Army troops scores
against NPA rebels in Northern Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
February 15, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Troops of 43rd Infantry Battalion, 8ID, PA led by 1Lt.
Edsel Ryan B. Celebre engaged NPA rebels under their leader Salvador
Nordan a.k.a “Badok” while conducting combat operations against
lawless elements at Sitio Cabaywa, Brgy. Santander, Bobon, Northern
Samar on February 14, 2017.
The fire fight lasted for
about five minutes that resulted to one (1) NPA killed identified as
Bernadette Lutao a.k.a. “Kakan”, the wife of “Badok,” and the recovery
of one (1) improvised explosive device (IED) and three (3) cellular
The use of IED is restricted
under the United Nations Geneva Convention because of its
indiscriminate effects and humanitarian harm it can cause to innocent
civilians as well as a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law between
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDF.
In a statement by Maj.
General Raul M. Farnacio, he said that the NPAs have been using IEDs
as of their weapons of choice without consideration on the welfare of
the civilian populace. “The NPA has been deliberately violating the
human rights with their production and employment of IEDs and their
continuous disruption of the peaceful lives of our fellow Filipinos
especially those in the far-flung barangays,” he stated.
“This accomplishment is a
triumph for the collective effort of the local government unit and
agencies, 8ID, and our civilian constituents to attain just and
lasting peace in Northern Samar. Filipinos want peace and it is high
time for our fellow Filipinos who were misled to join the NPA to lay
down their arms and lead their lives away from armed struggle,”
Since the lifting of the
ceasefire by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, 8ID troops have been
conducting security operations in the region as part of their mandate.
“Rest assured that your Army in Eastern Visayas are tirelessly
committed to serve and secure the people within the bounds of respect
of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and Rule of Law,“
of the 2-storey, 6-classroom School Building in Higatangan
National High School, Naval Biliran on Feb. 13, 2017. The
project has a contract cost of P8.2M under RT Morabe
Construction. The project would benefit 240 Senior High School
Students of the said school and will provide an environment
conducive to learnings.
February 14, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Fidel M. Limpiado Sr. National High School in Higatangan Island, Naval
Biliran received their newly 2-storey 6 classroom building in a
turn-over ceremony by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
and Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday, February 13, 2017.
“This marks another success
in the pursuit of the government to provide quality education for the
students by constructing additional school buildings”, said Engr.
Alfredo L. Bollido, DPWH OIC-Assistant District Engineer in his
turn-over message on behalf of District Engineer, David P. Adongay Jr.
The occasion was also graced
by the presence of Hon. Brigido Caneja III, Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Member who attended on behalf of Congressman Rogelio J. Espina; Dr.
Rodulfo Pabilada, Supervisor of Kindergarten on behalf of DepEd
District Superintendent Dr. Carmela R. Tamayo; Dr. Allan Paul U. Tubis,
DepEd Administrative Officer; RT Morabe Contractor representative,
teachers and students.
The Higatangan National High
School has more or less 200 enrollees for this year for the K-12
program with 14 teaching force.
Engr. Bollido added “We
expect that this facility would encourage more students to come to
school as this will provide them a facilitative space to learn and be
inspired to study harder and reach their highest potential”.
Mrs. Leonora S. Mission,
Head Teacher II also expressed her gratitude of the new school
building in her acceptance message saying “Ang gusaling ito ay
kapaki-pakinabang para sa maayos na pagkatuto ng mga estudyante dahil
po dito, lubos po akong nagpapasalamat. At bilang tagapamahala ng
paaralang ito, ako po’y nangangako na pangangalagaan ang gusaling ito
kasama ang internal at external na stakeholders. Nawa’y tulungan at
suportaan ninyo ako para sa mga adhikain at programa ng paaralan,
dahil ang lahat ng pagsisikap ng paaralan ay para sa mga bata at dahil
sa mga bata”.
The ceremonial key turn-over
and ribbon-cutting ceremony highlighted the occasion. After the
turn-over, DPWH headed by Engr. Bollido, together with the DepEd
representatives, Contractor and School Heads inspected the newly
turned-over school building.
