Marcos rights victims
lauds UNHRC scoring of government delay of justice and compensation
April 21, 2007
– The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para sa
Amnestiya or SELDA, an organization of Human Rights Violations Victims
during Martial Law lauds the United Nations Human Rights Committee in
its April 3 statement calling on the Philippine government to pay
compensation to the 9,539 victims of martial law.
"We are delighted by
the UNHRC statement." said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Secretary General of
Selda, "It is hightime that the Philippine government act seriously on
this and show that they genuinely adhere to the international human
rights instruments to which they are a signatory of."
The statement was
based on the 1995 decision of the US District Court of Hawaii against
the estate of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
SELDA laments the fact
that Martial Law human rights violations victims have not been
indemnified nor given justice for more than 20 years now and that some
of them might no longer be around to see that day. Just this month,
two former martial law activists and human rights victims of that dark
era (one of whom was Ben Galario), died due to old age and illness.
"We hope that with
this UNHRC order, the Philippine Government will stop impeding efforts
to have the claimants indemnified." Enriquez stated, at the same time
criticizing the continued claims of the Arroyo Government over the
US$35 million Arelma Account that has been ordered by the
distributed to the martial law victims.
assailed the fact that Congress failed to enact into law the bill
awarding victims of martial law in the past nine years now.
Moreover, in the
midst of the rising number of victims of extra-judicial killings and
enforced disappearance, the human rights group stated that the long
wait and suffering the Filipinos experienced before they could be
indemnified and given justice should not be repeated by the current
government to the present families of victims of political repression.
Police seize firearms
from vice-mayoralty candidate in Samar
By RAY P. GASPAY
April 20, 2007
– The elements of the
Tagapul-an municipal police station in Samar seized 6 high powered
firearms and 2 short firearms Thursday evening, April 19, in a chance
encounter with a passenger motorboat marked “Charina” plying the
Tagapul-an to Calbayog City route in Brgy Manlangit, Tagapul-an,
Police report said
that while the police team was responding to a shooting incident in
the said barangay led by SPO4 Diogenes Balais, acting chief of police
of Tagapul-an municipal police station, and while the said responding
police team were about to left the area on board a pumpboat in order
to escort the wounded victims from the shooting incident, somebody
shouted to invite the attention of the responding team that the
suspect was fleeing towards the arriving passenger motorboat “Charina”
and boarded said motorboat.
The report added that
the police team saw some of the crew on board armed with firearms and
while introducing themselves as policemen, immediately the lights of
the said motorboat were turned off. The policemen immediately boarded
with flashlights and were able to see Adriano Picorro, re-electionist
Sangguniang Bayan member of Tagapul-an town under the LP/Lakas-CMD
party carrying a KG99 cal. 9mm machine pistol, thus, the team ordered
them to drop their firearms and then followed by search which yielded
other firearm from the possession of Charlie Picorro, ABC president of
Tagapul-an and vice-mayoralty candidate under the LP/Lakas-CMD party,
a cal .45 pistol with serial no. 359758 loaded with magazine and seven
(7) live ammunitions.
The search likewise
resulted to the confiscation from the motorboat of one (1) M16
armalite rifle with serial no. 445501, two (2) US carbines cal. 30 M1
with defaced serial number, one (1) cal .357 magnum with defaced
serial number, one (1) Ingram cal. 9mm machine pistol bearing serial
no. 678952, one (1) cal. M1 Garrand rifle with defaced serial number,
all loaded with magazine and ammunitions.
The other arrested
persons on board the motorboat Charina were identified as Noel
Sulibaga, Noel Picorro, Henry Basas, Filmor Basas, Arnel Rojas,
Charlot Picorro, Michael Maloloy-on, Romulo Sanchez, Arturo Francisco,
Michael Lucero, Carlito Lucero, Rodel Villa, Orlando Sarco and Jurry
Mahinay. Subject persons, confiscated firearms and said motorboat are
presently under the custody of the Samar Provincial Police Office for
proper disposition and appropriate charges are now being prepared for
filing in court.
