Tornado destroys village 50 die in Southern Leyte
By Philippine News Service
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – After heavy rains loosened the soil and triggered
landslides that killed 200 in Southern Leyte, a tornado destroyed a remote
barangay on a nearby island, leaving at least 50 people dead and 394
The tornado’s powerful, twisting windstorm in contact with the
ground and a cloud base swept away at least 60 homes in Barangay Pinut-an,
San Ricardo, Panaon island about the same time a massive landslide struck
the neighboring towns of Liloan, San Francisco and San Vicente Friday
A report from Mercedes Aberilla of the provincial social welfare
and development office (PSWDO) in Maasin City said the dead in Barangay
Pinut-an included former San Ricardo mayor Vicente Mejia, husband of the
The toll in Barangay Pinut-an could rise because a number of
people remain missing.
In San Francisco, rescue teams recovered and identified at least
33 people; others remain unidentified. Their bodies were laid on the town
plaza, awaiting embalming.
Health authorities supervising rescue operations here are
complaining of a lack of formalin to mask the stench of decomposing bodies.
To prevent the spread of diseases, relief officials said they
would bury unclaimed bodies after three days.
School teacher Servando Tiu said the voices of victims asking
for help could still be heard over some buried homes at the landslide site.
Local authorities said that five days of nonstop rains also
brought about massive landslides in other remote barangays in the three
towns of Panaon island, though there were no reports of immediate
The rains also caused Subang Daku, Southern Leyte’s largest
river, to overflow, spilling its murky waters on the low-lying towns of
Liloan and San Vicente and destroying an ongoing flood control project worth
millions of pesos.
At 10 a.m. yesterday, a survivor from Barangay Punta, San Francisco, was transferred from Sogod District Hospital to
the Integrated Provincial Health Office in Maasin City.
Edgardo Subang, 49, said that at 5 p.m. Friday, he heard a loud
explosion that sounded like it came from underground. It was followed three
hours later by two other explosions.
The second and third explosions did him in, for as he was trying to get
clothes from his mother’s home, he felt the ground moving quickly toward the
sea. He was almost hit by the galvanized iron roof of a falling two-story
Caught in the darkness of night with debris from house materials, earth and
soil aggregates swirling around him, he was swept to sea more than a hundred
meters from where the houses had been.
Pain gripped his entire body, but he kept his head above water for hours,
shouting for help. He swam with only his right arm and foot. His left arm
and foot were broken.
He was rescued around 1 p.m. Saturday. His wife Merlita Subang,
a clerk of the town’s legislative council, was still missing, but their only
child, a college student, was in Maasin when the tragedy happened.
Fatalities in Liloan numbered 22 dead, 10 missing; in San
Francisco, 33 dead, 65 missing; and in San Ricardo, 50 dead.
They include Petrocinio Benito, 60; Franklin Monter, 27; Boy
Malaza, 16; Sinfrosa Subang, 60; Liza Dangoy, 25; Dryll Gaddi, 10; Rogelio
Casi; Junrey Gitigan, 20; Glotilde Moreno, 60; Merlinda Sibonga,38; Arnel
Sibonga, 23; Caridad Labandia, 50; Romeo Reniz, 40;
Vincent Ortega, 20; Ruby Reniz, 35; Elizabeth Zamora, 20; Abel
Maquinano; Ching Galvez; Perly Jane Albino; Marie Maquinano; Genevieve
Reyes; Angel Albino; Rachel Maquinano; Renelito Pang; Junrey Pang; Mary Jane
Labandia; Baby Zamora; Romeo Mondala, 40; Editha, Mondala, 43; Hesalyn
Mondala, 15; Merlinda Mondala, 8; Romeo Mondala Jr. 6;
Reynaldo Yap, 39; Marlyn Yap, 40; Froilan Yap, 13; Jun Ray Yap,
9; Marjorie Baby Yap, 6; Maria Mabalcon, 59; Pedro Mabalcon, 36; Pablo
Mabalcon 21; Jimly Mabalcon, 10; Jesus Mabalcon, 31; Jason Mabalcon, 19;
Jestoni Mabalcon, 11; Teresita Oranio, 59; Erelene Oranio, 15; and Chrisel
15 Houses in Catbalogan
BRYAN M. AZURA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – For the third time this
year, this capital town of Samar again experienced the fury of fire when 15
houses turned into ashes early morning of December 12, this year at Purok-1,
Casantolan, Barangay Mercedes.
