Iskolars of Mayor Tekwa receives school supplies
By ADOR LEANDA HURTADO
CATBALOGAN CITY – With the assistance of the City Social Welfare and
Development Office, Mayor Coefredo “Tekwa” Uy, City Councilors Hon.
Stephany Uy-Tan and Hon. Teodoro Ilagan gave out schools supplies at
Silanga Elementary School Covered Court, Barangay Silanga to 390
scholars from different barangays on the morning of June 05, 2012.
The following are the official rundown of scholars per barangay: San
Vicente - 21; Old Mahayag - 34; New Mahayag - 29; Silanga - 65;
Cabugawan - 28; San Roque - 32; Iguid - 43; Payao - 43; Pupua - 23;
Estaka - 30; Palanyogon - 4; Bangon - 12; Libas - 3; Cagudalo - 7;
Cagutian - 6; Albalate - 8; and Cagusipan - 2.
Said scholars studying at different secondary schools each receive a
brand new bag containing various notebooks, pad papers, and other
supplies. Apart from the said school supplies, each of the scholars
received a school uniform assistance of P1,000 cash and will receive a
monthly educational allowance of P200 thereafter. This form part of
Mayor Tekwa’s Scholarship Program that has been implemented since his
election on 2004 up to the present aimed at assisting poor but
deserving students who wish to finish their studies.
“Ha imo edukasyon, an pag-asenso han pamilya ikaw an paglaum.”
The slogan of the Scholarship Program of Mayor Tekwa describes the
importance of education towards upliftment from poverty and other
social issues faced by families and communities. In helping one
scholar at a time, Mayor Tekwa believes that education can really be
the solution to society’s crippling problems.
After the said turn-over of school supplies at Barangay Silanga, City
Councilors Maximo “Max” Pescos and Teodoro “Teddy” Ilagan assisted
City Councilor Uy-Tan in giving out the same school supplies at City
Hall Lobby to the scholars from Barangay Basiao. Present during the
turn-over was Hon. Virginia Tabon, Barangay Chair of Barangay Basiao.
Councilor Uy-Tan, being a strong advocate of education and youth
empowerment along with Councilors Pescos and Ilagan who are equally
strong supporters of Mayor Tekwa’s Scholarship Program, believes in
the power of education and knowledge to eradicate poverty and change
Sacked government official committed numerous administrative offenses
PIA Press Release
QUEZON CITY – Maynardo E. Valdez, the Information Center Manager of
the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) office in Nueva Ecija who was
sacked after his superiors discovered him in Boracay while he should
been at work, was actually found liable for numerous administrative
The 25-page decision penned by PIA Director-General Atty. Jose A.
Fabia and posted on the PIA website (www.pia.gov.ph) is a
consolidation of two cases containing seven administrative offenses
Valdez was found guilty of. For the Boracay escapade, Valdez was
adjudged guilty of grave misconduct.
Records also show that Valdez was charged with gross neglect of duty
for his failure to submit issues and concerns prior to a presidential
visit in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
“During a presidential visit, the PIA information officer is tasked to
find and identify the issues and concerns in the ground level. Upon
identification of such issues and concerns, the PIA information
officer informs or alerts the concerned local authorities or cabinet
secretaries/agency heads of such issues and concerns. Once identified,
the issues and concerns are acted upon or ably addressed before
reaching the President,” reads the decision.
“As respondent did not submit the issues and concerns of Nueva Ecija
when the President visited Fort Magsaysay in April 2011, he committed
a blatant breach of his duty,” the decision continued.
In another count of gross neglect of duty, Valdez was charged when he
made only one article in 35 days when he is required to submit at
least two articles and four situation reports daily and when he failed
to submit weekly reports.
"When respondent did not meet his daily minimum output of news, he
deprived the public of knowing the good news in Nueva Ecija and at the
same time deprived the people of Nueva Ecija of a forum to showcase
the good news in their locality," the decision said.
Valdez also did not submit a pre-survey result on the inaugural State
of the Nation Address of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“The survey relative to the 2010 SONA is equally significant as this
unveils the pulse of the people to aid the newly-elected President in
addressing the public’s needs and views in leading this country to
prosperity through the “tuwid na daan,” adds the decision.
Relative to the Boracay escapade, Valdez was charged with dishonesty
when he made it appear on his Daily Time Record (DTR) that he was on
forced leave on the days he closed the PIA office while he was
attending a high school reunion on the resort island.
“Clearly, the respondent committed dishonesty when he wrote the words
forced leave on his DTR the fact being that he did not file any
application for such forced leave. Such act by the respondent is
tantamount to falsification,” the decision read.
