2 NPA camps, war
material cache discovered
By 1LT JEFFREX G. MOLINA, (INF)
April 7, 2009
Northern Samar – Two terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) camps were
discovered by the members of the Army’s 63rd Infantry Battalion under
2Lt Richard Kadil at Brgy Mc Kinley, Catarman, Northern Samar.
Around 5:30 in the
morning of March 29, former communist terrorist (CT) and SPURU member
Raffy Dagohoy alias Nick led the troops to the first encampment where
subversive documents, various bomb materials, clothings, medical and
personal belongings and others owned by the said terrorist group were
believed to be buried.
After walking for few
hours, the group of 2Lt Kadil reached the first CT camp at Sitio
Cabangahan of the aforesaid barangay. The said camp can accommodate at
least 20 CTs. Nick immediately dug the ground where said buried
materials were located. After making just a shallow hole, a gallon of
ammonium sulfate, a detonating cord and duplex wire (all materials for
making bomb), one buffer of M-16 rifle, one buffer spring of M-14
rile, improvised map, volume of subversive document and assorted
personal belongings emplaced in three covered container were
discovery of the first camp, the troops then proceeded to the second
encampment being identified by Nick. Around 8:50 a.m. same day, the
second camp that can accommodate at least 20 CTs were reached by the
same troops. The troops unearthed two clamour mines, assorted
clothings, medical and personal belongings, voluminous subversive
documents and an NPA flag.
With this, Lt. Col.
Raul Cestona, commander of 63IB lauded his troops for a job very well
done. He also thanked the effort given by Nick for without him,
troops couldn’t find the said material cache.
The 63IB is
continuously intensifying their combat operation to put an end to the
terrorists who causes the sufferings of the people.
Solons unappeased by
cut in Napocor’s Visayas rate hike
By Office of Congressman Eduardo R. Gullas
Phiippines – Members of Congress have not been mollified by the
decision of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to lessen by 27
percent the P1.1460 per kilowatt hour (kWh) provisional rate hike
earlier imposed by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) in the Visayas.
"There’s really no
justifiable reason for Napocor to raise rates now. First, fuel prices
are still down. Second, the peso has remained fairly stable versus the
US dollar," Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said.
"Food on the table and
jobs are what we desperately need now, not oppressive increases in
utility rates," Gullas said.
Gullas expressed grave
concern that any upward adjustments in Napocor’s rates "would overly
burden households and industries at this extremely harsh time."
Napocor jacks up its basic generation charge, all distributors,
including electric cooperatives, will also automatically raise their
rates," he pointed out.
"This will definitely
add to the burden on all industries, including exporters that are
already reeling from the collapse of their markets overseas," he
Gullas warned that
many exporters in the Visayas, including makers of electronics, car
parts, furniture, and fashion accessories, are already on the brink of
financial ruin and dismissing workers.
"Many of these
industries consume a lot of electricity, so they will surely be hit
hard by any rate increases," he said.
Under pressure from
members of Congress and local government officials, the ERC previously
ordered Napocor to reduce its provisional rate increase in the Visayas
grid by P0.3084, from P1.1460 to P0.8376 per kWh.
Gullas, however, said
lawmakers from the Visayas are not satisfied.
"When Congress resumes
session next week, we intend to categorically declare our resolute
opposition to the rate increase, possibly in a manifesto. We will have
it endorsed by all members of Congress from the Visayas, if not by a
majority of us," Gullas said.
Napocor's Visayas rate
hike is higher compared to the P0.46 per kWh increase for Luzon, and
P0.71 per kWh for Mindanao.
As a result of the
latest increment, Napocor’s rate in the Visayas is now P3.7255 per
kWh, whereas its unit charges for Luzon and Mindanao are P4.3648 and
P2.8177 per kWh, respectively.
Under PGMA’s NARS,
govt deploys 575 nurses to 115 towns of Region 8
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – A
total of 575 nurses have been deployed to the 115 local government
units all over Region 8 under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s
Nurse Assigned to Rural Service (NARS), the Department of Labor and
Employment Region 8 informed.
