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‘Malasakit Center’ soon to rise in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  September 12, 2018, 6:19 pm

COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS. Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go delivers on Wednesday his message to 480 graduating students of Bulacan State University. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Bulakenyos are looking forward to the establishment of a “Malasakit Center” at the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) here as promised by Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Go was guest speaker in the 2018 Midyear Commencement Exercises of the Bulacan State University (BulSU) here on Wednesday.

In his message to the 480 graduating students, he said after Cebu, Tacloban, Iloilo, Palawan, Bacolod, Dumaguete and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the next Malasakit Center will rise in the province.

"The center is a one-stop shop comprised of different agencies, which can provide help to  families of patients who wish to settle medical expenses, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)," he said.

"The soon-to-rise Malasakit Center here in Bulacan will be provided with PHP5 (million) to PHP10 million funds initially so patients can avail of free medicines," Go said as he reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to make all resources of government available to help the poor.

He also noted the free tuition in state colleges and universities under the Duterte administration.

"I believe that you are the first batch that benefitted from the free education in state universities, like Bulacan State University and by next year, the miscellaneous fee will be also free," Go said.

Dr. Cecilia S. Gascon, BulSU president, introduced the commencement speaker as the “pambansang (national) photo bomber of President Rodrigo R. Duterte” as Go is always beside the Chief Executive.

"SAP Go is the all-around man and the go-to guy by President Duterte.

He is also the 'selfie king' and his photographs give us a clear glimpse of important national and international events, which have effects of bringing the Filipino people closer to the President and the President closer to the people," Gascon said.

Also present during the commencement exercises were Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and his son, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy- Alvarado, Buhay Partylist Rep. Michael Fermin, retired general Francisco Villaroman, member of the Board of Directors of Clark Development Corp.; Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Prospero E. de Vera III; and Dr. Romeo Santos, president of the BulSU Alumni Association. (PNA)

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'Singkaban Festival' showcases Bulacan's culture, arts

By Manny Balbin  September 10, 2018, 8:44 pm

SINGKABAN FESTIVAL. Bulacan local officials headed by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando present to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo the plaque of appreciation for representing President Rodrigo Duterte’s common-law wife Cielito ‘Honeylet’ Avanceña during the opening ceremony of the Singkaban Festival held on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 at the KB Gym, Capitol Grounds, City of Malolos. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The much-awaited Singkaban Festival, which is considered as the “mother of all fiestas” in Bulacan, officially opened on Monday, showcasing once again the diverse culture and arts of the province.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, who represented President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s common-law wife Cielito "Honeylet" Avanceña, led the opening ceremony held at the KB Gym, Capitol Grounds, this city.

Pinaparating nilang dalawa (referring to President Duterte and common-law wife Avanceña) ang kanilang mainit na pagbati sa  inyong pagdiriwang ng festival . The two want to extend their warm greetings as you celebrate this festival),” Panelo said.

Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Secretary Francis Tolentino also graced the event themed “Pamanang Kalinangan ng Nakaraan, Gabay sa Maunlad na Kinabukasan.”

The two government officials joined Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Governor Daniel Fernando and the thousands of Bulakenyos in the opening ceremony of the colorful Singkaban Festival.

Alvarado invited locals and tourists to come, witness and participate in the event-filled festival and experience the best of the province in terms of history, arts, culture, food and delicacies, and its hospitable people.

“Vibrant and overflowing with color and fun is the one-month celebration of the Singkaban Fiesta that will not only satisfy your stomach as well as your eyes. Not only that, you will discover more in our great province that will fascinate your heart and thus, you will greatly love our homeland,” the governor said.

The events to start the week-long activities included the opening of the “Tatak Singkaban ng Central Luzon” at the Eco-Commercial Complex; “Bulacan Business Conference” at The Pavilion in Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center; “1st Bulacan Poultry Show” at the Old Gat Blas Ople building parking space; “Kasalan at Okasyon” at Robinsons Place Malolos; and “Bahay Kubo, Bahay Gulay” at the Provincial Cooperative and Enterprise Development Office Grounds. (PNA)

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19 suspects nabbed in Bulacan drug ops

By Manny Balbin  September 7, 2018, 8:05 pm

CAMP ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Nineteen drug suspects were arrested in separate buy-bust operations conducted by the Bulacan Police on Thursday and early Friday morning.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Bulacan Police Director, identified the arrested suspects as Rangelo Litao Bernal, Elimer Geronimo, Aaron Marcelo, Roxanne San Juan, Elvis John Casil, Rommel Campos, Richard Tolentin, John Paul Laurel, Edgar Mayor, Vick Alta, Jaymark Alcove Das, Dennis Abaigar, Teodoro San Jose, Bernardo Nicola, Emerose Remedies, Bridgette Ilagan, Michael Paraiso, Ronald Barret, and Margaret Anne San Pedro.

"Thirty pieces of small heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected 'shabu', seven pieces of medium heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected dried marijuana leaves, buy-bust money and assorted drug paraphernalia were confiscated during the sting in the towns of Bulakan, Balagtas, Calumpit, Marilao, Pandi, and Baliwag," Bersaluna said.

The arrested suspects and seized pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination. Criminal complaints for violation of Republic Act 9165 are now being prepared for filing in court against those rounded up.

The Bulacan Police is continuously and relentlessly implementing its intensified campaign against illegal drugs otherwise known as 'Project Double Barrel Reloaded' and all other forms of criminality," Bersaluna said. (PNA)

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2 killed, 32 arrested in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  September 4, 2018, 5:56 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Two suspected drug pushers were killed and 32 others, including two minors, were arrested in separate anti-drug operations conducted by Bulacan police on Monday and early Tuesday.

Acting Bulacan Police Provincial Office Director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna said an unidentified suspect was neutralized in a checkpoint operation by elements of the 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC), headed by Supt. Ferdinand Germino, in Barangay Igulot, Bocaue town on Monday evening.

“The suspect riding his motorcycle was flagged down for not wearing a helmet but ignored the checkpoint and fired a gun towards the police that prompted them to return fire, which resulted in the death of the suspect,” Germino said.

The Bulacan Scene of the Crime Operation team processed the crime scene and recovered pieces of evidence, such as a caliber .38 revolver (Smith and Wesson) without serial number loaded with two fired cartridges and two live ammunition; 17 small sachets of “shabu” (crystal meth) estimated to weigh 10 grams worth PHP60,000; one improvised tooter; two 5.56 fired cartridge cases; a red Honda motorcycle; and one cellphone.

Meanwhile, Supt. Arwin Tadeo, Pulilan town chief of police, said at 12:25 a.m. on Tuesday, a buy-bust operation was conducted against suspect Rolando Cabrera alias “Goku,” 41, of Centro Balucuc Apalit, Pampanga in Barangay Lumbac, Pulilan.

“The suspect opened fire upon discovering that the buyer was a hoax. A brief shootout transpired and led to the death of Cabrera,” Tadeo said.

A Smith & Wesson caliber .38 revolver without serial number, 11 sachets of suspected shabu, PHP500 in marked money, and one red Kawasaki Bajaj tricycle were recovered in the crime scene.

Meanwhile, 32 drug suspects were arrested in different anti-illegal drug operations conducted by personnel of 2nd PMFC, Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, and City and Municipal Police Stations of Meycauayan, Pulilan, Santa Maria, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Norzagaray, Paombong, and Marilao.

Bersaluna identified those arrested as Ailenn Cebrano, Roselyn Robles, Trina Mahoy, Alfred Abbariano, Alex Lozada, Moises Andres, Raymond Rudica, Christian Tabernero, Jorge Alpas, Alvin Ramos, Roy Lascuna, Roland Tolentino, Abigael Leonardo, Bienvenido Peralta, Dharry Cabigting, and Honeylet Dionisio.

Also arrested were Garry Cuizon, Erwin Jay Bernardino, Gloreto Flor, Mark Joseph Manalastas, Renier Samonte, Rogelio dela Cruz Jr., Juliet Oreo, Christopher Lignes, Jeffrey Alquiroz, Connie Santos, Danilo Santos Ireneo Jr., Diomedes Abragan Piraman Jr., Arnel Publico Pondias, Fernando dela Torre Adriano, and a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old.

Confiscated from the suspects were 41 sachets of suspected shabu, two sachets of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia, and buy-bust money.

The arrested suspects were charged for violation of Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) while the seized pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination. (PNA)

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Bulacan grain stakeholders, employees show support for NFA

By Manny Balbin  September 4, 2018, 4:21 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Grain stakeholders in Bulacan on Monday afternoon expressed support for National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jayson Aquino while NFA employees here raised their opposition to the call to abolish the agency.

Bulacan’s grain retailers association and the Farmers Action Council in the province came out with manifestations of support for the embattled Aquino.

The Grains Retailers Association of Bulacan, headed by Emmanuel Jacinto, and the Bulacan Provincial Farmers Action Council, headed by Anselmo Sanchez, each delivered to Elvira Obana, NFA-Bulacan chief, their own manifestation of support for Aquino.

“Aquino’s leadership in running the grain agency is effective but is being beset by issues beyond his control that led to the spiraling cost of commercial rice prices,” Sanchez said.

Jacinto and Sanchez pointed out that the problems hounding Aquino are the non-approval of the NFA council to raise the government’s support price for buying farmers’ produce from PHP17 per kg. to PHP22 per kg. and the council’s objection to import rice in October 2017 over the depleting rice stock inventories.

“The prices of commercial rice have drastically increased because palay prices have also increased and that farmers opted to sell their produce to commercial palay traders rather than the NFA because of its uncompetitive buying price compared to commercial traders,” Jacinto explained.

Meanwhile, Paolo Cruz, an employee and representative of NFA-Bulacan in inter-agency meetings in the province, said he believed that abolishing the NFA at this time is not the solution to the spiraling commercial rice prices.

“If the NFA is abolished as an agency and the NFA rice has been pulled out from the market, the staple food would then be likened to that of crude fuel and gasoline that the government has no control of,” Cruz added.

The NFA employees in Bulacan, together with Obana, also expressed support for Aquino by taking a brief afternoon break in front of their provincial office. (PNA)

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Village chief shot dead in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  September 1, 2018, 5:18 pm

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan -- A barangay (village) chairman was shot dead in front of a barangay hall here Friday night.

San Jose del Monte City police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola identified the victim as Barangay San Rafael II chairman, Deogracias Milallos, 58.

“The victim was in front of the barangay hall when shot by an unidentified armed suspect several times in different parts of his body. He was rushed to the nearest hospital but pronounced dead later,” Macariola said.

The victim was reportedly talking with other village officials - identified as Edelito de Mesa, Ricardo de Castro, and Elmerito Atanacio - when he was attacked.

Milallos was the third barangay chairman to be killed in the province this year.

Genaro Lopez, barangay chief of Labne, San Miguel, Bulacan was shot dead on May 25, 2018 by his motorcycle-riding assailants in front of a restaurant in Barangay Mojon, Malolos City.

On the other hand, village chairman Rodrigo Rodriguez of Mabalasbalas, San Rafael, Bulacan, was also killed in broad daylight on April 26, 2018 by riding-in-tandem gunmen. (PNA)

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Surprise rice inspection conducted on warehouses in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  September 1, 2018, 4:30 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol and National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Jayson Aquino led surprise inspections on eight NFA licensed grain warehouses of different farmers’ cooperatives in Marilao town Friday night.

NFA provincial manager in Bulacan, Elvira Obana, identified the eight warehouses as those being managed by Faerdig General Merchandise, LOM Marketing, Paracao General Merchandise, Calamba Rice Grower Multi-Purpose Coop, First Asia Agri-Industrial Resource Corp., Marolao General Merchandise, Ongeyesee Trading Corp., and Lambakin Agricultural Marketing Coop.

“The warehouses contain below normal rice stocks and consist mostly of glutinous (malagkit) rice,” Obana said. Stocks and sales inventories were conducted by the NFA on the eight warehouses that were inspected.

“We have been doing inspections of grains business establishments on a regular basis. Our enforcers have been apprehending and penalizing violators for various offenses. But during times like this, our own personnel may not be enough for the job. That is why we have to step up our efforts with the formation of the technical working group (TWG) to work closely with the different enforcement agencies, we hope that we can finally stop any moves of some people or groups to control the rice trade, ” Obana said, quoting Aquino.

Aquino has recently ordered the creation of a TWG composed of some NFA department managers to coordinate with other government enforcement agencies.

In his directive, Aquino stressed the urgency to heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call during his State of the Nation Address to resolve the issue of artificial rice shortage caused by hoarders, cartels, and their protectors.

“There is a directive from the President to put an end to these anti-people activities of some rice traders and to safeguard the public from this unscrupulous act,” Aquino said.

The TWG will coordinate closely with different intelligence and enforcement agencies, among them the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, and Philippine Competition Commission. (PNA)

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2 killed, 14 nabbed in Bulacan buy-bust ops

By Manny Balbin  September 1, 2018, 1:05 pm

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Two drug suspects were killed and 14 others were arrested Friday as a result of the Bulacan police’s relentless anti-illegal drug operations in the province.

Acting Bulacan police director, Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna identified the slain suspects as Sonny Boy Fernandez, a resident of Barangay Santisima Trinidad, and Reynaldo Pontawe of Inang Wika St., Barangay Caniogan, both in the City of Malolos.

Bersaluna said that in a report submitted by Malolos City police chief Supt. Herly Bruno, Fernandez was with one unidentified suspect on board a motorcycle while he transacted with the police poseur-buyer.

After the transaction, the suspect sensed that the buyer was an operative and immediately drew a gun from his sling bag and fired at the police officer but missed.

“A gunfight ensued which resulted in the neutralization of the suspect while his cohort managed to escape,” Bruno said in his report.

Recovered from the scene were four fired cartridges for a 9-mm. gun, a Caliber .38 revolver, a gray sling bag containing a wallet with 17 sachets of suspected "shabu" (crystal meth), two cellphones, and the marked money.

The other slain suspect Pontawe, who likewise sensed that he was dealing with an undercover policeman, hurriedly went inside his house to get a shotgun and fired at the police officer but failed to hit him.

Recovered were four fired cartridges for a Caliber 9-mm. gun, an improvised shotgun, two pieces live ammunition of a 12 gauge shotgun, a coin purse containing six sachets of suspected shabu, and marked money.

Meanwhile, the 14 other drug suspects were arrested in buy bust operations conducted in the towns of San Miguel, Pandi, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Bustos, Plaridel, Balagtas, Baliwag, and Sta. Maria and the City of San Jose del Monte.

Bersaluna identified the arrested drug suspects as Walter Aure, Marlon Reyes, Jerald Obispo, Erick Obispo, Christopher Yulo, Rowell Canta, John Paul Gonzales, Christopher de Guzman, Freddie Trinidad, Jane Lopez, Benson delos Santos, Jonathan Cruz, Rhaybie Gaddi, and Nicole Ann Esguerra.

A total of 55 sachets of suspected shabu and buy-bust money were seized from them.(PNA)

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P4-M 'shabu' seized in Bulacan town

By Manny Balbin  August 31, 2018, 7:29 pm

CAMP ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan – Operatives of Bulacan police and Northern Police District Drug Enforcement Unit on Friday conducted two buy-bust operations in Pandi town, this province resulting in the confiscation of more than PHP4 million worth of suspected "shabu".

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, said four drug suspects were arrested in the two police operations in Pandi Heights, Barangay Cacarong Matanda, Pandi town.

He said the first buy-bust operation at Lot 26, Block 16, Pandi Heights led to the arrest of Arjay Samporna and Reuben Bisonaya around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

He said recovered from the two drug suspects were two plastic sachets of suspected shabu, each weighing more or less 100 grams with an estimated street value of PHP680,000.

Bersaluna said the second buy-bust operation was conducted around 9:30 a.m. at Lot 24, Block 35 of the same subdivision that resulted in the arrest of Johari Mauna and Patang Mauna.

Confiscated from the two suspects were five plastic sachets of suspected shabu weighing more or less 500 grams of suspected sahbu with a street value of PHP3.4 million.

“A total of 600 grams of shabu with a street value of PHP4,080,000. were confiscated from the four suspects that were all brought to the Northern Police District Drug Enforcement Unit for proper disposition,” Bersaluna said. (PNA)

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1 killed, 21 arrested in Bulacan drug ops

By Manny Balbin  August 29, 2018, 6:38 pm

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- A drug  suspect was killed while 21 others  were arrested in separate anti-illegal drug operations conducted Tuesday by the Bulacan police. 

Based on the report to acting Bulacan Police Provincial Director, Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, San Jose del Monte City police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola identified the slain suspect as alias "Michael".

Macariola said anti-drug operatives conducted a buy bust operation against the suspect at about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

“After the transaction, a gunfight ensued when the suspect resisted arrest and fired a gun towards the operatives that resulted in his neutralization,” he said.

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

Meanwhile, 21 drug suspects were arrested while 55 plastic sachets of suspected shabu were confiscated in buy-bust operations conducted by police personnel of the City of San Jose Del Monte, Marilao,  Paombong, Balagtas, Obando, Pulilan, Bocaue, Baliwag, Pandi and Plaridel.

The arrested suspects were identified as Dante Feliciano Aliwalas, Jesusa Sinajon Bautista, Trykie Era, Jennilyn Ira, Raymond Ocampo, Domingo Banteng, Reymond Ferrero, Randy Hidalgo, Namnama Marinas, Nestor Estacio, Implicio Sacdalan Jr., Arnold Caluag, Raul Liam, Renante Lacbu, Sonny Sabaco, Ronald Liam, Erlinda Viñeza, July Abiol, Annabelle Herminigildo, Arthur Rabino, and Loyd Angeles.

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

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2 killed, 9 nabbed in Bulacan drug busts

By Manny Balbin  August 24, 2018, 9:53 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Two alleged drug peddlers were killed and nine other suspects were arrested in drug buy-bust operations conducted by the Pulilan and Meycauayan police on Thursday.

Bulacan acting Provincial Director, Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, identified the slain suspects as Jomari Reyes, of Barangay Paltao, Pulilan; and Julius Siriban, 38, of Barangay Bagbaguin, Meycauayan City.

Supt. Arwin Tadeo, Pulilan police chief, said Reyes noticed the approaching police operatives who were about to arrest him.

The suspect, upon sensing that he was transacting with police officers who acted as poseur buyers, pulled out his gun and fired at the policemen.

The operatives were prompted to retaliate reaulting in the death of the suspect, he added.

Recovered from the suspect were a coin purse containing a plastic sachet with dried marijuana leaves, marked PHP500 bill, a candy box containing four small heat plastic sachets of suspected shabu, one Magnum cal. 22 revolver without serial number and loaded with two ammunition, and three fcartridge cases.

The suspects’ orange Yamaha Mio motorcycle with MV file number 03610499266 is now in the custody of Pulilan police.

Meanwhile, Siriban fired at the operatives of Meycauayan police upon learning that he was dealing with an undercover agent.

Recovered from him were five small heat plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, a caliber .38 revolver without serial number loaded with four ammunition, two fired cartridge cases, one black sling bag containing a wallet and assorted documents.

Bersaluna said the nine drug suspects arrested in different buy-bust operations conducted by the police operatives of San Rafael, Pandi and City of San Jose Del Monte were Jerome Evangelista, Ahrlo John Ebio, Mark Gil Jandayan, Ruben Ibarra, Wilson Lozanta, Nelson Tayag, Alejandro Marasigan, Janice Marasigan, and Sherlo Santos.

A total of 30 heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu and buy-bust money were seized from them. (PNA)

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Town cop chief loses gun to ‘Bukas Kotse' gang

By Ric Sapnu  August 24, 2018, 8:16 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga  --  A police officer was victimized Thursday by the so-called “Bukas Kotse” gang and lost some personal belongings, including his firearm.

A report here said Supt. Dale Daupan Soliba, chief of Mexico Police Station, parked his Honda Civic Sedan (WHA-291) at the Kingsborough International Convention Center along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (JASA) in Barangay San Jose, City of San Fernando, to attend a meeting.

