GMA signs law establishing the 1st
University in Samar
ROMMEL L. RUTOR
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Anchored on her
prior visions to put up at least one university in every province, President
Gloria M. Arroyo last August 7, 2004 signed into law RA 9313, fulfilling her
promise to the Samareños of a university standard education right on the
heart of this province capital town.
The Samar State Polytechnic
College (SSPC) had achieved the tough job in pulling off the university
status after almost 15 years of attempts in congress, thru the efforts of
Samar’s past and present congressmen.
The Samar State Polytechnic
College (SSPC), which started as the Samar Trade School (STS), then Samar
School of Arts and Trade (SSAT), and then elevated to college status in the
early 80’s known as the SSPC, now with finality has been converted into a
full-fledged university. SSPC is now the Samar State University (SSU).
SSU President Dr. Simon P.
Babalcon disclosed to media that the challenge for the SSPC to be recognized
as a university unfolded during the tenure of ex-Congressman Venancio
Garduce, but it was only during the time of ex-Congressman Eddie Nachura,
during the 12th Congress that the bill converting the SSPC into
now Samar State University (SSU) was realized.
development is the integration of various schools into the university system
of the SSU. Dr. Babalcon informed that Wright Vocational School (WVS) of
Paranas and the Vinancio C. Yancia Memorial Agricultural School (VCYMAS) of
Basey will become part of the SSU, but told that the existing high school of
VCYMAS will not be included by the SSU operation.
As this developed, Dr.
Babalcon is confident that the expanded presence of the SSU thru its
integrated satellite campuses will increase the reach of the SSU to extend
quality education to all parts of the province.
“So even if you’re living
in Paranas or Basey or from its neighboring towns, a university standard
education will no longer remain a dream to every Samareño”, Dr. Babalcon
He however noted, that on
the first years of the SSU, priorities will be placed on the development of
the main campus to be able to establish a much qualified and well-developed
university grounds, but later the SSU off-campuses will also undergo a
proper build up according to the SSU satellite campus programs.
“The approval of the law
does not include the budgetary requirements for the SSU, and this is the sad
part of the matter”, Dr. Babalcon apprehensively informed, pointing-out that
the financial capacity of the SSU for now is still to be backed by the
re-enacted budget of the then SSPC. “And this might be until 2006, since the
budget proposals governing state controlled educational institutions are
being done in advance, and we already submitted the SSPC budgetary
requirements for the succeeding school years”, he explained.
“Thus is it is going to be
a tough transition period for all of us, thus, we can’t expect big changes
to occur in the campus by this time”, Dr. Babalcon further said. “However,
we will still do what we can, to come-up with high-level developments in our
university campus, in fact we will likewise submit the SSU budgetary
requirements within the next 120 days”, he added.
Accordingly, the financial
needs of the SSU will depend on the new courses that will be opened by the
institution. It was also gathered that the government has a burn out budget
for new infrastructures to all state universities nationwide, thus the SSU
infra programs will totally depend on the initiatives of its administration.
Tuition fee hike
SSU students here are
apprehensive that along with the conversion of the college into a university
is an impending tuition fee increase.
“Sigurado gad nga mahitaas
iton tuition fee yana nga maabot nga semester, kay deri man maa-akomplisar
hiton admin iton mga angay buhaton dinhi ha campus basi makadungan han
dungog nga university iton iya mga facilities”, says one student from the
College of Art & Sciences department.
“Pero kun reasonable man
liwat ngan deri gud dako, waray man iton kaso, kay para man iton ha kaupayan
han ngatanan”, he added.
Dr. Babalcon on the other
hand clarified that they did not raise their tuition fee during the first
semester, more particularly during his terms as SSPC President, but he
hinted that with this university development, they might consider increasing
the tuition fee this coming second semester, but there is no finality to
“That is still being
studied for now, kun magka-ada man ngani hin increase, deri ini dako”, he
By this time the SSU is
charging P100.00/unit to most of its courses, except BS Nursing.
Magahin still in jail
By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS
- In a sudden twist of fate, jailed former world boxing kingpin William “The
Black Mamba” Magahin may no longer avail the temporary freedom while his
case for robber-holdup is pending at the Quezon city
trial court branch 217.
Boxing promoter Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde refused to bail him out.
