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CSC conducts orientation on elected officials in EV

PRO8 number 2 man promoted to star-rank

Chiz bats for cedula abolition

Soria orders manhunt vs. 3 pushers in buybust shoot-out

PRO8 anti-illegal gambling drive nets 7 persons

Waiver on secrecy tops Chiz’s filed bills for 16th congress

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

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

Newly registered associations await projects, assistance

PRO8 to honor election heroes


PRO8 honors men, units, partners on 112th Police Service Anniversary

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
August 20, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The recognition of notable achievements of police personnel and units in Eastern Visayas, to include partners in the community, highlighted this year’s celebration of the 112th Police Service Anniversary here on Tuesday.

“The celebration was not only an occasion to draw lessons and inspiration from our historic past as an organization but to honor the people who in their own way contributed time, tears and even blood for excellent service delivered during the past year, which coincidentally, just about the same time of my assumption into office as PRO8 Regional Director,” said PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria, the region’s top police official.

But while he took the opportunity to express gratitude to those who supported him in maintaining the tranquil peace and order situation in Eastern Visayas, the police official also called on his men to support him in ensuring a peaceful and orderly barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.

“While there has been a stable peace and order situation in Eastern Visayas, there is an impending big task ahead – the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections two months from now. You have been with me in the past twelve months that was highlighted by the peaceful conduct of the May midterm polls, I know you will not abandon me in our daunting but manageable task ahead,” the regional police chief added.

With the theme “Serbisyong Makatotohanan, Handog ng Pulisya sa Ating Pamayanan”, the celebration was graced with the presence of Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto, who represented Gov. Leopoldo Dominic Petilla, as Guest of Honor and Speaker.

Citations were awarded to the distinguished police offices and personnel from all over the region for excellent police service. In the field of police administration, achievement awards were given to PSSupt. Eusebio A. Mejos (Police Commissioned Officer Level) and SPO4 Pedro E. Austero, Jr. (Police Non-Commissioned Officer Level) while on police operations, cited were PSInsp. Jovie R. Espinido (PCO Level) and SPO4 Ananias C. Monteroso (PNCO Level).

For police criminal investigations, awarded were PCInsp. Santi Noel Matira (PCO Level) and SPO2 Leo A. Magpayo (PNCO Level) while in the field of general support, cited were NUP Charita M. Arriola (Supervisory Level) and NUP Rolando R. Nayra (Non-Supervisory Level).

Meanwhile, the unit awardees were the 2nd Regional Public Safety Maneuver Company of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (Campaign Against Insurgency); Samar Police Provincial Office (Arrest of Most Wanted Person); Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit 8 (Solution of Sensational Cases – National Operation Support Unit Level) and Catarman Municipal Police Station (Solution of Sensational Cases – MPS Level).

Special awards were also given to ABS-CBN Tacloban; Mr. Dalmacio Grafil and Mr. Vicente S. Labro, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Leyte-Samar Daily Express; Municipality of Javier, Leyte; 8th Infantry Division of Philippine Army; Samar Police Provincial Office and Regional Special Operations Task Group-Samar.

SPO3 Jorge B. Tiunayan and PO2 Agerico M. Afable (Posthumous) were also given Plaque of Merit for their conduct during the May 13 midterm elections.

The police service anniversary is celebrated in commemoration of the founding of the Insular Constabulary in August 8, 1901 under Commission Act No. 175 and the merging of Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC/INP) in August 8, 1975 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 765, both are forerunner organizations of the Philippine National Police.

In PRO8 however, the celebration was rescheduled to August 20 to give way for the celebration at the national headquarters last week.





Rights victims who won a favorable judgement in Hawaii clarifies position on the so-called recoveries from the sale of a Monet painting

August 19, 2013

QUEZON CITY – The Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), the organization of former political prisoners which initiated the filing of the historic class action suit for human rights violations against former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos and family, today welcomed the efforts of recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses to collect on the judgment of the Hawaii court.

