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Ochoa hails exceptional public servants

8ID, a partner organization in conducting YLS 2011

War heroes honored

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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







Internet mug shot photos of ex-PGMA not those submitted to Pasay RTC – Robredo

By DILG - Office of Public Affairs
November 22, 2011

MANILA  –  Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo today disclosed that the mug shot photos of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which appeared on the Internet are not the same photos the police have submitted to the Pasay City Regional Trial Court.

Mug shots of Arroyo posted at

“Former President Arroyo’s mug shot taken from her hospital bed at the St. Luke’s Hospital in Taguig which have been circulated in the Internet is different from what the PNP CIDG had taken,” the DILG chief said.

According to Robredo, the official mug shot of the former President taken by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group last Saturday, a copy of which was submitted to him, bears all the case details on the “information booking plate.”

“The information booking plate of the original mug shot photo of the former President contains her name: Gloria Arroyo Y Macapagal, the Republic Act or electoral sabotage case she violated and the case number from the Pasay City Regional Trial Court,” he said.

“Based on what has appeared in the Internet, it appeared that the booking numbers below the published photos were ‘photoshopped’ and are different from the reports submitted to me,” he added.

Earlier, when asked if Arroyo’s camp would attempt to stop any moves to have her mug shots released, her counsel Jose Flaminiano said her camp “won’t bother to file a motion regarding that issue.”

A warrant of arrest was served Friday after the Pasay RTC found probable cause on the electoral sabotage case filed against her. Her mug shots were taken inside her hospital bed where she had been confined since Tuesday last week.

The Pasay City RTC has stated that Mrs. Arroyo’s mug shots will not be released unless both the prosecution and defense panels agree. The mug shots are deemed property of the police and are not public property.

When the former President’s mug shot photos were taken, there were only seven persons present, and they include her, former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, her son Albay Rep. Dato Arroyo, a former Arroyo cabinet secretary and three personnel from the PNP CIDG.

Acting Southern Police District Director Sr. Supt. James Bucayu, who confirmed that the published mug shots were authentic, was not around when the booking photos were taken.





Two more rebels surrendered to the government troops

By 34th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
November 19, 2011

PALAPAG, Northern Samar  –  In view of the sincere efforts of the Provincial Government of Northern Samar to encourage members of the New People’s Army (NPA) through its Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) to peacefully lay down their arms, two (2) rebels operating in Barangay Hinagonoyan, Catubig, Northern Samar voluntarily surrendered on November 13, 2011 and  are now in the custody of 34th Infantry Battalion.

In an initial report, while the troops were conducting Peace and Development Activities (PDA) in the area, a certain Rolando Albino alias Sudlot and Virgilio Durin alias Benny, both residents of Barangay Hinagonoyan, Catubig, Northern Samar, surrendered to 83rd Civil Military Operation (CMO) Company, 8CMO Bn under 1Lt. Ian Michael Dr Hamid at Brgy Hinagonoyan, Catubig, Northern  Samar.

The duo revealed that they are members of the Unit Militia in their barangay and that they encountered hardships in the hinterlands. The reason for their surrender is to clear their names, go back to the mainstream society and live a normal life.

Upon surrender, Rolando Albino alias Sudlot turned over a Cal .357 revolver with defaced serial number and six (6) rounds of live ammunitions. The duo may avail of the benefits of the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) of the province of Northern Samar after processing the necessary documentary requirements. Benefits may include but not limited to immediate assistance allowance of Ten Thousand pesos (P10,000) and remuneration (payment of cash value) for surrendered firearms, explosives and ammunition.

Lieutenant Colonel William P. Penafiel Jr., Commanding Officer of 34IB  expressed his appreciation to the efforts made by the populace of said barangay for the surrender of the two (2) rebels. He was grateful for the wholehearted support of the people and their constant awareness on the peace and order situation in their area.

The two (2) surrenderees were brought to the Headquarters of 34th Infantry Battalion for further interview and processing of requirements for the granting of the LSIP benefits.





New Army Chief visits 8ID

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
November 18, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City  –  Today, the newly assumed Commanding General of the Philippine Army MajGen. Emmanuel T. Bautista visited the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army.  Major General Mario F. Chan, Commander of 8ID around 11 o’clock this morning, received him.

The visit in 8ID is the first field unit visit in the entire Philippine Army by Major General Bautista. He cited the units’ remarkable efforts in winning the peace in Region VIII and the multi-sectoral approaches employed in the conduct of operations. These, according to him are the very essence of the current Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan.

In his speech, he encouraged the troops to realize their significant roles in the entire plan in order to accomplish collectively the mission of the Armed Forces. He reminded the troops of the existing Army Transformation Roadmap that every Army personnel must know. This roadmap hopes to transform the Army into an excellent force that is a source of national pride in the next 18 years.