The arrest and
confiscation in the said incident was in line with the government’s
campaign against Partisan Armed Groups (PAGs) and Loose Firearms in
relation to Comelec resolution no. 7764 (Gun Ban) for the forthcoming
May 14 national and local elections.
SAMELCO II’s rural
electrification hits 92%
By ELI C. DALUMPINES (PIA
April 20, 2007
Southern Leyte – The newly-completed road concreting project
traversing the main Panaon island highway here from Liloan to San
Ricardo towns, including the two other similar packages in the pacific
area up to Abuyog, Leyte, was a “landmark in the infra-structure
development program of the President,” according to Department of
Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan.
“This is the
infra-structure development program that we need to pursue
relentlessly in order to sustain the economic gains of our country
today,” Secretary Bonoan stressed before a huge crowd at the municipal
gym here Wednesday, April 18, during the inauguration program for the
The DPWH Boss said he
had come to the province five years ago, while he was in the process
of seeking financing program from the Japanese government then.
“Kaya nakita ko po ang
kalagayan ng ating kalsada five years ago. Ngayon, ako po ay natutuwa
at mai-i-report ko na sa mahal na Pangulo na ‘yun pong kalsada na
sira-sira at halos hindi mada-anan noong araw, sa tulong ng ating
mahal na Pangulo, sa ating pag-unlad ng ating ekonomiya, naisagawa na
at napakaganda na ang kalsada ngayon,” Sec. Bonoan said.
Earlier in his talk,
Bonoan said he was instructed by the President to come and represent
her in the activity as she could not personally attend due to the
health condition of the First Gentleman who was still recuperating
from a heart surgery last week.
He said he was already
aware about this inauguration during the Holy Week and shortly before
the First Gentleman’s sudden hospital confinement, as President Arroyo
kept on reminding him at their meeting that he go with her in San
Francisco for the opening of the concreted roads.
The DPWH Secretary was
accompanied by Rep. Roger Mercado and several other guests, including
Thailand Ambassador Asha Dvitiyananda and Japan Bank for International
Cooperation (JBIC) Representative Floro Adviento, among other visitors
when they arrived here 10:30 in the morning.
They were met by local
officials led by San Francisco Mayor Lorraine Asares, San Ricardo
Mayor Virginia Mejia, and DPWH officials headed by District Engineer
ceremony was held and a marker unveiled by the visiting guests
assisted by local officials a few minutes after their arrival, then
they proceeded to the municipal gymnasium for the inauguration
The Liloan to San
Ricardo road concreting project stretches 40.65 kilometers. It was
labeled Contract Package III in the 23rd yen loan arterial road
project costing P1,010,701,422.95.
Contractor was Italian-Thai Development Public Company, Ltd for the
duration of 1,087 calendar days, from May 17, 2004 up to May 8, 2007.
Mass evacuation in
Giporlos communist-instigated, army spokesman says
By ELI C. DALUMPINES (PIA
April 19, 2007
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
There seems to have been a pattern in the alleged “forced evacuation”
involving residents of interior barangays in Samar provinces lately.
In all those, the hands of the communists are visible.
Capt. Jose Mario
Chico, spokesperson of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division based in Camp
Lukban here, in an interview Tuesday, said the reported mass
evacuation in Giporlos, Eastern Samar somewhat follows a pattern
similar to those that took place in Calbiga and Basey towns in Samar.
Capt. Chico cited
reports that Brgy. Chairman Napoleon “Poli” Lacdao of Brgy. Huknan of
Giporlos town in Eastern Samar, where the reported mass evacuation
took place early last week, went down to the poblacion prior to the
incident and spread rumors that there was a series of encounters
between the government troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) in his
He then urged some of
the residents to come down with him to the poblacion to avoid being
victimized by the military when they retaliate for alleged the heavy
casualties they sustained in those encounters with the NPA.
But the military in
the area belied reports of having sustained heavy casualties since, in
the first place, there was not even a single encounter between the
army and the NPA in the said barangay or in the neighboring barangays.
