Manila Times, September 23, 2005

Military rescues 13 from Labuyo's wrath
By Armand Galang, Central Luzon Bureau

FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY - At least 13 persons were rescued by the Philippine Army's disaster-response team from a far-flung village in Aurora as typhoon "Labuyo" battered the region on Wednesday, the military reported.

Major Gen. Jovito Plaparan Jr., commanding general of the Army's 7th Infantry Division, said the military had airlifted two victims from Sitio Panindingan, Barangay Dina-diawan, Dipacuilao, while others were taken to the Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City for medical treatment. They were Edmar Villanueva and Marina Villanueva, whose relationship is not known.

In his report to Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, chief of the Northern Luzon command, Palparan identified the other victims as Roberto Almoite, Roberto Sto. Tomas, Marina Villanueva, Mary Grace Villanueva, Edmar Villanueva, Maria Sto. Tomas, Jay Patible, Renato Cortez, Rosita de la Peña, Conrad Pascual, Allan Siguinsa and Michael Valdez.

Palparan said the team used two UH-1H helicopters to rescue the victims from the landslides caused by heavy rains in the last few days. Roads have been closed to traffic in many parts of the town since last week.

A military man, identified only as a Private First-Class Canyon, was among the injured and recuperating in a hospital.

Palparan ordered all units in areas ravaged by the floods or landslides, including Col. Ricardo Garcia of the 702nd Brigade that has jurisdiction in Aurora, to medical help in addition to rescue operations.

Meanwhile the National Food Authority in Central Luzon vowed to supply plenty of rice in flood-stricken areas.

The engineer Nicolas Crisostomo, NFA director for Central Luzon, said his office had ordered their Palengke Watch Teams to ensure correct prices and sufficient amounts of government-subsidized rice in their outlets.

NFA rice is sold at the exclusive Bigasan Ni Gloria sa Palengke and accredited stores, Crisostomo explained.

He warned unscrupulous retailers they face fines and cancellation of their permits.

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