PRO8 to honor
By RPCRD, Police Regional
May 16, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
A police officer who sacrificed his life to ensure the integrity of
the elections and another cop who foiled election violence leads the
election heroes that will be feted by the Police Regional Office 8
(PRO8) along with the almost 5,000 cops who secured Monday’s polls.
“POI Agerico Afable’s display of heroism to defend the credibility of
the elections and SPO3 Jorge Tiunayan’s act of bravery that prevented
escalation of poll violence will not go worthless as their dedication
to duty will be properly recognized,” Police Chief Superintendent
Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 director said.
POI Afable was slain by armed men while keeping watch of the polling
center in Calingatngan village, Borongan in Eastern Samar while SPO3
Tiunayan singlehandedly foiled an attempt to sow violence by armed men
during last Monday’s elections in Brgy. Mantang, Taft town, also in
All policemen who rendered election duties also deserves a pat on the
back, according to Soria, after ordering the pull-out of augmentation
forces as “the critical period of the 2013 elections have already
“POI Afable will be posthumously honored while SPO3 Tiunayan will be
accorded also with proper recognition for bravery,” the law
enforcement official said.
A Medalya ng Kasanayan (PNP Efficiency Medal) is in store for all
policemen who rendered election duties.
Soria said that the 913-strong police contingent that returned
yesterday to augment territorial police forces would now take their
usual desk job while others will return to training schools to
continue their mandatory schoolings.
“The security plan we have laid out is more than adequate in ensuring
a secure and fair elections and this could not have been done without
your support, sacrifices and cooperation,” Soria said in his message
to the augmentation troops.
The police official stressed that Monday’s election was generally
peaceful, noting the 80 percent high voters turn-out, as the police
performed well in securing this year’s midterm elections.
The Regional Election Monitoring and Action Center (REMAC) did not
receive any report of election-related incident during and after the
election day, he said.
As of Thursday morning, almost 99% of the Precinct Count Optical Scan
(PCOS) machines and other election materials secured by police
personnel were retrieved from polling centers.
With election-related duties almost over, PRO8 will now shift its
focus on anti-criminality operations and security preparations for the
opening of classes next month, Soria disclosed.
Elections in EV
generally peaceful – PRO8
By RPCRD, Police Regional
May 14, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) assessed the synchronized conduct
of the national and local midterm elections Monday as generally
peaceful even in Samar province that was earlier listed as a “priority
area” and placed under tight watch by security forces.
“People were able to cast
their votes and exercised their rights of suffrage with a great
feeling of security,” Soria said, adding that the high voters turn-out
was a testament to the stable condition with no election-related
incident reported on Election Day.
Soria attributed the
generally peaceful situation to the advance preparations made by PRO8
to ensure secured and fair elections and the convergence of efforts
with government agencies and security forces.
Since November last year,
PRO8 have launched a massive crackdown against private armed group,
most wanted persons, crime gangs, loose firearms and unregistered
firearms which may be used to sow terror during the polling period.
Aside from focused police
operations, the law enforcement official informed that PRO8 have
brokered some 183 peace covenants signed by almost 3,500 political
aspirants, in addition to unity walks, prayer rallies, peace caravans,
candidates’ forum and massive media information campaign initiated to
gain public support for fair and credible polls.
On Monday, police assistance
desks were established in polling centers regionwide with close to
5,000 policemen that rendered election duties coupled by police
visibility patrols by Reactionary Standby Support Force (PNP-RSSF)
from the regional headquarters down to municipal level units.
Soria, however, said the
police will not put its guards down even after the voting hours and
canvassing is over as all police units under his watch will remain
vigilant to ensure that all post-election activities will be safe and
secured for all.
The region’s top cop earlier
placed PRO8 on full alert status since May 6 until Friday, May 17.
Minor glitches in the
operations of the precinct count optical scans (PCOS) machines were
also reported by line units while a failure of elections was declared
by the Comelec in Brgy. Higasaan, an upland village with 218
registered voters situated in Calbayog City’s “Seven Hills”, due to
the absence of communication signal in the area and its distance which
is a 12-hour hike through rugged terrains from the city proper.
As of Tuesday morning, a
total of 159 persons have been arrested for violation of gun ban, the
latest was the arrest of Avner San Andres, who was nabbed infront of a
polling center in Brgy. Dawahon, Bato, Leyte for carrying a .45
caliber pistol with ammunitions on Monday morning.
A total of 131 assorted
high-powered and low-powered firearms were confiscated in Eastern
Visayas since January 13, Soria added.
Police also arrested three
persons in Northern Samar and two in Southern Leyte for alleged
vote-buying activities while counterfeit money allegedly used for
vote-buying were turned-over yesterday by Chairman Antonio Tan of Brgy.
