On 06 June 2009, the
34th Infantry (Reliable) Battalion had negotiated and
talked to Hon. Leonardo S. Berbes, Ex-Brgy Chairman of Brgy. Hinayagan,
Gandara, for the surrender of a child courier of the CPP/NPA by the
name of Joel Silverstre alias Dayocdoc, a 12 years old and a native of
Brgy. Montalban, Matuginao, Samar.
According to Hon.
Leonaldo S. Berbes, this child had been used by the NPA as their
courier for almost a year. He is in charged of the collection of
Revolutionary Taxes of the populace, a look-out for government troops
operating in the area and as an errand boy to buy foods and supplies
for the members of the NPA and was also taught how to fire a gun.
Joel Silverstre is an
orphan and had stop schooling. His mother died years ago and his
father had left them without support and worked in
His likes for gun and adventurism were used by the NPA and recruited
him as their courier at the age of 11 years old. According to him, he
was promised by the NPA that he will be given a firearm once he is
also capable of handling one, for the meantime he will first serve as
LtCol. Dionisio C.
Miguel, commanding officer of the 34IB, had given orders for the
immediate turn over of the child to the Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD) to undergo consultation and that this unit is
committed to uphold the standard and policies for the welfare and
protection of children in our Area of Operation. This unit also
condemns the CPP/NPA of using children as their courier and
Northern Samar’s new DepEd Division
office building and Library Hub soon to serve the public
By TERESITA B. CARDENAS (PIA Northern
June 10, 2009
Samar – Northern Samar’s New Division Office Building and
Library Hub will be opened soon for business next week. This was
learned from Dr. Thelma C. Quitalig, the schools division
superintendent, in her opening remarks during the blessing last Friday
of the new division building and library hub.
An emotional division
chief said that the blessing of the new building was historic and
further said that her heart was filled with joy and sense of
accomplishment. “This is the day that God has willed us to be here to
witness the ritual showcasing of one of the big accomplishments we
have made as an organization”, Quitalig said.
elaborated how the “beautiful edifice” started. Upon her assumption to
office as the schools division superintendent of
Northern Samar on
June 4, 2003, she then
dreamt of constructing a new division office building. When news
spread out that central office will construct its new library hub, her
dream suddenly became a big hope. She hoped that soon that building
will be afforded to the province. She then believed that because
she has put premium on commitment, perseverance and excellence – all
these won the hearts and minds of education stakeholders that
consequently led to the granting of P8 million worth of a two-storey
The 2-storey building
will now house the administrative personnel, the medical and dental
unit, the planning unit, the legal unit, all on the second floor and
the division library hub which is considered one of the biggest hubs
in the country is located on its first floor and would be operational
this week. The second floor is however still undergoing its finishing
touches while awaiting for the remaining P2 million from the central
Division Library Hub project supports the Early Child a Reader Program
(ECARP) of the Department of Education which aims to develop love and
habit of reading among children in public elementary and secondary
The library hub will
serve as warehouse library of books and supplementary reading
materials in all levels and will exclusively serve the five hundred
twenty (520) public elementary schools, sixty-six (66) secondary
schools, one hundred fifteen thousand five hundred fifty-four
(115,554) elementary teachers, nine hundred seventy-three (973)
secondary teachers and three hundred fifty-seven (357) administrators
of the Division of Northern Samar.
Governor Raul A. Daza
in his message remembered the school where he went while he was still
a child. He related that his mother was a school teacher in one
of the barangays in Calbayog City. The building where his mother
taught was very dilapidated that seemed ready to be blown away during
stormy days. Their house was more sturdy than their school
building. The governor then related his elementary and college
days, the experiences of his mother and his experiences as a working
student in their library where he spent most of his time, “where I was
working to help my mother defray expenses in my schooling.”
