Soria orders manhunt vs. 3
pushers in buybust shoot-out
By RPCRD, Police Regional
July 19, 2013
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio
Soria ordered a massive manhunt operations against three suspected
drug pushers who engaged in a shootout with lawmen during a buy-bust
operation in a westcoast village in Hilongos town in Leyte that leave
a policeman wounded Wednesday night.
The regional police director informed that the shootout ensued around
8:00 p.m. at Brgy. Talisay between joint elements of Leyte Police
Provincial Office and Hilongos Municipal Police Station and the
suspects, identified as brothers Socrates and Teofilo Fabio and one
Charlie Zarate, who are now the subject of manhunt operations.
Wounded was PO3 Lord Bolito, a member of the Anti-Illegal Drugs
Special Operation Task Group (AIDSOTG) of the Leyte PPO who sustained
two gunshot wounds on his left arm and one on his chest.
Bolito was rushed to Remedios T. Romualdez Memorial Hospital in
Tacloban City and is now in stable condition.
Soria said the shootout ensued when Socrates Fabio opened fire when
Bolito was about to arrest him after being able to purchase a sachet
The suspects eluded arrests under the cover of darkness.
“Tracker teams are conducting pursuit operations against the suspects
and we intend to put them behind bars as soon as possible,” Soria
Meanwhile, the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) arrested a
drug suspect in a buy-bust operation conducted in Basey town in Samar.
The RSOG, led by PInsp. Constantino Jabonete, Jr., arrested one Harold
Alcoseba, 35, single and a resident of Mercado.
Alcoseba was nabbed around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after handing out a
plastic sachet containing “shabu” to a police officer who acted as a
Also recovered from the suspect was another sachet of “shabu” worth
P500 and the P500 marked money.
The suspect is now detained at the Basey police station.
The suspected drug pushers are facing raps for violation of the
Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous
Drugs Act of 2002.
vow to end illegal fishing, “the scourge of Philippine seas”
July 19, 2013
PIO DURAN, Albay –
Greenpeace and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
today vowed to end illegal fishing, which they said was the “scourge
of the Philippine seas.”
The warning was made as BFAR
enforcers, accompanied by activists from the Greenpeace ship,
Esperanza, conducted fishing license checks this morning at the port
of Pio Duran in Albay Province, around 500 kilometers south of Manila.
The Esperanza is in the
Philippines for the “Ocean Defender Tour of Southeast Asia 2013.” The
tour, which started on July 9 in Apo Island central Philippines, aims
to tell the story of the richness and the beauty of the Philippine
seas, expose destruction that causes marine degradation and sound the
alarm to call for urgent government action to save the Philippine seas
from crisis. Greenpeace is calling for more stringent measure to stop
illegal fishing in Philippine waters.
“Greenpeace is here to
unmask the menace of illegal fishing which is plaguing our country’s
seas,” said Vince Cinches, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Oceans Campaigner
on board the Esperanza. “Illegal fishing not only steals fish from
municipal fishermen and coastal communities – it also steals the
future of our oceans by emptying the fish out of the oceans, depleting
fish populations and endangering the health of reefs.”
During the inspection today,
BFAR and Greenpeace representatives encountered the fishing vessel
Divine Mercy, which lacks a valid fishing license. This is a violation
of Section 86 of Article 8550, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of
1998, which requires all fishing vessels to have licenses. Frank Ombao,
BFAR’s Regulating Division Chief explained that Divine Mercy has no
license to operate, the crew have no licenses, and the only documents
they have are expired safety certificates issued by the Maritime
In December 2012, another
vessel by the same company was apprehended by BFAR for using “super
lights” along municipal waters, and for operating without a fishing
license. Fishing using “super lights” is a destructive method that is
used to attract marine life at night, capturing everything including
juvenile fish and non-targeted species.
The Esperanza crew together
with Bureau of Fisheries personnel have been patrolling the
Burias-Ticao Pass area in Bicol for almost a week. Greenpeace received
reports that there were vessels using super lights operating in and
around the pass in several areas before the Esperanza arrived.
