The surrender was
initially made on May 12, 2008 by the three (3) contagious Barangays
namely, Cagpili, Cagtoog, and Balingasag and then other Barangays
followed the next day until May 16, 2008. In their statement, they
were recruited, threatened, coerced and intiminated for years by the
elements of New People’s Army operating in the Municipalities of Oras,
Jipapad, Arteche and San Policarpo all of Eastern Samar Province.
The CT supporters are
now uprising against the CPP/NPA/NDF and vow to condemn this evil
group as early as possible by filing a complaint in court against the
NPA for committing extortion, illegal recruitment, land grabbing and
summary killings of innocent civilians.
Now, the civilian
populace lamented and wished for the immediate destruction and
dissolution of communist terrorists particularly in the upstream barangays in order to preserve peace tantamount for community
development and to alleviate their living condition.
The mass surrender
of CT supporters and lie low NPA members to 14IB was the result of a
joint effort by the Local Government Units and different agencies of
Oras Municipality under the leadership of Mayor Neil Alvarez and other
pro-government groups in the municipality. The army unit has conducted
interrogation to facilitate the complaint of the subject surrenderees
in the filing of appropriate charges in court against the communist
“Buhawi” appears in
Saint Bernard, throws people in slight panic
By Bong Pedalino (PIA Southern
May 21, 2008
SAINT BERNARD, Southern
Leyte – A “buhawi” or twister shows its menacing form in the
seawaters of this town about past one o’clock in the afternoon
Tuesday, throwing people in a bit of a panic as they rushed scampering
to higher ground – many flocked to the municipal building – for
In Maasin City, PIA
got wind of this event and tried immediately to contact Saint Bernard
Mayor Rico Rentuza through his cellular phone who confirmed that the
incident did happen.
Mayor Rentuza placed
the specific moment of the twister’s appearance at 1:30 PM, and at
that time he was attending a Mass at the town’s church to mark the
opening salvo of their annual town fiesta celebration on May 29.
He saw the top part of
the black fearsome twister outside the church, since everybody got out
on learning what was going on, disrupting the Mass that was just
It went on for about
15 to 20 minutes, and luckily only the rains fell on land and the
strong, circling winds remained at sea until it vanished, the Mayor
The Mass resumed after
the “buhawi” disappeared, the rains stopped, the clouds cleared, and
the people started going back to their homes.
Mayor Rentuza said he
himself gave the order for the people’s return to their houses after
having talked with Prisco Nilo of PAG-ASA who assured him the natural
phenomenon was localized, being the result of a convergence point of
lightning and thunder.
Residents in the four
coastal barangays of Magbagacay, Malibago, Himatagon (poblacion area),
and San Isidro were quick to evacuate to the three designated
evacuation centers at the town’s gym, health center, and the municipal
building at the height of the “buhawi”.
estimated those who sought refuge at the town hall as about 200
people, while those who went to the gym and the health center he could
not yet figure out, saying he was still calling for an assessment
Asked how he felt
during the incident, the Mayor said he was a little bit worried since
his family was in the beach at barangay Malibago, and he had calmed
down only after talking with his wife who had earlier reached the town
“We had a tsunami
drill, but we did not have a buhawi drill,” Mayor Rentuza quipped,
even as he admitted the drills had helped in evacuating the people.
“We just treat the
buhawi as a natural show which is part of our (fiesta) opening salvo
activities,” the Mayor said, smiling – and trusting that everything,
indeed, was in order.
development in full blast
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The Guiuan Airport Development Project, a SONA commitment of
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is now being implemented in full
The airport is seen as
the key to the coming of more tourists to the island paradise which is
being promoted by no less than President Arroyo as a major destination
in the Visayas.
Already, an airline
company has agreed to make flights at the Guiuan Airport once it is
Development Council Project Monitoring team reported that the
estimated project cost is P142 Million and so far, the amount of P10
Million and P15 Million was allocated in 2006 and 2007. For 2008, the
amount of P70 Million has been programmed.
The 2006 and 2007
allocation was used for the construction and concreting of Apron and
Taxiway and for the rehabilitation of the
The construction of
Apron and Taxiway was completed in September of 2007 while the
concreting of the Apron and Taxiway was completed in January of 2008.
The rehabilitation of the Passenger Terminal Building is 80 percent
Meanwhile, the P70
Million programmed for 2008 is for the construction of the perimeter
fence, site acquisition and construction of access road, completion of
apron and taxiway and asphalt overlay runway.
The RDC Monitoring
Team reported that the construction of the perimeter fence is on-going
The Guiuan Airport
Development Project is a priority project of President Arroyo in line
with her super region concept of development where Region 8 is part of
the Central Philippines Super Region envisioned to be the tourism
center of the country.
