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Murder raps filed versus the Lofrancos over Janine’s death

Gov. Daza distributes relief goods to Northern Samar flood victims

Northern Samar flood waters subsided, evacuees back home, need food – Gov. Daza

LNU student qualifies for Global Xchange Program

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

Gunmen killed noted anti-communist leader in Catbalogan

January 18, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  A noted anti-Communist leader fell down before an assassin’s bullet early last night at newly-renovated Capitol Park here at Samar’s capital.

Augusto S. Daclitan, 55 years old and a resident of Brgy. Canlapwas, this town, died on the spot after two unidentified suspects shot him in the head and at the back of his body at about 6:30 p.m. last night (January 17).

Police report said Daclitan allegedly received calls from someone who wanted to meet him at the Capitol Park for some official business which prompted him to go to meet the man.

But when he was at the park one of the suspects immediately shot him in the head which caused him to fall after which a second shot was aimed at the back of his body that caused his spontaneous death.

The two unidentified suspects fled to opposite directions right after the incident to elude arrest but witnesses said the gun used by the assailants was handed to a nearby bystander. The police recovered two empty shells of cal. 45 pistol at the crime scene.

Daclitan is the Operations Officer of the anti-Communist group Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) that has been instrumental in assisting the government in its anti-insurgency campaign in the province.

Lately, he successfully convinced the leaders of the more than 10 youth gangs that had been sowing violence here at the capital town and unite them into a single youth group, that is now called the United Youth of Catbalogan, with the help of the local police.

Catbalogan Police Chief PInsp. Carlos G. Vencio, in an interview, claimed Daclitan may have been a victim of the Communist New People’s Army (NPA) that has reportedly fielded two sparrow teams here at the capital town since December of last year to assassinate anti-revolutionaries.

Vencio said the manner of killing the anti-communist leader, which was done in a crowded park, was a typical example of the insurgents’ strategy to sow public fear and use it as a propaganda tool.





The province’s name is Samar, not Western Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 17, 2007

Congressman Figueroa

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  “The name of my province is Samar, not Western Samar.” Thus, wrote Congressman Catalino V. Figueroa of the 2nd District of Samar, to the Philippine Information Agency.

Congressman Figueroa made the clarification in reaction to some printed documents in some government offices bearing the name Western Samar.

He said that the name of the province as Samar is embodied in Republic Act 5650 passed during the 6th Congress, the 27th day of January 1969 and signed by then Speaker of the House of Representatives Jose B. Laurel, Jr. and then Senate President Gil J. Puyat.

Republic Act 5650 is an act changing the name of the Province of Western Samar to Samar.

Congressman Figueroa requested the Philippine Information Agency to inform the public and the government offices so that they can make the necessary corrections as to the name of the Province.

The people of Samar are in need of a true identity as regards the real name of their province, Congressman Figueroa noted.

He added that he will be writing other national government offices and government owned and controlled corporations so that they too will be properly informed.

Many names (Samal, Ibabao, Tandaya) were given to Samar Island prior to the coming of the Spaniards in 1596.  The name Samar was derived from the local dialect “samad”, meaning wound or cut, which aptly describes the rough physical features of the island that is rugged and deeply dissected by streams.

During the early days of Spanish occupation, Samar was under the jurisdiction of Cebu.  In 1735, Samar and Leyte were united into one province with Carigara, Leyte as the capital town and again Samar became a separate province in 1768.

The province of Samar comprised the whole Samar Island before the approval of Republic Act 4221 on June 19, 1965 which divided the island into three provinces: Northern Samar, with Catarman as capital; Eastern Samar, with Borongan as capital; and Western Samar (officially known as Samar) with Catbalogan as capital. It is composed of twenty five (25) municipalities and one city (Calbayog City).  It has a total of nine hundred fifty two (952) barangays.

In 1969, through Republic Act 5650, the province’s name was changed to Samar instead of Western Samar.





Wife of suspected NPA seeks treatment from army doctors

January 16, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Jaquilyn Velasco, 21, a mother of a four year-old son and wife of a suspected NPA sought the help of media practitioner Lady Camelot for her various illness.