Major General Bautista ended his speech with the statement “Higit sa lahat pagbutihin natin ang ating trabaho at ingatan natin ang ating sarili, mabuhay ang Stormtroopers!”

In his tour of the Camp Lukban facilities, the Commanding General graced the unveiling of building marker and ribbon cutting of the newly renovated 8ID Ammunition Dump.

Chief Master Sergeant Hermono Francisco, Sergeant Major of the Philippine Army, as part of the visiting party of the Commanding General also met with the enlisted personnel of the Division. He took time to discuss issues and concerns that concerns the morale and welfare of the troops.

Meanwhile, Major General Chan expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Commanding General for considering 8ID as the first unit to visit.





DepEd-8 sports coordinator says EVRAA preparations in full swing

November 18, 2011

NAVAL, Biliran  –  A regional official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said Friday that preparations for the upcoming big sporting event in Eastern Visayas are already in full swing.

Cezar Verunque, regional schools sports coordinator of DepEd 8 made the pronouncement in an interview during the closing ceremonies of the 2011 Biliran Provincial Meet at the Biliran Provincial Sports Center here this town.

Verunque said that the city government of Maasin is in full support for the preparations for the hosting of the 2012 Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) Meet.

EVRAA will be held on January 29 to February 4, next year in Maasin City, he added.

“We are lucky since the local government of Maasin is ready and prepared for hosting the next year’s EVRAA”, Verunque emphasized.

He further said that the city government of Maasin is already prepared for the venue, sports facilities and equipment.

He revealed that the city government of Maasin is now working for the improvement of facilities like comfort rooms, lights and water.

The regional sports coordinator added that the 100 days countdown for EVRAA 2012 has already been launched.

The 2012 EVRAA will be participated by 10 delegations competing for 17 events but the number of delegations might increase in 2013 with the participation of newly created cities in Eastern Visayas, Verunque said.

Meanwhile, Verunque divulged that Pangasinan won the bid to host the 2012 Palarong Pambansa besting the provinces of Mindoro, Laguna, Isabela and the city of Marikina.

The annual sporting event in the country participated by 17 regions will be tentatively held either in the first or second week May, he added.





East Visayas agencies ink commitment to make MSAC work

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 18, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY Leyte  –  A memorandum of agreement was recently signed by heads and representatives of National Government Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, League of Local Governments, Academe, and research institutions, business sector, policy makers and development partners in order to establish and sustain a partnership for local governance and knowledge management programs, among others.

DILG Region 8 Director Pedro A. Noval, Jr. informed that the signing of the memorandum of agreement was conducted on November 15, 2011 at the DILG LGRRC Conference Hall at Kanhuraw Hill in Tacloban City during the organizational meeting of the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Council.

The MSAC is a group of individuals or institutions that advocate excellence in governance and practices knowledge management, Director Noval said.

The MSAC is envisioned to pave the way for knowledge management to take off and gather necessary support and commitment from stakeholders who should agree that true knowledge sharing is mutually beneficial and facilitates excellence in local governance, Director Noval added.

The MSAC represents a paradigm shift in DILG’s role from supervision to that of a catalyst and facilitator in promoting excellence in local governance.

The role of the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee (MSAC) is to provide general direction and guidance to the LGRC programs, plans; to formulate policies and guidelines in the operationalization of LGRC and to identify and participate in researches and assessments relevant to LG Knowledge Management.

The MSAC is also expected to contribute local governance relevant knowledge products to the center (explicit knowledge) and the LGRC online; make accessible/available to the LGUs and other secondary users their respective organization's (internal - that cannot be lodged at the center or uploaded in LGRC online) LG knowledge products, website (also through links on LGRC online), experts, etc.; and to initiate steps towards building their respective organizations as KCOs and to influence the shaping of a knowledge sharing culture and the culture of learning within the respective organizations, LGRC and the other stakeholders in the LG sector.

Moreover, the role of the MSAC is to mobilize resources (fund, material, human) to support KM programs and plans; contribute to the development of best practices in local governance and its replication; and to identify and propose areas for convergence so as to integrate and harmonize the various programs of different stakeholders, using knowledge to focus, prioritize, and align various actors according to a common image of regional LG.

Finally, the MSAC is expected to analyze and review results of regularly conducted LG KM audits in order to maintain a realistic picture of the regional LG KM environment and the characteristics of LG knowledge supply and demand in the region; continuously verify the value proposition and communicates this to sponsors and partners; and to monitor and evaluate the impact of LGRC and the attainment of its vision, mission and goals.





NPA Camp seized by government troops in Northern Samar

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
November 17, 2011

BRGY. MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar  –  A newly abandoned communist terrorist’s camp was recently discovered by government security forces at Barangay Cal-igang, Catarman, Northern Samar last November 14, 2011 at around 1:45 in the afternoon.