“Sometimes people say
tell me where your house is, and I will tell you who you are, and this
morning as we witness the blessing of this new division office
building, we get a glimpse of the good leadership of Dr. Quitalig,”
the governor said.
educators who attended the blessing, the governor further said that
“there could be no quality education if there is no suitable building
and classrooms since education is the best equalizer in a society and
that teachers hold the balance of social equality for their sincerity,
devotion and passion to serve the school children. In the midst
of the global economic crisis, there is a ray of hope in the distance
horizon and the dawn of promise, so I share with you, your deepest
passion to serve the people of Northern Samar”.
He also congratulated,
Dr. Thelma Quitalig for her efforts in looking for financial support
from the central office in order to realize the completion of the
On the other hand, the
assistant schools division superintendent and Project STRIVE Manager
Mrs. Juanita F. Layon, said in her closing remarks that “the province
is blessed to have been given our own ‘Library of Alexandria’ where
learners’ thirst for knowledge will be easily satisfied with the
flowing information from its soon to be book furnished shelves. The
hunger for teaching resources can now be easily satiated with the
sumptuous array of soft and hard materials available within our reach.
This library hub could be one of the best things that ever happened to
our never-ending quest for learning and excellence”.
The assistant schools
division superintended then concluded that “this edifice however does
not only address our needs for better learning resource but it also
provides us with a venue wherein the humanistic and holistic concerns
of our divisional management can find meaning. As the seat of our
administrative concerns this building is a beacon for all teachers,
school officials and the general public to find solution to their
professional and personal problems. It is simply because in this
office we have leaders and workers with hearts that beat for others, a
conscience that puts the welfare of others above self and a sense of
empathy to the feelings of others.”
Geothermal tax share to be used for
Leyte’s school building program
June 10, 2009
– With the Philippine National Oil Company reportedly set to pay its
royalty tax share amounting to more or less P450 million to local
government units in Leyte soon, Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla said, the
province is going to devise a school building program where its
provincial share would go.
Gov. Petilla said for
several years now, they have been urging the geothermal company to pay
their royalty taxes to the province, the host municipality and
barangay and has even taken matters to the court to determine how much
is really owed to the respective local government units.
Under Section 294 of
Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, provides that
45 percent of the royalties from the exploitation of natural resources
should go to towns, 35 percent to barangays and 35 percent to the
Should the payment of
these royalty shares go through in the latter part of the year, the
governor disclosed the province would utilize the tax share in a
school building program that would address the classrooms problem of
many public elementary and high schools in the province.
“The plan is to devise
a school building program where those that would be prioritized are
schools lacking in classrooms then those that are badly needing of
repairs,” Gov. Petilla said.
It can be recalled
that in the last visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the
province during the latter’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa 2009,
the President announced that the royalty shares of the local
government units where the sources of the geothermal power generation
have been determined and will soon be released.
The Department of
Budget and Management has computed royalty tax shares which will be
released to the host local government units after President Arroyo
earlier ordered the DBM together with the Department of Energy (DoE),
Department of Finance (DoF) and the Department of Interior and Local
Government to work on the computation of the royalty shares and have
these released at the soonest possible time to the LGUs that play host
to the country’s geothermal power plants.
The province of Leyte
will reportedly receive P4,101,338 for 2007 and P17,616,006.80 for the
The municipality of
Kananga will receive the royalty tax share of P6,280,921 for the year
2007 and P26,173,490.40 for 2008 while Ormoc City will receive
P2,947,090 and P13,462,524 for 2007 and 2008 respectively.
For the host
barangays, a royalty share of P4,729,204 and P19,817,809 for 2007 and
2008 will be given to Barangay Lim-ao and Barangay Rizal and another
P155,956 and P539,349 for Barangay Tongonan in Kananga town.
Sec. Claudio keynotes June 12 Kalayaan
activities in Region 8
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 9, 2009
– Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs, Secretary Gabriel
Claudio, will keynote the 111th Commemoration of Philippine
Independence in Region 8.
