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PRO8 arrests 8 more drug suspects in Eastern Visayas

Army troops return to Samar

13 former rebels receive livelihood assistance

DILG, Ormoc sign MOA; Business sector supports RSP-Enhanced BPLS

Region 8 nominee wins national search for Idol ng TESDA self-employed category

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

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


Soria orders stepped-up security measures as 76 rookie cops beef-up police stations

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 27, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Police Chief Superintendent Elmer R. Soria ordered much tighter security measures to thwart criminal elements from initiating illegal activities during the “Ber” months leading to the Christmas and New Year holidays and as the election period starts even as the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) deployed 76 rookie cops to augment the different urban police stations in the region.

“Focused-police operations must be initiated to reduce, if not prevent, index crimes such as robbery, theft, murder, homicide, physical injury and rape in your respective areas of responsibility as the yuletide season draws nearer and the election period starts,” Soria said in a directive.

He directed police chiefs, especially in urban areas, to utilize the 76 rookie policemen who were deployed Friday for the second phase of their training as Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs).

“Supervise these new policemen in law enforcement and public safety operations and in securing ‘soft targets’ such as airports, seaports, transport terminals, shopping malls, churches, schools and other places of convergence,” he added.

The 76 new policemen, belonging to “Katindig” (Kasanayan sa Tungkulin Inaalay na Diyos ang Gabay) class 2013 took their oath last March 4 and were part of the supplemental quota for the calendar year 2012 second semester Police Officer I (POI) recruitment program.

They just finished their mandatory Public Safety Basic Recruit Course (PSBRC) at the Philippine Public Safety College – Regional Training School 8 (PPSC-RTS8) and will undergo the 5-month Field Training Program (FTP) for the second phase of their training.

“They have just completed the academic phase of their training and they will now be exposed to actual police works in the field of investigation, traffic management and patrol operations,” the police official informed.

The on-FTP cops were distributed to different police offices and stations as follows: Tacloban City Police Office - 16; Ormoc City Police Office - 10; Calbayog City Police Station (CPS) - 10; Catbalogan CPS - 10; Baybay CPS - 5; Maasin CPS - 5; Borongan CPS - 5; Catarman, Palo and Naval Municipal Police Station (MPS) with 5 each station.

After their FTP, the rookie policemen will return to the training school for an evaluation before undergoing the 45-day Special Counter-Insurgency Operations Unit Training (SCOUT).

They will then render a two-year tour of duty at the Regional Public Safety Battalion 8 (RPSB8) and eventually will be downloaded to police stations.





Northern Samar’s No. 1 most wanted man captured

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 26, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The most wanted person in Northern Samar, tagged as a member of robbery gang operating in the area and neighboring provinces, was arrested by a police tracker team Tuesday evening.

PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria, Police Regional Office 8 director, identified the suspect as Dante Agas, 29, who was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Decoroso Turla of Branch 23 in Allen town also in Northern Samar.

Agas is facing charges for Robbery in Band under criminal case number A-2398 with a recommended bail of P100,000.00, Soria informed.

He added that a police tracker team from Northern Samar Police Provincial Office and Catarman police station led by PSInsp. Joy Leanza nabbed Agas in his hide-out in Brgy. Cervantes in Catarman at past 7:00 p.m.

“The suspect is believed to be one of those behind a number of armed robberies of establishments and is tagged as the province’ number one most wanted criminal,” the police official disclosed.

Meanwhile, in Maasin City, highway robbery suspect Jefred Rustila, 24, was collared in his hide-out in Sitio Kabining, Brgy. Tigbawon at past 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Soria informed that a police tracker team from Malitbog police station under PSInsp. Gracila Sabas arrested the suspect after receiving information from an informant on his whereabouts.

The lawmen were armed with an arrest warrant issued by Judge Ma. Daisy Gonzalez of RTC branch 25 in Maasin City.

The criminal case, docketed as number 12-11-3882, has a recommended bail of P50,000.00.

