NPA responds to
Gen. Farnacio’s claim: It’s not us but the AFP that private armies in
Samar are close to
By Efren Martires Command,
April 24, 2017
SAMAR – The Efren
Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today
told Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, chief of the 8th Infantry Division of
the Philippine Army, not to pass the buck to the NPA over the abject
failure or in fact the reluctance of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines to stamp out private armies in Samar province.
“Private armies have nothing
in common with the NPA but a lot with the AFP – some hired goons are
even CAFGU paramilitaries,” said the NPA’s regional command. “For
example, in Matuguinao there is a group of CAFGU elements under the
43rd IB who are also hired goons of politicians and who have already
killed at least ten peasants without having been brought to account
yet. We can identify two of these CAFGU elements as Jovic “Laloy”
Oblado, the ringleader and henchman of Mayor Antonieto Cabueños of
Gandara, and Jonas Boller, who is suspected of killing peasant
activist Rex Arandia last September 2016.”
The EMC also dismissed Gen.
Farnacio’s claim the NPA is in the pockets of corrupt politicians just
like the private armies as a far-fetched fabrication. “Gen. Farnacio
should know the NPA has publicly announced it has been ordered by the
people’s court to arrest the two most bloodthirsty politicians in
Samar province, Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino and San Jorge Mayor
Meanwhile, up in Northern
Samar, the NPA has also publicly declared it is ready to carry out any
decision of the people’s court against the two most corrupt and
anti-people politicians, Congressman Raul Daza as well as former
Congressman Emil Ong, who leads the ruling dynasty in the province.”
On the other hand, said the
NPA regional command, the AFP has been not only failed to crush the
private armies despite much posturing, but has lately been criticized
for causing mass evacuations of peasants in Calbiga. “The
much-ballyhooed AFP crackdown on private armies has proven inutile in
the face of their continuing killings even of women and children,
particularly in Calbayog and San Jorge. Private armies cannot be
dismantled without their warlords first being brought to justice. If
that is impossible, it is evident the AFP is likewise defending the
local tyrants who are often big landlords and warlords, and who thus
remain untouchable despite their hideous crimes. These local tyrants
often collaborate with the 8th ID in using paramilitaries, supporting
NPA surrender campaigns, harassing the people against supporting the
NPA, and committing criminal activities such as spreading illegal
“Moreover, the 8th ID under
Gen. Farnacio has been receiving flak over the mass evacuation of more
than 500 families in Calbiga, Samar in protest over militarization.
The AFP once again shows itself as no different in committing human
rights violations against the people.
“The AFP and private armies
are thus opposite sides of the same coin coin as defenders of the
reactionary ruling system. They are the reason for the rise and
prestige of the NPA as the genuine army of the people against the
armed minions of the state. As far as the NPA is concerned, doing away
with private armies is part of the revolutionary struggle, because
justice is essential for lasting peace.”
MWEs real income fell to
P250 - P361 versus P393 needed by family to survive in 1 day
30 million ‘Endo’ workers
fall deeper into poverty in January 2017
April 22, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Despite
the country’s consistent high economic growth, thirty million
short-term contractual, minimum-waged earners remained a working poor
as the value of purchasing power of their daily wage remained below
the standard poverty threshold level, the country’s biggest labor
group labor group the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of
the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said yesterday.
However, these minimum-waged
earners who helped built the country’s high economic wealth are living
way below standard poverty line. Their chances to get out of poverty
by way of job regularization and security of tenure on employment is
forever shut by the recent issuance of Department Order 174.
Rather than prohibiting
contractualization, DO 174 of the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) ‘legalize’ and perpetuate contractualization. Aside from having
no security of tenure because their work for less than 6 months,
contractual workers are forever tied to minimum wage.
The National Economic
Development Authority (NEDA) set the Poverty Threshold Level or the
standard amount needed by a family of five for them to survive in a
month in the year 2015 is P9,064 or P393 a day.
