NPA IEDs and personal belongings by 19th Infantry Battalion from
the NPAs during encounter at Brgy Caghalo, Carigara, Leyte on
June 18, 2015.
encounter NPA in Samar and Leyte
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 21, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – Soldiers under 19th Infantry Battalion and 43rd
Infantry Battalion encountered new people’s army (NPA) members
operating in Leyte and Samar Provinces respectively. The encounters
both happened on June 18, 2015. 19IB encountered the NPA members in
Barangay Caghalo, Carigara, Leyte around 9 o’clock in the morning,
while 87IB encountered the NPAs at Barangay Tapol, Paranas, Samar
around 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
Based from the report of Lt.
Col. Nedy C. Espulgar, Commanding Officer of 19IB, his troops were
acting on a report of NPAs’ presence at Barangay Caghalo. When they
reached the said barangay, the soldiers were fired upon by around 30
NPAs triggering the troops to fire back and engage the rebels for a
one (1) hour encounter.
This encounter resulted to
the seizure of the NPA enclave and the recovery of two (2) improvised
explosive devices (IEDs), Electric regulator, Maps, Medical kit, Food
Supplies, rebel document and personal belongings. There was no
reported casualty on both sides.
On the other hand Lt. Col.
Seigfred C. Tubalado, Commanding Officer of the 43rd Infantry
Battalion reported that while his troops were on combat operation and
passing by Barangay Tapol, they were fired upon by around 15 NPAs that
triggered a 15 minutes encounter.
This encounter resulted to
the wounding of two soldiers, namely: Private First Class Jonjie N.
Sanico and Private First Class Diego C. Rebalde. Both soldiers
suffered gunshot wounds at their left thighs. The rebels suffered
undetermined number of casualties based from the bloodstains seen at
their route of withdrawals.
The wounded soldiers are now
recuperating at Camp Lukban Station Hospital and are in stable
The encounters are results
of the continuous operations conducted by the 8ID soldiers intended to
arrest NPAs possessing IEDs to prevent them planting it along routes
frequented by the people.
Edukasyon.ph founder named among 2015 Asia 21 Young Leaders
July 21, 2015
MAKATI CITY –
Edukasyon.ph founder Henry Motte-Muñoz has been named by Asia Society
as part of the Class of 2015 Asia 21 Young Leaders, the preeminent
network of young leaders from across the Asia Pacific, representing
the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He is the only Filipino
who made it to this year’s batch of leaders.
Henry Motte-Muñoz is the
founder of Edukasyon.ph, a comprehensive online database of higher
education courses and scholarships, which will launch in the
Philippines this year. He is also the co-founder of Bantay.PH, a
youth-driven good governance initiative in the Philippines.
"It's an honor to join the
Asia 21 Leaders Programme. I look forward to further developing their
causes with the advice and experience of this distinguished alumni
community. This opportunity will definitely strengthen our advocacy
efforts at Edukasyon.ph and boost our efforts in helping high school
students find better schools and careers," said Henry.
He was born in Paris to a
Filipina mother and a French father, and was raised between Paris,
London, and Zurich, and the Philippines. Henry holds a BSc in
Economics and Economic History from the London School of Economics and
an MBA (with distinction) from the Harvard Business School. He is
currently working for Bain Capital, a private equity fund in London,
the United Kingdom. He previously worked for Goldman Sach’s Investment
Banking Division, also in London.
Henry will attend the
special 10th anniversary Asia 21 Summit in Hong Kong, December 1-4.
The summit will celebrate the achievements of the first decade,
explore innovative ways to leverage the Asia 21 network for greater
impact, and form special Asia 21 Task Forces to address critical
issues facing the region.
“I hope this opportunity can
also inspire our young leaders and students to search for similar
opportunities that can support their organizations and expand their
network globally. Education plays a huge role in making these
opportunities possible,” Henry added.