In Region 8, the
Calicoan Islands in Guiuan is being developed as an important tourist
destination. A sanctuary of privacy and indulgence highlighted by
tropical landscape and surrounded by the relaxing sound of the ocean –
this is how Calicoan, will win the hearts of local and international
Calicoan Island boasts
of miles of white sand beaches. With powerful swells rolling in from
the Pacific over the 10,000 meters Philippine Deep, Calicoan is a
The rich diversity
of the area is evident when one sees the exotic species being sold.
The surrounding waters support several marine based industries such as
fish, seaweed, and pearl farming. In the middle of the island are six
lagoons ringed by forest, the largest being 30 hectares in size. At
the cliffside margin of Calicoan's forests are dozens of caves. On the
northern tip of Calicoan are wetlands like the Everglades, teeming
with fish, shrimp, and crabs.
Samar AIDS advocates commemorate
25th International candlelight memorial
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
May 19, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Samar officials, youth and religious groups gathered at dusk of May
18, 2008 at the Catbalogan City hall plaza to commemorate the 25th
International AIDS candlelight memorial.
Board Member Ida Lim
who heads the Health and Women Committee at the Samar Sangguniang
Panlalawigan delivered a message that sends a strong and stern warning
to the gathered youth to at least delay sexual engagement to avoid
(KS), a youth organization composed of Sangguniang Kabataan members
spearheaded the activity that mobilized Jesus is Lord Movement in
Catbalogan City, the PNP, 8th ID Phil. Army, Bureau of Fire
Protection, City and provincial health offices, the Leyte Family
Development Organization (LEYFADO), Young Adult Stakeholders, Dr.
Simeon Babalcon of Samar State University and a group of tricycle
drivers calling themselves NAPAID led by former media man Paul Rediang
that joined the candle light march.
Speakers wail the lack
of advocates in the LGUs that will advance the cause by sponsoring
ordinances and policies that will support the cause of HIV/AIDS
The highlight of the
event was the personal testimony of “Tintin” (not her real name) who
has been tested positive of HIV and is now a member of the Positive
Action Foundation Philippines.
was sponsored by the City government of Catbalogan to give a face to
the HIV/AIDS issue.
“Tintin”, speaking in
Tagalog stressed that persons living with HIV/AIDS do not deserve “awa
but unawa”. She also said that they are not the problem but are part
of the solution.
With her presence
and testimony, KS hopes that youngsters will be aware and be careful
with their sexuality to avoid being inflicted with the dreaded disease
that has no cure yet.
Esperon as peace
adviser an irony – Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
May 19, 2008
Philippines – The appointment of retired General Hermogenes Esperon
as the president's adviser on peace process is a paradox, senator Chiz
Escudero today said.
Escudero said it would
be difficult for Esperon and the public to reconcile his previous role
as a combatant with his new-found position in the peace negotiation.
"How can he advise GMA on peace if all he did throughout his career is
search and destroy the enemy?"
The opposition senator
has reservations on Esperon making "unity attractive" to those
considered by the government insurgents. "For someone to sit in the
peace negotiating table, he or she has to provide the stimulus to
forge genuine peace and end the long standing war and impunities from
both sides. He has to provide the momentum to also resolve other
conflicts in the country thorough democratic processes."
Escudero said trust
and respect from both sides should be present to gather everyone on
the peace negotiation table. But with Esperon who furiously
implemented the counter-insurgency program that was deemed a ticket to
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances by the UN special
rapporteur, the senator said Esperon "might find himself a square peg
in a round hole".
The senator said he
believes there are other people who are a lot qualified and suitable
to the job and who can command acceptability and respect to the
parties involved in the peace agreement. "Although I have serious
doubts about General Esperon, I wish him well since he welcomes the
job in a tight embrace. Let us just hope that he can usher democratic
transformation in the country's search for a long lasting
reconciliation and peace.
Basey clean and
sanitation program calls for demolition of houses, illegal structures
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos of Basey, Samar has initiated another
developmental program that aims not only to secure a clean and healthy
environment for the Basaynons but also to make the municipality a
This is the Clean and
Sanitation Program which calls for the demolition of illegal
structures including those already converted into residential houses,
along the town’s seawall, to minimize environmental hazards caused by
the occupants of the said structures, Ms. Bonavie M. Robinio,
information assistant of Basey LGU, disclosed.
created the Clean and Sanitation Committee Task Force composed of the
Municipal Health Officer, Municipal Engineer, Municipal Social Welfare
Officer and the Tourism Officer, among others, which is now in the
process of issuing notices of demolition to the constituents who will
be affected by the project implementation.
