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PP12 turns-over Medical Kits and Sports Equipment to Catbalogan City

Local residents flock to PP12 activities

Trial court judges learn about international humanitarian law

Hospital Ship USNS Mercy visit Samar, Philippines

Former rebels avail Local Social Integration Program grant in Samar province

Farmers and fishers of Leyte cry freedom from mining

DENR receives 128k signatures vs Romblon mining

New LP members sworn in from Leyte’s fourth district

Army’s ‘Bayanihan’ activity in Samar continues

VP Binay welcomes Magsaysay and Garcia to PDP-Laban




Layug: Pacific Partnership 2012 accomplishments exceeded targets

Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento and Mayor Ronald Aquino of Calbayog City posed with security forces headed by Col. Rolando C Malinao, commanding officer, 803Bde, 8ID, PA during the PP12 project turn-over on June 29. (photo by 20IB, 8ID PA)

By PIA Samar
July 1, 2012

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  BGen. Gerardo Layug, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army declared that the accomplishments of the biggest US humanitarian mission in Samar exceeded the targets.

Layug was also assigned as the ground commander during the project which started in June 18 and ended today.

Pacific Partnership is the largest humanitarian and civic action mission in the Asia Pacific region designed to strengthen regional partnership and enhance a collective ability to respond to natural disasters and crisis, according to Lt Cmdr Matthew Breedlove, the USNS in charge of the media affairs.

“We succeeded because our dedication to serve the people and our collective effort is reflective of our ‘Bayanihan’ spirit, all throughout the conduct of the Pacific Partnership 2012,” Layug said in his message.

“We saw the full support and unity of all government officials in Samar and other cause-oriented organizations.”

The general also cited the combined efforts of the different national government agencies like health, education, defense, PNP working together as one to serve the Samareños.

He reported that the medical/dental missions done in 25 sites in Samar and Northern Samar treated 25 thousand patients.

The engineering projects were done ahead of schedule, and instead of three projects, one additional structure was also completed.

Although the general did not specify the locations of the infrastructure components, organizers mentioned school buildings in Barangay Malaga, Palanit and health centers in Calbayog and Gandara.

“The Disaster Preparedness subject matter expert exchange also generated positive feedbacks and inputs on how to enhance our capacity to respond to disasters,” Layug added.

He also mentioned the veterinary missions, public engagements, community services, donations of school supplies and equipments to the health centers.

After warmly acknowledging the benefactors of the various humanitarian projects in Samar, the good general bid his new friends goodbye.

“As you set sail to Subic Bay from Samar Island, and on to Vietnam and Cambodia, I wish you clear skies, calm seas and fair winds!” (with reports from ECB)





Animals too benefited from the Pacific Partnership 2012

June 30, 2012

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) benefited not only the people of Samar but also 1,000 animals in Samar since day one of their mission on June 19 that lasted until June 30.

World veterinarian volunteers who live on board the US Navy Ship Mercy provided their veterinary services on shore in Samar island as part of the PP12 mission.

PP12 conducted 12 Veterinary Civic Action Program (VETCAP) missions in 10 sites in Samar, two in Northern Samar and treated about one thousand animals.

The VETCAP treated birds, pigeons, chickens, monkeys, cats, dogs, carabaos, cows, pigs, and goats, some were brought to them, some they tracked down with the owners on the lead.

Calbayog City Veterinary office assisted the World Vets in the VETCAP mission in giving oral and injectable vitamins and deworming (external, internal parasitism) the animals.

Meanwhile, US Navy Commander Sonia Maria Lohmeyer said that VETCAP is also part of the Disaster Preparedness, she said that in times of disaster the animals are the least priority to save, but with this VETCAP the people would know how important their animals are, too.

PP12 has the motto, Prepare in Calm to Respond in Crisis in addressing necessary precautions in calamity prone countries in the Pacific.

As a country is often besieged with calamities, the PP12 ensures that people, especially those in high-risk areas, are properly informed and prepared against disasters.

Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento of Samar’s First District thanked the US benefactors in the closing ceremony.

“We are very thankful to the US Navy Ship Mercy, to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Local government units, for their valuable contributions in humanitarian and civic assistance programs intended not only to provide relief and temporary solutions, but more so in teaching the importance of preparation and precaution.”





Pacific Partnership activities, successfully completed in Northern Samar

Pacific Partnership 2012 school building project
Commodore James Morgan (4th from left) of the US Navy, mission commander of the Pacific Partnership 2012 during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed 2-classroom school building at Barangay Palanit, San isidro, Northern Samar conducted last June 29, 2012.

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
June 29, 2012

BRGY MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar  –  Due to the overwhelming support of all the stakeholders in the entire province of Northern Samar, the conduct of Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) activities was successfully completed in the province of Northern Samar.

In his report to Colonel Rolando C Malinao, the Commanding Officer of 803Bde, 8ID, PA,  Lieutenant Colonel Noel Vestuir, Commanding Officer of 20IB, stressed that his unit has successfully secured the conduct of PP12 activities in the entire area due to the support and assistance of all the security elements, the 3rd Regional Public Safety Company of the PNP, to include local officials from the Local Chief Executives down to the Barangay Tanods and the volunteer members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs) in the barangays. The conduct of security operations is being supervised by the 803Bde Security Task Group headed by Col Mario G Lacurom.

Despite the threats posed by local terrorists, the security forces according to LTC Vestuir have performed their job of preempting any untoward incident that may disrupt the conduct of PP12 activities.

PP12 is the largest Humanitarian Mission in the region aimed to facilitate the delivery of basic services and enhance the capacity of partner nations to a have a synchronized and well-coordinated response when actual disaster strikes. These activities include, Humanitarian Assistance such as: Medical and Dental Civic Action Programs (MEDCAP); Veterinary Civic Action Program (VETCAP); Engineering Civic Action Programs (ENGCAP); Medical and Dental Subject Matter Expert Exchange (MEDSMEE); Veterinary Subject Matter Expert Exchange (VETSMEE) and Engineering Subject Matter Expert Exchange (ENGSMEE) among others.

The PP12 activities culminated during the ribbon cutting ceremony and subsequent turn-over of newly constructed two (2) classroom school building in Barangay Palanit, San Isidro, Northern Samar and the newly refurbished health center in Barangay Bugtong, Tinambacan District, Calbayog City respectively.

Honorable Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento of the 1st District of Samar in his message during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, stressed that the completion of the engineering projects did not only showcased the physical aspect of an infrastructure that is very beneficial to people but most significantly it symbolized the strength of cooperation, convergence among partner nations, the support of local volunteers which is indeed the true and genuine essence of Bayanihan.

Colonel Rolando Malinao, the Commanding Officer of the 803Bde, expressed his thanks to the people in the area for their full support and cooperation during the conduct of the activities that started as early in the middle of May this year. According to Col Malinao, “the success of the entire activities could be attributed to the overall support of the people. Through their collective efforts, our security forces were able to prevent any untoward incident, the conduct of humanitarian assistance activities went on and completed smoothly, and most significantly, we have showed a strong message that indeed, the concept of convergence and Bayanihan in Northern Samar is now working at its best”.





“Lingganay” retains Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival championship crown

Lingganay Festival of Alangalang, Leyte

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 28, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Lingganay Festival of Alangalang, Leyte once again bagged the Pintados-Kasadyaan crown in a spectacular festival presentation held at the jam-packed Leyte Sports Complex on June 27.

Closely behind Lingganay as the second placer was Pasaka Festival of Tanauan, Leyte and third placer Karatong Festival of Dulag, Leyte.

The grand champion through Mayor Loreto Yu received P500,000 cash prize, a trophy and the chance to represent the province of Leyte in the next Aliwan Fiesta in Manila.

The Lingganay Festival got its name from the Waray word Lingganay which means a 'bell'.

