Chiz tells COMELEC
to set date for source code review
By Office of Senator Chiz
April 2, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz
Escudero wants the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set a definite
date for the review of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines
source code, the absence of which, he said, is a major source of
uncertainty for the May 13 elections.
“I have maintained that the
source code for the 80,000 PCOS machines must be opened for checking
by political parties and technology experts which is required under
the Automated Polls Law,” Escudero said.
Escudero said the Comelec
should set a definite date for the review of the source code instead
of giving a daily rundown on the progress it has achieved in obtaining
the code from its owner the US-based Dominion Voting Systems, which is
an action that Escudero said the Comelec should have done much
“The statement of Comelec
Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. that he is 95 percent certain of
obtaining the source code from Dominion does not offer much
consolation to those seeking to review the code this close to the
elections date,” the reelectionist senator said.
Brillantes had explained
that a court dispute in Delaware between Dominion and PCOS supplier
Smartmatic had resulted in the delay of the release of the source
The Comelec had fixed the
review of the code for the consolidation and canvassing system (CCS)
next week but not the PCOS source code with Brillantes merely saying
that a “big press conference” will be held to announce when the review
will be held.
The Automated Poll Law
provided that the source code should be reviewed by independent
parties three months prior to the elections.
Almost a month to the 2013
midterm polls, Brillantes said that obtaining the code was 95 percent
sure but he said a few details still needed ironing out.
Escudero said that while he
has full confidence in the Comelec to hold credible elections, an
unverified source code can be a point of protest particularly among
losing candidates that may cause major post-election problems.
He said questions and
concerns on the credibility of the elections in May will be soothed
only if Comelec finally let the source code be subjected to reviews.
After CA decision and new evidence on
military involvement in Burgos disappearance:
on Aquino to remove ISAFP chief from post
April 2, 2013
QUEZON CITY – "WE
challenge Pres. Aquino to remove ISAFP Chief Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año
from his post and hold him accountable for the enforced disappearance
of Jonas and other human rights violations," Cristina Palabay,
secretary general of Karapatan said.
The Burgos family yesterday submitted new evidence to the Supreme
Court including the picture of Jonas allegedly under military
detention. Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled on the writ of Amparo on the case of Jonas. "All of these point to one
incontrovertible truth: that the enforced disappearance of Jonas and
other desaparecidos are perpetrated by the AFP," Palabay said.
"The higher-ups involved with the disappearance of Jonas and its cover
up such as Brig. Gen. Año were not only absolved by Arroyo
administration but were also promoted to higher position by Pres.
Noynoy Aquino," Palabay added.
"The glaring fact is that Aquino, after almost three years in office
and empty air about his administration's 'daang matuwid', has not
filed a single case to prosecute Arroyo and her generals on the basis
of grave human rights violations. Instead, Aquino promoted these
Arroyo generals under his AFP command," Palabay said. "This is among
the stark features of Aquino's brand of 'justice', one that truly
reveals his administration's perversion of the words 'human rights,'"
"For us, and for victims of human rights violations, as long as
military officials such as ISAFP Chief Año, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito
Palparan Jr., Maj. Harry Baliaga, and others involved in the act of
enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and other human rights
violations continue to go unpunished, that is NOT JUSTICE," Palabay
“After all these years of denying their dirty deeds, the AFP until now
has never had the credibility when it comes to holding its men
accountable for the human rights violations caused by the
counter-insurgency programs that denied countless mothers, fathers,
sons and daughters of their loves ones,” Palabay concluded.
PRO8 sees secure
Police Regional Office 8
April 1, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) has expressed confidence
for secure and fair elections as local candidates started their
campaign to gain elective posts in the May 2013 midterm elections.
“As local candidates troops
to the streets seeking support from the electorate, PRO8 is doing its
best to ensure a peaceful conduct of the elections,” PRO8 Director
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria said.
Soria noted that since the
start of the election period, no election-related violent incident was
recorded in the region.
