Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Youth group hits arrest of 15 protesters

By Karen Lapitan
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 18:06:00 12/23/2008

Filed Under: Protest

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna--The youth group Anakbayan in Southern Tagalog slammed on Tuesday the arrest of 15 protesters in Batangas City on Monday, claiming that it was part of a crackdown against militants in the region.

John Paulo Bautista, Anakbayan-ST chair, said, "It is clear that the wholesale filing of criminal cases against activists in the region has become the Arroyo government's policy in facing the protest of the people."

Among the 15 arrested are leaders of militant groups in Batangas.

They are Isagani Iseta, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Batangas spokesperson; Thelma Maranan, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap-Batangas spokesperson, and June Arante, Anakbayan-Batangas secretary-general.

They were arrested at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday while marching toward the city mayor's office.

They were supposed to seek a dialogue with Mayor Eddie Dimacuha, Bautista added.

Other members of militant organizations in the region are facing criminal charges for allegedly being involved in an ambush against government troops in Calapan City on March 2006.

Among them is Pedro Santos Jr., former secretary-general of Anakbayan-Southern Tagalog.

Pols urged to help OFWs in death row

By Karen Lapitan
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 02:44:00 12/23/2008

Filed Under: Labor, Regional authorities

MANILA, Philippines – Citing hat the 2010 elections are already approaching, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) is challenging politicians to start showing off by helping those who are on Death Row overseas like him.

Rodelio Lanuza, 34, has been in jail in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, since August 2000 and sentenced to die by beheading in public.

The beheading was postponed until the son of the victim could decide on it when he reaches legal age, or seven years from now.

However, Lanuza was still worried about his situation. “I don’t know what might happen in the coming days. If the Saudi Arabia authorities would demand it (beheading), it can be done immediately, even tomorrow,” he told the Inquirer in an e-mail.

He was convicted after he allegedly killed a Saudi national in August 2000, which he claimed was a case of self-defense since the victim assaulted him.

He, however, said he was asking for forgiveness from the family of the victim.

Lanuza has tried to seek help from some politicians, but his request for financial assistance has been declined.

He tried to ask for help from the office of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada but this was also not granted, allegedly due to budget constraints.

Lanuza sought the help of other politicians like Sen. Aquilino Pimentel and Rep. Mikey Arroyo but got only a referral to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

He said he was asking for help for the education of his children since his family had no other means to support their studies. He also sought legal assistance.

“The government is neglecting my case,” Lanuza claimed.

He related that the DFA had been sending letters to his family, claiming that the office was acting on the case. “That’s a lie. I don’t even have a lawyer who can help me right now.”

The DFA, he said, tried to give him legal assistance through lawyer Sheikh Saleh Al-Wadani.

“The supposed lawyer was asking for $10,000,” Lanuza said.

“I am appealing to PGMA (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) to personally talk to the King of Saudi Arabia to ask forgiveness on my behalf,” he said. “[After all], the election is [approaching].”

Friday, December 12, 2008

Café also brews freebies for clients

By Karen Lapitan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:52:00 12/12/2008

Filed Under: Restaurants & catering, Beverages

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines — Frequently giving away freebies may be something strange for a high-end business, but for Boston Café it is a customer care strategy that has led to its success barely a year into the business.

When Boston Café opened its second branch on Nov. 10, a long queue of customers greeted its owners, which only proved the patronage of its target market—students and professionals.

Eight young professionals who graduated from different reputable universities are behind the coffee shop that is now setting trends among similar businesses in town.

Michelle Catahan, 28; Lee Anthony Grajo, 28; Rodel Munlawin, 29; Gary Bacani, 29; Francis Benedic Alpas, 29; Marlon Vallarta, 29; Ellen Castillo, 29; and Heidee Ballesfin, 28, had dreamed of a coffee shop similar to those where they always hung out.

The eight friends decided to venture into the business, giving birth to Boston Café, which they own.

The café has emerged as one of the favorite hang-out places in town, packing in students and professionals alike.

The owners of Boston Café needed around P1.4 million to make the coffee shop fully operational.

After a day of deliberation, they decided to name their business as such since they envisioned a local business that would introduce international blends and fine coffee to local residents.

Before the café formally opened, the owners had started experimenting on the different drinks that they could introduce.

