Human rights advocate
By KATUNGOD-SINIRANGAN BISAYAS
TACLOBAN CITY – “We
condemn the brutal killing of Fr. Cecilio Lucero, a Catholic priest,
September 6, 2009 in Sitio Fuente, Brgy. Layuhan,
San Jose, Northern
Samar, while on board a van. He was killed by unidentified men wearing
ski masks and carrying high-powered rifles,” said Flor Chantal Eco,
Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas’ Secretary-General in a statement today.
Fr. Lucero is a member
of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) in Northern Samar
and an active human rights advocate. He’s the parish priest of the
Catholic Church in Catubig, Northern Samar and the Chairperson of the
Social Action Center (SAC) of the Diocese of Catarman.
Before the incident,
Fr. Lucero has already been receiving threats from the military and
has observed that he’s under surveillance.
“It is clear that he
was killed because of his involvement in human rights advocacy. Many
farmers run to him to ask for assistance every time the military
commits human rights violations,” Eco added.
She furthered that no
one is to be blamed but the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime thru its
counter-insurgency campaign, Oplan Bantay Laya 2 (OBL 2). As part of
OBL 2, the government, thru the military, targets civilians suspected
as supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA), members and leaders of
legal democratic organizations and critics of the government.
“We call on the
concerned authorities to conduct a real investigation that will truly
prosecute the true perpetrators. A lot of Task Force has been formed
in the region to investigate extrajudicial killings but not one has
still been prosecuted. We also call on the people of Eastern Visayas
to be vigilant in defending and promoting human rights. Our human
rights will not be easily protected unless we are united fighting for
it,” Eco concluded.
Reference: Flor Chantal C. Eco, Secretary-General, Katungod-SB,
P3.9 billion tuition
aid earmarked for 700,000 private high school students
By Office of Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas (1st District,
September 8, 2009
QUEZON CITY – A
total of P3.9 billion in new funding has been apportioned to subsidize
the tuition of 703,318 students enrolled in private high schools, Cebu
Rep. Eduardo Gullas, an educator, disclosed Sunday.
Gullas said the
amount, included in the proposed P1.541-trillion General
Appropriations Act of 2010, forms part of the P172.8-billion new
budget for the Department of Education (Deped).
He said the P3.9
billion is P200 million greater than this year’s P3.7 billion
allotment for the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in
Private Education (GASTPE) Program, meant for 665,975
"This (P3.9 billion)
implies that some 54 percent of all students enrolled in private high
schools next year stand to benefit from the program," Gullas said.
He said GASTPE is
being expanded to aggressively address the overcrowding of public high
GASTPE has two
components – the voucher system and the service contracting scheme.
In the voucher system,
needy private high school students who apply would each get a
P7,000-voucher that can then used to partly pay for tuition.
In large-scale service
contracting with private institutions, the tuition of students would
be subsidized at P5,000 each.
Other than the
willingness of the student’s parents to pay for the rest of the
tuition, GASTPE does not have any requirement.
"In a way, through
GASTPE, the government is incidentally helping to prop up private high
schools that continue to wobble from declining enrollment due to the
rising cost of education," Gullas pointed out.
The Cebu lawmaker said
the Deped’s 2010 budget also includes:
P2.1 billion to create
10,372 new teaching positions and hire an extra support staff of 4,351
for the public school system; P2.3 billion to construct, repair and
rehabilitate 3,756 classrooms, 2,755 school water sanitation
facilities, and science and Internet laboratories;
Another P1.6 billion
to build 2,462 new classrooms for elementary and high schools in areas
with severe shortages; and P500 million to reward 10,000 schools that
have successfully adopted exceptional plans to raise the quality of
instruction and learning.
The public school
system is expected to support next year 13,607,517 and 5,754,477
students at the elementary and secondary levels, respectively, or a
total of 19,361,994 enrollees.
