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

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

LNU student qualifies for Global Xchange Program

December 26, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The VSO Bahaginan, the British Council-Philippines and the VSO Philippines are pleased to announce that after the conduct of the Global Xchange Program (GXP) Assessment Days at the University Hotel, University of the Philippines Campus, Quezon City last December 6 to 8, 18 candidates qualified as the Filipino counterpart of the RP-UK Team 58 and Team 62 of GXP.

Among the lucky 18 who qualified, one comes from the Leyte Normal University, Tacloban City, Jeffrey Engracial a fourth year MasCom student.

As one of the qualified candidates, Engracial who was selected by the pool of selectors composed of representatives from the three Country Management Team and some volunteers, will undergo an Introductory Training Course scheduled on January 2007. For the meantime, the candidates who qualified were advised to work on their passport application in preparation for the processing of their visa application early next year.

Meanwhile, the Global Xchange is a volunteer exchange programme, which gives young people from different countries a unique opportunity to work together, to develop and share valuable skills and to make a practical contribution where it is needed in local communities.

The programme is based on a model of youth exchanges originally developed in Canada over thirty years ago. Known as World Youth, these exchanges were designed to be fully reciprocal, involving young people from the developed and developing world in equal numbers, and working on community projects in both areas.

The Global Xchange works with teams of up to 18 young people with equal numbers coming from the UK and the Philippines. The participants are recruited, and the teams are formed to reflect diversity in terms of geography, ethnicity, ability, education and gender.





Jail guard shot to death three days before Christmas

December 24, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Instead of a joyful Christmas celebration for the whole family, it turns now to a time of grief and sorrow when a jail guard of Samar Provincial Jail was killed after he sustained four gun shot wounds in the different parts of his body by a suspected ex-convict shots him Wednesday night (December 21, 2006) inside their house this municipality.

Policarpio Parambita y Dasig, 59, married, resident of corner San Francisco St. and Legaspi Ave., barangay 6, was shot to death by a suspected ex-convict local police chief Inspector Carlos Gaudencio Vencio said.

Police authorities recovered from the crime scene four (4) empty shells and two (2) slugs of cal. 45 pistol used by the suspect in killing the victim.

Initial investigation disclosed Parambita who sustained two gunshot wounds on his breast and two on the back of his body was having a drinking spree with his friends inside their residence about 6:30 that night when the suspect wearing yellow T-Shirt and short pants with a curly hair, and his companion wearing blue T-Shirt appeared at their main door and shots the victim six times in close range.

Fe D. Parambita, wife of the victim, said she was standing behind the “sala set” wherein her husband and friends were seating facing their main door when the incident happened.  Because of the instantaneous incident, her husband was not able to depend himself she said.

“I did not expect that this will happen to my husband. At dahil napakabilis nga mga pangyayari, hindi na nagawang lumaban pa ng asawa ko at maging ng mga taong nasa loob ng bahay namin”, the wife explained.

Some of the young men, who were just standing by near Parambita’s house upon hearing the gun shots, immediately ran to the house to see what happened, but the suspects before running away frightened them by saying they will also be shot if they try to help the victim.

“Lumapit yong nga tambay ng marinig nila ang sunod-sunod na putok ng baril at sigaw ko, kaso tinutukan din sila ng suspect at sinabing, ano tutulong kayo? Sige para mabaril din kayo. At bigla nalang tumakbo ang mga suspects,” she narrated.

After the incident, officer on case, SPO3 Eduardo Z. Villanueva conducted an initial interrogation to the witnesses as to the identity of the suspect. The fact that the victim was a provincial jail guard, authorities did not leave out the possibility that the gunman was an ex-inmate.

Samar Provincial Jail Warden, Judy Betanzor show the victim’s wife a picture of an ex-inmate based on the descriptions given by her and other witnesses, without hesitation she positively identified the suspect.

“Ipinakita sa akin ni warden ang picture ng suspect, hindi ako maaaring magkamali, s’ya ang bumaril sa asawa ko,” the wife said.

Though authorities have identified already the suspect, Police Chief Inspector Vencio appealed to the local media not to mention the suspect’s name while the case for murder is now being prepared against the gunman for him not to escape.

