Isog Han Samar rally calls for unity against
By RAY P.
October 22, 2004
CATBALOGAN, Samar - A prayer
rally spearheaded by the Isog Han Samar Movement (Fury of Samar Movement)
was successfully held in this municipality in the afternoon of October 18 to
demonstrate the will of the Samareños to abhor graft and corruption in
government particularly in the provincial government of Samar.
Graft and corruption in the
Samar provincial capitol is allegedly rampant thus the inefficiency of the
provincial government to deliver the basic services to the people.
Inadequate health services and supply of medicines at the Samar Provincial
Hospital attest to this occurrence.
Last October 2, 2004
national television network giant GMA7 aired in their “Imbestigador” prime
time show, the Commission on Audit (COA-Central) Report of the anomalies
purportedly committed by the provincial government of Samar, one of which is
on the procurement of supplies and materials.
This prompted some
concerned Samareños to act on the matter seriously thus the creation of the
movement to lead the prayer rally and to the filing of a plunder case
against Samar governor Milagrosa Tan thru the office of the Ombudsman.
With their slogan “Sobra na
an Pangawat, Sobra na an Panguwat - Tama Na! Iwas Na!”, the rally started
with a concelebrated mass at the St. Bartolomew Church officiated by over a
dozen of priests coming from the different parishes of Samar who express
their support to the mass action.
Priests, nuns, seminarians,
students, different organizations and the general public joined the peaceful
prayer rally which lasted for about 3 hours.
GMA hand‑in Crown Award for Tacloban
By EDITO MEJICA
October 22, 2004
TACLOBAN CITY - The city government effort
in curbing the condition of "nutritionally depressed barangays" has recently
Along that line, City
Nutrition Council (CNC) chaired by Mayor Bejo Romualdez, so much concerned
by the plight, continuously provide its growing malnutrition demands by
serving more the needy.
As to his valuable
contribution through the CNC, and the City Nutrition Office (CNO),
under the leadership of City Nutrition Officer Dr. Carmen Baquilid reaped
additional laurels and represents the city in Malacañan Palace, Manila on
October 15, 2004, to receive the coveted recognition ‑ The FIRST MAINTENANCE
No less than President
Gloria Macapagal‑Arroyo presented the certificate of recognition for the
city of Tacloban thru Dr. Carmen Baquilid for successfully maintaining as
the consistent regional outstanding winner to nutrition for Eastern Visayas,
for the 1st year, through the efficient and effective
implementation and management of the city nutrition program.
Out of the 28 identified
LGU's consistent winners, only 8 survived to vie for the 2nd year
CROWN maintenance award. For the 3rd year, those who will still
adhere to the challenge will receive the NUTRITION HONOR AWARD (NHA), the
ultimate and highest recognition for maintaining efficient and effective
nutrition program, Baquilid explained.
Romualdez much needed
support to various CNO programs and projects, the infusion of 152 untiring
Barangay Nutrition Scholars, helped so much to alleviate the condition of
those identified as nutritionally dependent barangays.
Notably, from the water for
life to the livelihood projects, just to name a few were successfully
implemented in order to integrate other nutrition needs of these
underprivileged wanting for healthy but simple way of life.
Just the other month, the
city government was also a recipient of the KRISTAL AWARD for strictly
implementing the promotion and use of iodized salt by every household. It
was mandated by a local ordinance for such advocacy.
For the attainment of the
city government goals, for a cleaner, greener and malnourished-free
city, the CNC through the CNO believed to be in the night tract to achieve
Redaja asks Arroyo to save Samar rice granary
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Citing one
solution to solve the present economic problem hounding the country today,
the vice governor of this depressed province is seeking the aid of President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through the Department of Agrarian Reform in solving
the perennial flood problem that, still, up to now inundate some 6,576
hectares of rice lands covered by the government’s comprehensive agrarian
reform program since 40 years ago.
In an interview,
Vice-Governor Jesus B. Redaja said they are now preparing to present the
problem on floods in the towns of Gandara, San Jorge, Tarangnan and
Pagsanghan, all in the First Congressional District of Western Samar to DAR
Secretary Rene C. Villa within the week. Secretary Villa is expected to
visit Leyte within the month, it was learned.
