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Armed men raid Albuera police station

Borongan LGU steps up solid waste management

Region 8 remembers Doña Paz tragedy

SP endorses small-scale mining operations in Samar island-town

AHRC urges for an impartial investigation on the killing of 8 farmers in Leyte

Paranas residents rally against communism

Samareños to oppose Enrile-owned logging firm operations in Samar

Gov. Tan mum on solving perennial flooding in Samar

Peace rallyists brave the rain to oppose communism

NPA attacked SAMELCO personnel


Update on Gov. Tan, et al, Administrative and Criminal cases in Ombudsman

Gov. Tan argues she don’t deserve suspension on her plunder case

January 14, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar – After filing a motion to dismiss two “graft and corruption charges” filed against her and her co-accused, the controversial governor of this province, Milagrosa “Mila” T. Tan, recently presented an argument before the office of the Ombudsman Manila why she should not be suspended.

Governor Mila Tan

This was after she received “her copy” of the “motion for preventive suspension of respondents” filed by complainant Isog Han Samar Movement (ISM) represented by Fr. Noel Labendia of the Diocese of Calbayog.

Included in that motion filed three months ago at the Office of the Ombudsman, Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication Bureau-A in Diliman Quezon City were Gov. Tan, and members of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Samar as named respondents.

The two “graft charges” were marked under Administrative Case OMB-C-A-05-0051-B with CPL No. C-04-2045 for Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty, etc. and Criminal Case OMB-C-A-05-0049-B for Plunder with CPL No. C-04-2045.

In a document obtained by this publication, it stated that the evidence of guilt against respondents is strong, “and the charges against them involve acts of dishonesty, oppression or gross misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty, which if proven would warrant their removal from service.”

The complainant insisted that the “respondents’ continued stay in office might prejudice the cases filed against them – which are grounds for placing respondents under preventive suspension” pursuant to Section 9, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman,” a document signed by Fr. Labendia of Isog han Samar Movement stated.

It added that: “There is an urgent need to suspend respondents in order to prevent them from using their public positions to raid the provincial treasury, thereby sparing the people of Samar from further suffering and misery.”

But in her counter-motion last November 2005, Governor Tan, through her counsel, opposed the motion for preventive suspension on the following ground that:

“All the acts and transactions complained of occurred during the first term of herein respondent, which began on June 30, 2001 and ended on June 30, 2004. By her reelection in May 2004 to her second term, which began on June 30, 2004, her administrative liability, if any, has been effectively extinguished.”

The governor argued that whatever administrative liability she may have incurred during her first term, “is extinguished in accordance with the well-established rule laid down by the Supreme Court.”

The governor’s motion quoted one statement from the SC previous decision stating, “Offenses committed, or acts done, during previous term are generally held not to furnish cause for removal and this is specially true where the Constitution provides that penalty in proceedings for removal shall not extend beyond the removal from office and disqualification from holding office to which he was elected. The underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefrom.

“It is respectfully prayed that complainant’s motion for herein respondent to be preventively suspended be denied for of lack of merit,” the governor, through her counsel said.

To recall, Gov. Tan has also recently asked the Ombudsman to dismiss the two “scandalous cases” filed against her saying it was a “premature, groundless and in blatant violation” of her constitutional right due to the process of filing done by her complainant.

Gov. Tan said the motion for reconsideration she filed before the Commission on Audit relative to the 2004 Audit Report has not yet been resolved.

“Because the said motion has not yet been resolved to date, the filing of this case is premature, groundless, and in blatant violation of my constitutional right to due process,” Gov. Tan said in her March 29, 2005 counter-affidavit which she executed in Quezon City and subscribed and sworn to before notary public Dulcisimo G. Hinanay Jr.

Gov. Tan supported her argument by citing Sections 8 & 9 of Rule V of the COA Revised Rules of Procedure, which states the rule on “motion for reconsideration” and “interruption of time to appeal.”

Meanwhile, the case stemmed after the Isog han Samar Movement has accused and filed plunder charges to Gov. Tan together with her co-respondents members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan by using their official positions, authority and influence to, among others:

“Procure P29.34 million worth of goods without, or in violation of the rules on, public bidding as prescribed by Articles 356 to 365, title six of the Local Government Code and the Rules and Regulations on Supply and Property Management in Local Governments;

Make ‘repeat orders’ of supplies worth P28.165 million which were 5 to 11 times the cost of the original orders in violation of COA Circular No. 92-386;

Make ghost or anomalous emergency purchases of relief goods and medicines totaling P14.1 million, particularly 5, 900 sacks of rice plus 4, 500 boxes of canned goods and food items, in four business days, under the guise of a dubious state of emergency; and procure medicines worth P14.20 million under similar anomalous circumstances.”

