NCAE should not be
of Volunteer Educators
April 3, 2007
Philippines – The Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE), the
party-list organization for the education sector, is opposed to the
reported plan of the Department of Education to make the National
Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) as a mandatory prerequisite for
post-secondary education by school year 2009-2010.
Asked to comment on a
published report attributed to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus who was
quoted as saying that students should first hurdle the NCAE to
prequalify for higher education, AVE party-list Rep. Eulogio “Amang”
R, Magsaysay said the choice of what career path to take should be
left to the discretion of the students.
“While the NCAE may be
a good program to guide students in choosing the college courses that
match their talents and abilities, they should be free to decide
whether to pursue professional careers or technical/vocational
education,” Magsaysay said, adding that since the youth have the right
to equal access to education, they should also have the right to
decide for them selves on their own course preferences.
The party-list solon
suggested that DepEd should instead find ways and means of improving
the quality of teaching techniques in schools for students to acquire
better the knowledge imparted to them by their teachers.
At the same time
Magsaysay reiterated an earlier appeal for higher education
institutions to produce more skilled graduates to meet the growing
demands of various industries for more technically qualified workers.
Army troopers hits NPA
extortionists in Eastern Samar
By Cpt. MARIO JOSE M. CHICO, (QMS) PA
March 30, 2007
Catbalogan, Samar – A real-time information thru text message,
provided by residents of Brgy Maca-anga in Llorente town in Eastern
Samar, proved to be the vital factor in the successful combat
operations launched by the Army troopers from the 34th Infantry
Battalion based in Quinapundan, Eastern Samar.
Acting on the said
information, platoon-size troopers led by 1Lt Elbur Ocampo displaced
from their camp and proceeded to the reported area where allegedly, a
group of five (5) NPA terrorists were extorting foodstuffs from the
frightened residents of Brgy Maca-anga.
At about 8:45 a.m. of
March 30, 2007, said Army troopers chanced upon the group of armed NPA
terrorists at vicinity of Brgy Maca-anga, Llorente, Eastern Samar and
a brief firefight ensued. The NPA terrorists scampered away from
different directions leaving behind them One (1) M-16 rifle with
magazine and ammunitions, One (1) Rifle Grenade, One (1) Ammunition
box loaded with assorted cartridges for M-14 and M-16 rifles, seven
(7) kgs of rice and One (1) kg of dried fish.
An Army soldier was
slightly wounded during the encounter and was immediately given first
aid by the trained medical aidman of the platoon.
The encounter occurred
a day after the NPA terrorists celebrated their anniversary which was
highlighted by rampant summary killings of civilians and unarmed
soldiers. Most prominent among these murdered civilians were Mayor
Benito Astorga of Daram town and Brgy Cpt Bedasto Gabiana of Dogongan,
Jiabong all of Samar. These treacherous killings show their
desperation attempt to portray an image of strength but reality
reveals that their strength is dwindling down. The very reason why
they were no longer capable to conduct large-scale atrocities against
the Army soldiers the way they have done in the past.
Maj. Gen. Armando
L. Cunanan AFP immediately sent commendatory message to the elements
of the 34IB involved in the strike operations. He praised the gallant
troopers for their strict adherence to the established techniques,
tactics, and procedures (TTPs) that resulted to the success of the
security operations. Maj. Gen. Cunanan likewise extended his profound
gratitude to the people of Eastern Samar for their continuing support
to the efforts of the Philippine Army and assured them of the Army’s
deep commitment towards eradicating the menace of the society in order
to achieve a lasting peace in the region conducive to total
Millions allotted for
West Leyte Hospital upgrade
Media Relations Center (PMRC-Leyte)
March 30, 2007
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Through a newly signed Memorandum of Agreement with the provincial
government of Leyte, the Department of Health in the region has
committed an amount of P12 million to upgrade the facilities of the
West Leyte Hospital of Baybay, Leyte.
This as part of Gov.
Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla’s effort to look for means of improving
the medical facilities and services of the different hospitals under
the provincial government that includes the
West Leyte Hospital
in Baybay town.
According to the
governor, the province, under his administration is putting much
effort in reducing the number of patients being catered to by
hospitals based in the City of Tacloban.
Not only are the
hospitals in this city get crowded by patients coming from the
different towns in Leyte, the medical facilities are likewise wanting,
which Gov. Petilla stressed are the problems that really need to be
Under the newly signed
MOA, new infrastructures and equipments will be installed as well as
additional needed supply of medicines will be purchased for the West
With these new
improvements, the hospital will subsequently be upgraded from a
secondary hospital to a tertiary medical facility.
