UNA cites violation
of the law in Cebu; slams LP defense as recycled statements from the
December 26, 2012
MANILA – The
United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today strongly criticized violations
of the law and the abuse of power by the Liberal Party in Cebu,
calling it proof that “Mar-tial Law” has been declared by the
administration party in the vote-rich province whose top local
officials are affiliated with UNA.
UNA Secretary General Toby
Tiangco said the LP has committed “glaring violations of the law and
clear abuse of power” in attempting to enforce the suspension order on
Governor Gwen Garcia and install the Vice Governor who is a member of
the ruling party led by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.
“The LP-affiliated Vice
Governor closed down two media outlets on flimsy grounds. The police
erected barricades and deployed hundreds of armalite-wielding
policemen to the capitol. Supporters of the Governor and even
employees were prevented from entering the grounds. They were not even
allowed to bring in food that they have prepared,” he said.
“As Vice President Binay
himself pointed out, there is no need to arm the policemen with
armalite rifles since it was a peaceful assembly,” he said. UNA
earlier said the LP had converted the provincial capitol into a
Tiangco also dismissed
statements made by the Liberal Party spokesman as recycled statements
used by the latter to defend Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo.
used to be one of Mrs. Arroyo's most loyal defenders and used to
insist that Mrs. Arroyo was on the right side of the law each time her
regime abused its power,” Tiangco said.
“Like other Arroyo defenders
who shifted loyalties en masse to the ruling party, the LP spokesman
is recycling the same excuses meant to justify political harassment.
Harassment is harassment. You cannot invoke “respect for the rule of
law” and “daang matuwid” to justify a patently illegal act and the
abuse of power. Those who are now invoking the rule of law and the
righteous path should first examine their tainted political and moral
backgrounds to avoid embarrassing themselves and their new masters,”
“Nothing can justify abuse
of power, especially not the recycled statements from defenders of the
discredited former regime. No matter what the LP and its apologists
say, the people of Cebu know that Mar-tial law has been imposed in
their province,” he added.
The UNA official also took
exception to claims made by the LP that party members have been
treated in the same manner as Governor Garcia.
He said in the case of
Caloocan Mayor Recom Echeverri, an LP member, his suspension was not
effectively served and his followers were allowed to camp out in front
of City Hall with the least intervention from the police.
“We did not hear the LP or
the administration asking him to follow the suspension order while
waiting for the Court of Appeals to decide,” he said.
For UNA, Tiangco said
respect for the rule of law also means extending courtesy to a
co-equal branch of government. “Since a case has already been filed
before the Court of Appeals, the administration party should allow the
courts to decide,” he said.
Tiangco added that Vice
President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate
President Juan Ponce Enrile visited Garcia to show their support, and
could hardly be compared to the time DILG Secretary Mar Roxas
accompanied partymate Grace Padaca when she posted bail before the
“The leaders of UNA visited
Governor Garcia to show their support for a beleaguered member and to
make sure that the authorities respect the law. This is hardly a
controversial move. It cannot be compared to DILG Secretary Mar Roxas
attempting to influence the Sandiganbayan when he accompanied his
party mate Grace Padaca when she posted bail for a graft case,” he
Tiangco also commented on
the statement made by the LP gubernatorial candidate for Cebu that the
people will render the ultimate judgment in the 2013 elections.
“This is precisely our point
and this is what makes the suspension order nothing more than a power
grab by the LP, a desperate and blatant attempt to overturn the
decision of the people of Cebu in the 2010 elections,” he said.
against PAG in Samar
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 24, 2012
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The Regional Special Operation
Task Group (RSTOG) of the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) scored in
its stepped-up campaign against Partisan Armed Groups (PAGs) with the
neutralization of Samar’s most wanted criminal and PAG member in an
encounter in a hinterland village in Gandara town early morning
“We aimed to dismantle these
PAGs to ensure a peaceful elections next year as the RSOTG is directed
to arrest all PAG members with existing warrants of arrest”, Police
Regional Director Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria
Soria identified the slain
PAG member as Julito Aragon y Cachero alias Nonoy, 30, single, a
member of Moloboco PAG operating in the First District of Samar. Aragon is listed as the Number One Most Wanted Person in Samar
province and wanted for two counts of murder.
