Anti-Corruption Forum an
eye opener; Prominent leaders express concerns of the people
RODEL J. RAMOS
The Anti-Corruption Consultancy Forum held
at Mayette's Restaurant recently started with these words; "The Philippines
was once a paradise blessed by God with abundance of natural and human
resources. We were a happy and contented people then. Then corruption
engulfed the nation like a monstrous storm. Injustice, poverty and all kinds
of crimes prevailed. We found ourselves, more than 7 million highly educated
Filipinos scattered all over the world like the 'Wondering Jews', many
working as servants, some sell their bodies to feed their families back
home. Investors and businessmen left in droves and unemployment went sky
high. We are gathered here today, seeking for answers."
Paul dela Cruz, President
of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PCC-O) acted as facilitator. The
participants introduced themselves and were asked their reasons for
attending the forum.
There were varied but
related reasons given for attending. Some just wanted to listen and be
informed of issues and developments. Others came to be more involved in
activities to reduce, if not eradicate corruption in society.
There were those who
expressed their deep concern for the Philippines and would therefore want to
help towards its progress. While a number of people asserted that
corruption is a political issue (hence the solution must also lie in
politics), there are also those who insist that we must start with ourselves
before turning the blame outward.
It was also raised that
corruption should not be treated as a "motherhood" issue but as a concrete
problem needing specific solutions.
The guest speakers, Marvin
Bionat, a graduate of Harvard and came all the way from Boston and Connie
Sorio, gave presentations after the participant introductions.
Marvin presented film clips
and statistical data on the costs of corruption in the Philippines and
worldwide. He also introduced a global web-based movement called
www.talsik.com and cited possible courses of action that could be taken
to address various aspects and manifestations of corruption.
Connie sought to provoke
discussion by asserting that corruption being a political issue, the main
responsibility for it lies with government, which has the machinery and
resources. She added that perhaps the reason that there is no direct
translation of the word "corruption" in the Filipino language is that it is
not inherent in Philippine society but possibly brought in by colonial
After the presentation and
some questions and answers, Paul de la Cruz asked them to discuss their
ideas on possible ways of resolving the problem of corruption in the
Philippines. Then, they were asked, "What can we do?"
Among the specific
solutions proposed was to compare corruption situation in many other places
of the world and discuss methods used to get rid of this problem.
The role of the media in
disseminating information as well as exposing anomalous transactions was
identified as a very important tool in the fight against corruption.
Other proposals includes
educating the people, e.g. on who to vote for, not to sell their votes and
through greater use of technology such as the Internet.
The creation of a "watchdog
committee" or movement based in North America
that will focus on addressing issues of corruption, was also emphasized, as
inspired by the talsik.com initiative.
The importance of
consistent follow up activities to this initiative was also raised (should
avoid "ningas cogon"). Thus, continuous discussion of ideas as well as
acting on concrete proposals should be foremost in the anti-corruption
Since there is already an
existing movement began in North America (talsik.com), it seems reasonable to encourage participants
to actively participate in this virtual forum. In the process, we can
coordinate and join forces with overseas Filipinos worldwide in various
efforts to combat corruption in Philippine society.
Meanwhile, efforts must
continue towards educating the Filipino community and us. Also in working in
solidarity with other groups in other countries (bilaterally or
multilaterally) who have similar objectives.
The group will meet again
to work on the action plan and its details.