“Lately we have started
taking initial steps towards arresting further destruction by flood waters
that inundate yearly for over 40 years now,” Redaja stressed.
Upon initial assessment by
him, Redaja said the problem was traced to silted river caused by top soil
erosions in the area, which is considered “the biggest stumbling block to
rural development” in Samar
“This will take millions of
pesos to solve the problem, that’s why we need the assistance of the
national government,” Redaja said.
Redaja recommended the
suggestion of renting dredging machines in Cebu City that will take out or
extract soils in the silted river bed that causes the flooding.
Earlier, Pascual O. Cosmod,
a development facilitator of La Paz-Buenabista Agrarian Reform Community in
San Jorge town reported that these occurrences of at least two floods a year
adversely affected some 66 villages within the towns of Tarangnan, San
Jorge, Gandara and Pagsanghan, all in the first district of Samar, for an
estimated total area of 4,145 hectares.
“An estimated total of
189,600 cavans of palay costing P75.84 million is lost whenever a flood
occurred and submerged the 2,235 hectares for this duration of time - not to
mention those remaining areas slightly affected,” Cosmod said showing the
audience a sketch of the barangays being flooded.
At least 4 major floods,
which occurred in 1961, 1979, 1983 and 1998, affected the flow of road
traffic specifically in the Sapinit, San Jorge area, in as much as the
Maharlika national highway went underwater for 3 days, Cosmod reported. “It
contributes retrogression of these four municipalities,” he said.
Moreover, Redaja said the
moves to arrest the problem came in the heels of initiatives taken by
personnel of the Department of Agrarian Reform upon instructions by regional
director Tiburcio A. Morales Jr. to whom the annual problem was presented
during his monthly consultative meeting here with non-government
organizations, people’s organizations and the media.
Director Morales clarified,
however, that the DAR’s response is only a way of helping the provincial
government, hence the DAR is only validating claims concerning the flood
phenomenon through verification of actual areas flooded, crops damaged, and
number of agrarian reform farmer-beneficiaries actually left victims by the
flood, and coordination with mayors and other local government offices
Initial data reaching the
DAR provincial office in Catbalogan show that some 3,055 CARP beneficiaries
in these four towns are affected, excluding those who are agricultural
lessees. The flooded areas reported also exclude those cultivated by small
land owners, and those falling under the jurisdiction of the Regional
Integrated Agricultural Research Center (RIARC) at barrio Sapinit in San
Within this week, more
barangay and municipal resolutions seeking the assistance of the provincial
government and national government agencies concerned, such as the
Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture, and
National Irrigation Administration are expected to be passed by the affected
agrarian reform officer Dana Urbano reported to the DAR provincial office
here that the local government of Pagsanghan, which is under mayor Violeto
H. Ceracas, had decided recently to concentrate on Buenos Aires and San Luis
as these are the only two barrios where flood subsides after several days or
much longer than in other flooded areas. She said that the mayor’s office
had informed her that rice crops in these two barrios succumb also to saline
water which hastens death to the crops.
Last September 6, the
Sangguniang Bayan of Pagsanghan, in a regular session presided by vice-mayor
Alberto V. Mara and attended by all the SB members, including Association of
Barangay Captains president Florencio S. Repol and Sangguniang Kabataan
Federation president Jerica B. Tan, passed Resolution No. 08 which was
approved on the same date by mayor Ceracas.
The resolution is
requesting the DAR, as lead agency in the implementation of the CARP, as
well as the Office of the President, the provincial government of Samar and
other government agencies concerned “for assistance in the control of
perennial floods in our barangays.”
The SB said that “farmers
perennially affected by floods have urged the Sangguniang Bayan of
Pagsanghan, Samar to intercede in their behalf for a solution to the flood
problem that has affected their lives and their families, due to destruction
of agricultural crops, resulting to high incidence of poverty” and that
solving the problem “will ensure the attainment of high crop productivity
output as well as increased income of farm families in the different
In the same resolution, the
Pagsanghan SB said that “it is possible to control these perennial floods
through dredging (of) the end portion of Gandara River leading to the Samar
Sea, as well as the construction of a drainage canal linking the Bangon
River and the Pajo-Sapinit River.”
