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special report 39
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Myrna Lardizabal de Vera: There’s a new mayor in Hercules, California

Month three in jail: artists, art events echo demand to end poet’s detention

Rock Oyster Processors’ Association inaugurates pilot processing center in Samar

Ban on black sand mining pressed in Region 8

Biliran Mayor prioritizes the “intangibles”

The Honors Project (THP) awards Villahanons with exemplary performances

DA turns over to Calbayog Social Action Center the biggest organic farming enterprise in the region

ICRC gives water-supply kits and trainings to Philippine Red Cross to enhance disaster response

Paranas holds MPOC, Two rebel returnees surrender high powered firearms

Survival Issue is a Political Reality, says Cong. Sarmiento







SMC Educational Fund invests on Samar Youth

By EMY BONIFACIO, Samar News.com
August 27, 2011

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The SMC Educational Fund, a Scholarship and Financial Aid program, will be investing on Samar youths by providing a secured future through education. The organization hopes to provide paths for young Filipino adults to better themselves by assisting them with resources in education and work experience.

SMC gives credit to Mr. Simplicio Mendez Cajipe, a native of Sta. Rita, who made it well and good while working abroad. Mr. Cajipe was a source of inspiration to people whom he provided food, shelter and all the necessary tools at their younger ages until they became adults.

Ms. Emy Cajipe-Matthews, the Foundation’s CEO, attested to this and disclosed that she was just six years old when her father died and became an orphan herself. Still, Matthews has family ties in the Philippines and she would willingly work towards her cause in helping the young adults of Samar.  Samar is known to be one of the poorest provinces.

SMC, under Ms. Matthew’s initiatives, has become successful in making linkages and coordination with other partner institutions. It has now become a foreign assisted program.

The organization has long been extending yearly outreach programs in the Philippines that benefits the children. She has designed programs that would encourage creative and critical thinking skill in youth using Samar’s natural resources.

“Young adults need to understand the idea of community service, of learning the past, the present and the future of their province”, says Ms. Matthews.

Just recently, it has decided to shift on extending scholarships and financial aid to truly deserving and less fortunate young Filipino students.

“We make sure that children in each category qualify for our program (a) Poverty Assistance (b) Academic Scholar for high school graduate. We will help secure the child meet their basic needs, shoes, backpacks, school supplies, clothing items and a monthly allowance.

We are willing to extend help to those students at any Santa Rita Public High School District”, Ms. Matthews reveals her plans.

The Samar News team with beneficiary Cristina Lampanizo in their dilapidated house at Brgy. Hinangutdan, Sta. Rita, Samar.

Inasmuch as the SMC is based in North Dakota, it has coordinated with the Samarnews.com through Engr. Ray Gaspay and Ms. Emy C. Bonifacio who takes charge in screening qualified beneficiaries. Presently, two (2) deserving SMC beneficiaries from Sta. Rita High School will be receiving cash assistance for this school year.

Cristina I. Lampanizo, 16 years of age, is a resident of Brgy. Hinangutdan, Sta. Rita, Samar and is in her 3rd year of secondary education. She is the 3rd child of seven children whose family’s main survival is sourced from charcoal making with a meager income of 50-100 pesos a day. She hikes to and from the school for more than two hours during school days because it would need thirty pesos a day for transportation fare using a “habal-habal”. At times, she goes to school without eating breakfast. Most often she fails to go to school because of lack of food and fare.

Likewise, Albert O. Baldiza, 19 years of age, was an orphan since he was in grade 1 and lives with a foster family. He disclosed that at times he goes to school with an empty stomach but he is decided to pursue his education. School records will show that Baldiza is a consistent honor student and is expected to become the valedictorian this school year at Sta. Rita High School where he is already in his fourth year.

An amount of P2,500 will be granted to Cristina Lampanizo while P1,000 will be given to Albert Baldiza. These monthly allowances from the SMC Educational Fund will cover the months of July 2010 to March 2011.

Furthermore, the SMC has identified two (2) graduating high school students who will be awarded cash incentives amounting to P30,000 per beneficiary, on the day of their graduation to financially help them pursue their college education. The identified beneficiaries were Wilfredo Ramirez Jr. of Tominamos High School and Emmanuel John Caudilla of Sta. Rita High School. Matthews disclosed that online applications to partners abroad were also facilitated.