Ms. Vilma Tiu, the
municipal social welfare officer, informed that the affected
individuals and families will be relocated at the Tinibgan area at
Barangay Buscada within the poblacion. She added that the affected
families will be recommended to become recipients of the Gawad Kalinga
Program in collaboration with the Local Government of Basey.
A component of the
Program is the clearing of the waterways, particularly the Lawaan
River, Golden River and other tributaries in Basey in line with the
Save the River, Save Life concept.
Another component is
the clearing of 20 meters easement from the seawall starting at Trece
Martires Street at Barangay Baybay up to the Bridge of Barangay
Palaypay in the poblacion area.
Ms. Tiu disclosed that
the demolition is in preparation to the LGU’s plan to put up Basey
Riverwalk and Boulevard along said areas.
Basey is fast becoming
a tourist destination because of its natural wonders which include the
Sohoton Cave, Rawis Caves and Balantak Falls, and the friendly and
Estorninos and the municipal officials of Basey are on the right
track. Developmental projects such as this will surely bring not only
more tourists to the municipality, more importantly, it will secure a
clean and healthy environment for the people of Basey, Samar.
LGU-Basey, DENR agree
to co-manage 15,000 hectares parks, watershed areas
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– In answer to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s vision of Region
8 as part of the Central Philippines Tourism Super Region and her call
for environmental protection and conservation; and in order to
effectively manage the parks and forests within its boundaries, the
Local Government of Basey in the province of Samar entered into a
co-management agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources Region 8.
Ms. Bonavie M. Robinio,
information assistant of Basey LGU, bared that the launching of the
concerted effort was conducted at Sitio Rawis, Barangay Guirang, by
the municipal Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos and other municipal officials,
and PENRO George Guillermo and CENRO Eli Aya-ay, with the members of
the people’s organizations of Sitio Rawis and Barangay Mabini in
Part of the
co-management agreement is the administration of the Forest Land Use
Plan, wherein the 15,000 hectares of Basey Forests which includes
parks and watershed areas, will be co-managed by the DENR and LGU.
and Natural Resources Officer George Guillermo disclosed that
scheduled to be turned over for management, to the Local Government
Unit of Basey, is the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, the town’s
most frequently visited destination.
expressed willingness to support the LGU’s thrust of environmental
protection and conservation.
disclosed that a development plan for the famous tourist destination,
the Rawis Caves Municipal Eco Park including the Balantak Falls, will
be formulated based on rural eco-tourism development.
Mayor Estorninos also
bared that the Basey-Sohoton Road leading to the Sohoton Cave, will be
given top priority to make it more accessible to both local and
foreign tourists. In fact, this calendar year, 2008, the Department of
Public Works and Highways allocated P25 Million for the concreting and
rehabilitation of said road, Mayor Estoninos added.
For the co-management
agreement, a Technical Working Group was created through an executive
order issued by Mayor Estorninos.
Working Group is composed of personnel from the two entities including
the barangay chairmen of Barangays Guirang and Mabini.
'Roach will not gamble
Pacquiao's future in 135-lb'
By Alex P. VIDAL / PNS
May 18, 2008
Philippines – If he knows that Manny Pacquiao will be harmed and
destroyed in the lightweight division, Freddie Roach will never gamble
the future of the Filipino ring heartthrob by allowing him to fight
World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion David Diaz on June 28
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This was the opinion
given by lawyer and boxing analyst Manuel Justiniani, 65, who
predicted that "Manny Pacquiao will, in fact, dominate the lightweight
division for a long time."
force is in lightweight division, not in the superfeatherweight,"
averred Justiniani, a former legal adviser of Iloilo Governor Niel D.
Tupas. "I see him dominating the lightweight division and nobody can
beat them there."
He considers Roach, a
Hall of Famer coach, as a "brilliant handler of world champions" who
will never allow his wards to be waylaid by superior fighters.
"Fred Roach knows that
he will be discredited if Pacquiao will lose. He will be the first man
to discourage Pacquiao from scaling the lightweight division if he
knows that Pacquiao has no chances (of beating Diaz)," added
The veteran lawyer
predicts that the 29-year-old Pacquiao (46-3, 35 KO) will demolish the
31-year-old Diaz (34-1, 17 KO) in the later rounds-between seven to 11
He said "Pacquiao is
very dangerous in these rounds unless he can connect a KO punch in the
Pacman's edge over his
foes is his style in the ring, explained the lawyer. "Pacquiao is
different because when he attacks, he waves his head and he can't be
hit. Even Marco Antonio Barrera was surprised that he could not hit
Justiniani said when
Pacquiao throws his punch in the left, he moves in the right side and
he throws heavy punches that could finish off even the best fighters
in his division. Pacquiao, he said, fights until the last round "and
his force is still there."
