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Silago barangay is once again among best lupons in the country

LTO to enforce law on early warning devices starting March 1

Land Use experts blast Senate favor of CREBA lobby contra land use bill

PRO8 collars 5 drug pushers, 9 users

DOJ dismisses Ericson Acosta case

PRO8 awards cops during 22nd PNP Foundation Day

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


Samar PNP dental team
The dental team of the Samar Police Provincial Office.

Samar peace and development caravan draws more than five hundred rural folks

By PIA-Samar
February 19, 2013

CATBALOGAN CITY – More than five hundred rural folks from the four hinterlands of Gandara flocked to the Samar peace and development caravan, Tuesday.

The caravan – a convergence of 20 government agencies ushered programs like medical-dental services, circumcision and free haircut from the police and the army, massage therapy from the TESDA Specialistas and free coconut, mahogany seedlings and vegetable seeds from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Provincial Agriculture.

The PNP also brought their legal counsel to talk about how the criminal justice works and received free legal consultations.

In the same spirit of public service, parents were taught to prepare arroz caldo for their kids with matching free taste test for some 200 children by the Provincial Social Welfare Office.

But the biggest reason for the crowd mostly senior citizens was the medical checkup.

Spouses Agueda and Nemesio Armamento from barangay Natimonan, in their early 60’s said that they hiiked for two hours to avail of the medical checkup.

“Makapa check up gad kami pero dire maka akos han bulong (We may afford to get medical check-up but we can’t buy the medicines prescribed)”, said Agueda.

So that when their barangay chairman informed them of the Samar Peace and Development Caravan, which would bring doctors and dentists for the locals, they took time out from their farm duties packed cooked rice and hiked the three-kilometer distance.

Fernando Tores, 58 from Barangay Pizarro also submitted himself to the free medical checkup for his recurring cough.

“Kinahanglan mabulong ako kay an akon pag uma amo an nasuporta ha akon mga estudyante han hay iskol (I have to be healed because my kids are still studying and my farming sees them through high school)”, he shared.

The caravan was part of the social preparation for Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) projects nearing Gandara leading to Matuguinao town – considered a conflict area.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) initiated the activity in partnership with the provincial government of Samar and government agencies.





PRO8 nabs student in buy-bust

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
February 19, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Instead of attending his classes in an academic institution, a college student will now be attending classes in a correctional institution as the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) stamped out his nefarious activities of selling illegal drugs.

“With the suspect’s arrest, his illegal drug trade will now be stopped and this will save his fellow students from falling prey to the illegal drugs menace,” said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director.

The region’s top police official informed that at around 11:00 o’ clock on Saturday evening, joint elements of Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group of Leyte Police Provincial Office (LPPO-PAIDSTOG) and Palo Municipal Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Jonathan Camacho and Police Senior Inspector Leo Laraga conducted buy-bust operation along the National Highway, Brgy. Guindapunan, Palo, Leyte resulting in the arrest of one Alchie Chiquillo y Albano, 23, single, student and a resident of Public Market site, Cavite East, Palo, Leyte.

“The suspect was immediately nabbed by police operatives posted strategically in the area after handing a sachet of suspected ‘shabu’ to an undercover cop who acted as poseur-buyer,” Soria added.

Recovered from the suspect’s possession and control were two P500 bills used as buy-bust money, two heat-sealed transparent sachet containing suspected “shabu” with an estimated street value of P10,000 and one unit Samsung mobile phone used in his illegal transactions.

Chiquillo was immediately brought to Palo Municipal Police Station for proper disposition while confiscated items were brought to the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 8 for quantitative examination.

Soria added that cases for violations of Sections 5 and 11 (selling and possession of illegal drugs) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002 is now being prepared for filing against the suspect.

In January this year, PRO8 conducted 24 successful anti-illegal drugs operations resulting in the arrest of 24 pushers, 10 drug users, confiscation of 5.196 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” and 214.890 grams of dried marijuana leaves with a total estimated market value of P73,130.00, several drug paraphernalia, and filing of 24 drug charges in different courts regionwide.






dwarf coconut famers
Some 26 coconut farmers in 4 barangays of Gandara, Samar each received around 75 dwarf coco seedlings from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA-Samar), during the Samar Peace and Development Caravan on Tuesday, February 19, in Brgy. Sto. Niño, Gandara, Samar. This new variety of coconut starts to bear fruit after 4 years from planting at a trunk height of barely 4 feet.

