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Tarlac Province News January 2012

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Binay joins pilgrimage to relic of Holy Cross in Tarlac

by (PNA)

RMA/hbc/zst/HT/ps


SAN JOSE, Tarlac, Jan. 31 (PNA)—Vice President Jejomar Binay joined thousands of pilgrims who flocked to the Monasterio de Tarlac here to mark the Holy Eucharist on the fifth enshrinement anniversary of the relic of the Holy Cross.

Binay said Monday it is his first time to visit the Monasterio de Tarlac, located at the top of the mountain of Barangay Lubigan here upon the invitation of a friend.

The Vice President joined the two-hour mass officiated by Bishop Florentino Cinense of the Diocese of Tarlac.

Monsignor Alfred Voss and Monsignor Volker Bauer were the two German priests who were the original keepers of the Relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ .

Former Senator Ernesto Maceda and former Ambassador Tita de Villa were also seen at the monastery.

After the mass, the exposition and veneration of the relic of the Holy Cross followed.

The actual fragment of the true cross is encased in a silver arqueta found at the foot of the altar and enclosed by grilled doors.

Closely guarded by local authorities, the relic is venerated by monks seven times a day and is exposed for public veneration twice a year, January 30 and September 14.

Binay said that words are not enough to describe the feeling of someone standing in a holy ground like the Monasterio de Tarlac.

Governor Victor Yap, for his part, said he always take pride that the relic of the Holy Cross is in Tarlac.

Yap said that since the time the relic was received in Tarlac by his late father Congressman Jose Yap, the province had experienced countless blessings, from being spared to calamities up to the peace and order Tarlaqueños are now enjoying.

After the occasion, the Vice President proceeded to Tarlac Montessori School by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the said school.

Binay also took time to meet the senior citizens of Tarlac.

In the presence of the some senior citizens, he handed over to three Tarlac mayors — San Miguel, Capas and Concepcion -- the three checks amounting to P500,000 each for the construction of the senior citizen's office in their respective localities.

Cop’s gun stolen

by George Hubierna


CAMP Macabulos, Tarlac City -- An issued firearm of a policeman was reportedly stolen inside his house in Bgy. Abagon, Gerona, Tarlac province, Thursday night.

Tarlac police director Senior Supt. Alfred Corpus identified the victim as Jose Marie Micua, 37, married, assigned at the Office of the Philippine National Police chief in Camp Crame.

Initial investigation showed that the victim went to the town plaza to attend festival celebration. He stayed overnight in his house in Pura town but when he returned home, he discovered that six blades of the jalousie window in their bedroom were detached.

Immediately, he went inside and found out that his traveling bag was open.

The victim proceeded to the other room where he found his bag containing his Beretta 9mm pistol (serial number G446172), three magazine assemblies loaded with ammunition, an Armscor caliber .45 pistol, P7,000 in cash, an expensive sunglasses, two passbooks and two identification cards which he kept under his pillow missing.

Further investigation is ongoing for the possible recovery of the stolen items and the immediate arrest of the suspects.

Tarlac City’s heritage highlights 2012 festival

by Joelyn G. Baluyut


TARLAC CITY, Tarlac, Jan. 27 (PIA) -- To further promote this city’s heritage, for this year, the city’s festival theme will focus on its customs. “Dubbed as ‘Sigla’t Saya, Sama-Sama kahit Magkakaiba,’ this festival will remind our people of the significance of the unyielding collaboration carried by our forefathers who despite their differences, still worked harmoniously and turned the impossible into achievable,” said Tarlac City Mayor Ace Manalang. The province is known to have a mixture of Ilocano and Kapampangan settlers, making cultural differences. The festival includes a trade fair, food festival, cooking contest, beauty pageant, Addessa Paligsawit 2012 (singing contest), piyesta pancitan, amateur boxing competition, street dancing competition for both elementary and high-school students, ‘Balikbayan’ night, grand ballroom dancing and grand aerial fireworks display. For this year, this city carries the theme “First Melting Pot of Central Luzon,” which is a metaphor of a clay pot which was used to melt different elements to produce commonality. According to historians, this community was first dwelled by the families of the two leaders from Bacolor, Pampanga which eventually joined by other settlers from Zambales, Bataan, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and other parts of the country. Given the differences, these settlers were able to start a community and learned to value solidarity by setting aside each cultural diversity. “This innate quality is what we need to preserve and practice because by virtue and solidarity, we can all move faster to reach our common goal,” Manalang concluded. (WLB/JGBA/PIA-3)

Firm exec announces mayoralty bid

by Reynaldo G. Navales


CLARK FREEPORT -- Clark International Airport Corporation Vice President Reynaldo Catacutan announced that he will again seek the mayoralty post in the town of Capas, Tarlac province next year.