To clarify, SELDA Chairperson Marie Hilao Enriquez, whose parents – Maximo and Celsa Hilao – are the lead plaintiffs in the historic suit, recalled that the Hawaii Court ruled in 1992 in favor of the victims; the ruling became final and executory in 1995; providing for a $2B exemplary and $776M compensatory damages for the Hawaii claimants. This meant that any recovery of Marcoses’ property by the Hawaii claimants’ lawyer, in this case, Atty. Robert Swift, can be undertaken to collect on the judgment imposed by the Hawaiian Court. Therefore, as long as the full judgment rendered by the Hawaii court has not been fully satisfied by the Marcoses, Atty. Robert Swift can identify Marcos’ illegal properties for the benefit of the Hawaiian claimants (meaning those who are included in the 9,539 victims validated by the Court in Hawaii.)

We welcome the news that the victims included in the Hawaii case, would benefit from the sale of a valuable painting that Imelda Marcos acquired during the martial law years. We recognize Atty. Robert Swift’s efforts to go after the Marcoses ill-gotten wealth to collect on the judgment of the Hawaii court. However, we would like to reiterate and remind Atty. Swift and other lawyers that before any settlement and distribution of monies from such takes place, the victims must be consulted; their views on such obtained as they have a right to know who this “secret buyer” is (for all the victims know, the buyer may also end up a Marcos) and what the provisions of the settlement are. Even if the Hawaii court determines the fairness of the settlement by asking the victims, the latter can only reply intelligently if they are well- informed of the agreements.

We also hope that the original 9,539 victims validated by the Court in 1994 will be included in the beneficiaries of the said recovery. We do not like a repeat of the 2011 so-called check distribution to the 7,526 victims “from the settlement agreement reached by Atty. Robert Swift and the Marcos crony Jose Yao-Campos for the 2 pieces of real estate properties in the US of Imelda Marcos.”

The 2011 check distribution disenfranchised 2,013 victims who seemed delisted arbitrarily by the lawyers in the Hawaii suit. We demand that the original list of 9,539 and NOT ONLY the 7,526 victims will benefit from this boasted sale of the Monet painting. As the judgment has not been fully satisfied yet and the lawyer can go on recovering or making settlement agreements with the Marcoses, we condemn the disenfranchisement of those delisted from the original 9,539. Even if the original claimants have died, they are still represented by their next of kin and families as well as other relatives.

Further, Enriquez asks, “I understood that the Hawaii class suit or the MDL-840 is a consolidated case of three groups who sued Marcos in the Hawaii Court in 1986. The three groups were the SELDA group of 9,539; the group of 21 Filipino expatriates in the US led by Vic Clemente and Fluellen Ortigas and the group of three of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the parents of the former representing his disappeared brother, Francisco Sison and Jose Piopongco, whose radio station was ordered confiscated by then Pres. Marcos. I understand that all three groups won the historic class action suit and therefore, all three must be included in any settlement agreement or recoveries to collect on judgment. That is why it is not only 9,539 victims who must benefit from the recovery of Marcos’ wealth but the three groups who won in the landmark case.”

Atty. Robert Swift and his co-counsels must be able to explain this to the victims and to the public as well. SELDA informs the public that any recovery of Atty. Swift to collect on the judgment of the Hawaii court pertains and will only benefit the claimants in the Hawaii case and not the entire list of martial law victims in the Philippines as covered by the recently-signed but unimplemented RA 10368 or Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.





1,987 persons nabbed, P70M worth of illegal fishing paraphernalia seized in one year in EV

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
August 15, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Almost 2,000 persons were arrested and around 70 million pesos worth of illegal fishing paraphernalia were confiscated as the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) stepped-up its campaign against illegal fishing in the seawaters surrounding Eastern Visayas in his one year stint as the region’s top cop, said PRO8 director PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria.

“Illegal fishing destroys breeding areas and eventually kills small fishes even before they reach maturity. Among the first directive we issued when I assumed post as regional director is the intensified enforcement of Philippine Fisheries Code and local ordinances protecting our marine environment,” Soria added.

The police official informed that from August 6 last year up to August 5 this year, his office has conducted 382 successful seaborne operations which resulted in the arrest of 1,987 persons and the confiscation of P69,600,449.00 worth of illegal fishing paraphernalia.

“A total of 13 cases for violation of RA 8550 were filed in court while others were meted with fines as prescribed by local ordinances,” he disclosed.

He informed that the most common fishing violations are “hulbot-hulbot”, trawl fishing, use of fine mesh nets, use of active gears and use of explosives.

“Illegal fishing practices have been slowly killing the fishing industry. Most of our once rich fishing grounds have been affected by rampant violations and we must put this into halt,” the police official averred.

