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8ID weeds out misfit in own ranks

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




Isog Han Samar rally calls for unity against corruption

October 22, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar  -  A prayer rally spearheaded by the Isog Han Samar Movement (Fury of Samar Movement) was successfully held in this municipality in the afternoon of October 18 to demonstrate the will of the Samareños to abhor graft and corruption in government particularly in the provincial government of Samar.

Graft and corruption in the Samar provincial capitol is allegedly rampant thus the inefficiency of the provincial government to deliver the basic services to the people. Inadequate health services and supply of medicines at the Samar Provincial Hospital attest to this occurrence.

Last October 2, 2004 national television network giant GMA7 aired in their “Imbestigador” prime time show, the Commission on Audit (COA-Central) Report of the anomalies purportedly committed by the provincial government of Samar, one of which is on the procurement of supplies and materials.

This prompted some concerned Samareños to act on the matter seriously thus the creation of the movement to lead the prayer rally and to the filing of a plunder case against Samar governor Milagrosa Tan thru the office of the Ombudsman.

With their slogan “Sobra na an Pangawat, Sobra na an Panguwat - Tama Na! Iwas Na!”, the rally started with a concelebrated mass at the St. Bartolomew Church officiated by over a dozen of priests coming from the different parishes of Samar who express their support to the mass action.

Priests, nuns, seminarians, students, different organizations and the general public joined the peaceful prayer rally which lasted for about 3 hours.





GMA hand‑in Crown Award for Tacloban

October 22, 2004

TACLOBAN CITY  -  The city government effort in curbing the condition of "nutritionally depressed barangays" has recently been rewarded.

Along that line, City Nutrition Council (CNC) chaired by Mayor Bejo Romualdez, so much concerned by the plight, continuously provide its growing malnutrition demands by serving more the needy.

As to his valuable contribution through the CNC, and the City Nutrition Office (CNO), under the leadership of City Nutrition Officer Dr. Carmen Baquilid reaped additional laurels and represents the city in Malacañan Palace, Manila on October 15, 2004, to receive the coveted recognition ‑ The FIRST MAINTENANCE CROWN AWARD.

No less than President Gloria Macapagal‑Arroyo presented the certificate of recognition for the city of Tacloban thru Dr. Carmen Baquilid for successfully maintaining as the consistent regional outstanding winner to nutrition for Eastern Visayas, for the 1st year, through the efficient and effective implementation and management of the city nutrition program.

Out of the 28 identified LGU's consistent winners, only 8 survived to vie for the 2nd year CROWN maintenance award. For the 3rd year, those who will still adhere to the challenge will receive the NUTRITION HONOR AWARD (NHA), the ultimate and highest recognition for maintaining efficient and effective nutrition program, Baquilid explained.

Romualdez much needed support to various CNO programs and projects, the infusion of 152 untiring Barangay Nutrition Scholars, helped so much to alleviate the condition of those identified as nutritionally dependent barangays.

Notably, from the water for life to the livelihood projects, just to name a few were successfully implemented in order to integrate other nutrition needs of these underprivileged wanting for healthy but simple way of life.

Just the other month, the city government was also a recipient of the KRISTAL AWARD for strictly implementing the promotion and use of iodized salt by every household. It was mandated by a local ordinance for such advocacy.

For the attainment of the city government goals, for a cleaner, greener and malnourished-free city, the CNC through the CNO believed to be in the night tract to achieve its vision.





Redaja asks Arroyo to save Samar rice granary

October 21, 2004

Vice-governor Redaja

CATBALOGAN, Samar – Citing one solution to solve the present economic problem hounding the country today, the vice governor of this depressed province is seeking the aid of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through the Department of Agrarian Reform in solving the perennial flood problem that, still, up to now inundate some 6,576 hectares of rice lands covered by the government’s comprehensive agrarian reform program since 40 years ago.

