Human rights group
lambasts death threat to group’s lawyer
By KATUNGOD-SINIRANGAN BISAYAS
TACLOBAN CITY –
Human rights watchdog Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas lambasts suspected
military agents who sent a death threat letter to Katungod-SB’s former
Secretary-General and its current Legal Officer, Atty. Kathrina
Castillo. The letter was received by her mother last Friday, April 16,
2010 at their ancestral house in Catbalogan, Samar which was sent via
“There is no one
except the military who has the motive to send a death threat to Atty.
Castillo since she is known to be an active human rights defender and
a critic of human rights violations perpetrated by state agents
especially the military,” said Flor Chantal Eco, Katungod-SB’s
The letter, which was
signed by a certain Ricardo I. Picardal from Tarangan, Samar, said
that they “found out that you [Atty. Castillo] continue your alliance
with the enemies of democray, progress and peace-the CPP-NPA-NDF and
its Partylists.” A black ribbon is stapled to the letter “that will
remind you [Atty. Castillo] that your life, as well as your family, is
only a privilege.” The letter ended with the threat: “if death becomes
you, you may rest in peace.”
personality has always been attacked in confirmed military sponsored
radio programs “Dalan han Kamatuoran, Dalan han Kauswagan” in DYMS
Catbalogan, and “Bantay Ka” in DYDW Tacloban, both anchored by Col.
Armand Rico hiding as “Kuya Aaron”. The military has consistently
linked her to the CPP-NPA-NDF. Her name has been mentioned in almost
every episode of their programs,” furthered Eco.
According to Katungod-SB,
this is a systematic red-baiting by the military to justify the
harassment, abduction and killings of personalities and members of
progressive groups and partylists.
“At first the military
consistently attack Atty. Castillo’s personality in their radio
programs, then a death threat arrives, now they accuse that the death
threat is a result of NPA’s purging, what’s next? Shoot her? This
pattern has been evident in many victims of extrajudicial killings
nationwide,” added Eco.
Despite the death
threat, the military has failed to scare off Atty. Castillo; instead,
the threat roused rage from her family, members and supporters of
Kabataan Partylist where she is the 3rd Nominee and fellow human
“Death threats will
not stop us from exposing the truth and defending the people’s
rights,” Eco concluded.
corruption surface in PPCRV-initiated candidates’ forum
By ALICE NICART
BORONGAN CITY –
Mining, illegal logging and corruption issues ruled the candidates
forum which was held recently at the Nativity of our Lady College
Seminary, this city.
Sponsored by the
Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) the first ever
major forum in the city proper was attended by about 90% of the
provincial candidates who took turns in answering the issues thrown to
them by the organized group of clergies.
Majority of the Board
Member candidates beginning from Floro Batato Sr. are opposed to
mining and illegal logging and argued that only the capitalists had
been benefiting from it. Atty. Tinoy Cabato even noted that the
revenue generated from the illegal acts are not worth the damage done
to the environment. Victor Franco said that ever since, he has been a
pro-environment and never had he signed before a pro-mining ordinance.
Moscare implied that selective mining can be done for job generation
and revenue, just like in Malaysia, but Edit Sepulveda was quick to
refute, “since the damage done by mining is lingering as proven by the
siltation brought about by the Copper mine in Bagacay”. Sepulveda
added that, the ill-effect of Bagacay is up to now pestering the
rivers and marine resource in the area. Byron Suyot suggested to
forego of mining if people’s welfare are at stake.
bets presented their platform of governance. Some of their important
points were quoted: Allan Contado believes that Eastern Samar is one
of the neglected province of the country with marked 60% poverty
level; corruption is widely practiced he said which results to poor
roads and basic services, thus the need for a leader who has the moral
authority to lead the province and one who will not “steal” government
Efren Docena hopes to
uplift the province from poverty by opening a friendly environment for
business; with this he said, even medicines and other health care
services will become accessible and affordable by the poor.
Leander Geli believes
that elected officials should never rule the people nor the needy beg
for their assistance and support; he said, instead that the concerns
of the public should be attended to promptly; further he plans to
further develop and empower the human resource because this will be
their ultimate step in engaging in worthwhile practices that would
lead to self-sufficiency.
Jose Tan Ramirez said
he is running in order not be served but to serve with love and
compassion; he stressed that he is a creation of God in His likeness
and image; he also believe that a leader must have wisdom, discernment
and guidance; he plans to improve the health program of the province
and above all he will see to it that the laws are enforced.
Generoso Yu on the
other hand, hopes to formulate plans that will protect the
environment; foremost, he said he will adopt an acceptable waste
management program and will see to it that 100% of school-age children
must be in school.
