Ban on black sand
mining pressed in Region 8
February 11, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – The
militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya
ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday urged President Benigno Simeon
Aquino III to ban magnetite mining in the coastal waters of Eastern
Citing the report of
Pamalakaya-Eastern Visayas, the activist fishers group said of the 107
offshore mining applications in the regions, 17 are applied for
magnetite mining which covers several municipalities of
Samar, Leyte, Southern
Leyte and Biliran.
chair Fernando Hicap identified the 17 magnetite offshore mining
activities in the region which he said will usher an era of
environmental destruction, perpetual disasters and gross denial of
fisherfolk livelihood across the region.
The Pamalakaya leader
said the Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) is now
processing the applications of magnetite giants like Nicua Corporation
which will cover 5,390 hectares of coastal areas in the towns of
Tanauan, Tolosa, Julita and Dulag in Leyte; Kando Mining Company 3,945
hectares (Dulag, Mayorga and Julita towns in Leyte); Rushfield Mining
Company 5,309 hectares (Palo, Tanauan and Tacloban City, Leyte) and
Minoro Mining and Exploration Corporation; 6,375 hectares (Alang-alang,
Sta. Fe, Jaro, Pastran and Palo, Leyte).
The other exploration
firms are Citygroup Philippines Corporation, 1,694 hectares (Caibiran,
Biliran and Naval in Biliran); Asian Mines Incorporated, 769 hectares
(Motiong, Samar); Bridestone Mining and Development Corporation 7,252
hectares (Hinunangan, Hinundayan and Silago, Southern Leyte); Lazarus
Mining Corporation 6,205 hectares (Carigara and Capoocan, Leyte);
Oregon Mining and Development Corporation 5,099 hectares (Babatngon
and Barugo); Grand Total Exploration and Mining Corporation 11, 686
hectares (Babatngon, Barugo, Carigara and Capoocan, Leyte and another
application covering 5,752 hectares in the municipalities of Biliran,
Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba and Leyte, all in Leyte); Mt. Mogan
Resources and Development Corp 3,022 hectares (Dulag, Leyte), another
15,781 hectares in Tanauan, Tolosa, Dulag, Mayorga, MacArthur and
Abuyog, and another Morgan exploration involving 25,312 hectares
covering the coastal towns of Basey, Marabut and Tacloban City; and
Hedlite Mining Corporation 3,945 hectares (Dulag, Julita and Mayorga
“We strongly urge
President Aquino to scrap all the magnetite mining activities in
Eastern Visayas. We ask Mr. Aquino to recall all these Public-Private
Partnership led escapades in Region VIII and stop black sand giants
from destroying the livelihood and the national patrimony of the
people,” said Hicap.
Visayas said if these magnetite mining applications are approved by
the DENR and Malacanang, it will promote widespread community
displacement, further diminish coastline, reduce fish catch to rock
bottom levels, and decrease productivity since magnetite mining in
coastal areas are inherently destructive and anti-environment.
Visayas further said many studies and documentations bared black sand
mining in coastal areas have resulted to coastal erosion, inundation
of communities, and degradation of marine ecosystem.
affiliate -- the Lakas ng mga Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Bicol (Lambat-Bicol)
also urged DENR Secretary Ramon Paje to disapprove the application of
the US-Korean firm Bogo Mining Resources Corporation. The mining firm
has a pending application for offshore mining for magnetite before the
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of DENR Region V dated November 20,
The exploration for
magnetite will cover more than 17,000 hectares of municipal coastal
waters in San Miguel Bay that would encompass five coastal
municipalities in Camarines Sur – Sipocot, Cabusao, Calabanga,
Tinambac and Siruma.
chairperson and Lambat-Bicol regional chair Salvador France the
exploration will conducted within the 15 kilometer municipal fishing
waters, and the immediate impact of the magnetite exploration is the
wholesale banning of municipal fishing activity and the destruction of
fishing resources in San Miguel Bay once the offshore mining for
magnetite is approved by the MGB and DENR regional office in Legazpi
“This grandmother of
destruction must be stopped at all cost. We strongly urge the DENR
chief in the national office to reject the application of Bogo Mining
Resources and tell the capitalists of this mining firm to get out of
San Miguel Bay,” said France.
