Saturday, August 6, 2016

Suspect in Virac robbery arrested

LEGAZPI CITY, August 6, 2016 (Bicol Standard) –A robbery suspect who had allegedly stolen jewelry items valued at P200,000.00; 700 US Dollars, 500 Canadian dollars; 300 Singapore dollars; and three watches worth more or less 20,000 Philippine pesos was nabbed today by the elements of the Virac Municipal Police Station (MPS).


The investigation report says that the suspect, identified as Ryan Viloria y Valeza allegedly robbed the house of Minerva I. Morales, president of the Catanduanes State University (CSU), at around 3:00 am, today.

A witness to the case, Cherry Mae Valeza y Verdad, a 23 year-old teacher, tipped the incident to the police, which resulted to the arrest of the suspect.

Viloria, according to the police, is a 22-year-old lotto outlet crew member.

He was arrested at around 7:05 in the morning today at Barangay Hawan Grande, Virac, Catanduanes.

The victim, together with the principal suspect and the witness to the crime are neighbors at Barangay Calatagan Proper, Virac, Catanduanes.

The suspect was immediately brought to the police for further investigation and questioning. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

Friday, August 5, 2016

12ng kapitan, 52 na consejal, nagsuko sa pulis sa Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Agosto 4, 2016 (Bicol Standard)-- Pigconfirmar kan Oficina kan Provincial Director kan PNP sa Albay na hastang ngonian na aldaw igwa nang total na 74ng mga oficiales lokal an nag surrender asin nag akong nag-gagamit o imbuelto sinda sa ilegal na droga.

Maski itinago ngona an saindang mga pangaran asin lugar na pighalean, sinabi sa report na an may pinaka halangkaw na pwesto sa gobiernong nagsuko iyo an sarong elihidong consejal kan banwaan o ciudad.

Hastang ngonian man na aldaw, 12 nang mga Punong Barangay, 52 na mga consejal, 3ng tesorero asin na 6 na secretaryo nin mga barangay an nag kusang nagdulok sa saindang mga hepatura kan pulis para magsurrender.

Mientrastanto, sinabi kan PNP na nakaturohok an saindang atensyon sa mga nagsusurrender, maging oficial o bako man.

May direktiba sa mga pulis hale sa PNP Provincial Offices na manman sinda gabos, para maibitaran nang magbalik pa sinda sa dating bisyo sa droga.

Inako kan pulis kan Albay na sa presente may binabantayan sindang duwang (2) consejal na nasa watchlist ninda na dating pusikit an pagkaimbuelto sa ipigbabawal na bulong. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

New MGB Chief vows crackdown vs. irresponsible mining

The Environment department's Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) will intensify its bid to curb irresponsible mining nationwide in accordance with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's thrust to protect and conserve the environment.

New MGB Director Mario Luis Jacinto assured such action, noting the agency will look into mining operators' compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards set by the government.

"Those who violated the law must be held accountable," he said.

He said mining is responsible only if development of the country's mineral resources will be based on technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, social acceptability and financial viability.

Absence of any of such criteria won't render a miningproject responsible, he said.

MGB data as of late June 2016 show 44 operating metallic mines in the country during the first quarter of this year.

The data also show that during the same period, mining nationwide contributed PHP21.7 billion or 0.7 percent to Philippine GDP (gross domestic product) and generated nearly PHP302 million in taxes, fees and royalties.

In line with President Duterte's thrust towards responsible mining, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Memorandum Order 2016-01 set the nationwide audit covering all operating minesand mines under suspended and/or care and maintenance status.

Memorandum Order 2016-01 also set a moratorium on approval of new mining projects in the country.

DENR already commenced the month-long audit this August.

Mining firms face sanctions if they are unable to pass the audit, said MGB mine safety chief Rodolfo Velasco.

Suspension and fines are among sanctions that can be imposed on audit-failing mining firms, he added.

"The sanctions will be on a case-to-case basis," he said.

