Jiabong Food Exhibitor
rises through trade fairs
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
May 11, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Jiabong’s town pride is mussels (aka tahong).
In a recent forum, the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said close to a thousand
families are engaged in mussel farming. This number does not even
include those engaged in the task of mussel processing.
Danilo Gabin who owns
Super JJED has been engaged in tahong processing since 2004 and he
feels proud to tell PIA that he has been getting several invitations
to participate in different trade fairs from
His tahong crackers,
said Bahandi Producers Association of Eastern Visayas (BPAEV),
Executive Director Lolee Aures are a big hit wherever the trade fair
is held. “Customers look for tahong crackers!”
Just this month, Danny
has received an invitation for a May trade fair, this he said, offers
incentives that are difficult to reject.
After joining several
trade fairs with the encouragement of DTI’s lady Ruthelma Samonte,
Danny has been ‘exposed’ and has been getting orders left and right.
DTI also said that Danny was able to get some funding and equipments
from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). These equipments
have been very useful in his livelihood.
In Catbalogan and
neighboring towns, Danny shyly admits that he has 36 outlets for his
tahong crackers. Aside from the tahong crackers, Danny also produces
salted tahong, Fermented oyster (sisi) and other mussel based
He does not reveal the
number of employees, he has. Suffice it to say that he is able to
enjoy a comfortable life and sends his children to school. “Dara hit
katas han tahong!” he quips.
Danny has become an
advocate of trade fairs, he said, because he gets the exposure and
gets invited to all these business opportunities.
If BPAEV will ask
Danny to campaign, he would, though not necessarily going throughout
the region to invite producers and exhibitors like him. Danny is much
of a hands-on manager for his tahong business. He’d rather
produce, exhibit, expose and produce some more and maybe in the
process, could inspire other food processors and producers to emulate
him and become a trade fair ‘regular’ like him.
MARINA acts on SP-Palacio
By GINA SUELLO-SORILO
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Head Office has launched
an investigation on FJP Shipping Lines’ M/V Calbayog vessel in
response to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) resolution sent to
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Cesar M. Gabutin,
Division Manager of Terminal Management Office (TMO) here disclosed
that two officials from MARINA head office who arrived April 17 are
going to visit Mangginoo port and the city mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento.
M/V Calbayog ship Capt. Teofanes Ganzon also confirmed the arrival of
the two officials who he said had a meeting with the Palacio officials
in Cebu and had inspected the vessel.
The City Council here
adopted a Resolution No. 2008-05-119 requesting the President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to intercede in the decision of MARINA for extending
FJP Lines’ pioneering status for its Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) vessel
M/V Calbayog for another five years. Its proponent is Councilor
Virgilio Porlares who heads the committee on transportation and
With this status, the
company is also entitled to protection from entry of new operators for
another five years or up to
Jan. 4, 2011.
The resolution said
MARINA failed to inform, invite, consider and give importance to the
local officials and the Calbayognons being the primary beneficiary of
the services of FJP Shipping Lines during the process of hearing the
application or request for extension.
In earlier reports,
MARINA explained that based on their guidelines a public consultation
is not required to act on the application and that the pioneering
status does not mean a monopoly because other shipping companies that
are not engaged in RoRo operation can still take the route.
City Mayor Mel Senen
Sarmiento, in a radio DYOG report recently called on the City Council
to pass a resolution declaring Mangginoo port, the other operational
port here as a missionary route. This, after
has recommended said port to be a missionary route in order to retain
the pioneering status it granted to FJP Lines.
In an interview with
radio DYOG’s “Talakayan Pulso san Bungto” program, FJP Shipping Lines
owner Engineer Florentino Palacio clarified that the pioneering
status’ extension is a protection for his P55 million investment.
Palacio, who is also
the founder and former president of the Visayas Association of
Ferryboat and Coastwise Service Operator (VAFCSO), said he has to
recover for the rehabilitation of M/V Calbayog vessel which was gutted
by fire in 2002. He said that the vessel was insured but it was not
“Kon mayda makasulod
nga iba paano ako makarecover san akon investment? Dry docking alone
mahal, an palitunon mahal, an krudo sige increase...kon dire kami
kumita how are we going to maintain the vessel?” Palacio said.
He said many shipping
companies plying with a missionary route were given pioneering status
all over the Philippines. Calbayog and Catbalogan are considered
missionary routes. “Waray nakada, so once may ada shipping company
makada siton nga ruta gintatagan pirme pioneering status,” Palacio
The ship owner said
even the 5-year period is not enough for him to recover his
investment. Citing a low income every voyage, he raised the
possibility of giving up one of these days.
