Civilian tips, leads
to seizure of two (2) NPA encampments in Northern Samar
By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
BRGY MAGSAYSAY, Lope
de Vega, Northern Samar – Due to the accurate and timely information
given by peace loving residents in the area, the troops of 20th
Infantry (We Lead) Battalion, 8ID, PA under the leadership of LTC Noel
A. Vestuir has again seized NPA encampments at Barangays San Julian
and Trangue all of Catarman, Northern Samar last November 22 and 23,
According to LTC
Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, civilian informants in the area
has tipped-in information about the presence of armed Communist
Terrorists (CTs) that are conducting house to house visitation and
collecting food stuffs from the residents in the barangays located the
boundaries of Bobon and Catarman of Northern Samar.
Reacting to the said
information, 20IB has sent troops to verify the reported presence of
the CTs in the area. On
November 22 2011, 20IB troopers led by 2LT Al Peter Galula (INF) PA
discovered an abandoned enemy camp at vicinity Brgy San Julian,
Catarman, Norther Samar. The said encampment can accommodate more or
less twenty (20) CTs and was abandoned after the NPAs left the place
to avoid armed confrontation with the government troops.
development, the pursuit operations conducted by the government troops
has resulted to a series of two (2) encounters at Barangay E Duran of
Bobon and Barangay Trangue of Catarman all of Northern Samar last
November 22 and 23, 2011 respectively. As a result, the operating
troops led by 2LT Jec McWill Santos (INF) PA were able to overrun
another CT camp at barangay Trangue on November 23, 2011 at around
1:30 in the afternoon. The troops also recovered personal belongings
and empty shells of different types and calibers of ammunition left
behind by the fleeing CTs. No one was hurt in the government side
while it could not be ascertained that there were scores of wounded in
the NPA side due to the bloodstains that were seen in the encounter
Meanwhile, LTC Vestuir
commended his troops for another successful feat as they continue to
perform their mandate of protecting the people. He also appreciated
the action of the mentioned civilian who provided the timely
information on the activities of the CTs in their barangay. Based on
the account of the civilians in the area, the NPAs in the 1st District
of Northern Samar could no longer hide from the pursuing government
forces considering that even the civilians who they claimed to be
their “masa” are squealing their location.
“The NPAs has no way
to run. They can no longer hide and even no longer safe with the
masses they believed to be theirs. We will continue to pursue them
and so that they will be forced to abandon their armed struggle for
them to return to the folds of law and once again live normal and
decent lives along with their families. As I commend my troops for
their successful deed of executing their mission, I would also like to
recognize the support of the local folks for without it, our mission
would not be carried out successfully”, says LTC Vestuir.
“I also attribute this
success to our people because for every violent enemy activity
pre-empted by our troops, it creates a secured environment for the
peace loving communities in our area of operations”, Vestuir added.
He also calls on the
people to report any person, wounded or not, that are seen in their
barrio since the 20IB is openly willing to provide assistance to them
at any cause. “We once again solicit support to our people to report
to us any wounded person that you believe to be part of the said
encounter. We are willing to help them and provide the necessary
assistance and I am assuring them that they will never be harmed”,
to NGP commitment reaches 88%
By NINFA B QUIRANTE, PIA
November 25, 2011
CATBALOGAN CITY – Samar’s accomplishment to its commitment to this year’s National
Greening Program (NGP) has reached 88% as of
November 15, 2011.
This was bared by the
Samar Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Information
Officer Melyn Godin during a meeting of the provincial Small and
Medium Enterprise Development Council (SMED).
This was affirmed by
the PENR Officer himself, Mr Elpedio Simon in a subsequent interview.
PENRO Simon had
another better news. “The people’s organizations implementing the tree
planting have committed that they will be able to accomplish 100%
before the end of the year,” Simon said.
The NGP is embodied in
Executive Order Number 26 where the Aquino government is committed to
plant some 1.5 billion trees until 2016 to give livelihood
opportunities and to mitigate the effects of climate change.
PENRO Simon said of
the 1,460 hectares targeted for this year, some 1,295 hectares have
already been planted.
These areas are found
in the towns of Basey, Hinabangan, Calbiga, Paranas, Taranganan,
Gandara, San Jose de Buan, Motiong and Jiabong where there are
established People's Organizations.