“The arrested wanted persons are currently under the custody of station lock-up cells pending return of warrant of arrest to the issuing court,” Soria said.

The police official earlier directed his men to intensify the campaign for the arrests of wanted criminals as the barangay elections draws nearer to prevent election-related incidents as some unscrupulous politicians might utilize them to advance their political interests.





UCCP “Stands Firm” to end the climate of Impunity in MEDIATION of civil suit with former President Arroyo

Press Release
September 26, 2013

QUEZON CITY – During the MEDIATION of their civil suit lodged against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, UCCP members and ecumenical friends held a prayer vigil at the front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice to express their prayers for justice.

“The families of UCCP pastors and leaders who have been extra-judicially killed pray for justice for our loved ones,” said Jophet Domingo, son of Rev. Raul Domingo who was brutally gunned-down on the street in Puerto Princessa, Palawan in 2005.

“It gives us strength to have the Church stand with us in our pursuit of justice. To be financially indemnified through this civil suit carries with it a message: what was done to our loved ones is an offense to society, an offense to humanity,” said Jophet Domingo.

“The UCCP General Assembly mandated this legal action in support of the victims of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, abduction and torture, and other serious human rights violations. We stand for the victims and we stand with their families who have also suffered greatly due to abhorrent, state-perpetrated human rights violations,” said Bishop Art Asi, South Luzon Jurisdictional Area.

GMA’s legal team tried to have the civil suit dismissed and even appealed the decision of the Honorable Judge Tita Marilyn Payoyo-Villordon of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court-Branch 224, at the Court of Appeals when she denied them.

“We are extremely thankful that the opposition’s motions filed at the Court of Appeals have been decided in our favor. The last decision from the Court of Appeals denied GMA’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the trial proceeding in the Regional Trial Court. Thus, here we stand, pressing for justice through the Philippine courts. Our faith compels us to demand accountability,” said Bishop Asi.

“As we go through the court-mandated process of MEDIATION, we are not hopeful that former President Arroyo intends to settle the case with us,” said Bishop Asi, in reference to today’s hearing.

The case lifts up 18 UCCP pastors and lay leaders who have been killed, 1 disappeared and believed killed, 3 persons ambushed and wounded, and at least 4 people abducted, illegally detained and tortured. The UCCP believes that the relentless persecution and brutalization of the Church – especially being labeled as “ENEMY OF THE STATE” for which former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is responsible – unjustly permitted for UCCP persons to be neutralized.

“UCCP martyrs deserve to be remembered for the service that they rendered to the Filipino people. My father Rev. Raul Domingo served as a pastor in financially poor areas. He also was a human rights defender. My father was a great man and we miss him dearly. He deserves justice, but we also want to do our part to stop this from happening to someone else’s father, husband, or child,” said Jophet Domingo.

“Extra judicial killings and human rights violations continue in the Philippines – the killings, abductions, and harassment have not ended. Even if the wheels of justice turn slowly, we will persist in our call for accountability. The courts must dare to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable and stop their heinous crimes. We stand firm for an end the climate of impunity,” said Bishop Asi.





RAFI Native Tree Nursery

September 26, 2013

CEBU CITY – The Native Trees Nursery of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) envisions to be a repository of the endemic trees in the Philippines as well as a venue of learning for students and professionals, especially environmentalists.

Over the years, the RAFI nursery has gained a lot of recognition from different agencies, including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

As of March 2013, the 8,000 sq. m. nursery houses 185 native tree species with an overall seedling total of 125,873. The propagation process of the nursery depends upon the availability of seeds and wildlings.

Among these species, the following have the highest seedling count: tsa, puso-puso, lanutan, amugis/sambolauan, malaruhat, bakan, kulatingan, nato, banilad, and malabakhaw. These are species available throughout the year.