Human rights priest killed in ambush, 2 others wounded in Northern Samar
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 7, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Philippine National Police in Region 8 is now making a thorough
investigation on the ambush killing in the morning of September 6, of Rev. Fr. Cecilio Pelito Lucero, the Parish Priest of Catubig,
Fr. Lucero together
with two companions, was on board his brown Toyota super custom van
going to the direction of the Capital town Catarman, when about 30
unidentified men wearing bonnets and armed with high-power arms
ambushed them at the National Highway, near the cemetery of Barangay
Layuhan, San Jose town, spot report of Northern Samar PNP, furnished
by the PNP Regional Office 8 through a request to PRO 8 Director Mario
San Diego, stated.
Fr. Lucero, 48,
younger brother of former Northern Samar Representative Wilmar Lucero,
and Northern Samar Vice Governor Antonio Lucero, sustained multiple
gunshot wounds in the body and in the head causing his instantaneous
Fr. Lucero who is a
well known human rights advocate, being the chairman of the Human
Rights Desk-Social Action Center of the Diocese of Catarman, was
brought to a hospital where he was pronounced dead and was autopsied
by the doctors. His remains now lie in state at the Catarman
His companion, a
civilian identified as Isidro Miras, sustained gunshot wounds in the
body and in the head. A public utility jeep passenger, Jose Aguda, 17,
of Rosario town also sustained a gunshot wound on his left foot. Both
victims were brought to the hospital for medical treatment.
Reports stated that
Police escort PO2 Bation managed to fire back at the attackers which prompted the
armed men to scamper in different directions.
Director, Police Senior Superintendent Mejos was reported to have
immediately responded by going to the crime scene together with the
operatives of the San Jose Police, to conduct police operations and
The PNP spot report
said that the attackers are at large and the motive has not been
established or remains unknown.
The PNP Northern Samar
spot report indicated that Fr. Lucero and his companions were from
Allen and on their way to Catarman when the incident happened.
Unconfirmed reports, however, said that Fr. Lucero came from Capul
Island and was on his way back to Catubig when the ambush occurred.
From Allen, a traveler
has to pass by the towns of Lavezares,
San Jose and Bobon before reaching Catarman. From Catarman, a
commuter has to pass by three municipalities before reaching the
interior town of Catubig, 66.7km away from Catarman.
NPA raids Basey CAFGU
detachment; at least 10 HPRs taken
By Arnulfo Ortiz Command, New People's
September 4, 2009
The Arnulfo Ortiz
Command of the New People's Army in
Western Samar today acknowledged that its Red fighters successfully raided
a military detachment in Brgy. Cancaiyas, Basey last August 30. "The
NPA raided the detachment of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical
Unit at around
4:00 a.m. and controlled it after a short battle," said Ka
AOC spokesperson. "Initial reports indicate that the NPA were
able to confiscate at least 10 high-powered rifles: four M16 rifles,
four M14 rifles and two carbines. A radio transceiver was also seized.
We are still awaiting the official report because the number of
weapons taken could be higher."
The AOC spokesperson
also dismissed the military's allegations of heavy NPA casualties as
sour-graping to cover up their embarrassing defeat. "The Red fighters
were able to withdraw safely without any casualties. As per media
reports, there were two CAFGUs wounded in action, Civilian Armed
Auxiliary (CAA) Mario Q. Sabido and CAA Enerasis F. Guevara.
Meanwhile, the other CAFGUs abandoned their posts and fled for their
lives when the battle commenced."
Ka Vicente Magbuhat
hailed the NPA's victory in Basey as the latest in a string of
guerrilla offensives to crush the Arroyo government's Oplan Bantay
Laya. "Many NPA offensives are subject to news blackout by the 8th
Infantry Division because these expose the sham of government victory
by 2010. For example, harassment operations by the NPA killed a
soldier in Brgy. Nawe, Paranas last March 16, and another soldier in
Brgy. Calundan, San Jorge on March 25. Two sniping operations last May
23 in Brgy. Bay-ang, San Jorge also killed five soldiers, two of whom
were identified as Pfc. Malinao and Pfc. Aleman. There were no NPA
casualties in any of these offensive operations."