Catacutan also dismissed claims that he is eyeing the presidency of CIAC, saying that he accepted his position, through the invitation of President Aquino, to help in the development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).

The CIAC official, who is a former mayor of said town, said he has been telling employees at DMIA that his term as vice president for operations in the airport may only be until December 2012, during the time of the filing of certificates of candidacy in the local polls.

Catacutan was reacting to reports that he is pushing several issues against CIAC president Victor Jose I. Luciano to get the airport's highest post.

Catacutan linked Luciano in the cable theft case inside the aviation complex last year, saying the latter allowed the entry of four men, personnel of a manpower firm, who are suspected of stealing power lines.

Catacutan said the missing cables are back-up systems of the runway. But Luciano said the stolen cables are old power lines of the airport perimeter illumination.

When asked if he will accept the CIAC presidency if the President designated him, Catacutan replied that he is a good soldier and he will heed the president's call.

Catacutan will face incumbent Capas Mayor TJ Rodriguez in the mayoralty race.

Luisita farmers press for land distribution

by Philip Tubeza

Philippine Daily Inquirer


MANILA, Philippines—Luisita farmers belonging to Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala), on Tuesday picketed the Supreme Court and asked for the immediate distribution of the estate to its tillers. According to Ambala chairman Felix Nakpil Jr., they have already “occupied” seven hectares of hacienda land in Barangay(village) Balite, Tarlac, in preparation for the estate’s eventual distribution. “Even if the decision of the court (distributing the land) is not yet final, we believe that the land should already be given to farmers since it belongs to us,” Nakpil said in an interview. He said about half of the 6,296 farmer-beneficiaries of the hacienda had occupied the seven hectares of the sprawling sugarcane plantation. “We have had no work since 2004 so we occupied it starting last December 10 to plant vegetables,” Nakpil said. And despite Malacanang’s denials, Nakpil said the farmers believe that the Aquino administration was going after impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona because it wanted to overturn the high court ruling. “We don’t believe their claim that they are siding with the farmers because if they had done that, the land would have been distributed to us a long time ago,” he said. “But even if Corona were replaced, we believe that it would be hard to overturn the majority of 14 justices who concurred with the ruling distributing the land. It would be shameful for the Supreme Court if it flip-flopped,” he said. “If that happens, then we would also lose faith in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Expressway almost complete, but farmers yet to be paid

by Yolanda Sotelo

Inquirer Northern Luzon


The 9-kilometer stretch of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) in this eastern Pangasinan town is about 75 percent complete, but none of the farmers whose lands were used for the highway has received full payments for their property, a project consultant said. “Nobody has been paid yet in Pangasinan,” Roberto Tamondong, an independent consultant of the TPLEx, told the Inquirer by phone last week. Mayor Ricardo Revita said the problem in the payment of the right-of-way cropped up because documents on land ownership were not ready. The lands were expropriated and the court would settle how much the farmers would be paid, he said. The area used to be a hacienda (estate) and some of the land titles are in the names of dead residents. He said some lands are tilled by relatives of the dead owners and they have to agree who they would assign as representatives of their families in transactions with the government, he said. John Alimorong, municipal planning and development coordinator, said an appraisal committee composed of provincial and municipal assessors and a representative from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, is determining the cost of the lands where the expressway passes through. The expressway covers around 54 hectares of rice land, but Revita said he did not know how many farmers would be displaced. The 9-km stretch of the expressway in this town is being built by D.M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI). Tamondong said the farmers also asked the Department of Public Works and Highways to build a bridge, similar to the Candaba viaduct in Pampanga, to avoid flooding their farms. But he said this would entail a bigger budget. “The proponent assured [the farmers] that the eastern side of the expressway would not be affected by floods because of the new road because there are enough [box culverts] to drain the water. Besides, building a bridge would not be justified because there is no river [in the area], but agricultural land,” he said. In April last year, residents of Pangaoan village here put up a human barricade at the TPLEx site to protest the construction of a three-meter high expressway, which they said would flood their village and erase it from the town’s map. “Instead of the highway, we are asking the government to construct a viaduct similar to the one in Pampanga, as the expressway will dam water and drown the village during the rainy season,” Pangaoan village chief Renato Oril said. But Oril said residents, in a consultation held earlier, agreed to the project as long as reinforced concrete pipes are laid out to serve as waterways to avoid flooding their farms.

