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1,000 evacuate in North Negros following encounters, airstrikes

1,000 evacuate in North Negros following encounters, airstrikes

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The evacuees in Toboso.* Photo courtesy of Councilor Richard Jaojoco Close to 1,000 residents of Escalante City and Toboso town in northern Negros Occidental have evacuated following a series of encounters between 79th Infantry Battalion soldiers and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and airstrikes Thursday night. Two Augusta 109 attack helicopters at 7 p.m. Thursday conducted airstrikes that lasted for about 45 minutes at Sitio Mansulao, Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City, Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, spokesperson of the Army’s 3rd Division, said. Soldiers onboard the attack helicopters fired rockets and machine guns at a mountainous and thickly vegetated area, which is far from communities, he said. The fleeing rebels were located at a vantage point in the target area and had stro...
Joint EO lifted, Bacolod allowing entry of pigs, pork, Benitez says

Joint EO lifted, Bacolod allowing entry of pigs, pork, Benitez says

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Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has issued an executive order allowing the entry of pigs, boar semen, pork products, and other pork related food items into Bacolod City. Benitez said he signed the executive order on Friday, February 23, which is consisted with an updated Department of Agriculture (DA) circular and in order to avert any threat of shortage of basic food necessities. This will allow the entry of pigs and pork products to Bacolod, even from red zones, Benitez said. The mayor issued the Bacolod EO after he and Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson signed Joint Executive Order No.1 Series of 2024 on Friday. It sets aside their joint EO in 2023 establishing the guidelines for the entry of pigs and pork products from areas with reported cases of African Sw...
Cha-cha indignation rally set on People Power anniversary

Cha-cha indignation rally set on People Power anniversary

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The Bacolod Public Plaza was also where numerous protests were held prior to the EDSA People Power Revolution.* Ronnie Baldonado photo An indignation rally against Charter change will be held on the 38th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution at the Bacolod Public Plaza on Sunday afternoon, February 25. The People’s Coalition for Democracy Negros (PCDN), whose convenors are San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, Bishop Virgilio Amihan Jr. of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente Diocese of Negros Occidental and former governor Rafael Coscolluela, is spearheading the protest. The Edsa People Power Revolution toppled the oppressive rule of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. through the power of the people, they said in their call for the public to join the rally. “The revised Constitution ...
WV Comelec registers 21,000 voter applicants, pushes for more

WV Comelec registers 21,000 voter applicants, pushes for more

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The Registration Fair at SM City Bacolod on Friday.* The Commission on Elections in Western Visayas is pushing for more voter registrants, especially from the youth sector, Comelec Regional Director Dennis Ausan said on Friday, February 23. Ausan, who joined a Voter Education and Registration Fair at SM City Bacolod, urged residents to register early at Comelec offices and satellite registration sites. Voter registrants should not wait until near the deadline on September 30 to register, he said. Since the February 12 resumption of the voter registration 21,000 applications to register have been received by the Comelec in Western Visayas, he said. “We still have to continue pushing for more registrants in the coming months,” he said. “We are doing our best to capture the...
3 slain rebels identified

3 slain rebels identified

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The Army's 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) has identified the three slain members of the New People’s Army in a series of encounters with the troops of 79th Infantry Battalion at Sitio Mansulao, Barangay Pinapugasan, in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, on Wednesday, February 21. The three slain rebels were identified as Emaryn Pastedio, alias Jandy; Christopher Ebarle, alias Michael; and Jose Caramihan, alias Jose, Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, 3ID spokesman, said in a press release. Jandy, the party wife of Renato Salino Jr., alias Telyong/Peta, also a high-ranking cadre of the defunct Northern Negros Front, was the NNF medic/cultural officer. She was previously apprehended during an encounter in San Carlos City but was later released due to being a minor, Javines said. In 2021, dur...
Power Watch upbeat NEPC franchise will become law

Power Watch upbeat NEPC franchise will become law

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Power Watch Negros is optimistic House Bill 9805 seeking to grant the Negros Electric Power Corporation (NEPC) a franchise to take over the electric power distribution system of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), which was recently approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading, will be signed into law. “We are expecting big things to happen in the power industry once this bill will be signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.“, Power Watch Secretary General Wennie Sancho said in a press statement issued Friday, February 23. The granting of the franchise would allow NEPC to establish, operate, and maintain an electric power distribution system in the cities of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, and Bago, and the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salv...
NegOcc installs solar base radios in critical watersheds

NegOcc installs solar base radios in critical watersheds

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The solar-powered very high frequency base radio set operated by the people’s organization assisted by Provincial Environment Management Office along the Bago watershed in Murcia, Negros Occidental.*PEMO photo The Negros Occidental Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) has installed solar-powered very high frequency (VHF) base radio sets in all eight critical watersheds across the province. The radio communication infrastructure is set up in the areas of Ilog-Hilabangan, Southern Cauayan, Daat, Pangiplan, Himoga-an, Sipalay and Imbang-Malogo with one unit each, as well as in Pangiplan and Bago, with two units each. “This communication device is needed to send real-time data from remote places which have limited or without mobile phone signals. Using solar-powered base r...
Cops arrest farmer facing raps for rape

Cops arrest farmer facing raps for rape

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A farmer was arrested for four counts of alleged rape through sexual assault in Brgy. Lag-asan, Bago City, Negros Occidental, on Thursday, February 22. Alias “Diosdado”, 66, was arrested at the Rafael Salas Drive in Brgy. Lag-asan, the police said. The arrest was made by virtue of a warrant of arrest for the alleged crime of rape issued by Judge Mary Jennifer Protasio-Arches of Regional Trial Court Branch 75 in Bago City on January 23. Bail recommended was P480,000. Newly-installed Regional Police Director, BGen. Jack Wanky, said that the police are dedicated to finding and prosecuting those responsible for crimes against women and children. “Police Regional Office-6 is steadfast in its stand against any form of abuse, particularly towards the women and youth. We will e...
Neg. Occ. dengue cases down 43.9 percent: PHO

