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News on Pinay nanny’s murder spreads in UK

Daily Mail: Dennis Samson told ‘not to return to work’


BACOLOD City — The death of Negrense nanny Maribel Alpas in Nueva Ecija province last month had been known all over United Kingdom — if not the world — after the British tabloid Daily Mail reported on it last week.

A report on Daily Mail’s online edition on April 17 said “detectives want to question two UK-based nurses” — couple Dennis and Girlie Samson — “after their children’s nanny was found beheaded in the Philippines.”

Alpas, 31, a native of Brgy. Asia, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental, cared for the Samsons’ two young children in Warrington, Cheshire, in the outskirts of London, where the couple were working as nurses, the report said.

She went missing on March 21. Four days later, her severed head was found by a farmer in a canal in Brgy. San Fernando Sur, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija.

Charged with her murder were Dennis, Girlie’s brother Elcielo Valdez (not El Shelo, as earlier reported), and a John Doe.

The Daily Mail report also disclosed details not revealed in local media stories earlier.

It said Nueva Ecija police found “bones and human remains … among a pile of ashes at the Samsons’ family home” in Brgy. Gomez, Sta. Rosa town. It also said Dennis “has been told not to return to work at Warrington Hospital.”

“The Trust has not been made aware of any charges being brought against a member of our staff in relation to an incident in the Philippines,” Daily Mail quoted a spokesperson for Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as saying.

“We are currently seeking information from the authorities about the case,” it said. Meanwhile, “the staff member (Dennis) will not be on duty.”

In the British tabloid report, Dennis denied any bad blood between him and Alpas.

“We [didn’t] have any arguments. I never hit her. I never did anything bad at all,” he told Daily Mail. “It happened in the Philippines. I really had no idea.” He also said the news had caused them stress.

The report said the Samsons “[live] in a three-storey, semi-detached townhouse.”

According to Daily Mail, the Cabiao police chief Senior Insp. Eric de Venancio said they “searched the house after the head was found and discovered some ashes in the backyard.”

He told the paper that forensic investigators were yet “to establish if these belong to Miss Alpas.”

De Venancio was also quoted as saying, “We have not been able to contact Mr. Samson. I am asking him to get in touch with me so I can ask him further questions.”


Girlie, 40, was shocked, surprised and angered by the news of Alpas’ death, the Daily Mail report said.

The report said Girlie considered the nanny as “very, very close” to their family. “She was a lovely person. She was a kind person. … We treated her like a member of the family,” the report quoted her as saying.

In the report, Girlie said their children were confused by the absence of their nanny. “Our children are very young. They don’t know what’s going on.”

She said they loved and “spoiled” Alpas. “She could just ask for [anything]. I gave her food, clothing, personal things [and] lotions.”

Dennis said, “I even paid for her holiday (trip to Hinobaan on December last year),” adding that they would also give Alpas money to be sent to her family.


A campaign calling for justice for Alpas’ death had been set up by the nanny’s sister, Jocebel, via the Facebook page, “Justice for Maribel Alpas,” the Daily Mail report said.

Jocebel described her sister as “[very] family-oriented.” “She [was already] 31, but she didn’t want to get married yet because wanted to give us a better life,” she said.

“[Alpas] was our breadwinner … She didn’t want our mother to experience hardships. … All of her salary was given to our mother. There was almost nothing left for her,” the younger Alpas was quoted as saying.

Jocebel said Alpas intended to work for the Samsons for two more years until she becomes eligible to apply for British residency and seek work elsewhere, said the report./PN


Shootings, stabbings kill 5 on Holy Week



BACOLOD City — The Holy Week was not peaceful in various parts of Negros Occidental. It was instead marked by shooting and stabbing incidents that killed five people and wounded three others.

At 8 p.m. on Maundy Thursday, tractor driver Raul Ervena was shot to death by his companion, Pedrito Peñafiel, while they were visiting their friends in Purok Sambag Tinago, Brgy. Alijis in this city, police said.

Ervena, a resident of Hacienda Kabalagnan, Brgy. Guinbala-on, Silay City, succumbed to gunshot wounds in the neck and forehead.

Peñafiel, who lives in Hacienda Ronda of the same barangay, fled after the incident. The firearm he used remains unidentified.

Police Station 7 investigators were still trying to determine the motive.

A few hours later, 17-year-old Rose Carl Opsimar of Block 3, Brgy. Handumanan here, was shot using a homemade shotgun or sulpak, police said. He sustained gunshot wounds in the back.

The suspect was identified only as “alias Allan.” He remains at large as of press time.

On the same night, two separate shooting incidents were reported in Bago City.

One of the victims, Rene Suriaga, 32, of Brgy. Ilijan Malungay, was wounded in the right foot.

The other one, Isagani de Juan, 38, of Brgy. Ilijan Proper, had a gunshot wound also in the right foot.

Bago City policemen were still establishing the motives behind the incidents as of press time.

In Kabankalan City, Victor Mejica, 72, of Purok Basak, Brgy. Pinaguinpinan, was stabbed dead in the afternoon of Maundy Thursday.

The suspect was unidentified. The motive was unknown, too.

On the other hand, Luisito Laureta of Purok Tuburan, Brgy. Orong, died after he was stabbed by George Tayodahin of the same barangay while they were binge drinking, also on Thursday.