The SMC is also finalizing proposals for student exchange programs. Hopefully, for this year, two lucky individuals from Sta. Rita will become the first beneficiaries in this program. The processing of their travel documents are now being taken cared of by the SMC.

The organization has been gaining support from Ms. Mathhew’s acquaintances and from those who believe in her cause. In fact, MMA Super Star Brandon de Vera has donated his autographed fight trunk to SMC Educational Fund for auction. More supporters and volunteers have signified their desire to extend charitable help to Samar youths.

The SMC Educational Fund maintains a Facebook Account and its own website at www.smceducationalfund.org 





5th Anniversary of the Inopacan exhumation

Government inaction scored!

By ANAD Partylist
August 27, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  On August 28, (Sunday) the free and peace loving Filipinos will commemorate the 5th anniversary of the exhumation of about 67 remains, part of the unknown number of Filipinos, violently murdered by the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF in the forested area commonly known as “The Garden”, among the residents of Southern Leyte.

In August 28, 2006, skeletal remains of innocent victims of Maoist terrorist’s tyranny and violence were dug up in a mass gravesite in a ridge of Mt. Sapang Dako of Inopacan, some 370 meters above sea level, by elements of the Phil. Army’s 802nd Brigade, 8ID supported by residents and former NPA rebels who claimed to have witnessed the mass killings and have since rejoined government.

Inopacan mass graveThe Inopacan mass murders far outweighs the many OPLANS that the Maoist terrorists ordered and under the supervision of the so-called AHOS committee headed by Jose Ma. Sison, with Satur Ocampo, Vicente Ladlad, Randall Echanis, and Rafael Baylosis.

Many, if not all, of the witnesses positively identified them as among the top CPP-NPANDF personalities involved in that highly despicable act against human life. Like their master and iconic leader, Joma Sison, Ocampo et. al. culled the same lines of defense saying that they were under detention in l984 at the different government detention facilities then and could not have been involved, directly or otherwise, in the Inopacan mass killings. What a lame and highly dubious excuse that government would believe and give credence! This alone is reminiscent of the usual pattern of denials skillfully dished by Ocampo and his comrades to exculpate them from whatever liability not only on the Inopacan massacre but in all other CPP ordered mass purgings like OPLAN Kahos, Missing Link, Kadena de Amore, Zombies, and Oplan Venereal Disease (VD) that resulted to the infamous Inopacan Massacre.

But why has the wheels of justice stopped turning? Could the reported entry of several die-hard Maoist communist personalities in Malacañang have something to do with these?

Many freedom and peace loving Filipinos decried the double standard by which the present government has dealt in cases involving Maoist terrorist personalities, especially those arrested for violations of the country’s Revise Penal Code, and known top Communist personalities who continue to remain scot-free despite complaints filed against them and awaiting resolution by the Department of Justice.

While the cases against the Ampatuans are vigorously pursued in the courts of law, the many criminal cases against Maoist terrorist personalities not only are stalled but were withdrawn upon orders of Justice Department. We must not forget - - -The Maoist terrorist NPA’s are just as guilty as the Ampatuans! The number of lives snapped by the vicious hands of power politics in Maguindanao pales so much to the number of Filipinos killed by a group whose loyalty and faith on the ideology of Frederick Engels, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung is unflinching and uncompromising covering some 42-years and still going!

Worth noting is the fact that the so-called sectoral front organizations of the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF, e.g. Bayan, Karapatan, Gabriela, and NUJP, among others, were very much noisy in denouncing the Maguindanao massacre of November 2010, and pinning the blame on the Ampatuans! In stark contrast and for many years, they have closed their mouths, blindfolded their eyes, and has thrown deafening silence on the murders perpetrated by their comrades in the NPA’s, particularly the Digos and Inopacan Massacres, and other human transgressions revealed by Robert Francis Garcia in his book - - To Suffer Thy Comrades!

Appropriately, an Internet blog dated January 4, 2010 by a group known as Unheard NPA Victims (www.topblogs.com.ph/post/inopacan+massacre.html) described the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF as -“. . . red-handed criminal(s) incriminating another felon is more or less a masquerading hypocrite that thinks the public is naïve enough to believe (them) . . .”

The government of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III now bears the burden of proving to all and sundry that indeed justice must be served equally among Filipinos. PNoy’s battlecry against the “Wang-Wang” mentality should now take center-stage to fully convince the millions of Filipinos that indeed his administration means business and never shall they fall and indulge in petty ‘lip-service’ and political grandstanding.

