officials delay infrastructure projects
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
– The usual bickering of some public officials in this municipality
hampered the implementation of the Infrastructure for Rural
Productivity Enhancement Sector (INFRES) project in 15 barangays here.
Mayor Vicente Labuac
said some of the opposition councilors in Basey are delaying the
discussion on his request that an SB resolution be approve in order
not to hamper the implementation of the INFRES project which is
intended to enhance agricultural development in the most economically
depressed areas in Basey.
Labuac said that due
to the delayed SB resolution needed, the Philippine National Bank (PNB)
no longer accommodated to finance the project, since it didn’t catch
up the January 15 deadline of the bank. “So, we came to a decision
that an alternative financing institution like the Development Bank of
the Philippines (DBP) could instead finance the project,” Labuac
The chief executive
said this INFRES project, which was jointly identified and selected as
a flag-ship program of this present administration under the approved
Executive and Legislative Agenda (ELA) 2005-2007, will be beneficial
to at least 15 out of 51 villages of this town.
In last Wednesday’s
session (January 17), some SB officials showed strong opposition to
the proposal of the mayor to borrow some P12 million to the DBP saying
it could only be used in the election campaign of the administration.
Lugnasin, Paul Charles Adona and Atty. Igmedio Ponferrada are among
those who showed disinterest in the proposed loan with the DBP bank.
However, Councilors Anita Ogrimen and Atty. Diomedes Tabao, both
supported Labuac and reasoned out the developmental improvement the
project may bring to the town.
To recall, the
officials here prompted to sourced out some other financial
institutions after Congressman Catalino Figueroa withdrew his
commitment to provide the amount of P15 million as LGU equity to the
INFRES Project in Basey.
In view of this
withdrawal, Mr. Michael J. Allman, Team Leader and Project Management
Specialist wrote Labuac to “identify other sources to fully provide
the required LGU equity of P32.634 million.”
“We know that the
amount of P12 million has been appropriated in the LGU 2006 and 2007
budgets at P6 million per year, so the balance of some P20 million has
to be sourced elsewhere,” Allman said.
When reached for
comment, Cong. Figueroa did confirm his withdrawal of commitment but
did not elaborate the reason of his sudden move.
strikes anew in Samar and Leyte
By 1Lt. MARIO JOSE M. CHICO, (INF) PA
Catbalogan Samar – Philippine Army troopers backed up by helicopter gunships of the Philippine Air Force pounded an uninhabited hill in
Albuera, Leyte last Wednesday January 17, 2007.
Acting on information
provided by farmers, troops of 802nd Infantry Brigade under BGen. Allan Ragpala and 19th Infantry Battalion under LtCol. Lope Dagoy launched
military operations at the hinterlands of Albuera,
Leyte. Around 30 NPA terrorists were believed to have been pinned
down by military attack from the air and land.
development, troopers from 63rd Infantry Battalion headed by LtCol.
Felimon Santos, raided and overran an NPA terrorist encampment in
Operating troops under
2Lt Ariel Rosuello who have received valuable information from the
civilian residents, scoured the vicinity of Brgy Sinonogan, Pambujan,
Northern Samar and encountered around 30 NPA terrorists under
terrorist leader alias Opal.
Army troopers captured
the said NPA encampment after 15 minutes of firefight. It has 15
bunkers and a mess hall facility. The NPA terrorists suffered heavy
casualties on both encounters while no casualty was inflicted on the
government troopers. Recovered from the encounter sites are live
ammunitions, jungle packs containing subversive documents and
anti-democracy propaganda materials, SIM packs for celphones and
As of this time, Army
troopers in Samar and Leyte are still in hot pursuit of the fleeing
rebels who scampered away in different directions.
Maj. Gen. Rodrigo F.
Maclang AFP, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division,
Philippine Army based in Catbalogan, Samar, commended the operating
troops for the successful conduct of Internal Security Operations
(ISO). He reiterated the Army’s firm resolve to once and for all put a
stop to the menace of the Philippine Society, the CPP-NPA-NDF which is
represented in the region by the erstwhile priest, Fr. Santiago Salas.