“We have already identified the suspect, but we request you not to mention the name yet in your report for him not to escape,” he pleaded.

The police chief added, “It seems the motive of killing was personal grudge. But we will go deeper with our investigation to know the real motive behind the killing; especially we’ll take actions for the immediate arrest of the suspect and his companions.”

As of this writing, the bereaved family is now preparing to file a criminal case against the suspect and his two others companions who escaped after the said incident.





Three-week old unrest at City high school finally put to rest

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 24, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The three-week unrest at the Leyte National High School was finally put to rest Thursday after a win-win solution was reached at the Philippine Information Agency’s Harampang Ha PIA.

The reinstated principal, Mr. Ramon Dumdum, and seven faculty members led by the Faculty and Personnel Association, amicably agreed to all temporarily leave Leyte National High School and be assigned elsewhere so that peace and harmony will be brought back to the school.

Last Thursday’s dialogue was organized by PIA in order to help solve the recurring problem at LNHS every time the principal Mr. Dumdum is reinstated. The parties concerned, Mr. Dumdum, the faculty president Mr. Luisito Adrales, the GPTA president, Mr. Henry Lagrimas, the Supreme Student Government Jamaica Soledad, the City Division Superintendent Teotimo Orbeso and the DepEd Regional Office representative, Dr. Rebecca Ragrag were all present during the dialogue which was witnessed by the local media, the parents and the faculty members who are pro or against the principal.

The Faculty members, through Mr. Antonio dela Cruz made the proposal for the eight of them, to include Mr. Dumdum, to temporarily leave the school to bring back peace and harmony and so that the students will be able to devote on their studies in a conducive environment.

Mr. Dumdum agreed saying that the same was proposed to him to Superintendent Orbeso earlier. Dr. Orbeso expressed his happiness with the solution of the problem because he himself wants it to be solved as soon as possible. He agreed to reassign Mr. Dumdum and Mr. Adrales to the City Division Office; to reassign the other five teachers to other schools within the Tacloban City Division.

The reassignment will give time to the Tacloban City Division of the Department of Education to really go over the problem at the Leyte National High School.

All parties expressed happiness at the solution of the problem. The students and the faculty members, who were teary-eyed were glad that at last the students can go back to school in January with the problem already settled down.

Dr. Orbeso promised to make the agreement which will be signed by all concerned and will call back PIA for the formal signing which will be witnessed by the media, the parents, the students and the faculty.





4 new regional trial court branches to be set up in Leyte

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 24, 2006

Congresswoman Remedios Petilla photo
Congresswoman Remedios Petilla

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Four new Regional Trial Court branches will soon be set up in Leyte to be stationed in Tacloban City, thanks to First District of Leyte Representative Remedios Loreto Petilla.

House Bill 5305 authored by Congresswoman Petilla, has been approved and passed on third reading by Senate during its last regular session for the year 2006. The bill provided for the creation of four additional new Regional Trial Court branches in the province of Leyte to be stationed in Tacloban City.

Congresswoman Petilla, in a talk with PIA, said that House Bill 5305 is now back at the House of Representatives to be presented at the Plenary for certification by Speaker Jose de Venecia. After that it will be sent to the Office of the President for her signature.

Thanks to Congresswoman Petilla, the province of Leyte will have an additional of four Regional Trial Court branches, after twenty five years.

The passage of Representative Petilla’s bill is a very much welcomed development in the Region considering that there is really lack of trial court branches in the Region.

In the month of May, PIA 8 reported that the shortage of Regional Trial Courts is blamed for the slow dispensation of justice. Interviews conducted by PIA revealed that the average load for each branch in Tacloban City is more or less 700 cases. There are times when cases raffled to a judge numbers 50 per month, sometimes thirty six, the average is seventeen to twenty-two.

Assuming that the judges are healthy and will never absent themselves from the Court during the 252 working days per year, the judge must decide at least three cases per day which is virtually impossible if the judge will really dispense justice with prudence, the PIA interviews revealed.

The shortage of Regional Trial Courts resulted to the slow dispensation of justice. The slow judicial process exacerbated the problem of overcrowding in the Provincial and City jails.

