NBI recommends raps vs former and incumbent mayor of Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2021   •   292

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recommended filing charges against the former and incumbent mayor of municipality of Siayan, Zamboanga Del Norte.

In a report, the NBI said they recommended to the Ombudsman the filing of graft charges against former mayor Flora Lagrina Villarosa, incumbent mayor Atty. Josecor Gepolongca and two municipal employees Ana Marco and Jennifer Pumicpic, who conspired with each other in committing illegal acts.

NBI Officer-in-Charge (OIC)-Director Eric B. Distor said the recommendation was arrived at after months of exhaustive investigation conducted by the NBI-Anti Graft Division (NBI-AGD).

He reported that the agency received an anonymous letter of request for investigation after Mayor Villarosa acquired numerous businesses, real estate properties, vehicles and money which were manifestly disproportionate to her salary.

A complaint was also received from Marco who alleged in her affidavit that she and former Mayor Villarosa used to be friends and because of this, she agreed to Villarosa to use her name as dummy to the former Mayor’s businesses.

“She  agreed to Villarosa to use her name as dummy to the former Mayor’s businesses identified as Midway Gas Station and Midway Express located in Saiyan,” the NBI said.

The said businesses had a total transaction of 190 projects amounting to over P32 million with the Municipality of Saiyan during the term of the former mayor.

Meanwhile, incumbent mayor, Gepolongca issued two memoranda on February and July 2019 prohibiting all employees of the municipal government of Siayan from processing the request for public documents by various agencies including the NBI whom at that time was investigating the matter regarding the anomalous transactions of the municipality.

After collecting enough evidence, former mayor Villarosa was charged for violation of “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act” and “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials”. Villarosa was also charged for perjury and falsification of public documents.

The two employees, Marco and Pumicpic were charged for violation of “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act” and falsification of public documents.

Likewise, incumbent mayor Atty. Gepolongca was recommended to be charged for obstruction of justice. AAC





Ambush kills Zamboanga del Norte town vice mayor, 2 others

UNTV News   •   January 11, 2020

The bullet-riddled SUV the victims were shot in | Courtesy: PRO9

The vice-mayor of Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte and his three companions were ambushed on Saturday (January 11) at around 11:30 a.m.

Initial report from Police Regional Office 9 says, Vice-Mayor Gani Esmali and the three other victims were onboard a gray SUV heading towards Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte when an undetermined number of suspects fired at them.

The perpetrators immediately left the scene onboard a white van with unknown plate number heading towards the municipality of Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte.

Two of the victims died on the spot while Vice Mayor Esmali was declared dead upon arrival at the Siocon Distrcit Hospital. The fourth victim is currently undergoing medical treatment.

The Siocon Police is in hot pursuit of the gunmen while neighboring municipal police stations promptly launched a dragnet operation against the fleeing suspects.

Ferry fire kills three in Zamboanga del Norte

Marje Pelayo   •   August 28, 2019

Rescued passengers of the ill-fated M/V Lite Ferry 16 are attended to by rescuers and crew of the vessel which responded to the incident on August 28, 2019 in Zamboanga del Norte. (Courtesy: Philippine Coast Guard)

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, Philippines – Three individuals were killed after a passenger ferry went ablaze early morning on Wednesday (August 28) some four miles from Port of Dapitan in Zamboanga del Norte.

The vessel, M/V Lite Ferry 16, was said to have come from the port of Samboan in Santander, Cebu bound for Dapitan.

According to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the vessel which has a loading capacity of 317 has in its manifesto a total of 136 passengers and 36 crewmen.

However, authorities were able to rescue 245 individuals.

“The rest of the passengers are being taken care of and accommodated in available facilities in Dipolog,” said Lite Shipping Corp.’s COO Fernando Inting.

“A team has been dispatched from Cebu to assist the branch and to ensure that all passengers’ needs are attended properly,” he added.

Inting said they will provide each victim with P10,000 financial assistance while they coordinate with the families of the casualties to discuss their demands for assistance.

Meanwhile, the PCG-Visayas confirmed that M/V Lite Ferry 16 had complete legal documents thus it was cleared to sail.

“There are 28 rolling cargoes onboard pero wala pong (but there isn’t any) flammable or hazardous cargoes doon kasi ipinagbawal na natin yan matagal na, (because we already banned such [products] a long time ago,)” explained PCG-7 PIO LTJG Michael Encina.

“Hindi pwedeng pagsamahin ang mga passenger at tsaka ito pong dangerous cargoes. (Passengers and dangerous cargoes cannot be combined on board.) We are certain about that na walang (there is no) flammable material onboard ang vessel before it departs,” he added.

The vessel’s operator Lite Ferry Management is now working with the PCG for the conduct of the investigation in the incident.

“The area po that the maritime incident transpired is in Dapitan which is under the Coastguard Northern Mindanao,” Encina said.

“(Every time there is) maritime incident, the PCG will create a board. We call it BMI (or) the board marine inquiry wherein the group of PCG and at the same time the MARINA will investigate the matters and kung ano po talaga ang nangyari dun sa insidente (on what really transpired in the incident,)” he concluded. MNP (with details from Gladys Toabi)

‘Conviction is enough’ : Solons defend former first lady Imelda Marcos

admin   •   November 15, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Philippines Former First Lady and Congresswoman Imelda Marcos waves to supporters as she takes part in the announcement of her son BongBong Marcos’ vice-presidential candidacy, in Manila Philippines October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines — Minority Leader Danilo Suarez shares the same sentiment with known human rights lawyer Atty. Rene Saguisag in his recent statement in connection with the conviction of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos in 7 graft cases in Sandiganbayan.

Suarez is one of the congressmen who are against the arrest of Marcos.

“He [Atty. Rene Saguisag] said conviction is enough. It’s shameful enough that you are convicted already. He is somehow saying that there is no need to jail the former first lady. For me it’s … she is already 89 years old,” said Suarez.

According to Buhay party-list Rep Lito Atienza the age of congresswoman Marcos should be considered.

“If Sen. Enrile can be released on the basis of age and health then the former first lady is also an elderly person… she is 89 and she is not totally that healthy,” said Atienza.

But Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate opposed.

“Go to the National Bilibid Prison there are a lot of senior citizens and political prisoners there. Their cases have not been resolved until now. One of them died already inside the jail,” said Zarate.

Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan has deferred the issuance of a warrant of arrest against congresswoman Marcos.

This, after the Marcos camp filed a motion for leave of court to avail of possible remedies for the absence of Mrs. Marcos and her lawyer, Atty. Robert Sison, and further requested for a deferment of the issuance of a warrant.

The motion is set for hearing on Friday, November 16.

Zarate, expressed disappointment on the deferment of the issuance of the arrest warrant saying the victims of human rights violation under former President Ferdinand Marcos administration are waiting for this conviction for so long.

“We are calling to apply the law fairly we can see here that there are special treatment in the Marcos family,” said Zarate.

Congresswoman Marcos has not been attending any session in the House of Representatives since Monday. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue



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