Prominent leaders in the
community who honored the occasion were Deputy Mayor Art Viola of Upper
Niagara on the Lake; Gene Lara, of Silayan Community Centre and NDP
representative; Knights of Rizal Regional (KoR) Commander of Canada,
Lapulapu (Popoy) Cana and his wife, Lady Ligaya Cana, Lino Reyes, KoR, Lady
Rose Cruz, President of Ladies of Rizal; Rafael Nebres, President of
Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCT); Rod and Linda Recomanta, representing
the business community;
Pempe Saavedra, President
of Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) and Board Member Mark Pascual;
Levi Frias, President, Filipinos for Peace and Justice Restoration; Hermie
and Mila Garcia of Philippine Reporter; and Jess Cabrias of Atin Ito;
EFE "Gene" Dorotheo
Commander of the American Legion-Veterans and his wife; Ret. Col. Rafael
Abad, Concerned Group of Scarborough; Ramon Cruz, Anti-corruption activist;
Willie Reodica, Scarborough Councillor Candidate; Atty. Rogie Wong of Balita-legal
Mike Paez, Mithi Esguerra,
Bayani Edades, Joy Olayta, Nina Escano, and Eleanor Sagadraca represented
Jesus and Jay Calicdan,
Live-in care Giver representatives; Active women's group Clementi, Pat,
Rowena, directors of PYFFA, Bing Agamata, Esther and Jose Orozco, Carol Mati
Monsour, Eva Rios, Lina Felix, Elsie Alvarez, Sue Pedres, R. Cinco. All of
those who attended contributed a lot to the success of the consultative
meeting in working together to fight corruption in the Philippines.
Main organizers of the
event in Toronto are: Terry Olayta of PYFFA, a representative of Talsik in Toronto
and Rodel J. Ramos of Taliba and Filipino Action Network. Maria Deanna
Santos recorded, analyzed and summarized the minutes and essence of the
forum. Lannie Aguinaldo of Settlement & Education In Partnership with York
Region Catholic Services (SEPYR) provided the projector and other equipment.
Those who are concerned on
corruption and want to get involved with the issue can email Terry Olayta
firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 416-783-8740; Deanna Santos,
announces completion of P32-M Caramayon Dam this year
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
– The Catbalogan Water District (CWD) yesterday
announced that the water supply system of Caramayon Dam worth P31.994
million would be soon inaugurated within this year.
CWD district manager Tomas
W. Bautista, in an interview, said once this project funded by the Local
Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has been completed before this year
end, this will benefit some 8,000 water consumers in Catbalogan.
“As of now, only 80 percent of the Catbaloganons avails the water
services of our office,” Bautista said.
Under the project agreement
signed by the CWD and the LWUA, the water district has requested LWUA to
finance its water supply system project in order to provide more safe and
potable water to its service area starting the year 2005.
It was learned that the
LWUA is willing to extend a Level III financial assistance amounting to
P31.994 million which shall be funded partly by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
under its Small Towns Water Supply Project.
Up to this moment, the CWD
is still at its work installing a spring intake box, booster pump station,
450-kilowatt generator set and standby pumps, storage tank, pressure relief
valve, gate and blow-off valves, 3030 cum diesel fuel tanks and provision of
3-5 Hp booster fuel tanks, 50-millimeter diameter tubing fuel transmission
lines, 5.1 km transmission and distribution pipelines with diameters ranging
from 200 to 250 millimeter, complete with various fittings.
It can be recalled that the
work was temporarily stopped last April 2002 when the laborers doing the
excavation work in Sitio Caramayon, where the project is located, were
ordered to stop by a group of armed men believed to be members of the New
The alleged rebels, in
their letter signed by one Ka Sinto, demanded a ten percent share from the
total amount of the project. But the CWD refused to pay saying it is
impossible for them to give in to the demand of the revolutionary movement
since the amount is just enough for the project.
“(And besides), all expenses incurred in the project are subject to
Commission on Audit liquidation,” Bautista said.
When asked how it was
resolved, “Nadala sa pakiusap,” he says.
He said it was through the
efforts of the village officials who acted as mediator between the CWD and
the rebel movement. “Anyway, para din naman sa kabutihan ng mga tao ang
project na ito eh,” the CWD top brass, said.
Meanwhile, Bautista did not
exactly tell the exact date of the completion and inauguration but assured
the public the project would be operational within this year.
A media darling Redaja
captures provincial seat; Gov. Tan, Ex-Rep. Figueroa back to their posts
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The Chief Executive of this town, Mayor Jesus B. Redaja who earned the
distinctive brand as ‘darling of the press’ for his consistent help and
support to many Catbalogan-based media practitioners through the provision
of livelihood and other sustainable income-generating projects, unwittingly
captured the vice-gubernatorial post, the next highest position in the
province of Samar, during the May 10 elections.
