Cong. Cari to
refile bill creating Western Leyte province
By Provincial Media
Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
September 29, 2007
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – Leyte
Fifth District Representative Carmen Cari believes she gets the
majority of support from local chief executives in her bill pending
before the Lower House that seeks to create the Western Leyte
She said she is strongly
positive the mayors comprising the eight towns and one city, that is
wholly Leyte’s fifth district, would support her call for a separate
province in order to spur progress.
Congresswoman Cari is taking
into example the separation of Biliran from Leyte province in 1992 and
has come a long way since then when it comes to development.
She said her intentions in
filing for the bill is only for the best of the Leyteños in the
western side of the island and maintaining that as large as the Leyte
province is now, there are still a number of barangays, especially
those far flung that would be hard for the provincial government to
Although, she said, her
nephew Gov. Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla is doing well in delivering
the services directly to the people in the barangay, the province
still large enough.
Cong. Cari said she has
every intention of filing again the same house bill during the present
Congress and hopes it would be enacted and prevailed upon by the
people before her term ends.
House Bill 03784 pushes for
the creation of Western Leyte, with Baybay, a newly declared city, as
its capital town together with the towns of Abuyog, Hilongos, Hindang,
Matalom, Inopacan, Javier, Mahaplag and Bato, all of the fifth
Early on, a number of mayors
coming from the fifth district expressed opposition to the proposed
bill while Gov. Petilla himself, earlier declared, Leyte province
remains “just the right size to handle” for the provincial government.
On her part, Vice-Governor
Mimiette Bagulaya, who is presently acting as officer-in-charge of the
province, said she is in favor of the bill to lessen the number of
towns, saying the 41 towns comprising the province is “quite big.”
killed in Samar ambush, 2 others
By JUN ARCENO (PIA
September 28, 2007
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– A village chief and his companions while aboard in a multicab
were ambushed in Brgy. Calapi, Motiong, Samar on Thursday (September 26) at 10:00
o’clock in the evening.
They were reportedly
ambushed by men who were armed with high powered weapons as revealed
by the empty shells which were recovered in the crime scene.
The victims were reported to
have just come from the military camp of the 46th Infantry Battalion based in Brgy.
Calapi in the Municipality of Motiong and were on their way home to
Brgy. Caranas when the ambush took place.
Before the incident, it was
alleged that a certain Ernesto General, Barangay Councilor in the said
Barangay, was shot to death at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon of the
Initial reports stated that
the victims of the said ambush were killed on the spot. They were
identified as Bedasto Dacatimban, 32 years old and barangay captain of
Caranas; Benito Dacutanan, 16, a student of Calapi National High
School; and Simplicio Ebit, 54.
The other victims were
brought to the Samar Provincial Hospital based in Catbalogan City.
Reported to be in critical condition are Jonathan Dacutanan, 21 years
old SK Chairman and a student at the Samar State University; Wilson
Garin and Noel Cabel.
It was also reported that
two of the victims are missing, per the statement of the son of
The motive for the ambush has not yet been declared by the Philippine
National Police who are investigating the case.
Senator Mar Roxas
graces Alay Lakad programs in Tacloban and Tanauan
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
September 27, 2007
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – Senator Mar Roxas is scheduled to arrive in Tacloban City early
morning of Sunday, September 30 in order to give the inspirational
message in two separate Alay Lakad Programs, one in Tacloban City, the
other one in Tanauan, both in the province of Leyte.
Senator Roxas will first
proceed to Tanauan, Leyte to give his message in the annual Alay Lakad
activity of the municipality which is for the benefit of the out of
school youth of the municipality.
Mayor Tiu said that the
funds derived from the annual Alay Lakad are used for the skills
training of the out of school youth so that they could engage in
productive economic activities. The municipality accounts for so many
success stories regarding the proper use of Alay Lakad funds, Mayor
Roque Tiu revealed.
This is the reason why the
Alay Lakad Program of the municipality is not only being sustained but
keeps growing bigger as the years pass, he said. The attractive raffle
prizes are usually donations of the generous sponsors and benefactors
of the out of school youth, he added.
Meanwhile, in Tacloban City,
this year’s chairperson, Mr. Eugene Tan, said that thousands of Alay
Lakad benefactors and supporters will walk from four convergent points
towards the Tacloban City Convention Center in the morning of
The Alay Lakad Program in
Tacloban City will be led by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and
his wife Hon. SP Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez and the other City elected officials. It
will be participated in by the barangay officials, officials and
members of the civic organizations and the youth sector.