Asia 21 Young Leaders are
selected through a highly competitive process based on outstanding
achievements, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to
make the world a better place. The 32 young leaders who make up the
Asia 21 Class of 2015 represent 22 countries and are divided almost
evenly between men and women. Fifty percent work in the private
sector, 44 percent in the nonprofit sector, and 6 percent in the
“The new class of Asia 21
Young Leaders is a remarkable group. We are excited to introduce these
leaders of the Asia-Pacific region to the Asia 21 Network, where they
will find mentors, potential collaborators, and, we hope, new
friends,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “We
welcome this passionate group to the Asia 21 family, and look forward
to the contributions they make to the public good in the coming
Henry joins a powerful
network of Asia 21 alumni - proven leaders from across the region
representing a variety of professional backgrounds, who will serve as
mentors and potential collaborators. The Asia 21 network includes
rising political figures – Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV
(Philippines); Minister of Culture and Primary and Secondary Education
Anies Baswedan (Indonesia); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (United
States); Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin (Malaysia) –
prominent media personalities – NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt (India);
Herald Corporation Chairman Ryan Hong (South Korea); Zebra Media
Founder and CEO Scarlett Li (China); and Moby Group Chairman Saad
Mohseni (Afghanistan) – award-winning journalists and filmmakers –
Maziar Bahari (Iran); Nitin Das (India); Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
(Pakistan) – and private sector leaders – Saratoga Investment Sedaya
President Sandiaga Uno (Indonesia); Executive Director at YTL
Singapore Pte Ltd. Ruth Yeoh (Malaysia); Inle Princess Resort Managing
Director Yin Myo Su (Myanmar); and Head of Asia Capital Markets &
Financing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Soofian Zuberi (Pakistan).
DOLE and DMCI hit
anew for anti-labor streak
By Bukluran ng Manggagawang
July 19, 2015
QUEZON CITY – A LABOR
group denounced what they called an “unrepentant and conscious
criminal neglect” of the labor department and the Consunji-owned
Semirara Mining Corporation (SMC) for the deaths of nine miners after
open pit coal mine in Caluya, Antique collapsed on Friday.
It can be recalled that in
February 2013, ten SMC employees died when similarly, incessant rains
caused a wall in the coal mine to collapse. The coal mining giant and
its subcontractors were also found to have violated labor and safety
“Nineteen lives lost in a
span of two years and the undeniable resemblance of the consequences
behind these mining disasters is conclusive that both the SMC and the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are unrepentant labor safety
violators, treating workers as expendable variables to feed their
interests,” said Leody De Guzman of the militant Bukluran ng
Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).
“Their repeated and wanton
disregard of the threat on limbs, lives and impact on the livelihood
of the workers due to the expected cessation of its operations despite
their earlier infringements demands nothing less but the severest of
punishments,” he added.
The group has also called
for an independent investigation to avoid probable collusion between
the labor department and the DMCI.
“Despite these work-related
fatalities incurred in 2013, the DOLE allowed SMC to resume operations
after the “danger has been removed or corrected” and no one was made
liable,” De Guzman lamented.
Another DMCI subsidiary the
DMCI Homes and their subcontractors were also determined two weeks ago
to have violated substantial labor and safety standard infringements
at the construction site of the controversial Torre de Manila.
The militant leader was
quick to point the accusing finger at the Department Order (DO) 131-13
or the Labor Law Compliance System (LLCS) which was issued in July
2013. To which he claimed was a “symbolical death warrant that has
been systematically implemented against the Filipino working class to
pursue profit and investments”.
It is believed that a
hundred and three workers have been killed and countless injured since
De Guzman inferred that,
“These mounting occupational deaths are a validation of cost of the
government’s partiality to bend labor and safety standards to satisfy
corporations’ appetite for profit at the expense of limbs, lives and
livelihood of workers”.
The BMP has repeatedly
demanded that not unless immediate and drastic reforms including its
junking of the said DO and the abolition of contractualization are
inperative to avert another Kentex tragedy from ever happening.
“Massive reforms and
punitive measures against a repeat offender such as DMCI and the
negligent regional labor officials must be the order of the day,” De
The labor group likewise
called out to the relatives of the dead miners to emulate the
relatives of the Kentex victims to file the appropriate charges versus
the company and the officials of the DOLE.
Leoncio Ciruray Jr., Commander, 801st Bde. while giving his
message to the members of LGUs and LGAs headed by Daram mayor
Lucia Astorga during the declaration of Daram as insurgency-free
municipality on July 16, 2015.
Another 3 towns in
Eastern Visayas declared as insurgency-free
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 19, 2015
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Municipalities of Rosario, Northern Samar, Sta. Fe, Leyte and Daram,
Samar were declared as insurgency-free on July 13, 15 and 16, 2015
respectively. Municipality of Rosario held the ceremony at the town’s
municipal hall, while the other two towns held the ceremonies at their
respective municipal gymnasiums.
