Leader of NPA remnants
in Leyte surrenders to Army’s 19th IB
By MAJOR OTHELO D. YAÑEZ, (FA) PA
Catbalogan City – Continuous pressure is being experienced by the CPP/NPA in Leyte as it’s leadership has been effectively decimated.
Many of its key leaders and members voluntarily surrendered and chose
to live normal lives within the folds of the law. This trend was
established through the successful internal security campaign of the
19th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
Photo shows the firearms and ammunitions which NPA leader surrenderee
Nabil turned over to the 19th IB. (PIA 8)
On February 4, 2008 at
about 5:30 o’clock in the afternoon, Jessie Payod alias Nabil, Team
Leader, Squad “Abe”, “Buhawi” Platoon, Mount Amandewin Command, North
Leyte Front (NLF), voluntarily surrendered to 19IB and 802nd Brigade.
A little later after he submitted himself to the unit, the alias Nabil
openly revealed himself as the one who was tasked by the NLF Committee
to safe keep some of the NPA’s high-powered firearms in the
hinterlands of Albuera, Leyte. He likewise indicated that he himself
is willing to pinpoint the exact location of the NPA arms cache.
Reacting to the said revelations, Col. Raoul Reyes, Commander of 802nd
Brigade, directed LtC. Henry M. Bumiltac, CO of 19IB, to send a
Reaction Force to locate the arms cache. The latter then sent one (1)
platoon led by 2Lt. Jose Laurel M. Sibullas (INF) PA to Barangay
Talisayan, Albuera, Leyte to locate the said arms cache. With the help
of the alias Nabil, the operating troops found the arms cache, and
recovered five (5) M16 Armalite Rifles bearing serial numbers: RP
118828, RP 207467, RP 3401432, RP 114585 and RP 104856; eleven (11)
long and twelve (12) short magazines for M16 rifle with four hundred
seventy four (474) rounds of caliber 5,56mm ammunition for M16 rifle;
one (1) Rifle Grenade: and one (1) Fragmentary Grenade.
According to the NPA
leader, the recovered firearms and the other items belonged to their
former leaders and fighters who either died in armed engagements; or
deserted due to hardships and distrust within their organization; or
lied-low for some other reasons.
Earlier on February 1,
2008, base on a tip-off information from a disgruntled former
Communist Terrorist (CT) member, 19IB also conducted a raid in Brgy.
Caghalo, Carigara, Leyte and confiscated a Garand and a Springfield
Rifles, three (3) caliber .22 revolvers and assorted ammunitions for
M14 and M16 rifles.
LtC. Bumiltac says
that most of the remaining leaders and members of the NLF are now
contemplating to return to the folds of the law due to various
factors. The sincerity of the government in providing livelihood
assistance projects, livelihood training, and cash rewards for those
NPAs who surrender with high-powered firearms has improved many lives
and reunited many broken families.
reports that life in area has significantly improved in terms of peace
and security since the NLF was effectively decimated late last year.
Col. Reyes asserts
that the decline of the NPA movement in
Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran could be attributed to the relentless efforts of
the Brigade in protecting the cleared barangays from being
re-infiltrated by the insurgents. REYES claims that the sustained
establishment of Integrated Community Safety System in its barangay
would effectively harden each community against the CPP/NPA.
MGen. Armando L
Cunanan, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, added that aside
from the peace and security aspects, the economic development
activities sprouting all over Leyte and its immediate environs and the
delivery of basic government services and effective governance are the
main reasons why insurgency are now ceasing to persist. He
congratulated the troops of 19IB and 802nd Brigade for the significant
stride towards the attainment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s
objective to defeat the CPP/NPA/NDF by yearend 2010.
Icot to stay with LAKAS
Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
February 7, 2008
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Amid the brouhaha with the LAKAS and KAMPI parties in the national
scene, particularly in the Lower House, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho
Petilla said he is staying with the LAKAS party here in Leyte despite
moves by other colleagues in the local government, who have opted to
join the party formed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Governor Icot Petilla
Gov. Petilla, a close
ally of the president in the
Eastern Visayas region, said he sees no reason at the moment to change his
“I don’t see any
reason to transfer to any other party at the moment, unless it would
bring forth more benefits for the people of Leyte,” Gov. Petilla said.
He added that other
provincial leaders who opted to accept invitations to join KAMPI have
their own reasons for doing so.
The governor otherwise
disclosed he has neither been convinced by a person or any other group
to form part of the KAMPI party.
“No, there has been no
one who approached me on that,” he said.
the ruling coalition of LAKAS and KAMPI has been observed lately and
is reportedly a move that is seen to tow the line-up for national and
local leaders in the 2010 elections. The unseating of House Speaker
Jose de Venecia is seen to burn the alliance between these two big
Gov. Petilla for
his part, has belonged to the LAKAS party since he ran office in 2004
and won to sit his first term as governor that same year. In the
elections last May 2007, he likewise ran under the LAKAS ticket after
being personally handpicked by President Arroyo to run as a senatorial
bet under the administration slate but later withdrew in favor of a
reelection as provincial governor of Leyte.
