan and Syria.

The VFF is a non-government organization (NGO) established in 1991 and works for the welfare of marginalized migrants, especially those working in the invisible and informal sectors.

The VFF works in issues of domestic work, child labor and human trafficking especially of women and children.

Repadas said the victims were hired as domestic workers in Jordan and Syria with Malaysia as their jump-off point.

The rest of the victims, especially the males, were hired as plantation workers in Malaysia, she said.

The victims are from the provinces of Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, and from as far as Bulacan, Pampanga and Pangasinan, Jocson disclosed. (PNA) 
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2 more die in Bulacan floods; many villages still flooded

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 3 (PNA) -- A six- month old baby boy was swept away by floods in the still severely flooded town of Obando while a teenage boy drowned in a flooded village in Meycauayan City, bringing to four the typhoon-related death toll in the province, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) reported on Friday.

Liz Mungcal, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, identified the latest victims as CJ Carlo Marcos ,6 months old, of Barangay Paliwas, Obando; and Justine Franscisco, 19, resident of Barangay Malhacan, Meycauayan City.

The PDRRMC report said the baby boy fell from a flooded house in Barangay Paliwas and was swept away by strong currents and drowned. On the other hand, Franscisco drowned while swimming in a swollen creek.

Last Tuesday, Efren Salvacion, 41, of Barangay Paco, Obando and Patrick dela Rosa, 12, f Barangay Abangan Sur, Marilao drowned in separate incidents in the flooded towns of Obando and Marilao.

The number of flooded villages in the province also rose to 82 after high tide aggravated the flooding in the coastal towns of Paombong (14 villages), Hagonoy (13 vilages) and Calumpit (16 villages). The other flooded towns are Bulakan (10 villages), Marilao (5 villages) and Meycauayan City (13 villages).

The PDRRMC also reported that six houses in Barangay Masukol, Paombong were destroyed by strong winds and rampaging floods last Wednesday.

All 11 villages in the coastal town of Obando, which the municipal government declared as under a state of calamity last Monday, are still under one to three feet of floodwater.

PDRRMC chairman Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said relief operations are still on-going in the affected areas.

He said the PDRRMC is also monitoring the status at the three big dams -— Angat, Ipo and Bustos -- in Bulacan.

As of 8:00 a.m. Friday, the water elevation at Angat dam was 198. 82 meters, still way below its spilling level of 212 meters while the water level at Ipo dam was 100.41 meters, almost on its spilling level of 100.50 meters. (PNA)
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Two car thieves nabbed while selling stolen van in Bulacan

STA. MARIA, Bulacan, Aug. 2 (PNA) -- Police arrested two alleged car thieves while selling a stolen van in Barangay Poblacion here Tuesday afternoon.

Supt. Lailene Amparo, town police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Ariel Biquiano, 47, a resident of 2000 Almeda Street, Tondo, Manila, and Gilbert Sorillo, 35, a resident of Balintawak, Quezon City.

Amparo said that a concerned citizen reported to the Sta Maria police station that there were two unidentified males offering to sale a suspected carnapped vehicle, a white L-300 Almasora bearing plate number BDL-91, in Barangay Poblacion.

Upon receipt of the report, Amparo said that a police team proceeded to the place, where the suspects were apprehended and the alleged carnapped vehicle recovered.

Investigators disclosed that the vehicle was offered to the informant but when he learned that it was a carnapped vehicle, he did not buy it and instead tipped off the police.

Amparo said that when the informant refused to buy the vehicle, the suspects offered it to one Vicente Villarin, a resident of 51 R. Mercado Street, Barangay Poblacion, Sta. Maria who agreed to purchase the vehicle at P150,000.

She said that while Villarin was on the way to his office to get money, a police team informed him that the Mitsubishi L300 that he was about to buy was a “stolen vehicle.”

The police officers then convinced Villarin to help in setting up an entrapment operation that resulted in the apprehension of the suspects.

The arrested suspects and Villarin were brought to Sta Maria police station for further investigation.

When the suspects were questioned, they admitted that they stole the vehicle while it was parked along Avenida Rizal, Sta Cruz, Manila.

The suspects and the recovered vehicle are presently under the custody of Sta Maria police. (PNA) 
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Typhoon “Gener” ravages farmlands in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 1 (PNA) -- Strong winds and flooding caused by heavy rains spawned by typhoon “Gener” has ravaged many farmlands in the province, destroying agricultural crops estimated to be worth P29.78 million, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported on Wednesday.

Liz Mungcal, executive officer of PDRRMO, said the floods wrought damage to agricultural crops, fisheries and livestock in the towns of Balagtas, Bulakan, Bustos, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Marilao, Pulilan, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael and Malolos City.

She said the total damage in rice crops have reached P24.8 million, while the estimated damage for vegetable crops was pegged at P1.4 million.

The damage on fisheries was estimated at P3.55 million while P6,000 of livestocks were destroyed.

As of 12 noon Wednesday, the PDRRMO reported that 50 villages in the six towns and one city of the province are still flooded.

Hardest hit are the coastal town of Obando, Hagonoy and Calumpit.

At least 11 villages in Obando are submerged under three to five feet of floodwaters while 16 villages in Hagonoy are under one to three feet of floodwater.

In Calumpit, 11 villages are flooded under one to three feet, the PDRRMO report said.

The other areas affected are the towns of Marilao, San Miguel, Sta. Maria and Meycauayan City.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has dispatched relief teams to the affected areas and put emergency teams on 24 hours alert.

He also instructed the Bulacan Emergency Response Center to closely monitor the three big dams in the province -Angat, Ipo and Bustos- as well as the damaged Bulo irrigation dam in San Miguel town where at least 14 villages were hit by flashfloods last Saturday.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the water elevation at Angat dam was 195.26 meters, which is still way below its spilling level of 212 meters. The water elevation at Ipo dam was 100.65 meters. (PNA) 
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Floods hit villages in Bulacan, Ipo, Bustos dams release water

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 30 (PNA) -- Several villages in this province were submerged in floodwaters due to heavy rains brought by tropical storm "Gener".

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said among the villages affected by continuous rains since Sunday night are in the towns of Marilao, Obando and San Miguel.

In Obando town, all roads under water were not passable to all light vehicles while in Marilao, only heavy vehicles can pass through barangays Lias and Ibayo, the PDRRMC said.

Classes in the private and public schools in Obando and Marilao were likewise suspended.

Meanwhile, San Miguel town mayor Roderick Tiongson said although the floods receded in some areas of the municipality, they are still closely monitoring the floodwaters in barangays San Ilog Bulo, Bagong Silang, Salakot and Buga.

"As of now, there is no need to evacuate the residents but we need to be always prepared and ready due to bad weather," Tiongson said.

The 14 villages of this town might be hit by flashfloods anytime due to the damaged Bulo irrigation dam, he said.

The PDRRMC is also closely monitoring the status of Ipo and Bustos dams as authorities began releasing water early Monday after reaching critical levels.

As of 5:00 a.m. Monday, the two gates of Ipo dam were opened by 50 cm. Its water elevation is 100.88 m which has an equivalent discharge of 154.8 cms.

Bustos dam also opened two gates with a total gate opening of six meters. Its water elevation is 17.51 m which has an equivalent discharge of 150 cms.

Residents in low lying areas along the Angat river from Norzagaray to Hagonoy are advised to be alert for possible increase in the water level downstream. (PNA) 
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Bulacan implements province-wide plastic ban

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 25 (PNA) -- This province will finally implement the ordinance prohibiting the use and sale of plastic bags in support to the global environmental campaign on the reduction of non-biodegradable wastes.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has recently signed the implementing rules and regulations of Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-09.

The said ordinance prohibits Bulakenyos from buying, selling and using non-biodegradable plastic bags, styrofoam and other kinds of plastic packaging materials in the 21 towns and three cities of the province.

In addition, burning and disposal of the said materials are also prohibited.

However, oxo biodegradable plastic made from polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene as wrapper of wet goods is an exemption to the law.

Under the said ordinance, violators will face a fine of P3,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months to one year.

Violators who do not have the capacity to pay the fine must serve the community through environment-related services for three months or longer upon the discretion of the court.

All commercial establishments, stores and markets alike will be given 15 days after the posting of the said ordinance to comply to avoid renunciation of their business permits.

The ordinance should be posted near the cashier, check-out counter or in stalls of public markets, malls, talipapa, supermarket, restaurants, fastfoods, retail outlets, schools and other commercial establishments.

With this, the governor has urged the full cooperation of local officials as well as all the Bulakenyos in this campaign.

"We need to work hand-in-hand for our Mother Earth. I do believe that it is not yet late to save our environment. I am asking for the cooperation of all in this province-wide plastic ban campaign," he added. (PNA) 
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19 villages in 2 cities and 3 towns of Bulacan flooded

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 23 (PNA) -- Heavy rains spawned by typhoon “Ferdie” has submerged 19 villages in the cities of Meycauyan and Malolos and in the towns of Obando, Calumpit and Pulilan, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PRRDMC) reported on Monday.

In a report to PDRRMC chairman Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, PDRRMO executive officer Liz Mungcal said that the seven villages in Meycauayan City are under two to three feet of floodwater due to high tide and heavy rains that pelted many parts of the province since Saturday.

Mungcal said nine villages in Obando are under one to two feet of floodwater while four villages in Malolos City are submerged under one feet of water.

Two villages in Calumpit and one in Pulilan are also flooded, she said.

She said Bustos dam continues to release water since Saturday morning.

As of 3 a.m. Monday, Bustos dam has released 90 cubic meters per second of water.

She said that the release is a regular operation at the said dam and poised no immediate threat to residents in the downstream of Angat river.

The governor has advised local government units (LGUs) ”to monitor their area of responsibility (AOR), take appropriate action and report to operation center (OPCEN) any untoward incident.”

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the water elevation at Angat dam is at 190.61 meters, still way below its spilling level of 212 meters. The water elevation at Ipo dam was 100.36 meters (spilling level is 101 meters). (PNA)
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PDEA declares Bulacan Provincial Jail a 'Drug-Free Zone'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 18 (PNA) -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has declared the Bulacan Provincial Jail as a “drug-free zone”.

This was after PDEA men conducted a surprise and thorough inspection of all the prison cells and found not a single evidence of illegal drugs or paraphernalia on Wednesday morning.

Provincial warden Retired Lt. Col. Pepito B. Plamenco said that a joint team of PDEA agents led by regional director Roybell Sanchez and deputy Albert Buenafe and provincial jail guards conducted an early morning search of targeted cells using K-9 narcotics sniffing dogs.

Sanchez lauded the strict security and monitoring inside the Bulacan Provincial Jail, which in the past years have been notoriously known as a penitentiary where prohibited substance like methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" are allegedly being sold.

The “drug-free” atmosphere now prevailing inside the provincial jail was also due to the full cooperation of inmates as well as various anti-drug programs and activities.

Plamenco said that the provincial government headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, through the BPJ, has initiated strict security and monitoring measures to ensure that no illegal drugs of any kind, can be sneaked inside the provincial jail. (PNA)
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Ipo dam releases excess water

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 3 (PNA) -- Heavy rains spawned by low pressure area (LPA) near Ambulong, Batangas have breached Tuesday morning the spilling level of the reservoir of Ipo Dam in Norzagaray town, prompting authorities to release excess water.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said the Ipo Dam has opened two spill gates by 30 centimeters each at 6:45 a.m.

It started releasing water at 48.5 cubic meters per second.

The dam's water level has reached 101.75 meters, past its normal water level of 100.5 meters.

With this, the dam management has alerted the local government units of Norzagaray, San Rafael, Bustos, Baliuag, Plaridel, Angat and Calumpit as the dam continues to release water.

Gov. Wilhelhimo M. Sy-Alvarado said the PDRRMC has been constantly monitoring the status and water elevation of Ipo as well as Angat Dam.

The water level at Angat Dam was recorded at 186.05 meters above sea level on Tuesday morning, still below its 212-meter spilling level.

The governor also said that Liz Mungcal, executive officer of PDRRMC, has coordinated with municipal and city disaster risk reduction councils in the province and other concerned agencies to monitor the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather bulletins, Ipo and Bustos Dams and the suspension of classes.

Meanwhile, classes in all levels at public and private schools in Ubando town were suspended after heavy rains and high tide from Manila Bay flooded several villages. (PNA) 
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Three suspected robbers killed in Bulacan shootout

MANILA, June 23 (PNA) - Three suspected members of highway robbery group were killed alleged shootout with policemen in Barangay Longos, Pulilan, Bulacan late Friday night.

Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez, Jr., Bulacan provincial police director, said the encounter between lawmen and the lawless elements took place around 10:05 p.m.

Prior the shootout, the motorcycle-riding suspects robbed tricycle driver Joey Malabon, 34, of his watch, necklace, and ring worth P8,000 and P1,250 cash while the latter was passing through Barangay Peñabatan at about 8:45 p.m.

Malabon immediately reported the incident to the Bulacan police. Responding lawmen spotted the suspects in Barangay Longos.

Instead of surrendering, the suspects opened fire on the policemen, who immediately returned fire, killing the suspects instantly.

The slain suspects remained unidentified

Police recovered a .38 caliber revolver and two motorcycles at the encounter site.(PNA)
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Rehab of Angat Dam to be finished by 2016

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 21(PNA) -- Barring any hitches, the rehabilitation and retrofitting of the 44- year old Angat Dam will be completed by September 2016.

This was announced by Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) administrator Gerardo A. I. Esquivel during the “Environment Summit” hosted by the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BERO) at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here on Thursday.

Esquivel, who was one of the resource speakers at the summit, discussed the topic “Angat Dam and dike safety study.”

He said that they are now on the bidding process of the project which has an allocation of P5.7 billion.

Esquivel said that he was glad that aside from the support of President Benigno S. Aquino III, he has also secured the full support of Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who has been expressing concern on the structural integrity of the 44-year old rock-built Angat dam in Norzagaray town. According to the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Angat Dam is sitting on the West Marikina fault line.

A recent study of MWSS substantiated the findings of Phivolcs.

Earlier, the MWSS administrator announced that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already approved the said budget and has set the bidding next month.

Esquivel said that he is studying the procurement of a government helicopter that will monitor the condition of the watershed areas in Angat Dam, where most of its forest cover are now getting denuded due to unabated illegal logging activities.

For his part, Governor Alvarado delivered an integrated and comprehensive report on the environment protection program and on the disaster preparedness being undertaken by the provincial government.

He said the provincial government is now pursuing a pro-active approach on disaster risk reduction and management programs and climate change adaptation.

He also said that they are also zeroing on disaster risk reduction preparedness and mitigation as well as programs concerning climate change adaptation.

Alvarado said that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) is now actively engaged in a province-wide information campaign and mobilization of resources.

The governor also said that the environment summit is being done for the youth and for the future of the next generation.

The summit is one of the top programs highlighting the observance of environment month in the province. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos pay tribute to Katipuneros of Kakarong Republic 
By Emil G. Gamos

PANDI, Bulacan, June 16 (PNA)--With a youth model proudly waving a Philippine flag, the provincial government, in cooperation with the municipal government here and the Bulacan State University, on Friday paid tribute to the revolutionary heroes of the Kakarong Republic by planting trees at the “Inang Filipina” shrine in Barangay Real de Kakarong and holding “Kalikasan, Kasaysayan at Kasarinlan” (KKK) on the spot painting contest.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the activities were among of the highlights of the environment month.

At the same time, the governor said the activities aimed to create public awareness on the historic significance of the place, which is the first of the three republics in Bulacan. The other two republics are the Biak-na-Bato Republic in San Miguel and the Malolos Republic in Malolos City.

He said the place is being developed into an eco-heritage park so that students and tourists can enjoy the pristine beauty of Real de Kakarong and at the same time, remind them of the gallantry of Filipino katipunero soldiers headed by the long-haired Filipino revolutionary General Eusebio Roque, also known as “Maestrong Sebio” and “Dimabungo.”

It was in Kakarong de Sili where about 6,000 Katipuneros from various towns of Bulacan, headed by "Maestrong Sebio" that the "Kakarong Republic" was organized shortly after the cry of Balintawak. The fort was attacked and totally destroyed on Jan. 1, 1897 by a large Spanish force, headed by General Olaguer-Feliu. Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar was only a lieutenant at that time and the Battle of Kakarong de Sili was his "baptism of fire".

Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) chief Atty. Rustico “Teddy” de Belen said that they were virtually hitting “two birds with one stone” in developing the “Inang Filipina” shrine into an eco-heritage park.

“We are infusing environment protection and at the same time promoting the historic significance of the Kakarong Republic”, de Belen said.