Alpas, marketing director of Boston Café, recalled that in college, three-in-one coffees used to be enough. But there are better types of coffee that students and professionals can drink.

Boston Café takes pride in introducing the international taste of coffee in every cup to Los Baños residents.

It was formally opened on April 8, 2007 at the Robinson’s Town Mall in Los Baños. Last Nov. 10, a branch was opened a few meters away from the University of the Philippines campus in Los Baños.

There are at least five other coffee shops near Boston Café’s new branch, but the owners “don’t treat them as competitors that could threaten our sales,” said Alpas.

Alpas said the greatest challenge in putting up Boston Café was in introducing Los Baños residents “to fine coffee.”


Boston Café has been popular in Los Baños for its unique marketing and customer care strategy.

Often, baristas of Boston Café give away free coffee, which management calls “Pleasant Surprise.”

Boston Café has also been popular for frequently giving away tumblers to customers.

When its second branch officially opened last November, the first 20 customers who ordered, received their free tumblers.

These do not include the other promotional activities in which they also give away freebies.

Customers who share their Boston Café experiences via the establishment’s website also get something special in return.

Interestingly, Boston Café holds Open Café, an event where patrons can have free coffee.

Giving away products may not be the tack of most business owners, but the management of Boston Café has considered Open Café as a major factor in the success of their business.

In their second branch near the university campus, Boston Café also gives away “bluebooks,” the university’s exam booklets, and pens for free.

Boston Café also offers free Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) connection to customers and allows them to charge their laptops at the café.

‘Barista’ benefits

Ballesfin shared that they had also come up with beneficial programs for their baristas.

The Boston Café management encourages baristas to save their earnings—something that could help them in cases of emergency.

The baristas are also given social security and health benefits.

Having succeeded in putting up their second branch in just after a year, the people behind Boston Café are now in the process of setting up more branches.

“We have also more plans for our loyal customers,” Alpas said.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

3 in ‘Tagaytay 5’ sue police, Navy

By Maricar Cinco, Karen Lapitan
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 16:05:00 11/29/2008

Filed Under: Justice & Rights, Unrest and Conflicts and War, Laws

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna -- Three former political prisoners on Friday filed damage claims against "government instrumentalities" for what they called their unlawful arrest and illegal detention by the authorities for 28 months.

The three -- Riel Custodio, Axel Pinpin, and Aristides Sarmiento -- members of the so-called Tagaytay 5 who were ordered released by a court last August, said in a statement that they were determined to pursue their case against the Calabarzon regional office of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Navy Intelligence unit which they filed with the Department of Justice.

Calabarzon consists of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

Chief Superintendent Ricardo Padilla, regional director for Calabarzon -- Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon -- found no problem with the damage claims filed against them.

"When somebody files charges against us just because we are performing our duties, we will be happy to answer those in court," he said.

In the statement, the three former detainees said they are still being harassed by the military and the police.

"Despite our acquittal, justice was only partially dispensed and the perpetrators of the human rights violations done to us are still on a witch-hunting binge in the Southern Tagalog Region,” they said.

Whatever amount the court awards them should they win the case “can never assuage the physical pain, psychological terror and hardships that they suffered, along with their
families and supporters, in the hands of their abductors, accusers, tormentors and torturers,” the statement added.

The three, along with Michael Masayas and Enrico Ybañez, were arrested on April 28, 2006, in Tagaytay City on charges of rebellion.

Last August 20, Judge Erwin Larida Jr. of the Tagaytay City Regional Trial Court ruled that the five had been accused of a “non-existent crime,” dismissed the case against them, and ordered their immediate release.

They were released from Camp Vicente Lim Headquarters on August 28.

The Commission on Human Rights had also ruled earlier that their rights had been violated and that they had been arrested and detained illegally.

Pinpin, in a phone interview, said "this is just the tip of the iceberg."

He said they had consulted a lawyer regarding their next move to reclaim personal belongings, such as a laptop computer, wristwatches, passports, and cash amounting to around P800,000 that police allegedly took from them when they were arrested.

The money, he said, belonged to the Kamagsasaka farmers group that was intended to finance the organization’s livelihood projects.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

AFP counters NPA recruitment in schools

By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:50:00 11/25/2008

Filed Under: Military, Education, Subversion

MANILA, Philippines—The military has stepped up a campus tour to inform students of the “deceptive” recruitment strategies of the communist New People’s Army and warn them that joining rebel-linked organizations could lead to violent death.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Community Relations Service has visited more than 50 private and public colleges and universities in Metro Manila to counter the NPA recruitment of students, according to Army Lt. Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr., 7th Civil Relations Group commander.

