Your latest news happening from here at home and abroad
news 474


more news...

RSOG arrest thieves, recovers P1.2M worth of jewelries, seized guns

Fruit vendor arrested in buy-bust

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

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


America in 3D Tacloban
Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. addressing guests from the City of Tacloban and the US Embassy in front of the Leyte Landing Monument on the eve of the US Embassy’s America in 3D event.

Tacloban City hosts America in 3D 2013

March 6, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY – The US Embassy’s AMERICA IN 3D kicked-off in Tacloban City March 2.

Launched by US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. in early 2011, the road show highlights the American Government’s diplomacy, development and defense efforts. Travelling from Baguio, Laoag, Iloilo, Cebu, and now Tacloban, the event is a celebration of Filipino-American friendships, and a showcase of American culture, US Business and US Embassy services in the Philippines.

In this weekend event, Tacloban city got to play a part in exhibiting Filipino-American relations, while the booming city has been a key player in the partnership throughout history. Immortalized in the Leyte landing monument is a testament of Filipino-American partnership surviving through the most difficult of times. Tacloban is the site of the historic Leyte landing, where Gen. Douglas McArthur returning in the tail-end of the second world war.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez is especially elated about the event for the possibilities it will open for Taclobanon entrepreneurs and workers. He says that the locals are ready and gearing for progress. With the vast improvements the city has been seeing from shifting to a Highly Urbanized City, to the increase of businesses being registered and launched locally, the America in 3D coming to Tacloban seems like a foreshadowing of greater things yet to come.

“It is high time the rest of the Philippines sees the promise that Tacloban holds; not only as a tourist spot, but as a serious business and investment location. We are especially glad that our friends from the US Embassy are showing us what they can offer the Taclobanons, and we, in return, can offer as a city,” said Romualdez.






Paranas police station groundbreaking
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer R. Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 (left) with Paranas town officials and other stakeholders during the ceremonial groundbreaking for Paranas Municipal Police Station on Wednesday morning.

New police station to rise in Paranas

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
March 6, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The tranquil peace and order situation in Paranas town in Samar is expected to be maintained after the Philippine National Police approved the construction of the P4.7 million two-storey with roofdeck municipal police station.

“The people of Paranas deserves to experience excellent police performance from the new breed of police heroes travelling the right path, the “matuwid na daan”, and a few months from now, our policemen will be entertaining your concerns in their new home,” said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8).

Soria and Paranas Mayor Felix Babalcon, Jr. led the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning of the Paranas Municipal Police Station located on a 600-square meter lot donated by the municipal government along the national highway in Brgy. Zone 4.

He added that the new structure will serve as a showcase of dedicated police service reflecting the PNP’s “Serbisyong Makatotohanan” program to better serve and protect the community.

Paranas is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Samar situated more or less 30 kilometers south from Catbalogan City, the province’s capital, with a population of 29,327 people according to the 2010 census.

The building costs P4.7 million of which P3.7 million is provided by the PNP while the local government unit of Paranas put up a counterpart fund of P1 million. It is expected to be completed in 175 calendar days as construction, to be undertaken by JELM Construction, starts.

The new station is a part of the modernization program of the PNP particularly on upgrading of its physical facilities. After the Paranas, another police station in Daram, an island town also in Samar, will be constructed in the next few months.

Soria added that having at least a decent police station would surely boost the morale of policemen and earn the respect of the community, aside from being safer from communists-terrorists attacks.

On May 5, 2007, policemen assigned in Paranas police station previously situated near the seaside in Brgy. Zone 3 put up a gallant fight and successfully defended the station from 100 attacking communist rebels, preventing them from overrunning the police station and killing 3 rebels in the process.





RD Soria to new cops: “Respect human rights”

new cops oathtaking ceremony

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
March 5, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The region’s top police official directed the newly-appointed police recruits to respect human rights at all times as they entered their first day of service in the Philippine National Police.

“Always keep in mind the people’s rights while enforcing the law without fear or favor, reminding you that PRO8 is the home of the citizen-friendly policemen. Always be a protector of human rights,” Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8), instructed the 75 rookie policemen who took their oath of office at the PRO8 Grandstand on Tuesday morning.

“As you enter the early stage of your police career, develop a good character which will be your foundation. You have to start with a right indoctrination of the police service which is critical on how you will perform your job. Service first before self-interest”, he added.

