DA-8 embarks on
intensified promotion of organic farming in East Visayas
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Agriculture Regional Office 8 has embarked an
intensified campaign to promote organic farming in Eastern Visayas.
The DA is wasting no
time in advocating the program as mandated under Republic Act (RA)
10068 otherwise known as Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. The law
provides for the development and promotion of organic agriculture in
the country to increase productivity, reduce environmental
degradation, cut expenses on imported farm inputs, and protect the
health of farmers, consumers and the general public.
No less than
Agriculture Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio led the
organic farming promotion as he exhorted the local government partners
in the provinces of partners in the provinces of Southern Leyte and
Biliran “to go back to the basics” through organic farming.
“There is now a global
or worldwide trend to re-embrace the natural farming system due to
prevalence of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth
regulators and livestock feed additives that excessively harm the
environment,” RED Garundio said.
RED Gerundio made the
call to the participants composed of local chief executives, municipal
agriculturists, agricultural technologists and other key partners who
attended the Orientation and Briefing on the Organic Agriculture
Program (OAP) held in Maasin City, Southern Leyte and Almeria, Biliran
on November 24 and 25, 2011, respectively.
“We have ‘bad habits’
formed during the Green Revolution” in the 1960s. But we can not blame
anyone because at that time the world was faced with an emerging food
shortage due to rapid population increase. Hence, the world resorted
to science to develop high yielding varieties in the hope of meeting
the global food requirements. But high yielding varieties also
require high application of inorganic fertilizer, pesticides and
artificial enhancers that significantly contributes to environmental
destruction. It was proven that chemicals destroy soil micro-organisms
resulting in poor soil structure and aeration, thus decreasing
nutrient availability,” Director Gerundio explained.
The briefing paved the
way to initially orient the participants on the program and to
organize provincial and municipal/city Local Technical Committees for
the OAP. It will be patterned from the composition of the National
Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) which is composed of representatives
from the DA, DILG, DENR, DAR, DOST, DTI, DepEd, DOH, small farmers
organizations, NGO, the academe, and the private sector/agribusiness
member-agency/sector will have an important role to plan in order to
successfully carry out various activities under the program, RED
Also present as
resource speakers during the activity were OAP Regional Focal Person
Engr. Melecia C. Gordillo, OAP support staff and DA-8 Executive
Assistant Mr. Onisimo C. Paduano, Eastern Visayas Organic Agriculture
Network Chair and VSU Dean Dr. Edwin A. Balbarino, and Ms Ma. Elena A.
Mendoza, LGU Ormoc City Marketing Division chief.
The United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines organic farming as a
production system that avoids or largely excludes the use of
synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators
and livestock feed additives.
systems rely on crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures,
legumes, green manures, off-farm organic wastes, and aspects of
biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilt,
support plant nutrients and control insects, weeds and other pests.
The DA in coordination
with its LGU-partners will be conducting similar orientation briefing
in other provinces in the region before the year ends, Mr. Francis
Rosaroso, DA-8 chief information officer said.
Political prisoners in
Southern Tagalog launch hunger strike; slam Arroyo's gov't spent
By KARAPATAN - Southern Tagalog
QUEZON CITY – To
mark their protest against illegal arrest and injustice, political
prisoners detained in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan will go through
fasting starting today, Dec. 3, coinciding with the International
Solidarity for the release of political prisoners.
The indefinite hunger
strike and sympathy fasting of relatives with human rights group
Karapatan - Southern Tagalog (ST) will be simultaneous with other
political prisoners’ detained in Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon and
Rizal provincial jails. This campaign on hunger strike also occurs in
other detentions of political prisoners in different parts of the
A mass will be held at
Camp Bagong Diwa at
9 A.M., followed by the start of the sympathy fasting.
“The funny thing about
our country today is, the state keeps on putting innocent people in
jail while thieves can leave the country. And while political
prisoners die behind bars for made-up criminal charges, the biggest
corrupt politician gets to enjoy a presidential suite in a private
hospital,” said Glen Malabanan from KARAPATAN - ST.
