of Charlie Company, 19th Infantry (Commando) Battalion were
among the first respondents of the landslide in Upper Mahi-ao,
Kananga, Leyte on March 1, 2013. The military were conducting
exercises in the area when the incident happened. A loud sound
was heard by the troops prompting them to immediately respond.
contamination at Kananga River, EMB says
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
March 11, 2013
PALO, Leyte – There is no
contamination of Kananga River as a result of a landslide-induced
busted steam pipeline of the Energy Development Corporation, the
Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources in Eastern Visayas informed.
EMB-8 Director Leticia
Maceda disclosed that based on the initial analysis of the water taken
from the Bao River in Kananga, Leyte, there was low concentration or
tolerable amount of Boron.
Director Maceda said that
Boron is a chemical element said to be inherent in any water spring.
Low presence of boron could serve as a nutrient to plants while its
high concentration could lead to stunted growth.
The amount of Boron is still
below the acceptable standard in the country which is
.75parts/million, Director Maceda said. The result of the sampling by
the multi-partite monitoring team composed of various government
agencies showed that the presence of Boron in the river was only .22
It was learned that for its
part, the EDC also conducted its own analysis on the presence of Boron
in the river which yielded the result of .25 parts/million.
Maceda, however, said that
the office submitted the water sample to an independent Manila-based
Austria Laboratory and is waiting for the result which is expected to
arrive anytime. She expressed confidence that the result from the
private lab would also yield a similar result.
The March 1 landslide in Pad
409 Upper Mahiao, Barangay Lim-ao in Kananga has not only resulted to
the death of 14 workers but also busted a steam pipe which several
sectors expressed fear to have caused Boron to spread to the
tributaries leading to the Bao River.
The site of the incident was
just about five kilometers away from Bao River, it was learned.
Earlier, Kananga Mayor Elmer
Codilla denied that there was water contamination due to the incident.
PRO8 captures 3
brothers tagged as Calbayog City’s most wanted
By RPCRD, Police Regional
March 11, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – A CAFGU Active Auxiliary and his two brothers who have been
wanted by law for murder and frustrated murder charges were the latest
addition to the list of wanted criminals captured in the intensified
manhunt operations by the Police Regional Office 8.
“This is a part of our
ongoing operation against wanted criminals in line with the PNP’s
Manhunt: Charlie,” said PRO8 director Chief Superintendent Elmer
Soria added that the
accounting of wanted persons is an integral part of the security
preparations for the forthcoming national and local elections to
ensure the conduct of secure and fair electoral exercise in Eastern
The top police official
informed that at about 9:20 A.M. last Thursday, Tracker Team from
Calbayog City Police Station under Police Superintendent Elmer B.
Cinco conducted manhunt operations at vicinity of Purok 6, Brgy
Capoocan in Calbayog City resulting in the arrest of three brothers
tagged as the three most wanted persons in Calbayog City.
The regional director
identified the suspects as Renato Marces alias Rene, 45, married, CAA
member of 52nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army and his brothers
Federico alias Pede, 50, married, carpenter and Dionesio alias Julie,
48, married, fisherman, all residents of Purok 2, Brgy Pilar, Oquendo
District, Calbayog City and listed as Number One, Two and Three most
wanted persons in Calbayog City respectively.
The Marces brothers were
arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant for Murder with Frustrated
Murder in Criminal Case Number 6511 issued by Hon. Romeo G Tagra,
Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in Calbayog City.
No bail was recommended by
Judge Tagra for the suspects’ temporary liberty and they are now
detained at Calbayog City Police Station lock-up cell while awaiting
trial for their cases.
Meanwhile, the number 7 in
the list of most wanted person of Matuguinao town in Samar was
captured by joint elements of the Regional Special Operations Group 8
(RSOG8) and Special Operations Task Group - Samar (SOTG-Samar) in
early Friday morning during a manhunt operation at the outskirts of
Brgy. Nalihugan in Gandara, Samar.
Shervin Elizalde y Refuncion,
32, single, a native of Matuguinao, Samar is one of the 6 suspects in
the robbery and gruesome murder of brothers Jacinto and Nilo Micol
along the trail towards Brgy Maduroto in Matuguinao, Samar that
transpired in the afternoon of September 3, 2011.
