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JUNE 2018

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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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