Saturday, February 28, 2015

Punong barangay stabbed dead in Masbate

MASBATE CITY-- A village chief here succumbed to fatal wounds he sustained in a stabbing incident early morning today(February 28).

In a report received by BICOLSTANDARD.COM from the Police Regional Office 5,  an unidentified assailant inflicted multiple stab wounds on different parts of the barangay captain's body.

The incident occurred at the Eighteen Seventeen Bar and Grill located at Ibanez St., Brgy. JT Fernandez at 12:50 a.m. 

Police confirmed that the victim was Ariel Verano Lerit, a media personality. He is also the punong barangay of Brgy. Anas here.

The victim was rushed to Masbate Provincial Hospital, but later died while being treated.

Meantime, authorities are still determining the motive behind the killing. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)


Friday, February 27, 2015

Sergio asks COA to probe City Hall

NAGA CITY—Councilor Nathan Sergio is ready for whatever repercussions his exposes on alleged anomalies may bring, even if these mean a showdown with his former political allies.

Councilor Nathan Sergio asks COA to probe Naga City Hall
Councilor Nathan Sergio asks COA to probe Naga City Hall
Sergio on Monday told BICOL STANDARD that he sent a new letter to the Commission on Audit reiterating his previous request for special audit or investigation of the city government’s alleged failure to turnover more than 300 disbursement vouchers to the local COA office.
In a previous letter dated January 15, 2015 furnished to BICOL STANDARD, Sergio urged the agency to probe the “unsubmitted/missing documents of LGU Naga City (Bicol), which documents pertain to expenditures totalling  about P159,000,000.00. These unsubmitted/missing documents consist of three hundred eighty seven (387) Disbursement Vouchers and five (5) Payrolls, amounting to P151,600,894.57 and P7,405,853.70, respectively. The vouchers cover the period November 2012 up to April 2013, while the payrolls cover the month of March 2013 only.  Needless to say, these expenditures were made during the months leading to the May 2013 election.”
In 2007, Sergio ran for councilor under the same party as Mayor John Bongat, with whom, he said, his relationship appears to have soured since he started started pushing for transparency.


The turnover of the vouchers, Sergio said in his letter to the Heidi L. Mendoza, Officer-In-Charge of COA, had been overdue for around a year and a half.
He wrote: “Notices of Suspension were issued by the Local COA on June 30, 2014, however, City Hall did not comply within the 90-day reglementary period which ended on September 30, 2014; but, lo and behold, no Notice of Disallowance was ever issued by Local COA.  Actual submission of vouchers by the City happened only on December 23, 2014 (for the first batch of documents) and subsequent submissions on January 9, 12 and 15, 2015 for the second up to fifth batches of documents, for which the City was issued Notices of Settlement.”
He further explained: “The submission of documents happened only after I wrote the City Auditor on December 22, 2014, inquiring about the status of the “missing/unremitted disbursement vouchers and payrolls” mentioned in the 2013 Annual Audit Report. To date, ten vouchers have yet to the submitted to COA, for which a Notice of Disallowance was issued. This is highly irregular. This is anomalous.”

First time

Sergio lamented that it was the first time that such alleged anomaly happened in the City Hall.
“I have been working in the City Government of Naga since May 1989. I am profoundly disturbed by these unsubmitted/missing 387 vouchers and 5 payrolls. To me, this is not transparency and therefore, not exactly good governance, which we have collectively worked hard to achieve over the years.”
Sergio, who was a student leader and Youth Mayor prior to being elected as City Councilor, added in his letter to COA: “Looking into this expeditiously is a great service for the people of Naga City, home of the late Raul Roco, Jesse Robredo, Tomas Arejola and many other great people.”
The councilor, it would be recalled, bared the so-called anomalies during a privilege speech on January 27, 2015.
Earlier this month, Sergio was replaced as the program director of the Naga City Blood Council, supposedly because he no longer enjoys Mayor John Bongat’s confidence.
Bongat, for his part, denied that the replacement was politically-motivated. He maintained that Sergio’s failure to coordinate with him on the program was what prompted him to unseat Sergio as Blood Council director.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Muhlach allies charged with serious illegal detention, malicious mishchief

