PSWD: 8ID brings hope
to the people
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The Head of the Samar Provincial Social Work and
Development (PSWD) Mrs. Luz Tacal happily received Mylene dela Cruz,
one of the survivors of the New People’s Army’s Matuguinao massacre
last year in a simple yet meaningful turn-over ceremony in the
headquarters of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, Catbalogan, Samar
around 10 a.m., yesterday.
Mrs. Tacal dubbed 8ID
to have been bringing hope to the people after saving Mylene’s family
and her life in the claws of death brought by the terrorist NPA. She
and her family were in the custody of the 8ID as she underwent series
of medical operations for several months until finally turned over to
the care of PSWD.
It can be recalled
that sometime in March 2010 Mylene’s family was mercilessly attacked
at Barangay Bag-otan, Matuguinao Samar. She, his husband Jovic and son
Joshua had miraculously survived but her left hip was seriously hit by
the terrorist bullet. Doming and Junie, father and brother of Jovic
respectively died in that tragic event.
Mylene was immediately
brought by the government troops to
for her immediate medication, but because of lack of facilities, she
was brought to Camp Lukban Station Hospital. She was then brought to
AFP Medical Center or V-Luna hospital for immediate hip prosthesis.
The series of operations has incurred an expenses amounting to around
P1.3 million pesos that was shouldered by the Philippine Army.
Virgilio Espineli, the assistant Division Commander of 8ID said that
Mylene was indeed lucky enough for surviving the misfortune in her
life. He said that the support extended to her by the Philippine Army
is somewhat fulfilling to the mandate of Army’s protection of life and
“We want to inform the
public especially the local government units that this problem could
not be solved by a mere military solution. Necessary cooperation and
collaboration is needed to achieve our aspiration to fully develop our
province as well as to attain the long and lasting peace for the
Samarnon,” Colonel Espineli adds.
The colonel also said
that Mylene is a typical example of what our people would be if
insurgency will continue to reign as it posses a big threat to our
innocent people. The family of Mylene has no arms nor power to defend
themselves but still, terrorist NPA did not hesitate to pin them down
for just a mere allegation.
Mrs. Tacal further
thanked the leadership of 8ID for continuously making coordination to
their office especially with regards to the welfare of their
constituents. She said that although their agency could not certainly
provide the same amount of assistance extended by the 8ID, they will
do their best to seek assistance from the city government of Tacloban
and to the other agencies or organizations to sustain the needs of
“We are very much
thankful to the military for the efforts and medical assistance they
gave to Mylene. That kind of effort on your part is a genuine
manifestation of your will and commitment to serve our people here in
Samar,” She says.
Mylene is now
re-united with her family, starting anew her life along with her
husband Juvic and son Josua, after the trauma that was brought to them
by the terrorist NPA. The DSWD 8 will continue to monitor Mylene
because after the physical healing of Mylene, the emotional trauma
still haunt them where Mrs. Tacal promised to address by letting them
undergo counseling sessions to help them recover and move forward to a
PNP dismisses cop in
possession of illegal drugs
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA, PIA 8
TACLOBAN CITY – A
cop arrested by the drug enforcement agency in possession of illegal
drugs was dismissed from the service for commission of an
According to Rochelle
Febria, information officer-designate of the Philippine National
Police Regional Office 8, PO2 Elmer A. Ampong was arrested by agents
of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on January 28, 2011
in a buy-bust operation in Candahug, Palo, Leyte.
Febria said that
seized from PO2 Ampong was a brick of cocaine and a .45 caliber
PO2 Ampong is charged
for violating Section 5 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which prohibits the sale of illegal drugs,
She said that P/CSupt
Arnold R. Revilla, Regional Director of PNP 8 clarified that PO2
Ampong who was assigned at the Regional Headquarters Service Support
Group in Camp Kangleon, Campetic, Palo, Leyte was already dismissed
from the service on December 21, 2010 for Serious Neglect of Duty
Febria added that PNP
8 Director Revilla disclosed that several notifications were sent to
PO2 Ampong directing him to appear before the hearing officer and
submit pertinent documents related to his administrative case.