Luen Thai helps Phils attain rural development

by Joelyn G. Baluyut


CONCEPCION, Tarlac, Jan. 22 (PIA) – As D’Luxe Bags Philppines, a subsidiary of the Luen Thai Group that produces goods under the brand Coach, now fully operates in the country, its top executive attested that his company is “one of the President’s objectives towards rural development in the county.” In a speech presented by Willie Tan, CEO of Luen Thai Enterprises and Tan Holdings Corp. to President Benigno S. Aquino III during the inauguration rites of D’Luxe, he confirmed that “Luen Thai also works towards the uplifting of rural communities in this country.” To date, Luen Thai has three facilities in the country that includes Yuen Thai’s Adidas in Mactan Cebu, Luen Thai’s Clark facility, D’Luxe bag in this province. Under the President’s platform of government in relation to economic growth, it is stated that “from treating the rural economy as just a source of problems to recognizing farms and rural enterprises as vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth, worthy of re-investment for sustained productivity.” This is part of the Aquino’s administration's 16-point agenda that includes human development, infrastructure development, economic development, sovereignty, security, the rule of law and good governance. Tan also said that they are studying the possibility of opening a shoes factory by 2013 that will open further opportunities to Filipinos. Luen Thai is a global leader in providing end-to-end apparel services that support our customers' speed-to-market goals. It operates sales and design offices, manufacturing facilities and logistics stations in Asia, America and Europe. (WLB/JGB- PIA 3)

DAR begins orientation of HLI farmers in Tarlac

by Jonathan Mayuga


THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Saturday began its “grassroots orientation” at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac to brief farm- workers about the possibilities arising from the Supreme Court (SC) ruling to distribute the vast sugar estate of the Cojuangco family to qualified farmer-beneficiaries. Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio De los Reyes will lead some 150 DAR personnel, broken up to 55 teams to be deployed to at least 10 barangays inside the hacienda, in this consultation process where farmer-beneficiaries could air their views and raise whatever questions they have in mind. Primarily, the DAR personnel will orient the farmworkers and explain in detail the SC decision and the pertinent laws that govern the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). De los Reyes said that in orienting the Hacienda Luisita farmers, they hope that the implementation of the SC decision will not face any further delay once it becomes final and executory. It will be recalled that the Supreme Court had ordered the distribution of the 4,916-hectare plantation to the original 6,296 farmer-beneficiaries pursuant to an order of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) in December 2005. “We, in the DAR, will be very glad to listen to them and answer all their queries if only to make everything crystal-clear to them,” he stressed, adding that the DAR is committed to be transparent in all its dealings. The DAR chief said he is anticipating a number of issues to crop up, foremost among are: (a) which portions of the property are covered for distribution and which are not; (b) when the distribution of the farm will take place and how long this would be carried out; (c) who are the direct beneficiaries, will they be compensated, how much and how long the paying period will be? He added that questions would also likely be raised on the fate of farmworkers not included on the list of beneficiaries prepared in 1989, and the controversial issue on just compensation to landowners. De los Reyes said making the farmer-beneficiaries understand the decision in its simplest form is the key to a smooth and peaceful implementation of the Supreme Court ruling on the Hacienda Luisita.

