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War heroes honored

Leyte guv congratulates Leyteños for latest prestigious recognition

An Waray Representative admits Anti-RH stand

Consultation-dialogue clears issues on government programs

Gov’t does not abandon its duty in responding to maritime piracy – NMP executive director

Families to PNoy: Free all political prisoners now!

Pia says RH Bill won’t serve as ‘back road’ for legalized abortion

Uy’s eldest kin expresses hope in the reinvestigation of her father’s case

Soldier joins Samar Day

Majority Bloc justifies no-show, no-quorum and change of venue of scheduled SP’s regular sessions in Calbayog City








8ID, a partner organization in conducting YLS 2011

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
October 28, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City  –  The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army joined the activities of the Local Government of Catbalogan City and Hinabangan, Samar. This morning, the Local Government of Catbalogan City conducted the opening ceremony of its 1st Catbalogan Youth Leadership Summit 2011 held at the 8ID Grandstand. This activity is dubbed as “Catbalogan’s Hope and Mobilizers for Progress”.

This activity was attended by Colonel Raylindo S. Aniñon, Chief of Staff, 8ID, PA; Lieutenant Colonel Niceforo M. Diaz, Commanding Officer, 8th Civil Military Operations Battalion; Hon. Art Sherwin L. Gabon, City Vice Mayor of Catbalogan; Hon. Stephany U. Tan, City Councilor of Catbalogan; Hon. Rodrigo Perez III, City Councilor of Catbalogan; Hon. Dexter M. Uy, President, Sangguniang Kabataan City Federation; Mr. Brian Manicani, President, Junior Chamber International – Balud Chapter; Mr. Dennis Cosmod, President, Waray-Waray Youth Advocates; soldiers; policemen; representatives from different partner agencies and organizations; and  the participants of this activity.

As part of this activity, the Run for the Youth 2011 was also conducted before the opening ceremony. During the program, the awarding of the winners was held. This fun run has two (2) categories. The first category was participated in by children aging ten (10) years and below, and has a distance of one thousand five hundred meters (1,500 m). The winners for this category were: Jhon Mark Lagbo, 1st place and Vembone Elejedo, 2nd place. Moreover, the second category was participated in by youth aging eleven (11) years and above, and has a distance of three thousand meters (3,000 m). The winners for this category were: Dodito Paculdo, 1st place and Allan Latuja, 2nd place.

Meanwhile, the opening ceremony of Youth Leadership Summit 2011 in Hinabangan, Samar was held yesterday at Hinabangan Elementary School. Hon. Alejandro N. Abarratigue, Municipal Mayor of Hinabangan, Samar, was the Keynote Speaker during this program.

This ceremony was also attended by Colonel Romeo L. Labador, Commanding Officer, 801st Brigade, 8ID, PA; Hon. Janssen Alvy R. Abarratigue, President, Samar Provincial Sangguniang Kabataan Federation; Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Aquino, Parish Priest of Hinabangan, Samar; soldiers; representatives from different agencies and organizations; and the participants of this activity.

The 8ID supports YLS activities to further enable the youth and the LGUs to withstand the negative influence of threat groups in the region.





DENR-SIBP stages 1st Eastern Visayas Outdoor Festival

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 28, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The first Eastern Visayas Outdoor Festival dubbed as “The Gathering” is set to be held on November 3-5, 2011 in Borongan City with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Samar Island Biodiversity Project in partnership with local-based organizations as hosts.

The first EVOF is anchored on the theme “Community-Based Ecotourism: A Tool for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Socio-economic Growth,” with activities such as mountain trekking, mountain biking, surfing and base camping, lined up.

Forester Angelito Villanueva, Samar Island Natural Park Protected Area Superintendent (SINP PASu) and Event Director informed that the gathering aims to consolidate the different outdoor organizations in Eastern Visayas, promote Samar Island as the ultimate eco-adventure destination, institutionalize Eastern Visayas Outdoor Festival through local legislations, and enhance community awareness on the importance of preserving the environment.

DENR Regional Executive Director Rogelio Trinidad underscored that the rich natural resources of Samar has been declared by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature as one of the 200 eco-Regions of the World.