In 2006 for the
vessel, TMO-Calbayog recorded arrivals of 27,867 passengers and 21,269
for departures. This is lower than the 2007 arrivals which is 29,114
and departures of 26,678. It has also recorded a total of 62,051.63
metric tons of inbound cargoes while 6,483.66 metric tons outbound
cargoes in 2006. In 2007 however, it reached 85,847.60 metric tons
inbound cargoes and 7,217.15 metric tons outbound cargoes.
FJP Shipping Lines is
the only shipping company which lasted for 31 years here plying
between Cebu and Calbayog. Manned by 37 crews, its vessel consumes at
least 4,600 liters of crude oil for two trips. It has a capacity of
560 passengers but it only obtain an average of 195 passengers every
FJP, like other
members of VAFSCO – Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Lite Shipping, and Trans
Asia Shipping Lines, uses crude oil which is expensive than the bunker
fuel used by bigger shipping companies such as Sulpicio Lines, Gothong
Palacio bared that of
all the vessels he operates, he specifically identified M/V Calbayog
for having no cargoes going back to Cebu. He said he had already tried
in Catbalogan but he failed to sustain the vessel for the same problem
citing millions of losses. He added that even the volume of cargoes
now going to
Cebu is not enough for the profit. “Dida la ako nagsakripisyo sa
Calbayog tungod taga-dida ako,” he said.
Asked for a
possibility of having a boat daily he said: “Samot na ko diri makita.
An shipping company makita kon mayda back load. Kon akon i-everyday an
volume san cargo madivide na.” He added that it could be possible
“unless the government will subsidize for the fuel.”
The vessel regularly
arrives every morning and departs in the evening on Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays of the week. Its regular departure schedule is
7 p.m. but lately it departs at 4 p.m. or 10 p.m. due to a low tide
The City Council’s
resolution also cited complaints from the businessmen and shippers
which were manifested during the public hearing it conducted last
August 14. Among them are high cargo fees, inefficient service,
unworthy vessel for Calbayog, delay in the shipment of cargoes,
damaged cargoes, vessel’s safetiness and sea worthiness, repainting
jobs, malfunctioning air-conditioned units, need for a dry dock every
year and high fare rates.
With these complaints,
Palacio invited the public to see the vessel by themselves. He
stressed that the delay is not their fault saying they arrive on time
but because of the shallow draft they cannot dock.
Since last year, the
vessel’s passengers have been experiencing the discomfort of
disembarking. It remains afloat at the anchorage area more or less 500
meters from the port’s docking area when it arrives in Calbayog.
“An mga tawo amon nala
ginpapasakay sa pumpboat. Kami an nabayad. That is additional expense
makakadto la sira sa pantalan,” Palacio said. The ship waits for a
high tide to be able to dock. There were many times he said that the
vessel tried to dock but the propeller was damaged which resulted to
an emergency dry dock.
Palacio believes that
proper dredging will solve the problem but according to Lino Bagares
of TMO, it will soon be pushed through on May or June this year.
The port’s 99-meter
extension project amounting to P46 million is on going which the city
mayor has been reported saying it is funded by Philippine Ports
Authority (PPA) with a local counterpart for the construction of the
break water canal to mitigate siltation and eventually solve the
The city has another
operational port in Barangay Mangginoo, Tinambacan District, 21 km.
from the city proper where bigger vessels can easily dock but Palacio
said a survey they conducted showed majority of the people still
choose the City Port. There, Palacio said, he is going to increase the
passage rate and freight charges since there is a difference of a
5-hour travel time.
“Kon kumadto ako sa
Mangginoo, yes but I pity the people... everything will increase.
Waray ako maghuna-huna para la akon kalugaringon. Pakiana tanan
shipping company kon sino an naglilibre pasahe pagkarga sin patay nga
tawo dida sa barko hasta pa mga katungdan san namatay,” he said.
On complaints with
poor sanitation and service, Palacio said no shipping company is
perfect. A complaint on air-conditioning unit was immediately fixed.
