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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

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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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