In an interview, Vice-Governor Jesus B. Redaja said they are now preparing to present the problem on floods in the towns of Gandara, San Jorge, Tarangnan and Pagsanghan, all in the First Congressional District of Western Samar to DAR Secretary Rene C. Villa within the week. Secretary Villa is expected to visit Leyte within the month, it was learned.

“Lately we have started taking initial steps towards arresting further destruction by flood waters that inundate yearly for over 40 years now,” Redaja stressed.

Upon initial assessment by him, Redaja said the problem was traced to silted river caused by top soil erosions in the area, which is considered “the biggest stumbling block to rural development” in Samar municipalities.

“This will take millions of pesos to solve the problem, that’s why we need the assistance of the national government,” Redaja said.

Redaja recommended the suggestion of renting dredging machines in Cebu City that will take out or extract soils in the silted river bed that causes the flooding.

Earlier, Pascual O. Cosmod, a development facilitator of La Paz-Buenabista Agrarian Reform Community in San Jorge town reported that these occurrences of at least two floods a year adversely affected some 66 villages within the towns of Tarangnan, San Jorge, Gandara and Pagsanghan, all in the first district of Samar, for an estimated total area of 4,145 hectares.

“An estimated total of 189,600 cavans of palay costing P75.84 million is lost whenever a flood occurred and submerged the 2,235 hectares for this duration of time - not to mention those remaining areas slightly affected,” Cosmod said showing the audience a sketch of the barangays being flooded.

At least 4 major floods, which occurred in 1961, 1979, 1983 and 1998, affected the flow of road traffic specifically in the Sapinit, San Jorge area, in as much as the Maharlika national highway went underwater for 3 days, Cosmod reported. “It contributes retrogression of these four municipalities,” he said.

Moreover, Redaja said the moves to arrest the problem came in the heels of initiatives taken by personnel of the Department of Agrarian Reform upon instructions by regional director Tiburcio A. Morales Jr. to whom the annual problem was presented during his monthly consultative meeting here with non-government organizations, people’s organizations and the media.

Director Morales clarified, however, that the DAR’s response is only a way of helping the provincial government, hence the DAR is only validating claims concerning the flood phenomenon through verification of actual areas flooded, crops damaged, and number of agrarian reform farmer-beneficiaries actually left victims by the flood, and coordination with mayors and other local government offices concerned.

Initial data reaching the DAR provincial office in Catbalogan show that some 3,055 CARP beneficiaries in these four towns are affected, excluding those who are agricultural lessees. The flooded areas reported also exclude those cultivated by small land owners, and those falling under the jurisdiction of the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Center (RIARC) at barrio Sapinit in San Jorge town.

Within this week, more barangay and municipal resolutions seeking the assistance of the provincial government and national government agencies concerned, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture, and National Irrigation Administration are expected to be passed by the affected villages.

More Initiatives

Meanwhile, municipal agrarian reform officer Dana Urbano reported to the DAR provincial office here that the local government of Pagsanghan, which is under mayor Violeto H. Ceracas, had decided recently to concentrate on Buenos Aires and San Luis as these are the only two barrios where flood subsides after several days or much longer than in other flooded areas. She said that the mayor’s office had informed her that rice crops in these two barrios succumb also to saline water which hastens death to the crops.

Last September 6, the Sangguniang Bayan of Pagsanghan, in a regular session presided by vice-mayor Alberto V. Mara and attended by all the SB members, including Association of Barangay Captains president  Florencio S. Repol and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Jerica B. Tan, passed Resolution No. 08  which was approved on the same date by mayor Ceracas.

The resolution is requesting the DAR, as lead agency in the implementation of the CARP, as well as the Office of the President, the provincial government of Samar and other government agencies concerned “for assistance in the control of perennial floods in our barangays.”

The SB said that “farmers perennially affected by floods have urged the Sangguniang Bayan of Pagsanghan, Samar to intercede in their behalf for a solution to the flood problem that has affected their lives and their families, due to destruction of agricultural crops, resulting to high incidence of poverty” and that solving the problem “will ensure the attainment of high crop productivity output as well as increased income of farm families in the different barangays.”