Besides, he said MARINA will not issue a clearance if the vessel is
not seaworthy and once the vessel is on dry dock it is being surveyed
by Classification Society who reports to MARINA the status of the
The utility personnel
of the vessel confirmed they experienced once a shortage on the supply
of water which was loaded from Calbayog but the problem was
immediately solved by loading adequate water supply in
Cebu. He also
called on the passengers to cooperate in maintaining the vessel’s
cleanliness saying there are some who does not dispose of garbage
properly especially in the toilets.
The City Council’s
resolution however said that Calbayog is a progressing city and so
there is an increasing need of transport services for its growth and
raised, Palacio seeks the riding public’s understanding and thanked
those who patronize the vessel.
Filipino wins 2008
SHINE International Student Award of UK, cited for international work
April 22, 2008
Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno
III, a third year PhD student at
University has been chosen by the British Council as one of the 2008
SHINE International Student Awardees of the United Kingdom. SHINE is
an annual competition of foreign students studying in the United
Kingdom that recognizes their exceptional work. Don is the very first
Filipino to receive this award. According to the British Council,
there are 270,000 foreigners studying at British universities making
the second most popular destination after the
Prisno with United Nations Undersecretary Thoraya Obaid.
Don, whose PhD
research is on the vulnerability of seafarers to HIV/AIDS is a Nippon
Foundation Fellow at the Seafarers International Research Center of
Cardiff University. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the
Catholic University of Santos in Brazil where he is conducting his
fieldwork among the bars of the port city of Santos. Don is
recognized for his academic work and advocacy for the health and
welfare of global seafarers and shipbreakers, his support for the
United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the
establishment of the Balud Project, his work on international science
promotion and his various involvements at
Doing a PhD is no
ordinary task especially in a highly-ranked research university which
won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 2007. Despite the
rigorous demand of academic work, he is able to find time working on
one of his passions, international health. He has a special interest
in the area of health and welfare of the global seafarers and
shipbreakers. He advocated for the improvement of the lives of
seafarers and shipbreakers through presentations in conferences.
Within the three years of PhD, he traveled to present papers in the
USA, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Panama, Brazil, Denmark, Italy,
Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada. He pushed for a social
insurance fund for the maritime industry in Panama City. He advocated
for more maritime AIDS programs in Toronto. He preached the perils of
alcohol and drug use among seafarers in Mumbai. He presented the
plight of shipbreakers in
Rio de Janeiro
and Washington DC. He co-authored the International Medical Guide for
Ships published by the World Health Organization, which came out in
February 2008. He has been actively involved in various international
working groups and organizations in the areas of maritime health and
His work with the
Balud Project also caught the attention of the jurors. This project
started as a simple renovation of a poor school in the island of Samar
in rural Philippines. In a span of three years, the project has grown
into a global project. Don was able to drum up support from
foreigners and international organizations. Dutch, Australians,
British and Japanese have visited the school. The Balud Project has
secured funds from The Netherlands, USA, Finland, and UK among other
countries. Lasten Tulevaisuus of Helsinki provided them a grant for a
library building. Imperial College London has been sending their
students to teach at
Ddock, a big design and architectural company in Amsterdam volunteered
to design the new school buildings. They launched the ‘new campus’
before the donors in a big event on 20 March 2008. De La Salle
University in Manila has sponsored the books of the library. American
donors provided new furniture, books and school materials. Given the
generous support from all corners of the world, the Balud Project has
spun off into a bigger community project benefiting the whole
village. Don sees this project as a humble contribution in the
attainment of the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.
To replicate the project in other countries, Balud Project launched
Balud Global. The latter involves more young people in supporting the
fast tracking of the MDGs especially in the areas of childhood
education and health.
of the Balud Project in Basey, Samar.
Don is an academic and
a medical doctor who believes in the role of science in human
development. It is not surprising that his enthusiastic support in
science promotion especially among young students was also recognized
in the SHINE Award. He has the distinction of being the only Filipino
who has been invited annually since 2002 by the Intel Corporation to
judge at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held
every year in the USA. Don has been invited as a speaker at the
He is an active member of a number of international scientific
organizations like the World Academy of Young Scientists and three
international honor societies. He used to sit in the Intel Philippine
Science Advisory Board. He conceptualized the Balud International
Development Award (BIDA), a prize given annually at the Intel
Philippine Science Fair to recognize young Filipinos whose science
projects address the needs of rural communities. During the early
part of his PhD, Don won the research competition of the World Science
Forum in Hungary
in 2005. His work was published the following year.
The SHINE Award also
looks into the involvement of the student in university activities.
