Rebel killed in Samar
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar, Philippines – A suspected member of the
New People’s Army (NPA) was killed during the encounter between the
government troops and the rebels in the town of San Jose de Buan, Samar last
Saturday (June 7).
In a report given to the 8th Infantry Division Chief Major Gen. Glenn Rabonza based in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar, Brig. Gen. Cesar Tiongzon,
803rd Brigade Commander disclosed that elements of the 34th
Infantry Battalion based in San Jorge, Samar encountered a band of armed men
in Barangay Gusa in the remote town of San Jose de Buan around 7:30 morning
The firefight lasted a couple of minutes which resulted to the killing of
one of the rebels. No casualties were reported to the government side.
The slain rebel was later identified as a certain Filencio Gabin alias Ka
Polging and is believed to be a member of the Samar Central Front Committee
1 (SCFC1) operating in the western part of Samar Island.
The army troopers recovered in the battle scene one (1) Cal .38 revolver and
one (1) magazine for M16 with ten (10) rounds of live ammunition.
The body of the slain rebel was turned over to Barangay Chairman Amado
Pecencio of Barangay Gusa, San Jose De Buan, Samar for proper disposition.
The report also said the encounter ensued after residents tipped off the
presence of the rebels conducting extortion activities in the area.
Gen. Rabonza immediately directed a pursuit operation against the remaining
elements of the communist terrorist operating in the area.
Hold up, they thought he has a big money!
By MARVIN G. AÑONUEVO
June 9, 2003
GANDARA, Samar, Philippines - Three unidentified armed men
reportedly held-up a medicine dealer last May 26 in Barangay Hinugacan this
town, some 37 kms. north of Catbalogan, Samar.
The victim was identified as Antonio Ascoque y Arqueza, 36, agent of
Calbayog Asian Enterprises based in Calbayog City, Samar.
Police Officer1 Gid Brosas, police investigator of this town in a
brief interview said that at around 2:00 in the afternoon of May 26, while
the victim was driving his “Jianshe” single motorcycle from Pagsanghan town
bound to Gandara town, about 19 kilometers away, upon reaching the dump site
near Hinugacan village, three unidentified men stopped him and with a home
made guns (“paltik”) in their hands pointed at him, and forcefully
took his money amounting to P2,600.00 (about $48)
The suspects, however, after taking the money ordered the victim to go back
to Pagsanghan town. But instead of going back to Pagsanghan town proper, the
victim went to the village of San Luis and took a motorboat with his
motorcycle to the village of Conception this town and from there to Calbayog
However, Ascoque reported to the police station of this town only eight days
after the incident took place. PO1 Brosas said that if only the victim
immediately reported to them the incident, they could have responded
immediately to pursue the suspects.
It was learned that two of the suspects were wearing a bonnet so that the
victim could hardly identify them. “We are investigating this case.
Our priority now is to identify the suspects.” PO1 Brosas added.
To date, authorities of this town are optimistic that they can solve this
case if the victim will just cooperate in giving them information on the
suspects especially on the identity of one of the suspects who have not
covered his face. “We have here pictures of suspected thieves,
we’ll ask the victim to see those pictures.” police authorities said.
May 29, 2003
CATBALOGAN, Samar, Philippines – The Army’s 8th
Infantry Division here formed a new battalion to man the Eastern Samar
This after it was observed that this part of the region sees only to the
sole existence of an Army battalion and after the transfer of the 14th
Infantry Battalion, former stationed in Dolores, Eastern Samar, to Mindanao
The 46th Infantry Battalion was mandated to take effect of its
existence and responsibilities effective April 1 this year; however, it has
yet to establish its location of its battalion base.
Initially, the former brigade headquarters of the 802nd Infantry
Brigade in Barangay Cantaba, Sta. Rita, Western Samar was being tapped to be
the location of the 46th Infantry Battalion. However, this
yet needs further approval by the division.
To date, only the 52nd Infantry Battalion based in Lawaan,
Eastern Samar under Lt. Col. Ernesto Benitez provides the army force in the
Eastern Samar province.
It can be recalled that three of the army battalions from this division were
sent to Mindanao as augment troops there in the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
The 14th Infantry Battalion was sent to Patikul, Sulo last year,
the 20th Infantry Battalion is presently based in Agusan, Del
Norte while the 62nd Infantry Battalion is also in Mindanao area.
To head the 46th Infantry Battalion as Battalion Commander is
Major Federico Oliva, the concurrent Assistant Chief of Staff for Training
or G-8 and as Battalion Executive Officer is Major Teotimo Catabi-an, the
concurrent Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics or G-4, both of the 8th
Infantry Division here in Camp Gen. Vicente Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar.
In this regard, the 8th Infantry Division categorically denied
that the formation of a new battalion is due to the increased pressure of
the insurgency in the Eastern Visayas region.