Samar coop members
bond to serve masses
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
January 22, 2007
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Samar Shepherd Consumer Cooperative (SSCC) members coming mostly from
the Catholic Organization Couples’ for Christ (CFC) have bonded
together to serve the poorest of the poor in Samar’s Capital town.
Lindy Tan, pharmacist
who is also a member of CFC affiliate Singles for Christ told PIA that
their medicine prices are affordable yet quality medicines.
DYMS Manager Johnny
Filamor attests to the affordability of the medicine saying that the
price is really within the reach of a poor man.
Development Authority (CDA) Specialist Asela Cabañas also said that it
is the only cooperative in Samar that ventured into a pharmacy
business. Said coop has been registered in July 11, 2006 with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yet only started operating on
January 18, 2006.
On the opening day,
SSCC also offered free consultation and free medicines to the first
200 patrons. Doctor Marina Mugas, an internist from Oras,
Eastern Samar grappled with the patients who flocked at the entrance
of the pharmacy.
another member said that they talked about how the CFC could extend
their out reach projects. With the exorbitant prices of medicines
prevailing in Samar’s capital, the members thought of opening a
"Our aim," said
Donceras, "is how to help our poor brothers who are bothered when any
member of the family is hospitalized and the graver their problems
become when the medicines prescribed are highly priced.
The first customers of
the pharmacy said Tan were buyers of medicines for cough and colds.
The pharmacist said that they offer antibiotics which are 25% cheaper
than the more commercial pharmacies in town.
Presently, the Samar
Shepherd Consumer Cooperative members are content with earning a
little just so they can serve the poor Samareños.
Rights group condemns
the brutal assassination of former human rights worker in Samar
January 20, 2007
Philippines – "We condemn in the
strongest possible terms the assassination of Prof. Jose Ma. B. Cui of
the University of Eastern Philippines, former secretary-general of the
human rights group KATUNGOD-Northern Samar and the chairperson of UEP
Employees Association (UEPEA)-Confederation for Unity, Recognition and
Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) last January 19, 2007,"
said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor.
Based on the report
that we have received from KATUNGOD-Sinirangan Bisayas (human rights
alliance in Eastern Visayas), on January 19, 2007, at about
3:45 pm, Prof. Jose Ma. B. Cui was shot dead by two
motorcycle-riding men while he was supervising the examinations of his
class at the Engineering building of the
University of Eastern
Philippines in Catarman, Northern Samar. He sustained two (2) gunshot
wounds – one in the head and another in the chest. The assassins
immediately ran off and drove to the direction where a military camp
is located about two kilometers from the university campus in Brgy.
San Agustin, Mondragon.
Prof. Cui is a
well-known peace and human rights advocate in the province of Northern
Samar. He served as Secretary-General of KATUNGOD-Northern Samar from
1998-2004. However, he was one of those subjected in the smear
campaign of the military, maliciously dragging his name as a
high-ranking member of the New People's Army (NPA) during the
deployment of former MajGen. Jovito Palparan. On November 2004, his
name was one of those maligned in the posters and flyers that the
military men distributed in their area. His name listed second in the
military's order of battle.
"Prof. Cui is the
second activist killed since the AFP's (Armed Forces of the
Philippines) announcement of Oplan Bantay Laya II (military operation
plan "Freedom Watch" II) under the Arroyo regime's new ISO plan
(Internal Security Operations Plan) for 2007-2010 that aims to put an
end to the revolutionary forces by 2010. The OBL II has just
continued to victimize unarmed and innocent civilians. This incident
of killing of Prof. Cui shows the Arroyo regime's intent to intensify
its violent persecution not only against persons and organizations
that have been explicitly critical of the government but also against
those advocating human rights, peace and justice." Clamor concluded.
AHRC welcomes call for
Japanese government to take up killings in Philippines
By Asian Human Rights Commission
HONG KONG – The
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Monday welcomed the submitting
of a letter requesting the Japanese government to take up
extrajudicial killings in the
more forcefully with the government there.
A coalition of
fourteen Japanese civil society groups submitted the letter to
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on January 9.
They recalled that the
prime minister had spoken to the president of the Philippines about
the killings in December of last year, but noted that there had not
been any sincere action to stop the extrajudicial killings in the
for Foreign Affairs Katsuhito Asano, who visited the Philippines from
January 10 to 12, also was a recipient of the letter.