Gandara (Samar) farmers to plant 2000 dwarf coconuts

By PIA-Samar
February 19, 2013

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar – Gandara farmers who joined the Samar Peace and Development Caravan organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser (OPAPP)and the LGU of Samar received 2,000 dwarf coconuts.

Philippine Coconut Development Authority (PCA-Samar) Chief Meinard Montano sought the help of the army in transporting the seednuts to the barangay.

Dwarf coconuts said Montano may not grow as tall as the native coconuts but its fruits are as productive as the native coconuts.

“They also mature early that they can bear fruits as early as 5 or seven years, unlike the other species that bear fruits at ten years old,” explained Montano.

Some 26 coconut farmers scampered for listing as they thought it exciting and something different to try growing dwarf coconuts.

Jose Alejan, 58, a farmer from Barangay Sto. Niño said he asked for 200 pieces to be planted in his farm, he added he will grow these intercropped with his jackfruits.

Farmers from the four barangays of Natimonan, Sto. Niño, Pizarro and Heparayan quickly claimed all 2,000 coconut seedlings in a jiffy.

“Let us plant coconuts in the bald hills,” Montano urged the gathered folks from the four barangays. As Gandara has wide fields planted with palay, the hills that seem to demarcate them are bereft of vegetation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also brought mahogany seedlings to be planted in the idle hill lots that surround the ricefields.





President Aquino creates Task Force on Bangsamoro Development

Press Release
February 19, 2013

MALACAÑANG – President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued a directive for the creation of the Task Force on Bangsamoro Development to push forward the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the region following the signing of the framework agreement for a peace settlement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Tuesday.

Ochoa said Administrative Order No. 37, which President Aquino signed on February 13, will ensure that development projects and programs are implemented in Bangsamoro, a new autonomous region that will be established in Mindanao, for MILF combatants and their families as well as communities that will be affected by the framework agreement signed in October last year.

The task force, according to Ochoa, is mandated to develop and implement programs that will respond to the health, education and livelihood needs of MILF priority beneficiaries and poverty-stricken communities throughout Mindanao.

“The peaceful resolution of the conflict in Mindanao goes beyond the signing of the framework agreement. This administration wants to ensure that peace and progress go hand in hand,” Ochoa said.

The Aquino administration last week took the initial step to help MILF forces and their families and affected persons and communities with the launch of the social development plan called Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program in Maguindanao.

“Although the initial beneficiaries of the program will be MILF members and their families, other residents in the region will also receive the benefits of the peace agreement and the development and livelihood initiatives that go with it,” the Executive Secretary said.

The task force is composed of the Cabinet secretary as chairperson and the heads of the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Health (DOH), Education (DepEd), Agriculture (DA), the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Budget and Management, and the presidential adviser on the peace process (OPAPP) as members.

Other members are the secretaries of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO), the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS), as well as the heads of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PHIC).

The President also instructed the task force to coordinate with the Transition Commission, created under Executive Order No. 120 last year, in the development and implementation of the program.

He likewise ordered the task force and Transition Commission to jointly monitor the implementation of the development projects and submit regular reports to the Office of the President.

Funding for the operation of the task force will be drawn initially from the current budgets of member-agencies and subsequent appropriations will be incorporated in their annual budget proposals.

AO 37 shall take effect immediately.





Chiz sounds alarm over wildlife ‘invasion’

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
February 19, 2013

PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz Escudero called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and environmental groups to intervene in the reported entry of alien plant and animal species to the country which threatens the country’s delicate ecological balance.

Exotic animal and plant species which are initially used as household pets or decorations almost always invariably ends up being introduced into the country’s ecosystems which in many cases disturbs the delicate balance of the country’s rich biological environment, Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, said.

“This is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. The entry of alien invasive species can wreak havoc on our ecosystem in a blink of an eye. We need a cooperative approach to dealing with this looming environmental crisis,” the senator added as he pledge full support for a multi-sectoral response.

The DENR had earlier called public attention to the so-called “bio-invasion” involving foreign plant and animal species.

Escudero said that the intervention of the DENR and a proactive response from non-government organizations are made more urgent with its own assessment that the entry of exotic species in the country “threaten not only the survival of local wildlife species, but also pose human health risks.”

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje earlier reported, for instance, that Chinese softshell turtles had started to ruin wildlife habitats in Central Luzon.

