STA. ROSA, NUEVA ECIJA, February 7, 2004 (STAR) By Manny Galvez - The official vice mayoral candidate of the ruling Lakas-CMD (Christian-Muslim Democrats) party here and his elder brother were critically wounded when an unidentified man shot them in front of their house last Wednesday night, police said.

Police said Amando Sapiandante Jr., 41, and his brother, Armando, sustained bullet wounds in the neck and right leg, respectively.

The two brothers were rushed to the Doctors’ Hospital in Cabanatuan City and later transferred to a hospital in Manila.

Sapiandante is the running mate of businessman Antonio Romero, who is challenging re-electionist Mayor Marlon Marcelo of the Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija (Balane) party. Romero lost to Marcelo in the 2001 elections.

SPO3 Armando Santiago, officer on case, said Armando was talking to a certain Relucio in front of their house in Barangay Del Pilar at about 7:45 p.m. when two motorcycle-riding men, their faces covered with handkerchiefs, appeared.

One of the two men pointed to Armando, after which the other pulled out a gun and shot the vice mayoral bet’s brother in the right leg.

Hearing the gunfire, Sapiandante rushed out of the house and he was shot, too.

Superintendent Marlon Bingcang, police station commander, said probers were looking into different angles and already have cartographic sketches of the two motorcycle-riding men.

Police found nine empty shells — two from a caliber .30 carbine and seven from a caliber .45 pistol — and one live caliber .45 bullet. — With Ric Sapnu

GMA leads start of Cavite road project The Philippine Star 02/07/2004

President Arroyo leads the ground-breaking rites today for the long-awaited construction of the Manila-Cavite coastal road extension project, reaffirming a commitment she made 16 years ago to transform Cavite into a highly industrialized province.

The ground-breaking ceremonies, which will start at 10 a.m., is expected to be a sentimental event for Mrs. Arroyo who, as an assistant secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry in 1988, envisioned the implementation of the Cavite Trade and Industry Plan (CTIP).

The Cavite coastal road extension project will stretch the existing highway from Pasay City to Zapote (Las Piñas) and to Kawit and Noveleta, both in Cavite.

The 11.3-kilometer, $117-million extension project is one of the priority projects of the Arroyo administration and is slated to be finished in 24 months.

Mrs. Arroyo secured funding for the project during her state visit to the United States last year.

The International Finance Corp. agreed to finance $70 million of the total project cost. The balance will be provided by UEM-MARA Philippines Corp. and a consortium of foreign investors.

UMPC and Coastal Road Corp. will undertake the project in a joint venture with the Public Estates Authority under the build-operate-transfer scheme.

"This is one project we Caviteños cannot forget President Arroyo for. Aside from the dramatic cut in travel time, the project will also entice investors to locate themselves at the Export Processing Zone in Rosario, Cavite," Cavite Rep. Plaridel Abaya said.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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