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Sandiganbayan denies motion of accused Samar governor, 2 others

Eastern Samar Governor is LGU Adviser for Public Affairs, PGMA says

Evardone visits Maslog town, releases P1 million dev’t fund

Trio of young leaders embarks on a crusade for good, ethical governance

PGMA rides through storm Pablo in region 8

An Waray partylist donates P1M for training center in Basey

Road rehab in Samar’s capital city to usher in agricultural productivity

CenCom chief awards medals to soldiers of 34th IB as PGMA gives cash assistance to wounded soldiers in Mindanao

10 Samar towns figured in the top twenty nutritionally depressed municipalities in Region 08

PMS ASec Cui: PGMA visit to Catbalogan, Samar not cancelled, just postponed


Samar governor Mila Tan suspended, Redaja assumed into office

November 12, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Samar Vice Governor Jesus B. Redaja assumed into office as the Acting Governor of this province on Tuesday following the suspension order from the Sandiganbayan 4th Division on the criminal case filed against elected Governor Milagrosa T. Tan.

Posting of Preventive Suspension of Samar governor Milagrosa Tan
Atty. Darwin Bibar, DILG 8 legal division chief, posting the suspension order and memorandum issued by the Sandiganbayan and DILG secretary respectively outside of the Governor’s office to effect the 90-day preventive suspension of governor Milagrosa Tan.

Department of Interior and Local Government Region 8 Director William Paler served the suspension order.  The memorandum order signed by DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno, directed the now suspended Governor Tan to cease and desist from further exercising the powers and performing the duties, functions and responsibilities of the Office of the Governor of Western Samar for a period of 90 days.  The memorandum order likewise directed the suspended Governor to yield the said position to the Vice Governor to assume the Office of the Governor in an acting capacity pursuant to section 46 of the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

Redaja, serving his second term as Vice Governor of the province, was sworn into office as Acting Governor by the DILG Regional Director Paler immediately after serving the memorandum order to Tan’s office.

In a separate memorandum, Redaja now in his capacity as acting governor is directed to assume, in an acting capacity, the office of the Governor while Tan’s temporary legal incapacity subsists. He is likewise mandated to cause the implementation of the 90 day preventive suspension of the other provincial government officials involved in the case.

Tan, along with her Provincial Administrative Officer Rolando Montejo, Provincial Accountant Romeo c. Reales, Provincial Budget Officer Maximo D. Sison and Property Inspector Officer Numeriano C. Legaspi are placed under preventive suspension for a period of 90 days starting upon receipt of the said order.

It will be recalled that the office of the Secretary of the Interior and Local governments received in October 28, 2008 the copy of the Sandiganbayan 4th Division Resolution in the criminal case number SB-06-CRM-0457 to SB-06-CRM-0464.  And in accordance of the said Resolutions dated July 11 and October 17, 2008 the Department of Interior and Local Governments through the Secretary is mandated to implement.





Gov. Evardone to continue to upgrade hospitals in Eastern Samar

November 12, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Gov. Ben P. Evardone recently divulged that the provincial government will facilitate in upgrading the provincial and district hospitals in Eastern Samar.

Governor Ben Evardone inspects medical equipments
Governor Evardone inspects the P24M medical equipments given by the Rotary World Health Network to Eastern Samar through the Rotary Club Borongan. Chapter.

The governor announced that by November, this year, the bidding will start for a P9 million project to improve the physical facilities of the Oras district hospital. Another P3 million will be soon available also for Oras hospital for upgrading of its equipment.

“I have requested this fund from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the purpose of purchasing medical equipment in Oras,” Evardone said.

Gov. Evardone also announced that some P10 million will be coming in next year for physical upgrade of Albino Duran Memorial Hospital in Balangiga town. Another P2 million was requested by the governor from the President to purchase more hospital equipment in Guiuan hospital.

Meantime, a construction is also going on in Guiuan hospital which is being funded by Senator Edgardo Angara amounting to P5 million.

“We are all doing these to provide added services to our constituents,” the provincial chief said.