The MOA was recently
forged at the Leyte Provincial Capitol with Dr. Minerva Molon, chief
of the DOH Technical Division as representative of the health
department and Gov. Petilla for the province of Leyte.
It can be recalled
that Gov. Petilla has continuously poured in projects to the different
hospitals and improvements of rural health units of the different
municipalities of the province to decongest hospitals in the city.
Values formation among
hospital members and staff were likewise successively conducted by the
provincial government to renew and assess the commitment within the
ranks of the province-run hospitals.
So far, the
Provincial Health Office reports, these projects and undertakings
under the leadership of Gov. Petilla has proven effective as positive
performance was seen resulting to better services and better revenue
among these hospitals under the province.
2 died in Samar road
By ELI C. DALUMPINES (PIA
March 29, 2007
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The driver might have done everything he could to avoid collision but
it was too late.
Two people were killed
after a Manila-bound Silverstar bus sideswiped a passenger jeepney at
around 9:35 this morning at the Maharlika Highway near the vicinity of
Brgy. New Mahayag, here at
The police identified
the fatality as one Jerry B. Tuting, the driver of the passenger
jeepney Marlon, and a 17 year old girl Jerlyn V. Alaga, who was
scheduled to graduate tomorrow at the Silanga National High School.
Police reports said
the Silverstar bearing Plate No. DVX-967 owned by Silverstar Shuttle &
Tours Inc. traveling from Catbalogan to
was in a descending motion when the driver applied brake after he
spotted the Catbalogan-bound jeepney in front of him to avoid possible
However, it was a
little too late because he hit the jeepney, which at that time was on
its way up, causing the instantaneous death of Tuting and seriously
injuring the girl Jerlyn. The girl died later at the
where she was brought by the rescuers.
Injured in the
accident were 15 other passengers of the PUJ namely: Emelyn Alaga,
Rocky Berio, Randy Rollo, Antonio Rollo, Aileen Ortillo, Claudio
Mabansag, Rene Ramirez, Jose William Castillano, Junrey Violante,
Elizabeth Olinar, Jerome Golong, Bernadeth Pangare, Narciso Cabragas,
Reynaldo dele Cruz, and Santiago Dongallo.
The injured were now
treated at the Provincial Hospital but unconfirmed reports said that
one of the injured already succumb due to the serious injury.
Police report said
the bus driver fled right after the incident. No passenger of the
Silverstar bus was reported to have been injured though.
Poor Eastern Samar
students to avail of government assistance
By SAMMY CANDIDO (PIA Eastern
March 29, 2007
Samar – A sizeable amount of educational assistance awaits some poor
but deserving students in the province. Under the Special Program of
Employment for Students (SPES), the provincial government of
through the efforts of Governor Ben P. Evardone, allotted some
P250,000.00 for some 130 students-beneficiaries.
provincial Public Employment Service Office Manager Crescentia
Quitorio, these students will be taken in under the program starting
April until May to render various office works at the provincial
capitol which will entitle them to compensations. As of this writing,
45 students are already assured of extra income this summer vacation,
having passed the screening conducted by respective school
administration committees of the Eastern Samar State University Campus
of Guiuan, Salcedo, and Can-avid as sanctioned by the provincial
Some 85 slots more up
for grabs as more student-applicants continue to troop to the capitol
to seek admission to the summer jobs project, PESO manager Quitorio
stressed that the hiring of additional students, this time, will be
opened to applicants coming directly from the 23 municipalities of the
province and will be done on a first-come-first-serve basis. Quitorio
also revealed that the funding for the program was forged through a
sharing scheme wherein 40% will be borne by the Department of Labor
and Employment, while the provincial government shoulders the
remaining 60 percent.
Evardone encourages students to personally apply sans their parents
beside them. This, he said, is for them to develop self-reliance and a
genuine appreciation of work.
