Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 09 January 2018

Man’s body stuffed in trash bag, found in Cavite


SAN PEDRO CITY – The body of a still unidentified man was found stuffed inside a trash bag in Bacoor City in Cavite province early Wednesday morning.
City police chief Supt. Christopher Olazo, in a phone interview, said the victim’s hands were tied while his head was wrapped in packaging tape, suggesting he might have been a victim of summary execution.
But investigators could not immediately determine the motive behind the killing of the man, whose body was found past midnight Wednesday along Molino Road in Barangay (village) Molino 4, as they first focus on trying to establish his identity.

The victim was described as a fair-skinned, medium-built individual with long hair. He was wearing a red shirt and a pair of denim pants. /kga
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HIV positive Charles Co. school assistant accused of sexually victimizing 42 kids pleads guilty

Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, of Waldorf, Maryland, was arrested for the sexual assault of several boys while he was an instructional assistant and track coach in Charles County, according to officials.


LA PLATA, Md. - A former Charles County school assistant, who officials said is HIV positive, accused of sexually victimizing 42 juveniles has pleaded guilty, according to officials.

Charles County officials said 30-year-old Carlos Bell pleaded guilty to 27 counts of sexual abuse of a minor along with a slew of other serious crimes after being indicted on 206 charges. He will be sentenced to 190 years in prison, authorities stated.

Bell, of Waldorf, was accused of sexually victimizing 42 juveniles. Of the 42 victims, officials said 28 have been identified and 14 remain unidentified.

Authorities stated Bell sexually abused his victims at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, at his home and possibly at other locations between May of 2015 and June of 2017. Bell sexually assaulted students while not wearing protection, according to police.

Officials said ages of the victims ranged from 11 years old to 17 years old. The state attorney’s office said they were not aware of any of the victims testing positive for HIV as of October.

Investigators said a concerned parent checked her child's phone and found inappropriate text messages in connection with Bell in November. Authorities launched an investigation in December and Bell was removed from La Plata High School and his coaching job on Dec. 22.

A search of Bell's work computer didn't reveal anything suspicious, according to detectives. But police said a search of Bell's home computer and electronic devices turned up child pornography.

Officials said they wanted to reach a plea deal with Bell to protect the young victims from having to testify in court.

“The other goal, just as important or more important, was maintain the privacy and the anonymity of the young victims in this case,” Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington explained.

Bell also faces federal charges, which he is expected to also plead guilty to, according to officials.

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Dad turns in teenage son after finding child pornography on cell phone

Andrew Spensberger, 17, is accused of possessing child pornography (Credit: O'Fallon, Mo. PD)


O’FALLON, Mo. ( – A man turned in his teenage son after finding inappropriate pictures of a toddler on his phone.

Andrew Spensberger, 17, was charged with possession of child pornography after photos of a 2-year-old were found on his cell phone, according to the O’Fallon, Missouri Police Department. The 2-year-old was reportedly a relative of his dad's girlfriend.

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Short-handed Spurs still too much for Kings

LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 12 rebounds and Davis Bertans enjoyed a career night as the San Antonio Spurs rallied to a 107-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday in Sacramento, Calif.

Bertans established career highs of 28 points and six 3-pointers as San Antonio recovered from a 13-point deficit. Bertans was 11-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range.

Willie Cauley-Stein had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who lost for the sixth time in the past eight games. Garrett Temple and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points apiece.

San Antonio played without All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) for the second consecutive game. Also sitting out for the Spurs were guards Manu Ginobili (rest) and Danny Green (groin) and forward Rudy Gay (heel).

Even without the key players, San Antonio was the stronger team down the stretch.

The Kings held a 95-90 lead with 4:09 remaining after a Cauley-Stein dunk. But Bertans drained back-to-back 3-pointers a short time later to give the Spurs a 97-95 edge with 2:42 left.

Aldridge, who was 13-of-20 shooting, tallied the next five San Antonio points to increase the margin to 102-96 with 1:48 remaining. A layup by Mills increased the lead to nine as the Spurs closed it out.

Sacramento enjoyed a 13-point lead on a basket by De'Aaron Fox one minute into the third quarter before the Spurs whittled away at the margin. Bertans' layup pulled San Antonio within three points with 4:59 left and a 3-pointer by Mills gave the Spurs a 73-72 lead before the Kings scored the final four points of the quarter.

Cauley-Stein had 14 points and eight rebounds in the first half as the Kings held a 56-46 lead at the break.

San Antonio trailed by five after a layup by Mills with 3:20 left in the half before Sacramento ripped off eight straight, capped by a 3-pointer by Buddy Hield to make it 49-36. Bogdanovic later hit a 3-pointer to make it a 14-point margin with 2:06 left.

