Assorted firecrackers/pyrotechnic devices
confiscated by the Regional Special Operations Group 8 (RSOG8)
in an operation conducted in Catbalogan City on December 31,
PRO8 notes fewer
firecracker-related injuries in 2012
By RPCRD, Police
Regional Office 8
January 2, 2013
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The
Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) noted a significant decrease in
firecracker-related injuries as revelers met the year 2013.
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional
Director, said 2012 recorded a lower rate of firecracker-related
injuries as compared to the 2011 Yuletide season.
“This can be attributed to the government's public information and
education campaign and the intensified crackdown on illegal
firecrackers waged by our men in the field,” Soria said.
Citing data from the Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction Registry on
Firecracker-related cases from the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical
Center in Tacloban City, Soria informed that from December 16, 2012 to
January 1, 2013, only three firecrackers-related incidents resulting
in blast/burn type injuries and one eye injury were recorded.
The 3 blast victims includes a 76-year old male, a 10-year old boy and
9-month old baby boy who were wounded due to “piccolo” firecracker
while an 11-year old boy sustained eye injury due to lantaka or
homemade cannon. All were sent home after receiving proper treatment.
The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Department of
Health Regional Office 8, however, have no available data on the
matter as of this writing while PRO8 records showed 7 victims with
Eastern Samar posting the highest with 3 victims while Tacloban City
and Leyte province posted at 2 victims each.
Soria further disclosed that his office has not monitored any
indiscriminate firing incident and victims of stray bullets regionwide.
The above figure is lower as compared to the same period in 2011 from
the PRO8 and DOH 8 records with a total of 23 firecrackers-related
incidents that had caused the same number of injuries and one injured
due to stray bullet.
"This reduction to a very significant level of firecracker-related
injuries and casualties is credited to the vigorous advocacy and close
coordination among the police and other government agencies,
non-governmental organizations, and the media to ensure the security
and safety of the general public and attain a generally peaceful and
violence-free Yuletide celebration,” Soria said.
Days before the New Year and on New Year's Eve, PRO8 launched an
intensified crackdown on illegal firecrackers with line units
conducting seizure and confiscation of dangerous and prohibited
firecrackers, including the "Piccolo', a brand of firecracker that
Department of Health has identified as the leading cause of
firecracker-related injuries. Other seized firecrackers were Judas
belts, rocket launchers, whistle bombs, super lolo, lolo thunder,
pla-pla, Pacquiao, goodbye Philippines and great bawang.
Hunt for Marcos loot to
Chiz says PCGG must
properly account for recovered assets
By Office of Senator Chiz
January 2, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz
Escudero expressed disappointment over the Presidential Commission on
Good Government’s decision to end its search for the Marcos loot and
said the agency must now properly account for all ill-gotten assets it
"That it was difficult to
recover the Marcos loot should not be an excuse if there was indeed a
cause of action,” Escudero said.
The senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Justice and Human
Rights and sponsor of the bill seeking compensation for victims of
human rights abuses under the Marcos regime, said it was disappointing
that the PCGG was now giving up the search for billions of pesos
suspected to have been stolen by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos,
his cronies, and his family.
"Everybody agrees that the hunt and recovery was not going to be a
walk in the park. But it’s disappointing that they are throwing in the
towel now and saying that they can't prove the case against the
Marcoses anymore,” he said.
PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista cited several reasons for ending its
search for an estimated $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos
family, including the return to power of some members of the Marcos
family, and the government's belt-tightening measures which now made
the pursuit costly and prohibitive.
Last year, Escudero backed a plan to abolish the PCGG, which was
created by the late President Corazon Aquino to recover all of the
Marcos' ill-gotten wealth.
Bautista said he already gave his recommendations to President Benigno
Aquino III to wind down its operations and transfer its work to the
Department of Justice.
"There have been pending bills in Congress seeking its abolition. This
is actually a good move, one less funding for the government which can
appropriate funds to other important programs,” the PCGG chief said.
Aside from turning over all pending cases against the Marcoses and
their cronies to the DOJ, Escudero said the commission should also
account for all the assets that it had recovered and confiscated since
its creation and turn it over to the Department of Finance.
