Man faces raps for beheading neighbor in Agusan del Sur

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health called on devotees of the Black Nazare ne to wear face masks, and refrain from touching and kissing religious figures during the return of Traslacion next week. 

Millions of devotees are expected to participate in the Traslacion, the procession of the Black Nazarene statue, on January 9. 

The parade, which is one of the world’s biggest shows of Catholic devotion, was canceled for three years due to COVID-19 concerns. 

In a release Thursday, the DOH urged devotees to wear face masks and ensure good airflow during the celebration of the Traslacion. It added that attendees should refrain from touching and kissing religious statues to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases. 

“Consider participating from home as this celebration leads to crowding that has greater health risk,” the department said. 

The agency also advised devotees to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged sun exposure to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.

The health department will place all hospitals in Metro Manila on code white alert starting Jan uary 6 in preparation for Traslacion. 

Code white alert is declared during holidays or celebrations that can potentially cause mass casualty incidents. Once this is activated, identified medical personnel and staff are placed on standby for immediate acceptance and treatment of incoming patients at the hospitals. 

The DOH will deploy eight health emergency response teams to provide medical services to devotees who will participate in the processi on. 

The teams will be stationed along the route of Traslacion: 

“As we celebrate this significant gathering for the annual feast of the Black Nazarene, our priority is the health and safety of all Filipinos,” Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said. 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. declared January 9 a special non-working day in the City of Manila to mark the observance of the Traslacion. 

MANILA, Philippines — Fresh off an NCAA championship with the San Beda Red Lions, Clifford Jopia is set to make his PBA debut on Friday.

The 6-foot-8 Jopia, a third round draft pick of the Blackwater Bossing, was activated by the team on Thursday.

He was activated ahead of the Bossing’s clash with the NorthPort Batang Pier at the S mart Araneta Coliseum.

Jopia was activated in lieu of Mike Ayonayon.

After winning their first game in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Blackwater dropped its next eight games.

The Bossing are currently sec ond to the last in the standings with a 1-8 slate and already out of playoff contention.

Despite this, Jopia’s activation is a welcome development for a Blackwater team that gave up more than 100 points in five of their last six contests.

A tall and lanky defender, Jopia averaged 5.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.8 assists for the Red Lions in the recently concluded NCAA Season 99 elimination round.

In the best-of-three finals against the Mapua Cardinals, Jopia averaged 7.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

He made it difficult for Mythical Five member Warren Bonifacio of Mapua to score and rebound in the finals series.

In December last year, Jopia signed a two-year deal with Blackwater.

COTABATO CITY — Police investigators have filed criminal charges against a detained 48-year-old man who killed and beheaded a woman with a machete after their heated altercation last Tuesday in Barangay Canayugan in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

In separate reports on Thursday, the Bayugan City Police Office and the Agusan del Sur Provincial Police Office said that the 48-year-old Mario Fortun, who had confessed to investigators and reporters having killed Rosalina Abing, 60, is now awaiting prosecution.

According to barangay officials in Canayugan, Fortun, known for being bully whenever drunk, first hacked Abing dead and cut her neck with a long, sharp machete right in her store after she insulted and called him “thief” when he asked her to dispose properly the heap of garbage and thorny plants along a pathway beside her store.

Fortun had told reporters that instead of giving in to his request, Abing forced her out of her yard and shouted at him invectives.

Witnesses said Fortun went home, took a machete, returned to Abing’s store and killed and beheaded her immediately and took her head to another house where his friends were drinking wine together.

Neighbors of Fortun and barangay officials said he even showed his friends the decapitated head of Abing and told them that he had “punished” her for declining his request and talking to him in a manner he did not deserve.

Fortun was immediately arrested and detained by responding policemen and barangay tanods, now clamped down at a detention facility of the Bayugan CPO.

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