Elorde did not facilitate the Magahin’s release papers as requested earlier
by World Boxing Foundation (WBF) president Mick Croucher “because of
mounting protests from taxi operators.”
“Angry taxi operators might get back at us here (Metro Manila),” said the
eldest son of the legendary former junior lightweight champion, Gabriel Sr.
Elorde said he received negative feedbacks from taxi operators and
“concerned” citizens when they learned that Magahin would be released
temporarily on a bail provided by Croucher, who personally visited the
inmate at the Quezon city jail last Aug. 2.
“My neighbor who owns a tax is angry at holdup men because he has been
victimized several times in the past),” Elorde explained. “I pity the
passengers, after divesting their victims with cash and cell phones they
also raped some of the female passengers in front of their husbands inside
Elorde said although his neighbor did not identify Magahin as among those
who victimized his cab, “there were witnesses who claimed that one of the
suspects was a former boxer.”
Keep the Money
Elorde said he would just keep the P14,000 cash entrusted him by Croucher
for Magahin’s bail and inform the WBF boss about the development.
Magahin and his cohort Alex Ageno were arrested last July 13 after robbing
the passenger of an FX taxi at West Avenue,
The story of his arrest reached the attention of the Melbourne-based
Croucher who immediately informed this writer in an email that he would pay
for Magahin’s bail set initially at P100,000 but was reduced through a
Magahin had admitted he is now a “Sigue-sigue Sputnik” gang member. He
showed his tattoo in the left side of his body. “I can not do anything, I
can not join the "Batang city jail" gang (a rival gang)”.
During Croucher’s visit, Magahin had jubilantly shouted to his fellow
inmates that he would be released last August 3.
WBF appoints Alex Vidal as Philippine supervisor
By Philippine News Service
August 8, 2004
- The World Boxing Foundation (WBF) has appointed Alex P. Vidal of Iloilo
City as its new supervisor for the Philippines.
WBF president Mick Croucher announced the appointment during a recent visit
here (August 1-3) where he presided a meeting at the Manila Pavilion Hotel
attended by Chinese promoter Cao Kun, Australia/China advisor Yuickor Yick,
Filipino promoter Gabriel (Bebot) Elorde, Jr.
Croucher said Vidal, who has been officiating in boxing as referee and judge
since 1990 (national) and 1995 (international), was chosen "because he has
no conflict of interest."
Vidal, a journalist and the youngest in the team, vowed "to cooperate and
give my best shot" to Croucher. He will have his "baptism of fire" in
Beijing, China before the year ends.
Croucher, 56, is now the "100 percent" owner of WBF after buying out the
rights from Tennessee-based Ron Scalf, the former "federation" president.
WBF is duly registered at the Consumer Affairs in Victoria, Australia with
business number B1722046D pursuant to Business Name Act 1962 on
November 7, 2003.
"I am currently traveling around the world to see to it that we pick only
the most competent, honest, committed people to manage the WBF affairs,"
said the globe-trotting Croucher. "Whatever the past is past. Let's move
forward and bring greatness to world boxing," he added.
WBF boasts of lightheavyweight Antonio Tarver who beat Roy Jones Jr. for the
crown and heavyweight Audley Harrison (2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist)
as among its world champions.
Other field representatives and advisors earlier appointed by the
revitalized WBF were Angelo Dundee, John Durkin, and Tony Martin (USA),
Joerg Herzog and Andreas Meyer (Germany), Nick Savvides, Peter Speck, Roy
Alexander, and Craig Waller (Australia), Justin Footit and Panya
Prachakorn(Thailand), Raymund Rutter (Canada), Paul McCausland (Ireland),
Cao Kun (China), and Elorde (Philippines).
German Olaf Schroder Australians Jack Rennie and Chris Anderson remain as
executive vice president and vice presidents, respectively. Don Marks is the
ratings committee chairman while David Hutson is the legal counsel.
Croucher said Vidal's appointment was effective
July 26, 2004.
As supervisor, he must ensure that the terms and conditions for WBF
international championship bouts are observed before the fight such as:
boxers must be approved by the WBF executive or president; title bout must
be fought over 12x3 minute rounds; promoter must provide all insurances for
boxers, venue and officials; promoter must provide WBF Certificate of
Sanction at the weigh in; promoter must pay a sanction fee of US$2,000 and
US$500 to be made payable to "WBF Boxing" bank account on acceptance of
terms and conditions, promoter must complete the boxers' clearances and
Sanction fee includes belt fee and WBF documentation.
