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Culion Foundation covers 9 Samar towns

NDF-EV scores Red-baiting paid ads

An Samar Naman movement formed

Nachura says ConCon election probable in 2005

Shooting Incidents in Gandara town Blamed on Partisan Politics

Another Brutal Murder by NPA Hitmen

Fire Razes 15 Houses in Catbalogan

Save Samar Caravan - No to MIning! held

Pres. Arroyo visited Eastern Samar

New Army battalion formed


DAR proposed 30 infras worth P182.8M for CARP funding

June 15, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar   –   The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) proposed some thirty infrastructure projects, with a combined total cost of 182.8 million pesos and considered as “critical physical linkages”, for implementation under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the province of Samar.

The proposed projects, aimed to support and integrate the economic activities of a big number of agrarian reform beneficiaries and other farmers in ten towns within the second district of Samar, while one project each has been proposed for Tarangnan and Calbayog City in the first district, respectively costing P2.5M and P4M were reported as pending approval and funding at the Department of Agrarian Reform Central Office in Quezon City.

The proposed projects call for the construction or rehabilitation of 29 roads, which conjure up a total length of 151 kilometers and cost P180.87 million in sum, and for the implementation of a communal irrigation system (CIS) costing P2.23 million.

All “validated” as of December 2003, the road infrastructures are proposed to be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), while the lone CIS, which is intended to provide irrigation water to some 15 hectares of riceland in Paco, Paranas, is proposed to be assumed by the National Irrigation Administration.

A report submitted to DAR regional director Tiburcio A. Morales Jr. by senior agrarian reform program officer Francisco M. Diloy, the locations of the road projects will be as follows:

Calbiga – with 5 roads for construction and 1 for rehabilitation, or involving a total length of 45 kilometers, at a total cost of P53.72 million; Catbalogan – 6 for rehab involving 29.5 kms., at P49.1 million; Basey – 2 for construction and 5 for rehab of a total of 27.5 kms. for a proposed P23.75-million funding;

Sta. Rita – 2 rehab projects of 11.5 kms. for P20M; San Sebastian – 1 for construction and 2 for rehab of a total of 3.5 kms. for P3M; and, for 1 project each, Hinabangan – 12 kms. (P12M), Marabut – 2 kms. (P7M), Paranas – 6 kms. (P4M), and Motiong – 9 kms. (P3M).

In the First District of Samar, proposed are the rehab of the 5-km. Mahayag-Majacob Mancares Road in Tarangnan and rehab of 1 km. of the Cabacungan-Panoypoy Road in Calbayog City.


The report also indicated that in the First District, 4 projects were completed, with a total cost of P25.25 million funded out of the CARP.  These were the Roxas II Communal Irrigation Project (CIP) Phase I (Rev. 3) and Roxas CIP Phase II, for a service area of 50 hectares, the rehab of the 1-km. Panoypoy Rd. which cost P250,000, all in Calbayog City, and the P3-million rehab and construction of the 4.82-km. Old-Mahayag-Majacob-Mancares Rd. in Tarangnan.

Phase III of the Roxas II CIP which can irrigate 200 hectares of ricelands was reported as 78.3 per cent completed.  Its project cost was P15,050,360.

Completed in the Second District of Samar were 11 other CARP funded infrastructure projects with a combined project cost of P53,839,082.  These consisted of NIA’s Paco CIS, capable of irrigating 15 has., and Lawaan CIP which cost P26,739,082 and had an irrigable area of 192 has.; the rehabilitation of 8 road projects and the construction of 2 others (1 each in Catbalogan – the 3.8-km. Old Mahayag-Majacob Rd. costing P2.6M, and in Paranas – the 5.6 km. Tutubigan-Salay-Lipata Rd which cost P5M.

The other completed road rehabilitation projects included the 2.5-km. Bunoanan-Pangdan Rd. in Catbalogan; the 5.24-km. Tominamos I-Maligaya Rd. which cost P2.6M, at the Samar Settlement Project in Sta. Rita; the 1.78-km. Calbiga-Macalan-Borong Road at the CALPINSET (Calbiga-Pinabacdao Settlement) area which cost P2M also; and the 1.84-km. Casandig-Tutubigan Rd. in Paranas which cost P1 million.





