Karapatan keeps fight vs.
Cybercrime law, calls attention of UN
October 10, 2012
QUEZON CITY – Karapatan, on October 8, 2012, brought the issue of the
Cybercrime law to the attention of the United Nations, through Mr.
Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of
the right to freedom of opinion and expression and Ms. Margaret
Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights
While the Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO)
for the implementation of the Cybercrime law for 120 days, “the people
must remain vigilant against all possible maneuvers by the Aquino
government to implement the said law,” said Karapatan secretary
general, Cristina Palabay.
The letter of complaint sent to the United Nations asked the Special
Rapporteurs to urge and recommend to the Government of the Philippines
to junk the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and other similar
measures, such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, that suppress civil
liberties and human rights; and for the Aquino government to take
measures to respect and uphold the freedom of speech, expression and
of the press.
Karapatan said that the cybercrime law will pave the way for more
abuses by the government. Karapatan uses the internet to “articulate
our analyses on rights violations which, most of the time, are not
reported on mainstream media. The internet is a tool for us to expose
state-sponsored abuses. With the enactment of the Cybercrime law, our
right to free speech is clearly jeopardized.”
Palabay added that, “the Aquino government did not only violate our
basic rights embodied in the Philippine Constitution, it also
transgressed international human rights conventions and declarations,
including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights
and the UN Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders of
which the Philippines is a signatory.”
“With the Supreme Court’s TRO, the people have won, partially. We owe
it to the people to keep up the fight against this repressive measure.
The cybercrime law must be scrapped as soon as possible. We will not
allow the ghost of martial rule to haunt us again, whether online or
offline,” Palabay concluded.
To date, 15 petitions to declare the said law unconstitutional / null
and void has been filed before the Supreme Court.
launches direct flight services from Iloilo to Tacloban City
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
October 7, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
Starting October 5, 2012, businessmen and travelers can already travel
from Tacloban directly to Iloilo City, thus making the three Regions
in the Visayas Islands more accessible.
The Cebu Pacific Air
launched on Friday, direct flight services from Iloilo to Tacloban
City in the province of Leyte.
The route serviced by an ATR
72-500 aircraft will be on a thrice weekly schedule, Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays. It has an estimated flying time of about 1
hour and 10 minutes.
Flight #5J156 of Cebu
Pacific leaves Iloilo at 06:05 in the afternoon and arrives in
Tacloban at 7:15 in the evening, every Mondays, Wednesdays and
Meanwhile Flight #5J157
leaves Tacloban at 7:35 in the evening and arrives in Iloilo City at
8:45 in the evening.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho L. Petilla who is the chairman of the Eastern Visayas Regional
Development Council welcomes the new development saying that the
introduction of this new route is seen to strengthen the economic ties
between Iloilo and the province of Leyte and the Eastern Visayas as a
It will also be beneficial to local travelers who want to explore
Iloilo and Tacloban without having to connect flights, Governor
Tacloban is the provincial
capital of Leyte and the regional center of the Eastern Visayas
(Region VIII). It is a tourism hub and the primary gateway to Eastern
Visayas. The region is known for its natural ecological beauty and
diversity and for its historical significance in the Second World War.
Some of the most frequented
destinations in Leyte include the scenic San Juanico Bridge, the Santo
Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum, the neoclassical Leyte Provincial
Capitol and the monumental MacArthur Memorial Park, and the now famous
Aside from Iloilo to
Tacloban, Cebu Pacific is also opening 5 more inter-island routes to
boost Philippines’ most extensive route network.
It will launch thrice weekly
flights between Cebu and Busuanga, and between Tacloban and Legazpi
starting October 4, 2012. Both routes will operate on a Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday frequency, using an ATR 72-500 aircraft.
With PH now has
world’s highest electricity rate – a forthcoming social ‘typhoon’,
By Associated Labor Unions (ALU)
September 30, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
Today’s largest confederation of labor unions in the country, the
Associated Labor Unions-TUCP warns of workers’ unrest if the
government fails to act on rising electricity rates after hitting an
all-time high record of 13.66 pesos per kilowatt hour in Manila
Electric Company’s (MERALCO) five million customers in the past thirty
“This development is
alarming because it will hurt the already precarious income of
workers. The rising cost of electricity, at the same time, scares new
investors from coming in. And worse, it will force existing businesses
to close shop and transfer to other neighbouring Southeast Asian
countries where electricity is cheaper.
The ultimate impact is: more
and more Filipinos will be jobless, or, more and more will be aspiring
two jobs at one time for them to cope,” said Gerard Seno, ALU national
executive vice president.
