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Small Shot made Big Shots in the Congressional Slate in Eastern Samar

Eastern Visayas has new police regional chief

Marcos rights victims lauds UNHRC scoring of government delay of justice and compensation

“Loopholes in party-list law” Babae Ka blames Akbayan’s inaction

Tanauan riders rule national Skimboarding competition

NCAE should not be mandatory

P200 million-worth donations in Red Cross for displaced Saint Bernard folks - Sen. Gordon

PGMA K4K Program potable water system reaches Samar villages

Leyte hosts 51st BSP Annual National Meet

DILG turns-over new bridge to Southern Leyte government

Man runs amuck with a bolo, kills 9, hurts 18

By GINA SUELLO-SORILO (San Juanico News)
June 4, 2007

The victim Eduardo Lecis. All photos here are deliberately posted in black and white.

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  A widower known around a village in Calbayog City as trouble-maker and mentally imbalanced landed in city police jail after he ran amuck leaving 9 people hacked to death while 18 others wounded early Saturday morning.

Suspect Danilo Guades, 39, immediately surrendered to Fortunato Burbana, 63, with his 22-inch bolo. The latter who also resides in Brgy. Gadgaran where the incident took place turned over the suspect to the responding police officers led by SPO4 Reynaldo Cajurao and the duty investigator PO3 Inocentes Laure.

The police identified the victims who died on the spot were as Gemma Jadulco, 32 and her children, Jennylyn, 12; Jinggoy, 8; Renato, 3; Nadine, 2; and Christine, 1; Candido Canteros, 46 and Eduardo Lecis, 35. Eric Benjamin Poce, 7 died while treated at St. Camillus Hospital. The victims were all residents of Purok 4, Brgy. Gadgaran, Calbayog City.

Wounded and presently confined at the two hospitals in Calbayog were the Jadulco sisters Joan, 4 and Jocelyn, 9; Maria Canteros, 37 and his son Danilo, 12; Jennylyn Ceromenes, 16; Enis Lecis, 54; The Ramada family – Francisco, 56; Ernesto, 45; Armando, 35; Michael Caber, 31; Myra Manlapid, 24; the couple Eddie Gonzaga, 47; Jocelyn, 44 and Carlito Layam, 46.

Also injured were Emily Guades Ponce, 27, the suspect’s cousin; her husband Benjamin, 42; and their children Marilyn, 3 and Benjie, 5.

The suspect first barged into the house of his cousin Emily Ponce at 2 a.m. and thereat hacked her husband hitting him in the left shoulder and thereafter hacked their children Eric and Benjie hitting them at the back of their heads. Her daughter Marilyn was hit in the head and on her right arm. Emily who was also hit in the head managed to jumped from the window and was later able to hide with her children.

By entering through the door, he attacked next the nearby house owned by Totoy Jadulco, and hacked her wife and their 5 children in the different parts of their body resulting to their death. Their 2 children Joan and Jocelyn were treated and confined at the Calbayog Sanitarium and Hospital. Totoy was reportedly at the Fish Port when the incident happened.

The suspect went also to the Canteros residence and hacked the couple Candido and Maria and their child Danilo. Candido died but his wife Maria and his son were wounded and were brought to the St. Camillus Hospital in Calbayog City.

At their backyard, Carlito Layam whose house is adjacent with Canteros, managed to fight back Guades but sustained slight injury on his right arm.

Guades then walked and entered into the window the house of Enis Lecis with 8 family members inside. Enis and Eduardo who were sleeping near the window were hit in the head that resulted to the death of the latter while the former was confined at Calbayog Sanitarium and Hospital.

The suspect then proceeded to the wake of Teotime Ramada in Purok 2, Brgy. Gadgaran and attacked the Ramada family where Francisco was hit at the throat, Ernesto at his nape and Armando was stabbed on the left side of his body. Michael Caber and Myra Manlapid was also injured but they were also treated at the Calbayog Sanitarium and Hospital.

One who attended the said wake fought back so Guades ran and reached the junction road bound to Brgy. Bontay and thereat met the couple Eddie and Jocelyn Gonzaga who were on board a motorcycle. The suspect who had a wooden club and bolo hacked and stabbed Eddie hitting him in the right armpit, right jaw and forehead while his wife sustained hematoma in the left elbow. The driver of the motorcycle was able to escape.

