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JULY 2013

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MAY 2013

APRIL 2013

MARCH 2013



Central Luzon cops on heightened alert

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 23 (PNA) -– The Central Luzon police are now on heightened alert for possible terror during this Yuletide season.

Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Central Luzon police director, has placed all police units in the region under alert, advising all police personnel to take precautionary measures.

Petrasanta also reminded provincial and city directors to tighten the security of police camps and offices including vital installations, economic key points and places of convergence such as malls and public markets.

He earlier sought an audience with different security managers of malls and discussed with them their respective preparations especially with the influx of shoppers during the holidays.

“This is a preemptive measure to ensure the safety of shoppers,” he pointed out, adding that the focus is not on terror but criminal elements who will take advantage of the situation.

Petrasanta said that police units in areas where major shopping malls are located have been beefed-up, including Subic and Clark Freeport in Olongapo City and Mabalacat City, respectively, Angeles City, Tarlac City, Cabanatuan City and Bulacan.

He also cancelled Christmas and New Year’s break of policemen except in emergency situations.

However, he said the situation will be upgraded into full alert should the need arise. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops smash shabu lab, Chinese chemist nabbed 
By Emil G. Gamos

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Dec 21 (PNA--Police continue to score big in their campaign against the drug menace following the arrest of a Chinese chemist during a lightning raid at a shabu laboratory in Barangay Sta. Cruz here Friday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Liu Shihua alias “Peter Tan Lee."

Except from admitting to be a chemist, other data about the suspect remains unknown.

Orduna said that a police anti-narcotics team swooped down on an apartment on Catleya Street, Sta. Rita Village in Barangay Sta Cruz after a weeklong surveillance which was undertaken after receiving information on the suspicious presence of the Chinese chemist.

He said that police investigators learned that Shihua has been staying at the said apartment for more than three months now, renting the place for P10,000 a month.

It was also learned that the apartment was rented by a certain Johnny Tan, according to landlady Flor Fugoso.

Orduna said the raiding team seized chemical ingredients and apparatus being used to manufacture shabu.

Police said that the shabu lab could produce five to 10 kilos of shabu a day.

The seized evidences were brought to the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory for further examination and documentation.

The arrested suspect is presently under the custody of the Guiguinto police while appropriate charges are being readied against him for filing in court.

Meanwhile, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the Bulacan police for smashing the clandestine shabu laboratory, saying that its discovery and the arrest of the suspect has already saved many youths from the dangers and evil of the dope menace. (PNA) 

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AFP declares Bulacan "cleared of communist affectation and influence" 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec 18 (PNA) -–Long known as among the hotbed of communist insurgency in the country, the province of Bulacan on Wednesday was finally declared “cleared of communist terrorists affectation and influence” by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the Francisco Balagtas Hall of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy- Alvarado, in his capacity as chairman of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and representative of the provincial government of Bulacan, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Col. Henry G. Sabarre, commander of the 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade of 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and Bulacan police director Supt. Joel S. Orduna, declaring Bulacan as “peaceful and ready for further development.”

The MOA signing was witnessed by Northern Luzon Command commander Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., Col. Librado Moog, Imelda Magat of the provincial office of the Department of Interior and Local Government and provincial board member Ramon Posadas, chairman of the Committee on Peace and Order of the Sanguniang Panglalawigan.

Catapang said that the 703rd Brigade, which has operational jurisdiction in Bulacan, has earlier recommended to the higher headquarters of the AFP for the declaration of Bulacan as “cleared” from “communist terrorists” (CTs) affectation and influence as evidence by the decrease in the activities of the insurgents and the improved peace and order situation in the province as attested by local chief executives of formerly affected areas.

“ All the ingredients for progress is now here in Bulacan. We have been fighting insurgency for a long time but finally we have cleared Bulacan and growth and development is now fast accelerating here especially in the mountains of Eastern Bulacan which is rich in mineral resources,” Catapang said.

He also stressed that to achieve long lasting peace, the groundwork for progress must be laid properly and spread prosperity to all the people.

He assured Governor Alvarado and the people of Bulacan that the AFP will continue to protect the province from all types of security threats.

Alvarado said that the MOA is” a manifestation of our long quest for peace”.

He said that the key to progress and peace is unity and this will radiate to the entire country, ensuring national growth and stability.

“This is a challenge to anybody, whatever their creed or ideology, the purpose here, is alleviate the lives of our people and with order there will be peace and when there is peace, progress and development will bloom.

“We could now focus on more pressing problems like addressing the effects of global warming and climate change. Through the unified move and stable relationship, we can the attain peaceful development of our province," the governor said.

The MOA will also further strengthen the internal security operations that will pre-empt the resurgence of communist terrorists and other threat groups in the province. (PNA) 

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OCD-Region 3 chief hails Bulacan officials for successful Angat dam break drill

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 13 (PNA) -- In times of chaos and devastation wrought by a powerful earthquake that could trigger the “destruction” of the 45 years old Angat dam, preparedness, good management and strong leadership can make a big difference in saving as many lives as possible.

This was the assessment of Office of Civil Defense-3 (OCD-3) regional director Josefina Timoteo on the Angat dam break drill conducted by the provincial government on Friday morning.

The drill was made after Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado ordered the review and upgrading of emergency action plans (EAPs) of the provincial government, including various schools in this historic capital city, as part of the adaptation program on the “clear and present danger” being poised by the destructive effects of global warming and climate change.

Timoteo said the drill conducted by the provincial government and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), is “99.9 perfect.”

“Today, we have witnessed an efficient incident command system here that could help save lives even in a worse case scenario like a 7.2 magnitude earthquake coupled with the collapse of Angat dam,” said Timoteo, a native of Paombong town and a veteran disaster control official.

She said Bulacan is blessed with good and competent leaders that people can rely on during times of calamities.

”This kind of preparation is very important and timely. There are lot of lives that can be saved in the right movement and preparation in times of calamities,” Timoteo said as she thanked provincial officials and PDRRM executive officer for coming up with an efficient disaster emergency action plans.

At least 12,000 students, teachers and capitol employees participated in the Angat dam Drill.

They were taught on what to do and where to go when a calamity of destructive proportion struck.

Alvarado said that Bulacan is being constantly hit by severe floodings and yet when the water subsides, its people still has their homes and means of livelihood unlike the unfortunate victims of the most powerful typhoon that ever hit the planet—super typhoon Yolanda.

“But in this situation, we are bracing for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake being aggravated by the collapse of Angat dam. During bad weather, the dams are releasing excess waters and when they release even just two cubic meters per second of water, the low laying towns of Hagonoy, Calumpit and parts of Malolos are being submerged by rampaging floods. But when the dam breaks, it will unleash at least 210 centimeters of rampaging water that will also carries debris like illegally cut logs,” the governor said.

Alvarado also said that they will constantly pray that it will not happen but when it does, the people will now be prepared for the worse.

The governor also ask concerned agencies to use the P5.7 billion given by President Benigno S. Aquino III for the immediate rehabilitation of Angat dam. (PNA) 

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Barangay chairman in Bulacan slain

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 12 (PNA) -- A barangay chairman in Bulacan was shot dead by a still unidentified gunman along General Alejo Santos Highway in Bustos town of the said province Wednesday.

In a report reaching Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, director of the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3), the slain official was identified as Romeo Taruc, 63, a barangay captain of Hinukay, Baliuag, Bulacan.

Police report said that Taruc was shot in the head and body by a lone gunman while he was about to board his car, Mitsubishi Adventure with plate no. RJL-649.

The barangay official died on the spot, the police said.

It was learned that the victim had just went out of the Bustos cockpit around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when the shooting incident took place.

Three empty shells for .45 caliber pistol was found at the scene of the crime.

Police are still investigating the motive behind the incident. (PNA) 

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Bulacan police ready for Monday’s ABC president elections

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 7 (PNA)-—The Bulacan Police Provincial Office is now on full alert for the election of Association of Barangay Captains in the province on Monday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said maneuvers platoon from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company (PPSMC) under Supt. Ross Alvarado are now deployed in key areas of the province.

Orduna said that some teams from the PPSMC will also augment the local police stations in the province's 21 towns and three cities.

“We are watching some areas but generally, we see a peaceful elections on Monday,” he said.

Elected village chieftains in a town or city will choose their president which will represent them in the municipal or city council after which they will again choose their representative to the provincial board.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that this Monday’s election of ABC president is democracy in action that emanates from the grassroot level.

He urged village officials to choose the leader whom they deem can serve the community, the town or city, the province and their country well.

“There are a lot of good barangay officials and they will be our partners in pushing for progress and peace to our noble province," the governor said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops keep tight watch on sale of killer firecrackers

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Dec. 6 (PNA) -- The clandestine selling of oversized and killer types of firecrackers has gone high-tech, police officials disclosed on Friday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that police intelligence operatives have uncovered the new modus operandi of some unscrupulous dealers of firecrackers on the illegal sales of these banned types of deadly noisemakers as among the favorites of some revelers who want to greet the coming of the New Year with a dangerous loud bang.

“Buyers or the so called suki (frequent customer) can still buy these killer types of firecrackers through text messages and other forms of high tech messaging.

"But the police will continue to hunt illegal manufacturers and dealers of banned firecrackers,” he said.

Orduna, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and representatives of the provincial government, inspected fireworks stores in Barangays Turo and Binians.

He warned dealers that policemen will immediately padlock their shops if they will be caught selling killer types of firecrackers.

Among the prohibited types are “Goodbye Philippines”, “Doomsday”, “Pla-Pla”, “Ampatuan”, “Super Lolo” etc.

Orduna also instructed Supt. Ross Alvarado, head of the Public Safety Management Company, to deploy teams along the rows of fireworks stores to ensure that the safety provisions of Republic Act 7183 otherwise known as “The Firecracker Law of 1992” is strictly observed.

“People can celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year without using killer types of firecrackers. There are many safe pyrotechnics devices that can be bought.

"The Bulacan Police will strictly watch these store and will arrest buyers of oversized firecrackers,” he said.

Orduna also said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reminded manufacturers and dealers to sell only fireworks that has passed quality standards bearing DTI-approved seal or stickers.

“Most of the injuries here are caused by smuggled imported fireworks which is slowly killing the livelihood and income of local manufacturers and dealers,” he added.

Orduna said that a provincewide information campaign on the safe use and handling of fireworks and other pyrotechnics devices will be jointly conducted by the Provincial Public Affairs Office and the Public Information Office of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office.

He added that the “no smoking and no testing” policy will be strictly enforced as well as provision on zoning. (PNA) 

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2 female dope dealers fall in Bulacan drug bust

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Dec. 4 (PNA) -– Police operatives are continuously stepping up their campaign in eradicating the drug menace in the province by pounding hard on the lairs of suspected drug dealers.

Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said the Special Operations Group of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office arrested two alleged female drug dealers during a buy bust operation in Barangay Banga 1st, Plaridel Tuesday night.

Orduna identified the arrested suspects as Melody Gurobat, 20, resident of Barangay Banga 1st, Plaridel and Rhenielyn Reyes, 25, of Barangay Banga 2nd, also in Plaridel town.

Orduna said a team from the Special Operation Group arrested the suspects after selling shabu to a police poseur buyer.

When frisked, the suspect yielded at least 50 plastic sachets of shabu weighing approximately 50 grams, he said.

He said the seized illegal drugs has an estimated street value worth P300,000.

The seized evidence was brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory for testing while drug pushing charges are being readied for filing in court against the suspects.

Orduna said the intensified anti-drug operations is in line with the marching order of Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta to step-up operations against criminal elements. (PNA) 

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Outstanding Central Luzon cops cited

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Dec. 2 (PNA) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government in Region 3 (DILG-3) conferred awards to most outstanding policemen of Central Luzon over the weekend.

The awarding ceremony was led by DILG-3 assistant regional director Abraham Pascua.

The search for the outstanding policemen and policewomen of Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) was conceptualized by former PRO-3 regional director and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Arturo Cacdac, in partnership with the JBT Group of Companies of Jose B. Tan.

The search for outstanding policemen and women aims to highlight and pay tribute to the exemplary performance of deserving police officers in Central Luzon.

The awardees were chosen after several months of stringent screening by the selection board composed of DILG regional director Florida Dijan; National Police Commission regional director lawyer Manuel Pontanal; CHED-OIC Virginia Akiate and Msgr. Eugenio Mercado with the Regional Police Community Relations Division as the secretariat.

Among the awardees were the following: senior police chief officer (PCO) category–Supt. Elsa Miranda, Tarlac Provincial Police Office, and Supt. David Poklay, Bulacan PPO; junior PCO category–Insp. Beverlie Allapitan, RPSB3, and Sr. Insp. Alexander Reyes, PPSC, Nueva Ecija PPO; Police Non-Commissioned (PNCO) category-PO3 Maria Gerylines Pacubas, RHQS, PRO3 and PO2 Comet Dumangeng, Pampanga PPO.

Also awarded for achievements outside normal police call of duty was Sr. Insp. Michael Masangkay, Pampanga PPO.

Each awardees received a cash prize, plaque and one computer set.

Meanwhile, PRO-3 director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta said that Central Luzon police will continue to give recognition to deserving police personnel. (PNA) 

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Comelec stops oath of barangay captain in Meycauayan City

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 1 (PNA)--An elected barangay captain in this component city known for its world class jewelry industry was prevented from taking his oath.

This after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) suspended “the effects of the proclamation of Salvador D. Violago as punong barangay of Camalig in this city."

The order was penned by Comelec First Division presiding Commissioner Lucenito Tagle dated November 27.

The poll body found that “the evidence for the grounds of denial to or cancel the certificate of candidacy (of Violago) is strong.”

The Comelec Order virtually barred Violago from taking his oath as barangay captain that was held simultaneously last November 30 for all elected barangay officials in the province at the Bulacan Provincial Capitol here.

The Comelec said that the case stemmed from the disqualification complaint filed by petitioners Lorenzo San Pascual, Victoria Fuerte and Nella Dungo who alleged that Violago, aka “Bogs Violago”, lacked the mandatory six - month residency for a candidate in the barangay elections.

Records showed that Violago ran and lost as a mayoralty candidate in the May 13, 2013 local elections and used his residential address at Barangay Lawa, where his wife, Josefina, is the incumbent barangay captain.

Josefina also ran and was reelected in the October 28 barangay polls but Bogs Violago decided to also ran as a candidate for barangay captain in Camalig where he owns a gasoline station. (PNA) 

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Bulacan to hold 'Dam Break Drill'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Dec. 1 (PNA)--If you are a student or a teacher studying in this historic capital city, what would you do if a magnitude 71.2 earthquake jolts the province and the giant Angat dam nestling in the mountains of Norzagaray town breaks?

This question will be answered next week when the provincial government and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), in coordination with the city government, holds a “Dam break Drill” in four big universities here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the drill aims to prepare students and faculty members when calamities of catastrophic proportions happens.

“Prevention is the best way to survive and save lives. No one knows when it will come and we are praying that it will not but it is prudent to be ready and alert,” Alvarado said.

He said that it is not only the destruction that the collapse of Angat that should be addressed but also the destruction of buildings and other structures.

He said that government experts have confirmed that the 45 years old Angat Dam is sitting on the West Valley fault line.

Alvarado has time and again called the attention of the national government for the immediate repair and fortification of the more than four decades old dam.

He said that the people of Bulacan is very thankful to President Benigno Aquino III for his swift response to the issue by giving P 5.1 billion budget fort the immediate repair of the dam.

However, Alvarado and other Bulacan officials, including the local media, are wondering when the repair and rehabilitation of Angat dam will start since it was almost a year when the President released the P5.1 billion budget.

City mayor Christian D. Natividad said the “Dam Break Drill” will be conducted at the La Consolacion University, The Bulacan State University, Centro Escolar University and the Bulacan Polytechnic College.

Natividad said that the city government is also strictly implementing a building code that will ensure the strength and stability of buildings and structures being built in the city. (PNA) 

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Gov commends Bulacan delegation for helping typhoon victims in Eastern Samar

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 29 (PNA)-—They came, they saw, they delivered and they are now back home after bringing help and hope to the survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” at the so- called “ground zero” in Eastern Samar.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday thanked and commended the 104-man delegation from this province who made a long journey to bring medical aid, medicines and relief goods to the people of the heavily devastated areas in Eastern Samar.

”There is not enough words to thank all of you. You are the dignity of our province. What you’ve done whether small or big is now written in our history. It is not how much or how many provinces you have helped but the love who showed to those who was hit by super typhoon,” Alvarado told the 104-man delegation when they arrived back at the Provincial Capitol grounds Thursday afternoon.

Aside from the aid that the Bulacan delegation has brought to Eastern Samar, particularly in the towns of Lawaan, Quinapondan, Giporlos and Balangiga, the governor said donations continue to pour at the provincial capitol.

He said they will turn over the donation to either the Philippine National Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare and Development or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

”During the time we were under the state of calamity, the Visayas extended their help and support to us. We are more blessed. Let us remember that it is better to give than to receive,” he said.

Alvarado said that help will continue to pour to the typhoon-ravaged areas in the Visayan region even when the foreign contingents decide to go home.

Dr. Paul Ruel Camina, who was among the doctors who gave free medical services to the people of Eastern Samar, said the Bulacan delegation was composed of 24 doctors; one dentist; 32 nurses; five lay rescuers; three social workers; six truck drivers; two tanker drivers; 13 police security personnel; five bus drivers; four ambulance drivers; and six support groups headed by Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Joe Gomez and provincial medical consultant Dr. Florante Tuazon.

The province has distributed 1,000 tons of relief goods and medical supplies supported with 10,000 liters of diesel fuel, loaded in two passenger buses, four 10-14 wheeler dump and cargo trucks, four ambulance vehicles and one SUV.

Valerio said the sight of the devastation brought shock to the Bulacan team but they remained undaunted as it only gave them the strength and the will to help the people of Eastern Samar recover and rebuild their ravaged communities.

Valerio presented to Alvarado and other provincial officials including Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and Board member Michael Fermin a sack printed with words written in black paint “Thank you very much to Bulacan, from the people of Lawaan, Samar.”

The two government officials also thanked the Bulacan delegation for doing a “job well done.”

“They are modern day angels to the people of Eastern Samar,’ Fernando said.

For her part, Dr. Joy Gomez said they did not only bring food, medicines and medical aid but also inspiration.

“We planted hope in a hopeless heart, one’s burden got lighter because of us, we caused a laugh that wipes their tears away, our days were well spent in our journey to Samar, we would like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to serve God through them even in a short period of time,” Gomez said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops bust drug dealer with guns, AWOL cop in drug sting operation

CAMP GEN ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Nov. 28 (PNA) -- Police arrested a suspected drug dealer and an AWOL (absent without leaver) policeman during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Lambakin, San Miguel town on Thursday afternoon.

In a report to Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, San Miguel police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola identified the arrested suspects as Ronaldo de Guzman alias “Bat”, 40, married, jobless, resident of said barangay and one P03 Jaime Vitug Mallari Jr., a cop on AWOL status.

Orduna said several grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, guns and ammunitions were seized from the suspects.

He said Macariola and the drug enforcement unit of the San Miguel Police station arrested de Guzman after selling a plastic sachet of shabu to a police undercover agent inside his house which has been the subject of complaints from concerned citizens who claimed that it is being used as a dope den.

When frisked, De Guzman yielded another sachet of shabu, a black widow revolver and a homemade shotgun.

The AWOL cop, on the other hand, was nabbed for visiting a dope den and could also face charges for possession of a gun, a Pitro Berreta 9mm Pistol with a clip of magazine loaded with 12 live bullets.

The confiscated evidence were turned over to the Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory for examinations while appropriate charges are being readied for filing in court against the arrested suspects. (PNA) 

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PRO-3 destroys confiscated video karera machines

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Nov. 25 (PNA) --The Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) on Monday destroyed the 12 confiscated video karera and fruit game machines to show its relentless efforts against illegal gambling in Central Luzon.

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, PRO3 director, said the machines were confiscated Sunday by the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) in its anti-illegal gambling operations conducted in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Petrasanta personally supervised the destruction of the confiscated video machines right after Monday 's flag ceremony here.

He said the destroyed video machines worth P100,000.

Petrasanta said that a total of P15,000 different dominations of coins that contained on the 12 video machines will be donated to "Yolanda" victims.

He said that RSOG will continuously conduct monitoring on illegal gambling activities in the region. (PNA)

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CAAP orders probe on private chopper crash in Obando

MANILA, Nov. 25 (PNA) -- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Monday ordered for an investigation as to what caused a private helicopter to crash land in the waters of Obando, Bulacan on Sunday afternoon.

CAAP Director General Willaim Hotchkiss III said he has sent field investigators to determine the cause of the incident after the crash incident near the shorelines of Purok 6, Binwagan, Obando, Bulacan.

Reports reaching Hotchkiss said the chopper which figured in the accident was a Bolkow 150 with registration number RP-C699 piloted by Capt. James Eagle with lone passenger Capt. Iren Dornier, who were both safe after getting thrown life vests by a US C130 PAG-ASA 47 crew responding to a mayday alert .

The chopper came from a humanitarian mission in the Visayas in connection with typhoon “Yolanda” and was flying back to home base in Pampanga from Caticlan when the incident happened.

The pilot of the chopper sent a distress signal and was picked up by a US C130 PAG-ASA 47 which located it with the help of CAAP personnel relaying information and coordinates.

The CAAP Operation Rescue and Coordinating Center also contacted the coast guard teams near the area who immediately sent rubber boats.

Initial reports received by the Philippine Coast Guard said the chopper’s engine overheated thus the accident. (PNA) 

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Two suspected car thieves fall, 12 high end vehicles siezed in Bulacan raid - By Emil G. Gamos

BALIWAG, Bulacan, Nov. 23 (PNA) -– Police arrested two alleged members of a carnapping syndicate and siezed several high-end vehicles during a raid at the gang’s suspected hideout in Barangay Matang Tubig here Saturday.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspects as couple Mark Joseph and Jasmine Reyes, both residing on Sampaguita Street, Barangay Matang Tubig.

Oduna said at least 12 stolen motor vehicles, one tricycle and one motorcycle were recovered by joint operatives of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, Baliwag Police Station, Provincial Public Safety Company and the PNP-Highway Patrol Group Region 3 at the Reyes compound.

He said the police team swooped down on the area on the strength of a search warrant issued by the Bulacan Regional Trial Court and was properly documented in the presence of village officials and mediamen.

He said police investigators are looking deeper into the alleged involvement of the arrested suspects in the illegal activities of a big time carnap gang operating in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

Orduna said the raiding team recovered one Toyota Land Cruiser, one Ford Everest, one Honda Jazz, two Honda Civic Hatchback, one Honda City, one Nissan Frontier Pick Up, one Mitsubishi Exceed van, one Mitsubishi L 300 van, one Kawasaki Barako motorcycle with sidecar and one Sangyong Musso car.

He said the suspects are now under the custody of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group.(PNA) 

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Bulacan, Vietnam ink bilateral trade ties

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 21 (PNA)-- A bilateral trade relation was forged Thursday between the provincial government of Bulacan, the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

A five-page memorandum of cooperation was signed between the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam led by Ambassador Truong Trieu Duong and BCCI president Gregoria Simbulan during the trade and investment meeting held at the Pavillion of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

Alvarado said that the signing will contribute to better relations between the two countries and to a more peaceful and prosperous world for the children of the next generation.

“This meeting is a testament to our incredible focus and desire to boost our relationship in different areas for our economic advancement.

"We can look forward to a better time now if we tackle our province in good faith with imagination and determination in seeking the best possible solution for the benefit of both countries,” the governor said.

A powerpoint presentation on the economic and livelihood programs under the “One Bulacan Pride” or Program for Rapid Industrialization and Development was presented during the meeting.

Alvarado said the rapid growth and development now in motion in Bulacan is giving domestic and foreign investors all good reasons to invest in this province.

Bulacan was recently hailed by Superbrands Marketing International, an award-giving body tasked to celebrate the success of brands worldwide, as “the undisputed most progressive province in the country today.”

Ambassador Duong was enthusiastic during his visit in Bulacan and is looking forward to boost the relationship between his country and the province.

“The goal of our visit is to inform the officials and businessmen of Bulacan the opportunities of cooperation and doing business in Vietnam.

"The door of Vietnam embassy is always open for any of your initiatives or inquiries to do business with us Vietnamese. Likewise we would also like to hear about doing business opportunities in Bulacan. I believe that this will result in enhancing our relations and cooperation,” Duong said.

Phan Tuan Khoi, commercial counselor of the Vietnamese Embassy, presented the overview on the trade policy of Vietnam ,including the exports to the country last year such as rice, machinery, coffee and computers, which amounted to US$ 1.871 million as well as the products that are prohibited from import and export like weapons, fireworks, toxic chemicals, and others.

Provincial planning and development officer Arlene Pascual, on the other hand, presented the highlights of the provincial government's initiative on trade, investment and tourism.

For the BCCI, Simbulan cited the common characteristics of Vietnam and the Philippines.

