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8ID wins Outstanding Literacy Award

GMA signs law establishing the 1st University in Samar

NPA, RHB bandit group clash in Samar

Mining operations start  in 4 Samar towns

Gov. Tan dares SPH employees who went on 'silent protest' to resign

NPA killed in Eastern Samar encounter

Mila Tan declares P1.09M in campaign expenditures

Culion Foundation covers 9 Samar towns

NDF-EV scores Red-baiting paid ads

An Samar Naman movement formed


San Jorge marks 25th Founding Anniversary Day

October 4, 2004

SAN JORGE, Samar   - The municipality of San Jorge will celebrate its 25th year of existence as a town which started October 1, until its culmination on the 10th day. The theme for this year's celebration is "Kauswagan aton Makakab‑otan kun aton Pagburugligan”.

This fifth class municipality which is under the new leadership of Mayor Joseph "Jojo" Grey takes a new stride by giving importance to the celebration of the town embarking on several activities geared towards making the celebration a meaningful and dramatic one.

As a whole, the town's chief executive wanted to inculcate in the minds of all San Jorgehanons and Samarnons, the sense of gratitude of the town's creation, making them aware of their local history, rich cultural heritage that somehow can be proud of.

Thus, a series of activities have been prepared by the local officials and its employees that started on October 1 until October 10.

Nancy Grey, the wife of the mayor and other municipal councilors led the tree planting activity of almost 5,000 Pili, Caimito, Jackfruits and other fruit trees seedlings along the town's Maharlika highways and in the front and backyard of the Municipal Hall around 9a.m. of October 1, and in the afternoon of the same day the office of the mayor spearheaded a town‑wide clean‑up drive with the help of some volunteer individuals from the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated (PGBI), 34th Infantry Division, PNP, and municipal employees.

On October 2, the town's famous tourist attraction Blanca Aurora Falls, was the venue for the "Family Day" of all municipal officials, employees, national and local government agencies, and even to the residents of this town.

The October 3 Agro Fair was found beneficial to those who were fond of native products. In this fair, several kinds of native products such as vegetables, root crops, and other finished farm products from upland barangays of San Jorge was displayed. The Agro Fair is expected to last until October 8.

Meanwhile on October 9, is a cultural competition on Minus‑One singing, Siday and Folk Dance contest wherein these will be participated in by the talented town residents, especially the young ones.

On the culmination day, October 10, a grand parade will be held around the town and will showcase the highlights of the celebration such as the field demonstrations, medical/dental mission, and awarding of prizes to the winners of the previous affair‑related competitions.

Other highlights of the celebration is the distribution of certificates of land ownership (CLOAs) which is, according to municipal agrarian reform officer Luz Bisnar, has been granted by the Department of Agriculture through the efforts made by the mayor.

During the evening socials, Major Gen. Glenn Rabonza, commanding general of the 8t Infantry Division based in Catbalogan, which is the main guest speaker of the affair will distribute the "Outstanding Citizens of San Jorge Awards" to selected San Jorge residents. He will be assisted by Mayor Joseph Grey, Dr. Teofilo C. Cailo SSACAF Vice‑President, and Search and Awards Committee Chair Dr. Claudio Lapure, District Supervisor of the San Jorge district Department of Education.





Heroes amongst us

October 2, 2004

CEBU CITY  - The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.(RAFI) is searching for unsung heroes in the Visayas and Mindanao for its 3rd Triennial Awards. The awards give recognition to individuals and institutions who, through their efforts, bring hope and change to better the lives of the less privileged. By recognizing these noteworthy examples, RAFI wishes to spread the light of hope and dispel the growing darkness of uncertainty and despair.

Agriculture and beyond

For 32 straight years, Dr. Warlito Laquihon spent time, talent, and even resources in bringing about development right where the action is - The Mindanao countryside.

Ministering to the needs of the poorest Filipino upland residents, Dr. Laquihon co developed the now internationally famous Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT), along with Rev. Rodrigo Calixtro and the American Baptist Minister Watson.

Today, SALT has already carved a name in agricultural development for the uplands throughout the world. It is a package of technology on soil conservation and food production. Up to 25 countries in Asia, Africa, and Central America have adopted this method.

From the foothills of Mt. Apo in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Dr. Laquihon has also developed the Mountain Integrated Development and Stewardship (MIDAS) project, the first "natural farming" model in the Philippine uplands.

For over three decades, his pioneering programs and projects have changed countless lives here and abroad.

All love to lose

In its 35 years of existence, Eddie M. Alih is hailed as the only chancellor who finished his five-year term in the Mindanao State University - Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography (MSU-TCTO).

