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
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
5th Anniversary of the Inopacan exhumation
By ANAD Partylist
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
The 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!
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!
accomplishments: A fitting tribute to a leader who believes in
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
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
What propelled the
Storm Troopers Division to become the best division in the entire
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.
different stakeholders together is one thing. Enabling them to work
together is another. This is the challenge.
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
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
And their voices did
not fall on deaf ears.
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
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
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
The first was a footprint on the Moon. The
second one is a freezer
By MARIA LIZBETH BAROÑA / IRRI / PNS
This freezer, however,
is one dug deep inside a frozen mountain about 1,130 kilometers from
the North Pole, in the archipelago of
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 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
“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
Dr. Sackville Hamilton
said that, since 1980, IRRI has also been keeping another backup of
the IRRI-IRG collection at
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.