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Leyte IDOL Season 7 Final 8 named




Leyte lake fishing community block mining barges; Fear threat to fisheries livelihood

By Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
May 1, 2012

MACARTHUR, Leyte  –  Hundreds of fishers from Lake Bito, in Villa Imelda village, decided to block the entry of three mining barges which aim to dredge and clean-up the silt making the lake shallow.

In an emergency community assembly called by the village officials the night of April 29, the community vehemently expressed its opposition to the entry of the mining barges fearing that the disturbance which will be brought by the vibrations of the machine equipment and extraction of silt and sand may cause more fish kills in the lake.

‘The fisherfolks are still suffering from the loss of 21,000 kilos of fish and the investigation on the fish kill is not yet finished, we are now again exposed to another threat which may lead to a more complicated situation,’ said village chief Ronald M. Mentes.

Mentes claimed that no proper public consultation was conducted allowing the dredging of the lake.

‘What we wanted is for the mining company to clean up their silt which blocks the waterways of the lake towards Pamunawan and Saloquege creeks. However, we will not view this as a favor from the mining company, they should be responsible and accountable to whatever mess they caused to the community and ecology,’ explained Mentes.

Located in Barangay Villa Imelda, Lake Bito lies in the middle of prime agricultural land producing rice where more than three companies were given permit called Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), among which is a Chinese mining company currently extracting magnetite sand within an area of more than 7,000 hectares.

It has been observed that heavy siltation from the company’s operation caused the blockage of lake outlet wherein sandbars are gradually forming.

‘We cannot deny the fact that MGB allowed mining in ricefields or close to it, surrounding Villa Imelda, the community around Lake Bito has nowhere to go,’ said Jesus Cabias, president of the newly formed Unahin Lagi ang Diyos - Bito Lake Fisherfolks Association (UNLAD-BLFA).

Cabias asserted that if magnetite sand extraction is not stopped, food security and sufficiency is at stake.

‘Everything is interconnected, whatever you do to the surrounding areas, the lake will still be affected,’ concluded Cabias.

Joining the fisherfolk community, Archdiocese of Palo Social Action Director Fr. Edwin Perito articulated the position of the Catholic Church considering mining as a spiritual and moral issues which continually divides the faithful.

‘It is greed which forces the influential few to the detriment of the majority, denying the people to a balanced and healthful ecology,’ declared Fr. Perito.

Meanwhile, Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, said in an official statement that ‘MacArthur magnetite mining is a clear threat to food security wherein fishery industry in Lake Bito is at stake as well as rice production in the area.’

Garganera claimed that magnetite mining in prime agricultural lands as well as in other areas such as in coastlines and offshore should be stopped considering the present threats of climate change and disasters.

‘The Mining Act of 1995 is not clear on the protection of our agricultural areas – mining is being permitted adjacent to productive farms or within ricefields. It gives mining companies full right over our water resources,’ claimed Garganera.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines.





ANAD condemns NPA attack on a Northern Samar village!

By ANAD Partylist
April 30, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  The pro-democracy Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Partylist strongly condemned Maoist terrorist NPA’s rampage in Brgy. Taylor, Las Navas, Northern Samar killing John Lloyd Elizalde, 4 years old, while inside their house, last April 26.

ANAD field reports disclosed that about 20 Maoist terrorist NPAs entered the village at about 8:00 am of April 26 and indiscriminately fired their firearms with their gun muzzles leveled against the houses in the area. “These (firearms) were not fired just to scare people but purposely to kill with houses in the area peppered with bullet holes. Luckily only the 4-year old boy was killed” the ANAD report stated.

“ANAD shall support, in any way, the human rights complaint that the barangay officials, led by Brgy. Chair Marie Claire Tuling, and other residents shall file against the terrorist NPAs with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Region 8 or in Manila,” said Rep. Alcover.

“This is a clear case of brute force and violence used by Maoist terrorist NPAs to intimidate and harass our innocent and helpless brothers in the countryside to exact complete submission and compliance from them,” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover as he called on government to fully use the force of the law to protect our people against bands of terrorists preying on unarmed and helpless Filipinos.

The same report said that the recent NPA attack was mainly caused by the terrorists’ anger after the residents shied away from a life of fear and violence by utterly refusing to take heed of the terrorists’ orders and demands. “The residents’ decision to stop giving foodstuffs and money every month drew blood out of the NPA leaders in the area,” said a resident who requested anonymity.

