Friday, December 8, 2017

VP Leni blasts Sec. Tugade on Naga Airport

NAGA CITY 12/8/17 (Bicol Standard) – Vice President Leni Robredo lashed at the Department of Transportation this morning for not including the Naga Airport in the 2017 and 2018 budget, and conversely including a new airport that will be constructed in San Jose, Camarines Sur.

“We have been trying to communicate with Sec. Tugade for weeks, but have not been able to secure an appointment to discuss the matter,” Robredo stressed.

In a press conference here this morning, Robredo blasted what she called a “surreptitious” planning of the San Jose Airport that did not go through the proper procedure of being studied the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

She explained that in 2013, the DOTC commissioned a feasibility study to examine the improvement of the Naga Airport located in San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur.

Among the seven options examined in the study were: (1) the relocation of the Naga Airport to Libmanan, Camarines Sur, (2) the relocation of the Naga Airport to Ocampo, Camarines Sur, (3) the relocation of the Naga Airport to San Jose, Camarines Sur, (4) North South reorientation of the existing Naga Airport, (5) Southeast Northwest Reorientation of Naga Airport, (6) extension of the Naga Airport and (7) an upgrade of the Naga Airport.

The feasibility study recommended option 5, the Southeast Northwest Reorientation of Naga Airport.

She added that the study emphasized that there should only be one airport in Camarines Sur, “so that the full benefits would be reaped,” she said.

The same was submitted to the RDC and the NEDA. In 2015, the Naga Airport reorientation got an allocation of P670 million, and in 2016, P1 billion.

To her surprise, however, Robredo said there was no more budget in 2017 and 2018 for the Naga Airport, and instead there is budget for an airport in San Jose, Camarines Sur.

“Two airports only forty minutes apart would not be beneficial for the province,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Robredo said she wanted to ask Tugade if the Naga Airport project would be discontinued due to this new development.

“Unfortunately, our attempts to secure an appointment with him have been proving futile for the past few weeks,” she said.

Robredo added that Catanduanes solon and chair of the House Committee on Transportation Cesar Sarmiento was also surprised by the report.


Meanwhile, Robredo declared that the recent PNR forum in which former Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez was present left more questions than answers.

Among these was why the option of Official Development Assistance (ODA) was selected over PPP Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

In her opinion, PPP would be the more advantageous choice, as it means the government would not spend for the project, instead of borrowing from a foreign entity.

She also did not understand why China was chosen as such foreign partner when it offered a higher interest of 2% over Japan’s 0.5%.

Another forum, she said, would possibly shed light on these issues.

Joint statement

Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Gabriel Bordado, who was seated next to Robredo during the press conference, urged the local government units, Naga City and Camarines Sur Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the media, to come up with a joint statement to appeal to the authorities to seek answers on why the PNR and the Naga Airport are not given the due attention they deserve.

He also expressed his disappointment at Tugade, who according to him has not been honoring their requests for a chance to discuss the important issues.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PDEA Cam Sur welcomes PNP assistance in drug war

PDEA file photo

NAGA CITY 12/6/17 (Bicol Standard)--"We welcome the PNP to join and continue the collaborative efforts in the government’s drug war."

This is the statement of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Camarines Sur following President Duterte's memorandum that reassigned the PNP to join the drug war.

The PDEA here has been receiving various commendations after having been able to arrest bigtime drug suspects and confiscate big volumes of the prohibited substance.

Although they admitted that their campaign is effective, more help would be welcome in solving the drug crisis, the office said.

Agent Vidal DC Bacolod, head of PDEA Camarines Sur, has been notably visible in his coordinated effort with PDEA agents in coming up with a series of arrests.

DPWH-5 lawyer Atty. Rodulfo suspended for six months by Ombudsman

QUEZON CITY 12/6/17 (Bicol Standard) — A penalty of six months suspension without pay has been slapped by the Ombudsman against Oliver Todoc Rodulfo based on its decision received by the Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways dated November 16, 2017.

In said letter by the Ombudsman, which was signed by Gerard A. Mosquera, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Rodulfo is ordered suspended for six months without pay, as a result of the Administrative Complaint signed by Reynaldo G. Tagudando, who served as the DPWH Regional Director of Bicol.

