3 ‘NPA’ members nabbed for burning 2 Philex Mines trucks

>> Saturday, February 18, 2017

 TUBA, Benguet -- Suspected members of the New People’s Army allegedly responsible for the burning of two Volvo trucks of Philex Mining Corp. around 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Sitio Tapak Ampucao, Tuba, Benguet are now in custody of Benguet Police Provincial Office.
 Benguet police filed cases of arson, robbery and illegal possession of ammunition against Sarah Abellon, Promencio Cortez (also known as Antonio Cabalse) and Marciano Passon Sagun.
They were arrested in a checkpoint around 8:25 a.m. Thursday during hot pursuit operation when they were caught at Tiptop, Gibraltar, Baguio City where the transient house they rented was also located, said regional police information officer Chief Insp. Carolina Lacuata
Based on intelligence reports of Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, Abellon is secretary of the Sub-Regional Military Area Command of the New People’s Army while Cortez who carries a P4.8 million peso reward for his arrest are high-ranking officials of the communist group.
A police report said prior to burning  incident, suspects were planning to raid the mining firm and cart away firearms of security agency in the area.
The report said the NPA raid was preempted by operatives of Police Regional Office Cordillera and the 5O3rd Brigade Philippine Army.
Realizing that their plans can no longer materialize, the report said arrested suspects, who were part of the NPA group contended with burning the two Volvo trucks.
Operatives of the PNP and AFP are still in pursuit of the main body of insurgents who escaped by splitting up and going different directions in Tuba and Itogon towns.
Other sources said a firefight between insurgents and police reportedly ensued Thursday at km 4, Tuba, along Kennon Road.  
This, as Baguio police searched the transient house rented by the suspects and confiscated personal belongings, several gadgets, assorted ammunitions and P 850,000 believed to be revolutionary tax collection used as operational fund of the NPA.
Police placed nearby Baguio City and parts of Benguet on red alert as manhunt for their cohorts was intensified.   
A police report said the suspects, who were aboard two getaway vehicles were intercepted at the Tiptop checkpoint after police were tipped off that these – an Isuzu DMAX with plate number ZRH 321 and a Blue Innova with conduction sticker VJ 3573.
They were reportedly seen by witnesses at crime site when the trucks were burned.
Senior Supt. Angelito A. Casimiro, police deputy regional director for operations earlier said five members of alleged armed NPA guerillas with long firearms including one amazon burned said trucks.
This, as militant groups in Baguio held a rally Friday at Malcolm Square, Baguio calling for the release of Abellon saying she was a board director of the RDC-Kaduami, a nongovernment organization. 
At press time, heavy presence of policemen checking vehicles along roads, was noted in Baguio and Kennon Road where three still unidentified gagged women were found dead Wednesday, their hands tied.

This, as regional police director Chief Supt Elmo Francis Sarona urged the public not to believe unverified and unfounded information circulating in the social media about the series of incidents related to the incidents. 


Baguio tops CARAA meet; Benguet 2nd, Mt Prov 3rd

By Tan Dulag

BAGUIO CITY – Team Baguio was champion in overall medal standings in this year’s Cordillera Regional Athletic Association Meet here last week with Benguet coming in second place and Mountain Province third.
In elementary division, Baguio bagged 85 gold, 45 silver and 21 bronze medals while secondary division won 146 gold, 63 silver and 38 bronze medals.
Baguio had a total of  232 gold, 112 silver and 99 bronze medals.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said incentives are ready for winning Baguio athletes and coaches because it is part of the city budget.
He added performance of the city improved as compared to last year when the city won 212 gold medals.
Meanwhile, Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, cited MP athletes for moving up in overall medal standings in this year’s CARAA, a yearly event of Dept. of Education.
Mountain Province garnered 18 gold, 20 silver and 62 bronze making the province third overall following Benguet in second place and Baguio delegation first overall surpassing Kalinga this year.
In an interview with the governor, he said “performance of athletes was very satisfying.”
He acknowledged efforts of coaches, trainers and others who had been a part of the whole delegation starting from their training days until the end of CARAA meet.”
“Starting from the arrival to the actual games and until CARAA ended, I had seen the joy and happiness from the faces of the athletes, coaches, trainers and everybody that belongs to the delegation, so this is considered a huge accomplishment for the whole province.”
The governor had shown full support in behalf of the whole provincial government of Mountain Province by being present in the opening of the CARAA and even congratulating in person athletes, coaches, trainers and every personnel that belonged to the delegation after the closing ceremony.
Despite being third in overall medals, Lacwasan said he considered total performance of the Mountain Province in this year’s CARAA a total success which had excellent result.
This, as Mountain Province was awarded the most eco-friendly delegation during the CARAA Meet.
Gloria Buya-ao, Mountain Province schools division superintendent and sports supervisor Rosendo Cacap said they felt blessed during the sports meet.
They said total number of medals placed them third overall compared to last year’s fourth, but they are also very proud that their delegation garnered special award as eco-friendly delegation.
This, as Baguio Central School was awarded “best billeting area.” 
Buya-ao said they “admire all-out support given by the school under the leadership of Dr. Esther Litilit, BCS said school.”
Meanwhile, despite sliding down in medal standings this year, Kalinga secondary softball players proved they are still the team to beat in the event when they humbled Team Baguio 5-1 during their championship game Wednesday.
Having won the gold back to back in softball, Kalinga proved they are national caliber athletes, said Kalinga coach Raphael Alcodia. “They (Kalinga athletes) were confident they will win the gold because they showed great team play and movement.

