Gil Carandang, the Father of Organic Farming explained how
vegetables grow with organic farming technique.
LBP farming program
seen to fully benefit former rebels in Leyte
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
March 1, 2014
KANANGA, Leyte – Lt.
Col. Nedy Espulgar, commanding officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion
commends the prime movers of LANDBANK Countryside Development
Foundation Incorporated and said its program will fully benefit former
rebels in Leyte.
This after attending the
follow up workshop on “Sustainable Integrated Organic and Natural Mini
Farm Program” held at Blanco Farm, So. Marag-ing, Brgy. Lemon,
Capoocan, Leyte on Friday, February 28.
Lt. Col. Espulgar was among
the 81 participants of the workshop, to include the 15 former rebels
which the military had been assisting since they (former rebels)
surfaced back to the folds of the law.
The workshop provides
opportunities to the participants to learn more on organic farming
techniques especially to former rebels who had been accustomed to
primitive farming methods.
The workshop was facilitated
by Mr. Gil Carandang, the country’s “Father of Organic Farming” and
Land Bank Director Domingo Diaz.
According to Mr. Carandang,
organic farming will free, even small farmers from the burden of
rising prices of basic commodities.
“Small farmers can even
utilize their backyards in this farming method.” Carandang stressed.
On top of these, the
military is hopeful that the program will last so as to benefit more,
not just the farmers but also the former rebels who had long denounced
the bloody armed struggle.
Procter & Gamble
brings rainforest destruction into bathrooms, says Greenpeace
February 26, 2014
MANILA – Procter & Gamble, which makes Head & Shoulders, is sourcing
palm oil from companies connected to orangutan habitat clearance in
Indonesia, making consumers part of a widespread forest destruction
scandal. That's according to findings from a year-long investigation
by Greenpeace International. The findings also reveal that current
sourcing policies of the personal care company also expose its supply
chain to forest fires and habitat destruction that is pushing the
Sumatran tiger to the edge of extinction.
Palm oil is a common ingredient in detergents, shampoos, cosmetics and
other household goods that P&G manufactures.
“The makers of Head & Shoulders need to stop bringing rainforest
destruction into our showers. It must clean up its act and guarantee
its customers that these products are forest-friendly. Procter &
Gamble should follow the lead of other palm oil using companies like
Unilever, Nestlé and L’Oréal, which have already promised to clean up
their supply chains,” said Bustar Maitar, head of the Indonesian
Forest campaign at Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace found that orangutan habitat was being cleared in
plantations linked to P&G’s supply chain. Land used for palm oil
cultivation owned by the BW Plantation Group, a company connected to
P&G’s supply chain, also correlates with the deaths and burials of
orangutans next to the Tanjung Puting National Park. In other cases,
Greenpeace documented ongoing forest clearance within the concessions
of two producers known to directly supply P&G.
“We’ve been confronting P&G over the last eight months with how it’s
exposing consumers to forest destruction. Instead of taking urgent
action, the company has been greenwashing its actions. It’s time P&G
committed 100% to forest protection and stopped making its customers
part of the Sumatran tiger’s extinction,” said Areeba Hamid, Forest
Campaigner at Greenpeace International.
Companies without strong policies to cut deforestation from their
products are exposed to illegal practices in high-risk areas, like the
province of Riau in Sumatra. An example of this is the PT RokanAdi
Raya concession, which includes tiger habitat plus forested deep peat,
and which experienced large-scale forest clearance and uncontrolled
fires last year. In June 2013, over 150 fire hotspots were recorded
within this concession. Many of P&G’s palm oil suppliers ship from Dumai, the main port of Riau province.
“Greenpeace believes the palm oil industry must make a genuine
contribution to Indonesia’s development. Progressive palm oil
producers in the Palm Oil Innovation Group, along with ambitious
commitments from big palm oil players GAR and Wilmar, prove that there
is a business case for responsible palm oil. There is no excuse for
companies like P&G, Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate Palmolive to delay
immediate action on deforestation,” said Bustar Maitar.