However, during the joint patrol by Greenpeace and BFAR, the waters
were eerily empty.
Upon questioning, a crew
member of the Divine Mercy, Maestro Pedro Dabian, confirmed that they
have been docked in port and have not gone out to sea for almost a
“This is part of the
challenges that we face, where commercial vessels need to be caught in
the act before we can apprehend them,” said BFAR Region V Director
Dennis Del Socorro. “Aside from that, commercial vessels once
registered can go to any area and it will be hard for us to monitor
them. With our limited resources, we cannot watch all the areas all
the time. That is why we also do these daytime checks for licenses of
commercial fishing vessels.”
“The fisheries in the Burias
and Ticao pass are already overexploited. What is not fully known is
how much illegal commercial fishing contributes to this decline,” said
Dr Victor Soliman, marine scientist from Bicol University. “The
government must acknowledge that there already is a crisis in
fisheries, take bold efforts to take measures on fishery management
such as better data collection, rehabilitate our seas and do its
utmost to improve the plight of the fisherfolk.”
“What we know is that active
enforcement works,” said Cinches. “There should be consistent efforts
at enforcement and prevention in order to minimize and eventually
eliminate illegal and destructive fishing in these waters. Greenpeace
is asking President Benigno Aquino III to convene an Oceans Crisis
Response Team that will take the lead in establishing a Roadmap to
Recovery for our seas. Bold steps are needed in order to restore our
Abuyog town’s most wanted person
By RPCRD, Police Regional
July 18, 2013
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – One of Leyte’s most wanted crime personality fell into police
hands during a sting operation by the Regional Special Operations
Group (RSOG) Wednesday.
Police identified the
suspect as Reynaldo Verterra y Almini, 37, married, and resident of
Brgy. Kilim, Baybay City.
PCSupt. Elmer Ragadio Soria,
Eastern Visayas police director, said the arrested suspect was tagged
as the number one most wanted person of Abuyog, Leyte and ranked 10 in
the list of top ten most wanted persons in Leyte province.
Verterra was collared by
virtue of a warrant for murder issued by Abuyog Regional Trial Court
Branch 34 Judge Frisco Lilagan by RSOG led by PSInsp. Dinvir Revita
along Mabini St., Baybay City at past 10:00 a.m.
Soria informed that aside
from the above non-bailable offense, suspect is also facing a string
of cases for robbery under criminal cases 2874 and 2898 pending at Mc
Arthur and Abuyog courts and in criminal case number 2904 for rape
pending in Abuyog, Leyte court.
Meanwhile in Samar province,
RSOG led by PInsp. Constantino Jabonete, Jr. arrested Renita
Macabacyao, 43, farmer, of Purok 2, Brgy. Rama, Sierra Island,
Catbalogan City in a manhunt operation at the vicinity of Pier 2, Brgy.
3, Catbalogan City at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday.
The RSOG was clothed with an
arrest warrant issued by Judge Agerico Avila, Presiding Judge of
Regional Trial Court Branch 29 in Catbalogan City, for Qualified Theft
docketed under criminal case number 8493.
Recommended bail for
Macabacyao’s temporary liberty is fixed at P40,000.00.
Arrested persons were
brought to issuing courts for proper disposition.
“These manhunt operations
are part of our continuing effort to account for wanted persons and
solve cold cases in the region,” said Soria.
youth delegates to the ASEAN Workshop on the Role of Youth in
Green Consumption: Stepping Forward to One Community which is
held on July 15-20, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. From left to
right: Leo Kevin Mante and Donnady Lao of the University of
Eastern Philippines, Catarman, Northern Samar; Jann Ursula Aree
Ibones and Bren Garette Rivera of Catanduanes State University,
Virac, Catanduanes. Joining them is Mr. Niño Pinalva, Librarian
and Youth Desk Officer of the Environmental Management
Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (center).
[Photo by EMB-DENR]
PHL students attend
2013 ASEAN environmental youth event
July 17, 2013
QUEZON CITY – Four youth
leaders represent the Philippines to the ASEAN Workshop on the Role of
Youth in Green Consumption: Stepping Forward to One Community in
Bangkok, Thailand on July 15-20, 2013.