NAGA CITY—The Department of Justice through Undersecretary Jose Vicente B. Salazar has reversed the decision of the Camarines Sur Provincial Prosecutor dismissing the criminal complaints for Serious Illegal Detention and Malicious Mischief field against supporters of Aga Muhlach in the May 2013 elections.
This was confirmed by Goa Town Mayor Antero Lim, who is one of the accused, in an exclusive interview with BICOL STANDARD.
Lim said he received a copy of the Information on Tuesday.
In Salazar’s decision dated 5 January, 2015, he ordered Camarines Sur Provincial Prosecutor Richard Cu to act on the complaint for “serious illegal detention” with modification, which includes the offense of malicious mischief to several persons, and ordered the dismissal of the charges to several individuals.
In the same Order, Undersecretary Salazar censured the Provincial Prosecutor for not filing the appropriate lesser offenses which were committed, but did not fall under “serious illegal detention.”
This case stemmed from the rock-throwing incidents and damages to public property, which fall under the offense of Malicious Mischief.
Upon orders of Undersecretary Salazar, the following were charged in the Information for Serious Illegal Detention defined under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code: Alfredo “Pidong” Gonzaga, Vice Mayor of Goa; Rogelio B. Pervera, Jr.; Ferdinand “Mamo” B. Melgarejo; Amy de Vera; Antero S. Lim, Mayor of Goa; Redito C. Clari ño; Jacinto P. Burce, Jr.; Antonio A. Señar; Virgilio “Beyong” E. Panuelos, Vincent Elorde B. Espinosa; Tomas T. Rances; Leo P. Cea; Busto P. Brutas; Siegfredo “Bong” F. Tolentino; Herman B. Quingquing; Sabas D. Palmaria Jr.; Venus I. Durante; Jesilda P. Regaspi; Francisco “Eco” R. Tria lll; Arnulfo C. Clapis; Alex Camacho; Noel V. del Rosario; Achilles S. Royol; Ronnie C. Callo; Arnelo C. Enterino; Ezekiel A. Celian; Rodel P. Piloneo; Alfredo B. Patriarca Jr.; Aguinaldo B. Punto; Victor B. Sumagpang; Malvin D. Calvo; Joel T. Baturiano; Oscar D.M. Cielo; Simeon E. Buenaagua; and Rico T. Seguenza.
For the crime of Malicious Mischief defined under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code, the following were also charged: Noel V. del Rosario, Achilles S. Royol, Ronnie C. Callo, Arnelo C. Enterino, Ezekiel A. Celian, Rodel P. Piloneo, Alfredo B. Patriarca Jr., Aguinaldo B. Punto, Victor M. Sumagpang, Malvin D. Calvo, Joel T. Baturiano, Oscar D.M. Cielo, Simeon E. Buenaagua, and Rico T. Seguenza.
Meanwhile, the said Order also stated that the complaint for Serious Illegal Detention against respondents Manuel Estela, Pilar Vegas, Francis Sotero, Fernan R. Coltivo, Noel Cominguez, Elmo Bombase, Efren Rivero, Emily Vargas, Edmund Clapis, Gaspar Saonoy, Mario Collat, Felix Azor, Allan Formalejo, Danny Pontejos, and Julio Bombase should be dismissed.
The complainants in these cases are Tigaon Mayor Arnulf Bryan B. Fuentebella, Joseph Mendoza, Julius Lelis, Francisco Oraa lll, Alex Mabana, Jesus Ortinero, Rene Touzo, Romeo Boregas, Sr., Pablito Briguel, Nemia Genio, Ernie San Gaspar, Michael Penolio, Jocelyn Bosito, PO3 Alben T. Real, PO3 Wilmor Lontoc, and PO3 Aleksei Sergio.
It will be recalled that the complaint for Serious Illegal Detention was filed by Tigaon Town Mayor Fuentebella and several others  when they were prevented from leaving the said building for at least two (2) days during the counting of the votes. The supporters of then Congressional candidate Aga Muhlach were enraged upon learning that their supported candidate was losing the election count. To express their discontent, they allegedly threw stones at the municipal building, where Fuentebella and his company were staying.
The volatile peace and order situation within the compound of the municipal premises was further exacerbated by the results of the election which turned out to be in favor of Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella, who was already leading by several hundred votes over Muhlach in the unofficial count.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sorsogon City opens applications for scholarship program

Sorsogon City Hall
Photo via Sorsogon City Updates
The City Government of Sorsogon is now accepting applicants to the City Scholarship Program for School year 2015-2016.