Asked how could he
make a difference for the good of the province, Jovy Opinion who runs
for Vice Governor said it is through heartfelt service and never
through the pockets.
Max Aljibe, Raymond
Apita, Ben Evardone, Mateo Biong, Conrado Macasa and Angelo Miguel,
all vying for the congressional seat, took turns in answering the two
issues raised on the floor, after a careful scrutiny of the priests:
1)Graft and Corruption and 2) Perennial Problem of National Roads and
hereunder are part of their replies:
Aljibe, bubbled a bold
reply for the first issue: “Our people hunger for and in need of
honest leaders who have the integrity and transparency in public
service… the disbursement of, say, P70M CDF must be transparent… we
need someone who will speak the truth in Congress, and the truth
hurts”. On the national roads, the resigned education director
crackled: “Let us not copy the previous congressmen who scrambled
and fought over the road projects… we will need excellent
contractors… gone are the chop-chop contracts for us to get in return
exact stretches of good and durable roads”.
Raymond Apita, the
youngest of ‘em all began his public service as a Sanggunian Bayan
Member of Borongan and became an SK President to becoming an Executive
Assistant in the governor’s office…he claimed that in his entire
service, the issue on graft and corruption has never been attached to
his name…he promised to consult the people regarding projects which
would be deemed priority…government funds must be spent honestly, and
the implementation of projects must be executed sincerely.
Mateo Biong proudly
informed the audience that he was instrumental in the realization of
the concreted Giporlos-Buenavista highway…he said that as then
Giporlos mayor, he closely monitored and supervised the road
construction which could have prevented some acts of mismanagements
and instead the full implementation was successfully performed…what
struck the audience was his promise to pass a bill in Congress that
would provide for the division of Eastern Samar into two districts.
According to him, if Northern and Western Samar were able to divide
their provinces, why not in Eastern Samar.
Evardone vowed to
consult the people and let them decide on priority projects…in fact he
said, he had been practicing the same by adapting the CBMS survey
where local residents are asked to identify priority projects…he said
that in the region, it is him only who has been using the instrument,
that is based on some indicators, the priority project is
determined…”the people will be made to decide on what project they
think is most urgent and fitting for them”, the current Eastern Samar
governor stressed,” adding that monitoring and supervision will
likewise allay graft and corruption. He also said that government
funds will always come short, that is why he eyes for foreign donors
to augment government funds in project implementation.
Both Macasa and Miguel
pledged to renounce graft and corruption through transparency,
accountability, monitoring and proper auditing procedures.
After the open forum,
all the candidates in attendance signed the covenant for peace, in
front of His Excellency, Bishop Crispin Varquez, military and PNP
officers, COMELEC and other stakeholders.
It was indicated in
the covenant text, among others the advice to all concerns to be
humble in victory and be magnanimous in defeat….and always be mindful
that “the voice of the people is the supreme law”.
DTI slams “Taiwanese”
By ALICE E. NICART
BORONGAN CITY – Miss
Antonia Candido, Chief, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Consumers Welfare Division assailed on Wednesday in public “Cell
Zone”, a dealer of cellphones and MP3s with store at Real St. this
resulted from several complaints reaching her office for defective
cellular phones and MP3s. She said that the complaints include
cellphones bought from Cell Zone which last only for a day or week,
even if they did not drop. When returned to the store for repair,
they are asked to pay for additional charge; the warranty period is
never honored, Candido said.
“Nanawagan ako ha
publiko labi na ha kabatan-unan, nga dire na kamo magpinalit hin
cellphone ug MP3 dida hine nga Cell Zone!”, (I am calling on the
public particularly the youth, not to buy anymore cellphones, MP3s and
other gadgets from Cell Zone), Candido’s stern call went on air over
DYES as interviewed by anchor Pen Pomida.
Candido reported that
her table had become a landing field of several complaints emanating
from defective gadgets bought at this foreigner-operated store, whom
she suspects to be a Taiwanese.
“I have found it
difficult to communicate with the owner,” Candido jibed as she spoke
about DTI’s effort to talk to him and resolve the problem of the
The CWD Chief suspects
the operator to be Taiwanese who could not speak neither English,
Tagalog nor Waray which already is a violation of the Fair Trade Law.
She said that even
product packages with printed foreign languages on it bear English or
Tagalog translations, “that is why, I really find it hard
communicating with this store”, Tonette added.