Meanwhile, the provincial government facilitated as well the transportation of medical and dental equipment from the United States through the Rotary Club Borongan Chapter. The set of equipment, courtesy of Rotary World Health Network, is worth P24 million.

“We are thankful to the governor and some other individuals and government units for providing us funds for the transport of these facilities from Manila,” former Rotary Chapter President Rebecca Tiu Songco said upon arrival of the first batch of equipment.

Tiu Songco revealed that only three countries were benefitted by the distribution of the equipment through the RWHN. “Here in the Philippines, RWHN chose Eastern Samar to be the recipient of the medical and dental equipment,” she said.

The former Rotary president said that their group only spent around P300,000 for the transportation of the P24 million worth of equipment from Manila to Borongan as it was shipped to the country for free.

Governor Evardone, invited to witness the unloading of the medical package, said that he will leave the distribution of the facilities to the Rotary. “The Rotary will distribute the package in consultation maybe with the chief of hospitals and probably through the Local Health Zones,” the governor said.

“I just want to thank also the Rotary Club of Borongan for facilitating projects and other programs not only on the health sector,” Evardone said. Rotary Club of Borongan is also active in facilitating programs on livelihood, education and other projects that promote welfare of Eastern Samareños.





NAPC trains Samarnons on Micro finance

November 11, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) vowed to create more jobs for Filipinos especially the farmers, fisherfolks,  teachers and other people’s organization.

This, NAPC affirmed in a two-day Provincial Training Seminar for Financial Literacy Trainers Program held on November 6-7, 2008 at the Maqueda Hotel, Catbalogan City.

Some 75 Samarnons from Calbiga, Tarangnan, Pinabacdao, Catbalogan and from Eastern Samar attended the training. Trainees were taught about Microfinance, their roles and responsibilities as clients, budgeting and planning, savings and investments. Business Development Services also added to the knowledge of the participants.

ASec. Dolores De Quiros of NAPC explained that aside from getting access to microfinance, Filipinos should also be made aware of their responsibilities as micro finance clients. She added that the national government aims to assist 320,000 households throughout the country. If ever that happens, de Quiros said it is easier to have food on the table.

Similarly, USec. Connie Dy also echoed the pronouncements made by de Quiros.

Meanwhile, as early as August 2008, the government vowed to create more employment opportunities for nearly 1 million Filipinos.

The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) revealed that close to 1 million unskilled workers, farmers and unemployed laborers can expect new jobs and better livelihood opportunities this year.

NAPC Secretary Domingo Panganiban, in anonline news, said that President Arroyo's administration plans to increase its employment generation programs this year to reduce hunger and unemployment among Filipinos.

He said that the government aims to generate more than 860,000 new jobs for poor and hungry folk through the expansion of its micro finance services, skills training and coconut intercropping programs in more than 50 priority provinces and the National Capital Region (NCR).

"We will concentrate the bulk of our jobs and livelihood generation programs in areas that have the highest levels of hunger and poverty," Panganiban said.

Presently, Samar folks have been getting access through micro finance through the local lending corporations like Samico and Taytay sa Kauswagan. Housewives have been given working capital for their ‘small’ businesses in food trading.





DOH deploys 5 new doctors thru Doctors to the Barrios Program

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 11, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Department of Health -Center for Health Development Eastern Visayas is set to deploy five new doctors to the different municipalities of Region 8 through the Doctors to the Barrios Program.

Director Adelaida Asperin said that a MOA signing is scheduled to be conducted on November 10, 2006 among the new doctors, the Municipal Mayors concerned and the Department of Health.

Dr. Leslie Ann Luces will be assigned at the municipality of Pintuyan, Southern Leyte while Dr. Dax Edward Nofuente will be assigned at the municipality of San Francisco, Southern Leyte.

Dr. Elaine Mira will be assigned to the municipality of Caibiran in Biliran while Dr. Katerina Nono will be deployed at the municipality of Lawaan, Eastern Samar.

The fifth is Dr. Karen Aisa Monje who will be deployed to the municipality of San Roque, Northern Samar.

These Doctors to the Barrios will render services in their respective municipalities for a period of two years. These doctors to the barrios assume the position as local health leader, rural health physician and municipal health officer.

