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2 dead, 4 wounded in four heists

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

INCIDENTS of robbery-holdup in the city and province of Iloilo surged in the final days of 2009.

The latest victim was Alfonso Uy Jr., an egg trader from Passi City who was shot to death at Brgy. Agdahon Wednesday morning.

Uy and his three helpers were on their way back to Passi City proper from Calinog when 16 unidentified suspects onboard 8 motorcycles accosted them at Brgy. Agdahon.

The police said Erwin Alarba and John Paul Gardoce of the Alarba robbery-holdup group led the suspects. 

One of the suspects then shot Uy in the head resulting in his death. The robbers took away an estimated P20,000 cash and two cellphones from the victim.

On Monday morning, two unidentified suspects also tried to rob Gina Pedregoza also at Brgy. Agdahon. The suspects onboard a motorcycle blocked Pedregoza’s path and declared the heist. But Pedregoza fought off the robbers who shot her in her feet.

The suspects, who failed to get their targeted loot, fled from the crime scene.

Uriel Junio, a native of Misamiz Occidental and collector of a lending firm based in Negros Occidental died in the hands of a robber at Jaro, Iloilo City Monday evening.

Junio died of multiple stab wounds in his back and chest, according to the Jaro police.

Police investigation showed that Junio was driving his motorcycle near the Jaro small market at Brgy. Simon Ledesma when his unidentified back rider stabbed him repeatedly.

The suspect took away P30,000 and Junio’s two cellular phones. 

On December 26, a barangay captain from Bacolod City was wounded when robbers attacked his group in front of the Pototan public market.

Punong Barangay Marianito Yelo of Brgy. 35, Bacolod City and his helper Joselito Teñoso were having coffee at the market before buying pork.

Moments later, three persons approached Yelo and Teñoso and declared the heist. The suspects then shot Yelo’s shoulder and Teñoso’s body.

But the gunfire caught the attention of bystanders forcing the suspects to flee. Yelo’s P700,000 cash was intact.

S/Supt. Renato A. Gumban, Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) director, said they have identified the suspects in the heist, especially in the case of Alfonso Uy Jr.

Gumban said the robbers may have struck again after several months of hiatus to earn money for the holiday season.

Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr. ordered the IPPO to arrest the suspects in the robberies before they could wreak more havoc.

But Tupas has yet to issue a statement on the involvement of his political ally, Banate Mayor Carlos Cabangal, in the shooting to death of businessman Carmelino Bachoco last December 25.

Bachoco’s cousin, Rally Beljera, tagged Cabangal’s son Peter Paul as the gunman in the incident.

Beljera said Mayor Cabangal was present when Peter Paul shot him and Bachoco some 200 meters from the town’s police station.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

WESTERN Visayas’ top cop sees nothing wrong if police officials in Iloilo City receive money from a politician as long as they don’t pocket the cash.

This was the reaction of Chief Supt. Isagani R. Cuevas, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO-6), to reports that ranking officials of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) received cash from Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Raul M. Gonzalez Sr. last week.

Among those who went to Gonzalez’s home were ICPO Director Melvin Mongcal and the chiefs of the seven district police stations in the city.

Reports said the police officials received P20,000 cash from Gonzalez during the meeting-cum-Christmas party.  

The report ruffled the feathers of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas who is now mulling a revamp of the ICPO hierarchy.

Treñas, who will run for congressman against Rep. Raul T. Gonzalez Jr., said police officials should refrain from accepting gifts from politicians as these might affect their performance and decisions.

Treñas said he might seek the revamp before the election season begins next month.

But Cuevas said any public official can summon police officers to discuss peace and order matters.

“Public officials like Sec. Gonzalez can meet our officers to give instructions pertaining to peace and order such as illegal drugs and petty crimes. Any public official can do so,” Cuevas said.

As regards the report that ICPO officials received cash, Cuevas said he assumes that the money might be a form of logistical support to the police stations.

“Maybe the money was intended for fuel and other expenses. The station chiefs will have to make liquidation report on how they spent the money given to them,” he said.