"In fact, he is a lot
better than (Floyd) Mayweather," Justiniani said. "No Filipino boxer
can match Pacquiao's ferocity and talent; not even (International
Boxing Federation flyweight champion Nonito) Donaire and Manny's
brother Bobby Pacquiao. Pacquiao is better than (World Boxing
Organization bantamweight king) Gerry Peñalosa and other Filipino
world champions in the past."
Pacquiao fights, I stop doing what I am doing. That's how I admire
him," he concluded. "He is the greatest Filipino world champion."
Most of the 18 port
projects in region 8 have been completed – PPA
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Manager Winfred G. Elizalde of the Philippine Ports Authority in
Region 8 informed that 13 of the 18 ports projects in Region 8 under
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Accelerated Hunger Mitigation
Program, have already been completed.
Manager Elizalde said
that President Arroyo, alarmed over the increasing incidence of hunger
in the country, issued a directive for an Accelerated Hunger
Mitigation Program which includes measures such as the increased food
production, enhanced efficiency of logistics and food delivery which
will address the supply side of the hunger issue while putting more
money in poor people's pockets, promoting good nutrition and managing
population will address the demand side of the issue.
The Ports (RO-RO)
projects fall under the enhanced efficiency of logistics and food
delivery measure, that will address and ensure faster and more
efficient and less expensive supply side of the hunger issue, Manager
disclosed that three of the six port projects under the Priority Two
Provinces have been completed while the other remaining three are in
near completion stage.
The Improvement of
Almagro Port in Western Samar, which had a total funding of P7,400,945
was completed as of December 2, 2007, Manager Elizalde said.
The other two
completed port projects which are also in
Samar are the
Improvement of Sto. Niño Port and the Improvement of Pagsanghan Port.
The Sto. Niño Port Project with a total cost of P8,763,492 was
completed as of October 28, 2007; while the
improvement with a total funding of P6,059,901 was also completed on
October 28, 2007.
The three ongoing port
projects under Prioty Two Province include Calbayog Port’s Extension
of RC Pier in Samar province; and the Construction of RO-RO Ramp and
at Naval Port; and the Port Expansion Project (RO-RO Ramp,
and Back-Up Area) at Maripipi Port, in Biliran province.
The P46.303 Million
Calbayog Port Extension of RC Pier was reported to be 77.77 percent
complete as of April 25, 2008, Manager Elizalde said. The P52.798
Million project at Naval Port is 81.56 percent complete as of April
25, 2008 while the P49.049
project is 91.91 percent complete as of
April 25, 2008.
Meanwhile, under the
Priority Three Provinces, there are four port projects in Leyte; three
in Northern Samar; and five in Southern Leyte, making a total number
of twelve projects, Manager Elizalde added.
Of the twelve projects
under the Priority Three Provinces, ten have been completed while the
remaining two are ongoing and nearing completion, Manager Elizalde
The four port project
in the province of Leyte have all been completed. These include the
P91.509 Million Hilongos Port - Port Expansion (Reclamation with RO-RO
Ramp) project which was completed as of August 9, 2007; the P9.897
Million San Isidro Port - Port Improvement (construction of RC pier)
project which was completed as of June 29, 2007; the P29.444 Million
San Isidro Port - Rehabilitation of Causeway and Reclamation Project
which has been completed as of December 21, 2007; and the P5.125
Million Rehabilitation of Carigara Port Project which was completed as
of December 19, 2007.
In Northern Samar, the
P13.628 Million Ligaya Port (Sto. Rosario) - Rehabilitation of
Causeway Extension Project has been completed as of October 4, 2007
while the P8.144 Million Biri port - Port Development Construction of
Causeway and Reclamation Project has been completed as of October 4,
The other port project
in Northern Samar, the P32.646 Vinisitahan Port in San Antonio (Dalupirit
Island) - Port Development (Causeway/ RC Deck, Road and Improvement,
RO-RO ramp) is already 91.23 percent complete as of
April 25, 2008.
In the Priority Three
Province of Southern Leyte, four of the five port projects have been
completed. As of April 25, 2008, the P75.399 Million San Ricardo Port
- Port Development Project, was reported to be 64.03 percent complete.
The Liloan Port - Port
Expansion Project with a total funding of P62.659 Million was
completed on September 01, 2007. The Padre Burgos Port - Widening of
Causeway, RC Pier Project with a funding of P11.883 Million was
completed on December 19, 2007.
