Lt. Colonel Armand
Rico, Chief DPAO, 8th Infantry Division, based in Catbalogan City,
said that the wounded soldier, identified as Pfc Ramon Estico, is now
in stable condition and recuperating.
The said encounter,
the first in the area for this year, took place in sitio Tugop,
Barangay Rizal, some 26 kms away from the town proper.
Lt. Col. Rico said
that one of the 10 rebels belonging to SECOM, North East, Eastern
Samar Provincial Party Committee, Eastern Visayas Regional Party
Committee was killed while two others sustained injuries during the 30
minutes firefight that also resulted in the government troops from the
14th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Antonio Dayag recovering one M16
rifle bearing serial number 135108, one rifle grenade, two back packs,
one bandoler, three with full of ammunition, medical kit, one
detonating cord with blasting cap, and personal belongings.
“The wounded rebels
were dragged by their escaping comrades”, the information officer of
the 8th ID said.
“Our soldiers, under
Lt. Antonio Dayag, were in the area as part of their community work”,
Major General Arthur
Tabaquero, commanding general of the division, immediately directed
for the troops of the 14th IB, under Lt. Col. Jaime Hidalgo, to hunt
down the rebels and intensify security operations in the area.
Largest Gathering of
Independent Muslim Religious Leaders Set to Kick-off in Davao
By Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy
The largest gathering
of independent ulama, Muslim religious leaders, will be held on
January 25-29, 2010 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City, for
the 3rd National Ulama Summit and Regional Conference of Aleemat, or
women Islamic scholars. Organized by the Philippine Council for Islam
and Democracy (PCID) for the National Ulama Conference of the
Philippines (NUCP), the gathering will be attended by around 500
independent ulama and aleemat representing over 200 ulama led
organizations, an unprecedented assembly of Muslim religious leaders
rarely seen in the country.
The NUCP is a broad
aggrupation that includes the majority of all independent ulama
organization and federations throughout the country. Its members
include some of the most respected Muslim religious leaders and
imminent Islamic scholars coming from the five Muslim provinces and
the various Muslim communities throughout the nation. According to
Amina Rasul, PCID lead convenor, “In today’s world, society demands a
wider and more participative role of the ulama that they get involved
directly in the transformation or reformation process.”
Dr. Aboulkhair Tarason,
an imminent religious leader and NUCP interim chairman said that the
summit is a culmination of the NUCP’s organizational evolution into a
national network of independent ulama leaders and organizations. The
NUCP interim vice chairman, Dr. Hamid Barra, a respected Islamic
scholar said that the ulama has a traditional and religious ascendant
role of continuing to be the moral beacon for the Muslim faithful.
Muslim Mindanao has been in the media eye following the Maguindanao
massacre and the spate of kidnappings attributed to the Abu Sayyaf
Group in Basilan and Sulu and still reels from a decades-old
secessionist conflict between the Moro National Liberation Front, the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front and government troops. The conflict has
displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians and has killed thousands
since it started in the 70s.
numbering in the thousands, the aleem, singular for ulama, has never
really been organized into a religious collective similar to the
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), or at least
into a national network. Although some ulama are enlisted in
peace-building efforts these are mostly through government-sponsored
peace initiatives. Trailblazing where others have failed, the NUCP
nears the goal of organizing a truly national network of independent
ulama and aleemat organizations.
The five-day summit is
a culmination of a series of summits and regional forums the NUCP has
conducted last year. The interim NUCP board will likewise elect its
regular members during the summit.
The event is
supported by the British and Dutch embassies, The Asia Foundation and
the Japan Foundation.
doubles up effort as election period starts
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN CITY – Catbalogan
City police doubles up efforts in maintaining peace and order in
Samar’s capital city as election period started
Sunday, January 10,
In an interview with
Catbalogan City police Chief Superintendent Joseph N. Pensotes, he
said that they have established two checkpoints on Sunday, in Barangay
Silanga and Barangay Socorro.
He also added that
they have operations like Operation Kapkap on Sunday night though it
yielded only bladed weapons.
Pensotes said will be done in areas where the
PNP thinks is necessary.
