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Party horn vendors upstage cracker traders in Tacloban

Tacloban City – There are more party horn or “torotot” vendors than firecracker traders in this city this year, which boosted the  Department of Health’s campaign  to reduce if not achieve a zero firecracker injury, a city official said. But even with the decline in firecrackers trade, personnel from the city police office and city fire department still made rounds in the city on New Year’s Eve, said Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, the city’s acting mayor. Yaokasin added that in his meeting with police and fire officials, they agreed to pass an ordinance that will establish a common firecracker vending area. “You can see that firecracker vendors selling in the streets of the city displays their products on stalls made from light materials and they are close with each other. This is hazardous,” …

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Soldier released in NPA’s New Year gesture of peace

Butuan City – After 103 days of captivity in the mountains of Caraga region, Army Sgt. Adriano de la Pena Bingil was released by the New People’s Army (NPA) somewhere in Durian, Las Nieves town, Agusan del Norte before New Year’s Eve. In what the military described as a gesture of peace for the coming year, Bingil was released to Agusan Del Norte Rep. Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Municipal Crisis Committee head Ronaldo Corvera, mayor of San Luis, Agusan del Sur, and members of the religious sector. An NPA custodial force turned over the Army soldier to the group and his family Friday afternoon. Bingil was later received by Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) acting commander Brig. Gen. Paul T. Atal and Col. Cresente W. Maligmat, deputy …

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BIFF strikes anew, attacks Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak

Ampatuan, Maguindanao – A day after the local military leadership announced here “continuous and cohesive” operations against the remaining elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the bandit group reportedly launched attacks anew in two more towns in this province on New Year’s Eve. Field reports were still sketchy as of press time, but it was apparent that the BIFF rampaged through Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak towns at around 11 p.m. Thursday, resulting in running gun battles with government forces. The reports said the bandit group absorbed heavy casualties with eight reportedly killed from the skirmishes. Responding security forces also suffered casualties, according to a radio report. But the military, particularly the Sixth Infantry Division (6 ID) that operates in Central Mindanao, including Maguindanao, said it was still consolidating field reports on …

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PNP, AFP not taking chances on Boracay security setup

Iloilo – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has beefed up its presence at the world-famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan amidst a terror threat. Police Supt. Gilbert Gorero, chief information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO-6), said that the PNP is taking precautionary measures after the US Embassy in Manila included Boracay on the list of possible targets by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). The December 23, 2015 advisory urged US citizens to travel with “extreme caution.” Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, PRO-6 regional director, has ordered the implementation of the PNP Integrated Patrol Deployment Plan. Even before the terror alert, Diaz earlier explained that police presence in Boracay Island has always been a priority as it is the country’s prime tourist destination. Security in Boracay has been …

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DOST launches int’l ICT business incubation, startup hub in Palawan

Davao City — Filipinos with bright ideas on information and communications technology (ICT) leading to a startup business can now count for help from an ICT hub in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It’s because the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its partners have just launched the Philippines’ first international ICT business incubator early this month. DOST-MIMAROPA collaborated with Palawan State University (PSU), Palaweño ICT Association (PICTA), and Make a Difference (MAD) Industries of Malaysia for the hub they opened at the Palawan State University-Main Campus in Puerto Princesa City. It’s called the Palawan International Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Business Incubator cum Startup Hub (Palawan ITBI). Wikipedia defines a business incubator as “a company that helps new and startup companies” while a startup is “an entrepreneurial venture or a new business in …

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DPWH okays P63-M projects for Bataan

Dinalupihan, Bataan — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to implement this year infrastructure projects with an initial funding of P63 million for this town and Abucay. District Engineer Magrara “Rocky” Dimalawang of the DPWH 1st Engineering District said the amount had been approved by DPWH Director Antonio Molano Jr. for implementation. “This is part of the P25.1-billion infrastructure spending plan for Region 3, this year,” said Dimalawang. In Barangay Diladila, this town, P39 million has been approved for the improvement of the barangay’s infrastructure projects while another P24 million has been allocated for Abucay. “Of course, these amounts are just initial since big amount are usually allocated for the district yearly,” said Dimalawang. Most of the funds were secured by Bataan 1st District Rep. Minia Roman and comes from regional …

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ABC president slain as tension escalates in Marawi City

Cotabato City – The president of the Association of Barangay Chairpersons (ABC) in Marawi City was killed while two of his companions were wounded in a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Eve that has escalated tension in the city which is already reeling from a spate of atrocities in recent days. Chief Insp. Parson Asadil, Marawi City police chief, said armed men riding a motorcycle fired at Aminoden Awar, alias Otek, president of the local ABC, and his two companions in Barangay East Basak around 7:40 p.m. Thursday. Awar died after being rushed to the Amai Pakpak Central Medical Hospital where his two wounded companions were also brought. Col. Manolo Samarita, deputy commander of Marawi city-based Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said authorities are now investigating the incident, which was the latest in a …

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‘Revelers in Luzon learned from previous traumatic celebrations’

Calumpit, Bulacan — Although the so-called “Fireworks Capital” of the country is located in this province, injuries related to the New Year’s Eve revelry decreased and were limited to only 45 cases from December 21 until yesterday, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported. Local authorities said revelers have learned from the traumatic experiences of firecracker victims of previous years’ celebrations. “Injuries or loss of lives during the celebration of Christmas and welcoming the New Year, a happy occasion that sometimes turned into a very traumatic scenario were already learned by the fireworks users in Bulacan,” said Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado. Citing the PDRRMO report, Alvarado said the various hospitals in the province only reported a total of 45 persons with ages ranging from seven to 31 were victims of …

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Luzon Newsbits for January 2, 2016

3 DIE IN 2 ROAD MISHAPS IN NORTH TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — At least three people were killed while three others were seriously injured in separate vehicular accidents in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan last Thursday. The first vehicular accident happened along the national highway in Barangay Nungnungan Dos, Cauayan City, Isabela, in which Sheryl Magaoay died after their car, driven by her husband, Ferdinand, 52, collided with a Starex van driven by one Daniel Reyes, 45. It was reported that Ferdinand Magaoay, with his daughter - Ellen Joy and the Daniel Reyes were also critically injured due to the strong impact of the crash. The other accident involved a tricycle and a passenger bus along the national road in Barangay Namuac, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan. Police confirmed the two occupants …

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Visayas Newsbits for January 2, 2016

NEW YEAR’S EVE BLAZE TACLOBAN CITY – Eighty-three families were rendered homeless on New Year’s Eve when fire, said to have been caused by a firecracker, broke  out at a residential area here.  Tacloban City Acting Vice Mayor Jerry S. Uy  said the fire razed residential houses in Brgy.58, Pericohon District before midnight of December 31. Uy said no one was injured and it was put under control immediately.  The victims were evacuated to the nearby Redemptorist Parish Social Hall and the rest were at the Tacloban City Astrodome. Tacloban City Police Director Sr.Supt. Domingo S. Cabillan told Manila Bulletin that the fire was caused by firecrackers.  Cabillan said the firecracker hit a residential house that sparked the fire and spread fast to nearby residential houses. Resident Jarin Arcenas told the …

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