“Aside from losing jobs, the
most painful effect of government powerlessness over high electricity
rates is the fact that 6% to 11% of the workers’ monthly salary goes
to their electric bills. This means they will pay more for the monthly
electricity than their budget for food, water, fuel, tuition fees and
other basic commodities. If this trend continues to surge, workers’
unrest is very apparent,” he stressed.
Monitoring of electricity
rate made by TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza showed the Manila
Electric Company (MERALCO) residential rates hit an all-time high of
P13.66 per Kilowatt hour (kWh) beginning August. At a dollar
equivalent of US$.33 per kWh this amount is the highest residential
rate in the world surpassing those of Denmark and Germany, Italy,
Austria, Ireland, Japan, Belgium and Netherlands at 22 to 32 US cents
On one hand, the electricity
rates in neighboring Asian competitors Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand,
and Indonesia are steady at 0.086 to 22 US cents per kilowatt-hour.
Seno stressed that the ALU
and an employers group have been urging Energy secretary Jose Rene
Almendras since last year to make drastic actions on the energy
problems issue but there has been none thus far.
The Department of Energy
(DOE) has announced that open access will be implemented next month.
Under open access those customers with 1 megawatt load can now choose
their power producer. However, the ALU and the TUCP Party-list shares
the fear that once open access kicks in, the captive residential
market faces the prospect of increased residential rates once
Distribution Utilities lose their large industrial and commercial
While open access promises
to be potentially damaging to the interests of consumers, the ALU and
the TUCP Party-list want to get a firm commitment from the DOE that
open access will be held in abeyance until a comprehensive, national,
multi-sector consumer impact assessment is undertaken.
The DOE must create a clear
energy roadmap on how to bring down the power rates in the country
even as it ensures energy security. The mandate of the government
particularly the DOE is to protect the consumers from excessive
corporate profiteering and ensure reliable, affordable power. It must
do its job to safeguard the public, Seno said.
Encounter: A day to remember
By DPAO, 8ID PA
September 29, 2012
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City
– The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army
joins the whole Samarnons in commemorating the heroism of the
twenty-eight ranking revolutionaries in their quest for freedom
against the American occupational forces in Balangiga town in a
week-long celebration from September 24-29, 2012.
The highlight of the celebration was the re-enactment of the
“Balangiga Encounter of 1901” which was performed during the
commemorative program at the Municipal Auditorium, Balangiga, Eastern
Samar on September 28, 2012.
The commemorative program was graced by Atty Jonisito Umali,
Undersecretary, Department of Education and was also participated Hon
Vircuso S De Lira, Mayor, Balangiga, Eastern Samar; Hon. Ben P Evadone,
Congressman, Lone District of Eastern Samar; Hon Modesto A Eder,
Sangguniang Bayan Member, Baalangiga, Eastern Samar; and Col Romeo
Labador, Commander, 801st Infantry Brigade.
According to Atty Umali, “tama na ang pagmamalabis ng mga dayuhang
Amerikano, ipinakita dito ang tunay na katangian ng isang tunay
Pilipino, matapang, matalino at higit sa lahat may malasakit at
pagmamahal sa bayan” at “tayo pong lahat ay magsama-samang mangarap,
mangarap po tayo na ating tatalunin ang kahirapan” added Umali.
During the commemoration on September 28, 2012 of the Balangiga
Encounter Day a thanksgiving mass was celebrated which was followed by
a Civic Military Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony participated by the
8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
The Balangiga Encounter Day was commemorated with a series of
activities such as bloodletting project dubbed as “Dugong Bayani” last
September 24, 2012 followed by a Multi-Hazard Drills; Agro-Industrial
Fair; Jobs Fair; Quiz Bee; Harana Contest; Laro ng Lahi; Poster Making
Contest and the Commemorative Program on September 28, 2012.
Based on the article written by Ruben Matias from the Cultural
Foundation “On September 28, 1901, Filipino patriots armed only with
bladed weapons made a surprise attack on the superior armed American
soldiers of the Company C on the Ninth Infantry Regiment of the US
Army garrisoned in Balangiga, Samar and almost wiped out the entire
Company. The Americans called it a “massacre” and “the bloodiest
chapter in the history of the American Army in the Philippines.” The
Filipinos depicted it as a fair armed encounter employing guerilla
tactics which the American soldiers were not used to as they were
inclined to the classic battle mode of standing your ground and
shooting or charging the enemy and fighting hand-to-hand. Gen Vicente Lukban (named after the main Army camp of 8ID) called the incident as
“Our Glorious Victory of Balangiga.”
