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LWUA to construct P66-M water system in Calico-an Island Resort

Blessing, dedication rites for Guinsaugon housing units held

Canadians face military harassment while on fact-finding mission in Philippines

Another fire hits Catbalogan, incurs P5M damage

Uy seeks DILG inquiry vs. Grey’s murder raps and alleged drug involvement

Abduction victim of NPA found dead in Catarman

Health authorities campaigns for Filariasis eradication in Eastern Visayas

Heightened red alert is still hoisted over Basey Police Station

Daza chairs Northern Samar AIDS Council

Solon seeks automation of polls

National journalists visit Southern Leyte

November 28, 2006

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  At least (9) top journalists from the Philippines visited here to find out what the Department of Education (DepEd) has done to make the province being on the top of National Achievement Test (NAT), Dr. Violeta Alocilja revealed during the regular Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council meeting, Friday, November 24.

Dr. Alocilja, reported that among the journalists who came here for a visit were from the media outlets of Business Today, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Chronicle, Radio Mindanao Network and the DepEd Post. "Southern Leyte was figuring prominently in the national dailies because we had achieved our real feat in education", the Schools Division Superintendent here said.

Southern Leyte garnered the grand slam spot being on the top from the elementary level, secondary level and even in the Special Education (SPED), those children with special needs who have the right to education. One in Sogod town which ranked number 1 and another one in the municipality of San Juan Central School which ranked number 7 all over the country, Alocilja emphasized on SPED schools.

The Division of Southern Leyte is the only division who has gone beyond 75% in the elementary level with 80.81%, while in the secondary level, Tomas Oppus figured prominently out of the 23 high schools who made it to the top ten. For first year high school, Southern Leyte made 8 to the top out of 48 including Maasin City, while in fourth year, five schools made to the top ten, nationwide, Alocilja disclosed during the PDCC meeting presided over by Provincial Administrator Genis Murallos.

Dr. Alocilja said that there’s no other division in the entire history of education has gotten the said achievement. "It is really a history in the making", she noted. The mediamen interviewed parents, students and teachers for their documentation.

She further hoped that the figure being on the top will continue. DepEd are only there to consolidate the result and without the cooperation and support of the provincial leaders, through Cong. Roger Mercado, Gov. Rosette Lerias, the mayors of every municipality, parents, teachers and students as well, the achievement could have not been possible.





Army encounters NPA extortionists in Leyte

November 28, 2006

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar   –  ‘We are fed up of the abuses of the NPA’s!”

These were the words from the residents of Brgy Taglalawigan that made them cooperate fully with the Army troopers from the 8th Infantry Division of Philippine Army that resulted to the encounter of the government troops with the NPA extortionists on November 24, 2006 at about 10:50 a.m. at vicinity Sitio Surosimbahan, Brgy Taglalawigan of San Isidro, Leyte.

Through the power of modern technology, text messages from concerned citizens of said community reached the Headquarters of 19th Infantry Battalion based in Kananga, Leyte that immediately reacted to the call for help of the populace. Accordingly, the NPA terrorists have been making a hay day extorting rice and money from the residents of the said barangay under the guise of ‘Revolutionary Tax”.

Guided by the information given by the concerned residents, a platoon of Army troopers conducted combat operations aimed to neutralize the NPA terrorists lurking in the area. While on patrol in the target area, they chanced upon a group of more or less twenty (20) fully armed NPAs and a running gun battle ensued. After 25 minutes of firefight, the terrorists ran away from the battle leaving behind their dead comrade.

Maj. Gen. Rodrigo F. Maclang, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, commended the operating troops of the 19th Infantry Battalion for the successful conduct of security operations that benefited the people of Northern Leyte province. He likewise extended his appreciation to the people of Brgy Taglalawigan for the trust and confidence they have bestowed to the Army. With the Army and the people working together, we will be able to achieve the lasting peace conducive to development in the region that every Leyteños is dreaming of.





Army destroys NPA camp in Northern Samar

November 26, 2006

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  Army troops from the 8th Infantry Division caught by surprise the more or less 50 NPA terrorists in their encampment situated in the mountainous part of Silvino Lobos town in Northern Samar on November 23, 2006 at about 10:45 a.m. One (1) still unidentified NPA killed, while one (1) carbine rifle and voluminous subversive of documents of high intelligence value were recovered from the area.

Acting on information given by concerned officials and residents of Brgy. Tubang of said municipality regarding the presence of NPA terrorist encampment in the outskirts of their barangay, the Army immediately dispatched troops to neutralize the reported communist terrorist who have been the tormentors of civilians in the area.

