Voter registration in Taal eruption-affected areas to resume on Feb. 3 – Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020   •   674

MANILA, Philippines – The voter registration in Batangas and Cavite areas affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano will resume on Monday, February 3, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday.

In a statement, Comelec said the voter registration for the 2022 elections will resume in the following places in Batangas province due to a return to normal working conditions:

  • Alitagtag
  • Balete
  • Laurel
  • Lemery
  • San Nicolas
  • Sta. Teresita
  • Taal
  • Talisay
  • Cuenca
  • Lipa City
  • Tanauan City
  • Balayan
  • Calaca
  • Kalatagan
  • Tuy
  • San Luis
  • Mabini
  • Lian
  • Malvar

In Cavite, the poll body said that registration of voters will also resume in Alfonso, Indang, Silang, Tagaytay City, and Amadeo.

Meanwhile, the voter registration in the municipality of Mataas na Kahoy in Batangas will resume on February 10, according to Comelec.

The poll body earlier announced the suspension of the registration in areas within and beyond the 14-kilometer danger zone of Taal Volcano during its eruption.

Over P2.5-B worth of shabu seized in Cavite warehouse

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) seized P2.5 billion worth of shabu at a warehouse in General Trias, Cavite on Thursday (June 11) during a buy-bust operation.

The PNP’s Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) has seized over 374 kilograms of shabu that were hidden inside tea packaging. Authorities also arrested Muad Abedin and wife Maycy Naol Abedin.

PNP-DEG Director PBGen. Romeo Caramat Jr. said the suspect is related to a local government official in Southern Mindanao.

“[He is a] nephew of a high ranking government official, sabihin na nating (let’s just say) vice mayor. They are a well-known drug personality operating in Mindanao,” he said.

Authorities have been conducting surveillance in the area for six months which is allegedly operated by a drug syndicate called ‘Mindanao Group’.

“Allegedly itong grupong ito ay nagbebenta ng shabu online, so we were able to penetrate iyong account nila so nalaman namin ang mga transaksyon nila pati ang mga pino-post nila and then kami nagkaroon ng lead kung paano i-surveillance itong mga nahuli nating suspek (This group allegedly sells shabu online. So we were able to penetrate their account and we discovered their transactions as well as their posts. We found a lead on how to conduct a surveillance on the arrested suspects),” Caramat said.

Muad denied the allegations and insisted that they were only tasked to care for the place during community quarantine— but his wife said otherwise.

Maycy said her husband knew what was inside the tea packaging and they were paid P10,000 per bag by a certain Chinese national.

“Chinese pero hindi ko nakikita iyong mukha, naririnig ko lang pero wala akong nakita (He is Chinese but I did not see his face, I only heard his voice),” she said.

The suspects will face charges for violation of Section 5 and Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Cavite, Rizal governors ask IATF to allow motorcycle backriding for married, cohabiting couples

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2020

(File photo)


MANILA, Philippines — Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla initiated an appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 to allow motorcycle backriding particularly for married or cohabiting couples.

In his open letter addressed to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Remulla explained that because of the impact of the outbreak on businesses, many companies couldn’t prioritize providing shuttle services for their employees, at least in Cavite, and mass transportation remains limited which adds to the burden of workers and employees going to and from workplaces.

He noted that while he agrees with the national government in implementing strict social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which prompted a ban on motorcycle backriding, he appealed that exemptions be given to married or cohabiting couples.

Ang nais ko pong idulog ay mapayagan ang backriding sa kaso ng mga mag-asawa at nagsasama (I ask that you allow backriding for married and cohabiting couples),” Remulla said given that married couples live under one roof and sleep on the same bed.

“Kung hinahayaan po natin silang sumakay sa de aircon na kotse, bakit hindi po sila maaring sumakay sa iisang motorsiklo? Kung pareho sila ng kamang tinutulugan, bakit hindi sila puwedeng magbyaheng magkasama? (If we allow them to ride an air-conditioned car, why not allow them on the same motorcycle? If they sleep on the same bed, why can’t they travel together?]” he argued.

The Cavite governor said the provincial government is willing to provide a ‘Couple’s Pass’ which married couples may support with a marriage certificate.

Meanwhile, Acting Rizal Governor Dr. Reynaldo San Juan Jr. also made a similar appeal in an open letter to the IATF.

