In a casual interview
with the local press, PSSupt. Pancho Adelberto Hubilla, the Samar
Provincial Police director confirmed that majority of the police
officers sent in the province were from the regional headquarters,
regional training centers and from the PNP Tacloban City.
From a total of 430
men in uniform, 150 of which were unarmed. Hubilla clarifies that the
150 unarmed policemen were trainees only and did not receive (yet) any
firearm orientation. He further unveils that these officers unloaded
to administrative duties, will only have to be assigned on precincts
near stations. To secure their safety, armed fellows would have to
accompany them, he said.
Besides making these
coming elections peaceful and orderly, Hubilla also noted that the
augmentation force is also geared up towards intensifying police
visibility in the entire province of Samar so that partisan entries
will be denied. More so, he points out that the 57% police fill-up of
Samar police forces accordingly identifies a complete paucity of
precinct guards. With additions of men from Leyte, he secures that
Samareños will be able to receive proper police safeguard and that
their votes would not be sent to ill compromises.
In order to strengthen
the said endeavor against poll upheavals, the PNP provincial officer
fixed one police officer per precinct, but with additional men to be
assigned on fixed posts and in roving duties. At most, the police
officers would be signed-in for one week beginning on the Election Day
However, the PNP is
not sole in propelling peaceful elections. The Armed Forces of the
Philippines are also in sharp observance to partake critical duties in
the elections. According to Hubilla, the AFP will become PNP’s partner
in safeguarding precincts that are especially located in very remote
areas, thinking that this unit is more capable of handling callous
geographical situations such as rugged terrains and hard-to-penetrate
With regards to the
financial agenda of the police officers, the
PNP allotted a P1,100 subsistence allowance per capita. If
arranged to be not enough, at least contingency allowances are backed
up, he explains.
If the augmentation
strategy of the provincial
PNP remains deficient, what the office will be doing is to do police
assignments on areas that are more critically needy. This does not
necessarily identify areas that are more populous, but areas that are
more prone to partisan invasions and alien incursions. Particular
localities mentioned by Hubilla are
Hinabangan and the Basey-Marabut region. The latter is considered
being the most crucial area because it serves as the main gateway to
Hoping for CHAMP amidst TRUST versus MISTRUST
May 10 Elections will
push through in Eastern Samar
By SENTAY BELIZAR QUITORIO
BORONGAN CITY –
Trust Smartmatic says Atty. Butch Beato COMELEC Provincial officer,
trust in God and each other says Bishop Crispin Varquez of the Diocese
Key officials assured
voters of the province that elections on May 10 will push through. “We
are updated and following instructions from the central office and as
of this date there will be election on Monday”, provincial election
officer of Eastern Samar announced during the forum organized by the
Sinirangan Press Club last May 5, 2010 aired over the local radio
The pronouncement of
COMELEC was supported by other key officials of the PNP, Philippine
Army, PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting), LENTE
(Legal Network for Truthful Election).
Monitoring Action Center has been activated by the PNP and Phil. Army
adequately manned in order to answer election related problems and
concerns and ensure peace, order and security. Col. Jaime Fernando
Hidalgo, commanding officer of 14th Infantry Battalion based in Dao,
Oras this province, and Police Senior Supt. Felixberto Castillo, PNP
provincial director, informed media of their readiness to assist
voters and agreed to publish their contact numbers for the people to
have access in reporting elected related incidents and where voters
can ask help when needed.
Atty. Castor Gamalo of
LENTE aired some apprehensions due to the reported failure to
configure in counting the votes for local candidates by the PCOS
machine, despite the assurance of COMELEC that SMARTMATIC already
corrected and has already programmed the CF (compact flash) of the
Local media also
expressed the same worries citing passed experiences of reported
cheating manipulated unscrupulously by politicians or their loyal
powerful supporters. Beato however explained that this time with
automated process cheaters will find it difficult to defraud.
However, the testing
of these machines may come late but nothing to worry because
SMARTMATIC will provide an expert to handle the machine, assured Beato.
Bishop Crispin B.
Varquez of the Diocese of Borongan in his pastoral letter and in an
interview stressed to rebuild trust very important during this
electoral process. He said, it is true that there were rampant
cheating, vote buying and fraud but there is endless hope with the
resurrected Christ. Let us not stop hoping and rebuilding trust rooted
in our faith in God, bishop Varquez pointed out.
Rev. Fr. Jay Romualdo
representative of PPCRV encouraged voters to continuously pray for
CHAMP Credible, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaceful Elections.