“Aside from food, historically, we have both been colonies of the European countries but it is good to know that there are very strong evidences of active maritime trade between our two countries even before the arrival of the Europeans which we must continue at present,” Simbulan added. (PNA) 

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Police officers undergo 'Balik Aral' program

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 15 (PNA)--Ranking police officers in Central Luzon and in the National Capital Region (NCR) virtually went back to school Thursday after finishing a one-day course dubbed “Balik Aral” where the action plans of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were discussed in a classroom-setting.

Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta said the activity is in line with PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima’s continuing education program where ranking police commanders were briefed on implementation of the national police’s plans of action.

Quezon City police district director Chief Supt. Richard A. Albano said the lecturers in the "Balik Aral" discussed the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030 or the “Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and upholding the Rule Of Law.”

Chief Supt. Ferdinando G. Sevilla, director of Center for Police Strategy Management (CPSM), lectured about the CODE-P and Personal Scorecard of the PNP while Ret. Chief Supt. Rex Milton A. Dolino, consultant of Patrol Plan 2013, discussed the “Four Disciplines of Strategy Execution.”

Makati City police chief Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban said that police commanders from the regional office down to the provincial and local levels have their own scorecards in the implementation of the plans of actions of the national police headquarters.

“This will help policemen to perform their duties well and make their respective areas a safe place to live and do business,” Lukban said. (PNA) 

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Angat dam continues preemptive release of excess water after its spilling level was breached

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 11 (PNA) -- Operators of Angat dam is continuously releasing water from their overflowing reservoir after its spilling level has been breached by one meter since Saturday.

Engr. Rodolfo Herman, general manager of the Angat River Hydro Electric Power Plant of the National Power Corporation, said that they will continue the preemptive release from their reservoir until the water level goes down to 210 meters.

Angat dam engineers opened their spill gates and started preemptive release operations last Saturday afternoon after the water breached its spilling level of 212 meters.

Disaster response team alerted villages along the Angat river that Angat dam will begin releasing water.

The Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said the release will not affect any low lying areas in the province since the Bustos dam can contain the water being released from Angat dam.

Herman said the rising water elevation was due to the huge volume of rainfall spawned by super typhoon Yolanda.

Earlier, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado urged dam operators to conduct preemptive release from their overflowing reservoir.

"They should not test the structural integrity of the 45-year old Angat dam. The water at the dam is overspilling. That's why there is a need to do preemptive release of excess water," Alvarado said.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the water level at Angat dam was 213.31 meters (spilling level 212 meters) while the water level at Ipo dam was 100.64 meters (spilling level 101 meters).

The water elevation at Bustos dam, on the other hand, was 16.46 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters). (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops get new motorbikes against criminals

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, Nov 8 (PNA)--Bad news for “riding-in-tandem” criminals operating in this province.

The Bulacan Police Provincial Office is now training policemen to counter the nefarious activities of hoodlums, particularly those riding-in-tandem on motorcycles.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that selected policemen from different police station and the Provincial Public Safety Company are now undergoing motorcycle-riding tactics, specifically to chase and deter criminals on board motorbikes from victimizing the public.

Orduna said that the training course was conducted after giant cement company Holcim Philippines donated 30 brand new motorcycles equipped with radio and public address gadgets early this week.

“We are thankful that companies like Holcim Philippines, through their social responsibility program, are helping law enforcers in battling crime and in the maintenance of peace and order,” he said.

He said that a pair of policemen will now also ride in tandem in patrolling major streets of province.

“We are now training them on how to use these motorcycles and how they respond in any given situation when chasing and neutralizing criminals,” the top Bulacan cop said.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who was present during the turnover of the 30 brand new motorcycles at the provincial police headquarters here, said that the Bulacan police are now better equipped in combating criminals and in preserving the peace and order situation in this province.

“We now have our own motorcycle-riding cops that are capable of thwarting criminal activities in our province. They will augment the mobile patrol teams in maintaining peace and order which is one of the major thrust of provincial government ” Alvarado said. (PNA) 

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Update: Super typhoon 'Yolanda' plows through Visayas

MANILA, Nov 8 (PNA) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Friday said that Typhoon Yolanda continues to move over the landmass of the Visayas as the agency advised the residents to take precautionary measures.

In a interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Elvie Enriquez said typhoon Yolanda has already made three landfalls -- first in Guiuan, Eastern Samar around 4:40 a.m., second landfall over Dulag-Tolosa Leyte around 7 a.m. then as of 8 a.m. the typhoon crossed Ormoc City.

She added that as of 8 a.m. the eye of typhoon “Yolanda” was located at the vicinity of Ormoc City, Leyte (11.0°N, 124.7°E) with maximum sustained winds of 235 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 275 kph and it is forecast to move west northwest at 39 kph.

Enriquez said that if typhoon Yolanda maintains its movement and speed, it is expected to traverse in Bantayan, Cebu around 10 a.m. to 12 noon; then it will move at Estancia, Iloilo around 12 noon to 2 p.m.; then around 2 p.m to 4 p.m. then typhoon will go across Boracay, Aklan; then 4 p.. to 6 p.m and the last possible landfall in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro and Busuanga, northern Palawan around 10 p.m. to 12 midnight.

Enriquez said the super typhoon is expected to exit the Philippine landmass (on Saturday early morning) towards the West Philippine Sea.

Enriquez added that Yolanda is expected to be out of country's area responsibility by Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, PAGASA said on Friday morning issued a red and orange rainfall warning on some provinces in the Visayas due to typhoon Yolanda.

In its twitter account, a red warning signal issued at 8 a.m., PAGASA said heavy downpours are expected in Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Bohol, Camotes Island and northern Cebu.

At 9 a.m., PAGASA included Cebu and Siquijor in its red warning signal.

"Serious flooding is expected in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas," it said.

A red rainfall advisory is issued when downpours constitute an emergency. This is raised when observed rainfall is more than 30 mm within one hour or if rainfall has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm.

When PAGASA raises a red warning, communities should be prepared to respond. It means serious flooding is seen and that residents should be ready to evacuate to safety.

Meanwhile, orange rainfall warning was raise over Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor and rest of Cebu

"Flooding is threatening in low lying areas and landslides in mountainous areas," it said.

The orange rainfall advisory is raised in areas where rainfall is between 15 mm and 30 mm within one hour. Flooding is a definite threat in communities under the orange alert.

PAGASA also said that light to moderate rainshowers at times heavy rains will be felt in Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon which may persist for two to three hours. (PNA) 

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Warden says escape of 9 prisoners in CamSur jail planned, has outside help - By John Mark Escandor

NAGA CITY, Nov. 7 (PNA) -- The escape of nine prisoners from the Camarines Sur provincial jail in nearby Pili town was planned and coordinated and involved people outside of the prison.

This was revealed by Jose Francisco Musa, jail warden, to the PNA Wednesday but, he said, he could not elaborate further on the details and the people behind the escape because it might jeopardize the on-going operation for the capture of the remaining escapees still on the loose.

Musa said he had asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for deeper probe on the circumstances and people behind the jailbreak.

He said they had sightings of five escapees and authorities are undergoing a monitoring operation for their capture or surrender.

Two out of the nine prisoners who escaped last week from the provincial jail surrendered to authorities in San Miguel, Bulacan, and were turned over to jail authorities here Tuesday.

Musa identified the two recovered escapees who are now under the custody of the Provincial Jail of Camarines Sur as Muriel San Joaquin, charged with carnapping, and Erwin Capuz, facing a rap for violation of anti-drug law or R.A. 9165.

He said they still have to capture seven escapees including Richard Tell, facing statutory rape case; Juan Polidario, illegal possession of firearms; Kalim Padillo, frustrated murder; Roy Cabaltera, accused of rape; Eugene Porutas, drug trafficking; Roland Negrido, murder; and Lyod Gilford Embile, robbery.

Musa revealed that Porutas was the leader of the jailbreak. (PNA) 

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CJ Sereno leads 'Justice on Wheels' in Bulacan on Nov. 8

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Nov. 6 (PNA) -- The "Justice on Wheels" program of the Supreme Court (SC) scheduled this coming Friday, Nov. 8 here might just be an early Christmas present for some lucky prisoners who are serving time at the Bulacan provincial jail.

Executive judge Ma. Theresa Mendoza-Arcega of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court said the entire resources of the Bulacan judiciary will be mobilized for the summary disposition of at least 140 to 150 cases pending in the different RTC and municipal trial courts of the province.

“In support of the speedy disposition of cases which is the primary aim of the program, I am optimistic that we will dispose off an unprecedented record number of cases to help especially those accused of crimes who are languishing in jail due to technicalities or by reasons of financial difficulties,“ Arcega said.

SC Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will personally lead the mobile "Justice on Wheels" trip to this historic capital city of Malolos, where hearings on pre-designated cases will be conducted on a customized air-con bus.

Provincial prosecutor Renato C. Samonte Jr, for his part, said “we are fully supportive of the Justice on Wheels program because the duty of a fiscal is not to convict but to prosecute and to ensure that justice is done.”

Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Bulacan chapter) president lawyer Pingki B. Bernabe said they are also mobilizing the full complement of the chapter’s pool of free legal aid lawyers to represent accused who will not be assisted by counsel so that their scheduled hearings will push through.

IBP-Bulacan vice president lawyer Percy dela Cruz said the speedy disposition of cases is the primary concern of everyone in order to decongest jails and help unclog the court salas of thousands of pending cases which accumulate every year.

IBP-Bulacan chapter also known as the Gat. Marcelo H. del Pilar chapter was acclaimed as the country's Most Outstanding IBP for the current year due to the sterling accomplishment of its board of directors and past-president lawyer Cecilio "Ted" Villanueva. (PNA) 

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NLEX-southboud heavy, SLEX light; rest of transport terminals have normal passenger volumes

MANILA, Nov. 3 (PNA) -- Portions of the southbound direction of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) on Sunday experienced heavy traffic flow as vacationists trooped back to Metro Manila after spending “Undas” in the provinces.

Liezel Uy, of the Manila North Luzon Tollways Corp. traffic control center, said that as of 6 pm, the southbound lanes of NLEX in San Fernando, Pampanga had heavy vehicular flow due to a multiple collision at kilometer 62+500.

Uy said that once vehicles pass the area, it will be free moving but will experience slow moving traffic once they reach the viaduct between Pampanga and Bulacan. The slow moving traffic will extend all the way to Bocaue in Bulacan.

Uy attributed the slow moving traffic to vehicular volume.

At the South Luzon Expressway, Eugene Grecia, of the traffic control center, said that both directions of the highway experienced light traffic in both directions which he said was probably due to vacationist heading back to Manila on Saturday or some may go back early Monday morning.

At the Manila North Harbor, Jasper Atanedo, passenger terminal assistant, said the sea port experienced normal passenger flow. He said some 1,200 passengers arrived Sunday, while 960 left Manila.

“The number of passengers is our normal passenger flow,” Atanedo said.

It was the same for arriving domestic passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 as the Passenger Arrival Information Center noted an estimated 60 passenger arrivals for every flight that arrives the terminal.

The Quezon City Police District-Tourist Police Assistance Center in Cubao said it was also like a normal day of operations at Araneta Bus Terminal where buses arrive and depart without heavy passenger volume. (PNA) 

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Lack of parking space in cemetery causes traffic jam in Bulacan

MARILAO, Bulacan Nov. 1 (PNA) -- Traffic jam started in some thoroughfares of Marilao, Bulacan as one of its cemeteries, Lias Memorial Park, has no available parking space this afternoon for motorists visiting the cemetery.

Lias Memorial Park is located around 300 meters away from SM City Marilao and is near McArthur Hi-way and along Lias-Saog Road.

Parking spaces are very limited even the management allowed motorists to park their vehicles inside the cemetery.

Heavy traffic started more than 500 meters away along Lias Road and created a bottleneck in McArthur-Lias Intersection.

Stalls selling flowers, candles and food located beside the cemetery also contributed to road congestion.

Barangay traffic aids were assigned to manage the road situation in areas near the Lias Memorial Park.

People flocked to the said cemetery around 4 p.m. and more are expected to come in the evening.

Visitors said they opt to come in the evening to avoid the noon heat.

Police desk representative said they will continue monitoring the situation as many of the visitors will stay in the cemetery until All Soul’s Day, November 2. (PNA)

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‘Undas’ in Bulacan remains peaceful

BULACAN, Nov. 1 (PNA) – Observance of All Saint’s Day remains peaceful in the province of Bulacan, according to Police Provincial Office (PPO) Operations Officer Supt. Dale Soliba.

So far,here are no major crimes or violations reported to BPPO in observance of Undas.

Soliba said 1,134 police personnel are on heightened alert in the province since October 27, the day before the barangay polls.

He noted that PNP help desks were also located in front of cemeteries to ensure security and immediate response from police.

”Yung mga help desks natin nasa harap lang ng mga sementeryo sa buong Bulacan para agad din tayong maka-aksyon kung sakali mang may mangyaring hindi inaasahan sa lugar,” he said.

”Sa mga simpleng aksyon naman, naroon ang ating mga pulis para hingan ng tulong o pagsumbungan sakali mang may kahina-hinalang bagay sa loob o mga lugar na malapit sa sementeryo,” Soliba added.

The BPPO Operations Office also mentioned that groups of policemen are positioned along major thoroughfares in Bulacan such as McArthur Hi-way and North Luzon Expressway exits to assist motorists.

Further, most of cemeteries and roads near cemeteries in the province implemented one-way traffic to prevent road congestion.

Observation from local police recorded that fewer people visited cemeteries in the afternoon compared to last year’s when visitors already flocked to cemeteries on the eve of All Saint’s Day.

However, provincial police are still on alert as they expect more visitors to flock in the evening today.

The Bulacan police also reminded citizens to be responsible especially with their garbage.

”’Yung mga basura naman natin mula sa pagkain o mga dinala galling sa sementeryo, mas mabuti na dadalhin natin pabalik sa bahay at doon na lang itapon para hindi masaydong magtambak ‘yung mga basura sa semnteryo,” Soliba asked. (PNA)

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Police and motorists assistance centers now deployed in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 30 (PNA) -- Police and motorists assistance centers were set up in major thoroughfares in Bulacan in anticipation of the influx of people coming here in the observance of All Saint's Day on Friday.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the Bulacan Police, headed by Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, has deployed additional policemen from the Provincial Public Safety Management Company to augment local policemen in the province's 21 towns and three cities.

Alvarado said the public can call the operations center of the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office for immediate emergency response.

He said the public can also call Bulacan Rescue hotline 044-7910566.

The governor said various civic organizations as well as radio groups in the province have also set up public assistance tents in key areas of every towns and cities in Bulacan.

Alvarado also reminded the public to secure their homes before visiting their departed loved ones in the cemetery.

Orduna said that police station chiefs have already deployed policemen to ensure public safety in the cemeteries where people have began cleaning the tombs of their departed relatives.

The Bulacan police director also reminded that deadly weapons, liquors and sound systems are not allowed in public and private cemeteries. (PNA) 

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No traffic congestion along Bulacan's McArthur Hi-way on election day

BULACAN, Oct. 28 (PNA) -- The busiest thorougfare of Bulacan, the McArthur Hi-way, is not congested on barangay election day.

Despite some barangay elementary schools being located along McArthur Hi-way, motorists experienced light traffic along the major road.

It was also observed that few public utility vehicles, particularly jeepneys, were on the road on election day compared to regular days.

McArthur Hi-way is considered as the busiest road of Bulacan as it connects Manila to other Luzon provinces such as Pampanga, Tarlac, and La Union, among others.

In Bulacan alone, major establishments such as schools and malls are located along the McArthur Hi-way. (PNA) 

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No reported election-related incidents, deaths in Bulacan
By Kris M. Crismundo

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 28 (PNA) -- Bulacan has recorded no incidents and deaths across barangay elections period starting September 28 until Monday.

Bulacan Provincial Police Office (BPPO) Operations Officer Supt. Dale Soliba told Philippines News Agency that peace and order are maintained during elections in all areas of Bulacan.

"So far, and we hope, that our barangay elections will turn out peaceful and successful until proclamations are made," Soliba said.

He cited that a total of 1,134 police personnel were deployed in 24 municipalities and cities of Bulacan to monitor the election situation since last month.

"Supposedly, we only have two personnel in each polling center. Bulacan has 555 polling centers in all 21 towns and three cities. But we added one personnel in each area," he added.

Soliba said each municipality and city of the province has one team of army that will function as Quick Response Team (QRT).

Further, some areas in Bulacan particularly in the third district had requested additional QRT to ensure security of the area.

"We also have these areas of immediate concern like San Ildefonso, San Miguel and DRT (Doña Remedios Trinidad), which requested up to three army teams in their area," he said.

Meanwhile, Soliba said the BPPO has records of violation in gun and liquor ban.

A violation in liquor ban was reported from San Jose del Monte City Sunday evening with minor ages drinking alcohol beverages along the street. (PNA) 

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Last day of barangay polls campaign in Bulacan, festive and generally peaceful — Comelec

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 26 (PNA) -– With sirens and horns blaring as cars, motorbikes and trucks bedecked with balloons and campaign posters, candidates in the 2013 barangay polls on Saturday circled every road in their respective villages as they made their final push to woo voters to vote for them on Monday's election.

Lawyer Elmo Roque, Bulacan provincial election supervisor, said that the final day of the campaign period for would-be village officials in the province is generally peaceful.

“It’s more like its fiesta time, with the bands, the parade and everything. It is merrier and no violence," he said during the weekly radio program of Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos., Saturday morning.

Roque said that it's all system go as far as the Monday’s barangay election is concerned.

He said that the Bulacan police officers have briefed policemen on their poll duties.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said additional police teams from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) will augment local cops and army personnel in ensuring the conduct of a peaceful, honest, orderly and peaceful elections.

In Barangay Sumapang Matanda here, the streets were filled with hues of red, blue and yellow as supporters of candidates joined their bets in making a final round to boost their candidacies.

"I am happy and the feeling is different while you are offering services to your villagemates," said first time candidate Arturo Santiago.

In San Miguel town, which has history of political violence, the situation was also festive and still peaceful as of Saturday noon, according to town police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola.

“So far, there is no report of any untoward incidents,” Macariola said.

He said police teams are deployed to ensure that Monday’s poll will peacefully push through.

Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado urged voters to choose wisely in electing their village officials.

Alvarado said the role of village chief and the council is key to the success and progress not only of their village but of the province as well.

"The role they will be playing is important especially now that industrialization is moving towards our province and region.They will be our partner in delivering services to our constituents. They will also our strong partner in pushing reforms and progress to our noble province," the governor added. (PNA) 

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Bulacan PDRRMC bags Gawad Kalasag award for the 2nd time in a row

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct 25 (PNA) --The long hours of dedicated service, its capability in responding swiftly on any eventuality and keen readiness every time a strong typhoon or bad weather disturbance has brought pride and recognition anew to Bulacan’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

The PDRRMC, headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, was adjudged for the second time in a row as the best PDRRMC of the National Gawad Kalasag Awards.

The recognition was bestowed Thursday to the Bulacan PDRRMC at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers’ Club, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Alvarado, who always take first hand supervision on the command center of the PDRRMO and most of the times plays the role of “traffic enforcer” directing the flow of water discharge from the province three big dams (Angat, Ipo and Bustos) during times of calamity, said that “ it is a great honor for the province to be once again recognized as outstanding in disaster risk reduction and management and they will continue in giving their best in serving Bulacan.”

"We never stop but rather further improve so that more Bulakenyos will receive our services," Alvarado said.

He also called for the continuous involvement of the Bulakenyos in disaster control management and preparedness.

"The PDRRMC should not the only one always be prepared and ready. Because, we can only say that the council is effective if there is the cooperation of the citizenry.The council and the Bulakenyos should be hand-in-hand in confronting and addressing the problems in order to lessen the impact to the people and their livelihood in times of calamities," the governor said.

Bulacan PDRRM executive officer Felicisima Mungcal said that the Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Assessment of the council is one of the reasons why the province bagged the said award.

"The in-depth study that we did together with the Provincial Planning and Development Office, that serves as guide on what specific areas in Bulacan that are vulnerable to hazards," Mungcal said.

She also said that the council does not just depend on the criteria given by the Kalasag committee instead they depend on the result of the Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.

The Bulacan PDRRMC received a plaque of recognition and cash incentive.

Recently, the Bulacan PDRRMC also received the Hall of Fame-Regional Gawad Kalasag Award 2013 for the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council during the first Regional DRRM Summit at Heroes Hall, Mini Convention Center, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The Gawad KALASAG, which stands for KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan a search for excellence in disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. (PNA) 

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5 hurt as bus rams GMA van in Bulacan

MANILA, Oct. 22 (PNA) -- Five people were hurt after a Victory Liner Bus bumped a GMA Network van at the southbound portion of the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Marilao, Bulacan early Tuesday morning

Radio reports said that the rear of the GMA vehicle was severely damaged.

Investigators are verifying information that the driver stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting the van but failed to stop in time.

The driver, who was not immediately identified, is now in custody, while the van passengers were brought to the Sta. Clara De Montefalco Hospital.

An initial investigation showed the van's passengers sustained minor bruises.

One of the van's passenger, cameraman Felix Angeles, said that they had just finished taping in Angeles, Pampanga and were headed for home when the mishap transpired.

He added that he and his four other co-workers were slightly hurt in the accident. (PNA) 

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CL disaster control officials formulate emergency action plans in case of quake

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 16 (PNA) --Disaster control officials in Central Luzon on Wednesday met with concerned government agencies together with the operators of Angat, Bustos and Ipo dams and formulated an emergency action plans in case a powerful earthquake hit the region, particularly along the West Valley Fault line where the giant Angat Dam is nestled. (similar to the one that jolted the Visayan region Tuesday hit the region, particularly along the west valley fault line where the giant Angat Dam is nestled.)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the West Fault is capable of producing large scale earthquakes on its active phases with magnitude of 7 or higher.

Josefina Timoteo, Office of Civil Defense regional director in Central Luzon, said that representatives from the provincial government of Bulacan, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (NDRRMC), the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Office of Civil Defense-3 (OCD-3) and the operators of Angat, Bustos and Ipo dams-- the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, the National Power Corporation and National Irrigation Administration, met at the conference room of the Provincial Engineers Office here where they tackled a “worst case scenario” and came up with “emergency action plans.”

“The Office of Civil Defense is constantly coordinating with the different concerned agencies in formulating emergency action plans in a case an overwhelming natural disaster, a powerful earthquake that could break Angat dam, occurred,” Timoteo said.

She said that among the initial phase of the emergency action plans, the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado through the PDRMMO will conduct an education campaign on what to do and where to go in times of emergencies.

She also said that they will also meet different local officials and compared assessments on their own emergency plans like identification of evacuation centers and safe areas.

Timoteo also said logistics, availability and readiness of manpower and even international aid will also be discussed in the next meeting with local and provincial executives.

The OCD and other concerned agencies will also share technical information on the situation, she added.

“In a case of an overwhelming situation, the OCD can also seek the help of the Asean Committee on Disaster Management as well as the United nations,” the OCD director said.

She said the PDRRMO in Bulacan is prepared because of their continuous training programs and capacity building initiatives.

She said that experts are set to inspect the structural integrity of Angat dam and the two other dams.

Repairs and rehabilitation of the 44 year old Angat earth dam may soon take place after the K-Water ( a Korean company), in partnership with San Miguel Corporation, took over the management from the National Power Corporation recently.

The Philippine government has already earmarked billions of fund for the repair and rehabilitation of the dam , he added.

He said that concerned agencies will hold regular meetings to strengthen the emergency action plans which will also be brought down to the different barangays. (PNA) 

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'Santi' death toll now at 15 - NDRRMC

MANILA, Oct. 15 (PNA) --The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday disclosed that the death toll for Typhoon "Santi" has climbed to 15 with property damage now hitting the P3-billion mark.

It identified the latest fatality was 15-year-old Heidi Bunay, of Barangay Bulu in Kabuggao in Apayao.

The latter was aboard a boat that capsized in Apayao River due to strong current, and her remains were found Monday.

The NDRRMC stated that inclement weather brought by "Santi" has injured 32 people with five more missing.

It added that "Santi" had affected 179,899 families or 871,601 people in 770 villages in 76 towns and nine cities in 14 provinces.

Of these, 1,275 families or 5,704 people are still staying in 39 evacuation centers.

At least 10,491 houses were destroyed while 42,549 were damaged in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Aurora, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Zambales.

Damage to property was estimated at P3,077,197,976, including P1.1 million in infrastructure and P3,076,097,976 in agriculture.

San Miguel in Bulacan was declared under a state of calamity. (PNA) 

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Teams start repair of damaged powerlines in flood-hit Bulacan town 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct 13 (PNA)-—As sunny weather began to prevail in many parts of the province, government teams and linemen of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Sunday started the repair and cleaning operations in the flood hit town of San Miguel which was engulfed by rampaging floods at the height of the onslaught of typhoon Santi.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Mangement Office (PDRRMO) is also closely monitoring floodwaters receeding from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija which is cascading downward the perennial catch basin coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy.

The governor is also constantly coordinating with operators of the three big dams in Bulacan namely Angat, Ipo and Bustos on the preemptive and coordinated release of waters from their reservoirs.

