encounters NPA in Samar, aids wounded rebel
By DPAO, 8ID PA
November 16, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY –
Army troops operating in Samar Province encountered NPA members in a
remote area of Barangay Bolao, Basey, Samar at noon of November 16,
Based on the initial report
Lt Col Miguel E. Ceballos, Commanding Officer, 20th Infantry
Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, his troops were
conducting security operations to check the presence of NPA members in
the outskirts of the aforesaid barangay.
While approaching a forested
portion in area, the troops chanced upon a makeshift hut in isolation
which turned-out to be an enemy post occupied by more or less five
heavily armed NPA rebels. Firefight ensued for approximately five
minutes as the troops advanced toward the post after which the rebels
immediately withdrew. Government troops immediately scoured the area
and followed the withdrawal route which eventually led them to a
wounded yet still armed NPA combatant who was intentionally left
behind by his comrades due to his condition.
Recognizing the immediate
need for medical assistance, the troops on the ground provided first
aid to the wounded rebel and immediately requested for his immediate
evacuation for further medical treatment. In response, 8th Infantry
Division immediately dispatched two helicopters to airlift the wounded
rebel from the encounter site to the Camp Lukban Station Hospital for
his immediate medical treatment. The wounded NPA remain unidentified
and being provided intensive medical assistance as of this time.
The encounter resulted to
the recovery of one M16 armalite rifle, ammunitions and personal
belongings. There was no casualty on the side of the government troops
while one was determined on the enemy side.
Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino,
Commander of the 8th Infantry Division lauded the officers and men of
20IB for the successful result of the encounter against the NPAs
operating in Basey, Samar. The 8ID chief further extended his
appreciation to the troops for abiding to the rules of engagement
particularly in situation warranting attendance to wounded enemy
combatants. “…the actions of our troops on the ground bespeaks of our
troops’ respect to the Rule of Law, Human Rights, and International
Humanitarian Law. It was only unfortunate that the rebels have to fire
at the government troops which led to the wounding of one of them and
worst, was left behind by his comrades.
These local NPA combatants
are just victims themselves of communist leaders who take advantage of
them just to pursue their personal motives. And in combat, even a
wounded enemy deserves immediate medical care which was manifested by
our troops despite of the volatile situation, when they provided
immediate medical attention to the wounded combatant”, Velarmino
added, however the wounded rebel have to face the law for the
possession of war materiel.
Likewise, the Commander
expressed his sincerest appreciation for the continued support of the
communities in the quest for a lasting peace in Region 8. “Small as it
maybe, your timely information significantly led to the success of our
effort in addressing the NPA threat in this part of the region. Rest
assured that your Army here in Eastern Visayas will remain and will
always be by your side as we pursue genuine peace, nation-building and
development in this region”, says Velarmino.
Sen. Pia brings
Rizal shrine desecration case to int'l body
By Office of Sen. Pia S.
November 11, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senator
Pia S. Cayetano has elevated the issue of the desecration of the Rizal
Monument before an international body tasked to identify and protect
heritage sites around the world.
The senator is attending the
18th general assembly of the International Council on Monuments and
Sites (ICOMOS) being held this week in Florence, Italy, together with
ICOMOS Philippines president Architect Augusto Villalon to raise the
issue of the ‘photo bombing’ of the sightline of the 101-year-old
Rizal shrine by Torre de Manila, a 49-story commercial building being
constructed across Rizal Park behind the historic monument.
Cayetano has been working
with ICOMOS Philippines to protect the Rizal Monument. This led to the
filing of a resolution against Torre de Manila which will be heard at
the ICOMOS assembly.
“We hope to gather
international support for our campaign to stop the Torre de Manila
project and its developer, DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), from desecrating
the sightline and integrity of the Rizal Monument,” said Cayetano, the
chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.
An advisory body to the
United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture
(UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, ICOMOS is composed of 9,500
heritage conservation experts from 100 national committees throughout
the world. Part of the agency’s mandate is to nominate cultural and
historical sites for inclusion in the World Heritage List. ICOMOS also
provides expertise and support for threatened heritage sites brought
to its attention.