The spokesperson of
the Arnulfo Ortiz Command also called on the soldiers, police and
paramilitary to surrender immediately when under attack by the NPA
rather than sacrifice their lives needlessly. "It is not worth it to
die for a corrupt president like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Moreover,
the NPA always gives government forces a chance to surrender, and
treats captured or wounded enemy personnel leniently in accordance
with international humanitarian law. The people and the NPA are united
in defeating Oplan Bantay Laya and in ousting the greedy, brutal and
puppet Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The soldiers should consider their
options rather than allow themselves to be cannon fodder for Arroyo
and her equally corrupt generals."
Related News: Army
launches hot pursuit operations vs NPA rebels
DBM Secretary graces
inauguration of Procurement Service Depot in Region 8
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Budget Secretary Rolando G. Andaya, Jr., is expected
to grace the formal inauguration and blessing of the new building of
the Procurement Service Depot in Region, which is located adjacent to
the DBM-Region 8 Building.
DBM Region 8 Director
Imelda Laceras informed that several Central Office Officials and
other regional officials are also expected to attend the September 24,
2009 inauguration of the new PS Depot building.
The thanksgiving mass
will start at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon with Rev. Msgr. Ramon A.
Aguilos, Rev. Father Ronel Taboso and Rev. Father Erlito A. Maraya
The Ribbon Cutting and
Unveiling of the Marker of the new building will be done by the
Honorable DBM Secretary together with Atty. Estanislao C. Granados,
Jr., the PS-DBM Executive Director, PA for Eastern Visayas Cynthia
Nierras, DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, DBM Secretary Evelyn
Guerrero, RDC 8 Chairman Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Col. Arnaldo F.
Fernandez Jr., who is the commander of the 53rd Engineer Brigade of
the Philippine Army, and the governors of the 6 provinces in Eastern
Col. Arnaldo Fernandez
and Lt. Col. Krestofel A. Kiamco, commander of the 546 Engineer
Battalion in Borongan, Eastern Samar will turn over the keys of the
building to Atty. Granados and Director Laceras after which, the
Message of the Keynote Speaker Secretary Andaya will take place.
Procurement Service Depot (PS Depot) was opened in the Region in
connection with the government objective to centralize government
procurement pursuant to RA 9184 otherwise known as the Government
Procurement Reform Act.
Procurement Service depot operates as the center where all
transactions related to procurement of supplies and equipment needed
in every government agency will be facilitated. Every year, all the
national government agencies in the region are to furnish DBM 8 with
the list of the usual supplies and equipment requirements to enable
the agency to determine the stocking requirement for the Regional
Procurement Service Depot.
Section 63 of RA 9184
provides for the organization of a Government Procurement Policy Board
to protect national interest in all matters affecting public
procurement, having due regard to the country's regional and
international obligations, to formulate and amend whenever necessary
the IRR and the corresponding standard forms for procurement, to
ensure that Procuring Entities regularly conduct procurement training
programs and prepare procurement operations manual for all offices and
agencies of government and to conduct an annual review of this Act and
recommend any amendments thereto as maybe necessary.
In addition to the
powers granted under this Act, the GPPB shall absorb all the powers,
functions and responsibilities of the Procurement Policy Board created
under Executive Order No. 359, series of 1989. All affected functions
of the Infrastructure Committee of the National Economic and
Development Authority Board are hereby transferred to the GPPB.
The GPPB shall be
composed of the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management,
as Chairman, the Director-General of the National Economic and
Development Authority, as Alternate Chairman, with the following as
Members: the Secretaries of the Departments of Public Works and
Highways, Finance, Trade and Industry, Health, National Defense,
Education, Interior and Local Government, Science and Technology,
Transportation and Communications, and Energy, or their duly
authorized representatives and a representative from the private
sector to be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the
GPPB. The GPPB may invite a representative from the Commission on
Audit to serve as a resource person.
