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FEBRUARY 2019

JANUARY 2019

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Drug peddler killed, 7 others held in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  February 12, 2019, 8:49 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- A drug peddler was killed and seven others were nabbed on Tuesday as a result of intensified anti-drug operations of the Bulacan Police in this province.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Bulacan police director, identified the slain drug suspect as Gilbert Cristobal, 41, tricycle driver, a resident of Barangay Caysio, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

“The suspect fired successive shots toward the police officers after the consummated drug transaction. This prompted our police personnel to fire back, resulting in the suspect’s death,” Bersaluna said.

Recovered from Cristobal were 11 plastic sachets of shabu, one caliber 38 revolver without trademark and serial number; one black holster; a wristwatch, buy-bust money, and one black Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle with sidecar and plate number QN 6923.

Meanwhile, seven other drug suspects were arrested in separate anti-drug sting operations conducted in the towns of Angat, San Miguel, Marilao, Bustos and Baliwag.

Bersaluna identified those arrested as Francis Santos; Arnold Esguerra, an "Oplan Tokhang" surrenderer who is on the drug watch list of the San Miguel municipal police; Emiliano Victorino San Jose, who is on the drug watch list of the Marilao municipal police; Romulo Dantis; Nelson dela Cruz, who is on the drug watch list of the Bustos municipal police; Reynald Salmo, who is on the drug watch list of the Baliwag municipal police; and Olivia Granil.

Confiscated from them were 21 pieces of transparent plastic sachets of shabu and buy-bust money.

The seized pieces of evidence and arrested suspects were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination while criminal complaints for violation of Section 5 and Section 11 of Article II of the Republic Act No. 9165 (Dangerous Drugs Acts of 2002) are being prepared for filing in court. (PNA)

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Bulacan conducts 'Oplan: Ligtas Tigdas' vs. rising measles cases

By Manny Balbin  February 12, 2019, 3:09 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- In a bid to prevent the spread of measles in the province, the provincial government of Bulacan through the Provincial Health Office on Monday started implementing its intensified “Oplan: Ligtas Tigdas sa Bulacan” campaign.

Following the sudden rise in measles cases in the country, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado encouraged Bulakenyos to have their children vaccinated against this infectious disease.

“Do not be afraid to vaccinate our children, grandchildren, because it is still the most effective way to fight diseases not just for measles, much more like polio, pertussis, pneumonia and so on,” Alvarado said.

Oplan Ligtas Tigdas includes information dissemination on how to avoid contracting measles; consultation in health centers and hospitals when having symptoms of measles; mass vaccination against the disease in every barangay; continuous surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases and reporting to concerned authorities; and bringing all infants six to nine months old to health centers for their proper and corresponding vaccinations.

According to the Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (PESU), the province has reported 217 suspected measles cases from January 1-26, 2019, which is 1,708 percent higher than the 12 reported cases during the same period last year. Among the cases, 63 percent comprises children aged five years old and below.

The PESU also noted six measles-related death cases from the towns of Paombong, Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Baliwag, City of San Jose del Monte and City of Meycauayan.

Based on records, City of San Jose del Monte has the highest measles cases with 42 followed by Bocaue with 29 and Baliwag with 23.

Since there was a noticeable increase in measles cases in the province starting August 2018, the provincial government of Bulacan, in partnership with the Department of Health, conducted the "Ligtas Tigdas Plus" wherein they vaccinated 17,030 children aged six months to five years old from October to December.

Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, public health officer, said despite their efforts, measles cases continued to increase due to low vaccination coverage as a result of the Dengvaxia controversy.

“At present, there are more than 42,000 children aged six months until the age of five who are still incomplete with the measles vaccine,” Gomez said.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.

Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.

Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards. (PNA)

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Cop arrested for indiscriminate firing in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  February 9, 2019, 6:18 pm

BALAGTAS, Bulacan -- A Metro Manila-based policeman was arrested in this town for indiscriminate firing on Friday.
Chief Insp. Restituto Granil, Balagtas chief of police, identified the arrested police officer as Police Officer 1 Arwin Bornel, assigned at the Northern Police District and detailed at the Valenzuela City Police Station.

Investigation showed that a resident of Northville 6 in Balagtas town reported that the suspect, also a resident of the subdivision, was firing his hand gun indiscriminately for unknown reason.

Balagtas police personnel immediately responded and arrested Bornel and confiscated from his possession a Taurus .45-caliber gun and two magazines loaded with bullets.

"The policeman is now facing charges for illegal discharge of firearm, alarm and scandal and violation of Republic Act 10591, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition," Granil added. (PNA)

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2 drug suspects killed, 12 nabbed in Bulacan ops

By Manny Balbin  February 9, 2019, 10:38 am

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Two drug pushers were killed and 12 other drug suspects were arrested in separate buy-bust operations in the province Thursday.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan Police Provincial Office director, said Friday that those killed in the operations were Johnson Milliama, a resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, and Narciso Calizon, who was on the drug watch list of the San Ildefonso municipal police.

“The two drug pushers were neutralized during separate drug buy-bust operations after the consummated drug transactions,” he said.

Bersaluna said Milliama sensed that he was dealing with undercover agents and fired towards the operatives as he tried to escape, prompting the law enforcers to shoot back.

Recovered from the crime scene were four plastic sachets of suspected shabu, an improvised hand gun (sumpak) loaded with a 12-gauge shot shell, two pieces cal. 22, TCM fired cartridge cases, and buy-bust money.

On the other hand, Calizon, together with his cohort, immediately fled on board a motorcycle upon noticing that they were dealing with a policeman, Bersaluna said.

“A brief chase followed as Calizon engaged the lawmen in a firefight that resulted in his death while his cohort managed to escape,” he said.

Recovered were five sachets of suspected shabu, one Smith and Wesson Caliber .38 revolver loaded with two live ammunition, two fired cartridge cases for a Caliber .38 revolver, and two fired cartridge cases for 9mm.

Meanwhile, the 12 drug suspects were arrested in different anti-illegal drug operations conducted in Malolos City and in the towns of Baliwag, San Rafael, Calumpit, Pulilan, San Miguel, and Bocaue.

They were Elmer Bautista, who is on the drug watch list of the Baliwag municipal police; Andrei Cruz; Marry Ann Cruz; Rachelle Anne Javier; Emanuel Mamangon; Jeffrey Martinez; Jerwin Vicente, who surrendered in “Oplan Tokhang”; Cherwin Flores; Nhelo Parocha; Jaypee Gunayan, who ranked no. 1 in the Lambat Sibat Phase 1 of the San Miguel municipal police; Patricio Mendoza; and Cherrylyn Jimenez.

