TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte –
Col. Allan Ragpala of the 802nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine
Army is determined to destroy the remnants of the CPP-NPA operating in
the Leyte Island.
In an interview with
PIA, Col. Ragpala expressed optimism that the unearthing of the mass
gravesite in Sitio Sapang Daco in Barangay Caulisihan at Inopacan,
Leyte, will be an eye opener to the public on the true color of the
CPP-NPA who can kill their own members on mere suspicion. This should
make the public think twice before they believe the many promises they
make in order to entice them.
Described by his men
as a brilliant and very good commander, Col. Ragpala said that with
the capture of the Southern Leyte Front secretary Licerio Rolona alias
JR in June of 2006, the Southern Leyte command and the Evelyn Dublin
Command where he is also the commander, has been dismantled.
He said that that he
is resolute to destroy the remnant of the armed elements which he said
have been already reduced to about 16 armed men in the Southern Leyte
Front. There is no such thing as forbidden place for him, he said, and
that is why he led the massive internal security operations at the
Forbidden land at Sapang Daco in Barangay Caulisihan in Inopacan.
He revealed that he is
now in Northern Leyte to insure that reinforcements will not be able
to enter. He said that this irritant is a great hindrance to the
development of the island as no investor will not put in capital
unless he is sure about the security and peace and order condition of
the place. He said that the military is now working on this,
especially in places which are not reached by the services of the
government. He gave the assurance the he and his men are working hard
to attain peace in the island. One thing certain is that the enemies
of the government in the island of Leyte are not able to stay in one
place because the military is always after them.
He revealed that he
always inculcate to his men the importance of giving assurance to the
people that they can sleep well because the military will always be
there to protect them. It is important that the military gets the
trust and confidence of the people, Col. Ragpala said.
In the same manner, he
said that the support of the residents and the local government
officials is very important to the success of the work of the
military. With the good coordination among the military, the local
government units and the local residents, there is no doubt that the
armed elements of the CPP-NPA will be destroyed in the
and true peace will be attained.
He said that with
peace and the investors coming in, the province will be able to fully
develop and this will redound to the betterment of the people in terms
of more jobs generated.
Remains of purging
victims in Leyte now at Hibod-Hibod Chapel for appropriate final rites
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 4, 2006
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– A glaring portrait of stark and bitter reality, exposing the
dastardly and inhuman acts of the CCP-NPA, the remains of 67 purging
victims which were exhumed from the mass grave at Sapang Daco,
Caulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte now lies in state at the Sr. San Isidro
Labrador Catholic Chapel of Hibod-Hibod, Sogod, Southern Leyte, in
order to be given the appropriate last rites.
PIA news team who went
to the site Saturday, found out that the Catholic Chapel is only a few
meters away from the Philippine Army 43rd Infantry Battalion Company
Headquarters in Barangay Hibod-Hibod, Sogod Southern Leyte.
The remains as PIA saw
them are still in sacks pending the completion of the improvised
caskets which are still being made by the Philippine Army and the
local government units. Members of the 43rd Infantry Battalion are
taking turns in guarding the remains while the Barangay residents and
the Barangay Tanods are keeping vigil and praying for the souls of the
Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom
who is the commander of the 43rd Infantry Battalion informed PIA that
he and some soldiers brought with them the remains when they came back
from the grave site so that they will be given the appropriate final
rites before they are buried in the respective barangays where they
allegedly came from. The remains have undergone forensic examinations
conducted by SOCO under Dr. Angel Cordero.
Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom,
who is nursing two fractured fingers as a result of the two-hours
steep mountain hike from Mount Sapang Daco the night before, informed
that there is no road going to Barangay Caulisihann. One can reach it
through trails and by hiking along riversides. From Barangay
Caulisihan to the mass gravesite at Mount Sapang Daco, is a steep
mountain hike passing through Barangay Monterico of Baybay, Leyte.