Villa in Lavezares town to Northern Samar Police Provincial Office.
teachers, poll workers
By Office of Senator Chiz
May 13, 2013
CITY – Re-electionist Senator Chiz Escudero praised teachers, poll
workers, and volunteers for the organized conduct of the 2013 midterm
He also vowed to review the electoral process and push for reforms in
the new Congress should there be a need to further improve the
Despite reports of glitches in some voting centers, Escudero said the
conduct of the polls has been generally peaceful and orderly.
“Isang taus-pusong pasasalamat sa mga guro, sa mga election workers,
at sa lahat ng volunteers na nagtrabaho upang magkaroon ng isang
maayos at mapayapang halalan (A heartfelt thanks to the teachers,
election workers and volunteers who worked hard for a peaceful and
organized election),” Escudero said.
He said that while Monday’s polls are far from perfect, the dedication
and commitment of poll workers overshadow the problems encountered in
some voting centers around the country.
“We must give credit where credit is due. Manning more than 30,000
voting centers in the country to accommodate around 50 million voters
and overseeing the voting process is daunting work, but our teachers,
poll workers and volunteers have pulled it off once again,” Escudero
Even then, the re-electionist senator said there is still room to
improve the electoral system, including the administrative and
manpower aspects of the system.
“There are areas that I will look into and review to see how we can
further improve the electoral system, not only on the technical side
such as the voting machines but more importantly, on the
administrative side such as the working conditions of the men and
women who make the system work,” Escudero said.
Earlier, he pushed for the provision of full insurance coverage on
teachers on top of the hazard pay they should be getting on Election
Day, particularly those rendering poll services on election hotspots.
“Teachers are the most overworked among public servants, having to
cope with the tremendous task of educating the youth while at the same
time risking life and limb during the entire process on election day
that extends way beyond normal working hours and it is incumbent for
the government to provide them with security coverage to repay them
for their hard work,” Escudero said.
He said the insurance coverage for teachers and poll workers should be
enshrined in a law to make it permanent.
He vowed to file a counterpart Senate bill for a House measure that
sought to extend insurance coverage on teachers and other government
workers in case of death and injury while on poll duty.
in Eastern Samar will not affect polls - PRO8
By RPCRD, Police Regional
May 11, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
The shooting incidents that transpired the last two days in Eastern
Samar will not affect the conduct of midterm elections in the province
as Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) director Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria ordered massive manhunt operations
against the four gunmen who attacked a policeman securing a polling
center in a remote village in Borongan City, Eastern Samar’s capital,
early Saturday morning.
“Our men are risking their
lives just to protect the sanctity of the automated election system (AES)
machines deposited in polling centers and ensure a credible
elections,” said Soria, who enjoined the Estehanons to pray for the
family of slain cop POI Agerico Afable who was gunned down by the
unidentified assailants at around 4:00 o’ clock in the early morning
Saturday while acting as security personnel at Calingatngan Elementary
School in Brgy. Calingatngan situated some 15 kilometers from Borongan
POI Afable and Glicerio Gema,
a village watchman, were guarding the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS)
machines deposited at said school when four armed men suddenly arrived
and shot them.
The policeman died on the
spot after being hit in the right shoulder and stomach while Gema was
hit in the different parts of his body and was rushed to Eastern Samar
Provincial Hospital for medical attention.
Another barangay tanod,
whose identity was withheld for security reasons, pretended to be dead
and left unharmed by the suspects who fled on foot towards the back
portion of the school leading to Calingatnan river bringing with them
Afable’s 9mm service firearm.
recovered in the crime scene two deformed slugs of 9mm, five live 9mm
ammunitions, 4 spent shells of 9mm, one misfired 9mm ammo and another
live 9mm ammunition 100 meters from the back portion of the school.
The PCOS machines deposited
in the classrooms were left untouched by the suspects and policemen
were deployed in said school to secure them.
Troops from Eastern Samar
Provincial Public Safety Company (ESPPSC) are now conducting manhunt
operations against the perpetrators.
Pending the result of the
investigation and the establishment of its motive, Soria declined to
comment if the incident is in any way connected to Monday’s polls.
Despite of the two
consecutive shooting incidents, Soria assured that the peace and order
situation in Eastern Samar is within manageable level.
On Friday, a shooting
incident also occurred in Brgy. Japunan, San Policarpo town wherein
one person was killed and two others were wounded.