Galon said the NPA gets its “quality cadres” from colleges and universities.

“We have intensified our education campaign in schools in line with our 2010 target to crush the communist insurgency,” Galon told reporters in an interview Monday.

But the AFP’s two-hour forum at the University of the Philippines in August was criticized in an article published in the Philippine Collegian last month, which accused the military of attempting to infiltrate academic institutions and silence student and youth leaders.

The article also said the film “Batang Aktibista,” which the AFP screened during the forum, portrayed activists simply as truants.

“As far as the movie was concerned, legitimate student issues, such as the lack of school facilities and tuition increases were baseless accusations meant to spread anarchy,” said the article.

Galon denied the claims, saying the military’s concern for the students was not unfounded.

Many lives of promising students recruited into the organization “ended too soon and too tragically because they crossed the path to armed struggle,” he said in an open letter distributed to reporters.

He said rebel life was being romanticized by insurgents, adding that in truth it was “a portal to a life of suffering, violence and crime.”

He said the campus tour was not meant to dictate upon or put pressure on student leaders but to inform them that activism and membership in “some” organizations could lead to a violent fate.

Meanwhile, human rights advocates and students gathered at the University of the Philippines-Diliman on Saturday to launch the “Defend ST (Southern Tagalog)” movement to support activists from the Laguna-Quezon area facing serious charges and harassment by the military.

Police have filed non-bailable multiple murder charges and frustrated murder against 72 persons from the southern Tagalog region for alleged complicity in an ambush of police officers that happened two years ago in Puerto Galera, Mindoro. Of those charged, 30 were members of activist organizations.

The Defend ST alliance drew support from former Vice President Teofisto Guingona and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo. With a report from Karen Lapitan, Inquirer Southern Luzon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OFW’s children plead for help

By Karen Lapitan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:28:00 11/18/2008

Filed Under: Labor, Prison, Children, Regional authorities

BACOOR, Cavite – Unlike other children, Fatham, 13, and Mohd, 11, are not asking for new clothes or toys this Christmas. Instead, they are pleading that their stepfather, who has been in the Damman Central Jail in Saudi Arabia for eight years now, be freed.

“Please help our Papa,” teary-eyed Fatham told the Inquirer on Friday at their residence in Camella Homes in Bacoor.

In five days or less, they might be forced to leave the house, as they could no longer afford to pay the required amount of P99,000. The house has been foreclosed and a new owner might occupy the unit soon.

Rodelio Lanuza, 34, was jailed in August 2000 after he was charged of murdering an Arab who belonged to an influential family.

Lanuza is now in death row as he was sentenced to die in public execution through beheading last May 27, 2002. Fortunately, the beheading was delayed as he has to wait for another seven years until the youngest child of the victim reaches legal age.

“The youngest child of the victim can either forgive my husband or not. I am also appealing to the king of KSA to help us negotiate with the victim’s family,” his wife Maribeth told the Inquirer.

Lanuza worked as a technician in a private firm in Saudi Arabia before the incident happened.

Maribeth, 33, said: “His first two years in jail was very hard. He was put in solitary confinement.”

“He attended his first hearing all by himself. He had no lawyer to defend him. There was not even someone from the [Philippine] Embassy to accompany him,” Maribeth said, trying to hold back her tears.

The killing reportedly took place in August 2000 in a social gathering in Saudi where an Arabian national, who happened to belong to a known family in the area, assaulted him.

Maribeth refused to disclose details, saying the case is too sensitive. Lanuza’s case is with Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Judicial Council.

She said her husband would even give his belongings that they had sent him to his inmates who are in need. “Even as he is in jail, he never fails to help other people.”

The Lanuza family’s difficulties do not end at having the family head in jail.

On Oct. 8, Maribeth was forced to go home as she learned that no one was taking care of their two children. Maribeth also worked in Saudi Arabia as a hospital aide.

With only the exact amount of fare in her pocket, she flew back to the country.

The couple decided to leave their children to a housemaid whom they trusted. It turned out that the money they sent did not go to the needs of their children but was instead spent by the housemaid.

Maribeth said she wanted to file a case against the housemaid, Deborah Balunsay.