He also revealed that
of the 67 skeletal remains exhumed from the Garden (gravesite), only
one was identified. That is the remains of Gregorio Eras whose remains
was identified because of the clothes he was wearing when he was
abducted by the NPA, by his brother Domingo who is presently a
barangay Kagawad of Barangay Monterico, Baybay, Leyte.
victims of the “cleansing” conducted by the CPP-NPA in the 1980’s up
to the 1990’s are not only from Barangay Culisihan, Inopacan, Leyte,
but from the nearby villages of Monterico, in Baybay, Leyte; Barangay
Cabungaan, Baybay, Leyte; Barangay Maypatag, Baybay, Leyte; Barangay
Amguhan, Baybay, Leyte; Barangay Ampihanon, Baybay, Leyte; Barangay
Pansangan, Baybay, Leyte; and Barangay Camansi, Inopacan, Leyte.
Lt. Col. Lacurom said
that about three of those exhumed were the remains of women as proven
by the brassiere and the strap of the clothes they were wearing. That
the victims were tortured is seen by the fractured skulls and the
broken ribs of the some of the victims, he added.
Because the killings
were done many years ago, the other relatives who went to the site in
order to help in the digging, can no longer recognize their relatives
who were abducted from their homes in the 1980’s by the members of the
NPA and who never returned home since then.
revealed that they know the names of those who took their relatives.
Some of those purged were members of the NPA and some were civilians
who were under suspicion and were tried in the Kangaroo Court and were
sentenced to “ihaw” (butchered) in the native dialect. They said that
that is the difference between the legal courts and the kangaroo court
of the NPA. In the Kangaroo Court, by mere suspicion, without
listening to the side of the suspect, he is sentenced to be tortured
Lt. Co. Lacurom said
that the remains of the victims of the cleansing will be given a
decent burial. However, he could not yet specify the date pending
consultations with the relatives and the local government executives.
Digging continues at
the mass gravesite at Mt. Sapang Dacu
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 4, 2006
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte –
Digging for the remains of the victims of the alleged “cleansing”
conducted upon orders of the leadership of the CPP-NPA in the 1980’s,
continues at the Garden, mass grave site at Mount Sapang Dacu at
Barangay Caulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte.
This was revealed by
Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom, commander of the Philippine Army 43rd Infantry
Battalion based at Barangay Hibod-Hibod, Sogod,
Southern Leyte, in an interview with PIA. Col. Lacurom said that his
battalion has received reports from the residents of the nearby
barangays that there are others who are being missed by their
relatives. He said that these relatives must be given the chance to
dig for the remains of their relatives who were abducted by the NPAs
in the 80’s. Some of them are now at the gravesite digging for the
remains of their relatives, Lt. Col. Lacurom said.
He said that it is but
just to allow these relatives to continue excavation so that they will
obtain peace of mind which were deprived of them for so many years
because they did not know where to find the dead body of their missing
love ones. He noted that when the names of the victims were being read
at the site, some of the residents, even one child asked why the name
of his father is not included in the list. That is why the list of
victims became more than 100.
The young commander
said that one company of the 43rd Infantry Battalion is still in the
area of Sitio Sapang Daco in order to secure the area. He declared
that the military will remain in the area for as long as it is needed,
to assist the people who want to find for the remains of their missing
relatives. He said it is not easy to exhume the remains because the
place is thickly vegetated and the roots of the vegetation have
Lt. Col. Lacurom
described the Garden or the gravesite where the CPP-NPA buried the
members who are suspected to be government informers or deep
penetration agents, as thickly vegetated forest. In the main grave
site, there are many holes. Some contained three or four or six who
are either lying side by side or one after the other. In the grave
site, exhumed were skulls, some fractured, some have blindfolds,
others, still tied up.
This confirms the
accounts of several witnesses who said that in the 1980’s, they would
see some 14 or more people whose hands were tied at the back and who
were being herded to Mt. Sapang Daco which has long been known as a
Forbidden Place as it was a guerilla site, the center of the Southern
Leyte Front of the CPP-NPA.
Victims of red’s Oplan: Anti-VD during
the 80’s found in a mass grave
By ROMMEL L. RUTOR
September 3, 2006
INOPACAN, Leyte – In a
mass grave site called “Garden,” the Communist Terrorists’ purging
activities dubbed as “Operation Anti-VD” in the mid 80’s was unearthed
by the elements of the 43rd Infantry Battalion under the 802nd
Infantry Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army on
August 30, 2006.