He said the project was in partnership with the municipal government of Pandi headed by Mayor Enrico Roque and the Bulacan State University led by its President Dr. Mariano C. de Jesus.

He said a historical marker was unveiled by provincial officials, led by Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio.

A commemorative arch will also be built to welcome visitors, de Belen added.

Fernando said that history and environment could not be separated because they were both important in people's lives.

He said the bravery of the katipuneros in Bulacan have contributed greatly into the quest of Philippine independence and sovereignty as a free nation.

De Jesus, for his part, said that they were doing it for the future generation.

“We want to preserve the place so that someday kids will still enjoy the beauty of Real de kakarong and at the same time, remember the heroism of our ancestors,” De Jesus said. (PNA) 
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Sun shines, doves fly as President Aquino leads 114th Philippine Independence Day rites at Barasoain Church
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 12 (PNA) —- As if heralding good omen for the country, the sun was shining brightly amid a cloudy sky while three white doves flew when President Benigno S. Aquino arrived at the patio of the historic Barasoain Church here to lead the commemoration of the 114th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence Tuesday morning.

Loud cheers erupted at the churchyard when the Chief Executive alighted from the presidential limousine and was welcomed with full military honors by Army troopers clad in “rayadillo" uniform of Filipino revolutionary forces.

Together with Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa, Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome, Bulacan 1st Dist. Rep. Maria Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado, Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad, the Chief Executive led the simultaneous raising of the Philippine Flag, followed by the offering of flowers and tribute to the statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic.

In his message, President Aquino recalled the heroism and patriotism of Filipino revolutionaries and the framers of the Malolos Constitution inside the Barasoain Church.

“Ang Pilipinas ay para sa mga Pilipino. Dito sa makasaysayang simbahan ng Barasoain, nagsama-sama ang mga kinatawan ng mga probinsya at hindi nila tayo binigo sa pagtataguyod ng pantay na karapatan sa lahat,” the President said in his opening remarks.

He said that when he became a congressman of Tarlac, he was guided by the events that took place inside the Barasoain church.

He said that the “Tuwid na Daan” policy of his administration was the same principle that reverberated inside the Barasoain Church when the Malolos Congress ratified the Malolos Constitution which gave credence to the declaration of Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

It was also inside the Barasoain church where the First Philippine Republic was inaugurated on January 23, 1899, making the Philippines the cradle of democracy in the continents of Asia and Africa, he said.

The President also briefly mentioned the impeachment trial of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona, saying that the authority of those in power were only loaned by Juan dela Cruz or the Filipino people to them.

“Animo’y hawak nila ang piring ng katarungan. Dapat nating tandaan na ang pagtanghal ng diwa ng demokrasya ay idiniin sa mga lingkod ng bayan sa kapangyarihan ay ipinahiram sa kanila ni Juan dela Cruz. Hindi na natin hahayaang maligwak sa madilim na landas ang ating bansa. Ipagtatangol natin ang katarungang panglahat,” the President said before a jampacked crowd which came as early as 5:00 am and waited for his arrival.

The President said last year, he led the Freedom Day rites in Kawit, Cavite, and now at Barasoain Church. He said that next year, he might do it in Cebu.

“Angkop lang na maramdaman ng bawat Filipino ang tunay na demokrasya at tunay na kaluluwa ng Konstitusyon. Ito ang ipinamana sa atin ng simbahan ng Barasoain. Makakamtan natin ito kung tayo ay laging nagkakaisa, walang kurapsyon, walang nagugutom at may pantay- pantay na karapatan,” the President said.

For his part, Governor Alvarado urged the people to always remember the significance of the three republics -— the Republic of Real de Kakarong in Pandi, the Biak-na- Bato Republic in San Miguel and the Malolos Republic, in heart and in mind in order to preserve the sacrifices of Filipino patriots who shared their wisdom in drafting and ratifying the Malolos Constitution which established the Philippines as the First Democratic Republic in Asia and Africa as well as courage of Filipino revolutionaries who shed blood, sweat and tears in their quest for genuine freedom and sovereignty from foreign rule.

“Sa muling pagtunog ng tambuli, muli nating tanggapin ang tungkulin na ipagtangol ang ating kalayaan dahil ito’y isinulat ng sarili nating dugo,” the governor said.

Alvarado said the Philippine flags will be displayed all year long along major thoroughfares in the province’s 21 towns and three cities to remind us of the heroism of our forebears and to show that Bulacan is home of patriots and noble heroes. (PNA)
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P5.7 B rehab of 43-year old Angat dam to begin soon
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 9 (PNA) —- After 43 years, the rock-built Angat dam will be rehabilitated and strengthened.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Friday said President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered the release of P5.7 billion for the rehabilitation of the more than three decades old Angat dam in Norzagaray town after a technical working team of the Manila Water and Sewerage System (MWSS) finished their six-month study and evaluation of the structural integrity of the dam.

The governor said that, according to MWSS administrator Gerry Esquivel, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already approved the said budget and has set the bidding of the project next month (July) for the three- year rehabilitation of the Angat dam.

Esquivel has earlier echoed the concern of Governor Alvarado that the 43-year old dam is already weak and needs rehabilitation.

He said the MWSS technical working group agreed with the findings of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) that the dam is sitting along the west Marikina fault line and cannot withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Unabated logging and mining activities along the Angat dam watershed area has also compromised the structural integrity of the dam, according to the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society.

Esquivel also said rehabilitation work at Angat dam will not disrupt the delivery of water supply of Metro Manila, which gets its bulk from the dam.

Alvarado thanked President Aquino for allotting funds and ordering the immediate rehabilitation and strengthening of the dam.

He said Phivolcs director Rene Solidum has earlier confirmed that the Marikina fault line is underneath the dam’s reservoir and poses danger to its structural integrity.

Alvarado also reiterated the creation of an integrated management approach on the operation and management of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams which are all nestling in the province of Bulacan.

The governor has also called for a no-nonsense campaign to stop illegal logging and illegal mining activities at the watershed area of the dam. (PNA)
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3 die, 10 hurt at NLEX accident

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 9 (PNA) - Three people died while 10 others were injured in a vehicular accident that occurred on the northbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Barangay Longos, Balagtas, this province, before dawn Saturday.

Chief Insp. Alfonso Cruz, Balagtas police chief, identified the fatalities as Pastora Dulfo, Allen Joseph De Castro, and Victoria Santos, all of Barangay Sto. Cristo, Paombong, Bulacan.

Police said Dulfo died at the Bulacan Provincial Hospital while De Castro and Santos were pronounced dead on arrival at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Malolos City.

Initial investigation showed that the incident occurred at around 2:30 a.m. while the victims were on board a Toyota Granvia Wagon with plate No. RFH-316 and driven by Joel Tobias, 35, of Sitio Ibayo, Barangay Rosario, Paombong.

It was learned that prior to the incident, the victims, all relatives, came from Meycauayan City and where on their way home to Paombong when the rear left tire of the van blew up, causing the driver to lose control and the vehicle to overturn and slam against the concrete barrier along the expressway.

Police said seven of the 10 injured victims were already pronounced out of danger. (PNA)
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President Aquino to lead Independence Day celebration at Barasoain Church 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 8 (PNA) —- Bulakenyos felt a great sense of pride as government officials announced on Friday that no less than President Benigno S. Aquino III will grace the commemoration of the 114th anniversary of Philippine Independence at the historic Barasoain Church here on June 12.

Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno, chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, said that the Chief Executive will lead the simultaneous raising of the Philippine flag at the patio of the Barasoain Church which will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic.

She said that the program will be simple but dignified, starting with the arrival honors for President Aquino at 8:00 a.m.

Diokno made the announcement during the Talakayang Bulakenyo jointly conducted by the Philippines Information Agency (PIA) and the Provincial Public Affairs Office (PPAO) at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center.

She said that this year’s theme “ Kalayaan: Pananagutan ng Bayan para sa Tuwid na Daan” is in line with the administration’s program of good governance and eradication of corrupt practices in government.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that this is the first time that the highest official of the Republic will attend the Independence Day celebration at the historic Barasoain church.

“It’s about time that the historic events and significance of Barasoain church has been recognized. Without Barasoain Church, there will be no ratification and declaration of independence sa Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. It is in this church where the first Constitution was created that gave birth of the democracy in Asia and Africa regions,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado explained that Barasoain Church is among the three historic sites where the simultaneous raising of the national flag will be held on Independence Day.

He praised Malacanang for giving total recognition and importance to the historic events that took place in Malolos at the threshold of Philippine freedom from foreign rule.

Alvarado said they are also pushing that January 23, the anniversary of the First Philippine Republic, be made into a national holiday.

He said that Philippine Flags are now displayed all year long in all parts of the province.

If Baguio was recognized for its Panagbenga flower festival and Pampanga became famous for their colorful lanterns, Bulacan can be acknowledged as the province of Filipino heroes, Alvarado said.

There will also be a job fair and medical services around the compound of Barasoain Church, according to PPAO chief Maricel Santos-Cruz.

More than 500 police and military personnel will be deployed around the historic Barasoain Church on June 12. (PNA)
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Killer of Bulacan couple surrenders to Scout Ranger head

MANILA, June 6 (PNA) - Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Major Harold Cabunoc said that the Scout Ranger trooper, who shot and killed a couple in Barangay Kaypian, Palmera, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan last May 23, has voluntarily surrendered to his commanding officer last week.

Cabunoc said that Pfc. Maximo Pasking was placed under the custody of 1st Scout Ranger Regiment head Col. Abraham Bagasin and strict guard at the unit's base in San Miguel, Bulacan.

The PA spokesperson also said that Bagasin would quickly hand Pasking over to civilian authorities once the latter's arrest warrants were served.

Pasking shot dead couples Vicente and Morena Sinugbuan allegedly after one of the victims attacked him with a knife.

Also injured in the incident were Jennifer Orario and Melanie Queraz. (PNA) 
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CIDG nabs four persons wanted for various child and women abuse cases

MANILA, June 4 (PNA) - Agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested four suspects in various child and women abuse cases during operations in Bulacan, Cebu and Catanduanes provinces last week.

Director Samuel D. Pagdilao, CIDG chief, identified the those arrested as Jun T. Sumbad, Jocylin A. Balunan, Rommel G. Cajuday and Eusebio D. Bronola.

Sumbad was arrested last May 30 by CIDG agents and police units based on an arrest warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando City, La Union for child abuse.

"Arrested accused was brought to the Sta. Maria Police Station, Bulacan Police Provincial Office and will be transported to Regional Intelligence Unit-1, San Fernando City, La Union for documentation prior to turnover to the issuing court," Pagdilao said.

Sumbad is wanted for violation of Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Child Abuse Law of 1992, which punishes sexual abuse of children.

A CIDG team led by Chief Insp. Helson B. Walin and Police Senior Insp. Samson B. Pascual arrested the suspect at about 6:50 a.m. at the corner of Gov. Halili St. and Bulacan St. in Barangay Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

Sumbad is on top of the list of most wanted persons in Region I and carries a reward of P90,000 under Department of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular No. 2010-54.

Also on the same date, CIDG agents based in Cebu nabbed Balunan and Bronola for violation of Article 256 of the Revised Penal Code (Internal Abortion).

The two were apprehended by CIDG operatives led by Chief Insp. Fermin D. Armendarez III in an entrapment operation in Barangay T. Padilla, Cebu City, following several reports on the group's illegal activities.

Seized from the suspects were various materials used for abortion, marked money and a mobile phone.

Based on initial investigation, Balunan was identified as the leader of the group, which also includes Dinah Sapra, Badak Ilasin, Rona Capas, and a certain Imok and Loloy who are still at-large.

In Catanduanes, Pagdilao said the CIDG arrested Cajuday on account of an arrest warrant issued by the Virac RTC for violation of Republic Act No. 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.

The suspect was arrested by a CIDG team led by Senior Insp. Elmer Galan at about 10:30 a.m. in Barangay Sto. Nino, Virac, Catanduanes last May 29.

Cajuday has three pending cases for rape filed before the Virac court.

Pagdilao said the arrest of the four suspects in child abuse, abortion and rape is part of the CIDG's campaign to protect the welfare of children and women in the country.

The operation against the suspects are part of the CIDG's campaign against most wanted persons dubbed "Oplan Pagtugis" -- a flagship project aligned with the Philippine National Police's 10-point action plan to reform the entire police community as outlined by PNP chief Director-General Nicanor A. Bartolome.

The action plan includes reforms, performance audits, skills development, increased visibility, human rights awareness, accounting of wanted persons, transactional transparency, improvement of discipline and welfare projects. (PNA)
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New barangay roads to spur growth in Bulacan

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, June 3 (PNA) - Citing that good roads are vital to growth and development, the municipal government here led by Mayor Romy Castro opened five new concrete roads and a day care center on Friday.

Castro, together with Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and 2nd district Rep. Pedro Panco, led the ceremonial cutting of ribbons in the opening of the newly-constructed village roads and a day care center in Barangay Burol 1st, Barangay Burol 2nd, Northville in Barangay Santol and Sitio Florante (Sulok) in Barangay Panginay.

Castro said Balagtas is fast becoming a hub of growth and development, now that a new expressway of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) has linked the booming town to the towns of Bustos, Plaridel, Baliwag and San Rafael.

He said the road projects and the day care center in Barangay Panginay were constructed with the help of Gov. Alvarado and Rep. Pancho.

Alvarado said more roads are being rehabilitated in many parts of the province.

He said many foreign investors are now eyeing Bulacan to put their business ventures because of the well paved roads and its proximity to Metro Manila and other growth areas in Central Luzon.(PNA) 
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Bulacan to hold various activities for Environment Month

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 1 (PNA) –- The provincial government, through Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), has lined up various activities to create awareness on the protection and conservation of the environment.

The initiative is in line with the celebration of the Environment Month this June.

With this year’s theme: “Linangin ang Kakayahan, Kalingain ang Kalikasan para sa Kinabukasan”, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the “Buwan ng Kapaligiran” will kick off on June 4 with a groundbreaking of Bulacan Ecology Center at the Bulacan Medical Center.

This will be followed by a short program during the Monday’s flag raising ceremony at the Bulacan Capitol Gym in this city.

The governor said livelihood and solid waste management program such as BENRO’s Eco-Trike project will also be launched and the turn-over of classroom chairs out of recovered logs.

On June 15, a groundbreaking of historical marker at the Real De Kakarong, Pandi town will be held to promote and protect eco-tourism areas in the province.

The event will also be highlighted with the Kalikasan, Kasaysayan at Kasarinlan (KKK) painting contest and tree-planting activity.

The BENRO will also conduct an environmental summit on June 21 at the Bulacan Hiyas Pavilion which aims to involve each Bulakenyo in its fight against climate change.

The summit will be participated in by various sectors from the academe, big industries, local government units, House of Representatives and environment officials.

A basic training on environmental law enforcement is slated on June 26 to strengthen the capabilities of municipal and city ENROs and environmental law enforcers on basic law enforcement.

On June 29, there will be a launching of Collaborative Governance of Urbanizing Watersheds, an integrated research, institution and capacity building for sustainability and climate risk adaptation in Angat River Basin.

The local officials have vowed for a year-round effort of imparting the importance of conserving, protecting and managing the environment. (PNA) 
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Bulakenyos pay tribute to Philippine flag

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan , May 28 (PNA) -— When it comes to paying tribute to the Philippine flag, Bulakenyos have their own patriotic way of showing it.

Young students from the Barasoain Kalinangan theatrical group depicted the history of Philippine flags from the first flags of the Katipunan to the ones used by Gen. Gregorio del Pilar.

From there, the students moved on to the portrayal of the the black flag with a white skull and crossbones of Gen. Mariano Llanera, to the present Philippine flag that Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo first unfurled in Alapan, Imus, Cavite.

Then on to May 28, 1898 after Filipino revolutionary troops emerged victorious in a fiercely fought battle with Spanish military forces.

It was also the same flag that Aguinaldo raised in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

They performed the play was performed after officials headed by Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and Secretary Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education Skills Development Authority.

They raised a giant Philippine Flag in front of the provincial capitol during the commemoration of National Flag Day Monday.

The officials and other guests also offered a wreath of flowers at the statue of the young Bulakenyo Gen. Gregorio del Pilar.

Alvarado encouraged Bulakenyos and the Filipino people to always rally behind and respect the flag in spirit, thoughts and in deeds.

He said the piece of cloth flying proudly in the air is sacred and symbolizes the hardship and sacrifices of Filipino patriots and revolutionaries who spilt blood, sweat and tears.

