Tag Archive: Western Visayas

Authorities rescued a 5-year-old boy in Cebu City Tuesday night, after his parents paid ransom to a church-mate who abducted him more than two weeks ago in Bacolod City, police said.

The victim, whose name is being withheld for security, was rescued at the Montesclaros Pension House and Dormitory along Pelaez Ext., around 8:45 p.m., said Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, director of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG).

Suspect Allan Quilbo, 58, a native of Gerona, Tarlac, who attends the same church as the boy’s parents, was arrested when operatives caught him “guarding the victim,” Fajardo said in a statement.

Elements of the AKG Visayas, Regional Intelligence Unit 7, and Cebu City Police carried out the rescue operation after the boy’s parents lodged a complaint.

Quilbo took the child in Bacolod City on January 4 after asking the latter’s parents for permission to bring the minor to a store to buy a coloring book, Fajardo said.

But Quilbo did not return the boy and even demanded ransom from the parents in exchange for the child’s release, he said.

A total of P16,000 was deposited to Quilbo’s bank account but he still did not release the child, so police launched a rescue operation, Fajardo said.

The rescued minor is now with his parents, after having undergone medical examination and stress debriefing.

A case of kidnapping for ransom is now being prepared against Quilbo, who is presently detained at AKG Visayas office, Fajardo said. (John Roson)

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Police on Tuesday denied speculations that the man who carried an explosive that went off near a school in Pontevedra, Capiz, on Monday was a suicide bomber or a terrorist.

The man – who got killed in the explosion along with a 9-year-old girl – has been identified as Jordiano Develos, a resident of Brgy. Tuburan in Maayon town, said Senior Superintendent Ulysses Caton, director of the Capiz provincial police.

It was also learned thru the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal team that Develos carried a grenade, not an improvised bomb, Caton said by phone.

“Wala na ‘yun, malayo, lumalabas na itong hand grenade ay pangdepensa niya (Develos),” the police official said, when asked if terrorism has been ruled out as an angle in the incident.

“Sa kanya mismo itong granada, maraming occassion na dala niya ito palagi… Ngayon ‘yung kung saan man ang pinaggalingan nito, ‘yun ay subject pa ng further investigation namin,” Caton said.

Investigators have so far found that Develos was implicated in a murder case 10 years ago, but somehow managed to veer away from it.

Probers are now pursuing the angle that Develos may have been under the influence of illegal drugs when the explosion occurred.

“Sa ngayon, doon ang pinatutunguhan ng investigation,” Caton said.

Develos and a 9-year-old pupil died in the explosion that occurred around 12 noon Monday near the elementary school in Brgy. Lantangan.

Fifteen other people, mostly children who just emerged from morning classes, were hurt in the blast. (John Roson)

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A man and a young girl were killed while 15 other people, mostly children, were injured in an explosion near an elementary school in Pontevedra, Capiz, Monday noon, authorities said.

The man carrying the still undetermined type of explosive and a grade school pupil were both declared dead at the hospital where they were taken to after the blast, said Espiridion Pelaez, executive officer of the Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

The blast occurred beside the elementary school along the national highway in Brgy. Lantangan around 12 p.m.

“Many of the injured are pupils because it happened near a school,” Pelaez, who rushed to the area, said by phone.

One of those killed was 9-year-old Trina Rose Demayo, said Senior Superintendent Ulysses Caton, Capiz provincial police director.

Among the injured is a 19-year-old man who happened to pass while pupils who just emerged from morning classes were walking and playing around the school’s vicinity, he said.

Investigators have yet to identify the man who carried the explosive and whose body was cut in two, Caton said.

It is presumed, however, that the man was a local of Capiz, not an “outsider,” he said.

“Mayroon tayong nakapanayam na tricycle driver, ito daw ‘yung nasakyan niya, ang sabi sa atin ay galing daw siya sa isang barangay sa President Roxas… We presume he is a local resident dahil dito,” Caton said.

Members of the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Team and Scene of the Crime Operatives are still trying to determine the circumstances of the blast and what type of explosive went off.

“Sa ngayon hindi pa masabi kung anong type of explosive ‘yung sumabog, pero wala namang crater doon sa kalsada… As of now ang tinitingnan namin dito is it can be an IED (improvised explosive device) or a grenade,” Caton said.

Probers are still working in the area early Monday evening, using search lights to look for traces of the explosive, he said. (John Roson)

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A local official of an international humanitarian group providing aid to victims of super-typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) died after being shot in Estancia, Iloilo, police said Saturday.

Killed was Adrefel Tenefrancia, a “fleet manager” at Action Contre la Faim (ACF), or Action Against Hunger, International, said Senior Supt. Cornelio Salinas, Iloilo provincial police director.

Two men on a motorcycle shot the 24-year-old Tenefrancia in Brgy. Canoan around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Salinas said by phone.

Tenefrancia suffered four bullet wounds to the body and was brought to the hospital, but expired along the way, the police official said.

The assailants were seen fleeing towards the Balasan area after the incident. Responding policemen found five empty shells of a caliber-.45 pistol at the crime scene.

