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PNP chief Purisima to visit PRO8 on Jan. 19, RSOTG to showcase accomplishments

PRO8 to set up more checkpoints for Comelec gun ban

Two Leyte festivals to compete in Sinulog 2013

PRO8 notes fewer firecracker-related injuries in 2012

UNA cites violation of the law in Cebu; slams LP defense as recycled statements from the Arroyo regime

Leyte receives the regional Gawad Pamana ng Lahi award

PRO8 arrests 169 drug offenders, seized 21M worth of illegal drugs

Chiz eyes copra farmers as CCT beneficiaries

Former NPA regulars, Militia and BOP members, receive livelihood cash assistance through LSIP of Northern Samar

President Aquino creates special teams to probe human rights violations


Unity Walk for SAFE 2013
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer R. Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 (right) with other election stakeholders lighting the unity candle.

EV folks unite for SAFE 2013

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
January 21, 2013

CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Thousands of people from all walks of life committed themselves for a “secure and fair” electoral exercise and actively participated in Sunday morning’s Unity Walk and Prayer Rally for SAFE 2013 in a show of full support in attaining a peaceful May 13 polls.

Police regional director Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) expressed his appreciation to the more than 3,000 participants who walked from three staging points to Balyuan amphitheater in Tacloban City for the prayer rally. The participants include top government officials and employees, religious leaders, military, students, academe, civic groups, election watchdogs and other election stakeholders.

“Any electoral exercise needs guidance from the Almighty so we could choose the right leaders that would guide us in the next few years. The electorate has a significant role to play in ensuring a peaceful conduct of the polls and the true will of the people must be reflected and not as a result of violence and intimidation,” Soria said.

The top police official also assured that PRO8 will continue to conduct aggressive police operations in the crackdown of “partisan armed groups” and loose firearms in the region.

Leaders of various religious groups led the inter-faith prayer, followed by the lighting of the unity candle, recitation of the Voters’ Pledge, signing of the Pledge of Commitment, and releasing of doves and white balloons to signify the united effort of all the participants towards “secure and fair elections” 2013.

The activity was held following the successful peace covenant signing in Samar last January 13 with DILG Secretary Mar Roxas presiding and supported by the Roman Catholic church, other election stakeholders and the candidates themselves.

Unity walks and peace rallies were also held in the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog in Samar, Catarman in Northern Samar, Borongan City in Eastern Samar, Maasin City in Southern Leyte and Naval, Biliran.





VP Binay to OFWs: report extortion at NAIA

By OVP Media
January 20, 2013

MANILA  –  Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tourist visa holders to report instances of extortion by officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“I dare you to report to us any cases of extortion, and then and there we will arrest the suspect,” the Vice President said.

According to Gulf News, the Vice President issued the plea during a public forum with the Filipino community on his official visit to Abu Dhabi.

Binay is the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns and Chairman Emeritus of the inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

“We suspended a lot of immigration officials who had been caught extorting money from passengers about four months ago. They had all been replaced,” Binay said.

According to the Bureau of Immigration, 60 percent of the 264 immigration posts at NAIA Terminal 1 are new hires and the bureau is currently recruiting more.

In January 2012, IACAT introduced new offloading guidelines for all international-bound Filipino passengers to help curb human trafficking.

The guidelines were set following complaints from passengers of a lack of clear departure formalities, resulting in many passengers being barred from leaving the country.

With the new guidelines in place, some passengers complained about immigration officials asking bribes from passengers just so they could be allowed to board their flights.

In the one-hour forum, Binay also addressed other issues concerning the welfare, social security, and financial wellbeing of OFWs.

The Vice President flew to Abu Dhabi to represent President Benigno Aquino III at the World Future Energy Summit. He also attended the International Water Summit and the Zayed Future Energy Prize Awarding Ceremony.

During his official visit, Binay also paid a courtesy call to General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.






turnover ceremony of the newly built day care center
Mrs. Chari Aboitiz, member of DACF Executive Committee, and Pooc Brgy. Captain Doroteo Emit lead the turnover ceremony of the newly built day care center and playground at Barangay Pooc, Talisay City, Cebu last Dec. 19, 2012.

