War heroes honored
delivering his speech during the 67th
Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary at the Macarthur Landing
Memorial National Park, Palo, Leyte.
by PANCHO ALVAREZ / Malacañang Photo Bureau)
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
PALO, Leyte – World
War II Filipino war heroes were honored yesterday (October 20) during
the 67th commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landing Anniversary in Palo,
Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who was the guest of honor of the event,
said his administration is doing everything to pay tribute to those
sacrifices and heroism done by the Filipino war veterans during the
“last major naval engagement of World War II" in Red Beach, Palo,
In his message, Pres.
Aquino said he has been observing the active participation of the
Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) in updating the list of
pensioners, which will served as basis of the
government to pay them fairly.
“We have improved the
medical needs of the Filipino war veterans and their families,” Aquino
said adding that as of August this year, some 562 government hospitals
had been made accessible to all the veterans.
Meanwhile, it was
learned that the Filipino war veterans here and abroad continually
sought for the fulfillment of another promise made by the US military.
Accordingly, the US
military promised full veterans benefits to Filipinos who volunteered
to fight, which prompted more than 250,000 to do so.
However, in 1946, then
President Harry Truman signed the Rescission Act, which stripped
Filipinos of the benefits they were promised when they helped the US
fight against the Japanese.
The US government
cited the $200 million it gave the
after the war as its reason for stripping the benefits.
Some 200,000 Filipinos
fought in defense of the
against the Japanese and more than half died. As the
were a commonwealth of the US at that time, Filipinos were legally
recognized as American nationals then.
However, after the
Rescission Act was signed, Filipinos lost the benefits entitled to
them as American nationals who served in the armed forces of the
In 2009 – after
fighting for more than 60 years for their rights – the Filipino war
veterans who are still living were recognized with a $198 million
War veterans who were
US citizens received $15,000 each while non-citizens, $9,000 each.
But war veterans from
Leyte and Samar maintained said compensation is “not enough” for the
remaining veterans who can no longer make a living.
assured the war heroes that the government is appealing to the US
government to grant those denied claims of some veterans in the
Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Act of America.
“Just a few months
ago, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario met with United
States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Secretary Eric Shinseke
to appeal for a more liberal system in processing the claims of
Filipino veterans,” Aquino said.
US record revealed
that as of August this year, 42,553 applications were processed: 9,291
approved for non-US citizens, 9,137 approved for Filipino veterans
with US citizenship, and 24,125 applications disapproved.
Meanwhile, this year’s
commemoration of Leyte Gulf Landings were attended by allied country
representatives such as US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K.
Thomas, Jr., Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe,
Australian Defense Attache Craig White and Canadian Counselor for
Political Economic Relations and Public Affairs James Christof.
The famous vow “I
In 1944, General
Douglas MacArthur at the head of the largest US fleet of transport and
warships, and accompanied by Commonwealth President Sergio Osmeña and
Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, landed on Palo,
Leyte, to reclaim
from the Japanese.
Gen. MacArthur made
true his famous vow – "I shall return" – following his escape from
Corregidor on March 11, 1942 for Australia, together with his wife and
four-year-old son, and others on orders of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt, as the Philippines was being overrun by Japanese Forces.
The Leyte Landing on
October 20, 1944 during the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945) of the
Philippines marked “the last major naval engagement of World War II."
The landing saw the
fulfillment of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s promise to Filipinos, “I shall
return." The Philippines was a colony of the US (1898-1946) when the
Japanese occupied the
Days after MacArthur's
landing, Allies fought the "Battle of Leyte Gulf" or the Second Battle
of the Philippine Sea, which was dubbed as "the largest naval battle
in modern history.”
On July 4, 1945, he
proclaimed the liberation of the entire Philippines and ended the
Japanese invasion which lasted from 1942 to 1945.
Time to review AFP
strength and recruitment – Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY – The
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should conduct an immediate and
total review of its actual troop strength versus its troop ceiling in
the wake of the separate deadly clashes between government troops and
the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Basilan and Zamboanga
Sibugay this week, Senator Chiz Escudero said.
The Basilan bloodbath
last Tuesday claimed the lives of 19 soldiers and six more in the
latest encounter in Zamboanga.
