In a letter
hand-carried by the relatives, the health workers known as the Morong
43 reiterated their appeal to the SC to act on their case.
“These detained health
workers are seeking an immediate review of the legality of their
arrest and continuing detention,” said Carlos Montemayor, spokesperson
of the Free the 43 Health Workers!
“The SC can also put
an end to the arbitrary arrests propped up by planted evidence and
torture-obtained testimonies that have become the unholy practice of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its counter-insurgency
The Morong 43 was
arrested through a raid led by the
AFP early morning of
February 6, 2010 as
the group was having breakfast in preparation for their disaster
preparedness training. The basis for the raid was a faulty search
warrant. Aside from being detained and tortured, other human right
violations included the denial of legal counsel.
evidence of wanton violations of basic human rights and denial of due
process has already been exposed in detail by Justice Secretary Leila
de Lima when she was still at the helm of the Commission on Human
Rights.” Montemayor added.
“Every day of further
delay is a day of injustice, not just for the detained but also for
their families, who have been wrongfully made to suffer a similar
torture of seeing their loved ones in jail.”
The group is hoping
that their letter to the SC justices will make their appeal for
judicious action more compelling.
“As the Aquino
administration has extended Oplan Bantay-Laya, which has been the
policy that gave license to military abuses against civilians, many
more are in danger of meeting the same fate as the Morong 43. The
Supreme Court can put an end to this.”
DAR-8 head resolute to
hit 2010 target
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
newly-installed Regional Director of the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR-8) is determined to hit this year’s target on land distribution
in Eastern Visayas despite the limited time that is left for him.
Alexis Arsenal is faced with the challenge of accomplishing in the
remaining four months a huge balance from this year’s target left by
his predecessor, Mr. Jose Alsmith Soria, DAR Regional Information
The day following his
installation into office, Director Arsenal met all the Provincial
Agrarian Reform Officers (PAROs) of the six provinces in the Region,
including key officials at the regional office to check on the status
of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) implementation
throughout the region.
He found out that a
total of 12,903 hectares of private agricultural lands or 98.6 percent
of the 13,080-hectare target, remains untouched and needs to be
generated with certificates of landownership award (CLOAs) and
distributed to potential agrarian reform beneficiaries to meet the
During the conference,
the DAR-8 Director instructed the key officials of the Department to
work closely with the line agencies involved in the process of
generating CLOAs to meet the mandate.
Meanwhile, he likewise
directed the Administrative Division to extend the necessary support.
The following Monday,
he began meeting field implementers starting with the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Officers (MAROs) in Leyte where the bulk of the
After two weeks,
Arsenal had been to four other provinces in the region giving
inspiration to field personnel to hit their respective targets.
To motivate the field
personnel Arsenal compared the organization to a game. According to
him, we are all players that need to contribute in attaining our goal.
He added that unlike in a basketball game where some of the players
remain at the bench, here everybody must do his part.
Under Republic Act
9700 or the CARPER law, DAR is tasked to distribute about 64,000
hectares of agricultural lands to an estimated 29,000 potential
agrarian reform beneficiaries in Region-8 from July 1, 2009 to June
30, 2014. Majority of this are private agricultural lands deemed to be
excess of the five-hectare retention limit allowed for every landowner
as prescribed by this law. (with data from
Dolina heads DVOREF
By JONNIE H. BUENAVENTURA
TACLOBAN CITY – The
commencement of bar examinations was the glaring moment of every law
graduates to test and apply the doctrines and principles of law
acquired during the four years of thorough studies and nearly six
months of review in order to achieve a noble profession only few are
chosen to be part of the Philippine bar.
With this, the Dr.
Vicente Orestes Romualdez Educational Foundation (DVOREF) College of
Law has an established bar operations committee to attend the needs
and wants of the barrister and to ensure that they were provided with
bar materials to guide them in answering the right doctrine and
principles to arrive at a more acceptable answer to the examiner.