Meanwhile, police authorities apprehended another fishing boat caught fishing illegally within the 15-kilometer municipal fishing zone in Brgy Victory, Abuyog town in Leyte on Thursday, Soria said.

The police official informed the fishing vessel, reportedly owned by Rolex Tausa with five crew members, was apprehended by a composite team from the Abuyog police station and Bantay Dagat at 2 p.m. while engaged in “pahulbot” fishing.

He said that aside from impounding the fishing vessel, the operator and crew members were also arrested and are now in the custody of the Abuyog police station for proper disposition.

Soria added that so far, 24 fishing boats were apprehended in Eastern Visayas for violating fishery laws since the start of August this year.





Non-abolition of pork barrel violates people’s rights to social services

August 15, 2013

QUEZON CITY – Karapatan today joined the call for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the so-called pork barrel, which includes the social fund of the President and local government officials.

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said that “the pork barrel is not only a source of corruption but it also violates the people’s rights to essential social services.”

“Instead of using the fund for education, health, housing and other services that will directly serve the people, it passes through another unnecessary layer, where unscrupulous politicians and their agents take advantage of, for their personal gains,” Palabay elaborated.

Karapatan also censured the position of Pres. Noynoy Aquino in favor of maintaining the pork barrel, despite growing public clamor for its abolition in the light of allegations involving corruption of P10 billion in government funds by Janet Napoles with the complicity of executive agencies, legislators and local governments.

“It is more infuriating to hear how the President downplayed the P89.2 million released by the Department of Agriculture, under his administration, to a bogus NGO, placing it in contrast to the P728 million fertilizer scam and other corruption scandals during the Arroyo regime. He desperately tries to portray his administration as the lesser evil,” Palabay commented.

Karapatan noted that Aquino used the same “lesser evil” logic with regards to his administration’s human rights record, in an attempt to tone down criticisms on continuing extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations under his government.

Palabay asserted that “even a single centavo stolen from the public coffer is still and, definitely is, corruption and a blotch on the “straight path” Aquino so often flaunts about; just as a single extrajudicial killing in his time is a smudge of blood on this path.”

“The Aquino government cannot be absolved by the mere lesser number or amount of corruption, neither by the mere lesser number or frequency of extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance. Its reaction on the pork issue is comparable to its promotion in rank of alleged perpetrators in the Burgos and Morong 43 cases, tolerating the perpetuation of impunity.”





PRO8 posted gains in anti-illegal drugs drive

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
August 14, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – A 28-year old jobless man is the latest addition to the list of drug personalities arrested by the police in Eastern Visayas as the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) posted significant gains in its anti-illegal drug accomplishments a year after the region’s top police official ordered an all-out war against illegal drugs.

PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria, PRO8 director, informed that agents of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group arrested a total of 191 persons since he issued a directive to intensify the anti-illegal drugs drive upon assuming post as the region’s top cop in August 6 last year.

“The series of operations resulted in the seizure of around 450 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu’ and 1.2 kilos of marijuana with an estimated market value of 5.4 million pesos,” Soria informed.

He added that a total of 171 cases were filed for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in different courts regionwide.

Soria attributed the achievement to the constant cooperation among law enforcement and other concerned government agencies and the active support and participation of the public to the anti-drug campaign.

On Tuesday, the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) arrested a known drug pusher in Catbalogan City in Samar at around 10:30 a.m. in a buybust operation at the vicinity of Brgy. 10 in Patag District.

Soria identified the suspect as one Mario Basa alias Awo, 28, married and a resident of Purok 1, Brgy. 10, Patag District of said city.

Basa was arrested by RSOG under PInsp. Constantino Jabonete, Jr. after selling one sachet of ‘shabu’ worth P1000 to a police poseur-buyer.

The police team was also able to confiscate from the suspect four heat-sealed plastic transparent sachet containing suspected “shabu” worth P3000 and the two pieces P500-bill used as buybust money with serial numbers SS203476 and VZ552091.

Suspect is currently detained at Catbalogan police station lock-up cell as drug charges is being prepared for filing against him while confiscated items were brought to the Regional Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory examination.

In light of the accomplishments, Soria assured the public that PRO8 will continue to conduct focus police operations against “high value targets” and strictly enforce the anti-illegal drugs law in the region.