She further said that
Director Revilla informed that after all efforts exerted were futile
for PO2 Ampong to appear before the hearing officer and submit
pertinent documents related to his administrative case, the hearing
officer in the ex-parte or summary proceeding conducted found PO2
Ampong administratively liable and was penalized with dismissal from
Febria said that
Director Revilla stressed that any report or sweeping statement
implicating the police organization in any illegal drug activities
which tainted the integrity of the PNP is deemed improper and
Local motorists plan
to increase fares in Maasin City
By ES GORNE, PIA Maasin
MAASIN CITY – After
series of fuel price increases being implemented by local gasoline
stations in Maasin City, local motorist associations have been
attempting to step up fare increases by P1.00 since late last year
Ramon Buyser, a member
of the Maasin Motorcab Association (MAMODA), reported that they have
already presented their petition for fare increase after series of
fuel price increases in the locality that were experienced. This is
excluding from the price increases on the spare parts of their
motorcab in the market.
Should the petition
for fare increase be approved, an additional amount of P1 for the
first five kilometers will be collected from the present P7 which will
eventually become P8 fare in the city, Buyser added.
He further said that
their petition for fare increase has already been brought to the
attention of Sangguniang Panlungsod for deliberations and legal
actions needed to enforce such fare increases.
Panlungsod of Maasin City would like to conduct a public hearing to
the public commuters about the petition as planned by the motorists.
It was learned earlier
that the said petition will face resistance from the parents and
students since these will only add more burden to the public with the
price increases in almost all of the prime commodities in the market,
NSO Southern Leyte
spearheads first provincial barangay secretaries convention for civil
By FAITH GENOVANA, PIA Maasin
MAASIN CITY – In
connection with the observance of February as Civil Registration
Month, the National Statistics Office (NSO) In Southern Leyte will be
initiating the first Provincial Civil Registration Convention of Barangay Secretaries this coming February 18, 2011.
The day-long, historic
event will be held at the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) gym
in Sogod town, and it will be graced by luminaries and civil
registration experts coming from the NSO central office.
The visitors will also
serve as lecturers during the one-day orientation seminar for all the
barangay secretaries from all the 500 barangays of the province.
In fact, this will be
the first time such gathering of barangay secretaries can take place
all throughout the country for the purpose of learning how to handle
civil registration procedures and related matters at the barangay
It is expected that
the village secretaries can learn the basics of birth, marriage and
death registration, including the new civil registry laws such as RA
9048 (Clerical Error Law) and RA 9255 (Illegitimate Children’s Act).
The convention was
carried out in coordination and cooperation with the Southern Leyte
Municipal Civil Registrar’s Association, Inc. (SOLEMCRA).
Also in the month of
February, the provincial NSO will be initiating civil registration
symposiums in different schools and colleges around the province to
further create awareness among students on the relevance of their
civil registry documents.
February every year
was declared as Civil Registration Month pursuant to Proclamation No.
682 signed by then President Corazon Aquino.
This year’s theme,
“Quality Civil Registration in Support of the National Development
Goals,” enshrines the importance of quality civil registry data in the
formulation of accurate development plans.
activities suggested to mark the month-long observance included mobile
registration, display of streamers, free issuance of certification,
mass weddings, symposiums, civil registration quiz, slogan contest,
and holding of exhibits promoting civil registration.
PH Embassy in Riyadh
bares guidelines to avail of amnesty for those who overstayed or
violated residency rules
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Philippine Embassy in Riyadh bared the guidelines on how to avail of
the Royal Pardon or Amnesty for those who overstayed their visas or
violated residency rules.
This was learned from
Mr. Alex Bello, an OFW leader from Tacloban who is now in Dubai.
With reference to
those who violated their hajj, umrah and visit visa, their
fingerprints shall be taken by the Wafeeden Departments and then they
shall be processed accordingly and allowed to leave.
With reference to
those who are visitors on family visit visa, they should proceed to
the Directorate for Passports [Jawazat], settle fees for extension of
the visit visa which has a penalty of SR200 per month. The SR10,000
penalty has been suspended for the six month period of the Royal
Their status should be
corrected at the computer database of the Directorate for Passports.
