News Briefs: February 16, 2017

Former Bacolod university professor yields P500,000 worth of marijuana 

Cebu Pacific launches new flights to Masbate, Romblon 

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Pacific Air has launched flights to Masbate and Tablas from Manila, the company announced Wednesday, February 15.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Cebgo, the airline now flies daily between Manila and Masbate, and four times a week between Manila and Tablas.

"We believe that both leisure and business travelers alike will take delight in visiting these two placesto further stimulate trade and tourism,” Alexander Lao, Cebgo president and CEO, said in a statement.

The airline said the new routes will also enhance its air cargo services in Luzon.

The company will utilize its new ATR 72-600 aircraft for the Masbate and Tablas services. –


QC to provide free birth registration for indigents 

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Quezon City is targeting to provide free birth registration to 500 residents in Barangay Pag-Asa, as part of the civil registry caravan of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The city's Civil Registry Department will hold a free birth registration event, dubbed as "Operation: Birthright," at Barangay Pag-Asa's Sitio San Roque along Agham Road, on Friday, February 17, and will give priority to unregistered residents below 18 years old.

There will also be a lecture series and consultations, as well as a medical mission by QC health officials.

Mayor Herbert Bautista and National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Lisa Grace Bersales have been invited to attend the free registration event.

This is also part of the celebration of the Civil Registration Month this February, the city government said in a press release. – 


Napocor appoints new VP for engineering 

MANILA, Philippines – The National Power Corporation (Napocor) has appointed Rogelio Teves as its new vice president for power engineering services.

Teves, a lawyer and engineer by training, was previously Napocor's head for its design and development unit, which works on feasibility studies of power and transmission projects, engineering-related design, and tender documents and cost estimates, the company said in a release Wednesday, February 15.

He joined Napocor in 1990 as a cadet engineer, fresh from his graduation from the University of the East with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was hired as an engineer in 1992 and rose through the company's ranks.

The company's power engineering services division "manages implementation of power projects including construction, quality and cost control; and provides specialty services like engineering surveys, hydrological studies, geological services, materials investigation and testing, social engineering and right-of-way acquisition among others." –


Former Arayat mayor, village chief, 3 others nabbed for guns 

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – The former 3-term mayor of Arayat town in Pampanga, a village chief and 3 others were arrested after an hour-long firefight with the police before dawn on Wednesday, February 15.

Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon police director, identified the former town mayor as Luis “Chito” Espino, 56, resident of Alonzo Subdivision, Mangga-Cacutud village in Arayat.

The other arrested suspects are Mangga-Cacutud village chief Rosendo Dizon, 42; Romy Mallari, 42; Rosauro Dillera, 35; and Cesar Peralta, 25.

Two policemen from the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force’s Rapid Deployment Battalion, identified as PO2 Robert Ron Fernandez and SPO1 Joy Venturillo, were allegedly shot by Espino during the firefight.

The police were serving a search warrant issued by the Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court, in connection with the former mayor's alleged violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Instead of cooperating with the police, Espino fired at the police, before later deciding to surrender. The former mayor later admitted to firing shots at the police.

Firearms and illegal drugs were seized from the house. However, Espino said the confiscated drugs, identified by police as shabu, were not theirs, and was "planted." – Jun A. Malig