Chiz presses rewards, protection policy for whistleblowers

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
August 14, 2013

PASAY CITY – To encourage and protect those who will step forward and expose graft and corruption and violations of law, Senator Chiz Escudero has filed Senate Bill No. 425 (SBN 425) which seeks to provide protection and benefits for whistleblowers.

“We are expanding the right of the whistleblower to choose which agency he wants to be admitted, which agency is he more comfortable with. The current witness protection law only empowers the DOJ to implement the program,” the senator said.

Under the measure, a qualified whistleblower is given the option to choose which implementing agency he intends to be admitted. The bill creates a Whistleblower Council which shall be headed by the Office of the Solicitor General and shall be composed of implementing agencies identified as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Ombudsman, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

SBN 425 likewise empowers both the Senate and the Congress to institute their own whistleblower’s program for resource persons appearing before their respective committees.

Informants who disclose graft and corruption, plunder, violation of code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees, and other abuse or neglect of duty of an agency, public servants and private entities are protected under the measure.

“We want to protect government informants even before they take the witness stand. This bill bestows a set of safeguards and benefits for witnesses aside from those provided under our existing law on such program.”

Section 18 of the proposed bill states that a “whistleblower shall not be subject to any liability whether administrative, civil, criminal for making such disclosure.” It frees the whistleblower from any claim or demand for making a disclosure. It also provides that no single evidence presented shall be used against the informant in court. However, in any case that a whistleblower commits any false or misleading disclosure, all protection shall be lifted.

Aside from security and protection, the bill also entitles the whistleblower to financial benefits such as an allowance equivalent to his daily basic financial requirement and a corresponding monetary reward equivalent to at least ten percent of the recovered amount or one million pesos, whichever is lower, as a result of his disclosure.

“By strengthening the protection of the citizen whose testimony is necessary and indispensable for the successful prosecution of a case, we also strengthen accountability and reduce corruption in the public and private sectors,” Escudero said.





Police chiefs told to make stations “presentable”

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
August 13, 2013

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The region’s top police official directed all chiefs in the region’s 146 police stations to maintain clean and presentable workplace and thus enhance public acceptance and perception of their office and the police personnel manning it.

“Aside from adherence to our ‘Tamang Bihis’ program, our men should also do their administrative works in clean and orderly stations, not in stinking places that add up to the public’s negative perception on us,” said Police Regional Office 8 director PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria.

Aside from conducting inspection on the readiness of their men against possible attack from NPA rebels, provincial and city police directors were ordered to personally check on the cleanliness and orderliness of PNP stations and other facilities inside and outside of their offices, Soria disclosed.

“We do not want to hear complaints from our clients of poorly maintained and untidy stations, police chiefs whose stations have stinking comfort rooms will be relieved from their posts,” he added.

The PRO8 has 136 municipal police stations, five city police stations and a total of 5 police stations under Tacloban and Ormoc City police offices.

The top police official also informed that the government has allocated some P170 million for the renovation and rehabilitation of old or dilapidated police stations nationwide.

Called “Oplan: Dignity,” the renovation program would cover around 1,700 police stations for a minimum of P100,000 each, the police regional director said, adding that the priority police stations subject to repairs would be those with dilapidated or worn out roofing, stinking toilets, poor lightings, and those that needs re-painting.

“The PNP leadership wants to bring dignity back to the PNP officers’ place of work and win public admiration,” Soria averred.





AFP P19.25M reward to “informers” a rip-off at the expense of people’s rights – Karapatan

August 13, 2013

QUEZON CITY – “The Armed Forces of the Philippines has no right to brag about the capture of ‘terrorist personalities and communist leaders’ through their so-called informants. It’s a shame that it spent P19.25 million of the nation’s money for capturing and torturing people like security guard Rolly Panesa and presenting him as “Benjamin Mendoza”, a high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines, for the prize of P5.6 million. It’s simply a rip-off, an organized racket,” commented Karapatan’s secretary general Cristina Palabay. Panesa has been in jail for 10 months now.