After the meeting, the victim discovered that his sling bag was already missing inside the vehicle, the report said.

Based on the CCTV footage, the suspects, after opening the police officer's car, boarded a white Nissan van without plate number and fled towards McArthur Highway.

Carted away by the Bukas Kotse gang were two pieces of Citibank credit cards, a Metrobank ATM, a Public Safety Savings and Loan Association Inc. (PSSLAI) identification card, and a caliber .45 pistol with loaded magazines, all inside the victim’s sling bag. (PNA)

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2 killed, 20 suspects nabbed in Bulacan drug ops

By Manny Balbin  August 23, 2018, 9:15 pm

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Two drug personalities were killed and 20 other suspects were arrested in simultaneous anti-illegal drug operations in this province Wednesday.

Bulacan acting provincial director, Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, identified the fatalities as Jhon Carlo Maglanque Alias “Chukoy,” from Barangay Poblacion, Baliwag, Bulacan, and a certain “Jun”.

Bersaluna said Maglanque was killed after a brief exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police operatives headed by Supt. Marlon Santos, Baliwag chief of police.

“The said operation stemmed from a report that the suspect was responsible in robbing a disabled person (mute) three months ago and was also an alleged supplier of illegal drugs,” Santos said.

Recovered from the scene were a Black Widow caliber .22 revolver without serial number and loaded with three pieces of ammunition; four pieces heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance suspected as shabu; a coin purse; and PHP500 marked money.

Bersaluna said based on the Santa Maria police, the other suspect known only as Jun was killed after engaging police operatives in a firefight at around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The suspect resisted arrest causing a commotion between him and the poseur buyer. The former then pulled out a caliber .38 revolver and fired at the police officer but missed.

Meanwhile, the arrest of the 20 drug suspects resulted from the simultaneous police operations conducted in the towns of Bustos, Calumpit, Hagonoy, San Ildefonso, San Rafael, Plaridel, Santa Maria and in Meycauayan City.

Bersaluna identified them as Reynold Corbito, Edna Calceta, Orlando Del Rosario, Gilbert Corpuz, Mark Angelo Reyes, Aldrin Flores, Meynard Japsay, Nadia Datuin, Alvin Lozano, Rodolfo Sotto, Dennis Sotto, Michael Barican, Michael Delos Reyes, Jam Ramos, Eliza Caugiran, Bobby Digueño, Roderick Santiago, Glenn Bernardino, Jobel Serapio and Rodolfo Salazar.

A total of 37 pieces of plastic sachets of suspected shabu, assorted drug paraphernalia and buy-bust money were confiscated from the suspects.

The seized pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination while criminal complaints for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) are being prepared against the arrested suspects. (PNA)

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4 drown in Bulacan fish port

By Manny Balbin  August 23, 2018, 6:56 pm

HAGONOY, Bulacan -- Members of Bulacan’s rescue team recovered Wednesday the bodies of four persons who drowned in a private fish port in Barangay Sto. Rosario, this town the previous day.

The victims were identified as Jonas Florentino, 17; Paul Andrew Reyes, 17; Oliver Ramos, 20; and Robert Silvestre, 26, all residents of Purok 4, Barangay Sto. Rosario.

Based on a report, Florentino dove into the shallow end of the river to catch fish near the fish port at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

When Florentino did not surface, Ramos and Reyes also dove to rescue their companion but unfortunately they too drowned.

Ramsey Manalo Reyes, member of the rescue team, said the bodies of Ramos and Reyes were found first during their search and retrieval operation conducted Wednesday.

“The body of Reyes was first found by the rescuers around 8 a.m. at the left side of the river near the port and after two hours, the body of Ramos was found at the right side of the river,” he said.

Reyes said the fourth victim, Silvestre, joined the search for his friend Florentino, but drowned as well.

Silvestre’s body was recovered at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday while the body of the first victim, Florentino, was last found by the rescuers at 6 p.m. also on Wednesday. (PNA)

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Bulacan anti-illegal drug ops net 19 suspects

By Manny Balbin  August 22, 2018, 4:59 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. Santos, Bulacan – At least 19 drug suspects were arrested in intensified anti-illegal drug operations conducted by the Bulacan police on Tuesday.

Acting Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna said the drug operations were conducted by operatives in the City of  San Jose del Monte and in the towns of Bocaue, Marilao, San Miguel, Hagonoy, Calumpit, Norzagaray and Baliwag.

Bersaluna identified the arrested drug suspects as Jonathan Gonzalez, 31; Windy delos Angeles, 29; Marjorie Mesias, 38; Noel Alsona Jr., 33; Romel Sta. Iglesia, 26; Wilson Soriano, 56; Danilo Salac Busan, 48; Reynaldo Milarpis, 50; Crispin de Guzman, 38; and Arnel Eusebio, 53.

Other arrested suspects were Roderick Villaruel, 42; Noel Tolentino, 35; Jerald Ester, 28; Jonathan Mawal, 44; Rorelyn Flores, 29; Joey Solmayor, 35; Roderick Almansor, 36; Ockzon Hernandez, 38: and Ruel Alcantara, 37.

Bersaluna also said a total of 50 plastic sachets of suspected "shabu" (crystal meth), assorted drug paraphernalia, and buy-bust money were confiscated from the suspects during the operations.

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

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Guv asks govt agencies to help solve flooding in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 21, 2018, 7:55 pm

Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado asks government agencies to help solve the perennial flooding in the province during a press conference on Monday (Aug. 20,2018). (Photo by Manny D. Balbin).

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado on Monday called on concerned government agencies, particularly the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), to help address the perennial flooding in the province through the enhancement of the water management of Angat dam.

The governor expressed belief the only thing that can resolve the present flooding problem in the towns of Hagonoy and Calumpit is proper water management, particularly in the operation of the big turbine of Angat dam.

“Stop releasing water from Angat dam. There should be a protocol that is to ask first the local governments before releasing water from Angat,” Alvarado said.

Calumpit and Hagonoy are low-lying towns and major catch basins in Bulacan.

“Angat dam continuously using the big turbine and releases big volume of water through a secret passage at the back of its turbine down to Bustos dam,” Alvarado said.

The governor said that Angat dam officials should use the four auxiliary small turbines instead of using the big turbine.

Operations of a big turbine generate oversupply of electricity for business purposes.

“This is not all about commerce and business, this is about the people of Bulacan and consumers of Metro Manila,” Alvarado said.

He said the flood waters in Calumpit, particularly in the villages of San Jose; Calizon; Bulusan; and Santa Lucia remain due to the flood waters coming from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, and the continuous release of water from Bustos dam.

The said villages in Calumpit and in Hagonoy are still under 1-2 feet of flood water even though it is no longer raining the past few days.

“The water is stagnant due to the back floods from nearby provinces, along with released water from Bustos Dam,” the governor said.

He urged the Angat Dam officials to temporarily stop using the big turbine and rather use alternatively the four auxiliary turbines for three to four days only, to give time for the flood water in Calumpit and Hagonoy to subside.

“We called for the national government to help the provincial government informing Angat Dam officials regarding the matter to resolve flood problem,” Alvarado said.

The governor, also chairperson of the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon, believes that cooperation and proper coordination between Angat dam officials and concerned government agencies will resolve the issue.

“We are not against them, everybody should cooperate and we will support to have a good management,” he said.

Alvarado said the provincial government, and the first and second Bulacan District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), are currently rehabilitating the roads damaged by the recent heavy rains and floods.

“The long-term solutions to address the flood problems in Bulacan and other parts of Central Luzon are underway but this will take some time and the rainy season is just around the corner. There will be floods, but it can be lessened if dam protocols are properly observed and the discharge of dam waters is properly coordinated with the provincial government through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office,” he added.

Two years ago, Alvarado suggested the creation of more mini dams in Nueva Ecija and Candaba swamp to prevent flash floods in coastal areas such as in Calumpit and Hagonoy, and make it a source of potable surface water and irrigation.

Angat Dam, located in Barangay San Lorenzo in Norzagaray, Bulacan is a concrete water reservoir embankment hydroelectric dam that supplies 60 percent of water to Metro Manila area. The dam is also part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system.

Being used by the sub-reservoir of Maynilad Water Corporation, Angat dam also irrigates about 25,000 hectares of farmland in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga. (PNA)

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Bustos Dam’s Continuous Release of Water Worsens Floods in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 18, 2018, 6:31 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan-– Bustos Dam is continuously releasing water towards the Angat River for the seventh day on Saturday since the southwest monsoon enhanced by the passing of several tropical storms dumped heavy rains in the province.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) of Bulacan reported that Bustos Dam started releasing water at 6 a.m. last Saturday that aggravates the flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy towns.

“The two towns are the catch basin for receding floodwater from Pampanga and Nueva Ecija before finding its way to the Manila Bay, “ PDRRMO chief Liz Mungcal said.

And as of Friday afternoon, all of the 29 barangays in Calumpit are still inundated with floodwater - with some areas having as deep as six feet of water; Hagonoy has eight barangays flooded up to one foot deep; Paombong has 14 villages submerged under water with some up to two feet deep; and Bocaue has two barangays under one foot deep of floodwater.

The total damages in agriculture is estimated at PHP54, 219,804.03 in fishery and PHP7,739,201.78 in rice while damage in infrastructures is at PHP5,100,000. (PNA)

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2 Gun-For-Hire, carnap group members killed in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 18, 2018, 6:28 pm

CAMP ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan-- Two members of Raga Group, a gun-for-hire and carnapping group, were killed while another member was arrested Friday in the manhunt operation conducted by Bulacan police.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Bulacan acting provincial director, said that joint elements of Bulacan operatives were supposed to serve warrant of arrest for murder and violation of anti-carnapping law against Brian Raga, who was believed responsible for the series of carnapping in the town of San Ildefonso and nearby areas and was identified to be connected with the Delos Reyes gun-for-hire group, when the shoot out took place.

“Raga and one unidentified suspect fired towards approaching operatives in their hideout located at Sitio Duplas, Barangay Kalawakan, Dona Remedios Trinidad, prompting our operatives to retaliate causing the death of two suspects,” Bersaluna said.

Found at the crime scene were one caliber 9-mm Beretta used by Raga; sling bag containing a hand grenade; one 12-gauge Winchester shotgun; and one caliber .45 pistol.

On the other hand, operatives manning the blocking force arrested another suspect identified as Joel Bernales, who was trying to escape from the area.

Recovered from his possession was an Armscor caliber .45 pistol with SN 1103128.

Meanwhile, Bulacan operatives also arrested six wanted persons in different manhunt operations Friday.

They were Jenelyn Morales, resident of Poblacion, Pulilan, and listed as the No. 5 most wanted of person of the Highway Patrol Group Region 3; Jayson Balita, 27, and Roji Abria, 20, both from Barangay Catacte Bustos; Archie Israel Morales, 26, of Barangay Sta Monica, Hagonoy; Ryan Magkasi, 34, of Meycauayan City; and Noime Nicolas, 46, from Barangay Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria.

“The arrested persons are now under the custody of respective unit/stations for proper disposition,” Bersaluna added. (PNA)

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AFP Chief inspects Bulacan Disaster Operation Center

By Manny Balbin  August 16, 2018, 5:49 pm

DISASTER TECHNOLOGY. Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado shows Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. the modern technology being used at the Bulacan disaster management operation center, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff  General Carlito Galvez, Jr., inspected Wednesday the operation center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Bulacan to observe how “Operation Listo” is being run.

Galvez visited the facility after serving as guest of honor in the simple commemoration of the 440th founding anniversary of Bulacan held at the Provincial Gymnasium here.

The general also took the opportunity to observe  “Operation Listo,” a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) program consisting of disaster preparedness manuals that contain procedures on the courses of actions that need to be done by local chief executives before, during and after the occurrence of disasters and calamities in their respective areas or communities.

Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado explained to Galvez that with the PDRRMC program, disaster management authorities can coordinate with all the cities, municipalities, and government agencies on real-time situations as CCTV cameras are installed in strategic places to monitor flood and traffic situations in the country.

PDRRMO head Felicisima Mungcal said their operation center uses modern technology to regularly receives updates and observations from rain gauges and water levels of the river systems in the province, including that of Angat, Ipo and Bustos Dams and other risks areas in the province.

"We have regular reading/receiving of observations from rain gauges and water level stations located in different areas in the province," Mungcal said. (PNA)

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AFP Chief makes nostalgic homecoming to Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 16, 2018, 3:56 pm

HOMECOMING. Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. delivers his message before Bulakenyos  during the 440th founding anniversary of  Bulacan. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. made a nostalgic homecoming to this historic province on Wednesday.

A true-blooded Bulakenyo, Galvez was guest speaker during the celebration of the 440th founding anniversary of Bulacan, which was  held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium here.

“Unang-una sa lahat (First of all), thank you for the privilege of being born as a Bulakenyo and I am happy to be back. Bilang isang anak ng Bulacan, wala nang hihigit pa sa karangalang maanyaya dito, tulad ng isang anak na nasasabik na makauwi sa kanyang tahanan (As a son of Bulacan, nothing compares to the honor of being invited here, like a son who is excited to return to his home),” said Galvez, who came with his wife, parents and other members of his family.

He said Bulacan reached its 440th year of establishment after having helped mold the history of this country.

“In the passing time and through trials, it remains as one of the cornerstones of our independent Philippines,” Galvez said.

Meanwhile, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy–Alvarado cited the importance of looking back at the past, saying that those memories would help everyone to better face the future.

“Napakahalagang muli nating lingunin ang nakaraan at patuloy na pasiklabin ang kanyang alaala kung nais nating mabunying harapin ang maningning na pagbubukang liwayway ng kinabukasan (It is very important that we look back at the past and keep its memory alive if we want to boldly face the bright dawn of the future),” Alvarado said.

Likewise, he expressed his appreciation to the people who sacrificed their lives to liberate Bulacan and the nation.

During Wednesday's event, the governor also enumerated the successful projects that materialized during his administration, as well as the provincial government's future projects for Bulacan. (PNA)

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Bulacan declares state of calamity due to massive floods

By Manny Balbin  August 15, 2018, 8:10 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The province of Bulacan was placed under a state of calamity in the aftermath of the massive flooding caused by weather disturbances and southwest monsoon rains.

Bulacan’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board), through the initiative of Board Members Felix Ople and Therese Cheryll Ople, on Wednesday passed the resolution for the declaration, citing the damaging effects of flood in the province's agriculture, livelihood and infrastructure.

The declaration was signed upon the request of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), headed by its chairman, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado.

Alvarado said the declaration would help them address the situation through the immediate release of funds needed for relief operation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and rescue measures.

Based on PDRRMC Resolution No. 1 series of 2018, cities and towns in the province suffered heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Storm Henry last July 15-24;  Tropical Storm Inday last July 17-24; and Tropical Depression Josie last July 20-23, all of which enhanced the southwest monsoon.

The situation in the province worsened following the continuous heavy rains caused by the southwest monsoon that was enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding and the high tide on August 11-13.

Based on the damage assessment report of members and representatives of the council and other partner agencies from different government and private sectors, some 124,986 families, or 624,930 individuals, have been affected by the weather disturbance. A total of 1,678 families were temporarily sheltered in 32 evacuation centers in the province.

In terms of infrastructure, damage to primary and secondary roads in the province was estimated at PHP46 million.

Some 1,567 hectares of farmland and 1,901 hectares of fish pond were also damaged and the figures are seen to increase in the coming days due to the continuous rains.

Likewise, 100 cooperatives and 70 small and medium enterprises from Bocaue, Marilao, Balagtas, and City of Meycauayan were affected by the calamity.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Health Office-Public Health distributed 46,500 capsules of Doxycycline and ointment for leptospirosis in the cities of Malolos and Meycauayan as well as in the towns of Bocaue, Bulakan, Bustos, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong, Plaridel, Pandi, San Rafael, Pulilan, Marilao, and Obando.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office also continued distributing relief goods.

Alvarado said the PDRRMC has intensified its massive damage assessment and needs analysis (DANA) for rehabilitation.

A state of calamity has also been declared in Meycauayan City and in the towns of Hagonoy, Paombong, Marilao, and Calumpit.

The governor reminded Bulakenyos to protect themselves against diseases common during the rainy season, such as dengue and leptospirosis. (PNA)

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Bulacan city, 4 towns under state of calamity due to floods

By Manny Balbin  August 14, 2018, 7:49 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A city and four towns in Bulacan province have been placed under a state of calamity due to the damages caused by floods brought about by the southwest monsoon or "habagat" in the past few days.

Mina Ingusan of the Provincial Public Affairs Office (PPAO) said the local governments of Meycauayan City and the towns of Hagonoy, Paombong, Calumpit, and Marilao declared a state of calamity in their respective jurisdictions.

Ingusan also said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bulacan is pushing for the declaration of a state of calamity for the entire province except for the town of Doña Remedios Trinidad.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported that as of Tuesday, floods induced by the southwest monsoon rains have caused some PHP41.85 million in initial damage to farms and fishponds in the province.

A total of 1,096.10 hectares of fishponds in the province were affected by the floods, causing an estimated PHP33,812,517 in losses to 532 fishpond operators.

Likewise, the PDRRMO said that some 2,280.82 hectares of rice lands were inundated, causing an initial estimated damage of PHP8,033,726.78.

Edgardo Cabigao, barangay chairman of Caliligawan in Malolos, a coastal village along Manila Bay, confirmed that most of the fishponds in the coastal areas of Bulacan had been affected by the floods since Sunday.

“Most if not all of the fishponds in the coastal villages of Masile; Babatnin; Namayan; Pamarawan; and Kaliligawan, all in the City of Malolos, were submerged up to knee-high from its dikes,” Cabigao said.

The latest PDRRMO report showed that the number of villages in the province that went under water were City of Malolos, 48 barangays; Calumpit, 29; Hagonoy, 20; Bocaue, 16; Paombong, 14; Guiguinto 13; and Marilao with 11 barangays inundated from one-half foot to six feet deep.

Flooded villages in Obando numbered five; Balagtas, five; Baliwag, four; Meycauayan, three; Plaridel, one; and Bustos, one.

A total of 47 evacuation centers were also established in these flood-affected towns and cities, the PDRRMO said.

So far, no untoward incident has been reported by the PDRRMO. (PNA)

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1,059 families evacuate due to flood in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 13, 2018, 7:12 pm

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan -- Some 1,059 families or 2,557 persons were transferred to 17 evacuation centers in Bulacan as southwest monsoon rains enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding flooded at least 70 villages in the province over the weekend.

Classes in 19 towns and three cities were suspended in all levels, both in public and private schools, due to heavy downpour and deep floodwater.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported Monday that the 70 flooded barangays were in Meycauayan City and the towns of Hagonoy, Marilao, Baliwag, Balagtas, Bocaue, Guiguinto and Calumpit.

PDRRMO head Liz Mungcal said that in Meycauyan City, 10 villages -- Bancal, Banga, Bayugo, Longos, Calvario, Hulo, Longos, Saluysoy, Gasak, and Zamora -- were under one to two feet of floodwater due to the high tide and continuous rains.

In the coastal area of the town of Hagonoy, the affected barangays were Abulalas, Mercado, Palapat, Sagrada Familia, San Agustin, San Isidro, San Jose, San Juan, San Miguel, San Nicolas, San Pablo, San Pascual, San Pedro, San Roque, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Santa Monica, Poblacion, Santo Rosario and Tampok, which were under two- to three-feet deep floodwater.

Meanwhile, 14 barangays in Calumpit were submerged in floodwater one to two feet deep. These were Sapang Bayan, Meysulao, San Miguel, Gatbuca, Frances, Calizon, Iba Este, Gugo, San Jose, Sta. Lucia, Bulusan, Pio Cruzcosa, Palimbang and Poblacion.

In Marilao, four villages -- Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Nagbalon, and Ibayo -- were under 1.5 to 2.5-feet deep of floodwater.