The SPES is
anchored on the Arroyo administration’s thrust of providing working
opportunities to underprivileged students thereby easing up tuition
Shallow grave yields
bones of one man in Leyte
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
March 29, 2007
HILONGOS, Leyte – A
joint military-police operation conducted in a very distant, interior
village here, Tuesday, March 27, which aimed to unearth the remains of
many dead bodies, yielded instead with the recovery of bones lawmen
thought belonged only to one person.
frustrating find, however, the sad tale behind the motive of the
purported killing has been all too familiar: the victim, Segundo
Balonggo, of Sitio Lemon, barangay San Antonio, this town, was
formerly a hard-core communist New People’s Army (NPA) cadre, who had
returned to the fold of the law and was believed summarily executed
for it in a mass purge about two decades ago carried by the
underground movement to rid its ranks of suspected deep penetration
This was according to
the revelation of the victim’s brother, Dionisio, a 60-something jolly
man, who led the authorities to the grave site.
reports had it that skeletal remains of at least fifteen persons were
to be exhumed at barangay Utanan, another interior barangay of this
town, while some military sources also claimed that two grave sites
with bone fragments of three persons were to be verified Tuesday
which, as it turned out, did not happen.
Two helicopters were
used to ferry police and military officers, headed by PNP Regional
Director Supt. Eliseo De La Paz and MGen. Armando Cunanan of the 8th
Infantry Division, Philippine Army, respectively, including Scene of
the Crime Operatives (SOCO), and some mediamen, from the staging area
at the Hilongos National Vocational High School grounds to the site.
The objective was
reached after fifteen minutes of helicopter ride and a 30-minute walk
from the narrow landing strip following a knee-deep winding river and
a rocky climb in a cliff-like terrain.
Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom,
Commanding Officer of the 43rd IB based in Hibod-Hibod, Sogod, and his
men had reached the area much earlier.
SOCO operatives took
blood samples of Dionisio, the informant, to see later if it would
match with the DNA of the bones found. They also secured the bones in
a box and carried it with them for further investigative analysis.
Dionisio was at first
understandably hesitant to be positively identified, but gave in for
the sake of his blood brother’s death and in efforts to seek justice.
Reached for comment,
Gen. Cunanan declined to give a statement when they came back to the
staging area after the operation.
But Police Supt. De La
Paz earlier scoffed at insinuations made by left-leaning groups that
the bones were “recycled.”
Miraflor Cruz, Special
Investigator II of the Commission on Human Rights based in Tacloban
City who accompanied the team, also did not make any comment, saying
she had to dig deeper still and wait until all available facts can be
in before making a conclusion.
In August last year,
several skeletons stocked in a mass grave believed victims of purges
were discovered in a hinterland barangay in Inopacan town.
The discovery led
to the recent arrest of Bayan-Muna Party-List Rep. Satur Ocampo, who
was being fingered, along with other top communist leaders, as the one
allegedly leading the mass murder, a charge he had denied.
Police sees politics
behind the Calbayog check point attack
By ELI C. DALUMPINES (PIA Samar)
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Police authorities here maintained that the recent attack on a check
point manned by four personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)
to enforce the COMELEC gun ban was not the doing of the communist New
People’s Army (NPA) as reported earlier.
Samar Police Chief P/SSupt.
Asdali Idja Abah, in a report yesterday, blamed the partisan armed
group of a certain politician in Samar’s 1st district for the attack
saying the said politician was in desperation that the movement of his
men was restricted because of the presence of the PNP check point.
A group composed of
six armed men on board a van open fired at the PNP check point in
Sitio Talahib, Brgy. Trinidad, Calbayog City at around 8 p.m. Friday
(March 23) killing PO3 Valeriano Valenzuela and PO1 Ramil Biso, who was
undergoing his Field Training Program.
The group carted away
one M16 rifle and a 9mm cal. Pistol which was issued to PO3 Valenzuela
and withdraw north immediately after the attack.
that prior to the incident one of the suspects who was standing across
the check point made a call through a cellphone and after a few
minutes a van stopped at about 50 meters away from the check point
where about 6 men armed with assorted firearms got out and opened fire
at the police officers on duty.
A witness, however,
said that PO1 Valenzuela might have known the suspects as he saw him
talking to one of the suspects just a few meters away before the
shooting took place.
It was learned that
Valenzuela’s older brother and Sta. Margarita Police Chief PInsp.
Nestor Valenzuela was tasked by the higher headquarters to make a
research on the previous cases filed against the said politician.
effort appears to have been a taking progress as the police was able
to file some four other cases against the political leader lately.
rejects handling of criminal raps against Congressman Uy
By ROMMEL L. RUTOR
CALBAYOG CITY, Leyte
– ”We fear for the safety of our lives and limbs and that of our
families ... This is not a product of our imagination. We already have
experiences on this in the past, and to think that those involve are
mere known supporters of big politicians, they intervene and exert
pressure so as to get their way. How much more that a congressman is
being indicted here? We can see pressures coming from both sides, or
from the respondents of this case themselves as they are capable of