Neg. Occ. dengue cases down 43.9 percent: PHO

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The number of dengue cases in Negros Occidental dropped by 43.98 percent from January 1 to February 17 this year, compared to the same period in 2023, the Provincial Health Office reported on Friday. In the first seven weeks of 2024 there were 135 dengue cases, or 100 cases lower than last year’s 241, the PHO reported. Among the 135 cases, Cadiz City had the highest number at 13, followed by San Carlos City with 11, and the cities of La Carlota, Sagay, and Silay with 10 each. The PHO also noted that the age group with the most number of cases was from 1 to 10 years old.*
CHMSU sets up online portal for admission test schedules

CHMSU sets up online portal for admission test schedules

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The Carlos Hilado Memorial State University will launch an online portal to book admission test schedules for aspiring students from February 26 to March 17. Launched a few weeks earlier than the previous academic year, the February opening of the admission portal accords the applicants ample time to book their test schedules and prepare for the admission test, CHMSU announced in a press statement. Once the admission portal is live, the applicants may use the link posted on the official Facebook page to access it. The portal will also require the student’s learning reference number (LRN) and will prompt the student to choose the campus they want to enroll at and the program they plan to take. The applicants must also upload a clear, well-lighted full-face picture, where th...
New NegOcc top cop orders all out war vs. wanted persons

New NegOcc top cop orders all out war vs. wanted persons

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PBrig. Gen. Jack Wanky (left), Western Visayas acting police regional director, presided over the turnover of command from PCol. Leo Pamittan to PCol. Rainerio M. de Chavez (center).*NOCPPO photo PCol. Rainerio M. de Chavez, the new Negros Occidental OIC police provincial director, ordered an all-out war against wanted persons in the province, including illegal drug personalities and groups, and criminal gangs. “Let us bring them behind bars and stop their criminal acts”, de Chavez said in his speech at the change of command rites at Camp Alfredo M. Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City on Thursday, February 22. De Chavez replaced PCol. Leo Pamittan as head of the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office at rites presided by PBrig. Gen. Jack Wanky, Western Visayas acting police regio...
Encounters trigger suspension of classes in Toboso, Escalante

Encounters trigger suspension of classes in Toboso, Escalante

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The seized belongings of the rebels in the Escalante encounters.*79IB photo The Escalante City and Toboso mayors in northern Negros Occidental on Thursday, February 22, ordered the suspension of classes amid the ongoing armed clashes between the Army and rebel forces. Mayor Melecio Yap suspended classes at elementary, junior and senior high schools in barangays Libertad, Pinapugasan, Binaguiohan, Paitan, Dian.-ay, Magsaysay, Malasibog and Tamlang effective Friday, until further notice. Mayor Madonnah Jaojoco also issued an executive order suspending classes at all levels in Toboso starting Friday until further notice. There is a need to ensure the safety of the students as well school personnel amid the ongoing encounters, she said. Four government soldiers, including a CAF...
Cops return P1.1M to families of Mabinay road mishap victims

Cops return P1.1M to families of Mabinay road mishap victims

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Relatives flock to a funeral parlor in La Libertad, Negros Oriental on Thursday to view the remains of those who perished in the tragic road accident in Mabinay, Negros Oriental.*NOPPO photo Police authorities returned more than P1.135 million in cash to the families of victims in the tragic road mishap that claimed the lives of 15 livestock buyers in Barangay Bulwang, Mabinay town in Negros Oriental on Wednesday. Lt. Stephen Polinar, spokesperson of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO), on Thursday, February 22, said the Mabinay police recovered the money from the deceased victims after their bodies were retrieved from the area where the truck they were riding had fallen off a cliff. “We are grateful that no one touched the money of these people, who were all li...
NegOr lifts ban on pork entry, but NegOcc won’t, Lacson says

NegOr lifts ban on pork entry, but NegOcc won’t, Lacson says

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Governor Manuel "Chaco" L. Sagarbarría has lifted the ban on the transport and movement of live pigs, pork products, and by-products into Negros Oriental, but Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the ban will stay in Negros Occidental. Negros Occidental will continue to ban the entry of pigs and pork products from areas that have been declared red zones, Lacson said on Thursday, February 22. Lacson said there will be no shortcuts to prevent the province from being hit again by hog diseases. African swine fever and other diseases caused thousands of pigs in Negros Occidental to die last year. Negros Occidental hog raisers have been reminded to follow the protocol on pre-sentineling and sentineling before repopulation of pigs, Lacson said. “While we would like to go back to our ...
Ensure vehicles roadworthy, safe, guv calls following Mabinay tragedy

Ensure vehicles roadworthy, safe, guv calls following Mabinay tragedy

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The scene of the accident.*Matt Jun Baldado/PNA photo Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson on Thursday, February 22, called on businessmen to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and on drivers to drive safely following the tragic accident in Mabinay, Negros Orietnal, that left 15 dead and two injured. A truck carrying livestock buyers fell 40 to 50 meters down a cliff in Barangay Bulwang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental, on Wednesday, when its brakes allegedly failed. Owners of trucks and other vehicles used for businesses should ensure that they are in good condition and are not rundown, Lacson said. Drivers should also be vigilant and careful, he added. Fifteen of 17 passengers on board the livestock truck died on Wednesday. Injured in the accident were the driver...
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