Thus, RED Trinidad said that there is a need for a collective management and shared responsibility among its stakeholders by promoting the participation of local communities, LGUs, civil society groups and other government agencies in protecting and conserving these resources and sustainable ecotourism  through activities such as the EVOF as one of the strategies.

Interested outdoor enthusiasts and organizations who want to join the event can send their inquiries to or contact the DENR Regional Public Affairs Office at (053)321-1462.





Bomb scare that hit Tacloban Justice Hall a hoax; more strict security measures set

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 27, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The bomb scare that caused chaos, traffic jam, and fear at the Bulwagan ng Katarungan in Tacloban City in the morning of October 26, was declared a hoax.

However, it was enough warning to effect more strict security measures in the Halls of Justice located along Magsaysay Boulevard in the city of Tacloban.

In the morning of October 27, new security measures were observed to have been set in place with all those coming inside the Bulwagan grounds, including the judges, undergo strict inspection of all their belongings, bags, envelopes, etc.

To recall, a call was received by an employee of the Regional Trial Court Branch 34 in Bulwagan ng Katarungan in Tacloban at around 8:30 in the morning of Wednesday, October 26, claiming that a bomb inside the facility will explode at 10: 00 o’clock in the morning.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) was contacted and immediately police elements secured the area and an Explosive and Ordnance Division (EOD) team immediately surveyed the facility.

Later, the rescue team from the Bureau of Fire Protection also arrived to help in the situation.

"There was a box that was left to the guard but nobody is claiming it, and so it is really suspicious," Judge Alphinor Serrano said.

The EOD team opened the said box, only to find out that it contained kitchen wares.

Nevertheless, the team continued surveying the area but did not find any explosives in the premises.

"Even if it was a hoax, prank call, we have to find out the motive behind the threat," said Senior Superintendent Wilson Caubat, Tacloban City Police Office director.

It was not the first time that the City's Bulwagan ng Katarungan received a bomb threat, it was learned.





NDRRMC turns over 5 rescue boats to 8ID

October 27, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator, Undersecretary Benito T. Ramos acknowledged, on October 27, five inflatable rescue boats donated by the World Food Programme (WFP) to NDRRMC and handed them over to the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Eastern Visayas for use in disaster response and rescue operations in the Region.

USec Ramos, in his message during the simple turn-over ceremony, acknowledged the World Food Programme of the United Nations’ deputy country director to the Philippines Mr. Asaka Nyangara and the WFP’s head of logistics, Mr. Dragoslav Djuraskovic who facilitated the local procurement of the inflatable rescue boats with paddles.

He said this is not the first time that WFP has helped the country to capacitate the government for disaster response. He disclosed that during the latest calamities that flooded Bulacan, WFP also turned over to the Bulacan army, 5 rescue boats; and just recently, turned over a generator set to the province of Isabela to light up an entire municipality.

The NDRRMC executive director said that he immediately thought of turning over the rescue boat for Eastern Visayas to the Philippine Army knowing that the army and the PNP are always the first to respond in any disaster situation not only in Leyte but also in the island of Samar.

He said he is aware that there is insufficient disaster equipment in the Region because he is always flooded with requests, as he is suppose to orchestrate work and coordination in times of calamities and disaster.

WFP Deputy Country Director Mr. Asaka Nyangara, in his hand over message, expressed the continued commitment of the international humanitarian community to complement the efforts of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in addressing the consequences of disasters that beset the country.

In his response, MajGen. Mario F. Chan, commander of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said this is a “dream come true” and a “promise fulfilled.” He said this is the fulfillment of his dream to have more equipment to enhance the capability of the army rescue team to save more people of Eastern Visayas from the hazards that calamities bring to the Region which is disaster-prone.

The 8th ID Commander said this is a promise fulfilled because it is the fulfillment of the personal promise made to him by Usec Ramos, to capacitate the army to better respond to the people’s call for rescue in times of disaster.

He added that he is still praying that the promise for two helicopters to be given to the Army in Eastern Visayas will come true in the near future.





Giving P5 million to the MILF is treason!

By ANAD Partylist
October 23, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  The Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Partylist strongly denounce and condemn the giving by the government of P5 million, in check, to an enemy of the state, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover issued this statement even as Malacañang asked the MILF leadership to account for the money given to them by GPH panel head Atty. Marvic Leonen during the meeting in Kuala Lumpur. “Now this is PNoy’s way of flip-flopping after Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier told media that government will not ask from the MILF to explain how the fund was used,” he added.