The Pamalakaya leader
said while waiting for DENR permit for exploration, the technical
personnel of Bogo Mining Resources Corporation had started drilling
operations in the five coastal municipalities to determine potential
of magnetite. France said about 30,000 holes were drilled by mining
personnel of Bogo since it applied for permit on November last year.
Pamalakaya said in
Cabusao, about 180 hectares of mangrove areas will be uprooted to pave
way for offshore magnetite mining and about 3,000 families of small
fishermen in the coastal municipality will be affected by the
ambitious magnetite exploration.
The group said in
Calabanga, about 1,500 families of small fisherfolk will be affected
once the exploration started.
American arrested in
Philippines set to face US Court for sex charges
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA, Senior Reporter, PNS
February 7, 2011
ILOILO CITY – Notice
to all local victims, girlfriend and friends of David Wayne Altman Greth, the deported American wanted in United States (US) for felony
charge and sex crimes.
After nearly two
months since his arrest here in
Greth is finally set to face his captors and victims with a Court date
this week in his hometown Porstmouth, Virginia.
In an update, PNS
learned of a scheduled closed-door Court hearing following the closure
of felony charge “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.” From then
on, Greth will face up against US State prosecutors on11 sexual
offenses including rape, two counts of child abuse, two counts of
aggravated sexual battery and three counts of forcible sodomy.
This, as an online
support group was set up by one of his American victims that has thus
far reached out to young Ilonggas lured into sexual relations by Greth.
To recall, Greth spent
a good part of his hiding years here in Iloilo City where he managed
to generate at least 30 young women as “friends” in his 5 Facebook
accounts. He also was the favorite non-paying customer of commercial
sex workers in Molo District here and boyfriend to at least 5 young
locals. He was mostly known as “Robert Kline” and “David Altman.”
Upon his arrest in
December, one of the girlfriends was already pregnant and now due to
give birth middle of March. There was also another 19 year-old
girlfriend feared to be the one in several of his sex videos recovered
by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Regional
Office 6. To both young women, he was “David Altman.”
Yet another local
woman apparently “introduced” and in contact with Greth’s family was
also a known girlfriend though this one is not believed to be in the
“victim” category. Local authorities got the confirmation of
continued contact of this woman described to be in her early 30s and
thus far appeared to have known Greth in his real name and
call for support for Greth’s victims is made via Facebook with posted
comments here from both self-confessed victims and townmates. A
warning was also put up to all “Robert Kline” friends with the
information that such was used by the accused pedophile in his quest
for victims and link to his family.
Greth’s capture was
done by the NBI Regional Office 6 led by Investigation Agent Arnold
Some 16 Operatives
were then led by Agent Diaz as Immigration Officer II Apolonio
Calingasan approached him with the deportation order minutes after he
got off work in Mabini Street, Iloilo City.
When processed at the
NBI 6 headquarters, Greth feigned shock and surprise on the piled-up
sexual charges. Yet he appeared hopeful at one point saying he would
want to go back to the Philippines and retire here one day.
“I did not touch any
kids here in the Philippines…of course I have girlfriends but I did
not do anything wrong here to nobody…..you can ask anybody who knew
me…..My stay here in the Philippines had nothing to do with kids….I
don’t know where the charges were coming from in my own country.
There you are guilty until proven innocent,” he said in disgust while
adding “I may just end up as someone’s boyfriend in jail….”
To note, Greth entered
the Philippines in August 4, 2006 and was given until August 25, 2006
as legal stay. He said he had at least $20,000 with him upon arrival
and lived for years like a rich man, “or at least it felt that way,”
As his resources
dwindled, he went from one place to the other and while in Iloilo, he
assumed several names to his online and offline friends. At work
though as tutor for an English tutorial center for Koreans, he went by
his legal name, David Greth.
At some point,
Greth was known to have accepted any handy job that would get him cash
daily. Sources recognized him as the guy who repacked charcoal and
sold if for a few pesos.
Southern Leyte LGUs
big winners in the Local Legislative Award of Eastern Visayas
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
TACLOBAN CITY – Two
local government units (LGUs) of
Southern Leyte ruled their respective categories in the 2010 Local
Legislative Awards of the Department of the Interior and Local
Government and Philippine Councilor’s League in
Macrohon ascended to
the regional champion level among 4th to 6th class towns, edging out
the much-improved Babatngon, Leyte and defending titlist Cabucgayan,
Biliran (2nd runner-up); and past champion Balangiga, Eastern Samar
Maasin City’s victory
was no less sweet, for though it was the only component city to
qualify under the search’s strict criteria, it bagged the Hall of Fame
award for copping the title for three straight years. The awards were
handed out to Mayor Maloney Samaco, Vice-Mayor Effie Sabandal,
sanggunian members and staff, by DILG Undersecretary Austere A.
