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News Briefs: April 28, 2019

/ 05:00 AM April 28, 2019

COA orders DOH-Bicol to return P5.4M incentives

The Commission on Audit (COA)  has affirmed its earlier decision ordering the Bicol regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) to return some P5.4 million in excess incentives that it paid to its employees in 2013.

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In a decision dated March 28 but released on Friday, the COA denied the petition for review filed by DOH-Bicol which questioned a September 2014 ruling, since it was filed well after the deadline for such motions expired.

In January 2014, the COA issued a notice of disallowance after it found that part of the incentives paid by the DOH-Bicol to its staff was sourced from the agency’s savings from the previous allotments meant for training and seminar expenses. Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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Agriculture aircraft crashes; pilot killed

The pilot of a Grumman G-164 Ag Cat, a single-engine biplane agricultural aircraft with registration number RP-R 5388 was killed instantly on Saturday after the aircraft hit a power line and crashed during an aerial spraying activity in a banana plantation in Davao del Norte on Saturday.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) said the accident happened around 6:53 a.m. at a banana plantation in Barangays Mangalcal and Kasilak in the town of Carmen and Panabo City, respectively.

The pilot’s identity was withheld pending the notification of family members.

Caap spokesperson Eric Apolonio said initial investigation showed that the pilot must have been blinded by the glare of the rising sun causing him to hit and get entangled in a high-tension power transmission line. Jerome Aning

Former Customs intel officer taken out of WPP

Former customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban, one of those implicated in the smuggling of 355 kilos of “shabu” hidden inside magnetic lifters last year, has been taken out of the witness protection program (WPP) of the Department of Justice.

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Guban was detained as an accused in the drug smuggling case and not as a state witness.—Dona Z. Pazzibugan

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