Samar PNP cuts down
drug-infected towns into 2, cited best PPO in Eastern Visayas
ROMMEL L. RUTOR
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
“From a total number of 7 drug-infected municipalities in the whole province
of Samar, we were able to trim the number down to 2”, this was the
revelation of Senior Superintendent Conrado Verzo Calvario, Provincial
Director of the Samar Provincial Police Office (SPPO) here during a media
consultation held at Camp Lukban this town.
According to SSupt. Calvario, the
intensive anti-illegal drug drive initiated by the PNP since his assumption
as Samar’s PNP Chief in 2002, had considerably brought down the number of
illegal drug activities occurring in the entire province of Samar.
Based on the records furnished by SPPO,
illegal-drug peddling activities in the towns of Calbiga, San Sebastian,
Paranas, Sta. Margarita, and San Jorge were already contained, making the
said localities virtually drug free.
SSupt. Calvario stressed that to date,
only Catbalogan and Calbayog City remains to be inundated by the these
illegal drug trade, and “we’re trying every means to attain a totally
drug-free community”, he told, adding that with the successive operations
being conducted by the PNP against the proliferation of illegal drugs in
these communities, the PNP had succeeded in trimming down the number of drug
users in said prime localities.
“Based on our records, it is noteworthy to
comment that Samar has more number of drug pushers than drug users”, SSupt.
Calvario pointed out, explaining that the irony is but a manifestation that
illegal drugs is gradually waning from the minds of the Samareños, thus the
eventual death of drug problem in this province is likely to be achieve
Meanwhile, the overall exemplary
performance of the Samar PNP here, relative to its anti-crime operations,
have netted for the institution the best Provincial Police Office (PPO)
award for year 2003.
The Samar PPO here, outranked other PPO’s
in terms of their respective achievements in their relevant area of
jurisdictions in the entire region of Eastern Visayas.
According to Supt. Calvario, this is the
first time that the Samar PPO garnered the award, attributing the feat to
the relentless effort of the officers and men of Samar PNP in pursuing a
committed and dedicated police service toward the populace it was catered to
Aside from the Best PPO award copped by
the Samar PNP, SSupt. Calvario himself was awarded the Best Senior Police
Commissioned Officer for the Year 2003 for Administration.
SSupt. Calvario vested other Police
Officers in the whole of Region 8, and was among the Top 6 in the national
Former mediaman now Police Officer 1
Romuel Nacar told that this is already the second time that SSupt. Calvario
run off with the same award. “During his stint as Provincial Director for
the PNP Eastern Samar, he was as well awarded for his exemplary
administrative performance in handling the provincial command”, Nacar added.
Magahin meets WBF president
By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS
August 4, 2004
-- In near tears, disgraced former world boxing boss William Magahin
Iloilo City has admitted to World Boxing Foundation (WBF) president Mick
Croucher that he used drugs.
"Yes, sir, I used drugs," the 34-year old Magahin told Croucher, who visited
him at the
jail last August 2. "But I promise I won't use drugs again if given the
chance," he added, raising his right hand.
The Melbourne-based Croucher then hugged Magahin like a long lost son in
front of jail warden, Supt. James Labordo and Senior Jail Officer Elizabeth
Regacho. "I want you to become great again. I come to help you," said the 6
foot and 1 inch 200-pounder Aussie.
Fe Sumandal, a social worker sent by Quezon city
administrator Paquito Ochoa, Jr. to witness the meeting, shed tears. "Parang
pelikula. Nakakaawa sia (It was like a film; I pity Magahin)."
Croucher asked Labordo if Magahin could be admitted for drugs rehabiliation.
Labordo said his office could not recommend for rehabiliation because the
inmate was charged with robbery-holdup, not drugs.
"We have no record that he used drugs," Labordo told Croucher, showing him
court and blotter documents.
Croucher, who went to
hall and Labordo's office on a cab accompanied by this writer, added that he
was willing to shoulder the rehabilitation of the
ring icon-turn-police character for six months for P30,000 per month which
he claimed "is better than paying P100,000 in cash for his bail."
