Philippine News Posts

Showing posts from December, 2018

Use, sale of firecrackers closely watched in Bicol

PH banking system resilient amid external concerns

MANILA -- The Philippine banking system has remained fundamentally strong despite having its share of challenges over the years, and 2018 proved to be no exception.Its resiliency has been time-proven and has been cited by several rating agencies, as well as research firms, as among the strongest globally.Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said the country’s banking system “remained robust and continued to exhibit strong capital position and sustained growth in core earnings.”Citing BSP data, Fonacier told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that industry’s assets expanded by 11 percent year-on-year and totaled to PHP16.239 trillion as of end-October this year.These assets were primarily funded by deposits, which grew 9 percent at the end of the third quarter this year, she said.“The expansion of the banking system’s assets was evident in the broad-based growth of the total loan portfolio (TLP) across various borrower and industry types,” she said.At the end…

2 NPAs die in Agusan-Bukidnon border clash

MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon -- Two communist rebels died following an encounter with government troops along the boundary of Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon provinces on Monday (Dec. 31), a military official said.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, commander of the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB), said the firefight erupted after the troops belonging to the 8IB and the 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company "sneaked" into the New People's Army (NPA) hideout in Barangay Binicalan, San Luis town, Agusan del Sur.

The soldiers recovered two M14 rifles at the encounter site, where an undetermined number of rebels are believed to have been wounded based on the trail of blood left by the insurgents.

"As of press time, the troopers of 8th Infantry Battalion with the 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company are pursuing the terrorists who scampered after their hideout was overrun by the troops. The terrorists left their dead cohorts behind," a statement released by the 4th Infantry Divisio…

Duque cautions parents on kids’ use of firecrackers

Quiapo procession attracts millennials

MANILA -- Young Filipinos participated in the thanksgiving procession at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, on Sunday or exactly a week before the annual celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9, 2019.According to Msgr. Hernando “Ding” Coronel, rector of the Quiapo Church, many Filipino youth or the millennials attended the religious event, noting that it is a good sign since the incoming year is the Year of the Youth.“We noticed more millennials joining this year. This is a positive sign, since 2019 is the Year of the Youth,” he said in an interview on Monday.The Catholic priest said the procession started at 12 midnight and ended at 10 a.m.“The procession route covers the parish boundaries,” he added.Coronel said the procession went on smoothly and orderly, as he acknowledged the help of barangay and local government.“We tried to make the thanksgiving procession more solemn. The beginning and the conclusion was more prayerful and o…

2 killed, 28 hurt in Cotabato City mall blast

COTABATO CITY [UPDATE]-- A powerful blast that ripped into the facade of a mall here killed two persons and wounded scores of others around 2 p.m. Monday (December 31), police said.

The bomb, believed to be from an improvised explosive device (IED), went off in front of the South Seas Mall along the busy Don Rufino Alonzo Avenue, where people are in a shopping rush on New Year's eve.

Two of the victims, Jonathan Tasic Torrebiano and Meriam Kali Ulama, were declared dead on arrival at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC).

Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., deputy police director, said the blast at the mall's baggage counter area was powerful enough to injure even the roadside vendors and motorists passing along the street.

Chief Insp. Ruel Zafra said a second bomb found at the baggage counter on the second floor was disarmed by military bomb disposal experts.

Galgo said bomb experts were convinced that the IED was similar to those set off in other areas of Maguindanao in the pas…

Tagle to faithful on New Year: ‘Serve, so there will be peace’

MANILA — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Monday urged the people to serve as they welcome the first day of the new year.“Let us bring back the true meaning of service in our families, in schools, in business, in government, in the Church, everywhere,” he said in his New Year message posted on Facebook.The Cardinal said there will be peace in resurrecting the true essence of service.“It is saddening that it is because of the lack of real service, there are conflicts. In all levels, what we want is for a peaceful new year,” Tagle said.The head of the Archdiocese of Manila added that one being available to other people would result in peace.“As long as there is true and real service, one that is not meant for oneself only and not by taking advantage of others, there will be peace,” he said.Tagle issued the message in line with the recent call of Pope Francis for peace by giving service in its truest essence.People all over the world will celebrate the first day of 2019 o…