the residents of the area, the fire started at about 12:15 midnight when
everybody was in deep sleep. “Siguro mga saka-oras pala ako nga nakaturog
han makabati ako hin lalaki nga nagkukuru-o hin sunog (I only slept for
about an hour when I heard a man shouting ‘fire.’),” said Arnold Aguilar. “I
immediately awoke my household and evacuated the area,” he narrated in local
dialect. Fortunately his house was not included in the fire.
In the spot
report of the Catbalogan Bureau of Fire Protection, the fire was believed to
have originated from the house of a certain Simplicio Navales. While the BFP
does not have any clue yet as to what’s the cause of the fire, the residents
of the area think it was really motivated.
known among the neighborhood to be not in good terms with his wife due to
jealousy. Nearby families have been witnessing some heavy quarrels between
Navales and his wife for sometime now. “Pirmi kami nakakabati hito ha ira
nagaaway. Guin duduhan ito niya it iya asawa nga may-ada kabit sanglit guin
sunog an ira balay (We usually hear them fight. He believes his wife has
another man so he burned their house.),” said a woman who asked not to be
Some of the
witnesses saw Navales jumping off from their house to the river when the
fire started. He was nowhere to be found since the fire occurred.
The fire was reported to the fires station at about 12:45 midnight and was
confined at about 2:20 in the morning. Strong winds and accessibility were
attributed to the difficulty of firefighting. One house had been
intentionally destroyed so that the fire will be contained making the total
number of houses damaged from 15 to 16.
All the four
fire trucks of Catbalogan BFP had been deployed. Fire trucks from Gandara,
Sta. Margarita and Calbayog City fire stations, as well as the Chinese
Volunteer Fire Brigade of Catbalogan responded to the fire call.
Meanwhile, there was no casualty that had been reported. The investigators
as of press time did not verify the damages of properties yet.
Redaja and Cong. Nachura clash on Catbalogan City Hood
By BRYAN M. AZURA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – “He started the joke, I’ll finish
it,” were the strong words of Catbalogan Mayor Jesus B. Redaja referring to
Congressman Eduardo “Eddie” Nachura of Samar’s 2nd District on
the revived Catbalogan city hood issue.
apparently became irked on an article in the very recent issue of ATON INI,
a newsletter published bimonthly by the Office of Congressman Nachura
regarding the “real score why Catbalogan is not yet a City.” The article
implied that the latter’s office had been doing its best in the 11th
Congress so as to pass House Bill 9403, the bill converting the municipality
of Catbalogan into a City.
noted that while the bill was in the Committee on Local Government, he (Nachura)
was given a list of requirements for the approval of the bill. It claimed
that he immediately sent these requirements to the office of the Mayor of
Catbalogan but it took the latter to submit the needed requirements long.
“When it was eventually submitted, it lacked the Map of Catbalogan,
Municipal Development Plan, Ordinance on Zoning and Land Use Plan and a
document from the Municipal Engineer attesting that the local government has
plans for facilities on garbage and drainage systems,” the article said.
However, Mayor Redaja belied all these saying that when they submitted the requirements,
everything was in there. “There was no lacking in the requirements when we
submitted it to Congress,” Redaja tells local mediamen in dialect. “As a
matter of fact,” he added, “Nachura is not even the initiator of the city
hood of Catbalogan. It is the LGU officials that initiated this.”
executive of this town also denied claims of Nachura that he constantly
communicated the office of the Mayor. “We did not receive any communication
whatsoever from him except this November 2003,” he told.