"We want a full audit and accounting of all the sequestered assets and
its value at that time, especially those that have since been
dissipated as well. Present to the public the current value of its
forfeited assets to address long standing allegations against the PCGG
that its officials helped squander the little assets the agency had
recovered," Escudero said.
The senator said the PCGG should also make public all the compromise
deals it has made in the past, how much did the state gain or lose.
"The last thing we want to discover is a tale of the fabled loot being
looted twice over," he said.
Bautista, who took over the commission two years ago, had admitted
that the "long-term chronic mishandling of the PCGG that led to an
unmanageable paper trail and evidence went missing that led to bitter
losses in litigation."
VP Binay instructs
Pag-IBIG to appeal court decision
By OVP Media
January 2, 2013
MANILA – Vice
President Jejomar C. Binay has instructed the Home Development Mutual
Fund (Pag-IBIG) to appeal a recent Makati court decision, emphasizing
that the case is not the main case of syndicated estafa filed against
Globe Asiatique (GA) head Delfin Lee and several others.
Binay said the decision does
not absolve Lee and his co-accused and added that GA is only trying
mislead the public by filing a lot of incidental cases.
"Globe Asiatique is trying
to mislead the public by claiming a legal victory but this is not the
main case of syndicated estafa," Binay said.
He also pressed law
enforcement authorities to intensify their manhunt for Lee, who
remains in hiding. Government has put a P2 million bounty for his
For her part, Pag-IBIG’s
president and Chief Executive Officer Darlene Marie Berberabe said GA
did not win in the syndicated estafa case which is the main case in
“GA filed a lot of
incidental cases. And there is one civil case that they filed against
Pag-IBIG to force us to respect the contract we had with GA,”
“In that specific case we
questioned the propriety of suing the Pag-IBIG board which isn’t an
entity. The court said it is ok to sue the board even if it is not an
entity. That is all. The court did not rule on the merits. Minor
points itong pinag-uusapan,” she added.
Berberabe was referring to
the recent decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court, Branch 58,
declaring Globe Asiatique and its owner, Lee, are entitled to specific
performance and right to damages against HDMF, better known as
Pag-IBIG accused GA of using
a "modified Ponzi" scheme to siphon off money amounting to P6.6
billion from the Pag-IBIG Fund to develop its Xevera projects in
The Supreme Court (SC) had
earlier decided to junk a petition filed by Lee which seeks to stop
the Department of Justice (DOJ) from prosecuting him in connection
with the syndicated estafa charges filed against him and other
executives of GA.
The Pampanga RTC also found
probable cause against Lee and his co-accused and issued warrants for
their arrest with no recommendation for bail.
PNP General’s plan
to remove Gov. Garcia from capitol before January 1 draws flak from OVP
December 30, 2012
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) today asked Philippine National
Police (PNP) Central Visayas Regional Director Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo to abandon his plan to physically remove Governor Gwendolyn
Garcia from the provincial capitol before January 1, 2013.
The OVP said such a
“provocative act” could heighten political tension in Cebu and will
invite “counter-actions that could have political consequences beyond
It also asked the general if
he was prepared to guarantee that there will be no injuries or
casualties as a result of the planned removal of Garcia.
Lawyer Ira Pozon, head of
the OVP Special Concerns Office, also asked Garbo to state if he was
acting on his own or on orders from DILG Secretary Mar Roxas or PNP
Chief Director General Allan Purisima.
Garbo was earlier quoted
saying that he will only remove Garcia from the capitol if he is
ordered to do by higher authorities.
“Does this mean that you
have received orders from higher ups, particularly the Secretary of
the Department of Interior and Local Government or the Director
General of the Philippine National Police, or are you acting on your
own?,” he said.
Pozon reminded the police
general that Garcia has brought the issue of her suspension before the
Court of Appeals, with a prayer for the issuance of a Temporary
“Due process and the rule of
law, not to mention judicial courtesy, require that you hold in
abeyance your decision to remove the Governor from the provincial
He also described the plan
as un-Christian, “considering that we are still observing the most
joyous season for Catholics.”
Pozon also warned Garbo that
“such a provocative act could add to the political tension now
prevailing in Cebu.”
