6 NPA members
surrender, NPA loss support from masses in Northern Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 14, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Six members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG)
surrendered to the joint force of the military under the 803rd
Infantry "Peacemaker" Brigade, Philippine Army, and the Northern
Samar Police at the Headquarters of 43rd Infantry Battalion in Brgy.
Magsaysay, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar last March 8, 2023.
They surrendered two M16A1
rifles, one M14 rifle, two cal .45 pistols, one cal .38 revolver,
and NPA propaganda materials.
Lieutenant Colonel Manuel
B. Degay Jr, Commanding Officer of 43IB together with the Northern
Samar Police formally accepted the surrender of six NPA members who
belongs to the Executive Committee of Front Committee 2 (FC2)
Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU), Sub-Regional Committee (SRC)
Emporium, of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC).
"We have been struggling
in the mountains evading the government security forces, we are
tired and hungry since we no longer have the masses' support. We
only eat once in a while," alias Arthur said in a statement.
Alias Webb, the former
Finance Officer of SRC Emporium who surrendered earlier, said that
the people are now aware of their deception; the NPA is finding it
hard to recruit and organize in the countryside resulting in a
crisis and desperation of its members in their movement.
Lt. Col. Degay Jr. praised
the sacrifices and efforts of the 43lB troops and the Local
Government Units in the successful campaign to defeat the insurgency
in the area. He also assured the former rebels that they would not
regret their decision.
"I encourage the remaining
members of the NPA here in Northern Samar to return to the folds of
the law so that you can take advantage of the services prepared by
our government so that you can start over and live in peace with
your loved ones. The Provincial and Municipal Task Forces in Ending
Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) here in Northern Samar
have prepared benefits for those who will return to the government,"
Lt. Col. Degay Jr. added.
Major General Camilo Z.
Ligayo, Commander of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division,
Philippine Army and Joint Task Force Storm (JTFS) is grateful for
the trust given by the six surrenderees to the government. This
effort only shows positive results of tireless work of soldiers and
law enforcement to achieve peace in the region.
"The surrender of the six
members of CTGs to our authorities is just a demonstration of their
trust in the government. Therefore, I am calling out to all the
remaining members of the CTGs to lay down your weapon and return to
the folds of the law. It's not too late, our government will help
you to start a new life and hope with peace in your hearts and
minds" said Major General Ligayo.
progress for additional classrooms in Ilijan and Calanyugan ES
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
March 13, 2023
CALBAYOG CITY – The
construction of one (1) storey – two (2) classroom school building
in Barangay Ilijan Elementary School in the Municipality of Sto.
Niño, Samar and in Calanyugan Elementary School, Pagsanghan, Samar
have commenced in convergence with the Department of Education, said
Samar First District Engineering Office.
Both projects have a total
contract amount of P10.81 million.
The structure will have
PWD ramp with guard rails, hand washing area, comfort rooms enclosed
in each classroom together with the prescribed paint once the
structure will be completed.
A good and conducive
school building makes it a good place for the children to study,
which is important as the student spends maximum time in school.
These additional structures will give more space to the growing
school community especially that Ilijan ES has more or less seven
classrooms only while Calanyugan ES has an existing two classrooms.
DENR, LBP, ROD
renew support for CARP implementation in E. Visayas
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas Regional Director
Robert Anthony Yu presented plaques of appreciation to
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) implementing
agencies for their continued support in fast tracking land
distribution activities in the region.
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
March 9, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY –
With the renewal of support of three Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) implementing agencies, Regional Director Robert
Anthony Yu of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern
Visayas is optimistic to hit the target in land distribution this
“Synchronization of 2023 targets and Problem Solving Session with
Line Agencies,” held in February, Yu thanked the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Land Bank of the
Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) and the Registry of
Deeds (ROD) for their support in 2022 which made DAR Eastern Visayas
accomplished its targets.
Yu took the opportunity to
ask the three agencies to continue supporting the DAR this year for
the benefit of the landless farmers who rely much on CARP to improve
their quality of life.
For this year, DAR Eastern
Visayas targets 1,131 hectares for claim folder preparation and
documentation; 811 hectares for verification and approval of land
survey; 758 hectares for Emancipation Patent/Certificate of Land
Ownership Award (EP/CLOA) registration; and 106 landholdings to be
issued with Memorandum of Valuation, which are dependent on the
three CARP implementing agencies abovementioned.
Yu likewise disclosed that
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. directed the DAR to fast track the
implementation of the Support to Parcelization of Lands for
Individual Titling (SPLIT) project which made Agrarian Reform
Secretary Conrado Estrella III committed to deliver 50 thousand
hectares issued with individual titles by June.
“Because Region-8 has the
biggest scope under SPLIT with more that 220 thousand hectares, I
committed to deliver 10 thousand hectares by June,” Yu said.
In response to Yu’s plea
to the line agencies, Engineers Fiel Pedrosa, Manager of LBP-AOC and
Ramon Unay, Chief of the Surveys and Mapping Division at the DENR
together with lawyers Emeterio Villanoza Jr. and Ryan Villablanca of
ROD-Leyte and ROD-Samar, respectively, signed the pledge of
Pedrosa said, we are very
much willing to help the Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officers
(MARPOs) improve the field investigation report which serves as
input to our computation of land valuation.
Unay stressed, “Noon pa
palaging nandyan ang DENR to support the Program.” He added, “Hindi
namin ililimit sa target lang namin. If you still have survey to be
submitted to us for verification and approval, then we will still do
exclaimed “If I was able to sign 980 titles for the pabahay project
in just half of a day, the two thousand targeted titles under SPLIT
in Samar ay toothpick lang yan!”
In return, Yu committed to
provide to the said partner agencies the necessary logistics that
will aid them in accomplishing the tasks required from them.
8ID sends-off new
enlisted soldiers to various army battalions in E. Visayas
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 9, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City Samar – A total of 564 newly-enlisted soldiers of the 8th
Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division, Philippine Army, have been
deployed to their designated army units in Eastern Visayas after a
send-off ceremony Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at the Headquarters,
Major General Camilo Z.
Ligayo, Commander of the 8ID expressed confidence in the new
privates' ability to succeed.
In his message, he
encouraged them to put forth their best efforts in performing their
“After hurdling the
rigorous training, it is with great expectations that you are
physically, emotionally, and psychologically prepared to face the
multifarious challenges ahead,” Ligayo told the new privates.
The newly trained soldiers
will now contribute to the 8ID's various humanitarian efforts and
peace initiatives in ending communist armed conflict, as four of the
country's last five guerilla fronts are located in Region 8.
The new privates completed
their Basic Military Training (BMT) during their candidate soldier
course last February 20, 2023.
Malikhaing Pinoy pushing creative industry to greater heights
March 7, 2023
PASAY CITY –
Recognizing the significant contributions of the country's creative
industries in the pursuit of robust economic growth and expansion,
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual
expressed the Department’s unwavering support for the expansion and
integration of the creative industry into the domestic and
international market during the 2nd Philippine Creative Industries
Summit held on 7 March 2023 at the Philippine International
Convention Center (PICC). With the theme “Unifying Creative Agenda,
Elevating Filipino Creativity,” this year’s summit ushers creativity
in different sectors of society including agriculture,
manufacturing, and other industries.
Pascual acknowledged the hard work that our legislators have put in
pushing for the enactment of the Philippine Creative Industries
Development Act (PCIDA) saying that “We are gathered here today to
celebrate the enactment of the Philippine Creative Industries
Development Act, which our champions – Congressman Toff de Venecia
and Senator Loren Legarda – have deeply elaborated on earlier. More
importantly, this occasion is an opportunity for us to lay down our
concrete plans, projects, and programs that will give life to the
spirit of PCIDA."
The passage of the PCIDA
shall ensure that a strong, solid, and clear mandate will be
implemented to address the constraints of our creative industries
and shall drive the sector toward greater heights. As the chair of
the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council (PCIDC),
Secretary Pascual aims to further capacitate Filipino creators and
designers as well as improve the quality of their outputs, enabling
it to compete in both the local and global markets.
One of the highlights of
the event is the launching of Malikhaing Pinoy Program or Creative
Philippines Program, which will be implemented by DTI.
"Malikhaing Pinoy is our
holistic approach to addressing the constraints and barriers of the
creative industries. It is a flagship initiative well-informed by
various sector-specific industry studies and roadmaps carried out by
the DTI with support from our champions in Congress," added
As mentioned by Secretary
Pascual, the DTI will establish the following to further assist in
the development of the creative economy: (1) Creative Industries
Satellite Account; (2) Creative Venture Fund; and (3) ENSAYO
Creative Hub. Likewise, the Department commits to ensure that the
country's workforce are well equipped with the necessary skills and
knowledge to prepare them for possible job opportunities in the
sector through the expansion of the Philippine Skills Framework that
will cover creative industries.
Moreover, to address the
country's limited access to technology, the DTI will endeavor to
build Creative Innovation Centers similar to the Marikina NACIDA
Incubator Facility. Along with this, the Department also envisions
the creation of a Creative Market Acceleration Program, which will
enable our creative industries to grow their businesses, attract
investments, and expand in foreign markets.
In closing, Secretary
Pascual ensured that the DTI will work closely with Presidential
Adviser on Creative Communications (OPACC) Secretary Paul Soriano on
various strategic collaborative activities that will extend the
reach of Malikhaing Pinoy to as many stakeholders as possible. He
said that "Ultimately, cooperation and collaboration between and
among the government, industries, the academe, and development
partners will be the powerful force that will drive the progress and
success of Malikhaing Pinoy towards achieving the aspirations
embodied in the PCIDA.”
DAR trains 150
DFs in E. Visayas on community organizing
150 development facilitators of the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) assigned in different parts of Eastern Visayas
undergo a five-day training on community organizing with
emphasis on developing their social entrepreneurial skills.
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
March 5, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY –
Level of development of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs),
agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) and agrarian
reform communities (ARCs) in Eastern Visayas is expected to improve
after 150 development facilitators (DFs) of the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) in this region underwent extensive training on
Divided into three
batches, the said DFs were subjected to a five-day training on
Enterprise-based Agrarian Reform Community Organizing and
Development (E-ARCOD), which gave emphasis on developing the
participant’s social entrepreneurial skills.
Director for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and
Sustainability Program (ARBDSP), Ismael Aya-ay, said that E-ARCOD is
basically rural development, community organizing, and extension
works which is facilitated from production to marketing.
Melecia Ong, chief of the
Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), stressed during
the training the need to be innovative in order to adapt to the
various factors affecting the growth of an ARB, ARBO and the ARC
they serve to be effective social entrepreneurs.
Al Francis Caballero, a DF
for almost three years assigned in Ormoc City in the province of
Leyte, shared he feels more confident now in discharging his
functions as a DF with the learnings he gained in the said training.
According to him, “The
knowledge I gained here will enhance my skills in communication,
problem solving and critical thinking, which are important in
For Betoin Veras, the DF
of Pinabacdao, Samar, “This training enables me to be self-aware of
the role of a DF.” She pointed out the qualities of a good DF, like
how to deal with ARBs and how to empower them, which made an impact
to her as a community organizer.
DF Mark Kevin Chua of
Gandara, Samar, shared that the topics on how to address problems
and challenges encountered in the field and how to lead ARBs and
ARBOs to be productive and successful entrepreneurs, were among the
biggest learnings which he plans to apply when he returns to his
area of assignment.
In Mondragon, Northern
Samar, DF Marian Marquita shared that she learned and would embrace
the qualities and competencies a DF should possess to be effective
in her work.
For Aniway Elizan, who had
been assigned to several municipalities in Samar on separate
occasions during her 19 years as a DF commented that all the
learnings shared in this training were applicable not only in her
work as DF but to one’s personal life as well. Though, she considers
the strategic development planning as the most important learning
she gained which she could impart to the ARBOs she is assisting.