The declaration of Rosario,
Northern Samar as insurgency-free was formalized by the signing of
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the AFP, represented by
Brig. Gen. Herminigildo C. Aquino AFP, Commander, 803rd Infantry
Brigade; PNP, represented by PSI Anthony T. Din, Chief of Police
Rosario; and Rosario LGU, represented by Hon. Gerardo T. Miranda,
Municipal Mayor of Rosario.
While the declaration of
Sta. Fe, Leyte as insurgency-free was formalized by the signing of
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the AFP, represented by Col.
Dino A. Dolina, Commander, 802nd Infantry Brigade; PNP, represented by
PSupt Erwin Portillo, DPDO, Leyte PPO and Sta. Fe LGU, represented by
Hon. Oscar J. Monteza, Mayor of Sta. Fe.
On the other hand, the
declaration of Daram, Samar as insurgency-free was formalized with the
signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the AFP,
represented by Colonel Leoncio A. Cirunay Jr.; the PNP, represented by
PSSupt Elmer R. Pelobello, OIC Samar Police Office and Daram LGU,
represented by Hon. Lucia L. Astorga, Mayor of Daram.
The signings were witnessed
by the towns’ municipal council members and their respective
The declarations of the
three towns were by virtue of the Municipal Resolutions passed by
their respective Municipal Councils.
Based on the Municipal
Councils’ resolutions, the towns have satisfied the imperatives
stipulated in the National Internal Security Plan (NISP) where the
threat of CPP-NPA is already relegated to insignificant level.
An insurgency free town is a
level up of towns declared as Peaceful and Ready for Further
Development (PRFD) status.
The “Insurgency-Free” status
of the three towns, mean they are free from NPA intimidation and
extortion activities. Due to these, business activities in the said
towns will experience uptrend and will eventually improve their
economic and financial status where the people will be the ultimate
Chiz calls for
breakdown of school building fund in 2016 national budget
By Office of Senator Chiz
July 17, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero is informing Malacañang in advance of his plan to
require a breakdown of the huge education-related lump sums in the
proposed P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016, particularly the
funding allocation for the government’s school building project.
“I am telling education and
budget officials to please break down the school building fund. I am
assigning this homework early, so they won’t be caught by surprise,”
said Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.
The lawmaker described
allocations for the construction and repair of classrooms as
“traditionally the biggest lump sum” in the budget.
He noted that for 2014,
P37.7 billion was appropriated for the construction of 43,183
classrooms and P2.85 billion for the repair of 9,502 classrooms.
For this year, he said P45.7
billion has been authorized in the national budget for 41,728 new
classrooms and 455 technical-vocational workshops. In addition, P2.93
billion has been allocated for the repair of 9,500 classrooms.
But despite the huge amount
involved, Escudero said these allocations are not accompanied by
specific details. “What’s in the budget is just a one-sentence
appropriations authority,” he pointed out.
According to the senator,
the “lack of specifics” could be the reason why the construction of
classrooms is facing delays.
A review conducted by
Escudero’s committee in May and June this year on how these sums were
spent revealed a huge backlog. Out of the 43,183 classrooms slated to
be constructed last year, only 7,051 have been completed as of May 31,
Worse, not a single
classroom has been built out of the 41,728 planned for the year, he
Escudero said the delays
could have been avoided “if right from the very beginning, the schools
where the classrooms will be built were already listed in the national
“Slow implementation could
have been averted if we enumerated in the budget preparation phase how
many classrooms will be built at what cost and in what schools,” he
“Too much time was
squandered in the project identification phase. There was too much
to-and-fro in validating sites, for example,” Escudero said.
To speed up implementation,
the Senate finance panel chief said “it would help if the destination
of funds is already spelled out in the national budget.”
“Parang may sign board na.
Ikaw na P1 million, papunta ka sa isang school sa Davao. Eh ang
nangyari ngayon, instead of hitting the ground running at the start of
the fiscal year, saka pa lang maghahanap kung saan itatayo ang
classrooms,” Escudero said.
He added: “If it were true
that the approach used is the zero-based budgeting, then the
assumption is that they were able to come up with final figure by
increments, meaning you counted from zero.”
“Ang nangyari yata ngayon ay
reverse arithmetic. Meron tayong ganitong pondo,so paano natin ito
ipamumudmod. Ang resulta: underspending. This
putting-the-cart-before-the-horse kind of budgeting is what is
crippling our school building program.”
