News Briefs: February 8, 2017

Suspected 'high-profile' NPA member nabbed in Bacolod 

BACOLOD CITY – A suspected "high-profile" member of the New People's Army (NPA) in Negros Island Region was arrested at Barangay 10 in this city on Tuesday night, February 7. However, Captain Eduardo Precioso, public information officer of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said they are still validating if the suspect – Rowena Navarro, 49 – is indeed an NPA member, and what position she holds in the rebel armed group. 

If Navarro is proven a guerrilla fighter, this will be the first arrest of an alleged NPA member in the region after President Rodrigo Duterte called off the peace talks with the communist movement. 

At Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr, where she is being held, the suspect identified herself as Rogina Quilop, and said she is not Rowena Navarro. 

She was served with an arrest warrant for murder issued by Cadiz City Regional Trial Court Judge Renato Muñez on September 11, 2011. Precioso explained Navarro was already arrested in 2010 for arson, but was able to post a P150,000 bail in 2011. – Marchel Espina



OWWA to fast-track aid for OFW victims in Oman fire 

MANILA – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is fast-tracking the release of aid and benefits to the families of two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) killed in a fire last Saturday, February 4, in Oman.

OFWs Susan Padojinog and Emilia Bobo, who worked as hairstylists at Golden Coast Trading, died in a fire that gutted their accommodation. At least 12 other Filipinos who suffered minor injuries in the blaze are now in stable condition and recuperating.

OWWA officials gave assurances that they will closely monitor the victims' condition. The families of Padojinog and Bobo are also entitled to death benefits, livelihood package, and education assistance, among others, from the agency. –


 JBC seeks applicants for Special Prosecutor of the Ombudsman's post 

MANILA – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is seeking applications or recommendations for the position of Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, set to be vacated in March by retiring Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras Sulit.

The JBC will accept applications or recommendations on or before the end of February.

Sulit is set to retire on March 11, 2017. She was reinstated to her post by the Court of Appeals in 2016 after former President Benigno Aquino III dismissed her in 2013 for entering into a plea bargaining agreement with former Armed Forces of the Philippines Comptroller Carlos Garcia. –