Army troops discovered NPA main camp in Northern Samar
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The encounter between Army’s 8th Infantry
Division troopers and the armed members of the terrorist New People’s
Army (NPA) in the hinterlands of San Jose de Buan municipality in
Samar at around 1:00 p.m. last September 18, 2010, lead to the
discovery and seizure of an NPA main camp located at about 500 meters
from the earlier reported encounter site.
Report reaching this
headquarters from Col. Oscar P. Lopez, Commanding Officer of 803rd
Infantry Brigade in the area, disclosed that the operating troops were
able seize the said camp after the terrorists hastily left the area.
The said camp has 43 bunkers with two classrooms that could
accommodate large number of NPA personalities. Also, the operating
troops recovered two generator sets, a water pump and tank, dream
cable set, two
ICOM handheld radios, three hand grenades, Universal Serial Bus (USBs) for
computers, one sack of rice, a cache of assorted caliber ammunitions
and subversive documents that contains important information.
Major General Mario
Chan, Commander of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division,
Philippine Army lauded his troops for a job well done and for exerting
every effort and dedicating their lives in the accomplishment of the
said task. He stressed that the 8ID troops shall continue to perform
its mandate of protecting the people.
General Arturo Ortiz, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army
and Lieutenant General Ralph Villanueva of the Central Command, AFP
had conveyed to the troops their deep satisfaction on their efforts of
addressing the threat groups in the area of Region 8.
PNP Samar gets a new
director with a sterling record of service
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Samar Provincial Police Office welcomed its new
director in the name of PSupt. Tomasito Clet, on Thursday in simple rites.
Tomasito Clet delivering his speech
PSupt. Clet replaced
PSSupt. Pancho Hubilla whose two-year stint ended September 16, 2010.
In his speech, Hubilla
tried a few Waray lines with struggle and enjoined the mayors present
and Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan to give support to Clet.
Clet, meanwhile called
himself a ‘caregiver’ not a caretaker as he is designated Officer in
Charge (OIC) pending upon appointment processes inherent in
Like Hubilla, Clet
also sought the support of the scores of the local chief executives
and the chiefs of police who crowded at the cramp
PNP conference hall.
literally and figuratively ‘relieved’ as he mingled and joked with the
local media during the lunch he tendered for them.
“I will try to achieve
a higher level of performance in my duty especially against
criminality,” Clet said in his speech punctuated with jests that his
The new director
acknowledged his partners like the army, the church and other force
multipliers that he referred to as his ‘team’.
Clet was assigned at
the Regional Office Command in
prior to his Samar directorship.
As a Bicolano and a
member of PNPA class ’86, Clet was assigned in hometown Bicol and has
been credited for his sterling command of security, peace and order
during the Fiesta of the Lady of Peñafrancia where a humungous crowd
always gather in Naga City.
Clet was also one of
the Ten Outstanding Policemen of 2006 while then chief of police in
Iriga City. With his outstanding achievements in the service,
Samarnons look forward to Clet’s battle with reported private armies
in Samar, especially so that they tend to sprout during elections
Barangay elections are
scheduled in October this year. (PIA-Samar)
Former PA in region 8
looks forward to full operations of RoRo ports in Biliran
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA
TACLOBAN CITY – The
viability in the operations of the existing Roll-on, Roll-off (RoRo)
ports in the
gets a positive push by no less than the former Presidential Assistant
(PA) in Eastern Visayas.
PA Cynthia Nierras
Former PA Cynthia Nierras now back to her old post at the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) in region 8, proposed to take a look of the viability
of the operations of the three RoRo ports in Biliran which are part of
new Eastern Seaboard route under the Eastern Nautical Highways. These
ports are located in the municipality of Naval, Kawayan and in the
island municipality of Maripipi.
The RoRo port of Naval
that costs P59.9M was started in 2007 and was finished in July 2008;
Maripipi port - P53.8M was started in 2007 and was finished in
Dece3mber 2008 and Kawayan - P17.1M was started in 2007 and was
finished in January 2008.
The new Eastern
Seaboard route starts from Pilar, Sorsogon and runs through Masbate
City and Esperanza town in Masbate, traverses Naval and Maripipi towns
in Biliran province, San Ricardo in
and ends in Lipata, Surigao City in Surigao del Norte.