NARS participants attending a general
orientation seminar in Catbalogan City 2 days before deployment
Director Forter Puguon
said that the 575 nurses were selected from about 900 applicants who
scrambled to gain slot in the government’s emergency employment for
On April 1 and 2, a
two-day orientation was simultaneously conducted at Palo, Leyte; Ormoc
City; Naval, Biliran; Maasin City; Catbalogan, Samar; and Catarman,
Northern Samar, to inform the nurses on the project, its objectives,
expectations and other important concerns, Director Puguon said.
After the orientation,
the nurses were deployed on April 3 to the 115 municipalities of
Region 8 with high incidence of poverty; eight of which are in Biliran,
13 in Eastern Samar, 36 in Leyte, 22 in Northern Samar, 26 in Samar,
and 10 in Southern Leyte.
The 575 nurses are
expected to perform the three I’s: Inform, Initiate and Immunize, as
they render their six months service in the municipalities where they
are assigned. For three months, they will be under the supervision of
the Municipal Health Officer and the remaining three months, they will
be under the chief nurse or chief of Hospital in a hospital setting,
Director Puguon added.
Director Puguon said
that the applicants who were not accommodated in the first batch
(April to September), will be accommodated in the second batch of
nurses who will serve starting October 2009 to March next year.
Director Puguon noted
that there are several municipalities particularly in the provinces of
Samar and Northern Samar, which did not have any applicants. This
prompted the DOLE Region 8 to assign in these areas, nurses from
municipalities without nurse applicants are Palapag, Las Navas,
Catubig, Silvino Lobos, Victoria and Biri in Northern Samar province.
The hinterland towns of Matuguinao and San Jose de Buan in the
province of Samar, have only one applicant each, Director Puguon said.
Under NARS, each of
the identified towns was expected to have five qualified nurses who
will avail the program, which seeks to address the growing number of
registered nurses in the country who have been unemployed since
passing the nursing board examination and lack the experience to work
After six months, the
national government will be hiring a new batch of 575 nurses for
another six-month employment program. The program will be implemented
only for a year. Nurses will receive about P8,000 per month while
undergoing free training, Director Puguon added.
8th ID sends-off 107
new privates to the real ‘battlefield’
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
April 5, 2009
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Despite the steady downpour of summer rains, 107 soaking soldiers
marched bravely with their newly issued firearms at the 8th Infantry
Division, Philippine Army grounds in the traditional send-off into the
real ‘battlefield’ Friday morning.
In a solemn ceremony
complete with Eucharistic celebration, 8ID chaplain Fr. Rey Victor
Vigo gave each the private a scapular from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Fr. Vigo told the
soldiers to strengthen their spiritual formation to face the
challenges that go with the job.
For his message MGen.
Arthur Tabaquero, Commanding General said that the soldiers need to
pursue and take the ways of the seasoned soldiers, ”as long as you
give your best efforts in each endeavor and perform your individual
tasks the best way you can.”
He urged them to start
their career with the right step and value their military service and
dignify their actions in doing their duties.
The general though at
the start bared that one soldier went AWOL because he did not
apparently like his place of assignment. He emphasized that soldiers
never choose their place of assignment.
Finally, he summarized
his speech by giving his marching order. “Do not be quacking ducks, be
a soaring eagle!”
Challenges for the 34th IB…
Expanded area of
operation, new location, new commander
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA Samar)
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– MGeneral Arthur Tabaquero of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine
Army urged the new 34th Infantry Battalion (IB) soldiers to consider
the challenges of having an expanded area of operation, a new location
and a new commander.
LtCol. Dionisio Miguel
In his speech, during
the simple turn-over rites of command on Thursday at the new
headquarters in San Jorge, MGen. Tabaquero talked about the new areas
added to the AOR of 34th IB; their new location, being transferred
from Calbiga town to Barangay Erenas in San Jorge and the new
commander from Lt Col. Larry Mojica to Lt Col. Dionisio Miguel.
He added that success
comes for those who have the ability to work with change.