Upon reaching the vicinity of tipped area, the Army troops crawled their way and managed to close in to the terrorists’ encampment. However, as the troops come nearer, they were met with heavy volume of fires that instantaneously wounded a soldier. The troops skillfully maneuvered and overcome the strong defense posed by the NPA terrorists. Sensing inevitable defeat from the hands of the well equipped and better-trained government troops, the terrorists’ scampered in different directions leaving behind their dead comrade. The slightly wounded soldier was evacuated to the nearest medical facility for medical treatment, while the rest of the Army troops conducted pursuit operations.

The success of the combat operations conducted by the 8th Infantry Division was made possible by the cooperation of the residents in the area who have been the subject of massive extortion activities by the communist terrorists operating in Silvino Lobos.

MajGen. Rodrigo F. Maclang, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Catbalogan, Samar, praised his troops for the high level of discipline that they have demonstrated in protecting the people. Likewise he enjoined each and every waraynons to their share in the government’s efforts to rid our country of the communist terrorists that will pave the way for a lasting peace.





SELDA scores government on trying to block victims' compensation

Press Release
November 26, 2006

MANILA, Philippines  –  "It is definitely good news for us victims but not yet a reason to celebrate," Ms. Marie Hilao-Enriquez says about the approaching distribution of compensation for Marcos victims. Enriquez is the current Secretary-General of Society of Ex-Detainees for Liberation against Detention and for Amnesty (SELDA), an organization whose members are mostly victims of human rights violations during Martial Law and plaintiffs to the class suit filed against the dictator Marcos.

Enriquez adds that while the US Appellate Court is ready to distribute $2000 to each victim of Martial Law, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is still on its feet to pursue the appeal to the US Supreme Court to not give the $35M worth of the Arelma account which is Marcos' dummy account to the victims but instead to the Philippine Government. "If this will happen, it means several months more of waiting."

"Until we have in our own hands the compensation we have long waited for, our battle has not ended," Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. "Ms. Gloria Arroyo should order the PCGG to stop on trying to take away what we have long deserved," Enriquez called out.

In addition, Enriquez questions the number of claimants. "But how come there are only 7,500 victims eligible for compensation? All of us victims should be indemnified," Enriquez states. Originally, there are 9,539 victims of human rights violations who filed and won in a class suit against the late President Ferdinand Marcos in the US Federal Court of Hawaii. Enriquez explains that all the 9,539 victims underwent the arduous process of proving themselves to be legitimate victims of the Martial Law. She said they all went through examinations that brought them back to their gross experiences on violations of their human rights.

"It's not enough to indemnify most of the victims of the dark days of Martial Law, justice should be given to ALL victims." Enriquez exclaims.





Suspension of 29 Taft employees void

November 25, 2006

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  Attorney Rodolfo Encajonado, Director IV of Civil Service Regional Office 8 issued recently the decision declaring the suspension of some 29 municipal employees of Taft Local Government Unit as "void".

The 19-page decision of Encajonado dated October 27, 2006 further directed the municipal mayor of LGU-Taft, Eastern Samar " to reinstate immediately Roberto Lim, et. al, to their respective positions and be paid the corresponding back salaries from the date they were actually denied payment thereof and dropped from the rolls until their actual reinstatement".

It may be recalled that the employees were suspended from their official functions when they went on "absence without approved leave" as claimed so and in effect were not paid of their salaries since 2005.

In an interview before with some of the suspended employees, they lamented that the mayoral seat was still being contested then, that they were not sure where and which office to report to. They further admitted that as government employees they are duty-bound to serve the public whosoever assumes and functions as their local chief executive. In truth, another employee said they are the ones who suffered most, morally, mentally, emotionally and financially. To be terminated from work and be out of their office for no valid reason at all is a very traumatic experience because all their years of service have been dedicated to true service, the employees agreed.

Through times, (until very recently) the problem has hounded the suspended employees. A mother-employee feels devastated that her suspension has caused her child to stop college because of financial crisis in the family.

Today, however, there has been music to the ears of the 29 employees when they learned of the Civil Service Decision in their favor. Asked how they feel, they answered they have no remorse or ill-feeling whatsoever. What they now have in mind is to return and continue their work exactly where they have left them several months ago.

As of press time however, reliable source reported of an "appeal" made by the other camp which might hamper once more the resumption to work of the suspended employees. This is of course part of the legal process, the source said. But all 29 still look at a brighter side of the resolution.