Agrarian Reform Program Officer I (PARPO I) Rosemarie Balanquit of
DAR Northern Samar Provincial Office commended in her facebook post
the resource speakers for the comprehensive discussions of the
different topics which sustained the interest of the participants
until the last day of the training.
Aside from Ong, other
speakers included PBDD staffs Ronalyn Acol, James Paul Albia,
Adriano Badana, Leonard Fulminar and DF Czarina Vanelli Piñon.
Balanquit and the other
PARPOs I in the region requested that they be included in the third
batch of the said training, which was conducted last week, to be
updated of the enhanced modules.
National minorities join
2023 Global Climate Strike
Sandugo: ‘Time to
replace Mining Act of 1995 with People’s Mining Bill’
March 3, 2023
QUEZON CITY – Today
marks 28 years since Republic Act 7942, or the Mining Act of 1995,
was passed. In a demonstration held at the central office of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Sandugo -
Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination
joined various sectors in calling for the repeal of the said law.
“Sa loob din ng 28 taon na
ito, hindi umalwan ang buhay ng mga katutubo sa lugar na kung saan
may mga minahan,” said Eufemia Cullamat, Sandugo spokesperson. “Sa
halip, kami ay nagkawatak-watak dahil sinisira at winawasak ng mga
minahan ang mga lupang ninuno.” [In the past 28 years, the lives of
indigenous communities in mining areas have not improved. Rather, we
have been torn apart as mining continuously ravages our ancestral
Sandugo cites the key role
of the DENR in greenlighting environmental degradation through the
Mining Act of 1995, claiming the department has placed profit over
the people’s welfare. “Ito pa ang nagbebenta ng aming mga lupang
ninuno, nagbibigay ng Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)
kahit walang malinaw na FPIC [free, prior, and informed consent] o
pahintulot ng mga katutubong komunidad!” [The DENR itself is selling
out our ancestral lands, issuing ECCs without securing FPIC, or the
free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous communities.]
Cullamat further lamented
the impact of large-scale, corporate mining on indigenous
communities’ agricultural practices and food security. “Kung dati ay
nakakapagtanim kami ng palay dalawang beses sa isang taon, ngayon ay
hindi na dahil hindi na balanse ang tag ulan at tag init na syang
bumubuhay sa mga pananim.” [Before, we would harvest grain twice a
year; this is no longer possible because the climate that nourishes
our crops has been altered.]
The demonstration is part
of the Global Climate Strike, a globally-coordinated mass action
spanning nearly a hundred countries which demands urgent action on
the worsening climate crisis. The mining sector represents an
estimated 4 to 7 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Up to
half of copper, gold, iron ore, and zinc mining is located in areas
with high water stress, greatly altering the lifeways of
communities. In the Cordillera for example, a long history of mining
has seen villages lose irrigation for rice production, as well as
massive landslides and ground collapse. Since mining requires large
amounts of water for its operations, mining companies in the area
have privatized water sources, making life more difficult for
indigenous and peasant communities.
Sandugo supports the
passage of House Bill (HB) 259, or the People’s Mining Bill, which
moved forward last month with the approval of the House Committee on
Natural Resources. The bill seeks to make important shifts in the
mining industry, among these the encouragement of foreign companies
to reinvest rather than repatriate profits to their home countries,
and the overall reorientation of the mining industry towards the
development of domestic industries. The movement welcomes the bill’s
ban on prime agricultural lands and watershed areas, sacred
indigenous sites, small island ecosystems, and areas specified for
food production and fishing. Sandugo also laud’s the bill’s intent
to ban firms and conduits with a poor track record.
“Ang mga nasirang
kabundukan, buhay at kabuhayan ay hindi na maibabalik pa,” says
Cullamat. “Nararapat lamang palayasin at pagbayarin ang mga
mandarambong at lumapastangan sa kalikasan. Kailangan natin itong
tuloy tuloy na ipaglaban sa pamamagitan ng ating mahigpit na
pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan.” [The destruction that has already
ravaged our mountains, lives, and livelihoods is irreversible. It is
only right to banish and punish the greedy entities that have
pillaged our environment. We need to be relentless in our fight, by
supporting each other and standing in solidarity.]
24 Former Rebels
receives P760k E-CLIP benefits
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 2, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – A total of P760,000 financial assistance under the
Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the
government was given to 24 former members of the Communist Party of
the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in Borongan City,
The distribution was made
possible through the support of the 78th Infantry Battalion,
Philippine Army, in collaboration with the Department of Interior
and Local Government Unit (DILG), and the Provincial Government of
Eight former NPA regular
members received P65,000, while 16 former Militia ng Bayan (MB)
members received financial assistance of P15,000 each.
The said financial
assistance is part of the government’s program in helping the former
rebels as they start their life anew.
Vice-Governor Maria Caridad Goteesan assured the returnees that the
government is always ready to assist them.
“Gusto naming makita niyo
na nandito kami para tumulong at bilang nagsisilbing mga magulang
ninyo. Gusto naming nandito kayo sa aming lokalidad, at ng sa
ganoong paraan, nakikita namin kayo at naaasikaso. Inuulit ko, hindi
lang ang Lokal na Pamahalaan, ang ating Probinsya kundi pati ang
National Government ay nagmamalasakit sa inyo,” Vice Gov. Goteesan
told the former rebels.
The Commanding Officer of
78th Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Allan Tria also
expressed optimism that the assistance extended to former rebels
will be a big help in starting their lives anew.
“Lahat ng tulong na
natanggap ninyo ay nagpapakita lang na seryoso ang gobyerno sa
pagtulong sa inyo at sa mga gusto pang magbalik-loob sa pamahalaan,”
Lt. Col. Tria shared.
Meanwhile, 8th Infantry
Division Commander, Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, continues to
urge those who have not yet surrendered to leave their armed
struggle and emulate their former comrades who are now working
hand-in-hand with the government in peace-building.
“It’s not yet too late.
Ang gobyerno ay handang tumulong sa mga kasapi ng teroristang NPA na
gustong magbalik-loob at magbagong buhay. Nakahanda na ang mga
programa ng gobyerno ang kailangan na lamang nilang gawin ay bumaba
na at makipagtulungan sa gobyerno,” Ligayo said.
Before receiving E-CLIP,
the beneficiaries also received government financial assistances
through the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP), Assistance to
Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) of the Department of Social
Welfare and Development Office (DSWD), and participated in various
PH gov’t, KOICA
and UN agencies launch joint programme to address national emergency
of adolescent pregnancies
March 1, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY –
Officials from the Philippine government, Korea International
Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and the United Nations (UN) jointly
launched on February 20, 2023 a programme that aims to address the
high rates of adolescent pregnancies in the country.
Funded by the Republic of
Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA),
the joint programme “Accelerating the Reduction of Adolescent
Pregnancy in Southern Leyte and Samar in the Philippines” aims to
improve access of the adolescent population to sexual and
reproductive health (SRH) services and information, to raise their
self-awareness on sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well
as to enhance leadership and governance on ASRH.
According to the World
Bank, the Philippines has one of the highest adolescent birth rates
among the major economies in the ASEAN region.
In November 2022, KOICA,
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations
Children’s Funds (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO)
inked the agreement on the joint programme, which is slated to last
until 2026. Leading the Joint Programme steering committee is the
Department of Health (DOH) with the UN Resident Coordinator, Gustavo
Gonzalez, as its co-chair. Joining as members are the said UN
agencies, KOICA, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the
governors of Samar and Southern Leyte.
“Korea is committed to
support the Philippines in its goals to achieve universal health for
all. This is the first time that KOICA is working on a joint project
on adolescent health in partnership with the three UN agencies in
the Philippines. Hence, we look forward to working towards improving
the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights of
Filipino adolescents in the Philippines,” said KOICA Country
Director Kim Eunsub.
DOH Officer-In-Charge Dr.
Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said that teenage pregnancy, which has
been declared by the government as a national social emergency,
deprives many young Filipinos of their future, she then highlights
of addressing these concerns through solidarity in partnership.
“Together, we, along with
our partner agencies and stakeholders – must work in weaving our
strategies to contribute to positive and long-lasting impacts for
adolescents. As a key objective of the Universal Health Care Act,
equitable access to health services for the youth, especially those
in the vulnerable and marginalized sector, is central to the DOH’s
priorities. To address these gaps, we will continue to seek the
support of our partners, as we can only truly achieve the
universality of health through a whole-of-government and
whole-of-society approach,” said DOH OIC Singh-Vergeire.
“Adolescent pregnancy is
not only a health and education problem but also an economic
development issue,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, United Nations (UN)
Philippines Resident Coordinator. “We are hoping that with this
program with KOICA, we will be able to reduce adolescent pregnancy
and support the Philippines in maximizing the ‘demographic
With the Philippines
having one (1) out of three (3) people under the age of 18, it is
expected to benefit from the change of its population structure
towards a younger demographic structure. However, the window
opportunity that the demographic dividend brings may be lost if
Filipinos are not able to care for their sexual and reproductive
health and their families.
Gonzalez said the group is
eager to build on previous partnerships with the local governments
of Samar and Southern Leyte and to accelerate the progress that they
have reached in terms of development and humanitarian programs.
Besides being one of the
Philippines’ poorest and most typhoon-battered regions, the 2021
Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS5) Study also showed that
Eastern Visayas has the highest rates of 15 to 19-year-old female
youths that had begun childbearing.
The programme’s efforts
are expected to provide additional training for health workers and
non-health service providers such as social workers, teachers and
peer educators; work on the expansion of the PhilHealth package for
adolescent pregnancy; provide mobile medical facilities to benefit
adolescents; and support the implementation of a Performance
Accountability System for the local health and government units, as
well as a Youth Leadership and Governance initiative.
The steering committee of
this Joint Programme will be collaborating with other strategic
government partners that will serve as advisory members: the
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the
National Youth Commission (NYC). Other government units will also be
part of the regional and provincial committees of the program.
Coinciding with the joint
programme launch is the ongoing congressional discussions on the
proposed measures to address adolescent pregnancy.
spearheads distribution of assistance for MSMEs
R Marcos Jr, Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG)
program, micro-enterprises, DTI-PPG 2023 Livelihood Negosyo
kits, Martin Romualdez, Bienvenido Laguesma, Gwendolyn Garcia.
DTI-OSEC-Public Relations Unit
February 28, 2023
MANDAUE CITY –
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. together with Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual spearheaded the
distribution of assistance for MSMEs on 27 February 2023. The
assistance given is part of DTI's Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at
Ginhawa (PPG) program, which aims to capacitate and assist existing
and future micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the
provision of kits containing materials, equipment, and initial
stocks to commence and improve their businesses.
"Ito ay bahagi ng ating
tuluy-tuloy na pag-alalay sa mga maliliit na negosyo sa gitna ng
pandemya. Ngayong araw ay namigay tayo ng worth 8,000 pesos na
vouchers o negosyo kits sa dalawampung mico-entrepreneurs. Umaasa
ang DTI na makakatulong ito sa pag cover ng kanilang operational
costs at sa kanilang muling pagbangon mula sa nangyaring sunog noong
nakaraang taon", said Secretrary Pascual.
The DTI-PPG is a
livelihood seeding and entrepreneurship development program whose
target beneficiaries are micro-enterprises affected by fire
incidents and other calamities, including health disasters such as
the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department provides beneficiaries with
information materials, business counseling and mentoring, enterprise
development training, and livelihood kits.
During the program,
Secretary Pascual lead the distribution of DTI-PPG 2023 Livelihood/
Negosyo kits to 20 beneficiaries who were victims of a fire incident
on 13 December 2022. Each beneficiary has received a voucher
amounting to PHP8,000. In total, the DTI distributed P160,000 worth
of financial assistance.
MSMEs are considered as
the backbone of the Philippine economy as it constitutes 99.5% of
all registered businesses in the country. Likewise, MSMEs generated
64.6% of the country's total employment. Thus, the DTI recognizes
their vital contributions to economic growth and recovery.