Don’s work in establishing the Filipino Society of Cardiff University
was also recognized. The organization involves itself in the local
Filipino community. He noticed that there has been no Filipino
organization in the history of the university despite the number of
Filipinos enrolled. So he started gathering them and formally
organized the group. Since then they have been holding many
activities. During his first year, Don sat in two university
committees, the Postgraduate Committees of the Student Union and the
Academic Committee of the School of Social Sciences. He represented
the students in committee meetings and raised issues on their behalf.
Organizing is not something new to him. He organized Estudyanteng
Pinoy sa Netherlands (EsPiN) while a master student in Amsterdam back
in 2002 making him the Founding President.
“I am extremely happy
with the award as I have made a very good name for my university and
my country, the Philippines. Had it not been for Cardiff University
and my fellowship from the Nippon Foundation, I would not have
received this accolade,” commented Don. Just like his exceptional
works, Don’s life is considered another extraordinary story. He was
born to a poor family in Leyte. His mother worked hard to keep the
family surviving. All the children had to go to public schools.
Summers would be spent in rural Samar with his grandparents in a place
that has not been reached by electricity. When back in the city of
Tacloban, he remembers watching the neighbour’s television all the
time since they did not have one. Don’s first trip outside his
islands was at the age of 17 when he had to represent the region at
the Fifth National Population Quiz Show in
He won in the competition, which was shown live on national
television. This first trip outside gave him a lasting impression of
the wider world.
Prisno with the Balud Elementary School teachers in Basey, Samar.
Knowing how it is to
be poor, Don saw to it that he should finish his education as a way
out. He was always a conscientious student who balanced academics and
extracurricular activities. He graduated Salutatorian in both
elementary and high school. His knack for leadership started to show
at a very young age. He excelled in many activities especially in the
areas of writing, drawing and sports. He ended every school year in
the honour roll and was always judged as the Model Student of the
Year. His tenacity to want for a better education brought him to
study at the University of the Philippines where he finished his
Bachelor of Science in Psychology and where he graduated cum laude.
Back then the tuition of UP was 1,000 pesos per semester. He entered
UP’s College of Medicine with a scholarship under the STUFAP program.
He breezed through medical school without paying tuition fees. He
ended up studying a Master of Public Health in Amsterdam under the
Netherlands Fellowship Programme before pursuing a PhD.
Commenting on the
award, Don said, “I have been privileged to get accepted at Cardiff
University which is considered one of the best in the world. I come
from humble beginnings. I was born to a poor family in the
Philippines. I was raised by a single parent together with three
other siblings. Growing up was always hard because of economic
difficulties. There were days that we barely had food on the table.
These life realities made me the person of who I am now. Thus, the
reason for my interest in poverty and health. I never imagined that I
would go this far. Had the university not offered me a fellowship, I
would not have made it. I feel very blessed.”
According to Don,
“awards for me are instruments to highlight works of individuals since
they are the advocates and emissaries of this marginalized people. An
award should not be self-serving. It's not about the awardee, it's
about the people s/he works for. And I will continue working for them
because I know how it feels having been one of them.”
barangay courts are among the country’s best
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Two barangays in the region were honored in the 2007 Lupong
Tagapamayapa Incentives Award (LTIA) ceremonies held recently at the
Tagapamayapa of Brgy. Hingatungan, Silago, Southern Leyte was hailed
as the best among barangays in 4th to 6th class towns in the country,
while Brgy. Sabang North of Borongan City, Eastern Samar was adjudged
First Runner-Up among barangys in 1st to 3rd class municipalities.
Former Punong Barangay
Florencio Malaki and some Lupon members of Hingatungan, Silago,
Southern Leyte, personally received the award from Her Excellency
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez,
DILG Undersecretary Melchor Rosales, and former Court of Appeals
Justice Bernardo Abesamis (representing Supreme Court Justice Reynato
Puno). Punong Barangay Juan Tuñacao and some of his Lupon members
accepted the First Runner-Up award for Sabang North, Borongan City,
Eastern Samar in behalf of the former Punong Barangay Enrico Villero.
Also witnessing the
event were DILG-8 Operations Division chief Libertino Ocenar,
representing Director William C. Paler, and LGOO V Nida dela Cruz of
DILG Borongan City.
Lupon is a consistent winner in the regional search, and won in the
LTIA National Level in 2003. Silago’s biggest barangay, Hingatungan
is a gateway to the province of Leyte as motorized boats ply the
waters between the barangay and the town of Abuyog.