Most of 20 port
projects in Eastern Visayas completed, port official says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Almost all the twenty port projects in
Eastern Visayas have been completed, the unassuming Philippine Ports
Authority Regional Office 8 Manager Winfred G. Elizalde informed as he
disclosed the status of the twenty port projects in
This is indeed good
news to the people of Region 8. Through these port projects, the
delivery of basic goods and farm produce such as vegetables and
livestock is made more easy, economical and efficient as travel time
to and from destinations as well as transportation costs are
considerably reduced. These port projects will also promote domestic
These twenty projects
include 2 which are SONA/Strong Republic Nautical Highway Network
projects; 4 which are SONA projects; 2 which under the Strong Republic
Nautical Highway Network projects; and 12 which are under the
Anti-Hunger Mitigation Program.
The San Ricardo Port
Improvement Project located at Barangay Benit, San Ricardo, Southern
Leyte, is on-going with 25.15 percent completed as of December 25,
2007. This project which amounts to P75, 399,487 is a SONA/ Strong
Republic Nautical Highway Network project.
Republic Nautical Highway Network project, the Construction of Ro-Ro
Ramp and Passenger Terminal Building in Naval Biliran is on-going and
has been reported to be 64.04 percent complete as of January 2008.
The Port Expansion
Project in Maripipi, Biliran, a SONA project with a total budget of
P49,049,991, is still on-going and 75 percent complete as of January
Three other SONA
projects have been completed. The Port Development Project in Limasawa,
Southern Leyte which amounts to P13,374,376 and the construction of
also in Limasawa, amounting to P4,240,655, have been completed as of
January 25, 2008.
The third completed
SONA project is the Reconstruction, Widening and Extension of R.C.
Wharf in Maasin City, Southern Leyte which amounts to P91,340,000.
The two projects under
the Strong Republic Nautical Highway Network are the Liloan Ferry
Terminal Expansion Project amounting to P62,895,875 which was
completed as of September 21, 2007; and the Port Improvement Project
in Kawayan, Biliran with a budget of P13,940,000, which was reported
to be substantially completed as of January 2008.
Of the 12 projects
under the Anti-Hunger Mitigation Program, ten have been reported to
have been completed.
These include the
Rehabilitation of Carigara Port in Carigara, Leyte amounting to
P5,125,826 which was completed as of December 19, 2007; the
Improvement of Almagro Port in Almagro, Samar amounting to P7,400,945
which was completed as of November 4, 2007; the Improvement of Sto.
in Sto. Niño, Samar with a budget of P8,763,492 which was completer as
of October 28, 2007; the Improvement of Pasanghan Port in Pagsanghan,
Samar with a budget of P6,059,901 which was completed as of October
28, 2007; and the Improvement of Ligaya Port in Ligaya, Rosario,
Northern Samar with a budget of P13,628,644 which was completed as of
October 4, 2007.
Also included are the
Improvement of Biri Port in Biri, Northern Samar amounting to
P8,144,484 which was completed as of October 4, 2007; the Port
Expansion Project in Hilongos, Leyte with a budget of P91,509,653
which was completed on August 9, 2007; the Port Improvement Project
(Construction of RC Pier) in San Isidro, Leyte with a budget of
P29,444,366 which was completed on June 4, 2007; the Port Improvement
Project (Rehabilitation of Causeway and Reclamation) with a budget of
P9,897,759 which was reported to be substantially completed of January
31, 2008; and the Port Improvement Project in Padre Burgos, Southern
Leyte with a budget of P11,883,074 which was reported to be
substantially completed as of January 2008.
The two still
on-going projects under the Anti-Hunger Mitigation Program are the
Calbayog Port Expansion Project with a budget of P46,3030,335 which
is 41.64 percent completed as of December 25, 2007; and the
Vinisitahan Port Development Project in Barangay Vinisitahan, San
Antonio, Northern Samar with a budget of P32,646,242 which is 70
percent complete as of December 2007.
Chiz challenges JDV to
make good of his words
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
February 5, 2008
– If he can’t get a fair hearing in the House he once headed, ousted
Speaker Jose de Venecia is most welcome to spill the beans in the
chamber he worked so hard to abolish, Sen. Chiz Escudero today said.
Senator Chiz Escudero
“If he needs a venue,
as the House now appears to be hostile territory to him, he will find
a cordial place in the Senate to make his confessions. The good
Speaker should treat this as an open invitation, courtesy of an
institution he once labored mightily to destroy”, Escudero said.