Sy-Alvarado said: "Our flag is not just a piece of cloth which played along with air like a kite. Every color and symbol of our flag possess significant historical events and characters."

He said the Philippine flag will be displayed year-round in major thoroughfares of Bulacan's 21 towns and three cities to show the province is the home of noble heroes.

He said it is a great honor that Bulacan is included in the eight rays of the sun symbolizing the eight provinces that first revolted against Spanish colonial rule.

Vice Gov. Fernando, for his part, said the Philippine flag cannot stand or fly high without a sturdy pole which he described as the Filipino people.

Villanueva said he has been in government service for more than 11 years and this is the first time he attended a special flag raising ceremony in his home province.

“It is also my first time to speak in front of the capitol, under our flag, to tell you that I am proud to be a Bulakenyo and a true blooded Filipino,” Villanueva said. (PNA) 
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Malolos bishop to pray for senator-judges in the impeachment trial of CJ Corona

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 26 (PNA) — Diocese of Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said he will deliver a homily on Sunday asking the faithful to pray for the senator-judges in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona so that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit in rendering their verdict.

Bishop Oliveros made the announcement during the monthly press conference with Bulacan-based journalists at the Bishop Residence at the Basilica Minore (Malolos Cathedral) here Saturday morning.

“We will ask God to give our honorable senators the gift of discerning, through the Holy Spirit, to make a proper and just decision,” Oliveros said, adding that he will deliver the homily during Sunday Mass.

The bishop also took the opportunity to thank the senators for fulfilling their task.

He also hailed Senate President and Impeachment Court Presiding Judge Juan Ponce Enrile for being fair in hearing the facts on the impeachment case against the chief magistrate and for being compassionate on the health condition of Corona.

He also praised the chief justice for appearing on the witness stand.

He also called on the public not to be carried by emotions and partisanship, adding that the Filipino people should seek the truth and respect the verdict of the impeachment court.

“The gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of truth, peace and courage,” Bishop Oliveros said.

The press conference is being held every month through the Committee on Social Communications headed by Rev. Fr. Dars Cabral as part of the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Malolos. (PNA) 
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Establishment of motorcycle toll lanes on all major toll roads proposed

MANILA, May 23 (PNA) -- A lawmaker has proposed the establishment of motorcycle toll lanes or facilities on major toll roads leading to the National Capital Region (NCR) from contiguous provinces to address the growing number of road accidents involving motorcycles.

Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. (1st District, Cagayan) authored House Bill 6136 to ensure protection of all motorists and to provide safe ingress and egress of motorists from the nearby provinces of Mega Manila.

Enrile said workers who live at the fringes of the metropolitan area have long been complaining about high public transportation fares, amid the decline in oil prices.

"With the increase in the circulating population in Metro Manila, public highways and toll ways have also been congested with both private and public vehicles, thus causing traffic in such areas. This led to the proliferation of motorcycles plying along national roads and highways," Enrile said.

Enrile cited data from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) which showed that the number of motorcycles registered for the first three quarters of 2011 went up by 7,096 units to 46,051 from 38,955 units for the same period in 2010.

Enrile said majority of these numbers represent workers residing in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna but are working in the neighboring city center which is Metro Manila. Their recourse is to use motorcycles as their primary means of transport, since these vehicles prove to be easy to maneuver and are fuel-efficient.

"Despite these advantages, the motorcycles are considered one of the high-risk vehicles. In 2011, motorcycle use accounted for 2,788 accidents in the country's major highways and toll roads. This is due to insufficient rules and regulations governing motorcycle use along national roads, highways and toll ways," Enrile said.

Under the measure to be known as the "Motorcycle Toll Lanes Act of 2012," toll lanes which will be designated solely for the use of motorcycles are positioned on the extreme right side of the main toll road for direction of travel.

These lanes shall measure about half the width of a normal lane on the identified toll roads. The motorcycle lanes will be separated from the main lanes by solid white lines along either side, three or more feet from the curb.

The toll gate situated at the extreme right of the toll roads is designated for sole use of motorcycles. Motorcycle operators are prohibited from using the express lanes located on the leftmost toll gates.

Moreover, forgiving roads are provided approximately three to nine meters from the main toll roads and such roads shall be free from roadside hazards such as trees and poles. If it is impossible to remove these hazards, safety barriers shall be installed instead.

Under the bill, the major toll roads leading to the NCR and exiting to Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna are covered under this Act.

Motorcycle units, which have an engine displacement of at least 100-250cc, are likewise covered provided that those with at least an engine displacement of 400cc will only be allowed along the toll roads farther than 100kms from the city of Manila. All motorcycle operators shall submit their motorcycles for registration and inspection. (PNA)
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Scout Ranger trooper kills couple, wounds two others in Bulacan

MANILA, May 23 (PNA) - A Scout Ranger trooper, armed with .45 cal. pistol, fatally shot a couple and wounded two others after he went berserk in Barangay Kaypian, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan before dawn Wednesday.

Supt. Marcos Rivero, San Jose Del Monte City police chief, identified the suspect as Pfc Maximo T. Pasking and the fatalities as couple Vicente and Morena Sinugbuan.

Wounded in the 2 a.m. shooting spree were Jennifer Orario and Melanie Queraz.

Rivero said the violence allegedly stemmed from the couple's failure to settle their balance in buying a gun from the suspect.

Police were still determining what type of firearm Pasking sold to the victim.

Rivero said that the suspect immediately fled the scene after incident.

Appropriate charges are now being prepared against Pasking. (PNA) 
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Bulacan’s “midnight burglar” falls

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 19 (PNA) --A 21-year old man, whom police suspected to be a member of a local “Akyat Bahay” gang that enters houses of prominent families at midnight or in the wee hours of the morning, was arrested after burglarizing the house of the general manager of the Malolos City Water District in Barangay Look here last Friday.

Supt. David N. Poklay, city police chief, identified the arrested suspect as Arvin Mayol, 21, single, jobless, a native of Cebu City, and presently residing in Pinyahan Street, Barangay Look 1st in this city.

Poklay said that at around 6 a.m. Friday, victim Nicasio Reyes, 58, general manager of Malolos City Water District and a resident of Barangay Look 1st here reported a case of robbery that transpired at his residence.

Police investigators said that the suspect gained entry to the victim’s house by destroying the glass window on the third floor.

Once inside, the suspects took a laptop computer, four cellular phones, four wristwatches, assorted set of jewelries, grocery items; and other valuables.

A follow-up investigation conducted by the elements of Malolos City Police Station led to the identification of the suspect.

Subsequently, the suspect was apprehended and the stolen items were all recovered.

The arrested suspect is presently under the custody of Malolos City Police Station while a criminal complaint against him is being prepared for filing in court.(PNA) 
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SMB donates P2M for rehab of Angat Bridge

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 19 (PNA) --Bridging lives.

San Miguel Brewery (SMB), the country’s number one beer maker, has donated P2 million for the rehabilitation of the decades-old Angat bridge and eco-tourism project of the municipal government of Angat town.

SMB President Roberto N. Huang personally handed the P2 millon check to Angat Mayor Gilberto Santos at the office of Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado Friday afternoon.

Huang said that the donation was part of SMB’s commitment to help save the environment under its nationwide “Buhayin ang Kalikasan” environmental program.

The bridge links the poblacion to the vegetable farms along the Angat river where Huang and SMB’s “green army” planted 5,000 bamboo cultivars and mahogany saplings at the riverbank in Barangay Laog last year.

The site was previously devastated by rampant quarrying of gravel and sands in past years.

The site was later abandoned after Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado stopped all illegal quarrying operations in the area when he assumed post as the province’s chief executive on 2010.

It is now being developed into an eco-water park.

The bridge also links Angat to the mountain town of Dona Remedios Trinidad and the nearby municipality of San Rafael.

“The rehabilitation of the bridge will definitely brings more development in the area and will help boost the agriculture and eco-tourism program of the local government,” Huang said.

Sy-Alvarado said that the provincial government would also donate P1 million while the municipal government of Angat add another P1 million for the project.

There is a need to rehabilitate and repair the bridges and roads, especially in the part of Angat, which is now being developed into eco-water park, the governor, who witnessed the handing over of the check, together with Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office chief Rustico “Teddy” de Belen; Enrico Reyes, SMB national human resource manager; Emilie Anne Dumalag, SMB business affairs and communications unit manager and Francis Sison, communication officer of SMB San Fernando, Pampanga Brewery.

Santos said the people of Angat was very grateful to San Miguel Brewery and the provincial government for their support in the rehabilitation of the Angat bridge. (PNA) 
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Brigada Eskwela, campaign vs dengue to be launched in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 18 (PNA) -- The provincial government will launch “Sa Iskul, Ligtas ako sa Dengue: Provincial Anti-Dengue Spraying,” to protect children in schools against the viral disease.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the initiative is also in concurrence with the Department of Education’s (DepEd) launching of Brigada Eskwela 2012, also known as National Schools Maintenance Week, on May 21-26.

The governor said the provincial government has already started the anti-dengue spraying in April.

"We cannot go to all 457 elementary public schools and 80 high schools in the province. That's why we started the anti-dengue spraying last April so that we can finish it before the school year opens," he said.

According to DepEd, clean comfort rooms are their priority for this year.

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro also emphasized in one of his interviews that personal hygiene and sanitation among students will help increase their self-esteem.

Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, provincial public health officer, said that coinciding with the Brigada Eskwela launching is the ceremonial dengue spraying at exactly 7 a.m. in Balagtas Central School.

Currently, the spraying team of the provincial government has already reached half of the target schools under the program. (PNA)
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Bulacan celebrates 'Kneeling Carabao Festival'

PULILAN, Bulacan, May 15 (PNA) -- Hundreds of farmers, together with their kneeling carabaos, participated on Monday in the annual Carabao Festival in this town.

Mayor Vicente Esguerra Sr. said the annual festivity is being celebrated in honor of their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, a farmer.

"This is a thanksgiving activity in honor of San Isidro Labrador for a bountiful harvest in the past year. You can see the carabaos kneeling in front of the church. This is an annual tradition which attracts local and foreign tourists. Thus, we are so proud with our rich historical culture," Esguerra said.

Teresita Tetangco, municipal information officer, said that aside from 700 carabaos with colorful paints, more than 40 floats featured in this year’s celebration.

Other highlight of the festival include the parade of symbolic floats that featured the province’s agriculture and aquaculture products.

"This is indeed a much-awaited festival not only for the local residents in Bulacan but also to the tourists. That’s why we are intensifying the promotion of tourism in the province that would help boost our local economy," Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado.

The event was also made possible with the help of Central Luzon designers group and Bulacan State University artist students who designed and decorated the carabaos and floats in the festival. (PNA)
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Murder raps filed vs Ryan Dominguez, et al
By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, May 15 (PNA) - Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Sr. Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., on Tuesday said that murder charges have been filed against Ryan Dominguez, Mark Mario Lakambakal, and James Jimenez in connection with the brutal murder of witness Alfred Mendiola and two other individuals last May 6.

Ryan is the younger brother of convicted car thieves brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez, who were also accused of killing car trader Emerson Lozano in January 2011.

Cerbo said that charges have been formally filed before the Department of Justice around 7:40 p.m. Monday.

Cerbo said that criminal raps have been filed against the suspects after ballistic tests on the .45 caliber slugs recovered from the body of Eriberto Jumaquio matched the weapons recovered from the two's possession in Malolos, Bulacan last May 8.

Jumaquio, Mark Herrera and Mendiola were found hogtied and shot in the head with a .45 caliber pistol at Barangay Salawag, Dasmarinas, Cavite last May 6.

Aside from murder, the suspects are also facing criminal charges for illegal possession of two cal.45 pistols, two M16 rifles and two handgrenadesl dangerous drug use and possession of about 5.714 grams and 5.23 grams of shabu; car theft; and violation of Anti Fencing Law. (PNA) 
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Pagdilao to CIDG: Solve quickly killing of Bulacan agent

MANILA, May 14 (PNA) - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Director Samuel Pagdilao, Jr. has directed its Central Luzon unit to immediately solve the killing of a CIDG member in Bulacan.

The agent was gunned down by motorcycle-riding suspects inside a subdivision in San Rafael town last May 13.

Pagdilao said PO3 Rafael Bartolome, 46, of Lumang Bayan, Plaridel, and a member of Bulacan CIDG, was shot dead by two unidentified suspects on board a motorcycle in Lapid’s Ville Subdivision, Barangay Tambubong, San Rafael town.

Pagdilao directed Region 3 CIDG chief, Sr. Supt. Rudy Lacadin and Bulacan CIDG head Chief Insp. Monico Cadayona to immediately identify gun-for-hire groups based in Central Luzon with emphasis on armed riding tandems who may be behind the killing of Bartolome.

He also ordered the CIDG in Region 3 to mobilize their community volunteers, the Community Investigative Support to help in gathering more information and possible witnesses and evidence that will link the suspects to the killing of Bartolome.

Initial investigation disclosed Bartolome sustained multiple gunshot wounds from a caliber .45 pistol.

Prior to his killing, Bartolome visited the house of a certain Marife De Vera in Lapid’s Ville Subdivision where he had early dinner with the latter.

Reports also said that while eating, the victim received a phone call and afterwards hurriedly left, boarded his owner-type jeep and promised De Vera to return for the interrupted dinner.

Witnesses disclosed that when the victim’s owner type jeep reached the main gate of the subdivision, he alighted from his vehicle.

At that instance the suspects, on board a motorcycle, shot Bartolome twice in the head. (PNA) 
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PNP links Ryan Dominguez, three companions for killing Mendiola, two others
By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, May 11 (PNA) - The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said that more evidences have been uncovered to implicate Ryan Dominguez and his companions in the brutal murder of witness Alfred Mendiola and his two companions, whose bodies were found in Barangay Salawag, Dasmarinas City, Cavite last May 6.

PNP spokesperson Sr. Supt. Generoso Cerbo, Jr. said the spent shells found at the crime scene in Cavite matched the groove of the two .45 caliber pistols recovered from Dominguez and James Jimenez during a raid in Bulacan.

Forensic investigators also found that the two cal.45 slugs extracted from the body of Eriberto Jumaquio, one of the two companions of Mendiola, also matched the two .45 cal. pistols recovered from Dominguez and Jimenez.

Upon their arrest for weapons and drug possession, suspects Dominguez, Jimenez, Roy Blanco and Mark Mario Lakambakal were all tested positive for drug use.

Cerbo said that the four suspects were now facing criminal charges for illegal possession of two cal.45 pistols, two M16 rifles and two hand grenades; drug use; and illegal possession of about 5.714 grams and 5.23 grams of shabu; and car theft for stealing Toyota Innova (ZCJ-171), and violation of PD 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law).

Because of the physical evidence linking the suspects to the killing of Mendiola, Herrerra and Jumaquio, investigators are also preparing to charged the suspects with multiple murder. (PNA)
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Two robbers killed in Bulacan clash

BOCAUE, Bulacan, May 10 (PNA) -- Two suspected members of a robbery holdup gang were killed after trading shots with lawmen in Barangay Batia here Wednesday afternoon.

Supt. Diosdado Iniego, Bocaue police chief, said suspects have earlier robbed Joel del Rosario, 23, a collection agent of Lending 5 Incorporated, married, a resident of Block 25 Lot 8, North Ville 5, Barangay Batia here.

Iniego said the victim was on board his service motorcycle, a gray Honda Wave bearing plate number 7140 PA, collecting money from his clients when two unidentified men armed with a shotgun and a caliber .38 revolver approached him and at gun point declared the hold up.

He said the suspects then took a black and gray bag containing the money that the victim had collected and his service motorcycle.

The suspects then fled going towards the direction of Purok 4, Rodriguez Street in Barangay Batia.

A surveillance team of the Provincial Intelligence Branch headed by Supt. Edwin Quilates, who were incidentally in the area to conduct monitoring of criminal groups operating in the municipalities of Marilao and Bocaue, was informed about the incident by the Bocaue police station.

Likewise, the descriptions of the suspects and their vehicles as provided by the victim, were relayed to the surveillance team members.

Quilates said that while the members of the surveillance team were traversing the rough road portion of Rodriguez Street of Barangay Batia, they spotted a motorcycle with two men on board.

As the said motorcycle matched the description provided to them, they flagged it down but the driver suddenly stopped after they (driver and back ride) got off, drew their guns and opened fire.

In the ensuing brief exchange of gun fires, the two armed men sustained gunshot wounds in the different parts of their bodies which resulted to their instantaneous death.

