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JULY 2011

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MAY 2011

APRIL 2011

MARCH 2011



PNP chief padlocks three pyrotechnics stores in Bocaue

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Dec. 30 (PNA) --Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Nicanor Bartolome, on Friday ordered the immediate closure and cancellation of permit of three pyrotechnics stores in Barangay Turo for selling over-sized and killer types of firecrackers.

Bartolome also directed Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez to file charges against the owners of Allan Ramon Fireworks, Gladdy’s Fireworks and Bong and Lyn’s Fireworks after police operatives from the Police Regional Office 3 and the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office conducted buy-bust operations and were able to buy several types of over-sized firecrackers like “Goodbye Philippines”, “Bin Laden”, “Pla-Pla” and “Super Lolo”.

Bartolome said that aside from selling regulated pyrotechnics devices, several store owners still selling underground types of fireworks.

He said the PNP would continue inspecting stores to ensure that killer types of firecrackers would not be sold.

The PNP chief also told Bulacan policemen to remain vigilant and be unrelentless in arresting violators of the Firecracker Law.

On Thursday, a Quezon City policeman died while another was wounded while enforcing the firecracker law.

PO2 Bernard Quintero died while being treated at the Far Eastern University Hospital due to gunshot wounds in the head. The wounded policeman was identified as PO3 Jessie Adajar.

Elements of the QCPD Station 5 along with the two policemen, Quintero and Adajar, were conducting surveillance operation after receiving information about the sale of illegal firecrackers in Fairmont Subdivision, North Fairview.

The policemen, after confirming the veracity of the report, returned to the area. However, they saw at least eight men waiting for them. The suspects reportedly fired at them, forcing the law enforcers to retaliate.

“We will not be cowed by this incident and we will continue to hunt down violators of the law,” Bartolome said. (PNA)

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Bulacan cops bag bolt cutter gangman

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 29 (PNA) -- Police on Thursday arrested one of four suspected members of a bolt cutter gang that burglarized two commercial establishments in this historic capital city early this week.

City police chief Superintendent David N. Poklay identified the arrested suspect as Christian Tongol, 20, single, a construction worker and a resident of Block 16, Lot 20, Northville 8, Barangay Bangkal here.

Poklay said the arrested suspect, together with three cohorts, earlier robbed the Chamis eatery in Barangay Longos here.

Owner Dulce Paongan said that she was about to open the eatery when she discovered that the main door was destroyed.

When she entered, Paongan said she found out that her groceries worth P6,000 and her P6,000 were missing.

The group was also believed to be responsible for robbing the Rizferon Computer Café along Ilang-Ilang Street, Alido Heights Subdivision, Barangay Bulihan here.

The victim said he saw the four culprits forcibly entered his café by destroying the iron grill with the use of a “bolt cutter.”

Afterwards, the suspects carted away one unit of computer worth more or less P30,000.

Upon receipt of the information, Poklay said a police team together with the barangay tanods of Bulihan, conducted a manhunt operation which resulted in the arrest of Tongol .

Tongol's three companions were able to escape on board their service vehicle-- a gray Mitsubishi L300 Versa Van with unknown plate number.

Appropriate charges will be filed against the suspect who is now under the custody of the Malolos City police station. (PNA) 

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5-year-old boy dies, dad hurt in fireworks blast in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 27 (PNA) -– A five-year old boy was killed while his father was hurt when the fireworks they were transporting exploded in the province Monday night.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr. said the accident took place around 8 p.m. Monday in Barangay Partida, Norzagaray town.

Mendez said the boy was with his father on board a tricycle along the highway in Barangay Partida when the fireworks inside the vehicle exploded.

John Ezekiel de Silva died while undergoing treatment at the Norzagaray Municipal Hospital while his father, Noli, is still under observation at the Philippine General Hospital.

Investigation showed that Noli took his son with him to Bocaue town to buy fireworks for the New Year and were on their way back home to Guimba, Nueva Ecija when the incident happened. (PNA) 

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Two persons injured in firecracker accidents in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 26 (PNA) - A 13-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man celebrated Christmas with blasted fingers and neck injury in separate accidents involving firecrackers in Hagonoy and San Miguel towns in Bulacan province on Sunday.

The victims were identified as Dexter Danan, 13, resident of Barangay San Roque, Hagonoy and Nestor Santos, 47, of Barangay Baritan, San Miguel.

Reports from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) said Danan’s right hand was blasted by a firecracker known as Picolo, one of the banned types of imported firecrackers, and sustained laceration and partial thickness burns.

Santos, on the other hand, suffered a wound on his neck after a wayward sky-rocket (kwitis) exploded on that part of his body.

Raul Agustin, senior operations officer of PDRRMO, said the number of injuries this year is lower compared to last year's.

Meanwhile, officers of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Incorporated (PPMDAI) urged the public to buy and use only quality and safe firecrackers to ensure that no injury or fire-related accident will occur as the New Year nears.

PPMDAI president Vimmie Erise said their group also welcome the “Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction” (APIR) campaign of the Department Of Health (DOH), saying that this will encourage the public to use and buy only safe and branded firecrackers and pyrotechnics devices.

She also said that their group will also help raise donation for victims of tropical storm "Sendong" in Southern Philippines. (PNA) 

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Gov orders Bulacan PNP to step-up crackdown vs. banned firecrackers

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 8 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday directed the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) to intensify the crackdown against banned types of firecrackers, including smuggled imported ones.

Alvarado also ordered the BPPO to strictly enforce the implementation of R.A. 7183 otherwise known as the “Firecracker Law.”

The governor told Bulacan police director Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez Jr., to arrest unscrupulous traders selling banned and killer types of firecrackers and regularly inspects fireworks shops and stalls and ensure that they are strictly complying the safety guidelines and other salient provisions of the law.

He said the police should see to it that local manufacturers and dealers are complying its provisions, particularly the safety guidelines to ensure public safety and at the same time, protect the local fireworks industry.

“As mandated by the law, the PNP should strengthen the implementation of monitoring and seizing the smuggled imported fireworks.

Those illegal firecrackers usually the cause of the incident. Aside from this, those smuggled imported fireworks kill the local fireworks industry which provide jobs to some of our constituents," he said.

Alvarado, together with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag and Mayor Jonjon Villanueva inspected some firecrackers stalls and shops in Bocaue town Wednesday.

Known as the “Firecrackers Capital” of the country, Ona launched the DOH’s firework-injury reduction campaign dubbed as “Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction” (APIR) in Bocaue where more than 20 fireworks manufacturers and more than 120 dealers are registered according to the local government. (PNA) 

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Young leaders inducted to serve for a week in the Bulacan Capitol

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 6 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado led other local officials here to welcome the 61 boy and girl officials who will serve as their counterparts in line with the observance of Linggo ng Kabataan from Dec. 5-9.

The young leaders were elected by their peers who were chosen from various schools to serve a one-week term in the Capitol.

Elected as the governor is Zsarlaine S. Valeña from the Immaculate Concepcion Child Development School and Gerardo P. Liway IV from San Miguel National High School as the vice governor.

“The boy/girl officials will train our young people in the actual discharging duties of public officials and to let the youth experience how to run the local government and how the executive and legislative departments of the local government unit work together for a common goal,” Alvarado said.

For the whole week, the boy/girl officials will be busy dealing with different government operations as their counterpart officials orient them with policies, procedures and even bring them to actual meetings to allow them to experience how it feels to be a public servant.

Meanwhile, Alvarado also encouraged these young bloods to maximize this week-long experience which will expose them on how government works for the people and hopes that it will inspire them to participate actively in government activities and projects.

The week-long celebration of Linggo ng Kabataan is in accordance to Presidential Proclamation No. 99 series of 1992. (PNA) 

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PDEA-3 raids shabu tiangge in Bulacan

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, Dec. 2 (PNA) -- Drug dealers in this province are now feeling the heat.

Hours after police stormed a suspected dope den in Marilao town Thursday night, combined operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Regional Public Safety Battalion of Police Regional Office 3 raided an alleged “shabu tiangge” or one-stop-dope-shop in Barangay Banga 2nd here early Friday morning and arrested four suspected drug dealers.

Initial reports reaching Bulacan police director Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said that the area is located near private schools and a favorite hangout of drug users because one can buy shabu or marijuana in the area.

Reports also said that the raiding team also seized an undetermined quantity of shabu already packed in plastic sachets, marijuana fruiting tops and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Several shanties in the area are also reportedly being used as dope dens where "scorers" of illegal drugs hold their pot sessions.

The raid stemmed from the complaints of residents that at least four drug pushers were “untouchables” in the area, openly selling plastic sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride or (shabu).

As of press time, the identities of the arrested suspects are being withheld pending investigation and follow-up operations. It was learned that the raiding team were armed with four search warrants.

Sources said the gang usually use minors, either boy or a girl as couriers, and have them use drugs in exchange.

While no shots were exchanged in the raid, tension gripped the place as some of the "targets" threatened to fight back whoever reported their illicit activities to the authorities.

It was learned that the raiding team was supposed to conduct the raid Thursday night but aborted it after being informed that the "targets" were not yet home.

The arrested suspects and the confiscated evidence were brought to the regional police headquarters in Camp Olivas, City of San Fernando, Pampanga for proper disposition. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops raid dope den

MARILAO, Bulacan, Dec. 2 (PNA) -- Police stormed a suspected dope den and arrested three alleged drug users having pot session in Barangay Lambakin here Thursday night.

Town police chief Supt. Gerardo Andaya identified those arrested as Michael Napa alias “Pilay”, 31, married, jobless, a resident of B16, L18, Northville 4, Barangay Lambakin, Marilao; Angel Morte, 55, married, jobless, a resident of Barangay Daungan, Meycauayan City; and Melvin Gromeo, 24, single, jobless and a resident of 443 Gulod St., Barangay Camalig, Meycauayan City.

Andaya said the trio were arrested while they were having a pot session inside a house that a police informant tipped off is being used as a dope den.

Seized from the suspects were two pieces of heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) with an estimated street value of P3,500, one disposable lighter, one piece of unused aluminum foil strip, and one plastic pack containing five pieces of unused plastic sachets.

Andaya said the anti-drug operation was inline with the directive of Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr. to step-up the campaign against criminals and proliferation of dangerous drugs.

The arrested suspects and the recovered pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination while appropriate criminal complaints are being readied against them. (PNA) 

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6.0 magnitude earthquake shakes West Philippine Sea

MANILA, Nov. 30 (PNA) – A magnitude 6.0 earthquake with 16-kilometer depth occurred 94 kilometers west of Palauig, Zambales at 8:26 a.m. on Wednesday.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato U. Solidum said the tremor's epicenter was in the West Philippine Sea.

Solidum said its movement was along the Manila trench but it most likely caused no damages because it happened in the sea.

He said an intensity 5 earthquake rocked Agno, Pangasinan.

A tremor with intensity 2 was also recorded in Quezon City, Manila, Mandaluyong, Obando (Bulacan) and Baguio City.

As of press time, close monitoring of the affected areas is ongoing to determine whether there are damages caused by the tremor.

Local Phivolcs researcher Porferio De Peralta said the quake was tectonic in origin and no aftershock was expected. (PNA) 

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8 factory workers in Bulacan held for theft

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Nov. 28 (PNA) -- Police arrested eight stay-in workers of a plastic factory inside the Sterling Industrial Compound in Barangay Iba here after their Chinese employer caught them stealing clear books and plastic products on Sunday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspects as Ricky Alejandro, Eusebio Esparago, Mark Anthony Austriaco, Jonathan Narlo, Allan Sazon, Roel Clarion, Segundino Navarro and Marlon Calonge, all of legal age and stay-in employees in the compound of the said company owned by Peng Wei Yang, 48, Chinese national, and proprietor of YNY Enterprises located in the said industrial compound.

Mendez said that the suspects were working at the factory for more than a year and had gained the trust of their employer.

He said Yang sought police assistance after discovering that the suspects conspired in stealing the plastic products of the company.

Mendez said that the theft was discovered when the owner conducted a surprise inventory at the warehouse in the early morning of Nov. 27.

In the course of the inventory, Yang found out that the company’s products clear books and plastic envelopes worth P58,000 were missing.

Meycauayan City police officer-in-charge Randy Korret said a police team went to the factory and recovered the stolen items from the suspects’ sleeping quarters and were subsequently arrested.

The suspects are now under the custody of the Meycauayan City police station while appropriate criminal charges are being readied against them. (PNA) 

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OPAPP cites importance of "Yes for Peace-Kabayani sa Kapayapaan"

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 26 (PNA) -- The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has recognized the importance of the "Yes for Peace- Kabayani sa Kapayapaan" movement as a vital instrument in the achievement of just and people-oriented lasting peace in the country.

OPAPP Assistant Secretary Rosalie Romero, in a letter to Kenneth Tirado, communication head of the Department of Education (DepEd), thanked the education department and the organizers of the movement for its continuing support to the peace process and the private citizen’s related initiatives.

Romero also told Tirado that OPAPP appreciated the initiative of Ernesto Alcanzare, lead organizer of the Yes for peace movement, saying any initiative by a private organization that supports the peace process is laudable and worthy of recognition, such as Alcanzare’s initiative for a national survey dubbed as “Kabayani para sa Kapayapaan 2011”.

“The history of Alcanzare’s project is worthy of note, which we remember to have been proposed to both the OPAPP and DepED as early as 2003-2004. Even then we recognized the worth of the initiative,” Romero stated in the letter.

She also said that for the Yes for Peace project this year, the OPAPP maintain its position that given that it is a private group’s initiative, it would be better if the project’s main content, specifically the survey questions, remain pristine from their office’s influence, given the agency’s current focus on the various peace negotiations being undertaken by the government.

She also said that a survey that OPAPP wished to bring out would contain questionaires that will be more oriented to the peace negotiations.

“We likewise maintain that private citizen’s action parallel to government efforts are very much needed to ensure that there are neutral pro-peace voices able to call on the two sides in the negotiating table to keep the talks alive,” Romero said, adding that OPAPP is looking forward to undertake other peace projects with the DepEd. (PNA) 

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3 suspected holduppers nabbed after robbing an Indian trader

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 26 (PNA) -- Police arrested three suspected members of a robbery-holdup gang shortly after robbing an Indian national in Barangay Bangkal here Friday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez identified the suspects as Segundo Moldera, 43, married, jobless; Rey Simburio, 28, single, jobless; and Jomar Flores, 19 years old, married, all residents of Gen T. De Leon, Brgy. 6111, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City

The victim was identified as Mandif Kumar, an Indian national, businessman and presently residing at Lopez Ville, Barangay Panginay, Balagtas town.

Mendez said that the trio are suspected to be members of a robbery-holdup gang based in Valenzuela City victimizing Indian businessmen and money collectors.

Malolos City police chief Superintendent David N. Poklay said that the victim was driving his Honda Wave motorcycle in Barangay Bangkal, when his path was blocked by the three suspects who were armed with bladed weapons.

The suspects forcibly took the victim’s wallet containing his driver’s license, the OR/CR of his motorcycle and his collection money amounting to P1,500.

But the victim shouted for help that called the attention of residents who immediately called the police. (PNA) 

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Robredo orders BFP, PNP to ensure safety of firecracker plants, stores and products nationwide

MANILA, Nov. 25 (PNA) - Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo Friday directed officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Firearms and Explosives Division (FED) to inspect all firecrackers and pyrotechnics manufacturers’ stores and plants in the country, particularly in Bulacan in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

This is to ensure safety of all products they would sell in the market, Robredo said as he directed BFP chief Samuel Perez and Chief Superintendent Napoleon Estilles, PNP FED chief, to coordinate and request representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) in carrying out their tasks.

“In the advent of the Holiday Seasons, particularly during the Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations, we expect different types of fireworks and firecrackers to flood the market. We need to regulate and check the efficacy and safety all these products to reduce firecracker-related injuries,” he said.

The BFP, Robredo said, should inspect all firecracker stores and plants in the country and ensure that all of them comply with fire safety regulations and avoid accidental fires and explosions.

The PNP FED, which has control over the ingredients being used in the manufacture of firecrackers, on the other hand, should strictly enforce Republic Act 7183 or the law regulating the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics to ensure that all banned products such as atomic big triangulo, baby dynamite, super lolo, kwiton and similar devices will not be sold in the market, the DILG chief said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan bags another nutrition award

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 25 (PNA) - The provincial government has bagged another nutrition award after it was recently adjudged by the Regional Nutrition Committee as First Year Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN).

Last October, the provincial government led by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado also received the First Year CROWN Maintenance award given by the National Nutrition Committee.

The award is given to a municipality, city or province that has been appraised by the national nutrition evaluation team as outstanding in the implementation of its nutrition action plan for more than three consecutive years.

As part of his administration’s flagship program, Alvarado delivered an integrated package of nutrition and health services through “Kapitolyo sa Barangay” (KSB).

Among the services are medical/dental check-ups, multivitamins supplementation and food packages to 10,240 indigent families and families with underweight children from its 21 towns and 569 barangays.

Aside from the KSB, the other nutrition programs and activities that are being implemented in Bulacan are Gulayan sa Bakuran, which promotes the production and consumption of so-called High Five Vegetables such as malunggay, saluyot, kulitis, kamote and sili; Luntiang Bakuran, which encourage families to tend their gardens and Pabasa sa Nutrisyon, a nutrition education strategy.

Meanwhile, the municipality of Paombong has received the Municipal Green Banner Award for being the most outstanding municipality in the province and Regional Green Banner Award for being the most outstanding municipality in the Region.

Likewise, Angelina Espiritu of Hagonoy, Bulacan was hailed second runner up as the Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar while Teodora Cruz of Malolos City got the Provincial/City Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar. (PNA) 

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Bulacan's anti-illegal drugs drive boosted anew

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 24 (PNA) - The campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the province was boosted anew following the arrest of three suspected drug dealers during a series of operations in this capital city and in Bocaue town Wednesday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said the Bocaue police arrested two alleged street drug pushers in Barangay Caingin Wednesday afternoon.

They were identified as Emmanuel Nicolas, 30, single and a resident of Barangay Caingin, Bocaue town and Rommel Penaflor, 32, single and a resident of Barangay Antipona, Bocaue town.

Mendez said that the duo was arrested by Bocaue anti-narcotics operatives after selling a plastic sachet of "shabu" to a police poseur buyer.

When frisked, the duo yielded another two plastic sachets containing methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu).

The Bulacan police director also said that Malolos City policemen headed by Supt. David Poklay arrested Mark Constantine Manaois, 30, married, employee and a resident of 488 Barangay Longos during an anti-drug operation at Felicisima Subdivision in Barangay Mojon.

Recovered from the suspect was one piece of heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing shabu.

The suspect and the recovered piece of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination.

Appropriate criminal complaint is being prepared against the suspects for filing in court, Mendez added. (PNA) 

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BIR files P1.22-B tax evasion raps vs. Bulacan gold trader

MANILA, Nov. 24 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) a P1.22-billion tax evasion case against a Bulacan gold trader.

Charged was Richelle Soriano Leonardo, a resident of No. 28 Masalipit St., San Miguel, Bulacan and/or No. 6 Fatima St., Maryville Townhomes, Saluysoy, Meycauayan, Bulacan.

In a press conference, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said that they filed the criminal complaint against Leonardo for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax and willful failure to file her Annual Income Tax Return (ITR) for taxable year 2009, in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997.

Sometime in August 2010, Leonardo was included in the list given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the BIR containing the names of individuals who had transactions with the BSP.

Investigation showed that Letters of Delivery and Sale detailing the number of pieces and the weight of the gold sold by Leonardo were obtained by the BIR from the BSP.

The said documents disclosed that Leonardo sold a total of 43,400.347 troy ounce of gold to the BSP in 2009 amounting to P2.085 billion.

From the said amount, Leonardo received a net payment of P2.084 billion.

However, despite receiving taxable income from her gold transactions with the BSP, Leonardo failed to file her Annual ITR for taxable year 2009.

Henares said that not only did she fail to file the required tax return in 2009, Leonardo also did not pay her income tax due on the same year.

She said that Leonardo was assessed deficiency income tax for taxable year 2009 in the estimated aggregate amount of P1.22 billion, inclusive of surcharges and interests.

The case against Leonardo is the 80th filed under the BIR’s Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program. (PNA) 

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Two suspected motorcycle thieves fall in Bulacan

PULILAN, Bulacan, Nov. 23 (PNA) -- Police captured two alleged teenaged members of a carnapping gang and recovered a stolen motorcycle during a raid on the suspects' lair in Barangay Tarcan, Baliwag town Tuesday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said the arrested suspects were identified by Pulilan police chief Supt. Myrna Reyes as one alias “Teteng”, 17, and one alias “Bado”, 14; both residents of Mulawin Matanda, Barangay Tarcan, Baliwag town.

Mendez said that last Monday, a carnapping incident transpired along Pulilan-Calumpit Road, Brgy. Dampol 1st, Pulilan town where one Honda Wave motorcycle (MC) without license plate number, driven by one Benjamin Acuña of Barangay Tabon, Pulilan town, was forcibly taken at gunpoint by three unidentified suspects.

The following day, Mendez said that the Pulilan police station received an information from a concerned citizen stating that the stolen MC was allegedly brought and was hidden in the house of Teteng.

He said that joint elements of Pulilan police station, Provincial Intelligence Branch, and the Baliwag police station, accompanied by barangay tanods of Barangay Tarcan, conducted an operation which resulted in the arrest of the two suspects.

Recovered from the suspects was the lightning blue color Honda Wave motorcycle.

Reyes said the suspects, together with the recovered motorcycle, are presently under the custody of Pulilan police station while appropriate criminal complaint against them are being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 

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Malolos City mayor, scribes call for swift justice in Maguindanao massacre case

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 22 (PNA) - The clarion call for the delivery of swift justice on the brutal slaying of 58 people, including some 30 journalists, in the Maguindanao massacre two years ago reverberates in this historic capital city as the city mayor and newsmen on Tuesday called for the speedy resolution of the case.

Mayor Christian Natividad, a lawyer, said all efforts must be exerted in resolving the Ampatuan case to show that the government is really sincere in extending justice to the people.

"The government has shown its strong determination in giving justice like the speedy filing of case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I hope the wheels of justice on the Maguindanao massacre would also grind fast which is now on its second year," he said.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-Bulacan Chapter echoed the call for swift justice for the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre, especially for their “comrades-in-arm” who were mercilessly killed by at least 100 heavily armed men allegedly led by then Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., on November 23, 2009.

Dino Balabo, NUJP-Bulacan chairman, said the government has shown "that it can flex its muscle in the case of former President Arroyo. Why not in the Maguindanao Massacre case?”

Journalists in Central Luzon has lined up activities to commemorate the second anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre. (PNA) 

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Bulacan police score anew in its Oplan Bakal campaign

CAMP GENERAL ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan, Nov. 22 (PNA) -- Police authorities have scored anew in its Oplan Bakal campaign following the arrest of three persons in Sta. Maria town on Sunday for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Police Superintendent Raniel Valones, chief of police of Sta. Maria said the three arrested persons were identified as Romar Gavino, 24, security guard and a resident of Barangay San Isidro, Hagonoy, Bulacan; Garciano Emerencio, 45, upholstery helper and a resident of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City; and Joe Art Narido, 22, jobless, and a resident of Barangay Caisio, Sta Maria.

He said the suspects were arrested inside Keitzen Bar at Barangay Guyong, Sta. Maria when police elements were conducting Oplan Bakal operations at around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Seized from the suspects’ possession were one caliber 38 revolver, four live ammunition, and an empty shell.

Appropriate charges against the suspects are being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 

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Robber killed in shootout in Bulacan

BULACAN, Nov. 18 (PNA) -- Balagtas Police operatives shot dead unidentified robber in a shooting incident occurred in a gasoline station situated along Provincial Road, Corner Bypass Road, Barangay Borol 2nd in Balagtas town Thursday night.

Bulacan Police provincial director Sr. Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr. said the killed holdupper in the shootout was still unidentified, and was aged 25-35 years old, medium built, wearing maong pants, black shirt with white jacket.

Two days ago before the shooting incident, the suspect robbed a civilian withdrawing from an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in Barangay San Juan in Balagtas and was reported to the police.

At around 11 a.m. Thursday, a phone call was received by Balagtas Police from San Juan barangay captain Fab Galvez that the suspect was again sighted at Philippine National Bank waiting for his next victim where the Balagtas Police immediately responded but the suspect on board a single motorcycle left before the operatives arrived.

At 3 p.m., Balagtas Police station commander P/Chief Insp. Alfonso Cruz Jr. personally received an info that the suspect will rob a gasoline station.

Chief Insp. Cruz upon learning the information posted some of his policemen wearing in civilian in all commercial establishments and gasoline stations in the said town that could be the suspect's target but based on the info, the suspect's priority target was the Fuellab Gasoline Station located in the place and owned by Alexander Bernardo, 37, single of Barangay Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan.

Fortunately, the suspect was sighted near the said gasoline station waiting for a chance without his knowledge he was already secretly followed by the operatives led by Maj. Cruz who earlier positioned themselves strategically waiting for the suspect's next move.

The lone suspect on board his motorcycle parked his vehicle near the gas station armed with a short firearm the suspect declared a holdup at the cashier identified as Pretty Madonna Bagayas, 20, single and her Pump Attendant Carlito Gamba, 32, single.

Without wasting time, Cruz and his men showed and instructed the armed robber to surrender but the suspect fired his handgun towards the responding policemen prompting them to retaliate fire resulting to the death of the suspect.

Recovered from the crime scene were one caliber .38 revolver and a Honda Bravo motorcycle colored black bearing plate number 8640 NJ. (PNA) 

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DTI-Bulacan intensifies drive vs. sub-standard Christmas lights

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 17 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office on Thursday conducted surprise inspection to business establishments here that are selling Christmas lights.

Zorina Aldana, DTI-Bulacan provincial director, said the move is part of their intensified drive against the sale of sub-standard Christmas lights for the protection of the buying public.

Aldana advised the consumers to look for the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers that are affixed on the items for imported and printed Philippine Standard (PS) mark for locally-made lights.

She said that only Christmas lights with ICC stickers issued from January 2008 up to the present should be sold by retailers to the public.

Those imported lights sold with ICC stickers earlier than January 2008 will be confiscated by the DTI enforcement teams, she said.

She likewise said that the mandatory certification on the commodities included light emitting diode (LED) Christmas lights and compliance to the set product standards should also be checked on the items.

The public is advised to report to any nearest DTI office the business establishments that sell uncertified or sub-standard Christmas lights, she added. (PNA) 

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2 car thieves fall, stolen cars recovered in Bulacan raid

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, Nov. 16 (PNA) -- Police arrested two suspected members of a carnapping gang and recovered from them two stolen vehicles in a raid at their suspected lair in Barangay Caniogan here Tuesday afternoon.

Sr. Supt. Sheldon Jacaban, chief of the Central Luzon Highway Patrol Group (HPG), said the two suspects, whose identities are still being withheld for follow up operations, are now under their custody.

He said the duo did not resist arrest when HPG operatives swooped down on their suspected hideout.

According to Jacaban, they have earlier received information that a compound in the said village is being used a garage of stolen vehicles.

The raiding team recovered a stolen Ford Everest van, a Mitsubishi L-300 van, car plates and cannibalized parts of automobiles.

He said the Ford Everest van with plate number PMQ-645 is owned by one Reylex Lumelay.

Police said the van was stolen at gun point by a group of men wearing ski-masks in Pampanga last Nov. 4.

Police said the suspects brought the stolen vehicle on their suspected hideout where they cannibalized and brought to car surplus stores in Capalangan, Apalit, Pampanga.

Jacaban said that operatives of HPG-Region 3 are still conducting follow-up operations against the carnapping syndicate. (PNA) 

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Bulacan steps up drive vs. hot meat

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 9 (PNA) -- In anticipation of the high demand for meat products in the coming holiday season, the provincial government has intensified its campaign against hot meat by increasing checkpoints and strict monitoring of slaughterhouses and meat stalls in different public markets in the province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado also asked all the municipal and city mayors as well as Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr. to support the provincial task force against the illegal trading of hot meat.

Alvarado also distributed copies of the recently-approved provincial ordinance, otherwise known as the Provincial Hot Meat Ordinance, and urged local executives to strictly implement it, including the closure of slaughterhouse that will be found violating the anti-hot meat measure.

The governor said that vehicles carrying meats should have livestock handlers license from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and that animal traders should have veterinary health certificate from licensed veterinarians and should have shipping permit from the provincial livestock office.

Provincial veterinarian Dr. Voltaire Basinang has reported that the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), in coordination with the Bulacan Provincial Police Office and the Provincial Public Safety Company, headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola, has apprehended and charged 10 hot meat traders passing through Bulacan.

He also said that the PVO is conducting regular inspection of slaughterhouses and markets to ensure that they are hot meat-free.

Basinang also advised the public to look for the seal of inspection and meat inspection certificate before buying from meat vendors.

“If they are using colored lights or if their prices are too low, chances are its hot meat, so, do not buy from them,” Basinang said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan solon wants probe on mismanagement of dams

MANILA, Nov. 6 (PNA) -- A lady lawmaker has called for a congressional inquiry into the alleged water resource mismanagement of dams in Bulacan and surrounding areas which aggravated flooding brought about by typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel" in the province.

Bulacan Rep. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado said the inquiry would determine appropriate actions that are vital in the formulation of a unified inter-agency protocol for national dam water management.

"The formulation of a unified inter-agency protocol for national dam water management would match the current needs in light of environmental conditions, climate change and responsive governance for the safety and security of our people," she said.

Sy-Alvarado said dam management follows protocols, citing the National Water Resource Board (NWRB) as the lead agency in allocating water for irrigation to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for domestic supply to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), and hydro-electric power generation to the National Power Corporation (NPC).

"These present protocols are outdated, some allegedly are 1987 and 1998 versions, while even 2010 versions allegedly lack or have unincorporated provisions for proper coordination and decision-making processes, especially for dams in interconnected waterways," she said.

Sy-Alvarado cited Book 1, Title 1, Chapter 1, Section 2 (c) of the Local Government Code which states that "It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and people’s organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions."

In violation of such clear provision, she said local governments whose jurisdictions are downstream from the dams were allegedly not consulted nor were made part of important and critical decision processes which led to the release of water from the dams last month while typhoon Pedring was at its height and low-lying areas in Bulacan were already under water.

Sy-Alvarado, vice chairperson of the House committee on small business and entrepreneurship development, filed House Resolution 1804, calling for an investigation on the alleged mismanagement in the release of water from the dam that caused massive flooding in Bulacan.

She cited that despite knowledge of the incoming typhoons -- Pedring and Quiel -- no action was allegedly taken by dam management authorities in preparation of the expected rainfall volume.

