NPA attack innocent civilians in Calbayog
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
CAMP LUKBAN, Maulong,
Catbalogan, Samar – An undetermined number of terrorist New People’s
Army (NPA) attacked the peace-loving residents of Brgy Malaga,
Tinambacan District, Calbayog City amidst their sleep at around 4:30
In a report from
Lieutenant Colonel Jose Narciso, commanding officer of the Army’s 20th
Infantry Battalion based in Tinambacan Sur, Calbayog City, a group of
undetermined number of communist terrorist with five (5) amazons armed
with assorted firearms led by communist terrorist leader alyas “Nady”
raided the houses of certain Arturo Flor, a businessman, Brgy Chairman
Eugene Nuńes and other residences in the said barangay.
The terrorist NPA also
shot one person identified as Kagawad Anthony Giray and the Chief
Tanod but the latter was able to escape despite being wounded. He was
later evacuated to Calbayog City for medical treatment.
During the said
attack, the CTs had a missed encounter with their comrades that are
also posted in the vicinity of the said barangay. The residents in the
area claimed that the firefight lasted for about ten minutes and when
they fled the area, they suffered one killed and one wounded as a
result of the missed encounter.
Also during the
attack, the terrorist NPA established a checkpoint along the highway
utilizing vehicles that they flagged down to block the possible
reinforcement of the government troops. One truck that did not stop
in the said checkpoint was fired upon by the communist terrorist that
resulted to the explosion of its tire. No one was reportedly hurt in
the said incident. Sensing that they might get caught by the
government troops, the communist terrorists left the area before the
arrival of the reinforcing troops from 20IB.
civilians from the area revealed that the incident is still related to
the recently concluded Barangay and SK election that when the NPA
supported candidates failed to pick a local seat thru election, they
resorted to harassment as retribution to the people.
Narciso immediately ordered his troops to track down the fleeing
rebels utilizing the full might and strength of his unit. The troops
are still in the area as of press time.
General Mario Chan, the 8ID’s commander said that the attack was a
desperate move by the terrorist NPA in order to divert the attention
of the government forces in the ongoing combat operations. The
communist terrorists resorted to attacking innocent civilians whom
they consider as soft targets in order to project an image of strength
and that they are still a force to reckon with.
Chan noted that the current conduct of operations of the 8ID has
severely degraded the capabilities of the Eastern Visayas Regional
Party Committee. The recent discovery of twenty CPP/NPA encampments,
their arms and war materiel caches, their stock of food supplies,
their communications equipment, medical facilities and other items
have severely crippled their revolutionary activities.
“We have cut their
supply lines, disrupted heavily their command control and
communications, dislodged them from their guerilla camps, restrict
their freedom of movement and most significantly, we have kept them on
the run and we will continue to pressure them and put them on the edge
of the fight where there will be no place for them to hide and they
have no other option but to surrender and return back to the folds of
the law and once again live a peaceful and decent lives” concludes
NPA elements assault
Malaga: Village councilor wounded, houses looted
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– Some 30 NPA (New People’s Army) members allegedly assaulted Brgy.
Malaga, Tinambacan District, Calbayog City at past 4 o’clock this
morning, looted three houses and shot the village councilor using an
M16 armalite rifle.
The victim was
identified as Mark Anthony Giray, rank 1 in the latest barangay
Another resident named
JR Cantiga was tied by a rope and held hostage for almost 2 hours when
the troops were roving around the area.
A tanod member said
that the suspects were composed of men and women, using hand-held
radios, and were looking for a person named Arturo Flor.
sa Malaga ini si Arturo Flor, kaiha pa.
Buotan man ini siya
nga tawo… bisan pa kam magpakiana san mga tawo,” he added.
No police authorities
and military elements were able to respond the area during the two
hours captivity as their communication equipment were seized and the
house of Punong Barangay Eugene Monuz and two others were ransacked,
taking away with them sets of cellular phones, jewelry and money, he
Buses and other
vehicles bound for north and south sections were also used as blockade
while the troops were conducting checkpoint, the tanod clarified.
It was past 5 in the
morning when the NPA elements withdrew from the area taking with them
one wounded comrade, the tanod said.
“Ira ada naunay an usa
nira nga kaupod… pagkita ko patay na,” he added.
Aside from valuables
items looted from the residents’ houses, suspects were able to
embezzle one shotgun from the house of Arturo Flor.
Village Councilor Mark
Anthony Giray was immediately brought at St. Camillus Hospital this
city for medication.
