KASUGBONG Samar is a
Multi-sectoral Quick Reaction Team on Extra-legal Killings (ELKs) and
Enforced Disappearances (EDs).
The setting up of the
MSQRT in Samar is an offshoot of a series of exploratory meetings held
in Catbalogan City which were spearheaded by the AHRC, particularly,
Atty. Patricia Cervantes and Atty. Ma. Krizna Gomez.
The Samar MSQRT was
organized as a general commitment from member-institutions to address
the growing concern on human rights violations. Through KASUGBONG, a
mechanism involving government agencies and civil society groups that
would facilitate an immediate response, including psycho-social
assistance, investigation, prosecution and appropriate measures, to
families and victims of ELKs and EDs will be made available.
The launch was very
well attended by highly respected heads of the various institutions
that have signified to enter into a collaborative effort with other
stakeholders. Each member-institution will be contributing within the
context of their mandates to promote KASUGBONG and the enhancement of
services to address the needs of target beneficiaries.
The signing of the
Memorandum of Understanding and Pledge of Commitment highlighted the
The signatories of the
MOU were MGen. Mario F. Chan, 8ID Commanding Officer; P/Sr. Supt.
Ronald Macapagal, PNP Provincial Director; Ms. Luz Tacal, PSWDO; P/CInsp.
Joseph Pensotes, Catbalogan Police Station; Lt Col. Niceforo Diaz, CMO
Bn, 8ID; Mr. Roque Limse, Alliance of Concerned Employees (ACES);
Atty. Neddejohn Mabute, Commission on Human Rights (CHR); Engr. Ray
P.Gaspay, Samar News.com; Mr. Antonio Pueblos, Radyo ng Bayan (DYOG);
Ms. Cleta Omega, TESDA; SI Geovel Aperio, NBI; Ms. Christine Caidic,
MATA-Samar; Ms. Myra M. Tambor, KSFI; Mr. Jody Ocenar, BEC; Ms. Annie
Mustacisa, CSWDO; Gina D. Ragudo, Media; Atty. Medino Acuba, IBP; Fr.
Cesar Aculan, Social Action Center, Diocese of Calbayog and Mr.
Dominador Cabanganan, Samar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).
The MOU signing made
by the various sector-representatives was done in the presence of
AHRC’s Acting Executive Director, Atty. Ray Paolo Santiago. Santiago
congratulated the group for its successful launch. He assured the
group for more capacity building activities through the AHRC with the
hope that the commitments be transformed into actions.
The various groups
committed to adopt measures for the promotion and protection of human
rights; to document human rights violations; to serve as “pressure
group” in the eradication of human rights violations and to recognize
and uphold collective responsibilities in the effective management and
furtherance of the objectives of KASUGBONG.
The 8ID Commander,
MGen Mario F. Chan assures KASUGBONG partners and the Samarnons that
they will always be accorded with the highest respect and that the
promotion of human rights will always be a leadership priority.
“The AFP would want to
be a catalyst to Samar’s development. We don’t want to be here as
simple protectors of the citizens. We will always be responsive to the
development needs of the community. In fact, I have made an extra mile
in visiting remote areas to assess road infrastructure needs and
submit the same report to the RPOC for its funding requirements. I am
glad that I already have the assurances of the governors and the
congressmen who would be directly involved in interconnecting the
tri-boundaries of Samar Island. The interconnection of the Samar
provinces through these road nets will surely expedite solution to the
insurgency problem” Chan elaborates.
The successful launch
of KASUGBONG was credited by the AHRC to the efforts of Ms. Emy C.
Bonifacio who worked on a very tight schedule and budget and the
untiring support of Fr. Cesar Aculan. Bonifacio and Aculan are also
active advocates on anti-corruption in the province.
“We are very grateful
for the positive response from the stakeholders. It wasn’t easy to
have those big personalities in one room in just a short notice. It
simply means that Samar is ready for a positive change. We should
strive harder to address human rights violations and corruption
hand-in-hand since these are two main concerns that have been plaguing
Samar ever since. I just hope that the passion for developing
Samar continues.” Bonifacio was head explaining.
Immediately after its
launch, KASUGBONG facilitated a three-day Forensic Training Workshop
for Police Investigators and Municipal Health Officers with Dr. Raquel
Fortun as the Resource Speaker.
streamlines gov’t procurement process
President Benigno Aquino III has expanded the government procurement
process by increasing the limit of advance payments on purchase
contracts in a bid to give equal opportunities to local suppliers
while making sure tax coffers stay protected in case of a bad deal.
Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday that under Memorandum Order (MO)
No. 15 signed by the Chief Executive on May 9, government agencies are
now allowed to make advance payments of up to 15 percent of the
contract price of goods, supplies and materials purchased locally or
from abroad, provided that these transactions are secured by an
irrevocable letter of credit or bank guarantee.
Ochoa said MO 15
amended a provision in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of
Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, which
allows a 10 percent advance payment for goods supplied from overseas.