PGMA declares Sept 7
and 21 as non-working holidays
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Two non-working holidays await the Filipino people
this month of September. The first is on September 7 while the other
is on September 21.
September 7 has been
declared as a National Day of Mourning on the burial of Iglesia ni
Cristo Executive Minister Erano “Ka Erdy” Manalo, who died of
cardio-pulmonary arrest on Monday, August 31, 2009.
President Arroyo also
directed that all flags must be flown half-mast on Monday on the
interment of the INC leader whose remains lie in state at the
of the INC at Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
Reports stated that he
will be buried in the tabernacle near the Church group’s Central
Temple while awaiting the completion of the construction of a
mausoleum where his remains will eventually be transferred.
The said mausoleum
will be built near the monument of the late (INC founder) Brother
Felix Manalo, also within the grounds of the Iglesia ni Cristo Central
Complex, the statement read.
On the other hand,
President Arroyo declared September 21 as a non-working holiday in
commemoration of Eid’l Fithr or the end of Ramadan.
This is provided by
law as it is listed as one of the holidays stated in Presidential
The implementation of
RA 9177 was placed under the Office of Muslim Affairs which was tasked
to promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to the provisions of the
The main date for the
celebration of Eid'l Fitr this year has been determined to fall on
In order to bring the
religious and cultural significance of the Eid'l Fitr to the fore of
national consciousness, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo deemed it
necessary to declare
September 21, 2009 as regular holiday throughout the country.
The celebration of
Eid'l Fitr in Islam carries a "distinctive meaning and spirit as
compared to other cultures." According to Islamic website
www.islamonline.net, Muslims normally start each day of the three-day
festival by "taking a bath and wearing their best clothes."
While Muslim families
unite in simple gatherings, it is a prayer that brings them together
"to remember Allah's bounties and celebrate His Glory and Greatness."
The about seven
million Filipino Muslims take the occasion as an opportunity to do
charity and good deeds. The feast is not an occasion to take a
vacation from Islamic responsibilities and commitments or to waste
time and money in extravagance.
It is a chance to
multiply good deeds by bringing happiness and pleasure to the hearts
of other Muslims by helping and supporting the poor and needy, and by
getting involved in pastimes that emphasize the strong and serious
Before the day of Eid,
during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a
determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of
actual food to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and
participate in the celebration. This donation is known as Sadaqah al-Fitr
(charity of fast-breaking).
Eid'l Fitr falls on
the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan in the
Islamic calendar. It is a time to give to those in need, and celebrate
with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and
Eastern Visayas is
still National Achievement Test top achiever
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
Eastern Visayas Regions is still number one top achiever in the
National Achievement Test. This means that the students in Region 8
continue to move towards mastery in English, Mathematics, Science,
Filipino and HEKASI.
This happy news was
gathered through a phone patch with the exultant Department of
Education Region 8 Director Sol F. Matugas who said that the awarding
ceremonies and the press conference of the 2009 NAT Top Achievers at
the Pearl Hall, SEAMEO INNOTECH Regional Center, Commonwealth Avenue,
Diliman, Quezon City, have just been over.
Eastern Visayas shared
the limelight with Region 3 and CARAGA regions. Director Matugas said
that for purposes of the awarding, the DepEd Divisions have been
divided into three clusters, the big regions including Region 3 are in
Cluster 1, then there is Cluster 2 where Region 8 belongs and Cluster
3 or the small regions where CARAGA Region belongs to.
