anti-corruption group moves on
By EMY C. BONIFACIO, Samar
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Samar’s anti-corruption group, Multi-sectoral
for Transparency and Accountability (MATA-Samar), convened on October
9 at Tony’s Kitchen in Catbalogan for a whole day organizational
structuring and workshop planning on the various activities that the
group would undertake for this quarter. Despite holding the activity
on a weekend, the session had at least 20 members from its core
member-organizations participating actively in the workshop. The
attendees came from the Samarnews.com, Alliance of Concerned Employees
of Samar (ACES), Social Action Center (SAC), Tandaya, Isog han
Samar, academe, group of volunteer lawyers and parish priests.
In its visioning, the
group identified a participatory democracy, responsive governance and
an empowered citizenry as factors in achieving a progressive and
peaceful Samar. It envisions Samar to be a livable community that is
corruption-free and whose quality basic services would be accessible
would focus on the monitoring of infrastructure projects that are
being implemented, engage on budget tracking and procurement and the
delivery of social services. A feedback mechanism such as “Ulat ng
Bayan”, scorecards and other accountability reporting tools will be
facilitated to effectively monitor the performance of local government
units. Efforts on establishing linkages with other agencies and
networks are considered in its sustainability. At the same time,
capacity building for all sectors will be undertaken to professionally
develop and capacitate its members. These activities will be handled
by the various working committees created directly under the
supervision of an Executive Committee. Its respective functions and
memberships were properly delineated on the same forum.
The organization will
be drafting its constitution and by-laws as a pre-requisite for its
immediate registration at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
MATA-Samar considers this imperative in seeking official
representation in the different development councils in the locality.
An official logo,
distinctly representing the vision, missions and objectives of the
anti-graft body will soon be publicly out.
While a MATA website
is waiting to be developed and maintained, Samarnons are encouraged to
actively participate in the discussions and post related experiences
and photos on a newly created “Facebook” account of MATA-Samar.
Furthermore, updates of its activities are posted at
(online and print editions). Likewise, a weekly media forum will be
initiated to engage local government officials and generate public
“We are very happy
that initiatives of this kind are being facilitated. Somehow, this
will bring Samar to progress. A consolidated effort of the public
sector and the civil society organizations is a means towards
achieving fiscal accountability and transparency”, comments Mr.
Dominador Cabanganan, President of the Samar Chamber of Commerce and
are being reinforced by a Memorandum of Agreement signed for and
between the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the
Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD). It would
be recalled that the said MOA was signed on September 22, 2010 by the
DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and the three (3) Bishops of Samar as
representatives of the respective contracting parties. The MOA
encourages CSO engagement in all government transactions for
transparency and accountability purposes.
In a related story,
MATA-Samar has been officially recognized as a member of the
Millennium Challenge Account, a local monitoring counterpart that will
take a major role in the implementation of the 222 km. road network
from Brgy. Buray, Paranas Samar to Guiuan, Eastern Samar and the
KALAHI-CIDSS. The project is part of the $434 million Millennium
Challenge Corporation fund released by the U.S. foreign aid agency to
address global poverty. As a requirement, beneficiaries should be
committed to good governance, economic freedom and investments in
As of press time, data
gathering and documentation on infrastructure projects implemented by
the provincial government are ongoing. A complete listing of all these
projects is requested from the concerned offices for monitoring. At
the same time, MATA is watching closely the preparation of the
Provincial Annual Budget for 2011. MATA is in possession of an Office
Memorandum signed by Governor Sharee Ann T. Tan requesting for all
Chiefs of Offices to attend a Budget hearing on the 2011 Annual Budget
Proposals at the Governor’s residence on
October 7, 2010 t
4:00 pm. MATA
believes that budget hearings are public transactions, thus, should be
conducted openly and during office hours for transparency reasons.