Indonesia's forests are being destroyed, with areas bigger than nine
Olympic swimming pools disappearing each minute. Palm oil is the
biggest driver of forest destruction. Through a global campaign
launched today, Greenpeace is demanding that Procter & Gamble end its
role in forest destruction.
Locally, Greenpeace is encouraging Filipino consumers to sign “Protect
Paradise,” an online petition calling on companies like P&G to
guarantee forest and tiger-friendly products in an effort to stop the
further destruction of some of Southeast Asia’s remaining forests. Netizens can sign the petition by logging on to
Cayetano calls for
daily trials for pork scam
By Office of the Senate
February 26, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senate
Majority Leader Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano is pushing for
daily trials to be held on the P10-billion pork barrel scam through
the designation of special criminal courts by the Supreme Court.
“Isang pwedeng maging legacy ng ating Supreme Court ngayon ay ang
pagsasagawa ng continuous trial nang mapabilis ang hearing ng lahat ng
ito pag nakarating ito sa korte,” Cayetano said.
The senator issued the call amidst concerns and fears that political
affiliations and loyalties may render meaningless all of the efforts
of the present administration in weeding out graft and corruption in
government, particularly the case filed by the Department of Justice
(DOJ) against those involved in the pork barrel scandal.
Earlier, Vice President Jejomar Binay – a declared presidential
aspirant – issued statements belittling the DOJ’s efforts in going
after those involved in the pork barrel scam, some of whom are his
staunch allies in the opposition.
Cayetano said Binay’s statements are raising fears from the ranks of
the pork scam whistleblowers and state witnesses that the case might
be abandoned once he wins as president.
“Ang iba, inaasahan nila na magkakaroon ng change of administration in
2016. Tapos ang nakaupo doon ay maglalagay ng DOJ at ng NBI officials
na hindi sing-init ngayon. Huwag mong sasabihin na itong mga akusado
ay walang pera at walang political clout,” he said.
“Ang akusado, lalo kung malaki ang pera, malaki ang impluwensya.
Nasasakripisyo ang hustisya sa politika.”
Cayetano said that the unfortunate reality is that the administration
of justice in the country moves at a glacial pace, and the resolution
of the pork barrel scandal case, if it even reaches the courts, might
go beyond 2016.
“Ang ating hustisya sa bansa ay napakabagal. Katulad ng Ampatuan
massacre, after four years, wala pang nangyayari. Halos isang taon na
ang rebelasyon ng PDAF scam, pero wala pang formally na nakakasuhan sa
korte,” he said.
“The longer it takes, the more you give the powerful the chance to
Continuing protest vs. PNoy-created
HR Victims Claims Board
certiorari at SC, demands nullification of Gen. Sarmiento’s
appointment to Human Rights Victims Claims Board
February 25, 2014
QUEZON CITY – On the
occasion of the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power I, Martial
Law victims led by former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo filed a
petition today asking the Supreme Court to nullify the appointment of
PNP Gen. Lina Castillo-Sarmiento as chairperson of the Human Rights
Victims Claims Board, the formation of which Pres. BS Aquino announced
on February 13, 2014.
Petitioners include martial
law victims namely Former Bayan Muna Rep.Saturnino Ocampo, Bayan Muna
Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, Dr. Maria Carolina P. Araullo, Trinidad
Repuno, Tita Lubi and Josephine Dongail. All of them belong to the
almost 10,000 Martial Law victims awaiting recognition as stated in
Republic Act 10368, or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and
Recognition Act of 2013 signed into law by Pres. BS Aquino.
According to RA 10368,
members of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board should possess the
following qualifications: 1) must be of known probity, competence and
integrity; 2) must have a deep and thorough understanding and
knowledge of human rights and involvement in efforts against human
rights violations committed during the regime of former President
Ferdinand E. Marcos; 3) must have a clear and adequate understanding
and commitment to human rights protection, promotion and advocacy.
