Silvino Lobos ranks the poorest in EV
NSCB releases 2009
city/municipal poverty estimates for Eastern Visayas
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
August 8, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
National Statistical Coordination Board Region 8 head Evangeline M.
Paran informed that NSCB has just released the 2009 city/municipal
poverty estimates including that for Eastern Visayas.
This is part of the agency’s
continuing effort to be more relevant and to respond to the clamor for
updated poverty statistics at lower levels of disaggregation, Director
The poverty estimates were
the results of the Project on the Generation of the 2009 Small Area
Estimates (SAE) of Poverty of the NSCB, with funding assistance from
the World Bank (WB) and the Australian Agency for International
The poverty mapping
methodology combined the data sets of the 2009 Family Income and
Expenditure Survey (FIES), the 2009 Labor Force Survey (LFS) and the
2007 Census of Population of the NSO to come up with the 2009 small
area poverty estimates at the city and municipal levels, Director
Director Paran expressed
hope that these data will be useful in the targeting of beneficiaries
and implementation of poverty alleviation programs in the region. She
also called for feedback on the policy uses of these poverty
Based on the 2009 small area
estimates (SAE) of poverty, 86% or 121 of the of the 143 cities and
municipalities in Eastern Visayas have poverty incidence ranging from
32.1 to 60 percent while 22 municipalities and cities have poverty
incidence ranging from 32 to 20.5.
Only three municipalities in
the Region have poverty incidences higher that 60.0%. These are
Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar with 64.8% poverty incidence; Jipapad,
Eastern Samar with 60.6% poverty incidence and Maslog, Eastern Samar
with 60.2 %.
It was noted that the
poorest municipality in Eastern Visayas has lower poverty incidence
than Siayan in Zamboanga Del Norte which is the poorest
city/municipality in the Philippines with a poverty incidence of
Of the poorest 20
municipalities in 2009, 17 municipalities are from Mindanao, 3 are
from Luzon, none from the Visayas.
For Eastern Visayas, the
poorest 20 municipalities in 2009 are all in the Samar Island
provinces, 11 municipalities are from Northern Samar, seven
municipalities are from Eastern Samar and three municipalities from
Moreover, of the ten
municipalities/cities in Eastern Visayas with lowest poverty incidence
in 2009, seven are from the province of Leyte while three are from the
province of Biliran.
These include Tacloban City,
Leyte with 20.5% poverty incidence; Tunga, Leyte with 23.1%; Isabel,
Leyte with 23.7%; Tolosa, Leyte with 24.4%; Palo, Leyte with 24.6%;
Almeria, Biliran with 26.8%; Tanauan, Leyte with 27.0%; Naval, Biliran
with 27.8%; Maripipi, Biliran with28.0% and Ormoc City Leyte with
Climate reality, crisis
yet to be addressed
Survival Fund Bill, Aquino urged
By The Climate Reality
August 7, 2012
QUEZON CITY – Metro Manila and many surrounding provinces have been
experiencing heavier and longer precipitation for almost a week now.
Storm surges have gone beyond the usual areas and communities which
never experienced flooding are facing a new challenge alien to them.
"This is the 'new normal'. We are facing a phenomenon we never
experienced before and this is happening very rapidly," said Rodne
Galicha, Philippine district manager of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP),
founded and chaired by Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former Vice
President of the United States which has more than 5 million members
and supporters worldwide, guided by one simple truth: 'The climate
crisis is real and we know how to solve it.'
"Awkward as it may, extreme drought and high temperatures are felt in
the other side of the world such as the United States – and here in
our country, prolonged rain which results to extreme flooding,"
Extreme weather conditions are becoming more evident as more heat is
trapped by the thickening of the atmosphere due to high concentration
of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As temperatures
increase, more water is evaporated from the oceans into the sky.
"This is a wake-up call to all of us – climate change mitigation is
indeed a must. In our own little ways we can still make a change:
proper garbage disposal, use recyclable bags in supermarkets, proper
drainage system, among others, to avoid mass disasters due to floods,"
said TCRP member and Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta.
Tons of non-biodegradable garbage were washed ashore by big waves and
storm surges in Manila Bay and in neighboring coastal areas. Clogged
canals and sewage systems due to plastic and solid wastes intensified
Metro Manila's flooding, as well.
"But the issue now goes beyond garbage, we should look at our
mountains and forests especially Sierra Madre, are there enough trees
for our watershed? Or do we still wait for another Ondoy to awaken our
sleeping consciousness?" Rueda-Acosta said.
