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LGU officials silent on Samar militarization

Petition for the return of Balangiga Bells launched

Villagers in Samar accused military for abuses

Zero mining in Samar island

MGen Palparan assumes 8ID Command

8ID troops encounter NPA in Leyte

Top NPA leader captured

Oust Samar Governor movement formed

8ID weeds out misfit in own ranks

8ID wins Outstanding Literacy Award






NDFP negotiating panel set to hold dialogue with GRP Congress Mission

June 24, 2005

UTRECHT, The Netherlands -  The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) headed by Luis G. Jalandoni is scheduled to hold a dialogue with the Mission of the Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (SCPRU) of the GRP House of Representatives headed by Rep. Satur Ocampo in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The main objective of the said dialogue is to explore ways of removing certain obstacles to pave the way for the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The consultations are scheduled from June 23 to June 25, 2005 in Utrecht. The Mission of the SCPRU is composed of Representatives Satur Ocampo, Lorenzo Tañada III, and Arthur Defensor while the NDFP side will be composed of members of the NDFP negotiating panel, Luis G. Jalandoni, Julie de Lima, Fidel V. Agcaoili and Coni K. Ledesma, and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison.

The NDFP negotiating panel welcomes this initiative of the Congress Mission that has been authorized by Speaker Jose de Venecia and has the backing of the GRP House of Representatives. The NDFP panel hopes that these consultations will contribute positively to the efforts being exerted by interested parties for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.





Waraynons in metropolis forge and launch solidarity to oppose human rights abuses in home islands

June 22, 2005

Quezon City  –  Waraynons (referring to those belonging to the ethnolinguistic group from Leyte, Samar and BIliran islands) working and residing in Metro Manila will launch Ugop Waraynon, a movement of Leyteños, Samareños, Biliranons in support for the struggle for civil liberties and socio-economic development of Eastern Visayas today at 9:00 o’clock in the evening.  This is in response to the worsening human rights (HR) situation in the region under the leadership of Gen. Jovito S. Palparan of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Wastern Samar.

“We are alarmed by that in barely three months, the number of reported human rights violations had surpassed the number of reported cases that human rights groups and institutions like the Commission on Human Rights had recorded for the entire year of 2004,” said Hon. Tito Varela, vice mayor of Caloocan City who chairs Ugop Waraynon and a native of Samar.  “The reported and documented abuses correspond to Jovito Palparan’s assumption into office in the 8th ID,” he further stressed.

From February 10, 2005 to May 30, 2005, two hundred seventy-six (276) cases of violations of constitutional rights and civil liberties have been reported excluding violations of international humanitarian covenants like the Geneva Conventions. Statistics from KATUNGOD-Sinirangan Bisayas, a local human rights organization and Inter-Faith Solidarity Mission (IFSM) reveal appalling accounts: for the same time span, “there were 76 cases of human rights violations per month, more than 17 cases per week and more than two cases per day”.

“What we need is genuine socio-economic development in Eastern Visayas, not military atrocities and military-sponsored/backed killings of civilians and civil libertarians!” former budget assistant secretary Claro Piczon who stands as the spokesperson of the group, a native of Catbalogan pointed out.  Ugop Waraynon asserts that a militarist solution to the underlying poverty in the region will only mean more sacrifices and actual attacks to Eastern Visayans’ civil liberties.

Among the demands of the group is for ”the President of the Philippines and the Congress an immediate and impartial investigation into these violations by the elements of the 8th Infantry Division under Gen. Jovito S. Palparan, Jr. in our region and act swiftly to stop these atrocities” and that the perpetrators of the extra-judicial killings be brought to justice.

The launching activity will be attended by representatives who were known to be vocal in the alleged military abuses in Region 8, Cong. Reynaldo Uy (first district of Samar), Catalino Figueroa (second district of Samar) and Florencio Noel of An Waray Party-list.





2 Samar military raids kill 4 NPA rebels

June 21, 2005

JIABONG, Samar   –  Military offensives conducted by the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (8th ID-PA) based in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar at Western Samar scored against the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels recently, when it come across a communist rebels hideout at the mountain ranges of Brgy. Cristina, this town, on June 15, 2005.

The Jiabong raid resulted to the death of at least 4 suspected members of the CPP-NPA operating within the area, and an unidentified boy between 8 to 10 years old who was caught in the crossfire, being with the NPA rebels when the firefight ensued.

Based on a press statement released by the 8th Civil Affairs Unit of the 8th ID (8th CAU), the Jiabong raid was part of a combat operation as ordered by M/Gen Jovito Palparan, 8th ID Commanding General, to search and destroy a reported CPP-NPA camp within the mountainous vicinity of Brgy. Cristina, an upland barangay here which can be reached by a 3 hours hike from the poblacion area.