During the coverage
period (June 2006-June-2007), Hingatungan Lupon received a total of 25
cases, 22 of which were settled by Punong Barangay Florencio Malaki.
Two cases were conciliated by the Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo, and one
case is pending. There were no cases of repudiation of settlements.
To help resolve cases
fairly and effectively, the barangay conducted separate pre-hearing
counseling with both parties to open their minds to a possible
amicable settlement. At the start of the hearing, the Punong Barangay
leads a prayer, and then gives all parties a fair chance to voice out
their arguments, while ensuring that proper decorum is observed.
Barangay Tanods are stationed outside the room to provide emergency
help. The lupon reaches out to the offices of the local Assessor and
Land Reform as well as the Philippine National Police for assistance
in straightening out land problems or peace and order problems. The
Mayor’s advice to involved parties also helped settle disputes.
KP Innovations in
Sabang North in
Borongan led by Punong Barangay Enrico B. Villero has twice won
National First Runner-Up Honors, its first being in 2006. Borongan
qualified as a first class municipality in the search, as it was then
a municipality during its coverage period. Borongan was ratified as a
city on June 20, 2007.
To minimize the
intensity of disputes, the Lupon of Brgy. Sabang North in Borongan
conducted one-on-one dialogs with each party. Likewise they posted KP
flow charts and other Katarungan Pambarangay (KP) laws in their
Bulwagan to make them visible to the public and inform as many people
as possible. Reorientation trainings on the KP were also conducted by
the local DILG officer during Monthly Meetings with the Punong
Barangays and Barangay Secretaries.
Other national winners
are: Barangay Barretto of
for Highly Urbanized Cities Category; Barangay Washington, Surigao
City for Component Cities; and Barangay Lamao, Limay, Bataan for 1st
to 3rd class municipalities.
Barangay Barretto and
Barangay Lamao are Hall of Fame Awardees for consistently winning the
award for three consecutive years.
First runner up under
the HUC category is Barangay Middle Quezon Hill, Baguio City while
Barangay Sasa 43, Buhangin District, Davao City is second runner-up.
First runner-up for
Component Cities is Barangay Pedro Colina, Cotabato City while second
runner-up is Barangay San Agustin,
Second runner-up for
1st to 3rd class municipalities is Barangay Poblacion, La Trinidad,
Under the 4th to 6th
class municipalities category, first runner-up is Barangay Special
District, Jala-jala, Rizal and second runner-up is Barangay Quezon,
Mainit, Surigao del Norte.
Each national winner
received a presidential trophy and a cash prize of P100,000.00 from
the DILG, Supreme Court and Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF). Hall of Fame
awardees each received a presidential trophy courtesy of DILG and a
cash prize of 25,000 pesos courtesy of PAGCOR, and an additional
trophy from GRF. Runners-up received plaques of recognition courtesy
of DILG and GRF and cash award of 30,000 and 25,000 pesos respectively
courtesy of the DOJ, Liga ng mga Barangay, and PCSO.
The search is
conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
together with the Supreme Court, Department of Justice, National
Police Commission, Liga ng mga Barangay and the Gerry Roxas
The winners bested
39,513 organized lupong tagapamayapa in cities and municipalities
nationwide because of their outstanding contributions in the promotion
of Katarungang Pambarangay objectives.
The LTIA was
established in 1997 as a means to institutionalize a system of
granting economic benefits and other incentives to the Lupong
Tagapamayapa that demonstrates exemplary performance in settling
disputes at the grassroots level.
The performance and
accomplishments of the lupons were evaluated by committees organized
at the regional, provincial and municipal levels on the basis of a)
efficiency of operations; b) effectiveness in securing the katarungang
pambarangay objectives and c) creativity and resourcefulness of
Pambarangay, or the Barangay Justice System is an extra-governmental
mechanism aimed at perpetuating the time-honored tradition of amicably
settling interpersonal disputes in a community without recourse to the
formal legal system or confrontational social behavior.
The central feature of
the system is the Lupong Tagapamayapa, a community-based conflict
resolution effort that is highly supportive of the notions of social
ordering and human development. While the speedy administration of
justice is the immediate concern of the Katarungang Pambarangay, of
equal importance is leadership building and community empowerment as
the resultant effects of institutionalizing the system.
Lupon of Barangay Sabang North, Borongan, Eastern Samar poses
with 2007 LTIA National Evaluation Team led by Asst. Dir.