Provincial Skills Olympics
By RICKY J.
May 26, 2003
Philippines — The Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Samar provincial office
has scheduled the 2003 Provincial Skills Olympics next month (June), but no
exact date yet, with a theme: “Bringing Together the Best in Region 8,
Sinirangan Bisayas, Magkarit Ini”.
According to the
Organizing Committee for the said skills competition, there will be twelve
(12) trade areas that will be the subject for competition, these are:
Automobile Technology, Electronics Applications, Welding, Cabinet Making,
Commercial Wiring, Cookery, Restaurant Service, Plumbing, Floristry,
Information Technology, Computer Aided Design, Drawing and Ladies
The competition was
divided into two categories namely: the youth and open categories. For the
youth category contestants must be 18 years old and below; must be a skills
certificate holder in the areas he or she is competing; must not be a winner
of any major awards from previous national skills competition in the same
category and trade areas he/she intends to compete and must be a natural
born Filipino citizen.
For the open
category contestants must be at least 19 years old and above, must also be
a skills certificate holder in the area he/she intends to compete; must not
be a winner of any major awards like gold, silver and bronze from previous
national skills competitions in the same category and trade area he/she
intends to compete; must be nominated by the employing firm/institution (if
employed) or must be sponsored by a firm or institution, and must be natural
born Filipino citizen.
should have a coach or expert that must also be a skills certificate holder
in the area he/she is coaching and have undergone training on the BIC
Cash prizes, medals
and certificate of recognition will be awarded to all major winners of the
competition including their coaches/experts.
competition comes in five levels: provincial, regional, national, ASEAN and
world competitions. Winners in the provincial level represent the province
in the regional competition. Regional winners will represent the region in
the national competition. National winners will represent the country in the
ASEAN and world skills competitions.
The province of Samar
will be selecting its set of competitors who will represent the province in
the regional competition scheduled on July and August in Tacloban City.
The primordial purposes
of holding this competition is to promote specific trades and occupations
most relevant to the local economy; install self-esteem and pride among
those who choose the blue-collar vocation; by advocating through the
competition activities, the vital role of skilled workers in nation
building; select objectively the competitors to the next level of skills
competitions and cultivate the cooperative spirit of the various
stakeholders and the development of middle level technical workforce.
The previous skills
competition results showed that the province of Samar has been performing
From the year 1996 to
2001 regional and national competitions, the province of Samar garnered
three diplomas for excellences, twelve gold, nine silver and ten bronze
medals from the different trade areas and categories.
Attendant to this, TESDA is inviting interested parties to join in this 2003 skills
competition. For particulars, please visit TESDA, Samar Provincial Office,
Government Offices Bldg., Capitol Compound, Catbalogan, Samar from Monday to
Friday during office hours. (with reports from Tony Ramento)
Council urges entertainment houses to observe safety measures
By RICKY J.
May 23, 2003
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar, Philippines — The Sangguniang
Panlungsod of this city urged all entertainment houses and other
establishment to always observed safety measures of its clients and
regular session of the city council on May 6, the council approved City
Ordinance No. 2003-17-032 requiring all nightclubs, disco houses, karaoke
bars, theaters and other similar business establishments operating in the
city to “mount or display notices in conspicuous places within and inside
the premises as to the maximum seating capacity of persons that the said
establishment can accommodate.”
observed that most of the establishment owners, not only here in the city
but also in other places, that overcrowding of customers especially in a
disco houses were being tolerated by the owners, unmindful of the risk,”
said one councilor during the deliberations.
In this new
ordinance, it prohibits the establishment to accept customers in excess of
the said maximum seating capacity and that they are required to put the
signboard “All Seats Taken” with a size of 8.5 x 13 inches in case the place
is already fully occupied by their customers.
for their patron’s convenience, safety and welfare,” Vice-Mayor
Gerry Jusayan said.
the Business Permit and Licensing Office of this city was also directed by
the council to include this requirement as a pre-requisite for the granting
or renewal of permits to all establishments in the city.
operator or entity found violating this ordinance will be “penalized for the
first offense, by a fine of P500 or imprisonment of one to five days or both
at the discretion of the court and for succeeding offenses, by a fine of P1,
000 or imprisonment of six to 10 days or both at the discretion of the court
and the suspension of the business permit for a minimum period of 30 days or
until compliance of this requirement.”
city ordinance was approved by Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento on May 19, 2003 and
will take effect upon completion of publication requirement.
mission conference held
By MARVIN G. AÑONUEVO
Samar – “Bring the wand ‘ring ones to Jesus!” This was the
theme of the two-day conference Philippines for World Mission last May 15
and 16, 2003. Baptist pastors and preachers from Eastern Visayas
Region, Bicol Region and Metro Manila participated the activity which was
held at the Bible Baptist Church here in Borongan, Eastern Samar.