“We want to mark it in our
history that never again shall we allow perpetrators of human rights
violations go unpunished. Letting a Martial Law relic head the Human
Rights Victims Claims Board is a betrayal of that purpose. We shall
exhaust any legal remedy available so that justice may be served,”
The petition for certiorari
concluded that “It is more than an issue of trust between the Human
Rights Claims Board and the human rights victims. It is greater than
ensuring confidence in the system supposedly envisioned to bring about
justice. It is beyond the integrity of the process of arriving at the
compensation to be awarded and the standards to be used in determining
compensability and linking it to the rightful beneficiaries. The sum
total of these values, though important, does not adequately address
the issue against appointing a former police general to head the Human
Rights Claims Board.
The petition said, “The
human rights victims are not beggars and are not concerned merely with
seeking compensation for themselves for past and continuing
atrocities. Compensation is a component of justice. Re-writing the
history of human rights violations during the martial law regime is
the bigger picture. By appointing a former police general to head the
Human Rights Claims Board, the President is practically exonerating
the entire system that perpetrated the abuses, justified their
occurrence, and concealed them with a veneer of impunity.”
The counsels of the
petitioners are from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
namely Attys. Edre Olalia, Julian Oliva, Ephraim Cortez and Minerva
A number of Martial Law
victims gathered infront of the Supreme Court to support the filing of
PBSP, DepEd to
build disaster-resilient classrooms with donors
By REGGIE MARIE B. BARRIENTOS
February 22, 2014
CEBU CITY – More than
5,900 school children in different parts of the Visayas will soon
receive new classrooms donated by international organizations and
companies in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social
Progress (PBSP) and Department of Education (DepEd).
With more than P137 million
pooled for this effort, PBSP will be rebuilding 132 disaster-resilient
classrooms in the provinces of Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo and Capiz.
The project aims to assist
DepEd in addressing the classroom backlog of the country, which
worsened when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country last November 2013.
DepEd has gathered that
close to 4,600 classrooms were totally destroyed post-Yolanda while
over 13,000 classrooms badly needed repairs. In Leyte, 1,706
classrooms were totally damaged and collapsed affecting 186,617
students while in northern Cebu, 357 classrooms are totally damaged
while 1,832 classrooms needed repairs.
classroom school building costs around P1.3 million and is designed to
withstand a 5.2-magnitude earthquake and a wind speed of 250
kilometers per hour. It is elevated at least one meter from the ground
and contains a cemented roof deck instead of an angled roof. Stairs
are provided at the center of the building to provide access to the
roof deck in case of emergency flooding while ramps and wider doors
are also included in the building design to be friendly with persons
Aside from being
disaster-resilient, the school buildings include furniture and safe
water and both male and female toilet facilities.
Donors supporting PBSP in
the classroom project include the Australian Agency for International
Development (AUSAID), Epson Precision (Philippines) Inc., Telus
International Philippines Inc., China Trust Banking Corporation,
Mondelez International Inc., Intel Philippines, Felta Multi-Media
Inc., Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc., International Container
Terminal Services Inc., PHINMA Corporation and YesPinoy Foundation.
PBSP plans to turn over at
least 67 classrooms within the year while all classrooms donated by
AUSAID will be completed by 2015.
PBSP is the largest
corporate-led social development foundation in the country, with over
240 companies as members. After Typhoon Yolanda swept the Visayas and
displaced more than four million people and destroyed over one million
houses, PBSP was able to raise more than PHP 13 million and provided
20,378 households in Cebu, Leyte and Eastern and Western Samar with
relief goods and hygiene and comfort kits.
Aside from providing
classrooms, PBSP will also distribute more than 1,000 shelter repair
kits and provide various livelihood and enterprise programs in the
Visayas as part of its Yolanda early recovery and rehabilitation plan.
DOST, Ortigas, Habitat
for Humanity join forces to build climate-adaptive houses
February 22, 2014
MANILA, Philippines —
Property developer Ortigas & Co., in partnership with the Department
of Science and Technology (DOST) and Habitat for Humanity, launches a
landmark campaign post-Yolanda that is deemed to lead the future of
climate-adaptive housing in the Philippines.
