8ID chief assures probe on alleged military
‘abduction’ of farmers
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
– After almost two weeks of tension in three remote villages of this
province for the alleged abduction of innocent civilians including farmers
and children perpetrated by the military, the Commanding General of the
Army’s 8th Infantry Division based here has confirmed that
investigation into the matter is now underway.
The office of the 8th
Civil Affairs Unit (CAU-8) yesterday issued a press statement of MGen.
Glenn Rabonza, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division
(8ID) based in Camp Lukban, Brgy.
Maulong Catbalogan, Samar saying that the division will probe the veracity
of the complaints of the victims’ relatives through the human rights groups.
The general, who is now in
Manila attending a conference with AFP’s top brass, assured the general
public in Eastern Visayas that the division will not tolerate this acts if
his men proven guilty.
“There will be a proper
forum on this, all involved personnel will be subjected to administrative
probe,” the general said, as quoted by Capt. Cromwell Danganan of the CAU-8.
On Tuesday (July 6), Ms.
Anne S. Eder, staff member of the Alyansa ha Pagpanalipod han Tawhanon
nga Katungod han Katawhan (Katungod-Samar), alleged that soldiers belong
to the Alpha Company of the 34th Infantry Battalion stationed in
San Jose de Buan, Samar, masterminded the abduction and illegal detention of
a farmer “pinpointed by a man wearing bonnet” around 8 a.m. of June 27,
The victim was identified
as certain Liberato “Embo” Racab, a 20-year old farmer, single, and resident
of Sitio Tar-as, Brgy. San Miguel, Jiabong town. As of today, he was
declared missing by his relatives for about 13 days now.
According to the victim’s
mother Rosita, his son Embo asked permission from her that he would go to
the farm of his Tata Feliciano Paclita to borrow carabao but never came
back. When human rights groups interviewed Paclita, the latter said, “I saw
a group of soldiers passed by in his house along with Embo and the man
Paclita added he saw Embo
wearing a yellow shirt and long pants around 9 o’clock in the morning of
June 27. It was further narrated by the witness that some of the soldiers
retained in his farm and asked him “may umagi ba nga mga tawo dinhi nga amon
guinbubukod?” When he answered none, he said, he forced to go with them
going to the forested area in the vicinity of Brgy. Dogongan, and while
walking in the area, there was a sudden outburst of fire, he was left by the
escaping soldiers but Embo was failed to escape from their hands.
Back to his place, in Sitio
Tar-as, Paclita told the probe team from Katungod-Samar that around
50 armed men abducted the victim and “has no patch.” Two days later, it was
confirmed by the human rights group that it was real soldiers who abducted
the victim when a CAFGU member in Brgy. Camarubuan, Jiabong, Samar (name
withheld) secretly told the victim’s father Mano Sosing Racab, that the
Alpha Company of the 34IB were conducting patrol operations that time in the
area of incidents.
On July 1, four days after
this incident, the parents of the victim – Mano Sosing and Mana Rosing – and
some kins Paclita, Boy, Sosing Junior, Lilia, and a councilor of Jiabong
town proceeded to 34th IB and talked to a certain Lt. Mario Jose
Chico but disclaimed the abduction of Embo.
In another incident, six
innocent civilians including three minor kids were also allegedly abducted
by the military, seven days after the incident in Jiabong town.
A fact sheet distributed by
the Catbalogan-based Katungod to the media yesterday described that
some eight persons – five of them village officials and three kids – were
declared missing and believed to be in the hands of the military belong to
the 34th Infantry Battalion.
The alleged abduction
stemmed when a certain Bonjen Tizon, 28, married farmer of Brgy. Sto. Niño
informed Village Chief Nonoy Gabane that some soldiers brought his brother
in-law Artemio Lazarra, the village chief tanod and his three kids Jocelyn,
14-year old; Josephine, 11; and Jonathan, 9.
Upon learning this
incident, Gabane and two other village councilors namely Tony Mabilog, Eddie
Boy Mabanan and Nonoy Salingsing notified their constituents that they will
proceed to Brgy. Blanca Aurora to retrieve the abducted chief tanod and his
three kids but until now, the abducted persons and the retrieval team
village officials never came back home.
The remaining officials of
the village Rolando Gabane, 39; Francisco Jabolin, 40, and Bonjen Tizon,
proceeded to look for their comrades but found negative. Blanca Aurora
residents, however, told them that soldiers just departed the village going
to Sto. Niño forest, and maybe they’re (victims) with them.
As of now, the human rights
groups in Eastern Visayas is set to probe the alleged militarization
committed by the 8th Infantry Division, particularly the elements
belonging to the Alpha Company of the 34th Infantry Battalion
based in San Jorge, Samar. They also dared the Philippine Army to
investigate the matter which was also gracefully accepted. The 8ID now is
also conducting their own investigation regarding the complaints of military
abduction in three Samar municipalities.