The joint police team led by
Police Senior Inspector Shyril Tan and Police Inspector Constantino
Jabonete, Jr. was armed with an Alias Warrant of Arrest against the
suspect for the crime of Robbery with Multiple Murder issued on
November 28, 2012 by Judge Feliciano Aguilar of Regional Trial Court
Branch 41 in Gandara, Samar with no recommended bail bond.
Elizalde is currently
detained at Samar Sub-Provincial Jail in Calbayog City per commitment
order issued by Judge Feliciano P. Aguilar on March 8.
Soria added that continuing
police operations would be mounted to account for more criminal
offenders wanted by the law.
roads, agri facilities, and livelihood top LGUs’ wish list under BUB
By MYLES JOSEPH COLASITO
March 10, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – Construction
of farm-to-market roads, provision of agricultural facilities compose
the majority of projects identified by focus LGUs in the region under
the Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting approach for 2014.
This, said Dir. Pedro A.
Noval Jr., was the result of the consolidation done by the DILG-8
Local Government Productivity Enhancement through Teamwork (LGPET)
Team # 2 and during the review by the Regional Poverty Reduction
Action Team (RPRAT) led by the DILG last March 6-7 at the DILG-8
Regional Office in Tacloban City.
“The RPRAT went over the
projects identified in the Local Poverty Reduction Action Plans (LPRAPs)
of LGU beneficiaries which are being proposed to be included in the
budgets of national agencies involved in BUB for next year”, revealed
He added that the group
discussed among others, the steps to be observed when 1) a project
prioritized by the LGU does not fall under the BUB menu of programs or
does not correspond to the mandate of the agency it identified; 2) and
the LGU projects exceed its budget cap.
To address this, DILG has
set a series of feedback sessions on March 11-16 at the DILG-8
Conference Hall for LGU beneficiaries whose LPRAPs needed revisions.
There are 115 focus LGUs in Eastern Visayas for the BUB implementation
The LPRAPs are the result of
workshops held per LGU which heavily involved the civil society. After
being organized in their respective civil society assemblies, CSO
members chose their representatives to compose one-half of the LPRAT
prioritize the projects to be funded under the 2014 BUB.
In Ormoc City, Mayor Eric
Codilla led stakeholders in a workshop last February 4-5. In his
message, Mayor Codilla emphasized that the LPRAT should also take into
consideration “a plan that is realistic and doable given the funds
allotted and within the given timeframe.” The group proposed projects
relating to agriculture, tourism and livelihood programs, among
Civil society and the local
government of Naval, Biliran agreed on 13 priority projects to be
implemented under BUB in 2014 as a result of separate workshops last
January 18 and February 5 through the facilitation of MLGOO Jerry
Enriquez. These included such livelihood projects as ampao, kaong and
basket making and food processing; education transport vouchers to
high school students; establishment of local registry of skilled
workers; fishpens, mangrove reforestation, farm-to-market roads; and
rehabilitation of irrigation system.
In Cabucgayan, Biliran, the
workshop that was led by provincial facilitator Enan Macasusi and
participated by both department heads, NGA representatives and CSOs,
agreed on giving priority to nine (9) projects, mostly concerning the
development of livelihood for its citizens.
In Tacloban City, the
workshop was held on February 13 at the Local Governance Regional
Resource Center, DILG Regional Office 08 and led by Mayor Alfred S.
Romualdez himself. Atty. Darwin N. Bibar, DILG City Director said the
workshop incorporated projects on livelihood, as a result of the CSO
Assembly which was attended by 168 people last January 31 as well as
proposals from the local government unit.
Meanwhile, in Southern Leyte,
representatives of youth, women, senior citizens, religious,
livelihood, and parents sectors participated in the province-wide
LPRAP workshops from February 11-14. They were selected from among 200
participants in the CSO assemblies last February 7-11. The ten (10)
focus LGUs in Southern Leyte are expected to receive a total of 153
million pesos next year for the implementation of priority pro-poor
projects identified by the LPRAT.
