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Evardone swears in new provincial Liga ng mga Barangay president

BFAR-RFTC ushers in 411 jobs for Samarnons

Region 8 KALAHI-CIDSS project wins 2 golds, citations for best practices

All is set for the 4th National Skimboarding Open Competition

Results of 2006 family planning survey bared

Calbayog mayor takes oath as new RDC 8 chairman

Roxas is the standard bearer of LP in 2010, Drilon says

PGMA showers Eastern Samar with more anti-poverty goodies

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

One protesting Sumilao lady farmer hospitalized in Leyte







PNP 8 chief creates Task Force Navidad to investigate killing of a judge in Calbayog City

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 17, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Philippine National Police Regional Office 8 Director Abner Cabalquinto promptly created Task Force Navidad to conduct a manhunt operation to chase after the possible suspect or suspects and to establish the motive of the January 24 killing of Judge Roberto Navidad in Calbayog City.

Task Force Navidad is headed by Police Senior Supt. Arcadio Borres Lelis, Deputy Regional Director for Operations and OIC Provincial Director of Samar Provincial Police Office, PSSupt. Cesario Abrera Darantinao Jr., chief Regional Police Community Relations Division disclosed.

Director Cabalquinto assured that the Philippine National Police in the Region will thoroughly investigate the case towards its resolution because the PNP will not allow the perpetrators to sow chaos and fear in this relatively peaceful Region.

In an interview with Calbayog City Chief of Police Isaias B. Tonog, he informed PIA that he has already submitted an initial report to the PNP Regional Office and that he already know that Task Force Navidad has been formed.

He added that a member of the Task Force Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) Senior Supt. Velasco has already visited his office in order to inquire about the crime.

Police Chief Tonog reported that at around 7:10 in the evening, at the corner of Gomez St. and Rosales Blvd., infront of Nijaga Park at Barangay Central Calbayog City, Honorable Navidad, 69 years old, separated, Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 32, Hall of Justice Calbayog City, was shot to death by unidentified suspect using caliber .45 pistol hitting once on the lower left eye and causing his instantaneous death.

The result of the investigation conducted by the responding members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Patrol, LDM, showed that the Judge Navidad who is a native of MacArthur, Eastern Samar, went down from his rented place at Cinemar Bldg., at JD Avelino St., Calbayog City, and boarded his Nissan Patrol vehicle with Plate Number TPL 911 and parked at the corner of the streets earlier mentioned and walked down to Mercury Drug Store located some 40 meters away.

Judge Navidad went to Mercury Drug to buy medicines, the first receipt showed he bought antacid and another receipt accomplished at 7:05 showed that he bought some vitamins, Chief Tonog intimated.

He then went back to his vehicle and when he was about to start the engine, an unidentified person clad in black jacket, wearing a ball cap, described to be 5 feet 4 inches in height and with medium body built, approached and shot the victim. The shooting was really close ranged, there were powder burns on the face of the victim, Police Chief Tonog said.

The suspect fled on foot towards Barangay Balud, Calbayog City, the initial report said. Recovered from the crime scene was one empty shell of caliber .45 pistol.





Samar province to be included in Leyte’s tourism initiatives

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
January 17, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte Gov. Jericho “Icot” Petilla said the province of Samar might just as well be included in Leyte’s plans to further promote tourism in this part of the region.

Blanca Aurora river in San Jorge, Samar
Strong and clear water rapids like this Blanca Aurora River in San Jorge are numerous in Samar.

“Fortunately or unfortunately we have to admit that most of the natural tourist attractions can be found in Samar,” Petilla said.

He said the provincial government is bent on establishing a year-round tourism activity in the province of Leyte with the aim sustaining tourism opportunities that may have not been tapped in the past.

He clarified that concrete efforts towards this direction has already been started by the province since last year and the local government of Leyte is determined to pursue this initiative if only to promote and boost the tourism industry here.

The governor had observed that tourism activities in Leyte usually flourish only during events like Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival in June and Leyte Landings Anniversary in October.

