New LP members sworn in from Leyte’s fourth district
By Provincial Media
May 31, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – New members of the Liberal Party (LP) from Leyte’s
fourth District participated in a mass oath-taking Tuesday
administered by Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary
Jesse Robredo at Oriental Hotel in Palo, Leyte.
Mayor Saturnino Medina Jr. of Isabel, Mayor Michael Torrevillas of
Matag-ob and Vice-Mayor Sixto dela Victoria of Albuera led the rooster
of new members from Leyte and were joined by their respective
vice-mayors and Sangguniang Bayan members. Palompon Mayor Ramon Onate
who was not present during the oathtaking would also be joining the
In his message, Sec. Robredo rallied the newly sworn in members to
actively join President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino in advocating a
corrupt-free government and that by joining the administrative party,
the new members are offering their whole commitment as well in making
the party’s idealisms realized.
The interior secretary admitted in his speech that party is widening
up its membership not only for 2013 but more importantly for 2016.
It was learned that the Liberal Party has continuously conducted
‘Basic Orientation Seminar on Liberal Democracy’ for new members and
the mass oath-taking is part of the party’s goal to rebuild the LP and
make it the most dominant political party in the country.
New members are required to attend a basic orientation on the party
ideology before they could become full members as new Liberals.
Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla and Leyte Fourth District Rep. Lucy
Torres-Gomez made way for the oathtaking of the new LP members.
Gov. Petilla urged new members to believe in and support the cause of
the party. The party’s battlecry is “Sa daang matuwid, asenso’y walang
The governor also added that the continuation of the reform agenda is
also one of the important reason why the LP is strengthening itself
from the ground up.
mayors, vice mayors and councilors also took oath as new members of
the party widening and strengthening in the province of Leyte.
More NPA camps discovered in Samar and Leyte
By DPAO, 8ID PA
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Four (4) more NPA camps were
discovered by the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division (8ID),
Philippine Army (PA) troops in different locations in Samar and Leyte.
In an earlier report, the Army stated that from January to date five
(5) NPA camps were seized after an encounter, while more or less 40
abandoned NPA camps were discovered in Samar and Leyte Island, which
indicates that the rebels are always on the run to avoid pursuing
On May 19, 2012 composite troops coming from 81st Division
Reconnaissance Company and Cafgu Active Auxiliary from Bravo Company,
52nd IB led by 1Lt Michael N Madayag recovered another rebel
encampment at vicinity Brgy Gecboan, Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar
which can accommodate 70 people. On May 22, 2012, elements of Charlie
Company, 78th Infantry Battalion, 8ID, PA under 2Lt Mojahiden C
Guimadel also discovered an abandoned rebel encampment at vicinity
Jaro-Ormoc boundary which can contain 20 rebels. In addition, the
latest recovered camp by the government troops happened on May 21,
2012 by the elements of Bravo Company, 19th Infantry Battalion under
2Lt Frederick Julius Mariano Dela Cruz at vicinity Sitio Kanbalantaw,
Brgy Canhandugan, Jaro, Leyte which can accommodate 30 NPAs. Further,
on May 29, 2012 elements of 87th IB under 2Lt Verniel D Semblante
recovered enemy encampment at vicinity Brgy Caulayan, Motiong, Samar
which can contain around 20 terrorist NPA members.
The camps are being utilized by the NPA as staging areas for their
terroristic acts such as land mine production which is a clear
violation on Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law.
In his statement, BGen Gerardo T Layug, Commander, 8ID, PA said that
the Army will continuously conduct focused military operations in the
identified lairs of the NPA in order to establish a peaceful
environment and allow development to come-in, especially in the remote
areas. “As our military operations continue, I instructed my men to
strictly follow the Rule of Law and put the safety our people as the
primary consideration,” Layug said. Layug also reiterated his call for
the NPA members to lay down their arms and join the government in
finding a peaceful solution to the insurgency problem in the region.
Filipino activists hold picket at UN over rights abuses
Hullabaloo about chief
justice conviction diverts attention from outstanding rights impunity
By Philippine UPR Watch
GENEVA – Filipino activists, Geneva-based migrants, and
representatives from international NGOs conducted a picket-protest in
front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to
express their criticism of the Philippine government report
immediately after the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at
the UN Human Rights Council last Tuesday, tagging the report as
‘selective,’ with the PH government drowning their dismal compliance
to international human rights instruments with their so-called
The Philippine UPR Watch delegation in Geneva said “the GPH report
failed to mention that state authorities have yet to arrest several
notorious human rights violators such as Maj. General Jovito Palparan,
while there is much gloating on the enactment of few local legislation
and ratifications of some international instruments.”
“Palparan’s continued evasion of arrest and mockery of justice
exemplifies the prevalent climate of impunity. This is probably the
reason why the GPH failed to mention this important fact -- to gloss
over the non-existence of justice for victims of human rights
violations in the country and the continuing spate of rights abuses,”
stated Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan and member of the
Philippine UPR watch delegation in Geneva.
Present during the picket were Fiipino-American activist and torture
and disappearance survivor Melissa Roxas and Aklan municipal councilor
Ernan Baldomero, son of slain councilor Fernando Baldomero, the first
victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration.
Leaders from Karapatan, NCCP, Tanggol Bayi, NUPL, Bayan, KAMP,
MCPA-Kawagib, Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Defend Job
Philippines, Cordillera People’s Alliance, Promotion of Church
People’s Response, IFI-Ramento Project for Rights Defenders, Migrante
International, Peace for Life, International Coordinating Committee on
Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP) and Campaign for Human Rights
in the Philippines-United Kingdom and CHRP-Switzerland also attended
the picket in full view of diplomats, pedestrians and tourists.