Further, his men said
Pensotes,”are ready and on call for 24 hours.”
As to the checkpoints,
Pensotes maintained that no bodily search will be done, it shall be
that the police will be on the look-out for dubious personalities in
“The city of
Catbalogan is not listed as an area of concern, but just the same, my
men are on alert and ready for any eventuality,” said the chief who
replaced Supt. Ramil Ramirez not so long ago yet.
projects a peaceful and orderly city albeit with the usual drunkenness
and petty crimes perpetrated by minors that are readily resolved in
Pensotes urged his
‘kababayans’ not to indulge in heated discussions as to the merits of
their candidates but to remain calm in political discussions.
Finally, the chief of
police of the capital city of
Samar assured the city populace of the commitment of his men
to maintain peace and order this election period and even beyond their
call of duty. (PIA-Samar)
Close to P10M infra
projects fund support given to 3 Leyte towns,
Media Relations Center
January 11, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY –
Close to P10 million in financial assistance was recently downloaded
by the provincial government of
Leyte to speed up various infrastructure development projects in
three towns and several villages.
assistance went to the towns of Burauen, Alangalang and Sta. Fe while
the rest were to a number of villages of Burauen and Pastrana in
Leyte’s second district.
The ongoing New Public
Market rehabilitation in Burauen town was given P3 million in
financial assistance as counterpart fund of this multi-million
infrastructure, a priority project of incumbent Mayor Fe Renomeron.
According to the lady
mayor rehabilitation of their public market will expand the town
public market, making it more presentable and provide more spaces for
Rehab of the town
market is also seen to complement the completion of the
Burauen-Albuera road that would connect Leyte’s second biggest town to
Ormoc City in the western side of the province. If the road would
finally be open to traffic and transportation, more business and
economic is seen to ensue in Burauen town.
farm-to-market road project under the Infrastructure for Rural
Productivity Enhancement Sector (InFRES) program of the Department of
Agriculture was also given P2 million financial support from the
provincial government of Leyte.
InFRES project was
intended to remove constraints to agricultural productivity by
investing in rural infrastructure in regions with high poverty
incidence and high agricultural potential. Its immediate objectives
are to remove the constraints to the improvement of agricultural
productivity caused by the lack or inadequacy of rural infrastructure,
and to reduce rural poverty by increasing agricultural productivity
For Alangalang town,
Mayor Loreto Yu recently received the amount of P1.5 million financial
support from the province for a farm to market road project in Brgy.
Mayor Yu said, the
attendant objective to this farm to market road project rural
infrastructures is to increase agricultural productivity and help
decrease poverty incidence in the identified area.
In the recent
Icot-Icot ha Barangay made by Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla in
Pastrana, Leyte – his first barangay visits this 2010, the governor
released at least P1.5 million in financial assistance to 14 villages
The fund support are
for various infrastructure projects that include multi-purpose halls,
barangay road concreting, day care center, basketball courts, drainage
system, concrete fencing and basketball courts. The said projects are
all structures seen to bolster the various barangay facilities.
In the same visit, the
governor also downloaded financial assistance amounting to P2.4
million to 28 barangays in Burauen, Leyte.
With a total of 77
barangays, the governor advised the rest of the Burauen barangays to
await their respective funding during the year with the province’s
budget being allocated accordingly for the numerous resolutions asking
for the same assistance being sent by the barangays to the provincial
security urged to seek permit from Joint Regional Security Control
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Samar Director Pancho Adelberto Hubilla announced in
a press conference attended by the Samar media that candidates seeking
security personnel from the
PNP or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
should seek permission from the Joint Regional Security Control Desk (JRSCD).
The PNP said that the
JRSCD is headed by the COMELEC Regional Director and that the PNP and
AFP are members.
Supervisor, Atty Corazon Montallana, who was also a panellist in
Monday’s presscon confirmed Hubilla’s announcements and added some
more information as to the preparation for the incoming elections.
Montallana added that
starting January 10, said to be the start of the election period,
until June 9, 2010 total gun ban will also be imposed.