Redaja, who never experienced loss in his
political stint, gathered a landslide vote of 100, 054 voters against his
closest rival former provincial board member Lawyer Felix “Boy” Babalcon Jr.
The two other bets – Julius Mancol and Nicasio Leoncio Jr. – were very far
behind the two.
Running under the Liberal Party, in tandem with
the incumbent Governor Milagrosa T. Tan, Redaja has been admired by the
Samareños apparently because of his record-breaking accomplishments as a
3-termer mayor of Catbalogan, the provincial capital of this province, and
being so accommodating to anyone visiting his office seeking for help.
Wearing his favorite stripe-shirt in most of his
public affairs, “It is only him (Redaja) who is able to appear personally
before the media, particularly for the TV and radio public affairs programs,
to make important announcements and updates or clarify certain national and
local issues,” says Chito Dela Torre who anchors a Magazine type TV
program Waray-Waray La (WWL) aired in a local television cable in Catbalogan
and a prominent writer-columnist of several local papers.
For these, Dela Torre said, Redaja stands out as
a private media advocacy (and media darling), an identities which the media
people in this town believe could carry on even if he is already holding a
much higher office.
Meanwhile, despite of her untiring detractors
digging his alleged non-Filipino citizen, Samar Governor Milagrosa Tee Tan
has, still, managed to retain her seat against her four male opponents in
the gubernatorial post.
Ignoring the threats brought about by her pending
cases before the Comelec and in the Ombudsman Visayas, she defeated former
DENR Undersecretary Mario “Mayet” S. Roño by a wide margin 130,252 – 78,761
or a difference of 51,491 votes in favor of Tan. Mayet is the son of the
late former Samar Governor Jose S. Roño, who ends his political career when
he lost to Tan in the 2001 elections.
The three other gubernatorial bets – Calbiga
Mayor Melchor “Mito” Nacario, Claro Piczon and Renato Llamado – who promised
the public of a new style of governance once elected, were turned down by
the voting as what their number of votes shown. Comelec tallies showed that
one of these three bets tailed Tan by at least a margin of 129,998 votes. A
fact that made history in a local politics here.
As of now, an insider from Tan’s camp disclosed
that the governor is not even bother about her cases lodged against her,
especially now that she won again.
On April 23, this year, a certain Procefina L.
Ariguis, a resident of Barangay Bagacay, Hinabangan, filed a petition for
disqualification before the office of the Provincial Election Supervisor
office here against Tan but until to this writing, the Comelec had not yet
acted or released any decision regarding the petition.
According to the petition, tan was born on
February 25, 1958 in Palompon, Leyte, of a Chinese father and a Filipino
mother, and when she was 17 years old, “her father, Tee Chin Ka Enrique Tee,
also known as King Kee Siong, applied for naturalization as a Filipino
citizen under Presidential Decree No. 836 and, accordingly, he was issued a
Cerificate of Naturalization on 23 January 1976.”
Meanwhile, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino’s
(LDP) bet Congressman-elect Catalino “Cata” Figueroa also finally regained
his seat after their third rematch with Rep. Eduardo “Eddie” Nachura in the
second district of Samar.
“I won this year electoral contest not because
they (Samareños) loved me, but because of their so much hatred against the
incumbent,” Figueroa said without giving any elaboration.
Figueroa was obviously referring to his closest
political rival Nachura who fought him many times in the past elections.
Final and unofficial tallies of the Commission on
Elections showed Figueroa impressively gathered some 74,078 votes compared
to Nachura’s only 54,167 votes. Figueroa sneaked in almost all of the towns
in the second district except in Jiabong and Villareal towns which is
considered the bailiwick of Rep. Nachura.
Nachura, on the other hand, calmly showed his
respect to the public and congratulated the Comelec proclaimed winner.