Cauley-Stein scored 10 points in the first quarter as the Kings took a 25-21 edge. — Reuters

  • Published in Sports

De Lima seeks Senate probe on PCSO squabble

Senator Leila de Lima is seeking a legislative probe on the internal squabbles among officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), saying the agency should be “shielded from improper influence and interference of personalities with vested interests and dubious reputations.”

De Lima filed on Monday Senate Resolution No. 578 directing the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry to ensure that the “status and position as public officers and government employees are not being misused or abused for personal gain” by PCSO officials.

The probe sought by De Lima arises from the squabble between PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan and board member and former whistleblower Sandra Cam.

Cam earlier criticized the PCSO for supposedly spending P10 million for its Christmas party at a five-star hotel. Balutan refuted the claim of Cam that the party was lavish, saying only P6 million was spent for the party where 1,500 employees from across the country were in attendance.

Citing a newspaper report, De Lima pointed out that Balutan claimed that Cam is making false accusations targeting PCSO officials to “get the agency’s top post” and help her friend, known gambling lord Charlie “Atong” Ang, to monopolize Small Town Lottery (STL) operations nationwide.

“Dapat talagang imbestigahan yung sinasabi ni Sandra Cam na diumano’y ‘lavish’ o magarang Christmas Party ng PCSO. Pero, dapat rin imbestigahan yung akusasyon ng kabilang panig,” De Lima said.

“Napakahalaga ng mandato ng PCSO dahil nakakatulong ito sa mga proyekto para sa mga mahihirap. So hindi puwedeng nahahaluan ang mga gawain nito o nasisira ang mga operasyon nito dahil sa pakikialam ng mga personalidad na may kahinahinalang karakter at hindi mapagkakatiwalaan,” De Lima added, while calling Cam a “shady character.”

On Tuesday, Cam filed a criminal complaint against Balutan due to alleged threats she has been receiving following her disclosure of the supposed irregularities in the agency. —ALG, GMA News


Palace: No breach of good faith in China ‘militarization’ of Kagitingan Reef

There is “no breach in good faith” on the part of China as far as Malacañang is concerned, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday, amid the supposed militarization of the Kagitingan Reef or Fiery Cross in the disputed South China Sea.

“When we say we are relying on China’s good faith, it is because China has committed not to embark on new reclamations,” Roque said in a press briefing.

“Kagitingan is one of the islands that it had already reclaimed…When we invoke the good faith of China, it is against making further reclamations and not making further works on islands that it had already reclaimed,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, backed the statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that a diplomatic protest should be filed if it will be proven that China has deployed soldiers and weapons on the Kagitingan Reef.

“Of course, that’s the proper remedy,” Roque said.

The military has said it will ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file a diplomatic protest if it will be proven that China has deployed soldiers and weapons on the Kagitingan Reef or Fiery Cross in the South China Sea.

“We are going to urge [the DFA] to make a protest if we can see that the Chinese are militarizing the area na very near our place, Fiery Cross is very near Reed Bank, malapit din ‘yan sa ating barko na nakasadsad doon, sa Sierra Madre,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said after the turnover rites at the Army's Special Operations Command in Nueva Ecija on Monday.

“Our stand is we will continue to establish, register our protest through the Department of Foreign Affairs,” he added.

He cited that the Chinese government had said it is not going to militarize reclaimed islands in the South China Sea.

“Remember those were not islands before, those were just reefs but they are now islands. According to them, they are not militarizing and it was for peaceful purposes only like tourism," Lorenzana said.

Asked about the protest, China's foreign ministry spokesman said the construction was on the country's territory and was intended to aid peace in the region, as well as maritime safety and disaster prevention.

"Of course, China also needs to construct necessary defense equipment for its territory," the spokesman, Lu Kang, told a regular briefing on Tuesday. "The relevant equipment is not directed at any particular country."

China and the Philippines have long sparred over the South China Sea, but relations have improved considerably under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been courting Beijing in hopes of winning business and investment.

China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new "status quo" brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations.

China has denied U.S. charges that it is militarizing the South China Sea, which also is claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The reef has a hospital with more than 50 doctors, high-speed mobile connections and an airport with a runway of 3,160 meters (3,456 yards) to serve what Beijing calls a "weather station" equipped with radar, Chinese state media say.

In the last 27 years, China's navy has sent more than 1,000 soldiers to guard the reef, state media have said.

“[That’s] certainly not okay because, of course, it constitutes a further threat to peace and security in the area,” Roque said.

