8ID, a partner
organization in conducting YLS 2011
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
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
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)
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.
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.
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
enthusiasts and organizations who want to join the event can send
their inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
bomb scare that caused chaos, traffic jam, and fear at the Bulwagan ng
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,
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.
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
"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
"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
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
By NEIL D. LOPIDO, PIA 8
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
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
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
LKY positive to hit
December target for hotel opening
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
“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,”
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
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.