Baguio ‘warmer’ at 8 degrees Celsius
BAGUIO CITY—While this mountain city was warmer on Thursday when the temperature rose to 8 degrees Celsius, the cold spell was expected to continue until the second week of March due to the northwest monsoon, weather forecasters said.
Thursday’s temperature was a little higher than the 7.3 degrees recorded on Wednesday, the coldest so far this year, said Aljon Tamondong, a weather observer of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Residents here last experienced 8 degrees on Feb. 1, 1982, and on Jan. 18, 2003.
The temperature of 7.3 degrees on Wednesday was the coldest recorded by Pagasa in 46 years. —GOBLETH MOULIC
SAF trooper wounded in raid on ex-mayor’s house
CAMP OLIVAS, PAMPANGA—A member of the police’s Special Action Force (SAF) was wounded in a gunfight on Wednesday that led to the arrest of a former Arayat town mayor, according to a report from this Central Luzon police headquarters.
Former Mayor Luis Espino and a group of men fired at about 100 policemen belonging to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the Rapid Deployment Battalion and the SAF Second Battalion who had encircled Espino’s house in Barangay Cacutud at 4 a.m., the report said.
Espino’s relatives claimed the policemen insisted on entering the compound without showing a warrant.
The search warrant for unlicensed weapons, dated Feb. 7, was issued by Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo of the Regional Trial Court in Cabanatuan City.
Espino’s group stopped firing when a policeman was hit, the report said. Espino was arrested together with Rosendo Dizon, village chief of Cacutud, and three other men.
A 5.56 cal. gun, three .45 cal. handguns, a 9mm pistol, three hand grenades and 19 sachets of suspected “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) were found in the house, the report said.
Espino insisted the firearms were licensed but said he lost the documents. “The shabu are not mine.
The grenades are not mine,” Espino told reporters. —TONETTE OREJAS
Alternative NLEx route in Bulacan ready by yearend
CITY OF MALOLOS—The alternative road linking Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and other Central Luzon provinces to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) will be completed before the end of 2017 or early 2018, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The 24.61-kilometer Plaridel bypass road is expected to cut travel time from Metro Manila and eastern Bulacan by 50 minutes, said Virgilio Castillo, project director of DPWH road management cluster.
Work on the second and last phase of the project will be completed by December.
Castillo said the bypass road project would help boost the economies of central and northern Luzon by easing traffic flow on Maharlika and Cagayan Valley roads.
The government is spending more than P1 billion for the project’s last phase, Castillo told a briefing attended by Bulacan officials. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE
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