The minimum requirements for interested applicant for entering this program include: that the applicant must be a licensed Doctor of Medicine, Filipino citizen, physically and mentally fit, has a good moral character certified by his medical school, dedication to work in depressed far flung areas, interested in community health, and not more than 50 years old.

The Doctors to the Barrios Program is geared towards helping the deserving depressed and marginalized municipalities in the Region that are deprived of the services of a medical doctor.

The five doctors prove that while legions of Filipino doctors are leaving the country, there is still a remaining force willing to man the frontline of the country’s health system; and willing to entrench themselves in the far-flung 5th and 6th class municipalities in order to safeguard and protect the poor rural countrymen against sickness and diseases.





Gov. Evardone brings province’s founding anniversary to the communities

November 10, 2008

SALCEDO, Eastern Samar  –  This year’s celebration of the 43rd founding anniversary of the province have deviated from the traditional activities to a unique but meaningful one as Gov. Ben P. Evardone with the provincial offices in cooperation with national offices go down to local communities in the 22 towns and 1 city of the province.

The weeklong celebration, which will last on November 10, this year, instead of November 9, will take place in all Local Government Units in the province. “We are giving a new face to the celebration,” Gov. Evardone said.

The governor emphasized that the provincial government has done away with the traditional activities during the previous years and were concentrated only at the provincial captilol. “We are bringing the celebration here to bring more services to the people of Eastern Samar,” the provincial chief noted.

Highlighting the activities for the 43rd anniversary of Eastern Samar as a province is the barangay consultations. Though the governor has no luxury of time to visit all municipalities to hear the concerns of barangay and municipal officials during the week, still the governor assured all participants province-wide that he will attend to their concerns through the different departments clustered to and assigned to all LGUs in Eastern Samar.

“Do not hesitate to ask questions, make suggestions, throw complains and open up concerns because I am interested to know them all so we can improve our services being rendered to you,” Evardone addressed the crowd in Salcedo.

Among the major activities being conducted in various localities in Eastern Samar are Philhealth card distribution, relief cash assistance distribution, medical & dental missions, land titles distribution, seedlings distribution and barangay consultations.

In Llorente and Quinapondan, the governor distributed calamity relief assistance of P1,000 each to 96 hardly hit families of Typhoon Frank. In Llorente, 46 Philhealth cards were distributed to pedicab drivers, tricycle drivers and vendors.

In Salcedo, some 49 ‘Frank’ victims were also handed calamity cash assistance. Evardone also handed land titles to some 43 farmer-beneficiaries through the Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) and Land Registration Authority (LRA).

Meanwhile, medical missions are being held in various towns in Eastern Samar through the Provincial Health Office and Provincial Hospital.

The Provincial Employment Service Office is set to open the Job Fair that will last until the 9th of November. Other than job recruitment, the fair will also provide passport servicing, NBI clearance servicing and other important requirements for overseas works.

Meanwhile, the governor is mulling on holding a regular schedule for barangay and municipal consultations following the success of the same this week. “We need to hold this more often to ensure prompt delivery of services to the people,” Gov. Evardone said.





Eastern Samar marks 43rd Foundation Day uniquely

By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern Samar)
November 7, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Mayor Anton Cardona of LLorente town was all smiles when he and his town mates received on Tuesday the Provincial Information Caravan which was headed by Governor Ben Evardone.

The conduct of a series of InfoCar with 11 various Cluster Groups is in line with the 43rd Founding Anniversary of the province which will be celebrated on Monday, November 10.

“We have deviated from the traditional celebration when only the people at the Capitol mark and celebrate the occasion,” Gov. Ben Evardone spoke to the Lanangnons in his greetings. “This time, there are 11 groups of provincial employees who are now in different places of the province, talking and listening to our peoples yearnings and services needed,” Evardone told his audience.

“I am happy that our provincial officials went down here to our town to bring in varied information, suggestions and recommendation, on how best we can address and handle the problems that beset us,” Mayor Cardona assured his constituents.  “We have longed for this special occasion where we can talk face-to-face with our leaders,” he said, adding that the unique approach this time around of the Foundation Day will “bridge the gap” between the provincial government and the people.