The mass grave which
was located in Sitio Sapang Dako, Brgy. Kaulisihan of this town,
contained more or less 100 people who were massacred on suspicion by
the mainstream Maoist movement that they are deep-penetration agents
and government informers.
Based on the
information obtained from the 8th Infantry Division command based in
Samar, the CPP-NPA-NDF alleged cleansing has been done within its
ranks during the mid-80’s, and subsequently the Sountern Leyte Front
implemented its anti-infiltration campaign in the second half of the
1980’s, which resulted in the maltreatment, torture and summary
execution of more than a hundred innocent CPP-NPA members suspected of
relaying information to the government.
According to Major
Felix Mangyao of the 8th ID Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), the
discovery of the mass grave was a result of the intensified internal
security operations being conducted by the 802nd Brigade led by Col.
Allan A. Ragpala against the remaining members of the Evelyn Dublin
Terrorist Core Group of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee.
“Former top communist
terrorist leaders and members who surrendered earlier, and families of
missing persons and residents of nearby barangays in the area have
extended their time and effort to excavate the skeletal remains of the
purge victims with the assistance of the elements of the 43rd Infantry
Battalion”, Major Mangyao informed.
Major Mangyao likewise
added that the former CT leaders and members had signified their
willingness to stand as witnesses in court to testify that the purging
was ordered by no less than the founding Chair of the CPP/NPA/NDF,
Jose Maria Sison, as well as Luis Jalandoni and Satur Ocampo who were
members of the Central Committee at that time.
installed 8th ID-PA commanding general MGen. Rodrigo F. Maclang
commended the soldiers of the 43rd IB a component battalion of the
802nd Brigade for the discovery of the said mass grave. “This
accomplishment gained for them the people’s support necessary in
diminishing the menace of insurgency in Eastern Visayas.”, the general
Maclang added that the people of Region 8 strongly condemns the CPP/NPA/NDF’s
purging activities in the strongest terms and are calling on the
Commission on Human Rights and other International Human Rights
Advocates to investigate these terroristic activities to give justice
to the victims and their families.
‘Blessing’ showers over San Jorge
By ELI C. DALUMPINES, (PIA
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
For years access to potable water has been a problem in most of the
interior barangays of this town. But, as "Operation blessing" extends
help to these villages, this problem will likely to become a thing of
Volunteer workers of
CBN’s (Christian Broadcasting Network) "Operation Blessing," Bernard
Marcelo and Chito Zafra, in an interview Monday, informed that they
have been working in the interior barangays of this town for almost a
year now in providing potable water to the people.
According to them, the
project has already constructed 18 deep wells to 17 barangays which
placed potable water as their top priority, not to mention the five
units of public toilets which they were able to construct in five
Marcelo and Zafra
though felt bad over newspaper reports identifying them with a local
politician but said they will not bother entertain the issue as their
main concern is to meet the needs of the villagers.
To recall, San Jorge
Mayor Joseph Grey tagged the project as pro-Inday since the
implementers are closely working with Vice Mayor Marcelina Yu.
clarified that they will not allow themselves to be used by
politicians saying that CBN is a Christian organization that is
concern only in giving humanitarian aid and in preaching the Gospel.
He explained that they
really tried to establish links with Mayor Grey but said that he is
not always around whenever they visit his office; hence, they
coordinated with the Vice Mayor instead. He vowed though that they
will try to seek audience with the mayor to explain their side.
He stressed that, as a
humanitarian organization, "Operation Blessing" extends various
assistance to needy communities ranging from livelihood programs to
water and sanitation, depending on the needs of particular recipient
Calbayog City Ma’am is
one of this year’s Ten Outstanding Teachers
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 2, 2006
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte –
Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento of Calbayog City has several reasons to
smile these days. He is ably stirring Calbayog towards development and
excellence that makes Calbayog in the limelight not only in the Region
but nationwide as well.
There is no stopping
Calbayog into achieving the
status with Mayor Sarmiento at the helm. Encouraging participatory
governance, the City’s Farmers Association was accorded the Gawad Saka
Award which is a shining proof of the importance of partnership
between the government and the private sector to achieve the desired
goal of the city.