The documents of these transactions were reportedly “exposed” by former General Service Officer now administrative officer of the Samar Provincial Hospital Aurelio “Jun” A. Bardaje Jr., and GSO Record Officer and Inspector Numeriano C. Legaspi who later on turned state witnesses.

To date, the office of the Ombudsman has yet to release its decision if there was, indeed, a prima facie evidence of the allegations filed against Gov. Tan and her co-respondents. If, indeed, there is strong evidence, the Ombudsman may file an endorsement and the case will be heard before the Sandiganbayan in Manila.





City sets auction of delinquent real properties

By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern Leyte
January 14, 2006

MAASIN CITY  –  The city government here has set its sights this year, 2006, in which to hold an auction sale on real properties like land and buildings that are delinquent in the payment of taxes.

City Treasurer Eleseo Costillas disclosed over DYDM “Bantay Tawo” program anchored by Monching Buyser this week that he is now preparing to conduct an auction proceeding on the tax delinquent properties.

“We have a plan to auction delinquent land and buildings this year.  We will start doing that soon.  It is also our sworn duty based on the local government code,” Costillas said over the phone.

He stressed that the move was considered one of the ways for the city to raise revenues and be financially self-sufficient.

City Vice-Mayor Maloney Samaco, the Acting Mayor, confirmed in another radio program “Aksyon, Solusyon, Inisyatibo”, the statement of the City treasurer.

“We have approved on Wednesday (Jan. 11) the guidelines submitted by the City treasurer.  I think there’s no need to hold a public hearing on this because everytime the treasurer’s office conducts a tax information campaign in the barangay it was explained that those delinquent properties would undergo an auction sale,” the Vice Mayor said in response to a text query.

He added:  “What is needed maybe is a final notice to the owner that his/her property is subject for auction.”

The Vice Mayor is consequently serving as Acting Mayor until January 23, for Mayor Mercado was on official travel.

Samaco said one point of the guidelines stipulated that owners or any heirs of the sold, auctioned real estate are given the right to re-purchase for one year, and they are also given priority in the selection of interested buyers once the said properties are offered for auction selling.

Owners of lots that are under a long-running Court litigation due to pending cases are advised to refer the matter to the Committee on Auction Sale composed of the Treasurer, Assessor, and Legal Officer for proper evaluation, Vice Mayor Samaco further said.





Village chief in Samar who refused to pay “revo tax” abducted by NPA rebels

January 12, 2006

SAN JOSE DE BUAN, Samar  – A father of six young kids and a village chief here who decided to stop giving ‘revolutionary tax’ to the underground movement operating in the tri-boundary of this province was snatched by the rebels and feared dead now.

The victim, identified as one Peter Dacles, village chieftain of Brgy. Cataydungan, this municipality was declared missing since December 11, this year. His wife, Salvacion and some residents strongly believed that he was abducted by the rebels belonging to the Arnulfo Ortiz Command of the Samar Front Central Committee of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (SFCC-EVRPC).

In an interview, the victim’s wife narrated that since her husband decided to stop contributing “revolutionary tax” to the underground government last March 2005, her husband continuously received a “stern warning” coming from the rebels’ leader, a certain “Kumander Payong.”

“If you will not meet me and give your share, something bad will happen to you and one of your family members,” the New People’s Army leader said as quoted by the victim’s wife.

Apparently, Cataydungan, among other villages in this town, gave some P4,000 as their monthly contribution to the rebels every month since immemorial. The amount was being sourced out from the regular Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the village, it was learned.

But prior to the alleged abduction, the victim was planning to escape to Calbayog City along with his family scheduled on December 12 but when he realized they cannot escape the rebels for long, he had a second thoughts and decided to meet the rebels a day before that schedule.

On December 11, at around 4:30 in the afternoon, he was reported abducted and now feared dead by his family and residents of the village. This belief that the victim might be dead was even confirmed when the rebels sent them a letter saying, “Don’t wait for him anymore because he’s already dead.”

Of this development, the victim’s wife sought the help of San Jose de Buan mayor Ananias Rebato in his residence in the provincial capital of Catbalogan but failed to see the latter.

Ironically, the victim’s wife refused to cooperate with the national police especially to the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, when these government troops asked some information to recover the “abducted village chief.”