In Jaro, Leyte, municipal
officials and CSO participants led by Mayor Rolando Celebre and
facilitated by MLGOO Cleo Palencia likewise proposed for several
agricultural, livelihood and infrastructure projects.
Once the LGU finishes
working on the plan, the CSO representatives shall then affix their
signatures for legislative approval. The Sanggunian may now endorse
the plan for submission to the RPRAT review led by the DILG. Each
municipality will receive at least 15 million pesos under the BUB,
with capital towns and cities allotted a bit more. Projects are
supposed to be aimed at poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction and
climate change adaptation, tourism and economic development.
60 East Visayas ARB
groups receive over P19-M farm implements from DAR
By Philippine Information
March 9, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – Officers and
members of 60 recipient Agrarian Reform Beneficiary organizations
trooped to the Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Office compound
on March 7 in order to personally receive the P19 million worth of
modern farm equipment from DAR Undersecretary Felix Perry Villanueva.
The sudden downpour did not
stop the turn over rites as the visibly over joyed ARBOs signed the
acceptance documents in front of USEC Villanueva, and Finance and
Administrative Director Teresita Panlilio from the Central Office and
DAR-Region 8 officials, Mr. Jose Alsmith Soria, DAR 8 Information
These farm implements
according to USEC Villanueva, are given to identified ARBOs as
capacity enhancement to the latter’s agricultural economic activities
under the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic
Support Services (ARCCESS).
Tolosahay Upland Farmers
Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TOFAMCO) Chairman Balbino Leona explained
that with the new equipment given to their organization, land
preparation and harvesting of rice would now be much faster and
TOFAMCO is one of the two
recipients in the region of the P1.2 million combine harvester, which
functions as harvester and thresher, Mr. Soria said.
Mr. Balbino added that with
these equipment, the organization expects to incur less expenses and
earn more in their farm operations.
DAR Regional Director
Eliasem Castillo disclosed that there are 97 modern farm equipment
worth P19.4 million given away to 60 ARBOs regionwide.
These include 37 hand
tractors; 30 threshers; 10 cultivators; eight water pumps; six flatbed
driers; two reapers; two mechanical transplanters; and 2 combine
Among the economic
activities of these ARBOs that get funding support under ARCCESS,
Castillo added, are rice, organic vegetable, sugarcane and cassava
production and marketing.
DAR Regional Director
Eliasem Castillo expressed optimism that with these equipment provided
to them, the ARBOs will have higher yield from their awarded lots in
the succeeding agricultural years.
Eventually, the ARBOs will
hopefully have 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 added.
PRO8 arrests rob
RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
March 8, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – After years in hiding, the leader of a notorious criminal gang
behind the series of highway robberies in Samar the past years was
arrested by the Special Operations Task Group - Samar (SOTG-Samar)
Tracker Team in a manhunt operation in Metro Manila recently.
Jose Arvin Baculanlan, 31, a
native of Basey, Samar, the leader of the Baculanlan robbery gang and
listed as the second most wanted person in Samar was nabbed at the
corner of 14th Avenue and Boni Serrano St. in Cubao, Quezon City
around 4 p.m. on Monday.
“With his arrest, all the
robberies his group had carried out are deemed solved and his gang
considered neutralized,” said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer
Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8.
The Baculanlan gang was
linked to a series of highway heists in Samar in the past years.
Soria informed that a
civilian informant led SOTG-Tracker Team under Police Chief Inspector
Marben Ordonia to the suspect’s whereabouts.
Baculanlan was arrested on
the strength of arrest warrants issued by Regional Trial Court Branch
30 Judge Janet Cabalona and Judge Tarcelo Sabarre of same RTC for 2
counts of robbery and violation of Article 294 of the Revised Penal
Code (robbery with violence or intimidation of person) with
recommended bailbond of P100,000.00 for each case.
The members of the robbery
gang the suspect led were arrested in past police operations while
others “have lied low for a while,” said Soria, adding that PRO8 is
continuously tracking their whereabouts.
Baculanlan is now detained
at Quezon City Police District for proper disposition.
