Northern Samar Students
Visit People’s Camp
CROMWELL I. DANGANAN (INF) PA
February 7, 2004
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – The
8th Infantry Division Headquarters here in Camp Lukban served as host to the
4th year High School students of Baro-Baybay Academy Mission School who
visited the “People’s Camp “ last January 31, 2004 as part of their field
students, along with the school’s Head of Office, Mrs. Ethel Presado, came
all the way from Lavesarez, Northern Samar to visit and personally indulge their senses
marveling at the facilities and equipment inside camp. Their trip involved
the visit to the different combat support units of the 8th Infantry Division
who enlightened them on their wide range of roles in supporting the combat
units in order to enhance the performance and capabilities of the Philippine
Army deployed in
Eastern Visayas. Highlights of their trip were the actual glimpse of a 105mm
Howitzer Cannon, a free ride inside an Armored Personnel Carrier and a
preview of Candidate Soldier training.
Wrapping up their field trip
was the visit to the 8ID Conference Room, where the students were briefed on
the Command’s mission and Area of Responsibility. They were also shown
documentary films depicting the various programs of the Philippine Army in
its quest for a lasting peace and prosperity in the country.
The students were very much
delighted and gratified by the hospitality provided by the 8th Infantry
Division as they learned lots of things, especially since it was their first
time to visit an Army Division Headquarters. Their appreciation were very
much evident in their smiles and cheers, as they ride towards home, knowing
fully well that they had just came through a memorable experience they won’t
GMA swears in Ermita and
other AFP Generals
Philippine News Service
February 6, 2004
– President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today sworn into office Defense
Secretary Eduardo Ermita and some generals and Senior Officers of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Secretary Alberto Romulo joined the President at the Rizal Hall of
Malacanang Palace during the oath taking ceremony.
also administered the oath to Justice Undersecretary Manuel Antonio Teehankee as Presidential Adviser on International Arbitration and Trade
Among the AFP
officers sworn in by the President were Vice Admiral Ariston delos Reyes,
Lt. Gen. Alberto Fernando Braganza, Lt. Gen. Efren Abu, Rear Admiral Gilmer
Batestil, Maj. Gen. Edwin Vargas, Brig. Gen. Ricardo Brillantes, Brig. Gen.
Marcel Agustin Panares, Brig. Gen. Roberto Sylim and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey
AFP Chief of
Staff Gen. Narciso Abaya with Philippine Air Force (PAF) commander Lt. Gen.
Nestor Santillan, and Philippine Navy (PN) Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice
Admiral Ernesto de Leon also witnessed the oath-taking of the promoted AFP
Last Jan. 28,
2004, the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed the
appointment of Ermita, along with Press Secretary Milton Alingod, Foreign
Affairs Secretary Delia Domingo-Albert, Budget and Management Secretary
Emilia Boncodin, and the new inducted AFP officers.
Shocker at UP: Fees for
pre-school kids hiked by 550%
Alliance of Volunteer Educators
– If you want your son or daughter to get pre-school education at the
University of the Philippines, better get ready to shell out P30,000 per
This was revealed by the
Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) after concerned parents approached the
group and sought its help.
“We demand a
stop to this planned extortion,” said AVE secretary general Dr. Amang R.
Magsaysay, referring to the effectivity of the fee hike this coming school
year 2004-2005 at UP Diliman’s Child Development Center (UP-CDC).
This is a grim
reminder of how the government treats public education. It is underfunded
and the buck is passed on to parents,” Magsaysay said as he deplored that
“no consultation were made with the parents who will bear the brunt of the
increase in the fees.
P-CDC, which is
under the College
of Home Economics, is being tapped as experimental school of the Family Life
and Child Development (FLCD) department for its college and graduate
students. In August last year, the department proposed a “gradual increase”
in fees from P2,750 per semester at the start of this school year to P5,000
in the second semester and P8,000 per semester next school year for non-UP
dependents. For UP dependents, the hike would be from P2,000 to P4,000.
However, the UP
Financial Policies and Operations Committee (FPOC) proposed that the fees
for non-UP dependents be hiked to P15,000 or P7,000 more than the CDC
proposal. UP President Francisco Nemenzo approved the increase on November
“In behalf of
the children at UP-CDC who will be displaced, we appeal to the UP
administration to reconsider its decision, review the entire rate schedule
and consult with parents,” Magsaysay said, adding that “the House and Senate
committees on education should convene representatives to discover the
extent of the policy refusing adequate state funding for public education.”