MSU-TCTO operates 20 community high schools in nine municipalities and has three extension colleges. Colleagues attribute the university's growth to the chancellor's relentless efforts in terms of physical development, efficient administration and management, institutional and academic advancement, and student welfare.

Alih is an advocate for social change, as he is a member of various non-government organizations (NGOs) and actively participating in government efforts for peace and development.

"People go to him when they need someone to settle conflicts," says a member of the Muslim religious council. Alih is known in the community as one who can mediate disputes. Quoting the Holy Qur'an ("Allah calls to the home of peace"), Alih maintains personal contacts with former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels in the hinterlands. He does so to bring development and peace to the islands.

Alih's work in bridging the divide between the MNLF and government, paved the way for various peace initiatives. These peace-building efforts culminated in the signing of the 1996 Peace Agreement in Jakarta, Indonesia.

"We give of ourselves to those whom our hearts bleed for, and we are moved to doing what is right, necessary, and true. We do it not because there is something to gain, but that we have all that love to lose," Alih expressed.

Rays of hope

He or she may be your teacher or doctor, a social healer in every sense of the word. Individuals and institutions who do not seek glory and honor for themselves; yet choose to uphold honor and dignity of those they work with - the ordinary farmer, the fisher, the poor and disenfranchised.

There are others like Dr. Laquihon and Alih whom we found. There are even more we need to seek and give recognition.

Let us look into those who think of others more and think of themselves less, so we may all have a different tomorrow.

[For more information about the RAFI Triennial Awards, please visit or contact the Secretariat at (032) 255-5626 or 27. Deadline for nominations is on November 30, 2004.]





8ID weeds out misfit in own ranks

September 28, 2004

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar   –  In line the Philippine Army’s goal to have highly disciplined and professional soldiers, the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army has caused the discharge of Fifty Two (52) Enlisted Personnel from the military service after having found guilty of violating various offense covering the period from 01 January this year to date.

Of the 52 discharged personnel, forty (40) were found to be Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL); five (5) were identified using prohibited drugs through random drug testing; one (1) for murder; one (1) for Frustrated Murder, one (1) for Homicide, one (1) for Breach of Promise to marry; one (1) for Breach of Command Policy, one (1) for Detention; and one (1) for Indiscriminate Firing. The involvement of military personnel in these criminal/illegal activities are violations of different provisions of the Articles of War and other related provisions of law.

Higher Headquarters recently directed the subordinate Commanders to strongly impose the policy that when personnel is found guilty of the offense he has committed, the administrative discharge/separation from the service shall take effect immediately for the interest of justice. In instances where the case falls under the jurisdiction of the civilian courts, the case shall be relentlessly pursued in coordination with the prosecutor’s office or Ombudsman as the case may be. In such cases, the administrative discharge/separation of the erring military personnel after finding substantial evidence of against him shall be immediately implemented contemporaneous with the turnover to the appropriate civilian court. This is clearly enunciated in the Administrative Order Number 40, dated February 24, 1993.

Thus, 8ID Commanding General, MGen. Glenn J. Rabonza has consistently enforced disciplinary actions on erring troops throughout Region 8. MGen. Rabonza also assures the public that the rule of law applies in the resolution of cases. “I believe and uphold the due process. We will continue imposing good discipline for the good of the military service, as the Command does not and will not tolerate abusive acts“, Rabonza added.





2 NGOs act on flood problem in Samar’s First District to save 6,576 has. ricelands

September 27, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar   - Two leaders of non-government organizations here are hoping that top government officials will soon be moving fast to restore the reliable productivity level of some 6,576 hectares of rice lands in four towns of the First Congressional District of Western Samar that go under water for 7 days to 30 days during each yearly visit by devastating flood waters brought about by heavy rains.

Chairman Gerardo M. Malinao of GIOS-Samar and vice-chairman Albina Valles of the Samar People’s Economic Council Foundation Inc. (SPECFI) assured that the non-government organizations that they represent have already taken cognizance of the seriousness of the perennial flood problem that had been occurring yearly since the year 1960 in the towns of San Jorge, Gandara, Tarangnan and Pagsanghan, as researched by development facilitator Pascual Cosmod of the Department of Agrarian Reform municipal office in San Jorge.

Malinao, who is also a fisherfolk sectoral council member of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), said he will push for immediate action by the NAPC, and even try to bring this problem to the attention of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, when he visits Metro Manila early in October to attend the NAPC national meeting.

Valles, meanwhile, has appealed to her fellow members in the Samar Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council to include in their next meeting’s agenda the flood problem and help come up with strategies that could facilitate solving of the problem.  Malinao and Valles discussed the flood problem during the recent consultative meeting between the DAR and the NGO-Media after hearing an update on the validation activities being undertaken by DAR field personnel.  In that same meeting, chief agrarian reform officer Bernardo Bacurio, who represented DAR regional director Tiburcio A. Morales Jr., revealed that being a native himself of Gandara, he is very much aware of the problem that has been there a long, long time ago. Bacurio added more barrios to the list of flood-affected barangays in Gandara.

