photo shows MSgt. Estafia rendering his last salute to LCol.
Nedy Espulgar, the commanding officer of 19IB. Right photo shows
MSgt. Estafia delivering his parting message to his colleagues
during a simple ceremony held on Monday, April 28, 2014 at the
19IB HQ in Brgy. Aguiting, Kanaga, Leyte.
(Photo by AB Bayani)
soldier recognized, urges colleagues to be good public servants
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
April 30, 2014
KANANGA, Leyte –
Soldiers of the 19th Infantry Battalion during its regular flag
raising ceremony on Monday, April 28 recognized a senior
non-commissioned officer who is retiring after 31 years and seven days
of struggle in the military service.
Master Sergeant Benjamin
Javier Estafia who hailed from St. Bernard, Southern Leyte was given
certificate of recognition by Lt. Col. Nedy Espulgar for his
invaluable and dedicated services to 19IB where he has been assigned
months after his enlistment in the regular force of the Philippine
Army on April 1, 1982. His wife, Nida Estafia also received a
certificate of appreciation.
As Estafia bids farewell
from the military service, his colleagues in 19IB commended and
thanked him, not just by his subordinates but also the officers who
had learned much from him in all aspects of the military.
In his parting message,
Estafia tearfully recalled the hardships and sacrifices he had
experienced and the various positions which he held while with 19IB.
He gained positions such as
team leader, squad leader and company first sergeant because of his
dedication in his assigned tasks and duties. He is both a combatant
and a community relations specialist.
In his early years, Estafia
also had survived two (2) NPA-initiated ambushes, one of which was on
January 5, 1987 in Brgy. Rawis, Laoang, Northern Samar where he was
"I have reached the peak of
the military service and hurdled different obstacles. You can also
surpass the same challenges if you, my fellow soldiers exercise the
legacy of being good followers and public servants", Estafia stressed.
Lt. Col. Espulgar said the
service rendered by Master Sergeant Estafia is one of the longest in
the history of 19IB and the hardest to achieve for every soldier.
"I hope we can all retire
like Master Sergeant Benjamin Estafia, whose service cannot be equaled
if we deviate from the true traditions and mandate of the Philippine
Army. Let us all remain steadfast to the Internal Peace and Security
Plan Bayanihan and the Army Transformation Roadmap as our guides in
serving the people, securing the land", Lt. Col. Espulgar concluded.
8ID and Catbalogan
City conducts Youth Leadership Summit
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 30, 2014
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 8th Infantry Division and the LGU of Catbalogan
City facilitated the conduct of the 2nd Catbalogan City Youth
Leadership Summit (YLS) from April 28-30, 2014 at Headquarters 8th
Infantry Division, Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar.
MajGen. Jet B. Velarmino,
Commander of 8th Infantry Division and Hon. Stephanie Uy-Tan, Mayor of
Catbalogan City led the closing ceremony that was held April 30, 2014
at Headquarters, 8ID. The three day activity was participated by 89
youths consisting of college and high school students of Catbalogan
The Youth Leadership Summit
was designed to develop and to enhance the leadership potentials of
participants as well as to empower them to bring positive changes in
the communities where they live.
The participants of the
summit underwent series of team-building activities designed to equip
them with skills on how to work with others as a team. They also
underwent lectures from subject matter experts about knowing oneself,
the importance of family and community, leadership, human rights,
environment protection, criminality and drug addiction prevention,
community needs assessment and action planning.
Addressing the YLS
participants during the closing ceremony, Hon. Stephanie Uy-Tan in her
message, said, “You might be wondering why I am this passionate for
you to attend and experience this youth leadership summit, for you to
know, I was a member of the Waray Waray Youth Advocate and also
attended a leadership summit when I was at your age. Hence, I could
say that I owe part of my current success from the things that I
learned from the leadership summit I attended and from the Waray-waray
Youth Advocate. Through my active participation in various youth
activities, I realized that everyone has a potential to lead and serve
On the part of MGen. Jet B
Velarmino, Commander of 8th Infantry Division said: “A nation makes no
greater investment than that made toward the upright upbringing of its
young men and women. That’s you! The success of our country heavily
relies on how we have trained and educated you as your tatays, nanays,
kuyas (father, mother, elders), friends partners and mentors.”
As a youth, you constitute
the embodiment of the nation’s destiny, the signpost of the nation’s
hope and aspirations, the emblem of our future and the catalysts of
our national socio-economic growth and development,” he added.
