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Tragedy-stricken So. Leyte continues to draw concern from top corporations

Solon lauds remedial classes for teachers, pushes for more educational reforms

DTI launches ‘Pag-Asenso’ live weekly TV sitcom

SAGUPA-SB: Black propaganda cannot stop us

People’s initiative steps up in Region 8

Rep. Figueroa seeks reelection; endorses wife as next governor of Samar

There was Balikatan in Guinsaugon – Gov. Lerias

Sarmiento denies blocking the cityhood bid of Catbalogan

Eastern Samar BAYAN MUNA youth leader gunned down

Mayor Bejo opens Tacloban City Hall to the media


Calbayog City implements "No Tag, No Collection" garbage policy

May 6, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Calbayog City implements "No tag, no collection policy" that started in May 2, 2006 to ensure that the city maintains its being clean consistent with its Galing Pook Award in the past.

Based on leaflets distributed by the city government through the City Solid Waste Management Office Chairman Rodolfo Aquino, the scheme suggested three tag colors for garbage to be collected.

It likewise mandated that any establishment, be residential, commercial or industrial must have three garbage containers where a green tag is placed for biodegradable; red for non-biodegradable and yellow for hazardous waste materials with matching Waray translations.

The program, said Aquino was formulated in the context of the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) of the city that the operation of garbage collection is based on the utilization of tags.

It is the tag, the chair said that will determine whether the generator of the garbage is compliant with the mandate of the city's ISWM ordinance as well as the provision on segregation of waste at source.

The chairman further noted that with the policy, several advantages will be attained if zealously enforced and observed.

According to a document obtained by PIA, the program aims to convert residents to initiate their own solid waste management in accordance with existing laws to lessen the cost of their waste disposal. It also aims to reduce the volume of garbage including expenses incurred in garbage collection and at the same time create awareness and solid waste responsible people.

Tags for waste generated by households are available in two denominational values that conspicuously appear on the face of each tag, it said. Smaller bags require P1.50 while a 50 kg. sack commands P3.00. The tags are available at the ISWM office.

Wastes generated by businesses and non-business establishments shall be required of tags which bear no denominational value. Only the distinctive color code is necessary to determine which type of waste is contained, it added.

The document also said that to avoid spillage, sanitary containers must be tightly tied or covered. Voluminous heap of wastes need not be tagged. Fees of which shall be referred to the tariff of garbage fees prescribed by the ISWM ordinance.

All sacks, bags, and/or boxes of wastes brought outside for collection but are not properly tagged shall be left behind.





All set for the Yamaha Pan-ASEAN Tour

May 5, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  – Authorities here have already made preparations to welcome participants of the Yamaha Pan-ASEAN Tour which will pass the Eastern Visayas region this May 17-18.

In a coordinative meeting initiated by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Wednesday, local government officials of towns situated along the Maharlika Highway, police authorities and the local media have laid out plans in welcoming the tour participants.

These preparations include securing of the tour route, hanging of welcome streamers, displaying souvenir items and local delicacies and entertaining the participants with cultural presentations.

To recall, about 20 professional and media riders from ASEAN countries took off last November in Indonesia for the Yamaha Tour to launch Yamaha’s latest model, the T135, while at the same time promote ASEAN’s tourism industry.

Included in its route were Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. Tour participants are expected to arrive in Cebu on May 15, this month, and it will pass through Eastern Visayas via Isabel, Leyte on May 17-18.

DOT Regional Director Karen Tiopes said this is an opportunity to promote the region as a travel and summer destination of our ASEAN neighbors.





Rep. Figueroa cited one of the Congress’ top achievers

May 4, 2006

Congressman Cata Figueroa

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –   “I am a silent worker, actually.”

Thus said administration lawmaker Catalino “Cata” Figueroa (2nd district - Samar) in reaction to reports that he was picked-up one of the top achievers at the Lower House.

This information citing him one of the “outstanding” among other 236 political districts and 24 party-list representatives in the 13th Congress, as reported in the national broadsheets, was verified when this writer visited the Bills and Index Department of the lower House through internet access.

There, it was revealed that Figueroa ranked third among congressmen who filed numerous bills and resolutions – all seeking both the parochial and national concerns of the people.

Figueroa, of the Lakas Nacionalista Party, filed 59 national bills, authored 189 local bills and introduced 29 House Resolutions of national importance and local significance as of April 30, 2006.

The bills of the solon varies from compensation of the human rights victims to the privatization of the Philippine National Railways; from increasing sin taxes imposed on alcohol and tobacco products to providing internet access among government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporation; from the protection of the journalists to the creation of circuit criminal courts to try and decide cases of heinous crimes.

On local bills, on the other hand, his congressional staff Francis Niego explained, “These are mostly on providing construction of roads, schools, irrigation, multi-purpose, pavements, deep-wells, executive buildings, covered courts and other infrastructures that would make improve his district which Figueroa represents.”

Niego further said that by those achievements, the solon earned numerous awards such as Most Outstanding Alumnus given by the University of the East Alumni Association, Most Consistent Outstanding Congressman for the Third Time given by the Congress magazine, and one of the Most Outstanding Congressmen Awards in the 1st regular session of the 13th Congress bestowed by the Public Eye Magazine (PEM).

