Tanauan skimmers rein
in Surigao 3rd National Skimboarding fete
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Tanauan, Leyte which is known as the skimboarding capital of the
once again showed that it is number 1 when it comes to skimboarding.
This, as the three
riders of Tanauan garnered three of the first four skimriders during
the recently concluded 3rd National Skimboarding Competition in the
province of Surigao.
The three skimmers
from Tanauan, Obet Yanuario, Leo Espada, and Nikko Cobacha led the
competitors composed of riders from the various provinces of
Mindanao and the Visayas which was represented by the Tanauan,
After the three-day
competition, Obet Yanuario who is the current champion of the 4th
National Open Skimboarding Competition held in December to coincide
with the Kaadlawan Festival, was proclaimed as the champion of the 3rd
National Skimboarding Competition in Surigao.
Another Tanauan rider,
Leo Cobacha who ruled the 1st Penang Malaysia International
Skimboarding Competition, garnered the second place in the Surigao
The third delegate of
Tanauan, Nikko Cobacha who was the Champion in the Eastern Sunday
Mayor’s Cup Skimboarding Competition in Tanauan, was proclaimed as the
The third placer was a
rider from Iligan City, a reliable sources informed. The same source
said that the tournament was not attended by the officers of the
Philippine Skimboarding Association.
Meanwhile, Mayor Roque
Tiu of Tanauan said that the Local Government of Tanauan will continue
to advocate and promote the development of skimboarding as a major
water sport in the country.
Mayor Tiu added that
the LGU will not get tired of encouraging the youth of Tanauan to
indulge in the water sports during their free time. Mayor Tiu said
that it has been the practice of Tanauan, not to accept participants
to the skimboarding who are not enrolled. This will discourage the
student from neglecting their studies once they become interested in
KALAHI cites Tarangnan
LGU for its best practice featured in the book “Ringgat”
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
April 24, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Tarangnan LGU is honored that in the whole Samar province, it was
the only municipality cited as having done one of the best practices
in the project implementation of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI).
Emmelly Olaje was Ms. Claudette Cabinalan, Tarangnan Municipal Social
Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) who came to Leyte Park with
KALAHI community facilitator Belle Villarin and one Barangay Kagawad
Francisca who also is a member of the Barangay Management Sub
The best practice done
in Barangay Sugod, Sitio Lana in Tarangnan earned its merit as it is
featured in “Ringgat” the book launched at the Leyte Park Hotel,
With a peculiar
tradition following the doctrines of Rizal, barangay folks of Sogod,
Tarangnan – the 16 KALAHI steps came in just a breeze as the community
always adhere to the accepted norms of conduct.
A chapter in the book
“Ringgat” devotes to “Sogod to So Good” where this quaint community
opted for a rice mill as their project.
The rice mill situated
on top of a hill, beckons the rice farmers from the adjacent barangays
to be able to partake too of the Kalahi sub-project entrusted to this
unique group of men and women who manage to be different yet earn the
respect of the other townsfolk.
That very day, April
18, 2008, DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral came from Manila to witness
the book launching, sign most copies and mingle with the men and women
who have made the dreams of most barangays become a reality.
Also present during
the affair at Leyte Park were Oscar Francisco of the Institute for
Democratic Participation in Governance (IDPG), DSWD 08 Regional
Director Leticia Corillo, Regional Project Manager Cecilia Madlos,
Vice-President of PAGCOR and former Leyte Governor Remedios Petilla,
Leyte Vice-Governor Mimyette Bagulaya, other government officials,
awardees and honorees.
Greenpeace slams DA for ignoring warnings on US rice shipments
GMO contaminated rice
slips into Philippines again
April 24, 2008
– Greenpeace today revealed that despite their repeated warnings, two GMO-contaminated rice varieties have slipped into the Philippines once
again. Greenpeace commissioned tests have detected the presence of
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in two imported US long grain
rice brands, Blue Ribbon Texas Long Grain and Riceland Arkansas Long
Grain that are being sold in S&R Supermarkets in the capital.
