NPA camp seized,
firearms recovered by government troops in Northern Samar
By 20th Infantry Battalion,
April 13, 2013
BRGY. MAGSAYSAY, Lope de
Vega, Northern Samar – An abandoned communist terrorist’s camp was
recently discovered by government security forces at Happy Valley, San
Isidro, Northern Samar at around 10:30 in the morning today, April 13,
Lieutenant Colonel Noel A.
Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, in his report to 803rd Brigade
Commander, Colonel Rolando Malinao, said the camp was seized by the
operating troops of 20IB led 1LT Florencio Tayo III.
The camp has fifteen (15)
bunkers that can accommodate more or less twenty (20) communist
terrorists, one (1) kitchen, one (1) comfort room, three (3) outposts
and has just been abandoned by the CTs as they evade armed engagement
with the operating troops. After thoroughly searching the area, the
troops recovered four (4) cal .38 revolvers hidden in one of the
The camp was seized after
20IB launched sustained combat operations in the area in response to
the information tipped-in by some residents in the nearby barangays of
the presence of armed men roaming in the area enforcing their Permit
to Campaign (PTC) strategy, extorting money and food stuffs from the
peace-loving people as well as political.
The recent accomplishments
by the 20IB troops against the NPAs in the area of 1st district of
Northern Samar have disrupted the impending terroristic activities
that are being hatched to be conducted by the NPA. The government
troops has dislodged them from their guerilla camps and cut-off their
supply support lines that they forcibly take from the residents in the
area. The discovery and seizure of the said camp in the area was made
possible by the information provided by local populace and is a clear
indication that the enemy revolutionary organization has already
alienated the people and the communities where they got their support
through their forced extortion activities.
LTC Vestuir, 20IB’s
Commanding Officer commended his troops for a job well done. He also
thanked the continued support of the people in the government’s
efforts of 'Winning the Peace'. “Through the timely and accurate
information tipped by the residents, our troops were able to discover
the NPA encampment, a staging place of their terroristic activities in
the area. The seizure of the said NPA encampment and the recovery of
their firearms is a big blow to the CTs considering that we have
denied them of their safe haven and sanctuary and once again proven
that the people are with us in our pursuit for peace in this part of
Vestuir also calls for the
fleeing Communist Terrorists to lay down their arms in order to once
again live decent and normal lives along with their families.
orders probe on alleged hazing of PNP rookies
By RPCRD, Police Regional
April 12, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) Regional Director Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria ordered an immediate investigation
on the alleged case of hazing victimizing new police recruits at the
8th Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB8) headquarters in Capoocan,
“If proven true, this is a
clear violation of human rights and we will not tolerate such inhuman
acts conducted in no less than an official camp of the PNP,” Soria
said as he directed the Regional Investigation and Detective
Management Division (RIDMD) to conduct an in-depth investigation on
“We are exercising zero
tolerance on hazing and excessive punishment in any police camp. Any
form of hazing has no place in the organization where respect for
human rights and the rule of law is a command policy that every PNP
member is duty bound to uphold,” Soria added.
Reports reaching PRO8
disclosed that at least 11 new policemen who reported to the RPSB camp
for their first official assignment were allegedly subjected to hazing
and maltreated for no particular reason.
Nine policemen were placed
under investigation for possible culpability and may face
administrative and criminal charges.
The top police official also
directed all police units to refrain from conducting “reception” and
other initiation rites to new police recruits as a form of tradition
during the turn-over and downloading of police personnel to field
units as he also reminded unit commanders on the provisions of
Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995.
“All downloaded personnel
are full-pledge members of the organization and therefore should not
be treated as trainees. Violations of our directive will be dealt with
severely in accordance with existing laws,” Soria added.
Police personnel allegedly
involved in the hazing incident were relieved from RPSB and were
restricted at the PRO8 Regional Personnel Holding Accounting Unit (RPHAU).
7 scholars recite the YMA pledge during the covenant signing,
marking the start of the eight-month leadership program.
94 scholars begin
Young Minds Academy Season 7
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
April 11, 2013
CEBU CITY – To further
engage the youth in creating a smart, inclusive, and sustainable Metro Cebu, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Eduardo Aboitiz Development
Studies Center (RAFI-EADSC) will tackle the Mega Cebu Program and
framework in the Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 7. This is in line
with the theme, "Urban Development", which YMA is adopting for the
This year’s batch of YMA
scholars was officially announced during the Covenant Signing last
April 2 at the Eduardo Aboitiz Hall of RAFI-EADSC Building.