“We have to change this scenario and add more activities or destinations that would entice tourists to come visit our place and contribute propel our economy particularly the tourism sector,” Petilla said.

He said Leyte is readying itself to accommodate tourists even if it not June or October by tapping other beautiful tourist destinations like the ones that can be found in Samar province like caves, beaches, waterfalls and others.

But Petilla said Leyte, being the gateway of tourists to other parts of the region, should also make itself enticing to tourists.

According to him, the province would develop some destinations also in Leyte that needs certain interventions particularly infrastructure, but aside from this the provincial government will assist the development of various packaged tourism products that have been delegated as the pride of Leyte.





Calbayog RTC judge shot dead by lone gunman

January 15, 2008

slained judge Navidad of calbayog cityCALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  A 69-year-old judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 32 here was shot dead Monday evening by an unidentified gunman inside his vehicle parked in front of Nijaga Park, Barangay Central this city.

Presiding Judge Roberto A. Navidad, a native of Gen. MacArthur, Eastern Samar was hit once on the lower left eye which cause his instant death, Calbayog City Police Chief Supt. Isaias Tonog said.

Tonog told this writer that based on their investigation, the victim parked his Nissan Patrol vehicle with plate No. TPL-911 at the corner of Gomez Street and Rosales Blvd. and went to Mercury Drug approximately 40 meters away from his vehicle to buy medicines and was shot when he returned to his vehicle when he was about to start the engine.

“An nakabutang sa resibo san iya ginpalit sa Mercury Drug 7:05. Pakapalit niya diretso naglakat mabalik sa iya sakyanan. Waray gud mabati an dako nga putok kay sulod sa iya sakyanan an pagpusila,” Tonog added.

He added that according to witnesses the suspect who approached and shot the victim fled on foot towards Barangay Balud this city and was described as 5’4” in height, clad in black jacket and also wearing a ball cap.

Police recovered one empty shell of a .45 pistol at the crime scene.

A manhunt operation is still being conducted to track down the suspect and to establish the motive. But Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento said in a radio interview over DYOG that the shooting could be work-related.

Boyette B. Doydora, process server of RTC Branch 32 said that his driver resigned.

“Ako liwat nagdadrive, for almost ten years driving natapod sa akon pagmaneho kay mahirot ak pag drive. Nakadto ak sa Catbalogan siton nga adlaw,” Doydora added.

Officer in Charge Clerk of Court Editha Cayetano of Branch 32 here said that the judge is going to retire on June 6 of this year and had served as presiding judge of RTC Branch 32 since February 11, 1987. Calbayog City then has only RTC Branch 31.

“He was designated twice by the Supreme Court as executive judge. Nahimo nga pilot court an Branh 32 ngan dinhe he implemented a speedy trial. Aside from his regular work assignment he undertook special assignments.  He was assigned in Catbalogan RTC Branches 28 and 29; Tarangnan RTC; had been temporarily assigned in one of the branches in RTC Tacloban; has been a fiscal for six years before his appointment as judge in Borongan; and had served as municipal mayor of Gen. MacArthur for two terms when he was still a practitioner,” Cayetano explained.





Gov. Petilla distributes over P.5 M financial aid in Isabel

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
January 15, 2008

ISABEL, Leyte  –  More than half a million pesos of financial assistance from the Province of Leyte were distributed by Gov. Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla to the local officials of this town during the ABC Night held recently at its municipal gym.

Leyte governor Carlos Jericho Petilla
Leyte Governor Icot Petilla

The financial assistance having a total worth of P522,000 benefited not only the municipal government of Isabel but also included some of the town’s 24 barangays.

Petilla personally handed over to Isabel Mayor Saturnino Medina Jr. some P112,000 as requested in the town’s resolution which was forwarded to the provincial government for consideration.

According to Mayor Medina, the P100,000 would be utilized by the municipal government to finance certain expenses that would be incurred by the town as they will celebrate their town fiesta.

