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Karapatan keeps fight vs. Cybercrime law, calls attention of UN

Army troops join Peace Workshop for Women in Samar

PNP SCOUT to beef up campaign against local terrorist movement in Eastern Visayas

PRO8 nabs brgy chairman for rape

Livelihood assistance given to FRs

Joint assembly of RDC, REAL tackles convergence towards rapid, inclusive, sustained economic growth

Army troops conduct bloodletting activity

FOI death by inaction looms in Congress

NCPW kick-off ceremony draws multi-sectoral support

Alangalang acquires P13-M fire truck from Korea


PRO8 steps up arrest of wanted persons

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
October 15, 2012

CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  Police Regional Office 8 line units stepped up their campaign against most wanted criminals in the region following directives from its top official to initiate a sustained and intensified campaign against wanted persons.

According to PRO8 Director PCSupt Elmer Ragadio Soria, the massive campaign against wanted criminals as ordered by PNP chief PDG Nicanor A. Bartolome has netted 419 wanted men in Eastern Visayas since he assumed office on August 6 to date alone.

“There is an ongoing all-out effort by our men to account wanted criminals as part of our priority program in the implementation of Manhunt: Charlie,” said Soria, adding that this police operational focus and priority concerns is in relation to the 10-Point Action plan of the Chief, PNP.

“This is basically anchored on the belief that one criminal off the street accords citizens with sound sleep”, the Regional Director said as he announced that 12 more wanted criminals were arrested by his men over the weekend while the other one was neutralized when he shoot it out with police authorities.

On October 14, in Brgy 54, Magallanes, Tacloban City, elements of Police Station 1, Tacloban City Police Office led by SP04 Eliseo Del Rosario arrested one Rodrigo Samson y Violen, by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of Frustrated Murder docketed under Criminal Case No. 2012-09-517 issued by Honorable Rogelio C Sescon, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court Branch 9, Tacloban City.

Murder suspect Nestor Udtohan
Arrested murder suspect Nestor Udtohan alias Nono arrested by Regional Special Operations Group 8 (RSOG8) and Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB8) at the hinterlands of Brgy Hetibak, Gandara, Samar.

At about 5:00 o’clock in the morning of October 13, elements of Matag-ob Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Maturino Diaz, Jr. arrested one Silverino Rota y Aseo alias “Yanong”, resident of Sitio Balanak, Barangay Balagtas, Matag-ob, Leyte by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of Rape docketed under Criminal Case No. 7534-0 and 7536-0 with no bail recommended issued by Honorable Apolinario M Buaya, Presiding Judge RTC Branch 12, Ormoc City. Said person is ranked number 10 in the list of Most Wanted Persons of Matag-ob, Leyte.

On October 12, in Brgy Hetibak, Gandara, Samar, joint elements of Regional Special Operations Group 8 (RSOG8) led by Police Inspector Constantino Jabonete and Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB8) led by Police Inspector Garry Tungala arrested one Nestor Udtohan alias “Nono”, by virtue of Warrant of Arrest for the crime of Murder docketed under Criminal Case No. 02-00-90 issued by Honorable Rosario Bandal, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court Branch 41, Calbayog City.

On October 11, elements of Ormoc City Police Office led by Police Senior Superintendent Elizar Egloso, City Director, proceeded at Brgy. Hinagbu-an, Palompon, Leyte to serve the Warrant of Arrest against one Charito Doring Alquino, for the crime of Murder docketed under Criminal Case No. R-ORM-08-00098-BC issued by Hon Judge Apolinario Buaya of RTC Branch 35, Ormoc City. The team stake out at the vicinity until the suspect arrived at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening. Police Chief Inspector Ibrahim Jambiran and PO2 Hydie Yutrago accosted the suspect and introduced themselves as police officers. However, suspect immediately drew his caliber .38 revolver and shot Police Chief Inspector Jambiran but missed. Jambiran returned fire hitting the victim several times on the different parts of his body who still was able to run a few meters and stumble on the ground. Suspect was immediately brought to Palompon Hospital but declared Dead on Arrival by the attending physician. Subject is ranked number 6 in the list of Most Wanted Persons in Ormoc City.

On the same date at Brgy. Dapdap, Dolores, Eastern Samar, police team led by Police Chief Inspector Dionesio Maestre, arrested one Noe Abeque y Balagbis, by virtue of arrest warrant for the crime of Murder docketed under Criminal Case No. 417-11-08 issued by Hon Filotea M Estorninos, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 4, Dolores, Eastern Samar dated September 06, 2012.