He attributed this to the
religious implementation of preemptive police operations like the
conduct of COMELEC checkpoints/chokepoints; strengthening of PNP-AFP
linkages; deployment of more police personnel to areas with previous
election-related incidents; police intervention against loose
firearms; campaign against Partisan Armed Groups (PAGs) and accounting
of wanted person.
“The situation is generally
peaceful and we are confident we will have secure and fair elections
on May 13,” the regional director added.
The 45-day campaign period
for the local elections was supposed to start on March 29, but since
this falls on Good Friday when campaigning is prohibited, the Comelec
had moved the date to March 30.
Senatorial bets and party-list groups started campaigning last
February 12 and the campaign period for all candidates will end on May
As this developed, two suspected members of New People’s Army were
arrested in Northern Samar and two wanted men were arrested in
Calbayog City, all suspects were carrying firearms during their
At about 11:30PM of March 28, joint elements of Northern Samar
Provincial Special Operations Group led by PSInsp. Joseph Imperial and
Lapinig Municipal Police Station led by PSInsp. Arnold Gomba in
coordination with the 52nd Infantry Battalion CAA Detachment of
Lapinig arrested two suspected members of New People’s Army in Brgy.
Potong, Lapinig, Northern Samar.
The two suspects, names withheld pending investigation, were in
possession of one unit caliber .45 pistol marked Colt MKIV Series 80
Government Model with serial number 355299 with one magazine assembly
loaded with 6 live ammos and one unit caliber .357 revolver with no
markings loaded with 4 live bullets.
In Calbayog City, wanted men Ryan Saucero y Dealagdon alias Baying,
38, and Ecer Saucero y Dignos, 40, both farmers, were arrested by
elements of Regional Public Safety Battalion 8 (RPSB8) led by PSInsp.
Shyrile Tan at the outskirts of Brgy San Isidro, Calbayog City in the
early morning of Holy Thursday.
The suspects were nabbed by virtue of Warrant of Arrest for Robbery
with Homicide docketed under criminal case number 5016 issued by Judge
Reynaldo Clemens of Regional Trial Court Brach 31 in Calbayog City
with no bail recommended.
Recovered from the suspects were two units of homemade shotgun with a
total of 10 rounds live ammos for 12-gauge shotgun and two units of
homemade firearms locally known as “bardog” and “boga”.
Earlier on March 25, checkpoint operations in Brgy. Bantigue, Ormoc
City resulted in the arrest of three persons identified as Mauro
Danas, Marcelo Adoco and Ricky Malinao on board a black Toyota Vios
with several high-powered firearms that includes a Larije Tactical M16
rifle; Colt M4 carbine; Ingram 9mm sub-machine pistol; two units .45
caliber pistols marked Colt IV and STI Edge; a Norinco 9mm pistol; and
several magazines with live ammunitions of 5.56, .45 and 9mm calibers.
This brings to 88 the total number of people arrested by PRO8 for
violating the election gun ban.
“Since our strict implementation of Comelec Resolution No. 9561-A, we
have already confiscated 76 assorted firearms including 6 hand
grenades and 3 rifle grenades, 31 bladed weapons, 2 firearms replicas
and filed 66 cases in different courts regionwide.” Soria said.
Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Romeo Labador, Eastern Samar Vice
Governor Christopher Sheen P. Gonzales, 8th Infantry Division
Commander Maj. Gen. Gerardo T. Layug, and Eastern Samar Governor
Conrado B. Nicart, Jr., sign a joint-declaration announcing the
province is now ready for development.
(Photo by REINIER M.
Army: Eastern Samar
now ready for development
By MEDORA NB QUIRANTE
March 28, 2013
BORONGAN CITY – The
Philippine Army and the Provincial Government of Eastern Samar
announced through a joint declaration that the province is now a
“manageable conflict-affected and ready for development area”
In a program that lasted less than an hour in the morning of March 25,
2013, 8th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Gerardo T. Layug,
Eastern Samar Governor Conrado B. Nicart, Jr., Vice Governor
Christopher Sheen P. Gonzales, and 801st Brigade Commander Brig. Gen.