Police recovered a shotgun, one caliber .38 revolver, one motorcycle Honda Wave bearing plate no. 7140 PA, which was believed to be the one taken from the robbery victim, one bag containing more or less P24,000 and assorted documents of the victim.

A follow-up investigation is being conducted by this office for the possible identification of two dead suspects. (PNA) 
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Several carnapped motorcycles recovered in Bulacan

STA. MARIA, Bulacan, May 10 (PNA) -- Several suspected carnapped motorcycles were recovered on Wednesday in San Jose Del Monte City in a follow-up operation conducted by local police after one of three suspects was arrested in a check point Tuesday dawn here.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr. identified the suspect as Christian Marie Alzona, 23, single, tricycle driver and a resident of Block 59, Lot 15, Area 1, Sto. Nino, Sapang Palay, San Jose Del Monte City.

Mendez said that Alzona, together with two other suspects, on board two motorcycles on Tuesday tried to evade a police checkpoint in Barangay Balasing here forcing the lawmen to chase them.

Alzona was arrested after he met an accident while his two cohorts managed to escape. They were identified as Christian Gandia, 32, and Bryan Quinones, 26, both residents of Sapang Palay, San Jose Del Monte City.

Sta. Maria police chief Superintendent Lailani Amparo said Alzona, during an interrogation, admitted that they were responsible for a series of carnapping in the province and revealed the whereabouts of the syndicate's hideout.

Alzona accompanied the Santa Maria police operatives in their hideout in San Jose del Monte City and recovered several motorcycles that include a black Yamaha Mio without license plate number with engine number 1CV-031813 and chassis number PA01CV000B0031942; a black Honda Tmx 150 without license plate with engine number KB509E226424 and chassis number KB509226420; a Yamaha Mio skeleton type with license plate MU-4517 with engine number 5TL-228692 and chassis number MH35TL0036K228678; a blue Yamaha Nouvo without license plate number with engine number 4P3-002948 and chassis number MH34P30015K002971; and a red Rusi motorcycle with license plate 3940XJ and engine number GME150TC88901300.

Julius Guevarra, 30, a resident of Sitio Malawak, Barangay Guyong in Santa Maria town was able to identify his missing Yamaha Mio that was recovered from the suspects’ hideout.

The arrested suspect and the recovered pieces of evidence were placed under the custody of the Santa Maria police station as appropriate criminal complaints were being readied against him. (PNA)
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Bulacan to hold bloodletting activity

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 10 (PNA) – The provincial government is seeking the cooperation of all Bulakenyos to participate in the yearly blood donation, dubbed as "Dugong Alay ng Bulakenyo" on May 14 at the Bulacan capitol gymnasium here.

The activity will be spearheaded by Vice Governor Daniel Fernando.

Fernando said the activity also serves as an encouragement to relive the spirit of volunteerism through blood donation.

He also said the program aims to collect bags of blood to be deposited at the Bulacan Provincial Blood Center (BPBC) but will be utilized by the Bulacan Medical Center to address the need for blood of Bulakenyos.

"This is the second time that we will be conducting such activity. Aside from the capitol employees, we are encouraging everyone to donate blood. The more we get more blood, the more people we could help," the vice governor said. (PNA)
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Bulacan cops seized drugs, high-powered guns in dope den raid

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 9 (PNA) -- Police operatives swooped down a suspected dope den and arrested four men while allegedly having a pot session and seized high powered guns, ammunitions and prohibited drugs in Barangay Caingin here Tuesday morning.

Supt. David N. Poklay, city police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Ryan Dominguez, 20, single, resident of Iba O’ Este, Calumpit town; Mark Mario Lacambakal, 21, single, a native of Iba O’ Este, Calumpit town and is presently residing at No. 1471 A. Mariano Street, Pateros; James Jimenez, 37, a native of General Santos City, presently residing at Imelda Street, Novaliches, Quezon City; and Roy Blanco, 27, driver, a native of Cagayan De Oro City and presently residing at FB De Jesus Subdivision, Novaliches, Quezon City.

Poklay said that a concerned citizen called the Malolos police station and reported that a group of armed men were seen having a pot session inside a house in Barangay Caingin here.

He said that joint operatives of the Malolos Police Station, the Provincial Intelligence Branch headed by Supt. Edwin Quillates and the Bulacan Highway Patrol Team led by Chief Inspector Noel Nunez conducted and stakeout operation and raided the place.

The suspects were surprised and did not resist arrest despite having high powered firearms and ammunitions, including hand grenades, Poklay said.

Police recovered one baby armalite (M16) rifle Colt AR15 with Serial number RP157568; one baby armalite (M16) rifle with defaced Serial number; one caliber .45 pistol with Serial Number 300105; one Armscor caliber .45 pistol with Serial Number 25987; two magazines for caliber .45 pistol; 10 rounds of live ammunitions for caliber .45 pistol; three long magazines for caliber 5.56 rifle; three short magazines for caliber 5.56 rifle; 97 rounds of live ammunitions for caliber 5.56 rifle; two hand grenades; two pieces of plastic sachets containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride also known as “shabu;” dope paraphernalia; one unit of Nissan Navarra pick up; one unit of Toyota Innova; one unit of Subaru Impreza and assorted documents from the suspects.

The confiscated firearms were turned over to the Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office (BPCLO), Bulacan PPO for ballistics examination, macro etching and cross matching.

Poklay said the recovered vehicles were processed by a SOCO team while the personnel of Highway Patrol Team are now thoroughly checking the records of the impounded vehicles to determine if they were stolen.

The arrested suspects are presently under the custody of Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office for proper documentation while appropriate charges will be filed against them. (PNA) 
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CIDG cross-matches items found on Mendiola's van

MANILA, May 9 (PNA) - The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Wednesday said it has started conducting "cross matching" examinations on items recovered from a van rented by slain star witness Alfred Mendiola.

The "cross matching" include the packing tape and spent shell from .45 caliber pistols found on the floor of the Toyota Grandia (TBO-299), CIDG spokesperson Sr. Insp. Don Dixie De Dios said.

The vehicle was found abandoned on a vacant lot along Roxas Blvd. in front of RAF Mansion in Baclaran, Pasay Tuesday.

De Dios said the cross-matching hoped to recover at least fingerprints and forensic materials which could aid investigators in linking Mendiola's murder to the Dominguez car theft syndicate.

He said that the results of the exam would available within two days.

He also clarified that the arrest of Ryan Dominguez, the younger brother of Raymond and Roger, the kingpins of the crime group, had no connection with their investigation.

The CIDG spokesperson also said that Ryan was arrested after concerned individuals told the Malolos police that the latter was seen carrying high-powered firearms alongside with illegal drugs.

Initial reports said Dominguez was caught in a compound in Barangay San Agustin in Malolos City, Bulacan at about 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Dominguez, 20, was with Mark Lacambakal, 21; James Jimenez, 37; and Rey Blanco when he was arrested by lawmen.

Police are also verifying the ownership of the three vehicles found inside the compound, among them a Nissan Navarra (CSJ-33), a black Subaru (ZNX-628) and a Toyota Innova (ZCJ-171). (PNA)
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Two suspected robbers killed in Bulacan encounter with police

MANILA, May 9 (PNA) - Two suspected robbers were shot dead by members of the Bulacan Provincial Police Office following an encounter in Purok 4, Rodriquez St., Barangay Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan Wednesday afternoon.

Recovered from the scene were one 12-gauge shotgun, one .38 caliber revolver, and the suspects' Honda Wave (125-MC) motorcycle.

Initial investigations showed that the suspects refused to halt at police checkpoint that triggered a car chase.

When the suspects were cornered, a brief firefight ensued resulting in the death of the two suspects whom police were still trying to identify as of press time Wednesday. (PNA) 
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Illegally cut logs seized in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, May 8 (PNA) -- Some 72 pieces of illegally cut logs were seized by joint operatives of the anti-illegal task force of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Provincial Environment Protection Task Force at the compound of a hardware and sash factory along Quirino Highway in Barangay Gumaok here Monday afternoon.

A report reaching the office of Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the illegally cut logs, measuring 10 feet long with a thickness of four inches and width of seven to 10 inches, were being unloaded at the compound of Sureluck Wood Enterprise at around 3 p.m. Monday.

Bro. Martin Francisco, chairman of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society (SSMES), said when the government team arrived at the hardware, the men unloading the logs from a truck (with plate number CSL 394) scurried away.

A couple, believed to be the owners, told the DENR team that they did not know that the lumbers were illegally cut.

The lumbers were believed to have come from the watershed areas of General Tinio in Nueva Ecija.

Francisco said unabated illegal logging has denuded huge parts of the rain forest along the watershed areas of Angat and Ipo dams. (PNA) 
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CIDG now conducting backtracking investigation on Alfred Mendiola slay case

MANILA, May 8 (PNA) - The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)announced that it is conducting backtracking investigations on the recent activities of witness Alfred Mendiola who was found dead with two other men at Barangay Salawag, Dasmarinas City, Cavite Sunday morning.

CIDG acting chief Senior Supt. Federico Castro, who is the unit's deputy director for operations, said they are now doing this in order to ascertain the motive behind the killing.

Mendiola, also known as Allan Torres and “Bading”, is one of the members of the Dominguez carjacking group and the star witness in the Venzon Evangelista carnapping and murder cases against a carnapping syndicate led by the Dominguez brothers.

Also found dead besides Mendiola were Eriberto Jumaquio, 53, of Sta Isabel, Malolos, Bulacan, and Mark Angelo Heredia, 27, 500 Rizal St., Paltao, Pulilan, Bulacan.

Jumaquio is the driver of the Toyota Grandia (TBO 299) that Heredia had contracted for Mendiola before they were killed.

The said vehicle was recovered by police this morning in Paranaque area.

Region 4A CIDG chief Senior Supt. Bernabe Balba said that they are looking into vengeance on his testimony against brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez as one of the possible motives and that the killing may have been motivated to silence him from further testifying in court.

Balba said that they are still investigating if the two other victims were just collateral damage.

Backtracking investigation disclosed that Jumaquio was contacted by Herrera through a certain Fernando “Bong” Oreta last May 2 to pick up Mendiola who at that time was in Hermosa, Bataan.

Jumaquio was last contacted by his family on May 5, around 7pm.

Cavite CIDG head Chief Insp. Marlon Santos said that statements taken from Oreta disclosed that he picked up Mendiola, along Herrera and others last April 29, in Calumpit, Bulacan and they went to Palm Garden Resort in Malolos City.

Mendiola’s group checked out of the said resort around noontime of April 30 and then went to Peninsula Resort in Orani, Bataan where they stayed until May 2.

In the afternoon of May 2, the group proceeded to Hermosa, Bataan to attend a fiesta. It was at this time that Oreta contracted the service of Jumaquio.

The CIDG is still looking for more witnesses that may shed light on the circumstances that led to their supposed abduction and the eventual killing of the three victims in Cavite. (PNA) 
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Vehicle of Mendiola’s killers recovered

MANILA, May 8 (PNA) -- A vehicle that was allegedly used by the killers of Alfred Mendiola, a key witness in the case against the Dominguez carjacking gang, was recovered on Tuesday in Baclaran, Pasay City, authorities said.

Southern Police District (SPD) Director Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona said police recovered the Toyota Grandia (TBO-299) was on a vacant lot along Roxas Blvd. in front of RAF Mansion in Baclaran, Pasay.

Estipona added that shells of a cal-.45 pistol and packaging tape were found inside the van.

The said van is registered under the name of a certain Rommel Dela Cruz of Seamans St., Sitio Silangan, Look 2nd Malolos, Bulacan.

Police are inspecting the van for possible additional clues that could help them reconstruct what led to Mendiola's death.

Last Sunday morning, Mendiola was found dead, bound, and gagged together with two other men in Sta. Lucia proper, Brgy. Salawag, Dasmarinas City in Cavite.

Mendiola turned state witness against brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez, leaders of a ruthless carjacking gang linked to the killing of car dealer Venson Evangelista last year. (PNA) 
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Bulacan passes pioneering anti-bullying ordinance

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 2 (PNA) –- Alarming incidents of harassment and bullying by students in schools in the province has prompted the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to pass a pioneering ordinance to address the matter.

The timely measure is known as an “Ordinance Restricting the Prevalence of Harassment and Finger-pointing or ‘Bullying’ and the like in all Schools, either Private or Public, in the Province of Bulacan” as stated under Panlalawigang Kautusan Blg. 2012-06.

A provincial council called “Panlalawigang Konseho sa Pagsasawata sa Bullying” was created to formulate plans and policies, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the said ordinance.

The council is headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado with Bulacan mayors' league president Mayor Donato Marcos of Paombong and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), president of the Provincial League of Barangay Chairmen, BULPRISA, private organizations, religious groups, and PAGE (Philippine Association of Graduate Education) Bulacan chapter as members.

Bullying, is defined as “any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture to put someone in reasonable fear.” It has different forms such as harassment or provocation or the use of foul language, name calling, tormenting or even commenting negatively on someone’s looks, clothes and body, punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, slapping or doing pranks and teasing. It also includes "cyber-bullying" which utilizes technology and electronic services such as mobile phones, computers, internet, and social networking websites.

According to studies, seven out of 10 students are becoming victims of bullying which is found prevalent in the primary and elementary levels. Its negative effect such as fear to classmates and decrease in mental capacity/ ability make it impossible for children being bullied to succeed in academic achievements or studies.

Any school in the province or its officials (principal, administrator, owner or president of private schools), that will defy the provision of the said ordinance will be penalized with a fine of P5,000 and six months of imprisonment.

The Provincial Ordinance was authored by Board Member Therese Cheryll Ople of the First District of Bulacan, and Board Member Mark Jerome Anthony Santiago, the Sangguniang Kabataan provincial federation president. (PNA)
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Two car thieves killed in Bulacan clash

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, April 24 (PNA) - Two suspected motorcycle thieves were killed in a running gun battle with lawmen in Barangay Bagong Silang here early Tuesday morning.

Police said the two slain suspects remain unidentified.

Supt. Julius Ceasar Domingo, town police chief, said that Ernesto So On Jr., 36, married, helper, and a resident of Barangay Parulan here, reported at the Plaridel police station that he was a victim of thieves along the Cagayan Valley Road in Barangay Tabang here.

According to the victim, he was on board his red Yamaha Sniper motorcycle (with plate number 3718-TC) at about 12:20 a.m. when he was blocked by two armed men on board a skeleton type motorcycle (without plate number).

He said the suspects got off their motorcycle and at gunpoint forcibly took his motorcycle before speeding off.

The victim described the driver as medium built and was wearing white long sleeved upper garment and dark short pants while the back rider was wearing a white t-shirt and short pants.

Domingo said a mobile team was dispatched and conducted a follow-up operation accompanied by the victim. Likewise, a flash alarm was relayed to adjacent police stations for the possible apprehension of the suspects.

At about 2 a.m., the police team and the victim chanced upon the two suspects still on board the two motorcycles at Sitio Bagong Sikat, Barangay Tabang.

Noticing the approaching lawmen, the suspects tried to flee by speeding off and opened fire.

Upon reaching Barangay Bagong Silang, the suspects’ motorcycles skidded, forcing them to escape on foot.

The ensuing brief exchanges of gun fires resulted in the killing of the two suspects.

Recovered were the stolen Yamaha Sniper motorcycle; a skeleton type motorcycle without plate number; one caliber .38 Squires Bingham revolver with serial number 955351; and one caliber .38 home-made revolver without serial number.

The cadavers of the two unidentified suspects were brought to the Blue Cross Funeral Parlor in Malolos City for an autopsy. (PNA) 
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Trash drive highlights Earth Day celebration in Baliwag, Bulacan

BALIWAG, Bulacan, April 23 (PNA) - Reuse, reduce, recycle!

This, in a nutshell, was how residents of this booming town celebrated Earth Day on Sunday.

With sacks of plastic bottles and mountains of newspapers in tow, Bulakenyos showed how simple caring for the environment is as they brought their household junks during SM City Baliwag’s “Earth Day Trash to Cash Recycling Market”.

Beverly B. Cruz, public relations officer of SM City-Baliwag, said that almost 500 kilos of accumulated scrap materials, including cartons, papers, soft drink cans, plastic cups and bottles were collected from the Earth Day trash drive last April 20.

A large volume of plastic bottles and paper recyclables was donated by the Montessori School of Malolos in Bulacan.

Cruz said that aside from individuals, the mall is currently collaborating with local academic institutions as well as other business establishments to regularly drop by the waste market and help in the community’s waste management.

