western mindanao

Another P1.7 contraband cigarettes intercepted in Pagadian

September 13, 2021

PAGADIAN CITY - Smugglers never learn their lessons that the long arm of the law is hell-bent in pursuing after them. Just a day after the seizure of 1.2 million contraband cigarettes, smugglers again tried to deliver another P1.7 million worth of the same contraband when they were intercepted along the national highway in Barangay Baloyboan, this city.   Director, Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) said a truck loaded with 105 master cases of undocumented cigarettes, consisting of 12 master cases of Nelson cigarettes and 93 master cases of Fort cigarettes valued at PHP1,785,000, was flagged down along the national highway, at around 7:30 a.m. om Wednesday. The police official identified the smuggling suspects as Nilbert Lambajon, 28, and his assistant driver, Marlon Saavedra, 36, all residents of the city. As usual, upon verification and interrogation, the suspects failed to show documents of legally doing business, and to prove the shipment is legal. The government impounded the vehicle and confiscated the contraband cigarettes, as well as arrested the suspects. Dir Ylagan has ordered all police units to strictly monitor smugglers in the city as they all tried to slip through the smuggled goods and cigarettes even with the series of confiscations and arrests made by the police. Earlier on Tuesday (September 6), the suspects identified as David Batu-on Franco, driver and Michael Bryan Tagaytay, his assistant tried to hurdle a checkpoint to reportedly deliver the smuggled items to their customers. But police operatives manning the checkpoint in Barangay Baloyboan flagged down the wing van truck loaded with 115 master cases of cigarettes consisting of 91 master cases of Fort and 24 master cases of New Berlin with a market value of PHP1,160,000. The suspects, Franco and Tagaytay, report said, have failed to present pertinent documents that would prove the legality of the cigarettes. - PNA ___________      

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Murder charges filed in court against the 'killers' of a village chairman

September 13, 2021

PAGADIAN CITY - Days are numbered for the killers of Barangay Tuburan chairman in this city, who was shot dead while cleaning his vehicle on August 25.   The police have finally filed murder charges against Joseph Andos alias Butchoy; Julie Benabaye alias Gaga; and two other suspects who were involved in the killing of a village leader identified as Raymundo Albiar, 55 year's old. Col. Roel Lami-ing, Zamboanga del Sur police director, said both the suspects were identified based on witnesses' accounts, and also through the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) created to handle the investigation process. Lami-ing said the task force created consisted of the Pagadian City police, National Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Anti-Cybercrime Group, Highway Patrol Group, and other law enforcement agencies. Investigations disclosed that on August 25, and while the victim was cleaning his vehicle, the suspects reportedly barged in and without provocation shot the victim, which resulted in the village chief's untimely demise. The incident, which happened around 6:10 in the morning in Purok Nangka, Barangay Tuburan, caused the life of Tuburan chairman Raymundo Albiar, 55. The Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur has offered P1 million bounty to anybody who can provide vital information that will lead to the resolution of the case. - PNA

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Fire hits a slum area in Zamboanga City, displaces 116 families

August 20, 2021

ZAMBOANGA CITY - A fire razed to the ground in a slum area Wednesday (August 18) and affected over a hundred families, reports reaching MDNN said yesterday. Chief Inspector Jacqueline Ortega, city fire marshall said the fire started around 4:30 pm on Camellia Drive, barangay Calarian. It was under controlled by the city fire bureau two hours after. Ortega said that based on investigations conducted by fire investigators, the fire started at the boarding of a certain Crispin Quilala and it easily spread to neighboring houses made of light and concrete materials. The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) personnel who also responded to the fire scene has confirmed that there were 95 houses totally burned, while 17 houses were also partially destroyed. The social welfare office has also reported that a total of 116 families with 205 dependents were displaced as a result of the fire incident. Socorro Rojas, CSWDO chief said the number of affected families is expected to increase. They are profiling the residents affected by the fire. The CSWDO office, it was learned, has initially distributed relief goods, including canned goods, milk, coffee, hot porridge, blankets, among others. Rojas added that a temporary kitchen was also immediately set up by their personnel to assist people in their food needs every day, while the City Government is looking for funds to help the fire victims. She also said right now they have set up the Southcom Elementary School as the victims' temporary shelter and evacuation center for all the victims that are now accounted for by their office. The fire official told the media their office has yet to establish the origin of the fire and initially put the damage to properties to P1-million. - PNA