There are other
citations like the most improved region, the Region where the student
with highest score belongs, and many others, which Director Matugas
couldn’t identify as of press time because of excitement and
With her in jubilation
were DepEd Division Superintendent for
Southern Leyte, Dr. Violeta Alocilja and Division Superintendent
Thelma Quitalig of
Eastern Visayas has
been consistently topping the NAT, an annual examination used to
determine public school students’ achievement level, strengths and
weaknesses in key subject areas.
The result of the 2009
NAT means that the students in Region 8 continue to move towards
mastery in English, Mathematics, Science, Filipino and HEKASI,
Director Matugas disclosed.
Among the findings in
the result of the 2009 NAT is that public school students performed
better than the private school students. Another finding is that rural
schools showed higher mastery than urban schools.
Moreover, the results
of the 2009 NAT showed that more students of public schools are moving
towards mastery while private school students have average mastery
Generally, the 2009
NAT results show that there is an increasing or improving trend in the
achievement levels of excellence.
Asked her the secret
formula in topping NAT consistently ever since she became the DepEd
Regional Director in Eastern Visayas, Director Matugas said that her
formula is strong partnership with all the education stakeholders;
effective leadership at all levels, from the region to division to
district and to schools; hiring of quality teachers; and a shared
vision of Excellence in education.
The good director will
leave a great legacy of consistently leading Region 8 toward topping
the NAT from the time she came up to the time she left Region 8, as
she is retiring in October.
Project BEN in 3
Eastern Samar towns obtain praises from village chiefs
By BRYAN M. AZURA
Samar – The Community Outreach Development Program (CODP), a
recently launched program under the ongoing Barangay Empowerment
Network (Project BEN), has received lauds and praises from barangay
officials and residents of Lawaan, Mercedes and Balangiga towns during
the projects’ visits to these three towns.
CODP, a joint venture
between the provincial government, national government agencies and
the Local Government Units (LGUs), includes distribution of Philhealth
cards, rice packs, toothpastes, toothbrushes and sports equipment.
These commodities are personally being delivered and handed to
barangay officials and residents by Governor Ben P. Evardone.
Also highlighting the
barangay visits of the governor is the turn-over of the P20,000
provincial assistance to every barangay in Eastern Samar.
Punong Barangay Maria
Escalo of Brgy. Guinmaayohan, Balangiga, expressed thanks to the
governor for not only giving her barangay and constituents basic
services but by improving the provincial road to their barangay.
Recently, the barangay, 12 kilometers from the national highway, was
inaccessible due to bad road condition but was acted upon immediately
by the governor after an ocular visit in the area.
village chief of Bulosao, Lawaan, noted that the visit of the governor
to their barangay is very historic as it is the first time a governor
made such kind of visit bringing with services intended not just for
few but for every family in his barangay.
Punong Barangay of Brgy.
San Jose, Mercedes town, said that his barangay is appreciative for
the personal visit of the governor. “Not only that our barangay was
visited for the first time by a governor but he brought with him goods
for every one of us,” Macapugas said.
barangays who received their respective financial assistance will use
the amount for sanitary and water projects. Mayor Viscuso De Lira said
that he is glad his barangay officials have seen the needs of their
Governor Evardone said
that the choice of projects of the barangay chiefs is a sign that
barangay officials are already seeing the importance of seeing after
the needs of their people.
governor also visited the towns of Quinapondan, Salcedo and San
Policarpo. He is set to visit all towns of the province before the
year ends as part of Project BEN. Mayor Nida Gabornes of Lawaan said
BEN is an obvious gesture of the governor to truly reach out to his people.
Pacada is new
provincial police director of Southern Leyte
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY – The
provincial command of the Philippine National Police (PNP) based in this city has a new leader.
Effective September 1,
2009, PNP SSupt. Pepito Pacada has taken over the leadership of the
provincial police force vice PSSupt. Nilo Donayre, who took over the
Ormoc City Police Station in turn-over rites on Friday, it was
The turn-over ceremony
for the helm of the Southern Leyte
PNP was held September 1 at the provincial headquarters, also
known as Camp Ruperto Kangleon
Monching Buyser, a
roving Police reporter of DYDM, reported that the outgoing top cop was
emotional in his farewell speech, saying he will always treasure his
14 years of service in the province, for it is during his assignment
here that he rose from the ranks.
