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Peace and Order Council discusses criminality, internal security situation of EV

Proponents to Malacañang: disregard CBCP let’s push through with RH

AFP-PNP signs MOA, activates Joint Peace Security Coordinating Councils (JPSCC) in cities and provinces

Why both Mayweather and Mosley can’t beat Pacquiao

8ID Army Commander composes hymn for Filipino soldiers

DENR-Biliran urges residents to preserve marine turtles

350-slots up for grabs for new army recruits

PSWD: 8ID brings hope to the people

NSPDF task force on good governance finalizes its action plan

Leyte guv wades through flooded villages to distribute relief goods, meds, other aid




125 brand new candidate soldiers took oath to serve the country

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
March 3, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  A total of 125 new Candidate Soldiers of the Philippine Army took their oath of duty and service to the country in a simple ceremony held at the hallowed ground of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division Headquarters in Catbalogan, Samar on Wednesday morning March 2.

The oath taking rite was immediately followed by the opening of the Candidate Soldier Course Class 251-2011 by no less than Major General Mario Chan, Commander of the 8ID in the presence of the candidate soldier’s love ones, and Officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the command.

The 5-month duration course is expected to transform and mold the new recruits from being “boys” into real ‘men”. After completing and passing the rigid training, they will be then enlisted into the Philippine Army with the rank of Private.

Major General Chan in his remarks assured the candidate soldier’s parents that their sons, after retraining will be competent and disciplined soldiers after completing the training. “’Wag kayong mag alala mga magulang, bawat isa sa kanila ay mabibigyan ng sapat na kaalaman para maging isang tunay at disiplinadong sundalo,” Chan says.

The 125 candidate soldiers, coming from different provinces all over the country have the following education profile; four (4) board passers, 16 college graduates, 26 college level, and 57 high school graduate.





New CAAs take their oath, LGUs entrust them their rifle

March 3, 2011

BRGY. CATICUGAN, Sta. Rita, Samar  –  52nd Infantry (Eagle) Battalion (CAFGU), 8ID, PA conducted Oath Taking Ceremony to Newly Appointed CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAA) with Commander, 8ID, PA, MGen. Mario F. Chan AFP as the Presiding Officer. The Oath Taking was followed by Ceremonial Entrusting of Firearms with Representative from LGUs, Chairman of Brgy Polangi, Calbiga, Samar and Chairperson of Brgy Magsaysay, Sta Rita, Samar as guests last March 1, 2011 at the Battalion Headquarters of 52IB at Brgy Caticugan, Sta Rita, Samar.

A total of two hundred twenty one (221) civilian volunteers graduated from the Basic Military Training for CAFGU Active Auxiliaries last 21 December 2010. The Oath Taking Ceremony symbolizes the new CAAs acceptance to their duties and responsibilities wholeheartedly as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Under heavy downpour, the new CAAs solemnly pledge their allegiance to the constitution flag and country. They also vowed to advocates of peace and to uphold every right of the Filipino people.

The Ceremonial entrusting of firearms on the other hand signifies the adherence to human rights and civilian supremacy over the military. As the public officials and civilian society entrust the firearms to the new CAAs, it connotes confidence in their abilities to ensure that peace and order is maintained in the community. It further emphasizes that the rifle entrusted are not meant solely to infect pain against the enemy but most importantly it is used to protect every Filipino citizen.

In his message, the Commander 8ID, MGen Mario F Chan enjoined the CAAs to be active participants in attaining the goal of the division of ending the insurgency in the Region. Moreover, he challenges everyone to fight and deliver the killer blows against the enemy. As locals, they are the most effective in gathering information on the enemy and in bringing the fight to their area. He also lauded the effort of the battalion under the leadership of LtCol Roberto S. Capulong INF (GSC) PA for the quality of training given to the CAA and in keeping the unit focus and contributing significantly to the overall success of the division operations.

To conclude this very significant activity, Commander, 8ID, PA, Officers and men of 52IB, representatives from LGU and civilian society, and newly appointed CAAs shared lunch through boodlefight. This is one of the unique traditions of the military that signifies camaraderie and good partnership of civilian society and military.

The new CAAs will be deployed in CAFGU detachments located in the whole areas of Region 8 and Cebu. They will report to their respective CAFGU Detachments and perform their pledge. Their pledge to duty not only to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but pledge to the Republic of the Philippines and to all Filipinos as well.





