UN Rapporteur on
arbitrary executions visits the Philippines
February 10, 2007
Philippines – "We welcome Mr. Philip
Alston's visit with optimism," said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Secretary
General of the human rights alliance KARAPATAN on the arrival of
United Nations Special Rapporteur (SR) on Extrajudicial, Summary or
Enriquez says "it is
high-time that the UN Special Rapporteur probes the interminable
arbitrary executions under the Arroyo government." Just the other
day, Feb. 8, Dalmacio "Tay Daki" Gandinao, 74 years old, chair of
Bayan Muna Misamis Oriental was gunned down inside his home and in
front of his family, in Salay, Misamis Oriental.
and rights groups such as Hustisya! (Victims of Arroyo Regime United
for Justice), Desaparecidos, SELDA and the Ecumenical Movement for
Justice and Peace joined KARAPATAN in welcoming the arrival of Mr.
Alston. They unfurled a welcome banner for Mr. Alston with the message
"Stop The Killings in the Philippines" emblazoned on it. The UN
representative is expected to arrive in the Philippines today, 10
Hustisya Head Convener
Evangeline Hernandez said, "We, families of victims of extrajudicial
killings under the Arroyo regime are thankful that the UN Rapporteur
is finally coming to the Philippines."
"We look forward to
meeting him and we hope that he will hear us out and help serve
justice," said Hernandez who added that "Mrs. Arroyo's government has
victimized us again and again by refusing to give us justice and
failing to stop the killings in the
The victims said they
are ready to face Mr. Alston and give their testimonies, while
KARAPATAN and its lawyers said they are ready to assist the victims as
they always have.
KARAPATAN and its
allied organizations expressed hope that "Mr. Alston will maintain his
independence despite attempts by government to limit his interaction
with victims and human rights defenders who are also under threat by
this murderous regime."
ambushed army engineers in Samar
By Maj. FELIX M. MANGYAO, (INF) PA
Catbalogan, Samar – NPA terrorists strike anew when they ambushed
elements of the 543rd Engineering Construction Battalion, last
February 02 at 3:30 pm in Barangay Libertad, Matuguinao, Samar 170 kms.
northwest of Tacloban City leaving one (1) soldier dead. The said
troops were constructing a school building under PGMA’s Kapit bisig
Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) Program. On their way back to their
command post, undetermined number of communist terrorist ambushed the
said non-combatant unit of the Philippine Army killing one identified
as Pvt. Artemio Catalan. The ambushers also suffered casualties as
blood stained in their route of withdrawal.
MGen. Armando L.
Cunanan, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division,
condemned the killing in the strongest possible terms. According to
him, “This terror act of the communist terrorist clearly indicates
that they are against education, against better future and against
better way of life for our people. While the soldiers are committed
even to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the education of our youth,
the NPA’s are doing otherwise. It is the right of every Filipino
children to receive better education from the government.”
Relatedly, it is of
public knowledge, that the communist terrorist in
Leyte Provinces have been pressuring and threatening by force Barangay
Captains in the hinterlands to stop and resist road constructions and
other development projects by the government so that they could go
freely with their terroristic activities. “This, we cannot allow to
happen. We will never allow it to happen,” Cunanan added.
As earlier reported,
the latest terror acts were the killings of Dominador De Luna and
Barangay Captain Vedasto Gabiana. Dominador De Luna is the husband of
Samar’s 2nd District Board member, Dayday De Luna. Accordinlgly, the
victim while riding in his red XRM Honda motorcycle was shot to death
by two unidentified motorcycle-ridding assailants believed to be
members of the NPA’s Special Partisan Operation (SPARO) unit last
January 29. While Brgy. Cpt. Vedasto Gabiana was shot in cold blood
last January 25 at 7:00 pm inside his sari-sari store in Calapi,
Motiong, Samar. Said brgy.
captain is known for his hard stance against the communist terrorist
movement and as alleged, have consistently refused to give in to the
demands of 10% barangay IRA to the communist terrorists.
Soldiers under the
34th Infantry Battalion are now in pursuit operation and continuous
patrol in the area to further avoid such terroristic activities.
Meanwhile, elements of the PNP are still conducting investigation on
the killings of Dominador De Luna and Barangay Captain Vedasto Gabiana.
Marine parks expansion
program seen to energize further the fisheries sector
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Even as Region 8 is in the middle of preparations for the first
Eastern Visayas Mariculture Parks Congress which will be participated
in by both local and international stakeholders, the Department of
Agriculture has announced the expansion of mariculture parks in
coastal areas across the country in order to energize further the
The setting up of more
mariculture parks with the help of foreign investments mostly from
China will raise fisheries production to 4.7 metric tons this year and
would create some 190,000 jobs in marginalized fishing communities,
Secretary Arthur Yap said.
