Chief Superintendent Elmer R. Soria (center) presiding the PRO8
Command Conference on Friday morning. At left is Police Senior
Superintendent Edgar O. Basbas, Acting Deputy Regional Director
for Administration and Atty. Maria Corazon S. Montallana of the
PRO8 to set up more
checkpoints for Comelec gun ban
By RPCRD, Police Regional
January 11, 2013
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8
(PRO8) will establish more police checkpoints as part of the
implementation of the election gun ban beginning Sunday, January 13,
even as it reminded its personnel to observe standard operating
procedures in carrying out checkpoint operations.
“We will set-up more
checkpoints in strategic places to strictly impose the gun ban during
the election period,” said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio
Soria, PRO8 Regional Director as he ordered his men during Friday’s
command conference attended by members of Directorial Staff, City and
Provincial police directors, chiefs of National Support Units and
officials from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Soria added that this forms
part of PRO8’s efforts to reduce election-related violence in the
midterm polls, the intensified crackdown against loose firearms and in
compliance to Comelec Resolution 9561-A which states that bearing,
carrying and transporting firearms and other deadly weapons outside
the residence or place of business and in public places are prohibited
unless authorized in writing by the Comelec.
“We are in close
coordination with the Comelec and our counterparts in the Armed Forces
of the Philippines on this matter,” he informed.
“With the gun ban, all
permits to carry firearms outside residence issued by the PNP to
civilian gun holders are suspended except for regular members of the
PNP and AFP on duty and in full uniform and members of government
agencies who are actually performing law enforcement and/or security
functions,” Soria further disclosed.
The Comelec resolution also
exempts members of privately-owned or operated security,
investigative, protective or intelligence agencies subject to some
provisions, Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals,
Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals and judges of regional,
municipal/metropolitan/circuit trial courts and security personnel of
accredited foreign diplomatic corps and establishments under
Soria further reminded
police officers manning checkpoints to observe standard operating
procedures including being in full uniform and in well-lit areas with
proper signage at hand. The procedure also indicates that the
policemen are limited to conducting visual checks of the vehicles they
“You are reminded to be
polite as you approach the motorists, such gesture will earn their
trust and respect,” the regional director told his men.
He also encouraged the
public to be vigilant against abuses at the checkpoints and report
erring policemen by reporting the matter to the nearest police
DILG Sec. Roxas to lead
covenant signing for peaceful elections
MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
January 10, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior
and Local Government (DILG) will lead the signing of a covenant on
April 13, 2013 for peaceful elections in the province of Samar.
This was revealed by Regional Director Pedro A. Noval Jr. of DILG, who
added that this pact among rival politicians, initiated by the
Commission on Elections and Philippine National Police among others,
would be held at the Calbayog City cathedral and be blessed by no less
than Most Rev. Isabelo C. Abarquez, Bishop, Diocese of Calbayog.
Candidates for governor, sangguniang panlalawigan, congress, mayor,
city and municipal sanggunians in Samar are expected to join the
pledge aimed at ensuring honest, orderly and peaceful elections on May
13, 2013. “This comes after Samar province was identified as one of
the areas of concerns in the upcoming elections due to its history of
heated electoral contests,” said Dir. Noval.
Upon arrival from Manila at about 9:00 in the morning, Secretary Roxas
will meet with regional and provincial officials of DILG and its
attached agencies before attending a forum with civil society groups.
The covenant signing on the other hand will begin with a mass to be
held at 10:00 AM. Samar elections supervisor Atty. Ma. Corazon
Montallana will open the activity with some welcome remarks, followed
by the Message of Secretary Roxas.
Pledges of Commitment will then be given by Comelec RD Jose Nick A.
Mendros, RD Elmer R. Soria of the Philippine National Police, MajGen.
Gerardo T. Layug, Commanding General of the 8th ID. After the blessing
of the signed document, candidates will symbolize their intent to
contribute to peaceful elections by releasing doves into the skies.
Acting as master of ceremonies will be Atty. Fidel C. Amazona, City
Election Officer of Catbalogan.
Organizers hope that with their public gesture of signing the
agreement, as well as with the vigilance of media, civil society and
of voters, candidates would match their words with actions to pursue
peaceful and credible elections in the province.
Elmer R Soria, PRO8 Regional Director (right) conversing with
Bishop Isabelo C. Abarquez (center) at the Bishop’s House in
Calbayog City during the planning stage last December 8, 2012
for the elections peace covenant signing slated on January 13,
Sec. Mar Roxas to
grace elections peace covenant signing in Samar
By RPCRD, Police Regional
January 10, 2013
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – Department of Interior and Local Government
(DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas will witness the signing of peace covenant
among the police, church leaders and local candidates in Samar, aimed
to ensure a peaceful conduct of 2013 elections in said province.