The Alay Lakad fund has been
used to finance various trainings and activities of the out of school
youth in Tacloban City. Particularly, the City Government is giving
computer lessons to out of school youth to make them productive
Senator Mar Roxas is
expected to have a press conference with the media of Region 8 in the
afternoon of September 30.
ARARO assails DPWH
September 27, 2007
Philippines – The Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction (ARARO)
labeled as irresponsible the comment of the Department of Public Works
and Highways (DPWH) on the feasibility study of the road and proposed
bridge that will connect the two provinces of Eastern and Northern
According to the DPWH
Feasibility Center’s document entitled “Feasibility Study Report-
North-Eastern Samar Inter-Provincial Road”, the construction of the
Arteche-Lapinig Bridge is not economically viable because of low
”You cannot expect a
heavy traffic on a highway that leads to a dead end. Obviously the
study fails to appreciate the benefits it will bring to the travelers
once the bridge is in place,” says Bong Cainday, ARARO spokesman.
“To continue ignoring
the urgency of completing the existing
Samar’s national highway and the
that will link the three Samar provinces reduces government sincerity
in implementing socio-infrastructure development program in that most
backward part of the country” adds Mr. Cainday.
Samar is the
Philippines’ third largest island composed of three provinces and five
congressional districts with many rivers and tributary waters cutting
through municipal and provincial boundaries such as the Mabini River
that separates the towns of Arteche in Eastern Samar and Lapinig of
Cainday said that once
the bridge is completed, travel time from Arteche to Lapinig would be
cut to only fifteen minutes from the present two to three hours of
perilous cruising in the Pacific Ocean; and the cost of transportation
would be a relief in itself. There have been many incidents in the
past that boaters plying Lapinig-Arteche ended up in
Taiwan; while many others failed to return home.
At present, residents
has to go through other Northern Samar towns then to Western Samar
just to go to Southern towns of Eastern Samar like Borongan or Guiuan
and vice versa.
Arteche-Lapinig Bridge is hailed by the local population for its
positive impact on commerce and the relief it would give to travelers
and the unquantifiable economic benefits to the citizens of the
ARARO is urging the
government officials of the three provinces of Samar to exert
collective efforts for the immediate construction of Lapinig-Arteche
Bridge and the completion of the roads that will conveniently link the
three Samar provinces.
protest comes to light
By ROMEO S. DURMIENDO
September 25, 2007
INTRAMUROS, Manila –
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division presided by
Commissioner Florentino A. Tuazon, Jr., and Commissioner Rene V.
Sarmiento, heard on Thursday, September 20, the election protest
filed by former Congressman Rodolfo T. Tuazon against Mayor Mel Senen
S. Sarmiento of Calbayog City, Samar.
Attys. Leila de Lima
and George Erwin M. Garcia entered their appearance as counsels for
protestant Tuazon, while a co-counsel of Atty. Maria Bernadette V.
Sardillo, appeared for protestee Sarmiento.
At the start of the
hearing, Commissioners Tuason and Sarmiento manifested that they are
not related in anyway to protestant Tuazon and protestee Sarmiento,
who happened to be their namesake, which elicited chuckles inside the
Comelec session hall at Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros,
During the hearing,
presiding Commissioner Tuason set the reception of evidence for
protestant Tuazon starting Tuesday, September 24 until September 26,
in the morning and afternoon for the marking of exhibits, and five
days after to submit a formal offer of evidence, while protestee
Sarmiento was afforded the same period of time to present his
The commencement of
the presentation of evidence is the crucial stage of an electoral
contest wherein both parties are given equal opportunities to make
their own submission of evidence after having completed the revision
of ballots, the first stage in the resolution of an election protest,
last September 8.
This process would
take a little more time, but it is the solution which is fair and just
to everyone and is the best way to dispel, once and for all, the
uncertainty that beclouds the true choice of the electorate.
The purpose of an
election protest is to ascertain whether candidate proclaimed elected
by the board of canvassers is really the lawful choice of the
electorate. What is sought in an election protest is the correction
of the canvass of votes, which is the basis of the proclamation of the
counsels and revisors submitted written objections to thousands of
ballots cast in favor of protestee Sarmiento; discovered fraud and
irregularities which were patent on the face of the ballots, such as
marked ballots, stray ballots, ballots written by the same hand, and
ballots written by different hands; six empty ballot boxes in
barangays Payahan, Obrero, Nijaga, San Policarpo and Pilar; and wet
and unreadable ballots in barangay Peña.