Salinas said investigators are now looking into Tenefrancia’s work to determine the possible motive for the killing.

Tenefrancia had been in charge of hiring and dispatching vans that bring fellow ACF workers to areas devastated by “Yolanda” in Estancia, other parts of Iloilo’s fifth district, and nearby areas of Capiz, he said.

“Ang anggulong tinututukan sa ngayon ng mga imbestigador dito ay, he (Tenefrancia) caught the ire of someone dahil dine-deploy niya sa malalayo ‘yung vans at nalulugi ‘yung negosyo nung nagpapahiram,” Salinas said.

Salinas said he has directed police in Estancia to speed up the process of identifying the gunmen, as well as those who may be behind the attack.

Additional policemen have also been deployed to help secure members of ACF and other aid organizations operating in Iloilo’s fifth district, he said.

“Nakakahiya kasi kung ganito, tinutulungan na nga ng ACF ‘yung victims ng ‘Yolanda’ tapos may ganitong mangyayari. This would appear to be a big ingratitude to them. But we maintain that this is an isolated incident, not an attack on the whole of ACF or all humanitarian aid groups here,” Salinas said.

ACF started operating in Estancia after “Yolanda” devastated different parts of the country, particularly in the Visayas, on November 8, 2013.

Estancia suffered an oil spill when a barge owned by the National Power Corporation was wrecked in Brgy. Botongon at the height of the typhoon.

Some 200,000 liters of bunker oil spilled to the town’s coast and rivers, affecting the local fishing industry, food supply, and posing a danger to residents’ health, according to authorities.

That incident, along with the destruction of many houses by the typhoon, forced a number of families to evacuate from the coasts of Estancia and neighboring areas. (John Roson)

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(Updated) Four persons were killed while 33 others were injured when two passenger buses collided in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, Tuesday morning, police said.

The fatalities were identified as Wilma Medalla, Henry Rendon, Alfonso Jonaldo and Lowell Claudio, conductor of the mini-bus involved in the collission, Insp. Raymundo Franco, deputy chief of the Hinigaran Police, said by phone.

Eight passengers were brought to a hospital in Bacolod City due to serious injuries while 25 others were taken to the Hinigaran Medical Clinic and a local health center, Franco said.

Those who were taken to the local health facilities only suffered slight injures and some have been allowed to go home after treatment, he said.

A Ceres bus (FWW-872) collided with a mini-bus (FWR-906) along the National Highway in Sitio Ipil, Brgy. Pilar, around 10:30 a.m., PO2 Jay Arjohn Pillado, desk officer at the Hinigaran Police Station, said.

Jonathan Maghari, 54, was driving the Ceres bus to Bacolod City when his vehicle collided head-on with the mini-bus being driven by Rufino Banga, 55, towards Kabankalan City, Pillado said.

Both drivers survived and are presently undergoing investigation at the Hinigaran Police Station, he said. (John Roson)

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Two people, including the husband of re-electionist Mayor Ligaya Apura of Lemery, Iloilo, were killed while another person was injured in an ambush Monday morning, police said.

Apura’s husband Jun and a companion identified only as “Espaldon” were rushed to the Sara District Hospital but both expired along the way, Insp. Asension Ortizo, Lemery Police chief, said in a phone interview.

Another companion of the mayor’s husband is still undergoing treatment in the same hospital due to bullet wounds, Ortizo said.

The incident occurred around 9 a.m. while the mayor’s husband and his companions were travelling along the National Highway in Brgy. Anabo, on board an Isuzu Trooper.

The vehicle was heading towards the adjacent town of San Rafael, when several armed men on a silver Ford Everest and a silver Toyota Hi-Lux tailed and opened fire upon it, Ortizo said.

“Sinabayan ‘yung Trooper tapos pinaputukan nung mga armado, ang initial info sa amin ay parang naka-ambush position na ‘yung dalawang sasakyan before that,” he said.

Several empty shells of an M16 Armalite rifle and an M14 Carbine rifle were found at the scene.

A pursuit operation launched by members of the Lemery Police resulted in the arrest of one Mario Cobarubias, who was seen hiding in a nearby sugar cane plantation.

Cobarubias, who is believed to have jumped off from one of the attackers’ vehicles, yielded two hand grenades and an M14 rifle, Ortizo said.

The suspect, a native of the adjacent town of Dumarao, Capiz, has been brought to the Iloilo Police Provincial Office, he said.

Ortizo said he is now coordinating with police in Capiz as the attackers’ vehicles were reportedly seen heading towards that province.

Police are looking at land dispute as the possible motive for the attack, but have not yet ruled out politics.

Apura is seeking re-election under the local party Abyan Ilonggo, which is allied with the United Nationalist Alliance, according to the Commission on Elections’ list of candidates. (John Roson)

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Five soldiers were killed while two were injured in a clash with New People’s Army (NPA) members Saturday, hours after the rebels attacked a large-scale mine site in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, on Friday night, the military said.

