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Alleged NPA liquidation list sows fear among those included

LCDE brings relief aid to fire victims

Biggest fire to hit Tacloban City razes five urban poor communities

Samar’s No. 1 Most Wanted fell

Army officer says San Jorge mayor is misinformed

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


Southern Leyte province to establish blood bank

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA Southern Leyte)
September 27, 2006

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  – The provincial government here represented by Hon. Gov. Rosette Y. Lerias has agreed to establish a hospital-based blood bank with Kinderhilfe Philippinen as their partner agency under the chairmanship of Juergen Schneidt.

Through the approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s session conducted on Monday, September 25, both the provincial government and the German-funded non-government organization, Kinderhilfe Philippinen decided to affix their signatures stating in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to share the P1 million funds for the establishment of a blood bank at the Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) here in Maasin City.

Both parties agreed to pool its resources until a blood bank be established with P600,000.00 from the Kinderhilfe Philippinen as their counterpart and P400,000.00 from the provincial coffers.

The local government and the German organization based in Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte decided to construct the edifice within the premises of SOYMPH and shall be managed by the provincial government. It should not be operated by any enterprising entity, the MOA stated.

Moreover, the blood bank shall be provided personnel by the provincial government who would man the entity 24 hours a day, seven days a week to perform blood screening. Said personnel shall be complimented by the personnel of the Philippine National Red Cross-Southern Leyte.

The patients referred to the said blood bank by a private doctor, medical practitioners and hospitals shall be dealt with as pay patients and shall be charged accordingly provided that the proceeds from these patients shall be placed in a special trust account of the provincial government. The funds to be exclusively used for the proper maintenance of the facilities and equipments in the blood bank, the MOA further stated.





Anti-corruption crusade launched in Samar

September 26, 2006

Samar Congressmen Reynaldo Uy (right) and Cata Figueroa (left) answer queries from the media during a press meeting held at the latter’s residence on Thursday in Catbalogan.

CATBALOGAN, Samar – To show their concern for the people by ensuring an honest and transparent government anchored on the principle of good governance, some political leaders here launched an anti-corruption drive dubbed as the "Crusade for Samar".

Samar’s 1st District Congressman Reynaldo S. Uy, in a press conference late last week, said this campaign is aimed to correct the alleged irregularities committed by the top official of the province.

Congressman Uy, however, clarified that he and the other government officials in the province, including Congressman Catalino V. Figueroa and the majority of the Provincial Board, were not happy about the issues involving Governor Milagrosa T. Tan who is facing charges at the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of public funds.

According to Uy, they were part of Gov. Tan’s victory in 2001 but stressed that since the future of the Samarnons are at stake, they really have to side with the people and back the charges against Tan.

"We do this because our stomachs can no longer endure the grave irregularities committed by the Governor," the congressman said. Uy claimed they possess volumes of documents that can pin down the Governor.

To recall, the Ombudsman earlier convicted Gov. Tan and six other employees of the Capitol for purchasing relief goods amounting to some P16 million without public bidding way back in 2000 and 2001. Tan, however, was spared from the dismissal verdict but she is facing criminal charges at the Sandiganbayan.

Lately, a case was filed against Tan for violation of Section 3(a) of Republic Act 3019, popularly known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for purchasing 176 units of electric fans amounting to P244,640.00 last November 13-20, 2002 without conducting a public bidding.

Congressman Figueroa, in an earlier interview, informed that this is in support of President Arroyo’s anti-corruption campaign. This, he, said is a proof that the government really means business in running after corrupt government officials.





Residents conduct Indignation Rally against CPP-NPA

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 26, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – An Indignation Rally was conducted Saturday by more than 5,000 residents from the affected municipalities of Baybay, Inopacan and Mahaplag.

Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom, commander of the 43rd Infantry Battalion based in Sogod, Southern Leyte said that the Indignation Rally is an expression of the people’s desire to seek for justice for the residents and relatives who died in the hands of the CCP- NPA and to call for an end to the CCP-NPA’s reign of terror in the area.