“The practice should be discouraged since this is not in accordance
with the guidelines set. Budget hearings are participatory and the
public has the right to be informed,” a MATA member asserts.
formally turned over donated lot to LNU
Media Relations Center
October 9, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY –
About P2 billion worth of real property was formally donated by the
provincial government of Leyte to the region’s premiere university –
the Leyte Normal University – 89 years after being under usufruct.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla led the turn over Wednesday of the 80,000 square
meters property that consists of 21 lots that belonged to the
provincial government and now formally given to LNU. The properties
house the more or less 24 buildings of the university including the
area along Youngfield district where the university dormitory is
In his turn-over
speech, the governor said this act by the province reflects the intent
of his administration to give importance to education.
It is recognized in
the region, he stressed, that LNU is a “premiere university” that has
produced quality graduates and committed professionals in the fields
of education, hotel and restaurant management, communication and other
appraisal of the commercial value of the lot estimated to be about P2
billion, the provincial government he added, has given more weight to
the value of education that the university can provide more than the
financial gain the province can earn from the said property.
donating the 80,000 square meter property penned by the Provincial
Board was started in March 2008 until its recent approval.
President Dr. Evelyn Cruzada said they could finally lay claim to the
property and have the 12 lots titled as mandated of them by the
Commission on Audit.
“We are very, very
thankful to Gov. Petilla, himself an alumnus of the school, for
finally donating this lot to the university. We would forever be
grateful,” Dr. Cruzada said in her acceptance speech.
It was likewise
learned that LNU, for its part, would support the province in its
commitment to the people of providing “social services” particularly
According to Mr. Pablo
Amascual III, LNU Chief Administrative Officer, the university has
provided scholarships for deserving students coming from the province
of Leyte. Each of the board members were given 5 slots each for the
scholarship grants and 10 slots for the governor and vice-governor.
are already filled up and the scholars are presently enrolled in
various courses in the university,” Mr. Amascual said.
likewise described the turn-over of the donated lot as “timely” as the
school would celebrate its 90th founding anniversary in 2011.
Present during the
turn over ceremony and unveiling of the marker were Dr. Nona Ricafort,
who sits as chairman of the LNU Board of Regents, Vice-Governor
Mimietta Bagulaya, Board Members Roque Tiu, Rolando Piamonte, Antonio
Jabilles and Carlo Loreto and CHED-8 Regional Director Ma. Rita Ortiz.
PNP Samar checkpoints
yield colt rifle and bladed weapons
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
As the checkpoints of Samar Philippine National Police started
flagging down suspicious characters, they were able to apprehend one
suspect with firearm while two suspects yielded bladed weapons.
In an interview with
PNP Samar, the operations division bared that since the start of the
gun ban, only one suspect from Barangay Bahay, Sta Margarita
identified as Emilio Casaljay yielded one colt ER-15 rifle with four
pieces long magazines and three short, the rifle was loaded with seven
magazines. Charges for violation of RA 8294 has been lodged against
the suspect who is now at the Sta. Margarita lock up cell.
suspects have been accosted and have yielded bladed weapons. From
Barangay Tinabanan, Marabut, suspect Jayson Cabasio yielded a bladed
weapon (balisong)19 cm long. Appropriate charges have been filed and
suspect is now at the Marabut PNP station.
violator of the gun ban is identified as Efren Mabansag from San
Bartolome, Barangay 6, Catbalogan, Samar. His case is for filing
according to Samar PPO.
Culled from the police
national headquarters is the statement of PNP Chief Raul Bacalzo who
“In May, we elected
our national and local leaders in what can be regarded as the most
orderly and peaceful elections ever in the history of Philippine
politics. Thru the formidable partnership of the police and military
institutions, we were able to effectively check any outbreak of
political violence by waging a nationwide campaign against loose
firearms, partisan armed groups, and election law violators.
“This time as we look
ahead to another electoral exercise for Barangay and Sangguniang
Kabataan officials, we are mobilizing again the combined might of the
PNP and AFP to safeguard this electoral process and uphold the will of
the sovereign electorate in the forthcoming synchronized Barangay and
SK polls in October 25.