She also cited that
despite exemptions for
PNP personnel and other security providing agencies the same people should
also seek prior permission in writing.
offered that PNP and AFP personnel carrying firearms must be in
uniform, while those that do not wear uniform like PDEA or NBI must
display their IDs conspicuously.
There are at least 30
government agencies that are authorized to bear firearms but they too
have to submit the list of their personnel authorized to bear
Reacting to the
question as to who may seek security from among the candidates,
Hubilla informed that only mayoralty candidates and up.
He qualified though
that some candidates requesting security could be given once they have
assessed the situation surrounding the threat and are convinced of the
veracity of the claim.
During the election
period, all PNP chiefs will be under the command of the Comelec.
Campaign period for
local positions start on March 26, 2010, COMELEC said.
Leyte mayors meet COA
Media Relations Center
January 6, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY –
Local chief executives belonging to the League of Municipalities - Leyte Chapter (LMP-Leyte) had their briefing with the Commission on
Audit regarding the restoration and reinforcement of the pre-audit of
select government transactions that started towards the latter half of
The pre-audit, which
scrutinizes transactions before funds are released and recorded in the
government’s books, was discontinued in 1995. It was entrusted to
internal auditors who are employees of the agency they examine. COA
auditors were restricted to post-audit work.
According to LMP-Leyte
President Tanauan Mayor Roque Tiu, the mayors themselves through the
provincial government, had requested the
COA officers assigned to the province to enlighten them on
the pre-audit process.
“Our mayors have many
questions particularly in the payments of infrastructure projects and
salary payments of employees. These are concerns which the LGUs have
to deal with more often than other transactions, that is why we,
together with the rest of the mayors of Leyte, needed to be briefed
of,” Mayor Tiu said during the special LMP forum with COA officials.
In her presentation,
COA officer Aracelli Go explained that subject to pre-audit are cash
advances except those for payroll, intelligence funds, petty cash
funds and those given for local travel expenses of officers and
employees, first and last salary payments and terminal leave benefits
of government workers, advanced payment and the first and last
progress billings of contracts for infrastructure projects, payment
for road right of way, procurement of government assets, goods and
services, payments made through automatic debit service, release to
nongovernmental organizations and people organizations, transfer of
funds between and among government agencies, releases from trust funds
of local government units and disposal of government property.
The pre-audit, it was
learned, applies to certain transactions of select national government
agencies, local government units and government-owned and controlled
corporations. National high schools, barangays and state corporations
audited under the team approach are exempt from pre-audit.
Auditor Rosabella Tan said it was restoring the practice of pre-audit
to ensure that transaction is “not illegal, irregular, excessive,
unconscionable or unnecessary”
Prior to the LMP forum
held Wednesday, several local chief executives lamented that the
pre-audit requirement can become more of a hassle than help and can be
prone to another systemic government flaw and could be a huge blow
against the government efforts to deliver quick and efficient service.
Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, who was also present during the
forum, said he is in favor of the restoration of the pre-audit to
“protect the LGUs from unforeseen liabilities in the future.”
“With the pre-audit,
mayors can be sure that their transaction followed the required
process and are deemed proper as per COA rules,” Gov. Petilla said.
Alleged failure of
military and PNP to protect civilians: an unfair statement
By Office of the Division Public Affairs, 8ID PA
December 26, 2009
Catbalogan, Samar – Failure of military and
PNP to protect civilians as quoted from Sen. Chiz Escudero’s
statement in his interview over the
ABS-CBN News Channel
(ANC) which was published as “Top Story” in a December 4-10 issue of
Bullhorn newspaper is an unfair sweeping statement.
Said statement was
aired relative to the issue of Maguindanao massacre wherein the
Ampatuans are accused of killing almost 60 people including some of
the local media practitioners.
carrier, “Military and PNP failed to protect civilians” in their early
December issue is misleading and irresponsible considering that Sen.
Escudero was only referring to Maguindanao.
The AFP as always is
focused on its mandated task of protecting the lives and even the
properties of the people. As professional organization, proofs were
already been noted in its various traditional and non-traditional role
of performing its mandate.
