Thursday, May 21, 2015

Masbate police arrest No.1, No. 4 illegal drug personalities of San Pascual town

CAMP GEN. SIMEON A. OLA, Legazpi City, May 21 (PNA) -- Combined elements of the San Pascual Municipal Police Station led by Police Senior Insp. Edgar Butch A, Moraleda and other police units in Masbate arrested the No. 1 and No. 4 drug personalities in San Pascual, Masbate, at about 9:40 p.m. Tuesday at Barangay Bolod, San Pascual, Masbate.

Arrested were Baylon R. Patropez, 42, No. 1 drug personality in the municipality, and Felix R. Patropez, 44, No. 4 drug personality also in the same place.

The two Patropezes were arrested by virtue of Search Warrant No. 2015-45 and Search Warrant No. 2015-46 issued by Manuel L. Sese, judge of RTC Branch 45, Masbate City for violation of R.A. 9165.

Searches and seizures were done in an orderly manner and in the presence of witnesses Barangay Kagawad (Village Councilman) Ronaldo R. Frias, Barangay Kagawad Richard Layba, Barangay Captain Ruben G. Padilla, Barangay Kagawad Cynthia O. Vilar, Police Senior Officer Roberto Padilla and PSO Faulino Villaranda -- all of Barangay Bolod, San Pascual, Masbate.

During the search, the raiding team recovered from Baylon Patropez’s actual possession and control cash money amounting to PHP31,405, 24 pieces (13 small, 11 medium) transparent heat-sealed plastic sachets containing substance believed to be methamphetamine hydrochloride commonly known as “shabu” with estimated weight of about 26.4 grams and estimated street value of more or less PHP85,000, one piece digital weighing scale, five cell phones (Nokia N111, Cherry Mobile D11, Firefly Mobile LITE, Black and white Cherry Mobile Flare), 280 empty small plastic sachets and 83 medium empty plastic sachets, and drug paraphernalia. including lighters.

Recovered from Felix Patropez’s actual possession and control were cash money amounting to PHP684, one piece small transparent heat-sealed sachet containing suspected shabu with estimated street value of about PHP500, one caliber .22, one piece live ammunition of caliber 9mm and drug paraphernalia. including lighters.

The two suspects were immediately placed under arrest and duly informed of their Miranda rights and subsequently brought to the San Pascual Municipal Police Station together with the recovered drug and non-drug evidence for proper disposition.

Other members of the raiding team were operatives from the 5th Regional Public Safety Battalion-1st Maneuver Company led by Police Senior Insp. Joseph Abel D. Jarabejo, Provincial Public Safety Company-Masbate PPO led by Police Senior Inspector Allan E. Macoy and the Provincial Intelligence Service of the Masbate PPO led by Benjie Calixto.(PNA) FFC/FGS/EMC/CBD

Bicol police chief orders no whitewash on probe of misencounter in Legazpi village
By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY, May 20 (PNA) -- Chief Supt. Victor Deona, Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol regional director, on Wednesday ordered a full investigation on the reported misencounter on Tuesday morning between PNP members and a squad of Philippine Army soldiers that killed a police officer and wounded another cop in Sitio (sub-village) San Jose, Barangay (village) Maslog here.

Deona said he had ordered a no-whitewash investigation of the incident, saying “I gave Sr. Supt. Marlo Meneses, Albay provincial director, 72 hours to investigate whether indeed there was a misencounter and recommend appropriate actions so that no similar incident would happen in the future.”

In a phone interview, Deona assured that the probe would be transparent, as the investigating team has already started gathering pieces of evidence in the encounter site and testimonies from policemen patrolling the area.

The investigation will also determine if there were operational lapses committed, specifically, if there were “coordination” protocols violated.

Quoting initial scene of the crime operatives (SOCO) report, Deona said operatives have recovered an M16 rifle, cell phones, wristwatch, empty bullet shells and slugs at the clash scene, which is about 200 meters away from the barangay road.

Meneses said in a text message that two teams from the Albay Public Safety Command (PPSC) were on security operations after receiving intelligence report that an NPA leader would visit a relative in the village, which was at that time celebrating its fiesta.

He said the teams were also responding to reports about the presence of armed group in the area.

Army Lt. Col. Perfecto Penaredondo, commanding officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, said in a text message that “as of now, we are investigating elements of our unit who figured in a clash at almost the same vicinity in Barangay Maslog yesterday.”

He said his squad of Army soldiers responded to an earlier tip about NPA presence in the area, after checking with the City Police Action Center in Barangay Taysan, a neighboring upland village in the southern part of the city.

Penaredondo further said investigation is also being conducted by his command to see if there are any possible lapses.

He said the firearms used by his men have been collected for ballistic examination to determine if these were the ones that hit the PNP men or the bullets were from the NPA rebels.

The alleged misencounter was reported by a press statement issued on Tuesday by the New People’s Army (NPA) Santos Binamira Command, saying that no members of their group were operating in that area when the incident occurred.

The Santos-Binamira command claimed that the incident was a misencounter as the police were engaged in a gunbattle with a group of Army soldiers who were also in the same area.

The engagement, which lasted for 45 minutes, led to the killing of PO3 Rene Balaguer and the wounding of PO2 Ronald Bondad, both members of the 16-man Albay PPSC team.(PNA) CTB/FGS/MSA/CBD/

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2 cops wounded in clash with NPA rebels in upland Legazpi village

LEGAZPI CITY, May 19 (PNA) -- Two policemen were wounded Tuesday morning in an encounter between Philippine National Police (PNP) forces and an undetermined number of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sitio (sub-village) San Jose, Barangay Maslog, an upland village of this city, a PNP officer said.

