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)