Sources familiar with
turn-over of Police officers said it has been a standard operating
procedure to reshuffle key personnel after two years of service in a
Donayre’s latest stint
in the province started in May, 2007, shortly before the elections, it
As to the new
provincial PNP director, before his coming into the province, PSSupt.
Pacada headed the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Doctrine
Development (RPHRDD) at the Regional PNP Office, where he had also
served as R1 for administration, it was learned.
He also had a brief
tour of duty as PNP chief of Samar and Tarlac, the source added.
Among those who
graced the change of command was Gov. Damian Mercado, who called on
the PNP to take care of the peace and order situation in the province
and nurture its reputation as the most peaceful province in Region 8.
Chiz lauds Senate
ratification of Anti-torture Bill
By Office of Sen. Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero on Wednesday lauded the Senate
ratification of the reconciled version on the anti-torture bill,
saying it is a landmark piece of legislation that will alleviate the
deplorable state of human rights in the country.
“This is victory
against human rights violators. Torture is to be abhorred. Torturers
should be put away for life," said the 39-year old lawmaker who
steered the passage of the measure in the Senate as chair of the
Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
“I urge our House
colleagues to do the same. This is one measure which all of us can be
proud of,” Escudero said.
Last week, the
Senate-House Bicameral Conference Committee reconciled the two
versions of the anti-torture bill, which seeks to penalize
perpetrators of the act, particularly persons in authority or those
acting on their behalf.
It penalizes all forms
of torture, be it physical, mental, psychological and pharmacological,
which is done through the administration of drugs.
criminalizing torture, Escudero said the bill prohibits the use of
“secret detention centers” by state authorities.
If passed into law,
State authorities such as the police and the military are required to
submit to the Commission on Human Rights a list of all their detention
centers on a monthly basis.
“No more secret or
clandestine hideouts or holding areas where torture is most of the
time performed,” he said.
The senator added that
perpetrators of torture including their superiors face a maximum
penalty of reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Other penalties
range from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 years depending on
the gravity of the offense.
The bill also includes
provisions for the protection of complainants and witnesses and
persons involved in the prosecution, and the establishment of a
rehabilitation program for victims.
Under the bill, no
justification can be offered to justify torture and other inhuman
punishments, which will be declared as criminal acts.
Coast Guard allays
fears of oil spill with tanker still aground off Padre Burgos shallow
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – An officer of the local Coast Guard station here assured the
public not to worry over an impending oil spill feared caused by a
stranded sea-plying tanker when it hit off the shallow reefs in Padre
Burgos town early Saturday morning.
Coast Guard Chief
Petty Office Michael Romero said over DYDM’s “Pamahaw Balita”
Wednesday morning anchored by Jade Nombrado that the 190-ton MT
Shirley Ann, which carried 230,000 liters of automotive diesel oil,
was “double bottom, double hull” on its undersides which makes it
strong enough to prevent the possibility of an oil spill.
Reports said the
tanker, which is owned by South Pole Corp. of Zamboanga City, was on
its way to Loreto town in Dinagat Island when it left the Petron depot
in Mandaue City around 4 in the afternoon of Friday, August 28.
On reaching Tangkaan
Point in barangay Tangkaan, Padre Burgos by about midnight, the
tanker’s main engine had trouble, forcing its skipper Patron William
Wong, to drop anchor, but rough seas and strong winds drifted the
vessel until it rammed a reef by about 12.30 early Saturday morning.
Earlier attempts to
tow the grounded tanker failed because of turbulent seas, it was
Romero told Nombrado
during the live interview Wednesday morning that two strategies have
been considered to rescue the tanker: one is by reducing its thousands
of liters of cargo, and the other is to wait for the highest tide,
which is on Friday, at 1.7 meters 11:00 in the morning.