Governor Tan dares SPH employees who went on
“silent protest” to resign
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – The second termed governor
of the province of Samar Milagrosa "Mila" Tan was visibly got irked over the
“poor” performance, successive resignations and mass leave of absence filed
by the medical staff, including doctors and nurses of the Samar Provincial
Hospital (SPH) leaving the government-owned hospital paralyzed few weeks ago
and even until now.
remaining hospital workforce to also resign from their posts, her
disappointment was publicly voiced out during her 15-minute inaugural speech
on June 30, few minutes after she took her oath before Judge Odelon Mabutin
of the Catbalogan Municipal Trial Court.
"Mag resign na lang mo
tanan diha kung di na ninyo gusto ang inyong trabaho dyan (sa hospital),
resign na lang!," Gov. Tan said in her emotional but strong words.
The lady governor cried
foul over the "silent protest" staged by the hospital employees against the
problems besetting provincial hospital medical staff among which are
apparently delayed salaries and non-giving of bonuses and other benefits,
"biased" and "politically" motivated promotions of other self-appointed
In her strong words
delivered over the skeptic crowds, majority of them municipal mayors and
department heads of local and national offices in Samar attending and
witnessing the inauguration ceremonies of the Samar provincial government
officials and congressional representatives, the governor says," what they
did damaged my reputation and affected my credibility as well as the image
of the province."
"Pero biskan kun
nagsugad kamo (hospital employess), di man ngani tanan dida (ha hospital),
guintagan ko lang gihap an aton hospital dugang nga pondo para yana nga tuig,"
the governor said in her mixed cebuano-waray dialect.
The governor announced
that some P3 million in her overall budget this year is allotted to the SPH
and some P1.5 million will also be allotted to the Calbayog City District
Hospital in addition to the regular annual budgets of these hospitals.
Meantime, the governor
dared to resign those employees who filed their leave of absence and finally
broke their silence over the alleged "insensitivity" of the provincial
government administration to the acute and urgent needs and mounting
problems confronting them and the only hospital in this capital town of
Accordingly, the medical
staff and personnel silently denounced the reported mismanagement and
neglect of the hospital by the provincial administration.
For several occasions in
the past, the employees had been complaining of inadequate medical supplies
and non-availability of the necessary medical equipments but, according to
them, these had not been attended to.
"Waray ngani tagi ito
hin panahon ni gobernor kay an iya manla guin aasikaso an iya iba nga mga
karuyagon,” a hospital employee who declined to be named said.
But in brief interview
after her oath taking, Gov. Tan belied the allegations saying,” permi man
ako nabisita ha SPH para maghatag hin mga medisina ngan pondo tikang hadto,
ngan ngada pa man ngani yana,” she said.
A source told that 50
percent of the hospital original workforce already resigned, 30 percent went
on leave, while the remaining 20 percent were thinly distributed to the
three wards and emergency rooms of the hospital.
To date, so as not to
totally paralyze the hospital and to enable this institution operational,
nurses were stationed in shifts basis. The first shift goes on duty from
7a.m. to 3p.m., the second from 3p.m. to 11p.m., the third from 11p.m. to
7a.m., while a doctor reports on a 24-hour basis.
All the staffs of the
medical department, however, were reportedly gone on leave. Their leave of
absence was approved by hospital Chief Dr. Carcenas.
They reasoned out, “We
would rather go on leave than to continue with the inefficient or poor
medical services which the SPH extends to the patients,” they said.
Last year, the SPH has
earned the moniker brand as “Mona Lisa hospital” due to the old adage
that the patients admitted there for treatment reportedly “they just lie
there, and they die there.”
Due to lack of medical
supplies, equipments, apparatus and lack of highly-qualified medical staffs,
the hospital was proclaimed as a primary category hospital, which is
basically should belong to the tertiary category.
This year, the hospital,
which lies just between the Himyangan or the official residence of the
governor and the Capitol building where the governor and other provincial
government officials hold office, was elevated into the secondary category.
Mayor Uy up to
re-establish shipping industry
By ROMMEL L. RUTOR
– “I am appealing to the new set of officials of this town’s
legislative council, to help and support my plan to bring our seaports back
into business”, the persuasive plea of newly installed chief executive of
this capital town, during his inaugural message before the Catbaloganons
June 30, this year.
Mayor Uy informed that he
had made initial talks with Mr. Florencio Palacio, owner of the Palacio
Shipping Lines based in Cebu City recently, requesting for the latter to
come up with passenger and cargo routes between Cebu and Catbalogan.