Day care pupils get new school, playground

By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
January 20, 2013

CEBU CITY  –  The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), through its Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (DACF), turned over a day care center and a playground funded by Vereniging Haarlemmermeer Cebu (VHC) to Barangay Pooc, Talisay City on Dec. 19, 2012.

The day care center, built to meet DSWD accreditation standards, will benefit 58 three- to four-year-old pupils of the barangay. The classroom features elements that foster independence and self-sufficiency such as child-sized toilets, sinks, doorknobs, and windows at children's height.

Recognizing the importance of play in child development, a playground was built within the facility. The playground, built by local laborers, is made of bamboo, used tires, and nipa.

The project is an example of various institutions and individuals collaborating to support children – the design and materials were donated by DACF, while the local government unit of Talisay and the barangay shouldered the labor cost and ensured that the standards were followed. International organization VHC donated the playground. This collaboration was marked by a hand-printing ceremony, where everyone involved in the said endeavor placed their handprint on the wall of the day care center.

“Recognizing the long-term effect that early childhood care and education can have on both the individual and society as a whole, DACF is committed to supporting communities as they prepare young children to become successful students and responsible citizens of the Philippines," Amaya Aboitiz, RAFI-DACF executive director, said.

The completion of the center and the playground in Pooc, Talisay City now brings RAFI-DACF's coverage to a total of five classrooms and playgrounds in four towns in Cebu, benefiting 255 pupils since it started early 2012.

“I'm very thankful to have this kind of facility in our barangay, the building is spacious and conducive for learning. The playground is safe for my pupils to play in while they develop their psychomotor skills. As a teacher, I will also strengthen the day care service parents group in order for the parents to be active in helping out in the maintenance of the facility given to us,” Jocelyn Maneja, day care center teacher, said.

For more information on how you or your organization can help build more day care centers and playground, please contact 418-7234 loc. 512 and look for Engr. May Reah Cuevas.

DACF is under RAFI's Education focus area, believing that shaping the next generation of talents begins with nurturing the love for learning. Other focus areas of RAFI are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Leadership & Citizenship.

For more information about DACF, please contact 255-5630 and look for Joem de Gracia, or visit or





Chiz asks: why was US warship in PH waters

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
January 19, 2013

PASAY CITY  –  Senator Chiz Escudero wants answers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on why a United States Navy warship was in Philippine waters.

He also said the US government should also be held liable for all damages after the USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, ran aground on Tubbataha Reef.

“Did it have authorized access in the first place? Were we informed of its presence in our territory? Why can't we have official word from concerned authorities about the official status of the ship in our waters?,” Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said.

Calling the incident a “very serious one,” Escudero said committee may launch a probe to uncover possible violations of Philippine and international laws.

The Philippine Coast Guard stationed in Tubbataha Reef said it radioed in the Guardian’s unauthorized entry and that it caused damage to the reef.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez could not say if the warship's entry was authorized or not.

“The reef's protection status has been severely violated, neglected. We are also looking at what other violations were incurred. We should demand not only for indemnity for damages but also for the restoration costs. Reefs are grown over centuries, the extent of the damage and what it will leave cannot be quantified in any amount,” Escudero said.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Palawan. It is located 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa City, at the heart of the Coral Triangle, acknowledged as the global center of marine biodiversity.

The Coral Triangle is home to at least 40 percent of the world’s fish and 75 percent of corals. Being in the center of the Coral Triangle, Tubbataha Reef plays a critical role in marine biodiversity preservation, Escudero said.

Reports say the USS Guardian ran aground in the South Atoll, one of the two atolls comprising the reef. The warship has started to sink, and most of its 79-man crew has already abandoned ship.

“The US government is in no position right now to act like the Big One in this matter. Our territory, our rights were violated. Therefore, we must demand excellent care when they free the ship from the reef. They already ignored the protection status of the reef once, and here they are again,” Escudero said.

He also called on authorities to fully supervise and monitor the immediate extraction of the ship from the area to ensure that no further physical damage will be done to the reef.





Cops neutralized hostage-taker in Catbalogan

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
January 18, 2013

CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The hostage drama that gripped Catbalogan City, Samar’s capital, for at least two hours Friday afternoon ended with the neutralization of the hostage-taker and wounding of at least two persons.

Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8, disclosed that the police initiated an assault as a last option since the negotiation between the Crisis Management Task Group failed and to prevent further bloodsheds.

Soria identified the hostage-taker as one Patrocinio Dabucol y Ribedoso, alias Pat, 48, married, a resident of Brgy. 13, Catbalogan City and a security guard of Probe Security Agency assigned with the Social Security System branch at the corner of St. Bartolome St. and Taft Ave. in Catbalogan City.

Investigation conducted by Catbalogan City Police Station disclosed that at around 1:00 o’ clock Friday afternoon, the suspect was having conversation that escalated into heated argument with the victims Melvin Oliva y Malbas, 34, married, a resident of Purok 6, Brgy. 9, Catbalogan City, his fellow Security Guard, and Dionito Matic y Mengote, 38, of Brgy. Guinsorongan of said city and a Senior Clerk of said office.

Dabucol reportedly got irked and shot Oliva and Mate with his issued .38 caliber revolver, hitting the two on their abdomen. Oliva was able to run outside and seek treatment at Samar Provincial Hospital, some 500 meters from the SSS office. Matic and another employee Christabel Hilvano, of Brgy. Guinsorongan, were left inside the office and were held hostages by Dabucol while other SSS employees scampered out of the office.

Upon cognizance of the report, elements of Samar Police Provincial Office and Catbalogan City Police Station responded to the scene and a Crisis Management Task Group was eventually activated with Police Senior Superintendent Eusebio Mejos, Samar Provincial Director, as Ground Commander.

A negotiation ensued to contain the situation with Mayor Coefredo Uy and Police Superintendent Avelino Doncillo, city police chief, negotiating with the help of the suspect’s wife and daughter and tried to convince the suspect to yield in.

Hostage Hilvano was eventually released after 20 minutes and after careful assessment of the situation with the suspect refusing to release the remaining hostage, an assault was initiated at around 2:45 o’ clock in the afternoon resulting in a shoot out and critical wounding of the hostage taker.

The suspect and hostage Matic were immediately brought to Samar Provincial Hospital for medical treatment wherein attending physician Dr. Francisco Catalan pronounced the hostage-taker dead with hypovolemia secondary to multiple gunshot wounds as cause of death at around 4:20 p.m. The two wounded victims, meanwhile, are in stable condition.

“Our men were directed not to result in excessive use of force but situations like this calls for appropriate police response to prevent further loss of life especially the hostage and innocent civilians,” Soria said.





Pres. Aquino declares Jan. 23 as ‘ArawngRepublikang Filipino, 1899’

Press Release
January 18, 2013

MALACAÑANG – President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared January 23 of every year as “ArawngRepublikang Filipino, 1899” to commemorate the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. announced on Friday.

Ochoa said Proclamation No. 533, which the President signed on January 9, aims to promote awareness, especially among the youth, on the significance of this chapter in Philippine history that marked the culmination of the Philippine revolution against Spanish rule.

“The Malolos Constitution was promulgated on January 21, 1899 and two days later, on January 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic, also known as the Malolos Republic, was inaugurated at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan. This made the Philippines the first independent republic in Asia – a significant milestone we should all take pride in,” Ochoa said.

Malacañang had earlier issued a related issuance, Proclamation No. 523, declaring January 23 this year a special non-working holiday in Bulacan.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines endorsed the issuance of this directive on the request of Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad.





Unity Walk and Prayer Rally for SAFE 2013 set on Sunday

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
January 18, 2013

CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  In yet another effort to ensure a peaceful conduct of the midterm polls, the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) will spearhead an early morning unity walk in Tacloban City on Sunday, January 20, to highlight the government's campaign for a “secure and fair election” on May 13.

Top government officials to be led by Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of PRO8, Commission on Elections regional director Jose Nick A. Mendros, Interior and Local Government regional director Pedro Noval, Jr. will be joined by heads of other government agencies and their employees, religious leaders, political party leaders, military, students, academe, civic groups, election watchdogs and other election stakeholders in a massive Unity Walk and Prayer Rally for SAFE 2013 in a show of full support in attaining a secure and fair elections.