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P4.7 million smuggled cigarettes seized in Zambo

July 31, 2021

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government operatives on Friday seized a total of P4.7 million smuggled cigarettes and arrested a truck driver and his companion, at around 6:40pm in Sitio Malasugat, Barangay Sangali, the police authorities reported. BGen Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) identified the truck driver as one Jay Villarosa, 43, and his companion known as Abby Jadjail, 31, both residents of this province. Villarosa and Jadjail did not resist when flagged down by police operatives manning the checkpoint in Barangay Sangali. Initial investigation disclosed that while the police operatives were manning the checkpoint, they flagged down a truck that turned out to be loaded with P4.3 million smuggled cigarettes covered only by a styrofoam cooler. The smuggled items were now placed under the custody of the Zamboanga City Police Office's Station 3 awaiting formal turn over to the Bureau of Customs, which is the right office to probe and processed seized and smuggled items. Meanwhile, in Barangay Culianan, police operatives again chanced upon another 4-wheeled vehicle loaded with contraband cigarettes, as well as arrested the driver for loading said smuggled items into his vehicle. The suspect was identified as Hermie Ibañez, 34, resident of Barangay Culianan. Police manning the checkpoint confiscated 751 reams (502 Fort and 249 Famous) cigarettes worth P450,600. The suspect was brought to Pagadian City Police Station for further questioning and interrogation. His vehicle and cigarettes were seized by the police. - PNA

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DPWH Turns Over Additional Quarantine Facility In Zamboanga City

March 28, 2021

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Public Works and Highways Secretary and Chief Isolation Czar Mark A. Villar announced that the preparedness and response of Zamboanga City against spread of COVID-19 infection was further boosted with the availability of an additional 20-bed isolation facility.  Secretary Villar said that the newly-built Zamboanga City Quarantine Facility located in Barangay Pasonanca was constructed to augment the existing quarantine facilities and mitigate the rapid spread of the COVID-19 infection in the city. The construction of the quarantine facility followed the standard designs and plans proposed by the DPWH Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local/National Health Facility formed by Secretary Villar in collaboration with the Department of Health. The facility composed of two (2) constructed tents, with each tent capable to accommodate 10 patients separated by a cubicle was inaugurated and turned over on Friday, March 26, 2021 by DPWH Undersecretary and Task Force Facilitate Augmentation of Local/National Health Facility Head Emil K. Sadain to Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar. The event was also attended by DPWH Region 9 Director Cayamombao Dia and Assistant Director Honorato Saldua.  We hope that the recipient City Government of Zamboanga under the guidance of DOH will be able to effectively manage the operation of this facility by immediately isolating positive cases who are asymptomatic to arrest local transmission of the virus, said Undersecretary Sadain.  City Mayor Climaco-Salazar extended gratitude to Secretary Villar saying that the isolation facility completed at the more opportune time will go a long way in controlling further spread of infections among the Zamboangueño people.  The isolation facility made of two (2) tents with 20 beds capacity are equipped with air conditioner units, beds, adequate lighting and ventilation, uninterrupted electricity supply, a potable water source and a sewer line. Three (3) more tents will be constructed by DPWH with 30 more beds capacity.  It has separate doors intended for entrance and exit while a common toilet and bath is constructed adjacent to each tent.