According to news
reports, the said suite in St. Luke’s Hospital, Taguig, where Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo is confined, is worth P50,000 per day. Some of the
amenities inside the suite are a 42 inch plasma television, hot and
cold water dispenser and DVD and VHS players. Arroyo also requested
for a cellphone and laptop for internet access.
On the other hand,
Nestor San Jose, a political detainee in Quezon Provincial Jail has
died due to an illness while detained at the Quezon Provincial Jail
last November 9 due to lack of health assistance by government.
In Batangas Provincial
Jail, several family members of political prisoners will shave their
heads while inmates will get a “Free all political prisoners” tattoo
in solidarity to free all political prisoners.
“It’s a Filipino
customary that once one family member suffers, the others suffer as
well. We call on to the government to free all political prisoners so
that no family will suffer anymore,” said Bishop Arthur Asi of the
United Church of Christ in the Philippines Southern Luzon
The supporters and
family members also stormed in front of Camp Crame today to denounced
the continuing human rights violations in the region. Family members
of victims - Lino Baez father of Noel Baez who was beaten and harassed
by the military in Batangas after declining to be a CAFGU recruit; and
the mothers of Billy Betrina and Maricon Montajes who were illegally
arrested, along with four others from Batangas - supported the event.
Starting today, the
simultaneous programs in different provincial jails and in Bicutan
will start with protest actions at 10 A.M. and a 4 o’clock habit which
is a regular noise barrage every 4 P.M.
LGBTs want DOH's Ona
to resign for anti-gay AIDS pronouncements
MANILA – Human
rights activists recoiled in horror at homophobic remarks made by
Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona before an AIDS convention
and demanded his resignation from office for discrimination against
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations who are part of
the country's priority populations for HIV prevention.
Speaking before the
Plenary Meeting of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) at the
Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Ona suggested the gathered AIDS prevention
workers that parents should reign their homosexual children and get
them tested. He was immediately met with angry hoots and whistles from
"We want Ona ousted.
Bigots do not deserve high government posts, and more so he should not
serve as a chair of PNAC if we do not want his unscientific biases to
taint the good work of our unsung AIDS preventions heroes nationwide,"
said Marlon Lacsamana, the founder of the Philippines LGBT Hate Crime
Watch, a human rights watchdog.
"We're wasting our
hard-earned taxpayers' money on homophobes as he is undoing decades of
evidence-based prevention practices that aim to encourage homosexuals
and transgenders to voluntarily seek testing, counseling, and
treatment. Ona's words will drive LGBTs away from HIV programs and
make us so vulnerable to infections," Lacsamana said.
Oscar Atadero, human
rights officer of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the
Philippines (ProGay) stated that it was very regrettable that Ona
uttered his remarks when the World AIDS Day theme this year is about
“Getting to Zero.” The global call by the United Nations for Zero New
HIV Infections is designed to ensure that most at risk populations (MARPs)
get much improved access to treatment for all.
"Instead of achieving
zero deaths, suggesting that gays, bisexuals and transgenders get
tested en masse will achieve zero access, zero treatment and zero
saved lives. It feels like gays, bisexuals and transgender being given
a marching order to file into gas ovens in Europe during the time of
Hitler," Atadero said.
The Philippines remain
one the countries with punitive anti-gay laws, such as the
Anti-Vagrancy Law, and rampant violence against LGBTs inflicted by
police and village security forces. The UN point out that these anti-LGBT
policies prevent homosexuals, transgenders, and their partners from
accessing life-saving information and treatment.
Rep. Alcover warns of
increased NPA attacks as the CPP’s 43rd founding anniversary nears
By ANAD Partylist
November 30, 2011
QUEZON CITY – The
Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Partylist called on
government security forces to be doubly on alert against increased
Maoist terrorist NPA in the run-up towards the 43rd founding
anniversary of the Maoist terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines
(CPP) on December 26.