Romeo Labador, signed copies of the declaration with provincial
employees and members of the press as witnesses.
Layug, in his message, said the province is now ready to take its
first step towards being a world class tourist destination.
Alternative tourism destination
The declaration came a year after the approval of the Samar Island
tourism master development plan by the Regional Development Council.
Under the plan, the government and local tourist stakeholders will
concentrate its efforts in developing Eastern Samar’s
Borongan-Llorente forest canopy and Calicoan Island in Guiuan, along
with 16 other destinations in the island.
With the plan, Samar Island, home to eco-tourism adventure, cultural
and heritage sites, and rich marine life aims to make be third largest
tourist haven by 2016.
“We have to admit, in the past, when you talked of Samar Island, you’d
think NPA or insurgents,” Layug said.
According to the army commander, based on records, in the past three
years rebel activities in the province have dramatically dropped.
“Now we can proudly say that insurgency is no longer as big a problem
as it was before. Now, we’re ready to invite tourists and investors to
the province,” Layug said.
Winning the peace
Under the Internal Peace and Security Program Bayanihan, the army has
incorporated development initiatives and involved the local government
units in its campaign against insurgency.
“The army has shifted its orientation from being combat-oriented to
involving everybody not in winning the war but winning the peace,”
For Gov. Nicart, the declaration was not only the success of his
administration but “the success of every Estehanon.”
Army reports reveal that before the declaration was signed on the
provincial level, same declarations have been signed in its component
“We have 19 towns that have signed the same declaration. The signing
will only make it official but Jipapad, Maslog, Giporlos and Gen. Mac
Arthur are already in the list of MCA-RDA towns,” Labador said.
The province is first in Samar Island and is third province in the
region to be declared as manageable conflict-affected and ready for
DENR partners with
ESSU to protect ecologically rich islets in Guiuan, Eastern Samar
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
March 28, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources
and the Eastern Samar State University recently inked a memorandum of
agreement in a bid to protect and develop the ecologically rich Monbon
and Batan Islets in Barangay Bungtod, Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
In a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) inked last March 18, 2013, the DENR
grants rights to ESSU for the special use of the 21.8 hectares Monbon/Batan
Islets and pursue the implementation of activities related to
sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in said islets.
The MOA provides that the management of the said islets shall now be
jointly undertaken by the two parties, DENR Regional Executive
Director Manolito Ragub informed.
Monbon/Batan Islets forms part of the total 60,448 hectares Guiuan
Marine Reserve Protected Landscape and Seascape (GMRPLS), a protected
area under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act
of 1992 or Republic Act No.7586.
Under the agreement, the ESSU represented by its Administrator, Andres
Pagatpatan, Jr., commits adherence to prescribed environmental
protection measures as it makes use of the Monbon/Batan Islets and its
Sustainable activities to be pursued include among others: resource
and habitat conservation, protection, rehabilitation, and introduction
of ecotourism projects for educational and research purposes.
On the other hand, the DENR through its Regional Executive Director
Manolito Ragub, shall delineate and demarcate the exact boundaries of
the islets and provide ESSU the map of the area which could be used in
planning and implementing project activities.
Being inside the GMRPLS, the activities of ESSU in the Monbon/Batan
islets shall be duly indorsed by the GMRPLS Protected Area Management
Board, the governing Board of GMRPLS which has a multi- sectoral
membership, RED Ragub said.
GMRPLS PAMB endorsed the approval and issuance of a Special Use
Agreement within Protected Area (SAPA) per PAMB resolution No. 004
dated October 2009.
However, meantime that the SAPA issuance is still suspended, operation
of the ESSU is legally based on the Special Land Use Permit, this MOA,
and the provisions in the Local Government Code of 1991, RED Ragub
The DENR Director said the agreement shall cover a period of 3 years
renewable for another 3 years, until a SAPA is in place.