ANAD Rep. Alcover called on all Filipinos to close ranks and strengthen further the bond that unites us against the violent and merciless NPAs. “No amount of force could ever break a strong and determined people to stand up against Godlessness and inhumanity!

Violence is the wicked weapon easily used by the Maoist terrorist NPAs against God-fearing Filipinos. But it needs the strong will-power of a people, whose love for freedom and peace reigns high, to effectively confront and oppose all selfish designs and intentions spawned by a violent and Godless ideology,” he stressed.





Northern Samar Village attacked by NPA

April 27, 2012

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City  –  The NPA stormed the village of Brgy Taylor in Las Navas, Northern Samar indiscriminately firing their weapons on civilian community at 8:30 am yesterday that resulted to the killing of a four-year old boy who was inside their house at the time of the attack.

Community development personnel from 63IB who were on their way to the Barangay immediately responded to the scene of the incident to secure the village and protect the people and extended immediate assistance to the victims. The troops also secured the area for investigation by the SOCO Team of the PNP. After which, the troops conducted pursuit operation as the perpetrators fled the area.

The local officials of Brgy Taylor headed by Brgy Chairperson Marie Claire Tuling are now preparing their complaints against the local communist terrorists.

The 63rd Infantry Battalion that secures the area will assist the Brgy officials and the victims in filing a criminal case against the NPA perpetrators as well as complaints before the Commission on Human Rights and the GPH-NDF Joint Monitoring Committee.

This is already the third time in a period of seven (7) months that the NPA staged their attacks on civilian communities.  The local communist terrorists raided Hinabangan, Samar in September 2011 and attacked Lapinig, Northern Samar just this January.





Sambawan beach resort in Maripipi now open to tourists

April 27, 2012

NAVAL, Biliran  –  As local and foreign tourists flock to famous  beach resorts in the country to cool themselves this summer, a newly developed beach resort located southwest in the island municipality of Maripipi particularly in Sambawan islets is now open to tourists.

Mayor Uldarico P. Macorol of Maripipi one of the eight towns in Biliran province informed PIA in an interview that a private developer named Nestor C. Macorol, a Baptist church leader who is engaged in the business of supplying water filter in Manila and who hails from Maripipi, took interest in developing the beach  which started in February this year.

Sambawan beach resort has now four cottages made of native materials and construction of other cottages are on-going, to include four solar panels that provide electricity to the cottages during daytime, two guardhouses and nine steward maintenance who maintain the cleanliness of the resort, Macorol said.

He added that a generator set will be provided to tourists who opt to stay overnight in Sambawan beach resort plus policemen from the municipality who will be dispatched in the area to provide security to tourists.

Macorol confided that the private developer will provide water supply in Sambawan beach resort by installing PVC pipes from the main source of water in the municipality to the resort. Installation of water pipes that will run under the sea will start next month.

Construction of a canteen is on-going to serve the need for food of the tourists and other necessary facility like a function hall for a bigger number of guests who wish to hold meetings in the resort, he disclosed.

Fee for the use of a cottage is pegged at P500 for overnight stay and an entrance fee of P10 per head for adults and P5 per head for children is collected, he added.

Macorol disclosed that Sambawan beach resort can be reached in 10 to 15 minutes through pump boat ride from Barangay Ol-og in Maripipi.

He also informed that a fast craft operated by Ken Flores, who also hails from Maripipi, will be plying the Maripipi-Naval and Naval-Maripipi and Naval-Cebu and Cebu-Naval routes starting next month.

Reservations for Sambawan beach resort have increased since its opening in March, this year, Macorol said.

Many tourists already came to the resort and in fact the members of the local tourism council of the municipality of Kawayan in Biliran province will hold their meeting on Tuesday (May 1) in Sambawan beach resort, Macorol said.

Macorol said, for reservations, anybody who is interested to enjoy and relax at Sambawan beach resort may contact Sonia Alavera, local tourism officer-designate of Maripipi town through cell phone numbers 09995061820, 09159988515 or 09063024712.





ABS-CBN turns-over school building to Borongan

By ALICE NICART, PIA Eastern Samar
April 26, 2012

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  One concrete school building had recently been added to Calingatngan Elementary School, some fifteen minutes ride from the heart of the city.