Further, Secretary Pascual
said that "The DTI will continue to assist MSMEs, especially in
terms of digitalization so they can reach wider markets. We will
also help them access financing, mayroon pong Small Business
Corporation or SBCorp under the DTI na maaaring mag-assist sa mga
MSMEs kung kailangan nila ng loans na makakatulong sa kanila sa
pagsimula o paglago ng kanilang negosyo."
The distribution program
was also attended by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Department of
Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, and Cebu
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
prosperity for the Marcoses and capitalists; poverty for the
February 28, 2023
QUEZON CITY –
“Galawang mandaraya ang pagraratsada ng Charter Change na iskema ng
administrasyong Marcos. Sahod, trabaho, pagkain, serbisyo – yan ang
kailangan ngayon hindi chacha!” declared Clarice Palce, Gabriela
Secretary General, in reaction to the approval of the Congressional
Committee on Constitutional Amendments last Monday.
“Hindi pa nasapatan ang
Marcos sa samu’t saring pamamaraan ng pandaraya noong eleksyon,
ngayon naman ay pilit niyang babaguhin ang konstitusyon para pumabor
sa kanyang administrasyon at balak na term extension, samantalang
ang mamamayan ay umaaray na, hindi makasabay sa taas-presyo ng
bilihin ang kinikita, pero walang reaksyon at kibit-balikat lang ang
tugon ni Marcos Jr.,” Palce insisted.
The last Constitutional
Convention was during the time of the late dictator President Marcos
Sr. on January 17, 1973, changing a presidential form of government
to parliamentary form amid widespread protest. It created a
government with a figurehead prime minister and the power remained
in the president-dictator Marcos.
With the present Marcos
Jr., the intent of the charter change is further liberalization of
the country’s economy and a longer term for the political leaders.
“May panganib na maulit
ang nangyari noong panahon ni Marcos, the dictator. Hindi na natin
kaya ang dekadang paghahari ng mga Marcos na sa siyam na buwan na
panunungkulan, wala man lang kongkretong hakbang para sa kagalingan
ng kababaihan at mamamayan kundi ang mangayupapa sa dayuhan, alagaan
ang kanilang cronies at negosyante, magparty at maglibot sa ibang
Nasa panahon tayo ng
krisis ni hindi pa lubusang nakakarecover ang mamamayan sa pandemya,
lugmok sa hirap ang taong bayan, halos hindi na makasabay sa
taas-presyo ng mga bilihin, ito lang talaga ang pinagkakaabahalan ng
administrasyong Marcos Jr., ang pagbabago ng konstitusyon?”
In the proposed bill for
the constitutional convention (ConCon), each sector will have a
representative of workers, farmers and others but 20% of the
delegates will be appointed by the Speaker and Senate President, who
are both allies of the president. Further, there will be P10,000 per
diem each delegate per day, aside from its travel and accommodation
“Lantarang paglulustay at
prone sa korapsyon ang ganitong klase ng bill, kahit sa istruktura,
kakatigan nito kung sinuman ang nag-appoint sa mga ito, kaya
nakikita nating ‘bias’ ang batas na ito at pabor sa mga nasa
posisyon”, Palce remarked.
According to the bill,
Concon can finish the new constitution by June 30, 2024, it can also
table revisions in any part of the constitution and there will be an
uncertain election in 2025.
“Nananawagan tayo sa
mamamayan na hindi tayo dapat pumayag na iratsada ang Charter Change
at gamitin ito ng administrasyong Marcos sa pagpapalawig ng kanilang
pag-upo sa pwesto at paglustay sa kabang yaman ng bayan. Gamitin
natin ang araw ng Marso 8, Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan upang
ipakita ang pagkakaisa ng mamamayan para tutulan at labanan ang mga
anti-mamamayang polisiya ni Marcos” Palce declared.
8ID installs new
Battalion Commander of 19IB
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 27, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 19th Infantry "Commando" Battalion, Philippine
Army based in Catubig, Northern Samar welcomes its new Battalion
Commander in a change of command ceremony, on Thursday, February 23,
The ceremony was presided
over by 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division Commander, Major
General Camilo Z. Ligayo, and installed Lieutenant Colonel Marvin
Maraggun as the new commander of the 19IB in place of Lieutenant
Colonel Fernando Engcot.
Lt. Col. Engcot served as
the battalion commander for two-years and greatly contributed to the
counter-insurgency campaign of the 8ID.
In his message, Major
General Ligayo, congratulated and expressed his appreciation to Lt.
Col. Engcot's effective operational command to the unit.
“You personally led and
supervised your troops in combat operations and you effectively
implemented dynamic modernization in the administration of
personnel, logistics, proper utilization of the unit’s resources and
many more. I fully appreciate your efforts in taking good care of
the commando battalion,” Ligayo said.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col.
Maraggun accepted the challenge as the unit's new commanding officer
and pledged to maintain the unit's momentum and gains, particularly
in the fight against Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).
“The battalion will
continue to be more proactive and aggressive in fulfilling its task
in tandem with the local government and our stakeholders, rest
assured that we will continue to work and collaborate with our
dedicated and untiring partners to facilitate peace and development
especially in the Geographically Disadvantage and Isolated Areas (GIDA),”
Maj. Gen. Ligayo also
urged Lt. Col. Maraggun to continue the efforts and reforms started
by his predecessor and to innovate as needed. He also assured the
new leadership that the 8ID will be fully supportive in all of his
“Your vast operational and
administrative experiences will definitely help you sustain the
progressive efforts of the men under you. I also enjoin you to put
in mind our thrust of transparency and good governance, and to
intensified stakeholder engagements to support the command’s effort
in achieving our mission,” Ligayo added.
Pascual Supports Kadiwa ng Pangulo
DTI-OSEC-Public Relations Unit
February 27, 2023
CEBU CITY – On 27
February 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred
Pascual expressed his support for the Kadiwa ng Pangulo caravan held
in Cebu Provincial Capitol. Kadiwa ng Pangulo is a farm-to-consumer
program that ensures Filipino consumers' access to low-priced and
guaranteed high-quality produce from local consumers. The initiative
is part of the Philippine government's ongoing efforts to stabilize
the prices of manufactured and agricultural basic necessities and
prime commodities (BNPCs) following the spike in prices of goods.
In his message, Secretary
Pascual recognized the importance of the Kadiwa ng Pangulo,
especially in offering consumers low-priced, high-quality products,
assisting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), tempering
the domestic impacts of the ongoing global inflation, and helping
farmers, cooperatives, fishermen, and other sectors of agriculture
earn profitable income and while connecting them directly to
“Bukod pa rito, ang Kadiwa
caravan ay napapanahon sa adhikain ng pamahalaan na palakasin ang
sektor ng agrikultura. Sa pag-unlad ng sektor na ito, makapagbibigay
ito ng mas maraming hanap-buhay at mapatataas ang produksyon ng
pagkain upang masiguro ang sapat na supply para sa lahat. Sa
pagpapalakas at pagpapatibay ng mga Kadiwa stores, malaki ang
maiaambag nito sa pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya matapos ang pandemya.
Ang programang ito ay tugon din ng pamahalaan upang mapababa ang
inflation rate ng bansa at maalalayan ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino
sa pagkamit ng food at nutrition security,” said Secretary Pascual.
Further, the program will
facilitate the removal of ‘middlemen’ that purposely hinder and
disrupt the local supply chain of produce going to public markets.
The permanent establishment of the Kadiwa caravan provides access to
lower-priced consumer goods.
With its mandate of
promoting consumer welfare and protection, Secretary Pascual also
ensures the public that the Department of Trade and Industry will
continue implementing policies and programs to ensure consumers'
access to affordable and high-quality BNPCs. As part of this, the
DTI regularly conducts price monitoring in supermarkets and public
markets, operates Diskwento Caravans and rolling stores, and
capacitates Local Price Coordinating Councils (LPCCs) to monitor and
address or forestall exorbitant, excessive, and unreasonable prices.
In closing, Secretary
Pascual said that "Sa pamamagitan ng pagsasagawa ng Kadiwa ng
Pangulo caravan, titiyakin ng DTI na may abot-kayang halagang
pagkain sa bawat hapag kainan ng pamilyang Pilipino."
8ID lauds Gomez
couple promotion in Army Reserve Force
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 25, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army,
praises the top politician couple in the province of Leyte for
receiving Lieutenant Colonel ranks in the Army’s Reserve Force, at
the Headquarters, Philippine Army, Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila on
February 23, 2023.
The ceremony was presided
by Army Commanding General Lieutenant General Romeo S. Brawner Jr.,
promoting Leyte 4th District Representative Richard I. Gomez and his
wife Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez in the reserved force.
In his message, 8ID
Commander Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo lauded the Gomez couple for
supporting the development and security operations of the Philippine
objective of ending the local communist armed conflict is highly
commendable. Together, we are getting closer to realizing our dreams
of reaching long-term peace," Maj. Gen. Ligayo said.
Meanwhile, the sports
enthusiast, actor, and politician has pledge not only to lead the
entire 4th District of Leyte to their full potential, but also to be
strong advocates for peace, order, and security, which he sees as
the foundation of progress.
“It is a great honor and
privilege to be part of the (Army) reserve force, Sa pagpapaganda at
pagpapaunlad ng bayan natin, magkakasama tayo dito. Let us continue
to make sure that this country will grow. Let us continue to make
sure that our country will be peaceful through our efforts,” Lt.
Col. Gomez urged.
Congressman Gomez was
commissioned into the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Reserve
Force, October last year, while Mayor Gomez also joined the Coast
Guard auxiliary force on the same year.
Army in EV
donates books as aid to conflict-affected areas in Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 24, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – In response to the need to provide educational
access to the most vulnerable communities in the province of Samar,
8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division (8ID), Philippine Army,
through the Office of the Assistant Division Commander for Reservist
and Retiree Affairs (ADCRAA) donated educational books to the Samar
Provincial Library, on Tuesday, February 21, 2022.
This is in support to the
Barangay Reading Center or School Library program of the Samar
The Assistant Division
Commander for Reservist and Retiree Affairs of 8ID, Colonel Erwin
Rommel Lamzon personally turned-over a total of 244 books to Samar
Col Lamzon supported the
said initiative with the intent to equip or aid those children who
need reading materials, especially those who are in the
Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs).
“Books are testaments of
things, facts, ideas, and place, so even though may advent na ng
technology kasi pwede na nating i-download. But there are still
areas na wala namang access to platforms like google, yahoo, and
others. So, they can still benefit from the books that we are
donating kasi ang karamihan doon ay K to 12 certified, various
grades, mayroon din pang high school, mayroon ding pang College,”
Col Lamzon said.
Col. Lamzon started the
initiative through his sister’s book donation drive and thought of
donating the books to various places in 8ID’s area of operations,
which includes all Army Brigades in Eastern Visayas. He recognized
that books are important and needed especially in GIDAs that lack
modern reading materials.
Meanwhile, Melita Mallari,
Officer-in-Charge of the Samar Provincial Library, was grateful for
the newly established partnership between military personnel and
their office in implementing this kind of program.
“The majority of our
collected reading materials are not readily available in most
places, especially those without access to the internet; thus,
through our project, we can give them access to different kinds of
library materials,” Mallari added.
The Samar Provincial
Library has been providing additional support to barangays and
school libraries, including the conflict-affected areas for the past
This year, SPL’s book
donation program intends to carry out five donation activities, and
the beneficiaries will be selected through the Department of
Education (DepEd) Catbalogan City Division office.
against further violations of Filipino people’s economic, social and
cultural rights as the Philippine Senate ratifies RCEP
February 23, 2023
MANILA – Following
the Philippine Senate ratification of the Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership (RCEP), the International Coalition for Human
Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) expresses a grave warning on the
free trade agreement’s (FTA) possible violation of the Filipino
people’s economic, social and cultural rights. The 20 senators who
voted for the ratification of this unfair agreement showed their
anti-people stance by dumping the poor Filipino people further into
“As a comprehensive free
trade agreement covering the biggest economies in the Asia-Pacific,
the RCEP puts local producers and markets in the Philippines at a
disadvantage as they will be forced to compete with a flood of
cheaper and high-grade imported goods from highly-industrialized
countries”, said Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson.