Catbalogan City, during the civil service anniversary, all
stakeholders moved as one to plant two thousand trees in Barangay San
The Civil Service
Commission (CSC) with the city government, PENRO, schools and even
civic groups and the media joined forces for the greening program.
pirate fishers in the Pacific
Calls on governments to take more proactive action in
protecting depleting fish stocks
November 25, 2011
– Activists from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza interrupted an
illegal transhipment and demonstrated against illegal fishing in a
tuna-rich area called the Pacific Commons. The illegal, unregistered
purse seine vessels were caught fishing and transhipping in
international waters near
area closed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)
and the island nations’ governments to purse seine fishing due to ever
depleting fish stocks.
An unnamed vessel with
no flag or nationality, but manned by Filipino crew, was caught
illegally transhipping its catch to another carrier vessel, the
"It is galling and
completely unacceptable that these vessels and their owners violate
efforts by the region to protect our tuna stocks, which is key to food
security and economic development for many people in the region. Such
operations undermine efforts to ensure tuna stocks in the Pacific
recover from overfishing and also threatens the lifeline of the
legitimate fishing industry including Filipino fishermen," said Mark
Dia, Philippine country representative of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
"We call on the
members of the WCPFC to take action on these vessels, prosecuting the
vessel owners and blacklisting them from further fishing. In
particular the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries must support the
extension of the closure of the Pacific Commons to all fishing
activities if it is serious about putting an end to pirate fishing.
They must also support the ban on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), as
well as in cooperating with other nations in the region to improve
measures in enforcing marine protection," said Lagi Toribau,
Greenpeace oceans campaigner on board the Esperanza.
currently engaged in its "Defending Our Pacific" expedition, a
campaign to stop the unsustainable plunder of Pacific tuna by ending
the use of destructive fishing practices and illegal fishing, and
through the creation of marine reserves in the Pacific Commons.
Activists on board the ship have also removed three illegal floating
FADs found in the Pacific Commons.
With tuna stocks in
other oceans now depleted, fishing fleets from
and Europe have turned their attention to the Pacific, the source of
more than half of all tuna consumed globally.
“Pacific bigeye and
yellowfin tuna stocks are in ever deepening trouble. Purse seine
vessels are largely to blame due to increasing commercial proficiency
in catching tuna. Large-scale tuna purse seiners can take in two days
what it would take local fishermen an entire year to catch. In
addition, purse seiners use FADs that entice fish – including already
vulnerable juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tunas, sharks, turtles and
other marine life – to a single location to be scooped up by purse
seine nets,” said Mr. Toribau.
Pirate fishing is
known to be particularly rampant in the high seas and areas such as
the Pacific Commons, where monitoring and surveillance are difficult.
It is estimated that between 21-46% of all fish caught in the Pacific
is taken by pirate fishing ships such as this one.
“This case clearly
demonstrates the urgent need to close the Pacific Commons to all
fishing and ensure regional enforcement is ramped up. In addition,
seafood companies must end their complicity in this kind of crime by
refusing to source tuna from the Pacific Commons,” Toribau added.
campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of
the world’s oceans and for a more sustainable fishing industry.
Greenpeace is working with retailers across Europe, Australia and the
Americas to increase the market share of sustainably-sourced tuna.
Don’t let GMA flee!
Jail GMA! – Morong 43
QUEZON CITY – “We
challenge the Aquino administration to do everything in its authority
and influence to ensure that Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not
flee the country. She should be made accountable for all the crimes
she committed against the people!”
Gary Liberal, R.N.,
spokesperson of the Morong 43 and one of the plaintiffs named in the
civil suit filed on April 4, 2011 against GMA, et. al. at the Quezon
City Regional Trial Court, reminded the Aquino administration that it
should not forget the victims of human rights violations such as the
Morong 43 case committed under GMA’s term.
Liberal, speaking in
behalf of the 36 freed health workers and said that they are enraged
of Mr. Aquino’s inability to act upon the cases filed against his
predecessor such as to immediately free 2 of the Morong 43 who were
transferred and still illegally detained in Mindoro. “Obviously, the
President took a sweet time before hastily filing an electoral fraud
case against GMA. Such obvious haste was unnecessary had Mr. Aquino
acted swiftly on scores of other cases such as our illegal arrest and
detention, the killing of Mr. Leonard Co, enforced disappearances,
extrajudicial killings, and the Ampatuan massacre among others.”