RA 9184 provided a
specific and limited exceptions to the rule against advance payment as
prescribed in Section 88 of the Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1445, or
the Government Auditing Code. The Code generally prohibits advance
payment for services not yet rendered or for supplies and materials
not yet delivered under any government contract unless prior approval
of the President is obtained.
“The purpose of the
prohibition against advance payment is to protect the government from
the possibility of not receiving goods, supplies and materials for
which it has already paid. However, this problem is squarely addressed
by the requirement of prior submission of an irrevocable letter of
credit or bank guarantee from which the government may seek
reimbursement when necessary and without complication,” Ochoa pointed
Ochoa said the
presidential directive was based on the recommendation of the National
Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to raise the allowable amount of
advance payment to 15 percent from 10 percent of the contract amount.
He said the NEDA also
proposed that the rule be expanded to include procurement of goods,
regardless of their source, consistent with the Aquino
Administration’s policy of giving equal opportunities to local
“The limitation, which
applies only to goods supplied from abroad, runs counter to the policy
towards giving equal opportunities to local suppliers,” Ochoa said.
But in order to
provide sufficient safeguards for the government, Ochoa said MO 15
included a provision authorizing advance payment only upon submission
of an irrevocable letter of credit as an alternative to a bank
This would mean that
government agencies are given the “blanket authority” in the
procurement of goods, supplies and materials as long as the supplier
submits the prescribed security.
proposed revision still fulfills the legislative purpose of protecting
the government since the advance payment is secured by an irrevocable
letter of credit or bank guarantee,” Ochoa said.
An irrevocable letter
of credit ensures the beneficiary that if the required documents are
presented and the terms and conditions in the contract are complied
with, payment will be made.
8ID supports the PNP
and the community in the fight against ELK-ED
8ID commander MGen Mario Chan, Samar PSWDO Luz Tacal, Social
Action Center head of the Diocese of Calbayog Fr. Cesar Aculan
and Samar Police director PSSupt Ronal Macapagal, during signing
of the Memorandum of Understanding at Cocina de Cabral,
Catbalogan City, May 9, 2011.
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The 8ID joined the Provincial PNP
leadership and other government and non-government representatives in
the launching of Multi-Sectoral Quick Reaction Team (MSQRT) dubbed as
“Kasugbong” on Monday at the Cocina de Cabral, Catbalogan
City. This move hopes to address Extra-Legal Killings and
Enforced Disappearances (ELK-ED).
Kasugbong and supported by the Euro-Phil Justice Support Program (EPJUST),
The Asia Foundation and the Ateneo Human Rights Center, a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) and Pledge of Commitment were signed by all
stakeholders on the same occasion.
In his message, 8ID
Commander Major General F. Mario Chan AFP expressed his commitment of
support and cooperation to the ideals of the group. He cited his
standing policy to all soldiers to observe respect of human rights and
the exercise of the rule of law during the conduct of ISO. As such,
these are now being implemented as evident in the capture and arrest
of a certain Erickson Acosta, who was identified to be a member of a
local terrorist group (LTG) in Samar Island. The rights of the suspect
were respected when he was accosted last February, 2011.
encouraged the stakeholders to put up a collective fight against extra
legal killings and terrorism to promote a safe environment. Being a
member of the Regional Development Council himself, he mentioned
current efforts to push through with road development projects that
are expected to curb lawlessness by way of faster delivery of basic
services and response to natural and manmade disaster.
First Red Cross Award
honors outstanding humanitarian reports
– Human-touch stories
about civilian deaths and children's rights in armed conflict won the
judges' nod in the first Red Cross Award for Humanitarian Reporting.
bureau correspondent Frinston Lim took the top spot in the print
category for his article "Women grieve over landmine deaths" while
Marya Salamat of Bulatlat.com won first place in the online category
for "Child rights advocates bewail distortion of child protection
principles for counter-insurgency."
The winners of the Red
Cross Award for Humanitarian Reporting – the first media contest held
by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Philippine
Red Cross (PRC) – were revealed in an awarding ceremony on May 7 at
Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas, Pasig City.
Red Cross officials
Christoph Sutter, ICRC deputy head of delegation to the Philippines;
Richard Gordon, PRC chairman; and Gwendolyn Pang, PRC secretary
general, handed trophies to the winners who include:
For print: Stella
Estremera of Sun.Star Davao (second place) for "New legs, new life";
Fernando del Mundo of Philippine Daily Inquirer (third place) for the
three-part series "New Centurions"; for online: Ina Alleco Silverio of
Bulatlat.com (second place) for "Child soldiers or victims?"; and
Andreo Calonzo of Gmanews.tv (third place) for "A year after Ampatuan
massacre, local journalists struggle to stay safe."
Special awards were
also given to Ed Lingao of Philippine Center for Investigative
Journalism, for "Maguindanao, isang taon" (TV documentary); Marga
Ortigas of Al Jazeera for "Splinter group seen as threat to peace" (TV
news); and Malu Manar of DXND-NDBC for "The armed conflict in Kabacan,
North Cotabato" (radio).