The Chinese softshell turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) are impacting aquaculture and biodiversity in Pampanga, Bulacan and Bataan as they prey on bangus (milkfish) and tilapia fingerlings in fishponds, according to Paje.

The registration of wildlife species, whether for recreation, conservation or propagation, is required by Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The law also requires aquarium owners to surrender their exotic fish to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) instead of throwing these into rivers and other bodies of water when they decide to extract the fishes from their aquarium.

Among the foreign species of wildlife that had posed problems for the country are the water lily, golden apple snail or golden kuhol, tilapia, and the janitor fish.





2 Security guards nabbed for yielding guns

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
February 18, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – A security guard was arrested by the police for gun ban violation in a checkpoint at San Juanico bridge Samar side while another security guard, with his issued firearm, was turned-over by his employer to a police station in Northern Samar for shooting and wounding his co-employee over the weekend.

“The Police Regional Office 8 will continuously conduct checkpoints in strategic areas in Eastern Visayas and implement the gun ban to sustain the safety and security during the election period,” vowed Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, the region’s top police official.

Soria informed that at around 6:45 o’ clock on Sunday evening, elements of the 8th Regional Public Safety Battalion (8th RPSB) led by Police Inspector Romulo Rits Renomeron and Police Inspector Dennis Gatela, while conducting checkpoint infront of their patrol base at the foot of the world famous bridge in Brgy. San Juan, Sta. Rita, Samar arrested one Alberto Resma y Olager, a security guard assigned at Shell gasoline station in Brgy. Utap, Tacloban City.

Investigation showed that the suspect was on board a public utility jeep going to Tacloban City that was flagged down by PNP personnel conducting the checkpoint.

Upon verification, Resma, who was under the influence of liquor got irked and challenged the policemen for a fistfight, drew his service firearm and aimed towards the policemen but was quickly disarmed by the lawmen.

Confiscated from the suspect was one caliber .38 revolver of unknown manufacturer with serial no 55211 along with two live ammunition.

The suspect is now under the custody of said patrol base for safekeeping pending the filing of appropriate charges in court against him.

Meanwhile on Saturday morning in San Isidro, Northern Samar, one Paul Montecalvo of the Human Resource Division of Sanvic Enterprises turned over to San Isidro Municipal Police Station one Alvin Dalagdon y Sabilao, 25, security guard of Sanvic Enterprises and a resident of Purok 9, Brgy. Alegria, San Isidro, Northern Samar with his issued caliber .38 revolver marked SAM Protector bearing serial number PRO20991090, two live ammunitions and 3 spent shells of .38 caliber.

Investigation conducted disclosed that earlier that day, at the compound of said establishment, suspect had an altercation with forklift operator Reynaldo Amor that resulted in the shooting by the suspect of the later who was wounded on different parts of his body.

Suspect is currently detained at San Isidro Police Station while appropriate charges is now being prepared for filling in court against him. Meanwhile, victim was brought to Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman, Northern Samar for medical attention.

Soria assured that PRO8 will remain active in enforcement of the election laws and sustain security operations in line with the PNP’s “Secure and Fair Elections” or SAFE 2013 program.

PRO8 started enforcing the election gun ban last January 13 until June 12 this year wherein all permits to carry firearms outside residences issued by the PNP to qualified licensed gun holders are suspended and only law enforcers who are on duty and in uniform are exempted from the ban.





Another NPA Camp falls, improvised landmines recovered

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
February 18, 2013

Barangay Magsaysay, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar – Another CPP/NPA camp has been seized by government forces in vicinity Km 11, Barangay Happy Valley, San Isidro, Northern Samar last February 18, 2013 at around 1:05 in the afternoon.

Lieutenant Colonel Noel A Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, in his report to 803rd Brigade Commander, Colonel Rolando Malinao, said that as the troops of Bravo Company, 20IB led by Sgt Antonio Seberre while conducting combat patrol in the hinterland barangays of San Isidro, Northern Samar, discovered a newly abandoned NPA encampment with hastily destroyed makeshift posts and bunkers.

According to LTC Vestuir, the said camp was pinpointed after the residents in the nearby barangays informed the troops of the presence of unidentified armed men in the area. As the troops searched the area, they were able to recover the following items: two (2) improvised anti-personnel mines; two (2) meters detonating cord; electric firing wire; one (1) IED switch; one (1) rifle grenade; four (4) back packs, personal belongings and subversive documents.