The RCEP eliminates 90
percent of tariffs among its participating economies, the 10 member
countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),
Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The RCEP
covers roughly 30 percent of the global gross domestic product
(GDP). It is widely perceived as China’s counterweight to the US-led
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from which then President
Donald Trump withdrew participation in January 2017.
Despite gross violation of
human rights in Myanmar, China and the Philippines, the RCEP has no
commitments to human rights, labor rights or environmental
“The RCEP will surely mean
the worsening violation of workers’ rights. Filipino workers already
suffer from contractualization, low wages, unsafe working conditions
and the non respect of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on their right to
associate and to collective bargaining. Peasants will face
impossible competition from giant agri-corporations, and indigenous
peoples (IPs) will be confronted by the expansion of destructive
mega-mining projects,” continued Murphy.
“Following a neoliberal
framework, it will also open up basic social services to further
liberalization, privatization, and deregulation, making it more
difficult for the Filipino masses to have access to desperately
needed medical, education, and transportation services.”
“Instead of participating
in unfair free trade agreements like RCEP, the Philippine Government
should focus on improving its national economy and supporting its
local producers and businesses who are already reeling from the
continued rise of inflation in the country. A primary focus should
be given to genuine land reform and national industrialization which
would generate quality jobs and would respond to the actual needs of
the Filipino people,” concluded Murphy.
Army deploys two
additional battalions to boost anti-insurgency campaign in EV
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 22, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division (8ID)
welcomes the arrival of 74th Infantry “Unbeatable” Battalion and 42
Infantry “Tagapagtanggol” Battalion at Government Center, Palo Leyte
Yesterday, February 20, 2023.
The said Battalions will
be placed under the operational control of the Joint Task Force
-Storm (JTF-Storm) and will help sustain the gains of the
Stormtroopers in the successful implementation of its campaigns.
The 74IB is one of the
battalions of the 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division. Prior to
their deployment in Eastern Visayas, 74IB have made significant
accomplishments in the fight against the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) in
Basilan Province. The unit also made significant contributions in
the campaigns of the Western Mindanao Command under the Operational
Control of Joint Task Force Zamboanga.
Meanwhile, the 42IB of the
9th Infantry “Spear” Division also showed exemplary performance in
the conduct of offensive operations against the Communist Party of
the Philippines - New People’s Army operating in Quezon and Bicol
The unit have been
assigned to different areas in the Philippines; Camarines Sur,
Zamboanga Peninsula, Lanao Del Sur and Sulu.
The unit also contributed
to the liberation of Marawi City, where they took part in the
6-month fight against the ISIS-Maute Group.
accomplishments in Zamboanga Del Norte was also recorded as they
were able to neutralize key NPA leaders and personalities and were
able to dismantle the Regional Leadership of Western Mindanao
Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
With their deployment in
Eastern Visayas, the Commander of 8th Infantry Division, Major
General Camilo Ligayo said that the two additional battalion will
boost the anti-insurgency campaign in the region especially that
four of the last five remaining guerilla fronts in the country is
located here in region 8.
“This Division is in the
the winning momentum in dismantling the four active guerilla fronts
in the area of operations. Thus, an additional force would be great
as we continue to strike hard on the Communist Terrorist Groups and
will shorten the time in attaining strategic victory and to finally
put an end to this insurgency.”
“The higher headquarters
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is very supportive, from
additional forces to war-fighting equipment, they really ensure that
we are fully equip in this fight. And definitely, in no time we can
totally eradicate the CTGs in the region,” Ligayo said.
Last February 17, 2023 the
21st Scout Ranger Company belonging to the elite force of 4th Scout
Ranger Battalion has also arrived as an additional forces to help
end the decades-long insurgency problem in the region.
Since last year, a total
of four additional battalions have been deployed to Eastern Visayas
that will contribute in the internal security operations against
CTGs in the region.
DTI-Bureau of International Trade Relations
February 22, 2023
PASAY CITY – Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual, Undersecretary
Ceferino Rodolfo, and Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty expressed
their utmost appreciation to the Philippine Senate for concurring
with the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP) on 21 February 2023.
With 20 senators voting
for the concurrence, the Philippines is now set to participate in
the largest free trade area.
“We laud the Philippine
Senate for its prompt action on this very important treaty. This
gives a strong signal to our trading partners as to the trade policy
direction of the country, and the resolve of the present
administration to provide a conducive business environment for
potential investors”, said Secretary Pascual.
During the plenary
deliberation, no less than Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz”
Zubiri and Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda defended the
concurrence of the Senate.
“Indeed, Senators Zubiri
and Legarda excellently argued the merits of the RCEP Agreement and
showed why the Philippines could not afford not to be part of it.
One of the most critical reasons is that if we refuse to
participate, businesses and investors may relocate in other
countries that are already participating in RCEP. This means we will
be at a disadvantaged position in ASEAN”, the Trade Chief added.
Senator Legarda emphasized
the need to support the agriculture sector, stressing that RCEP
itself is a tool that needs to be utilized by Filipino businesses in
order for gains to materialize.
“There is nothing wrong
with RCEP, it is smuggling, lack of support of agriculture,” she
stated, in response to concerns that the agriculture sector will be
adversely affected by RCEP. “This is not a magic pill. RCEP or no
RCEP, we must help these sectors,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senator Zubiri
stressed the need for a holistic approach to RCEP, stating that the
government should also take into account the welfare of other
sectors of the economy.
“Whether we have RCEP or
not, the agri sector, in its state right now is suffering. Let’s say
we don’t ratify RCEP, I think it will still be suffering but the
thing is manufacturing will also be suffering, exports will also
suffer. In the totality of things, I am not just standing as an
agriculturalist, but I am also standing as a Senator of the
Republic, we also have other constituencies to protect, so we are
looking at the totality of it all,” Zubiri said.
According to Secretary
Pascual, he commends the two senators not only for their sterling
defense of RCEP but also for their creative approach in handling the
issues and concerns raised by oppositors.
Further, under the
Resolution of the Senate concurring on the ratification of the RCEP
Agreement, a Senate oversight committee was created to ensure the
effective implementation of programs intended to improve the
competitiveness of local stakeholders, especially farmers.
For its part, the
Executive Department showed its full support during the
interpellation. Present during the deliberation were Executive
Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Special Assistant to the President Antonio
Lagdameo Jr., Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Budget Secretary
Amenah Pangandaman, Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, Acting
Foreign Affairs Secretary Carlos Sorreta, Labor and Employment
Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, and Agriculture Senior Undersecretary
The Agreement will be
effective for the Philippines 60 days after the submission of the
country’s Instrument of Ratification (IOR) to the ASEAN Secretary
General as the Depositary.
8ID welcomes 564
new breed of soldiers
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 20, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry "Stormtroopers" Division, Philippine
Army welcomes a new breed of soldiers after having completed a
six-month training at Camp Eugenio Daza in Hinabangan, Samar today,
February 20, 2023.
A total of 564 new
privates who graduated from the Candidate Soldier Course Classes
736, 737, 738, and 739-2022 have finished their Basic Military
Training (BMT) during their Candidate Soldier Course, which started
on July 18, 2022.
The new privates have
completed their training that has put their physical and mental
abilities to test while transforming them from civilians into
military men and women.
Of the 564 new privates,
537 are males and 27 are females. Two hundred ninety-one of them are
from Samar, 42 from Eastern Samar, 45 from Northern Samar, 139 from
Leyte, 13 from Southern Leyte, 5 from Cebu, 3 from Bohol, 1 from
Biliran, 4 from Negros Oriental, 2 from Negros Occidental, 2 from
Camarines Sur, 1 from Surigao del Sur, 6 from North Cotabato, 2 from
Lanao del Norte, 2 from Agusan del Sur, 2 from Surigao del Norte, 1
from Davao del Norte, 1 from Bukidnon, 1 from Kalinga and 1 from
Among the 564 new
soldiers, a 22-year-old Pvt Joshua Regayas from Calbayog City, Samar
topped the newest batch of Army soldiers in Eastern Visayas. And
followed by a 24-year-old Pvt Angela Cayunda still from Calbayog
City, Samar. Pvt Cayunda is a licensed criminologist, an advanced
ROTC graduate, and a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserve
Major General Camilo Z.
Ligayo, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army,
presided over the ceremony.
In his speech, Maj. Gen.
Ligayo lauded the trainees for overcoming the challenges that were
part of the process of shaping and preparing them to be smarter,
stronger, and better individuals equipped with the necessary
knowledge as they begin their journey in serving the country.
He also emphasized the
essence of being a soldier and the responsibilities it entails.
“Dugo’t pawis ang inyong
naging puhunan upang maabot ninyo ang inyong kinatatayuan ngayon. At
sa pagkakataong ito, ang inyong dedikasyon at pagsisikap ay nagbunga
na sapagkat kayo ay ganap ng mga sundalo ng Republika ng Pilipinas,”
Maj. Gen Ligayo said.
Maj. Gen. Ligayo also
expressed his gratitude to the parents of the new troops for
entrusting them with their children who would serve the nation as
“Alam ko ang lungkot na
inyong pinagdaanan ng mawalay sila sa inyo ng panandalian subalit
kapalit naman nito ay kasiyahan na sila ay masilayan suot ang
unipormeng kanilang pinaghirapang makamtan,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo added.
The new graduates will
assist in fighting insurgency and bringing out peace to the entire
region by serving in various army battalions and units throughout
The distribution of
certificates and awarding of individuals, oath-taking, and
ceremonial entrustment of firearms are some of the highlights of the
8ID welcomes the
deployment of additional elite Scout Ranger Company in EV
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 20, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry "Stormtroopers" Division (8ID) welcomes
the arrival of additional troops from the 4th Scout Ranger "Masigasig"
Battalion (4SRBn) at Headquarters, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine
Army , Catbalogan City, Samar on February 17, 2023.
The 21st Scout Ranger
Company (SRC) troopers will be placed under the operational control
of the Joint Task Force Storm and will help increase the operational
tempo in Ending Local Communist and Armed Conflict in Eastern
Prior to their transfer,
the 21st SRC made significant accomplishments against the Communist
Terrorist Groups (CTGs) operating in Paquibato District in Davao.
They also played significant role in the 4-month-long battle against
the ISIS-Maute Group in Marawi City.
Before their deployment to
Eastern Visayas, the 21st SRC underwent training both locally and
abroad to further enhance their capability to counter-insurgency
The Commander of the 8th
Infantry Division Major General Camilo Ligayo expressed that the
deployment of the 21st SRC in the region will be a game changer and
will play a significant role in the overall campaign of the 8ID.
"Truly it is overwhelming
feeling how the higher headquarters manifest their support to the
division's campaign by sending the elite forces to augment our
troops deployed on this island. With their vast experiences, am
confident with these advantages surely, we will be victorious in
this battle,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo expressed.
Despite the success in
combat operations from their previous assignments, Maj. Gen. Ligayo
urged the troops of the 21st SRC not to be complacent and remain
vigilant since they will be confronting the CTG's in this last
bastion of insurgency.
"Your unit has displayed a
high sense of professionalism and competencies in your previous
deployment and has been a game changer in every employment. I trust
that everyone remains mission-oriented and always respect human
rights, adhere to the International Humanitarian Law and the rule of
law as you proceed to your area of operations," Ligayo said.
The 21st SRC as one of the
elite forces in the AFP will be deployed in Northern Samar, one of
the strongholds of the terrorist group in the region, as they are
best trained and suited for the task of ending the decades-long
1 NPA killed, war
materiel seize in Eastern Samar clash
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 19, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City - A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed while assorted
war material were seized during an encounter in Borongan City,
Eastern Samar on February 18, 2023.
