COTS outbreak in Ormoc
By RONNIE C. ROA
ORMOC CITY –
Alarming number of COTS was seen here in Ormoc. The outbreak was
confirmed last Sunday, March 4, after Irish Belmonte of Animal
Production and Fisheries Division of the City Agricultural Services
Office collected almost 400 pieces of COTS in just 2 hours of diving
in more or less 200 square meters inside the fish sanctuary in
Barangay Ipil, this city.
COTS or Crown-of
Thorns Starfish, dap-ag in local term are marine invertebrates that
feed on coral and occur naturally on reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific
region. When conditions are right for COTS to multiply, they can reach
plague proportions and devastate the hard coral population on affected
reefs. COTS with scientific name of Ancanthaster Planci is a large
nocturnal starfish reaching to 60 cm in diameter with an average of 17
arms and numerous sharp and poisonous thorns and could be found two to
20 meters, and sometimes deeper.
Late of February, COTS
outbreak was reported in Padre Burgos,
Southern Leyte. This was prompted city’s marine bio advocates to
check Ormoc waters. The first checking was just tolerable after the
Bantay Dagat collected only 5 pieces. But last Thursday, March 1, the
group collected over a hundred of COTS.
Last Sunday, Belmonte
and Bantay Dagat took a dive to collect the harmful starfish. The
group observed dead corals because of this marine pest. They used
sticks to get the COTS for it is thorny and poisonous once it touches
any part of human skin. They immediately buried the collected 381
COTS in the shore.
Belmonte said that
they will collect COTS daily in all fish sanctuaries in Ormoc to
prevent the rapid increase of population. They don’t want COTS to
destroy and wasted their efforts in taking good care of the fish
sanctuaries in Ormoc, she said.
No. 1 most wanted
person in Dagami captured
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – PNP PRO 8, in its effort to fast track the service of
warrants and the accounting of wanted persons in line with the
implementation of LOI “Manhunt Charlie” has conducted a simultaneous
arrest of Most Wanted Persons in Dagami, Leyte.
On March 5, 2012 at
Barangay Camonoan, Dagami, Leyte, three (3) wanted persons in a span
of 24 hours including the recommended number 1most wanted person in
the municipal level was captured by the joint elements of ORID, PRO 8
Tracker team led by PSI Denvir Lazaro Revita, PInsp Red Voloso Prejula
and PInsp Kenny Llanza Tantiado and Dagami Municipal Police Station
led by PSI Romulo Germones Alvarina.
This resulted to the
arrest of Jerwin Besa Demeterio, 29 years old, married, farmer and a
resident of said place ranking as the number 1 in the list of Top Ten
MWPs in Dagami MPS.
Demeterio was arrested
by virtue of Warrant of Arrest for the crime of Murder docketed under
Criminal Case Number BN-11-03-4644 and case for Qualified Theft of
Coconuts docketed under Criminal case Number BN-10-10-4610, both cases
filed before the RTC 8, Branch 15, Burauen, Leyte.
simultaneous arrest was then effected to two (2) other wanted persons
identified as Juliebert and Juanito Demeterio, both residents of same
barangay accused for Qualified Theft of Coconuts filed before the same
On the same instance,
the younger brother identified as Jomar Besa Demeterio was also
arrested while in actual possession of a homemade shotgun with three
(3) live ammunitions.
Said arrested persons
are now facing charges filed against them by the court.
PNP Chief PDG
Nicanor Bartolome reported recently the downtrend of crime rate over
the past two years. The decreasing trend was recorded from a “Total
Crime Volume” of 502,665 cases in 2009 to only 246,958 in 2011,
indicating a steady decline in the commission of crime with an average
monthly decrease of 3.57 percent until the end of 2011.
recognizes Kito Mendoza leadership; TUCP lauds NAPC for not bowing to
Herrera rump group
MANILA – President Noynoy Aquino recognized the leadership of Democrito “Kito” Mendoza as
the duly president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)
despite a series of desperate attempts of its disgraced former
Secretary-General and former Sen. Ernesto Herrera to steal the
Aquino appointed TUCP
nominee Rosalinda Manabat, as Sectoral Representative of National
Anti-Poverty Commission’s Formal Labor and Migrant Workers (NAPC-FMLW).