“As in their
tradition, they conduct series of harassments and violent attacks,
with impunity, against innocent civilians and government security
facilities from the period covering at least 2 months leading to
December 26,” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover as he reminisced his days in
the Maoist terrorist underground organization when this occasion is
always marked by the blood of innocent Filipinos offered in the altar
of Maoist terrorist revolution.
The burning of several
heavy equipments owned by private contractors of government-funded
projects and the unabated detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),
“Shall intensify as Dec.26, which is also the birth anniversary of Mao
Tse Tung, founder of Maoist communism, draws near,” Rep. Alcover
The recent IED
explosion killing 3 army soldiers a few hundreds of meters from a 69th
IB, PA patrol base in Barangay Guinobatan, Davao City is part of the
NPA’s series of anti-people and anti-government actions leading to the
Dec. 26 founding anniversary celebration.
On the other hand,
Rep. Alcover strikingly slammed the Maoist terrorist group’s
relentless lies and pretensions as it continued to demand the release
of 17 arrested and detained NPA leaders who they claim are NDF
political consultants covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and
“How can they demand
from government when the diskette that Jose Ma. Sison and Luis
Jalandoni boisterously claimed to contain the list of JASIG covered
NDF political consultants turned out to be blank where not even a word
or a letter could be retrieved from it. This is the worst of the many
Maoist terrorist chicanery committed,” he pointed out.
“There should be no
further release of any political detainee unless ordered by the
courts. The release of Maria Luisa Purcray, Jaime Soledad, and
Jovencio Balweg is more than enough to show government’s sincerity in
pursuing peace,” the former NPA political and commanding officer
turned pro-democracy advocate emphasized.
With the scurrilous
lies relentlessly pursued by Joma Sison and his peers, covering some
20 years of peace talks with government, OPAPP Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
now has realized that the 3 year timetable for the peace agreement to
be signed by both the government and Maoists terrorist is impossible
development, ANAD’s position on the peace talks is proven correct. It
is best for government to stop all of these senseless and useless
peace negotiations in order to save taxpayer’s money needed to fund
pro-people and poverty alleviation programs of the government,” Rep.
Women’s rights group
slams special treatment for GMA, deplores situation of women political
By TANGGOL BAYI
QUEZON CITY –
“Hospital detention for a notorious human rights violator like Gloria
Arroyo, who has no life-threatening illness, is special treatment at
its best. This is in stark contrast to the situation of the sick and
elderly women political prisoners and other political prisoners who
are languishing under dire conditions in jail. This is injustice and
double standard at its worst.”
Thus said Cristina
Palabay, convenor of Tanggol Bayi, on the court order issued yesterday
for the transfer of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from St.
Luke’s Hospital in Taguig to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in
Palabay cited the case
of Moreta Alegre, a 65-year old farmer who was imprisoned at the
Correctional Institution for Women together with her husband Jesus and
son Selman because of trumped up charges of murder, and is suffering
with arthritis, hypertension and weak heart due to long years of
“Alegre, together with
her family, was among the vocal critics of land grabbing in their
community in Negros Occidental, when the landlord heaped upon them
fabricated charges of murder to silence their opposition,” she added.
Moreta has been in prison for seven years already.
Thus, the woman leader
demanded that Arroyo should be detained in a regular jail facility, in
the interest of justice, and should not be accorded privileges such as
Tanggol Bayi said that
as of October 31, 2011, there are 356 political prisoners (PPs), 77 of
them were arrested under the Aquino regime. Of this number, there are
35 women political prisoners, 43 sick and 10 elderly PPs. They are
subjected to illegal arrest and detention, extreme torture and unjust
conviction on trumped up charges. Women and children, in particular,
are doubly violated through sexual molestation or rape. Political
prisoners, more often are charged with criminal offenses to deny the
political nature of their case and to reduce them as “common
Award-winning film on
women political prisoners
In line with the
upcoming commemoration of the International Day for Political
Prisoners on December 3, Tanggol Bayi is supporting the screening of
“Ka Oryang,” a film by Sari Dalena, at the Cine Adarna, UP Diliman on
December 2 at 7pm.