Tabaquero extolled the
leadership of Mojica whose stint as BatCom lasted for a year and five
months. He also awarded Mojica a Military Merit Medal which Mojica
claimed was his 29th.
Like other officers
who have become attached to their men, he appeased the emotions of
Mojica and his men by saying that the army official has to move on to
answer another call of duty.
Although Mojica felt
emotional in his speech, he said he is relieved with the new
assignment, that of being the Chief of the Career Advisory Group of
the Army Personnel Management Center at the Philippine Army
Headquaters, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
When asked what his
biggest achievement was, Mojica admitted it was his being able to
persuade his men to refrain from alcoholic beverages. He proudly told
the media present that not once were his men under 34th IB charged
with violation of human rights.
For his part as
successor, LtCol Dionisio Miguel urged his men to live with the
limited resources there is and to use their ingenuity and
resourcefulness to address the problem.
He also urged the
‘reliable’ battalion to walk towards the marching order of President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that of dealing seriously with insurgency on
or before 2010.
NARS render first day
of service to Samareños
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
April 2, 2009
Samar – Some 105 fresh nurses in the Nurses Assigned in Rural
Service (NARS) rendered their first day of service by undergoing a
On Tuesday, Department
of Labor and Employment (DOLE) staff headed by Ms. Fe Estrella and
Department of Health (DOH) headed by Dr. Antonio Tirazona and
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Rudolf Mabulay welcomed fresh faces that
trooped to Fame Hotel, this city.
Dr. Minerva Molon,
Asst. Regional Director of DOH 08 was also there to welcome the young
and good looking male and female nurses.
municipalities and cities were filled with the 5-nurse quota, remote
Matuginao and San Jose de Buan have only one each.
Nurse Joan Lopez from
Palo, Leyte thought she would be assigned in Calbayog City where a
sister works, it was later when she learned she was ‘diverted’ to
She said she did a
little research on the town and although it seems unfamiliar, as a
nurse, she said she is ready for the inevitable and despite
discouragements from friends will still push through with her
assignment. “Nurses should be flexible,” she enthused.
She added that she
will look at the brighter side of her experience in this inland town
known for its bountiful natural beauty.
Another male nurse
Allan Noel Alonzo, who hails from Catbalogan City said he is also
prepared to go to another remote town of San Jose de Buan alone, as
nobody aside from him sought assignment there.
He is a nursing
graduate from Southwestern University in Cebu and said he is willing
to be assigned in the town where his father, a PNP member was assigned
too, in his younger days.
Two nurses, Daryl
Cabardo and Shyrmagne Rynn Chavez educated in the University of San
Carlos (USC) and Cebu Doctors University (CDU) respectively, yearned
assignment in Zumarraga, an island town where their parents come from.
According to Dr. Molon,
there were some 800 applicants for the 505 slots in the whole Eastern
Visayas. She hailed the batch fortunate to be hired immediately. This
batch from the region will still take their oath as new nurses come
April 14, 2009.
The NARS project said
Molon is part of PGMA’s Economic Resiliency Plan to address the
worsening global financial crunch.
The program said Molon
is a partnership of the DOLE, DOH and Professional Regulations
Commission (PRC), where DOLE pays the stipend of the nurses, DOH
monitors and trains them while PRC grants them their licenses.
Earlier, during the
orientation for Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and other stakeholders
to the NARS program, three mayors, from Tarangnan Mayor Emmelly Olaje,
Talalora Mayor Cornelio Bersales and Sta. Margarita Mayor Alfred
Serrano vowed support through the grant of additional allowances for
the new nurses to be assigned in their AOR.
First Mass showcases
Filipino hospitality – Sen. Revilla
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
April 2, 2009
Leyte – The Filipino’s warm welcome and hospitality towards
foreigners was best demonstrated by our forebears, our ancestors in
this historic island, where visitors were able to conduct what would
become a central celebration of the Christian faith, the Eucharist or
Thus spoke Sen. Ramon
“Bong” Revilla, Jr., the guest of honor during the 488th First Mass
anniversary here on Tuesday, March 31, in reference to an event in the
past, also held here, on an Easter Sunday in the year 1521.