The flowering season of trees vary per specie. The dipterocarp species, for instance, only flowers once in seven years. Examples of which are the Philippine mahogany group, which comprises of the following: white lauan, red lauan, mayapis, apitong, palosapis, narig, quisumbing, gisok, almon, yakal, yakal-malibato, guijo, manggachapui, mangasinoro, and yakal-kaliot. This group is also one of the nursery's best-sellers.

Its other best-selling seedlings include kaningag (also known as Cebu cinnamon, which is only found in Cebu); narra; molave; and other premium hardwood, fruit trees such as nangka, guyabano, and caimito which are classified as dipterocarp species.

The species found in the nursery were collected from across the country. Last March, four new species, namely Palawan cherry, tindalo, lychee, and magkono were purchased from a nursery in Bohol.

To further promote its environmental advocacy, RAFI dreams to be the first to create a living plant museum in the Philippines.

At present, RAFI's Native Tree Nursery awaits for a site development plan that will commence its renovation. It also eyes collecting more species and adding them to the nursery’s inventory.





PRO8 to impose 45-day poll gun ban effective Sept. 28

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 25, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) will impose a 25-day gun ban throughout the region in relation with the forthcoming Barangay elections on October 28.

election gun banPCSupt. Elmer R. Soria informed that the implementation of the firearms ban will start on Saturday, September 28 up to November 12 or 30 days before and 15 days after the elections.

“With the gun ban, all permits to carry firearms outside residence issued by the Philippine National Police to civilian gun owners are suspended, meaning, licensed gun holders with PTCFOR are prohibited from bring their firearms outside their homes,” the police official said.

Exempted in the ban are regular members or officers of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the government in proper uniform that are duly deputized in writing by the Comelec.

Soria ordered the setting up checkpoints in strategic places to strictly impose the gun ban during the election period and for police chiefs to closely coordinate with the Commission on Elections and their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the matter.

The police official further informed that based on the Comelec Resolution No. 9735, all gun ban exemptions issued in connection with the last May 13 national and local elections shall be recognized as valid for purposes of the Barangay and SK elections.

The gun ban will be implemented through the conduct of checkpoint operations in strategic places, operation bakal/sita, implementation of search warrants, police response and intelligence-driven operations, Soria added.

During the 6-month gun ban in connection with the May 2013 midterm elections, the PRO8 had arrested 186 violators wherein majority are civilians at 177 while 3 are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 6 security guards.

Of the figure, 22 violators were arrested in checkpoint operations, 106 during police responses, 19 during the implementation of search warrants, 7 during the service of arrest warrants and 32 during the conduct of focused police operations.

Meanwhile, of the 155 firearms confiscated, 58 are high-powered and 97 are low-powered, and 151 criminal charges were filed in different courts throughout the region.

Authorities also seized 16 hand grenades, 54 other explosives, 5 firearm replicas, 67 bladed weapons and 1200 rounds of different ammunition.





Leyte councilor nabbed for running “tupada” operation

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 24, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – A town councilor is in hot water after being caught in the act allegedly running an illegal cockfighting operations by the Regional Special Operations Group recently.

Arrested was one Robert Veloso, incumbent councilor of Villaba, a third class municipality some 100 kilometers east, one hour and 20-minute drive from Tacloban City, Eastern Visayas’ regional capital.

PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria, director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) said that Veloso was the alleged operator of “tupada”, an illegal form of cockfighting, which was held at Brgy. Silad of same town and was arrested by authorities in a raid conducted by RSOG led by PInsp. Eric Constantino at around 5:15 p.m Saturday.

During the operation, operatives confiscated two red fighting cocks, two blades or “bulang” and a scabbard for blade.

Tupada is illegal because it is not conducted in a place especially designed for fighting cocks like licensed cockfighting arenas or coliseums where cock fighting must be held and is held normally in a secret place where the players will just meet at an agreed day and time.

Veloso was brought to Villaba Police Station for documentation and temporary safekeeping while a case for violation of Presidential Decree No. 449 or the Cockfighting Law of 1974 is being prepared against him.