JR Cantiga, still
frightened from the incident avoided answering questions from the
Senate to heed UN
committee’s landmark ruling on Karen Vertido rape case
By Office of Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
October 31, 2010
PASAY CITY – Senator Pia S. Cayetano today welcomed the landmark ruling of a United Nations
(UN) committee that held the Philippine government accountable for the
controversial dismissal by a local court of the Karen Vertido rape
case five years ago.
Cayetano said the
Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations “will seriously
take into consideration” the recommendations of the UN Committee on
the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
which criticized in a resolution the “gender-based myths and
stereotypes” used by a Davao City court when it dismissed in 2005 the
high-profile rape case filed by Vertido against a prominent local
“This issue falls
within the ambit of laws that discriminate against women which are
currently under review by the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and
Family Relations. The recommendations of the UN body will assist our
committee in reviewing and drafting measures to remove provisions in
our laws that are gender-biased,” said Cayetano, who chairs the
She added: “Although
the 1997 Anti-Rape Law already provides a broad definition of the
crime of rape, there is still room for improvement to further protect
women against discrimination and to make our laws in line with CEDAW
amendment includes making 'lack of consent' of the victim an essential
element of the crime of rape, as opposed to the current wording of the
law which focuses more on the mode employed by the perpetrator in the
commission of the crime of rape such as through force, intimidation or
Cayetano, in her
capacity as President of the Coordinating Committee of Women
Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), chaired the
IPU’s session on CEDAW in 2008 and in 2009 to give legislators from
different countries a better understanding of the international
convention that upholds the right of women against all forms of
She also delivered a
privilege speech in the Senate last year to call the chamber’s
attention on the need to review the country’s compliance with CEDAW,
which the Philippines ratified in 1982. Compliance would necessitate a
review of all gender-discriminatory laws and their subsequent
amendment or repeal, she added.
In her speech,
Cayetano also pointed out that barring any other legal recourse in the
county, any group or individual, such as in Vertido's case, may seek
redress of gender-related grievances with the United Nations through
remittances up $250M, sustain double-digit growth rate
MANILA – Filipino
sailors aboard foreign-flagged ocean-going vessels wired home a total
of $2.461 billion in the eight months to August this year, up $250
million or 11.31 percent versus the $2.211 billion they remitted over
the same period in 2009, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)
"The foreign exchange
coming in from sea-based migrant Filipino workers is growing twice
faster than those coming in from their land-based counterparts," said
TUCP secretary-general Ernesto Herrera.
"At the current
double-digit growth rate, we now see the full year remittances from
Filipino sailors abroad hitting around $3.7 billion," said Herrera,
former chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human
national labor center includes the Philippine Seafarers'
Union, attributed the sustained growth in remittances to the
increased deployment of sailors and global demographics.
maritime transport of all kinds of commodities is growing along with
global population expansion. Thus, the ever-increasing demand for a
fresh supply of sailors," the former senator said.
The total remittances
coursed through banks by all land- and sea-based migrant Filipino
workers increased by $839 million or 7.40 percent, to $12.181 billion
in the first eight months of 2010 from $11.342 billion in the same
period in 2009, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
land-based workers alone increased by $589 million or 6.45 percent to
$9.720 billion from $9.131 billion, year-on-year.
Filipino sailors on
mostly foreign merchant ships wired home a total of $3.4 billion in
the whole of 2009, up $366 million from $3.034 billion in 2008.
The 12.06 percent
growth in remittances from sea-based migrant Filipino workers in 2009
was nearly three times faster than the 4.15 percent or $555 million
year-on-year increase in the cash sent home by their land-based
More than 200
detainees in Ormoc to benefit from improved facilities
ORMOC CITY, Leyte –
More than 200 detainees in the Ormoc City Jail will enjoy better
water supply, air circulation, and a new kitchen due to structural
improvements initiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross
projects, which began in August and will be handed over today to the
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), are meant to improve
the living conditions of the Ormoc City Jail detainees.
"The ICRC identified
Ormoc City Jail as one of the priority jails for intervention in 2010.
These projects are part of a strategy to provide structural support
for the BJMP in order to improve the living conditions of detainees,"
said Andres Casal, the ICRC's water and habitat coordinator.
The ICRC refurbished
the jail's kitchen, which previously made use of firewood for cooking,
by installing three stoves, stainless-steel preparation table, sink,
tiled flooring, and a lavatory outside.
For the water supply,
the Geneva-based humanitarian organization improved the jail's ground
cistern tank and installed a 4,000 liter-capacity storage tank so
detainees have steady access to safe drinking water.