In a post-UPR forum at the World Council of Churches today, Atty. Edre
Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers
and member of the Philippine UPR watch delegation, said that “it is
totally unacceptable that with all the powers, resources and machinery
of the government, Gen. Palparan, remains out there. If President
Aquino has thrown all his weight, power and supposed popularity to
make dead sure that Chief Justice Corona is convicted at all costs,
why can’t he do the same thing to bring behind bars the poster boy of
the most horrendous kinds of human rights violations?”
Olalia pointed out that “more than the rightful conviction of the
Chief Justice for valid charges, the immediate arrest, speedy
prosecution and certain punishment of remorseless and incorrigible
human rights violators would inspire greater interest and create
lasting impact to the international community more than the hullabaloo
and inordinate fixation on the impeachment trial.”
The Philippine UPR Watch delegation noted that the “breaking-news”
glowing announcement by the Philippine government that the Chief
Justice was convicted ostensibly for corruption was met with muted
disinterest and lethargic reaction at the UN Human Rights Council
VP Binay: 3 OFWs spared from death penalty in Sabah
By OVP Media
May 30, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has announced that
three Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) have been spared the death
penalty in Sabah after receiving pardons from the Malaysian
The Philippine embassy in Malaysia identified the three as Basir Omar,
Jaliman Salleh and Aldipal Hadani.
In his talk with Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman on
Tuesday, Binay, Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns, thanked the
Malaysian government for granting the pardons.
“We sincerely appreciate the grant of pardon and see it as further
validation of the strong ties between the Philippines and Malaysia,"
In January this year, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo
Malaya called on Sabah Governor and Pardons Board Chairman Tun Datuk
Seri Panglima, and requested for his intervention to commute the death
sentences of six Filipinos, including the three.
The Pardons Board handed down on May 22 a decision commuting the death
sentence of Omar to 13 years and 7 months. The new sentence will
commence its counting from the date of pardon.
Meanwhile, the death sentences for Salleh and Hadani were reduced to
15 years imprisonment in a decision rendered on May 14 in Kota
The two were arrested on July 8, 2008 in Kota Kinabalu when police
found 867.1 grams of cannabis in their bags, and were sentenced to
death by the Sabah High Court on June 25, 2010.
The Vice President cautioned Filipinos in Malaysia not to be lured by
criminal syndicates into becoming drug mules or to engage in the
illegal drug trade.
Ochoa to CESOs: Help gov’t stamp out corruption
May 30, 2012
MALACAŃANG – Saying that the Aquino administration is serious in
weeding out grafters and corrupt officials from government, Executive
Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday asked civil servants to
shun this practice that has plagued the bureaucracy and help rebuild
the moral foundation in public service.
At the 2011 Gawad CES Awards and the mass oath-taking of newly
appointed and promoted career executive service officers (CESOs) in
Malacanang, Ochoa said public servants could become agents of change
and contribute in putting an end to irregularities in government.
“Don’t allow yourselves to become participants in any of the
wrongdoings you see in government. It would be a big help in our
campaign against graft and corruption,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa explained that the events at the recently-concluded impeachment
trial that led to the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona for
betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution
should open the eyes of the public and civil servants that the reforms
being undertaken by the administration were beyond personalities.
“From the start, we are very much aware of the problems that we’re
confronting. Graft and corruption is on top of the list and this our
best chance, under this administration, to really institute reforms
needed to fight graft and corruption,” the Executive secretary said.
Ochoa said he was optimistic that the administration would be able to
lay down a strong moral foundation in public service and would be able
to curb graft and corruption by the end of President Benigno S. Aquino
III’s term in 2016.
“This administration is serious and committed in its campaign to fight
graft and corruption,” Ochoa said. “And I think, if we believe in
that, we cannot go wrong and together we can push forward and move
VP Binay: Malaysia supports PHL call for UNCLOS-based resolution to
Panatag Shoal issue
President Jejomar C. Binay on Tuesday called on Malaysian Prime
Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak at the Prime Minister's office
in Putrajaya. The meeting is the first high level, bilateral
discussion between the two countries in five years.
By OVP Media
May 29, 2012
PUTRAJAYA – Malaysia is supporting the Philippines' position that a
resolution of the Panatag Shoal dispute with China should be based on
the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vice
President Jejomar C. Binay said today.
In a meeting at the Prime Minister's office, Binay said Malaysian
Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak also favors the participation
of member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) who are also claimants to the Spratlys in talks to resolve the
The Spratlys, located in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea,
is being claimed by four ASEAN countries, along with China and Taiwan.
"I conveyed to the Prime Minister our government's position on the
dispute with China over Panatag Shoal and he supports our position
that it should be resolved based on international law," Binay said.
"Both the Philippines and Malaysia agree that there needs to be a
legal commitment to enter into a peaceful resolution of the dispute,"
The Vice President's meeting with the Malaysian Prime Minister is the
first high level, bilateral discussion in five years between the two
Earlier, Binay served as keynote speaker at the Philippines-Malaysia
Investment Partnership Forum where he expressed confidence that the
two countries “will continue to work together until the issues are
satisfactorily resolved in favor of peace and economic cooperation.”
Joining him were 35 business leaders belonging to the Philippine
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Employers’ Confederation of
expressed optimism that the forum will bring in more investments in
key industries of the Philippines and boost interest in Mindanao as an