In a monitoring made by the
ALU-TUCP on the behavior of workers’ purchasing power vis-a-vis cost
of living, the real value of Endo workers’ nominal P491 daily minimum
wage in Metro Manila fell to P361.30 in January 2017 which is
equivalent to P8,671.20 a month, according to data from the country’s
wage board the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).
The average real wage amount
in regions outside National Capital Region, on one hand, is P250 a day
or equivalent to P6,000 per month.
Thus, the buying powers of
minimum wages P361 in Metro Manila and P250 in regions outside NCR are
inadequate compared with the P393 amount needed by a family to survive
in a day.
It means, minimum-waged
workers needs least P32 more and P143 more on top of their daily pay
for workers within and outside Metro Manila respectively to stay
within the threshold and considered not poor.
“There has been no inclusive
growth for MWEs because the buying power of minimum wage is going
downward amid rising prices of basic necessities and cost of services.
Because they have no savings and inadequate government support
programs, minimum waged workers are so vulnerable that if they get
sick, if they get late or absent from their work, or any small price
hike shocks, they fall deeper and deeper into poverty,” said ALU-TUCP
spokesman Alan Tanjusay.
The Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) estimated there are 7 out of 10 of the 43 million
workers are employed as contractuals working in less than six-month
short-term employment receiving mandated minimum wage.
Tanjusay said the ALU-TUCP
offer various pragmatic measures towards helping workers cope with
growing inflation. He said government should ban contractualization,
provide a minimal cash amount by way of monthly subsidy while
reinforcing government’s enforcement of compliance to labor and price
Employers, on the other
hand, could help their employees cope with poverty by voluntarily
providing across-the-board wage increase and implement in-house
programs providing their employees with cash and non-cash benefits,
Government define poverty
threshold as the minimum income required to meet food and non-food
needs of a family of five including clothing, housing, transportation,
health and educational expenses.
encounters NPAs, recovers 3 high powered firearms
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 21, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – A tip-off from a concerned citizen on the presence
of an armed group at Sitio Ogbok, Barangay Villa Aurora, Basey, Samar
on April 18, 2017 prompted the troops from 87th Infantry (Hinirang)
Battalion to conduct a reconnaissance patrol to confirm the validity
of the information on the alleged NPA safe house. As the troops
cautiously approach the alleged safe house, they were fired upon by
the communist terrorists. Government troops retaliated in defense
which the communist terrorists scampered in different directions.
This campaign resulted to
the recovery of two (2) 5.56mm M16A1 Rifles with SN 033681 and
9021623; one (1) magazine assembly (30 rounds) steel; one (1) magazine
assembly (30 rounds) plastic; one (1) magazine assembly (20 rounds)
steel and 48 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.
Meanwhile, in the early
morning of April 19, 2017, troops from 87th IB while conducting a
reconnaissance patrol within their area of operation encountered
undetermined number of communist terrorists at the vicinity of
Barangay Borong, Calbiga, Samar. This resulted also to the recovery of
one (1) M16A1 Rifle. No casualty reported on the government side while
undetermined on the enemy as evidenced by the bloodstains seen on
their route of withdrawal.
Your Army in Eastern Visayas
Region will ensure that the armed group, with whom the government is
talking peace with, will be unable to use force or threaten to use
force as leverage in the negotiating table. 8ID stands ready to
respond and address any such attempt by armed threat groups.
along Naval-Caibiran Cross-Country Road is on-going on the
embankment activities and installation of scaffoldings of
drainage with an accomplishment of 7% as of March 31, 2017. The
projects were prioritized because of its potential for
development with the vision to accommodate huge number of road
users. The completion of this project will increase the capacity
of the existing roads and improves the safety aspect of said
sections. This road also leads to the only Provincial Hospital
and Port of the Province.
starts construction of CY 2017 regular infra projects
By NEO JAY CAGABHION
April 19, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) has already started its CY 2017 Regular
Infrastructure project implementation. With over P940M projects to
complete this year, this district office is up for the challenge.
As of March 2017, 12
projects out of 52 projects below P50M are already on its full swing.