The project dubbed Build Forward was born out of the tripartite
agreement to design a house and school building prototype that will
stand the test of time and of the elements for the resettlement sites
of Habitat for Humanity. With Ortigas & Co. lending its resources and
the technical guidance of DOST, this design would be sourced from no
less than the country’s young talents.
“Ortigas is an 83-year old property developer. We have seen the trends
in construction and architecture. We have seen the needs of the people
change from the day we started developing some of our subdivisions
back in the 1970s until today. And today, as seen in the devastating
effects of Typhoon Yolanda, Filipinos need something radically
different, which is climate adaptive infrastructure,” says Joey
Santos, General Manager of the Real Estate Division, Ortigas & Co.
Engaging young talent
Build Forward activates a nationwide design competition for
architecture students enrolled in a Philippine college or university.
Their challenge is to work on a house and school design with three
considerations: durability, cost, and construction time, using locally
sourced and readily available materials. The proposed design should be
strong enough to withstand an intensity eight earthquake and wind
gusts of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
Ortigas highlights the parameters of the design: The house should be
at least 36 square meters with two bedrooms, one toilet and bath,
kitchen, and living space. Construction time should be a month and a
half within a budget of P200,000.00. The school building should have
four classrooms and one toilet and bath with a minimum area of 63
square meters per classroom. Construction time should just be two
months with a budget of P1,200,000.00, with the design allowing
versatility for the school to become an evacuation center in times of
From the entries culled between January to March 28, five designs
would be chosen to undergo a wind tunnel test, supervised by DOST, that
imitates the conditions during Yolanda. This January, Ortigas has
officially opened an online registration facility (www.buildforward.com.ph)
for the full set of mechanics.
Habitat for Humanity will be using the winning design for the
construction of the houses in Yolanda-ravaged areas. It has a target
to build 30,000 core houses and distribute 30,000 shelter repair kits
in the next three years.
“Suppose each core house would cost about P200,000, Habitat would be
needing at least P6-billion to meet the construction target. It’s a
tough mission for us, but we are glad to have some corporate partners
like Ortigas & Co. who are willing to lend their resources and
expertise,” says Charlie Ayco, CEO and General Manager of Habitat for
“We are determined to make a lasting commitment in this program and
the rebuild initiatives because apart from helping our countrymen, we
are also investing in the future of design,” concludes Santos.
Ortigas & Co. is the developer behind some of the country’s well-loved
residential and retail destinations such as Greenhills Shopping
Center, Tiendesitas, Capitol Commons, Frontera Verde, Circulo Verde,
Greenmeadows, and the Greenhills Subdivisions.
For more information, visit www.buildforward.com.ph, like Build
Forward on Facebook, or follow its twitter handle @BuildForwardPH.
Yolanda survivors shows Lacson as unfit, Aquino’s rehab plan as bogus
By People Surge
February 21, 2014
TACLOBAN CITY – The
alliance of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors said today that
reconstruction head Panfilo Lacson's redbaiting of them shows that the
Aquino government has no one capable in charge of rebuilding, and that
its plan itself is bogus. “Lacson's smearing of the Yolanda survivors
is rubbing salt into our wounds and should not be dignified with a
response,” said Dr. Efleda Bautista, storm survivor and convenor of
Dr. Efleda Bautista adds,
“He does not respond promptly but engages in smear campaign rather
than take accountability with the government’s snail-paced response on
legitimate issues raised by Yolanda survivors. He is in effect turning
his back against his own statement that his office, achieving not even
ten percent of the target, is a lame duck in the face of Aquino’s
government callousness during the first 100 days from Yolanda’s wreck
in Eastern Visayas.”
