Named as respondents
of the case were Dr. Leo Lofranco and Mrs. Grace Lofranco, both owners
of the Lester Lace grocery store here and included in the charge sheet
is a certain Jericson Tagapan of Brgy. Maulong of this town, the
security guard on-duty during the time the store was burned which is
being alleged as the one who helped the Lofranco couple in disposing
of the victim’s body.
Mary Jean Paulin,
mother of “Janine” disclosed that the CIDG here thru P/Insp. Fernando
M. Ferrer, finally issued them a transmittal letter to the Provincial
Prosecutor’s Office to conduct a preliminary investigation on the
minor’s death which was discovered only on the following day of the
fire incident. The charges were filed on December 29, exactly 45 days
after Janine’s death.
recommendation was based on the agency’s own investigation of the
incident which was supplemented by the accounts of the witnesses and
the 2 autopsy reports conducted by at least two medico-legal doctors
from Catbalogan and the PNP Crime Laboratory.
CIDG chief P/Insp.
Ferrer’s told in his affidavit, that the underlying circumstances
pointing to the apparent presence of Janine inside the burning grocery
store whose access to the key resides solely to its owners and the
complementing results of the autopsy reports saying that the victim
died about 3 hours before the fire and the accounts of the witnesses
stipulating allegedly that Janine was with the owners of the store in
an apparent commotion few hours before the incident, are leading
conditions for anybody to suspect an obvious foul play over the girl’s
“We know how rich the
Lofranco’s are, but we will not stop our fight to seek justice for our
daughter, we believe in the integrity of our courts here and I know
that Janine is just out there looking at us but she’s crying for
justice”, Mary Jean Paulin stressed.
This writer gathered
that based on the autopsy report made by Dr. Felino C. Gualdrapa, a
Physician from the Samar Provincial Hospital here, the victim
accordingly did not die of the fire.
“I found out that the
cause of death was due to asphyxiation by suffocation or choking to
stop passage of air from the nose and mouth, if she died due to the
fire, her cause of death should have been carbon monoxide poisoning
which is impossible because the autopsy revealed no traces of carbon
in her lungs. The victim was already dead for not less than three
hours before she was burned”, Dr. Gualdrapa revealed in his affidavit.
These findings of Dr.
Gualdrapa was seconded by the PNP Crime Laboratory medico-legal Dr.
Angel Cordero, who conducted a separate autopsy on the charred body of
the fire victim stressing that the cause of death is cardio
respiratory arrest due to shock due to traumatic asphyxia and external
application of stimulus.
“Because of these
circumstances, we are 100 percent sure that our daughter was killed,
and the culprit should be put in jail”, Mary Jean stressed.
Earlier, during the
organization of the “Justice of Janine” movement, it wasn’t clear yet
as to who will be the respondents of the murder raps, especially when
the Lofrancos issued a radio statement denying their involvement in
the fire incident and more over their acquaintance with the fire
“But we likewise need
answers and we are just as interested as everyone else in unraveling
the real circumstances of the incident”, Dr. Lofranco told in his
One dead body
recovered, couple still buried presumed dead in Southern Leyte mudslide
By ERNA GORNE (PIA Southern
January 10, 2007
MAASIN, Southern Leyte
– Retrieval efforts are still on going for the couple Emelio Cadavos,
52 and Lilia Cadavos, 54, who are presumed to be dead as they were
last seen alive at their house before mudslide hit two houses at about
4:45 in the afternoon Monday at Barangay Tampong, Sogod, Southern
Leyte, SPO3 Remegio
D. Talisic , Sogod PNP Police Chief reported.
The Philippine Army 43rd
Infantry Battalion based in Sogod and led by Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom,
immediately responded with rescue operations and recovered the bodies
of Julian Cawaling, 79 and Mercedes Cawaling, 86 but the later was
pronounced dead on arrival at Sogod Emergency Hospital , while the
latter, Julian Cawaling is undergoing treatment.
