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PRO8 arrests 4 gun ban violators, confiscates 10 firearms

EV folks unite for SAFE 2013

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


PRO8 awards cops during 22nd PNP Foundation Day

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
January 28, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) marked the 22nd Foundation Day of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday morning in a simple celebration highlighted by recognition of its men whose efforts have been instrumental in fulfilling the organization’s peacekeeping mission.

22nd PNP Foundation Day
Retired Police Director Lucas M Managuelod pinning the medal to deserving PRO8 personnel during the 22nd PNP Foundation Day celebration at the PRO8 Grandstand on Monday morning.

“We must continue to carry our duties with honor and competence by showing good example of genuine service or ‘Serbisyong Makatotohanan’ to regain the trust and respect of the people to the PNP organization,” said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director.

Soria further encouraged the awardees and his men to always perform with excellence and treat the police job with dignity and professionalism.

Retired Police Director Lucas M Managuelod, a former director of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and currently the Vice Chairman of the Public Safety Savings and Loan Association, INC. (PSSLAI) was the Guest of Honor and Speaker and handed out the awards with Soria during the Traditional Flag Raising Ceremony and celebration at PRO8 Grandstand.

A Medalya ng Kagalingan or PNP Merit Medal was given to POI Noel Royandoyan for his gallantry in action during the manhunt operation at Brgy. Peñaplata, Gandara, Samar which resulted in the neutralization of Julito Aragon, a leader of the Moloboco private armed group and the number one most wanted person in Samar accused for two murder cases.

Meanwhile, a Medalya ng Papuri or PNP Commendation Medal was awarded to Police Inspector Lloyd Lagrimas for leading his men in the arrests of Juanito and Leo Baluya, both accused for murder, and included in the top ten most wanted list of Laoang, Northern Samar.

A similar award was given to Police Inspector Allan Cerro for his performance of duty resulting in the arrest of rape suspect Francisco Balabat last January 14, the number four most wanted man in Javier, Leyte.

SPO3 Nelson Lapiceros was also given the same award for the arrest of murder suspect Dionesio Sedon, Jr. in a manhunt operation on January 2 at Brgy. Tongonan, Ormoc City. The suspect is ranked number 9 most wanted person in Catbalogan City.

Medalya ng Paglilingkod or the PNP Long Service Medals with 2 silver stars were also given to Police Inspector Bernardito Verallo and SPO4 Teofilo Butlig for rendering 30 years of faithful and honorable service with the PNP.

“These outstanding achievements contributed to the stable peace and order situation in Eastern Visayas and resulted in positive delivery of public safety services to our people,” Soria added.

A wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the PNP members killed during police operations at the PRO8 Heroes monument and a Eucharistic mass were also part of the celebration.

The 148,000-strong PNP was created under Republic Act 6975 or “An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police under a reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government and Other Purposes” that abolished the Philippine Constabulary and the Integrated National Police (PC/INP) and activated a police force on January 29, 1991 which is national in scope and civilian in character.





Human rights reparation bill ratified

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
January 28, 2013

PASAY CITY  –  After close to 20 years, victims of human rights abuses under the Marcos regime can finally claim compensation and reparation from the State.

Senator Chiz Escudero announced that the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2012 was finally approved by both chambers of Congress. The bill will now be transmitted to Malacanang for the signature of President Benigno Aquino III.

“This is a first of such human rights legislation in the world where a state recognizes a previous administration’s fault against its own people and not only provides for, but also actually appropriates for reparation,” the senator said.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, sponsored the measure.

The bill stipulates that a human rights violation victim (HRVV) during the regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos is now qualified to file a claim with the Human Rights Claim Board for reparation and/or recognition, as stated in Section 16 of the Act.

“The bicameral conference committee was able to thresh out contentious issues last week. We also expanded the coverage of the bill that includes not only monetary compensation but also non-monetary benefits to include social and psychological assistance coming from different concerned government agencies. Therefore, instead of merely calling it compensation bill, we now call it the reparation bill,” Escudero explained.

He said all claimants in the class suit and direct action plaintiffs in Hawaii, and all victims recognized by the Bantayog Ng Mga Bayani Foundation shall now be accorded the same conclusive presumption that they are HRVVs.

Conclusive presumption means that any person who has secured or can secure a favorable judgment or award of damages from any court in the country arising from human rights violation shall be considered conclusively as a victim without need of further proof.

On the other hand, those who are not recognized by both entities above may claim compensation under Section 18 which states that “the Board may take judicial notice motu propio of individual persons who suffered human rights violations.”

A P10-billion fund, plus accrued interest, has been set aside and appropriated to fund the claims. The amount is part of the funds transferred to the Philippine Government by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and is now held in escrow.