Meanwhile in the elementary level, Team Kalinga also had an upset win over defending champion Team Baguio of last year’s CARAA to bring home the gold. The score for the hard- fought softball game was 18 for Kalinga while Baguio had 12 runs. 


3 women found dead along Kennon Road

TUBA, Benguet -- Police are investigating if three women found dead along Kennon Road in Barangay Bangar in Rosario town in La Union if they were drug suspects. Chief Insp. Bernabe Oribello, Rosario police chief, said a resident discovered the bodies at around 10 a.m.
The faces of two of the victims were wrapped in packing tape like most drug suspects slain by suspected vigilantes.
Oribello said the victims could have been killed somewhere else.
Meanwhile, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested several “high-value” drug pushers in stings in Luzon in the past two days.
Among those nabbed was Eduardo Cabanban Jr., councilor of Barangay Sto. Rosario in San Juan town in La Union.
A raid on Cabanban’s house yielded sachets of shabu, drug paraphernalia and equipment used to repack shabu, PDEA agents said.
In Bulacan, Eduardo Gregorio Jr., 30, alias Astig, was arrested in a sting in Barangay Lumang Bayan in Plaridel. 
At least 50 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of P240,000 and marked money were recovered from Gregorio, said Juvenal Azurin, PDEA-Central Luzon director. – Jun Elias and Raymund Catindig


DPWH truck plunges Kalinga cliff; driver killed, helper hurt

PASIL, Kalinga – The driver of a dump truck was killed while his helper was injured when the vehicle they were riding in fell down a ravine here Tuesday around 11 a.m. at Sitio Limo-od, Balinciagao Sur.
The truck owned by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways was driven by Sanchez Sumupang, 41, resident of Bado Dangwa, Tabuk City.
A police report said the truck was ascending towards Balbalan town to  haul the soil at ongoing widening road construction when the riprap at the right shoulder of the road collapsed causing the truck to fall on the 150-meter deep ravine.
 The driver together with his helpers identified as Ramon Balwog, 43, t of Balinciagao Sur, Pasil and Bonifacio Dalsen, 43, helper, of Naneng, Tabuk City, Kalinga were rushed to Kalinga Provincial Hospital in Tabuk.

Balwog was declared dead on arrival by attending physician.