Once realized, Mayor Uy is
confident that his vision of re-instating a trade-link between Cebu and
Catbalogan will answer a revenue backlog that weighs down the municipality’s
momentum for advancement. “Beside, we will be needing additional funding if
we want an all out development to occur in our municipality”, Mayor Uy
“If the Cebu-Catbalogan
connection materializes, exportation and importation of commodities would be
much less costly compared to transporting our goods either via Calbayog or
Tacloban City. This will perhaps lessen the cost of commodities being traded
here in Catbalogan”. Mayor Uy further explained, adding that this will
somehow ease the economic burden upsetting all Catbaloganons. As this
developed, Mr. Palacio assured Mayor Uy that once all the needed requirement
be settled, they will ply the Cebu-Catbalogan route by September this year.
Meanwhile, the local
government here, is expected to come-up with a proposal which is subject for
negotiation with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) here, the plan is to
make use of a vacant lot owned by the PPA situated at the port area, to be
converted into a Bus and Jeepney Terminal.
According to Mayor Uy, he
will consult with the PPA Officials here, and eventually negotiate possible
terms and conditions that may apply on the proposed project, which will be
one of his maiden ventures as the new chief executive of the municipality.
“This will answer the
burgeoning traffic problem being faced by the municipality”, he pointed-out,
“ and these terminals operating at the downtown area causes more than
obstruction, but we can’t do anything to subvert it, since we don’t have
alternative sites for this purpose at this point of time”, Mayor Uy further
Mayor Uy likewise
assailed, in public, the last minute Traffic Re-routing Scheme implemented
by then Mayor Jess Redaja, which took effect 5 days before ascending to the
Capitol, as the new Vice-Governor of the province.
implementation was not well executed, and the negative cling-ons of the
project might be blamed on him. “Hi Tekwa na liwat it babasulon hiton,
kaluluoy na liwat ni Tekwa”, Mayor Uy commented, using his nickname where he
is popularly known.
battered the recent traffic ventured here by former Mayor Redaja, with the
public, sighting the low quality of the materials used, particularly the
paints used in marking the road signs. “Kitaa na gad la ito nga pintar nga
gin-gamit, usa la ka oras waray na kitaa” says one motorist in a random
“Though the intention is
good, pero kay maaram man kamo hit mga huna-huna hit tawo, once a good
project is not implemented well – labi na gud kun hilaw an pag-implementar,
the outcome is bad”, Mayor Uy said.
District & Gang wars
Before concluding his
speech, Mayor Uy stressed that the he will work for the turnover of the
Catbalogan Water District (CWD) here to the municipality.
The Local Water Utilities
Administration (LWUA) is managing the operation of the CWD here since 1992,
when the former management of the water district composed of Catbaloganons
failed to pay the CWD loans.
Initial plans to turnover
the district to the LGU here was laid-out during the term of ex-Mayor Redaja,
but the former administration refused to accept the proposal unless the
recent 32 million water system project be completed.
The new chief
executive here likewise vowed to give a halt on the rising crime rate
besetting this capital town, saying that he will pursue for a crime-free
locality – which is part of his 3-point political agenda outlined for the
municipality of Catbalogan.
“I will work for the
prevention of gang-wars"
Samar schools get personal computers from
CHRISTINE AC. CAIDIC
July 6, 2004
CATBALOGAN, Samar - The Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) implemented the PCs for Public Schools Project (PCPS) funded
from a P600M grant assistance from the Government of Japan. This project
benefited 996 public high schools all over the country. With the successful
implementation of the PCPS, the Government of Japan approved a second phase
of the project to be implemented again by the DTI.
In Samar Province, three (3)
public high schools became beneficiares of the said project. These are the
Samar National High School in Catbalogan, Samar; Jiabong National High
School in Jiabong; and the Osmeña National High School in Marabut. Each of
these schools received ten (10) Hewlett-Packard computers and peripherals.
In addition to the computer package, a training program sponsored by Intel
Philippines will also be made available for teachers.
Gov. Evardone appeals for a common
ROMMEL L. RUTOR
BORONGAN, E. Samar – “We cannot afford for
diverse approaches on programs concerning the environment because of the
varied perception of the people pertaining the issue, kay iba-iba man it
huna-huna hit mga tawo”, this was the message conveyed by the newly elected
governor of Eastern Samar to at least 34 media personalities from the three
provinces of Samar Island, that converged in a two days meeting here, in
answer to beckonings of environmental advocates to the media to come-up with
a common approach in environmental advocacy.