“Floods were also reported in eight barangays in Bocaue; six in Baliwag; four in Guinguinto; and three in Balagtas,” Mungcal also said.

The PDRRMO also reported that Ipo Dam has released a total of 61.90 cubic meter per second of water from Radial Gate 1, and 70.50 cubic meters per second of water from Radial Gate B.

On the other hand, Bustos Dam has been releasing water from its spill gates -- a total of 221 cubic meters per second from its South Sluice Gates 1 and 2 and North Sluice Gate 1.

Meanwhile, the Calumpit–Hagonoy and the Calumpang-Panginay provincial roads were not passable to light vehicle as of Monday morning.

The Lias-Ibayo Road in Marilao, on the other hand was passable to all kinds of vehicles while the detour road in Bustos  was temporarily closed. (PNA)

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5 drug suspects arrested in Bulacan buy-bust ops

By Manny Balbin  August 13, 2018, 6:57 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — Five drug suspects were arrested in buy-bust operations conducted by Bulacan police authorities on Sunday.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial police director of the Bulacan, identified the five as Edwin Guttan, 38, of Sitio Balubaran, Barangay Duhat, Bocaue; Harris Apostol, 30, from Barangay San Vicente, San Miguel; Joven Saragoza, 29, of Barangay Longos, Pulilan; Tomas Lopez, 40, of Barangay Poblacio, Bustos; and Jerome Cabangun,24, from Barangay Minuyan Proper, City of San Jose Del Monte.

Bersaluna said a total of 17 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, assorted drug paraphernalia and buy-bust money were confiscated from the suspects.

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

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Bulacan dams open spill gates

By Manny Balbin  August 12, 2018, 4:17 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The Ipo and Bustos dams released water on their spillways due to heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon and enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) reported that Ipo Dam has released a total of 61.90 cubic meters per second of water on Saturday midnight but closed the gates of spillways at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

On the other hand, PDRRMO said Bustos Dam started releasing water from its spill gates since Saturday morning.

As of Sunday morning, the Bustos dam has been releasing a total of 543 cubic meters per second from its South Sluice Gates 1 and 2; North Sluice Gate; and Radial Gate.

Meanwhile, Angat Dam, the biggest dam in the province and a major raw water supplier to Metro Manila residents, has not yet released any water from its spill gates, since the water elevation in its reservoir has not yet reached the flood season height water level.

"As of Sunday morning, water elevation at Angat Dam is 199.30 meters which is more than 10 meters below its 210-meter flood season high water level; Ipo Dam has 101.13 meters against it 101.00 spilling level and Bustos Dam at 17.52 meters against its spilling level of 17.50," PDRRMO chief Liz Mungcal said.

Some 15 barangays in Meycauayan City were inundated up to four feet of floodwater; six barangays were flooded up to four feet deep in Marilao; while Calumpit has 11 villages submerged up to three feet of floodwater.

The PDRRMO said an evacuation center has been established at the barangay hall of Malhacan in Meycauayan City, where 59 families were evacuated.

Mungcal said her office has not received reports of untoward incidents due to the inclement weather. (PNA)

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‘Bola Kontra Droga’ launched to achieve drug-free Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 10, 2018, 8:27 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A campaign dubbed “Bola Kontra Droga” was launched here Thursday as part of the continuing efforts of the provincial government to fight illegal drugs.

Under the program, movie and TV personalities will make the rounds of school campuses in the province of Bulacan to play basketball with the locals.

“This is our contribution to the appeal of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his bid to achieve a drug-free Philippines and we will start this by pushing for a drug-free Bulacan. Bola Kontra Droga for a drug-free Bulacan, drug-free showbiz,” Vice Governor Daniel R. Fernando said during a press conference in line with the “Bola Kontra Droga” Campus Tour.

After the conference, a celebrity all-star team competed in a basketball game against players of the Bulacan State University (BulSU).

Fernando said that he sought the help of showbiz celebrities for his campaign against illegal drugs because they are role models and great influencers to the youth.

He said the celebrities can also help him in his campaign for a drug-free showbiz industry.

“Due to the serious involvement of our industry colleague in illegal drugs, our dream is that we also have a drug-free showbiz to make our artists good example for our people especially to the young ones,” Fernando added.

Joross Gamboa, one of the celebrity players in the shoot-out, said Vice Governor Fernando gave their basketball group a purpose, which is to inspire and educate the youth on the harmful effects of illegal drugs.

“We spent 10 years playing basketball. We have been playing together for many years in the Philippines but now we have encountered this. When we were with Vice Fernando, we had the purpose in our tour. Our purpose now is not just to entertain,” Gamboa said.

Other members of the celebrity all-star team include Derick Hubalde, Mark Herras, Jordan Herrera, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, Matt Evans, Marco Alcaraz, Joseph Bitangcol and JC Tiuseco, who all expressed their willingness to undergo an on-the-spot drug testing to prove that they are not taking any illegal substance.

Vice Governor Fernando expressed belief that the youth could be saved from the dangerous effects of drugs if their attention will be diverted to enjoyable yet worthy activities such as playing sports.

“This is one healthy way to divert the attention of young people against illegal drugs. To  encourage them to learn sports such as basketball. By doing so, they cannot only improve their physical well-being, they also become fit to focus their minds on their studies,” Fernando said.

The next celebrity shoot-out will be on September 4 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Santa Maria and on September 25 at Bulacan Polytechnic College-Malolos.

The “Bola Kontra Droga” Campus Tour (Basketball Shoot-out with Celebrities) was initiated by Vice Governor Fernando and the Damayang Filipino Movement Inc. with the support and cooperation of the provincial government of Bulacan and BulSU. (PNA)

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28 drug personalities, 10 wanted persons nabbed in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 10, 2018, 8:10 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- At least 28 drug suspects and 10 wanted persons were arrested by the Bulacan police in its  anti-criminality and anti-illegal drug operations for the past 24 hours from Thursday to Friday.

Senior Superintendent Chito G. Bersaluna, acting Bulacan provincial director, reported to Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) Director Chief Superintendent Amador V. Corpus that the suspects were apprehended in buy-bust operations in the cities of San Jose del Monte and Meycauayan and the towns of Hagonoy, Marilao, Santa Maria and San Rafael.

Confiscated from them were a  total of 44 plastic sachets of suspected shabu (crystal meth), a plastic sachet of suspected dried marijuana leaves, assorted drug paraphernalia and marked money.

Bersaluna identified the arrested suspects as as Julius Baduria, Monique Salvador, Norberto Cababag, Melanie Babiera, Lailanie Bayonito, Creslie Culala, Leopoldo Rivera, Leo Rivera, Mico Yap, Alexander Bautista, Julieta Bautista, Aristotle Bautista, Elmer Reyes, Vilma Garcia;

Gary Casipit, Raymark Casipit, Jaime Pabiko, Edgardo Contiga, Mark Mejos, Ryan Rubio, Emily Ayo, Carmelita Cationg, Ariel Gillo, Michael Dela Cruz, Rodolfo Espiritu, Roy Cabusas, Raymundo Huete and Robin Pinaflorida.

“The arrested suspects and seized pieces of evidence were brought to Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination. Criminal complaints of violation of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002)  against them are now being prepared for filing in court,” Bersaluna added.

Meanwhile, he said two of the 10 arrested wanted persons include the No. 2  most wanted in San Rafael town, identified as Ariel Betchayda, 34, construction worker and wanted for murder; and the No. 6 most wanted in the City of Malolos identified as Jomarie Baluyot, 31, a drug suspect with no bail recommended.

Bersaluna said the eight other wanted persons facing different criminal cases were arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest by the operatives of Bulacan 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) and operatives of cities/towns of San Jose del Monte;  Meycauayan;  Norzagaray; and San Miguel.

They were identified as Emmalyn Candelaria, Cecilia Rodeadilla,  Zandro Mamorno, Angelo Baluran, Alvin Payno, Marvin Nazar, Olive Macabante, and Ofelia Cruz.     

“The arrested wanted persons are now under the custody of the respective city and municipal police stations for proper disposition,” Bersaluna said. (PNA)

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3 killed, 15 other suspects nabbed in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  August 9, 2018, 7:53 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- Three drug suspects were killed and 15 others were arrested as the Bulacan police continued its intensified anti-illegal drug operations in the province.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan police acting director, identified the three as Estong Villanueva; Kevin Acuna; and a certain Toto, who were killed on Thursday in separate buy-bust operations conducted in the towns of San Ildefonso, Plaridel, and Bocaue, respectively.

“The three suspects engaged in a shootout with undercover agents upon sensing that they were dealing with police,” Bersaluna said.

He also said that 12 drug suspects were arrested in buy-bust operations conducted in the towns of Paombong, Calumpit, Plaridel, Bulakan, and Baliwag, and in the City of San Jose del Monte. A total of 47 plastic sachets of suspected shabu were confiscated from them.

Bersaluna also said three drug surrenderers, who turned out positive in a drug test during the drug dependency examination in Barangay Cupang, Pandi were apprehended.

The arrested suspects and confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory for examination.

Appropriate criminal complaints were being prepared against the three. (PNA)

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Notorious crime group member in Bulacan killed in a shootout

By Manny Balbin  August 9, 2018, 6:30 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — The Bulacan Provincial Intelligence Group killed on Thursday the remaining member of the notorious Delos Reyes crime group operating in this province in Barangay Pala-Pala, San Ildefonso.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of the Bulacan PNP, identified the suspect as alias Osbet.

Based on the report, members of the Bulacan Provincial Intelligence Group, in coordination with the San Ildefonso Municipal Police Station, was conducting a surveillance when they chanced upon the suspect who was then driving his motorcycle near the boundary of Barangay Pala-Pala and Barangay Pinaod.

The team tailed the suspect who became suspicious and fired his gun towards the operatives.

The operatives retaliated, causing the death of the suspect.

Recovered in the crime scene is a chromed caliber .45 pistol used by the suspect.

The Delos Reyes crime group was responsible for a series of robbery hold-ups and killings in Bulacan.

Last June, the leader of the group, Michael delos Reyes, who was tagged as the No. 2 most wanted person in the provincial level and No. 9 in the regional level, was killed in a shootout with policemen in Apalit, Pampanga. (PNA)

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Bulacan leaders welcome NLEX, DPWH road network expansion plans

By Manny Balbin  August 8, 2018, 9:41 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Provincial leaders are fully supporting the network expansion plans of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), particularly the proposed road network improvements around the Bocaue area in this province.

The proposed road network improvements include the new NLEX access road via Tambubong; a new Bocaue interchange bypass southbound entry; the expansion of the existing Bocaue interchange ramps; development of the full Balagtas interchange; and the opening of a direct access road within the Ciudad de Victoria leading to Gov. Halili Avenue in Santa Maria, Bulacan.

According to the provincial officials, these proposed road projects are expected to boost economic growth; improve the delivery of public services; and provide motorists and commuters with maximum travel convenience and safety.

”The implementation of the road projects will significantly contribute to the decongestion of the Bocaue Interchange and Gov. Halili Avenue in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan,” Bulacan 2nd District Rep. Gavini Pancho said.

CIBAC Party-List Rep. Sherwin Tugna, for his part, said “the new road improvements are necessary to make Bulacan province more vibrant and attractive to potential investors.”

DPWH Central Luzon Regional Director Roseller Tolentino affirmed that the agency is prepared to support the road network expansion along the NLEX leading to the national roads to further develop the growth of local businesses in the province.

Based on the project proposals, priority will be given to a new southbound entry ramp in Barangay Taal and northbound entry and exit ramps will be constructed in Barangay Tambubong to help alleviate heavy traffic conditions at the current Bocaue interchange.

The future interchange will serve as an alternative route for motorists bound for Pandi, Bulacan and nearby towns.

A new access road will also be built from Gov. F. Halili Avenue in Barangay Turo to the southbound portion near the Bocaue Toll Plaza.

With this new bypass, motorists coming from the west side of the NLEX will have an alternate route via the NLEX to Manila without passing through the heavily-traveled Bocaue Interchange.

The ramps of the Bocaue interchange will also be expanded to accommodate the additional lanes at the bridge currently being constructed by the DPWH.

The Balagtas interchange, on the other hand, will also get a boost with the construction of new northbound and southbound access roads.

Motorists coming from Balagtas going to the north will no longer need to use local roads to use the Sta. Rita interchange.

Eventually, motorists from the north will also be able to exit at Balagtas southbound instead of using Bocaue interchange.

Bulacan province has been contributing to the thriving economy of Central Luzon -- the country’s second fastest growing region which, according to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), posted a 9.3-percent increase in its gross regional domestic product in 2017. (PNA)

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10 nabbed in Bulacan drug buy-bust

By Manny Balbin  August 8, 2018, 9:36 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- Ten drug peddlers were arrested in separate buy-bust operations Tuesday and early Wednesday as the Bulacan police continued its relentless drive against illegal drugs.

Senior Superintendent Chito G. Bersaluna, acting director of Provincial Police Office of Bulacan, identified the arrested suspects as Jayson Landayan, Ariel Landayan, Doni Ivan Cruz, Iro Juneer Munda, Ampee Rivera, Rey Jay Turtoga, Ranillo Rarogal, Jevinal Secretaryo, Ramon Francisco and Roldan De Villar.

Bersaluna said 36 pieces of heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected “shabu” and buy-bust money were confiscated during the operations in the cities of San Jose del Monte (SJDM) and Meycauayan and in the towns of Balagtas, Angat, Bustos, Pulilan, and Obando.

He said the arrested suspects and seized pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination.

“Criminal complaints for violation of RA 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against the suspects are now being prepared for filing in court,” he added. (PNA)

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3 killed, 21 nabbed in Bulacan police anti-criminality ops

By Manny Balbin  August 7, 2018, 7:52 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan — Three drug suspects were killed and 21 others were arrested by the Bulacan police in its anti-criminality law enforcement operations conducted Monday and Tuesday.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of the Bulacan Philippine National Police (PNP), identified the three slain suspects as Marcelino Peña; a certain Michael; and an alias Pilan who were killed in anti-illegal drug operations conducted in the towns of Pandi, Bocaue and Meycauayan City.

“They all engaged in a shootout upon sensing that they were dealing with police operatives during the buy-bust operations,” he said.

Recovered from the suspects were 21 small heat-sealed sachets of suspected shabu (crystal meth); three caliber .38 revolver; several fired cartridges, live ammunition; and buy-bust money.

Of the 21 arrested persons, Bersaluna said that five were drug pushers - Eduardo Lugue; Roberto Mendoza; Jayson Bauzon; Regie Javier and Rhea Cabal, who were caught in buy-bust operations in Malolos City, Hagonoy and Santa Maria.

Others arrested include a motorcycle thief, a swindler, 11 illegal gamblers and three wanted persons.

“We will never stop our intensified campaign against all forms of criminality in the province,” Bersaluna stressed. (PNA)

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17 illegal gamblers nabbed in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 6, 2018, 7:35 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Seventeen individuals were arrested by the Bulacan police under its  intensified campaign against illegal gambling in this province on Sunday.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of the Bulacan Philippine National Police (PNP), said that operatives of 1st  and 2nd Bulacan Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) immediately responded to reports regarding the illegal gambling activities in the towns of Norzagaray and Pulilan.

Bersaluna said the arrested suspects in Norzagaray were Roderick Balilla, Adrian Pol Salvador, Alvin Balilla and Antonio Peña.

Those collared in Pulilan town, he said, were Nestor Davi; Daniel Francia; Nemesio Diego; Reynaldo Cruz; Lito Cruz; Pablo Galupo Jr.;  Jayson Dela Cruz; Jovito Baltazar; Romeo Mendoza; Venacio Contreras; Domingo Roque; Melanio Sampoleo; and Josephina Sumago.

Confiscated during the operations were 148 pieces of green chips; 54 pieces of playing cards; five pieces of dices; and total bet money of PHP980 in different denominations.

The suspects are now under the custody of 1st and 2nd PMFC.

“The Bulacan police will continuously implement its intensified campaign against all forms of illegal gambling in the province, particularly to the areas where illegal gambling activities are said to be rampant,” Bersaluna said. (PNA)

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Over 100 families evacuated as flashfloods hit Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 3, 2018, 9:39 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Several low-lying villages in the City of San Jose del Monte and the towns of Santa Maria, Bocaue and Marilao were hit by flashfloods Friday morning, prompting the evacuation of over 100 families.

Reports from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) headed by Felicisima Mungcal said the flashfloods were caused by the swelling of the river system of the said localities as early as 4 a.m. The water subsided by noontime.

“Some families in the towns of Sta. Maria and Bocaue along its respective riverbanks were forcibly evacuated as the water immediately overflowed and floodwaters continued to rise from 2 to 4 feet,” Mungcal said. 

"Two evacuation centers were also established in Sta. Maria town, taking in a total of 117 families," she said. She, however, failed to give the number of families evacuated in Bocaue.

Mungcal said three villages in Sta. Maria town were inundated by up to four feet deep of water; six villages in Bocaue; three villages in Marilao; and five villages in the City of San Jose del Monte.

Likewise, she said that roads in Barangays Bambang, Sulucan,  Bunlo and Binang 1st, all  in Bocaue town, were submerged in 2 to 4-foot deep floodwaters starting at 5 a.m. and were rendered impassable for all kinds of vehicles.

Meanwhile, Rep. Florida Robes said that the flashflood originated from the deforested part of the Sierra Madre Mountain range in the City of San Jose del Monte.

Supt. Fitz Macariola, police chief of the City of San Jose Del Monte, said the initial report that reached him said a house was washed out by the flashflood in Barangay Minuyan and some 30 families were affected.

Macariola also said that there were six houses damaged in Sitio Sulukan, Sapang Palay Proper, also in the City of San Jose Del Monte.

The PDRRMO reported that water elevations in the three dams in Bulacan were monitored at 8 a.m. as 196.99 meters for Angat Dam, more than 13 meters below its flood season high water level; Ipo Dam, 101.75 meters against its spilling level of 101.00 meters; and Bustos Dam at 17.61 meters against its spilling level of 17.50 meters.

So far, only Bustos Dam has released water from two of its spill gates that were opened up to four meters each and discharged a total of 135 cubic meters per second of water. (PNA)

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House Speaker turns over dredging equipment to Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 3, 2018, 9:30 pm

HOUSE SPEAKER IN BULACAN. Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio C. Alvarado, Bulacan Acting Governor Daniel Fernando, and Vice Mayor Pedro Santos confer about the dredging operation at Bagbag Bridge in Calumpit, Bulacan, Aug. 3, 2018. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CALUMPIT, Bulacan — House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday turned over to the municipal government here brand new dredging equipment that can help address the perennial flooding problem in this town.

The turnover of the PHP45-million multi-purpose Amphibious dredger and backhoe was done in time for the start of a dredging operation at Bagbag Bridge in Barangay Iba Este here. 

Bulacan First District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the former President, now House Speaker Arroyo, for granting the local government’s request for the equipment.

"Malaking tulong ito sa mamamayan ng Calumpit na naapektuhan ng malawakang pagbaha tuwing may kalamidad (This is a big help to the people of Calumpit who are affected by massive flooding every time there is calamity," the lawmaker said.

Also present during the turnover of the dredging equipment were acting Governor Daniel R. Fernando; Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus; Hagonoy Vice Mayor Pedro Santos; and Mayor’s League president, Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr. (PNA)

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158 housing units turned over to Bulacan town informal settlers

By Manny Balbin  August 3, 2018, 8:36 pm

HOUSE TO OWN. Senator Joel Villanueva (left) and his sister Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna give the house key to one of the 158 beneficiaries of the housing project at Bocaue Hills AFP-PNP Housing, Barangay Batia in Bocaue, Bulacan. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

BOCAUE, Bulacan – A total of 158 informal settler-families living along waterways and in flood-prone areas in this town now have houses they can call their own.

Senator Joel Villanueva, on his birthday Thursday, led the turnover of the 158 housing units from the National Housing Authority (NHA), in coordination with the local government unit (LGU) of Bocaue.

