Ecleo also tagged in death of slain wife’s relatives—NCRPO

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 31, 2020   •   687

Former lawmaker Ruben Ecleo Jr., who was arrested on Thursday (July 30), is also believed to have been involved in the murder of his slain wife’s relatives, according to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas said they received information that aside from being the tagged in the murder of his wife, Alona Bacolod Ecleo, Ecleo may also be involved in the murder of the father, mother, and siblings of his wife in 2002.

May kinalaman siya but the case was not filed unlike iyong sa asawa niya. But everybody knows doon sa Cebu, na siya ang prime suspect (He is involved but the case was not filed unlike in the case of his wife. But everybody in Cebu knows he is the prime suspect),” he said.

However, Ecleo has denied the allegation.

Wala. Hindi po, hindi ko alam po, (No, I do not know anything),” he said.

Ecleo was arrested in Pampanga on Thursday and is charged with parricide for the murder of his wife in January 2002. He is also facing graft charges for an anomalous project when he was still the mayor of San Jose, Surigao Del Norte. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Palace sees eased quarantine restriction in NCR Plus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus might ease next week.

On Thursday, Roque announced that community quarantine classification in NCR Plus might ease beginning June 15 due to the low attack rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and health care utilization rate. He reported that the hospital care utilization in Metro Manila remains very low or at 53% in ICU beds.

“I would say in fact that based on the figures, Metro Manila Plus might be looking at de-escalation. It might not be to modified general community quarantine [MGCQ] but it could be to ordinary general community quarantine [GCQ] because ang GCQ natin ngayon ay mayroon pang restrictions (because the current GCQ still has restrictions),” he said.

Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will discuss whether to  reopen gyms and fitness centers.

The NCR Plus, which includes Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, is currently under GCQ with restrictions until June 15. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Gov’t targets COVID-19 vaccination for 12M economic frontliners in NCR Plus 8

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The national government targets to provide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination to around P12 million economic frontliners in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8.

On Monday (June 7), around 50 individuals from various sectors including education, tourism, transportation, mass media, service and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry received their first dose of the vaccine at the Symbolic Vaccination of A4 Priority Group at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay. The individuals received Sinovac and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

In Navotas City, 400 COVID-19 doses were provided for workers. Other cities in Metro Manila also began registration of their vaccination process. Other local government units (LGUs) in other areas also began vaccination for the A4 priority group.

According to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said vaccination of economic frontliners would help in the economic recovery of the country.

“Hopefully itong vaccination sabi nga namin magtutuloy-tuloy ang reopening nang walang alinlangan at walang surge,” he said.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said workers aged 40-59 years old will be given priority.

“Malinaw na malinaw po iyan sa malawakan at malalimang pag-aaral na iyon pong habang tumatanda na mga grupo ng ating prioritization sila ang talagang naapektuhan ng COVID-19,” he said.

(It is clear through various research that older age groups are vulnerable to COVID-19.)

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that as of June 7, around 600,000 citizens have been fully vaccinated but it is only 4% of the 14 million total population of Metro Manila. Meanwhile, 1.6 million have received the first dose. AAC (with reports from JP Nuñez)

NCR, 8 other areas may attain COVID-19 herd immunity by November – DOH exec

Robie de Guzman   •   May 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to achieve herd immunity against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas by November this year, an official from the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said they are now eyeing to vaccinate more than 100,000 individuals per day to attain herd immunity in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Pampanga, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao areas when the vaccine supply becomes stable.

These areas are considered COVID-19 hotspots.

 “Ang tina-target natin ay by November at least for the ‘NCR plus 8,’ because we still depend on the steady supply of the vaccine,” she said.

Cabotaje said the country is still dependent on the global supply of vaccine but they are optimistic that more shots will arrive in the coming months.

“According sa announcement ni Sec. (Carlito) Galvez (Jr.), we will receive about 10 to 11 million doses ng June, July, August so more or less steady ‘yan so we will be able to reach a lot of vaccinees especially in the NCR plus areas,” she said.

The Philippines has so far received 7.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Over 3.2 million of these doses have already been administered mostly to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with co-morbidities since the government rolled out its vaccination program in March.

The government is also eyeing to open the inoculation to workers in essential industries and indigent people in the National Capital Region and other nearby province following calls from business groups and other sectors.

Cabotaje said they are also closely monitoring some areas in the Visayas and Mindanao due to reported upticks in COVID-19 cases.

She also disclosed that vaccine czar Galvez and testing czar Vince Dizon are set to fly to Zamboanga City to check on the COVID-19 situation there.

“Part of our strategy is to also give them additional vaccines to their regular allocation so they will be given protection,” she said.

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