Thousands troop to
LSDC for BHW Congress
By Provincial Media
September 29, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – In an effort
to recognize the invaluable efforts being rendered by barangay health
workers (BHWs), the provincial government of Leyte convened more than
4,000 health volunteers for the 4th Leyte Provincial Barangay Health
Workers Congress held at the Leyte Sports Development Center.
Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho
Petilla assured the thousands of BHWs in attendance coming from the
more than one thousand barangays of the province, of a free health
insurance coverage under PhilHealth.
Gov. Petilla said that since
BHWs are the ones giving much needed government health services to the
grassroots, they should also be covered by medical insurance
themselves, should they need it.
“We are enrolling all our
BHWs to ensure that they are covered of medical expenses should they
need one. It’s the least that we can do for our frontliners in health
care,” Gov. Petilla said in his keynote speech.
The governor likewise lauded
the BHWs for their dedication. In a town where health services are
scarce, the BHWs ably fill in the void by dispensing effective and
efficient health services, the governor added.
The governor said that the
provincial government has already put in place some initiatives,
including the upgrading of health facilities to ensure that health
programs will find its way to the barangays particularly in far-flung
He likewise mentioned that
the province in partnership with Japan International Cooperation
Agency (JICA) and the Department of Health, have continuously provided
training and capability building support to barangay health workers in
the province for better health care.
Gov. Petilla also made
mention of the benefits that the government is offering as incentive
to these health heroes who assists the government in the realization
of its health policy.
Republic Act No. 7883,
otherwise known as the Barangay Health Workers’ Benefits and
Incentives Act of 1995 clearly stipulates that accredited BHWs are
entitled to receive incentives and benefits which include hazard and
subsistence allowance. They should also have access to educational
programs to upgrade their skills and knowledge for community work or
to pursue further training, scholarship benefits and training grants,
sector convergence to help poor children, families in Eastern Visayas
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
September 29, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
On the third week of September, the Department of Social Welfare and
Development and the World Vision, a child-focused non-government
organization committed to converge in helping poor children and
families in the provinces of Leyte and Samar.
Both entities pledged to
complement each other’s resources for the well-being of children and
the communities in Eastern Visayas.
DSWD Region 8 Director
Leticia Diokno informed that the DSWD hopes to forge stronger
relationship with World Vision to address concerns like improving
“Poverty reduction is a
challenging task and we cannot do it alone,” Director Diokno said,
underscoring the fact that tapping the private sector is a development
strategy which is being promoted by the current Administration.
For his part, Mr. Ernesto
Macabenta, Associate Director for Visayas of the World Vision,
expressed his supports the co-sharing of resources for the well-being
“We cannot work alone. I
feel that this is the right time for us to come together with the
binding principle of contributing to the well-being of children. I
hope we can build and strengthen our partnership from now on,” Mr.
Present during the
convergence forum held at the Leyte Park Hotel in Tacloban City were
representatives from World Vision and its local partner in the
provinces of Leyte and Samar, as well as DSWD’s Poverty Reduction
Programs staff on ‘Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program’, Kalahi-CIDSS,
Sustainable Livelihood program and supplemental feeding.
To recall, in the month of
August this year, no less than the Provincial Government of Leyte
through Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla supported the stakeholders’
forum on Health and Nutrition organized by World Vision.
In his speech, Governor
Petilla said, “I am with you, in ensuring that all the children and
their families especially the underserved and underprivileged in Leyte
and Samar are provided with high-quality healthcare services along
with a good education, a good nutrition program and a good
World Vision serves the
provinces of Leyte and Samar in 151 barangays and 11 municipalities.
It has been serving more than 100,000 children in 33 provinces and 43
cities nationwide, and has been working in partnership with government
agencies and community partners for 55 years.
World Vision continues to
open education opportunities for children, sustainable livelihood for
the parents, health programs, child protection in the Philippines as
it operates in 29 provinces and over 1,000 barangays.
World Vision is a
child-focused, relief, development, and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families, and communities
worldwide to overcome poverty and injustice.
Furthermore, World Vision
works for the well-being of poor and vulnerable people through
Sustainable development by enabling communities to use their own
resources, capacities and potentials so that they can own and define
their own development process and achieve healthy, fuller lives of
dignity, justice and hope; Disaster relief, by responding to
life-threatening situations where its involvement is needed and
It seeks to protect
vulnerable people, especially children amid difficult circumstances by
providing emergency relief such as food, water, shelter, medicine and
clothing, and preparedness for future disasters.
DPWH 2nd Leyte
Engineering District sets to remove illegal structures
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
September 28, 2012
– The Department of Public Works and Highways Second Leyte
Engineering District is set to demolish or remove at least 11,000
illegal structures along the road right of way limit of national
DPWH 2nd LED District
Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia informed that this will be implemented
to the fullest with the creation of a team that will reinforce the
effort to keep road of way free from obstructions.
