Saturday, January 12, 2019

P340K worth of shabu seized from couple in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- A couple, both 21 years old, were arrested earlier today after they were found in possession of more or less P340,000 worth of illegal drugs.

Identified as Jude Lizano y Alegre, of San Miguel St., San Felipe, and Romelyn Banday-Lizano, of Magarao, Camarines Sur, the couple was renting a boarding house at Zone 1, Barangay Calauag, this city, the Naga City police said.

Police operatives were able to buy around 100 grams of suspected shabu from the couple at noontime.

They will be facing charges in connection with the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Gov Cua slapped with six-month preventive suspension

VIRAC, Catanduanes (Bicol Standard) – Vice Governor Shirley Abundo confirmed to the Bicol Standard that she will assume as Acting Governor of Catanduanes effective today (Jan. 11) following the six-month preventive suspension of Gov. Joseph Cua by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Abundo revealed that she was shocked by this development.

“Nagulat ako noong pinapirma ako ng DILG kanina,” she said.

It was Provincial Director Uldarico Razal who handed her a copy of the order to assume office earlier today, she said.

Razal was accompanied by several officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) who were sent to Catanduanes to serve the suspension order, together with the order to assume office.

"Pursuant to Sec. 46 of RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, and in compliance to DILG Region V unnumbered memorandum dated January 11, 2019, Vice Gov. Shirley Abundo formally and officially assumed the Office of the Governor after Gov. Joseph C. Cua was meted with preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman for six months after a case filed against the governor for abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, dishonesty, and grave misconduct by a private person," reads the letter signed by Atty. Anthony C. Nuyda, Regional Director of DILG Bicol.

The suspension stemmed from an administrative complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman by Rey Mendez, a resident of Virac town.

Cua allowed Bato Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez to use a parcel of land owned by the provincial government without the authority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

In the complaint, it was said that ER Construction, owned by Rodriguez, used the parcel of land as temporary barracks while undertaking the construction of drainage projects in this town.

Abundo is running for re-election under UNA, with Gov. Cua as the gubernatorial candidate.
Due to the assumption to office of Abundo as Acting Governor, topnotcher Board Member Rafael Zuniga will assume office as Acting Vice Governor.

Meanwhile, the legal team of Cua will reportedly file a motion for reconsideration and study other possible legal remedies.

Cua in his official statement said that he was saddened by the suspension, which came a few months before the elections.

Cua explained: "Adyan po an sakuyang dakulang respeto bilang sarong lider na gatubod sa hustisya nin satuyang gobyerno. Sa saday na pidaso nin parking area na pagsadiri nin gobyerno, dai man po dapat ipagkuripot bilang sarong lider sa satuyang mga konstituwentes. Kun an satuyang pagkamatinabang katukal an siring na rimalaso, daing rason na dai man ako magmundo asin makulgan maski ngani bako bilang lider kundi maski na sana bilang ordinaryong Catandunganon."

He also appealed to the constituents for their continued support and understanding.

DepEd chief backs creation of disaster management department

PIA photo

MANILA -- Following the onslaught of tropical depression “Usman,” Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has welcomed the proposal in Congress to create a Department of Disaster Management.

Presenting the emerging challenges in disaster risk reduction and mitigation before fellow members of the Cabinet during a situation briefing last January 4 in Pili, Camarines Sur, Briones underscored the need to facilitate the passage of the bill, creating a separate department on natural disaster.

“The financial, organizational, and administrative requirements for dealing with natural disasters cannot be managed by the government alone. All sectors of society have to be mobilized and activated to help ensure the safety of lives and the continuity of education,” she said.

Briones said it is high time for the government and the public to transform the country’s approach to the reduction and management of disaster risks in the face of a continuously changing climate.

“In previous years, DepEd schools were damaged by strong winds brought about by tropical cyclones [and] we have been busy preparing for the perfect storm. In Metro Manila, we are bracing for the perfect earthquake. We better prepare for the perfect flood,” Briones added.

She said although “Usman” was technically described as a tropical depression, its resulting floods and landslides left extensive damage to school buildings and facilities in affected areas.

Repair and replacement of damaged facilities due to “Usman,” typhoons “Ompong” and “Rosita” are estimated to use up DepEd’s entire PHP2-billion Quick Response Fund (QRF) for 2019.

She also cited that such damage demands enormous budget for slope protection, higher elevation, or transfer of building sites. However, DepEd has funds for site titling but none for site acquisition.

As floods and landslides happen with greater frequency and inflict severe damage to property, facilities, and equipment even without strong winds as measured by warning system, Briones also called on the Cabinet to consider the policy implication of this irreversible trend and make the necessary recommendations to the President.