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DPWH Projects to Improve Accessibility in Western Mindanao Moves Forward

June 29, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) declared that the government’s priority infrastructure projects in Zamboanga Peninsula keeps on moving toward successful completion despite the Covid-19 pandemic.   In his report to Secretary Mark A. Villar, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said civil works for three (3) core subprojects under the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project or IGCMRSP are on-going namely Alicia-Malangas Road (PR 06) and Lutiman – Guicam – Olutanga Road (PR 09) in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay; and Tampilisan – Sandayong Road (PR 07) in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte.   With the resumption of limited domestic commercial flight to Zamboanga, Undersecretary Sadain together with Project Director Sharif Madsmo Hasim of UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) have travelled to Western Mindanao for the conduct of regular monitoring visits to these projects and met with contractors and consultants to address the challenges of the project implementation. Undersecretary Sadain said that updates about the project implementation with emphasis on significant milestones since project started in March 2019 and the planning of new activities were discussed including mitigation strategies that have been developed to ensure the correct implementation of the project in the light of the Covid-19 health emergency.   The meeting is of paramount importance to continually assessed and discussed challenges of project implementation in view of establishing a common strategy to early management of problems and for DPWH project team on the ground to understand the impact of delays or opportunities presented by completing work ahead of schedule, added Undersecretary Sadain. The P25.257 Billion IGCMRSP funded with a loan amounting P19.080 Billion by the Asian Development Bank and P6.117 Billion to be funded by the Government of the Philippines, is composed of seven (7) road sections with a total length of 166.94 kilometers and Guicam Bridge with a length of 540.8 lineal meters all located in Zamboanga Peninsula and three (3) bridges with a length of 1,047.40 lineal meter located in Tawi-Tawi Province. The project will enhance and hasten economic development, reduce the travel time, provide safe and efficient travel, and improve peace and order situation in Mindanao. Major works for the on-going Alicia-Malangas Road includes construction of 23.73 km concrete road traversing 15 barangays of the Municipalities of Alicia and Malangas meeting a required carriageway width for a national secondary road of 6.70 meter with shoulder width of 1.5 meters on both sides.   The project amounting P1.319 Billion and scheduled for completion by ‪March 2022 ‬also covers the replacement of eight (8) bridges and construction/improvement of existing drainage and slope protection structures. On the otherhand, the P623.260 Million Tampilisan - Sandayong Road Project covers the upgrading of 15.07 km existing combined barangay/municipal roads generally made up of gravel with 3 to 4 meter width to standard specifications of a secondary national road. The Tampilisan - Sandayong Road when completed by September 2021 will provide a direct link between Dipolog and Pagadian Cities by-passing Ipil which is the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay.   The start of the project road is at the junction of the Dipolog-Ipil National Highway and the Sto. Nino barangay road traversing Barangays New Dapitan, Poblacion, Farmington, Situbo and ends at Barangay Sandayong’s road crossing with road to Naga town proper, Zamboanga Sibugay. The P989.69 Million Lutiman – Guicam – Olutanga Road targetted for completion by September 2021 involves the concrete paving of 29.10 km of national tertiary road made up of gravel and construction of a 60.98 lineal meters bridge following the existing alignment traversing the Municipalities of Alicia, Mabuhay, Talusan and Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay Province and leading to a ferry operation at Guicam Channel of about 440 meter channel width to connect Guicam to Mabuhay in Olutanga Island. Under procurement stage is the proposed Guicam Bridge Project which involves construction of 540 lineal meter bridge that will link Barangay Lutiman, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay and Olutanga port.   Other sections included in the ADB funded projects located in Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga Sibugay are: 14.72 km Gutalac Baliguian Alternate Road (PR-1a); 32.31 km R.T. Lim Siocon Road (PR-08); 33.08 km Curuan - Sibuco Road; and 18.93 km Siay- Gapol Road. Three (3) bridges will also be built in Tawi-Tawi Province with a total length of 1,047 lineal meters namely Nalil- Sikkiat Bridge over Bongao Channel; Tongsinah Paniongan Bridge over Sanga Sanga channel; and Malassa- Lupa Pula Bridge over Manalik Channel to mainland Tawi-Tawi Island.

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