Among these projects are repair of six (6) bridges and extension of
two (2) flood control structures.
DPWH-Biliran DEO have also
started project implementation on Turn-out (loading and unloading
bays) in Kawayan,Biliran and Widening of Naval to Caibiran Cross
Country Road specifically within the limits of Capiñahan, Naval,
Biliran and the Municipality of Kawayan.
The usual flooding that
occurs along Sanggalang Highway will no longer be a problem since the
project on rehabilitating the road and reconstructing a larger
reinforced box culvert has already commenced. Soon this problem will
just be a thing of the past.
These projects are just the
start and 19 more projects are expected to start on April this year.
Soon, DPWH-Biliran DEO will be able to begin full implementation on
the remaining projects and take up the challenge of completing these
infrastructures before this year ends.
DPWH PIOs conducts
1st quarter meeting/workshop
By FRECHBEE L. SABILE
April 19, 2017
BILIRAN – Public
Information Officers (PIO) of the Department of Public Works and
Highways of Region VIII held their first quarterly PIO Conference/
Workshop on March 29, 2017 at Summer’s Garden, Catbalogan City.
Biliran District Engineering
Office were represented by Engr. Gene F. Delfin, Engineer II (PIO
Alternate) and Engr. Frechbee L. Sabile, Engineer I.
The workshop focuses on the
topics “Journalism and Workshop on Layouting using Indesign and
Publisher Applications with resource speaker, Mr. Bryan Azura,
newswriter of Sinirangan News Plus.
Discussed during the
workshop was about the Microsoft Publisher 2010, its parts, the do’s
and don’ts to make a good newsletter that can provide information of
interest to the readers, and how to layout a newsletter using it.
Comparison between Indesign
and Publisher Application were also discussed by the resource speaker
to know if which one is more advance and easier to use in layouting a
After the discussion, the
participants from the different districts present their previous
newsletters for the critiquing.
It was found out that most
of the participants needs to change their way of lay-outing the
pictures in their newsletters to remain the quality of the photos.
Participants were also advised not to insert the captions inside the
photos so that the readers will not be distracted.
According to Azura, every
space in the paper is equivalent to money, thus they need to maximize
their writings in the page. However, Azura complemented the
participants for their organized thoughts in newswriting giving the
readers an informative news.
After the workshop, Ms.
Antonieta R. Lim, Regional PIO II gave updates on the new DPWH
memorandum and the plans for the next quarterly workshop/ meeting.
The one day conference was
hosted by Eastern Samar District Engineering Office and Samar 2nd
District Engineering Office.
P3 guidelines set;
DTI to introduce national conduits
April 18, 2017
MAKATI CITY – As funds for
the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) expected to be released
anytime soon, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its
micro-financing arm Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) have ironed
out the guidelines of its implementation that will help micro
entrepreneurs throughout the country.
Being the administration’s
program to provide an affordable micro-financing for the country’s
micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the P3 funding program
provides micro enterprises an alternative source of financing that is
easy to access and made available at a reasonable cost.
"We’re very much excited
because this is our vision in the agency – to help underprivileged by
giving better chances to elevate from poverty. Through this
micro-financing program, those from the bottom of the pyramid will get
to climb the ladder by expanding their businesses,” DTI Regional
Operations Group (DTI-ROG) Supervising Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez is
set to introduce the national conduits and local Micro-financing
Institutions (MFIs) for the P3 program.
The Pondo sa Pagbabago at
Pag-asenso (P3) is a P1 billion financing program intended to give
MSMEs better access to finance and to reduce their cost of borrowing.
The fund will also give priority to the country’s 30 poorest
Following President Rodrigo
Duterte’s directive to replace the “5-6” money lending system, the P3
is also seen to help stabilize supply and cost of commodities in
public markets, encourage small entrepreneurs to grow their
businesses, and offer employment and generate income for Filipinos.
The P1 billion fund of the
P3 program from the Office of the President will be coursed through
the SB Corp., which will accredit partner institutions such as
non-bank MFIs, cooperatives and associations to serve as conduit for
the P3 funds. With borrowers identified through these, collection of
repayments will be efficient.