"The AHRC strongly
supports the campaigning and lobbying activities on extrajudicial
killings in the Philippines initiated by the Japanese groups," Basil
Fernando, executive director of the Hong Kong-based regional human
rights body, said.
"We share their
appreciation of the Japanese government's concern about the worsening
human rights situation in the
and look forward to more leadership from
to promote and protect rights there and throughout Asia," Fernando
The fourteen groups
were Amnesty International Japan, the CFFC, the Civil Society Network
for the Elimination of Political Killings in the Philippines, the
Commission of Civil Society and NGOs Questioning the Past 50 years of
the relationship between Japan and the Philippines (unofficial
translation from Japanese), FoE Japan, Human Rights Now, Jubilee
Kansai network, KAFTI, National Christian Council Japan, ODA-NET,
KAFIN Yokohama, People to People Aid (P2), Philippines Information
Center Nagoya and WAYAWAYA.
Japan invests heavily
in the Philippines and also offers the country extensive aid.
"As a leading economic
and political power in the region, Japan needs to stress its concerns
about human rights and social justice in neighbouring countries,"
"Its government should
be aware that its regional presence is significant and that it could
do much more towards improved human rights conditions among its
neighbours," he said.
"Japan is rightly
seeking an important position in the international community, but with
this comes added responsibilities," Fernando continued.
"We are pleased that
the Japanese government has actively lobbied for the new International
Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
Disappearance, and note its commitment to end gross human rights
violations throughout the world as a member of the UN Human Rights
Council," he added.
"However, it could do
much more to promote human rights and establish the rule of law among
its neighbours than it is at present," Fernando stressed.
diplomatic and economic ties to most countries in the region, it could
contribute much more to implementing human rights standards and
building societies based on the rule of law, and contribute its
accumulated resources for the development of human rights protection
mechanisms in the Philippines and other Asian countries," he
provincial hospital undergoes upgrading
By ALICE NICART with SAMMY CANDIDO
Samar – In line with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s priority
programs in elevating the country’s secondary hospitals, the Eastern
Samar’s Provincial Hospital will soon be converted into a Tertiary
In an interview with
the Chief of Hospitals, Dr. Salvador Evardone, it was learned that two
of the region’s hospitals will soon benefit from the President’s
program after a team of doctors coming from DOH Central Office went
around the region to asses and indeed found out several deficiencies,
specifically in the Eastern and Northern Samar’s provincial hospital.
Thus, with this discovery, it was recommended that funds be released
soon for the upgrading of subject hospitals.
revealed that some P13.5M will be allotted to
while P22.3M goes to Eastern Samar. He disclosed that these funds will
be utilized in infrastructure projects such as: the expansion of
laboratories, Pharmacy, X-ray and Ultra Sound Sections. Likewise,
improvement of Operating and Delivery rooms will be effected as well
as the construction of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the
construction of conference room and library to address the research
needs of affiliated nursing students.
Since Eastern Samar
now takes pride in having two nursing schools (Eastern Samar State University
and Our Lady of Mercy College) the urgent plan of the main hospital in
the province is just fitting, Evardone wittingly remarked. He also
said that some P4.1M will however be reserved for the purchase of
medicines and surgical laboratory equipment, housekeeping’s linen and
mattresses, while P1.1M is prepared to buy Ventilator and Cardiac
Monitor equipment. Indeed, the previous problem in the province’s
hospital in just very simple needs for cotton and medical plasters, is
now a history which have long been stored in the hospital’s archives.
At present, Eastern
Samar Provincial Hospital has become departmentalized. Pediatrics,
Surgical, Medicines, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Ultra-Sounds, Pathology,
Radiology and Anesthesiology. Evardone reported that four to seven
doctors take turns in managing each of the department, add to this the
consultants, diplomats and trusted doctors in the locality who augment
the hospital operation whenever necessary.
The young doctor is
truly hopeful that the
Eastern Samar Provincial
can soon address to the medical needs of the people and unlike today,
when some referrals are still made to Tacloban’s hospitals because of
some inadequacies, he expects that with this new development, the
health services of the Estehanons can be provided right in their very