Villanueva said families who live along waterways and flood-prone areas were prioritized for relocation at the Bocaue Hills AFP-PNP Housing, Barangay Batia here.

The senator, together with his sister, Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna, awarded the first batch of 158 out of 500 housing units allocated for Bocaueños.

“We express our sincerest gratitude to the NHA for giving hope to our kababayans. Our people will now have a clean and habitable environment that they can call home,” Villanueva said.

“For us Filipinos, it is very important to have our own home. So in our Constitution, housing is not just a part of social service. That's basic human rights. It is the right of every Filipino, especially our workers, to have their own home,” the senator added.

Meanwhile, Tugna said it is her dream to have no more informal settlers in the town of Bocaue.

“There are lots of socialized housing intended for my kababayan Bocauenos," the lady mayor added.

Engineer Ramon Paragas of NHA-Bulacan said each housing unit has a lot area of 36 square meters and costs PHP175,000, of which PHP35,000 will be subsidized by the housing agency.

"They are going to pay PHP200 for the first five years, and the housing unit is payable (in) 30 years,” Paragas added.

The application fees for water and power connection will likewise be shouldered by the NHA.

Villanueva also inaugurated a newly-constructed senior citizens’ building and a day care center in Guiguinto and Balagtas towns, respectively.  (PNA)

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2 killed, 63 arrested in series of police ops in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  August 2, 2018, 7:39 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan --Two drug suspects were killed while 63 others were arrested in the continuation of the Bulacan Police's Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operation (SACLEO) conducted Wednesday night.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of Bulacan, said that a certain "alias Biboy" and a still unidentified suspect were killed in a buy-bust operation in San Rafael town.

“Both the suspects resisted arrest and instead fired their guns toward the operatives who retaliated and killed them,” Bersaluna said.

Recovered from the crime scene were .45-caliber and 9-mm pistols without serial numbers; several empty shells for caliber 9-mm and 45-caliber pistols, and a tricycle unit.

Bersaluna said that 31 drug suspects, including one minor, were also arrested in the towns of Balagtas, Marilao, Guiguinto, Bocaue, Bustos, San Miguel, Baliwag, Hagonoy, Calumpit; and the cities of San Jose Del Monte, Malolos and Meycauayan.

He said a total of 66 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, one plastic sachet of marijuana leaves and assorted drug paraphernalia and marked money were seized during the said anti-drug operations.

Seven suspects, on the other hand, were nabbed during an anti-illegal gambling operations conducted by the Bulacan Crime and Detection Group in Hagonoy town.

One suspect was arrested in the implementation of search warrant conducted by the personnel of the 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company.

Bersaluna added that 24 wanted persons, including a Sangguniang Kabataan kagawad in Paombong town, were arrested in a series of manhunt operations. (PNA)

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Dozen killed, 24 drug suspects nabbed in Bulacan police ops

By Manny Balbin  August 1, 2018, 8:34 pm

DRUG SUSPECT. A drug suspect lies dead after an armed encounter with policemen in the City of Malolos, Bulacan, July 31, 2018. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Twelve suspects were killed during the 12-hour Bulacan Police Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operation (SACLEO) conducted in various areas of the province starting Tuesday night.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, said of the 12 slain suspects, six were drug pushers; four were robbers; and two were motorcycle thieves.

He identified the six slain drug suspects as Eugenio Tan; Alden Gerobeise; Mark Chester Manalang; Dexter Dispo; a certain Ogag; and another alias Keng-Keng.

“The suspects resisted arrest by firing their guns at arresting police operatives during buy-bust operations conducted in the towns of Sta. Maria; Pulilan; Obando; Baliwag; Hagonoy; and the City of Malolos,” he said.

Recovered from them were four .38-caliber guns and an undetermined number of plastic sachets of suspected “shabu”.

Bersaluna said the four slain suspected robbers have yet to be identified. Seized from them were two .45-caliber guns; two .38-caliber revolvers; nine plastic sachets of suspected dried marijuana leaves; and stolen items.

The two slain suspected motorcycle thieves, on the other hand, were identified only as “Bogart” and “Albina.”

Bersaluna also said that a total of 24 drug suspects, including two minors, were apprehended in the towns of Plaridel; Balagtas; Pandi; San Ildefonso; Calumpit; Bocaue; and the City of San Jose Del Monte. They yielded a total of 53 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, five plastic sachets of dried marijuana leaves, and buy-bust money.

“(The) Bulacan police is relentlessly implementing its intensified campaign against illegal drugs and all other forms of criminality,” he said. (PNA)

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20 NutriAsia protesters in violent clash arrested

By Manny Balbin  July 31, 2018, 8:08 pm

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- Twenty workers and supporters of a labor protest against NutriAsia Inc. were arrested by police following a violent clash outside the company’s factory in Barangay Pantoc, Meycauayan City, this province Monday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, acting director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO), identified the arrested protesters as Alon Ang, Hiyas Saturay, John Bonifacio, Psalty Caluza, Eric Cantoc, Einstein Receded, Mark Ezequiel Quinto, Nikkie John Abilar, Danny Boy Cea, and Mark Ponce.

Also nabbed were Marylle Jons Alcantara, Jeovellyn Bornales, Daisy Jane Happa, Reynaldo Aboy, Sidney Naharo, Jerald De Leon, Jaime Castro, Imelda Rey Miraposte, Aileen Raganit, and Edwin Barana.

Based on the report of Marilao and Meycauayan Police, the protesters included members of NutriAsia Laborers Union and militant groups such as League of Filipino Students, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) and Anakpawis.

"A violent attack was instigated by the protesters by throwing stones and pieces of lumber against the guards. This prompted the guards to defend themselves by blocking the attack,” Bersaluna said.

He said 12 security guards sustained injuries while no one was reported hurt on the protesters’ side.

“Father Rolly De Leon, the priest who officiated the Holy Eucharist prior to the clash and his companion were secured by the police," Bersaluna added.

Confiscated from the protesters after the clash was a .22-caliber revolver with two live ammunitions. (PNA)

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Bulacan intensifies drive vs. leptospirosis

By Manny Balbin  July 25, 2018, 5:50 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The provincial government of Bulacan is implementing intensified measures to safeguard residents from leptospirosis.

Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Health Office-Public Health (PHO-PH), on Tuesday said proper and full information dissemination are being conducted through radio, social media, and a broadcast being shown on the LED billboard at the provincial capitol compound to inform Bulakenyos against leptospirosis.

Gomez said they started the distribution of medicines like Doxycycline Hyclate as prophylactic regimen, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ointments to flood-affected areas.

She said that they also conducted sanitary education to residents on the importance of washing the uncovered scratches or bruises exposed to possibly contaminated water with soap and running water.

“Leptospirosis is contracted through exposure to floodwaters contaminated with the urine of rats and other animals infected by the leptospira bacteria. The leptospira is the natural habitat of rats. That is why leptospirosis is always being contracted through the urine of rats,” Gomez said.

Acting Governor Daniel R. Fernando, for his part, emphasized the importance of prevention more than cure.

“Let us do ways on how to prevent contracting such kind of disease,” Fernando said.

PHO-PH disease surveillance officer Brian Alfonso said the number of leptospirosis cases in the province of Bulacan is not as high as that of Metro Manila.

Alfonso said that there were 11 suspected leptospirosis cases from January 1- July 2018 gathered from different disease-reporting units of the province.

One suspected death case from Norzagaray town was also reported, he said. 

“The provincial government is continuously monitoring the rate case of leptospirosis in order to prevent the outbreak with the help and coordination of different barangays while keeping the people updated to this disease,” Gomez said.

Infection may result in fever, headache, reddish eyes, pain in the thigh or legs, and in more severe cases liver and kidney failure and body discoloration. (PNA)

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Bulacan police launches ‘Honesty Store’

By Manny Balbin  July 24, 2018, 4:57 pm

HONESTY STORE. Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of Bulacan Police Provincial Office (left) with Supt. Ferdinand Germino, force commander of the 1st Bulacan Provincial Mobile Force Company during the ceremonial ribbon cutting of 'Honesty Store' inside the Camp Gen. Alejo S. Santos on Monday (July 23, 2018). (Photo by Manny Balbin)

CAMP GEN ALEJO S. SANTOS, Bulacan -- The First Bulacan Provincial Mobile Force Company, headed by its force commander Supt. Ferdinand Germino, on Monday initiated its first “Honesty Store,” located just across its building here.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said the main concept of the store is to practice honesty and integrity in real life.

“The store contains assorted goods, wherein customers can take what they need and leave their payment in a small container. The store is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.,” Bersaluna said.

Proceeds will be used to sustain the unit’s community immersion programs, as well as outreach projects, specifically for the elderly of Tahanang Mapagpala (Home for the Aged) located in Barangay Bulihan, City of Malolos, Bulacan.

“That it is essential for every police officer to make honesty as a habit and also make integrity as part of police good moral values,” added Bersaluna.

Meanwhile, Bulacan police commemorated the 107th birthday anniversary of General Alejo S. Santos through wreath-laying in front of his monument located inside the provincial headquarters, which was named after the late general.

The event was graced by one of the late general’s children, Liberty Santos-Dumlao together with World War II veterans from Bustos, this province.

As part of the celebration of Police Community Relations Month, Bersaluna said they also conducted the launching of “Gulayan ng Pulis”, which embodies the Philippine National Police’s motto “Pulis Makakalikasan.”

“In spite of heavy rains last Saturday, the Bulacan police geared with their weapons but this time not with guns but with gardening tools tilled the backyard of provincial headquarters to be ready for sowing vegetable seeds,” he said.

He added that “Gulayan ng Pulis” will be replicated in all the police stations in the province to have their own garden and their harvests will be donated to less fortunate families, and at the same time promote healthy eating. (PNA)

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Bustos Dam in Bulacan continues releasing water; 16 villages flooded

By Manny Balbin  July 21, 2018, 11:14 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Bustos Dam is still releasing water on Saturday for the fourth consecutive day due to heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon and enhanced by tropical storm Ampil (Inday).

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Bulacan reported that as of 8 a.m. on Saturday, a total of 120 cubic meter per second (cms) of water is being released by Bustos Dam on its two sluice gates raised at four meters.

“As of Saturday morning, Bustos Dam water elevation was monitored at 16.92 meters; Ipo Dam at 101.08 meters; and Angat Dam at 194.05 meters compared to its flood season high water level of 17.50 meters, 101.00 meters and 210 meters, respectively,” Liz Mungcal, Bulacan PDRRMO chief.

On Wednesday, Bustos Dam started releasing water from its reservoir at 80 cms; Thursday 125 cms; and Friday 110 cms.

The PDRRMO also reported that a total of 16 barangays-- three in Meycauayan City; 12 in Calumpit; and one in Marilao--were still under floodwater from three to three feet deep as of 7 a.m. Saturday due to high tide.

“A total of 90 individuals were evacuated to the Meysulao evacuation center in Calumpit town,” Mungcal added. (PNA)

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21 suspects bagged in Bulacan police drug stings

By Manny Balbin  July 19, 2018, 9:11 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS,  Bulacan -- Twenty-one drug suspects were arrested Wednesday in separate buy-bust operations by the Bulacan police as part of its continuous and intensified anti-illegal drugs drive. 

Senior Superintendent  Chito G. Bersaluna, acting director of Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said the municipal police stations of Plaridel, Santa Maria, Baliwag, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Angat, and of the cities of Malolos, Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte conducted buy-bust operations amid inclement weather.

"Despite heavy rains brought by 'habagat' (monsoon) and low pressure area, our intensified illegal drug operations continue and our operatives will never stop," Bersaluna said.

He identified the 21 arrested suspects as Fernando Dela Cruz; Alfie Clara; Corazon Zulueta; Angel Gonzales; Ryan Hermo; Ralph Anthony Dimaapi; Erwin Larang; Christian Leona; Jonathan Cardenas; Leandro Villanueva; Rodelio Alcanar; Raymond Sta. Maria; Alex Rehente; Dennis Discalzo; Orlando Eugenio ; Jose Leonides Angeles; Joel Santiago; Erickson Bausin; Jay Sebuguera; Jeffrey Ramos; and Janella Pablo.

Fifty heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected “shabu” and buy-bust money were confiscated from the suspects during the operations.

The 21 nabbed individuals now face criminal complaints for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 while the seized pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for examination. (PNA)

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Non-stop rains submerge villages in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  July 18, 2018, 4:49 pm

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan -- Continuous rains caused by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Depression Henry and a low pressure area submerged several villages in Meycauayan City and in the towns of Marilao and Obando in this province.

Based on the monitoring of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office (PDRRMO) of Bulacan, as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the Lias - Ibayo Road in Marilao was not passable to light vehicles.

PDRRMO chief Liz Mungcal reported that the low-lying areas that have been flooded in Meycauayan City since Tuesday were the villages of Tugatog; Caingin; Saluysoy; Camalig; Poblacion; Malhacan; and Bangcal, which were under one foot to two feet of floodwater.

In Marilao town, the villages of Ibayo; Abangan Sur; Poblacion II; Nagbalon; and Poblacion I were also under one to two feet of floodwater while Barangay  Panghulo in Obando town was under 1 to 1.5-foot floodwater.

Mungcal said that based on the latest reports from PDRRMO, evacuation operations are being conducted in several flood-hit villages in the city of Meycauayan and Marilao.

As of press time, some 162 individuals from the villages of Malhacan and Caingin in Meycauayan City were evacuated to the barangay hall while 203 persons were transferred to the Pamantasan Dalubhasaan ng Marilao.

Relief distribution teams with medical personnel were sent to assist the flood victims.

The Bulacan PDRRMC also distributed Doxycycline antibiotic and ointment to residents in flooded areas of Hagonoy; Marilao; Obando; and Meycauayan City.

Meanwhile, the water elevation of Angat Dam as of 6 a.m. Wednesday was recorded at 191.02 meters; Ipo Dam at 101.00 meters; and Bustos Dam at 16.15 meters. Their corresponding flood season high water levels are 210; 101; and 17.50 meters, respectively.

Due to continuous heavy rains being experienced in the province, acting Governor Daniel R. Fernando again suspended classes in all levels for both public and private schools. (PNA)

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Floods hit low-lying areas in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  July 17, 2018, 7:40 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Several low-lying areas in Bulacan were flooded on Tuesday as a result of heavy rains spawned by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Depression Henry and a low-pressure area near the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

Based on the monitoring report of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO), at least 50 vehicles were stranded in flooded areas in low-lying areas of the province as of noontime Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, noted that the Macaiban Road in Barangay San Jose Patag in Santa Maria town and part of MacArthur Highway in front of SM City Marilao were not accessible to light vehicles.

“At least 25 evacuation centers were established in flood-prone areas but so far, as of noontime, no evacuees were yet reported,” Bersaluna said.

On the other hand, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office (PDRRMO) of Bulacan reported that some villages in Meycauayan City, Bulakan, Sta. Maria and Marilao were flooded.

In Meycauayan City, areas hit by floods are Barangays Tugatog; Caingin; Lawa; Saluysoy; Camalig; Poblacion; Malhacan; and Bangkal that were submerged under eight inches to two-foot deep water.

In Bulakan town, the villages of Taliptip, Sta. Ana and Bambang were under one foot of water while Barangay Tumana in Sta. Maria town was under two feet of floodwater.

Marilao town has five villages under water, namely Abangan Sur, Abangan Norte, Nagbalo and Saog.

As of Tuesday noon, the Lias Ibayo Road in Marilao town was also not accessible to light vehicles.

The PDRRMO also reported that water elevations in the three dams in Bulacan have not yet reached the spilling level.

The water elevation in Angat Dam was recorded at 190.67 meters; Ipo Dam at 100.86 meters;  and Bustos Dam at 15.70 meters with its corresponding flood season high water levels of  210; 101; and 17.50 meters, respectively.

In an advisory released by the Provincial Public Affairs Office (PPAO) of Bulacan, acting governor Daniel Fernando suspended classes in all levels, both public and private schools as well as work in government offices due to continuous heavy rains. (PNA)

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Afternoon classes, work in gov't offices suspended in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  July 17, 2018, 3:55 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan  -- Heavy rains spawned by Tropical Depression "Henry" caused the suspension of classes in all levels and work in all government agencies in Bulacan on Tuesday afternoon.

An advisory released by the Provincial Public Affairs Office (PPAO) of Bulacan said at 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday, acting governor Daniel Fernando ordered the suspension due to continuous heavy rains.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) is still monitoring the flooded areas in Bulacan and has no available reports yet on flooded roads as of noontime Tuesday.

Meanwhile,  Vice Governor Fernando will be the acting chief executive of Bulacan in the next two weeks as Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado has filed a two-week leave of absence starting Monday.

PPAO head Maricel Cruz confirmed that the governor will go to the United States  to attend to family matters. (PNA)

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Carnapper killed in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  July 16, 2018, 6:51 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A suspected carnapper was killed during a  pursuit operation conducted by police operatives along the Bulacan State University diversion road in Barangay Mojon here Sunday night.

Senior Superintendent Chito G. Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police provincial director, identified the fatality based on recovered identification card as Wugner Lopez, 39, a resident of Barangay San Jose, San Fernando, Pampanga.

Based on the report, Nelson Manansala, 55, a resident of Purok 6, Barangay Frances, Calumpit, Bulacan and his son were waiting for his daughter in Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga at about 8:30 p.m.  when the suspect and another man arrived and forcibly took his white Nissan Sentra GX with plate number UVK 645. The suspects drove towards Calumpit town.

Manansala immediately reported the incident to the Calumpit police.

Lawmen, with the help of the victim, then saw and followed the stolen vehicle and shot the tires but the suspects did not stop and instead continuously drove the vehicle.

The stolen Nissan Sentra was later found abandoned in the middle of a  traffic jam, with the possibility that the suspects boarded a public utility jeep heading towards Malolos City crossing.

The Calumpit police immediately coordinated with the Malolos City police regarding the carnapped vehicle and conducted a pursuit operation.

When the operatives were about to approach the car thieves, Wugner drew and fired his firearm towards the police officer, prompting the operatives to retaliate, resulting in the suspect's death, while his unidentified cohort managed to escape.

The Bulacan Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered from Wugner 10 heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu; one Black Widow cal. 22 revolver without serial number loaded with three ammunition and two fired cartridge cases; six 9mm fired cartridge cases; a black wallet containing license card holder; license ID; receipts and other personal documents. (PNA)

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First public hospital to rise soon in Bocaue, Bulacan  

By Manny Balbin  July 16, 2018, 6:20 pm

BREAKING GROUND. Senator Joel Villanueva (5th from left) and his sister, Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna (5th from right), lead the groundbreaking rites for the Joaquin Villanueva Medical Center in Bocaue, Bulacan, July 16, 2018. The soon to rise facility will be the first public hospital in BocaueOther town  officials joined the senator and mayor in the grounbreaking rites. (Photo by Manny Balbin)

BOCAUE, Bulacan — Residents in this municipality will soon have access to affordable and quality health services with the construction of the first ever public hospital here.

Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday led the groundbreaking rites for the Joaquin Villanueva Medical Center here in his hometown.

With a total lot area of 9,425 square meters, the Joaquin Villanueva Medical Center is an extension of Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital located in San Fernando, Pampanga.

The entire lot was donated by the Villanueva family and named after the senator’s grandfather, who was a World War II veteran and Olympic sprinter representing the country at the Far Eastern Games for four consecutive years in the 1920s.

Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna, sister of the senator, said “the project cost is estimated at PHP250 million. The hospital will have a 50-bed capacity and can employ up to 150 medical and allied health professionals including jobs in administration, engineering, and housekeeping.”

The Joaquin Villanueva Medical Center will be departmentalized and equipped with various services in the specialties of medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, among others.

There will also be a provision for a general intensive care unit (ICU) for critically-ill patients, tertiary clinical laboratory, and imaging facility and mobile X-ray within the center.

"We express our sincerest gratitude to the national government for supporting our advocacy in providing quality healthcare to our kababayans. For the longest time, the municipality did not have its own hospital,” Sen. Villanueva said.