Cayetano presses De
Lima: Make list public now!
Expose and charge Napoles
clients. Clear the innocent.
By Office of the Senate
April 25, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senate
Majority Leader Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano on Friday
reiterated his call to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to immediately
make public the affidavit executed by detained businesswoman Janet Lim
Napoles on the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Cayetano is asking Sec. De
Lima to also verify if people on the list are in fact guilty and are
clients of Napoles, or if their names are simply being dragged into
“Ito na ang sinasabi ko nung
isang araw na habang hindi nilalabas ang affidavit ni Napoles,
maraming mga listahan ang maglalabasan, guguluhin ang issue, at yung
mga guilty ang makikinabang. Ito na nga ang nangyayari,” Cayetano
“Kaya ngayon nagagamit pa
nila napoles at yung mga ibang akusado ang kaguluhan para mawala ang
atensyon sa mga kaso nila.”
Cayetano said that as early
as August last year, he already said the books of his office are open
to the scrutiny of the Commission on Audit (COA) for any irregularity.
“Let me state once again:
Not a single centavo of PDAF from my office went to a Napoles or any
other fake NGO. Everything went directly to the people. In fact, as
early as August of last year, I wrote the COA to audit the books of my
office and I am confident that they will find no irregularity,” he
“Hindi po ako natatakot
harapin ang sambayanang Pilipino dahil wala pong katotohanan itong
lumabas sa Tribune.”
Cayetano said that before
the pork scam issue gets muddled even further, the Filipino people
should have a face-to-face with Napoles through the Senate so that she
can speak and be cross examined.
“Let us also be wary of
black ops and character assassination attempts against the
whistleblowers. Evidence is damning, so all that is left is for the
guilty to muddle the issue and hope for an ally in the Palace in
2016,” he said.
dmexco World of Experience 2014 puts the "internet of everything" at
April 25, 2014
COLOGNE, Germany – Display screens can be found everywhere nowadays,
from kitchens to cars. Our daily life is becoming more and more
digital, and consumers are accessible almost around the clock. The
possibilities this is already creating today for marketing and media
will be demonstrated at the dmexco World of Experience 2014 (http://dmexco.de/en/World_of_Experience.html).
In this event area, visitors will be able to experience the first
digital concepts and visions of the "Internet of Everything" for use
in future marketing.
"The showrooms of the World of Experience 2014 will be an ideal stage
on which the trendsetters of the digital economy can present their
marketing-related innovations and products to over 28,000 visitors at
the trade fair. The interest in this event area is correspondingly
strong, and there has been a noticeable increase in people's desire to
find out about recent developments in a more tangible way. We have
received numerous inquiries from all segments of the digital economy,
and these inquiries have become more and more specific during the many
in-depth discussions we have held," according to Christian Muche,
dmexco Director Business Development, Strategy & International, and
Frank Schneider, dmexco Director Marketing, Sales & Operations.
The dmexco World of Experience 2014 will focus on the "Internet of
Everything," a key future trend that is increasingly impacting many
technologies and segments of innovative sectors such as the auto
industry, healthcare and consumer electronics. This trend is creating
a new dimension of daily life that is rapidly becoming more and more
important for digital marketing and media. The unique concept of the
World of Experience will show what opportunities are already available
for those who wish to venture into these new dimensions. Through its
showrooms the World of Experience will effectively augment and enrich
the existing trade fair at dmexco 2014.
As our daily life becomes progressively digitised, marketing, media
and advertising are no longer found only on TV, desktop computers,
laptops, smartphones and tablet computers. Instead, the focus is now
on the "connected life" and on individual lifestyles, irrespective of
the channels, screens or terminals that are being used. As a result,
advertisers and agencies will have many more options, as well as
completely new ones, to successfully optimise the way they target
customers at all touchpoints of the consumer lifecycle. However,
before the sector can exploit this huge potential, it has to address
the challenge of developing innovative new concepts that work on all
channels and successfully create new points of contact to the
consumer. Valuable inspiration in this regard will be provided by the
World of Experience at dmexco 2014, which will be organized completely
in line with this year's slogan, "Entering New Dimensions."
"Many current developments indicate that all of our surroundings and
daily routines will soon be digital. That's why our sector can and
must present its products and solutions in a more tangible way that
better illustrates the associated complexity to market partners and
ensures that we will continue to be visible and successful in the
future," according to Christian Muche and Frank Schneider.