Confiscated were 47 sachets of suspected shabu, buy-bust money, and one gray Suzuki 150 Raider motorcycle.
Bersaluna said the arrested suspects and seized pieces of evidence were taken to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for examination.

“Criminal complaints against them are now being prepared for filing in court,” he added. (PNA)

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Bulakenyos pay tribute to Ka Blas Ople

By Manny Balbin  February 4, 2019, 6:38 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Provincial officials and thousands of Bulakenyos on Sunday paid tribute to one of the province’s most illustrious sons and statesmen, the late Gat Blas F. Ople, during the commemoration of his 92nd birth anniversary held in front of the Livelihood Training Center in this city.

Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Michael Aguinaldo, who served as guest speaker, rekindled Ka Blas’s immeasurable contribution to the country, especially in the labor and employment sector.

Aguinaldo also shared to Bulakenyos what the ‘Father of Philippine Labor Code’ said that has inspired him.

“Ka Blas then said that Filipinos live in an open society where every career is open to talents; that the opportunity to flourish is there for those who are ready for it; and in our willingness depends on how far we can change our lives,” he said.

The COA chair also shared some of the current efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment, which were all started by Ka Blas.

These include the eight-point labor and employment agenda, which contains the strengthening of protection and security of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), respect to rules and standards of human rights in labor, and ensuring that programs intended for the laborers will be rightfully given to them.

To continue the legacy of Ople, Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado said the protection of the rights of workers must be ensured.

“Protect the safety especially OFWs from cruel employers, defend the rights to serve, and value the money and remittances they have paid for through their sweat, blood, pride, and lives,” Alvarado said.

Meanwhile, the son of Ka Blas, Board Member Felix Ople, expressed his gratitude to the government, especially to the provincial government of Bulacan, for believing in his father’s advocacy even after his death.

“No matter where our father is, I know he is looking for us because of the development and enjoyment of Bulacan, and our country,” he said.

Anchored on the theme, “Pagpapatuloy ng Kanyang Nasimulan sa Larangan ng Empleyo at Kabuhayan,” the activity also included a wreath-laying activity at the monument of Ka Blas.

This was followed by the unveiling of the commemorative marker the renaming the Old Gat Blas F. Ople building to Gusaling Gat Blas F. Ople Sentro ng Kabataan, Kaalaman at Hanapbuhay.

Other guests who attended the commemoration were Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr., Board Members Alex Castro and Therese Cheryll Ople and Ka Blas’ family members. (PNA)

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Construction of Bulacan interchange set

By Manny Balbin  February 2, 2019, 12:14 pm

The groundbreaking ceremony of Ciudad de Victoria Interchange in Bocaue, Bulacan led by (from right to left) Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna, former House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, MDC chief operating officer Glicerio Santos IV, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senator Joel Villanueva and Rep. Alfred Vargas on Friday, February 1, 2019. (Photo by Manny Balbin)  

BOCAUE, Bulacan -- A new interchange that is seen to provide a long-term solution to heavy traffic situations and boost economic activities in this province will soon be constructed.
 
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Senator Joel Villanueva, together with senior officers of the Maligaya Development Corp. (MDC), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corp. and other local officials, led the groundbreaking for the construction of the Ciudad de Victoria Interchange located in this town on Friday.
 
The PHP635-million project involves the construction of a four-lane road connecting the Manila North Road (MNR) and the Santa Maria-Bocaue Bypass road, bypassing the heavily congested Governor F. Halili road via Ciudad de Victoria.
 
Villar said the new road project is expected to solve the usual heavy traffic situation and queuing of vehicles at the Bocaue interchange.
 
It will also serve as infrastructure support and catalyst to further boost economic activities and industrialization in the road influence area, specifically to the towns of Santa Maria and Bocaue, Bulacan, he said.
 
“The people from Bulacan understand that there is a need for an alternative road due to the heavily congested road in Governor F. Halili road in Santa Maria, Bulacan and I am delighted to share that we no longer have to worry,” he added.
 
The first phase of the project consists of the construction of two additional lanes in the existing Bocaue Municipal Road, a new 80-linear meter 2x2 lane bridge crossing the NLEX, and the rehabilitation of the inner road of Philippine Arena for a total length of 1.93 kilometers.
 
This road segment will begin near the Bocaue Municipal Hall and will reach Santa Maria, Bulacan bypassing the heavily congested Gov. F. Halili Ave. in Bocaue.
 
Forming the second phase is the improvement of a 1.91-km. road from Manila North Road (MNR) of MacArthur Highway to Bocaue Municipal Road and the completion of the southbound acceleration and deceleration lanes for vehicles headed to Philippine Arena.
 
The last phase covers the construction of a 1.3-km. road from the Philippine Arena to the existing Patubig Road in Marilao, Bulacan.
 
“The DPWH will also build new NLEX west service road to serve local traffic between Bocaue and Marilao,” Villar added.
 
Meanwhile, Arroyo said she is very thankful to DPWH because the project materialized under her time as House Speaker.
 
“Masaya ako dahil ang proyektong ito ay naisakatuparan sa panahon ng aking pagsisilbi sa bayan (I am happy that this project would be realized when I am serving the nation),” she said.
 
DPWH 3 (Central Luzon) director Roseller Tolentino said project contractor LR Tiqui Builders will construct the road network for 300 days, expected to be completed on November 17.
 
“The new road project, which also serves as an entry/exit toll gate of the North Luzon Expressway (North and South Bound), will also have an 80-linear meter acceleration/deceleration lane in its northbound lane vehicles entering the exiting the expressway,” Tolentino added. 
 
Other public officials who were present during the event were Mayor Ed Pamintuan, Rep. Miro Quimbo, Rep. Winnie Castelo, Congressman Gavini Pancho, CIBA Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nogales, and Bulacan Vice Governor Daniel Fernando. (PNA)

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3 firework blast victims in Bulacan die from injuries

By Manny Balbin  February 2, 2019, 9:40 am

BOCAUE, Bulacan -- Three of the five fireworks chemical blast victims in this town have succumbed to serious burn injuries.

Bocaue Mayor Eleonore “Joni” Villanueva–Tugna confirmed to reporters on Friday that Isaac Paraiso and Jamil Roxas, both 15 years old, died Tuesday; while the other one, whose name is still being validated, expired on Thursday night.