Bag company opened opportunities to Filipinos - PNoy

by PIA Press Release


CONCEPCION, Tarlac, Jan. 19 (PIA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III said that the D’Luxe Bags Philippines, which was inaugurated Monday, Jan. 16, in this town, has opened further opportunities to Filipinos. In a speech articulated by the Chief Executive during the event, he said, “Luen Thai Group gives us this opportunity, this door that has opened opportunities presented to the people that you have hired directly but also to the people who will be in support and who will have now opportunities to service those that you have empowered.” Referring to the Luen Thai Group officials headed by Mr. Willie Tan, the President said, “The community owes you a lot. And I think it is but proper for you to continue this relationship to demonstrate the soundness of the decision you made in trusting in us, so that is the appeal that I have for my Cabalens.” D’Luxe, which now has 1,200 employees, is part of the Luen Thai Group and manufactures and exports leather goods for American firm Coach’s designer bags. It was incorporated in December 2010 and was registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) in January 2011. The said establishment is one of the three commitments of the Luen Thai to the President during the Presidential Trip to New York last September 2010 through various Memorandum of Agreements signed with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The other two agreements are Yuen Thai’s Adidas facility expansion in Mactan Cebu and Luen Thai’s Clark Freeport Zone facility expansion which is currently being undertaken. (WLB/JGB- PIA 3

Minor held for MJ plants

by George Hubierna


CAMP Macabulos, Tarlac City -- A 16-year-old boy was arrested recently for cultivating marijuana near his house on St. Dominic Subd., Bgy. San Vicente, here.

Tarlac police director Senior Supt. Alfred Corpus identified the suspect as Bryan, not his real name, an out-of-school youth.

Provincial Intelligence Branch head Supt. Bayani Razalan said the suspect has been under surveillance for about a week.

Four grown marijuana plants were uprooted in the presence of Bgy. Kagawad Raul Policarpio and Nelson Maglanoc with a mediaman.

The minor was charged with violation of Section 16, Art. 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development.

President Aquino focuses on Philippine economy

by mindanaoexaminer.com


MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 17, 2012) – Filipino leader Benigno Aquino continues to focus on inclusive growth for the economy and in his speech at the inauguration of the D’Luxe Bags Philippines, the President said that while his administration holds fast to its commitment to good governance, it also would not waver in pursuing equitable economic growth, citing solid accomplishments such as creating an additional 2.1 million jobs last year, as well as increasing tourist arrivals by about a million additional visitors in 2011.

Aquino graced the event of the luxury bag factory in Tarlac.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Tuesday also said that confidence in the reform agenda of the Aquino administration was recently expressed by a delegation of U.S. Congressmen, led by Representative Harold Rogers, who said: “Certainly we can attest to the fact that this administration is doing all it can to right the wrongs of the past.”

“The great strides that have been made in curbing corruption, fighting poverty, and promoting good governance—the achievements of the past one and a half years—are only indicators of the changes that will continue to sweep the Philippines in the coming years,” he said. Impeachment Trial

Meanwhile, Lacierda said the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona in the Senate demonstrated its independence and seriousness in undertaking its constitutional duties.

“This early, we have seen the legalistic manner by which the defense hopes to muddle the truth and bog down the proceedings. This is merely a demonstration of how the entire apparatus of control of the Arroyos and their allies is falling apart, increasingly unable to stonewall in order to hinder the quest for the truth,” he said.

Having politicized the judiciary to an unprecedented level, the calling to account of the Chief Justice presents the prospect of the judiciary finally being liberated from the chains of political indebtedness and partisanship, Lacierda said.

He said the public has expressed every confidence in the Senate going about its duties in impeachment with fairness, undeterred and not fooled by the conspiracy theories and cheap propaganda of the Chief Justice.

“A judiciary liberated from self-serving disregard of its obligations to the Constitution and our people will be a judiciary that will be able to contribute to political stability, economic growth, and attracting investments and creating jobs,” he said.

World Bank report on the Judiciary

Lacierda said the World Bank report on Judicial Reform Support Program (JRSP) is genuine after the opposition doubted its authenticity.

“It seems that what the World Bank has done is clarify that it did not release the report to the media, but a careful reading of its statement shows that they did not deny the authenticity of the report itself,” he said.

“We have verified with officials who were furnished copies of the World Bank report that the version uploaded by a media outfit online, and theirs, are a match. The report details the expenditures declared ineligible for World Bank funding. It also demanded a refund from the Supreme Court for expenses that were not covered by the grant,” he added.