Secretary Claudio who
is from Region 8, is the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency
Employment Program (CLEEP) steward in Region 8, Department of Labor
and Employment Region 8 Director Forter Puguon bared during the media
launching of the Region 8 Independence Day activities at Panindugan
Television program of the Philippine Information Agency.
Director Puguon said
that the June 12 activities will start with a 6:00 o’clock mass at the
Santo Niño Church, to be followed by the flag-raising and
wreath-laying activities at Plaza Rizal, just in front of the church.
A motorcade will be
conducted from Plaza Rizal to the 5,000 people capacity Tacloban City
Convention Center where the short Commemorative Program will be held.
In consonance with the
theme: Kagitingan, Katapatan at Kasipagan Tungo sa Tunay na Kalayaan,
the distribution of Livelihood assistance, training certificates and
emergency employment certificates to the CLEEP beneficiaries in Region
8 will be done by Secretary Claudio with Presidential Assistant for
Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras and Director Puguon assisting him.
After the program, the
Service Caravan and Jobs Fair will be officially opened. Director
Puguon said that the various government offices will offer emergency
job placements in the Jobs Fair and will also provide services to the
public. Various CLEEP products will also be displayed for sale.
The Jobs Fair is
June 12, 13 and 14 for government jobs, local employment and overseas
A closing program will
be conducted on June 14 to give recognition to everyone who helped
make the commemoration a success.
Director Puguon also
called on the public to display the National Flag prominently in their
respective homes and places of work to show their support to the
Reg 8 conducts underwater, watersurface,
shoreline clean-up on June 10
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 9, 2009
June 10, 2009, hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life, young and
old, executives and ordinary office staff, businessmen and consumers
will move towards the four identified areas of Tacloban to form the
largest one-day volunteer event.
The multi-sector Clean
Up Drive which will start at 6:00 o’clock in the morning, is one of
the highlights in this year’s Independence Day celebration in Region
8, Philippine Ports Authority Manager in Region 8 Winfred Elizalde
The Clean Up Drive
chairman, Ports Manager Winfred Elizalde, who was among the guests
during the Panindugan television program of the Philippine Information
Agency, said that what makes this Clean-Up different is that the
volunteers will not only clean the trash and the debris along the
shoreline but also the surface of the ocean and even under the ocean.
Manager Elizalde said
that government agencies, non-government organizations and local
government units are all invited to participate in the Clean Up and
help save the environment just as the heroes gave their lives to save
the country from foreign invaders.
The Clean Up will be
conducted in four areas of Tacloban shoreline, from the Cancabato Bay
to the San Juanico Strait, Manager Elizalde added.
The elements of the
Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard will do the underwater
clean up, Manager Elizalde said. The Philippine National Police and
the Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force have already
signified their participation to the clean up endeavor.
The members of the
Region Eight Administrators League have signified their full support
to the endeavor while the barangay officials in the clean up areas are
also expected to support the activity.
called on the volunteers to bring their clean up tools and garbage
bags. A garbage truck will be assigned in each of the four clean up
areas where the volunteers could dispose of the garbage they have
The Clean Up Drive is
not just pollution clean up, Manager Elizalde said, it is also a wake
up call for pollution prevention. People must be made aware that there
will be no trashes to pick if people in the first place will not throw
wastes especially the non-biodegradable ones any where, much less on
the shoreline where the waves will wash the wastes to the sea.
Search is on for ten outstanding
children of Filipinos abroad
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 8, 2009
– The Search for Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children has been
launched for the third consecutive year by the Bank of Philippine
Islands Overseas Banking Group.
The award is part of
BPI’s efforts to give recognition to Filipino overseas. Hand in hand
with providing financial and banking needs, the bank also aims to
inspire the overseas Filipinos by lauding the source of their
motivation and hard work, their children.
Through this campaign,
BPI wants to raise public awareness about the great contributions of
the Filipino expatriates not only to the Philippine economy but to
nation-building as well.
