Leyte Colleges ROTC cadets visit Camp Lukban
MGen Palparan welcoming the Leyte College ROTC cadets to the home of the
8th Infantry (Storm Trooper) Division, Phil Army in Camp Lukban,
CPT. CROMWELL I. DANGANAN, (INF) PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The 8th Infantry Division Headquarters here in Camp
Lukban served as host to the ROTC Cadets of Leyte Colleges from Tacloban
City who visited the “People’s Camp “ on February 20, 2005 as part of their
Three hundred students,
along with the school’s Commandant and Community Defense Center (CDC)
Commander, Cpt. Victor Del Fierro, came all the way from Tacloban City to
visit and personally indulge their senses marveling at the facilities and
equipment inside camp. No less than Maj. Gen. Jovito S. Palparan Jr, the 8th
Infantry Division Commanding General warmly welcomed the cadets. Their trip
involved the briefing on the Philippine Army, its capabilities and equipage,
film showing, static display of the different armaments, an inside look at
an Armored Personnel Carrier, demonstration of the tactical radio sets,
visit to the Camp Lukban Station Hospital and a preview of the military
tactics as performed by the Candidate Soldiers. The trip enlightened them
on the wide range of roles of combat and combat support units in order to
enhance the performance and capabilities of the Philippine Army deployed in
Highlights of the field trip
were the actual glimpse of the Commando V-150 and Simba Armored Personnel
Carrier as well as their visit to the Camp Lukban Station Hospital where
they had a brief conversation with captured female NPA Sunshine Eulalio who
has been provided with medical care and concern by the 8th Infantry
Division. Sunshine, on her part, related her dim experience with the
Communist Terrorist (CT) movement and discouraged the cadets from being
deceived by the CT’s propaganda.
The cadets were very much
delighted and gratified by the hospitality provided by the 8th Infantry
Division as they learned lots of things, especially since it was their first
time to visit an Army Division Headquarters. Their appreciation was very
much evident in their smiles and cheers, as they rode towards home,
reminiscing the memorable day they have experienced.
Island-wide workshop on Trafficking in
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar -
In a bid to influence national policies and actions to protect migrants,
especially the invisible working children, a non-stock, non-profit, non
government organization Visayan Forum Foundation and the Plan Philippines,
will hold its 2-day research validation and local policy advocacy workshop
in Maqueda Bay Hotel here.
Aileen Repadas, VFFI Field
Officer in Samar said that expected participants to the February 22-23
occasion are the "key research informants as well as other stakeholders from
the government agencies, local government units, the non-government
organizations" and some walk-in interested partakers island-wide.
Topics to be discussed in
the workshop includes good practices against trafficking in persons,
taskforce (correct) approach in ports, multi-sectoral network against
trafficking (MSNAT) experience in lobbying laws and ordinances, and
situational analysis of trafficking of women and children at the Allen Port
Since last year, Repadas
said, the VFFI has been spearheading major consultations and
capacity-building workshops throughout Visayas provinces, which are the
major source areas of trafficking victims both for local and overseas
As a result of these
thorough consultations with the public, the VFFI has arrived with the
conclusion that Samar, indeed, is a major source, transit and receiver of
trafficked women and children. "(This sad observation) manifests that we
should therefore continue lobbying for proper legislation, campaigns and
continued networking, advocacy and international support," Repadas told
She, however, added that one
of the major gaps that needs to be addressed is to enhance the
implementation of the existing Republic Act No. 9208 otherwise known as the
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, (and), if necessary, to encourage the
development of new local ordinances.
For this purpose, "we have
commissioned an island-wide research entitled a rapid assessment of
trafficking of women & children in
Samar, which aims to provide partners with a general profile and
data on the trafficking victims, the extent and gravity of the problem and
the existing responses and interventions of government agencies and NGOs in
Samar," she stressed.
Meantime, back to the
activity, the organizer of the said workshop listed down the following goals
and objectives, to wit; One is to present and validate the major findings
and recommendations of the island-wide research on trafficking in Samar;
Two, to document and deepen the participant's current understanding of the
lessons learned from existing good practices by local partners already
working to prevent trafficking, protect victims, prosecute offenders and
sustain rehabilitation strategies, and third; To come up with concrete steps
and recommendations to enhance existing policy environment and mechanisms
for effective implementation in Samar which include, but is not limited to,
the enactment of local ordinances.