"After my initial visits to
UNESCO and the ICOMOS headquarters in Paris, I learned how around the
world, governments, NGOs, businesses and communities have united to
protect their heritage sites. And there are many examples of
structures and buildings found to be obstructing these sites that were
“As we continue to fight for
the Rizal Monument using different avenues within our country, we will
leave no stone unturned and exert parallel efforts outside the country
to ensure that our national monument is respected and safeguarded,”
“The shrine built in honor
of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, symbolizes not only the
Filipinos’ historic struggle for independence from colonial rule at
the turn of the century, but also the universal ideals of education,
democracy, freedom, equality and nationalism that Rizal fought for.”
“I am also looking forward
to the lectures that will showcase best practices in heritage
preservation based on the experiences of other countries. In fact, I
am excited about the presentation by our very own ICOMOS Philippines
president who will present the case of Vigan as the best showcase of
heritage site management practice in our country," she concluded.
8ID troops recover
war materiel during an encounter with NPA
By DPAO, 8ID PA
November 8, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Army operating troops in Samar Island recovered several war materiel
after a brief encounter with a small group of NPA rebels in a remote
area at Brgy Sto Niño, Motiong, Samar last November 6, 2014.
In a report from Lt Col
Antonio Dulnuan Jr, Commanding Officer of the 87th Infantry (Hinirang)
Battalion, his troops were conducting Peace and Security Operations in
the outskirts of said barangay when they chanced upon a team of NPA
rebels passing also in the area.
A brief exchange of
firefight followed forcing the enemy to withdraw from their position
leaving behind several war materiels at the encounter site. Among the
items recovered were one bandoleer, five long magazines for M16 rifle,
two short magazines for M16 rifle, eighty rounds live ammunitions for
M16, two back packs with personal belongings, one hand grenade and
high value subversive documents.
The rebels were unable to
inflict casualties against government forces while casualties on the
rebel side remained undetermined.
MGen. Jet B. Velarmino, 8ID
commander, expressed his appreciation to the operating troops of the
87IB for their dedication and commitment in safeguarding the
communities against the rebels.
Further, he reiterated the
government’s call for non-violence, for the rebels to return to the
mainstream society, and for them to take advantage of the government’s
DPWH allocates P50
million access road to Bangon falls
MARIANETTE Y. GOMEZ
November 6, 2014
CALBAYOG CITY – Samar
First District Engineering programmed P50 Million for the construction
of access road to one of the famous waterfalls in Calbayog City.
Cong. Mel Senen S. Sarmiento
said that the amount will be used to construct a concrete access road
going to Bangon Falls, one of the most well-known waterfalls of this
city, but remain unexplored by tourists due to road difficulty.
According to DE Eduarte, the construction of more than three
kilometers access road is expected to start next year.
The development of access
road to Bangon Falls is under the Eastern Visayas Tourism Roadmap of
the Department of Tourism. Bangon Falls as one of the more than 20
waterfalls of Calbayog is located at Brgy. Tinaplacan which is three
kilometers away from the highway which at present can be reached
through a “habal-habal”.
Once the access road is
implemented, tourist activities in the area will develop. The Tourism
Roadmap envisions to heighten the competitiveness of the region as
alternative tourist destination.
Dingdong Dantes joins climate walk as it reaches Catbalogan on 35th
By Climate Walk
November 4, 2014
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Climate
advocates demand world leaders to “make actions, not words” on
confronting the climate crisis as they near the end of the 1,000-KM,
40-day journey from KM zero of the Philippines to ‘Ground Zero’ of
super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
“We are facing one of the
greatest challenges to humanity. The way we treat nature is a
reflection of how we treat others. No more aimless talks. We need to
start walking the talk,” stated by PH UN Climate Talks Negotiator and
Climate Change Commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Saño who initiated the
40-day Climate Walk.
Dubbed as the Climate Walk:
A People’s Walk for Climate Justice, the march gathered various
environmental groups, celebrities, government officials, faith groups,
youth, and individuals during its launch last October 2 in Luneta,
Manila, the International Day for Non-Violence, to take on a 40-day
walk to reach Tacloban City on November 8, the first anniversary of
the super typhoon’s historic land fall.
Advocates taking on the
Climate Walk empower local communities and help them become resilient
in the impacts of disasters and climate change through the Climate
Fairs, a series of events highlighting different issues of climate
change affecting each area.
“Why are we walking? If we
had taken the plane, we would not have met you. If we had taken the
bus or our cars, we would have just passed by you and we wouldn't have
known what you are going through. We offer this walk to everyone
affected by climate change. We offer it to you,” said Saño during his
speech in one of the Climate Fairs.