On October 10, joint elements of Tomas Oppus, Southern Leyte and Duero Police Station conducted manhunt operation at Duero, Bohol which resulted to the arrest of one Rodrigo O Roble, of Brgy. Maanyag, Tomas Oppus, Southern Leyte by virtue of Warrant of Arrest for the crime of Rape in relation to RA 7610 docketed under Criminal Case No. 12-04-3732 with no bail recommended issued by Hon Judge Bethany Kapili, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 24, Maasin City, Southern Leyte. Said arrested person ranked Number 9 in the list of Most Wanted Persons in the Municipality of Tomas Oppus.

Also on October 10, 2012, at Brgy Cantao-an, Paranas, Samar, elements of Paranas Police Station led by Police Chief Inspector Doughlas Antonio Eloja, arrested one Roman Babael y Dacula, by virtue of arrest warrant for the crime of two (2) counts Frustrated Homicide docketed under criminal case numbers 4826 and 4844 issued by Hon Sibanah E Usman, Presiding Judge of RTC, Branch 28, Catbalogan City, Samar with recommended bail bond of P200,000.00 and P24,000.00, respectively.

Also on October 10, at Brgy Villa Hermosa, Oriental, Pagsanghan, Samar, elements of Pagsanghan Police Station led by Police Inspector Oscar Pagulayan, arrested one Rowel Acidello y Oliva alias “Rowing”, by virtue of arrest warrant for the crime of Frustrated Homicide docketed under Criminal Case number T-175, issued by Hon Esteban V Dela Peńa, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 40, Tarangnan, Samar.

At about 2:35 PM of same date, at Brgy Villa Hermosa, Occidental, Pagsanghan, Samar, same police team also arrested one Odelon Del Rosario y Soliva alias “Odie”, by virtue of warrant for the crime of Acts of Lasciviousness docketed under criminal case number T-174 issued by Hon. Esteban V Dela Peńa, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 40, Tarangnan, Samar.

At about 4:00 PM of October 9, one Reamboy Boloy y Condes, was arrested by elements of City Public Safety Company of Ormoc City Police Office and turned-over to Palo Police Station. He was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by Hon Alphinor C Serrano, Presiding Judge of RTC Br 6, Tacloban City for the crime of Murder docketed under criminal case 2012-08-463 with no bail recommended.

At about 11:00 PM on October 9, at Brgy San Roque, Tanauan, Leyte, elements of Tanauan Police Station led by Police Chief Inspector Eduardo Esmero, arrested one Jovani Llyod Vasquez, by virtue of Warrant of Arrest for the crime of Robbery docketed under criminal case number 2012-07-408 issued by Hon. Rogelio Sescon, Presiding Judge of RTC, Branch 9, Tacloban City.

At the outskirts of Brgy Mabini, Daram Samar, joint elements of Regional Special Operation Group 8 led by Police Inspector Constantino Jabonete, Jr, and 2nd Company of Regional Public Safety Battalion 8 led by Police Senior Inspector Shyrile Sy Tan apprehended Rodrigo Abella y Abia alias Junior Abella/Onyot/Jr., and Reynaldo Abella y Abia alias Johnrey Abella/Aya, both are ranked 2nd and 3rd Most Wanted Persons of Daram by virtue of Warrant of Arrest docketed under Criminal Case Number 6478-4-3-07 of the crime of Murder issued by Honorable Judge Sibanah Usman of the Regional Trial Court Branch 28, Catbalogan City with no bail recommended for their temporary liberty.

Soria showed appreciation to the informants for their courage and cooperation with the police leading the PNP to arrest the wanted persons and put them behind bars.






4th Kabataan, Kultura ug Kabilin
The 4th Kabataan, Kultura ug Kabilin last Sept. 29 draws Carolinians to a challenging but fun way of learning Cebuano culture and heritage in the participating museums and heritage sites.

Youth event highlights Cebuano heritage

By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
October 12, 2012

CEBU CITY  –  Around 2,000 students, some in colorful Filipiana attire while others in costumes portraying characters from the different eras of Philippine history, visited the city’s museums and heritage sites on Sept. 29 for the 4th Kabataan, Kultura ug Kabilin (KKK).

KKK is organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), in partnership with the University of San Carlos - Department of Anthropology, Sociology and History (USC-DASH) and the Cebu City Government.