Yulo Claims Irregularities, Seeks Recount of 43 Precincts

June 15, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar   – SB Member Jay Yulo, a vice-mayoralty candidate in this municipality during the May 10 synchronized elections, is seeking a recount of at least 43 voting precincts despite COMELEC’s proclamation of incumbent Vice-Mayor Van Torrevillas as the majority winning candidate.

Yulo, lost to Torrevillas a margin of 114 votes.

His petition to the COMMELEC was acknowledge by Mr. Rafael Payod, this town’s Municipal Comelec Officer who said in a radio interview that the petition is common for candidates who lost at a very narrow margin.

Accordingly, counting errors from the precinct level was the point of the petition, since their was no protest filed on the figures listed on the Certificates of Canvass (CoC) which were used as basis of the COMELEC to tally the election results, Payod explained.

As this developed, Atty. Hermogenes Teves representing the petitioning party by now sealed the ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia being questioned, and instructed the Comelec Office here to give no access to the subject hot boxes while legal procedures for its recount are being work-out.

            On the other hand, Van Torrevillas proclamation as Vice-Mayor elect of this municipality will not be affected by the petition Payod concluded.





Mila Tan Declares P1.09 Million in Campaign Expenditures

June 14, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Amid public speculations that re-electionist Samar Governor Milagrosa Tan had spent more than what is allowable during the recent elections, the lady governor affirmed to have spent only 1,095,000.00 pesos on her election bid.

Based on the Statement of Campaign Expenditures and Contributions submitted to the Provincial Comelec here, Governor Tan stated the following broken figures : on Material Reproduction (P445,000.00), Fuel Expenses (P300,000.00), Traveling Expenses (P100,000.00), and Meals and Snacks (P250,000.00), justifying the 1.095 million pesos incurred on her campaign sorties, that eventually earned for her another term of office.

Based on the cursory assessment of the Comelec here, Gov. Tan’s sustained expenses is way below the limit set by the law, that allows all local candidates to spend for his or her campaign an amount that will not exceed P5.00 per registered voter (for independent candidates) and P3.00 (for those with party endorsements), in the place where a candidate filed her certificate of candidacy.

The entries stated on said documents however are still to be reviewed by the Comelec so as to determine their veracity – this, accordingly will be part of their post-election job.

The Province of Samar has a total of 387,236 registered voters in the recently concluded election, bringing in a permissible budget not to go beyond P1,161,708.00 pesos, this amount is applicable for the Gubernatorial and Vice-Gubernatorial post with party affiliations.

The Comelec here likewise informed that Tan’s running-mate Vice-Governor elect Jesus Redaja has yet to submit his expenditure statement. As of June 11 one day after the set deadline elapse, the Comelec still haven’t received his statement. On the other hand Congressman-elect Catalino Figueroa, accordingly have mailed his declaration of expenditures.

Elected Spenders

Notwithstanding the P1.095 million spent by Gov. Mila Tan, winning candidates for the Provincial Board similarly posted a below-the-limit campaign expenses.

The highest spender, based on the initial consolidation of the Comelec here, for the 1st  District were Rogelio Casurao and Renato Uy  with incurred expenses of P150,000.00 both. While Tommy Bolastig top the list of the highest expenditure in the 2nd District posting P180,000.00.

The said amounts are appropriately within the prescribed limit set by the Comelec, on which candidates for the Provincial Board in the 1st District can spend as much as P529,068.00 - for having a total of 176,356 registered voters - and P632,640.00 for the 2nd District constituting for its 210,880 voters. The computation was based on P3.00/voter as prescribed by law.

Meanwhile, 1st Dist. Board Member-elect Lourdes Uy put up the lowest expenditure from among the winning candidates posting P48,000.00 only, while the smallest spender for the 2nd District is Board Member-elect Arcadio Quijano who declared P100,000.00 in expenses.

Re-electionist 2nd Dist. SP Member–elect Fe Arcales reported a P106,500.00, while incoming SP Member-elect Dayday de Luna spent P158,000.00; Engr. Boy Tiopes - also an incoming SP Member for Samar’s 2nd District – has yet to submit his expenses report to the Comelec together with Cesario Ricafort of the 1st Dist. While SP Member-elect Susana Salurio posted P100,000.00 in campaign expenses.

Lost Money for Loosers

A whooping P370,000.00 in expenditures was posted by Rosenaida Rosales of the 1st District here – the highest spender so far among all SP candidates but lost her election bid, she is followed by Wilfredo Estorninos of Basey with a declared expenditures amounting to P160,000.00, and out-going SP Member Jimmy Dy reported that his campaign cost him P80,500.00 ranking third.