Prior to their inspection,
there are minor defects/deficiencies found that needs to be corrected
by the contractor. According to Engr. Bollido, contractor needs to
correct these defect deficiencies to fully collect the payment.
The two-storey, 6-classroom
school building projects in Higatangan National High School, Naval,
Biliran is under contact with RT Morabe Construction with a contract
cost of P8.2M. The Higatangan Island is only a few minutes ride by
small boat from Biliran’s capital town, Naval.
SMC don’t beat
around the bush!
By Philippine Movement for
February 13, 2017
QUEZON CITY – The
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), its member Nuclear
Free Bataan Movement (NFBM) and the people of Limay, Bataan told SMC
Global Power Holdings Corp. to stop avoiding the real issue and
refrain from misleading the people in what is actually happening in
Mr. Ramon Ang, President and
COO for San Miguel Corporation released a statement yesterday saying
that they are using the Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology
which makes their coal-fired power plant emits sulphur oxide, nitrogen
oxide carbon monoxide and particulate matter lower than the current
standard set by DENR and World Bank.
PMCJ maintains that while it
is possible for CFB technology to lessen the emissions, it seems that
the real issue of bottom ash is deliberately avoided. While it is true
that coal plant that uses CFB technology emits the above mentioned
emissions lower than the prevailing standards it does not address the
production of bottom ash.
The real issue behind is the
huge pile of bottom ash that the 140 MW coal plant of Petron dumps in
the designated temporary ash pond of San Miguel, the very same area
where the 300 MW coal plant own by San Miguel currently conducting its
test run dump their bottom ash. It is this huge accumulation of bottom
ash allegedly resulted to rise in respiratory related diseases and
skin diseases as well.
Coal plant which utilizes
CFB technology produces more coal ash than conventional ones, since it
add limestone to pulverize coal during combustion process. Both the
140 MW and the 300 MW employs the CFB technology hence resulted to a
huge pile up of bottom ash near the area where the community lives.
Hence we strongly call on
SMC to face the music and stop beating around the bush, the real
problem is your bottom ash and the question of the legality of your
ash pond, so long as it is not properly address the sufferings of the
people continues. And the only way to comprehensively address it is to
stop the operation of both coal plants since as long as they continue
to operate there will be accumulation of bottom ash.
Our demand is for the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to immediately
order a shut down the coal plants operation, indemnify the affected
community, suspend incompetent regional DENR officers and include both
coal plants as priority in the ECC audit to be conducted by the
Stakeholders Fellowship in Northern Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
February 9, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – In order to address and strengthen the aspirations of peace
and order in the region, your Army in Eastern Visayas together with
the Provincial Government of Northern Samar came up with a Provincial
Peace and Order Council Meeting and Stakeholders Fellowship with the
Local Chief Executives and Stakeholders of the whole province of
Northern Samar with Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander 8th
Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division held at the Governor’s Residence,
Catarman, Northern Samar on February 8, 2017.
This activity also aims to
unite the Local Chief Executives and stakeholders in addressing the
poverty alleviation; peace and order update; and support the
government’s drive against illegal drugs and lawless violence in the
Present during the activity
were: Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander 8ID; Brig. General
Mario G. Lacurom AFP, Commander 803rd Bde; PCSupt Elmer P Beltejar,
RD, PRO8; PSSupt Ceazar Zafiro L. Tannagan, PD NSPPO; Hon. Raul A.
Daza, Representative, 1st District; Hon. Jose L. Ong Jr, Governor of
Northern Samar; Hon. Gary M. Lavin, Vice Governor of Northern Samar;
Mr. Valente P. Bajet. DILG, Provincial Director; Atty. Efren J. Sabong,
Provincial Administrator; Hon. Don. L. Avalon, LCE San Jorge; Ms.
Imelda Bonifacio, Regional Area Manager, OPPAP; Head of Local
Government Agencies; 24 mayors of different municipalities of Nortnern
Samar; church leaders; media personalities and members of Provincial
Peace and Order Council of Northern Samar.
