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Regions Briefs

/ 12:03 AM January 06, 2017

New boats for Pangasinan, La Union fishers

SUAL, PANGASINAN—The Department of Agriculture (DA) distributed motorized bancas to 100 fishermen from Pangasinan and La Union provinces, who were earlier banned from fishing using the prohibited Danish seine fishing gear (buli-buli). Diosdado Colon, 48, a fisherman from Dagupan City who received a boat, said the ban had caught fishermen off guard. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) had banned buli-buli, which is dragged in the water to catch fish because it proved to be damaging to fish habitats. Colon said fishermen have not gone to sea in the past four months after the ban. The DA, through Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona, distributed fiberglass boats that can sail into deeper parts of the sea. The agency also gave the fishermen

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P30 million to put up 10 community fish landing centers  that would serve as trading hubs for fresh catch and processed products.  These would be established in the coastal towns of Anda, Bolinao and Lingayen; and Alaminos City in Pangasinan; and the towns of Rosario, Caba, San Juan, Balaoan, Bangar and San Fernando City in La Union. —YOLANDA SOTELO

Follow due process, IBP tells groups probing lawyers’ drug link

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TAGBILARAN CITY—The National Bureau of Investigation in Bohol province has started monitoring the activities of some lawyers after they were added to the agency’s watch list of illegal drug suspects. Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, head of NBI Bohol, did not identify these lawyers nor specified how many of them were linked to the drug trade. Lawyer Teodoro Lagang, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Bohol, said his group would not tolerate lawyers who are into drugs, but warned that any investigation should be done in accordance with the law. “If anyone in our ranks is proven to be involved in the illegal drug trade, then we will be the first to denounce him or her,” the IBP Bohol said in a statement. “But if our institution, as a whole, shall be persecuted without any categorical and legal basis, then we cannot take the same sitting down,” it said. IBP Bohol said it has been supporting the fight against illegal drugs by providing legal assistance to law enforcers who have been charged while carrying out their duties. “The fight [against illegal drugs] cannot be won through careless persecution,” it said. —LEO UDTOHAN

6 Zambo water district execs suspended

ZAMBOANGA CITY—The Sandiganbayan last week suspended six officials of the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) over alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Jerry Benedict Rosete, the Ombudsman’s information officer, said ZCWD general manager Leonardo Rey Vazquez, department manager Lovell Abad, and division managers Teotimo Reyes Jr., Arnulfo Alfonso, Rodrigo Vega and Fernando Camba have been suspended for 90 days over the rigged bidding of the Pasonanca-Sta. Maria-line rehabilitation project. In 2015, the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Vazquez and the other accused officials. Lawyer Mark Allen Paredes, acting head of the legal department of the ZCWD, said the case is undergoing trial. “The suspension ordered is in the nature of a preventive suspension and is not the penalty itself … If acquitted, the accused official will be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension,” Paredes said. —JULIE ALIPALA

 P15M ‘shabu,’ guns recovered from car thieves

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Police trailing a stolen car from Metro Manila arrested four persons and recovered the vehicle in an operation that also yielded at least P15 million worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from the suspects. Senior Supt. Reynaldo Padolia, Bukidnon provincial police chief, said the four suspects were arrested at a checkpoint in Impasugong town in Bukidnon. Found inside the trunk of the Toyota Altis sedan were assorted firearms and more than 2 kilograms of shabu worth between P15 million and P20 million, Padolia said. He said the suspects—Nahar Apam, 19; Sohud Salik, 26; Tho Tha, 26; and Johari Akmad, 27—were on their way to deliver shabu to dealers in Valencia City in Bukidnon when they were arrested. Senior Supt. Gabriel Lopez, chief of the police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Northern Mindanao, said they were alerted about the stolen car from Metro Manila earlier this week. Using the car’s built-in global positioning system (GPS) device, the car owner tracked the car down to Mindanao. Lopez said the HPG set up checkpoints in Cagayan de Oro City and Bukidnon after they were alerted on Dec. 27 that the car was in Misamis Oriental province. —JIGGER JERUSALEM

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TAGS: Drugs, fishers, La Union, lawyers, news briefs, Pangasinan, Provinces, Regions, shabu, Zamboanga City Water District
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