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802nd IB commander determined to destroy the remnants of NPA in Leyte island

Town dad seeks relief of top army officers in their locality

Taiwanese donor sends another P1.8M for Guinsaugon scholars

Calbayog makes it as one of 15 Dream Cities of RP

RDC 8 requests PGMA to appoint permanent Co-chair, submits nominees

St. Mary’s Catbalogan champions General Info Quiz for Catbalogan Fiesta

Tacloban New Transport Terminal now operational

Ancient town in Samar gears up for its 415th Grand Fiesta

2 towns in Eastern Samar complete Water Development Project

Power forum resolves to work for power rates reduction in Region 8


Army officer says San Jorge mayor is misinformed

September 7, 2006

SAN JORGE, Samar  – Defending his part over the series of contentions placing him in the limelight of the political row in this town, LtCol. Glorivine Dida, Commanding Officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion here, spoke to media recently, and vehemently denied all of Mayor Joseph Grey’s assumptions that he is cuddling the alleged political ploys of this town’s Vice-Mayor Marcelina Yu.

Grey Uy Dida

LtCol. Dida expressed disappointment over the inability of this town’s chief executive to validate the information that are being relayed to him by his men, saying that he is not getting the right information which eventually leads provoking circumstances, and eventually destroying the supposed good rapport of the military and the LGU.

The army officer cited the recent complaint of Mayor Grey pertaining to the jotting down of the plate number of his new vehicle which landed in the town’s police logbook the other week.

“Pina-imbistigahan ko ang sundalo ko, and I learned na galing talaga sa munisipyo si Pfc. Alap-ap kasi may ipina-rehistro siya, pero nung nasa labas na siya nagti-text siya at siguro, over acting na iyong mga tao ni Mayor at akala e sinusulat na niya ang numero ng plaka”, he explained.

The heating rift between the LGU chief and the Officers of the 34th IB here is gaining grounds when Mayor Joseph Grey, ultimately send in his letter request asking for the immediate relief of the 34th IB’s top officers to the AFP chief, Secretary of National Defense, CENTCOM Chief and to the 8th Infantry Division command in Camp Lukban. Catbalogan, Samar.

LtCol. Dida likewise revealed that the LGU with instructions from Mayor Grey is brewing up an SB resolution for the ejection of the 34th IB headquarters from its present site in Brgy. Erenas, this town.

“I am very much frustrated of the turn of events, pero okey lang talagang ganun, ang panawagan ko lang naman kay Mayor na sana e wag siya basta basta magpapaniwala sa mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya, kasi hindi niya alam isinu-suong na siya ng sarili niyang mga tao sa mga hindi tamang kundisyon”, LtCol. Dida said.

But when asked on his comment on the petition of Mayor Grey, the army officer told that Mayor should have specifically pointed out his accusations saying that would make his letter substantial and further told that he should have furnished MGen. Jovito Palparan a copy of it for information.

On the contention of political partisanship, LtCol. Dida clarified that the staff of the Operation Blessing of the 700 Club has the final say as to the operation of its projects is concerned in the said locality, “and our role is just to see to it that they would be able to implement their concerns without jeopardizing their safety being the primary partner of this NGO in their civic programs”, LtCol. Dida informed.

He clarified likewise that the staff of the 700 Club went to see the Mayor twice to coordinate the Operation Blessing Well Projects, but accordingly Mayor Grey was out in that two instances, thus, forcing the said NGO to get in the nod and acknowledgement of this town’s vice-mayor, being the second highest elective official.

“And iyong sinasabi niya na security details sa bahay ng vice-mayor, hindi naman para kay vice-mayor iyon, nagkata-on na ang ibang mga tao ng Operation Blessing ay dun sa bahay ng vice-mayor naka-bilet, natural na maglagay kami ng sundalo dun for security reasons”, he explained, adding that the Light Armored Vehicle that was said to be part of the complaint as being used to secure the barangay visits of the vice-mayor was only used once, but not for the vice-mayor but during the road inspection visit of Gov. Milagrosa T. Tan to Brgy. Mobo-ob, a remote barangay of this town.