“Deri ko guinbabasol an mga Samareños han ako kaperdi pero karuyag ko la
ipasabot ha ngatanan nga ha akon duha ka termino, nagging epektibo gud ako
nga iyo representante ha House of Representatives,” Nachura said in a
The elected provincial board member elect were
the following: (2nd district) Antonio D. Bolastig III, Fe Arcales,
Boy Tiopes, Arcadio Quijano and Concepcion De Luna. In the 1st
district were Susano Salurio, Cesario Ricafort, Rogelio Casurao and
With a failure of election in Barangay Mancol, Calbayog City whose
registered voter is more than one hundred, the last position for the board
member in the first district is to be contested between Renato Uy and
Teresita Dean in a scheduled special election, because of their mere
difference of only 101 votes in favor of Uy.
Except for Uy, all the winners were proclaimed by
the Board of Canvassers shortly after the tabulation was finished and
reviewed by the Comelec.
confiscates P3.4 M lumber, equipments in the last 3 months
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Operatives of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office 8 (DENR) in
cooperation with the 8th Infantry Division based here has
confiscated a total of 45,354.18 board feet of illegally sawn lumber with
market value estimated to P1,130,855 and equipments used in cutting tress
worth to P2,300,000 in the last three months of this year.
The operation, however,
resulted to the killing and wounding of an identified soldier in the side of
In a record released by Ms.
Evelyn Corado-Amit, the Co-Project Manager of the Samar Island Biodiversity
Project (SIBP) based in Catbalogan disclosed that the total amount of the
lumber and equipments seized by the department reached to P3,430,855, all in
This official document
released to the different media practitioners in Samar Island during the
“Media Night” held in Igot Cove, Barangay Maulong, Catbalogan, Samar last
May 13 bore the names of people identified as sources of the confiscated
lumber and equipments.
It was learned that in the
month of February 2004, at least 1,740 board feet and an Isuzu type vehicle
was confiscated from a certain Socorro Julita Jamanilla and Felimon Tubalado
in the vicinity of Barangay Tenani, Paranas, Samar. In separate incidents in the month of March 2004, the
department seized or recovered abandoned lumber of various sizes in an
undisclosed areas in Basey totaled to 16,522.24 board feet; a total of
21,764.69 board feet of illegally sawn lumber and P2,100,000 worth of
equipments were also seized from a certain Ramon Co in Paranas; and, at
least 5,217.25 board feet were confiscated from a certain Ciriaco Lim in
Catbalogan, both operation was conducted in the month of April, of this
Earlier, the government
intensified their campaign against environmental degradation, forest
destruction and other illegal logging activities in the region, particularly
in Samar Island.
And, in an effort to be
both effective in this particular mission, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
was signed between two agencies, the DENR and the 8ID, agreeing to jointly
and mutually cooperate in the operation, upliftment and conservation of
Samar Island’s remaining forests and other related resources, in general and
the cessation of all destructive and illegal extraction of the Islands
forests’ resources. The agreement was signed by Major Gen. Glenn Rabonza in
behalf of the Philippine Army and Director Leonardo Sibbaluca in behalf of
Election-related violence kills 10 in 2004, more in 2002
Añonuevo and Max Daquilanea
CATBALOGAN, Samar -
investigations tell the truth, nearly 20 persons in Leyte and Samar were
shot to death in the hotly contested synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang
Kabataan elections in year 2002 and in this year’s national and local
elections. The killings were attributed to intense rivalries, particularly
in the First District of Samar, that characterize the burning contest for
elective posts. Unofficial reports placed at ten the number of
election-related deaths this year, involving supporters of political
candidates in Samar and Leyte islands. Excluded from this number were
killings that began in December 2003.
28, at about 8:20 p.m., Tarangnan (Samar) mayor Anieto C. Olaje was shot to
death inside the Ipao Sports Complex in Brgy. Policarpio, Calbayog City, 4
bullets hitting the three-termer mayor while eating with a police officer
assigned to him as a “bodyguard”, during a 4-cock derby. The mayor’s wife,
Flordeliz, reportedly saw her husband’s two assassins getting away on a
On March 1,
unidentified armed men shot down a bodyguard of Samar’s First District Rep.
