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One protesting Sumilao lady farmer hospitalized in Leyte

Leyte town adjudged most business friendly municipality of the Visayas

All is set for historic Leyte Gulf Landings commemoration

2 pharmacies from Catbalogan to receive “Quality Seal” awards from DOH-BFAD

Cong. Cari to refile bill creating Western Leyte province

Region 8 got ten of top 20 in National Achievement Test

Schoolgirl from Eastern Samar tops National Achievement Test

PNP, army forge MOA on internal security

PNP Talakayan Sa Isyung Pulis (TSIP) tapes 4th episode in Samar PPO

Licensing Chief warns delinquent establishment to secure permit or face closure







Calbayog cops nab 31 people, seize home-made guns, money for violation of election laws

November 5, 2007

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  On full alert in the recently concluded synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, Calbayog City policemen quickly responded to the various complaints on violation of election rules.

The seized home-made shotguns and ammunitions. (Photo by PO3 Crispin Singzon, Calbayog City Police Station)

The police apprehended thirty-one people on election day for violation of liquor ban and seized four homemade shotguns and its ammunitions and a P3,500 worth of money for alleged vote-buying.

Calbayog City police chief Supt. Isaias Bañez Tonog presented to local media the homemade  firearms which, he said were taken from the respective residence of Charnito Miano, 38; Danilo Sarmiento, 43; Julio Branzuela, 36 and Ezequiel Cosculla, 63 at around 10 a.m. in Barangay Catabunan, Oquendo District, Calbayog City.

Tonog, who led the responding police team said that the firearms were seized after conducting a negotiation and signing of a covenant for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections between the barangay candidates.

The police chief added that a concerned citizen tipped the police about barangay candidates who were observed to be armed with homemade shotgun which made the residents apprehensive that a failure of election might happen.

“Kay boluntaryo man an ira pagsurender, ginsidngan ko sira nga diri ta kam pa-filan kaso kay ini tikang sa tagsa-tagsa nga balay waray man makuha sa iyo mga lawas. An importante la magin mamingaw. Pero mayda duha nga nandadlagan…ginpabalikan namon pulis… waray man reported nga bumalik an nandadlagan para hadlukon an ira mga kalaban,” Tonog explained.

First Time

In the evening of Oct. 29, thirty-one people who includes customers and employees of three videoke bars in Calbayog.were apprehended who, Tonog said, were caught selling, serving, and taking intoxicating liquor inside their establishment.

The two-day liquor ban started on Oct. 28 and ended Oct. 29 according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 8310.

The resolution states that the violation of said prohibited acts shall be punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation, and in addition, the guilty party shall suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.

Cases of violation on election rules have already been filed against the violators.

“Siring nira nga yana pala iton nga may yaon nga dakop nga siring siton kay sa national election waray man ak dide. Seguro kon nakadi ak may yaon ak nagkadadakop,” Tonog said.

He added that other business establishments were open the night they did the apprehension but found them serving only softdrinks.

Comelec resolution No. 8310 provides exemptions to establishments. It stipulates that, “hotels and other establishments duly certified by the Department of Tourism as tourist-oriented and habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourists may be exempted for justifiable reasons from the liquor ban, provided they secure prior written authority from the Commission.”


A P3,500 worth of money was also presented to media which, Tonog said is from a complainant of Barangay Oboob, in the same district who received the money in exchange of the seven votes from the complainant’s family members.

The police chief said he had promised them to return the money provided there will be an orderly election in their barangay.

Of the 157 barangays in Calbayog, only in Barangay Buenavista, an interior barangay of the city had failure of election. The two aspirants for Punong Barangay in Bgy. Acedillo received exactly the same number of votes and settled to break the tie by drawing lots last November 3 in the City Comelec Office.





Mayor Sarmiento is speaker of Cities Alliance’ International Events

November 3, 2007

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento flew to Jeju, South Korea recently for the four-day United Cities and Local Governments’ World Congress where he was invited as one of the speakers.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento

The congress which started October 28 aims to exchange experience of City Development Strategies (CDS), challenging the delegates on the role of cities in a global context to promote effective economic growth and poverty reduction. It will also offer concrete experiences and evidence based policy recommendations.

With its title: “Cities without slums- Strategic Responses in Fast Growing Cities,” the session  focus on local governments’ experiences of using CDS and slum upgrading tools in cities where Cities Alliance members have financed interventions and promote cities as partners of international cooperation.

The CDS process is a tool helping to create a well-governed, sustainable, productive and social inclusive city. In Calbayog, the activities are monitored and documented by the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO).

Merla A. Rosalado, the Chief of Staff and Documentor on Special Projects of the city mayor’s office informed the media that the city mayor had a 10-minute presentation on the topic, “Scaling up City Development Strategies in the Philippines “ last Oct 31.