CPP-NPA failed due to lack of credibility: national artist

MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) has failed to attract the masses with its ideology due to its lack of credibility and blindness of reality, National Artist F. Sionil Jose said.In an opinion column published by Jose in the Philippine Star and in his online blog, he said this lack of touch on reality "doomed" the communist party."Wide social divide, as evidenced by widespread poverty, is in itself the "objective reality" that every revolutionary must understand. From the very beginning, however, the Communist Party and the NPA were blind to this and to the other objective realities in this country. This willful blindness doomed the Party," he said.Jose noted the "supreme irony" of the CPP-NPA collecting revolutionary taxes from businessmen."By exchanging the revolutionary tax for protection, the NPA has emasculated the very foundation of the revolution itself and has joined the ranks of the ve…

Private sector workers must get double pay on Jan. 1: DOLE

MANILA -- Private sector workers reporting for work on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, New Year’s Day, will receive at least double of their salary for the day, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reminds employers to observe the proper payment of wages for employees for the said day, which is a regular holiday.According to Labor Advisory No. 21, an employee who worked on the said holiday shall be paid 200 percent of his or her wage for that day for the first eight hours.It added that an additional 30 percent of his or her hourly rate on said day shall also be given for overtime work.For the employee who did not work, he or she shall be paid 100 percent of his or her salary.And if the employee worked during a regular holiday that also falls on his or her rest day, he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her basic wage of 200 percent.They are also entitled to an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate on the sai…

Illegal firecracker vendor wounded in Bulacan raid

BOCAUE, Bulacan-- A 50-year-old vendor was shot and injured during a police raid against illegal firecracker sellers in Barangay Binang 1st in this town Sunday afternoon.Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna identified the suspect as Blandino Cao, a resident of Sitio Bihunan in the said barangay, who is also said to be an illegal firecracker manufacturer."Investigation showed that the suspect, together with three others, was seen selling illegally manufactured firecrackers to customers along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Binang 1st, which was reported to Bocaue Police Station," Bersaluna said.He said that Supt. Amado Mendoza, Bocaue police chief, immediately responded and upon arrival of police personnel, the suspect ran toward Sito Bihunan together with the three other vendors.“While being chased by the responding authorities, suspect Blandino drew his firearm and aimed towards the police personnel. As self-defense, the suspect was shot on his leg, captured a…

8 fireworks-related injuries reported, 71% lower than in 2017

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan -- The Department of Health (DOH) here has reported eight cases of fireworks-related injuries (FWRIs) in Cagayan Valley as of 6 a.m. yesterday, Dec. 31.The DOH Epidemiology Bureau said data showed a 71 percent drop or 20 cases lower in the number of FWRIs cases compared to last year of 28 cases in the same period.In its press release, Fireworks-Related Injury Surveillance 2018 report indicated no case of stray bullet injury, death, and firecracker ingestion as of yesterday.All eight(8) cases were males, aged 6 to 69 years. Majority of them were active users and two(2) sustained eye injury. Their injuries were blamed on boga (37%), luces (25%), bawang (13%), kwitis (13%), and others (13%). Four(4) cases occured at home.The Cagayan province accounted for three(3) cases, one(1) case each for Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces, two(2) cases for Tuguegarao City and one(1) case for Santiago City.As of now, the Cauayan City and City of Ilagan (both in Isabela), the …

QC hailed as top Manila Bay 'clean up' performer

Makati nagbabala laban sa bawal na paputok

MAKATI CITY, Disyembre 31 (PIA) -- Muling nagbabala ang pamahalaang lungsod dito laban sa paggamit ng mga ipinagbabawal na paputok na maaaring nakalusot sa merkado ilang oras bago natin salubungin ang bagong taon.Sa mga post ng Makati sa official webpage at social media accounts nito, sinabi nitong mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ang mga sumusunod na paputok dahil sa peligrong dala nito sa mga gagamit: Piccolo, Super Lolo, Atomic Triangle, Large Judas Belt, Large Bawang, Pillbox, Bosa, Goodbye Philippines, Bin Laden, Mother Rocket, Lolo Thunder, Coke In Can, Atomic Bomb, Five Star, Pla-Pla, Giant Whistle Bomb, Kabasi, at  Watusi.Maaari naman ireport sa mga social media account ng Makati sa Facebook: MyMakatiVerified, Twitter: @Mayora_Abby, Instagram: mymakati, Youtube: MyMakati, at sa official website: sakaling may makitang gumagamit ng mga mapanganib at nakalalasong na paputok. (PIA-NCR)
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DILG CapDev Ace awardee honored