“To ensure smooth and
coordinated action in implementing election security functions, the
AFP Chief of Staff, General Ricardo David and myself signed the
PNP-AFP Joint Letter Directive to define our respective roles in
this 45-day election security operations that takes effect at
November 10, 2010. “
The directive of
the Chief PNP serves as a reminder to the authorities to strengthen
their operation against lawlessness in Samar area especially this
election period. (PIA-Samar)
8ID chief Chan calls NPAs
in Samar to lay down their arms
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
CAMP LUKBAN, Maulong,
Catbalogan, Samar – Amidst the relentless and massive effort of the
government troops in its Internal Security Operations (ISO) in Central Visayas, Major General Mario F. Chan, Commander of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers)
Division, Philippine Army, calls the New People’s Army (NPA) in Samar
to lay down their arms.
As earlier reported,
the government troops has accounted for a total of ten (10) major
engagements resulting to the discovery and seizure of a total of 16
NPA encampments in three Samar Provinces. As the troops continue to
pursue the fleeing communist terrorists, Major General Chan calls them
to surrender and bring along with them, their firearms in order to
once again live a decent and normal lives along with their families.
accomplishments gained by the government troops, according to Major
General Chan, “There is no happiness and satisfaction derived from
killing NPA rebels, only dissatisfaction. The real sense of
fulfillment comes in embracing a rebel back to the folds of law and
help him become productive and contented citizen of this country”.
Chan also pointed out the futility of the NPAs continued resistance
and their revolutionary struggle. He cited that the government have
various programs aimed at assisting the former rebels and incorporate
them into the mainstream of our society.
Major General Chan
also assured the NPAs who will lay down their arms that they will not
be harmed and instead they will be given assistance for them to start
a new life. “We have established a mechanism for them to surrender in
coordination with the local chief executives of Samar Provinces down
from the mayors to the three governors. All they have to do is to
approach or contact their barangay captain, the mayors, governors or
any person they can trust to coordinate with the authorities for their
intention to surrender. They shall bring their firearms as a proof of
their membership with the NPA organization. Those party members who
don’t have firearms can also surrender. They can also call or text to
these numbers: 09997422629 or 09174464714” Chan added.
8ID troops keep NPAs
in Samar on the run, more caches discovered
CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
CAMP LUKBAN, Maulong
Catbalogan Samar – The intensified combat operations conducted by
the troops of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine
Army, have kept the Communist Terrorist Group in Samar on the run. As
can be recalled earlier, the recent operations of the government
forces in Samar Island resulted to the discovery and seizure of 11
enemy encampments that includes the National Organizational Department
of the CPP/NPA Central Committee and the main headquarters of the
Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee.
With the 8ID’s effort
to pursue the fleeing CTs, a series of encounters ensued leading to
the discovery of alternate and satellite camps and several caches of
firearms, ammunitions, war materials, medical supplies, personal
belongings and voluminous subversive documents containing vital
In Northern Samar, in
a report from Colonel Oscar Lopez, the CO of 803Bde, 8ID, PA stationed
at Camp Sumoroy, Catarman, Northern Samar, at about 10:00 in the
morning of October 3, 2010, troops of 3rd Scout Ranger Company of the First Scout
Ranger Regiment under Lieutenant Baylon while scouring the main camp,
recovered one (1) Uzi submachine gun, 4 hand grenades, 1 airgun, 60
rounds of cal 5.56mm linked, 5 improvised explosive devices with
manually operated switch, 6 wet cell batteries, 1 AC/DC tester, books
on demolition course, electronics and sniping, other voluminous
documents, vitamins, medicines and medical equipment.
Relatedly, at about
3:00 o’clock of same day, troops of 6th Special Forces Company under
1LT Guevarra were able to unearth a total of 10 sacks of assorted
enemy personal belongings, training paraphernalia and subversive
documents of vital importance at the hinterland barangays of
Matuguinao, Samar. The said items were buried by the fleeing communist
terrorists in the area as they evade confrontation with the government
In Eastern Samar,
report reaching this Headquarters from Lt. Col Hermilo Demafiles,
Commanding officer of 14th Infantry Battalion based in Brgy. Dao, Oras
E. Samar, disclosed that at about 8:00 o’clock in the morning of
October 4, 2010, the operating troops of Alpha Company, 14IB led by
Sgt Eraya encountered a group of more or less 20 armed communist
terrorists at vicinity Barangay Dorillo, Jipapad, municipality
afterwhich the enemy withrew towards east direction after 30 minutes
At about 3:20 in the
afternoon of same day, another troops of Alpha Company, 14IB under
Lieutenant Dequiatco while conducting pursuit operations encountered
the fleeing communist terrorists at Barangay San Roque, Maslog,
Eastern Samar. After three minutes of firefight, the enemy withdrew
towards northwest direction. No reported casualties on both sides.