Extent of Problem

Data presented by Cosmod showed that of the 76 barangays heavily affected by the yearly flood, 33 are found in Gandara, 32 in San Jorge, 8 in Tarangnan and 2 in Pagsanghan, all identified as agrarian reform areas of which  6,190.2808 hectares are covered by 670 certificates of land ownership award and another 385.7238 hectares by  704 Emancipation Patents issued respectively to 2,630 and 425 farmer-beneficiaries, or a total of 3,055 such farmers who have become new landowners pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

In Gandara alone, submerged are over 2,912 has. which have been distributed to 1,218 CLOA holders (for an aggregate total area of 2,800.8018 has.) and another 180 EP holders (for 111.2830 has.), or a total of 1,398 CARP beneficiaries.

San Jorge has more than 2,543 has. affected, owned by 941 CLOA holders (for 2,299.0125 has.) and 233 EP holders (for 244.7965 has.), while the rice lands  affected  in  Tarangnan are some 1,098 has. owned by 462 CLOA holders (for 1,069.1256 has.) and 11 EP holders (29.2808 has.), and in Pagsanghan, 22 has. owned by 9 CLOA holders (for  21 9874 and EP holders (for 0.3635 has.).





Tuberculosis – No. 1 affliction of teachers

By Alliance of Volunteer Educators
September 24, 2004

MANILA, Philippines   -   The Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) partylist has expressed concern over numbers of teachers, particularly those in public schools, who are suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).

Gathered from the Department of Education (DepEd), data shows that about 2,376 public school teachers all over the country are afflicted with tuberculosis.

According to Director Thelma G. Santos of the Health and Nutrition Center of the Department of Education, this may be so because of their monthly compensation barely permits them to afford vitamins and regular medical consultation.

Rep. Eulogio “Amang” R. Magsaysay is deeply alarmed about this latest report on our educators.

“The root cause of this is poverty. These teachers are not getting proper nutrition because they cannot afford to,” he said.

He likewise mentioned that most of these teachers live in areas where sanitation is very poor.

Also, facilities in schools where they teach are inadequate and substandard. Classrooms in public schools are congested and poorly ventilated. Some schools in the Metropolis are even built near dumpsites. These factors adversely affect the physical well being of teachers and students alike.

Teachers in public schools in Tatalon and Payatas for instance handle at least 6 to 8 classes everyday for 40 minutes to one hour per class.

“And, if one has to handle 100 to 120 per class, it means conducting classes to almost 1,000 pupils a day. It’s like talking to a small rally everyday sans a megaphone,” Magsaysay pointed out.

For the entry level, a teacher gets P9,939 monthly, an amount that is hardly sufficient to buy nutritious food, decent shelter and clothing.

Recent statistics released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) states that a family of five needs at least P16,500 to be able to cope with the current economic situation in the country.

“Such condition has forced many of the brightest public school teachers in the country to leave for jobs abroad as domestic helpers,” Magsaysay stressed.

AVE opined that this problem on health could have been prevented had the government been quick to address the plight of our teaching professionals.





PNP foils NPA’s plot to tear down Globe cellsite in Calbiga

September 20, 2004

CALBIGA, Samar     – An extremely well administered intelligence network of the Philippine National Police (PNP) here save the day for the newly constructed multi-million peso cellular phone communications tower, operated by Globe Telecom Philippines, in this town, from a supposed bomb attack by communist insurgents.

Intelligence operatives of the local PNP unit here were quick enough to validate the reports furnished to them by some locals here, who informed, that unidentified armed men were seen roaming the vicinity of the tower few days before the scheduled cellsite activation slated on Sept. 15, this year.

Incidentally, all PNP units nationwide was in full alert status including that of the Calbiga town, after the bombing of the Australian embassy in Indonesia by the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah, so to avert possible mimicking from the local communist terrorists.

As this developed, Samar PNP Provincial Director Supt. Conrado Verzo-Calvario called up an immediate command conference Monday last week, at the headquarters of the 810th PNP Mobile Group based in Brgy. Canticum, this town, to reinforce the security measures being undertaken, not just in the town of Calbiga, but likewise on other towns that are prone to NPA raids.

With vital information at hand, Supt. Calvario instructed the Calbiga Police Chief SPO4 Demosthenes Calidaya to regularly conduct security patrol on the tower zone, and other areas with vital installations, to make sure that the scheduled activation and operation of the communications tower will not be hampered.