The Department of
Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
expects to increase to 41 the existing number of 13 mariculture parks
this year by promoting partnerships with local government units or
LGUs and foreign investors on the development of fish cage farming
across the country.
The Philippines can
become a major player in the multibillion-dollar live food-fish export
business by developing two fisheries highways linking the network of
existing and still-to-be-established mariculture parks nationwide.
fisheries highways, transport vessels can collect high-value cultured
fish harvests from mariculture parks en-route to their respective
ports of destination like China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The mariculture park
concept is similar to an industrial estate where an area in the sea is
subdivided into different plots for the farming of fish and other
aquatic life using only approved and environmentally sound culture
To date, BFAR's
partnership with LGUs has led to the establishment of five mariculture
parks in storm-sheltered and environment-friendly coastal areas
highway in the eastern seaboard will start from Surigao and will
connect to Samar and Leyte, which both operate several mariculture
parks. The highway will lead further north to Casiguran Sound in
Aurora, where a 300-hectare mariculture park is now in place.
The western seaboard
highway, on the other hand, will start from Tawi-Tawi where the
construction of a P10-million multi-fish species hatchery and a
P5-million mariculture park project are currently undertaken in
collaboration with foreign financial institutions and the provincial
government. This would connect to the parks in Zamboanga and Palawan.
Besides boosting fish
productivity and creating more jobs, mariculture parks also ensure
environment-friendly practices in municipal fishing by employing only
fishing methods compliant with existing environmental laws.
Motiong Vice Mayor
survived ambush, wife blames politics
By ELI C. DALUMPINES (PIA
February 7, 2007
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The wife of Motiong Vice Mayor Francsico Langi, Sr. was convinced that
politics was behind their ambush in one of the town’s interior
barangays Tuesday afternoon (February 6).
Agripina Langi, the
vice mayor’s wife, in an interview, said she didn’t see any reason why
the communist New People’s Army (NPA) or the rightist vigilante group
would do such act as she did not recall any misdeeds committed by her
husband which may earn the ire of both groups.
“Wala man ‘mi atraso
sa taas. Wala sad ko’y nakita nga rason nganong himoon ‘to sa maka-tuo
nga grupo kay wala ma’y gihimo ang akong bana nga kontra ‘nila (We
committed nothing that can offend the communist rebels. I didn’t see
any reason either why the rightist group would do that since my
husband did nothing against them), she said in the vernacular.
Police reports said
Vice Mayor Langi and his wife were riding on a motorcycle on their way
to Brgy. Inalad, Motiong’s interior barangay, to attend the graduation
rites of the adult literacy class where he was invited as guest
speaker when the incident happens.
According to the
report, they were traversing along the Paranas-San Jose de Buan
provincial road at about 3:20 p.m. of Tuesday when they were fired
upon by an unidentified gunman near the vicinity of Brgy. Lokilokon,
The vice mayor
sustained gunshot wounds on his right hand and in his right shoulder
but was immediately treated at the
He also suffered a broken right leg after the motorcycle they were
His driver, identified
as Jessie Dacanay, died after sustaining several gunshot wounds in the
different parts of his body but his wife was left unscathed.
Langi has served as
the town mayor for three term before running as vice mayor last 2004.
The Samar PNP led by
Supt. Asdali Idja Abah is still conducting investigation to determine
the motive behind the vice mayor’s ambush.
By Maj. FELIX M. MANGYAO, (INF) PA
Catbalogan, Samar – An NPA collector, Samuelito Arquion of Brgy
Quezon, Ormoc City voluntarily surrendered with his firearms, One (1)
M16 with defaced serial number and One (1) shotgun with three (3) live
ammunition to the operating elements of the 19th Infantry (COMMANDO)
Battalion under Lt Col Lope Dagoy stationed at Brgy Aguiting, Kananga,
Leyte on February 05, 2007, at around 6:00 o’clock in the evening.
Feeling the heat of
the intensified and relentless conduct of Internal Security Operations
in Ormoc City and Leyte Province, Samuelito Arquion, an active member
and designated as collector of the New Peoples Army operating in the
hinter barangays of Ormoc City came down to surrender to the military
Monday evening. He revealed the NPA in the area now highly mobile,
over fatigue and stressful while suffering from shortage of food and
supplies since collection of their extortion activities are being
hampered due to the sustain operations conducted by the 19th Infantry
Battalion. He stressed that the NPAs operating in the Leyte area were
on total disarray caused by leadership crisis as a result of the
capture and neutralization of their key leaders.