He said results of the audit will determine sanctions the government will impose.

Duterte's Presidential Directive 002, Series of 2016, designated Jacinto as the new MGB director serving in a concurrent capacity as Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) undersecretary.

The Chief Executive ordered Jacinto to perform functions as provided in Republic Act No. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act) "and all other laws, rules and regulations."

"Furthermore, he shall have the authority and supervision over the organization and operations of Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for the purpose of overseeing the effective and successful implementation of its programs, activities and projects," the President said.

Jacinto shall also assist Environment Chief Gina Lopez "by ensuring that all actions pertaining to permits, clearances, certificates, personnel recruitment, movements and appointments relating to MGB and EMB functions that are authorized to be signed, issued by or delegatedto the DENR secretary are thoroughly reviewed and evaluated by his office for consideration and final disposition of the DENR secretary," President Duterte ordered further.

According to MGB, Jacinto is a licensed geologist who started out with this agency in August 1977.

He was assigned in Mindanao and later served there as senior geologist, MGB Regional Technical Director from 1987 to 1990, then DENR Regional Executive Director from 1990 to 1992, MGB said.

At this week's environment summit in Mindanao, Jacinto assured his independence from mining companies and other business entities.

"Mining companies can't buy me -- no one can and the people of Davao know that," he said.

He committed pursuing a social justice legacy anchored on efforts for God and country.

MGB said Jacinto resigned from government in 1992 to join the private sector.

The agency added that from 2001 to 2010, however, he served full-time as City Planning and Development Coordinator in Davao City under then Mayor Duterte. (PNA)

Bicol region has fastest growing economy in PH in 2015: PSA

A top official of the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) in the Bicol region said the economy in the region is the fastest growing among all 18 regions in the country.

Cynthia Perdiz, PSA-Bicol director, said “the (Bicol) region’s economy pulled up with a growth rate of 8.4 percent, the highest attained in terms of gross regional domestic product (GRDP), that has put Bicol on top of all regions.”

She said a PSA report showed that “both industry and service sectors” helped fuel this growth.

Perdiz explained that industry accelerated faster than services but both sectors boosted the region’s economy.

She said the high growth rate was driven by “the industry sector which expanded at a faster rate of 23.7 percent in 2015 from its 5.3 percent growth in 2014.”

PSA data, however, showed that while notable growth was seen in the two sectors, there was drop in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector.

The year 2015 saw the onset of El Nino which affected the agricultural sector’s performance and reduced rice production.

Poverty incidence

PSA data showed that for a three-year period, from 2012 to 2015, there has been a noticeable drop in poverty incidence.

“For the first semester of 2015, poverty incidence in Bicol dropped to 30.9 percent, from the 34.1 percent in 2012,” said PSA.

Poverty incidence among individuals was estimated at 39 percent in the first half of 2015, down from the 43.3 percent, during the same period in 2012.

While the region is seen as the “fastest growing”

Bicol continues to “endeavor to be delisted from among the poorest regions in the country,” said Perdiz.

Bicol region has a population of 5.7 million, 39 percent or 2.2 million of whom are poor. This means that four out of 10 people in the region are poor.

Private sector

Rep. Joey Salceda (2nd District, Albay), an economist, said the region’s growth performance was “so impressive” while noting that its indicators were doable.

He lauded the Bicolanos, the people and its private sector, who “must take credit for the significant growth.”

“There was a strong contribution from the planning and its project follow-up and implementation as well as the monitoring vigor of the Bicol-Regional Development Council (RDC),” said Salceda.

He added that there was “dynamic and collaborative” members in the RDC, that included the various local government units and non-government agencies, working in the region.

Salceda has been chairman of the Bicol-RDC for nine years and the Luzon Area Development Committee (RDCOM) for six years.

Growth rate

Perdiz said the high growth rate was driven by the industry sector which expanded at a faster rate of 23.7 percent in 2015 from its 5.3 percent growth in 2014.