The festival was conceptualized sometime in 1995 based on the legend of the town's lost ‘golden bell’. It was said that one time when the moro pirates surprised the people, they tried to fled away with the bell.

When they reached the Bakga River, they threw the golden bell into the deepest part of the river to prevent it from getting into the hands of the Moro pirates.

Until today, the bell has not been found but it is said that its sound can be barely heard coming from the bottom of the river.

It is celebrated in conjunction with the town's fiesta on the 19th of June. According to oral history, since 1995, Lingganay has been joining festival dance competitions especially during the Pintados Kasadyaan.

Lingganay Festival has etched its mark in the culture and arts of Leyte, as it won as grand champion in the 2011 Pintados Kasadyaan Festival. It also bagged several awards in different festival competitions both locally and nationally.

The Lingganay Festival was second runner up in the latest Aliwan Festival in Manila in April.

Earlier this year, it brought home P1 million cash prize and trophy as the grand champion in the free interpretation category in the Sinulog 2012 besting 28 other contingents from all over the country.

This year’s Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival was participated in by eleven contingents for the Kasadyaan category and another ten tribes for the Pintados category.

Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla led the provincial government officials who graced the grand event in full force. His wife Mrs. Anne Petilla, Congressman Mark Villar of Las Piñas, Partylist Congressmen Bem Noel and Neil Montejo, regional directors, mayors in the different municipalities in Leyte and other local government officials were also observed to be present during the festival.





USNS Mercy Ship surgery helps 200 Samarnons

This whole body CT Scanner on board USNS Mercy hospital ship has more than half the reduced patient’s radiation exposure than a conventional CT scanner.

June 28, 2012

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The United State Navy Ship (USNS) Mercy has already reached the number of two hundred operated patients since day one of accepting 40 patients per day inside the USNS Mercy Ship.

The USNS Mercy Ship has 12 surgery rooms, four x-ray equipments, a physical therapy center, CT Scan Unit, Pharmacy, Dental Suite, Angiography Suite, Optometry and Lens laboratory, Two oxygen-producing plants and a blood bank with 5,000 units of blood.

It is a floating hospital with services like surgery, primary health care clinics, preventive medicine, and biomedical equipment repair.

“This is a challenging and unique mission that requires an advanced level of seamanship, dedication and sensitivity,” said Captain Jonathan Olmsted.

Corita Sobido, 46 years old with three kids from Samar, one of the myoma patients said “Napakaswerte ko na magkaroon ng ganitong prebilehiyo at makapunta dito at makapag paopera ng walang anumang bayarin o gastos pati sa medisina.” (I was very lucky to have the privilege to come here undergo surgery without any expense on operation and medicine.)

She added that it has been a year since she was diagnosed with a myoma but cannot afford the P60,000 worth of operation, she just seemed helpless as the myoma grew in size.

“I am really happy and very thankful to our government, to the Pacific Partnership, and to all the USNS Mercy doctors and nurses for their kind treatment during my stay here,” Sobido added.

Patients on surgery needs to stay overnight before their operation for the health check and after the surgery, the patients will stay for one day until recovery depending on what type of operation they will go through.

The USNS Mercy surgery has already delivered their services to the patients with cataract, myoma, and infected leg.

USNS Mercy will stay at the shore of Calbayog City until July 1, 2012.





PNP Samar has planted 18,500 trees since February

By PIA Samar
June 28, 2012

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The local police force is bent on delivering their commitment to: Pulis Makakalikasan, Sampung Milyong Puno Pamana sa Kinabukasan.

Just yesterday, the Samar Provincal Police with barangay officials and rural folks of Barangay Pupua, Catbalogan City, Samar planted some 500 trees, in the barangay some fruit bearing and some in the mangrove area of the barangay as told by PCInsp Felipe Tan, Chief of the Police Community Relations (PCR).

“We planted cacao, jackfruit, talisay, mahogany and some in the mangrove area of the barangay,” Tan added.