The incident in
Maguindanao could not be blamed against the
AFP. Although it was one of the most brutal election-related
atrocities ever recorded, it was an isolated instance that should not
be compared to other areas where peace is dominated thru the
AFP. Moreover, the incident is politically-motivated.
Sen. Escudero is right
when he said, “If you are not a soldier or personnel in uniform, you
have no business carrying a gun” because no civilian must possess any
kind of firearms without proper authority. The AFP is firm to
implement such especially to terrorist-infested areas.
In Eastern Visayas and
in other areas covered by the 8th Infantry Division, the Internal
Security Operations (ISO) is properly carried out. With the intensive
collaboration of other stakeholders, numbers of illegally armed
groups/rebels are notably decreasing due to the Army’s successful
implementation of its campaign against internal threats.
against the rebels and private armed groups that freed our local
settlers were successfully carried out by the Army for the past
years. This is manifested by the support spearheaded by the local
government and other peoples’ organizations who are contented with the
service of the 8ID troopers.
This resulted to the
downgrade of enemy’s guerilla fronts in
Samar provinces that declined the enemy’s affectation in the whole
region. Two more guerilla fronts are expected to downgrade for this
implementation of ISO in Central Visayas should be taken into
consideration. Cebuanos and Boholanos are now experiencing the result
of having insurgent-free provinces where development is really atop.
Luzon should also be
considered since the socio-economic zone from Metropolitan Manila is
now extended up to the provinces of CALABARZON and in Bulacan due to
degradation of terrorist rebels thru the success of the
AFP’s campaign. The
AFP is generally
winning the battle against the rebellious group for the sake of the
statement depicting the futility of the
AFP in its fight against the depressive group for the sake of
our people is no longer new. The
AFP’s name has always
been implicated in controversies in order to defame and destroy its
Although it cannot be
denied that while the
AFP is striving to bring forth the desired liberty of our people, there are
some who are disinterested to the real aspirations of the
AFP for their personal
interest. The AFP is firm with their mandate of protecting our people
for the benefit of the majority.
Senate OKs bill
empowering persons with disabilities in LGUs
By Office of Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
December 26, 2009
PASAY CITY – Senator Pia S. Cayetano has welcomed the passage by the Senate of a proposed
measure which seeks to give a voice in local governance to the
country’s estimated 9.7 million persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Senate Bill No.3560,
otherwise known as “An Act establishing the institutional mechanism to
ensure the implementation of programs and services for persons with
disabilities in every province, city and municipality,” the measure
was approved unanimously on second reading by the Senate on December
16 before going on a four-week recess.
of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural
Development and the bill’s principal sponsor, said Senate Bill No.3560
mandates the creation of a “Persons with Disability Affairs Office” (PDAO)
in every province, city and municipality.
In the case of fourth,
fifth and sixth class municipalities, the bill calls on LGUs to
designate a “Focal Person” who shall be responsible for coordinating
and ensuring the delivery of programs and services for PWDs. Priority
in appointment should be given to a PWD with experience in providing
services to his or her fellow PWDs.
The measure also
renames the term, “disabled persons” into “persons with disabilities”
– the internationally accepted and recognized term for people who are
either: 1) hearing impaired; 2) orthopedically impaired; 3) visually
impaired; and 4) mentally challenged.
Cayetano said several
Filipinos with disabilities have proven they can stand out despite
their physical limitations. “Disabilities should never be a hindrance
to excel in one’s chosen field. By being assets in society, many PWDs
are breaking barriers and changing the misimpression that they are a
burden to the nation.”
In her sponsorship
speech, Cayetano cited several outstanding PWDs, and more can follow
with enough support at the local government level:
Isabela Governor Grace
Padaca, whose polio did not prevent her from serving her province
mates, a 2008 Ramon Magsaysay awardee for government service;
visually impaired student from Ateneo who graduated Summa Cum Laude
and now heads a number of foundations for the blind while acting as
consultant for a US firm that develops new products for the blind;
Ana Kristina Arce,
23-year-old hearing impaired student who is the first to graduate
magna cum laude from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde;
Cantos VII, visually impaired Filipino-American lawyer who is
presently the Vice-Chairman of United States Pres. Barack Obama’s
Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities; and
Dumapong-Ancheta, the first Filipina Paralympics medalist who won the
bronze medal in powerlifting in the 2000 Paralympics, and has recently
gone to swimming despite having no legs below the knee and no right
“Passing Senate Bill
3560 is a step towards the right path. Establishing these
institutional mechanisms would ensure that the Magna Carta for
Disabled Persons will now be implemented and thus helping our brothers
and sisters living with disabilities in their rehabilitation,
self-development, and self-reliance and for their eventual integration
into the mainstream of society,” Cayetano stressed.