Bustos dam opened two wash out gates 8 a.m. Sunday and discharged a total of 156.0 cubic meters per second of water.

The water elevation at the said three dams are still in normal level.

The water level at Angat dam as of 8 a.m. Sunday was 207.16 meters, still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

In Ipo dam, the water elevation was 100.65 meters (spilling level 101 meters) while the water level at Bustos dam was 16.92 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters).

Alvarado also said that the PDRRMO has advised municipal and city health offices to start the distribution of prophylaxes against leptospirosis in flooded areas as well as conduct initial assessment on health situation in the province.

He said that the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has also distributed 677 oral prophylaxes to different response teams, provincial government offices and Bulacan Rescue, Balagtas & San Miguel Municipal Health Offices.

The governor added that relief and medical missions are now being conducted by personnel of the PHO and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

PDRRM ececutive officer Liz Mungcal said that as of 10 a.m. Sunday, major lifelines (electricity and water supply) in San Miguel were still inoperational.

She said that as of presstime, MERALCO teams deployed in San Miguel were conducting repair of powerlines.

Firetrucks also proceeded to San Miguel for augmentation to non-potable water requirements.

Mungcal said that the PDRRMO is coordinating with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the distribution of potable water.

Damages in agriculture and infrastructures were still being assessed, Mungcal added. (PNA) 

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(Lead) Floods from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija now cascading towards 2 Bulacan towns 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct. 12 (PNA) -– Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado Saturday requested operators of Bustos dam to temporary close its collapsed Gate 4.

This, after receiving latest updates from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) that floodwaters from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija began cascading towards the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy.

These are the perennial catch basin of receding floodwaters from the said provinces and other higher areas of Bulacan.

Bustos dam authorities have fully opened (collapsed) rubber Gate 4 of the dam after its spilling level of 17.70 meters was breached by 8 meters (17.78 m) early Saturday morning when Typoon Santin ripped through the Philippine Area of Responsibilty.

Dam operators have discharged a 492.345 cubic meters per second as of 7:00am Saturday morning.

The water elevation (as of 7:00am Saturday) at Bustos dam has dipped down from 17.78 meters to 17.40 meters. Alvarado said that Bustos dam has enough water capacity and by temporary stopping the release of water from its reservoir, it will give some allowance to allow the flood-prone towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy to brace for the onslaught of backfloods from Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

“Kailangan muna nilang ihinto ang pagpapawala nang tubig, para makaya ng ilog ang papauhong tubig galling sa umaapaw na Candaba swamp at ilang parte ng Nueva Ecija at Pampanga,” Alvarado said.

The governor has been constantly coordinating with officials and engineers of the three big dams in Bulacan –Bustos, Ipo and Angat – regarding the preemptive rewlease of waters from their reservoirs in order to lessen the impacts of heavy floodings to low lying areas in the province’s first and second districts particularly the towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, before Typhoon Santi was detected by weathermen.

Meanwhile, two females and a 78-year-old man were confirmed dead in San Miguel town while two others were reported still missing in this town that was severely affected by 4 to 5 feet flood waters at the break of dawn Saturday.

The body of the first fatality was recovered in Barangay Poblacion. Barangay rescue teams identified the victim as a certain "Kring-kring" believed to have been swept by floodwaters from a nearby village.

The second victim, identified as Teresita Manabat of Barangay Balaong died of drowning after the roof of their house reportedly crashed on their abode at the height of strong winds spawned by Typhoon Santi.

The septuagenarian victim was identified as Arturo Quizon of Bgy. San Jose died after suffering from heart attack which was said to be triggered when the roof of their house was ripped of by powerful winds early Saturday morning

The PPDRMO also received reports from the San Miguel Police that two teenagers from Barangay Kamias were reported by their families as missing as of presstime. (PNA)
hbc/EMIL G. GAMOS/rsm

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17th Nat'l DanceSport competition Oct 12 at ULTRA

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Oct 11 (PNA)-- Some 314 athletes will compete in the 17th annual Dancesport National Championships and the staging of the 1st International Friendship Games Wheelchair DanceSport Competitions at the Philsports Multi-Purpose Arena, formerly Ultra, in Pasig City Saturday.

Dancesport Council of the Philippines (DSCPI) president Becky Garcia told members of the Bulacan PNP Press Corps that the athletes include preliminary winners from all over the Philippines, Italy and Taiwan.

Eight World DanceSport Federation licensed adjudicators headed by Gheorghe Raducan of Romania, as chairman, will supervise the judging with the help of DSCPI adjudicators Michael, Mendoza, Ana Dulce Yango and Joel Ocsena.

Other members include: Marco Bartolini of Italy; Mary Yeh/Taipei; Corrie van Hugten/Netherlands; Nobuko Yotsumoto/Japan; Lee Kum-Ok/Korea; Christian Bradbury/Hong Kong; and Mr. Ger van Zandwijk of Netherlands.

The competitions is sanctioned by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, IPC Wheelchair DanceSport, Philspada NPC-Philippines and sponsored by Beauty Kingdom, Inc., Vitug Beach Resort, PCSO, Philippine Orthopedic Institute, Radio High 105.9, Water Zone, Studio 116 and The Greenery Bulacan.

Garcia said that tickets are available at the DanceSport Training Center, Philsports Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City and at the entrance of the Philsports Multi-Purpose Arena (Ultra) on October 12. (PNA) 

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Dwellers along geo-hazard areas in Bulacan get new homes in Bustos town

BUSTOS, Bulacan, Oct 3 (PNA)-–After years of living dangerously along geo-hazard sites, some 72 families became the first batch of informal settlers that will now live in a newly built community in the farming village of Barangay Catacte here.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando on Thursday thanked President Benigno Aquino, housing czar Vice President Jejomar Binay and the National Housing Authority (NHA) for swiftly providing decent homes for families living along high-risk danger zones along the Angat river.

Alvarado said that at least 1,000 newly built housing units will be turned over to the affected families at the Bustos Relocation Site in Barangay Catacte here.

“These families are living in geo- hazard areas along the banks of rivers, creeks and irrigation canals and waterways which are prone to severe flooding, landslide and mudslide. The government has provided them with a safe and decent homes with basic amenities like schools, livelihood programs and a multi-purpose hall,” the governor said.

He said the 72 families living dangerously along the banks of Angat River were among the first batch of informal settlers to live in houses that they can now call their own.

Alvarado said that the relocation site in Barangay Catacte will accommodate at least 1,100 families while another 1,900 will be relocated in Barangay Cacarong Matanda in Pandi.

He said the swift response of President Aquino and Vice President Binay is an indication that the government is serious in alleviating the families that are constantly living along the danger zones.

Alvarado also said that while some informal settlers from Metro Manila and other areas are also being relocated in other housing projects, he stressed that the welfare of Bulakenyo shall be considered first and that no relocation will be made in Bulacan without proper coordination with local and provincial officials.

He reminded developers that Bulacan has its land use programs and should observe proper planning and zoning.

“There should always be educational, livelihood and environmental components before they plan to develop housing projects in any parts of the province,” he added.

He also pointed out that CCTV systems should also be installed in these relocation sites to ensure the maintenance of peace and order.

He said that these new communities will spur more growth and development in the province , making Bulacan as one of the “most business friendly province” in the country.

NHA general manager Chito Cruz lauded Gov. Alvarado and the provincial government for providing relocation sites, which he claimed is now impossible to build in Metro Manila. (PNA) 

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President Aquino pays last respects to soldiers killed in Zamboanga standoff

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan, Sept. 26 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III paid his last respects and condoled with the family of 1st Lieutenant John Kristofer Rama, the first officer-casualty of the Armed Forces of the Philippines killed in clashes with the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari faction in Zamboanga City, during his visit to the Rama household here on Thursday.

The President, who was accompanied by Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, arrived at Rama's wake at 10:45 a.m.

According to Erlnda, Rama's wife, the President pledged to provide housing and educational assistance for her and her daughter Elisa Irene.

She expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the President's visit and pledge, and said that she felt proud the President chose to honor the memory of her husband with his presence.

After staying some 20 minutes, the President left for Pulilan, Bulacan to visit the wake of 2nd Lt. Florencio Michael Esguerra Meneses and then for Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to visit the wake of 1st Lt. Francis Damian. (PNA) 

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President Aquino visits wake of an army officer in Pulilan, Bulacan

PULILAN, Bulacan, Sept. 26 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III visited on Thursday the wake of an Army officer who died in an encounter between the government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front Misuari faction in Zamboaga City last September 23.

The Chief Executive paid his last respects and condoled with the family of 27-year-old 1st Lt Florencio Mikael Esguerra Meneses, an officer of the 7th Scout Ranger Company and member of the Philippine Military Academy Laon-Alab Class of 2011.

Accompanied by Presidential Management Staff head Julia Abad, President Aquino arrived at the wake on Cueto Street, Barangay Tibag, Pulilan, Bulacan at 11:30 a.m.

President Aquino handed financial assistance to the slain officer's parents Regina and Alberto Meneses. He also expressed his condolences to the officer's siblings, namely Elizabeth Peralta, Janina Reyes and Gracia Chen.

The parents of Lt Meneses expressed gratitude to the President for visiting the wake of their only son who died in Zamboanga City standoff.

During the visit that lasted for 30 minutes, the President told Regina that he directed the Department of National Defense (DND) and other concerned government agencies to further conduct a review of the military systems and procedures with the aim of preventing unnecessary loss of lives during combat.

The President told the family that he acknowledged the bravery of Meneses who gave his own life to serve the country and the Filipino people. (PCOO) 

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Computer on Wheels project to boost Bulacan IT program

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 18 (PNA) -- There is no stopping the rapid industrialization of this province as officials started to step up programs to meet the challenges of modern times through the use of high technology.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado lauded on Tuesday the “Computer on Wheels” project, a joint initiative of the Damayang Filipino—a community-based movement founded by Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and Bagong Henerasyon partylist headed by Rep. Bernadette Herrera.

Alvarado said that the Computer on Wheels” project is a vital tool in the One Bulacan PRIDE or the Program for Rapid Industrialization and Development because it will boost the computer literacy program of the provincial government which is also among the seven-point agenda of his administration.

“The whole province will benefit from this endeavor especially now that Bulacan is fast becoming as the new metropolis of growth in the country,” Alvarado said , adding that the province has recently been awarded as among the Smart Cities in the Philippines.

Under the zonification component of One Bulacan PRIDE, the governor said Malolos City will be the next techno hub of the province, where IT and communication offices will rise at the 17 hectares lot turned over by the national government to the provincial government.

He also said that the City of San Jose del Monte will soon be the site of Hollywood type studios while the Pulilan, Plaridel and Baliwag will be business and growth corridor of the province.

Under the project, Rep. Herrera has turned over five air-conditioned trucks loaded with 16 computers each and computer instructors.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed between the provincial government, the Damayang Filipino (DF) movement and the Bagong Henerasyon Partylist wherein the DF will shoulder the financial compensation of computer instructors.

Alvarado said that he will support the project which aims to propagate computer literacy in the grassroot level by bring the fleet of computer schools on wheels to the different barangays in the province’s 21 towns and 3 cities.

The vice governor said that project aims to increase computer literacy to among out-of-school youth and other Bulakenyos who were not able to go to schools.

He also said that the project will provide adequate technical skills and other job opportunities under the pangkabuhayan program for Bulakenyos.

Herrera said that at least 60 students will be taught basic computer training while 40 students will be trained as computer technicians in two weeks time. (PNA) 

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“Indakan sa Kalye” to highlight Bulacan’s Singkaban Fiesta on Saturday

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept 13 (PNA) -- An explosion of fun, excitement, and cultural show will rock this historic city on Saturday afternoon as approximately 1,000 of the province’s best street dancers compete in “Indakan sa Kalye”, also dubbed as “Best of the Best Street Dance” competition.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that "Indakan sa Kalye" will showcase the different festivals in Bulacan that aims to promote the rich and colorful culture, tradition, tourism and products of the province.

"The Singkaban Fiesta is also replicating the festive mood in this historic city during the convening of the Malolos Congress at the historic Barasoain Church,” the governor said.

According to Provincial Youth, Sports, Education, Arts, Culture and Tourism officer Elizabeth Alonzo, 24 groups will compete and represent their municipality/city’s local festival like Halamanan sa Guiguinto, Halamang Dilaw in Marilao, Fertility Festival of Obando and Carabao Festival of Pulilan.

Alonzo said the said street dance will start at the Basilica Minore de Immaculada Concepcion in this city and will end in front of the Bulacan provincial capitol while the showdown of the groups will take place at the Bulacan capitol gymnasium around 3 p.m.

Winners will receive trophies and P75,000 for the first place, P50,000 and P30,000 for the second and third place, respectively and two consolation prizes amounting to P10, 000.

In addition, special awards will also be given to Best in Street Dancing and Best in Costume to include trophies and P5,000 for each award.

Subsequent to Indakan sa Kalye, more or less 3,000 runners are expected to run for the Singkaban Night Run at 4:00 p.m.

Intended to promote running as a good alternative for health and wellness, the said activity is intentionally set in the afternoon till night for the convenience and comfort of the participants.

The starting point will be in front of the provincial capitol wherein 3K, 5K and 10K runners will run along Mc Arthur Highway passing Bulacan Polytechnic College, Humel Heritage Homes and Metropolis Home Subdivision.

The top three finishers will receive P15,000, P10,000 and P 5,000, respectively.

Singkaban Night Run is a joint activity of the provincial government of Bulacan and Globe Telecom. (PNA) 

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Historic Malolos becoming catch basin of dam water releases

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 8 (PNA) -- Mayor Christian D. Natividad on Sunday disclosed that many areas in this historic capital city is fast becoming the catch basin of water being discharged by the three big dams in the province, particularly Bustos dam.

Natividad lamented the fact that every time the Bustos dam as well as Ipo and Angat dams released big volumes of excess water from their reservoirs, the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy were the ones being tagged as catch basin.

""It has been a long time that many parts of Malolos City submerged to floodwater every time the Bustos dam released waters. However, the media is only focused with the towns of Hagonoy and Calumpit," Natividad said.

He said that every time that Bustos dam releases 500 cubic per second of water, at least 47 villages in this capital city are submerged under two to four feet of rampaging floodwaters.

Natividad said that that many areas in this city were former ricefield with irrigation canals in which the waters from the dams flows.

Earlier, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado,together with disaster control officials and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System administrator Gerry Esquivel, met with operators and engineers of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams after the water elevation at Angat dam breached the 200 meters mark early this month.

The meeting was called when the Angat dam climbed to 203.56 meters, almost five meters from reaching its spilling level of 210 meters about a week ago.

“The 203 meters water elevation at Angat dam is worrisome because before the southwest monsoon came the water elevation was only 193 meters but it suddenly climbed-up to 203 meters. Another surge of intensive rainfall could spell doom in the low-lying towns like Hagonoy and Calumpit as well as the city of Malolos because they will be forced again to discharge their excess water,” Alvarado explained.

The governor urged Engr. Precioso Donato Punzalan, assistant operation engineer of Bustos Dam, to conduct preemptive release so that when the water level at Angat dam breached its spilling level, Bustos dam will have extra room in its water holding capacity.

He also told Punzalan to do the preemptive release during good weather condition and when there is a storm or rainy weather.

He also suggested to operators of Ipo dam to divide the release of its excess water, one should flow to la Mesa dam reservoir and the other at Bustos dam every rainy or stormy weather.

He said that the releasing of waters from the three dams should be properly coordinated. (PNA) 

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Week-long cultural activities usher Bulacan Singkaban Fiesta

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 6 (PNA) -- A week-long of colorful cultural activities will kick off on Monday as the province celebrates its annual Singkaban Fiesta here.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado will lead the opening ceremony of the annual event with this year's theme "Makulay na Sining at Kalinangan: Bulacan, Ipagmalaki at Ikarangal.”

Alvarado urged Bulakenyos to be proud on the flamboyant cultural and artistic heritage of Bulacan.

“Bulacan is known as the cradle of heroes, filling a number of pages in the country’s history. Until the modern times, our province is continuously trudging the path toward a remarkable success not only in economic development but also in the promotion of arts and culture.

We are inviting everyone to witness and join us in a weeklong celebration that includes cultural presentations, arts exhibits and other fun activities that you will surely enjoy,” he said.

The celebration will start with a thanksgiving mass, to be followed by the “Parada ng Karosa at Kasaysayan,” a parade of floats which will feature achievements of Bulacan in 2012 in the field of sports, beauty pageants, arts and governance.

Exhibits and trade fairs showcasing the Bulacan's pride will also be put up within the provincial capitol compound.

Among these are the Bulakenyo trade fair, a display of the province's various products like sweets and delicacies, gifts, toys, clothes, bags and fashion accessories; Manlilikhang Bulakenyo which will feature Bulakenyo inventors and demonstration of their inventions; Dakilang Bulakenyo and Lakan Sining exhibit which will recount the life and contributions of Mariano Ponce in commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary and an exhibition of Bulakenyo visual artists;

The Bulacan Pasalubong Center and Bulacan Packaging Service and Toll Packing Center will also re-launch to draw the attention of the public on the services they are offering.

Other highlights of the celebration is the Bulacan Food Festival Exposition (BUFFEX) wherein the various sectors involved in food production in Bulacan, its partners and down-stream industries will gather together in this annual event.

The activities also include selling, food sampling, on-the-spot cooking demonstrations, and other competitions.

Likewise, tourism students from selected universities and colleges will serve as tour guides of elementary and high school students from different schools in the province in the “24K Lakbay Aral” as they visit the provincial capitol, museum, and mini-forest to heighten their awareness on the exceptional features of the province.

“We are proud of our cultural inheritance that reflects who we are as Bulakenyos. So we are inviting everyone to come, experience only the best, experience Bulacan, experience Singkaban,” the governor added. (PNA) 

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Bulacan gov urges dam operators to coordinate release of excess water

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado is playing the role of "traffic enforcer" in directing the release of water from the three big dams in the province.

The governor together with disaster control officials and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) administrator Gerry Esquivel met over the weekend with operators and engineers of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams to discuss measures on how to lessen flooding in the province through the proper release of water.

During their meeting, Alvarado urged Precioso Donato Punzalan, assistant operation engineer of Bustos Dam, to conduct preemptive release so that when the water level at Angat dam breached its spilling level, Bustos dam will have extra room in its water holding capacity.

He also told Punzalan to do the preemptive release during good weather condition shortly before a storm or expected onset of heavy rains.

"Another surge of intensive rainfall could spell doom in the low lying towns like Hagonoy and Calumpit as well as the city of Malolos because they will be forced again to discharge their excess water," Alvarado said.

The governor recalled that during the height of the recent southwest monsoon or "habagat," operators of Bustos dam released 500 cms of water which worsened flooding in Malolos, Hagonoy and Calumpit.

He also suggested to operators of Ipo dam to divide the release of its excess water, one should flow to La Mesa dam reservoir and the other at Bustos dam during heavy rains.

"Why the water is always being released in Bulacan. Can it be divided especially when the water carrying capacity of Bustos dam is strengthened," the governor said.

He said the release of waters from the three dams should be properly coordinated with each other.

Esquivel, for his part, suggested to do a simulation and instrumentation to better synchronize the release of waters from the dams.

A disaster control official said that the "dis-oriented" coordination by dam officials in the discharge of excess waters from the three dams could be blamed from the dam protocol they are following.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said that damages to agriculture in the province has already ballooned to P12.81 million while the damages to infrastructure has reached P1.9 million. (PNA) 

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CEO of Boracay West Cove tells Bulacan newsmen their resort will survive black propaganda campaign

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- No amount of black propaganda nor any form of media demolition job can take away the pristine beauty of Boracay West Cove, considered as one of the world class nature-inspired resorts in the Philippines.

This developed as tourists and guests who have enjoyed their stay at the Boracay West Cove resort are bewildered if not amazed by the black propaganda allegedly being waged by a popular radio and TV broadcaster against the world class beach resort in Malay, Aklan.

"In spite of the baseless allegations against Boracay West Cove, we are happy to hear the positive responses of our guests who are continuously giving good messages and encouragement to us," Boracay West Cove Resort chief executive officer (CEO) Cris Aquino told members of the Bulacan PNP Press Corps during a recent press briefing at a local resort here.

Aquino said that despite the existence of modern technology, Boracay West Cove, recognized as the first and only organic architecture in the Philippines, is proud that, from its humble beginnings up to now, all trees inherent in the place are preserved.

He said that just recently, Boracay West Cove received the much-coveted Gold Award during the International Star for Quality Leadership (ISQL) 2013 in Paris, France, for world-class excellence in tourism promotions and quality service.

He said it is also the only holder of a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism (FLAGT) permit in the entire island paradise.

Aquino also reiterated that the management of Boracay West Cove is appealing to the public to disregard false, malicious and misleading news reports that it was operating without the necessary environmental clearance from the national and local government in Malay, Aklan.

He urged Bulakenyos not to believe the black propaganda that the said broadcaster is spreading claiming that it was an obvious scheming effort tainted with vested interests.

It was allegedly reported that the Malay municipal government is set to implement a massive crackdown on more than 300 establishments along the world famous Boracay's white-sand beach which are operating in violation of the "25+5-meters Rule" or the 30-meter shoreline setback.

Aquino clarified that all the structures and improvements at Boracay West Cove were built in accordance with the Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes or FLAG-T issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) based on L.C. Map No. 36-42 under Proclamation No. 1064 issued on Dec. 23, 2009 and valid for 25 years.

"We are a victim of trial by publicity here. Our resort does not fall under the scope of the 25+5 meter Rule because we have no shoreline to speak of. Our cabanas and structures are constructed on a cliff," he said.

Aquino told Bulacan newsmen that the accusations are so distressing that the management of Boracay West Cove, was faced with no other option but to hit back at those who are spreading "false, malicious and misleading news reports."

Aquino said that the charges are based merely on the expose of the popular broadcaster, who is reportedly being financed by a Nueva Ecija mayor supposedly involved in a land-grabbing case in Boracay. (PNA) 

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Several areas in Pampanga, Bulacan remained flooded

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- The heavy rains have stopped for days, but most of the villages in the low-lying and coastal towns of Pampanga and Bulacan still submerged to floodwater.

Latest data from the Regional Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) showed that a total of 179 villages in the two provinces are still under water despite the improved weather condition.

In Pampanga, a total of 111 barangays in the towns of Apalit, Masantol, Macabebe, San Simon, Guagua, Minalin, Candaba, Sto. Tomas, San Luis, Mexico, Sta, Ana, are still under from one to four feet deep water due to slow recession of water in the Pampanga river and other allied rivers, aggravated by high tide.

Likewise, 68 villages in the towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Obando, Paombong and Malolos City are remained under water due to high tide and the effects of backfloods coming from higher towns of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and some parts of Tarlac.

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, there are still some roads in Pampanga that are still not passable to all types of vehicles that include the Baliwag-Candaba-Sta Ana road and the Candaba-San Miguel road.

The Apalit-Macabebe-Masantol road is hardly passable to heavy vehicles while the Sto Tomas-Minalin-Macabebe road is hardly passable to light vehicles.

The Manila North Road-Tulauc-Sto Domingo road is only passable to heavy vehicles while the San Simon-Baliwag road is hardly passable to light vehicles

Meanwhile, four additional casualties were reported in the region due to Habagat, bringing the total death toll to 11 with still one missing.

The latest reported fatalities were identified as Archie Camueda, 37; Nazareth Duldulao, 15; and Rafael Clemente, 43, all from Olongapo City and Rodrigo Telles, 69, of Barangay General Luna, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

The still missing person, on the other hand, was identified as Michael Silverio, 21 of Purok 5, San Pedro, Floridablanca, Pampanga.

The affected population by the onslaught of Habagat, on the other hand, reached to 423,193 families or 1,888,067 persons in 75 municipalities of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

At least 188 houses were totally damaged and 277 partially destroyed. (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos to commemorate Del Pilar’s 163rd birthday

BULAKAN, Bulacan, Aug. 27 (PNA)-- Thousands of Bulakenyos led by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy Alvarado will pay tribute to a great son of the province — Marcelo H. Del Pilar, known as the “Great Propagandist of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule — on August 30 as the province’s commemorates his 163rd birth anniversary.

The event will be held at the Dambanang Marcelo H. del Pilar or Del Pilar Shrine in Barangay San Nicolas here.

Alvarado said that in order to give way for this celebration, August 30 has been declared a special non-working holiday in the province of Bulacan in accordance to Republic Act No. 7449 which was approved last April 27, 1992.

Senator Teofisto Guingona will serve as the guest of honor in the event which is anchored on the theme “PLARIDEL: Sa Tilamsik ng Diwa at Pusong Makabansa, Pilipino sa Buong Mundo ay Dinadakila.”

The event will kick off with a civic parade at 5:30 a.m. to be followed with a program at 8 a.m. and wreath-laying ceremony to be led by Alvarado, executive director of National Historical Commission of the Philippines Ludovico Badoy, Mayor Patrick Menesses, Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque and PNP regional director police chief Supt. Edgardo Ladao.

Del Pilar was the youngest of the 10 siblings of the wealthy family Don Julian del Pilar, a gobernadorcillo and Doña Blasa Gatmaitan.