This was through the generous gesture of ABS-CBN’s “Sagip Kapamilya Foundation”.

Schools Division Superintendent Bernardo Adina thanked the project because according to him the province would be in dire need of classrooms with the upcoming implementation of Kindergarten classes and K+12.

“This turn-over ceremony is a concrete manifestation that the Filipino people believe in education…We need to put together our resources…we have to invest in education if we want to reap a greater return,” Supt. Adina stressed.

This is also a good example of the private-public partnership which is the thrust of the Aquino Administration, he added.

In his message, Mr. Marcel Miñon who represented Ms. Tina Monson-Palma as the Program Director of Sagip Kapamilya Bantay Bata 163 said that the project of the giant TV network is not after any material return from its beneficiaries.

“Hindi po kami nag-aantay ng kapalit, hindi nga po kami nagdala dito ng media upang ipabatid ang kaganapan dito ngayon,” Mr. Miñon said.  “Ibig lang po naming matiyak na ang gusali pong ito ay ginagamit sa pag-aaral ng mga bata, dahil sila po ang tunay na bida dito.  Huwag po sana itong gawing opisina ng principal kagaya po doon sa isang school beneficiary ng Sagip.

For her part, Mayor Ma. Fe Abunda thanked the ABS-CBN project for crossing the archipelago and reaching barangay Calingatngan which is some more minutes ride from the city proper.

However, being sure that chairs did not include Sagip’s donation, Mayor Abunda pledged to give the required number of chairs of the two rooms, but she left word that the building should be taken cared of by the school and barangay and should not be made as a venue for “Tong-it” sessions.

According to the school principal Elden Fuentes, their school has 10 rooms for their 300 pupils, but one building is no longer Child-friendly because of its dilapidated state. According to him the gift of ABS-CBN Kapamilya is very timely and most appreciated.

The P1.2M worth school building was entrusted and constructed by the 546th Engineering Construction Battalion of 53rd Engineering Brigade stationed in the same city.  Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Virgilio Quilana, led the construction which only took them five months to complete.





Tabunan National High School ranks 3rd in 2012 Metrobank-MTAP-DEPED Math Challenge National Finals

By PIA Biliran
April 25, 2012

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Marcia Butastas of Tabunan National High School, Almeria in Biliran province bagged the third place in the 2012 Metrobank-MTAP-DEPED Math Challenge National Finals in the 4th year individual competition category, held in April 20-21 at the  Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Makati City.

Butastas who graduated class valedictorian and the only national contender of Eastern Visiayas in the Metrobank-MTAP-DEPED Math Challenge, was under the supervision of her coach, Mrs. Ana Vero, who accompanied her in Manila for the national competition.

Butastas vied in the 4th Year Individual Competition with students from Fort Bonifacio High School (Makati City); Valenzuela City Science High School; BHC Educational Institution, Inc. (San Fernando City, La Union); Sapang Palay National High School (City of San Jose Del Monte); San Pablo City Science High School; Potter’s Place School (El Nido, Palawan); Tabaco National High School (Tabaco City); Tagum City National High School; and General Santos City High School.

Having won the third place in the national finals, Butastas received P30,000 cash prize.  She said, the amount is of great help in her enrollment in college.

Vero said, Butastas had proven her proficiency in Mathematics since first year in high school when she championed in the Eastern Visayas regional math quiz and ranked third in the same competition when she was in third year.

To satiate her aspiration in the field of Mathematics, Butastas aims at taking BS Accountancy at the University of the Philippines, Vero added.

The annual Metrobank-MTAP-DEPED Math Challenge aims to discover young Math wizards who can compete in international competitions.

The competition is open to elementary and high school students from both public and private schools nationwide.





Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office complies with the profiling and social preparation of former rebels and former militia

By AILENE N. DIAZ, PIA Northern Samar
April 24, 2012

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  Still on the implementation of the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) of the province, the Department of Social Welfare and Development provincial office pushes for the social preparation and profiling of former rebels (FRs) and former militia (FMs) beneficiary of the LSIP under Executive Order Number 2011-10-28-06 series of 2011.

A recollection for the said FRs and FMs facilitated by Social Action Director of the Diocese sets-off the three-day activities followed by a round table discussion (Huruhimangraw) with LSIP implementing agencies discussing each agency’s programs, services and support it could offer to the FRs and FMs.