The Indignation Rally started at 9:00 o’clock in the morning with an Indignation March with some people holding placards calling on the people to be aware of the true colors of the CCP-NPA and seeking justice for the CCP-NPA purging victims.  During the March, there was also a re-enactment of the purging victims, hogtied and blind-folded escorted by participants clad in CCP-NPA attire supposedly being led to the “Garden.”

The “Rallyists” proceeded to the Municipal Plaza of Baybay, Leyte where a Mass was offered. This was followed by the program where NPA surrenderees, former leaders of NPA delivered speeches expressing their sentiments on the CPP-NPA and exhorting the people never to support much less to join the terror group.

Main guest and speaker during the Indignation Rally was Jun Alcover, national president of the pro-democracy alliance ANAD (Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy) Partylist.  Mr. Alcover called on all of the freedom-loving Filipino people to join forces and to remain united in opposing the Maoist communist-terrorists CPP-NPA-NDF so that they will not suffer the same fate of their relatives and friends who had fallen into the trap webbed by the Godless communist terrorists. Jun Alcover was among those recruited to establish the first NPA groups in Eastern Visayas particularly in Hinunangan and St. Bernard, Southern Leyte up to Mahaplag, Baybay, Ormoc in Leyte and in Samar.

A re-enactment on how the CPP-NPA-NDF purging victims were tortured, stabbed to death (ihaw in the local dialect) and buried, was presented.

The effigies/caricatures of Joma Sison, Jalandoni and Satur Ocampo, CCP-NPA-NDF leaders were buried before the rallyists proceeded to the Municipal Cemetery of Baybay, Leyte to bury the clothes and other belongings of the purging victims, recovered at the mass gravesite.





Military expects to uncover more mass graves in Leyte

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 25, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  After uncovering two more graves containing remains of alleged victims of the purging conducted by the CPP-NPA-NDF in the 1980s, the military in Leyte revealed they expect to unearth more mass graves based on to tips it has been receiving from residents and former NPA leaders.

In an interview with PIA, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Lacurom, the commander of the 43rd Infantry Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Sogod, Southern Leyte said that two mass graves were discovered last week in remote villages of Inopacan and Baybay towns.

Lt. Col. Lacurom revealed that four skulls were unearthed on September 12 from a mass grave in Sitio Bugang, Caulisihan (the same barangay where Sapang Daku mass grave was located), Inopacan town while two skulls were uncovered three days later, in a mass grave in the far-flung barangay Monterico of Baybay town.

Monterico, Lt. Col. Lacurom said is 79 kilometers away from the town proper of Baybay, passing through Barangay San Juan in the town of Mahaplag. On the other hand, Barangay Caulisihan could be reached by passing through Barangay Monterico in the municipality of Baybay.

The discovery of more mass graves in Monterico and Sitio Bugang confirms the earlier stories of the residents and witnesses who said that while the purging victims were being led to the “Garden” at Mt. Sapang Daku, some of them couldn’t bear the torture and died along the way, Lt. Col. Lacurom intimated.

Right now, the military is working on the leads of a presence of a mass grave of about 18 people in Sitio Mahangin, Barangay San Antonio in Hilongos, Leyte, Lt. Col. Lacurom added. The military had earlier estimated to about 300, the number of persons killed during the purging called the Anti-Venereal Disease Campaign within the ranks of the CPP-NPA.

Lt. Col. Lacurom said that since the discovery of the mass gravesite at Mt. Sapang Daku in Barangay Caulisihan of the municipality of Inopacan on August 30, the 43rd Infantry Battalion has maintained an advance command post at Barangay Gumbang, Baybay, Leyte.

Lacurom said his troops will remain indefinitely in Barangay Caulisihan and at the advance command post at Barangay Gumbang on orders from Major General Rodrigo Maclang, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, to search for more gravesites in the area.

Meanwhile, Col. Allan Ragpala, the commander of the 802nd Infantry Division based in Burauen, Leyte, said the military will not stop in its efforts to locate more graves of the victims of rebel atrocities. “This is the only way, we can give justice to the victims and peace of mind to their relatives,” Col. Ragpala said.





RDC 8 commended DepEd 8 achievements in national exams

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 25, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  – The Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas (RDC 8), in its special meeting on September 21, commended the achievements of the Department of Education Regional Office 8 in topping National Achievement Test.

Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas, Secretary Victor A. Domingo said that the commendation is in order because the superintendents, principals, teachers and the Regional Director really worked hard in order to give the best education to the young people of Region 8.

In suggesting that Plaques of Recommendation be given to the Regional Director, Division Superintendents and the principals of the top schools, Secretary Domingo hopes that these will serve as an inspiration to the other divisions and other schools in the Region to also try their best to become achievers.

Earlier, Dr. Erlinda Hipe of the Department of Education Regional Office 8 presented the achievements of the different divisions in the First Year, Fourth Year and Grade VI National Achievement Tests.

For the First Year National Achievement Test, the Rizal National High School in Tomas Oppus, Southern Leyte topped the Exams. In the NAT fourth Year Level, the Calbayog City High School placed number one.

DepEd 8 also reported that among the top ten divisions nationwide in the 2005-2006 National Achievement Test, six are from Region 8. Topping the list are Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, Maasin as the first three divisons. Number five is Samar, number 7 is Northern Samar and Calbayog is number 10.

The Regional Development Council headed by Southern Leyte Governor Rosette Lerias congratulated the Department of Health Regional Office 8 for the very good performance of the various divisions in the Region and for showing a tangible sign that the young people of Region 8 are really getting the best quality education that the Arroyo administration wants to bring to the young people of the country.





Philippine wind power potential highest in Southeast Asia

Greenpeace calls on RP to fast track Renewable Energy Bill

By LEA GUERRERO, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
September 24, 2006

MANILA, Philippines  – The Greenpeace on Thursday called on the Philippine government to fast track the passage of a stronger Renewable Energy (RE) Bill which must contain ambitious, legally-binding targets in order to effectively make a difference in the fight against climate change. The call was issued shortly after the launch of a new industry report, 'Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006,' in Australia by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace. The report, an analysis of how the uptake of wind power worldwide is the key to stopping climate change, also cites how the Philippines has the highest wind energy potential in Southeast Asia.

"The report firmly places wind power as one of the world’s most important energy sources for the 21st century. The Philippines has the potential to become a leading player in this field. But this requires political will on the part of the government to set legally-binding renewable energy targets in the RE Bill. Energy policies must also overcome institutional and market biases in favor of coal and fossil fuels," says Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy campaigner Jasper Inventor.

"Greenpeace is calling on the Philippine government to embrace a target that increases the share of renewables to at least 10% of the country’s energy needs by the year 2010. This is a win-win option for a developing country like the Philippines which is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as well as to threats from rising fossil fuel prices," he added.

At present less than 1% of the entire energy needs of the Philippines comes from renewable sources such as wind, sun, and modern biomass. The RE bill being deliberated in congress lacks definite targets which will trigger the much-needed massive uptake of renewable energy in the country.

Based on a study by the US-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Philippines’ wind energy potential of 70,000-MW can meet the country's current energy demand seven times over. Currently, only one wind farm of 25 MW, in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, is installed in the Philippines. And although early this week, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo secured a commitment from Denmark to help expand the facility, the country is still a long way from effectively exploiting its substantial wind energy potential, or even the government-set target of a mere 417 MW from wind within ten years.

According to the ‘Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006’ report, one third of the world’s electricity can be supplied by wind power. The report also highlights the expansion of wind power worldwide as a key to stopping climate change. Wind turbine capacity implemented on this scale would save 113 billion tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by 2050.

"Wind power is the most attractive solution to the world’s energy challenges. It is clean and fuel-free. Moreover, wind is indigenous and enough wind blows across the globe to cope with the ever increasing electricity demand. This report demonstrates that wind technology is not a dream for the future--it is real, it is mature, and it can be deployed on a large scale," said Arthouros Zervos, GWEC´s Chairman. "The political choices of the coming years will determine the world’s environmental and economic situation for many decades to come."

"Wind power will significantly reduce CO2 emissions, which is key in the fight against dangerous climate change. Wind power will also address other challenges crucial to developing countries like the Philippines such as security of energy supply and the increasing volatility of fossil fuel prices," added Inventor.



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