Nierras, who was one of the guests of Harampang sa PIA held recently,
said that the previous administration’s aim in putting in place these
transport infrastructures in the countryside was to further enhance
economic activities, not only in Eastern Visayas but the entire
Visayas, as well as travel and exchange of goods between Mindanao and
She encouraged not
only the concern government agencies like the Philippine Ports
Authority (PPA), Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC),
Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) but also the local chief
executives in Biliran province as well as the private sector engaged
in the maritime industry to sit down and come up strategies and plan
of actions or perhaps conduct a feasibility study on the viability of
operations in these ports.
The former PA
clarified that those infrastructure facilities were constructed as a
preparation for future investment like for private shipping companies
to operate said routes. She added that shipping companies will not
just immediately put their investment without first conducting
comprehensive feasibility study as to the viability of its operation
since it is capital intensive. (PIA 8)
September 25 is
International Coastal Cleanup Day
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
annual International Coastal Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday,
September 25, 2010.
Coastal Cleanup Day is the world's largest, one-day volunteer effort
to clean up the marine environment. Every September, volunteers from
over 100 countries descend on local beaches, rivers, lakes and canals
to show their commitment to cleaner waterways.
Litter in the ocean
isn’t just ugly, it impacts on everything. It can make the ocean more
vulnerable to impacts from climate change, coastal development, and
overfishing. It impacts on local economies, seafood industries, and
recreation, and reduces access to beaches.
There are Cleanup
sites all over, including inland waterways, streams, and dams because,
no matter where one lives, everyone is connected to the ocean. The
litter that falls from one’s hands hundreds of kilometers away finds
its way to the ocean, too.
In some parts of the
world, the International Coastal Cleanup is much more than just
removing the trash. By using detailed, standardized data cards,
volunteers gather valuable information about the types and sources of
debris found. Analyzed and tracked year by year, this information
serves as a powerful tool for educating the public, influencing public
policy, and effecting positive behavioral change on the part of
individuals, organizations, and communities.
bags…bottles…cigarette butts…wrappers and straws. They don’t fall from
the sky; they fall from human hands. And what’s washed up on the shore
is only a fraction of what is in the water.
Marine litter is
symptomatic of a wider malaise namely, the wasteful use and persistent
poor management of natural resources. The plastic bags, bottles, and
other debris piling up in the oceans and seas could be dramatically
reduced by improved waste reduction, waste management, and recycling
Coastal Cleanup Day engages people to remove trash and debris from the
world's beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris, and
change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place.
Everyone is invited to share in this endeavor.
Borongan mayor regrets
at shrunk IRA, won’t let up on cityhood issue
By ALICE NICART
Samar – Malaban la gihap kami!. [We will not give it up!]
These were the exact
words of Borongan Mayor Ma. Fe Abunda, referring to the latest Supreme
Court ruling which disapproved the cityhood application of some 16
municipalities of the country, Borongan included.
challenging statement was part of her inspirational message during the
orientation seminar of the National Economic Research Business
Assistance Center (NERBAC) which was held recently by the Department
of Trade and Industry at the Borongan SB Session Hall.
The Chief Executive
laments that the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) was abruptly
reduced, such that it largely affected their operation.
However, Mayor Abunda
is not likely bent to let go of the recent SC ruling adding that they
will continue to advocate and fight if off, the legal way.
“Now that only 12 of
the 16 applicants have prevailed, we still hope for a favorable
turn-around of events,” she said.
With her economic
advisers, Abunda is hopeful she can manage the financially strapped
LGU because according to her they don’t stop on seeking for advices
from experts, the DTI recently.
For the recently
concluded fiesta celebration where baratillos invaded the boulevard
with temporary stalls, Municipal Administrator, Dayan Agda, in a brief
pep talk with this writer mentioned that they have doubled the
collection compared to last year’s.
“This is something to
ponder on. That when we are serious with our revenue collection, we
can do it,” Agda bragged.
Agda added that
Mayor Abunda is contemplating on holding capability building for her
department heads and employees alike, particularly the Treasurer’s and
Assessor’s to help her beef up collection and taxation.
PPTRP gives birth to
the Multi-sector Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA)
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
A new citizen’s initiative to promote greater transparency and
accountability within local government has been launched in
Samar with the help and support of the Philippine Public
Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP).
Following on from an
initial meeting with PPTRP in May and two development and planning
meetings held last month, an existing group of concerned people
representing different sectors of the local community – and including
local government employees in Catbalogan – have all got together and
formalized themselves and their plans to promote and ensure
participatory good governance in the province.
The main objective of
the newly-formed Multi-sector Alliance for Transparency and
Accountability in Samar (MATA-Samar) is to promote greater awareness
on anti-corruption, transparency and public accountability issues at
the local level. The alliance, composed of media and civil society,
aims to prevent misuse of public funds in the province through timely
and factual reporting of public spending.