“In any case, this is treason! PNoy giving public funds to an enemy of the state is treason and a serious violation of his oath of office!” said Rep. Alcover as he revealed that ANAD is seriously studying the possibility of filing an impeachment complaint against PNoy for treason, violation of the Constitution, and serious culpable violation of public trust.

“I cannot understand why PNoy gave the check of P5 million to the MILF, allegedly for the construction of the Bangsa Moro Leadership and Management Institute Training Center, when there are other Muslim groups and personalities, not fighting the government, which could readily implement such kind of project. Again, until after the MILF signs a peace agreement with government, they remain as enemy of the state; in the same breadth as the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF,” Rep. Alcover clarified.

Refuting Malacañang’s claim that the Aquino administration only pursued a commitment made by the previous Arroyo administration, Rep. Alcover retorted saying it was too flimsy and unbelievable for them to say so. “They’re nit-picking on issues and reasons to cover for their despicable acts and then pin the blame against the previous administration. If indeed they are open and transparent in discharging public service, as what they claim, why did they not disclose this to the public?”

“If not for the series of developments resulting from that highly contemptuous Al-Barka ambush and text messages doing the rounds, throughout the country, the Filipino people would have been kept in the dark about it. Is this the ‘Daang Matuwid’ that the Pnoy administration have been bragging all along?” he quipped.

He decried PNoy’s unwise and unfair treatment saying, “He gave 5 million pesos to an enemy of government while leaving pro-democracy organizations and individuals to fend and tend to their own.”

On the chances of getting the impeachment complaint pass through Congress with PNoy enjoying unwavering support from majority of the Representatives, including those from the Maoist terrorist pseudo partylist groups and Socialist partylist organizations, “I know that it would be a very steep climb for the Minority to see this through. Nevertheless and despite the odds, I shall make a go for it, if the results of our study say so. I must do this rather than be hounded with my conscience for reneging from my sworn duty and responsibility towards my country and constituents,” the pro-democracy solon said.





Family of 4 perishes in a landslide in Catbalogan City

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 22, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  A young mother and her three children were killed, and two houses were totally damaged, after a landslide occurred at 3:30 in the morning of October 21, at Sitio Cugao, Barangay Guinsorungan, Catbalogan City in the province of Samar.

OIC Director Rey Gozon of the Office of Civil Defense identified the victims as Maricel B. Ong, 30 years old and her children, Carla, 6 years old; Carlo, 4 years old; and Mary Carl, 2 years old.

Director Gozon informed the Philippine Information Agency that eight (8) houses were affected, two of which were totally damaged. The two totally destroyed houses were owned by Maricel Ong and Leonora Villalino.

The residents of the barangay claimed that they heard a loud sound and suddenly the landslide occurred. The members of the 8th Infantry Division and the Philippine National Police in Catbalogan City were the first to respond, the residents added.

Barangay Guinsorungan is only one kilometer away from the City Hall of Catbalogan City, Director Gozon said. It is one of the barangays identified to be a landslide prone area.

A big crack is visible at the top portion of the hillside, Director Gozon said so the advice is to relocate the affected residents. The barangay captain, the local social workers, the city risk reduction and management council and the affected residents met immediately in the afternoon of October 21.

The residents have been advised to relocate because of the danger the area poised. The barangay chairman promised to help the residents find relocation site in a safer area.

Director Gozon, who personally went to Catbalogan to assess the situation, said that Mayor Tekwa Uy and the local Social Workers were also there to assess the needs of the affected residents. There is an available fund of the City Government for the victims, the City Social Worker said.

The OCD head in the Region added that he has requested the social workers to immediately prepare the needed report so that he could start processing the papers for the financial support of P10,000 per victim from the NDRRMC could be processed.





LKY positive to hit December target for hotel opening

By Provincial Media Relations Center
October 21, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  LKY Property Holdings Inc. is positive they can hit the December 15 target date to open the newly rehabilitated McArthur Park Beach Resort Hotel.

LKY Property Holdings Inc. President Wilbert Lee assured Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla that the newly rehabilitated hotel will open in December as rehabilitation is on the full run to finish all the facilities.