At least two candidates in the provincial level - who lost their bid - have declared a ZERO expenditure with the Comelec. Gubernatorial aspirant Renato Llamado and Rudy Raytos who bidded for the Congressional post have both affirmed in their Expenditure Statements of spending nothing during the recently concluded elections.

Loosing to Redaja in the Vice-Gubernatorial race, Atty. Boy Babalcon reported P120,000.00 as the cost of his campaign, while out-going Congressman Nachura still had to submit his expenses report to the Comelec.

Catbalogan Election Spenders

Newly elected officials here prove to be prudent - in their respective bids - during their campaign here. Mayor-elect Coefredo “Tekwa” Uy posted P90,565.00 for his campaign expenses, while re-electionist Vice-Mayor Van Torrevillas has not submitted the supporting document of his statement at the Comelec yet.

Among the SB Members here, Eday Cabral topped the list in campaign cost, posting P90,000.00, followed by Von Soza who incurred P82,000.00, while Teddy Ilagan is third declaring an amount of P75,000.00.

The least spenders among the winning SB Members here were Rodolfo Aquino with P25,215.00, followed by Preting Sabenecio posting P30,000.00, tailed by Art Gabon who declared P40,000.00 and Manuel Correche with P60,000.00 as his campaign expenses. On the other hand, the Municipal Comelec here has yet to receive the expenditure statement of SB Member-elect Rodrigo Perez.





Freak Fire gut 8 Houses in Paranas

June 12, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –   A unexpected explosion of an electric transformer from a Samelco II electric post put ablaze 8 houses along Rosales St. of Barangay 6 Paranas town while the whole community is on sound sleep.

The incident occurred at around 11:45 before midnight of June 10 and was extinguished about 4:00 o’clock in the morning of the following day, gutting down a LPG storage that eventually spread over the neighboring houses.

Municipal Fire Marshall Daniel Salvatierra here, informed the media in a radio interview that the fire started when a transformer atop an electrical post fronting the house of certain Andy Abarquez located along Rosales St. exploded, ensuing electrically induced fire to run toward the house of Abarquez which happened to be an LPG gas storage.

The subsequent series of explosion – caused by the LPG Gas Tanks - set the neighboring awakened the town as houses within the vicinity of the area started to get ablaze until responding fire trucks from Catbalogan, Pagsanghan, Calbayog, and Paranas towns, with other fire trucks from the Chinese Fire Brigades arrive but still, it took the fire fighters almost 4 hours to extinguish the fire off.

Damage resulting to the incident is yet being established by the Paranas Municipal Fire Station and is not available as of this writing.

Meanwhile, witnesses from Jiabong told that the Catbalogan Fire Truck thumped into trouble in Jiabong town, situated a few kilometers south from the fire incident, but Salvatierra was quick to correct that the fire truck did reach Paranas and was able to help in putting out the fire, however, he admittedly informed the media that the said fire truck bogged down on their way to Catbalogan after the fire incident.

“We left the fire truck for repair in a shop because of its “clutch” problem”, Salvatierra concluded.





A Businessman's Herculean Job Colegio de Santa Lourdes, An Excellent Project to Support

June 10, 2004

Philippine News Service, Los Angeles, California   -   Dr. Rusty Balderian, a Los Angeles-based businessman, founded two years ago Colegio de Santa Lourdes of Leyte Foundation, Inc., College of Nursing, in Tabon-Tabon, a 6th class municipality in Leyte, with the genuine intention to help the poorest of the poor earn a degree in nursing.

Dr. Balderian believes that once his scholars finish schooling and pass CGFNS and NCLEX which are government's prerequisites prior to allowing them to function as full-fledged RNs, they will be able to help improve the lives of their parents and their respective siblings.

The School Year 2003-2004 had 135 enrollees.  For School Year 2004-2005, the enrollees increased to 350 nursing students.

How to Qualify

To qualify, an applicant's parents' annual income must not be more than 80,000 pesos, and the applicants must pass the entrance examination. The scholars are not necessarily from the town of Tabon-Tabon only. They come from the other towns of the province of Leyte and Samar.