Reynaldo Uy, Senior Police Officer 3 Edgar Anibon, while the victim was
driving his motorcycle at Brgy. Hamorawon in Calbayog City.
later, on March 11, two barangay chairmen of Calbayog City, Luciano Laylay
and Gerry Llever were felled by bullets.
p.m. one Saturday in Cebu City, unidentified men gunned down mayor Roy Jumao-as
of Hindang, Leyte, a former cop of that city, as he was getting out of a
taxi cab along Jakosalem Street. His son Jake who was out to fetch him was
also shot down.
3, at about 3 p.m., 36 days after the slay of Olaje, 2 unidentified gunmen
shot at close range Tarangnan vice-mayor Francisco Montero, at San Bartolome
Street in Catbalogan as he was about to board his service vehicle.
to observers, Olaje was a supporter of former First District Rep. Rodolfo
Tuazon while Montero, who, by succession, became mayor upon Olaje’s death,
was said to be a supporter of incumbent Rep. Reynaldo Uy of that district.
connection with the July 15, 2002 polls, 8 violent deaths were reported
while more than 5 others were wounded, mostly with gunshots. These worsened
the election picture which was also characterized by ballot snatching during
the canvass of votes, tearing of ballots, various forms of harassment, and
threats from several armed groups mostly identified as supporters of certain
politicians and candidates.
synchronized Barangay and SK elections were supposed to be non-partisan but
that character was deprived by those fatal shootings and abuse of the
fatality in the 2002 election period was municipal election officer Wilfredo
Gulane who was shot allegedly by the barangay chairman of Buenavista, Daram.
to the elections, Eufemio Patente, a re-electionist barangay chairman of
Jacopon, Daram, was shot in the early morning of July 3, by one who denied
participation later over a local radio station. This was followed soon by
the shooting of Ereneo Medalla, a 64-year old supporter of Patente’s slay
Samar, a shootout occurred inside a polling precinct in the elementary
school of Bobon town, resulting in the death of 3 – Renato Carpina, a former
provincial warden who lost in the 2001 mayoral elections; Oliverio Villamor;
and Oscar “Fausto” Gepollo, Carpina’s bodyguard. Bobon mayor Elena Balite
(whose husband Jose was an ex-mayor of the same town) was reportedly present
in the incident.
victims were Roselita Sale and Tony Brilliante who were shot on July 15 at
about 6:45 a.m.
incidents included the shooting, with a “bardog” homemade shotgun, of
barangay councilor Romeo Diaz in Metayones, Sta. Margarita, Samar; the
shooting of 28-year old Nilo Pesidas of Burabod II in Gandara, Samar
allegedly by barangay chairman Tito Padang; and the chasing, with a .38
caliber revolver, of barangay chairman Federico Orlanda allegedly by Arman
Babon in another barrio. There were also reported threats from barangay
chairman Fernando Jabinar of Salvacion, Jiabong, while the tearing of
ballots was allegedly done by barangay chairman Roberto Gabane in Mercedes.
the incidents of violence and election terrorism foiled the conduct of
elections in 5 barangays (Cag-anahaw, Patong, Olera, Higasaan, and Langoyon)
in Calbayog City and in 14 other barangays in 7 towns of Samar. Added to the
cause of failure of elections were massive vote-buying, preponderance of
flying voters, harassment, and disenfranchisement of voters. In Maligaya,
Matuguinao and Canligues, Paranas, no board of election tellers members
served on election day due to some forms of harassment from certain persons.
NDF-EV scores Red-baiting paid ads
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
May 8, 2004
-- The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) immediately
condemns the full-page, Red-baiting paid advertisement by a so-called
People’s Broad National Democratic Alliance (PBNDA) published in regional
daily newspaper based in Tacloban City, which according to them, could only
have been “manufactured by the dirty tricks of the Army’s 8th