The open forum disclosed the farmers’ common problems on the lack of irrigation systems, the need for certified Palay seeds, the pest in the Cohol and many more.

In response, Jody Paano, Researcher of Department of Agriculture-Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (DA-OPAS) assured the farmers of irrigation facility once a water source exploration is completed.  Also, Paano told the farmers that his office is also doing a study on a flood resistant Palay seeds.  He also advised the crowd to look positively at the Cohol, because when treated fairly, instead of branding it as a “pest” it is edible and a good protein substitute.

The second part of the Caravan was the distribution of PhilHealth Cards by Gov. Evardone and Mayor Cardona to the indigent folks of the 32 barangys of Llorente town.  But the best part of the Caravan was the distribution of calamity aid of One Thousand pesos to each family whose dwelling was totally damaged by recent typhoons.

Maria Boco, a pale mother of six young children who appeared sick moved the heart of the onlookers.  As she walked up close to the distribution line, she obviously quivered.  In a brief conversation with PIA, she revealed she has this ailment.  She trembles for reasons she does not know.  She confessed her husband left her and the generous boys around helped her restore a shanty for her and her kids. Asked what she wants to do with the One thousand pesos, she replied in a soft voice: Ipapalit ko hin bugas kay agsob la kami waray kinakakon (I will buy rice because oftentimes, we do not eat.). Social Worker Lucy Cardona who unknowingly was standing close to us, confirmed that nobody earns a living for Maria and her children.





8th ID CG receives a new star, vows to make the division a great performer as PGMA vowed to remain steadfast in the fight against insurgency

November 7, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division (8th ID) MajGen. Arthur Tabaquero received his new star this week at simple ceremonies in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City.

8th Infantry Division commanding general MGen. Arthur Tabaquero
MajGen. Arthur Tabaquero

In his message, Tabaquero thanked his officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees at the Storm Troopers Division.

He recognized, his message read, the selfless devotion to duty of his men which became instrumental to the falling of the second star on his shoulders.

“I was given this promotion because of your unfailing resolve and conscientious efforts to make our Division a “great performer” and “bastion of democracy” in this part of the country,” he added.

The new Major General expressed hope that the accomplishments of the mission be realized before 2010.

He said that his new responsibilities has: “driven me to work hard to be equal to the challenges brought forth by my ever increasing responsibilities”

He said that his new rank is more of a responsibility than a stature as with the promotion, the AFP and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have high expectations on him to deliver and provide the needed leadership and motivation that will enable the Division to defeat the insurgents in his AOR.

Similarly, PGMA today called on Filipinos to remain vigilant against the "nonsense ideology" of communism that continues to hamper the development and prosperity of a number of Philippine provinces.

In her speech during the closing session of the Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) in Region III ( Central Luzon ) at the Legenda Hotel, the President said that years of government efforts to eradicate the communist insurgency has reduced by half the number of Maoist rebels and, more importantly, their weapons.

She pointed out that rebel "cell sites" have to be eradicated as soon as possible so that their legacy of threat, coercion and the recruitment of innocent victims would finally end.

Her administration’s pro-poor projects and programs are aimed at addressing the decades-long "root" of all poverty – "lack of employment opportunities, problem in the implementation of the land reform law and the issue of human rights violations," she said.

"Here in our administration, a strong and growing economy has been the central pillar we have labored to create precisely to help ensure peace, order and stability in our country. And it’s paying off – our economy is more resilient today than ever before, thanks to our fiscal reforms… that manifested in seven-plus percent GDP (gross domestic product) growth last year," the President said.

"At kasama sa GDP growth last year… we have created almost seven million jobs in seven years," the President added.

The President added that during these trying times, the government is duty bound "to help insulate the Filipino people from these price shocks and economic pressures."

The President praised foreign investors for continuing to believe in the viability of the country as an alternative and very conducive investment destination despite the volatility of the global markets.





Catbalogan City Tourism Development Plan to generate employment in the Province

November 4, 2008

Tourism forum for Catbalogan CityCATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Unemployment problem in the province of Samar may soon be addressed if the Local Government Unit of Catbalogan pursues its  tourism development plan.