In order to qualify,
the nominees must be children of Filipinos working abroad aged 15 to
21 years old.
The nominees must be
presently enrolled, have parents or relatives who are BPI depositors,
and belong to the top 10 percent of his or her class.
The nominees must
submit an essay entitled “Ano ang papel ko sa pagpapaunlad ng ating
pamayanan bilang anak ng isang Expat Pinoy?” In English, the title is
“What is my role in the development of our society as a son or
daughter of an Expat Pinoy?”
The essay may be
written in English or Filipino, typewritten double spaced and must be
between 1,500 to 2,000 words.
Moreover, the nominees
must submit other documentary requirements which include accomplished
application form; proof of enrollment; diploma or certificate of
graduation; certified true copy of grades along with list of awards,
if any; birth certificate; and certification from BPI proving existing
Another requirement is
the letters of nomination from the principal, college dean,
superintendent, parish priest, managers of BPI or BPI Family Savings
Bank, or head of a civil or church organization.
Nomination forms are
available at any BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank branches nationwide.
The nomination form can also be downloaded from
www.bpiexpressonline.com.ph or www.bpidirect.com.ph under Promo Page -
Mailed entries must be
postmarked not later than August 28 to Paul Joseph V. Fonte of the
Marketing Department, Overseas Customers Segment, Bank of the
Philippine Islands at 6/F BPI Family Savings Bank Center, Paseo de
Roxas cor. Dela Rosa St., Makati City 1226, Metro Manila.
Application period is
from June 1 to August 28 and the winners who will receive Php 50,000
each, will be announced in August.
New computer sets given to Tanauan’s
June 8, 2009
– Ten new computer sets were given by the provincial government of
Leyte to Tanuan town’s eSkwela center, a flagship project of the
Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) that is
envisioned to provide ICT-enhanced educational opportunities for
Filipino out-of-school youth and adults.
This now brought the
total number of computers at the Tanauan Community e-Center to twenty.
Under this project of
the CICT, community-based e-learning centers or eSkwelas are being
established in major centers around the country to conduct ICT-enhanced
alternative education programs for interested individuals.
The center serves as a
venue where out-of-school learners and other community members can
learn new skills and competencies, review for the Accreditation and
Equivalency (A&E) Examination of the DepEd-BALS, and help prepare
learners to rejoin the formal school system.
According to Leyte
Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla this is one project wholly supported by
the provincial government as it brings e-learning opportunities and
ICT learning resources to mobile teachers, instructional managers and
out-of-school learners in an exciting, innovative, and locally
On the other hand,
Tanauan Mayor Roque Tiu said the new computer sets provided by the
provincial government would be a great help in making available ICT-enhanced
alternative education programs for more out-of-school youths.
Enrollees of the
program identified by the Division Office of the Department of
Education in Leyte are called learners who are taught according to
their own pace. Interactive topic modules are employed to teach the
learners the five learning strands geared to help them develop basic
skills in preparation for employment, vocational courses or tertiary
The five learning
strands include communications, critical thinking and problem solving,
productivity and sustainability of natural resources, development of
self and sense of community, and expanding one’s world vision. The
modules include audio and text materials in English but for
discussions, learners can use Filipino or English.
Tanauan eSkwela based
at the Tanauan Community e-Center is the first community e-center in
Leyte and was launched in February of this year through the Commission
on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) together with the
local government of Tanauan.
eSkwela project sites established in the country include Quezon City,
San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City and
PGMA confirms attendance as keynote
speaker during South Leyte’s 49th Anniversary
By PIA Southern
June 4, 2009
Southern Leyte – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
will be the keynote speaker during ceremonies marking the 49th
anniversary celebration of Southern Leyte province on July 1.