Applicants should: 1) Be residents of Sorsogon City; 2) Be raduating 4th year High school students who have an average of 85% or above; 3) Have no sibling who is, at present, a City Scholarship Program beneficiary. The combined annual income of the applicants' parents should also not exceed P150,000.00.

Applicants may obtain the application form at Barangay Affairs and Public Assistance, 2nd floor, City Government Building, Cabid-an, Sorsogon City. The application form may also be downloaded from the City Website,

The deadline for submission of application is on March 20, 2015.

Solterong bangag sa droga, pinasa an payo kan saiyang ama

GUINOBATAN, Albay – Parricide an pangaran kan casong aatubangon ni Jomari Acabado y Mirasol na iyo an responsable sa pag-utas kan buhay kan saiyang ama sa krimen na nangyari sa laog mismo kan saindang harong sa Barangay Agpay, digdi.

Basado sa imbestigasyon kan pulis, an suspechado posibleng nasa influencia nin pinapangalad na bulog kan saiyang pagparabagohon an pandok (lalawgon), asin payo kan saiyang ama na an gamit na armas “cabra” (crow bar).

An victima pigbistong si Rodolfo Acabado, 60 anyos an edad.

Sabi sa ginibong pagsiyasat kan mga pulis digdi sa pamamayo ni Sr. Insp Luke Ventura, antes mangyari an krimen, nagkaigwa ngona nin mainit na diskusyon an mag ama.

Nagluluwas sa imbestigasyon na an suspechado duwang bulan pa sanang nagbwelta sa saindang barangay hale sa pirang taon na pagtrabaho sa Batangas.

An sabi, nariparo na kan saiyang mga magurang an ibang hiro-hiro kan suspechado asin haros dae ngani nakakaolay nin toltol.

Nagdecider an mga magurang kan suspechado na ipaheling siya sa rehabilitation center sa pagtubod na igwa siya nin problema sa pag gamit nin droga.

Kan panahon na ini, naheling kan saiyang mga magurang na nagkua an suspechado nin “cabra,” na iyong orog pang nagdara nin kahaditan sa saiyang magurang. Para maka-iwas sa pwedeng mangyaring remalaso, kinua kan ama an armas na “cabra.”

Huli kan ginibo kan ama, nag-init nang entero an payo kan suspechado asin nagpoon nang magbalinghaw.

Sa enot pa sanang rapado kan “cabra” nagtiwis na tulos an dugo sa payo kan magurang. Sinundan pa ini nin surunod na humbal sa lalawgon, asin pirang beses pang liwat pinusakan an payo kan armas.

Dae pa nakontento sa naronot na nganing payo kan ama, an suspechado nagbunot pa nin kutsillo asin dakulon pang beses na pigpara saksak sa lawas an ama, na haros mgkapiridaso na an lawas.

Nagpondo sana an pagbalinghaw kan suspechado kan mag-abot na an saiyang ina asin an saiyang mga tugang.

An suspechado ginarapos kan saiyang mga tugang asin dinara sa hepatura kan pulis.

Sasangatan siyang casong Parricide, huli sa nasambit na krimen.–BICOLSTANDARD.COM

2 Bicolanas eye 'The Voice PH' win

2 Bicolanas eye 'The Voice PH' win
Leah Patricio of Oas, Albay (left) and Alisah Bonaobra of Tabaco City, Albay (right) are among the four contenders who will slug it out on The Voice Philippines finals on ABS-CBN this weekend. (Photos via ABS-CBN)