Texas and Arkansas US
long grain varieties are among the rice supplies identified by the US
Department of Agriculture (USDA) in August 2006 to have been massively
tainted by the experimental GMO rice strain LL601 produced by Bayer.
Blue Ribbon rice samples tested positive for LL601 contamination, but
the exact GMO strain in Riceland is yet to be determined. Both
suspect US rice varieties were able to enter the
apparently undetected and unregulated by the Philippine Department of
Greenpeace exposed how a 44,000 metric ton shipment of US long grain
rice is also a GMO risk. We challenged the DA, through the National
Food Authority (NFA), to conduct further and more stringent tests on
the rice to ensure its safety. The NFA should have had ample time to
run stringent tests on the rice before it was distributed.
Unfortunately, their neglect has foisted rice, whose safety is still
questionable, on an unsuspecting population," said Greenpeace
Southeast Asia Genetic Engineering Campaigner Daniel Ocampo.
"This is the second
time Greenpeace has discovered illegal GMO rice in the country. And,
as usual, the DA was unable to detect its entry into our rice supply.
Clearly, the government is completely useless in enforcing its own GMO
regulations, instituted to protect the welfare of consumers and the
environment. Moreover, the lax attitude toward these unsafe,
experimental crops betrays the DA's pro-GMO bias, which, unless
rectified, would ultimately endanger Filipino consumers and farmers,"
The NFA started
distributing the US long grain rice last Saturday at P25.00 per
kilogram. Greenpeace believes that the stock may be among those
affected by the massive US GMO long grain rice contamination scandals
since 2006. The contamination has so far cost the US rice industry
billions of dollars in losses.(1)
unrelenting in our demand that the country's rice supply be protected
from unsafe and unproven GMO technologies. The ongoing rice crisis
should not be used as an excuse to neglect our existing regulations
governing GMOs, especially since there are other sources of GMO-free
rice. GMOs threaten biodiversity, food security, farmers'
livelihoods, and consumer health," said Ocampo. "The DA should come
clean and plainly state that their commitment to protect the integrity
of our rice supply is also a commitment to keep rice GMO-free."
for GMO-free crop and food production grounded on the principles of
sustainability, protection of biodiversity, and providing all people
access to safe and nutritious food. Genetic-engineering is an
unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment,
threatens biodiversity, and poses unacceptable risks to health.
GMO Bayer LL601, responsible for the contamination, was an
experimental variety whose research was abandoned in 2001 and which
was never commercialized for undisclosed reasons. Since 2006, this
experimental variety was found in at least 30 countries, many of
which, including the EU, Russia, Japan, and the Philippines have
responded with import restrictions. The said GMO rice strain has
never been completely eradicated from US rice supplies, and remains to
this day. In fact, from 2006 to 2008, 23 shipments of US rice to
Europe, certified GMO-free by US labs, were rejected by the importing
countries after European tests confirmed GMO content.
orders the filing of criminal charges against 2 Cebu mayors, 19 others for the Cebu lamp post
By Office of the Ombudsman
April 21, 2008
Merceditas N. Gutierrez ordered the filing of criminal charges against
two City Mayors and 19 others in connection with the
In a 30-page
Resolution, Ombudsman Gutierrez ordered the filing of charges for
Violation of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) against
former Mayor Thadeo Ouano of Mandaue City and Mayor Arthuro Radaza of
Lapu-Lapu City; OIC-City Engr. Hidelisa Latonio, Asst. City Engr.
Gregorio Omo, and Engrs. Mario Gerolaga, Alfredo Sanchez Sr., and
Rosalina Denque, all of Mandaue City; City Engr. Julito Cuizon, Asst.
City Engr. Fernando Tagaan Jr. and Engr. Rogelio Veloso, all of
Lapu-Lapu City before the Sandiganbayan.
Also ordered charged
were DPWH Region VII Dir. Robert Lala, Former Asst. Reg. Dir. Gloria
Dindin, Asst. Reg. Dir. Marlina Alvizo, OIC-Chief Maintenance Div.