In the search for the outstanding solon, “(their) performance at the plenary, significance of proposed measures and bills sponsored in as far as local and national importance is concerned, active performance during committee-level hearings, and their responsive performance and implementation of the congressional initiative projects in their districts,” it was learned.

Godofredo Ramos, publisher of the PEM, who chaired the search, said this activity aimed to initiate their profound recognition to their worthy performance as representatives of the Filipino people in the legislative processes in Congress.

“(We’re doing this) as part of our continuing commitment to pursue our fair and respectable ethical standards in mass media,” Ramos said in his (congratulatory) letter to Figueroa.

Ramos branded the Samar solon, in their report, as “the unassuming statesman” explaining that the solon is not the typical type politician who would always want to see his name on papers, radio and television yet he quietly performs his duty and never brags about his accomplishments.

Meantime, when asked for his comment, Figueroa said: “If not because of the trust of my constituents when they reelected me, this will not happen. So, I have to repay them by this humble accomplishments of mine.”

To date, the solon said he is bent on utilizing his campaign in improving the lives of his people in Samar and the Filipino people in general.





Army captured 2 NPA amazons in Leyte

May 3, 2006

KANANGA, Leyte  –  As the campaign against terrorism in Norther Leyte spearheaded by 19th Infantry (Commando) Battalion continues, more and more Communist Terrorist (CT) are falling one by one as more people are responding to the call of the unit to cooperate in “spilling the beans” on the CT’s activities and whereabouts. This time another two (2) CT amazons were captured by elements of this unit in Barangay Basud, San Isidro, Leyte, who were conducting recruitment and mobilization for the May 1 labor day rally in Ormoc City.

The duo were reported conducting small group discussion among the farmers teaching them about communism as espoused by known communist leaders Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong. Upon receipt of this report LtC. Dagoy, CO 19IB immediately sent one (1) platoon from Charlie Company led by 2Lt Dabajo to verify the report. At about 4:30 in the afternoon of April 28, 2006 Lt Dabajo and his men arrived at Brgy. Basud and subsequently apprehended two (2) female CT’s identified as Thelma Pondulanan y Geno alias Leah/Mayang, former party wife of Deolito Dela Cruz alias Maning also a CT leader from Barangay Amguhan, Baybay, Leyte. She is a member of NLF, EVRPC who is now operating aboveground as a member of KARAPATAN, LEYTE, a known leftist HR advocate group.

The other CT is identified as Clarita Cinteno y Horca alias Maen who also operates aboveground as a member of the leftist party-list GABRIELA. They were captured while at the house of Benito Monticina, Chairman SAMACA NWL/council and member of ALMARYU-Leyte. Confiscated from the possession of Thelma Pondulanan and Clarita Centino is a .22 cal revolver loaded with six (6) live ammunitions and the following subversive documents: three (3) booklets entitled “Bagong Hukbong Bayan BHB’, Three Booklets of “National Democratic fronts NDF”, three booklets entitled “Organo Han Demokratiko nga Poder Pampulitika“ Ten (10) pcs of propaganda leaflets Ang Bayan entitled “Pahayagan ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas” publication Jan 31, 2006 issues; seven (7) pcs propaganda leaflets Ang Bayan entitled “Pahayagan ng Partido Kumunista ng Pilipinas” 2005 issues, and two (2) pcs sign pen.

Alias Mayang was reported to be part of the CT group that raided and robbed the house of Mr. George Asnar in Barangay Catmon, Tabango, Leyte sometime in December 14 year 2005.

The two (2) CT’s are now in the custody of this unit as appropriate charges are being prepared to be filed against them in court in line with the unit’s legal offensives against the CT’s.

In a separate event, at 4:30 in the afternoon of April 27, 2006, Commando Troopers lead by 2Lt. Marvin Caspillo, discovered two camps of Communist Terrorist CPP/NPA in two different locations in the vicinity of Brgy. Boroc, Ormoc City. The first camp with ten (10) meters wide and twenty (20) meters long was located at Sitio CanJose and the other camp with twenty (20) meters wide and fifty (50) meters long was located at a densely vegetated area also in the same barangay. These two camps were believed to be used by communist terrorists as their rehearsal/dry - run site prior to the Albuera siege last 25 January this year.

These two camps were hastily abandoned by the communist terrorists after they perceived they no longer enjoy much of the support of the local populace. The Villagers said “They cannot take the abuses of the CPP/NPA terrorist anymore. “SOBRA NA SILA, AMO NGA PAGKA-ON IHUNGIT NALANG AGAWON PA,” they said.

Furthermore, the death of the number one (no. 1) communist terrorist in Northern Leyte, known by his true name as Nestor Caliwan alias Apoy/Lipas/Usman is causing this group to take desperate actions like extorting money, robbery and killing innocent civilians. These inhuman acts persuaded the people to protest and reported their presence to this unit. 