Valdez was also charged with unauthorized absences and conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Meanwhile, a story on Valdez’s Boracay escapade landed in the Top Four
of rappler.com’s “The wRap your world in 10” for July 4, 2012. “The
wRap” ranks top 10 hit news stories of the day around the world.
Fight against schistosomiasis starts with mass treatment in Samar
By PIA Samar / AVHA H.
July 3, 2012
CATBALOGAN CITY – The Municipal Health Office (MHO) of San Jorge, Samar conducted a schistosomiasis awareness and mass treatment at San
Jorge (Samar) municipal covered court today, July 3, 2012.
San Jorge Samar is the 2nd municipality that has the most number of
schistosomiasis cases with 26 endemic barangays, while Calbayog City
has the most number of cases with 33 endemic barangays.
Samar Provincial Schisto coordinator Daniel Maravilla said that this
is the 4th year of their mass treatment in the whole province.
In line with this, Regional Schisto-Coordinator Agnes Cuayzon
presented the Sentinel survey that shows the percentage of the whole
region 8 in schisto cases.
It shows that in 2011, Samar has 2.6 percent of schisto cases which
went down to 2.2 percent in 2012 with only 10 endemic municipalities,
considered as having the lowest schisto cases in the whole region.
The early stage treatment lowered the rate of schistosomiasis cases in
the province, the health worker said.
Cuayzon added that the highest number of schisto cases in the region
with 5.3 percent and 25 endemic municipalities is Leyte and the
Eastern Samar with 6.1 percent and 11 endemic municipalities and 168
Northern Samar has 3 percent with 16 endemic municipalities and 168
During the program Maravilla and Municipal Health Officer Dr. Gabriel
Casuga discussed the symptoms of schistosomiasis like, abdominal pain,
headache, diarrhea, high fever, and a stool with blood.
“We can see the manifestation of schistosomiasis in ages between five
and eight years old,” Dr. Casuga said.
He also added that it is important to get a health check up even if
there is no manifestation of schistosomiasis.
Casuga said anyone aged 5 to 65 years old can take the medicine for
Meanwhile, the local government officers, partners/stakeholders,
guests, members of Philippine National Police, Philippine Army joined
the mass treatment and showed their full support by taking the
medicine during the activity.
There were about 300 participants students from different schools in
San Jorge, teachers and principals, community folks from the different
barangays who joined the mass treatment and took the medicine for
The medicines were provided by the Department of Health Region 8; PHO
Samar provided the services when it comes to technical assistance in
A fun run at six o’clock in the morning dubbed as “Takbo Para han
Schisto”, was the initial activity from Barangay Rosalim through the
major highway leading to the municipal covered court of San Jorge
The participants were from the MHO, led by Dr. Gabriel Casuga, with
the Provincial Health Office schisto team, partners and stakeholders,
Barangay officials among others.
San Jorge, Samar is still conducting mass treatment in different
barangays every Tuesday and Thursday and their Municipal Health Center
is open daily for consultation and medications.
"My life was empty when I was in hiding"
By Asian Human Rights
July 3, 2012
HONG KONG – "For over a year, I was in hiding. My life was empty,"
said Myrna Reblando as she shared her story to a group of local and
international journalists in Hong Kong.
Myrna Reblando, the widow of Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, a journalist
murdered in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, was one of the speakers at
a panel entitled "How the Prevention of Torture Promotes the Freedom
of Expression and Journalism in Asia." The panel was held at the
Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong on June 25th. The speakers
at the panel discussed the importance of freedom of expression with
regard to the prevention of torture, sharing from their own personal
and professional experiences.
Ms. Reblando, the former spokesperson of the Justice Now! Movement
(the group comprising families of the massacred journalists seeking
justice,) left the Philippines seeking political asylum due to death
threats. She had a P3 million bounty on her head. She said "I decided
to leave my country because people like me, who are seeking remedies
and redress in our system of justice, had no protection.” She went on
to say “I am a person who is being hunted for what I have spoken and
without protection even from my own Philippine government. I did not
feel protected, even with my own security escorts.”
Ms. Reblando is well aware of what can happen to a person who seeks
legal redress in the Philippines’ justice system. “One of the dead is
Jessie Upham,” she said. “He was one of the witnesses of the massacre.
He was murdered before he could testify in court.”
"Thank God that I am here alive,” she said. “I can hardly imagine how
close I was to death on so many occasions.” She expressed her deep
gratitude to the Hong Kong Government for providing her shelter, food
and protection during this time.
Ms. Reblando also explained why she felt the need to tell her story.
“I felt that my person is useless; I am only thinking and living for
myself. I felt that those who had threatened me had achieved what they
wanted: to silence me, to push me back. I knew that I could do
Ms. Reblando renewed her commitment to ensure the protection of the
complainants, witnesses and the families of the victims of the
Maguindanao massacre case who struggle to seek justice and stay alive.