"Flooding with extraordinarily fast rising levels was experienced by the municipalities of Calumpit, Hagonoy and Pulilan as early as Sept. 26. Dam water management only decided to release water while the typhoon was at its height and low-lying localities were already under water," she said.

Earlier, Butil party-list Rep. Agapito Guanlao also called for an immediate congressional review and investigation on the observance and compliance of dam and other water resources distribution operators to protocols governing preemptive spilling, saying the preemptive release of water from six dams in Luzon in September continued even as typhoon Pedring fell on land, aggravating the floods that damaged lives, crops, farmlands and infrastructure.

"The damage by recent estimates amounts to at least P6.6 billion. The predisposition to dam overflow in an increasing frequency of typhoons and the aggravating circumstance of preemptive release of water and similar events has made an immediate review of protocols urgent," said Guanlao, chairman of the House committee on food security.

Six dams namely San Roque, Angat, Ipo, Ambuklao, Binga and Magat released water in anticipation of the onslaught of typhoon Pedring which caused heavy flooding in Central Luzon and nearby provinces. (PNA) 

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Bulacan gov leads opening of Bulacan Medical Center's palliative care unit

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 4 (PNA) — Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday led the opening of the palliative care unit at the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) in this city.

With the help of Palcare Hospice Foundation Inc., the palliative care unit, which is now located at the 3rd floor of BMC, will serve the out-patient cancer patients who are beyond cure but in need of palliative care for better quality of life.

Palcare Hospice Foundation Philippines president lawyer Asuncion Kalalo commended the efforts of the provincial government for the opening of the palliative care unit.

The opening of the hospice care unit in the province is the first in the country. It is being supported by the local government unit. Hopefully, the initiatives and efforts of the Governor Alvarado and other officials of Bulacan will be followed by others, Kalalo said.

The palliative care unit will provide services like home visits which offer companionship, spiritual and family counseling, bedside care, management of pain and other distressing symptoms and medical assistance such as lending of medical equipment, consultations, blood donation for cancer patients and provision of medicines.

Among the patients that may be referred to the palliative care center are those with advanced cancer with metastasis to the bones, lungs, bladder, among others; needing relief from distressing symptom and complication of cancer; patients that need help to live as actively as possible; and those whose families need support system during the patients’ illness.

Palcare Hospice Foundation Inc. executive director Josie Nubla said the requirements that are needed to be submitted to avail the services are referral letter from barangay captain and barangay certificate of indigency; referral from Palcare partner organizations; treatment protocol; pathology reports and other lab works such as MRI, ultra-sound, CT scan, among others.

She also assured that indigent cancer patients will be well taken care of with a complete medical staff that will attend to them.

"There will be one hospice nurse, four registered volunteer nurses, and one hospice administrator who will look after the out-patient cancer patients. Twice a week, an out-patient doctor will check the patients,” Nubla said.

Last July, the provincial government launched the oncology unit for cancer patients in BMC. (PNA) 

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BENRO issues notice of violation to cigarette factory

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 3 (PNA) - The Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) on Thursday issued a "notice of violation" to a big cigarette factory in Barangay Tikay here for allegedly causing pollution and posing health hazards to residents in the area.

BENRO chief Rustico “Teddy” de Belen said he sent a technical team to the site of Mighty Corporation last Oct. 29 after residents complained to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the said cigarette factory is emitting black smoke and black ashes (burned rice hull) in the area.

Based on the result of the investigation, de Belen said traces of ashes was noted on the concrete pavement inside the compound and black smoke was observed emitting from their smoke stack.

He also said that the company was also discharging waste water into an irrigation canal of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

De Belen advised Dennis Flores, pollution control officer of Mighty Corporation, that such actions or omissions are in violation of Article VI, Section 42 (a) of Provincial Ordinance No. C-005, Republic Act 8749 and RA No.9275 (anti-pollution laws).

The BENRO also ordered the management of Mighty Corporation to immediately institute remedial measures to stop the causes of pollution affecting the residents of Barangay Tikay and immediately close the pipe leading to NIA irrigation canal.

At the same time, the BENRO also ordered Mighty Corporation to pay P5,000 pursuant to Article XIV, Sec.90 of Provincial Ordinance No. C-005.

De Belen said that if the management fails to heed the order, their office will be constrained to recommend the cancellation of the firm’s mayor’s business permit and Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and Provincial Government Acknowledgment without prejudice to the filing of appropriate administrative case in proper forum. (PNA) 

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Obando Landfill at risk to Acts of God

MANILA, Nov. 3 (PNA) -- Obando Landfill, if set up, would be highly vulnerable to extreme natural disasters confounding the latter’s disastrous impacts on the people of Obando, Bulacan.

In response to the query made by EcoWaste Coalition, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) had determined that the Obando Landfill site in the fishing village of Salambao is vulnerable to liquefaction and tsunami, as well as to flooding and storm surges.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr. said in his letter of response, “[Obando] is prone to liquefaction based on our indicative Liquefaction Susceptibility Map.”

According to literatures, liquefaction is the process by which sediment that is very wet starts to behave like a liquid, often due to severe shaking especially that associated with earthquakes, which could destroy structures especially those whose foundations bear directly on the soil which liquefies.

The letter also stated that “the coastal areas of the municipality are prone to tsunami inundation, especially in the event of major earthquake occurrence coming from the Manila Trench and other nearby offshore earthquakes close to Bulacan.”

“The low and flat elevation of Obando is such that, aside from being susceptible to liquefaction, flooding can and has occurred, more recent of which is the flooding and storm surge resulting from the passage of Typhoon Pedring.” the Phivolcs director further stated in the letter.

Residents claim that flooding in Obando is almost a year round occurrence as the town is below sea level and that the only protection that the municipality has from the tides are the dikes that are normally torn down whenever typhoons and tidal surges pay their visits.

Why the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Region III and the Obando local government failed to recognize these facts alarmed zero waste and pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition. “They even allowed the establishment of toxic time bomb in an established geologic and climate hazard zone,” the coalition said.

“This should leave no doubt as to the unsuitability of the site for the unpopular Obando Landfill,” EcoWaste Coalition’s Dumps and Incineration Task Force co-chair Romeo Hidalgo said.

“The technical opinion of Phivolcs should prompt authorities, specifically the DENR to immediately halt the Obando Landfill project, as well as order the closure and rehabilitation of all disposal facilities in the Manila Bay area which has been shown to be vulnerable to acts of God,” Hidalgo added. (PNA)

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Raps filed vs 40 suspected illegal loggers in Nueva Ecija

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Nov. 2 (PNA) - Forty suspected illegal loggers were recently charged by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with possession of illegally procured lumber flitches of various lumber species allegedly taken from the Doña Remedios Trinidad-Gen. Tinio watershed and forest reserve in the province.

The charges alleging conspiracy with one another in violating forestry laws have been recently filed against the 40 suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Nueva Ecija.

DENR-San Rafael Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Meliton Vicente Jr. said the arrest of the suspects followed a recent five-day operation of a 14-man DENR team which recovered a total of 7,288 board feet of assorted lumber flitches submerged in a shallow depth of the Sumacbao River within the Doña Remedios Trinidad-Gen. Tinio watershed.

Vicente reported that the “hot forest products” were found hidden in six creeks where they also seized a chainsaw and other gadgets used in hauling their contraband already within the territorial jurisdiction of Nueva Ecija, specifically in Gen. Tinio town.

From upriver in the Dona Remedios Trinidad area, the hot lumber haul is then floated downriver and gathered by the suspects in such places as Barangays Pias and Rio Chico. The town serves as transshipment point, and the hot lumber cargo is distributed in Cabanatuan City, Gapan City, Bulacan, Pampanga and Metro Manila,

Vicente identified the suspects as Darwin Pacheco, 30; Eric Pangilinan, 38; Mario Pascual, 38; Mark Angelo Fernando,17; Marlon Pascual, 25; Eduardo Diaz, 16; Darius dela Cruz, 26; Darwin dela Cruz, 17; Mark Ver Magat, 17; Leo Esquicel, 28; Eduardo Pangilinan, 60; Eleazar Gutierrez, 16; Romy Abis, 29; John Paul Wilson, 41; Cris Samson, 15; Ronnie Diaz, 17;

Pedro Bulacan, 32; Daniel de Guzman, 32; Danilo Bulacan, 17; Rico Fajardo, 37; Jojo Toledo, 28; Edward Baluyot, 33; Gregorio Abranis, 18; Kilven Wilson, 35; Jeffrey Wilson, 17; Gary Padolina, 14; Alex Caldo, 25; Elmer Baluyot, 27; Cedrick Baluyot, 14; Ricardo Pangilinan, 14; Bernabe Abenyo, 54; Allan Gonzales, 40; Gerry Quizon, 32; Ricardo Mabalay, 33; Pedro Gaboni, 32; Marvin Barles, Marlon Barles, Marjon Barles, Gabriel dela Cruz and Enrico dela Cruz, all of Barangay Pias, Gen. Tinio town.

Vicente disclosed that the suspects identified as their alleged financiers Lito Bote, Gerry Bote, Nicasio Torres, Eric Bal, and a certain Puntina, all of Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija.

However, Vicente could not specifically state whether the two Botes are related to incumbent Mayor Virgilio Bote and Vice Mayor Ferdie Bote, who waged a town-wide campaign against illegal logging operations last year.

The lumber flitches are reportedly to be delivered and sold in this city, Gapan City, Bulacan, Pampanga and Metro Manila. (PNA)

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Bulacan cops ready for 'Undas' 2011

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 31 (PNA) -- Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr. on Monday deployed 62 police personnel from the provincial police headquarters to the different Motorists Assistance Centers (MAC) and Public Assistance Centers (PAC) to augment local policemen in the province’s 21 towns and three cities to ensure public safety during the observance of All Saints Day.

Mendez said 41 of the augmentation police troops would be assigned in public cemeteries and MACs in the capital city of Malolos and the remainder in other towns and cities.

He also said that 22 policemen would also be on duty on reserve status at the provincial headquarters in Camp Gen. Alejo Santos.

He said maneuver platoons from the Provincial Public Safety Company were also deployed in major thoroughfares and crowd convergence areas in the province.

Malolos city police chief Supt. David N. Poklay said that since Friday last week, police teams were already deployed in the different cemeteries in the city to assist people cleaning and visiting graves of their departed loved ones.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado have earlier met Mendez and top police officials in Bulacan to ensure the maintenance of peace and order in the cemeteries and public places in Bulacan.

The governor have also placed on 24 hours alert the Bulacan Rescue of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to provide immediate assistance and equipment, including ambulance and firetrucks in case of any eventuality. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cop kills 60-year old man over piece of land

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, Oct. 29 (PNA)--—A 60-year old man was killed while his 21-year old son barely escape death after a police officer repeatedly shot the victim in Barangay Sta. Rita Matanda here Friday night.

Police identified the victim as Francisco Garcia, 60, a resident of Barangay Sta. Rita Matanda.

Garcia died instantly due to multiple gunshot wounds in his body after P02 Arcadio dela Cruz emptied the magazine of his service firearm on him in front of his son Franklin at the gate of their house at around 10 p.m. Friday.

The victim’s son told police investigators that he tried to parry the gun of the policeman but the latter pointed it towards him and began shooting him.

He said he avoided getting hit by ducking and running away from the cop whom, he said was “trigger happy” at that moment.

The suspect arrived at the house of the victim on board a motorcycle and without warning drew his gun and started shooting the victim.

Initial investigation showed that the family of the victim and the policeman has a long standing dispute over a parcel of land in the said village.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said that dela Cruz, who is assigned at the San Miguel Police Station, has already surrendered and is now under police custody. (PNA) 

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Police assistance centers up in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 28 (PNA) - Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Friday directed the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) to increase police visibility in securing the public going to cemeteries on All Saints' Day.

Alvarado told Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernandeo H. Mendez Jr., to establish police assistance centers along major thoroughfares and in cemeteries in the province's 21 towns and 3 cities.

“We must ensure the safety of the people who will be visiting their departed loved ones at the cemetery,” Alvarado said.

The governor also put the Bulacan Rescue on alert for the long vacation.

He also advised the people to be extra careful when leaving their houses and ensure that their residences were safe.

Supt. Fitz Macariola, commander of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), said that their maneuver platoons had been deployed along strategic areas in the province to augment local police units and volunteer civic groups in providing security and road assistance to the public.(PNA) 

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Bulacan bags another nutrition award

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 27 (PNA) -- The provincial government has recently emerged as the First Year Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN)n recognition for its outstanding achievements in the delivery of nutrition and related services to their constituents.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, together with Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, received CROWN Maintenance award during the National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony held recently at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The First Year CROWN Maintenance award is given to a municipality, city or province that has been adjudged by the national nutrition evaluation team as outstanding in the implementation of its nutrition action plan for more than three consecutive years.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Rowena Tiongson said that the province was able to sustain its intensified efforts to improve the nutrition situation, wherein in the entire region of Central Luzon, it has recorded the lowest prevalence of underweight preschool and school children with only 2.4 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

As his flagship program, Alvarado delivers an integrated package of nutrition and health services through “Kapitolyo sa Barangay" (KSB). Among the services are medical/dental check-ups, multivitamins supplementation, and food packages to 10, 240 indigent families and families with underweight children from its 21 towns and 569 barangays.

Aside from the KSB, the governor said other nutrition programs and activities that are being implemented in the province are Gulayan sa Bakuran, which promotes the production and consumption of so-called “High Five Vegetables" such as "malunggay", "saluyot", "kulitis", "kamote" and "sili"; "Luntiang Bakuran sa Bulacan," which encourage families to tend their gardens; and "Pabasa sa Nutrisyon", a nutrition education strategy. (PNA) 

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Tollways operators brace for heavy traffic at NLEX, SCTEX

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Oct. 27 (PNA) -- The volume of vehicular traffic going to the northern provinces of Luzon is expected to get heavy starting on Friday, the Tollways Management Corporation (TMC), operators of the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, said on Thursday.

Benigno Valles, senior manager for corporate communications of the TMC, said that they are expecting traffic volume going to Northern Luzon to dramatically increase from Friday to Sunday, Oct. 28-30, due to the big influx of motorists going home for All Saints' Day observance.

“In spite of its increased volume for three days, traffic is expected to be manageable. It has been noticed in last year’s traffic count that some motorists decided to stay longer in their home provinces. They may do the same this year. Traffic volume last year was still high in the immediate weekend after All Saints' Day,” Valles said, adding that the expected increase of traffic volume for the four-day "Undas" break is approximately 10 percent.

In preparation, he said that NLEX toll operations will beef up its manpower at the Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue and Dau Toll Plazas on Oct. 28-30 to hasten throughput of northbound motorists.

Ambulant tellers will be on standby at Balintawak and Mindanao Toll Plazas. Ambulant tellers, spare toll booths and provision for counter flow will be set up at the Dau Toll Plaza.

At SCTEX, Valles said that traffic buildup going to the provinces is expected at Tarlac Exit, San Miguel Exit and Tipo Exit starting also on Friday.

He said manual and counter flow lanes will be placed at San Miguel and Tarlac Exit, respectively, to accommodate the high volume of traffic.

While back to Manila, he said traffic buildup is expected on November 1, 2 and 3, at Mabalacat Interchange of SCTEX.

Motorists can expect sufficient number of personnel and equipment to minimize delay at the plaza and maintain the best level of service possible. There will be manual toll booths ready to be set up at Mabalacat Toll Plaza, Valles added

He said the Bocaue toll plaza will also have ambulant tellers on November 1, 2 and 3 and will open additional manual lanes in anticipation of the heavy volume of vehicles going back to Manila during these dates.

In both NLEX and SCTEX, motorists’ assistance will be provided by all Toll Service Facilities (TSF) or gas stations.

At SCTEX, additional two tents will be set up going to Tipo and Tarlac to provide further assistance to motorists.

For assistance and inquiries, motorists are advised to call the NLEX hotline (02) 580-8910, (02) 35000 or (0920) 96-SCTEX (72839) for SCTEX. These hotlines are available 24 hours a day, Valles said.

“We also advise motorists to keep their television or radio tune in for the latest traffic situation at the expressways. It is best to travel when traffic is not heavy. Motorists with access to internet may visit us at our website or at the Travel on GREAT ROADS facebook page for the latest traffic advisory and other safety tips or follow us in our twitter account nlextraffic,” he said. (PNA) 

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'Yes For Peace-Kabayani sa Kapayapaan' goes online

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 24 (PNA) - Simultaneous with the observance of United Nations Day, organizers of the “Yes for Peace-Kabayani sa Kapayapaan” movement on Monday launched its online site as part of its nationwide educational campaign for long lasting peace in the country.

Lead organizer Ernesto A. Alcanzare said that the bloodbath and bloody encounters between armed groups and government troopers can be avoided if the people will unite and let their feelings and voices be heard as majority of the Filipino people are tired of the so- called “war between brothers.”

An educational campaign, the “Yes For Peace” is reaching every Filipino 10 years and above to participate in the call for just, comprehensive and lasting peace, Alcanzare said.

He said that every Filipino can now visit and participate in the "Yes For Peace" open referendum.

He said their views and comments would be collated and forwarded to President Benigno Aquino III.

"Let us all invite our online friends and relatives to 'Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan' to prove that it lies in our hands the fulfillment of our dreams for our children and the future generation through the promotion of just and lasting peace in the country," he said. (PNA) 

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Pnoy extends P92-M to typhoon-affected farmers, fisherfolks in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 22 (PNA) -- President Benigno Aquino III, through Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, has distributed more than P92 million worth of assistance to farmers and fisherfolks in the province whose crops and fishponds were severely damaged by heavy flooding wrought by twin Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel.”

Alcala, together with Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and National Irrigation Administrator (NIA) Engineer Antonio Nangel, made an ocular inspection on devastated farmlands and fishponds in the towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong and Pulilan Friday morning.

The agriculture secretary later told farmers and fisherfolks at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here that President Aquino has instructed him to go to provinces devastated by the recent typhoon and personally assess the damages and extend assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolks.

Alvarado said the assistance given to Bulacan by Department of Agriculture (DA) include P54.5 million fund for irrigation facilities, P5 million seed fund for crop insurance premium and P33 million worth of certified seeds.

He also said that 27 million bangus fry, 23 million tilapia fingerlings and 500 gilnets will also be distributed to affected fisherfolks.

Aside from this, Alcala also turned over to the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) two units multi-purpose drying pavement, two units flatbed dryers, one unit mini 4-wheel tractor, one unit rice reaper, two units combined harvester, 10 units drumseedet and one moisture meter.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported that almost 36,000 hectares of cropland and almost 10,000 hectares of fishponds/fishpens were damaged by rampaging floods brought by the twin typhoons.

At least 27,000 farmers and 2,200 fisherfolks were affected, the PDRRMO said. The total damage to agriculture have reached P2.5 billion.

Alvarado thanked President Aquino and Secretay Alcala for the assistance extended to affected municipalities and cities in Bulacan. (PNA) 

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Rehabilitation of Angat Dam to start soon

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 21 (PNA) -- Dam experts and engineers will soon begin the rehabilitation of the 43- year-old rock-built Angat Dam located in the rolling mountains of Norzagaray town in this province.

This after a memorandum of agreement (MOA) as well as the contract between two consultant companies was signed recently in connection with the Angat Dam and Dike Safety program.

Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the MOA states the conduct of feasibility study that will test the strength of Angat Dam at present.

"This is in connection with the stability of the Angat Dam due to the presence of Marikina fault line. It’s already an old dam, 43 years old so it is necessary to have an engineering remedial measures. In case the study shows that the Angat Dam remained strong and stable, we, the Bulakenyos can sleep well," Alvarado said.

The MOA was signed by the stakeholders of the said dam which includes the Provincial Government of Bulacan, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp., and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Jose Dorado Jr., principal engineer of the MWSS Engineering and Project Management Department, said that after the six-month study of the two chosen consultant companies -- Engineering and Development Corp. of the Philippines (EDCOP) and Tonkin & Taylor -- their recommendation will be implemented.

MWSS Administrator Gerardo Esquivel said that as early as April 5, President Benigno S. Aquino III already approved the study and eventual rehabilitation of Angat Dam.

“This is not only because we want to remediate the dam but we want to be sure in water security,” he said.

Esquivel also assured the province of Bulacan that they will also work on the water allocation from the said dam. (PNA)

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Pag-ibig distributes P770-M calamity loans in Calumpit, Bulacan

MANILA, Oct.20 (PNA) -- Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday led the distribution of over 100 calamity loan checks to Pag-IBIG members in Calumpit, Bulacan.

Calumpit was one of the towns severely affected by floodings caused by Typhoon 'Quiel.'

The loan releases in Calumpit were part of over 47,000 calamity loan applications processed by the agency from members in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Baguio, Zambales as well as Manila and CAMANAVA areas in the National Capital Region.

The loans total P770 million.

At the site, the Vice President also announced that Pag-IBIG Fund will accept calamity loan applications for a period of 90 days from the declaration of a state of calamity in an area.

He also distributed some 2,000 bags of relief goods to residents still reeling from the floods.

“Kapag kayo po ay nag-avail ng calamity loan, makakahiram po kayo ng hanggang 80% ng inyong total savings sa Pag-IBIG fund,” Binay said.

“Kaya naman po sa mga miyembro rito na hindi pa nakakapag-avail ng calamity loan, hinihimok po namin kayo na magapply na sa pinakamalapit na Pag-IBIG branch,” he also said.

Binay had earlier issued a directive to the Pag-IBIG Fund ordering them to fast track calamity loan applications of its members.

Binay also said that the Pag-IBIG fund offered a three month moratorium for housing loan borrowers affected by the recent calamities.

The Vice President said he was optimistic that the suspension of loan payments would help alleviate the difficulties faced by its members.

Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG chief executive Atty. Darlene Marie B. Berberabe said that this was the Fund’s way of helping members as they started rebuilding their lives and livelihood.

She also encouraged members to visit Pag-IBIG's website or visit the branch nearest to them to know the guidelines for the housing loan payment moratorium. (PNA) 

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Traffic offender in Bulacan detained for unlicensed gun possession

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, Oct. 19 (PNA) -- A traffic offender landed in jail after a police mobile team seized an unlicensed firearm following a brief chase in Barangay Pulong Gubat here Tuesday night.

Police identified the arrested suspect as Christopher Bunag, 37 and a resident of Barangay Bundukan, Bocaue town.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said the suspect, who was driving a Kawasaki Bajaj tricycle with plate number 2082 PQ, was flagged down when it entered MacArthur Highway for violation of municipal ordinance prohibiting tricycles along the stretch of the highway during rush hour.

However, instead of stopping, Bunag tried to flee going towards the direction of Barangay Pulong Gubat.

This prompted traffic policemen to chase and apprehend him, Mendez added.

When frisked, an improvised shotgun with four live ammunition were found and seized from his possession, which was probably the reason why he did not stop when he was flagged down.

The suspect and the recovered pieces of evidence are presently under the custody of Balagtas Mobile Police Station while appropriate criminal complaint against him is being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 

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Bulacan solon deplores alleged black propaganda on the use of calamity funds

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 18 (PNA) -– As the province is recovering from the worst flooding caused by recent typhoons, a Bulacan lawmaker on Tuesday deplored the alleged “black propaganda” being waged against the provincial government on the delivery of relief goods and use of calamity funds.

Bulacan First District Rep. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado said the calamity funds were utilized for emergency in response to the needs of the flood-affected residents.

"The utilization of calamity funds was put in record. It was allotted for the rehabilitation and repair of the damaged infrastructures and used to help the affected sectors like the agriculture and fishery," Sy-Alvarado said.

The lady solon said she is also working hand-in-hand with the provincial government of Bulacan in assessing reports of damages, particularly in towns and city within the first congressional district of the province.

"We are still assessing reports from the mayor and barangay officials in connection with the damage incurred in their areas as well as the residents who lost their homes, damaged schools, roads and other infrastructures to give appropriate funds for the rehabilitation efforts," Sy-Alvarado said, adding that the provincial government under the administration of Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has always been transparent when it comes to the use of government funds.

She said some parts of Calumpit–Maysulao, San Miguel and Corazon and the villages of Tampok and San Marino in Hagonoy are still partially flooded.

She said massive cleaning operations and medical services are being conducted in the said towns.

Meanwhile, a village chief from the flood ravaged coastal town of Hagonoy belied reports that there was delay in the delivery of relief goods.

Barangay captain Celerino Fajardo said there is a continuous delivery of relief goods and other assistance to affected residents since the height of typhoons.

Fajardo said the black propaganda might boomerang to those sowing misinformation. (PNA) 

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SC orders Comelec to revive poll protest vs. Meycauayan mayor
By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

MANILA, Oct. 17 (PNA) -- The Supreme Court (SC) directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday to revive the election protest filed against Mayor Joan Alarilla of Meycauayan City, Bulacan.

The SC ruled that the Comelec was guilty of grave abuse of discretion when it denied a motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by losing mayoralty candidate Salvador "Bogs" Violago in the May 10, 2010 polls.

In a ruling, the SC en banc granted the petition for certiorari filed by Violago and reinstated his election protest against Alarilla.

"…by denying petitioner's (Violago) motion for reconsideration, without taking into consideration the violation of his right to procedural due process, the Comelec en banc is also guilty of grave abuse of discretion," the decision said.

The ruling said that "petitioner's election protest is reinstated. The Comelec 2nd Division is hereby directed to continue with the proceedings…and to resolve the same with dispatch."

Violago and Alarilla were candidates for the mayoralty race during the May 10, 2010 synchronized automated national and local elections. Alarilla was proclaimed winner.

On May 21, 2010, Violago filed a petition before the Comelec questioning the proclamation of the respondent on the following grounds: (1) massive vote-buying; (2) intimidation and harassment; (3) election fraud; (4) non-appreciation by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines of valid votes cast during the said election; and, (5) irregularities due to non-observance of the guidelines set by the Comelec.

Violago's election protest was hastily dismissed by the Comelec en banc.

In its ruling, the SC said that "on the basis of the…documents, the court finds no justifiable reason why the Comelec 2nd Division hastily dismissed petitioner's election protest."

The justices said that there was no indication that the Comelec 2nd Division made prior verification from the proper or concerned Comelec department or official of Violago's allegation that he did not receive a copy of the subject order.

"In fact, it was only on the day following such dismissal that the Electoral Contests Adjudication Department, through the 2nd Division Clerk, sent a letter to the Postmaster of Meycauayan City, Bulacan requesting for a certification as to the date of receipt of the said order stating therein that the certification is urgently needed for the proper and appropriate disposition of petitioner's election protest," the SC en banc noted.

"Fairness and prudence dictate that the Comelec 2nd Division should have first waited for the requested certification before deciding whether or not to dismiss petitioner's protest on technical grounds," the SC said.

The High Court added that "in the present case, notwithstanding the fact that petitioner's motion for reconsideration was not verified, the Comelec en banc should have considered the merits of the said motion in light of petitioner's meritorious claim that he was not given timely notice of the date set for the preliminary conference. The essence of due process is to be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence in support of one's claim or defense." (PNA) 

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5 kidnappers slain in Bulacan shootout; Chinese victim rescued

MANILA, Oct. 16 (PNA) -- Police operatives killed five kidnapping suspects and rescued an abducted Taiwanese businessman after a shootout in the town of Norzagaray, Bulacan in the wee hours of Sunday.

Reports reaching Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome from Chief Supt. Isagani Nerez, chief of the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response (PACER), disclosed the five suspects were slain during the rescue operation conducted by combined operatives of PACER, Special Action Force, Highway Patrol Group, Police Regional Office 3 and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

The PNP chief quickly congratulated the operatives for the successful rescue of Ying Ching Chang, 29, a partner in a garments manufacturing company in Valenzuela City.

"This particular successful operation is the result of a well-coordinated action with other law enforcement agencies and community support through the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams that provided vital information," Bartolome said.

"By hitting hard on organized crime syndicates, particularly those engaged in high-profile crime activities, we are leaving no room for criminals to pose threat to the community," he stressed.

According to Nerez, Ying was rescued unharmed from the suspects' safehouse in Barangay Bigte, Norzagaray, Bulacan at 2:10 a.m. Sunday.

Two armed kidnappers guarding the blindfolded victim offered stiff resistance, triggering a brief shootout with the raiding team. The two gunmen died.

Authorities recovered the entire P210,000 ransom paid by the victim's kin.

Three other suspects were later intercepted at a PNP-AFP checkpoint at 2:43 a.m. in nearby Barangay Minuyan, also in Norzagaray.

The gunmen opened fire at the lawmen, shattering the windscreen of a PRO3 patrol car. The three suspects were gunned down in the ensuing gun battle.

Reports said Ying was snatched at gunpoint last Wednesday, October 12. The kidnappers negotiated with Ying's relatives for the safe release of the victim. (PNA) 

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Bulacan to put CCTV cameras Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams' spillgates

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 15 (PNA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) will put CCTV (closed-circuit TV) cameras at the spill-gates of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dam and major rivers to monitor in real time the actual releases of water from the dams and the rise of rivers during typhoon season.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government is now consulting with technicians that will put up the CCTV cameras and the monitoring systems that will be put up at the operations center of the PDRRMO at the capitol compound here.

"Through this, we will see the actual release of water from the dams and its flow to Angat river and some low-lying towns, including the increase of water level in the major rivers in Bulacan," Alvardo said during his weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour,” which he co-anchors with Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos every Saturday morning over DWSS 1494 khz on the AM band.

The governor said that CCTV cameras will also be put up at the Angat river and Sta. Maria river so that the PDRRMO can monitor and act fast during stormy weather.

The PDRRMO reported that the spill-gates of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams are still open as of 8 a.m. Saturday. The three dams have started releasing water since Thursday afternoon after the water level at Angat dam reached 214 meters, which is four meters above the dam’s spilling level of 212 meters.

Raul Agustin, senior operations officer of PDRRMO, said that three radial gates of Angat dam remained open and have discharged 308 cubic meters per second (cms) of water while Ipo dam has opened its three gates and discharged 203 cms of water that flows downwards to the Bustos irrigation dam, which has also opened three gates and discharged 250 cms of water.

Agustin said the release of water from the dams has no effects on the recently flood-ravaged coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy since the Angat river can still contain the volume of water being discharged from the three dams.

Alvarado said that this is the right time for dam officials to release excess water from their dams.

He said that the water level at Angat dam, which is still 3.51 meters above it spilling level of 210 meters—remains critical.

They should release water during sunny weather like this and not during the height of typhoon, Alvarado said.

The governor said that existing protocols on the release of water from the dams should be reviewed to avoid the repeat of the severe flooding that hit the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy recently.