In the meantime, the wailing shall continue and the cries for justice, by those who suffered the pains of Maoist terrorist violence, shall ring loudest in all nooks and corners of the country! This shall only end when government moves strongest to make the Maoist terrorist leadership answer for their crimes against humanity!





The STORMTROOPERS accomplishments: A fitting tribute to a leader who believes in teamwork

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
August 8, 2011

The 8th Infantry (STORMTROOPERS) Division has been recognized as the best division in the entire Philippine Army based on its performance within the first six months of 2011. In 2010, it was the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division; this year, the STROMTROOPERS.

Moreover, two of the 8IDs Infantry Brigades are in the top 5 from among the 31 Brigades of the Philippine Army while four of its battalions are in the top ten out of the 75 battalions of the Army.

Of course, a major element to this accomplishment is the brand of leadership and management style of the Division Commander. It was under his leadership that the 4th Infantry (DIAMOND) Division was adjudged the best division in the entire Philippine Army. And under him, the 8th Infantry Division (STORMTROOPERs) Division has accomplished many things, earning for itself the best division in the entire army.

Major Gen. Mario F Chan AFP has steered the division with vigor and dedication, thus raising the unit to a level fit to be called as the best. But asking him on this accomplishment, he would always say, “this is teamwork and cooperation in action”.

What propelled the Storm Troopers Division to become the best division in the entire Philippine Army?

The Division commander is quick enough to say that any major accomplishment cannot be attributed to one person alone. Such accomplishment can only be the result of effective teamwork. Quoting the famous French aviator and author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, MGen. Chan then said that “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” This is similar to what he quoted from Dwight Eisenhower when he emphasized during his assumption speech, that “leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

MGen. Chan insisted further that the success of the 8th Infantry Division is not entirely due to his own efforts alone. So much has been contributed by the other stakeholders who have also been very supportive of Oplan Bayanihan’s objectives. In fact, the accomplishment is the result of good teamwork with the Local Government Units of Cebu, Bohol, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Leyte, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Western Samar. Equally important are the contributions of the national government agencies and the civil society organizations and institutions.

In the practical experience of the 8th Infantry Division, teamwork works inside and out. This dedication of the troopers to pursue its mission is as important as the dedication of the broad stakeholders to realize peace, thus, the need to work together as one.

Building Peace through Solidarity

The Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) of the government also known as Oplan Bayanihan puts emphasis on winning the peace as the fundamental objective. The defeat of the enemy does not necessarily come secondary, but that it should be brought about by rendering it irrelevant in the eyes of the people and the whole society. This entails that more efforts would be unleashed towards bringing development into the lies of many impoveri8shed rural communities even as combat operations are still being conducted against the New People’s Army.

This strategy requires the mobilization of stakeholders aside from the Armed Forces. The local government units, government line agencies, the private and business sector and civil society organizations are forces whose participation is crucial to the delivery of services and programs that will bring about development in the different rural communities affected by the insurgency problem.

But gathering different stakeholders together is one thing. Enabling them to work together is another. This is the challenge.

Nurturing Unity

Oplan Bayanihan follows the “whole-of-nation” approach, which presupposes shared understanding and shared responsibilities between and among government security forces, members of the civilian bureaucracy and the communities. The approach highlights he need for different stakeholders to work together in order to build peace and promote security.

Of course, the whole concept is not something alien to the Filipi8no. In fact, it is rooted in the Bayanihan tradition where everyone lends a helping hand in order to address or to resolve a community need or a community problem. The bayanihan spirit, however, was gradually swept into oblivion by the culture of consumerism and crab mentality. Oplan Bayanihan, therefore, has to reinvent the spirit of bayanihan by promoting common understanding among different stakeholders relative to the desire for peace and the quest for development.

In the pursuit of peace, everyone’s participation is not only important. It is in itself the means to achieve peace. Bringing everyone on board is the first step in building solidarity which is a critical element of peace.

This was precisely the parameter that guided the whole Storm Troopers Division and compelled them to participate actively in the different forum and avenues where LGUs, line agencies and civil society organizations converge in order to address pressing social concerns. Thus, the 8th Infantry Division officials, led by MGen. Mario F. Chan, would participate in all the meetings of the Regional and Provincial Development Council as well as the Regional and Provincial Peace and Order Councils within its Area of Responsibility. The Division also participated in the meetings and conferences organized and initiated by the Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD).

