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PRO8 targets “zero crime” rate as SY 2013-2014 starts

Newly registered associations await projects, assistance

PRO8 to honor election heroes

Army troops conducts caravan for SAFE 2013

PRO8 leads 100 bikers for SAFE 2013

Chiz to US: pay P58-M reef penalty in cash, not kind

Army backs implementation of livelihood enhancement programs for Calubian, San Isidro farmers groups

NPA camp seized, firearms recovered by government troops in Northern Samar

NDF-EV warns politicians against vote-buying and election violence

Chiz tells COMELEC to set date for source code review


Army troopers distributed computers, books to elementary schools in Northern Samar

Books for Peace

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
June 21, 2013

BRGY. MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar – The troops of 20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion, 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army has distributed a total of five (5) sets desktop computers, with complete accessories and two hundred fifty (250) assorted text books and reference materials to five (5) elementary schools in Northern Samar province that was conducted from June 6-13, 2013.

Lieutenant Colonel Noel A Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, in his report to 803rd Brigade Commander, Colonel Rolando Malinao, said the items were donated by Rotary Club of Loyola Heights through the efforts of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations (J7), AFP.

The computers and books are part of the joint project of AFP and Rotary International dubbed as “Books for Peace” aims to provide text books, reference materials and computers to remote barangays in support to the government’s effort of providing quality education focusing in conflict affected areas. Among the beneficiaries of the project are San Miguel Elementary School, Curry Elementary School and Magsaysay Elementary School in Lope de Vega; Trojillo Elementary School in Bobon; and Happy Valley Elementary School in San Isidro, all of Northern Samar Province.

LTC Vestuir, CO, 20IB personally handed over the books and computers to Mr Cristito A Eco, the OIC, Division Schools Superintendent of DepEd, Northern Samar, who in turn gave the items to the district supervisors and principals of the recipient schools.

The activity was also attended by the district supervisors, principals, teachers, pupils, parents, barangay officials of the recipient schools and barangays and the local media from Calbayog City and Catarman.

Mr Eco expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Army and the Rotary International for the realization of the project that would certainly enhance the learning process in the elementary schools. According to Mr Eco, this is the first time that the recipient schools were able to receive such computers and books. He also urged the teachers and pupils to properly take care of the said items in order for the next generation of pupils to also benefit from it.

According to LTC Vestuir: “The Books for Peace project would greatly help upgrade the literacy level of elementary pupils of the recipient schools considering that the area has limited access to some open source and readily available reference materials such as internet. He also thanked the AFP leadership, the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for CMO, OJ7 and the Rotary Club of Loyola Heights for their support to the Bayanihan Activities of the Unit. Indeed, the activity has exemplified the firm resolve and commitment of the people behind the project to help the children as the hope of our fatherland.





87th Infantry Battalion encounters New Peoples Army, recovers 2 high powered firearms

recovered firearms from NPA

June 21, 2013

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – On 21 June 2013, at 5:50 in the morning, the 87th Infantry Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Cerilo Balaoro encountered around 10 New People’s Army under Section Committee, Southern Samar 1, Samar Provincial Party Committee in Barangay Bugho, Pinabacdao, Samar.

Acting upon an information given by a concerned citizen living in Barangay Bugho about NPA presence in the vicinity of their barangay, Captain Tuguinay Agoy, the Commanding Officer of Alpha Company, 87th Infantry Battalion formed a combat platoon to verify the information. When Captain Agoy and his troops arrived in the area where the NPAs were reported to be harbouring, they were fired upon and an encounter ensued for about 15 minutes until the NPAs withdrew.

The encounter resulted to the recovery of the following enemy materiel: one (1) M16 Armalite Rifle, one (1) M653 Baby Armalite Rifle as well as three (3) loaded magazines of AK 47 Rifle with 100 extra live ammunition, seven (7) empty magazines for M16 Rifle and NPA documents. No casualty was reported to have incurred by both sides.

Major General Gerardo T. Layug, Commander of 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in his message said, “I congratulate the troops who conducted the successful combat operation and for risking their lives in doing their mandate to protect the people from the NPAs. I assure the people that we will continue in clearing the interior barangays in the region from NPA influence so that LGUs can implement their programs and be able to provide basic services for the people.”