“As a law enforcement
officer, your responsibility is to maintain peace and order, not to
fuel unrest or spark protests. We hope that you will be discerning and
responsible enough to realize that physically removing the Governor
from her office while the process of appeal is not yet complete
invites charges of abuse of authority and violation of due process,”
“Moreso, such an act invites
counter-actions that could have political consequences beyond your
control,” he added.
The OVP also took a jab at
Garbo for reportedly claiming that his promotion to two-star rank
should not delayed or prejudiced by his action against the Cebu
UNA says LP-Roxas
political agenda endangering reforms; hits palace spokesman for
December 28, 2012
MANILA – The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today said the
political agenda of the Liberal Party and its presumed presidential
bet in 2016 Mar Roxas is endangering the President’s reform agenda and
could erode the people’s trust in his administration.
“The people have very high expectations of the present administration.
They want jobs and a better life. They are fed up with the previous
regime’s lust for power. They want more governance and less politics,”
UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said.
But the Liberal Party’s power grab in Cebu “is a return to the
discredited mindset of politics at all costs,” he said.
“The obsession of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and the administration
party with capturing power in 2013 in preparation for Roxas’
all-but-declared presidential bid in 2016 is endangering the
President’s reform agenda and could erode the people’s trust and
confidence in his administration,” he said.
Tiangco also chided the Palace spokesman for “arrogance and
self-righteousness” when he cited the “credibility” of the
administration in differentiating its suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwen
Garcia from the suspension of Vice President Jejomar Binay during the
“What he is saying is that because the present administration is more
popular and credible than the Arroyo regime, it can get away with
political harassment,” Tiangco said.
“He is saying that the administration party can use the power of
government and misuse the laws to go after political opponents. It has
a license to politically kill its opponents, so to speak, because it
is credible and popular,” he added.
“The administration spokesman’s arrogance and self-righteousness could
very well erode the people’s trust and confidence,” he said.
Tiangco also took issue with the Palace spokesman’s statement that the
Vice President, who is the chair of UNA, should have convinced
Governor Garcia to comply with her suspension order and leave the
Tiangco said when Binay was suspended in 2006, he was visited by
former President Cory Aquino who encouraged the Vice President, who
was then Makati mayor and leader of the United Opposition, to stand
his ground because the order was illegal and violated due process.
“She told the Vice President that to oppose an unjust order is to
fight for democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
Tiangco said the Vice President, being a former human rights lawyer
and a victim of political repression during the previous
administration, “cannot countenance and endorse what he considers a
violation of due process and the rule of law.”
“The suspension of the Vice President during the Arroyo regime and the
suspension of Governor Garcia are both characterized by violations of
the rule of law and the denial of due process. They constitute abuse
of power,” he added.
The UNA official likewise assailed the display of force when the
orders were served.
“In both cases, the orders were enforced with an intent to intimidate.
How else can you describe the deployment of hundreds of policemen
armed with high-powered rifles, the setting up of barricades, the
dispersal of peaceful supporters, the closure of media outlets and
even the shutting off of water service at the Capitol?,” he said.
DOE Secretary Petilla to abandon all plans to use nuclear energy for
the country’s safety
December 27, 2012
With just four days until the new year, Greenpeace has a suggested new
year’s resolution for Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla:
abandon all plans to use nuclear power in the Philippines.
The environmental group
reacted with shock at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent proposal
to revive the use of nuclear energy to help power the country.
Greenpeace says, this plan goes against global trends as far as safety
“Worldwide, the nuclear
industry is declining having failed to establish itself as a clean,
cheap, safe or reliable energy source. The DOE’s new proposal to
implement a national nuclear power program in the energy reform agenda
is utter madness”, said Anna Abad, Climate and Energy Campaigner for
Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“Nuclear energy cannot be
good for the country as Secretary Petilla claims, because nuclear
power is neither safe nor clean. No amount of technological
sophistication or safety culture can prepare any country or its people
to the inherent dangers of nuclear energy,” Abad added.
Despite President Benigno
Aquino Jr.’s public declaration that he was against the revival of the
controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Petilla says that the Energy
department was already looking into nuclear projects to attract local
and foreign investors.
No nuclear proposals are
currently tabled in Philippine Congress. However, the Philippine
Energy Plan still has provisions for nuclear energy. The Energy Reform
Agenda directs the DOE to conduct research and studies in aid of
legislative and executive action for the operation of a 2,000-megawatt
nuclear power plant by 2025.