ESSU is a duly recognized government academic institution mandated by
law to provide quality advanced education, research and extension
services particularly in the province of Eastern Samar where Monbon/Batan
Islets are located.
The DENR recognizes the need to involve various stakeholders such as
ESSU and other agencies particularly the Bureau of Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources, non-government organizations in the management and
protection of areas like Monbon/Batan Islets, RED Ragub concluded.
clash with NPA rebels in Leyte
By 802nd Infantry Brigade,
March 26, 2013
ORMOC CITY – Government
troops clashed with rebels in a series of firefights during holy
Monday and Tuesday in Barangays Liberty and Gaas, respectively, of
this City, according to Captain Dranreb F Canto, Civil-Military
Operations Officer of the Army’s 802nd Brigade.
Troops from 19th Infantry
Battalion under Second Lieutenant Amin A Macalintangui while
conducting security patrol was fired upon by more or less ten NPA
rebels in the outskirt of Barangay Liberty, Ormoc City on March 25,
2013 at three o’clock in the afternoon.
After 15 minutes of
firefight, the rebels fled. One soldier suffered a minor wound in his
left shoulder and was immediately brought to OSPA Hospital in Ormoc
City where he was treated and then released immediately as an
The fleeing rebels were
pursued by the troops and another clash occurred on March 26, 2013 at
one o’clock in the afternoon in the vicinity of Barangay Ga-as, this
City. Firefight lasted for fifteen (15) minutes. Government troops
suffered no casualty while three rebels were seen by the troops felled
down by bullets and dragged by the withdrawing rebels. The troops
found bloodstains on the positions of the rebels where they also
recovered one back pack, one improvised bandoleer with six magazines
for M16 rifle with one hundred fifteen (115) rounds live ammunitions
and one magazine for AK-47 rifle with twelve (12) live ammunitions.
Colonel Rafael C Valencia,
Commander of the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade based in Camp Downes,
Ormoc City said that the armed confrontations with the NPA rebels were
the results of the continuous conduct of security patrols by the
troops to protect the communities and the Bayanihan Teams conducting
peace and development activities in these areas.
“With a number of rebels
wounded during the encounters, we are offering our help to get them
immediate medical treatment,” Colonel Valencia added. He further asked
the populace in the areas surrounding the encounter sites to serve as
conduits for the wounded rebels and the soldiers so that “we can
immediately bring them to the nearest hospital.”
“Our main objective is to
attain peace in order to sustain the pace of development in the Island
of Leyte that will ultimately provide opportunity for the people to
uplift there lives. I am calling everyone to join hands and work for a
just and lasting peace,” Valencia ended.
L-R) Virgilia Bonghanoy, Nestor Bonghanoy, Josefina Magallones,
and Ma. Lydia Jamora pose with Viel Aquino-Dee, Steering
Committee member of PinoyME Consortium, during the Me Naman, Na
Naman! Pinoy Micro-entrepreneurs' Convention last March 6-8.
joins ME Naman!
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
March 26, 2013
CEBU CITY – Three clients of
the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Micro-finance were among the
150 select participants to the Me Naman, Na Naman! Pinoy
Micro-entrepreneurs' Convention, a gathering of micro-entrepreneurs
from all over the Philippines last March 6-8 in Metro Manila.
Participants from RAFI
Micro-finance were nanays Josefina Magallones (Argao branch), Virgilia
Bonghanoy (Cebu City branch), and Ma. Lydia Jamora (Cebu City branch).
PinoyME Foundation organized
the said event in celebration of their seventh anniversary of lifting
lives through micro-finance. It was a free event that brought together
micro-entrepreneurs and observers from micro-finance institutions and
non-government organizations to share their experiences, gain new
knowledge and skills that they could apply to their own businesses,
and link them to bigger markets.