MGen. Armando L
Cunanan, Commanding General of 8th Infantry Division commended the
valuable efforts of the troops involved in the operations. He urged
the people to be vigilant and encourage them to give timely and
valuable information to the authorities for the immediate action
against the atrocities that are being committed by these lawless
DENR distributes land
titles in Bontoc, Southern Leyte
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– As part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’
thrust of improving the socio economic condition of the people through
optimal utilization of lands, Free Patent Titles were distributed to
qualified beneficiaries at the municipal plaza of Bontoc, Southern
Leyte on January 22, 2007.
The total of 660 Free
Patent titles distributed to the qualified beneficiaries covers a
total area of 671 hectares of alienable and disposable lands in the 25
barangays of Bontoc.
The distribution of
Free Patent or land titles was the result of the massive information
drive conducted in the different barangays of Bontoc by the personnel
of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Maasin,
Southern Leyte now headed by CENR Officer Floriano Leonor.
In his message during
the distribution activity, Regional Technical Director Ramon S. Unay
of the DENR Land Management Service stressed that the DENR is trying
to bring its services closer to the people especially in the barangays
through its land titling services. “Before, land title applicants
would go to our office to apply for title. Now our field personnel
through the cooperation of barangay officials gather title
applications right in your own barangays.” said RTD Unay.
Register of Deeds
Chief Crispin Mardoqueo, Jr. brought good news to the beneficiaries
that all titles issued in connection with CARP after the enactment of
the CARP Law in 1988 are exempt from registration and other fees with
the Register of Deeds. Patents issued prior to the enactment of the
CARP law, however, shall be charged minimal amount of fees.
Bontoc Mayor Pedro
Fustanes, Jr. thanked the efforts of the DENR as well as the Register
of Deeds and his town officials for facilitating the land titling
services for his constituents. “We should avail of this Land Titling
Program of the GMA administration under the DENR which is a great
opportunity,” Mayor Fustanes said.
RTD Unay also urged
the beneficiaries to keep their titles in a safe place. “It is very
tedious and expensive to reconstitute a lost or damaged title because
it has to pass through court proceedings. Land title is also very
important as it secures ownership or occupation over the land. It can
also provide as capital because it can be offered as collateral for
loans and other legal purposes.” RTD Unay quipped.
Rafaela Salva, 64 years old said she is happy to receive her title.
She is confident that her adjacent land owner can no longer question
her possession. “Now nobody can take away the right from me. I will
religiously pay the taxes on said land.” she quipped.
Natividad Edillo, 57
years old of Barangay Malbago, said she is very happy because her
title was issued even if she has no money to pay for the cadastral
cost of the two parcels of land. “I can settle it anytime with the
DENR in Maasin”, she said.
The Free Patent
distribution is the first of series of title distributions to be held
throughout the region under the DENR’s land titling services.
receives 10% wage hike
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The government service providers have a reason to smile these
days. It is payback time as Congress has ratified a ten percent
increase in their salaries this year, the first wage increase in six
The only thing needed
now is the signature of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which is
forthcoming because this is her desire in the first place. The measure
also provides for a doubling of hazard pay and a 50 percent increase
in the subsistence allowance of soldiers, police and brigade workers
and prison officers.
This increase has long
been awaited by the government workers. Last year, the government
raised the cost-of-living allowances for some state employees and in
2005 but the last time the country's 1.2 million civil servants
received a salary increase was in 2001.
counterparts in the private sector were receiving wage increases
almost every year, the last being in October, the government workers
continued serving the public and patiently waited for the government’s
signal for them to be given salary hike.
Giving the government
workers a salary increase is a manifestation that the government
recognizes the government workers’ contributions and sacrifices in
order to achieve good governance and in order to provide the best
service to the public.
The government assumed
a five percent salary increase for state and private sector workers in
its annual average inflation target of four to five percent this year,
which compares with 6.2 percent in 2006.
Military, police, fire
and jail personnel will get a P30 increase in their subsistence
allowance and P120 more in hazard pay -- extra money for those doing
dangerous work -- under the measure.
Meanwhile, Congress is
still debating raising the minimum daily wage by P125 ($2.56) but
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is expected to veto this since her
economic managers have warned it will push up inflation.
The current daily
minimum wage in Manila and surrounding cities is 300 pesos.