Matua binadil kan ngohod huli sa iwal, rogado

AROROY, Masbate— An mainit na diskusyon nin magtugang an guinikanan tanganing mabadil si Mark Joven Esquilona y Vidarozaga, 18 anyos, soltero, na taga Sitio Mabanban, Barangay Panique, sa banwaan na ini.
An victima, sarong hornal (laborer) sa sinambit na barangay.
Sabi sa report kan pulis, mayo nang nakakasaway sa iwal kan magtugang kan biglang kibliton an gatilyo kan calibre .45 sa sukbit kan ngohod na tugang na tuminama an bala sa saiyang abaga.
Nagluluwas sa imbestigasyon na an nag-iiwal na magtugang yaon sa laog kan saindang residencia. Makusog na maray an mga boses sa saindang diskusyon.
Pagkatapos na tamaan nin bala an victima, tinarabangan man tulos siyang dinara sa Aroroy Municipal Hospital tanganing ipabulong.
Sa ginibong pagsiyasat kan mga imbestigador, nakua an sarong capsula nin calibre .45 pistola, na yaon na ngonian sa poder kan mga awtoridad.
An suspechado nagsuko tulos sa mga awtoridad na nagbabasol kan saiyang nagibong krimen sa saiyang matua.
Pighahanda pa kan pulis an caso na isasangat contra sa suspechado na sarong menor de edad.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Babaeng kinagat nin sungal, nagreklamo

NAGA CITY—“Kaipohan ko pong magpa-injection nin anti-rabies ta kinagat ako nin tawo?”
Babaeng kinagat nin sungal, nagreklamo
Ini an hapot kan nagngongoy-ngoy na si Anselma (bakong tunay na pangaran) sa sarong reporter kan radyo kan sarong aldaw.
An keha nakaabot sa pulis ta sabi, enot inatraka ni Anselma si Daday (bakong tunay na pangaran) sa saindang residencia sa Sitio Iwid-iwid, Cararayan, digdi.  An causa kan iwal, mga tsismis.
Si Daday iyo an itinutokdo ni Anselma na nagwarak nin mga pakaraot saiya.
Huli kaini nagguromolan asin naggurunitan sinda.
Mayong nakasaway. Nag-orog an iwal.
Dangan, inokoban nin kagat ni  Anselma si Daday.
An pigreklamo ni Anselma iyo an dakul na guira kan mga kagat ni Daday.
Sabi niya dakulon siyang kinagatan na naghuhotong sa kulog hasta ngonian.
“Dae ko kayang tioson an kulog ta hararom an tadom kan mga ngipon niya,” sabi ni Anselma.
Sinabi kan complainant sa imbestigador,  kaya siya na-grabe ta sungal an duwang ngipon kan saiyang kaiwal.
Haros nalukab an saiyang laman huli sa kagat kan matarom na mga ngipon ni Daday.
May pagduda si Anselma na pwedeng na-infection pa an mga kinagatan ta maati an ngipon ni Daday. Mientrastanto, pwedeng kasohan nin Physical Injuries si Daday.
Hinahalat na sana an resulta kan imbestigasyon kun idadagos an reklamo.
Sa ibong na lado, si Anselma iibahan ngona sa Bicol Medical Center (BMC) kan reporter para  magconsulta kun dapat siyang tudokan nin anti-rabies.
Sagkod ngonian padagos siyang kinukolog asin maduso an mga kinagatan.—ni Boyet Paderes, BICOLSTANDARD.COM

BM Riva slams move to declare Xian Lim ‘persona non grata’

LIGAO CITY—Board Member Rhederick Riva has hit moves of some quarters in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan whom he says are seeking to have Xian Lim declared persona non grata in the Province of Albay.

Board Member Rhederick Riva

“There are more pressing issues to be addressed in the provincial legislative council other than the Lim incident,” Riva said in an exclusive interview with BICOLSTANDARD.COM.

“In the grander scheme of things, this issue is trivial compared to existing problems in this province. The Lim issue more properly belongs to the showbiz realm, “ he added.

“More importantly, the question which should be in the forefront of everybody’s minds is : why is the  province allocating P375,000 to hire a celebrity to provide entertainment in a festival?” Riva asked.

“This is an incredible amount, especially since only those living in the town centers are able to enjoy performances by the celebrities who are frequenty invited by the province. The benefit does not trickle to the fringes of the society,” he explained.