The floodings were said to have been aggravated by the release of waters from the three dams at the height of typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel”.

He said that dam engineers should release water from the reservoirs once the water level reach 206 meters during rainy season.

Right now, dam officials should not release water unless the spilling level of 210 meters is breached, he said. (PNA) 

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PDC Techno Park in Bulacan opens for IT-BPO business

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 14 (PNA) –- The newly-established Pilipinas Development Corporation (PDC) Techno Park is now open for business process outsourcing (BPO) centers and other information technology (IT) related business.

Mark Silverio Dee, consultant of the PDC, made this announcement as he invited locators in the field of BPO-IT industry to put their businesses in the PDC Techno Park located in the 8.5-hectare Mahogany compound in Barangay Tambubong, San Rafael town.

The PDC Techno Park is a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) accredited IT Park which boasts of several buildings with three-hectare gross floor area designed for IT-BPO businesses.

“The park was originally applied as IT building but Director General Dr. Lilia B. de Lima of PEZA advised us to have it register as IT Park,” Dee said.

The area exceeds the minimum requirement of five hectares with two existing buildings and has a developed open space for future expansion.

He described the area with uninterrupted power and dependable water supply installed underground for efficiency and unobstructed view. It has its own ample parking area for safety and convenience of its clientele.

A 24-hour security and clean, well-lit surroundings for easy navigation are also provided. Broadband service is available with redundant high bandwidth telecommunication pipeline, which serves as the international gateway for the PDC Techno Park.

Dee also said that a retail shop, convenience stores, coffee shops and a restaurant are being planned for immediate construction as part of the PDC information technology park.

“Our company is now conducting free intensive call center training to first batch of 52 aspiring agents in the locality” he said.

Expected to employ more than 2,000 in San Rafael town, he said the center will continue to train agents in preparation for the arrival of IT-BPO locators. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops bust illegal gambling operation

BALIUAG, Bulacan, Oct. 11 (PNA) - Police detectives swooped down on an alleged gambling den in Barangay Bagong Nayon here and arrested eight persons while betting on a “color game” Monday night.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said that a joint team from the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) of Police Regional Office 3 headed by Supt. Manuel M. Lukban Jr., and the Provincial Intelligence Branch led by Supt. Edwin A. Quilates conducted an operation after receiving reports that illegal gambling is rampant in the said village, using a long overdue “fiesta carnival” as front.

Mendez identified the arrested suspects as Sheena Narisma, 28, a resident of Tuktukan, Guiguinto; Alvin Perez, 36, of Barangay San Juan, San Miguel; Gilbert Castillo, 22, of Dagat-dagatan, Caloocan City; Daniel Lazaro, 23, of Barangay Liciada, Bustos; William Mateo, 28, of Barangay Mambog, Malolos City; Mac Caballa, 22; Benjie Vera, 28; and Rico Dizon, 20, of San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Prior to the raid, Lukban said a news and public affairs team of GMA Channel 7 (Imbestigador) went to the office of the RIDMD and said some concerned citizens reported that illegal gambling is being done even up to the wee hours of the morning at a village carnival.

It shows that they are using a long overdue fiesta carnival as front of the illegal gambling, Lukban said.

The police team recovered assorted gambling paraphernalia of color games ("pula-puti") and bet money worth P1,302.

The arrested persons are presently detained at the detention cell of the Provincial Public Safety Company at Camp Gen. Alejo Santos in Malolos City while appropriate charges are being prepared against them. (PNA) 

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Bulacan officials to file class suit vs dam operators due to flooding

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 9 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said on Sunday the provincial government would file a class suit against officials of the National Power Corp. (Napocor), the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for damages and losses incurred by many towns and cities of the province allegedly due to “mismanagement” of the dams in the province in times of calamity.

“Something has to be done. It is always been like this every time they release water from the dams. Our development is being destroyed,” Alvarado told a delegation of provincial officials from Capiz led by Vice Governor Esteban Ivan Contreras who brought truckloads of relief goods for the Bulacan flood-victims on Sunday morning.

At the same time, Alvarado also disclosed that his wife, Rep. Ma. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado (1st District-Bulacan) is set to file a bill in Congress that will pinpoint responsibilities of dam officials with additional penal clause.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported that 23 persons had died while a total of 884,613 persons in the province’s 20 towns and three cities were affected due to the heavy flooding that submerged many parts of Bulacan during the onslaught of typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel."

The PDRRMO also said that the estimated damage to agriculture has ballooned to P2,525,473,867.65 while that of infrastructures reached P231,400,000.

Alvarado also said that after 15 days of heavy flooding, the floods in Calumpit began subsiding, paving the way for the entry of trucks carrying relief goods, potable water and medicines to villages isolated by 10 to 12 feet of raging floodwaters during the surge of back floods aggravated by the release of water from the overflowing Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams.

Truckloads of relief goods coming from various Rotary clubs in Makati City and other parts of the National Capital Region arrived Sunday at the operations center of the PDRMMO here.

Alvarado thanked all those who are helping, noting that help is also coming from far away provinces like Capiz.

Earlier, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim also brought truckloads of relief goods and distilled water to flood victims in the province. (PNA) 

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Two men jailed for bribing cop in Bulacan

STA. MARIA, Bulacan, Oct. 7 (PNA) - Two men landed in jail after attempting to bribe a police officer in exchange for the release of an impounded motorcycle Thursday afternoon.

In a report to Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., Sta. Maria police head Supt. Raniel Valones identified the suspects as Eduardo Sebastian, 52 and Ramil Nolasco, 41, both from Barangay Poblacion, Pandi town.

Valones said the suspects went to the Sta. Maria police station and presented themselves as claimants/owners of an impounded Kawasaki 100 motorcycle with plate number RM 5598 (engine number G7E109527).

However, the police chief said that the duo failed to present pertinent documents that will prove they are the rightful owners of the motorcycle.

Valones said that upon learning that the motorcycle will not be released to them, Sebastian attempted to offer cash to PO2 Rolando R. Isidoro in exchange for the release of the impounded motorcycle.

Instead of accepting the bribe money, PO2 Isidro arrested Sebastian and his cohort Nolasco.

SPO1 Eduardo Janapin also caught Nolasco trying to take video shots while PO2 Isidoro and Eduardo were talking.

Valones also said that when the personal belongings of the suspects were inventoried, the investigators found in the possession of Nolasco and Sebastian, P25,650 and P6,440, respectively.

A criminal complaint for “corruption of public officials” was filed against the suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Malolos City. (PNA) 

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PNP Ladies Club to conduct relief operations in Pampanga, Tarlac

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Oct. 6 (PNA) -- Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) Ladies Club and PNP Ladies Club of Camp Crame, Quezon City, will conduct on Friday simultaneous relief operations in Pampanga and Tarlac.

Chief Supt. Edgar Ladao, PRO3 police director, said the PRO3 Ladies will be distributing some 1,500 packs of goods to the affected residents in San Luis, Pampanga.

Ladao said they will also give 2,000 of lunch boxes from Jollibee in two evacuation centers also in San Luis.

He said he will visit on Friday Barangay Arabia in Masantol town to distribute relief goods.

Ladao said that Barangay Arabia in Masantol could only be reached by motorized bancas.

He said that the barangay has been isolated due to five-foot floodwaters.

The PNP Ladies Club of Camp Crame, on the other hand, will go to La Paz, Tarlac on Friday to distribute relief goods and used clothes.

Ladao said that at least nine barangays in La Paz town have been severely affected by floodwaters brought by the two recent typhoons.

He said that he visited some villages in Calumpit, Bulacan on Wednesday and distributed packs of goods, including 10,000 bottles of mineral water, to the affected residents.

He said the relief goods and used clothes were donated by policemen and friends of the PNP. (PNA) 

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P-Noy visits flood-hit areas in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 5 (PNA) -- President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, together with his Cabinet members, on Wednesday visited typhoon-hit areas in the province before attending the Central Luzon Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting where he was presented with the proposed rehabilitation priorities in the region.

The Chief Executive went to flooded areas in Calumpit town and visited evacuees still housed at the United Pulp and Paper Company evacuation center.

“Lagi pong andito ang gobyerno para sa inyo at hinding-hindi po kayo pababayaan,” President Aquino told flood victims, adding that ”Lagi po tayong magsama-sama at iwasan nating magka-sakit.”

Immediately thereafter, he attended the RDC-3 meeting at the Hiyas Convention Center in Malolos City where Josefina T. Timoteo, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 3 briefed him on the early recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).

City of San Fernando, Pampanga Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, chairman of RDC3, also presented to the President the priority rehabilitation interventions that would address the perennial flooding in Central Luzon.

Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, together with the different mayors of towns and cities in Bulacan which experienced heavy flooding brought by typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel" also discussed with the President the ongoing relief and rehabilitation works in the affected areas.

Alvarado also suggested to President Aquino that the National Power Corporation, operator of Angat Dam, be temporarily authorized by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to determine by itself the water level in Angat Dam only during the rainy season when rainfall is abundant so that water releases in Angat river can be planned and executed in anticipation of more rains to come without losing sight of the dam’s operational level of 210 meters.

“In this way, the outflow from Angat Dam is controlled and regulated in consideration of the inflow. Thus, avoiding a hurried spilling and consequently, the unwanted and unnecessary flooding of our low-lying areas and the heavy cost that it exacts in terms of lives and properties and lost business opportunities from our people,” Alvarado said. (PNA) 

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Gov't asks DPWH to desilt Pampanga River

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- The provincial government on Tuesday requested the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to spearhead the desilting activity along Pampanga River as its present condition contributes to flooding problem in the coastal villages in the fourth district of province.

Governor Lilia Pineda said the DPWH should prioritize the clearing operations at the Pampanga river at the portion of Macabebe and Masantol, two of the heavily affected towns in Pampanga since last week when two strong typhoons struck Central Luzon.

Pineda said several rivers, including those in Aurora and Nueva Ejica provinces, dumped their waters at the Pampanga river before it comes out of the Manila Bay.

“The high volume of water which is supposed to come out at the Pampanga bay flows back to our towns as the bay is heavily silted. It looks like it will stay for weeks and even months in other areas,” Pineda said.

The governor said that based on the report of the Pampanga River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning System of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), “there are 15 rivers along the Pampanga river basin that greatly contribute to the massive flooding on the low-lying areas in Pampanga and Bulacan.”

Masantol Mayor Peter Flores disclosed that the total 26 barangays in their town remained flooded which started at the height of typhoon Pedring.

He described the floods in Macabebe and Masantol “as the worst in four decades.”

“I haven’t seen a worst flood like this one in Masantol in my entire lifetime,” said Flores, quoting his 70-year-old constituent.

Pineda said the DPWH and its regional office should “stop all other infrastructure projects in Pampanga and instead concentrate on the desilting of the clogged portion of the bay.”

“We must save lives, properties and the progressive business industry not just in Pampanga but nearby Bulacan,” said Pineda, who led the distribution of relief goods in Masantol, Macabebe, Apalit, Candaba, San Simon, San Luis, Arayat, Apalit and Sto. Tomas since last week. They are the worst hit towns in the province.

Pineda also announced that she will ask the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to give her authority to allow private firms to desilt the downstream portion of the Gugu, Porac Gumain and Abacan river channels.

“They will not be asked to pay fees for the filing materials because what is important is that river channels will be cleared to complement the desilting of the Pampanga bay," said Pineda.

The first-term governor said she will convene a summit with national government agencies such as the DPWH, Department of Agriculture, DOST and Climate Change Commission to help farmers in Pampanga “properly address the effects of climate change on their production.”

Pineda said at least 18,000 farmers and their some 29,000 hectares farmland had been affected by flood.

She also cited the study of the National Water Resource Board that the lack of trees, the degradation of water shed, increased in sediment load, damages caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and overuse of ground water that loosens soil contribute to flooding.

Pineda said the P10-million study sponsored by Manny V. Pangilinan of the Maynilad Water Services “is timely”” to allow to use water coming from rains and in river channels and creeks for the supply of potable water.

At least 100,000 families or 450,000 residents have been affected by floods spawned by typhoons Pedring and Quiel.

Most of the affected residents are the 35,000 families living along the Pampanga river, measuring 260 kilometers from Arayat to Masantol. (PNA) 

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P-Noy to visit flooded Bulacan towns on Wednesday

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno Aquino III will be briefed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on the heavy flooding that devastated many areas in Bulacan, particularly in the still flooded coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, during the Chief Executive's visit on Wednesday.

Alvarado and other provincial officials, including Calumpit Mayor James de Jesus, met Tuesday with heads of the Presidential Management Staff at the operations center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) here.

They discussed the massive relief operations being conducted in the flooded towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy and the damages to agriculture and infrastructures.

The governor also told Robbie Roco of the Presidential Political Affairs Office that the flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy was aggravated by the release of water from the overflowing Angat Dam and the Ipo and Bustos Dams at the height of typhoon "Pedring" last week.

"Three weeks ago before the typhoon, the water level at the Angat dam was 206 meters and the dam officials did not release water. That's why during the height of typhoon Pedring when the water level at the dam increased, they released that caused massive flooding in Bulacan," he added.

Alvarado said that he will reiterate his suggestion to President Aquino that the National Power Corporation, operator of Angat Dam be temporarily authorized by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to determine by itself the water level in Angat Dam only during the rainy season when rainfall is abundant so that water releases in Angat river can be planned and executed in anticipation of more rains to come without losing sight of the dam’s operational level of 210 meters.

“In this way, the outflow from Angat Dam is controlled and regulated in consideration of the inflow thus, avoiding a hurried spilling and consequently, the unwanted and unnecessary flooding of our low-lying areas and the heavy cost that it exacts in terms of lives and properties and lost business opportunities from our people,” Alvarado said

The Chief Executive is expected to visit and personally asses the situation in provinces in Northern and Central Luzon that were devastated by floods brought by typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel."

Provincial administrator Jim Valerio said that floods have began subsiding in many villages in Calumpit and Hagonoy.

He said massive relief operations and medical missions are being conducted in the affected municipalities. (PNA) 

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DRRMC remains on red alert status

MANILA, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday it remains on red alert in anticipation of Tropical Storm “Ramon”.

NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said there were not enough search and rescue teams at the height of Typhoon “Pedring’s” onslaught but they were readier than ever for “Quiel” and “Ramon”.

Ramos also said they had intensified search, rescue and relief operations in the region that was hard hit by typhoons "Pedring" and “Quiel.”

He said floodwaters were slowly receding when he did an ocular inspection of the affected areas over the weekend.

Parts of Pampanga and Bulacan have been submerged in chest-deep water since Friday, with many residents sheltering on their roofs.

Meanwhile, Text Fire Philippines (TFP) sent fire trucks, water tankers for drinking water distribution and relief goods to evacuation sites in Calumpit, Bulacan as part of their voluntary efforts. (PNA)

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Army Dragon Boat Team joins rescue mission in flooded Central Luzon

MANILA, Oct. 3 (PNA) -- The newly-crowned World Dragon Boat Racing Champions, the Philippine Army Dragon Warriors Monday joined rescue missions in flood-stricken Bulacan and Pampanga areas.

Army deputy spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc led the champion paddlers in the rescue and relief operations.

Cabunoc said the team will make use of the actual dragon boat that they used in the recent world competition.

Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) president Marcia Cristobal has provided the boat which can accommodate 20 people.

“We fielded eight paddlers in the boat so that we can ferry 10 people at a time,” said Sgt. Usman Anterola, the team captain of the Dragon Warriors.

Cabunoc said that the 20-man rescue contingent is comprised of 10 Army dragon boat athletes and Dragon Warriors from the Philippine Air Force, the Coast Guard and civilians.

Army chief, Lt. Gen Arturo Ortiz has specifically directed the Army athletes to help in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) rescue and relief efforts.

The Dragon Warriors have volunteered their services Sunday after watching TV footages of hapless people trapped in the surging waters in the heavily flooded areas.

AFP Chief General Eduardo S.L. Oban Jr. said “the Dragon Warriors have already paddled to bring honor and glory for the country. Now they will paddle to save lives of many Filipinos in flood-stricken areas in Bulacan and Pampanga.”

“They will take risk to save and bring relief to their fellow countrymen who have been their source of inspiration and who have supported them paddled their way to victory in the last world competition,” Oban said. (PNA)

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Napocor denies Angat Dam causes massive flooding in Bulacan, Pampanga

MANILA, Oct. 3 (PNA) - The state-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor) on Monday denied allegations that Angat Dam caused the massive flooding in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Napocor said that one of the functions of a dam was to mitigate floods.

Napocor also said that it strictly followed established dam water release protocols during the onslaught of Typhoon "Pedring".

In a statement, the company said that the protocols it had been following were the same protocols that had been used and implemented during typhoon seasons when water levels in Angat Dam were expected to rise.

"The release of water from Angat Dam is a decision that rests not solely on National Power. It is a decision based on several contributory factors, primary of which are the weather and flood forecasts coming from the weather bureau. It is also dictated by standards and regulations set by the regulatory agency, specifically on the water levels that should be maintained in the dam," Napocor said.

As of 4 p.m. on Sept. 30, all gates in Angat Dam were closed. Inflow was 157 cubic meters (cms). Outflow through turbine discharge was 75 cms. Dam elevation was 213.08 meters above sea level (masl).

"The gates were closed to reduce the dam’s contribution to downstream flooding. The Angat River Basin or Watershed has an area of 586, which only constitute about 5 % of the total area of the Pampanga River Basin or Watershed, that measures some 10,540 Thus, it could not have caused the floodings now being experienced by areas in Bulacan," Napocor said.

It may be recalled that during the passage of Typhoon Pedring from Sept. 26 to 29, 2011, Napocor started the release of excess water from its Angat Reservoir at 4 p.m. on September 27 with an initial gate opening of one meter and an equivalent discharge of 120 cms.

"Dam Water Release Protocol dictates that once water level in Angat Dam reaches above 210 masl, the excess water should be discharged," Napocor said.

The statement further narrates that before the actual release was made, ample warnings as dictated by the protocol were undertaken by Napocor.

"The water level in Angat Dam at 1 PM, September 27, 2011 rose to 209.65 masl. National Power began releasing General Notices for Dam Water Release to the Office of the Governor of Bulacan and the local government units (LGUs) within the pathway of Angat River," Napocor said. (PNA)

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Bulacan towns isolated due to heavy flooding

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 1 (PNA) --Rising floodwater has isolated the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy where massive rescue and forced evacuation of affected residents continued on Saturday as government and disaster control officials brace for the onslaught of new typhoon Quiel.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that even trucks can no longer reach the two heavily flooded towns.

Only watercraft can reach the submerged villages, the PDRRMO reported.

Watercraft from the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) and rubber boats from different rescue teams continued to extract trapped residents in heavily flooded village, most of which are submerged under five to 10 feet of floodwater.

Trapped residents are either clinging to trees or staying at rooftops.

NOLCOM chief Major General Jessie Dellosa said that aerial rescue operations have been momentarily halted due to bad weather conditions.

He said four helicopters are on stand-by and will resume rescue and relief operations once the weather improves.

Our rescue operations are ongoing with the use of watercraft and rubber boats. We are also continuously coordinating with the local government units to rescue the affected residents in Calumpit and Hagonoy, Dellosa said.

The PDRRMO reported that at least 16,774 families in Calumpit and 34,788 families in Hagonoy have been affected by the heavy flooding caused by back floods coming from Nueva Ecija and Pampanga and the release of waters from Angat dam, Ipo Dam and Bustos dam.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the three dams had stopped releasing water Friday afternoon.

He earlier called the National Power Corporation, operator of Angat dam, to temporarily stop the release of water from the dam whose water rose to 213.18 meters as of 7:00 a.m. Saturday.

The governor also announced that the Sanguniang Panglalawigan has issued a resolution declaring the entire province of Bulacan under a “state of calamity.”

Alvarado said that typhoon Pedring has wrought massive devastation in many parts of the province.

The PDRRMO reported that 15 persons died, more than 500 houses destroyed and the number of families affected have reached 759,949.

The provincial board also cited that damage to agriculture have risen to P606,216,734.91 while damage to infrastructure was estimated at P137,400,000. (PNA) 

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Provincial gov't urged to push through with district hospital plan

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Sept. 21 (PNA) - Residents from Candaba East are appealing to the provincial government to push through with its earlier plan to construct a district hospital here.

This came as Vice Mayor Daniel Gallardo said that the provincial government is temporarily withdrawing its plan to construct a public hospital in the East Plaza of the Tagalog Region of Candaba town.

Gallardo said the provincial officials disclosed that there is no available fund this year for the said purpose as it is not included in the annual investment plan of the province.

Another reason is that the land requirement of the Department of Health is at least one hectare, the vice mayor quoted the provincial government as saying.

It can be recalled that the provincial government led by Governor Lilia Pineda and other officials recently conducted a groundbreaking ceremony signaling the start of the construction of the district hospital.

The governor said the people in the Candaba East are in dire need of a public hospital as most of their patients are being taken to the private and public hospital in the nearby province of Bulacan.

"That is why we were very happy when we first heard that Governor Pineda has already started the realization of our hospital dream in simple ground breaking ceremony,” a resident here said.

Local folks here remembered that it was also part of the campaign promise of the governor.

"We are appealing to Governor Pineda to push through with the construction of the hospital here,” Tirso Sunga, a resident of Dulong Ilog in Candaba, said.

Vice mayor Gallardo proposed in the meantime the construction of a clinic to create an impression that the governor is bent on making true her campaign promise.

This, according to him, will stand until the provincial government finds a source of funds for the said construction.

Among the barangays that could benefit from the would-be hospital are Paligui, Bahay Pare, Dulong Ilog, Pulung Gubat, Barit, Tinajero, Mangga, Dalayap, Visal Sto. Nino, Visal Sto. Cristo, VIsal San Pablo, Pulong Plazan and Pangclara.

The Candaba Sangguniang Bayan has previously approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Jerry Pelayo to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the provincial government involving a parcel of land to be used as construction site for the hospital. (PNA)

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World’s largest dome-arena to rise in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 21 (PNA) –- The construction for the world’s biggest dome-arena was recently ground broke at Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue town.

Named the Philippine Arena, the dome is a centerpiece project of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), which is expected to be completed within 30 months in time for the INC’s centennial celebration in 2014.

It has a seating capacity of 50,000 to 55,000, a floor area of 74,000 square meters and its domed roof is nearly 36,000 square meters which makes it the largest dome arena in the world.

The project, which is now starting its civil works, will be conducted in design-build process with an estimated construction value of US$ 212 million or a whopping P9 billion.

“At first, foreign consultants were shocked and could not believe in our plan to build such extremely large structure”, said Glicerio Santos Jr., general auditor of INC.

“Structural and architectural engineers, design planners and builders are fantastic team from world-renown Populous of Australia, Burro Happold of United Kingdom and Hanwha E & C Corporation of Korea”, he added.

Santos said that this early, a foreign company is dealing with INC to come up with a contract of holding international circus show in the arena.

According to Eduardo Manalo, Executive Minister of Iglesia Ni Cristo, the project is intended not only for their growing membership, major church gatherings and church centennial celebration.

“This is a dream come true for Eraño V. Manalo, whose vision in building the facility is to serve and share God’s blessings to the community -– local or international”.

“The Ciudad de Victoria where Philippine Arena is being constructed will also be the home to EGM Memorial Medical Center, New Era University Bulacan Campus, New Era University Sports Stadium Complex and EVM Convention Center, capable of holding wide range of events,” Manalo also said.

“When INC first contacted us, we didn’t know a lot about the Philippines. “We were astonished because the project is ambitious and unusual. It is twice bigger than Staple Center in Los Angeles, California with 21,000 sitting capacity and beating O2 Arena in London with 30,000 seaters,” said Andrew James, structural design consultant from Populous.

“It is our honor and privilege to be part of this magnificent project that was masterfully planned with fully-air conditioned building, Chris Sparrow, engineering consultant of Burro Happold, shared.

“The Philippine Arena is three times bigger than the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Stadium, Korea’s largest indoor arena,” Kim Hyun-chung, CEO of Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corporation said.

Gracing the recent groundbreaking ceremony, along with Eduardo V. Manalo, INC officials and foreign consultants, were House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Senator Francis Escudero, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Bocaue Mayor Eduardo Villanueva Jr. and Sta. Maria Mayor Bartolome Ramos

House Speaker Belmonte said that the arena is the biggest in its kind, a phenomenal structure, historic and centerpiece project.

“I congratulate the Iglesia ni Cristo for setting-up the Philippine Arena at the center of Bulacan. Whatever development that Bocaue and Santa Maria will enjoy, it will cascade down to all barangays and will benefit the whole province and the country as well”. This is not just a wise decision to locate here but a manifestation of God’s blessing,” Alvarado said.

“We are very glad hosting this project. It will greatly help boost tourism in Bulacan. Ciudad de Victoria at the border of Bocaue and Santa Maria along North Luzon Expressway is a rain-fed area, that’s why land use conversion is not a big problem in fast tracking the project,” the governor added.

Mayor Ramos, for his part, lauded INC’s effort, saying it will create employment, livelihood opportunities and more economic activities for Bulakenyos.

It could be remembered that the Araneta Coliseum or the “Big Dome” in Cubao was once the world’s biggest indoor dome for having a dome-shape roof measuring 108 diameters.

It was beaten by Oita Stadium, also known as “The Big Eye” in Japan in 2001 for having a retractable roof measuring a diameter of 274 meters. In 2009, the Oita Stadium was beaten by the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas by just one meter. (PNA) 

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NTC expects interconnection between PLDT and Globe in more areas

MANILA, Sept. 21 (PNA) -- The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) expects Globe Telecom and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) to activate local interconnection in seven more provinces and cities by the end of the year.

In a statement, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said the regulator expects the local interconnection between Globe and PLDT to be fully activated in Laguna, Quezon province, Bulacan, Bataan, Zamboanga City, Iloilo, and Nueva Ecija before the year ends.

Globe has urged the NTC to enforce rules on interconnection as PLDT refused to link with the Ayala-led telco.

Globe has been requesting PLDT for interconnection since 2006, but the country's largest telecom firm has yet to act on its request for interconnection in 31 provinces and cities.

“Local interconnection is a very touchy issue because even if it’s been mandated by law and by the government, it seems like it’s only Globe that wants to interconnect, and in some areas, just to get it done, we’ve had to seek for the intervention of the local government. But we are committed to getting this done even if we have to go locality by locality for the benefit of our subscribers,” Froilan M. Castelo, head for Corporate and Legal Services Group of Globe, said.

With local interconnection, residents of a certain province or area who call each other need not pay long distance charges.

"We look forward to activating and completing local interconnection in more provinces in the future,” Castelo said.

Pampanga is only the second area where Globe has completed its local interconnection services with PLDT, after activation of interconnection services took place in Davao City in July last year.

To date, there are over 30 provinces and cities nationwide awaiting for full interconnection between Globe and PLDT.

Meanwhile, the networks of Globe, Bayan Telecommunications (BayanTel) and Digitel Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel) have been 100 percent interconnected in all areas of common presence and operations nationwide since April this year.

The full interconnection among telecom companies in all areas of common operations is a mandate from the NTC, in compliance with Republic Act No. 7925, or the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of 1995.

The law aims to create a universally accessible and fully integrated nationwide telecommunications network to encourage more infrastructure investments from the private sector that benefit consumers. (PNA) 

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Trainer plane crashes in Bulacan; 2 Arab pilots cheat death

PULILAN, Bulacan, Sept. 21 (PNA) -- A student pilot and a pilot instructor from the United Arab Emirates cheated death as their two-seater Cessna plane crashed on a ricefield in Barangay Pinabatan here Wednesday afternoon.

The survivors were identified as one Karunakaran, student pilot, and one Alocbati, instructor pilot, according to initial reports received by Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr.

The aircraft took off at the Plaridel airfield in nearby Plaridel town before 12 noon Wednesday.

Mendez said that the two pilots were on a training flight on board a Cessna 152 aircraft, owned by AMA Air with body number RPC 7087, when the airplane suffered engine trouble.

Witnesses suspected that the pilot diverted the aircraft to the ricefield to avoid hitting residential or crowded areas. (PNA) 

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Saulog Transit submits buses for LTFRB, LTO inspections

MANILA, Sept. 20 (PNA) --- After one of its buses figured in a road mishap last week, the Saulog Transit bus company decided to ground its buses to Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) inspectors to check the road worthiness of their buses.

Saulog general manager Droy J. Jalbuna said that the company was willing to have their buses checked by the agencies and have all its bus drivers get the necessary trainings and seminars on driving and road safety from the LTO.

“We will also follow all their technical and regulatory recommendations after that and we are a responsible company and keenly conscious of our obligations as the holder of a public utility franchise,” Jalbuna said in his statement. All the firm’s buses are grounded starting on Tuesday until the LTFRB suspension order is lifted.

Last Sept. 17, a Saulog bus, driven by Logie Parangat with the plate number DXN 467, was involved in an accident at the Bocaue – Sta. Rita stretch of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Bulacan.

The bus turned turtle along the NLEX, leaving three people dead identified as Candice Bondoc, Jenosheva Medina and Imelda Granada and 21 others injured.

Jalbuna said that they were deeply saddened by the NLEX accident last Saturday, especially the loss of human lives.

“Our priority after the tragedy was to attend to the needs of the dead and the injured. And do our own inquiry on what lead to the tragedy. So we can do whatever is required to be done to avoid a repeat of this tragedy,” he said adding this is the opportunity to apologize to our passengers for this temporary inconvenience.

To develop a culture of zero-accident within the company, Jalbuna said that the company had expressed policy of the new management that recently took over Saulog Transit Inc. as it acquired 80 new buses for a re-fleeting program.

“We want to make sure that every Saulog bus on the road is safe and roadworthy and deserving of its franchise. If we need to do more from our end to make our operations safer- and to be a better transport company - that is our full pre-occupation right now,” he said.

On Monday, the LTFRB served the suspension order on the operation of the Saulog Transit and will take effect for 30-days.

LTFRB chairman Jaime Jacob said that during the 30-day suspension, all their drivers would undergo drug test and seminar.

The LTFRB said the suspension would be used to inspect all buses used by Saulog to determine their road-worthiness. Drivers and company officials will also undergo road safety seminars.

The agency also ordered Saulog representatives to appear with the driver of the bus that figured in the accident during the hearing on the case on Sept. 22. (PNA) 

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Transport groups in Bulacan vow not to join strike on Monday

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept.17 (PNA) --—There will be no transport strike in Bulacan on Monday, the provincial federation of transportation groups in Bulacan said on Saturday.

Jun “Batas” Pereda, president of the Panglalawigang Transportasyon ng Bulacan (PTB), said that their group will not join the planned transport strike set by militant transport associations on Monday.

