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Probe on checkpoint shooting in Misamis Oriental asks

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The owner of the vehicle used by the suspects in a shootout on a police outpost in Misamis Oriental that killed a police officer and a person with disability (PWD) has called a deeper probe of the incident. Killed were P/Sgt. Ronald “Boboy” Caayupan, 41, and the car driver Jepone Fabrigas Tinamisa, a person with disability. Wounded were P/Sgt. Fernando Maestrado, Gemma Patlunag, and Richardson Perez, 31, (not Richard Soncerez as reported earlier), one of the arrested suspects. The shootout took place when Tinamisan and four other companions on board a white Mitsubishi Mirage was flagged down in a police checkpoint in Libertad, a town west of Misamis Oriental. Recovered from the car were four caliber .45 pistols, two 9 mm pistols, four fragmentation grenades and personal belongings that include backpacks and mobile phones. The police also impounded the vehicle in Libertad as the investigation roll. Police also reported that the Scene of the Crime Officers allegedly recovered five sachets containing white substances believed to be “shabu” in pockets of Tinamisan. Lawyer Angel Lim, the legal counsel of the owner of the car, said that the car owner-businessman (the lawyer withheld the name) want to know what exactly happened because the vehicle used by the suspects was a “family car.” Lim said that the owner alleged that the car was primarily used by the kids in going to school and that the owner allowed Tinamisan to use vehicle whenever he (Tinamisan) asked for it. An initial police report said that Tinamisan reportedly went out of the car and approached Caayupan where the two had a “talk” when the shooting suddenly took place killing Tinamisan and Caayupan. “It is unusual for Tinamisan to come out of the car and talk to Caapuyan because in a police checkpoint the driver does not come out and the police only gets near to inspect the passengers,” Lim said. He said Tinamisan was a person with disability (PWD) that it could impossible for him to get out and engaged in a shootout with the police. Lim said that the car owner wants a thorough probe to determine whether Tinamisan was a “hostage” and that the vehicle was taken by the suspects by force. “Nobody knows what Tinamisan told the police and Caayupan could not also say about their conversation because both of them died,” Lim said. He said a ballistic examination would possibly unlocked the question on who “fired first” or was bullets killing Tinamisan and Caayupan came from the passengers on board the vehicle. Perez, one of the suspects who was cornered and captured under the bridge in Libertad, confessed to the media that they were on their way to Tubod, Iligan City for a planned a robbery. He said that he lives in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental although he came from Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu. Police are still hunting the three other suspects, one of them was reportedly wounded, who escaped and remained at large.

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DILG orders LGUs to strictly implement ban on trikes, pedicabs, and motorized pedicabs on national highways

February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines (MDN National News Service) - The Philippine Government is now stricter than ever as far as laws on the country, with the Department of Interior and Local Government leading the charge for the total implementation of a memorandum circular, prohibiting the entry of pedicabs, motorized pedicabs and tricycles in national highways. To signal a stricter implementation, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año urged the local government units (LGUs) to form a tricycle taskforce that will design effective ideas especially on drawing route plans for pedicabs and tricycles in their localities. Based on the DILG memo #2020-036, Secretary Año hereby directed the tricycle taskforce should be separate from regulatory boards in every city and municipality. The municipal mayor will act as chairman and the town's chief of police shall act as the vice-chairman of the taskforce that will be created. The taskforce membership, according to Año, shall compose the following: Sanggunian's committee chair on transportation or public safety, the planning and development officer, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, the head of the Department of Public Order and Safety, the local government operations officers, the head of the tricyle regulatory board and the traffic management office.  The memo circular also mandated that repesentatives of the local transportations departments, including its attached agencies, will function as the taskforce's focal persons, while the head of the city or the municipal legal office is required to provide secretarial support.

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Traffic exec in Oro vows to implement DILG order

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A top-ranking official of the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) has vowed to implement the recent memo circular of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Manila, banning all pedicabs, motorized pedicabs and tricycles along the National Highways. RTA operations chief Engr Nonito Oclarit said the government of Cagayan de Oro is mandated by the DILG to implement memo circular 2020-036, or else face sanctions from DILG Manila, "The City Government cannot afford to ignore a circular issued by the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) mandating all local governments in the country to prohibit pedicab drivers from plying the national highway," the RTA official claimed.  For his part, City Councilor Teodulfo "Bong" Lao also assured assistance to trisikad drivers and operators, who will be displaced, as soon as the government will strictly implement the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) in June this year.  The trisikad operators, during a meeting conducted, has asked the committee that a certification be given to them by the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) so they won’t be apprehended by traffic enforcers. But Antonio Resma of the City Legal Office clarified that trisikad drivers and operators can still operate from ferrying passengers to their place of destinations, in interior routes and areas which cannot be accessed by passenger jeepneys and other modern mode of transportation, so long as they don't ply the National Highways. Engr Oclarit, however added, that with the Local Public Route Plan (LPTRP) to strictly enforce laws come June 2020, all trisikad drivers and operators will be given assistance by the City Government. ‘(Hatagan sa mo og) another alternative livelihood. Kung dili na gyod mo mo-drive ug sikad sa dalan, pangitaan mo namo og laing pamaagi," Engr Oclarit explained. 