“Looking back in our
history and humble beginnings, we have a lot to thank God for
showcasing our beauty for others to appreciate, our culture,
tradition, history,” Sen. Revilla said.
Because of his tight
schedule, Revilla’s message was accommodated right before the
anniversary Mass that began
9:30 in the
morning at the Shrine Chapel, instead of being delivered at the
anniversary program which would follow later after the Mass.
Sources said the
Senator, who arrived by chopper at past
8:00 in the morning, had to leave by
11:00 that morning for
another speaking engagement.
After having been
introduced by Gov. Damian Mercado, Revilla literally brought the
Chapel down with his “thank you Gov. Cantillas” remark, although he
quickly followed the levity gesture by saying “napapatawa ko rin si
Bishop Cantillas”, leader of the Catholic flock in the Diocese of
Maasin who was the Main celebrant of the High Mass.
In his message,
Revilla underscored that the Filipino’s fine hospitality can help a
lot in boosting tourism and the economy, a plus factor nowadays in
attracting tourists with the dim financial outlook now gripping the
He hinted that his
presence in the island-town was also his way of learning what needs to
be done by way of contributing his share in the development of the
place, especially in his capacity as Senate Committee Chair on Public
Works and Social Services.
anniversary Mass included many regional, provincial, and municipal
officials, Cong. Roger Mercado, military and police officers, and lay
ministers from the many parishes of the Diocese who renewed their
liturgical vows during the occasion.
Maasin City allocates
P2M to join EVRAA this year
By ERNA GORNE
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The local government of Maasin City in its full support to
the annual holding the Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA)
in Tacloban City allocated P2 Million to ensure full participation
from the city.
No less than Mayor
Maloney Samaco together with the members of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan (SP) escorted the 400 participating athletes and
officials coming from Maasin City to join the annual holding of the
regional sports competition in the region.
Mayor Samaco said the
holding of the EVRAA in
would also serve as among the grand preparations for the holding of
the annual Palarong Pambansa which is scheduled to be held on April 26
to May 2, 2009, still in Tacloban City.
encouraged the local young athletes to aim winning their events so
that they could join the national event, Palarong Pambansa which will
follow shortly. Though the delegation did not expect to aim for
championship instead to give way to Leyte government contingents to
over-all championship in this regional competition.
however, that for those athletes who would bring home gold medal will
be awarded cash prize in the amount of P2,000, while those with silver
medal awards will get P1,000 and for bronze medal - P500.
He further disclosed
that the cash awards will be used for their school needs during the
opening of classes by June 2009 such as tuition fees, school uniforms
and school supplies, among others.
further revealed that his commitment to the youth includes the support
for their sports development and affordable education also.
Evardone grants cash
assistance for E. Samar athletes, coaches to EVRAA
By Sinirangan News
TACLOBAN CITY –
Eastern Samar Governor Ben P. Evardone gave out P.7 million financial
aid for the province’ 600 delegates to the Eastern Visayas Athletic
Association (EVRAA) Meet being held at Tacloban City.
The governor handed in
P1,200 per athlete while the coaches and other support personnel were
given P1,400 each. Eastern Samar’s delegation consists of around 200
athletes while the rest are medical personnel, kitchen staff, coaches
and officiating officials.
In a statement,
Governor Evardone stressed that the provincial government under his
administration will continue to remain true to its commitment to
support the province’s delegation to the yearly regional sports
gathering. “I am with you all the way,” Evardone said to the athletes
Neil Alas, Physical
Education and Schools Sports Division Coordinator, said that the
assistance of the provincial government was timely as the
Eastern Samar team had difficulty in sustaining the needs of the
athletes even during the training.
Alas disclosed that
the training was stopped 4 days ahead of schedule due to financial
constraints. A coach from Llorente town lamented that the athletes
were asked to go home and continue their training in their respective
hometowns as the Eastern Samar Athletic Association no longer have
funds especially for meals. Alas said that the facilitators even had
to loan for meals of trainees.
meanwhile, assured that the province will shoulder the loaned amounts
during the training.