TCRP member and Mariduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC)
Executive Director Miguel Magalang said that while mitigating measures
are to be implemented, adaptation strategies must be localized and
done comprehensively with assured capacity building and financing.
Magalang said that disasters serve as also a wake up call for all
sectors of society to actively involve in disaster risk reduction
planning and budgeting processes so that details of hazards and risks
and scrutinized and matched with appropriate strategies that will be
mainstreamed in local programs, projects and activities of the local
governments with corresponding budgets from the local community
development funds and the disaster risk reduction and management
"We therefore, urge President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to
immediately sign the People's Survival Fund Bill into law which has
been approved by the House of Representatives and Senate before it's
too late," said Magalang.
The People's Survival Fund (PSF) aims to finance adaptation programs
and projects that are directly supportive of the objectives enumerated
in the Climate Change Action Plans of local government units and
communities. Hence, strengthening the Climate Change Act of 2009 by
providing predictable, adequate, continuous and untied financing for
local climate adaptation.
The current situation also challenges the House of Representatives to
reconsider its move to repeal Section 21 of RA 10121 or the Philippine
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law of 2010. That provision of
the law ensures enough funding for pre-disaster and post-disaster
events, risk reduction and quick response activities.
"Saving lives, livelihoods and infrastructure is the essence of
Section 21. Politics should not deny safety and security of the poor
and vulnerable," Magalang added.
"However, while we mitigate and adapt, we are deeply concerned with
the continuous exploitation of our natural resources and unabated
carbon emissions of developed countries – the solution to the climate
crisis does not lie only on us but to the genuine commitment of the
global community especially of the Annex 1 countries," Galicha said.
"Ultimately, the solution to this crisis is climate justice – going
beyond monetizing Mother Earth – giving back what is due to nature,"
TCRP stressed that the current flooding in Metro Manila and
surrounding provinces is only a prelude to more complex hazards and
disaster that may happen in various parts of the country. This is a
real challenge for all local government units to prioritize serious
and long-term solutions to reduce the vulnerabilities of communities.
Samar PLGU-DA holds
2nd Provincial Farmers and Fisher folks Congress
By PIA Samar and AVHA H.
August 6, 2012
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Provincial Government of Samar and the Department of Agriculture Samar successfully conducted the 2nd Provincial Farmers and Fisher
folks Congress at Samar Gymnasium, Catbalogan City on August 6, 2012.
During the Congress, DA
Region 8 Director Antonio Gerundio encouraged the farmers to be an
agribusiness enthusiast or be an entrepreneur.
“Think of how much will
return to you if you invest in any kind of farming, and how much you
will benefit from it,” he said. Good harvest with good profit, he
Gerudio also encourage
farmers as parents to encourage their children to eat vegetables.
Abito Diaz, Matuguinao
Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council Chairman (MAFC), a farmer
owning one hectare rice field said that this is his first time to
attend a Farmers Congress, and he learned a lot from it.
Diaz also benefited from DA
seeds distribution and AKBAY financial assistance of 10,000 pesos.
The whole day event was led
by Vice Governor Stephen James Tan, Provincial Agriculturist Anita
Taran with farmers representatives in fisheries, livestock, corn,
rice, and High Valued Commercial Development Program (HVCDP) from 26
Municipalities of Samar as participants.
Vice-Governor Tan said that
this 2nd Farmers Congress is right on time in the sense that the
province will conduct an Annual Investment Plan (AIP), and with the
request from the farmers he said that agriculture will get the 2nd
highest budget for the next year 2013.
“More on road networks or
concreting of farm to market roads are our priority to help our
farmers,” said Tan.
The Farmers Congress was
also attended by representatives from the Provincial Agriculture and
Fisheries Council (PAFC), Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council (RAFC),
National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAFC DA Quezon City),
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Samar, Department of Science
and Technology (DOST), PAGASA, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic
Resource Region 8 and Department of Agriculture Region 8.
During the Activity,
Vice-Governor Tan led the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for
Automatic Weather Station (AWS) between Director Rosella Gopo DOST and
Eduardo Dela Cruz of PAGASA.
This MOA is in line with the
AWS device received by Governor Sharee Ann Tan during the Disaster
Risk Reduction Management meeting recently.
opens at Baybay City
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
August 6, 2012
BAYBAY CITY, Leyte – A
two-day Jackfruit FIESTA opened in the morning of August 6, 2012 at
the Visayas State University in Baybay City, Leyte.