Troops of 14IB recovered in this two encounters: two bags, one claymor
mine, two detonating cords, four pcs. flash lights, trigger mechanism
for M14 and M16 rifles, 35 pcs ballpen, two eye glasses, assorted
paraphernalia, three sets acupuncture, four cellular phone (model
1650, 2 model 1202-2 and 11661-2), three load cards worth 100 pesos
each, one cellphone headset, two cellphone chargers, two ammunition
for 12 gauge shot gun, assorted simpacks, eighteen kilos of rice and
About two (2) hours
later of that same day in Eastern Samar, Bravo Company, 34IB led by
Lieutenant Latonio discovered another abandoned NPA camp in barangay
Aguingayan, San Jose De Buan, Samar. The said camp has more or less 15
bunkers made of anahaw makeshifts believed to be used as temporary
shelter of the fleeing communist terrorists. At about 4:05 in the
afternoon of same day, the same troops again discovered another
abandoned enemy camp in the same barangay.
Meanwhile Maj. Gen
Mario F. Chan, Commander of 8ID, lauded the troops for their job well
done, even as he urged them to continue tracking the enemy and
locating their encampments.
Solon sees world-class
highways for Eastern Samar
By ALICE NICART
Samar – Congressman Ben P. Evardone perceives better if not the best
roads are about to happen in Eastern Samar once widening and
rehabilitation project are completed.
This was Evardone’s
insights which he shared to his constituents after the ocular
inspection that was done along the highways by a team of American
engineers and experts from the Department of Public Works and Highways
(DPWH), Central Office Manila which was led by Secretary Rogelio Singzon.
According to him
Secretary Singzon told him that they are ready to spend if only to
improve the province’s roads.
referred to the huge budget which President Benigno Aquino III brought
home from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
amounting to some $214M which DPWH would be disbursing for the project
construction in the province.
He reported that DPWH
is set to prioritize the road portions where there are no serious
problems i.e, road-right-of way, environmental issues.
“Just like the
McArthur-Hernani portion where the stretches are quite wider and with
lesser number of houses where constructions would be done, I think
this portion will be done ahead of the rest”, Cong. Evadone
predicted. He also mentioned another example, that of Brgy. Libas
coastal stretch leading towards San Julian town which is oftentimes
washed out during bad weather is a candidate for transfer by using and
passing through the back of the mountain.
“I really see a
world-class, 20-meter wide highway, wide enough than ordinary highways
and of good quality”, he added.
Another good thing he
said with the project is that it is conscientious in protecting the
environment, the water sheds as well as the convenience and safety of
the riding public.
As the project is
likewise very much aware of the number of days to fully finish,
Evardone said that the consultants are asking the suggestions of the
23 mayors, to submit the map of the areas where they would opt to have
the widening and or rehabilitation of the roads would pass through in
their area of responsibility.
Meanwhile, in an
earlier interview, Evardone stressed that bidding of this kind of
project which involves a huge sum of money and which is believed by
many to be the final solution to the road problem in Eastern Samar
will be straightly done at the DPWH, Central Office Manila and not at
Regional level, Tacloban and local contractors are not qualified to
participate. (PIA Eastern Samar)
conducts Comprehensive Development Plan
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Villareal,
Samar a 4th class municipality has convened its municipal development
council to formulate a Comprehensive Development Plan that will
benefit some 25,135 Villahanons.
This is in compliance
with Republic Act 7160, known as the Local Government of 1991.
multi-sectoral development plan was initiated by the development
council and approved by the Sangguniang Bayan. Some 14 department
heads and SB members were holed-up at the Jasmin Beach Resort in
Marabut from October 4 and expected to end October 6.