“For nothing is hidden
that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not
become known and come to light,” Tuazon quoted a passage from the
Bible. “The contested ballots in all the 490 precincts in 157
barangays in Calbayog City, Samar, when properly appreciated will
sufficiently establish not only my electoral victory but also the
entire slate of the Nacionalista-Liberal-PDSP Party/Kampi candidates,”
revision of ballots has resumed and is expected to be completed before
end of the month on the electoral protest filed by Ariel M. Rosales,
former City Councilor in the second district of Calbayog City, against
Vice-Mayor Onald Aquino. Further, the COMELEC second division has set
on October 1, the start of the revision of the contested ballots for
the first district of Calbayog City for Councilors while the second
district will follow.
exhorts the people of Leyte, “full steam ahead”
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
ORMOC CITY, Leyte –
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo clad in her signature aqua blue
pants suit, urged the local government officials and the people of
Leyte “full steam ahead” right after she witnessed the signing of the
Deed of Transfer of the Leyte Optimization Geothermal Plants at noon
of September 25 at the PNOC-EDC gymnasium.
President Arroyo said
that the geothermal plant in
Leyte is not only
the largest geothermal plant in Asia; it is the largest wet field in
the entire world. When PIA asked a personnel of the PNOC-EDC, he said
by wet field, what is meant is that the steam is mixed with water in
order to generate power.
The President stressed
that she is happy that the PNOC-EDC is fast becoming a very good
example of the benefits and importance of the privatization program.
The PNOC-EDC gears up
for the final leg of its privatization, after the Government, thru the
PNOC board, has approved the sale of its remaining stake in PNOC-EDC
on September 1, 2007.
privatization, the geothermal firm will have greater flexibility in
aggressively pursuing business opportunities, as it is no longer
encumbered by rules and regulations applicable to state-owned
The President arrived
at the Ormoc City Airport together with Trade and Industry Secretary
Peter Favila and Secretary Ebdane. They were met by Presidential Asst.
for Eastern Visayas Secretary Victor Domingo, Congressman Eufrocino
Codilla Sr., Mayor Eric Codilla of Ormoc City, Vice-Governor Mimyet
Bagulaya, MGen. Armando Cunanan of the 8th ID and PNP8 Regional
Director Abner Cabalquinto.
From the Airport, the
President and her Party motored to the PNOC-EDC gymnasium where she
was officially met by PNOC EDC President Paul Aquino, Mr. Aaron
Choresh, Vice President of Ormat, Ormoc City Vice-Mayor Aparris, among
After her speech, the
President gamely allowed a photo op with the officers and department
heads of PNOC-EDC, the officers and department heads of Ormat, the
municipal officials of Ormoc City and Kananga; the provincial
officials of Southern Leyte headed by Governor Damian Mercado and the
Local Government Executives of Leyte headed by the League of
Municipalities Leyte Chapter President, Tanauan Mayor Roque A. Tiu.
Also present were
the employees of both Ormat and PNOC EDC, regional heads of national
line agencies and members of the government and private media in
community gets KALAHI project inaugurated
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
September 23, 2007
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Some 150 fisherfolks rejoiced over the cruising of KALAHI
CIDSS to this fishing community safely hidden in the mangroves of the
Barangay Dapdap, known
before as Tinago availed of a close to a million worth of causeway (a
concrete seawall-cum-pathway) of more than a kilometer stretch leading
to the barangay from the mangroves.
Started late in December
2006, the project was turned-over on September 19, 2007 to the
It would have been a water
system, said Maria Sevilla, the Punong Barangay. But due to the
absence of a source that could sufficiently supply the population, it
was considered technically impossible, said Bel Villarin, KALAHI
Being next in the list, they
opted for the causeway.
Just how important to the
fisherfolks is the causeway?
During low tide, the shores
of Dapdap become dry, yet muddy and the long stretch from the shores
makes the tired and sunkissed fisher folks seem impossible to
traverse, besides, goods purchased from the town of Tarangnan seem
heavier with traversing the muddy one-kilometer path to their homes.
With the concrete causeway,
jutting out to deeper sea-water, boats can now anchor safely at the
end of the causeway and walking on foot despite heavy load becomes
easier. No more mud-wading, said Bobet, a fisherman in his 40’s.