Lacierda said it was interesting to note that neither the Corona nor his spokesman Midas Marquez have disputed the authenticity, or the existence, of the report.

“What the Chief Justice has egregiously misrepresented is that the report didn’t cover his period in office; while his spokesman dodged the issue by calling it “unfair” and the truth is the report specifically covers the period of Mr. Corona being Chief Justice,” he said.

“As the President has pointed out, the report proves the pressing need for reforms in the judiciary. The reforms the present Chief Justice, who has lost his moral ascendancy, is incapable of achieving. The ongoing impeachment of the Chief Justice is thus a vital step in the process of reforming the judiciary, so that it can finally deliver true justice, speedily and impartially, to our people,” Lacierda said.

President Aquino inaugurates D’Luxe Bags Philippines in Tarlac

by (PNA)

LDV/zst/HT/ps


CONCEPCION, Tarlac, Jan. 16 (PNA) -- President Benigno Simeon Aquino III thanked the officials of the Luen Thai Group for their confidence in expanding their business in the Philippines as he led on Monday the inauguration of the D'Luxe Bags Philippines here.

The President said the opening of the new Luen Thai manufacturing firm will substantially boost the country’s economy through more job opportunities.

The Chief Executive was happy to note that around 4,000 new jobs are expected to be created through the opening of D'Luxe Bags Philippines which manufactures and exports leather goods under the brand Coach.

In his speech, he also took pride of the 2.1 million new jobs generated last year amid the economic slowdown in many parts of the world.

Aside from the manufacturing of garments and leather bags, the President also disclosed that the Luen Thai Group would also get involved in the tourism sector.

”We need all the help we can get,” the President said, noting that his administration is eyeing 10 million tourists in 2016.

For his part, William Tan, chief executive officer of the Luen Thai Enterprises & Tan Holdings Corp., hoped to contribute to the country's growth as they continue to expand their business operations in the country.

The opening of the D'Luxe Bags Philippines in this province, "is a testimony of Luen Thai's commitment to the Philippines," Tan said.

The establishment of D'Luxe Bags Philippines is one of the three commitments of the Luen Thai Group during the presidential visit to New York, USA in September 2010 through various memorandum of agreements (MOAs) signed with the Department of Trade and Industry.

The other two commitments are the Yuen Thai's Adidas facility expansion in Mactan, Cebu which was inaugurated last August 2010, and the Luen Thai's Clark facility expansion, which is currently being undertaken.

As of December 2011, D'Luxe Bags Philippines has 1,200 employees and is producing 90,000 to 100,000 pieces per month.

By March, employment is seen to reach 1,700.

The Luen Thai, together with its subsidiaries, is one of the world's premier apparel manufacturing companies.

PNoy to grace grand opening of bag manufacturing facility in Tarlac

by Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu


TARLAC CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III will grace tomorrow the grand opening of the D’ Luxe Bags Philippines’ manufacturing facility in barangay Sta. Rosa, Concepcion town, Tarlac. The Chief Executive shall lead the unveiling of the marker located at the main entrance of Production Building 1 and tour the facility before heading towards the program venue to deliver his keynote speech. A subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Luen Thai Holdings, D’ Luxe is one of the outsourced manufacturers of American firm Coach’s designer bags. It was incorporated on December 2010 and was registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) on January 2011. As of December 2011, D’ Luxe has 1,200 employees and is producing 90,000 to 100,000 pieces per month. On March, employment will reach 1,700 and investments will be at US$ 5 million. The establishment of a bag manufacturing facility in Tarlac was one of Luen Thai’s commitments to the President during their September 2010 meeting in New York City. Others were the expansion of its production plants in Mactan, Cebu and Clark Freeport. (WLB/CLJD-PIA 3)

Tarlac City to hold week-long ‘1st Melting Pot Festival’

by George Hubierna


TARLAC City -- Dubbed “Sigla’t-Saya, Sama-Sama Kahit Magkakaiba,” the city government of Tarlac, through the City Tourism Office, will hold the first “Melting Pot Festival” starting on Sunday, Mayor Ace Manalang said.