The town chief
also expressed that neither the LGU nor the lack of requirements that should
be blamed because obviously it’s the turn of events that’s the main factor
of this. He was referring to the chaos happening that time due to the
rumored impeachment of then President Joseph Estrada. These rumors did not
take so long because by November 2000, the year when the HB 9403 was filed,
the impeachment trial started that eventually led to the ouster of Erap.
just while the crisis was going on, Republic Act 9009 was passed into law
increasing the required annual income of a municipality applying for city
hood from P20 million to P100 million starting June 30, 2001. This
eventually disqualified Catbalogan to apply for city hood in that its annual
income could not go higher than P60 million.
the push from other town-applicants, Catbalogan once again joined the quest
among others to become a city. In September 9, 2003, ATON INI reports
“Congressman Nachura and some other Congressmen submitted Resolution No. 29
exempting Catbalogan and some other municipalities from the required annual
income of P100 million.” Once more, the article called on the concerned
municipal officials of this town to be responsible on the needed documents.
Redaja, on the
other hand, answered, “we [the LGU] have always been religious in submitting
all the necessary requirements because this has been the desire of everyone
ever since. I myself am looking forward to the transformation of my town
into a city because this also means development and an increase in Internal
Revenue Allotment (IRA),” he said.
further exposed that “at one time the congressman even asked him not to
pursue the city hood because it would be of no use to him (mayor) anyway.
Never did he initiate that this town be a city.” “One of the disgusting
discoveries we made,” Redaja added, “is that Nachura is not even one of the
co-sponsors of Resolution No. 29. Much more, he did not re-file the bill in
the 12th Congress.”
Just at the
start of December, this year, Mayor Redaja sent separate letters to Senators
John Osmeña and Aquilino Pimentel appealing for their support on House Joint
Resolution No. 29. These letters reached the offices of the senators but
have not been replied yet as of news time.
Asked why Nachura is putting much blame on his office, Redaja answered, “Possibly it’s
because of the rumors going around the 2nd district that I’ll run
for the congressional seat come 2004.” Redaja however disclosed that he has
not made any decision yet. He promised on the other hand that the public
would know of his political plans before the first half of December ends.
see related story
Reds Eye More Seats in 2004, Military
By ELI C. DALUMPINES
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Military authorities here
disclosed recently plots of the left to field more candidates in this coming
May 2004 elections in an effort to secure more seats in the governments.
Lt. Col. Romeo Gapuz, commanding officer of the army’s 34th Infantry Battalion
stationed in San Jorge town, some 35 kilometers northwest from Samar’s
capital, said the political arm of the left has already been conducting
massive mobilization drive to organize its mass base in preparation for the
According to Gapuz, the army project that before the year ends the number of NPA affected
barangays in Eastern Visayas will reach 491, which represents 14.8% of all
the barangays in the region, this, despite the army’s reported success in
checking the NPA activities in this area.
He said that
while the armed forces is winning the armed struggle, the enemy, on the
other hand, is showing success in the political mobilization as shown by its
growing mass base.
commander expressed his misgivings over the lack of support of some
government agencies and local government officials in addressing the problem
of insurgency. The army’s primary role in addressing the problem should
only be to combat the communist’s armed component that is the New People’s
Army but at present, he noted, they are left entirely alone to address all
aspects of the problem including its political and organizational
urged the concerned officials to be vigilant and proactive especially now
that the election is forthcoming. “The 2004 election is our last bastion
against the enemy’s takeover. Baka di na tayo aabot sa 2007”, he
vowed to secure next years election from violence saying that the army has
already come up with a plan on how to prevent violent activities from
erupting during the conduct of elections.
8ID Opens New Candidate Soldier Class
By Cpt. CROMWELL I. DANGANAN (INF) PA
LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar – The 8th
Division Training Unit, under LtC Romeo Argenio opened the Philippine Army
Candidate Soldier Class 71-2003 for new recruits, today, 08 December 2003 at
the 8ID Grandstand, Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar.
In attendance was the 8ID Commanding
General, MGen Glenn J. Rabonza, who was the Guest of Honor and Speaker. In
his message, MGen Rabonza said, “This is another challenge to the
training committee to mold these men into fine soldiers.” He added,
“The transition from a civilian life to a life of military service is a
delicate stage in any soldier’s career. This responsibility lies heavily on
the shoulders of 8DTU – take good care of these men.”