Comelec to reverse ruling on candidate airtime restriction
Pushes for democratization
rather than restriction
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano
March 8. 2013
PASAY CITY – "Now that the
Commission on Elections (Comelec) has a quorum, it can now reverse the
ruling on limiting advertising time to 120 minutes for TV and 180
minutes for radio."
This was the statement of
Senator Alan Cayetano today as President Benigno Aquino III announced
the appointment of former Ambassador Macabangkit Lanto and Atty.
Bernadette Sardillo as the new Comelec commissioners to replace former
Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Armando Veloso who both retired last
The Senator had long been
urging the Comelec to reconsider its ruling on the time limit for
candidate advertisements, saying that the agency should democratize
campaigning rather than put limits to it.
Ad limits are anti-poor
The Senator said that
limiting the advertising airtime, particularly for radio, deprives the
masses of much-needed information about their candidates.
"With 180 minutes for all
radio stations nationwide, that means candidates only have four
30-second spots for 80 provinces. Considering that we would also need
to allot a great percentage of the 180 minutes to national issues, how
will we get our message to our voters in the provinces and our stand
on local issues with that limited amount of time?" Cayetano
Right to be informed
Cayetano added that with
media being the most effective and most cost-efficient way to inform
voters about their candidates, the aim of lessening the spending of
candidates by limiting or regulating air time is at the expense of
lessening voters’ opportunities to know their candidates more in order
to vote wisely.
"I am not merely pushing for
more leeway for candidates to advertise themselves during the
campaign, I am fighting for the right of the people to be informed and
to make the right choice when they vote. I am pushing for a more
mature system of elections where in leveling the playing field means
we focus more on enhancing people participation rather than increasing
regulations," Cayetano stressed.
Monitor spending, not Ad
Cayetano also said that
instead of focusing on limiting advertising time, the Comelec should
focus on monitoring candidates' campaign spending and the source of
the funds used to advertise. "Maraming mga taong gumagamit ng pera na
pang-advertise na nagmula sa illegal na paraan – sa gambling,
smuggling, etc.," Cayetano said. "Kahit na hindi lahat ng kandidato ay
ganito, ito ang dapat tutukan ng Comelec imbis na airtime."
"I understand the Comelec
wants candidates to limit spending in order to level the playing
field. But that is not what is happening on the ground. Instead of
spending on a 30-second ad, candidates will instead spend on sorties
where you have to purchase tickets for all your staff and yourself, to
book a hotel and to find transportation in the area. This actually
costs more,” Cayetano explained.
During an earlier joint
congressional oversight committee hearing on the automated election
system (JCOC-AES), Cayetano had already expressed dismay over Comelec
Resolution 9615 that limits national candidates to only 120 minutes of
airtime for television and 180 minutes for radio during the campaign
period. Meanwhile, local candidates are only allowed 60 minutes for
television and 90 minutes for radio. In the past, the agency limited
advertisements on a per-station basis.
Bata Muna marches
to COMELEC, dares next political leaders to improve status of Filipino
SAVE THE CHILDREN
March 7, 2013
MANILA – More than a
hundred children and child rights advocates from civil society
organizations and government agencies trooped to the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) office in Intramuros, Manila today, March 7, and
challenged aspiring political leaders to improve the status of the
children in the country.
The campaign, “Bata Muna:
Bomoto Para sa Kapakanan ng Kabataan” launched with a birthday party
theme is forward looking as the group is hopeful to celebrate a new
batch of political leaders who will improve the status of children in
Initiated by Save the
Children together with Samahan ng Mamamayan - Zone One Tondo
Organization (ZOTO) and children’s organizations leading the Children
Talk to Talk (C2C) About the UN Convention on the Rights of Children
Project, “Bata Muna” campaign is now joined by 22 other organizations
around the country.
“We are expecting more
organizations and individuals to join us,” said Deborah Carmina
Sarmiento, Policy Advocacy Manager of Save the Children. “Bata Muna
now involves 25 organizations. These organizations are reaching and
directly serving over a million children across the country,” she
According to Save the
Children, “Bata Muna” campaign wants political leaders who will stand
up for children’s rights, voters to demand for political
accountability on children’s rights, make children’s issues visible
during the campaign time and ultimately influence voters to consider
children when voting.