Said tourism development plan promises hundreds of jobs to be opened not only to the constituents of the City but also the nearby municipalities and the whole island as well.  Catbalogan, formerly a capital town of Samar, now a new City, offers different amenities that would encourage local and foreign tourists to visit the place.  Just like any other part of the country, the City’s natural resources such as unexplored  caves, mangroves, islands and beaches is expected to bring in tourists to the area.

In a workshop conducted by the City Mayor’s Office in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry Samar Provincial Office under the GTZ program, potentials of Catbalogan as a premiere tourist destination in Eastern Visayas was highlighted.  The workshop successfully attained its objectives of coming out with a City Tourism Development Plan which will be used to jumpstart tourism programs in the locality.

“Catbalogan has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.  All we need is the cooperation of various partners in the government and the non-government organizations as well as the whole community, to be able to start with the program.” Mr. Raul Reyes, designated Tourism officer of the City.

Reyes, enumerated various reasons why the LGU believes that there really is a potential for tourism as a way to spruce up economic development in the City.  “Catbalogan has cultural and natural events that can encourage tourists on top of the natural sites which is commonly promoted.  Many doesn’t know that bird watching could be one of the “tourists come on” in the City, while the deep waters of Maqueda Bay along Sierra islands is fantastic dive sites, Reyes added.

A barangay official disclosed that there are migratory birds that flew in and take a rest in a sand bar near their barangay shorelines.  With its breath taking view of a sandbar and the tranquility of the place, said barangay official dreamed that someday this natural wonder will be able to help them eradicate poverty among its constituents.  It will be recalled that bird watching is one of the tourism events now being promoted in Olango Island, Cebu.

“This will be an endless discussion of our potentials as tourist destination”, Reyes added in an exclusive interview.  “But what we are sure of is God give us this gift and it’s for us find out the graces out of this gifts, exploring it to make it useful to the mankind but at the same time preserving its natural wonder”.

In 2011, barely three years from now, Catbalogan will be a premiere tourist destination in Eastern Visayas.  If the City officials will seriously take into considerations the action plan made at the Value Chain Workshop for Tourism Development of the City.  On top of the things to be done is to set up Tourism Investment Promotion Office, formulate Tourism Investment Code and develop a Comprehensive Tourism Master Plan that will generate employment, business opportunities and arrival of local and foreign tourists in the area.

Can this be done in three years time based on the vision of the tourism development plan?  Department of Trade and Industry Samar Provincial Office Officer in-charge Engr. Milo Macabare said “with the enthusiasm of Mayor Coefredo Uy and the dynamism of his staff, they believe that the City will be able to attain their vision of becoming a premiere tourist destination in the region”.





Most Business Friendly LGUs winners join study tour in Vietnam

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 4, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla who just received the Most Business Friendly Province Award, and Tanauan, Leyte Mayor Roque Tiu, the recipient of the Most Business Friendly Municipality Award are currently in Hanoi, Vietnam to join the Vietnam Study Tour: Business Environment Reforms and Public Private Dialogues Towards Competitiveness.

Leyte governor Icot Petilla

Tanauan mayor Roque Tiu

The two local chief executives from Region 8 joined the representatives from the National Competitiveness Council, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the GTZ Private Sector Promotion Program, who left the country on November 2 and will stay in Vietnam till November 8.

The Study Tour which is sponsored by the GTZ will give the participants the opportunity to learn from their colleagues in Vietnam.

Specifically, the GTZ hopes to highlight the experiences of Vietnam on programs that are being currently undertaken by the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Computer Center.

These include the online business portal similar to the Philippine Business Registry, simplification of business permits and licensing, regulatory impact assessment, and other initiatives towards improving the business climate.

The delegates will have the opportunity to learn about the institutional framework for SME development in Vietnam, the role of VCCI in improving the business environment in Vietnam, the VCCI as a policy advocator in Vietnam.

The delegation will also have meetings with the International Labor Organization in Vietnam, the Vietnam Bankers Association, the Department of Vietnam Competition Authority, the Ministry of Justice and the Central Institute of Economic Institute under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

While in Vietnam, the Philippine delegation are hosted by the Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investments, GTZ Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.