"The dmexco World of Experience 2014 will be exactly the right place
for this purpose. After the successful pilot project in 2013, we will
now provide trendsetters from the digital economy with their own
attention-grabbing world of experience in Hall 6, where they can
demonstrate key trends and enable visitors to experience
marketing-related innovations and products in a tangible and vivid
way. We are already looking forward to offering our guests and
visitors more service and innovation in the expanded World of
Experience. This kind of service can only be found at dmexco!"
Additional information about the dmexco World of Experience and how to
participate in it is available at http://dmexco.de/en/World_of_Experience.html
Joint Order another proof that arrest of Tiamzons illegal – Karapatan
April 24, 2014
QUEZON CITY – “The
GPH cannot escape the fact that the Joint Agreement on Safety and
Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) is operative and JASIG-protected persons
are immune from arrests, including recently arrested NDFP consultant
Wilma Austria Tiamzon,” declared Cristina Palabay, secretary general
Palabay made reference to
the DND-DILG ORDER ON REWARD NUMBER 14(A)-2012 issued on December 12,
2012 amending earlier DND-DILG Joint Order Number 14-2012 stated,
“Pursuant to the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)
dated 24 February 1995 and the current GPH list of JASIG-covered
personalities, the following names are to be deleted from DND-DILG JOR
Number 14-2012 in recognition of the pending peace negotiations and
conditions upon the existence of said peace negotiations”.
The amendment ordered the
deletion of names of Wilma Austria Tiamzon, Rafael Baylosis, Vicente
Ladlad, Reynaldo Bocala and Jose Maria Sison from the list of
so-called 235 “communist personalities” who are targets of arrest or
neutralization, with corresponding reward money. Except for Sison, who
is NDFP chief political consultant, all are consultants in the
GPH-NDFP peace negotiation.
"Alex Padilla, head of the
GPH peace panel and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima do not know what
they were talking about when they said the Tiamzons were not immune to
arrests. Here is the proof," Palabay said. “The contradictory
positions taken by the government reflects its deceit in negotiating
with the NDFP,” she added.
“The list of deleted persons
is incomplete,” Palabay said as there are 14 NDFP consultants who are
detained on numerous trumped up criminal charges, including the
Tiamzon and Austria. Under BS Aquino, a peace consultant was convicted
for the first time. Eduardo Sarmiento, who hails from Samar, was
sentenced 40 years imprisonment in December 2013 for trumped up charge
of illegal possession of explosives. There are also 13 NDFP
consultants and staff who are victims of enforced disappearance.
The DND-DILG Joint Order
Number 14-2012 is a hitlist akin to Gloria Arroyo’s Order of Battle
used in the implementation of her Oplan Bantay Laya. In the said list,
Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon have a 10 million-peso reward
each on their heads. Karapatan considers the reward system an
“organized racket” of the AFP and the PNP and called on the government
to scrap the said order.
The amendment of DND-DILG
Joint Order on Reward Number 14 (A)-2012 was signed by DND Sec.
Voltaire Gazmin and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas. The said document also
stated, “All previous Joint Orders contrary to or inconsistent with
this Order are hereby rescinded.”
“The GPH should take
responsibility in stalling the peace negotiation with its double
talk,” said Palabay as it reiterates Karapatan’s calls to: Resume
peace talks with the NDFP! Release all detained NDFP consultants!
Surface missing consultants and staff!
distribution of relief goods and free medical/dental consultation in
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 22, 2014
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army conducted
relief goods and Hygiene kits distribution coupled with free medical
and dental consultation and services in the three towns of Eastern
Samar last April 22, 2014.
MajGen Jet B Velarmino AFP,
the Commander of 8ID spearheaded the activity in distributing food
packs and Hygiene kits courtesy of UNILEVER Philippines to around 878
super typhoon Yolanda victims a tBrgy. Roxas, Giporlos; Brgy Sta Rosa,
Balangiga and Brgy 10, Poblacion, Lawaan all of Eastern Samar.
Each pack contains three
kilos of rice, canned goods, and hygiene kits from UNILEVER
Philippines. The AFP Commissary and Exchange Service based at
Headquarters 8ID also joined the activity and supplemented assorted
clothes, noodles, biscuits, chocolate drinks and hygiene kits.