“With the construction of the Joaquin Villanueva Medical Center, the people of Bocaue no longer have to endure the long lines at public hospitals in Malolos City or Sta. Maria,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mayor Joni said "This project is part of the government’s commitment to continue and improve the health programs not just in the province of Bulacan but in the entire country as well."  (PNA)

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Bulacan anti-drug ops net 14 suspects

By Manny Balbin  July 12, 2018, 7:47 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — Fourteen drug suspects were arrested on Wednesday in separate buy-bust operations here as the Bulacan police relentlessly implemented an intensified campaign against illegal substances.

Senior Supt Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, identified the arrested suspects as Froilan Roxas; Richard Alcaraz; Veronica Lopega; Marino Bragais; Raymart Interior; Jordan Yasay; Emmanuel Cruz; Joseph Esquivel; Vergel Esquivel; Roland Ruiz; Paul Anthony Manahan; Robert Maximo; David Rivera; and Liezel Eugenio.

Bersaluna said that 37 heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected shabu and buy-bust money were confiscated during the operations conducted in the cities of Malolos,  Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte; and in the towns of Balagtas; Plaridel; Norzagaray;  Obando; San Idelfonso and Baliwag.

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

“The Bulacan Police is relentless in its campaign to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in the province,” Bersaluna said. (PNA)

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Anti-drug ops net 4 drug pushers, 4 users in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  July 10, 2018, 6:15 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Four drug pushers and four users were caught in a series of anti-illegal drug operations conducted in this province on Monday.

Senior Superintendent Chito G. Bersaluna, acting director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, identified the arrested drug peddlers as Renato Acid Jr., a resident of Paombong town; John Carlo Coronel of Hagonoy; Ric Andrew Redelosa of Calumpit; and Andriano Ramos of Pandi.

The four other suspects, who were arrested while having a pot session in Meycauayan City, were identified as Jericho Wico, Darwin Raymundo, Renato Gumapos, and Jendrix Enguillo.

The suspects and the pieces of evidence seized from them were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination.

Criminal complaints against the suspects are now being prepared for filing in court.

Meanwhile, 54 persons, including 23 minors, were also arrested Monday during the implementation of “Oplan Rody.”

Bersaluna said that the minors were rounded up for curfew violation.

Sixteen individuals were apprehended for drinking liquor in public places; five without upper garments in public places; two for violating smoking ban and eight others for violation of other ordinances in the city of Malolos and the towns of Angat; Plaridel; Paombong; Calumpit; San Ildefonso;  Norzagaray; Bustos and Pulilan.

Bersaluna said that 52 of those arrested were advised to go home while the two others were turned over to the barangay.

He said the province of Bulacan is continuously and relentlessly implementing its intensified campaign against illegal drugs dubbed as “Project Double Barrel Reloaded,” as well as “Oplan RODY" as directed by PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) regional director Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus. (PNA)

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Ejercito wants BHS project proponents jailed

By Manny Balbin  July 9, 2018, 9:10 pm

BOCAUE, Bulacan -- Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said the parties involved in the controversial PHP8.1-billion barangay health station (BHS) project of the Department of Health (DOH) must be held accountable.

“Someone must go to jail in the anomalous DOH’s barangay health station project,” he said before boarding a speedboat to participate in the "Pagoda sa Krus sa Wawa" fluvial procession at the Bocaue River on Sunday.

Under the BHS project that was implemented in 2015 under the Aquino administration, a total of 5,700 barangay health stations were supposed to be completed nationwide in two phases.

The project was, however, terminated this year with only 270 units completed, Ejercito said.

The senator, chairperson of the Committee on Health, said at the very least, a technical malversation case must be filed against those involved in the alleged irregularities in the procurement and implementation of the project.

He said they already conducted a hearing on the issue last Wednesday.

Ejercito expressed belief that there was poor planning and execution of the project, which entails the construction of more than 5,000 school-based rural health units to help bridge the gap in the people's access to health care.

“The project has no clear guidelines, plan of actions, program plans, and what was prioritized was the release of the funds that caused the mayhem in its implementation,” he said.

The senator likened the BHS project to other housing projects of the government that were beset by “kutsabahan (connivance)".

To stop these kinds of practices, Ejercito said the perpetrators must be charged in court.

“By doing so, this will send a strong message to contractors and government officials to stop spending the people's money anomalously,” he stressed. (PNA)

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PRO-3 gets 32 brand new vehicles

By Ric Sapnu  July 9, 2018, 6:06 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- The Police Regional Office-3 (Central Luzon) on Monday received 32 brand new vehicles from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Directorate for Logistics.

The distribution of the new Toyota Hi-Lux Patrol Jeep Single Cab (4x2) is part of the continuing effort of the PNP to upgrade the facilities and equipment of the local police force under its capability enhancement program.

The blessing and turnover ceremony of the 32 brand new vehicles was held at the PRO-3 parade ground here, right after Monday’s regular flag-raising rites.

The recipients of the new patrol vehicles are the police provincial offices of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac.

Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus, PRO3 director, said the arrival of the new vehicles is very timely as they are vigorously implementing various pro-active anti-criminality measures, such as round-the-clock checkpoints and mobile patrolling throughout the region.

Corpus expressed belief that the delivery of police services will be  more effective and efficient with these new additional vehicles.

“With this additional mobility, the public can expect the PNP-PRO3 to respond better to crimes and  incidents,” he said.

Corpus also urged the recipients to make good use of the new vehicles at all times to enable them to serve the community better. (PNA)

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3 killed, 11 arrested in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  July 6, 2018, 8:45 pm

CAMP GEN. ALEJO S. SANTOS, City of Malolos, Bulacan -- Three drug suspects were killed while 11 others were arrested in separate anti-illegal drug operations of the Bulacan police Thursday and early morning  of Friday.

Superintendent Chito G. Bersaluna, acting Bulacan provincial director, identified the fatalities as alias “Bino” from San Rafael;  alias “Jessie” from Pulilan; and Sonny Boy Gabagat, 32,  a resident of Barangay Malhacan, Meycauayan City, who was included in the drug watch list.

“Investigation showed the suspects fired their guns toward the drug operatives when they sensed that they were dealing with an undercover agent,  leaving the police officers with no choice but to defend themselves which resulted in their death,” Bersaluna said.

Meanwhile, the 11 other suspects were arrested in the towns of Pandi, Paombong, Calumpit, Sta. Maria, Norzagaray, and Guiguinto.

They were identified as Wilbert Jimenez; Arwin Kier Siapco; Jessie Perez ; Gereneo Mariano ; Paul Alexander Albo; Jerome Evangelista; Alejandro Lee; Alvin Uy; Michael Granada; Michael Carating ; and a 17-year-old child in conflict with the law.

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

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Bulacan police official facing rape complaint summoned  

By Manny Balbin  July 6, 2018, 5:33 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The Internal Affairs Services (IAS) of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office on Friday summoned the relieved police chief of Hagonoy town to get his side on the rape complaint filed against him by a female inmate.

Lawyer Christina Alcantara, Bulacan IAS director, also confirmed that they are now conducting a motu propio investigation on the rape complaint filed against Superintendent Kim Cobre by the mother of an inmate allegedly raped inside the Hagonoy Police Station.

“The mother of the alleged victim personally went to Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, Thursday to file a complaint against Cobre and formally made the complaint at the women's and children’s desk of the Bulacan PNP,”  Alcantara said.

Alcantara temporarily withheld the identities of the inmate and her mother.

“Because of the gravity of the accusation, Cobre was relieved by Senior Supt. Bersaluna from his post Thursday as police chief of Hagonoy so that he cannot influence the progress of the investigations being conducted on the complaint filed against him,” she said.

Alcantara added that Cobre has agreed to give his side on the rape complaint filed against him. (PNA)

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Bulacan police chief relieved for ‘raping’ inmate

By Manny Balbin  July 5, 2018, 6:17 pm

HAGONOY,  Bulacan -- The chief of police of this town was relieved from his post on Thursday for allegedly raping an inmate inside the police station.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, said he immediately relieved Superintendent Kim Cobre, chief of Hagonoy Police Station, after the family of the alleged victim filed a complaint against the police officer.

Bersaluna, however, did not provide any other detail about the complaint. He said they are still conducting an investigation on the matter.

It was learned that the victim-inmate revealed to her family during the visiting hour that she was allegedly raped by Cobre inside the police office. (PNA)

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1 killed, 8 nabbed in Bulacan anti-drug drive

By Manny Balbin  July 4, 2018, 6:56 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan --  A drug pusher was killed and eight others were arrested by the police in separate anti-drug operations in this province on Wednesday.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, identified the slain suspect as a certain “Harold”.

The suspect, together with a cohort, were entrapped in a drug sting in Barangay Agnaya, Plaridel town.

“The suspect fired his gun at apprehending operatives who retaliated and neutralized him while his cohort was able to escape,” Bersaluna said.

Investigators recovered 10 plastic sachets of suspected shabu and an Armscor 202 caliber .38 revolver from the suspect.

Meanwhile, eight other drug suspects were arrested in the cities of Malolos, Meycauayan and the towns of Bulakan, San Rafael and Calumpit. Confiscated from them were several sachets of suspected shabu and marked money.

Bersaluna identified the arrested suspects as George Eusebio, who surrendered under “Oplan Tokhang” and also included in the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) watch list of Sto. Rosario, Malolos as pusher/user; Jerry Pagudar, who is included in the drug watch list of Marilao; Arnel Rubiano; Juan Paulo Morales;  Reynaldo Ruego; Ricky Ichon;  Robert De Jesus; and George Canoy. (PNA)

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Pampanga lines up disaster preparedness activities

By Ric Sapnu  July 3, 2018, 8:40 pm

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- The city government has lined up various activities on disaster preparedness and mitigation as part of its continuing campaign towards building disaster-resilient communities.

Mayor Edwin Santiago cited the need to be always vigilant and ready in times of calamities.

“Nabubuhay tayo sa pamamagitan ng regalo ng kalikasan, ang tubig, hangin, at mga puno, pero hindi natin hahayaang dito sa syudad, kalikasan din ang magiging dahilan upang mawala ang ating buhay. Kaya ang mga kalamidad, ating pinaghahandaan (We are living through the gifts of nature, water, air and tree. But, we will not let the nature to become the cause of losing our lives. That’s why, we are preparing for those calamities),” he said.

The mayor, together with city disaster risk reduction and management officer Raymond Del Rosario, led on Monday the presentation of the activities for the city's observance of National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM).

The NDRM is an annual activity, which aims to spread awareness on disaster resilience through several activities about disaster prevention and mitigation; disaster preparedness; disaster response; and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

The city’s NDRM observance will kick-off on July 6 with a motorcade and thanksgiving mass at SM Telabastagan and Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, respectively.

On July 10, the Sining Kahandaan Year 5: poster making contest will take place at the Benigno S. Aquino Hall, Capitol Compound; and on July 16 to 17, a basic disaster preparedness seminar for women will be conducted.

There will be a three-day activity on City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office's (CDRRMO) emergency response capability-static display on July 18 to 20 at Vista Mall Pampanga; and disaster preparedness and capability building for accredited community disaster volunteers (ACDVs) and schools on July 24 to 26.

A fire and earthquake drill will be conducted on July 26 at the City Hall while a run for a cause, called “SAFRUN” will be staged on July 29 at the Heroes Hall Compound.

The NDRM observance will culminate on August 1, through community disaster volunteer’s capability assessment, which marks its fourth year. (PNA)

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2 Cebu cops confirmed positive of drugs

By Luel Galarpe  June 30, 2018, 5:20 pm

CEBU CITY -- Two policemen of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) turned up positive for drug use during confirmatory tests.

CPPO Director Senior Superintendent Manuel Abrugena said on Saturday that two of the three provincial policemen, who tested positive in the surprise drug test conducted last week, have been confirmed to be drug users.

One of those who tested positive has a rank of Police Officer 1, while the other is a non-uniformed personnel.

The two CPPO personnel are now with the Provincial Police Holding and Accounting Unit.

Abrugena said a positive result in the confirmatory test is enough ground for dismissal from the service.

He added that they have intensified their internal cleansing drive among CPPO personnel.

He also warned the men and women of the CPPO that he will not hesitate to dismiss anybody from the ranks if they turn up positive of drug use. (PNA)

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Army apologizes to kin of cops slain in Samar ‘misencounter’

By Sarwell Meniano  June 30, 2018, 4:24 pm

WAKE OF SLAIN COPS. The wake of slain policemen at the Philippine National Police regional headquarters before President Rodrigo Duterte's visit late Friday afternoon (June 29, 2018). (Photo by Sarwell Meniano

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division (8th ID) has apologized to the families of the six policemen killed in the recent “misencounter” in Sta. Rita, Samar, assuring full cooperation in the ongoing investigation.

In a letter issued Saturday, 8th ID commander Major Gen. Raul Farnacio vowed to help “expedite the conduct of the investigation so that the truth will be established and ease the burden of sorrow of the bereaved families.”

“We will be objective and transparent to shed light on the incident and will make appropriate actions thereafter to those who will be proven to have committed any lapses or violated established rules and regulations,” Farnacio said.

The region’s top military official assured that they will cooperate in the investigation being done by the Board of Inquiry, composed of personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines general headquarters, Philippine Army headquarters, and the 8th ID.

At least six junior police officers were killed and nine others were wounded in a “misencounter” in Sitio Lunoy, San Roque village, Sta. Rita town on June 25.

Both groups were conducting simultaneous combat operations against the New People's Army in Sta. Rita. The 20-minute gun battle was stopped after soldiers got a call that they were fighting law enforcers.

In a media interview, the soldier’s team leader, 1st Lt. Orlando Casipit Jr., maintained that it was an accident since they were unaware of the presence of patrolling policemen.

Killed were Police Officers 1 Wyndell Noromor, Edwin Ebrado, Phil Rey Mendigo, Julius Suarez, Rowell Reyes, and Julie Escalo.

Wounded were PO1s Elmer Pan, Cris Angelo Pialago, Romulo Cordero, Joenel Gonzaga, Rey Barbosa, Roden Goden, Jaime Galoy, Rommel Bagunas, and Jonmark Adones.

PO3 Jessie Escalo, brother of P01 Julie's, said Friday night that what the Army did is unacceptable. “We want justice to be served because it was an ambush incident and not a chance encounter,” he said.

All six families rejected the flowers offered by the Philippine Army during the wake at the PNP regional office, saying it was an “insult” to accept it.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the wake Friday afternoon and told family members that it was all his fault and not to hold grudges against the army.

After the President’s visit, the bodies of the six slain cops were transported to their respective hometowns. (PNA)

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PRO-7 chief: No funeral honors for slain 'narco cop'

By Luel Galarpe  June 29, 2018, 2:43 pm

NO POLICE HONORS. Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO-7) Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas says slain SPO1 Adonis Dumpit would not be accorded police honors. (Photo by Bebie Jane Casipong/PNA)

CEBU CITY -- The late Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Adonis Dumpit would neither be accorded police honors nor receive benefits, said Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO-7) director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas on Friday.

"He (Dumpit) cannot receive any benefits and police honors. We already informed the Bohol Police Provincial headquarters about this. This is because he was a bad example for a policeman. Besides, his death was not in the line of duty,” Sinas said.

However, he added that the family may receive the unpaid leave credits of Dumpit during his duty.

"The family will just receive his unpaid or unused leaves. If his marriage was annulled, the wife could not benefit from it but only his children below 21 years old or his parents, if they are still alive, can claim it," Sinas said.

The PRO-7 director said the .45-caliber firearm recovered from Dumpit was not the latter’s service pistol, while the motorcycle was registered to someone from Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Sinas also clarified that they are not prohibiting the classmates of the late police to visit the wake.

"No, we are not stopping them. We are just taking photos of those who visit Dumpit's wake," Sinas said.

The PRO-7 director also said he does not oppose Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña's plan to give Dumpit a decent burial.

"It's up to him. No problem. In our case, we will give our respect to the dead but there are some protocols and procedures to be followed," Sinas said.

Dumpit, Osmeña's former bodyguard, was killed in a shootout with members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Regional Intelligence Division (RID-7) during an anti-drug operation in Bohol on Wednesday.

His estranged wife Josephine brought his remains to Cebu aboard a Lite Ferry vessel from Tagbilaran on Thursday. His body now lies in state at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes. (With Bebie Jane Casipong/PNA)

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DENR launches waste management programs in Bulacan town

By Manny Balbin  June 28, 2018, 8:42 pm

BOCAUE, Bulacan -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched two campaign programs here to minimize plastic trash that finds its way to Manila Bay.

Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna welcomed the move as she emphasized that the campaigns will help minimize the accumulation of plastic garbage,  not only in her town but also in the other parts of the province.

“Part of the campaign is to minimize the packaging cost of food and home products using plastic bottles,” she said.

Sen. Joel Villanueva, who was the guest speaker during the launch of the campaigns Tuesday afternoon, told the participants that he has filed Senate Bill 1032 or the Beverage Container Disposal Act  - which aims to improve the country's waste disposal management of beverage containers.

Under the bill, the DENR may prescribe to the beverage container agency a management plan for the collection, transport, reuse, and recycling of beverage containers that it sells into the domestic market.

“The bill seeks to further encourage proper disposal of beverage containers among consumers by institutionalizing a refund-deposit mechanism,” the Bulakenyo senator said.

He said this mechanism mandates the monetary compensation of individuals who will return beverage containers to designated sites, like retail stores, thus creating incentives for proper disposal among the general public.

Villanueva also acknowledged the need to improve the waste disposal management in the country, noting that excessive production and use of beverage containers can pose both environmental and health risks to both humans and animals.

"The government needs to strengthen existing mechanisms for effective disposal of beverage containers by institutionalizing the active participation of both the industry and consumers in reusing and recycling beverage containers," the senator added. 

On the other hand, Lormelyn Claudio, EMB Central Luzon director, said that the two environment campaigns dubbed as “Adopt an Estero” and “Refill Revolution” aim to educate the public and the stakeholders on how to minimize plastic pollution that is increasingly affecting the environment.

“The Adopt the Estero campaign is a collaborative undertaking in cleaning up waterways by the communities along it, donor partner, local government units and concerned government agencies including the DENR, in response to the continuing mandamus by the Supreme Court to clean up Manila Bay,” Claudio said.

The waterways in Bulacan, including that in Bocaue, drains into the Manila Bay.

On the Refill Revolution, Claudio pointed out that every bottle refilled with liquid products like cooking oils, and food condiments will mean one less plastic bottle to be produced. It is seen as a viable sway to significantly reduce packaging waste materials without compromising the price or quality of liquid products.

The said campaign was first launched in Guiguinto town,  also in Bulacan and was adopted in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

“This is the third leg of the campaign,” Claudio said as she disclosed that more campaigns will be launched in the different towns and cities of Central Luzon in the coming months. (PNA)

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NLEX to close wide vehicle exit lane in Bocaue interchange

 June 28, 2018, 7:17 pm

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The fourth exit lane of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) used by heavy trucks will be temporarily closed from July 2 to 15, 2018 due to the regular repaving works at the Bocaue interchange southbound exit.

This was announced by the NLEX Corporation as it noted that the temporary exit lane closure will allow the repaving works to be fast tracked and completed and ensure that the trucking sector customers will continue to enjoy the high standard of service.

With this development, traffic inconvenience in that strategic NLEX junction in Bulacan is expected.

Truckers and other commercial vehicles that use the southbound truck (wide vehicle) exit lane are advised to find alternate routes since the other exit lanes cannot accommodate wide vehicles.

All the other Bocaue southbound exit lanes will remain open.

Meanwhile, to minimize inconvenience to the motorists along the Bocaue Interchange, the NLEX in its advisory, said the night time asphalting and deep patching works will continue to be implemented from 10 p.m to 4 a.m. in the entry and exit ramps (both northbound and southbound) on the following dates: northbound exit (June 25 to July 1); northbound entry (July 2 to 8);  southbound entry (July 2 to 15); southbound exit ramp (July 16 to 26).