The PNP has been human rights-sensitive organization, starting off with the tie-up of the PNP and the Commission on Human Rights that led to the creation of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office and establishment of Human Rights Desks in all police stations.

The 75 new policemen, 65 males and 10 females, were part of the supplemental quota for the calendar year 2012 second semester Police Officer I (POI) recruitment program.

A total of 236 applicants filed their applications at the start of the recruitment period wherein 87 passed the meticulous screening and selection processes of Neuro-Psychiatric/Psychological Examination; Complete Physical, Medical and Dental Examination; Physical Agility Test; Drug Test; Complete Background Investigation; and Final Committee Interview. The remaining 12 qualified applicants were re-aligned to PRO7.

The newly-appointed POIs will receive a basic monthly salary of P14,834.00 aside from allowances and other non-cash benefits.

After the ceremony, the new PNP recruits were turned-over to the Philippine Public Safety College-Regional Training School 8 (PPSC-RTS8) to undergo the mandatory Public Safety Field Training Program (PSFTP) to prepare them for the basic work and function of the police. After this, they will mandatorily undergo the PNP SCOUT and other trainings intended for their greater responsibilities as law enforcers and as public servants.





PRO8 arrested 49 gun ban violators in EV

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
March 4, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – At least 49 people have been arrested by the police for possession of firearms in Eastern Visayas since the gun ban was implemented with the start of the election period on January 13, the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) said on Monday.

"We have arrested 49 persons so far in different police operations to implement the gun ban," said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director.

Soria added that they have confiscated a total 40 firearms, thirteen high-powered and 20 low-powered, and 7 homemade guns.

“Apart from firearms, 4 hand grenades, an airgun and 3 gun replicas were also confiscated, together with 13 assorted bladed weapons,” the police official further said, adding that 44 cases were also filed in different courts regionwide.

Since the start of the election period, PRO8 have aggressively implemented COMELEC Resolution Number 9561-A in relation to Section 32 of RA 7166 which states that during the election period, no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places even if licensed to possess or carry the same unless authorized in writing by the Commission on Elections except regular members or officers of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the Government who are duly deputized in writing by the Comelec.

The arrests were made through the implementation of checkpoints in strategic places, implementation of search warrants, police response and intelligence-driven operations, RD Soria added.

Meanwhile, a store helper was the latest addition to the list of those arrested by the police for violating the gun ban.

Jimmy Laboc y Dacles alias Manok, 23, single, of Purok 3, Brgy. 13, Catbalogan City was arrested by a police team led by PO3 Louie Legatub on Saturday evening after receiving information that suspect was carrying firearm at the vicinity of Imelda Park, Brgy. 7, Catbalogan City.

Confiscated from Laboc was one caliber .380 pistol with defaced serial number loaded with one magazine.

Suspect is currently detained at Catbalogan City Police Station while cases for illegal possession of firearm and violation of Comelec Resolution No. 9561-A were already filed against him at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Catbalogan City docketed under NPS Numbers INQ-13C-0068 and INQ-13C-0069, respectively.





DAR soon to turn-over P19-M farm implements to improve productivity of East Visayas ARB groups

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA-8)
March 4, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform in Eastern Visayas is set to turn over very soon, more than P19 million worth of farm implements to over about 60 agrarian reform beneficiary-organizations across Eastern Visayas.

“The more than P19 million worth of farm implements are now at the DAR Regional Office ready for distribution to intended beneficiaries,” Regional Director Eliasem Castillo disclosed.

The multi-million pesos worth of modern farm equipments include 37 hand tractors, 30 threshers, 10 cultivators, 8 water pumps, 6 flat-bed driers, 2 reapers, 2 mechanical trans-planters, and 2 combine harvesters.

With these equipment provided to the ARBOs, Director Eliasem Castillo expects a higher yield from their awarded lots in the succeeding agricultural years and eventually an increased income resulting to a better quality life, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and employment generation in the rural areas under President Benigno Aquino’s 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan.

Director Castillo explained that these are the results of the needs assessment conducted last year by the three State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) commissioned by the Department to determine the factors that would turn these ARBOs into more viable agri-enterprise farmer organizations under the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS).

ARCCESS, according to Director Castillo, is DAR’s new strategy which was conceptualized by Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes in order to enhance the delivery of support services to agrarian reform beneficiaries under the Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Under this new strategy, DAR assists the ARBOs become productive and competitive agri-entrepreneurs by providing the latter with the necessary farm equipment and with the help of professional service providers.