The Commanding Officer of the 19th IB emphasized that “this is just a result of the Army’s continuous efforts and diligence to our sworn duty to secure and protect the people and its territory as mandated by our constitution.” LtC Dagoy, CO, 19IB urges the people to continue reporting all terroristic actions of the CPP/NPA in the barangays including their extortion activities (revolutionary taxation) in the city in order to effectively neutralize this menace in our society for our people to enjoy the peace and the prospect for economic growth and development that they truly deserved. And to those whose relatives are still active communist terrorist CPP/NPA member to convince them to surrender and return to the folds of the law before it’s too late. 





Japanese firm donates P1M for health center and emergency clinic at Saint Bernard

By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern Leyte
May 1, 2006

MAASIN CITY, Leyte  –  A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed at the Kinamot Restaurant here on Friday, April 28, detailing the donation, construction, and provision of a medical facility worth P1Million at Saint Bernard town intended for the health needs of the Guinsaugon tragedy victims and other people displaced by constant landslide threats in their home barangays.

Among the signatories of the MOA were Masanori Otani, President of Cyber Brain, Inc., an Information and Technology firm from Japan which sponsored the P1Million grant to undertake the project;  Yoshihiro Miyagi, President of Jafino (for Japanese-Filipino) Educational Foundation, Inc.;  Rep. Prospero Pichay, Jr., Director for Political Affairs, Jafino Foundation;  Atty. Erlando Abrenica, President, Rotary Club of Kamuning, Quezon City;  and Atty. Salvador Lobres, past President of the Kamuning Rotary Club and Director of Jafino Foundation.

On the part of the province, those who signed were Rep. Roger Mercado, Vice-Gov. Miguel Maamo in behalf of Gov. Rosette Lerias, and Mayor Maria Lim of Saint Bernard.

Other Japanese guests who witnessed the signing were Mickey Suzuki, Director, Jafino;  Kenjie Miyamoro, another Jafino Director;  and Yuklu Kurisu, Director of Cyber Brain, Inc.

It was learned that Cyber Brain, Inc., an IT corporation based in Tokyo City, Japan, donated P1Million through the Jafino Foundation “for a specific purpose of using the same (the donated sum) for the benefit of the people and the victims in the Southern Leyte tragedy,” the MOA stipulated.

“The Foundation through its partner in service, the Rock (referring to the Rotary Club of Kamuning, Quezon City), cognizant of the current situation in Southern Leyte where there is scarcity of health centers and/or emergency clinics for purposes of carrying out the donation of the Cyber Brain, Inc., has decided to construct a Health Center and Emergency Clinic in a strategic place thereat in order to guarantee and safeguard the health and physical condition of the people therein,” the MOA said.

Mayor Lim, as the beneficiary, was tasked to look for the exact location and venue in which the health center and emergency clinic will be constructed in a lot owned by the municipality.

The Mayor was also charged with the proper coordination to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and to secure the necessary permits, pertinent documents and other basic requirements to hasten the realization of the project.

Meanwhile, the Jafino Foundation and the Rotary Club of Kamuning, upon the recommendation of the LGU, the DOH, and the DSWD “commits to do its best effort to provide the equipment, instruments, and medical supplies for the normal operation of the Health Center and Clinic.”

As long as all the required papers are in order, actual construction work for the project may take only two months from start to finish, it was learned.





KARAPATAN starts legal offensive vs. rights violators

Press Release
April 28, 2006

QUEZON CITY – The human rights alliance KARAPATAN on Thursday filed criminal and administrative complaints in behalf of victims of brutality committed by policemen during rallies in the City of Manila, signaling the start of the legal offensive of human rights groups against rights violators in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“We warn notorious violators of civil liberties that we will defend those rights in both the court of public opinion and in legal courts,” said KARAPATAN Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez.

Charges of violation of provisions of the Batas Pambansa 880 and Republic Act 7438 or the Rights of Arrested and Detained Persons were pressed at the Office of the Ombudsman against PNP officials Gen. Arturo Lomibao, Gen. Vidal Querol, Gen. Pedro Bulaong, Supt. Bernard Diaz, P/Insp. John Guiagui and other John Does who can be identified by means of the pictures and video footages that were submitted as evidence.

Acts of lasciviousness, maltreatment and grave threats to persons under detention were also filed against members of the police force who would be identifiable as they were caught on tape.

Enriquez said that these cases illustrate the irony of what the GMA administration asserts as “rule of law”. “They violate the law (BP 880) to impose the law against the people. “

“What should be curtailed are the abuses of security forces, and not the people’s rights to assembly and expression. Hounding violators in court is one way of battling the culture of impunity,” Enriquez added.

Meanwhile, legal counsel Alfonso Cinco IV said “With the evidences that we have, we are sure we can pin down the PNP elements. The non-wearing of IDs, the carrying of firearms within 100 meters of the demonstration and the violent dispersals of peaceful assemblies injured countless citizens. These are very serious violations, implemented upon the orders of high PNP officials.”

KARAPATAN said they have a list of at least 75 notorious human rights violators nationwide. Their chapters are preparing charges against them.

“The rule of law is twinned by civil liberties. Justice must be served for all the victims of suppression. And violators must face the consequences of their action.” Atty. Cinco concluded.



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