Lee himself toured the governor around the new facilities being constructed around the 4.9 hectare property of the former McArthur Park Beach Resort, just a day before the historic 67th Leyte Gulf Landings Commemoration.

It was learned that the private investor LKY property pushed for a total renovation of the property with all of the buildings and facilities of the previous hotel tore down and new structures erected.

A new and grander lobby now sits in place adjacent to the hotel’s restaurant and spa lounges. The hotel will also have an outdoor pool and fitness facilities.

A new building has also been put in place that houses conference/ meeting rooms and a ballroom with an estimated 1,000 sitting capacity conducive for big events and national conferences.

Gov. Petilla has earlier commented that there is a need in the province and the region for a bigger venue to host national conventions and other events that caters to a bigger crowd.

“We still lack that kind of venue here. Our bigger facilities are gymnasiums, astrodomes which are more conducive for sports events but not a facility that is more suited to conferences, meetings and the likes,” Gov. Petilla said.

The same need has been echoed by the Department of Tourism in the region.

Initially, the LKY McArthur Park Hotel will have 65 rooms with some of these being suites with living room area, small kitchen and open balconies facing the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and romantic sunrise settings.

The hotel has less number of rooms compared to the 116-rooms of the LKY Mayon Imperial Hotel – a hotel in Legaspi City which underwent the same total renovation by LKY Property Holdings Inc. However, the McArthur Park hotel sits on a larger property and can still afford more area for other facilities. 

Renovation of the LKY Mayon Imperial Hotel, which started a little before its McArthur Park counterpart here in 2009, was only completed in June 2011.

Already, LKY has invested at least P150 million in McArthur Hotel’s renovation. This, under the 25-year contract with the provincial government and with a total investment of P300 million for the hotel’s full renovation.





SMART Sports to support Leyte Sports Academy

Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) Executive Director Ed Pecson (right) and SMART Sports head Patrick Gregrorio (third from left) turned over new boxing gloves for the athlete-scholars of the Leyte Sports Academy. Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla recently toured the SMART Sports team around the province-run sports academy who promised support to this free youth sports training program. LSA Administrator Rowil Batan was also in attendance.

By Provincial Media Relations Center
October 21, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  SMART Sports marketing and special projects head Patrick Gregorio promised support to the Leyte Sports Academy – a sports scholarship program run by the provincial government of Leyte.

A visit to the Leyte Sports Academy situated inside the Leyte Sports Development Center, more popularly known as Grandstand, the Smart Sports head said he is much impressed at how well-maintained the facilities are and how comprehensive the program is for the youths of the province.

Gregorio visited the Leyte Sports Academy on Tuesday, in response to a call made by Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) Executive Director Ed Pecson, a native of Leyte, who solicited support from various sports sponsors to back this provincial sports program.

Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla personally toured the Smart Sports team around the Leyte Sports Academy including the adjacent Leyte Sports Development Center with its Olympic-sized swimming pool, track and field areas, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts and its world-standard football field.

“It is very good to see that the province has maintained the facility after it hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 2009. Other provinces which have hosted the same have not maintained the venue turning instead into ghost areas,” Gregorio said.

Former Board Member Rowil Batan, who stand as the academy’s director, made a presentation to the Smart Sports team, where it was learned that running the program and maintaining the facilities cuts a budget of at least P6 million annually with a total of 70 athlete-scholars under their wing for this year 2011.

The operating cost is set to run to at least P8 million in 2012 as the province targets a total of 100 scholars next year.

Gregorio was likewise impressed that the athletes have shown good records in provincial, regional and national athletics meet only a few months after the program formally opened in October 2010 proving that the young athletes have indeed potentials in their respective sports.

The Leyte Sports Academy trains athletes in boxing, badminton, track and field and swimming.

Smart and parent company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) led by its Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan have been supporting basketball, boxing, cycling, taekwondo, and tennis via Smart Sports.

For Smart Sports, according to Gregorio, helping sports has become its passion, not just by measuring what they can get through media mileage or something they can get from what the group has invested.

“Mr. Manny Pangilinan is very passionate in sports, which is the reason why Smart Sports was created to help sports in our own little way,” Gregorio added.


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