Gregorio Dolina, Jr. a
namesake and son of former Philippine National Police (PNP) General
and now Board Member of LEYECO II, a senior law student and is fondly
could “Greg” by his friends is the Chairman of the DVOREF College of
Law Bar Operations Committee had lead in the first Sunday of 17 law
students to comprise first batch of bar operators in Manila housed at
Kanumayan Hotel owned by Leyte 1st District Representative Ferdinand
Martin Gomez Romualdez strategically situated at Taft Avenue near De
La Salle University where bar examinations is conducted to ensure that
assistance to the barrister be immediately addressed at the proper
According to Dolina,
Jr., the bar operations of the DVOREF is a centralized operations
covering all subjects of law compiled into one so that the barrister
will not crumpling materials to support their acquired knowledge
during their stay as law students and those bar materials provided by
the review center.
organization of An Waray Party-List in Manila, the Aquila Legis of
Ateneo De Manila University and the San Beda College of Law are the
organization and schools who help provide bar materials to bar
operators and in turn deliver to the barrister to ensure that they are
provided with the latest tip in the bar examinations, Mr. Dolina said.
Mr. Dolina said that
it is proven that with bar operations there is an increase in passing
percentage of successful barrister because the bar tips is a
combination of the minds of legal luminaries of different law
organizations combined into one to help and guide barrister in
Imagine the presence
of your fellow law students while entering to take the exam in the
entrance of De la Salle University show good luck until the end of
examination shouting, and cheering while marching the thoroughfares
cordoned by the security forces of the Supreme Court “will it not
boost your confidence”, said Mr. Dolina.
According to Mr.
Dolina, DVOREF is a united law student’s who in times of bar
examinations they are ready to provide assistance in whatever nature
to help the barrister to be successful in their chosen field.
Mr. Dolina further
said, the bar operations will last until the 4th Sunday of September
where every Sunday a group of law students will be send to Manila to
help DVOREF barrister in their quest to be a member of the Philippine
Mr. Dolina informed
that 65 DVOREF barrister will hurdle the bar examinations, 63 are
fresh graduates while two are re-takers.
The Rules of Court
provides that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examination
successfully if he has obtained a general average of 75% in all
subjects without falling below 50% in any subjects.
The following subjects
are Political or International Law 15%, Labor and Social Legislation
10%, Civil Law 15%, Taxation Law 10%, Mercantile Law 15%, Criminal Law
10%, Remedial Law 20%, Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises 5%.
Mr. Dolina is
extending his heartfelt thank to Atty. Carlos O. Arguelles and Atty.
Eduardo Polistico who lectured Political or International Law and
Labor Law and Social Legislation respectively, to Jed Petilos,
President DVOREF Circulos Legis for his presence during the entire bar
operations and specially to the An Waray Party-List for their
financial and logistics support during the first Sunday of the bar
32 RP councilors in
danger of losing seats
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – One
thorny issue relative to the High Court’s August 25, 2010 decision to
nullify the creation of some 16 cities in the country is the status of
two of the elected councilors in each city who were elected on May 10,
About 32 elected city
councilors are in danger of losing their seats as lawmakers after the
Supreme Court recently declared as unconstitutional the creation of 16
cities across the country.
In the case of Region
8, six councilors, two each from the cities of Baybay in Leyte,
Catbalogan in Samar and Borongan in Eastern Samar, may find themselves
out from their respective city councils because of the latest Supreme
eight councilors, while cities elect ten. The decision of the Supreme
Court came out nearly 9 weeks after the councilors have taken their
In a report, Baybay
City Mayor Carmen L. Cari blamed the Commission on Elections (Comelec)
central office in Manila for this problem.
Mayor Cari, a former
Leyte fifth district representative, and one of the principal authors
of the bill converting the 16 municipalities as new cities, said she
personally asked the opinion of the Comelec in Manila whether to have
only eight city councilors to be elected in the May 10 elections.
Ferdinand Rafanan, chief of the Legal Department of Comelec in
Intramuros, Manila insisted that it should be 10 councilors to be
elected since they are now cities.
Mayor Cari, it was
learned, had only 8 councilors in her slate when she filed her
Certificate of Candidacy. She had to look for two more candidates for
councilors when told that there must be ten councilors.