She added that the SM Trash to Cash Recycling Market happens every 1st Friday and Saturday of the month in all SM Supermall branches nationwide. (PNA) 
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Unabated mining endangers Angat Dam—Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) - Aside from sitting on an earthquake fault line, the structural integrity of the 44-year-old Angat dam is also being endangered by massive mining activities along the mountains of eastern Bulacan, an environmental watchdog disclosed on Thursday.

The Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society (SSMES) said the Dumagat tribersmen and some residents in far flung mountain villages of nearby Dona Remedios Trinidad are alarmed by the blasting and quarrying of limestone in the mountains, particularly those being heard near the Angat dam.

Bro. Martin Francisco, chairman of SSMES, said that residents and Dumagat tribesmen have also reported the sightings of fissures along the watershed area of Angat dam.

Earlier, some Dumagat tribesmen living at Mount Inuman also showed Francisco and ABS-CBN reporter Julius Babao some fissures or cracks in the mountains which they said is getting bigger and deeper.

He said the Dumagat tribesmen are apprehensive that the cracks might trigger landslides that could wipe-out communities in the areas which could also compromise the structural integrity of the 44 year old Angat dam and nearby Ipo dam, since the country is now experiencing earthquakes.

Francisco also told to Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado that many parts of the Angat and Ipo dams watershed have already been severely denuded.

These dams are nestled along the Marikina west valley fault line, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Siesmology, he added.

Francisco’s revelation came a week after dam experts conducting safety study on the structural integrity of Angat dam recommended the immediate rehabilitation of the 44-year-old dam and its dike after it was found sitting on an earthquake fault line.

Based on the draft final report submitted by John Grimston, Tonkin and Taylor International, the group commissioned by the government to conduct study on the structural integrity of Angat dam in coordination with concerned government line- agencies, it was learned that during construction of Angat dam, a series of fault traces were identified in the foundation of the main dike.

The dam experts said that these faults were understood to have been traced for a distance of approximately 15 kilometer (km) upstream of the dike.

Earlier, the Phivolcs commenced a site-specific seismic hazard assessment for Angat Dam in 2002, but this work was not completed. The report of NGI (2002) summarizes preliminary conclusions presented verbally by the Phivolcs team.

Their opinion was that the Western Marikina Valley Fault (WMVF) should be considered active, and that rupture of the main fault could trigger movement on the splay beneath the dike of approximately 1 – 2 meter horizontal and 0.5 m vertical.

According to the experts, an earthquake on the WMVF could therefore trigger movement on the splay of fault.

Trace mapping undertaken by Phivolcs suggests that the WMVF runs several kilometers to the east of Angat Dam, and that the fault present beneath the dike.

Francisco said that aside from sitting on an earthquake fault line, the unabated mining operations near the Angat dam could also compromise the structural integrity of the dam.

It was almost an entire mountain that vanished when they were mining limestone or marble. The mountain that they destroyed could no longer be brought back and there is a big possibility that it would affect the dam, he said, adding that those mountains that have vanished were natural defense not only for Angat dam but also for the province since they are considered as natural barriers against strong typhoons.

He urged the national government to totally ban mining operations along the mountains near Angat dam and Ipo dam. (PNA) 
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Most wanted person in Bulacan arrested in Ilocos Norte

BATAC CITY, April 18 (PNA) - The most wanted person in Bulacan province was arrested in a police entrapment operation in Barangay Nagpatayan, Batac City, it was learned here Wednesday.

Inspector Jeffrey Taccad, chief of police of Banna town, identified the arrested wanted person as Jayson de Jesus, a native of Camarines Sur but residing in Del Monte, Bulacan.

Taccad said that the suspect was arrested through close coordination between and among police units of Police Regional Office in Region 3 and the Ilocos Norte police provincial office.

It was reported that the suspect is facing a murder case in San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan.

Taccad said that the suspect was immediately turned over to the Bulacan police office. (PNA) 
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Bulacan to enforce provincial tricycle code

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 18 (PNA) --Police and local government units (LGUs) in this province will now strictly implement the “No TODA, No Franchise” policy.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado recently signed and approved Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-01 also known as ”Tricycle Code of Bulacan” which aims to improve the plight of the tricycle drivers in the province.

Alvarado said that this ordinance will also solve the perennial problem of colorum tricycles and foster province-wide unity and cooperation among tricycle operators and drivers in the province.

Through the Tricycle Code of Bulacan, there will only be one ordinance that would be the basis of every town o city in the implementation of law on tricycle. It will also solve the traffic problem brought by some colorum tricycle, the governor said.

The ordinance was authored by board members Enrique Dela Cruz Jr., Therese Cheryll Ople and Felix Ople and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, and was approved on February 7, 2012.

As stated in the ordinance, all tricycles and pedicabs must secure a franchise or permit to operate issued by the city/municipal authority, and must be members of any accredited Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA), otherwise, they will be considered as colorum and would be illegal for them to operate.

Fernando said that the Tricycle Code will cover all motorized and non-motorized three-wheeled vehicles such as tricycles and pedicabs, either private or public plying around the province.

The vice governor said that the ordinance also covered the prescription of fare by the tricycle and pedicab, the discounts for students and senior citizens and the franchise moratorium.

He added that any violation of the provisions of the Bulacan Tricycle Code shall be punished with fines of not less than P5,000 and imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months upon the discretion of the court. (PNA) 
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Bulacan 'carnap king' meted 17 to 30 years of prison term 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 17 (PNA) — It's the end of the road for Raymond Dominguez, who is touted as the “carnap king” of Bulacan.

A Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge on Tuesday sentenced Dominguez and meted 17 to 30 years of imprisonment, his first conviction on more than 10 other similar cases filed and pending in different courts in Bulacan, Pampanga and Metro Manila.

Bulacan RTC Branch 84 Judge Wilfredo Nieves found Dominguez guilty of the complaint of carjacking filed by Dante Escoto, a driver of Crocodile Tape and Co. Inc. who claimed that the convicted leader of the dreaded Dominguez carnapping group, along with two other unidentified suspects, forcibly took from him a black Toyota Fortuner with plate number ZGW-872 on Jan. 14, 2010.

In an 11-page decision promulgated on Tuesday, the court stated that the snatching of the Toyota Fortuner happened in broad daylight in front of the Pot of Gold store along the Mac-Arthur Highway in Barangay Saog in Marilao town.

Escoto parked the vehicle and was inquiring at a car store for the replacement of the matting of his service vehicle when Dominguez and his two cohorts arrived and approached the subject Fortuner.

Record shows Dominguez held Escoto on his collar and guarded him while one of his two companions drove and made a reverse move of the Fortuner.

When the vehicle was ready to move forward, Dominguez pushed Escoto away and later boarded the vehicle which sped off toward Meycauayan City.

Faustino Casilang, 64, a store owner who witnessed the incident, testified in court against Dominguez. He positively identified Dominguez through a police rouge gallery presented by policemen in Marilao.

Judge Nieves gave weight on Casilang’s testimony and the Marilao police's presentation of the pictures of carnapping suspects as the basis of his decision.

“Irrefutably, the Court is persuaded that the prosecution has sufficiently established that the subject carnapping incident of the Toyota Corolla Fortuner with plate no. ZGW-872 on the date and place cited above indeed occurred in broad day light and in the presence of several persons, among whom is Casilang. It was likewise clearly established by prosecution evidence that Escoto was the driver of the Fortuner when it was forcibly taken from him”.

“No proof was elicited by the defense that Casingal was motivated by evil motive or malicious intention to unduly implicate Dominguez as one of the perpetrators of the subject carnapping in order to show that the former is a biased and an unreliable witness”.

Nieves said the defense failed to present evidence to prove Dominguez's claims that he was nowhere in Bulacan during the incident as he would not stay in the province because he is facing other cases in other places, including Metro Manila.

The RTC judge, however, dismissed the robbery charges against Dominguez in the said incident. Escoto complained that the carjacking leader, along with his two companions, also took away a laptop, wrist watch, gold bracelet, necklace and P4,000 cash.

Atty. Jose Cruz, Dominguez's lawyer, said the decision came as a surprise to them but they have to respect how the court analyzed the presented testimonies and evidence.

Cruz said an earlier case of carnapping with homicide at Branch 11 of the Bulacan RTC, as well as illegal possession of firearms also against Dominguez were already dismissed.

He told reporters they will elevate the case before the Court of Appeals.

Cruz said they do not expect Dominguez to be moved in to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City because he has to attend the hearings of other carjacking cases filed against him including that of Venzon Evangelista, a car dealer who was allegedly victimized by the Dominguez group in January last year in Quezon City.

The case is being heard in a court in Quezon City. (PNA) 
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Search for outstanding Bulakenyos is on

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 12 (PNA) –– The provincial government’s search for outstanding Bulakenyos known as ”Gawad Dangal ng Lipi” is now open and accepting nominations.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the annual search will give recognition to today’s modern heroes and outstanding sons and daughters of the province who excel in their fields of expertise such as public service, professional, community service, entrepreneur, education, science and technology, arts and culture, trade and industry, health, agriculture, sports and Bulakenyo expatriate.

The Gawad Dangal ng Lipi will be one of the highlights on the upcoming celebration of Buwan ng Bulacan, popularly known as Singkaban Fiesta.

With this, the governor has encouraged all Bulakenyos to support the said event through submission of nominees from all the municipalities in the province.

Among the previous awardees were Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, former president Corazon Aquino, Virgilio Almario, Joey de Leon, Richard Gomez, Dolphy, Regine Velasquez, Cheche Lazaro, Arnold Clavio, Shirley Halili Cruz, and Arnel T. Papa.

The selection and conferment of the leading Bulakenyo started on 1974, known as the Natatanging Bulakenyo Award.

The Provincial Planning Development Office (PPDO), the awards secretariat, said nominations must be submitted on or before May 15 this year. (PNA) 
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Cigarette butts can damage the environment

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 9 (PNA) - Smoking is dangerous not only to health but also to the environment.

AGHAM partylist Rep. Angelo B. Palmones disclosed to members of the Philippine Science Journalists Association-Bulacan Chapter that a study conducted by researchers of the San Diego State University found damaging effects of cigarette butts on marine life.

Palmones said researchers found that chemicals from one filtered cigarette butt can kill fish living in a one- liter bucket of water.

Another study by Clean Virginia Waterways showed that one cigarette butt in two gallons of water was lethal to water fleas, a tiny crustacean found in fresh water.

He said with these findings the Philippines’ waters could be in danger.

Palmones said the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported last year that 17.3 million Filipinos aged 15 years and above are smokers.

“In most public places, cigarette butts are the most littered item. Probably because most smokers are not aware of the effects to the environment of the butts they throw. It could also be the lack of waste bins,” Palmones added.

He said littered cigarette butts are dumped into streams and waterways when there is heavy rain and flood.

Palmones said studies showed that cigarette filters, the white cotton part called cellulose acetate, is filled with toxin and takes 18 months to 10 years to decompose.

Reports said approximately 4,000 chemicals are present in cigarettes which are breathed out and released in the atmosphere.

Palmones said the Philippine anti smoking law or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 is focused mostly on the health of the public and clean air environment.

“We believe there is a need to revisit the law to address this issue of cigarettes now being considered toxic waste. Perhaps, there is a need to establish new ways on how the prevalent waste should be properly disposed to avoid further danger to our environment,” he added. (PNA) 
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Car thief killed in Bulacan shootout

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, April 8 (PNA) -- Police killed a suspected member of a “Basag Kotse” gang during a shootout along the NIA road in Barangay Borol 2nd here Friday night.

The suspect was identified through his driver's license as Renato Diaz, 52, a resident of San Gabriel, Sta. Maria town.

Police said that at around 7:00 p.m. Friday, one Ronaldo Bayumbon, 43, married, a resident of Barangay Santol here, showed up at the Balagtas Police Station and asked for police assistance.

Bayumbon said his Toyota Corolla car with plate number TGS 463 which he parked near the Balagtas Municipal Building in Barangay Longos, was forcibly opened by an unidentified suspect by breaking its glass window (front passenger side) after which his black bag containing important documents was taken.

Immediately a police team boarded the patrol car together with the victim and chased the fleeing suspect who was on board a white and blue Yamaha X1 motorcycle bearing plate number OI 5805.

With the help of bystanders, the police team was able to get the direction of the suspect who was initially spotted along P. Castro Street in Barangay Borol 1st heading towards the direction of Barangay Borol 2nd.

Upon reaching Barangay Borol 2nd, the suspect turned right towards the direction of Barangay Dalig and headed towards the NIA Road.

Upon reaching the NIA road, the suspect who probably sensed that he was being chased, alighted from his motorcycle, drew a caliber .38 revolver and fired towards the direction of the pursuing PNP personnel, prompting them to retaliate hitting the suspect in the body and in the head that caused his instantaneous death.

A team from the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory Office SOCO processed the scene of the encounter and recovered one caliber 38 (homemade) revolver loaded with three live ammunition and two empty shells, one tea bag of dried marijuana leaves, the stolen black bag with marking GSIS and one Yamaha X1 motorcycle color white and blue bearing plate number OI 5805. (PNA)
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Experts recommend immediate rehab of Angat dam and dike

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 7 (PNA) --—Dam experts conducting safety study on the structural integrity of Angat dam has recommended the immediate rehabilitation of the 44-year old dam and its dike in Norzagaray town after it was found that it was sitting on an earthquake fault line.

The recommendation was made during a powerpoint presentation delivered by officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), headed by Administrator Gerardo A.I. Esquivel, in a recent meeting with provincial officials led by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado at the provincial capitol here.

Dam officials maintain that the main dam and dike are generally in good order from visual inspection.

However, based on the draft final report submitted by John Grimston, Tonkin and Taylor International, the group commissioned by the government to conduct study on the structural integrity of Angat dam in coordination with concerned government line agencies, it was learned that during construction (of Angat dam), a series of fault traces were identified in the foundation of the main dike.

The dam experts said that these faults were understood to have been traced for a distance of approximately 15-kilometer upstream of the dike.

Earlier, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) commenced a site-specific seismic hazard assessment for Angat Dam in 2002, but this work was not completed. The report of NGI (2002) summarizes preliminary conclusions presented verbally by the Phivolcs team.

Their opinion was that the Western Marikina Valley Fault (WMVF) should be considered active, and that rupture of the main fault could trigger movement on the splay beneath the dike of approximately one to two meters horizontal and 0.5 meter vertical.

According to the experts, an earthquake on the Western Marikina Valley Fault could, therefore, trigger movement on the splay of fault trace mapping, undertaken by Phivolcs, suggests that the WMVF runs several kilometers to the east of Angat Dam, and that the fault is present beneath the dike.

On the dam break study, the Grimston, Tonkin and Taylor team submitted main findings and key conclusions, which are summarized as follows: ’the modelling indicates that the dam break flood wave will not only affect the areas near the Angat River, but spread and occupy vast areas well beyond the Angat River channel, and extend both upstream and downstream into the floodplain of the Pampanga River.’

The group also reported that about 20 cities/towns in Bulacan, 7 cities/towns in Pampanga and three cities/towns in Metro Manila would likely be affected by a dam/dike failure scenario.

The map shows that inundation levels can reach as high as 10-30 meters in some areas of Norzagaray, Bustos and Baliuag, Bulacan due to the initial flood wave resulting from breakage. It may reach as high as 5-10 meters in some areas of Pulilan, Plaridel all the way to Calumpit and Malolos City.

It is also estimated that three-five meter flooding will reach areas of Pampanga (due to the Bustos Dam failure) and the flood plain all the way to Metro Manila.

Governor Alvarado said that he would endorse the Phase 2 of the project (detailed design and remediation works)to be implemented at the earliest opportunity after the MWSS administrator informed him that the endorsement of the governor was earnestly needed because it was a requirement prior to the NEDA-ICC approval.

Esquivel also told Alvarado that “considering that the safety of the Angat dam and dike is indeed a national security concern, which needs to be addressed immediately, there is therefore the need to undertake remediation works at the earliest possible time.”

It can be recalled that Alvarado has called the attention of the national government to conduct an immediate study on the structural integrity of Angat dam shortly after he assumed post as governor on 2010.

Alvarado has also proposed the dredging of the dam’s reservoir stating that water holding capacity of the 44 year old dam has been compromised by the heavy silt it accumulated in more than four decades.

Liz Mungcal, executive officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that the provincial government of Bulacan, in coordination with line agencies, are now mapping out emergency action plans as part of the contingency measures on the remediation works at Angat dam and its dike. (PNA) 
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Slippery burglar in Bulacan falls

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 3 (PNA)--Police arrested one of two suspected burglars who robbed two residents in Domsal Subdivision, Barangay Bulihan here on Monday.