The army officer likewise denied the allegations that he, together with vice-mayor Marcelino Yu allegedly is plotting a political demolition job against the Mayor by consolidating adverse documents such as a copy of the alleged warrant of arrest against a certain Stephen Grey, which is wanted for Murder in Manila and other papers which attributes adversities to the first family of this town.

Allegedly, Stephen Grey is a son of the Mayor and subsequently LtCol. Dida showed the media a copy of the warrant dated August 10, 2005, but quick to inform that the said warrant was only handed to them by the CIDG for information purposes and to assist the police in tipping them once the said wanted person is sighted.

He likewise retorted back on the allegations of the army’s involvement in the killings of Mayor Grey’s identified supporters, citing the circumstance of the death of Danilo Adona alias “Wangbu”, which was found dead in a rice field wrapped up in a “banig” allegedly coming from the house of Mayor Grey.

The army officer however did not comment on the question if reconciliation between them with the town’s chief is still possible, but told that he is not taking the matter personally, and will just stay silent until the political heat in this town subsides.
Related news: Town dad seeks relief of top army officers in their locality
  San Jorge mayor decries military meddling over political row





Search for Cleanest, Greenest barangay this City, on going

September 7, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  In the hope and strong resolve to create and build a cleaner, greener, and healthier environment, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), together with the Department of Health, and Department of Interior and Local Government initiated the search for the “Clean, Green and Healthy Barangay in Tacloban City” as part of the Clean and Healthy Cities Initiative Program” launched sometime in the month of June this year.

This Program seeks to achieve a better social environment, which supports and promotes better health conditions and quality of life for the constituency.  Furthermore, it intends to educate Filipinos on the value of cleanliness, discipline and cooperation; and to increase the level of awareness on environmental issues.

In support of the program, Mayor Alfredo T. Romualdez issued an executive Order creating a technical working group on its advocacy in order to sustain its workable policies, and program in promoting a healthy environment for the city.

During the meeting, Jonathan Hijada, CENRO Chief, pointed out that the city major concern these days, in supporting its objectives is to get involved in looking and the search for the cleanest and greenest barangay from among its 138 barangay units.

From this initial stage, the city will be able to determine the top 3 qualifiers to vie for the regional and at the same time be qualified for the national competition.

Based on its guidelines, the search teams will focus their efforts this September, duly represented from the local government unit, the non-government organizations and from the national government, they’re so knowledgeable and possessing expertise in handling the selection process.

Ratings will be based on criteria from general cleanliness, with well-maintained facilities, presence of healthful and environmental health practices, etc. And, under the urban space greening, with well maintained green areas and some support system provided by the barangay on its programs and projects, etc., relative to sustain a healthful environment.

In a matter of three months, winners will be determined to receive P50,000; P30,000; and P15,000; for the first, second and third prizes respectively, with still 10 consolation prizes at stake.

The formal awarding will be scheduled this coming December 2006.

Meeting was convened with representatives from the department of Health, the City Hospital, the City Health Office, the City DILG Office, the City General Services Office, KIMRO, and the City ENRO who presided and acted as the chairperson under the program.





Villar: Human Rights victims under Marcos regime to be compensated soon

Senate Bill No. 1745 approved on third reading

September 7, 2006

MANILA, Philippines  – Voting 13-0, the Senate approved on third reading on Monday night (September 4), Senate Bill (SB) No. 1745 under Committee Report No. 4, or ‘an act providing for compensation to the victims of human rights violations during the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos, documentation of said violations, appropriating funds therefore and for other purposes’.

Under SB 1745 or the ‘Human Rights Victims Compensation Act’, compensation will be extended to the victims of human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Marcos covering the period of September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986.