The other victims of the Saturday (Jan. 26)  blast were identified as Mark Joseph Ignacio, 16, and Jessie Habal and John David Yambao, both 15.

"The victims were said to be cracking a coconut in an abandoned shanty in barangay Lolomboy when an abandoned pile of fireworks chemicals ignited, causing serious burn injuries to their bodies," the mayor said.

Villanueva–Tugna said the municipal government of Bocaue will extend financial help for the medical expenses of the surviving victims, and burial expenses for those who have already died.

Meanwhile, Bocaue police chief, Supt. Amado Mendoza Jr., identified Rolando Alejandro, a resident of Barangay Bambang in Bocaue, as the owner of the abandoned shanty where the stockpile of chemicals ignited.

“Alejandro is not a registered fireworks manufacturer nor dealer, and is now facing charges for violations of the Fire Safety Code and negligence leading to homicide based on the revised Penal Code,” Mendoza added. (PNA)

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5 drug suspects killed, 13 others arrested in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 29, 2019, 8:37 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Five suspected notorious drug pushers were slain on Tuesday, the second day of the intensified Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operations (SACLEO) in this province.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan Police director, said three of the suspects were killed in anti-illegal drug operations in Meycauayan City and in the towns of Baliwag and Pulilan.

They were identified as Norberto Ligon, 39, who was included in the drug watch list of the Meycauayan City Police; and Ariel Bunag and RJ de Leon, both included in the drug watch list of the Baliwag Municipal Police.

“They were neutralized during drug buy bust operations. They sensed that they were dealing with undercover agents and fired towards our operatives. Our police personnel retaliated, which resulted in their deaths,” Bersaluna said.

He also said that two other drug suspects, brothers Rico Reyes and Noel Reyes, both residents of Barangay Sto. Cristo, Pulilan town, were killed after they engaged the operatives in a shootout during the serving of a search warrant.

Recovered from the encounters were four caliber .38 revolvers without serial numbers, one caliber .45 pistol with a defaced serial number, eight sachets of suspected shabu, marijuana, and buy bust money.

Meanwhile, the 13 arrested drug suspects were Jorge Alpas; Rodel Galit; Norasan Gambao; Ronaldo Agacita; Edgardo Magtanao; Christopher Binuya; Rogelio Acuna; Joselito Ferrera; Edwin Castro; Erick Licuanan Jr.; Marlou Surio; Kimarvin Viray; and Roberto Policarpio.

Bersaluna said that a total of 33 plastic sachets of shabu and buy-bust money were confiscated during the operations conducted by the anti-illegal drug operatives of Malolos City, Meycauayan City, Bulakan, Calumpit, Balagtas, and Santa Maria.

“The arrested suspects and seized pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Crime Laboratory for appropriate examination while criminal charges against them are now being prepared for filing in court,” he added. (PNA)

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DENR–Region 3 urges public to support Manila Bay rehab plan

By Zorayda Tecson  January 28, 2019, 2:17 pm

CLEANUP. Personnel from various government agencies and volunteers join the cleanup drive for Manila Bay in Central Luzon on Sunday, January 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy of DENR Regional Office 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here has called on the public to help and support the government’s efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR regional office, cited on Monday the importance of cooperation, commitment and support of the Filipinos for the success of the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for Manila Bay.

“Bringing back Manila Bay to its original state is a gargantuan task for the DENR, which requires a lot of commitment, cooperation and support from other government agencies, local government units (LGU), business establishments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders,” Moreno said.

Some 5,000 individuals from DENR regional office here and other government agencies, local government units (LGUs), business sectors, academe and civil society organizations conducted on Sunday a cleanup of Manila Bay in three provinces of Central Luzon.

The cleanup was conducted simultaneously in Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan in Region 3, Metro Manila in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cavite in Region 4-A on orders of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu as the start or “D-day” of the massive cleanup and rehabilitation of the Bay.

The launching in Central Luzon was conducted at the Obando River in Barangay Tawiran in Obando, Bulacan; Guagua River in Barangay Sto. Filomina in Guagua, Pampanga and in the more than 700-meter stretch of Mariveles coastline in Barangay Lucanin in Bataan.

“Actual cleanup was conducted in these areas while the total volume of waste collected was more than 5,000 kilograms. Three thousand mangrove species were also planted in these sites to protect our coastal areas,” Moreno said.

Moreno said that the phase one of the rehabilitation program is the cleanup and water quality improvement, which involves the actual cleanup of designated esteros and waterways to reduce fecal coliform level and toxic discharges from establishments, and the implementation of solid waste management.

He added that the DENR will also mobilize other government agencies, including those mandamus agencies tasked to clean the bay -- the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Budget and Management, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Local Water Utilities and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, to carry out the rehabilitation of the bay.

Statistics from the Manila Bay Coordinating Office of DENR in Central Luzon showed that the number of informal settler families (ISF) living along the coastal areas and rivers in Bulacan is 23,051 while there are also 9,363 ISF in Pampanga and 10,166 in Bataan or a total of 42,580 families.

“Notices of violation will also be issued to non-compliant establishments or if appropriate, cease and desist orders will be issued,” Moreno added. (PNA)

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DENR closes 47 establishments in Bulacan, Bataan

By Manny Balbin  January 28, 2019, 11:42 am

(From left) Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, PRO3 Regional Director Joel Napoleon Coronel, Region 3 DENR-EMB Lormelyn Claudio and Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna take an oath of commitment during the simultaneous launching of the massive cleanup and rehabilitation efforts for Manila Bay in Barangay Tawiran in Obando, Bulacan on Sunday, January 28, 2019. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

OBANDO, Bulacan -- A total of 47 establishments were shut down in the provinces of Bulacan and Bataan since Friday for polluting the river system that leads to Manila Bay.

This was disclosed by Lormelyn Claudio, Region 3 Environmental Management Bureau chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), during the simultaneous launching of the massive cleanup and rehabilitation efforts for Manila Bay in Barangay Tawiran in this town on Sunday.

The establishments were found violating environmental laws and most have no environmental clearance certificates.

Forty-three of the establishments are located in Bulacan -- 16 in the City of Meycauayan, 24 in the town of Obando, three in Marilao and four in Mariveles, Bataan.

Claudio said 15 of the establishments were served their notices of violation and cease and desist orders on Friday while 32 others were served their notices of violation with cease and desist orders on Sunday.

“Affected industries in the City of Meycauayan include those that are involved in the leather and jewelry industries, fishpond operators in Obando town and beach resort, hotel and manufacturing in Mariveles, Bataan,” Claudio said.