Pureza Fernandez, OIC-Asst. Chief Maintenance Div. Cresencio Bagolor,
Reg. Legal Officer Agustinito Hermoso, Planning and Design Div. Chief
Luis Galang, Administrative Div. Chief Restitutio Diano, and
Construction Div. Chief Buenaventura Pajo.
President and Chairman of the Board, Fabmik Construction and Equipment
Supply Company, Inc.; and Gerardo Surla, Chairman of the Board, Gampik
Construction and Development, Inc. were likewise ordered to be
included in the charge.
The case stemmed from
the investigation conducted by the Public Assistant and Corruption
Prevention Office (PACPO) of the Ombudsman-Visayas on the acquisition
and installation of lampposts and street lighting facilities along the
streets of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-lapu cities for the 12th ASEAN
Based on the
investigations conducted by the fact-finding team of the PACPO-Visayas,
it was found that “the subject lighting facilities, as acquired and/or
paid for by the government, were highly overpriced.”
The fact-finding team
arrived at the said conclusion after comparing the costs of the
lampposts as indicated in the Programs of Work and Detailed Estimates
prepared by Mandaue City and as reflected in the importation
PER IMPORTATION DOCUMENTS
PER MANDAUE CITY PROGRAM OF WORK
It said “comparing the
costs above, the cost of each lamppost, apparently, was expanded to
almost ten (10) times its actual cost.”
In their respective
counter-affidavits, the respondent local government officials claimed
that their act of signing the Programs of Work and Estimates never had
any weight or value insofar as the implementation of the street
lighting project was concerned. On the other hand, officials of the
DPWH Regional Office in
Cebu maintained that the price estimates for the street lighting
project were all reasonable and competitive.
In its decision
however, the Ombudsman said that of all respondents, the DPWH
officials “are the ones who most obviously appear to be liable” as
they are the ones who “approved all the programs of work, awarded the
projects to the winning contractors, and executed the corresponding
On the part of the
respondent local officials, the Ombudsman ruled that they could not be
exculpated even if it were true that they were pressured or otherwise
obliged into signing the Programs of Works and Detailed Estimates.
The Ombudsman said that “as properly designated officials with the
duty to protect the government at all times, they should have been
discerning in affixing their signatures on the lighting facilities.”
Thus, in a separate
Decision, Ombudsman Gutierrez also ordered the dismissal from the
service of DPWH officials Lala, Dindin, Alvizo, Fernandez, Bagolor,
Hermoso, Galang, Diano, and Pajo for Grave Misconduct.
Local officials Ouano,
Latonio, Omo, Gerolaga, Sanchez, Denque, Cuizon, Tagaan, and Veloso
were likewise ordered dismissed from the service for similar offense.
With regard to
respondent Ouano who is no longer in public office due the end of his
term as city mayor, the Ombudsman said “let the penalty imposed upon
him be deemed implemented and accordingly reflected in his record of
Navidad slay suspect
remains in custody despite beating illegal possession charge
By GINA SORILO
April 18, 2008
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– The primary suspect in the murder of Regional Trial Court Judge
Roberto Navidad, despite beating illegal possession charge and pending
formal charge for murder, remains in custody.
Joel Alebario, 29
remained in custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
after executing a waiver saying, “I am waiving all my rights under
Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code and requesting the Arresting
Officer (NBI) that I be given time to execute my counter-affidavit in
the conduct of Preliminary Investigation.”
The waiver continued
to say: “Pending Preliminary Investigation, I am willing to be placed
under the custody of NBI Samar District Office in Catbalogan City.”
The waiver, dated
March 14, was prepared witnessed by Alebario’s mother and assisted by
counsel Sisenando Fiel, Jr.
Illegal possession of
deadly weapon and murder charges were filed by the National Bureau of
Investigation-Samar against Joel Alebario, 29 who was arrested last
June 13 at their house in Purok 1, Brgy. Dagum, this city. A fan knife
was seized from him.
But according to
Prosecutor II Virgilio Cabral, the illegal possession of deadly weapon
was dismissed for lack of merit. In the
March 18, 2008
dated Resolution, the City Prosecution Office said that “respondent
cannot be said to have violated B.P. BLG. 6 as he was in his residence
when said fan knife was recovered,” and that “said fan knife was not
listed as one of the objects of the search.”