Local government units along
the route of the Climate Walk have also committed to taking action
against the climate crisis by committing to draft their own Local
Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP). Climate Advocates facilitates
distribution of Climate and Disaster Resilience Toolkits in local
municipalities and institutions which is a set of resources that can
be used to enhance community planning for climate change and assist in
the protection of communities from climate disaster risks.
In the Climate Fair held at
the Samar State University, Commissioner Dingdong Dantes of the
National Youth Commission, joined the Climate Walk. As he addressed
the 3,000 students of Catbalogan, he said, “This walk is about
marriage. This is the coming together of institutions and the Filipino
people to fight climate change. In every disaster, the youth is one of
the most vulnerable sectors. We can’t allow ourselves to be just
victims. We have to be part of the solution.”
Catbalogan City Mayor
Stephany Uy-Tan welcomed the climate walk to her city and committed to
implement their Local Climate Change Adaptation Plan (LCCAP) and to be
resilient in the face of disasters. According to Mayor Tan, “Climate
change is undebatable and we need to act together. Let us all be
climate change warriors.”
Following the People’s
Climate March last September 23 in New York, which mobilized about
400,000 people, Climate Walk encourages people deemed most vulnerable
to climate change – farmers and fishers – as well as youth, faith
groups, and the general public to support the Climate Walk even in
their own little ways.
In ending, Saño said,
“Climate change is a fight that we cannot afford to lose. Climate Walk
is a call for unity. We cannot confront climate change and its dangers
if we will act individually. We need collective action in facing this
madness. We, as a developing nation and one of the most vulnerable to
risks of disasters and effects of climate change, should stand up and
demand for our survival.”
“Our destination is not only
Tacloban. Our destination is the hearts and minds of the nation and
the whole world, hearts and minds that can change the world,” Saño
Now on its final week,
Climate Walk already traversed parts of Metro Manila, Laguna, Quezon,
Sorsogon, and Albay with commitments from different local governments,
and will traverse the remaining parts of Samar, and Leyte. On November
8, participants will cross the famous San Juanico Bridge towards
survivors back in business
November 4, 2014
MANILA – One year
after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ripped through the Philippines,
tens of thousands of families whose livelihoods were devastated are
returning to work with the support of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Almost 30,000 households
have so far received cash grants of up to USD 220 as part of the
Philippine Red Cross’s three-year USD 360 million recovery plan which
will support 500,000 people across Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Panay and
Pigs, goats, chickens and
stock for convenience or ‘sari-sari’ stores are among the most popular
items being bought by Haiyan survivors as part of the livelihoods
Initial data shows farming,
rearing livestock and setting up local convenience shops are the top
three income-generators for those who have received Red Cross support.
is key to the long term recovery of disaster-hit communities and we
have made this a priority in our work, as well as housing,” said
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard Gordon. “One year after
Haiyan robbed so many families of their income, we are seeing people
return to work and others setting up new businesses.”
Peanut butter production,
candle making, and turning truck tyres into kitchen kit are also among
the micro-enterprises that have been set up by entrepreneurs using the
Six million workers saw
their livelihoods either wiped out or damaged by the disaster – of
which 2.6 million were living on or below the poverty line before the
Vocational training such as
sustainable farming techniques, hog rearing, book keeping, arithmetic
and advice on how to diversify and grow businesses is also part of the
Red Cross support package.
PRC Secretary General
Gwendolyn Pang said: “Recovery is well under way but there are still
humanitarian needs on the ground and we are working across 400
communities (barangays) to ensure people get the support they need to
rebuild their lives.”
Father-of-three and rice
farmer Jessie Lape Jr, from Luca in Ajuy, Panay, said: “The typhoon
wiped out our crops and we had nothing to harvest – it was a desperate
time.But the livelihood support has changed everything - I had the
money to buy seeds, repair tools and now I have crop insurance. I can
sleep easier knowing we are in a better position when the next typhoon
Since Haiyan devastated the
region, PRC together with the International Federation of the Red
Cross and Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red
Cross have been on the ground supporting hundreds of communities. Red
Cross and Red Crescent national societies from around the world are
also working across the country as part of the typhoon recovery
More than 1.3million people
were provided with emergency relief in the aftermath and one year on,
the Red Cross’s long term recovery plan is targeting some of the most
vulnerable typhoon survivors.