He (Rodulfo) was administratively charged for Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Official.

The Ombudsman’s decision stemmed from the Complaint filed by Tagudando, who in order to assure the prompt attendance of all employees issued a memorandum to include Atty. Rodulfo to use the Electronic Time Card, instead of the Daily Time Record (DTR).

Instead of simply complying with the said directive, Rodulfo prepared and issued a Reply-Memorandum, which contained “libellous, indecent, arrogant, insubordinate, defiant, unprofessional and malicious insinuations and accusations,” which charges the complainant DPWH Regional Director as “incompetent and poor in management.”

“You became a director because of politics,” Rodulfo added in his memorandum in answer to Tagudando’s directive to require him to use the Electronic Time Card via biometric machine.

Furthermore, the complainant stressed that in the blatant attempt of the respondent to embarrass and defame him, he even furnished copies of his reply to the DPWH Secretary, Chief Administrative Officer and Financial Management Division, Civil Service Commission, Presidential Action Centre and Office of the President.

The respondent, in his Counter-Affidavit, denied that his memoranda were libellous and slanderous as they are privileged communications and were made without malice or intent to destroy the integrity and reputation of complainant.

Meanwhile, Rodulfo was found guilty of two offenses with the same penalty of suspension of one (1) month and one (1) to six (6) months. One of his offenses will be considered as an aggravating circumstance. There being an aggravating circumstance with no mitigating circumstance, the maximum penalty for these offenses, which is six (6) months suspension from office without pay, should be imposed, the Ombudsman said.

The charges of Grace Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service must fail.

Meanwhile, reports reaching the Bicol Standard say that Rodulfo, on his own, had volunteered to the Ombudsman to serve the six-month suspension without pay.

As of this writing, it could not yet be ascertained if the Ombudsman has taken cognizance and approved of his voluntary service of the suspension without pay penalty.

Based on the letter signed by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Gerard A. Mosquera, the Secretary of the DPWH has been directed to cause the issuance of an order immediately suspending the respondent, Rodulfo. This letter was only received last November 26.

The Ombudsman also said that within ten (10) days after receipt of the letter, the Office must be informed of the date when the suspension will take effect and will end.

Furthermore, for the Office of the DPWH Secretary is directed to submit within ten days a report after compliance of the suspension order.

Due to abovementioned order from the Ombudsman, it is not yet clear if the respondent’s voluntary service of the administrative suspension, which allegedly commenced last November 16, is proper.

Finally, the Ombudsman Act of 1989 is immediately executory and may not be interrupted by any motion, appeal, or petition that may be filed by the respondent.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cam Sur has highest number of rape cases in Bicol: PNP-5

NAGA CITY 12/5/17 (Bicol Standard)—Camarines Sur, the province in Bicol with the biggest population, has the highest number of reported rape incidents, according to the Police Regional Office 5 Crime Statistics Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.

The province has 247 rape cases on record during the period of January 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017.

Meantime, Albay has 119 reported rape cases; Masbate - 98; Sorsogon -50; Camarines Norte – 45; Catanduanes – 37; and Naga City – 27.

The region has a total of 909 cases in the same report relayed to the Bicol Standard earlier today from the Crime Information Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS).

Monday, December 4, 2017

RJ's Buffet at Villa Caceres Hotel opens Dec. 7

NAGA CITY 12/4/17 (Bicol Standard)--RJ's Buffet at Villa Caceres Hotel offers a "Fiesta All Day" experience starting December 7.

RJ's Buffet at Villa Caceres Hotel opens Dec. 7
In a press conference earlier tonight, owner Robert Obiedo said the offering completes what he calls the family of the Obiedos--a group of dining experiences named after the members of the family. These include Bistro Roberto's night entertainment, Anne's healthy food selections, Rolando's East-West dishes, and the Villa Caceres' Victorian-inspired accommodations.

RJ's Buffet has a selection of Bicolano, Filipino, and international dishes to refuel any hungry soul.

The place is also perfect for gatherings of family and friends such as baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions.

RJ's Buffet rates start at P499 for breakfast, P699 for Mondays to Thursdays lunch, P749 for Mondays to Thursdays dinner, P749 for Fridays to Sundays and holidays lunch, and P849 for Fridays to Sundays and holidays dinner.