Spearheaded by the Visayas
Consortium for Agriculture and Resources Program and the Department of
Agriculture Regional Field Unit 8, the Jackfruit FIESTA is a
collaborative effort to further push Eastern Visayas as the Jackfruit
Capital of the country.
The thrust is towards
globally competitive and sustainable Jackfruit industry in Eastern Visayas.
Mr. Francis Rosaroso, chief
information officer of DA-8 informed that the opening program gathered
about 150 people coming from the government and private sectors and
from the stakeholders of the jackfruit industry from all over Eastern
FIESTA, Rosaroso said is the
acronym for the Farms and Industry Encounters thru Science and
Highlights of the two-day
activity include the Jackfruit Forum and Roadmap Development Workshop,
media conference, product demo, poster and essay writing competition,
“pinaka” contest and jingle contest, among others, according to
heterophyllus Lam), locally known as “Nangka”, is one of the popular
fruit species in the Philippines. This is manifested by its wide
distribution and cultivation. Its many uses (at least 18 has been
recorded so far) and excellent adaptation to a range of growing
conditions may have contributed to its popularity.
Jackfruit is an evergreen
tree, which grows up to 70 feet under favorable conditions. It also
bears fruit as early as 3 years after planting and produces fruit that
weighs as much as 50 kg.
In the Region, production
has steadily increased through the years, which enables Eastern
Visayas to ship to other regions and major cities like Cebu and
Manila, some 100 to 500 fruits or 2-3 tons per week.
Eastern Visayas has the best
jackfruit variety. Claimed by scientists as the sweetest jackfruit
ever, with a taste and aroma far more superior than all the rest, is
the new jackfruit variety called EVIARC Sweet which grows to about
seven meters and produces an average of 35 fruits annually, each
weighing about 12 kilograms, nearly half (42.58 percent) of it edible.
It is golden yellow, juicy,
very sweet, smooth and crispy textured with a very strong aroma that
only langka can give.
Nearly 3,000 has. of
jackfruit are planted in Eastern Visayas, and already about 15 percent
of that is EVIARC Sweet. The largest farm is a 30-hectare jackfruit
plantation in Ormoc City.
Dr. Carlos S. De la Cruz,
head of the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Center (RIARC)
in Abuyog which developed the EVIARC Sweet said EVIARC is named after
its parent institution, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Eastern
Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center.
One reason for the take off
is that the cleft grafting of EVIARC Sweet has a 92-percent success
rate in propagation, De la Cruz said.
EVIARC Sweet was certified a
new variety in 2006. Since then, farmers have been trained on cleft
grafting which joins a rootstock and a scion (or "branch") of a mother
tree until they are united permanently; it is the most common method
of propagating jackfruit.
Leyte now has 28 scion
groves or nurseries where seedlings are raised.
The new variety has a very
high potential as an export revenue earner and very suitable for
reforestation, ecopark and watershed development. It is a platform
technology since it could spawn processed products such as juice,
tart, pastilles, puree, jelly, jam, candies, vacuum fried and
dehydrated jackfruit and more.
New, young lawyers score old,
filed vs. PNP officials et. al. for violent dispersal during SONA rally
By National Union of
Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
August 6, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
The human rights lawyers’ group National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
assisted members of various people’s organizations and those injured
during the violent dispersal at the SONA rally last July 23, 2012 in
filing criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against
PNP officials and members of the anti-riot contingent.
In the 20-page complaint,
Renato Reyes Jr. (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), Cristina Palabay (KARAPATAN),
Bishop Solito Toquero (United Methodist Church), Fr. Rennie Delos
Santos (Iglesia Filipiniana Independiente), Leonardo Sabino (Promotion
of Church Peoples Response) and community members of Bayan Muna and
Kadamay filed criminal charges for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.
880 (Public Assembly Act) and physical injuries against PSupt. Mario
O. Dela Vega, PSR Supt. Richard Fiesta, PSR Supt. Joel D. Pagdilao,
PSupt. Marcelino DL. Pedrozo, Jr., and PSupt. Ronnie Montejo of the
Quezon City PNP, and other John and Jane Does for their responsibility
in the illegal blockade and the violent dispersal that left at least
84 rallyists injured.