Pereda, together with Malolos Transport Alliance president Reden Zamora, made the announcement during the weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour,” hosted by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos Saturday morning.

"We are supporting the calls of President Benigno Aquino III and Governor Alvarado. We will do our best to make sure that the transportation in the province would not be paralyzed. We already asked the different transport groups not to join the strike on Monday and they will support our call," Pereda said.

Alvarado welcomed the announcement of the leaders of PTB, saying that the provincial government was constantly talking with leaders of the transport group to help in addressing the problems of the transport sector in Bulacan.

"We believed with the PTB groups. We are expecting that the interest of the majority will prevail," the governor said.

Alvarado also said that the provincial government, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, headed by Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., and the Provincial Public Safety Company under Supt. Fitz Macariola have contingency plans should problems arise.

Pereda also said that he would be coordinating with various transport groups, the provincial government and the Bulacan PNP to ensure that classes and work in the province will not be disrupted.(PNA) 

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Aquino appoints Perlas-Bernabe as new Supreme Court Justice

MANILA, Sept. 16 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed Estela Perlas-Bernabe as the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Malacañang official said Friday.

“Today the President has announced the appointment of Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe as the new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told a press conference in Malacañang.

Prior to her appointment, Bernabe was Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals since March 9, 2004.

She has served the Judiciary as Regional Trial Court Judge of Makati City from January 2000 to March 2004, Metropolitan Trial Court Judge of the same city from March 1996 to January 2000, and as Technical Assistant in the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1977 to 1979.

She also worked in various private and government offices, namely, as Legal Assistant, Legal Department of China Banking Corp. (1979-1980); Senior Manager, Legal Department of Paramount Finance Corp. (1980-1987); Legal Manager and Corporate Secretary/ Legal Consultant of the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corp. (1990-1993); and Senior Partner of Bernabe Perlas Morte and Associates (1993-1996).

In 1999, she received the Best Written Decision Award for the Municipal/ Metropolitan Trial Court Level given by the Philippine Women Judges Association.

In October 2001, she represented the Philippine Judiciary as a scholar in the 5th International Workshop on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held in Seoul, Korea, where she delivered reports on the "Effective Administration of Criminal Justice" and "Probation Law in the Philippines."

Moreover, in recognition of her exemplary service, Bernabe was given the distinction of "Natatanging Babaeng Hukom" by the Municipality of Plaridel, Bulacan on March 3, 2003.

Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe completed her Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Banking and Finance magna cum laude at St. Paul College of Manila and earned her law degree from the Ateneo College of Law graduating as Class Salutatorian in 1976. She passed the bar examination in 1977 with a bar rating of 85.156 percent.

Born on May 14, 1952 in Plaridel, Bulacan, Justice Perlas-Bernabe is married to Atty. Ricardo C. Bernabe Jr., a lawyer/businessman from Malolos, Bulacan, with whom she has two children, Ericia and Ricardo III. (PNA) 

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Gov't officials cite importance of Malolos Congress

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 15 (PNA) - City Mayor Christian D. Natividad on Thursday emphasized the significance of the Malolos Congress as he welcomed guests and government officials during the commemoration of its 113th anniversary at the patio of the historic Barasoain Church here.

Natividad said that the importance of the events that took place at the Barasoain Church on September 15, 1898, where the revolutionary congress was convened and began to draft the Malolos Constitution that gave credence to the declaration of Philippine Independence, is now being recognized by no less than President Benigno Aquino III.

He said that through Presidential Proclamation 246 issued by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Malacanang has declared September 15 as a “special non-working holiday” in the historic city of Malolos.

Natividad, in his welcome remarks, said that the sacrifice and heroism of Filipino patriots and revolutionaries headed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic, has pave the way for the freedom and independence the Filipino people is now enjoying.

The mayor, together with Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and other provincial officials earlier joined Makati Mayor Jejomar "Junjun" Binay Jr., who represented his father Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, in the ceremonial offering of flower to the statue of General Aguinaldo.

Alvarado, on his part, said that the observance of the Malolos Congress anniversary should be made into a national holiday because of its importance to Philippine history.

He said that from blood, courage and wisdom of Filipino patriots and freedom fighters came the gifts of the revolution—-freedoms (blessings of the democratic system), rights (benefits of civil liberties) and responsibilities (brings well being to others).

He said that all Filipinos should stand together just like what the revolutionaries did and preserved the “fruits of freedom” and significance of the Malolos Congress. (PNA) 

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PDEA testing kit can detect 4 types of dope

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 11 (PNA) -- Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Undersecretary Jose S. Guttierez Jr. on Saturday said the drug testing kit currently being used by the agency is capable of detecting four types of prohibited drugs and not just marijuana and shabu.

Guttierez said the drug testing kit --known as the immuno-assay kit and currently being used by the PDEA Laboratory Service-- is capable of identifying the presence of shabu, marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine that are predominantly most abused illegal drugs in the country.

Guiterrez said the laboratory results using this kit may be obtained in five minutes.

The PDEA director also shared the observation of Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy that there is a need to upgrade the capability of accredited drug testing centers.

However, he clarified that upgrading the capability of said drug-testing centers is beyond PDEA’s control.

The accreditation and over-all supervision of drug testing centers falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DOH).

On the other hand, the Integrated Drug Test Operating Manual and Information System (IDTOMIS) being used to facilitate issuance and renewal of driver’s license is being managed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

The IDTOMIS form being filled-up by applicants only requires result of laboratory analysis for presence of shabu and marijuana.

Gutierrez said that PDEA can only recommend to DOH to require accredited drug testing centers to use the immuno-assay kit being used by PDEA.

For LTO, Gutierrez suggested it may possibly consider revising the IDTOMIS to include laboratory results for presence of ecstasy and cocaine.

He also emphasized the need to erase the negative perception that drug test results from accredited dope testing centers are being tampered with, to suit the purpose of individuals applying for issuance or renewal of driver’s license.

He also said it is imperative for mandated agencies to closely monitor the operations of these accredited centers to ensure the integrity of drug test results. (PNA) 

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World-class Iglesia ni Cristo arena rising in Bulacan
By Joel C. Atencio

MANILA, Sept. 11 (PNA Feature) – A world-class arena with a seating capacity of 50,000 to 55,000 is under construction on a 52-hectare property owned by the influential Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) at the "Ciudad de Victoria" in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Prof. Medem Fadriquela of New Era University (NEU) High School Department in Quezon City said on Saturday the project is being undertaken by Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corp. of South Korea.

Fadriquela said the Korean firm won the contract to build the multipurpose project located in Barangay Duhat, Bocaue, Bulacan.

The estimated cost of completing the world-class project, to be called The Philippine Arena, is US$ 175 million (about P8 billion).

Fadriquela said that when completed, the 50,000- to 55,000-seat Philippine Arena would be twice as large as the famed Araneta Coliseum (now the Smart Araneta Coliseum) in Cubao, Quezon City which could sit 25,000.

Also known as the Big Dome, the Araneta Coliseum was once widely accepted as the world’s biggest indoor sports venue when it was constructed way back in the 1960s.

When The Philippine Arena is finished, it would be bigger than some of the world’s biggest like New York City’s Madison Square Garden (20,000 seats); Los Angeles’ Staples Center, which is home to multi-NBA champion team LA Lakers (21,000); and the O2 Arena in London (30,000).

The Philippine Arena owners have given the contractors to wind up the project by 2014, in time for the centennial celebration in July that year of the Iglesia ni Cristo, which commands tremendous followers not only in the Philippines but also in many other parts of the world.

Fadriquela said the complex aims to provide a wholesome gathering place for people and a venue for religious, entertainment, cultural and sporting events.

Several prefabricated materials of international standards are being used in the construction of the complex, which also includes a hospital and a university, Fadriquela said.

INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo led the groundbreaking in Bocaue last week for an infrastructure program consisting of the New Era Sports Complex, EVM Convention Center, New Era University-Bocaue Campus, EGM Medical Center and Music Center. (PNA Feature) 

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Singkaban Fiesta 2011 kicks off in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 9 (PNA) - Bulakenyos on Thursday started celebrating the week-long “Singkaban Fiesta” with an array of activities showcasing the province’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

With the theme “Bulacan: Masaganang Lalawigang Pinanday ng Kasaysayan at Kabayanihan”, the annual Sining at Kalinangan ng Bulacan (Singkaban) festival kicked-off with a holy mass in front of the Capitol building, followed by a parade of colorful floats depicting the historic past of the province highlighted by the three republics — the Real de Kakarong Republic of Pandi, the Biak-na-Bato Republic of San Miguel and the Malolos Republic of Malolos City.

Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio said the Singkaban Fiesta, which was named after the beautifully carved bamboo arch that adorned colorful fiestas in Bulacan, will be observed province-wide, carrying the seven point agenda of Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado providing quality health services, livelihood opportunities, good governance, education, arts and culture, environment protection and peace and order.

Alvarado led the opening of the week-long exhibits which include Tatak Bulakenyo Trade Expo that showcases Tatak Bulakenyo products; Tatak Bulakenyo Negoskita which demonstrates the processes of fruit carving, paper making, etc. and Baro’t Hiyas ng Bulacan that showcases beautifully crafted and designed gowns, barongs and jewelry.

Other features of the week-long exhibits include the Antigo Bulakenyo: First Bulacan Antique Show; Bulacan Travel Mart; Dakilang Bulakenyo Exhibit which features Jose Rizal and other Bulakenyo heroes like Francisco Balagtas, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Pio Valenzuela, Mariano Ponce, Maximo Viola and the Women of Malolos; Lakan Sining (Painting Exhibit) which features local artists who excel in different forms of arts.

Local artists and performers will also demonstrate their talents in the Sining sa Hardin nightly show and Noli Me Tangere, which will be performed by young actors from the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops nab car thief

BALIUAG, Bulacan, Sept. 6 (PNA) -- Police arrested a suspected member of a carnapping syndicate during an operation in Barangay Poblacion here Monday.

In a report to Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., the suspect was identified as John Dave, 31, single, jobless and resident of Sitio Bangka-Bangka, Barangay San Agustin, San Rafael town.

Prior to the arrest of the suspect, Supt. Fitz A. Macariola, commander of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), received a report from Inspector Joy Placido, PPSC 1st maneuver platoon leader, that one Euro X motorcycle with plate number 2491 RP was stolen by three unidentified suspects in Barangay Mabalasbalas, San Rafael early Monday morning.

Macariola said that a PPSC mobile team was dispatched to conduct follow-up operations where Dave was apprehended in Barangay Poblacion, Baliuag at around 8 a.m.

The two other suspects managed to evade arrest and escaped on board another motorcycle with unknown plate number.

Recovered from the possession of the arrested suspect were one motorcycle (black Euro without plate number) and one kitchen knife.

Macariola said that a follow-up operation is being conducted by PPSC personnel for the possible arrest of the two other suspects. (PNA) 

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2 men nabbed for unlicensed firearms in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 6 (PNA) -- A welder who tried to earn extra cash landed in jail after selling an unlicensed firearm to a police detective in Barangay San Pedro, Bustos town Monday afternoon.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) provincial officer, identified the suspect as Danny Sison, 45, resident of said barangay.

Santos said their office received a tip that a certain “Danny” was looking for a buyer of a 9 m.m. pistol for P10,000.

He said a CIDT team led by P03 Rafael Bartolome arrested Sison after selling the unlicensed firearm with two magazines loaded with live bullets.

Meanwhile, a CIDT team conducting surveillance operations on the alleged hideout of a notorious robbery-holdup gang, arrested a man with a gun tucked on his waist while walking at a street in Barangay Sullivan, Baliuag town.

Santos identified the arrested suspect as Miguel Castro, 43, resident of said village.

He said CIDT operatives led by SP02 Aldam Kulayan were conducting surveillance on the safe house of the Lingasa robbery holdup group when they noticed a man walking with a gun tucked on his waist.

Kulayan introduced himself as a police officer and disarmed the man. When asked for gun documents, the suspect failed to present any. (PNA) 

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5 burglars fall in Bulacan

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Sept. 5 (PNA) -- Five suspected burglars who robbed a pawnshop and cellular phone shop in this town recently, ended up in jail on Monday after selling some of their loots to the wrong buyer-- an undercover cop.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the suspects as Michael delos Santos alias “Michael”, 19; Jayson Fabian alias “Garapon”, 20; Orlando Manalo, 30, tricycle driver; Hitler Landayan alias “Bong”, 19, tricycle driver; and Jay Areglo alias “Jay-Jay”, 19 , single, all residents of Barangay Cut-cot here.

Mendez said the suspects are believed to be the perpetrators in the recent robbery of Remalyn Pawnshop and Cellphone Shop in Barangay Poblacion here that transpired between 10 p.m. of Aug. 31 to 7:30 a.m. of Sept. 1.

He said a tip from an informant led to the arrest of the suspects who wanted to dispose five units of cellular phones worth P5,000.

Based on the information provided by the informant, Supt. Miguel Atienza, Guiguinto police chief, conducted an entrapment operation using an undercover policeman as poseur buyer.

Recovered from the suspects were P3,000 marked money used in the entrapment operation, five units of cellular phones, assorted silver jewelries (four pieces of rings, two pieces of necklaces, one piece of bracelet and two cross pendants), one blue Racal motorcycle without plate number and one red Honda motorcycle with plate number 7724-PI.

Atienza said the cellular phones and the assorted silver jewelries recovered are included in the list/inventory of the items stolen from Remalyn Pawnshop and Cellphone Shop.

The suspects are now under the custody of the Guiguinto police station. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops nab 'extortionist' masseur

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, Sept. 1 (PNA) -- A masseur was arrested by the police while allegedly extorting money from a United States-based disc jockey during an entrapment operation at the Waltermart Mall in Barangay Tabang here Wednesday afternoon.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the arrested suspect as Randy Agramon, 33, single, resident of Barangay Bagong Silang here.

Santos said Peter Leynes, 36, a vacationing overseas Filipino working as a disc jockey in the U.S. and native of Barangay Tarug, Mogpog, Marinduque, went to their office and sought police assistance after he was referred by Senior Supt. Christopher Laxa, CIDG deputy director for operations.

He said Leynes complained that Agramon called him through his mobile phone, demanding P30,000 for the return of his “stolen” external hard drive containing thousands of music collections, songs and an Apple iphone worth P35,700.

Leynes said the sophisticated gadgets are very valuable in his job as DJ in the U.S.

The victim added that the suspect instructed him to deliver the P30,000 at the LBC branch inside the Waltermart mall.

Santos formed a team and set up a dragnet after collating the details provided by Leynes. The CIDT team arrested Agramon after receiving the P30,000 marked money from the victim.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator SP03 Paquito Guillermo said the team recovered the marked money used in the entrapment, the external hard drive containing the songs and music collections of the victim and the Apple iphone.

Guillermo said that Leynes positively identified Agramon as the person who rendered massage service to him at a hotel in Malate, Manila sometime last week. When he woke up, his belongings were gone, Leynes told investigators.

A case for robbery-extortion was filed against the suspect before the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday, Guillermo said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan prov’l govt provides financial assistance to OFWs

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- The provincial government on Tuesday provided financial assistance to 115 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Libya.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the program aims to help repatriated OFWs to start their own businesses by providing them necessary trainings and financial assistance in the form of loan.

The displaced Bulakenyo OFWs, who submitted their project proposal at the Provincial Cooperative and Enterprise Development Office (PCEDO), were given the opportunity to apply for P10,000 to P50,000 soft loan.

With a grace period of six months, the mode of payment can be made monthly, quarterly or semestral, depending on the preference of the OFW.

"Going out of the country by our constituents is just an option. We are providing them programs where they can do business here in our province so that they no longer have to leave their families and loved ones to work abroad," Alvarado said.

Aside from financial assistance, the provincial government has also provided to the OFWs stress management, job referrals, skills training, and college scholarships for their children. (PNA) 

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Robbers abandon hijacked truck due to 'defective' gears

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Aug. 14 (PNA) -- Frustrations gripped a group of hijackers when the trailer truck they just hijacked “conked out,” forcing them to abandon it and its cargoes at the shoulder lane of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Barangay Tabe here Saturday morning.

Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez Jr., Bulacan acting police director, said that at around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, a security patrol team of the NLEX informed the Guiguinto police station that a trailer truck was found abandoned along the shoulder lane of NLEX (northbound) within the vicinity of Barangay Tabe.

Mendez said a police team went to the area and found a white 18-wheel trailer truck, with body No. TKT-40 and registered to F.F. Cruz & Co. Inc. of No. 800 Epifanio Delos Santos Ave. (EDSA), Quezon City.

The truck was loaded with 20 to 25 tons of steel bars worth approximately P600,000 and three drums of diesel duel valued at P9,000.

All the cargoes, including the diesel fuel, were found intact, Mendez added.

Investigators said the truck was hijacked earlier along the Guiguinto portion of the NLEX.

Truck driver Edwin Faculanan, 43, married and a resident of Barangay Cardona, Gerona, Tarlac, and his helper, Joel Pagador, 23, single and a resident of Barangay Sirang, Pili, Camarines Sur told investigators they were cruising along the NLEX portion of Guiguinto on their way to Aparri, Cagayan when a white Mitsubishi L300 (with blinkers) with about eight unidentified men wearing “police T-shirts” and black jackets on board forced them to stop and get out of the truck.

The duo were later dumped in Mexico, Pampanga.

As to the possible reason why the hijackers were not able to take the truck, the driver said they (hijackers) probably were not able to drive the vehicle as its gear shift is defective and is difficult to operate.

There is a special technique in shifting the truck’s gear and if the person who will drive it does not know it, it will be difficult to make the truck move, the driver added. (PNA)

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Bulacan to commemorate 433rd founding anniversary

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 12 (PNA) - The province of Bulacan will commemorate its 433rd founding anniversary on August 15.

The provincial government will lead the commemoration with a holy mass at 7 a.m. Monday, to be followed by a program that will highlight the rich cultural and historical heritage of the province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will lead the offering of flowers at the monument of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar and the unveiling of activities for the week-long celebration of the Singkaban Fiesta.

Senate President Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is expected to grace the event as the guest of honor along with Dr. Ma. Serena I. Diokno, president of the National Historical Institute of the Philippines.

It was declared as a non-working holiday in Bulacan based on the new provincial administration code.

Bulacan was established as a province on Aug. 15, 1578. (PNA)

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Dengue cases in Bulacan rise

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 12 (PNA) — Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has enjoined local government units (LGUs) anew to wage a concerted effort to curb the rising number of dengue cases as he ordered a massive clean-up drive in every city and municipality of the province.

“Let us maintain the cleanliness of our province. A clean environment drives away the different threats to health. A clean surrounding reflects on every citizen and public servant,” Alvarado said.

Based on the data from the Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), the number of dengue cases reached 2,086 from the January to August this year.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Jocelyn Gomez said that the recent data show a four-fold increase compared to 536 cases in the same period last year.

Gomez said the remarkable increase of dengue cases were noted in the towns and cities who have high population and have more resettlement sites.

These include the cities of San Jose Del Monte and Malolos and the municipalities of Sta. Maria, Calumpit and San Miguel.

Gomez said the surge in the dengue cases started on the second week of June this year, unlike in the past that usually starts in the months of July and September.

She cited the early coming of rainy season as one of the reasons.

She also said that as compared in the past, they are receiving more reports of dengue cases this year.

Last year, Gomez said, only eight hospitals reported dengue cases as against this year’s more than 100 hospitals, including private and some clinics in the province.

“We also have to consider the free medical services provided by the provincial government. Before, there were some dengue patients that were not reported as they were not hospitalized due to economic reasons,” she added.

However, Gomez said there is a continuous clean-up drive in every village and school, with every breeding ground of mosquitoes being purged.

She said there is also an ongoing information drive for residents to understand how to fight and control the spread of dengue. (PNA)

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Bulacan CIDT agents bust gunrunner, dope dealer

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- Police detectives busted an alleged gunrunner and a suspected drug dealer with a handgun during a series of operations here and in Sta. Maria town Wednesday.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the arrested suspects as Jay Leon Capili, 35, resident of Barangay San Jose Patag, Sta. Maria and Reynaldo Catanghal, 48, resident of Barangay Pio Cruzcosa, Calumpit, Bulacan.

Santos said a CIDT team conducted an operation in Barangay San Jose Patag after receiving information that Capili, an alleged gun runner, was looking for a buyer of a handgun.

He said P03 Bartolome arrested Capili shortly after selling a snub nose .38 cal revolver with five bullets to a CIDT poseur buyer.

Catanghal, on the other hand, was arrested by a CIDT team led by SP01 Aldam Kulayan during a buy bust operation conducted, in coordination with the regional office of the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Santos said the team seized two plastic sachet of shabu from the suspect, who also yielded an unlicensed .38 cal revolver with five live bullets when frisked.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator SP03 Paquito Guillermo said the suspects and evidences were brought to the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory at the provincial police headquarters in Camp Gen. Alejo Santos for examinations.

He said appropriate charges will be filed against the suspects. (PNA) 

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Lawyer dies defending Guiguinto mayor

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Aug. 10 (PNA) -- Up to the end, the legal officer of the municipal government here still shines as the town’s modern hero.

Lawyer Edwin Cerezo died of a single bullet wound after a security aide of Mayor Isagani Pascual ran amuck and went on a shooting rampage inside the mayor’s office here Tuesday afternoon.

Mayor Pascual himself escaped death only after his other security men gunned down the drunk security aide, who was identified as Danny Bana.

Two other security aides of Pascual -- P01 Michael Mendoza and Eduardo Brijino, and civilian staff Antonio Safrino were also wounded.

Police said Bana, who was reeking in liquor and brandishing a 9-mm pistol went to the mayor’s office at the second floor of the municipal building at around 3:00 pm Tuesday.

Pascual's security aides tried to prevent him from entering the mayor’s office but instead of heeding them, Bana opened fire.

Police investigators said Bana managed to gain entry to the mayor’s office where Pascual and Cerezo were then having a discussion.

Police said Cerezo tried to cover Pascual and was trying to pacify Bana but the latter shot him, hitting him on the chest. Cerezo died while undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital.

Cerezo was the legal officer who worked for the case of the municipal government seeking back-taxes and other regulatory fees amounting to millions of pesos from the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), operator of the North Luzon Expressway, which has now three toll gates in this town.

Just a month ago, Judge Wilfredo T. Nieves of the Regional Trial Court – Branch 84, ruled that the tollways operator has no tax exemption privilege under the Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement (STOA) and ordered the company to pay its back taxes, other lawful fees and assessments to the municipality of Guiguinto. (PNA) 

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Two robbers killed in Bulacan shootout

PULILAN, Bulacan, Aug. 9 (PNA) -- Police killed two suspected members of a robbery hold-up gang during a shootout at a gasoline station in Barangay Cutcut here Monday night.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said police investigators are still determining the identities of the two slain suspects, who died on the spot after exchanging gunfire with a police team.

Mendez said the two suspects, who were riding tandem on a motorcycle, arrived at the Petron gas station and bought P20 worth of gasoline at around 10:30 pm Monday.

Mendez said that after several minutes the duo announced a hold-up but before they can get away with the loot a gasoline boy informed the Pulilan Police Station about the incident.

The Bulacan police director said a police mobile team spotted the fleeing suspects who, upon seeing the police car, opened fire at the lawmen.

Mendez said the police car was hit twice prompting lawmen to return fire, killing the two suspects.

Police recovered two .38 cal revolvers, a motorcycle and the stolen cash money from the suspects.

Police said the suspects could be members of a robbery-hold-up gang victimizing gasoline stations and other commercial establishments. (PNA) 

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Bulacan gov to lead inauguration of new medical building

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 3 (PNA) - Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado will lead the inauguration of a two-storey building equipped with medical apparatus at the Gregorio Del Pilar District Hospital (GDPDH) in Barangay Bagumbayan, Bulakan town on Friday.

"We are committed to provide the highest quality of medical services and caring for the Bulakenyos, that is why we continuously upgrade and expand our district hospitals. Aside from that, we are planning to build more district hospitals in the municipalities of Angat, Obando, Pandi and Norzagaray,” Alvarado said.

Dr. Angelito Trinidad, chief of GDPDH, said the new building will hold the emergency room, operating room, labor and delivery room, recovery room, and three bed air-conditioned PhilHealth ward. It also contains new equipment such as five stretcher beds, operating room lights, delivery tables and an anesthesia machine.

“The expansion of the hospital helps for more accessible and wider area to accommodate our patients. We now have a larger neonatal intensive care unit and nursery, and a mini-conference room for the employees,” Trinidad said.

Aside from the inauguration, the signing of a usufruct agreement between the Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) and municipal government of Bulakan will take place as part of the formal turnover of the new building.

GDPDH has a 25-bed capacity and started operating in 1979 under the management of the PGB. (PNA) 

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DAR turns over P13.5-M post-harvest facility to Bulacan farmers

PANDI, Bulacan, Aug. 2 (PNA) -– The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently turned over a P13.5 million post-harvest facility to the farmer-beneficiaries of 3M3BC agrarian reform community (ARC) in Barangay Bunsuran here.

The 240-square meter facility, which was constructed inside the vicinity of the Manatal Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), will serve as the trading center for palay for 695 farmers of 3M3BC ARC and some 400 farmers more who are members of the cooperative in Magiting ARC cluster.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes led the recent turnover ceremony of the warehouse which could store 10,000 cavans of palay and its 780 sq. m. concrete surrounding would serve as solar dryer for the farm yields.

Delos Reyes learned that Manatal MPC will be the consolidator and marketing arm of the farmer-beneficiaries to ensure higher price of their farm produce.

“The Manatal MPC has a marketing tie-up with eight rice traders in different municipalities of Bulacan whose total annual market demand is 1,292,040 cavan supply of palay on daily basis,” he said.

The palay warehouse, constructed under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project phase III (ARISP III), is funded under Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA) with the other funds shouldered by local government of Bulacan and by the Manatal MPC. (PNA) 

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Ipo Dam starts releasing water due to heavy rains

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 2 (PNA) -– The Ipo Dam on Tuesday started releasing water to prevent the dam from overflowing and further cause floods in downstream communities in the province.

Continuous heavy rains since Monday night, which the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said was due to southwest monsoon, prompted the dam officials to open the gates of the Ipo Dam.

Engineer Mario Rodriguez, plant manager of Ipo Dam, said that at around 4 a.m. Tuesday, the dam began releasing water at 46 cubic meters per second.

Rodriguez said there was an abrupt rise in the water elevation at the Ipo Dam due to heavy rains.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the water level at the Ipo dam is 100.19 meters which is very near its spilling level of 100.7 meters.

"We are expecting the water level at the Ipo Dam to rise due to continuous rains. That’s why we are releasing water gradually in order not to overflow," he said.

He assured residents living near the dam that the release of water is only minimal and would not cause Angat River to overflow. (PNA) 

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Suspension of mining activities near Biak na Bato urged

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 2 (PNA) -- The provincial government, through the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), will recommend to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the suspension of the mining activities in the mountains of Dona Remedios Trinidad which threaten the pristine beauty of the historic Biak-na-Bato national park

BENRO chief Rustico “Teddy” de Belen made the move after leading an inspection team organized by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado at the mining site of Ore Asia in Barangay Camachin, Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT) last Saturday.

According to De Belen, due to “irresponsible mining activities in the said area, the provincial government of Bulacan, through the BENRO, will take all appropriate legal steps to ensure environmental protection and public safety.”

De Belen said there is a clear absence of mining design as shown by the magnitude of sporadic and unplanned mining activities in the area that covers more than 20 hectares of rainforest.

He also said that there are also evidence of soil erosion, mudslides and siltation in the area, particularly along the Bakal creek leading to the Balaong river that can cascade down to the Biak-na-Bato national park.

He also said there is no indication of any rehabilitation program pursuant to an approved mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plan.

Governor Alvarado sent the inspection team after church leaders and concerned citizens complained that massive environmental destruction is taking place at the mining site. (PNA) 

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DOJ chief cites Bulacan for promoting the goals of 5 pillars of justice

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 1 (PNA) - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday lauded the provincial government for spearheading a concerted effort in promoting the goals of the five pillars of justice with special focus on environment protection and respect for human rights.

De Lima was the guest of honor and speaker during the kick-off ceremony of the “5 Pillars of Justice Month” with the theme “Katarungan at Kalikasan sa Maunlad at Luntiang Lalawigan ng Bulacan” held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium here Monday morning.

“Justice is never found in courtroom alone when it comes to the protection of environment. It is everybody’s concern and most of the times the scope is much broader in raising environmental awareness,” she said.

An advocate of human rights, the Justice secretary also hailed the programs being implemented by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado in bringing justice and respect to human rights down to the grassroots level especially to the poor.

De Lima also cited the excellent management of the Bulacan Provincial Jail (BPJ).

“Among the prison institutions that I had visited, I saw a unique culture of discipline and cooperation inside the BPJ which promotes real reforms of the detainees,” she said.

She also admired the initiative of the five pillars of justice in Bulacan by integrating one pillar to another in creating concrete solutions for the problems, particularly in the grassroots level.

“Justice and environment concerns are the pressing issues in the society, and it is very timely to create programs like this,” she added.

Alvarado, for his part, said that it is vital to make a strong foundation of the justice system and it involves the cooperation of all sectors to execute laws with fairness and respect to human rights in accordance with the mandate of the Philippine Constitution.

The five pillars are composed of the prosecutor’s office headed by Fiscal Alfredo Geronimo; Philippine National Police headed by Police Senior Superintendent Fernando Mendez Jr.; Regional Trial Court headed by Judge Renato Francisco; Probation and Parole Office/Provincial Civil Security and Jail Management Office (PCSJMO) and Provincial Government of Bulacan led by Governor Alvarado.

Meanwhile, the activities scheduled for this month-long celebration include livelihood and training seminar for the families of the provincial jail’s detainees and a series of seminars about Katarungang Pambarangay, environmental laws, extortion, correction of entries, small claims, violence against women and children, Dangerous Drug Act, and execution of compromise agreement within the barangay level. (PNA) 

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Tension grips Bulacan mining site

DONA REMEDIOS TRINIDAD, Bulacan, July 31 (PNA) --Security forces of a big mining firm failed to prevent an inspection team sent by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado to verify alleged destructive mining practices at the rainforest along the Sierra Madre mountain range in Barangay Camachin here last Saturday morning.

A tension- filled standoff ensued when a man, who claimed to be the chief security officer of Ore Asia Mining Development Corp., refused to let the team, headed by lawyer Rustico “Teddy” de Belen, chief of the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), enter the 20 hectares of rainforest where iron ores are being extracted.

De Belen was accompanied by representatives of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society, a team from the Provincial Public Affairs Office, the Provincial Public Safety Company, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, troops from the Philippine Army and a group of mediamen.

