Saturday, January 16, 2016

Rep. Fortuno seeks poll expenses limit increase

Cong. Salvio Fortuno
NAGA CITY— Camarines Sur 5th District Rep. Salvio Fortuno renewed his call to amend what he calls the “antiquated” provisions on election expenditures.

Fortuno issued this statement to BICOL STANDARD following the official start of the election period last January 10, and the upcoming commencement of the campaign period on March 25.

“The present limits set by law on campaign expenditures are already realistic in the light of the prevailing economic environment which had eroded the purchasing power of the peso,” he pointed out.

Last year, Fortuno authored House Bill No. 5241 otherwise  "An Act increasing the authorized expenses of candidates and political parties, amending for the purpose Section 13 of Republic Act No. 7166, entitled, 'An Act providing for synchronized national and local elections and for electoral reforms, authorizing appropriations therefor, and for other purposes.'"

Fortuno quoted Dr. Romulo Emmanuel Miral, Jr., Acting Director of the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives who explained that "the value of one (1) Philippine peso in 1991 was equivalent to P3.41 in 2013 or our one (1) Philippine pesos in 2013 was equivalent to P0.29 in 1991 based on Consumer Price Index."

"On the basis of the foregoing computation, the authorized campaign expenditure for the position of President and Vice-President should be from P10.00 to P34.10, for other candidates from P3.00 to P10.23 and for political parties from P5.00 to P17.05," Fortuno pointed out.

"Considering the time and economic factors, there is need to increase this actual computation to meet the demands of the time when this proposed legislative measure is enacted into law," he added.

Therefore, Fortuno insisted, the adjustment should be as follows: for President and Vice-President, from P10.00 to P40.00; for other candidates from P3.00 to P15.00; and for political parties from P5.00 to P20.00.

"The paramount objective of this proposed statute is to make the authorized campaign expenditures for all the candidates and political parties more realistic so that no candidate would ever be penalized on the basis of an antiquated law," Fortuno concluded.

To date, Fortuno’s bill has not been acted upon in Congress.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM


Friday, January 15, 2016

PNP readies elite force in Masbate for elections

LEGAZPI CITY—The Philippine National Police in Bicol will be deploying 1,000 police officers, including one battalion of its Special Action Force (SAF), in the island-province of Masbate, dubbed as the “Wild West” of the country due to intense political rivalry that results in bloody election-related violence.

PNP Bicol regional spokesperson Malu Calubaquib said the deployment of special units and 800 policemen from the regional office is a move to augment the PNP force in Masbate in maintaining peace and order by preventing possible breach of the law through violence.

"The PNP regional command will be deploying 800 policemen to augment the present police force in Masbate. This is aside from one battalion of our elite Special Action Force (SAF) that will also be deployed to help our policemen enforce security measures,” she said.

According to Calubaquib, the Task Force Masbate will be headed by Senior Supt. Lito Pitallano with Police Senior Insp. Art Gomez, former chief of police of Malinao, serving as public information officer of the task force.

Historically, Masbate has been under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) following the high incidence of election-related violence in the past years with the presence of warring political camps and goons with high number of loose firearms.

The Comelec Bicol placed the island-province of Masbate under its control following the recommendation of the PNP regional office to avert bloody incidents which stem from intense political rivalry and presence of political armed groups (PAGs).

In the 2010 and 2013 elections, the PNP Bicol recommended to the Comelec to declare 601 villages across the region as election hotspots considering the result of the intense political rivalry, killing prevalence, presence of PAGs and communist insurgents in these areas.

Also, 26 towns in Bicol were classified as “hot spot” areas, which prompted the police and military authorities to recommend these areas to be placed under the control of the poll body.

Masbate topped the list of election hot spots, with 69 villages placed under Category 1 and 103 villages as Category 2 hotspots.; while Sorsogon province had 61 villages as Category 2 hotspots with Gubat town having the most number, with 13, followed by Sorsogon City with 10 villages.