The same interviews bared that in 1971, Tacloban had four RTC’s while Cebu had five. Today, twenty-five years after, Tacloban has five while Cebu has forty-two. This just shows that with due respect to them, the legislators in the Region never realized the importance of the creation of more salas.

There was a time, the PIA interviewees said, that it would have been very easy to create more sala for the Regional Trial Court in Tacloban, but it was never deemed important.

Congresswoman Remedios Petilla of the first district of Leyte passed a bill for the creation of five more courts salas but what was approved by the lower house was for the creation of two more salas. This is due to the constraint in budget. Of course creation of more salas means appropriation of more budget.

However, knowing Congresswoman Petilla’s persistence and diligence when what is at stake is the welfare of her constituents; as she said, she worked on the passage of the bill before the recess in the House, when the Bill reached Senate, instead of two, four new Regional Trial Court branches was approved and passed by Senate.

Representative Petilla who is on her first term as member of the House of Congress authored no less than 26 bills which are either national and local in nature. This only shows the kind of service the Representative of the First District of Leyte has.





Catbaloganon among this year's TOYM awardees

December 21, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Romero Federico Quimbo, a true bloodied Waray-waray and a Catbaloganon at that, was chosen one of  the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM).

Romero according to friends and neighbors in Catbalogan town, belongs to a family of intellectuals. He spent his elementary and high school in Catbalogan. He and siblings were all honor students. In fact, Rosario Cadiz, former classmate of another lawyer brother of Quimbo said that his paternal grandfather was the first Bar topnotcher of the University of Sto. Tomas.

TOYM awardee, Quimbo, who is also the President/CEO of Pag-IBIG Fund, was cited for steering the government-run corporation to its most impressive performance in its 25-year history, earning the distinction of being the single biggest provider of housing loans in the country today.

Under his leadership, Pag-Ibig has turned into the country’s Top 10 corporations.

In his message, as he received his citation in Malacañang on December 6, 2006, Quimbo urged his fellow Filipinos not to give up on government.

He said that it has been his obsession, “to restore our people’s hope in our country and trust in government.”

“We have time and again striven to succeed in the Pag-Ibig Fund, if only to show to our people that this government can work, and that when run properly a government agency can be at par or even better than the private sectors,” he declared.

Quimbo was the Guest of Honor at the Samar State University (SSU) during its 2006 graduation rites in March. Another Catbaloganon who knows him said that it is Quimbo who personally settles his property taxes in January at the Catbalogan town Hall.





Arrest order out for members of uniform-wearing sect

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
December 21, 2006

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  The Provincial Director of the Philippine National Police has issued a standing order to the various Chiefs of Police to arrest and charge members of a religious sect for unauthorized use in wearing the military uniform.

Police S/Supt. Prudencio de la Cruz, PNP Provincial Director, told PIA in a phone interview Monday (December 18) that he had personally accosted the group and found out they had no authority in wearing the Army’s camouflage uniform.

The group was said to be a “Rizalista” religious sect and MNLF members but they were unable to show any authority from Misuari, de la Cruz observed.

But the good thing about it was that the group, consisting of eight individuals, had left the province two Sundays ago, the provincial PNP Chief said.

Unauthorized wearing of military uniform is a violation under Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) on illegal use of uniforms or insignias, Article 177 RPC on Usurpation of Authority, and Article 146 RPC on illegal assemblies, it was learned.

If the “Rizalistas” come back, or if any other not authorized uniform-wearing individuals are seen roaming around for that matter, the Chiefs of Police in various municipalities and city of the province were under orders to arrest and charge them on the three charges stated above, S/Supt. De la Cruz stressed.

The arrest order on the uniform-wearing Rizalistas was not enforced as they had left early.

De la Cruz added that purported MNLF members, who came from Surigao, had planned to put up a base in barangay Panian, Saint Bernard, had it not for the timely intervention of Police and military authorities who constantly monitored their movement, in close coordination with concerned civilians.

He described the persons as bisayan-speaking and were keen on going to Cebu for the Asean summit which was not pushed through because of typhoon “Seniang”.



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