Bells of Balangiga
Resolution filed in U.S. Congress
By R SONNY SAMPAYAN (USAF-Ret)
States Special Envoy
of the Diocese of Borongan
September 29, 2006
NEW YORK CITY – A
historic bi-partisan bill was filed on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 by
Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) and cosponsored by Congressman Dana
Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Congressman Ed Case (D-HI). House
Concurrent Resolution 481 urge the President of the United States to
authorize the return to the people of the Philippines of two church
bells that were taken by the United States Army in 1901 from the town
of Balangiga on the island of Samar, Philippines, which are currently
displayed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.
This action was
prompted by the historic acts of the Wyoming Veterans Commission (WVC).
meeting took place on December 2004 when R Sonny Sampayan and Erwin
“Swede” Huelswede visited the Commissioners in
and requested the church bells be returned.
Prior to making
a sound judgment decision on March 26, 2005, the Commissioners also
heard a presentation of facts compiled by the Balangiga Research Group
and presented by Jean Wall, the daughter of Private Gamlin, the first
soldier to be struck during the Balangiga incident.
The Vatican, under the
leadership of the late Pope John Paul, II, sent a letter signed by
then Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio, to President Bush
on November 10, 2003, expressing support.
Nuncio wrote, “The return of the Bells would greatly contribute in
enhancing and reaffirming the beautiful friendship that exists between
the people of the United States of America and of The Philippines.”
The bell(s) were
reportedly rung, without permission of the parish priest in Balangiga,
to signal an attack
on the American garrison.
As a consequence, the
11th United States Infantry Regiment, known as the “Wyoming
Volunteers”, confiscated the Bells of Balangiga and brought them to
United States as war trophies.
The town of Balangiga
built a memorial monument that includes the names of Filipinos and
Americans who lost their lives in 1901 and that the town honors these
war dead each year on 28 September.
The Bells of
Balangiga, when restored to their original settings, could again ring,
after 105 years of muteness, as a symbol of the bond that exists
between The Philippines and the United States.
On August 15, 2006,
ABS-CBN TV Network, The Correspondents, globally premiered a 25-minute
documentary entitled, “Mga Kampana ng Balangiga (The Bells of
Balangiga), hosted by
Mr. Abner Mercado.
This documentary provided historical facts surrounding the
Balangiga incident and the desires of the Balangiga parishioners to
have their church bells returned.
2nd Southern Leyte
State University president installed
By ERNA SY GORNE (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The investiture of the second president of Southern Leyte
State University (SLSU) officially paved the way for Dr. Gloria
Markines Reyes to assume as the lady president of the 30 months old
university on Wednesday.
assumption to office of the SLSU presidency takes effect from August
6, 2006 - August 6, 2010.
The SLSU has five
campuses with diversified field of specializations are based in the
municipalities of Bontoc, Hinunangan, San Juan, Sogod and Tomas Oppus,
all of Southern Leyte. SLSU-Bontoc campus focused on fishery and
aquatic research, SLSU-Hinunangan campus has expertise on agriculture
While, SLSU-San Juan
campus specializes on business administration and entrepreneurship,
SLSU-Sogod campus is known for trade, technology and engineering and
SLSU-Tomas Oppus campus continues to led as the learning institution
for teacher education in the province.
SLSU President Reyes
aimed to transform the university as the top learning institution in
the region and continues to make higher education at affordable cost
and accessible to the people in Southern Leyte.
That she would push
for the expansion of school curriculum as designed to each campuses,
decentralize decision making to encourage initiative, open the
communication lines with the students, among her priority reforms to
further develop SLSU under her administration. This also includes the
conduct of action research to address the abaca’s disease bunchy top
virus that threatened the abaca industry of the province.
The investiture was
graced with the presence of Congressman Roger Mercado, who also
pledged to fully support the programs of the university in
Congress. Together with Provincial Administrator Genis Murallos
representing Governor Rosette Lerias, presidents of universities
namely Dr. Mike Udtohan, president of the University of Muntinlupa,
Dr. Edward Chua, president of the Asian Foundation, representiative of
Dr. Noni Ricafort, Commissioner on CHED, the Board of regents, campus
administrators and faculties of the five SLSU campuses, among others.