“The six-man team will
solely focus on demolition of illegal structures. It seems that people
just disregard our notices. We should not wait for erring residents to
do the removal but we have to do it in a respectful manner,” DE Junia
Currently there is only one
road right of way agent in the district, which is detrimental to their
campaign to keep road sides free from encroachments such as houses,
fence, posts, waiting shed, stores, among others.
“Even before the formation
of a demolition team, we already started removing structures. In fact,
we have pending 30 cases now at the Capoocan municipal court,’’ Junia
The demolition started at
Barangay Pinamopoan and Barangay Lemon in Capoocan, Leyte, which are
two areas along national roads with many encroachments.
“Many houses are very close
to the pavement along this road section. We have removed 50 structures
and some 80 that were just removed on the encroachers’ own
initiatives,” Junia added.
Moreover, DE Junia informed
that the 2nd LED just finalized the inventory last week following the
installation of warning signs in every kilometer stretch of primary
and secondary roads.
The DPWH steps up check of
the road right of way to keep motorists safe and to prepare the
national road for future expansion, Junia said.
K9 dog sniffs out
illegal drugs in Northern Samar, brgy kagawad arrested
By RPCRD, Police Regional
September 27, 2012
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Police authorities intercepted a shipment of
illegal drugs with the use of canine sniffing dog inside a provincial
bus in a bus terminal in Northern Samar recently.
Police Regional Office 8
Regional Director PCSupt Elmer Ragadio Soria said that joint elements
of Northern Samar Police Provincial Office and Catarman Municipal
Police Station seized a black bag containing several sachets of
suspected “shabu” from a barangay kagawad aboard a Silver Star Bus at
New Catarman Bus Terminal in Catarman, Northern Samar in the afternoon
of September 24.
“We received verified
information about the said drug shipment, thus, an operation was
immediately conducted. Since the alleged drugs were on-board a
vehicle, the use of K-9 sniffing dog proved to be helpful’, Soria
Garret Lluz y Esponilla, 32,
single and a barangay kagawad of Brgy. Poblacion 5 in Catubig,
Northern Samar has just arrived from Manila on board a Silver Star bus
with body number 201-001 when policemen halted him at around 4:25PM on
The operating team politely
introduced themselves as police officers and informed the bus driver
about the operation to be conducted on said vehicle. On the process,
the “Labrador” K-9 dog of the team sniffed something from the Lluz’
luggage. The suspect voluntarily confessed to the police officers that
he was in possession of illegal drugs carefully tucked on a white
t-shirt inside his black backpack.
Without being coerced, he
opened the bag waiving his rights not to be searched and the police
team found therein 21 sachets of white crystalline substance believed
to be methamphetamine hydrochloride locally known as “shabu”.
The police also confiscated
2 units Samsung mobile phone with charger, a Nokia BL-4V battery,
Silver Star Shuttle and Tours Inc. ticket number 700381 with attached
Silver Star ticket with Travel Detail, a SONY memory card Adaptor
MSAC-M2, Smart Buddy Browser, Community Tax Certificate No.
CC1200926457715, Identification Card for Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity,
Identification Card as Barangay Kagawad, Non-professional Driver’s
License, white t-shirt with markings Alpha Phi Omega and one unit SONY
PSP 4 GB (MP4, MP5, GAME).
Soria extols the employment
of K9 sniffing dogs to police works especially in solving and
preventing crimes and in saving lives and properties.
“The K9 sniffing dogs
augment the PNP in its law enforcement functions, combating and
preventing lawlessness and criminalities. They also play a vital role
in responding to crisis situations and in maintaining law and order,”
the Regional Director disclosed.
Canine dogs work closely
with their handlers to enforce laws and apprehend criminals. A primary
role for police dogs is pursuing and apprehending suspects that
attempt to escape law enforcement officers. K-9 dogs also tend to be
trained for one specialty skill such as identifying narcotics or
smuggled goods, search and rescue operations, detecting accelerants at
an arson scene, or locating human remains.
The discovery and
confiscation of said illegal drugs and the arrest of the suspect were
made at the height of intensified campaign of Police Regional Office 8
against the proliferation of illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas. Since
the assumption of PCSupt Soria as Police Regional Director last August
6, PRO8 had already conducted 19 positive police operations resulting
in the arrest of 22 suspected drug pushers and the filing of
appropriate drug charges against them in court.
A case for Violation of RA
9165 against Lluz was filed at Northern Samar Provincial Prosecutor’s
Office docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-II-INQ-R5-00033.