Panadero, subbing in for His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino
IIII and DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo who could not make the
appointment due to pressing concerns in the Philippine capital.
In other categories
Catarman, Northern Samar was declared winner over Hilongos, Leyte (1st
runner-up) and Naval, Biliran (2nd runner-up) among 1st to 3rd class
municipalities. Ormoc City won in the Highly Urbanized City /
Independent Component City category.
In the President’s
speech read by Undersecretary Panadero, he gave credit to DILG and PCL
for instituting the search to highlight best practices among
sanggunians and other capacity building initiatives even as he
challenged councilors to move their LGUs to comply with the intent and
letter of the DILG Memorandum Circular on Full Disclosure of public
finances, which has been adopted under the 2011 General Appropriations
Act and is a component of the COA audit. The President called the
full disclosure memorandum the most concrete anti corruption tool that
will allow citizens to engage in governance and make their LGUs
The President also
urged local governments to be more proactive in identifying relevant
issues and instituting reforms. Particularly local governments must
attune their goals to national thrusts. President Aquino also
stressed on the importance of building the capacities of communities
to be resilient in times of disasters and expects LGUs to adopt
climate change management framework in development planning.
Aside from DILG
Undersecretary Panadero, other officials present in the awards
ceremony were Deputy House Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III, PCL
National President Ronald Carcellar, PCL National Chairman Allan
Zulueta, Leyte LMP President Remedios "Matin" L. Petilla, DILG-8
Director Francisco C. Jose, and Mayor Gerardo Espina Sr. of Kawayan,
Biliran who was presented a 1-Million pesos grant of the Performance
Challenge Fund, as a reward from the DILG for passing its Seal of Good
Housekeeping criteria. The fund would be used for projects that
address MDG targets, or the country's commitments to the Millennium
The LLA was first
launched in the year 2000 as the Most Outstanding Sangguniang Bayan
awards by DILG and PCL. It was adopted into a nationwide search in
2006 called Local Legislative Awards to include cities.
The local sanggunians
were evaluated from the period June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2010 and were
judged based on five criteria: 1. Effectiveness of the Legislative
Agenda (20 pts.); 2. Effectiveness of the Legislative Tracking System
(25 pts.) 3. Availability of Legislative Documents (10 pts.); 4.
Efficiency of Performance of the Sanggunian (25 pts.); and 5. Quality
of Office set-up and staff complement (20 pts.)
rankings and winners for the municipal categories were done during the
awards ceremony itself. On the other hand, the cities of Ormoc and
Maasin were the only ones that qualified in their categories for this
Plaques for the
winners were produced by DILG while the 10,000 cash for awardees was
shouldered by PCL. Other program partners are the Department of Budget
and Management (DBM), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which are also
part of the regional evaluation team that validated the results at the
The objectives of
the LLA recognizing excellence in local legislation dovetails with the
slogan “Tapat na Palakad, Bayang Maunlad” of Biyaheng Pinoy, the DILG
program to celebrate 20 years of local autonomy.
Engineered bamboo, a
promising agri-based industry in Southern Leyte
By ES GORNE, PIA Maasin
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – Should the total log ban be effected as it is being now
considered among President Benigno S. Aquino III’s long-term
interventions to all the flooding that damaged lives, properties and
vital infrastructures in the country, then engineered bamboo lumber
could be one of the substitutes as hard wood.
DTI Southern Leyte
Provincial Director Michael Nuñez revealed during the DySL Kapihan sa
PIA last Thursday that thru engineering technology bamboo product
lines are expanded from furniture industry to bamboo lumber which
gathered a positive response from the construction sector.
Nuñez further said that other bamboo product lines which are newly
introduced in the local market includes plyboo (comparable to
plywood), bamboo lumber, bamboo chips, among others.
Consumers need not be
wary of engineered bamboo finished products from infiltration of
insects and eating up the insides of the indigenous material since
these are being treated with medicines, Nuñez added.