Riva told BICOL STANDARD that he recognizes the fact that Albay is being marketed as tourist destination. However, he emphasized, “to boost tourism revenues, the provincinal government should focus on showcasing its natural gems instead of allocating huge sums to hire celebrities.”

“To choose the latter is downright impractical,” he concluded.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Tagbo Sa Puso Kan Bikol 2015 Schedule

Tagbo Sa Puso Kan Bikol 2015
Naga City
February 26-28, 2015

Tagbo sa Puso Kang Bikol National Arts Month Celebration
Plaza Quince Martires
Painting, Sculpture and Photo Exhibit
Book Fair

Feb. 26
9:00am – Opening Program and Ribbon Cutting
10:00am – Lecture on the Development of Bicol Art (Mr. Pancho Piano)
1:00pm – Painting Workshop (Mr. Pancho Piano and Salingoy Art Group)
6:00pm – Pasale Film Showing

Feb. 27
8:30am – Lecture on Basic Photography (Dr. Bob Mendoza)
10:00am – Lecture on Photography Composition and Copyright (Atty. Allan Macaraig)
2:00pm – Launching Istoryang Suanoy (Coun. Greg Abonal)
6:00pm – Nagueño Composers’ Concert

Feb. 28
9:00am – Lecture on Bicol Literature (Mr. Frank Peñones)
10:00am –  Rosaulio Imperial Sr.: Naga’s Pilosopo Tasyo (Mr. Kristian Cordero)
5:00pm – Banggi kan Sining Banwa

- Naga City Hall Chorale
- BISCAST Chorale
- Naga Central School I Children’s Rondalla
- Camarines Sur National High School Dance Troupe


Monday, February 23, 2015

Vintage bomb found in Legazpi City

Photo via Team Army Albay

LEGAZPI CITY--A vintage bomb was recovered by the Charlie Company of the Second Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army-Albay yesterday.

The explosive was spotted at around 9:30 in the morning near the tower of Radyo Siram in Brgy. Estanza. 

Rene Abano, the resident who found the bomb, immediately reported his discovery to the Philippine Army for fear that it may explode. 

The Charlie Company, headed by Corporal Ruel Absalon, responded to the call for assistance with dispatch. 

Upon confirming that it was indeed a vintage bomb, members of the company secured it and turned it over to the Explosive and Ordinance Unit. 

Meanwhile, the head of the Philippine Army here expressed his thanks to Abano for informing the Army about the bomb. Such vigilance, he said, is necessary for keeping the community safe. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)


Daytime shooting ends village councilman's life

PLACER, Masbate-- A brazen midmorning shooting claimed the life of a barangay kagawad here today.

The police spot report states that the village official was gunned down at 10:00 a.m. at Brgy. Mahayahay, this town.

Known by his alias "Jaw", the victim was identified by authorities as Arnel Real.

Witnesses told police that two perpetrators gunned down Real causing him to sustain multiple wounds on different parts of his body.

The barangay kagawad died instantaneously, as a result.

Police are still conducting further investigation to capture the suspects who rapidly fled the scene after slaying Real. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

653-km South Railway to connect Manila-Legazpi

LEGAZPI CITY—The National Economic Development Authority Board has approved the 653-kilometer South Railway which will connect Manila to Legazpi City.

The project, which is worth P104 billion, is expected to unlock Bicol's huge potential. It will be implemented under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who chairs the Bicol Regional Development Council, reiterated his belief that "the Manila-Bicol railway is critical to development, as it promotes rural tourism; empowers Bicol labor to compete in the labor markets of Metro Manila and elsewhere in Luzon; and provides a multimodal transport means for bringing agricultural products and manufactured goods of Bicol to the rest of Luzon.”

Apart from the South Railway, the NEDA Board approved five other infrastructure projects. Most of these, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said, aim to improve the transport infrastructure system of the country.

The other projects include the Panguil Bay Bridge Project, Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project, NLEX-SLEX Connector Project, and Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project.
“These projects will support the government’s goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least 5.1 percent in 2016. We hope that they will be implemented efficiently and effectively,” Balisacan added.—With reports from PNA, NEDA

Legazpi to offer incentives to new tourism investments in the city

LEGAZPI CITY—An ordinance that would provide for incentives to new tourism industry investments in this city serving as Bicol’s tourism center is now being pushed for enactment by the local legislative council.