Ninety-four young emerging young leaders aged 13 to 20 years old will
begin their eight-month leadership and citizenship development program
this summer. This will include awareness-raising, experiential
education, immersion, and open discourse on the dynamics and
challenges facing the community, especially the 13 cities and
municipalities comprising Metro Cebu. The scholars’ final output is to
generate ideas and possible solutions through a team project that they
could implement in partnership with the said local government units.
RAFI-EADSC executive director, cited Mother Teresa's missionary work
as a brand of service and leadership worthy of emulation.
"She (Mother Teresa)
cultivated, nurtured, and developed personal qualities and personal
excellence, which became leadership qualities and leadership
excellence... She strived and lived, unconsciously, as a great person
by leading her life well. Her personal qualifications led to
leadership qualifications. With a life well lived, many people wanted
to and did, and continue, to follow her footsteps," Castro noted.
Last year, YMA Season 6
scholars were able to implement six community-based projects
addressing issues and concerns on public safety and security, youth
violence, transport and traffic management, flooding, and disaster
risk reduction in the cities of Naga, Talisay, and Mandaue, and in the
Municipality of Liloan. They were also able to gather more than 2,000
supporters for Mega Cebu through their social marketing initiatives,
and designed dream block exhibits to promote smart growth and better
block principles in existing urban communities.
RAFI hopes to get more
innovative and creative ideas from the YMA scholars this year as it
continues to advocate for a collaborative, integrated, and sustainable
urban planning and development through Mega Cebu.
"An important part of the
program is to let you know better the society that you are living in.
You will be immersed in different communities in Metro Cebu to learn
about their current situation, problems, and good to best practices.
This will hopefully allow you to understand how to bring about
progress that even your future children and grandchildren can enjoy,"
Dominica Chua, RAFI chief operating officer, addressed the new batch
of scholars during the event.
YMA is a program of
RAFI-EADSC under the Leadership & Citizenship focus area, which aims
to groom future leaders and influences in a community that is ready to
effect change. Other focus areas of RAFI are Integrated Development,
Microfinance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Education.
For more information about
YMA, you may contact Mel Yan at 418-7234 loc 110, or visit
www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph, or follow RAFI on Twitter, @rafiorgph.
RSOG nabs most
wanted persons of Culaba, Lapaz towns
By RPCRD, Police Regional
April 10, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – Two most wanted persons in Leyte and Biliran provinces
were arrested by the Regional Special Operations Group 8 (RSOG8) of
the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) in separate manhunt operations in
Samar and Metro Manila recently.
“These manhunt operations
are part of our continuing effort in the implementation of LOI
Manhunt: Charlie and solve cold cases in the region,” Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of Police
Regional Office 8 (PRO8) said.
Soria has made the campaign
against wanted persons one of PRO8’s priority programs as he
reiterated his directive to all unit commanders to account for all
wanted criminals in their respective jurisdictions.
The top police official
informed that on early Sunday morning, RSOG led by PInsp. Constantino
Jabonete, Jr. conducted manhunt operations in Sitio Ipil, Brgy San
Miguel in Daram, an island town in Samar, after receiving positive
information on the presence of a wanted fugitive in the area.
The operations resulted in
the arrest of one Bonifacio Custodio y Bernaldo alias Boni, 38, with
live-in partner and tagged as the number 4 most wanted person of
RSOG was armed with an Alias
Warrant of Arrest for the crime of Murder issued on October 5, 2001
issued by Judge Plenio Dela Peña of 3rd Municipal Circuit Trial Court,
Caibiran-Culaba, Biliran docketed under criminal case number 875.
Judge Dela Peña did not
recommend any bail for the suspect’s temporary liberty.
The police regional director
further informed that while on the process of negotiation for his
surrender, Custodio resisted and opened fire to the apprehending team
that forced the police team to retaliate, hitting the accused on his
Subsequently, the team
recovered from Custodio’s possession one unit snub-nose caliber .38
paltik revolver with serial number 61178 loaded with 2 spent shells
and 2 live ammunitions for caliber .38 and a holster tucked in his
The arrested suspect was
immediately brought to Samar Provincial Hospital for medication while
the recovered firearm was turned-over to Western Samar Provincial
Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory examination.