“The chief executives of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran and Eastern Samar already declared their respective provinces as manageable conflict affected areas and ready for development and are now focusing on economic programs that will alleviate their people from poverty. On the same token, the local chief executives of the provinces of Samar and Northern Samar are currently working with other peace stakeholders for their provinces to be declared as manageable conflict affected areas and ready for development so that they can also focus on development programs they have crafted for their people. On our part, we assure the chief executives of these provinces that we will provide security for their programs for to be implemented without interruption,” Major General Layug added.”





'Sex-for-repatriation' scheme

Sen. Pia: Unmask, jail gov’t personnel preying on distressed OFW women

By Office of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
June 19, 2013

PASAY CITY – Senator Pia S. Cayetano today said the government should leave no stone unturned in its investigation of the reported sexual abuse of distressed women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Philippine overseas offices.

Senator Pia S. CayetanoAt the same time, the senator called on concerned agencies to hold the alleged perpetrators accountable for the so-called ‘sex-for-repatriation’ scheme.

“If in fact the allegation of ‘sex for repatriation’ is true, then this is one of the worst cases of exploitation that have befallen our OFW women,” said Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations.

“When those who are tasked to protect our women are the very ones who perpetuate such a ghastly and disturbing act, then these predators should be charged, jailed and banned from holding public office.”

She added: “It is incumbent upon concerned government agencies, primarily DFA and DOLE to take immediate and decisive action while observing due process of law.”

“They should unmask the identities of these alleged perpetrators within their ranks, as well as their accomplices. They should also urge all victims to come forward and provide them assistance so that they would be able to file charges in court.”

She said the abuses would be mitigated if government could find ways to hasten the repatriation of OFWs staying in government shelters abroad. “The government must step up its efforts to hasten the repatriation of distressed OFWs in order to shield them from hardship and further abuse.”






PRO8 Pulis Got Talent
PO2 Venus Abrigo in her winning performance during the Police Got Talent show Wednesday night.

Biliran policewoman, RPSB dancers wins “Pulis Got Talent”

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
June 14, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – A 28-year Biliran policewoman was hailed as the first ever “Pulis Got Talent” Singing Contest division winner, besting 11 other contestants during the show’s talent night at the RTR Festival Parks in Tacloban City on Wednesday.

“I was surprised when my name was called. It was totally unexpected,” said PO2 Venus Abrigo, the Police-Community Relations Non-Commissioned Officer of Naval Municipal Police Station in Biliran province.

With her subtle rendition of Joey Albert’s 1990 hit “Iisa Pa lamang”, Abrigo got the judges’ nod and went home with the coveted title and P5,000.00 prize which was personally awarded by PCSupt. Elmer Ragadio Soria, director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8).

Abrigo, who joined the police service in 2007, said that aside from personally relating with the song’s lyrics, she selected the piece because of it low note since she lacked time to rehearse.

She added that it has been a while since she last joined a singing contest, dating back to her college days at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City where she took up her Political Science degree.

Abrigo has been joining barangay fiesta and school singing competitions since her elementary grade, winning most of them.

The policewoman will use the cash prize to buy school supplies for her two kids – ages 7 and 3 – who will be reporting to their classes next week.

Taking home P4,000.00 as 1st runner-up is PO2 Gil Alvin Sanico from Northern Samar Police Provincial Office, who rendered Joe Lamont’s powerful ballad “Victims of Love” while PO2 Ronelo Palito from Samar PPO received P3,000.00 for his interpretation of Basil Valdez original “Ngayon at Kailanman”.

Other contestants received consolation prize of P1,000.00 each.

But what brought the house down were the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB8) dancers who went back to their headquarters with the P10,000.00 prize for winning the show’s dance contest division.

Looking more like a hip-hop group than members of PRO8’s maneuver unit, the 11-member crew wowed the audience who braved the heavy rains just to see them dance to the groove of re-mix hits of Psy’s “Gentleman”, Zedd’s “Clarity”, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” and other hit dance tunes.

Dancers from the PRO8 regional headquarters and Southern Leyte PPO Kasaligan X-Force took home P8,000.00 and P5,000.00 for being adjudged as first and second runner-ups, respectively.

The five dance groups from other police offices were given P2,000.00 consolation prizes.