Escudero said the amount of compensation shall be proportionate to the gravity of the offense committed. The Board, he says shall follow the point system in the determination of the award.

Victims who died or who disappeared and are still missing shall be given 10 points. Those who were tortured and/or raped or sexually abused shall be given from six to nine points.

Those who were detained will be given from three to five points while those whose rights were violated under the Act shall be given one to two points.

The Act provides for a work period of two (2) years from the affectivity of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Board to complete its mandate.





NPA camp seized by government troops in Northern Samar

NPA camp

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
January 26, 2013

BRGY. MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar  –  A newly abandoned communist terrorist’s camp was recently discovered by government security forces at Sitio Catmaalad, Barangay Mckinley, Catarman, Northern Samar at around 9:30 in the morning today, January 26, 2013.

Lieutenant Colonel Noel A Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, in his report to 803rd Brigade Commander, Colonel Rolando Malinao, said the camp was seized by the operating troops of 20IB 1LT Raul Delos Santos.

The camp has fifteen (15) hastily destroyed bunkers that can accommodate more or fifteen to twenty communist terrorists, one (1) kitchen, one (1) comfort room, and has just been abandoned by the CTs as they evade armed engagement with the operating troops. The camp was seized after 20IB launched sustained combat operations in the area of Catarman in response to the information tipped-in by some residents in the nearby barangays of the presence of armed men roaming in the area extorting money and food stuffs from the peace-loving people.

The recent accomplishments by the 20IB troops against the NPAs in the area of 1st district of Northern Samar have disrupted the impending terroristic activities that are being hatched to be conducted by the NPA. The government troops has dislodged them from their guerilla camps and cut-off their supply support lines that they forcibly take from the residents in the area.

The discovery and seizure of the said camp in the area was made possible by the information provided by local populace and is a clear indication that enemy revolutionary organization has already alienated the people and the communities where they got their support through their forced extortion activities.

LTC Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer commended his troops for a job well done. He also thanked the continued support of the people in the government’s efforts of “Winning the Peace”.

“Through the timely and accurate information tipped by the residents, our troops were able to discover the NPA encampment, a staging place of their terroristic activities in the area. The seizure of the said NPA encampment is a big blow to the CTs considering that we have denied them of their safe haven and sanctuary and once again proven that the people are with us in our pursuit for peace in this part of the country”, Vestuir said.

Vestuir also calls for the fleeing Communist Terrorists to lay down their arms in order to once again live decent and normal lives along with their families.





Cayetano to call for parallel audit with COA of Senate funds

By Office of Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano
January 26, 2013

PASAY CITY  –  Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano bared his plan to file a resolution to formalize his call for an audit by an independent private firm.

Senate minority leader Alan Peter CayetanoBut he clarified further that such an audit could possibly entail: (1) an audit by an independent firm parallel to Commission of Audit’s (COA) own audit; (2) a sole audit conducted by a private firm independent of COA; or (3) an independent people’s audit.

“I just want Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to answer two things: (1) How was the P250,000 liquidated; and (2) From the P2 billion Senate budget, how much was liquidated by certification alone,” he said.

“What I’m saying is that we don’t need a professional audit or for every single centavo of the P2 billion Senate budget to be audited. I just want the public to be given a chance to look into the Senate books and see that we are doing the right thing and that we have nothing to hide. Whatever kind of audit that could bring that about is alright with me,” he said.

He dismissed claims that having such an audit done is not possible under the Constitution.

“There is no Constitutional or legal impediment to a private audit. I can tell COA that there have been instances in the past where a private audit was paid by a government entity and there was no legal impediment,” he said.

The minority leader assured COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan that it was not his intention to cast doubt on the integrity of the agency. Instead, he wants to ensure that COA’s integrity is not questioned during the conduct of the audit since some COA commissioners have yet to be appointed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), a panel headed by Senator Enrile.

“What I’m asking for is transparency and accountability. I’d like to let COA know that the people and the members of the Senate have full trust in you. I’m only saying that we have nothing to lose but everything to gain if we have a parallel audit conducted to settle this issue,” he said.

“It doesn’t have to be a technical, legal audit. Just bring out the documents so that the people will find out the truth,” he added.

Cayetano also reiterated his call to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and his fellow senators to stick to the real issue of transparency in the liquidation and certification of funds in the Senate and not resort to squid tactics to divert attention away from the main issue.

“While the arguments seemingly went to the gutter, let us go back to the real issue that has everything to do with the integrity and independence of the Senate,” he said.





Coco levy fund: cash distribution thru social benefits!

