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Public warned on fake PNP checks

Two died, one injured 274 families homeless as Typhoon Seniang hit Biliran province

Southern Leyte sends Search and Rescue Team to Albay

8ID closes NCO Course, opens Platoon Leader’s Course

National journalists visit Southern Leyte

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

UNICEF equips PNP with investigation skills on crimes involving women and children

December 21, 2006

VICMAR, San Jose, Tacloban City  –  Some 75 members of the Eastern Samar Police - Women and Children’s Desk were given capability training on how to handle cases particularly those involving abuses on women and children, December 16-18.

In her message during the closing program, General Yolanda Tanigue of Camp Crame’s WCCD-DIDM who is also a registered social welfare officer and a holder of masteral and doctoral degree in Criminology urged the policemen and women to work hand in hand in protecting women and children in order to build a strong nation. She said that the three-day training will somehow help the peace officers in handling the special cases.

Before hand, the trainees listened to a series of lectures on: Gender Sensitivity, Referral System, Handling the Media, Investigator’s Notebook, Criminal Procedures, How to Interview, Custodial Investigation, etc.

This writer asked for some clarification when the point of exclusiveness of the police blotter was emphasized by Police Captain Erna Foerster. She said however, that it is during the time when the case is submitted to the prosecutor that media can read the blotter. Cases however involving women and children must have a separate blotter otherwise there is a violation of law. Neither also can a policeman handle a case involving sexual abuse as indicated in Republic Act "Rape Shield Law".

Asked how they accepted the training, PO2 Jonathan Rivas gleaned that they never had it so good. They are thankful that UNICEF through the Provincial Social Welfare Office sponsored the training and further wished that a similar training be conducted for the rest of their brothers in arm. Police Senior Inspector Ednaly Buncad PNP 8’s WCCD Officer wished that a similar training be conducted in other provinces, but this writer who also acted as facilitator was quick to say that only two provinces in the region are UNICEF areas. However, Gen. Tanigue was quicker to commit that should no funds would be available, her office will find the means for same future trainings.

The training formed part of PSWDO’s CPC 6 Work Program PIA handles the Communication Component of UNICEF’s Country Programme for Children.





32 Surigao fishermen afloat rescued by fisherfolks in Eastern Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 19, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The 32 Surigao fishermen aboard two fishing vessels who were rescued after six days ordeal at sea, by Eastern Samar fisherfolk, are now safely back with their families.

This is the information given to PIA 8 by Mr. Allan Limbuan, the provincial administrator of Eastern Samar, Monday.

The provincial administrator informed that the 32 fishermen were escorted to the Liloan port in Southern Leyte by the staff of the provincial government of Eastern Samar last Sunday, December 17 where they were met by the staff from the provincial government of Surigao. They took the 5:00 o’clock boat going home to Surigao, Mr. Limbuan said.

Afloat at sea for six days since typhoon Seniang hit the country on December 9, the ordeal of 32 fishermen from Surigao ended when they were rescued by kind-hearted fishermen from Eastern Samar on Friday December 15, 2006.

The 32 fishermen aboard fishing boats FB JL 3 and FB JL 4 left Surigao on December 7 and remained afloat since December 9 when the fishing boats were ravaged due to typhoon Seniang. They were kept floating by the Styrofoam containers they were carrying in their fishing boats.

On December 15, the 32 fishermen were seen and saved by fishermen of Eastern Samar. The seventeen farmers aboard fishing boat FB JL 4 were rescued some kilometers away from the shore of the municipality of Oras, located some 81 kilometers north of the capital town of Borongan.

The fifteen Surigao fishermen aboard FB JL 3 were rescued in the shores of Mac Arthur and Hernani towns, about 55 kilometers from Borongan.

Mr. Allan Limbuan, the administrative officer of Eastern Samar, in an interview with PIA said that since some of the fishermen were already weak after the six-days ordeal at sea, they were brought to the MacArthur and Oras hospitals for medical attention.

Those rescued were Edgar Gecozo, Gerardo Ytac, Jeffrey Belocura, Boy Bautista, Joey Perjes, Jose Perjes, Russel Maguinano, Marlon Bano, Oliver Bano, Eddie Mata, Rico Rapatan, Jimmy Ybanez Sr., Benjie Tabat, Bartolome Tabat,Jr., Danny Ganados, Jose Bautista, Danny Calogada, Jimmy Birondo, Andito Pigarro, Rolando Borneo, Crisanto Betonio, Erijun Tamonan, Jake Bautista, Judy Alquizar, Randy Maginsay, Rolan Gricela, Reno Rendon, Wennie Mata, Ireneo Tamunan and Renante Multillano.