July Abot, a badminton
athlete from Balangkayan town thanked the governor for taking care of
the needs of the competitors. “This is the first time we were given
financial assistance this much,” April Azura, a 3-time EVRAA athlete
Luz Evardone, personal
secretary of the governor who facilitated the cash distribution,
maintained that the amount serves only as ‘assistance’. “We would like
to make it clear that sending athletes to EVRAA is not a
responsibility of the province,” she said. “We are here to support
them,” she continued.
Governor Evardone, on
the other hand, extended his well-wishes to the athletes. “Make
Eastern Samar proud… win golds… win medals,” he challenged the
As of Wednesday,
Eastern Samar already hauled 12 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 1
bronze medal. The elementary swimming team already took hold of the
Tribu Buyogan and
Karatong Festival represent Leyte in Aliwan Fiesta
Media Relations Center
April 1, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY – The
famed Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte was recently given a P1
million financial assistance from the provincial government of Leyte
as it vies again in the Aliwan Fiesta in Manila – country’s premiere
festival competition – this April 25, 2009.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla said the province has to provide support to the
Buyogan Festival as it has, for many times now, brought pride and
recognition not only to the province of Leyte but for the municipality
of Abuyog itself.
The P1 million check
was personally received Tuesday by Abuyog Councilor Lenlen Traya.
Gov. Petilla said
maintaining a contingent to be fielded in various festival
competitions around the country is no joke, considering the
preparation – both physically and financially just to be able to
“It is really an
opportunity for the town to make themselves known. So we support them
any way we can,” the governor said.
The Buyogan Festival
is the current title holder as champion of the Leyte
Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival held last June 27, 2008 during the
Tacloban City fiesta celebration.
The same Tribu
Buyuganon, with its interpretation of the “bees” and how they were
converted to the faith of the Holy Child, is also the grand prize
winner in the Sinulog Festival of Cebu last January.
To recall the
Buyuganon also captured the third prize in the Sinulog streetdancing
category and pocketed at P600,000 by winning in the presentation and
streetdancing in the Sinulog Fest..
However, not only
Abuyog’s Buyogan Festival would compete in the Aliwan Fiesta but also
Sinulog Festival’s fifth placer and Pintados-Kasadyaan second placer
the Karatong Festival of Dulag, Leyte.
The Karatong Festival
of Dulag surprised the crowd in
Cebu in January and placed fifth over-all in the Free
Interpretation Category. But its second spot in the Pintados-Kasadyaan
Fest in 2008 earned itself a spot to compete in the Aliwan Fiesta this
Festival is also given financial assistance by the provincial
contingents would be competing with other premiere festivals from all
over the country that tentatively include: Lakbayaw of Tondo, Manila;
Pakalog Festival of Santolan, Pasig; Panagbenga Festival, Baguio City;
Pamulenawen - Laoag City; Ibon Ebon of Candaba, Pampanga; Disposorio
Festival of Hagonoy, Bulacan; Luyang Dilaw of Marilao Bulacan; Boling
boling Festival - Catanuan, Quezon; Fiesta de Toros of Nasugbu,
Batangas; Lapay Bantigue Festival of Masbate City; Pulang Angui of
Polangue Albay; Sinulog Festival of Cebu City; Dinagyang Festival of
Iloilo City; Kasag Festival of Banate, Iloilo; Kadayawan Festival -
Davao City; Tuna Festival of General Santos City; Halad Festival of
Midsayap, Cotabato; Kalilangan Festival of General Santos City; Buklod
Festival - Parang, Shariff Kabunsuan; Kalilintad Festival of
Mamasapano and Samba de Regatta.
Samba de Regatta is
reportedly joining the Aliwan Fiesta 2009 only as a guest performer.
Aliwan Fiesta will
be held on April 23-25 with a lot of activities lined up including the
Reyna ng Aliwan and the street dancing competition which will be on
the 25th of April.
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
April 1, 2009
Samar – In this time of Lent when the religious reflect upon the
message of forgiving, it is not only interesting but also inspiring
to know that some of our misled brothers would come forward to seek
government’s light and understanding.