Also charged were PNP human
rights officers led by lawyer PSupt. Nicanor Salamera who were present
and embedded within the police phalanx.
The complainants are
represented mainly by young and new lawyers of the National Capital
Region Chapter of NUPL who were also on hand at the SONA rally. Atty.
Carlos Montemayor, of the NUPL-NCR chapter as well as the Public
Interest Law Center (PILC) said:
“This should not only be a
precedent but also a deterrent to the old, bad, predictable and even
comical practice of the police and other law enforcement units of
impeding, obstructing and disrupting an evidently legitimate and legal
assembly. The fortress set up by the police is not only a violation
but also a curtailment of a basic democratic and constitutional right
to peaceably assembly. The law enforcers should be the first ones to
comply and ensure respect for the law. That is what we were properly
taught in law school. That is what we correctly answered in the bar
Atty. Montemayor added that
the PNP officials’ statement that the rally was conducted without a
permit is wrong and without legal basis. “The application for a rally
permit was received at the Office of the Quezon City Mayor on July 10,
2012 but was not acted upon and hence, as BP 880 provides, the
application is deemed granted after two working days by operation of
law without need of any further document or action as the application
itself ipso facto and ipso jure becomes the permit. It
is just silly and plainly absurd to blindly and arrogantly require a
written permit when none is necessary as it is the Constitution and
the law that bestow the permit,” he explained.
NUPL Secretary-General Atty.
Edre U. Olalia concurred: “With the permit deemed granted by operation
of law, respondents have no legal ground to block, delay, suppress,
deny, disrupt or prohibit the exercise of the right of our clients to
peaceably assemble to air their grievances and to seek redress with
the government. What is even more ironic is that so-called PNP human
rights officers were just standing there, either plainly ignorant of a
simple law that they conveniently but wrongly invoke to suit their
purposes or totally uncaring about rights violations happening right
under their very noses. It is obvious that these officers were just
deployed there for tokenism.”
The complainants alleged in
the complaint that the PNP officials and personnel openly and
continuously violated several sections of BP 880 such as failure to
observe maximum tolerance, failure to display the required nameplates,
violating the required buffer zone distance from the activity, and
obstructing, impeding and disrupting a peaceful assembly.
Those who were injured
likewise charged respondents with physical injuries for the inordinate
use of force. The NUPL lawyers explained that the liability of the PNP
officials stem both from the principles of conspiracy and command
The NUPL likewise strongly
assailed the seemingly unjustified inaction of city mayors in relation
to applications for rally permits. Both Attys. Olalia and Montemayor
stressed that “such apparently deliberate inaction palpably manifests
the utter disregard in a quite nonchalant and even cavalier fashion of
the citizens’ basic constitutional rights to free speech, assembly and
redress of grievances – rights whose assertion and exercise by
rallyists like Complainants have benefited those who are presently
inside the revolving doors of political power themselves.”
No bank loans for
LGUs without good housekeeping seal - DILG
By MYLES JOSEPH E.
August 5, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today
hailed new rules that allows only local governments that have been
conferred with its Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) to secure a loan
from banks and other financial institutions.
DILG-8 Regional Director
Pedro A. Noval Jr. said that as a result of talks between DILG
Secretary Jesse Robredo and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, the
Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) issued Finance Circular
1-2012 on April 16, 2012 listing down SGH as one of the stringent
requisites for LGUs applying for authority to borrow money from banks
and other financial institutions.
“We are glad that SGH is now
being recognized by other national government agencies and other
concerned sectors as an effective way to determine whether an LGU has
good financial management; is ready to secure loans; and pay for
them,” Dir. Noval said. He believes that this will further encourage
LGUs to observe transparency and accountability.
The SGH is being conferred
to local government units (LGUs) that have no adverse report from the
Commission on Audit, and complied with the posting of the required 12
financial documents. SGH awardees are also eligible to receive an
incentive fund ranging from P1 million to P7 million for their local
Just recently, the DILG
launched the SGH Bronze, Silver and Gold wherein aside from the two
previous requirements, additional requisites include compliance with
the Government Procurement Act and the Anti-Red Tape Act, a
comprehensive development plan, and an above benchmark performance in
the local governance performance management system.
Secretary Robredo in a
statement said that with the inclusion of SGH as an additional
requirement for borrowing LGUs, “good local governance is fast
becoming the norm and is the way to go for local governments.”
“Now, only those LGUs with
the Seal and who walk the Daang Matuwid will be able to borrow money
from banks to finance their local projects,” the DILG Secretary said.
