Saturday, June 14, 2008

Endless Mystery Surrounding Panglao Rape-Murder Case

Written by Kit Bagaipo - The Provincial Prosecutor's Office (PPO) recently dismissed the charges of rape with homicide against a witness in the celebrated Vivian Dumaluan case in Panglao Island.

In a terse one-page order, the panel of prosecutors dismissed the case filed against George Galo alias Bagobo. The order was signed by assistant provincial prosecutors Ponciano Uy, Eric Ucat, Margie Tan-Alvaro and Tito Apura.

"After conducting an ex-parte study of the complaint as well as the other supposed supporting documents, pursuant to Sec. 3, Rule 112 of the 200 Rules of Criminal Procedure, we find no competent appreciable shred of evidence which pinpoints that respondent was the one who raped and killed Vivian Dumaluan," the order said.

A separate case for rape with homicide was earlier filed against former Panglao Mayor Doloreich Dumaluan, his brother, Engr. Teofredo "Pingmay" Dumaluan, Narciso "Isot" Maghamil and Romeo "Loloy" Lapinig.

The case against the four was filed on the basis of the affidavit executed by witness Alex Dasco, a self-confessed participant in the case.

Dasco alleged that it was the former mayor who presided over the meeting to plan the rape and murder and blame it on his political opponents and generate sympathy for his mayoralty bid in the 2004 elections.

According to Dasco, who claimed he was Dumaluan's driver in the 2004 election campaign, he held the hands of the victim while she was raped first by Pingmay, then Lapinig and finally Maghamil.

He also alleged that the former mayor also presided over the cover-up operations to mislead investigators.

Dasco stated in his affidavit that Dumaluan wanted him to sign an affidavit pointing to Galo, a certain Randy Buntag and the caretaker of the resort owned by former Sen. Raul Roco as the ones responsible for the crime. - The Bohol Chronicle

Bohol LGUs Blamed On The Destruction of Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands

The blaming game will never end. Since time immemorial, no one would take responsibility for lapses and loopholes. Here's the news:

The shortfall of coordination from the local government units was primarily blamed for the absence of concrete programs to protect the marine resources in the seawaters off Balicasag and Pamilacan, covering the towns of Panglao, Dauis and Baclayon.

The Provincial Tourism Council learned of this concern during its executive committee meeting convened amid reports of destructions in the marine resources in Balicasag Island, which was recently tagged by a Japanese tour survey group as one of the top 3 dive spots in the world.

The council was alarmed on the observations shared by Nueva Eciaj Rep. Romulo Antonino, a professional diver himself, who escorted Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her recent dive at Balicasag.

PTC Chairman Peter Dejaresco said while there is the Padayon Bohol Marine Triangle Management Council, Inc. looking into the protection of the seawaters bordered by the three municipalities, there is no coordination of programs by the respective LGUs.

PADAYON, which stands for Panglao, Dauis and Baclayon has a total of 55 kms, nestled by 252.53 hectares of mangrove, 2,555 hectares of sea grass and 554 hectares of coral reefs.

The NGO, which was formerly funded by UNDP, has failed to reach its objective of developing an inter-municipality collaboration in the protection of the area in terms of marine resources as shown in the absence of coordinated efforts among the three towns.

The three towns extend financial support to PADAYON, but no longer for Panglao which has stopped its fund aid to the group.

The marine protection program in Dauis has also been hampered with the recent conflict between Mayor Lulu Bongalos and the Sangguniang Bayan which reportedly "locked" the budget support to the marine conservation program.- Published by the Bohol Chronicle

Another Power Rate Increase in Bohol Province

An additional burden, but God is faithful.

Power consumers of Bohol Light Company Inc. may have to shoulder additional charges on their electric bills.

The power utility firm which holds exclusive power distribution here in the city has applied with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for authority to recover national franchise taxes paid from 2001 to 2006 and local franchise taxes paid to the city government of Tagbilaran from 2002 to 2008.

The ERC will conduct a public hearing here on Thursday 9 a.m. at the Governor's Mansion regarding Bohol Light's power hike application.

City Mayor Dan Lim yesterday dared the public and Boholano leaders to reveal their stand on Bohol Light's move by participating in the public hearing.

The mayor said that due to time constraints, he was forced to file his opposition to Bohol Light's petition in his personal and official capacity as mayor of the city whose constituents will be burdened if the ERC grants an increased power rate.

The mayor explained that his opposition to Bohol Light's petition is based on the ground that the utility firm does not have the right to collect the franchise taxes from its consumers because it does not have the franchise to operate the power utility.- By Kit Bagaipo, The Bohol Chronicle Newspaper

Bohol Jail Management Under Serious Reflection

Bohol Philippines News - The provincial government is considering at least three options regarding the management of the Bohol Detention and Rehabilitation Center (BDRC) days after regaining control of the facility from its 315 inmates.

On Friday, Gov. Erico Aumentado announced a proposal to establish the Bohol version of the Judiciary, Executive and Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council (Jelac) as a means for the decongestion of the detention facility.

The governor said that the Bohol-Jelac will act as a coordinating body to help fast track the resolution of cases against the jail inmates since it is just a holding facility for those who are accused of criminal acts.

If there is speedy resolution of cases, congestion will be solved as detainees may be released if acquitted or transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa if found guilty.

The executive and legislative branches will assist in providing funds for the transfer of convicted criminals.