But it would be a different story if police officials used the money for personal benefit.

“That’s against our policy especially that we are approaching election season. We prohibit our officers from accepting gifts from politicians,” Cuevas said.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE sole witness tagged a town mayor’s son as the gunman who shot to death a rice trader in Banate, Iloilo last Christmas Day.

Rally Beljera, a cousin and worker of slain trader Carmelino Bachoco, pointed to Peter Paul Cabangal, a son of Banate Mayor Carlos Cabangal, as the one who shot them.

C/Insp. Herbert Ballego, Banate police chief, said Beljera told them what happened in the evening of December 25.

Ballego quoted Beljera as saying that he and Bachoco were on their way home when a motorcycle overtook and stopped several meters ahead.

Beljera claimed that he saw Carlo Cabangal, another son of Mayor Cabangal, driving the motorcycle while Peter Paul was the back rider.

The witness also saw Mayor Cabangal, his son Jerson Cabangal and several identified persons following behind them.

Beljera said he saw Peter Paul draw a gun and shoot Bachoco in the chest and head.

When the rice trader fell, Peter Paul allegedly trained his pistol at Beljera and fired.

Beljera said he quickly escaped when a bullet grazed his abdomen and left his cousin who was already on the ground.

Ballego said Beljera was not sure if there was another gunman or if Bachoco was able to retaliate at their attackers.

Bachoco died of multiple gunshot wounds in his body from what is believed to be two gun calibers, according to the autopsy report of the PNP Criminal Laboratory.

The autopsy report said Bachoco were wounded by bullets compatible with a caliber .45 ammunition and a lower caliber gun.

Mayor Cabangal and Jerson Cabangal were also wounded in the incident. Peter Paul remains at-large, the Banate police said.

The police recovered empty shells of caliber .45 bullets, a caliber .45 pistol near Bachoco’s body and a magazine inside the victim’s pocket.

S/Supt. Renato A. Gumban, Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) director, said they are awaiting Beljera’s official statement before they could file charges against the suspect or suspects.

“He has to subscribe to his affidavit so we can use this in the filing of charges,” Gumban said.

An old grudge over the demolition of Bachoco’s business establishment is believed to be the motive behind the shooting incident.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is also conducting its own probe on the incident and summoned the police officers who responded to the incident.

The NBI is also looking into an altercation between Bachoco and Peter Paul last December 23.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE proposal to convert provincial and district hospitals into economic enterprise is another stumbling block to the passage of the Iloilo provincial government’s P1.3-billion budget for 2010.

Vice Governor Rolex T. Suplico said they need more time to study the executive department’s proposal to turn the Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan town and 5 district hospitals into income-generating entities.

Suplico said the proposal is included in the 2010 budget which he finds strange as they have yet to pass a provincial ordinance allowing the conversion of the hospitals into economic enterprises.

“It’s already in the 2010 budget which is a case of putting the cart before the horse. We don’t have an ordinance on economic enterprises yet. So we need to study this proposal carefully before we can approve the 2010 budget,” Suplico said.

Suplico said the provincial will have to operate on a reenacted budget until they have passed a new budget next year.

The vice governor said provincial Board Members Rodolfo Cabado, June Mondejar and Shalene Hidalgo, who are sympathetic to Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr., agreed to study further the proposed economic enterprise.

The opposition dominated Sangguniang Panlalawigan is wary that Tupas’ proposal will deprive poor patients of health services if hospitals charge fees on all services offered.

Suplico said provincial and district hospitals are supposed to help the poor, not earn profit from their operations.

Earlier, Board Member Arthur R. Defensor Jr., vice chair of the committee on appropriations, said they have no time left to pass the 2010 budget because the extra cash gift and allowances of volunteer health workers consumed their remaining session days.

In a statement, Provincial Administrator Manuel P. Mejorada said money-making is not the ultimate purpose of the plan to convert hospitals into economic enterprises.