“We are happy with the audience’ reception, this is really for them to appreciate the talents of our men” said PRO8 chief PCSupt. Elmer Ragadio Soria, who was visibly happy with the audience turn-out despite of heavy rains.

Soria assured that this will not be the last time that PRO8 will showcase their talent in the month-long festivities, which for this year is the 27th Pintados and 18th Kasadyaan joint celebration, as organizers have already set every June 12, the nation’s Independence Day, as the “Pulis Got Talent” night.

Hosted by PSupt. Eufronio Obong, PO3 Zendah Sudio, PO1 Lalaine Castro and NUP Fe Talacay, the show’s judging panel was composed of Department of Tourism director Karina Rosa Tiopes, Napolcom Regional Director Nicomedez Jose, Dr. Stephen Lagarde, Mr. Roland Calleja and SPO4 Justo Luaton.






PRO8 new patrol cars turn-over
Police Regional Office 8 director PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria (center) hands the sybolic car key to PSInsp. Julio Pagtabunan, Villareal police chief, during Monday’s turn-over of new patrol vehicles at PRO8 headquarters.

PRO8 turns over new patrol cars to 3 stations

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
June 12, 2013

Camp Kangleon, Palo, Leyte – Aiming of decreased crime rate in the region, the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) has turned-over brand new mobile police vehicles to three police stations and one to public safety company to boost police visibility and mobility and for use in various anti-crime operations.

The vehicles were turned over by PCSupt. Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Director, to representatives of three police stations and the Northern Samar Provincial Public Safety Company (NSPPSC) in a simple yet fitting ceremony right after the Monday flag raising ceremony at PRO8 grandstand.

“The newly issued patrol vehicles are meant to improve police mobility, visibility, prompt response to emergencies and enhance the response time to call for police assistance by the recipient police stations,” Soria said.

The regional police chief added that aside from immediate response to any crime incidents and continued maintenance of the peace and order, patrol vehicles are also used to ferry victims to the hospitals in times of emergencies and other disaster-response efforts.

Recipients of the Toyota Innova Wagon patrol cars were Maripipi Municipal Police Station in Biliran, Villareal MPS in Samar and Catubig MPS in Northern Samar while the Northern Samar PPSC received one Toyota Hilux patrol vehicle. Meanwhile, one brand new Toyota Hi-Ace van will be used in various command activities in the regional headquarters.

The distribution of new patrol car is part of the continued effort of the Philippine National Police to upgrade the facilities and equipments of the local police forces to support field operations under the Capability Enhancement Program (CEP) of the PNP Integrated Transformation Program - Performance Governance System (ITP-PGS), otherwise known as Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding the Rule of Law or PNP Patrol Plan 2030.

Soria encouraged the recipients to make good use and maintain the newly-issued vehicles to enable them to better serve the community.

The police official further said that this effort in equipping the police force with the ability to fight criminality through the acquisition of these vehicles and other police equipment showed that the PNP organization is sincere in transforming the police organization into a more credible police force as envisioned in the Patrol Plan 2030, its roadmap towards achieving this vision.

Rev. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, Social Communication chief of the Archdiocese of Palo, officiated the rites of blessing of the new vehicles.





DILG conducts spot checks on Leyte, Biliran water projects

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 8, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Interior and Local Government recently inspected four (4) water projects in the provinces of Leyte and Biliran, pursuant to the directive of Secretary Mar Roxas.

DILG Region 8 Director Pedro A. Noval Jr. said that the team, composed of personnel from the DILG Office of Project Development Service (OPDS) and DILG-8 Regional Office, visited the towns of Alang-alang, Calubian and Tolosa in the province of Leyte and the municipality of Culaba in Biliran in the later part of the month of May.

The group looked into the financial and physical status of projects being implemented by beneficiary towns under the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat or SALINTUBIG program to ensure that government money is spent for its intended purpose, Dir. Noval said.

He added that inspections would be done in all other DILG projects to promote transparency and accountability.

The water system for the Rural Health Unit (RHU) of Culaba, Biliran is now fully completed, a media statement written by Mr. Myles Colasito, DILG8 Information Officer, stated.

Aside from serving the RHU, the water supply system was expanded to 30 households covering three barangays.

Meanwhile, the Level 3 water project in Calubian is about 45% completed and on time for completion by July. About five barangays in Calubian which are presently using Level 1 (communal well) water system will be able to avail of potable water inside their own homes once the project is finished.