Earlier, 31 farmers in
Buenos Aires, tilling an aggregate area of 43 hectares said in an undated
petition that the construction of an open canal that will link the Bangon
Gote River and the Pajo River (both in Tarangnan town) is “the only
alternative way to control flood in our area”. They said they observed that
fishponds constructed near the mouth of the Gandara River (at Pagsanghan),
as well as the accumulated siltation there serve as a bottleneck that
constricts the flow of flood water, thereby resulting to submersion of our
crops for a number of days.”
Feisty Negros lady lawyer calls killers of Cebu lawyer ‘cowards’
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo prays before the bier of female lawyer
Arbet Sta. Ana Yongco, who was killed inside her office cum residence in
Barangay Sapatera Monday morning (October 11).
By CECIL DEL MAR RAMOS/
October 15, 2004
- A lady lawyer from La Carlota City, Negros Occidental has blasted the
killers of fellow lady lawyer Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco, a private prosecutor in
the celebrated Ecleo parricide case in
“They are cowards. Atty. Yongco could have outwitted them in a mano-mano
(fistfight) if they did not use a gun,” bewailed Atty. Gerlie Uy, a 26-year
old taekwondo jin.
Uy said the killers, described by witnesses as all males, employed a
“treacherous” method in shooting to death the 37-year old lawyer “because it
would be embarrassing on their part if Atty. Sta. Ana-Yongco subdued them in a
fair physical combat.”
Because of Yongco’s murder, Uy exhorted her fellow lady lawyers to learn the
art of self-defense by training in aikido, boxing, taekwondo and other
martial arts techniques.
“Those rascals were only brave because they outnumbered my companera and
were armed. Even if we are females, they cannot intimidate us. We can beat
them if they will face us in a fair fight,” said the outraged Uy, who had
expressed admiration for the courage of the slain colleague for accepting
the Ecleo case “when nobody wanted to because of fear.”
Both Uy and Yongco are strong advocates of reproductive health and women’s
rights and empowerment.
Yongco was shot dead in her office adjacent to her house at Brgy. Zapatera
in Cebu City last Oct. 11. The gunman walked into the unlocked office and
fired off five shots, hitting her in the head, neck, shoulder and arm.
She was the lawyer of the
family who filed the case against Ruben Ecleo, a cult leader, over the
killing of his wife. Aside from the Ecleo case, she also handled a rape case
in which the accused was meted out 26 death sentences.
Total abolition of losing GOCCs sought
Alliance of Volunteer Educators
MANILA, Philippines - Congressional partylist Alliance of
Volunteer Educators (AVE) Rep. Eulogio “Amang” R. Magsaysay today challenged
the Arroyo administration to abolish the 25 government owned and controlled
corporations which were expected to bring additional financial pitfalls to
the country come 2005.
Magsaysay stressed that these government owned and controlled
corporations (GOCCs) tend to “rob” precious funding from the country’s much
needed basic services, especially education.
He said that the government will be wasting more money if these GOCCs
remain in operation.
Magsaysay added that instead of allocating subsidy funds for the GOCCs,
the government should focus on granting benefits and additional wages for
people in the public education sector.
“Government funding should be spent on the much needed services such as
better health care and quality education,” said Magsaysay.
This is the reason, according to the AVE solon, why the government should
not be hesitant on disowning the GOCCs especially if such corporations miss
their financial targets before the year ends.
Financial analysts said that the government will lose approximately
Php102.7 billion because of unproductive GOCCs.
Magsaysay said that financing the development of quality education will
be of greater benefit for the country than saving these corporations.
Among the greatest corporate “losers” are National Power Corporation (Napocor)
with Php83.62 billion worth of financial liabilities, followed by National
Food Authority with Php13.13 billion.