Adding to the excitement of
the activity was the giving away of chocolates to children living in
the three barangays. When one child was asked to say something about
the chocolate, she said: “Syahan ko nga makakaon hin sugad hine karasa
nga tsokolet!” (It is my first time to have a taste of this type of
tasty chocolate!) The chocolates were donated by students of an
academic institution for children based in the USA.
In addition to the gift
giving, 8ID medical team led by Lt. Col. Reynaldo R. Cruz, Commanding
Officer of Camp Lukban Station Hospital also rendered medical
consultation and dispensed medicines, while Dental team led by LtCol.
Luther A. Punzalan, Commanding Officer of 1368th Philippine Army
Dental Detachment based at Headquarters 8ID rendered tooth extraction
services, for a total of 301 medical and 147 dental beneficiaries in
three Municipalities of Eastern Samar.
The chief executives of the
three barangays were unanimous in expressing their appreciation to the
effort of 8ID.
On the part of 8ID, Maj Gen
Jet B Velarmino said: “Your Army in Eastern Visayas is here not only
to keep the people free from fear, coercion and intimidation from NPA
rebels, but also to attend to the welfare of the people particularly
those affected by ST Yolanda.”
chocolates distributed during the activity cited in the last sentence
of the fourth paragraph were donated by students of Montessori
International School located in 1230 N. Gilbert Road, Mesa, Arizona,
USA thru the effort of Ms. Therese Kestner, School Director.
of the Libertad Farmers Association demonstrated “double-dig”
method in preparing the planting area.
organic farming technology to Kananga farmers
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
April 19, 2014
KANANGA, Leyte –
Fifty-five members of the Libertad Farmers Association attended
one-day training on organic farming technology at the 19th Infantry
Battalion’s camp in Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte on Wednesday, April
The training was part of the
military’s continuing support to established people’s organizations in
selected towns in Leyte, which aimed at uplifting the lives of its
During said training, the
participants learned how to make various types of “contusions”. These
are organic extracts made out of plants and other indigenous materials
which may be used as plant growth enhancer, pesticide and soil
conditioner. Contusions are made up of bacteria created through
fermentation process and can also enhance the fertility of the
While contusions enhance
plant growth, land preparation according to lecturer Mayang dela Cruz,
is also equally important and is one the fundamental requirements in
organic farming method. In organic farming, “double-dig” method is
highly recommended when preparing the “plant beds” as it prevent plant
roots from stress and improves retention of nutrients needed by plants
for several years.
All these organic farming
methods and technologies were stirred by Mr. Gil Carandang, the Father
of Philippine Organic Farming who mentored 19IB and its clienteles
during series of workshops on “Sustainable Integrated Organic and
Natural Mini Farm Program” sponsored by the Land Bank of the
The training was also graced
by Hon. Elmer Codilla, the Municipal Mayor of Kananga, Leyte who
pledged support to the constituents of Brgy. Libertad. Mr. Troy
Bumagat, proprietor of the Trophy Farm in Kananga, Leyte also
distributed 80 kilograms of organic rice seeds to the association. The
said seeds were accordingly provided by the regional office of the
Department of Agriculture. Mr. Bumagat will also be giving high
yielding variety of corn seeds to the same farmers association.
The Libertad Farmers
Association was the first communist-inspired farmers group in Kananga,
Leyte organized way back in 1992. The New People’s Army established
the group purposely to intensify the influence of the communist rebels
in all of the 23 barangays of the said town. The group was
disintegrated when its key leaders surrendered to 19IB in 2006.
In later part of 2012, 19IB
moved to reorganize all groups that were left after the fall of the
New People’s Army in Leyte. Libertad Farmers Association was one of
the organizations which were officially registered in the Department
of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2013, through the effort of 19IB and
802nd Infantry Brigade.
Lt. Col. Nedy Espulgar,
commanding officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion said the military
will continue to train and provide available support to all of its
established people’s organizations in Leyte. 19IB is also engaging
government agencies, Non-Government Organizations and even the private
sectors in order to address the needs of its established people’s
organization which turned away from the communist ideologies.
As of now, the military is
supporting 10 people’s organizations namely: Taglawigan Farmers
Association, Taglawigan Fisher Folks Association and Catoogan Farmers
Association in San Isidro, Leyte; Cabatoan Farmers Association,
Airport Farmers Association, Jubay Farmers Association and
Sorosimbahan Farmers Association in Calubian, Leyte; Rubas Farm
Producers Association and Rubas Farmers and Tourism Developers
Association in Jaro, Leyte and Libertad Farmers Association in Kananga,
19IB, former rebels
to intensify implementation of LBP’s mini-farm program
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
April 17, 2014
KANANGA, Leyte – Lt.
