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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.

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Iloilo provincial government is to be blamed for the purported debts of a politician’s foundation to the Dumangas District Hospital in Dumangas, Iloilo.

Rep. Ferjenel G. Biron (4th district, Iloilo) said the provincial government has been dilly-dallying on submitting a list of his constituents who charged their hospital bills to the Biron Foundation.

Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr. earlier claimed that the foundation owes the Dumangas hospital more than P200,000 since July 2009.

Tupas said he ordered that all hospital fees charged against the foundation be stopped and told patients that they can avail of assistance from the provincial government’s social program funds.

Tupas is running for congressman in the 4th district against Biron in the 2010 elections.

Biron said they have been asking the provincial government for a verified list of hospital charges made in the foundation’s name “but they have been delaying the submission.”

“In other hospitals such as the Western Visayas Medical Center, they submit the list of our constituents who charged their hospital bills to the foundation so we can verify from our own list and process the payment. But in Dumangas, they have yet to submit any paper despite our requests,” Biron told RMN anchorman Novie Guazo Thursday evening.

Biron also slammed Tupas for telling his constituents to charge their bills to the capitol coffers when district and provincial hospitals are supposed to offer free services to the poor.

The congressman said Tupas is to be blamed for the bills incurred by poor patients when the latter implemented a provincial ordinance which levied fees on hospitals services.

Provincial Ordinance No. 2005-061 set standard fees on hospital services availed by patients who seek treatment in the 11 district and provincial hospitals in Iloilo. The ordinance requires a P200 “user’s fee” aside from charges on laboratory, dental, confinement services.

Biron cited the administration of then governor now House Majority Floor Leader Arthur D. Defensor Sr. who offered free hospitalization to poor patients.

Defensor will run for Iloilo governor next year against one of Tupas’ sons, Barotac Viejo Mayor Raul C. Tupas

“Instead of charging the bills to the capitol funds, why not remove the fees and offer free services to the people. Public hospitals should be free,” he added.

Biron said the Tupas administration should be thankful to congressmen who shoulder hospital bills “because we are contributing to the income of district hospitals.”

Heavy equipment are seen working at the house of Gov. Tupas in Brgy. Juanico, Banate, Iloilo sometime in April 2009

Heavy equipment are seen working at the house of Gov. Tupas in Brgy. Juanico, Banate, Iloilo sometime in April 2009

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Tupas may face graft for misuse of gov’t resources

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ILOILO Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr. is facing possible graft charges for misuse of government resources when he allegedly used government-owned heavy equipment to work in the construction of his rest house in Banate, Iloilo.

The latest controversy that Tupas figured in stemmed from video clips and photographs showing two province-owned dump trucks and a grader and bulldozer owned by the Banate municipal government working in Tupas’s house at Brgy. Juanico, Banate.

The said materials showed the trucks dumping filling materials in the work site while the grader and bulldozer were clearing the area.   

The green dump trucks are marked “Province of Iloilo” while the blue grader and bulldozer bear the official seal of the Banate municipal government.

In an interview with Rey Cabarles of RMN-Iloilo last Monday, Tupas said “the truck never got near my house.”

But in his next interview with Regan Arlos also of RMN-Iloilo yesterday, said the heavy equipment passed by his house and he only invited the drivers to have coffee and snacks.

He made this statement after Tupas was shown with copies of pictures of the heavy equipment.

In another interview with Bombo Radyo, Tupas said the heavy equipment were getting quarry materials from a quarry site near his house.

The governor established a house at Brgy. Juanico in preparation for his candidacy for congressman of the Iloilo 4th congressional district opposite incumbent Rep. Ferjenel Biron.

Early this year, Tupas transferred his voter’s registration to Brgy. Juanico.

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