The newly formed Sinirangan
Press Club (SPC) here, a composite media organization based in this town,
hosted the event in cooperation with the Samar Island Biodiversity Project (SIBP)
based in Catbalogan, Samar, by which situational reports and other related
discussions were laid out for the consumption of the media practitioners
During the event, Eastern
Samar Governor-elect Ben Evardone, aired his full support for the protection
of the Samar’s island deteriorating biodiversity. He disclosed that even
before his getting elected as the chief executive of his province, he is
already aware of the environmental conditions of the island, and have
included it to his 15-point political agenda, which he prominently presented
to his constituents in Eastern Samar during the campaign period.
He sighted the cases of the
Manicani and Homonhon Islands,
which will be one of his major concerns as soon as he steps in the
“That mining firm operating in Manicani claimed a total land
area of 1,600 square kilometer for mining excavation, which is the actual
land area of the island itself, where will the residents go after the mining
operation ends?” Gov. Evardone stressed, apprehensive of what will be left
for the people of the island once the mining venture finish off.
In line with this issue,
Gov. Evardone sought for a more vibrant media advocacy on the protection of
the environment, explaining to the members of the media who participated in
the affair, their vital role of the in educating the people, and eventually
influencing the mind-sets and decisions of the Samareños relative to the
cause of environmentalism.
He pointed out that the
issue on environment cannot be resolved by a single entity alone, “it should
be a collaborative effort from all sectors of the society”, he explained,
suggesting however that the advocacy be realized with a common thrust.
“I will conduct consultations to all sectors involve in the
protection of the island’s biodiversity to obtain a common thrust, we cannot
afford for diverse approaches on programs concerning the environment kay
iba-iba man it huna-huna hit mga tawo” Gov. Evardone emphasized.
Present on the gathering
were media practitioners from as far as Catarman of the North, Calbayog and
Catbalogan of the West, and from this capital town of Eastern Samar.
Before he ended his talk,
Gov. Evardone informed the media that he will be up to convince his
counterparts in the North and the West of Samar Island, to come-up with a
common environmental agenda that they could synergic ally pursue.
Philmedia incites Samar Press to
employ alternative journalism
By ROMMEL L. RUTOR
July 4, 200
– A Cebu-based Non-Government Organization
egg on media practitioners in the island of Samar to make use of alternative
journalism in the course of their news reporting – particularly on
environmental advocacy – to be able to maximize media influence on the issue
Philippine Media Center for Advocacy, popularly known as Philmedia, graced
the 2nd Samar Island-wide Media Advocacy on Biodiversity and
Environmental Protection in Borongan, Eastern Samar, represented by former
Sunstar Daliy Newspaper top reporter Ana Fionah Bojos.
Apprehensive over the present threat towards the environment in the island
of Samar, Ms. Bojos narrated to the media participants in the gathering the
nil existence of forest in the island of Cebu, putting in the picture that
there is not a single patch of forest can be found in the whole island,
which is the anti-theses to Samar’s present condition, though threatened to
be stripped of its rich biodiversity.
“Cebu by now has no adequate supply of drinking water, due to the excessive
destruction of its natural environment, we are importing water from our
nearby province Bohol”, Ms. Bojos disclosed. “Cebuanos, during the previous
years, wasn’t concerned of what will happen in the future, thus they’re
suffering now the consequences of not protecting their natural environment”,
she further revealed.
During a plenary workshop, Ms. Bojos explained that traditional reporting of
events – particularly pertaining to the environment – is becoming passive
and doesn’t influence the target audience by some level anymore. She
stressed that for a certain advocacy to be realized such as
“environmentalism”, the media should carry out a more decisive form of
journalistic approach to the issue, in such a way that the context of the
story or article being aired or published would be felt by its target and
eventually help revert a mind-set that is detrimental to the advocacy being
Bojos, pointed out that advocacy reporting should go beyond the traditional
approach of data presentation in a story – which is basically narrative in
nature-, “the intent of the writer should be perceived eminently by the
reader even by cursory reading or listening, and eventually should influence
him positively – from the point of view of the advocacy being presented”,
this developed, participants in the said workshop raised their predicaments
concerning media commercialism besetting the Samar island, revealing the
influence of certain political and commercial entities with vested interest
to gag media outfits by means of advertising contracts – which is obviously
the life support system of the provincial media, - which the Samar press
claims is the ultimate reason why they can’t adhere much to a multi-faceted
kind of reporting, or even personally advocating on certain issues.
Underscoring the prejudicing fact, Ms. Bojos stressed that the media should
be able to develop a community-based support so as not to become dependent
on political advertising that poses a tendency of bias reporting. “If you
are a media made by the people, you would be able to serve the people
accordingly”, Ms. Bojos insisted.
Philmedia likewise assured all media practitioners in the island of Samar
that they will assist in affording access to various publications employing
alternative journalism, but reiterated their insistence to develop one, in
support to the advocacy the Samar Media had initiated.