He added that their group has been conducting voters education through
seminars and conferences at the grassroots persuading voters to shade
in that “bilog na hugis itlog” their conscience.
election day through which reports, complaints and help needed by
voters and communities maybe coursed; Provincial Election Monitoring
Action Center 0927-2052942 PNP, 0916-6604000 Phil. Army, 0916-3440295
PPCRV, 560-9551 PIA, 5609353/560-9643 DYES Radyo ng Bayan Borongan,
560-9596 Radyo Natin FM.
Grand rally for local
candidates unfolds with Mayor Tekwa line-up
By JOHN HECTHOR SAY,
May 8, 2010
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The grand rally for the local candidates of Samar formally took onset
with Mayor Coefredo “Tekwa” Uy’s line-up yesterday, May 7, 2010 at the
Catbalogan City Plaza grounds.
The ceremonies began
with a brief motorcade of candidates that roamed around downtown
Catbalogan. Campaign vehicles armored with candidacy posters struck
most of the parade’s façade, with theme jingles of each candidate
sounding the event. By dusk, running politicians began laying their
speeches on the stage of the Catbalogan City plaza.
In front of
approximately five thousand listeners, the grand rally unfolded with
the words of Mayor Tekwa’s city councilors. This stringed with Rodolfo
“Rudy” Aquino, Teodoro “Teddy” Ilagan, Ernesto “Erning” Arcales,
Joselito “Ting” Mendoza, Manuel “Tawi” Correche, Rodrigo “Jun-Jun”
Perez III, Maximo “Max” Pescos and Mayor Uy’s daughter herself,
Stephany “Step” Tan, respectively.
Opening acts were
mostly on the introduction of the candidates themselves with platforms
practically going behind. Most of their plans for the city targeted on
educational, medical and barangay-related developments, with Mendoza
accentuating concerns on improving infrastructure of each barangay.
Correche on the other hand, stressed out medical plans so as to bid
answer from Catbaloganons’ long cry for quality health care.
To support Mayor Uy’s
candidacy to regain his post, the Sangguniang Pambarangay
representative Brgy. Estaka-Buri Capt. Rafael Muñoz stirred a
detailed talk of his mayor’s past accomplishments and political
ingenuities. He disclosed Mayor Uy’s projects as the city leader in
building or improving several important infrastructures such as the
city market itself and the sustained establishments of business
entities in the city which were propelled due to heavy influx of
tourists. Further, Muñoz also flaunted that in the period within Mayor
Uy’s regime, local bank deposits were also increased, resulting into
Catbalogan’s ranking as the third biggest bank depositor in the region
and Ormoc City.
Muñoz represented 54
out of 57 baranggays in Catbalogan.
talked about Mayor Uy’s plans of realizing the dream of building a
city hospital and city high school for the residents of his
Next in line,
congressional candidate Van Torrevillas capped the slot. Beginning
with his introduction as one of the 20 icons of the youth under the
National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL) and as the National
President of the Philippine Jaycees, he surrendered his platforms with
several project proposals. He plans to improve the fishing industry of
the second district of Samar by putting up ideal fishery schemes as
well as to provide scholarship grants to our most deserving students.
He also wants to support the rural health units by giving them proper
medical equipment and free medicines.
On his first one
hundred days in office, if given the chance to win, he’d like to do a
meeting with local politicians from various municipalities of the
second district of Samar. According to him, he would try to coordinate
with these political entities so that he would be able to dissect the
problems of his district from the most local level.
Candidates as Board
Members held the next junctures of the grand rally. Beginning with
Felix Hilvano, Kenneth Mark Perez, Eunice Babalcon, Jimmy Dy and
commencing with Pablo Cinco, the party would like to address their
concerns on health issues, most critically. Fueled with criticisms
against the present gubernatorial administration, the candidates
emphasized the province’s lack of proper medical assistance. They
criticize, particularly, the hospital for having no improvement since
time immemorial. If only given importance, the provincial hospital
could have not been as ill as its patients.
Furthermore, the board
members also unlocked issues on corruption against the incumbent Gov.
Milagrosa Tan. They opened allegations on budget graft and threw
clamors against her unjust and crooked administration.
besides advocating health care, also put emphasis on services that the
provincial government may extend to our youth and women. She plans to
create moves and advocacy campaigns that will protect and make these
particular sectors of the society dynamic.
In response to the
grueling situation of Samar, Gubernatorial candidate Casilda Lim and
Vice Gubernatorial candidate Nancy Rosales shared the same visions
with their board members. They also targeted health care as their
primary concern and branched out with advocacies pertinent to
infrastructure and provincial developments.