Seven months since
they filed a civil suit suing for damages totaling P15 million for
physical and psychological torture and other forms of indignities they
suffered during their illegal arrest and detention, the case has not
moved beyond the first and last hearing on June 2011.
Defendants named in
the suit are former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Defense
Secretary Norberto Gonzales, former Chief of Staff Gen. Victor Ibrado,
Gen. Delfin N. Bangit, former commander of the 2nd Infantry Division
(ID) Gen. Jorge Segovia, commander of the intelligence unit of the 2nd
IDPA Lt. Col. Cristobal Zaragosa, 2nd IDPA Warden Major Manuel Tabion,
commander of the 202nd Infantry Batallion (IB) Col. Aurelio Baladad,
16th IBPA commander Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, and Rizal Provincial Police
Office commander P/Supt. Marion Balolong.
Liberal added that
while they had to go on a hunger strike, get punished in jail for
holding noise barrage, and file numerous requests in court to assert
hospital confinement for two of their pregnant colleagues Judilyn
Oliveros and Mercy Castro in the Philippine General Hospital, GMA was
graciously allowed by the court and authorities to be on “hospital
arrest” without dropping a sweat.
While GMA is asserting
her constitutional rights to life and travel, Liberal questioned her
camp if “their boss ever thought of ‘constitutional rights’ when she
had 43 health workers arbitrarily arrested, detained, and tortured
under the hands of her military and police?”
“We have not
forgotten. GMA and her cohorts should be made accountable for even
the minutest crimes she committed against us and thousands of others
like us. She should not be given special treatment by this
Her aces may be well
laid in the Supreme Court but we have the people’s movement behind us
– the very force that make the wheels of history turn, Liberal added.
Provincial Board okays
Leyte’s P1.387-B annual budget for 2012
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 23, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY –
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, during its regular session on November
22, unanimously approved the P1,387,000,000 Annual Budget of the
province of Leyte for the year 2012.
The budget was passed
without much discussion on the floor because the same has already been
deliberated upon by the august body before the session, the chairman
of the SP committee on Public Information and vice chairman of the
committee on Finance and Appropriation Board Member Roque Tiu told the
media practitioners covering the Capitol.
Gov. Carlos Jericho L.
Petilla submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on October 13,
the 2012 Annual Budget of the Provincial Government of Leyte for the
consideration and eventual enactment of an appropriation Ordinance
pursuant to the Local Government Code (RA 7160), Board Member Tiu of
the 1st District of Leyte, said.
The approved Executive
General Fund Annual Budget of the Provincial Government of Leyte for
Fiscal Year 2012 has a total appropriations amounting to
P1,387,000,000. The revenue sources are estimates from the Internal
Revenue Allotment, Local Taxes/Receipts and from the Unappropriated
Surplus as of December 2010 Beginning Balance.
As stated by Governor
Petilla in his Budget Message, it is still the priority of his
administration to pursue on top Information and Communications
Technology, Tourism Development, Livelihood for youth with values
formation, and improved health care through upgraded hospital
facilities and personalized services.
program of the Provincial Government of Leyte by sector showed that
the biggest share in the pie goes to Health, Nutrition, Population and
Social Welfare at 22.20%; followed by General Public Services at
18.23%, Development Funds at 16.48%, Special Purpose Appropriations at
13.92%, Economic Services at 11.44%, Statutory and Contractual
Obligations at 8.04%, LDRRMC Fund at 4.61%, Special Programs, Projects
and Activities at 4.33% and Aid to Barangays at 25%.
The approved budget,
according to BM Tiu, is more than P110M over and above the 2011 budget
of P1,277,000,000, despite the 4.7% decrease of the IRA as announced
by the Department of Budget and Management due to the 2009 shortfall
of Internal Revenue collection.
This is due to the
surplus of 2010 budget in the amount of about P108M, the decrease for
2012 budget was offset with the accumulated 2010 budget savings
according to Ms. Gina Hipe, the Provincial Budget Officer.