It was lady reporter Lady Camelot who sought the help of the officers in 8th Infantry Division how Jaqui could be helped.

The patient is now confined at the Camp Lukban General Hospital where she is treated with PTB, skin tuberculosis and kwashiorkor, an extreme protein deficiency.

According to her doctor, Major Jorge Benavidez, Jaquilyn was very ill, weighing only like a child, when she was brought to the camp hospital, but the week-long treatment courtesy of San Jose de Buan Mayor Artemio Rebato, Dr. Yong and the 8th ID has yielded positive results, so far. Benavidez says if Jaqui will just be supported with proper food, medicines and vitamins and ample rest, she has a 90% of recovery and leading a normal life.

Although Jaqui does not admit her husband is an NPA, she is grateful to the army doctors for their help. On the day of the interview, 8th ID Information Officer Jose Mario Chico was laden with a tray of eggs reportedly for Jaqui’s consumption.

Jaqui said that she is aware of the NPA’s presence in her native town of San Jose de Buan but she said, her family has distanced themselves from the movement. She has known of the difficulties ‘they’ experience ‘uphill’. She said she has a friend there who has even returned to their barangay to live a normal life. She will never be convinced, she said, to join the NPA’s.

1st Lt. Chico was not surprised when he learned that Jaqui does not believe her husband is a member of the NPA.

“Even when caught red-handed, they still would not admit guilt, the lanky officer sighed.

“But to show them how we value life and their welfare, we welcomed her in the camp hospital and intend to keep her until she is strong enough to return to her child,” Chico offered.

Chico also added that he did not just decide on keeping the sick woman in their care. “I consulted with Commanding General Rodrigo Maclang who agreed to keep and treat the sick woman.”

As regards her husband, Jaqui just kept quiet and refused to answer questions regarding the fate of her husband.

Presently, Jaqui has no other plans but to obey the doctor’s orders for she only has her four-year old child to think of and inspire her to keep herself stronger.





Kins of fire victim assails NBI’s alleged bias in its investigation

January 14, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar   –  Despite the assurance of Congressman Catalino Figueroa to help the family of Candice Janine Paulin, the minor which was found dead inside the burned Lester Lace Grocery Store, via an in-dept investigation thru the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Mary Jean Paulin, the mother, accused the NBI here of partial and biased treatment of her daughter’s case.

In a signed statement of Mrs. Paulin obtained by this writer, it was learned that Janine’s family went to the NBI office on November 20, 2006 to check on the status of the NBI investigation over their daughter’s death.

“But we were disappointed and dismayed because they (NBI) treated us badly and without respect, they told us that our daughter was a thief and was looting in the said grocery store during the fire incident”, she informed.

However, the NBI allegedly wasn’t able to come up with a proof that Janine was inside the burning store because of thievery, and that she was trapped inside the burning grocery store causing her death.

In the same circumstance, Dr. Felino C. Gualdrapa of the Samar Provincial Hospital (SPH) here likewise implied that the NBI was allegedly misleading him during the conduct of the autopsy of the victim’s cadaver on November 15, 2006.

In his signed statement, Dr. Gualdrapa narrated that he received a note coming from Mayor Tekwa Uy of Catbalogan, requesting that an autopsy be made on Janine’s body, but he was hesitant because he was the on-duty physician at that time in the SPH.

But Dr. Gualdrapa reconsidered when a certain Wakie Cui called him up and told they will assist in the autopsy examination together with Dr.Teddy Yboa of the NBI Manila. The autopsy was conducted inside the Samar Memorial Chapel (SMC) morgue.

“Even at the start, I already noticed that Dr. Yboa of the NBI was already misleading me in evaluating the cadaver, I never liked it but to avoid conflict and confrontation I remained silent out of professional courtesy”, Dr. Gualdrapa disclosed.

Dr. Gualdrapa informed that the NBI medico-legal allegedly concentrated only on the degree of burns and did not evaluate the obvious deformities particularly on the face where according to Dr. Gualdrapa, the bridge was deformed possibly caused by a mechanical pressing of the nose of the victim to the point that no air can pass into the lungs.