The troops of 78th
Infantry "Warrior" Battalion (78IB) clashed with more or less 9
Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) members after a concerned citizen
reported the presence of an armed group in the hinterlands of
Barangay San Andres, Borongan City, Eastern Samar, on the afternoon
of February 17, 2023. Recovered during the encounter were one M16
rifle and a backpack.
A pursuit operation was
then conducted that resulted in another encounter at 11 a.m. on
February 18. The clash resulted in the death of one unidentified CTG
member and the recovery of one prohibited Anti-Personnel Mine (APM)
and assorted ammunition.
In his statement,
Lieutenant Colonel Allan Tria, the Commanding Officer of the 78IB
appealed to the remaining members of the CTGs to consider laying
down their arms and return to the folds of the law as the army will
continue its offensive against the CTGs.
"Hindi maipagkakaila na sa
bakas ng mga dugo na mayroong mga sugatang NPA sa engkwentro,
hinihiling namin sa ating residente na makipag tulungan sa
paghahanap sa mga sugatan upang agarang mabigyan ng paunang lunas at
mailigtas sila sa tiyak na kapahamakan," Lt. Col. Tria said.
Meanwhile, Major General
Camilo Z. Ligayo, the Commander of 8ID commended the troops of 78IB
for their efforts of bringing peace in Eastern Samar.
"Once again, the CTG
leadership failed to take care of their fallen comrade. They have
been deceiving the people of Samar Island to join their futile and
ill-motivated armed struggle ever since. I call on the Samar Island
people to join us in our efforts and once and for all End the Local
Communist Armed Conflict here in Eastern Visayas,” added Maj. Gen.
support to Samar’s agri development programs
Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III met Samar Governor Sharee
Ann Tan and all the provincial board members and mayors in
Marabut town where he pledged to support the province’s
agricultural development programs.
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
February 17, 2023
MARABUT, Samar –
Not only projects from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) did
Secretary Conrado Estrella III commit to Samar governor Sharee Ann
Tan during the former’s recent visit to Eastern Visayas, but
promised to link them as well to other government agencies, and even
to the president in support to the province’s agricultural
The two government
officials had a short meeting at the Layao Beach Resort in this
municipality after Estrella distributed Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs) and turned over a “Tulay ng Pangulo” project
and several farm equipment and machineries in nearby Balangiga town
in the province of Eastern Samar.
Prior to Estrella’s
arrival to Region-8, Tan arranged an audience with him to discuss
her administration’s plan to develop the coconut and cacao
industries in the province.
In his meeting with Tan,
which was also attended by the provincial board members and all the
city and town mayors of Western Samar, Estrella said that DAR could
establish processing centers in agrarian reform communities (ARCs)
where there are huge number of agrarian reform beneficiaries who
would be benefited by these projects.
Aside from various support
services that could be extended by DAR, Estrella expressed that he
will invite Bernie Cruz, former DAR Secretary, now the Administrator
of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), who is expected to
provide better assistance to their coconut-related endeavors, in
their future meetings.
Based on the data gathered
from the Samar web site, coconut is the main commercial crop in the
province, which are mostly concentrated in coastal areas.
Estrella also assured the
local government officials that he will mention their plan in
developing the agriculture sector during cabinet meetings to solicit
assistance from other government agencies.
President Ferdinand Marcos
Jr. wants to bring the government closer to the people, Estrella
In her facebook post, Tan
shared, “Thank You, Secretary Estrella, for sharing your time and
thoughts with us. We look forward to a steady partnership with you
and DAR as we continue our efforts to better serve the people of
Plans of the Samar
provincial government in developing the Peace and Prosperity Village
within the Calbiga-Pinabacdao Settlement Project, where DAR donated
a three-hectare lot as the agency’s contribution to the End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), was likewise discussed in this
stresses the importance of RCEP and stronger PH-EU trade relations
February 17, 2023
MAKATI CITY –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual
boasted about the Philippine government’s ongoing efforts to create
an enabling environment where businesses can thrive during the
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) Luncheon
Meeting held on 16 February 2023 at the Dusit Thani Manila.
During his keynote speech,
Secretary Pascual unveiled the priorities of the DTI to facilitate
increased trade and investment and to improve global
competitiveness, “The goal is to grow our economy and develop
globally competitive and innovative industries that support
inclusive growth and quality of life for all Filipinos”, he said.
The Trade Chief also took
the opportunity to advocate the ratification of RCEP stating that,
"The drive for immediate ratification of the Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership Agreement and other trade agreements is
considered vital to expand the country’s market reach and foster
globally competitive economic industries. The possible influx of
investments that these agreements would bring will also create
employment opportunities for Filipinos." Likewise, President
Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier emphasized that RCEP would greatly
complement the country's game-changing economic reforms.
Apart from RCEP, Secretary
Pascual urged European businesses to support the Philippines'
re-application for the upcoming renewal of the European Union
Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+). This was also
supported by Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty, who was also
present at the Luncheon Meeting and underscored the significant role
of the EU-GSP+ during the open forum, “That is why EU-GSP+ is very
important because it caters to the demands, the needs of our local
stakeholders, and even investors who are exporting to the EU
market”, he said.
Secretary Pascual further
reiterated that “the Philippines counts on European businesses’
continued support for our re-application in the upcoming renewal of
the EU-GSP+ scheme and our advocacy to resume the PH-EU FTA
negotiations. Your business presence here proves that the
Philippines stands on sound economic and social reforms.”
The European Chamber of
Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is a bilateral foreign chamber
that promotes European interests in the Philippines and vice versa.
ECCP also organizes business meetings; seminars with resource
speakers from the Philippines, Asia, and Europe, which coordinate
the position of the business sector; as well as dialogues with the
Philippine government officials on important economic issues
affecting the Philippine-European business relations.
No to RCEP! No to
sellout of PH economy! – GABRIELA
February 17, 2023
QUEZON CITY – The
national alliance of Filipino women GABRIELA denounced Marcos Jr.’s
push for Congress to immediately ratify the Regional Comprehensive
Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, citing that the move will have ‘dire
consequences’ to food security and to the agriculture industry in
the Philippines. The women’s group called on legislators to exercise
its autonomy as an independent branch of the government and ‘refuse
to be complicit in further jeopardizing farmers’ livelihoods and in
the sellout of our patrimony.”
“Words obviously mean
nothing to pathological liars like the Marcoses. From supposedly
having ‘reservations’ about the RCEP, Marcos Jr. has since
completely backpedaled by leading the push for its ratification – to
the detriment of the already suffering agricultural sector.
Naturingang DA Secretary pero puro peste sa magsasaka ang dala ni
Marcos, mula sa Rice Liberalization Law, importasyon ng mga
produktong pang-agrikultura, at ngayon ito namang RCEP,” hit
GABRIELA Secretary General Clarice Palce.
GABRIELA cited how farmers
– millions of whom are women – are struggling to compete with
imported products due to government’s neglect of agriculture. Many
are drowning in debt because of sky-high production costs and
depressed farmgate prices. Agri groups have been calling for subsidy
and aid, as well as for an end to Marcos Jr.’s import-driven
response to soaring prices of farm products.
“Departamento ng Angkat
ang pinatatakbo ni Pangulong Marcos. Kung dati’y nagkakanda-kuba
lang ang magsasaka habang nananatiling hikahos, ngayon
nagsisimatayan na ang marami sa amin. Nito lamang Enero, limang
magsasaka ang nagpakamatay sa Bayambang, Pangasinan. Ayon mismo sa
misis ng isa sa kanila, pagkabaon sa utang ang nagtulak sa asawa
niyang gawin ito dahil hindi umano nito mabawi ang milyong utang
para sa produksyon dahil sa importasyon. Nasaan ang kalinga ng
gobyerno sa nagpapakain sa taumbayan?” raised Amihan National
Chairperson Zen Soriano.
With women’s month just
around the corner, women agricultural workers are among the sectors
that GABRIELA aims to highlight on March 8, the International
Working Women’s Day, as they are among the most underpaid and
undervalued workers In the Philippines and across the globe.
GABRIELA and Amihan both
urged the government to prioritize the interests of Filipino farmers
and the country. The groups emphasized that Congress must oppose
RCEP and instead pass measures to strengthen the agricultural sector
of the country, which in recent years had historically the lowest
share in GDP despite the Philippines being an agricultural country.
GABRIELA urged, “give Filipino farmers a fighting chance.”
“Malaking pagtatraydor sa
bansa ang pagsasaalang-alang sa sektor ng agrikultura, laluna habang
kumakaharap ng malalang kagutuman ang mamamayan. Kaya hinahamon
namin ang mga mambababatas na wag magsilbing ‘rubberstamp’ lang ni
Marcos Jr., at sa halip ay tindigan ang mamamayang nagluklok sa
kanila sa puwesto. Pilipinas naman,” Palce called.
teams from conflict-affected areas in Samar compete in the
prestigious Thirsty Cup
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 15, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Stormkickers and Palapag Football Club competed in
the recently concluded 17th Thirsty Cup on February 12, 2023, held
at Abellana Sports Complex, Cebu City.
The Thirsty Cup is a 3-day
football competition where more than 200 teams from all over the
Philippines competed to clench for the championship and be
Major General Camilo Z.
Ligayo, Commander of 8th Infantry Division organized the team with
the Palapag Football Club which was composed of kids from remote
barangays or barangays then influenced by NPAs in Northern Samar
when he was still the Commander of 801st Infantry Brigade.
The Stormkickers is
composed of 10 females and 15 male players that participated in the
Ladies Open and Under 19 (U19) Boys Categories, respectively. On the
other hand, the Palapag FC has 10 players that participated in the
Under 13 (U13) Boys Category.
Under the Ladies Open, the
team garnered three wins and made it up to the Quarter Finals, and
in the U13 category, the Palapag FC recorded two wins.
Even though the team
didn’t advance to the championship finals, Private Rueben Ranille,
one of the Stormkickers and Palapag FC coaches, was appreciative of
the chance given to these eager football neophytes.
Private Ranille has also
expressed his gratitude to 8ID Commander, Maj. Gen. Ligayo, for the
new milestone achieved by the team.
“Iyon ‘yong pinaka-first
time nilang maglaro at nakakaproud kasi ang mga bata na kasali sa
Palapag FC ito ang mga bata na tinuruan ko noong nasa Community
Support Program pa ako. Nagpapasalamat kami sa ating 8ID Commander,
Maj. Gen. Ligayo, kasi sinusuportahan niya ang mga programa na pang
sports. Syempre malaki rin ang aming pasasalamat sa oportunidad na
ito kasi alam namin na magbubukas pa ito ng iba pang oportunidad
para sa mga kabataan nating football players,” Private Ranille said.
Both teams were coached by
two soldiers of 8ID, Philippine Army, Private Rueben Ranille and
Corporal Edelyn Panaguiton, and another soldier who also played
during the said competition under the Women’s Category, Private
Meanwhile, 8th Infantry
Division Commander, Major General Camilo Ligayo, congratulated the
team for their hard work and for making it to the said competition.
“I assure you my full
support to sports, especially these football teams. I believe that
they will achieve more in the future; we just need to support, help
and train them.”
“It is better to immerse
our children or youths in sports to give them opportunities which
are way better than engaging in activities organized by left-leaning
groups,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo concluded.
DTI chief graced
the launching of OTOP Hub in Bacoor, Cavite
Congressman Bryan Revilla, Congresswoman Lani Mercado-Revilla,
Vice Mayor Rowena Mendiola, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, DTI-CALABARZON
OIC Regional Director Marissa Argente, DTI-Cavite Provincial
Director Revelyn A. Cortez.
DTI-OSEC-Public Relations Unit
February 14, 2023
BACOOR CITY, Cavite
– On 14 February 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Secretary Fred Pascual graced the launching of the One Town, One
Product (OTOP) Hub in Bacoor City, Cavite. The OTOP Hub in Bacoor is
the second one established in the Province of Cavite, this is in
partnership with the Office of Congresswoman Lani Mercado-Revilla,
Mayor Strike Revilla, the City Livelihood Office, and the Local
Government Unit (LGU) of Bacoor.