He also said that an
oil spill boom is arriving this afternoon from Petron-Ormoc to further
secure the perimeters around the stranded tanker.
In a follow-up call at
the Coast Guard office, Petty Officer First Class Domingo Jalandoon
told PIA the boom would act as a precautionary measure in the event an
oil spill happens, preventing it from spreading in the sea-waters
Asked on the updates
of the tilted vessel off San Ricardo port, which is now more than a
month since the accident happened, Jalandoon said it was already
surveyed. There were no other details.
He said there was
no oil spill in the San Ricardo case.
Evacuees return to
their homes, CHR de Lima probes violations and visits Lumad school
By HIGALA SA
September 2, 2009
SURIGAO DEL SUR –
The 1,700 Manobo lumads finally returned to their homes on August 30
accompanied by Commission on Human Rights chair Leila de Lima, local
officials led by provincial administrator Johnny Pimentel, and 200
contingents of the Task Force Surigao National Solidarity Mission led
by Gabriela Women's Party Representative Luz Ilagan and AnakPawis
Representative Joel Maglunsod.
The contingent joined
the lumads to see their safety upon their return and to see that the
troops from the 58th IB complied with the pullout from the
communities. Some residents complained that their houses were looted
of their properties.
In the community of
Han-ayan (18 kilometers from the national highway in Diatagon), De
Lima visited the Alcadev High School to personally see the school that
was alleged by the 58th IB as a school training rebels and is not
recognized by the Department of Education. The visit dispelled those
issues as the chair was impressed with the farm projects and modules.
De Lima arrived in
Tandag on August 29 to probe the complaints of the lumads. He had a
dialogue with Pimentel and visited the lumads at the Diocese Pastoral
CHR chair interviewed victims on how they were being recruited to the
paramilitary Bagani Force. The lumads were assisted by their lawyer
Atty. Antonio Azarcon,
IBP President of
Surigao del Sur.
Atty. Leila de Lima
was accompanied by Tandag CHR Seldio Pilongo and several CHR staff
month-and-a-half of staying in evacuation centers, the lumads were
able to return home after efforts by Higala sa mga Bakwit and members
of the mission convinced the AFP’s 401st Brigade to withdraw troops in
Chiz to gov’t: Act
quickly to prevent fuel spill off Leyte
By Office of Sen. Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday called on concerned government
agencies to ensure that a tanker stranded near a marine sanctuary in
the town of Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte is towed safely to harbor
before anything untoward happens to its deadly cargo.
The 196.28-ton MT
Shirly Ann was on its way to
with a cargo of 230,000 liters of diesel fuel from a depot in Mandaue,
Cebu when its engines suddenly stopped in the early hours of
August 29 in the waters near Padre Burgos.
After dropping anchor,
strong winds and currents drove the ship to a barrier reef in shallow
waters, according to a report by Marina (Maritime Industry Authority).
“The coastal and
marine resources of the province and nearby provinces as well as
families that depend on fishing in the area for their livelihood could
be at risk should a typhoon suddenly hit the area,” the 39-year-old
An attempt by a
tugboat to tow the Shirly Ann away from the marine sanctuary failed,
the Marina said.
“Should the tanker’s
owners decide to transfer its cargo to another vessel, the authorities
must monitor the procedures so that there won’t be any spillage,”
“Let us learn from the
lesson of MV Solar 1,” he added.
MV Solar 1 sank off
Guimaras Island in stormy seas on August 11, 2006, spilling 2.1
million liters of industrial bunker oil that polluted 235 kilometers
of coastline and causing extensive damage to the marine life in the
It also affected
almost 8,000 families and nearly 40,000 people in 59 barangays in
three municipalities in Guimaras and 479 hectares of mangroves as well
as 38 other barangays in three other provinces.