Palabay added, “the AFP committed the same violation to Oligario Sebas, a resident of Manjuyod, Negros Oriental who was also jailed because of the AFP’s claim that he is “Felimon Mendrez”, allegedly a CPP leader in Negros.” The AFP said Sebas had a P5.2 million on his head and was on the list of the Department of National Defense-Department of Interior and Local Government Joint Orders on Reward or Joint Order 14.2012. Sebas was released through a writ of habeas corpus.

Karapatan, in earlier statements, lambasted the Joint Order 14.2012 saying “it is no different from the secret hit list of Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya which resulted to thousands of cases of human rights violations ranging from illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearances and political killings.”

The said DND-DILG Joint Order was used to legitimize the enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention of Estelita T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant organizer and rural health worker in Misamis Oriental. Tacalan was reported missing on April 27 and was surfaced on May 7 at the Dipolog City Jail where she is currently detained.

“The DND-DILG’s secret hitlist should be scrapped as it has become the basis to arrest, detain, and torture people on false charges; or worse, disappeared or killed. The AFP should also be held accountable for squandering the people’s money to violate people rights. These acts confirms the AFP’s own admission that the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan is a failure” said Palabay.





TUCP lauds secretary De Lima & NBI for arrest of assistant prosecutor Solidum

August 13, 2013

QUEZON CITY – The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) commends Secretary Leila De Lima and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation for the arrest of Assistant Prosecutor Diosdado Solidum following extortion attempt on members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) last week.

“The arrest of Assistant State Prosecutor Diosdado Solidum Jr. just after receiving marked extortion money is a signal that there is indeed hope not just for workers harassed by legalese but also for cloutless ordinary people similarly oppressed specifically those who are about to give up because of our crooked our justice system. We commend Secretary Leila De Lima and the select NBI agents for demonstrating this unique brand of hope,” said lawyer Democrito Mendoza, TUCP president.

Mendoza added saying: “I sincerely hope that Secretary De Lima and other enlightened prosecutors will continue to demonstrate cleansing of the DOJ of the so-called “hoodlums in robe” and dismiss the charges filed against PALEA because this case is mere harassment against them right from the beginning.”

Mendoza said PALEA members have no regular means of income and have been living on subsistence for fighting contractualization work scheme in the Philippine Airlines since 2011.

Upon the orders of De Lima, NBI agents arrested Solidum Thursday last week in an entrapment operation in a Quezon City restaurant immediately after receiving marked money. Solidum allegedly asked for P2.5 million in exchange of dropping the alleged coercion charges pending against PALEA members at the Department of Justice.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered a filing of direct bribery case and violation of code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees.





K-12 champions Philippine languages, culture

August 12, 2013

CEBU CITY – The mother tongue-based multilingual education of the K-12 program allows efficient interactions between students and teachers in its second year of implementation.

“The use of the mother tongue as medium of instruction is very effective because students can interact with their teachers easily. Their familiarity to the language simplifies the processing of lectures,” Dr. Jolisa Arcilla, Department of Education (DepEd) representative from Lahug Elementary school, said during the August 10 episode of “Pagtuki”, the official radio program of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

Students have been enjoying their classes because they can associate with the language used in teaching, thus understanding becomes easier.

Arcilla stressed that children embrace their cultural identity when they realize that the school recognizes their mother tongue as it is used as the medium of instruction.

Dr. Angel Pesirla, linguist and professor of Cebu Normal University, sees the importance of using the mother tongue in dispelling a child’s misconception of his native language. Pesirla recalled that in the past, students are given the impression that English is the only medium of instruction in class and that speaking in their native tongue should be “penalized”, thus creating a sense of inferiority towards one's own language and developing inner conflict among students.

The implementation of the mother tongue-based multilingual education hopes to instil in schoolchildren appreciation and confidence towards local languages.

In an anthropological perspective, Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, RAFI’s Culture & Heritage executive director, explained that embracing one's native language makes it easier to advance to other mediums of instructions such as English and Filipino. For her, the stronger a cultural foundation is, the better the development becomes.

The mother tongue-based multilingual education introduces 12 languages to students in the school year 2012-2013. These languages are Bahasa Sug, Bikol, Cebuano, Chabacano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Meranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, and Waray.

In kindergarten, children begin with the readiness stage wherein oral fluency is focused. In Grade 1, students begin their reading and writing stage. From Grades 4 to 6, English and Filipino are gradually introduced as languages of instruction. Both will become primary languages of instruction in Junior High School and Senior High School.



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