Other corporations included in the list are Light Rail
Transit Authority (P1.29 billion); National Electrification Authority (P1.28
billion); Phil. National Oil Co. (P1.23 billion); Phil. Coconut Authority
(P236.57 million); Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions
(P98 million); National Tobacco Authority (P80 million); National Dairy
Authority, (P67.74 million); Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp. (P64.8
million); and Sugar Regulatory Administration (P60 million).
San Jorge’s top 10 'Best Employee of the Year
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
SAN JORGE, Samar - Ten out of
two hundred municipal employees of this fifth class locality was chosen by
the LGU search and awards committee as recipients of the "Most Outstanding
Employees of the Year 2004" during the culmination night of this town's 25th
anniversary celebration Sunday, October 10.
The 'top 10' awardees
received their respective certificates of recognition/plaques from the guest
of honor Army General Bonifacio Ramos, the Assistant Division Commander of
the 8th Infantry Division based in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar. He was
assisted by Mayor Joseph "Jojo" Grey being the head of the selection
committee, which was likewise composed of all department heads of San Jorge.
Mayor Grey said the
selection committee cited the performances, contribution to the local
government unit, and commitment to public service of the awardees as basis
in choosing the 'top 10.' "They were strictly evaluated by me and my
committee members based on some criteria and requirements needed, and they
(top 10) all passed," the mayor stressed.
The name of awardees and
their corresponding over-all ratings were the following, to wit: Erlinda
Tupaz (56.34), Ofelia Adesas (44.76), Philnor Albarico (36.23), Bienvenido
Diongon (34.48), Ferdinand Tupaz (33.67), Romualdo Ortiz (32.49), Fely
Beduya (32.26), Liza Tafalla (31.83), Maria Tan (29.83), and Florita
Barrileaux with her 29.66 percent.
On the other hand, some 13
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries were also awarded with their respective
Certificates of Land Ownerships Awards (CLOAs) last Sunday. They were
Sofronio Gabiana, Alejandro Cupino, Leonila Jabulan, Angela Solayao, Pablo
Solayao, Arcadio Dacles, Estanislao Dacles, Conrado Villar, Orlando
Villamonte, Rolly Cinco, Salvador Dosal, Felipe Montero and Lodito Labalan,
all from the villages of this town.
In his message to the San
Jorgehanons, Congressman Reynaldo S. Uy (Samar-1st district), congratulated
the selected outstanding employees saying "as public servants, the welfare
of our people should be over and above our personal interests and
ambitions." He said with the right attitudes, "we can eradicate the practice
of political corruption and our integrity as local officials will never be
On his part, Mayor Grey
encouraged all his constituents including the awardees to keep up the good
work and continue serving the public without asking in exchange. He also
urged everyone to help him in maintaining peace and order, cooperate in all
means for the development and progress of San Jorge, and instead forget
"Kalimutan na natin ang
politika, wag nyo na akong gagawan ng mga isyu na di naman totoo. pangako ko
sa inyo, pagagandahin ko ang San Jorge," Mayor Grey said in his 45-minute
The mayor also reported his
recent accomplishments in his first 100 days in office. Some of which are
resolutions of project-requests addressed to the different national agencies
"Maybe next year, magkaroon
na tayo ng sarili nating ambulance, makapagpaayos ng ating munisipyo at
basketball court. Ikinagagalak ko ring sabihin sa inyo na meron na tayong
enough supply of medicines na para sa ating mga kababayang may sakit," Mayor
The two awarding ceremonies
were in consonance to the town’s 25th founding day celebration
with the theme "Kauswagan aton makakab-otan, kun aton pagburugligan." San
Jorge was once a barangay of Gandara before its conversion into a town on
October 10, 1979.
Governor movement formed
Some members of the ISOG convenors (L-R): Rhett
Piczon, Fr. Noel Labendia, Charo Nabong-Cabardo, Evet Nachura, and Helen
By RAY P. GASPAY
October 8, 2004
- A new movement which calls for the ouster of Samar Governor
Milagrosa Tan was formally formed on October 7, 2004 during a press
conference held at the Byes Place in Catbalogan, Samar attended by various
sectors of society.