This confirmation was
relayed by Presidential Assistant (PA) for Eastern Visayas Cynthia
Nierras on Monday to Gov. Damian Mercado while the Provincial
Development Council (PDC) meeting was in progress at the RK Kangleon
At the start of the
PDC meeting at around ten o’clock in the morning, Board Member Jason
Calva, chair of the steering committee, was wrapping up his discussion
on the activities related to the July 1 festivities, wherein on the
day of the anniversary proper itself the President had signified her
intention to come.
Calva said this was
agreed during the President’s visit last April 15 at barangay Benit,
San Ricardo, during the inauguration of the Benit RO-RO terminal,
although this would be updated with constant follow-up and proper
By around 11:40 in the
morning, Gov. Mercado received a call from PA Nierras through his
cellular phone confirming the President’s attendance as guest of honor
for this year’s anniversary.
immediately relayed the just-in information to the audience, adding
that the President will also grace the inauguration of the new Maasin
city wet market at the reclamation area.
In his bi-weekly radio
program over radio station DYDM, Maasin City Mayor Maloney Samaco said
the President will also led the groundbreaking rites for the
construction of a mall building, also scheduled to be built at the
reclamation site anytime this year.
He was referring to
the plans of the city government to put up a new structure to house
the Gaisano shopping mall in the city.
There were no other
details yet as to the President’s itinerary in the city and province
if and when such schedule pushes through as of this writing.
PCA hails biggest donor of nursery,
earwig lab and office
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 4, 2009
Samar – The Philippine Coconut Industry (PCA) Regional
Office 8 through Regional Manager Edilberto Nierva hailed President of
Samar Coco, Engr. Julio Co for donating close to P2M to establish a
coco nursery, earwig lab and a PCA satellite office in Calbayog City.
In the blessing of the
coco nursery on Wednesday, Nierva profusely thanked the low profile Co
who just smiled at the accolades heaped on him by Nierva and Mayor Mel
According to Meinard
Montano, PCA Coconut Development Officer (CDO) in Calbayog City, Co has been helping PCA since 2004
by funding coconut nurseries as the businessman was deeply concerned
that coconut productivity was dwindling.
Montano then proposed
a coconut nursery which Co immediately approved.
The first coco
nursery, said Montano had only 10 thousand seed nuts and yearly then,
it became automatic for Co to finance the venture while working
closely with the hardworking Montano.
The seed nuts were
given free to coconut farmers.
Presently erected at
is a modest PCA office cum Earwig lab, a coconut nursery housing some
15,000 seed nuts along with suggested intercrops like eggplants,
pechay and other greens.
Nierva in his message
said that Montano’s close partnership with Co will surely benefit
coconut farmers in the fist district of Samar.
Co, meanwhile said he
did not think twice to fund a noble cause as a form of doing his
corporate social responsibility.
Brothers Tomas and
Julio Co are big businessmen in Calbayog dealing with different
business establishments where coconut is clearly one of them.
RH bill protects young people from
internet pornography, says RH supporter
By VIGIE BENOSA-LLORIN
June 4, 2009
QUEZON CITY –
Amid sex video scandal involving celebrities, a non-government
organization supporting the highly controversial “Reproductive Health
and Population Development Act of 2009” that proposes age-appropriate
responsible sexuality education, found an ally in no less than the
Malacanang’s Executive Secretary himself.
Ramon San Pascual,
Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators Committee on
Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) lauds Sec. Eduardo
Ermita for admitting to media that he is pushing for sex education.
In news reports, Sec. Ermita said that sex education help prevents
unwanted pregnancies. Further, Sec. Ermita said that Pres.
Arroyo is endorsing sex education for the benefit of our younger
advocates welcome this statement of support on sexuality education,”
San Pascual said. “Mandatory age-appropriate responsible education is
one of the main features of the reproductive health bill,” added San
Pascual. Unfortunately, some officials of the Catholic church are
contesting this provision laments San Pascual.
Some officials of the
Catholic church does not want adequately trained teachers discussing
responsible sex education to young people as they want to leave this
responsibility to the parents alone. In the RH bill, parents as
much as the school system will have a joint responsibility in molding
children to become responsible in their behaviors and help prepare
them into adulthood.