Manabat was formally sworn in office yesterday in a ceremony at the
office of Secretary Joel Rocamora, lead convenor of the NAPC.
With the appointment
of Manabat into the NAPC council, Mendoza said the TUCP’s decent work
agenda, specifically the workers’ security of tenure, will continue to
be integrated with the anti-corruption and anti-poverty policies and
initiatives of the Aquino government.
lauded Aquino and Rocamora for not caving in to the pressure imposed
by Herrera and his rump group, who were accused of alleged corruption
and attempted to illegally grab the TUCP leadership.
“I commend Secretary
Rocamora for refusing to act on the nominee of Mr. Herrera of a
so-called TUCP representative in the NAPC. Mr. Herrera has been
replaced as the Secretary-General of TUCP and therefore he has no
authority to appoint any TUCP representative as part of the NAPC
Formal Labor and Migrant Workers (FMLW) Sectoral Representative,”
Herrera has been voted
out and replaced by TUCP General Council on January 24 and is now
undergoing expulsion proceedings for financial anomalies, loss of
confidence and gross mismanagement of TUCP affairs during his tenure.
He has no authority whatsoever to represent the TUCP or to appoint
anyone as TUCP representative in any offices, Mendoza emphasized.
The next day, January
25, he attempted to takeover TUCP offices and control the compound in
Quezon City in an apparent attempt to seize documents, records, and
dossiers proving his alleged complicity to financial wrongdoing.
Herrera was replaced
by Victorino Balais, president of long-time TUCP affiliate Philippine
Trade and General Workers Organization (PTGWO).
Herrera wrote Rocamora
telling the NAPC on February 1 that “he (Herrera) has taken over as
TUCP President” and he is appointing Rafael Mapalo as TUCP
representative in the NAPC Formal Labor and Migrant Workers.
Rocamora wrote back
and told Herrera that “NAPC’s official relations with TUCP have been
with the Mendoza leadership. Having maintained official relations with
TUCP through the Mendoza leadership in all NAPC undertakings in the
labor sector and with the House of Representatives, it will be
imprudent for us to simply acquiesce to your letter telling us that
you have “taken over as TUCP President.”
The TUCP is also
conducting an ongoing third-party financial audit of projects and
grants-in-aid given by the government, international and local
affiliates to support TUCP projects that benefit workers and their
families during Herrera’s tenure.
The NAPC was
created by RA 8425, otherwise known as Social Reform and Poverty
Alleviation Act which took effect on June 1998. The Act
institutionalizes the government’s Social Reform Agenda which enjoins
NAPC to strengthen and invigorate the partnerships between the
national government and the basic sectors including the TUCP.
LGUs to highlight
women’s role in disaster risk reduction and management during Women’s
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
TACLOBAN CITY – The
key role of women in disaster risk reduction and management shall be
among the highlights of the activities that will be conducted by local
governments nationwide as they celebrate Women’s Month this March,
according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
“It is high time that
we accentuate women’s involvement in disaster preparedness, risk
reduction, recovery and rehabilitation,” said Robredo, adding that
"they (women) too play an equally important role in these efforts."
The theme for this
year’s celebration, “Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance and
Accountability, Everyone’s Responsibility,” underscores the role of
women as powerful agents of change in disaster risk reduction.
In his directive to
provincial governors, city and municipal mayors and punong barangays,
the DILG Secretary also urged them to undertake activities that will
help contribute to the building of gender-responsive, resilient and
accountable communities that are prepared for any disaster that may
come their way.
include the following: kick-off parade and tree-planting activity;
local school board policy formulation prescribing each student to
plant and nurture a tree; community information caravan on the Magna
Carta of Women, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction;
convocation on the role of women in disaster preparedness, risk
reduction, recovery, rehabilitation and climate change adaptation; and
recognition of women or women organizations or associations and their
significant contributions during disasters and typhoons.