It can be recalled that a total of
2,115 applicants took the Phil Army Aptitude Test Battery Exam conducted
last August 2003 in three areas of Region 8 where 992 passed. From there
they hurdled the interview made by the 8ID CS Screening Board then went
through the comprehensive medical and dental examination. Of the 385 new
recruits, 244 are natives of Samar and Leyte. They have passed the
necessary requirements to qualify for training and shall be enlisted to the
regular force once they’ve completed the 19-week course. Last November 29,
240 new privates graduated from their Candidate Soldier’s Course and are now
deployed in the different units of the Command.
6.6 Earthquake jolts Samar Island
p.m. November 19, 2003
CATBALOGAN, Samar – The Office of the
Civil Defense in Tacloban City received reports that one (1) person have
died when an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 in richter scale struck early this
morning in Samar island. The victim was identified as a certain Marvin
Laguin, 5 years old, and a resident of Brgy. 9 in Can Avid, Eastern Samar
and died when he was hit by a falling wall.
The quake also caused some major cracks to the Can Avid State College
building prompting to suspend the holding of classes of the said school, and
a landslide of the north diversion road in Brgy. Dinaluan, Taft, Eastern
Samar which make the area still impassable to vehicles as of press time.
The whole province of Eastern Samar is experiencing a total blackout since
early this morning due to some fallen electric transmission poles caused by
the strong earthquake.
posted 3:20 a.m. November 19, 2003
CATBALOGAN, Samar, Philippines - A strong earthquake of tectonic
origin with a magnitude of 6.6 in Richter scale hit near the vicinity of
Catbalogan, Samar November 19, 2003 at about 1:15 a.m. Philippine Standard
Based on the
report from the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) based in
Palo, Leyte the surface epicenter of the tremor was established at 11.9ºN
latitude, 125.1ºE longitude or at 37 kms. northeast of Catbalogan, Samar.
The origin of
the quake (depth of focus) was at 191 kms below the surface epicenter
(earth’s surface) and its intensity was felt at Intensity 6 in Borongan,
Eastern Samar; Intensity 5 in Catbalogan, Samar and Calbayog City; Intensity
4 in Catarman, Northern Samar, Tacloban City and Dimasalang, Masbate; and
Intensity 2 in Legaspi City.
No damage to
properties and casualties were reported as of press time.
PRESS STATEMENT of the
8ID Commanding General: On TSg Dacles Murder by the NPA
November 12, 2003
The Communist Terrorists are once again on a rampage killing three (3)
victims in a span of five (5) hours in Catbalogan, Samar. The first
incident involved three (3) New People’s Army (NPA) hit men who brutally
gunned down a soldier and his ten-year old son last Sunday, 09 November 2003
at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon at Brgy. (13) Patag, Catbalogan, Samar, then at around 7
o’clock in the evening of the same day, a former barangay chairman was
executed at one of the stalls in the Catbalogan Public Market.
were TSg Jesus Dacles, assigned with the Division Headquarters in Camp
Lukban and his son, Jhonjhon, ten years old, who have just attended the
Sunday Worship Service at the Pentecostal church located at said barangay.
TSg Dacles was with his family when the violent incident happened. The
other fatality was identified as Felimon Silao, a former barangay chairman
and a resident of Purok 2, Brgy. 13 of Catbalogan.
the autopsy conducted to Tsg Dacles, it was found out that he suffered
eighteen (18) gunshot wounds and was declared dead on the spot. According
to witnesses, his son Jhonjhon was also mercilessly killed as evidenced by
the two (2) gunshot wounds in the head and upper body inflicted on him. His
wounds show indications that he was shot from close range and not as a
result of a crossfire. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Samar Provincial Hospital
here in Catbalogan.
TSg Dacles and
his son were murdered according to eyewitness reports by Communist
Terrorists Members (CTM) Bernabe Linay alias Gagoy, married, about 35-40
years old and a resident of Brgy. Peña; Ernesto Laboc alias Malcolm of Brgy.
Totoringon; and a certain alias Bambie all of Catbalogan, Samar. Said CTMs
are regular members of the Arnulfo Ortiz Command, CF-S, EVRPC. Criminal
charges are being filed against the perpetrators of this cruel incident.
confirms that the CPP/NPA is a God-less organization and do not value human
dignity. The cold-blooded murder and excessive use of force to sow fear in
the hearts of the people of Samar is a trademark of a terrorist
organization. Indeed, the Communist Terrorists resort to terroristic acts
with total disregard of human rights and children’s lives.”