Ochoa had advised Croucher earlier to consider a private rehab center for
Magahin "because our public rehab centers are in sorry state."
The city administrator, who is a lawyer, also informed Croucher that the
bail could be lowered to P50,000 and could be further reduced if only a
premium of the P50,000 is paid through surety bond.
Labordo said the premium for P50,000 is P14,000. "Okay, I will produce the
amount immediately," Croucher announced, followed by handshakes and souvenir
Croucher, a multi-millionaire and director of Croucher Property Development,
a firm that builds units, towhhouses and develops lands in Victoria, said he
was prepared to pay P50,000 in cash "because I can not bring my money to
Both Magahin, a former 147-pound phenom, and Croucher smiled as they emerged
from the warden's office. "Mga kakusa, bukas laya na ako (fellow inmates,
tomorrow I will be free)," shouted the jubilant Magahin who was sporting a
piso-coin scar in his left stomach inflicted by the butt of an armalite he
said when he was first hauled to jail last July 13 minutes after robbing an
FX taxi in Baler.
Croucher then withdrew P15,000 from his Equitable Bank visa card at U.N.
Avenue in Ermita and sealed the P14,000 to an envelop. He handed the
envelope to promoter Gabriel "Bebot" Elorde in the presence of Chinese
promoter Cao Kun and his English interpreter Y.C. Yick and this writer.
Meanwhile, Magahin's foster father Roland arrived in Manila 7 in the morning
last Aug. 3 via Negros Navigation and proceeded to the Quezon city
Towed by Bombo Radyo patrol, Magahin said he wanted ensure that after his
adopted son's release, he would go to rehabilitation center.
This writer had advised him in a text message to see or call Croucher at
room 2123 of the Manila Pavilion "for courtesy" and to thank him for his
gesture on William.
He, however, did not call or see Croucher who is scheduled to go back to
Melbourne Aug. 4. As of
yesterday, Magahin was still in jail.
Stakeholders identify 16 new eco-tourism
sites in Ulot Model Forest
August 3, 2004
CITY, Leyte – Stakeholders of the Ulot Model Forest Special Project
of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has come up
with a list of potential eco-tourism sites within the Ulot Watershed Model
Forest as priorities for eco-tourism development.
Purification Daloos of the
DENR Regional Public Affairs Office told media that these identified sites
was selected using the following information as guide: site or location,
natural resource base, culture, livelihood, people, plans and problems or
Daloos said the 16 sites
were identified following a meeting on Community Based Eco-tourism conducted
among stakeholders of the Ulot Watershed Model Forest Federation last July
9, 2004 at the Ulot MF Information Center in San Rafael, Hinabangan, Samar.
The purpose of the meeting
was to create awareness and understanding of the development of
community-based tourism project within the model forest, which is to be
handled by the PO’s and other stakeholders.
Accordingly, Daloos said the
output of the meeting, which was the short list of eco-tourism sites, will
be subjected to assessment based on criteria set by the participants. Then,
a management plan will then be prepared for the top five sites before they
are developed as part of the eco-tourism component of the Ulot Model Forest
projects located in four municipalities in Samar
and another two town in Eastern Samar.
During that meeting, Daloos
hinted to the participants a simplified and illustrated definition of
community based tourism (CBT). According to her, “It is a visitor host
interaction that has meaningful participation by both the tourist and the
host (in the case of the model forest – the PO’s and other concerned
stakeholders), and generates economic and conservation benefits for local
communities and environments.”
Daloos shared some success
stories of successful CBT projects like the St. Paul Subterranean River in
Palawan, the Butterfly Garden in Palawan and the Butterfly Production Farm
in Catbalogan, Samar. She also shared the experience in Huay Hee Village in
Thailand. The sharing of experiences was centered on how the PO’s can make a
living out of providing services to the tourists once their eco-tourism
destinations are already developed.
Daloos emphasized that the
Ulot MF is so rich both in natural and human resources which is just waiting
to be tapped and managed for successful Community-based tourism. “That is
why the PO’s in particular with the assistance of the DENR, the LGU’s and
other stakeholders should work together to harness these richness for the
development and alleviation of their economic life while doing environmental
protection,” she said.