De Belen told the security officer, who refused to tell his name, that they were sent by Governor Alvarado to inspect the mining site after several environmental groups and some Catholic priests complained that massive destruction of the rainforest are taking place at the mining site.

The security officer told De Belen, Provincial Public Affairs Office chief Maricel Santos-Cruz and Supt. Fitz Macariola, commander of the Bulacan PPSC, that they cannot enter the site because they did not inform the resident manager of OAMDC — a certain Mr. Te — of their inspection.

"We were instructed by the Governor to look for the condition of the forests under the jurisdiction of Bulacan. What's inside the mining site and you are not allowing us to see the place. We will push through with the governor's directive to look for this place," de Belen firmly told the security officer who was then being backed-up by heavily armed security guards.

Macariola told the security officer that they were just obeying the order of the governor and the team proceeded, braving rains and a long stretch of muddy mountain trails leading to the mining site.

De Belen said that there appeared to be no clear mining system, which severely destroying the rainforest where several old trees were also cut.

He said that they will ask the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to temporarily stop the mining operation at the site until the company complies with environmental regulations in order to protect the rainforest. He added that the DENR was the one that issued permit to Ore Asia, thru the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA).

Martin Francisco, chairman of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society, said that the firm is wantonly mining iron ores without rehabilitating the area where many trees have already been cut.

Franscisco also said that they did not see any water treatment ponds, which could threaten the water system in the area that could also result to possible lead poisoning.

He also noted that workers are not equipped with proper gears and that there were also children seen gathering iron ores.(PNA) 

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Sen. Estrada calls public to pray for speedy recovery of CGMA

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 30 (PNA)-- Senator Jinggoy Estrada has called on residents of this historic capital city to pray for the speedy recovery of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapacagal Arroyo, who underwent surgery Friday.

Estrada made his message during the State of The City Address (SOCA) of Mayor Christian D. Natividad held at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here Friday afternoon.

“Let us pray for our former president as her condition is delicate,"Estrada said.

The senator said he wanted the former president to fully recover so that she could face the various charges filed against her, just like his father, former President Joseph Estrada who faced all the charges against him.

Estrada, who was the guest of honor and speaker at the SOCA, hailed the city mayor for preserving and uplifting the rich cultural and historical significance of the great city of Malolos, which is now being referred as a booming “renaissance city” in the country.

Estrada said the city of Malolos has a special place in his heart not only because they have their roots here but it was also here, at the historic Barasoian Church where his father took his oath as President of the Republic.

Meanwhile, Natividad said that his administration is prioritizing the immediate needs of his constituents, particularly the health and education of the citizens of Malolos. (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos celebrate the first 'Fishtahan sa Bulacan'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 29 (PNA) - Heavy rains did not dampen the spirit of the hundreds of Bulakenyos who participated in the first-ever “Fishtahan sa Bulacan 2011, Araw ng Yamang Palaisdaan” at the mini forest of the capitol grounds here on Thursday.

The event was spearheaded by the provincial government, in collaboration with the Integrated Services for the Development of Aquaculture (ISDA).

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado fully supported the first-ever fish celebration in the province as part of his effort to boost the aquaculture industry in the province.

This is response to the fish kill issue and at the same time, to give aid to the local fishermen of the province, Alvarado said.

He also encouraged his fellow Bulakenyos to support the cause of the event that would pave way for the development of the aquaculture industry.

“We must be proud. Similar to our history, let us all be proud with our rich marine resources," the governor added.

The newly-elected officers of ISDA, headed by its president Joselito Lacap, also vowed to boost the local fishery industry by applying modern technology and strategy.

Lacap expressed his gratitude to the Department of Science and Technology for the pledged storage plant and cooling facility, which are expected to give big help to the industry.

A total of 250 kilos each of milkfish and tilapia were grilled by participants led by Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel R. Fernando.

After grilling, they delightedly ate the grilled fish, along with some guests and local residents here. (PNA)

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1st Bulacan Youth Summit slated July 29-30

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 28 (PNA) - Some 4,000 students here are expected to join the 1st Bulacan Youth Summit organized by the provincial government.

The event, which was sponsored by Globe Telecom, will be held on July 29-30 at the Bulacan Capitol gymnasium in this city.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government is committed to making programs that will "develop the skills, talents and values of our young generation."

“Investing for the future means investing in our youth, Through this summit, we aim that youth will become more aware about what is happening in their communities and encourage their participation as well,” Alvarado said.

Renowned personalities will serve as resource speakers in the two-day summit.

Senator Loren Legarda will give light about how the youth can take part in diminishing the effects of climate change.

Broadcasters Pia Hontiveros, Charie Villa and Vangge Giorgetti of ABS-CBN will discuss how media can be a catalyst for social change.

Moreover, film director Brillante Mendoza will also teach the participants on how to be more observant and mindful about the condition of the society.

Aside from the interesting topics to be discussed, the two-day summit also includes workshops such as photography, dance and music, bartending, tech and gadgets, personality development, speech communications, and film making.

The registration fee costs P150 inclusive of meals, a training kit, a Globe SIM card and P130 worth of prepaid load.

The summit will conclude with a concert featuring the band Itchyworms which is open for all. Loading P20 in their Globe SIM card will serve as the students' entry ticket to the said concert. (PNA)

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Bulacan on full alert vs tropical storm Juaning

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 27 (PNA) - Disaster management officials and personnel from concerned agencies are closely monitoring the situation in various towns here since the province was placed under storm warning signal No. 2.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said all the rescue groups together with the members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) have been deployed in their areas of responsibilities.

“We are preparing for the worst but we are praying that tropical storm Juaning would not adversely affect Bulacan and also the country,” Alvarado said.

He said the provincial government has prepared 14,000 bags of relief goods - a sign of preparedness of the province in times of disaster.

Rowena Joson-Tiongson, head of Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), said the relief goods and the evacuation centers in the province are all set.

Employees of the PSWDO are on a 24-hour standby in their respective area of assignment in case their services are needed, Tiongson said.

Provincial administrator Jim Valerio also said that the personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways are now in their area of assignment to help in road cleaning operation.

"Aside from being on alert status, all the rescue groups and MDRRMC are now in place and we formed communication pipeline wherein our employees have divided responsibilities to fully concentrate in monitoring the situation in every municipality and barangay in the province," Valerio said.

Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association president Jun Perreda also offered help to assist in reporting road obstruction of any disaster-related incidents. (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos to celebrate 1st "Fishtahan sa Bulacan"

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 26 (PNA) -- Fish will literally flood the Bulacan capitol grounds on July 28 as Bulakenyos celebrate the first "Fishtahan sa Bulacan, Araw ng Yamang Palisdaan"

The activity to be held at the Mini-Forest, Capitol Compound in this city, aims to promote the fish industry in the province and to prove that fish such as bangus (milkfish) and tilapia from Bulacan are safe for consumption.

"We will do this activity as a way to help our fishermen in the province and to create public awareness that the fish coming from here are safe to eat," Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said.

The program will kick off at 9 a.m. through an intermission number to be followed by the welcome remarks of Vice Governor Daniel Fernando.

An audio-visual presentation about the proper way of breeding the fish, particularly bangus, will be shown, starting from the preparation of fishponds until it reaches the market.

Alvarado will give message that would further emphasize the importance of fish industry in the province. These will be followed by the oathtaking of the members of Integrated Services for the Development of Aquaculture (ISDA).

Jim Valerio, Bulacan provincial administrator, said one of the highlights of Fishtahan sa Bulacan is the grilling of bangus and tilapia to be eaten simultaneously by the guests and other attendees.

"As an added delight, we will give bangus as raffle prizes to those who will attend the event," Valerio said.

Officials from the government agencies, owners of restaurant, catering and supermarkets, fishpond operators, feeds manufacturers, market vendors cooperatives, are expected to grace the event.(PNA) 

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A 5.9–magnitude quake hits Zambales

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 26 (PNA) -– A strong earthquake struck some parts of Luzon early Tuesday morning.

Based on the data from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) seismic station based in Magalang town, a magnitude 5.9 temblor was recorded off 35 kilometers south west of Iba, Zambales at 1:15 a.m. and was felt in other areas in Luzon, including Manila.

The quake, which Phivolcs noted as tectonic in nature, has a depth of 30 kilometers.

The Phivolcs reported that the quake was also felt in the following areas: Intensity 4 - Clark, Pampanga; Quezon City; Manila; Alabang, Muntinlupa; Bacoor, Cavite; Obando, Bulacan; Intensity 3 - Tagaytay; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Makati; Pasig; Taguig; Mandaluyong; and Intensity 2 - Baguio City.

The Philvolcs also reported that aftershocks were felt up to surrounding towns in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and the cities of Manila, Makati, Quezon in Metro Manila and Bacoor in Cavite.

There were no reported damages or casualties in the affected areas. (PNA) 

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Killers of Bulacan veterinarian fall

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, July 21 (PNA) -- Police arrested three suspected members of a notorious robbery-holdup gang during a series of pursuit operations several hours after robbing and killing a 50-year old veterinarian in Barangay San Jose here last Monday morning.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez identified the arrested suspects as Edwin Lumibao, 29, married, resident of Barangay Pambuan, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija; Richard Parayao, 33, single, jobless, resident of Barangay Poblacion, San Miguel, Bulacan and Michael Dan Javier, 32, married, jobless and a resident of Barangay Mangino, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija.

Mendez said that last Monday morning, the victim identified as Dr. Orlando Roura, 50, married, veterinarian, and a resident of Barangay San Jose, was about to board his car parked in front of his clinic when an unidentified armed suspect approached him, poked a gun on his side and grabbed his belt bag containing an undetermined amount of cash.

The victim allegedly resisted prompting the suspect to shoot him. The gun man and his two unidentified companions then escaped on board a red Kawasaki Bajaj without plate number.

The victim was brought to De Vera Hospital in the said village but he died later while undergoing treatment.

Mendez said several witnesses interviewed by police investigators disclosed that the suspects’ get away motorcycle was seen across the clinic as early as 7 a.m. last Monday.

He said the San Miguel police Station headed by Supt. Marcos Rivero conducted hot pursuit operation in Barangay Pambuan, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, in coordination with Gapan City Police Station, that resulted in the arrest of Lumibao where police recovered one Nokia cellular phone model 2330C.

Later, the family of the victim identified the cellular phone as the one taken from Roura when he was robbed.

This was further confirmed when the serial number of the cellular phone indicated on the box and on the cellular phone itself, matched.

Mendez said that the following day the San Miguel police again conducted follow-up operations that resulted in the arrest of Parayao and Javier.

A criminal complaint for robbery with homicide was filed against the arrested suspects and five others who are still at large, before the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Malolos City.

Mendez said that the early arrests of the principal suspects is a result of the close cooperation between the members of the community and the police. (PNA) 

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Bulacan town found "goldmine" in back taxes from tollway firm

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, July 21 (PNA) -- Like what its name implies, this booming garden town has found a virtual “goldmine” after the Bulacan Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed two suits filed by the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) and ordered the company to pay its back taxes, other lawful fees and assessments.

The revenue “windfall” might spread to other towns and cities that are also hosting toll plazas of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Mayor Isagani Pascual said after the municipal government got the favorable decision from the court.

Pascual was referring to the back taxes like mayor’s permit, business taxes, building permits, other fees and deficiency taxes that may be assessed to MNTC, the owner and operator of the NLEX, after the Bulacan RTC here ruled last week that the toll plazas of MNTC are “branches and sales outlets” that are subject to payment of local business taxes.

“Do some digging and quarry the goldmine in your backyard!” Pascual said as he encouraged other local chief executives to study the Guiguinto case.

The precedent-setting verdict was contained in a nine-page consolidated decision penned by Bulacan RTC Branch 84 Judge Wilfredo Nieves, who ruled that MNTC has no tax exemption privilege under the Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement (STOA).

The court ordered the tollways operator to pay the assessments of the municipality of Guiguinto amounting to some P70 million.

The case stemmed from two civil complaints filed last February 2 and 9, 2009 by MNTC seeking to prevent Guiguinto town from collecting permit fees under the National Building Code amounting to P2,283,474; unpaid mayor’s permit and other regulatory fees in the amount of P33,498 from January 2004 to January 2008; and business taxes and deficiencies for the year 2005 to 2007 in the amount of P67,443,765.

The tax assessments were contained in two notices sent by Guiguinto to MNTC on September 12 and October 14, 2008.

In response, the MNTC made two protest letters contesting the assessments of back taxes but these were denied by Guiguinto which threatened to collect the unpaid taxes or close the MNTC offices in their town.

Guiguinto legal counsel Atty. Edwin Cerezo said the ruling of Judge Nieves is a welcome development to other towns and cities along the North expressway route to assert their power, under the Local Government Code, to tax the toll plazas they are hosting.

Meanwhile, MNTC vice president for Corporate Communication Marlene Ochoa told local newsmen that: “we are just awaiting clear guidelines from the Department of Finance to help us determine the proper allocation of local business taxes among the LGUs along NLEx. As of now, we pay 100 percent of our taxes in Caloocan City. If the government so deems that we spread the payment of taxes among the LGUs, we will so abide.”

Ochoa said MNTC’s principal place of business is in Balintawak and they paid some P40 million in taxes to the city treasurer of Caloocan last year.

Mayor Pascual said they are just awaiting the finality of the Bulacan RTC ruling before they make their next move to recover the back taxes owed them by MNTC. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops nab rapist-robber of 13-year old girl

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, July 20 (PNA) -- Police arrested a tricycle driver who raped, slashed the throat and robbed a 13-year old girl at a public cemetery in Barangay Sibul here Monday night.

San Miguel police chief Supt. Marcos Rivero identified the arrested suspect as Gary Magbanua, 22, single, pastillas maker/tricycle driver, a native of Barangay Sagana, Oriental Mindoro and presently residing at Kalye Onse, Barangay Tigpalas here.

Police investigators said that at around 7 p.m. Monday, the victim flagged down the suspect’s tricycle and asked to be brought to her house in Barangay Tigpalas.

However, instead of bringing the victim to her destination, the suspect drove straight to the public cemetery in Barangay Sibul where she was raped.

After raping the young victim, the suspect slashed her throat and took her P10,091 cash money and her My Phone (touch screen) cellular phone.

Mendez said some passers-by saw the victim and rushed her to a hospital where she is now in critical condition.

While on the way to the hospital, Mendez said the victim managed to divulge the identity of the suspect and was later arrested by members of San Miguel Municipal Police Station.

Mendez also said that when apprehended, the suspect still had blood stains on his jacket and he was in possession of a bloodied knife.

Recovered from him were the cash money and the cellular phone of the victim.

The suspect is now under the custody of San Miguel Police Station while criminal charges for robbery with rape and frustrated homicide are being prepared for filing at the Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Malolos City. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops bust two motorbike 'cannibals'

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, July 17 (PNA)--Police stormed a suspected lair of motorcycle thieves and arrested two alleged members of a carnapping gang while “cannibalizing” a stolen motorcycle in Sitio Dapdap, Barangay Banga 1st here Saturday morning.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspects as Ruel Bondoc, 20, single, helper, native of Cabanatuan City and presently residing in Barangay Malis, Guiguinto and Jojo Cruz, 20, single, helper, a resident of Barangay Banga, Balagtas, Bulacan. One of their cohorts, who was identified as one Angelo dela Torre, eluded arrest.

Mendez said that Supt. Albert Ocon, chief of the Plaridel police station, formed a team and conducted operation against suspected members of a carnapping gang after a concerned citizen tipped them that suspicious men were seen dismantling a black Suzuki motorcycle without plate number at a house in Sitio Dapdap.

The police team caught the two suspects while dismantling the motorcycle that they have stolen earlier. One of their cohorts managed to run and elude arrest, Mendez said.

Police recovered a Suzuki X-4 motorcycle with Engine No. FI04-229637 and Chassis No. GP125311532.

Mendez said that a follow-up operation using the information provided by the suspects resulted in the recovery of the motorcycle’s sidecar that they sold earlier to a junkshop.

He also said that records check conducted disclosed that the tricycle was stolen in Barangay Duhat, Bocaue town.

Mendez said the operation was part of the intensified campaign against organized criminal gangs being implemented by the Police Regional Office 3 headed by Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Edgardo T. Ladao.

Appropriate criminal charges is being prepared by the Plaridel police against the two arrested suspects, who are presently detained in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology(BJMP)here.(PNA) 

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Aquino leads awarding of housing units to AFP, PNP personnel in Bulacan

BOCAUE, Bulacan, July 15 (PNA) - Fulfilling his promise of a mass housing program, President Benigno S. Aquino III led the ceremonial distribution of housing units to qualified personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in Barangay Batia, here.

Upon his arrival at the housing project site on Friday, the President was welcomed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, National Housing Authority (NHA) general manager Chito Cruz and local government officials led by Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado and Bocaue Mayor Eduardo Villanueva Jr.

Cruz briefed the Chief Executive on the progress of the AFP-PNP Bocaue Hills Housing Project, covering some 30 hectares with 4,000 lot allocations for the project.

President Aquino handed over the Certificates of Entitlement to Lot Allocations (CELAs) to the beneficiaries from both the AFP and the PNP.

Recipients of CELAs from the PNP were Police Officer 4 Myrna Cruz and Police Officer 1 Ulysses Cabanting while Technical Sergeant Rodrigo Pagaduan and Technical Sergeant Macario Calimag from the AFP.

The average size of each unit is 36 square meters for the Type RH1 and 40 square meters for the Type RH2.

Amenities of the housing project include a basketball court, day care centers and livelihood training centers, among others. It also has an underground drainage system, concrete road network with sidewalks and concrete curb and gutter.

Water supply may be sourced from a deep well or from the Bocaue Water District through an industrial water connection system. Individual power service connection will also be accessible from Manila Electric Company.

Representatives from the AFP and the PNP expressed gratitude to President Aquino for realizing what he has promised for them during the 25th anniversary celebration of the People Power EDSA Revolution in February this year.

Soldiers and policemen will be paying a monthly amortization of P 200 for the first five years, and will gradually increase to P 1,307 for the last five years of payment.

The 140,000 selling price of each housing unit is payable in 30 years at six percent interest rate per annum. A total of P 35,000 for each unit was subsidized by the government from its original price of P 175,000. (PNA)

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Bulacan cops bust two cyber-hackers

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, July 14 (PNA) -— Police arrested two alleged computer hackers illegally installing internet connection modems during a series of operations in Barangay San Rafael 1 here and in Barangay San Gabriel, Sta. Maria town last Tuesday.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspects as Jose Noel Domingo, 29, single, computer technician and presently residing in No. 19 E. Aguinaldo Street Barangay San Gabriel, Sta. Maria town and Jayson Melgarejo, 36, Globe sales agent, native of Sta. Cruz, Manila, and presently residing in No. 327 Libis Barangay Bunlo, Bocaue town.

Mendez said that security operatives of Globe Telecom Incorporated (Bantay Kable Team), went to the San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) City police station under Supt. Rodolfo Hernandez and sought police assistance regarding alleged hacking activities that is causing huge loss to their company.

Mendez said that the Bantay Kable team of Globe Telecom received information that one of the suspects –Jayson Melgarejo-was illegally installing Globe Tattoo internet connection at the house of his alleged live-in partner, identified as Goldilock Hughies, in Barangay San Rafael 1.

The Bulacan police director said that Supt. Hernandez formed a team and together with the Bantay Kable team swooped down at the site and caught Melgarejo while illegally installing the Globe Tattoo internet connection.

During investigation, Melgarejo tagged Domingo as his accomplice and is the one doing the computer-hacking.

He said the SJDM City police conducted a follow-up operation in Bgy. San Gabriel and arrested Domingo.

Police operatives together with the Bantay Kable team recovered five pieces of Globe Tattoo internet modems.

The arrested suspects and the pieces of evidence seized from them were brought to the SJDM City Police Station.

A criminal case for violation of Section 9, Paragraph C and E of RA 8484 (Access Device Regulations Act of 1998) was filed against the suspects before the City Prosecutor Office of San Jose Del Monte City, Mendez said.(PNA) 

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Bulacan intensifies disaster preparedness

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 11 (PNA) -- The provincial government has lined up various activities that will increase the level of public awareness and disaster preparedness of Bulakenyos in line with the observance of Disaster Consciousness Month this July.

Dubbed as “Makialam, Makiisa, Sa Pagsugpo sa Panganib May Maitutulong Ka”, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the activities also aim to hone the skills of the rescue teams in responding to calamity situations.

On July 12, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) will conduct an earthquake drill, where delegates from the local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon will come to observe.

According to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 3, Bulacan was chosen as the pilot province for the drill.

On July 21, the provincial government will conduct the first Bulacan rescue olympics/simulation exercise to be held at the Bulacan Sports Complex.

Aside from the province-wide information dissemination, consultation meeting at the National Power Corporation and orientation at School Hydrological Information Network (SHINE), the participants will also be oriented regarding Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 during the Coordinators Summit.

Alvarado said the PDRRMO, together with non-government agencies and other national agencies, will also hold various trainings on first aid, basic life support, water safety and fire suppression.

These trainings, he said, will enhance the skills and knowledge of the response teams in different life saving techniques. (PNA) 

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DENR-EMB padlocks toxic wastes treatment plant in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, July 8 (PNA) - The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has stopped the operation of a waste treatment plant in Barangay Tungkong Manga here for discharging toxic wastes into a stream.

Lawyer Rustico de Belen, head of the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), said that the regional office of EMB in Central Luzon headed by Lormelyn Claudio, has ordered the closure of Cleveland Envirotech Solutions Inc (CESI), and padlocked its warehouse where drums of toxic wastes are being stocked.

He said that EMB technicians has confirmed that CESI has been discharging toxic and hazardous wastes into a canal that drain towards a stream which flows to the river system.

Aside from discharging toxic wastes into the river system, de Belen said the treatment plant is also not using its dilution and water treatment facilities.

He also said that the company is not complying with the appropriate storage practices as stipulated in Republic Act 8749 (Clean Air Act) and other existing environmental measures such as Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act (Republic Act 6969), Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act 9003) and the Philippine Clean Water Act (Republic Act 9275).

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, who was with Claudio and other provincial environment officials during the ocular inspection of the treatment plant on Friday, said that this facility will not be allowed to operate because it is not only wrecking havoc on the environment but is also endangering lives of the people due to the bad effects of toxic and hazardous materials to health. (PNA) 

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Three dead men found in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, July 6 (PNA) — Three dead men with ropes on their necks were found inside black plastic garbage bags at a vacant lot in Cita Roma Ville, Barangay Gaya-gaya here Wednesday morning.

Supt. Rodolfo Hernandez, city police chief, said a black Honda Wave motorcycle with plate number UI 6643 was also found along side the dead bodies of the still unidentified victims.

He said that the three men could have been summarily executed and were dumped at the said area to mislead authorities.

According to Hernandez, the three men died from strangulation since there were no gunshot wounds or stab wounds found on their bodies.

No identification papers were also found on them, he said.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said that the San Jose Del Monte police are still investigating the case. (PNA) 

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Dope dealers now armed when conducting drug deals -- Bulacan CIDT

BALIUAG, Bulacan, July 6 (PNA) -- Most local drug dealers in the province are now armed with short firearms when conducting dope deals, the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) disclosed on Wednesday.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan CIDT, said most drug dealers recently arrested by their unit during buy-bust operations were armed with short firearms.

This indicates that local dope dealers are ready to shoot it out with anyone, including lawmen or their competitors in the illegal drug trade, Santos said, as he disclosed that at least five drug dealers recently arrested by CIDT operatives were armed with short firearms.

During investigation, some of those arrested disclosed that they carry weapons because of the fierce competition in the illegal drug trade, he said.

Meanwhile, police detectives conducting surveillance operation has arrested a notorious drug dealer here while carrying an unlicensed firearm loaded with live ammunition along Torres Bugallon St., in Barangay Subic Tuesday afternoon.

Santos identified the arrested suspect as Romarico Ramos, 41, jobless, resident of Barangay Subic.

Santos said that a Bulacan CIDT team led by SP01 Aldam Kulayan was dispatched to Barangay Subic to verify a report that one of the CIDT’s target personalities—a drug dealer—was conducting illegal drug transaction in the area.

He said that while conducting surveillance operation in the area, P03 Warly Gonzales noticed the suspect, whom he sensed is not a lawman, has a handgun protruding on his waist.

He added that Kulayan and the rest of the team approached him and introduced themselves as CIDT operatives.

When frisked the suspect yielded an unlicensed Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver with five live bullets.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator SP03 Paquito Guillermo said an inquest case for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition was filed against the suspect before the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. (PNA) 

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Bulacan police capture wanted robber after a shootout

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, July 3 (PNA) -- A wanted for robbery suspect was wounded and captured while three policemen were injured after a road chase that resulted in a brief fire fight in Pangarap Village , Caloocan City Sunday afternoon.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspect as Daniel Villamor, 26, married, jobless and resident of Barangay Tungkong Manga, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.

Mendez said Villamor has a warrant of arrest for a case of robbery under criminal case no. SJ-1064-2001 and SJ-1065-2001 issued by Judge Aznar Lindayag of the 3rd Judicial Court, City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan dated May 31, 2002.

Mendez said that a team from the Provincial Public Safety Company(PPSC), headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola, were conducting surveillance and possible arrest operation in the San Jose Del Monte City when the suspect, who was on board a motorcycle noticed that he was being tailed.

He said the suspect immediately sped up and was chased by the operatives.

Upon reaching Pangarap Village , Caloocan City , the suspect shot it out with the operatives.

Macariola said in a phone interview that despite being wounded, the suspect continued to resist arrest and was able to grab an iron bar and began hitting the arresting officers, injuring three policemen.

Macariola said the suspect, who was hit twice on his body, was subdued by the arresting teams and was taken to Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Caloocan City for medical treatment but was later transferred to East Avenue Medical Center, East Avenue Diliman, Quezon City .

He said that the injured PPSC officers were brought to Sapang Palay, District Hospital in San Jose Del Monte City for medical treatment.

Recovered from the crime scene was a caliber .38 revolver with four live ammunitions and one spent shell.

Criminal charges against the suspect for direct assault and illegal possession of firearm and ammunitions are now being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 

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Campaign vs. loose firearms in Bulacan gains ground

PULILAN, Bulacan, July 2 (PNA) --The campaign against loose firearms in the province continues to gain ground as police detectives arrested another suspected member of a gun-running syndicate during a gun-buy bust operation in Barangay Sto. Cristo here Friday afternoon.

Chief Insp. Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan Criminal and Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the arrested the suspect as Renato Ronquillo alias “Rene”, 48, married, a resident of Barangay Dampol.

Santos said that a CIDT team, led by SP01 Aldam Kulayan responded to an information provided by a police asset that a certain “Rene” is a gunrunner looking for a buyer of a Smith and Wesson .38 Cal revolver for only P3,000.

He said Kulayan, together P03 Warly Rodriguez and P03 Nathaniel Gonzales, conducted police operation where Rodriguez and Gonzales acted as poseur buyers.

Santos said the team arrested Ronquillo after handing the gun and receiving the marked money from the police detectives.

He said that Ronquillo was the 7th gunrunner nabbed by CIDT agents in a span of one month.

He said that the operation was in line with the CIDG flagship project against loose firearms codenamed “Oplan: Paglalansag.”

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator SP03 Paquito M. Guillermo said charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition will be filed against the suspect, who is now being held at the CIDT detention cell.(PNA) 

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Multiple raps filed vs Sta. Maria police chief, 5 cops

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 2 (PNA) -- Two brothers who nearly lost their heads after policemen manning a checkpoint in Sta. Maria town allegedly raised a rope while they were cruising on board a motorcycle along the road, filed multiple criminal charges against the town police chief and five other police officers before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office here Friday afternoon.

With gaping wounds on their necks and other parts of their bodies, Chris Vadizno and his brother Robert -- who are both working as mechanics and residents of Francisco Homes of San Jose del Monte City and Barangay Abulalas, Hagonoy, respectively -- were accompanied by TV news broadcaster Julius Babao and the crew of ABS-CBN’s public affairs program “XXX” to the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team here.

The two brothers filed cases of robbery, physical injuries, illegal arrest, arbitrary detention and human rights violation against Sta. Maria police chief Superintendent Lailene Amparo, P03 Danilo dela Cruz, P01 Manuel Mendoza, P01 Joey Babaran, P01 Ericson Lacsamana, P01 Jernie Gonzales and two John Does.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of Bulacan CIDT, said that the two brothers disclosed that on June 28 at around 11:00 o’clock in the evening while they were cruising along the road in Barangay Lalakhan, Sta. Maria on board a Yamaha Mio motorcycle, driven by Chris, they noticed three policemen at the curve portion of the road who shouted at them to stop.

The two brothers claimed that when they were about to pull over on the side road, another group of policemen positioned ahead of the first group, raised a rope that hit the neck of Chris that caused them to crash on the pavement.

They also claimed that, although they were wearing helmets, they sustained serious injuries on their heads and other parts of their bodies.

They also said that while they were sprawled on the ground, the policemen approached them at gunpoint, handcuffed them and bodily frisked them.

At this juncture, the two brothers stated that one of the policemen allegedly fired his gun and then took Chris’ money worth P40,000 and cellphone.

Santos said that further investigation conducted by Bulacan CIDT Chief Investigator SP03 Paquito M. Guillermo and prober P03 Jose Rizalino F. Paraiso showed that the victims were brought to a hospital and doctors were told they had a vehicular accident.

After getting treatment, the two were brought to the Sta. Maria police station where they were placed under detention.

However, in a report sent by Supt. Amparo to Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., the Sta. Maria police stated that the two brothers were brought to the police station for “verification after they ignored the established police checkpoint.”

The report further stated that the policemen manning the checkpoint tried to flag down the two men but instead of stopping, the duo accelerated speed.

The report said a mobile team then chased them and upon reaching the boundaries of Barangay Sta. Clara and Lalakhan, the motorcycle crashed when it passed through a slippery portion of the road causing injuries to the riders. (PNA) 

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One of two holduppers killed in Bulacan clash

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, July 1 (PNA) -- Police killed one of two suspected members of a hold-up gang during a shootout with lawmen at Maria Lourdes subdivision in Barangay Tabang here early Friday morning.

The slain suspect has yet to be identified as of press time.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said that prior to the shootout, the two suspects tried to extort money from Indian national Jerry Singh, 28, resident of St. Agatha homes, Barangay Tikay, Malolos City.

Mendez said that Singh went to the Plaridel Police Station Thursday morning and reported that he noticed a piece of paper placed at the wiper of his vehicle, a Toyota Vios with plate number ZFN-921 parked at the parking lot of Plaridel Public Market, in Barangay Banga 1st.

