LOCAL PDEA WINS AGAIN IN THE LEGAL FRONT

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Benguet

Camp Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad - The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) won again in the legal front with the Court’s recent promulgation of life term verdict to a 23-year old notorious marijuana dealer from Kapangan, Benguet.

Jun S. Naubo was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, specifically for Sale of Dangerous Drugs, and sentenced to suffer Life Imprisonment and to pay a fine of Five Million Pesos. The judgment was rendered last August 11, just a little over a year and four months after his arrest, in an eight-page Decision by Hon. Antonio C. Reyes, the Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 61, First Judicial Region, Baguio City.

“In sum, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties has not been controverted by the accused; hence, this Court is bound to uphold it. The defense had failed to prove that in testifying against them, these witnesses were motivated by reasons other than the duty to curb the sale of prohibited drugs. There is no proof of any ill motive or odious intent on the part of the PDEA agents to impute falsely such a serious crime against herein accused”, a latter paragraph of the Court Decision reads.

Naubo was apprehended at 12:30 at high noon of April 6, 2009 during an anti-narcotic buy-bust operation by the PDEA – CAR at a bus station in barangay Kagitingan of Baguio City. He sold four blocks of dried marijuana fruiting tops to a drug law enforcement agent of the unit, who acted as a poseur-buyer. The marijuana blocks approximately weigh a total of four kilos,worth around a hundred thousand pesos .( PDEA-CAR)

Camp Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad- Marijuana plants with an approximate overall value amounting to PhP13,380,000.00 were eradicated recently during a three-day anti-drug operation in Benguet.

The yields were in the forms of 57,200 full-grown marijuana and 48,500 marijuana seedlings. These were destroyed in six different cultivation sites having an estimated entire land area of 1.2625 hectares.

Additionally, dialogues and consultations were undertaken, and information on ill effects of marijuana use, legal implications of marijuana production and trading, participation of the community in the enforcement of the drug law and other related issues were disseminated by the operatives to the barangay residents.

The anti-narcotic operating units were composed of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – Cordillera Administrative Region’s Benguet Special Enforcement Team, Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company and the Kibungan Municipal Police Station.

Afore-said marijuana eradication was carried out at sitios Mocgao, Amlawa and Napkong, all in barangay Badeo, Kibungan, Benguet, and in Bakun Central of Bakun, Benguet last August 26 to 28. ( PDEA-CAR)

CAMP DANGWA, BENGUET:   The PNP Scout Class 17-2010 composed of 72 Police Officers 1 (PO1) finally completed their training on Special Counter Insurgency Operation Unit Training (SCOUT) at the Camp Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet that started on June 26, 2010 until September 1, 2010.Regional Public Safety Battalion Commander PSSUPT ERNESTO GAAB, was the Course Director during the duration of the said training.

Meanwhile, PCSUPT VILLAMOR A BUMANGLAG, in his speech, congratulates the graduates and reiterates to the graduates the observance of the PNP Core Values.

He said further that, it is easy to become an expert on weapon proficiency than excelling in academic because you must have to learn and internalize it, especially on the core values.

In addition, he advised the graduates to carry on their job, improve their work performance because they are carrying the name of the PRO-COR and the Philippine National Police as well. ( PRO-COR)

Two female drug dealers, one of whom is 64 years old, were caught red-handed with near half million pesos worth of marijuana bricks in a Controlled Delivery anti-drug operation in Benguet last February 7.

The anti-drug operation was successfully accomplished by joint drug law enforcement officers of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – Cordillera Administrative Region, Kibungan Municipal Police Station and Benguet Police Provincial Office, owing to the very indispensable assistance rendered to them by a young confidential informant, who had been unsuspectingly serving as courier between the source of the contrabands and the apprehended go-betweens.

The arrested marijuana traders were named as Dominga Madino Bokilis alias “Dominga Madino Valdez”, 49, married, high school graduate, native of Buguias, Benguet and resident of Bato, Long-long, La Trinidad, Benguet; and Isabel Ageb-eb Takayeng alias “Nora Tolyaden”, 64, single, native of Bontoc, Mountain Province and resident of No. 71 Purok 3, Kias, Baguio City. Both work as vegetable vendors as front to their illegal trade. In fact, the intelligence officers and investigation agents were nearly fooled by the duo’s skillfulness in lying. What’s more, they have utterly refused to be taken with photographs and fingerprints, and to sign the Waiver of Rights under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, even in the presence of their lawyer, who was thoroughly explaining to them the need for the booking, specifically the mug shots and fingerprint specimens, and for the Affidavit of Waiver.