Lt. Col. Glorivine
Dida, Commanding Officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion operating in
the southern part of Eastern Samar, reported though that his troops
were conducting Special Operations Team (SOT) in the interior
barangays of Giporlos to clear the area of insurgents.
According to Chico,
Lacdao instigated the incident to place the military in the limelight
by charging them with military abuses.
He further claimed the
report of the Leyte Center for Development (LCDE) of some 83 families
who evacuated to the poblacion was an exaggeration since there were
only 20 based on the records of the Municipal Social Welfare Office (MSWDO).
The LCDE report was
even disputed by Giporlos Mayor Mateo Biong who confirmed the MSDWO
records, the army spokesperson said.
Capt. Chico said
Chairman Lacdao has alleged links with the communist rebels and was
even reported to have participated in their violent activities but
they have yet to confirm the reports.
heritage sites in Leyte identified
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– There are six Architectural Heritage sites in Leyte which will be
showcased in the Architectural Heritage Tour on May 1, 2007 in
connection with the commemoration of the National Heritage Month in
the month of May.
The first heritage
destination identified is Tanauan where the Our Lady of Assumption
Parish Church is one of the oldest churches and where the Rectory was
restored to its natural design.
Then there is Dulag,
where the ruins of the 1595-built Jesuit Seminary at the Our Lady of
Refuge Parish Church still remain.
In Carigara could be
found the Old Settlement Ruins at the Cassidy Elementary School, the
Balay nga Gawas It Harigi and the
Carigara is the place where Christianity was first introduced in
In Baybay Leyte, there
is what is called as the
the Mabini Street where heritage houses of different vintages are
still being occupied by people.
The Fian Ancestral
House in Albuera, Leyte is representative of the rich architectural
heritage in Leyte.
Finally, in Hilongos,
Leyte there remains the Fort and Old Church Ruins which are rich in
Heritage Tour on May 1 will be participated in not only by the
architecture students but also by the media and the members of the
United Architects of the Philippines Leyte Chapter.
This is a good way of
learning what cannot be learned in school, the actual experience of
seeing for oneself the actual rich architectural heritage of the
province of Leyte.
Indeed, the choice of
Leyte as the venue of the Grand Opening of the National Heritage Month
not only showcases the rich heritage of the province of Leyte but it
is an eye-opener for the Leyteños, to be proud of their province.
reiterates ban on interment at old cemetery
By KIMRO (City Media Office)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The City Government of Tacloban through the City Health Office has
again reiterated its order prohibiting the use of the old city
cemetery located at El Reposo Street this city, for interment
Reports have it that
despite the closure notice issued to this effect in 2002 by the city
government, still some residents prefer to bury their dead kin at this
old cemetery site, albeit the new burial location now operational at
Basper Heights, a few kilometers north of this city.
Pointing to the said
interment ban, City Health Officer Dr, Jaime Opinion explained, that
it has been the local government’s plan to gradually phase-out the
said interment site, as it now had become an eye sore and a risk
likewise to the health of nearby residents, it being located almost in
the center of the metropolis.
On this he clarified
that “it is very risky to have a cemetery in the midst of inhabitants,
for we know already that places like these could be a source of
infectious disease outbreak, which may come from the corpses who died
from high risk ailments”, Opinion said.
“We don’t want to put
the lives of our constituents at risk more importantly now that we
have heard of those dreaded diseases such as the SARS, Avian Flu,
Meningo-coccemia and others”, he said.
Estimated to be five
years now since that closure notice was issued in 2002, Dr. Opinion
has deemed it proper this time to enjoin residents who have relatives
buried at this old cemetery to transfer the skeletal remains of their
loved ones, should they think it had already been decomposed , he
Hinting on the
phase-out Opinion said, this old cemetery location might soon be
developed by the city government for some other purpose.
also disclosed that of this moment the city is collecting only the
minimal amount of ten pesos burial fee, for every interment at Basper
Cemetery and this is because the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tacloban
has not yet passed a legislation determining the appropriate charge
for the same.