The grand rally
commenced with Vice Mayoral candidate Art Gabon and re-electionist
Mayor Coefredo Uy. Main points that they enlisted on their speeches
were on the developments they offered and they can offer to
Catbaloganons. In particular, they flaunted expert poverty reduction
schemes for the city residents including the approval of the 4PS (Pantawid
pamilyang Pilipino Program) grant to more or less 1,500 impoverished
Catbaloganons that were said to have been brought up through the
efforts of the mayor.
More so, they also
envision Catbalogan as an industrial and tourism hotspot for Samar.
With the Philippine International Eco-Show (PINES) of DTI heading
their way, they plan to put up power-related projects in certain areas
of the city and create an intra-island tourism loop in the
With these projects, they foresee economic developments in the city,
including more job oppurtunities and the building of several
establishments for the people.
such as music interpretations and dance acts alternately intervened
the rally but speeches coming from the candidates were the primary
attractions of the night. The event was also covered live on
television by Decobeam Cable TV services so as to give home-based
conveniences to Catbaloganons not present in the grand rally.
Leyte guv inaugurates
P4.8 school building
Media Relations Center
May 8, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – One
of the more populated schools in
Leyte – the
Palo National High
School – saw to the inauguration of a two-storey six classroom
building that amounts to at least P4.8 million.
The new school
building means conducive learning environment for the increasing
number of students in public schools says Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla who led the inauguration of the new school facility in
Brgy. Cavite West, Palo, Leyte.
The governor said the
Palo National High School was given priority by the provincial
government of Leyte through the funds from the Provincial School Board
as it already has more than 2, 000 population.
“In the DepEd
category, that population would already warrant a ‘red flag’ that
means more than 50 to 60 students in one classroom,” Gov. Petilla
He said that
prioritizing ‘red flag’ schools is part of the province’s efforts to
lessen the number of direly needed classrooms all across the various
public schools in Leyte through a cost-efficient manner.
The project also is
seen to reduce the disparity in net enrolment and completion rates by
improving the quality and relevance of secondary education in target
public elementary and high schools in the province.
“There are many
schools in the province that are requesting for additional school
buildings but we have to prioritize those that need the most,” Gov.
The new school
building inaugurated is complete with toilets and lavatories for
proper sanitation of the high school students.
It has been observed
that among other public schools, there are no proper toilets and
comfort rooms for students’ use.
To recall, Leyte’s
pubic schools have enjoyed the support of the Secondary Education
Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP) funded by the Japan Bank
for International Corporation (JBIC) that saw to a number of school
buildings constructed in various public schools in the province.
However, the project
has already concluded some years back.
governor encouraged local municipal and school officials to maintain
the building so that it will last longer like the other old schools.
Eastern Samar all set
for May 10 polls
By ALICE NICART
BORONGAN CITY –
Eastern Samar Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Provincial
Supervisor, Attorney Butch Beato allayed fears of “No Election” amid
the problem on defective flash cards.
“A car owner with a
flat tire or radiator will not discard the whole vehicle, but instead
buy a new tire or radiator to replace the defective ones”, Atty. Beato
simplified the matter in a media forum held Wednesday at Radyo ng
“We will hold the
election as scheduled, since I for one haven’t receive any information
yet whatsoever regarding rescheduling, or anything for that matter”,
He clarified though
that since the contracted forwarder has committed to bring in these
election gadgets and other paraphernalia to the precinct level,
COMELEC’s responsibility commences once these have all been received
by the board of election inspectors (BEIs), otherwise, it is still
Smartmatic’s and their contracted forwarders and handlers. Short to
say that defective or not, these paraphernalia would not be accounted
to them, until after receipt of the BEIs.
But Beato asked the
public to trust in the automated polls, because this has long been the
dream of the people if only to prevent fraud and other manipulations
so to speak.
With the COMELEC, the
Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army likewise assured
the public of an honest, orderly, peaceful elections.
PNP Police Provincial
Director Felixberto assured that the COMELEC gun ban is still in place
and security and assistant desks have been established at precinct
Col. Fernando Hidalgo
of the 14th Infantry Battalion also said that whatever security plans
they have set for the May polls are now being executed by them.
Reverend Fathers Ray
Romualdo and Michael Rebamontan, both representatives of the Parish
Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) enumerated the several
activities they engaged in, in preparation for the election (voters’
education, trainors’ training etc). They even cited their effort to
look for and invite volunteers to their Council adding that the 1,500
plus volunteers who have checked-in might not be enough for the
enormous task ahead.