DILG-NCR steps closer to ISO Certification

Bicol disaster execs blame climate change for deadly landslides

LEGAZPI CITY -- The head of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol is blaming climate change for the disaster that recently struck the region, where 57 people died in landslides and flooding spawned by the low-pressure area (LPA) that has caused heavy rains here in the past two days.“Zero-casualty is our constant goal, but there are situations beyond our control -- the unusually heavy rains caused by climate change,” OCD Regional Director Claudio Yucot said in a phone interview on Monday.Yucot said there are disaster protocols being followed, such as warning, evacuation, and relief, but in the case of an LPA, aside from warning, there are no other disaster protocols to be carried out.He said that after the local weather bureau downgraded the storm warning signal 1 to an "LPA accompanied by the tail end of the cold front (TECF)," people were not expecting that this would bring heavy rains that would trigger landslides and floods.“We have disaster protocol when it comes to…

NPA hit squad leader captured in Agusan Norte

SURIGAO CITY -- Authorities captured a New People's Army (NPA) leader allegedly involved in several high-profile killings in Agusan provinces, an Army official said Sunday.

Lt. Roel Maglalang, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 23rd Infantry Brigade, identified the NPA leader as Joaquin Madrinian, who was captured by a team of military and police personnel in the Agusan del Norte town of Carmen on Sunday.

Authorities confiscated a .45-caliber handgun, ammunition, a hand grenade, and several documents from the NPA leader during his arrest in Barangay Tagcatong, Carmen, around 4:30 a.m.

Maglalang described Madrinian, also known as "Commander Alto", as the leader of a Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the NPA, long known as the rebel group's urban assassination squad.

Maglalang said Madrinian has five standing warrants of arrest for multiple murder and other crimes connected to his activities with the NPA and is listed as the most wanted NPA "terror…

Residential real estate up 4.4% year-on-year in Q3: BSP

MANILA -- Residential real estate prices were higher by 4.4 percent year-on-year in Q3 2018 as the Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI) increased to 116.5 from 111.6 for the same quarter a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed in a statement over the weekend.Year-on-year (YoY) prices of townhouses, condominium units, and single detached housing units grew by 18.3 percent, 5.8 percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively. Similarly, prices of duplex units (which account for only 0.76 percent of total new housing units reported) also rose by 30.7 percent year-on-year. Quarter-on-quarter, the RREPI edged lower by 0.6 percent.The RREPI measures the average change in prices of various types of housing units comprising of single detached house, duplex, townhouse, and condominium unit based on data from housing loans granted by universal, commercial, and thrift banks.The average residential property prices in both National Capital Region (NCR) and Areas Outside NCR (AONCR…

Biz groups optimistic as 2018 ends on stable note

MANILA -- Entrepreneurs have every reason to be optimistic about business prospects next year after the country's economy ended 2018 in much better shape, business leaders told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).International Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ICCP) founder and chairman Francis Chua said the economy faced headwinds in the early part of the year such as the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, rising world oil prices, inflation, and interest rates, and challenges in the tourism and agriculture sectors, among others.“We started the year with very high fuel price, high inflation,” said Chua.According to the Hamburg-based database firm Statista, the average Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil price for this year is at USD71.2 per barrel. This is the highest in four years as average crude oil price in 2015 was at just USD46.49 per barrel, USD40.68 per barrel in 2016, and USD52.51 per barrel in 2017.Industry…

Blast rocks front of Cotabato mall, dozens wounded

COTABATO CITY – At least a dozen people, including a four-year-old girl, were injured following an explosion in front of South Seas Mall along Don Rufino Alonzo Street here shortly before 2 p.m. Monday.Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., city police deputy director, said probers are still trying to determine if the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device or illegal powerful firecrackers that accidentally went off in the area.“We saw several people wounded and being rushed to the hospital,” he said. “We are still conducting a post-blast investigation,” Galgo said.According to Gurlie Frondoza, city tourism officer, eight of those injured were identified as Bai Sandra Ayunan, 16; Kutin Sedik, 65; Joey Api, 31; Tarhata Biruar, 43, Norlyn Biruar, 4; Marissa Torres, 49; Aida Dalandag, 58, all of Cotabato City; and also, Hamida Solaiman, 21, of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.The blast came about while the mall entrance was busy for the New Year shopping rush.Just outside the mall along Don Rufino…

Davao Region on track for P15-B investments

DAVAO CITY – Davao Region is on track to corner at least PHP15 billion in investments in 2018 despite martial law jitters, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Region 11 has already captured investment projects worth PHP14.8 billion as of January to November this year, DTI-11 Assistant Regional Director Edwin Banquerigo noted.