She said the establishments would be monitored closely and would remain closed until they have complied with the necessary requirements. (PNA)

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P6.12-M worth of ‘imported shabu’ recovered in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 26, 2019, 6:17 pm

Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna and other heads of anti-illegal drugs agency presents the P6.12 million shabu recovered from the suspect (2nd from right). (Photo courtesy of Bulacan Public Information Office)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Some PHP6.12 million worth of suspected shabu from “Las Vegas, USA” were recovered and a suspect was arrested in Barangay Sto. Rosario, Hagonoy, this province Friday afternoon.

The operation was conducted by the joint elements of Hagonoy Municipal Police Station, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Clark International Airport- Inter Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group, Bureau of Custom – (Port of Clark), Bulacan Provincial Special Operation Group (PSOG) and Bulacan Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU).

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Bulacan police director, said on Saturday that the arrested suspect was identified as Jeffrey Samson alias Jeff, 35, of Purok 7, Barangay San Jose of the said town.

Bersaluna said that based on the report, a joint controlled delivery operation was conducted after the suspect received the delivery of a vacuum sealed plastic containing white crystalline substance suspected to be “shabu” with an approximate weight of some 900 grams and an estimated value of PHP6.12 million.

"The said parcel was addressed to the suspect from Las Vegas, USA," Bersaluna added.

The recovered pieces of evidence and the suspect were brought to PDEA Forensic Laboratory, PDEA Regional Office 3, City San Fernando, Pampanga for appropriate examination.

Criminal complaint for violation of Art II Sections 4 of RA 9165 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals) is being prepared for filing before the court.

"Continuous coordination and follow-up are being undertaken to trace the specific source of the said contraband," he added. (PNA)

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3 nabbed, P1.5-M ‘shabu’ seized at Comelec checkpoint in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 24, 2019, 6:44 pm

NABBED AT CHECKPOINT. Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna (holding microphone) presents the three suspects arrested at a checkpoint during a press conference held at Camp Gen. Alejo S. Santos on Thursday, January 24, 2019. Also in photo are Doña Remedios Trinidad police chief Senior Inspector Isabelo Mondejar (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Three suspects were arrested and some PHP1.5-million worth of illegal drugs and firearms were seized at a Commission on Elections (Comelec) checkpoint in Barangay Pulong Sampalok, Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan province Wednesday night.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan Police Provincial Office Director, identified the suspects as Joselito Isidro, 30, and Florida Alipio, 46, both residents of Barangay Poblacion, Baliwag town; and Jerome Jay Niño Silverio, 26, of Barangay San Pedro, Bustos.

Senior Insp. Isabelo Mondejar, chief the Doña Remedios Trinidad police, said some of his men, together with members of the Philippine Army’s 48th Infantry Battalion, flagged down a green Mitsubishi Lancer with plate no. FEX 206 during a checkpoint at about 11:30 p.m.

"Upon turning on the vehicle’s cabin light, the checkpoint team saw in plain view the driver without an upper garment," Mondejar said.

He said the team asked for a license but the driver was not able to present any.

Authorities also saw during the plain view inspection one Ingram submachine gun at the driver’s seat. 

“The suspects failed to show any pertinent documents that prompted the checkpoint team to arrest them,” Mondejar said.

When searched, he said the police discovered one bag containing a caliber 9mm Norinco pistol and six plastic bags of varying sizes containing suspected shabu, weighing more or less 210 grams, and drug paraphernalia.

Criminal charges of violation of Section 5 (transporting), Section 11 (possession) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), RA 10591 (The Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof) in Relation to the Omnibus Election Code, and RA 4136 (The Land Transportation and Traffic Code) are being readied for filing in court against the arrested suspects. (PNA)

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Bulakenyos to commemorate 120th Malolos Republic anniversary

By Manny Balbin  January 22, 2019, 6:16 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will join thousands of Bulakenyos in celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the first Philippine Republic at the historic Barasoain Church here Wednesday.
The celebration is anchored on the theme, “Unang Republika ng Pilipinas, Saligan sa Pagtataguyod ng Ganap na Pagbabago”.

Aside from Guevarra, Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad, Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian and National Historical Commission of the Philippines Executive Director III Ludovico Badoy will lead the commemoration.

Other local officials, government employees, senior citizens, volunteer workers, veterans, teachers, students, and other non-government organizations will also take part in the annual event.

The program will start with a flag raising ceremony, to be followed by a wreath-laying activity at the monument of Emilio Aguinaldo, the country's first president.

Alvarado encouraged Bulakenyos to participate in the activity since January 23 is declared a special non-working day in the province, through Proclamation No. 651 issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“Looking back at the past heroism of our ancestors, which led to Bulacan's inclusion in the colorful history of the country, is a must not to be lazy or ignorant but it must always be done with nobility and love for the people,” Alvarado said.

The historic event that is now called "Araw ng Republikang Pilipino, 1899" is based on Proclamation No. 533 that took effect in 2013. (PNA)

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2 blocks of tea rose marble seized in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 20, 2019, 6:46 pm

SEIZED MARBLE BLOCKS. Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office chief Elizabeth Apresto and Angat police head, Chief Inspector Isagani Santos, preside over a press conference held inside Camp Alejo Santos, Bulacan on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, following the confiscation of  two blocks of tea rose marbles Saturday afternoon. Standing at the back are the two drivers of the dump trucks where the marble blocks were loaded.(Photo by Manny Balbin)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Joint elements of the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) and Angat police seized and confiscated two blocks of tea rose marbles loaded in two dump trucks Saturday afternoon.

The suspects escorting the trucks, however, evaded arrest.

BENRO chief Elizabeth Apresto and Chief Inspector Isagani Santos, Angat Police chief, in a press briefing held on Sunday at the Camp General Alejo Santos here, said the trucks that carried the marbles had plate numbers UQY-993 and UUQ-424 and were driven by Dennis Villarin and Jenel Dagon.

Both vehicles were flagged down by the authorities at around 2 p.m. in Barangay San Roque, Angat town.

It was learned that a group of persons headed by a certain "Mr. Sy" was on board a Toyota Fortuner with conduction number A5 0636, was escorting the dump trucks loaded with the said marbles.

Apresto said when questioned by the authorities and asked for permit and other documents, Sy told them that the marbles were owned by a certain Manolo Caiwan and donated to them allegedly by higher officials from the DENR.

Sy even showed them an expired permit and other documents.

Apresto said the marbles were taken from Biak Na Bato in San Miguel, this province.