Museums and heritage sites that opened are Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Cebu City Museum, Cebu Normal University Museum, Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum, Fort San Pedro, Museo Sugbo, Museo Parian sa Sugbo, Sacred Heart Church - Alternative Contemporary Arts Studio, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) - Rizaliana Museum, Basilica Minore del Santo Nińo, Cebu Heritage Monument, Colon Obelisk, Magellan’s Cross, Plaza Hamabar, Plaza Independencia, Plaza Sugbo, and San Nicholas Church.

The event is aimed to connect theoretical lectures on history, society, culture and heritage through visiting museums and heritage sites, demonstrate the value of museum and heritage sites or institutions as tools for education, encourage a dynamic dialogue between heritage groups, host communities and young people in the promotion and protection of the sites, and develop a sense of pride.

According to James Son G. Pada, an Engineering student from the University of San Carlos and a participant during the event, “KKK was able to show me the richness of the Philippine culture in the past until today.”

To ferry the participants, school buses of USC and USPF, Ceres Liner buses, and buses of barangays Zapatera, Day-as, San Roque, Tejero, Banilad, Bacayan, Apas, Ermita, T. Padilla, Seńor Sto. Nińo, Sta. Cruz, Lahug, Mabolo, and Lorega-San Miguel were used.

Tartanillas (horse-drawn carriage) also plied between the Gotiaoco Building, across the Cebu City Hall and Fort San Pedro.

More than 50 youth volunteers from USC-DASH, partner barangays, and graduates of Young Minds Academy (YMA) facilitated the tour in the museums and heritage sites.

Asked why she volunteered for KKK, Candice Cańete, an Anthropology major from USC, said, “I do not deserve to sleep today if I am not wiser tomorrow than I was yesterday”.

KKK is supported by Cebu City Parks and Playgrounds Commission, Cebu City Police Office, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management, Department of Tourism - Region 7, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Cebu Provincial Government, and the Philippine Navy - Naval Forces Central.

Kabataan, Kultura ug Kabilin is a program under Culture & Heritage, one of the focus areas of RAFI, which aims to help communities understand, value, and share their cultural identity with others. RAFI's other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.

For more information about Kabataan, Kultura ug Kabilin, please call 418-7234 local 703 and look for Karl Hegel Damayo, or visit or






2nd Governor’s Forum on PhilHealth
Leyte Gov. Jericho "Icot" Petilla and Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua exchange with healthcare participants health innovations and strategies to maximize health investments through PhilHealth during the recently held PhilHealth sponsored 2nd Governors' Forum at the Oriental Hotel Leyte.

Govs share strategies, innovations in maximizing health investment

By Provincial Media Relations Center
October 11, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is calling for innovations that would go beyond enrolling all Filipino citizens under the government’s health coverage, and maximizing health investments.

This was the main focus in the recently held 2nd Governor’s Forum on PhilHealth attended by governors from various provinces in the region and other parts of the country.

The forum, held at the Oriental Hotel - Leyte, was aimed to inform governors of their sponsored program enrolment and to help them improve government hospital operations and management.

According to Philhealth-8 Regional Executive Vice-President Walter Bacareza, enrolling members for Philhealth is not anymore a problem in the region as already, 96% of the total populace in the Eastern Visayas is already covered by PhilHealth. Of this figure, the province of Leyte posts the highest number of PhilHealth covered population which numbers to more or less 250,000 for 2012.

“Our target now is how we can give our members better access and what other benefits we can add on to ensure that every member is protected,” Bacareza said.

Among those who shared best practices, strategies and health innovations was Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla, whose health initiatives of starting the Mother Bles Birthing Clinics in and outside the region, was lauded by PhilHealth and other health organization in the country.

Gov. Petilla likewise shared during the forum Leyte’s Special Service Fee (SSF) scheme implemented among provincial and district hospitals run by the provincial government of Leyte. The governor explained how the province provide incentive to its doctors, nurses and other non-medical staff using the said scheme.

This Special Service Fee (SSF) scheme was awarded as one of the Top 10 finalists for Best in Health Market Innovations in 2012 that gave the governor the Galing-Likha Kalusugan Award.

Other governors who attended the forum included Northern Samar Gov. Paul Daza, Southern Leyte Gov. Damian Mercado, Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua and representatives of the governors of Samar and Eastern Samar provinces.

Healthcare participants from Rodriguez, Rizal were also among the attendees.