Should the former
fourth highest official in the land decide to testify in the Senate on
anomalies committed by the administration, he should be prepared to be
rebutted by government officials who I think must appear and for their
sake must not let JDV’s accusations go unchallenged”, Escudero said.
With De Venecia’s
encyclopedic knowledge on the workings of the present government,
including deals it had entered into, then the Speaker must tell all,
and the Senate provides the venue, for such a narration.
Escudero said the
former speaker should stand by his words at the halls of Congress
yesterday. “Hamon ko di dapat tumigil sa bitin at bakit ngayon ka lang
speech. Hamon ko di lamang sa salita pero pati gawa patunayan niya ang
bukambibig niyang moral revolution”, Escudero ended.
Aguilar (5526601 loc. 6540)
Win or lose to
Marquez, Pacquiao to fight again June 28 in Macau
By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
ILOILO CITY, Philippines
– Even if Manny Pacquiao (45W, 35 KOs, 3 losses) will suffer a
knockout defeat, which is beyond imagination for those who root for
him, in his March 15 12-round shootout with World Boxing Council (WBC)
superfeatherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez at the Mandalay Bay
Resort and Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, he is still illegible to climb
the ring for a possible world title shot at David Diaz's WBC
lightweight crown within the period of three months.
This became apparent
after BoxRec.com reported that the Filipino fighter's next assignment
will be on June 28, 2008 in Macau, China against an unnamed opponent
which, sources said, could be the 31-year-old Diaz, conqueror of
Pacquiao's trilogy partner Erik Morales.
Diaz (33W, 17 KOs, 1
loss) will himself risk his WBC jewels also on March 15 in the
Marquez-Pacquiao aperitif versus Ramon Montano (14 W, 0 loss). Win or
lose to Montano, Diaz could still fight after a period of three months
– even if he will kiss the canvas.
Under the rules of the
Games and Amusement Board (GAB) boxing division and probably the
Nevada State Athletic Commission, a fighter who suffers a knockout
(KO) cannot fight for the next 60 days or two months.
Promoters of the
supposed Pacquiao-Diaz setto must have anticipated this possible
“technical glitch” in the megabuck showdown in China's gambling
capital in advance the reason why they chose June 28 as the date of
the possible title clash.
Aside from Diaz,
promoters of the 29-year-old General Santos City phenom is also eyeing
the voracious but extremely dangerous Edwin Valero, the unbeaten
Venezuelan who has been banned from fighting in the United States for
his failure to secure necessary brain test.
holds turn-over rites
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
February 3, 2008
Bontoc, Southern Leyte – A turn-over ceremony for 100 houses was
formally held here January 30 for the poorest of the poor
beneficiaries, the low-cost housing project undertaken by Gawad
Kalinga (GK) and duly funded by Jollibee Foods Corporation.
A symbolic key was
personally handed over to the homeowners by personalities of the giant
food firm headed by Ms. Gisela Tiongzon-Velasco, the Executive
Director of Jollibee Foundation, along with some Franchisee, like
Willard Chan, the Franchise owner of Jollibee Baybay and Ormoc.
Also around was Bontoc
Mayor Pedro Fustanes, who was the owner of the two-hectare lot which
was donated for the construction of the houses, including another
two-hectare open space he intended to let the village use for the
livelihood needs of the new community.
Others present were
Engr. Dominador Clavejo, provincial director of the Department of
Science and Technology (DOST), for the proposed flour mill to be
put-up in the place, together with Fe Norma Valuis, provincial
director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with her
companion, Mario Tictic.
CFC-GK provincial head
Dr. Jerome Paler led the community of CFC members who witnessed the
Rev. Msgr. Cesar
Garces, Parish Priest of Bontoc, earlier said mass and blessed the
In an interview with
Ms. Velasco, Jollibee Foundation Executive Director, shortly before
the ceremonies began, she disclosed that the amount of P6 million was
used for building the houses, at P60,000 per unit cost of materials.
But she stressed that
customers of Jollibee contributed immensely to that money through
their coin campaign in all the branches that raked in over a million
All the employees and
personnel of Jollibee, aside from chipping-in cash, also shared their
time and efforts during GK-Jollibee Build schedules, when the houses
were still in various stages of construction last year, Velasco added.
With the houses now
complete, the next thing for the benefactor to look into will be the
sustainability of the community by helping them in their farm
livelihood until such time the homeowners will be on their own, said
“We also raised money
through the coin bank in our stores and we were able to raise more
than a million pesos from that alone, so this is also a tribute to all
our customers plus our employees’ help in building the houses,”
She added: “From here
on, our pledge to our partners is that we will be with them at the
start. We will help you start up and do something but beyond that is
no longer our control. It’s all in their hands. Our intervention
will be on livelihood program because that will spell out the
sustainability of the community.”