“The presence of the good
secretary is an indication that the government is serious in ensuring
a secured and fair elections especially in “priority areas,” said
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of
Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8).
The PRO8-initiated signing
of peace covenant is scheduled on January 13 at the Saints Peter and
Paul Cathedral in Calbayog City with supports from the Diocese of
Calbayog and other stakeholders like the DILG, Commission on Elections
and counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“This activity is an ideal
way to encourage the candidates to commit themselves to support a
peaceful and orderly elections. The beauty of democracy shines
brightly with upright leaders, enlightened citizenry and vigilant
community,” Soria added.
Most Rev. Bishop Isabelo
Abarquez will officiate a pontifical mass followed by the signing
proper of the manifesto and blessing of peace covenant. Aside from
Sec. Roxas, COMELEC Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros, Major General
Gerardo T Layug of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division and other
stakeholders will also attend the occasion while local candidates
running for elective posts in the province and in the cities of
Catbalogan and Calbayog have also confirmed their attendance in the
Samar, with a voting
population of 481,275 in its two cities and 24 municipalities, was
listed in the DILG list of “priority areas” owing to its history of
poll-related violent incidents and presence of private armed groups
and New People’s Army in the area.
To ensure a peaceful conduct
of the May 10, 2013 elections, Soria activated the Regional Special
Operations Task Group (RSOTG) to go after the remaining 2 PAGS
operating in the province and intensify the campaign against loose
“This is in line with the
SAFE 2013 program of the PNP to ensure a ‘Secured and Fair Elections’
not only in Samar but the entire Eastern Visayas region,” Soria
DAR-8 personnel donate
Christmas party fund to Pablo victims
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
January 10, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY –
Even as the victims of typhoon Pablo continue to struggle to make
their lives as normal as possible, kind-hearted brethren from the
various parts of the country continue to give their share in easing
the burden of the victims.
In the spirit of solidarity
and brotherhood, the employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) in Eastern Visayas forego with a lavish Christmas party in 2012
in to donate to the victims of typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao.
DAR-8 Regional Director
Eliasem Castillo disclosed that the entire DAR organization in
Region-8 was able to raise a total of P60,640 from the staff of the
Regional and six provincial offices for the victims in the
The said amount will be
forwarded to the DAR Central Office per instructions from
Undersecretary Dennis Barrantes for consolidation of all funds
collected from the different regions nationwide before it will be
turned over to the areas greatly affected by “Pablo.”
“We are so blessed here, it
is just right for us to share those blessings especially to the needy
this Christmas, which is a season of sharing,” Director Castillo said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jose Alsmith
Soria, DAR-8 Regional Information Officer, said that in the tradition
of Christmas celebration, the DAR employees still had their simple but
memorable Christmas Party on December 21.
Mr. Soria, intimated that
earlier, the management of DAR planned to hold the Christmas party in
a venue outside of the office but decided at the last minute to hold
it instead at the agency’s training center to save much and donate the
money for the typhoon Pablo victims in Mindanao.
In response to the example
set by President Benigno S. Aquino III, many government agencies in
the Region decided to hold the simplest if not forgo entirely their
Christmas Parties and instead donate the fund for the victims of
tropical storm Pablo in Mindanao.
Among these agencies are the
Philippine National Police, the 8th Infantry Division of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, Pag-Ibig Fund, Department of Social Welfare
and Development, the Office of Civil Defense and the Philippine
Better year seen
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
January 9, 2013
CEBU CITY – With
the start of 2013, many predictions arise on what will happen this
year in politics, governance, global economy, and the state of our
“2013 would be a very
prosperous year as far as Cebu is concerned. This is because of the
economic development and movements spurting our economy,” Roderic
"Ricky" Poca, political analyst and media man, said during the Jan. 5
episode of “Pagtuki”, the official radio program of Ramon Aboitiz
Foundation Inc. (RAFI).
He also added that the
existence of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector contributes
to the booming economy of the country. He said that the May elections
is expected to have positive and negative impacts to the economy as
For economist Fernando
"Perry" Fajardo, the economy of the Philippines is in smooth sail. In
fact, he said that even though there is global economic crisis, the
country’s economy is flourishing.
“Before, we are so left
behind by our neighboring Asian countries like Taiwan, Hongkong,
Singapore, and Malaysia. But now, due to improved governance, we were
able to regain the trust of our investors,” Fajardo said.