Already, since the
project idea was first discussed, the community is reporting greater
awareness around public finance issues according to MATA-Samar
The formation and
launch of the initiative has already been widely covered in local
newspapers and on www.samarnews.com. And a weekly public service radio
program on DYMS-Catbalogan is now being hosted by MATA-Samar members.
Participating media outlets are already proving to be a very effective
vehicle for interaction with the local community and building greater
awareness of the fact that a local organization now exists which is
actively monitoring local public spending.
MATA-Samar members are
already attending weekly sessions and committee hearings of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan with session reports being disseminated in
various media outlets. The group’s ability to access and get copies of
the controversial Annual Investment Plan and the Annual Budget for
2010 of the province has made it easier for the opposition block to
monitor, question, validate, stop disbursements and even petition the
courts for an issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order in the
implementation of specific Appropriation Ordinances.
MATA-Samar is also now
attending and observing selected court hearings and is providing moral
support to the complainants of cases filed against involved provincial
government officials. The group will have its formal launch before the
month of September ends. Updates of the project and its activities
will be published regularly on this website in the weeks and months
Morong 43 and hundreds
of political prisoners nationwide stage protest fast; Filipinos here
and abroad call for their immediate release
QUEZON CITY – More
than a hundred political prisoners in various detention centers all
over the country staged a protest fast to press for their immediate
release, and supported by their relatives and human rights advocates.
Around 148 political
prisoners from 20 detention facilities in the National Capital Region,
Ifugao, Isabela, Tuguegarao City, Bohol, Danao City, Cebu City,
Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Leyte Provincial Jail, Compostela Valley,
Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro joined in protest of their continued
unjust incarceration. High profile detainees from Camp Crame and the
43 health workers in Camp Bagong Diwa lead the protest fast of
political prisoners in Metro Manila that also includes prisoners in
New Bilibid Prison, Camp Karingal, and Correctional Institute for
relatives of the Morong 43, supporters and human rights advocates also
staged a sympathy fast in front of the Ninoy Aquino monument in Quezon
Avenue. President Aquino’s father, Ninoy Aquino, himself was a former
political prisoner during the Marcos dictatorship.
A mass for the Morong
43 at the neaby parish of St.Peters the Apostle was officiated by
Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez. Sen. Loren Legarda, Human Rights
Commissioner Jose Mamauag, former Rep. Liza Maza, ACT Teachers
Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño also
attended, together with relatives and other civil libertarians.
“It has been almost
one hundred days since President Noynoy Aquino assumed the presidency
and yet we haven’t heard any single word from the President about the
plight and release of political prisoners who were illegally arrested
and detained by the previous Arroyo regime,” said Fr. Dionito Cabillas,
secretary general of Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at
para sa Amnestiya (SELDA).
Dr. Julie Caguiat of
the Free the 43 Health Workers Alliance, expressed disgust over the
continued illegal detention and plight of the Morong 43. “They we’re
detained on the basis of a faulty warrant using fictitious name. Our
colleagues were tortured and sexually molested by the military,”
Caguiat said. “The Morong 43 should be released now because their
incarceration is patently illegal.”
On the other hand,
Jigs Clamor, secretary general of Karapatan and husband of Dr. Merry
Mia Clamor, one of the detained Morong 43, said, “Pres. Aquino must
stop his empty rhetorics about the government’s respect for human
rights since he has done nothing about respect for human rights and
the plight of political prisoners”.
“The Morong 43 and all
political prisoners are prisoners of conscience. They were arrested
and detained because they fought against the corrupt and fascist
Arroyo regime. Their continued incarceration is a sign of sick society
under a government who claimed to respect for human rights,” Clamor
Filipino community in
will today hold a candle light vigil to press for the release of the
Morong 43 and all political prisoners. Messages of support and
solidarity from various groups from Auckland, Germany, U.S. and Canada
were also sent.
Clamor said that the
government must act now, and must act faster. “We are afraid that the
fasting will become a full blown hunger strike and deal another
political embarrassment for Aquino in the international community,”
PNP Samar outgoing
director credits the church as partner in the fight against criminals
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The outgoing Police Director (PD) of the Philippine National Police
(PNP) Samar Provincial Police Office PSSupt. Pancho Adelberto Hubilla
acknowledged the support of the clergy in his fight against
In his speech,
Director Hubilla first and foremost recognized Fr Cesar Aculan,
Calbayog’s Social Action Director and the organization he represents.