Building back safer shelters
and community training on construction practices are a central part of
the plan, which places resilience and risk-reduction at its heart.
Courses for masons and carpenters are being held and more than 6,500
fishermen have been provided with cash to buy or repair damaged boats.
Almost 6,100 houses have
been rebuilt and in the next 15 months, 40,000 families will have
received safer homes. More than 23,000 households have also received
roofing sheets to repair their homes. A total of 192 classrooms have
been repaired or rebuilt so far and rural health facilities are also
Control Structure completed
By DRIXEL ORTEGA
November 3, 2014
CALBAYOG CITY – The inspectorate team of the Department of Public
Works and Highways (DPWH) – Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO),
Calbayog City led by Assistant District Engineer Alvin Ignacio
conducted an ocular inspection on the newly completed project,
Rehabilitation of the Caglanipao flood control structure located at
Brgy. Caglanipao Sur, Calbayog City, Samar.
This project is under contract with CDU Construction and has an
appropriation of P20 million under the DPWH 2014 Regular
Infrastructure Fund. CDU Construction kicked off the construction
activities on the 24th of February 2014. They were given 192 calendar
days (until September 24, 2014) to complete the project and they were
able to finish it earlier than expected.
Scope of works for the project comprises of structure excavation,
installation of reinforcing steel, construction of structural concrete
and grouted riprap.
This project is one of the Department’s adaptation programs aimed at
combating the various effects of climate change that we are all
experiencing. This will prevent flooding brought about by incessant
heavy rains and high tide.
European Union, and LGUs to sign MOU to promote Positive Child
Discipline in Eastern Samar
By HAZEL BITAÑA
November 3, 2014
BORONGAN CITY, Eastern
Samar – This Thursday, Nov. 6, the local governments of Maydolong
and Llorente will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Plan
International and European Union to promote positive and non-violent
discipline of children.
The MOU strengthens the
commitment of the local government units (LGUs) to work with the
global child rights organization, Plan International, in implementing
the “Collective Action to Promote Non-Violent and Protective Society
for Children,” a project funded by the European Union and implemented
in partnership with the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on
Population Development Foundation (PLCPD) and Lihok Pilipina
The project, dubbed as the
“Positive Discipline Project,” is a three-year initiative that aims to
help families, teachers, barangay officials, and other members of the
community to stop abusive child disciplining practices such as
spanking, pinching, and humiliation. Instead, adults are encouraged to
practice non-violent means of guiding children’s behavior such as
reprimanding the children privately and explaining the difference
between right and wrong.
“In the Philippines,
corporal punishment is a prevalent practice in disciplining children,
but it is a form of physical and psychological violence. Positive
discipline is a parenting approach that guides the children while
respecting their rights,” says Jayson Lozano, Project Manager of Plan
In a study commissioned by
Plan International and European Union in 2011, 75% of the parents said
that they use corporal punishment to discipline their children.
However, corporal punishment lowers the children’s self-esteem,
promotes violence, and weakens the bond between parents and children.
Punishment in Eastern Samar
Based on the baseline
research of the project, almost 40% of the surveyed parents in Eastern
Samar use physical means of disciplining their children. These include
spanking the children’s bottom, hand, arms, or legs; hitting the
children’s bottom with an object; and pinching.
At the moment, there is no
officially reported case of corporal punishment in the area. Yet,
there are reports of physical abuse, violence, or injury that may be
cases of corporal punishment, especially if the motive was to
discipline the child. This lack of data maybe attributed to the
aggregation of corporal punishment cases to the child abuse reports.
It may also be because the issue is viewed as a private matter.
Positive Discipline Project in Eastern Samar
The project implementation
began in Eastern Samar in September 2013. To date, the project
accomplished the formation of the coalition of civil society
organizations (CSOs) that promote positive discipline, the reconvening
of kids that belong to the Community-Based Monitoring and Advocacy
Group, the formation of Parent-Support Groups, and the creation of
Youth Peer Support group in schools and communities. Also, the project
helped in strengthening the capacities of CSOs and kids by conducting
trainings on positive discipline and child protection, as well as
trainings on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
and the rights and responsibilities of the child.