The visit visa holder is also required to present him or herself to
the General Directorate for Passports or Jawazat in the respective
regions for biometrics or fingerprinting and finalization of his
According to the
authorities, all overstaying nationals, including those availing of
the Royal Pardon, will be blacklisted from returning to the Kingdom.
nationals apprehended after the 23 March 2011 will be required to pay
a heavy penalty and may be subject to imprisonment.
In its reply to the
query of the Philippine Embassy in
the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not include any mention of
those with expired iqamas; those who came to the Kingdom for
employment with a sponsor and have stayed beyond the validity of their
iqama; or those who absconded from their original employer and seek
The Philippine Embassy
in Riyadh said that it is therefore clear that, as mentioned in
various news reports, absconding workers or TNTs are not included in
the Royal Pardon or “Amnesty”.
Various officials of
the Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Riyadh, Al-Khobar
and the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah have made
representations with the Saudi concerned authorities, particularly the
General Directorate for Passports [Jawazat] and the Directorate for
Expatriates Depending on a case to case basis, the general procedure
and requirements include: the absconding or overstaying worker should
contact and proceed to the nearest Philippine Oversees Labor Office
and provide the information on the sponsor or employer; the original
or copy of the iqama.
POLO officer shall
interview the OFW to determine his/her status and shall contact the
sponsor to negotiate for the “No Objection certification” by the
original sponsor; the Settlement Agreement or mukhalasa between the
employee and employer wherein both parties sign that they have no
In the case of the
employee, this ensures that he has received all his monetary claims
from the employer. In case of the employer, this ensures that he has
no monetary claims against the employee, such as debts and other
Filipinos who have
overstayed their hajj, umrah and visit visas are advised that the
procedures for the Royal Pardon or Amnesty for these categories are
identical and applicable in all regions and provinces of the Kingdom.
The Embassy reiterates
its advice to all Filipinos seeking repatriation, who came to work
with a sponsor and have absconded but had not filed a complaint with
the Saudi Labor Office or Saudi police for private rights such as
unpaid salaries that they should seek the assistance of the Philippine
Overseas Labor Office in their city of residence, whether POLO Riyadh,
POLO Jeddah or POLO Al-Khobar.
repatriation should not travel to other cities to seek repatriation.
In case of apprehension by Saudi authorities, their repatriation could
be stalled by the need to take them back to their city of residence
for processing and clearance from their sponsor or employer.
Samar’s first district
solon pushes K12 Program and DepEd merging with CHED and TESDA
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
February 3, 2011
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– As guest speaker in the opening ceremony of Eastern Visayas
Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) Meet held Sunday (January 30) at
Northwest Samar State University, First District Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento highly acknowledged former congressman now Calbayog
City Mayor Reynaldo Uy for being his coach before he entered the House
From among the various
committees that Uy listed, Sarmiento underscored his membership and
active participation in the committees on education and
“It really pays to
have a coach just like you guys right now. It pays to listen to your
coach. Thank you very much former Congressman Reynaldo Uy for the
support you have provided me,” Sarmiento said.
While the budget is
defended on the floor, he added that being a member of the Basic
Education and Appropriations Committees, it has given him a good
opportunity to provide and put premium on his educational agenda as
well as pushing for improving the educational system in the country
which was recognized by the chair.
The bill that he’s
supporting is geared towards institutionalizing the creation of
kindergarten or K+12 Program in the country which was already approved
in the house.
By the next school
year, elementary schools may not anymore accept Grade 1 enrollees who
have not finished preschooling.
This is according to
House Bill 3826, otherwise known as the “Kindergarten Education Act,”
which seeks to include kindergarten education in the country’s basic
education system starting school year 2011-2012.
Should the bill be
signed into law, children aged five years and above would be required
to finish a year of kindergarten education as a prerequisite for Grade
According to the bill,
kindergarten education is vital to the academic and technical
development of children in the period where they have the sharpest
absorptive capacity for learning. Thus, kindergarten schooling is seen
as a sufficient preparation period for children before they receive
formal elementary education.