Superintendent David N. Poklay, city police chief, identified the arrested suspect as Antonio Alido , 21, jobless, a resident of Barangay San Pedro, Hagonoy town. His cohort is still unidentified.

One of the victims was identified as Nino Ignacio, 33, teacher and a resident of said village.

The victim told investigators that he saw the suspects forcibly enter his house and once inside, they took one unit of Samsung Corby cell phone worth P5,500 and cash amounting to P2,600 after which they (suspects) escaped.

At this juncture, the victim immediately sought the assistance of the personnel of Malolos City police station who conducted an operation that resulted in Alido's arrest.

Poklay said that further investigation showed that at around 3 p.m. of the same day, the suspects also robbed the house of Edith Bautista, a resident of the same subdivision.

The suspects allegedly took the following items: one Nokia 8800 cellular phone worth P66,000; three gold necklaces worth P30,000; two pieces of gold bracelet worth P8,000.; one bangle worth P750,000; three wrist watches worth P16,000; make-up kit worth P3,000; six pairs of gold earrings worth P9,000; and US$ 800; 200 euros, Australian $ 120 and 500 Indian currency.

The arrested suspect is presently detained at the Malolos City Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP) while appropriate criminal complaint is being prepared against him and his cohort (at large) for filing in court. (PNA) 
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SCAN-Pampanga chapter establishes traffic assistance centers

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, April 3 (PNA) -- The Society of Communicators’ and Networkers (SCAN) Pampanga chapter established traffic assistance centers in different entry and exit points in the province to help both private and public motorists for a week-long Holy Week observance.

SCAN is an amateur ham radio group that aims to provide alternative source of information through two radios handled by its members nationwide, particularly in Pampanga.

Daniel “Dan” Ombina, SCAN president in Candaba town, said that at least 10 traffic assistance centers were established all throughout the province.

This activity in being conducted in close coordination with the local police in the different towns in the province.

Ombina said that SCAN has organized several medical groups composed of doctors, nurses and other health related professionals to provide medical attention for motorists needing it.

The traffic assistance centers were established in Arayat, Apalit, San Simon, Mabalacat, Magalang, Lubao, Mexico, City of San Fernando and Angeles City.

It can be recalled that as broadcast in national television, the SCAN during typhoon “Pedring” was the first to conduct rescue operations when the residents in a town in Bulacan were surprised by floodwaters. (PNA) 
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Bulacan bans use of plastic bags

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 31 (PN) --—The provincial government has banned the use and sale of plastic bags in Bulacan.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado recently signed an ordinance which prohibits non-biodegradable plastic bags, styroform and other kinds used as packaging materials in the 21 towns and three cities of Bulacan.

Under the measure, passed by the Sanguniang Panglalawigan early this week, violators will face a P5,000 fine and one year imprisonment.

Alvarado said the ordinance will be immediately enforced after the implementing rules and regulations are issued.

The ordinance was passed six months after Alvarado wrote the provincial board to create a provincial ordinance banning the use and sale of plastic bags in the markets.

The governor added the ordinance will be implemented in the 569 barangays of Bulacan.

Study shows that plastic bags and other plastic products aggravate flooding in many areas.

It is also prohibited to burn plastic materials under the Clean Air Act.

The SM Supermalls in the towns of Baliuag and Marilao are already implementing the “no plastic“ policy and has totally banned the use of plastic bags in their shopping malls. (PNA) 
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Emergency teams, public assistance centers up and ready in Bulacan for Lenten break
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 31 (PNA) — Public assistance centers are now in place in strategic places in the province, assisting motorists and the influx of people coming home to the province this Holy Week.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that emergency teams, police assistance teams and volunteer radio groups are now on 24 hours alert and are ready to respond in any eventuality.

He said that most of the Public Assistance Centers were established in areas where huge crowds were expected to go to witness the different Holy Week traditions in the province.

Alvarado said that police and emergency response teams were also deployed in Barangay Kapitangan in Paombong town where thousands of local and foreign tourists were expected to flock to witness penitents.

Teams were also deployed at the Divine Mercy Shrine and at the Grotto in San Jose del Monte City, which is also a favorite destination during Holy Week.

Alvarado said that he would be making rounds and also visit hospitals to see to it that public assistance centers are well in place and ready.

Meanwhile, at least five penitents will be crucified at high noon on Good Friday in Barangay Kapitangan, a local tourism group announced on Saturday.

Jo Clemente, chairman of the Bulacan Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau (BTCVB), said that the crucifixion site in Barangay Kapitangan had already been spruced up for the bloody Lenten rites.

He said the rehabilitation of the site was meant to improve the facilities of the Sto. Cristo chapel in the said village, which draws huge crowds every year.

He described the bloody Lenten rituals as the only tourism attraction in the province that gained strong following even without promotions.

The Catholic Church has maintained that the reenactment of the passion and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is just a “popularized religiosity.”

Diocese of Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said that Christians were not asked to imitate what Jesus Christ had done more than 2,000 years ago.

“The Lord taught us to come carry our cross daily and follow Him. He did not say come and reenact my crucifixion,” Bishop Oliveros said. (PNA) 
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Three persons died, 17 others hurt in Pampanga road mishap

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, March 29 (PNA) -- Three persons died and 17 others were injured when the vehicle they were riding accidentally hit the slope of a culvert and overturned along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) at the vicinity of Barangay Suclaban, Mexico town on Wednesday night.

In his report here, Supt. Ryan David, chief of police of Mexico, said three of the occupants of a Toyota Hi-Ace van (SKE-112) identified as Neila Bacugan, Fidela Robinson and Diosdado Basuel, were declared dead on arrival at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in San Fernando City.

The injured occupants, on the other hand, were taken to Angeles University Foundation Hospital in Angeles City, Mexico Community Hospital in Mexico town and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital.

They were identified as Barangay Kagawad Romeo Rivera, 38, Romeo Palalon, 44, Mark Anthony Rivera, 11, Ronaldo Geogano, 33, Roberto Andaya, 38, Vicente Ignacio, 68, Teresita Corpuz, 67, Conrado Sabrani, 64, Lorenza Manuel, 77, Cynthia Bungares, 44, Mile Baswelt, Vangie Bacalzo, 69, Felesitas Lota, 77, Eleoteria Agustin, 68, Betty Laude, Florentina Lucasan, 65 and Manolita Bascuel, all residents of Caloocan City.

The report said that the victims left Caloocan City on board Toyota Hi-Ace van but while traveling along NLEX heading southbound direction, the driver Romeo Palalon reportedly lost control of the steering wheel and accidentally hit the slope of a culvert and overturned. It then hit a paper tree on the right embankment of the road until it rested right side down facing northbound direction.

The van was registered to Barangay Bagombong, Caloocan City, the report said.

David said that the van was taken to Pulilan Storage facility in Pulilan, Bulacan while the driver was invited for questioning to Mexico police station.

Charges are being readied against him, the police said. (PNA) 
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Aquino declares April 2 as special non-working day in Bulacan in commemoration of 224th birth anniversary of Francisco 'Balagtas' Baltazar

MANILA, March 28 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared April 2, 2012 which falls on a Monday as a special non-working day in the province of Bulacan in commemoration of the 224th birth anniversary of prominent poet and orator Francisco "Balagtas" Baltazar.

In Proclamation No. 355 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on March 27, the Chief Executive issued the declaration to give the people of Bulacan the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

Known by his pen name Balagtas, Baltazar has been described as the “Prince of Tagalog Poets."

Baltazar was born in Panginay, Bigaa (now Balagtas), Bulacan on April 2, 1788. He was the youngest of the four children of Juan Baltazar, a blacksmith, and Juana de la Cruz.

He worked as a helper in Tondo to support his studies where he met Jose de la Cruz, a prominent poet whose penchant for fighting cocks as payment for his literary works earned him the sobriquet “Huseng Sisiw.”

The popular Filipino debate form Balagtasan was named after Balagtas. He was recognized by the Pahayagang Kastilyano (Spanish publication) and became the front cover for two weeks.

Baltazar is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature. The famous epic, Florante at Laura, is regarded as his defining work. He died on February 20, 1862. (PNA) 
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Eco-heritage park to rise in Bulacan

PANDI, Bulacan, March 27 (PNA) -- An eco-heritage park will soon rise at the Inang Filipina shrine in Real de Cacarong (also known as Kakarong de Sili) here, the fortress of Bulakenyo katipuneros where some 1,200 Filipino revolutionaries valiantly died after the fort was attacked by a large Spanish military forces on January 1, 1897.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said plans are now underway to make the historic site an environment-friendly tourist destination where the people, especially students and nature lover, can commune with nature and at the same time, feel the significance of the place and its role in the nation’s history.

The governor said the town of Pandi, which was historically known for the Real de Cacarong de Sili Shrine or the Inang Filipina Shrine, played a vital and historical role in the fight for Philippine Independence.

“We would like the great province of Bulacan to be known as the home of noble heroes, where the Filipino’s fervent quest for freedom, the three Republics —The Republic of Kakarong de Sili, The Biak-na-Bato Republic and the Malolos Republic, were born,” Alvarado said.

Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) chief Atty. Rustico “Teddy” de Belen said representatives of the provincial government, together with Bulacan State University president Dr. Mariano de Jesus and Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque visited the site on Monday and laid out plans to rehabilitate the place and transform it into an eco-heritage park.

Aside from remembering the heroism of the Filipino revolutionaries, De Belen said people would also appreciate the natural beauty of the place and inculcate into them the need to protect the province's cultural and historical heritages.

He said De Jesus and Roque are now also looking for relics and artifacts from that period so that it can be displayed at a museum that will also be constructed within the Inang Filipina Shrine.

A commemorative arch will also be built to welcome visitors to the historic landmark.

De Belen said once completed, there will educational tours, on-the-spot painting and writing contests so that students will have first-hand accounts on the historical and environmental significance of the place.

Historians said the 'Republic of Real de Kakarong de Sili' of 1896 was one of the first Philippine revolutionary republics established in the country.

It was in Kakarong de Sili, which about 6,000 Katipuneros from various towns of Bulacan headed by General Eusebio Roque, better known as "Maestrong Sebio," last of Filipino generals in the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the Filipino-American War of 1899 that the "Kakarong Republic" was organized shortly after 'The Cry of Balintawak' .

Records of the National Historical Commission, also tells that the 'Kakarong Republic' was the first and truly organized revolutionary government established in the country to overthrow the Spaniards antedating event the famous Malolos Republic and the Biak-na-Bato Republic.

In recognition thereof, these three "republics" established in Bulacan have been incorporated in the seal of the province of Bulacan.

According to available records, including the biography of General Gregorio del Pilar titled "Life and Death of a Boy General" written by Teodoro Kalaw, former director of the National Library, a fort was constructed at Kakarong de Sili that was like a miniature city.

It had streets, an independent police force, a musical band, a factory of falconets, bolos and repair shops for rifles and cartridges.

The 'Kakarong Republic' had a complete set of officials with Canuto Villanueva as supreme chief and 'Maestrong Sebio' as captain-general of the Army.

The fort was attacked and totally destroyed on January 1, 1897 by a large Spanish force headed by General Olaguer-Feliu.

Gen. Gregorio del Pilar was only a lieutenant at that time and 'The Battle of Kakarong de Sili' was his first "baptism of fire". This was where he was first wounded and escaped to nearby Barangay Manatal here. (PNA) 
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TRB braces for the influx of motorists on Holy Week

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, March 26 (PNA) -- Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) executive director Atty. Edmond Reyes, Jr. on Monday warned the motorists plying the North and South Expressways to observe traffic rules especially the speed limits to avoid accidents and/or apprehension.

“Leave earlier than normal, give time allowances for heavier traffic and drive safely within specified speed limits,” Reyes advised the motorists during the on-the-spot inspection at the NLEX on Monday.

In a press briefing at the NLEX District building in Barangay Sta. Rita of this town, Reyes said they expect 10 to 15 percent increase in the number of travelers next week due to the Holy Week and additional national holiday, Araw ng Kagitingan, on April 9.

He said they launched the operation ahead of a very busy travel season to remind the drivers that the expressways are not racing tracks and instead good roads to provide them convenient travels.

“We would like to send them signals that they should strictly follow the speed limits rule because we are serious in instituting safety programs. Violators will surely be apprehended,” Reyes told the media representatives covering the inspection.

He said they are doing this for the benefit of the motorists because their records show that most of the accidents were due to drivers’ error which could have been avoided had they not over speed.

“During this time of homecoming, we wish them happy reunions with their families in their houses rather than in funeral homes,” said Reyes.

He emphasized further that driver’s license is not a right but only a privilege. Those who are given licenses are bound to be responsible not to harm themselves and other people through their reckless driving.

Engineer Gerry Aberilla, vice president for traffic operations of the North Tollways Corporation (NTC), said their company has six state of the art speed guns that monitor the speed of vehicles plying the toll roads.

Besides, there are CCTV cameras installed every two kilometers which are connected to the monitoring station in Balintawak office.

The NLEX patrol officers are deputized to apprehend violators.

Meanwhile, Aberilla announced that they will deploy two layer-ambulant tellers to facilitate faster payment of toll fees.

They will also issue special one-time payment-tickets for those who will travel straight from Balintawak and the Mindanao Avenue entrance to the SCTEX to minimize delay in cuing to pay the toll fees. (PNA) 
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New highways to spur growth of Eastern Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, March 26 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has expressed optimism that the completion of the Plaridel Bypass road and the recent opening of the North Luzon Expressway-Balagtas interchange will not only greatly decongest traffic woes at the busy Sta. Rita Interchange and other major thoroughfares in Plaridel and Pulilan towns but will also open new growth corridors along the towns that it traverses.

“The travel time from the towns of Bustos, Angat, Norzagaray and other parts of eastern Bulacan to Metro Manila will be greatly lessened and it has greatly helped decongest traffic at the Sta. Rita exit of the expressway,” Alvarado said, adding that the new interchange will also play a big role in the economic development in the areas.

The governor noted that major road networks are strategically laid within the center of Bulacan, linking farming towns to growth areas like the cities of Malolos and Meycauayan and also to Metro Manila where travel time has now become more quicker with the opening of the Balagtas interchange in Barangay Burol last week.

He said that the agricultural products in the eastern towns of Bulacan will now have easier time reaching the markets with the completion of major road networks.

Alvarado said that programs are also underway in the construction of new highways that will link Fairview in Quezon City to the city of San Jose del Monte as well as the mountain town of Dona Remedios Trinidad, Norzagaray, San Miguel to the province of Nueva Ecija and Aurora.

He, however, asked the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to see to it that the law is observed to the letter adding that portions of the road networks will traverse some farmlands.

"If the area is irrigated, it is non-negotiable. Environment protection can co-exist with growth and development. It is a case where environment and sustainable development can complement each other,” Alvarado said.

The new bypass road, designed to reduce travel time in the eastern towns of Bulacan by about 20 minutes, comes with an additional 2.4-kilometer access road leading to downtown Plaridel.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson said the entire two-phase project consisted of four contract packages to be built in succession.

Singson said he is looking forward to the early implementation of Contract Packages 3 and 4 under Phase 2 covering a total of 9.96 kilometers from Bustos to San Rafael to be bankrolled by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) president Ramoncito S. Fernandez noted that the Plaridel Bypass Road “manifests public-private partnership (PPP) in action."

“In this PPP, the government provided the road infrastructure while the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) will operate and maintain it as the country’s newest tollway,” Fernandez said. MNTC is a subsidiary of MPTC.

DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, who is overseeing implementation of the project, said implementation of Contract Package 2 is still ongoing. This 7.53-kilometer portion of the projected road infrastructure, which also includes the construction of seven bridges and drainage and slope protection system, traverses Barangay Bulihan in Plaridel towards Bustos town. It is scheduled for completion by February 2013. (PNA)
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Two dopesters fall in Bulacan drug bust

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 25 (PNA) -- A dope peddler landed in jail for the second time for selling prohibited drugs in Barangay Caingion here Saturday night.

Supt. David N. Poklay, city police chief, identified the suspect as Romeo Adriano, 43, single, a construction worker and resident of B52, L36, Northville 8, Barangay Bangkal here.

Poklay said the suspect was arrested after selling two plastic sachets containing suspected “shabu” with actual weights of 0.81 gram and 0.084 gram to a poseur buyer. The estimated street value of the illegal drugs is P1,000.

During the investigation, Poklay said the suspect admitted that he was previously jailed for the same offense.

He said investigators are still conducting deeper investigation to determine if the suspect had involvement in other crimes.

The seized pieces of evidence and Adriano were brought to the Bulacan Police Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory examination and drug test, respectively, Poklay added.