P1-B PSF fund available for LGUs, people’s orgs

For climate change projects 
By Karen Copa and Aleja Joy Sison

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Local government units and peoples organizations can now request and access funds from the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) to address issues and problems related to climate change in their localities with more than P1 billion still in its coffers.
              Here in this capital town, local government officials from Benguet and Mountain Province banded together last week to discuss projects, accessing funds and efforts to protect their harvests, adapt to climate change and minimize danger.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in partnership with Benguet State University and Canadian Embassy, held an orientation and workshop here Thursday on how to access the PSF in Agricultural Training Institute at BSU.
The fund, established in 2012 under Republic Act 10174, grants funds for climate change adaptation initiatives proposed by local governments and  communities.    
Canadian Ambassador John T. Holmes, Canadian said during orientation they supported the workshop as it would help in managing challenges brought about by climate change in programs proposed by localities. 
“Overarching our concern about climate change is a global one,” Homes said. “It hits both countries and regions and locality. It is inspiring to come to this region and learn what the university is doing and learn what the local communities are doing. We adapt to crops, we adapt to the changing climate, as what our Canada Fund is doing and as we have done it in many areas, we help. So we are here to give you the money to bring the project that you need. But we can work in an institute for example to build up a capacity so you can access your own country fund, the People’s Survival Fund. “
Ambassador Holmes visited BSU farms including Strawberry Fields here where he was briefed on farming techniques and tools used by BSU.
His briefers included BSU officials Alexander B. Fagyan, director of Climate Smart Agricultural Center; president Dr. Feliciano Calora Jr. and Dr. Carlito Laurien, vice president for research.
Meanwhile, Kairos Dela Cruz, ICSC Associate for Climate Policy said “Cordillera region has long been identified as highly vulnerable to climate impacts. Through this workshop, we hope to empower local governments not just to seek a grant from the People’s Survival Fund, but also to craft more informed plans to better protect their people’s lives and livelihoods.”
                 ICSC is the civil society representative to the PSF Board, which assesses and approves proposals for funding.
The Board already approved last November its first two projects - one in Del Carmen, Siargao, Surigao del Norte and the other in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur - totaling almost P120 million.
About P1.8 billion remains in the People’s Survival Fund, but it can also be replenished by national and international sources.
The Embassy of Canada, which in 2015 committed $2.65 billion in climate finance until 2020 for developing countries, also co-sponsored the workshop.
“Canada is working with countries around the world to demonstrate leadership and take global action on climate change,” said Ambassador Holmes. “The Government of Canada is pleased to support this capacity building workshop on climate-inclusive planning to help enable local government units plan, mobilize, and access climate finance from existing sources such as the People’s Survival Fund.”
“Our longstanding research on climate change impacts here in the Cordillera region shows that agricultural production will be even further besieged by more intense typhoons and heavier rainfall. Benguet State University is proud to host this People’s Survival Fund workshop and to provide scientific advice for our farmers and local government planners alike,” said Calora.
                    The PSF is the country’s first legislated adaptation fund. It is meant for initiatives with adaptation as its primary objective.  The PSF was added as a climate finance feature of the Climate Change Act of 2009 that was passed as a law last August 16, 2012.
Dela Cruz said they have started partnering with BSU years back and that the academe and local government units should work together more in close proximity to put up or build a successful project. 
He said purpose of the workshop they organized was for people from different towns of Benguet and Mt. Province to learn about the PSF and how to write a proposal for funding.
Local government units and “communities” defined as local organizations as qualified by non-government organization representative to the PSF Board through a policy recommendation can access the PSF. 

For more information, interested parties may contact info@icsc.ngo or www.icsc.ngo.


Probe on killing of city hall employee ordered

By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the Baguio City Police Office to hasten investigation that led to  untimely death of a trusted and responsible maintenance crew of the City Engineering Office, who was allegedly hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between anti-drug operatives and their high value target along Military Cut-off road  late January.
The mayor expressed condolences of city officials and employees to the bereaved family and relatives of said employee who had rendered 36 years of his life in service to the people of the city.
“We will surely extend the appropriate assistance to the bereaved family of the victim of the unfortunate incident that resulted in the untimely death of one of the trusted maintenance crew of the City Engineering Office. We need to look into the circumstances of the incident so that we will be able to know those responsible for his death to make them answer for their actions,” Domogan said.
Domogan said it was unfortunate that an innocent civilian was caught in the crossfire during a shootout that transpired between anti-narcotics operatives and their target.
Miguel Delinela, 57, married, maintenance crew of the Engineering Office and a resident of City Camp, here , with his co-employees, was seated at the back of the government vehicle after coming from Mines View where they had an inspection of street lighting fixtures in the area and were reported en route to their office.
Upon reaching Military Cut-off rotunda, their vehicle stopped after noticing that a gunfight was going on between police and their supposed target.
However, the victim’s companions did not know that he was already hit by a stray bullet on his forehead and their vehicle proceeded to their office in City Camp.
One of his co-employees opened the rear door of their vehicle to allow the victim to go out but he was surprised to see him bloodied.
Delinela was rushed then to Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center but later expired while under treatment because of lone gunshot wound that hit his forehead and exited on the back of his head.
Police arrested their target, Michael Canara, 38 a resident of Honeymoon Road and his 20-year old girlfriend, during a brief chase along Loakan road and confiscated over a dozen sachets of shabu and several sachets of dried marijuana leaves.

Canara and his girlfriend, resident of DPS Compound, and confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to Baguio City Police Office for documentation and filing of charges before the city prosecutor’s office.


NPA ‘assassin’ of PNP officer nabbed

SAGADA, Mountain Province -- Almost two years of hiding from the law, the New People’s Army assassin who ambushed with his unit and shot a police officer here on Feb. 21, 2015 was arrested Wednesday in Parapad, Ambiong, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Arrested was Jacinto “Digbay” Faroden who was charged for frustrated murder following arrest warrant issued by Joseph Patnaan, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 35, First Judicial Region, Bontoc, Mt. Province who recommended bail of P200,000 for his temporary liberty.
A police report said Digbay was in the watch list of Kilusang Larangang Guerilla Marco operating in Mt. Province. 
The suspect with his other companions who are still at large allegedly waylaid SPO3 Wilfredo Degay while the latter driving along the provincial road at Sitio Dugo, Poblacion, Sagada, Mt. Province in 2015.