Samar governor Ben Evardone and 8ID chief MGen. Arthur Tabaquero
inspect the surrendered firearms and ammunitions from 5 NPA
members of the Omega Platoon who recently surrendered to the
elements of the 14th Infantry Battalion during a media
presentation at HQ of 14IB in Brgy.Dao, Oras, Eastern Samar on
Friday, March 27, 2009.
This was done by
former NPA Commander Christopher Amigo, alias Doods/Bulan, who was in
his 1st year in the College of Architecture when he said he was
deceived by the guerilla movement and four other colleagues namely
Salvacion Burac, Lita Burac, Antonio and Aileen Burac with their two
Similar to the famous
story about the father who was overjoyed to see his son home, and
thus, told his servants to cook the fattest cow and prepare the best
robe for his long lost prodigal son, Governor Ben Evardone, 8ID chief
MajGen. Arthur Tabaquero, and LtCol. Fernando Hidalgo of the 14th
Infantry Battalion recently welcomed them with open arms.
“Welcome to the
Province of Eastern Samar where there is better and brighter future,”
Governor Evardone told the returnees in his short message. “Our
national government, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be happy
to hear this news as it has always been her thrust to achieve lasting
peace for the country”, he added.
echoed through Radyo ng Bayan DYES and he convinced also those who are
still reluctant to come down to surrender and bring in their firearms
not only because there is a corresponding cash reward for each weapond,
but also and more importantly, they will eventually contribute to the
development of the province.
“Let us join hands and
unite our energy, talents and skills in pushing for the improvement of
our province”, the governor urged. He distributed envelopes to the
returnees which could be used by them in starting up livelihood
MajGen. Tabaquero was
likewise elated at the surrender of the five former NPA members.
“Bukas loob namin
kayong tinatanggap at tutulungan sa abot ng aming makakaya”, Tabaquero
told the returnees.
He noted that this
latest surrender of the five indicates that the force of the
underground movement is now diminishing, because there are also
advance feelers for another batch of would-be surrenderees. He also
assured that the rebel returnees will be subjected to
social-integration process where they will undergo a series of
reorientation, teachings and counseling.
The Officer likewise
promised a good sum from the Office of the Presidential Assistance on
Peace Process (OPAPP) which could be a big help to them in starting up
a livelihood endeavor. He said that giving up to the government
troops is the best and cheapest means to achieve peace because there
are no ammunitions nor lives spent.
As LtCol. Fernando
Hidalgo put it, winning the war does not always involve military force
but by words and good deeds.
This Lenten time
the five former NPA members will not only be reunited with their
respective families, but also with the Highest Commander of all
Commanders, the Highest Name of all names.
emergency employment program in Eastern Samar, provides funds to Oras
and Maydolong towns
By BRYAN M. AZURA
April 1, 2009
ORAS, Eastern Samar –
Governor Ben P. Evardone turned over some P290,000 of funds to Mayor
Neil Alvarez of this town as the provincial government begins to
implement in the province the Comprehensive Emergency Employment
Program (CLEEP) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The program, aimed at
providing livelihood to some 200 underprivileged residents of Oras,
has also been dubbed as Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged
“TUPAD will literally
make the Orasnons hopes come to reality,” Gov. Evardone said in a
statement. “The amount may not really that big but used properly, this
will bring every beneficiary a long way,” he continued.
Atty. Forter Puguon,
regional director of DOLE 8, in a conversation with the governor,
assured, however, that the amount will double particularly in Oras.