The NLEX Corporation, however, assured motorists that efforts will be done to minimize traffic disruption and complete the works ahead of schedule.

For the entire repair duration, the NLEX Corporation said that traffic personnel to manage the flow of vehicles will be assigned.

Road signs and other warning devices will be also installed to guide motorists. (PR)

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SPES program benefits 2.4K Bulakenyos

By Manny Balbin  June 27, 2018, 7:22 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A total of 2,422 Bulakenyo youths have benefited from the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the provincial government of Bulacan and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) during the summer vacation.

Jennifer Duca, focal person of SPES from the Provincial Youth, Sports, Public Employment Service Office, said the SPES beneficiaries have already received their salaries, 60 percent of which came from their employer while the remaining 40 percent was shouldered by DOLE.

Duca said the summer job at the provincial government lasted 20 days; in private companies, 30 days; and in two fast-food chain companies, 78 days.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the program aims to help underprivileged but deserving students pay for their education by providing additional income through SPES every summer vacation.

”The provincial government wants to help the youths prepare for their future by providing (them) jobs during the summer season,” Sy-Alvarado said.

“The SPES is a good opportunity for the Bulakenyo youths because they are not only earning income but are also getting knowledge and experience,” he added.

Kristine Plamenco, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication student at the Baliwag University and a SPES beneficiary for the past two years, said the program has helped her a lot in pursuing her college education.

”Through SPES, I have been able to help my parents pay for my school expenses. At the same time, I’ve learned a lot,” she said. (PNA)

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PH's No. 3 most wanted carnapper nabbed in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  June 26, 2018, 4:57 pm

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan — Joint police operatives arrested one of the country’s most wanted carnappers in Barangay Bahay Pari, Meycauyan City Monday night.

Senior Supt.  Chito Bersaluna, acting provincial director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, identified the arrested suspect as Emmanuel Barroga, a resident of Barangay Callos, Penaranda, Nueva Ecija.

Barroga is listed as the No. 3 most wanted person for carnapping nationwide; No. 1 most wanted person for carnapping for Regional Highway Patrol Unit 3; and No. 1 most wanted person for carnapping for the Bulacan Provincial Highway Patrol Team.

Bersaluna said Barroga was nabbed by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Felizardo Montero, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 11, Malolos City for violation of Republic Act No. 6539 (Anti-Carnapping Law of 1972).

Based on the report, the suspect was arrested by joint elements of the Bulacan Highway Patrol Team, Criminal Investigation and Detection Team and 1st Company of Bulacan Provincial Mobile Force Company after a series of surveillance and stake out operations in Barangay Bahay Pari around 6:50 p.m. Monday.

The suspect has been temporarily placed under the custody of the Provincial Highway Patrol Team -Bulacan Office for proper disposition. (PNA)

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2 killed in Bulacan anti-drug war

By Ric Sapnu  June 25, 2018, 7:16 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga  -  Two drug personalities were killed in separate operations in Bulacan past Sunday midnight as the police continue with the implementation of its intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

In a report, Senior Superintendent Chito G. Bersaluna, the provincial police director of Bulacan, identified the two drug suspects as Rolando Gante, 41, a resident of Purok 4, Santisima Trinidad, City of Malolos; and Rogelio Rosales, 22, of Barangay Batia, Bocaue town.

Both suspects were on the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) list of drug personalities.

The report said that Gante was killed in an armed encounter in Malolos City at around 12:45 a.m. Monday when he drew his gun and fired at the arresting operatives, who retaliated.

Recovered from Gante were five heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu; 12 sachets of suspected dried marijuana leaves; one caliber 22 revolver with five live ammunition; one fired cartridge; six pieces 9mm fired cartridge; one cellular phone and the marked money.

Rosales, on the other hand, was killed in an armed encounter with operatives in Pandi town.

Seized from the crime scene were four heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu; one Armscor 202; one caliber 38 revolver without serial number loaded with three fired cartridge cases and three ammunition; and one 9mm fired cartridge case.

The recovered pieces of evidence were brought to the Bulacan Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination. (PNA)

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1 killed, 8 nabbed in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  June 22, 2018, 7:30 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A drug pusher was killed while eight others were arrested in separate anti-drug operations in Bulacan, Thursday.

Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, identified the slain suspect as a certain Harold.

The suspect, together with a cohort, were entrapped in a drug sting in Barangay Agnaya, Plaridel town.

“The suspect fired his gun at apprehending operatives who retaliated and neutralized him while his cohort was able to escape,” Bersaluna said.

Investigators recovered 10 plastic sachets of suspected shabu and an Armscor 202 caliber .38 revolver from the suspect.

Meanwhile, eight other drug suspects were arrested in the cities of Malolos and Meycauayan, and the towns of Bulakan, San Rafael and Calumpit.

Bersaluna identified seven of the arrested suspects as George Eusebio, who surrendered under “Oplan Tokhang” and also included in the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) watch list of Sto. Rosario, Malolos as pusher/user; Jerry Pagudar, also included in drug watch list of Marilao; Arnel Rubiano; Reynaldo Ruego; Ricky Ichon; Robert De Jesus; and George Canoy.

One of the suspects was still not identified.

Confiscated from them were several sachets of suspected shabu and marked money. (PNA)

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Bulacan police nabs 205 under 'Oplan RODY', drug campaigns

By Manny Balbin  June 20, 2018, 9:19 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A total of 205 individuals was arrested by the Bulacan police as part of “Oplan RODY” (Rid the Streets of Drunkards and Youths) and drug campaigns on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Reports reaching Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, said 172 were nabbed under Oplan RODY and 33 in buy-bust operations.

Of the 172 arrested in the cities of Malolos; Meycauayan; San Jose del Monte; and in the towns of Bulakan; Bustos;  Calumpit; Marilao; Obando; Pandi; Paombong; Plaridel; Pulilan; and San Miguel, 74 were minors nabbed for violating curfew hours; 58 for drinking liquor in public places; 39 for loitering the streets in unholy hours; and one for not wearing shirt in public place.

Police brought to the custody of barangays the 76 violators; 58 to their respective parents;  26 were given stern warnings;  and 12 persons were held in the police custody for investigations.

Oplan RODY is President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to authorities to step up their campaign against bystanders whom he viewed as "potential trouble for the public."

On the other hand, the 33 drug suspects were arrested in separate buy-bust operations in the City of San Jose del Monte;  and the towns of Balagtas; Bocaue; Calumpit; Norzagaray; Hagonoy; Bustos; Guiguinto; Obando; Marilao;  Pandi;  Angat; and Sta Maria.

A total of 78 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, and buy-bust money were confiscated from the drug suspects. (PNA)

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1 killed, 5 arrested in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  June 20, 2018, 3:07 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A drug peddler was killed while five other drug suspects were arrested in intensified anti-illegal drug operations in Bulacan on Monday and early Tuesday morning.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, identified the slain suspect as alias "Kaliwa", who fired at undercover agents, prompting policemen to return fire in Barangay Taliptip in Bulakan town around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police investigators recovered from the suspect seven plastic sachets of suspected "shabu", an Armscor caliber .38 revolver without serial number, bullets and marked buy-bust money. 

Bersaluna added that five other drug suspects were arrested in the City of San Jose del Monte and towns of San Ildefonso and San Miguel. They yielded nine plastic sachets of suspected shabu in buy-bust operations since Monday.

They were identified as: Enrique Bayan, 42, resident of Barangay San Vicente, San Miguel; Aries Delos Santos of Barangay Maasim and Jaime Pastrana, 52, of Barangay Lapnit, both of San Ildefonso; and Jerwin Aquino, 28, and Leonardo Aquino, 27, both residents of Barangay Graceville, City of San Jose Del Monte.  (PNA)

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Lady scammer victimizing Bulacan online shoppers nabbed

By Manny Balbin  June 19, 2018, 8:59 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- The Bulacan police finally caught Monday a woman who victimizes online shoppers in the province.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, identified the suspect as Joan Sal, a resident of Yakal Street, Barangay Bunsuran 1st, Pandi town, this province.

Police investigation showed that Sal was able to hack the Facebook page of E&E Travel Express and offered a "Buy 1 Take 1" promo on iPhones worth PHP20,000  to a certain Michellyn Mae Brioso and Lineth Araneta from Novaliches, Quezon City.

Brioso was able to transact with the suspect and paid PHP20,000 but after the payment was made to a remittance center, the suspect blocked her account in social media.

Araneta, an acquaintance of Brioso, also transacted with the suspect and paid the same amount.

On Monday, Araneta reported the matter to the Malolos police that immediately set an entrapment operation against Sal.

Bersaluna said the police pounced on the suspect when she tried to encash the money sent by Araneta at the LBC Express money remittance branch in Robinson's Place in Malolos City.

Police recovered from the suspect a fake driver’s license identification card and several transaction receipts from LBC. (PNA)

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DOLE rolls out 'Padyak Project' in Pampanga

By Ric Sapnu  June 19, 2018, 8:22 pm

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here has provided livelihood assistance to some 25 pedicab drivers in Arayat town, this province, as part of its “Padyak Project”. 

The provision was initiated by the local government of Arayat, through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO), and the DOLE Pampanga Field Office.

DOLE-3 Regional Director Zenaida Angara-Campita said on Monday the pedicabs were distributed directly to each beneficiary.

“Pedicabs, locally known as 'tri-wheelers', which serve as alternative means of transportation of Kapampangans for their short commutes, have been a source of livelihood for quite a number of marginalized residents here since the early '80s up to this very day,” Campita said.

Funds for the livelihood provision, intended to uplift the town’s poor residents, was sourced from the labor agency’s DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program otherwise known as “DILEEP.”

The local government of Arayat,  for its part, provided a counterpart assistance of PHP125,000 used for initial payments of beneficiaries’ social protection benefits like SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG.

The counterpart assistance was also used for the provision of beneficiaries’ long sleeved shirts for work and Entrepreneurial Development Training (EDT) to ensure the proper management of their pedicabs.

Campita said the pedicab drivers are projected to earn at least PHP300 to PHP500 a day and that their newly-assembled pedicabs are easy to maintain for everyday use.

“Pedicab drivers usually charge their passengers ranging from PHP10 to PHP20 per trip depending on the distance they need to pedal and at the end of the day would earn a decent amount at par with the region’s prevailing daily minimum wage,” the DOLE official said.

“These human-powered vehicles only need periodic check-ups and occasional replacement of brakes, chains, tires, and other usual wear and tear parts, thus, very minimal maintenance costs on their part,” she added.

Victor Tuano, one of the beneficiaries of the Padyak Project, thanked the DOLE and the local government for the pedicab he received, which he said is a big help for his family. (PNA)

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Police, military verifying NPA raid in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  June 16, 2018, 8:17 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The police and military are still verifying a raid allegedly made by the New People’s Army (NPA) in a company owned by Chinese tycoon in the City of San Jose del Monte, this province.

In a statement issued by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on its website, it said “ The NPA forces in Mt. Sierra Madre-Southern Tagalog under Rosario Lodronio Rosal Command (RLRC-NPA-Mt. Sierra Madre-Southern Tagalog Sub-Regional Command) congratulates the red fighters and commanders of NPA-Bulacan in their successful raid against the armed goons of Chinese tycoon Lucio Tan in Barangay Ciudad Real, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.”

The NPA team had reportedly carried out the raid between 11 a.m. and 12 noon Wednesday and had carted “seven firearms, including five long firearms and two .9mm pistols with bullets.”

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, regional police director for Central Luzon, and Maj. Gen. Felimon Santos, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said they are still verifying the report.

On the other hand, Lt. Col. Arnel Cabugon, commander of the 48th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, said that as of 1:00 p.m. on Friday the Bulacan police and the 80th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army have yet to confirm if there was really such an incident.

“Baka propaganda lang yan ( maybe it is just a propaganda), ” Cabugon said.

On the other hand, Supt. Fitz Macariola, police chief of the City of San Jose del Monte, said that no one has reported anything about the incident and added that the company is located in the mountainous part of the city bordering the province of Rizal that is hard to access and is being guarded by a security agency.

“We are still verifying the report, “ Macariola added. (PNA)

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3 drug suspects nabbed in Pampanga

By Ric Sapnu  June 16, 2018, 7:04 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- Three drug personalities who are on the police's illegal drugs watchlist were arrested in separate buy-bust operations in three towns here Friday.

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) director, identified the arrested suspects as Maria Luz de Jesus, 55, resident of Guanzon Subdivision, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Magalang; Eddie Tala, 68, resident of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Lubao; and Marilou Valencia, 48, resident of Barangay Pio, Porac.

“The three suspects were arrested in an anti-illegal drugs operations,” Corpus said.

He said the trio were among the drug personalities on the illegal drugs watchlist in their municipalities.

Confiscated from the suspects were 15 sachets of shabu and marked money.

“They are presently detained in the respective police stations of theirtowns while charges of illegal possessions of drug were filed in court against them,” Corpus said. (PNA)

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Bulacan to relive 120th celebration of Philippine Independence

By Manny Balbin  June 11, 2018, 8:37 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan--The provincial government of Bulacan, along with hundreds of Bulakenyos will relive the spirit of true independence during the 120th anniversary of the Philippine Independence to be held on Tuesday at the historic Barasoain Church here.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme “Kalayaan 2018: Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan”.

Senator Richard Gordon, the guest of honor, together with Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernando will lead the annual event.

The program will start with a flag-raising ceremony to be followed by the oath to the national flag and wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines.

Alvarado said that Bulakenyos should not forget the sacrifices of our heroes that paved the way for independence.

“Let us not let the sacrifices and invaluable efforts of our ancestors go to waste. Let us always remember the vital contribution of our heroes for our independence. While we are doing that, let us continue to hold hands in taking a path towards progress,” the governor said.

Independence Day (Araw ng Kalayaan) is an annual national holiday in the Philippines and is observed every June 12. It is to commemorate the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.

It is in accordance with Proclamation No. 28, s. 1962 or “Declaring June 12 as Philippine Independence Day” signed by former President Diosdado Macapagal. (PNA)

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School opening in C. Luzon generally peaceful

By Ric Sapnu  June 5, 2018, 9:16 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- The opening of classes in Central Luzon went on smoothly on Monday, as police and local authorities took all the necessary measures to provide convenience and safety to students.

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Police Regional Office-3 director, on Tuesday said due to the tight implementation of “Ligtas Balik -Eskwela 2018,” there was no crime incident reported victimizing students within the region.

Corpus said the zero-crime incident can be attributed to the diligent efforts of the police personnel to ensure the safety and security of the students.

“We have deployed almost 2,000 personnel for the opening of classes and I commend them for their assiduousness in performing their duties, indeed, it paid off with no single incident happened. I would also thank the public for their cooperation and support to us,” he said.

Corpus added their police assistance desks and motorists assistance centers are still in place until June 13 in convergence points, particularly in bus terminals, airport, seaports, and recreational areas, including highways, main thoroughfares and crime-prone areas to ensure maximum police presence. (PNA)

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Bulacan cops linked to extortion relieved

By Ric Sapnu  June 1, 2018, 9:05 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- Eleven policemen, including two officials in Bulacan, were relieved from their posts following their alleged involvement in extortion activities.

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, regional director of the Police Regional Office (Central Luzon), on Thursday said those relieved from their posts were temporarily transferred to the Provincial Holding and Accounting Unit pending the conduct of proper investigation.

They were identified as Police Senior Inspector Wilfredo Dizon Jr.; SPO4 Gary Santos; SPO2 Christopher Aragon; SPO1 Dante Castillo; SPO1 Jophey Cucal; SPO1 Rolando Ignacio Jr.; PO3 Dennis De Vera; PO2 Rosauro Enrile; PO2 Nicanor Bautista; and, PO2 Chester Say-eo.

Police Supt. Rizalino Andaya, chief of San Rafael Municipal Police Station, was also relieved from his post as a matter of standard operating procedure of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the relief and reassignment of unit commanders and key officers under the doctrine of command responsibility.

Reports said the relieved policemen from San Rafael Municipal Police Station reportedly demanded PHP50,000 in exchange for the release of couple Virgilio De Leon and Dorothy Sayo who were selling alleged fake cigarettes.

The couple reported the matter to the PNP-Counter Intelligence Task Force where it immediately responded and coordinated with Bulacan Police Provincial Office acting director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna.

Corpus said the PNP-CITF has already filed criminal complaints for kidnapping, robbery in band and violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices) before the Department of Justice against the relieved police personnel.

“This move of filing charges, disciplining and dismissing erring police personnel shows efforts of the PNP in removing bad eggs in the police force, and that the rule of law does not distinguish rank, position or popularity whether victim or respondent in the PNP organization. This is a clear manifestation of our keen determination to remove misfits among the ranks of our organization,” he added. (PNA)

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C. Luzon cops gear up for June 4 school opening

By Ric Sapnu  June 1, 2018, 8:29 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- The Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) will deploy some 1,873 police personnel in different areas in the region as part of its security measures for the opening of classes on June 4.

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, PRO 3 regional director, on Friday said the police personnel would provide public safety and police visibility in schools, colleges, universities and its nearby areas, which are most likely to be the chosen target place of criminal elements.

Corpus said police assistance desks, manned by a team with a police commissioned officer as its leader, will also be established in every school on June 4 to pre-empt and respond for any eventuality.

The PRO3 chief added he has directed all field officers to personally visit the different schools in the region and coordinate with school officials in order to deter lawless elements from doing illegal activities such as hold-up, pick-pocketing, snatching, drug pushing and even kidnapping of students.

Corpus further said police will be working hand in hand with auxiliaries for traffic control and direction wherein, volume of students will travel to and from the various schools in the different provinces/cities.

“Once again, I am calling for the cooperation of the public to prevent any crime in the community especially in our learning institutions by providing authorities relevant and timely information to us,” he added. (PNA)

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4 drug suspects killed, 47 others nabbed in 2-day Bulacan operations

By Manny Balbin  May 24, 2018, 9:32 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Four were killed while 35 other drug suspects, including a newly elected barangay official and 12 wanted persons, were arrested in the simultaneous anti-criminality and law enforcements operations in Bulacan on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting police director of Bulacan, identified the fatalities as alias “Onad”; alias “Ric” of Barangay Bancal, Meycauayan City; Gilbert Lopez alias Gipsay/Gypsi, a resident of Barangay Look First in this city; and an alias “Dame” from Guiguinto town; who were all killed after firing their guns at apprehending law enforcers and police operatives.

Bersaluna said alias Onad was entrapped in Barangay Poblacion in Santa Maria town. Recovered from him were .38 caliber gun with bullets and five plastic sachets of “shabu” with an estimated street value of PHP7,000.

Alias Ric transacted a drug deal with undercover agents around 11 p.m. on Wednesday in Barangay Pandayan in Meycauayan City. Police recovered from him a .38 caliber gun, and three plastic sachets of suspected shabu.

P/Supt. Heryl Bruno, Malolos City police chief, said Lopez was subjected to a buy-bust operation in Barangay Look 1st here around 11:25 p.m. Wednesday. Recovered from him were .38 caliber gun and three plastic sachets of shabu with a street value of PHP130,000.

Alias Dame was busted in Barangay Tabe in Guiguinto town around 3:28 a.m. on Thursday. Recovered from him were a .38 caliber gun with bullets and plastic sachet of suspected shabu.

On the other hand, the 35 other drug suspects were apprehended in buy-bust operations in different towns and cities of Bulacan, including Doris Abraham, a high value target in the narcotic list of Barangay Sampaloc in San Rafael town, and a newly elected barangay councilor in the said village. 

A total of 120 plastic sachets of suspected shabu and four firearms with bullets were recovered in the 23 buy bust operations conducted by 17 police stations.