“We have seen this in Guinsaugon [Southern Leyte], Biliran, Leyte, Quezon, Los Baños [Laguna], Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan, as well as in Lanao del Norte,” she noted.

Briones also proposed the review of protocols for government action before, during, and after natural disasters -- case in point is the public mindset of relying on typhoon signals as basis for assessing potential danger to life and property, which needs to be corrected through sustained public communication and education. (DepED PR)

Walk, rally, covenant-signing for peaceful polls slated in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – A Unity Walk, Interfaith Prayer Rally, and Peace Covenant-Signing in preparation for the midterm elections will be held at Plaza Quezon, Elias Angeles Street, this city on Sunday (Jan. 13) starting 6 a.m.

SPO2 Tobias S. Bongon III, Spokesperson of the Naga City Police Office told the media that this is part of the aggressive efforts of the Philippine National Police as a deputized agency of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in working towards peaceful polls.

These activities will be conducted simultaneously in other police provincial offices across the nation to drumbeat the significance of the upcoming elections and herald the start of the election period.

Invited to attend are local election post candidates, who will recite an integrity pledge and sign a covenant.

Also expected to participate in the activity are multi-sectoral stakeholders from government agencies, civic and non-government organizations, religious groups, and the academe.

Roman Catholic, Muslim, and Christian prayers will be recited in the spirit of inter-faith cooperation.

White doves will also be released to symbolize peace.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cam Sur Vice Gov Peña resigns

PILI, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) – Camarines Sur Vice Governor Fortunato “Ato” Peña confirmed today that he has resigned due to “personal and family reasons.”

He told the Bicol Standard that he will submit his resignation to the Office of the President and expects that the same will be accepted.

In such case, the resignation will be effective on February 28, 2019, he said.

Topnotcher Board Member Romulo “Mulo” Hernandez of the second congressional district will assume as Vice Governor by operation of law on March 1, 2019, Peña explained.

“Even if I am no longer Vice Governor, I will still serve the province either in my private or any official capacity,” he said.

Peña, who served for three terms, thanked the Villafuerte family for their support of his political career.

He also expressed his gratitude to the constituents for giving him the opportunity to serve Camarines Sur.

He said that among his accomplishments was the ISO certification of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which meant that the system is at par with international standards.

The Provincial Ordinances, he added, are now codified with corresponding translation into the local language.

Inside sources say that Peña is eyeing reappointment as Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary of Camarines Sur.

Said position is presently vacant.

Meantime, Hernandez told the Bicol Standard that he is ready to assume office as Vice Governor once the position is vacant.

“My assumption to office as Vice Governor will interrupt my term as Board Member. Hence, if I win in the elections again, it will be my first term as Board Member,” Hernandez said.


Monday, January 7, 2019

DOLE earmarks P10-M aid for workers displaced by 'Usman' in Bicol

PILI, Camarines Sur - An initial amount of P10 million has been earmarked by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the emergency employment of workers displaced by Tropical Depression (TD) Usman in Bicol Region.

“As mentioned by our Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III during the situation briefing, the said amount is intended to provide around 3,000 affected and displaced workers and their families with immediate short-term income support under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD),” said Alvin M. Villamor, Regional Director of DOLE RO V.

Under the TUPAD program, beneficiaries will be provided with emergency employment in the form of community work with a minimum salary of P305 a day for 15 days.

According to Atty. Villamor, there is an on-going rapid profiling of displaced workers in the affected provinces, however, the agency prioritizes the areas of Sagñay in Camarines Sur and Tiwi in Albay, which were adversely affected by landslides and floods brought by TD Usman.

“These affected workers are mostly farmers and farm workers who reside near the slopes of mountainous areas of Sagñay, Camarines Sur and Tiwi, Albay, which really need immediate assistance by giving them temporary employment while still coping with the devastation brought by TD Usman,” he said.

Villamor added that the agency is looking into the possibility of providing regular livelihood to the affected families of displaced workers through DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) to help them recover from the damages of the TD.

“We are ready to augment assistance through emergency employment from the regular TUPAD fund to those families affected by the calamity who may fall short from the list of priority worker-victims,” he said.

In addition, the families of active OFWs affected by calamity will be provided with P3,000 worth of assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) while P1,500 will be given to the families of inactive OFWs.

“DOLE is here to aid the affected families, but we can not do it alone. We have to do this through convergence with the local government units, government agencies, private sectors, and cooperation of the people,” he encouraged.

Villamor joined President Duterte, Secretary Bello and Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) on Friday during the situation briefing led by the President together with other Cabinet Secretaries in Pili, Camarines Sur last January 4. (JVEG)

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