“We’re very grateful that
this Program has become a reality. MSMEs now have an option to avail
of cheaper funds to expand their business,” Maglaya explained.
The P3 Program was launched
in Tacloban in Leyte on January 25, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on
January 27, and Alabel, Sarangani last January 30.
The primary beneficiaries of
the P3 Program are microenterprises and entrepreneurs that do not have
easy access to credit. These include market vendors, agri-businessmen
and members of cooperatives, and industry associations.
P3 will also make it easy
for borrowers since it will only require minimal documentation
requirement; easy to access with only one (1) day processing of
application; low cost interest at 2.5% per month; and easy payment
with collection on a weekly or daily basis, as necessary.
Loan amounts to
end-borrowers will range between P5,000 and P100,000, with no
PH exports continue
to grow, up by 11% in Feb 2017
April 18, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Philippine exports posted an increase of 11% with total sales of
$4.782 billion for the month of February 2017, marking its third month
of positive growth according to a report released by the Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA).
For February 2017, eight out
of ten top major Philippine exported goods rose with electronic
products comprising 51.6% of the total exports revenue amounting to
$2.470 billion compared to $2.131 billion registered in the same
period last year. Other products that increased include cathodes and
sections of cathodes, of refined copper (946.9%); other mineral
products (107.5%); coconut oil (66.5%); electronic equipment and parts
(64.9%); metal components (29.4%); other manufactures (20.1%);
electronic products (15.9%); and chemicals (9.6%).
United States (US) topped
other Philippine export destinations for the said month, accounting
for 15.6% to total exports with receipts valued at $745.22 million. It
is followed by Japan with 15.25% share with revenues amounting to
The increase in February
2017 exports lifted the cumulative value of merchandise exports by
17.36% for the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period in
2016, based on preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics
Continued export growth can
be attributed to the significant increase of Philippine electronic
products by 13.24% in the first two months of 2017. This stemmed from
the positive performance of the six out of nine subsectors of the
industry which contributed 96.74% share in the cumulative total value
of the industry.
Department of Trade and
Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) noted that the increasing
efforts of the Philippines in strengthening ties with its ASEAN
neighbors including China is expected to sustain the growth of the
sector in the coming months.
“Enhancing trade promotion
efforts to huge consumer markets is seen as a viable strategy in
sustaining the performance of Philippine exports in the coming
months,” said DTI-EMB Director Senen M. Perlada.
As the Philippines serves
host for this year’s ASEAN Summit, the country is pushing for the
conclusion of the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP) negotiations. RCEP is the free trade agreement
being advocated by the ASEAN 10-member states with its six (6)
dialogue partners including China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New
Zealand, and India.
"RCEP is the chance to
balance the country’s trade deficit, especially with China,"
trade-oriented economies in Asia, the Philippines placed 9th in terms
of exports growth, a decline after it placed third last month. Vietnam
topped the list for February 2017 with 29.6% recorded exports growth,
a significant increase after dropping to among the worst performers
for January 2017.
“We see a trend of recovery
among economies in the first two months of 2017. For us in the
Philippines, the numbers are healthy. While we ranked 9th for this
month, on a year-to-date (YTD) analysis among selected trade-oriented
economies, we placed third in terms of export growth. This is a signal
of a robust export sector,” explained Perlada.
NPA threats led to
massive evacuation in Calbiga
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 11, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – About 549 household from the barangays of Cambagtic, Bulao,
San Mauricio, Guimbanga, Minata, Sinalangtan, Caamlungan, Binangaran,
Daligan and Buluan all of Calbiga, Samar fled their respective
communities to seek shelter to the town gymnasium from April 4-7,
One of the Barangay Chairmen
from upper barangay claimed that residents were forced to evacuate on
the grounds of threat from communist terrorists that they will conduct
an attack against the 87th IB troops at the said area and they were
ordered purportedly by the New People's Army to troop down to avoid
being caught in a possible crossfire with government troops. The
passing of the villagers of Canbagtic to other barangays spread like
wildfire of the above mentioned rumors which the residents panicked
and also evacuated, triggering a mass exodus to the town gymnasium.