The Eastern Samar Administrator said that upon learning of the rescue, Governor Ben Evardone immediately contacted Surigao Governor Barbers who in turn requested that the fishermen be brought to the Liloan port.





Northern Samar civil engineers bag Most Outstanding PICE Chapter award

By AILENE N. DIAZ (PIA Northern Samar)
December 20, 2006

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  Besting all chapters of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) nationwide, the Northern Samar PICE chapter for two consecutive years got the most coveted “Most Outstanding PICE chapter (Category C)” award in a fitting ceremony held recently during the 32nd Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers National Convention at the Iloilo Grand Hotel in Iloilo City.

Northern Samar PICE president Engineer Sandy Pua led the delegation of 17 Northern Samar Civil Engineers in receiving the award.

Two other civil engineers got much deserved honors when Engr. Alvin Ignacio and Engr. Lucas Bacsal were conferred the title Specialist in Construction Management and Engineering. The same certificate was awarded last year to Engr. Martin Guevarra who was again conferred the title Specialist in Water Supply and Hydraulic Engineering in the same ceremony in Iloilo City.

According to construction management and engineering awardee Engr. Alvin Ignacio, the Most Outstanding PICE Award (Category C) is an accolade of Mindoro civil engineers for the past 12 years.

The standard criteria of the awards included implementation of:  regular production of newsletters, community development projects, growth of membership, continuing professional development, disaster quick response program, membership welfare insurance, student assistance program, and the conduct of regular meetings. All these should jibe with the vision and mission of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.

Ignacio said that there still a lot of Civil Engineers in Northern Samar who are not members of PICE. “We are therefore encouraging them to be part of this organization. This organization does not only enhance our knowledge and experiences but most importantly we are being updated with the new technology related to our specialization. The PICE is now involved not only in enhancing the professional skills of the organization but also in solving issues that focus on social concerns,” Ignacio further explained.

The PICE convention is conducted twice a year to enhance the educational development and intensify the PRC Resolution on the institutionalization of the continuing professional education of civil engineers. Topics in the recent convention included state of the art technologies related to Structural Engineering, geotechnical Engineering, Water Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Construction Management and Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Construction Management and Engineering.





12 rebellion cases filed re recovered skeletons of purging victims

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 18, 2006

Uncovered mass grave in Mt. Sapang Daku, Inopacan, Leyte photoTACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Twelve cases of rebellion have been filed regarding the uncovered bones of purging victims at Sitio Sapang Daku, Barangay Caulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte.

This was revealed by General dela Paz, regional director of PNP Region 8, who said that about 70 persons were charged including the top hierarchy of NPA, who based on evidences gathered and based on the statements of former NPA members and leaders, ordered the purging.

The whole Region and the country were shocked when troops from the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade under Col. Allan Ragpala found 67 skeletons, after two days of digging, from a mass gravesite in the killing field known to the residents in the nearby barangays as “the garden” located some 370 meters above sea level at a ridge on Mt. Sapang Dako.

The troops were led to the Garden by some of the nearby residents and former members of the NPA who claimed that they themselves witnessed the purging. One even demonstrated how the victims who were suspected of being military assets, were tortured to death.

Forensic experts from the Philippine National Police were called to take care of the skeletons which were recovered. Days after the discovery of the gravesites, police and military authorities in Eastern Visayas announced that they were filing murder charges against exiled communist rebel Jose Ma. Sison; National Democratic Front Chief Peace Negotiator, Luis Jalandoni; and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, in connection with the purge. Sison and Jalandoni, who are living in exile in the Netherlands, and Ocampo reportedly signed the "death warrants" for the victims.

General dela Paz said that military investigators were able to compile documentary and testimonial evidence against those who were named as respondents in the cases filed. Two former NPA commanders and a rebel organizer, who witnessed the killings, faced the media at Camp Aguinaldo Thursday to tell their story on what really happened within the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee in 1985.