“An presentation ni mayor is a combination of the macro-level how is cities in the Philippines and micro-level how is Calbayog City development strategy in Calbayog City,” she said adding that a 25-minute open forum followed after the presentation.

Mayor Sarmiento’s co-presentors were representatives from Vietnam, Egypt, Argentina and the officials of the Cities Alliance who sponsored the congress and financed the CDS. He is the only city mayor who attended the activity as the presentor from the Philippines along with World Bank representatives based in the country.

The Cities Alliance is a global coalition of cities and their development partners committed to scaling up successful approaches to poverty reduction.

Aside from South Korea, Rosalado revealed that the city mayor is also invited to attend the Public Policy Forum sponsored by the Cities Alliance with Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), League of Cities of the Philippines, Asian Development Bank, World Bank and the UN Habitat on November 5 and 6.

“Although it is being held in Manila, this is also an international event. There are many countries that are included in here. Two presentors…one coming from Manila and one from the countrysides…Mayor Sarmiento will once again make a presentation with Marikina mayor Marides Fernando,” Rosalado added.

Rosalado also disclosed that on November 8 and 9, Mayor Sarmiento will also make a presentation in the Eastern Visayas Local Peace and Security Assembly sponsored by the National Security Council at the Leyte Park Hotel in Tacloban. No less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace the activity.





DTI awards Seal of Excellence to 23 certified establishments in Region 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 3, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  For upholding consumer rights and ethical business practices, the Department of Trade in Region 8 recently awarded the seal of excellence to twenty three DTI Certified Establishments in the Region. This is an improvement from last year's only 11 business establishments.

Mr. Joe Molina of the DTI-Leyte informed PIA that this is in connection with the DTI Certified Establishment Program which was launched by Trade Secretary Peter Favila two years ago. The DTI-CE Program gives due recognition to establishments that uphold the rights of consumers and practice responsible business, where consumers indeed get value for money.

The Program also encourages the setting up of a sustainable Consumers Welfare Desk or a DTI-recognized consumer service center that will provide information to consumers and serve as a mechanism for speedy resolution of consumer complaints.

No less than DTI 8 Director Cynthia Nierras and DTI-Leyte Ed Belas presented the seal of excellence to the owners of the 23 business establishments.

Of the 23 business establishments cited, three (3) were presented the Silver Seal Award for having achieved in the past the Bronze Award, for complying with the requirements and social responsibility. The Silver Award was presented to Gleen Marketing Tacloban, Gleen Marketing Ormoc and Gaisano Tacloban.

Bronze Awards were given to twenty business establishments which has complied with the Fair Trade Laws and has set up a consumers welfare desk in their respective establishments.

The bronze awardees include IP Car Service Center in Tacloban City for the service and repair shops, RL Appliance Corporation Tacloban, RL Appliance Ormoc, RL Appliance Baybay, Nena’s Trading Tacloban, Highway Supermart in Tacloban, Citi hardware, Leyte Home Depot and Imperial Appliance Plaza in Tacloban.

Also included are the Tanauan Moon River Grocery, Gaisano Ormoc, Brodeth Enterprises in Baybay, Belen Supermart in Baybay, EKS Mart in Baybay, MNC Service Center in Baybay, Iza Commercial in Bato and Servitec in Ormoc.

The seal of excellence which can be found at the door of the business establishments has the open wings logo which symbolizes commitment to nurture, guide and protect both the consumers and the establishment from unfair trade practices.

The logo also has stretched feathers which depict readiness to fly in open and competitive market and face its challenges, as well as provide a higher quality service.

The feathers forming the wings also reflect cooperation and harmony. As in many myths, wings as represented by the logo, have to be earned by their wearer.

When entering business establishments, consumers can be assured quality and safety of all products they will buy, once they see the DTI Certified Establishment logo posted at the establishment’s door.





National Security Council conducts local peace and security assembly in Eastern Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 2, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  A Local Peace and Security Assembly will be conducted in Eastern Visayas Region on November 8-9, 2007 at the Leyte Park Resort Hotel in Tacloban City, Province of Leyte.

Ret. Lt. General Victor A. Mayo, Senior Deputy Director General of the National Security Council informed that no less than Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is expected to be the Guest of Honor during the said Assembly.

The Assembly, Lt. General Mayo said, is a multi-sectoral undertaking that is aimed at strengthening local mechanisms to address peace and security problems with the active participation of various stakeholders in the Region.

The outcome of the peace and security assembly would be adopted in Eastern Visayas to promote stronger cooperation and complementation between the national and local governments to promote progress and development particularly in the countryside.

Furthermore, the expenses for transportation and accommodation of the participants from the Government Sector shall be shouldered by their respective departments or agencies or offices. The National Security Council shall provide for the meals during the Assembly dates, Lt. General Mayo clarified.

The participants are expected to arrive on November 7, in the evening of which, the coordination meeting of the secretariat and facilitators will be conducted.