Escudero, chairman of
the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said it is high time
for the AFP to review its present number of warm bodies and the
vacancies for new recruits that need to be filled to strengthen the
“While we commend the
gallantry and bravery of our troops for going head on in the battle
field, we bewail the fact that they were outnumbered and outsmarted in
a terrain most familiar to the enemies. Without adding anymore pain to
our troops, we now beg the question what is our military's optimal
force? Are we also filling in the yearly quota for military
recruitment?” Escudero said.
underscored the importance of this assessment to maximize the strength
and potential of the troops in the frontline and readjust it to meet
certain existing standard operating procedures in terms of troop
augmentation and recruitment.
“We need to fill in
the yearly quota for recruits so that yearly our forces get stronger
and that our soldiers are not left out there like mice caught in a
mouse trap, outnumbered by its enemies. As the country's guardians of
democracy and Constitution, we need to give them enough physical,
material and arsenal support to keep and improve their morale and
efficiency,” Escudero stressed.
Escudero said that the
AFP is in a better position to know the situation in the battlefield
need and should be able to refine its protocols given the blatant and
bold moves by rogue elements against government troops, particularly
“I urge the AFP and
also the PNP to aggressively go out there and fill the yearly quotas
for new recruits. Spend the budget intended for hiring new personnel.
Don't let the old system prevail again where the allocation for hiring
new personnel is scrimped on so that the amount can be converted into
savings and diverted to line the pockets of some unscrupulous
individuals. This has already cost so many lives and has orphaned
thousands of wives and children,” Escudero said.
TUCP condemns Court of
Appeals NPC-Meralco settlement ruling; Meralco to pass-on to consumers
P14 billion Penalty
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP) through its Representative Raymond
Democrito C. Mendoza today called on the Court of Appeals (CA) to
reverse its ruling affirming the validity of the P14 billion
settlement between the National Power Corp. (NPC) and Meralco in 2003.
“If not, our last line
of defense is if the ERC will not allow Meralco to pass this amount
through to the customers of Meralco. The history of ERC of abject
surrender to Meralco inspires little confidence and we fear the
worst,” said Mendoza.
“We cannot allow our
consumers to be further burdened by another P0.12 centavos increase in
electric tariff for the next six years because of the corporate greed
of Meralco,” said Mendoza.
The case stems from
the 10-year Contract for the Sale of Electricity (CSE) of Meralco with
NPC which was signed on
November 21, 1994
which covered the period from 1995 to 2004. It was stipulated in the
contract that the power distributor Meralco will buy “a total of
60,092 GWh covering the years 2002, 2003, and 2004 from NPC.”
While its contract
with NPC was still in force, Meralco, then still majority-owned and
managed by the Lopez Group, also entered into Power Purchase
Agreements with its own sister corporations, the independent power
producers (IPPs) of Quezon Power Plant Limited (QPPL), First Gas Sta.
Rita, and First Gas San Lorenzo – to supply the electricity
“Those IPPs were also
owned by the Lopez Group. Meralco was engaged in self-dealing with
these Lopez-owned IPPs with which it arranged new sweetheart deals.
Meralco was therefore in breach of its contract with NPC. Why will
the consumer now be penalized by Meralco for its deliberate breach of
its contractual obligation to buy from NPC? The Lopez Group already
earned tremendous amounts by buying and selling to itself. Now the
guilty Lopez group will have consumers pay?” exclaimed
In 2001, Meralco
started to reduce its power purchase from NPC while increasing its
procurement from its own IPPs. When in 2002 the NPC started to bill
Meralco based on their CSE, the latter instead “served NPC a formal
notice to terminate the CSE.” In effect, Meralco did not make good its
contract with NPC and NPC naturally wanted to be duly compensated. In
the end, after an arbitration process, the two power companies had a
settlement in 2003 saying that Meralco will just pay NPC a total of
P14 billion to cover its obligations. “The problem however is that the
P14 billion will be charged by Meralco to the consumers which means
that the people will pay for the obligations of Meralco to the NPC,”
“That is unfair!
Meralco and its sister IPP companies had made a lot of money already
from their sales of electricity to the public. Why should the people
pay for Meralco’s obligations when in fact it had raked-in huge
profits for its wrongful and illegal actions in the past?” asked
“If Meralco needs to
pay the NPC, then it should get the P14 billion from its own
accumulated incomes, not from the hapless consumers”
TUCP noted that the
country’s power rates are now 5th highest in the world and the most
expensive in Asia.