Of the total projects, majority are in Davao City worth PHP14.1 billion, followed by Davao del Norte at PHP687.4 million.

“This is an indication that the region is right for investment,” Banquerigo said during the agency's annual yearend briefing on December 21.

Banquerigo said concerns on martial law had initially spooked the business sector this year, but these proved to be a non-factor as more businesses remain bullish with Davao Region's economic potentials.

He said optimism for the region's business climate is expected to drive more investments well into 2019.

DTI-11 records show that based on the business name registr…

NoCot town's 'Lambat Bitag' nets 149 vehicles

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- The implementation of “Oplan Lambat Bitag” in Kabacan, North Cotabato this year has been successful with 149 vehicles impounded for various violations.

Chief Insp. Realan Mamon, Kabacan town police chief, said most of the vehicles were impounded due to the absence of license to drive by motorists and the lack or expired motor vehicle registration.

“The impounded vehicles consist of 120 motorcycles, 26 tricycles, and three multicabs,” Mamon said on Monday.

He said enforcement that started in January was primarily aimed at stopping incidents of carnapping of vehicles, mostly motorcycles, in the municipality.

The operation also included the implementation of other laws such as Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and Republic Act 10591 or Illegal Possession of Firearms and Explosives. (PNA)
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Zambo cops ordered to strictly enforce firecracker ban

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) has been tasked to ensure the strict enforcement of the firecracker ban ordinance for the New Year revelry in this city.

Ordinance 431-- also known as the Firecracker Ban Ordinance of 2014 -- prohibits the use, sale, possession, distribution, storage, and manufacture of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices" in the city.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has ordered Senior Supt. Thomas Joseph Martir, ZCPO director, to fully review the ordinance and ensure that cases -- even if the offending individuals are minors -- are recorded in the police blotter “to send a very important message and to prevent other incidents.”

Salazar maintained the ban should be enforced at all times, regardless of the occasion, and violators will be penalized.

The ordinance penalizes violators with a fine of not less than PHP1,000 but not more than PHP5,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than one year, or both.


Drive vs. smuggling, tax evasion shifts to high gear in 2018

MANILA -- The government continued to intensify its campaign against smuggling and tax evasion through the combined efforts of the Bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) in 2018.On the watch of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BIR spearheaded several raids on warehouses storing counterfeit cigarette brands, while the BOC intercepted undocumented shipments of rice, steel products, luxury cars and other assorted goods, the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement on Monday.The BIR, from January to November 2018, has seized 5,227 master cases of counterfeit cigarettes bearing various brands and affixed with counterfeit tax stamps.In 2018, the BOC, as of Dec. 19, has seized PHP9.271 billion worth of smuggled goods from various ports nationwide and filed 68 cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against suspected smugglers.The BOC has also revoked, suspended or canceled the customs accreditation of 126 importers and 15 customs brokers as part of the …

9 more fireworks-related injuries reported before New Year's Eve

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported nine more fireworks-related injuries (FWRIs) in Central Luzon, Ilocos, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.The FWRIs were recorded by 60 sentinel hospitals from 6 a.m. on Sunday until 5:59 a.m. on Monday. Six cases were recorded in Western Visayas while the rest of the regions had one case each. Only one of the nine cases was reported late.They involved males aged between 2 and 69, who played with fireworks banned by the government. They were given antibiotics, among others and were sent home.The health department began its fireworks-related injuries surveillance on Dec. 21.To date, there are a total of 55 FWRIs recorded. The figure includes the reported two cases of fireworks’ ingestion.Twenty-seven out of the total FWRIs happened on the streets; 25 took place at home, while the remaining three occurred in other places.Thirty-two cases suffered from blast or burn without amputation, whil…