Beware of marijuana-laced brownies, PDEA warns public

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 11, 2012

GOVERNMENT CENTER, Palo, Leyte  –  The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) recently warned the public about the proliferation of marijuana-laced brownies, or cakes, in the streets.

PDEA Region 8 Director Julius Navales informed that PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. issued the warning in light of a recent report citing the existence of homemade baked goods that contained marijuana presented as a birthday gift.

Director Navales said that last week, a nurse in a provincial hospital in San Marcelino, Zambales received three boxes of baked brownies from a certain chef as birthday present, which she shared with co-workers.

Unfortunately, later that day, 17 employees of the hospital felt dizziness and pain, and eventually fell ill after eating the brownies. They were given immediate medical attention.

The brownies were then submitted for laboratory examination and the results yielded positive result for the presence of marijuana. The specimen was confirmed to contain extracted marijuana leaves purposely mixed as ingredients in baking the brownies.

In a statement, Director General Gutierrez said that “Eating marijuana-spiked brownies, or pastries present major health risks. The continuous consumption of these has the potential to be addictive to unsuspecting consumers.”

Marijuana is considered to be a gateway drug and its users have a strong inclination to move on to much-harder drugs later on, Gutierrez added.

This is the reason that PDEA is sending out this stern warning to the public not to accept any box of goodies from anonymous persons as the same may contain illegal drugs, Director Navales said.

He added that PDEA is is presently intensifying its intelligence gathering to arrest unscrupulous elements using this method of drug-pushing. (with report from PDEA8)





PRO8 to use full force of the law vs. “Swertres” - Soria

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
October 11, 2012

CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  Echoing the instruction and guidance of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas during his first command conference with top officials of the Philippine National Police last Monday to stamp out all forms of illegal gambling activities, Police Regional Office 8 Director Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria vowed to unleash the full might of the law against operators and protectors of the illegal numbers’ game called “swertres.”

“Field commanders have been relentless in their operations based on constant reminders from this office to step up campaign against swertres and all forms of illegal gambling activities in their areas of jurisdiction,” Soria said even as he reminded all provincial and city directors to stop the resurgence of swertres amidst reports that local gambling operators have started their illegal numbers game operations again.

The Police Regional Director, however disclosed, that same is not a pressing issue considering that PRO-8 has sustained its campaign against all types of illegal gambling operations.

For the period January 1 to date, PRO8 has conducted 580 anti-illegal gambling operations on that resulted in the apprehension of 645 persons, confiscation of P154,516.25 worth of bet money and filing a total of 415 cases in court.

He added that this accomplishment means there has been no let up in making Eastern Visayas gambling-free as he announced the arrests of 6 more suspects in separate anti-gambling operations conducted by his men in different parts of the region.

On October 8, joint elements of Regional Special Operations 8 (RSOG8) led by SPO4 Ananias Monteroso under the direct supervision of Police Senior Inspector Dinvir L Revita, Chief RSOG8, together with the members of Regional Public Safety Battalion 8 and elements of Carigara Police Station conducted operation against illegal gambling at Brgy. San Mateo, Carigara, Leyte that resulted to the apprehension of Jerome Marquez, 20, a resident of Brgy. San Quintin, Carigara, Leyte who was caught on the act engaging in illegal gambling activities locally known as “swertres”.

Confiscated from his possession and control were one unit bicycle, one unit Nokia cellphone model 1202-2, one piece tip dated October 8, 2012, 8 sheets of yellow pad paper with number combinations and bet money amounting to P1930.00.

At Brgy. Canlapwas in Catbalogan City, elements of RSOG8 and Catbalogan Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Alex Cantillep conducted joint operations against illegal gambling which resulted to the arrest of Jasper Dacallos Y Aguilar, 26, single, jobless and a resident of Brgy. Majacob, Tarangnan, Samar while actually engaging in illegal number game activity locally known as “swertres”. Confiscated from his actual possession were one bundle of stubs with different number combinations dated October 7, 2012, one ballpen, and bet money amounting to P71.00.

Meanwhile, at Sitio Kanlong-Kanlong, Brgy. Jubasan, Allen, Northern Samar, elements of Allen Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Joy Leanza arrested one Cito Dente y Leuterio, legal age and a resident of Brgy. Poblacion, Zone 2, Victoria, Northern Samar while engaged in “swertres”. Confiscated from his possession were one yellow paper, one ballpen and bet money amounting to P127.00..

In Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, along the national highway of Brgy Talisay, elements of Hinunangan Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Castor Cabilogan, apprehended one Jose Allan Pugoy y Sumalinog, 24, single and a resident of Brgy Ambacon of said town who was caught engaged in transporting ‘swertres” paraphernalia from the different controllers. Confiscated from the his possession and control were 11 tally sheets, one black ballpen and bet money amounting to P450.00 in different denominations.

Also, a text message from an informant received by Police Station 2 of Ormoc City Police Office informing that one Roland Endolos y Cortez, 52, married, farmer and a resident of Brgy Sabang-Bao, Ormoc City was engaged in collecting bets for “swertres” at at said village. Immediately, police team led by Police Senior Inspector Manuelito Wenceslao proceeded to the area and arrested said suspect. Confiscated from the suspect were one ballpen, one tally sheet containing different number combination, one swertres tip dated October 5, 2012 and bet money amounting to P200.00.

At Brgy Laguma, Silago, Southern Leyte, elements of Silago Police Station conducted operation against swertres which resulted to the apprehension of one Ronie Tayum y Saberon, 32, single and a resident of said place who was caught in the act engaging on said illegal gambling activity. Confiscated from his possession were 3 tally sheets, 2 swertres tips and bet money amounting to P170.00.

PCSupt Soria informed that arrested suspects will be facing charges for violations of Presidential Decree 1602 as amended by Republic Act 9287 as he attributed the successful operations to the support of the community and the active participation of the members of the different Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams.

The region’s top police official also reminded all unit commanders to ‘hit hard’ on illegal gambling by first maintaining a ‘no-take’ policy as he warned those who consistently fail in complying with the PRO8’s strict orders to resolve the illegal number games operation in their areas of jurisdiction that they will be relieved from their posts immediately and face administrative charges as warranted by evidence.





UNFPA, Plan Philippines highlight rising teen pregnancy on 1st International Day of Girl Child

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 10, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The pressing issue on pregnancy among girls under the age of 20 which increased by 65 per cent over a 10-year period from 2000-2010 despite a reverse trend in teen marriages which is on the decline, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO), will be highlighted by the United Nations Population Fund and Plan Philippines as they join forces for the first ever observance of the International Day of the Girl Child on Thursday October 11.

In a joint press statement sent to the Philippine Information Agency by Plan Philippines in Eastern Visayas Totch dela Cruz, it was learned that in 2010, live births by teenage mothers registered with the NSO were 207,898, compared with 126,025 in 2000. On the other hand, teenage marriages registered with the agency shows a slow but steady decline from 14.8 per cent in 2000 to 13 per cent in 2010.

The 2011 Family Health Survey also revealed that while childbirth is slowly decreasing among women in the older age groups, it is increasing among girls 15 to 19 years old, from 39 per 1,000 live births in 2006 to 54 in 2011, across all regions in the Philippines. Researchers have shown that the lack of comprehensive sexuality education and limited access to adolescent-friendly reproductive health services are key reasons for high incidence of teen pregnancies.

“Teenage pregnancy is becoming an epidemic. And this is why I continue to say we are failing our young people. We all know that a young girl, pregnant in her teenage years faces a lot of risks. Her body is not yet fully developed and ready to carry a child. It puts her at risk of complications, even death,” said Ugochi Daniels, UNFPA Country Representative.

“Teenage pregnancy robs a girl child of her right to enjoy a full life. It often pushes her to give up her childhood and forces her to be a mother, even though she is just a child herself. It is not a choice she makes for herself, it is a consequence she has to live with out of lack of information and options,” she added.

If no one takes action, Daniels said, the cycle will go on and ultimately contribute to the long standing issue of poverty that affects most young Filipinos.

For her part, Plan International Country Director Carin van der Hor underscored that, “As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Philippine government has an obligation to provide the means for the fulfillment of the rights of the child. This includes giving age-appropriate sexuality and reproductive health education.”

On October 11, UNFPA and Plan International will hold a day of wellness and health information activities for public high school students and out of school adolescents in Juan Sumulong High School in Quezon City, with the support of the Department of Health (DOH), Youth Peer Educators Network-Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (Y-PEER-FPOP), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), and Lunduyan Foundation.

Adolescents participating in the activities will have the opportunity to consult with doctors regarding health concerns and participate in health information sessions led by youth peer educators. The sessions aim to equip them with knowledge and life skills to prevent teenage pregnancy.