“Filing a case, however, would mean shelling out money, so I decided not to pursue the case,” she said.

The experience had put their two children in despair, especially Fatham, who developed depression.


Maribeth felt that the government was not paying much attention to jailed Filipinos abroad. “The issue is not just about my husband. There are many Filipinos in jails abroad, some are already waiting for their death. I am appealing to the government to do something about our problem,” she said.

Lanuza is on his own in his case. Right now, no lawyer is assisting him and negotiations between the victim’s family are conducted without counsel. “He badly needs legal assistance,” Maribeth said.

However, she is thankful that individuals and groups have been helping them. “Some sent monetary support before, but what we need is an assurance that my husband will not be beheaded and he will be freed.”

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Labor leader escapes slay try

By Karen Lapitan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:07:00 11/08/2008

Filed Under: Crime, Human Rights, Regional authorities

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – A militant labor leader was almost hit by bullets when two unidentified armed men shot his residence several times Thursday night in Riverside, Calamba City at 9:30 p.m., a labor group reported Friday morning.

The labor leader, identified as Arnold Cerdo, is a staff member of the Cabuyao Workers Alliance.

According to Virgilio Colandog, member of Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno, two men wearing bonnets, suspected to be military agents, attempted to shoot Cerdo and his brother-in-law, Juanito Dacillo.

Fortunately, they (Cerdo and Dacillo) immediately saw the gunmen so they were able to evade the shots,” he added.

The two unidentified men with bonnets were reportedly riding a motorcycle, the usual style of perpetrators of political killings in the country, Colandog added.

Cerdo and Dacillo temporarily transferred into another house given the threats, Colandog said in a phone interview.

Prior to this incident, four Southern Tagalog activists were jailed in Calapan.

They were accused of multiple counts of murder and frustrated murder in an ambush on March 3, 2006.

Of the 72 names identified by the police, at least 30 are militant leaders.

Cerdo, however, is not included in the list.

In Cavite, a labor leader was arrested by the police Thursday morning in Barangay Manggahan, General Trias.

Arnaldo Seminiano, organizer of the militant Ilaw-Buklod Manggagawa (IBM), was reportedly arrested by four policemen, two of whom were not in uniform, at around 10 a.m. Thursday.

He was joined by another organizer of IBM, Sonny Gum-o, who was released after the police failed to present a warrant of arrest.

Their personal belongings like flash disks, cell phones and bags were reportedly confiscated by the police.

Seminiano was brought to Camp Vicente Lim, Laguna, for interrogation on Thursday.

His name is among the 72 names that appeared in the charge sheet in connection with the ambush of government troops on March 3, 2006, in Puerto Galera.

The ambush was reportedly staged by communist New People’s Army rebels.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1 dead, 20 hurt in Cavite road mishap

By Karen Lapitan, Romulo Ponte
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 10:37:00 11/06/2008

Filed Under: Accidents (general), Road Transport

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – (UPDATE 2) Police said one person died and 20 others were hurt after a Manila-bound passenger bus fell into a rice field and hit a nipa hut in Kawit, Cavite at 5 a.m. Thursday, said police.

The Jethro Liner Bus bound skidded into a rice field at the Centennial Road in Barangay (village) Tramo Maroles in Kawit, Cavite as it tried to evade a motorcycle which attempted to overtake the bus, said Police Officer 1 June Conrado.

The fatality who lived in the hut was identified as Gil Magcawas, 78.

Police rushed Magcawas to the hospital but died on the way.

The motorcycle driver fled before police could reach the scene of accident.

The injured bus driver and passengers were immediately brought to Kalayaan Hospital in Kawit, Divine Grace Hospital in Rosario, and Crisostomo Hospital in Bacoor.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fire destroys records

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna -- Fire destroyed part of the Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 18 in Barangay Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City, on Sunday, destroying some records, the fire bureau chief of Tagaytay City said in a report on Tuesday.

Supt. Ruel Viray, Tagaytay City fire bureau chief, said investigators were looking at possible arson, but refused to give details describing the case as “sensitive.” Karen Lapitan, Inquirer Southern Luzon

Monday, October 13, 2008

Laguna residents fight off demolition

By Maricar Cinco, Karen Lapitan
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 21:46:00 10/13/2008

Filed Under: Housing and Urban Planning, Protest

CALAMBA CITY, Philippines—Simultaneous with the visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Luisiana, Laguna on Monday to sign a law that would save 368,535 delinquent housing loan borrowers from homelessness, at least 150 families in the village of Real here stood against a demolition team to defend their homes at around 1 p.m. Monday.