As police officers, we are required to plant six trees a month to support the country’s National Greening Program,” said Tan.

He added that all PNP stations have established a nursery to ensure that seedlings are ready.

“We are a big organization and we cannot just rely on the DENR to supply us with planting materials, so that Police Director Eusebio Mejos instructed us to establish a nursery.”

The PNP composed of 145 thousand members nationwide has committed to plant ten million trees across the country in the next twelve months.

“The police force is also an advocate of the greening program as we need to protect our environment,” said Samar Police PD Eusebio Mejos in a text message.





Southern Leyte PPOC holds 2nd provincial tanod congress

Southern Leyte Tanod Congress

June 28, 2012

MAASIN CITY  –  More than three thousand members of the tanod brigade from 500 barangays in Southern Leyte trooped to the Maasin City Gym Tuesday, June 26, 2012 to attend the 2nd Provincial Tanod Congress sponsored by the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC).

The event was graced by DILG Regional Director Pedro A. Noval, Jr. upon invitation of Governor Damian G. Mercado.

Director Noval conveyed his pleasure in seeing how active the tanods are in serving the barangays.  In his speech, RD Noval stressed that the barangay tanods are the dynamic force multipliers.  He regarded them as heroes insofar as the maintenance of peace and order in the barangays is concerned.  He commended Governor Mercado for spearheading the activity and for affording tanod insurance.

Thru a ceremonial turnover of tanod paraphernalia witnessed by Customs Deputy Commissioner Danilo D. Lim, the barangay tanods received accident insurance, IDs, vests, and flashlights.  General Lim, who was the guest of honor, challenged the barangay tanods to be part of the solution against corruption.  While stressing the value of their volunteerism and sacrifice to promote peace and order, the retired army general branded the tanods as the new breed of heroes and the backbone in community-building.

The Tanod Congress was also attended by Vice-Governor Mike Maamo with all the member of the Provincial Board, City Mayor Maloney Samaco, 12 municipal mayors, 9 vice-mayors and their councilors.





In Pres. Aquino’s 2nd year in office

Killing of 3rd witness to Ampatuan massacre, testament to prevailing impunity under Aquino - Karapatan

June 28, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  Karapatan today scored the reported killing of Alijol Ampatuan, the third witness in the Ampatuan massacre case to have suffered the same fate, as “it bears the seal of impunity prevalent under the Arroyo up to the current Aquino administration.”

Karapatan spokesperson and End Impunity Alliance convenor Cristina Palabay said “Alijol Ampatuan’s killing is a testament to the prevailing climate of impunity in the Philippines, where victims, their kin, and witnesses are silenced through summary executions and where justice for rights violations remains a distant reality under the Aquino presidency, as it approaches the 2nd year of term.”

Reports on Alijol’s killing came three weeks after the killing of Esmael Amil Enog, another witness to the killing of 58 journalists, lawyers, and individuals in November 2009, known as the Ampatuan Massacre. Reports on the killing of Enog coincided with the UN review of the Philippines’ compliance to international human rights treaties and obligations.

“Aquino should answer for his administration’s unforgivable inaction to successfully prosecute, put behind bars and convict perpetrators of rights abuses under Arroyo, despite the persistence of the victims and their relatives to file cases. The government’s special treatment of notorious violators like former Pres. Arroyo and the Ampatuans and the non-arrest of Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan remain as obstacles to meting out justice,” she added.

Karapatan attributed the Aquino administration’s lackluster performance of seek the accountability of these perpetrators to the consistency of the pattern of killings and rights abuses being perpetuated by Aquino’s state security forces to that of Arroyo.

“Aquino mimics Arroyo’s repressive and violent scourge against civilians and activists through his counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan. The implementation of the oplan has already resulted to 76 victims of extrajudicial killings and thousands of forcibly displaced peoples because of intense military operations and rights abuses in Mindanao, Samar, and Southern Tagalog, as well as in the rest of the provinces,” Palabay concluded.



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