The said paper turned-out to be an extortion letter demanding P100,000 from Singh.

Singh further claimed that prior to the discovery of the said extortion letter he have been receiving several text messages from an unidentified sender/s directing him to deliver the money in Barangay Tabang.

Mendez added that the victim reappeared at Plaridel Police Station later that night and reported about the text messages he received from still unidentified sender directing him to deliver the money, which was reduced to P20,000 in front of Barangay Hall of Tabang at around 1 a.m. Friday.

He said the victim told police investigators that the text sender further stated that if the victim refused, he would be killed.

Mendez said that elements of the Plaridel Police Station headed by Supt. Albert Ocon immediately organized a team to conduct an entrapment operation and after a short briefing, the operating team proceeded to the agreed place and positioned themselves in strategic position.

He said that moments later, the victim was instructed to proceed inside Ma. Lourdes Subdivision. At that juncture, the operating team covertly tailed the victim until he reached the subdivision.

Mendez said that the police team noticed a motorcycle without plate number with two men on board following the victim.

The operating team further noticed that the back rider alighted and forcibly took the victim’s money then shot the victim but missed.

Mendez said that the suspects noticed the presence of the operating team and fired at the lawmen, prompting the latter to retaliate that resulted in the killing of one of the suspects while the other suspect managed to escape on board a get-away motorcycle.

Mendez said a police team is still pursuing the other suspect. (PNA) 

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2 suspected rapists fall in Bulacan

BOCAUE, Bulacan, June 30 (PNA) -- Police detectives arrested two teenagers wanted by the court for raping their 17-year old classmate last year during a series of manhunt operations in Barangay Bambang here and in Barangay Casio in nearby Sta. Maria town last Tuesday.

Chief Insp. Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the arrested suspect as Jeric Dela Paz, 18, student, resident of Barangay Bambang and Roberto de Guzman, 19, student, resident of Barangay Sulucan.

Santos said the two suspects have standing warrants of arrest with no bail recommended for raping their 17-year old schoolmate on Nov. 20, 2010.

He said that last Tuesday morning, the mother of the victim went to their office and sought assistance for the arrest of the suspects who were spotted in the said barangay after eight months of hiding.

He said a CIDT team, led by P03 Rafael Bartolome, arrested Dela Paz at his residence while de Guzman in his hideout in Barangay Casio, Sta. Maria.

Both suspects did not resist arrest, Santos said.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator SP03 Paquito Guillermo said that on Nov. 20, 2010, the victim was invited to a drinking session at the house of de Guzman in Barangay Sulucan.

When the victim got drunk, Guillermo said the suspects took advantage of her lethargic condition and took turns in raping her. (PNA)

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Truck driver, two helpers held for stealing cement cargo

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 28 (PNA) -- After having a good time spree, a cargo truck driver and two helpers who stole a cargo of cement bags and tried to sell the cargo truck owned by a local trader in San Ildefonso town ended up in jail.

The suspects were arrested in a series of manhunt operations in Baliuag town, Gapan, Nueva Ecija and San Jose del Monte City last Sunday and Monday.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspects as Diosdado Campo alias “Uncle”, 34, a native of San Isidro, Iriga City Camarines Sur and presently residing at Barangay Gabihan, San Ildefonso, Bulacan; Jun Alberto alias “Jun”, 21, driver and presently residing at Barangay San Roque, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija and Herminigildo Camo alias “Tagpe”, 33, a native of Tabaco, Albay and presently residing at Road 2 Minuyan, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

Mendez said that Campo was arrested by joint operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch and the San Ildefonso police station headed by Supt. Anselmo Baluyot at the SM City Mall in Baliuag last Sunday.

Alberto and Camo, on the other hand, were arrested in Gapan, Nueva Ecija and in San Jose del Monte, respectively, last Monday.

He said that last Saturday, Ma. Cristina Remedios-Santiago, 49, businesswoman, and resident of Barangay San Roque, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija went to the San Ildefonso Police Station and reported that her driver,identified as, Jun T. Alberto, and his two truck helpers failed to return her Mitsubishi Cargo Truck, colored green and blue with plate number RDH-565.

According to the victim, the truck was sent to the Eagle Cement Corp. in Barangay Akle, San Ildefonso, Bulacan on June 24 and was loaded with 750 bags of cement.

As alleged by the victim, the driver and the two truck helpers conspired with each other and decided not to return the truck and its cargo.

She also said that the suspects brought and hid the truck somewhere in Norzagaray, Bulacan, where two of the suspects reside.

Mendez said that the three suspects dropped by at a videoke bar at Barangay Pala-Pala, San Ildefonso after the truck was loaded with cement.

When the place was checked, three guest relation officers identified as “Joyce”, “Clarize” and “Samantha” confirmed the information and agreed to help in tracking down the suspects.

The three GROs said the three suspects even paid their bar-fine so they could join them in going to Macabebe, Pampanga where the cargo was allegedly sold to a construction supply.

After the cargo was unloaded, the GROs said they went to Malolos City to have dinner and shopping at Puregold branch and then went to Guiguinto, Bulacan where they were dropped off in front of TESDA.

From there, the three ladies decided to return to the videoke bar.

Mendez said that Campo later admitted that he abandoned the Mitsubishi Cargo Truck at Letre, Malabon City.

Charges of car theft, qualified theft, illegal possession of firearms and direct assault were filed against the suspects at the Bulacan Regional Trial Court.(PNA)

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P-Noy launches Gawad Kalinga Center in Bulacan

ANGAT, Bulacan, June 24 (PNA) - President Benigno Aquino III on Friday led the launching of Gawad Kalinga Center for Social Innovations Social Enterprise Movement in the province amid stormy weather brought about by tropical storm "Falcon."

The Chief Executive braved the heavy rains in going to Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Barangay Encanto, in this town.

In his message, the President encouraged the public to venture into business as he assured an easier and faster processing of business documents under his administration.

"Ako naman po ay narito, bilang inyong Pangulong inihalal ninyo para tuparin ang aking mandatong magdulot ng pagbabago. At idinidiin ko sa inyo: iba na po ang panahon ngayon. Nasa bagong panahon na tayo kung saan sa bawat proyekto ay hindi kickback ang inaasahan ng mga taga-gobyerno; na sa bawat programa ay hindi ang nasa katungkulan lang ang nakikinabang; at sa paglago ng negosyo sa inyong lungsod o baryo, hindi kayo gagatasan ng inyong munisipyo at ng mga lokal na pinuno," he said.

The President also said that in “our journey towards the right path, he will give strength to all, especially the needy ones.”

He also noted the humble beginnings of prominent entrepreneurs in the country including Jollibee Foods Corporation CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, SM malls owner Henry Sy and Manila Bulletin's owner Don Emilio Yap.

"Kaya naman hinihikayat ko ang mga kababayan natin, lalo na ang mga kabataan, na taasan pa ang kanilang mga pangarap — pangarap na hindi nalilimitahan sa pagkakaroon lang ng trabaho paglaki nila; at sa pangarap na di hamak na mas mababa kaysa kaya talagang marating ng husay at talento ng mga Pilipino," he said.

With the confidence being attained by the country’s economy, he said it is not bad for those who are desiring to put up their own business.

Tony Meloto, founder of the Gawad Kalinga, for his part, expressed strong confidence to the leadership of the President.

Likewise, he encouraged other aspiring entrepreneurs to invest in the country. (PNA) 

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Bulacan scores anew in its campaign vs loose firearms

BOCAUE, Bulacan, June 24 (PNA) - Amidst stormy weather, police detectives scored anew in the campaign against loose firearms following the arrest of a suspected gun-runner during a gun-buy bust operation in Barangay Caingin here Thursday night.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, identified the arrested suspect as Pablito Umerez, resident of Barangay Caingin.

Santos said CIDT intelligence operatives led by SP01 Edwin Pagsibigan conducted a gun-bust operation in response to information provided by a police asset that a certain “Pablito” of Barangay Caingin is a suspected member of a gun-running syndicate and was looking for a buyer of a homemade cal. 5.56 revolver for P8,000.

He said Pagsibigan effected the arrest of Umerez after selling the gun with five live ammunition and receiving the marked money used in the gun-deal.

Umerez did not resist arrest.

When asked for legal documents, the suspect failed to present any, Santos added.

He said that the operation was in line with CIDG flagship project against loose firearm codenamed “Oplan: Paglalansag.”

Bulacan CIDT Chief Investigator SP03 Paquito Guillermo said that the suspect is now under police custody while an inquest case for violation of Presidential Decree 1866 (illegal possession of firearms and ammunition) as amended by Republic Act 8294 will be filed against him before the Bulacan Prosecutor’s Office.(PNA) 

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Bulacan cops capture six members of a notorious robbery-carnap gang

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 22 (PNA) - Police captured six alleged members of a notorious robbery-carnap gang who killed a taxi driver and stole his vehicle last Sunday in Quezon City during a series of operations in Calumpit and Pulilan towns last Monday and Tuesday.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested gangmen as Jarvin Lorenzo, 26, a native of Kapalangan, Apalit, Pampanga; Cris Nuezca, 27, a native of Project 7, Masbate St., Quezon City, both presently residing at Purok 4, Barangay Gatbuca, Calumpit; Nino Ocampo, 31, and a resident of Block 38, Lot 9, North Ville 9, Phase 1, Brgy. Iba O’Este, Calumpit, Bulacan and Peter Miranda, 30, and presently residing at Central Balungaw, Calumpit; Frankneil Sabaldan, 27, a native of Samar and a resident of Barangay Lumbak, Pulilan and Jovanni Folencio, 23, a native of Iligan, Samar and also a resident of Barangay Lumbak, Pulilan.

Mendez said the suspects belong to a carnapping and robbery hold-up group who were behind the stealing of taxis in Quezon City and the killing of at least two taxi drivers, the latest of which occurred last Sunday where the victim was identified as Constancio Julaton, 55, driver of Maria Alma Transport and presently residing at Area 6, Brgy. Botocar Sikatuna Bliss, Quezon City.

Juaton’s lifeless body was found with multiple stab wounds at a vacant lot in Barangay Sta. Perigna early Monday morning.

He said that last Monday morning, the dispatcher and secretary of Maria Alma Transport came to the office of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) accompanied by personnel of the Pulilan Police Station and reported that one of their taxis driven by the victim was last seen on June 19, 2011.

Incidentally, on the afternoon of June 20, an informant reported to PIB head Supt. Edwin Quillates that alleged gang members with suspected carnapped Toyota Vios Taxi bearing the reported plate number of the missing taxi was spotted at Paco Inn in Barangay Bagbag, Calumpit town, Mendez said.

He said that joint operatives of the PIB, the Pulilan police led by Supt. Myrna Reyes, the Provincial Public Safety Company headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola and members of the Special Reaction Unit conducted a series of operations that led to the arrest of the suspects.

The Bulacan police director said that Lorenzo and Nuesca were caught in the act of removing the markings of the taxi (Maria Alma Transport) inside a rented inn in Calumpit while Ocampo and Miranda were arrested in a follow up operation at the gang’s suspected hideout in Barangay Central Balungaw, also in Calumpit.

Later on, Sabaldan and Folencio were arrested in Barangay Lumbak, Pulilan.

Quilates also said that investigation revealed that the group was involved in the carnapping of three Toyota Vios taxis, two Toyota Avanza and one Isuzu Sportivo.

He also said that the gang was also responsible for the death of another taxi driver last May 8, who they dumped also at Pulilan and also took away the latter’s Toyota Vios taxi. (PNA) 

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Baliuag cops storm car thieves' lair, 2 gangmen nabbed

BALIUAG, Bulacan, June 21 (PNA) -- Local policemen braved heavy rains and flash-flood as they swooped down on an alleged lair of car thieves and arrested two suspected gang members while “cannibalizing” a stolen motorcycle in Barangay Tiaong here Monday morning.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspects as Melvin Rivera and Reynaldo Deleganzo, both residents of Barangay Tiaong.

Mendez said a team of Baliuag policemen headed by Supt. Raniel Valones stormed the hideout of suspected car thieves amid heavy downpour and floods after receiving a tip from a member of Wing Amateur Radio Enthusiasts (WARE), an non-government organization (NGO) recognized by the Baliuag Police Station in its anti-crime drive, that two male persons were sighted inside a house along the corner of Verdillo and Abraham Streets in Barangay Tiaong, dismantling a motorcycle.

Mendez said Rivera was arrested on the spot but Deleganzo managed to escape and tried to hide in the neighboring houses. He was eventually collared by policemen after a brief chase.

The police team recovered the “cannibalized” motorcycle and parts that were already dismantled by the suspects.

Valones said that a gray Honda XRM 125 motorcycle owned by Rheggie Laxamana of the same village was stolen while parked in front of his cousin’s house along the barangay road.

It was discovered missing at around 2:30 am Monday and was immediately reported to the police.

Valones said the suspects are now under police custody while appropriate charges are being readied against them. (PNA)

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Killer of Bulacan car salesman falls

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, June 20 (PNA) - Police arrested one of the suspects who robbed and killed a salesman in Barangay Calvario during a series of manhunt operations several hours after the crime was committed last Saturday.

The other suspect earlier surrendered to the police authorities.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested suspect as Mark Zamora alias “Macmac”, a resident of Karuhatan, Valenzuela City.

Mendez said Zamora was collared after his cohort Arnel Fernando of Barangay Saluysoy surrendered earlier to Meycauayan City police chief Superintendent Eric Noble after he was tagged by a witness as one of the men who was seen at the house of victim Eduardo Aquino, 51 years old, single, employee of Mitsubishi Cars.

Relatives found Aquino’s lifeless body on his bed with multiple stab wounds.

Police investigators said that according to the victim’s sister, pieces of jewelry and other valuable items were missing inside his house.

Mendez said a witness was able to identify one of the suspects through the rouge’s gallery, as one Arnel Fernando, 28 years old, tricycle driver and a resident of 668 Sulok, Barangay Saluysoy, Meycauayan City.

He said that relatives of Fernando was able to convince him to surrender to police authorities and later told police investigators the location of Zamora’s hideout in Valenzuela City.

Mendez said Supt. Noble coordinated with the Valenzuela City police and conducted pursuit operation that led to the arrest of Zamora and the recovery of one Tommy Hilfiger wrist watch, one silver bracelet, and one Acer Laptop that were stolen from the victim’s house.

The suspects are presently under the custody of Meycauayan City police station while criminal charges against them are being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 

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Two 'Budol-Budol' gangmen fall in Bulacan

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, June 18 (PNA) -- Police arrested two suspected members of a local “budol-budol” gang in Barangay Banga 1st here Friday afternoon, four days after victimizing a businesswoman in San Miguel town.

In a report to Bulacan acting police director Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez Jr., Plaridel police chief Superintendent Albert E. Ocon identified the arrested suspects as Ruperto Basilan, 78, married, from Tacloban City and presently residing in Lawang Pari, San Jose del Monte City; and Camilo Ramil, 54, married, resident of Hermosa St. in Tondo, Manila.

Mendez said the suspects were arrested shortly after one of their victims spotted their owner-type jeep cruising in Barangay Banga 1st on Friday afternoon.

He said the suspects were positively identified by their victim -- Theresa Fernandez, a trader from San Miguel town, who said that the two duped her and was able to extract P20,000 from her last June 13.

Fernandez said the two suspects, together with another male and two female companions, were able to convince her to give them money by pretending to be friends of her daughter and that they have a gift for her. Later, the victim found out that her daughter does know them.

Ocon said the two arrested suspects were turned over to the San Miguel Police Station for the filing of appropriate charges.

During investigation at the San Miguel Police station, another victim of the group identified as Amelia Lacanilao Gregorio, 47, businesswoman and a resident of Barangay Buliran, San Miguel town, showed up and pointed to the arrested suspects as the ones who duped her into giving her jewelry worth P30,000 last Friday morning in exchange for cash that later turned out to be boodle money. (PNA) 

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Two 'Balisong Gang' members fall in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, June 16 (PNA) -- Police arrested two suspected members of a carnapping syndicate known as “Balisong Gang” and recovered a stolen tricycle during a series of operations in the villages of San Martin IV, Minuyan-Proper and Fatima here early Wednesday morning.

In a report to Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) City police head, Supt. Rodolfo Hernandez, identified the arrested suspect as Rommel Concepcion and Jeric Tolentino.

Hernandez said Concepcion was arrested inside a friend’s house in Barangay San Martin IV. When frisked by lawmen, Concepcion yielded a seven-inch long fan knife (locally known as "balisong").

Tolentino, on the other hand, was arrested inside a vacant house in Malabon Street, Towerville Subdivision, Barangay Minuyan Proper where policemen recovered a nine-inch fan knife from the suspect.

Mendez said last Tuesday night, a certain Jay-ar Panis parked his tricycle along the road to wait for passengers when the suspects suddenly approached him and without warning took turned punching him.

The victim said the suspects then pulled out their long fan knives and threatened to lunged at him, prompting him to run for safety.

Mendez said when the owner of the tricycle learned about the incident he immediately sought police assistance.

A police team was immediately dispatched and later arrested the suspects, who pinpointed the location of the tricycle they took from the victim.

Police recovered the tricycle a black Kawasaki Barako 175 with plate no. QE-5827 and worth P80,000.00, parked along a dimly-lit roadside in Barangay Fatima.

Mendez said record checks made by SJDM City police investigators showed that Concepcion has a standing warrant of arrest for the crime of frustrated homicide docketed under criminal case number 2547-M-2010 issued by Bulacan RTC Branch 77 Judge Rolando C. Bulan with the recommended bail bond of P200,000.

It was also found out that both suspects have standing warrant of arrest for the crime of robbery issued by Bulacan RTC Branch 85 Judge Ma. Belen Ringpis-Liban with a recommended bail bond of P200,000 each.

Charges of carnapping and illegal possession of deadly weapons will be filed against the suspects. (PNA) 

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Bulacan media briefed on bombing incident coverage

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 15 (PNA) -- In a bid to avoid costly lapses and, at the same time, create a harmonious working atmosphere during “bombing” incidents, police authorities here recently conducted a half-day seminar on the proper protocol on media coverage during delicate police operations.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Superintendent Fernando Mendez Jr., said that higher police authorities at Camp Crame issued a directive to conduct seminar, information drive and disseminate the guidelines during bombing incidents for the media.

Mendez said it is very important and a win-win situation both for the police and members of the working press to have mutual understanding during coverage of delicate police operations like bombing and hostage incidents.

He said that covering bombing or hostage-taking incidents, local media men were also advised to observe police line (at least 50 meters away from the scene) and proper protocol at all times.

Chief Inspector Gerardo Andaya, chief of the Police Community Relations Branch, said that under the guidelines,“the media shall not be allowed access to any area or scene of an incident or crime where there is a possibility that evidence may be damaged, altered, destroyed or otherwise prejudiced by its existence being published or portrayed.”

Andaya also said that mediamen should look for the designated spokesperson upon arrival at the scene of the crime. If none, stay at the police designated media area (outside of the police line).

Before releasing information, he added, newsmen should seriously weigh the benefits to the public as against the potential harm the information may cause.

He said that it would be better to avoid inflammatory catchwords and phrases and do not report any information intercepted from police communication.

Andaya also said that it will be helpful to explain to listeners/viewers why certain information is being withheld by the police authorities.

Chief Inspector Sabino L. Vengco III, chief of the logistic branch of Bulacan Police Provincial Office and concurrent head of the Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD), said covering bombing situations has its dangers and the guidelines will remind newsmen as well as the public to “never attempt to approach, examine, poke, shake, squeeze, open, drop or mishandle suspect packages in any way and report immediately to law enforcers the occurrence of a bombing incident.”

Vengco also made a Powerpoint presentation on the general list of considerations during actual incidents and security measures and tips on bombings and bomb threats. (PNA)

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Wanted killer falls in Bulacan

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, June 15 (PNA)--—After 25 years of hiding, the long arms of the law finally caught up a fugitive who was arrested while watching a basketball game at a covered basketball court in Barangay Sapang Palay here on Monday afternoon.

In a report to Central Luzon police regional director Chief Inspector Edgardo T. Ladao, Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., identified the arrested fugitive as Pepito Yap, 44, married and a resident of Road 5, Barangay Sapang Palay.

Mendez said that Yap is listed as one of the most wanted persons in San Jose del Monte City.

He said Yap is one of three suspects involved in the killing of Bayani C. Veral, 42, by stabbing the latter on January 12, 1987, inside the house of the victim at Barangay Minuyan IV, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. The suspect went into hiding after murdering the victim.

A warrant of arrest was issued by former San Jose del Monte City Trial Court Judge Virginia M. Pagorogon for the crime of murder with no bail recommended.

Mendez said the San Jose Del Monte City police station headed by Supt. Rodolfo “Boy” Hernandez has received information that the suspect will proceed at the basketball court in which he is one of the participants in Balik Laro League organized by village officials.

Hernandez said Yap was positively identified by the informant and was subsequently arrested. He said Yap will be turned over to the court for proper disposition. (PNA) 

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Bulacan "food poisoning" victims rises to 196; water contamination not ruled out as cause

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado instructed on Tuesday the Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) to closely monitor the condition of, and provide medical assistance to some 196 persons who were admitted to different hospitals in Bulacan and Pampanga after eating spaghetti in Barangay Meysulao, Calumpit town last Sunday afternoon.

Alvarado said that government health officials are still waiting for the results of laboratory tests conducted on the suspected victims of food poisoning.

He said that the provincial government, through the PPHO, is currently conducting medical mission in Barangay Meysulao.

This developed as Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Joy Gomez confirmed that not all those admitted and treated at government hospitals in Calumpit and Malolos City ate spaghetti. She said that some could have taken contaminated water.

“We are still awaiting the results of the lab tests. It showed that there are some patients who did not eat spaghetti but still felt bad and brought to the hospital, Gomez said, adding that the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) has already taken water-samples from the said village.

She said residents have been advised to boil water before drinking or buy distilled water.

Gomez also said that the DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of the Center for Health and Development will release the results of the lab tests within this week.

She said that the DOH regional office has sent 130 bottles of IV fluids and 10 boxes of antibiotics to the Calumpit Municipal Health Office.

On Sunday afternoon, at least 105 persons were admitted at the Calumpit District Hospital; 53 at the Bulacan Medical Center in Malolos City; 10 in a lying-in clinic in Macabebe, Pampanga; eight at the Emilio Perez Hospital in Hagonoy; Bulacan and two at the Sta. Cruz Hospital also in Calumpit .

Most of the victims are children aged two to 8 years old. (PNA) 

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Bulacan village under state of calamity due to food poisoning

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) - The municipal council of this town on Tuesday declared Barangay Meysulao here under a state of calamity due to the massive case of suspected food poisoning that affected almost 200 people in the village last Sunday afternoon.

Roland Ramos, village chief of Barangay Meysulao, said the Sangguniang Bayan has placed their village under a state of calamity to provide assistance to the affected residents.

Health officials are still determining the cause of the suspected food poisoning which made some people experience vomiting, loose bowel movement, nausea and fever.

Provincial health consultant Dr. Florante Tuazon said most of the patients suffered from acute gastroenteritis.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado earlier instructed the Provincial Public Health Office to provide medical assistance to the affected villagers.

At present, a medical mission is being conducted in Barangay Meysulao. (PNA) 

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Spaghetti downs 160 persons in Bulacan

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, June 13 (PNA) -- At least 160 persons, mostly children, were hospitalized after eating spaghetti at a birthday party in Barangay Meysulao here last Sunday afternoon.

Provincial public health officer Dr. Joy Gomez said most of the victims were brought to the Calumpit District Hospital while others were brought to the Bulacan Medical Center in Malolos City and other hospitals in Apalit and Macabebe, Pampanga.

Gomez said that test are still being conducted on the patients, most of whom were children whose age range from two to eight years old, to determine the cause of food poisoning.

She said that most of the victims are still confined and being treated and under observation at the Calumpit District Hospital and at the Bulacan Medical Center.

Dr. Florante Tuazon, provincial health consultant, said the victims suffered from acute gastroenteritis or food poisoning.

Tuazon said that the victims experienced early symptoms of food poisoning like stomach ache, vomiting, dizziness, loose bowel movement and fever.

He said Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has already instructed the Provincial Public Health Office to provide medical assistance to the victims.

He also said that the governor also ordered the transfer of those who were brought to hospitals in Pampanga to the Bulacan Medical Center where they will be given free medical treatment and assistance.

Monalisa Alfonso, mother of one of the victims, said they are not planning to sue the family that served the spaghetti.

"Nobody wants to happen the accident. It is not intentional. What is important is to treat my children and other other victims from food poisoning," Alfonso added. (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos celebrate Independence Day at Barasoain Church

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 12 (PNA) -- An air of patriotic pride engulfed the patio of the historic Barasoain Church here on Sunday morning as thousands of Bulakenyos commemorated the 113th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence by recalling the heroism and sacrifices of Filipino patriots and revolutionaries.

A-21 gun salute was executed by members of the Provincial Public Safety Company after Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad, together with House Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte Jr., Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Edgardo T. Ladao and Paombong Mayor Donato Marcos laid flowers at the foot of the statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic.

Earlier, a civic-military parade led by student cadets clad in the “rayadillo” uniform of Filipino revolutionary forces opened the celebration, followed with the raising of the Philippine flag and the oath of allegiance to the flag.

Belmonte, who was the guest of honor and speaker, said the events that took place on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite had become the model of a nation of sovereignty in Asia .

He said the declaration of Philippine independence in Kawit was given credence by the ratification of the Constitution by the Malolos Congress that led to the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic inside the historic Barasoain Church on January 23, 1899.

‘For centuries our forebears fought for independence from foreign dominion. We must preserve their legacy by being vibrant and steadfast in love of country and freedom by effecting changes in the struggle against poverty and genuine independence that our heroes fought with blood and `sacrifices,” Belmonte said.

For his part, Alvarado said that the people should not also forget the roles played by Bulakenyo patriots who played key parts in the struggle for Philippine independence.

He mentioned Canuto Villanueva, the Supreme Chief of the “Kakarong Republic” in Pandi. He said there are only lesser accounts of Villanueva’s role in the significant events that unfold leading to the declaration of Philippine independence.

The governor said that Villanueva’s exploits were mostly mentioned with his association with that of the long-haired Bulakenyo revolutionary leader Gen. Eusebio Roque, also known as “Maestrong Sebio” and “Dimabunggo.”

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 Pugad Lawin or Balintawak.

Alvarado said that the great province of Bulakan, whose race has the bloodline of mighty rahas and lakans, will always be at the forefront in the quest for truth, justice and freedom.

Mayor Natividad, on the other hand, said that Philippine independence has been achieved through the uprising of oppressed people who wanted freedom from colonial rule.

He said that the significant events that transpired in Malolos more than a century ago is the climax of the pains, hardships and sacrifices that culminated to the country’s freedom from bondage of more than 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.

"It is our great honor to witness again the greatness of the historic city of Malolos," Natividad added. (PNA) 

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Bulacan police to brief local media on covering bombing, hostage incidents

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, June 11 (PNA) -- Police authorities will brief local newsmen on existing guidelines in covering bombing incidents and hostage situations in a half-day seminar here on Monday.

Bulacan police acting director Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr. said the Police Community Relations Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office headed by Chief Inspector Gerardo A. Andaya has invited resource speakers to brief members of the working press on their roles during bombing incidents.

Mendez said that issues and concerns regarding the role of the media during occurrence of bombing situations will be discussed to prevent lapses and unnecessary mistakes that could worsen the situation.

A member of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) of the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory said that in some cases, some mediamen unknowingly intrude at the crime scene that has yet to be examined by forensic experts and in some instances alters important pieces of evidence without them knowing it.

The seminar aims to familiarize local newsmen in covering sensitive police operations and to prevent mistakes and lapses on crime scene procedures, Andaya said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops intercept 'double dead' pigs

MARILAO, Bulacan, June 3 (PNA) -- A police mobile team intercepted a tricycle loaded with 11 ”double dead” pigs in Barangay Loma de Gato here Thursday afternoon.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Fernando Mendez said the “double dead” pigs were bound to a “litsunan” in San Jose del Monte City when the mobile team spotted the tricycle driven by a certain Reynaldo Bendam.

Mendez said the police team got suspicious due to the foul smell of the dead pigs. He said the Marilao police station informed provincial veterinarian Dr. Voltaire Basinang who later confirmed that the 11 dead pigs are indeed hot meats and not fit for human consumption.

The suspect told police investigators that he planned to bring the dead pigs to a "litsunan" in San Jose del Monte where he intend to sell it for very low price.

Basinang said that the Bulacan Task Force: Bantay Botcha, which was formed early this year by Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, is in constant coordination with the Bulacan Police Provincial Office to thwart attempts of unscrupulous traders in selling hot meat.

He also said that mobile teams from Provincial Public Safety Company of the Bulacan PNP headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola, in coordination with the Provincial Veterinary Office, are regularly manning checkpoints established along strategic places to ensure that no hot meat will be sold at local public markets. (PNA) 

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'High-tech' thief selling broadband device nabbed in Bulacan

PLARIDEL, Bulacan, May 28 (PNA) -- Policemen have arrested a “high tech” thief during an entrapment operation in Barangay Poblacion here last Friday.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr. identified the suspect as Raffy Dodes Cadano, a resident of the said barangay.

Fernando said the Plaridel police station headed by Supt. Albert Ocon conducted an entrapment after the suspect allegedly offered to sell a Globe Wimax broadband device to a police intelligence operative.

Mendez said the wireless internet device that the suspect offered to sell will provide unlimited internet connection for a one time payment of only P500.

Mendez said that Cadano was arrested after handing the device to a police poseur buyer. He said police operatives seized the P500 marked money, 12 pieces of Wimax antennae with cables and four Globe Imax model-echolife BM622.

The Bulacan police director also said that representatives from Globe Telecom Engr. Arnel M. Caballero and Globe security officer Ronald Uychutin has confirmed that the deal made by the suspect is illegal and can cause huge financial losses to their company.

The suspect is now detained at the Plaridel police station while appropriate charges are being readied for filing against him.

Mendez said the operation was in line with the directives of Central Luzon regional police director Chief Supt. Edgardo T. Ladao to all police provincial offices to intensify the campaign against all forms of criminality. (PNA)

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Most wanted fugitive in CL yields

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, May 24 (PNA) -- After four years of hiding, a fugitive who is listed as one of the most wanted persons in Central Luzon, finally surfaced and surrendered to police authorities here on Tuesday.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr., identified the fugitive as Marlon Libunao Aguilar alias “Caloy”, 31, single, jobless and a resident of Barangay Garlang, San Ildefonso, Bulacan.