Capt. Leo Christopher Cunanan, spokesman of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, declined to name casualties until their families are informed, but said those killed and injured are all enlisted personnel assigned at the 47th Infantry Battalion.

The clash occurred in Sitio Omas, Brgy. Camindangan, around 7:40 a.m. and lasted for about an hour, Cunanan said.

The rebels also managed to take six firearms from the troops, who were sent to pursue an NPA members who attacked the compound of Philex Mining Corp. in the same area, he said.

An undetermined number of rebels entered the mining company’s compound around 9 p.m. Friday, and burned two employees’ barracks, a tractor with drilling machine, generator set, computer, hand held radio, and personal belongings, Cunanan said.

Pursuit operations against the rebels were still continuing Saturday despite the clash that claimed soldiers’ lives, he said.

“The perpetrators shall be identified and will be charged accordingly with appropriate criminal cases in court,” Cunanan added.

Philex Mining is currently trying to revive a copper-gold mine called the “Bulawan Project” in Sipalay City.

The mine was decommissioned in 2002 because of low metal prices prevailing at the time.

Higher gold prices have prompted Philex Mining to re-explore the mine, which is estimated to have 23.9 million tons of mineralized ore. (John Roson)

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A member of the police's forensics team examining the crime scene while two of the slain lie nearby. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

A member of the police’s forensics team examining the crime scene while two of the slain lie nearby. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

[more photos here] (Update) Nine people, including a policeman, were killed while at least six others were injured in an ambush by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, early Sunday, police said.

Chief Insp. Rico Santotome, provincial police spokesman, said the fatalities include PO1 Richard Canja, assigned at the La Castellana Police Station.

The eight other fatalities were barangay tanods, members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), and a tanod’s wife, Santotome, who went to the area after the incident, said in a phone interview.

He identified them as tanods Mario Ricablanca and Tiotimo Esplegera of Brgy. Puso, BPAT members Ulysses Tamayor, Jonathan Mateo and Ramir Complesa, civilians Lito Lucban and Virginia Ordonez, and truck driver Ricky Dingcong.

Some of the victims still lying inside the truck. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

Some of the victims still lying inside the truck. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)

Two other policemen, identified as PO3 Constantino Villegas and PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez, and at least four civilians were injured in the attack and have been brought to hospitals, Santotome said.

The incident occurred around 3:45 a.m. while members of the La Castellana Police, BPAT, tanods, and some of their family members, including children, were passing through a remote area in Brgy. Puso on a Canter truck.

The policemen, tanods, and BPAT members had just finished providing security to the barangay fiesta, Santotome said.

A forensics policeman in front of the ambushed truck. (Photo from Negros Occidental PNP)About 30 fully-armed men flagged down the truck, told the children to disembark from the vehicle, and then fired upon those who were left on board, he said.

Nung pinarahan, dun nagstop ‘yung truck, dun nila (armed men) binanatan and then pina-ano pa, finishing, lalo na ‘yung pulis, tinira pa sa ulo para ma-ensure na patay,” Santotome said.

The rebels, who took at least three M16 rifles and three caliber-.45 pistols from the victims, are believed to have withdrawn to neighboring Negros Oriental after the incident.

Provincial police director Senior Supt. Celestino Guara has ordered the Provincial Public Safety Company to pursue the rebels with the help of the Army’s Special Forces and Scout Rangers, Santotome said. (John Roson)

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A 28-year-old woman in Kalibo, Aklan, died after being hit by a stray bullet during the New Year’s Eve revelry, police said.

Mayette Miranda expired in the hospital due to a bullet wound to the right side of the chest, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Western Visayas regional police director, said.

Miranda, a resident of Tapo-tapo Ave., Brgy. New Buswang, Kalibo, was brought to the St. Gabriel Hospital but expired around 8 a.m. Tuesday, PO3 Nida Gregas, public information officer at the Aklan Provincial Police, said.

Earlier, police reported that Miranda was one of three people who were injured by stray bullets in Western Visayas during New Year’s Eve.

The two others, identified as Teresita Cansancio, 62, of Brgy. Talacuan, Leon, Iloilo; and Eduardo Tavarra, 74, of Tigbauan, Iloilo, are reportedly in stable condition.

Cansancio suffered a bullet wound to the left shoulder while Tavarra suffered a bullet wound to the left arm.

“We are still trying to identify the perpetrators, the cases are still under investigation,” Cruz said. (John Roson)

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2 kids injured in Capiz blast

Two children were seriously injured when a grenade exploded at a house in Ivisan, Capiz, on Monday, police said.

Jhon Rey Dayan and Jerry Boy Valderama, both 12 years old, were taken to the Capiz Provincial Hospital immediately after the explosion, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Western Visayas regional police director, said.

The explosion occurred at the home of Dayan’s father, Norie, in Sitio Pinamasawan, Brgy. Ilaya, around 10:15 a.m.

Investigation showed that the children found the M203 grenade rifle ammunition and tried to open it, Cruz said.

The children are already in stable condition Tuesday, but one of them lost both his feet, Senior Supt. Domingo Cabillan, Capiz Provincial Police director, said. (John Roson)

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