With Degay during the ambush was his niece who was unharmed.


Ombudsman orders mayor of Tuguegarao dismissed

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Mayor Jefferson Soriano of this city for allegedly allowing the illegal operation of a transport terminal in 2013.
In a resolution recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Soriano was found guilty of administrative offenses of grave misconduct and abuse of authority.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was directed to “immediately” implement the dismissal order.
Aside from his dismissal, the ombudsman also ordered Soriano's perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of his retirement benefits and the cancellation of his civil service eligibility.
Based on the ombudsman investigation, Soriano, in October 2013, issued a letter directing all bus, van and jeepney operators and drivers to vacate their terminals within the Poblacion, citing Ordinance 02-97 which gave the city government authority to designate parking areas.
Soriano then issued on Dec. 20, 2013 a provisional permit to operate in favor of One Way Parking Terminal, Inc. (OWPTI) allegedly without the necessary prior approval of the City Council.
The ombudsman said that it was only the same day that Soriano endorsed to the City Council OWPTI's application for operation.
                “[Soriano] committed a corrupt act when he gave unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to OWPTI through manifest partiality by issuing the provisional permit without prior ordinance and authorization from the Sanggunian (Council),” Morales said in the resolution.
The ombudsman further said that aside from having no permit to operate, the OWPTI also did not have a legislative franchise from the City Council.
“Soriano abused his authority and flagrantly disregarded established rule since he put the cart before the horse by issuing the permit without authorization by the Sanggunian,” the ombudsman said.

The ombudsman in 2015 charged Soriano of graft before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of P131.5 million worth of rubber boats during his stint as the chairman of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Bids and Awards Committee in 2009. The case is pending at the Sandiganbayan Third Division.



HK national, 2 others nabbed in Baguio Bust
BAGUIO CITY -- Anti-narcotics agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera nabbed three men in a sting operation here Wednesday at Sergeant Floresca, Malvar, Aurora Hill. 
Arrested were John Daryl Malicdem Villanueva alias Jhong Villanueva, 30; Joemar Roblas Cañaveral, 39, Hong Kong national and resident along Asin Road, Baguio City and Clint Joseph Ambrosio Macachor, 28 of Aurora Hill.
Confiscated from them were shabu valued at P14,000 which they reportedly sold to as PDEA undercover agent.
Confiscated from the suspects during the operation were the buy-bust money, several drug paraphernalia and a mobile phone.
They were detained at the PDEA-CAR jail while charges for illegal drugs were prepared against them.

Woman files case  against ‘rapist’ 
BAGUIO CITY – A case for  rape was filed against a certain Allan Bernal Gatdula a.k.a Lanz, 34, single, of Dela Rosa St., Gabriela Silang here by the female victim.
Police said the incident happened Monday around 2 to 3 a.m. at No. 36 Evangelista St., Leonila Hill when the victim, with her friends Angela Manalili, Vee Jay Espenosa, and the suspect had a drinking session at the place.
After some hours, the complainant felt sleepy and went to sleep at the room of Manalili. At about 2 a.m., the complainant awoke when she felt someone kissing her while touching her private parts. She resisted and identified the suspect with the light coming from her cell phone. 

Armed men stop, harass farmer from building shanty
TABUK CITY – A case for grave threats was filed against men who reportedly harassed a farmer and his brother-in-law who were building a shanty.
Police said the incident happened around 7 a.m. Tuesday at Employees Village, Purok 6, Bulanao on complaint of Judy Binuloc Baggas, 36, of Baccong, Pangol, Tanudan while suspects were named as  Jayford Amading and Brinjen Amading, both residents of Purok 6 Bulanao.
Investigation revealed that the complainant with his brother-in-law Dexter Dangiwan Bisbis, 23, of Pagugu, Dupligan, Tanudan, went to his lot to construct a shanty when the suspects arrived.
Amading told them to stop their construction while allegedly holding his gun tucked on his waist and thereafter left the area onboard a motorcycle.
At about 2 p.m. that day, suspects arrived accompanied by three unidentified males and forced the complainant to stop and leave the place. At about 3 p.m., the suspects went back and destroyed the four newly constructed posts and threatened them to a fight. Responding police investigated the incident. Charges are set to be filed agaisnt the suspects.