MGen. Mario F Chan and the other Officers of the Division would strive hard to make meaningful representation in all these avenues with the end view of unifying with the other stakeholders relative to the internal security plan of the government. In these forums, the call to promote development in the communities as a means to improve the peace and security situation reverberated and the means to do it was their solidarity.

And their voices did not fall on deaf ears.

Promoting Cooperation

One of the monumental accomplishments in the drive to promote solidarity and cooperation among the different stakeho9lders is the proposed road construction project towards the interior municipalities of Samar. The whole project costs P4.6 Billion, covering a total span of 265.8 kilometers.  And if not for the support of the Regional Development Council and the other stakeholders including the provincial governments and line agencies, the project would not have reached first base.

The proposed road project will traverse 16 municipalities and is expected to contribute significantly to the economic development of these municipalities. The road will not simply make travel more comfortable, it will usher in economic opportunities for the communities and it will broaden their market access. With more opportunities for livelihood and with easier market access, residents are expected to have increased their household income.

Aside from this monumental project, the Storm Troopers Division has also forged partnership with the public and private sector in the conduct of development interventions and delivery of social services.

From August 2010 to June 2011, the Storm Troopers has implemented and undertaken several projects such as medical and dental missions, literacy projects through the Army Literacy Patrol System, livelihood support, improvement of educational facilities through active participation in the Brigada Eskuwela and road rehabilitation and construction.

Through these projects and initiatives, different stakeholders have found avenues by which they can work together and manifest heir commitment to the government’s internal peace and security objectives.

In support to the government’s internal security campaign, local government units in Samar have initiated their localized version of the Social Integration Program of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). With this program, LGUs are able to provide assistance to those who surrender and return to the fold of the law.

Unity is easier said than done, but when concrete and tangible initiatives are used to bring different stakeholders together, unity becomes the thread that binds them and enables them to pool resources towards the accomplishment of development targets. The active cooperation of the different stakeholders to promote and achieve peace within the AOR of the 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division is the best proof of the unity of the stakeholders.

Winning the Peace

When communities begin to denounce violence as a means to correct societal defects, and when they begin to work with government institutions to address the poverty that characterize their situation, [peace becomes possible and visible. Of course, peace and security as a result of social development cannot happen overnight. But peace is not just an end. It is also the means to it.

Oplan Bayanihan drive to win the peace is more than just an objective that is attainable in the near future. “Winning the Peace” means building it in the here-and-now through concrete and tangible measures such as the implementation of development projects that improve the life and well-being of the people.

At this point, it is too early to say that Oplan Bayanihan has already achieved victory, or that peace has already been established. But, with people working together to promote solidarity in order to build peace, what can prevent victory?





Rice frozen near North Pole

The first was a footprint on the Moon. The second one is a freezer

August 5, 2011

This freezer, however, is one dug deep inside a frozen mountain about 1,130 kilometers from the North Pole, in the archipelago of Svalbard, Norway. Tucked away in this giant refrigerated vault is the foundation of humans’ food – seeds. Neatly packed and frozen to withstand hundreds of years of storage and just about any conceivable destructive force known to humans are duplicates of seeds of different crops from all over the world, including more than a hundred thousand seeds of different rice types.

The Vault's illuminated roof against the scenic surroundings. Photo by Mari Tefre / Global Crop Diversity Trust

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) sent its final batch of rice seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, dubbed the “Doomsday Vault,” in November 2010. IRRI deposited the largest shipment of 70,180 for the inauguration of the Vault in February 2008. Following its last shipment, IRRI now has the largest number of accessions, amounting to 112,807, for any single crop and its wild relatives kept in the Vault.

These are duplicates of the rice diversity conserved in IRRI’s International Rice Genebank (IRRI-IRG). Dr. Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, evolutionary biologist and IRRI’s T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center head, assures that IRRI takes every reasonable measure to make the collection in the IRRI-IRG safe.

“The IRRI-IRG is earthquake-proof, typhoon-proof, and flood-proof,” Dr. Sackville Hamilton explains. “We also have an independent backup power supply to protect against power cuts, and we keep a supply of spares in stock to deal rapidly with equipment failure. We also have a backup collection to the primary collection kept at IRRI that is untouched, but provides immediate backup.”

Dr. Sackville Hamilton said that, since 1980, IRRI has also been keeping another backup of the IRRI-IRG collection at Fort Collins, Colorado, in the United States. “The United States’ environmental and political risks are different from those in the Philippines,” he further explains. “This backup collection in Fort Collins adds to the safety measures being taken at IRRI.