“If this pushes
through, this would surely disenfranchise kids from lower and middle-income
families while the national government and UP would be able to continue
getting research inputs on early childhood education almost for free,” Magsaysay lamented.
forget, the government is using UP as its primary research institution for
all spheres of public policy including early childhood education. Government
gets so much from UP but our national officials seem unmindful of UP’s
plummeting state subsidies,” said Magsaysay.
AVE said that “if the UP
administration would have its way, it would stop subsidizing all UP students
altogether simply because the government has stopped giving it sufficient
funds. That way, the people may soon directly fund UP themselves and the
government getting a free ride from it.”
“We wonder if
high tuition fees would be the hallmark of UP as a national university. We
also fear for the college students whose tuition fees may reach dizzying
heights if we consider the mindset of both the national government and the
UP administration,” said Magsaysay.
parents at the UP Integrated School,
UP-Diliman’s elementary and high school department decried President
Nemenzo’s administration for its decision to cut academic classes from five
days a week to only four days. It also dissolved one section per grade
level purportedly to save on cost.
“If these things
are happening in UP which gets the biggest chunk of the budget for state
universities and colleges (SUCs), how much more in other public schools?”
Probe possible misuse of Ched trust funds for
GMA scholarship - AVE
Alliance of Volunteer Educators
MANILA, Philippines – NON-government group
Alliance of Volunteer Educators today backed calls for a full-dress probe
into the possible technical malversation by President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo of the trust funds held by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).
The group said the President herself should also welcome the investigation
if she believes she had not committed any irregularity in tapping the Ched
fund, adding that an investigation open to the public would even give her a
venue to be vindicated.
the President’s move to allot P500-million for the less privileged
students. Indeed, if pushed through, the scholarship fund will greatly give
a boost to the education of thousands of youths. However, the timing is
suspect,” pointed out AVE secretary general Dr. Eulogio R. Magsaysay.
“What was this trust fund doing before? Why only now?,” he asked.
He said that while the intention might be good, the end does not always
justify the means.
that Ched should also be made to explain why a big amount such as that
allocated for the trust fund had not been used before.
At the same
time, he said that the Ched trust fund could have been misused by the
President when she allocated P500-million for a scholarship fund showcasing
President have any right to use the Ched trust fund? This is a question that
needs to be answered by a full-dress investigation,” said Magsaysay.
warned opposition leaders against taking advantage of the issue. “If they
really want to save the Ched trust fund from misuse, they should immediately
start an investigation.
Statements and press conferences have never been known to stop graft and
The AVE leader
pointed out that the Ched had earlier lamented that the national government
reduced funds for state scholarships in previous years. “This new GMA
scholarship fund thus looks a sudden development and perhaps aimed at being
campaign tool for the President.”
the Ched website: “the number of beneficiaries of the CHED student financial
assistance programs in academic year 2001-2002 is 40,294 reflecting a 10.21
% decrease compared to 44,876 in AY 2000-2001. The decrease is due to low
budget ceiling from the DBM.
allocation of fresh funds for a GMA scholarship, Malacañang may have misused
the Ched trust funds,” said Magsaysay.
AVE likewise warned other government officials especially at the local level
to keep off provincial Special Education Funds.
funds may now be targeted by politicians who badly need money for their
selfish political ends,” said Magsaysay.
“If they do so and are caught with their hands in the cookie jar, we intend
to take them to court and make sure they rot in jail for stealing money for
schools, teachers and students,” he added.
Josie dela Cruz, who intends to run again for the same post in May, faces
malversation and graft charges for her alleged misuse of the province’s SEF.
Set to join the
May partylist polls, AVE intends to campaign to stamp corruption besetting
the education sector as well as providing highest budgetary priority to
Group welcomes P1-billion for
new teachers but says “budget is not enough”
Alliance of Volunteer Educators
– A nationwide association of educators today praised the Senate’s
decision to allocate P1-billion from the 2004 national budget for the hiring
of close to 10,000 new public school teachers but quickly said it was not
enough to cover the huge shortage in the number of teachers.