January 26, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Small coconut farmers in Eastern Visayas demand cash distribution thru social benefits of coconut levy fund worth P56.5 billion which remitted to the National Treasury last September 12, 2012.

“We are opposing the roadmap design by NAPC (National Anti-Poverty Commission) wherein P11 billion of coco levy fund plan to utilize for 4 programs which identified – CARPER, 4Ps, LTI (land tenure improvement) because this programs has regular government allocations,” says Nestor Lebico, Secretary-General of Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB).

In pursuing utilizing the coco levy fund, small coco farmers in Eastern Visayas is supporting three (3) House Bills filed in Congress by Anakpawis Partylist related to coco levy fund and coco levy industry. These are House Bill Nos. 3443, 0469 and 5070. A bill is also pending at the Senate. All these house bills seek the establishment of a body that will be dominated by small coco farmer representatives specifically the Coconut Levy Funds Administration and Management Act.

“We call for financing of coconut industry development projects from initiatives of small coco farmers and their organizations/cooperatives, programs that would provide loan facilities, industry research and development programs, construction and development of post-harvest facilities, inventions and innovations of machineries and equipment for the development of high-quality coconut and improvement of coconut production, livelihood program meant to provide additional incomes, institution-building programs and skills training,” added Lebico.

“Coco Levy fund Ibalik sa Amin,” ends Lebico.





8th ID respects court’s decision for detainee’s medical treatment

By PIA Samar
January 25, 2013

CATBALOGAN CITY – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army respects the decision of the court allowing accused Ericson Acosta to seek medical treatment at the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City.

In a press release by the 8th Infantry Division Public affairs Office (DPAO), it said that Acosta was detained at the Calbayog sub-provincial jail on charges of Illegal Possession of Explosives docketed as Criminal Case # 11-0501 filed at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 41 of Gandara, Samar.

Acosta was apprehended by military troops of 34th Infantry Battalion in the hinterlands of Brgy Bay-ang, San Jorge, Samar on February 13, 2011 for possession of a grenade.

“We respect, out of humanitarian consideration, the decision of the court for treatment of Acosta at the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City,” Cpt Gene Orense, 8th ID spokesman said.

The 8th ID Headquarters through its spokesman added, “whether he is an artist or not is of no concern to us because he was apprehended in the possession of a hand grenade and this is a criminal offense.” (with DPAO-8th ID)





UNA key proponents laud PNoy for landmark law

‘Kasambahay Law, big step in the right direction’ – Binay

By OVP Media
January 24, 2013

MANILA  –  Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today described President Aquino's signing into law of the Kasambahay Bill as a major step in giving respect and dignity to some 2.5 million household workers or ‘kasambahays’.

"The Kasambahay Law signed by President Aquino gives our household workers the respect and dignity they deserve," Binay said.

"I am glad that President Aquino has signed the Bill into Law. This only shows the administration’s commitment to provide maximum protection to and uphold the dignity and welfare of our household workers – this is a big step in the right direction," said the Vice President who is likewise the concurrent chairman of UNA.

San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito and Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, who are both running under UNA in the 2013 senatorial elections, are the main proponents of Republic Act No. 10361, or “An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers”, or simply known as the “Kasambahay Act”.

Ejercito said, "this is the best gift we can give at the start of the new year for these hardworking men and women who tend to our homes and take care of our children."

The Kasambahay Act ensures the rights and welfare of the estimated 2.5 million domestic workers all over the country that similarly pegs the minimum salaries and benefits of household employees.

Co-proponent Jack Enrile said that “this is a landmark piece of legislation which took Congress 15 years to enact into law. This is just the beginning – our work is not over yet. We need to make sure that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of this milestone measure will be properly enforced. I therefore extend my hand to President Aquino in whatever capacity to help fulfill the true spirit of this new law. I also want to thank all the other legislators in the House of Representatives and the Senate who supported the bill during its evolution in Congress, and are equally happy with the turn of events.”

UNA senatorial bet Nancy Binay said that “the Kasambahay Act sets forth the rights and interests of the domestic household sector within the full protection of the State.”

Former Sen. Dick Gordon likewise hailed the passage of the Kasambahay Law and described it as a “real milestone” in the long struggle of the domestic workers to gain the recognition that they deserve.

He mentioned that it is about time that government provides them with social benefits that have long been overdue. "This is not just about money, it is also about according the kasambahay the dignity that they richly deserve.”

UNA senatorial bet Mitos Magsaysay also welcomed the development. “I am glad it has finally been signed into law as we worked on this bill for quite some time.”

“The signing of the Kasambahay law is landmark legislation for the less fortunate in Philippine society. They should have more in law,” said former Sen. Ernie Maceda.