Other coauthors of the
measure are Senators Loren Legarda, Lito Lapid, Miriam Defesor-Santiago,
Edgardo Angara, Manny Villar, Antonio Trillanes IV, Mar Roxas, Bong
Revilla and Alan Peter Cayetano.
employees to receive P22,500 additional bonus
Media Relations Center
December 23, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY –
Employees of the Leyte provincial government will receive higher
additional cash gifts this Christmas in the amount of P22,500.
Announcement of the
amount for the extra cash gift was the most awaited part during the
Provincial Christmas Party for the more than 2,000 capitol employees.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla made the announcement himself and provided too a
breakdown of the total P22, 500 to be received by regular and casual
government have allotted P5,000 plain bonus for each of the around
2,000 employees, another P5,000 under the Productivity Enhancement
Incentive (PEI) and another P12,500 under the collective negotiation
agreement or (CNA) making the bonus P22,500 in all.
would also receive P5,000 as cash incentive this December.
Gov. Petilla said the
P5,000 plain bonus and P5,000
PEI combined can be doubled the amount under the
“Double-your-money Program” of the provincial government wherein the
amount, if not taken or collected this time, would double in May next
year that could be intended to shoulder school tuition fees of
Employees can also opt
to have the amount enrolled in the “Triple-your-money Program” wherein
the P10,000, if not immediately taken now, would grow three-fold in
case the employee gets sick or encounters any emergency be it related
to health or properties.
Gov. Petilla otherwise
discouraged the employees from selling their bonuses for them to have
extra budget to be spent during the holiday celebration.
government has allotted at least P50 million for this extra cash gift
State workers of the
capitol expect to receive the amount before December 24.
Army troops gains over
By Office of the Division Public Affairs, 8ID PA
December 21, 2009
ORAS, Eastern Samar –
The Army’s 14th Infantry Battalion encountered anew against the
terrorist New Peoples Army in Sitio Bagti, Brgy. Mabini, Basey, Samar
around 2 p.m. last Saturday.
Reports reaching to
this headquarters disclosed that the said encounter transpired in
response to civilian information that some armed men were conducting
extortion activities in aforesaid sitio.
In order to confirm
the report, a squad size under 1Lt Del Rosario were sent out by the
said battalion wherein more than 15 members of local terrorist group (LTG)
were caught resting at forested area within the proximities of the
reported sitio after conducting extortion activity.
Firefight ensued for
almost 10 minutes that forced the
LTG to flee bringing along with them their wounded buddies while
one soldier was slightly wounded, Private First Class Jonel Doron who
is now in stable condition.
One Caliber 30 caliber
rifle, three combat packs, volume of subversive documents and personal
belongings were some of the articles recovered after the group of Lt
Del Rosario scoured the scene of encounter.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col.
Armand Rico, spokesperson of 8th Infantry Division said that the
Commander, 8ID Major General Arthur Tabaquero has conveyed his
appreciation with the successful implementation of their ISO campaign
even before the end of this year.
Lt. Col. Rico said
that Gen. Tabaquero salutes with the sacrifices of his soldiers who
are in the “frontline” of the campaign fearlessly fore-fronting the
risk just to maintain the peace in their respective areas.
“This is a
manifestation that our people’s minds are already aware with the true
score of the communist rebels operating in their area. The series of
encounters of their troops against the rebels due to the people’s
report proves that our people are already acting for their cause”,
Rico added that,
“The long deprived peace and progress will soon be achieved because no
less than the people itself wants the terrorist to be completely
eliminated in the region”