He said appropriate charges are being prepared for filing in court against the suspect.

In a related development, the Provincial Public Safety Company headed by Supt. Fitz A. Macariola arrested a farmer for illegal possession of prohibited drugs.

Macariola identified the suspect as Herminio Dungao, 38, married, farmer and a resident of Barangay Sulivan, Baliwag town.

Four plastic sachets of suspected “shabu” and 10 pieces of P50 bills were seized from the suspect.

The seized pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Police Crime Laboratory Office for examination while appropriate charges are being readied against the suspect. (PNA)
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SP opposes House bill creating new legislative district in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 21 (PNA) - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) here passed a resolution on Tuesday strongly opposing House Bill 5367 filed by 3rd district Rep. Joselito Mendoza redistricting two congressional districts in the province of Bulacan.

In his privilege speech, Board Member Michael Fermin said the bill was filed in Congress without conducting any public consultation, including informing the provincial board.

He said that HB 5376 - “An act reapportioning the composition of the third and fourth legislative districts in the province of Bulacan and thereby creating new legislative districts from such reapportionment” - is a clear case of “gerrymandering” or creation of new districts to favor a particular political agenda.

Fermin said the proposed bill will also affect the districts being represented by board members at the provincial board.

"The proposed bill did not pass through the proper procedure on consultation with the people in the province, Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the provincial government. This threatens to reduce the income, land area and population of the third and fourth districts of the province of Bulacan, a clear violation on the provision of Section 8 of the Local Government Code of 1991,” Fermin said.

Fermin, representing the 1st District, added that under the Local Government Code, any changes in the districts or LGUs shall not reduce the income, population or land area of the LGUs concerned to less than minimum requirements prescribed and income classification of the original LGUs shall not fall below its current income classification prior to division, merger, abolition or creation.

He said that since the bill was introduced in Congress without undergoing proper procedure on public consultation, the SP strongly opposes its passage.

Fermin’s proposal was seconded by board members Eulogio Sarmiento and Therese Cheryl Ople and was unanimously approved during Tuesday's regular session. (PNA) 
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Plaridel Bypass now open to vehicular traffic

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, March 20 (PNA) -- At 1 p.m. Tuesday, motorists from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) going to the towns of Plaridel, Bustos, Baliwag, San Rafael, and farther north to Nueva Ecija can now exit at the newly completed Balagtas interchange and pass through the similarly newly-built 6.87-kilometer road comprising the first portion of the government’s Plaridel Bypass road project.

The new bypass road will reduce travel time in the eastern towns of Bulacan by about 20 minutes. It comes with an additional 2.4 kilometer access road leading to downtown Plaridel.

In a formal ceremony held Tuesday morning at the Balagtas interchange in Barangay Burol here, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson turned over the certificate of completion and transfer of management to Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) president Ramoncito S. Fernandez.

The bypass road manifests the public-private partnership (PPP) in action.

The government built the infrastructure through DPWH while the MNTC will operate and maintain it as the country’s newest tollway.

This is just the Contract Package I of the project composed of the Balagtas interchange, toll gate facilities which include toll gate plaza, toll supervision building, electrical service center, and pump house; and drainage and slope protection structures.

DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, who is overseeing the implementation of the project, said implementation of Contract Package 2 is still ongoing.

This 7.53-kilometer portion of the projected road infrastructure, which also include the construction of seven bridges and drainage and slope protection system, traverses Barangay Bulihan in Plaridel towards Bustos town.

It is expected to be completed in February 2013.

MNTC installed the fixed and non-fixed equipment necessary for the efficient tollway system.

MNTC president Rodrigo E. Franco said the MNTC has allocated P109 million for these equipment, plus P22 million for the operation and maintenance of the Balagtas Interchange and a portion of the bypass road.

When completed, the Plaridel Bypass road will be a 24.61-kilometer tollway branching out from the NLEX main in Burol up to San Rafael town, also in Bulacan.

Local officials headed by Second District Rep. Pedro M. Pancho, and the mayors of Plaridel, Bustos, Balagtas, and San Rafael witnessed the opening and the turnover ceremonies. (PNA) 
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Two suspected motorcycle thieves killed in Bulacan shootout

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 17 (PNA) -- Two suspected motorcycle thieves were killed during a running gun battle with lawmen along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Sumapang Matanda here Friday night.

Supt. David N. Poklay, Malolos City police chief, said that the still unidentified suspects forcibly took a Yamaha Mio Amore motorcycle from Indian trader Rami Alkhadra in Barangay Catmon here.

He said the victim immediately reported the incident at the barangay hall. The barangay officials flashed the report immediately to the police.

Poklay said a police mobile team from the Malolos City police station and a team from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola chased the suspects and spotted them near the transmitter station of Radio Veritas along MacArthur Highway.

Instead of stopping, the duo fired at the pursuing lawmen. The policemen returned fire, resulting in the death of the two suspects.

Police recovered the stolen Yamaha Mio motorcycle with plate No. 6191 IT, a caliber .38 snub nose revolver without serial number, five pieces of live ammunition and one caliber .22 machine pistol without serial number.

Poklay said that a Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team from the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office also found assorted pieces of improvised pick locks, screw driver, vice grip, a green pouch containing a Nokia cellular phone with two SIM cards and a copy of Certificate of Discharge from the Bulacan Provincial Jail in the name of Jeffrey David who was detained for Violation of Republic Act No. 6539 in Criminal Case No. 3198-M-2008.

The bodies of the suspects were brought to a local funeral parlor. (PNA) 
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Gov calls for urgent action to revive heavily-polluted Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river systems

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 15 (PNA) - -The biologically dead and heavily polluted Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river system needs an immediate “shot in arm” to revive it and free residents and fishing villages from the pollution hazards.

This developed as Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado called for an immediate support from the national government regarding the rehabilitation of the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS).

“Everyone is looking up to the north, it is the time to show our region’s development and progress. But how can we fully promote that, if there’s a smudge or a 'blackeye' on its image? We need concrete solutions on how to remove the MMORS on the list of the world’s dirtiest river,” the governor said, adding that the protection of environment and natural resources is one of the seven-point agenda of his administration.

Alvarado, who is also the chairman of the Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development (SCID) of the Regional Development Council (RDC), said that he already gave instructions to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to submit a program proposal, together with its budgetary requirement for the rehabilitation of MMORS during the last SCID-RDC III meeting.

DPWH acting regional director Antonio Molano said that they have already submitted a proposal on the dredging of the MMORS.

He said the project needs a budgetary requirement of P1.9 billion, which will involve the dredging of MMORS of about 43.30 kilometers and dike improvement of about 30 kilometers in length on the assumption that all informal settlers along the riverbank will be relocated.

“It is also worth mentioning that this river system is one of the identified waterways that directly discharge to Manila Bay thus, its rehabilitation or improvement is significant in improving the water quality of the bay, which is the spelled out in the Supreme Court ruling on ‘continuing mandamus,’” the DPWH officer-in-charge said.

Alvarado emphasized the importance for concerned agencies to immediately act upon the matter.

“This project needs a strong political will in order for it to succeed. We also need to put everything in due process, make public consultation and proper information dissemination, particularly in the matter of relocating the settlers within the riverbanks. It is also important to develop a sanitary landfill in Bulacan where the spoils of the dredging will be properly dumped,” Alvarado said.

The governor also disclosed that the construction of a sanitary landfill is crucial for the dredging of the heavily silted and polluted river systems.

He said the spoils of the dredging should be dumped properly to a safe and contained place because the said rivers are tainted with hazardous heavy metals like mercury and arsenic.

The proposal of DPWH will be endorsed by the SCID-RDC III for the allocation of budget from the convergence fund.

The New York-based environmental watchdog “Blacksmith Institute” has tagged the Marilao and Meycauayan rivers as among the “dirty thirty” rivers in the world.

The provincial government and local government units in the area are constantly coordinating with concerned government agencies in a collective bid to revive it. (PNA) 
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Three killed, two hurt in Bulacan road mishap

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, March 9 (PNA) -- A dump truck driver, who was reportedly fleeing a mob after stabbing a man and stoning a five-year-old in Barangay Dampol, Pulilan town, and two others were killed while two others injured when the said speeding truck rammed into a tricycle in Barangay Caniogan here Thursday afternoon.

Police identified the fatalities as Romnick Aguilar, truck driver; Avelino Cartago, tricycle driver and one Ramil Anade. Other details are still not known.

A certain Alfredo Aguilar and Danny Balcemeda, who were both on board an Isuzu forward truck that was chasing the speeding dump truck, were injured after the dump truck sideswiped their vehicle and over turned towards a grassy field.

Witnesses said the escaping truck driver could have gotten away if his speeding vehicle did not ram into the tricycle being driven Cartago.

Because of the very strong impact, the tricycle was thrown several meters away from the site of collision.

Supt. Manuel Santos, town police chief, said the truck driver had just stabbed a man in nearby Barangay Dampol, Pulilan and was fleeing a mob of angry men who was about to lynched him.

Balcemeda, who is undergoing treatment at the Bulacan Medical Center in Malolos City, said the fleeing truck driver also hit a five-year old boy with a rock.

He said they were chasing and trying to overtake the dump truck but the driver sideswiped their vehicle. (PNA) 
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DENR-EMB Region 3 padlocks tire pyrolysis plant in Bulacan

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, March 7 (PNA) -- The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) in Region 3 padlocked on Wednesday a tire pyrolysis plant operated by the Bio-Eco Solution Technology Inc., in Barangay Tabang here for numerous violations of environmental laws.

EMB environment technicians accompanied by EMB regional director Lormelyn Claudio and Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado served a cease and desist order against the owner of Bio-Eco Solution Technology Inc after it was found that its tire pyrolysis plant violated provisions of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System Law (PD 1686); Clean Air Act (RA 8749); Clean Water Act (RA 9275); Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003); and the Toxic, Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Act (RA 6969).

Claudio said their office earlier served a “notice of violation” against John Ang, operations manager of Bio-Eco Solution Technology Inc., for conducting testing operations without securing first the necessary environmental compliance certificate (ECC), permit to operate (POA) and discharge permit (DP,) which is in violation of Section 4 of PD 1686 otherwise known as the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System as well as the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Philippine Clean Air Act and the Philippine Clean Water Act.

Residents in the area complained that the plant continues to operate, emitting obnoxious odor that is posing health hazards to the community's mixed industrial, commercial and residential area.

Claudio, Alvarado and Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) chief Rustico de Belen witnessed the serving of the order which was received by security guard Romeo Francisco in the presence of the company’s legal counsels.

Claudio and Alvarado later posted a notice to the public at steel gate of the plant, stating that the tire pyrolysis plant and its facilities is closed.

“We have explained to the owners that they supposedly should have stopped their testing operations but residents said that they continue to operate.

It is smoking and emitting obnoxious odor until now, Claudio told local newsmen who covered the serving of the cease and desist order.

Alvarado said the provincial government and DENR officials will discuss legal measures to ensure that the plant will not operate again and will enforce a “24/7” monitoring on the padlocked facility.

“We will not allow them. We will pursue their closure until such time that they have safe technology which is not hazardous to environment and one's health," Alvarado said.

Alvarado also ordered the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to check the health condition of residents and the company workers.

The governor also found out that most of the workers came from the same tire pyrolysis plant that the DENR and the provincial government have padlocked earlier in Barangay Pulong Yantok, Angat town.

He told the workers that he will send a medical team to check their health conditions.

Becca Reyes, a resident living near the plant, told Alvarado and Claudio that many residents, mostly children are now suffering skin irritations, asthma and dizziness due to the toxic smokes being emitted by the tire burning facility.

It was learned that the company burns used tires and other materials made of rubber to produce bunker oil.

An EMB team that earlier inspected the plant reported that the processed building is not yet fully enclosed and carbon ashes were noted scattered at the second floor and in the open area of the tire-burning facility. (PNA) 
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Aquino declares April 23 as special non-working day in Plaridel, Bulacan in commemoration of the Battle of Quingua

MANILA, March 7 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared April 23, 2012 which falls on a Monday as a special non-working day in the municipality of Plaridel in Bulacan in commemoration of the Battle of Quingua.

In Proclamation No. 350 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on March 7, the President issued the declaration to give the people of Plaridel the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

The Battle of Quingua was fought on April 23, 1899 in Quingua (now Plaridel, Bulacan) during the Philippine-American War. A reconnaissance mission under Major Franklin Bell was attacked by a strong Filipino force under Gregorio del Pilar.

The battle was one of the most significant victories of the Filipinos during the war. (PNA) 
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Bulacan gov commends police for peace keeping initiatives

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 6 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has commended the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) and the 56th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army for their sound accomplishments in busting crime and internal security operations in the province.

Alvarado made the commendation during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting on Monday, the first to be held this year, at the Balagtas Hall of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

"We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Bulacan PNP for the reduction of crime rate for the year 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. Same goes for the 56th IB of the Philippine Army for their peace keeping initiatives and unwavering support in times of natural disaster ” the governor, who presided the meeting as PPOC chair.

The governor also acknowledged the security plans and programs of the BPPO as well as the “bayanihan” or community outreach programs of the 56th IB headed by Col. Hilario Vicente Lagnada.

He said the provincial government will continue to support programs geared towards the improvement of peacekeeping initiatives.

In his report to the council, Bulacan police director Fernando H. Mendez Jr., has declared the peace and order situation in the province as “generally peaceful.”

Mendez also said that they had lined up several programs that the provincial police office is currently pursuing, among of which includes Implan “PIPS” or Police Integrated Patrol System, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs), One Police Supervisor per Barangay, "Pa-Sine sa Barangay Laban sa Droga" and "Takbo sa Barangay Laban sa Krimen."

He also disclosed that the BPPO is also upgrading the capability of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, conduct of criminal investigation course, personnel to be trained on search, rescue and relief operation and disaster response capability enhancement.

“Peace and order is very vital for growth and development. We have to put everything in order so there can be peace," Alvarado said. (PNA) 
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Bulacan lines up various activities for fire prevention month

MALOLOS CITY, March 6 (PNA) -- Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has mapped out month-long activities and strategies in celebration of Fire Prevention Month.

With the theme “Makiisa, Makialam, Makipagtulungan upang Sunog ay Maiwasan”, the event aims to increase the awareness of Bulakenyos in fire prevention as well as mitigate the 149 fire incidents that happened in the province last year.

Felicisima Mungcal, executive officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the activities for this month include bloodletting drive and fire awareness run that will be participated by policemen, firemen, non-government response teams, military and provincial capitol employees.

Aside from souvenir items for the first 150 participants, trauma kits and other first aid prizes will be given to the winners in the marathon.

There will also be a fire and earthquake drill, a regional activity that will take place at the provincial capitol, Mungcal said.

Aside from seminars on fire prevention and earthquake and emergency and disaster preparedness, she said there will also be trainings for fire suppression and first aid.

Also included in the trainings are disaster management and disaster operations with water search and rescue (WASAR), she added. (PNA) 
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Bulacan remains generally peaceful - police

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 5 (PNA) - Despite the recent spate of murder cases, some committed in broad daylight, Bulacan Police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., on Monday declared that the peace and order situation in the province is “generally peaceful.”

Mendez made the announcement during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting held at the Balagtas Hall of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here Monday morning.

During the meeting, the Bulacan police director made a PowerPoint presentation showing the peace and order situation in the province, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office’s administrative capability, accomplishments, plans and programs and assessments.

Mendez said that from 2010, the crime rate in the province has been sliding down while the accomplishments on crime prevention and neutralization of criminal syndicate and lawless elements have gone up.

A series of killing incidents, most of which happened in broad daylight, has somewhat tainted the peaceful atmosphere in the province, prompting officials to convene the PPOC.

Mendez also lined up several programs that the provincial police office is currently pursuing, which include Implan “PIPS” or Police Integrated Patrol System; Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs), One Police Supervisor per Barangay, Pa-Sine sa Barangay Laban sa Droga and Takbo sa Barangay Laban sa Krimen.

He also told the council presided by PPOC chairman Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the BPPO is also upgrading the capability of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, conduct of criminal investigation course, personnel to be trained on search, rescue and relief operation and disaster response capability enhancement.

He added that they are also planning to repair and convert old buildings at the provincial police headquarters into a multi-purpose building.

Col. Hilario Vicente C. Lagnada, battalion commander of the 56th IB of the Philippine Army, on his part, reported that the effort of leftist insurgents is still focused on their recovery program such as recruitment of new members, training/education of their regular members to enhance their skills and capabilities.