Fred Saldaña, a brother-in-law of Benjamin Ponce said that the suspect was jailed for seven years at the Caloocan City Jail for stabbing to death his elder brother.  Benjamin disclosed that Toto, Danny’s brother died in the 80’s.

The victims Jadulco family.

The suspect, according to Saldaña used to sleep at Benjamin’s house since his wife died in December last year. He said that Guades told him that somebody is always chasing him. “He has already a mental problem,” he added.

Saldaña further said that before the incident he saw Guades attending to his copra in the farm, drunk for 2 days in the wake and slept also for 2 days skipping his meals and when already awake he climbed coconut trees, ran to the mangroves, and slept on the ground.

The suspect has a child who is now a grade four pupil but was not around during the killing spree.

“We will file multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges against him,” the city Officer-in-Charge P/Chief Inspector Aniceto B. Tecbobolan said. They also submitted him to a drug test.

When interviewed by the media, the suspect hardly remembers his age, said that the one he killed was only his brother and that he has been detained for 2 days when he is barely 1 day in the lock up cell.





Guinsaugon orphans receive 1st semester fund from Taiwanese donor

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 4, 2007

Philipp Tseng of Dharma Drum Foundation (left) hands over to Guinsaugon orphan Richard Mundano a check amounting to P24,460 for this school year’s tuition and other school expenses.  (Photo by Vino R. Cuayzon)

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Taiwan’s Dharma Drum Social Welfare and Charity Foundation and the Rotary Club of Taiwan, through Mr. Philipp Tseng has already turned over more than P3 million as part of the total P9 million commitment to the orphans of the Guinsaugon tragedy.

On June 1, 2007, Mr. Philipp Tseng personally distributed checks totaling to more than P800,000.00, flashlights and P500.00, to each of the 30 scholars at San Juan Municipal Gym. He was joined by the Mayor of San Juan, Hon. Boy Mortera, the partner clubs, the Rotary Club of San Juanico, the Tacloban Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the coordinating agencies and some members of the media.

The checks represent the amount needed by each scholar in order to pay their tuition fees, buy books and school projects, uniforms, subsistence allowance, transportation and board and lodging allowance. Each of the scholars has bank accounts which they opened jointly with Mayor Mortera considering that 75% of the orphans are studying at the municipality of San Juan.

During the short program, the scholars presented intermission numbers dedicated to Mr. Tseng and the other visitors. Many observed that the orphans have greatly changed from the withdrawn and sad orphans right after the tragedy to vibrant talented students.

Mr. Tseng, during his inspirational talk, told the students not to dwell in their miseries but to continue living and striving to improve their lives. He said every time they feel sad, the orphans should look up at the site and look up at the mountains and feel that they can aspire of great things as high as the mountains. He assured the scholars that the Dharma Drum Foundation and the Rotary Club of Taiwan will continue to fulfill their commitment until the youngest scholar has already finished his college education.

Mr. Francisco Darang, the incoming president of the Rotary Club of San Juanico urged the scholars to study hard and to use the money which their benefactors are giving them.

Mayor Virgilio Mortera of San Juan lauded Mr. Tseng for strongly recommending the project to the Dharma Drum Foundation and the Rotary Club of Taiwan. He also commended the Rotary Club of Taiwan and the Dharma Drum Foundation for their sincere commitment to help their fellowmen across the world.

PIA Director Olive Tiu who delivered the message in behalf of the partner government agencies exhorted the scholars to consider themselves lucky because even if they lost their entire family to the Guinsaugon tragedy, they acquired a new family in the Dharma Drum Foundation and the Rotary Club of Taiwan which accepted responsibility to provide them with all their needs. She said the blessings they received is a manna from heaven which not all young students like them receive. The best way, they can show their gratitude for the blessing and the gift they have received is to live their lives to the fullest, by giving their best in all their endeavors and in their studies.

Director Tiu congratulated Mr. Tseng for discovering the wonder law of nature that in order to achieve the three important things in life which men crave for – happiness, freedom and peace and mind, one must give them first to others.