The BLGF circular laid out
new documentary requirements, which LGUs need to submit to BLGF before
they can be granted Certificates of Borrowing and Debt Service
Capacities should they need to borrow money.
The BLGF circular superseded
Local Finance Circular 1-2000 issued on January 19, 2000. Under the
new circular, aside from the Seal of Good Housekeeping, the following
documents were added to the original requirements: letter-request from
the local chief executive; certification from the local legislative
body that the proposed project to be financed by the loan is included
in the Approved Annual Investment Plan for the current year;
authenticated copy of the resolution authorizing the local chief
executive to negotiate and contract a loan; proof of compliance with
the full disclosure policy of the DILG, among others.
In Eastern Visayas, DILG has
identified at least 118 LGUs which may be eligible to be conferred the
SGH by DILG Central Office this year, up from the 35 LGUs which were
granted the award last 2011.
aside P100-M for Burauen-Albuera road opening
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
August 5, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
The national government has allotted P100 million to facilitate the
opening of Burauen-Albuera Road, an official of the Department of
Public Works and Highways, recently informed.
The Burauen-Albuera Road
will enable travelers from Tacloban City to reach Ormoc faster passing
through five towns with combined length of 89 kilometers, very much
shorter that the existing 107 kilometers of Palo-Carigara road.
The Road will also offer a
shorter route from Tacloban City to Baybay City with a difference of
30 kilometers from the existing Dulag-Abuyog route.
DPWH Region 8 Director
Rolando Asis said that with the financial commitment of the DPWH main
office, his office will proceed in 2013 with civil works which was
halted by funding constraints this year.
“The budget will allow us to
open an additional six kilometers of new road next year,“ Director
Asis informed in a press statement.
He added that some P300
million is needed to fully open the remaining 8.43 kilometers road
plus an additional P500 million is needed to construct four bridges
along this span of road.
Last year, the DPWH pegged
the cost of concreting of the entire road span at P1.3 billion based
on the 2011 cost estimate. The road project was backed by the members
of the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council.
Director Asis said his
office is strongly lobbying for the release of additional budget
requirements to meet the two-year timetable for the opening of the new
road which will connect the western and northern parts of the Province
The regional office has not
received any funding for the project in 2012 for failure to meet some
requirements, however, road opening works continue this year utilizing
the 2011 allotment, Asis added.
DPWH Leyte II
reports 84.42% accomplishment on FY 2012 regular infra projects
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
August 5, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
The Leyte Second Engineering District of the Department of Public
Works and Highways has an overall actual accomplishment of 84.42
percent on Fiscal Year 2012 regular infrastructure projects.
accomplishment has been realized under the leadership of District
Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia with the strong support by the
Assistant District Engineer Joel Melchor R. Boco and the section
chiefs of the district engineering office.
The Leyte II Engineering
District 2012 regular infrastructure projects amounted to P231.170
Million, DE Junia informed.
The Leyte II District Office
has completed 8 projects while another 4 projects were ongoing and one
project under the Water Supply/Retarding Basins/Rain Collection and
DE Junia identified the
completed projects as the Road upgrading of Burauen-Mahagnao road
which amounted to P19.464 million; the upgrading of the
Jaro-Dagami-Burauen-La Paz road which amounted to P16.650 million; and
the rehabilitation and repair of Palo-Carigara-Ormoc Road with a
funding of P30.377 million.
Also completed were the road
reblocking with asphalt overlay along Daang Maharlika Kilometer
950+000-Kilometer 951+ 012; Km 958+000-Km 958+804 which amounted to
P20.177 million; road reblocking with asphalt overlay along Daang
Maharlika Km 945+000-Km 945+291 amounting to P2.117 million;
reblocking with asphalt overlay along Palo-Carigara-Ormoc Road
amounting to P20.739 million; reblocking with asphalt overlay along
another portion of Palo-Carigara-Ormoc Road amounting to P5.992
million; and road reblocking with asphalt overlay along
Jaro-Dagami-Burauen-La Paz road amounting to P4.650 million.
Meanwhile, the on-going
projects are the Road Upgrading of Bagahupi-Sta. Cruz-Barugo-Carigara
Road amounting to P24.978 million; the Kiling,
Tanauan-Tabontabon-Julita Road amounting to P36.961 million; the Road
Opening of Bagahupi-Babatngon-Sta. Cruz-Barugo-Carigara Road at the
Highway Boundary of Leyte 1 and 2 amounting to P26.220 million; and
the Road Upgrading of another portion of
Kiling-Tanauan-Tabontabon-Julita road amounting to P21.735 million.