“Furthermore, their activities indicate a possible conduct of tactical offensives considering the fact that they have been outscored by the government troops during recent encounters. It is expected, as in the mindset of the military, that they will conduct liquidation, ambuscades, harassment or any other form of “tactical offensives” just to inflict casualties to any AFP/PNP personnel,” Lagnada said.

During the meeting, Alvarado suggested that the PPOC meet on a quarterly basis.

The governor stressed that the great province of Bulacan is not a place for criminals.

“Peace and order is very vital for growth and development. We have to put everything in order so there can be peace. The cooperation between the LGUs and the law enforcement agencies is vital. We have to always sustain the peace and order situation,” Alvarado added. 
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Cops nab seven car thieves in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, March 2 (PNA) - Police arrested seven suspected members of a car theft gang, including two minors, during an operation in San Francisco Homes Subdivision, Barangay Mulawin here Thursday afternoon.

Police identified the arrested suspects as Sammy Dumlao, 29, single, tricycle driver, native of Cotabato City, and a resident of Francisco Homes Subdivision, Barangay Mulawin, San Jose Del Monte City; Bayan Madrigal, 18, tricycle driver, native of Catbalogan, Samar, resident of Verde Heights Subdivision, Barangay Gaya-gaya, San Jose Del Monte City;

Patrick Braza, 18, jobless, native of Catbalogan, Samar, and resident of Maligaya Park Subdivision, Novaliches, Quezon City; Jonathan Repollo, 18, single, and resident of Maligaya Park Subdivision, Novaliches, Quezon City; Ronald Bautista, 18, single, of Maligaya Park Subdivision, Novaliches, Quezon City; and

“Jeff” (not his real name), 17, native of Negros Occidental, resident of Maligaya Park Subdivision, Novaliches, Quezon City and “Allan” (not his real name), 16, single and resident of Maligaya Park Subdivision, Novaliches, Quezon City.

Supt. Marcos Rivero, city police chief, said that earlier, the San Jose del Monte City Police Station received a report that a suspected stolen tricycle (blue Kawasaki 125 without plate number) was being offered for sale at the said place.

Upon receipt of the information, a team of policemen accompanied by the informant were sent to the place, he added.

When the police team was able to locate the tricycle, they immediately arrested the suspects who admitted that they stole the tricycle while it was parked unattended at Parkland, Camarin, Caloocan City last Feb. 29, around 2:00 a.m.

The registered owner of the vehicle was later identified as Cecilio Paloca.

Rivero said that after undergoing documentation process, the arrested suspects and the confiscated tricycle were turned over to Caloocan Police for proper disposition. (PNA) 
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Police nets 32,389 violators of 'No Helmet, No Ride' policy in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 1 (PNA) -- Police have arrested a total of 32,389 violators of the “No Helmet, No Ride” policy in the province from the period of January 2011 to February 2012.

Authorities made this report during the bi-monthly “Talakayan sa Bulacan” at the Local Governance Center here on Thursday.

Supt. Noli Pacheco, assistant provincial director for administration of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO), said that the violators were apprehended during the conduct of "Oplan: Sita", a police checkpoint operations conducted by the different police stations and the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), under Supt. Fitz Macariola, all over the province.

He said that “Oplan: Sita” is the BPPO’s support to the “No Helmet, No Ride” policy of the provincial government headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando.

Pacheco said the campaign also resulted in the arrest of persons carrying unlicensed firearms and prohibited drugs.

Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio said the provincial government is now strictly enforcing the “No Helmet, No Ride” policy in all thoroughfares in the province to ensure safe ride and travel of motorists.

He said that Governor Alvarado and Vice Governor Fernando have noted that most of the victims who figured in motorcycle accidents were not wearing safety helmets.

Valerio said the provincial government and the Bulacan police continuously urged motorcycle riders to strictly follow the provisions of the implementing rules and regulations of Panlalawigang Kautusan Bilang 03-T’09, which the governor authored and was passed when he was still the vice governor and presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan.

He said the measure is aimed to ensure the safety of motorcycle riders, their passengers and the public as well.

Under the said provincial ordinance, all motorcycle riders, both driver and back rider, are required to wear standard quality protective helmets when using Bulacan roads. Tricycle drivers are not included. (PNA) 
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Bulacan police seize tricycle loaded with hot meat

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 28 (PNA) -- Police seized a tricycle loaded with hot meat in Barangay Muzon here Monday night.

City police head Superintendent Marcos Rivero said a police mobile team were conducting preventive patrol operations when they chanced upon two unidentified suspects who were on board a Kawasaki Barako 175 tricycle with plate no.4918 RT loaded with suspected hot meat.

The police team flagged down the tricycle but instead of stopping, the suspects fled prompting the patrolling elements to chase them until they entered a compound where they abandoned the tricycle and escaped on foot using the back door exit, Rivero said.

The two suspects were later identified as Michael N. Missiona and Evangeline Missiona, both residents of Block 3615, Lot 1F, De Leon Street, Barangay Muzon here.

Rivero said that when the tricycle was inspected, the policemen found several suspected double dead pork on board the abandoned tricycle prompting them to call the attention of the Provincial Veterinary Office and City Meat Inspection Officer, Dr. Lorenzo E. Valeriano.

The veterinary doctors later confirmed that the meat were indeed “botcha” or hot meat, he said.

Police seized 15 pieces of hog meat with an approximate total weight of 1,200 kilos. The seized hot meat were later burned and buried.

Criminal charges for Violation of Para 2B Sec 4 of Provincial Ordinance 08-2011 and Violation of Municipal Ordinance 2002-13-02 were filed against the two suspects. (PNA)
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Five suspected cable wire thieves nabbed in Bulacan

PANDI, Bulacan, Feb. 25 (PNA) -- Police and village watchmen caught five suspected burglars while stealing cable wires of Digitel Telecoms in Barangay Poblacion, early Friday morning.

In a report to Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., Chief Insp. Sabino Vengco III identified the arrested suspects as Randy San Diego, 26, taxi driver and a resident of No. 05 T. Santiago Street, Barangay Lingunan, Valenzuela City; Glen San Diego, 30, a resident of No. 334 T. Santiago Street, Barangay Lingunan, Valenzuela City; Dennis Lutrania, 20, a resident of No. 221 Kadiwa Street, Barangay Malanday, Valenzuela City; Jason Sebastian, 27, a resident of No. 413 Bancal Extension, Meycauayan City and Roberto Geronimo, 23, a resident of No. 290 C. Molina Street, Barangay Bente Reales, Valenzuela City.

Police investigators said that while the barangay tanods of Poblacion were conducting foot patrol, they saw the suspects in the act of cutting Digitel cable wires using a steel saw.

The suspects’ vehicle, a taxi cab (Janice Transport) with plate number TVT-796, was also seen parked near the place.

Vengco said that the barangay tanods immediately reported what they witnessed to the personnel of Pandi police station, who quickly responded that resulted in the arrests of the five suspects.

Confiscated from their possession were Digitel cable wires, measuring to more or less 55 meters and one steel-saw.

A criminal complaint for violation of article 308 of the Revised Penal Code (theft) was filed against the arrested suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. (PNA) 
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Lawyer gunned down in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 16 (PNA) -- A prominent lawyer was killed after six unidentified heavily-armed suspects barged inside his office in Barangay Sampol here and repeatedly shot him to death Wednesday noon.

Police identified the victim as Lawyer Cornelio Cruz, 55, married, a resident of Barangay Sapang Palay in this city and an active member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines–Gat. Marcelo H. Del PIlar (Bulacan) Chapter.

Supt. Marcos Rivero, city police chief, said Cruz was inside his office when six men wearing ski-masks and armed with M-16 Armalite rifle and handguns riddled the victim with bullets.

Witnesses said that after shooting, the suspects fled on board a waiting motorcycle and a van.

Investigators said the killing of Cruz could be “work-related” because the lawyer is handling some controversial cases in this city.

The IBP-Bulacan chapter headed by its president Atty. Cecilio Villanueva issued a statement strongly condemning the brutal, senseless and treacherous killing of one of their respected members.

Villanueva said IBP-Bulacan is calling on the authorities to investigate and immediately apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.

“We condole with the family of our departed member. Rest assured that IBP-Bulacan chapter will help in the quest for justice,” he said.

Former Bulacan Congressman and SJDM City Mayor Angelito Sarmiento also condemned the killing of Cruz and urged all law enforcement agencies to left no stone unturned in their investigation that could lead to the immediate arrest of the suspects. (PNA) 
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Bulacan mayor fears for his safety as tension grips San Miguel town

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, Feb. 16 (PNA) -- Mayor Roderick Tiongson on Thursday expressed fear for his safety after the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) removed one of his police security escorts who is being charged as one of the alleged gunmen of a village chief here.

Tiongson's security escort, along with two San Miguel town policemen allegedly killed two bodyguards of Sta. Inez village chief Bong Alvarez, who was also wounded in an attack at a spa parlor in Barangay San Juan here last week.

At the same time, Tiongson appealed to President Benigno Aquino III, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Nicanor Bartolome to investigate what he called as “shaky situation” in their town after the BPPO sent a police task force and took over the command of the entire police station.

Bulacan Police Director Fernando H. Mendez Jr. has designated Superintendent Adriano Enong as officer-in-charge of the San Miguel police station to oversee the peace and order situation here.

But Tiongson has questioned the move after the OIC police chief allegedly told him that “he is not under the mayor” as he was also heading the police task force investigating the recent ambush of Alvarez, who was hit in the right arm when heavily armed men stormed the Jessica Spa where he was having facial treatment.

Two of Alvarez's bodyguards, identified as Ruel Vidal, 52, of Barangay Tibagan and Josefino Alvarez of Barangay Sta. Ines, were killed due to multiple gunshot wounds.

Tiongson police aide SP02 Angelito Liwag, was brought to the police provincial headquarters and was detained at the holding cell of Camp Gen. Alejo Santos after he was charged with two counts of murder, a case of attempted murder and grave misconduct along with San Miguel policemen PO3 Antonio Timotheo, PO1 Alex Dayao and one “Jane Doe.”

Tiongson claimed that tension is now gripping their town because it now appears that he is also being implicated in the case.

Alvarez said that he was having facial care when he heard gunshots and then he saw that his two bodyguards have fallen.

He said the attackers failed to get inside the parlor after he locked the door but the gunmen opened fire hitting him in the right arm before escaping. (PNA) 
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Probers dig deeper into murder at former Nanette Castelo-Daza’s house
By Joel C. Atencio

MANILA, Feb. 11 (PNA) – Police on Saturday are digging deeper into the motive surrounding the death of long-time boyfriend of former Quezon City Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza's right inside her house in Quezon City Friday night.

Noel Orate Sr., 55, a manager of the United Laboratories, Inc., was found sprawled dead with five gunshot wounds in the body inside Daza's house at 51 Maningning Street, Barangay Teacher's Village East, Quezon City.

Police held Daza’s son-in-law Allan Robes, a board member of Bulacan province, for questioning right after Orate was found dead at past 10 p.m. Friday. Robes is married to Daza’s daughter Quezon City councilor Jessica Castelo Daza.

Robes remained detained at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit in Camp Karingal.

Police said they responded to a call about a commotion inside the Daza residence past 10 p.m. on Friday. Policemen dispatched to check on the report suddenly heard successive shots being fired. They then saw Robes, still armed with a .380 gun, about to leave the compound.

Police said there was no clear motive yet as both parties declined to give details of the shooting incident. (PNA)
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SC junks 'baseless' complaint vs. 3 CA justices

MANILA, Feb. 10 (PNA) - The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed outright for utter lack of merit the complaint filed against Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justices Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr., Ramon M. Bato, Jr. and Florito S. Macalino.

In a 12-page ruling penned by SC Associate Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, the SC en banc also gave complainant Engr. Oscar L. Ongjoco 10 days from receipt of the resolution to show cause in writing why he should not be punished for indirect contempt "for degrading the judicial office of respondent Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals, and for interfering with the due performance of their work for the Judiciary."

"Judicial officers do not have to suffer the brunt of unsuccessful or dissatisfied litigants' baseless and false imputations of their violating the Constitution in resolving their cases and of harboring bias and partiality towards the adverse parties," the SC said.

The case arose from the administrative complaint in June 2011 filed by Ongjoco, claiming to be the Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the FH-Gymn Multi-Purpose and Transport Service Cooperative (FH-Gymn), charging the CA's Sixth Division, composed of Enriquez as chair and Bato and Macalino as members, with rendering an arbitrary and baseless decision unfavorable to FH-Gymn.

FH-Gymn filed a graft complaint with the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon against San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan councilors, who are members of the Committee on Transportation and Communications, for uttering statements against FH-Gymn and denying its request to authorize FH-Gymn Chair Ongjoco to issue motorized tricycle operators permit (MTOP) to its members.

When the Ombudsman dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence, FH-Gymn elevated the case to the CA, but the CA's Sixth Division denied FH-Gymn's petition for review and later, its motion for reconsideration (MR).

The SC said that the CA's Sixth Division's decision showed that it has complied with the requirements of the Constitution contrary to Ongjoco's claims.

It said that "the definitive pronouncement of the CA's Sixth Division that 'the Deputy Ombudsman found no substantial evidence to prove that there was interference in the internal affairs of FH-GYMN nor was there a violation of the law by the respondents' met the constitutional demand for a clear and distinct statement of the facts and the law on which the decision was based."

The SC said that the CA's Sixth Division expressly found that FH-Gymn had not discharged its burden as the petitioner of proving its allegations with substantial evidence.

It reminded Ongjoco that to sustain his allegations of misconduct against the respondent Justices, his administrative complaint "must rest on the quality of the evidence; and that his basing his plain accusations on hunches and speculations would not suffice to held them administratively liable for rendering the adverse decision."

"We recognize that unfounded administrative charges against judges really degrade the judicial office, and interfere with the due performance of their work for the Judiciary. Hence, we deem to be warranted to now direct Ongjoco to fully explain his act of filing an utterly baseless charge against respondent Justices," the SC said. (PNA)
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Village chief survives ambush, two bodyguards killed in Bulacan

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, Feb. 7 (PNA) -- A village chief was wounded while two of his bodyguards were killed after they were ambushed by two unidentified armed men riding tandem on a motorcycle in Barangay San Juan here Monday night.

Police said John Bong Alvarez, 39, chairman of Barangay Sta. Ines, was having facial massage inside a spa parlor when the suspects,armed with an M16 baby armalite rifle and a .45 caliber pistol, opened fire, hitting him on the right arm.

He was brought to a nearby hospital for treatment and is now in stable condition, police said.

However, two of his bodyguards, identified as Josefino Alvarez, 37, of Barangay Sta. Ines; and Roel Vidal, 52, of Barangay Tibagan, died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Alvarez told investigators that he saw his bodyguards, who were standing outside the spa parlor, fall down during the initial volley of gunfire.

He said the suspects even approached the fallen victims and shot them on the head.

Upon hearing the gunshots, he immediately told the two attendants to lock the door and instructed them and other customers to run at the back of the establishment and lie down on the floor.

The suspects tried to barge inside but failed and even sprayed the parlor with gunfire before leaving the place.

Alvarez said he got hit on his arm after the suspects fired on the spa's floor area.

Supt. Julius Domingo, town police chief, said they are looking into several angles as possible motive on the ambush.

He said as of this time, they are not ruling out politics as a possible motive.

It was learned that earlier, the village chief has openly declared his intention to run for a higher position in the town.

A police team is now tracking down the suspects. (PNA) 
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Proficiency test in Korean ongoing in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 7 (PNA) -- Big opportunities of landing a job in Korea awaits Bulakenyos as the registration for the 8th Employment Permit System-Test of Proficiency in Korean (EPS-TOPIK) kicked off Monday and will run until February 9 in six venues here.

Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said this program will give an edge to aspiring Bulakenyo workers to get a job in Korea.

This is because according to Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA) those who are interested to pursue employment in the said country must have an active registration status in order to be included in the manpower pool for Korea, Alvarado said.

Elizabeth Alonzo, head of Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office said all job seekers who want to work in Korea under EPS must pass EPS-TOPIK.

Only those who passed the test will be uploaded for transfer to the roster of available workers by submitting their job application for the EPS, Alonzo said.

In order to qualify for the EPS-TOPIK scheduled on March 18, 2012, an applicant must be 18 years of age and not more than 38 years old on the date of exam, physically and mentally fit, must not have any record of conviction or imprisonment for a heinous crime, must have no record of deportation or departure orders from the Republic of Korea, must not be restricted from departure from the Philippines and must be registered with active status in the POEA Manpower Registry.

Meanwhile, as clearly stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), passing the EPS-TOPIK does not guarante