Legazpi City Photo via

Among the salient provisions of the proposed ordinance is the grant of business tax payment exemption to newly registered tourism enterprises while its owners will also be free from paying basic realty taxes on property improvements, building and machineries -- both for the period of two years.

It shall also mandate the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Division (BPLD) to give assistance in identifying business locations and in securing local permits and licenses for investors who want to engage in business in this city.

“We are offering these to attract more investors that would help us further improve our existing tourist facilities and attractions,” City Mayor Noel Rosal on Sunday told the Philippine News Agency.

This strategy, he explained, is based on the city government’s vision that promotes inclusive economic growth and sustainable development through effective and efficient services strengthened by the active participation of all stakeholders within a safe business environment.

Having more investors coming in will in the long run help improve the city’s revenue collection, sustain its economic growth, increase the value of local products, promote a sustainable tourism industry and generate more jobs for the local workforce, Rosal said.

“We also welcome public-private partnership—a development scheme between the city government and these prospective investors that we are strengthening,” he said.

The proposed Tourism Investment Incentive Ordinance was drafted by members of the Vision Aligned Circle (VAC 7), a planning unit organized by Rosal under its Performance Governance System (PGS) that it has institutionalized as a participatory process in line with the principles and best practices of good governance and responsible citizenship.

“We have been working on PGS since January 2008 and the continuing activities that included the creation of the VAC and Office of Strategy Management (OSM) as well as the formation of the city’s Multi-Sectoral Governance Coalition (MSGC) that have been actively initiating collaborative moves, which brought us to the PGS Compliance Status last year,” he said.

Such status won for the city government the most coveted Silver Governance Trailblazer (SGT) award for excellence in local governance given by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) during fitting ceremonies in Manila last Oct. 21.

The city government garnered a score higher than 8.5 in the public revalida or performance report in accomplishing the compliance stage in ISA’s program for institutionalizing its PGS-- thus, the SGT award that made it the only winner among the country’s local government units (LGUs) last year.

ISA is a non-government organization that develops and promotes the PGS as a management tool by way of requiring LGUs and national agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) to implement a series of reforms that fundamentally would transform its policy-making process and bureaucratic structure to proficiency.

Such accomplishment, which over years generally raised the city’s inclusive growth and development through effective local governance, was focused, among others, on local tourism developments highlighted by the campaign to capture a slot in Luzon’s five top convention destinations by 2020.

In tourism, the city received a total of 579,470 domestic and foreign tourists, representing a whopping increase of 32.6 percent from the previous year’s 141,370 arrivals which placed this premier Bicol metropolis, now known in the international travel world as the “City of Fun and Adventure,” in the 14th slot among the country’s best tourist destinations.

Last year, as the city worked on improving its rank to the country’s 10 best tourist destinations, it achieved another milestone in tourism development by receiving over 700,000 tourists for a 24-percent growth rate over 2013 and bringing it closer to hitting the targeted one-million mark by 2016.

“After all these accomplishments, including the achievement of the PGS compliance stage, our goal this year is to advance to the Island of Good Governance (IGG), a status awarded to local government units (LGUs) as well as other government institutions that have shown exemplary performance in terms of governance practices and transformation.

Advancing to IGG may win for the city government the ISA-NCC Gold Standard Award representing a test or measure of comparison that is considered ultimate or ideal.

With sustained commitment, he said, the city is closing in on institutional transformation as it levels up to the next phase of PGS—proficiency.

“An LGU, which is considered as economic spark plug where inclusive growth strategy needs to be specific with good governance, providing the edge can only be eligible for IGG if it is at least PGS proficient,” Rosal stressed, adding that the city as of today is on the right track towards it.

To qualify, the LGU should show proof that it has put in place the essentials of a good governance program that has already yielded substantial results by way of transformative breakthroughs that include a strategy map, performance scorecard, a working multi-sectoral governance coalition, an office for strategy management and a series of actual breakthrough results.

The award of IGG compliance status this year in now being processed by the ISA which took off with its pre-audit last January, followed by the third party audit starting this month.