During the open forum, the
Local Chief Executives were urged to deliver the basic social services
needed especially to the far flung areas. Further, on the discussion
of the lifting of unilateral ceasefire, MGen Raul M Farnacio,
Commander 8th Infantry Division rest assured to the people of Eastern
Visayas that they will be highly protected by the military troops
against any atrocities that will be brought by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Further, as per guidance by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the NPA
members who would like to surrender to the fold of government, the AFP
will humbly welcome them and rest assured that they will receive
remuneration to start a new and better living. Hon. Jose L. Ong, the
Provincial Governor of Northern Samar stressed-out that it’s about
time to remove the root cause of poverty and to destroy the CPP-NPA
influence in their respective barangays. They must be united to end up
the insurgency and function as reliable public servants to the people.
MGen Farnacio also
highlighted the Armed Forces of the Philippines new campaign plan
dubbed as Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) “Kapayapaan”.
This is the continuance of Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP)
“Bayanihan” that was terminated last year. This campaign will focus on
sustained military operations to defeat the foreign and local
terrorist organizations; contribute to the promotion of peace active
support to law enforcement in war against drugs; and contribute to
Gov’t to provide
transition period to end ‘5-6’ lending scheme
February 9, 2017
MAKATI CITY – In line
with government’s drive to reform the micro-financing system in the
country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently called
for an inter-agency meeting to work on the transition to allow illegal
foreign money lenders to legalize their resident status and register
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) their lending
business. The transition period is needed to prevent undue harassment
of concerned lenders.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez
with SEC Chair Tess Herbosa and representatives from the Departments
of Justice and Foreign Affairs, Immigration Bureau, National
Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,
Philippine National Police, Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) and
the Indian Chamber of Commerce, gathered to discuss legitimization of
lending businesses and initial steps to put a stop on the said lending
The total operation value of
the “5-6” lending system sums up to a total of P2.4 billion, with
30,000 operators across the country, according to the Indian Chamber
of Commerce Philippines. A transition period will be provided to
lending operators, giving them ample time to register their businesses
“After the prescribed
transition period, 5-6 scheme must stop and micro-businesses must
shift to P3 and other legal micro-financing facilities,” said Sec.
Lopez, referring to the government’s flagship micro-financing
initiative Pondo Para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3, initiated by
President Rodrigo Duterte.
Launched in Tacloban,
Occidental Mindoro and Sarangani, the P1-billion micro-financing
program aims to provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
with easy access to finance with no collateral and minimal interest,
through micro-financing institutions (MFIs) and cooperatives
accredited by DTI and the SB Corp.
“We should be seeking the
frontiers, these people who have not been reached by the MFIs are the
same people targeted by the ‘5-6’,” Sec. Lopez added.
A Technical Working Group (TWG)
on the matter will provide specific guidelines on the compliance and
registration of lending businesses.
Indian Chamber of Commerce
Philippines President Rex Daryanani expressed hope that term “5-6”
would eventually be eradicated and be replaced by the term
By DONNA C. DEBUTON
February 8, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – Samar
First District Engineering Office has finally completed the
construction of San Agustin-Pagsanghan Road under the General
Appropriation Act (GAA) of 2016. The project includes the concreting
of 3,150 linear meters of road covering Brgy. San Agustin to
The construction of San
Agustin-Pagsanghan Road is one of the high impact projects of Samar I
having a contract amount of 50 million pesos under B. Vicencio
The Municipality of
Pagsanghan can be reached by a river boat or an intermittent concrete
road where gravel road are hardly passable at times during continuous
heavy rains. However with the completion of this project, residents
can travel from the municipality to Gandara and elsewhere anytime
The project provides a wide
range of benefits to the local citizens of said areas which includes a
significantly reduced time of travel and boosted economic activities.
Various types of vehicles can now pass along this road section not
only “habal-habal” and single motorcycles.
Corporation told: Don’t just defer, cancel the project!
By Philippine Movement for
February 8, 2017
QUEZON CITY – The
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) lauds the decision of
Phinma Energy Corporation to defer their planned 900 MW coal-fired
power plant in Sual, Pangasinan. However, the group advises Phinma to
totally cancel the project and, instead, invest in renewable energy
Yesterday, Phinma announced
that they are considering constructing the coal plant in the year 2023
to 2025 because right now, there are already a lot of coal plants
operating and being constructed in the country.