“It is my hope that
the film will help raise awareness on the conditions of political
prisoners and the human rights violations they endured during Martial
law that is still happening to this day,” said Dalena.
The film won the Best
Pictures, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Music awards in
the recent Cinema One Originals Film Festival. Alessandra de Rossi,
Joem Bascon and Emilio Garcia stars in this film. “Ka Oryang” is about
a young woman who witnesses the beginnings of a revolution during
Martial Law, giving a glimpse of the lives and experiences of female
political detainees and their struggles.
Originals, UP Cineastes’ Studio, and the UP Film Institute organized
the screening in UP Diliman. Part of the proceeds will be given to
Task Force Freedom, a movement for the release of Maricon Montajes, a
UP film student and political detainee in Batangas City Jail. Montajes,
22 years old, was charged with fabricated charges of illegal
possession of firearms and explosives while she is conducting research
for her film thesis in Batangas.
Another two NPA camps
overran by 20IB troops in Northern Samar
By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
November 28, 2011
BRGY. MAGSAYSAY, Lope
de Vega, Northern Samar – The relentless conduct of focused and
sustained combat operations by the troops of 20th Infantry (We Lead)
Battalion, 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army in
the tri-boundary of municipalities of Catarman, Bobon and Lope de Vega
all of Northern Samar resulted to two encounters on
November 28, 2011.
Lieutenant Colonel Noel Vestuir, Commanding Officer of 20IB, the
operating troops under 2Lt. Joter Lobo PA and 2Lt Al Peter Galula PA,
received information volunteered by some barangay resident that armed
men believed to be CTs (communist terrorists) are present in an area
located in between Barangays San Julian and San Pascual of Catarman,
Early morning, the
troops proceeded to the said area and caught the enemy by surprise.
Firefight ensued for about an hour that forced the enemy to withdraw
towards different directions. The troops were able to overrun the
enemy encampment which has 20 bunkers that could accommodate more or
less 30 communist terrorists. The troops also recovered 460 rounds of
ammunition for M60 machine gun link; one sack of rice; kitchen
utensils and cooking paraphernalia; personal belongings and one bag of
CT documents. The government troops suffered no casualty while on the
enemy side, there are undetermined number of wounded as troops found
traces of bloodstains in the former enemy position.
At 12:30 afternoon of
the same day, the government troops while pursuing the fleeing
communist terrorists, encountered again a group of around sixty (60)
fully armed NPAs about 500 meters from the previous encounter site.
After more than an hour of exchange of fires, the government troops
overran and seized the enemy position which is another encampment. The
said camp has 30 bunkers that can accommodate more or less 60 CTs.
accomplishments by the 20IB troops against the NPAs in the area of 1st
district of Northern Samar have disrupted the impending terroristic
activities that are being hatched to be conducted by the NPA. The
government troops has dislodged them from their guerilla camps and
cut-off their supply support lines that they forcibly take from the
residents in the area. The discovery and seizure of the said camp in
the area was made possible by the information provided by local
populace and is a clear indication that enemy revolutionary
organization has already alienated the people and the communities
where they got their support through their forced extortion
LTC Vestuir, 20IB’s
Commanding Officer commended his troops for a job well done. He
likewise extends his thanks to the people of the area for the timely
information provided to the soldiers. LTC Vestuir also calls for the
fleeing Communist Terrorists to lay down their arms in order to once
again live a decent and normal lives along with their families.