The senator is confident
that itemizing the school building fund “will not only promote
transparency but will also accelerate construction so that by the time
schools open in June, ready-to-use classrooms have already been
completed using the current year’s appropriations.”
Escudero conveyed his demand
for lump sum itemization of the classroom fund after the Palace
announced that the Department of Education will get the biggest slice
of the 2016 budget and the largest funding increase.
The DepEd’s budget will go
up from P321.1 billion this year to P436.5 billion, or by P115.4
Inauguration of 81st Petron
Petron continues to
fuel hope for Tacloban
July 15, 2015
TACLOBAN CITY –
Industry leader Petron Corporation today welcomed hundreds of school
children to their new classrooms when it inaugurated the Petron School
in Tacloban City.
This brings to 81 Petron
Schools that Petron has built throughout the Philippines since 2002,
providing over 160 classrooms to directly benefit 10,000 students.
These facilities support the Department of Education’s Adopt-A-School
program and contribute much needed venues for education in overcrowded
public schools in the country or those that have been severely damaged
by major calamities.
The Petron School adds two
new classrooms in Anibong Elementary School in Tacloban City’s
Barangay 68. The typhoon-resilient facility comes complete with chairs
and tables for students and teachers, ceiling fans, and a restroom per
Tacloban City officials led
by Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez were joined in the simple inauguration
ceremony by DepEd Superintendent Dr. Gorgonio Diaz, Jr., School
Principal Mrs. Josefina Tanpiengco, PTA President, Barangay 68 Chair
Ma Rosario Bactol.
“Petron continues to
reaffirm its commitment to nation building, especially in areas where
we have a major presence,” said Petron AVP for Corporate Affairs and
Petron Foundation General Manager Charmaine V. Canillas. “We have been
a part of Tacloban, and our sense of community deepened in the
aftermath of one of the country’s worst calamities. Beyond the relief
efforts, we hope that our programs such as the Petron School will help
the city not only rise from the tragedy but fully develop and
The Petron School in
Tacloban complements the two-classroom AGAPP Silid Pangarap pre-school
in Judge Antonio Montilla Sr. Elementary School also in Tacloban City
that was turned over in February. Also as part of its support for the
city’s sustainability, the Petron Tacloban Depot adopted a watershed
in Barangay 69 and planted an initial batch of 7,500 mangroves. This
aims to help protect the community from the impact of tidal waves,
storm surges, or even tsunamis.
Chiz urges NTC to
crack the whip on the internet speed row
Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
July 15, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
to immediately rectify the questionable set-up of routing internet
data to other countries instead of doing so on the Philippines’ own
unified internet exchange point as a simple measure to speed up
“The NTC should start
cracking the whip and fix the system immediately. It cannot be
‘business as usual’ anymore. Let’s do away with the mentality of just
accepting the present situation and start doing something about it,”
The senator said the NTC
should start by asking the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT),
the country’s largest telecommunications company, why it continues to
refuse to connect to the country’s own internet exchange facility
called the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX) which was
developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) primarily
to allow a faster exchange of data among users.
“PLDT does not want to
connect to PHOpenIX. Instead, it connects to the Hong Kong Internet
Exchange (HKIX) through its private Vitro Internet Exchange (VIX). I
find this questionable because routing data overseas and then
terminating here in the country takes a lot longer than routing and
terminating data flow within the country,” Escudero said.
“Why doesn’t PLDT just
connect to PHOpenIX? PLDT is the biggest telco in the country. Its
sheer size, and the influence it wields in the information and
technology industry, could very well change the IT landscape
overnight. But by refusing to connect to PHOpenIX, PLDT is holding the
country’s internet world hostage,” he added.
The senator said PLDT
chooses to route data outside the country despite the availability of
PHOpenIX, which allows all-local data traffic routing.
Escudero also asked the NTC
to look into reports that PLDT refuses to establish direct peering
with telco competitors, saying this may be considered a monopolistic
Earlier, the senator cited
recent reports by global internet providers Ookla and Akamai that
showed the dismal state of internet speed in the Philippines. The
latest Ookla household download index report ranked the Philippines
21st out of 22 countries in Asia, trailed only by Afghanistan.
“The problem is that
government agencies that are supposed to monitor these telcos and help
consumers don’t seem to feel the urgency of the situation,” he said.
Envi orgs slam
disposal of Canadian waste in PH landfill
July 10, 2015
Environmental and public health groups expressed frustration and
disappointment over the sudden disposal of 29 of the 50 container vans
containing mixed wastes that were illegally imported from Canada,
despite the absence of a court order directing the illegal shipment’s
A news report confirmed that
the waste shipment has been accepted by Metro Clark Waste Management
Corporation, a sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac, at P900 per ton.