Director Tiu also acknowledged that the project would not have materialized without the coordination and support of Mr. Henry Yaokasin, the president of Tacloban Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She recalled that it was during the despedida party for the Taiwanese rescuers when Mr. Yaokasin introduced her to three members of the Dharma Drum Foundation and asked her suggestion as to how the Foundation will be of help in Guisaugon. Having heard of the orphans which Bishop Canillas of the Diocese of Maasin housed at the Saludo Beach, Director Tiu and Mr. Yaokasin decided to suggest that the Foundation take care of the welfare of the orphans.

After one week, Mr. Tseng was sent back to the Region to interview the orphans. The rest is history.





Borongan braces up for cityhood

June 2, 2007

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  The local government unit of Borongan is set to conduct soon the much awaited plebiscite for its conversion to a component city.

Despite the opposition of the country’s League of City Mayors, Borongan might just be blessed with the “Yes” vote as more and more sectors put their axe together for the massive information dissemination campaign.

Reelected Sangguniang Bayan member and OIC-Mayor, Dr. Jessie Solidon in yesterday’s forum belied reports that the proposed cityhood had been disapproved due to income requirement.

He stressed that it is now on record of Senator Franklin Drilon what the Senate Committee had previously agreed that “municipal applicants which were still within the P20-M income requirement may be considered,” thus when the bill was returned back to the Lower House and so endorsed again by Congressman Prospero Pichay and Alfredo Lim, the bill was approved.

What the LGU is projecting instead is the people’s reactions to the cityhood thing.

Several words have surfaced recently of some negative remarks emanating from the business sectors of Borongan in particular. However, the Cityhood Team had prepared a series of information campaign sorties and IEC materials in order for the cityhood message to be captured and fully understood by every voting entity. As an information man himself, Solidon, speaking before Mayor Fidel Anacta (who is in Manila submitting other requirements) believes that once people get to know of the benefits they would derive from living in a city instead of just in a mere municipality albeit, better health services, infrastructure, education and other social services, then they will accept the proposal and vote “Yes” to Borongan cityhood.

On taxation, Mr. Emman Balondo, Assistant Treasurer stressed that once the cityhood is approved, it is mandated, that no increase in real property taxes shall be rendered within the five year period since its approval date. Or, Balondo added that, should the government finds out that the new IRA is sufficient for the city’s expenditure then, no increase in taxes shall occur at all. On the other hand, Balondo said, since it is eminent that taxation is progressive, the feared increase may have to happen instead in 2009 as there is a mandate to revise the real property taxes come 2008.

Thus, the Cityhood Team appeals for open minds and hearts. As Solidon puts it, more money infused in this place we call Borongan, would mean more economic activity and better delivery of social services.





DILG sets trainings for new set of local officials

June 2, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  To help the new set of local officials perform their duties and functions, the Department of the Interior and Local Government has slated a series of trainings beginning July 2007.

The Orientation Program for Newly Elected Officials, according to DILG 8 Regional Director William C. Paler, is composed of three parts. The first consists of individualized two-day general orientations by the DILG in the municipalities involving the newly elected officials.

“They would be apprised and reminded of their powers, roles and responsibilities under the Local Government Code, and would be presented the results of their local government unit’s (LGU) 2006 State of Local Governance Report to help them identify their local government’s strengths and areas for improvement”, said Dir. Paler.

The workplace orientation shall likewise serve as a chance for mayors and members of the sangguniang bayan to come up with priority programs to be implemented during their term. 

The second part is the Provincial Orientation and Alliance Building, which would provide opportunities for partnership and interaction between national government agencies and LGUs.

The third part consists of specialized, demand-driven trainings. LGUs may get assistance from the DILG, the League of Provinces, other local leagues, national agencies and non-government organizations on topics they may want to know more about, such as financial administration, budgeting, revenue generation, and local legislation, among others.

At present, the DILG is preparing its training staff and materials for the full-scale implementation next month. Dir. Paler said the trainings are part of the Department’s mission to nurture self-reliant and progressive communities by promoting good governance.





Speakership should not be a battle between Lakas and Kampi, lady solon says

Press Release
Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
June 1, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte First District  Representative Remedios “Matin” Petilla said the position for the House speakership in Congress should not be a fight between the ruling coalition’s Lakas or Kampi.