She said the confiscated marbles were part of the 160 tea rose marbles sold by the provincial government of Bulacan to a certain Charlie Ang in 2011 for USD500 per cubic meter.

But since then, the said tea rose marbles have not yet been claimed because of the bad road situation in Biak Na Bato.

Sy and his men on board the Fortuner as well as the drivers of the truck were invited to proceed to the Bulacan PNP provincial headquarters for investigation and proper disposition of the marble.

However, while on their way to the Bulacan police provincial headquarters, the vehicle of Sy and his companions managed to escape and was only noticed missing by the police and BENRO personnel when they reached the police camp.

Sy and the two drivers as well as the owners of the trucks are set to be charged with violation of Republic Act 7942, the Mining Act of 1995 and Theft of Mineral Resources and Provincial Ordinance under the Revised Environmental Code.

The confiscated marble blocks with a total size of 10.7 cubic meters with approximate cost of PHP280,000 are now  under the custody of the Bulacan PNP.

"The governor was dismayed upon receiving the information that the main man that could give information has escaped with his other companions," Apresto said.

The protection of tea rose marble, one of Bulacan’s natural treasures, was strictly implemented when Governor Alvarado started his first term in 2010. He banned the illegal extraction of all mineral deposits in the mountains of eastern Bulacan.

In the years that followed, the BENRO was able to seize illegally extracted marble, including wire-sawed tea rose marble blocks.

The Office of the President then granted the request of the governor that some 257 blocks be turned over to the provincial government of Bulacan, subject to the terms of the DENR.

The blocks were sold to Ang, the winning bidder, in 2011, who paid for 160 pieces of the said marble. (PNA)

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DFA opens new consular office in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 17, 2019, 8:59 pm

NEW CONSULAR OFFICE. Office of Consular Affairs Executive Director Maria Theresa S.M. Lazaro (center), Mayor Christian D. Natividad (2nd from left), Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian (left), and Mr. Alexander Cruz, of Xentro Mall (2nd from right) lead the opening of the Department of Foreign Affairs Consular Office in the City of Malolos, Bulacan on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, while other local leaders look on. (Photo by Manny Balbin) 

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) formally opened its new consular office on the third floor of the Malolos Central Transport Terminal in this city on Thursday, as part of the government’s continuing commitment to bring passport and other consular services closer to the Filipino people.

The occasion also marked the start of the week-long celebration of Fiesta Republic that will culminate on Jan. 23, in commemoration of the establishment of the First Philippine Republic by the Malolos Congress.

Office of Consular Affairs Executive Director Maria Theresa S.M. Lazaro, together with Mayor Christian D. Natividad, Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, Alexander Cruz, of Xentro Mall led the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first consular office in the province.

Lazaro, who served as the guest of honor, said the opening of the new consular office would help serve people in the province of Bulacan and nearby areas.

She noted that the establishment of such consular offices is part of the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to bring consular offices closer to the public.

Lazaro also said the services to be provided by the new office in Malolos City include passport applications and renewals.

“Temporarily, there is no authentication of passport and putting a red ribbon in this DFA Malolos office,” she added.

Natividad, for his part, is thankful for the establishment of the 700-square-meter consular office here.

“This is very convenient to the Bulakenyos as there is no need for them to go to Manila or Pampanga to obtain a passport or renew," he said.

The Malolos City consular office has started accepting passport applications since last week after the soft launching. (PNA)

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2 drug suspects killed in shootout with Bulacan cops

By Manny Balbin  January 15, 2019, 8:28 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Two drug personalities were killed in a shootout with policemen in a buy-bust operation in Club Royale Resort, Barangay Mabolo here Monday night.

Supt. Emery C. Abating, Malolos City acting chief of police, identified the suspects as Israel Dela Cruz, of Sampaguita St. Barangay Panasahan, and Gwynette Kylee N. Hong, of Sevilla St., Barangay Atlag, both in this city.

Abating said that after the consummated drug transaction in Club Royale Resort at about 8:30 p.m., the suspects drew and fired their guns toward the poseur-buyer when they sensed that they were dealing with an undercover agent.

“This led in a shootout that resulted in the death of both suspects,” he said.

Recovered from the crime scene were one Smith and Wesson caliber .38-caliber revolver and .22-caliber rifle, suspected dried marijuana leaves, identification cards, buy-bust money and assorted drug paraphernalia.

All pieces of evidence recovered from the suspects were brought to the Bulacan Provincial Office at Camp Alejo Santos for examination. (PNA)

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C. Luzon cops lauded for accomplishments on 1st day of gun ban

By Ric Sapnu  January 15, 2019, 6:22 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- The Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) has commended deserving police officers in the region for their good performance during the first day of the implementation of the election gun ban.

Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, PRO-3 director, awarded the Medalya ng Kagalingan to the deserving police officers during Monday’s flag raising ceremony here.

The awardees were Supt. Orlando Castil Jr., acting chief of police of San Jose del Monte and PO1 Jeremiah David B. Bangayan, both of Bulacan; Senior Supt. Leon Victor Rosete, Nueva Ecija police acting provincial director; Chief Insp. Arnel Aguilar, officer-in-charge of the San Antonio police; and SPO2 Alberto L. Interia, also from Nueva Ecija.

The police officers' effective implementation of the gun ban resulted in the arrest of four persons during checkpoint operations while two suspects were killed in a shootout.

Five firearms were likewise confiscated from violators during the first day of the gun ban’s implementation.

“We are quick in giving rewards to deserving personnel and acknowledge their notable deeds, but we are also swift and decisive in punishing the misfits and the undisciplined,” Coronel said.

He urged the public to cooperate with authorities at checkpoints and reiterated his assurance that police personnel will observe policies and procedures, and will uphold their basic rights.

During checkpoint, motorists are advised to slow down, dim their headlights, turn on their cabin lights, and answer promptly if asked by police authorities.

“I have also reminded our personnel to be courteous to motorists and to adhere to general guidelines prescribed in our Revised Police Operational Procedures,” Coronel said.

Carrying of firearms, other deadly weapons and explosives, as well as its transportation, is strictly prohibited from the start of the election period on January 13 until June 12.

Stricter penalties ranging from one year to 12 years of imprisonment will be meted to all violators. (PNA)

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2 killed, 10 nabbed on 1st day of Comelec checkpoint in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 13, 2019, 8:53 pm

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Two unidentified persons were killed while 10 others were arrested on the first day of the setting up of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) checkpoints in this province on Sunday.