Director Pedro A. Noval who was invited to open the conference of the
regional federation of women legislators in
City, stressed on the need for government to provide the equalizing
environment through good governance and accountability so that women
and their children would be less vulnerable to calamitous situations.
“Money lost to
corruption is money that could have been well-spent, through needed
infrastructure or social welfare projects including those benefitting
women and their children”, said Dir. Noval. He revealed that his
office would be redoubling its efforts to promote transparency in all
Secretary Robredo said
local governments should ensure that local disaster risk reduction and
climate change adaptation strategies and plans are gender-responsive.
He also encouraged
them to focus their activities on sustaining the national and local
advocacy on the implementation of RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women
and the Millennium Development Goals focusing on MDG7 which is
ensuring environmental sustainability.
For greater community
awareness and participation, LGUs may display streamers in public
places and post their program of activities in conspicuous places,
their websites, local newspapers and broadcast in radio stations.
celebration of Women’s Month is provided for under Presidential
Proclamation Nos. 224 and 227 which declared March of every year as
Women’s Month, and the first week of March as Women’s Week and March 8
as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day, respectively. Likewise,
Republic Act 6949 has declared March 8 as National Women’s Day and the
whole month of March as Women’s Role in History Month.
ANAD condemns alleged
coup plot against PNoy
By ANAD Partylist
QUEZON CITY – “The
pro-democracy Alliance for Democracy and Nationalism (ANAD) Partylist
strongly denounce and condemn any move to grab power from our
country’s duly constituted leaders in government!”
This is ANAD
Partylist’s reaction to Senator Antonio Trillanes’ statement that some
elements are using the ‘red scare’ to recruit soldiers for a coup plot
to oust President Aquino III. “Even if we submit that indeed the
communists, both Maoist and socialists, have gained more influence
(notoriety) in the PNoy administration, we don’t believe or we’ll go
out in support any form of power grab because, based on our
experience, any coup bears down heavily against our economy and
political stability. If this happens, God forbid, the Maoist terrorist
and other communists in the country will rejoice, be grateful to those
behind the coup, and shall heap unquantifiable praises to Mao Tse Tung,
Karl Marx, and Vladimir Lenin!” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover.
The lone pro-democracy
solon pointed out that in the more than 28 years of ANAD’s existence,
“Our position then and now is consistent! We abhor and strongly is
against the use of firearms and bullets to confront and oppose Maoist
terrorism. ANAD waged our campaign solely by way of educating our
people on the evils of communism so as provide them wider horizons and
understanding on the threat that facing our country,” he added.
On the other hand,
Rep. Alcover describe Sen. Trillanes’ claim as “nagpapapansin lang”
and for propaganda mileage to attract President Aquino III and other
stalwarts of the Liberal Party’s attention. “As a leader of an extreme
rightist group, Sen. Trillanes just wanted to be actively involved in
partisan politics for the survival of his group,” he added.
“With the seeming
tripartite grouping, e.g. the PNoy’s Liberal Party-Akbayan of Roland
Llamas-Makabayan of Joma Sison and Satur Ocampo, Trillanes’ wanted his
Magdalo to get in and put-up a quadripartite political force under the
LP in the run-up towards the 2013 elections,” Rep. Alcover explained.
“In this case, the
political spectrum is complete with the extreme right and the extreme
left forces joined under President Aquino III’s political bandwagon,
the Liberal Party,” he stressed.
“Surely, this would
not escape anyone’s appreciation of facts in the light of the several
denials made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the
reported coup plot against PNoy,” said Rep. Alcover.
However, the former
NPA political and commanding officer called on the Filipino people to
remain vigilant against people who wanted to ‘ride on the tiger’. “We
should be watchful against the forces of evil who wanted to ride on
any and every opportunity, specially the election on 2013, to advance
their respective personal and political agenda,” Rep. Alcover
8ID troops seize NPA
explosive factory in Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
Catbalogan City – Government troops seized an NPA explosive factory
in the hinterlands of the Municipality of Paranas, Samar in the early
morning of March 5.