“While cockfighting is a popular traditional and customary form of recreation and entertainment among the Warays, it should not be made as a tool of uncontrolled or illegal gambling especially if those involved are government officials,” Soria said.

Meanwhile, four more persons were arrested, including a 36-year old jobless woman, soliciting bets for “swertres”, an illegal numbers game, Sunday evening in separate operations in Maasin City, Eastern Samar and Leyte.

Yves Poricallan was nabbed in an anti-illegal gambling operation at Purok San Pedro, Brgy. Ibarra at around 8:30 p.m. by a police team led by SPO4 Alan Calapre.

At past 7:00 p.m., Marlon Catugda, 35 and Ernesto Cabacaba, 42 were arrested by elements of Giporlos police station led by PInsp. Yvan Frank Gabornes and 1st Regional Public Safety Management Company led by PInsp. Christopher Pangue in Giporlos town in Eastern Samar while at around the same time, Zosimo Maureto, 55 was nabbed by a police team led by PSInsp. Eddie Esidera at Brgy. Hinabuyan, Villaba town in Leyte.

A total of P2,020.00 in cash bet were confiscated from the suspects together with several illegal gambling paraphernalia and three units single motorcycles.

Suspects were detained at apprehending police station lock-up cell as charges for Republic Act 9287 or Illegal Numbers Game are being prepared against them.

As this developed, Soria has ordered all his police chiefs to run after illegal gamblers in the region, not only those employed in “swertres” but also those involved in other forms of illegal gambling such as sakla, cary y cruz and tong-its.





Influx of illegal Chinese workers taking Filipinos’ jobs in construction alarming – TUCP

September 24, 2013

QUEZON CITY – The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the largest labor center in the country, is alarmed over reports of growing number of Chinese nationals illegally working as construction workers in the country and its implication to employment opportunities for Filipino workers.

"As vanguards of Filipino workers' rights and well-being, the TUCP is gravely concerned over reports of foreigners, notably, Chinese nationals, particularly in the construction industry, allegedly working without the required government working permit. This phenomenon has very serious adverse implications not only in the local construction industry but also in the current unemployment and underemployment situation in the country. If this phenomenon is not addressed immediately, it will undermine the entire job security in our country," said Gerard Seno, executive vice president of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).

He said the TUCP learned that more than 3,000 Chinese are currently working illegally in Bataan and in Batangas provinces under multinational private contractor.

The scheme is proliferating with unscrupulous foreign contractors circumventing the law by applying for 300 work permits but actually employs hundred other foreign workers. Weak enforcement and lack of enforcers of labor laws allows the issue to persist.

"The gravity of the situation calls for the Bureau of Immigration, the municipal and city mayors, and the regional labor officers to step in and assert government power and authority the soonest time possible. We call on government agencies to enforce immigration and labor laws not only to protect Filipino workers but also free the Chinese nationals from the bondage of this worst form of modern-day slavery," Seno added.

Foreign nationals who intend to work in the country must first secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment, the Bureau of Immigration and the Professional Regulatory Commission. If the skill they applied for is unavailable in the labor market and if applicant's reputation is without question, foreigners who wish to work may be given the AEP.





Greenpeace report shows how RE could lift ASEAN nations out of poverty and halt dangerous carbon emissions

September 24, 2013

BALI, Indonesia – Greenpeace Southeast Asia today launched a comprehensive report that illustrates how renewable energy could benefit the economies and save the climate environments of the 10-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Presented during the 31st ASEAN Ministers of Energy meeting, the Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable ASEAN Energy Outlook highlights the socio-economic impacts of renewable energy and proposes the pathway to ensure ASEAN’s energy security and economic stability in the long run.

“The deteriorating climate should be ASEAN’s top concern, given that the region is experiencing frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to climate change caused by carbon emissions,” said Amalie H. Obusan, Regional Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. "The ASEAN region, with its rapid pace of economic and population growth should play an important role in this global solution as the E[R] report clearly shows that a low carbon development path is possible.”

