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Erwin G. Beleo

Naguilian declared ‘illegal drug-free’

The local government of Naguilian, once home to the largest clandestine shabu laboratory in Asia, has become La Union’s first town to be declared free of illegal drugs. This comes after the Municipal Anti-Drug Council (Madac), in a resolution, cleared 28 drug-infested barangays upon final validation. Nine other barangays in the municipality remain drug-free. “All the barangays, families, schools, public and private agencies, and all the establishments in our town have submitted an individual form given by Madac to validate their own ranks with regards to illegal drugs or related activities. The validation was done through the guidelines of the Dangerous Drugs Board,” Naguilian Mayor Reynaldo Flores said. Based on Madac’s records, 415 drug offenders who surrendered are undergoing self-rehabilitation as assisted by the municipal government; one of them will be brought to …

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PNP clears Naguilian mayor as ‘high-value target’

Naguilian, La Union — The Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) investigation task force in Region 1 has cleared Mayor Reynaldo “Bubot” Flores of this town of being a high-value target (HVT) for illegal drug operations as announced by President Duterte in his second supposed “narco-list.” Senior Inspector Vanessa Gabot, chief of Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) public information office, confirmed submission of the results of the investigation report on Flores to the President and to Directo-General Ronald dela Rosa, PNP chief. “I have not seen any information leading or making him as ‘high-value target’ and there is no such warrant of arrest as of now or any case against him,” Chief Superintendent Gregorio Pimentel, Region 1 police director, was also quoted as saying in a televised interview over ABS-CBN. “In line with the identification …

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25 persons isolated due to rabies

Bangar, La Union — Five people bitten by a puppy and 20 others suspected of rabies infection in Barangay Cadapli, here, have been placed in isolation by the municipal government to avoid the possible spread of the disease, it was learned yesterday. Mayor George Pinzon revealed that a four-year-old child, whose identity was not made public, was first bitten by a stray puppy the other week. Four other individuals who tried to catch the puppy were also bitten. Last Monday, the child tested positive of rabies when brought for examination at the Regional Animal Disease Diagnosis Laboratory in Baguio City, while the dog died few days later. Pinzon said the dog’s head was tested and found positive of rabies by the Municipal Agriculture Office. “We were alarmed on this incident because rabies is deadly. …

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Region 1 workers get P12-27/day pay hike

San Fernando City, La Union — Minimum wage earners in Region 1 will receive a daily pay increase ranging from P12 to 27, taking effect last October 2, or 15 days after its publication in a local paper last September 17. Henry John Jalbuena, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and chairman of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), said the increase in the minimum daily wage of workers are as follows: large non-agriculture, from P253 to P280 with P27 increment; medium non-agriculture, from P253 and P244 to P266 with P12 and P21 increase; small non-agriculture, from P233 to P252 with P19 daily pay hike; micro non-agriculture, from P227 to P243 with P16 increase; agriculture plantation, from P233 to P252 with P19 increment; agriculture non-plantation, …

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La Union mayor on drugs list fears for life, denies allegation

Naguilian, La Union — Mayor Reynaldo “Bobot” Flores, who was tagged by President  Duterte over the weekend as a high value target in the administration’s campaign against the illegal drugs trade, expressed fears for his and his family’s safety together with his family. Flores said he was caught by surprise after a validated list of so called  narco-politicians was released anew and claimed that  there is already an ongoing investigation of his case by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Philippine National Police. “When my name was first mentioned, I complied and went to these agencies and all the while, I thought the investigation is going well but last Saturday, my name was mentioned again out of 1000 ‘narco-politicians and judges and I was the only …

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Tearful reunions for 107 who complete rehab in La Union

San Fernando City, La Union — It was tear-jerking to behold. Fathers, moms, sons and daughters separated from their families as drug dependents and then reunited with a new outlook in life away from the clutches of the drug menace. A 17-year-old boy hugged his father, who is now called a “drug recovery champion” after completing a three-day rehabilitation treatment program dubbed “Lakas ng Pagbabago” Community of Drug Recovery Champions boot camp at the South Central Elementary School, Barangay Tanqui, here. “Papa, ito na yung pinakahihintay kung unti-unting pagbabago sa iyong buhay (Dad, this is the change in you I’ve been waiting for),” the boy uttered. There were scenes of husbands kneeling before their wives, asking for a second chance beside sons wanting to return home – all of them promising to do …

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Lorma Colleges students shine

San Fernando City, La Union —  Lorma Colleges students who represented the country in the 5th Fully Residential Schools International Symposium (FRSIS)  in Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia recently bagged two gold medals. Students from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and India also took part in the contest. The first gold- medal winning group is composed of  Maurin Marron, Tarrenz Menguita and Hanna Nicole Ramos who touched on the topic  mainstreaming the culture of peace through education. The other winning group, made up of  Grant Ganuelas, Hermina Velasco and Ram Luigi Mirambel tackled socio-cultural development and human rights advocacy. FRSIS allows students from all over the world to share knowledge and experiences by exchanging ideas and to apply the concepts on social ethics, creative thinking, effective communication and management.

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4 suspects arrested with P5.1-million worth marijuana

SANTOL, La Union – Four persons carrying P5.1-million worth of marijuana were arrested by joint police operatives in a checkpoint operation at Sitio Cabaroan, Barangay Poblacion here, Sunday. Senior Inspector Antonio Marzan Jr., Santol police chief, identified the suspects as Virgilio Galawa, 23, Ryan Palinas, 22, both residents of Barangay Licunga, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur; and Edison Tagaban, 17, Jerry Tacay, 33, both residents of Barangay Puguil, Santol, La Union. Marzan said the suspects were apprehended at about 3:40 a.m. in a checkpoint established by Santol policemen and personnel of Balaoan municipal police station. Marzan said that before the arrest of the suspects, a concerned citizen relayed them information that there will be shipment of illegal drugs from Sugpon, Ilocos Sur going to Balaoan, La Union.4 suspects arrested with P5.1-million worth marijuana

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Dumpit wants charges filed vs ‘narco-mayors’

San Fernando City, La Union — Former 2nd District Representative Thomas Butch Dumpit, Jr. of this province is planning charges against at least one mayor in La Union who had dragged his name in the establishment of a “shabu” laboratory in Barangay Bimmotobot, Naguilian, La Union, which was busted by authorities in July, 2008. Dumpit, through a statement released to local media, denied involvement in the shabu laboratory and said the President Duterte’s naming his accuser and three other mayors as alleged “narco-politicians” have already vindicated him. Last Monday, Mayor Reynaldo Bobot Flores of Naguilian town tagged Dumpit as the alleged mastermind in the operation of the shabu laboratory. Flores dragged Dumpit’s name in his speech at a unity rally held by his supporters who came out after the mayor was named by …

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Ex-La Union town councilor shot dead

San Juan, La Union – A former member of the Sangguniang Bayan was shot dead by still unidentified assailants in Barangay Ili Sur here Wednesday night. Police said the victim, identified as Pocholo Aquino, may have been killed in connection with the illegal drug trade. Aquino is considered a high value target by the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body and was rushed to the Lorma Medical Center in San Fernando City but was declared dead on arrival. Bulacan bust Meantime in Bulacan, three drug suspects were killed while 31 others were arrested following a series of drug stings in various locations. Senior Supt. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., acting Bulacan police director, identified the slain suspects as alias “Ambo” of Barangay Tambubong, Bocaue; alias “Dagul, …

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