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Cayetano opposes Sarmiento’s CJ nomination

Asian Parliamentarians to discuss ways for eliminating torture

2 murder suspects arrested

8ID trains army recruits for peace and development in Samar

Iskolars of Mayor Tekwa receives school supplies

Layug: Pacific Partnership 2012 accomplishments exceeded targets

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 received financial and goods assistance under the local social integration program

rebel returnee program

By 63rd Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
July 25, 2012

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  In line with the Local Social Integration Program under the Provincial Ordinance No. 5 and 8 and Executive Order No. 06 of the Provincial Government of Northern Samar through the effort of Governor Paul A Daza and in collaboration with the different government agencies together with the 803rd Infantry Brigade and 63rd Infantry (Innovator) Battalion spearheaded the awarding of Financial Assistance to the former rebels in the province of Northern Samar.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office on July 18, 2012 which was attended by Ms. Carmen H Mejia, PSWD Officer of Northern Samar, DILG Provincial Director Valentine Bajet, Rev. Fr. Fred I Placa, Pastoral Director of the Diocese of Catarman, PSupt. Owen Andarino of NSPPO, Provincial Treasurer Allan Valencia, Mario G. Lacurom, 803rd Deputy Brigade Commander and LTC. Dante R. Barotilla, Commanding Officer of 63rd Infantry (Innovator) Battalion.

The awarding of the immediate assistance in the form of check was given to Jeddy Mejos Morado, Terista Quilicol and Abner Cantong, who surrendered to 63rdIB last January and May of this year, and two (2) others from the 1st District of the Province, who surrendered at 20 IB in Lope De Vega.

The purpose of said distribution of financial assistance is to give chance to former rebels to rejoin the mainstream of society and to provide a peaceful avenue, to help eradicate the armed rebel organizations in the province and to address their legal, economic and psycho-social needs and create opportunities for a change to be a productive citizens in the country, and their transition to peaceful civilian life.

The beneficiaries expressed their deepest gratitude especially from this unit, for facilitating their surrender to the folds of the law and for assisting them to be beneficiaries of the said program that will help them to be a productive citizen particularly in the 2nd District of the Province of Northern Samar.





Leyte guv appeals for LMWD expansion project

By Provincial Media Relations Center
July 25, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla calls for a fruition to the pipeline expansion project of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District to provide efficient and continuous water supply to consumers in the city area.

This the governor called after the project’s entry into the city area of the project’s pipe installation faced yet another stall, despite efforts made by the LMWD, city councilors and other government agency.

Gov. Petilla said the water consuming public have to understand that the present pipes and the water system as a whole that provide service to LMWD consumers in the city area, were designed in the 70’s for consumers of 5,000 families.

“Just imagine that. These pipes are now serving more or less 30,000 families, which is way above its original number it is supposed to sufficiently serve. It would not take a genius to put two and two together, and figure out that these pipes cannot anymore work for these number of consumers. They need to be replaced,” Gov. Petilla said in an interview.

He likewise assured that the problem is not that there is lack of water supply, rather, the ‘pipes are just too small to carry out the volume of water that would sufficiently supply the increasing number of consumers.’

The governor called on the consumers in Tacloban and other people concerned to give way to this expansion project as it is one which is designed to answer the water problems of the city. The more or less 34 kilometers pipe that run from Tingib in Pastrana to the city proper would solely benefit the city water consumers.

“This is exclusively for them so I really do not see the reason why they are delaying the project,” Gov. Petilla said,

Meanwhile, he mentioned the project to have been waiting in the offing, following an assurance before by the city government of Tacloban, at the height of the highly urbanized city (HUC) campaign in 2007, that they would soon provide a water system for the people of Tacloban.

However, five years after the “promise of a new water system turned out to be just a study”, thus, LMWD’s expansion project is now pushing through, says the governor.

“We don’t see any other plausible solution. We really need new pipelines. No matter who sits as governor, if they can’t address that, this problem will continue. So, we appeal, let those pipes through,’ Gov. Petilla said.





SAMELCO II grants free wiring to a Calbiga school

July 25, 2012

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The Samar II Electric Cooperative (SAMELCO II) installed free electrical wiring and electric meter connection to Barangay San Mauricio Elementary School in Calbiga, Samar on July 17, 2012.