OTOP Philippines is a
priority program of the government to assist micro, small, and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) in reaching wider markets. The Hub in
Bacoor will serve as a venue for OTOPreneurs to strengthen linkages,
negotiate potential partnerships and collaborations with other MSMEs
and institutional buyers, and showcase various products developed
under the OTOP Next Generation Product Development Project.
The launching was also
attended by Congresswoman Lani Mercado-Revilla, Congressman Bryan
Revilla, DTI Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona, Assistant
Secretary Dominic Tolentino, DTI-CALABARZON OIC Regional Director
Marissa Argente, DTI-Cavite Provincial Director Revelyn A. Cortez,
Mayor Strike Revilla, Negosyo Center Manager Ms. Carmelita Gawaran,
and Councilor Reynaldo Fabian.
NMP sets course
for 2023; Aligns commitments with DMW
February 14, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only maritime training and
research center in the country, has aligned its course for 2023 with
the programs and organizational outcome of the Department of Migrant
Workers (DMW) during its recently concluded Hybrid Agency Planning
Exercise on 07 February 2023.
As NMP embarks on a new
chapter, as it fully transitions to the DMW, its sectoral and
organizational outcomes for FY 2023 are set to change in line with
the shift in its client focus. Its Sectoral Outcome, as drawn from
the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 will focus on the
Improvement of Quality of Life of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
and their Families. By closely aligning its goals with DMW, NMP will
be strategically positioned to make a significant impact in the
achievement of the department's Organizational Outcome, that is:
Empowerment and Protection of Overseas Filipino Workers Ensured.
As a subsumed agency of
the DMW, NMP is specifically responsible for the implementation and
successful realization of the Maritime Research and Skills
Competency Program, one (1) of the four (4) programs of the
Under the said program,
NMP has three (3) Outcome Indicators that need to be attained this
year: (1) 82% employment for seafarer-trainees a year after
completion of their training; (2) 100% of seafarer-trainees having
jobs related to the skills they acquired through training at NMP;
and (3) 100% of research papers used as input for policy formulation
and program development.
Additionally, NMP also has
three (3) key Output Indicators as stated in the 2023 General
Appropriations Act: (1) 10,000 trainees/participants who
successfully completed the course; (2) 100% trainees issued with
certification within 72 hours of successful completion of all course
requirements; and (3) 2 completed research projects.
2023 is indeed a
challenging year for NMP. While some targets represent a significant
increase compared to the previous years, others bring NMP back to
its pre-pandemic commitments. The achievement of these targets will
undoubtedly require dedicated efforts, innovative approaches, and a
steadfast commitment to excellence from all NMP personnel.
Accordingly, NMP’s four
(4) organizational units have outlined specific action plans and
strategies that are aligned with the overall commitments of the
Agency. The four (4) units will be working closely together and with
stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of these plans
and the achievement of the desired outcomes. Regular monitoring and
evaluation of their performance will also be conducted to ensure
that the Agency stays on track and remains accountable to its
As NMP sets its sights on
its targets for the year, NMP OIC Executive Director, Mayla N.
Macadawan emphasized the importance of keeping in mind that the
Agency is currently in a period of transition.
“DMW is still in the
process of becoming fully operational and this may pose challenges
in meeting our targets for the year. To overcome these potential
hurdles, it is vital to have a clear and defined roadmap. To guide
our efforts and ensure success, we should align our plans with the
comprehensive Strategic Plan 2023-2028, which outlines a six-year
strategy for the NMP,” she disclosed. “While we receive instructions
to continue as usual, it is uncertain what directives will be given
from higher authorities in the future. There may be instructions
that may not be aligned with our current commitments, however, they
may have recognized the need to address them,” she added.
She also encouraged all
employees to adopt a positive mindset and embrace the changes that
come with the transition, by doing so, NMP ensures to continuously
provide quality services to its clients.
Further, she emphasized
the crucial importance of each employee's contribution in realizing
NMP's mandates and objectives. She noted that each individual's
performance has a far-reaching impact on the success of the
organization and stressed the need for a collaborative effort
towards reaching common goals, so as to take NMP to even greater
“Let us all work together
to rekindle the excitement and passion that brought us to government
service. Let us rediscover the joy of serving and find fulfillment
in our work. By doing so, we can not only achieve greater
productivity as government servants, but also find satisfaction and
meaning in our careers,” she mentioned.
its Defense Press Corps, cites media role in information
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 14, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of the
Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Division (8ID) recognized the
contribution of the media practitioners in Eastern Visayas during
the reorganization of 8ID press corps on Sunday, February 12, 2023.
In his speech, Maj. Gen.
Ligayo cited the journalists’ hard work as partners in disseminating
accurate and timely information.
“I would like to thank the
8ID press corps for being a reliable partner in our fight of telling
the truth to the people of Eastern Visayas. If we work together, we
can continue to make difference and indeed we can accomplish our
common goal, to serve the people," Maj. Gen. Ligayo said.
The new 8ID press corps
officers took their oath of office before Maj. Gen. Ligayo.
Elected as the new
President is Miriam T. Desacada of Philippine Star, Vice-President
Gina Dean of Kauswagan Radio, Secretary Elmer Recuerdo of Daily
Tribune, Treasurer Josie Serseña of Eastern Visayas Mail, Auditor
Imelda Baronda of Agence France Press, Sgt at Arms Dan Kerk Riqiez
of FMR Tacloban, Leyte Representative Jasmin Bonifacio of Rappler,
Southern Leyte Representative Jade Nombrado, Samar Representative
Rene Castino of DYMS Catbalogan, Eastern Samar Representative
Luisidro Moscosa of GMA 7 Stringer, and Northern Samar
Representative Danny Balading.
In her statement, Desacada
urged fellow media practitioners to unite and set aside differences.
“We are journalists! And
inside the Press Corps, we must have unity, which means we must work
together for the common good. There is no other way to merit us to
be called journalism professionals, except to show to the 8th ID and
the public that we are men and women of integrity and credibility in
the profession”, said Desacada.
Before the election, the
journalists from different media outlets in Eastern Visayas gathered
for a two-day activity for team building to strengthen the corps'
unity and camaraderie. The reorganization of the press corps aims to
facilitate the dissemination of the programs and projects of the 8ID
in Region 8.
Among the activities
conducted were marksmanship, command briefing, and team building.
group appeal to PBBM: Take full control of Malampaya
February 13, 2023
MANILA – Former DOE
Undersecretary Eduardo Mañalac and the National Movement for the
West Philippine Sea (NYMWPS) on Monday, February 13, appealed to
President Bongbong Marcos to terminate the Service Contract 38 or
the Malampaya project when it expires in 2024.
The Malampaya project is
currently operated by Prime Infrastructure Capital owned by Enrique
Razon Jr. and Udenna, owned by Dennis Uy.
Mañalac and NYMWPS
instead, asked Marcos Jr. to order the Philippine National Oil
Company (PNOC) to operate the Deepwater Gas-to-Power Project.
The PNOC was created in
1973 by Former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. for the purpose of
taking over operations after the contract ends.
In a news release by
NYMWPS following an online conference last February 9, Mañalac said
this process will deliberately place direct control of Malampaya
operations in the hands of the government.
He added that this will
also serve to maximize earnings for the Filipino people, who are at
this point, losing billions of pesos to what they believe as
unqualified private companies.
Udenna and Prime Infra
currently earn P50M each, or a combined P100M daily from Malampaya
gas, the same amount the Philippines government may earn if it takes
full control of the operations. Presidential Decree No. 87 or the
Oil Exploration Act of 1972 mandates that said activities should
ensure maximum benefits to the people.
PD 87 also requires that
only companies that possess technical expertise and financial
capability shall be granted service contracts. Mañalac and the
NYMWPS had earlier questioned the processes by which Prime Infra and
Udenna acquired the Malampaya interests from Shell and Chevron
because the two service contractors allegedly do not have the
required technical capability to operate the gas field.
Prime Infra and Udenna
each controls 45% stake or a total of 90% of the shares in the gas
field. PNOC holds the remaining 10%. Malampaya supplies 20% of the
power requirements of Luzon, the biggest of three major islands in
arrival honor to the Area Police Commander of Visayas
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 11, 2023
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division,
Philippine Army, rendered an arrival honor to Police Lieutenant
General Patrick T. Villacorte, the new Commander, Area Police
Command (APC), Visayas at the 8ID Grandstand on February 10, 2023.
PLt.Gen. Villacorte is a
former Director of the Philippine National Police Special Action
Force (SAF) and the Commander of APC-Eastern Mindanao. He is a
member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Sambisig" Class of
During the visit,
discussion included among others is the interoperability operations
between the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in
Eastern Visayas Region to stop the communist terrorists in their
atrocities that affect the socio-economic development in the region.
“We look forward to
upcoming collaborative efforts among security forces for us to be
effective in our efforts to attain peace, stability, and security in
the region,” in a statement made by Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo,
PLt. Gen. Villacorte
expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome rendered to him
during his arrival at the home of the Stormtroopers.
Karapatan scores bill on special privileges for ex-presidents
February 10, 2023
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights alliance Karapatan scored a bill filed in the Senate that
seeks to provide official government roles as well as special
privileges to former presidents at the public’s expense.
“Senate Bill No. 1784 will
benefit three living ex-presidents, all of whom earned infamy for
massive corruption, among other scornful acts,” said Karapatan
secretary general Cristina Palabay.
“Ex-Pres. Joseph Estrada
was forced out of office for the jueteng payola scandal,” said
Palabay. “Ex-Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s nine-year rule was marked with
several impeachment attempts due to the ‘Hello, Garci’ electoral
fraud scandal, the multi-million peso fertilizer and pesticide scam
and the numerous extrajudicial killings and involuntary
disappearances of activists, to name a few,” she added. “And
ex-President Rodrigo Duterte is, of course, infamous for the
thousands of summary executions of suspected drug personalities and
activists, among others.”
“Why should we pay for the
political resurrection of ex-presidents whose reputations stink to
high heaven and who have already been roundly repudiated by the
people?” asked Palabay. “Do the authors of this bill want to make
political resurrections fashionable because the current president
himself is from a family that the Filipino people have relegated to
the trash bins of history?”
“Senate Bill No. 1784 and
its counterpart bill in the House of Representatives should be
rejected the same way its intended beneficiaries have already been
junked by the people,” concluded Palabay.
seen as DAR turns over 2 bridges in So. Leyte and E. Samar
Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III (right) leads the inauguration and
turnover of the P9.1 million 28 linear-meter Tulay ng Pangulo in
Balangiga, Eastern Samar during his recent visit to Eastern
JOSE ALSMTIH L. SORIA
February 6, 2023
Samar – Residents of Barangay Cag-olango in this municipality
are so thankful that a durable bridge was constructed in adjacent
village, Sta. Rosa, replacing the wooden bridge which, according to
them, many have fallen.
Chairman Juanito Cabas, together with his constituents, Lilibeth
Delcallar, Tessie Elasyon and Eufemia Escalo, did not miss the
inauguration of the “Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo”
(TPKP) project on Friday (January 27) to express their thanks and
happiness to Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III who led
the inauguration and turnover rites.
According to them, this is
a big help to the farmers especially those living in the upland
Aside from the two
mentioned barangays, residents of two more villages, Guinmaayohan
and Maybunga will benefit from this project, they added.
About 4,000 residents from
these four villages, 529 of whom are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs),
are expected to be directly benefited.
Mayor Dana Flynch de Lira
in her message also thanked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the
blessings being poured into her town, a fourth-class municipality.
This bridge will help us
cross from the state of poverty towards a progressive Balangiga, she
On Thursday and Friday
(January 26 and 27) during the visit of Estrella to this region, two
two-lanes modular prefabricated steel bridges constructed under the
TPKP project were inaugurated and turned over to recipient local
government units (LGUs) in two separate areas in Eastern Visayas.