“While PRO8 is currently implementing aggressive police operations targeting ‘partisan armed groups’ and loose firearms, there is a great need to seek Divine intervention, guidance and grace to ensure a ‘secure and fair’ elections’,” Soria said.

The activity will come in the heels of the successful peace covenant signing in Samar last January 13 in Calbayog City with DILG Secretary Mar Roxas presiding that garnered support from the church and other election stakeholders and signed by local candidates seeking for different congressional and local elective posts.

The top police official added that activity will be conducted to portray the significant role that will be played by the different stakeholders in the forthcoming elections as he urged the electorate to join and support the event.

Three “walk groups” will assemble in designated areas and will stride along designated routes on their way to the prayer rally to be held at the Balyuan Amphitheater.

The Unity Walk Group 1 composed of PRO8 contingent, representatives from the Commission on Elections, National Police Commission, Department of Interior and Local Government, Region 8 Administrators League, Department of Education, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Justice, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Armed Forces of the Philippines will walk from the Leyte National High School area along Lino Gonzaga Ave.

The second group composed of leaders and personnel of Leyte Police Provincial Office, Regional Training School 8, Comelec-Leyte, religious groups, academe, students, civic groups, non-government organizations and other election stakeholders will walk from the new Land Bank of the Philippines branch along Real St.

The third group comprising officers and men of the Tacloban City Police Office, Comelec-Tacloban, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams, barangay officials, election watchdogs, other civic groups, academe and students will converge at the Leyte Lumberyard area along Rizal Ave.

Leaders of various religious groups will lead the inter-faith prayer and benediction. Other highlights of the event are the lighting of the unity candle, recitation of the Voters’ Pledge, signing of the Pledge of Commitment, and releasing of doves and white balloons to signify the united effort of all the participants towards SAFE 2013.

Similar activities will be simultaneously held in provincial capitals in the region, Soria informed.





RAFI, Carcar hold school governance workshop

By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
January 18, 2013

CEBU CITY – The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), in partnership with the Synergeia Foundation Inc., conducted a workshop, dubbed “EQUIP-CEBU (Educational Quality Improvement through Community Empowerment and Capacity Building) LEAD (Local Education Agenda Development) Workshop for Carcar City,” late last year at Diamond Suites Hotel and Residences, Cebu City.

Project Management Team members identify factors that can affect quality of education during an activity in the EQUIP-CEBU LEAD Workshop.

The education planning workshop aims to build a collaborative relationship with the Carcar City and develop strategic goals to address the education needs of Carcar City.

The activity was participated by the Project Management Team, local government officials, school heads and teachers from private and public schools of Carcar City, and representatives from other sectors.

Through team building activities conducted by RAFI's Kool Adventure Camp (KAC), the 30 participants saw the importance of collaboration and planning to address education concerns in the city level and succeed in their efforts to improve the quality of education.

Carcar City Division Superintendent Dr. Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde presented on the second day of the workshop the current state of education of the city. Education gaps in Carcar City such as inadequacy in the number of teachers for elementary and secondary schools and supply of school furniture and equipment, deficiency of textbooks, among others, were discussed.

“There may be a lot of problems as far as education is concerned but we should not let DepEd solve everything. DepEd cannot do it alone. That is why, as teachers, we also need to do our part,” Elejorde, said, referring to the lack of textbooks among elementary and secondary schools.

“If there is a lack of new books for our students, then, we can make use of old books. As teachers, we must be creative enough to find solutions even to simple problems,” Elejorde, added.

Carcar City Mayor Nicepuro Apura also graced the activity and expressed his support for the project.

“I believe that education is the most powerful weapon in our fight against ignorance and poverty. The greatest gift that this administration can give to its constituents is access to good quality education,” Apura, said.

On the third day, initial steps to be done as well as the desired outputs for Carcar City in terms of education were defined.

EQUIP-CEBU is one of the projects under RAFI’s Education focus area, believing that shaping the next generation of talent begins with nurturing the love for learning. Other focus areas of RAFI are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Leadership & Citizenship.

For more information about EQUIP-CEBU, please contact 419-7234 loc. 209 and look for Tanya Flores, or visit and



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