“The fact that they are actually using it now as military bases, as far as I’m concerned, is not new, new. It’s not news. Because we’ve always been against the militarization of the area,” he added.

When asked if there are plans from the government to recover islands reclaimed by China, Roque said: “We have plans which we can’t discuss.” —with Amita Legaspi/KBK/JST, GMA News with a report from Reuters


1 soldier slain, 3 civilians wounded by IEDs in Maguindanao

Army soldiers patrol in a forest in Maguindanao. (photo by Dennis Arcon, InterAksyon)
COTABATO CITY Philippines — A soldier was killed and three civilians, including a child, were wounded in separate bombings in the towns of Datu Hoffer and Datu Unsay, Maguindanao on Tuesday, authorities said.

The civilians, including a 10-year old child, were hurt in the first blast, which happened around 6 a.m. on the Decalungan Bridge in Datu Hoffer.

Private First Class Ian Celeste of the 57th Infantry Battalion, on the other hand, was involved in a clearing operation on the highway in Barangay Maitumaig in Datu Unsay when the second improvised explosive device was detonated past 8 a.m., killing him instantly.

Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Army’s Task Force Central, said military detachments have also been constantly harassed by gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, who are believed to be behind the IED blasts as well.

The municipal peace and order councils of the two towns and of Datu Saudi convened a joint meeting with the military and police following the blasts.

On Wednesday, Governor Esmael Mangudadatu is scheduled to preside over a provincial peace and order council meeting to discuss the continued bombings and violence that earlier prompted a state of calamity to be declared in Datu Unsay.


Contaminated water downs 56 in Benguet village

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Fifty-six residents of a village in Atok, Benguet were rushed to hospital during the fist week of the year in what was initially suspected to be a case of mass good poisoning but which health officials later attributed to contaminated water used for cooking.

The Benguet Provincial Health Office immediately responded, coordinating with the municipal government to ensure tanks used to store water are safe and remind residents about proper sanitattion.

Of those afflicted, all residents of Sito Inaba, Barangay Pasdong, 40 needed admission to the Atok District Hospital while one needed to be transferred to the Benguet General Hospital. The remaining 15 needed only out-patient treatment. Thirty of the patients were female, and 22 male, with ages ranging from 1.6 o 83 years old.

Dr. Nora Ruiz, the provincial health officer, explained that tests on samples showed the tank of the community church from which the water used to cook the chicken eaten by the victims had been drawn had been contaminated by amoeba.

Since the community draws its water from a running creek, Ruiz surmised that the tank itself was likely contaminated.

All confined patients had been discharged by Monday, January 8.


Jail officer dies as Traslacion winds down

Devotee succeeds to make his way atop the carroza to kiss the cross of the Black Nazarene. Photographed by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon
MANILA, Philippines — A jail officer died early Wednesday morning, January 10, as he waited to worship the Black Nazarene as this year’s Traslacion, the procession to return the religious icon to the Quiapo Church, was winding down.

Friends who were with Senior Jail Officer 4 Ramil dela Cruz, who was assigned to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in the National Capital Region, said they were on Hidlago Street when he complained of a tightness in his chest and abdominal pain.

Dela Cruz was rushed to a first aid station and, eventually, to a hospital where he was, however, declared dead on arrival.

The jail officer’s companions claimed he could have been saved had medical personnel decided to rush him straight to a hospital instead of taking a half hour before doing so.

Dela Cruz’s wife and mother said he had been a devotee of the Black Nazarene for the past 30 years in the hope this would keep his family safe from harm.

The jail officer was a father of two.

This year’s Traslacion took 22 hours, from 5 a.m. Tuesday to around 3 a.m. Wednesday.


Over 6 million join Nazareno 2018 procession – MPD

FILLED. Thousands of devotees try to come near the image of the Black Nazarene. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Feast of the Black Nazarene pulled in over 6 million people for its 2018 procession.

The figure was announced by Manila Police District Director Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel on Wednesday, January 10, a few hours after the iconic wooden image of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ concluded its journey to Quiapo Church.

"Based on our initial estimate beginning 4:57 am noong nag-start 'yung procession (when the procession started) in Quirino Grandstand and ending at 2:59 in the morning today, 6.314 million joined the procession alone," Coronel told reporters at Plaza Miranda.

They did not include participants of the 21 Masses held at the Quiapo Church and those who heard Mass and did the Pahalik at the Quirino Grandstand, the one-star general said.

More people attended in 2018 than the previous year. Coronel noted that 5.4 million attended the procession in 2017.

He added that the increase contributed to the delay of the image reaching back to Quiapo as the thick crowds delayed the image passing through narrow roads going to the Quiapo Church. –

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