DOH pushes for public health improvement in 2018

3 men survive vehicular crash in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY – Although they have to spend their New Year’s Eve in the hospital, three men remain thankful for cheating death when they jumped off their wayward truck which fell into a 90-foot deep cliff in Maguindanao Sunday.“At least we are alive,” truck driver Bobby Menez, 40, of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, said in his bed Monday at a government hospital here.Presence of mind made Menez alert his son, Ayvee and the cargo truck helper Goy Gullon, to abandon the truck as its brake system had malfunctioned and could no longer be controlled.As the trio landed in the concrete pavement of the highway, the truck fell off into a 90-foot deep cliff along the national highway in Timanan, South Upi, Maguindanao at past 12 noon Sunday.The truck was negotiating a downhill section of the highway when its brakes failed.“We no longer have brakes, jump, jump, the truck is heading to a cliff, jump,” Menez recalled telling his son and helper.Bobby said the truck was empty. They were on the way back to Le…

City folks share Rizal’s patriotism in Miss Universe 2018 win

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna -- This city, which takes national pride at being the birthplace of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, reflected on Sunday’s 122nd commemorative rites of the hero’s martyrdom as it also lauded reigning Miss Universe 2018 and the fourth Miss Philippines to win the crown, Catriona Gray, for demonstrating in the world stage an embodiment of patriotism as Rizal did.In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Larissa Malinao, head of the City Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Sports Development Division, said the city, Rizal’s birthplace, has always recognized Filipinos, who in one way or the other have helped in perpetuating the ideals, the life and works of Rizal, describing Gray’s performance in the international arena as laudable and remarkable in defining patriotism.She said Gray's feat and the costumes she donned during the pageant have been recognized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and in keeping with this year’s Rizal Day theme “Talino at …

DOJ asks Olongapo court to convict 4 Chinese for making drugs

MANILA -- State lawyers have asked the Olongapo City court to partially reconsider its ruling against four Chinese nationals convicted of drug possession charges but cleared in the charges of making shabu on a fishing boat converted into a drug lab off Subic.In an 11 page partial motion for reconsideration dated December 27, Department of Justice prosecutors urged Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of Olongapo Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 74, to convict the four -- Win Fai Lo, Shu Fook Leung, Kam Wah Kwok, and Kwok Tung Chan – on the drug manufacturing charges aside from the earlier sentence of life imprisonment, handed down by the court last December 7, for drug possession.The four Chinese nationals from Hong Kong were arrested on July 11, 2016 while aboard a boat anchored off Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales and yielded 467.8 grams of the prohibited substance.Aside from the life sentence, each of the four Chinese nationals were also slapped a fine of PHP5 million for possession …

Bersamin calls on court workers to improve judiciary in 2019

MANILA -- Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Monday urged court employees to work for significant improvements in the judiciary in the coming year."The new year signified a new beginning that we must fuse with a genuine effort for reformation and improvement for ourselves, our families, our work and our country. We in the judiciary are obliged to build on the positive undertakings of the past to bring about even more meaningful changes and make courts accessible, accountable, efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of the public," he said in a statement."We are committed to embark on new initiatives in accordance with our sacred task to promote justice and uphold the rule of law," the chief magistrate added.Bersamin, who was appointed last November by President Rodrigo Duterte to succeed retired Chief Justice Teresa Leonardo-De Castro, will lead the 15-man tribunal until he reaches the mandatory retirement age on October 2019."The year that was did test …

Grab users spent average of P7K for rides in 2018

MANILA -- Customers of ridesharing firm, Grab, spent an average of PHP7,000 in fares for their trips in 2018.This, as the company has traveled more than 920 million kilometers reaching destinations across the country this year.“Our most engaged users -- the top 5 percent -- spent an average of P4HP5,000 and did around eight times more trips than the average user,” Grab Philippines Country Head Brian Cu said in a statement over the weekend.“The uptake in demand for Grab rides this year reflects the Filipinos’ strong need for convenient and safe transportation solutions,” he added.Cu made the disclosure following Grab’s initiative to release to the public its report on the number of rides and their corresponding amounts for 2018.He said users may log on to the website: to view their booking history and accumulated amount spent for their trips.Cu vowed that Grab's management will continue to implement initiatives to improve the quality of its services, as i…