The defiant families were about to lose their homes in Sitio Kabute to demolition ordered by Branch 92 of the Calamba Regional Trial Court on September 11.

The residents, with wood sticks on hand, barricaded the area to block the armed police and security guards and the demolition team.

The demolition team tried to disperse the residents with water cannons after they refused to leave their barricade.

Nante Eclavea, regional staff of Bayan Muna (Country First) Southern Tagalog, said there were around 50 members of the Philippine National Police Regional Mobile Group in Calabarzon carrying high-powered guns and about 30 members of the demolition team.

“Those from the demolition team were the first to hurl stones at us and fire water cannons,” said Eclavea.

He added that two residents were injured in the clash.

Glen Malabanan, paralegal officer of Karapatan (Rights)-Southern Tagalog, questioned the absence of name plates on the police deployed in the area and claimed that they violated the 50-meter radius rule of Batas Pambansa 880.

BP 880 restricts the presence of the police to 50 meters away from a rally.

“After the issuance of the demolition order, residents have already put up a protest camp in the area to protect their homes from the demolition and to assert their right to the land now being claimed by the Metrobank,” Malabanan said.

Members of the RMG could not identify their leader and refused to give any comment.

Eclavea said they were told that Sitio Kabute was a property of Metrobank.

A representative from Metrobank, who refused to be identified, said there was already a court order to demolish the area.

He added that the residents' appeals were already dismissed by the court.

"Everything here is legal," he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.

He said Metrobank had the rights to the 2.8-hectare land after the former owner, Gotesco Properties Inc., failed to settle its loan obligation.

"The Gotesco properties only allowed the residents to settle on the land," he added.

Bayan Muna secretary general Arman Albarillo said "the residents have been settling here even before the Gotesco claimed the land. It is not true that they allowed the residents to occupy the land."

He said most of the families settled in the area during the 1960s since no party restricted them from doing so.

Mila Elupre, 54, a resident of Sitio Kabute since 1960s, said the city mayor and the Metrobank conspired to displace the families residing in the area.

“We tried to seek the help of our mayor but he did not render any help. There's a conspiracy taking place," she claimed.

Mayor Joaquin Chipeco said his office has been trying to negotiate with the officials of Metrobank to give the residents a relocation site.

"It's not true that I am not doing something for the residents. I have been talking to the bank's top officials, but after the residents staged a rally at the main office, the chance of having a relocation site seemed not possible," Chipeco told the Inquirer.

Local authorities demolished the residents’ houses for the first time last January 8 but since they had nowhere to go, the people moved back to the area.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

12 hurt in Batangas road accident

By Karen Lapitan
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 18:29:00 10/11/2008

Filed Under: Accidents (general), Transport, Road Transport, Transport accident

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna -- Twelve persons were hurt Saturday morning when a school vehicle fell into a ditch in Barangay (village) Bagumbayan, Tanauan City, Batangas.

According to Superintendent Willy C. Atun-Pese, Tanauan City police chief, the vehicle is owned by the Lyceum Batangas with professors and school staff as passengers.

Atun-Pese said in a phone interview that the vehicle was heading toward Manila when the right rear tire of the vehicle exploded, causing it to fall into the ditch along the Star Toll, Batangas exit at around 7 a.m.

The victims were immediately brought to the nearby Carlito P. Reyes Hospital and Daniel Mercado General Hospital in Tanauan City, and to Mary Mediatrix Medical Center in Lipa City.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Groups denounce criminal raps vs 27 Southern Tagalog activists

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna–Leaders of militant groups on Thursday denounced the filing of criminal charges against 27 activists in Southern Tagalog.

Marlo Timbreza, security specialist of Globe Telecom Inc., filed the complaint at the Batangas Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (BPPO), charging the activists with arson, crimes involving destruction, and conspiracy to commit rebellion.

Timbreza also alleged that they were involved in burning a Globe cell site in Lemery, Batangas, on Aug. 2.

Asked by the INQUIRER to elaborate on his charges, Timbreza refused to answer and instead directed it to call his superiors at the head office, without specifying who.