The Philippine youth
delegation composed of the following: Bren Garette Rivera and Jann
Ursula Aree Ibones of Catanduanes State University in Virac,
Catanduanes; and Leo Kevin Mante and Donnady Lao of the University of
Eastern Philippines in Catarman, Northern Samar. Those universities
are the regional winners and national finalists under college category
of the 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly which was
organized by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources-Environmental Management Bureau, the Department of
Education, the Commission on Higher Education and Smart
Said youth leaders came from
the different universities in the country to join with the different
youth leaders from Southeast Asia to discuss green consumption which
serves as an alternative for environmental sustainability.
The ASEAN environmental
youth workshop on green consumption has the following objectives: (1)
To provide knowledge and understanding on the main concept of green
consumption and its related issues to ASEAN youth, in particular the
situation and good practice in Thailand; (2) To encourage ASEAN youth
to exchange views and ideas regarding green consumption and to examine
ways for further cooperation and commitment in the ASEAN region based
on the power of youth and; (3) To support the role of youth in
environmental sustainability in ASEAN region. The said environmental
youth workshop is one of the target objectives of the ASEAN
Environmental Education Action Plan for 2014-2018 under the theme
“Environmental Education for Sustainable Development”.
In the Philippines, the
Philippine Youth Environment Network (PhilYEN) was relaunched last
June 28, 2013 at SM City North EDSA, Quezon City under the theme:
“Araw ng mga Eco-Filipino: Kabataan Para sa Kalikasan”. The said
national youth environmental network provides platform for
environmental youth organizations and individuals in the Philippines
to generate environmental initiatives for their respective schools and
communities. PhilYEN was created as a response to the United Nations
Environment Programme-South East Youth Environment Network (SEAYEN)-TUNZA
strategy and Republic Act No. 9512 (National Environmental Awareness
and Education Act of 2008).
The Philippine youth
delegation will be expected to undertake environmental programs during
the next one year and contribute towards strengthening PhilYEN. They
will also be expected to disseminate information about ASEAN, SEAYEN
and PhilYEN during any forum/ national/ international meetings that
they participate and appropriately inform the National Focal Point and
ASEAN Secretariat about the same.
Program for water
supply improvement to be implemented in Catbalogan City
By LAIMINH MABULAY
July 16, 2013
CATBALOGAN CITY – The City
of Catbalogan is the latest Local Government Unit to become a
recipient of the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig)
Program – which is being undertaken by the Department of Interior and
Local Government (DILG) to make clean and safe water supply accessible
in several municipalities and barangays.
To mark this development,
Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan personally came to the DILG
Regional Office 8 in Tacloban City to receive the cheque worth P1.3
Million to be used for the first tranche of the project.
The turn-over of said grant
was facilitated by DILG Assistant Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe and
Salintubig Program Manager Engineer Ofelia Pido. City Department Heads
Engr. Arnaldo Aroza, City Planning and Development Coordinator and Ms.
Elizabeth Lim, the ICO - Assistant City Treasurer was also with the
mayor to witness this occasion.
The said amount, which is
just half of the total project cost of P2.650 Million, shall be used
to fund the installation of underwater pipes to access fresh water
from the Catbalogan City main land to the island barangays of
Darahuway Dako and Darahuway Gote.
The City Government will be
forming a partnership with the Catbalogan Water District for
implementing this project. At least 20% of the expenditures in the
first tranche must be liquidated first before the City Government can
get hold of the remaining funds, which will then be used for the water
supply in Sitio Majaba, another island community.
The Salintubig Program first
came to be in December 2010 through a Memorandum of Agreement signed
by the DILG, the Department of Health and the National Anti-Poverty
Commission. This was in response to item no. 7 of the Millennium
Development Goal which aims to reduce by 50% the world population
without access to safe and potable water.
The said program has
targeted 455 barangays at the start of its implementation. The
aforementioned barangays are among the 290 targeted to become areas
for the project for the period of 2013 to 2016.