In the same resolution, the Pagsanghan SB said that “it is possible to control these perennial floods through dredging (of) the end portion of Gandara River leading to the Samar Sea, as well as the construction of a drainage canal linking the Bangon River and the Pajo-Sapinit River.”

Earlier, 31 farmers in Buenos Aires, tilling an aggregate area of 43 hectares said in an undated petition that the construction of an open canal that will link the Bangon Gote River and the Pajo River (both in Tarangnan town) is “the only alternative way to control flood in our area”. They said they observed that fishponds constructed near the mouth of the Gandara River (at Pagsanghan), as well as the accumulated siltation there serve as a bottleneck that constricts the flow of flood water, thereby resulting to submersion of our crops for a number of days.”




Feisty Negros lady lawyer calls killers of Cebu lawyer ‘cowards’

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo prays before the bier of female lawyer Arbet Sta. Ana Yongco, who was killed inside her office cum residence in Barangay Sapatera Monday morning (October 11).

October 15, 2004

BACOLOD CITY  -  A lady lawyer from La Carlota City, Negros Occidental has blasted the killers of fellow lady lawyer Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco, a private prosecutor in the celebrated Ecleo parricide case in Cebu.

“They are cowards. Atty. Yongco could have outwitted them in a mano-mano (fistfight) if they did not use a gun,” bewailed Atty. Gerlie Uy, a 26-year old taekwondo jin.

Uy said the killers, described by witnesses as all males, employed a “treacherous” method in shooting to death the 37-year old lawyer “because it would be embarrassing on their part if Atty. Sta. Ana-Yongco subdued them in a fair physical combat.”

Because of Yongco’s murder, Uy exhorted her fellow lady lawyers to learn the art of self-defense by training in aikido, boxing, taekwondo and other martial arts techniques.

“Those rascals were only brave because they outnumbered my companera and were armed. Even if we are females, they cannot intimidate us. We can beat them if they will face us in a fair fight,” said the outraged Uy, who had expressed admiration for the courage of the slain colleague for accepting the Ecleo case “when nobody wanted to because of fear.”

Both Uy and Yongco are strong advocates of reproductive health and women’s rights and empowerment.

Yongco was shot dead in her office adjacent to her house at Brgy. Zapatera in Cebu City last Oct. 11. The gunman walked into the unlocked office and fired off five shots, hitting her in the head, neck, shoulder and arm.

She was the lawyer of the Bacolod family who filed the case against Ruben Ecleo, a cult leader, over the killing of his wife. Aside from the Ecleo case, she also handled a rape case in which the accused was meted out 26 death sentences.





Total abolition of losing GOCCs sought

By Alliance of Volunteer Educators
October 14, 2004

MANILA, Philippines   -  Congressional partylist Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) Rep. Eulogio “Amang” R. Magsaysay today challenged the Arroyo administration to abolish the 25 government owned and controlled corporations which were expected to bring additional financial pitfalls to the country come 2005.

Magsaysay stressed that these government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) tend to “rob” precious funding from the country’s much needed basic services, especially education.

He said that the government will be wasting more money if these GOCCs remain in operation.

Magsaysay added that instead of allocating subsidy funds for the GOCCs, the government should focus on granting benefits and additional wages for people in the public education sector.

“Government funding should be spent on the much needed services such as better health care and quality education,” said Magsaysay.

This is the reason, according to the AVE solon, why the government should not be hesitant on disowning the GOCCs especially if such corporations miss their financial targets before the year ends.

Financial analysts said that the government will lose approximately Php102.7 billion because of unproductive GOCCs.

Magsaysay said that financing the development of quality education will be of greater benefit for the country than saving these corporations.

Among the greatest corporate “losers” are National Power Corporation (Napocor) with Php83.62 billion worth of financial liabilities, followed by National Food Authority with Php13.13 billion.