RSOG is already preparing a
separate case for illegal possession of firearms and violation of
Comelec gunban against Custodio.
Meanwhile, RSOG also
arrested the number one most wanted person of Lapaz, Leyte who was
also ranked as the number 4 most wanted man in Leyte province in a
manhunt operation in East Greenhills, Mandaluyong City.
Ruel Refugia, who is facing
3 counts of murder charges in the sala of Judge Buenaventura A.
Pajaron of the Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in Abuyog, Leyte was
arrested on April 4 by an RSOG tracker team led by SPO4 Ananias
Monteroso together with elements of Police Regional Office 4-A (PRO
4-A) based on Canlubang, Laguna.
Refugia is the primary
suspect in the killing of Apolonio Pelinyo, Dennis Guiron and Edgfar
Escalante during a dance party at Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Lapaz, Leyte on
July 27, 2000. He went into hiding immediately after the incident.
Suspect was brought to PRO
4-A regional headquarters for temporary safekeeping, Soria further
PIA chief wows
future journalists of the country
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
April 10, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY –
Undersecretary Jose Marie Oquiñena of the Presidential Communications
Operations Office set the tone of the National Schools Press
Conference now ongoing in Ormoc City, Leyte by exhorting the future
journalists to aspire not only to become good writers, good
broadcasters but to become great ones who love their country and its
USec Oquiñena, with his wit
and contagious humor, kept the audience alive, continuously clapping
their hands and bursting in laughter from the time he started to the
moment he ended his keynote message on the theme “Campus Journalists:
Championing Ethics in Social Media.”
The Undersecretary who is
also the Director General of the Philippine Information Agency,
encouraged the campus journalists to use their talents on a higher
“Our country needs to hear
good news all the time. Our country needs to be inspired. We need you
to write all the good things about the Filipino and the Philippines.
We will have to do this because there is a lot of good news about this
country,” the youthful Undersecretary said.
Underscoring his salient
points through stories or anecdotes, Secretary Mari as he wanted to be
called, captivated the young audience numbering about 5,000 in the
jump packed Ormoc Super Dome in the early evening of April 8.
The good Undersecretary
cautioned the Journalism Advisers and teachers in the use of the
social media as a communication tool. The students must have the right
preparation, the right values before they are trained on the social
media, he said, because the social media has so much power within
one’s reach that it can build or destroy people.
“If the Inang Bayan will ask
how you will show your love for it, how will you answer,” the USec
“One who is in love is
always all praises of his love one, so you write, write with passion
and excitement. Never stop writing good things about the Filipino. Do
not get tired of writing good about your country,” USec Oquiñena said
as he encouraged the future journalists of the country.
The Undersecretary exhorted
the participants to have the freedom to express themselves, not to be
afraid to write what is in their minds because fear will “only limit
us, will not allow us to reach our destiny.”
By the reaction of the young
participants in the Facebook saying he was the best speaker ever, by
the way they took time to have their pictures taken with the Guest of
Honor, and requested for his autograph, the Honorable Undersecretary
was able to light up the fire of enthusiasm. The 71st National Schools
Press Conference is up to a good start.
The crucial role of
women in agri sector
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
April 10, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The progress in the farming sector will not be realized without the
involvement of women, Dr. Wilson Cerbito, Department of Agriculture
Technical Director for Research and Regulations in Eastern Visayas,
said, emphasized the significant contribution of women in agriculture
Dr. Cerbito made the
pronouncement during the two-day Program Implementation Review,
Planning and Budgeting Workshop of the Gender and Development (GAD)
Technical Working Group held on April 4-5, 2013 at Patio Victoria, San
Jose, Tacloban City.
“If we try to think more
deeply, women actually have great influence not only in their
respective households, but also in terms of decision-making and
strategy implementation so that agricultural enterprises can be more
productive and profitable. In fact, many of our women become efficient
hands-on farmers and agri-entrepreneurs,” Director Cerbito stated.
RTD Cerbito added that men
and women should be given equal recognition, opportunity and access to
resources especially in food production. Thus, he suggested that the
GAD TWG should make a clear plan for a more effective implementation
of GAD-responsive activities in the region.