8th ID honors its
By PIA 8 and AHVA EBALDE
August 5, 2012
CATBALOGAN CITY –
On the occasion of its 24th founding anniversary on August 3, 2012,
the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army presented four
various awards to its soldiers for the successful operations in the
insurgency areas in the region.
The awarding which was held
at Camp Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan City was presided over by 8th ID
Commander MajGen Gerardo Layug together with Central Commander
Lieutenant General Ralph Villanueva who presented the awards to the
The Best Junior Officer of
the year with a 5,000 pesos cash award was given to Lieutenant Jorge
Panaquiton who led the operating troops of Alpha Company, 87 Infantry
Battalion that overrun an NPA camp at outskirts of Barangay Pagsanjan,
Paranas, Samar on March 2012. The enemy encampment was being utilized
as a bomb-factory by the terrorist group based on the recovered
improvised explosive devises.
The Best Enlisted Personnel
of the Year with 5,000 pesos cash award was given to Private 1st class
Alvin Lapitan who also gained accomplishment in Paranas and Calbiga
The Best CAFGU of the year
with 5,000 pesos cash award was given to Allan Tulin for the
successful operations in Northern Samar.
The 803rd Peace Maker
Brigade, who has 4,400 total Combat operations with a 46 engagements
and successful operations, received the Most Combat Efficient Infantry
Brigade/Infantry Battalion with 15,000 pesos cash award.
Another Most Combat
Efficient Infantry Brigade/Infantry Battalion with 15,000 pesos cash
award was given to Lieutenant Colonel Cerilo Balaoro Jr.
The 87th Infantry Hinirang
Battalion under the leadership of Lt. Col. Balaoro Jr. is right on
track in its Internal Peace and Security Operations for the 1st
semester of this year 2012 here in the province. Hinirang Battalion
accomplished 1,450 operations and 22 successful Combat Operations.
During the period,
significant accomplishments includes seizure of bomb factory in
Paranas, Samar and capture of three New People’s Army (NPA) members in
The half-day celebration was
attended by distinguish guest, among who were the three governors of
Samar Island namely, Samar Governor Sharie Ann Tan delos Santos,
Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart and Northern Samar Governor Paul
Daza who is the chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council.
Cayetano pushes for
continuance of 2004 and 2007 poll fraud Senate inquiry
August 3, 2012
PASAY CITY –
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano called for the continuance
of the Senate inquiry into the alleged 2004 and 2007 poll fraud in
response to the granting of the bail petition of former President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in relation to the electoral sabotage raps she
is currently facing.
He pointed out that while
the Senate’s main function is not to prosecute cases, its
investigations do tend to produce facts that can be used for
prosecution that will help move the wheels of justice in the country.
“Look at the plunder case
against the former President filed in the Sandiganbayan. Almost all
the evidence used to mount that case was taken from the Senate
investigation. We produce results,” he said.
The senator said that he has
informally talked to Senator Aquilino Pimentel III asking him to
continue the Senate inquiry into the alleged poll fraud.
“Our job is to find the
truth in aid of legislation. We need to get the facts. We cannot
change, amend or strengthen the law if we don’t know what really
happened. Based on that, we can make recommendations,” he said.
The minority leader lamented
the fact that the joint panel’s investigation into the issue has yet
to yield results saying he was “a bit dissatisfied with the results of
“Remember, the result we
want here is not to point fingers at who cheated or not. If no one
cheated, then let’s be honest with ourselves to say that no one
cheated. But if someone did, we should determine who they are and how
they did it,” he said.
Cayetano stressed that with
the 2013 midterm elections looming on the horizon, the Senate’s
inquiry is more urgently needed.
“The automation in 2010 was
so important because it made it hard for election operators to sell
their trade. This is why we have to make sure now that the PCOS
machines will not be tampered with. But that’s only safeguarding the
election itself. Cheating happens before, during and after the
elections,” he said.
“Our role in the Senate is
to keep exposing and re-exposing, to keep at them regarding this
issue. If those who cheat see that this government means business and
that it will put those who cheat behind bars, you’ll have less people
cheating in 2013. If not, it will be business as usual for election
operators,” he added.