General of the 8ID, I condemn this murder of TSg Dacles and his son in the
strongest possible terms. I call upon our citizens, people’s organizations
and so-called human rights groups to condemn the NPA as well.”
“I would like
to further assure the people of Region 8 that the 8th Infantry
Division in close coordination with the Philippine National Police will
relentlessly pursue these lawless elements who are terrorizing our people.”
(see related story)
MGen. Glenn J. Rabonza, AFP, Commanding General, 8ID, PA
Class ‘78 to host SNS
Centennial Grand Alumni Homecoming 2004
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – The Class 1978
graduate of the Samar National School (SNS) will host Grand Alumni
Homecoming 2004 at the same time will celebrate its 100th year since it was
founded in 1904. With the theme: "Kaadlawan Na! Rayhak Pasidungog!" the
Samar High School / Samar National School Alumni Association will hold its
Grand Alumni Homecoming 2004 this coming April 19-25, 2004.
Host Class President, Atty.
Medino L. Acuba, said the theme was formed as part of rejoicing and giving
honor to their beloved Alma Mater SNS as an Academe Institution, where,
according to him, is celebrating its 100th year since it was founded in
1904. "At this very early days, we have so many initial plan activities
to the homecoming next year, among which, was the preparation of the
souvenir program – Samarnon 2004 and Alumni Directory which shall cover the
pre-festivities; the usual literary articles on the Golden Batch ‘54 and
silver jubilarians Batch ‘79; the prize donors and greetings from fellow
alumni, friends and advertisers."
He further adds that this
souvenir program will be distributed at least 3 days before the opening of
the alumni homecoming week. The commemorative and the search of the 100 Most
Outstanding Alumni of the Samar National School
(formerly Samar High School) are among the highlights of the centennial
celebration. Other activities are not yet finalized as of this writing,
lawyer Acuba said. Through this electronic means, he took opportunity in
inviting his fellow alumnus now working and residing in the United States
and in other countries to attend and or to support the activity through
advertisement cum greetings placement in the souvenir programs, raffle
draws, and giving of awards to winners of whatever contests it may be held
during the events.
The deadline of ad
placement to the souvenir program will be closed on or before January 31,
2004. The donation of any cash assistance is, however, extended up to the
day of the event. To interested party or parties for an ad placement,
payments can be in any form of cash, check or postal money order payable to
SNS Class 78' or further queries may be obtained at Class 1978 or its
representatives or thru e-mail address
The SNS Class 1978 officers
are: Atty. Medino L. Acuba, President;
Vice-Presidents: Eduardo V. Aroza (Catbalogan),
Webina Uycoque-Abaigar (Manila), Mildred Dimaculangan-Aseron (Manila),
Maridi Villarin-Avila (Canada), Josephine Vasquez Calagos (Australia) and
Alfonso Japzon (Califomia-USA); Secretaries- George P. Alvares, Martin G.
Fenelere, Lailani Laureta-Doncillo and Charito Misagal (Manila); Treasurers-
Leah Daguman-Cinco, Maricar Saludario, Milagros Cinco (Manila) and Sol E.
Acampado (New Jersey-USA); Auditors- Zosimo Isanan, Elvira Jacob-Ilao,
Arlene Rodriguez-Jabinal and Nelly Gerente-Mahinay; Business Managers- Edwin Rodulfa, Mario Perez, and Zaldy Mahinay; PRO- Antonio Nabaunag, Deo Daguman,
Nelly Ann Macopia, Rosalinda Luceriano-Bayani and Imelda Cortan-Dabuet;
Board of Directors- Marion Calagos, Christine Casurao-Caidic, Maria Gabiana-Ortiz,
Ferdinand Bacay, Arthur Vaughn Zosa, Christine Mijares-Cardona, Dativic
Rosales, Teresita Timan-Abunal and Nilda Bolledo-Velasco; and Board of
Trustees- Medino L. Acuba, Ernesto Sison, Sylvia Serfino, Charo
Nabong-Cabardo, Ofelia Llosa, Ernesto Miel and Alex Labine.