On the other hand, the project in Alang-alang, Leyte is at the detailed engineering design stage. Slated to start in August, it is expected to end by December of this year.

Furthermore, the municipality of Tolosa, Leyte has already bought a 1.8 cubic meter water tank for its RHU, and is arranging for its eventual connection to the water district. Once completed, the project will also serve the needs of the newly built municipal executive building.

Director Noval intimated that the office shall be hiring additional engineers on a contractual basis to assist in the monitoring of its projects. He likewise encouraged the citizens to take an active part in the project by monitoring the projects.

DILG-8 is currently assisting 25 LGUs which benefited from the regular SALINTUBIG program for 2012, and 33 LGUs which availed of SALINTUBIG projects under the 2013 Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) system.

SALINTUBIG program of the government aims to provide water supply systems to waterless municipalities, waterless barangays, and waterless health centers as part of the country’s commitment to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Director Noval said.





Save the Philippine Seas before it’s too late – Greenpeace

June 7, 2013

MANILA – “Save the Philippine seas now – before it’s too late,” Greenpeace, marine experts and fisherfolk made the call today as they renewed their demand for the Philippine government to enact and enforce stronger policies to preserve the country’s oceans. The groups also urged all Filipinos to be part of efforts to revive the seas. The call came on the eve of World Oceans Day, the UN-designated celebration meant to remind the world about how crucial the oceans are for our survival. This year’s theme is “Together we have the power to protect the ocean!”

"All stakeholders must be involved in the rehabilitation of the Philippine seas,” said Dr. Perry Aliño, of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute. “We need to strengthen our existing social and ecological networks. Government mechanisms must be set up, with concrete solutions such as increasing the number and effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).”

The report Oceans in the Balance is an overview of the worsening crisis in the Philippine seas. The report compiles data which show that as the country’s marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests are being destroyed, we are extracting more and more fish from the sea than it can sustainably provide. In short, we are not only emptying the oceans of fish, but we are also destroying vital habitats necessary for marine species to propagate.

“We are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” said Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Our seas are nearing their tipping point – overfishing, destructive and illegal fishing, poaching, pollution and climate change are sucking the life out of our waters. There is a very urgent need for the government to elevate oceans protection as a matter of national priority. This needs to happen now before the country drowns in a sea of problems.”

The report notes that despite the Fisheries Code of 1998, which mandates the protection of 15% of fishing grounds as marine protected areas, legislation seems unable to ensure the sustainability of our seas due to pervasive illegal commercial fishing activities and the encroachment of foreign fishing vessels into the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

Small municipal fisherfolk who are edged out by massive industrial fishing operations are the one who suffer the most. Greenpeace says that the high incidence of poverty in coastal fishing communities is reflective of the crisis attributed to the declining marine ecosystem and overfishing.

“There are around two million Filipino fishers who are heavily dependent on the sea,” said Maricel Gacela of Samahan ng mga Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Calatagan (SAMMACA). “We all have nothing to fish and nothing to feed our families. With a net income of only 250 Pesos a day, most fisherfolk end up in debt. Commercial fishing vessels take all the fish, sometimes from municipal fishing grounds, leaving us with very little fish to catch and barely enough money to cover gasoline costs for going out to sea.”

The report is intended as a call to action to address the two-pronged crisis of marine degradation and overfishing. Along with a broad range of stakeholders, Greenpeace is calling on the Aquino administration to immediately act against the crisis of overfishing and marine ecosystem degradation by:

1. Ensuring that the protection, rehabilitation, and conservation of Philippine seas are a national priority (such by improving MPA management and establishing a national network of marine reserves); and

2. Creating and immediately implementing a roadmap that eliminates overfishing and allows the recovery of the Philippine fish stocks. This can be achieved with steps such as stronger vehicle registry systems, halting the issuance of commercial permits, and strict enforcement of the 15 kilometer zone for small scale fishers.

“We need a wholesale change in how we currently manage our oceans,” said Cinches. “Overfishing must end, and more areas need to be protected and interconnected. This will require concerted effort from all sectors. All Filipinos are stakeholders of the seas – we must each be part of the solution. Greenpeace is asking all Filipinos to signing up at to join the movement of Ocean Defenders and help protect our seas.”



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