The latest reason for
Mayor Sarmiento to beam with pride and satisfaction is the inclusion
of Ms. Isabel S. Eman of the San Policarpo National High School in
Calbayog City, as one of the ten Outstanding Teachers of 2006.
Ms. Eman is the first
awardee from San Policarpo National High School where she has been
teaching English for almost thirty years.
Amidst the current
state of the Philippine’s educational system, it is refreshing to know
that there is in the Region, particularly in Calbayog City, one
teacher who stands as a shining legacy of the most noble profession
Ms. Eman is one of the
three awardees in the secondary level, the other two being Olivia E.
Caling, 3rd awardee from Ramon Magsaysay High School in Espana, Manila
who specializes in General Science and is teaching first year
students; and Gelly E. Alkuimo, 1st awardee from Irineo L. Santiago
National High School of Metro Dadiangas in General Santos City. She
has been teaching Araling Panlipunan for almost 18 years in 2nd year
honored the 10 Outstanding Teachers of 2006 by personally conferring
on them the symbolic gold medallions for serving as models of
excellence in the teaching profession.
The ten awardees each
received P250,000.00 and a trophy while their respective schools were
given a plaque of recognition and financial assistance for faculty
The Search for
Outstanding Teachers is an annual nationwide program for exemplary
role being undertaken by the Metrobank Foundation in coordination with
the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education.
This year’s search,
chaired by Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales,
chose the awardees for their personal integrity, character,
instructional competence and professional and community involvement
that made them stand out from hundreds of equally qualified nominees.
The awardees for the
elementary level are Ruth A. Lebes-Gelvezon of West Visayas State
University in Iloilo City who has been teaching science for 17 years;
Evelyn M. Kimpo, 1st awardee from Banga Elementary School in Banga,
Aklan where she teaches English for Grade VI pupils and has been
teaching for almost 38 years; Editha R. Banguilan, 1st awardee from
Cabagan Science Elementary School in Cabagan. Isabela where she is
teaching Mathematics for the Grade 1 pupils; and, Ofelia L. Lonoza,
1st awardee from Lucena North I Elementary School in Lucena City who
has been teaching Filipino for almost 40 years.
The awardees for the
higher education level are Ambeth R. Ocampo, 9th awardee from the
Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City where he served for 21
years teaching Philippine History; Raquel B. del Rosario-Fortun, 6th
awardee from the University of the Philippines in Padre Faura, Manila,
with 17 years of teaching service focusing on forensic pathology; and
Soledad M. Roguel, 3rd awardee from Central Luzon State University in
Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija with almost 36 years of teaching
service in educational psychology.
Bohol to assume TTMIST
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE, (PIA
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Dr. Socorro Orbeta-Bohol will be sworn in a solemn investiture as the
4th President of Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and
Technology (TTMIST) in Calbayog City on September 6, 2006.
The invitation that
reached PIA, also revealed that a thanksgiving mass will be officiated
by the Most Reverend Jose Palma, DD, STD, Archdiocese of Palo,
Leyte. The mass will be concelebrated by some 12 priests.
The 56-year-old Bohol
was previously assigned as President to the Samar State College of
Agriculture and Forestry (SSCAF), San Jorge, Samar.
Her impressive resume
include completion of her baccalaureate degree from the Divine Word
University (DWU) in Tacloban City, Cum Laude in 1970. From then on,
she continuously pursued further studies until completing her Doctor
of Philosophy, major in Educational Administration in 1991.
Dr. Bohol has
extensive trainings in educational administration, research and
statistics, curriculum planning and other school-related concerns.
participated in the International Conference of Educational Challenges
in the World Community of the 21st Century, SEAMEO INNOTECH and a
Seminar-Workshop on Ethics in Public Governance: EROPA, CSC and UP
College of Public Administration, Bali, Indonesia. She was a
fellowship grantee of the Colombo Plan fro International program
certificate on Training Method and Skills, NISIET, Hyderabad, India.
She also attended a seminar on Customized Education at
Korea in 2004. She too, is a trained senior national AACCUP accreditor.
She is happily married
to Mr. Fernando Bohol, Jr. the city Director of the Department of the
Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Faculty, students and
staff of TTMIST are hopeful that the leadership of the woman-president
will make TTMIST soar to greater heights.