Here, Estrella said,
“Kahit maliit na bayan ang Balangiga, magkakaroon tayo ng magandang
kinabukasan na ipapamana sa ating mga anak.”
A day before, Estrella,
who handed Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and turned
over farm machineries at the Visayas State University (VSU) in
Tolosa, Leyte, ordered Undersecretary Kazel Celeste of the Field
Operations Office to lead the inauguration and turnover rites of the
TPKP project in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, which was done
simultaneously with the activities in Tolosa.
Celeste in her message
said, “Kami po ay napakasaya dahil nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na
mabisita ang Barangay Ilaya at Nava dahil napakaimportante sa amin
na maibigay ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa ating mga magsasaka.” Isa sa
mga adhikain ng ating pangulo at kalihim ay “To bring the government
closer to the people,” she stressed.
Barangay Chairman Joey
Saguran of Barangay Ilaya thanked DAR and the Department of Public
Works and Highways (DPWH). The two government agencies are partner
in implementing this project funded by the French government.
Saguran said “Malaki ang
tulong ng tulay na ito sa amin dahil mapapadali na ang pagdadala ng
aming mga produkto (sa mga pamilihan).”
“Dati, nung spillway pa,
pag-umuulan ng isa o dalawang oras, hindi na kami makakadaan dahil
umaapaw ang tubig,” Saguran added.
“Napakasaya po namin na sa munting proyekto na ito ay malaki na ang
pagbabago na magagawa sa ating mga ARBs.
Aside from the over a
thousand residents, most of them are ARBs, in three adjacent
villages, Ilaya, Nava and Tuburan, who will be directly benefited by
this project, hundreds of daily commuters who prefer to take this
shortcut route within the Southern Leyte Settlement Project (SLSP)
from Hinunangan to St. Bernard or vice-versa will likewise be
DAR Eastern Visayas
Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu disclosed that the two projects
have a combined cost of P17.6 million.
He further disclosed that
there are now nine completed TPKP projects throughout the region.
violent police dispersal of anti-mining barricade, lauds people’s
February 5, 2023
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights alliance Karapatan condemned the violent dispersal by the
Philippine National Police (PNP) last February 3, 2023 of a
barricade set up by residents of Sibuyan Island in Romblon against
the operations of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC).
Residents led by
Sibuyanons Against Mining have been manning their barricade since
January 26 to stop APMC’s mining trucks containing nickel ore from
entering a private port in Barangay España, San Fernando town in
Sibuyan island. Violence erupted when the trucks escorted by the
police rammed through the barricade, injuring two of the protesters.
“Sibuyanons have been
resisting the entry and operations of mining companies in their
resource-rich island for close to two decades,” said Karapatan
secretary general Cristina Palabay. “Residents fear that the
destruction caused by mining will wreak havoc on their island which
is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world,” she
said, “and undermine their livelihoods which depend on the
preservation of the island’s biodiversity.”
“Mining companies have
long wanted to exploit the island’s rich nickel, chromite, cobalt
and iron deposits, but the residents in solidarity with local
government units, church groups and environmental activists have
staunchly resisted the mining companies, to the extent that one of
their local leaders, Armin Marin, was shot dead by a mining firm
security officer during a protest rally in San Fernando town in
October 2007.” Marin’s killer, said Palabay, got off with a slap on
the wrist when he was sentenced to a mere three years in prison for
negligence and imprudence but was cleared of murder charges.
“On July 28 of last year,”
said Palabay, “the towns of San Fernando, Cajidiocan and Magdiwang
in Sibuyan petitioned newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
and Congress to declare Sibuyan mining-free. They likewise called on
newly appointed DENR Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to
‘immediately review, halt, revoke, and reject all mining agreements,
operations, and applications within the territorial jurisdiction.’”
“However, the Marcos II
regime responded by issuing a mineral ore export permit to APMC on
December 29, 2022, allowing the company to bulk test 50,000 metric
tons of ore,” said Palabay. “This, despite a string of violations
committed by APMC.”
“Such brazen disregard for
the will of the Subayanons comes as no surprise,” said Palabay,
“since APMC’s mining permit seems Marcos’ political payback to the
Gatchalians, who own the company,” she said. During the election,
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian
fully supported Marcos’ candidacy. Earlier this week, Marcos named
Rex Gatchalian as the new DSWD secretary.
Palabay, “the incident has raised public awareness about the evils
of big corporate mining in the island and compelled the APMC to back
off temporarily from its operations in Sibuyan, pending the
resolution of the issues raised by the residents.”
“We hail the vigilance and
courage of the Subayanons in protecting their rights, and hope that
their laudable struggle will inspire residents in other areas being
ravaged by destructive mining to rise up against plunderous mining
interests,” concluded Palabay.
DSWD seeks help
in addressing ‘boy soldiers’
February 3, 2023
TAGUM CITY - The
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is seeking help
in the operationalization of care center for boys involved in armed
conflict as combatant, courier, guide, and spy for terrorist and
criminal syndicates including those considered as ‘boy soldiers.’
According to DSWD
Undersecretary for Inclusive and Sustainable Peace Alan A. Tanjusay,
the department is actively seeking help from the provincial and
local government units, private entities, and non-government
organizations in operating the residential care facility for boys
who are Children in Situation of Armed Conflict (CSAC) located in
“We must utilize the
center and intervene now in the hearts and minds of these boys
victims of violence, crimes, various exploitation and extremism
while they can be molded, wielded and influenced into productive
citizens. And the sooner DSWD expert social workers in the facility
commences its work into the lives of these children then we have
hope these young people could make it through,” emphasized Tanjusay.
Completed with the
collaboration between DSWD and Tagum City local government unit in
2021 through the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program,
the one-hectare center is a 24-hour, 7-day residential facility that
provides temporary care and serves as rehabilitation center for a
maximum of 25 to 30 exploited boys aged 17 years old and below by
administering protection, care, training and rehabilitation
standards for the victims in a home-like environment for a maximum
period of six months before they are reintegrated into their
respective families and communities.
However, the 30-bed
facility is currently inoperable due to lack of manpower and
financial resources following the pandemic crises.
The children are currently
housed in different government facilities across several regions in
Mindanao. Some of them are abandoned by their parents, some are
victims of organized human trafficking and some were rescued and
recovered during military operations and found exploited as couriers
of firearms and explosives. Other children were forced as human
shields, spies and exploited in terrorist extremism activities.
According to the Unicef,
between 2005 and 2020, more than 93,000 children were verified as
recruited, exploited and drawn by insurgents, rebels, extremists and
terrorist groups to conflict and criminal activities.
distribution of e-titles under SPLIT in EV
Imee Marcos and Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella
III distributed more than a thousand Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs) at the Visayas State University in
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
January 31, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY –
Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Eastern Visayas start
receiving their individual land titles generated under the
Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR’s) Support to Parcelization of
Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.
On Thursday and Friday
last week, Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III handed at
the Visayas State University (VSU) gymnasium in Tolosa, Leyte and at
the covered court of Balangiga in Eastern Samar, 890
electronically-generated individual Certificates of Land Ownership
Award (E-CLOAs) under the World Bank-funded SPLIT project.
The same number of ARBs
received the said land titles covering an aggregate area of
1,402.6660 hectares of agricultural lands.
Of the 890 E-CLOAs, 690
were distributed in Tolosa covering a combined area of 1,123.6289
hectares of farmlands situated in the provinces of Leyte, Southern
Leyte, Biliran, Western Samar and Northern Samar, while the
remaining 200 E-CLOAs covering 279.0371 hectares situated in
Balangiga and Lawaan towns were distributed at the Balangiga covered
Estrella explained that
the DAR handed collective CLOAs in the past to expedite the
distribution of lands which resulted to uncertainties among the ARBs
regarding their respective areas.
Now, with the
parcelization of the collective CLOAs and the issuance of individual
titles, the beneficiary is installed to his/her designated lot
thereby improving land tenure security and strengthen property
rights, while the local government unit will have an increased
collection of real property tax, he added.
DAR Regional Director for
Eastern Visayas, Robert Anthony Yu, said 17,496 collective CLOAs
covering 220,473 hectares of agricultural lands situated in
different parts of the region are subject for parcelization under
the SPLIT project.
In Tolosa, Estrella was
joined by Senator Imee Marcos where 157 additional CLOAs covering a
combined area of 162,2395 hectares generated under the regular land
acquisition and distribution program of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP) were distributed to 116 more ARBs.
representative Jude Acidre was also with the Secretary during the
latter’s two-day activities in Leyte and Eastern Samar.
Marcos disclosed the bill
she filed in the Senate that would emancipate ARBs from the existing
debt burden grant of agricultural lands under the CARP.
On September 13 last year,
Marcos’ brother, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., signed Executive
Order No. 4 ordering a one year moratorium on the payment of the
principal obligation and the annual interest due and payable by an
At 69 years old, Ruben
Inciso of Lawaan, Eastern Samar was the oldest CLOA recipient at the
Balangiga distribution rite. When asked for comment, he thanked
President Bongbong Marcos, and Estrella that finally the 1.8-hectare
farmland he is tilling is now titled under his name.
Meanwhile, more than P5.7
million worth of farm machineries and equipment were likewise turned
over to agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) from
Leyte, Southern Leyte and Eastern Samar on these two occasions.
Yu said land distribution
is DAR’s contribution to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC),
a whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable
peace in the country.
NMP sets sail for
a productive 2023: 886 seafarers aboard as of 28 January
National Maritime Polytechnic
January 30, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a premier government-owned
maritime training and research institution located at Brgy.
Cabalawan, Tacloban City, has set sail for a productive 2023 as it
surpasses its monthly target number of trainees for the month of
Eight hundred eighty-six
(886) maritime trainees were on board NMP as of 28 January 2022
comprised of aspiring and active seafarers, maritime instructors and
assessors and supervisors and other maritime allied personnel.
The strong enrollment
figure revealed that a substantial 701 (79.12%) took the Basic
Courses, 74 (8.35%) enrolled in Specialized Courses, 43 (4.85%)
availed of Deck Courses, 35 (4.40%) listed in Engine Courses and the
remaining 29 (3.27%) came from Professional Development Courses.
With the said
accomplishment, the Agency is off to a strong start as it endeavors
to reach its target of ten thousand (10,000) trainees trained in CY
In the interim, NMP is
currently awaiting the result of the MARINA inspection held on 07-11
November 2022, following the rectification of the previously
identified deficiencies. Additionally, the Agency is on the process
of revising some of its training standards pursuant to MARINA
Memorandum Circular No. SC-2022-05 in compliance with the
requirement of the Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping Convention (STCW) for Seafarers 1978, as amended.
Meanwhile, in its efforts
to contribute in providing employment to Filipino seafarers, NMP
continues to improve its facilities and deliver high-quality
maritime trainings aligned with the STCW Convention as amended in
2010. These endeavors reflect NMP's dedication to support the
employment and professional growth of Filipino seafarers, and
strengthen the Philippine maritime industry as a whole.
ICHRP lauds ICC
decision to pursue investigation of Duterte's crimes against
January 28, 2023
MANILA – On 26
January 2023, the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”)
announced that it had granted the Prosecutor’s request to resume
investigation into the Situation of the Republic of the Philippines
(“the Philippines”). The ICC indicated that “following a careful
analysis of the materials provided by the Philippines, the Chamber
is not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant
investigations that would warrant a deferral of the Court’s
Having examined the
submissions and materials of the Philippine Government, and of the
ICC Prosecutor, as well as the victims’ observations, the Chamber
concluded that the various domestic initiatives and proceedings,
assessed collectively, do not amount to tangible, concrete and
progressive investigative steps in a way that would sufficiently
mirror the Court’s investigation.
This conclusion of the ICC
mirrors the earlier findings of Investigate PH Commission of Inquiry
which found that domestic measures were effectively not functioning,
and there was no evidence to support the Philippine government’s
contention that victims could find justice in the Philippine courts.