The local DSWD as the implementor of socio-economic component of the program, identify available interventions from local service providers and explained the socio economic and psycho social to include psycho educational interventions, processes of cash assistance program as well as other available services and opportunities that may be offered to the beneficiaries.

Ms. Ecel Bantilo, a representative from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) discussed and explained the extent of the services the OPAPP also could assist in the said program.

The social preparation and profiling activity according to DSWD, is in preparation for the eventual integration of the said FRs and FMs to the community they want to belong to, based on their needs and preferences and available program resources.

Alongside the program, a psycho emotional healing shall also be facilitated in order to ensure the successful transition of FR and FM to normal and productive civilian life.

The Local Social Integration Program of Northern Samar sets forth its pursuit for a responsive and genuine social integration program in line with the Peace and Security policy of the National Government, focused on winning the peace.

This also seeks to contribute toward achieving the goal of a just, comprehensive and enduring peace in Northern Samar expressing its desire to reintegrate  local rebels into the mainstream of society and encouraging them to return to the folds of the law.





Police brutality and military terror trademark of P-Noy's Oplan Bayanihan – Karapatan

April 24, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  Genasque Enriquez, a Manobo leader from Surigao del Sur expressed sympathy, in behalf of internal refugees or bakwet from Visayas and Mindanao who are in Manila, with the urban poor victims of police brutality in yesterday’s demolition at the Silverio Compound in Sucat, Paranaque.

The bakwet find strong affinity with the residents of Silverio compound as they likened the urban poor situation to the situation of the bakwet. “Here in the urban centers, there is forced eviction of urban poor dwellers in favour of ‘development’; while there is forced evacuation in the countryside, also in the name of ‘development’. Theirs is for commercial purposes for P-Noy’s public-private partnership (PPP); ours is for agri-business plantations and large-scale mining operations. Theirs is police brutality, ours is military combat operations,” said Enriquez, secretary general of Kahugpong sa Lumadnong Organisasyon (KASALO), a CARAGA-wide organization of Lumad. Enriquez attended, along with 130 others, the conference on Internally Displaced People or internal refugees held in Quezon City.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez also said that, “The everyday life of the ordinary Filipino is hard enough with the unabated high prices of basic commodities and oil, the low wages, the endless demolition and the resulting displacement of urban poor dwellers; the life of internal refugees is doubly hard. It is unimaginable to most Filipinos how it is to be uprooted from the community that is your home from birth.”

Genasque Enriquez added that, “yearly, we are forced to leave our communities, our farms that are ready for harvest; our children had to stop schooling, only to seek shelter in unfamiliar places, sleep in cold cemented floors in gyms, basketball courts or school halls, bear the sweltering heat of makeshift tents; and rely on donated food and medicine. When we go back to our communities all our efforts to build and develop our communities and to secure our children’s future are destroyed. Our harvested crops are thrown out on the roads, our houses and the schools we built are ransacked and vandalized. We are endlessly building and rebuilding our lives amidst the turmoil created by military presence and activities in their lands. Worst, we are treated like dirt by some government and military officials who are sworn to protect our rights as human beings.”

Karapatan has documented more than 6,500 victims of combined forced eviction and forced evacuation from the time P-Noy assumed the Presidency until the first quarter of 2012. According to Marie Hilao-Enriquez, “this number does not include those who were harassed and intimidated; those who were wounded and hit by bomb shrapnel or by the military’s indiscriminate firing, or the number of people, including minor, who were used as guide in navigating the forest areas, or shield by the military during their operations and the number of schools and other public places which the military used for their purpose.”

Victims of forced evacuation and rights groups also called on the P-Noy government to stop military operations, bombings and airstrikes in the countryside and to immediately pull out military troops, especially in peasant communities and ancestral lands of Moro and indigenous peoples. The delegates of the conference on Internally Displaced People yesterday lit candles along E. Rodriguez Ave. in Quezon City to show their sympathy with the residents of Silverio Compound and express their protest over the reported death of four protesters, scores of wounded and the arrest of at least 33 others.





Joma’s anti-China rhetoric scored!