Philippine Councilor’s League Samar Chapter vows support for Alma Moreno’s candidacy

March 2, 2011

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  As the 8th Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) National Congress is fast approaching, Parañaque City Councilor Alma Moreno-Salic has come to Calbayog City campaigning for the national seat as president.

photo by Gina Dean-RagudoSamar chapter PCL through Federation President Rogelio Casurao welcomed Salic by calling a meeting and fellowship on Saturday at Ciriaco Hotel this city.

In her speech, she laid down the various programs and projects of PCL that she wished to continue such as the membership benefits (i.e. medical assistance/death claims, funeral benefit, legal assistance), strengthening PCL Legislative Academy thereby offering degree (baccalaureate or masteral) programs for legislators, renovation of PCL Hostel and construction of Future Homes of Councilors, service vehicles for councilors, organizing PCL Alumni, PCL Spouses and Lady Councilors Club, crafting of outsourcing scheme, setting-up a PCL credit cooperative as a banking institution, building-up PCL Advocacy Center and ensuring a sound fiscal management and transparency.

Eager to win in the forthcoming election, she encouraged the officers of the provincial federation as well as the city and municipal chapters to attend.

This year’s national congress bearing the theme “Innovations in local legislation: A key to building a foundation of transformational government”, will be held on March 9-11, 2011 at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Five-hundred (500) councilors are expected to participate and among the highlights of the activities include the election of the league’s national officers and the ratification of the PCL Constitution and By-laws amendments.

According to Article V of the PCL’s Constitution and By-laws, all elected, appointed and ex-officio members of legislative councils in the cities and municipalities shall automatically become members of the league.

In this connection, all city and municipal mayors are encouraged to allow the attendance of the members of the sanggunians to the said activity, on official business.





As RH moves to plenary, women tells bishops: respect our right to life

March 2, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  Amid extreme disappointment over yesterdays’ suspension of the House of Representatives session, when the much awaited plenary debate for the highly debated reproductive health bill is set to be delivered, a group of women advocates pushing for the passage of House Bill 4244 or the “Responsible Parenthood (RP), Reproductive Health (RH) and Population Development Act of 2011” calls on bishops to respect women’s right to life.

The non-government organization Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) is concerned that Catholic bishops have been issuing statements on many issues but never a thing on arresting maternal deaths.

Elizabeth Angsioco, DSWP National Chairperson said, “we are seriously disturbed that Bishops are never concerned about arresting maternal deaths.  They say they are against the re-imposition of the death penalty, but seem not to care about the on-going massacre of poor Filipino women.”

Angsioco explains deprivation of life-saving reproductive health services is like a death sentence hanging over the head of poor women.  Our group alone have lost quite a number of poor women and almost lost many more, due to lack of access to reproductive health services.

It is lamentable that for every woman lost, a family is orphaned.  Children become motherless.  The country loses productive citizens, Angsioco continued.

She said, “even from a purely utilitarian point of view, this means: less human resource for the nation and more financial assistance needed for the orphaned family.  The nation loses if we do nothing and allow the death of 11 mothers every day, due to pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications.”

Angsioco stressed DSWP wants the bishops to know that these are senseless deaths because almost all could have been prevented if services contain in the RH bill are adequately provided for.  “The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) stubborn rejection of the RH bill is a major reason why women die,” Angsioco said.

An effective Family Planning (FP) program can dramatically reduce maternal deaths by 32%.  This is because FP prevents mistimed, too early, too frequent, and too late pregnancies, and high risk pregnancies that have high probability of having complications, Angsioco said.  “But an effective FP program in the country is yet to be realized pending the passage of the RP and RH bill,” she added.

Guttmacher Institute study has shown that an effective FP program is cost-effective.  For every peso spent on FP, the state can save from three to one hundred pesos in addressing pregnancy and childbirth-related problems.

Meanwhile, DSWP commends RH champions for working hard for the passage of the RH Bill.   Angsioco says, "the early start of Plenary debates on the RH Bill is a welcome development because this means that there is enough time for the Plenary to vote on it. While we expect opponents to use all possible tricks to delay, we are hopeful that the bill will pass."

As RH advances to plenary debate, DSWP members call on the bishops to care for women and fully respect women’s right to life.  If bishops are truly against the death penalty, they should be with us in working for the immediate passage of the RH bill into law, ended Angsioco.