While the remaining P12,000 was asked to support the workshop on anti-violence against women which will also be conducted soon to further make the constituents of the town gender sensitive and responsive.

The village of Mahayag also received from the provincial government of Leyte P100,000 in check intended for the insulation of secondary electrical wires and for energization.

The villages of Binog and Consolacion of the same town also received P90,000 each as financial assistance from the province which will be used for the construction of water reservoir in Binog and road concreting in Consolacion.

The biggest assistance given that night was for Brgy. Matlang which was accorded P130,000 for the stage repair of the barangay.

Petilla also gave the town council a laptop computer which he cited as an incentive to the cooperation that the town’s vice-mayor is continuously showing to the leadership of the provincial government.

Petilla has urged the barangays to just submit resolutions to the provincial capitol whenever they have big concerns so the province can also decide what particular help or intervention to take.





Escudero said quality, not quantity of troops needed to defeat insurgency

Press Release
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
January 15, 2008

MANILA, Philippines  –  Senator Chiz Escudero on Monday said it will cost taxpayers P3 billion with the planned military surge of adding 3,000 troops to the country's Philippine Army as the government intensifies its effort to "give the final blow to communist insurgents".

Philippine senator Chiz Escudero
Senator Chiz Escudero

While Army chief Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano was coy about the cost of such recruitment when he announced the troop build-up, Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means has come forward to provide the price tag of "the Philippine version of the surge”.

Escudero was referring to the term the Bush administration used in beefing up US troops in Iraq.

The senator clarified that he is not against any increase in the troop ceiling of the Armed Forces, "provided that appropriations are authorized by Congress."

"This presupposes the need for the military to explain the reasons for additional personnel before members of Congress.  Those who allocate the money must be convinced that there is really a need for such an expense," Escudero said.

Escudero said the right way to do it is through an item in the national budget. He said the executive cannot just write a check for P3 billion without the prior authority granted by the legislature.

He came up with the cost of "the surge" by digging up documents submitted by the Philippine Army and the Department of National of Defense in the course of the House and Senate deliberations on the 2008 national budget.

The Army has a proposed budget of P26.1 billion for 2008 – about half of the DND's requested outlay of P51.1 billion – but wanted P7.8 billion more "to further enhance its capability and operation readiness."

The biggest item in the Army's proposed P7.8 billion "supplemental budget" is about P5.9 billion to  "activate 12 additional infantry battalions," of about 6,000 men.

But based on Yano's statement last week, this has been pared by half, to 3,000 men, or six battalions of 500 officers and enlisted personnel each.

Using the Army's "costing in mobilizing a battalion," Escudero said the 3,000 additional troops will require P2.98 billion, or P786 million in initial year's salary and allowances, P364 million in "maintenance and other operating expenses" or MOOE, and P1.832 billion in "capital outlays."

MOOE covers ammunition, food, clothing, gasoline and electricity while capital outlays include equipment, barracks, buildings and vehicles.

"There are also long-term fiscal implications because of the pension of these soldiers when they retire," he said.  Pension of retired uniformed personnel is appropriated yearly, which this year will reach P60 billion.

Escudero said "congressional discussion" on the "aim, logic, and cost" of the mulled troop build-up will ferret out the "merits of such an approach in defeating insurgency."

"Is it the quantity of troops or the quality that we want? Have we already maximized the talent and potential of those already on the frontlines by giving them better weaponry, abundant supplies and other material that will improve their morale and their efficiency?" Escudero asked.





Regional hospital chief calls on public to treat the center as their own

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 14, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Dr. Alberto de Leon, the chief of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) called on the public to treat the medical center as their own and help in the maintenance of cleanliness and in the maintenance of the hospital facilities.

Dr. De Leon made the call during the Panindugan television program of the Philippine Information Agency on Thursday.

Dr. De Leon said that as the people wants their homes to be clean and orderly always, they should also do the same when they go to the EVRMC as confined patients or outpatients.

