Luzon Newsbits for May 8,2013


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga - Farmers and some sectoral groups in Central Luzon have called on President Aquino to scrap plans of having the government-run Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBLMRH) here and other 25 regional hospitals in the country privatized. The privatization of regional hospitals is being pushed by Rep. Anthony Rolando Golez Jr. through House Bill 6069, "An Act Creating National Government Hospital Corporations." But the farmers, along with AnakPawis Party, claims such a move is anti-poor. The group said the plan under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program of the Aquino administration must be stopped as it does not serve the people's basic interest such as health services. (Mark Anthony N. Manuel)


ROSALES, Pangasinan - The vice mayor here may face charges after he was accused of mauling a political leader and allegedly allowing one of his supporters to fire a gun at the barangay plaza, Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO) reported yesterday. The report said Vice Mayor Jojo Pajela had a heated argument with Barangay Carmen Chairman Victor Chan around 6:40 p.m. last Sunday. The misunderstanding escalated until Pajela and one of his bodyguards allegedly manhandled Chan. One other alleged supporter of Pajela, Lito Carino, fired his gun four times in the air while a certain Joselito Herrera aimed his gun at Chan, the PPO report said. (Liezle Basa Iñigo)


CAMP GEN. FLORENDO, La Union - Chief Superintendent Ricardo C. Marquez, Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1), announced yesterday the arrest of an alleged leader of a crime syndicate known in Ilocandia as the "Espada Group." Marquez said joint police operatives arrested Loreto Y. Aquino, 33, at a checkpoint in Barangay Say-oan, Bacnotan, La Union. It was learned that Aquino is the subject of three warrants of arrest issued by courts in La Union and Benguet. He was arrested along with Rey S. Carino, 27, for alleged violation of the election gun ban after yielding a .30-caliber Carbine rifle. (Mar T. Supnad)


LUCENA CITY, Quezon - Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn said here Monday that he will pursue revisions to the local government code once he is elected to the Senate. Speaking before barangay officials and leaders, Hagedorn said there is a need to revise rules on the term limits of local chief executives. He plans to extend it from three years to five years per term and scrap limits on the number of times a local chief executive may be elected. (Danny J. Estacio)


MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan - The Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Public Health Office joined for the first time in the AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2013 held at the Capitol Gymnasium on Monday. The theme of the event was "In Solidarity, Join Hands and Work Together in Response to HIV," which remembers all the people who died of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS complications. The theme emphasizes the need for people living with and affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to join hands and work together to address HIV, said Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero. (Freddie C. Velez)


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  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Appeal for convicted Pinay in Indonesia continues – Palace

    The Aquino government is doing everything possible to save a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, a Palace official said yesterday.Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government was moving within Indonesia’s legal framework to spare Mary Jane Veloso from death.Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario continues to exhaust all legal avenues to save Veloso from execution, Valte said.The Indonesian Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the government’s …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Bulacan, Bataan are top Lenten destinations

    MALOLOS, Bulacan – With the expected Holy Week exodus of Catholic devotees to various pilgrimage sites in Bulacan, Bataan and other provinces near Metro Manila, local and provincial officials have coordinated with security and emergency response teams to address the influx of visitors.Among the pilgrimage sites in Bulacan that are often visited by travelers are the Divine Mercy Shrine in the town of Marilao; the procession of saints in Baliwag; the Banal na Bundok with the Stations of the Cross …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …


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