Samar Division hosts Secondary Schools Press confab

November 25, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Samar Division is all set to welcome some one thousand delegates coming from all over Eastern Visayas as it hosts the 2006 Regional Secondary Schools Press Conference (RSSPC) on December 1-3 at the Samar National School (SNS).

This was disclosed by Information and Communications Director of DepEd Samar Division Claire Menda during a PIA meeting held recently.

Menda said that streamers would be hung along the carline municipalities if only to make the delegates from the ten divisions feel most welcome.

She also said that water supply would never be a problem as the Bureau of Fire Protection promised to supply the water requirements of the participants.

A grand parade, cultural night showcasing the arts, history and culture of Samar, Search for the Miss RSSPC and Best in Journalism Display will be the highlights of the media meet.

Menda further said that the division will also add the first ever Tiangge to display the products of Samar to promote the One Town One Product (OTOP) projects of Samar towns.

The delegates will be housed in Samar National School and Catbalogan l Central Elementary School classrooms for the duration.

This year’s RSSPC theme: Promoting a Culture of Peace through Responsible Journalism.





8ID pays tribute to Brig. Gen. Dauz

November 25, 2006

8ID pays tribute to Brig. Gen. Dauz photoCAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  As a tribute to the remarkable accomplishments of Brig. Gen. Oscar Randy Dauz AFP, the former Assistant Division Commander of 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, a Testimonial Review with retreat was held at 8ID Grandstand, Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar on November 20, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. The event was a simple gesture of the command to honor Brig. Gen. Dauz in all of his contributions to the 8ID.

In his message Brig. Gen. Dauz expressed his gratitude to Maj. Gen. Maclang, the organic personnel of 8ID, civilian employees and those who supported and inspired him during his stint in the military service. He said that “he is saddened that he will be leaving the service and the people in the military that have made the past 36 years of his life a truly meaningful journey”. But this time, he added, he is happier as he will have more time to be with his family who missed his presence when he was still in the military service. He further encouraged everyone who will be left behind to continuously serving the people, to just do their share and be faithful to the organization.

MGen. Maclang on the other hand, also thanked BGen. Dauz for his professional commitment to the Command that made 8ID of what it is today. He also conveyed his gratefulness to Gen. Dauz for being a true professional who easily assumed his role as the Assistant Division Commander, despite the fact that He (Gen. Dauz), is more senior than him.

Finally, Gen. Maclang quoted a famous lines from Walter Lipman, that says: “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on”.

Brig. Gen. Dauz was the former Assistant Division Commander during the time when Maj. Gen. Bonifacio B. Ramos was then the 8ID Chief. When Gen. Ramos was installed as COMNOLCOM, he acted as 8ID General Officer-In-Charge. His brief stint in the said position of major responsibilities lasted until Maj. Gen. Rodrigo F. Maclang assumed the position on August 16, 2006 in a simple turn-over of Command ceremony at 8ID Grandstand, with Maj. Gen. Ricardo T. Brillantes, Vice Commander, Philippine Army as presiding officer. Brig. Gen. Dauz will be retiring soon on December 11, 2006.





Fil-Am reelected mayor in California

By Philippine News Service (PNS)
November 25, 2006

MILPITAS, California, USA  –  In a tight and bitter fight in the mayoral race in Milpitas, California, incumbent Jose "Joe" Esteves, a Filipino American, was handily reelected last November 8.

Esteves, 60, defeated challenger Henry Chang Manayan, a Filipino-Chinese, who had served as city mayor, Council members Althea Polanksi and Armando Gomez also retained their seats, although Heidi Pham gave Gomez a fight for the second seat.

Before he was elected mayor the first time, Esteves had been a councilman. As a candidate for either a council seat or the mayoral post, Esteves fought for such issues as family values and quality of life for all, higher standard of education, safer neighborhoods and a financially strong city government.

A graduate of the University of the Philippines with a bachelor's degree in civil and industrial engineering, Esteves also has an MBA. At UP, he belonged to the Epsilon Chi Fraternity of which Manila Headline publisher Ric Ilanga is also a member.

He has received a number of awards, including a Certificate of Merit for Leadership from the Columbus Supreme Assembly, Mentor of the Month from the Milpitas High School, Certificate of Appreciation for Devoted and Invaluable Service from the Fil-American Association of Milpitas and Dr. Jose Rizal's Community Hero Award from the Community Development Council, Inc. and President's Award for Exemplary and Unselfish Achievement from the FAPESCO.

He and his wife, Susan, and daughter, Irene, are steeped in business, church and community leadership qualities.



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