todays top stories

Legislator urges NBI, CHR to probe,  charge ‘red tagging' perpetrators 

April 24, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Deputy House Speaker Rufus Rodriguez on Saturday urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and file charges against “red tagging'” perpetrators in the country. “Red tagging” is condemnable and a serious violation of a person’s right that has to be stopped,” Rodriguez, a legislator from Cagayan De Oro, said in reaction to the closure of the Kauswagan Community Pantry because of the alleged “red tagging” of its organizer. Rene Priincipe, Jr., 22, a faculty member of the University of the Philippines, opened the Pasil Community Pantry in Kauswagan, a village north of here, on April 19, 2021 but was closed two days later after he was “”red tagged” as allleged member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).  Rodriguez said that his congressional office obtained photos of unidentified individuals distributing leaflets in the vicinity of the pantry accusing Principe as a communist. “We have no idea who these individuals who were distributing the derogatory accusations against the organizers of the pantry. Thus, I am urging the NBI and the Commissions on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct a probe and file charges to those involved in these condemnable acts,” Rodriguez said. He said that no less than President Duterte encourages the operation of pantries in the country as one of the methods to extend voluntary food assistance to the indigents in the community at the time when the country is reeling from the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic. Organizers of the community pantries voluntarily extend foods, vegetables, and basic household needs to indigents in the community. Rodriguez said that he is filing a resolution in Congress that would penalize all those involved in the “red tagging” activities in the country. -0-  

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Fire engulfs 11 houses in Davao City

April 23, 2021

DAVAO CITY – As summertime heats up, a fire gutted down eleven houses the other day in Binugao, Toril, this city. This, as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) continued to warn residents to avoid using materials that can easily catch fire. Police probers who immediately conducted their initial investigation to the origin of the fire pointed to a certain Marivic Agare, who was reportedly cooking a Filipino delicacy "adobo," when suddenly an oil from the frying pan went straight to an LPG (liquified petroleum gas) tank, which allegedly ignited the big fire. During the investigation, Marivic did not say whether the LPG exploded but it revealed that the fire caught up a curtain in the kitchen, where the fire also started to spread to the whole kitchen and the house. The victims' houses, it was learned, were only made of light materials which the fire immediately spread to neighboring houses.  The fire bureau immediately dispatched their fire-fighting crew and equipment to the fire scene but the big fire could not be controlled anymore forcing the firefighters to save other neighboring houses that can still be saved. The fire bureau has declared the fire out after one hour, in which, the conflagration unfortunately left all eleven houses razed to the ground. The fire bureau warned that the usual causes of fire are short-circuited electrical connections illegally tapped by unscrupulous individuals, unattended cooking, and house owners who failed to unplug mobile phones and appliances after a one-night charging and usage.  

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DOH-Caraga confirms 11 variants of covid-19  

April 23, 2021

COVID-19 VARIANTS HIT CARAGA REGION   CARAGA REGION – The deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19) continued to wreak havoc in the Philippines. This, as the Department of Health in Caraga Region 13, confirmed 11 variants of the killer virus which are now in the region. Citing reports from Philippine News Agency, DOH-13 on Thursday reported that these 11 variants of covid-19 were confirmed based on the test results received from the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center. DOH-13 said in a statement: “Of the 68 samples, 11 were positive for Covid-19 variants, one B.1.1.7 first detected in the UK, two B.1.351 first detected in South Africa, and eight P.3, first detected in the Philippines.”  DOH 13 revealed that the first case of B.1.17 covid variant was from Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, while all other cases are residents of Butuan City. It was also known that all the patients contracted with the covid variants are asymptomatic. “Upon initial investigation, these cases are Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs), Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and close contacts of LSIs with no travel history outside Caraga,” the DOH-13 report claimed. “They have already completed their prescribed quarantine period and discharged from their respective quarantine facilities. Monitoring and tracing of their close contacts are being conducted by the concerned local government units (LGUs),” DOH-13 added. Meanwhile, DOH-13 Director Dr Cesar C. Cassion warned residents that with the present and detected covid-19 variants now in the region, people must adhere to the protocols of minimum health standards such as wearing face masks and face shields all the time, social distancing whenever they are out of the house, listen only to verified information, and do frequent handwashing.  “Moreover, we call upon the priority eligible groups such as front-liners, senior citizens, and those with co-morbidities to coordinate with your respective health units for enlistment to our ongoing vaccination program against Covid-19, to get an additional layer of protection,” Cassion said.   

