Jealous Laguna woman attempts suicide–police

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 17:25:00 09/18/2008


MANILA, Philippines — A woman driven by jealousy attempted suicide in the municipality of Magdalena in the province of Laguna early Thursday morning but was saved by her neighbors, a police official said.

The 35-year-old drank pesticide in Banaan village around 10:30 a.m. because she suspected her husband of seeing another woman, said Magdalena police chief Senior Inspector Raul Sandoval.

But the victim was spotted by neighbors and rushed to the Laguna Provincial Hospital where, as of posting time, she is in stable condition, Sandoval said.

Sandoval said police records showed the woman had reported to police last August 6 that her husband was allegedly having an affair.

It was also in Magdalena where a woman killed her three young children and then herself with toilet bowl cleanser on September 9.


Mother poisons 3 children then kills self–police

By Abigail Kwok, Niña Catherine Calleja, Southern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 10:04:00 09/09/2008


MANILA, Philippines — A mother killed her three children and later herself through poisoning after midnight Monday in Magdalena, Laguna, police said Tuesday morning.

Chief Superintendent Ricardo Padilla, regional director of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) Philippine National Police (PNP) and Senior Inspector Raul Sandoval, Magdalena police chief, said Marjorie, 4; Margareth, 3; and MJ, 2 were forced by their mother Janeth Ponce, 32 to drink the bottle of liquid toilet bowl cleaner at their house in Barangay (village) Salasad at around 1 a.m.

Janeth afterwards drank the poison to kill herself.

All four were rushed to the Magdalena Provincial Hospital but the three children were declared dead on arrival. Ponce was admitted to the emergency room but died shortly afterwards, Padilla said.

Sandoval said the suicide note that they found in the victims’ house made them believe that the mother killed her children and herself because of poverty.

In her suicide note, however, Janeth was asking her relatives to take good care of her children.

Police added that the relatives of Ponce refused to subject the mother and her children to an autopsy.

Police will also contact the husband of Ponce, who is a construction worker in Manila.

Locally-developed organic fertilizer boosts rice yield

Locally-developed organic fertilizer boosts rice yield
By Franklin A. Caliguid
Mindanao Bureau
Last updated 04:35am (Mla time) 08/23/2007

BUTUAN CITY—The use of an organic fertilizer developed by Filipino researchers in Laguna has been credited for the high rice production in Northern Mindanao and Caraga Region.


Luis Guillen, president of the Summa Biotechnologies Corp. based here, said there was a 20 percent surge in rice output in Northern Mindanao due to farmers’ use of a locally-produced organic and environment-friendly fertilizer.


“The use of bio-organic inoculant fertilizer has increased palay yield by 20 percent,” Guillen said in a statement.


The fertilizer, known as Nitro-Fix, is made of nitrogen-fixing bacteria developed by researchers at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños.


Rice studies showed that once these bacteria from organic matters capture the nitrogen gas in the atmosphere, it would convert the nitrogen into a usable form needed to sustain the nitrogen requirements of rice, corn, vegetables, and other crops.


Guillen said the palay plants are healthier, and produce impressive results such as broader and greener leaves, extensive root system and sturdier stalks.


Also, the plants are more resistant to pests and diseases than those applied with chemical-based nitrogen fertilizers, which he claimed have proven to be detrimental to soil fertility and contributes greatly to declining farm productivity.


According to Guillen, the successful use of bio-organic fertilizers could serve as a solution to the country’s chronic rice shortage, if replicated in all the other regions in Mindanao, with its ideal rice-growing conditions and functional irrigation systems.


With the long dry spell in Luzon, followed by the recent massive flooding, Mindanao could yet prove to be the country’s solution to a looming grains shortage, he said.


The cost-cutting and yield-increasing benefits of bio-organic fertilizer inputs prompted Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap to subsidize Nitro-fix.


Recently, Yap ordered the Department of Agriculture in the Caraga Region, headed by acting director Ricardo Regis, to implement a distribution program of the organic fertilizer to farmer-beneficiaries.