Mariano Gabito of DILG-Bureau of Local Government Supervision
(3rd from right, front row). Also in photo are Atty. Marina B.
Ching of Supreme Court and P/Insp. Alvin Peña of Napolcom (5th
and 6th from left, front row, respectively) and DILG Eastern
Samar Provincial Director Estanislao N. Quelitano Jr., Punong
Barangay Juan Tuñacao, Borongan DILG Officer Nida dela Cruz, and
DILG-8 LTIA Program Manager Geselle Pulanco (front row, 2nd,
4th, rightmost and 2nd from right, respectively).
A jail warden in
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
April 5, 2008
BORONGAN CITY, Eastern
Samar – Eastern Samar Provincial Warden, Alexandrino Apelado, 59,
found himself once more in a hot seat following the recent arrest of
two inmates who were spotted by local police outside the jail.
The arrest caused
media and the Borongan public to have talked here and there and as
expected, the Provincial Warden had been accused for his so-called
laxity or maybe too much familiarity and confidence in treating his
wards. Talks of "infidelity in the custody of an inmate" had been
thrown to subject warden and what is worrisome was his implication in
a number of crimes in the recent past, which were allegedly committed
by inmates, but neither was proven against him so far, he said and up
to this writing, he refutes any participation therein.
"Kulang nala sugaron
nga ako an pinatay
kan Rizal," he mused (My detractors are short to accuse me of
How could people be so
outrageous? "They can be right", he enthused, "but for humanitarian
reasons, perhaps, the law can be moderated," he argued.
Apelado who is fondly
called "Sangko" admitted that the father in him surfaces in times of
health needs of inmates.
"But I have never
ordered any inmate to perform any crime contrary to the nasty talks
being said against my person," he revealed, "and I have remained a
poor man, I have never aspired for earthly things if only to be
acquired the wrong way. I have content on the 24th Salary Grade even
if counterparts enjoy the 26th." the seminarian turned warden added in
"A prominent detainee
who is a diabetic needed an urgent physical treatment in Tacloban and
had to be decided by me, lest I die too myself because of guilt, had I
not allowed him to be brought immediately. It was a judgment call I
suppose, that I did not wait anymore for a court decision for "Leave
of Court" because it was a Saturday. The following Monday I faced a
complaint for that vital decision I rendered," Sangko pleaded. "Must I
be persecuted for doing such a humanitarian act?" he questioned. "I am
just their warden, everyday I browse elbows with them, and like them,
I am also a father…I am their friend, and above all I am a human
being. Can they take away this human factor in me when a
human-detainee is in intense physical pain?", the emotionally filled
conversation went on.
The recent attack on
the warden sprang upon the arrest of trustee/detainee Jose Desoloc who
was on the steering wheel of Sangko’s multi-cab which was parked near
Borongan market. He revealed that Desoloc was about to be "released on
bail" the week he was arrested and on the day he was taken by the
local police they were going to get a photo as part of this bail. He
was with the detainee, but unknowing of the planned arrest, he
alighted from the vehicle to unload some construction materials. It
was then, when Desoloc was handcuffed.
But Desoloc’s arrest
did not teach the jail officials a lesson. On March 23, another
detainee/trustee Gabriel Bajasan was arrested a few meters from the
jail which they say "a radius customarily allowed for detainees". Just
like the former, the latter was also sent for an errand. Bajasan just
like Desoloc was to be dismissed as a result of "failure to prosecute"
But the two arrests
have somehow added to headaches on Apelado’s part. As a custodial and
rehabilitation officer in the PJ, he appeals that the "presumption of
Innocence" be applied likewise on the two detainees.
"Both have not been
convicted, and even if they were caught outside, they did not commit a
crime," he proclaimed.
Apparently, Apelado is
in limbo. Being a warden, his human factor and legal functions just
like his heart and mind contradict. Some rumored personal misgivings
had been asked of the interviewee and he admitted.
"I am neither a saint,
I admit I sinned before my family, but I am paying for this
misdemeanor, by correcting my actions in the process…what is important
I have sinned but I am learning the lessons from it." He concluded.
In not so a distant
past, he was also accused of a crime he did not openly commit. He said
it is the prize of being subservient or by simply being an obedient
subordinate. The case floated against him and his former boss who is
equally a humble and a down-to-earth fellow, who did the "act" in good
fate, so to speak, meted them unfavorably. He hopes however, that a
higher court which has been reviewing the case will render the verdict
of vindication of some sorts.