The school is one of the recipients of “Hatag Kahayag” project, a light a school activity of SAMELCO II.

The activity was assisted by the officers of the school’s parents-teachers association led by its president Lito Labalan together with the barangay council’s education committee Chairperson, Kagawad Angeles Pacayra.

SAMELCO II has started to implement the “Hatag Kahayag” in 2011 in Barangay Pangpang Primary School in Villareal, Samar as the first beneficiary.

SAMELCO II supports the development of the quality of life of Samarnons through education, facilitated by a conducive learning environment- a well lighted school.

According to Marilyn Tan, the teacher in-charge of the school, they can now use modern audio-visual devices such as television and DVD players to complement their conventional teaching methods.

Tan expressed her gratitude to SAMELCO II for the benefits that “Hatag Kahayag” brought to their 140 students.

She said that with the availability of electricity in their school, teachers can now turn on fluorescent lamps to improve the lighting condition of their classrooms.

Barangay San Mauricio is an upland Barangay in Calbiga, Samar, three kilometers away from the town proper. The place is also accessible by boat through the Calbiga River.





Ochoa: We need stronger laws to defeat terrorism

Press Release
July 25, 2012

MALACAÑANG  –  The Aquino Administration wants Congress to amend the Human Security Act of 2007 to further strengthen government efforts in fighting and defeating terrorism.

Speaking to participants of the 7th ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue in Cebu City on Wednesday, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said a proposed bill seeking changes to the anti-terror law is one of the key measures the Executive Branch has asked lawmakers to prioritize, as part of its global commitment to counter terrorism.

“The goal of these amendments is to strengthen the law so that it can be used as a tool by law enforcement agencies to thwart terrorism,” the Executive Secretary said.

While the capability of terror organizations has waned and the number of militants has decreased, the world must keep its vigilance because the threats of terrorism remain and are very real, Ochoa said.

As part of the Administration’s ongoing contribution to the global response to these threats, the Executive Secretary told participants that President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed last week two laws – An Act to Further Strengthen the Anti-Money Law and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 – to boost domestic capability in identifying and preventing financial transactions related to illegal activities and those that undermine global security.

To complement these initiatives, he said, the government has put in place a three-pronged strategy to combat terrorism within the Philippine borders which is aligned with the frameworks adopted in other countries. These steps are:

• Effective law enforcement by strengthening the regulatory regimes for firearms and explosives and financing terrorism, and the arrest and neutralization of the human tools or perpetrators behind terrorist acts;

• Stronger institutional mechanisms and enhanced capabilities of law enforcement agencies and security agencies, and active participation in international cooperation against terrorism; and

• De-radicalization or counter-radicalization of the intent to commit terror acts by addressing poverty and poor education, which are considered roots of the problem.

“In these initiatives, you are guaranteed of the support of our President who recognizes the importance of addressing the threat of terrorism and is aware that a holistic approach to the problem will produce positive results,” Ochoa said.

At the same time, the Executive Secretary lauded Japan and ASEAN member-states for taking the lead in organizing the dialogue on counter-terrorism to put forward the implementation of joint projects in transport security, border control and immigration, maritime security, public involvement in countering terrorism, and capacity building on legal affairs.

“Without a doubt, all of the nation-states here possess the political will to defeat terrorism; all of us want to secure borders and ensure the safety of our people,” Ochoa said.

“What is necessary is improved counter terrorism capacity, and this is where efforts like this dialogue is crucial.”





VP Binay’s PDAF for scholarships, medicine, relief goods and centers for elderly in 4th to 6th class towns

By OVP Media
July 25, 2012

MANILA  –  Vice President Jejomar C. Binay funded through his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) the construction or repair of senior citizens’ centers, scholarships, health services and assistance to indigent or displaced families in calamity prone areas in 4th to 6th class municipalities.

Reporting on his accomplishments for the last two years as Vice President, Binay also said the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is set to sign memorandum of agreements with various national government agencies and local government units who will be recipients and implementors of his PDAF projects for 2012 to guarantee “greater transparency and accountability” in the use of the funds.

Congress provides P200 million in PDAF to the Office of the Vice President (OVP). This year, the DBM included the amount in the regular budget of the OVP.

The Vice President has already expanded the scholarship grant-in-aid program to poor but deserving students. Previously available only to students of State Colleges and Universities (SCUs), the scholarship grants are now also offered to students of select private schools.