Moreover, Bersaluna added that 12 wanted persons were arrested by virtue of warrants of arrest in the municipalities of Meycauayan, Guiguinto, Bustos, San Miguel, Baliwag, Angat and Dona Remedios Trinidad; and San Jose del Monte City. (PNA)

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3 killed, 6 arrested in Bulacan anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  May 22, 2018, 6:17 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Three drug suspects were killed while six others were arrested in the intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign in this province on Tuesday.

Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, identified the fatalities as Kervin Balagtas, who was included in the drug watchlist of Barangy Atlag in Malolos; Ruel Barcelona; and an alias Michael.

The slain suspects allegedly fired their guns in their bid to elude arrest after transacting with lawmen but were eventually neutralized in the exchange of gunfire.

Bersaluna said Balagtas was entrapped in Barangay Matimbo in Malolos around 7:15 a.m. and recovered from him a .38 caliber handgun and 10 plastic sachets of suspected shabu; while alias Michael fell in the drug sting in La Poblacion, Barangay Muzon in the City of San Jose del Monte around 3:20 a.m. yielding a .45 caliber pistol and eight plastic sachets of suspected shabu.

He said Barcelona encountered law enforcers in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Pungo in Calumpit around 2:05 a.m. and recovered from him were three plastic sachets of shabu, a nickel-plated Smith and Wesson caliber .38 revolver with bullets and the marked money.

Meanwhile, Bersaluna said six other drug suspects were arrested in police operations in the city of San Jose del Monte and the towns of Hagonoy, Baliwag, Sta. Maria, and Plaridel.

He identified them as Alnor Bangon y Marsangca alias Ura; Julius Dela Cruz y Javier alias Louie; Crispin Samson y Gabon; Reynan Dela Cruz y Santa Maria alias Renan; Gina Bugay y Pia alias Gina; and Christopher Galvez y Vergara.

Confiscated from the arrested suspects were a total of 19 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, buy-bust money, and drug paraphernalia. (PNA)

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Bulacan elections generally peaceful

By Manny Balbin  May 15, 2018, 6:57 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Except for reports of slight commotions, the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Bulacan were generally peaceful.

Lawyer Mona Aldana Campos, provincial election supervisor of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Bulacan, said 99 percent of the poll canvassing in the province was completed, and most of the winners were already proclaimed as of Tuesday morning.

Campos said they were only waiting for the canvassing board’s report from the City of San Jose del Monte and the canvassing will be finished within the day.

She also disclosed that she received reports that several SK candidates were overage.

“I don’t just have the exact figures right as the reports were submitted to their legal department,” she added.

Lt. Col. Arnel Cabugon, commander of the 48th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, confirmed to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that at about 10 p.m. Monday, a commotion was reported at the polling precincts of Minuyan High School in Norzagaray town.

“The commotions were pacified when the municipal mayor and chief of police of Norzagaray pacified the supporters of the losing barangay chairman candidate Edmar Tovillo,“ Cabugon said.

On the 37 reported election watch list areas in Bulacan, Cabugon noted that “security forces handled the situations effectively and efficiently.” (PNA)

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Police officer, 2 others nabbed in Pampanga drug buy-bust

By Ric Sapnu  May 12, 2018, 6:25 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- A police officer and two of his cohorts were apprehended in a drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Dau, Mabalacat City, this province on Friday.

Senior Supt. Nicolas Salvador, Pampanga Police acting provincial director, identified the arrested suspect as PO1 Kevin Pierre Apostol, 29, of Barangay Dau and presently assigned at Arayat Police Station; Angel Pabilonia, 39; and Donato Felipe, 22; also residents of said barangay.

Mabalacat City police conducted an anti-illegal drug operation against the arrested suspects at Pineda Subdivision in Barangay Dau.

During the operation, Apostol identified himself as member of Philippine National Police (PNP), Salvador said.
Confiscated from the suspects were nine sachets of suspected “shabu”, PHP500 marked money; PNP-issued unit of Glock 17 Generation 4 9mm pistol with two magazines loaded with 18 live ammunition.

The three suspects were temporarily detained at the Mabalacat City Police Station while appropriate charges for drug possession and violation of election gun ban are being readied against them.  (PNA)

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Drug suspect slain in Bulacan shootout

By Manny Balbin  May 11, 2018, 10:58 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan-- A drug suspect, who was also involved in robbery and hold-up cases, was killed in a buy-bust operation in Northville 8, Barangay Santor, in this city early Friday morning.

In a report submitted to the new provincial director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Malolos police chief Supt. Heryl Bruno identified the suspect as Dennis Pagar, a resident of Barangay Santor and was included in the Barangay Anti-Drugs Abuse Council (BADAC) drug watchlist of the village.

A drug sting was conducted against Pagar at around 1:30 a.m.

“After the drug deal was made, police operative tried to arrest him but the suspect resisted arrest by firing his gun at them and ran towards the back of his house. He was killed in the exchange of gunfire,” Bruno said.

Police investigators recovered from the suspect an improvised shotgun and 14 plastic sachets of suspected shabu with a street value of PHP10,000. (PNA)

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Local execs, poll bets in Bulacan undergo drug tests

By Manny Balbin  May 11, 2018, 7:43 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Incumbent local officials and some candidates for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections voluntarily underwent drug tests Thursday to prove that they are not in illegal drug activities.

“The war being waged by the government against the menace of illegal drugs would succeed if barangay officials set the examples of being against it,” said Mayor Christian Natividad. 

Led by  Natividad, Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, city administrator Zaldy Mendoza,  Comelec officer Julio Nicanor Guinto;  Supt. Heryl Bruno, city police chief,  and some barangay and SK aspirants took the drug tests  at the Ameer Drug Testing Center in Barangay Catmon, in this city.

The activity aims to pursue transparency and accountability on city officials and those seeking barangay elective posts in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has released a list of  local officials and candidates running for the barangay elective positions involved in illegal drugs,  prompting Malolos officials to encourage candidates in Monday’s barangay and SK elections to undergo drug tests. (PNA)

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PRO3 to deploy 9,000 cops for barangay, SK polls in Central Luzon

By Zorayda Tecson  May 11, 2018, 7:05 pm

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga--Some 9,000 police personnel coming from different units in Central Luzon will be deployed in various areas in the region to ensure the conduct of safe and secure Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on May 14.

Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus, director of the Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon), on Friday said that some 200 quick reaction teams (QRTs) have already been deployed in the provinces of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija where most of the election hotspots are located.

At present, he said there are 210 election hotspots out of the 3,102 barangays in the region.

Corpus added that the rest of the QRTs will be stationed on strategic locations in the region three days before the election day.

Likewise, he said two police and military personnel will be deployed to every polling place on election day.

The PRO3 chief added that they will also send out police personnel assigned to do desk work and those undergoing schooling to the different polling precincts to increase the number of those tasked to ensure peaceful elections.

“We continue to carry out our mandated tasks to ensure the attainment of a safe and secure barangay and SK elections this Monday, May 14 as we relatively remain steadfast in our anti-criminality efforts,” he added.

Central Luzon has more than 8.5 million registered barangay and SK voters.

A total of 65,618 aspiring barangay chairmen and barangay council members filed their certificates of candidacy with only 24,816 positions to be filled up in the barangay posts.

On the other hand, 38,887 aspiring SK chairpersons and SK members will vie for the 24,816 positions to be filled up in the SK posts. (PNA)

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BIR agents raid fake cigarette factories in Pampanga

By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario  May 10, 2018, 5:38 pm

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- A strike team of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) backed by local police on Wednesday swooped down on two warehouses at the San Simon Industrial Park which were allegedly manufacturing counterfeit cigarettes and cigarette filters.

The raid came on the heels of government’s intensified campaign against the proliferation of locally-made counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes, whose proceeds could be financing other unlawful activities, authorities said.

One warehouse was found with counterfeit cigarettes stamped with popular brands such as Marlboro, Mighty, Fortune and Camel, among others.

The counterfeit cigarettes likewise bore fake tax stamps, the raiding team noted. The warehouse also housed dozens of sacks and boxes of unprocessed tobacco.

The second warehouse yielded filter rods, a cigarette-making component, the raw material of which is regulated by the BIR and National Tobacco Administration (NTA). The warehouse also yielded other raw materials used in making cigarettes, which were described as being "millions of pesos" in worth.

The raiding team, which was led by revenue officer Remedios “Sonny” Advincula, was recently formed to take point in all BIR enforcement activities on smuggled items and locally manufactured counterfeit excisable products.

They were supported by the PNP Criminal Investigation Detection Group of Region 3 based in Camp Olivas here.

“In this case, the factory and its operations are unregistered, hence the materials are “contraband,” Advincula said.

The warehouses are currently padlocked as appropriate charges are being prepared against their owners and while inventory of all the materials is ongoing. (PNA)

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DENR-EMB assesses environment impact of Bulacan town fish kill

By Manny Balbin  May 9, 2018, 9:00 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- A team from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been dispatched to assess the environmental impact of the fish kill in Obando town.

EMB Regional Director Lormelyn Claudio on Wednesday said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu has given the order to verify if the estimated 250 metric tons of decaying fish have affected the seven villages of Obando.  

“Fishpond operators are obligated to dispose of the fish that were killed inside their culture pond while fish that were killed along the river system of Obando are the responsibility of the local government units concerned to dispose of the inappropriate matter,” Claudio said.

Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Public Health Office, said as of the moment, no untoward health incident related to the fish kill was reported.

The EMB team has been directed to coordinate with Celia Esteban, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer of Bulacan, together with the local government of Obando, and conduct water sampling to assess the water quality of the river system and its impact to the residents in the area.

Fish health inspection team from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Provincial Agriculture Office has investigated the fish kill and reported that mortalities were caused by extremely low dissolved oxygen content of the fishpond water due to cloudy skies and abrupt rainfall in the area.

BFAR Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz said affected fishpond operators in the seven villages of Pag-asa, Paliwas, Hulo, Lawa, Paco, Tawiran,and Salambao in Obando town have decided to give the dead cultured fish free to fisherfolk in the area, who in turn sold these as fish meal to crab and prawn raisers for PHP200 per 40 kilos.

The fisherfolk were estimated to have gathered and sold at least 125 metric tons as fish meal while the rest of it was buried.

“BFAR is currently assessing the volume of fingerlings that they will be provided to the affected fishpond operators,” Cruz added.

Fisherfolk said it will take several weeks before commercial fish and crustacean species return to the affected river system of the town.

Meanwhile, Freddy Sta. Maria Jr., municipal agriculture officer of Obando, said the river cleanup and of the affected fishponds was already completed on Wednesday.

“The foul-smelling odor of the decaying fish has already subsided,” Sta. Maria said. (PNA)

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P17-M worth of ’bangus' lost in Bulacan town fish kill

By Zorayda Tecson  May 8, 2018, 6:43 pm

OBANDO, Bulacan -- At least PHP17 million worth of bangus (milkfish) were lost in a fish kill that has affected at least 150 hectares of fishponds in this town, provincial agriculturist Ma. Gloria Carillo said Tuesday.

These were the initial findings of personnel of Bulacan’s Provincial Agriculture Office and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), who conducted a site visit and water analysis on affected fishponds on Monday, said Carillo.

The fish health inspection team reported on Monday night that the fish kill has affected fishponds in seven of the 11 villages of Obando, namely Pag-asa, Paliwas, Hulo, Lawa, Paco, Tawiran, and Salambao, affecting at least 40 fishpond operators.

“The inspection team is still validating if other villages were affected by the fish kill,” she added.

Affected fishpond areas rose to 150 hectares as of Monday night from the 100 hectares initially confirmed by Wilfredo Cruz, the director of BFAR 3 (Central Luzon).

Carillo said it was observed that last Saturday, before the fish kill occurred, cloudy skies prevailed over the town and an intensity 3 earthquake was felt in the area at about 2:15 p.m.

“By Sunday morning, residents in the area noticed foul odor emanating from the fishpond areas and noted that cultured milkfish were gasping for air and by lunchtime, volumes of milkfish mortalities were observed,” she explained.

Carillo said initial findings by the fish health inspection team showed that the fish mortalities were due to the extremely low dissolved oxygen content of the fishpond water, caused by the cloudy skies and abrupt rainfall.

The team, she said, will return to Obando to validate their initial findings. (PNA)

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2 arrested for Comelec gun ban in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  May 7, 2018, 9:47 pm

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, City of Malolos, Bulacan -- Two persons were arrested Sunday in the City of San Jose del Monte and Pandi town for violating the gun ban in line with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on May 14.

Sr. Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan police director, identified the arrested suspects as Pamfelo Carola alias Lacson, 58, of San Jose Heights in San Jose Del Monte City; and Oliver Gabriel, 44, of Barangay Siling Matanda in Pandi.

Carola was celebrating his birthday when John Michael and friends gate crashed to the party and were forcibly evicted by the celebrant.

Michael and friends then threw stones at the doors and windows of Carola’s house, forcing him to shoot Michael on the chest and was declared dead on arrival at the district hospital of the city.

Responding policemen recovered from Carola an improvised firearm loaded with one live 12 gauge bullet and a spent bullet shell.

On the other hand, Gabriel pointed his gun and threatened to shoot Ann Castañeda and her brother-in-law in Pandi town.

The victims reported the incident to the police who immediately responded and arrested the suspect and confiscated from him a firearm. (PNA)

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CENRO employee nabbed for illegal drugs

By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario  May 5, 2018, 5:00 pm

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- An employee of the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) here was nabbed Friday evening for illegal drugs in a checkpoint along Dolores Intersection this city.

Policemen, led by Senior Inspector Wimerra Jean D. Saldia. flagged down Jhay John Bondoc Roque, 33, on board his Honda motorcycle for violation of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) rules and regulations.

“But after body search, five plastic sachets of shabu and drug paraphernalia were recovered from Roque’s possession,” Saldia said.

Police said Roque was allegedly involved in illegal drug trade after a series of text conversations and transactions were found in his mobile phone by arresting officers.

Under the PDEA policy, a government employee or official involved in illegal drug activities is classified as a High Value Target (HVT) drug personality.

Roque is detained at the Dolores Community Police Assistance Center (COMPAC 2) as charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act are being readied against him in court. (PNA)

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Bulacan rice traders assure sufficient rice stocks

By Manny Balbin  May 4, 2018, 10:10 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan--The country has sufficient rice supply until the arrival of the government’s rice import for its buffer stocks.

This was assured by rice traders belonging to the Bulacan Rice Millers Association (BRMA) during a press conference on Friday on the launching of the “Tulong sa Bayan Caravan” initiated by the National Food Authority (NFA) in Bulacan.

The rice traders said that the consuming public has nothing to worry about a rice shortage since their members have sufficient rice stocks and are still in the process of procuring palay this peak rice harvest season.

The NFA in Bulacan has coordinated with the BRMA for the launching of the “Tulong sa Bayan Caravan” as part of the rice traders’ commitment to President Rodrigo Duterte to come up with a rice supply priced at PHP39 per kilo until the depleted NFA rice buffer stock has been replenished.

Elvira Cruz-Obana, NFA provincial manager, said that rice traders from the Intercity Industrial Estate and Golden City, a major rice trading center of the country based in Bocaue and Balagtas towns, initially provided 3,000 cavans of commercial rice that can be sold to rice consumers at PHP39 a kilo.

“This will be sold to retailers and end consumers on a wholesale basis and in turn, sell to the public at PHP39 a kilo,” Obana said.

She also said that no volume restrictions will be made on retailers since the rice is to be sold to the public at PHP39 a kilo.

Roderico Sulit, vice president of the Golden City Association and representative of the BRMA, explained that prices of ordinary commercial rice are actually being sold at wholesale price below the PHP39 a kilo, a price request of President Duterte.

“At this price, a 50-kilo sack will be sold for PHP1,950, whereas association members are selling at a wholesale price the ordinary commercial rice from PHP1,860-PHP1,900 that translate to PHP37.20-PHP38 per kilo, giving retailers a gross profit of PHP50-PHP90 per sack,” Sulit explained.

Meanwhile, Geevie David, vice president of the Intercity Industrial Estate Ricemillers Association, explained that rice and palay stocks of their members are expected to be sufficient until the lean months of July- September.

As a commitment to President Duterte, the association coordinated with NFA manager for Bulacan to have them use the agency’s facilities so that they can sell to retailers and end users the commercial rice at PHP39 per kilo.

On the other hand, Delanie Dinong of Gold Rush Ricemill said that they have also brought with them weighing scales and plastic bags so that consumers can buy on a per kilo basis from the “Tulong sa Bayan Caravan” located at the Malolos NFA warehouse. (PNA)

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‘Top shabu retailers’ in Region 2 arrested in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  May 3, 2018, 7:38 pm

SAN ILDEFONSO, Bulacan -- Two alleged major shabu retailers in Region 2, composed of provinces of Cagayan, Batanes, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino, were apprehended in a buy-bust operation in this town Wednesday.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan police director, identified the suspects as Carol and Ariane both surnamed Manzano and residents of Barangay Maligaya, Santiago City, Isabela.

Police investigators claimed the duo to be top suppliers of illegal drugs in Cagayan Valley region.

“Police were able to confiscate from the duo a total of 161 plastic sachets of suspected shabu weighing approximately 111.15 grams,” Caramat said.

Police believed that the suspects were supposed to deliver the prohibited drugs in this town.

Meanwhile, six drug suspects were apprehended in buy-bust operations on the same day in the towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Bocaue, Balagtas, and Baliwag.

A total of 20 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, and buy-bust money were seized from the six suspects.

Charges for violation of Section 5, 11 and 15 of RA 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act were filed against the six suspects.

Caramat said that the series of operations were in line with the marching orders of Central Luzon regional police director Chief Supt. Amador C. Corpus to provincial police units to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes. (PNA)

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Fleeing drug detainee shot dead in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  May 3, 2018, 7:34 pm

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan-– A drug detainee, who is to be taken to an inquest proceeding in this city, was killed Wednesday in a pursuit operation after he escaped his police escorts.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., police director of Bulacan, identified the victim as Raymond Omegan, 18 years old, a resident of Section 9, Phase 1, Block 1, Lot 3, Pabahay 2000, Barangay Muzon, this city.

Investigation showed that Omegan and two other detainees from the City Custodial Facility, aboard a police patrol car would be inquested before the City Prosecutors' Office.

But as the police escorts stopped to get the certifications of the three detainees from their Barangay Anti-Drugs Abuse Council (BADAC), Omegan was able to remove his handcuff, grabbed the gun of one of his escorts and fled.

Police escorts then chased Omegan. When cornered, Omegan shot it out with pursuing policemen using the gun he wrestled from his police escort, forcing police escorts to fire back and mortally wounding the suspect, who eventually died. (PNA)

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3rd Bulakenyo bishop officially consecrated

By Manny Balbin  April 30, 2018, 9:47 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan—Most Reverend Bartolome G. Santos, Jr., D.D. (Bishop-elect of Iba, Zambales) was officially consecrated during the episcopal ordination held at the Cathedral of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in this city on Monday.

His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, D.D. administered the Episcopal Ordination of the Most Rev. Santos.

Cardinal Tagle, Metropolitan Archbishop of Manila, served as the principal consecrator, together with Most Rev. Florentino G. Lavarias, D.D., Archbishop of San Fernando, and Most Rev. Jose F. Oliveros, D.D. Bishop of Malolos, as Co-Consecrators.

It has been more than 30 years since a Bulakenyo priest had been named Bishop of the Church.

Santos is the former Vicar-General of the Malolos Diocese and one of the six new bishops appointed this year by His Holiness Pope Francis in the Philippines.

The ceremony started during the holy mass where part of it was laying of hands, the prayer of ordination, anointing of the head, handing on to the pastoral staff and fraternal kiss.

Some 200 archbishops, bishops and priests from the Diocese of Malolos and Iba, Zambales witnessed the consecration.

Bartolome from Sta. Maria town was the third Bulakenyo elected bishop, the two others were Bishop Deogracias Iniguez from Meycauayan and Bishop Ruperto Santos from San Rafael.

Santos was born in Santa Maria, Bulacan on Dec. 1, 1967. After his philosophy and theology studies at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, he was ordained priest on Aug. 27, 1992.