Some officials of PinoyMe
Foundation and other companies delivered inspiring messages and shared
success stories in micro-financing.
“It is possible to earn
while helping the community. In this way, we are also giving others
the opportunity to have a better life,” Rommel Juan, president of
Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc., said.
Renowned television and
movie director Jose Javier Reyes hosted a segment wherein outstanding
micro-entrepreneurs shared their experiences, from managing their
livelihood to providing for their families, and even helping their
Sample products from
selected participants were also evaluated by potential markets, such
as ECHOstore, Pinoydelikasi, PHILFOODEX, and Philippines Amalgamated
Supermarket Association Inc.
"Products should be designed
according to the target market, which should be studied well," Jeannie
Javelosa, co-founder and director of ECHOstore, stressed.
RAFI Micro-finance nanay,
Josefina Magallones, a torta maker from the Argao branch, was among
the MEs chosen to present their products.
On the second day of the
convention, partner government agencies such as Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
provided information on how to develop products and proper design and
how to avail their services economically.
The MEs shared their
insights on business with one another while the observers discussed
ways to assist the micro-entrepreneurs to realize their goals and
utilize their full potential.
“This is an experience that
I would always cherish because it was my first time to go to Manila
with my husband and at the same time, I was able to learn new ways and
brilliant ideas to run my business,” Virgilia Bonghanoy, the Most
Outstanding RAFI Micro-finance Client in 2012, shared.
Important points emphasized
in the convention include efficiency in managing a business,
strengthening a business towards expansion, market identification,
packaging for sales and long-term shelf life, application of
technology, and regular monitoring.
Micro-finance is a program
under the Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship focus area of RAFI,
providing financial resources and know-how to women
micro-entrepreneurs to nurture financial independence and
entrepreneurship. Other focus areas of RAFI are Integrated
Development, Culture & Heritage, Leadership & Citizenship, and
PHL youth attended
the 2013 Southeast Asian Youth Environment Network event
March 26, 2013
MANILA – Six youth leaders
represent the Philippines to the 2013 Southeast Asian Youth
Environment Network (SEAYEN) Meeting-Conference in Bali, Indonesia on
March 21-28, 2013.
The Philippine youth
delegation is composed of the following: Ponce Ernest Samaniego of the
University of the Philippines-Diliman; Iris May Ellen Caluag of Miriam
College; Arnel Alipao of Caraga State University-Cabadbaran Campus;
Jairus Carmela Josol, Masaki Mitsuhashi and Gerald Perry Marin of the
Ateneo De Manila University.
Said youth leaders came from
the different universities in the country to join with the different
youth leaders from Southeast Asia to discuss environmental issues such
as post Rio+20 and the post 2015 development agenda. The said event
will result in a Southeast Asian youth statement on United Nations
(UN) Post 2015 that can be shared with partners, youth networks in the
region and to the UN community.
The SEAYEN was jointly set
up by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Regional
Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bayer and the National Youth
Achievement Award Council of Singapore, as part of UNEP’s global
strategy for engaging youth in environmental issues. The network
unites youth leaders from its 10 member countries, namely Brunei
Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and supports them in environmental
sustainable development initiatives, enhancing environmental awareness
and acting as youth ambassadors for the environmental conscience of
young people in Southeast Asia. The said youth environment network is
one of the target objectives of the ASEAN Environmental Education
In the Philippines, the
Philippine Youth Environment Network was launched last November 2009
as a response to the Green Generation campaign of Earth Day Network
International, UNEP SEAYEN TUNZA Strategy and Republic Act No. 9512
also known as the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act
of 2008 which recognizes the youth as an active stakeholder in
nation-building through environmental education.
The Philippine youth
delegation will be expected to undertake a project during the next one
year and contribute towards strengthening SEAYEN. They will also be
expected to disseminate information about TUNZA and SEAYEN during any
forum/ national/ international meetings that they participate and
appropriately inform the National Focal Point and SEAYEN/UNEP
Secretariat about the same.