He described his
two-year stint as PD in Samar as both ’enjoyable and memorable’.
He added that the
pastoral letters of the Catholic Church urging all the faithful to
denounce criminality, was a big boost in the
Hubilla also gave
recognition to the Iglesia ni Kristo (INK) who also called its members
to support the PNP and Hubilla.
Under his leadership,
warrants of arrests were effected and scores of wanted persons were
apprehended and charged.
His stint though was
hounded by criticisms from the first district even accusing his men to
PSSupt. Hubilla, took
all the challenges and urged those ‘aggrieved‘ to charged them. In
time though, critics were unable to substantiate their accusations.
The police officer
also mentioned that he feels good when people approach them for just
about anything, even those concerns outside their turf.
“Nakalagay naman ho sa
aming badges na police, hindi po Superman,” he jested.
He considered the
elections in 2010 as the most honest, orderly and peaceful one.
Hubilla said he owed it to the close partnership with the COMELEC,
army, the police and the church.
In closing Hubilla
melodramatically mentioned nurturing friendship with his professional
allies like Governor Tan and Fr Cesar.
He likewise offered
them ‘free coffee’ if and when they should visit “Boy Hubilla” in
Manila. (PIA Samar)
Globe Asiatique housing mess fallout
Reporting of housing acquisitions by
Pag-IBIG execs, staff welcomed
Barzaga says reports should include
those in names of immediate family members
Cavite Rep. Elpidio
Barzaga Jr. has welcomed the move of Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG
Fund) officer-in-charge Emma Linda Faria to compel the firm's officers
and staff to promptly report their acquisition of property in any
housing projects of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp.
"This is definitely an
exemplary step by Pag-IBIG's new management, in accordance with the
safeguards of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public
Officials and Employees against potential conflicts of interest,"
Barzaga said the
mandatory reporting requirement should include any Globe Asiatique
properties in the names of the spouses, children, brothers, sisters or
parents of Pag-IBIG officers and staff.
Faria issued a
memorandum dated Sept. 11, ordering Pag-IBIG officers and employees to
immediately report in writing their ownership of property in any
projects of Globe Asiatique.
Barzaga also cited the
need to look into any Globe Asiatique properties that may have been
acquired by previous board members and officers of Pag-IBIG.
He pointed out that
Globe Asiatique "apparently cultivated a relationship" with Pag-IBIG
management long before then Vice President and housing chief Noli de
Castro became fund chairman.
conflict of interest is evident. Once a Pag-IBIG board member or
official has properties in a Globe Asiatique housing venture, then
that officer assumes a direct and personal stake in the project,"
officer will have an incentive to freely authorize the grant of as
many loans as possible to borrowers who intend to purchase property in
the same project, since the higher ownership and occupancy rates will
invariably enlarge the value of the officer's assets," he added.
Both the Senate and
the House are investigating the hundreds of millions of pesos worth of
fraudulent loans granted by Pag-IBIG to phony borrowers that were
supposed to acquire homes in Globe Asiatique's Xevera projects in
income, Barzaga estimates that Pag-IBIG collects some P1.6 billion in
monthly contributions from eight million registered members, at a rate
of P200 monthly per member, including the employer's share.
"Congress is obligated
to exercise exceptional due diligence in guarding these hard-earned
contributions of ordinary private and public sector workers," he said.
He also warned that
any financial losses incurred by Pag-IBIG due to large-scale fraud
would eventually lead to either all members paying for higher
contribution rates; to the firm providing less loans and benefits to
members; or to taxpayers ultimately extending extra subsidy to the
loans almost P7 billion for some 9,000 homes built by Globe Asiatique.
However, it later turned out that many of the homes were never
completed, or remain unoccupied.
province signs MOA with private sectors for disaster preparedness
project using SMS technology
By BONG PEDALINO
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – Governor Damian Mercado signed at his office on Tuesday a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), along with some of the corporate giants
of the country, to establish a project that would institutionalize
fast access of communication during inclement weather as a way of
mitigating the ill effects of impending or sudden natural calamities.
Also affixing their
signatures to the MOA were Chris Pablo of the World Bank, Ramon
Isberto of Smart Communications, Rafael Lopa, Executive Director of
the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Jazmin
Gutierrez, another high-ranking PBSP staffer.
The MOA signing was
done as one of the highlights during the launching of the project,
which was officially called “Strengthening Disaster Preparedness of
Southern Leyte thru SMS technology”.