NDF-EV slams Aquino's
Yolanda rehab master plan as yet another “pork barrel”
By NDF-Eastern Visayas
November 3, 2014
SAMAR - The P167.9 billion
Yolanda rehab master plan signed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino
III is nothing but “pork barrel” in disguise, the National Democratic
Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) said today. “The Aquino regime further
inflames the Yolanda survivors by dumping on their heads what is
essentially a “pork barrel” disguised as a rehabilitation master
plan,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “The
so-called Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) will
not benefit the millions of people affected by Supertyphoon Yolanda.
Instead, it is a package of political patronage for Aquino's big
business cronies as well as his political allies who are gearing for
the 2016 elections. It is part of the regime's election war chest.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson said the CRRP by itself is too little, too
late and too corrupt. “The CRRP contradicts an earlier government
estimate by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) of
the total cost of damages by Yolanda pegged at P571.1 billion pesos.
The NEDA also said earlier that P360.9 billion pesos would be needed
for recovery and reconstruction, which is only 63% of the damage
assessment. The CRRP signed by Aquino allocates even less government
aid. Worse, whatever little the Aquino deigns to give will not be
going to the poor, but for the entrenchment of the rich and powerful.”
Fr. Salas said the CRRP is a bonanza for the Aquino regime's big
business cronies as well as politicians in Eastern Visayas and
elsewhere in the “Yolanda corridor” who are close to to the regime.
“The bulk of CRRP will go to resettlement projects worth P75.67
billion. These will benefit businesses in property development and
real estate in two ways. First, they will build the resettlement
projects for communities which are targeted for demolition, including
33 barangays in Tacloban City in Leyte alone. And second, the areas
that have been demolished are being eyed as business enclaves for call
centers, resorts, casinos, and the like. In Tacloban City and other
areas, Manny Pangilinan and Enrique Razon already have vested
interests, along with other wealthy families like Ayala, Sy, Gaisano,
Aboitiz, among others.
“The other allotments in CRRP will benefit the Aquino regime's allies
in the local government. The P35.1 billion for infrastructure, for
example, is prone to corruption. Meanwhile, the P30.6 billion for
livelihood and P26.4 billion for social services may be used for
political patronage through sham social amelioration programs. For
example, the Aquino government's “cash for work” and 4Ps program have
long been used by local politicians to buy votes in their bailiwicks.
Moreover, the Aquino government has not been transparent about the
actual amount of foreign aid received and distributed, opening room
for doubt that much of this went to corruption.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson also noted the CRRP does not offer anything
for peasants who are the majority of those who suffered from Yolanda's
onslaught last November 8, 2013. “According to reports by the Yolanda
survivors themselves, the damage to agriculture and fisheries is
pegged at P144 billion and that is in Eastern Visayas alone – almost
equivalent to the government aid package for all Yolanda-affected
regions. The production of coconut, a major crop, will take up to a
decade to fully restore. Other crops for commercial and consumption
purposes are just barely recovering after being almost totally wiped
out, such as bananas, vegetables and root crops. The majority of
Yolanda survivors are on the brink of starvation, but there is no
government for them.”
Fr. Salas said the Aquino government's Yolanda rehabilitation master
is another disaster that will lead to more suffering as well as fodder
for the demand to oust the current administration. “The Yolanda
survivors are further inflamed that the CRRP may be the last straw.
The Aquino regime is heading for a showdown with the Yolanda survivors
in Eastern Visayas. The people are fed up with the social injustice
and corruption surrounding the Yolanda rehabilitation master plan. The
Aquino regime is ripe for ouster for proving beyond doubt through its
CRRP that it is hastening the rotting of the reactionary ruling system
through its “pork barrel” patronage politics.
“The international community should demand accountability from the
Aquino regime over the billions of aid that has remained unaccounted.
They should support the struggle of the survivors for justice.
“It is a matter of justice that the people press on with their
democratic demands for land, livelihood, financial aid and adequate
shelter. The Yolanda survivors and others who survived other
calamities can unite to strengthen their struggle for reparations the
reactionary government and its US imperialist master owes them. In the
final analysis, there can be genuine reconstruction only through
winning the national democratic revolution. Only by waging and winning
the national democratic revolution can there be a government that does
not rely on the “pork barrel” but serves the interests of the people,
ensures agrarian reform and national industrialization for national
progress, and carry out policies for the protection of the people and
the environment so another Yolanda will never wreak such havoc again.”