“The collection kept in Svalbard is our ultimate backup. We cannot conceive of any other measure we could take to make it safer. We cannot think of a more secure system to safeguard this vital resource.”

Life’s frozen cellar

The frozen mountains, the isolation, and the polar bears that provide extra layers of security are just some of the reasons why the world’s agricultural heritage found itself a fortress in Svalbard, Norway.

According to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, “The technical conditions of the site are virtually perfect. The location inside the mountain increases security and unparalleled insulation properties. The area is geologically stable, humidity levels are low, and it has no measurable radiation inside the mountain. The Vault is placed well above sea level (130 meters), far above the point of any projected sea-level rise.”

The Trust is a public-private partnership that raises funds from individual, corporate, and government donors to establish an endowment that will provide complete and continuous funding for key crop collections.

The Trust explains that, even if the supply of electricity gets cut off, the frozen mountain and its thick rocks will keep the seeds frozen for a long time. The Vault, constructed by the Norwegian government as a “service to the world,” is managed under terms between the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Norwegian government, and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center.

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2004 provided the platform through which an international legal framework for conserving and accessing crop diversity, as well as building the Vault, became a reality.

Taming the wild

Although thousands of rice species exist around the world, only a few of these are being cultivated. These cultivated rice varieties are naturally diverse. This diversity, however, is not enough to build better varieties. It is, in this case, more than in any other, that the extraordinary diversity in rice and its wild relatives becomes crucial.

For decades, scientists have been scouring the unbeaten path of the vast wild rice gene pool to look for genes that allow them to develop rice that provides more yield and is tolerant of stresses such as drought, heat, flooding, and saline soil.

Among the major setbacks to food production today is the increasing scarcity of resources. Hence, we look more closely at rice, and at every other crop species, to find ways to unlock the many secrets of its gene pool and help it adapt, survive, and thrive despite the many challenges.

Such is the story of “scuba rice”—the IRRI-bred variety that can withstand being submerged under water for 2 weeks (see Scuba rice). Many years ago, an Indian low-yielding rice variety called FR13A caught the imagination of scientists due to one remarkable trait: flood tolerance. For years, scientists looked for the genes that gave FR13A its flood-resistant characteristic. And, when they found it, they named the gene “SUB1.”

Today, high-yielding varieties that had been given the flood-resistance gene are helping rice farmers cope with frequently flooded rice fields. The wonderful story of the previously unremarkable FR13A highlights why the world should be worried about vanishing plant species and rice varieties.

Treasure on loan

A nuclear holocaust need not happen to spell doomsday for food sources. Every day, a crop species is lost to typhoons, floods, war, and, sometimes, to simple things like mismanagement or lack of a sustained power supply.

It is hard for some people to appreciate the importance of conservation. But, thinking of crop conservation as a way of keeping a good credit record may help, because “biodiversity, the world’s most valuable resource, is on loan to us from our children.”

Diversity is the insurance for food security. Every time a species is lost, that diversity narrows, which means that the number of options shrinks as well. There is something “in” these vanishing varieties that is priceless: genes. These genes hold the many answers to questions on basic survival and sustaining life on the planet.

Scientists said that warmer temperature causes lower yield for rice. They may not be able to do something about the heat that gets trapped in the atmosphere, but they can do something about the food. They can breed varieties that can stand up to climate change.

Food for the next generation

Backing up and protecting the world’s diverse agricultural heritage are giving this generation, and the next, options to get around nature’s roadblocks as the human population grows, while the resources that are needed to meet the corresponding demand for nourishment become scarce.

These “options” are kept frozen, ready to be retrieved when events of the future require it. It is a way of ensuring that food keeps coming even well after this generation has passed on.





Three rebels in Leyte surrender in succession to 19th Infantry Battalion

By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO, Samar News.com
July 24, 2011

CALBAYOG CITY  –  Three members of the local communist terrorist movement in Leyte Province laid down their arms and surrendered to the 19th Infantry “COMMANDO” Battalion this month.

LtCol Federico J Tutaan, Commanding Officer of the 19IB said that the surrender of the rebels is a manifestation of the positive effects of the relentless information drive efforts of the battalion in “reaching out to the whole populace” and explaining to them the reformed government programs for peace, security and development. He said that the 19IB has been conducting symposia, teach-ins, lectures and dialogues with high schools and universities, as well as communities down to the barangays and sitios in pursuit of the AFP’s Campaign Plan “Bayanihan” calling for a united effort of bringing peace to the province of Leyte.