Kids below 3 feet get to eat free of charge, while those below 4 feet are entitled to a 50% discount. 

The leftover charge is P1,000.

Discounts and privileges may also be availed of by Villa Caceres cardholders, senior citizens, persons with disability, and in-house guests of Villa Caceres and Robertson Hotel.


CNorte Governor's Task Force seizes 14 boxes of dynamited fishes

DAET, Camarines Norte 12/4/17 (Bicol Standard) -- At least fourteen boxes of allegedly dynamited fishes caught off Calaguas Islands were confiscated by the Governor's Task Force at Barangay Minaugan, Vinzons, Camarines Norte.

Pending the release of confirmatory tests, the name of the person behind the illegal activity has not been disclosed.

If proven that the fishes were caught using the prohibited means, the suspect will face a criminal charge.

Gov. Tallado told the Bicol Standard that he is staunchly against any illegal activity that harms the evnironment.


Group promotes “Santa’s Guide for Safe Toys”

With the onset of the Christmas toy bonanza, a non-profit watch group has called on consumers to be on the alert for play things that may bring harm instead of joy to young children.

In a bid to promote consumer vigilance against dangerous toys, the EcoWaste Coalition has come up with an eight-point “Santa’s Guide for Safe Toys” that will come in handy for toy buyers this gift-giving season.

“Not all toys are created equal. There are plenty of toys out there that have not passed quality and safety standards. It is therefore very important for consumers to be extra careful when shopping for gift items to prevent hazardous toys from reaching the hands of our children,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“With the health and welfare of young children in mind, we have come up with toy shopping tips to assist consumers in selecting safe toys this Christmas season,” he said.

Safe toys, according to the “Santa’s Guide,” must be 1) age-appropriate, 2) well-made, 3) no small parts, 4) string shorter than 12 inches, 5) injury-free, 6) not coated with lead paint, 7) not made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, and 8) duly labeled and registered

By following “Santa’s shopping tips,” children will be safer from play things that may pose chemical, choking, laceration, poking, strangulation and other safety hazards to their developing minds and bodies, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

1. Choose age-suitable toys. Check the recommended age on the product label and select the one that is appropriate to your child’s age, abilities, habits, and maturity level. Refrain from buying toys that are not labeled for age appropriateness.

2. Pick toys that are durable and well-made. A sturdily made toy will last longer and will be safe for parts that could break or fall apart with frequent use. Detached or shattered parts could injure or pose a choking hazard to a curious child.

3. Shun toys with small parts to reduce the risk of choking. Marbles, tiny balls and toys with button batteries and small components pose a choking risk. As a general rule, toys and toy parts should be bigger than a child’s mouth.

4. Avoid toys with a cord longer than 12 inches to prevent strangulation incidents. Toys with a cord or string longer than 12 inches can be deadly as it can wrap around the neck and asphyxiate a child.

5. Go for injury-free toys. Refrain from procuring toys that can injure a child’s ears, eyes, skin and body such as toys with pointed parts, sharp edges and those that can eject small objects such as toy pellet guns.

6. Think lead-free. Refuse painted toys if there is no assurance that the paint used is safe from lead, a neurotoxin. Toys should be painted only with lead safe paints to prevent a child from being exposed to this toxic chemical that can cause intellectual impairment and mental retardation, among other adverse effects.

7. Opt for toys that are not made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic to prevent a child from being exposed to harmful chemicals additives such as toxic phthalates that can leach out when a toy is chewed or sucked.

8. Seek duly labeled toy and childcare articles (TCCAs) that are notified with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Notified TCCAs have undergone the FDA’s quality and safety verification procedures.

Toys that are properly registered with the FDA will provide the following information on the product label: the license to operate (LTO) number of the toy manufacturer or distributor, age grade, cautionary statements/ warnings, instructional literature, item/ model/ stock keeping unit (SKU) number, and manufacturer’s marking, including the complete name.

“Keep your children safe by following ‘Santa’s Guide for Safe Toys’ this Christmastime and all year round,” Dizon suggested.


Jogger sa Basilica, nahabunan

NAGA CITY 12/4/17 (Bicol Standard)--Pighahanap pa ngonian an suspechado sa pag-ikit kan mga gamit ni Ronald Fabi y Arellano na nagparada kan saiyang motorsiklo sa laog kan compound kan Basilica Church kasoodmang amay na pagkaaga.