The identified sites were
Pangpang Falls and Pugtak Falls in Casandig, Paranas; Balire Lake in
Binaloan and Philippine Eagle Sanctuary in Taft, Eastern, Samar; 10-hectare
natural Bermuda Grass, and other unnamed waterfalls and Ulot River rapids in
Tenane, Paranas; Nasarang Falls, Mono species natural forest stand and Li-aw
Cave in San Isidro Paranas; Mount Huraw (the second highest peak in Samar)
and Mount Kapangpangan in San Jose de Buan; San Rafael Peak in San Rafael,
Yabon Falls and Caves in Hinabangan; and Pamiyawan Cave in Brgy. Malihao,
The participants were asked
to prioritize the list to just five sites by using the following set of
criteria so that the assessment team can focus on the assessment and
maximize available resources. The criteria were natural and cultural
features (35%), Eco-tourism Product (30%), and Social and Political Support
PNP alert carline towns
for NPA raids
ROMMEL L. RUTOR
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Major sightings of communist New People’s Army (NPA) roaming within the
jurisdiction of municipalities along the Maharlika highway have resulted for
the local police here to tighten its security measures for possible
PNP Provincial Commanding
Officer Supt. Conrado Calvario here told the media that NPA movements along
the carline towns is becoming visible lately, “and these sightings are but
signs of an impending terroristic action against the concerned village, more
particularly, our police stations, which they usually converted into
shopping malls for firearms”, Supt. Calvario informed.
As this developed, Supt.
Calvario ordered all town police chief particularly in District 2 to
maintain a heightened alert status in their respective area of control, to
at least thwart any plans of the NPA terrorist to raid their stations.
reports reaching the media disclosed that at least 100 young men are
currently being recruited by the CPP-NPA to beef up its force. The local PNP
here confirmed the said reports but had to turn over the info to the AFP for
Supt. Calvario stressed
that though counter-insurgency is not their primordial concern, the local
PNP here is apt in gathering intelligence inputs regarding the operations of
On the other hand, last
July 16 was the anniversary of Supt. Calvario’s early morning ambush at
Purok 4 Brgy. Socorro of this town last year
article). He informed that though it was
already a year since the incident, he is at all times watchful for possible
Supt. Calvario attended
mass in Tacloban City that day to thank his Creator for saving him and all
his men during that unexpected attacked.
PNP, DENR seizes ‘hot logs’ in houses near
watershed in Catbalogan
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Government
authorities here raided Monday morning several houses believed to be used as
stockpile of illegally sawn ‘hot logs’ coming from the watershed here.
Operatives of the
government confiscated the ‘hot logs’ inside the two houses. Ironically,
these houses are located just few meters away from the town’s Caramayon
watershed in Barangay San Andres, this town, which is now feared having
inadequate supply of water due to kaingin and illegal logging problem that
existed in the area.
Owners of the said houses
were identified by the police as certain Florencio Sablan alias “Flory”,
Douglas Salvadico Jr alias “Dodie”, all residence of the said place.
Accordingly, in the morning
of July 26, the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) in
cooperation with the Philippine National Police here raided these houses
which resulted to the confiscation of 706 pieces of assorted undocumented
illegally sawn lumber with a total volume 4206.89 board feet with estimated
market value amounting to P105, 172.25.
The suspect Sablan’s house
yielded some 327 pieces of assorted sizes of undocumented illegally sawn
lumbers with a total volume of 2,230.62 board feet with estimated market
value amounting to P55, 765.50 and one unit of circular saw with complete
accessories and dynamo assembly with 60HZ in his house.
In the house of suspect
Salvadico Jr, on the other hand, another 379 pieces of assorted sizes of
illegally sawn lumber equivalent to 1,976.27 board feet with estimated
market value amounting to P49, 406.75 were recovered by the authorities.
Police Senior Inspector
Carlos Vencio, Catbalogan police chief said the two suspects, however,
eluded arrest upon sensing the arrival of the raiding team composed of the
PNP and DENR personnel.
The raid/search was served
by virtue of the Search Warrant No. 04-001 issued by Executive Judge
Carmelita T. Cuares of Calbiga RTC Branch 33. The confiscated lumber is now
turned over by the PNP to the DENR disposition and placed at the compound of
the Samar Island Biodiversity Project (SIBP) in Barangay Mercedes here. A
violation on Section 77 of the PD 705 as amended by RA 7161 is now being
filed in court against the suspects.