She noted “to speak the truth has had a heavy cost on me and on my
children. However, I have also realized that if we do not speak out,
our aspirations of justice will not be achieved.”
Ms. Reblando reaffirmed the importance of the role of journalists by
telling stories and reporting on the progress of the Maguindanao case.
The journalists and the people “must never forget; we should not and
must not forget.”
With regard to the procurement of legal remedies, Ms. Reblando said
that "to express freely in pursuit of justice is possible. It is so
where there are people who are willing to listen and hear. What I have
said in the past and what I am saying now would not mean anything if
you do not write about it," she said.
event was organized by the AHRC and the Centre for Comparative and
Public Law (CCPL) at the University of Hong Kong.
Read related article:
My life is empty
Two years of Aquino
Modernization budget for AFP aggravates human rights situation,
militarization - Karapatan
July 3, 2012
QUEZON CITY – “This is where the people’s taxes go – to buy arms and
ammunition to protect the interests of big business and landlords and
against innocent civilians and those who defend their lives and
livelihood,” said Karapatan spokesperson, Cristina Palabay on the
praises heaped by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to Pres.
Aquino for giving the highest allocation so far for its modernization
program; and amid the ongoing militarization of whole communities in
Karapatan deplores Aquino’s ‘unprecedented support’ because it “only
resulted to the worsening of the human rights situation in the
According to Palabay, “the P16.8 billion fund support Pres. Aquino
gave to the AFP only propped up its capability to implement Oplan
Bayanihan and conduct intense military operations in the countryside,
bombings and strafing communities of peasants and indigenous peoples,
harassment and intimidation of ordinary civilians and in conducting
psywar operations in the guise of ’peace and development projects.’
Oplan Bayanihan has now found its way to, and in full implementation
at, the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon where eight battalions of the
Philippine Army are deployed.”
The military deployment in Bondoc Peninsula, according to Karapatan,
is “unprecedented” because it has never happened even when the country
was under martial law. Bondoc Peninsula is Quezon‘s agricultural
center and hacienda belt. The area is rich in mineral resources
targeted “as potential area for Aquino’s showcase program, the
Public-Private Partnership known to have caused displacement of
thousands of people in the urban and rural areas,” added Palabay.
“The military’s concentration in Bondoc Peninsula is seen as a
pre-emptive response to possible resistance of farmers due to
displacement, to pave the way for the entry of numerous big business
interests and to protect those that are already existing,” said
A fact-finding mission was held from June 25-July 1, to document the
reported cases of human rights violations in the different towns in
Bondoc Peninsula. “True enough, the initial reported cases of
abduction, enforced disappearances, threats and harassment and
detention of civilians in various communities are an understatement.
The fact-finding/mercy mission was able to document more cases,
especially children who experienced trauma due to the military’s
presence in the barrios. Those who participated in the mercy mission
were themselves victims of the military’s dirty tactics, and
harassment,” said Palabay.
The week-long mercy mission was met with numerous military and police
check points and nail spikes on the road meant to delay the convoy of
vehicles. Palabay said that “the military was so desperate to cover
up their abuses that they had to do everything to prevent the mercy
mission from reaching the barrios. They even conducted medical mission
days before or simultaneously with the mercy mission led by the Save
Bondoc Peninsula Movement.”
Earlier, the mercy mission participants reported that the medical
missions conducted by the military were used to warn people not to
participate in the mercy mission of the Save Bondoc Peninsula
Movement. “The military even went to the extent of threatening the
people that they will be killed if they join the mercy mission. These
military medical missions have now reared its ugly head, with no more
pretensions,” said Palabay.
11,664 board feet of illegal lumber seized in Northern Samar
By 20th Infantry
Battalion, 8ID PA
July 2, 2012
BRGY MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar – A total of estimated
11,664 board feet of assorted lumber were seized at Sitio Kalangkaan,
Lope de Vega, Northern Samar by joint elements of the 20th Infantry
(We Lead) Battalion, led by Sgt Diomedes Latasan, PNP personnel headed
by SPO4 Juan Cuesta, and the Municipal Environment and Natural
Resources, Mr Jojo Casco last July 01, 2012 at around 6:30 o’clock in
The operation took effect after Mayor Erlinda P Cinco of Lope de Vega
received an information that assorted lumbers are trapped along
Kalangkaan River where she requested for the assistance from the PNP
and the 20IB for the confiscation of the said lumbers. Upon reaching
the area, the responding troops found the abandoned pieces of lumber,
however, the alleged owner has already evaded the arresting troops
after fleeing the area.