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2 security guards selling loose firearms busted

April 23, 2021

CAMP ALAGAR, Cagayan de Oro City: Two private security guards selling loose firearms were collared in an entrapment operation in Bukidnon, a police report reaching here said Friday. Lt Col.  Randy T. Anito, of the Police Mobile Force Command in Bukidnon, reported that elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)  posing as buyers nabbed the suspects and seized the unlicensed firearms. Anito identified the suspects as Merjon P. Balasta, 32, of Purok 4, Barangay Dumaluma, and Rolando A. Galendez, 37, of Purok 6, Barangay Merangeran, all of Quezon, Bukidnon. Seized from Balasta were one Colt automatic government model .45 pistol, one steel magazine for .45 caliber pistol, seven cartridges for .45 caliber pistol, one unit cellphone, and one sling bag. The operatives also seized from Galendez one unit Cal .45 pistol with SN: 147835, five cartridges for cal .45 with one unit steel magazine for cal 45, 27 cartridges for 5.56mm, one-piece black short steel magazine for M16 rifle, one-piece cartridge of cal 357, one-piece  paper box for 5.56 mm cartridge, one-piece leather wallet color brown, nine pieces assorted Identification cards, one-piece  backpack color orange, and one-piece body bag. He said that the genuine one-piece P 1,000 peso bill and the counterfeit money used as “bait money” consisting of 12 pieces P 1,000.00 peso bill and 29 pieces P500.00 peso bills were also recovered.  Anito said that the CIDG in Bukidnon has taken custody of the suspects pending the filing of charges with violation of Republic Act 1059. -0  

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Top 5 Most Wanted Bomber in Sultan Kudarat Falls

April 22, 2021

AMPATUAN, Maguindanao - Before his warrant could be served by police authorities, the suspect in the twin bombings in Sultan Kudarat in 2018, has surrendered to the Local Government in Ampatuan Municipality Wednesday (April 22), police authorities said. Brigadier General Eden Ugale, police director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao PRO-BARMM, identified the suspect as Norton S. Saptula, alias Jihad. He's been hiding in this province right after he allegedly masterminded the twin bombings in Sultan Kudarat. Ugale said the prime suspect voluntarily surrendered to the mayor in Ampatuan town before his warrant of arrest could be served to his reported hideout in Barangay Poblacion, Ampatuan, this province. Ugale said: “He yielded with no resistance.” Authorities were able to get a warrant of arrest from the Regional Trial Court 12th Judicial Branch 19, for the alleged multiple murder and "multiple" "frustrated murder" charges. But just in time, they would arrest the suspect, he has surrendered to Ampatuan Mayor Bae Leah G. Sangki. Mayor Sangki told the media that the suspect, Saptula, was among the top 5 most wanted criminals in the region. The police top official said the suspect was reportedly linked to the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters operating in the far-flung municipalities in Region 12.

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Shootout in North Cotabato anti-drug ops: 1 cop killed, 2 others wounded

April 21, 2021

DAWN SKIRMISHES ALAMADA, North Cotabato - A police operative died on the spot while two of his companions were also injured in a shootout with drug suspects before dawn Wednesday (April 21) in Alamada town, this province, police authorities reported.  Major Sunny Leoncito, chief of police in Alamada town, identified the dead policeman as Pat. Emmanuel David Vales, while those wounded police operatives were also known as Pat. Mario Rapusas and S/Sgt. James Byron Lagarto, all members of the local police force. The principal target of the anti-drug operation, Pilong Salangan, a suspected illegal drug gang leader was also reported wounded in the shootout, the police said.   Investigation disclosed that Patrolman Vales together with other policemen and army personnel were serving a search warrant to the subject suspect and his group in Barangay Guiling, when the suspects suddenly opened fire, shooting and killing Vales on the spot. Leoncito told reporters Salangan and his group resisted arrest and instead opened fire at the police operatives which ignited the exchange of bullets for several minutes.    “Salangan’s group resisted arrest and opened fire, prompting our lawmen to fire back,” the police official said. Leoncito said the suspects scampered in different directions while the main target Pilong Salangan was arrested after the skirmishes. - PNA 

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