The IRA for 2012 for
the Province of Leyte is P1,143,000,000 while that of the 2011 total
IRA is P1, 190,000,000 or about P47M lower between the 2011 and 2012
Due to the sound
fiscal management and good governance of the Provincial Government
headed by Gov. Petilla, the delivery of basic services as well as the
implementation of priority Programs and Projects of the province will
continue and is assured, BM Tiu said.
Families of killed,
disappeared join Ampatuan massacre victims in crying for justice
QUEZON CITY –
Families of victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced
disappearances and other human rights violations joined the activities
set today on the second year commemoration of the Ampatuan massacre,
also declared as the International Day to End Impunity.
“We share with you the
pains of the long wait for justice. We should not stop, however long
this may take, until justice is served,” Hustisya secretary general
Cristina Guevarra said.
Some of those who
joined the march were victims of killings both under the Arroyo and
Aquino governments, like Evangeline Hernandez, mother of slain human
rights worker Benjaline Hernandez and Glenda Co, wife of slain
botanist Leonard Co.
Also in the march are
families of victims of enforced disappearances. Under the Arroyo
government, there were 206 desaparecidos. Meanwhile, the 57 victims of
the Ampatuan massacre belong to the 1, 206 victims of killings under
Arroyo, in which none have been prosecuted to this day.
“They are all proof
that such impunity continues to this day,” Guevara said.
File human rights
cases vs GMA next
Victims group Hustisya
again demanded the Aquino government to file charges on human rights
violations against Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo next, after the
former president was charged with electoral sabotage last week.
“The Aquino government
should now deal with the cases of human rights violations committed
when Arroyo was commander-in-chief of the state forces. There are no
Ampatuans if Arroyo did not coddle warlords and private armies,”
According to the
group, the government should not “sit on the fence” until Arroyo tries
another attempt to elude trial.
“As long as the
Aquino government does not hold Arroyo accountable, along with the
former president’s cohorts like retired army major Jovito Palparan,
and as long as the killings continue, we shall equally demand his
accountability,” Guevarra ended.
Cayetano: Protect our
journalists, end impunity, pass the FOI bill!
Maguindanao Massacre Anniversary on November 23
PASAY CITY – Senate
minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano called for an end to impunity in
the killings of journalists in the
He lamented the
unabated spate of killings against members of the media as he recalled
the gruesome Maguindanao massacre that killed 57 civilians, 31 of
which are journalists, marking its 2nd year anniversary this month.
“It is alarming to see
that the perpetrators of this most heinous crime, deemed as the single
most deadliest event for journalists in history, have yet to be
brought to justice,” said Cayetano.
The senator pointed
out that the failure of the justice system to prosecute perpetrators
behind other deaths of members of the media has led to a total of 11
journalists being killed in the Aquino administration’s 2 years of
“Jose Daguio, Miguel
Belen, Edilberto Cruz, Edison Flameniana Sr, Doc Gerry Ortega, Cirili
Gallardo, Len Flores-Sumera, Romeo Olea, Niel Jimena, Johnson Pascual
and Roy Quijada Gallego are the 11 journalists whose deaths have yet
to be served by justice,” he said.
“How many more do we
not know about? How many more do we have to see before we act?,” he
He also linked
journalist killings to the failure of Congress to pass the Freedom of
Information (FOI) bill that provides access to government information
including transactions and contracts that will prevent corrupt
"Most of the killings
of journalists are linked to their expose' of corruption cases by many
unscrupulous local government officials," said Cayetano.
He added that once the
FOI Act is in place, journalists need not sacrifice their lives and
the security of their families in the name of truth and freedom as FOI
guarantees transparency and accountability in government transactions.
The minority leader
said it is a disgrace to the nation that the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the New
York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked the
Philippines as the third most dangerous countries for media
practitioners, next only to Iraq and Somalia.
He also noted the
findings of Brussels-based International News Safety Institute (INSI)
that determined there are seven journalists who die every year in the
Philippines and 85 per cent of these killings, the villains remain
are supposed to be the vanguards of truth and freedom in the society
are now under attack and this only reflects the failure of our justice
system. How can we say that we are a free country if we can’t even
protect those who promote free press?," said Cayetano.