Del Pilar, who was also a lawyer and used the nom-de-guerre (pen name) “Plaridel”, left a life of luxury and died a pauper in a cold and damp room in Barcelona , Spain on July 4, 1896.

His satiric expose in “Dasalan at Tuksuhan” incurred the wrath of the Spanish Friars, prompting him to join Rizal and other members of the propaganda movement in Spain where he edited La Solidaridad.

He was also the editor of the newspaper Diariong Tagalog which strongly criticized the way the Spaniards ran the government and treated the people.(PNA) 

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(Lead) Bulacan declares state of calamity, backfloods still submerging villages in Hagonoy and Calumpit 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug 24 (PNA)-- Residents affected by heavy flooding since Monday, particularly in the still flooded coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, got a sigh of relief as sunny weather began to prevail Saturday.

Dino Balabo, a journalist living in Hagonoy, said floodwaters began to subside in some villages but the effects of backfloods are still being felt in the coastal municipality which, along with Calumpit, has become the perennial catch basin of backfloods from higher towns of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and parts of Tarlac.

"The floods subsided in simultaneous (sic) with the lowering of hide tide. However, the backfloods cascaded here from the still flooded town of Calumpit, Balabo said in a phone interview Saturday noon.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said as of Friday afternoon, some 23 villages were still submerged under one to three feet of floods.

In Calumpit, backfloods has submerged 28 villages, five of them -- Meysulao, Sapang Bayan, Gatbuca, Frances, San Miguel – have already been placed under state of calamity last Thursday.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado Saturday announced in his weekly program “The Governor’s Hour” that the province of Bulacan is now under a state of calamity due to the damage and ill effects of the severe floods that rampaged in many parts of the province since Monday.

Alvarado said that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has passed a resolution declaring the entire province under a state of calamity.

He called on the mayors of the province’s affected towns and cities to use the calamity fund wisely because it is only August and there maybe more typhoons to come.

Senior board member Michael Fermin said that the floods have wreck havoc to farmlands and damages many major roads.

Fermin said that damages in agriculture, fisheries and livestock have already ballooned to P 116,509,373.82 while damage to national roads in the province’s first district has reached P 5,500,000.

The PDRMMO said that a total of 189,831 families or 843,669 persons were affected.

Of these, a total of 4,732 families or 8,528 persons were evacuated from 96 barangays in the province’s 13 towns and three cities.

Officials of Ipo dam has stopped releasing water after closing their Radial Gate 1 and Radial A at around 2 p.m. Friday.

Bustos dam has also stopped releasing water after closing two of their washgates last Friday afternoon. (PNA) 

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Bulacan town’s 5 flood-stricken villages under state of calamity as back floods rush in - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 23 (PNA) -- Rampaging back floods has prompted the municipal government of Calumpit to place five flood-stricken villages under a state of calamity, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) reported on Friday.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRM executive officer, reported to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the villages of Meysulao, Sapang Bayan, Gatbuca, Frances and San Miguel in Calumpit are now under a state of calamity after floodwaters rose to three to four feet late Thursday afternoon.

Mungcal said 23 other villages in Calumpit are still submerged under one to six feet of water brought by intensive rainfall of the southwest monsoon, the release of water from Bustos and Ipo dams and back floods from other Bulacan towns, the Pampanga river, Candaba swamp, Nueva Ecija and portions of Tarlac.

The flooding in some parts of Calumpit, Hagonoy and Obando are also being aggravated by high tide, she said.

In Hagonoy, 23 villages are still submerged under one to three feet of floods.

The PDRRMO are coordinating with the MDRRMO and the municipal government as back floods started to rush in on Thursday night and expected until Friday afternoon.

Last Wednesday, the coastal towns of Hagonoy and Bulakan has joined the flood-stricken coastal town of Obando in declaring a state of calamity due to the damages incurred from severe floods.

Alvarado have asked Thursday the officials of Bustos and Ipo dams to regulate if not to temporarily halt the release of water.

”We have already asked them not to release water more than 500 cubic meters per second because it will have big effect to the already flooded towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy especially now that waters coming from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac are gradually coming down. We are hoping that the Angat river would accommodate the water being released by the dams,” the governor said.

He said that emergency response and rescue teams are still on 24 hours alert, ready to be deployed anytime.

He also said that they are constantly monitoring the water elevation of the three dams—Angat, Bustos and Ipo-as well as the elevation at the Pampanga river and Candaba swamp.

Alvarado also instructed Thursday provincial engineer Glen Reyes to deploy trucks to give free rides from Malolos to Calumpit, Malolos to Hagonoy and Malolos to Meycauayan City as some portions of the roads and Macarthur highway were rendered impassable to light vehicles.

Alvarado will also meet the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) engineers to discuss the severe flooding that hit the capital city of Malolos.

He blamed the mushrooming of subdivisions and big commercial buildings in areas that were once fully irrigated rice fields.

”The natural waterways in some areas in Malolos City lost due to the conversion of the ricefields into subdivisions which most of them have no proper drainage system,” he said.

At least 47 of the 51 villages in Malolos were submerged under one to three feet of floodwater.

The PDRRMO reported that 238 barangays in the province's 14 towns and three cities were affected by the intensive rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon which was enhanced by typhoon Maring.

A total of 189,815 families or 843,594 persons have been affected by severe floods.

Of these, the PDRRMO said that a total of 8,769 families or 34,514 persons were evacuated from 223 barangays of the 13 towns and three cities of the province.

The damages to agriculture was estimated to reach P72,962,952.40 and is expected to increase pending reports from other areas in the province.

”The Provincial Planning and Development Office is still assessing the damages brought by the severe flooding," he said.

Meanwhile, the water level at Angat dam has breached the 200 meters mark at 9 p.m. Thursday when the level reached 200.29 meters, which is still below its spilling level of 210 meters.

The water elevation at Ipo dam was 100.89 meters (spilling level: 101 meters) while the water elevation at Bustos dam was 17.52 meters (spilling level: 17.70 meters). (PNA) 

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(Update) 2 more Bulacan towns placed under state of calamity, flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy continues to rise - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- Two more coastal municipalities in this flood-stricken province were placed under a “state of calamity” as rising floods continued to wreck havoc in 185 villages in 13 towns and three cities of the province.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported on Thursday that the flood-hit coastal towns of Hagonoy and Bulakan are now under state of calamity as rampaging flood waters destroyed fishponds and rice lands in the area.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRM executive officer, reported to Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the number of flooded villages in 10 towns and two cities of Bulacan has swelled to 185.

Mungcal said that a total of 66,740 families or 301,373 persons in 200 barangays of 13 towns and three cities of the province, namely Balagtas, Baliwag, Bocaue, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Malolos City, Marilao, Meycauayan City, Obando, Paombong, Plaridel, Pulilan, San Jose Del Monte City, San Miguel and Sta. Maria were affected.

Of these, some 5,069 families or 23,725 persons were evacuated to 117 evacuation centers in the different parts of the province.

Alvarado said that emergency response and rescue teams are now deployed in flood-hit areas of Hagonoy and Calumpit as flood waters coming from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and portions of Tarlac have began to cascade into the two coastal towns which has become the perennial catch basins of back floods in Central Luzon.

Aside from this, the flooding in the two towns are also being aggravated by the release of waters from Bustos and Ipo dams as well as the daily occurrence of high tide.

As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, 28 villages in Calumpit were under one to 6 feet of floods while 20 villages in nearby Hagonoy were submerged under one to three feet of floodwater.

Alvarado also called on officials of Bustos dam to regulate if not stop the release of water in anticipation of the backfloods coming from the Pampanga River and Candaba swamp area.

As of 6:00 a.m. Thursday, the water level at Bustos dam was 17.66 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters) while the elevation at Ipo Dam was 100.48 meters (spilling level 101 meters).

The water elevation at Angat dam was 197.62 meters , still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

He also noted that the number of flooded villages in the capital city of Malolos has increased and reached 41 as of Thursday morning.

He said that the natural waterways in Malolos have been compromised with the mushrooming of big subdivisions which were built and developed from former rice lands.

“Many rice lands, most of them fully irrigated, have been converted into big subdivisions thus wiping away the natural waterways. Most of these subdivisions have no proper drainage systems too. We should preserve the remaining ricelands,”the governor said, adding that he would ask the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to look into the matter. (PNA) 

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Floods hit 63 villages in Bulacan - By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 19 (PNA)--Heavy rains spawned by southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Maring has inundated 63 villages in six towns and one city in this province, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported on Monday.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRM executive officer, said the hardest hit are the City of Meycauayan and the coastal town of Hagonoy.

In her report to Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Mungcal said 14 villages in Meycauayan City were submerged under two to four feet of floodwaters.

She also said that 31 families in barangays Calvario and Saluysoy were evacuated to safer grounds.

In Hagonoy, all of its 26 barangays were submerged under three to four feet of floodwater which was worsen by high tide.

The other affected towns were Marilao (six villages under 1 feet), Obando (eight villages under 2 feet), Bulakan (seven villages under 4 feet and Bocaue (two villages under 1 feet).

The governor declared work suspension at the provincial capitol except those involved in disaster operations.

Classes in elementary and high school were also suspended.

Rescue teams were also dispatched and put on standby were heavy floodings were reported, Alvarado said.

He also instructed the PDRRMO to closely monitor the water elevation of the three big dams in Bulacan.

Last Sunday, officials of Ipo dam has opened radial gate A and radial gate four and released a total of 242.9 cubic meters pers second of water after its spilling level of 101 meters was nearly breached when heavy rains pounded the area and brought the elevation to 100.98 meters.

It continued to discharge water as of 12 noon Monday.

As of 8 a.m. Monday the water level at Ipo dam was 100.18 meters.

Since Sunday morning up to 12 noon Monday, the Bustos dam has discharged some 613.76 cms of water when its spilling level was nearly breached due to heavy rains since Sunday morning.

As of 12 noon Monday, the water elevation at Bustos dam was 17.50 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters).

The water elevation in Angat dam as of 8 a.m. Monday was 194.01, still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

Alvarado also instructed the PDRRMO to monitor the water level stations along the Pampanga River Basin in coordination with Pampanga River Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (PRFFWC).

He also assigned the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) to lead the damage assessment and needs analysis and the findings will be included in the rehabilitation plan. (PNA) 

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“Ghost ship” continues to spook Malolos coastal village 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- As heavy rains and high tide swell the waters of Manila Bay, the abandoned Chinese ship MV Huan Yeng continued to spook residents and fisherfolks of the coastal village of Pamarawan here.

Anchored some 400 meters away from residential houses, the imposing presence of the cargo ship still gives anxiety to villagers who are fearing that the ship might smash through their village.

The villagers woke up last Monday morning with a big ship floating on their shoreline.

"It suddenly appeared here and there are fish pens already damaged," JR Vicente, a resident of the village said.

"We are afraid that the ship might drift near the village and smash our houses. There are more fishpens, fishing boats and houses might be destroyed especially if another typhoon hits us and the ship is still here," he added.

A situation report received by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado from Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said the ship MV Huan Yeng is a Cambodian registered ship that was anchored for repairs at the Lucanin anchorage in Bataan.

The governor was also informed that the cargo ship have been docked in Lucanin for four years and was abandoned after its owner failed to pay necessary dues.

During the onslaught the of typhoon Labuyo, the ship was reportedly dragged by strong winds into Manila Bay and drifted to the coastal village of Pamarawan.

Orduna also reported to the governor that ship belongs to the S. American Far Eastern Shipping Company Ltd.

Earlier, the Philippine Coast Guard told city mayor Christian Natividad that they can tow the abandoned cargo ship.

But the mayor did not allow it because he wanted the owners to claim it and pay the damages wrought to the coastal village.

On Thursday, the mayor issued an ultimatum to the owner of MV Huan Yeng.

He said that they will file a civil suit against the shipping firm that owns the old cargo ship because it has already caused damages to the fish pens and fish cages in the area aside from posing danger to some 2,000 villagers.

The mayor said he also wants to know the real score why the ship reached the coastal area of Malolos.

“There’s something fishy here. It appears that the ship did not just run aground and was dragged by strong winds and waves during the typhoon. Our team has discovered that the ship dropped anchor and we are also verifying earlier accounts of local fishermen that there were heavily armed men on board and that the ship was well lighted when it smashed through the fish pens,” Natividad said.

We do not know. It might have done something illegal or dumped any hazardous wastes," he added.

The ship was already abandoned when a team from the Malolos City police boarded it.

The young mayor said they will publish a public notice in a national newspaper and after a week or so will declare it as “public nuisance” and will make a public auction for its sale.

“We want to know why it got there and what are they doing. The ship has already destroyed several fishpens, brought anxiety and fear to some 2,000 fisher folks in the village. We will give them (owners) ample time and if they failed to show up, we have no recourse but to auction it. It just cannot stay there and threaten our people,” Natividad said. (PNA) 

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Malolos City to sue owner of abandoned Cambodian cargo ship 
By Emil G. Gamos

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- The city government here issued on Thursday an ultimatum to the owner of MV Huan Yeng, the abandoned Cambodian cargo ship that ran aground in the shoreline of the coastal village of Pamarawan here at the height of typhoon Labuyo last Monday morning.

Mayor Christian D. Natividad said they will file a civil suit against the shipping firm that owns the old cargo ship because it has already caused damages to fish pens and fish cages in the area aside from posing danger to some 2,000 villagers.

He said he also wants to know the real score why the ship reached the coastal area of Malolos.

“There’s something fishy here. It appears that the ship did not just run aground and was dragged by strong winds and waves during the typhoon. Our team has discovered that the ship dropped anchor and we are also verifying earlier accounts of local fishermen that there were heavily armed men on board and that the ship was well lighted when it smashed through the fish pens,” Natividad said.

"We do not know it might done something illegal or dumped any hazardous wastes," he added.

The ship was already abandoned when a team from the Malolos City Police boarded it.

The young mayor said that they will publish a public notice in a national newspaper and after a week or so after its publication they will declare it as “public nuisance” and will make a public auction for its sale.

“It has already caused damages aside from being a “disaster waiting to happen” in the coastal village of Pamarawan,” Natividad stressed.

He said he has already instructed Supt. David Poklay, the city police chief, to the Lucanin anchorage in Mariveles, Bataan to confirm if the ship did come from there.

A situation report received by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado from Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said that the vessel is a Cambodian registered ship that was anchored for repairs at the Lucanin anchorage.

The governor also learned that the cargo ship have been docked there for four years and was abandoned after its owner failed to pay necessary dues.

During the onslaught of typhoon Labuyo, the ship was allegedly dragged by strong winds into Manila Bay and drifted to the coastal village of Pamarawan.

Orduna also reported to the governor that the ship belongs to the S. American Far Eastern Shipping Company Ltd.

It was also learned that the operator of said cargo vessel was a ceratin Shandong Jinghai Industrial Group and its port of registration is from Phnom Phen in Cambodia.

The Philippine Coast Guard have reportedly told Natividad that they can tow the abandoned cargo ship but the mayor did not allow it because he wanted the owners to claim it and pay the damages it has wrought to the coastal village.

“We want to know why it got there and what are they doing. The ship has already destroyed several fishpens, brought anxiety and fear to some 2,000 fisher folks in the village. We will give them (owners) ample time and if they failed to show up we have no recourse but to auction it. It just cannot stay there and threaten our people,” Natividad added. (PNA) 

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Bulacan PDRRMC remains on alert due to 'Labuyo'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said on Monday that the emergency response units of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) remained on alert even though the province was not directly hit by typhoon "Labuyo".

The governor also suspended classes in the pre-elementary, elementary and high school level in the entire province.

"From Signal No. 2 last Sunday, the storm level was lowered to signal No. 1 on Monday morning. Nevertheless, the PDRRMC units are monitoring the situation and all emergency response teams are on standby, ready to be deployed as the need arises," Alvarado said.

He also instructed PDRRMC executive officer Liz Mungcal to closely monitor the water elevation at Angat and Ipo dams, major rivers and the water level stations in the different parts of the province.

As of 12 noon Monday, no casualty was reported to the PDRMMC.

So far, there were also no reports of heavy flooding or flash floods in the province.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, the water elevation at Angat dam was 190.15 meters, still way below its spilling level of 210 meters.

The water level at Ipo dam was recorded at 100.88 meters (spilling level is 101 meters) while the water elevation was 17.54 meters (spilling level is 17.70 meters). (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos hail Team Gilas Pilipinas coach as “home grown” hero

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Aug 11 (PNA)--As pride and spirit of patriotism swept through a euphoric nation following the heartstopping victory of Team Gilas Pilipinas over archrival South Korea in the semi-final round of the FIBA Asia Basketball Championship Saturday night, Bulakenyos feel a distinct pride and are one in saluting coach Chot Reyes as their “homegrown hero.”

“A new Bulakenyo hero and patriot has risen in an arena where the whole world is watching and has given the country the limelight to excel in a playing field normally dominated by big countries,” said Governor Wilhelmino Sy- Alvarado as he joined his provincemates in congratulating coach Reyes and the Gilas Pilipinas team in their pulsating 86-79 win over South Korea sending them into finals against the unbeaten and strong Iranian team.

The win also gave the Philippine team the long elusive ticket to the FIBA World championship in Spain in 2014.

It has also ended the so- called “Korean Curse” that hounded the Philippine basketball team for more than three decades.

Alvarado said coach Chot has shown the distinct quality of a true born Bulakenyo patriot and its fighting spirit in the face of battle.

“One thing that now endears him to the Filipinos is the way he gave the team the chemistry it needs and the strong heart and desire to win for the country. What he and the Philippine basketball team did was a rare feat made more beautiful by the overflowing spirit of unity of our countrymen as we pray and hope for the best to our team” the governor said.

Reyes has been proudly stating in the GilastTeam commercials that he is a true native son of the historic capital city.

City mayor Christian D. Natividad said that the city will always be ready to give coach Chot a “red carpet” welcome anytime he goes home here.

“Of course we feel proud not only for the achievement of our team to the FIBA finals but for having somebody there who is very proud to be a native son of Malolos,” the young mayor, who is still playing basketball in his freetime. said.

Natividad said that as tribute to coach Chot’s magnificent steering of the Philippine Team to the FIBA finals, the city government will provide free public viewing of the championship match on a big screen inside the Malolos Sports and Covention Center. (PNA) 

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President Aquino declares August 15 as special non-working day in Bulacan

MANILA, Aug 5 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared August 15, which falls on a Thursday, as a special (non-working) day in the province of Bulacan in commemoration of its 435th Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 627 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on July 30, to give the people of Bulacan the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

According to the research conducted by the Center for Bulacan Studies, Bulacan was established as a province on Aug. 15, 1578. It is one of the most progressive provinces in the Philippines. (PNA) 

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Roxas leads peaceful send off for informal settlers from San Juan City to Bulacan

MANILA, Aug. 5 (PNA) -– Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Monday led a peaceful send off for 87 informal settler families (ISFs) from San Juan City to their new homes in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

The send off event for ISFs living along San Juan River in Barangay Salanan was also participated in by San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino.

The relocation of the 87 families was peaceful and orderly with the affected residents cooperating with the government agencies in-charge of their documentation and processing.

There was no untoward incident during the event.

”We assure them of good relocation site in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. We briefed them and they listened,” said Roxas.

”They see for themselves where they will be relocated, and that they will not be neglected. There are facilities in the site, and we are planning to improve them,” said Roxas.

According to Roxas, the government is looking on how to assist the relocated ISFs with their livelihood.

”Right now, we are studying livelihood programs in the relocation site to help the ISFs,” he added.

The relocation is part of the government’s all-out efforts to remove the ISFs living along river channels and creeks in Metro Manila from harms’ way. It is also part of the anti-flooding drive.

Those relocated to government housing site will be paying only P200 monthly which will start two years after moving in.

There were previous incidents of ISFs resisting relocation, some even leading to commotions. (PNA) 

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Nueva Ecija top cops cited

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Aug. 3 (PNA) -- Some ranking police officers from the province were cited by an anti-crime group for the recent arrest of the leaders of a notorious gun-for-hire and robbery gang during the last election in Cabiao town.

Supt. Ricardo E. Villanueva, commander of the Nueva Ecija police's Provincial Public Safety Company was named outstanding law enforcer of the year 2013 by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption for his "courage and devotion to duty."

In the recognition signed by VACC founding chairman and president Dante LA Jimenez, it honored Villanueva in leading the Comelec checkpoint that led to the arrest of Carlito and Romeo Sarmiento, leaders of the notorious Sarmiento Gang, in barangay Sta, Ines, Cabiao town on June 7, 2013.

The group was operating in Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, the VACC noted.

It also noted that the duo were listed as most wanted persons in Nueva Ecija.

"The VACC commends the police officer for this outstanding accomplishment that displayed his professionalism and utmost diligence in the performance of his duty," the award that was handed over during the VACC 15th Founding Anniversary in Camp Crame on Friday reads.

Also were Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office director Senior Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, and Chief Inspector Eric De Venancio, chief of police of Cabiao.

Villanueva said police have also recovered firearms and ammunition from the Sarmientos. (PNA) 

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Bulacan town mayor commends police chief for innovative approach vs crime, vices

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Aug. 2 (PNA) -- Mayor Ambrosio “Boy” Cruz has commended town police chief Supt. Rodolfo Hernandez for coming up with an innovative approach in combating criminal activities as well as in the maintenance of peace and order in this town.

Cruz made the remark during the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Guiguinto Suburbs at the Max Restaurant in Puregold Mall in Barangay Tabang Thursday night where the police chief was the guest speaker.

Cruz said Hernandez has come up with a “I-TEXT MO SI HEPE” campaign wherein the police chief has distributed more than 5,000 cards with bearing his numbers and the anti-crime drive of the Guiguinto police.

He said with this approach, the public can inform, give tips or seek police assistance directly to the police chief.

"I have been a mayor for a long time but it is only now that I see this kind of project wherein the police chief will directly answer and respond to the complaints and needs of our constituents," Cruz said.

Hernandez reported that he has also activated two police compact detachments in Barangays Tabang and Malis for immediate police response.

Upon hearing of the police initiatives, Rotary Club of Guiguinto Suburbs charter president Engr. Celso C. Cruz told the mayor and police chief their group will help refurbish the two satellite police stations with paints and other infrastructure needs.

Businessman Tony Tengco of Hiyas Waters said that they will also provide free water service to the police station.

At the said meeting, Mayor Cruz also called on Rotary members to help in the anti-drug and anti-illegal vice campaign of the police.

He said those menace of society are not welcome in this town and called on the support of the community and village officials to help the police neutralize them.

Hernandez said that six suspected drug dealers were arrested in a series of operations and are now facing drug pushing charges.

He said that public participation and the support of local and village officials is now making headway in preventing and combating crimes and other illegal activities.

He said the public can report directly to him if they see suspicious persons in the neighborhood or while seeing crime in progress by texting or calling him at cellphone numbers 0922-8317433 (Sun) or 0917-8289752 (Globe). (PNA) 

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Cops in pursuit of Bulacan bus robbers

MANILA, July 31 (PNA) -- Police in Bulacan are now tracking down at least three suspects who pulled off a bus heist at San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Tuesday night.

Radio reports said the armed suspects declared the holdup and divested the passengers of their valuables upon reaching a secluded area in the locality.

One passenger said she lost her iPod touch media player and ID cards.

Police estimates that the robbers managed to cart away P10,000 in cash and valuables.

The suspects managed to get off the bus immediately after the heist. (PNA) 

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Bulacan RTC junks bail petition of 2 AFP officers on UP students kidnapping case - By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, July 26 (PNA) -- A Regional Trial Court in Bulacan province has dismissed the petition filed by two officials of Armed Forces of the Philippines to post bail for their temporary liberty.

The case involved the abduction of two women students of the University of the Philippines on June 26, 2006.

In the decision dated July 12, 2013, Malolos City, Bulacan RTC Branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales found the evidence presented by the Department of Justice strong to deny bail for accused Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio.

Aside from the two suspects, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palpalran, Jr. was also accused in the alleged abduction of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno.

Based on the testimony of the witness of the DOJ, Osorio allegedly tied the hands of the two victims while Anotado served as a "lookout" while they were in the custody of the military.

Before the warrant of arrest was issued, Palparan has already gone into hiding.

Palparan is one of the so-called "Big Five" who are subjects of manhunt by authorities with a monetary reward of P2 million each on their head for their arrest. (PNA)


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Bulacan anti-illegal logging task force brave rains, seized 3,857 board feet of hot logs anew at Ipo dam watershed

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 23 (PNA)--Braving heavy downpour and wet mountain trails, members of the Provincial Multi-Sectoral Anti-Illegal Task Force (PAILTF) continue to pounce hard against timber poachers ravaging the forest covers of the mountains of eastern Bulacan, particularly along the watershed areas of Angat and Ipo dams.

The PAILTF team was formed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado to intensify the crackdown against illegal loggers and protect the watershed areas in the province.

Their latest seizure were some 3, 857 board feet of illegally cut logs in sitio Ipo, barangay San Mateo in Norzagaray town.