“These incidents will not
affect the conduct of the elections in the area,” the police regional
Sohoton and Calbiga as class II caves
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
May 10, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – The
Department of Environment and Natural Resources has classified as
class II caves the Langun-Gobingob Caves in Calbiga, Samar and the
Sohoton Caves in Basey, Samar.
DENR Regional Executive
Director Manolito Ragub said this is in line with the Agency’s bid to
protect, conserve and manage the resources within and outside the
caves, as provided for by DENR Memorandum Circular 2012-03 pursuant to
Republic Act No. 9072 otherwise known as the National Caves and Cave
Resources Management and Protection Act.
RED Ragub said that
Langun-Gobingob and Sohoton Caves shall be under the administrative
jurisdiction of the DENR in coordination with the Department of
Tourism, National Museum of the Philippines, National Historical
Institute, municipal local government of Calbiga and Basey, Samar,
stakeholders from the academe, Non-Government Organizations, and other
“However, the DENR may opt
to delegate the management of the caves to the LGUs, or other
interested parties consistent with the Public Private Partnership
policy of the Aquino Administration,” RED Ragub said.
RED Ragub informed that
Class II caves have “hazardous conditions and contain sensitive
geological, archaeological, cultural, historical and biological values
or high quality eco-systems. Such caves are open to experienced
spelunkers or caving enthusiasts and guided visits, although some
portions may be closed seasonally or permanently for conservation
Class I caves, on the other
hand, are those with delicate and fragile geological formations,
threatened species, archaeological and paleontological values and
extremely hazardous conditions. Only activities for mapping,
photography, educational and scientific purposes are allowed in these
Meanwhile, Class III caves
are generally safe for inexperienced visitors, with no known
threatened species living in them, nor any archaeological, geological,
historical and cultural values. Economic activities such as collection
of guano and edible birds’ nests, are allowed in these caves.
Moreover, it was learned
that pursuant to RA 9072, a management plan is being prepared for each
cave to consider all ecotourism, scientific, educational and economic
activities, as well as monitoring and reclassification in the areas.
Classification of caves
shall be a continuing process until such time that the caves in the
country are all classified, RED Ragub said.
threatens May 13 elections, TUCP sees blackmail
May 9, 2013
QUEZON CITY – The Trade
Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said that the massive
brownout in the Meralco franchise area the other day threatens the
forthcoming elections and were a precursor of an imminent supply
deficiency in the Luzon.
“We have long warned that
when government surrender its control of power to the private sector
that they will stage-manage and scaremonger consumers to accept the
need for higher prices in exchange for 24/7 power,” said Gerard Seno,
TUCP general secretary.
“TUCP notes with disbelief
that 24 hours after the large scale brownouts, Energy Secretary
Jericho Petilla still cannot pinpoint whether the responsibilities
lies with the National grid Corporation or the six power plants. The
entire country and the sanctity of an election process are left to the
mercy of socially unaccountable and financially acquisitive power
players,” said TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond Mendoza.
“Equally alarming, the
Energy secretary is waiting for the 6 power producers in the affected
grid to submit their logbooks of operations to the National Grid
Corporation, for the latter to determine the cause of the brownout.
Let me remind the DOE Secretary that the National Grid Corporation is
co-owned by the Chinese government’s National Grid of China. The event
yesterday is rife with national security concerns. Either we are
hostaged to a cartel or a foreign government,” Mendoza stressed.
The TUCP has argued that it
is time to amend the EPIRA and bring back the regulatory powers to the
“It is time to put back
regulatory powers to government to ensure that power producers
mandatorily reinvest in additional power capacity to meet projected
future demand. The decision to put up additional capacity cannot be
left to the independent private sector. What the independent power
sector will do is wait until a deficit appears, so that they can
immediately suggest the most expensive solutions to plug the gap – 15
pesos per Kwh power barge or even worse the generator sets for
Mindanao which generate power at 17 pesos per kWh,” Seno added.
TUCP warned that the current
power crisis in Mindanao will now hit Luzon and Visayas because the
private sector is stage-managing events. “Yesterday’s brownout is
blackmail of the highest order being directed by a cartel to our
government,” explained Mendoza.
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
May 9, 2013
CEBU CITY – Between the
start of the election campaign and the upcoming May polls on May 13,
we have seen a variety of gimmicks – from posters and leaflets to
campaign ads and jingles. Amidst all these, many Filipinos are looking
forward to cast their votes with the hope of attaining positive change
in the next years to come.
“The public is entitled with
the right of suffrage. The people’s vote is sacred. It holds the right
of every individual to choose the leader that will guide each of one
us to development,” Atty. Ian Marigomen, election officer of
Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7, said during the April 27 episode
of “Pagtuki”, the official radio program of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
For the second time,
Filipinos will run their votes through the Precinct Optical Scan (PCOS)
machines that feed into secured three-foot black boxes. The new voting
system started in the May 2010 elections.