Supt. Calvario likewise expressed his gratitude towards the locals for the information they provided to the PNP, apparently, the local PNP here under the leadership of SPO4 Calidaya was instructed to beef up their community relations activities to further gain the support of the local populace.

It can be recalled that last year, alleged laxity in manning the local PNP unit here, have resulted to an unpredicted town raid, with the CPP-NPA overrunning the town’s police station. The raid caused a morbid perception on the capacity of the PNP here against the insurgents, but Gen. Dionisio Coloma himself, conducted the ocular investigation of the unpleasant incident, to revive the spirits of the locals. Accordingly, at least seven sightings have been recorded before town raid last year was executed.

In year 2000, a Smart Communication’s operated relay tower located in San Andres, Catbalogan, Samar was the first to fall to this terroristic act of the CPP-NPA, when the insurgents bomb and destroyed the tower, due to the failure of the cellphone company to pay the revolutionary tax being asked from them by communist terrorists. The same was the reason why the Smart Communications Cellsite tower in Paranas town, suffered delay in the construction due to the intervention of the CPP-NPA.

“But with the trust and confidence being extended to us by the residents themselves of this town, any terroristic activities that are being plotted by the New People’s Army will always be averted”, PNP Provincial Director Conrado Verzo-Calvario pointed out.





H.R. 677 supporters gather more steam

September 19, 2004

LOS ANGELES, California, USA    - With the aggressive campaigns of Congressmen Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) and Bob Filner (D-CA), sponsor and main co-sponsor of H.R. 677 - Filipino Veterans Equity Act, the bipartisan supporters increased to 195, as of September 14th, according to Paul Mazzeno, legislative assistant of Congressman Cunningham.

Congressmen Cunningham and Filner were very impressed by the unified support of the Filipino-Americian community, including those from various veterans organizations, numerous civic associations, and supporters of the Filipino WW II veterans' cause.

"We are within the striking distance, and must seize the moment" said Cesar P. Patulot, the chairman and CEO of the Los Angeles-based FilAmVets Foundation, Inc., in collaboration with various veterans and civic leaders, and veterans cause supporters.

Congressman Filner in his letter to Patulot on September 9, 2004, the San Diego legislator reiterated to contact the House Armed Services Committee and House Veterans Affairs Committee who have not yet co-sponsored the bill. He also requested for a hearing in this bill, per Patulot's request.

"With few weeks remaining before the 108th Congress' 2nd Session take its recess in preparation for the November, 2004 Presidential election, time is of the essence for a more innovative, forceful and united action in this campaign", said Patulot.

"While H.R. 677 is a milestone step to partially rectify the long overdue injustices to our valiant soldiers who are most ill, financially destitute, aging fast, and dying at the rate of 7-10 a day, we must not loose sight in the final and immediate resolution of the veterans' cause - Repeal the 1946 Rescission Acts! Now!", further said by Patulot.

While this campaign in bipartisan, the Republican legislators are dragging their feet. This is a wake-up call and a challenge to the Filipino American Republican leadership.





Preparations for 2005 Sea Games in Manila should start now

By Alliance of Volunteer Educators
September 17, 2004

MANILA, Philippines  - Joining the nation in applauding our athletes’ strong finish in the recently-concluded 2004 Olympics in Greece, the Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) Rep. Eulogio “Amang” R. Magsaysay today asked the country’s sports and education officials to start preparations for the Philippines’ turn in hosting the regional tournament in 2005.

“If we want to make our country proud for the success and garnering the top spot in the 2005 SEA games, the preparations should commence as soon as possible,” Magsaysay said.

Furthermore, Magsaysay is hopeful that the allocated P50 million for SEA Games in the proposed 2005 national budget would be increased and adequately fund the preparations for the international games.

According to AVE, apart from building new facilities and sprucing up the old ones, the Philippines needs to further improve training of its current athletes and discover new ones. Early preparations will help ensure that our athletes would be more than ready by 2005.

Last year, the Philippines garnered 48 golds, 54 silvers and 75 bronzes in the Vietnam meet, enough to overtake Malaysia in the medal rankings.

“It shows how our athletes could deliver regardless of the meager government support. We join the people in paying tribute to our athletes who made the flag fly high in Vietnam,” the solon said.

Host Vietnam bagged the overall champion with 158-97-91, followed by Thailand’s 90-92-98 and Indonesia’s 55-68-98.

He added that “with adequate resources, the Philippines could further improve its record and perhaps achieve the top spot among our neighbors.”

The AVE leader said teachers from elementary to tertiary levels in both the private and public schools could help the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee in finding potential sports greats in various fields from among elementary and high school students.

“We would be more than happy to participate in any project of the PSC and POC with the objective of finding and training youngsters who have the potentials and skills of becoming national athletes and representing the country in international competitions such as the SEA Games,” said Magsaysay.



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