Indeed, it has been observed that some of the confined patients’ companions have not been using the hospital comfort facilities properly. The Center does not have enough budget to be able to hire maintenance people who will particularly be assigned to each of the comfort facilities so the public is urged to help in the maintenance by using them properly, otherwise, they will be the same ones who will be inconvenienced because they are the ones using the same.

The Center has been able to repair the comfort facilities in several sections of the hospital. It has been found that most of the comfort facilities have been clogged with empty PET bottles, stones and many others which are not suppose to be flashed there.

Unfortunately, the Center does not have enough budget to be able to repair all the comfort facilities at the same time, Director de Leon said. Although the presence of a comfort room caretaker does not necessarily solve the problem, he added. The solution lies on the education of clients who are using the facilities.

Aside from the proper use of comfort facilities, Director de Leon also exhorted the public especially the patients’ companions to learn proper garbage disposal. They must throw their garbage in the waste cans which are located in strategic areas within the hospital.

The EVRMC is supposed to be a center of Health, so it must be kept clean and sanitary, Dr. De Leon said.

The EVRMC is the biggest and most busy medical center in the Region, it being a tertiary hospital and an accredited training and study center for medical profession.

The many patients of EVRMC are not only from Tacloban and Leyte but from all over the Region especially patients who are from the rural areas who cannot afford to be confined in private hospitals.

Dr. De Leon laments that even the primary and secondary cases are being brought to the EVRMC. He called on the public that instead of going to EVRMC patients who are primary and secondary cases should instead go to the district hospitals or provincial hospitals which are already more than capable of handling cases such as delivery (giving births), colds, fever, gastro among others.

This way, patients at the EVRMC will not overflow beyond bed capacity. It has been observed that some of the patients are already lying in cots along the aisles of the hospital. This situation happens because EVRMC cannot reject patients especially because many of them come from far places in the Region, Dr. De Leon added.

By going to the district and provincial hospitals, the concerned patients will be attended to better because more often than not, the medical staff at the EVRMC are overworked because of the so many patients they have to attend to.





DA-8 chief: Leyte shows political will on prohibition of burning rice straws

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
January 14, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Department of Agriculture in the region fully supports the recently approved ordinance of the province of Leyte prohibiting the burning of rice straws and providing penalties for violators.

DA-8 Regional Director Leo Cañeda said it really needs “political will” from local officials and “paradigm shifts among farmers” to depart from the age-old practice of burning rice straws after harvest season, which have been found out to contribute much to pollution and environment degradation.

“On the part of the agriculture department, we can only launch as much advocacy, but since we cannot impose any penalties for violators, we can only campaign on its harmful environmental effects,” Dir. Cañeda said.

The agriculture director otherwise lauded the efforts made by the provincial government of Leyte in informing the farmers in the province that open burning of rice straws is the highest source of carcinogenic dioxins and furans.

He also lauded Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla for incorporating lessons on the harmful effects in the burning of rice straws in the province’s ICOT-P program among high schools.

“It’s good to note that not only are they trying to inform the farmers but also the students who are taught modern agriculture through the ICOT-P,” Cañeda said.

Earlier, Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla pointed out that most farmers have remained unaware that the common practice of burning of rice straws and other wastes from the farm contributes more to air pollution than the gases emitted by vehicles, thus, the provincial board, through its committee on environment, has pushed for Provincial Ordinance No. 07-05.

On paradigm shifts among farmers, Dir. Cañeda said, they cannot totally blame the farmers if they have continued its old practice, but then he said “better shift from the old ways than be sorry later.”

The recently provincial ordinance also contends burning would waste the natural fertilizer in the rice straws where if left to rot could be an organic fertilizer that could contribute to more rice production and more income to the farmers while use of commercial fertilizer input will likewise be minimized.

The said ordinance also reinforces Department of Agriculture’s “Agri-Kalikasan” Program, of which one component is the nationwide campaign against rice straw burning dubbed as “Huwag Sunugin ang Dayami.”

The DA urges the farmers to stop burning rice straws, dried leaves and agricultural wastes and instead use them as compost fertilizers.



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