A former company commander of the NPA’s Southern Leyte Front Committee said Sison, Jalandoni and Ocampo, then CPP Central Committee members, ordered the launching of Oplan VD (Veneral Disease). "The central committee ordered us to clean our ranks of the VD, a contagious disease," he said, referring to suspected government spies who were arrested and subsequently killed.

"VD is a germ that if left unchecked is highly contagious that could affect the movement," the former NPA commander said. He also claimed that he personally saw the order signed by Sison, Ocampo and Jalandoni to purge the Leyte Front Committee of infiltrators whom the central committee called "germs."





Cong. Libanan wows Tacloban with his Music from the Heart

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 18, 2006

Congressman Nonoy Libanan photo
Congressman Nonoy Libanan

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Congressman Nonoy Libanan of the lone district of Eastern Samar wowed Tacloban on December 15 with his well-attended Music from the Heart, at the Tacloban City Convention Center.

The concert was organized by the Philippine National Police Region 8 under the leadership of General Eliseo dela Paz and the Philippine Councilors’ League in the province of  Leyte.

General dela Paz said that the main objective in organizing the concert is to bring the kind of music of Congressman Libanan to the people so that they will know that such talent is available in the Region. Congressman Libanan has had concerts in Japan where he was well applauded, General dela Paz said.

He added that another objective is to raise funds in order to acquire communications equipments for the police stations all over the Region. He noted that in Northern Samar, there are only three police stations with Radio communications or telephone lines. He said that there are places without cell phone signal.

He explained how important these communications equipments are in the maintenance of peace and order.

Congressman Libanan showed his prowess in plucking the guitar, accompanied by his Filipino music arranger who is working in Japan, his accompanist in the organ and in the violin. His renditions made the audience proud of being Eastern Visayans and being Filipinos.

The concert was graced by Congressman Libanan’s colleague in congress, Representative Remedios Petilla of the first district of Leyte who came with Mayor and Mrs. Roque Tiu of Tanauan, Mayor Melchor Quemado of Sta. Fe, Mayor Hilario Caadan of Tolosa and several barangay chairmen of Tacloban City.

Together with the good Congressman were popular singers Eric Santos, Angelica dela Cruz and Shirley Fuentes whose family originated from Calbayog City. The three singers rendered popular songs accompanied in the guitar by Congressman Libanan.





Rep. Petilla: RDC P10 million solicited fund is for infrastructure not for drug rehab center operation

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte Province)
December 18, 2006

Congresswoman Remedios Petilla photo
Congresswoman Matin Petilla

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte First District Representative Remedios “Matin” Petilla clarified the P10 million remaining of the sourced fund for the development of the Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Dulag, Leyte is a trust fund that would be used to finance infrastructure development and site expansion of the present facility.

This as the Regional Development Council (RDC) recently announced they are seeking to have the multi-million peso fund turned over to the council.

According to Cong. Petilla, who served as RDC chair when she was governor of Leyte, the sourced fund is not for the operational expenses of the center as it the facility’s operations should be maintained from the local government units’ contribution as agreed when the SALAG project was proposed some years back.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was forged between the donors and the RDC then and this would specifically be used for the facility’s infrastructure.

“I am only careful that the fund would really go to its original purpose as this is really a big amount and I am the one, as RDC chair who signed with that MOA,” Cong. Petilla said.

According to the lady solon the RDC body is trying to take hold of the remaining fund for the drug rehabilitation center’s operation, which is contrary to what was agreed in the MOA.

“There is another source for the funding of the center’s operation. It should be taken from the contribution of the local government unit in the region which is one-half of the one percent of the IRA of each LGU,” Cong. Petilla added.

She said she made the center operational during her chairmanship using only the member’s contribution.

“I think they should also look into the agreed part of the LGU on the SALAG project. If they are still able to contribute or not as it was agreed even before,” the lady solon remarked.

Also, she said that there was a plan to have a bigger rehabilitation center that can accommodate more than the number of patients the SALAG in Dulag, Leyte is now serving and this is where the remaining of the fund should go to.

Meanwhile, she explained sourced fund was entrusted to the Leyte provincial government as then, the Drug Rehab Center was “yet to have a personality of its own and the donors would only entrust a fund if there would be a responsible organization.”

“The money is still with the provincial government of Leyte and once the center would need to have infrastructure development or start to build a new facility, the fund is ready for such use,” Cong. Petilla disclosed.



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