This brings to more than 20,000 board feet the total of hot lumber that the PAILTF confiscated during a series of non-stop operations that began Tuesday last week.

The governor also sent a legal team to assist the PAILTF operatives to retrieve already sawed and spliced logs which were discovered stockpiled in some residential compounds in several mountain villages in Norzagaray town.

Alvarado also said that the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) headed by Eugenio Payongayong will conduct a one day seminar for forest rangers and watchers tasked to guard the watershed areas and other forest covers in the mountains of northeastern Bulacan.

The governor reiterated that cutting of trees along the watershed areas of Angat and Ipo dams is strictly prohibited.

He also said that legal teams are now also studying the cancellation of permits of some sash factories and shops in Norzagaray and San Jose del Monte City which are being suspected of buying the illegally cut lumbers.

He lamented that a big part of the forest cover of the watershed area in Ipo dam has already been denuded.

Bro. Martin Francisco, founding chairman of the Sagip Sierra Madre Foundation, disclosed that illegal loggers are getting more sophisticated, well financed and well equipped.

"They can run but we will give them no quarters. We will not stop in guarding and protecting our forests," he said. (PNA) 

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5,000 board feet of illegally cut logs seized in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 18 (PNA)-- Gov.Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado Thursday instructed the members of the Provincial Multi-Sectoral Anti-Illegal Task Force to go deeper and step-up their operations against illegal logging activities along the Sierra Madre mountain range, particularly at the Angat Dam watershed areas.

Alvarado gave the marching order to members of the PAILTIF after a joint team from the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office, the National Power Corporation-Angat Watershed Area Team, the Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society, the Philippine Army and the Bulacan police seized more than 5,000 board feet of illegally cut logs and flitches during the past two days of operations along the mountain villages in Norzagaray that ended up to Rodriguez, Rizal.

“This is a big catch but we still have to intensify and improve our strategy against those who are destroying our forest. This is just the tip of the iceberg, we are facing a sophisticated group but we will give them no quarter in our desire to save the forest cover of our watershed and mountains,” Alvarado said.

The governor said that the already sawed and sliced logs only shows that illegal loggers are now slicing-up cut-trees at the heat of the mountain to make its hauling-down more easier.

“We must step-up our strategies with the cooperation of all concerns not only in Bulacan but also in the neighboring provinces of Rizal and Nueva Ecija."

"We must protect our watershed because we are not talking of price here, every single tree is priceless. If we lost the trees, the water supply of Metro Manila will be threatened. Bulacan water is giving life to residents of Metro Manila,” he said.

In response to the total log ban policy of President Benigno S. Aquino III, Alvarado has issued Executive Order No. 20, creating the PAILTF.

The PAILTF was also formed to address the perennial flodding in the province due to the destructive effects of the illegal cutting of trees in the mountains of eastern Bulacan.

Engineer Mendell Garcia, of the NPC-AWAT, said that the confiscated flitches and cut logs are composed of red/white lauan, guijo, yakal and kamagong.

The seized hot logs, which are kinds of hard woods, was turned over to the provincial government to be used in the production of chairs and tables for different schools in Bulacan. (PNA) 

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Three suspected members of a hijacking group arrested in Pampanga

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, July 17 (PNA) -- Three suspected members of a hijacking group were arrested Wednesday in Barangay San Pablo, San Simon town.

Senior Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, Pampanga police acting provincial director, identified the arrested suspects as Elmer San Agustin, 32, Alexile de Guzman, 24, and Jose de Guzman, 30, all residents of Barangay San Pablo.

The three suspects reportedly hijacked a delivery truck loaded with chicken while traversing along the national highway in Sta. Maria, Bulacan on Monday.

Albayalde said the delivery truck was recovered in Barangay San Pablo and allegedly the hijacked chicken were already sold to unidentified persons.

Superintendent Lalaine Amparo, chief of police of Sta. Maria, coordinated with Pampanga police in their follow-up operation at said barangay.

The three suspects were arrested by the raiding team led by Chief Inspector Michael John Riego of the Pampanga police.

The suspects were turned over to Sta. Maria police, Albayalde added. (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos hail promotion of QCPD police chief to one star police general

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 16 (PNA) -- Bulakenyos hailed the promotion of Quezon City police director Richard A. Albano to the rank of chief superintendent.

They said the province still remembers his sterling exploits in ridding the notorious criminal gangs during his stint as a young police officer here.

Bulacan PNP Press Corps president Orlan L. Mauricio said Albano had served as police chief of several towns in the province.

This included Meycauayan City as well as head of the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office which he named “Detective and Secret Service Office.”

Mauricio said Albano is primed to be a police general.

He said when Albano, then a young lieutenant and fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1984, first came to Bulacan, he headed several operations that led to the busting of drug syndicates, criminal gangs and other lawless elements. ,p>“He knows how to find and snare even the most elusive of the denizens of the underworld,” said Mauricio, who has covered the exploits of the new police general during his stint as deskman of an evening tabloid.

PNP chief director General Alan LM Purisima pinned Monday the one star general rank insignia to the uniform of Albano in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Purisima said the promotion of Albano was reached through hard work and dedication.

Albano’s promotion was also recommended by the PNP chief and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to President Benigno S. Aquino III because of his sterling performance as a police officer.

Bulacan based-journalists said that Albano has the gift to track lawless elements and the charisma in leading his men to become efficient in solving and deterring crimes as well neutralizing criminals. (PNA) 

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PNP-CSG conducts Bulacan leg of fireworks safety training seminars 
By Emil Gamos

SAN RAFAEL, Bulacan, July 10 (PNA) -- The Civil Security Group of the Philippine National Police has begun conducting the regional safety training seminars for manufacturers, dealers, distributors and aerial display operators of fireworks to minimize accidents and ensure that the safety guidelines of the Firecracker Law is being strictly observed in factories and stores.

PNP-CSG director Gil C. Meneses said the seminars also aim to familiarize stakeholders of the fireworks industry on the 2012 revised Implementing Rules and Regulations governing the administration and enforcement of Republic Act 7183 otherwise known as the “Firecracker law.”

Under the law, Meneses said that it is the primary responsibility of the PNP to implement and enforce RA 7183, an act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics devices.

He said that PNP-CSG in coordination with the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Incorporated has lined up a series of safety training seminars from region 1 to 13 including the National Capital Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Last Tuesday, Meneses together with Senior Supt. Ferdinand B. Daway, chief of the Explosive Management Division; Senior Supt. Allan Pareno, deputy chief of the Firearms and Explosive Office and Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, led the first part of the Bulacan leg of the safety training seminar at the 8 Waves Hotel in barangay Ulingao here.

The event was hosted by the Philippine Fireworks Association headed by Dragon Fireworks owner Joven Ong.

Dragon fireworks is one of the leading quality fireworks makers in the Philippines, specializing in aerial fireworks display.

The second leg of the fireworks safety training seminar will be held at the Agatha Resort and Hotel in Guiguinto town on August 13 in coordination with the PPMDAI.

Parreno, who represented FEO head Chief Supt. Raul D. Petrasanta, opened the fireworks safety seminar for 2013.

He said that the one-day seminar has two phases with the first part starting with the familiarization on the 2012 revised IRR of RA 7183; a lecture on fire safety and preparedness by the Bureau of Fire Protection and procedures in safety handling of fireworks and pyrotechnics devices.

The second phase is a crash course on fireworks display operation for aerial fireworks display operators.

Engineer Celso C. Cruz, PPMDAI chairman emeritus, said that they have been spearheading the conduct of safety and training seminars for the past several years now in the different parts of the country where fireworks and pyrotechnics devices are being manufactured and sold.

Cruz said that their group is also conducting crash courses for fireworks technicians, particularly those involved in aerial fireworks display.

He also said that the PPMDAI is in constant coordination with the provincial government of Bulacan headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and the Department of Science and Technology to make the local fireworks industry in the province more globally competitive. (PNA) 

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Crime rate in Bulacan steadily declines in the past 3 years

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, July 5 (PNA) -- The crime rate in the province is steadily declining in the past three years.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said that through collaborative efforts of the local officials and the police, the crime solution efficiency in the province has improved since 2010.

Within three years of his administration, Alvarado said the crime solution efficiency in the province has increased from 8.50 percent in 2010 , 13.31 percent in 2011 and 23.06 percent 2012.

He also that the average monthly crime rate continues to decline from 44.23 in 2010 to 30.99 in 2011 and 20.49 in 2012.

He attributed the declining crime rate to the intensified campaign against lawless elements.

The campaign was also evident following the neutralization of criminal gangs, including the notorious Dominguez carnapping group.

Likewise, he said the provincial government is also strictly implementing the no helmet, no ride policy to ensure the safety of the motorists, as well as the people of Bulacan.

Meanwhile, to ensure the effective performance of the Bulacan Provincial Jail’s guards, they were required to undergo six trainings including the proper handling and use of their firearms, he said.

He said training for five K-9 dogs was also conducted in order to assist the guards in tracking illegal drugs within the jail premises and to maintain peace and order in the area.

Life changing and values enhancing activities like mass, prayer meetings, bible seminars, and cursillo classes among others were also conducted to help the inmates in their transformation, he added. (PNA) 

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Bulacan marks Del Pilar’s 117th death anniversary

BULAKAN, Bulacan, July 4 (PNA)--Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday said that Bulakenyos will not disappoint national hero Jose Rizal in his desire for the country to have 100 “Plaridels,”.

Plaridel is the pen name of Bulakenyo hero Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar, who worked to deliver the country from bondage during the time of the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonial rule.

The governor made the statement during the commemoration of the 117th death anniversary of Del Pilar, also known as the "Great Propagandist," held at the Del Pilar shrine in Sitio Cupang, Barangay San Nicolas here on Thursday morning.

The commemoration became more meaningful as residents appreciated the recognition of their native son given by no less than President Benigno Aquino III who sent a wreath of yellow flowers at the statue of Del Pilar.

Alvarado told guests, including journalism and history students, that Rizal was overwhelmed when Del Pilar wrote the satire entitled Caiigat Cayo in defense of the attacks by Fray Rodriguez in his pamphlet entitled “Caiingat Cayo”

He quoted the famous lines of Rizal which states “Ang sinulat ni Plaridel ay nagdulot sa akin ng malaking kaligayahan; ngayon ko masasabi ang saya ng sinabi ni Jacob: ‘ngayo’y maari na akong mamatay nang nasisiyahan, natitiyak kong ang gawaing pinangarap ko ay matatapos. Bakit hindi tayo magkaroon ng Sandaang Plaridel?” (Plaridel's writings brought me great joy; Today, I can say what Jacob stated is fun: 'now I can die satisfied for I am sure that the work I am dreaming for would finish'. Why we do not have one hundred Plaridel?"

Alvarado disclosed that as fitting tribute to the patriotism and heroism of Del Pilar, the provincial government will erect a statue in front of the provincial capitol so that people can look at it and remember the greatness of the Bulakenyo hero.

Del Pilar left the prosperous life of a lawyer and died alone and a pauper in a cold and damp room in Barcelona, Spain on July 4, 1896 — two years before a revolution inspired by his writings paved the declaration of Philippine Independence.

Alvarado said that while the death of Rizal can be likened to a “blockbuster” filled with drama, witnessed by friends and relatives and complete with a breathtaking view of dawn breaking at nearby Manila Bay, Del Pilar’s death is full of sadness inside a dark room in Barcelona, far away from loved ones and his motherland.

“But Del Pilar died with his boots on,” Alvarado said, adding that based on accounts, the “Great Propagandist” died while sitting and holding a pen.

He said that although alone, and being blown like a candle in the wind with tuberculosis, Del Pilar remained strong in spirit and died gallantly.

Alvarado said that Rizal’s wish for a hundred Del Pilars has come true because now there are at least three million children in Bulacan that will soon erect a statue where his legacy will continue to live on and inspire the next generations not only of Bulakenyos but the whole Filipino people as well. (PNA) 

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Two drug dealers, dope user nabbed in series of anti-drug sting in Bulacan

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, July 2 (PNA) -— Two alleged drug dealers and a drug user fell on Tuesday in a series of police anti-drug operations in the towns of Sta. Maria, Hagonoy and Norzagaray.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna identified the suspected drug pushers as Rodel Cabungcal alias “Tango”, 37, a native of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija and a resident of No. 110 Barangay Antipona, Bocaue town and Ramil Manasan alias “Bakbak”, 39, a resident of purok 9, Barangay Sta. Monica, Hagonoy town.

Orduna said that Cabungcal was arrested after the Sta. Maria Police Station received information that a certain alias “Tango” was selling illegal drugs near the Best Mix Corporation in Barangay Guyong, Sta. Maria town.

He said that upon receipt of the report, town police chief Supt. Lailene Amparo initiated a buy-bust operation that was conducted by Municipal Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force, together with a confidential asset, who acted as a poseur buyer.

Upon arrival at the place, a male person arrived on board a black motorcycle.

Orduna said that the suspect was arrested after the marked money worth P1,000 was handed to the suspect in exchange of one small plastic sachet containing suspected shabu.

After the arrest, the suspect yielded eight more small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet, containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride also known as “shabu”, with an estimated street value of P15,000; one piece of P1,000 bill used as marked money, and one black Honda Wave motorcycle, with plate number 4447-CP, registered under the name of one Rolex Bumatay Casilla of No. 29 Ilang-Ilang Street, Saint Michael Subdivision, Barangay Pandayan, Meycauayan City.

The suspect and the confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination, while the motorcycle was brought to Sta. Maria MPS for proper disposition.

In Hagonoy town, Manasan was arrested after selling P500 worth of shabu to a police anti-narcotics agent.

In Norzagaray town, police arrested Ronaldo Sarmiento alias “Taba/Ronald”, 35, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Norzagaray after police swooped down on a tricyle where the suspect and two other companions were allegedly sniffing shabu.

Appropriate criminal charges are now being prepared for filing with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor against the suspects. (PNA) 

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Swarm of flies invades Bulacan town public market
By Emil Gamos

BALAGTAS, Bulacan, June 29 (PNA)-- Traders and consumers at the Balagtas public market are pestered by a new menace -- swarm of flies.

Rommel Ramos, anchor of the radio program “Rommel Ramos Po!”, said his daily program is also being swarmed by callers calling the attention of officials to act on the matter before it becomes a health hazard to the public. He said the swarm became ominous shortly after a big fire gutted a major portion of the public market last month.

Bobby Alonzo, a butcher, said his customers have dwindled in the past days because of the swarm.

"Most of my customers transferred to another market because of the swarm of flies," Alonzo lamented.

Upon learning of the plight of traders, consumers and residents during the weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour” , Gov. Wilhelhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado immediately called and instructed Provincial administrator Jim Valerio and provincial health officer Dr. Joy Gomez to go to the area and act on the problem.

He told the two provincial officials to coordinate with their counterparts at the municipal government to swiftly address the situation.

Traders said that after the fire last month, most of the burned goods, including meats have not been totally cleared out from the premises.

Diosdadao Libiran, OIC market master, said thay have tried to remedy the problem but the flies just keep on coming back.

Residents also said that garbage being dumped at the streets beside a creek at the public market is also being seen as one of the factors why flies are invading every nook of the public market. (PNA) 

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Alvarado leads elected officials in Bulacan to take oath on June 30

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 28 (PNA) -- Second termer Governor-elect Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado will lead all elected officials in the province in taking their oath of office on June 30 at the Bulacan Capitol gymnasium here.

Executive judge Maria Theresa Arcega will preside the oathtaking of provincial and district level officials while Alvarado will swear into office the elected local government officials of the three cities and 21 municipalities in Bulacan.

Alvarado said the mass oathtaking which is dubbed as “Sabayang Panunumpa Nagkakaisang Pamamahala para sa Lalawigang Dakila” is a perfect venue to call all the public servants, regardless of their political affiliations to unite in leading and serving their constituents starting July 1 up to the next three years.

"This is good opportunity to ask again the support of the veteran public servants and the newly-elected officials towards the continuous implementation of projects anchored in our seven-point agenda which include environment, health, education, transparent governance, livelihood, peace and order, and history and culture,” the governor said.

Provincial administrator Jim Valerio said that after the mass oathtaking, Alvarado will also present his accomplishments and future plans for the province of Bulacan.

Other newly-elected officials of the province who will be taking oath are board members from each district are Michael Fermin, Toti Ople, and Ayee Ople for the first district; Buko Dela Cruz and Monet Posadas for second district; Nono Castro and Erning Sulit for third district; and Jonjon Delos Santos , King Sarmiento and Allan Ray Baluyut for fourth district.

New members of House of the Representatives include Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (1st district); Apol Pancho (2nd district) ; Jonjon Mendoza (3rd district); Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th district); and Arthur Robes (Lone district of San Jose Del Monte).

The newly-elected mayors, on the other hand, are Leonardo de Leon of Angat; Romeo Castro of Balagtas; Eduardo Villanueva Jr. of Bocaue; Jessie de Jesus of Calumpit; Ronaldo T. Flores of Dona Remedios Trinidad; Enrico Roque of Pandi; Vicente Esguerra Sr., of Pulilan; and Cipriano Violago of San Rafael.

In the coastal town of Hagonoy, Raulito “Amboy” Manlapaz Jr., of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino; independent mayor Isagani Castro (Paombong) and Alfredo Gelmar of the Liberal Party (Norzagaray).

Reelectionists Mayors Christian D. Natividad of Malolos City and Joan Alarilla of the City of Meycauayan –both from the Liberal party.(PNA) 

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Bulacan PDRRMO, SM City Baliwag strengthen role in disaster preparedness

BALIWAG, Bulacan, June 26 (PNA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) is working hand-in-hand with the private sector in bracing up for the onslaught of the rainy season.

PDRRM executive officer Liz Mungcal on Wednesday said a team of evaluators from the PDRRMO, Philippine Red Cross and the Bulacan Integrated Association observed and assessed the emergency response program of the personnel and staff of SM City Baliwag during a typhoon and flood drill conducted last Monday.

Mungcal said the provincial government, led by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Govenor Daniel Fernando, is actively taking steps in lessening and mitigating the effects of floods and other forms of calamities by conducting emergency drills.

“Being a crowded place, SM City Baliwag is one of the commercial establishments that is actively preparing and strengthening their response during times of calamities,” Mungcal said.

Beverly Bernardo Cruz, public relations officer of SM City Baliwag, said that the annual exercise aims to intensify and sustain the company’s emergency response program and foster a disaster-ready culture among the mall employees for prompt response during threat of heavy rains and rising floodwaters.

The activity began with a simulation of a worse case storm on signal number 4 setting off the activation of the Emergency Response Group (ERG) which includes the rescue and evacuation units, security and crowd control, medical, communications and engineering teams.

To sustain the ERG’s disaster-preparedness skills, they also underwent a series of trainings and seminars on basic life support and rescue operations prior to the drill.

Cruz said that a potential flooding was likewise anticipated with the opening of the floodgates of Angat dam.

She said that in this scenario, an immediate evacuation to the cinema area’s second level was quickly directed by Rodora Tolentino, the mall’s assistant mall manager and the ERG’s team leader.

“The second floor lobby was transformed into a temporary relief center housing areas for first-aid, rest & comfort inside the theaters, food storage and the communication booth where evacuees can also charge their mobile phones and get information on weather reports,” Cruz said.

To make the drill more realistic, supposed victims of drowning and hypothermia were quickly revived and were given immediate medical treatment after the mock rescue operation.

Cruz said that more than 200 participants, including store tenants, janitorial and security personnel, affiliates and mall employees gathered for a post-drill evaluation.

Aside from the mall’s emergency response efforts, SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI), the company’s socio-civic arm also extended disaster relief programs with the activation of “Operation Tulong Express.”

The SMFI team, together with employee-volunteers takes part in the distribution of food, water, blankets, clothing and other basic necessities given to calamity-stricken areas within the community, Cruz added. (PNA) 

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Fire destroys 14 classrooms at Malolos Central School

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 24 (PNA)--Classes were temporarily suspended at the City of Malolos Integrated School (also known as Malolos Central School) in barangay Sto. Rosario here after a fire of still unknown origin gutted at least 14 classrooms on Monday.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire was noticed at around 4:00 am and was put under control at around 6:00 am.

Police and arson investigators are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Damages were estimated at P3.2 million. (PNA) 

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Gun ban nets 499 violators, 527 assorted firearms in Central Luzon 
By Froilan E. Magtoto

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, June 20 (PNA) -- The implementation of the election gun ban from January 13 to June 12 this year resulted to the arrest of 499 persons and confiscation of 527 assorted firearms in Central Luzon.

Data from the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) showed that Bulacan has the most number of arrests with 191; followed by Nueva Ecija, 101 and Pampanga with 70.

Of the total confiscated loose firearms, there were 132 in Nueva Ecija, 130 in Bulacan and 113 in Pampanga.

Police Supt. Jacqueline Puapo, public information officer of the PRO-3, said those arrested were already charged in court.

“We will closely monitor the prosecution of all cases involving violation of election laws, particularly violations of the Comelec gun ban,” Puapo said.

She said the campaign against loose firearms will continue despite the lifting of the election gun ban.

“We will still carry on our campaign against loose firearms and the Oplan Katok to remind gun owners with expired licenses to renew it to avoid being penalized under the law,” she added. (PNA) 

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Concerned citizen helps Bulacan cops bust dope dealers

MEYCAUAYAN CITY, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) -- An observant concerned citizen with keen eyes on suspicious-looking persons helped local policemen bust three suspected members of a local drug gang in Barangay Perez here Thursday afternoon.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspects as Eric Ramos, 40, jobless; Celestino Bongolan alis “Tararong”, 43, tricycle driver, both residents of Brgy. Perez; and Wenceslao Dacillo alias “Saturday”, 43, truck driver, and resident of Brgy. Camohaguin, Gumaca, Quezon.

According to Orduna, prior to the suspects' arrest, a text was received by the Meycauayan City police station from a concerned citizen saying that there are drug pushers in the said area.

The Bulacan top cop said that upon receipt of the report, personnel of Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Task Force of the Meycauayan City Police Station conducted validation that yielded positive result.

Further investigation disclosed that Ramos is transacting his illegal activity through phone and using Bongolan as his courier whenever there are orders from buyers.

Orduna said that the suspects were caught in the act of selling, possession, distribution, and transporting of the mind altering substance known as “shabu.”

Seized from the suspects are three pieces of transparent plastic sachet containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu); one Nokia cellular phone, one black Honda 155 motorcycle (for registration) with sidecar, and seven pieces of P100 bill used as marked money.

The suspects and the confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory examination.

Appropriate criminal complaint is now being prepared for filing at the Office of the City Prosecutor here. (PNA) 

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Bulakenyos plant 5,000 trees in Dona Remedios Trinidad town

DONA REMEDIOS TRINIDAD, Bulacan, June 14 (PNA) -- Similar cause and cooperation between local government units (LGUs) and the private sector is helping this booming mountain resort town in fortifying the forest cover of its mountains and hills where mining and logging activities are strictly being monitored and regulated by the provincial government.

Staff and personnel of the provincial government of Bulacan, the municipal government of Dona Remedios Trinidad, the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), and the Mighty Corporation on Friday braved wet mountain trails and planted at least 5,000 tree saplings in the mountain villages of Bayabas and Camachile.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the tree planting activity is among the programs and activities lined up by the provincial government in observance of the Environment Month.

Alvarado said that this year’s celebration is anchored on the theme “Kalikasan at Kapaligiran ng Bulacan, Patuloy na Kalingain at Pangalagaan.”

“The more trees we plant, the more we lessen the threat of natural disasters. At the same time, we are also making the mountain resort town looks beautiful with its verdant forest cover,” Alvarado said.

He said that the highland atmosphere at Dona Remedios Trinidad is comparable with those of the cities of Tagaytay and Baguio.

The governor said that progress is good but it should not be achieved at the expense and destruction of the environment and depletion of natural resources.

Alvarado reiterated that the love of environment should be alive in the hearts of everyone.

Re-elected mayor Ronald T. Flores said that the municipal government is working hand-in-hand with the provincial government and private sector to make Dona Remedios Trinidad a popular mountain resort town and at the same time, economically sound and stable through good management of its environment and natural resources. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops nab alleged drug dealer in anti-drug raid

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, June 8 (PNA)-- Police intelligence operatives swooped down on a suspected dope den in barangay Sta. Cruz here Friday afternoon that led to the arrest of a suspected dope dealer and the seizure of several sachets of “shabu” , an air gun rifle and several ammunitions for high- powered firearms.

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Sabio Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Gerald Alcontin also known as “Doyet”, a resident of Felville Subdivision in barangay Sta. Cruz here.

Orduna said the operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch headed by Supt. Edwin Quilates raided the said the suspect's house on the strength of search warrant issued by Bulacan RTC executive judge Ma. Theresa V. Mendoza Arcega for violation of RA 8294 and RA 9165.

Orduna said that during the search, Quilates and his men found and seized two heat sealed plastic sachets containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride “shabu”; different drugs paraphernalia; three notebooks containing list of clients’/credit/consign illegal drugs amounting to more or less P138,000; three live ammunitions for 9mm; two live ammunitions for shotgun; four live ammunitions for M16; one live ammunition for M14 and one air gun riffle.

