Notorious gun-for-hire leader, driver killed in Pampanga shootout

Marje Pelayo   •   January 18, 2021   •   438

PAMPANGA, Philippines — A notorious gun-for-hire and his driver were killed in a shootout with authorities early morning Monday (January 18) in Pampanga.

Harry Mandahay, leader of the Mandahay gun-for-hire group, and Jeffrey Langilao, Mandahay’s driver and member of the same criminal group, met their demise in an encounter with members of the Highway Patrol Group and Bacolor Municipal Police Station.

The incident occurred around 2:99 a.m. Monday after the suspects’ car was cornered by mobile crews of the HPG’s Special Operations Division (SOD) and Bacolor Municipal Police Station along River Control Road in Brgy. Cabetican, Bacolor, Pampanga. 

“Refusing to surrender, Mandahay and Diamada got off their vehicle and opened fire at the operatives while attempting to escape, forcing our officers to shoot back and kill both suspects in the process,” explained HPG Director Police Brigadier General Alexander Tagum.

Recovered pieces of evidence from the crime scene include the suspect’s vehicle, a brown Toyota Corolla Altis registered to a different owner and listed as a Hold Order motor vehicle, a .45 caliber pistol, two .38 caliber revolvers, ammunition and spent shells, four plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, several IDs, and some mobile devices.

Tagum commended the efforts of the SOD personnel in coordination with the NCRPO, Bacolor MPS, Pampanga Intelligence Branch, and Pampanga 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company for the success of the operation.

‘Tantamount to discrimination’: Belmonte denounces Arayat LGU move to ban entry of QC residents

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday denounced the decision of the local government of Arayat, Pampanga to restrict the entry of the city’s residents into the municipality following reports that a resident from QC tested positive for the UK COVID-19 variant after traveling overseas.

In a statement, Belmonte called the local government’s decision ‘totally without basis’ and is ‘tantamount to discrimination’.

“We strongly denounce the Arayat local government’s decision to restrict the entry of Quezon City residents to their municipality, because this decision is totally without basis, can cause undue panic, and is tantamount to discrimination,” she said.

Belmonte pointed out that the patient did not set foot in Quezon City after arriving from Dubai on January 7 when he was tested and that he stayed in a facility as part of the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

“The day after, it was confirmed he was COVID-19 positive. His sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center. On the night of January 13, the city government and the city health department were informed by the DOH that he has the so-called United Kingdom variant. Since January 8, he has been staying at a facility where he remains up to this day for treatment,” she said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported that the patient traveled to Dubai on December 27 and returned to the country on January 7. His female companion tested negative for the virus but is also under quarantine and strict monitoring.

The DOH added that both had no exposure to a confirmed case before leaving the country.

Belmonte likewise emphasized that a total of 143 individuals, who are considered contacts of the patient have been identified, quarantined, and are closely being monitored.

“Among them are more than 30 healthcare workers and barangay workers who assisted and cared for the patient when he was transferred from the quarantine hotel in Manila to the isolation facility in Quezon City after he was tested positive for the virus,” she said.

Belmonte then appealed to the Arayat LGU to “reconsider its earlier order and allow QC residents to enter its jurisdiction.”

The Arayat LGU has yet to respond to Belmonte’s statement.

Ilang bahagi ng Candaba, Pampanga lubog sa baha dahil kay ‘Rolly’

Robie de Guzman   •   November 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi na maaaring daanan ng mga sasakyan ang ilang kalsada sa bayan ng Candaba sa Pampanga dahil sa baha bunsod ng epekto ng bagyong Rolly.

Sa ulat ng Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), umabot sa anim na talampakan ang lebel ng tubig sa Barangay San Agustin sa Candaba kaya hindi madaanan sa ngayon ng lahat ng uri ng sasakyan ang Candaba-Baliuag Road.

Hindi rin passable sa ngayon ang Candaba-San Miguel Road dahil sa baha na aabot sa tatlong talampakan.

Ang Bayu Road naman sa bayan ng Masantol sa lalawigan ay hindi rin maaaring daanan ng light vehicles.

Iniulat ring PDRRMO ang paglikas ng 1,150 pamilya o katumbas ng 4,431 indibiduwal dahil sa bagyo.

Ang mga residenteng ito ay mula sa mga bayan ng Sasmuan, Macabebe, San Luis, Lubao, Magalang, Masantol, Arayat, Porac at San Simon na pawang malapit sa high-risk coastal areas.

Nananatili ang mga ito sa mga evacuation center habang hindi pa ligtas balikan ang kanilang mga bahay.

Mahigpit rin ngayong binabantayan ang lebel ng tubig sa Pampanga River at mga bayang nakapalibot sa ilog.

“Kung makikita niyo ho ang command center natin, continus monitoring ho tayo sa bagyo natin, yung main river natin, especially Pampanga River, main rivers nation makikita niyo nandiyan lahat yan, nakamonitor po kami. So alam namin ang paltas ng tubig sa lahat ng mga river channel natin well monitored po ng command center natin,” ang wika ni Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda.

Tiniyak naman ni Pineda na nakahanda ang puwersa ng lokal na pamahalaan para tumugon sa pangangailangan ng mga residenteng apektado ng bagyong Rolly.

“Lahat po ng mga social workers natin naka-in place na po diyan na pagdadalhan ng mga tao. Ready na po tayo, don’t worry,” ang pahayag ni Pineda.

“‘Yung health protocol po alam na ng mga tao natin, may face shield at face mask na rin po dun. Huwag po kayong matakot,” dagdag pa niya.

Nasa 10,000 relief packs rin ang nakahanda sa emergency operations center ng PDRRMO. Pati mga rescue equipment gaya ng rubber boats, loader at mga ambulansya ay inihanda na rin sakaling kailanganin ang pagsagip sa mga residente. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Leslie Huidem)

Bird flu detected in Pampanga egg farm, Agri dept. says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A strain of a highly-pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a poultry farm in Pampanga, the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Citing a report from the Bureau of Animal Industry, the DA said the presence of the avian flu strain, specifically A(H5N6), was detected in a poultry layer or egg-producing farm in San Luis town.

In a statement, the department said that upon confirmation of the report, a composite team of veterinarians and animal health officers from its field office in Central Luzon and Pampanga was immediately sent to the area to apply emergency control measures and conduct disease surveillance around the infected farm to arrest the spread of A(H5N6).

“The team humanely culled a total of 38,701 head of layers and disposed off them properly, employing the protocols under the Avian Influenza Protection Program of the Philippine Government,” DA-BAI director Ronnie Domingo said in his report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The agency assured that all personnel involved in the disease control measure were strictly monitored. It added that the avian disease has not been reported and detected among broilers, which is the primary source of poultry meat.

Domingo said that early reporting, detection and strong multi-agency collaboration “paved the way for the rapid and effective response in the management of the A(H5N6) incidence.”

Initial field investigation showed the presence in San Luis of migratory birds, which has been associated with bird flu outbreaks in many countries, including the Philippines.

Domingo said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified 117 important bird areas (IBA) in the country, and about 150,000 migratory birds nest and breed annually in Central Luzon.

“The DA-BAI, therefore, urges poultry raisers in Central Luzon and in traditional IBAs to protect and shield their farms from the entry of migratory birds, and more importantly immediately report any unusual poultry mortalities,” it said.

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