"Lim's story provided
a deeper look into the deaths of three civilians through a landmine
explosion in Compostela Valley, while Salamat's article delved into
the protection of children, especially those accused of being
combatants. Both stories gave analysis and a human face to the armed
conflict situation in the Philippines," said Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC's
Around 23 finalists
competed in the Red Cross Award, which was launched on 12 August 2010
in celebration of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) day. The
competition aims to promote responsible reporting of conflict
situations by highlighting the plight of those affected by it.
A panel of 15 judges
(five per category) hail from the ICRC, PRC, and partner-organizations
International News Safety Institute, Peace and Conflict Journalism
Network, Philippine Association of Communication Educators, and Rotary
Club of Manila.
Guest judges include
veteran journalists Vergel Santos of the Center for Media Freedom and
Responsibility; and Rey Hulog, executive director of the Kapisanan ng
mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.
Entries were screened
on focus and date of coverage, after which the finalists were adjudged
based on: evidence of research (30 percent); sourcing (20 percent);
coherence/ organization (20 percent); style and presentation (15
percent); and conflict-sensitive reporting (15 percent).
Aside from the awards
ceremony, a program starting at 9 a.m. focused on the challenges of
conflict reporting, and how best to address them.
Invited speakers were
Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer, on the current situation of Philippine
media coverage of conflict situations; Antonio Cruz, president of
Bloggers' Association, on the role of new media in contemporary
conflicts; and Agence France Presse correspondent Jason Gutierrez, on
his experience in covering war and other situations of violence.
"The media's voice
should be heard in favour of proper and responsible behaviour in wars.
We hope that the number journalists who are interested in humanitarian
analysis of conflicts continue to grow, and that the second award will
receive more entries and support across the Philippines," said
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC's communication coordinator.
Knockdown was a
mistake, admits Bayless
By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
LAS VEGAS, Nevada --
It was the way he saw it but Kenny Bayless admitted he made a mistake
when he credited Sugar Shane Mosley with a knockdown in the 10th round
during the WBO welterweight fight May 7 at the MGM Grand.
"It was a call I
missed," Bayless, 61, told this writer several minutes after Manny Pacquiao was declared winner by unanimous decision in 12 rounds.
"I already whispered
it to Pacquiao."
Bayless was booed when
he rendered a mandatory 8-count in the 10th round after Pacquiao fell
while Mosley was on attack. A replay showed Pacquiao fell from a push.
The referee hesitated
for a few seconds before giving the mandatory count that would have
given Mosley the round for an automatic 10-8 had it not been for
refusal of the judges to count it as knockdown.
Pacquiao was a little
bit embarrassed after that controversial call and decided to step up
the gas in an effort to knock out Mosley who kept Pacquiao at bay with
repeated embrace and back-pedalling.
"Pacquiao was fast and
very unpredictable," observed Mosley, 39, who impaired to 46 wins,
seven losses, one draw with 39 stoppages.
Despite the setback,
Mosley said he would not quit and would continue his boxing career. He
was haunted by age issue from start to finish and became an 8-1
The American four-time
world champion in three weight divisions though was "satisfied" that
he finished the fight despite brickbats about his age.
Pacquiao claimed "I
did my best" (to stop Mosley) and admitted he could not hit Mosley in
later rounds because of his defense and refusal to mix up.
Bob Arum said he might
tap Juan Manuel Marquez to be Pacquiao's next opponent to complete the
trilogy in November this year.
Dionisia, the boxer's
mother who stayed in the
reiterated her appeal for her 32-year-old son, an elected congressman,
to quit boxing.
She first goaded
Pacquiao to end his boxing career after Pacquiao flattened Ricky
Hatton in two rounds also in Las Vegas in 2009.
The son ignored
RD PRO8 orders
suspension of permit to carry firearms outside residence in Western
May 4, 2010
CAMP RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – PCSupt Arnold R. Revilla, RD PRO8 has issued
directive on the suspension of permit to carry firearms outside
residence (ptcfor) in Western Samar following the shooting of Calbayog
City mayor Reynaldo Uy that resulted to his death while undergoing
treatment at St. Paul’s Hospital last april 30, 2011 during the fiesta
celebration of Hinabangan, Samar.
Memorandum from Police
Director General Raul M. Bacalzo, Chief PNP, revealed that the
continuing commission of incidents involving the use of firearms in
Western Samar is greatly affecting the overall peace and order
condition in the province. To end the perceived “culture of violence”
and improve the peace and security in the province, there is a need to
limit the number of firearms proliferating in the streets, both the
registered and loose firearms.
In this regard, all
permits to carry firearms outside of residence are hereby suspended
effective May 1, 2011 in the
Only members of the PNP, AFP and other law enforcement agencies who
are performing official duties will be allowed to carry firearms in
director said, the implementation of the directive will be through the
police integrated patrol system and other police operations in
coordination with the AFP and other law enforcement agencies.