This year, the city government decided to change the title of the festivities from “Malatarlak and Balik-Sigla” to “Melting Pot Festival” to emphasize that although the city is composed of people having different culture and origin, still it can work harmoniously and will turn the impossible into achievable.

The festival will commence with a “Misa ng Pagkakaisa” at San Sebastial Cathedral to be followed by showcasing numerous arrays of merry-making activities like trade fair and food festival at the Ninoy Aquino Plaza followed at night by a fireworks display to signal the start of the event.

An additional feature of the fiesta is the “1st Penakbet Cooking Contest” to be held at second floor of SM City.

Participants will show different ways of cooking penakbet, an Ilocano dish, composed of a mixture of vegetables and fish bagoong in a “palayok” (pot).

Among the activities lined up are Miss Tarlac City Beauty Pageant, 1st Melting Pot Festival Grand Parade of Miss Tarlac City 2012 to be joined by movie and television stars, float competition, Adessa Paligsawit 2012, Piesta Pancitan, amateur boxing competition, street-dancing contest for elementary and high school students, balikbayan night, grand ballroom dancing and grand aerial fireworks display on the final night.

Tarlac City became popularly known as Melting Pot of the Philippines started by two leaders from Bacolor, Pampanga which were eventually joined by other settlers from Zambales, Bataan, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and other parts of the country.

“This unique quality of the Tarlaqueños is what we need to preserve and practice because by virtue and solidarity, we can move farther towards reaching common goal,” Manalang stressed.

Construction of the P790M Bamban to Moncada road goes round-the-clock

by Rebecca Grace S. David


BAMBAN, Tarlac, Jan. 13 (PIA) -- The improvement, widening, and concreting of the 53-kilometer (km) Tarlac Highway from Bamban to Moncada which was started October last year is expected to be completed middle of 2012. The P790-million project runs through three congressional districts of Tarlac. In District 1, the scope of work from Paniqui to Moncada consists of widening, bridge construction, upgrading, and asphalt overlay. The project costs P147 million. The 2nd District project covers the widening and upgrading of road, the construction of canals, and asphalt overlay from Tarlac City to Gerona. Construction of these infrastructures would cost P412 million. In barangay San Rafael, Tarlac City, one kilometer of road is to be upgraded at least half a meter to address the perennial problem of flooding in the area. This area had been identified as the lowest portion in the Tarlac segment of the Manila North Road. The 3rd congressional district project which costs P231 million involves the widening, upgrading of road, and the construction of canal and asphalt overlay from Bamban to Capas. To expedite the construction of drainage canals, utility service providers such as the Tarlac Electric Cooperatives (TARELCO) 1 and II, telecom networks (PLDT, SMART, GLOBE) and water utilities committed to transfer their facilities in order that construction work will proceed without interruptions. Motorists are advised to take the alternate route at La Paz (SCTEX) to their destinations. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional director Antonio Molano said about 35 percent of the project is already completed. To further ensure the speedy completion, assistant project engineer Edwin David closely monitors the construction and coordinates with the affected local government units and the Traffic Management Group. (WLB/RGSD-PIA 3)

Notorious drug pusher nabbed in Tarlac mall

by George Hubierna


CAMP Macabulos, Tarlac City -- A notorious drug pusher, who is fifth in the list of drug personalities in the province, finally fell into the hands of the authorities during a buy-bust operation conducted at the 4th floor parking lot of SM City Tarlac in Bgy. San Roque Monday night.

Tarlac police director Senior Supt. Alfred Corpus identified the suspect as Alvin Manalang Cupcupin, 36, of Bgy. Pob 2, Gerona, Tarlac, and said to be a member of “Punzal Group” operating in Tarlac and nearby provinces.

The arrest was made by the Provincial Intelligence Branch led by Supt. Bayani Razalan, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team led by its provincial officer Chief Insp. Richard Caballero and the Provincial Public Safety Company led by Supt. Roldan Luna.

A pre-arranged drug transaction was hatched with PO1 Paul Andrew T. Pabustan acting as poseur buyer. He was able to buy a transparent plastic sachet of suspected shabu weighing 0.067 gram for P1,000 (AE124722 with marking “PTB”).