Unfair, inhumane treatment
‘GMA very depress,
shamed, weakened by govt attacks,’ ex-DOJ bares
F. HIBIONADA / PNS
November 27, 2011
ILOILO CITY –
Totally embarrassed. Seriously affected. Sicker and in depression.
While at it, a big victim of propaganda war.
Such summed up the
first-hand observations of former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on
the current physical state and plight of former President Gloria
A staunch ally,
Gonzalez is among the Arroyo loyalists who remain in close contact
with the beleaguered former President now incumbent Representative.
In fact, Gonzalez was with the Arroyos over the weekend with GMA now
under vicious government attack while in hospital arrest.
“We talked…and she
shared her concerns on what is being done against her…the former First
Gentleman (Mike) was saying he could not understand where all the
hatred is coming from and why (President Benigno) Aquino is doing this
to them,” Gonzalez said in an interview with Bombo Radyo’s John
Talento. “But what can she do? What can Gloria do? Let us just
disclosed the changed physical condition of GMA.
“When I was there she
attempted to stand up from her wheelchair. While doing that, she
almost lost her footing...and she lost so much weight,” Gonzalez
Yet depression and
all, the former Justice Secretary expressed optimism on the outcome of
Arroyo’s case as he downplays the government’s supposed evidence.
Such as he also quipped, “for as long as she stays alive.”
from another Arroyo ally Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo who is among those
who has reached out to the ailing former President.
Pelayo in a message to
Ilonggo media contacts decried the unfair treatment of the Aquino
“Accord the former
President due process and respect the law of the land,” came Pelayo’s
message as he also came out in national television in defense of GMA.
analysts are divided on the handling and mis-handling of the Aquino
administration on Arroyo’s case. Yet what is similarly heard is the
shared opinion, that sadder and sicker even are the former Ilonggo
Arroyo people who have now seemingly dumped GMA.
“Give it to Secretary
Raul and the likes of Mayor Pelayo who are real friends and decent
people in government for they are particularly there in GMA’s lowest
time,” said a retired teacher.
“Shame on the other
politicos who made good during PGMA’s term and now not only have
jumped ship to Aquino but has help trample the rights of Gloria,” said
another war veteran.
‘Child criminals’ on
the rise in Bacolod, Iloilo
F. HIBIONADA / PNS
November 27, 2011
ILOILO CITY –
Children as victims and children as suspects are both on the rise
with highest in statistics in
and the Province of Iloilo.
With official figures
released by Police Regional Office (PRO) 6, 2010’s record of 983 total
crimes committed by children is expected to be “outnumbered” this
This as between
January to June of 2011 alone, the total has reached 811 already
topped by Bacolod City with 244. Iloilo Province is 220 to date from
its total of 320 last year.
The 2011 crimes with
children as suspects has theft as number one crime followed by
physical injury. Incidentally, physical injury too is the crime
committed to children.
In Iloilo, theft is
number one as well committed by “child criminals” while rape is a
significant number at 12 child-suspects to date. Illegal possession
of firearms has two on record in Iloilo in contrast to the six of
Even Frustrated and
Attempted Murder and Homicide charges have children as suspects with
six in Iloilo and three in Bacolod.
Good news for Capiz
with the least in child-criminals at “only” 20 to date.
To note, PRO 6 in a
report also released statistics on criminal incidents against children
in Western Visayas Region.
With total recorded
incidents at 1,389 for the period of January to June of 2011 alone,
physical injury and maltreatment top the nature of crimes committed.
In Iloilo province,
physical injury and maltreatment too is the top crime committed
against the children at 181, a near second to Bacolod City’s 186.
Sadly, rape is next
highest in Iloilo crimes with minors as victims at 80 incidents, way
The rest of the
statistics recorded 29 child abuse cases, 25 acts of lascivious
conduct and 12 threats. Further still is 7 on attempted, frustrated
murder and homicide and 4 on seduction and abduction cases.
To note, in 2010
crimes against children reached 2,695 topped then by Negros Occidental
with Iloilo province still the close second.