Bani Combrenero, regional coordinator of the party-list group Bayan Muna, claimed that the government was behind the filing of the complaint as part of its anti-insurgency campaign and crackdown on activists.

“After failing to silence militant organizations through extrajudicial killings, the Arroyo [administration] has resorted to filing trumped-up charges,” Cambronero said.

He said eight of the 27 respondents were abducted and detained in Silang, Cavite, by the Calabarzon police on Aug. 31 but were released after they failed to file charges against them.

Cambronero is among the 27 respondents. The rest are Rolando Mingo, vice president of PISTON (Pinag-isang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide); Noriel Rocafort, secretary general of Bayan-Batangas; lawyer Remigio Saladero, founding member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL); Agaton Bautista, Anakpawis-Batangas provincial coordinator; Renato Baybay, Katipunan ng mga Magsasaka sa Kabite chair; and Isabelo Alicaya, haligi ng mga Batangeñong Anak Dagat chair.

The BPPO formally released on Aug. 12 the memorandum of preliminary investigation through assistant provincial prosecutor Esmeralda Andaya.

The 27 claimed, however, that they had not received a subpoena informing them about the complaint.

Cambronero said the group “learned about the complaint by accident” on Sept. 30. He said he got the information from a Bayan Muna member who had inquired about another complaint filed with the prosecutor’s office.

Lawyer Jobert Pahilga, a member of the NUPL who the 27 respondents had consulted, said the documents pertinent to the case should have been sent to them immediately after the memorandum of preliminary investigation was released.

Cambronero said they were “clueless as how the initial investigation was conducted since they were not even notified.” Karen Lapitan, Inquirer Southern Luzon

Saturday, October 4, 2008

MMDA posters 'out of place' in Laguna, says youth group

By Karen Lapitan
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 17:04:00 10/04/2008

Filed Under: Politics, Youth

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna -- A youth group denounced on Saturday the presence here of posters of Bayani Fernando, chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, saying they were "out of place."

"This is just a form of early electioneering -- a tactic of traditional politicians to deceive their voters," said John Paulo Bautista, deputy secretary general of Anakbayan-Southern Tagalog.

He added that these posters were out of place since the town is not under the area of the MMDA and the motive behind this act is questionable.

Leaflets about Fernando have also been distributed in the town.

Bautista challenged Fernando to fulfill his duties first before promoting his personal interests and political ambitions.

Since last week, posters of Fernando have been seen along Lopez Avenue, Barangay (village) Batong Malake.

Cop shoots cop

By Karen Lapitan, Alcuin Papa
Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 14:40:00 10/04/2008

Filed Under: Laws, Crime

MANILA, Philippines (Update) -- An angry Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa on Saturday ordered administrative and criminal charges filed against a policeman who allegedly shot dead another cop in Bacoor, Cavite, over a traffic incident.

In a statement, Verzosa said he ordered a thorough investigation into the killing of Senior Inspector William Pelicano of the Las Piñas police.

Superintendent Mario Reyes, Bacoor police chief, said Pelicano was driving his passenger jeepney with his wife on Marcos Alvarez Road in Barangay (village) Molino 3 at around 8 p.m.on Friday when their vehicle was bumped by a Daihatsu multicab driven by Hermogenes Gagan.

With Gagan in the van was Senior Police Officer 2 Alfie Madrid of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Reyes said.

He said that after his jeepney was hit, Pelicano, who was in uniform, approached the van and had an argument with the people inside.

Suddenly, Madrid shot Pelicano several times, Reyes said.

Pelicano was rushed to the Molino Doctors Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Police found two 9-mm Beretta pistols, bullets and magazines for .45-cal. and 9-mm handguns, and Gagan’s license to carry firearms in the van.

Gagan was arrested by Bacoor police who responded immediately, while Madrid was arrested in a follow-up operation.

“This incident will not be taken lightly. I have directed the NCRPO to file the corresponding administrative case, aside from criminal charges, against subject PNCO (police non-commissioned officer, Madrid),” Verzosa said.

PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome said Verzosa was angered by the incident where a minor traffic altercation resulted in the breakdown of discipline between two policemen.

“The PNP chief has ordered a massive value formations seminar to be conducted for all PNP personnel,” Bartolome said.

He said Madrid was placed under restrictive custody by NCRPO chief Director Jefferson Soriano while the investigation was proceeding.