“There are numerous
rate increase petitions pending now with the ERC amounting to an
aggregate total of P5/kwh. These were filed by PSALM, Meralco, VECO,
NPC, NGCP, RE groups and other distribution utilities including
electric cooperatives. And now, plus another P0.12/kwh to pay the
obligations of Meralco to NPC? Certainly, if all these petitions will
be approved by the ERC, then the Philippines will gain the status of
having the most expensive power in the world. That will be the kiss of
death for our industries and the much-touted
PPP. This will increase unemployment, worsening poverty
and accelerate social unrest.” warned
“We condemn the
heartless rent-seeking of our country’s oligarchs and we are furious
over the inability of our energy officials to protect the Filipino
consumer from corporate exploitation” Mendoza said. ”The President
should appoint new people to the DOE, PSALM, NEA and ERC soonest in
the same way he cleaned up the COA and the Ombudsman. The credibility
of these energy officials is lower than the temperature in
Siberia,” he added.
MacArthur police nab
two Chinese nationals
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
CAMP RUPERTO K
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – PSSupt. Elizar Patano Egloso, Police
Regional Office 8 Spokesperson, said that the police are continuously
going out and reaching out the people in Eastern Visayas to remind
them our role in preservation, protection and promotion of Philippine
Mining Act of 1995. This is one of the PNP Programs under Sangyaman
Master Plan”, our commitment from the threats of environmental
degradation. Thus we are encouraging the people to support this
program, he added.
In the morning of
October 15, 2011, elements of Gen MacArthur Police Station led by
PSInsp Rolando Nier America, chief of police, acted upon the complaint
of Mr Jaime T Lao, President of Masada Resource and Mining Corp and
proceeded to Brgy Laurel, Gen McArthur, Eastern Samar and apprehended
two (2) Chinese Nationals identified as Chun Hui Dong alias Charlie
and Gangye Hong both staff of King Resource Mining Inc for violation
of Sec 5 and 103 (Phil Mining Act of 1995) and confiscated three (3)
trucks loaded with chromite. Said Chinese Nationals were brought to
Hon. Rio A. Afable, Provincial Prosecutors, Borongan City for inquest
proceedings docketed under NPS Nr
VIII-12-INQ-II-1-100015. Confiscated items remain at Brgy Laurel, Gen
Eastern Samar while the suspects were brought Gen MacArthur Police
Station for proper disposition.
development, PRO8 were able to arrest six wanted persons in different
areas in Eastern Visayas with different offences.
At about 10:00 PM of
October 13, 2011 in Brgy Casandig, Paranas, Samar, Julio Oblino alias
“Taboy”, 32 yrs old, single, farmer, and a resident of same place was
arrested by elements of Paranas Police Station led by PCI Doughlas
Antonio B Eloja by virtue of WOA for the crime of Attempted Homicide
docketed under CC Nr 2924 with recommended bail of P120,000 issued by
Hon Cicero T Lampasa, Acting Judge of MCTC, Paranas-San Sebastian,
Samar. Subject arrested person was brought to Paranas Police Station
for documentation and proper disposition.
At about 2:00 PM of
October 13, 2011 in Brgy San Pedro, Jaro, Leyte elements of Jaro
Police led by PI Ricky C Reli, chief of police, together with four (4)
PNCOs arrested one Marciano Almerino alias Engam, rank number three
(3) most wanted person in Jaro, Leyte, 46 years old, married, farmer
and a resident of the aforementioned place by virtue of WOA for the
crime of Murder docketed under CC Nr 2011-02-113 issued by Hon Judge
Frisco T Lilagan, Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 34, Bulwagan Ng
Katarungan, Tacloban City, Leyte with no recommended bail dated
September 15, 2011. Subject arrested person was booked at Isabel and
Jaro PS locked-up cell for proper disposition.
At about 10:00 AM of
October 13, 2011 in Brgy Sabang, North, Borongan City elements of
Borongan City Police Station led by PI Alex Tiu Robin, Deputy chief of
police together with eight (8) PNCOs arrested Melba Accion of legal
age, married and a resident of Brgy Sabang, North, Borongan City by
virtue of WOA for the crime of Direct Assault docketed under CC Nr
(2001-14) 1554 with recommended bail amounting to P12,000 issued by
Hon Judge Lenadro C Catalo,
RTC for documentation prior turn-over to the court of
At about 6:15 AM of
October 13, 2011 in Brgy. Sto Rosario, Isabel, Leyte elements of
Isabel Police Station led by PSI Joel Camacho, COP together with four
(4) PNCOs apprehended Joseph Gulane, 33 yrs old, married and a
resident of the abovementioned place by virtue of WOA for the crime of
Simple Theft docketed under CC Nr R-ORM-11-00293-CR with recommended
bail amounting to P20,000 issued by Hon Judge Clinton C Nuevo, RTC
Branch 12, Ormoc City.
