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Luzon newsbits for June 7, 2014

2 GUNNED DOWN

CURRIMAO, Ilocos Norte — A tobacco businessman and his helper were killed by unidentified gunmen on the national highway in Barangay Lang-ayan, here, before dawn yesterday. Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza Jr., Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (PPO) director, said Norbert Arce, 34, a businessman from Vigan City, and Elmar Agdeppa, of Sinait, Ilocos Sur, were shot inside the vehicle they were traveling in around 3 a.m. The killers, believed riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle, used a .45-caliber pistol in the attack, probers said. Robbery was initially seen as the motive in the killing. (Freddie G. Lazaro)

BRIDGE BENEFITS

BURGOS, La Union — Around 2, 558 residents, mostly farmers in the Agrarian Reform Communities, will benefit from the recently inaugurated Bolikewkew Bridge in Barangay Tomapoc, here. The bridge was destroyed by Typhoon Pepeng last 2009. The Department of Public Works and Highways, with the Department of Agrarian Reform-Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Program (DAR-ARISP), led the inauguration, according to Esperanza Tinaza, information officer of DPWH here. It is also expected to improve the tourism activity in Burgos and will serve as an access road going to Baguio City. (Liezle Basa Inigo)

DISASTER SUMMIT

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga — The regionwide Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) summit was held by the Pampanga government, in collaboration with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 3, on Thursday, at Hotel Stotsenberg. Pampanga PDRRM provincial head Angeline Blanco said disaster preparedness has been one of the major concerns of the province since the eruption of Mt Pinatubo. “Since the Mt. Pinatubo erupted, flooding has been a regular occurrence to particular sites in Pampanga. Waterways and rivers were silted and more coastal areas were inhabited by evacuees from the eruption,” she said. (Franco G. Regala)

P111M FOR ROADS

TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija – The municipal government recently secured a P111-million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to hasten the construction of vital infrastructure projects, including a road network to solve the traffic problem here. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed last Thursday by Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez and LBP representatives, account manager Lito Rivera and Eduardo Reyes Jr., department manager of the bank’s Nueva Ecija Lending Center. The mayor said an important component of the road project is the concreting of the road network, linking the national highway and public market to Barangay Sampaloc which will span 750 linear meters. (Sheen Crisologo)

3,000 CLASSROOMS

MAGALANG, Pampanga – At least 3,000 classrooms for public schools will be constructed by the Australian Government, through the Australian Agency for International Development, in the Philippines by 2017, Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell announced on Wednesday. The ambassador said the project is part of the Australia-Philippines Development Cooperation Program. “We recognize the need for more classrooms for our schoolchildren,” he said. Australia is the largest provider of grant funding to education in the Philippines, with an annual budget of over Australian dollars 50 million. (Mark Anthony N. Manuel)

DRUG RAID

MAGSINGAL, Ilocos Sur – Police raided a suspected criminal group’s hideout in Barangay San Isidro, here, arresting five people and seizing three bricks of marijuana, 28 sachets of shabu, and an M-14 rifle. Arrested was Lauris Yamon, whose residence was raided by the teams led by Chief Inspector Sosimo Racho and Chief Inspector Jaime Laguesma. Authorities also arrested Jackeline Rabara, 23; Hernando Sonido, 45; Cesar Ascueta, 51 and Raymund Pacleb, 20, who were caught in the act of sniffing shabu. (Mar T. Supnad)