Soria views as
challenge result of survey on corruption in the PNP
By RPCRD, Police Regional
July 16, 2013
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – The region’s top police official considers as a challenge the
latest Global Corruption Barometer of the anti-corruption watchdog
Transparency International labeling the Philippine National Police
(PNP) as the most corrupt institution in the country.
“We must take the survey as
a challenge to improve the people’s perception on us, it offers a
great opportunity and room for improvement in the reform initiatives
of the PNP to block corruption that has no place in the organization,”
said PCSupt. Elmer Ragadio Soria, director of Police Regional Office
“The PNP fully support the
national government’s continuing campaign against corruption that is
being vigorously addressed by President Aquino’s administration, we
assure the public that concrete reform measures are underway to
cleanse our ranks and improve the delivery of police service,” he
Soria disclosed that the
issues on corruption and other concerns related to the law enforcement
are already being addressed under the Peace and Order Agenda for
Transformation and Upholding of the Rule-of-Law or PNP Patrol Plan
2030, the PNP’s roadmap in attaining a highly capable, effective and
credible police service, as reinforced by the PNP chief’s CODE-P
reform agenda that focuses on Competence, Organizational Development,
Discipline, Excellence and Professionalism.
PRO8 conducted last week the
Follow-Up Cascading of Enhanced PNP Patrol Plan 2030 attended by
provincial and city directors and police chiefs in Eastern Visayas
aimed at instilling a culture of reform and transformation to members
of the organization.
Soria further informed that
transparency and public accountability is the established norm in all
transactions in the PNP.
An example, he said, is the
recent acquisition of Glock pistols, considered the biggest
procurement project in PNP history, wherein the transparent conduct of
the bidding process for the handguns, with P40,940.00 market price but
PNP got a better deal with the distributor that sold the guns for only
P16,659.94 actual purchase price.
The PNP was able to save
P200,082.954.24 from the original P1.198 billion allocation and later
used in buying additional 15,000 pieces of the same brand of handgun.
He added that the PNP
continue to satisfy a great majority of Filipinos with respect to the
performance of their sworn duties which is to serve and protect.
Soria cited the all-time
high rating in a recent performance survey by Social Weather Stations
(SWS) conducted during the Christmas holidays which showed that six
out of 10 Filipinos were satisfied with the performance of the PNP,
which garnered an all-time high 50 percent net satisfaction rating.
“The SWS survey showed that
majority of our countrymen are satisfied in our performance in crime
solving and protecting the people,” the police regional director
Soria advised his men in the
not to be distracted by the survey and instead focus on their job to
serve and protect the people.
As an organizational measure
against corruption, the PNP also has strengthened and empowered the
Internal Affairs Service and the Discipline, Law and Order Division (DLOD)
as the lead units in addressing issues on corruption in all levels of
the organization, the police official added.
DA gives free tarp
mats, advice via “Usapang Palay”
By LAIMINH MABULAY
July 16, 2013
CATBALOGAN CITY – City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan facilitated in giving laminated tarpaulin mats to 160
farmers from various barangays last July 11, 2013 at Cocina de Cabral,
The laminated tarpaulins
mats are to be used for the process of drying harvested rice grains
under the sun, a method that is recommended by agricultural
technologists instead of laying the grains on asphalt or cement roads.
Prior to this, Catbalogan
City’s farmers benefited from the free advice and tips on farming that
were given to them during the “Usapang Palay”, a question-and-answer
type of forum regularly conducted by the Department of Agriculture
Here, farmers were given the
opportunity to raise the concerns and problems that they commonly
encounter on the field. This also serves as a venue where
representatives of key offices get to share updates on rice technology
as well as the different services that are available for the farmers.
Coordinating Officer Johnny Ibanez led the panel which included
representatives from the National Food Authority, Office of the
Provincial Agriculturist and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.
Provincial Rice Program Coordinator Enrico Cinco served as the
moderator for the said forum.
“Does an old boys’ club exists?”