Dr. Balderian put up the school building through his own funds; hired school teachers using his own funds; and provides all the facilities, including laboratory equipment, dormitories and uniforms for students free of charge.  He does not charge a single cent for tuition fee to any student enrolled in his school.  He even made a written commitment, in the form of a formal agreement, that nursing students who will successfully pass the required government examinations for nurses, such as the CGFNS and NCLEX, are guaranteed to have a job in the U.S. considering the shortage of nurses in America.

Through the power of media, "I am seeking the kind benevolence of individuals, corporations and foundations to extend their helping hands so that these nursing students could go on and obtain a degree in nursing and help attain their ambitions in life," says Dr. Balderian, president of GlobalPinoy.TV, and also president of Roschelle Laboratories, during the press conference held Monday morning at the New Otani Hotel where he made an audio visual presentation.  By making the RNs gainfully employed in America, they must be able to send back regularly so that the dollars they will remit to their parents and relatives could help fuel the economy of the Tabon-Tabon municipality, so that it can also grow progressively alongside the neighboring municipalities.

In the presence of Vice Consul Gines Gallaga of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles (Consul General Marciano Paynor was in the adjacent room), and members of the Filipino American press, Dr. Balderian explained the details of his on-going project – from conceptualization to the foundation of the school building to the present set up where 14 classrooms, dormitories, laboratory rooms, playground, swimming pool, and even a Fire truck with Fire Brigade comprising of nursing students, are currently functional and fully operational.

Books, Computers and Financial Donations Welcome

Companies or individuals can donate books or computers. For financial donation, it takes only $80 a month or $2.70 a day to send one scholar to school.

Tax deductible donations could be forwarded to: Dr. Rusty Balderian, 13405 Inglewood Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250.  Tel. 310/ 261-4392.





Former NPA Commander is now DAR Samar outstanding agrarian reform beneficiary

June 5, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar -   A former high-ranking New People's Army (NPA) commander is now having a respected name in his hometown and became one of the only two most outstanding Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the province of Samar.

Teresa De Asis, the DAR information officer proudly announced this during the 16th Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) anniversary press conference held at the Cocina De Cabral, in this town, Wednesday afternoon (June 2).

Former rebel Rodrigo N. Sugalan alias "Ka Digo," 47 years old, now living in Barangay Casandig II, Paranas, Samar is one of the two qualifier for the ARB in the provincial level. Along with a certain "Loreto" of Sta. Rita, Samar, they were nominated in the regional level assessment for the Most Outstanding Agrarian Reform Beneficiary of Eastern Visayas.

"Rodrigo's story could make for a valuable movie, and the people ought to know this," De Asis said as she narrated the latter's success story to the Catbalogan-based media practitioners. She said that in Casandig, Paranas, Samar, the ex-rebel "tills 2 small-sized farms whose aggregate area is even less than the ideal maximum of 3 hectares from each agrarian reform beneficiary."

One of these farms, De Asis said, is devoted to off-season vegetable farming which produced an appreciable quantity of sweet pakwan. Some of this was harvested and brought to DAR in Catbalogan office during the Agri-Trade Fair last year.

Listening to a taped-interview conducted by the DAR personnel, it was learned that Rodrigo or Ka Digo first joined the New People's Army shortly after graduating from high school in Oras, Eastern Samar. Having been a battalion commander in the Citizen Army Training (CAT) in high school gave him an "edge over my peers in the rebel movement that catapulted me into the post as NPA Regional Commander in Western Visayas."

"(As the years went through), I noticed that there are other ways by which reforms could be instituted in the government and in society, (and that) the government is sincere," the rebel turned farmer said. In 1992, through then Eastern Samar Governor Lutgardo Barbo, Rodrigo surrendered to former President Fidel V. Ramos availing the Balik-Baril and Amnesty Program of the government.

Few months later, his voice was regularly heard in the radio stations in Eastern Samar and in Tacloban City in Leyte that crusaded for the return of his former comrades in the underground movement to the fold of law.

When he became a regular employee of Eastern Samar provincial government, he saw this as an opportunity to go through college. He enrolled at the University of Eastern Philippines in Northern Samar, and subsequently, graduated an agricultural course, and then he decided to start a farm.

After weighing several options, he left his home in Oras and transferred to Casandig II in Paranas, built a home, and became a receptive of the CARP enjoying the packages of technologies brought by the program. In this place, he applied what he learned in school and acted as "teacher" to his fellow poor farmers. "I discovered that farming practices and Techniques (in other areas in Western Visayas) are applicable in Samar, so I teach them all," Rodrigo said in a vernacular dialect.