Mendez said Aguilar has a pending alias warrant of arrest for the crime of “murder” docketed under Criminal Case Number 598-M-08 issued by Bulacan RTC Branch 83 Judge Guillermo P. Agloro, Malolos City dated June 10, 2008.

He said Aguilar is one of the “Most Wanted Persons” in Region 3 with monetary reward P90,000 for his neutralization based on DILG Memorandum Circular # 2010-54.

The arrested fugitive, together with his brother, Ricardo Aguilar Jr., were involved in the killing of Alfredo Magat Jr. on September 28, 2007 in San Ildefonso town.

He said that the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office has been making negotiation with Aguilar’s family for more than a month now.

“His surrender was also made possible by the indispensable effort of an informant who helped in establishing a line of communication between the negotiators and the suspect’s family and in the conduct of the negotiations itself. There was no condition for the surrender but the family was assured of the suspect’s safety and security,” Mendez said

He also said the operation was in response to the call of Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Edgardo T. Ladao to intensify manhunt operations against most wanted persons in the region. (PNA) 

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Wanted man nabbed with shabu in Bulacan

BULAKAN, Bulacan, May 23 (PNA) -- A 54-year old man wanted by the court for a case of attempted murder is now facing another criminal offense after police detectives arrested him and caught him with two plastic sachets containing prohibited drugs in Sitio Paniki, Barangay San Jose here on Monday afternoon.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the arrested fugitive as Manuel Armildez, single, resident of said barangay.

Santos said CIDT operatives led by P03 Rafael Bartolome swooped down on the suspected hideout of Armildez and arrested him by virtue of a warrant of arrest for the crime of attempted murder issued by Bulacan RTC Branch 83 Judge Guillermo P. Agloro with no bail recommended.

Santos said that when Bartolome frisked the suspect for weapon or contraband, two plastic sachets containing shabu was found in the right-front pocket of his short pants.

He said Armildrez and the seized evidence were brought to the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory at Camp Gen. Alejo Santos in Malolos City for examination.

The suspect will be turned over to the court for proper disposition while charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act will also be filed against him.

Santos said the operation was part of the CIDG’s flagship project against wanted criminals codenamed “Oplan Pagtugis” and “Oplan Big Bertha”, a campaign against dangerous drugs. (PNA) 

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Bulacan trains rescue teams

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 22 (PNA) -- Provincial and city officials here are gearing up for the typhoon season as they trained rescue teams in water rescue situations.

Govenor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, chairman of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDDRMC), said members of various rescue teams from the city and municipal disaster risk management councils in the province have undergone simulation exercises on water rescue at the Guerrero Resort in Subic, Zambales recently.

Alvarado said the simulation exercise aims to hone and enhance the capabilities of rescue teams and, at the same time, trained them on the use of modern rescue equipment like jet skis and communication gadgets.

Aside from the water rescue training, the governor said the rescue teams were also given lectures on water safety, boat and outboard motor handling, predetermined victims, rescue scenarios life and life saving.

Liz Mungcal, executive officer of PDDRMC, said more than 90 participants took part in the two-day water rescue exercise.

Meanwhile, the city government of Malolos, led by Mayor Christian D. Natividad and Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, led the distribution of mobile phones and other emergency gadgets to the city's 51 barangays.

Natividad said the project, dubbed as “Malolos Emergency Response Phones”, was made possible in coordination with Olive Mobile headed by Janis Nathalie Racpan and Phone World during the launching of “Empowering Local Government Units for Disaster Preparedness” recently.

Natividad said the mobile phones would be used for relaying emergency situations that needs immediate response and action.

Aside from the mobile phones, the kit also include flashlights, camera and radios.

The mayor also said that the city engineering department is also de-clogging and rehabilitating canals and waterways to minimize flooding.

In a related development, Bulacan acting police director Senior Superintendent Fernando Mendez Jr., said the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola, have recently trained 40 policemen in search and rescue operation during a two-day disaster preparedness exercise held at Camp General Alejo Santos here.

Mendez said the exercise aims to familiarize police personnel in disaster response operations. (PNA) 

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Bulacan govt to borrow P1.7B for infra projects

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 19 (PNA) -- The provincial government is set to borrow P1.7 billion from state banks and financial institutions to finance various infrastructure projects in the province.

This came after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan recently approved unanimously a resolution authorizing Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado to borrow money to fund priority infrastructure projects which include rehabilitation and construction of roads, bridges, flood control projects, public buildings, district hospitals and school buildings.

Vice Governor Daniel Fernando has cited the need of financial support to fast-track the projects.

Detractors of the present administration claimed that the provincial capitol will borrow money to fund projects because it is now bankrupt.

"It is not true that the province is bankrupt. The project we laid out demands immediate implementation and requires big amount of money," the governor said.

The governor also cited the case of other provinces like Nueva Ecija and Batangas which borrowed money to implement their infrastructure projects.

"We will not just sit down while other provinces are improving their infrastructure. Otherwise, we will be left behind in development," he added. (PNA) 

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Hundreds of carabaos 'kneel' in Pulilan fiesta

PULILAN, Bulacan, May 15 (PNA) -- Thousands of local and foreign tourists braved the heat of the sun as they watched almost 500 carabaos "kneel" in front of the San Isidro Labrador Church here in celebration of the feast of the town’s patron saint Saturday afternoon.

Maricel Santos Cruz, chief of the Provincial Public Affairs Office (PPAO), said at least 450 carabaos took part in a colorful parade, which is one of the most crowd-drawing May festivals in Bulacan.

Cruz said the festival is being held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of Pulilan.

She also said that the exciting festival is a way of thanking the town’s patron saint for a bountiful harvest, where farmers parade their carabaos to the Church of San Isidro Labrador.

Upon arrival at the church, the carabaos knelt to the patron saint.

Cruz said that even though the weather was so hot, thousands of people, including Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy- Alvarado, came to see the spectacle of kneeling carabaos.

After the carabao-kneeling spectacle, it rained and the crowd cheered, believing that it was a blessing from their patron saint.

"Bulacan is site of many religious practices and colorful fiestas and the kneeling carabaos of Pulilan is one of the crowd-drawing attractions," the governor said.

Aside from the famous kneeling carabaos of Pulilan, Alvarado said thousands of people also go to the town of Obando where the “fertility rites” in honor of the town’s three patron saints — Sta. Clara, Birhen de Salambao and San Pascual de Baylon — is held on May 17.

Old folks said that childless couples who join the fertility dance will be blessed with child.

Alvarado said the provincial government is actively promoting the age-old traditions and colorful festivals in Bulacan. (PNA) 

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Search for Outstanding Bulakenyo is on‏

MALOLOS CITY, May 12 (PNA) — The search for this year’s “Outstanding Bulakenyo,” also known as “Gawad Dangal ng Lipi,” is now accepting nominations.

A yearly event hosted by the provincial government of Bulacan, the search for "Gawad Dangal ng Lipi" will give recognition to modern day heroes and outstanding sons and daughters of the province who excel in their different 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 highest award, which is the Tanging Bulakenyo, will be given to a Bulakenyo who excels in any of the awards categories stated and with an outstanding performance and contribution to society.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the “Gawad Dangal ng Lipi” will be one of the highlights during the celebration of Buwan ng Bulacan, popularly known as Singkaban Fiesta, held in September.

Alvarado encourages all the Bulakenyos to support the event through submission of nominees from all the municipalities in the province.

He said Bulacan is rich with people with invaluable contribution to the province’s progressive economy and source of pride.

“We are requesting for your help and cooperation in the gathering of nominations. Do not hesitate to nominate a person whom you believe is deserving of the award,” the governor added.

The Provincial Planning Development Office (PPDO), the awards secretariat, said that nominations must be submitted on or before June 30, 2011. (PNA) 

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Gun wielding drug dealer nabbed in Bulacan

BALIUAG, Bulacan, May 11 (PNA) - Police detectives scored anew in their campaign against illegal drugs and loose firearms following the arrest of an alleged notorious drug dealer who carries a gun while selling illegal drugs in Barangay Sulivan here Tuesday night.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, provincial officer of the Bulacan PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the arrested suspect as Edwin Roque alias “Papu”, 31, a member of “Sputnik Gang” and resident of Sitio Dulong Bayan, Barangay Sulivan here.

Santos said Bulacan CIDT operatives led by SP02 Aldam Kulayan, in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), conducted a buy bust operation in the area after receiving reports that a notorious drug dealer is openly selling "shabu" in the area while carrying a handgun.

Santos said the CIDT operatives arrested Roque after selling a plastic sachet of shabu worth P2,000 to a poseur buyer.

When frisked, the lawmen recovered a caliber .38 revolver with three live bullets tucked on the suspect’s waist.

Santos said a lady companion of the suspect, identified as a certain Michelle Dionisio, was also brought to the CIDT headquarters in Malolos City for investigation.

Appropriate charges will be filed against the suspect, Santos added.

This was the second time that the Bulacan CIDT arrested a suspected drug pusher with a gun.

Last May 3, Santos said a CIDT team arrested a suspected member of a gun-running syndicate who was also caught with a plastic sachet of shabu during an operation against loose firearms in Barangay Abangan Sur, Marilao town.

Santos said that the operations were conducted as part of the CIDG flagship project against illegal drugs dubbed as “Oplan Big Bertha” and the campaign against loose firearms codenamed “Oplan Paglalansag.” (PNA) 

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Bulacan Rescue Team emerges as the best in Central Luzon

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 10 (PNA) - Patterned after America’s 911, the Bulacan Rescue Team (formerly known as the Bulacan 566 Emergency Reponse Team) emerged as the over-all champion in 8th Regional First Aid and Basic Life Support Olympics held recently at Remy Field, Subic Freeport Zone.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the Bulacan Rescue Team emerged as the over-all champion in the one-day First Aid and Life Support Olympics organized by the Office of Civil Defense and the Philippine National Red Cross to further boost the readiness and competence of disaster and emergency response units in Central Luzon.

Alvarado said the Bulacan Rescue Team, the emergency response team of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), was adjudged as best in “situation analysis”, “focus on control bleeding” and “bandaging and treatment of wounds.”

The governor commended Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio and Felicisima Mungcal, executive officer of PDRRMC, for continuously training the disaster and emergency response and rescue units in Bulacan.

The Malolos City Rescue Team also emerged as the over-all champion in the city category while the Rescue Team of the City of San Jose del Monte was adjudged second runner up.

In the municipal category, the Calumpit 1024 Rescue team bested other rescue teams in the region and romped away as the over-all champion for being the best in situation analysis and in transfer relay. (PNA) 

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Tornado sweeps 8 Bulacan villages: 1 dead, 41 houses damaged

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 9 (PNA) -- At least 41 houses were damaged wherein four of which were totally destroyed when a tornado swept through eight villages in Calumpit town Saturday night, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported on Monday.

Provincial administrator Jim Valerio also reported to Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado that a 54-year old man, identified as Alberto Tolentino, a resident of Barangay San Miguel, Calumpit town, died of heart attack after the twister struck their village.

Valerio said some 93 families were affected after the twister swept the villages of Balungaw, Frances, San Miguel, Sapang Bayan, Meysulao, Corazon, Gatbuca and Poblacion.

Hardest hit was Barangay Balungaw where four houses were totally destroyed. The tornado also partially damaged 37 houses in seven other barangays.

Gov. Alvarado led the distribution of relief goods to the affected families and personally assessed the damage in the villages.

The governor also instructed the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office to make an assessment on the damaged houses to come up with materials that will be given to the affected families.

Meanwhile, the PDRRMC also reported that a 13-year old girl, Rose Ann Gatdula, died after getting electrocuted near an electric post in Barangay Pungo, Calumpit town Monday morning.

Felicisima L. Mungcal, executive officer of PDRRMC, on the other hand, reported that Ipo dam opened its radial gate B and released 67 cubic meters per second (cms) of water at around 4:05 a.m. Monday after the water level reaches 100.92 meters. The radial gate was closed at 6:05 a.m. when the water elevation reached 100.79 meters.

Mungcal said the spilling level of Ipo dam during rainy season is between 100.8 to 101.00 meters.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the water elevation at Angat dam was at 192.32 meters. The spilling level of Angat dam is 210.00 meters. (PNA)

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Discipline and strict law enforcement key to Bulacan river clean-up drive, says governor

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 7 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said on Saturday that the newly-formed river patrol along the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river system will strictly implement environmental laws and catch violators as part of an integrated program to clean up the river which is considered as among the dirtiest in the world.

“The river marshals will definitely enforce the law. But in the meantime, it will be done with a heart. We need discipline to jointly clean the river. What is good and useful, this is what we must do,” Alvarado said in his weekly radio program, “The Governor’s Hour” which he co-anchors with Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos.

The governor also called on local and village officials, including leaders of the Sangguniang Kabataan, to help the provincial government and the local government units of Marilao, Meycauayan City and Obando as well as in the neighboring cities of Caloocan and Valenzuela in creating public awareness on existing environmental laws and how to help clean the river.

"It is the responsibility of all to protect the environment, especially the rivers. It is not only two or five who are cleaning while others are only watching. Let us pass on the clean environment and rivers to the rightful owner, which is the next generation," Alvarado said.

He also said that the river patrol teams, composed of personnel from the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local government units and the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, will be properly equipped with fast-craft boats and uniforms.

He said that DENR has allotted P1 million for the fast craft boats and other equipment of the river patrol teams.

Last Thursday, Alvarado led the oathtaking of more than 100 river marshals during the launching of the “Sagip Ilog” project, a massive clean-up drive aimed at deleting the Marilao-Meycauayan rivers from the list of the world’s dirtiest rivers. (PNA) 

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Three robbery group members in Bulacan nabbed

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, May 6 (PNA) - Three members of a notorious robbery/holdup group known as “Nituan Gang” were arrested during a raid on their supposed safehouse in Barangay Kalawakan, Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan, Thursday.

In a report reaching here, Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao, Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) director, identified the suspects as Roland Nituan, Avelino Nituan and Randy Nituan, all of Sitio Durumugan, Barangay Kalawakan, Doña Remidios Trinidad, Bulacan,

The police team was armed with a search warrant when it raided the residence of the three suspects, Ladao said.

During the raid, the team recovered from the suspects' safehouse one homemade caliber .38 revolver without serial number, one caliber rifle (airgun), four pieces bullets for .38 caliber, one nylon holster, a homemade gauge pistolized shotgun, one homemade cal.38 revolver without serial number with five bullets and one homemade cal.22 revolver with five bullets.

Ladao said that the implementation of search warrant was a case operational plan formulated to closely monitor the activities of the group believed to be responsible for the series of robbery/holdup, extortion and carnapping incidents in Bulacan and nearby provinces.

He said the group has recently victimized Mark Anthony Marquez, 28 years and resident of Barangay Mojon, Malolos, Bulacan and Marlon San Pedro, salesman, and helper of Megavia Corporation wherein at gun point, they forcibly took and carted away the victims’ P23,933 collection money and two cellphones.

The suspects as well as the seized items were brought to the Regional Intelligence Division 3 here for proper investigation and disposition.

Ladao said appropriate charges are being readied against the three suspects. (PNA) 

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Gun dealer with 'shabu' nabbed in Bulacan

MARILAO, Bulacan, May 5 (PNA) - Police detectives arrested a suspected member of a gun-running syndicate who was also caught with a plastic sachet of the illegal drug "shabu" during an operation against loose firearms in Barangay Abangan Sur here Wednesday afternoon.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, chief of the Bulacan PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the suspect as Eduardo Soriano, 40, resident of Sitio Itok-itok, Barangay Abangan Sur in this town.

Santos said that a CIDT team led by SP01 Edwin M. Pagsibigan conducted a “buy- bust” operation against loose firearms after a police asset managed to transact a deal with the suspect.

He said that when Soriano handed over a caliber 357 magnum to the CIDT poseur buyer and received the marked money, Pagsibigan and other CIDT operatives placed him under arrest.

When frisked, Santos said the suspect yielded a plastic sachet containing shabu.

CIDT agents also recovered six live bullets of a caliber 357 magnum from the suspect.

Santos said the operation is in line with the CIDG flagship project “Oplan Paglalansag,” a nationwide campaign against loose firearms and CIDG flagship project “Oplan Big Bertha”, a campaign against illegal drugs.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator Marlon Sanchez said cases for violation of PD 1866 or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and violation of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) will be filed against the suspect. (PNA) 

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Two men gunned down in Bulacan

SAN RAFAEL, Bulacan, May 4 (PNA) -- Two men, who were out to buy gasoline after the gas tank of their motorcycle run empty, were killed when an angry vendor shot them at point-blank range, allegedly for leaving their motorcycle in front of their house in Barangay Kapihan early Tuesday morning.

Police identified the victims as Ramil Siapco, 47, and Nicanor Garcia, 53, both residents of said barangay.

The suspect, identified as Darwin Quiazon, 23, married, vendor and resident of Barangay BMA-Balagtas was arrested, police said.

Police said the suspect apparently got irked after the two men “recklessly” left their motorcycle in front of his house around 3 a.m. Tuesday, prompting him to follow them on board a black Enduro-type motorbike at a rural gasoline store and without warning shot them with a handgun.

Police said Siapco died on the spot while Garcia was brought to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead by doctors. (PNA) 

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Two fratmen nabbed for death of recruit in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 2 (PNA) -- Police on Monday arrested two of four teenaged fratmen who were allegedly responsible for the death of their new recruit while undergoing initiation in Barangay Matimbo last Friday.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said the Malolos City police station are now readying charges of homicide in relation to Republic Act 8049 (Anti Hazing Law) against Marlon Mendoza, 18, and John Lawrence Borja, 18, both members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity, for the death of victim Ronel de Guzman, 20, a resident of Barangay Sto. Nino, Hagonoy town.

Two other members of the fraternity who were identified only as “Lelouch” and “Mandirigma” are now the subject of a police manhunt, Mendez said.

Police said the initiation rites took place at a vacant lot in Barangay Matimbo where the victim sustained bruises and wounds in different parts of his bodies and was declared dead on arrival at the Bulacan Medical Center. (PNA) 

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Malolos clergy to hold exhibit in honor of Pope John Paul II

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 30 (PNA) -- The Archdiocese of Malolos will hold a one-day exhibit on May 2 at the Basilica Minore, formerly the Malolos Cathedral, that will showcase souvenirs from the Papal visit in the country of the late Pope John Paul II, who is set to be beatified as a saint on Sunday in Vatican City.

Fr. Jay Lina, head of the Commission on Liturgy of the Malolos Diocese, said the exhibit will feature the Bulacan clergy’s pictorial souvenirs with the late Pope, including books and Papal writings in honor and grateful memory of the most loved pope in history.

The exhibit will be at held the lobby of the Basilica Minore Office. It will be opened at 9 a.m. on May 2 and will be followed by a 6 p.m. mass inside the church where hundreds of Roman Catholics in Bulacan and other places are expected to attend to join the world’s celebration of his beatification.

A vestment of Pope John Paul II given to former Malolos Diocese Bishop Cirilo Almario during the Papal visit in 1981 will also be displayed in the one day exhibit, Lina said.

Bishop Almario, who is now 80 years old, said Pope John Paul II gave him the vestment that the Pontiff wore at a mass in Quezon City Memorial Circle in 1981.

Almario, then the secretary general of the Catholics Bishops Conference of the Philippines, was the overall in- charge in the said Papal visit in the country.

Almario said the vestment was handed down to him by the Pope’s secretary after the mass.

“I was very surprised to receive it and I am very thankful and honored. That is why until now, I am really taking good care and preserving this vestment,” he said.

Almario, who served as Malolos bishop for 23 years, said he could not help himself but to jump in joy after hearing the news that Pope John Paul II will already be declared as a saint.

I am praying for his sainthood every day since the day he died in 2005. I know, this is the same feeling shared by many Filipinos whose life was touched by Pope John Paul II,” he said

Fr. Lina recalled he was still in the seminary when the Pope came in 1981. He said he felt something different and very holy about the Pope. (PNA) 

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Two Bulacan mayors file libel charges vs Aiko Melendez

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 28 (PNA) -- Mayor Patrick Meneses of Bulacan and Mayor Enrico Roque of Pandi filed separate libel charges against actress turned politician Aiko Melendez and four others before the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office here Thursday afternoon.

Meneses told newsmen that he, including his family and constituents, have deeply been hurt by the tweeter account allegedly posted by Melendez questioning his manhood and that he and the mayor of Pandi were alleged lovers.

He, however, refused to discuss matters pertaining to the libel case.

Roque also refused to make any comments. His close aides said that it is now up to the court since the case has been filed.

Meanwhile, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Bulacan Chapter, headed by Paombong Mayor Donato Marcos, has issued resolution expressing full support to their colleagues by denouncing the negative issues hurled against them.

Marcos said the resolution also encouraged all legislative bodies -- municipal, city and provincial councils -- in the province of Bulacan “to pass a resolution after establishing whoever is the person behind this negative publicity.

San Ildefonso Mayor Carla Galvez-Tan, who acted as spokeperson of the league, said the 21 municipal mayors of Bulacan will extend full support to the two mayors.

Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad also said that he is supporting the cause of the two embattled mayors of Bulacan.

Natividad said that being the “father” of a town is a great responsibility and the controversy is affecting the decision-making of the town executives.

“This may serve as a deterrent for others who will intrude to the private lives of local officials,” he added. (PNA)

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Bulacan cops return stolen bikes to owners

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, April 28 (PNA) - Police authorities on Thursday returned seven stolen motor vehicles to their rightful owners after conducting interviews and verification of documents.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said that the Sta. Maria police station and the San Jose del Monte City police station have recovered two tricycles and five single motorbikes which were stolen in San Jose Del Monte City and Sta. Maria town recently.

Mendez said the Sta. Maria police also arrested Eduardo Centenaje Jr., 50, Dads Dave Centenaje, and Antonio Sayson Jr., 32, all residents of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

He said that the Bulacan police will continue to boost their campaign against car thieves and called on the public to report any suspicious activities or persons in their communities. (PNA) 

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5 NPA rebels, Army trooper slain in Bulacan clash

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, April 26 (PNA) -- Five heavily-armed suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and a radio operator of the Philippine Army were killed in an encounter in Purok 5, Barangay Igay, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Tuesday morning.

In a report to Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Alan Purisima, acting Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr. said that at around 5:30 a.m., combined elements of the Army's 56 Infantry Battalion and a maneuver platoon of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) responded to an information that a group of heavily-armed men were seen roaming around the area.

Mendez said that when the government troops arrived in the area, the armed men opened fire at them, triggering a gun battle that resulted in the death of five suspected rebels and a PA radio operator who has yet to be identified.

Mendez said additional troops from the PPSC under Supt. Fitz Macariola and Army soldiers are still conducting internal security operations at the site. (PNA) 

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Bulacan provincial gov't launches 'Kalikasan at Kasaysayan' tour 

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, April 20 (PNA) - The provincial government of Bulacan launched Tuesday the “Kalikasan at Kasaysayan” tour at the historic Biak-na Bato national park here.

Jo Clemente, technical assistant for arts and culture of the provincial government, led a team of Bulacan newsmen on the different scenic spots within the Biak-na Bato park and reservation area.

The group was also accompanied by the Bulakenya contestants at the Miss Earth and Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageants.

Clemente said the Biak-na-Bato is an ideal tourist and historical spot that is good for study tours and extreme sports like mountain climbing, river rafting, and ecological tour.

He also said that the place is rich with legends and folklores like the tale of the "Bundok ng Susong Dalaga", a mountain that has the form of a sleeping woman.

Rustico de Belen, chief of the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), said the tour also aims to create public awareness on the environmental hazards at Biak-na-Bato where the rare but expensive tea rose marble has been wantonly extracted in the past years. The mining of tea rose marble at Biak-na-Bato was only stopped this year after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) canceled the Mineral Products Sharing Agreement.

De Belen said that they are also planning to make an inventory of the flora and fauna that abound in the historical mountain retreat which served as the stronghold of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Filipino revolutionaries during the Filipino-Spanish war. (PNA) 

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Two suspected gunners nabbed in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 17 (PNA) -- Police operatives arrested two suspected members of a gunrunning syndicate in a series of operations in Pulilan and Plaridel towns over the weekend.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, chief of the Bulacan Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT), identified the suspects as Joseph Barlan, 35, married, of Barangay Longos, Pulilan, and Alimbsar Rascan, 39, single, of Barangay Saluysoy, Meycauayan City.

Santos said Barlan was arrested inside Room 107 of Green Garden Hotel in Pulilan while in the act of dealing and selling an unlicensed .38 caliber revolver with four bullets.

Barlan did not resist when accosted by the lawmen, Santos added.

On the other hand, Rascan was arrested in Barangay Banga, Plaridel while also dealing and selling an unlicensed pistolized shotgun with live ammunition.

Santos said the two suspects could be members of a gunrunning gang operating in Bulacan and some parts of Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

He said the operations were conducted in line with the CIDG’s “Oplan: Paglalansag.”

Charges for violations of Presidential Decree No. 1866 were filed against the suspects before the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. (PNA) 

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High-grade cocaine recovered in Bulacan

BOCAUE, Bulacan, April 15 (PNA) -- Police intelligence operatives recovered a blue plastic bag containing more than half a kilo of high grade cocaine in Barangay Turo here Thursday night.

Newly-installed Bulacan police officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Fernando H. Mendez Jr., said the provincial intelligence branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) has received an information that a group of suspicious looking persons were seen along the road in Barangay Turo near the Bocaue exit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) transacting and haggling a certain item inside a blue plastic bag bounded by packing tape.

According to Mendez, a police team was dispatched to the said place to verify the information.

However, Mendez said that when the police team passed through the Bocaue exit of NLEX, a police patrol car passed by alarming the suspects who scampered away in different directions on board three motorcycles with unknown plate numbers, leaving the blue plastic bag.

He said the police team found a taped package inside the blue plastic bag containing white powdered substance which was brought to the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office 3 (RCLO3) in Camp Olivas, Pampanga for examination.

Chief Inspector Angel Timano, RCLO3 forensic chemist, said the substance tested positive for cocaine hydrochloride, a type of dangerous drug.

The recovered cocaine has an estimated street value of P2.7 million, police said. (PNA) 

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Central Luzon cops undergo criminal investigation training course

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, April 14 (PNA) - Some 348 policemen from the different police stations in Central Luzon have recently graduated from a criminal investigation course held here.

Chief Superintendent Alan LM. Purisima, Central Luzon police director, said the participants completed the course for 45 days.

The participants were from seven police provincial offices of Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Bataan and Aurora and the cities of Angeles and Olongapo.

Purisima said that every policeman should have knowledge on investigation to enhance police work and capabilities.

"When you go back to your stations, use what you have learned in your training course on investigation," Purisima told the graduates.

Chief Superintendent Ricardo Marquez, who represented PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo in the graduation ceremony, said that 70 percent of the police investigators in the country have no formal training in investigation.

"That is why we are conducting courses like this to change our investigation system in our organization," he said.

Marquez, the executive officer of the PNP police directorate for investigation and detective management, the training course would also mean “to upgrade our investigation capability and to be more effective in the performance of duty.” (PNA) 

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Zubiri calls for immediate inspection of Angat Dam

CALUMPIT, Bulacan, April 9 (PNA) -- Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment, said the government should immediately inspect the structural integrity of the 43-year-old Angat Dam which is sitting along the Marikina West Valley Fault Line.

“The government must hasten study on the integrity of Angat Dam structures for us to come up with certain course of action. Unless we do that, we will not be able to plan for the worst. I am glad the National Power Corporation (Napocor) finally agreed to have Angat Dam structure inspected,” Zubiri told local newsmen during the commencement exercise at the Colegio de Calumpit Friday afternoon.

He said that even though officials of the Napocor have issued statements that Angat Dam is safe, the government should not ignore the possibility that a 7.2- to 7.5- magnitude earthquake might erupt once the fault line moves.

“I fear a large disaster or catastrophe may happen, especially in case the (Marikina) west valley fault line moves,” the senator said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has stated that the Marikina West Valley Fault Line might move anytime.

According to Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, the Marikina West Valley Fault Line moves every 200 to 400 years.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado called on concerned agencies to conduct an immediate inspection on the structural soundness of Angat Dam shortly after a powerful earthquake devastated northeastern Japan last month.

Like Solidum, the governor expressed belief that a disaster of catastrophic proportions could occur if the 43-year-old rock-built Angat Dam in Norzagaray town breaks.

Alvarado said they have no intention of alarming the people but it is high time to plan and have remedial measures ready for such eventuality.

“It is the right thing to do. If the Angat Dam is structurally sound like the Napocor claims that it can stand a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, well and good, however, if it is not, then we have a problem,” Alvarado said.

Froilan Tampinco, president and CEO of Napocor, said that Napocor made an agreement with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) to conduct an independent study on the structural soundness of Angat Dam.

"We believe that Angat Dam is structurally sound and can stand a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, but we also admit that earthquake these days are getting more powerful and frequent," Tampinco said. (PNA) 

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Tension grips Baliuag village as suspended village chief fends off lawmen

BALIUAG, Bulacan, March 30 (PNA) - Tension gripped Barangay Sta. Barbara here after the suspended village chief, who locked himself inside the barangay hall, tried to prevent policemen from opening the heavily barricaded door of the building Tuesday afternoon.

Barangay captain Cesar Chico violently resisted Baliuag policemen headed by Supt. Raniel Valones from enforcing an order of Mayor Romy Estrella to remove the barricade at the barangay hall so that the delivery of basic services at the village could resume normally.

On March 14, 2011, Estrella issued a memorandum order slapping a 60-day suspension against Chico after the municipal council unanimously approved Kapasyahan Blg. 15 for alleged misconduct and abuse of authority.

Estrella ordered Valones and his men to remove the barricade and open the barangay hall to the public after Chico openly defied his order and the council’s resolution. Chico and his supporters barricaded the village hall after the mayor issued the suspension order.

Tension flared up when Valones and his men backed up by a maneuver platoon from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company removed the barricade and began to open the padlocked steel gate of the building using blow torch and bolt cutter.

When the steel gate was finally opened, a commotion ensued inside the barangay hall when the suspended village chief tried to shove away the lawmen prompting them to handcuff him and later brought him to the police station.

The embattled village chief and his supporters called the move against him as “political harassment” claiming he has violated no laws. He also threatened to file charges against the Baliuag policemen.

Valones, the town police chief, however said they will file charges of direct assault upon persons of authority and usurpation of authority against Chico for violently resisting and preventing lawmen from implementing a lawful order. (PNA) 

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NLEX launches "Tara na sa Norte" outdoor fair

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 26 (PNA) -- Summer vacation will be more convenient and relaxing through the North Luzon Expressway Outdoor Fair "Tara na sa Norte" which was launched Friday at the NLEX-Shell Station in Barangay Burol, Balagtas, Bulacan.