It will be a
corroborative undertaking with Smart, PBSP, the provincial government,
and the nine municipalities and one city of the provinces that stand
as its pilot beneficiaries, with funding provided by the World Bank in
the amount of nearly P10 Million for a two-year project duration.
Among those in the
audience who witnessed the MOA signing were representatives of the
recipient local government units, such as Pintuyan, Liloan, Anahawan,
Malitbog, San Francisco, Maasin City, Libagon, Tomas Oppus, Hinunangan,
and San Ricardo.
Prior to the signing
ceremony, Gov. Mercado explained that the absence of most of the
recipient Mayors was due to a conflict of schedule, saying the date
also their first meeting after having re-organized the League of
Municipalities-Southern Leyte Chapter.
But two Mayors were
actually able to join the launching, Mayor Maloney Samaco of Maasin
City, and Samson Gamutan of San Francisco.
In a video
presentation, it was learned that the project is a pioneering
initiative in the country that will utilize SMS or text messaging
through cell phones as a solution to communication needs of the
province either in disaster preparedness or in responding to distress
messages that need quick action.
The pilot ten LGUSs
will also have five pilot barangays each as recipients of these
communication tools from Smart, and it is widely seen that through
this strengthened process, relevant information from the field can be
easily sent to response actors at all levels of the community, from
the barangay, municipal, or city level, up to the province, or
vice-versa. (PIA Southern Leyte)
PDEA 8, PNP-Leyte seek
help in campaign against illegal drugs
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA
TACLOBAN CITY – The
heads of two law enforcement agencies that are now stepping up their
campaign in containing the proliferation of illegal drug activities,
appealed for help from the local legislators for an effective campaign
Julius Navales of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 8 (PDEA) and
Police Senior Inspector John Q. Sosito, Provincial Director of the
Philippine National Police (PNP) in Leyte province appeared on
September 14, 2010, before the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
(SP) of Leyte asking for their help in their agencies’ drive against
illegal drugs in the region and in the province of Leyte.
The heads of PDEA 8
and PNP-Leyte also presented to the SP members a brief report of how
far their respective agencies have achieved in their campaign against
PSSupt Sosito gave
some salient features in his report such as in Oplan Sangbanat that
includes the supply and demand reduction drive and operation private
eye where reward is given to informant.
He also disclosed that
the province of Leyte is not considered as a drop-off point of the
bricks of cocaine retrieved in the seawaters of Eastern Samar yet he
still intensified his campaign on illegal drugs in the province.
The Leyte PNP chief
appealed to the local legislators to exercise their oversight function
in aid of legislation requiring secondary and tertiary students,
employees of both the government and private sectors to undergo drug
test since he saw it as an effective deterrent for people to engage in
He likewise lamented
on some procedural problems encountered by his men in the field in
drug-related apprehensions and the lack of funds to finance for
offenders having a penalty of six years and above to undergo drug
For his part, Director
Navales said that though his agency has done significant
accomplishments in the campaign against illegal drugs in the region
yet more has to be done to contain or to eradicate it in
The PDEA 8 chief
reported that his agency was able to recover and seized 535 kilograms
of cocaine as of August this year, believed to be part of the
significant number of bricks of cocaine dumped by a foreign vessel in
the seawaters of Eastern Samar last December. Some were found and
surrendered to PDEA 8 by some fishermen who found it floating in the
The big accomplishment
of PDEA 8 was made possible because of the creation of the agency’s
Task Force Samar Cocaine Bricks and the establishment of Oplan: Samar
He revealed PDEA has
given already 259 sacks of rice to fishermen and some people in the
community in Eastern Samar who reported and surrendered to their
agency the bricks of cocaine they have found.
According to Director
Navales the Agency gave one sack of rice for every brick of cocaine
reported and surrendered to his office as a reward to informant.
However, he said his agency lacks sufficient fund to sustain such
He presented some
pressing concerns of the agency such as in the aspect of mobility
because of the lack of vehicles and the corresponding fuels that will
be used in their operations. He added that one of their three service
vehicles was grounded due to an accident.
He also cited the lack
of personnel of the agency because PDEA agents who posed as
pusher-buyer will appear in court hearing where they will be exposed
to the public and will now be easily identified by people engaged into
the illegal drug trade. Director Navales reasoned out the more
personnel they will have the more effective they will be in their
Both heads of the law
enforcement agencies have opined that the active involvement of the
community and other stakeholders would be a great help in minimizing
or in eradicating the illegal drug problem in the
of Leyte and in the region as a whole.