Sorsogon 1st District
Rep. Salvador Escudero III, chairperson for the House Committee on
Basic Education and Culture, recommended House Bill 3826 as a
substitute for House Bills No. 18, 25, 63, 89, 1622, 2104 and 3555
considering them the same. Rep. Thelma Almario of Davao Oriental is
the principal author of the said bill.
The passage of HB No.
3826 said Sarmiento would paved the way in authorizing the country’s
high school graduates to join the labor force without the need of
enrolling into college or finishing first a degree.
In Unites States,
Singapore and other ASEAN regions their high school graduates are
already competitive in terms of employment. Unlike the Philippines,
ours are not allowed under the labor code to sign a contract of
service until they reach 18 years of age.
designated by Basic Education and Culture Chair Escudero led the group
in going around the country to explain the rationale behind adopting
the K12 Program.
Aside from introducing
said bill, he informed the public especially Dep Ed Region 8’s bigwigs
that President Aquino’s administration is facing a big challenge in
the education department as it needs 150,000 classrooms but the
government can only provide 14,000; and 108,000 teachers but only
10,000 is being allowed by the budget.
On the other hand, the
government is contemplating to integrate or merge Department of
Education (DepEd) with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and
Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), thus
making into one department in order to establish a closer coordination
among the educators and formulate reforms in the educational system of
the country, Cong. Sarmiento concluded.
Mayor Samaco spells
out 11 things to do for 2011 in SOCA
By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern
February 2, 2011
MAASIN CITY – In
front of a captive audience of city heads of offices and members of
the Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP) at the session hall here, City Mayor
Maloney Samaco yesterday enumerated a number of things he intended to
focus his energies this year.
Speaking for his
annual State of the City Address (SOCA) dubbed “11 for 11”, Samaco
dwelled on his top priorities that included enhancing some structural
landmarks in the city, gaining access for alternate sea and air
transport, developing key spots to attract tourists, promoting sports
as a kind of tourism magnet, and adding a vocational-technical course
of the city-initiated college.
In specific terms,
Samaco briefly discussed plans for improvement of the integrated
market and bus terminal, improvement of the old public market,
improvement of the Maasin city gymnasium, improvement of the Maasin
city hall, establishment of the Eco-Park at the new sanitary landfill;
Development of the
City Forest Park and
as tourism sites, establishment of the Guadalupe Ro-Ro port and
development of Panan-awan airport, offering of vocational-technical
courses for Maasin City College, establishment of mobile classes
through Alternative Learning System (ALS), and promotion of sports
The eleventh or last
item for this year’s SOCA was the continuity of his 13-point agenda, a
governance thrust based on the spelling of his name, “Maloney Samaco.”
These included Market
and business improvement, Agricultural productivity, Livelihood
assistance, Orderliness and peace promotion, Nutrition and health
services, Education for the masses, Youth empowerment, Sports
excellence, Anti-illegal drug campaign, Mangrove and forest
protection, Concreting and maintenance of roads, and Overall barangay
The SOCA was timed
during the regular session of the city council yesterday morning, and
it lasted for one hour, from
With Rabusa and Mendoza’s testimonies on the pabaon for
Women rights group
calls the AFP a bastion of human rights violators and thieves in
By Tanggol Bayi-Karapatan
MANILA – "When Heidi
Mendoza risked her life and career by attesting to the plunder of
public funds of the military generals, two things were made clear,
among others: that a bold conviction in the truth trumps over fear,
and that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not only a bastion of
human rights violators but of thieves in uniforms as well."
Thus said Cristina
Palabay, convenor of Tanggol Bayi-Karapatan (an association of women
human rights defenders), as former Commission on Audit auditor Mendoza
yesterday detailed the money trail of Garcia who stands accused of
plundering P303 million from government funds, including the
questionable use of $5 million allegedly from funds given by the
United Nations for peacekeeping operations of the AFP.
military has always been a bastion of crime and corruption. The very
institution that has vowed to protect and serve the Filipino people is
appallingly the same one that violates their rights, steals from them
and aggravates their poverty. Mendoza’s revelation on the corrupt
practices of the military goes to show that the institution has
perpetuated these with impunity, the same way it has perpetuated its
human rights violations with impunity,” she said.
women like Mendoza and former Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian, who exposed
similar cases of corruption in the military’s corruption of the
Balikatan funds in 2008.