Sa report na ipinadara sa BICOL STANDARD, nagjogging an victima sa pag-oltanan kan alas 5:30 asin 6:15 nin aga sa nasambit na lugar sa Barangay Balatas sa ciudad na ini.

Kan magbalik siya sa saiyang vehiculo, nareparo niya na an saiyang wallet na ilinaag sa U-Box nawawara na.

Kaibanan sa mga laog kan wallet iyo an P8,000 na cash, man laen laen na ATM card asin ID, asin iba pang importanteng dokumento.

Segun sa victima, an saiyang motorsiklo ipinarada niya sa atubangan mismo kan Security Guard Outpost.

Padagos pa an pagsiyasat sa oras na sinusurat an baretang ini.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

2 gadan, 1 irido sa saraksakan sa Catanduanes


VIRAC, Catanduanes 12/3/17 (BICOL STANDARD) –Duwa an gadan, sarong irido sa burolyadang nangyari sa baylehan sa Barangay Buenavista, Caramoran, Catanduanes kasubagong mag-omagahon.

Nagpoon an burolyada kan saksakon ni Elvie Castor y Pamplona, si Sunny Fernandez y de Leon, na mga residente kan kapareyong barangay.

Mortal na tama kan lansetas na ginamit ni Castor, sa pagsaksak ki Fernandez, kaya binawian tulos an victima nin buhay.

Mantang na-gagaotan nin kutsilyo an lawas ni Fernandez, duminulag na si Castor, na biyong nagsasarisid an lakaw, huli sa makuring kaburatan.

Kagsing asin siwik nin mga tawo an biyong nag-alingawngaw sa baylehan sa Plaza.

Pirang minutos sana an nakalihis, may saro pang palna nin mga tawo an liwat nagburolyada, asin sinaksak an saro pang lalaki, na nabisto sa pangaran na Noli Coral, 21 anyos an edad.

Si Coral taga Barangay Maysuram, sa Caramoran

Mientrastanto, kan magliwanag na an lugar pakatapos na saraksakak, sa distanciang 100 metros hale sa plaza kan barangay, naheling an nakabulokon na lawas ni Castor, si nagsaksak ki Fernandez na tad-tad man nin tama nin saksak.

Afuera kan mga lugad nin saksak, pinasa pa an saiyang payo, kaya siya tulos naotsan.

Si Noli Coral pig bubulong pa ngonian sa hospital.

An mga imbuelto sa pangyayaring ini, anas mga parahagot nin abaca.

Sa ibong na lado, an mga imbestigador nag sisiyasat pa kan incidente, para maisangat an mga caso sa mga responsable sa krimen.

Bank teller tinadtad nin saksak sa Masbate

MASBATE CITY 12/3/17 (BICOL STANDARD) –Mayo pang nakakabisto kan nag-gadan ki Relan Sumalinog y Arcueno, na sarong teller sa banco na nakadistino sa Cataingan, Masbate.

Sabi kan mga imbestigador, an incidente ipig report sa hepatura kan pulis ni Resurrection Sumalinog, an ama kan victima.

An krimen nangyari poco mas o menos alas 11:00 nin banggui kan Dec. 2, sa Barangay Balocawe, Dimasalang, Masbate.

Sabi sa declarasyon kan ama kan victima, may birthday party sa saindang harong, kan magtindog an victima asin nagpasiring sa National Highway.

An distancia kan lugar, 200 metros sana hale sa harong kan victima.

Nin huli ta dai nagbabalik an victima para mag-atendir kan celebrasyon, sinusog siya kan siyang sobreno na iyo an nakaheling kan nakadapa nang lawas kan victima.

Igwa siya nin mga tinagaan sa lawas, na iyong naging causa kan saiyang kagadanan.

An sabi ni Regie Sumalinog, an sobrino kan victima, mayo siyang naheling na tawo sa lugar na pwedeng iyo an kag gibo kan krimen.

Nagtitiwis pa si dugo sa lawas kan victima kan abotan kan sobrino, kaya dinara pa kuta sa Rural Health Unit kan Dimasalang, Masbate.