While the soldiers
performed community work in the barangays of Paranas, some residents
informed the soldiers of an existing explosive production facility by
the NPA in an area at the boundary of Barangays Santo Nińo and
Pagsanjan. According to the residents, their safety is threatened by
the illegal activity not only because it is illegal but also because
the explosives the NPA produce is used to destroy innocent lives and
Guided by concerned
residents in the locality, the soldiers reached the vicinity of the
suspected camp at about 5AM of March 5.
The NPA manning in the
camp were caught off-guard with the arrival of the soldiers prompting
them to engage in a brief firefight as they escaped. In the course of
the armed engagement, Sergeant Freddie C Gusoso was hit at the thigh.
The soldiers eventually overran the camp and seized the following war
- 44 pieces improvised landmines;
- One unit machine for landmine production;
- 20 pieces blasting caps with detonating cords;
- Assorted explosive production paraphernalia;
- One B40 type rocket launcher;
- One improvised round for B40 type rocket launcher;
- One M16 Rifle with SN:189748
Sergeant Gusoso was
safely evacuated to
RTR Hospital in
Tacloban City for medical treatment.
The soldiers are now
investigating the recovered pieces of evidence from the site with the
help of the local PNP and the community.
With the volume and
quality of explosives recovered and the geographic location of Samar
Island, MajGen. Mario Chan, the Commander of 8ID believes that the
seized NPA explosive factory has produced landmines for NPA terrorists
in the Bicol Region and Northern Mindanao.
Financial woes move
more women to work, provide for family
CEBU CITY – Lady Canonigo, 45, used to stay at home doing the household chores while
her husband is working. But times have change, prompting Lady Canonigo
to find work to help her husband in feeding their four children.
With the unstable
income of her husband who works as a contractual driver, Canonigo
decided to earn an income selling fish in Barangay Tangke, Talisay
Now, through the
combined hard work of Canonigo and her husband, two of their four
children will receive their college diploma this month.
“If I stayed in the
house, doing laundry and cleaning, I don’t think my children would
have finished their studies,” she said in Cebuano.
Canonigo, a client of
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Micro-finance, is among the
increasing number of women who is assisting their spouses to provide
for the family amid the challenging financial times.
This does not mean,
though, that men should feel weak with the changing roles of women
today, according to sex and gender development sociologist Aldwin
“Both husband and wife
can benefit with this change. The nurturing instinct is developed
among men and leadership skills among women,” Empaces said in an
interview with Pagtuki, the official radio program of RAFI aired every
Saturday at 10-11 a.m. over dyLA.
In celebration of
Women’s Month in March, Pagtuki featured women entrepreneurs.
Empaces pointed out
that stereotyping on the roles of women and men should not have a
place in this generation.
“What we need is a
place for acceptance of change. We have not reached that level of
total acceptance. We are still in the stage of complete tolerance.
There should be no concept like ‘lalaki dapat..., babaye dapat...’.
The acceptance should begin at home,” he said.
He said that what is
nice with the Filipino culture is its openness to change in terms of
Canonigo admitted that
her husband was reluctant in letting her open her business. “Maybe it
was his pride which made him reluctant, because he believes that a man
should provide for his family. In the end, he agreed,” she recalled in
One factor that
brought the shifting of role of women is the economic challenges in
the society, said Empaces. The current economy demands that one
breadwinner in the family isn't enough, he added.
LADLAD cries foul on
banning of gay performers in Puerto Galera
By LADLAD Partylist
PASIG CITY – The partylist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos,
Ladlad cried foul on the alleged banning of gay performers in Puerto
Galera. The party has called for a dialogue with the local officials
in the island if the news report were true.
“I will personally
visit Puerto Galera and have a dialogue with the local officials about
this matter,” said Ms. Bemz Benedito, first Congressional nominee of
Last Sunday, Ladlad
members reacted to news reports saying that bar owners were
complaining to the local government officials of Puerto Galera for
disallowing gay talents to perform in a show due to lewdness. The
owners reportedly were alarmed because their coffers will surely get
affected because their patrons are always looking for the gay
“This is a clear
violation of their right to work,” Benedito said. “Ladlad will oppose
the approval of this measure,” she added.
