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Sunday, July 05, 2015

NFA-Aklan on guard for ‘fake rice’



BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

The National Food Authority (NFA)-Aklan is on guard following a report of fake rice being sold in Davao City. 

Martina Lodero, NFA-Aklan provincial manager, said they are intensifying massive market inspections and monitoring of stores in Aklan to check the existence of suspected fake rice. 

“Maging vigilant tayo, huwag tayong agarang bibili ng bigas. Siguruduhin natin na ang bigas ay  galing sa mga suki natin na nagtitinda. Sinusuyod din natin ang buong Aklan upang malaman na ang lahat ng nagtitinda ng bigas ay may lisensiya,” Lodero said. 

NFA is currently investigating the alleged sale of fake rice from a canteen in Davao City.  NFA has collected samples of the alleged fake rice for laboratory tests by Food Development Center.

Fake rice which is reportedly made from plastic, potatoes, sweet potatoes and materials found in pipes and cables, had been on sale in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, China, India, and Malaysia.

To monitor the presence of fake rice, Ladero also urged the public to buy rice from accredited retailers or licensed by NFA in designated public market, groceries and supermarkets. 

The NFA-accredited retailers have signboards with the name of the retailer and accreditation number.

“Siguraduhin natin na hindi amoy plastic ang bigas na binibili. Kung ang bigas ay pare-parehas ang sukat at hugis, at hindi masyadong bilog, maputi  at makintab, ay maaaring gawa ito ng makina,” Lodero reiterated the NFA advisory in a radio report.  

Fake rice should also be immediately reported to authorities and NFA hotline 09064363133 or at facebook.com/NFApublicaffairs. 

“Magreport lamang sa NFA sa mga kahina-hinalang bigas. Kailangan namin at least one kilo ng nabiling bigas na hindi luto upang ma-analyze namin kung ito ay fake,” added Lodero.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Aklan radio reporter faces wiretapping complaint



BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

A radio reporter in Kalibo, Aklan is facing a complaint before the Aklan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Republic Act No. 4200 otherwise known as the Anti-Wiretapping Act.

Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan member Augusto Tolentino filed his complaint on July 3 against Ma-ann Berdonar Lachica of Energy FM Kalibo radio station.

The councilor claimed that his conversation on September 23, 2014 with radio anchorman Rolly Herrera of IBC DyRG Radyo Budyong Kalibo was private in nature and was recorded by Lachica without his knowledge, in violation of the Anti-Wire Tapping Act. 

Tolentino said the private conversation that took place inside the Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan session hall before the start of a special session is covered by Republic Act No. 4200.

“I find without doubt that Lachica has committed a violation of RA No. 4200 as far as my private conversation or spoken words with Herrera… that she had recorded without my knowledge and authority,” he stressed.

If found guilty of violating the Anti-Wiretapping Act, Lachica faces imprisonment for not less than six months or more than six years. 

Tolentino cited provisions of the law or “An Act to Prohibit and Penalized Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of Private Communication and Other Purposes” which penalizes individuals who made a secret recording of private communications or conversations by means of the devices without the knowledge and consent of the parties to the conversation.

Section 1 declared that “it shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder, or however otherwise described.

Tolentino said the filing of the complaint was instigated by the alleged tape recording of Lachica, who also obtained and used the taped conversation as basis for a complaint against him before the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan last October 2014.

Tolentino, who is also a radio brodcaster of RMN DyKR Kalibo,  is facing administrative charges for gross misconduct in office filed by the radio reporter under SP Admin Case No. 2014-05.  

The councilor said, “Lachica executed and submitted a Judicial Affidavit on May 22, 2015 in the Aklan SP case which she testified under oath before the SP on June 5, 2015 that she took the private conversations.”

Further, the radio reporter also presented the compact discs (CDs) and the transcriptions in Aklanon dialect and English during the testimony of the purported voice of Tolentino in the recorded private conversation with Herrera.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Court junks TRO petition on Kalibo budgets implementation


                                                                                                                                                    PHOTO AKLAN FORUM

BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

A regional trial court denied the petition to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of appropriation ordinances of the municipality of Kalibo, Aklan.  