While life is kinder to the
people of Dapdap who toiled in the sea and the upland farm, basic
services like better road to connect them to the highway has been
remiss here. Folks would pay P100 to ‘habal-habal’ to be transported
to the highway.
Or one would opt to cross
the turbulent seas to Tarangnan, riskier but cheaper. Water system is
also wanting, though KALAHI has been thinking solving this basic need
Villarin said that Dapdap
folks have undergone willingly, the 16 steps KALAHI proposed for
They have met, argued, eased
fine tuned rough edges of their project, compromised and succeeded.
The barangay also shelled out funds for counterpart, aside from the
labor and the municipal counterpart.
For Lydia, the day care
worker, there are still some facilities they miss, but the causeway
construction is good enough for a start, with their newly acquired
empowering skills, Lydia believes Dapdap will have them all with
KALAHI in support.
boxer takes a crack at international belt
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA
September 20, 2007
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte
– A home-grown ring fighter will travel to South Africa to try
his luck at a World Boxing Council (WBC) International title in a
fight scheduled on Friday, September 21.
Alex Aroy, dubbed “Batang
Maasin” and “Maasin Bomber” will face “WBC International minimumweight
champion Zukisani Kwayiba in a 12-round bout on September 21, 2007, at
the Carousel Hotel and Casino in Temba, South Africa,” said Mayor
Maloney Samaco in his “Sports Roundup” column in the latest issue of a
It will not be an easy
outing for the Maasin boxing sensation, whose opponent has been billed
as “one of the most exciting prospects to come out of Eastern Cape,
South Africa in recent years” Samaco wrote in quotes, apparently
reflecting the sentiments of top analysts.
“Troublemaker”, has been undefeated in all the nine professional
fights he had undergone, seven among those victories coming by way of
He was also the conqueror of
Filipino boxer Gabriel Pumar of Lapu-Lapu City, his record showed, and
was highly successful in his first title defense versus fellow South
African Sithembile Kibiti by a first-round technical knock-out (TKO).
RP court halts
approval of GMO rice
September 19, 2007
– In a landmark decision yesterday, a Philippine court has
ordered an injunction stopping the approval of a genetically-modified
(GMO) rice in the country. Greenpeace, as well as the NGO Searice,
hailed the decision as a "major step forward" for the campaign to
protect human health and ensure the safety of environment from the
adverse effects of GMOs. The injunction is the first major ruling on
GMOs in the Philippines since the government allowed the entry of
genetically-altered crops in 2002.
"Greenpeace welcomes the
court’s ruling and calls upon the Agriculture Department to
immediately scrap their current policy on GMOs. The DA has to
prioritize the health and environment of the Filipinos. GMOs are not
proven to be safe, and the current policy is patently biased and
unacceptable. We hope the injunction will compel the DA to review its
agenda independent of pressures and the lure of kickbacks from the
multinational GMO corporations." said Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Genetic Engineering Campaigner Daniel Ocampo.
The issuance of the said
injunction is the latest development in an on-going court case which
questions the constitutionality of DA Administrative Order (AO 8 -
2002), the government system for GMO approvals. Greenpeace has
repeatedly asserted that the system is "hopelessly flawed" and
violates basic constitutional rights. The environmental group helped
file the legal petition against the said policy last August. The
petition also sought a permanent injunction on the approval of Bayer
corporation's GMO rice LL62 whose application, under DA AO8, is
currently under review.
Branch 101 of the Quezon
City Regional Trial Court, presided by Judge Evengeline Marigomen,
issued the preliminary injunction, stating that "a sampling of the
petitioners evidence show that there is a violation of the
constitutionally guaranteed rights 1) to information of public
concern, 2) protection and promotion of health, and 3) a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature."
”Due to the nature of the
petition, both the DA and Bayer Cropscience are respondents to the
case, but it is exasperating to see that DA has abdicated its role
altogether and left the entire defense of its policies to the Bayer's
lawyers. In the hearing prior to the issuance of the injunction last
Friday, Bayer presented 17 arguments in defense of AO8. The Department
of Agriculture is the government’s most important agency, it is
responsible for the country’s basic food sources, it cannot be run by
profiteering corporate interests,” said Ocampo.
The preliminary injunction
will be in effect while the court case is on-going. The next hearing
on the petition is scheduled in the afternoon of November 16, 2007.