Ventilation was also
enhanced by removing a concrete wall in the main cell building and
replacing it with steel bars to allow air circulation.
The ICRC works to
promote dignity and respect for those detained in relation to armed
conflicts by monitoring their treatment and living conditions. In the
Philippines, the ICRC launched the "Call for Action" process to help
authorities upgrade penal infrastructures, tuberculosis management in
jails, and the criminal justice process.
"The 'Call for Action'
process is a three-pronged approach that will benefit all persons
deprived of freedom. With the support of agencies like the BJMP, we
will be able to do more for those who suffer from the consequences of
overcrowding in jails and prisons," said Casal.
detainees in 27 BJMP jails and four provincial jails have benefited
from structural projects done by the ICRC from January to August 2010,
in line with the "Call for Action" process.
The ICRC had initiated
similar technical projects in Tacloban City Jail, which now has a new
infirmary, kitchen, and improved water facilities.
Greenpeace slams DA on
Demands a stop to
experimental field trials
MANILA – Greenpeace
today slammed the Department of Agriculture (DA) for failing to put
the brakes on planned field trials of the genetically engineered (GE)
Bt eggplant, even as more provinces are banning what are essentially
risky genetic experiments in their localities. Greenpeace is warning
the government to heed the example of India, which has declared a
moratorium on the commercialization of the genetically modified
vegetable on safety concerns.
“The DA has to be more
on the ball when it comes to the Bt talong issue. Once again the
Philippines is accepting another country’s rejects. A few years ago,
the government wanted us to eat genetically-tainted US rice that other
countries refused to import. Now they want to turn the country into a
guinea pig for a risky experimental food crop already rejected by
This is scandalous and completely unacceptable. What is the DA
thinking?” said Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Sustainable
“GE crop field trials
are experiments that cannot yield any success because they are
inherently risky. Bt eggplant field trials will endanger conventional
eggplant varieties with irreversible genetic contamination and will
eventually threaten farmers’ livelihoods. It will also put at risk
the health of Filipinos. No GMO has ever been proven safe for human
consumption and the evidence that these organisms pose long-term
threats is growing. The DA must listen to provinces who have refused
to be part of this folly,” he added.
Two of the seven
selected sites for field trials – the City of
and Sta Barbara, Iloilo – have already issued provincial resolutions
to ban field testing. Other proposed test sites in Pangasinan,
Laguna, Camarines Sur, Leyte, and North Cotabato are in the process of
passing similar statutes. Recent reports state that Bt eggplant
proponents now refuse to divulge the date and time of planting, in
blatant disregard of the public’s right to know of matters that have
serious implications on community health. Incidentally, the DA’s
go-ahead for Bt eggplant testing was given under a similar
Bt eggplant is a GE
crop that has a built-in pesticide intended to kill the eggplant fruit
and shoot borer insect. As with all GMOs, no long-term studies on the
effects on humans and the environment has ever been conducted.
Moreover, GMO field tests are particularly risky. Pollen in an
uncontained environment will travel and cause the GE crop to
crossbreed with conventional varieties. The effects are near
impossible to reverse, and the GE crop industry currently offers no
solutions. The most serious example of such experimental
contamination is the Bayer LL601 GE rice case. Planted as an
experiment in 2001 in Arkansas, USA and subsequently abandoned as a
failure, it silently contaminated US rice stocks in three states and
was not detected until 2006.
Bt eggplant was
developed based on experiments done on eggplant in India, but plans
for its commercialization in the country were halted early this year
due to safety concerns. Last month, Dr. Pushpa Bhargava, an eminent
geneticist and member of the Indian Genetic Engineering Appraisal
Committee, sent a letter to DA Secretary Prospero Alcala urging a
halt on the field trials pending an actual assessment of the need for
the GE crop has been determined, and if there is, after proper
laboratory testing have been carried out.
“Even before one
decides to develop a genetically modified crop, one must determine if
it is needed and if so, if there are cheaper and better alternatives.
In the case of Brinjal (eggplant), we certainly do not need it in
India, and the alternatives to the Bt gene in the Brinjal are many,
such as organic agriculture, integrated pest management and use of
biopesticides," said Dr. Bhargava. "There are known and established
numerous health, agricultural, environmental, and social hazards of
open release of GE crops. In no case so far, any of these hazards
have been evaluated properly, professionally and objectively; in the
case of most hazards, no evaluation has been done at all for any GE
crop till today."
that GE crops are not the way forward to sustainable agriculture.