Luneza, 45, a househelp who bought a cellphone battery at the store,
revealed to this writer that she noticed also that the operator and
his staff use sign languages as though they are all mute; she also
fears for the longevity of the battery which she bought for P150.00
with a week warranty; however, a P200.00 worth of battery she
confessed promises a month-warranty but the former was the only one
she could afford.
DTI further reported
that very recently the office called the store operators in the city
to a “Consultative Forum on Fair Trade Laws” but Cell Zone sent their
security guard to the forum and obviously could not answer inquiries
for the establishment.
In closing, Candido
advised the public to buy Cellphones, MP3s and LCDs in authorized
dealers to avoid stress and importantly waste of money. (PIA-Eastern
Samar cities join
Earth Day celebration
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
spearheaded Earth Day celebration in Samar through the Provincial
Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) based in Catbalogan
Similarly, the City
Government of Calbayog through the City Environment and Natural
Resources Office (CENRO) also observed Earth Day 2010 today.
PENRO George Guillermo
led his employees and other government agencies in a parade around
“Everyone is enjoined
to commit little acts of conservation for Mother Earth,” said
In the thanksgiving
mass, Msgr. Leonardo Guadalquever supported the need to be good
stewards of nature that God gave his people.
Employees of DENR
Samar also ventured into a pulong-pulong at barangay Guinsurongan to
inform the people about climate change urging them to practice waste
segregation and waste management.
PENRO Guillermo also
added that this year’s Earth Day celebration will focus on climate
change mitigation and adaptation measures.
“For this, we are
calling on all Filipinos to take action for the environment and make
the move for a real lifestyle change by enlisting in the “10 Million
Movement campaign for Earth Day 2010 and beyond,” he added.
Meanwhile in Calbayog
City, as per information provided by CENRO OIC Lorenzo Ras, Jr., he
said that they will spearhead the campaign for signatures in support
of the "10 million signatures” to improve Mother Earth Project.
They also conducted
information dissemination aimed at promoting awareness on the
significance of Earth Day celebration and the call to protect Mother
Earth in all the barangays of Calbayog.
and well meaning barangay folks ventured into mangrove tree-planting
in the coastal barangays of Tinambacan District, Barangay Rawis,
Barangay Bagacay and Barangay Carayman, Barangay West Awang with
CENRO and the Knights of the Altar.
Aside from the
mangrove tree-planting the Calbayog team also had roadside
tree-planting at the Diversion Road (Barangay Dagum) with the CENRO
and the City Social Welfare and Development Office personnel. Barangay
folks also held a roadside tree-planting in Barangay Sinidman and
Barangay Cagbilwang in Oquendo.
This year's Earth Day
celebration is anchored on the theme: "HAMON NG PANAHON: CLIMATE
CHANGE, 10 MILYONG SOLUSYON (Kilos na! Ngayon na!)".
(PIA-Samar with Ron Ricafort)
Samar governor disqualified to run for congress
By RAY P. GASPAY
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) First Division on Monday
declared Lakas-Kampi-CMD 2nd congressional district
candidate Samar Governor Milagrosa Tan disqualified to run due to a
question on her citizenship.
In a 6-page Resolution
penned by Commissioners Armando Velasco, Gregorio Larrazabal, and
presiding Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, the COMELEC First Division on
its April 19, 2010 promulgation said that “Respondent MILAGROSA TEE
TAN is hereby DECLARED a naturalized Philippine citizen NOT QUALIFIED
to be a candidate for the position of Member of the House of
Representatives for the Second District of Samar.”
The decision was based
on a two separate petition for disqualification filed before the
COMELEC by Carlo L. Gabon and Oscar E. Garcia against Respondent Samar
governor Milagrosa Tee Tan to run as a member of the House of
Representatives alleging that Tan is a naturalized (not natural-born)
Article VI, Section 6
of the 1987 Constitution states that “No person shall be a Member of
the House of the Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen
of the Philippines…”
Petitioners Gabon and
Garcia submitted to the Commission copies of the Respondent’s
Application for Naturalization dated
October 12, 1976 filed by her father, her verified Alien Certificate of
Registration, and a certified true copy of Certificate of
April 20, 1978 issued
to Tan, among other things, proving that the Respondent is NOT a
natural-born Filipino citizen.
submitted to the COMELEC the Commission’s own Decision in 2005 in the
case of Auguis vs. Tan where the Commission held that Tan’s
Certificate of Naturalization “cannot be collaterally attacked, and
that Tan, being a NATURALIZED Filipino citizen, is qualified to run as
a Governor for the Province of Samar”. Petitioner Garcia pointed out
that the Commission’s Decision on Auguis is conclusive as to
the status of Tan’s citizenship.