Alagad, an sabi kan doctor na nagheling kan mga lugad kan victima, makuri an tama sa lawas asin sa payo, na iyo an ikinagadan.

P7.7-M worth of shabu confiscated in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY 12/ 3/ 17 Bicol Standard) - Alleged big time suppliers of methamphetamine hydrochloride, more popularly known as shabu, were arrested by the agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agengy (PDEA), according to the report released by Christian Frivaldo, PDEA Bicol Chiet.

The prohibited substance is valued at P7.7 million and was confiscated in a buy-bust operation here Saturday evening.’

PDEA agents, the reports say, arrested Ismael Onsad, alias “Opaw,” who was carrying at least one kilo of suspected shabu worth P6.9 million.

His companion, identified as Angelo Ariraya was also arrested in possession of 150 grams of drugs, with an estimated street value of P750,000.

The two suspects (Onsas and Ariraya) were arrested at Purok 2m Barangay Oro Site, here.

The PDEA operatives also said that the place where they were apprehended was being used as their hideout, and could be where they have been disposing the illegal drugs, Frivaldo said.

In the same report, it was revealed that the undercover agents of PDEA have been conducting surveillance operation since October this year.

The arrested suspects were also pinpointed by the witnesses as the major supplier of drugs in Albay.


Celebrating creation: Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

by Melissa Villa-Real Basmayor

The declaration of the name of the pop-up art fair Guibo Mi Yan as a statement of what one can do is bursting with pride. Paradoxically, however, the event did not have any iota of arrogance, and rather a sense of humility, at least to me who was drawn into their unassuming, approachable, and friendly setup at the entrance of Tugawe Cove Café, Robinson’s Place Naga on the afternoon of December 2.

In small tables only large enough to display a handful of zines, art prints, stickers, necklaces, tote bags, keychains, and a plethora of other quirky items, the local artists from Naga City, Camarines Sur, and even Albay, the artists gamely talked about their creative processes, signed their works, and even posed for selfies with fans. While waiting for buyers or in between conversations, some artists took the time to doodle on paper or on their devices. Meantime, others acted as the dutiful social media influencers that they are by posting photos and videos as the event unfolded.

Each artist brought his or her personality into the setup. Isabella Oropesa had miniature easels on her table and a giveaway for those who purchased above a certain price, while Four-Eyed Wonder gave visitors to her table a chance to win her merchandise. Bem Zenit’s table was aglow with fairy lights, illuminating her resin necklaces and rings, and Ryan Jay Avila’s table had a small musical carousel that matched the color palette of his digital illustrations. Karen of Sweet Cheeks brought her two precious children who greeted customers with their adorable smiles and giggles. And apart from having a number of zines, John Leir Castro and Krizzia Esperanza’s table had original paintings whose prices one can decide on, for a minimum of P100. Jasper Gomez and Imagininja had both illustrated zines and prints on show.

In other words, the event was perfectly Instagrammable, and instantly inspiring even for people who claim to have no artistic sense. Not surprisingly, the event drew in not only the expected millennials, but also people from the older crowd. After all, appreciation for art knows no age, especially with the level of skill and creativity the participating artists have, which also included—apart from those already mentioned—  Yvette DucutAnjo Arandela, husband-and-wife team Jay and Ahj Salvosa, and blogger The Indy Miss.

I fervently hope there would be succeeding Guibo Mi Yan pop-up fairs. I would suggest a larger and more conspicuous venue where more artists, from the six provinces of the region can convene. I also urge the government and private organizations to back this project as it supports local makers and furthers arts and culture. Perhaps to attract more to take part in the event, I would also suggest performances by local artists, talks, and demos.

All in all, Guibo Mi Yan was a celebration of Bicolano artistry and craftsmanship, a rare and valuable opportunity for makers and art enthusiasts to come together and engage in conversation. The event supports what is possibly a kind of cosmogony for the digital age, where people with exceptional skills and extraordinary passion participate in the act of creation.

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Guibo Mi Yan pop-up art fair in Naga City

Melissa Villa-Real Basmayor is the Editor-in-Chief of Bicol Standard, the region’s most-read and fastest-growing news source. A former Humanities instructor, her creative works (paintings, illustrations, and poetry) have been part of various visual art exhibits and publications.

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