SPO4 Wilhelmino A. Alcantara, PO3 Arnel E. Cruz, PO1 Arnulfo B. Santiago and PO1 Ruy V. Fabros, who were strategically positioned, immediately arrested the suspect, who yielded the marked P1,000 bill, a Sonny Ericson cellphone, US$1, a $50, three pieces of $20, 31 pcs. of P100 bills, four pcs. P50 bills and a black wallet. Another transparent plastic sachet of shabu weighing 5.256 grams was also found in Cupcupin’s red Toyota Corolla (UNY-117.)

The inventory of seized items/evidence were conducted in the presence of Homer Teodoro of GMA 7, Bgy. Kagawads Allan M. Bautista, Jer Jhon V. Viray and Rolando S. Santiago, all of Bgy. San Roque, Tarlac City.

The confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to Tarlac Crime Laboratory Office for examination. Charges of violation of RA9165 will be filed against the suspects.

The accused was also arrested on March 10, 2011 by elements of PIB Tarlac for the same offense.

Suspected drug pusher in Tarlac nabbed

by (PNA)

LAP/zst/HT/ps


TARLAC CITY, Jan. 10 (PNA) – Police arrested a notorious drug pusher in this city during a buy-bust operation conducted on Monday.

In a report submitted to Tarlac police director Senior Supt. Alfredo S. Corpus, Supt. Bayani Razalan, commander of the Provincial Intelligence Branch-Tarlac, identified the suspect as Alvin Cupcupin, 35, a resident of Barangay Poblacion Dos, Gerona town.

Razalan said that PO1 Paul Andrew Pabustan, who acted as poseur buyer was able to buy from the suspect a sachet of white crystalline substance believed to be shabu with a weight of 0.067 grams for P1,000.

When the suspect’s clutch bag was inspected, another sachet of suspected shabu, weighing 5. 256 grams was seen.

Also found inside the suspect’s clutch bag were bank transaction receipt at BDO amounting to P216,000 and an undetermined amount of US dollar and Philippine peso currencies.

Police senior inspector Marcelino Teloza, deputy commander of Provincial Intelligence Branch-Tarlac, said this is the third time they arrested Cupcupin for the same offense.

Teloza said that they would make sure that the suspect would not be able to post bail this time.

Cupcupin is the nephew of city Mayor Gelacio Manalang.

When asked on the arrest of his nephew, the mayor said that he is of course very sad.

"But he (the suspect) violated the law, so he must be punished according to the dictate of the law," Manalang said.

Vista Land units to hike capital

by CHCV


FOLLOWING THE increase in capital stock of its three subsidiaries last week, two more Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. units yesterday secured the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to hike their capital stocks as the company prepares for expansion in the province. Communities Tarlac, Inc. bagged approval to raise its capital stock to P250 million from P20 million, while Communities General Santos, Inc. plans to hike capital stock to P200 million from P20 million.

Ricardo B. Tan, Jr., the company’s chief financial officer, had earlier said the increase in capital stock was meant to support expansion plans, particularly for the Camella Homes horizontal housing brand.

RDC 3 OKs establishment of eco-tourism light industrial park in Tarlac City

by Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Jan 5 (PIA) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Central Luzon recently approved the transformation of a 112-hectare estate in Tarlac City into an Eco-tourism light industrial park. In a statement, RDC 3 disclosed that, “the park will feature office, commercial, retail, leisure, institutional, residential, and health and wellness components at a development cost of P2.7 billion.” A significant portion of the land development in the project will involve the reclamation of the 4.5 kilometer stretch of the eastern riverbank of Tarlac River. The council added that “the project will be implemented through public-private partnership and is expected to commence within the term of President Benigno Aquino III.” RDC 3 is the highest policy-making body in Central Luzon and serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the subnational level. (WLB/CLJD-PIA 3)