She said the region’s growth rate is measured in two levels: GRDP output on current prices and constant prices.

Bicol under the GRDP current prices level has increased by 8.4 percent or P11.9 million from the P154.709 billion of goods and services produced last year--a far cry from the “sluggish” GRDP performance of P142.763 billion output in 2014, PSA data said.

While based on the GRDP at constant prices, including inflation rate, the region has produced P281.2 billion GRDP in 2015 as compared to slow performance in 2014, which recorded only P264.7 billion. It produced only P243.8 billion in 2013.


Asked how it evaluates Bicol region’s performance, the National Economic and Development (NEDA) said the region’s growth rate of 8.4 percent last year almost doubled the growth of 4.3 percent in 2014 and exceeded the target of 6.7 percent set in the “Regional Development Plan.”

“The expansion rate was spurred by public and private construction projects which grew to 39.7 percent last year from 1.9 percent growth rate in 2014,” said Agnes Espinas, NEDA regional director.

Espinas, in an emailed report, said “infrastructure projects accelerated government spending and other economic and social services.”

She cited the P1.69 billion worth of investments that was poured into infrastructure that repaired and widened 52 kilometers of roads and 846 linear meters of bridges along the Maharlika Highway, dubbed as the Asian Highway 26.

Flood mitigation

NEDA-Bicol cited the P1-billion Legazpi City Urban Drainage Project (LCUDIP) as another milestone project pursued in the Bicol region. Espinas said LCUDIP is a “major flood mitigating structure of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).”

The project, which is located in Legazpi City, involved the construction of a seawall with joggers and vehicle lane; dike along the Ruran, Sagumayon and Macabalo tributaries; Cabangan bridge; and the three flood control pumping stations in Barangays San Roque, Victory village and Dap-dap.

NEDA-Bicol said under the “Bottom up Budgeting” or BUB program it spent P333 million for 239 construction projects.

The other infrastructure projects implemented, said NEDA, included the Bicol Medical Center in Naga City, “Philippine Rural Development Program” projects in Camarines Norte, and the construction of 27 road projects worth P1.48 billion under the Department of Tourism-DPWH convergence program.

Aside from these, NEDA noted that for social and education infrastructure projects in Bicol, there was the construction of 2,900 classrooms for elementary and secondary public schools region-wide; 221 multipurpose buildings; 217 flood/river control structures; and the 215 school buildings under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahairapan Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-Cidss).

NEDA added that under the Core shelter Assistance Program of the DSWD, completed were 12,893 housing units by shelter agencies and 7,843 core shelter units.

Espinas noted that the other infrastructure projects implemented last year were the Catanduanes Circumferential Road; Albay-Camarines Sur diversion road; Pio Duran-Donsol, Guicadale platform road networks; and the Bicol International Airport projects which received P1.55 billion for airside construction.


Mining and quarrying bounced back to 8.5 percent points in 2015 from a negative growth of 19.1 percent in 2014.

The rebound was attributed to the Masbate Gold Project in Aroroy, Masbate, where a total sales value of P8.2 billion was recorded for 4,899 kilograms of gold and P87 million from 3,78 kilograms of silver

These were produced by Filminera Resources Corp. and the Phil. Gold Processing and Refining Corp.

NEDA said the government also approved last year 28 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements or MPSAs that produced mineral commodities, ranging from limestone, perlite, clay, gypsum, copper, zinc, iron, chromite, silver and gold.

Tourist arrivals

The PSA report cited by Perdiz showed that the growth in the service sector was fueled by the increase in tourist arrivals by 21.53 percent from 3.72 million in 2014 to 4.52 million in 2015.

This included around 868,000 foreign tourists and 3.65 million domestic tourists.

The higher tourist arrivals has led to expansion as manifested by the building of additional malls, convention centers, hotel and restaurants, and additional facilities for transportation, storage and communication.