“I am afraid to talk because my children were still in that village and they (rebels) might harm my kids if they suspect me that I am reporting information to the military,” Salvacion said.

In a press statement, Major Ruben Sumawang, the executive officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion which jurisdiction includes this town said: “How can we be able to help recover her missing husband if she will not talk and cooperate with us? I’m hoping that in order for us to serve them, and the rest of the people, they should also help us.”

The army official, however, hopes that Salvacion talk this coming Sunday on the culmination day of the 3-day Peace and Development Forum (PDF) being initiated by the military which started today (January 12-14) in this remote town of Samar.

On the other hand, it was earlier reported that almost 80 percent of the villages in Samar contributed a 10% of its IRA to the rebels. But in several testimonies of village officials, during previous PDF’s, they said the “fear of retaliation” constrained them to give the “revo tax” to the rebels.

This was, however, reported declined when the military intensified the combat operations and information dissemination in almost all villages in the region. To date, the government has already secured the Cataydungan village and the whole San Jose de Buan town and is now conducting a hot pursuit operation against the elusive rebels.





DepEd Leyte Convention Center soon to rise

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 12, 2005

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  – Soon to rise at the Department of Education Leyte Division Compound is the DepEd Leyte Division Convention Center. This was learned from Leyte Division Superintendent Aurora Villarente during the groundbreaking ceremonies held yesterday.

Mrs. Villarente said that the convention center will cost about twelve million pesos. The first phase is funded from the two million pesos donation from the Province of Leyte through Governor Jericho Petilla and one million pesos from Congresswoman Remedios L. Petilla. The Leyte division compound she revealed stands on a 1 hectare lot which the Province of Leyte allowed to be used through usufruct.

The Convention Center is very necessary structure considering the many sports activities, trainings and conventions which the Division is undertaking. It will in the long run save money which the division spends in the private venues used for its activities. It will also be a fund raising venture as it will be allowed for a fee to be used for the various functions of other government agencies or private individuals, Superintendent Villarente added.

She said that the Leyte Division is able to pilot programs to enhance learning and academic excellence because it has government partners like Congresswoman Petilla, Governor Petilla and the local government Executives and from partners coming from the private sector like the Filipino Chinese Chamber of commerce and Industry and California Energy.

The Leyte Division Compound sits the two-storey administration building, a dormitory for transient teachers and guests, a library and museum, a child-minding building and the building for the Alternative Learning System.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, Provincial Board Members Rowil Bathan and Vangie Esperas, Tanauan Mayor Roque A. Tiu, Tourism Director Karen Tiopes, PIA’s Olive Tiu and the Leyte Division officials and schools administrators.





Spotted overseas illegal recruiter in Borongan Eastern Samar apprehended by police

January 11, 2006

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  Members of the PNP closely monitored a suspected illegal recruiter in Barangay Bato this municipality. According to an information received by the PNP, the alleged illegal recruiter identified as Elmalyn Espinas who according to neighbors is from Bacolod was conducting some recruitment activities in the house of a certain Reynaldo Rosel.

SPO1 Edmundo Macasa, Police investigator Reynaldo Gerna and SPO2 Edwin Corado responded to a complaint about a suspected illegal recruitment activity. It was disclosed by witnesses from the neighborhood that the activity started mid-December of 2005. Elmalyn Espinas is a constant visitor of the Rosel’s and whose husband was working as construction helper.

Police went to the vicinity and saw unusual number of people mostly men with baggage saying they were instructed by the lady recruiter to report January 11, 2006 and be ready to travel to Manila to process papers for overseas work.

Twelve recruited skilled workers from Borongan, Maydolong, Balangkayan and other nearby municipalities positively identified Elma as their recruiter who told them to be ready since the employer  (an Arab national) was to meet them and in town staying in one of the hotels in Borongan. It was believed that the collection of money for processing of documents was to follow had it not been stopped by enforcers.

Police and local media checked the hotel found no such guest identified as Arab national. The law enforcers together with local media investigated and went to the area where said recruitment activity was conducted to invite Elmalyn Espinas for questioning. Espinas did not show up and allegedly was having some kind of stroke (hypertensive) and needs rest.

Police did not leave the area and suggested that Espinas be brought to the hospital for treatment and initially refused but later was convinced to submit to doctors. Investigation will continue when the suspect will be ready for questioning.

DOLE provincial personnel Mr. Marlon Arago confirmed the illegal activities and urged people to report to authorities further doubtful transaction.