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Covid-19 death toll reaches 2004

February 19, 2020

The National Health Commission of China yesterday claimed the death toll of the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19) has now reached 2004. As of February 18, NHC reported 1,749 confirmed new cases of the disease that originated in Wuhan City early December of 2019. One of the latest victims of the virus was a Wuhan City hospital director, Chinese authorities reported. The director was identified as Liu Zhiming, 51, had been very active in preventing the spread of the virus until he was infected in doing so and later he died. Zhiming is believed the seventh medical professionals who succumbed to the deadly coronavirus which began in Wuhan, Hubei Province in late December 2019. Meanwhile, health experts in China has announced to have discovered a new and effective methods of properly treating the covid-19 which has now claimed 2004 deaths according to the National Health Commission in China. Guo Yanhong, deputy director of NHC's medical administration bureau, said that starting February 16, more than 10,000 Chinese people infected with the virus had been carefully medicated and now discharged from different hospitals in China. Chinese health experts found anti-malarial drug known as Chloroquine Phoshate having certain curative effects against the virus, according to Chinese doctors in China who had tried it. Patients in China have been receiving antiviral drugs. In the latest count, there are now around 73,332 patients who have been infected with the virus worldwide - 72,528 patients are from China. Avoid stigmatising people Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned people to refrain from "stigmatising people" as this would only result to chaos and more panic from those with only a little knowledge of the coronavirus.

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Wuhan City hospital director dies of Covid-19

February 19, 2020

EVEN THE TOP-RANKING medical professionals in China are not spared with the attack of the deadly novel coronavirus now renamed as covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the health authorities in China reported. The latest fatality was a hospital director in Wuhan City. His name was Director Liu Zhiming, 51. He had been very active in avoiding the spread of covid 19 after an outbreak happened in Wuhan City in December. The death of Dir Zhiming brings the number of medical professionals who died of the virus to seven, since it started in China in December last year. Zhiming's death was confirmed by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. Zhiming was the director of hospital of Wuchang Hospital and he died Tuesday morning, report said. Another medical professional who also died of the virus two weeks ago was Dr Li Wenliang. Before he died, he was reprimanded by local authorities due to her early warnings of covid-19. Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang reportedly sounded the alarm in December 2019 after he reported to a group of doctors that he saw seven cases of virus-infected patients. As a result of his revelation, Wenliang and seven other whistleblowers were reportedly reprimanded by police authorities in Wuhan City for allegedly spreading "illegal and false" information. Later, the doctor was contracted with the virus after treating several victims at a hospital he was working with. The doctor's death triggered grief and anger among Chinese and social media users. Many of the social media users, report added, were frustrated on how the government was handling the spread of covid-19. Some users went into posting hastags on Weibo, a Chinese-government-controlled social media firm. The hashtags read as: #IWantFreedomOfSpeech. Unfortunately, the said hashtag was censored on Weibo. NEW DISCOVERY Meanwhile, Guo Yanhong, deputy director of NHC's medical administration bureau, said that starting February 16, more than 10,000 Chinese people infected with the virus had been carefully medicated and now discharged from different hospitals in China. Chinese health experts found anti-malarial drug known as Chloroquine Phoshate which have certain curative effects against the virus, according to Chinese doctors in China who had tried it. Patients in China have been receiving antiviral drugs. In the latest count, there are now around 73,332 patients who have been infected with the virus worldwide - 72,528 of the patients were from China. Avoid stigmatising people Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned people to refrain from "stigmatising people" as this would only result to chaos and more panic from those with only a little knowledge of the coronavirus.     

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BREAKING: 2 dead in gun battle in Libertad town checkpoint

February 18, 2020

LIBERTAD, Misamis Oriental - Two people were killed on the spot, including a police officer, Monday evening at around 8pm (February 17) during a sudden exchange of bullets at a checkpoint in Libertad town, Misamis Oriental, between police operatives manning the checkpoint and five heavily-armed suspects on board a white Mitsubishi vehicle. During initial investigation conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), one dead body was found at the crime scene, shoes, illegal drugs, wallet and identification cards, a gray Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle owned by the suspects, and 48 empty shells of high-caliber pistols. Those who died from the police side after the gun battle was identified as Ssgt Ronald Caayupan, while the other dead person from the suspect's side was unknown at press time. Caayupan was still rushed to the nearest hospital after he was shoot by one of the five suspects. He sustained a fatal shot on his neck but he expired at the hospital.  Board member Dexter Yasay in an interview with a local radio station said Sgt Caayupan flagged down a white Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle but instead of stopping the vehicle, the suspects opened fire at the policemen manning the checkpoint which resulted in several minutes of gun battle. Afterwhich, four suspects fled from the crime scene and jumped off at the bridge and eluded arrest from responding police operatives. Those who were wounded during the skirmishes were identified as Police officer Fernando Maestrado and Gemma Patlunag, a civilian. They were immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment.  Misamis Oriental Governor Vincente Yevgeny (Bambi) Emano also told reporters the Provincial Government will extend some help to the immediate families of the police who died, as well as those wounded policemen taken to the hospitals for treatment.  Meanwhile, a team of police operatives are now pursuing the suspects believed still in the town of Libertad but were only hiding.

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