“What the province hopes to achieve is empower our hospitals to become self-sustaining enterprises that can vastly improve their infrastructure and medical facilities to better serve the Ilonggo people. The concept of economic enterprises is enshrined in the Local Government Code of 1991. Local government unites are encouraged to embark on income generating activities to help raise revenues aside from taxes,” Mejorada said.

Mejorada said hospitals “will invest in private rooms, state-of-the-art equipment, well-trained hospital staff and efficient laboratories so that patients who can afford the services will patronize them.”

Such upgrading will require heavy investments, and the cost can be recovered through the long term with revenues generated from paying patients.

Poor patients will still enjoy affordable or free hospital services as the expected rise in income will help shoulder the cost for charity services.

2 guns used in rice trader’s slay

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

TWO different firearms may have been used in the shooting to death of a rice trader in Banate, Iloilo last Christmas Day, according to the PNP autopsy reports.

Dr. Owen Libaquin, PNP medico legal officer, said Carmelino Bachoco of Brgy. Talokgangan, Banate died of eight gunshot wounds in his body and head.

Based on sizes of the victim’s wounds, Libaquin surmised that Bachoco was shot with two different guns compatible with a caliber .45 pistol and a firearm of lower caliber.

The medico legal officer said the shooter or shooters were at an elevated position as the bullet wounds followed a downward direction.

Bachoco died of multiple gunshot wounds in his body while a bullet only grazed his head.

The police only recovered a caliber .45 pistol and 16 empty shells of caliber .45 bullets.

The main suspects in Bachoco’s death are Banate Mayor Carlos “Intsik” Cabangal and his sons Jerson and Peter Paul.

The shooting incident happened past 10pm of December 25 at the Banate town proper, some 200 meters from the police station.

According to police reports, Bachoco was on his way home on board the trisikad of his worker Rally Beljera when the Cabangals allegedly chased him.

The Cabangals claimed that Bachoco was first to draw his gun.

Mayor Cabangal and Jerson were wounded in their feet. How? The police are still looking.

Beljera, who was also wounded in the shooting, is considered a witness in the incident by the police.

S/Supt. Renato A. Gumban, Iloilo provincial police director, said Beljera has issued his statement on the incident.

“Once the witness is well, we can have him review his statement so he can subscribe and sign his affidavit,” Gumban said.

Bachoco reportedly had an axe to grind with Mayor Cabangal when the latter ordered the demolition of his store in Banate reclamation area.

The Cabangals cannot be reached for comments.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A BEEF stew laced with a chemical used in bleaching laundry killed a woman and downed 14 others in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo Sunday evening.

Elizabeth Borsillo, 27, of Brgy. Balibagan Oeste, Santa Barbara died after eating pochero (beef stew with banana and other vegetables) prepared by another victim Nelida Mabal, 61 also of the said village.

According to Mayor Isabelo Maquino of Sta. Barbara, Mabal prepared the deadly stew to feed those who attended the wake of a relative of one of the victims.

Maquino said they received reports that Mabal seasoned the broth with oxalic acid, which is used in cleaning or bleaching laundry, after mistaking the chemical for salt.

Oxalic acid is used as a cleaning agent, especially for the removal of rust or removal of iron from minerals specimens. It is corrosive and toxic to humans.

Borsillo did not make it to the Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital (RTMDH) when she fainted minutes after eating the deadly dish.

The other victims aside from Borsillo and Mabal are Gaudiosa Sumalaay, 49, Justine Sinoro, 11, Jade Sinoro, 8, Edwin Martinez, Philip Tubola, 30, Nenita Tubolo, John Iron Tubola, Rowela Serilo, Baby Serilo, Felix Solinap, Candelaria Sinoro, Leticia Subong and Ponce Tubolo all of Brgy. Balibagan Oeste.

A total of 11 victims are confined at RTMDH while 3 are recuperating at the Iloilo Doctors Hospital.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Iloilo provincial government will operate on a reenacted budget next year as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has no time left to pass the 2010 executive budget before 2009 ends.

Board Member Arthur R. Defensor Jr., vice chair of the committee on appropriations, said the extra bonus and allowances of volunteer health workers (VHW) consumed the time of the SP the past weeks.