“The public, especially
those May 2010 elections voters, are already familiar with the PCOS
machine. In the upcoming elections, the mechanics and features are
practically the same. We added relevant features, such as the date and
time though,” Atty. Marigomen said.
He reminded voters to
conscientiously observe what not to do on the election day, including
drinking of alcoholic beverages, accepting of food or anything of
value from running candidates, voting more than once, soliciting votes
against or in favor of a candidate inside the polling area or in the
set 30-meter radius, setting up of booths or stalls selling items of
value inside the 30-meter radius, and carrying of deadly weapons, such
In the case of
establishments like hotels, they should get a certificate of exemption
from Comelec if they are serving alcoholic drinks on Election Day.
Marigomen also encouraged
the public to list down their chosen candidates on a sheet of paper
before going to their designated precincts. He said that this is to
avoid over voting, especially in the selection of the 12 senators. If
the voter fills in 13 ovals, his vote for the senatorial positions
will be forfeited.
“In the holding area beside
the polling area, we will conduct voters’ education. The Comelec is
vigorous in educating the public to be responsible voters. We are
doing our best to guide the public in choosing the leaders of our
country,” he stressed.
There will also be separate
express lanes for persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens,
and pregnant women. He said that the public should follow the rules to
avoid any complications.
“The usage of PCOS machine
is a best way to train the public to be responsible and conscientious
voters,” he said.
On the issue of security, he
said that the joint security coordinating center composed of the
Comelec, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) ensures the overall safety of the public on the day
of the elections. The operational plan of the group specially
highlights security on areas of concern.
In the context of the
long-term development framework of Mega Cebu 2050, Evelyn Nacario-Castro,
executive director of Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC)
of RAFI, said that the development of Metro Cebu lies in our votes.
“In the next 13,500 days or
37 years, the public will only have twelve days of making decision to
choose the leaders that will bring them closer to a smart, equitable,
and environmentally-sustainable growth for Mega Cebu and for the
country in general,” she pointed out.
Marigomen said that the
Comelec guarantees a smooth-sailing election as long as the public
does its responsibility as voters.
“We must meet half-way. The
Comelec is always available in the most convenient time of the people.
Just approach us and we will do our best to address your concerns.
Let’s all pray for a peaceful May 2013 elections,” he said.
Pagtuki is aired over DyLA
every Saturday at 10-11 am. The program, which is one of the Knowledge
Sharing & Advocacy capabilities of RAFI, tackles timely and relevant
issues on community development, politics and governance,
micro-financing, education, environment, early childhood care and
development, and culture and heritage that affect the Cebuano
election security in place
By RPCRD, Police Regional
May 8, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
Security preparations and operations in the May 13 midterm polls are
in place and polished five days before the conduct of the automated
elections, assured Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) director Police
Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria.
“We have enough troops ready
to secure the electoral proceedings, we assure the people of Eastern
Visayas that we are working doubly hard so that the ultimate goal of
secured and fair elections will not be hindered by any security
concern,” Soria said.
He added that all
augmentation forces had been deployed ten days before the actual polls
to help reinforce local territorial forces while Reactionary Standby
Support Forces (RSSF) were activated at the regional headquarters and
provincial and city police offices to immediately respond to all forms
The police official said
that a total of 4,852 policemen will be deployed to polling centers to
perform election duties on election day while the rest of the
6,244-strong PRO8 police force will be performing other
election-related duties aside from their routine police functions.
Regular coordination with
the Commission on Elections and his counterparts in the Philippine
Army are also being done through the Joint Security Control Center (JSCC)
while the Election Monitoring and Action Centers (EMACS) closely
supervise troop movements and all election-related concerns.
“Security forces were given
specific instructions on their responsibility in the security of
polling centers and Automated Election System machines including its
retrieval to include the safety of the Board of Election Inspectors
carrying election results and other paraphernalia from the polling
centers,” he added.
In the meantime, Soria also
assured the security of the 5,135 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS)
machines now deposited in 3,773 voting centers throughout the region
by providing police personnel and tapping force multipliers like the
Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs) to secure the polling
Comelec Resolution No. 9669
promulgated last April 17 defined the responsibility of the PNP and
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in ensuring that election
results manifest the true will of the electorate by providing security
assistance through protecting the sanctity of the official ballots,
election paraphernalia and the AES machines, consisting of the PCOS
and Canvassing and Consolidation System (CCS), the polling centers and
“Our men were directed to
focus their attention in protecting the votes, the voters and the
candidates”, the top police official averred.