Dr. Cerbito cited the Food
Agricultural Organization study which showed that women provide up to
90% of labor force for rice cultivation in Southeast Asia. Women in
rural areas produce half of the world's food production.
Among the developing
countries in the world, FAO estimates that almost half of the total
agriculture labor force in the developing countries consists of women,
Director Cerbito added. Thus it is safe to assume that, indeed, women
are also major producers of main crops.
In the Philippines, of the
48.93 M labor force participation rate in August 2002, half are women.
They are mostly in sales, agriculture and services sectors, as per the
National Statistics Office survey, Director Cerbito said.
Women, on top of being
mothers and wives, are also farmers in their own right, Director
Cerbito underscored. Rural women fulfill many responsibilities at farm
and at home. Some of them even act as farm managers, while others are
food processors and traders.
As to the present GAD
Program supervision, RTD Cerbito commended the active leadership of Ms
Eva T. Adora, DA-8’s GAD Focal Person, for her initiative to empower
women associations in the region by not only involving them in various
activities of the DA but by conducting several fora especially
designed to address their concerns.
“Through our GAD Focal
Person, women’s associations are also encouraged to have their groups
registered in order for them to avail of the various programs and
services of DA,” RTD Cerbito said.
Meanwhile, during the same
activity, Ms Ma. Aurora Teresita W. Tabada, Regional GAD Coordinator
of the Visayas Consortium for Agriculture and Resource Program (ViCARP)
at the Visayas State University (VSU), Baybay City, Leyte, discussed
the highlights of the Magna Carta of Women, the harmonized GAD
guidelines, and the core elements of gender-responsive programs and
Ms Tabada said that gender
equality can best be advocated through mainstreaming of GAD-related
strategies including funding initiatives with the DA banner programs.
Moreover, Mr. Paul Nigel P.
Custodio, DA-8’s Media Production Aide, presented the summary of
proposals drafted by the women associations who participated during
the Rural Women Congress held on December 10-11, 2012 at the Leyte
Time to show act of
heroism, stand up for the rights of the children, says “Bata Muna”
By Save the Children
April 9, 2013
MANILA – Children and advocates in today’s kickoff event for “Bata Muna: Bomoto para sa kapakanan ng mga Bata” nationwide caravan face
off with candidates who do not have children agenda in their political
Children organizations supported by Save the Children such as Active
Youth Movement (AYM) and Children and Youth Organization (CYO),
ChildFund Philippines and Inclusive Education Network Chapter (IEN)
will lead the caravan kick-off with children wearing super hero
costumes symbolizing various children’s issues today, April 9 Araw ng
Kagitingan, at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani monument in Quezon City, a
day apt to call on the heroism of aspiring leaders.
“Twin Aiders and Super Nene” are among the superheroes to lead the
group, representing the issue of early pregnancy and children’s
participation; “Darna” to represent children with disabilities;
“Volta” to represent children in emergencies; and “Pintados” to
represent children in unsafe surroundings.
“Bata Muna” campaigners lament that the Philippines still lacking
policies that promote the rights and welfare of Filipino children.
Children’s issues remain at the back seat when it comes to enactment
of laws. Key bills that protect children’s rights –bills on corporal
punishment, children in situations of armed conflict and statutory
rape – remain pending in Congress.
Save the Children Child Rights Governance Advisor Minerva Cabiles said
that forty two percent (42%) of more than 92 million Filipinos are
children. Children are totally dependent on adults to choose the
country’s next leaders. But they are not consulted when policies are
passed or when programs are developed; they are rarely informed of
what goes in the government; and most often than not, their opinions
are not taken seriously.
She added, “Children are the most affected by poor policies, programs,
and services. They are the ones who suffer the worst from poverty,
hunger, disasters and conflict – problems that our legislators are
mandated to solve through the passage of laws that will be the basis
for appropriate government programs. It is also the job of our
lawmakers to assess the implementation of our current laws, and
consult the public, including children, in crafting new laws.”
Sectors working on disability among children raise the lack of
specific provisions in the law to ensure the access of children with
disabilities to education, health and social welfare services. A
research done by Angels of Peace Academy Foundation (AFAPI) in 2012
reveals that public schools in general are not ready to accept
children with disabilities due to lack of accessible classroom
facilities. Most public school teachers are not trained to handle
children with various types of disabilities, and teaching and learning
materials are not suited to learning requirements of children with
disabilities. The education and social participation of children with
disabilities are hindered by the lack of disability services
Richard Arceno, Chairman of AFAPI pointed out that the Millennium
Development Goals will not be achieved if more than ninety eight
percent (98%) or 2 million children with disabilities in the country
are not in school.