LTC Vestuir added, that the series of the discovery of NPA camps was a result of the continuing support of the people in the barangays. As can be recalled, already three (3) NPA camp were also seized by 20IB last week in the municipalities of San Isidro, Victoria and Catarman.

According to LTC Vestuir, “the presence of NPAs and the recovery of improvised explosive devices is a clear indication that the terrorist group is planning to conduct atrocities against the peace-loving people in the area that were prevented due to the timely response of the government troops. The use of landmines is a gross violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) wherein the CPP/NPA/NDF are signatories.

Vestuir also calls for the NPAs to surrender. “Considering that the people themselves no longer accept the NPAs in the barangays, it is high time that they shall already spare them of their terroristic activities. With the series of discovery of their camps, it is clear that we have already narrowed the sphere of their influence and it would not be long for our troops to eventually find them. If that would happen, we will not hesitate to use the full might and strength of our forces against them.” Vestuir concluded.





VP Binay – CA decision on Delfin Lee a grave injustice

By OVP Media
February 18, 2013

MANILA – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today assailed the reported Court of Appeals (CA) decision allegedly quashing the syndicated estafa case against fugitive developer Delfin Lee and other officials of Globe Asiatique and lifting the warrant of arrest issued by a Pampanga court against them.

“We have not received a copy of the resolution. But if this report is accurate, then the decision is a grave injustice against the victims of Delfin Lee. We will not take this sitting down,” Binay said.

The Vice President said he has directed the Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) to confer with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General and immediately file an appeal before the Supreme Court once it receives a copy of the said CA Resolution. Binay is the chair of the Pag-IBIG Board of Trustees.

He ordered the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Lee and several others after an investigation which he ordered revealed that Lee had used fake documents and ghost borrowers to obtain from the housing agency some P7 billion in loans.

“We owe it not only to the victims of Delfin Lee but to all the members of Pag-IBIG to pursue this case. Those who are responsible for this scam should be brought to justice,” he said.

As of this date, the agency has not received a copy of the supposed resolution of the former Special 10th Division of the CA allegedly directing the quashing or cancelling of the syndicated estafa case against Lee.

President Aquino has placed a P2 million reward for the capture of Lee, who went into hiding after the issuance of an arrest warrant.





Volume of passengers in Tacloban Airport up by 13% in 2012

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
February 17, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY – The number of passengers at the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport increase by 13% reaching 1.14 million in 2012 as against the 1.01 million that was posted in 2011, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) informed.

CAAP Eastern Visayas area manager Antonio Alfonso said the number of incoming and outgoing flights also rose by 10.5% with 10,030 in 2012 from 9,074 in 2011, making the airport as one of the busiest in the country. April was the busiest month on record for the DZR Airport with total passenger traffic of 115,587, accounting 10% of last year’s volume.

Manager Alfonso said the factor contributing to the 2012 passenger volume rise is the launching of SEAIR (Southeast Asian Airlines), another low cost carrier bound for Manila. Cebu Pacific also opened the new Tacloban-Iloilo route, he said.

The CAAP Eastern Visayas area manager said the passenger volume has been consistently increasing every year with 627,108 in 2008; 892,425 in 2009; 907,347 in 2010; and 1,015,797 in 2011. The airport has seen growth as airlines added their capacity and new service to and from the destination terminal.

On a daily basis, the DZR airport serves 11 Manila-bound flights of Cebu Pacific (CEB), Zest Air, Air Philippines, and SEAIR; and two Cebu-bound flights of CEB and Air Philippines. Iloilo-bound Cebu Pacific aircraft uses the airport three times weekly.

The airport manager said that with the consistent rise of air passengers using the DZR Airport, there is a need to improve and upgrade the facilities of Tacloban Airport in accordance with international civil aviation and safety standards.

Meanwhile, in a report to the Regional Development Council (RDC), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) informed it will implement a P2.12 billion Tacloban Airport development project from 2013 to 2016. The report said that that the contractor is awaiting for the notice to proceed of the actual construction.

The project consists of four components, the construction of apron and taxi way, the completion of North-East shore protection, the construction of drainage system, and the construction of temporary transition.

In a statement, the DOTC said the project will meet the increasing air passengers and cargo traffic, serve modern and bigger aircrafts, and provide safety to air commuters.



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