The VFFI also invited
several key persons throughout
who will compose the panel of reactors and will talk on their respective
experiences of trafficking in their areas. The VFFI national training
officer Jerome Alcantara will also fly from Manila to Samar to discuss the
overview of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RA 9208.
Priest point to ex-police chief as mastermind of
Antique church heist
By Alex Vidal/ PNS
February 18, 2005
SAN JOSE, Antique
- The parish priest of Bugasong, Antique has appealed to the Antique
provincial prosecutor to include the name of the town’s former police chief
in the preliminary investigation of a robbery case involving an expensive
statue of Senior Sto. Niño inside the Bugasong church.
Fr. Pedro Silava, Jr. sent his complaint letter to the Provincial
Prosecutor’s Office last February 15 together with the extrajudicial
confession of one of the arrested suspects, Frederick Almonares alias Patok.
Almonares reportedly revealed that former Bugasong police station chief
Inspector Marciano Solano, Jr., masterminded the heist.
The 29-year-old suspect had also implicated a certain Marvin Abril of Brgy.
Ilaya, Bugasong, Antique and a certain Resdy Palma of Brgy. Paliwan,
Almonares was collared by police along with Patrick Zamora, 19, student of
Antique National High School; Francisco Orbus Jr., lineman of Antique
Electrical Cooperative last February 9 in Bugasong, Antique.
The suspects were arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest in
Criminal case No. 07-44 issued by Judge Rafael Pinuela of the Regional trial
Court Branch 64.
Two other suspects, Charlie Guillem and Larry Valenzuela, remained at large.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 Director George Aliño, meanwhile, denied
reports that Antique Provincial Police Office (APPO) commander
Superintendent Ronilo Quebrar is covering up the case and influencing the
prosecution to amend the case.
Aliño said Quebrar had told him that Quebrar immediately sought the legal
advice from the prosecutor’s office when he learned about Almonares’s
Among the arrested, it was only Almonares who executed his affidavit against
Aliño said Solano was relieved from his post a week after the 17th century
image of Sto. Niño in Bugasong was cannibalized.
Solano did not hide, Aliño said.
The APPO, the PRO 6 chief said, had found out he had been confined in the
municipal hospital of Sebaste, Antique.
Last January 30, the head and hands of the two-foot tall Sto. Niño made of
ivory and metal were found missing.
The stolen parts were approximately worth from P3 to P4 million.
Despite the incident, residents of Bugasong allowed the image to participate
in religious procession last February 1.
It was reported that the image was lost in 1984 and was only found in Iloilo
The image was given by Queen Isabela of Spain to the sugar moguls in Antique
satisfied over North Railway clearing operations
INSPECTION OF NORTHRAIL RELOCATION PROJECT: Vice President and
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council concurrent chairman
Noli “Kabayan” De Castro inspected the Kasarival relocation site plan in
Brgy. Bignay Valenzuela.
Philippine News Service
February 14, 2005
- Vice-President Noli 'Kabayan' De Castro vowed to President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo to finish the clearing operations at the Malabon-Valenzuela
segment of the North Rail Project by the end of February to early March.
In a meeting with Arroyo last Saturday at the Clark Special Economic Zone in
Pampanga, De Castro told the President he will conduct weekly inspection to
monitor developments in the clearing operations and to ensure that efforts
to fast-track it is implemented.
De Castro earlier said the relocation of families affected by the project is
Arroyo expressed satisfaction over De Castro's performance in relocating the
In a video presentation, De Castro showed to the President the hauling and
relocation procedures being undertaken by the National Housing Authority (NHA)
in Malabon and Valenzuela.
The President also witnessed how De Castro has implemented the demolition of
houses in a peaceful, humane and orderly manner.
Moreover, De Castro informed President Arroyo some minor problems being
experienced by NHA. He said several families have not yet moved out of the
railways since they have not yet received the P50,000-grant allotted for
Relocatees of Malabon area are supposed to receive a P50,000-grant just for
them to move out of the railways. Another option is for them to transfer to
government relocation sites. Many chose the cash option.