Lieutenant Colonel Noel A. Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, in his report to 803rd Brigade Commander, Colonel Oscar Lopez, said the camp was seized by the troops of 3rd Regional Public Safety Mobile Company under Police Inspector Shyrile Tan which is placed under Tactical Control to 20IB.

The camp has fourteen (14) bunkers that can accommodate more or less twenty communist terrorists and has just been abandoned by the CTs as they evade armed engagement with the operating troops. The troops also recovered one empty bandolier, ammunition pouch and dry cell batteries. The camp was discovered after 20IB has launched sustained combat operations in the area of Catarman in response to the series of killing incidents perpetrated by the communist terrorists early this week.

According to LtCol. Vestuir, a certain Allan Martinez, was forcibly abducted and shot to death by six (6) unidentified communist terrorists in his residence at Barangay Cal-Igang, Catarman, Northern Samar at around 7:40 in the morning of November 10, 2011.  Relatedly, at around 8:15 in the evening of same day, another killing was perpetrated by the CTs at Barangay New Rizal also of Catarman wherein a certain Romeo Salazar Lovino was forcibly taken and shot several times that resulted to his death.

LtCol. Vestuir added: “The series of recent killings perpetrated by the NPAs in the area of Catarman is again a ploy of the communist terrorists to instill fear among the peace loving people as their means of getting their support which is in consonance to the Maoist dictum of “kill one to terrorize one thousand”.  Also, the said liquidations are another deception to the PNP and military, once they will react, the CTs had established an ambush along the route similar to what they did in Brgy. Imelda last year where they have landmined the responding PNP personnel.”

LtCol. Vestuir also lauded his troops particularly the PNP for a job well done and further commended the collaborative efforts between the PNP and the Philippine Army. He also thanked the continued support of the people in the government’s efforts of ‘Winning the Peace’.

“Through the timely and accurate information tipped by the residents, our troops were able to discover the NPA encampment, a staging place of their terroristic activities in the area. The seizure of the said NPA encampment is a big blow to the CTs considering that we have denied them of their safe haven and sanctuary and once again proven that the people are with us in our pursuit for peace in this part of the country”, Vestuir concluded.





Civil society orgs challenge ASEAN leaders to have stronger voice in climate negotiations

November 16, 2011

MANILA  –  ASEAN leaders should work together to address the problem of climate change, NGO group A-FAB (ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Global Climate Deal) warned today.  To dramatize the problem, activists created a tableau of sinking hands in Manila Bay to portray floods brought about by extreme weather conditions attributed to climate change and the vulnerability of people in Southeast Asia to climate impacts.

A-FAB, a coalition by Greenpeace and Oxfam, staged the sea of sinking hands tableau as leaders of the 10 countries belonging to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet in Bali on November 17-19, 2011 for the 19th ASEAN Summit.

“Extreme cases of flooding in Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos highlight the urgency and need for ASEAN to contribute to global and long term solutions to address climate change,” says Shalimar Vitan, Oxfam’s East Asia Campaigns Coordinator.

“The ASEAN Summit is the perfect opportunity for leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries to give their respective climate change negotiators the mandate to find and work together as ASEAN on common positions in the UNFCCC negotiations in Durban this December,” adds Atty. Zelda Soriano, Greenpeace’s policy advisor in Southeast Asia.

A-FAB has noted that ASEAN response to climate change, projected to severely impact Southeast Asia, has been lacking and there is no ASEAN unity in the UN climate talks.  Representatives from 194 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, on November 28 to December 9, to negotiate on a global climate deal. The two most important and contentious aspects of the coming negotiations relate to developed countries’ commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a legally binding agreement, and to mobilize resources to fund climate change programs and projects in developing countries.

It is estimated that, in order to have a likely and cost-effective chance of pegging temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or below over the 21st Century, global emissions will need to have peaked within the next 10 years and be around 44 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020. Accordingly, current emissions reduction pledges leave a gap of around 5 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent that needs to be bridged over the coming decade. “In the interest of our region, ASEAN must contribute its voice in emphasizing the need to raise the ambition of developed countries in Durban,” says Soriano.

Adds Vitan: “ASEAN member countries must cooperate in pushing for a clear decision on where the money for climate funds will come from.  This decision should include a roadmap for scaling up climate finance for 2013-2020 as well as a concrete work program for 2012 to determine where to source long-term climate finance. It should also provide for an initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund. The decision must also lay down the groundwork and principles on possible supplementary sources of climate funds, particularly those for setting a carbon price on international shipping.”





A novel 2013 political game plan?

By ANAD Partylist
November 15, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  “It is more appropriate to say - - Buying the Peace, Preparing for War and the 2013 elections!” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover as he revealed a meticulously laid out and novel 2013 political game plan by some wise guys lurking in the pedestal of executive power and authority to bolster their grip and influence in public office.