Meanwhile, relative to
the movements within the SLSU management, Dr. Jude Duarte, former
Campus Administrator of SLSU-Tomas Oppus has become the Vice President
for Administration and Dr. Jane Labastida as Vice President for
The one day
investiture activities commenced with motorcade parade in the morning
then it was followed with Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service in the
afternoon. After which the investiture ceremony was followed with
fellowship dinner and cultural dance presentation.
Top public elementary
schools in province bared
By BONG PEDALINO, (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The elementary public schools in this province also achieved
their shining glory just like their high school counterparts, and they
are the top ten, in successive order, during the latest nationwide
examinations called National Achievement Test (NAT).
A copy of the list
obtained by PIA though the office of Governor Lerias showed that of
the ten top performing public elementary schools, five came from Tomas
Oppus town, two from Macrohon, and one each from the towns of Bontoc,
Hinundayan, and Hinunangan.
Last month, the NAT
results for first year high school students had Rizal National High
School situated in a mountain village of Tomas Oppus town garnering
the number one post in the nationwide listing.
The NAT results for
grade six pupils were already available last month also, but Schools
Division Superintendent Violeta Alocilja begged for enough time then
to sort out the locations of the topnotcher schools, since many in the
barangays have similar names.
But now it can be
told, and here are the top ten public elementary schools with their
corresponding percentage ratings, and all these are from Southern
Leyte province: 1. Sindangan Elementary School, Macrohon - 93.82; 2.
Tinago Elementary School, Tomas Oppus - 93.16; 3. Cambite Elementary
School, Tomas Oppus - 91.93; 4. Mahalo Elementary School, Hinundayan -
91.63; 5. Carnaga Elementary School, Tomas Oppus - 91.61;
6. Tomas Oppus Central
School, Tomas Oppus - 91.16; 7. Otama Elementary School, Hinunangan -
91.03; 8. Maslog Elementary School, Tomas Oppus - 90.84; 9. Laray
Elementary School, Macrohon - 90.13; and 10. Cawayanan Elementary
School, Bontoc - 90.03.
In a related
development, it was learned that the top ten schools divisions in NAT
results for fourth year high school Southern Leyte maintained its
topmost slot with Maasin City Schools Division in third place.
But for the top ten
divisions nationwide based on performance gains for the NAT in fourth
year for the school year 2005-2006, Maasin City Schools Division
emerged number one despite its being new, and it is second to Southern
Leyte based on mean percentage score at the Regional level.
to participate in the 2nd Annual PopDev Media Awards
By MARIVIC A. ALCOBER, (PIA 8)
September 28, 2006
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte –
The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development
Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), together with the United Nations Population
Fund, invites print journalists to participate in the 2nd PopDev Media
It was learned from
Maida Ojeda of PLCPD that the PopDev Media Awards aims to pay tribute
to media practitioners nationwide who have produced, written and
reported responsible and exemplary news and feature articles on
population and development in print during the year. The Awards also
aims to encourage the media to actively examine population and
development issues as social issues that affect the country’s
development and to heighten public awareness and knowledge on
population and development issues.
The categories for the
Media Awards are: Best investigative/interpretative report; Best
reportage, wherein bodies of work or series of spot news coverage will
be included; and Best opinion/editorial piece.
Submitted entries must
feature either of the following population and development issues:
population and education; population and health services; population,
economic growth and poverty; reproductive health and rights; family
planning; and population, reproductive health policy and governance.
Other issues may also include migration; population ageing;
population, housing and urban development; population and environment;
sustainable development; and population and food security.
Unlike the first year
of the awards, Ojeda bared, when only three winners were chosen from
all over the country, this year’s search now goes regional. Winners
for each category will be chosen from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and
Mindanao, thus totaling to 12 winners. For exemplary stories
published online or via wire agencies will be given citations.
All entries, Ojeda
added, must have been published within the period October 1, 2005 to
September 30, 2006. The deadline for submission of entries will be on
October 13, 2006, while the awarding ceremonies will be held in Manila
on December. All transportation and accommodation expenses of winners
will be shouldered by the PLCPD.