Philippine Councilor’s League Legislative Academy offers degree programs for legislators

March 1, 2011

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  Legislators can now avail free education to complete their baccalaureate and masteral degree courses said Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) Federation President Rogelio Casurao on Saturday during the Samar Chapter Regular Meeting and Fellowship at Ciriaco Hotel, Calbayog City.

photo by Gina Dean-RagudoCasurao clarified that high school graduate or undergraduate (took up college degree, unfinished) councilors can pursue their studies in college while baccalaureate degree graduates can take their masteral degrees through the PCL Legislative Academy with the respective local government units paying the tuition fees.

This program is also expanded even to appointive employees depending on the availability of funds or “close/personal relationship” with the local chief executive, gagged Casurao.

Moreover, according to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2010-144 dated 9th December 2010 signed by Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, the PCL-LA shall be primarily responsible for the capability building program of the members of the league. Likewise, it offers a degree program in Public Administration and Governance for local legislators, government officials, employees and functionaries.

The payment of applicable traveling expenses and participation fee to defray the costs of hotel accommodation, meals, training materials and tuition fee (for degree program) may be authorized chargeable against local funds, subject to the availability thereof, and to the usual accounting and auditing requirements and to all pertinent laws, rules and regulations. Provided, that the traveling expenses and participation fees of local government participants shall not be charged against the 20% component of the Internal Revenue Allotment or from whatever source which may prejudice poverty alleviation efforts.

The 4-year degree courses can be completed before a legislator ends his/her term of office as the seminars and conferences they have attended shall be credited depending on the degree program they took.

Furthermore, the House of Representatives is deliberating under the second reading that bill granting civil service eligibility to barangay officials such as, councilors. Three-termer barangay legislators shall automatically be given professional civil service eligibility while two-termers shall also be granted a sub-proof eligibility, Casurao added.





Arteche Mayor survives terrorist NPA’s attack

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
February 27, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  Few days after the termination of temporary truce to give way the peace negotiation abroad between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), their terrorist wing New People’s Army (NPA) resumed their evil desires by waylaying the municipal mayor of Arteche, Eastern Samar late morning yesterday that had killed one police officer, and wounding 3 other policemen and one civilian.

In the report that reached to this headquarters, around 10:15 yesterday morning when Mayor Rolando Evardone escorted by the PNP Regional Mobile Group (RMG) under Police Inspector Al Tanciado on board nine (9) motor cycles were traversing the road towards Sitio Tangbo of the said municipality to raid the reported on going illegal cock fighting, a sudden burst of improvised explosive device followed by the heavy volume of fire occurred.

As a result, Inspector Tanciado, the RMG team leader was killed while his other three (3) members identified as PO1s Elmer Tesado, Kenneth Tafalla and Sherwin Furtgada were wounded and a habal-habal driver, Noe Operario were reported wounded during the ambush and are now in the Arteche District Hospital for medical treatment.

Troops of the Army’s 14th Infantry Battalion and 52nd Cadre Battalion had dispatched their respective troops to conduct present operations.  Troops are still in the area as of press time.

Meanwhile, Major General Mario Chan, 8ID’s chief strongly condemned in the strongest possible terms the newest insincerity of CPP-NPA-NDF to pursue the peace initiatives in the higher level.  Since the enemy is continuously using the destructive improvised explosive devices (IED) which is banned and condemned globally, they are just showing that the existing human rights and international humanitarian law are taken for granted and disrespected sincerely by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“Another civilian has once again hurt in this NPA’s brutality. I can say that Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is very much unworthy to them and they just consider it as a plain literature.  Civilians who are not directly involved in armed conflict should not be subjected as target. This is a very serious violation of our people’s rights that is deemed condemnable in the strongest possible terms,” declares Major General Chan.

Major General Chan also said that the 8th Infantry Division under his watch will always be committed to continuously uphold the Constitutional thrusts despite insincerity of the other party. The 8ID thru their field units is now conducting constant coordination with the PNP to run after the perpetrators and let them face the charges bounded by the law.

“This incident calls for a serious effort to stop insurgency in the whole Eastern Visayas for the benefit of our people.  May all the people particularly in this place be united to act as one and cry out for the genuine peace and justice to all victims of the disrespect to the peoples’ rights and humanitarian law.  Let the whole citizenry speak up to continuously pursue these terrorists until finally we could put an end on their violence,” Chan adds.