The said government
agency is eyeing the potentials of engineered bamboo industry since it
is easily grown at the backyards even. It will take only three to
five years that the plant could be harvested. That the bamboo plant
could also help environmental issues as such it has 30% more
absorption capacities than other plants, he added.
national government agency has been assisting various groups who are
engaged in the bamboo industry whether it be modern method or the
traditional way. Recently, the Southern Leyte Multipurpose Cooperative
(SLEM Coop) who is engaged in the bamboo industry is a recipient of a
P300,000 financial assistance from the national government.
province of Southern Leyte is losing about P300 Million from the abaca
industry every year since it stop production due the infestation of
the virus bunchy top. Before the infestation, the abaca industry
production was pegged at least 11,000 metric tons every year,
Provincial Director Nuñez disclosed.
He was also
apprehensive that the coconut industry in the province of Southern
Leyte is also endangered with the invasion of bronstispa pests, who
are indiscriminately sucking the young coconut leaves. That the
agriculture-based industry, which is presently yielding some P1-2
billion production every year, should be given utmost attention if
not, the coconut industry will face the same challenge as of the abaca
industry, God forbid.
He also urged the
stakeholders to keep abreast and to help monitor bronstispa attack in
their own backyards.
escapes her rapist comrade submits to authorities
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – After almost four (4) years of living miserably
under the inhumanity and brutality of the terrorist New People’s Army
(NPA), a disgraced Amazon who was almost rape by her comrades eagerly
decided to exile herself from the group that she sacrificed and toiled
her life by voluntarily submitting herself to the Army’s 34th Infantry
Battalion in San Jose de Buan of Samar province, 3:00 p.m. of January
Reports reaching this
headquarters from Lieutenant Colonel William Peňafiel, commanding
officer of 34IB disclosed that a certain Jocelyn Gabin known as “Jane”
in the underground for four (4) years, 20 years old, single and a
local of Brgy. Cataydungan of same municipality is one among the
numerous rebels who suffered in the hands of their own comrades.
custodial debriefing revealed that Jane is a member of Medical team of
YAMBI platoon, under Central Front Samar-1 (CFS-1), Samar Provincial
Party Committee (SPPC) of Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVPC).
According to her, hunger, sleepless nights, anxious minds and
hardships she experienced from the hands of her comrades are just few
among the factors that made her decide to covertly leave the
underground. She said that she was not treated well as what was
promised to her when she was recruited.
Jane also narrated how
she suffered when she was hit by an ulcer and fever that no one paid
concern on her condition. She was even forced to work and walk even
she could no longer stand the pain and the sting of her body.
She even gnashed her
teeth when she recounts the moment when she was attempted to be raped
by her comrades. Accordingly, her life was already destroyed by the
movement and she could not longer standstill if she will be totally
destroyed by his comrades. These further forced her to flee and
returned to the safer place away form the evil spell of the people she
once trusted her life.
Jane was brought to
the headquarters of 34IB complete custodial debriefing then was handed
over to her mother Cecilia Gabin with the presence of Brgy. Chairman
Edusma of Poblacion, Kagawad Ronn Dacles of Brgy Cataydungan and the
local folks who served as witnesses.
General Mario Chan, 8ID’s commander expressed his admiration to the
bravery of Jocelyn for facing the real terror of turning her back away
from the underground movement despite her safety is at stake. Major
General Chan also said that Jocelyn made a right decision to fully
re-experience her freedom in the open without guilt and reservation to
the people who really desire peace and prosperity.
Major General Chan
once again reiterated his fervent call to the members of the
underground movement to lay down their arms and feel the warm embrace
of our government’s arm whose concern for his people is genuine.
“As I have told in the
past, I am happier to see these people peacefully reaching their arms
to the government for the sake of freedom and democracy than through a
bloody resort of struggles. After all, we are all Filipinos and our
true enemy is the deprivation of our rights, freedom and democracy”.
“While we are busy
reaching out to our people who are oppressed by our natural
calamities, we as you vanguard in the eastern part of our country
assure our people to keep away from harm and danger, either be by the
inevitable wrath of nature or the NPAs that sow terror in expense of
power. We will continue to intensify our operations both in combat
and disaster relief for you to celebrate each day as what is deemed to
necessary”, vows General Chan.