The NBI raiding team
together with the Philippine Army operatives raided Alebario’s
residence based on the strength of a search warrant issued by Judge
Reynaldo Ros of Manila City RTC Branch 33 for alleged possession of
Alebario, who was
presented to the media last March 17 by the NBI and Calbayog City
Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento at the City Mayor’s Office, is a parolee,
released last December 13 from the Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte for
the crime of theft, according to authorities.
disputes the allegations against her son, that her son could not have
done the crime. “Lumarga na unta akon anak kon nakasala iton.” she
said. Neighbors too have told this reporter that Alebario was with
them drinking when the news of the killing reached them.
In the press
presentation, Mayor Sarmiento said that there was a cartographic
sketch that was done right after the incident, and it so happened that
the carto sketch matched from one file photograph of those who have
somewhat committed crimes. The carto sketch matched the photo of the
suspect, “Ito yung nakita ng NBI,” Sarmiento said.
Meanwhile, the witness
right away identified the person as the person seen shooting the
The NBI said their
investigation will confirm to establish the motive of the killing
saying many possible angles are to be considered.
Asked about RTC Branch
32 Sheriff Santos Tarrayo, Jr. who also was nabbed at their Purok 7,
Dagum residence in a simultaneous raid with that on Alebario’s
residence, the NBI said that his arrest has no connection with the
Judge Navidad slay case.
“Sa ngayon, so far
walang ebidensya na mag-uugnay sa nangyari sa pagpatay kay Judge
Navidad, pero nakuhanan namin siya ng firearm; ipapa-ballistic pa
namin yun, at hihintayin namin ang result,” the NBI said.
It was reported
earlier by some media outlets that Tarrayo’s arrest was connected to
the Navidad slay, and that he was tagged as the mastermind.
Tarrayo was charged
with illegal possession of firearms after a .45 pistol was found in
his residence during a raid by virtue of a search warrant also issued
by Judge Reynaldo Ros. His lawyer Ernesto Peñaflor said he was able to
post an P80,000 bail on the same day he was arrested.
On March 24 in the
weekly regular press conference held at Handumanan Bldg., Calbayog
Police Chief Supt. Isaias Tonog said that they had to stop their
investigation because the NBI had come out with their suspect. He
added that “May-ada gad kami 2 nga testigo dinhe pero nahadlok ngan
lumarga kay may mga death threats kuno ha ira pati an ira pamilya.”
Alebario’s mother, Elena, is growing concerned about her son.
Interviewed by this reporter, she said that she intends to travel to
Manila where, reporters’ last inquiry with the NBI revealed, the
younger Alebario voluntarily went with his captors.
DSWD Secretary arrives
in Tacloban today
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Amiable Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral
is scheduled to arrive in
today, April 18, for the launching of various DSWD-led anti poverty
and hunger mitigation programs.
DSWD Region 8 Director
Letecia Corillo informed that Secretary Cabral is Guest of Honor for
the launching of various poverty alleviation and hunger mitigation
projects, principally the Food for School program, at Mahaplag,
Late this afternoon,
Secretary Cabral will launch the “Ringgat Book and CD,” a compilation
of KALAHI-CIDSS best practices in Eastern Visayas.
It will be a hectic
but productive day for Secretary Cabral, who will arrive at 7:00
o’clock in the morning at the DZR Airport where she will immediately
interact with friends from the local media, Director Corillo said.
From the Airport,
Secretary Cabral will proceed to Tanauan,
Leyte where she will formally open the Sportsfest of the
Rehabilitation Center for the Youth, the center for the youth in
conflict with the law in the region.
As soon as she arrives
in Mahaplag, which is a beneficiary of the KALAHI-CIDSS program,
Secretary Cabral will view the KALAHI-CIDSS Photo Exhibit and she will
be introduced to the Community and Local Inter-Agency Partners and the
Regional Inter-Agency Partners.