9 ARMM towns under ‘areas of grave concern’ for 2019 polls

COTABATO CITY -- Police authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have listed nine towns in the region, where violence are likely to happen in the upcoming 2019 elections.Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, ARMM police director, identified the towns - which the police have recommended to be placed under “hot spot” areas in the coming elections.The police listed them as “election areas of grave concern.”The nine towns are Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Lantawan, and Tipo-Tipo, all in Basilan; Marawi City and Sultan Dumalondong in Lanao del Sur; and Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, and Datu Unsay, all in Maguindanao.“The presence of armed men and private armed groups in the following areas had a history of election-related violence,” Mijares said in an interview by reporters here Monday.He added, however, that the number of areas under such category might increase, depending on the result of the weekly assessment conducted by both the police and the military.Supt. Aldr…

Manhunt on vs. killers of cop in Sultan Kudarat

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat -- Police personnel and elements of the Philippine Marines in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat intensified the manhunt against suspected drug personalities, who were believed to be behind the murder of a police officer on Saturday, December 29.Police Officer 3 Jeffrey Manalo, an intelligence operative of the Lebak municipal police office, was shot dead while conducting surveillance operations against drug peddlers in Barangay Purikay at about 10 a.m.Chief Insp. Randy Eliarda, Lebak town police chief, said Manalo informed him that he was on his way to Barangay Purikay to monitor activities of drug peddlers.“Minutes later, the police office received calls that a policeman was shot dead in Barangay Purikay, about three kilometers from the police station,” Eliarda told the Philippine News Agency during a phone interview Monday.Initial investigation revealed that motorcycle-riding suspects were last seen tailing the police officer, who was also driving his motorbike.Eliarda bel…

Metro Manila records 5 indiscriminate firing, 9 firecracker cases

MANILA — Five indiscriminate firing and nine firecracker incidents were reported in Metro Manila from December 21 up to 5 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head Police Director Guillermo Eleazar said on Monday (December 31).NCRPO covers the Manila Police District (MPD), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Northern Police District (NPD), Southern Police District (SPD), and Eastern Police District (EPD).Based on the NCRPO data, Eleazar said MPD recorded a stray bullet incident that wounded one person; and nine firecracker incidents that hurt nine people.There was no fire incident in Manila, he added.Eleazar ordered the five police district heads and the police chiefs in their areas to intensify the campaign against illegal firecrackers.The NCRPO chief said that 21 illegal firecrackers have been confiscated worth PHP3,170 but no one was arrested.Eleazar earlier called on the public to remain vigilant and promptly report any indiscriminate firing incide…

2018 a good year for PNP: Albayalde

MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the year 2018 proved to be a year of both great challenge and success for the PNP.“The greatest achievement of the year is best quantified in real numbers in terms of continuing significant decline of crime incidents, swift solution of most sensational cases and marked improvement in our capability to prevent and solve crime with greater discipline, professionalism and dedication in the ranks,” Albayalde said in his New Year’s message sent to reporters.Albayalde, the country’s 22nd PNP chief, who replaced Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa who retired last April, admitted that the PNP continued to struggle through the institutional and social obstacles that often got in the way of law enforcement and public safety mission.“The mission at hand was to sustain the gains of our campaign against illegal drugs and 'sensitising' other stakeholders within and outside of government to fully recognize the destruc…

 'Uniting' people through Mimaropa festivities

AFP welcomes New Year with resolve and hopes of peace

MANILA --- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is welcoming 2019 by showing its resolve to serve and protect the Filipino nation and with hopes that enduring peace and development would finally come to the country, AFP chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said Monday."Truly, 2018 has been a successful year for the Armed Forces as we fulfill our tasks within the national thrust towards just and lasting peace and development for the Philippines. As this year closes, the AFP will continue its resolve in serving the Filipino nation in achieving its mission of protecting the people and securing the state," Madrigal said in his New Year's message forwarded to reporters he added.Madrigal also expressed hopes that 2019 will finally realize the long cherished dream of peace and progress in all parts of the country."The AFP welcomes the year 2019 with great hopes of enduring peace and development for our nation. We have gone a long way treading the path of peace an…