Asked about poster and
tarpaulin violations, Atty. Castor Gamalo of the Legal Network for
Truthful Elections (LENTE) frankly replied that no courageous
complainant have come forward even if several violations are glaring
To cap it all, as
gathered from the COMELEC, PNP, PPCRV, LENTE and the Army, Eastern
Samar is all set for the first automated polls this coming Monday.
The forum was
initiated by the Sinirangan Press Club. (PIA-Eastern
Leyte guv endorses LP
vice presidential bet
Media Relations Center
May 6, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – With
barely days to go before the first ever Philippine automated
elections, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla revealed that he is
throwing support for Senator Mar Roxas as his vice-presidential bet in
the May 10 polls.
Gov. Petilla, who is
known to be an ally of the administration, announced his endorsement
of the vice presidentiable through plugs aired over local radio and tv
stations aired for the first time last Monday.
endorsement is said to widen more the bandwagon of support for Liberal
Party vice-presidential candidate Roxas who is reportedly still
topping the various pre-election surveys. The endorsement came as
other major sectoral groups and regional political giants endorsed
According to Gov.
Petilla in a media interview Roxas is the only vice-presidential bet
who has the political will, experience, clean track record and the
determination to help the country move forward.
“He is so far the only
candidate in the vice-presidential race who has expressed support to
various programs that the province and the provincial government are
placing in line for the people of Leyte,” Gov. Petilla.
One of this, he said,
is the ICOT-Rice project which the province is implementing to improve
rice output of marginal rice farmers in the area.
The governor expressed
confidence that Roxas would be a credible partner of the next
president of the country in uplifting the lives of the Filipino people
and in reviving the image of the country from the stigma of
groups based here in Leyte also expressed support to both the
presidential and vice-presidential bets of the Liberal Party who
promised to secure the votes of more workers and farmers groups for
the two senators.
The groups are
reportedly backing Liberal Party candidates’ after they committed to
reforms and good governance and their promise to ensure the full
implementation of the CARP extension with reforms (CARPer).
arrested during “sleep in" at Gibo’s campaign headquarters
MANDALUYONG CITY –
Seven Greenpeace activists have been arrested following an action this
morning in which they “slept in” at the campaign headquarters of
presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro. The action began before ten in
the morning today. Police began the arrests inside Teodoro’s
headquarters before noon.
The group were among
Greenpeace volunteers who this morning visited the campaign
headquarters of Teodoro, as well as of Noynoy Aquino, which are both
located along EDSA, in Mandaluyong City, to call on both candidates to
commit to water protection measures during the first hundred days
should either of them be elected into office.
“The response to our
action this morning by Gibo Teodoro’s camp is unwarranted and extreme.
We hope that this is not a preview to how his administration will deal
with peaceful protest--especially over legitimate and urgent public
concerns,” said Francis dela Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
“The next president of
the Philippines simply cannot ignore the issue of climate change while
our country suffers from its growing impacts year after year. Both
Gilbert Teodoro and Noynoy Aquino are among those who have yet to take
a clear stand on this issue and outline clear steps on how they plan
to steer the country from more disasters. Greenpeace is asking for
their commitment to securing the future of the Filipino people.
Today’s action took this message directly to their campaign
headquarters,” he added.
participated in the action this morning wore masks of the
presidentiables and “slept” on cushions placed upon mats depicting the
cracked soil of agricultural lands dried up by El Niño. The group of
volunteers who visited Noynoy Aquino’s headquarters are still in the
said office negotiating to get Aquino’s commitments.
Greenpeace has been calling on presidential candidates to commit to
climate change adaptation measures, culminating with the Water Watch
project which was launched in April 12 in Angat Dam.
On April 24,
Greenpeace had delivered the letters to respective campaign
headquarters, along with images from drought affected areas around the
country. The letter asked for two specific measures:
1) Prioritize hazards
and vulnerability-assessments to identify risks, and implement
adaptation measures to prevent or alleviate water shortage in case of
drought; or lessen damage to crops, property and infrastructure in the
case of too much rain. Greenpeace identified two possible and
measurable steps to achieve this:
- Establish at least
25 small community/farmland water impoundments in areas most at risk
- Create a special
fund for research on non genetically-engineered drought-resistant
crops, innovative farming techniques and technologies that minimize
2) Improve the
existing capabilities of monitoring teams to develop efficient
forecasting and warning systems for extreme weather events that are
critical to protecting lives, property and critical environmental
resources. This includes engaging the academe and NGOs to be partners
of PAGASA in data-sharing, weather monitoring and forecasting; and
directing the MMDA and the DPWH to de-clog Metro Manila storm drains
by August 2010.