Human rights violations can be any of the following: warrant-less search, arrest or detention during the declaration of Martial Law; physical injury, torture or killing or violation of other human rights including the freedom of speech, assembly or organization;  involuntary exile of a person from the country; unjust or illegal takeover of a business, confiscation of property or deprivation of livelihood of a person; involuntary disappearances; stealing or exploiting of children; sexual offenses against detainees; violation of the rights of the freedom of the press; violation of the rights of labor by preventing and dispersing peaceable strikes; and other violation similar to the above including those recognized by international law.

“Senate Bill 1745, and its equivalent House Bill, had been certified as urgent by the President. So, we acted on it once and for all. Bicameral discussions on the disagreeing provisions of the measure will follow shortly,” says Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

SB 1745 is authored by Senators Joker Arroyo, Sergio Osmeña III and Aquilino Pimentel. The Senate panel for the bicameral conference committee is composed of Senators Arroyo, Kiko Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Osmeña and Pimentel.





Army's 8th ID calls Fr. Salas a first rate liar

September 6, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  – "The statement made by Fr. Rodrigo Salas, Information Officer of NDF-Eastern Visayas branding the discovery of a mass grave in Sapang Daco, Caulisihan, Inopacan Leyte as a "massive hoax" just confirmed their color- FIRST RATE LIARS!"

This statement was in a press release distributed to PIA and other media outlets in Catbalogan town Tuesday.

The statement by Salas stemmed from the news reports about the discovery of a mass grave of NPA believed to have been victims of the so called ‘purge’ when NPA leadership suspected its own ranks of being governments spies. The grave was reported to be in Inopacan, Leyte.

Capt. Jose Francis de la Fuente, who penned the press release, added that “this is not a question of leadership (PGMA, Gonzales and Gen. Esperon) but of innocent victims who were duped in joining the terrorist NPA and were brutally murdered because of insecure and selfish leaders.”

It also stated that it was not scripted but about people who for years agonizingly waited for their relatives’ safe return and more so about justice for the victims, their relatives and the entire nation.

On Monday, the LSDE with a region-wide circulation featured as its banner story, Fr. Salas claiming that, "the massive hoax desperately aims to cover up the murder by the Arroyo government of more than 700 activists and civilians to date and by demonizing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army as inherently evil and inhumane."

To this, 18th ID responded with an equally strongly termed denunciation and addressed Fr. Salas and his lot to "Stop calling yourself Father and using the robe as your shield, be true to your conscience, you and your so called human rights advocates, KARAPATAN, KATUNGOD and others know the truth."

The statement concluded with, "It takes more than 20 years for the truth to come about your purging activities and another 20 years for the truth to come about the extra judicial killings that is happening now to discredit the government, grab media mileage and advance your senseless cause!"





Military bares list of CPP-NPA-NDF “cleansing” victims

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 6, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  – The victims of the purging of the CPP-NPA-NDF Southern Leyte Front are not only from Inopacan but also in the different barangays of Baybay, Leyte.

This was learned from Lt. Col. Mario Lacurum who explained that the Garden which is how the NPA called the place is in the boundary of the towns of Inopacan, Baybay and Mahaplag, Leyte. This is the typical location of the communist rebels, to locate in the boundary of several towns where they have several escape routes.

Lt. Col Lacurom of the 43rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army observed that many of the victims have the same family names which reveal that they were relatives. Per information gathered from former NPA members, some of those who abducted the victims were their own relatives. It is really horrible what the NPA rebels did to the very same people they pledged to help and protect. Instead of making the lives of families easier, they destroyed them to the extent of making a member of the family betray the other members.

The victims whose names were given by the relatives or the residents or the NPA surrenderees some of whom saw how they were tortured to death by burning plastic and allowing it to melt on the bodies of the victims or by jumping on their breast, are from Barangays Monterico, Cabungaan, Maypatag, Ampihanon, Pansagan and Amguhan in the municipality of Baybay and Barangay Camansi in Inopacan town.