According to Joy
Monsanto, speaker lecturer of DILG Samar, the CDP will strengthen the
structure of the Local Development Council to guarantee the inclusion
of sectoral concerns and integrate population development as its
“We have included some
plans for agriculture like corn and abaca production for our people,”
SB Bienvenido Reposo confided to PIA. He added that rice farming
yields are low because the town has no irrigation facility. He then
proposed corn and abaca instead which do not require too much water to
grow. Villareal is a coastal town along the Samar Sea and has fishing
and farming as the chief sources of livelihood.
will be another option,” Reposo added. “If Sta Rita can grow
vegetables and supply the regional capital Tacloban, I don’t see why
Villareal cannot,” stressed the senior SB member.
Health sector could
not be ignored too.
A member of the health
sector said they plan to improve their birthing facility to reduce
maternal mortality rate in this remote town. Villareal’s health sector
came in full force with their Municipal Health Officer who belongs to
the Doctor to the Barrios program. When asked if Mayor Reynato Latorre
will support the plan, the ‘planners’ believe so.
Mayor Latorre is
presently the League of Mayors (LMP) President for
Samar and has been hailed as a pro-active local chief executive.
Based on an article by
writer Rosario Nabong-Cabardo, Mayor Latorre has mobilized his fellow
Villahanons here and abroad to contribute sacks of cement and
harnessed tiklos labor (the traditional practice of helping one
another in times of harvest). The article further said that
contributions poured in and people turned up for the tiklos now known
as the “Villareal Bayanihan Road” have been cemented. Mayor Boy
Latorre has demonstrated people power in action in his municipality.
The project continues and so thus the tiklos spirit.
That was in 2006,
presently, some portions are still uncemented yet his constituents are
hopeful that the road will see better days ahead. (PIA
7th Lamiraw Workshop
By PHIL HAROLD L. MERCURIO
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– The Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) congratulates the 15
fellows who made it to the 7th Lamiraw Regional Creative Writing
Workshop (LRCWW) which will be held on November 9-12, 2010 in Calbayog
The fellow are: Erwin
Fernandez from Urdaneta City/UP Diliman; Early Sol Gadong from Iloilo
City/UP Visayas; Seneca Pellano from Tagum City/UP Mindanao; Ma. Alma
Lloren from Tacloban City/EVSU; Gloria Sommer from Tacloban City/ADFC;
Imelda Ruiz from Tacloban City/UP Diliman; Osmundo Orlanes from
Calbiga, Samar/Sacred Heart Seminary; Liberato Mabubay from Jiabong,
Samar/Samar College; Gary Manalo from Calbayog City/NwSSU; Jewel
Mercader from Calbayog City/NwSSU; Joel Rey Pagobo from Calbayog City/NwSSU;
Jenith Salem from Calbayog City/Central Colleges of the Philippines;
Jerome Castillo from Capul, Northern Samar/UEP; Milen Esteria from
Capul, Northern Samar/UEP; and Rhea Sauro from Capul, Northern Samar/UEP.
Fellows will get free
board and lodging, and travel allowance. Their works will also have
the chance to be selected in the proposed book project of Lamiraw
which will feature the best poems written in the last 7 years of the
This year is a special
year for Lamiraw because the University will be launching the Chito S.
Roño Literary Awards (CSRLA), a major component of the annual Lamiraw
workshop. The renowned film director himself, Mr. Chito S. Roño, will
be this year’s keynote speaker.
Works written in Waray,
Sebuano, Inabaknon, Pangasinan and English are among the manuscripts
that will be read in this workshop.
The eight panelists
invited this year are: Prof. Merlie Alunan and Dr. Leoncio Deriada,
professors emeritus of UP Visayas; Dr. Victor Sugbo of UP Tacloban;
Dr. David Genotiva of Eastern Visayas State University; Prof. Antonino
de Veyra of UP Mindanao; Mr. Voltaire Oyzon of Leyte Normal
University; Mr. Dante Rosales of Ibabao Arts Council of Calbayog; and
Mr. Harold Mercurio of Northwest Samar State University.
This workshop is
subsidized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).