The house of the
Cadavos family was totally buried while the house where the Cawalings
reside was partially covered with mud and water.
According to PNP, the
upper portion of the said barangay has not been considered as among
the high risk areas in the province as identified by the Mines and Geo
Sciences Bureau in their high risk mapping and assessment study
throughout the province.
However, the mudslide
victims were said to have been informed by their friends that there
are cracks signs at the portion of the mountain near where they were
located, SPO3 Talisic added.
road section has been closed to traffic by the DPWH as the area has
been very precarious and prone to landslide every time heavy rains
occur, DPWH source reported.
conduct Sagip-Mata in Samar
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
January 9, 2007
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) ophthalmologists
will be conducting Sagip-Mata (Cataract Operation) in Catbalogan,
January 16-20, 2007.
Eye doctors from EVRMC
and the Samar Provincial Hospital (SPH) will be treating patients from
Samar free of charge, according to the SPH Chief Dr. Rodulf Mabulay in
an interview with PIA.
Mabulay said that if a
patient has to pay, the amount would cost some P30,000.00; but if a
Samarnon wish to be treated, he will get it free and be given also
free medicines. He cites Governor Mila Tan as the sponsor. These
early, screening operations are being conducted at the SPH and at the
Calbayog District Hospital, he added. But the real cataract operations
will be done at SPH where facilities are in place.
Come February 7-12,
2007, another Medical-Surgical Mission will be held in Catbalogan
still, this time with the Philippines Medical Association of New York
and New Jersey as sponsors through the efforts of Governor Tan.
Well known physician,
Dr. Alfredo Donaire whose ancestors hail from Catbalogan, Samar will
be bringing his team of Fil-Am doctors for the mission.
When asked whether the
constant medical and dental missions are Governor Tan’s campaign
strategy, the good doctor just said, "If it will help our poor fellow
Samarnons, why not?"
Dr. Mabulay said that
the team of doctors does not limit the number of patients. He added
that they are prepared with the necessary medicines for many patients.
A series of dental and
medical missions have been conducted in the province. As of press
time, a Dental Mission is going on at the Imelda Park (near Capitol).
Patients are less on week days but swarm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Announcers there in a public address said that the dental mission will
continue until January 13, 2007.
Typhoon in Eastern
Visayas destroys P873.4M worth of properties in 2006
By NEIL D. LOPIDO (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN City, Leyte
– Among the disasters that hit Eastern Visayas in 2006, typhoon
recorded the biggest destruction in properties at P873.4 million which
is 10 times higher than its damage of P87.7M in 2005. This was bared
by Evangeline Paran, regional head of the National Statistical
Coordination Board (NSCB).
NSCB fact sheet showed
that Region 8 recorded 36 deaths and missing persons from the two
typhoon incidences in 2006. Leyte province recorded the highest deaths
and missing persons at 11 while
Samar recorded 9. Both the provinces of Biliran and
Eastern Samar recorded
8 deaths and missing persons while Southern Leyte and Northern Samar
have no record of casualties.
Among the provinces
regionwide, typhoon devastated the most in
Leyte with damage to properties at P357.6 million, six times
higher than its destruction of P56.7 million in 2005. This was
followed by the provinces of
Eastern Samar, Biliran, and Samar with property damage worth P153.9M,
P145.2M, P97.7M, and P96.8M, respectively. On the other hand, Southern
Leyte recorded the least damage at P22.2 million.
Paran informed that a
Technical Working Group on Disaster Statistics chaired by the Office
of Civil Defense was organized last November 30, 2006 tasked to come
up with a Disaster Management Indicator System for
Eastern Visayas to mitigate the effects of disasters in the region.
Bishop Abarquez is new
bishop of Calbayog
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Pope Benedict XVI appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Calbayog,
Bishop Isabelo Caiban Abarquez, Titular Bishop of Talaptula and
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Palo.