Quilates said the implementation of the search warrant was properly documented aand was witnessed by barangay chairman Ignacio R. Hernandez and chief tanod Aguido Bicol of barangay Sta. Cruz.

The arrested suspect and the seized pieces of evidence are presently under the custody of PIB for proper disposition.

Appropriate charges will also be filed against the suspect. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cited as among Top 10 New Wave Cities in PHL

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 6 (PNA) -- The province of Bulacan is fast becoming as the new frontier of economic growth in Central Luzon.

This came as the province recently cited as one of the Top 10 New Wave Cities in the Philippines for 2012.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said they are proud that the province has been included and acknowledged as a key for economic and technological advancement of the country by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) for three consecutive years.

“It is evident that development is really making its way in our region. It is our vision that Bulacan will become the new engine for economic growth. Our location is strategic. Bulacan is the so-called “Gateway to the North. Industrialization is happening here and it will trigger a much robust business climate in Central at Northern Luzon,” Alvarado said.

Aside from being accessible, “Metro Bulacan” has passed the criteria set by the DOST-ICTO and BPAP which includes favorable environment for business; enough work supply and manpower; strong telecommunication structure; low cost of doing business; and other factors that sustains the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

“Another good thing about Bulacan is that we are so close to Metro Manila. We have many colleges here producing qualified graduates, and majority of BPO employees are mostly from here,” the governor said.

Provincial Cooperative and Economic Development Office head Jovito Saguinsin, for his part, said the provincial government will continue to improve facilities and infrastructures in the province to make it more equip to new investments.

Other provinces/cities cited as 2012 Top 10 New Wave Cities include Lipa City, Dumaguete City, Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite, Baguio City, Iloilo City, Davao City and the two new qualifiers, Metro Rizal and Metro Naga.(PNA) 

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Bulacan police entrap computer hacker

MARILAO, Bulacan, June 5 (PNA) -- Police arrested a suspected computer hacker during an entrapment operation in Barangay Nagbalaon here Tuesday afternoon.

Bulacan police provincial director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Arnold Evardone, 36, a computer technician and a resident of Villa Monteverde Subdivision here.

Orduna said a team from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) headed by Supt. Ross Alvarado conducted a sting operation against the alleged computer hacker after two security investigators of Globe Telecoms Inc , identified as Jon-jon Masiclat, 44, and Jason L Rodriguez, 33, coordinated with the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) for the arrest of the suspect.

He said that according to the telecom’s security investigators, Evardone is allegedly involved in the illegal selling, producing, using, trafficking or counterfeit access device of Globe Telecom Inc. reportedly operating in Barangay Nagbalon here, a high tech criminal offense punishable under RA 8484 otherwise known as ”Access Device Regulation Act of 1998”.

The PPSC operatives, together with the two security investigators, proceeded to the place and conducted entrapment operation which resulted in the arrest of the suspect.

Seized from the suspect were seven pieces of wireless BM622iWIMAX modem; nine pieces of wireless BM622WIMAX modem; two pieces of DSL Globe WIMAX; one antenna for WIMAX modem; one flat screen monitor; one CPU; one shouldering iron; three pieces of internal hard drives; two hot air blower; four pieces of BM622i WIMAX modem mother board; 42 pieces of BM622 WIMAX modem mother board; and one assorted spare parts of WIMAX modem and computer.

The arrested suspect and the confiscated pieces of evidence are now presently under the custody of the PPSC for proper disposition.

Appropriate criminal complaint against the suspect is being prepared for filing in court.(PNA) 

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Bulacan police ordered to step up drive vs criminality

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, June 2 (PNA) -- Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has issued a marching order to the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) to intensify their campaign against criminality elements, saying the province is not a place for lawless elements.

The governor made the remarks in the wake of the recent slaying of village officials in Balagtas and San Miguel town.

“These senseless killings of officials should stop. The police should give more teeth in their anti-crime drive. They are more well trained than criminals so they should stop them from carrying out their nefarious schemes,” Alvarado said.

The governor said he instructed Bulacan provincial director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna to get the suspects and intensify their operations against criminal gangs and lawless elements.

Alvarado said the slain village officials were slain “with their boots on” doing their jobs when treacherously attacked by still unidentified suspects.

Last Friday, the village chief of barangay Lambakin in San Miguel town was killed by unidentified motorcycle-rising gunmen.

Village chief Feliciano Beltran Liwag Jr., 51, a former policeman and owner of Liwag Pharmacy was shot dead by two suspects at around 2:30 p.m.

Officer-on-case SPO4 Carlos Pascual said the victim was riding his XLT jitney when the suspects arrived and gunned him down.

The killing of Liwag took place five days after the village chief of barangay Santol, Balagtas town was killed by two unidentified gunmen.

Village chief Ernesto “Estong” Ventura was leading the cleaning of the barangay school when he was approached by two suspects armed with handguns and shot him.

Witnesses said that though wounded he tried to fight back to fight but was shot by the other suspect.(PNA) 

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Bulacan joins National Flag Day celebration

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 27 (PNA) -- The provincial government will hold a simple yet meaningful celebration of the National Flag Day on Tuesday.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, together with Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will lead the flag raising ceremony in front of the provincial capitol building here at 8:00 a.m. simultaneous with the same activity nationwide.

The event, which is in accordance with Republic Act 8491, also known as "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," will be participated in by government employees and representatives from the private sector.

"This signals the start of the celebration of Independence Day in our country. Thus, it is only appropriate to give value to the Philippine flag which symbolizes our unity as a nation and the colorful history of how our forefathers fought and died for the independence we are enjoying today," Alvarado said. (PNA) 

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94 persons arrested due to vote buying -– PNP

MANILA, May 16 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police arrested 94 persons engaging in vote buying during the 2013 midterm elections.

PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima said that 59 incidents of vote buying occurred during the campaign period up to election day on May 13.

“Yung vote buying nakita ng mga pulis natin . We need to review further the elements of vote buying, there should be elements present for a crime to be committed”, Purisima said.

In 59 incidents of vote buying the PNP has filed 46 cases while the 13 is still under investigation. The 83 suspects are facing charges while the other 11 are still investigated.

PNP confiscated worth P1.64- million which used for bribing voters to elect a particular candidates.

PNP also said the area with the most arrested persons in vote buying was Region 3 or Central Luzon which included Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales with P505,700.

The second most is Region 1 or Ilocos Region which recorded P224,100 worth of vote buying while the third is Region 9 or Western Mindanao with P131,220. (PNA) 

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(Bulacan) 'Newcomers' unseat 4 incumbent mayors in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 14 (PNA) -– Meet Bulacan's “new kids on the block”.

The just-concluded midterm elections in this province has brought some surprises as newcomers emerged victorious, unseating incumbent mayors in some towns of the province.

Based on the initial monitoring report of the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor, at least four first-timer mayoralty candidates have beaten the incumbent mayors.

The report, however, did not indicate the total votes garnered due to technical and transmission problems encountered by some of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

Bulacan election supervisor lawyer Elmo Duque, however, said that the results in some towns have been forwarded to the Municipal Board of Canvassers and at least 12 municipal mayors and vice mayors were already proclaimed on Tuesday morning.

In the coastal town of Hagonoy, Raulito “Amboy” Manlapaz Jr. of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino unseated re-electionist mayor Angel Cruz Jr.

In Paombong town, independent mayoral bet Isagani Castro, said to be a virtually unknown in the political scene in this coastal town known for its palm vinegar (sukang Paombong) which was ruled for so many years by outgoing national president of League of Municipalities of the Philippines and last-termer Mayor Donato Marcos, beat the latter's wife Mary Ann of the Liberal party.

In Norzagaray town, long-time mayor Fel Legazpi (National Unity Party) was beaten by Alfredo Gelmar of the Liberal Party.

Like Manlapaz of Hagonoy, Castro of Paombong and Galvez of San Ildefonso, this was the first time that Gelmar ran for the mayorship of his town and won.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the other winning mayors of Bulacan based on the monitoring report of the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor are Leonardo de Leon of Angat; Romeo Castro of Balagtas; Eduardo Villanueva of Bocaue; Jessie de Jesus of Calumpit; Ronaldo T. Flores of Dona Remedios Trinidad; Enrico Roque of Pandi; Vicente Esguerra Sr., of Pulilan; and Cipriano Violago of San Rafael.

Reelectionist mayors Christian D. Natividad of Malolos City and Joan Alarilla of the City of Meycauayan, both of the Liberal Party, won landslide victories over their respective rivals but were not yet proclaimed as of posting time.

Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and his wife 1st district Rep. Ma. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado, who both ran unopposed in the just concluded midterm elections, were given fresh mandates by their province mates.

Alvarado’s running mate vice governor Daniel Fernando is also heading to a second term with 696,477 votes against his closest rivals Josie Lopez with 44,500 votes and Manny Ocampo with 20,045 votes.

The province of Bulacan has a total of 1,497,000 registered voters. (PNA) 

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(Elections-Update) Elections in Central Luzon generally peaceful

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, May 13 (PNA) -- The conduct of the national and local elections in Central Luzon was so far generally peaceful.

This was considered to be the most peaceful elections in the region amid the inclusion of two of the seven provinces--Pampanga and Nueva Ecija--in the priority areas of concern.

Except for some glitches on the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines as well as the usual problems and complaints of having difficulties in finding the voters' name, disenfranchisement of other voters, alleged vote buying, and political harassment, there were no election-related incidents reported throughout the region.

Based on the latest report of the Regional Election Monitoring Action Center (REMAC) stationed in this camp, the voting process is so far going well with no political-related incidents reported.

Supt. Fernando Lansangan, head of REMAC, said the political atmosphere in the region was generally peaceful and orderly, a great improvement compared in the past elections.

"Based on the monitoring report we received in the fields throughout the region, there are no election-related violence. Let us all hope and pray that the voting process not only in the region but also throughout the nation ended peacefully," Lansangan said.

In Zambales, Lawyer Panfilo Doctor Jr., provincial election supervisor, said there were report of any untoward incident in the province's 13 towns and in Olongapo City as of press time even to areas considered as hotspots.

In Bulacan, acting police director Joel S. Orduna said the entire province which composed of 21 towns and three cities, was also peaceful as government security forces are strategically deployed in every polling centers.

"So far, there is no untoward incident and we are hoping that it will continue. Let us join together to maintain peaceful and orderly elections," Orduna said.

In Nueva Ecija, the conduct of elections in the province's 27 towns and five cities proceeded peacefully and orderly.

In Pampanga, the voting process in the 19 towns and three cities was likewise peaceful.

Reports have that conduct of elections in Bataan, Tarlac and Aurora were also peaceful. (PNA) 

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(Elections-Bulacan) Election in Bulacan generally peaceful

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 13 (PNA) -- Except for minor problems from precint count optical scan (PCOS) machines in several voting precints in some parts of the province, the conduct of the May 13 mid-term elections in Bulacan is generally peaceful.

Bulacan election supervisor Lawyer Elmo Roque said that there was a heavy turnout of voters in polling places as early as 7:00 am.

People went to their polling precincts early to cast their votes. There were reports that some PCOS machines malfunctioned but technicians were able to solve the problems immediately, Roque said, adding that they are still consolidating reports from the 21 towns and three cities of Bulacan.

In vote-rich Meycauayan City, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said three PCOs machines bogged down at around 9:00 a.m. but was immediately repaired by authorized technicians.

The Bulacan Police Provincial Office said that teams were dispatched to several areas where incidents of vote-buying were reported but no violators was caught.

Bulacan acting police director Joel S. Orduna said government security forces are strategically deployed in every polling centers.

He said that in every polling precincts there are at least four policemen assigned to maintain peace and order.

Earlier, the Bulacan police has tagged the towns of San Miguel, San Rafael, San Ildefonso and Dona Remedios Trinidad — all in the third congressional district of Bulacan - under “heightened alert” based on incidents that occurred there in the past elections.

"So far, there is no untoward incident and we are hoping that it will continue. Let us join together to maintain peaceful and orderly elections," Orduna said.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who is running unopposed under the One-Bulacan team, said he believes that the security forces and their force multipliers are doing a good job in ensuring the conduct of of an honest, orderly and peaceful elections in the province.

"Election is part of democracy; it is the voice of the people. It should not be tainted with conflicts because the government would not succeed if there is no unity. That's why the police and soldiers should ensure the appropriate respect for the sacredness of ballots," Alvarado said. (PNA) 

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Security forces in Bulacan ready for May 13 polls

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, May 4 (PNA) -- With prayers and reminder that “the voice of the people is the voice of God”, contingents of police and army troopers were given final instructions to ensure a safe, free and peaceful elections in the province on May 13 during a send off ceremony here on Saturday morning.

The send-off ceremony was presided by officials of the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) led by Bulacan election supervisor lawyer Elmo Duque, Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna and Lt. Col. Bernardo Ona, battalion commander of the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

Orduna told police and army troopers before the “send-off” at this camp that “once again we are being called to do what we do best. Let’s do our best in serving the people and the best interests for our country.”

He said the security forces in Bulacan and its force multipliers are now ready to face any eventualities to ensure the conduct of an honest, orderly and peaceful election in the province.

The joint security forces will be deployed in the 554 voting centers provincewide for a safe and fair elections in Bulacan.

Duque, for his part, said that it is now “all system go” as far as preparations for the upcoming midterm elections in the province is concerned.

He reminded the security forces there are laws and rules to be obeyed and that the will of the people should be preserved and protected at all costs.

Let us help Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. in a crusade for an orderly, clean and peaceful elections. Let us encourage the public to take the straight path this coming elections, Duque said.

They said that they will put up posters in strategic areas in every towns and cities to remind the people and the candidates as well that “ firearms and deadly weapons are prohibited”.

The posters reminding the public and the candidates that selling and buying of vote is illegal and punishable under the provisions of the Omnibus Elections code will also be put up.

The PJSCC said that the public can call the Provincial Election Monitoring Action Center (PEMAC) through cellphone number 0927-602-8920 for immediate assistance 24/7.

Duque said that official ballots were delivered last Thursday to the different treasurer’s office in the province’s 21 towns and three cities and are now being guarded by policemen and authorized representatives of candidates.

Last Friday, Duque said that all PCOS machines were tested in coordination with the National Support Center of the Comelec.

The voting machines will be delivered to the different municipal and city halls on Sunday and will be tightly secured by police and army troopers.

There are 1,962 PCOS machines in Bulacan with 24 reserved or stand-by machines.

There is also one contingent machine for every town and cities.

Meanwhile, Malolos City police chief Supt. David N. Poklay said joint police and army teams will escort election officials in delivering PCOS machines to the different coastal villages here. (PNA) 

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AFP, PNP ready for elections in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, May 1 (PNA) -- The joint forces of Bulacan Provincial Police Office (BPPO) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be deployed to different voting centers in the province starting Saturday.

Police Senior Supt. Joel Orduña, provincial director of the BPPO, made this statement during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center on Tuesday.

“We are now in the final phase of deploying our troops in our different voting centers in each municipality supported by 238 augmentations from AFP and one company from First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR),” Orduña said.

He also reported that after implementing the firearms ban, BPPO has accounted a total of 105 high-powered and low-powered firearms and 76 other items confiscated as of April 29.

He also said the total crime volume in Bulacan marked a 33 percent decrease or 1, 850 incidents recorded as compared to last year’s report for the same period.

Meanwhile, Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Bernardo Oña of the 56th Infantry Battalion warned the council members from those individuals who claim to be from the Philippine Army asking for financial support.

"We received reports that there are people going to the mayors and candidates asking for 20 cavans of rice and money for the Army. They are all lies," Oña said.

He said that if candidates are requesting for security it must be properly coordinated to the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC), which is composed of Commission on Elections (Comelec), PNP and the 56th IB, all tasked to address the peace and order concerns in the province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that it is the PPOC’s responsibility to secure a fair and peaceful election in the province.

"Election is part of democracy; it is the voice of the people. I should not be tainted with conflicts because the government would not succeed if there is no unity. That's why the police and soldiers should ensure the appropriate respect for the sacredness of ballots," Alvarado said. (PNA) 

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Five barker vehicles of UNA candidates in Bulacan gutted by mysterious fire

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 30 (PNA) -- Police and arson experts here are investigating a mysterious fire that gutted five campaign vehicles (barkers) of local candidates of the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA)in this city early Tuesday morning.

Former city councilor and UNA–Malolos spokesman Dennis San Diego said that two barkers of UNA mayoral candidate and former city mayor Danilo “Danny” Domingo, two barkers of city councilor candidate Vino Mercado and one barker for the city’s UNA ticket were all gutted by a mysterious fire that broke out at around 2:00 a.m. in a compound in Barangay Lugam here.

San Diego said they are still awaiting the results of the investigations conducted by the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Malolos City Police Station.

He said the five vehicles, two elf pick-up trucks and Tamiya pick-up trucks, were parked at the compound’s garage at around 8:30 Monday night after a house- to- house sorties of the local candidates of UNA in Barangays Balite and Dakila earlier in the day.

He said that the vehicles would usually leave the garage for the sorties of UNA mayoral bet Domingo and his team in the different villages of the city.

He said that all their campaign vehicles are properly checked regularly and are in tiptop conditions.

The fire also destroyed the sound systems attached in the burned vehicles.

When asked if there is foul play or if politics is involved, San Diego said that "I hope it was not because politics is just one day and should not be tainted with violence."

He said that the loss of their five vehicles will affect the campaign sorties because they have to replace it in order to continue their campaign in the different villages of the city.

"It was an unfortunate incident. But we will continue 

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1,500 bikers join pitch for H.O.P.E. 2013

MALOLOS, Bulacan, April 28 (PNA) -- An estimated 1,500 cyclists joined together on Sunday to promote honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE) through the “7th Takbulacan” fun biking event.

Takbulacan is organized by SALIKA Foundation, Inc. which intends to promote camaraderie among Bulakeños through volunteerism, charity and unity. This also serves as an information campaign to support secure and fair elections.

Meanwhile, different cyclist groups from Luzon participated in the event which started at 5 in the morning.

According to Wilfredo Barroquillo Jr. of SALIKA Foundation, they did not expect the turnout of participants. He said that there were more participants this quarter and most of them were not able to have a cycling jersey because it was already out of stock.

The fun biking event started from two staging points; from Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine in Bulakan, Bulacan and the other is from the Grotto Vista Resort in San Jose del Monte City.

All cyclists have completed the route by 9 a.m. and met in the end point at Bulacan Sports Complex, Sta. Isabel, Malolos, Bulacan.

Celso Pangan, a 78-year-old cyclist, was awarded for being the oldest biking enthusiast in the league.

Through the help of Philippine National Police (PNP), the event has successfully achieved its goal and has secured the safety and protection of every biker.

Funds collected from the event will go to SALIKA Foundation’s program such as scholarship, medical mission and livelihood projects. (PNA) 

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Police, students, teachers join TakBulacan 2013 for honest, orderly and peaceful elections

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 28 (PNA) -- Some 800 bike enthusiasts, including policemen, students and teachers, joined the 7th leg of TakBulacan 2013 on Sunday morning.

The event kicked off from the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine in Bulakan town and from the Grotto Shrine in San Jose del Monte City and culminated at the Malolos Sports Complex in barangay Sta.Isabel here.

Organized by the Salika foundation and in coordination with the provincial government of Bulacan, the Philippine Councilors League and other government agencies, the fun biking event was conducted for honest, orderly and peaceful elections (H.O.P.E.) in the province.

Wilfredo Barroquillo of Salika Foundation said the event was successful in conveying to the public the importance of H.O.P.E.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Joel S. Orduna, said the event does not only help the police and the Commission on Elections (Comlec) in getting public support to ensure the conduct of an honest, orderly and peaceful elections but is also good for the health and physical fitness of the public especially policemen.

All of us want to have an honest, orderly and peaceful elections. Our policemen are always prepared, on guard and ready to respond to ensure SAFE elections, Orduna said.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy. Alvarado, for his part, said the fun biking event will help boost the information campaign that aims to achieve the conduct of H.O.P.E. in the province. (PNA) 

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(Lead) 11 NPAs conducting “permit to campaign” sorties in Bulacan captured

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan, April 27 (PNA) -- Government forces Saturday arrested 11 suspected members of the communist New People’s Army while conducting “permit to campaign” operations on politicians running in the May 13 midterm elections.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said joint forces of the Philippine Army and the Bulacan Police Provincial Office captured 11 alleged NPA members during a series of internal security operations in Sitio Sapang Linao, Barangay Kabayunan, Dona Remedios Trinidad town early Saturday morning.

Orduna said the joint operations were conducted after receiving reports that heavily armed men , believed to be NPA members, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, were sighted in the said mountain village in Dona Remedios Trinidad.

The arrested alleged NPA members were identified as Rodolfo Cruz, 65, resident of barangay Bigte, Norzagaray town; Rico Vicene, 43, a resident of San Jose del Monte City;

Cyrhyl dela Cruz,19, resident of barangay Tibagan, Jayson Valmadrid, 25, a resident of barangay San Juan, Randy Puno, 33, Josefino Lupanco, 34, Angel Cabrera, 48; Alberto dela Cruz, 24, all of barangay Salangan, San Miguel town;

Graciano dela Cruz, Billy Asuncion and William Asuncion.

The last three suspects were arrested in a follow- up operations, Orduna said.

Confiscated from the suspects were three caliber .45 with three magazine assembly; four hand grenade; one 12 gauge shotgun with six live bullets; subversive documents , medical kits and personal belongings.

Maj. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, commander of the 7th ID of the Philippine Army, said the government forces also seized from the three other suspects during the follow up operation three M-16 rifles with 9 magazines and 200 bullets; two M-14 rifles with 10 magazines and 181 pieces of live ammunition and one Mitsubishi Delica Van without plate number.

Catapang said the three suspected NPA members were on board the Delica van when they were intercepted by army and police troops.

He said the government forces are now intensifying their internal security operations to neutralize the armed-mulcting operations of communist rebels.

He called on the people to help the government forces by reporting the presence of armed groups in their areas and help them make the coming elections peaceful and orderly.

He added the world is now watching the country if it can hold peaceful elections.

Supt. Fitz Macariola, operations chief of the BPPO, said the arrested suspects were distributing solicitation letters to politicians running in the coming May 13 elections.

The suspects are now in the custody of the Bulacan police while appropriate charges are being readied against them. (PNA) 

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11 rebels captured, 13 firearms seized in Bulacan
By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, April 27 (PNA) - The Armed Forces announced Saturday field units have captured 11 members of the New People’s Army and recovered 13 high-powered firearms and explosives in a security operations in a remote village in Bulacan Friday morning.

At about 4:30 a.m., the 56th Infantry Battalion received information from civilians on the presence of around 30 fully-armed members of the NPA at Sitio Mahangin and Sitio Sapang Linao of Barangay Kabayunan in Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.

According to the report, the armed group has been sending permit-to-campaign letters to the local political candidates in the area.

Upon receipt of the report, the battalion, in coordination with the local police units, organized a joint task-group to catch the armed men and prevent them from conducting terroristic activities against civilians.

Initially, the troops captured eight NPA members and recovered three caliber 45, four hand grenades, and one shot gun including subversive documents and paramedic medical instruments.

This led to a follow-up operation later that day which resulted in the capture of three more rebels and the recovery of two M-14 carbines and three M-16 rifles.

The arrested NPA members and the confiscated firearms and other items were transported to Bulacan Provincial Police Office for proper documentation and filing of criminal charges.

Last February, the AFP has received information that rebels have been sending their “rates,” specifically those in Northern Luzon and in Eastern Visayas.

The AFP appeals to the general public to be extra vigilant.

It is usually during the election season that the NPA exploits the political ambition of certain candidates by vigorously imposing this scheme.

Records show that in 2012, the NPA collected a total P25, 005,000 through their extortion activities, and in 2011, the rebels generated an income of at least P300 million which they derived from extortion activities against companies and other big businesses nationwide. (PNA) 

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Bulacan Comelec chief calls for amendment of Omnibus Election Code

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) -- Bulacan's Commission on Elections (Comelec) supervisor Elmo Duque on Friday called on lawmakers to amend salient provisions of the Omnibus Election Code in a bid to give the poll body more teeth in enforcing them.

Duque made the call during the Kapihan 2013 leg of the Bulacan Press Club at the Maharlika Hall of Club Royale Resort here where he, together with Supt. Fitz Macariola of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, come-backing Guiguinto Mayor Ambrocio “Boy” Cruz Jr, Fr. Darz Cabral and Bro. Arvin Jimenez of the Commission on Social Communications of the Diocese of Malolos (CSCDM), were the guest panelists of the breakfast forum.

Cruz rival incumbent Guiguinto Mayor Isagani Pascual made a “no-show” at the said forum.

The Bulacan poll supervisor said that among the provisions that need to be addressed is the one concerning vote buying.

He said that authorities are doing their jobs in ensuring honest, orderly and peaceful elections but there are still some provisions that are hard to enforce.

“There are provisions that cannot be applied like in vote buying. There is none yet and it is indeed difficult to file charges against those who violated," he said.

Under the law, he said the erring candidate and the voter selling the vote are both liable but the case is very hard to prove due to evidence.

