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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Top NPA official in Sorsogon falls

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 8:13 PM
Photo via Pixabay
SORSOGON CITY—The alleged ranking leader of the New People's Army (NPA) in Sorsogon has been arrested, Supt. Nonito F. Marquez, Chief of Police Community Relations, told the BICOL STANDARD today.

Andres Hubilla y Adap, also known as Magno, Agap, Carlo, and Bunso, was apprehended by joint elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police at a checkpoint in Barangay Hugo Trece Martires City in Cavite at around 9 a.m. today.

Hubilla, who was former secretary of Komiteng Probinsyal (Komprob) Sorsogon, according to the same report, was served warrants of arrest for murder and attempted murder.

A companion identified as Louie Hayno was also collared by the same joint team.

Recovered from their possession were a hand grenade, cellphones, and documents believed to have high intel value.

Hubilla is presently at Trece Martires City Police Station for documentation and inquest proceedings.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ex-Albay Rep. Lim faces charges for P27-M PDAF scam

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 10:47 AM
Ex-Rep Reno Lim
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges against former 3rd district Albay Representative Reno Lim for the anomalous utilization of his 2007 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) amounting to P27 million.

Lim, together with five Technology Resource Center (TRC) officials, Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation Inc. (KMFI) representatives and Carmelita Barredo of C.C. Barredo Publishing House, are facing charges for four counts of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and four counts of Malversation.  

Included in the charge sheet are TRC executives Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Marivic Jover and Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, as well as KMFI representatives Carlos Soriano and France Mercado.

Records show that in August and November 2007, Lim requested the release of his PDAF amounting to P30 million and identified TRC as implementing agency with KMFI as NGO-partner.

The P30 million was intended for the procurement of 8,000 sets of livelihood instructional materials and technology kits.  In 2008, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Lim, TRC and KMFI representatives. In its implementation, Lim “personally handpicked KMFI twice as project implementor without the benefit of public bidding.”

The Commission on Audit uncovered blatant anomalies in the fund use, citing the lack of public bidding; lack of track record of KMFI as it was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission only in 2006;  the NGO has no legitimate business address as its address is the same as C.C. Barredo; no accreditation process undertaken to determine the capacity of KMFI; payment of P27million was made prior to signing the MOA; and project was considered  “fictitious or ghost project” as no deliveries of livelihood kits were made.  

In their field validation, Ombudsman investigators ascertained that “not one among the constituents of said legislative district received the livelihood technology kit.”

As defense, Lim refutes the genuineness of his signatures in the documents and claims that as “a neophyte congressman, he merely followed the PDAF pre-implementation procedure.”

In finding probable cause, the Resolution narrated that “Lim had treated the same [fund] as it were his own funds, dictating how it should be utilized and released.  He not only determined the project, the implementing agency and the NGO, but also determined how much of his PDAF should go to the projects.”

According to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, “the respondents’ combined acts indubitably point to a concerted action to divert public funds drawn from Lim’s PDAF.”  She added that “the nefarious scheme basically involved projects supposed to be funded by said PDAF, which projects turned out to be fictitious or inexistent.”

Nora Aunor to receive Gusi Peace Prize

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 10:29 AM
Bicolana actress Nora Aunor will be honored with a Gusi Peace Prize for Poverty Alleviation thru Livelihood Projects & Women International excellence in performing arts & cinema.

Nora Aunor
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Aunor, who has roots in Iriga City, Camarines Sur, will receive the prize at the Philippine International Convention Center on Wednesday, November 25.

The Gusi Peace Prize foundation is a charitable institution registered in Manila, Philippines whose main objective is to confer awards of recognition to individuals or groups who have contributed to peace and respect for human life and dignity. The foundation recognizes achievements in a wide range of fields.

Among the other awardees are educators, scientists, activists, and former heads of state from across the globe.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago.

Suspect charged in rape slay of 11-year-old Masbate kid

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 10:13 AM
Image via Pixabay
BALUD, Masbate—The suspect in the rape slay of an 11-year-old grade 4 student here is now facing a case for Rape with Homicide in relation to Republic Act 7610, otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.”