LtCol Noel Vestuir, the 20IB Chief, in his report to Col Rolando
Malinao, Commanding Officer of the 803Bde, based in Catarman, Northern
Samar, said that the illegal lumber has a market value of more or less
P256,608.00 based on the estimate by Mr Kenneth Yves Salon, the Chief
Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Unit of the DENR.
The said accomplishment was made possible through the cooperation,
collaboration and firm resolve of the residents in the area to protect
the forest against illegal logging activities. The timely information
provided by some residents has enabled the authorities to sequester
the items as an evidence of prevalent illegal logging activities in
The said seized lumber were hauled and now impounded at the Lope de
Vega Municipal Hall for proper documentation and disposition.
Col Malinao, 803Bde’s Commanding Officer commended the troops for a
job well done. He likewise extends his thanks to the people in the
area for the timely information provided to the responding personnel
involved in the said operation.
Mayor Erlinda Cinco on her part, expressed her thanks and gratitude of
the DENR personnel, the Philippine Army, the PNP and the residents for
their cooperation, full support and commitment that resulted to the
success of the said operation.
Street children frolics with US and Japanese Navy
By ADOR LEANDA HURTADO
CATBALOGAN CITY – Pacific Partnership 2012 wraps off their Catbalogan City mission through the activity dubbed as "Street
Children Interaction Day" organized by the City Government of
Catbalogan through the City Social Welfare and Development Office and
in partnership with Waray-Waray Youth Advocates (WARAYA) last June 30,
2012 at Guinsorongan Beach.
More than thirty (30) street children identified by the CSWDO
gleefully participated in the many arts and outdoor sports activities
including a Paper-Folding Session, and several Traditional Japanese
Toy-making Sessions with the Japanese Navy; and Soccer, Volleyball and
Badminton Games with the US Navy.
Amidst the scorching heat of the sun, a warm exchange of not only
pleasantries but of wonderful cultures was experienced when the US and
Japanese partners tried and tasted traditional Filipino and Catbalogan
dishes and the street children and the youth volunteers from WARAYA
got to experience authentic Japanese food and desserts.
One of the highlights of the event was the official turn-over of
Hygiene Kits and Toys for the street children donated by both the US
and Japanese Navy. In grateful recognition for the partnership, the
City Government of Catbalogan thru City Councilor Hon. Stephany Uy-Tan
gave out a framed Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution in full support of
PP12 dated February 2012, a framed tarpaulin that reflected the many
PP12 activities held in Catbalogan City, and several limited-edition "Catbalogan
Higugma-a ta!" t-shirts to both the US and Japanese Navy partners.
It was a fun-filled day for everyone who got to experience the sun,
the sea, and the warm Catbaloganon spirit. "Thanks for everything.
This was probably the most enjoyable event and hopefully we get to see
you all soon!" as exclaimed by Lt. Mark Poblete, Local HA/PH/NGO
Coordinator / CDS 7 when asked about the event. Indeed the warm
pacific sun was comparable to the warm hospitality of Catbalogan City
and its people.
HLURB imposes stricter rules to deter pre-selling scams - VP Binay
By OVP Media
July 2, 2012
MANILA – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said the Housing and Land
Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) will now require real estate developers,
brokers and contractors to strictly comply with rules on requisite
permits before they could sell housing units.
Binay said HLURB Chief Executive Officer Antonio Bernardo met with
officers of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA)
and discussed various complaints of homebuyers.
Bernardo noted that some developers market lots or housing units of
their projects even without having complied with certain HLURB
“Some developers offer attractive and lower prices and incentives to
prospective buyers during the pre-selling stage. This is done to
ensure a successful marketing strategy while at the same time avoiding
paying a premium for the cost of developing and completing the
project,” Binay said.
“Hence, the law has set certain guidelines to safeguard the interest
of the buying public,” he added.
Binay reminded developers that under PD 957, otherwise known as “The
Subdivision and Condominium Buyer’s Protective Decree”, a project
developer, owner or dealer may not sell any subdivision lot or
condominium units unless it first obtains a license to sell from HLURB.
The same law defines “sale” or “sell” as “every disposition, or
attempt to dispose, for a valuable consideration, of a subdivision
lot, including the building and other improvements thereof, if any, in
a subdivision project or a condominium unit in a condominium project.”
Binay said this mode of disposition includes a contract to sell, a
contract of purchase and sale, an exchange, an attempt to sell, an
option of sale or purchase, a solicitation of a sale, or an offer to
sell, directly or by an agent, or by a circular, letter, advertisement
Meanwhile, the SHDA promised to cooperate with HLURB and to remind its
members to comply with the rules on registration and issuance of
license to sell for residential subdivision or condominium project.
The HLURB is the national government agency tasked with regulating the
real estate industry.