Judge Cicero Lampasa of Branch 2 said “the Court is not persuaded that great or irreparable injury would result to the petitioners, before the writ of preliminary injunction could be heard.”

Last May, Randy Anthony Rebaldo and four incumbent Sangguniang Bayan members of Kalibo, namely, Mark Ace Bautista, Mark Vega Quimpo, Rey Tolentino and Gregorio Malapad, Jr. filed a separate special civil action against Kalibo mayor William Lachica, the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo represented by Vice Mayor Madeline Regalado and Acting Municipal Treasurer Rey Villaruel. 

The petition sought to nullify and prohibit the implementation of Appropriation Ordinance No. 2014-19 for the annual budget of the General Fund-Proper and Appropriation Ordinance No. 2014-20 for the annual budget of the General Fund-Municipal Economic Enterprise and Development Office (MEEDO) for fiscal year 2015.

They said “damage to their good names and reputations will be irreparable, irreversible and incapable of pecuniary quantification.’”

“Those who voted for them and other residents of Kalibo, Aklan will think that they were parties to the illegal passage and the implementation of the ordinances since they are members of the Sangguniang Bayan,” stated the petition on Civil Case No. 10072.

Judge Lampasa noted “the grounds/circumstances required for the TRO to issue, are simply not obtaining in the case at bar. Hence, the prayer for issuance of Temporary Restraining Order is thus denied."

Lampasa’s order was issued on June 22 and received by the Office of Municipal Mayor on July 1.

“Except for bare allegations, petitioners have not established to the satisfaction of the court that irreparable damage and/or injury will be suffered by them if TRO will not be issued,” the judge added.

The order also stated the plea of the petitioners for a writ of preliminary injunction will be heard on July 7.  

Meanwhile, the local government of Kalibo filed a petition on April 8 for a temporary restraining order in the regional trial court to nullify the Aklan SP Resolution No. 100 series of 2015 declaring the appropriation ordinances ‘inoperative in its entirety’.

Mayor Lachica argued “the inoperation of the 2015 appropriation ordinances is an extreme urgency matter causing tremendous delay in the implementation of the projects and programs in Kalibo.”

On April 28, Judge Elmo del Rosario of Branch 5 issued a writ of injunction in favor of the local government of Kalibo for special civil action case No. 10046.

Del Rosario invoked “the existence of the right to be protected and that the acts against which the injunction is to be directed are violative of said right.”

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Be on alert on rainy season diseases – health office

In Kalibo, C. Laserna area near the Aklan River is prone to flooding during rainy season. The public is advised to avoid wading in flood waters to prevent being infected by leptospirosis / PHOTO AKLAN FORUM

BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL


Provincial Health Office (PHO)-Aklan has warned the public of common diseases that may arise during rainy days.

In a radio report, Provincial Health Officer I Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr. said the public should be on guard of the common diseases such leptospirosis, dengue, water-borne diseases and influenza with the onset of rainy season.

People who have open wounds on their feet or legs and who are wading in flood waters are at risk of being infected by leptospirosis, a disease caused by Leptospira bacteria from rat urine.

Although, there are no reported cases of leptospirosis in Aklan, the public should be fully aware how to prevent the disease.

Dengue, also a common disease in tropical countries during rainy season, is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes. 

Cuachon advised the public to search and destroy breeding sites of mosquito like water containers, flower vases, old rubber tires, empty cans and surroundings to prevent the spread of dengue in the barangays.

Food and water-borne diseases caused by contaminated food and water are also prevalent  in the province. Many people also can fall ill to cough, colds and influenza during rainy days.  

“People should see a doctor or have check-ups with rural health centers and out-patient department in public hospitals if symptoms manifest in common infections,” Quachon added. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Health also advised the people to boost their immune system by eating the right food, getting enough sleep and drink vitamins and maintain good personal hygiene to prevent common diseases.