News Briefs: May 19, 2019
69 truck, tricycle drivers found positive for drugs
MANILA, Philippines — Another 69 public transport workers tested positive for illegal drug use this week, in the latest Oplan Harabas surprise drug screening by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The PDEA’s Oplan Harabas operation on Thursday screened 5,009 public transport workers nationwide, and found 49 truck drivers, nine truck helpers and 11 tricycle drivers positive for use of “shabu” (crystal meth) and marijuana.
The latest Oplan Harabas operation concentrated on major container terminals nationwide, including the Philippine’s biggest ports in Manila.
Drivers found positive for drug use in the confirmatory tests would have their driver’s licenses confiscated by the Land Transportation Office.
They must undergo a rehabilitation and counseling process before being allowed to reclaim their licenses.
From January 2013 to January 2019, the PDEA has arrested 11,609 drivers, bus conductors and dispatchers for drug violations. —Jaymee T. Gamil
Davao-bound passenger with grenade arrested
MANILA, Philippines — A Davao City-bound passenger was arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Friday afternoon after a grenade was found in his hand-carry luggage.
The passenger, identified as Deogracias Pulmano, is still in the custody of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa).
Pulmano was supposed to take Philippine Airlines flight PR-2819 bound for Davao, the Miaa said.
The Miaa said the MK2 fragmentation grenade was detected inside Pulmano’s backpack during the initial X-Ray inspection at Naia Terminal 2, south-wing departure area, around 5:30 p.m.
Pulmano failed to present any legal documents to justify possession of the fragmentation grenade. —Jermoe Aning
3.5-magnitude quake jolts Eastern Samar town
TACLOBAN CITY — A 3.5-magnitude quake was felt Saturday afternoon in San Julian town in Eastern Samar, which was the epicenter of a 6.5-magnitude quake on April 23.
Based on the monitoring of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs), the latest jolt to hit the town occurred at 12:38 p.m.
It was the 25th quake since the town was rocked by the 6.5-magnitude tremor.
The Saturday afternoon tremor was felt at intensity 4 in Eastern Samar’s provincial capital of Borongan City and at intensity 2 in the town of Palo in Leyte.
The Phivolcs said it did not expect any damage or aftershocks caused by the latest tremor.
The April 23 tremor damaged the belfry of the centuries-old Church of Our Seven Sorrows in San Julian, several roads and bridges, public buildings and houses, and injured three persons. —Joey A. Gabieta
Father, daughter drown in Isabela family outing
CABAGAN, ISABELA, Philippines — A 48-year-old man and his 13-year-old daughter drowned Saturday morning at a deep part of the Pinacanauan river here, police said.
Loreto Salas Jr., a tricycle driver, and his daughter Mia Marloleth of Santo Tomas town, joined family and friends for a picnic along the riverbank in Barangay Angancasillian.
Mia swam toward the deep end of the river and was swallowed by the strong current.
Her father tried to save her but was also dragged by the current.
Fishermen later found them and brought them to the hospital where they were declared dead on arrival. —Villamor Visaya Jr.
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