“It is also unseemly for the
Aquino government to question the motives of Bayan and its associates
in helping the Yolanda survivors, when the support of everyone willing
to help in a time of humanitarian crisis is welcome. Moreover, it is
not Bayan or People Surge alone that has criticized the Aquino
government response to Yolanda, but also the international community
including the United Nations, because everyone is interested that the
administration get its act together in the common goal of helping the
Dr. Efleda also responded to
Lacson that it was not the Yolanda survivors who were destabilizing
the country but the Aquino government itself. “Eastern Visayas has
been left in a state of socio-economic ruin. The major cash and staple
crops are devastated. The people lost homes and livelihood and face
looming starvation. But the government reconstruction plan is not
addressing basic problems. Such as recovery in agriculture, on which
most of the people depend, and where the losses in the region alone
amount to P65 billion while the government reconstruction estimate is
P18.7 billion for all affected regions.
“Meanwhile, the government
reconstruction plan is throwing away hundreds of billions of pesos on
construction contracts, which will be grabbed up by corrupt officials
and big business cronies. What comes next to that? Just this week, we
tried to initiate a dialogue with the President but he responded with
arrogance and rejection even before reading our petition. Who is now
destabilizing the country by aggravating the socio-economic crisis,
worsening corruption in the government, and putting private profit
over public service?”
Dr. Efleda called on the
Aquino government to listen to the people and to dump the incapable
Panfilo Lacson, as well as come up with a genuine and transparent
recovery plan led by capable administrators and conscientious in
Chiz: Repeal all
libel provisions in PH laws
By Office of Senator Chiz
February 20, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero is pushing anew for the passage of proposals he put
forward to decriminalize libel, including online libel which
constitutionality was upheld early this week by the Supreme Court.
Escudero has first put the
proposal in 2007 to decriminalize libel and the provisions that define
and penalize libel under Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
And now that the High
Tribunal has ruled on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 10175
or the Cyrbercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Escudero saw the need to
pass his proposed legislation seeking to repeal laws that consider
libel a criminal offense in order to guarantee freedom of expression.
“The Philippines, as a
country deemed democratic and developing, cannot rest on its
antiquated laws that run detrimental and contrary to the exercise of
freedom,” Escudero said. “Decriminalizing libel accords greater
protection to freedom of speech and expression.”
He added: “If we take away
the threat of fear of incarceration and restraint of liberty, we
encourage a strong print media to continuously provide a mechanism
that promotes transparency over the excesses of government and other
According to Escudero, the
existence of libel in Philippine laws is hurting the country’s global
press freedom ranking, which has dropped in recent years from 147 out
of 179 countries in 2013 and 140 in 2012 based on the World Press
Last year, the senator
introduced Senate Bill No. 126 to amend the cybercrime law by removing
its online libel provision. In Senate Bill No. 127, which Escudero
reintroduced, he is seeking anew the repeal of Article 355 of the RPC
to decriminalize libel committed by writing, printing, airing on radio
or any similar means.
Escudero said the two
proposed bills, while seeking to scrap criminal penal provisions, did
not completely remove the remedies provided under existing laws
against media abuse and irresponsible reports.
“I respect the decision of
the High Court but there still lies a pressing need to pass the
amendments removing the criminal provisions of libel as a crime.“
These bills are only consistent with my long-time position to
decriminalize libel from our statutes and just retain civil
liabilities just so we also ensure that the exercise of our freedom of
expression comes with equal responsibilities,” Escudero said.
With SC decision on cybercrime
will be used vs. protesting public – Karapatan
February 19, 2014
QUEZON CITY –
Karapatan today said that like extrajudicial killing, enforced
disappearance, illegal arrest and detention and, other human rights
violations, “The libel provision in the cybercrime law will most
likely be used against those who criticize BS Aquino’s anti-people
policies and programs and those who expose corruption and rights
“If such would be the case, BS Aquino’s lies and spins used to cover
up the country’s real situation should also be subject of libel for
they are far more disastrous to the Filipino people,” said Karapatan
secretary general Cristina Palabay.
Lies and spins, such as the hype on country’s economic growth and
development, according to Palabay “prevent us from looking deeper into
the roots of poverty, coming out with the right solutions and plan of
action. Such lies serve as blinders and prevent the people from
pursuing the real path to development.”