There are dissenting
opinions regarding the issue. Some opinion givers believe that since
the two have been given the mandate, they should stay.
Indeed, the 32
elected councilors from the 16 cities have not done anything wrong,
but the law is a law and it must always prevail.
Latest mining policies
makes environmental protection mandatory at all stages of mining
process, DENR Usec says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
Several new policies have been issued by the DENR to make
environmental protection and management mandatory in all stages of the
mining process, Environment Undersecretary Jeremias Dolino said when
he graced the 1st Regional Mining Stakeholders Forum in Tacloban City,
For the mining sector
to grow and prosper, mining should now be anchored on the principles
of sustainable development to ensure that the economic, environmental
and social concerns of mining operations would be addressed, the
Circular 2010-14 strengthens public participation in the Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) process of environmentally critical projects
such as mining. Local government units have also been given
representation in the Minerals Development Council to encourage their
participation in promoting and developing socially responsible mining
in the country through Executive Order No. 469-A.
also informed the participants of the Mining Stakeholders Forum about
a DENR-DOF-DBM-DILG Joint Circular signed on June 25 this year which
revises the guidelines on the release of the share of LGUs derived by
the national government from royalty income collected from mineral
The Joint Circular
reiterates the 40% revenue share of LGUs. From this, 20% goes to the
province, 45% for the component city or municipality and 35% for the
urbanized cities where the natural resources are located gets a 65%
share, while the remaining 35% goes to the host barangay.
development that would benefit LGUs and other stakeholders is the
issuance of DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-13 this year.
The DAO requires a
mining permit holder/lessee to allot annually a minimum of 1.5% of
their operating costs for community development implementation and
provide funds for information, education and communication campaigns.
Usec Dolino said that
mining has been identified by our government as one of the major focus
areas of economic activity.
He revealed that the
latest mining statistics as of July 28, 2010 show that taxes, fees and
royalties from mining nationwide amount to 9.175 billion pesos.
He was quick to
admit, however that the mining industry in the country still faces
strong opposition from anti-mining groups. Various oppositions to
mining have stalled the upward growth of the industry, he laments.
Several NGOs, the church, academe, indigenous peoples and even some
local government units have expressed very strong sentiments against
mining, he added. Usec Dolino cited that even in Region 8, the
provinces of Eastern Samar and Samar have issued a 50-year moratorium
on large scale mining.
Roadmap to increase
food production in Eastern Samar underway
By ALICE NICART
BORONGAN, Samar –
The Agriculture department of the Eastern Samar province is bent to
raise production, be it in the farm or in the marine resource.
Guided by an
Integrated Agricultural Plan, the team headed by San Julian Mayor
George Erroba seeks to increase productivity in the crop, livestock
and fishery sector through modern production technologies.
In a radio interview,
Jody Paano of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist mentioned
that the Provincial Plan has major components of the Integrated Plan
which are: Agricultural Modernization, Land Reform, Rural
Infrastructure and Post Harvest Facilities, Marketing and Credit,
Education and Capability Training, Policy Prescription and Agro-Echo
Paano added that the
Plan is a by-product of a series of studies which involved farmers and
the municipal agricultural officers as respondents.
Six clusters are
expected to focus specific productions in accordance to the
availability or abundance of specific resources, the Agriculturist
The Guiuan cluster for
instance which covers Salcedo and Mercedes is expected to focus on
fish production and other fish products. Oras which covers Jipapad,
San Policarpo and Arteche so with Can-avid cluster (Dolores, Maslog
and Taft) are expected to raise farm products. Borongan cluster (Sulat,
San Julian and Maydolong) will focus on echo-tourism. Other clusters
are Hernani (Balangkayan, LLorente and McArthur; Giporlos (Quinapondan,
Lawaan and Balangiga).
The Focus Group
Discussion (FGD) also confirmed the farmers’ clamor since time
immemorial for irrigation and other water source.