In the April 19, 2010
Resolution, the Division said that “Tan’s father is Chinese while her
mother is a natural born Filipino. Tan’s father eventually applied for
naturalization as a Filipino in 1975 and was issued a Certificate of
Naturalization in 1976. Thereafter, he applied for naturalization of
his children, which included Tan.”
The Division resolves
that Petitioners Gabon and Garcia have submitted sufficient evidence
which tend to show that, indeed, Tan is merely a naturalized Filipino
and found out that “…Tan does not possess the legal qualifications to
run for a seat in the House of the Representatives.”
Festival is Leyte’s bet to this year’s Aliwan Fest in Manila
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The Pasaka Festival of Tanauan town, reigning Kasadyaan-Pintados Festival
champion, is this year’s bet of the Province of Leyte to the Aliwan
Festival, the much awaited annual nationwide street dancing
competition which showcases the country’s best of the best festival
street dancers from all over the Philippines.
Mayor Roque Tiu
informed that the Pasaka Festival featuring the students from the
Tanauan National High School, is all set for the Aliwan Festival.
Observing the dress rehearsal which was conducted on Sunday, April 18,
Mayor Tiu said the group is indeed in high spirits and is ready to
show Leyte’s best festival form.
For this year’s Aliwan,
Leyte is participating in the three festival contests: the Streetdance
competition which will be participated in by the Pasaka Festival, the
Float Competition with the Bahandi Han Dagat of Tanauan, Leyte and the
Reyna ng Aliwan where Leyte will be represented by Ms. Marirose
Modesto of Tanauan, Leyte.
The Reyna ng Aliwan
2010 will be conducted at the Aliw Theater at 7:00 o’clock in the
evening of April 23 while the Aliwan Festival will be held on April
24, Mayor Tiu said.
Mayor Tiu disclosed
that the reigning Aliwan Champion is also from
Leyte. This is the Buyugan Festival which unfortunately will not
be able to participate in this year’s Aliwan.
It is not the first
time that the Pasaka Festival of Tanauan has joined the Aliwan
Festival, Mayor Tiu said. In 2004, the PASAKA Festival composed of the
elementary pupils of Barangay Bislig, placed second winning P500,000.
With the help of God
and with the intervention of the Patroness of Tanauan, Our Lady of
Assumption, it is hoped that the Pasaka contingent will do well at the
About 17 festivals, 11
Reyna ng Aliwan candidates and twelve floats from all over the country
will vie for this year’s Aliwan Festival which is scheduled on April
The Aliwan Festival
Street dance will have a new route. It will commence at the back of
the Mall of Asia and the final showdown will be held in front of the
Aliw Theater in Sotto Drive, just beside the Cultural Center of the
Philippines. Assembly area will be somewhere behind the
SMX Convention Center.
There will be two
judging areas. One at the back of the Mall of Asia and the final
judging area will be in front of the Aliw Theater. The street dance
will start at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon.
Another improvement to
this year’s Aliwan Festival is the mandatory performance of all major
prize winners immediately after the Awarding Ceremony.
April 22 is Earth Day
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY – Hamon ng Panahon, Climate Change.
Milyung Solusyon, Kilos Na, Ngayon Na!
With this theme, the
country shall join in the global celebration of Earth Day on April 22.
celebration in region 8 is the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources. In coordination with the non-government organization Earth
Day Network, a campaign for each individual to commit a green act for
Mother Earth was launched as part of the 30-day countdown for Earth
Dubbed as the Ten
Million Movement (10MM), each Filipino is challenged to be part of the
movement to save Mother Earth by doing simple deeds such as recycling,
planting trees, conserving water and electricity among others.
Individuals are encouraged to sign up with the 10 Million Movement and
register their Green Act either through paper registration (signup
sheets are available at the DENR regional and field offices), through
the internet or text messaging. Those interested to do web-based
registration may log on to www.10mm.ph while those who opt to register
through text messaging may text GREEN
REG first name/middle initial/last name/10mm and send to 5777.
Executive Director Primitivo C. Galinato, Jr. urges each individual to
take part in this movement and be counted. “Each simple act of
recycling, tree planting, or water and electricity conservation can go
a long way in addressing the challenges brought about by climate
change,” RED Galinato says.
RED Galinato likewise
bared other activities lined up to celebrate Earth Day 2010. On April
22, Earth Day, there will be a motorcade which will start at 1:00 in
the afternoon, around the thoroughfares of
to wind up at the Robinson’s Place in Marasbaras. This will be
followed by an Earth Day Program dubbed “Sayawan at Musikahan Para Sa
Kalikasan” at the mall’s ground floor. In coordination with Goldilocks
and Robinson’s Place, the program shall be highlighted with the
signing of commitment to the 10 Million Movement to save Mother Earth.