Cable technician electrocuted in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY – A cable technician is now in critical condition after he was accidentally electrocuted while installing afiber cable wire on a Benguet Electric Coop. post here Tuesday around 1 p.m.
along Tavera St., South Drive barangay.
The victim was identified as Ferdinand Escorsa Abugan, 44, married, of MIESCOR, Irisan. Investigation disclosed the victim and his companion were installing PLDT fiber cable wire when it accidentally touched the 14,000 voltage main line of Beneco.
Cops responded but the victim was already brought to Baguio General Hospital by his companion. That victim suffered second degree burn on his back and first degree burn to his stomach, chest and both feet. He is now confined at the said hospital for surgical operation.

Theft charges filed vs man for taking money, gadgets
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A case for theft was filed against a certain   Jounery Cadangen Atelba, of legal age, native of Madaymen, Kibungan,  and resident of Buyagan, Poblacion here for taking gadgets and personal items of Joy Flores Gam-oy, 26, student, native of Madaymen, Kibungan. 
A police report said the incident happened Wednesday aeound 1 a.m. inside Dap-ayan 2 Bar and Restaurant here along km 6, Barangay Betag.
Investigation disclosed that the complainant and her companion went to drink liquor at the said place where they met the suspect. While there, the complainant and her companion went to the comfort room leaving their bag behind with the suspect.
When the complainant returned, she noticed that her A6 Samsung Tablet worth P10,000 and wallet containing Phil health ID, SSS ID, NBI clearance, ATM cards, pictures, and P3,000.00 were missing allegedly taken by the suspect. Case is under investigation while the CCTV footage was set for review.

Drug surrenderee nabbed for frustrated murder
BANGUED, Abra – Police nabbed here Monday at Barangay Lingtan Monday a certain Robin Pineda Bergonia, 22, drug surrenderee for frustrated murder.  
This, after Raphiel F. Alzate, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 58, Bucay Abra issued warrant against him setting bail of P200,000 for his temporary liberty. 

2 construction workers electrocuted in Bontoc
BONTOC, Mountain Province – Two construction workers were seriously injured here Monday around 1 p.m. when a steel bar they were hauling hit a high tension wire of Moutain Province Electric Coop. electrocuting them.
A police report said the two victims were working at the 3rd floor of Chumapoy’s building, public market, Poblacion wjem the accident happened. Both were brought to Bontoc General Hospital for treatment. Victims were identified as Cyrile Jr. Lacaben Fayno, 24, of Poblacion, Sadanga town and Danny Annam Cabab, 48 of Solana, Cagayan and  resident of Betwagan, Sadanga.
Investigation disclosed victims were hired by Rose Marie Chumapoy Hinatuan, 41 of Omfeg, Bontoc Ili. Both were pulling one a 16mm steel bar for them to use as building post when the bar hit  hit the wire.
Victims suffered electrical burns. Fayno was admitted at the said hospital while Cabab was referred to Baguio General Hospital, Baguio City for treatment.

Thief texts woman he will return stolen phone for sex
BAGUIO CITY – A certain Margie Sunido Manoli with her family boarded a jeepney at Bengao, Bakakeng bound to the city proper here Feb. 5. Upon reaching Marcos Highway, a man later identified as Alcavez “Bhong” Ducusin who was seated beside her left the jeepney. Manoli found out later her phone placed inside her sling bag was gone when she went at Burnham park to meet her daughter. She immediately contacted her number. At first, the suspect was not answering her calls. When the victim texted him later, the suspect replied he will return the phone in exchange for sex. -- Gaius Cabrera

Woman nabbed for estafa
BAGUIO CITY – Police arrested here Jan. 31 a certain Jennifer Joradan Gado after warrant was served against her for several estafa cases arising from falsification of commercial document by Municipal Trial Court of La Trinidad after she was charged for the offense by several complainants. The court set bail of P12,000 for her temporary liberty.. Subject person is now detained for theft, and violation of bouncing checks law. -- Gaius Cabrera

Online bomb threat causes panic in Baguio 
BAGUIO CITY -- Online threats of a bomb inside the huge SM mall caused panic here last week.
A hoax message purportedly from an SM official circulated on social media detailing threats from a rebel group extorting money from the mall giant sent jitters across the city.
                SM City Baguio , in a statement, said the message has been verified as a hoax after a joint investigation with the local police.
“The information did not come from any SM officer. We continue to stay alert and committed to the security and wellbeing of customers, tenants and employees at all times," the mall operator said.
 The hoax message was also sent to the social media pages of the police, which prompted a probe. 
 Senior Supt. Ramil Saculles, city police director, said the hoax message did not name a specific SM branch.
"Having an SM in Baguio, we all pushed our resources to validate the info, we would like to solicit the cooperation of all sectors to be vigilant and alert not only in SM but in the whole city," Saculles said.
 Authorities began confirming the threat early morning Friday.
                "At 2:15 a.m. kaninang madaling araw, it was responded by our personnel and at 8:15 a.m., same response. We coordinated with SM to have patrol within the vicinity along the parking area and the delivery area," Saculles said.
 The Cordillera police urged the pubic to be prudent in sharing unverified reports that may cause unnecessary panic and fear.