“It may be late in the day and
clearly insufficient but this is a welcome development,” said the Alliance
of Volunteer Educators in a statement.
vice president Avegale Chua said that the P1-billion fund is a step in the
right direction towards resolving the crisis of Philippine education but
clarified that “more funds are needed.”
“We hope that by 2005, more
state funds would be directed to education and not to non-productive
expenses like debt-service payments and war,” she added.
“Sen. Manuel Villar and other pro-education legislators should open their colleagues’
eyes to the remaining 39,000 backlog on the number of teachers in the
nation’s public elementary and high schools,” Chua said.
The AVE leader lamented that
“while many government officials boast of putting education first and
sharing every child’s dream of finishing college studies, most if not all of
them do not turn their words into action. They have not been found in the
forefront of ensuring that education receives the highest priority in the
“As another step in the right
direction, the people should put in Congress pro-education legislators who
truly fight for improvements in schools. We should also junk those
candidates who have opposed reforms especially those providing fresh funds
to state colleges and universities,” Chua said.
The Senate’s allocation of
P1-billion also guarantees hiring of 1,675 principals for public school
A new teacher, classified as
Teacher 1 in public school payrolls, receives a basic monthly pay of P8,605
excluding allowances and bonuses.
AVE has manifested before the
Commission on Elections its intention to join the party-list elections. It
intends to run on a pro-education, pro-teacher and pro-student platform, and
hopes to put education on top of budget deliberations in the House of
Shooting Incidents in
Gandara Town Blamed on Partisan Politics
By ELI C.
January 26, 2004
– The popular maxim that “blood is thicker than water” has been proven
false, at least in this town, as police authorities blamed the recent
shooting incidents here involving close relatives on the town folks’ strong
adherence to partisan politics.
han amon na-obserbahan, mas mabug-at pa ha mga tawo an ira partido kontra ha
ira pamilya”, Gandara Police Station Chief, P/SInsp. Delfin Nuñez
noted citing the many instances where killings happened between nearest kin.
According to Nuñez, anyone who belongs to a party other than his own is considered an
month alone, three shooting incidents involving barangay officials were
reported by Gandara PNP, allegedly perpetrated by private armed groups of
politicians in Samar’s 1st
congressional district, the police officer claimed.
He however noted that based on
their investigation, those who were involved in these incidents are just
relatives who belong to opposing political parties.
incident happened in Brgy Hiparayan where one Vic Erilla was shot to death
while on his way to his farm. But it was reported only last January 14 by
Erilla’s son Eric who is the SK Chairman of the said barangay and an ardent
supporter of Mayor Juan Y. Aguilar.
The young Erilla noted that his father was issued a threat days before the killing
from Hiparayan Brgy Captain Jericho Torres, who is still a close relative
of the Erillas.
On January 12,
a barangay kagawad of Brgy Sta Elena named Victorio R. Galvan, also a
supporter of Aguilar, reported to the police that a group of armed men
strafed him with an M16 Rifle while he was working in his farm.
suffered only minor bruises, identified the suspects as alias Ebot Salas,
Armando Casaljay, Wakwak Casaljay and three others who are identified with
the camp of a political leader in the district.
incident took place in Gandara Public Market where unidentified assailant
using a .45 caliber pistol shot Brgy Chairman Torres. Torres, however,
escaped unharmed by jumping into the river.
opponent and a known protégé of Cong. Reynaldo Uy, Antonieto Cabuenos, in
earlier reports pointed to the alleged goons of the mayor as the
perpetrators. But police authorities ruled out the charge saying it was more
of a personal vendetta since Torres, who is known to be Cabuenos’ supporter,
was believed to be the brains of Erilla’s murder.
“The NPA is
not so much of a problem in this town because the people here don’t bother
to entertain rebels anymore. It is more of securing the residents,
especially those in the interior barangays, from the private armed groups
that confronts us considering our limited strength,” Nuñez admitted.
However, he said he has
already coordinated with the army’s 34th Infantry
Battalion which is operating in the area to assist them in running after
Cory Asked to Pray for
Teachers Serving in Polls
Alliance of Volunteer Educators
January 23, 2004
– The Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) today asked former President
Corazon Aquino to include the safety of public school teachers in her prayer
drive for peaceful and honest elections.
Vice President Avegale Chua said teachers, especially those serving in the
May 10 elections, need all the help they can get as political pundits
predict a mad dash by different candidates and parties to ensure their
victory in the polls.