Meanwhile, the confidential informant revealed that this is actually his third time to act as courier for Bokilis and Takayeng. He had been told by the supplier that he (the informant) would just be delivering packages of banana. But he became curious on what kind of bananas were those in the package after the first successful delivery, where he received a fee amounting to PhP1,500.00, which is rather high-priced if he is just delivering ordinary bananas. So, on his second delivery, he peeked at the contents of the package, where he found out that in between the bananas were bricks of marijuana. Thus, before his next delivery, he finally resolved to notify the authorities.

As early as five o’clock in the morning of February 7, 2010 at Kibungan, Benguet, an undercover drug law enforcer rode the bus bound for Baguio City , which was then conveying the package of contrabands.

Accordingly, the hot parcel was collected by the informant in front of a store at Acop, Tublay, Benguet, where the undercover policeman and his fellow drug law agents met personally, for the first time, with the informant.

The contents of the parcel were subsequently verified and, indeed, it had six bricks of marijuana fruiting tops in it, placed in between unripe bananas.

A short pre-operation briefing was consequently undertaken by the anti-narcotics operatives with the informant.

At around 2:30 that Sunday afternoon, Bokilis and Takayeng were immediately arrested after paying the informant his delivery fee at their usual meeting place in Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet. Yesterday, February 8, 2010, a criminal case for Violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) was filed against the two before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Benguet, docketed under IS No. 10B-0122.

The seized marijuana fruiting tops in brick form have a total volume of 16 kilos, priced by the Dangerous Drugs Board at a sum of about four hundred thousand pesos.

BAGUIO CITY – They articulated separately but sang the same tune, save for one.

Development of the Athletic Bowl; sprucing up of Burnham Park; renovation of the Baguio Convention Center (BCC); purchase of the ‘Tree Park’ near BCC… name it, P652-million is enough to answer for ‘em all.

Thus, declared members of the City Finance Committee (CFC) last week as they joined city legal officer (CLO) Melchor Rabanes’ formula leading the way out of Baguio ’s road to perdition, starting with the appropriation of P13-million in court fees.

The formula: file a collection suit against the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) to collect the city’s P652-million in rent shares from the operation of the bourgeoisie tourism estate.

City administrator Peter Fianza, treasurer Thelma Manois, accountant Antonio Tabin, assessor Augustus Medina, and planning coordinator Arturo Orig welcomed the CLOs legal gambit.

The lone cynic: city budget officer Leticia Clemente.

Earlier, Rabanes took the bull by its horns issuing a January 22 city demand to BCDA for payment of P652.6-millions in lease shares from the development of Camp John Hay (CJH).

This, following Resolutions 410-2009 and 513-2009, approved by the council and mayor Reinaldo Bautista late last year. The twin measures authorized the CLO to demand payment and to commence legal action in case BCDA defaults.

Manois said, “The amount if paid in full is enough to solve all city woes… I would go for collection for the good of the city.”

She bared a team of fiscal managers went down to Manila last December to reconcile apparently conflicting computation formulas between the city and BCDA.

However, the city was not apprised of the BCDA-CJHDevCo contracts amending the original agreement approved by the city through Resolution 362-1994 upon which the city’s computation of its 25-percent lease shares are based.

Resolution 362-1994 likewise laid down 19-conditionalities in the formulation by BCDA of the master plan for John Hay.

Manaois added, “As a result of BCDA’s failure to give a copy of the revised lease agreement, we were not able to reach a compromise vis-à-vis the computation.”

“We have not heard from them ‘til now.”

Rabanes maintains, with the 19-conditionalities in place, BCDA and CJHDevCo endowed the city vested rights over a 25-percent of the lease actually paid by CJHDevCo to BCDA which both parties cannot just amend without city blessings.

It could be remembered in a June 30, 2009 letter by CJHDevCo chief operating officer Alfredo Yniguez III to Bautista and the city council claimed CJHDevCo was never remiss on its remittances to BCDA.

The CLO maintained, CJHDevCo would not ask for debt restructuring if it were capable of remitting promptly to BCDA.

Manaois revealed, after September 2009, CJHDevCo has not been able to remit to BCDA, bolstering Rabanes’ observations.

Fianza, Tabin, Orig, and Medina meanwhile said they have Rabanes’ declaring a collection suit is a “long time coming.” For them, the city has done enough diplomacy.

The claimed the amount should be collected by all means.

Tabin said, “It can lead to impact projects like purchase of lots outside the central business district for northbound and southbound vehicles.”

For Orig garbage and barangay projects listed by the Local Development Council may finally realize sooner.

“The legal officer is our acknowledged expert… I believe in him,” he added.

Medina bolstered Tabin and Orig’s claims adding, “A P13-million filing fee as against the possibility of collecting P652-million in debts due the city is a fair gamble.