“It may seem a cheaper
alternative, but nuclear energy pays a human price. Just look at what
happened in Ukraine, and very recently in Japan. Has Secretary Petilla
has completely forgotten about the Fukushima tragedy, the world’s
worst human-made disaster to date?” asked Abad. “His short sighted
plan to put profit above people’s safety could put millions at risk.
If a nuclear disaster cannot be prevented from happening in rich,
technologically advanced nations like Japan, then what might happen in
our county?” she added.
The Aquino government has
wasted several years pushing for dirty sources of energy such as coal
and nuclear. The government must ensure sustainable development with a
future powered by clean and safe renewable energy, rather than
dangerous nuclear, or dirty coal power.
Greenpeace is advocating an
‘Energy Revolution,’ a sustainable energy pathway for renewable
energy, coupled with energy efficiency technologies, to become
country’s energy backbone. Greenpeace is calling on the Philippine
government to commit to fully implement the Renewable Energy Law to
achieve a target of 50% renewables in the country’s energy mix by
Yuletide drug busts
nabs pusher, seized 38K worth of “shabu”, “marijuana”
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 27, 2012
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – While everybody was celebrating the
Christmas season, anti-illegal drugs teams of Police Regional Office 8
(PRO8) went on with their usual work, arresting a suspected drug
pusher in the process and confiscating a total of P38,000.00 worth of
Eastern Visayas Director
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria commended his men for
doing their job instead of getting busy with the holidays.
“For these men, the
Christmas season means work, work and work,” Soria said, adding that
appropriate recognition will be given to those who participated in the
Soria informed that at
around 10:30 o’clock in the evening of December 22, at Del Rosario
Street, Brgy 4 in Catbalogan City, joint elements of Regional Special
Operations Group 8 (RSOG), 2nd Company of Regional Public Safety
Battalion (RPSB8) and Catbalogan City Police Station led by Police
Inspector Constantino Jabonete, Jr. arrested one Henry Durano y Alpino,
32, married, collector of Nestle’ Products and a resident of Purok 3,
Brgy Mercedes, Catbalogan City.
Alpino was nabbed after
selling 2 heat-sealed sachet containing suspected methamphetamine
hydrochloride or “shabu” with estimated market value of P1,000.00 to a
The police team recovered
from his possession the two P500.00 bills used as buy-bust money with
serial numbers SQ885661 and KE841544 and one unit Honda XRM Motorcycle
allegedly used in his drug trade with Serial and Chassis Number
XRM11-037-022377 and Certificate of Registration No 74032716 issued by
Land Transportation Office on October 30, 2003 to certain Rollo
Saturnino Jr of Brgy Adela Heights, Gandara Samar.
Police further recovered
from the suspect one heat-sealed plastic sachet containing dried
marijuana leaves worth P300.00.
Alpino is currently detained
at Catbalogan City Police Station lock-up cell while the PNP is
preparing drug charges against him.
Meanwhile, on Christmas eve,
anti-illegal drugs operatives of Tacloban City Police Office led by
Police Chief Inspector Jesus Son conducted buy-bust operation at Brgy.
39, Siren District.
Suspect Mario Macawile
however, eluded arrests after sensing that he was transacting illegal
drug trade to a policeman acting as poseur-buyer, by running towards
nearby houses bringing with him the P500.00 bill buy-bust money while
the P500.00 worth of illegal drugs was left with the police officer.
The police team conducted a
brief chase to no avail but illegal drugs fell from the suspect’s
pocket while he was evading the law enforcers.
The items were seen in plain
view near a well-lighted electrical post composed of 12 small sachets
of “shabu” with market value of P6,000.00; one big sachet of “shabu”
weighing more or less 5 grams worth P30,000.00 and two teabags of
dried “marijuana” leaves.
The items were brought to
TCPO Police Station 2 for inventory and witnessed by Brgy. Tanod
Dennis Anthony Dellera.
Soria ordered a manhunt
operation against Macawile as drug charges is being prepared against
As this developed, Soria
reiterated his call for active community involvement in the
anti-illegal drugs war.