The judicial system itself was in fact being wielded as an
instrument in the Philippine government’s campaign of state terror.
The ICC decision to
continue the pursuit of justice lays bare the Marcos
Administration’s culpability in shielding the Duterte regime’s
policies of impunity and state terror that killed perhaps 30,000 or
more, and victimized Filipinos for six long years. “We are extremely
appreciative of the decision of the ICC,” said Peter Murphy,
Chairperson of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the
Philippines (ICHRP). “It offers a mechanism for victims to continue
their pursuit of justice against the Duterte Regime’s brutal war on
drugs, on dissent and on the Moro and all Indigenous Peoples.
Justice will still be served despite the Marcos administration’s
decision to keep the Philippines outside the jurisdiction of the ICC
and cover-up the crimes against humanity committed by the police and
the military under Duterte”.
The new Marcos-Duterte
administration functions simply as a continuation of its brutal
predecessor. ICHRP believes the prosecution by the ICC may not stop
the Marcos-Duterte government from sheltering the perpetrators from
prosecution or prevent such crimes from continuing to occur, but it
can provide some constraint and a measure of justice to the victims.
ICHRP congratulates the
ICC for cutting through the fog of lies and false claims laid out by
the Marcos-Duterte government that the Philippine judicial system is
functioning and can address any concerns about the President, the
regime and the military’s roles in these gross violations of human
rights and crimes against humanity.
In November 2022 Justice
Secretary Jesus Remulla reported to the United Nations Universal
Periodic Review that over 17,000 cases of drug killings involving
police officers had been reviewed, resulting in a small number of
disciplinary actions. “There is no way that this level of inquiry –
most unlikely to be genuine – amounts to an investigation of the
crime against humanity of murder which the ICC was investigating,”
“ICHRP has full confidence
in the impartiality of the ICC. We urge the ICC to vigorously pursue
the full investigation of the previous Duterte administration for
these crimes against humanity so that, finally, justice may be
served and impunity ended,” Murphy said.
Australian-based human rights advocate, led Investigate PH, a recent
three-part investigation by an international commission on the
extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, abductions and
disappearances in the Philippines since July 1, 2016, when President
Duterte came into power.
grew by 7.6% in 2022, beats 2022 GDP target
DTI-OSEC-Public Relations Unit
January 27, 2023
MAKATI CITY – The
Philippine government's sustained economic recovery efforts and the
Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) continuous investment
facilitation has resulted to 7.2 percent Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) growth for the fourth quarter of 2022, resulting to a 7.6
percent full-year growth for the said year, based on the recent data
from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
"This annual GDP growth
can be attributed to the contributions of various industries,
especially wholesale and retail, as well as manufacturing. This
serves as a testament to the efficiency of our efforts to facilitate
the entry of more investments in the country and our
industrialization strategy that aims to empower local industries and
increase our global competitiveness", Trade and Industry Secretary
Fred Pascual boasted.
Based on the report, the
fourth quarter GDP growth was mainly influenced by the following top
contributors: (1) Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor
vehicles and motorcycles at 8.7 percent, (2) Financial and insurance
activities at 9.8 percent, and (3) Manufacturing at 4.2 percent. On
the other hand, top contributors for the annual growth in 2022 were:
(1) Construction at 12.7 percent, (2) Wholesale and retail trade;
repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at 8.7 percent, and (3)
Manufacturing at 5.0 percent.
Further, Secretary Pascual
said that "we are keen to sustain this growth, that is why we are
intensifying DTI's investment facilitation activities. During
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s previous state visits, we have
managed to meet several potential investors, some of them are
already in active discussions with our Philippine Trade and Industry
Centers abroad or the Board of Investments."
"Our GDP will continue to
grow as more and more investors come to the Philippines to explore
business opportunities. We keep on with work on ease of doing
business to attract more investors." he added.
In addition, among major
economic sectors, Industry (4.8 percent) and Services (9.8 percent)
posted positive growths during the fourth quarter of 2022. On the
demand side, PSA mentioned Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE),
which grew by 7.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) at 3.3 percent, Gross capital
formation at 5.9 percent, Exports of goods and services at 14.6
percent, and Imports of goods and services at 5.9 percent were
considered by PSA as other sources of growth for the fourth quarter
As a further testament to
the robust economic performance of the country, the Philippines also
posted 9.3 percent Gross National Income (GNI) growth in the fourth
quarter of 2022, and 9.9 percent on full-year.
More than 94% of
global population experienced decline in freedom from 2019 to 2020
January 26, 2023
NEWSWIRE) – While global freedom was already waning before COVID,
the response from governments during the pandemic accelerated the
loss of freedom worldwide, finds a new study released today by
Canada’s Fraser Institute and the U.S.-based Cato Institute.
“During the pandemic,
governments worldwide restricted freedom of movement, expression,
assembly and other freedoms even more than in previous years,” said
Fred McMahon, resident fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author
of this year’s Human Freedom Index.
While we take no position
on the necessity of COVID policies, they unquestionably limited
freedom. From 2019 to 2020 (the latest year of available data), 94.3
per cent of the world’s population experienced a decline in freedom.
But again, freedom was on
the decline before COVID – the government response simply
accelerated the decline. Between 2007 (the highpoint for human
freedom) and 2019, freedom declined for 79 per cent of the world’s
The index measures
personal freedom – the rule of law, safety and security, identity
and relationships (i.e. the freedom to choose your relationship
partner), freedom of movement, speech, assembly and religion –
alongside economic freedom, the ability of individuals to make their
own economic decisions.
Switzerland, once again,
tops this year’s freedom ranking followed by New Zealand, Estonia,
Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, the Netherlands and
Luxembourg. The five least-free countries are (in descending order)
Egypt, Iran, Venezuela, Yemen and Syria.
Overall worldwide rankings
for other significant countries include Japan (16), Germany (18),
the United Kingdom (20), the United States (23), South Korea (30),
France (42), Argentina (74), South Africa (77), Brazil (80), India
(112), Russia (119), Nigeria (124) and China (152).
Europe, North America (Canada and the United States) and Oceania
have the highest levels of freedom while the Middle East and North
Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the lowest levels.
Crucially, people in freer
countries are more prosperous than those in less-free countries. For
example, the average per-capita income for the top-quartile
countries on the index was US$48,644 compared to US$11,566 for the
least-free quartile in 2020.
“When government limits
the ability of people to move, assemble and speak freely, people are
less able to the lives they want to live,” said Ian Vásquez, report
co-author and director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Global
Liberty and Prosperity.
The complete index, a
joint project of the Fraser Institute and the Cato Institute, is
available as a free PDF download at www.fraserinstitute.org. The
co-authors of the report are Ian Vasquez, Vice President,
International Studies, Cato Institute, Ryan Murphy, associate
professor, Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom, Southern
Methodist University, and Guillermina Sutter Schneider, data
scientist and research manager, Center for Global Liberty and
Prosperity, Cato Institute.
Southern Luzon regional convention
January 25, 2023
PASIG CITY –
Officials from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Supreme
Court of the Philippines, judges and other officials of the
Judiciary, public prosecutors, public attorneys, and key officials
from the Province of Laguna participated in the IBP Southern Luzon
Regional Convention on January 20, 2023 at The Bellevue Manila,
Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Notable personalities in attendance were
Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, Supreme Court
Associate Justices Ramon Paul L. Hernando and Jose Midas Marquez,
Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva, Vice Governor of the
Province of Laguna Karen Agapay, Judge Dennis Juso Rafa of RTC
Branch 154 of Biñan, Laguna, and Judge Elisa Ramirez Sarmiento-
Flores of RTC Branch 71 of Pasig City.
The regional convention,
titled Revolutionizing the IBP and the Legal System, was another
historic gathering of members of the legal profession to discuss
different ideas on changing the legal system by adopting new
technologies in the dispensation of justice.
Commencing the start of
the regional convention, IBP Governor for the Southern Luzon Region
Jerwin J. Lopez conveyed to everyone present that fellowships such
as this regional convention are an integral part of the IBP life.
Through these gatherings, friendship, camaraderie, and solid vital
relationships are built and fostered. He thanked and congratulated
all representatives of all chapters under his region for all their
accomplishments and credits their successes to their dedication, as
especially highlighted by their chapter presidents and officers who
allotted time away from their private practice, their families, and
from their ownselves, just to be of service to the people, the
country, and to their fellow lawyers through the IBP.
In closing, Governor
Jerwin Lopez thanked Supreme Court Justices Alexander G. Gesmundo,
Ramon Paul L. Hernando, and Jose Midas Marquez, who, despite their
busy schedules, have taken the time to grace this event. According
to him, this goes to show that the highest court in the land truly
regards the IBP as its indispensable partner in the administration
and dispensation of justice. Along with this, the Supreme Court, no
matter how regal and majestic its stature may be, becomes a humble
servant of the country and the people when justice is at the
forefront of the conversation.
In his keynote speech,
Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo reaffirmed the
Supreme Court’s commitment of providing a legal system that is
swift, just, and modern through the Supreme Court’s Strategic Plan
for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 or SPJI. In line with the theme
of the regional convention, Chief Justice Gesmundo said that "We
cannot overemphasize that the SPJI is necessary to reinvigorate and
retool the judicial system. The Court must consistently be proactive
and continuously innovate at this time of greater uncertainties and
challenges." He shared that the IBP has been a staunch partner in
furthering the causes of the Court such as the continuous
improvement of procedural rules and the use of information
Adding to what was shared
by the Chief Justice, Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul L.
Hernando spoke about the importance of modernizing the Bar Exams. In
his words, he stressed the importance of modernizing the manner of
admitting new members of the Bar in keeping with the best practices
that other legal jurisdictions observe and implement in their
respective areas. He reiterated the Supreme Court’s goal of shifting
to a modern and receptive legal profession.
IBP National President
Burt M. Estrada reminded everyone that as lawyers, they all have
sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws. And so, they are
regarded as sentinels of the rule of law. He stressed the continuing
obligation to uphold the rule of law and gain the people’s trust in
the legal system. In doing so, lawyers should lead by example. As he
said, lawyers are regarded as sentinels of the rule of law. Because
of this, the IBP is mandated to assist in the proper administration
of justice. In closing, he encouraged everyone to be agents of
positive change for the IBP, our legal system, and our country.
military honors to 3 newly promoted brigade commanders
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 23, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Three newly promoted Brigade Commanders of this Command
were accorded military honors upon their arrival at Headquarters 8th
Infantry Division earlier today, January 23, 2023.
Arrival Honors was
accorded to Brigadier General Lenart R. Lelina, 801st Brigade
Commander, Brigadier General Noel A. Vestuir, 802nd Brigade
Commander, and Brigadier General Perfecto P. Peñaredondo, 803rd
Brigade Commander and subsequently rendered courtesy call to Major
General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander, 8ID.
The three Brigade
Commanders are members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)
“Sambisig” Class of 1991.
They were part of the 13
Generals donned with the new rank by the Commanding General
Philippine Army, Lieutenant General Romeo S. Brawner Jr. on January
20, 2023, at the Headquarters Philippine Army, Fort Bonifacio, Metro
As Brigade Commanders,
they are instrumental in transforming the insurgency landscape of
Eastern Visayas for the better as it has always been regarded as a
communist “hotbed” and has been denied socio-economic growth despite
its huge potential due to insurgency.
Through their leadership,
front guerilla units of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee
(EVRPC) have gradually been degraded as a terrorist organization
with the neutralization of some of their key leaders, lost grounds
due to the surrender of their regular fighters and the withdrawal of
support from their so-called “mass base” thereby paving the way for
the development of conflict-affected communities in the region.
“I want to congratulate
you on your well-deserved promotions. Keep up the good work,” stated
Maj. Gen. Ligayo.
“A promotion entails new
responsibilities on your shoulders and comes with additional
responsibilities that call for greater sacrifice and dedication to
duties,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo concluded.