The choice of projects and beneficiaries are consistent with the Vice President's advocacies, and aligned with the national government’s budget priorities and the Ten-Point Legacy Agenda of President Benigno Aquino III.

These are AMA Computer University/ACLAC/ABE, St. Jude College & Medical Center, Manila Central University, Manila Business College and University of Batangas.

The OVP has also partnered with the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and local government units (LGUs) to provide technical non-formal education training.

In 2011, the Vice President signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and representatives of SCUs in the country to provide a P9,000-annual educational assistance to 10 scholars for each of the 109 SCUs nationwide.

“We will give priority to those who will be enrolling in agriculture, education, commerce (entrepreneurship), engineering, and information technology,” he said.

For School Year 2012-2013, the OVP earmarked P18 million from the first tranche of its PDAF to offer 2,200 scholarship grants to SCUs, including 20 slots for undergraduate students of the University of the Philippines (UP).

For SY2011-2012, 960 freshmen from SCUs and 30 from private institutions availed themselves of the program. The UP Diliman also listed two scholars from the School of Urban and Regional Planning, and five from the College of Law.

Meanwhile, P150 million or 75 percent of the 2011 PDAF was earmarked for the construction and repair of 300 senior citizen centers nationwide. For the first tranche of his 2012 PDAF, the OVP also set aside P50 million for the same purpose.

The centers serve as venues for assemblies, recreational and sports activities and medical missions for the elderly.

“Our elderly links us to our past and serves as our guide towards the future. We should thank them for their valuable contributions to our country,” Binay said.

Last year, the OVP earmarked P10 million to provide emergency and immediate relief assistance to indigent families affected by typhoons and other calamities.

Since becoming Vice President, Binay personally led relief operations in some areas, particularly in Bulacan after typhoon Pedring. He was also one of the first national official to provide assistance in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, both of which were severely affected by typhoon Sendong.

For the first tranche of 2012, the OVP also allocated P10 million for relief operations as well as other social services, including the provision of school supplies and burial assistance.

The OVP also held medical missions in and provided medicines and medical equipment to 4th to 6th class municipalities in the country. P30 million was used for this purpose in 2011 and P12 million for the first tranche of 2012.





PCID supports the passage of the RH Bill in ARMM

Press Release
July 24, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  The Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) in the ARMM held a consultative meeting on the RH Bill on July 18 at the Alnor Hotel and Convention Center in Cotabato City. The meeting was attended by representatives from sectors such as business, religious, women, youth, and media.

The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) supports the passage of the RH Bill in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in line with its work promoting maternal and child health in the region known to be the most dangerous to pregnant women and infants.

PCID and the Magbassa Kita Foundation (MKFI) have organized the Noorus Salam (Light of Peace), the first national network of Muslim women religious (aleemat and ustadzas) and civil society leaders, working to capacitate women in peace and development efforts.

PCID believes the RH Bill will address the crucial and difficult role of marginalized women in ARMM as they contend with not only raising a family in poverty, amid uncertain conditions brought about by continuous conflict in the region.

Most importantly, the bill is a direct response to the Tanzim al-Usra – the official ruling (fatwah) on reproductive health and family planning – released by the Assembly of Darul-Iftah of the Philippines in 2003 supporting birth spacing, delaying pregnancy, and use of safe and legal contraceptives with ultimate goal of promoting the health and welfare of the family, in particular; and the society, in general.

PCID lauds the efforts and courage of RLA assistant majority floor leader Irene P. Tillah and Samira Gutoc-Tomawis (sectoral representative for women), as well as the Assemblymen for coming up with a piece of legislation that would address the largely neglected needs of women in the ARMM, the region being the most dangerous to childbearing women and to babies.

The passage of the RH Bill will have an immense impact on the current situation of women in ARMM in many ways, among others:

It will make reproductive health care services more accessible for women in the region who can hardly afford health care especially when the regional government will be mandated to provide such services.

Abortion, while remaining illegal and punishable by law, would not be a hindrance for women to avail of post-abortion care to be provided for by government in a “humane, non judgmental, and compassionate manner.”

The region will benefit from additional hospitals and improvement of existing facilities to accommodate emergency obstetric and neonatal care as called for in the Bill providing at least one hospital per 500,000 inhabitants.