This was officially
announced by Archbishop Jose Palma of the Archdiocese of Palo in a
gathering of representatives of the priests, clergy, religious and lay
people, at exactly
7:00 o'clock in the evening of January 6 in
Calbayog City. Prior
to his appointment as the Archdiocese of Palo, Archbishop Palma was
the Bishop of Calbayog and he remains as the Apostolic Administrator
until the appointment of the new Bishop.
Archbishop Palma said
that Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino,
Fr. Frisco Cajes, OFM, president of the Christ the King College, Ms.
Ignacia Cui and other commission members, were among those who were
happy to hear the good news.
Archbishop Palma said
that the parishioners in the Diocese of Calbayog must thank the Lord
for giving them a permanent pastor and they must pray that Bishop
Abarquez will be given the grace and the strength to fulfill his
servant leadership in the Diocese of Calbayog.
Although the Vatican
webpage carried the announcement that the appointment was done January
5, 7:00 o'clock in the evening Manila time or 12:00 o'clock noon,
Vatican time, Archbishop Palma said that the instruction given to him
by the Papal Nuncio is for him to announce the appointment at
7:00 o'clock in the evening of January 6.
Archbishop Palma said
that he will meet with Bishop Abarquez to confer with him regarding
the installation date and other arrangements. He also intimated that
the preparations for the Synod of the Diocese of Calbayog is ongoing
but it will be the new Bishop already who will convoke the Synod.
Bishop Abarquez, who
is now in Cebu, acknowledged the congratulatory text messages sent to
him. Bishop Abarquez asked for prayers of the faithful so that he will
be able to perform God's will in leading the people of God in the
Diocese of Calbayog.
A priest for nearly 20
years and a bishop for 4 years, Bishop Isabelo Abarquez was born in
Panlaan, Dumanjug of the Archdiocese of Cebu on July 8, 1956. He
studied at Pope John XXIII Minor Seminary for pre-college studies. He
took his philosophy course at the San Carlos Seminary College and
finally at the Seminario Mayor de
San Carlos for his theologate. All of these institutions of priestly
formation are in
He was ordained a
priest of the Archdiocese of Cebu on June 23, 1987. He was at first
appointed professor, then Spiritual Director of the San Carlos
Seminary-College. He would later on assume the office of Rector of the
said college seminary.
He was appointed
Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu and Titular Bishop of Talaptula on December
27, 2002. His episcopal consecration took place on February 18, 2003
at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Bishop Abarquez was
appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Palo on June 19, 2004. He was first
assigned parish priest of Sts. Peter and Paul in Ormoc City and
finally, the pastor of Sto. Nino Church.
At the Catholic
Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Bishop Abarquez is a
member of two episcopal commissions: the Episcopal Commission on
Catechesis and Catholic Education and the Mixed Commission on Mutual
Relations Between Bishops and Religious.
Bishop Abarquez is the
tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Calbayog. The first bishop was the late
Bishop Pablo Singzon who was appointed on April 12, 1910. The other
bishops were the late Bishop Sofronio Hacbang, the late Bishop
Michelle Acebedo, Bishop Manuel P. del Rosario who is now Bishop of
Malolos, the late Cipriano V. Urgel, Bishop Emeritus Ricardo Pido
Tancinco, the late Bishop Sincero Lucero, Bishop Emeritus Maximiano
Tuazon Cruz, and Archbishop Jose Serofia Palma who is now the
Archbishop of Palo.
Established on April
10, 1910, the Diocese of Calbayog comprises the civil province of
Western Samar. It has a Catholic population of about 654,632 out of a
total population of 689,087 or 95 percent of its population are
Catholics, as gathered from the Vatican Information Service. It
belongs to the Ecclesiastical Province of Palo, Leyte, and is a
suffragan of this archdiocese. It has a total number of 54 priests, 48
of who are diocesan priests and 6 are religious priests.