Reports reaching PRO8 from
Police Senior Superintendent Edgardo Basbas, RSOTG Commander,
disclosed that focused police operation conducted by joint elements of
RSOTG Tracker Team 1, Second Company of Regional Public Safety
Battalion and Gandara Police Station at around 4:30 in the early
morning of December 23 in the hinterlands of Brgy. Peñaplata in
Gandara, Samar led to the neutralization of the suspect.
The team, led by Police
Inspector Chamberline Ludevice, was armed with arrest warrants for two
murder cases docketed under criminal case numbers 11-0514 and 5516
dated May 25, 2012 and August 31, 1999 issued by Regional Trial Court
Branch 41 and 3rd Municipal Circuit Trial Court both of Gandara, Samar
with no bail recommended, respectively.
“Instead of surrendering
peacefully, Aragon opted to shoot it out with our policemen, prompting
the law enforcers to return fire,” Soria added.
The suspect was hit on the
different parts of his body causing his instantaneous death.
Police recovered from the
suspect one Colt MK IV .45 caliber pistol bearing serial number 655915
loaded with 6 live ammunitions.
The incident scene was
properly preserved and processed by the responding SOCO Team from
Western Samar Provincial Crime Laboratory Office while cadaver of the
slain suspect was brought to Gandara District Hospital for post mortem
The Moloboco PAG, in which
the suspect belongs, is one of the two remaining PAG aside from the
Montealto group operating in Samar province that was named recently as
one of the 15 “priority areas” by the Department of Interior and Local
“We activated the RSOTG
purposely to dismantle these PAGs and to ensure a secured and fair
midterm elections next year,” Soria ended.
Indian firms to
hire 5K new workers in PHL; gov’t to send aid for Pablo victims – VP
December 22, 2012
Indian companies are keen on expanding operations in the Philippines
and hire around 5,000 Filipinos in the information technology (IT)
sector, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today said.
“Together with the Filipino
businessmen, we met with several Indian technology companies that have
expressed strong interest to expand their operations in the
Philippines, including employment of an additional 5,000 full-time
Filipino employees,” he said upon his arrival from India.
Binay met with executives of
ESSAR Group/AEGIS, HCL Technologies Ltd., Syntel Inc., Infosys BPO
Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services, and Interglobe Technologies.
He also witnessed the
signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Business Process
Outsourcing Association of the Philippines and the National
Association of Software Services Company and the Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He said the MOU “enhanced the
cooperation and complementarity between Philippine and Indian IT
The Vice President also
mentioned that the government of India is willing to extend relief
assistance to Filipino families affected by Typhoon Pablo.
“The Indian ambassador to
the Philippines manifested the Indian government’s commitment to
assist the victims of Typhoon Pablo, and the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs conveyed their desire to provide relief to those who suffered
in the calamity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Binay said that
he talked with Myanmar President Thein Sein and the latter sought the
assistance of the Philippines in agriculture development.
“Our Philippine Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (PCCI) met with the Union of Myanmar Federation
of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) on December 20 at the
sidelines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit,” Binay said.
“The fruit of that meeting
is the likelihood of revitalizing the Philippines-Myanmar business
relations through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the
PCCI and UMFCCI in the area of agricultural development, particularly
in rice technologies, bananas, and related areas,” he added.
Binay represented President
Benigno S. Aquino III to the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the
2nd ASEAN-India Business Fair and Conclave in New Delhi.
During the summit, Binay
said leaders of the ASEAN countries and India committed “to strengthen
cooperation to ensure maritime security and freedom of navigation, and
safety of sea lanes of communication for unfettered movement of trade
in accordance with international law including UNCLOS.”
“Negotiations of the
ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement in services and investments were also
concluded in New Delhi just in time for the commemorative summit,” the
Vice President said.
“The summit results in
stronger ties between ASEAN and India in ensuring economic relations,
freedom of maritime navigation, security of contiguous waters, and the
fight against human trafficking, illegal drugs and terrorism, among
other issues,” he added.
special enumeration in Palompon, Leyte
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
December 19, 2012
– A special enumeration and validation of poor households in
three barangays of Palompon, Leyte was conducted from December 11 to
18, 2012 by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty
Reduction team of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
DSWD Region 8 Director Leticia Diokno informed that Palompon Mayor
Ramon Oñate proposed for the enumeration of the residents of Barangay
Belen, Barangay Central III and the validation thru the
on-demand-application (ODA) for Barangay Lomonon.