“While we have invited
mostly only our partners in government and some industries to join us
in the motorcade, we are encouraging the public to unite with us in
the Earth Day Program at the Robinson’s Place,” RED Galinato says.
According to him, “we enjoin the participation of every individual
particularly in signing up for the 10 Million Movement with the
commitment to take action and be part of the Movement to Save Mother
Likewise, the DENR
regional office shall set up an exhibit at the ground floor of
Robinson’s Place on April 21-22, which shall feature the theme,
particularly on the pressing issue on climate change. Video
presentations on climate change, biodiversity and other environment
related themes shall also be featured during the two-day exhibit.
The annual observance
of Earth Day began in the
back in 1970 when more than 20 million people rallied for the cause of
Mother Earth. In the Philippines, then President Corazon C. Aquino
issued Proclamation No 553 in 1990 in support of Earth Day. Likewise,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation
1481 on April 28, 2008 for the same purpose.
“Let us make each day
an Earth Day,” RED Galinato urges the public. Take action. Recycle,
plant, and conserve water and electricity. Be counted. Sign up with
the 10 Million Movement.
CSC Northern Samar to
hold Professional, Sub-Professional Exams
By AILENE N. DIAZ
Samar – The Civil Service Commission, Northern Samar Field
Office, Catarman, Northern Samar will conduct a Career Service
Professional and Sub-Professional Examinations on April 25, 2010.
With 1,574 confirmed
examinees, 1,364 will take the professional exams while 210 examinees
will try their luck in the sub-professional exams.
According to CSC
Director Rey Albert Uy, the 1,364 examinees for the professional level
will hurdle a 170 item questions in 3 hours while there will be 165
items for sub-professional examinees who have to finish the exams in 2
and a half hours.
Scope of examination
for professional level include vocabulary, grammar and correct usage,
paragraph examination, reading comprehension, analogy, logic and
numerical reasoning. For sub-professional level, examination covers
vocabulary, grammar and correct usage, paragraph organization, reading
comprehension clerical operations and numerical reasoning, Uy added.
Both levels, according
to Uy, will have general information questions on Philippine
Constitution; Code of Conduct and Ethical Standard for Public
Officials and Employees (RA 6713); peace and human rights issues and
concepts; and environmental management and protection.
The Civil Service
Commission is now ready to administer the exams this coming Sunday,
April 25, 2010.
Director Uy calls on all examinees to be at
University of Eastern Philippines,
the examination area before 7 am. They should bring with them
application receipt, admission slip, pencil and ballpen, and valid
“It is better for the
examinees to be at the exam area early so that they would still have
time to locate or look for their assigned examination room”, Uy said.
In an interview,
Director Uy also informed concern individual about the so called “four
strike policy”, wherein, if one took and failed four consecutive times
on the same level, s/he will not be allowed to take the same level of
examination in 2 years.
The passing rate
for both examination levels is 80, Uy concluded.
PGMA can appoint the
next chief justice, SC rules with finality
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo can appoint the next chief
This, after the
Supreme Court, on April 20, denied with finality the appeal to reverse
its March 17 decision that President Arroyo can appoint the next chief
It would be recalled
that several lawyers and cause oriented groups maintained that
President Arroyo can no longer appoint Chief Justice Reynato Puno's
replacement due to the appointment ban under Section 15 Article
VII of the 1987 Constitution.
Chief Justice Reynato
Puno retires on May 17 and the high court in its March 17 decision
said that Section 15 Article VII of the Constitution, which prohibits
an outgoing President from making further appointments two months
before elections, does not cover the high tribunal.
The high tribunal, in
a decision penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, ruled that the
selection of Supreme Court justices is not covered by the election
period ban on midnight appointments.
The High Court
directed the Judicial and Bar Council to submit the list of nominees
for the chief justice post, stressing that it is mandatory for the JBC
to submit to the President the list of nominees.
Bersamin that Arroyo can appoint the next chief justice are Associate
Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Martin Villarama Jr., Jose
Perez, Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Mariano Del
Castillo and Jose Mendoza.
Chief Justice Puno
together with Justice Antonio Carpio and Renato Corona, inhibited from
On the other hand,
Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Justice Presbitero Velasco
maintained their previous stand that the case is premature for the
high court to rule on. Justice Conchita Carpio Morales meanwhile, said
President Arroyo is already covered by the ban and the appointment ban
covers the judiciary.