“Lies and spins on the benefits of the privatization of our health
services to provide would only kill the poor people who will be
deprived of the health care they deserve; Lies and spins such as
claiming that the Public-Private Partnership program would uplift the
lives of the poor are likewise libelous,” added Palabay.
Karapatan was among the organizations who filed a petition for a
Temporary Restraining Order at the Supreme Court, saying that the law
“poses serious threats to the right to privacy, freedom of speech and
expression, among other civil and political rights.”
The rights group also criticized the law for its “implications on the
work of human rights defenders, as this further impedes on our right
to articulate the facts on the human rights situation that we gather
on the ground and our analyses on the situation.”
On October 8, 2012, Karapatan submitted a complaint before the United
Nations, through Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and
Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights
The complaint said the Cybercrime Law constitutes several violations
of international human rights conventions and declarations, including
the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the UN
Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders of which the
Philippines, as a signatory, has the obligation to implement.
online libel clause in cybercrime law
Pushes to decriminalize
libel in penal code
By Office of the Senate
February 19, 2014
PASAY CITY – Saying
it is one of the reasons he did not sign the Cybercrime Prevention Act
of 2012, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano is strongly urging
his colleagues in the 16th Congress to repeal the online libel
provision in the controversial law recently upheld as constitutional
by the Supreme Court.
In an interview with Senate
reporters, Cayetano pointed out that the said provision suppresses
internet users’ freedom of speech.
At the same time, Cayetano
pushed for the enactment of his bill which seeks to decriminalize
libel and all forms of criminal defamation as it is restrictive of the
freedom of expression, much like the provisions on online libel in the
much-debated Republic Act 10175.
“What is constitutional and
what is legal is not necessarily what is moral and what is right. The
Supreme Court based it on the legality of the provision. But on the
wisdom of the law, that is for Congress to determine,” Cayetano said.
“Kung magiging final yan,
trabaho ng Kongreso kaagad na i-repeal o i-modify iyan nang hindi
naman ganoon ang epekto.”
Cayetano is pushing for the
approval of Senate Bill No. 249, which in part mandates the repeal of
Sec. 4 (c) 4 of Chapter II of RA 10175 or the online libel provision
of the anti-cybercrime law.
The bill, which he filed in
July 1, 2013 during the first day of the 16th Congress, also calls for
the repeal of Sections 5 and 7 of RA 10175 which was already declared
as unconstitutional in part by the SC in its decision last Monday.
He also filed SB 248, which
also seeks the repeal of the “take-down” provision of the law that is
now also rendered unconstitutional by the High Court.
In urging his colleagues to
support SB 249, the Senate leader warned of the dire effects of the
online libel provision not only on the freedom of speech of netizens,
but on the Philippine justice system in general.
“Napakahirap ng magiging
epekto noon. Kahit anong sabihin mo na mao-offend ang ibang tao, pwede
kang kasuhan ng libel. That will kill the freedom of speech and the
creativity that we have in the internet,” he said.
“Kung magkakasuhan tayong
lahat, mapupuno ang mga korte, walang mangyayari kung hindi ang mga
piskalya, walang ibang gagawin kung hindi mag-prosecute ng internet at
social media libel cases.”
Cayetano further noted that
although people are discouraged from making defamatory statements
against others online, the internet should still be regarded as a
different kind of medium in which anyone has the right to express
their views and opinions.
“True, we should not libel
each other in the internet. But it is also true that the internet is a
different kind of medium... Hindi katulad yan, halimbawa, ng dyaryo.
Kapag nilagay sa dyaryo, people will believe the credibility of the
story, kaya dapat i-check muna ng mabuti ng mga journalist ang
kanilang facts. But in the internet, anyone says anything,” he said.
On the other hand, Cayetano
is also pushing for the enactment of Senate Bill 245, which seeks to
decriminalize libel and defamation.
The bill, he said, will pave
the way for the creation of a Civil Defamation Law which will only
impose civil penalties in the stead of criminal sanctions on all forms