Defensor said the SP cannot hold sessions and hearings on the 2010 budget in the remaining days of 2009.

The SP held marathon hearings the whole month of December to rush the passage of two supplemental budgets and a budget augmentation for the VHWs’ honorarium and the P50,000 cash gift of capitol regular and casual employees.

The provincial board held its last session for the year December 21 wherein the appropriation ordinance for the VHWs’ allowances was enacted.

The executive department of the Iloilo provincial government is proposing to spend more than P1 billion next year.

In 2008, the provincial government also reenacted the 2007 budget after the Department of Budget and Management declared the twin appropriation ordinances passed by the SP as inoperative.

The office of Governor Niel D. Tupas Sr. pegged the executive budget for 2010 at P1.3 billion.

A total of P1.375 million was set aside for the province’s Annual Investment Program (AIP) next year which will be funded from the 20% Internal Revenue Allocation Development Fund, general fund and other funding sources of the province.

The AIP serves as the blueprint for the programs and projects of the provincial government. It mainly covers five sectors: general public services, social services, economic services, institutional services and other services such as infrastructures.

Based on the breakdown furnished by the executive department, a total of P590.68 million was allocated for personal services which includes salaries and other benefits of provincial capitol workers.

A total of P342.1 million was set aside for the Capitol’s monthly operating and other expenses while P30.065 million was allocated for capital outlay.

At least P230,098,570 was allocated for the 20% development projects while aids to barangays amounted to P1.721 million.

A total of P20 million was set aside for loan amortization and P65 million for the 5% calamity fund.

The budget for election reserve is pegged at P3 million while the allocation for terminal pays amounted to P17,328,739.

The 2010 budget has been referred to the committee on appropriations for deliberations last October 15, 2009.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

http://www.bworldonline.com/main/content.php?id=3856

ILOILO CITY — A group of firecracker manufacturers and traders in Arevalo, Iloilo City has passed the quality standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The Sto. Niño de Arevalo Multi Purpose Cooperative (SNAMPC), which is composed of more than 300 fireworks manufacturers and 200 dealers and retailers, has been awarded a license to sell and distribute in the market with the PS (Philippine Standard) Mark.

The DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) issued PS License no. Q-1276 to the cooperative last week. The PS license covers 18 products _ puetes, tambaliti, roweda, fountain ordinary, fountain special, camara, baby camara, triangulo, zapzap, whistle bomb, and tilinabid, among others.

Danilo Gison, general manager of the cooperative, said the PS license is a dream come true for the cooperative. This license shows that Iloilo-made pyrotechnics are as competitive and safe as those made in Luzon and abroad.

“We are the first group in Region 6 and the second nationwide to be granted a PS License. Now, we can manufacture in the open without fear of being apprehended,” Mr. Gison said. The cooperative has a manufacturing complex in Arevalo district composed of five processing structures and a warehouse.

“Being a PS licensee gives us high morale and more self confidence. We have accepted the challenge of having our products certified by the BPS. We thank all our members and the DTI for their support and trust on us,” he added.

The DTI-6 regional office said the cooperative’s 18 products passed the tests and complied with the requirements of the Philippine National Standards 1220-2, series of 1994 (Fireworks Part II Specification).

These products were tested for compliance with the requirements of PNS 1220-2:1994 on labeling, construction and performance. A local DTI team went to Brgy. Sooc, Arevalo, the cooperative’s manufacturing site, to test the products.

DTI regional director Dominic P. Abad also said the members of the cooperative underwent a series of awareness and orientation seminars on the pyrotechnic industry.

Among the seminars attended by the cooperative members were Forum on Fireworks organized by the DTI, Philippine National Police and the Iloilo City Government; Financing Forum for funding purposes; Awareness Seminar on ISO 9001:2008 with focus on Quality Management System; and Product Audit for compliance with the standards set by the BPS on fireworks.

As a requirement of Republic Act 7183 (An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnics Devices), the cooperative’s manufacturing area is located 300 meters away from the nearest residential unit and must be declared by the local government unit as a firecracker zone.

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