“We have a 6.4 percent
growth rate in the year 201, higher than what we targeted. I also see
that in this year, it will be the same or, perhaps, higher because of
the upcoming elections,” he added, pointing out that elections enable
government to create more projects for the people.
He pointed out, though, that
the challenge for this year is how to address the unemployment rate of
the country. He said that micro-enterprises can help reduce
As much as the country wants
to be economically stable, Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of
RAFI Culture & Heritage, stressed that it is also important to
continue the cultural awareness among the public.
“I hope that the programs
and campaigns of both private and public sectors would engage more
people to think about our culture and heritage and to appreciate our
identity, history, and values,” she added.
She said that she can now
see a higher number of people aware and educated about their culture.
She cited Gabii sa Kabilin, an initiative of RAFI held every May, as
an event that has been looked forward to by the public, especially the
“The local government units
(LGUs) are doing their best to educate people on local history. We
cannot do it alone, we need partners to help us carry out these
activities,” she said.
She said that many people
are now visiting local museums and heritage sites.
"Pagtuki” is aired over dyLA
every Saturday at 10-11 a.m. The program, which is one of the
Knowledge Sharing & Advocacy capabilities of RAFI, tackles timely and
relevant issues affecting the Cebuano community.
RAFI joins 1st
By SARINA JOY ODIVILAS,
January 9, 2013
CEBU CITY – To promote
social advocacies through digital media, Cebu Bloggers Society (CBS)
organized the first World Blogathon last Dec. 8, 2012 at Andy Hotel in
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
Inc. (RAFI) was one of the participating organizations that attended
the offline event. Other groups were Island Rescue Organization (IRO),
AIESEC, MIND7, Love Yourself, World Vision, and “Dok Buboy”.
Representatives from each
organization introduced their respective advocacies.
Nancy Cudis, RAFI's
communication specialist for media and public relations, presented the
Foundation's different focus areas and programs, including Mega Cebu
Project, where RAFI is the Research, Program, and Organizational
Development (RPOD) unit of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating
Board (MCDCB) for the said project.
Mega Cebu Project is a
30-year master plan program and framework for a long term and
collaborative planning and action towards a more sustainable
IRO, an animal welfare
organization, calls for responsible pet ownership. AISEC, an
organization that develops youth through integrated learning
experience. National Nutrition and Development 7, together with
Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Cebu Chapter and group of media
practitioners, battle malnutrition through nutrition advocacy and
Love Yourself is a
non-government organization that promotes awareness, prevention,
education, and counseling on STI and HIV. A heightened human
trafficking awareness and prevention is the mission of the
International Justice Mission (IJM).
The World Vision is a
community-based, Christian organization that works with children,
families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
“Dok Buboy”, the last
speaker, is a microbiologist, blogger, media online auditor and a CBS
member. Through his blogs, he has promoted his city and his advocacies
for public health and social change.
Ruben Licera, president of
the Cebu Bloggers Society announced that the World Blogathon will be
held every quarter of the year and encouraged Cebu bloggers to blog
about events and organizations that matters.
Jaysee John Pingkian, CBS
Outreach Committee head, said that CBS will focus more on social
responsibility on its third year. He added that CBS will hold on March
of this year a National Social Summit that will tap the youth,
business sector, and non-government organizations.
Amidst continuing human
Aquino’s ‘superbody’ vs. extrajudicial killing and HR violations mere PR
scheme – Karapatan
January 8, 2013
QUEZON CITY – Rights groups
and advocates, led by Karapatan and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)
met with protest the first meeting of Noynoy Aquino's "high-level
inter-agency superbody" against extrajudicial killings and other
"The victims and their loved
ones have had enough of these extraneous superbodies that are mere
publicity schemes but does not solve human rights violations," said
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, "What's worse is that
this body may even attempt to conceal the continuing atrocities,
especially in the rural areas."
Karapatan pointed out that
the "superbody," like other inter-agency task forces under the Arroyo
government, is inessential in solving cases of extrajudicial killing (EJK)
and other human rights violations.
As of November 30, 2012, the
rights group has documented a total of 132 victims of EJK and 12
victims of enforced disappearance under the Noynoy Aquino government.
Palabay added that the body
will not deter rights violations perpetrated by state security agents,
especially by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as long as the
Aquino government's counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan is
still being implemented.
"The wave of illegal arrests
and detention of a total of 29 civilians, all accused as members of
New People's Army, in December 2012 and January this year, is a reason
for alarm," Palabay said.