At about 5:30 AM of
October 14, 2011 elements of Inopacan Polce Station led by Police
Inspector Allan Cerro, Chief of Police conducted operation against
warranted person which resulted to the apprehension of Alfonso Daufil
Estrera, 33 yrs old, single, farmer and a resident of Brgy Bulacan,
Hindang, Leyte by virtue of WOA for the crime of frustrated homicide
docketed under Criminal Case Number H-1978 with recommended bail
amounting to P24,000 issued by Hon Judge Ephrem S Abandon, Presiding
Judge RTC 8th Judicial Region, Branch 10, Hilongos, Leyte. Subject
arrested person was brought to Inopacan Police Station for
documentation prior turn-over to the court of origin.
And, at about 4:25
AM of October 14, 2011 elements of Sta Fe Police Station led by SPO1
Geronimo Rumawak conducted operation against warranted person at the
vicinity of Brgy Pitogo, Sta Fe, Leyte which resulted to the
apprehension of one Jayson Lacaba, 25 yrs old, married, farmer and a
resident of Brgy Pitogo, Sa Fe, Lyete by virtue of WOA for the crime
of Theft docketed under Criminal Case Nr 2011-08-493 with recommended
bail amounting to P24,000 issued by Hon Judge Frisco T Lilagan, RTC
Judge Bulwagan Ng Katarungan, Tacloban City. Subject arrested person
was brought to Sta Fe Police Station for documentation prior turn-over
to the court of origin.
DND commends Gen. Chan
for effective engagement with Civil Society Organizations in Samar
Mario Chan (standing) and the 3 Bishops during the 17th SIPPAD
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Department of National Defense, through Sec. Voltaire T. Gazmin,
extends a congratulatory message to the 8ID leadership for an
effective engagement with civil society organizations in Samar.
The personal message
addressed to MGen. Mario F. Chan was signed by Sec. Gazmin on
September 8, 2011.
“I take pride and
honor in commending you for your exemplary performance,
professionalism and leadership in nurturing social harmony, peace and
development in the different provinces of Samar Island as acknowledged
by the Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD)”,
the DND commendation states.
the SIPPAD’s recognition to be meticulously evaluated by the three
Bishops of the three (3) provinces of Samar as conveners. He is
convinced that the support extended by the SIPPAD is a concrete proof
of the General’s dedication and zealousness in the fulfilment of the
AFP’s constitutional mandates.
Likewise, the DND
leadership is convinced that the IPSP Bayanihan is effectively
implemented in the area.
symbolizes the AFP’s commitment to the President’s call for a
transparent, accountable, and responsible governance that shall serve
as an example for others to follow. Carry on the good work with
unwavering fervor and enthusiasm”, were Gazmin’s encouraging words.
It was learned that on
August 15, 2011, Most Rev. Emmanuel C. Trance (Bishop of Catarman),
Most Rev. Isabelo T. Abarquez (Bishop of Calbayog) and Most. Rev.
Crispin B. Varquez (Bishop of Borongan) brought to the President’s
attention the effective partnership of the military contingent in
Samar, headed by Gen. Chan, in nurturing social harmony, peace and
development in their respective areas.
specifically cited the exemplary performance of the 8th Infantry
Division as the best performing division in the Philippine Army during
the first six months of 2011. In 2009 and 2010, the best division in
the army was the 4th Infantry Division. Both divisions have been
headed by MGen. Mario F. Chan.
“Clearly, this is a
clear indication and a tribute to the effective leadership and
management style of Gen. Chan, who has succeeded in forging productive
partnerships and teamwork with civil society, the church, and the LGUs
of Cebu, Bohol, Biilran, Northern Samar, Western Samar and Eastern
Samar. We, the Samarnons, have benefitted from the social and
developmental services rendered by the military, which include
medical/dental missions, literacy projects and road
construction/rehabilitation projects, among others”, the Bishops
Recently, Chan has
been making noise and getting support in his desire to put in place a
developmental roadmap for Samar which prioritizes the proposed
construction of circumferential and radial roads that would
interconnect the three provinces.