Our sovereignty and dignity is priceless – Kalikasan on proposed Tubbataha damage payments

By Kalikasan PNE
January 24, 2013

QUEZON CITY  –  Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment said that the proposed P24 million fine for the Tubbataha reef damage caused by US military forces is too little and too limited an amount, belittling the value of the area’s rich marine wealth and the issue of territorial sovereignty.

“Twenty four million pesos is not enough to compensate for the damage done by the US to Tubbataha Reef, a national treasure. There is really no equivalent monetary compensation for the US Navy’s disrespect for Philippine authorities and their trampling of the country’s sovereignty,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The Tubbataha Park Management was earlier reported to have asked the US Navy to pay 24 million pesos to compensate and rehabilitate an estimated 1,000 square meters of coral reefs destroyed in Tubbataha Reef National Park.

Bautista said that the issue of damage to the area’s coral reef ecosystem should not be limited to the amount of fines and damages to be paid.

“Both the US and the Philippine governments want to reduce the Tubbataha incident to only an environmental violation that can be settled through mere monetary compensation. The proposal does not consider the longer-term losses to the marine environment nor the lingering presence of US military troops in Philippine lands and seas,” Bautista said.

Bautista also expressed disappointment at the Aquino administration’s failure to curb the increasing presence of US military troops in the country as well as the different environmental and social problems this has triggered. “Until now, the Aquino government has failed to seek accountability from the violations of the US Navy,” Bautista added.

Based on the report of government authorities, the officers and crew of the USS Guardian trespassed into the marine park earlier this week, damaged the coral reef, disturbed the local marine resources, and prevented park authorities from immediately investigating the incident. It was also reported that the USS Guardian personnel in full battle gear took an offensive stance when the park rangers tried to approach the grounded ship.

“The Aquino administration must assert our sovereignty and stand for dignity as a nation by filing a formal protest to the US government and pursue a criminal case against the officers and crew of the USS Guardian. We should take custody of American intruders like what we did before to Chinese poachers and local fishermen who trespassed into the water of Tubbataha,” Bautista ended.





Bicam finalizes reparation and recognition bill for rights victims

SELDA salutes Martial Law heroes

January 24, 2013

QUEZON CITY  –  “We salute the Martial Law heroes who, despite old age, sickness, maneuvers of the Marcoses, and all other obstacles along the way, have painstakingly stood and fought to make sure that this bill granting reparation and recognition to the martial law victims is passed. We have gone a long way. We have long fought for this,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, SELDA chairperson and a Martial Law victim herself.

Yesterday, the bicameral conference committee has hammered out the final version of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, formerly known as the Marcos victims compensation bill, provisions of which became acceptable to the majority of the victims as the final version now included SELDA’s position.

“In welcoming the final version, we remember the SELDA leaders who pursued the path of making the Marcoses accountable for the human rights violations they committed to the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who fought martial law. SELDA remember and salute the bravery and memories of Don Chino Roces, founding chairman of SELDA, Dean Armando Malay, Dr. Nemesio Prudente, former Navy Capt. Danilo Vizmanos, Atty. Jose Mari Velez, Atty. Rolando Olalia – Board members who decided to go after Marcos after the dictator’s downfall and died in the succeeding months and years after filing the class action suit in 1986; and the steadfastness of Fidel Agcaoili, Juliet De Lima-Sison, Vicente Ladlad , Dean Francisco Nemenzo, Tita Lubi, Josephine Dongail, Doris Baffrey – Board members who are still alive; and and the tireless efforts of Atty. Romeo Capulong, SELDA legal counsel when Atty. Jose Mari Velez died in 199, to assist the victims and SELDA in the twists and turns of the case, the maneuverings of Imelda Marcos and the machinations of the American and other Filipino lawyers in the case. We should also dedicate this bill to all the heroes and martyrs of Martial Law who have gone before us and waged the most determined fight against the dictatorship and suffered the worst violations during martial law. This bill is a small effort of SELDA to ensure that their sacrifice shall not be put to waste,” Enriquez said.

Among the positive provisions approved that were pushed by SELDA was the inclusion of the “conclusive presumption” provision as human rights violations victims for the 9,539 victims who filed and won the historic class suit of Martial Law victims against the Marcoses filed in 1986 in Hawaii.

“The bill’s passage is a victory not only for the victims but for the Filipino people. More than the monetary compensation, the bill represents the only formal, written document that martial law violated the human rights of Filipinos and that there were courageous people who fought the dictatorship.

SELDA, meanwhile, said that with the bill now ready for ratification by Congress, the victims should make sure that the law, when put into in effect, should be fully implemented.



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