Fianza for his part grinned, “The suit should have been filed a long time ago.”

Meantime, lone cynic Clemente said, “We can insist BCDA and CJHDevCo should not compromise our share… Thing is, we are not party to their agreement.”

“We can file a collection suit but we may end up losing more.”

She added she is not in favor of a suit but if becomes the official stand of the city, then that’s the only time she would give support.

Pundits in City Hall observed nil P13-million in filing fees indicated in the CLOs budget.

They said, if the council really wants it, that is the only time the CFC can re-allocate the budget from the proposed 2010 budget.

San Fernando City, La Union – With the impending El Niño phenomenon that is starting to cause alarm as level of water in major irrigation systems in the country slowly inch its way to critical level, the Department of agriculture is not taking any chances of being caught unprepared for whatever ill effects El Niño has to the whole agriculture sector which is expected to influence the country’s climate through the first half of the year.

The DA Regional Office here, as early as July of last year, has already made consultation dialogues and meetings to form an action plan and devise mitigating measures with corresponding budget to brace the region from severe production loss due to El Niño.

Initial step taken by the office is the identification of areas in the region vulnerable to drought and which is likely to suffer the most, thus, focus of intervention should be prioritized.

The National Irrigation Administration estimated an area of 13, 238 hectares vulnerable to El Niño phenomenon for the dry season of 2009 to 2010. However, a follow-up inventory and data validation for vulnerable areas is being made by the DA office, and as of January 19, 2010, out of the 86,000 hectares target of planting for the region for the dry cropping season, about 10,000 hectares has remained not planted and this would likely be the ones to suffer impact of the impending El Niño should late planting be made.

Of the four provinces of the region, considering the area, Pangasinan remains to have the most area vulnerable to drought.

Other mitigating measures being readied to lessen the impact of El Niño in the income of farmers are the provision of cash crop seeds and corn seeds as substitute to rice crop; distribution of STWs especially at identified vulnerable areas; and the possibility of providing premium funding for crop insurance of farmers. Cloud seeding has not been considered by the region as there are present crops that would be adversely affected should this be carried out like mangoes that are already on flowering stages and tobacco.

Other measures put forward aside from the inventory of STWs, is for NIA to consistently conduct monitoring of irrigation systems and look into actual situation that needs repair and rehabilitation.

An intensified information dissemination campaign is also one strategy sought through media briefings and the region’s GMA-Rice School On the Air radio program to give advisory to farmers regarding measures they could take and adopt to help them in their production during El Niño. Other suggestions made is for farmers to plant early maturing rice varieties such as PSB RC 82 and Rc 160 and varieties that are more tolerant to drought. IEC materials on El Niño phenomenon are also distributed as part of the advocacy campaign.

KALAHI Karaban rolls in Pangasinan

Posted: February 8, 2010 in Pangasinan

URBIZTONDO, Pangasinan (5 Feb)  – Greatly devastated by flood waters brought by the recent typhoons, barangay Bayaoas in this town is again “flooded”,this time thru  help and assistance coming from various government and non-government agencies.

The KALAHI Karaban , short for Kapit- bisig Laban sa Kahirapan, opened its doors to the poorest of the poor with the localized ‘GATE to Progress’ program. GATE stands for the Pangasinan words Gamuray Aliguas tan Talongggaring Ed Ekonomiya diad Pangasinan. Interestingly, the initials are the same as that of the governor’s name.

Speaking at the opening ceremonies yesterday, Governor Amado Espino,Jr. urged the regional and provincial officers of various line agencies present in the caravan to seriously implement the government’s poverty reduction program.

“Ang pakiusap ko, kahit 50 percent man lang ng lahat ng programang minungkahi natin ay magawa natin,” Espino said.

He said laziness and ignorance must be eradicated  and people should get out from their “non-thinking –of- the- future attitude”

The provincial government spread several strategies to  reduce and fight poverty and bring the government to the people like  job placement, livelihood assistance, technology transfer, quality and affordable health care, agriculture and fishery development, water and sanitation development, peace and order, socialized housing, investment promotion,  environmental protection and upgrading of infrastructures.

Regional agencies signed the declaration of commitment for barangay Bayaoas  as they promised to deliver the projects and support stipulated in the commitment plan.

Barangay Captain  Ireneo Aquino was overwhelmed with the outpour of assistance and support given by the agencies concerned.

Dr. Enrie Mendoza, presidential assistant for North Luzon and chair of the regional KALAHI convergence group  said  in his closing remarks that  the KALAHI   Karaban  has been continuously conducted since 2001 to support President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s  programs to fight and reduce poverty in the countryside. It is being  done to  implement the provisions of the Social Agenda Law or Republic Act 8425. (PIA-Pangasinan ).