New Tarlac dam to rise

by FRANCO G. REGALA


TARLAC CITY, Philippines – Officials of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Region 3 announced Wednesday the recently approved budget for the construction of the P16.09-billion Balog-Balog Multipurpose (BBM) dam in San Jose town here. The RDC disclosed that “the rock-fill dam, which is part of the second phase of the BBM project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), will be about 113.5 meters from the riverbed to the crest with water storage capacity of 625 million cubic meters.” The facility is expected to render irrigation services to an additional 21,935 hectares of farmlands in the province, increasing the total irrigation service area of the BBM project to 34,410 hectares. A reservoir of around 1,800 hectares within the edifice will be utilized for tilapia production. Once constructed and fully operated by 2016, the BBM dam is projected to produce an incremental crop yield of 116.7 thousand metric tons of rice per year with an estimated value of $34.72 million and 93.55 thousand metric tons of tilapia per year with a net production of P506 million. Apart from irrigation and fishery, the RDC 3 bared that “Balog-balog dam will also be complemented with a hydro-electric power plant with a total installed capacity of 43.5 megawatts that can supply the present power requirements of Tarlac City or four medium-sized towns with an aggregate population of about 250,000.” The RDC 3 is the highest policy-making body in Central Luzon and serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the subnational level. It is the primary institution that coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region and serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with national development activities. Council members include all governors, city mayors, municipal mayors of capital towns, presidents of municipal mayors league, regional directors of national government agencies and representatives from the private sector. Meanwhile, the newly restored state-of-the-art modern hospital in Magalang, Pampanga with at least P35 million worth of upgraded facilities is set to open this Monday, Jan. 9, as part of Gov. Lilia G. Pineda’s health and medical services modernization program in the province. Pineda said P35 million was spent for the rehabilitation and construction of the new building at Don Andres Luciano Memorial Hospital (DALMH) in Barangay San Pablo, Magalang town in the first district of this province. The budget was part of the P700 million released by Pineda in 2011 for her projects on health, education, livelihood infrastructure and other projects. Pineda was met by George Samson, president and CEO of the Detroit, Michigan-based World Medical Relief Inc., First District Rep. Carmelo Lazatin and Magalang Mayor Romy Pecson at the Clark Freeport to finalize the plans for the hospital’s opening next week.

Tyron's remains brought to Tarlac

by NEIL RAMOS


MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of mourners gathered to view the remains of actor Tyron Perez after it was brought home to Barangay Alfonso in Concepcion, Tarlac on Jan. 2.

In a report on GMA News, several town-mates of the actor expressed their grief over the unexpected if all too shocking turn in the life of the budding matinee idol.

“Nabigla kami, hindi namin in-expect,” said one. “Mabait ‘yang batang ‘yan eh.”

Another intoned, “Syempre, masyadong malungkot ito para sa amin, idol namin ‘yan.”

Perez’ mother shared the sorrow of her son’s fans.

“Masakit,” said she in between sobs. “Hindi ganito ang gusto kong New Year ko.”

Jenny, a sister of the actor, hopes they'd be able to move on from the loss. “Ang plano namin ng kapatid ko eh, kakayanin ko na lang mag-isa,” she said.

Perez, 27, is the youngest in a brood of five. He first gained public notice in 2003 upon joining “StarStruck.”

He was found dead inside a car on a side street in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City on Dec. 29.

Perez’ wife, Liv, who was the last to speak to the actor, is convinced that her husband killed himself. "Based on our last conversation, yes, it all leads to suicide," she said via the same GMA New report.

She revealed in an earlier interview that her husband called her in the early morning of Dec. 29.

“Around 9 a.m. [Dec. 29] tinawagan niya ako. Sabi niya niya magpapakamatay daw siya. Sabi ko, “ano ka ba?’ Kasi hindi si Tyron, eh, hindi siya [ganun]. Sabi niya, ‘gusto mong marinig? Gusto mong marinig?, sabi niya. Narinig ko na lang, ‘boom.’ Parang nahulog na libro tapos….Parang nahulog ‘yung cellphone. Hello ako nang hello [pero] wala na,” she recalled.

Though she was hesitant to confirm if the matter related to the actor’s alleged gambling woes, she admitted that her husband has an outstanding debt that might have caused him great anxiety.

“Meron siyang utang na malaki,” said she in a separate interview with PEP. "Medyo may figure po yun and, I think, kailangan niya pong i-settle yun, e, nung mga last few months. Hindi naman po stable ang work niya. Siguro po, pressured na rin. Pantay-pantay na. So, ayun po."

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