The growth in transportation, storage and communication was due to the opening of car sales centers, warehousing, business processing outsourcing or BPOs and the opening of telecommunication companies.

“Public and private investments that contributed to the growth of the region’s economy translated into an increase in employment of about 78,000,” said the PSA report.


“While significant growth was recorded in the industry and service sectors, the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector exhibited a drop,” by 2.3 percent points in 2015, due to the 9.4 percent reduction in the fishing industry.

The year 2015 saw the onset of El Nino which affected the agricultural sector performance thus reducing rice production, from 3.82 to 3.69 MT per hectare, and corn from 2.51 to 2.37 MT per hectare, showed PSA data. (PNA)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Prosecutor moves to suspend LRay Villafuerte from office

NAGA CITY, August 4, 2016 (Bicol Standard) -- Assistant Special Prosecutor III Lalaine Benitez, has asked the Sandiganbayan to suspend Luis Raymund "LRay" Villafuerte, Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative from his office immediately pending trial.

This is in connection with the alleged purchase of P20 million worth of diesel fuel without the required bidding.

"Section 13 unequivocally mandates the suspension of a public official from office pending a criminal prosecution under RA 3019 or Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving public funds or property or fraud on government," the petition reads.

"Considering the nature of the indictment and validity of the criminal information against the herein accused and invoking the mandate of the law and jurisprudence, suspension of the accused pendete lite is mandatory under the premises," it added.

Meanwhile, Cong. Villafuerte could not be reached for his comment regarding the issue at press time. 

This case stemmed from the complaint filed by private complainant Carlo Batalla, a former board member of Camarines Sur and a top official of Citizens Crime Watch. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

Cam Sur village chief killed due to anti-drug campaign?

CALABANGA, Camarines Sur, August 4, 2016 (Bicol Standard) – The punong barangay of Salvacion Baybay here identified as Jose Ipo was gunned down at around 7:30 p.m. last night by two unidentified assassins three meters distance from where his wife was standing in front of their residence.

The incident, however, raised numerous questions in the minds of the residents.

“The personal support that Ipo, a former member of the military, has extended in the campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs is likely the only reason why he was killed. He visited the houses of alleged drug personalities. He was open in convincing them to surrender to the police,” the residents here told the Bicol Standard.

Police investigators say that Ipo suffered three gunshot wounds, two of them fatal.

Acting Chief of Police Inspector Ace Christian Mendoza, in an interview this morning, confirmed that Ipo is one of the village chiefs who was supportive of the program to eradicate illegal drugs.

“He would help the residents identified as illegal drug users to surrender and pledge that they would abandon the use of said substance”, Mendoza said.

Eyewitness accounts said that the assailants who were riding in a motorcycle stopped in front of the victim’s residence. The motorcycle back rider whose face was covered with a bonnet disembarked and went directly to where the victim was seated. Without saying a word, he fired two successive shots from his firearm, hitting the victim in his body. Afterwards, the suspects boarded their getaway motorcycle.

The victim’s body was brought to the hospital in Naga City.

However, at around 2:30 a.m., he was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, the investigators are still consolidating their report regarding this incident.

“I certainly believe that he is a good man. He has no known enemy. He has no more political ambitions. But, he might have revealed to the police the names of other drug users who could have planned for this incident,” an informant who asked for his name not to be disclosed said.

Police here have organized Task Force Ipo to investigate specifically on the killing. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

Ex-Cam Sur mayor sentenced by Sandiganbayan

MANILA--The Sandiganbayan has convicted former Tinambac, Camarines Sur mayor Rosito Velarde of two counts of Usurpation of Official Function under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code. He was sentenced to imprisonment of four months to two years for each count.

Ombudsman prosecutors proved that in July 2006, Velarde signed and approved four disbursement vouchers despite an order suspending him from office. He was earlier found guilty of grave abuse of authority by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and was ordered suspended for three months.