Early this week, a pitch was made by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Kabalikat ng Mamayang Pilipino (KAMPI) party at the House of Representative to challenge the present House Speaker Jose De Venecia of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party.

Kampi is rooting for Cebu Second District Congressman-elect Pablo Garcia for the speakership.

“It shouldn’t be a squabble between Lakas or Kampi. It should be a question who can better serve the speakership position and redound to a better and cohesive legislative body,” Rep. Petilla said before she flew to Manila Wednesday.

According to reports, the challenge came out to provide for a speaker, who would come from the Visayan region, and end the term of speakers from Luzon.

According to Rep. Petilla it is quite unfair to say that the present House Speaker De Venecia, a Luzon native himself, has thus far concentrated his leadership only for projects in the Luzon area.

“It should not be said nga porke taga Luzon ka, Luzon la liwat and imo priority. O kon taga Visayas ka, Visayas liwat or kon taga Mindanao, Mindanao la liwat,” Rep Petilla said.

She said that so far during her first term in Congress, the speaker has been quite fair in all the areas of concern of the different congressional representatives.

The ruling coalition in the House of Representatives is composed of Lakas-CMD, Kampi, the Nationalist People's Coalition, the Liberal Party-Lito Atienza group, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino and the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas.

Before the start of the campaign for the midterm elections, Kampi was accused of raiding the ranks of Lakas and for having the ulterior plan of making their own party mate into the speakership.

It was observed in the recently concluded elections that in a number of provinces, Lakas and Kampi candidates competed against each other.





Taiwanese donors continue to fulfill commitment to 31 Guinsaugon orphans

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 1, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life – happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.

With this as their principle, the Dharma Drum Social Welfare and Charity Foundation and the Rotary Club of Taiwan through Mr. Philipp Tseng, continue to fulfill their commitment to make life full of hope and sunshine for the thirty one orphans of the Guinsaugon Landslide Tragedy.

Today, together with the local partners, the Rotary Club of San Juanico, the Tacloban Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the partner government agencies represented by the Philippine Information Agency, Mr. Tseng will distribute the second semester scholarship funding to the thirty one orphan-scholars at the Municipal Gym of San Juan, Southern Leyte.

Mr. Tseng informed that more than P800,000.00 will be distributed to the scholars to pay for the second semester tuition fees, book allowance, board and lodging, subsistence and clothing allowance of the scholars who are mostly in the high school and college level.

Mr. Tseng recalled that three members of the Dharma Drum Foundation joined the Taiwanese Rescuers who responded to the call for help in the Guinsaugon Tragedy in February last year.

The Dharma Drum Foundation through Mr. Tseng Chao-Sung took notice of the situation of the tragedy stricken students and decided to take them under the Foundation’s care by giving them financial assistance in order to be able to finish their studies, become good citizens and be of help to their disadvantaged brethren.

Mr. Tseng said that since the funding needed to enable the young orphans to finish their studies is an enormous amount of more than P9 million, he personally requested for the help of the Rotary Club of Taiwan where he is past president. He also had to solicit from his sister and he himself had to donate one-third of the amount needed.

The Taiwanese donors hope that the 31 scholars will make use of the money wisely so that they will be able to finish their studies within the period of seven years, when the youngest of the scholars is expected to graduate in college. By that time, the scholars will hopefully be able to find a good job and stand on their own already.

Mr. Tseng assured that the donors will fulfill its commitment to the young scholars. It is hoped that the young scholars will do their best in their studies. Doing so is the only way they can show their gratitude to the donors.





Junk RP-Australia defense pact, environmental activists urge new Senate

Press Release
June 1, 2007

QUEZON CITY, Philippines  –  Are mining-affected communities in Mindanao the next playgrounds of RP-Australian war games?

Environmental activists from Kalikasan PNE urged newly-elected Senators to reject the joint RP-Australia military agreement expected to be signed by President Arroyo today, asserting that the entry and deployment of Australian troops was partly meant to crush local opposition to the intensified entry of giant Australian mining firms in the Mindanao region.