“Everyone has a responsibility in combating the evils spawned by the
illegal drug menace,” Soria added.
“We are morally
bound to stop corruption” – VP Binay to KSAs
By OVP Media
December 27, 2012
PASAY CITY –
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay recently renewed calls to institute
reforms to improve efficiency and ensure effective and honest delivery
of housing services to the people.
Binay, Chairman of the
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), issued a a
memorandum to the government's Key Shelter Agencies (KSAs) directing
the submission of a report on the reforms the government have made in
eliminating practices of red tape and corruption in their offices.
“Corruption is an evil that
weakens and destroys the trust of the people – the very foundation of
a government," the housing czar said. "We are morally bound to
institute reforms that would deter opportunities for corruption in
every government transaction."
Moreover, the Vice President
also recently created a Transparency and Accountability Group (TAG)
within the key shelter agencies to conduct fact-finding investigations
on reports of alleged graft and corruption committed by personnel and
officers of the shelter agencies.
“The creation of the TAG
would ensure that President Noynoy Aquino’s Daang Matuwid policy will
be strictly adhered to by the housing sector," Binay said.
The group is headed by HUDCC
Secretary General Undersecretary Celia S. Alba.
It will be recalled that
Binay’s first directive upon his assumption to office as housing czar
was to ensure that clients of the shelter agencies will be served
under the principle of good governance and transparency.
The Vice President’s
intensive anti-corruption campaign resulted in the dismissal of some
personnel of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-IBIG) who
were found to have been involved in the illegal transactions of a real
estate developer Globe Asiatique that apparently victimized innocent
Under Binay’s guidance, risk
analysis and extensive review of expenditure and revenue patterns have
been implemented within the KSAs, which resulted in clearer targets
and priorities and equitable appropriation of budget.
“We have made every effort
to ensure that the housing sector complies with the anti-corruption
policy set by President Noynoy Aquino and the 2003 United Nations
Convention Against Anti-Corruption (UNAC)”, Binay said.
The Philippines is a
signatory to the UNAC, which is observed every December 9th.
Christmas in EV
“generally peaceful” - Soria
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 26, 2012
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The Christmas celebrations in Eastern
Visayas was generally peaceful except for two fire incidents on
Christmas eve and a burglary incident monitored by the police,
Regional Director Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria
“While the people in the
region are enjoying the Christmas eve and Christmas day celebrations
with their families and loved ones, our policemen were on duty
patrolling the streets so that our citizens can celebrate and enjoy
the holidays peacefully,” Soria added.
Soria noted the only incident that marred Christmas Day was a burglary
in a parish convent in Tacloban City and two separate fires that hit a
residential house in Tacloban City and public market of Can-avid in
The region’s top police official has ordered a massive hunt for the
thieves who carted away the personal belongings of Rev. Fr. Aaron Quilanita of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish along Maharlika
Highway in Brgy. 78, Marasbaras, Tacloban City.
Investigators disclosed that the suspects may have entered between
1:00 o’ clock to 3:00 o’ clock in the morning of December 25 by
bending the window grills of the parish convent. When the suspect/s
were already inside, they went to the second floor and since the room
of the Parish Priest was locked, they opened the sliding door leading
to the terrace and using the cantilever on the side, went to the
window of the room of Fr. Quilanita, bended the welded portion of the
window grills and from there gain entry to the room.
The burglars carted away one unit Apple laptop computer worth
P60,000.00; four wristwatches branded Fossil, Bullova, Mossimo and
Dilligaf wristwatch; one unit LCD projector and two mobile phones.
In Sunnyville Subdivision in Manlurip, Brgy. San Jose also in Tacloban
City, fire hit the house of Central Bank employee Allen Boquin at
around 7:30 in the evening of Christmas eve, damaging the kitchen with
an estimated P50,000.00 worth of damages.
Earlier that day, fire also hit the rear portion of Can-avid Public
market in Eastern Samar with estimated damages amounting to two
Soria said earlier that though PRO8 had not monitored any security
threats during the yuletide season, it raised its security alert
status to ensure a peaceful Yuletide celebration.
“We will also conduct crackdown on the sale of illegal firecrackers
and pyrotechnics to prevent injuries and incidents as the New Year’s
celebrations draws near.”, Soria ended.