Other corporations included in the list are Light Rail Transit Authority (P1.29 billion); National Electrification Authority (P1.28 billion); Phil. National Oil Co. (P1.23 billion); Phil. Coconut Authority (P236.57 million); Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (P98 million); National Tobacco Authority (P80 million); National Dairy Authority, (P67.74 million); Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp. (P64.8 million); and Sugar Regulatory Administration (P60 million).





San Jorge’s top 10 'Best Employee of the Year 2004' named

October 14, 2004

SAN JORGE, Samar -   Ten out of two hundred municipal employees of this fifth class locality was chosen by the LGU search and awards committee as recipients of the "Most Outstanding Employees of the Year 2004" during the culmination night of this town's 25th anniversary celebration Sunday, October 10.

The 'top 10' awardees received their respective certificates of recognition/plaques from the guest of honor Army General Bonifacio Ramos, the Assistant Division Commander of the 8th Infantry Division based in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar. He was assisted by Mayor Joseph "Jojo" Grey being the head of the selection committee, which was likewise composed of all department heads of San Jorge.

Mayor Grey said the selection committee cited the performances, contribution to the local government unit, and commitment to public service of the awardees as basis in choosing the 'top 10.'  "They were strictly evaluated by me and my committee members based on some criteria and requirements needed, and they (top 10) all passed," the mayor stressed.

The name of awardees and their corresponding over-all ratings were the following, to wit: Erlinda Tupaz (56.34), Ofelia Adesas (44.76), Philnor Albarico (36.23), Bienvenido Diongon (34.48), Ferdinand Tupaz (33.67), Romualdo Ortiz (32.49), Fely Beduya (32.26), Liza Tafalla (31.83), Maria Tan (29.83), and Florita Barrileaux with her 29.66 percent.

On the other hand, some 13 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries were also awarded with their respective Certificates of Land Ownerships Awards (CLOAs) last Sunday. They were Sofronio Gabiana, Alejandro Cupino, Leonila Jabulan, Angela Solayao, Pablo Solayao, Arcadio Dacles, Estanislao Dacles, Conrado Villar, Orlando Villamonte, Rolly Cinco, Salvador Dosal, Felipe Montero and Lodito Labalan, all from the villages of this town.

In his message to the San Jorgehanons, Congressman Reynaldo S. Uy (Samar-1st district), congratulated the selected outstanding employees saying "as public servants, the welfare of our people should be over and above our personal interests and ambitions." He said with the right attitudes, "we can eradicate the practice of political corruption and our integrity as local officials will never be compromised."

On his part, Mayor Grey encouraged all his constituents including the awardees to keep up the good work and continue serving the public without asking in exchange. He also urged everyone to help him in maintaining peace and order, cooperate in all means for the development and progress of San Jorge, and instead forget 'politicking.'

"Kalimutan na natin ang politika, wag nyo na akong gagawan ng mga isyu na di naman totoo. pangako ko sa inyo, pagagandahin ko ang San Jorge," Mayor Grey said in his 45-minute speech.

The mayor also reported his recent accomplishments in his first 100 days in office. Some of which are resolutions of project-requests addressed to the different national agencies in Manila.

"Maybe next year, magkaroon na tayo ng sarili nating ambulance, makapagpaayos ng ating munisipyo at basketball court. Ikinagagalak ko ring sabihin sa inyo na meron na tayong enough supply of medicines na para sa ating mga kababayang may sakit," Mayor Grey said.

The two awarding ceremonies were in consonance to the town’s 25th founding day celebration with the theme "Kauswagan aton makakab-otan, kun aton pagburugligan." San Jorge was once a barangay of Gandara before its conversion into a town on October 10, 1979.





Oust Samar Governor movement formed

Some members of the ISOG convenors (L-R): Rhett Piczon, Fr. Noel Labendia, Charo Nabong-Cabardo, Evet Nachura, and Helen Hernandez.

October 8, 2004

CATBALOGAN, Samar  - A new movement which calls for the ouster of Samar Governor Milagrosa Tan was formally formed on October 7, 2004 during a press conference held at the Byes Place in Catbalogan, Samar attended by various sectors of society.