Arriving at this status, he added, “is easy for us now that we have in place our PGS measured by integrity—as our actions and decisions are guided by the highest ethical standards; common good -- as we selflessly uphold the general welfare of all; commitment-- because we fulfill our mandate with perseverance, compassion and flexibility; and competence-- since we continuously upgrade our knowledge and skills in order to provide excellence service.”—by Danny Calleja, PNA

Bicol now a drug-making haven—RD Deona

LEGAZPI CITY—The Bicol Region has turned from a mere transshipment point to a manufacturing haven of illegal drugs, the top police official of the region said.

Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM
In an exclusive interview with the PNA, Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona, Philippine National Police Bicol regional director, said the recent raid in Masbate City proved that illegal drug manufacturers have found their way in the region.

“But we will not allow them to take root here in Bicol,” he warned.

It can be recalled that on Feb. 14, joint elements of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operation Task Force, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Regional Intelligence Division-Police Regional Office-5, 5th Regional Public Safety Battalion, Masbate Provincial Public Safety Company and Masbate City Police Station conducted two simultaneous raids in Masbate City.

The operations resulted in the arrest of ex-mayor Cherry Boy Abapo Jr. aka Cherry Boy Jr. of San Fernando, Masbate; Lester Seminiano Abapo aka Lester, Barangay Captain of Barangay F. Magallanes; Board Member Lovely Seminiano Abapo aka Jane Doe; Fernando Seminiamo Bravante aka Kalbo, employee, 2nd District of Masbate; Anton Dela Cruz Abella aka Payat, house boy; Isagani Arnel Vasquez Irenea aka Manoy Boy; and PO1 Aaron Vedarozaga Abapo aka Sarge, presently assigned at the Masbate PPSC's Supply Section, Masbate PPO.

The police officer was not present during the raid but is now under the custody of Masbate Police Provincial Office.

Another operation this week in Camarines Norte resulted in the confiscation of 274 grams of shabu, the police director added.

“There will be no let-up in this campaign,” he stressed.

Deona said they are intensifying the anti-drug drive which is part of the “Target Output Policy” that is being strictly implemented in all police offices region-wide.

The Bicol police director said the recently busted drug laboratory was the second in the province.

He also recalled that a similar illegal drug laboratory operated by foreigners was busted in Legazpi City sometime in 2008 and another one in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

He said they are exerting more efforts on anti-drug campaign and called on the members of the community to immediately report to the nearest authorities any suspicious activity of individuals.(PNA)

OMB, PNP seize 2 truckloads of pirated CDs in Naga City

NAGA CITY—A raid led by the Optical Media Board (OMB) National Office along with local police yielded at least two truckloads or around 300 sacks of pirated CDs from 37 stalls here.

OMB, PNP seize 2 truckloads of pirated CDs in Naga City
Photo by Oscar Esmenda
As part of its intensified drive against piracy, OMB coordinated with the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office and the Naga City Police Office to inspect stalls located at Bichara Mall, Ramaida Centrum, and Bicol Central Station, among others, from around 11 AM to 2 PM today, Feb. 23.

The vendors did not put up a fight, and instead willingly surrendered the contraband to the authorities.

The joint group reminded the vendors to avoid engaging in the trade of pirated CDs which hinders the development of a robust entertainment industry.

They immediately sent the pirated CDs to their Manila office for proper disposition.

The raid was conducted by force of a search warrant.—Report and photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Ako Bicol names 2015 Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY—Ako Bicol Partylist has released the names of the Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol for 2015. The list includes Christian I. Lamud of University of Saint Anthony, Iriga City, Camarines Sur; Monico Paulo B. Rañosa of Bicol University, Legazpi City, Albay; Remus L. Brillante of Ligao Community College, Ligao City, Albay; January B. Merilles, Bicol University, Legazpi City, Albay; Jay Chester D. Usero of Catanduanes State University, Virac, Catanduanes; Mark Kevin B. Umbao of University of Northeastern Philippines, Iriga City, Camarines Sur; Diego A. Perciana ofLigao Community College, Ligao City, Albay; John Khevin C. Gambal, of University of Northeastern Philippines, Iriga City, Camarines Sur; Therese Isabelle S. Vega, Bicol University, Legazpi City, Albay; and Joy Karen S. Damasig of Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City.