60-year-old widow hacked to death  
PINUKPUK, Kalinga – A 60-year-old widow was found hacked to death here Tuesday in her house around 7:30 p.m. at Bakwit, Allaguia. The victim was identified as Vicenta Maiyao  Leyang Maiyao,farmer. Police investigation revealed earlier around 6 p.m. a certain Jan Jan Maiyao Baggay, 39, farmer, resident of same place went to the house of the victim to get the cellphone number of Miyer Maiyao, the brother of the victim. Upon arrival he knocked the door three times but nobody responded and he noticed lights inside were on. He peeped on small hole and saw the victim lying on the floor. He then informed his relatives about the incident.
 Responding cops discovered the victim was hacked on her neck, forehead, chin, left and right hand while the body was already stiff.

 Salesman nabbed for mauling service crew member 
BAGUIO CITY – A salesman was arrested for mauling a service crew member here Tuesday around 12:15a.m. along the pathway of Rose Garden, Burnham Park. The victim was named as Jemar Negrillo Embuedo, 23, resident of Queen of Peace. He was reportedluy mauled by Erickson Velasquez Gonzales, 20, resident of San Carlos Heights Extension.
Investigation disclosed that victim was on his way home when he passed by a group of persons standing beside the road. Suspect came from behind and suddenly smashed a big stone to the victim’s mouth. Victim also picked a stone to fight back. Taxi drivers at the area came to pacify the commotion as they saw that the suspect was about to attack again the victim. Gonzales and several companions suddenly ran towards Otek Street when they saw several taxi drivers were coming towards them. However, the suspect was apprehended by several concerned citizens who turned over him to the responding police personnel.

Bontoc student mauled after bar drinking session 
BONTOC, Mountain Province – A certain Jeremiah Tamangen Finatek, 20, student, of Upper Caluttit here was reportedly mauled Monday around 11 p.m. by still unidentified men. Police said they received a text message from the Bontoc General Hospital that they were treating a victim of mauling who brought himself there.
Interview with the victim revealed that he came from Triple A Bar, Market Compound, Poblacion, after a drinking session and while on his way home he met four unidentified male persons who without apparent reason allegedly mauled him. The victim had a cut on his forehead and suffered multiple abrasions, said Dr. Helen Tikchap who treated the victim.

16-year-old student arrested for rape
BANGUED, Abra – Police nabbed here Monday a student identified as Kevin Dela Paz Marero, 16, of Barangay Agtangao for rape.The suspect was arrested at Partas Bus Station in Zone 7 after warrant was issued against him by Raphiel F. Alzate, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 1, Bangued, for rape in relation to Republic Act 7610, Alzate set bail of P200,000 to Marero’s temporary liberty.

Minor arrested for stealing motorcycle
KABAYAN, Benguet – Cops of this town arrested Monday a minor around 4:30 a.m. for stealing a motorcycle. Suspect Milo Lingdawan Antonio, laborer, of Kabayo, Nueva Vizcaya was arrested in Bisong, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya after arrest warrant was issued against him by judge Jennifer P. Humiding, of RTC, Branch 63, La Trinidad, Benguet for the crime. Humiding set bail of P120,000 for Lingdawan’s temporary liberty.

Man nabbed for ‘robbery in band’
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A resident of Barangay Buyagan here was arrested Monday around 2 p.m. by cops for “robbery in band.” Suspect Wilfredo Dio-Alan, 44, married, was arrested at Santa Lucia  km 4, Asin Road after warrant was issued against him by Rogelio P. Corpuz, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, 2nd Judicial Region Branch 27, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya under Criminal Case Number 8324 with bail bond of P40,000.

DPWH-CAR driver nabbed for grave oral defamation 
BAGUIO CITY – A driver of the Dept. of Public Works and Highways here was arrested here noon Monday for grave oral defamation. Arrested was Nelson Palamit Ruadap, 46, of Tabora Barangay, Trancoville. Ruadap was arrested at the DPWH-Cordillera Administrativbe Region regional office here at Engineers Hill after Leody M. Opolinto, presiding judge of MTC in Cities 1st Judicial Region, 3rd Branch Baguio City issued warrant against him for the crime. Opolinto set bail of P6,000 for Ruadap’s temporary liberty. He was brought to police station and later posted bail.