In his privilege speech during Congress’ plenary yesterday (November 14) Rep. Alcover expressed sadness on the seeming weak and vacillating PNoy leadership amidst the carnage perpetrated by the lawless elements of the MILF resulting in the death of about 40 military officers and soldiers, civilian rubber plantation workers in Al-Barka and Sumisip Basilan; in the towns of Alicia and Guintulan, all in Zamboanga Sibugay; and in Barangay Payong, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, in Lanao del Norte, last month.

“The national leadership’s anemic, vacillating, and condemnable response in the statements made by President Aquino III’s alter ego in Malacañang, caused more pain and hurt,” he said as he lamented the President’s “all-out-justice” order as contemptuous only to appease the demoralization sipping among the ranks of the military and other government security forces after PNoy sacked some military officers from their posts after expressing their respective personal opinions to media.

Rep. Alcover cited Malacañang’s wavering stand on the P5 million, in check, to the MILF purportedly for the construction of a Bangsamoro Islamic Leadership and Management Institute training center; and the controversial P31 M government assistance to the RPMP-ABB that Malacañang said were approved during the previous administrations of then Presidents Arroyo and Estrada, respectively. “When howls of disgust and criticisms were hurled against it, they stonewalled and defended the move saying it was in fulfillment of earlier agreement. . . . . (This is) evidence on the propensity of this administration to blame the past administrations for the blunders and failure they themselves committed,” he added.

However, the ANAD solon revealed that highly reliable sources told him that all of these are being manipulated at will by cliques who, at the moment, maintain strong connections directly to and have the confidence of President Aquino III. “These are sequels of a grandiose political plan leading to the 2013 elections. The dole-outs, both to the MILF and the RPMP-ABB are reportedly to strengthen the current administrations hold on the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); and the Socialist Partylist - - Akbayan, with the Maoist communist pseudo partylist groups maintaining their grip, if not increasing its presence, in the pedestals of power and authority,” he added.

In calling for a Congressional investigation on the state of the government peace initiatives with the MILF and the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF, Rep. Alcover said that while ANAD knows the personalities directly involved in the scheme, “I believe, that these informations are not hidden from OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, and Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas. These are the top two officials in the PNoy administration that are privy to the on-going political machinations in the country. . . .Together with the heads of the GPH panel to the MILF and the CPP-NPA-NDF, they should be invited as resource speaker during the investigation,” he said.





Robredo lauds LGU support in PPUR’s bid as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature

DILG-8 Votes for PPUR. DILG-8 Regional Director Pedro A. Noval Jr. leads his staff in simultaneously texting in their votes, in response to President Benigno S. Aquino's call to support the bid of Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, during the agency's flag retreat on November 11, 2011.

By DILG Office of Public Affairs
November 14, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo  lauded and expressed thanks to the country’s governors, mayors and barangay chairmen for their all-out support in making the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

The DILG Secretary, who is chairman of the Inter-agency Task Force for the PPUR campaign created under Presidential Proclamation 182, said the more than 80 percent compliance of local chief executives nationwide to rally their constituents to vote – via text message PPUR 2861 or via the Internet – contributed a lot in the effort.

“I thank all the local chief executives nationwide who answered our call to support the PPUR to be one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. It is Filipino unity and patriotism at its best. It is not just the pride and joy of the people of Palawan but the entire country as well,” he said. “Aside from the global prestige it will bring to the Philippines, the country also stands to benefit from PPUR in terms of tourism and related revenues,” he added.

In a last-ditch effort last Wednesday, the DILG issued a memo circular to all local chief executives nationwide to conduct and attend their flag retreat on Friday (dubbed as 11-11-11) and rally their constituents to vote via their cellular phones by texting PPUR send to 2861.

In Eastern Visayas, DILG-8 Regional Director Pedro A. Noval Jr. said that LGUs showed full support to PPUR’s bid by organizing simultaneous text voting during activities such as training, conferences, flag ceremonies and barangay assemblies, as well as by putting up outdoor advertising.  Dir. Noval likewise thanked the Philippine Information Agency and local media in promoting widespread public awareness.

Robredo also directed all chiefs of bureaus and offices under the DILG such as the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Local Government Academy, National Police Commission, the DILG regional offices, among others, to conduct same flag retreat activity last Friday.

Robredo said he is very much delighted to learn that PPUR has made it to the top 7 New 7 Wonders Nature finalists, expressing confidence that it will stay despite the organizers’ statement that the list was provisional and may change by the time a final announcement is made early next year.

Aside from PPUR, the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation announced the list of provisional winners as the Amazon rainforest, Vietnam’s Halong Bay, Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, South Korea’s Jeju Island, Indonesia’s Komodo island and South Africa’s Table Mountain. Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the Dead Sea and the US Grand Canyon, which made it to the top 10 finalists, failed to make the cut.


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