On the other hand,
the P13.374 Million Limasawa Port- Port Development (Construction of
RC Pier Project) and the P4.240 Million Limasawa Port- Construction of
Passenger Terminal were reported to have been completed as of January
Leyte urged to bid
Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
May 17, 2008
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– After witnessing the games up close in Puerto Princesa City and
how the country’s “Summer Tourism Capital” organized and hosted the
multi-sports event, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Victor
Domingo urged local government units in the region as well as the city
government of Tacloban to work together to vie for the hosting of the
next Palarong Pambansa.
Secretary Domingo said
he has already talked to Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla to bid
for the hosting of the Palaro, as a province, since among the
province’s property is the Leyte Sports Complex, formerly the BR
Sports Complex and better known as the Leyte Grandstand, which can
accommodate most of the track and field sports that are very important
competitions in a national sporting event.
“The governor has
given a positive response to this idea saying the provincial
government can allot money to improve the place especially for its
track and field course,” Sec. Domingo disclosed.
It was learned from
the region’s presidential assistant that the governor has spoken to
unleash at least P10 million to improve the present dirt track of the
sports complex into a rubberized surface to meet the standards of the
The region last hosted
the national sports event in 1983, which Sec. Domingo said, has
already been a long time for the region to play host again while
adding that Eastern Visayas’ provinces or cities has the capacity to
bid to host more or less 10,000 athletes, coaches, chaperons and
delegation officials who will attend the national games for both the
elementary and secondary levels.
“We have to bid now
because if we lost to this bid, it would take another five years again
before we can qualify to bid again,” Domingo said.
The Department of
Education is tasked to inspect the province or the city which vies to
host the event particularly to look at the capability of the different
playing venues, peace and order situation, transportation and other
Sec. Domingo said the
DepEd in the region is already looking into this at the moment if
Leyte or Tacloban can again play host to the Palaro more than 20 years
after it last hosted the same.
Aside from Gov.
Petilla, Sec. Domingo said Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza has
expressed their province’s intention to provide support to whichever
Eastern Visayas province would be declared as host.
year’s Palaro hosted by Puerto Princesa, the DepEd, which organizes
the yearly summer sporting event, had observed that the digital age
has come to the Palaro such as electronic touch pads for swimming
events, called dolphin timers, electronic touch-scoring system in the
contact sports and especially designed UV light detectors to check the
veracity of birth certificates issued by the National Statistics
Office to athletes, among others.
Tattoo lovers joins
tattooing events in Tacloban City
By GAY B. GASPAY (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Tattoo lovers in region 8 and other parts of the country will be
joining two separate tattooing events on May 18, 2008 at CAP Bldg.
(Price Mansion) and RTR Plaza, Tacloban City.
The tattoo symposium
which will be held morning of May 18 at CAP Bldg will speculate on the
"Pintado" tattoo motifs of yesteryears basing on the diffusion it had
from its South East Asian and Pacific neighbors such as Borneo, Samoa,
Fiji, Tahiti and etc., which has a great influence on the pintado
tattoo people which the Spaniards used to call.
This was disclosed by
Leyte Heritage Society Visual Arts coordinator Dulce Cuna in an
According to Ms. Cuna,
the artists who will be attending the symposium from the academe and
government sector will know more on the speculative treatise on how
close Borneo, Tongan, Samoan tattoo motifs may be to the vanished "Pintado"
tattoo. It will likewise teach our people in the region our history if
they listen to during the symposium she added.
Ms. Cuna is
also inviting bisdaks, tattoo aficionado, tattoo artists around the
Visayas to attend and compete in the contest of Henna Tattooing which
will be held the same day on May 18 in the afternoon at the RTR Plaza.
Artists joining the
Henna Tattoo competition are advised to bring along with them henna
applicator and model. The artists will be tattooing their models arms
The contest will
evolve on the most artistic tattoo with Filipino or regional ethnic
design, with relevance of the tattoo use to history heritage, its
social impact of the motif use and the neatness of the henna
application will give more weight to its contest would be winners.
Cash prices awaits the
1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner of the contest with medals and
certificates Ms. Cuna further said.
The tattoo events was
one of the affairs adornment fun and cultural pride of Eastern Visayas
under the auspices of the Filipino Heritage Commission, Leyte Heritage
Society and co-organize by Kulahig.
symposium & henna tattoo competition is in line with its Filipino
Heritage month celebration wherein Her Excellency President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo declares the month of May every year as the National
Heritage Month through Proclamation No. 439 signed August 11, 2003.