By ANAD Partylist
April 24, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  “Double-edged, highly deceptive, and fully tainted with lies! Show to us that you are true to your words by vandalizing and defacing the seal of the Chinese embassy, in the same way you’ve done to the US embassy, in Manila!” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover in reaction to the statements recently issued by Maoist terrorist iconic leader Jose Ma. Sison to Communist China’s bullying the country in the disputed Panatag Shoal (internationally known as Scarborough Shoal), off Zambales province.

“Since the death of Mao Tse Tung, Communist China does not recognize and has stopped supporting Sison’s Communist Party of the Philippines and its tentacles. But like any other communist country and organization in the world they remain united under the spirit of Internationalism and against a historical and common enemy – the United States of America!” said Rep. Alcover.

The sole pro-democracy solon added that the present Communist Chinese leadership veered away from espousing the Marx-Lenin-Mao Tse Tung Thoughts (MLMT), the bible of Maoist communism that until today is obsessed in establishing a Utopic boundary-less, a common state and system of governance, “Immediately after Chairman Mao’ death, Deng Xiao Peng’s ascendancy to power saw the revision of its entire system of governance: the Communist Party maintaining firm grip on the country’s politics but opening, to some degree, its economy and industrial development to the capitalist world.

During the many years that China was firmly under Mao’s control, the late Deng was jailed for his ‘revisionist’ views against Mao’s doctrines,” he said.

In calling on the people to understand communism and nationalism better, Rep. Alcover said that the two are basically opposed from each other, in theory and practice. “Communism espouses internationalism that seeks to eliminate territorial boundaries among nations, the means of production owned by all, and the distribution of the same made available to all; while nationalism demands unwavering love and devotion to a country,” Rep. Alcover emphasized.

The former NPA political and commanding officer turned staunch pro-democracy advocate said that Joma Sison, chair of the Internal League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), is the acknowledged leader of the international Maoist communists grouping in the world. “While Joma and his peers in the local CPP-NPA-NDF openly are expressing anti-Communist China posturing, this is purely temporary. This is the result of the pressure brought about by the Filipino people’s public opinion strongly rejecting their anti-Balikatan pocket protest actions, in the different parts of the country,” said Rep. Alcover adding that the Joma ordered anti-China protest actions is full of gutter lies and dubious yet perplexing pretensions.

“There’s nothing wrong with us invoking the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US, who for many decades are admittedly ‘Our Big Brother’. This is one of the many responsibilities and obligations that we, a sovereign country, must faithfully adhere and further enhance, but never to obliterate, the era of Political Interdependence among nations of the free world,” Rep. Alcover said.





DSWD-8 announces schedule of prov’l orientation, interview of its internship program

April 23, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 8 through its regional director Leticia T. Diokno issued Monday the schedule of provincial orientation and deliberation for its applicants of the Expanded Government Internship Program (EGIP).

For Leyte, schedule of interview and orientation will be on April 24-25 at the 2nd Floor of the Prudential Bank building, in front of Gaisano Capital in Tacloban City while in Ormoc City, it will be conducted at the Pamtawid Pamilya Operations Office near Gaisano in Ormoc City on April 30.

For Southern Leyte, interview and orientation will be on April 25 at the provincial Social Welfare and Development Office in Maasin.

For Samar, interview and orientation will be on April 26 at the Pantawid Pamilya Provincial Operations Office, Moratal building, San Francisco St., Catbalogan City.

For Eastern Samar, interview and orientation will be on April 27 at the Operations Office of the Pantawid Pamilya located near the Metrobank building in Borongan City.

For Biliran, interview and orientation will be done also on April 27 at the Provincial Capitol building in Naval.

And for Northern Samar, interview and orientation will be on April 30 at the Cluster Office of the Pantawid Pamilya in Catarman.

DSWD-8 is hiring 7,634 workers regionwide, specifically in-school youth/students, out-of-school youth, college graduates/vocational course graduates who are unemployed, aged 18-30 years old.

Those who will qualify will have a hands-on experience in working with the DSWD, either in centers, institutions, field offices, or at the communities where they come from to assist in the implementation of the agency’s programs and projects such as Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, Supplemental Feeding, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Cash For Work and Day Care Service.

Application forms are now available at the DSWD-8 office website or at the regional office located along Magsaysay Boulevard, Tacloban City and at the Pantawid Pamilya Provincial/City/Municipal Operations Office.



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