In a recent update, the 2 illegal recruiters Elmalyn Espinas and her live-in partner Dennis Dacles of Can-avid are now detained at the Borongan police station and a case is now being prepared against them by the 22 victims witnessed by the DOLE.





In the light of Satur Ocampo’s new position at the lower house

ANAD warns against strong communist-terrorist influence in Congress

Press Release by
Alliance For Nationalism And Democracy
January 11, 2006

CEBU CITY – The Alliance For Nationalism And Democracy (ANAD) strongly denounce the appointment of Satur Ocampo as Deputy Minority Floorleader at the House of Representatives. With his newly acquired position, Ocampo, a true-blooded communist-terrorist, can now wield strong influence in our country’s legislature.

“While in the past, Satur Ocampo”, together with other communist-terrorist legislators in the partylist block succeeded to “terrorize” the Lower House, his new position could greatly lend support to the quest of the Maoist communist-terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF to take over the power of government,” said Jun Alcover, national president of the pro-democracy alliance ANAD.

“In conscience, I cannot understand why the current leadership of the Lower House, particularly in the opposition, has entrusted to Ocampo a powerful position considering the fact that his group has vowed, for the past 37 years, to overthrow our democratic government and in its stead put in place a communist governance,” said Alcover.

In the past ANAD issued several strong warnings and calls on government, particularly the leaders of Congress, to take the necessary steps and measures to prevent and eventual power grab by the communist-terrorists there. “Now, what we feared is imminent because with Ocampo’s recent climb up the ladder of leadership in the Lower House, they (Maoist communist-terrorists CPP-NPA-NDF) are now poised and capable to scuttle whatever programs and actions that our government would take particularly in reviving our ailing economy,” Alcover added.

On the other hand, ANAD challenges Ocampo, and his co-partylist representatives under BAYAN MUNA, ANAK PAWIS, GABRIELA, AKBYAN, and PARTIDO MANGGAGAWA to openly disclose how they spent their PDAF (pork-barrel). “Unless they do that, ANAD maintains that most of their pork-barrel funds were used to fuel the communist-terrorists insurgency in the country,” Alcover pointed out. Also, Alcover stressed, “There funds must be subject to auditing by the Commission on Audit and the COA report be published in at least 3 national circulated dailies,” he said.

ANAD calls on all of the freedom-loving Filipino people to oppose and reject this new set-up in the Lower House by joining forces and united in opposing the Moist communist-terrorists CPP-NPA-NDF to include the leadership of the opposition who had fallen into the trape webbed by the Godless communist terrorists.





LGU campaign for computer donations gains support

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 10, 2005

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – The local government of Tanauan, Leyte’s drive to provide computer units to the public schools in the locality by campaigning for computer donations from the townsfolk who are now residing abroad or are financially better off, is gaining more support.

Yesterday, Mayor Roque Tiu together with Sangguniang Bayan Members Corazon Fiel, Cathy Kapunan, Edith Gobenciong, Vic Badana, Quintin Octa and Dante Perez, accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Heinz and Dolores (nee Perez) Backzco in turning over a brand new computer set to the Tanauan School of Craftsmanship and Home Industries located at Barangay Canramos.

This is the third computer set turned over to the school since the campaign for computer donations was launched on November 14, 2005. Mrs. Backzco is a from Barangay Malaguicay of the town. She and her German husband now resides in Japan but they maintain a house in Barangay Malaguicay.

Mayor Tiu who thought of the project in support of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's thrust to give the best education for all students, said it was not difficult to convince Mr. Backzco to donate a computer set because he is well aware of the situation in the public school as he regularly comes to Tanauan. Besides, Mr. and Mrs. Backzco has always been helping in other projects of the municipality.

Mr. Marino Nellas happily accepted the donation in the presence of the faculty members and the students. He said that although he never doubted the capacity of Mayor Tiu in being able to solicit computers, he never expected the answer of the good Tanauananons to be that fast. He said that it only shows what the computer technology could do, it makes the world smaller and time shorter.

He also expressed optimism that the school will receive more computer sets in the near future because he believes in the capability of the local chief executive. Besides, he said that Mayor Tiu is known for his sincerity and hardwork.

The Tanauan School of Craftsmanship is the only public high school in Tanauan with the least number of computers. Kiling National High School has 10 computer sets which Mayor Tiu solicited from the Rotary Club of San Mateo in California, USA. The other high school, the Tanauan national High School has more than 20 units solicited from the Department of Trade and Industry and from the Department of Science and Technology.

The solicitations for computer sets is published in the town’s website. More generous Tanauananons are expected to turn over their donations in the near future.



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