Jiabong Raid

Under instructions from M/Gen Jovito Palparan, elements of the Kamurayaw Company led by Lt. Cresencio Tanganan and a platoon coming from the 20th IB led by a certain Lt. Ranit, have teamed-up for a combat operation towards the reported enemy camp located within the jurisdiction of Brgy. Cristina here.

Accordingly, while the military was on their way near the target area, they were met by at least 30 armed NPA rebels and an ensuing firefight occurred in the evening of June 15 around 8:30pm.

Five dead bodies were recovered after the incident, all of which were identified as that of the rebel’s side, with no reported casualty from the military; the military troops likewise pulled through 1 M16 and 1 M14 rifles from the fight scene, and a number of subversive documents of high intelligence value were also found.

NPA Barangay Officials?

Lt.Col. Edito Nisnisan, Commanding Officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion based in San Jorge, Samar, at which the military platoons involve in the Jiabong raid are connected, personally delivered all of the 5 dead bodies wrapped in a banig (mat made of local materials) to the town plaza here on the evening of June 16, 2005, for the local residents and LGU officials here to identify and for proper disposition.

However, nobody from the relatives of the victims, including the slain 8 year old boy would come out to identify and to claim any of the cadaver, for fear that they might be thought of being associated with the CPP-NPA rebels.

According to Capt. Cromwell Danganan, Commanding Officer of the 8th CAU, one of the fatalities is a Barangay Kagawad of Brgy. Cristina, but refused to divulge the name for unknown reason; while Vice-Mayor Armingol Cabubas informed the media that the lady casualty was identified by some of the locals here as one Cecelia Cabael, a Barangay Health Worker (BHW) assigned at the same barangay.

Results of verification with the Municipal Health Office (MHO) here showed that Cecelia Cabael indeed was a BHW, but has been inactive to the service since August of 2003, but she served for the MHO since Jan 24, 1997 and was accredited as a BHW on Jan 4, 2002.

It was also gathered by Samar that Cecelia Cabael is the sister of the Brgy. Captain of Brgy. Cristina, identifed as one Teodoro Cabael, which has been reported wounded during the skirmish and was able to escape along with the other wounded fleeing rebels.

Hinabangan Town Encounter

In a belated report, elements of the 14th Infantry Batallion under the command of LtCol. Claudio Neri, accodingly encountered around 20 members of the NPA rebels while conducting a security patrol between Barangays Lim-ao and Yabon, both barangays are under the jurisdiction of the town of Hinabangan on June 13, 2005.

The ensuing firefight between the government troops and the rebels netted 1 M14 rifle and 1 magazine containing 20 rounds of live ammunitions.

No casualties were reported on both sides, but the press statement coming from the 8th CAU stated of a number of wounded fleeing rebels as evidenced by the bloodstains that the rebels left from the fight scene.

An anti-CPP-NPA indignation rally was likewise held at this town on June 18, 2005, as M/Gen. Jovito Palparan re-affirmed his previous mission to totally eradicate the presence of the communist rebels in Eastern Visayas within 6 months to a year since he assumed command of the 8ID last February.

More Troops to Samar

“Hopefully, these people (Communist Terrorists) in the armed group would realize that they can’t fight and win against the government, and therefore should decide to end their baseless struggle now”, this was the firm statement of M/Gen. Jovito Palparan of the 8th ID, when he welcomed the arrival of the 46th Infantry Battalion from the Province of Bohol to augment the existing government troops based in Samar island.

The new troops, numbering to more than 500 soldiers, is led by LtCol. Manny Ramos, which left their base in Brgy. Riverside, Pilar, Bohol on June 15, 2005 and arrived Catbalogan in the early morning of June 16 via two navy boats, accordingly will be deployed in the southern part of Samar island.

It can be remembered, that the 46th IB used to be part of the 8th ID Storm Troopers, until they were sent to Bohol on October last year to augment the number of government troops under the 3rd Infantry Division, which has been initiating an intensified military offensives against the then heightened insurgency problem in Bohol.

“But Bohol now is peaceful, and we are more needed here. I will accomplish whatever mission that the Commanding General would give us to finish to”, LtC. Ramos asserted, and further vowed to help in the campaign of M/Gen Palparan to eliminate the insurgency problem of the region, which he considered as one of the most active in the country.