The integration of responsible parenthood and family planning in anti-poverty programs will mean more government support.

PCID is one with the proponents in pushing for the passage of the RH Bill as the RLA prepares for deliberations.





VP Binay – Delfin Lee no Ping Lacson; urges PNP, NBI to intensify manhunt

By OVP Media
July 24, 2012

MANILA – Saying fugitive property developer Delfin Lee “is no Ping Lacson,” Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Tuesday appealed to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to redouble their efforts to capture Lee, who faces arrest for syndicated estafa.

The Vice President issued the appeal after lawyer Willie Rivera, Lee’s counsel, said in a television program that his client is still in the Philippines but is in hiding. Lee’s lawyer also likened the case of his client to Senator Ping Lacson, who went into hiding during the Arroyo administration.

“Delfin Lee is no Ping Lacson. Senator Lacson was a critic of the Arroyo regime, while Lee defrauded Pag-Ibig Fund of almost P6 billion by using fake borrowers and fake documents and destroyed the dreams of thousand of working Filipinos,” he said.

“I am appealing to the PNP and NBI to double their efforts to locate and arrest Delfin Lee. Now that we know that he is still in the country, he must be found and put behind bars at the soonest,” Binay said.

The Vice President also debunked the lawyer’s claim that there is no syndicated estafa against Lee’s company Globe Asiatique, citing the January 30, 2012 resolution of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) that ordered the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-Ibig Fund) to comply with the contract provisions on replacement buyers.

The Vice President said the Makati case ruling did not absolve Lee from criminal liability.

“GA is just muddling the issue. The Makati RTC ruling does not absolve Lee of syndicated estafa,” Binay said.

He cited the Court of Appeals (CA) decision of April 16, 2012, penned by Associate Justice Franchito Diamante, which ruled that regardless of the final ruling on the Makati civil case, it will not serve to extinguish the criminal liability of Lee and his co-accused.

Binay is the Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). He is also the Chairman of the Board of Pag-Ibig Fund.

For her part, Pag-Ibig President and CEO Darlene Berberabe said the Makati civil case was “separate and distinct” from the criminal case filed against Lee, his son Dexter, and three other GA officers for syndicated estafa.

“The Makati RTC decision expressly states that it did not delve into the issue of fraud (pertaining to Pag-Ibig ghost borrowers and double sale),” she said.

On May 22, Judge Maria Amifaith Fider-Reyes of the Pampanga RTC found probable cause against Lee and his co-accused and issued corresponding warrants for their arrest with no recommendation for bail.
Berberabe said the Makati court ruling is not yet final and is the subject of a motion for reconsideration filed by Pag-Ibig.

“Pag-Ibig respectfully disagrees with the decision and this we filed a motion for reconsideration. We are confident that the decision will be subsequently overturned,” she said.

Berberabe said Pag-Ibig refused to accept the replacement buyers because doing so would mean covering up the fraud committed by GA.

“GA wants Pag-Ibig to be compelled to accept replacement buyers. Pag-Ibig did not accept the replacement buyers because the original buyers (Pag-Ibig borrowers) are fake. To accept such replacements would mean covering up the fraud of GA,” she said.





15 dead on Biliran car accident

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
July 23, 2012

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  Caibiran Police reports of a recent Biliran car crash that left eight (8) people injured and 15 dead after the vehicle involved swerved to a curved road.

Responding PNP elements of Caibiran Police Station disclosed that on July 21, 2012 at about 6:30 in the evening an Isuzu Canter elf-type truck with markings “Mary Mac” bearing plate number GHP 109 was heading towards the municipality of Caibiran, Biliran. Upon reaching the inclined and curve road at Sitio Atay, Brgy. Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran, said vehicle lost brake, swerved and moved off road.

Thirteen (13) persons died instantly while ten (10) others including the driver were seriously injured and were brought to Biliran Provincial Hospital and were later referred to Saint Paul’s Hospital and Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center here in the city.

The thirteen (13) dead victims were identified as follows: Honoria Montes Regir, Lolita Narrido Yagon, Renato Regir Escosis, Julito Narrido Yagon, Marianito Escala Areglo, Niel Cabulang Rosete, Anthony Cabalquinto Montiadora, Lito Cabalquinto, Sanita Regir Rosete, Manilyn Cabulang Rosete, Josephine Cabulang Rosete, Junalyn Cabulang Rosete and Darwin Cabulang Rosete.