Meanwhile, during the Sangguninang Panlalawigan (SP) session last Tuesday, Vice Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera submitted a motion seeking the transfer of the BDRC management to the Bureau of Jail Management Penology (BJMP).- Kit Bagaipo, The Bohol Chronicle

Surviving the Crisis, How Can We Last

Written By Romy Teruel, Columnist of Bohol Sunday Post

Long lines of people waiting for their turn to buy cheaper rice, increased prices of commodities at the grocery stores, skyrocketing pump prices of gasoline almost everyday, police blotters filled with complaints of snatching, pick pocketing, and hold-ups are signs of difficult times that the poor, especially, dread this time.

With salaries and wages remaining at their 2005 levels, minimum wage earners are almost at the brink of panic and despair. With tuition fees increasing, transport fare raised by P0.50 to P1, basic commodities costing more than they were yesterday, is there hope left for the man on the street?

The wage increase being deliberated by the regional tri-partite wage boards offered some hope. But after they came up with P25 increase, the last hope suddenly vanished. For government employees, the announcement by Pres. Arroyo of 10% across the board increase offered very little help. The increase will just be swallowed by the income tax.

Everybody can conveniently blame government for this crisis. Unfortunately government has very little to do to arrest the soaring prices. It's a world phenomenon that no single country can offer a solution.

Somehow the crisis has done some good. It awakened government to their weaknesses. And let's hope they make amends fast.

The fuel crisis has awakened the different economies to think of alternative sources of energies and develop new technologies.

The food crisis has awakened the Philippines to its most valuable but neglected resource - its agricultural lands. Agriculture that offered very competitive edge for the Philippines from the very beginning has been neglected in favor of turning these valuable assets into subdivisions and other purposes.

A country, like the Philippines, where almost 80% of the population is farmers should give priority in developing its agricultural resources. Sadly, while our neighbors send their students to study the latest in agriculture at our agricultural universities and research centers, we contented ourselves with producing swivel and arm-chair agriculturists.

Another sad part in Bohol is that irrigation projects like those in Bayongan, Capayas and Pilar that Gov. Erico B. Aumentado and his predecessors have championed to reality used to be opposed by groups claiming to be working for the welfare of farmers. Had the governor succumbed to nitpickers, our food situation in Bohol could have been worse than it is today.

So is there a way out of the crisis? No problem is without a solution for as long as people are willing to sacrifice. Hard times require sacrifices if we have to come out "alive."

First we can beat high transport fare by walking or biking to places we go like work, school, market, church, etc. Not only is walking free, it is also healthy for the body.

We can beat high costs of food items by buying and eating healthy but very cheap food like vegetable and fish. Fish is also costly but that is only if you buy them and not when you raise them.

For offices with windows, sunlight is free. No need to switch on the lights.

Overtime can also be prohibited. This will induce workers to be more productive during the 8-hour work per day.

For the family, spend only for the essentials. This will stretch the peso till the next salary.

There can be many more ways to beat the crisis. Let's just be more creative in tightening the belt, so to speak.

Taytay sa Kauswagan Incorporation (TSKI) Collector Robbed

This Story Appeared In Bohol Sunday Post

The series of robberies preying on collectors of the lending institution Taytay sa Kauswagan Incorporation (TSKI) raised suspicions of sabotage as the incident becomes more often lately.

Borrowers expressed concern on what would happen to their capital build-up, compulsory savings account and insurance premium that TSKI collected from them.

A color of suspicion floating is the possibility that TSKI collects insurance money every time it is robbed.

TSKI sends coordinators to each cluster center where borrowers gather on an agreed day of the week. The coordinator collects the weekly loan amortizations of center members or the borrowers from there and when any member fails to show up at the center on the scheduled time to remit his weekly amortization, the coordinator will really exert effort to trace his/her whereabouts to make sure that he/she pays his/her obligation on the same day.

Borrowers expressed concerns, since TSKI warned that if they would fail to pay their weekly amortization, their insurance will be temporarily forfeited until they settle it.

The recent incident reported to police as a case of robbery with violence against and intimidation of person was on June 5 in Talibon.

The two suspects, who fled with over P20,000 collection money, remained at large until the present as police efforts to capture them proved futile.

Talibon Chief of Police PSenior Inspector Domino Garcia Pelecio received a report on the incident through a call from a concerned citizen informing that a collector of TSKI was robbed in barangay San Agustin.

Pelecio immediately formed the responding team composed of SPO3 Rogelio Cleopas, PO3 Melchor Ramos, PO3 Crisanto Bonghanoy Jr., PO3 Cresente Gurrea, PO2 Margarito Cagoco Jr., and PO1 Joveniano Lato.

Based on initial investigation at the crime scene, one Joy Anghad, 26, single, program assistant/collector of TSKI had a meeting with center members and later collected their weekly amortizations at the office of San Agustin Center House II, in barangay San Agustin, in Talibon when an unidentified man suddenly arrived at the vicinity and alighted from the motorcycle he was driving.

Armed with nickel plated caliber .38 revolver and a hand grenade, the man barge into the gathering and announced hold-up poking the gun at the collector, while his accomplice who served as look-out, waited nearby.

He grabbed all the collection money for that day amounting to P23,081, but in their haste some of the bills and coins slipped from his grip and fell on the ground, leaving behind only P2,711.50 which Anghad picked up one by one.

Both suspects, who looked like 28-30 years old, wore improvised masks and camouflage short pants. Witnesses also described them as having small build.

They said they saw the suspects heading towards sitio Arba Oma, barangay San Roque and bound for barangay Magsaysay, on board an Alfa Honda XRM without plate number and had broken tail light.