Jointly commissioned by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council from the German Space Agency (DLR) and regional scientists, the Energy [R]evolution outlines some of the key results on renewable electricity generation, where new renewables like wind, solar photo voltaic and geothermal energy could comprise 70% of the total electricity generation by 2050.

In fact, the report illustrates the democratization of energy production - previously power was only generated by a few big owners, but now hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people can become their own energy providers. With solar panels, poor Southeast Asian communities - which have had no access to electricity - can now generate power to light up their homes.

The Energy [R]evolution also gives projections on ASEAN’s future investment prospects (US$ 2,752 billion), fuel cost savings (US$ 2,698 billion), job generation potential (1.1 million in 2030) which could flow if green energy is adopted.

“There is already a strong global movement for reducing the dependency on fossil fuels by increasing the share of renewable energies,” said lead author Sven Teske, Renewable Energies Director at Greenpeace International. “The ASEAN countries have more than enough natural resources to become a leading player for clean, renewable energies. Renewable energies are more competitive than coal, utilize indigenous local resources and create more employment. Using more renewables is now an advantage for the economy, not a burden, and reduces their dependence on dirty, imported fossil fuels like oil and coal.

Greenpeace also said that the future of renewable energy development in the ASEAN region will depend strongly on the political will of its member governments. By choosing renewable energy, coupled with far-reaching energy efficiency measures, ASEAN will be able to contribute to stabilizing global carbon emissions while at the same time achieving the economic growth that it rightfully deserves.

“Climate change is a wholesale problem requiring wholesale solution, one that needs the absolute cooperation of every nation in the region,” said Obusan. “For the sake of a sound environment, political stability and thriving economies, now is the time for ASEAN to commit to a truly secure and sustainable energy future – one built on genuinely clean technologies, economic development and the creation of hundreds of thousands of green jobs”.





VP Binay hopes ASEAN seafarer's training will help mariners vs. piracy

By OVP Media
September 24, 2013

MANILA – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay is hopeful that the First Expanded Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Seafarers’ Training - Counter Piracy (EAST-CP) Workshop, which began Monday, will help prepare civilian mariners to respond to acts of piracy.

“I am confident that this seminar/workshop will meet the overall goal of improving the preparedness of our seafarers to threats and consequences of piracy through targeted exposure to education and training in a cooperative approach between ASEAN countries, the United States (US) and representatives of the International Maritime Organization,” the Vice President said as he opened the workshop.

“When I received the request to open this workshop, my reply was an immediate affirmative, for this is the kind of program that reflects the call of my office to secure the welfare of OFWs, including our ever-reliable seafarers,” Binay, the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, added.

He said the workshop was organized jointly by the US and the Philippines, pursuant to the 7th East Asia Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last year, and is the first of its kind to build capacity and promote cooperation on maritime security issues.

The Vice President added that the workshop is modeled after similar initiative of the US and the Philippines made in 2009.

“Now, we have expanded that initiative to include our ASEAN neighbors in the hope that this will ripple across the whole seafaring industry in the region to help improve seafarer preparedness against threats of piracy and possible hostage situations, more so given the fact that most seafarers victimized by piracy are from ASEAN countries,” he said.

“I am especially glad that this seminar/workshop focuses on the psycho-social needs of seafarers in dealing with surviving captivity and other post-capture and release issues,” he added.

Binay said acts of piracy have created new challenges on training and educating seafarers and those who are responsible for their welfare, with maritime schools recognizing that effective education and training are priority agenda in protecting the lives of seafarers.

“I am glad that in preparing our seafarers with counter-piracy measures, we have as partners the US Maritime Administration, the US State Department, the US Mission to ASEAN, and the US Embassy here in Manila headed by His Excellency Harry Thomas, who are all with us today,” he said.

“The welfare of men and women at sea is something that is and should always be close to our hearts. For each person who braves the seas is more than a sailor. Each one is a provider seeking to build a better future for his family and loved ones,” the Vice President added.



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