The partial list given to PIA includes the 21 purging victims from Barangay Monterico, Baybay, Leyte, namely: Domingo Eras who was identified by his brother, Leonarda Eras, Salvador Aviola, Juanita Aviola, Avelino Ayag, Victor Pasuhil, Concepcion Danguilles, Dome Napoles, Paquito Tronueva, Carlos Tronueva, Mode Seda, Tito Ayoc, Necoy Catibo, Mancito Solirmo, Constancio Fernandes, Normalito Eras, Marcia Abenoja, Rafael Pantoliaga, Anastacio Mayegue, Pedro Alberco and a certain Poncing.

From Barangay Cabungaan, Baybay, Leyte, the list of the victims include Leonardo Ballino, Lorenzo Pulta, Cirilo Albarico, Dicong Abilay, Felix Capillanes, Restituto Ejoc, Carlos Espejo, Jovencio Ballino, Rodolfo Marra, Angel Jomoc, Wenie Edace, Segundino Estellero, Balbino Rim, Reynaldo Capillanes, Roman Dedace, Apolonio Saldaga, Isias Laguardia, Rogelio Daniel, Toring Roluna, Zacarias Laguardia, Netoy Garciano and Floro Barcos.

The names of six victims from Barangay Maypatag, Baybay, Leyte were Tebora Prado, Zosemo Prado, Danilo Macajeto, Inying Tenaja, Ruel Tenaja and Gorio Tenaja.

From Barangay Amguhan, Baybay, Leyte, the list includes the following name of victims: Guellermo Daging, Junior Umbay, Junior Mellapes, Candoy Tenaja, Anatalio Marona, Zacarias Casil, Alfredo Umbay, Domingo Albarico, Lucricio Umbay, Jemmy Roluna, Patricio Devocion and Juanito Sayson.

Jose Cabonegro, Marcelino Tayabas, Danny Limpios and Tonny Baron are the names of the victims from Barangay Ampihanon, Baybay, Leyte while Netoy Garciano is the only victim from Pagsagan, Baybay, Leyte.

From Barangay Camansi in Inopacan, Leyte, three names were listed: Crispin Calmacio, Casito Casundo and a certain Bandoy.

The remains of the 67 victims exhumed from the Garden now lie in state at the San Isidro Labrador Catholic Chapel of Hibod-Hibod, Sogod, Southern Leyte.





Samarnons unite to demand for better roads

September 5, 2006

Evading damage road portions by motorists are most likely the culprit in accident like this.

CATBALOGAN, Samar – Tired of experiencing travel with the worst road the country ever had, Samarnons, led by Gugma han Samar Cyberspace Movement, will conduct a caravan on October 17, this year, to make an appeal to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to speed up the rehabilitation of the Maharlika Highway.

Caravan organizers said that for practical purposes, since the aim of the campaign is to demand for better roads, the route will follow the badly damaged national highway that covers the stretch from Calbiga town up to Calbayog City.

The media reported earlier that the 2nd phase of the Maharlika Highway rehabilitation will start anytime in the first quarter of 2006 but this caused a lot of worries to most Samarnons since no such activity takes place up to August.

Samar’s 2nd district Congressman though assured the public over local radio station here that the bid for the project has already been awarded and that reconstruction will definitely start any moment now.

He even informed that heavy equipment has already been transported to the province and this, he said, is an indication that it will start shortly.

The organizers, however, said that even if the rehabilitation of this portion starts, they will still continue to rally the people to heighten their awareness so that Samarnons will demand that the other road packages will be implemented with transparency and with no political intervention.

These road packages include the Calbiga-Tizon (in San Jorge) stretch which covers 59.53 kms., Tizon-Calbayog City which covers 52.70 kms., Calbayog City to Malaga (Calbayog’s northernmost barangay) which covers 36.76 kms. and the Malaga to Allen stretch which covers 35.70 kms.

These projects cost over P4 Billion, which the government loaned from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC).

This campaign will be highlighted by petition signing, a copy of which will be sent to President Arroyo. Caravan organizers expressed hopes this will prompt the President to take immediate action.



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