PRO8 arrests 4 gun
ban violators, confiscates 10 firearms
By RPCRD, Police Regional
January 23, 2013
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) announced
that four persons have been arrested for violating the election gun
ban 10 days since its implementation on Sunday, January 13.
PRO8 Regional Director
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria informed that two of
the violators were arrested in checkpoint operations in Samar while
one was arrested as a result of implementation of search warrant.
Another violator was a suspect in a murder incident wherein 2 firearms
were confiscated after a lawful arrest.
Soria added that since the
start of the gun ban, they have confiscated 10 assorted firearms while
11 other firearms were deposited by their owners in various police
stations regionwide pending the processing for renewal of their
“We are appealing for the
support and cooperation of the public. The strict implementation of
the gun ban as shown by our intensified checkpoint operations and
implementation of search warrants forms part of our commitment in
securing a secure and fair midterm elections,” Soria said.
In Samar, two men were
separately arrested in checkpoint operations for violating the gun ban
in Sta. Rita and Calbayog City.
Soria identified the
violators as Enrico Espino y Cajepe, 55, farmer, who was arrested in
the morning of January 17 in a checkpoint established by the police
along the national highway in Brgy. Tominamos, Sta. Rita, Samar while
carrying a caliber .22 air rifle bearing serial number 98221 with 18
The other suspect,
identified as Bonifacio Dalion y Rosana, 41, businessman, was arrested
last January 16 in a checkpoint at Brgy Migara, Calbayog City by a
police team led by Police Superintendent Elmer B. Cinco, Chief of
Police. Dalion was in possession of one unit caliber .45 Colt pistol
with serial number 374821 and 3 magazines loaded with 7 ammunitions
Also, in Calbayog City,
implementation of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Cresente
Maraya of Regional Trial Court Branch 11 in Calubian, Leyte last
January 17 at the house of Mark Anthony Giray y Atiga, 31, Barangay
Kagawad of Brgy Malaga, Tinambacan District, resulted in the
confiscation of 3 caliber .45 pistols marked Armscor, Itchaca and Colt
MK IV and a Armscor model 30 shotgun, including several magazines,
ammunitions and gun paraphernalia.
Meanwhile, in Brgy. Naga,
Oras, Eastern Samar last January 20, an implementation of search
warrant issued by Judge Juliana White of Regional Trial Court Branch 5
in Oras, Eastern Samar at the residence of Roger Moscare, 32, and
Ronald Lumuntad, 30, both laborers resulted in the confiscation of
homemade PVC cannon locally known as “boga”. However, the subjects
were not around during the search.
In Ormoc City, murder
suspect Allan Diendo y Oleverio, 34, farmer was arrested by the police
last January 19 in a pursuit operation after he shot and killed one
Ricky Caleza y Santianes, 22, laborer at Brgy. Nasunugan. The police
confiscated from the suspect a Brandmaster caliber .45 caliber pistol
with serial number 473126 and a .22 caliber revolver with 6 bullets
and one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white
crystalline substance suspected to be “shabu.”
On January 21, personnel
from San Juanico Bridge Leyte Side Detachment of the 8th Regional
Public Safety Battalion responded to a call for police assistance at
Brgy Tinaogan, Basey, Samar wherein upon arriving at the scene, Brgy
Chairman Mariano Lar turned-over one .38 caliber revolver marked
Squires Bingham with serial number 955307 with no ammunition allegedly
confiscated from a certain Jhun Calina, also from said place. Calinao
is now the subject of manhunt operations by the PNP.
Soria added that cases for
violations of RA 8294 in relation to Comelec Resolution 9561-A were
filed by the police against the suspects apart from the charges for
the other crimes they committed.
public vs. Chikungunya fever
By AVHA EBALDE,
January 23, 2013
CATBALOGAN CITY – The
Department of Health-Samar warns public against cases of Chikungunya
The warning was issued in
the province of Samar after 28 cases of fever with rashes and joint
pains from Barangay Guintarcan were reported by the Municipal Health
Officer of Rural Health Unit (RHU) Villareal, Samar in December 10-27,
2012. Ten cases or 36% were confirmed to have Chikungunya infection
through IgM ELISA testing by the Research Institute of Tropical
No death was reported.
Another 235 cases with
similar symptoms were reported in Barangay Banquil of the same town
which will be investigated further by the local health authorities.