Last Friday, De Castro berated some NHA officials when he found out that
several families have not received their P50,000 checks, which somehow
causes a slowdown in the relocation procedures.
He then again reminded NHA of the deadline for the complete clearing and
demolition of houses in Malabon and Valenzuela, which is scheduled on the
end of February to early March.
De Castro said he is fast-tracking the relocation of the families living
along the railways so the North Rail Project can start on schedule.
MGen Palparan assumes 8ID Command
MGen. Gabriel M. Ledesma, Acting
Commanding General of the Philippine Army, turns over the 8ID flag to
MGen. Palparan symbolizing his assumption as Commanding General of 8th
Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
CROMWELL I. DANGANAN, (INF) PA
February 11, 2005
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar –
Major General Jovito S. Palparan Jr. took over as 8th Infantry Division
(8ID) Commanding General vice the outgoing General Officer-in-Charge
Brigadier General Bonifacio B. Ramos during the Change of Command Ceremony
on Thursday February 10, 2005.
In a simple ceremony held at
the 8ID grandstand, BGen. Ramos relinquished his command as the General
Officer-in-Charge of the 8th Infantry Division to MGen. Palparan with the
Vice Commander and concurrently the Acting Commanding General of the
Philippine Army, Maj. Gen. Gabriel M. Ledesma as the Presiding Officer.
BGen. Ramos was awarded the Military Merit Medal interim to the
Distinguished Service Star and the Philippine Army Command Plaque for his
outstanding and exemplary service as Assistant Division Commander and
General Officer-in-Charge of 8ID from January 16, 2004 to January 4, 2005
and January 4 to February 10, 2005 respectively.
In his farewell speech,
BGen. Ramos acknowledged the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian
employees of the 8th Infantry Division, expressing his sincere appreciation,
for the support they have rendered during his tour of duty as the Assistant
Division Commander and his memorable stint as the General Officer in Charge.
In his acceptance speech,
MGen. Palparan expressed his utmost gratitude to the Commander-in-Chief, Her
Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for giving him the opportunity
to serve as Commanding General of 8ID. He was formerly designated as the
Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army, and also the former Commander of the
Philippine Humanitarian Contingent deployed for the Peace Keeping Mission to
Iraq where he earned the praise and appreciation of the international
community due to the outstanding achievements they have rendered to the said
Maj. Gen. Ledesma, on his
part, congratulated the outgoing General Officer in Charge for a “Job Well
Done”, as the latter takes credit for the accomplishments of the Command
during his stint as Assistant Division Commander, Chief of the Office of
Ethical Standards and Public Accountability and later his memorable tour of
duty as the General Officer in Charge.
BGen. Ramos is due to be
assigned to the Headquarters Philippine Army where he will be designated as
the Army Inspector General.
San Jorge to host 3rd Annual Visayas Cave
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
SAN JORGE, Samar - After the
successful holding of last year's Visayas Cave Congress held particularly at
the Langun-Gobingob Caves in Calbiga, Samar, the Centro Outdoor Sports
Unlimited based in Catbalogan and the local government unit of San Jorge –
the organizer and host respectively of this event – is bringing in the
opportunity again the region's eco-tourism potentials, particularly this
town's newly documented cave sites next month.
The holding of this year's
event, dubbed as the 3rd Annual Visayas Cave Congress on March 4,
5 and 6, this year was supported by the provincial government under the
leadership of Gov. Milagrosa Tan, Department of Tourism, Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-8), Samar Adventure Service and
other local sponsors.
Rommel L. Rutor, Executive
Committee Chairman informed that this event was conceptualized and started
by Samareños three years ago aimed at gathering outdoor enthusiasts
nationwide - who are tourist facilitators in their respective places of
origin -"to introduce to them (participants) the potentials and viability of
our eco-tourism destinations, which are exceedingly beautiful compared to
other places in Philippine archipelago."