Director Castillo said that early in 2012, DAR entered into an agreement with the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) in Catarman, Northern Samar; the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte; and the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) in Sogod, Southern Leyte to validate the capabilities of the identified ARBOs in the region to venture such kind of activity and determine the factors that would help improve agricultural production and increase income.

Moreover, the SUCs were required to present plausible and feasible plans which will become the basis of DAR in the provision of the necessary common service facilities that would make the ARB organization a more viable agri-enterprise.

Director Castillo informed that initially, DAR has identified and approved for funding under ARCESS, one project proposal for every congressional district involving 60 ARBOs throughout the region.

Said project proposals include rice, organic vegetable, sugarcane and cassava production and marketing.

The turn-over of the farm equipment to the identified ARBOs will be done after the conditions and specifications of all the 97 assorted machineries delivered last week by the contracted suppliers are checked by an inspectorate team from DAR Central Office, Director Castillo said.





Rights group, kin disappointed with DOJ resolution on botanist’s killing

March 4, 2013

QUEZON CITY – Rights group Hustisya expressed its disappointment on the DOJ’s resolution to file charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and attempted homicide instead of murder, on the soldiers involved in the killing of botanist Leonard Co and two others.

“We are not happy with the resolution. We do not agree that the killing of my husband Leonard, and his companions Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borromeo, is a simple case of homicide,” said Glenda Co, wife of the slain botanist.

Reiterating that the killing of Leonard, Cortez and Borromeo is murder, Co expressed disappointment that the DOJ ignored the results of the independent fact-finding mission led by the Justice for Leonard Co Movement 10 days after the incident.

“We have waited this long, only to suffer another injustice. By ignoring the need for justice, they have also ignored the life of service that Leonard and his companions had done to their last breath,” Co said.

Results of the fact-finding team in 2010 belied claims by the AFP that the three were killed in a crossfire with members of the New People’s Army on November 15, 2010. The mission team, participated in by scientists and human rights advocates, led by Dr. Giovanni Tapang revealed that there was no firefight; and that the continuing bursts of gunfire that felled Co and company was one-sided, originating only from where the soldiers of 16th Infantry Battalion were positioned.

The Commission on Human Rights also issued its recommendations last year to file charges against the accused soldiers.

Meanwhile, Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra said that the DOJ’s stand to downgrade the charges against elements of 19th IB “manifests a slipshod attempt to whitewash the incident and free the soldiers of their accountability.”

Their group also condemned the flimsy alibi that the killing incident was merely an “honest mistake” as claimed by the AFP.

“Amid their posturing to subscribe to due process, their attempts to mislead the public and cover up the dastardly act makes them all the more guilty of murder. The massacre of Leonard Co and company was not an accident, the soldiers were there to kill,” Guevarra said.

The group said it shall prepare for actions in the coming days to call for genuine justice for Co, Cortez and Borromeo.





19IB backs retrieval operations in Kananga landslide

By 19th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
March 4, 2013

KANANGA, Leyte – The Army unit who responded to the landslide incident in Brgy. Lim-ao, Kananga, Leyte on March 1 is optimistic that there are still survivors, even on the fourth day of retrieval operations in the area.

This was the mind-set of Lt. Col. Joel Alejandro Nacnac, Commanding Officer of 19IB after the recovery of the sixth cadaver around 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

No documents or personnel belongings were found when the cadaver was discovered. But inquiries are already initiated by rescuers and local authorities in order to identify the body.

As of today, 19IB accounted 17 survivors from the incident. Ten of which were immediately brought to the hospital the same day when the incident occurred. On the other hand, death toll is now raised to six leaving at least nine more that were still missing.

“We will continue to secure the area and aid other rescuers in the retrieval operations. We hope that there are still left alive from this unfortunate incident”, Lt. Col. Nacnac said.

Lt. Col. Nacnac revealed it was his men patrolling the area who first responded the incident around 9:50 a.m. on Friday, March 1.

“A platoon of soldiers led by Lt. Amin Macalintangue and his men heard an extremely loud sound prompting them to quickly scour the area which is at the vicinity of PAD 403 of the Energy Development Corporation in Upper Mahi-ao, Brgy. Lim-ao, Kananga, Leyte”, Lt. Col. Nacnac added.

19IB is extending condolence to the family of the victims of the tragic incident.