“On teachers’ shoulders rest
the integrity of the voting and counting at the precinct level. They may be
targeted by unscrupulous parties for their selfish ends,” said Chua.
Teachers have again put on the
spotlight following the Supreme Court ruling against the use of automated
counting machines in the May elections.
“Teachers need our prayers now
and in the elections. Let us pray for teachers so they may survive this
ordeal of being pressed in between warring political forces,” she said.
She explained that “electoral
fraud may be committed if the various political forces feel really insecure
on Election Day. There may be illegal stuffing or snatching of ballot boxes
or plain harassment of teachers. We do not want this to happen.”
Chua likewise said that AVE
would start a novena of masses in a major Manila church for the intentions
of public school teachers serving in the elections.
would be open to the public,” Chua said who revealed that AVE would seek an
audience with new Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales and other Catholic
bishops to ask for their blessings.
She said her group would also
ask other faiths and religious leaders for intercessory prayers “because
teachers need all the help they can get.”
Chua said that AVE “would ask
the Good Lord to grant teachers strength, patience and the determination to
preserve the integrity of each ballot. We would also ask protection from
evil forces who may be raring to wreak havoc on teachers and the electoral
process through shameless fraudulent acts.”
Sabarre turns golden, and, still dancing
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
January 20, 2004
– The only and famous artist in residence of Eastern Visayas, Odon Sabarre, celebrated his golden birthday last January
13, 2004 in Good Morning Complex, in Tacloban City, Leyte with a
also with the baptism of his first granddaughter, Alliah Josephine (now 7
months), daughter of Pearly Dawn, who is a Mutya han Samar 1997 title
holder and a cover girl to different national magazines such as in MOD,
Vanity and Chic Magazines, to name a few.
No less than the Archbishop of Palo, Msgr. Pedro Dean officiated the rites.
and "ninongs" were Leyte Governor Remedios Petilla, Samar Governor Milagrosa
T. Tan, Congressman second district of Samar Eduardo ‘Eddie” B. Nachura,
Board Member Vangie Esperas, PNP-8 Regional Director Chief Supt. Dionisio
Coloma, professionals Nelia Uy, Tina Reyna, Peter Yap, Dr. and Dra. Leo and
Judith Amparado, Dra. Sonia Lim, Leon Uyping, Henry Gosyco, Evelyn Diu, Susan Yap, Isabel Liao, Betty Villegas, Dra. Charit Abriol
Santos, Chester Canonigo, Jellah Ripalda, Mark Cordero, Virgil Banez, Letty
Beriso, Dettie Panis and Excel Sabarre.
included Tacloban former mayor & Mrs. Uldarico Mate, Board Member Fr. Ben
Aniceto, Ching Loreto, Socorro Emnas, Belinda Lee, Wisdy Lim, Dr. Romualdo
Cabaluna, Dr. and Dra. Alfred Lim, Rosa Chan, Mila Cadiz, Tita Chan, Memang
Uyping and other distinguished officials & guests of Region 8.
There was also
a special performance given by Sabarre’s Dance Scholars from Leyte and Samar.
After the very enjoyable presentation of talents of the young ballet
dancers, some Ballroom enthusiast, including their respective dance
instructors (DIs) in the city filled the dance floor.
The Golden Boy Odon, who is the Region 8's pride in dance, keeps himself
busy teaching ballet, jazz and aerobics.
At the moment,
he handles the Leyte Dance Scholarship Program on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
10:30 a.m. in People Center and
"Fitness at the family park” in Tacloban City
every Saturday and Sunday at 6:00 a.m. and is attended by hundreds of people
who are health conscious in body and mind. Gov. Remedios Petilla of Leyte is
sponsoring this activity.
And still on
Saturdays, he goes to Catbalogan, Samar to catch his regular 2-5 p.m. Dance
Program. And after that, he will ready himself for another Dance Session
Calbayog City at around 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Eddie Nachura and Governor Mila Tan sponsor both Dance Programs in Samar.
celebration of his 50th birthday was a night of merriment, joy
and laughter. In his speech, Odon thanks the Good Lord for all the Blessings
He has bestowed on him. He also thanks everyone in the hall for the untiring
support extended to him and his scholars. The ABS-CBN Tacloban and other
media entities in the region covered the event.