The day will be capped by “Usapang Kabataan” (teen talk), a forum that will tackle teen pregnancy with the school community, to be facilitated by TV personality Boy Abunda, who is also a celebrity advocate for UNFPA and Plan Philippines.

UNFPA has also partnered with NISA Ul Haqq Fi Bangsamoro, a non-government organization, to maximize the observance to bring attention to the harmful tradition of child marriage. The NGO will conduct this through alliance-building activities for the repeal of discriminatory provisions in the Code of Muslim Personal Laws which allow Muslim girls to be married as early as nine years old or when she has reached puberty.

Plan International is likewise actively engaged in the issue of child marriage. Plan Philippines forms part of a nine-country initiative to prevent child marriage in Asia.

The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 on December 19, 2011, declaring October 11 as International Day of the Girl Child as a way to recognize the human rights of girls and the challenges they face around the world. At the global level, the first observance this year will focus on child marriage, a fundamental human rights violation that impacts all aspects of a girl's life.





PRO-8 anti-drugs drive nabs 2 minors for marijuana possession

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
October 10, 2012

CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) expressed concern that more minors are engaged in illegal drug activities as “user” or are being utilized by drug groups in their illegal activities amid proposals to lower the age of criminal offenders that can be sent to jail and prosecuted in the country.

“Minors should not be involved in the illegal drugs trade either as user or pusher. We must put a stop to this activity by intensifying our anti-illegal drugs drive targeting pushers and peddlers.”, Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria said. “It is sad to note that instead of going to school, these minors are involved in the illegal drugs trade”, the Police Regional Director added while assuring the public that PRO8 is doing its best to stop this kind of illegal activity.

This developed as police arrested a 15-year old and a 17-year old boy in Naval, Biliran for carrying sachets of dried marijuana leaves.

Naval policemen headed by PO1 Christian Paminiano caught these minors at Vicentillo, Brgy Rosario of said town while conducting beat patrol operations in the early morning of October 4. Names of the boys, a high school student and an out-of-school youth were withheld being minors.

The police suspected that the 3 sachets of dried marijuana leaves would either be consumed or sold by the minors.

The items were immediately brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory 8 for qualitative and quantitative examination while MSWD of Naval took custody of the minor suspects.

Soria lamented that there has been a total of 972 minors arrested in the country since 2003 for violating Republic Act 9165, known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, wherein 34 percent of those arrested minors were utilized by drug syndicates as pushers.

“Drug syndicates take advantage of Section 6 of RA 9344 otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. The law exempts minors or children 15 years old and below, from criminal liability and so, those arrested for involvement in illegal drug activities were eventually turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development”, Soria said.

In the case of the arrested 17-year old boy, Soria said that although he is a minor, he can be criminally liable under Republic Act 9344 if the court finds that he acted with discernment in violating the anti-drug law.

The Regional Director added that while there are no reports reaching his office on the utilization of minors as drug carriers, he had directed the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force of different police offices under his command to validate said possibility, aside from conducting intensified anti illegal drugs operations.

Meanwhile, elements of PRO8 carried out two consecutive entrapment operations in the different provinces of the region.

Also in Naval, Biliran, at Abad St. Brgy SMO Rosario, one Rey Matugas Rabasto, 31, married, dispatcher and a resident of Sitio Bliss, Brgy Calumpang, Naval, Biliran was arrested by joint elements of Biliran PPO PAIDSOFT led by Police Chief Inspector Roderico Lepasana, Naval Police Station and PDEA-8 during a buy-bust operation.

Confiscated from the suspect were P1,000.00 bill with SN ED003651, marked money and 2 pieces small heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be “shabu”.

Another entrapment operation in Brgy Doos Del Sur, Hindang, Leyte led to the arrest of one Miguelito Ballener y Betonio, 34 yrs old, married after he sold a sachet of shabu to a police undercover officer.

Confiscated from his possession were a piece of heat sealed sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected as “shabu”, P500.00 bill marked money with serial number CG203388 and P2,000.00 cash money in different denominations believed to be proceeds from his illegal activities.

Suspect was brought to Hindang Police Station for proper disposition while the confiscated “shabu” were submitted to Regional Crime Laboratory 8 for examination. The conduct of inventory and photograph of evidences were witnessed by Brgy. Chairman Esteban Alias of Doos, Del Sur and Brgy Chairman Tazonie Garcia of Doos Del Norte, ABC President of Hindang, Leyte.

Appropriate drug charges were filed against the suspects, PCSupt Soria said.



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