Supt. Orlando Castil Jr., City of San Jose Del Monte City (CSJDM) chief of police, said the two who were riding on a motorcycle without plate number, deliberately ignored the police and Comelec personnel manning the checkpoint at about 1:15 a.m. in Barangay Graceville in CSJDM.

“The personnel tried to flag down the motorcycle but instead of yielding, it accelerated, which prompted the police to chase the suspects,” Castil said.

He said that all Police Community Precincts (PCP) were directed to establish dragnet operations while possible exit routes were blocked by responding mobile patrols.

“The suspects, sensing they will be overtaken, immediately got off from the motorcycle and fired shots toward the responding personnel, prompting them to retaliate that resulted in the death of the still unidentified suspects," Castil noted.

The police collected from the crime scene a .45-caliber pistol, a .38-caliber revolver, and the motorcycle used by the suspects.

Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, chief of the Bulacan Provincial Police Office, said the 10 people were arrested in the PNP-Comelec checkpoint in Angat town.

They were identified as Cristopher Dela Torre and Ronnie Noto for not wearing helmets and for having live 9mm ammunition; and Monico Beltran, Jerwin Menoy, Christian Villarama, Lloyd Sarmiento, Rey Vizconde, John Eroll De Guzman, John Paulo De Guzman and Crispin Vizcone, who were said to have ignored the checkpoint.

“The suspects shouted towards the police manning the checkpoint and accelerated their tricycle and tried to evade arrest. They were immediately chased and arrested. The suspects were under the influence of liquor,” Bersaluna said.

"Appropriate criminal complaints against the arrested suspects are now being prepared for filing before the court," he added. (PNA)

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Central Luzon cops reminded to stay apolitical

By Manny Balbin and Ric Sapnu  January 13, 2019, 6:49 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, provincial director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, on Sunday reminded all the police personnel to remain apolitical at all times and avoid participating in any partisan political activity during the election.

Likewise, he assured the public that they are exerting their best efforts to maintain the security and integrity of the 2019 mid-term polls.

Bersaluna spoke during the kick-off ceremony of the election period in Central Luzon.

A unity walk, interfaith prayer rally and peace covenant signing were held, aimed at promoting clean and violence-free elections in the entire region.

The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO 3), Commission on Elections, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting spearheaded the activities.

The unity walk was also attended by students and members of concerned government agencies, religious groups, the academe and civic and non-government organizations.

It started at around 5 a.m. at the Barasoain Church here, where the participants converged and held an interfaith prayer rally led by Msgr. Pablo Legaspi, Pastor John Pangilinan and Ustag Gamor from the Muslim community.

Comelec Regional Director Artemio Lambino said the event symbolizes democracy and a better community. “We want to project honest, orderly and fair elections,” he noted.

"We are serious in this symbol. Every group of people, every individual acts as one group as a symbol for a credible election,” he added.

After the interfaith prayer rally, a short program followed which was highlighted by the signing of a pledge for clean and honest elections and releasing of doves.

Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, PRO 3 director, said similar events were held in the national headquarters and different regional offices to drumbeat the significance of the mid-term elections this May.

“We are doubling efforts on our preparations to ensure safe and fair elections. We want to assure the public that we are on the right track and highly vigilant in ensuring that there are enough police officers deployed on the streets for the maintenance of peace and order especially on the election day,” Coronel said.

He encouraged the participants as well as the public to continuously support them in their endeavors.

"We are indeed counting on you so that we can continue to take positive strides forward. Together, let us work for safe, clean and fair elections,” he added. (PNA)

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PRRD inaugurates school buildings in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 10, 2019, 9:22 pm

BULAKAN, Bulacan -- President Rodrigo Duterte led on Thursday the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of two units of four-storey school buildings in this town as part of his administration’s continuing effort to improve the quality of education in the country.

The President, together with his common-law wife Cielito Honeylet Avanceña, Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Bulacan officials headed by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, spearheaded the time capsule laying for the construction of the Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar National High School in Barangay Sta. Ana here.

The ceremony which was also witnessed by Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Bulakan Mayor Patrick Meneses and Pandi Mayor Tinoy Marquez was likewise highlighted by the unveiling and presentation of the maniature school building plan of Pandi National High School.

The two units of four-storey school buildings of the Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar National High School has a total of 60 classrooms to be built on a 6,676-square meter lot. It is expected to house over 2,300 students up to Grade 12 after four years.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has allocated a PHP156.4-million budget for the construction of the said school buildings with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Bulacan First District Engineering Office as the implementing agency.

The project is expected to be completed in November 2019.

During the event, Secretary Briones led the presentation of Pandi National High School (Virginia Ramirez-Cruz High School Extension) miniature model to be built on a 19,296-square meter lot in Barangay Siling Bata in Pandi, this province.

The project has four units of four-storey school buildings with a total of 80 classrooms. Set to be completed in October this year, it has a budget of PHP177 million.

The establishment of said school buildings is seen to decongest the overpopulated nearby secondary schools.

"Ang eskwelahan na ito ay alay ko sa mga kabataan upang makapag-aral at matuto sa buhay (This school, I offer to the youth so they could study and learn in life)," President Duterte said.

"Ako ay lumaking salat sa kabuhayan pero nagsikap akong makatapos ng pag-aaral kahit na walang award na natanggap (I grew up lacking in life but I strove to finish my studies even if I didn't receive any award)," he added.

After the event, the President proceeded to Barangay Graceville in the City of San Jose Del Monte where he led the turnover of housing units for wounded-in-action soldiers and wounded-in-operation police personnel under the comprehensive social benefits program for law enforcers. (PNA)

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Suspect in killing of grandma, child in Bulacan nabbed

By Manny Balbin  January 9, 2019, 6:42 pm

SLAY SUSPECT. Newsmen interview the arested suspect in the killing of a sexagenarian and her teen grandchild in Isabel Village, Barangay Tabang, Plaridel, Bulacan, after a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- The Bulacan police has arrested the lone suspect who killed a sexagenarian and her teen grandchild and injured another grandchild during a robbery at the victims' house in Barangay Tabang, Plaridel Monday morning.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said the exhaustive investigation and continuous follow-up operations by joint elements of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), Provincial Special Operation Group (PSOG), Plaridel Municipal Police Station (MPS), and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), led to the identification and arrest of the suspect, Jay Vincent Marmeto, 27, also a resident of Barangay Tabang.

Based on the report of Plaridel police, the three victims were stabbed several times in different parts of their bodies as they tried to fight off with the suspect who broke into their home at around 5:51 a.m.

Killed were Sylvia Castillo, 64, and Cyrene San Pedro, 14, while seven-year-old James Cyrus Maliksi was injured.