Towns and villages are placed under Category 1 because of election-related violence due to intense political rivalries, killing incidence and existence of PAGs during the past two elections; while under Category 2 are areas that are threatened by communist rebels and other election-related incidents.

In 2010 and 2013, Director Victor P. Deona, former task force commander in Masbate and now Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) central command head, confiscated a large volume of high-powered firearms from warring powerful politicians.

The camps of Antonio Kho, Narciso Bravo, Rizalina Lanete and others turned over their high-powered firearms to Deona as head of the task force.

Currently, the Comelec Bicol, PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Catholic church officials and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting are working together to ensure honest and clean elections this year. (PNA)

BFAR urges protection of marine wildlife

LEGAZPI CITY—The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Office 5 reminded the public to protect marine creatures. This after a whale shark and a giant oarfish were spotted off the coast of Libon, Albay earlier this week.

Said whale shark (Rhincodon typus), known locally as butanding, was discovered trapped inside a beach seine in Brgy. Pantao by fisherfolk. It was released back into sea on the same day.

On the other hand, a giant 5-meter oarfish (Regalecus glesne), known locally as langkoy or espada, washed ashore in Barangay Talin-Talin.

Regional Director Dennis Del Socorro said the agency plans to conduct an information drive on the protection, management and conservation of such species in the coastal communities.

He also enjoined the local government units to strengthen their capacities on conservation and protection of the marine wildlife.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

UNCean wins Search for Jose Rizal Model Students

NAGA CITY—Another UNCean made it to this year’s Search for Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines. Francis P. Orasa, a 4th year BSEd student, is the latest in a row of outstanding college students from the University of Nueva Caceres to win the coveted search.

Francis P. Orasa
Francis P. Orasa
Mr. Orasa received the award as one of Ten Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines for 2015 in a fitting ceremony held on December 29, 2015 at the Luneta Park, Manila.

An A student who has combined both exemplary academic performance and active involvement in school and community activities, Mr. Orasa is a consistent Dean’s Lister (First Honors) and has occupied various leadership positions. He is currently the vice president of the University Student Government, overall president of the Graduating Class 2016 and past governor of the Education College Board. He is a staff writer of The Torch, the official newsletter of the College of Education.

He is a delegate to various leadership seminars and facilitator and project head of various school and community projects. He was actively involved in a community project for the out of school youth in Sua, Camaligan, Camarines Sur by teaching them skills resulting in productive jobs among the marginalized youth of the adopted barangay. He was a recipient of the Golden Torch Awards for Leadership and Service given by the College of Education in recognition of his active involvement in campus and community projects.

The Search for Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines gives due recognition to ten outstanding college students in the country who best epitomize the qualities of academic excellence, student leadership, and community engagement of our National Hero and Martyr, as well as emulate his lofty ideals, high principles, civic-mindedness and courageous nationalism. The search is sponsored by the Knights of Rizal Supreme Council.

Other UNCeans who received the same award in the past include: John Paul Abe (2013); Mary Allysa Jenica Sariba (2012); Clarissa Lavena A. Bombase (2011); Ronnel Joseph T. Competente (2010); Butch O. Saulon (2004); and Monica A. Tordilla (1988). (AAFullante-AVPSAS)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CASURECO 2 announces January 12, 13 brownout

Advisories from Casureco 2

TIME: 08:00 am - 5:00 PM
FEEDER 1: SM, Portion of Triangulo
FEEDER 2: Abella, Concepcion Pequena, Sta Cruz, Dinaga, Part of Triangulo, Naga City Proper, Part of Lerma, Part of Tinago
FEEDER 5: Abella, Lerma, Tabuco, Part of Concepcion Pequena, Triangulo, Igualdad, Sta Cruz, Sabang, Lerma, Mabulo, Milaor, Minalabac, Dinaga
FEEDER 3: Magsaysay, Bagumbayan Norte, Bagumbayan Sur, Balatas, Calauag, Dayangdang, Liboton, Concepcion Pequena, Cararayan, Sta Cruz, Milaor, Peñafrancia
FEEDER 8: Sta Cruz, Balatasm Bayawas, Concepcion Pequena, Abella, Penafrancia, Liboton, Tinago
Power supply may be restored anytime after completion.