According to Mr. Ian Rivera,
National Coordinator of PMCJ, presently there are 25 existing and
operational coal-fired power plants all over the country including the
1,294 MW coal plant in Sual, Pangasinan. In addition, 35 coal plant
projects are in the pipeline aside from the planned 900 MW project of
“Phinma has to decide to
delist coal projects in their investments as this will turn out to be
a stranded asset as renewable energy (RE) becomes more viable.
Business-wise, investing in RE will yield far more returns because it
is now cheaper, safer and with no negative externalities. On the other
hand, coal is dirty and costly considering the harm and danger it
poses to people and environment as evidenced by what is happening now
in Limay, Bataan where host barangays are suffering from ill effects
of the bottom ash produced from the operation of two coal plants in
the area: the 140MW of Petron Refinery and the 300MW of San Miguel
Global Power Corporation which is currently running on a series of
tests”, Rivera added.
Recent news shows that a
significant population in the host barangays in Limay, mostly senior
citizens and children are experiencing respiratory-related health
problems and skin diseases. These problems were caused by ashes being
spewed during coal combustion of the said two coal plants.
calls on senate to probe AI report
By Office of Senator Chiz
February 7, 2017
PASAY CITY – Sen.
Chiz Escudero has filed a resolution pushing the Senate to investigate
the allegations of Amnesty International that killings related to the
government's war against illegal drugs were extrajudicial executions
carried out by gunmen hired by police officers to kill and plant
Escudero, former chair of
the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, filed Senate
Resolution No. 282 directing the appropriate Senate committee to probe
into the report by AI, saying it must not be simply set aside as it
raises serious allegations that can undermine the Philippines’
reputation as a democratic country that fundamentally recognizes and
upholds human rights.
“I found AI to be radical at
times if you look into our history. The filing of resolution is really
not meant to give AI a platform. It is to allow AI to prove their
allegations because by that report, they besmirched the reputation of
He also added that the
legislative inquiry would be an avenue to verify the accuracy of the
report and give the people and institutions involved an opportunity to
respond to the findings.
“It is not only a matter of
necessity but public accountability as well that AI substantiate and
present its evidence before the Senate for public scrutiny to confirm
the report’s veracity and to hold, or otherwise clear, the Philippine
government of any responsibility,” Escudero said.
“Sure or not, they already
besmirched the name of our country by saying that these violations are
committed by the state itself,” the senator said.
According to the report
released by the international human rights watchdog, “the police paid
killers on their payroll, and unknown armed individuals have slain
more than a thousand people a month under the guise of a national
campaign to eradicate drugs,” adding that the administration’s war on
drugs is actually a “war against the poor.”
AI also alleged the use of a
mere “watch list,” which contents are based on hearsay, community
rumor or rivalry, with little verification.
In their report, AI also
detailed the story of a police officer with the rank of Senior Police
Officer 1, who served in the PNP for a decade and is currently part of
the anti-illegal drugs unit in Metro Manila. According to the source,
the police paid per “encounter” – the term used to mask the
extrajudicial killings as legitimate operations conducted by the
authorities. The police officer claimed that the amount paid by the
police ranges from P8,000 to P15,000 per person, per encounter.
“The logic it presents is
that this money is coming from the government, that is a serious
allegation that would immediately connect the state to what is
happening outside the EJKs (extrajudicial killings) and that would
mean it is already state sponsored. That is a very serious allegation
and AI cannot simply make that allegation and say ‘sorry all of our
sources are confidential, we cannot reveal it.’”
Since the Duterte
administration came into power, the Philippine National Police has
conducted almost 41,000 drug-related operations from July 2016 to
According to AI, more than
7,000 people have been killed in the drug war, with the police
directly killing at least 2,500 alleged drug offenders.
cautioned the administration against giving too much power to the
police force and treating erring officers with kid gloves.
“The worst fear of many
people already happened. It went into the head of the policemen. Not
all, but some,” he said. “We want to see the PNP leadership pursue
with the same vigor as drug suspects the scalawags, misfits and erring