“Majority of our
farmers depend on the rain for their rice plantations, that is why we
can hardly meet the province’s demand for this staple food,” Paano
On the same note,
Gov. Conrado Nicart mentioned that he is willing to construct water
facilities for the farmers knowing this problem. He said that as a
farmer himself, he knows both the aspirations and constraints of
farmers, that is why he placed agricultural production as one of his
priorities as governor. (PIA Eastern Samar)
Gov. Petilla looks at
other options for adequate power supply in Leyte, EV
Media Relations Center
September 6, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho L. Petilla is looking at other possible
options for the region to face further encumbrance in power supply
should the issue on privatization of power generating plants continue.
One of this option,
the governor said, is for the region to build its own power-generating
This option, he said,
has already been suggested to other governors in the Eastern Visayas
region. An idea, he added, which the governors remains open to.
He added that the
governors in the region would have to wait for the power supply
situation on the entire Visayas to normalize before going ahead with
the building of its own power-generating plant at the government-owned
Leyte geothermal fields.
“It is an option
should we continue to experience problems. But knowing that it would
really, really be costly, that is an option we have to reserve as a
last one,” Gov. Petilla said.
He otherwise said this
plan will depend on the commercial operations in the Visayas of the
Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) this coming Sept. 26.
The Visayas’ power
situation remains volatile but it is expected to improve in a few
months, according to Gov. Petilla.
Through WESM, which
will be operated by Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), power
can be bought through bidding.
utilities are mandated by law to source at least 10% of their power
requirements from WESM, where big power suppliers and users forge
You know this, you
know this Atty. Yong! wailed Arcales in court
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY – You
know this! You know this Atty. Yong! says former Samar Vice-Governor
now Catbalogan City Councilor Ernesto Arcales during a court hearing
of TRO extension last
September 3, 2010 at
RTC Branch 31 Calbayog.
Arcales, was referring
to some probabilities if the budget will undergo DBM review at the
Regional Office 8. The exhaustion of administrative remedy is provided
for by law, but there are certain exemptions especially when the
matter is so urgent that even DBM review maybe futile.
He added that the
irregular, invalid ordinance was enacted by the Sangguniang
August 26, 2010 and allegedly approved by the governor on the same
day. Since September 1, checks have been prepared, kept in the office
of the provincial treasurer and attempted to encash the checks at Land
“The exhaustion of
administrative remedies is sometimes liberalized. If we wait for the
DBM review, I don’t know how much from the P1.2 Billion will still
remain”, stressed Arcales.
The purpose of DBM
review is not about stopping the disbursement of the budget. The court
is the proper forum that can block any act of release by way of a
special civil action.
Arcales statements was
sustained by Atty. Roger Casurao who disclosed that accountant’s
advice was made and they are aware of the check numbers issued as
enumerated in the document prepared by no less than the provincial
To support the
petitioners’ allegations, Assistant Provincial Accountant Frank
Detosil was made to testify in court. He admitted having talked
personally with the provincial treasurer on September 2 and confirmed
that there were adjustments formulated under a new rate in the payroll
of the provincial employees; and this was done under the instruction
of the Budget Officer. Since the approval of the controversial budget,
local financing offices have been very busy working overtime or until
wee hours in the morning. Checks have been issued on August 27, the
day after the approval of 2010 budget.
Samarnews.com was able
to get hold a copy of the unsigned Accountant’s Advice and contained
therein are the names of the special disbursing officers in charge of
the salaries and wages of the employees with the corresponding checks
accumulating a total amount of P38, 462, 302.
Detosil said that an
Accountant’s Advice is an added mechanism on the part of the agency
issuing the checks which is a confirmation of the authenticity,
regularity of the checks issued – giving “go signal” to the bank.
Ultimately, the issue
was resolved on the propriety of extending the Temporary Restraining
Order. The September 3 hearing was the last day of the 72-hour TRO
issued by the court effective
August 31, 2010 upon petition filed by the seven board members headed
by Majority Floor Leader Charlie Coñejos.