Cell phone technician nabbed for 3 estafa cases
BAGUIO CITY – A cellphone technician was nabbed here Monday at his residence around 1 p.m. after three judges issued warrants against him for for three counts of estafa. Arrested was Samuel Binwag Indopia, 33, of No. 321 Upper Pinget.
A bail bond of P80,000 issued by Emmanuel Cacho Rasing, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court, 1st Judicial Region Branch 3, Baguio City. Another bail bond of P300,000 was issued by Mona Lisa V. Tiongson-Tabora, presiding judge of RTC, 1st Judicial Region Branch 7, Baguio City while another bail bond of P350,000 was ordered by  judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera of RTC, 1st Judicial Region Branch 5, Baguio City.
A police report said Indopia posted a total of P720,000 bail for his temporary liberty in all three cases.

Businesswoman nabbed for operating without business permit
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A businesswoman was nabbed here Monday Around 3 p.m. for operating without business permit. Jennifer Baldo Mayomis, 39, single, resident of Farm Station, Puguis here was nabbed after Delilah Gonzales-Muñoz, presiding judge of MTC of La Trinidad, 1st Judicial Region, Benguet issued warrant against her for violation of municipal ordinance known as the La Trinidad Revised Revenue Code (Operating business without permit). Baiol for her temporary liberty was set at P2,000.

PROCOR Officers Ladies Club donates motor vehicle
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- As partners in promoting peace and order, the Officers Ladies Club (OLC) here headed by  Josephine Amor P Sarona, OLC adviser donated a motor vehicle Monday to the regional police office.
Regional police director Chief Supt. Elmo Francis Sarona, headed signing of deed of donation with Supt. Noel Vallo, regional logistics division chief, NUP’s Iluminada Lachica, and members of  OLC. After the signing, the key of said motor vehicle was turned over to the regional director later blessed by the regional police chaplain.
This, as  RD Sarona led awarding of five PNP personnel for  “commitment and devotion to duty in fighting illegal drugs which resulted in a laudable accomplishment that brought honor and prestige not only for themselves but for the PNP Cordillera.”

3 nabbed in Benguet transport of illegal logs  
BUGUIAS, Benguet -- Three men were arrested for transporting illegal lumber here last week.
Nabbed were Stephen Liked, 21, driver and his two passengers named as Charles Liked, 20 and Brix Dungalen, 21, all farmers, and residents of Barangay Balintaugan, Bauko, Mt. Province after they failed to present documents of the lumber. The suspects who were aboard a White Hyundai Van when they  were intercepted at Bayoyo, Buyacaoan, Buguias evening of Feb. 3.  A total of 104 pieces of lumber with a total volume of 841.63 board feet were confiscated.
           In another operation, police confiscated 192 pieces of abandoned pine lumber with a total volume of 1,341 board feet at Bobong, Japa, Topdac, Atok town morning of same day.
Bokod town police also confiscated 71 pieces of lumber with a total volume of 441.6 board feet at the mountainous area of Barangay Ekip the following day.
Taxi driver nabbed in buy-bust operation 
BAGUIO CITY -- Hours after arresting a member of a local drug group, anti-narcotics agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Cordillera nabbed a member of a local drug group operating within this city and Benguet at Pinsao Proper. 
Felmer Salbino Paladino alias Jojo, 40, taxi driver of Kapangan, Benguet and a resident of Central Buyagan, La Trinidad was cuffed when he sold four heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing shabu to an undercover agent.
Paladino yielded buy-bust money worth P2,000 upon his arrest.  He was detained at the PDEA-CAR jail facility pending filing of a case aagaisnt him illegal drugs.

PNP: Abu Sayaf threat on SM, a hoax
BAGUIO CITY -- The Police Regional Office- Cordillera said circulating messages in social media regarding Abu Sayaf threat to bomb SM were not true and there was no need for the public to be alarmed.
Police probed alleged threat and found out the information did not come from any SM officer.
“As of this time, there are no information regarding the presence of Abu Sayaf in Cordillera,” regional police office said in an advisory. “The ProCor  leadership is asking the public to be prudent in believing and sharing unverified reports that may cause unnecessary panic and fear,” the advisory said, adding the the screen shot of the memo from APD, Benguet PPO posted on facebook by a certain Jesse Watari Bolante was uncalled for. The APD, BPPO did not confirm the threat but merely instructed his field units to coordinate with SM.”
Regional police director Chief Supt. Elmo Francis Oco Sarona urged the public to report to  police suspicious persons, activities and unattended baggage in public, people checking areas or buildings, people trying to enter secure areas, or any untoward incidents and crime through the nationwide Emergency Hotline 911 or to report to nearest police station or through social media (PROCOR Website- www.pnp.procor.gov.ph; Twitter - @RDPROCordillera; and facebook page – PROCOR RPIO) or through hotline numbers: (074) 422-5515 or 09175302695 - Regional Tactical Operation Center; 09998851849-Regional Public Information Office.