Governor San Juan argued that since transportation is limited during the quarantine period, motorcycles are the “cheapest and fastest” way of getting to work or to a destination. 

He specifically noted the plight of women who are compelled to walk long distances just to get to work.

Dahil hindi pinayagan ng IATF ang backrider, napipilitang maglakad ang mga kababaihang asawa ng mga nagmo-motorcycle ng ilang oras para lamang makarating sa kanilang pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan, (Because IATF has banned backriding, the wives of motorcycle riders are forced to walk for several hours just to get to work)” San Juan said.

San Juan ascertained that they will enforce the necessary measures for the protection of the riders and the general public should the IATF grant his appeal.

These include the strict implementation of wearing masks, presentation of proper identification cards, travel pass and marriage certificate to make sure that the proposed policy will not be abused or taken advantage of.

Gov. Remulla orders closure of Cavite malls failing to ensure social distancing measures

Robie de Guzman   •   May 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla on Monday said he has ordered the temporary closure of all shopping malls in the province for failing to comply with social distancing protocols.

“LAHAT NG MALL SA CAVITE ay panandalian SARADO dahil sa kanilang pakawalang bisa ng social distancing. Sa labas ng mall bago magbukas; sa luob ng mall habang operations; Wala po nakitang pinasusunod na patakaran ukol sa social distancing. Kung akala ng lahat ay kung pati sa mall ay PNP pa rin ay para na rin ninyo sinabi na kalimutan na ang ibang trabaho at sitahin na lang ang nasa mall,” Remulla said in his Facebook post.

The governor said that even supermarkets and drug stores inside malls will also be temporarily shuttered until plans on strict social distancing measures are presented and implemented.

Remulla made the announcement just two days after the community quarantine restrictions were eased in the province.

Cavite, a province near Metro Manila with a population of almost 4 million people, was placed under an enhanced community quarantine since March and shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 16.

Under GCQ, establishments offering essential goods and services are allowed to reopen with reduced workforce and operations, provided that safety and health measures are in place.

Under the set-up, only one person per household is allowed to go out to get necessities and do other essential errands. They are required to quarantine pass and other necessary documents to be presented at control points.

Remulla said that these rules were broken when customers trooped to the malls that resumed operations over the weekend.

He also called out residents whom he said abused their quarantine passes and work permits to go mall strolling and conduct other non-essential activities.

The governor pointed out that in a span of four days, from May 13 to 17, the province recorded 36 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 275.

“Akala ninyo ang GCQ ay FREEDOM PASS. Akala ninyo na ang pag bawas ng checkpoint ay pwede na ipagbaliwala ang mga pass para maka labas ng bahay. Akala ninyo na ang work ID ay lakwatsya pass. Ito ngayon ang aking patakaran,” he said.

He said all mayors in the province endorsed the Executive Order he signed on Sunday night, May 17, ordering the temporary closure of malls until they are able to present plans on ensuring physical distancing measures.

He warned to cancel the privilege of those abusing their work permits, as well as those using their work IDs even if they were not on duty.

“Isa po na paki-usap sa may company ID. Huwag ninyo abushin ang sistema,” he said.

“Sa araw ng inyong trabaho ay kumuha ng certificate of duty mula sa HR. May palugit kami ng 1 hour before and 1.5 hours later para kayo ay maka pasok at maka uwi. Pag wala sa araw at oras ng duty ito ay bawal gamitin para gumala. Please stay at home” he added.

Remulla also appealed to his constituents to continue observing health protocols as he stressed that the province is still under community quarantine, even if it is in a more relaxed set-up.

“Marami sa inyo ang magagalit sa akin. Mas mabuti na galit kayo sa akin at wala kayong Covid kaysa natutuwa kayo sa akin at nadadagdagan ang may sakit,” he said.

“Pasensya na kayo, inabuso ang sistema at kailangan higpitan. Marami naman grocery at drug store sa inyong bayan. Duon muna Ang kailangan bilhin. MAGBUBUKAS RIN naman pag napakita ang plano ng operators ukol sa social distancing,” he added.

“Tandaan, Ang Q sa GCQ ay ‘Quarantine.’ Hinde pa po tapos ang sakuna,” he further stated.

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