ASG bandits release son of mayor in Zamboanga del Norte

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits have released the son of a town mayor they kidnapped over a year ago in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police said.The Sulu Provincial Police Office said that Jed Quimbo, 28, the son of Mayor Eddie Quimbo of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte, was released around 4 p.m. Sunday in Barangay Anuling, Patikul, Sulu.The police said Quimbo, a businessman, was handed over to his brother, Justin, and former Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan.The ASG bandits held Quimbo captive for one year, three months and 24 days.The police said Quimbo was taken to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical check-up and for debriefing later.The ASG bandits seized Quimbo in front of his store at the public market on Sept. 6, 2017 in Barangay Poblacion, Labason, Zamboanga del Norte.Quimbo was forced to board a van, which was found abandoned in Sitio Ulingan, Usokan, Labason.The police said Quimbo will be transported to the headquarters of the W…

Agri damage from ‘Usman’ now at P195-M

MANILA - - Damages and losses to agriculture due to Tropical Depression “Usman” (now a low pressure area) has reached PHP195.36 million as of 5 p.m. Sunday, according to the Department of Agriculture.The DA's Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DA-DRRM) Operation Center said that some PHP177.41 million in damage was recorded for palay crops alone, with 7,352 metric tons (MT) in potential volume production loss - affecting 8,844 hectares farm land in the provinces of Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Samar.The total number of rice farmers affected was 6,318.Damage to corn crops, on the other hand, also increased to PHP976,267 million with volume production loss of 11 MT.The areas affected were 563 hectares and 276 corn farmers in Albay, Camarines Sur, and Masbate provinces.For high value crops, the DA said some PHP16.97 million worth of fruit trees, assorted vegetables and root crops were damaged, with 1,132 MT volume production loss.The …

NDRRMC validating reports of 61 fatalities due to 'Usman'

MANILA --- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), through its Management of the Dead and the Missing (MDM) Cluster, is now validating reports that the inclement weather caused by Tropical Depression "Usman" has caused 61 fatalities in Regions V and VIII.This was bared by NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad in a statement forwarded late Sunday. Initial reports said that Region V had 50 fatalities while Region VIII had 11.Jalad said 18 persons are still reported missing in the two regions while another 12 were reportedly injured in MIMAROPA and Region V.The MDM Cluster is led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government."The NDRRM Operation Centers and Regional DRRM Operation Centers of the affected regions are still on alert status and are continously monitoring the on-going response efforts in the affected areas," the NDRRMC chief said.Meanwhile, 89 personnel from the Philippine National Police, the Department of Public …

'Usman' now LPA, but northeast monsoon affects Luzon

MANILA—While typhoon “Usman” weakened into a low pressure area ( LPA) on Sunday, the northeast monsoon continues to affect Luzon consistently for days now since last week.The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, Southern and Central Luzon will continue to experience cloudy skies, with light rains caused by the northeast monsoon.The weather bureau, in its latest 7 a.m. forecast on Monday, said that Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will likewise be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains, also due to the northeast monsoon or “amihan.”The Visayas and Mindanao are expected to have cloudy skies with isolated rain showers brought about by localized thunderstorms.Strong winds from the northeast to east produce rough coastal waters from the seaboards of Luzon, the eastern section of the Visayas and Mindanao, which will make venturing in small sea craft risky.Temperature i…

Banner stories of Manila's leading newspapers, Mon. Dec. 31, 2018

INQUIRER -- New Year whammy: fuel taxes going upMANILA BULLETIN -- 37 dead as 'Usman' batters Bicol, SamarPHILIPPINE STAR -- Usman death toll hits 57MANILA TIMES -- 'Usman' death toll climbs to 56MANILA STANDARD -- Floods, landslides kill 51
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Mayor attributes Dumaguete’s 2018 gains to unity

DUMAGUETE CITY -- Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo has cited numerous gains in 2018 of Dumaguete City, the provincial capital of Negros Oriental, in various fields that he attributed to the unity of city officials and the support of his constituents.“We have a lot of things to be thankful for. Most of all, we thank the Lord for a united city council (that) led to appropriation of measures that I targeted for the past two years,” said Remollo in an interview on Sunday, just a day before the year ends.As he summed up his administration’s accomplishments for this year, Remollo, who was elected mayor in 2016, vowed to finish different projects before his term ends middle of 2019.“The remaining six months in my administration will be all implementation of the projects of the city,” stressed Remollo, as he pointed out that the appropriations for these projects have already been approved by the city council, thus these will not be covered by the election ban period next year.“And so, we have rec…