VP Binay: Barangay
officials now Pag-IBIG members; presses for GSIS coverage
By OVP Media
September 27, 2012
MANILA – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today said barangay officials may now become members
of the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, even as he
pressed for their membership in the Government Service Insurance
Addressing the annual
convention of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Pasay City, the Vice
President also proposed the economic clustering of barangays and the
establishment of local government unit (LGU) banks and LGU Cooperative
Banks to further push the viability of barangays as engines of growth.
Binay said while barangays
officials are expected to be at the forefront in responding to
calamities and even domestic concerns, they have in the past been
deprived benefits as government employees.
“Noong ako ay mayor pa
lamang, lagi kong pinapansin na ang ating mga opisyal ng barangay – na
inaasahan natin na laging naririyan tuwing may sunog, baha, aksidente
o away ng magkakapitbahay – ay ni hindi man lamang miyembro ng GSIS.
Kung kayat kapag matapos ang mahabang taon ng serbisyo, ang ating mga
opisyal ng barangay ay magreretiro na ni wala man lamang katiting na
pensiyon mula sa pamahalaan,” he said.
The Vice President said he
will request President Benigno Aquino III and the GSIS to consider
immediately extending GSIS membership to barangay officials.
Binay, who is Chair of the
Pag-IBIG Fund, announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement
between Pag-IBIG and the Liga ng mga Barangay, allowing barangay
chairs and their kagawads to become Fund members.
As members of Pag-IBIG,
barangay officials would be able to avail themselves of Multi-Purpose
loans for educational, health and other needs. They may also secure
Calamity Loans, and Housing Loans as well as other benefits that the
"Maaari na kayong
makapag-ipon para sa inyong kinabukasan. Sa tulong din ng kasunduang
ito, may pagkakataon pa na tapatan ng barangay ang inyong ihuhulog sa
Pag-IBIG kaya’t agad na magiging doble ang ipon ninyo," he added.
The Vice President also
proposed the clustering of barangays to promote investment, with the
view of improving the "viability of the barangays as engines of
"Under the Local Government
Code, the barangays are already empowered to promote this kind of
initiative and the USAID has proposed funding for such an initiative,"
He likewise proposed
adopting the ideas of countries like Germany and Costa Rica in setting
up local government banks and LGU cooperative banks.
According to Binay, local
government banks "could tap local resources and provide greater focus
on local projects." Meanwhile, cooperative banks provide a way to pool
the resources of local government units, especially adjacent ones.
PRO8 scores anew in
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 26, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – Few days after arresting 10 drug pushers in a span
of two weeks, two more suspected drug pushers were arrested in
separate buy-bust operations conducted by Police Regional Office 8 on
“Illegal drugs are the
menace of our society. It destroys the future of our children,” said
PRO8 Director PCSupt Elmer Ragadio Soria. He added that the arrests
are part of the police’s intensified crackdown against the illegal
drugs following his assumption into office more than a month ago.
Soria identified the
suspects as one Joerven Felidolfo Garces Pantorilla, 26, and a
resident of Arrandaza Street, Ormoc City and Rammel Tingzon Ubarco,
41, of Barangay Highway, Dulag, Leyte. Both listed in PRO8 watchlist
of illegal drugs personalities.
The Regional Director
informed that on September 24, Pantorilla was arrested by Ormoc City
Police Office- Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF)
led by PCInsp Ibrahim Jambiran in a buy-bust operation.
Pantorilla was caught as he
handed over a sachet of shabu to a poseur buyer at about 7:00 PM on
Monday. Also confiscated from him were one aluminum foil strip; an
improvised tooter; improvised lamp; one Nokia cellular phone; assorted
plastic sachet and the 500-peso marked bill used as buy-bust money.
On same date, Ubarco was
apprehended in a buy-bust operation at Barangay Highway, Dulag, Leyte
by the joint elements of PAIDSOTG, Leyte PPO and Dulag Police Station
led by PSInsp Alberto Renomeron Jr.
Ubarco allegedly sold a pack
of suspected shabu to an operative when he was apprehended past 4 p.m.
Two more packs of suspected shabu were seized from Ubarco aside from
the 500-peso bill used as marked money.
Soria lauded the capture of
the suspects, saying the prevention of street crimes and proliferation
of illegal drugs are priorities of the Police Regional Office 8. The
suspects were placed under surveillance for almost a week before the
buy-bust was initiated.
“As much as possible, we
prefer to be proactive rather than reactive. The recent arrests speaks
well in our effort in the prevention of the proliferation of drugs in
the region and is indeed a major accomplishment,” said Soria.
Confiscated items were
turned-over to PNP Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis and the
suspects were charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 or the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.