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3 confirmed dead in Bulacan chopper crash

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

The ill-fated chopper half-submerged in a fish pond | Courtesy: PRO3

(UPDATE) Three men were killed when a helicopter crashed into a fishpond in Malolos, Bulacan on Thursday (April 25).

Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of Philippine Red Cross (PRC) confirmed this in a post on his Twitter account.

“Update: Death toll rose to 3 in a helicopter crash in Malolos, Bulacan. Other injured passengers were already transported by our @philredcross team to Bulacan Medical Center,” Gordon said.

Local police initially reported that two passengers died “in an accidental helicopter crash” in Barangay Anilao that happened at past 12 p.m.

Another victim was rushed to the nearest hospital due to injuries sustained after the crash. The victim was later declared dead by attending physician.

Police have yet to release the identities of the victims.

In a separate Twitter post, the PRC said the helicopter was carrying at least six passengers on board. A patient was transported by its ambulance to Bulacan Medical Center.

The helicopter, which bears the body number RP C8098, was described in the report as severely damaged or “total wreck.”

Responding teams are still investigating if there are other victims at the crash site.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the helicopter, bound for San Fernando, Pampanga, took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) General Aviation Hangar around 12:28 p.m.

The chopper was owned and operated by LGC Air Transport.

CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco said an Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board has been dispatched to the crash site.– Robie de Guzman

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Actor Daniel Fernando proclaimed as governor of Bulacan

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Actor turned Bulacan governor, Daniel Fernando

Despite delays in vote transmission, the Provincial Board of Canvassers decided to proclaim actor Daniel Fernando as the new governor of Bulacan.

At 4:00 p.m. on Thursday (May 16), incumbent vice governor was officially proclaimed as the new Bulacan Governor.

Fernando got 706,026 votes against the 405,614votes of Malolos Mayor Christian Nativida.

According to Fernando, now that he is the new father of the province, he will prioritize projects and programs on health, education, environment for the welfare of all Bulakenyos.

Fernando served as the vice governor of Bulacan for three terms from 2010 to 2019. He also became a board member from 2003 to 2007.

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Irrigation water in Bulacan, Pampanga from Angat Dam to last until May 16—NWRB

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Image of Angat Dam taken on May 2, 2019

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will stop allocating irrigation water from Angat Dam to Bulacan and Pampanga starting May 16 as water level drops below critical level.

The NWRB has begun reducing the allocation in the irrigation of the said provinces from 3,450 million liters per day to 2,590 million liters for the first two weeks of May.

READ: Water level in Angat dam declines further

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David said the reduced allocation will not affect the said provinces because they are already close to harvest season.

“Sa tingin natin hindi makaka-apekto ito sa mga palayan diyan kasi nga po halos patapos na ang pagtatanim diyan at malapit na po mag-ani ang mga kababayan natin sa Bulacan at Pampanga kaya sa tingin natin hindi na ganun kalaki ang pangangailangan nila sa tubig sa panahon na ito, (We think this will not affect the crops in Bulacan and Pampanga because planting season is over and harvest season is near. We think their need for irrigation water supply will not be as much)” he said.

Meanwhile, the NWRB continues to monitor the water level in Angat Dam and will also continue to conduct cloud seeding to aid in the water supply.

“Masusi nating binabantayan ang kasalukuyang level at iyong mga development sa panahon kasi alam naman po natin na iyong pag-recover ng dam partikular ang Angat umaasa tayo sa mga pagulan, (We are carefully monitoring the water level and the development in the weather because the recovery of a dam, particularly in Angat [Dam] relies on rain)” according to David.

Water level in Angat Dam is currently in 177.5 meters from the 212 meters normal high water level.

The NWRB estimates that the water level will only reach as low as 173 meters before May ends.(with reports from Mon Jocson)

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Businessman Levy Laus, 2 others die in Bulacan chopper crash

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A Pampanga-based businessman and two companions were killed when the helicopter they were riding crashed into a fishpond in Malolos, Bulacan Thursday afternoon, police said.

According to a report by Nestor Torres in UNTV News and Rescue’s Ito ang Balita program, the victims were identified as businessman Liberato “Levy” Laus, his bodyguard Wilfran Esteban, and pilot Captain Everette “Eder” Coronel.

Laus, who headed the conglomerate Laus Group of Companies, was declared dead on arrival at the Bulacan Medical Center. Esteban died in the hospital.

Laus, 68, was a well-known personality in Pampanga. He was also the chairman emeritus of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the chopper was bound for San Fernando, Pampanga when it plunged into a fishpond in Barangay Anilao in Malolos at 12:47 p.m.

CAAP said the helicopter took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) General Aviation Hangar at 12:28 p.m.

The chopper, which bears the body number RP C8098, was owned and operated by LGC Air Transport.

An eye witness told UNTV News and Rescue team that prior to the crash, the helicopter seemed to be looking for a landing site around 12:45 p.m. He also recounted the moments when the ill-fated chopper plunged to the ground.

“Dumiretso na sila bumulusok, pagtama nila dyan sa palaisdaan sumabog ng malakas,” Gerry Borlongan said.

“‘Yung pinto nila naghiwa-hiwalay kasama yung mga sakay na tumilapon sa lakas ng pagsabog,” he added.

Other eye witnesses said the aircraft was billowing black smoke before it crashed.

The chopper’s wreckage was later found half-submerged in the pond.

CAAP investigators are now probing the possible cause of the incident.

“Sa ngayon ang ang ginagawa namin nire-recover na namin itong mga pieces ng aircraft. Sa ngayon hindi pa namin alam eh [sanhi ng insidente] pero nakapag-interview na kami ng mga witness,” said CAAP investigator Harry Faradero. – Robie de Guzman

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