Rev. Lowell Barte,
host pastor, said the purpose of the conference was to remind and encourage
all believers to be more faithful and be more involved to the greatest
commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, to preach God’s word to the
whole world. Rev. Barte also stated that this is the only way for the
people of the world to know the very reason why Christ came to the world and
died on the cross of Calvary. “Preaching the pure Gospel, this is our
primary purpose why we have missions. This is the only way to let the people
know that in Christ there is hope of salvation,” he said.
Dr. Bob A.
Woosley, President of L. D. Woosley Bethany Baptist Colleges based in Makati
city who was the main speaker of the conference, in his lecture said,
that every New Testament Church of the Lord Jesus must be missionary minded
and be a headquarters for world missions.
Rev. Peter Ayon,
a Filipino missionary to Indonesia, who was also one of the speakers in this
conference, showed the figures of population distribution based of the 1992
figures by Ralph Winter for the US Center for World Missions.
Based on the data, our world today has more than 6 billion people of which
1.37 billion Christians are in need of renewal. These Christians are
those who go to church but who are not really on fire for the Lord.
1.74 billion non–Christians within reach of Christian people. These
people are those who have the opportunity to hear the Gospel if Christians
will just tell them.
2.28 billion “unreached” non-Christian made up of those individuals who have
never heard the Gospel unless some Christians go and tell them.
To date from the
Baptist Bible Fellowship of the Philippines alone, there are more than 50
Filipino missionaries ministering in the different parts of the world.
The two-day conference gave the participants the
encouragement and a whole-hearted commitment in the propagation of the
7 Year–old Boy Drowned
By MARVIN G. AÑONUEVO
May 11, 2003
Philippines - A seven-year old boy was found dead in the
Pagsanghan River near Pier 2 of this municipality, after taking a swim
together with two other companions.
The victim was identified as Jojo “Baga” Abangan Jr., 7 years old, and a
resident of Barangay Canlapwas (a village), this municipality. He was the
youngest of the five siblings of Jojo Abangan Sr. and Tessie Abangan of the
Report said that around 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon of May 7, the victim
and two of his friends went to the river at Pier 2 in Brgy. Canlapwas to
take a bath. While enjoying the swimming, the victim was carried by the
forceful current of the water into the deepest part of the river that caused
him to die by drowning.
Susan Villas, Jojo’s aunt said that Jojo’s mother was not aware about the
itinerary of her son. “Jojo didn’t ask permission from his mother about
their plan in going to the river with his two friends” Susan
After the incident, the victim’s mother, Tessie Abangan who was playing
bingo (gambling) during that time, heard what happened about her son
Jojo and immediately went to the place where her son have drowned.
The divers tried to rescue the boy and after minutes of finding the victim,
his dead body was recovered.
Jojo was buried just the following day (May 8) at the Public Cemetery
of this municipality. Pagsanghan is about 41 k.m. north of Catbalogan, Samar.
Residents Fears from 4 Fugitives
By MARVIN G. AÑONUEVO
May 5, 2003
CATBALOGAN, Samar, Philippines -
Residents of Brgy. New Mahayag, Catbalogan, Samar which is about 15 km.
north of this municipality could no longer work in farm at day time for
their living because of fear for the presence of four armed prisoners in the
vicinity of this barangay (community). This is what has been reported by
Honorable Ludyvina Havinal, Barangay Chairman of this barangay to Mayor
Jesus B. Redaja, municipal mayor of Catbalogan, Samar during the Municipal
Peace and Order Council (MPOC) Meeting at the Sangguniang Bayan (municipal
council) session hall last April 27, 2003.
prisoners are those who escaped from Villareal, Samar, south of Catbalogan,
which according to reports have held 5 minors, ages 6 – 15, in their daring
pleaded to the council especially to Mayor Redaja to immediately give action
to this matter. “We want that the other four suspects who are still at
large be captured as soon as possible because the people in our
barangay could no longer sleep at night, they are being scared,” she
According to Havinal that during night time the suspects are knocking at the doors of
some houses to ask whatever they want. If they refuse to give, the suspect
threatened them with their fire arms.
said that the suspects are very much angry now since one of them was killed
during the encounter last April 15, 2003 after Colonel Romeo Gapoz,
commander of the 34th Infantry Battalion dispatched two special
teams in reaction to the tip from the local populace about the presence of
the five fugitives in the area.
the report, Mayor Jesus Redaja gave his command to Captain Ceazar B. Biso,
officer-in-charge chief, Philippine National Police (PNP) of this
municipality, who was also present during the MPOC meeting, to make a plan
and give priority to solve this problem.
the people of the said barangay are still waiting and hoping for the
immediate capture of these 4 armed prisoners who are still at large.