Rotary pours ESamar with millions of hospital equipment, supplies

By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern Samar)
November 1, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Rotary World Health Network brought in recently to Eastern Samar P24M worth of medical supplies and equipment.

Eastern Samar governor Ben Evardone inspecting medical equipments
GOV. BEN P. EVARDONE pushes one of the medical equipment during the arrival of the P24M worth of hospital facilities given by the Rotary World Health Network through the Rotary Club Borongan Chapter. The governor assisted in facilitating the transport of the said equipment from Manila to Borongan City. The said equipment will be distributed in various hospitals and health units in the province.  (photo by BRYAN M. AZURA)

This was learned from Ms. Becki Tiu Sonco in a radio interview.  Tiu Sonco who was former President of Rotary Borongan disclosed that it was through a fellow Eastern Samareño, one Ms. Elena Agala of Rotary International that they were able to access and avail of the said priced donation.

“Only three areas were lucky enough to have availed of the program,” the current Provincial Girl Scout President added.  “Two in South Africa and the third being Eastern Samar,” she said.

The Rotary Club Borongan Chapter was of course, according to Tiu Sonco assisted by the Provincial Government which provided for the transportation of the equipment from far Manila. She said that Governor Ben Evardone did not even blink an eyelid when he was asked of the needed assistance.

Governor Ben Evardone expressed likewise his thankfulness to the most generous non-government organization.  He said that the equipment are most needed by the Provincial Hospital which include dental chairs with facilities, X-ray machines, EKG, computers, medical supplies and many others.

However, other entities are expected to receive some of the equipment.  These are: the Borongan Rural Health Unit, Eastern Samar State University, Eastern Samar National Comprehensive High School, Llorente LGU and San Julian as well.  It was learned that these sectors likewise shared some resources for the equipment for the shipment of the supplies to Borongan.





Encounter in Basey claims lives from protagonists as lawless MILF group now runs out of logistics

November 1, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The 34th Infantry Battalion based in Calbiga, Samar reported Wednesday that a soldier and a rebel were killed in an encounter in a remote barangay in Basey, Samar .

The statement further revealed that at 9:15 am on Wednesday, the 81st DRC led by 1 Lt. Elmer Albor while conducting combat, patrol and security operations of the INFres project encountered more or less 30 NPAs at Barangay Rizal and Bulao, Basey.

The firefight, the report said lasted for thirty minutes where one soldier from the government side died and another wounded, from the NPAs one also died.

Immediately, 34th IB Commanding Officer LtCol Larry Mojica, dispatched his men to pursue the fleeing enemies and ordered a “no let up” in the pursuit operations.

Mojica also lauded his men for their gallantry and their dedication without regard for their lives just to vanquish the enemies trying to destroy the peace and development in Basey town.

Meawnhile, in Mindanao, the lawless MILF group (LMG) under Abdullah Macapaar alias Kumander Bravo are now out of logistics and ammunition support, as well, as food supplies.

This is the assessment of Maj. Benedicto Manquiquis, Chief of the Civil Military Operations Unit, CMO Group of the First Infantry Division (1ID), Philippine Army, who said the LMG  that attacked the coastal towns of Lanao del Norte last August 18 are now spread into splinter groups.

“They are slowly losing their mass base support from people who were previously providing them logistics and financial resources to sustain their rebellious operations against the government,” he said.

This is manifested by the dwindling number of LMG elements and the equally lessening number of encounters with the government troops indicating that the Moro rebels are now breaking up in small groups.

“Our soldiers on the ground seldom make encounters with the LMG and whenever there are armed engagements they will only last for several minutes unlike before when we usually engaged them for several hours of gunfight,” he said.

It seems that the LMG are trying their best to avoid engaging our soldiers because they have run out of ammunitions and can no longer sustain the gunfights as they are in serious positions of getting support from the higher MILF hierarchy and sympathizers, Manquiquis said.

The men of Kumander Bravo are now beginning to split away from his group after sensing that they are fighting for a wrong cause, he added.  (with report from PIA-Marawi)



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