During the turn-over
ceremony, Mayor Alvarez expressed praises to the governor for choosing
his municipality as the launching pad of the said program. “While we
are making efforts to help improve the economic condition of my
constituents, but we cannot deny the fact a considerable number of
Orasnons still are experiencing the chastity of poverty,” Alvarez
The governor, on his
part, reminded the people that he is “working doubly hard to uplift
every Eastern Samareño’s meager plight.” “I always repeat this in many
instances that while the province graduated already from the Club 20
or the poorest provinces in the country, we do not stop from looking
for means to bring more economic opportunities to Eastern Samar,” he
Evardone also stressed
that the program will surely be of great relief especially now that
the whole world is experiencing the so-called economic meltdown. “Our
country is not exempted on this global recession,” he lamented, “much
more our province.”
business establishments are shutting down,” he said citing that even a
local store in Guiuan has closed shops because of the poor economic
condition. The governor also disclosed that a hotel establishment in
Borongan City has cut down their working hours for their workers as
guests have drastically been reduced to few.
provincial chief will also visit the town of
to also turn-over a check worth P200,000 to Mayor Daniel Baldono. The
said amount is also part of the TUPAD under the CLEEP program.
The funds will
specifically be used as wages to laborers who will work on a certain
project being implemented by the Local Government Unit (LGU).
Meantime, the workers will be assigned as maintenance personnel of the
All set for 488th
First Mass anniversary
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
March 30, 2009
Leyte – The general program and specific activities for this year’s
488th commemoration of the First Mass in the
and in Asia on March 31, Tuesday, on this historic island-town have
letter-invitation to various heads of agencies, Gov. Damian Mercado
informed that the honored guest is Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.
The listing of
activities begins with a mass vigil on March 30, spearheaded by the
Diocese of Maasin.
Next day, anniversary
day proper, a Coast Guard boat would ferry visitors from the port of
Maasin up to here, departing at 5:00 in the morning, while at the same
time, some pumpboats would also depart from Padre Burgos.
By 8:30 AM, there will
be an opening of the agri-aqua and culinary fair, to be followed at
around 9:00 with the concelebrated High Mass or the Anniversary Mass
led by Most Rev. Bishop Precioso Cantillas of the Diocese of Maasin at
By ten in the morning,
the anniversary program will start, featuring speeches by local and
provincial leaders, like Limasawa Mayor Melchor Petracorta, Gov.
Mercado, Cong. Roger Mercado, and the keynote speech of the guest,
presentation” depicting the “kulturang Limasawan” will be performed as
part of the program.
After the anniversary
luncheon, a 30-minute press conference with Sen. Revilla is scheduled,
from 1:00 to 1:30 in the afternoon.
In the evening, a
tribal party is slated, to be participated by the six barangays of the
The celebration will
continue for two days after March 31. On April 1, Wednesday, a
sailboat race is scheduled to be held 9:00 in the morning, and a 9-man
paddling by 1:00 in the afternoon.
On April 2, Thursday,
there will be a Marathon at 7:30 a.m. and a Honda Bancarrera by 9:30
in the morning.
4 NPAs, 1 commander
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
March 30, 2009
BORONGAN CITY, Eastern
Samar – Four former members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) with their
commander returned to the main stream of society after seven years of
underground combat with government.
NPA surrenderees were presented to the media on March 27 during a
press conference at the 14IB Headquarters. The occasion was also
attended by Eastern Samar governor Ben Evardone who handed a
P10,000 cash assistance each to the 5 surrenderees, as part of the
government’s Social Integration Program.
Salvacion Burac, 46,
alias Salving; Aileen Avila Borac, alias Dilay with husband Antonio,
alias Tony; Lita Borac, alias Melvin/Alex; and squad leader,
Christopher Amigo, alias Doods/Bulan are now in the safe custody of
the 14th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine
Army, Oras, Eastern Samar, after they surrendered with their long
firearms and several rounds of ammunitions to LtCol, Jaime Hidalgo and
his men at around 6:00 o’clock in the evening on March 20.
In the Press
Conference, Salving, who was the former Finance Officer of the Omega
Platoon confessed that they were already fed up with the false hopes
the guerilla movement was promising them.
“I am happier that
after seven years, at last we are now living together as a family. My
children stayed with my relatives while I shuttled the hills and the
open world. It was my routine, since I also had to see them once in a
while. It was a lot of sacrifice living in the mountains because we
do not have permanent shelters. When it rains it becomes so
miserable. We slept under toldas with hammocks as our beds, and when
we hear the approaching enemy, we would hurry to fold up and scramble
to the deeper woods”, Salving shared her experience.