“As it is, the prosecution evidence indubitably shows that the accused had not fully served his penalty of three-month suspension” and that “the accused was still serving the penalty of suspension when he approved the vouchers on July 3 and 4, 2006,” the Decision stated.

Usurpation of Authority or Official Function is committed by any person who knowingly and falsely represents himself to be an officer, agent or representative of any department or agency of the government; or one who, under pretense of official position, shall perform any act pertaining to any person in authority or public officer, without being lawfully entitled to do so. 

Mayor Rosal names mediamen who linked him to drugs

LEGAZPI CITY, August 4, 2016 (Bicol Standard) -- City Mayor Noel E. Rosal has bared the names of the media personalities who he claims are involved in a smear campaign against him.

Photo from Mayor Rosal's Facebook account
In a no-holds-barred interview aired over Z100.3, Zagitsit News FM, Rosal named media personalities Adam Almoguera Claveria, an block time announcer of DWED FM 91.5, Plaridel Persia, and Adrian Loterte, as responsible for the alleged false claim that he is a drug coddler.

Over the weekend, Rosal's name was mentioned on social media as an alleged protector of those involved in the illegal drug trade in the city.

Rosal's right

In an interview with the BICOL STANDARD, Claveria said he welcomes Rosal's plan of filing a case against him.

“Karapatan niya yan. Pero wala akong alam sa mga paratang niya sa akin,” he said.

“It’s been almost a month now since my last broadcast. I do not remember having maligned the mayor, nor do I have any intention of doing so. I have been in the broadcast industry for many years now and I have never been accused of libel," he said.

He assured the public that Rosal’s threat to file a case against him would not in any way deter him from exposing perceived irregularities committed by public officials.

“I have more exposes to come in the near future. I am not bothered nor cowed by the mayor’s statements," he added.

Meanwhile Plaridel Persia and Adrian "Golden Boy" Loterte, said they are willing to have their heads chopped off if the claims against Rosal are proven true.


On the other hand, Rosal’s team is said to have started gathering the necessary evidence that could pin down the alleged perpetrators of the malicious and libellous insinuations. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

Mayor Bongat orders mandatory drug testing for Naga City Hall employees

NAGA CITY, August 4, 2016 (Bicol Standard)--Mayor John Bongat has ordered mandatory drug testing for all City Hall employees regardless of appointment status.

In a memorandum to dated July 28, 2016, the local chief executive said all City Hall employees are required to undergo drug test on or before August 31, 2016 at the Naga City Hospital Laboratory.

The memorandum was addressed to permanent, casual, contract of service, and job order employees.

"The cost of the drug test will be charged to the MOOE of the different departments/offices," the memo added.

"Drug test results from other drug testing companies or hospitals will not be accepted."

Bongat also clarified that random drug testing has been in effect starting the second week of July. This subsequent memo, however, makes the drug testing mandatory.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Driver na nakadroga, nakipaglamagan sa LTFRB asin CHG

LEGAZPI CITY, Agosto 3, 2016 (Bicol Standard)--Garong pelikula.

Ini si nangyaring ralamagan kan mga awto kasubago na nagtapos sa atubangan kan Sorsogon Provincial Hospital hale sa banwaan kan Daraga, Albay.

An piglalamag iyo an sarong UV Express van na may rotang Manila–Visayas asin pig mamaneho ni Ritchie de Mesa na taga Malate, Manila.

Sa report kan pulis, an driver kan van na si de Mesa pigpara kan mga miembros kan pinag sarong team kan Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) katuwang an Highway Patrol Group (HPG), na nagkakaigwa nin check point sa Daraga.

En vez na magpondo si de Mesa, dinoonan pa lugod na entero si celineador kan saiyang awto tanganing magdulag.

Mientrastanto, huli kan siring na pangyayari, nagkasiribot an mga tawohan kan LTFRB, CHG team, tangani na bukodon lugod an padulag na driver.