For the current cropping period, the DA in Northern Mindanao and the Caraga Region, under the Hunger Mitigation Project, have distributed Nitro-Fix to farmers in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon covering some 20,900 hectares of irrigated rice lands.


Taking a cue from Yap, Butuan Mayor Democrito Plaza also implemented the Nitro-Fix distribution program for farmers working on a total 4,000 hectares of rice lands in the city.

Woman nabbed for allegedly beating son to death

By Marlon Ramos
Southern Luzon Bureau
Last updated 04:20pm (Mla time) 08/08/2007

SAN PEDRO, Laguna, Philippines — Police arrested a 28-year-old woman on Wednesday a day after she and her common-law-husband allegedly beat to death their five-year-old son inside their house in the village of Narra here.


Superintendent Jolly Dizon, town police chief, identified the suspect as Joanne Nabong who was arrested with the help of concerned residents.


The suspect’s live-in partner, a certain Johnny Saludares, was able to escape and is now the subject of a manhunt operation.


Dizon said the suspects brought their son, John Darryl Saludares, to the Narra General Hospital early Tuesday after the boy complained of severe headaches and body pains.


He said the victim’s parents told the attending physicians that their son had a fever for the past three days.


The suspects, however, could not explain why the boy had swollen lips and hematoma all over his body.

At around 11 a.m., the boy died while undergoing treatment for his injuries.


Dizon said the victim’s parents suddenly disappeared upon learning that their son died at the hospital.


But before Nabong could escape, concerned neighbors of the victim immediately called up the local police station and informed the police that the boy had been physically abused by his parents.


“The residents told us that the suspects were beating up their son for still unknown reasons several days before he died. Madalas daw talagang bugbugin nung mag-asawa yung bata (They said the couple often beat the boy),” Dizon told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of


During questioning, the mother denied that she and her live-in partner beat her son to death adding that the child already had a gash on his mouth when she arrived at their house on Monday night.


But Dizon said they have witnesses and evidence to prove that the suspects had been battering their son which could have caused his death.


He said the results of the autopsy done on victim showed that he had a fractured skull.


He said they have already filed a case for parricide at the local prosecutor’s office against Nabong who is now locked up at the town police jail.


Dizon said they would seek the help of the local welfare office to take care of the four other children of the suspects.

Floods submerge farms, houses in eastern Laguna town

By Romulo Ponte
Southern Luzon Bureau
Last updated 04:10pm (Mla time) 08/08/2007

SAN PABLO CITY, Philippine — A heavy downpour from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning submerged some portions of ricefields and houses in the eastern Laguna town of Mabitac while disaster officials are monitoring possible overflow of main rivers in the nearby towns of Siniloan, Pangil, Famy, Sta. Maria and adjacent towns.


On Wednesday morning, the active low pressure area east of Northern Luzon intensified into tropical depression “Dodong,” enhancing the southwest monsoon and bringing more rains over Luzon, particularly the western section, the weather bureau said.


In Mabitac, overflowing rivers caused floodwaters to reach knee-deep in the town proper, submerging houses and nearby ricefields as of Wednesday afternoon.


Willy Malihan, operator of the Mabitac Engineering Office, confirmed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the river had overflowed.


African priest Father Yves Dockery, who manages the Poblete Youth House with 50 abandoned children under its wing, said the shelter had been submerged by almost knee-deep water.


He added that if the rains continue more residents in nearby village of San Antonio would be affected.


Father Frederick Villareal of the Servants of the Poor Missionary, who resides in San Antonio, said continuous rains increased the volume and the water level of the river located nearby, which was enough to submerge several hectares of newly planted ricefields.


In Siniloan town, Cresan Bulalayao of the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council told the Inquirer that although the water level of their main river had risen, he was hoping for rains to slow down so that it would not overflow.


Personnel of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) stationed in Sta. Cruz town are on alert.


Earlier, in Lumban, Laguna, a power company official said the heavy downpour overnight of Tuesday improved the water level of the Caliraya Dam, which generates electricity for the Laguna and Luzon power needs.