Combined efforts of 87th IB,
Municipal Police Station (MPS), Municipal Social Welfare and
Development (MSWD) and Local Government Unit (LGU) reached at a
dialogue with the evacuees to solve the current situation represented
by their respective Barangay Chairmen, agreed to convince the
residents to return to their community.
Local DSWD distributed
relief goods to the evacuees and the LGU of Calbiga provided trucks
for transportation back to their respective barangays. Most of the
evacuees returned to their communities but some refused and opted to
stay at the covered court as of press time.
Your Army in Eastern Visayas
is deploying community peace and developments teams which are
encouraging community based initiatives defined by the local
communities, with local government units coordinating efforts against
insurgency, geared towards presenting long-term solutions while at the
same time addressing the immediate needs of the local community.
A month before the UN
review on PH rights compliance:
cases of political killings under Duterte to UN
April 11, 2017
QUEZON CITY – In a
letter of allegation submitted to the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on Extrajudicial/Summary or Arbitrary Executions Ms. Agnes
Callamard yesterday, April 10, 2017, Karapatan submitted documentation
on forty-seven (47) victims of extrajudicial killings in the
Philippines under the Duterte administration, in line with the
continuing counter-insurgency program of the government.
The said cases were
submitted a month before May 8, 2017, the 3rd cycle of the Universal
Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council, a
process whereby the human rights record of a country will be examined
by other State. The period under review covers the last four years of
the Aquino administration and the first months of the Duterte
government. Karapatan also submitted similar complaints during the
Arroyo and Aquino administrations.
“The victims of killings are
peasants, indigenous peoples and workers; many faced harassment and
villification by the military because of their advocacy and actions to
defend people’s rights and are thus considered as human rights
defenders,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, in her
letter to Callamard. Karapatan urged Callamard to consider,
investigate, make recommendations and take any appropriate actions on
“Despite the 2008 report to
the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Philippines by your
predecessor, Prof. Philip Alston, strong recommendations on
extrajudicial killings perpetrated as part of counter-insurgency
programs, was unheeded both by the Arroyo and Aquino governments.
Throughout both administrations, political killings of peasants,
indigenous peoples, Moro, workers, women and youth continued and
intensified. Under Arroyo, Karapatan documented at least 1,206
individual victims of extrajudicial killing. Under Aquino, there were
334 victims of extrajudicial killing,” Palabay explained.
Karapatan said that “under
Duterte, from July 2016 to March 31, 2017, a total of 47 cases of
political killings have been documented by Karapatan.”
“These killings are all in
the context of the counter-insurgency programs implemented from one
regime to another that supposedly seek to end the armed rebellion of
revolutionary movements in the Philippines. From Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay
Laya, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and to the current Oplan Kapayapaan of
Duterte, these counter-insurgency programs have victimized thousands
of Filipinos, including struggling communities, tagged as “enemies of
the State,” she further stated.
Karapatan expressed hope
“that Callamard’s findings about the gravity of political killings in
the Philippines will convince the Duterte government to completely
junk counterinsurgency programs of which EJKs are a major aspect, to
issue strong warnings to and prosecute EJK perpetrators, and continue
to pursue his efforts at attaining just and lasting peace with the
NDFP and the Moro liberation movements.”
Palabay said they are
working with Rise Up, a campaign network of faith-based institutions
and people’s organizations, in preparing similar complaints that will
be filed at the UN on cases of extrajudicial killings in line with the
Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Karapatan is also in the
process of preparing documentation on other cases of human rights
violations such as illegal arrest and detention of civilians and
activists, forcible evacuation and bombing of communities, which will
be forwarded to relevant mandate holders. The organization also
co-convenes the Philippine UPR Watch, a network of faith-based and
human rights organizations that engages in the UPR process which will
send a delegation of human rights defenders to the UPR this May.