Neither are GE crops endorsed by the IAASTD (International Assessment
on Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development) as
a solution to food security.
“It would be a grave
mistake for the DA to pursue the field trials for Bt eggplant. We are
calling on Secretary Alcala to stop the GE Bt eggplant trials and
instead focus on technologies that will give the most benefit to
farmers and consumers such as ecological agriculture which does not
rely onGE crops or agrochemicals,” said Ocampo.
for GMO-free crop and food production grounded on the principles of
sustainability, protection of biodiversity, and providing all people
access to safe and nutritious food. Genetic engineering is an
unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment,
threatens biodiversity, and poses unacceptable risks to health.
DILG, DTI launch
project to streamline business permits and licenses
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
TACLOBAN CITY – As
part of the Nationwide Streamlining of Business Permits and Licensing
System (BPLS) Reform Project for local government units (LGUs), a
launching program was held on October 28, 2010 (Thursday) at the
DILG-8 Regional Office, in Tacloban City.
The activity is in
line with a joint memorandum of the Department of the Interior and
Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
to speed up the issuance of business permits and licenses in cities
and municipalities and thus improve business climate in the country.
DILG-8 Dir. Francisco
C. Jose in his message cited the country’s poor competitiveness
ranking in investors’ confidence as a reason to improve BPLS.
“Improving the permits system will help towns and cities to attract
more investors, foster economic growth, and generate jobs,” Dir. Jose
DTI Director Nierras
on the other hand, provided an overview of the BPLS Reforms. She
expounded on the minimum standards for processing business
applications. This included following a unified and single application
form; reducing signatories to five, limiting the number of steps to
five; and limiting processing time to 10 days for new applications and
five (5) days for renewals.
The activity likewise
had a sharing of good practices and success stories on BPLS
implementation from the cities of Ormoc and
Board Member Roque Tiu represented Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L.
Petilla, while Mr. Vince Rama subbed for Leyte 4th District
Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez. Other officials from LGUs, national
agencies, local resource institutions and NGOs were also represented.
A draft memorandum of
agreement was also signed by concerned parties to strengthen BPLS
implementation in the region. The DILG-DTI Joint Memo Circular No. 1
series of 2010 contained implementing guidelines that set the
standards in processing business permits and licensing in all cities
BPLS is a priority
reform program of President Noynoy Aquino and DILG Secretary Jesse M.
Robredo to improve the country’s competitive performance in combating
red tape and improving revenue generation in local government units.
BPLS has four
components: Simplification and Standardization of BPLS for new
registration and renewals; Computerization; Improving Customer
Relations; and Institutionalization of Reforms.
Leyte IDOL Bulilit
Grand champ lands in ABS-CBN Star Power Search Top 20
Media Relations Center
October 27, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – One
of Leyte’s Singing IDOL recently made it to the Top 20 of the recently
launched ABS-CBN Show, a weekly nationwide female singing contest
search called “STAR POWER: Sharon’s Search for the next Female Pop
Monica Cuenco, 16
years old of Kananga town, was Leyte IDOL Season 2 Bulilit Category
Grand Champion in 2007, made it among other would-be singing
sensations in the country after auditioning in Cebu.
Cuenco was among the
star wannabes who lined up in the preliminary auditions last Augusr
19-21 and got the nod of the search panel judges that included
Executive Producer Crissy Baluyut, ABS-CBN Regional Network Executive
Roland Padriga and
talent Christian Bautista himself a product of the famous 2003 reality
search singing contest “Star In A Million”.
In the Cebu leg of the
audition, many female contestants shared on-camera interesting
personal stories about their lives, their struggles and triumphs while
going through the process of auditions.
Cuenco sang in her
Star Power audition in Cebu the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, the
same piece she sang in 2007 which won her the grand prize in the Leyte
IDOL Bulilit Category. She was 12 years old then when she joined Leyte
According to Loloy
Loreto, who manages the Leyte IDOL talent pool, this is one of those
opportunities that the provincial singing search would like to provide
the local talents – exposure in nationwide singing search, possibly
pass the qualifying round and hopefully making it to the top.
“Hopefully, she can
make it to the final stage of the search. But by just getting in to
the qualifying round and making it to the Top 20 from among the
hundreds who auditioned, is already a big feat. We are very, very
proud of her,” Loreto said.
conceived by Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho L. Petilla and produced by the
provincial government of Leyte, is now on its sixth year of
discovering and bringing together the very best singers not only from
the province of Leyte but also the Eastern Visayas Region.