The drought images
were gathered from the Greenpeace Water Watch project that had
established a week-long camp at the Angat reservoir from April 12, and
the mobile Water Watch station that had expeditions into
drought-stricken agricultural communities in North and Central Luzon.
Condom use is
beneficial, Filipinos say
By VIGIE BENOSA-LLORIN
MANILA – In yet
another disagreement with some Catholic leaders, 72% of Filipinos
believe that the Department of Health’s promotion for correct and
consistent use of condom for the prevention of HIV and AIDS is
beneficial for the country.
In a press conference
held Tuesday, SWS President Dr. Mahar Mangahas, presented to media the
latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) findings on the perception of the
Filipino people on HIV and AIDS. Conducted nationwide from 16-19
April 2010, the same survey also revealed that majority of Filipinos
(67%) agree in the Department of Health’s earlier pronouncements that
HIV and AIDS cases in the Philippines is increasing.
“This survey only
shows that Filipinos still trust the Department of Health in matters
related to public health,” said Ben de Leon, President, The FORUM for
Family Planning and Development, Inc.
The Department of
Health particularly DOH Secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral earned the ire
of the Catholic church when she launched an all out campaign to
address the rising cases of HIV in the Philippines. Her campaign
included a more aggressive awareness raising and condom distribution.
While certain leaders of the Catholic church called for her
resignation, various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) rallied behind
“We wanted to show
proof that the Filipino people are behind the DOH and Sec. Cabral
that’s why we commissioned this survey.” de Leon said.
According to the
Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) and the DOH, cases of HIV
cases in the Philippines has reached alarming proportions with 2 new
cases being reported each day or 60 new cases per month.
The latest SWS survey
also shows that 7 of 10 Filipinos regardless of social status and
educational status from both urban and rural communities believe that
the condom distribution of the DOH is beneficial to the country.
CSOs like the FORUM
believe that conservative Catholic organizations and Catholic leaders
are going too far in asking for Cabral’s resignation. “If they can’t
offer intelligent and fact based solutions to our HIV/AIDS problems, I
think these personalities from the Catholic church should just step
aside and let DOH do it’s job. If you can’t be part of the solution
then don’t be part of the problem. The Catholics have spoken and this
SWS survey is proof.” De Leon added.
PNP, media join hands to support clean, honest and orderly May 2010
By R.G. CADAVOS
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – In a fellowship dinner, Friday with the Philippine National
Police (PNP) Southern Leyte Provincial Office led by Provincial
Director Pepito Pacada, the government and private media committed to
support a clean, honest and orderly elections come
May 10, 2010.
Sr. Supt. Pacada in an
informal interview held at Camp Alfredo K. Bantug Police Headquarters
at the Capitol Site here asked the press to join them in monitoring
the May 2010 polls, saying “this is history, the 1st automated
elections in our country, the role of media in this event is to report
what is happening before, during and after elections.”
Pacada encouraged the
media to be part of the national activity, and ”join hands together to
have an honest, fair and peaceful elections.” That the media should
document anything seen wrong or something that violates the law so
that spot corrections will be done, he said.
He disclosed that
there are only 463 men in uniform who are ready to monitor the May
polls throughout the province, that excludes the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP). There are coordinating centers identified by the
PNP in each municipality, which can receive any information
pertaining to the elections, he further disclosed.
There’s no hot spot
considered here in Southern Leyte, only a special area that needs
special concern, the municipality of Liloan, he informed. “Liloan
falls under category 1, because of its history of election-related
violence, augmentation of forces has been already acted to closely
monitor the area,” Pacada reported.
In the dinner hosted
by the PNP, Pacada also relayed the absentee voting conducted last
Thursday, April 29 where 21 military men casted their votes in
in the presence of the Comelec and the PNP.
It was learned that
covered by the local absentee voting are around 21,000 government
officials and employees as well as members of the military and police
who will be on election duty in places where they are not registered
on May 10, Election Day.
dinner was participated by media practitioners of Radio Station
DySL-Radyo ng Bayan based in Sogod town, from PIA, Radio Station DyDM,
representatives from Southern Leyte Time and Southern Leyte Balita,
correspondent from the Philippines Daily Inquirer, Jani Arnaiz, among
others. (PIA-Southern Leyte)