The most recent case of
illegal arrest is that of Virgilio Corpuz, 61, Cagayan Valley regional
coordinator for Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor
Nationwide (Piston) on January 4, 2013. Corpuz was arrested at his
home in Santiago City, Isabela by members of the PNP Regional Mobile
Group who accused the victim as being "Harold Castillo." Castillo is
charged with 17 other individuals, including ACT Teachers Partylist
coordinator Rene Boy Abiva for their alleged involvement in an NPA
ambush in Tinoc, Ifugao in April 25, 2012. (For list of documented
cases of December 2012 illegal arrests, please see shaded box below)
"We believe that incidents
of illegal arrest, extrajudicial killing and other rights violations
against innocent civilians and activists will escalate as the mid-term
elections draws near. The Aquino government and the military are
likewise hell-bent in reaching the 2013 deadline set under Oplan
Bayanihan, the counter-insurgency program that victimizes civilians,”
“If this government is truly
sincere in rendering justice for the victims of rights violations, the
mandated agencies and the courts should do what they should be doing –
properly and effectively investigate these incidents, and to jail and
prosecute the violators,” Palabay concluded.
Incidents of illegal arrest in December 2012.:
1. Union organizers
and staff of Confederation for Unity, Recognition and
Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) Randy Vegas and
Raul Camposano. The two, who were arrested on December 3, are
implicated in the ambush of soldiers by the NPA in April 29,
2012. This fabricated charges filed in Labo, Camarines Norte,
also implicates Bayan-NCR leaders Roy Velez and Amelita Gamara.
Lay church worker Anecita Rojo, 48, was arrested and forcibly
dragged from the Parish convent in Bago City, Negros Occidental
by members of PNP Regional Intelligence Unit on December 7. She
was brought to Bago City Police Station where she was shown a
warrant of arrest for murder charges issued by Branch 60 Cadiz
City Regional Trial Court. Rojo was later brough to Cadiz City.
During the two-hour trip to Cadiz, the police interrogated Rojo
about her daughter, as well as her son-in-law Christian Tuayon.
Tuayon is the Secretary General of Bayan-Negros who was
arrested, and was later released on bail, on April 2012 for
robbery-in-band charges, also filed at Branch 60 Cadiz City RTC.
Both Rojo and Tuayon are implicated in alleged NPA ambuscades
(or activities?) in Negros. Rojo remains in detention at Cadiz
In Isabela, Negros Occidental, nineteen, including three minors,
of the Tribu Bukidnon indigenous people were illegally arrested
on December 13. Members of the 11th Infantry Battalion of the
Phil. Army barged in their village and accused the farmers of
keeping NPA members. The farmers were threatened and hauled off
to the Isabela police station. Eleven of them were released on
December 15, while 8 farmers were charges with murder and
multiple frustrated muder, and are currently detained at the La
Carlota-BJMP jail. One of the victims is now showing
psychological trauma due to alleged (beatings by the police).
In Mulanay, Quezon, farmers Dennis Ortiz, Eleceo Lopez and a
17-year-old boy,were arrested on December 21, while travelling
by habal-habal. The three are accused as NPA members and charged
with violation of Republic Act 8294, and are currently detained
at the Quezon Provincial Jail. Also arrested were the drivers of
the habal-habal, Alex Gerez and Ariel Bordahe who were released
the following day.
On Christmas day, Oligario Sebas, 65, was arrested in Negros
Oriental by joint AFP and PNP members. The arresting team
insisted that Sebas is "Felimon Mendrez," supposedly a
top-ranking NPA cadre in Central Visayas, who is charged for
rebellion. The soldiers and police also barged into, and
illegally searched his house. Despite his denials that he is
Mendrez, the ailing and diabetic Sebas was brough to Manjuyod
Police Station. Sebas is currently detained ay Bayawan City-BJMP.
Rene Boy Abiva, a 23-year old employee of the Department of
Social Work and Development in Cagayan province and a
coordinator of the ACT Teachers Partylist, was arrested on
December 28 for charges of murder. He was arrested by units led
by a certain Col. Julius Balana of the Regional Intelligence
Division of the PNP and is currently detained at the Sto.
Domingo PNP station at Tuguegarao City. Upon inquiry of his wife
on the supposed charges against him, his arresting officers said
that he is being arrested for his supposed involvement in the
April 2012 NPA ambush of at least 12 soldiers under the 86th
Infantry Battalion of the Phil. Army. The said unit has been
reportedly carrying out rights violations in the course of their
military operations in the communities in Tinoc, Ifugao.