The activity aims to promote tourism in North Luzon and at the same time help the business of the toll service facilities and its locators by organizing activities that will increase the number of motorists.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, together with Metro Pacific Tollways president Ramoncito Fernandez, Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) president Rodrigo Franco, MNTC vice president for Marketing Renie Ticzon, Mayor Gerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga and Quezon City Councilor Alfred Vargas led the launching event.

“The North has so much to offer, and Bulacan is the gateway to the North. Bulacan has a rich cultural and historical heritage,” said Alvarado as he encouraged the people not only in Bulacan but other parts of the country to see the many scenic places in the province and the entire North Luzon.

He said that in the province of Bulacan, there are many historical sites, notably the three “Republics” sites — The Kakarong de Sili Republic in Pandi, the Biak-na-Bato Republic in San Miguel and the Malolos Republic in Malolos City -- and colorful fiestas.

The activities in the NLEX Outdoor Travel Fair include product presentations by participating exhibitors, as well as familiarization tours for selected groups of attendees to experience North Philippines, hourly raffles, essay and poetry writing competitions for participating schools, a cultural-mix dance competition, rock band performances and fashion show.

This year’s "Tara na sa Norte" is supported by the Department of Tourism, the North Philippines Visitors Bureau, the provincial government of Bulacan, the provincial government of Pampanga, Smart Communications, Pilipinas Shell, Victory Liner, Burger King, Makati Medical Center, TV5, Blackbook-Summit Media, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Radyo Inquirer 990AM. (PNA) 

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Bulacan Task Force 'Bantay Botcha' seizes over 2,000 kilos of hot meat

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 21 (PNA) --Police and members of the provincial task force “Bantay Botcha” have arrested two suspected dealers of tainted meat and seized more than 2,000 kilos of “double dead” pork meat over the weekend.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario said the “hot meat” was intercepted at a checkpoint manned by a joint team of policemen and staff from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO).

Rosario said a police team stopped a freezer van loaded with 85 boxes of chopped imported pork meat (weighing about 1,500 kilos) at a checkpoint in Barangay Bulihan here at around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Supt. Balatazar Mamaril Jr., Malolos City police chief, said the police team arrested Eduardo Flores, a meat dealer from Marilao, after he failed to present permits and certification from the National Meat Inspection Service.

Mamaril said the “hot meat” were inside carton boxes marked “made in USA” and were bound for the public market in Hagonoy town when it was intercepted.

This was the second time that several kilos of imported meat from USA were seized by authorities in this city.

In San Rafael town, a police team from the Provincial Public Safety Company headed by Supt. Fitz Macariola and a team from the PVO headed by Dr. Voltaire Basinang arrested Domingo Vargas, 46, resident of Barangay San Pedro, Bustos, Bulacan, driver of a Hyundai van loaded with 600 kilos of tainted pork meat.

It was later learned that the owner of the hot meat was a certain Yolly Cruz, also a resident of Bustos, Bulacan.

Macariola said charges of violation of Provincial Ordinance (Section 4 and 12) will be filed against the owner and the driver of the van carrying “double dead” hog meat.

Authorities immediately burned the seized tainted meats. (PNA) 

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Malolos City opens own TV network

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 15 (PNA) -- The city government here headed by Mayor Christian D. Natividad has set the trend in community broadcasting with the launching of its own cable TV network.

Natividad said the Malolos Community Development Network (MCDN) is now on its test broadcast and being aired over Channel 18 of the Sky Cable TV network.

“It is also known as the “Feel Good” channel. We are airing that will make our people feel good, be good citizens, updated on news and issues happening in our city and learn,” Natividad said.

The young mayor said aside from the progress of the programs of the city government, MCDN Channel 18 will also feature the Malolos Music Network, the theatrical plays of the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation and indie films produced by students of Bulacan State University, among others.

“Everybody is welcome to send TV materials on our community network. We designed so that the people of Malolos will have their own TV network,” Natividad said in an interview with local mediamen.

The MCDN is the first of its kind in the province and perhaps in Central Luzon, he added. (PNA) 

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Bulacan crime index drops this year

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 11 (PNA) -- Despite the series of high profile crimes that occurred in Bulacan in the previous months, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) has reported that crime index in the province is relatively low compared to previous years.

With this development, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) and other government peacekeeping forces for continuously maintaining an atmosphere of peace and order in the province wherein the crime rate drops at about 18.43 percent.

Alvarado, chairman of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), said that the unrelenting drive against criminality and maintenance of peace and order has resulted into significant arrests of lawless elements and neutralization of notorious crime syndicates operating in Bulacan, Metro Manila and some parts of Central and Southern Luzon.

The governor also announced during the recent PPOC meeting at the Hiyas Pavilion here that from 3,608 recorded crime incidents in 2010, the number of crimes in Bulacan decreased to 2,943 incidents.

“Government functions in whatever capacity must always be pure above suspicion and beyond reproach. To reorder society, let us start the change in us. Only then will peace and order reign supreme,” Alvarado said.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario also reported that the Bulacan police had arrested 122 wanted persons, issued a total of 3,695 citation tickets against erring motorcycle riders, neutralized holdupp groups, and intensified the campaign against illegal gambling, drugs, loose firearms and carnapping.

“We will continue to enhance our personnel and unit capability, especially in the anti-crime and internal security operations and further strengthen our community relations in order to be more effective in addressing peace and security concerns in the province,” Rosario said.

Also present in the council meeting were Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, vice chairman of PPOC; BM Enrique Viudez III, chairman of the Committee on Peace and Order; Col. Hilario Vicente Lagnada, Battalion commander of 56 IB Infantry, Philippine Army; Col. Felicito Trinidad, commander, 702nd Brigade, 71D, Philippine Army; Myra Moral, provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government; municipal mayors; Bulacan policemen; and other officials from different government agencies. (PNA) 

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Bulacan observes Fire Prevention Month

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 10 (PNA) - Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has called on Bulakenyos to always take the needed precaution against fires which cause unnecessary losses of lives and properties.

Alvarado made the call as the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) observes the Fire Prevention Month this March.

The governor said several activities were lined up to heighten the public awareness and involvement to prevent fire accidents.

With the theme “Kahandaan sa Sunog…Tungo sa Kaunlaran,” the month-long observation recently kicked off with the province-wide simultaneous blowing of horns in all fire stations and a motorcade participated in by Bureau of Fire Protection personnel, government employees and officials and different rescue groups in Bulacan.

Selected provincial government employees who were given orientation about first aid (basic life support and cardio pulmonary resuscitation) and fire suppression were designated as fire and earthquake marshall or first aider of their respective departments.

The PDRRMO is also scheduled to conduct training on fire safety and prevention and first aid in the provincial jail and selected schools, establishments, and city and municipal governments in the province.

Fire safety inspection, fire and earthquake drill have also been lined up for the month. (PNA) 

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Suspected car thief gunned down in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, March 8 (PNA) -- Two unidentified gunmen shot to death in gangland fashion a 34-year old man, whom police suspected to be a member of a notorious carnapping and robbery syndicate, in Barangay Look I here Monday night.

In a report to Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario, Malolos City police chief Supt. Baltazar Mamaril Jr., identified the victim as Odilon Filoteo, a native of Hagonoy, Bulacan and presently residing in said barangay.

Police investigators said that Filoteo was inside a private compound full of motorcycles, motorcycle parts and accessories (believed to be stolen) when two men riding tandem on a motorcycle and armed with handguns approached him and without warning shot him several times.

Filoteo died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds, Mamaril said.

Police said Filoteo was allegedly engaged in the selling of motorcycles parts and accessories with no business permit.

Mamaril said Filoteo has a pending robbery case in Branch 7 of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court for robbing an Indian trader in Hagonoy sometime last year and was out on bail.

Some inmates interviewed by police investigators said that Filoteo belongs to a group engaged in robbing Indian traders and in theft of motorcycles.

Police also found 50 different jackets, two black Honda motorbikes without plate numbers and a red Mio motorcycle with plate number PF 9073 inside the said compound.

A SOCO team from the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory also recovered seven spent shells of Cal.45 pistol bullets and four slugs at the crime scene.

Police are still investigating the motive behind the killing, Mamaril said. (PNA) 

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Bocaue's 'most wanted' person falls

BOCAUE, Bulacan, March 5 (PNA) -- Police operatives on Friday captured a slippery criminal listed as the “most wanted person” in this town during a manhunt operation in Barangay Batia here.

Authorities identified the fugitive as Ryan Ilustrisimo Yap, 30, of Barangay Batia. Yap did not resist arrest and is now detained.

He was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest for a case of robbery with homicide and serious physical injuries.

Police said the suspect, listed as the number one “most wanted person” in the municipality of Bocaue, went into hiding after robbing the Dreamwave Resort in Barangay Turo sometime in 2009, where he also killed a security guard and wounded another.

Yap is also a suspected member of a local robbery-holdup gang that victimizes Indian traders in the towns of Bocaue, Balagtas and Marilao, investigators said. (PNA) 

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Two suspected robbers killed in Pulilan clash

PULILAN, Bulacan, March 2 (PNA) -- Police intelligence operatives killed two suspected members of a notorious robbery-holdup gang during a shootout in Barangay Poblacion here Tuesday night.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario said the slain suspects, who were yet to be identified, earlier robbed the “Sizzlingan sa Pulilan” restaurant in Barangay Poblacion, together with another companion.

Rosario said the three suspects who were armed with handguns arrived at the eatery at around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

After they ate, the suspects approached the cashier but instead of paying their bill, the trio drew their guns and announced a hold-up.

Rosario said that after divesting the establishment of its earning, the suspects boarded a black Honda TMX motorcycle (with plate number RA 3344) then fled towards the direction of nearby Calumpit town.

Rosario said a team from the Provincial Intelligence Branch, headed by Supt. Edwin Quilates, chanced upon the fleeing suspects.

He said the lawmen tailed the suspects and after several meters away from the crime scene, the suspects noticed the car of the pursuing lawmen and opened fire. A brief firefight ensued resulting to the deaths of the two suspects. The other suspect managed to elude arrest.

Rosario said the suspects could be members of a robbery-holdup gang who have victimized Indian nationals based on the evidence recovered from the two slain suspects.

Police recovered two .38 caliber revolvers, seven cartridge cases for .38 caliber pistols, two cartridge cases for .9mm pistols, one Honda motorcycle, P2,940 cash, ATM cards and several identification cards, believed to be stolen from Indian nationals. (PNA) 

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Sports: Bulacan is again CLRAA champion

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 26 (PNA) -- For the fifth consecutive time, Bulacan again emerged as the champion -- both in the elementary and secondary divisions -- of the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) 2011 regional meet.

Loud cheers reverberated at the grandstand of the sprawling Bulacan Sports Complex in Barangay Sta. Isabel here when Feliciano Lambus, chairman of technical records management committee, announced that Bulacan topped the overall ranking both in the elementary and high school levels in the six-day regional sportsfest.

Lambus said that in the elementary division, Bulacan garnered a total of 252.50 points, besting runner-up Pampanga which got 228.50 points.

In the secondary division, Bulacan got 290 points while Pampanga got 181 points. The City of Malolos ended up third in the elementary level with 100.50 points

Aside from medals and trophies, Lambus said this year’s champions also received P100,000 -– P50,000 for elementary and P50,000 –- from Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., who was the guest of honor during the opening of the regional meet last Sunday.

He said they will use the money for the training of the athletes in preparation for the Palarong Pambansa.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado congratulated all the athletes and the organizers for the smooth and successful completion of the week-long regional sporting event.

He said that the event showed the skills, agility and talents of students and the camaraderie of the people of Central Luzon. (PNA) 

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CL in need of 490 new cops

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Feb. 20 (PNA) -- The Central Luzon Police Regional Office is in need of at least 490 applicants for new police posts to be filled up this May.

Chief Inspector Angelito Esteban, chief of the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Development Division, said the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) is now accepting qualified applicants to become police officers.

The regional police office has started accepting applicants since Feb. 10 at the provincial police offices and city police offices of Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Olongapo City, and Zambales.

He said the deadline for the submission of folders at the provincial and city levels is Feb. 21.

Qualifications of the police applicants include: 1) Should be a Filipino citizen; 2) At least 21 years old and not more than 30 years old upon the date of oath taking; 3) Must stand at least 157 centimeters for female and 162 centimeters for male; 4) Must be physically and mentally fit; 5) A graduate of any baccalaureate course or four-year course; and 6) Should possess any of the following eligibilities -- National Police Commission-PNP Entrance Exam, Civil Service Professional Exam, or a board exam.

The following documents should also be submitted to the provincial and city police offices: Personal Data Sheet (PDS CSC Form 212, revised 2005), birth certificate from the National Statistics office (NSO), transcript of records and diploma, Certificate of Eligibility, Clearances (Barangay Clearance, Local Police Clearance, Mayor’s Clearance, Municipal Trial Court, Prosecutor’s and Regional Trial Court Clearances, National Bureau of Investigation Clearance and a one piece whole body picture. (PNA)

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3 illegal loggers nabbed in Bulacan

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, Feb. 16 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado is now getting public support in his resolve to protect the environment and natural resources in this province.

This, after Bulacan policemen arrested three men engaged in illegal logging activities during an operation in Barangay Upper Bigte here last Monday.

Police also recovered one chainsaw, cut Germinina trees and 23 pieces of wooden slabs.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario identified the arrested suspects Dominador Tanada, 65, married; Arnold Baco, 27, single, and Joey Asuela, 26, married, all residents of said barangay.

Rosario said that the Norzagaray police station received information from concerned citizens that illegal logging is taking place in the area.

He said local policemen proceeded to the area and caught the three men in the act of cutting trees along the remote mountain village.

Appropriate charges will be filed against the arrested suspects.

Rosario said that Alvarado has recently issued two memorandum orders deputizing the Bulacan Police Provincial Office to go after and apprehend illegal quarry operators, haulers of illegally extracted minerals, illegal loggers and poachers.

He also said that troops from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company under Supt. Fitz Macariola are augmenting local policemen in manning checkpoints along major thoroughfares, in coordination with the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office headed by Lawyer Rustico “Teddy” de Belen, to check the transport of mineral deposits and illegally cut logs and other forest products. (PNA) 

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No laws violated in hauling of abandoned tea rose marbles - Bulacan gov

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 11 (PNA) - Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said that the provincial government has not violated any law in the hauling of abandoned blocks of tea rose marbles from San Miguel town to the compound of the Provincial Engineer's Office in Barangay Tabang, Guiguinto town.

Alvarado said that there is no need to secure an Ore Transport Permit (OTP) to haul the abandoned marble blocks as stated in DENR Administrative Order No. 96-40 Series of 1996: Revised Implementing Rules and Regulation of The Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Under the said administrative order, it is stated that only permit holders, contractors, accredited traders, retailers, processors and other mining rights holders are required to get OTP from the regional director of DENR.

"The transfer of marbles to PEO by the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) does not require the securing from the DENR of an OTP. Needless to say, the BENRO is not in any manner engaged in mining activity," he said.

Alvarado also attested that everything was properly documented and accounted for when an inspection team composed of representatives from PENRO, BENRO, PNP, media and several NGOs participated in the investigation and inspection.

BENRO chief Rustico De Belen earlier reported that the smuggled and illegally extracted marble blocks were dumped for more than two years ago along the streets and rivers, posing great hazards to motorists and residents.

"The transfer of the abandoned marbles was done to protect the life and property of the public and to ensure public safety is in accordance with the faithful and orderly execution of the law," De Belen said. (PNA) 

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3 establishments destroyed in Bulacan fire

STA. MARIA, Bulacan, Feb. 9 (PNA) -- A fireworks wrapper shop, a grocery store and a house were razed to the ground after a 30-minute fire broke out in Barangay Pulong Buhangin here Tuesday night.

No one was reportedly injured in a fire that started at 8:30 p.m.

Municipal fire chief Senior Inspector Orlando Clemente placed the damaged at around half a million pesos.

Clemente said the fire started at a shop selling fireworks wrappers and spread to the adjacent grocery store and a house because chemicals, gun powder and other combustible materials were stored at the shop.

A caretaker at the fireworks shop told arson probers he was sweeping when something sparked at a corner of the shop, triggering the blaze.

The establishments are reportedly owned by the Da Silva family. (PNA) 

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Wanted car thief falls in Bulacan drug bust

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, Feb. 6 (PNA) -- Operatives of the Bulacan Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (PNP-CIDT) arrested two suspected dope peddlers during a series of buy bust operations in Barangay Burol 1st here Sunday morning.

Chief Inspector Marlon R. Santos, Bulacan CIDT chief, identified the arrested suspects as Jason Landayan, 29, resident of Barangay Poblacion, Pandi, Bulacan; and Joselito Mag-isa, alias “Tammy,” 31, of Barangay Santol, Balagtas, Bulacan.

Santos said Landayan also turned out to be a principal suspect in the carjacking of a Toyota Fortuner and the abduction and rape of two female occupants of the same vehicle in Pampanga last year.

Police said a CIDT team led by SP01 M. Pagsibigan conducted an anti-drug operation in Barangay Burol 1st which resulted in the arrest of Mag-isa and the seizure of one plastic sachet containing methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu with a street price of P500.

Santos said that after Mag-isa was arrested, the CIDT team conducted a follow-up operation near a gas station in Barangay Burol where Landayan was arrested after selling two plastic sachets of shabu with an estimated street price of P20,000 to a poseur buyer.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator Marlon Sanchez said that during investigation, it was learned that Landayan is one of the principal suspects in a carjacking case and in the abduction with rape of two female occupants of the stolen Toyota Fortuner in Bacolor, Pampanga.

A case of carnapping and abduction with rape was filed by the Bacolor police station against Landayan last year, Sanchez added.

Sanchez said that charges for violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) will be filed against Landayan while a case for violation of Section II, Article II of R.A. 9165 will be filed against Mag-isa before the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Malolos City. (PNA) 

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PNP offers P100,000 reward for gunman in Evangelista kidnap-slay

MANILA, Feb. 2 (PNA) -– The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday offered a P100,000 reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of the gunman in the kidnap-slaying of car trader Venson Evangelista.

Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, head of the Special Investigation Task Group-Lozano/Evangelista (SITG-Lozano/Evangelista), said the PNP is offering the bounty for Rolando Talban, who uses the aliases Rolly and Eduardo Fernandez, who was tagged as the gunman in Evangelista murder.

Earlier, Alfred Mendiola, who admitted being the one who posed as buyer of Evangelista’s Toyota Land Cruiser last January 14, tagged a certain Rolly as the one who shot Evangelista.

Mendiola, along with Ferdinand Parulan, is presently under police custody.

Mendiola and Parulan also tagged Raymond Dominguez, suspected leader of the notorious Dominguez carjacking group, as the brains behind the kidnap-slaying of Evangelista, whose charred body was recovered in Cabanatuan City three days after the abduction.

Dominguez voluntarily gave himself up to police authorities hours after the arrest of Mendiola and Parulan last January 15.

Estipona said that police investigators managed to establish the real identity of Talban after checking on court records at a Bulacan regional trial court where he is also facing robbery with homicide and carjacking charges.

It was also found out that Talban used Eduardo Fernandez as an alias in the Dominguez group.

Estipona expressed optimism that the reward offer would attract more information that would eventually lead to Talban’s arrest.

The SITG chief said that police operatives are continuously conducting operations to further strengthen the case against the Dominguez group in the Evangelista case.

Already, investigators have recovered the burned driver’s license of Evangelista, several pairs of licensed plate numbers believed to belong to carjacked vehicles and several firearms from a safehouse of the Dominguez group in Barangay Mabiga, Mabalacat town, Pampanga. (PNA)

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Bulacan solon acts on mining issue

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 1 (PNA) -- A lady lawmaker from the province’s first district on Monday sought for the amendment of the present mining laws, hoping it will pave the way for the ”genuine” protection of the environment and at the same time address the issue of responsible mining in Bulacan.

Rep. Ma. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado said she brought up the issue to the halls of Congress to correct what she perceives as “the acute imbalance between environment protection and sustainable development in the countryside" and the seeming lack of coordination in the implementation of mining laws, rules and regulations.

Sy-Alvarado was referring to Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

She also cited the alleged mismanagement of previous provincial leaderships as among the cause of environment degradation in the mountains of eastern Bulacan.

“Previous provincial leaderships have equated mining with money, leaving absolutely nothing for the environment. The province is now in a dire situation wherein our mountains are deforested, slopes destabilized, rapid soil erosion, desertification of once agricultural lands, crop damages, siltation, alteration of terrain and sea-bottom topography, increase water turbidity, watershed encroachments and air pollution,” Sy-Alvarado said.

She also averred that in the province of Bulacan, many have already died due to mining disputes ever since the Mining Act was enacted into law.

She also disclosed that the unabated quarrying of mineral deposits in the mountains of eastern Bulacan also threatens to wipe out the historic Biak-na-Bato national park.

The Bulacan congresswoman proposed that LGUs should be given more power in regulating mining operations.

She added that the approval of any mining claim by the national government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) must require the concurrence of the provincial government through its local chief executive who could be held accountable for any environmental degradation together with the mining claimant under the Writ of Kalikasan, the Local Government Code of 1991 and other laws.

She also asked his colleagues at the House of Representatives to support the “Processing of Mineral Resources at Source,” stating that the present provincial leadership has initiated measures for the processing of mineral resources at source through an ordinance aimed to generate more employment and raise the revenue of the province.

In this case, all mineral resources extracted in Bulacan shall be required to be processed in the province before they can be transported outside the province, she added. (PNA)

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3 suspected robbers killed in Bocaue shootout

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Jan. 30 (PNA) -- Three alleged members of a notorious robbery-holdup gang were killed in a shootout with agents of the Bulacan PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) in Sitio Balubaran, Barangay Duhat here early Sunday morning.

Chief Inspector Marlon Santos, Bulacan CIDT chief, said the three suspects were believed to be members of the dreaded Allan Blas Group — a robbery holdup gang operating in the cities of Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte and in the towns of Bocaue, Balagtas, Marilao and Sta. Maria.

He said this group is engaged in armed robbery and other criminal activities.

Santos said that prior to the shootout, the three suspects earlier held up the Media Eatery in Barangay Bunlo at around 9:50 pm Saturday.

A follow-up operation jointly conducted by Bulacan CIDT agents and the Bocaue police led the lawmen to the gang’s suspected hideout in Barangay Duhat early Sunday morning, Santos added.

Bulacan CIDT chief investigator Marlon Sanchez said the suspects, who were armed with handguns and a hand grenade, sensed the presence of lawmen and opened fire at the approaching police team.

Sanchez said a firefight ensued resulting to the death of the three suspects who remain unidentified as of press time.

Police recovered two cal. 38 revolvers, one cal. 357 pistol and a hand grenade from the dead suspects. (PNA) 

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(Update) Family driver, not car thief killed in Pampanga shootout

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Jan. 25 (PNA) - The family driver of a municipal councilor in Bulacan, not a suspected carnapper as earlier reported, was gunned down by policemen near a gasoline station in Barangay Poblacion, Sta. Ana town at about 9:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Reports reaching here said the fatality was identified as Carlos de Leon, a resident of Angat, Bulacan and reportedly a long-time family driver of Angat Councilor Henry Illecias.

The victim was identified by the councilor when he arrived at the area.

The suspects in the botched car theft in Angat town, forcibly took the councilor’s Honda Civic and ordered De Leon to drive the car towards Candaba, the report said.

Angat operatives radioed Candaba police that the suspects were proceeding to their area.

But the suspects have already passed Candaba checkpoint at the time and a hot pursuit operation was conducted against them.

Sta. Ana police were able to intercept the car and a firefight ensued, killing De Leon, the report said.

The suspects were able to escape and are now the subject of manhunt operations of combined Sta. Ana and Pampanga police. (PNA) 

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Dominguez brothers will face the "music" -- lawyer

MALOLOS CITY, Jan. 24 (PNA) -- Controversial brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez, the alleged leaders of a notorious carnapping syndicate, known as the “Dominguez Group”, will face all the charges against them and have no intention of living as “fugitives”, their lawyer said on Monday.

At the same time, lawyer Jose M. Cruz said that he is expecting Roger, alias “Ogie”, to surface any time soon and follow the move of his younger brother Raymond, who submitted himself for voluntary police custody last Saturday night.

“I’ve told them to submit themselves for voluntary custody. I am expecting Roger to come out soon and follow what his brother did,” Cruz said in an interview at his law office here. He also said that he told both his clients to cooperate with the media.

As I've said, there must be a ‘gentlemanship’ in crime. So it’s prudent upon them to come out and face the music,” the lawyer said.

The Dominguez brothers have been linked to the gruesome murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista who was burned after being shot by his killers.

The same fate was suffered by another car dealer, Emerson Lozano, and his driver Ernani Sensil, whose killers remain unidentified. Lozano is the son of former Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano.

Earlier, Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, head of the Special Investigation Task Group, said the police will file murder charges against the Dominguez brothers and other suspects before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.

Cruz said both Raymond and Roger are not hiding and, in fact, has been attending court hearings.

Raymond sought police custody Saturday night, a day after police raided the suspects’ hideout in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Friday night.

Raymond is presently facing 11 cases of car theft, four robbery charges, a complex crime of carnapping with homicide, illegal possession of firearm (gun ban) and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act before the Bulacan Regional Trial Court while Roger is facing two car theft cases.

Both Raymond and Roger are out on bail. Sources said that Raymond has to cough up more than P2 million for the bonds.

Cruz said that only last Friday Roger attended the hearing of a car theft case at the Angeles City Trial Court while Raymond, on the other hand, attended two court hearings — one for illegal possession of firearm case (Branch 15) and a carnapping case (Branch 78) — at the Bulacan RTC, also last Friday.

Cruz also explained that the court allowed the Dominguez brothers to post bail in the complex crime of carnapping with homicide, a non-bailable offense, after they filed a petition to grant bail.

He explained that the court allowed his clients to post bail because the complainant in the said case has executed a handwritten affidavit of desistance aside from the fact that no eyewitnesses have surfaced.

“Any person remains innocent until proven guilty,” he added.

He said that as of Monday noon, they have yet to receive the latest charges against his clients. He said they will also answer it.

He added that as early as 2007, he already told Raymond and Roger to face the charges filed against them.

What was happening before in case there were incidents of carnapping and hijacking, they were implicated. Of course, they are worrying about their security. But eventually, I was able to convince them to come out, he said.

Cruz also said that it is up to Raymond if he wanted to be transferred. But, at present, his client is under the custody of Chief Inspector Dario Menor, head of the Bulacan PNP Provincial Intelligence Branch.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario reiterated that Raymond is not being given any special treatment.

“He is not our visitor. He submitted himself into voluntary custody because his family is fearing for his safety,” Rosario said.

He said the bases of Raymond’s custody is for his safety inside the police camp and reminded the media that Dominguez is not yet under arrest.

Rosario also said that they are strengthening the security at the camp.

We would like to apologize to the media because we only want to ensure security inside the camp so that bad elements would not be able to enter because Raymond is not just an ordinary man, he said, adding that the Domiguez family said that Raymond does not want to face nor talk with the media. (PNA) 

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New Bulacan PNP director vows to intensify campaign vs. illegal gambling

BULACAN, Bulacan, Jan. 23 (PNA) -- Newly-installed Bulacan provincial police director Senior Supt. Wendy Rosario has vowed to intensify the campaign against all forms of illegal gambling in the province.

In a simple turnover ceremony held here Saturday, Rosario said that aside from illegal gambling, he will also strengthen efforts to crush other illegal activities such as carjackings, robberies, and illegal drugs.

Rosario replaced Senior Supt. Fernando Villanueva as Bulacan PNP director.

The campaign against all forms of illegal activities in Bulacan is in line with the directive of Central Luzon Regional Director Chief Supt. Allan La Madrid Purisima and Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado as a way to maintain the impressive percentage of peace and order situation in the entire province.

Purisima said the police should step up the campaign against lawless armed men, notably carnappers, holdup men and other organized crime syndicates to ensure the safety and protection of the citizens.

It was learned that illegal gambling such as bookies, "jueteng" and video karera gradually declined in the region through the non-stop campaign of the Central Luzon police under Purisima’s leadership. (PNA) 

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Bulacan local execs lead 112th anniversary rites of First Philippine Republic

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 23 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and City Mayor Christian Natividad called on Sunday on the public to keep the heroism, sacrifices and wisdom of Filipino revolutionaries as well as the significance of the First Philippine Republic, also known as the Malolos Republic, alive and burning with pride and patriotism.

Alvarado and Natividad, along with other local officials, led the commemoration of the 112th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic at the patio of the historic Barasoain Church here, where it was inaugurated on the morning of Jan. 23, 1899 amid colorful ceremonies.

Alvarado said the revolution that was ignited by Filipino heroes more than a century ago that paved the way for the establishment of the first democratic republic in Asia, is far from over.

"It is in our hands now the opportunity to shape our society based on the dreams and goals of our heroes who sacrificed their lives, intelligence, wealth, strength and time for the future of our generations and not on the ill motives of those traitors and invaders who shattered our honor, dignity and sovereignty as an independent people of Malolos in this noble province of Bulacan,” Alvarado said in his message following the flag-raising and offering of flowers at the statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic.

Alvarado said that it is not yet too late to bring to a triumphant finish the sacrifices and heroism of the Filipino people.

Natividad, for his part, said the people of Malolos are fortunate for having witnessed an opportunity to live in a “sacred” place where the bells of freedom pealed with pride and new hope at Barasoain church 112 years ago.

“Let us continue the heroism and dreams of our heroes. Let us maintain the sacredness of the soil here in Malolos and let us not forget the significance of the First Republic of Malolos,“ Natividad said.

He also said the city government has lined up programs activities that will instill to younger generation the significance and rich heritage of Malolos in Philippione history.

The launching of the book “Bigkis” by the Arte Bulakenyo Foundation Inc. headed by Jo Clemente and the reenactment of the inauguration of the Malolos Republic also highlighted the anniversary rites. (PNA) 

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Bulacan officials push strict implementation of 'No Helmet, No Ride' policy

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- The provincial government of Bulacan is now strictly enforcing the “No Helmet, No Ride” policy in all thoroughfares in the province to ensure safe ride and travel of motorists.

Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando noted that most of the victims who figured in motorcycle accidents were not wearing safety helmets.

Alvarado and Fernando 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.

The governor 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.

Violators will be apprehended by the local police, barangay officials and their authorized representatives.

First time offenders will be fined with P1,000; P2,000 for second time offenders with possible impounding of motorcycle, possible imprisonment or both defending on the decision of the court.

The provincial government have recently conducted a seminar for barangay officials and local policemen about the “No Helmet, No Ride” policy implementation. (PNA) 

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