“The youth of today
are easily influenced by their peers and the media in matters of sex,”
said San Pascual. “They are internet savvy and much more
technologically advanced. A parent who is less equipped with
moral sense and without much familiarity with computer technology, and
at the same time busy raising income for the family, would most likely
not able to protect their child from being exposed to pornographic
materials proliferating in the net,” warns San Pascual.
Contrary to what the
oppositionists claim, the proposed adolescent reproductive health
education does not only provide information to prevent unwanted
pregnancies but also includes formation of attitudes, beliefs and
values on sexual development, sexual behavior and sexual health.
youth with proper information and values is important to help them
make responsible decisions on sex. We urge lawmakers to heed the call
of not only the officials of this country, but more so, of the
majority of Filipino people who demands the access to comprehensive
reproductive health services,” San Pascual concluded.
South Leyte to invite Pacquiao as guest
on opening day for 49th Provincial Anniversary
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
June 3, 2009
– Fans of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in this city and
the entire province of Southern Leyte may have the chance of their
life to see in person their idol on June 26, the opening day for this
year’s anniversary celebration on July 1.
the Provincial Development Council (PDC) meeting Tuesday morning at RK
Kangleon Function House presided by Gov. Damian Mercado, City Mayor
Maloney Samaco moved to pass a resolution requesting the presence of
Pacquiao for the Inter-town Boxing Competition at the Capitol Sunken
Garden in the evening of June 26.
Aside from viewing the
boxing bouts, the southpaw boxer was also invited to grace the
provincial derby, which is being scheduled to be held on the same June
Copies of the
resolution will be definitely sent to the Pacman’s camp, and it was
not known yet whether he can make it if his schedule permits.
during the day for the opening salvo on June 26 will be a
province-wide cycling competition, which would take off at seven in
the morning, and the blessing of the newly-finished Legislative
Building by nine, also in the morning.
By three o’clock in
the afternoon, an anniversary walk will be held, wherein participants
will hike from the Anatalio Gaviola Public Plaza in the city’s center
up to the capitol building, a distance of about three kilometers.
Tickets will be duly
distributed after the walk, and door prizes will be given to those
whose names will be taken from the “tambiolo”, the prizes ranging from
several kilos of rice to appliances, among others.
Member Jason Calva, the chairman of the steering committee, presented
an overview of the activities that can be expected for this year’s
At the start of his
presentation, he had hinted for the province to invite Manny Pacquiao
as guest on June 26 for the boxing competition and provincial derby.
And before he ended
the rundown of activities, he had asked that a resolution be passed
for the mentioned purpose, in which Mayor Samaco, chairman of the City
Sports Council and a sports enthusiast himself, readily took the floor
and sponsored the needed resolution, unanimously carried.
Calva said this year’s
anniversary theme is “Southern Leyte: Ang Sinugdan…”
CPP/NPA on a killing rampage
Cpt. ROSA MA CRISTINA ROSETE-MANUEL, (FA) PA
June 3, 2009
10th ID, Camp
Panacan, Davao City – In a statement dated May 26, 2009 which
was made public Sunday, the Communist Party of the Philippines/New
People’s Army (CPP/NPA) said that Evelyn Pitao-Dadula had given the
military information that led to the killing of her brother, Danilo,
in Tagum City in June 2008 and the arrest of her former party husband,
a communist guerilla named Ka Emong, in January 2009.
The CPP/NPA also
blamed Evelyn for being responsible in the arrest of Leoncio Pitao in
“Based from their
statements, it has become evident that the killings are perpetrated by
the CPP/NPA to punish alleged violators within their ranks,” Major
General Reynaldo Mapagu of 10ID said.
The admission of the
CPP/NPA of owning the murder came after they have pinpointed the
military as the perpetrator along with the condemnation from the Pitao
family and militant groups like Karapatan.
leadership has continuously denied the involvement of the military in
the alleged killings.
