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Friday, July 29, 2016

Ombudsman finds Congressman Siao, former Mayor Cruz, other councilors guilty of grave misconduct

By:  Roxanne Avevalo

ILIGAN CITY (29 July 2016) - The Office of the Ombudsman has found former Iligan Mayor Lawrence Cruz and 11 former councilors, including the incumbent congressman, liable for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The 11 councilors were Ruderic Marzo, Providencio Abragan Jr., Moises Dalisay Jr., Riza Jane Magaro, Jose Zalsos, Frederick Siao, Marlene Young, Ariel Anghay, Michelle Sweet-Booc, Bayani Areola, Roy Openiano, and Eulalio Gaite.

Siao is the incumbent representative for the Lone District of Iligan.

Cruz and the 11 councilors were sued by the City Administrator Dexter Sumaoy in 2014 after they leased a property without undergoing public bidding.

In an order dated June 13, 2016, but was only made public recently, the Office of the Ombudsman imposed the penalty of dismissal from service, with the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding office and forfeiture of retirement benefits, among others.

According to Dalisay, counsel and one of the respondents, they will file a motion for reconsideration.  He maintained that leasing private real estate does not require public bidding.

Sumaoy, on the other hand, insisted that the penalties for the administrative case may be executed immediately.

Monday, July 25, 2016

'Drug Queen of the South,' army major, 7 others collared

By: Camcer Ordonez Imam
Manila Bulletin

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (25 July 2016) - A former mayor in Lanao del Sur, dubbed by anti-narcotics officials as the "Drug Queen of the South," was arrested yesterday morning when joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the local police swooped down on a compound in Barangay Kauswagan here.

Johaira Abinal alias "Mayora Marimar," former mayor of Maguing, Lanao del Sur, was arrested with her husband, Major Suharto Tambidan Macabuat, who is assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group of the Philippine Army (HHSG-PA) in Fort Bonifacio, nephew Sanny Santican, and six other household members, whose identities were not immediately available.

The raiding team, armed with a search warrant issued by the Office of the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental, seized an estimated 200 grams of shabu and a .45 caliber Remington pistol from the Macabuat and Santican residences inside the compound.

PDEA Region 10 Director Adrian G. Alvarino said Abinal could be the "mayora" named earlier by President Duterte as one of the biggest drug dealers in Mindanao.  

He said the former mayor is the alleged leader of the Abinal Group, which allegedly supplies illegal drugs in Regions 10, 11, 12, Caraga, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and even in Metro Manila.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Court orders Regencia transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan

Detained Mayor Celso G. Regencia escorted by
BJMP personnel during the Oct 19 hearing in
Initao RTC Branch 44
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (19 Jul 2016) - A Regional Trial Court judge orders the transfer of detention of Mayor Celso G. Regencia from Iligan City jail in Tipanoy to Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, in Bicutan, Taguig City, not later than August 15, 2016.

The transfer order emanates from a three-page order of Ferdinand Baylon, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 77 of Quezon City, mandating the personal presence of the accused for the marathon hearings scheduled on August 17, 24 and 31 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon at the Quezon City RTC Branch 77.

"All parties to these cases are strongly advised to be ready for this court will not entertain any postponement and/or cancellations," the Order sternly states.
It may be recalled that there have already been six (6) subpoenas issued by the RTC Branch 44 in Initao, Misamis Oriental for the purpose of Regencia's arraignment.  Only the first hearing in October 19, 2016 was attended by accused Celso Regencia.  
The lawyers for the defense moved for the inhibition of RTC Branch 44 Judge Marissa Estabaya from hearing the case.  The five other scheduled hearings were postponed upon motion of the defense due to the alleged Regencia's health problem.

The supporters of Regencia also barricaded the gates of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Barangay Tipanoy, this City, preventing the accused to be brought to Initao, in Misamis Oriental, for hearing.

In April 20, 2016, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of detention of Regencia to Bicutan Jail and the hearing to the Quezon City RTC.

A hearing for arraignment and for the petition of bail were scheduled in July 13, 2016, however, the defense counsel, Atty. Voltaire Rovira, moved again for postponement due to mandatory attendance of lawyers in the annual MCLE seminar scheduled in July 13 to 16 in Iligan City.

The marathon hearings in Quezon City are a much-awaited scenario whose resolution is hoped by the Iligan constituents to finally end the political hiatus at the Iligan City hall. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

4 nasikop sa drug bust sa Iligan

By:  Divina M. Suson

ILIGAN CITY - Laing upat ka mga drug suspects ang nasikop sa mga otoridad atol sa drug bust operation sulod sa duha ka mga pension house sa Barangay San Miguel, ning dakbayan, Hulyo 13 sa gabii.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kauswagan town mayor Arnado, ousted over citizenship, steps down finally

By: Richel V. Umel

KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte (31 March 2016) - Mayor Rommel Arnado has stepped down as the town's chief executive following Wednesday's serving of a writ of execution in connection with a Supreme Court decision, which unseated him with finality for his continued use of a US passport.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Vehicular accident in Rupagan Highway claims a life

BACOLOD, Lanao del Norte (27 March 2016) -- The slippery highway in Rupagan of the Municipality of Bacolod, province of Lanao del Norte, after a heavy downpour on Easter Sunday morning, claims the life of another motorist.

A single motorcycle driven by MANUEL JARANTILLA LAGA, JR, of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, skidded on a wet highway, after an early morning heavy downpour on Easter Sunday, 27 March 2016, in Brgy. Rupagan, Lanao del Norte, and rammed unto an onrushing Rural Transit Bus, with plate number ACA 7276. 

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