After more or less 3
hours debating in court, incorporating the following issues: a) the
capacity i.e. personal or official of the respondents in relation to
the act/s committed surrounding the approval of the budget; b) the
representation of the counsels (Atty. Alex Gelera, Calbayog City
Councilor Rogelio Casurao and Catbalogan City Councilor Ernesto
Arcales) knowing their present status as holders of elective and/or
appointive positions in the government; c) and the banner story
entitled “Majority Pushes
TRO to Block Budget Release” published at Samarnews.com on
September 3 that caused adverse effect on the part of the respondents
as they perceived it to be a misinformation to the public, it was
resolved in favor of the petitioners.
Based on the arguments
presented, the court found the testimony of Assistant Provincial
Accountant Frank Detosil convincing; that there’s a need to expedite
the disposition of the case as it involves the P1.2 Billion budget of
the province. To uphold the status quo so that no other act/s be
effected involving the seriously questioned annual budget and to
protect the funds of the public, it finally decided to extend the
Temporary Restraining Order for another 17 days enjoining all the
respondents from implementing the 2010 budget. They were given 10 days
to comment from the oral issuance of said
803rd Brigade joins
the funeral march for the brave Catarman 8, thousands of Catarmanons
cries for justice
By 803rd Infantry Brigade, 8ID PA
September 5, 2010
Samar – The remains of the seven Philippine National Police who were
brutally killed by the New People’s Army in an ambush last August 21,
2010 were brought to their final resting place on Thursday (September
2, 2010) at Don Paco Cemetery, Catarman, Northern Samar.
The 803rd Brigade
joined the thousands of friends, relatives and families that gathered
in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Catarman to show respect to
the PNP officers who sacrificed their lives in the performance of
their duties. The Funeral Mass was officiated by no less than the
Bishop of the Diocese of Catarman, His Excellency Bishop Emmanuel D.
Trance. In His homily, Bishop Trance manifested strong condemnation of
the gruesome murders of the brave eight peacekeeping officers and
exhorted the people to pray for peace.
During the procession,
hundreds of supporters of the victims carried placards and streamers
condemning the barbaric acts of the CPP/NPA. The funeral procession
went around the town before proceeding to the
Municipal Public Cemetery.
families and relatives of the victims cried for justice. The Armed
Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other
local enforcement units assured the families of their efforts to bring
the perpetrators to answer for this dastardly act.
Colonel Lopez, 803rd
Brigade Commander, expressed that the brigade will continue its
offensive against the local terrorist in order to hasten their defeat,
thus paving way for peace and development in Northern Samar.
Gov't to shoulder MRT
fare at P48 per commuter
QUEZON CITY –
The national government will spend a total of P7.3 billion next year
to subsidize the fare of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) commuters at a rate
of P47.77 each, House Deputy Majority Leader Roman Romulo said over
Romulo said the
amount, contained in the proposed 2011 national budget, is P2.2
billion or 43 percent greater than the State's P5.1 billion "fare
subsidy" to MRT commuters this year.
Romulo, who represents
the lone district of
in Congress, favors the sustained fare aid.
"Our sense is, the
subsidy is fair and reasonable, based on the principle that those who
have less wherewithal are entitled to more support from the State,"
"The only other option
is to raise fares and take an equal amount, or P7.3 billion, out of
the pockets of MRT commuters, mostly salaried employees and wage
earners, plus some students, that deserve the subsidy," he pointed
"Offhand, a 50 percent
reduction in the subsidy would imply a fare increase of P23.88, which
is definitely burdensome to commuters," he added.
Romulo cautioned the
Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Budget and
Management (DBM) against allowing a large subsidy withdrawal and a
corresponding significant fare increase.
earlier said they are "in the process of striking a balance" between
lower subsidy and higher fares.
Romulo, however, said
a substantial increase in MRT fares might be counterproductive, "since
this could possibly drive away cost-sensitive commuters, thus implying
potential revenue erosion."
"This might force
government to later come in and cover the revenue shortfall anyway,"
The DOF has also said
that maintaining the subsidy to MRT commuters would be "unfair" to
taxpayers in the Visayas and
Mindanao, who do not benefit from the train.