Director Diokno explained that these barangays were not included in
the 2009 enumeration which resulted to the exclusion of residents from
social programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development,
particularly the Pantawid Pamilya. This prompted complaints from
residents of these barangays.
Knowing the “inclusive growth” that is the thrust of the Aquino
Administration, Director Diokno promptly called for the conduct of a
special enumeration and validation in said barangays.
A total of 234 households were scheduled for special enumeration and
revalidation, 145 for Barangay Central III, 81 for Barangay Belen and
eight for Barangay Lomonon.
As reported by Merla Lianza, municipal social worker, Barangay Belen
is a far-flung mountainous area that is only accessible thru single
motorbike or the locally called Habal-habal, making it very difficult
for enumerators to reach the area.
Moreover, fear-provoking hearsays about the area also prevented
previous enumerators from conducting the survey.
According to Rebecca Mendoza, a staff of the Municipality’s Social
Welfare and Development Office, the area is known for witchcraft and
other forms of supernatural practices.
However, Mendoza was quick to add that there is nothing to be scared
of as these stories were untrue.
This time, the new enumerators were assured that such stories were
unfounded. They were also provided assistance from the barangay
Meanwhile, for Barangay Central III, failure of the previous
enumeration was attributed to the lack of dedication from previous
workers, Director Diokno said.
UNA says Roxas
doing an Arroyo; decries LP "power grab" in Cebu
December 19, 2012
MANILA – The United
Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today said DILG Secretary Mar Roxas has
mounted a "power grab" in Cebu with the suspension of Cebu Governor
and UNA stalwart and congressional bet Gwen Garcia.
UNA Secretary General Toby
Tiangco said with Governor Garcia suspended, the Vice Governor, who is
a member of the Liberal Party and the running mate of the LP
gubernatorial bet, takes over, thus giving the administration party
effective control over the province.
"This is without a doubt a
power grab by Roxas and the LP. This is a return to the discredited
practice of the Arroyo regime where the people's will is subverted and
government power is used to harass and persecute political opponents,"
he said. The suspension stemmed from an administrative complaint filed
in 2010 by the former vice governor who has already died.
"Apparently, Secretary Roxas
is using the vast powers of his office to dig up old complaints
against local officials and use these cases to harass and intimidate.
This is not 'daang matuwid'. This is Gloria part 2," he said.
Tiangco added that Roxas has
"hijacked" the administration's reform agenda for selfish political
"It is becoming apparent
that the noble goal of moral governance is being hijacked by the
selfish political agenda of the administration party and Secretary Roxas," he added.
The order suspending Garcia
comes just a few days after Roxas, based on the statement of an
admitted jueteng bagman, ordered a probe into the alleged involvement
of Gov. Romeo Espino of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in
jueteng operations in his province of Pangasinan.
Tiangco noted that both Cebu
and Pangasinan are vote-rich provinces whose governors are not
considered political allies by Secretary Roxas and LP. "Both of them
are running against candidates fielded by the LP, whose political boss
remains Secretary Roxas," he said.
He also said UNA expects
Roxas, in his defense, to once again claim that those questioning the
order are contradicting the President's reform agenda.
"Mr. Secretary, we do not
question the President’s reform agenda. We embrace the campaign to
reform government, and to make government officials more accountable
to the people. However, accountability should be applied to all
government officials regardless of political connections or
affiliations. That, for us, is the essence of walking the righteous
path," he said.
"The issue is not reforms.
The issue is the disturbing pattern of political persecution by
Secretary Roxas of the LP's opponents in the 2013 elections," he
Chiz wants P52-B
coco funds mobilized asap for farmers
By Office of Senator Chiz
December 18, 2012
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero wants some P52 billion immediately mobilized to help the
country’s coconut sector and its farmers.
“I hope Malacanang can
decide on how to mobilize these funds at the soonest possible time.
Now would be a good time to pump-prime the coconut sector considering
the rising demand for coconut in the international market,” Escudero
The P52-billion fund comes
from a 24-percent block of shares in San Miguel Corp. that was part of
about 47 percent of shares sequestered by the government on suspicions
that these were acquired using coco levy funds, a tax imposed on
coconut farmers since 1973 by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
President Benigno Aquino
III’s spokesperson, Undersecretary Abigail Valte, said a Presidential
Task Force on the Coco Levy was still finalizing recommendations on
the custody and utilization of the fund.