Cardinal Tagle said that the new mission of Bishop Santos is a gift from God as well as a gift to the people of Iba, Zambales. (PNA)

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Central Luzon cops ready to secure Labor Day protests

By Ric Sapnu  April 30, 2018, 7:22 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Central Luzon police is ready for the Labor Day celebration on Tuesday (May 1), including the mass actions expected to be staged by labor and transport organizations all over the region.

Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus, director of the Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon), said that a security plan has been laid out for the event.

“As in the past, there would be deployment for crime prevention and control,” Corpus said.

He said that a total of 220 police personnel from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 3 (RMFB3) will be dispatched for civil disturbance management (CDM) augmentation in the National Capital Region, if the need arises during the event.

He said that all provincial police offices/chief of police offices (PPOs/CPOs) have alerted their CDM personnel and tactical units on the ground starting on Monday, ready to respond for any eventualities within their areas of jurisdiction.

“Inspecting team from the Regional Headquarters will conduct CDM readiness inspection among the different PPOs/CPOs to check their preparedness,”he said.

At the same, Corpus said that all contingents are reminded to observe "maximum tolerance", the Philippine National Police’s standing policy when it comes to handling mass action on the protesters.

Meanwhile, he said that Police Assistance Desks (PADs) and Motorists Assistance Centers (MACs) are still in placed in convergence points like bus terminals, airport, seaports and recreational areas including highways, main thoroughfares and crime prone areas to ensure maximum police presence until June 13, 2018, as "Ligtas SumVac 2018" is still in effect. (PNA)

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13 arrested in anti-drug ops in Central Luzon

By Ric Sapnu  April 30, 2018, 7:00 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- Thirteen suspects were arrested and numerous illegal drugs were confiscated during a series of anti-illegal drugs operations in Central Luzon on Sunday.

Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus, the director of the Police Regional Office 3 (CentralLuzon), said the region-wide operations led to the arrest of six persons in Pampanga, three in Bataan, two in Bulacan, and one each in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

Corpus commended the operatives for the arrests of the drug suspects.

“As the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs continues, we have the citizenry on our side as evidenced by the many tips we keep getting from the public which led to police operations and arrests of illegal drugs personalities,” he said.

The six persons arrested in Pampanga were identified as Jerry Siron, Jaybie Fernandez, Arlene Madlambayan-Sunglao, all residents of Mabalacat City; Nestor Bucasa, a native of Bamban, Tarlac; Rjay Yaya of Guagua, Pampanga; and Efren Bernabe of Macabebe, Pampanga.

Seized from their possession were a total of nine heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, illegal gambling paraphernalia, cash bets, and marked money.

In Bataan, nabbed were Allen Bautista of Balanga City; Marvin Villanueva of Orani; and Mark Anthony Cruz of Mariveles.

Bulacan police operatives, on the other hand, were able to arrest Bernardo Bernardo of Sta. Maria; and Lex Arbuleda of Pandi, Bulacan while in the act of selling and in possession of four heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu.

Also arrested were Lester Tan, who was included in the drugs watch list of Concepcion, Tarlac; and Edgardo Fernandez of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

Confiscated from suspects in Bataan and Bulacan were sachets containing suspected shabu and marked money.

The arrested suspects are now presently detained, facing charges of violation of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (PNA)

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Bulacan execs expect economic dev’t with the approval of int'l airport

By Manny Balbin  April 27, 2018, 7:22 pm

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan -- Bulacan officials are looking forward to major economic developments with the approval of the unsolicited proposal for the construction of an international airport in Bulakan town by San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado confirmed the approval for the international airport to be constructed in the province, during the launching here of the “Refill Revolution” on Friday by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional office in Central Luzon.

The governor said the proposed international airport will be constructed in the coastal area of Bulakan town and will be complemented with flood and coastal road projects along the Manila Bay areas of the province.

“It will spell thousands of job and business opportunities to Bulakenyos,” he said.

On the other hand, Guiguinto Mayor Ambrocio Cruz, who is also the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Bulacan, noted that with the start of the construction for the international airport, widening of road networks in the province will follow so as not to provide inconvenience to passengers that are expected to arrive and depart from the international airport.

“Bulacan will definitely become the “darling” of foreign and local investors,” Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Obando Mayor Edwin Santos said the runway and airplane hangars of the airport will encroach on Obando’s side and that they are currently on the planning stage for a road network that would connect their town to the North Luzon Expressway.

“Plans are being made to accommodate the expected increase in numbers of motorists (who) will pass through Obando (and) who would bring with them economic benefits and job opportunities,” said Santos.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board said its approved international airport involves the construction of a terminal, parallel runways, and an airport toll road.

The whole project will cover around 2,500 hectares, of which 1,168 hectares will be the main airport complex, while the remaining 1,332 hectares will be developed into a township.

The Bulacan International Airport will have an initial annual capacity of 100 million passengers, more than triple the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  (PNA)

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Barangay councilor, 7 others nabbed on illegal drugs in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  April 25, 2018, 9:47 pm

MALOLOS, Bulacan -- An incumbent barangay councilor in Meycauayan City and seven others were arrested during a pot session in the city early Wednesday morning.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan police director, identified the barangay official as Janet Oñate, who is also running for another term as barangay kagawad in Tugatog in next month’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
The arrested suspects were Arsenio Bacani, Aurora Roy, and Jufer Oñate, all of Barangay Tugatog.

Others were Noemie Uy of Barangay Banga, Meycauayan City; Oscar Malvar of Gen. T. De Leon, Valenzuela City; Joseph Casambros of San Ildefonso, Bulacan; and Jonnel Danao of Viente Riales, Valenzuela City.

Police operatives caught Oñate, together with the seven others, holding a pot session in a shanty in barangay Banga and confiscated from them three plastic sachets of suspected shabu with a street value of PHP1,000 and drug paraphernalia.

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

“Appropriate criminal complaint is being prepared against the suspects for filing in court,” Caramat said. (PNA)

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Bulacan village officials urged to intensify anti-illegal drugs drive

By Manny Balbin  April 24, 2018, 6:41 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – The provincial government of Bulacan and other government agencies have urged barangay officials to intensify their campaign against illegal drugs.

Through the Barangay Dialogue held Monday at The Pavilion in Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in this city, the provincial government along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP), met with barangay captains, councilors and secretaries from the 569 villages in this province for a drug-free goal.

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado asked the local leaders for their full support in the government’s effort to eradicate the problem on illegal drugs and to focus on the real issue in order to solve it "fair and square."

“We should focus in reality because the truth will set us free. Our country, even before, has problem on poverty. But, the root of this problem was caused by criminality, graft and corruption and illegal drugs. We know that in our barangay, whether we like or not, is infiltrated by illegal drugs,” Alvarado said.

The governor assured the local leaders of his full support as long as they are also willing to participate in making their communities a safe place to live in for their constituents.

After the dialogue, seven barangays in San Rafael town, namely Paco, Maasim, Pasong Bangkal, Banca-banca, Dagat-dagatan, Pinac-pinacan and Diliman II received certificates of drug cleared barangay.

Barangay Magmarale in San Miguel town was the first to be given such.

The certificates were issued based on the parameters set by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Alvarado said that the other remaining barangays can also be cleared with the illegal drugs problem if they will strive hard and be vigilant in promoting and implementing the programs and advocacies against illegal drugs, which will result to a drug-free community.

Meanwhile, PDEA Regional Director Gil T. Pabilona has appealed to the local government officials and other public servants for their active participation in the campaign against illegal drugs through the reporting of illegal drug activities and suspicious looking personalities and facilities in the neighborhood.

Pabilona assured that the identities of those who will report illegal activities will not be disclosed.

He also discussed the topic on barangay drug clearing program.

Likewise, Herminio “Bobbit” Diño from the Office of the Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs, who represented DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño as the guest of honor, delivered an inspiring message about the important role of parents and barangay officials in the fight against illegal drugs in the communities. (PNA)

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2 drug suspects killed in Bulacan buy-bust ops

By Manny Balbin  April 23, 2018, 8:05 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Two drug suspects were killed while two of their cohorts were able to elude arrest in buy-bust operations in this city Monday afternoon.

Supt. Heryl Bruno, police chief of this city, identified the fatalities as Mervin Gacad and Valentin Villego alias Jabar, both residents of Barangay San Vicente in this city.

Bruno said the two suspects were with two others when the drug sting was conducted in Sitio Dupax.

After transacting with the undercover agents, the group resisted arrest and fired their guns on the arresting police officers that led to a firefight.

“After the smoke of guns cleared, Gacad and Villego lay dead while their two other cohorts were able to escape,” he said.

Police recovered from Gacad and Villego suspected shabu and .38 caliber handguns. (PNA)

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13 dead, 58 nabbed in anti-drug ops

By Manny Balbin  April 20, 2018, 10:17 pm

1

ILLEGAL DRUGS. Bulacan's province-wide anti-illegal drugs operations resulted in the deaths of suspected drug peddlers , including Antonio Samson, alias "Tunying," the No. 1 in the drug watch list of Barangay Mabolo, in the City of Malolos on Friday morning (April 20, 2018). (Photo of Manny Balbin)

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- At least 13 people were killed while 58 others were arrested in Friday’s province-wide simultaneous police operations on illegal drugs.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan police director, said that as of Friday noon, 49 police operations were conducted -- 46 buy-bust, two serving of search warrants, and a police checkpoint.

Three fatalities were reported in the city of San Jose del Monte; one each in the towns of Bocaue, Pandi, Santa Maria, Plaridel, Pulilan, Baliwag, San Rafael, and Malolos City.

Two policemen from the Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) and intelligence branch of the Bulacan police provincial office were also killed in the operations.

Caramat said the identities of the slain suspects are still being verified as of this postng.

Police recovered a total of 216 plastic sachets of suspected shabu weighing a total of 72.04 grams; 26 other plastic sachets; and one brick of dried marijuana leaves, all with a street value of PHP448,439.

At least 15 guns of various caliber and a hand grenade, were confiscated during the simultaneous anti-drug operations, Caramat added. (PNA)

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Police arrest 2 gang members for swindling

By Ernie Esconde  April 19, 2018, 7:40 pm

BALANGA City, Bataan -- The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Bataan arrested in Metro Manila and Laguna on Wednesday two of seven suspected members of the “gawgaw budol-budol” gang who reportedly swindled about PHP50 million in cash from various victims around the country.

SP01 Joseph Mejia, CIDG–Bataan investigator, named those arrested based on a warrant of arrest issued by a Bataan Regional Trial court judge as Jonathan Asuncion alias Engineer Luis de Guia, and Antonio Laugan alias Manny.

Asuncion was nabbed in Caloocan City while Laugan in Victoria, Laguna.

The five others are still at-large and the subject of manhunt.

“The true identities of the suspects are gay but pretended as men when they approached those whom they are going to victimize,” the investigator said.

He showed pictures of Laugan as a male and dressed as a woman.

“The operation of the gawgaw budol-budol gang is nationwide. There are some PHP50 million they already swindled from the victims who reported and it might even be higher as there are still some who are not yet reporting,” Mejia said.

“My advice is to know first if the products are legitimate and to determine if the agent or supplier who is offering the products is legitimate too,” he said.

The group was called gawgaw budol-budol gang for using starch to fool their victims like in the case of Leonardo Austria, 62, a resort owner in Balanga City.

“In November 18, 2017, I was swindled by PHP8.3 million. The PHP1 million was in cash and the others were through bank transfer,” Austria said.

He said prior the incident about a month before, two men came to his resort, one introduced himself as an importer of canned goods and the other as a Chinese.

“It all started when my son in the United States posted in Facebook about our apartment for rent wherein my address in Balanga City and cellphone number were indicated,” Austria said.

This was followed by his posting in Facebook of a property in Bagac, Bataan when another set of men and women introduced themselves as agent interested in the property.

It turned out that the man who introduced himself as an importer and those posing as land agents were cohorts.

Austria said he was hooked into paying 250 boxes of supposed chemicals for use in preserving tuna and additional of 250 boxes more that he paid for PHP8.3 million.

He was offered a finder’s fee of PHP1,000 per box with one box worth PHP25,000.

“When the chemicals were examined in the laboratory, it was found out that those were only starch,” he said.

Austria said he gave PHP1 million in cash to Laugan, while PHP4 million and the remaining more than P3 million were withdrawn at the BPI main branch in Makati and Magallanes branch, respectively.

He said that during the bank withdrawals, Asuncion with another suspect, Winifredo Adriano, was his textmate.

He added he learned that the group has victimized many from Paranaque, Bulacan, Quezon City, Caloocan and other areas that totaled more than PHP50 million.

“My advice to my fellow overseas Filipino workers retirees is, whatever you earned, be contended,” Austria said.

Austria spent 32 years of his life working in oil and gas operations in various countries.

“I am not involved there. I was only implicated by Winifredo (Adriano). I was never been to Bataan and did not receive PHP1 million,” Laugan said.

Chief Inspector Rex Perucho, CIDG provincial chief, said investigation and the hunt for other members of the group are going on.  (PNA)

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Anti-rabies drive intensified in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin  April 17, 2018, 8:28 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) is stepping up efforts to reduce the number of rabies-related cases in the province.

Dr. Voltaire Basinang, provincial veterinarian, said they will conduct free vaccination for dogs and cats in several barangays in Pandi and Balagtas starting on Tuesday until Friday.

“We are trying to reach out to all in order to reduce the rabies-related cases in the province,” he said.

Aside from this, Basinang said the PVO will also coordinate and tap barangay officials to disseminate information, education, and 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 of their pet animals,” he said.

Basinang further said that Bulacan now ranked ninth from its previous seventh place among the provinces with highest records of animal bite cases nationwide.

PVO records showed that 25 dogs were positively diagnosed with rabies last year and eight dogs during the first quarter of 2018.

Moreover, five deaths were recorded in 2017 while six people died in 2018.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, meanwhile, said the initiative is part of the health program of the provincial government.

Last February, Alvarado issued a letter that mandated every municipality in the province to hire a municipal veterinarian and acquire dog pounds that can be home to stray, lost, abandoned or surrendered animals.

“We need this to make it more accessible to our provincemates. With this, there is no reason for them not being able to vaccinate their pets,” the governor said.

He also said the first two vaccinations for the post-exposure prophylaxis, a vaccine for human bitten or scratched by animals, are also given free at the Bulacan Medical Center.

“The provincial government has been continuously exerting efforts to decrease the number of rabies-related cases in the province while reminding pet owners to be responsible and have their pets vaccinated every year,” he added.

Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects domestic and wild animals.

The virus can spread to humans through bites or scratches, usually through saliva, and is almost fatal once symptoms or clinical signs appear. (PNA)

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5 of 14 juveniles captured after escaping Bulacan reformation center

By Manny Balbin  April 16, 2018, 8:50 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Police captured Monday noon five of at least 14 children in conflict with the law who escaped from the juvenile reformation center run by the provincial government of Bulacan here.

Maricel Cruz, head of the Provincial Public Affairs Office, confirmed to Philippine News Agency the capture of five of the escapees.

However, Cruz was not able to provide other details, except that investigation on the incident and follow-up operations are still being conducted.

At least 14 juvenile delinquents escaped Sunday night from the Bahay Tanglaw Pag-Asa through the fire exit of the center.

The center is under the supervision of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Bulacan.

On the night of July 31 last year, 23 juvenile delinquents also bolted from the said facility, which was then undergoing renovation, by passing through the window of its comfort room, and used blankets that were tied together to climb down.  (PNA)

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Bulacan town residents, fisherfolks oppose SMC’s proposed airport

By Zorayda Tecson  April 16, 2018, 8:50 pm

BULAKAN, Bulacan—Fisherfolks and residents in this town have called on the local government unit of Bulakan to study thoroughly the possible effects on their source of livelihood the unsolicited proposal of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to build an international airport here.

The proposed airport project was recently approved by the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

United Methodist Bulacan North District Superintendent Joseph Estadilla and spokesperson of Alyansa para sa Pagtatanggol ng Kabuhayan, Paninirahan at Kalikasan sa Manila Bay (AKAP KA-Manila Bay) on Monday cited the need to study first the circumstances of the proposed project that could affect the livelihood of fishermen, particularly in Barangay Taliptip here.

The proposed project is said to be built in the 3,000-hectare fishponds which the fishermen mostly rely on as source of their livelihood.

“It is not a joke to pile soil to the more than 3,000-hectare fishpond and it likewise not a joke to disregard the welfare of the people who might be affected by the said project,” Estadilla said.

They also refuted the earlier article in a national broadsheet newspaper that the association of fishermen in the town of Bulakan, particularly in Barangay Taliptip, will not oppose the PHP700-billion project.

According to Taliptip Kagawad Roberto Bauza, committee chair of Barangay Agriculture and Fisheries, they will fight for their rights and continue to oppose the construction of said aerotropolis in their area.

They lamented that there was no consultation made on this matter with them.

“We are not opposing development, However, we do not know where will be our place in the promised development of the said project. Almost all of us here depend on fishing. What will happen to the future of our children in case we will be displaced here,?” Sebastian said.

The fishermen also expressed concern about the reclamation of sea once the construction of the proposed airport started, claiming it will block the flow of water from the mountains that can cause deluge not only in the town of Bulakan but also its neighboring municipalities. (PNA)

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High-value target falls, yields P2.5-M worth of shabu in Pampanga

By Ric Sapnu  April 16, 2018, 6:12 pm

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- At least PHP2.5 million worth of shabu and two pistols were seized from a drug personality following the implementation of a search warrant by agents of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA3) and police operatives in Barangay San Vicente, Magalang, Pampanga, Sunday.

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) director, identified the arrested suspect as Akil Imam, 29, a native of Marawi City, Mindanao and presently residing at Bliss 1, Barangay San Vicente, Magalang.

Corpus said Imam is considered as high value target of PDEA.

He said the raiding team, armed with search warrant issued by Judge Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert of Regional Trial Court Branch 89, Quezon City, proceeded to the residence of the suspect which resulted in his arrest.

Confiscated from the suspect’s possession were 31 medium size plastic sachets containing suspected shabu; three large size sachets containing suspected shabu; electronic weighing scale; two caliber 45 pistols with two magazines; seven bullets of caliber 45 ; two pouch bags; one small tool box; one lighter; a pair of scissors; mini money counting machine; and bundle of unused plastic sachets.

According to the PDEA, the seized suspected shabu weighing some 500 grams has an estimated street value of PHP2.5 million.

The arrested suspect and the seized pieces of evidence are now in the custody PDEA3 office for proper disposition.  (PNA)

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Ex-convict, 3 others nabbed in Bulacan buy-bust ops

By Manny Balbin  April 15, 2018, 6:36 pm

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Four drug suspects, including an ex-convict , were arrested Saturday in an intensified police operation against illegal drugs in separate police buy-bust operations in Bulacan.

Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan police director, said the drug operations were conducted in Meycauayan City and the towns of Baliwag and Bustos.

He identified the arrested suspects as Marlon Espenosa , 27, of Barangay Bayugo, Meycauayan City; Sonny De Leon, 41, of Sitio Dike, Barangay Poblacion, Baliwag; and Cleto Enriquez , 39, of Barangay Santa Barbara, Baliwag.

The ex-convict, on the other hand, identified as Enrico Oliveros, 48, resident of Callejon 1, Barangay San Juan, Taytay, was collared in Bustos, Bulacan.

Some 13 small plastic sachets of suspected shabu and assorted drug paraphernalia were recovered from the four suspects and were brought to the Bulacan Crime Laboratory for appropriate examinations.

Criminal complaints, meanwhile, are being prepared for filing in court against the drug suspects.

Meanwhile, Caramat said a total of 2,568 plastic sachets of shabu weighing 5,246,57 grams; 147 plastic sachets of dried marijuana leaves weighing 1,743.21 grams were seized while 876 drug personalities were arrested and a total of 60 firearms were recovered from the Bulacan police anti-drugs operation since December 5 last year. (PNA)

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