TIME: 08:00 am - 2:00 PM
FEEDER 51: Del Rosario, Cararayan, San Isidro, Carolina, Pacol, Panicuason, San Felipe, Penafrancia
FEEDER 52: Palestina, Cadlan, San Antonio, Milaor, Caroyroyan, Tinangis, Pili, San Jose Pili, Maydaso Pili
FEEDER 53: Concepcion Grande, Concepcion Pequena, Capucnasan Milaor, Del Rosario
FEEDER 54: Del Rosario, Concepcion Grande
Repair of Hotspot in Thermal Scanning, Clearing of Lines.
Power supply may be restored anytime after completion.

TIME: 08:30 am - 4:00 PM
Continuation of Annual Preventive Maintenance
Painting of 69KV Gantry
Power supply may be restored anytime after completion.

Monday, January 11, 2016

2 nabbed in Masbate for violating gun ban

Stock image via Pixabay
MASBATE CITY—Police here have arrested two persons who violated the ban on the bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons.

In the report obtained by BICOL STANDARD, account manager German Cos y Gerona and collector Marvin Abas y Eras were discovered in possession of a calibre 9mm Tauruz pistol, a steel magazine loaded with eleven pieces of live ammunition for same caliber, and a bladed weapon measuring more or less eleven inches.

Said suspects were apprehended while they were drinking inside a KTV bar at around 1:30 a.m. at Barangay Bapor, this city, on January 10, the official start of the gun ban.

January 10 is also the beginning of the election period.

COMELEC Resolution No. 10015 states that according to Section 32 of Republic Act No. 7166, "During the election period, no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to possess or carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Commission. The issuance of firearms license shall be suspended during the election period.

"Only regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the Government who are duly deputized in writing by the Commission for election duty may be authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period: Provided, That, when in the possession of firearms, the deputized law enforcement officer must be: (a) in full uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number, which shall remain visible at all times, and (b) in the actual performance of his election duty in the specific area designated by the Commission." the law continues.

Charges will be pressed against the two suspects, the Masbate police said.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Comelec opens application for Local Absentee Voting

As stated in Executive Order No. 157, s. 1987, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has opened the option of absentee voting to government officials and employees, members of the media, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and members of the Philippine National Police who will not be able to go to their voting precincts on Voting Day, May 9, 2016.

Voting will only be limited to national positions, including party list representatives.

COMELEC has issued the regulations and procedure for those who wish to apply for local absentee voting. Applications for interested parties are open until  March 7, 2016.

Cops find missing Chinese national in Masbate

MASBATE CITY—An 18-year-old foreign national who had gone missing in December has been found in Uson, Masbate and returned to her Chinese parent.

Gong Lili Xu, who is also known by her Philippine name Aphinglyn Xu y Payoran, is a native of Fujian province. She had been working as a store helper at Barangay Baclaran, Paranaque City and staying at the place of residence of her uncle Younan Xu and his Filipina wife Penafrancia Payoran-Xu.

At around 3 p.m. on December 27, 2015, however, she left without the knowledge of her guardians.

She travelled from Paranaque City to Pilar, Sorsogon before boarding a boat to Masbate province, where her boyfriend Juden Rey "Joker" Clemente resided.

Like Gong, Clemente used to work as a store helper for Xu and his wife.

Gong arrived on December 29 and began to stay at Clemente's residence at Barangay Miaga, Uson, Masbate.

By then, the Chinese national had been reported missing.

Through the joint efforts of the Uson Municipal Police Station and Punong Barangay Jona Villacorta, Gong was spotted and given to the custody of her guardians in Paranaque.

Xu and his wife thereafter turned over Gong to her parent Dima Xu.

The family, according to the police, declined to press charges against Clemente.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago.

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