Chiz asks Senate
for a full-blown investigation on the P10-billion PDAF scam
By Office of Senator Chiz
July 15, 2013
CITY – A full blown inquiry into the alleged ten billion pesos
Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam is pushed in the
Senate by Senator Chiz Escudero once the 16th Congress opens next
Escudero filed Senate Resolution Number 40 (PSRN 40) directing the
Blue Ribbon committee to conduct an inquiry into the said scam
purportedly involving the Janet Lim-Napoles Group.
The scam was bared in an investigative report which showed how the
PDAF collectively known as pork barrel was released to dummy
non-government organizations through forgery, falsification and
“Accountability and transparency in government dictates that this
report must be quizzically looked into, not only for the
representatives of the people to clarify their respective positions,
if some may be involved, but to show to every Filipino as well that
neither sacred cows nor the notion of an “old boys’ club” exists in a
government working for change” Escudero explained in his resolution.
The senator, who has always espoused for a transparent and relevant
use of PDAF, said the scam is damaging to the country as a whole and
besmirching the names of all congressmen and senators in general.
“It has become a painful misconception that the PDAF is a cash
allocation given to congressmen and senators with unlimited discretion
to disburse and spend with neither constraints nor accountability. But
to the contrary, legislators do not handle the funds and implement the
projects. Their participation is but limited to the designation of
beneficiaries and identification of projects, and the implementation
is undertaken by government agencies concerned”.
Escudero said the designation of PDAF beneficiaries and how it
purportedly mutated into a multi-billion government racket or scam
allegedly by the Janet Lim-Napoles (JLN) Group of Companies must be
scrutinized and must see an end where legislative and preventive
measures are enacted to address this disturbing matter.
“We deserve no less as a people and as a nation, we have to make sure
that everyone adheres to the principles of good governance when it
comes to public funds. At the same time, we have a responsibility to
protect the integrity and reputation of the Senate as an institution
and as a pillar of our democracy. This should be non-negotiable” he
“Let the sovereign decide after due hearing and investigation whether
to hang the Sword of Damocles or not”.
Cayetano pushes for
reforms strengthening barangay units as frontliners of government
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter
July 15, 2013
PASAY CITY – “Government
reform should happen from the ground up.”
Sen. Alan Cayetano, in a
national radio interview, called for reforms to further enhance the
capabilities of the barangay – the most basic unit of government – if
the barangays are to be expected to effectively fulfill their mandate
in addressing the basic needs of their respective communities.
“Barangays are at the
forefront of public service. However, it is unfortunate that they are
still the most neglected sector in government. Many still lack the
necessary funds and resources to make them responsive and productive,”
said the senator.
In his consultations with
many barangay officials around the country during the campaign period
through his PTK Listening Tours, he said many have complained of the
severe lack of resources to improve their capabilities to serve the
basic needs of its constituents.
“For instance, barangay
officials alone are not provided the necessary benefits such as health
insurance and proper compensation. Our barangay tanods risk their
lives on a daily basis in order to maintain peace and order without
assurance of financial support in case of injuries or worse, death,”
said the senator stressing that government must provide them with
increased benefits as incentives for accomplishing their duties
“Then, barangay day care
workers in some provinces receive less than P1,500 as honoraria for
their services rendered. This amount is not even sufficient to
maintain a decent standard of living. In addition, they are expected
to shell out some of their own personal resources to fund the
operations of their respective offices because of lack of funding,” he
The senator also urged
Congress to work for policy reforms that will strengthen the
capabilities of barangay units as front liners in public service,
safety, and peace and order. “By exercising our oversight functions on
the local government code, we can identify provisions that must be
amended,” he said.
Cayetano said that basic
services such as medical and legal assistance as well as livelihood
and financial management seminars for poor families may be provided in
the barangay level.
He also pointed out that by
strengthening the people’s court, resolutions to domestic conflicts
can immediately be reached and thereby free our national police or the
higher courts from added workload.
"More importantly," he said,
"with the barangay as the effective front line unit, the whole
government bureaucracy will be in a better position to deliver reforms
addressing grassroot problems related to presyo, trabaho, kita (PTK)”