Identified as 21-year-old Alvin Velarde y Magallanes, a fisherman from Barangay Guinbanuahan, this town, the suspect is allegedly responsible for the rape and murder of Nene (not her real name) whose body was found Friday by another fisherman.

Velarded was arrested by Chief Inspector Ariel Neri Acop of the Balud Municipal Police Station.

Not the first

The investigation revealed that it was likely not the first time that Nene was raped by the suspect.

They claim to have received a report that the victim was raped by the suspect at her residence on an unspecified time and date.

This time, however, Nene was strangled with a belt after the sexual assault, causing her immediate death, before being abandoned at a grassy portion of Barangay Guinbanuahan.

More suspects?

Suspect Velarde, however, maintained that that two other persons are involved in the incident.

During the inquest proceedings, he executed an extra-judicial confession implicating Nobe Mesa and Marlou Fuentes who are also also residents of the same place.

The confession was done in the presence of Atty. Lilian delos Santos of the Masbate City Public Attorney’s Office.

Separate cases will be filed against the two other suspects, according to the Balud police.

Meanwhile, Velarde’s case is now pending before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Masbate City, docketed under NPS No. V-12-INQ-15K-01905.


In a statement, Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib assured the BICOL STANDARD that the police does not relent until victims like Nene are given justice.

This is especially because the case coincides with the Philippine National Police’s campaign this week to end Violence Against Women (VAW).

“With the help of the citizens, we put the perpetrators behind bars,” Calubaquib said.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Monday, November 23, 2015

Suspect for human trafficking nabbed in Daraga, Albay

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 11:41 AM
DARAGA, Albay—Police arrested a person suspected of human trafficking at around 2:10 p.m. here Sunday near a gasoline station at Brgy. Kimantong.

Supt. Joel Adan, Daraga Chief of Police told the BICOL STANDARD that the suspect, Joe Carnold Cabana y Nollarca, was on his way to Manila from Surigao City with four minors.

Said minors, who were aboard a passenger bus, were expecting to find jobs as helpers and store attendants in the metropolis.

The police, however, received a report that Cabana was involved in human trafficking, so they immediately attempted to halt the transport of the four minors.

Cabana was apprised of his constitutional rights before being brought to the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital for medical examination, and the police station for his reglementary period of detention.

Meanwhile, the victims were brought to the Women and Children's Protection Desk for proper disposition.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Inmate found dead inside cell

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 11:24 AM
SORSOGON CITY—Authorities are now investigating the death of a 56-year-old prisoner inside his detention cell at the Sorsogon City Police Station in Barangay Cabid-an, Sorsogon City, on Saturday morning.

A police report identified the victim as Oscar D. Diolata, jailed for estafa and a resident of Barangay Maricrum, Bacon District, Sorsogon City.

Police found Diolata already lifeless at about 10:30 a.m.

He had just been arrested by the police on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by a judge in Sorsogon.

Police immediately brought Diolata to the City Health Office for autopsy

The have already informed his relatives on what had happened to Diolata.(PNA)

NPA will not terrorize 2016 polls, Bicol army leader vows

Posted By: MV Basmayor - 11:18 AM

Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla
Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla

LEGAZPI CITY—The military general assigned as new commander of the Philippine Army (PA) contingent in Bicol has vowed to prevent the New People’s Army (NPA) in the region from terrorizing the 2016 general elections.

“I am going to relentlessly pursue what my immediate predecessor has started and been successfully doing in providing Bicol a wider space where the people can feel safe and grow as progressive communities,” Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla said in a statement reaching here Sunday.

Quidilla recently replaced Maj. Gen. Yerson Depayso as commanding general of the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division (ID), the PA contingent based in Pili, Camarines Sur and providing the region security from internal threats posed by the NPA.

Depayso’s two-year stint with the command saw the weakening of the rebel movement in the region which led to the recent declaration, one after the other of four provinces—Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Albay as “peaceful and ready for further development”.

The declarations were formalized through separate Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the four provincial governments with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stating that their respective areas are already “Conflict Manageable and Ready for Development (CMRD)".