Chikungunya fever is a viral
disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes (Aedes
Aegypti). Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being
bitten by an infected mosquito. The virus causes high fever and severe
joint pain that suddenly. It can also cause headache, muscle pain and
Acute Chikungunya fever
typically lasts a few days to a few weeks; some patients have
prolonged fatigue lasting several weeks. Chikungunya virus infection
(whether clinically apparent or silent) is thought to confer life-long
According to Dr. Antonio
Tirazona, Chikungunya is not usually fatal.
Co-circulation of dengue
fever in many areas may mean that Chikungunya fever cases are
sometimes clinically misdiagnosed as dengue infections, therefore the
incidence of Chikungunya fever could be much higher than what has been
previously reported, Tirazona added.
There is no vaccine or
specific antiviral treatment currently available for Chikungunya
fever. Treatment is symptomatic and can include rest, fluids, and
medicines to relieve symptoms of fever and aching such as ibuprofen,
naproxen, acetaminophen, or paracetamol. Aspirin should be avoided.
The doctor said that
infected persons should be protected from further mosquito exposure
during the first few days of illness so they can not contribute to the
Tirazona suggested to the
infected persons to stay indoors in areas with screens or under a
Same as in dengue control
measures, the public is advised to practice the 4-S campaign, which
includes searching and destroying possible breeding grounds of the
mosquito vector; Self-protection by wearing long sleeve shirts and
pants to prevent mosquito bites; seeking health professionals for a
fever that lasts two days or more, and saying no to indiscriminate
DOH is encouraging the Local
Government Officials to lead the conduct of search and destroy of
mosquito breeding places. (with Dr. Antonio
VP Binay, UNA
support case vs. China before United Nations tribunal
By OVP Media
January 23, 2013
MANILA – Vice
President Jejomar C. Binay today said the decision of the Philippines
to file a case against China before a United Nations arbitration body
is an expression of President Aquino’s commitment to protect
He also urged China to
recognize the jurisdiction of the UN body, saying this would help
advance peace and harmony in the ASEAN region.
“The filing of the case
before the UN tribunal is an expression of our desire to resolve the
dispute with China within the framework of international law,” Binay
“President Aquino is
committed to protect our sovereignty and is likewise committed to
resolving the dispute with China in a peaceful manner. I am hopeful
that China, in the interest of greater peace and harmony in the
region, would recognize the jurisdiction of the UN arbitration
tribunal in accordance with international law,” he added.
The Vice President
emphasized that the dispute “should not define our relations with
China, considering the historic and cultural ties that bind our two
“A peaceful resolution,
under the purview of international law, would be in the best interest
of both countries and the ASEAN region,” he said.
The United Nationalist
Alliance (UNA), which is chaired by the Vice President, likewise
expressed its full support for the administration’s action.
“President Aquino has
consistently defended our sovereignty against provocative moves by
China,” UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said.
“The incursions by China
into Philippine territory and its claims on a substantial part of the
West Philippine Sea were in clear violation of international law and
our sovereignty. The decision to raise the matter before the UN
arbitration tribunal is our way of telling China that we are
determined to protect our sovereignty in a peaceful way,” he said.
The Philippines on Tuesday
invoked the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
to bring China before a UN arbitration tribunal over its claim to a
large portion of the West Philippine Sea.
welcomes DOJ action, thanks supporters
By Free Ericson Acosta
January 23, 2013
QUEZON CITY –
Detained poet Ericson Acosta today welcomed DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima’s
directive for the “immediate disposition” of the petition for review
of his case.
The Justice chief promised
immediate action in response to Acosta’s personal letter inviting her
to a dialogue.
Until last Friday, Acosta
has been detained at the Calbayog Sub-Provincial Jail while his
petition for review at the DOJ has been pending for more than a year.
Acosta was recently granted temporary release by the Gandara RTC in
Samar on humanitarian grounds. He is currently confined at the
National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City while
undergoing tests and treatment for a kidney ailment.
"I welcome Sec. Leila de
Lima's directive. The resolution of my petition for review is awaited
not only by myself but by my family, friends and supporters all over
the world. My invitation to a dialogue with her still stands," Acosta
Acosta also thanked his
supporters for their sustained campaigning and vigilance. “This latest
development in my legal case is mainly due to the untiring support of
my supporters. If not for them, the DOJ would not have taken notice.”