Asked why it took her
husband, Remegio Borac, 33 years in the guerilla movement when, as a
barangay official then, she could have convinced him to join her in
the civil society.
“As the Commander, it
was very hard to convince him, which was why I finally decided to just
join him instead,”
It was learned that
her husband was earlier captured by the same elements of the Army in
the hills of Oras vicinity.
“This was the main
reason why I gave up to the soldiers,” Salving continued her
unloading. “I will follow my husband wherever he goes”, she added, to
the applause of the cheering audience.
She also confided in
the one-on-one interview with this writer, that she had been operated
of her left breast about four years ago but considers herself a
“The doctor warned me
to free myself of anxieties, and l also submit still for regular
check-up in Manila. Now that we have returned to the government, I
believe in the sincerity of its programs, and with our remaining years
together as a family, even as we are guarded around, life can be
happier here, more hopeful and enjoyable”, she concluded.
surrenderors were awarded with P10,000 each by Gov. Ben Evardone,
another P10,000 each by Cong. Doloy Coquilla and another cash gift
from MajGen. Arthur Tabaquero who assured the returnees that they will
receive more government assistance to an estimate of P120,000 so they
can start life anew. They brought to the camp: 2-M16 rifles, 1-M14,
1-M Garand rifle, 5 clips with 41 rounds of ammunitions, 4 magazines
with 45 rounds of ammunitions for Carbine, 1-rifle grenade and
Chiz calls on gov’t,
communist rebels to resume peace talks without pre-conditions
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero on Friday called on government and
the National Democratic Front (NDF) to resume peace talks without
preconditions to show their sincerity in ending the longest-running
communist insurgency in Asia.
“We should do away
with preconditions. Both sides should work for the immediate
resumption of the formal talks. The bloodletting must stop, especially
now that our countrymen are being hit hard by the economic crisis,” he
The senator issued the
statement on the eve of the 40th founding anniversary of the New
People’s Army (NPA), the NDF’s armed wing, on March 29. Formal talks
between the Philippine government and the NDF collapsed in August 2004
with the inclusion of the rebels in the US and EU (European Union)
“The failure of past
administrations to bring about true and meaningful change in our
country has fueled this long-running revolutionary movement. But armed
struggle is not the answer to our country’s problems,” Escudero,
chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said.
He said both sides
should work together to break the impasse by implementing
demands, among other things, an indefinite ceasefire as a precondition
to the resumption of formal talks and proposed that the discussions
focus on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR).
The rebels, on the
other hand, have outlined a number of “impediments” to the
continuation of the peace process. The NDF is demanding that the
government move for the delisting of the CPP-NPA as a “foreign
terrorist organization” in the list of the United States and the
It is also asking for
the release of NDF consultants Elizabeth Principe, Randolf Echanis,
Eduardo Serrano, Eduardo Sarmiento and Randy Malayao. It thas also
urged the government to stop the “persecution” of its chief political
consultant Jose Ma. Sison in The Netherlands.
The NDF has also
deplored alleged extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of
over 1,000 unarmed legal activists.
The opposition senator
said that the recent electoral victories of the Left in Latin America
show that the parliamentary arena is a viable alternative to armed
Escudero said the
success of Bayan Muna party-list leader, Rep. Satur Ocampo, and his
militant colleagues as well as other left-of-center groups in getting
elected to the Lower House show the advances in the country’s
political environment since 1986.
“Democratic space has
widened considerably since 1946 when the elected representatives of
the Democratic Alliance were barred from taking their seats in the
House. We must work together to expand it further,” he said.
Escudero also said the
government must seek peace with honor instead of engaging in a
military campaign to destroy the rebels by 2010.
He pointed out that
billions being spent by government in its counter-insurgency campaign
could be instead be allocated for development purposes if talks resume
and a ceasefire agreed upon by both parties.
“We all know that a
military solution will not end this insurgency. Unless we root out
poverty and injustice, the rebellion will continue,” Escudero said.
“There can be no
genuine development without peace. All we need is the political will
and purity of heart to end this conflict among Filipinos once and for