Kalinga declared ‘drug-free;’ opens haven for surrenderees
CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga --The Philippine National Police declared  the province of  Kalinga  “drug-free” Feb. 6 as a haven for drug-surrenderees was opened at old provincial jail, provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Digna Dalutag said.
Assistant Secretary Antonio Hernandez of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development was guest of honor during the twin activities.
Some 114 of 152 total barangays in Kalinga were  affected by drugs at the start of war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte. By year-end of 2016, efforts of police, local officials, community people, Church and civil societies in curbing the drug menace gained  positive result  with  response of pushers and marijuana planters to stop their illegal trade and drug users to surrender.  
The provincial government opened the old provincial jail here to serve as haven for drug surrenderees.
Kalinga Provincial Police chief, Senior Supt. Brent Madjaco, said drug surrenderees locked up at the crowded Bureau of Jail Management and Penology jail center will be transferred to said former jail wards.
Kalinga’s declaration as drug free province is also a result of the organization of 113 Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Illigal na Droga or Mmasa-Masid. – Peter Balocnit 


Thousands of workers to lose mine jobs in Benguet

Planning, Finance Secretaries hit DENR closure order 

MANKAYAN, Benguet – Thousands of mine workers stand to lose their jobs with impending suspension of operations of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. here and   closure of Benguet Corp. in Itogon town also in the province due to non-compliance to environmental laws.
Benguet, Corp. was ordered closed by environment Secretary Gina Lopez even if it branched out to eco-tourism and is now leasing portions of its area for small-scale mining.  
The two mines were among 23 other firms ordered closed by Lopez nationwide.
This early, Benguet officials said once full closure of the mining companies is implemented, thousands of families would go hungry while crime would shoot up as laid off workers may resort to crime to feed their families. 
The order has not yet been fully implemented as the mining companies were set to appeal their cases with government.
In Baguio City, Baguio Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan reacted regarding the closure of mines, saying taxes being paid by mining corporations were minimal but government should think about laborers and communities affected by the mines that were shut down. 
“Where will they get money to feed their families and send their children to school now that the mines were shut down,” he asked.
 “I am not saying that we close our eyes with the violations committed by the mining corporations but I don’t agree that they just immediately close the mines,” he said.
Domogan, who attended elementary and high school in the mining town of Mankayan where LCMC is located, said it’s impossible that mining corporations are not willing to comply with environmental requirements.
He added mining corporations be given the chance to be operational again. “Instead of permanently closing the mines, why not suspend them until they had complied with environmental requirements needed and if they did not comply after a specific time frame given then that’s the time they close down the operation permanently.”
Lopez’s order to close some two dozen mines fort failing its audit on following environmental laws and concerns sparked concern among two of her colleagues, who said it could hit the economy and employment.
The mining industry -- accused of illegal tree felling and polluting rivers -- has also questioned the order of Lopez.
The Philippines is the world's top supplier of nickel ore and the main exporter to China. The order has already caused a rise in global nickel prices and a fall in local mining shares.
"I don't think (Lopez) did it arbitrarily but anything like this would need a response like more scientific and data-driven studies," said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia in Manila.
"Obviously it will have an effect on GDP and employment but we don't have the hard data," he told AFP.
Lopez, a staunch mining critic, said last week that 23 mines had been told to close after illegally encroaching on watersheds, leaking waste into rivers and destroying trees. A further five mines had been ordered to suspend operations.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, on his official Twitter account, also expressed misgivings, saying: "I am deeply concerned over the welfare of the 1.2 million people affected by the closure of the 23 PH (Philippine) mines. This will result in joblessness."
                The closures would also hit local government tax revenues, he said.
Lopez's order was the result of a government audit that started in July last year after President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
Duterte has backed Lopez's order even as reports say the mining industry may challenge it in court.
In a statement, Lopez said she would outdo the industry, declaring "give me... maximum of two years. I will prove that a green economy can create more jobs than mining could ever create."
She also said mine workers would not end up unemployed but would be found jobs in mine rehabilitation and reforestation.
"My issue is not about mining, my issue is about social justice," she said.
Eufracia Taylor, Asia analyst at risk advisory company Verisk Maplecroft, warned that stricter oversight and the review of licences would likely prompt companies to delay further investment.
She also cited "mounting concerns over new environmental and social requirements, and their potential to drive up the costs of compliance" in the nickel industry.

"The prospect of higher operational costs could well impact the commercial viability of some projects," the Singapore-based Taylor said. – With a report from Karen Copa


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