2015 Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol
2015 Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol

The The Search for Ten Outstanding Bicolano Students was open to all students, whose ages are 18 – 25 years old, graduating or non-graduating, who have shown exemplary performance along scholarship, leadership and service. The applicant must have a Generated Weighted Average of 1.75 in his or her scholarship credentials to qualify.

To select the Ten Outstanding Bicolano Students, the screening committee used a point system that takes into account the following criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and an essay and interview.

This year, the Screening Committee was composed of a Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Representative as Chairman, An AKO BICOL Representative, a Business Sector Representative, and Academe Sector Representative as Members.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM


New public cemetery to rise in Naga City

NAGA CITY — Two to three years from now, the city government will be running a new public cemetery as it closes the operations of the old one, which is now fully congested, located along the Maharlika highway in Barangay Concepcion Pequeña, here.
City Budget Officer Francisco Mendoza, who heads the Tombstone Committee, said that his group is now in site selection process to determine where the P165-M facility shall be put up.
The putting up of public cemetery is indicated in the Local Government Code under the basic services provisions.
“There are at least 4 properties from which we are going to choose. We select based on how much the total development will cost us since there are properties whose purchase price costs less but would turn out later to be more expensive because of certain factors such as expenses for site development and dumping of fill up materials to satisfy basic engineering standards and avoid flooding in the future,” he said.
Unlike the old public cemetery, the new one will operate in accordance with the standards indicated in the Cemetery Guideline of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Sanitation Code of the Philippines, National Building Code and Environmental Compliance Certificate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The estimated construction cost by the City Engineer’s Office (CEO), according to Mendoza, could be inadequate and may increase to P200-M as there are criteria that should be followed in its construction.
The budget officer assured that the city is in good fiscal position to finance the multimillion-peso project.
The guidelines being implemented under such government standards require that roads should be constructed on both sides of the planned cemetery where lateral roads or pathways should be 4 meters in width.
Tombs, which should maintain a certain distance from each other, should be constructed 60 meters away from the nearest roadway. Apartment-type tombs should be reinforced concrete, not made of hollow blocks.
The blueprint of the project also shows an administration building and concrete fence; Streetlights installed at least every 50 meters, a guardhouse, comfort rooms, and a common service area. The public cemetery shall be manned by City Hall personnel.
Other criteria require that the cemetery should be constructed with a setback of 5 meters from the main road and 25 meters from residential area. (by Jason B. Neola)

Feb. 25 is a regular working day, says Palace

Malacanang has clarified that February 25, EDSA People's Power Revolution anniversary, is a regular working day.
According to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., February 25 has been declared working holiday based on the Proclamation No. 831 issued by President Benigno Aquino III on July 17, 2014.
”Based on the Proclamation No. 831, the 25th of February is working day for everybody. Holiday is for students only,” Coloma clarified in an interview with Radyo ng Bayan.
On Wednesday, the Philippines will be celebrating the 28th anniversary of the bloodless revolution held along the 27-kilometter Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
Called EDSA People’s Power, the revolution ended the oppressive regime of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who ruled the country for almost 20 years.
President Aquino will spearhead the EDSA People’s Power Revolution anniversary on Wednesday.
The President is the son of former Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Sr. who was shot dead at the airport upon his return to the Philippines from exile in the United States on August 21, 1983.
The death of Ninoy sparked series of demonstrations and the economy went down to depressing level, prompting Marcos to call presidential snap election on February 7, 1986 against Ninoy Aquino’s widow, Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino.
Marcos won in what was described as the most corrupt and deceitful election in the Philippine history.
The Filipinos had reached the height of their patience and solidified their discontentment in the Marcos leadership with their presence on the street that forced Marcos to leave Malacanang.
In the morning of February 25, 1986, President Cory Aquino was proclaimed as the 11th President and first lady President of the Philippines. (PNA)

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Bichara faces charges of grave abuse, misconduct

LEGAZPI CITY -- Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara is facing charges of grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct before the Office ...