For more information,
http://www.plcpdfound.org or one may contact the PLCPD
Secretariat at telephone numbers (02)921-1044 loc. 5 / (02)925-1800
loc. 5 or through email at
“Milenyo” temporarily paralyzes sea transport industry in the Visayas
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 27, 2006
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– As the country nears the annual commemoration of the National
Maritime Day celebration, Typhoon “Milenyo” paralyzed sea transport in
the Visayas since yesterday causing thousands of travelers stranded.
All the trips of
Supercat ferry within the Visayas were cancelled since yesterday.
Other ports in Allen, Northern Samar and in Liloan, Southern Leyte
were also closed to traffic, reports said.
Tropical Storm Milenyo
with maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour near the
center and gustiness of 130 kilometers per hour, battered
Northern Samar as it landfell east of the province’s capital town of
2:00 o’clock this afternoon, a report from PIA Northern Samar stated.
All three Samar
provinces continue to experience stormy weather. The same is true for
Bicol Region. The rest of Eastern Visayas and the rest of Southern
Luzon, PAGASA reported will have rains with gusty winds and the
coastal waters along these areas will continue to be moderate to
When reached, Aboitiz
Shipping Lines, the operators of the Supercat fast ferries, said that
it is not yet sure when the trips to the different
Visayan islands will resume. This will depend on the bulletin issued
by the PAGASA, informant said. The Philippine Port Authorities will
not issue the order to go on with the travel if the PAGASA weather
bulletin does not say so that it is already safe to travel by sea.
The safety of the
passengers is the main reason why the scheduled trips were cancelled,
the same informant said. The shipping company does not want to put the
lives of the thousands of passengers in danger.
Meanwhile, not only
did typhoon Milenyo inconvenienced the stranded passengers, the
porters at the different sea ports also complained that they have had
no income for two days already because of the cancellation of trips.
The fishermen whose
source of livelihood is going to the sea, are enjoined to stay ashore
in the safety of their homes while typhoon Milenyo continues to batter
the Central Philippines.
Over P1 billion needed
for Southern Leyte in Super Regions plan projects
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte –
Southern Leyte Gov. Rosette Y. Lerias unveiled the comprehensive
Eastern Visayas component of the Central Philippines Medium-Term
Public Investment Program for the years-2007 up to 2010 during the
special Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting held at the
Kanhuraw Convention Center, this city, September 21.
And Southern Leyte
province’s share of this massive undertaking reached
P1,184,880,000.00, in a rough tally made by PIA.
The total amount did
not include the program on bio-diversity conservation for a seaweed
ecozone which has a project cost of P172 Million for all the six
provinces of Region 8, Leyte and Samar.
PIA also did not
include the geothermal project in
town, costing P14.9 billion, which was programmed for ten years,
according to Gov. Lerias, the RDC Chair, in her powerpoint
The special RDC
gathering was attended by Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo, who
expounded at length on the topic, "Building a New Philippines."
Philippines Medium-Term Public Investment Program (CP-MTPIP) was more
commonly known as the super regions plan, an idea first discussed by
President Arroyo during her State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July
Eastern Visayas was
one of the four regions in the Central Philippines that was included
in the super regions concept.
Among the projects
intended for Southern Leyte under the Eastern Visayas component,
together with their corresponding costs, included the following:
Roll-on, Roll-off (RORO) port fof Limasawa - P13.5 million; RORO port
for San Ricardo - P420 million.
Major road projects
include Agas-Agas bridge construction - P800 million; Saint Bernard -
Hinunangan cross country road - P200 million; Panaon circumferential
road - P290 million; Limasawa circumferential road - P90 million.
Water Supply projects
- P225 million; Das-ay, Hinunangan Irrigation project - P6 million;
Lihhu, Maasin Irrigation project - P12 million, Communal Irrigation
projects - P269 million; Abaca Development and Rehabilitation program
(for Leyte and Southern Leyte) - P20 million.
and Disaster Mitigation program - P208 million.