He also thanked his
supporters for their alertness amid attempts by his BJMP guards to
employ irrational and repressive measures during his confinement at
the NKTI. Yesterday, his BJMP guards threatened to handcuff him to his
bed but were stopped by quick action from his supporters and legal
According to the Free
Ericson Acosta Campaign, the BJMP’s failure to further repress Acosta
and terrorize visitors was an “initial victory”. “Still, the BJMP
remains overzealous in restricting his privacy and rights. Visitors
confirmed that the armed guards are the same ones that guarded Morong
43. These are not mere guards but professional bullies, our vigilance
must be increased tenfold,” the group said.
The FEAC called on the DOJ
to also immediately address and set parameters on the BJMP’s role at
the NKTI. “They are tasked to guard and secure Acosta but they are the
ones posing a threat to his security.”
Yesterday, at 6:00 in the
afternoon, a certain Dr. Col. Mundin who introduced himself as a
doctor of the BJMP unceremoniously barged into Acosta’s room and
started asking about his medical condition. He was accompanied by two
BJMP guards. He then showed a document and informed Acosta and his
companions that other members of the “BJMP Health Team” are set to “do
a series of tests” on him. Mundin again attempted to enter Acosta’s
room today but was stopped by NKTI security.
“The BJMP has no business
meddling into Acosta’s medical procedures. We expect the DOJ to put
the BJMP in its place. The added stress and obvious ploys to harass
him will only aggravate Acosta’s medical condition,” the FEAC said.
The FEAC, led by various
artists, cultural workers and supporters, will stage a picket-rally at
the DOJ tomorrow to call for the dismissal of Acosta’s case.
Director General Alan La Madrid Purisima (center), PNP Chief,
inspecting the confiscated loose firearms by PRO8 during his
visit last Saturday. Looking on are Police Chief Superintendent
Elmer R Soria, PRO8 Regional Director (left) and Police Senior
Superintendent Edgar O. Basbas, Deputy Regional Director for
PRO8 to continue
drive vs. PAGs remnants
By RPCRD, Police
Regional Office 8
January 22, 2013
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – Despite the surrender of 19 members of
private armed groups (PAGs) operating in Samar province last weekend
including one of its leader, the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) will
continue the crackdown against remaining PAG members who are still at
large, especially those with existing arrest warrants.
“While the surrenderees
committed themselves to help ensure the peaceful conduct of the
elections, they will be under close monitoring to make sure they will
not be utilized by individuals to advance their political interests,”
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 director said.
Soria expressed confidence
they would be able to “cleanse” the province of the remnants of PAGs
and other potential sources of poll violence ahead of election day.
He added that PAG members
who did not turn themselves in to police authorities despite efforts
in negotiation for their surrender by his office would suffer the full
force of the law and will be arrested if they have existing warrants
of arrests to prevent the possibility that they could be used to sow
violence in the forthcoming midterm elections.
PAG refers to a group of two
or more persons being utilized by a certain politician or individual
to sow fear or intimidation, possessing legal or illegal firearms to
advance political interest.
Samar province is included
in the list of 15 “priority areas” by the Department of Interior and
Local Government (DILG) with the two PAGs operating in the province’
first district that includes the city of Calbayog and 9 other
To recall, 19 PAG members
surrendered on Saturday morning to PRO8 that was personally witnessed
by Police Director General Alan La Madrid Purisima, Chief of the
Philippine National Police.
Of the 19 surrenderees, 14
belong to Montealto group including its alleged leader, Calbayog City
Councilor Jonas Montealto, while 5 belong to the Moloboco group. The
PAGs also turned-in assorted firearms, five from Montealto and four
from the Moloboco group.
At least 17 members from the
Montealto group while 12 from Moloboco group are still the subject of
police operations by the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG-Samar).
In December last year, two
Montealto and one Moloboco PAG members voluntarily surrendered to
RSOTG while PAG leader Julito Aragon y Cachero alias Nonoy, listed as
the Number One Most Wanted Person in Samar province and wanted for two
counts of murder was killed in a shoot-out with police authorities on
December 23, 2012 in the hinterlands of Brgy. Peńaplata, Gandara,
“Our main goal in this
campaign is to make sure that it is really the sovereign will of the
people that are reflected in the election results and not due to fear,
violence and intimidation,” Soria further averred.
The police official also
presented to the Chief PNP the RSOTG accomplishments in the campaign
against loose firearms with 35 assorted long and short arms and 52
improvised PVC cannons locally known as “boga” accounted in various
A total of 101 assorted
firearms also were deposited for safekeeping with RSOTG in relation to
the “Bilang Boga” campaign of PRO8 in Samar.