”Who will stand witness on the case of presumed vote buying? Since both are liable, it is impossible to obtain hard evidence to prosecute them,” Duque said adding that it is high time for the next batch of lawmakers to make amendments to some provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. (PNA) 

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Death toll in Bulacan fireworks shop blast rises to 2

BOCAUE, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) -- The death toll from the series of powerful explosions that rocked a fireworks shop in Barangay Duhat here Thursday afternoon rose to two.

Police identified the second fatality as Adrian Paul Gray. He died while undergoing treatment at a local hospital here.

The first fatality was earlier identified as Larry Olano.

Two of their co-workers at the Ollie’s Fireworks owned by one Veronica Cardenas were being treated for burns. They were identified as Ramilito Lunquinas and Cerilo Fernandez.

Arson investigators said that a loud explosion was followed by another Thursday afternoon at the mixing area of the fireworks shop.

An official of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association said that accidental mixing of chemicals at fireworks stall is a common cause of explosions.(PNA) 

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Bulacan cops keeping watch on 3 towns, 1 city as possible areas of concern in the May 13 elections

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 19 (PNA) -- Police are keeping a tight watch on three Bulacan towns and one city as probable areas of concern with regards to the conduct of May 13 national and local elections in this province.

Supt. Fitz Macariola of the operations branch of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office identified the towns of San Miguel, San Rafael, San Ildefonso, all in the province's third congressional district, and the City of San Jose del Monte as among the possible areas where election related incidents could occur.

According to Macariola, Bulacan police acting provincial director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna has sent additional police troops from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) in the said areas to augment the local police force that would ensure the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections.

Macariola said that those areas were identified as possible areas of concern due to previous election-related incidents.

He also told local newsmen during the Kapihan 2013 of the Bulacan Press Club at the Club Royale Resort here, the Bulacan police have apprehended violators of the gun ban.

He also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are constantly monitoring certain areas in the northeastern part of Bulacan for the presence of armed groups.

Macariola also said that the Bulacan police are also closely watching towns and cities in the province where there are reports of intense political rivalries among candidates in the upcoming elections.

Bulacan elections supervisor Elmo Duque said that at the moment there are no report so far on the “permit to campaign” taxation scheme of leftist guerrillas in the province.(PNA) 

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One killed, two injured in Bulacan fireworks factory blast
By Zorayda S. Tecson

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 18 (PNA) -- At least one worker was killed and two others were wounded in an explosion in a fireworks factory in Barangay Duhat, Bocaue town of Bulacan province Thursday.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, Bulacan police chief, said the incident took place around 1:40 p.m.

The fatality was identified as 28-year-old Larry Alano.

Alano’s co-workers Adrian Paul Gray and Ramilito Lunquinas were injured and undergoing treatment at the Mt. Carmel Hospital.

Orduna said that based on initial investigation, the explosion started at the mixing area of the factory owned by one Veronica Cardenas.

He said further investigation was being conducted to determine what caused the explosion that led to a fire.

He said the fire was put out before 3 p.m. (PNA)

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Bulacan's 72 wanted persons fall

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 16 (PNA) -- The Bulacan Police Provincial Office has arrested 72 persons with warrants of arrest in operations in the province for March.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduña, BPPO officer-in-charge, said the apprehensions were part of Bulacan PNP’s continuous conduct of manhunt operations against persons with warrants of arrest in the province.

Part of the focus of police anti-criminality strategy is to get rid the province of criminals and misfits, he said.

Likewise, he said the move is also in response to the directive of Police Regional Office 3 to intensify manhunt operations against wanted persons in the region.

The San Jose del Monte city police station has the most number of arrests reported in March with 10 persons, followed by Baliwag municipal police station and Malolos City police station with seven arrested individuals each.

The Malolos City police station, headed by Supt. David Poklay, also arrested the no. 6 most wanted person in the city.

The Meycauayan police station nabbed six fugitives, Guinguinto with five and Calumpit and Marilao both with four;

The police stations of Hagonoy, Norzagaray, Obando, Pulilan, San Ildefonso, San Rafael and Provincial Public Safety Company have each three captured suspects.

Angat, Balagtas, Bocaue, Pandi, Paombong, Plaridel, Sta. Maria and Provincial Intelligence Branch, on the other hand, arrested one each.

Orduña said the suspects are facing various criminal charges, including murder, rape and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

He credited their accomplishments to the active involvement of various communities during their operations. (PNA) 

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PPCRV says members can campaign for candidates provided they take leave -- By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, April 9 (PNA) -- Members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) can campaign for their candidates in the May 13 polls but they need to temporary leave their jobs in the organization.

“The moment they campaign actively for a candidate they take a leave first. That is not our rules of engagement so to speak,” PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa said in a forum in Manila on Tuesday.

She cited the case of some of their parish priest coordinators in Malolos, Bulacan that already said that they will not be able to participate in the activities of the poll watchdog in the forthcoming elections.

‘They cited the heat in the campaign among their local candidates as reason for this and so to avoid that they said they won’t be as active in the PPCRV for the meantime,” the PPCRV head added.

She noted that the job in the PPCRV is voluntary and they do not force anyone to work with them.

“We don’t force anyone here. This is voluntary. Anybody can leave PPCRV anytime if they wish to do some other work as election,” de Villa added.

On the other hand, she said that they are planning on how to go about with their work in the Archdiocese of Lipa after the latter announced that they will no longer work with the Church-based poll watchdog.

“We respect their decision and we are already thinking of a way on how we can still go about in monitoring Batangas…Hopefully, with God’s grace we can come up with a plan,” De Villa said.

Aside from the PPCRV, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) also accredited the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), One Vote and the C-CARE as its citizens’ arms in the May polls. (PNA) 

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President Aquino declares April 23 as a special non-working day in Plaridel, Bulacan in celebration of Battle of Quingua

MANILA, April 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared April 23, which falls on a Tuesday, as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Plaridel in Bulacan in commemoration of the “Battle of Quingua.”

The Chief Executive issued the declaration by virtue of Proclamation No. 558 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on March 7, to give the people of Plaridel the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.

The Battle of Quingua was fought on April 23, 1899 in Quingua (now Plaridel, Bulacan) during the Philippine-American War. A reconnaissance mission under Major Franklin Bell was attacked by a strong Filipino force under Gregorio del Pilar.

The battle was one of the most significant victories of the Filipinos during the war. (PNA) 

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Cessna plane makes emergency landing in Bulacan

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, April 2 (PNA)-- A Cessna plane made an emergency landing in a rice field at Sitio Tulakan, Barangay Tabon, Pulilan, Bulacan on Tuesday morning.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduna, Bulacan police provincial director, in a report here said the Cessna plane with body number RP-C-8220 was forced to make emergency landing at around 10:15 a.m. after experiencing engine trouble.

No one was hurt, the police report said.

The plane is being operated by Capt. Don Earl Lourenz Hinayon 24, a flight instructor and resident of Lipa City, Batangas.

Hinayon was accompanied by a certain Iowis, an Indonesian national and a student pilot of Edge International Aviation Academy.

Investigation disclosed that the plane took off at Plaridel airstrip at around 9:35 a.m.

After a while, the plane experienced engine trouble that prompted the pilot to make an emergency landing, the police said.

The plane sustained minor damages.(PNA) 

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18 hurt in NLEX road accident

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, April 2 (PNA) -- At least 18 people were hurt when a pickup truck smashed into a bus on the northbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) in Bulacan shortly after midnight Monday.

In a report reaching here, the pickup truck hit the Santrans bus bound for San Jose del Monte City at around 11:30 p.m.

At this juncture, the bus driver lost control of the steering wheel, causing the bus to tip over, the police report said.

The injured victims were taken to the various hospitals in Bulacan.

Initial investigation showed that the pickup truck and the Santrans Bus were traveling north when the pickup truck swerved and then hit the bus.

Police are verifying information that the pickup's driver was drunk at the time.(PNA) 

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Bulacan capitol to strengthen sports development programs

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, April 1 (PNA) -- The provincial government will strengthen its sport development programs to further hone the skills of Bulakenyo athletes.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government, through the Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office, would conduct more sports trainings to provide the Bulakenyo athletes the best opportunity to develop their physical well-being, compete and excel and carve a name not only in the regional but also in national and international sports arena.

"There are trainings that have been scheduled for our ahtletes to ensure that they would continuously excel in any sporting events," Alvarado said.

Bulacan emerged as an overall champion for 22nd time in the recent 2013 Central Luzon Regional Athletics Association (CLRAA).

The 399 elementary and secondary Bulakenyo athletes took home 114 gold, 87 silver and 80 bronze medals.

The sports events where the Bulacan excelled include table tennis, arnis, badminton, taekwondo, volleyball, lawn tennis, swimming, boxing, chess, athletics, basketball and softball.

Aside from medals, the Bulakenyo athletes also received plaques and cash prizes.

Bulacan was also awarded as the Most Disciplined Team in CLRAA.

The athletes who won first place in their respective sports events in CLRAA will represent the region in the Palarong Pambansa to be held in Dumaguete City on April 22-26 of this year. (PNA) 

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Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in Bulacan revisited (Feature) 
By Severino C. Samonte

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Bulacan, March 30 (PNA) -- Two scores and eight years after its opening to the public, the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto Shrine here continues to attract many Catholic devotees, especially during the Holy Week -- the blazing summer sun despite.

Situated 30 kms northeast of Manila and just beyond the boundary of this city and Novaliches in the old capital, the 48-year-old grotto was opened for public veneration on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb. 11, 1965.

Since then, thousands of pilgrims have been flocking to the shrine to pray and offer flowers and candles to the Our Lady of Lourdes, giving thanks for prayers answered and favors received and mediating in front of the Stations of the Cross on the Rosary Hill.

The number of visitors usually peak during the Holy Week, particularly on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Mrs. Marietta G. Guanzon-Holmgren, president of the Grotto Shrine Foundation Inc., said at least 1.5 million devotees from Luzon and nearby Visayas provinces flocked to the shrine between Palm Sunday and Good Friday this year.

She told the Philippines News Agency on Good Friday afternoon that thousands more of pilgrims were expected to visit on Black Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The shrine was a project of the religious couple Horacio Guanzon and Anita Guidote-Guanzon, who hailed from known and wealthy families from Pampanga aas well as Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

But they chose to make this former town and later a city as their permanent home.

According to Marietta G. Guanzon-Holmgren’s book “The Grotto Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Philippines,” her mother Anita decided to build the grotto shrine on the family-owned 20-hectare land in San Jose del Monte.

Building it was an act of thanksgiving for her having been cured miraculously of cancer after a pilgrimage to the town of Lourdes in southwestern France in 1961.

The well-known story of the grotto shrine started with the Guanzon family matriarch Anita being diagnosed to have cancer of the uterus in 1961 and given by her doctors only six months to live.

She went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France on June 29, 1961, accompanied by her husband and one of their daughters.

She came home cured of cancer in September of the same year and lived three decades more until she died in March 1990.

She left the management of the grotto to her eldest daughter, Marietta, whose attention is now focused on the completion of another project.

That project was started by her parents before they died – the construction of a basilica that resembles the one in Lourdes, France.

Lourdes, a small town, is 795 kms south of Paris in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains which receives more than 5 million pilgrims and tourists each year because of a set of visions reported by a young girl named Bernadette in 1858.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes incorporates 52 hectares of property and 22 places of worship, including the sacred grotto, two basilicas, and a variety of buildings for pilgrims and the sick.

The grotto shrine’s existing attractions in this city include the Calvary Hill that features 14 Stations of the Cross that portray the agony of Jesus Christ.

There are 127 statues presented in dioramas that took three years to construct, according to sources.

There is also the Rosary Hill, with 155 very big beads made of concrete together weighing over eight tons.

In 1974 the Irish-born Roman Catholic priest Patrick Peyton flew in to the Philippines from the United States to inaugurate the Rosary Hill. (PNA) 

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Bulacan to assist the motorists via Semana Santa Lakbay Alalay

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 26 (PNA) -- The provincial government will provide motorists’ assistance from March 27 to 30 to ensure a safe and worry free travel this Lenten season.

Dubbed as Semana Santa Lakbay Alalay, Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office (PDDRMO) will be in full alert to assist travelers.

He said the PDRRMO will work in collaboration with Bulacan rescue team and its local government rescue teams partners such as Assistance and Rescue through Radio communications for Emergency Situations and Traffic (ARREST), Bulacan Integrated Rescue Association (BIRA), Kabalikat Civicom – Bulacan, Rescue 117, Baliwag Assistance & Rescue Group, Inc. (BARG), Philippine Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police and Spectrum communication.

The governor said the rescue teams will be stationed in three public assistance centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. which includes Divine Mercy National Shrine in Marilao town, Grotto in San Jose del Monte and 24/7 in Barangay Kapitangan, Paombong due to the expected volume of local and foreign tourists that will flock the locale to witness the yearly penitents of devotees.

He said the Bulacan rescue team will also be monitoring the road in the province to give public service in case of emergency and other eventualities. (PNA) 

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Bulacan police to deploy additional troops to major Lenten destinations

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 23 (PNA)— Additional police troops will be deployed along major roads and highways in Bulacan province to augment local police security forces in anticipation of the influx of people this coming Holy Week.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said that maneuver platoons of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) will be assigned at the “crucifixion site” in Barangay Kapitangan, Paombong town where crowds are expected to witness hundreds of bloodied bare-back flagellants and faith healers getting nailed on wooden cross at a man-made Golgotha on Good Friday.

Orduna said security measures will also be strengthened at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao town, Grotto in San Jose Del Monte City and other crowd-drawing destinations in the province.

He said that volunteer radio groups and other organizations will also assist motorists and the public.

Public assistance centers are now also being set-up along strategic areas in the different towns and cities of Bulacan.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and Bulacan Emergency Rescue Center will be on a 24/7 alert and ready to respond and provide assistance.

He said that the Bulacan rescue units can be reached through telephone number 044-791-0566. (PNA) 

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Bulacan candidates hold unity walk, ink peace covenant

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 23 (PNA)-- Provincial and local candidates in the May elections signed a peace covenant for a secure and fair elections (SAFE) 2013 at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here on Saturday.

Bulacan acting police director Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna administered the unity pledge among the candidates while Lt. Col. Bernardo M. Ona, battalion commander of the 56th IB of the Philippine Army, officiated the “voter’s pledge.”

Prior to the signing of the paece covenant, leaders of different religious groups led by Rev. Danilo Clavio (United Methodist Church), Bro. Benny Flores (Catholic Church), Bishop Edilberto Chan (Baptist Church) and Pastor Nicasio Dionisio (Jesus is Lord) held a unity walk and prayed for a peaceful, fair and orderly elections in the province.

Lawyer Elmo T. Duque, provincial election supervisor, reminded the candidates to observe the election guidelines.

He also urged the voters to choose good leaders.

The event was organized by the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC).

Orduna the PJSCC is composed of the Parish Pastoral Council, the the Commssion on Elections, the provincial government of Bulacan, Bulacan Police Provincial Office and the Philippine Army.(PNA) 

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Cultural minority group in Bulacan elects own governor, provincial officials

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 19 (PNA) --As the election fever heats up, the cultural minority group known as “Dumagats”, living in the mountains of eastern Bulacan, silently elected their new governor and other provincial officials recently.

This was disclosed by Bro. Martin Francisco, chairperson of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc. (SSMESI), who said the election was supervised by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and representatives of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

The SSMESI acted as an observer and in charge of food.

Elected as Dumagat governor of Bulacan was Salvador “Badong” Cruz, the tribal chieftain of Sitio Inuman and former provincial tribal secretary.

Norma Roque from Sitio Pinag-anakan was chosen as vice tribal governor; Helen Aquino from Sitio Ipo as secretary; and Cita Aquino from Sitio Karahume as provincial tribal secretary.

Francisco said that with the new set of Dumagat provincial officers, the questions on the recognitions of their ancestral domains in the Sierra Madre mountain range are still to be completely registered at the Land Registration Authority (LRA).(PNA) 

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Villar makes big crowd in Bulacan sortie laughing, cheering

MANILA, March 14 (PNA) – If it was a contest on how to make a big crowd laughing and cheering, then Cynthia Villar edged out fellow Team PNoy senatorial candidates in a campaign rally in Malolos, Bulacan Wednesday night.

In front of record 20,000 crowd, majority women, the former Las Pinas congresswoman drew the loudest applause when she enumerated the typical habits of housewives when not busy attending the needs of their families.

”When I was campaigning for Congress, I found out that many of our countrymen have no jobs specially our mothers because there is nobody to entrust their children. They were forced to stay in their homes, playing tong-its (card game),” Villar said in Tagalog as the crowd giggled in agreement.

The crowd laughed loudly when Villar added: “naghihingutuhan, nagtitsimisan at nagbibingo (head lice searching, gossiping and playing bingo game).”

Villar, known for her television infomercial ‘Misis Hanep Buhay’ (Mrs. Livelihood), made the crowd clapping when she promised to focus on job creation if she will be elected in the May 13 mid-term elections.

”These are the reasons why I want them (housewives) to have their own source of income,” Villar said to the delight of the biggest crowd that attended the Team PNoy rally since election campaign started last February 12.

The wife of outgoing Senator Manny Villar then related how her father's grandmother, Manuela, made a living out of selling ikmo (betel nut) in Divisoria for 64 years.

”My grandmother was not able to go to school and that’s why she made a living out of selling ikmo to send her children to school, including my father (Felimon), the oldest child, who became Las Pinas mayor for 22 years and congressman until his retirement in 1992,” Villar said.

Villar said life became difficult for her grandmother when she became widow at the age of 30, forcing her to work doubly hard as betel nut vendor to raise her nine children.

”Why I’m telling this to you. Because I want you to be inspired by my grandmother that life, despite difficulties, will have no problem if you have a job and you work hard,” Villar told the audience.

As a former three-term congresswoman of Las Pinas, Villar said she was able to put up livelihood projects in every barangay of Las Pinas.

Villar also turned Las Pinas into one of the greenest and flood-free cities in Metro Manila by dredging the Las Pinas-Zapote river which is now a popular destination of boat ride enthusiasts.

”When we dredged our river, we scoured tons of garbage but these garbage later became source of livelihood in our area using modern technology,” she related.

Villar, whose family owns the Vista Land, the biggest homebuilder in the Philippines, is the present managing director of the Villar Foundation which was founded in 1992, to help OFWs, protect the environment and provide livelihoods.

”As managing director, we were able to put up 111 livelihood projects and 11 centers for abused women but there are more than 1,600 towns and cities in the Philippines. So, in the coming years, rest assured that I will address the lack of employment and livelihood including here in Bulacan,” Villar promised, drawing applause.

In the recent surveys conducted by Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia, Villar ranked No. 4 but she said there is no stopping for her to work harder in following the footsteps of her husband.

”I thank the people for their support that made me the top contender for the Magic 12. I will work even harder to bring my message throughout the country,” she said.

Villar’s husband Manuel used the campaign slogan ‘Sipag at Tiyaga’ (hard work and perseverance) when he ran and lost in the presidential election in 2010.

Aside from Villar, other Team PNoy candidates include Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Antonio Trillanes IV, Riza Hontiveros, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal. (PNA)
FPV /jfm

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Bulacan capitol intensifies anti-rabies campaign

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, March 5 (PNA) -- More than 4,000 dogs in seven municipalities and one city in Bulacan have been vaccinated by the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) as part of its effort to eradicate rabies incidence in the province.

This, as Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado encouraged Bulakenyos to become responsible pet owners.

"We really need to intensify our education campaign on responsible pet ownership because this is the very basic and most effective way to eradicate rabies cases in our province," Alvarado said.

Dr. Voltaire Basinang, provincial veterinarian, said they conducted free vaccination first to those priority and critical barangays in the province.

Those are the barangays that have reported rabies cases in the past year, he said.

So far, Basinang said, they have conducted free vaccination to 13 barangays in the province and have schedules for other barangays in the months of March and April, this year.

Aside from this, he said the PVO will also coordinate and tap barangay captains and other local officials to disseminate information, education, communication campaigns that would help encourage fellow Bulakeñyos to become responsible pet owners.

"We want to reduce and eventually eradicate stray dogs in our communities through teaching the residents the proper way to take care their pet animals, Basinang said.

The PVO report showed that 26 dogs were reported positive of rabies and 13 persons died of rabies last year.

"It is frustrating that there are still rabies cases in the province despite our intensified vaccination drive," he said.

He said the PVO vaccinated a total of 110,422 dogs last year, a big increase compared to 13,000 in 2009.

He expressed hope that they would be able to vaccinate more dogs and educate more residents on the proper way to take care their pets. (PNA) 

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Aquino wants Filipinos in Sabah to lay down arms without conditions

MANILA, March. 2 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III asked for the unconditional surrender of Filipinos involved in the standoff in Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysia, to avoid further escalation of the crisis.

“To our citizens in Lahad Datu, from the very start our objective has been to avoid the loss of lives and the shedding of blood. However, you did not join us in this objective. Because of the path you have taken, what we have been trying to avoid has come to pass,” the President said in a statement released Saturday.

“If you have grievances, the path you chose was wrong. The just, and indeed, the only correct thing for you to do is to surrender,” he said.

“To those who have influence and the capacity to reason with those in Lahad Datu, I ask you to convey this message: surrender now, without conditions.”

The Palace said Friday that it hopes the sultanate of Sulu will consider what the government said was a “small window” to end the bloodshed in Sabah following a deadly clash that killed 12 Filipinos and two members of the Malaysian forces.

The President, who visited Bulacan and Pampanga Friday, immediately returned to Manila to tackle the Sabah issue with the members of his Cabinet.(PNA) 

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Pres. Aquino opens the newly-rehabilitated Bocaue bridge - By Emil G. Gamos

BOCAUE, Bulacan, March 1 (PNA) -– President Benigno Aquino III on Friday led the inauguration of the newly-rehabilitated Bocaue bridge in barangay Biñang 2nd here.

Together with some provincial officials, the President unveiled the marker of the bridge that consists of four lanes and has a length of 67.10 linear meterss and width of 14.60 meters.

Immediately thereafter, the Chief Executive made a ceremonial drive-through of the bridge that is part of the over-all improvement plan of the Manila North Road.

DPWH 1st Engineering District monitoring unit chief Benedict Matawaran said the Bocaue bridge was upgraded from two to four lanes to provide enough waterway opening and at the same time, to conform with the fast growing economic activities in these areas.

Matawaran said that unlike an ordinary bridge that can withstand up to 50 years, Bocaue Bridge can last up to 66 years.

He said the bridge was reconstructed from the previous 54 linear meters and two lanes to 67.10 linear meters with four lanes.

With such stability and convenience, motorists who take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will find the bridge as an excellent alternative route, he said. (PNA) 

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Cayetano calls for diplomatic solution of Sabah incident

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Mar. 1 (PNA) – Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano Friday called for diplomatic solution of the Sabah incident despite reports that firefight between Malaysian royal army and Datu Jamalul Kiram’s forces broke out.

”We continued to pray and support the President for diplomatic solution on this problem. I’m also appealing to the Malaysian officials and sultanate forces to discuss this without using arms,” Cayetano said in media interview during a Pampanga campaign sortie.

Cayetano and other Team PNoy senatorial bets in May 13 mid-term elections joined President Aquino in a campaign rally held inside the Heroes Hall along Lazatin blvd here.

After wooing the Pampanga voters to support Team PNoy candidates, President Aquino rushed back to Manila to personally monitor the situation in Lahud Datu in Sabah.

”It is important to resolve the standoff in the area in a diplomatic manner,” Cayetano said.

Before joining the Pampanga sortie, Cayetano conducted a listening tour with the market vendors inside the Malolos public market in Bulacan.

”I want to inform you that our President is working hard to bring down the high economic growth down to the poor,” Cayetano said while having breakfast with the market vendors.

Cayetano told the market vendors that if he gets elected in the upcoming 16th Congress, he would push for legislation that would provide loans with lower interest rates to the market vendors.

”Instead of resorting to loan sharks which offer high interest, our government should come up with a program that will offer lower interest rates and to compete 5-6,” Cayetano said, referring to individuals who offered loans with 20 percent interest rates.

After his market tour, Cayetano proceeded at the Barasoain church where he met with presidents of the senior citizen associations in Malolos.

Cayetano promised to provide financial assistance from his Priority Development Assistance Fund to fund projects that would promote the welfare of the senior citizens. (PNA)

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Aquino leads inaugural drive-through of Plaridel Bypass Road Project in Bustos, Bulacan

BUSTOS, Bulacan, Mar. 1 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inaugural drive-through to formally open the Plaridel Bypass Road project constructed to decongest the traffic at the Pan-Philippine Highway by 40 percent.

In a simple ceremony in Barangay Malamig, Bustos, Bulacan on Friday the Chief Executive on board an open-type pick up was joined by Public Works and Highways staff led by Undersecretary Alfredo Tolentino and other local officials.

The new bypass road, constructed by the DPWH, is funded under a loan agreement between the Philippines and Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The Plaridel Bypass Road Project, as envisioned, involves a total length of 24.61 km of road, 2.40 km access road and 10 bridges.