The Isog Han Samar Movement (Fury of Samar) was convened after a report from the Commission on Audit (COA-Central) released recently, showing some violations consciously and continually made by the provincial government to the Rules and Regulations pertaining to procurement of supplies and materials.  Other things uncovered by the Audit Team was the use of the 5% calamity fund even when there was no calamity in the province; overpricing in the purchase of rice, medicines, electric fans and cement; and the use of the 20% Development Fund was not supported by an Annual Investment Plan for which it was intended and moreover, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan drew purchase requests against this fund.

Moreover, the investigative report on the alleged anomaly by the provincial government of Samar aired over television giant GMA7 on its October 2 edition of “Imbestigador” push attention for the Samareños to form this movement.

Presently, the movement is conducting a signature campaign as an initial step for the filing of a plunder case before the Ombudsman against Governor Milagrosa Tan (see letter to the Ombudsman).

Also, a prayer rally is scheduled on October 18 to show the sentiments of the Samareños against massive graft and corruption in the Samar Capitol.





NBI dumps charges against NMP exec, et al

October 7, 2004

TACLOBAN CITY  – Again for being “grossly unfounded, speculative” and for being “merely a product of a ‘fishing expedition’ aimed at pinning down the accused,” another of the several formal charges filed against Executive Director Noriel P. Devanadera of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) was recently dumped and dropped, this time on the instant complaint lodged at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Regional Office here.  Other administrative charges against Devanadera filed at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were recently dismissed either for being baseless, lack of merit, procedural and substantive lapses, or for duplicity of administrative proceedings.

NBI Regional Director Atty. Antonio M. Pagatpat, in a 6-page decision issued September 30, has recommended that charges of Fraud and Illegal Practice of Profession against NMP Associate Professor Leopoldo G. Abelinde, as principal and against Director Devanadera, Prof. Remedios C. Cagulada, Erma V. Motebon and Eufemia Balangbang, all members of NMP top management as accessories, be “considered closed for being unfounded and that the same be written off from NBI’s case load.”

Some eleven members of the NMP faculty last June 25 filed formal charges at the NBI regional office against Abelinde, Devanadera et al accusing the former of holding a fake Third Mate (3/M) license and likewise charging top management of conspiring with Abelinde.  The complainants include Ricardo L. Mionda, Abraham E. Pinggol, Ronnie Gernato, Reynaldo B. Bacal, Gil Sofronio G. Brasileño, Manuel L. Aya-ay, Enrique S. Ilustre, Raul D. Devio, Romualdo M. Lago, Telesforo Sambalilo and Cesar Brillo.

NBI Special Investigator Bienvenido Panican after a scrupulous evaluation of the case found out that the case stemmed simply from the failure of Abelinde to have his Third Mate license renumbered by the PRC thereby drawing the ire and raising the speculations of his peers.  “The speculations by the complainants as to the authenticity of Abelinde’s license was, however, solidly proven to be false,” the decision read, “after thorough verification with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Panican also argued that Devanadera and all other respondents accused of being accessory could not be charged for protecting or tolerating the alleged violations because as per documents submitted they are not remiss of their job.  “In fact, prior to the endorsement of the case to NBI, the NMP management has already requested the PRC for assistance in verifying the authenticity of its employees including Abelinde,” he pointed out.

Panican also ruled that in said case, “complainants apparently resorted to the so-called “Fishing Expedition” as when they failed to pin down the accused of one offense, they would again try to hit him with another like dragging into the issue an alleged offense which happened and of which they all knew way back in 1996.  “Their timing therefore in raising this issue against Abelinde is ill-advised,” the decision ruled.

Director Devanadera in an interview said he is happy that finally the truth is now coming out.  “I have always been confident that all these cases against me will be dismissed as they are all baseless, defensible, and all fabricated,” he said.

“I though hope that in the light of that these decisions of competent authorities, we would be able to help enlighten the public and our clientele, clarify doubts and erase speculations,” he ended.



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