Among other children’s
rights issues, the campaign calls for a stricter implementation of the
law against child trafficking under the recently enacted Expanded
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012. Figures from the Department
of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reveal that from January 2003
to September 2012, 23% of the trafficked victims in the Philippines
are children, of which 85% are girls.
Among the factors that
contribute to child trafficking in the Philippines are poverty, low
economic development in the communities of origin, lack of education
and skills for better economic options, limited employment
opportunities, inadequate awareness among families, and gender
“Until now, children still
fall into the traps of traffickers. The anti-trafficking law
notwithstanding, its impact on the children still relies on its strict
implementation,” said Marilen Soliman, Regional Coordinator of Asia
ACTs. Asia ACTs is a regional network of organizations working
together to protect all children in Southeast Asia from exploitation
Despite laws and policies
that are already in place, the National Statistical Coordination Board
(NSCB) states that children and women remain to be two of the poorest
basic sectors of Philippine society with a poverty incidence of 34.8%
and 25.1%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Mindanao
Action Group for Children’s Rights and Protection (MAGCRP), a network
of child-rights advocates working in collaboration with the Provincial
Government of North Cotabato, calls on aspiring leaders to really look
into the situation of children around the country.
In Mindanao for example,
thousands of children are displaced because of armed conflict and
emergencies, most recently Typhoon Pablo, which severely hit poor
provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. At least 40% of the
six million affected by Typhoon Pablo are children.
Also, children in rural
areas work in mining operations and commercial plantations while
children in urban areas fall victims to trafficking, sexual abuse and
prostitution. “Government’s social services hardly reach children
especially those who belong to Lumads and Moro families in far-flung
areas. Registration of children in these communities is still a
problem,” said Chris Peñales of FPOP-SOCCKSKSARGEN Chapter, lead
agency of MAGCRP.
“Tomorrow, March 8, the
Philippines along with the rest of the world is going to commemorate
International Women’s Day. This is also a time to take notice of
issues affecting young girls, such as sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy,
trafficking and prostitution. This is one aspect of the many
children’s issues that candidates can include in their agenda,” shared
“Beyond our campaign to put
forward children issues during the elections, the Bata Muna will
continue campaigning to hold those who will be elected accountable.
They must deliver programs and policies that will improve the
situation of children in the country. Enough of campaign promises that
remains to be just that – promises,” ended Sarmiento.
RSOG nabs robbery
suspect in Catbalogan City
By RPCRD, Police Regional
March 7, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – A man believed to be responsible in thievery incidents
victimizing fresh fish dealers in Catbalogan City was arrested by the
Regional Special Operations Group 8 (RSOG8) on Wednesday morning.
Eastern Visayas top cop
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria of Police Regional
Office 8 (PRO8) identified the suspect as one Rodolfo Samora y Ampatin,
also known as Odek, 40, single, “baggage carrier” and a resident of
Purok 2, Brgy. Guindapunan, Catbalogan City.
“Stall holders at Pier I
site have been complaining about losing their items to thieves. With
the suspect and his cohorts’ arrest, these incidents would be
stopped,” Soria said.
Fishermen from coastal and
island villages who catch fish and other marine products at Maqueda
Bay, Samar’s premier fishing area, usually supply their products to
fresh fish dealers who have stalls along Pier I site in Catbalogan
City. Fresh fish dealers either retail it at the public market or
transport it to Navotas Fish port in Metro Manila.
RSOG led by Police Inspector
Constantino Jabonete, Jr. arrested Zamora by virtue of an arrest
warrant for Robbery issued by Judge Sibanah E. Usman of Regional Trial
Court Branch 28, Catbalogan City docketed under criminal case number
Judge Usman recommended a
bailbond of P40,000.00 for Zamora’s temporary liberty.
Zamora, his younger brother
Romulo, and one Greg Metre allegedly ransacked a stall in said area
and carted away 2 styrofoams of fresh prawns or lukon and other items
some months back.
The police regional director
said that the suspect will be joining his brother Romulo and Metre,
who were earlier arrested by the police, at the Catbalogan police
station lock-up cell.