The road project traverses the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael in Bulacan.

The project is part of the upgrading of the Inter-Urban Highway System along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway that will ease the serious traffic congestion in the vicinity of core urban areas along the Maharlika Highway leading to the Cagayan Valley Road in Bulacan.

The project is being implemented in two phases with the first involving the construction of contract packages I and II starting from North Luzon Expressway via a new interchange in barangay Burol, Balagtas town.

The First Phase is composed of 14.65km road, 2.40km access road, and seven bridges that were completed by November 25, 2012 under the JICA Loan No. PH-P236.

The DPWH had started the procurement process for the implementation of the Second Phase, composed of Contract Package 3 with a length of 2.22 km and 1.12 km bridge, spanning Angat River; and Contract Package 4 with a length of 7.74 km under the JICA Loan No. PH-250 signed in March 2012.

The completion of the bypass road from Burol, Balagtas to San Rafael, will save travel time of about 45 to 50 minutes while the travel distance will be shortened by about five kilometers.

About 15,000 vehicles will be diverted to the Plaridel Bypass, decongesting the traffic at PPH by 40%.

With the completion of Contract Project II, the travel time will be reduced to about 20-23 minutes using the completed sections of the bypass road (CP 1 & CP II) with the Alejo Santos Road as access to Pan-Philippine Highway.The towns of Balagtas, Bustos, Baliuag, Pandi, Plaridel, San Rafael and Angat will benefit from the project.

The opening to traffic of the completed Phase I of Plaridel Bypass (CP I and CP II) eases up the congested traffic at Plaridel town section of Pan-Philippine Highway and creating an alternative route to Angat, Balagtas town proper and Pandi, Bulacan (bypassing Sta. Maria town via Bocaue exit). (PNA) 

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3 persons die, one hurt in Bulacan collision

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 27 (PNA) -- Three persons were killed and another one was injured when a dump truck collided head-on with a bulk carrier in Norzagaray town on Wednesday.

Dead on the spot were Christian Legaspi, 24, dump truck driver; his companion Arcy Solis; and bulk carrier driver Rio delos Santos.

Delos Santos' co-worker, Michael de Sajo, was brought to a hospital here.

Initial investigation showed that the dump truck was speeding along AZT Road in Barangay Matictic, Norzagay when its propeller was detached and rammed the bulk carrier.

A trailer truck parked in the area also incurred damage in the accident.(PNA) 

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RDC-3 approves proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop project

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb.13 (PNA) -- Bulacan is now being groomed as the next “Tourism Mecca” in Central Luzon.

This after the Regional Development Council (RDC) 3 on Wednesday approved the proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop project of the Bulacan provincial government during the joint meeting of the Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development (SCID) and the Special Committee on Tourism (SCOT) held at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

Governor Wilhelmino N. Sy-Alvarado, RDC 3 SCID chairman, said the project aims to capitalize on the opportunities and socio-economic development impact that the on-going construction of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue town.

He said that when finished, the Philippine Arena-–also known as the “Ciudad de Victoria”--will be the biggest domed coliseum in the world that could accommodate at least 65,000 people. It is being built on a 70 hectares of land in Bocaue and parts of Sta. Maria town.

Alvarado said the project will directly affect the socio-economic activities of the influence area including that of seven municipalities and 29 villages with an aggregate total population of 162,200.

“It won’t be long now and the world be focused on the Philippines, and of course, particularly the province of Bulacan. This will definitely spur growth and development in the area,” he said.

The Philippine Arena is being rushed for the centennial anniversary celebration of the Iglesia ni Cristo church in 2014 and could possibly be the next venue of the APEC Summit on 2015.

Arlene Pascual, head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, presented the proposed project via a power-point presentation.

She said that the provincial government intends to improve its tourism road networks through the proposed Central Bulacan Tourism Loop.

The project will be executed in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Tourism through the DPWH-DOT convergence program.

Pascual said that the proposed project involves the improvement of 25 road segments in the province—two of which are national roads, nine provincial roads, three municipal roads and 11 barangay roads.

She added that the 23 road segments situated generally in Bocaue and Sta. Maria and partly in Marilao aim to facilitate tourism and socio-economic development.

The remaining two segments will traverse the nearby municipalities of Plaridel, Bustos, Pandi and Balagtas to aid tourism growth at the Inang Filipina Shrine in Pandi, the birthplace of the "Republic of Kakarong," one of the three republics established in Bulacan during the Philippine Revolution against Spain, the other two are the “Republic of Biak-na-Bato” in San Miguel and the “Malolos Republic” in Malolos City.

The project will also provide good access to existing tourist destinations and to the “Ciudad de Victoria” (Philippine Arena).

Pascual said that the “Ciudad de Victoria” is expected to become a huge tourist’s destination in Bulacan especially with its accreditation as a “Tourism Enterprise Zone”.

The project has an estimated total cost of P2.2 billion.(PNA) 

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Papin appeals to Comelec to allow her to run for Congress in Bulacan

MANILA, Feb. 11 (PNA) -- Singer Imelda Papin has petitioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reconsider its decision disqualifying her to run in the lone congressional district of San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan in the May elections.

In an 18-page motion for reconsideration, the former Camarines Sur vice-governor said that she should be allowed to participate in the congressional polls as she has established her residency in the city, when she bought a property and opened a soap-manufacturing business in 2002.

“In fact, she lived there for many years. It is unthinkable and without any basis for this Honorable Commission to rule that ‘(n)o proof was shown by respondent that her soap-manufacturing business continued to exist therein during said period,” read the motion.

Papin said that the Comelec-Second Division had erred when it gave credence to the disqualification case filed by the Arangkada San Joseno Political Party.

She added that she had “all the sentimental, emotional and financial connection with San Jose del Monte City as her relatives and her business are also there.

On Jan. 31, the poll body barred Papin from running as congresswoman of the city for failure to meet the residency requirements.

The petition claimed that Papin was a resident of barangay Pasong Putik, North Fairview, Quezon City and not of barangay San Manuel in San Jose del Monte.

“In the enumeration of the documentary evidence submitted by the respondent, this Honorable Commission noticeably omitted the fact that she submitted pictures of the house blessing of her present house in San Jose del Monte City. This is the same house which the petitioner claimed that is not intended for residential purpose or even fit for human habitation,” the motion added.

In an interview, Papin said the filing of the petition is politically motivated.

“This is politics, sa experience ko sa politics talagang pag malakas ka pilit kang gagawan ng issue kaya sabi nga nila malakas si Imelda Papin sa San Jose del Monte City,” she said.

Papin is running against the incumbent Representative, Arthur Robes. (PNA) 

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10 persons, 6 trucks held for violation of Illegal Mining Act

SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija, Feb. 11 (PNA) -- Authorities have arrested 10 persons for an alleged illegal transport and shipment of undocumented copper concentrates in a checkpoint along the Maharlika Highway here over the weekend.

A case for violation of Section 103 of Republic Act 7942, for Theft of Minerals, is being prepared for filing against the six truck drivers, two broker-representatives of a mining and trucking companies and two escorts, who failed to show the original documents of the shipment of suspected copper concentrates.

Upon receipt of a confidential information of the said illegal shipment, the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office (NEPPO) under Senior Supt. Crizaldo O. Nieves, has formed a special team of operatives that set up a checkpoint in Barangay Sto. Niño 2nd here.

The six international tractor trucks with container vans are containing still undetermined volume of copper concentrates that were stopped at a checkpoint reportedly came from the Ocean Gold Mining company located at Barangay Didipo, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

The copper ore shipment was supposed to be delivered at Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union.

Ryan Jayson Mananguiat, a broker representative, of 357 Tanzang Luma, Imus, Cavite and Dominic Wood of B15 L23, Dinar Street, Green Park, Cainta, Rizal, representative of the trucking company NEO LOGIC logistics failed to show to the police investigators the original documents of the shipment of suspected copper concentrates.

Escorting the convoy of the six trucks loaded with the copper concentrates were two Toyota Hi-Lux driven by Albert Gomez, 44, resident of 99 Mayon Ext., San Gabriel Village, Tuguegarao City and Rio Dannug, 42, resident of Alibagu, Ilagan, Isabela.

However, no firearms and other illegal deadly weapons were found inside the two vehicles.

The six vehicles loaded with undocumented copper concentrates and driver-helpers were brought to the San Jose City police station for investigation and/or proper disposition.

The six drivers of the international tractor trucks with container vans were identified as Leonard Sanchez, 33, of Brgy. Shellhouse, Caloocan City; Yulito Palces, 53, of Brgy. Alfonso, Concepcion, Tarlac; Martin Redera 37, of Dagat-Dagatan, Malabon City; Lope Amurao, 43 of Brgy. Talisay, Tiaong, Quezon; Jonny Abrego, 31, of Purok 2, Maag, San Isidro, Davao Oriental; and Jay Laceda, 29, of Cupang, Pandi, Bulacan. (PNA) 

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Bro. Eddie launches campaign in home province

MANILA, Feb. 11 (PNA) -- Bangon Pilipinas candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva is set to launch his Senate bid in the historical grounds of Malolos, Bulacan --his home province -- with various local public leaders set to attend the event tomorrow.

"These leaders may be from opposing camps but all of us are tied by our love for Bulacan. They stand ten feet tall in solidarity to support my attempt to capture a seat in the Senate. The future of Bulacan is beyond politics," Villanueva said in a statement.

Villanueva's platform is anchored on major issues relating to the politics of the fringes. In various media fora, he has discussed the need to focus on the “sagigilid” or fringes. Sagigilid refers to the marginalized provinces and municipalities as well as the marginalized sectors in the country.

"Our economy is growing because of ‘tuwid na daan’, but let us ensure there is no Filipino left behind," he said.

“We need moral leadership. The bedrock of good economics is good politics," he added.

The Malolos kick off will be streamed live so that the various groups supporting Villanueva can join and watch the activities. Other supporters in key cities, including Baguio, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro, will also conduct their respective kick-off events.

Aside from launching his campaign in Bulacan, Villanueva is also set to do an online kick off on February 12, from 7pm to 9 pm, under his Ask Bro. Eddie event teaser.

Ask Bro. Eddie is an online event where Villanueva and his youth volunteers will be on deck to answer questions from netizens. Those interested to join can log on at:

Villanueva said the online Q&A event was conceptualized by his youth volunteers who are helping him spread the word about his platform and advocacies.

"If I will be successful in this run, we will need the support of the youth,” he said.

Villanueva, a televangelist, ran and lost in the 2010 presidential elections. (PNA) 

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Different religious groups unite in Bulacan's 'Day of Prayer'

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 5 (PNA) -- Different religious groups joined in the province's annual "Day of Prayer" held at the provincial capitol gymnasium here Monday.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado thanked fellow Bulakenyos and the different religious groups the include Muslims, Roman Catholics, Protestants and other sectors for participating in the event with the theme “Sama-samang Panalangin para sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan.”

Some 1,500 individuals attended and prayed for the welfare of the province wherein leaders of various religious organizations were given a chance to lead the prayer and give benediction.

This is the second time that the "Day of Prayer" was held at the provincial capitol ground here. The first one was held in January 2012.

Alvarado said that the “Day of Prayer” is anchored on the message of the biblical phrase from “II Chronicles 7:13-14 which states “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

"We are praying to God to save the province from calamities and at the same time, renewed our faith and give thanks for the blessings being received by the province," he said.

Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Jesus is Lord Church said that in God’s eyes, there is no particular religion that will save mankind.

"What is important to God is not religion but our relationship with Him," he said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan to mark Ople’s 86th birth anniversary

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 2 (PNA) -- Bulakenyos will commemorate the 86th birth anniversary of the late Gat Blas F. Ople at the capitol grounds here Sunday morning.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the provincial government, through the Provincial Youth, Sports, Employment, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PYSEACTO) has set a series of activities that will begin with an offering of flowers at the Ople monument, Sentro ng Kabataan, Sining at Kultura ng Bulacan and a short program to mark the occasion in front of the Gat Blas Ople Building at 8 a.m.

Ople’s family members as well as provincial officials and employees of the capitol are expected to grace the event.

Board member Felix Ople, Ople's son, will give his brief message to be followed by a “salo-salo” at the Ople Museum.

Alvarado described Ople as one of the illustrious sons of Bulacan whose leadership and wisdom is worth emulating.

“Ka Blas continues to inspire us. He was one of those men that rose to greatness using his intellect for the good of mankind.

"He was a genuine patriot and a Bulakenyo,” the governor said during his weekly radio program “The Governor’s Hour” which he co- anchors with Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos every Saturday morning.

Ople was a Filipino journalist and politician who held several high-ranking positions in the executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government, including as Senate President from 1999 to 2000, and as Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 2002 until his death.

Ople was also known as the “Father of Overseas Employment" and the author of the Philippine Labor Code.

He was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan on Feb 3, 1927 to Felix Antonio Ople, a craftsman who repaired boats, and Segundina Fajardo.

He has devoted decades of his life to selfless dedicated and sincere service to the country and people.

Ople died on Dec 14, 2003 and was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (PNA) 

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Bulacan cops bust fake eye doctor

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 31 (PNA) -- Police swooped down on an eye clinic here and arrested a suspected fake optomologist while performing refraction treatment on a male patient in Barangay San Vicente Wednesday afternoon.

Bulacan police officer-in charge Senior Supt.Joel Orduna identified the arrested suspect as Rafael Taganas, 41, a resident of 137 Tanjeco Street, Barangay San Vicente.

Orduna said that last Wednesday, a certain Dr. Manuel Manahan, president of Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrist Inc.-Bulacan Chapter, appeared at the Malolos City police station to lodge a complaint against Taganas for alleged illegal medical practice.

Manahan told city police chief, Supt. David Poklay, that the suspect was conducting refraction on a patient without the authority of the law inside an optical clinic located along Valencia Street in Barangay San Vicente.

Manahan presented a certification from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) signed by Pharson B. Manalo, OIC of Regulations Office dated January 9, 2013, stating that the suspect does not appear in the database of optometrists authorized to practice in the Philippines.

With this, Poklay immediately formed a team and conducted an entrapment operation which resulted in the arrest of the suspect after accepting the P600 marked money in exchange for the services supposed to be conducted to a member of the Malolos police who acted as patient.

The suspect is presently detained at the Malolos City jail while appropriate criminal complaint is being prepared for filing in court. (PNA) 

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SC dismisses Bulacan clerk of court

MANILA, Jan. 29 (PNA) -– The Supreme Court has dismissed from the service a Clerk of Court IV of the Mecauayan City, Bulacan Municipal Trial Court.

In a 20-page per curiam resolution of the SC, Clerk of Court Atty. Larriza Bacani was found guilty of dishonesty and gross neclect of duty.

All the retirement benefits of Bacani were also forfeited, except her accrued leave credits.

Likewise, the SC warned the cashier of the Meycauayan City, Bulacan MTC, Veiner Villafuerte, if the incident of non-deposit during the collection period of the court will be repeated, appropriate penalty will be imposed against him.

The SC also ordered Meycauayan City MTC Judge Cecilia Santoyo-Talapian to strictly monitor the financial transaction of the court because she can also be held liable for the wrongdoing of her personnel.

The Office of the Court Administrator conducted an audit of the Meycauayan City MTC after it was reported that Bacani was often times taking a leave of absence for her travel abroad. (PNA)


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Comelec exempts senators, SC justices from gun ban
By Janice Cave

MANILA, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- The Commission on Elections has granted personal gun ban exemptions to senators and justices of the Supreme Court.

Exempted from the gun ban are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, Marvic Leonen, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin;

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Defense Assistant Secretary Zabedin Asis, Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado, and the chiefs of staff of the offices of all commissioners of the poll body.

Meanwhile, the poll body also granted security personnel to Enrile and fellow senators Antonio Trillanes, Loren Legarda and Manuel Lapid, former Senator Teresa Aquino-Oreta, Commission on Audit Chairwoman Grace Pulido Tan, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and Board Member Dennis Pineda.

Brillantes said they have not given any personal gun ban exemption to any private individual. (PNA) 

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Bulacan gov orders police to cover hole dug by “treasure hunters” in San Miguel town

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.19 (PNA) -- Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has directed the Bulacan police, in coordination with the local government unit of San Miguel town, to cover and plug with earth materials the 50-feet deep hole that alleged treasure hunters dug up along the road in Barangay Inez.

Alvarado said he also sent a team from the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources office to investigate the other alleged “treasure hunting” or illegal mining activities in the area and stop them.

“Whether they are digging for buried treasures, gold or other mineral deposits, they should first secure the necessary permit before extracting soils or mineral resources in our province. What they are doing is illegal and it should be stopped because they are not only endangering themselves but also the residents, especially children, who could fall into the hole, ” Alvarado said.

Bulacan police officer-in-charge Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna said the San Miguel police station headed by Supt. Marcos Rivero swooped down on the excavation site Thursday and caught three alleged “treasure hunters” digging the deep hole which was only covered by a tarpaulin sheet.

The diggers, not immediately identified pending further investigation, initially told investigators they were digging a drainage system.

They said a man whose name they said they did not known paid them to dig the hole for drainage purposes.

At the police station however, Rivero said one of the diggers told police “I am prepared to be jailed, however allow us to continue our digging. We are near the treasures."

Rivero said the hole has been plugged with earth and will no longer pose danger to residents and motorists along the road. (PNA) 

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Three 'treasure hunters' nabbed in Bulacan

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan, Jan. 18 (PNA) -- Police arrested three alleged treasure hunters while digging a deep hole along the stretch of the road in the boundary of Barangays Balunturan and Sta. Inez here on Thursday.

Supt. Marcos Rivero, town police chief, said in a report to Bulacan PNP officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Joel Orduna that he sent a police team at the boundary of the said barangays to verify complaints from residents that a group of alleged treasure hunters were digging deep tunnels which they fear could cause accidental landslide or sinkholes that may endanger lives and damage to properties.

When the police team arrived at the site, they saw a portion of road covered with tarpaulin and sacks.

When they removed the cover, they saw the three men digging a hole about 40-foot deep.

The team invited the three men for investigation and learned that a man, who is not a resident in the area, paid them to dig the tunnel.

They claimed it is for the drainage system in the said villages.

Rivero said the municipal government has ordered the digging to stop because the diggers have no permit to do it and the deep holes and tunnels may cause danger to residents in the area.

The three diggers are now in police custody while appropriate charges are being prepared against them.

This historic town that saw numerous battles between Filipino revolutionaries and Spanish, American and Japanese soldiers, is also known for its rich mineral deposits and natural resources. (PNA) 

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Bulacan to strictly implement plastics ban

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- The provincial government will strictly implement the ban on use and sale of plastic bags in the entire province.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado made the announcement Wednesday at the launching of the implementation of the ordinance at Mc Donald’s-BSU where they posted tarpaulins for public information.

Alvarado signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-09 also known as “Panlalawigang Kautusang Nagbabawal sa Paggamit ng Non-Biodegradable Plastic Bags, Styrofoam at mga Kauri Nito Bilang Packaging Material sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan at Nagtatakda ng Kaparusahan sa Paglabag Nito” on Dec. 12, 2012.

This is part of the seven-point agenda to protect the environment, health and welfare of the Bulakenyos. Due to climate change, we need to help in protecting the environment through planting of trees and prohibiting the use of plastic which is the major cause of siltation in our rivers, the governor said.

The ordinance prohibits the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags, styrofor and other kinds as packaging materials in the 21 towns and three cities in the province.

Violators will pay a fine of P1,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months to one year (depending on the number of offenses done).

For those who does not have the capacity to pay the fine, he/she must serve the community through environment-related services for three months or longer upon the discretion of the court.

All commercial establishments, stores and markets, on the other hand, will be given 15 days to comply after the publication of the ordinance to avoid retraction of their business permits.

"We need to cooperate for our Mother Earth because I do believe that it is not yet too late to save it. I am asking for your cooperation to support the implementation of the plastic ban in our province," he said. (PNA) 

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Bulacan to hold “Bisikleta” fund drive for typhoon Pablo victims

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan. 5 (PNA) -- The outpouring of support and help continues for victims of typhoon Pablo with the provincial government of Bulacan holding a fund drive dubbed, “Bisikleta para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Pablo” on Jan. 12, this year.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the fund drive was initiated by Benji Santos of the Provincial Youth Sports Employment Arts Culture and Tourism Office to raise more donations for flood victims as well as to inculcate among Bulakenyos the spirit of “bayanihan” and care to those who needs help.

"When our province was hit by typhoon and floods, many of our countrymen in the different provinces of the Visayas and Mindanao helped us. That's why it is only appropriate to help them too in times of need," the governor said.

Santos said everybody can help and join the “bikaton” by sharing P100 registration fee.

As a reward, participants will also have the opportunity to tour the villages of this historic capital city and win exciting raffle prizes.

Santos said that interested can call through telephone number  044-7963338 or cellphone number 09157723504. (PNA) 

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Governor commends concerned agencies for low firecracker injuries

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.5 (PNA) -- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado commended the efforts of concerned government agencies for the low number of firecracker injuries in 2012.

Alvarado made the statement during his weekly Radio Program “The Governor’s Hour” which he co-anchors every Saturday morning with Bulakenyo Broadcaster Rommel Ramos over 95.9 FM.

The governor said that firecracker injuries in the province was 16 percent lower with only 40 injuries as against the 61 recorded in 2011.

He hailed the efforts of the Philippines National Police (PNP) in their intensified crackdown against over-sized and killer types of firecrackers as well as their regular inspection of fireworks stores and factories

He cited that even PNP chief Director General Allan Purisima went to Bulacan to personally lead the inspection and operations against violators of the firecracker law.

He also commended Bulacan police officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Joel Orduna and the Task Force: Paputok headed by Supt. Adriano Enong and Supt. Fitz Macariola of the Bulacan PNP Operations Branch for keeping a tight watch on the stores.

Alvarado also hailed the Bureau of Fire Protection for their 24/7 readiness and the health workers for attending to the victims who were treated in the different government hospitals in the province.(PNA) 

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Aquino declares Jan 23 special non-working day in Bulacan

MANILA, Jan. 4 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared January 23 a special (non-working) day in Bulacan in commemoration of the First Philippine Republic (also known as the Malolos Republic).

The Chief Executive issued the declaration to give the people of Bulacan the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

On June 12, 1898, the Philippine independence was proclaimed and The Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence was read at the Emilio Aguinaldo's ancestral home in Cavite.

After gaining the independence, the Malolos Congress convened on Sept 15, 1898 and produced the Malolos Constitution.

On Jan 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic (also known as the Malolos Republic) was inaugurated at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan.

Emilio Aguinaldo was declared its first president. (PNA) 

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PRO-3 seizes P809,148 worth of illegal firecrackers

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Jan. 3 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO-3) has confiscated some P809,148 worth of illegal firecrackers in 284 operations conducted in Central Luzon.

Data from the PRO3 Monitoring Report also showed that 52 persons were arrested during the crackdown for violating Republic Act 7183, which regulates the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao, PRO-3 director, however, said that despite the intensified crackdown against pyrotechnic materials, the number of firecracker victims in the region has increased compared to last year.

Data showed that 165 persons were reported injured due to firecrackers in the region, higher against last year’s 151 cases.

In spite of the increased number of firecracker victims, we have no reported casualties, Ladao said.

Bulacan has the most number of firecracker victims with 56, followed by Pampanga with 47, Nueva Ecija, 21; Bataan, 19; Angeles City, 12; Zambales, 5; Olongapo City, 3; and Tarlac, 2.

Three persons were also hit by stray bullets - two in Bulacan and one in Nueva Ecija.

Ladao said that although the New Year celebrations may be over, they would continue their operations until January 7.

Meanwhile, he reminded firearm holders that the gun ban in relation with the coming mid-term elections would start on January 13.

He added that only uniformed law enforcers on duty and those with a clearance from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be allowed to carry guns. (PNA) 

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3-yr old boy hit by stray bullet; 40 injured by cracker blast in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Jan.1 (PNA)-- A three- year old boy was hit by a stray bullet while 40 other persons were brought to different hospitals for firecracker injuries during the New Year’s eve celebrations in the province.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) said the three-year old victim is a resident of Barangay Bagong Nayon, Baliwag town. His identity was not released as he is a minor.

Initial reports said that the boy was watching fireworks display when hit by a stray bullet. He was brought to the Baliwag District Hospital but was later transferred to the Bulacan Medical Center in this capital city for further treatment.

At least 40 firecracker-related injuries were treated in different government hospitals in Bulacan.

Liz Mungcal, PDRRMO executive officer, said the number of victims of firecracker blasts in 2012 were lower compared to 61 victims in 2011.

She attributed the low number of victims to the “Ingat Paputok” information drive of the provincial government headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado.

Alvarado has earlier placed the Bulacan emergency rescue teams on 24-hour alert since December 26 and ordered the Bulacan police and the provincial "Task Force Paputok" to conduct regular inspections of fireworks shops and stores to ensure that the safety guidelines and other provisions of the “Firecracker Law” were strictly observed.

He also said newly installed Bulacan police officer-in-charge Sr. Supt. Joel Orduna launched an intensified crackdown against over-sized and killer types of firecrackers. (PNA) 

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