Mantang nakikipaglamagan sa mga awtoridad, nakalunad man guiraray si mga pasahero kan UV Express, sagkod na sinda abotan sa provincia na kan Sorsogon.

An driver, durante kan ginibong drug test, nagpositibo sa pag gamit nin droga.

Pighahanda na kan mga awtoridad an magkakanigong asunto criminal na isasangat contra saiya sa oficina kan Procurador.(BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

Mayo pang bill para i-postpone an Barangay/SK Election

LEGAZPI CITY, Agosto 3, 2016 (Bicol Standard) - “Mayong bill na nakafile ngonian sa Congress na nag hahagad na i-oktaba an nagdadangadang na election sa barangay asin sa Sangguniang Kabataan.”

Cong. Fernando Gonzalez
Ini an sinabi ni Albay 3rd District Congressman Fernando V. Gonzalez, sa intrevista ni Mark Kevin Arroco sa radio, kasubagong aga.

Segun ki Cong. Gonzalez, nag abot talaga sa punto na nasambit an planong pag-oktaba kan sinambit na election, bilang parte kan plano na amendaran an Constitution.

Saro sa mga plano sa pag-amienda iyo an Constitional Convention, na kun saen ma-elihir nin mga delegado hale sa mga distrito. Kun ini an mapipili na paagui sa amendment, pig-iisipan kan iba na isabay na sana an nasambit na election sa brangay asin SK election, sabi pa.

“Alagad, mayo pang bill na nakafile ngonian na naghahagad kan pagpostpone kan pirilian, kaya dagos an election sa itinalaan na fecha sa Octobre 31," dagdag pang panahayag.

Mientrastanto, dakul an nagkarilibong kan nagbalangibog na bareta na may plano an Congreso na mag aprobar nin ley na ma-oktaba kan pirilian.

Huli kan bagay na ini, pigclaro ni Cong. Gonzalez na an mga nagluwas na mga informasyon, parte sana kan mga pighahace na pag-amienda kan ley fundamental.

Inako man kan deputado na an mayoriya sa mga miembros kan Camara Baja an nagboto nin afabor sa Constitutional Convention na paagui sa pag-amienda kan Constitution.

Alagad, an botorohan kasoodma, dae nagtukar kan pag-oktaba kan election sa barangay asin sa Sangguniang Kabataan. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

Legazpi City Mayor Rosal denies alleged drug links

LEGAZPI CITY, August 3, 2016 (Bicol Standard) – City Mayor Noel E. Rosal has vehemently denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal has denied accusations that he is involved in the illegal drug trade.
This was confirmed by the PNP as well as the AFP intelligence units before the media in a press conference held here yesterday.

“Since 2014 until now we have not gathered nor received any adverse report against Mayor Noel Rosal regarding his alleged involvement in illegal drugs,” the intelligence report said.

Rosal, a longtime city chief executive, was allegedly the main target of a political black propaganda through the social media which pinned him as a coddler of illegal drugs.

The source of the information on his alleged knowledge and participation in the proliferation of the illegal drugs found its way to the social media though the Facebook account of a certain Pay Mael and Lily Bucan.

The report said that upon the initiative of Albay Province Board Member Rolly Rosal, brother of the city mayor, City Police Director Supt. Joselito Esico was invited to appear before the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to shed light onto the issue.

Esico together with the intelligence operatives of the Philippine Army clarified that the name of Mayor Noel Rosal is not mentioned as among those who have been identified to have any participation in the illegal drug activities.

The younger Rosal said that he purposely invited the City Police Director to shed light into this issue as all the members of their family are affected by the false report in the social media.

Meanwhile, in the fit of anger, Mayor Rosal even went to a coffee shop frequented by the person who allegedly maligned him.

When he arrived at said shop, however, the suspect was not there, the report added.

As these developed, the City Mayor told the media that he will file the necessary criminal complaint against those who are responsible under the Anti-Cybercrime law. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

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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 ...