The Isog Han Samar Movement (Fury of Samar) was convened
after a report from the Commission on Audit (COA-Central) released recently,
showing some violations consciously and continually made by the provincial
government to the Rules and Regulations pertaining to procurement of
supplies and materials. Other things uncovered by the Audit Team was the
use of the 5% calamity fund even when there was no calamity in the province;
overpricing in the purchase of rice, medicines, electric fans and cement;
and the use of the 20% Development Fund was not supported by an Annual
Investment Plan for which it was intended and moreover, the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan drew purchase requests against this fund.
Moreover, the investigative report on the alleged anomaly by the
provincial government of Samar aired over television giant GMA7 on its
October 2 edition of “Imbestigador” push attention for the Samareños to form
Presently, the movement is conducting a signature campaign as an
initial step for the filing of a plunder case before the Ombudsman against
Governor Milagrosa Tan (see letter to the Ombudsman).
Also, a prayer rally is scheduled on October 18
to show the sentiments of the Samareños against massive graft and corruption
in the Samar Capitol.
NBI dumps charges against NMP exec, et al
NEIL D. MORALETA
TACLOBAN CITY – Again for being “grossly
unfounded, speculative” and for being “merely a product of a ‘fishing
expedition’ aimed at pinning down the accused,” another of the several
formal charges filed against Executive Director Noriel P. Devanadera of the
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) was recently dumped and dropped, this
time on the instant complaint lodged at the National Bureau of Investigation
(NBI) Regional Office here. Other administrative charges against Devanadera
filed at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Civil Service
Commission (CSC) were recently dismissed either for being baseless, lack of
merit, procedural and substantive lapses, or for duplicity of administrative
NBI Regional Director Atty.
Antonio M. Pagatpat, in a 6-page decision issued September 30, has
recommended that charges of Fraud and Illegal Practice of Profession against
NMP Associate Professor Leopoldo G. Abelinde, as principal and against
Director Devanadera, Prof. Remedios C. Cagulada, Erma V. Motebon and Eufemia
Balangbang, all members of NMP top management as accessories, be “considered
closed for being unfounded and that the same be written off from NBI’s case
Some eleven members of the
NMP faculty last June 25 filed formal charges at the NBI regional office
against Abelinde, Devanadera et al accusing the former of holding a fake
Third Mate (3/M) license and likewise charging top management of conspiring
with Abelinde. The complainants include Ricardo L. Mionda, Abraham E.
Pinggol, Ronnie Gernato, Reynaldo B. Bacal, Gil Sofronio G. Brasileño,
Manuel L. Aya-ay, Enrique S. Ilustre, Raul D. Devio, Romualdo M. Lago,
Telesforo Sambalilo and Cesar Brillo.
NBI Special Investigator
Bienvenido Panican after a scrupulous evaluation of the case found out that
the case stemmed simply from the failure of Abelinde to have his Third Mate
license renumbered by the PRC thereby drawing the ire and raising the
speculations of his peers. “The speculations by the complainants as to the
authenticity of Abelinde’s license was, however, solidly proven to be
false,” the decision read, “after thorough verification with the
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Panican also argued that
Devanadera and all other respondents accused of being accessory could not be
charged for protecting or tolerating the alleged violations because as per
documents submitted they are not remiss of their job. “In fact, prior to
the endorsement of the case to NBI, the NMP management has already requested
the PRC for assistance in verifying the authenticity of its employees
including Abelinde,” he pointed out.
Panican also ruled that in
said case, “complainants apparently resorted to the so-called “Fishing
Expedition” as when they failed to pin down the accused of one offense, they
would again try to hit him with another like dragging into the issue an
alleged offense which happened and of which they all knew way back in 1996.
“Their timing therefore in raising this issue against Abelinde is
ill-advised,” the decision ruled.
Director Devanadera in an
interview said he is happy that finally the truth is now coming out. “I
have always been confident that all these cases against me will be dismissed
as they are all baseless, defensible, and all fabricated,” he said.
“I though hope that in the
light of that these decisions of competent authorities, we would be able to
help enlighten the public and our clientele, clarify doubts and erase
speculations,” he ended.