Wounded in the clash were Police Officer 2 (PO2) Ronald Bondad and a policeman who is yet to be identified. The two were rushed to the Aquinas Hospital, Police Senior Supt. Marlo S. Meneses, PNP Albay provincial director, said.

Meneses said in a text message that two teams from the Albay Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) were on security patrol at around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday at a mountainous area of Purok 5, Sitio San Jose when they encountered the undetermined number of NPA rebels.

The incident led into a 45-minute firefight where the two police officers were seriously injured.

A report said the NPA rebels were positioned at a vantage point when they fired at the police patrol team but its members were able to retaliate.

The communist rebels immediately fled the scene when they were outnumbered upon the arrival of the reinforcing policemen.

Meneses said the two patrol teams, composed of 16 men led by led SPO4 Alfredo Bolanos and SPO1 Perfecto Rojas, were on a security patrol as they were tipped of the presence of armed men in the area.

Sitio San Jose residents were celebrating their village fiesta.

Fiesta visitors claimed that upon hearing gun shots, they immediately ducked to the floor of the residences with their faces on the floor and stayed in that position for almost two hours.

As of press time, the police officers were still in still in hot pursuit of the rebels who, Meneses said, could have been carrying wounded comrades during their escape.

They also put up check points in the area as a precautionary measure. (PNA) LAP/FGS/MSA/CBD/

Phivolcs to public: Don’t trust the present condition of Mayon, Bulusan volcanos
By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo

LEGAZPI CITY, May 19 (PNA) – Don’t trust the present condition of the Mayon and Bulusans volcanos!

This is the advice of Dr. Ed Laguerta, the veteran resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in Bicol, saying there are still volcanic activities going on inside the two active volcanos.

Laguerta said they are closely observing two critical activities of Mt. Mayon: its continuous ground swelling and the amount of sulfur dioxide that it has been emitting for the past two months.

"There has been sporadic sulfur dioxide emission of more than 1,000 metric tons per day for the last two months," he said.

In this connection, the Phivolcs official said, he plans to request an aerial survey of the volcano to see the present condition of its summit, particularly the lava dome formed last year.

“It is important that we see and evaluate its present situation,” Laguerta said.

He said they will schedule an aerial survey for both Mayon and Bulusan volcanos to save on expenses.

The experienced volcanologist said that during the last aerial survey on Mt. Bulusan, they were not able to see the real situation at the summit due to the thick clouds that time.

“The ground is still inflated even it has exploded twice already,” he said.

Quakes, however, rock the volcano, which means there is continuous activity inside it.

Laguerta noted the different behavior of Bulusan because even there are quakes it does not explode but it suddenly erupts even there is no quake.

He advised the villagers to stay away from the four-kilometer permanent danger zone around Mt. Bulusan and the six-km PDZ around Mayon Volcano. (PNA) FFC/FGS/NIM/CBD

Albay Agta-Tabangnon tribe member working as house helper graduates from community college
By Jessaveth Barcia (OJT)

TIWI, ALBAY, May 19 (PNA) -- After almost seven years of serving as a house helper to the Canicula family here, who helped her pursue her studies, an indigenous girl from the Agta-Tabangnon tribe graduated from college this year.

Marilyn "Lyn" Competente, a 21-year-old daughter of Luis and Anecia Competente from Mayong, Tiwi, Albay, graduated from the Tiwi Community College and received her diploma last March 27 through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education.

ALS is a free education program implemented by the DepEd under the Bureau of Alternative Learning System for those who cannot afford formal schooling.

Among the nine siblings, Lyn is the only daughter who graduated from college with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

"ALS is really a blessing, especially for poor people like me. Without this program, my dream would have not come true. Please pray for me that I can pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) to help my family pay back the blessings that I have received and be an inspiration to other hopeless children who don't want to pursue their schooling, the drop-outs and especially the young mom," Lyn told the Philippines News Agency in an interview Monday.

Lyn was also thankful to the Canicula family for supporting her and making her realize her dreams.

"They are the ones who sustained my needs, which my parents couldn't afford due to too much poverty. Now, I realize how significant education is to everyone. Sacrifice and perseverance are the only key to success," Lyn added.

Amar Canicula, a mobile teacher of ALS, helped her to finish her college as a reward for serving his family and taking care of his five young children.

"As a mobile teacher, I'm not working for my salary but to help, share my blessings of what I have, love my everlasting service and make people change their attitude and their way of life," Canicula explained.

After those hardships that she encountered in her four years of study in her alma mater, Lyn is now taking a two-month LET review for the coming exam in September. (PNA) CTB//FGS/JB/CBD/EBP

Oas town's 1st Puto Festival a success
By Cyndi Jocelle E. Orolfo (OJT)

OAS, Albay, May 19 (PNA) --The Local Government Unit of Oas successfully celebrated its First Oas Puto Festival which ended last week.

This was the assessment of Don Mape, Office of the Mayor spokesman, as he said the festival will now become a regular annual event of the town in accordance with the "One Town, One Product" initiative of the municipality.

It is along this line that the municipal government conceived the Puto Festival in parallel with Guinobatan town’s Longganisa Festival and Camalig town’s Pinangat Festival.

The Karangahan Festival, which was first celebrated in the town in 1965, gave way to the new festival, which would further enhance the association of the town with its puto as specialty product.

Mape said LGU sponsored a training, especially on packaging, during the festival.

He said they have also plans to put up a Pasalubong Center where all the goods and finished products of the town and the province can be featured.

The duration of the festival also saw the presence of agri-fishery booths where the goods of the eight coastal barangays of Oas were highlighted. (PNA) CTB/FGS/OJT/CBD