"The deployment of Australian troops will be concentrated in the southern Philippines region where mining investments especially from Australian firms are on the rise. This includes BHP Billiton – the world's largest mining firm – in Pujada Peninsula in Davao Oriental and Claver in Surigao del Norte, Medusa Mining in Eastern Mindanao, Red 5 in Siana in Surigao del Norte, Indophil in South Cotabato, Climax-Arimco in Surigao del Norte," Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) National Coordinator Clemente Bautista said.

"It is no sheer coincidence that the war games with Australia are planned to be held near the mineral-rich regions coveted by Australian mining giants. These military war games will only contribute to securing their economic interests over the province and suppressing growing local opposition to these destructive and plunderous mining projects. These foreign troops and military aid will be used against the Filipino people themselves," he said.

"Local communities are sure to stand up in arms against these huge mining projects which threaten their ancestral lands, ecosystems, livelihoods, and ways of life. Are they the "terrorist threats" that the RP-Australia defense pact claims to crush?" Bautista asked.

Uniting with national fisherfolks federation Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), Kalikasan PNE and its allied environmental and peoples organizations vowed to lobby for the junking of the RP-Australia defense pact as the Senate convenes in July.

"We will challenge our fellow patriots from the new Senate to uphold our sovereignty and national patrimony and DEFEND MINDANAO against more intrusions of foreign troops and mining giants," Bautista said.

"We remind our incoming Senators that overseas operations of many mining companies have actually contributed to conflict and instability, human rights violations, and environmental degradation in local communities throughout Indonesia, Papua new Guinea, and the Philippines." Bautista explained.

With the overwhelming defeat of administration bets in the Senatorial race, Bautista hopes that the Senate will be more open to the people's clamor for the pull-out of foreign troops and foreign mining firms in Mindanao and the adoption of a genuine people's mining policy.

"It's good that Mike Defensor has already acknowledged defeat in the Senate race. That means one less vote for foreign mining and foreign troop deployment, since Defensor has a record of rabidly supporting mining liberalization," Bautista cited.





GMA wooing grave trouble with Australian mining deals, Philippine environmental activists say

Press Release
May 28, 2007

QUEZON CITY, Philippines  –  Pres. Gloria Arroyo stubbornly refuses to heed the grim warnings left by the environmental disaster caused by Australian-owned Lafayette Mining in Rapu-Rapu island, Albay and is even courting more danger by trying to seal a multi-billion dollar deal with BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company whose main headquarters is located in Melbourne, decried environmental activist organization Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).

"We fear that GMA's trip to Australia – combined with the government's refusal to uphold a moratorium on mining in the environmentally-critical island of Rapu-Rapu in deference to Lafayette's wishes – will only encourage more mining firms to flock into the Philippines and engage in wanton, plunderous and irresponsible mining operations," Kalikasan PNE National Coordinator Clemente Bautista said.

Among the giant mining firms that GMA is wooing is BHP Billiton, which continues to evade responsibility for the environmental disaster it caused in the island of Papua New Guinea, Bautista said.

"GMA is set to formally meet up with executives of BHP Billiton and other mining executives from the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCham) in the course of her visit to Australia. This alone is a grave cause for alarm because BHP Billiton is a giant mining firm which has been facing a $4 billion class suit filed this January 2007 by the Ninerum people of Papua New Guinea for the Ok Tedi environmental disaster it caused," Bautista said.

"For two decades, BHP Billiton dumped 80,000 tons of rock mine tailings filled with toxic heavy metals such as copper, zinc, cadmium, and lead directly into the Fly and Ok Tedi rivers in Papua New Guinea. This has ruined the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers, poisoned some 2,000 square kilometers of forests, and contaminated two of Papua New Guinea's largest river systems. The damage is expected to continue for decades, possibly even centuries," he explained.

BHP Billiton is now eyeing a multi-million dollar nickel project in Pujada Peninsula, Davao Oriental province in partnership with local mining firms Hallmark Mining Corp. and AustraAsia Link Mining Corp, Bautista noted.

"In effect, GMA is actually wooing a giant mining firm that killed a river system in another Asia-Pacific country. And now she is practically begging these same mining fims to operate in the Philippines," Bautista said.

"GMA's Australia trip is downright unpatriotic and dangerous to the Filipino people and our patrimony. The President is literally asking for more foreign military troops and giant foreign mining operations in the Philippines without heed to their long-term implications," Bautista said.



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