“This clearly says that despite over 100 years of Special Education
program in the Philippines, the Department of Education still cannot
fully handle concerns of children with disabilities,” added Arceno.
Meanwhile, Hubert Par, Area Manager of ChildFund Philippines stressed
the importance of involving young people. “If we want real progress
then the government must provide opportunities so children, in all
stages of their lives, will thrive to become productive citizens.”
“Skilled and involved young people can make informed decisions for
their own economic, physical and social well-being and they can act
for positive change in their families, communities, countries and the
world,” Par said. “The well-being of the country starts with the
well-being of the children,” Par explained.
Starting off with the Liberal Party, the “Bata Muna” campaign caravan
seeks to reach political leaders and personally meet with them to
present their agenda.
“We may not reach and dialogue with all of the candidates, but through
this caravan we are conveying our challenge that they speak up for
children; bare their legislative agenda and plans of action on how to
improve the situation of children,” said Cabiles.
“We hope to see heroes who, on the remaining days of the campaign,
will bravely stand for the rights of the children; no matter how
controversial the needed policy would be,” ended Cabiles.
Arctic mission begins
Young campaigners to meet
with the Arctic Council to save the melting North Pole
April 8, 2013
MANILA – A group of young
campaigners on a mission to protect the Arctic is set for a historic
and unexpected meeting with a delegation of powerful Arctic officials
at the North Pole this week.
Sixteen people, including
four international youth ambassadors – Hollywood actor Ezra Miller,
two Arctic Indigenous representatives and a young man from the
Seychelles – have recently set out from Barneo Base on a trek with
Greenpeace to the geographic North Pole. But shortly before setting
off, they learned that members of the Arctic Council – the governing
body comprised of foreign ministers and senior officials from Arctic
states – will also be at the North Pole this week.
One of the explorers,
Josefina Skerk, is a 26-year-old Swedish-Sami student studying law at
Umeå University and a Member of the Sami Parliament in Sweden. When
she learned that the Arctic Council would be meeting at the North Pole
around the same time, she sent a letter to Gustaf Lind, Swedish chair
of Arctic Council’s Senior Arctic Officials, requesting a meeting with
her fellow ambassadors, should they auspiciously meet at the North
Pole. Mr. Lind has accepted the invitation, and weather-dependent, the
groups hope to meet at the North Pole later this week.
The young campaigners are
carrying with them a specially designed time capsule that contains a
2.7 million signature declaration demanding that the Arctic be
designated an internationally-recognised global sanctuary. They plan
to lower the capsule and a flag through 4.3km of freezing water to the
seabed beneath the North Pole.
Speaking from Barneo base,
"We're really excited about
meeting Mr. Lind and the rest of the Arctic Council during our trip to
the North Pole. I'm with three young people from across the world who
all have connections to the Arctic, and it's a great honour to be able
to deliver our message to the council in the exact place that we all
wish to protect for future generations. This is going to be a really
gruelling expedition and we're all a little bit nervous right now. But
this is a great chance for us to talk with the people responsible for
protecting the Arctic and we know all our supporters around the world
would want us to go for it."
In 2007, the Russian
explorer Artur Chilingarov planted a Russian flag on the seabed
beneath the pole, claiming the Arctic for Moscow. Now the young
explorers will challenge that claim by lowering a ‘Flag for the
Future’ designed by Sarah Batrisyia, a 13-year old Malaysian girl who
won the global competition, co-hosted by Greenpeace and the World
Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The flag, which was chosen
by fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, is intended to symbolise hope,
global unity and peace.
The activists say no one
nation should own the Arctic or be allowed to exploit the melting ice,
a crisis created by climate change, for more of the very fuels that
caused the melt in the first place.
The impacts of the runaway
climate change are already being felt by vulnerable countries in
Southeast Asia, like the Philippines where disruptions in monsoon
patterns have resulted in more frequent and more destructive typhoons
like Bopha/Pablo which devastated much of Southern Mindanao late last
The campaigners now plan to
meet with the Arctic Council to challenge them and set out their
demand that the uninhabited areas around the North Pole be declared a