Injured persons were also identified as: Carnelia Montiadora, Brgy. Chairwoman of Brgy. Villa Caneja, Naval, Biliran; Nilo Regir Rosete; Antonio Regir Rosete; Ben Fortuna; Raul Montiadora; Alicia Escosis; Elaine and Jerry Areglo. While Jennifer Caliao and Rhea mae Escosis died while being treated at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) Tacloban City.

Caibiran Police Station is now conducting thorough investigation relative to the incident.

PSSupt Roel Balintong Acidre, Chief, RPCRD suggests to those people behind the wheel to exercise extreme cautions when driving to avoid unreasonable risks or road mishaps.





More arrest of wanted persons in Maasin City

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
July 23, 2012

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  A 60 year old farmer wanted for Frustrated Murder was arrested by the elements of Bato Police Station led by PSI Margarito Salano, chief of police, on July 21, 2012 at Brgy Baco, Leyte, Leyte.

Suspect was identified as Pambit Po arrested by virtue of a Warrant of Arrest issued by Honorable Crisostomo Garrido of RTC Branch 13, Carigara, Leyte.

On July 20, 2012, a certain Felix Auditor Ordiz, 42 years old, single and a resident of Brgy. Mambajao, Maasin City was arrested for violation of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294 (Illegal Possession of Firearms).

Ordiz was arrested by the joint elements of Maasin City Police Station and RIU 8 led by PSI Marianito Malibago, Intel Officer of Maasin City Police Station and PO3 Sancho Orito Jr.

On the same date, at Brgy. Pansaan, Maasin City, Southern Leyte, elements of Maasin City Police led by PSI Marianito Malibago arrested one Joselito Ambi, of legal age, married, jobless from said place for violation of Section 78 of PD 705 as amended by RA 7161 issued by Honorable Ma. Daisy P. Gonzales, Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 25, Maasin City.

Subject person was brought to Maasin City Police Station and presented to the issuing court and released from custody after putting up a Property Bond amounting to Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000).

At about 3:00 PM on July 20, 2012 at Brgy. Libertad, Maasin City, same elements of Maasin CPS arrested one Felix Maldo, 51 years old and Jackem Isaga, 22 years old, both residents of said place for the crime of Grave Threats issued by Honorable Edgardo D. Leonido, Presiding Judge of Maasin City MTCC with recommended bail of Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000) each.

Subject persons were brought to respective police stations for proper disposition prior turn-over to issuing court.

According to PSSupt Roel Balintong Acidre, Chief, RPCRD believes that it is the duty of the PNP to ensure public safety by working closely with other law enforcement partners on the accounting of wanted persons and the service of warrants.





PhilHealth defers premium increase for individually paying members

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 22, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Philippine Health Insurance Commission has deferred the implementation of the increase in premium contributions for Individually Paying Members (IPMs) from July 1 to October 1, 2012.

Ms. Marimar Zabala, PhilHealth Tacloban information officer, said this includes those covered under the Kalusugang Segurado at Abot Kaya sa PhilHealth Insurance (KASAPI) Program and the group enrollment scheme.

The deferment covers all IPMs, except self-employed professionals and other IPMs whose average gross monthly income is more than P25,000.00.

She informed that this deferment was made in order to give the Individually Paying Members enough time to prepare for the premium adjustment and to allow them to fulfill their obligations to the National Health Insurance Program.

Zabala added that in order to support members further and to ensure continuity of protection, a lock-in mechanism has been introduced.

The lock-in is a privilege granted to IPMs who would like to pay for their coverage until CY 2013 using the current rate of P1,200 per year, Zabala said.

IPMs interested to avail of this option may pay P1,800 on or before September 30, 2012, valid from 3rd Quarter 2012 until 4th Quarter 2013.

Payment transactions made at Local Health Insurance Offices may be accepted until the last working day of September 2012, while those made in accredited collecting institutions may be accepted until September 30, 2012. No additional premiums will be charged during the effective coverage.

IPMs who have paid P2,100 before June 30, 2012, valid from 2rd Quarter 2012 until 4th Quarter 2013, shall remain locked-in and covered.

For further inquiries, interested parties may visit or call the PhilHealth Offices nearest them.



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