Col. Nedy Espulgar, commanding officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion
said the military will continuously assist the former rebels and will
urge more to include their relatives, to avail and intensively
implement LBP’s mini farm program.
This was the military
official’s commitment, in his avid interest to help their former
enemies, the former rebels, during the visit of Mr. Domingo Diaz, LBP
Director and Mr. Gil Carandang, the Father of Philippine Organic
Farming in 19IB’s camp at Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte around 10:00
a.m. of Saturday, April 12.
Diaz and Carandang together
with other LBP staff stayed one and a half hour at 19IB camp. They
were warmly welcomed by the military and by the 20 former rebels who
also helped 19IB in all the preparations. The duo’s visit was arranged
purposely to evaluate the status of the model organic garden for all
of the clusters held by the military in the “Bangon Sustainable
Integrated Natural Organic Mini Farm Program”. The 300 square meters
commando organic garden which is a parcel of the “Bangon Alpha Kananga
Cluster” has also passed the standard protocol of the mini farm
program as surveyed by Carandang.
With the said project, 19IB
will be maintaining four (4) out of the 11 clusters organized by LBP
through the Land Bank Coutryside Development Foundation Incorporated (LCDFI).
The four (4) clusters are Kananga, San Isidro, Calubian and Jaro with
a planting area of not less five (5) hectares.
The mini-farm program is
specially designed for vegetable growers. Under the said concept, a
grower is guaranteed to gain a net monthly income of not less than
P10,000 in a 1,000 square meters farm area. In the said farm size,
raising swine and poultry may also be integrated.
Also in this concept,
vegetable growers will learn the methods of land preparation and
management as well as formulating natural fermented solutions to
enhance the growth of vegetables and to control pests and diseases.
Lt. Col. Espulgar believed
that the mini farm concept is the ultimate tool that can be a show
window to best address the dilemma on poverty thriving not just in
former rebels but also in most communities.
Director Diaz, during the
second follow-up session on the “Sustainable Integrated Natural
Organic Mini Farm Program” held at Brgy. Lemon, Capoocan, Leyte on
Friday, April 11, said the LCDFI was initially negotiating the leading
malls in Cebu as potential market for all vegetables which will be
produced later by the clusters.
property investments – where the smart money is heading
April 16, 2014
KONG, China – Better returns, less regulation and more diversification
are the key drivers among Asian investors when they buy overseas
property, according to speakers at a panel discussion during the
recent Colliers International Asia Real Estate Investment Forum in
They referred to the "three waves" of Asian investors who have entered
the global arena: (1) long-term institutional ones seeking bond-like
yields, (2) high-net-worth individuals with a shorter time horizon and
willingness to take higher risks, and (3) developers pursuing
short-term trading opportunities and willing to take higher risks.
Goodwin Gaw, Founder and Managing Principal, Gaw Capital Partners,
explained that stable yields in certain overseas markets, greater
liquidity in China, a desire to diversify, and the Chinese
government's encouragement of overseas investments were all adding
Meanwhile, the panel members observed that investors may face risks if
they build large projects in North American cities that already have
sizeable Chinese communities. "You're going to create mini-Chinatowns
in those cities, and there may be a backlash," Gaw warned.
London remains alluring
Asian investors are attracted to the UK because its tax regime is
easier to understand and the small spread between borrowing and yield.
Also, the similar legal system makes it especially suitable for Hong
London property prices didn't decline during the last financial
crisis, although they might in the future. Robert T. Lie, Managing
Director, Real Estate Group, CITIC Capital, cautioned that the city's
economy is for a large part based on the financial industry, like Hong
Kong's, and property there is expensive. "Asian investors need to
understand the changes taking place in London and what it will be like
in the future. Otherwise, they might lose out if their timing is
wrong," he added.
Speakers emphasised that Asian investors must take time to understand
the characteristics of any market they intend to enter, although one
speaker declared that China's top developers are already smart in
Prospects for US property
The panel members opined that the cumbersome US regulatory environment
could be advantageous to investors, because it mitigates supply risk.
Yet they should remain cautious while quantitative easing is being
unwound, because it could cause further volatility in the market.