It was learned that so
far Jollibee has tied up with GK for two communities, one in Las Piñas
in Luzon, and this one for the Visayas.
And the selection
of the date for the turn-over was deliberate: January 30 was also the
30th anniversary of the successful food business Jollibee.
issues EO 690, transfers LRA to DENR
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has recently transferred the
authority and supervision of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Executive Order No.
690 signed by President Arroyo on December 28, 2007 transfers the LRA
from being an attached agency of the Department of Justice to the DENR
which is the government agency that exercises supervision and control
over alienable and disposable public lands.
LRA is mandated to
issue decrees of registration and certificates of title and register
documents, patents and other land transactions for the benefit of
landowners, Agrarian Reform-beneficiaries and the registering public
Director Alfredo Pascual says that EO 690 mentions that “the transfer
of LRA from DOJ to DENR is being done in order to have a concerted and
well-coordinated effort in formulating policies as well as planning
and implementing programs and projects of the LRA.”
RED Pascual notes that
in region 8, the LRA and the DENR particularly the Land Management
Service, are working in close coordination with each other. “The
implementation of the Land Administration and Management Project
(LAMP) in the region has made this smooth working relation between the
DENR & the LRA possible,” RED Pascual adds.
The transfer is
consistent with the "Administrative Code of 1987", which provides that
the President, in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency,
has the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative
structure of the Office of the President.
Calicoan remains a
peaceful haven for tourists
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Calicoan Island off Guiuan, Eastern Samar remains a peaceful haven
for people including the tourists, Mayor Annaliza Kwan stressed, in
reaction to news reports saying that armed men raided a resort in said
“I do not want people
to think that Calicoan is not safe,” Mayor Kwan said. The people of
Calicoan and Guiuan as a whole are hospitable and peace-loving people,
Mayor Kwan added.
The incident described
in the news reports that appeared in the newspapers are allegedly
related to land disputes and that the alleged armed men were actually
hired blue guards.
Mayor Kwan informed
that at 5:00 o’clock in the morning of Saturday, she received reports
that between 2 and 3 o’clock that morning, “armed men” about seven of
them entered the beach house of a certain Betty Jerusalem who is in
the United States
and forcibly brought the three caretakers to the beach where they were
covered with clothes.
The three caretakers
said they heard the sound of chainsaws which were used to destroy the
beach house and the adjacent beach house and cottages of the Monay
Beach Resort owned by a certain Abby Garado who is also in the United
Mayor Kwan said she
immediately dispatched several policemen to the area to investigate.
The policemen reported that when they arrived at the area, the whole
place was already secured with barbed wires and being guarded by blue
The reported incident
sprang from personal conflicts and should not dampen the enthusiasm of
the tourists, Mayor Kwan said. She assured the public that everything
is under control and peaceful in her town, where the best catch of
fish, abalone and other seafood abound.
Calicoan Island is the
flagship tourism destination of Eastern Visayas in line with President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Central Philippines Super Region which is
being eyed as the Center of Tourism in the Philippines.
boasts of its panoramic view and its offering of the best of both
worlds, a surfing destination facing the Pacific and placid waters and
white beaches facing Leyte Gulf on the other side.
government offers hand tractors to lowly farmers
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
February 2, 2008
BORONGAN CITY, Eastern
Samar – Some 312 hand tractors are now ready for distribution at the
Department of Agriculture, Office of the Agricultural Services this
province (DA-OPAS) to farmers, should they meet the requirements.
This was learned from
Mr. Jesus Agda, the Provincial Agriculturist in an interview.
Agda stressed that
this is however a loan and not a dole out as wrongly perceived in the
past by most rural folks to government assistance.
“This is a loan
Governor Evardone entered with the Development Bank of the
Philippines (DBP) in cooperation with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan”,
Agda stressed. “In their desire to help our farmers, they bought
these tractors with the borrowed money from the bank, that is why the
farmer-beneficiaries should also take in consideration this government
initiative,” he added.
He added that the mode
of payment is on quarterly basis at P5,000 for three years, but they
will have to pay the P6,500 as equity. It was also learned from Mr.
Agda that the total cost of the hand tractor is P80,644.
Since it was made
known to the farmers of the province, about 28 units of hand tractors
have already been given individually to 28 farmers from far Arteche,
Dolores and Oras towns.
“But there are still
312 of those tractors waiting for interested takers,” Agda said. All
they have to do is comply with the following requirements: first, the
applicant must be 18 to 65 years old, he must have a collateral, proof
of it is a Tax Declaration for at least half of a hectare, he must
enter into a Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by his municipal
mayor, Agricultural Technician and lastly, he must submit an
accomplished application form with a 2x2 picture.
Development Program of Governor Evardone is also in line with one of
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s priority agenda being “food in
every table of every Filipino family”.