“We commend Mendoza
and Gadian who, even with threats to their lives, family and jobs,
chose to expose such corrupt practices. We should remain vigilant in
ensuring that accountability and justice should be served,” she
servants should handle AFP funds – Romulo
QUEZON CITY –
Non-uniformed career civil servants should directly supervise the
quality of financial reporting and accounting in the Armed Forces,
House Deputy Majority Leader and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said
"This is one way to
curb the rampant misuse of military funds that is depriving our foot
soldiers and their ground officers the full support that they need in
the field," Romulo said.
In the military,
Romulo noted that soldiers are strictly taught to obey and comply
first and ask questions later, or not ask questions at all.
circumstances, with uniformed personnel looking after military funds,
they are under the total control of their superior officers," Romulo
He said lower-ranking
officers who defy their superiors would be extremely vulnerable to
trumped-up court martial proceedings, or to summary field
Romulo said the
proposal to allow non-uniformed civil servants to oversee military
funds was first advanced by former Armed Forces Chief of Staff and
retired Gen. Narciso Abaya in February last year.
"There is wisdom is
General Abaya's proposal. Those handling the funds should not be
directly under the military's chain of command, which is absolute,"
"This way, they will
not be under any undue pressure to illegally release or divert funds,
or make unwarranted purchases," he said.
Romulo made the
statement amid reports of hundreds of millions of pesos in "missing"
Former military budget
officer and retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa earlier also claimed that
newly promoted as well as retiring chiefs of staff have been illicitly
getting multimillion-peso cash gifts out of a slush fund.
"The more relevant
question now is whether the practice of giving welcome and send-off
cash gifts persists to this day," Romulo said.
He added: "Who was the
last newly designated chief of staff to receive a welcome cash gift?
And who was the last retiring chief of staff to receive a golden
"This is totally
unacceptable – that our troops in the front have to endure the lack of
weapons, basic protection gear and even food provisions, on account of
the unchecked misappropriation of military funds," Romulo said.
In pushing for the
enlistment of non-uniformed personnel to run the military's
accounting, disbursement and purchasing processes, Abaya had said that
the culture of confidentiality and an "old boys network" were to blame
for the financial irregularities in the Armed Forces.
Abaya had also
lamented that "in the military service, graft and corruption take its
toll on the lives of soldiers and on the accomplishments of the
find hand grenade while laying pipes for a water system project
By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern
February 2, 2011
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – What used to be a non-event of a chore working the ground
for laying out pipes and channeling water in a barangay turned out a
shocker when an old hand grenade, its safety pin unlocked, was found
in the course of the digging.
This was what happened
Tuesday as recounted to the City Police by Benito Tagra Lorzano,
Punong Barangay of Batuan, a hinterland village located some seven
kilometers from the city proper to the northwest, together with his
lead Tanod Floro Candole Oliva.
Police Officer 2
Herman Montederamos of the City Police Office said that at about ten
in the morning on Tuesday, both Lorzano and Oliva showed up at the
station bringing along the found item, a grenade similar in appearance
with a cacao fruit.
It was not an easy
task, as the barangay volunteers scampered to a safe distance first
upon seeing the dreaded thing dug just a feet off the ground’s
surface, fearing it will explode, and only a little later did one of
them mustered the courage to peep and pick the unusual find.
PO2 Montederamos said
he likewise surrendered the old grenade immediately to the Firearms
and Explosives Division at the provincial PNP headquarters for
safekeeping and disposal of the same.
In a follow-up call at
the provincial PNP, Police Inspector Antonio Tiu told the Philippine
Information Agency (PIA) that the grenade was technically called NK4,
and that it was probably buried in the 70s at the height of the
imposition of Martial Law in the country.
P/Insp. Tiu, a bomb
expert, said the grenade still had some powder inside but it will no
longer explode on its own, yet remained dangerous as it can be harmful
once triggered by heat, like thrown into an open fire.
He said he had custody
of the object for now, but this will be disposed in a quarterly
disposal of similar materials at the Police regional office.