Crisline Ariola, 31, of Brgy. Manalad, Ilog town, was declared dead on arrival in Southern Negros Doctors’ Hospital, also in Kabankalan City, after he was shot by Juan Gil Garcia of Brgy. Orong on Good Friday afternoon.

Garcia escaped. Police recovered from the crime scene a caliber .45, two empty shells and a magazine.

Rogelio Bordaje, 40, of Purok Margarita, Brgy. Balintawak, Escalante City, was driving home onboard a single-type motorcycle when shot to death by an unknown assailant on Good Friday dawn.

He succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds in the body.

Police recovered from the crime scene an empty shell of caliber .45 and from the victim’s pocket, a plastic sachet of suspected shabu.

They were yet to determine the motive./PN


‘Co-ops can survive Asean Integration’



BACOLOD City — Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. believes in the cooperatives’ power to survive the tests of the Asean Economic Integration in 2015.

“Cooperatives are a means to meet the challenges of globalization this 2015,” Gamboa told members of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative Employees Multipurpose Cooperative (CEMPCO).

“Cooperativism” is a way to meet the challenges of ‘irreversibles,’” like the Asean Free Trade Agreement, among others, the councilor said, quoting his late father, Atty. Wilson Gamboa Sr.

Cooperativism, he said, is geared toward productivity and efficiency.

“Cooperatives like CEMPCO have mechanisms to empower people to plan for themselves toward self-sufficiency [and] self-reliance … Cooperatives, not government, empower people to survive the onslaught of foreign competition,” the livelihood and cooperatives committee chair said.

In an integrated global economy, Gamboa said, only cooperatives as strong and as organized as CEMPCO can “fight to survive” the swipe of, among others, the importation of “cheap” sugar.

But the “fight to survive” under a free global market mechanism must not negate the Constitutional mandate to protect public utilities like the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) from alien control, he said.

Gamboa said his father “successfully frustrated the bid or attempt of outsiders to wrest control of Ceneco and saved it for its own Filipino consumers to run.”

“In fact, before he died, he successfully won a landmark Supreme Court case of preserving Filipino interest over the foreigners, believing that public utilities, including Ceneco, should and must be in the hands of Filipinos,” he said./PN




Councilor pushes for barangay emergency response trainings

BACOLOD City – Councilor Claudio Jesus “Kalaw” Puentevella is pushing for emergency response trainings in all barangays of this city as a “holistic, comprehensive, integrated and proactive” disaster management scheme.

“It is high time that our barangays are equipped with the skills and consciousness to address and prevent calamities in their area,” said Puentevella.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved his resolution urging barangays to adopt what he termed as the “Community Emergency Response Training Plus (CERT+).”

Puentevella said public awareness and preparation are keys to minimize the effects of disasters.

The chairman of the Committee on Fire, Natural Disasters and Calamities said CERT+ should involve the city’s constituents, especially those in grassroots communities.

He also said any community-based disaster risk reduction program must be suitable to the characteristics of the barangays concerned.

According to Puentevella, CERT+ is in accordance with Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

The foremost goal of the Act is to strengthen the country’s national disaster risk reduction and management system towards sustainable economic development, by mainstreaming the same in all national and local development processes.

Puentevella said he is also exploring the possibility of having in each household at least one member trained in emergency response.

In a recent information education campaign road show for disaster mitigation dubbed as “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Secretary Mario Montejo challenged local leaders to use their “vivid imagination” in the context of disasters.

“By using ‘disaster imagination’ our local chief executives and disaster managers can think and act two steps forward by anticipating – using scientific data – the potential of a hazard to wreak havoc in communities,” Montejo stressed.

He remided local government units that they are the front-liners before, during and after disasters.

Due to its location, the Philippines will continue to face disasters with increasing intensity and frequency.

This increasing exposure to hazards means there is a huge work to decrease the vulnerability of communities and impact of disaster risks./PN


Police, Army share intel on Reds


BACOLOD City – Three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were arrested in three separate operations in Negros Occidental early this year, according to the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6).

“The fall of the three in the first quarter in 2014 was a result of intensive internal security operations conducted jointly by the PRO-6 and Philippine Army across Western Visayas,” said Chief Supt. Josephus Angan, regional police director.

Renegio Espinas alias Biboy was arrested on January 28 in Sitio Cunalum, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City.

Victor Tapang alias Ka Rendon was cornered on February 15 in Imbang-La Purisima Concepcion, Brgy. E Lopez, Silay City.

Romulo Bito-on Jr. alias Moloy was collared on February 17 in Brgy. Efigenio Lizares, Talisay City.

Espinas was a member of the Northern Negros Front (NNF), Komite Rehiyon (KR) – Negros and had a warrant of arrest for murder issued the Regional Trial Court (RTC), 6th Judicial Region, Cadiz City.

Tapang was under the supervision of Ka Roselyn Jane Pille operating in the northern towns of Negros Occidental. He was the subject of a warrant of arrest for robbery in band.

Meanwhile, Bito-on was the new secretary of the Regional Unified White Area Committee (RUWAC), KR-Negros of the NPA and had a warrant of arrest for murder and violation of Presidential Decree 1613 (arson)./PN

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