"In that case, the
remedy is not to deprive MRT commuters of subsidy, but to augment
infrastructure and other forms of public spending that would benefit
people in the Visayas and Mindanao," Romulo said.
The MRT spends around
P64 to move each commuter. But since the MRT charges only an average
of P14.50 per commuter, government has to pay for the balance,
including the train's maintenance and operating costs.
Besides the P7.3
billion fare subsidy, government is coughing up another P1 billion to
cover the MRT's operating and maintenance costs in 2011, up from this
year's P645 million.
The MRT was built by a
private consortium on an assured 15 percent annual rate of return,
plus debt obligations that are ultimately guaranteed by the State.
Leyte Sports Academy
formally opened, 37 athlete-scholars enrolled
Media Relations Center
September 4, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – The Leyte Sports Academy formally opened Saturday with 37 athlete-scholars
auditioned and screened from various parts of the province who would
be undergoing a comprehensive sports and education program, seen to
boost the province ranking in local and national sports competition.
All the athletes
recruited, 17 of them girls and 20 boys, aging 17 years old and below,
are housed at the Sports Academy at the Leyte Sports Development
Center, who are already attending sports trainings under professional
trainers and coaches in the fields of swimming, boxing and athletics.
As the purpose of the
program early on disclosed, all of these athletes are at the same time
completing their school studies as they are enrolled in a school in
Palo, Leyte. Most of these students are still in high school.
Supported with al the
necessary equipment, accommodations and lodgings, the Leyte Sports
Academy would also provide the student athletes with high-caliber
trainings in swimming, boxing and athletics.
The vacated rooms and
spaces at the former Leyte Colleges adjacent to the Leyte Sports
Development Center have been converted into a dormitory for these
athlete-scholars, that also houses a function hall, a recreation area
and soon a computer room.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla said to improve the province’s, and subsequently the
region’s, standing in national sports competition, there is a need to
implement a good recruitment program that would provide championship
caliber training for athletes with potentials.
“This would be very
expensive but if it’s the only way to do it, then we have to pursue
this option,” Gov. Petilla said.
With an improved pool
of athletes, the governor added, the province and the region can
improve it medal finish in national sports competition such as the
The Sports Academy is
prioritizing recruits who are out of school youths and cannot afford
to get themselves to schools. As a requirement the potential sports
scholar must be between eight to fourteen years old and stands 5’6’ in
The Sports Academy is
set to cost the province P1.5 to P2 million a year to cover the
operation of the entire sports program.
Lake Danao PAMB
approves 150-hectare Refo Project
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY –
Reforestation of 150 hectares within the next five years will soon be
undertaken at Lake Danao Natural Park (LDNP), a declared Protected
Area, in Ormoc City. This developed after the approval by the
Protected Area Management Board of a request by the Energy Development
Corporation to implement its BINHI: A Greening Legacy Program (Binhi)
within the Protected Area.
Binhi is one of the
Commitments to Action declared by EDC Chairman Oscar Lopez during the
Clinton Global Initiative Meet in
Hong Kong in 2008. BINHI serves as its environmental legacy to reforest 1,000
hectares annually nationwide for ten years.
At least 25 hectares
each year or a total of 150 hectares for the next five years has been
approved by the PAMB-LDNP for reforestation within the park area under
the Binhi program. Aside from the ecological benefits that the Program
shall bring, it will also provide livelihood benefits to residents
within the area who shall be hired to carry out the different
reforestation activities. The Park Superintendent (PASu) shall conduct
ground verification and provide the map designating the areas for
Director Primitivo C. Galinato, Jr. of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources, who also heads the PAMB, lauds the EDC for its
initiative in launching the Binhi Program.
The PAMB is the
governing body of a Protected Area under the National Integrated
Protected Areas System in accordance with Republic Act 7586 or the
NIPAS Act of 1992. Chaired by the Regional Executive Director, its
membership may be composed of the local government units which has
jurisdiction over the area, representatives of other government
agencies, non-government organizations and people’s organizations who
may have a stake in the Protected Area.