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The number of turtles hatched in Sta Cruz Island has more than doubled in recent months.

This was announced by Protected Area Management Unit Operations Officer Richard Alliangan who cited the undisturbed surroundings as a reason for the increase.

If this trend continues, Sta. Cruz Island just might become the next Taganak turtle sanctuary

But could it and would it?

Far-fetched, SS feels. For good reasons, authorities have their eyes trained on Sta. Cruz for other purposes.

Watch. The City Government through Pamu has lined up several activities for the enjoyment of the expected influx of visitors in Sta. Cruz this summer.

Dubbed as “Fiesta na Isla,” the activities will be held every Saturdays and Sundays from April 8 to May 28. The event will feature a race where boats manned by two blindfolded paddlers and a navigator will outrace each other to the finish line, Aliangan said. He added a mini amazing race, human sand sculpture and eating competition involving a local delicacy are included in the list of events.

See? To dream of a Taganak duplicate is utterly impossible. There other priorities.

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) strikes again. On Monday, its agents arrested six persons holed up inside a suspected drug den in Sapang Palay, Baliwasan.

PDEA Regional Director III Lyndon P. Aspacio, CESE, identified those arrested as Randy Taburi Jainal, 41; Al- Husseil Imao Ammad, 33; Farsi Mandangan Eliot, 35; Roldan Ybañez Silay, 44 and Emelen Bacrang Palmes, 35 and an unidentified suspect.

SS remembers to have seen Bali Cap Aimie rise from bed at 2 am dawn of that day rushing to the site on call to witness the raid. The unidentified one must that tall and lanky bearded basketball enthusiast, Aimie related to SS upon return by about 6 am.

PDEA agents recovered 20 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated value of P61,250, drug paraphernalia and P200 marked money from their possession.

P61 plus is a big haul by regular standards.

Aspacio said the suspects will be charged for various violations of section 26 (Attempt or Conspiracy) in relation to section 5 (Selling of Illegal Drugs), section 6 (Maintenance of Den, Dive or Resort), section 7 (Employees and Visitors of Den, Dive or Resort), section 11 (Possession of Illegal Drugs), section 12 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia), section 13 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs during Gatherings or Parties), section 14 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia during Gatherings or Parties) and 15 (Use of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of RA 9165 otherwise known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

That’s a lot. Whew..!

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City police director, Sr. Supt. Luisito Magnaye reports minors are allegedly subjects of abduction by individuals who are after their vital organs. Magnaye issued a flash alarm to all police units and military authorities to hunt for a gray van supposedly used in the abduction.

However, he said so far as initial probes show there is yet no confirmed incident of such.

The city police chief added, police investigators are trying to get footages of CCTV cameras from residential houses along the Calarian road to possibly get the plate number of the van and the identities of the people on board the vehicle.

He said there have been stories of at least minors who were forcibly taken byt managed to escape from their captors.

The first was boy, who Magnaye said, during psychiatric interrogation gave "consistent(ly) rational" accounts of having been abducted.

The other was a girl who told her aunt that she was dragged into a van by five men along the road in barangay Patalon.

The aunt, quoting the girl, said she overheard the suspects talking to someone on the cellphone that they will be paid P15,000 each if they get the organ of the victim.

The girl, to escape captivity, jumped form the van and hid inside a culvert.

Magnaye added, there are other details they were able to get from the CCTV cameras but withheld further info awaiting more details.

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Government troops under Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) rescued the three remaining Malaysian kidnap victims. JTFS Commander Co.l Cirilito Sobejana said that the three were rescued during operations conducted in the boundary of Sitio Kasanyangan Barangay Tuyang Talipao and Barangay Jinggan, Panglima Estino Municipality in Sulu at around 11:30 pm.

The 63rd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Marines Ready Force and the Naval Intelligence Special Group of the Wesmincom teamed up in the efforts.

The five are crew members of the Tugboat Serundung 3 were kidnapped on July 19 in the seawaters off Dent Haven, Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah by the group of Abu Sayyaf sub leader Sibih Pissih.

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A tough smoking ban in all public places across the Philippines to promote public health is set for implementation soon.

Admitting to be enduring low oxygen level arising from his old cigarette habit, Pres. Duterte announced on Wednesday, March 29 the upcoming anti-smoking regulation in the coming months.

Duterte, who has quit smoking, candidly confessed that he uses an oxygen concentrator to help with his breathing when sleeping.

At 72, the President revealed that apart from kicking the tobacco habit, he can no longer eat everything he wants and drink liquor.

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The son of a former Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) decathlon bronze winner saved the day for the Philippine, raking in the only gold medal in the recently-concluded 12th Southeast Asian Youth Athletics Championships Tuesday at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex in Isabela province.

Francis Obenia cleared 4.00 meters to edge out Singaporean Saclin Esan Maran (3.80m) and compatriot John Emmanuel Reyes (3.40m) for the honors.

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Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez claimed yesterday, the verbal spat between their respective girlfriends last year has nothing to do with his move to file graft charges against fellow Davao del Norte congressman Antonio Floirendo Jr.,

While claiming he is not closing his doors to Floirendo, the Speaker appeared not to be ready to mend fences with his erstwhile friend and the biggest campaign contributor of President Duterte.

Alvarez has filed a graft case with the Office of the Ombudsman against Floirendo in connection with possible irregularities in an agreement between Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco) owned by the latter’s family and the Bureau of Corrections. Alvarez is also pushing for a congressional probe on Floirendo’s banana venture.

The two had been the best of friends since their days as congressmen in the early 2000s, both being lawmakers from the same province.

And the two are steadfast allies of President Duterte, who had been mayor of Davao City for more than 20 years.

With that, very likely a simple pep talk of the president to both will silence the raging waters.

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will only wait for Congress to decide until July if it wants the village and youth polls postponed.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said on Wednesday that an early pronouncement on whether to postpone or push through with the scheduled elections on October 31 was necessary to avoid unnecessary expenses and other problems.

“By July we should have settled it one way or another… The problem is that until the postponement is finalized, our preparation will go on,” he added.

The Comelec needs some P6 billion to conduct the twin polls, which requires public biddings and procurement of election materials.

Unless Congress passes a law postponing the polls, the October 31 elections will push through as scheduled, Jimenez said.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) can start investigating barangay (village) officials suspected to be involved in the illegal drug trade and file charges against them if evidence warrants, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

In a media interview, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the DOJ can initiate a probe and charge drug-tainted barangay officials to prevent them from assuming their posts.

“This particular move not to hold barangay elections is precisely what the President has said again and again to make sure that they do not enter into active politics,” Abella told reporters.

“If the DOJ finds that [they are really connected to the (illegal) drug trade], I think they should initiate their own moves,” he concluded. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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