In the same instance, Dr. Yboa also allegedly tried to mislead him in describing the gastric contents of the cadaver to light brown fluid to show that the victim inhaled smoke, but Dr. Gualdrapa insisted that the gastric fluid found was light greenish in color manifesting that no carbon was inhaled by the victim.

“Another point I cannot agree on was that Dr. Yboa insisted that the cadaver was still a virgin, and that she only had notches and not lacerated wounds, but when I examined the cadaver, she had hymenal lacerated wounds already healed, meaning the victim was no longer a virgin”, Dr. Gualdrapa added.

Not contented by the NBI autopsy and bothered by his conscience, Dr. Gualdrapa returned for a second autopsy of the cadaver, and this time without the NBI and yielded with a concrete report.

“In my second autopsy, I did confirm that the body was already dead when she burned, and I issued a certification to that effect because the cause of death was asphyxiation by suffocation or choking to stop passage of air from the nose or mouth. If she died because of the fire, her cause of death should have been carbon monoxide poisoning, which is impossible because the autopsy revealed that there were no traces of carbon in her lungs”, Dr. Gualdrapa disposed.

He added that Janine was already dead for not less than three hours before she was burned.

On the other hand, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) here led by P/Insp. Fernando Ferrer likewise told in his signed statement that the theory of thievery by the NBI as being alleged by the parents of the victim was not supported by evidence.

Ferrer also noted that the autopsy report of Dr. Yboa of the NBI contained a brief summary only and indicated no physical injuries despite allegedly of several apparent physical injuries on the cadaver.

“That is why I requested for a re-autopsy of the body, this time with the PNP crime laboratory, which was conducted by Dr. Angel Cordero”, Ferrer told.

“Through my experience as an investigator, I noticed some details will lead us to conclude that a foul play was evident, we are not buying the theory of thievery here because it of human nature that a child in distress trapped inside a burning establishment will become hysterical, will knock on the doors and will shout for help as loud as she can. But in this case, the body of the victim when found as shown in pictures, was laid down as if she was relaxed and was not even bothered by the fire, which is contrary to the theory of self-preservation”, he concluded.





BILECO officially ends “Task Force Seniang” operations in Biliran

January 12, 2007

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco) officially ended its rehabilitation and restoration activities dubbed “Task Force Seniang” last January 2, 2007 after the province of Biliran was hit by Typhoon Seniang in December 9 last year.

This was bared by Mr. Marlon Roa, Manager of Bileco who said that the operation which was given a timetable of one month since it started in December 11, 2006 was completed earlier by ten days than its original schedule of completion which was January 11, 2007.

He added that the early completion of the restoration work was made possible through the bayanihan efforts of  other electric cooperatives that came over to Biliran province like the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (SOLECO), Leyeco IV in Hilongos, Leyte, Leyeco V in Ormoc City and the Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative (DORELCO) in Tolosa, Leyte who immediately responded to Bileco’s call for assistance saying that the extent of the damage to the electrical posts and power lines in the province of Biliran cannot be done the soonest if Bileco had to rely on their own technical experts and linemen.

Furthermore, he said that he had so much to thank to the four electric cooperatives who assisted Bileco in the restoration work conducted provincewide because aside from the manpower, these cooperatives likewise offered their major equipment to include the two boom trucks to hasten the completion of the repair and restoration jobs.

He informed PIA that with the assistance extended by the four cooperatives, Bileco spent an amount only for the fuel of the service equipment that were brought in by the neighboring electric cooperatives that assisted them.

Manager Roa cited the advantage of electric companies being organizesd into cooperatives saying that in disasters like the devastating typhoon Seniang, restoration activities are made lighter, easier and faster because the electric cooperatives are always ready to extend a helping hand, full support and assistance to any of their sister cooperatives so as not to deprive the member-consumers of the efficient service of the electric coops.

He said that when Biliran province was badly hit by typhoon Seniang in December 9 last year, some 40% - 45% of the electrical wirings, gadgets and electrical posts were blown down and damaged placing the damage at P10.1 million.



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