DLR opens Tarangnan circumferential road

June 20, 2005

TARANGNAN, Samar   -  “A dream come true!!”, a brief remark of Mayor Emmely Olaje during the turn-over ceremony of the newly opened 9.5 kilometer 3-phase farm-to- market road project, being undertaken by the Department of Land Reform (DLR) thru its Foreign Assisted Projects Office.

The new circumferential road will connect at least 18 barrios here to the main highway, and was purposely carried out to facilitate the transport of farm products to a bigger market in Catbalogan and Calbayog City.

“This will likewise encourage our farmers within the Cambatutay Agrarian Reform Communities, here in Tarangnan, to plant and produce more crops”, thus said DLR Asst. Regional Director Reynaldo Villas and further added that it will lessen the price of farm products due to lower cost of transport.

Prior to the construction of the circumferential road, all farm products from Tarangnan are transported thru motorboats which takes almost 3 hours before reaching Catbalogan, the Samar capital; but the new road has cut the travel time to only 1 hour, even giving a good access for government agencies to reach and extend their services to Tarangnan’s once remote barangays.

Grant and Loan

According to the DLR, the project was funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with a 10 percent equity share from the LGU of Tarangnan and 7 percent GOP share thru the DLR.

ARD Villas clarified to the beneficiaries of the project that the grant was awarded with conditions that it should be maintained within 10 years by the LGU otherwise it will become a Loan which will be automatically deducted from the LGU’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

As this developed, initiators of the project were expectant from the residents – particularly to the Barangay Chairman - of covered barrios to help maintain the road under their respective jurisdiction to avoid paying for it if it becomes impassable within ten years.

“A composite monitoring team was organized by the DLR here to regularly check the road’s condition and to recommend repairs when it is necessary”, informed PARO Marlo Merin.

Project Cost

The Circumferential Road Project started from an already existing feeder road in Brgy. New Mahayag of Catbalogan town measuring to about 1.81 kilometers to the boundary of Tarangnan town in Brgy. Lucerdoni, it is the only road outlet from Tarangnan covered barrios within the Cambatutay Area.

According to the DLR, the starting point of the circumferential road will be concreted to its length with funding coming from the ADB, and the 10 percent equity share from the LGU of Catbalogan and 7 percent equity from GoP.

“This is a rehabilitation project of the Mahayag ARC, at which the Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Cambatutay ARC Roads will be connected, and will cost Php 10,243,828.35 and around two million of which came from the coffers of Catbalogan town who has jurisdiction of the area’, PARO Marlo Merin explained.

Meanwhile, the newly accomplished 2.04 kilometers or the Phase 1 of the Cambatutay ARC Road project – which is connected to the Mahayag ARC Road – costed about Php 6,110,430.91, at which Php 632,014.09 came from Tarangnan LGU.

The second phase measuring to about 5.63 kilometers is 31 percent complete as of this writing, and expectedly to connect to an already existing feeder road to the main highway in Brgy. Tizon also of Tarangnan town, thus completing the circumferential structure of the Cambatutay Bay ARC Roads.

Tarangan LGU shelled out around Php 2,000,157.53 as its equity share to this portion of the circumferential road which totalled to about Php 16,384,361.74 including the equity share of the GoP-DLR amounting to Php 1,550,350.70 representing 7.78 percent of the total phase two project cost.

Silent Justice

Meanwhile, the killing of former Mayor Aniceto Olaje here during the campaign period of last year’s election still remains unsolved, with the local police authorities here facing blank as to the identity of the perpetrators of the assassination.

Mayor Emmely Olaje is the wife of the assassinated chief executive, and is already hopeless over the case of her husband.

Guin-papasa Dyos ko na la ito nga panhitabo, kun deri man matatagan hustisya and iya pagkawara dinhi ha kalibutan, maaram ako nga iton Diyos deri matugot nga palalabyon la ito nga panhitabo”, the lady mayor stressed.

In another development, Mayor Olaje likewise expressed her support to the anti-insurgency campaign being pursued by the new 8th Infantry Division Commander M/Gen. Jovito Palparan, informing the media that Tarangnan town is a peace loving town with an absolutely zero-participation in any insurgent activities.

Okay la iton ha akon nga iya guinbubuhat, kay ha pagkita ko, kun waray ka dapat kabarak-an waray ito problema, iton iba nga ha ira pagkita magkaka ada hira problema tungod han ira mga deri angay nga binuhatan, pamati ko natural nga maapektuhan hira”, Mayor Olaje stressed.

She did not comment however the NPA encounter with the elements of the 34th Infantry Batallion that occurred in Brgy. Palencia of this town on March 3, 2005, that resulted to the death of one soldier with no casualty from the insurgents.