“These roads are
expected to boost the economic development within the area. Hopefully,
these prosperity roads (roads to war against poverty) will hasten
development and will end the lingering poverty in Samar”, the
Commanding General said.
The SIPPAD letter
thanked the President for putting
among his priority provinces and for appointing and keeping Gen. Chan
as head of the military contingent in Samar.
“Indeed, Gen. Chan’s
troops have shown to us, Samarnons, that the military can have a
humanitarian face, with accompanying bayanihan spirit and willing
hands”, the Bishops add.
expression of their desire to continue working with Gen Chan and his
division in the pursuit of greater social harmony, communal peace and
economic development in the island of Samar were conveyed to the
46 LGUs get
P91-million Gawad Pamana Awards
By DILG Regional Office 8
October 13, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – Some
46 provinces, cities and municipalities throughout the 13 regions of
the country were awarded on Tuesday a total of P91-million as
incentives for good governance under the government’s Gawad Pamana ng
The funds came from
the DILG’s Congress-appropriated P500 million Performance Challenge
Fund (PCF) aimed to serve as incentives for the country’s local
government units to adopt transparent, accountable and participatory
Interior and Local
Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and Union of Local Authorities
of the Philippines (ULAP) president, Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso
Umali, Jr. presented the awards to the beneficiary LGUs during the
culminating activity of the Biyaheng Pinoy, a yearlong celebration of
the 20th anniversary of the Local Government Code, held at the
Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The awards consisted
of a trophy and a check of P3-million for each provincial winner, a
trophy plus a check of P2-million for each of the city awardees, and a
trophy and a check of P1-million for each municipal winner.
The governors and
mayors of the recipient LGUs personally received the checks to serve
as funding support for the implementation of programs and projects
under the Millennium Development Goal.
Robredo said the Gawad
Pamana ng Lahi is conferred to local government units for their
exemplary performance across major development initiatives in
administrative governance, social governance, economic governance and
“Through this awards
program, we aim to recognize the invaluable contribution of LGUs that
have continuously adhered to the good governance principles of
transparency, accountability and inclusivity in local administration
and development,” he said.
Of the 46 regional
winners, 15 were provinces, 15 were cities and 16 were municipalities.
awardees include the provinces of La Union, Quirino, Bulacan, Cavite,
Marinduque, Albay, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Leyte, Zamboanga del
Norte, Misamis Oriental,
Cotabato, Agusan del Norte and Benguet, while the cities were: San
Fernando, Santiago, San Fernando, Antipolo, Puerto Princesa, Ligao,
Iloilo, Cebu, Ormoc, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Tagum, Kidapawan,
Surigao, and Tabuk.
On the other hand, the
municipal awardees were: Tagudin (Ilocos Sur); Ilagan (Isabela);
Llanera (Nueva Ecija); Carmona (Cavite); Odiongan (Romblon); Tiwi (Albay);
New Lucena (Iloilo); Amlan (Negros Oriental);
Naval (Biliran); Labason
(Zamboanga del Norte); Opol (Misamis Oriental); Laak (Compostela
Valley); Surallah (South Cotabato); Cagwait (Surigao del Sur); Sta.
Marcela (Apayao); and Sultan Mastura (Maguindanao).
The DILG Secretary
said the LGUs were chosen based on the following criteria: scores in
the development indices from the Local Governance Performance
Management System, (LGPMS), the Seal of Good Housekeeping,
organization of national government bestowed awards, and acknowledged
“We expect the Gawad
Pamana ng Lahi awardees to sustain their outstanding performance and
serve as shining exemplars of good governance,” Robredo said.
Meanwhile, the DILG
informed that in line with the celebration of the 20th year of the LGC,
seven (7) LGUs will be conferred the Seal of Good Housekeeping in the
afternoon of Friday, October 14, 2011 at the DILG-8 Regional Office in
Tacloban City, while the two LGUs granted the SGH earlier this year -
Biliran and Almeria both in Biliran province, will receive the
Performance Challenge Fund counterpart incentive worth 1 Million Pesos
The seven are Leyte
Province; Ormoc City; Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Laoang, Northern Samar;
Hinunangan, Southern Leyte; and the towns of Alang-alang, Burauen and
Jaro in Leyte. The 2011 SGH criteria is based solely on full
compliance to the government's Full Disclosure Policy; and the absence
of "adverse" or "disclaimer" opinion in the LGU's 2010 COA Annual
Audit Report. (with report from the DILG Office of Public Affairs)