Supt. Arwin M. Tadeo, PIB chief, said that on Tuesday, Jan. 8, a confidential informant narrated the facts and circumstances which led to the arrest of the suspect in his residence on the same day.

The suspect asked forgiveness from the relatives of the victims. "My only purpose was to steal at the victims' house because my wife is giving birth," he said during the press conference Tuesday night.

Plaridel Mayor Jocell Vistan, for her part, is thankful for the immediate arrest of the suspect.

Vistan offered a reward of PHP100,000 in exchange for any lead to the identification and arrest of the robber, who killed the victims.

Bersaluna said the suspect is facing charges of attempted robbery with double homicide and frustrated homicide.

“The Bulacan police’s relentless follow-up investigation and operations that led to the significant breakthrough and case solution is proof enough of their competence, dedication, and teamwork to solve the said crime,” he said. (PNA)

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Bulacan crime volume down 45% in 2018

By Manny Balbin  January 8, 2019, 7:35 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — Total crime volume in this province declined by 45.18 percent in 2018 as a result of an intensified drive against crimes and lawlessness.

Data from the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) showed that the total number of crime incidents in 2018 was 16,393, which is 13,512 cases lower compared to 29,905 in year 2017.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, provincial director of the Bulacan PNP, said on Tuesday the remarkable decline in crimes was due to the continuous simultaneous anti-criminality and law enforcement operations, police information drive against criminality and maximum police visibility.

Data also showed that the eight focus crimes such as murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, car/motornapping, and cattle rustling decreased by 48.98 percent, from 3,738 in year 2017 to 1,907 in 2018.

Meanwhile, the crime solution efficiency rate increased to 4.15 percent while the crime clearance efficiency rate rose to 2.87 percent in 2018.

“The Bulacan police will continue to strive hard and implement more drives against all forms of criminality in the province,” Bersaluna said. (PNA)

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Bulacan town offers 100K reward for slay suspects

By Manny Balbin  January 8, 2019, 7:28 pm

CAMP GENERAL ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- The municipality of Plaridel on Tuesday offered a cash reward of PHP100,000 to anyone who could give information leading to the immediate solution of the killing of two family members last Monday.

Plaridel Mayor Jocell Vistan offered the reward in exchange for any lead to the identification and arrest of the robbers, who killed an elderly woman and her grandchild, and injured another young kin after breaking into their home in Barangay Tabang at around 5:51 a.m.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, director of the Bulacan police, said the three members of the Castillo-Molina family were stabbed several times in different parts of their bodies.

Killed were Sylvia Castillo, 64, and Cyrene San Pedro, 14, while the injured was James Cyrus Maliksi, 7.

“The three victims were stabbed several times in the different parts of their bodies as they tried to fight off the suspects. Castillo was stabbed twice and the 14-year-old girl was stabbed 10 times, wherein both were declared dead while the 7-year-old boy sustained 12 stab wounds and survived,” he said.

Bersaluna initiated the conduct of an exhaustive investigation on the possible persons of interest towards the immediate solution of the gruesome killing.

"We encourage the public to report any information to the Chief of Police of Plaridel Municipal Police Station at 0915 902 7132 and the following hotline numbers: 0998 598 5392 and 044 795 0057," he added. (PNA)

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2 killed, 10 arrested in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  January 8, 2019, 7:21 pm

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan -- Two suspected drug pushers were killed while 10 other suspects were arrested in separate buy-bust operations conducted Monday by the Bulacan police.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, on Tuesday identified the suspects killed, during operations conducted by the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the City of San Jose del Monte (CSJDM) Police Station, as Rommel Ferrer, a resident of Barangay Graceville, CSJDM, who was included on the Barangay Anti-drug Abuse Council (BADAC) watch list, and his cohort known only as alias "Boboy".

Bersaluna said investigation revealed that the two suspects fired their guns when they sensed the presence of law enforcers after a consummated drug deal at about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

“Our police officers have no choice but to defend themselves which resulted in the suspects’ death,” he said.

Supt. Orlando Castil Jr., CSJDM police chief, said that upon verification, it was found out that Ferrer was a notorious drug pusher in Barangay Graceville, and adjacent barangays of CSJDM.

Castil also said that Ferrer managed to elude arrest during a buy bust operation last month and was charged at large for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act).

Recovered from the crime scene were six pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu, two caliber .38 revolvers and buy-bust money.

Meanwhile, 10 other drug suspects were arrested in the towns of Hagonoy, Bocaue, Calumpit, Norzagaray and CSJDM. They were identified as Christopher Fajardo, Jeffrey Madredijo, Fernando Benidecto, Joel De Vera, Marilet Gines, Geann Zabal, Rodolfo Rivera, Jessie Gojar, Christopher Cabiling and Francis Maypa.

Seized from the suspects were 20 pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu, one cut opened plastic sachet with suspected shabu residue, three pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected dried marijuana leaves, buy-bust money and assorted drug paraphernalia.

The arrested suspects and seized pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination while criminal complaints against the suspects are now being prepared for filing in court. (PNA)

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2 killed, 1 hurt in Bulacan robbery

By Manny Balbin  January 7, 2019, 9:18 pm

PLARIDEL, Bulacan — A sexagenarian and her teen grandchild were killed and another grandkid was injured during a robbery in their home in Barangay Tabang here before dawn on Monday.

Supt. Laurente Acquiot, Plaridel police chief, identified the fatalities as Sylvia Castillo, 64, and Cyrene San Pedro, 14. Injured, on the other hand, was James Cyrus Maliksi, 7.

Acquiot said initial police investigation disclosed that at least two robbers broke into the victims' house before 6 a.m. when they were still asleep. During the heist, the elderly and the children were awakened and tried to fight off the suspects but were stabbed several times in different parts of their bodies.

"San Pedro and Maliksi were brought to Melverey Hospital while Castillo was brought to La Consolacion Hospital," Acquiot told the media.

He said that San Pedro and Castillo were declared dead on arrival by attending physicians while Maliksi is still undergoing treatment.

Acquiot said that the unidentified suspects fled after the incident and brought with them the stolen items from the victims. (PNA)

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3 suspects killed, 18 arrested in Bulacan drug bust

By Manny Balbin  January 5, 2019, 6:46 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- Three drug suspects were killed in an operation conducted in Barangay Santo Cristo, City of San Jose del Monte (CSJDM), this province early dawn of Saturday.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Bulacan police director, identified the neutralized suspects as Roger Angelo Polonan, PDEA watch-listed illegal drug personality; George Abellanosa, Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) watch-listed and Lucky Brosoto.