Based on its website, however, Metro Clark does not appear to be
allowed to process some of the wastes found in the illegal Canadian
waste shipment, such as electronic wastes, which is one of the waste
materials discovered inside the cargo vans.
“We can not correct a
mistake with another mistake. Disposing of the illegal shipment
without the proper directives from the regional trial court and
without any technical assessment of the wastes contents makes a
mockery of our laws and puts public health at risk yet again,” said
Anna Kapunan, BAN Toxics’ Chemicals Management Coordinator. “We hope
that this is not another case of political expediency supplanting
public interest and safety.”
Environmental watchdog group
EcoWaste Coalition condemned the dumping of the Canadian trash in
Tarlac as “inexcusably anti-Filipino.”
“The local disposal of the
Canadian trash amid the opposition in the streets and even the halls
of Congress and Senate came like a thief in the night. It’s
inexcusably anti-Filipino that must not happen again. President Aquino
needs to assure our people through his upcoming State of the Nation
Address that robust measures will be put in place to plug the
loopholes that led to such a horrendous act of disrespect to our
environmental integrity,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of
For more than a year, civil
society groups have been clamoring for the return of the 50 container
vans to Canada, but last May, another batch of waste-filled containers
coming from the same exporter has been discovered in Subic Port. It
was found out that 48-forty five footer container vans containing the
same kind of wastes arrived at the Philippine ports at around the same
time as the first 50 container vans in question.
The first shipment has been
a subject of 14 legal cases filed by the Department of Justice against
the importer Chronics Plastics, Inc. and its owner Adelfa Eduardo. To
date, no court order has yet been released approving the disposal of
"Our fears have been
confirmed. For the Aquino government to allow this to happen right
under our noses – without proper court order and community
consultation- is unthinkable. It is legally, socially, and morally
unacceptable to dispose of foreign waste, disguised and declared as
non-hazardous, in our very own backyard. This move is a bad precedent
and sends a signal to other unscrupulous and illegal waste traders to
ship their unwanted trash to the Philippines. It is inconceivable how
our own government has carelessly acted without regard to our
sovereignty,” said Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace
Meanwhile, Global Alliance
for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) admonished the government for
making a clandestine move to dispose the Canadian waste amidst the
heavy downpour and widespread floods currently being experienced in
“The surreptitious transport
of these container vans amid this bad weather reeks of bad faith.
Indeed, while our collective attention are directed towards disaster
risk reduction and management, quietly the BoC slips 29 container vans
out of Manila to Clark for disposal knowing fully well that a number
of legal actions related to those illegal shipment are pending in
Manila RTCs,” said Paeng Lopez, Program Coordinator of GAIA.
Last November 2014, a waste
assessment and character study (WACS) was conducted by the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and witnessed the members
of the interagency committee composed of BoC, Department of Health,
Department of Foreign Affairs, and a representative of the Canadian
Embassy. The WACS revealed that the contents of the sampled containers
are heterogenous, or mixed wastes, comprising of household wastes,
unrecyclable plastics, broken bottles and electronic wastes. Earlier
statements from the DENR said the shipment contains hazardous wastes
and must be sent back to Canada in accordance with the Basel
Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous
But on March 2015, a sudden
turnaround was made by the DENR when they announced that the wastes
were not toxic, and can be disposed here in the Philippines. This came
weeks before President Benigno Aquino III’s state visit to Canada to
meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the leaders of the
“The WACS was simply a
cursory visual assessment of the waste. It is not a definitive
assessment of the toxicity of the content nor the dangers of the
constituents of the waste,” explains Kapunan. “If there were
infectious wastes, radioactive wastes or even heavy metals in the
containers, visual inspection may not reveal this. It is disconcerting
that the disposal is underway without taking sensible and
precautionary steps to ensure the wastes are not toxic and can be
GAIA’s Lopez couldn’t hide
his disgust, citing that the victims of the whole issue of the
Canadian waste are the common people living in Capas, Tarlac.
“Whose interest is the
Aquino government really protecting? We feel sorry for the frontline
communities in Clark who has to host this dirty reminder that our
national government has no intention of protecting our welfare. It is
detestable that in own country, our own government upholds the
interest of Canada instead of ours,” Lopez said.