Cayetano calls for
private audit of Senate books
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter
January 22, 2013
PASAY CITY –
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano pushed for an independent
auditing firm to step in the Commission on Audit (COA) stead in
scrutinizing the liquidation and certification of funds in the Senate.
“If we have a private
auditing firm do the accounting there will be no shadow of doubt.
COA’s budget also comes from us so others might have a perception that
they are beholden to us. An independent firm won’t risk ruining their
name to appease a senator,” he said.
The senator gave this
suggestion in light of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s
distribution of P1.6 million to 18 senators and P250,000 to the
remaining four including the minority leader under the guise of
additional maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) funds.
The action has opened the
question on whether or not such a disbursement from the Senate
President’s discretionary funds is legal.
“It may be from his office’s
savings. But when you have savings from your office, you have to
return it. You can’t give it away,” he said.
He explained that this was
the reason why he followed Sen. Koko Pimentel’s lead and had his
finance officer embargo the check for P250,000.
He also noted that this
check, while printed on an official Senate check, had no accompanying
documents unlike the additional MOOE of P1.3 million given to senators
prior to this incident.
“The irony here is that the
P1.3 million might be more legal than the P250,000 simply because it
has accompanying documentation,” he said.
The minority leader pointed
out that this question is hard to answer given that while COA
chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan has said that realignment is legal, the
fact still remains that COA has dealt with no other similar cases.
“It’s true that you can
realign. But you cannot use the savings of your office as any kind of
gift. You can realign it then give it for a specific public purpose.
You have to certify it for that purpose with the accompanying
documents. What Sen. Enrile did is the first time I’ve ever
encountered such a thing done,” he said.
Cayetano stressed that the
only way to end this debate quickly and effectively is to have a
private auditing firm step in and open the Senate books in the same
way they’ve asked the oil companies, former Chief Justice Corona and
General Garcia to do in past Senate investigations.
“We have so many vital
pieces of legislation left to contend with. So my suggestion is we get
a private auditing firm, tell the finance officer to open the books
and let the public see through the media what this audit yields,” he
“We have asked so many
people we’ve investigated to open their books and accounts. It’s time
we lead by example and do the same,” he added.
and militants protest US trespassing and environmental crimes
January 22, 2013
QUEZON CITY –
Environmentalist and militants trooped to the US Embassy to denounce
the recent grounding of USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, in world
heritage site and marine biodiversity-rich Tubbataha Reef National
“At this moment USS Guardian is stuck atop Tubbataha Reef and
continues to wreck our national treasure. The US officials until now
offer no clear explanation as to why their ship trespassed into the
marine sanctuary. No apology or even an acknowledgement of the
violation was done,” says Clemente Bautista, Kalikasan PNE national
According to US Pacific Fleet, the USS Guardian had just completed a
port call in Subic Bay and was en route to Indonesia and then on to
Timor Leste to participate in a military exercise when the grounding
occurred. The US Navy attributes the error to a faulty navigation
“Blaming old digital navigation chart the reason for grounding is a
lame excuse, the intruders are clearly lying. The US ship is equipped
with state of the art navigation technology and weaponry,” Bautista
The US Navy has pulled out and took custody of 72 out of 79 crew of
the USS Guardian. Commanding and executive officers remain on the
“The Philippine government should assert its jurisdiction and
authority over our territorial waters. Like what we did with the
Chinese poachers who entered the Tubbataha Reef area, the US Guardian
officials and crew should be arrested and apprehended. The Philippine
government should be the one doing the direct investigation and have
custody over the violators,” Bautista explains.
“Instead to be prudent and assertive, the Aquino government and the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) just accepted the excuses and
allowed US military forces to get scotch free like in their previous
violations such as the toxic pollution in Subic Bay and US drone in
Masbate. There is prima facie evidence that the US deliberately
violated our laws,” Bautista states.
Angeline Songco, Tubbataha National Park Management officer, said that
the US Navy entered the reserve without a permit, damaged the
protected corals, did not coordinate with the government officials,
and prevented the park management to immediately investigate the
“The Philippine government, which up to this day have not filed any
formal protest or complaint against the US Navy, is showing how
spineless they are before the US. We expect that the Aquino government
again to defend the US military forces by invoking the power of the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),” adds Bautista.
“If VFA continue to be implemented, we expect these kind of violations
to proliferate and persist, affecting our people and environment.
Legal actions should be filed against the US Navy and VFA. If we want
to protect our marine biodiversity and environment, we must work for
the abrogation of VFA,” Bautista ends.