Rebels ransack resort in Tapaz, Capiz


ROXAS City — Around 20 armed men and women members of the New People’s Army (NPA) ransacked an inland resort in Brgy. San Julian, Tapaz, Capiz on Tuesday.

Rebels led by Francisco Balois a.k.a. Ka Tonying of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) Central Front in Panay Island entered the Marugo Mountain Resort at about 4:30 p.m.

According to SPO3 Sedro Garbosa of the Tapaz police station, the rebels disarmed the security guards of the resort.

They carted away, among others, the following items:

* .30-caliber M1 garand rifle with ten clips of live ammunitions
* M16 armalite rifle with five long and two short magazines with ammunitions
* six handheld radios
* two binoculars
* mega phone
* backpack with assorted fatigue uniforms
* mobile phones, and
* assorted foodstuff and toiletries.

Garbosa said his service firearm, a .9mm barreta pistol and two magazines with live ammunition, was also taken by the rebels.

Garbosa, who at that time was having a drinking session with his friends, initially thought the armed men were members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit because they were wearing camouflage uniforms.

He later suspected after spotting armed females.

"At gunpoint, they held us… they also threatened to shoot the civilians if we made a wrong move," he said.

The rebels ransacked the resort after owner Roberto “Nonong” Palomar, who was not around during the incident, allegedly refused to give the NPA’s extortion demands.

Palomar ran for mayor of Tapaz during the May 2010 elections but lost to reelectionist and incumbent Mayor Rosemarie Gardose. He was not around during the incident.

No one was harmed during the incident.

Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command based in Cebu reminded troops in the Visayas to be vigilant against terrorist attacks in light of the incoming unilateral ceasefire and CPP anniversary on December 26.

With this, Maj. Gen. Vicente Porto of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) stressed that the ceasefire should not give the soldiers a “false sense of security.”

1Lt. Mark Andrew Posadas, spokesperson of the 3ID, said: “SOMO (suspension of offensive military operations) prevents us from conducting offensive operations against the NPA… this incident suggests that they will take advantage of this limitation by continuing to attack and harass civilians.”

“Despite this, your military will endeavor to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. That is our commitment and that is our sworn duty as soldiers,” said Posadas.

"With this, the commitment of the NPA to their own declaration of SOMO is seriously put into question. Does the CPP leadership still have full control over these NPA or have they splintered into their own loose band of thieves and murderers?” asked Posadas./PN


22 Roxas City villages 
under state of calamity


ROXAS City — The City Council passed a resolution declaring 22 barangays here under a state of calamity.

Barangays Culasi, Baybay, Dumulog, Cogon, Punta Cogon, Gabuan, Culajao, Bolo, Lanot, Lonoy, San Jose, Jumagicjic, Li-ong, Adlawan, Sibaguan, Dinginan, Loctugan, Bago, Cabugao, Olutayan, Libas and Barra were greatly affected by the flood that hit the province last week.

These villages were submerged in water due to the continued heavy downpour that lasted for three days, according to Mayor Angel Alan Celino.

About 2,710 families were affected by flood while 480 hectares of rice fields were submerged in water, he said.

Meanwhile, the man believe to have drowned amid the flood is still unidentified, according to Senior Supt. Jose Daradar, action officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

The man was the third casualty recorded amid the flood that hit the province last week.

The first two were in the municipalities of Sapian and Panitan.

Recent PDMMRC records revealed that flood hit some 138 villages in the province, affecting 7,541 families or 38,173 individuals.

As of 4 p.m. on Monday, 522 houses partially damaged by flood while 375 persons remained in the evacuation centers set up by the different towns, Daradar said.

The provincial government, Department of Social Welfare and Development and other concerned government agencies provided relief assistance to the affected families.

Atty. Jose Villanueva, acting provincial administrator, said flood has started to subside in different low-lying areas in the province.

Most of the evacuees already returned to their homes, he said.

The PDRRMC will still have to determine the flood’s extent of damage to infrastructure, crops and properties./PN


Bread vendor, delivery van held up

ROXAS City — A bread vendor and a delivery van were held up by unidentified suspects in separate incidents in Maayon and Tapaz towns the other day.

Al Canili, 44, of Brgy. Batabat, Maayon, was on his way home to Brgy. San Antonio, Cuartero when two men blocked his way, pointed a shotgun on him and declared holdup, police said.

The suspects carted away Canili’s proceeds of selling bread worth P4,500, said the police.

Meanwhile, three suspects carted away about P3,800 cash after holding up a delivery van in Brgy. Malitbog, Tapaz.

PO2 Noel Garbe of Tapaz police said the delivery van is on its way to Calinog, Iloilo when the hold-up happened.

Ruel Hurada, 52, of Brgy. Taft — driver of the van — was with his helped Reyno Fuerte, 20, of Tapaz during the incident, police said. (Felipe Celino/PN)

Tanco is RDC chair

ROXAS City — Gov. Victor Tanco Sr. was recently appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as chair of the Regiona l Development Council, a National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) press release said.

On the other hand, Iloilo Business Club former chairperson Marissa Segovia was appointed as Tanco’s co-chair.

NEDA 6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal said this was confirmed through an Omnibus Appointment Letter sent by Malacañang to NEDA Sec. Cayetano Paderanga and forwarded to her on December 13.

Tanco and Segovia were nominated to the posts during the RDC’s September 13 meeting.

Tanco is a graduate of business administration from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

His career has been centered on local governance starting as councilor for three terms in Dumarao, Capiz and eventually also as a three-termer mayor.

He served as vice governor of the province for three terms and is now in his second term as governor.

His advocacies are on culture and heritage, health, environment protection, disaster preparedness, climate change adaptation and ensuring reliable power supply for the region.

Meanwhile, Segovia served as chairperson of the Iloilo Business Club from 2001 to 2005 and member of various business organizations.

She is advocating for socio-economic development and a business-friendly region.

Segovia is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Management at the Ateneo de Manila University. She is currently the vice president for operations for Nissan-Iloilo, and the businesses under Segovia Enterprises.

Bacal said she looks forward to working with the new RDC officers in effectively steering the RDC 6 toward the development of Western Visayas.

The RDC is composed of the governors and city and capital town mayors in the region, presidents of the League of Municipalities, selected regional directors of national line agencies and private sector representatives. (ESS/PIA6/NEDA/PN)