SARS victim negative from virus
By RAY P. GASPAY
April 30, 2003
CATBALOGAN, Samar, Philippines -
The suspected Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) victim from Brgy.
Maybucog, Maydolong, Eastern Samar has been declared negative of SARS
infection on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 by the local health authorities of the
Department of Health (DOH-8) after undergoing a 5 days treatment at the
Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City, Leyte.
initial name of the victim, leaves the isolation room of the EVRMC, escorted
by her husband and younger sister, at about 3:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday
and proceeded directly to her hometown in Maydolong, Eastern Samar on board
thanked the almighty God for her immediate recovery and to all the people
that supported her during her difficult time most notably to the health
officials and personnel who served her during her stay at the EVRMC.
also thanked the mayor of Tacloban City for allowing her to be confined at
the EVRMC. Prior to her confinement, the mayor issued a directive not to
allow her to enter the vicinity of the city due to fear of possible spread
of the virus but later lifted the ban after an agreement was made between
the local chief executive and the health authorities.
Health authorities however advised JP to stay in their house for at least 12
days, the same advise and period given to those who attended her at the
No SARS case yet in EV,
says DOH officials
By RICKY J.
April 25, 2003
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Philippines - The entire eight family
members of the female Overseas Filipino Worker from a coastal town in
Eastern Samar, Philippines has placed in quarantine at the Integrated
Provincial Health Office in Eastern Samar after it has exhibited symptoms of
the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), few days after she
arrived from Hong Kong.
Thursday, the DOH-8 sent a 10-man SARS Team led by DOH chief epidemiologist
Dr. Nicolas Bautista and sentinel nurse Boy Cerro to fetch Palce in his
native town in Eastern Samar and bring her to the Eastern Visayas Regional
Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City, Leyte which is the only designated
SARS Center by the Department of Health in the region.
Acosta said the probable SARS
victim, whose name still withheld as of presstime, arrived at the Ninoy
Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Hong Kong on April 9 and arrived in
Maydolong, Eastern Samar on April 12, “(because) she might have stayed
for two days from a relative or friend somewhere in Manila,”
Ligaya Anacta-Acosta, DOH-8 information officer said.
The SARS Team arrived in
Tacloban this afternoon at 5:05, bringing with them the OFW for confinement
and examination at the EVRMC's isolation ward. The group didn’t arrived
this morning as expected due to the reported barricade set up by some groups
in Asia’s longest bridge (San Juanico Bridge) that connects Samar and Leyte.
Earlier this morning, the mayor of Tacloban City issued a directive to the
local police to stop the group in entering the vicinity of the city due to
fear of possible spread of the virus brought by the probable victim. The
directive was finally lifted late this afternoon after an agreement was set
between the local government and the health officials.
Dr. Roberto Aniceto of EVRMC
said blood samples and fluids of the victim would be sent to the Research
Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for laboratory tests. “This case
would be considered a suspected SARS virus, until the test result is
verified,” he said in a telephone interview.
It was learned that the
victim first went to Dr. Neil C. Sabulao’s private clinic and then went to
the provincial hospital of Borongan, Eastern Samar for a medical check-up
and it was there that she was discovered to have exhibited pneumonia.
“She was diagnosed by the doctors having developed a fever reaching 39.6
degrees,” Acosta said.
Meanwhile, the reports that
health officials was planning to bring the probable SARS patient to EVRMC
did not please Governor Remedios “Matin” Petilla of Leyte. The governor
reportedly called the EVRMC not to accept the suspected SARS virus carrier.
Instead, she wants the victim to be confined in Borongan District Hospital
where it was first admitted. Dr. Adelaida Aspirin, EVRMC chief of hospital,
however, said she couldn’t accommodate the request of the governor since the
hospital was the one designated by the DOH to be the SARS Center for Eastern
Visayas. Aside from Gov. Petilla, some other local officials and groups in
Leyte opposed to admit the patient in EVRMC.
SARS hit Eastern Samar
By RAY P. GASPAY
April 25, 2003
Philippines - An OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), whose
real name still withheld as of press time, who recently arrived home in
Maydolong, Eastern Samar from Hong Kong where she worked as a domestic
helper, was reported a suspected SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
victim when she was brought to the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital last
April 23 for treatment of illness.
The victim arrived in the
Philippines from Hong Kong last April 9 and was confined to the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital last April 18 due to complaints of high fever
after receiving a check-up from a private clinic in Borongan, Eastern, Samar
reportedly by physicians Dr. Neil Sabulao and Dr. Baldono. The town of Maydolong is about 19 kilometers south of Borongan,
the capital town of Eastern Samar.
As of 10:00 this morning
April 25, 2003, reports have reached that the victim was on her way in an
ambulance to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban
City, Leyte, the regional capital of Region 8 escorted by physicians from
the said hospital for further treatment, isolation, examination and
verification of a suspected SARS virus.