“God was so good that He heard our prayers for more rains to end the dry spell which was threatening to wreck havoc on the lives of farmers and households, said Carlos Cabrego, revenue production division chief of the First Laguna Electric Cooperative (FLECO).


As of Wednesday morning, Romeo Panisales, spokesperson of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) said rains continued to pour over the main rivers of the towns of Mabitac, Siniloan, Pangil, Famy, Sta. Maria and nearby towns but none had overflowed, yet.


He added that residents in landslide-prone areas in the village of Dambo in Pangil town have been on constant alert in case of any disaster.

Water level at Laguna Lake dips, too

Good for fishpen operators; bad for farmers By Kristine L. Alave
Last updated 01:51am (Mla time) 07/31/2007

MANILA Philippines–During this time of the year, the water elevation at the Laguna Lake should be at least 11.5 meters, but for a month now, the elevation has been “stagnant” at 11 meters and officials of the Laguna Lake Development Authority are praying for more rain.

Emil Hernandez, officer-in-charge of the LLDA’s Integrated Water Resources Division, said the lake’s water elevation has been lower than what would be expected during the rainy season.

“It should be at 11.5 meters, but the rain is not continuous so the water is stagnant at 11 meters,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a phone interview.

Hernandez said downpour in the eastern part of the Laguna province in the past few days was not enough to raise the water to the desired level.

Despite the lower water level, LLDA officials are not pushing the panic button yet. According to LLDA chemist Dolorita Ravanilla, the low level is a boon to fish pen operators in the lake as it increases the salinity of the waters in their pens. “It’s an advantage to them,” Ravanilla said.

Laguna Lake, which is bounded by Manila, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite provinces, is the largest brackish water lake in the Philippines with a total surface area of 900 square kilometers.

The LLDA estimates that more than 10 million people depend on the lake’s ecosystem. People depend on it for food, irrigation, transportation, flood water reservoir, and industrial cooling, among others.

Many people living within the watershed depend on the lake for food. High commercial value fish are milk fish or bangus, tilapia, carp, thai catfish or hito, ayungin, and biya. There are about 269 species of plants, fishes, and various kinds of aquatic organisms.

Hernandez said low water level would affect farming communities around the lake’s shoreline. He noted that those who got their irrigation water from the lake would not be able to use the water because of its higher salinity content.

Hernandez said most of the communities around the lake have been planting fast-growing vegetables like beans and root crops. Some also plant rice in the villages around the shoreline.

The Laguna Lake, along with the Manila Bay, supplies water to the Pasig River.

The extended dry spell has not affected the water level at the river, which is used as an alternative transport route by companies that use barges to move their products from their sites to the Port of Manila.

Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission executive director Zoilo Andan said, “in terms of the water level, the impact is minimal.” He noted that barges continued to traverse the river.

Laguna Lake

laguna.jpgTHE THING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF: With decreasing water level and islets emerging out of the waters, Laguna Lake in Pililla, Rizal, is clearly moving dangerously toward a drought. EDWIN BACASMAS

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GEARED FOR BATTLE. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, clad in a camouflage vest, meets with military commanders in Zamboanga City over pursuit operations against the Marines’ attackers in Basilan. Photos taken at Edwin Andrews Airbase. GUINTO

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GIRDING FOR WAR. A Marine from the 8th Battalion in Campo Uno, Lamitan, Basilan checks his machine gun. The government has been beefing up troops in Basilan for planned punitive actions against MILF guerrillas accused of killing 14 Marines and beheading 10 of them in a clash on July 10. Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the offensive put on hold for 3 days to give a fact-finding mission a chance to identify the perpetrators. INQUIRER/RAFFY LERMA

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RECALLING OAKWOOD. Detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, with other members of the Magdalo group of officers and supprters partake of a boodle fight, a traditional military meal, at the Marine detention center in Fort Bonifacio. Unrepentant Magdalo members say Trillanes’ victory in the May elections proves that people were on their side all along. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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