Each MOU signaled the "shifting of effort" of the AFP-PA from clearing of barangays from insurgent affectation supported by socio-economic development to a reverse role and emphasizes the implementation of more projects that the civil government will implement with the support and protection of the military.

The declarations of peace in the four provinces were based on the decreased violent activities of the NPA, the reduction of its potential support system in the barangays and its failed recovery efforts.

This achievement was said to be not possible without the cooperation of the leaders of the provinces along with the local government units (LGUs) who have partnered with the AFP in fighting insurgency.

“We will continue to abide by these MOUs for it is a proof that the efforts of the government and its armed forces to restore peace and tranquility in the provinces have not been put in vain. We in the military stand by our mandate as the protector of the people and keepers of the integrity of the state,” Quidilla stressed.

There are still two Bicol provinces that are yet to be placed under the CMRD declaration—Sorsogon and Masbate -- where the threat of NPA insurgency to internal security remains a major concern and, he said his command, will work on it starting from what Depayso has started so that the region’s insurgency problem comes to a manageable level.

In the case of Sorsogon, the Area Clearing Validation Board (ACVD) from the 9th ID and the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office had recently validated reports on the clearing of 13 rebel-affected barangays of the five municipalities of the province.

The ACVB chaired, by Brig. Gen. Ignacio Obligacion, 9ID assistant division commander, is looking toward to declaring Sorsogon, along with Masbate, under CMRD before the end of 2016.

These 13 Sorsogon barangays which have undergone AFP’s Bayanihan Team Activities have been recommended “cleared of NPA” by the Area Clearing Evaluation Team headed by Col. Alden Juan Masagca, deputy commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade based in the province.

During last Oct. 29’s turn-over of command from Depayso to Quidilla, PA commanding general Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año lauded the former for being the primemover in sustaining the peace and development in Bicol by intensifying coordination with the civilian sectors that limited the territorial area and weakened the influence of the NPAs in the rural areas.

Under Depayso, Año said, the “Kilusang Larangang Gerilya 77, 78”, a battalion-size and largest NPA unit operating in the region, has been reduced to “Kilusang Sangay sa Platon” or a mere platoon of armed guerrillas owing to the fall of its top leaders.

The 9ID, through Depayso’s leadership, was able to neutralize 84 NPAs including high value enemy personalities, recovered 45 high-powered firearms, 73 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), various war materiel and enemy documents of high intelligence value, PA records show..

Año said he was confident Quidilla will perform his duty at his best for the accomplishment of 9ID’s mission and of the AFP as a whole.

Before his present assignment, Quidilla was assistant commander of the 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division stationed at Camp General Mateo Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.

The AFP has been maintaining the presence of the PA for about 16 years now in Bicol with its 9ID which is in command of three infantry brigades composed of nine infantry battalions and seven support units, including an engineering battalion distributed in all the six provinces of the region.

In over 45 years, Quidilla said Bicol’s opportunity to advance to progress -- with its vast mineral deposits, agricultural lands, rich fishing grounds, exotic ch natural resources and hard-working people -- has been stalled by unstable peace situation due to the presence of the NPA rebels and the culture of violence that sowed fear among local communities.

They prevent the implementation of government infrastructure projects, harass industrial companies, extort money in form of “revolutionary taxes” from businessmen, contractors and even from farmers, and execute those who refuse to remit including innocent civilians and civilian government officials, he said.

And behind the declaration as “peaceful and ready for further development” areas of most Bicol provinces, Quidilla said there are still small units of NPA operating and posing a threat to the peaceful conduct of next year’s elections.

These small rebel groups, according to him, are remnants of the already-dismantled larger NPA units and showing their presence in some areas to be able to impose “permit to campaign” and "permit to win” fees from local candidates in the forthcoming elections.

His command, Quidilla said, will keep them on the run so that no space is left for them to initiate their terroristic acts.

“We, however, will keep the doors open for their peaceful surrender and so that those who may choose to lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law are given the chance to live a normal life under the mainstream of a peaceful society,” he said.(PNA)




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