DOJ’s absolution of murder by the 19th IBPA denies justice to K3 victims, reaffirms reign of impunity – Katungod SB

By KATUNGOD-Sinirangan Bisayas-KARAPATAN
March 3, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY – “The recommendation of the Department of Justice (DoJ) regarding the case of the so-called Kananga 3 massacre which killed UP Professor Leonard Co and two other companions is very contemptible yet comes not as a surprise to us. In fact, this has been the second time the DoJ absolved the military elements despite evidences suggesting otherwise a different circumstance from the DoJ’s official recommendation,” says Rev. Irma Balaba-Mepico, regional coordinator of Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas-KARAPATAN.

The DoJ, in a 19-page report, approved the filing of charges for ‘reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and attempted homicide’ against nine 19th IBPA soldiers while ‘obstruction of justice’ against 27 others on the death of UP Professor Leonard Co and his two other companions in November 2010.

“Save for the AFP’s likely consideration of the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) view of ‘mistaken identity’, it does not suffice to dismiss the criminal act when the operating military elements denied one of the victims an immediate medical attention to his gunshots that eventually caused his death. This particular fact establishes that harm was indeed intended against the victims,” adds Balaba of Katungod-SB.

Katungod-SB also cites that survivor’s narrative indicated that they also appealed to the military to cease firing upon them since they are civilians but the plea failed. Even forensic analysis presented during the public hearing at Leyte Park Hotel suggested that Co was shot in a closer position which could have clarified the victims’ identity as civilians.

“With these circumstances in mind, we could only get enough reason to get repulsive to such a downgraded recommendation. It merely portrays even vividly how government institutions under President Noynoy Aquino orchestrate continuing human rights violations by projecting a totally different public image while it condones state-induced violence. The CHR and DoJ could only be so lenient and considerate to human rights violators upon offsetting a rather dastardly act of murder to keep it attuned to the chorus of ‘tuwid na daan’ and ‘upholding human rights’,” Balaba stressed.

Upon hearing the outcome, Katungod-SB projected that the DoJ’s recommendation becomes ‘a prodding for the military to commit more acts of violence against the people in the smokescreen of upholding peace and development especially under Oplan Bayanihan. More human rights violations are happening in and out of the Philippine countryside to date while the military keeps on parading its obsolete spiels of renewed commitment to respect civil liberties and CARHIHL.’

“While we reserve the option to press for justice at the higher courts, we call on all people to intensify the public outcry to press for justice for Prof Leonard Co, his two other companions and all other victims of state-perpetrated murders and all other forms of human rights violations. We also call on all people to scrape-off the sweet ‘Peace and Development’ sugarcoat of Oplan Bayanihan to expose its real bloody and murderous skeletal framework. Justice is not simply granted to those who seek it, we should earn it by collective efforts,” ends Katungod-SB.





PRO8 collared 2 men in drug busts

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
March 1, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Two men were arrested by the police in separate anti-illegal drugs operations in Leyte and Samar recently.

"We will continue to pursue local drug peddlers to minimize, if not stop, the proliferation of illegal drugs in our communities," said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8).

The top police official informed that the first operation led to the arrest of Abel Abella y Parilla, 38, married, jobless, in Brgy. Guiwean, Palompon, Leyte past 4 p.m. last Tuesday after selling a pack of suspected shabu to a poseur-buyer.

Seized from Abella was one small sachet of suspected shabu and the P500 buy-bust money by a police team led by Police Chief Inspector Hipolito Delima.

Fifteen minutes later in Calbayog City, a police team led by Police Senior Inspector Aaron Raemon Elago raided the house of Patrick Aguilar y Serito, 49, married, jobless, along Rosales Boulevard, Corner Burgos, Purok 5, Brgy West Awang.

Armed with a search warrant number 01-13-31 issued by Judge Reynaldo Clemens of Regional Trial Court Branch 31 in Calbayog City on February 18, the police were able to arrest the suspect and confiscated a sachet of suspected shabu, P2,600 cash believed to be proceeds of his illegal activity and a Nokia mobile phone.

The raid was witnessed by Brgy. Chairman Neil Advincula and Kagawad Pablo Diaz of said barangay.

Abella and Aguilar were detained at the Palompon and Calbayog police stations respectively while the police is preparing the filing of charges for violations of the provisions of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against them.

Soria said his men have been monitoring the suspects for weeks prior to the arrests.



◄◄home I next►►