After the overview of
DSWD Existing programs in Mahaplag, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho
“Icot” Petilla and Congresswoman Carmen Cari of the fifth district of
Leyte will deliver their respective messages.
While in Mahaplag,
Secretary Cabral, assisted by Governor Petilla and Congresswoman Cari,
will launch the Anti-Poverty program for the municipality. She will
distribute Food Packs to Day Care Children; award SEA-K Livelihood
Assistance to three associations; and distribute certificates to
Tindahan Natin operators.
Cabral will distribute weighing scales and lead in the feeding of
activities, Secretary Cabral will deliver her Keynote Speech. She will
also find time to visit Tindahan ni Gloria and KALAHI-CIDSS projects.
The Secretary will
travel to Barangay Uguis to inaugurate the Water System project and to
Barangay Liberacion to visit the
project, both under the KALAHI-CIDSS program, which is the flagship
poverty alleviation and people empowerment program of the Arroyo
At present, there
are already 878 barangay beneficiaries in the 32 KALAHI-CIDSS
municipalities in Region 8 Director Corillo informed.
Greenpeace dumps coal
at DENR: calls for cancellation of IloIlo Coal plant
April 18, 2008
MANILA, Philippines – Greenpeace
activists dumped half a ton of coal at the entrance of the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Thursday and unfurled a
banner with the message "Atienza, don't be a climate criminal." The
activists are demanding that Secretary Lito Atienza immediately reject
all plans to construct a dangerous coal-fired power plant in
Instead of actual
coal, the activists used charcoal, which is safer than the coal used
in power plants. Coal, when burnt, releases a cocktail of toxic gases
that have deadly health impacts on downwind communities. It is also a
major contributor to climate change, the most serious environmental
threat facing the world today.
"It is a crime against
humanity to abet climate change – a crime that Secretary Atienza can
stop by denying the issuance on an Environmental Compliance
Certificate (ECC) to the Iloilo Coal plant," said Greenpeace Climate
and Energy Campaigner Jasper Inventor. "If Mr. Atienza is, as he
claims, serious about working toward solutions to the climate problem,
then he should take the lead in blocking the construction and
expansion of the Iloilo plant and any other similar coal project in
reminded Secretary Atienza about his own pronouncements at the UN
climate change meeting in Bali in December last year, where he called
on world governments to act urgently and decisively to reverse climate
change. Mr. Atienza at Bali had emphasized that climate change will
to poverty, and, worldwide, will displace some 340 million people
while depriving 1.8 billion people of drinking water.
"And it is under his
stewardship that the DENR is due to decide on the issuance of an ECC
for the Iloilo coal plant whose construction plans have been met with
massive resistance from civil society, church, and community groups in
the city. We have brought this charcoal to him today to remind him of
his words – if he eats them, then he can eat coal as well," challenged
Inventor during the activity.
Coal is the dirtiest,
most carbon intensive of all fossil fuels. Emitting 29 percent more
carbon per unit of energy than oil and 80 percent more than gas, it is
one of the leading contributors to climate change. Although
coal-fired power plants already account for 36% of the country’s
carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector, there are still at
least eight coal-fired plants lined up for construction or expansion
in the Philippines, including the 165 MW coal-fired power plant in
"Iloilo does not need
this coal plant. At present, there is an oversupply of 85MW in Panay
Island and Guimaras. Beginning October 2008, there will be an
additional oversupply when the existing submarine cable linking Panay
Island to the Negros geothermal grid starts providing an additional
30MW of electricity. On top of that, when the submarine cable is
upgraded also later this year, Iloilo will receive an additional
100MW, bringing the total electricity oversupply to 215MW," said
Melvin Purzuelo of Responsible Ilonggos for Sustainable Energy (RISE).
Greenpeace and RISE
maintain that needed power additions can be supplied by a range of
renewable energy alternatives from small hydro, biomass and wind
within Panay, and the expansion of geothermal power plants within the
Visayas grid, eliminating the need for coal.
Greenpeace is an
independent, global campaigning organization that acts to change
attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment, and
to promote peace.