Known as "Ka Digo" in Paranas town, particularly in Casandig, he recalled that once in his life while he is still a rebel commander, he almost had a bloody confrontation with an AFP commander somewhere in Samar Island. "(Ironically), that Army commander is now my senior because he is our chairman of the Casandig Farmers Multi Purpose Cooperative (CAFAMPCO)," Rodrigo said who is also a board of director of the cooperative.

To date, their cooperative has a multi-million-peso tractor that helps add more yields to the farms in the village, which is predominantly, planted corn. Its store sells a variety of commodities, including gasoline, soft drinks, beer and others. Its officers and committees follow highly recommended systems that are necessary to keep up the cooperative success. "That is why the cooperative is now a millionaire in assets," De Asis said.

Meanwhile, true to this year's theme "Sariling Lupa at Kasipagan, Sagot sa Kahirapan," both Rodrigo and Loreto (the only two awarded ARB in Samar) have different success stories to tell. On one hand, the Department of Agrarian Reform in the province of Samar has recorded a total of 2,814 ARB's from 19 ARC's as of this year. Some of these beneficiaries will received their Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAS) during the culmination night scheduled on June 14 in DAR Regional Office in Tacloban City.





As GRP-NDFP office on Rights Monitoring body opens: PCPR Joins Rights Groups in Filing Complaints on Rights Abuses

June 4, 2004

MANILA, Philippines  -  The Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) is demanding justice for victims of state-sponsored human rights abuses and terror campaign as it joined the formal opening and inauguration of the office of the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) at the Multi-Purpose Center of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Quezon City today.

On behalf of the victims and victims' families who were terrorized in the March 4 Davao International Airport (DIA) bombing and 32 other 'mystery bombings' in various parts of Mindanao, PCPR declared, "As we submit this formal complaint on the deaths of civilians, we pray that the alleged involvement of the military under then Sec. Angelo Reyes will be thoroughly investigated by the JMC even after the government-created commission already exonerated him. The real bombers and masterminds must be punished and we demand the government to stop its terror campaign against our Moro brothers and sisters who have been victims of indiscriminate raids, warrantless arrests, torture and grave harassments on totally baseless accusations that they were the bombers."

The JMC was formed to monitor the implementation and non-implementation of the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in compliance with the significant agreements achieved in the last two rounds of formal peace talks held in February and April 2004 in Oslo, Norway.  "We also urge the members of the GRP Section of this newly-formed human rights monitoring body to step up efforts to investigate the long list of brutal killings, attempted killings, enforced disappearances, harassment and grave threats that are indicative of the lowest discipline and respect for human rights by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) such as the 204th Brigade in Oriental Mindoro," Rev. Fr. Allan Jose Arcebuche, OFM, PCPR National Co-Chairperson stated.

In Mindoro alone, the brutal killings of members of Bayan Muna and militant people's organizations under the command of Army Colonel-turned-General Jovito Palparan, and now under Col. Fernando Mesa are the most outrageous incidents of CARHRIHL violations under the Arroyo administration. The victims include prominent human rights leaders Eden Marcellana, Eddie Gumanoy, Naujan mayoralty candidate Atty. Juvie Magsino and other Bayan Muna martyrs. The latest victim, Isaias Manamo Jr., was a 24-year old Anakpawis leader.

PCPR likewise urged the GRP Section to look into similar cases of human rights abuses in Quezon. On April 25 at around 5am, close to 20 armed men forcibly took Tatay Biring Pasia from his house in Brgy. Mangilag Norte, Candelaria. Seventy-two years of age, he was tortured the whole day until he was released around 9 pm. That same day, Anak ng Bayan volunteers Reuel Adornado, 21, and Oliver Ostonal, 29, failed to attend their consultation meeting in Lucena. They were last seen April 23 at a local candidate's caucus in Mangilag Sur, Candelaria and have been missing since then.

To date, human rights groups in Quezon recorded two killings, two missing with one found dead, three attempted murders and grave harassment of several leaders and members of people's organizations. The victims are known activists against anti-people 'development' projects like Mirant, a coal-fired power plant in Pagbilao, and the construction of the Penta Port along Tayabas bay that would displace thousands of fisherfolks and poor families in the coastal area. They also led the people's successful protests against the degradation of Mount Banahaw that was initially targeted for the government's South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).



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