4 Communist Terrorists killed in Samar encounter

June 17, 2005

Bodies of the victims placed on a lawanit-made coffin were temporarily at the Jiabong municipal plaza for possible identification and other legal purposes before being buried. No relatives have so far claimed and identified any of the cadavers as of presstime.

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  - On June 15, 2005 at around 8:30pm, one platoon of the 34IB under Lt. Tanganan and one platoon of 20IB under Lt. Ranit under overall supervision of LtC. Edito Nisnisan, Commanding Officer, 34IB, while on combat operations against a reported enemy camp, encountered more or less thirty (30) Communist Terrorists (CTs) at vicinity Brgy Cristina, an interior barangay of Jiabong, Samar resulting to the killing of four Communist Terrorists (CTs) and the unfortunate demise of one (1) child. Their cadavers were brought to Jiabong town for proper disposition.

Based on the reports forwarded to the 8th Infantry Division, the troops recovered one (1) M16 and one (1) M14 rifle. Also recovered from the scene of the encounter were subversive documents of high intelligence value and personal belongings. No government troops were injured while undetermined on the enemy side as seen from the bloodstains in their route of withdrawal. It was learned that one of the casualties is a barangay councilor of the said barangay while the barangay chairman was also monitored as one of those wounded during the said encounter. The still unidentified child was with the CTs when the encounter happened.

The encounter is result of the reports made by the local residents thereat complaining about the extortion and harassment acts of the CTs in their area. This is also in confirmation of the information volunteered by the NPA surrenderees who are cooperating well with government authorities as they are already fed up of the broken promises of good life as promised by CPP/NPA leaders, as well as the reports that elected government officials are supporting the CTs’ cause.

This information is a clear manifestation that the Philippine Army has the support the people contrary to the claims of the CTs. With his development, the troops are now closing in on the different havens of the CTs so they could not continue with their extortion and terroristic acts.

Elements of the 34th Infantry Battalion are still conducting pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels as there as there are reports that the CTs suffered many casualties during the said encounter.

In a belated report, elements of 14th Infantry Battalion under LtC. Claudio Neri, while on security operations last June 13, 2005 at around 10:00am, encountered more or less twenty (20) Communist Terrorist (CTs) at vicinity in between Brgys Lim-ao and Yabon of Hinabangan, Samar where the troops recovered one (1) M14 rifle and one magazine with  twenty rounds of ammunition. Again, no government troops were injured while undetermined on the enemy side.

Maj. Gen. Jovito S. Palparan Jr, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division is expecting more engagements with the CTs as he directed all subordinate units to conduct continuous operations against the CPP/NPA in order to protect the civilian populace from their terroristic acts.

On the other hand, General Palparan is calling all CPP/NPA members to bring down their firearms, return to the folds of the law and live a peaceful life.





AFP Generals charged for abduction of Samar resident

June 17, 2005

The daughter of Patricio Abalos, 61, allegedly abducted by soldiers from their home in Quindaponan, Catbalogan, Samar on March 28, 2005, has filed a case of habeas corpus against the suspects before the Court of Appeals in Cebu City on June 15, 2005.

In a nine-page petition, Cristina Abalos through her counsels urged the court to intervene in forcing AFP-CentCom Chief Emmanuel Teodisio, 8th Infantry Division Chief Jovito Palparan, Lt. Wilbert Basquiñas and other unidentified soldiers to produce the body her father and “show cause for his continued detention incommunicado.”

Cristina claimed in a sworn statement that her father was abducted at gunpoint by heavily-armed soldiers outside their house at about 8:30pm of the said date.  She charged that the same soldiers headed by Lt. Basquiñas returned and ransacked their house in the afternoon of March 31 purportedly looking for a handgun. In that incident, Basquiñas admitted to the family that Patricio was in their custody upon the orders of his superior B/Gen. Palparan.

Cristina also narrated that her family confronted Palparan on April 7 but that the general merely told them that the aging Patricio will be released if the family admits that he is an NPA.

Cristina has earlier testified before the Congressional Committee on National Defense on May 25 and 31 on her father’s abduction and on other human rights violations in Eastern Visayas.

There are 190 documented cases of gross human rights violations in Eastern Visayas since Palparan assumed command of the 8th ID in February.

“We are appalled that until now, Gen. Emmanuel Teodisio and the Central Command remain mum on the abuses being blamed on Palparan.  We are tempted to say that these abuses are being encouraged by Teodisio if not by the entire military hierarchy itself,” said Atty. Poch Cinco of KARAPATAN-CV.



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