“The funds are there. But
the government has not yet determined how these will be spent and,
more importantly, how these can benefit the country’s coconut
farmers,” Escudero said.
“I hope Malacanang decides
on this issue very soon because we might hit the point where we won’t
be able to take advantage of the growth and where this growth might
not trickle down to the farmers,” the senator added.
Coconut farmers have said
they prefer to receive cash from the coco levy funds, something that
Malacanang had said they should not expect.
“There is high demand now
for coco oil and coco water in the international market. The
Philippines is in a very good position to be a major supplier. This
will be good for our farmers, but we have to start now. And it all
starts with a decision on how to use the funds,” Escudero explained.
Of the country’s 12 million
hectares of farmlands, about three million hectares are devoted to
coconut. Sixty-eight out of 79 provinces in the Philippines are
considered coconut areas.
Elmer R Soria, PRO8 Regional Director (right) conferring with
Bishop Isabelo C. Abarquez (center) during a visit last December
8 at the Bishop’s House in Calbayog City. Also present are
officers of PRO8’s Regional Special Operations Task Group.
PRO8 partners with
church for peaceful May 2013 polls
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 18, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) will be
partnering with the Roman Catholic Church to help ensure the peaceful
conduct of midterm elections next year, especially in the province of
“The involvement of the
religious community is necessary to thwart election-related incidents
and political violence especially in ‘priority areas’,” Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Eastern Visayas Regional Director
said, adding that the support of the church's hierarchy is vital in
ensuring a secured and fair elections.
Soria met with Most Reverend
Isabelo C. Abarquez of the Diocese of Calbayog last December 8,
accompanied by Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG)
commander Police Senior Superintendent Edgardo O Basbas and Samar
Provincial Director Police Senior Superintendent Eusebio A Mejos.
Among the salient agenda
during the meeting are the conduct of special mass and drafting of
peace covenant among PRO8, Church leaders and local officials
scheduled on January 13, 2013 to get a commitment from local
candidates for peaceful and orderly elections next year.
“This is intended to
emphasize to the electorate that we are serious in making next year’s
polls to be peaceful and the best way to encourage the support of
candidates to commit themselves to support an orderly elections,”
Bishop Abarquez also assured
that he will encouraged priests under his diocese and the church’s
social arm in conducting fora and other means of voter’s education to
educate the electorate on responsible voting.
Soria added that PRO8 is
also coordinating with other religious groups to help local law
enforcement authorities in carrying out a violence-free electoral
He reminded the public to
“remain vigilant and responsive to any unscrupulous activity that may
impede the peaceful conduct of the May elections.”
PRO8 recently activated the
RSOTG to ensure a peaceful conduct of the May 2013 elections,
especially in Samar province, which is included in the list of 15
“priority areas” for the May 2013 polls by the Department of Interior
and Local Government.
firecracker and pyrotechnic zones, LGUs reminded
By Philippine Information
December 18, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
The Department of Interior and Local Government reiterated its call
for local government units to establish firecracker and pyrotechnic
zones where people may light firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in
celebrating Christmas and the New Year.
DILG Region 8 Director Pedro
Noval Jr. informed this was contained in the memo circular dated
December 6, 2012 signed by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, in an effort to
minimize casualties that come with the revelry this holiday season
especially on New Year’s Day.
The Provincial Governors,
City and Municipal Mayors and Punong Barangays are also directed to
designate an area where people may sell firecrackers and pyrotechnic
Moreover, in furtherance of
public safety, public order and national security during the upcoming
holiday season, enjoined local chief executives to regulate the sale,
manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other
pyrotechnic devices in their respective localities as mandated by
Republic Act 7183.
The local authorities are
called upon to see to it that only the following types of firecrackers
are manufactured, sold, distributed or used namely, baby rocket, “bawang,”
small triangulo, pulling of string, paper cups, el Diablo, Judah’s
belt, sky rocket (kwitis) and other types equivalent in explosive
For pyrotechnic devices,
those that are allowed are sparklers, luces, fountain, jumbo, mabuhay,
Roman candle, trompillo, airwolf, whistle device, butterfly, among
All local officials are
directed to take the lead in the conduct of an information campaign on
the proper use of all kinds of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
They must warn people on the danger that polyvinyl pipes or boga may
bring to users and others.
authorities are urged to be watchful of radical groups that may take
advantage of the holiday season’s merriment for their lawless designs.