“It is the strategy of
the CPP to use the military as the scapegoat every time they commit
atrocities in order to discredit the government. The fact that the CPP/NPA
admitted the series of murders means that the military is vindicated
of all the accusations being attributed to it,” Mapagu said.
The NPA admitted to
have perpetrated recent murders including that of Ex-Army Manny Villa
who was executed in Matanao, Davao del Sur, Ruben Bitang in Panabo
City, and Staff Sergeant Rolen Manlangit in Monkayo, Compostela
“They have gone
indiscriminate and berserk in their killings. They have put justice in
their own hands. They are now paranoid as the
AFP has continuously diminished their influence in a lot of
areas in Davao Region. When they are pushed to the wall like this, it
is their normal reaction to cleanse their ranks, including their
supporters, of possible traitors. It is their paranoia that makes them
commit costly mistakes like committing murder against their own people
as they have done in the past,” Mapagu further pointed out.
It is also evident
that there is an ongoing rift between the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command
and the Pulang Bagani Command under Leoncio Pitao.
“There has been
massive demoralization and in-fighting within their ranks. The mass
surrender of fighters is an indication of this. The main issue is the
loss of funds which were earlier reported to have been bungled by key
party leaders of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee,” Mapagu added.
Poll Automation Oversight Committee to
summon Comelec, Smartmatic – Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
June 2, 2009
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday said the joint congressional
oversight committee will summon officials of the Commission on
Elections (Comelec) and the remaining bidder to answer questions on
the poll counting machines to be used for the 2010 elections.
“Now that it seems
there will be a winning bidder, it would be good to hear from them the
answers to simple questions related to the implementation of the poll
automation,” he said.
Escudero, who is
co-chair of the oversight committee, said the hearing will be held in
the next two weeks and will focus on the technology and capability of
the winning bidder to effectively and fully implement the automation
of the elections.
“I still have to be
convinced that poll automation will be fail-safe. In a
closely-contested election, there can be no margin for error. We
cannot afford to have a repeat of 2004,” he said.
Escudero has called
for partial automation of the elections, warning that the country was
not prepared to conduct full automation at this time.
Only the consortium of
Smartmatic and Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) remains in the
running for the P11.3-billion automation contract. On Monday, the AMA
Group of Companies and Election System and Software (ES&S) withdrew
its bid offer, complaining that the SBAC changed the bid requirements
too late in the process.
SBAC chair Ferdinand
Rafanan has said that he expect the committee to submit its
recommendations after the post-qualification screening is completed
early this week.
Borongan is still a City
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
June 2, 2009
Eastern Samar – To the protagonists the series of motions
in the Supreme Court for Borongan cityhood with the hanging decision
of the High Court is better-off which likewise, could be music
to their ears.
In a brief talk with
Mayor Fidel “Panka” Anacta, he laments that despite the efforts being
made for the cityhood, some opt to talk about the disapproval issue.
“Borongan remains a
city, until the final decision of the Supreme Court,” Mayor Anacta
He said that today
(June 2) Supreme Court deemed it to include in their priority agenda.
It can be recalled that the initial decision was 6-5 in favor of the
League of Cities of the Philippines who lodged the opposition against
the 16-would-be cities, Borongan and Catbalogan included. On
second motion, the High Court decided a 6-6 vote which certainly
called for another hearing because, obviously, the vote meant either
With the review today,
and with the retirement of two justices who were not pro-Borongan
Cityhood, many Boronganons keep their fingers cross, hoping that
everything turns favorable.
As for Mayor Anacta,
with the help being extended by Mayor Alexander Pimentel, President of
the 16 aspiring city mayors, there is still hope that Borongan will
become a city.
“I wish more people
could talk about what could be best for Borongan”.
Anacta who is now on
this third term as mayor believes, that should the cityhood is
confirmed and ruled, it will be of benefit to the majority.