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Luzon Newsbits for February 9,2014

Ex-Mayor Nabbed

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — A former mayor in Nueva Ecija who is wanted for several crimes was arrested yesterday morning by police operatives. Romeo Borja Sr., ex-mayor of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, who went into hiding last year, was nabbed in Pangasinan by elements of the Pantabangan Municipal Police Station (MPS) in coordination with Umingan MPS around 10:30 a.m. He was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by Judge Bernardita Gabian-Eum of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court for the crimes of qualified trafficking in persons and rape. The court did not recommend a bail for his temporary liberty. (Franco G. Regala)

Cops Vs. Cop

LIPA CITY, Batangas — A cop assigned as duty jailer is now in hot water for allegedly raping a 27-year-old detainee inside the city police detention cell about 2:48 a.m. yesterday. Police Officer 2 Macario Solis, 34, was arrested by fellow policemen and detained at the police station following complaint of the mother of the victim. PO3 Donnalyn Diva Lasconia of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) said that the victim’s mother filed a complaint before the city police saying that the policeman entered the locked cell of her daughter and sexually abused her. Solis will be criminally charged while dismissal proceedings will be initiated. (Ferdinand F. Castro)

More Revenues

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — The provincial government of La Union reached a 125-percent collection efficiency in 2013. Provincial Treasurer Francis Remeguis E. Estigoy said they were able to collect P1,107,272,110.25 or an increase of P220,865,443.05. The increased collection came from local sources and additional subsidy from other funds. Estigoy said the province pegged a 2013 budget of P886,406,667.20 but with the massive information dissemination and intensive tax collection campaign, they were able accomplish an increased collection from local taxes amounting to P150,638,794.16 and P191,488,066.07 from non-tax revenues. (Liezle Inigo Basa)

PDEA Operation

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said that a village councilor and his companion were arrested when joint operatives served a search warrant yesterday that also led to the discovery and closure of a drug den in Ilocos Sur. Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac Jr, PDEA Director General said arrested were Rodel Antolin, 38, a barangay kagawad of Nalvo, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur and Bobby Basconillo, 39, who is listed as a priority target of the Sta. Maria police. Seized from the two were 1.5 grams of shabu and 250 grams of marijuana. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)

‘Flowerfest 11’

BAGUIO CITY — Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Incorporated (BFFFI) Executive Co-Chairman Anthony de Leon said 11 elementary schools have qualified to participate in the grand street dancing and float parade of the 19th Flower Festival on February 22 and 23. They are from Josefa Carino Elementary School, Quezon Hill Elementary School, Baguio Central School, Jose Laurel Elementary School, Mabini Elementary School, Lucban Elementary School, Fort del Pilar Elementary School, Dona Aurora Elementary School and SPED Center. The competing teams will do a final showdown at the Athletic Bowl following the festival’s main parades. (Zaldy Comanda)

Health Coverage

BATANGAS CITY — Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique T. Ona gave the assurance that by 2014 at least 55 million poor Filipinos will get full health coverage. Ona said that while PhilHealth was unable to meet its 100 percent enrollment target within 15 years from its creation, they can still meet the goal. DOH has given a total of P17.7 billion to PhilHealth from 2011 to 2013 to cover health insurance of the poor. Ona, made the statement during the inauguration of the P70-million Batangas Medical Center Surgery Building for charity patients. (Vicky Aclan Florendo)