“Inspector Tanciado and his teammates and all police and soldiers who risked their lives for our freedom and democracy deserved to receive honor for their heroism. We bestowed upon them the highest regards that the Armed Forces as well as the people can best confer. It is always sad in our part, our deepest condolences to the love ones left by our fallen heroes and brothers in the noble profession of arms.” added General Chan.





CHR Chief entrusts firearms to 8ID’s new privates

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
February 26, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  As the soldier’s constitutional mandate to protect and preserve the rights of the people, no less than the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Hon. Loretta Ann “Etta” Rosales travelled the rugged terrain of Samar all the way from Manila to head the ceremonial entrustment of firearms to the new soldiers of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division during the graduation rites at Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar, 9 a.m. of February 25, Friday.

Another 186 young blooded soldiers were appointed to assist other agencies and stakeholders in the effort of attaining peace and development of Eastern Visayas upon deployment to different units of 8ID.

During their graduation rites, the young soldiers demonstrated the knowledge and skills they acquired from training particularly the showcase of discipline as they perfectly executed the military drills and exhibited different fighting techniques both with and without arms.  Aside from the traditional military tactics, they were also given lectures on the present Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan” so that they will be familiar with their roles as they join the military service as full time soldiers.

After the rigorous 5-month basic military training, they were cross-trained with the Jungle Warfare and Mountain Operations Course (JWMOC) that helped them adapt and cope up with the nature of terrain of Samar and Leyte provinces.  This has also taught them to survive solitarily in the thickly vegetated mountains where they usually spend most of the time being a soldier.

Major General Mario Chan, the commander of 8ID was very satisfied with the result of the training.  He also exhibited with the hundreds of witnesses and spectators the best among the few who successfully completed the training and expressed his confidence that they are all ready to be deployed in all areas of 8ID particularly in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and even in Mindanao.

As what he did in the past entrustment of firearms, he also reminded the young soldiers to uphold their oath of serving faithfully to God, country and people.  He also specifically gave an emphasis to the protection and preservation of human rights that he said is imperative to every soldier.

“Being a soldier means everything.  You must understand that we are here because our people need us, our country needs us and we are here because God permit us so we have to consider those things when we do our tasks in the field.  And in so doing, we must put a top priority on our list, the preservation and protection of our people’s right,” Major General Chan says.

He also recognized the support of the parents for letting their beloved sons to embrace the risk of serving the country by joining the noble profession of arms.

Meanwhile, Chairperson Etta Rosales rendered high regards with the very meaningful ceremonial entrustment of firearms for the protection of our people.

“To the new graduates, your guns are badges of responsibility. Use it for lawful purposes only.  Use it to protect the people and not to harass them.  Do not be corrupted by the power of the gun,” Rosales says.

She also recognized the participation of representatives from civil societies in the meaningful and symbolic handing over of firearms to the young soldiers who will be serving the country for the furtherance of peace and development.

Rosales also stressed that the road to winning the peace is not one where war is waged because with the advent of the IPSP “Bayanihan” the 8ID is in step to topple chaos and win peace.

With the new set of soldiers, the road to realize what was mentioned by CHR Chair coincides with the present thrust of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). IPSP “Bayanihan” carries out a people-centered peace and security mandate of involving a whole of the nation approach that would attain the peace and development that the people of Samar and Leyte had been longing for.

Listen to Speech of CHR chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales on the occasion of the graduation of new privates of the 8th Infantry Division





North Samar 4Ps beneficiaries receives P251 million

February 26, 2011

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Northern Samar has received P251,147 million from the national government in 2010. This was learned from Alvin Maldos, the 4Ps focal person in the province.

Maldos said that of the P251,147 million, Lope de Vega has received P12,991,100; Mondragon P40,613,600, Catubig P27,107,800; Lapinig P10,299,100; Las Navas P35,264,000; Mapanas P14,572,100; Palapag P41,699,100; Pambujan P22,057,900; San Roque P34,838,400; and Silvino Lubos P11,703,900.