He said several academics
lectures and training on environmental protection, basic caving and safety,
cave formations and geology and single rope techniques (SRT) plus exciting
adventures awaits for those participants that will attend in the
Organizers of the event
disclosed that a maximum of 100 partaking spelunkers, mountain climbers and
outdoor enthusiasts from the places of Calbayog, Catbalogan, Tacloban, Cebu,
Davao, Borongan, Cavite, Laguna, Tuguegarao, Catarman and other parts of the
country will attend this year's big event.
"Of this moment, at least 80
individuals have already signified their participation to the annual cave
congress," Rutor said.
Asked about the registration
fee, Rutor said, "a minimal fee of P350 to cater the freebies on printed
t-shirt, full colored certificates, guides, site transportation and first
day meals, will be collected by the secretariat upon registration." He
added, however, that P50 discount to any participating student will be given
after presenting of his or her valid ID.
Meanwhile, Mayor Joseph Grey
of San Jorge – this year's host municipality said that he is aiming that San
Jorge town would be the next penultimate tourist destination in the
province, "we have much remarkable number of inimitable and alluring spots
that cannot be found anywhere in the country."
"From our springs, caves,
waterfalls, and other admirable sights meticulously designed by nature, my
town's major offerings are exceptionally one of the best in the country and
a must-see for intrepid nature lovers," Mayor Grey said adding, "missing
these spots will always means missing half of your adventurous life."
In fact, the mayor said, the
elaborate topographical setting of this town was chosen to be one of the
prominent routes of the International ELF Endurance Competition in 1999. In
his closing, Mayor Grey welcomes all would-be activity partakers and wishes
"full satisfaction, as you explore and discover the unparalleled splendor of
this town," of San Jorge.
denounces additional 2% value-added tax
BAYAN-Samar Press Release
February 1, 2005
- In a statement released before the media. BAYAN -Samar lambasted what it
called as “another one of GMA’s wicked schemes.”
Edgardo Figueroa, Secretary-General of
BAYAN-Samar denounced the passing of House Bill 3555 or the Value Added Tax
Restructuring Act passed on its third and final reading last January 27,
2005 by the House of Congress. He said, “The hasty manner in which the
series of tax measures passed by Congress betrays the panic that is gripping
the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government.” The new VAT bill is the sixth of
the series of tax measures passed by Congress as proposed by the GMA
It can be recalled that the GMA
administration has been rocked by the worst crisis in the history of
Philippine fiscal management. To avert further crisis, a list of revenue
measures had been proposed by the GMA economic think-tanks, one of which is
the additional 2% VAT. If this measure is approved by the Senate and enacted
into law, it is expected to generate additional revenue generating measures
of the government. The GMA administration is currently facing a P180 billion
in budget deficit.
Figueroa stressed that VAT is nothing but an
imposition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since the time of the
late dictator Marcos. It can be recalled that Marcos did not impose tax
scheme as dictated by the IMF for reasons of political survival.
Anti-dictatorship sentiment had then grown and intensified, which peaked
during the EDSA Revolution of 1986. Ironically, it was the Aquino
administration that implemented the VAT system in 1988 under Executive Order
273. The Ramos administration further expanded the scope of the VAT in 1994
through RA 7716 or the E-VAT Law as an imposition of the IMF before the $650
Million loan under the IMF-Extended Fund Facility (EFF) could be approved.
“Clearly, from the past to presents
administrations, subservience, before Foreign Monopoly Capitalists and their
dictates had been a chronic ailment.” BAYAN further added.
“BAYAN-Samar joins the nation’s outcry
against the proposed additional 2% VAT. Instead of resolving the fiscal
crisis of the country, it will only further aggravate the economic woes of
our people,” Figueroa divulged. “How much more for people of
Samar?” he further added.
The additional 2%VAT will impact most on the
lower income-earners, those what the National Statistics Office-FIES
categorized as earning P20,000 – and below annually. While VAT is a uniform
tax levied on both the rich and the poor, it will burden most the poor
because of their low income, low purchasing power and the high cost of
commodities. It is even predicted that raising VAT to 12% would cause
inflation by 2%.
BAYAN calls for the junking of the VAT system
of taxation it is anti-people. “We urge the Macapagal-Arroyo government to
pay heed to the people’s cry for social justice,” it added. “And this can
only be made possible if nationalist industrialization is pursued after
genuine land reform is implemented in this country,” the statement