LtCol Tutaan identified the three “now former rebels” as Carmelino Lebres Bulfa alias “Jackson,” Arthuro Librano Gamayon alias “Art / Rex” and Berting Codog Eleuterio alias “Bogart / Unaw.”

The three revealed that sometime late June, they jointly decided to end their participation and commitment to the rebel cause and run away from the area, citing several reasons like hunger in the mountains and forests, leadership conflicts as well as abuses by their cadres, lack of supplies and equipment, and overall general discontent for their supposed cause which they all described as “walang patutunguhan.”

Initially they did not think of surrendering to the government agencies like the LGU, Army or PNP. They admitted that all they wanted then was to get away from the local communist movement due to their dissatisfaction on their “mahirap na buhay” and to eventually find and start new lives for themselves.

The three former rebels, from different squads of the “Pingkoy Platoon” of the Front Committee-Leyte of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC), revealed that on a pre-set date, they all left their firearms in their respective temporary jungle base (encampment) sites in Albuera, Leyte and without a word just walked away and soonafter rendezvoused in a designated meeting area.

Bulfa and Gamayon thereafter travelled all the way to Liloan, Southern Leyte and boarded a commercial vessel to Mindanao, ending up in Agusan Del Norte. They both proceeded to the home of Bulfa’s uncle and both had started to work in the small farm. Eleuterio went on his own way.

Two weeks after running away from the “kilusan” Bulfa contacted his parents and siblings back in Baybay, Leyte and informed them that he wanted to return to Baybay and surrender to the authorities, particularly to the 19th Infantry Battalion in order to “clear his name and record” and thus live freely along the mainstream of society. The parents then sought the help and assistance of Baybay Mayor Carmen L. Cari who facilitated Bulfa’s return travel and also contacted LtCol Tutaan to turnover Bulfa alias “Jackson” on July 3, 2011.

Upon his surrender, Bulfa revealed his story and added that Gamayon was still in Agusan Del Norte with no friends and relatives. Bulfa also said that he had already told Gamayon about the good treatment of the 19IB towards him and even his parents, to include the sick child of his sister to whom LtCol Tutaan gave financial assistance for medical treatment. Bulfa was also thankful for the financial assistance to his parents, along with rice and canned goods, plus transportation fare. Gamayon was thus convinced to surrender.

Immediately, LtCol Tutaan sent 19IB intelligence operatives together with Bulfa to Agusan Del Norte to fetch Gamayon and bring him back to the Battalion Headquarters in Kananga, Leyte. Gamayon alias “Art” officially surrendered to 19IB in the morning of July 5, 2011.

Gamayon alias “Art” was the one who revealed that he knew the whereabouts of Berting Eleuterio alias “Bogart” and that he personally knew that the latter also wanted to surrender to 19IB. LtCol Tutaan again dispatched the intelligence operatives together with Gamayon to fetch Eleuterio in Sitio Can-Alay, Barangay Buroc, Ormoc City. Eleuterio was found there along with his siblings tilling the soil of the family farm and was overwhelmed to be welcomed by the 19IB troops. Eleuterio alias “Bogart” surrendered at noontime of July 7, 2011. Moreover, he also surrendered to LtCol Tutaan one caliber .45 pistol and one 9 mm pistol with ammunition.

Bulfa and Eleuterio were eventually escorted by 19IB personnel to their respective homes and were given by LtCol Tutaan modest financial assistance as well as food supplies to start their lives over.

In a related development, Gamayon alias “Art” who remained in the Battalion Headquarters eventually felt at ease and at home and thus revealed that while in the “kilusan” he had buried two (2) rifle grenades he had been carrying but had never found a way to use them. Thereafter special intelligence teams from 19IB went with Gamayon to recover the two rifle grenades and were brought to 19IB Headquarters.

Of late, Gamayon has revealed that there were actually five of them who ran away from the “Pingkoy Platoon” and that he will help locate the two others whom he reveals also want to surrender to 19IB.

With these latest developments, and based on the revelations of the three former rebels, it can be gleamed that the communist terrorist movement in the Baybay-Albuera-Ormoc complex, particularly the “Pingkoy Platoon” is dwindling in strength and capability, thanks to the relentless Peace and Development efforts of the 19th Infantry “COMMANDO” Battalion.

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