He further said that the presence of the three (3) systems, the compliance and verification system, beneficiary update system and the grievance redress system help addressed and resolved all issues and concerns affecting the payment and complaint on cash grants has rapidly decreased from 108 for the third quarter to 5 for the 4th quarter of 2010. Not only number of transaction per grievance has decreased but also the types of grievances have significantly decreased.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a poverty reduction strategy to extreme poor households to allow the members of the families to meet certain recipient human development goals. The focus is on building human capital on health, nutrition and education of children of the poorest families, 0-14 years of age, because low school attendance, ill health and malnutrition are strongly associated with poverty cycle in the area, he said.

Another objective of the program is to prevent high prevalence of child labor as well as enhance the performance of parents in accomplishing their paternal roles and responsibilities towards their children particularly encouraging them to invest in their children and their own future, he added.





Borongan LGU supports breastfeeding thru Ordinance No. 84

February 26, 2011

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  The city of Borongan shows its support of breastfeeding through Ordinance Number 84, also known as “An Ordinance Adopting and Institutionalizing the Promotion of Rooming-In/Bedding-In and Breastfeeding Program to Lactating Mothers, and for other Purposes”.

Sangguniang Bayan Member Napoleon Bebita confirmed this to PIA Eastern Samar in an interview after the EDSA 1986 commemoration and Thanksgiving Mass sponsored by the municipal government on February 25, 2011.

Bebita narrated that he has seen his constituents grapple with the high cost of infant milk when they could have just breastfed their babies.

“Drafting a statute in support of the campaign on breastfeeding will help our people realize how serious we are in this campaign,” Bebita explained.

As a city, Bebita added, the LGU has women employees and clients that need a place where to express their milk or feed their babies as needed.

Based on the ordinance, the city shall also protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions taking into account their maternal functions.

It added that the ordinance promotes harmonization for work and family responsibilities for women and men; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which recognizes a child’s inherent right to life and the State’s obligation to ensure the child’ survival and development.

The city will also take measures to prevent direct and indirect form of promotion, marketing or sale of infant formula or breast milk substitutes within the lactation station.

The city will also support the celebration of Breastfeeding Month, public education and awareness program on the benefits of breastmilk.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Samar Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Sally Jabinal is elated that the ordinance has been crafted.

“We have advocated in almost all municipalities about ordinances that promote the health and nutrition of our people especially the pre-schoolers,” she said.

This ordinance clearly supports our advocacy, members of the Provincial Nutrition Committee chimed in.

The group is hoping that some more like Bebita will see the wisdom of promoting and supporting similar causes.





Maasin City approves P1 hike in minimum fare on motorcab rides to P8

By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern Leyte
February 25, 2011

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  It’s official.

The minimum transport fare in this locality has been increased effective this week by one peso, from P7 to P8, following a series of mandatory processes and a short-lived lighting strike staged by impatient drivers last week.

City Treasurer Eleseo Costillas told Philippine Information Agency (PIA) today that the new rate became effective Monday, February 21, but the tariff for the increased fare was given to drivers and operators two days later.

He said the new set of fares still contained a provision requiring a 20% discount on student passengers and Senior Citizens based on an existing national law.

“Rounders”, or those whose coverage are within city limits from Combado up to barangay Mambajao, will collect P8 as the new minimum fare, while beyond that, or upon entering barangay Asuncion, the rate will be P9.50.

Routes outside the city proper will have a corresponding increase of P1, say, from city proper to an outskirt barangay which used to collect P15, the new fare will be P16, Costillas said.

The new rates came as the response by the city local government unit (LGU) to a petition earlier filed by the local drivers’ organization, citing the continued increase of the pump price of gasoline as the reason for their clamor for increased fare.

On Wednesday last week, some drivers reportedly called on their colleagues to stop plying the routes in a show of strike, apparently to let the city government act on their move.

It was learned that a public hearing was scheduled on that day to tackle the issues, even as Mayor Maloney Samaco already assured the drivers that the city had understand their situation and had approved their request.

Now that the new rates have been in effect, Costillas urged commuters to report to the police the cab number of motorcab units who refused to give discounts to students and old citizens, citing a complaint he received from a passenger of barangay Tawid, so the city LGU can call the attention of the particular driver.

There are now over 800 motorcab units operating in the city that were given franchisees for their transportation business, plying in various routes including “rounders”, Costillas said.

Meanwhile, Costillas disclosed that a new ordinance is now in the works stipulating that vacant franchisees will be opened, and past dues of its former operator would not affect the new franchisee, who will only pay for current fees, unlike before when past accounts should be settled first.


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