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Luzon Newsbits for June 3, 2014

Coco Farmers Protest

Lucena City, Quezon – The peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the claimants’ movement Coco Levy Funds Ibalik sa Amin (CLAIM) staged a picket yesterday in front of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) branch here to protest what the groups feel is the collusion between the bank and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). “Our worst fears of a collusion between UCPB and PCGG were bolstered by the latter’s continuing silence on the former’s ridiculous P15.6 billion claim over the coco levy funds. But far more suspicious is (President) Aquino’s deafening silence on the issue despite the outrage against the UPCB board,” says CLAIM-Quezon spokesperson Arvin Borromeo. (Danny J. Estacio)

Cop slain in Cavite

Bacoor City, Cavite – A policeman was killed before dawn Monday in a shooting attack reportedly perpetrated by a still unidentified group on Molino Road III here. Sr. Supt. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr., Cavite Police Provincial Office director, identified the fatality as Senior Police Officer III Alejandro Ame, a member of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Office. Esquivel, citing preliminary police reports, said the assailants fired at an Innova car, en route from Manila, with Ame and a group of Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) agents on board while on the road in Barangay Molino III. The report said Ame died on the spot. Police investigation is continuing. (Anthony Giron)

‘SALINTUBIG’ fund

Capas, Tarlac – The Department of Interior and Local Government has granted to this Tarlac town P1 million to fund the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG). Department of Interior and Local Government regional director Florida Dijan awarded the check to Mayor Antonio Rodriguez Jr. in a simple turnover ceremony at the municipal hall recently. “We will be utilizing the fund for the installation of 26 shallow wells in the villages of Lawy, Sto. Rosario and Cutcut I. 15 deep well pumps shall likewise be placed in the western barangays of Bueno, Maruglu, Sta. Juliana, and Sta. Lucia,” Rodriguez said. Some 9,830 households are expected to benefit from this initiative. (Mar Supnad)

Road projects

Baguio City – Twenty-six road rehabilitation projects in the Cordilleras are slated for completion before end of 2014. Regional Director Edilberto Carabbacan of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cordillera said the projects, under the DPWH-Department of Tourism (DOT) convergence project worth P2 billion, started in 2013. He said in 2013 there were 12 tourism road upgrading projects implemented in Abra, Benguet, Ifugao and Baguio City worth P1.005 billion funded by the national government to connect all potential tourist destinations in the region. “Four of these (have been) completed while the six are still (being constructed) and two are delayed due to lack of manpower and materials,” he said. (Zaldy Comanda)

PAMANA projects

Baguio City – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles yesterday visited the sites where farm-to-market roads were recently completed, as part of the PAMANA project for former Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA), which helped Manabo, Abra and barangay Cabiten in Mankayan, Benguet. Deles’ one-day site visit took place first in Manabo with a welcome party led by Abra Governor Eustaquio Bersamin and other LGU officials in Casakudan Elementary School in Sitio Sakudan, San Ramon East, Manabo. Deles also met with the former armed groups who opted integration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as forest guards locally called the “Bantay Gubat group.” (Larry Fabian)