Based on the report of Supt. Orlando Castil Jr., CSJDM police chief, his operatives conducted buy-bust operation against suspect Polonan which resulted in a shootout, causing the death of the suspects.

"After the transaction, the suspects sensed that they were dealing with undercover operatives. They immediately drew their firearms and fired toward the approaching police personnel. One of the suspects tried to escape and also fired towards the police on board his motorcycle, which prompted them to retaliate," Castil told the media.

Recovered from the crime scene were a caliber .38 revolver without trademark and without serial number; one caliber .38 revolver without serial number; one caliber .38 revolver S&W without serial number loaded; 11 caliber 9mm fired cartridge cases and seven plastic sachets of suspected shabu.

Meanwhile, Bersaluna said that different buy-bust operations conducted by operatives of Baliwag, Norzagaray, Plaridel, San Jose Del Monte, Balagtas, Santa Maria, Malolos and Bocaue police resulted in the arrest of 18 suspects identified as Virgilio Sy, Randy Cabrera, Isaias Guinto, Jessica Clemente, Andrew John Fernando, Adrian Palad, Gregor Vicente, Ronaldo Montalbo, Ernesto Espineda, Rodelio Oliveros, Jovito Cruz, Louie Garcia, Jason Buenaventura, Daryl Aleluya, Arlene Cabigting, Wilbert Mendoza, Gary Dela Cruz and Joseph Malaa.

"A total of 54 plastic sachets of suspected shabu and buy-bust money were confiscated from the arrested suspects," he added. (PNA)

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17 arrested in anti-drug ops in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  January 4, 2019, 7:29 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- Seventeen drug suspects were arrested during the two-day simultaneous anti-criminality law enforcement operations in this province, which ended Friday.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, provincial director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said the anti-illegal drug sting was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Unit of the cities of Malolos and Meycauayan and the municipalities of San Rafael, Calumpit, Angat, Bulakan, San Miguel, Hagonoy, Marilao and Paombong.

Bersaluna identified the arrested drug suspects as Agosto Paulino, Joebert Aquino,Christopher Cayabyab,Eduardo Isidro,Brian Levie Dizon, Richard Tolentino,Robin Kim Caparas,Vergel Vicente,Gilbert Base, Rene Balolot, Jay-Ar Bengco, Ronaldo Bauza,Bienvenido Carruiedo, Jeff Morales, Ric Jerome Taboy, Eulalio Siapno and Ariel Floreno Gravoso.

He said that 38 pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu; two pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of dried marijuana leaves; one aluminum foil strip with suspected shabu residue; buy-bust money; and assorted drug paraphernalia were confiscated during the operations.

“Appropriate criminal complaints against the arrested suspects are now being prepared for filing in court,” Bersaluna said.

He said the Bulacan police will relentlessly implement the intensified campaign against illegal drugs and all other forms of criminality. (PNA)

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Bulacan drug suspect killed, 6 others nabbed in drug ops

By Manny Balbin  January 3, 2019, 7:24 pm

CAMP GEN ALEJO S SANTOS, Bulacan -- A notorious drug pusher was killed while six others were arrested in separate anti-illegal drug operations in Bulacan province on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Bulacan Police Director, identified the suspect who was killed as Arvin Bautista, 40, a resident of Emerson Subdivision, Barangay Saog, Marilao, who was on the drug watch list of the Pandi municipal police. His cohort managed to elude arrest.

Bersaluna said based on the report of the Pandi police, the suspect drew his firearm and fired at the poseur buyer when his cohort realized that they were dealing with a police officer.

"A firefight ensued, which resulted in the death of the suspect during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Bunsuran 2nd, Pandi, Bulacan at about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday. The suspect was a known supplier of illegal drugs in the area and adjacent towns in Bulacan," he told the media.

Recovered from the crime scene were one heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected shabu and one caliber .38 revolver.

Bersaluna added that six other drug suspects, identified as Raymond Magbitang Igaya, who is on the drug watch list of the San Rafael municipal police; Reynaldo Gomez, on the drug watch list of the Guiguinto municipal police; Christorey Gicoli; Nazareno de Guzman Jr.; Alexis Herrera; and Manny Villavicencio, were arrested in buy-bust operations conducted by the operatives of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bustos, Guiguinto, Obando, and San Rafael.

He said that a total of 17 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, buy-bust money, and assorted drug paraphernalia were seized from the suspects. (PNA)

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Firecracker production drops

By Manny Balbin  January 2, 2019, 5:45 pm

BOCAUE, Bulacan --The production of legal firecrackers for the New Year celebration has drastically dropped.

With President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Executive Order 28 (regulating the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices) in June 2017, the production of local firecrackers was slashed by 50 percent that year due to misinterpretation on its implementation, said Lea Alapide, president of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association, Inc.

"Production of legal firecrackers again drew flak this year when Malacañang issued Memorandum Circular 31 in the last quarter of (2018) that stopped the issuance of new permits and licenses for those involved in the fireworks industry," Alapide said in an interview on Wednesday. 

She also said that manufacturers of legal firecrackers mostly belong to the backyard and micro-scale entrepreneurs.

Supt. Amado Mendoza Jr., Bocaue police chief, has confirmed that based on their monitoring, about 80 percent of the products being sold in fireworks stores in Bocaue were aerial fireworks display products. He said traditional sparklers and firecrackers now have a 20 percent share of the market.

 Based on Bulacan’s Pyrotechnic Regulatory Board (PRB), the province’s fireworks industry directly provides livelihood opportunities to at least 100,000 individuals.

In 2017, the PRB estimated that some 20,000 individuals were still directly benefitting from the livelihood opportunities of the fireworks industry.

However, fireworks stakeholders, who do not want to be identified, said the local industry has now suffered a slump in production and that only a few big-time fireworks manufacturers in the country are left struggling to keep the industry afloat.

These few big-time fireworks manufacturers are those who were able to shift from the old technology to the safer and modern mode in pyrotechnics manufacturing and mainly concentrate on aerial displays.

The PRB data showed that traditional fireworks manufacturers have been using technology that had already been banned in other countries for more than a century.

Joven Ong, president of the Philippine Fireworks Association, said that big-time manufacturers, like Dragon Fireworks, employ foreign experts to upgrade the local industry and mostly produces aerial fireworks display products so as not to compete with traditional manufacturers that mainly produce firecrackers and sparklers. (PNA)

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