Eastern Visayas is composed of the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.





Protesting Sumilao farmers reach Tacloban

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 1, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  After walking for twenty days, the protesting Higaonon farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon arrived in Tacloban in the afternoon of October 30, taking refuge for a night’s sleep at the Redemptorist Church.

Upon arrival at the Redemptorist Church, the farmers who are on a 60-day protest march to Manila, took time out to hear mass. By their looks, one could see the exhaustion from the long walk under sunny and rainy weather, but their enthusiasm and strong desire to really reach Manila are very much apparent.

The protesting Higaonon farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon started the Visayas-leg of their 60-day protest march to Manila on Wednesday, October 25, arriving in Liloan. The Visayas leg will last for 16 days.

According to the protesting farmers, their protest march seeks to dramatize the farmers' 10-year clamor for ownership of the 144-hectare Quisumbing Estate which they claim form part of their ancestral land.

They are going to Manila to request President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to intercede for them. In 1995, the farmers were issued a certificate of land ownership award over the estate but Malacañang later canceled the CLOA.

Information received by the Philippine Information Agency stated that the farmers are also advocating the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform program which is supposed to expire next year.

Verified information has it that the farmers who were originally 54 when they left San Vicente Village at about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon of October 10, are now down to 51 when their medical support team decided not to let Sonia Bayo and Dote Agustin to continue with the walk.

A week of walking had taken physical toll on the two marchers with Agustin suffering from recurrent fever while Bayo, with recurring stomach pains and vomiting. Agustin's wife, Emerita Buclasan, was forced to return to Bukidnon to attend to her sick husband.

On October 29, one of the protesting farmers who was identified as Ms. Merida, was hospitalized at the Leyte Provincial Hospital because of stomach pain and is still confined at the same hospital.

Mayor Roque Tiu of Tanauan, Leyte who is the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, Leyte Chapter, informed the Philippine Information Agency that the he was requested to send the Tanauan Ambulance to Mayorga, Leyte, about 30 minutes away from Tanauan, to transport the lady Sumilao farmer who collapsed in Mayorga, while walking from Abuyog towards Dulag and Tolosa.

Department of Agrarian Reform Assistant Regional Director Antonio Tan said that the same lady farmer was given dextrose at the Abuyog District Hospital last night. The protesting farmers, according to ARD Tan slept in Tolosa last night.

Today, the protesting Sumilao farmers continued their walk, stopping only at the Assumption Academy in Tanauan to take their lunch. They then continued their walk braving the intermittent rains going to Tacloban.

It was learned that the protesting marchers are not without the necessary assistance because they have a medical team accompanying them. It was also learned that they have the full assistance of the Philippine National Police, the AFP, the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Church, to see to it that nothing untoward will happen to the farmers.





Village chief aspirant gunned down in Calbayog

October 30, 2007

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  A barangay chairman aspirant was shot dead on board his motorized passenger cab in  Brgy. Tabawan on Saturday, October 28.

The police report said that Roger Diongzon Buscagan, 35,  of Barangay Alibaba was shot by a lone gunman at Sitio Atipolo, Barangay Tabawan, 12:30 p.m. in a motorized cab he is driving bound for interior barangays in Calbayog.

Buscagan suffered gunshot wounds on the different parts of his body. He was first rushed to the Our Lady of Porziuncola Hospital in Calbayog and while he was being transferred he died before reaching Northern Samar Public Hospital in Catarman, Northern Samar.

Police recovered one deformed slug of undetermined caliber at the crime scene.

A hot pursuit operation conducted by the Calbayog PNP SWAT Team resulted to the arrest of the suspect who was positively identified by the witness.

The suspect and the witness were both passengers on board the motorized cab driven by the victim when the incident happened, police investigation disclosed.

Personal grudge is being looked into as the motive behind the shooting, the police said.

According to the witness, the suspect allegedly boarded the motorcab together with three women and upon reaching Barangay Guin-on, the latter alighted and the former transferred and sat at the back of the victim. Upon reaching Barangay Tabawan, the suspect allegedly told the victim to stop by saying “Dinhi nala ako mahawas” and simultaneously drew his handgun and fired the victim at the back.

The witness further alleged that the suspect jumped and fired again then immediately fled.

Meanwhile, the house of chairwoman Eulalia Lagang who is seeking re-election was fired at by an unidentified assailant in Purok 2, Barangay Acedillo at about 2:30 a.m. last Sunday (October 28), police report said. Nobody was reportedly hurt.

Calbayog City police investigators are still conducting an investigation on the incident and cannot make any conclusions yet.

Election officer Rafael Payod disclosed that Barangays Acedillo and Alibaba are both areas of concern.

“Mayda kami joint coordination sa army. Sa lugar nga diri naaabot namon mayda man army para matagan dayon aksyon an complaint,” Police Chief P/Supt. Isaias Bañez Tonog said in a radio interview.



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