On the same report,
the chairman of one of the towns of Puerto Galera already refuted the
claims of the bar owners, saying that they were only reprimanding the
gay performers to tone down the language they are using on stage.
Ladlad further said,
the remedy is an ordinance to prohibit children and an age cap on who
to allow in entering such comedy bars. Prejudice must not set in this
case especially to gay performers.
“In a comedy bar,
children should not be allowed because of the sensitivity of the
language being used in this kind of entertainment. Besides you cannot
control the performers on what to say and do on stage,” Benedito
stressed. “In television, you have an agency that reviews and
classifies programs that suits the right age of its viewers,” Benedito
Leading scientist deplores lax Philippine rules on GMO trials
biologist says the government’s rubber stamp regulatory measures on
GMOs akin to using “Filipino kids as guinea pigs”
QUEZON CITY –
Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, one of the world’s leading experts on
genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Tuesday scored the Philippine
government’s policy of allowing open field trials of GMO crops despite
the absence of prior testing in confined laboratory conditions,
calling the practice dangerous and unscientific.
The French molecular
biologist – who is also the President of the Scientific Council for
Independent Research on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) and a leading
expert on GMO effects on the environment – is currently in Manila to
support the campaign by local groups opposing government sanctioned
environmental releases of GMOs in the country.
Despite the absence of
scientific proof establishing their safety, more than 58 varieties of
GMO crops have already been approved by the Department of Agriculture
for importation and processing either as food or feed, including GMO
food corn. The Philippines is the first and only country in Asia to
have allowed a GMO food crop to be commercially planted. The Bureau
of Plant Industry (BPI), the government agency tasked with regulating
GMOs, has also approved 67 additional genetic modifications of plants,
or “transformation events.”
“At the most basic
level, science requires that experiments adhere to the Precautionary
Principle, which means that whenever scientific consensus is not
reached regarding possible harmful effects of an action or policy,
those taking the action or implementing the policy are required to
protect the public and have the burden of proof to eliminate plausible
harm,” said Seralini. “Unfortunately, existing Philippine regulatory
policies do not really require GMO proponents to produce thorough and
convincing scientific proof that GMOs pose no hazards on human health
and the environment.” With numerous peer-reviewed research studies on
this topic published in international scientific journals, Seralini
presented and discussed his findings in a forum held at the Sulo Hotel
Seralini’s analyses of
GMO experimental data, on the other hand, reveal evidence of their
increasing negative impacts on animal health. For example, he cites a
ninety day test on rats conducted by the GMO developers themselves,
which shows signs of toxicity in the livers and kidneys of mammals
eating commercialized or pre-commercialized GMOs, such as soya, corn
or eggplant filled with herbicides or insecticides (mostly Roundup
Ready or Bt plants).
With other scientists,
Seralini has been calling on proponents to first eliminate harmful
effects of GMOs, like hepatorenal toxicity (rapid deterioration of
kidney functions), through confined and sustained laboratory testing
first, before attempting to introduce GMO varieties into the
environment via field trials.
“It is dangerous and
irresponsible policy to allow the environmental releases of GMOs,
especially when their long-term safety has yet to be scientifically
established. Releasing these risky crops into our environment and into
our diets could have far reaching and irreversible consequences on
human health, ecological integrity and food security,” said Daniel
Ocampo, Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Sustainable Agriculture
added that the government’s reckless policy on GMO approvals will
inevitably lead to “using Filipino kids as guinea pigs!”
Both Seralini and
Greenpeace point out that the government’s lax policies on GMOs
undermine the r Philippine Organic Agriculture Act, a flagship program
of the Department of Agriculture under the Aquino administration.
GMOs and organic crops is a myth propagated by GMO proponents,” added
Ocampo. “Time and again, studies have shown that GMO varieties
eventually contaminate and overpower conventional and organic crops,”