Archive for May 18th, 2008

New NBN-ZTE witness wavering

May 18, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—There is a possibility the new witness in the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corp. will back out of the Senate inquiry, Iloilo Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico admitted yesterday.

Suplico told reporters the administration may have learned who the witness was from among those who joined President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s trip to Shanghai, China, and the ZTE headquarters in November 2006.

According to Suplico, suspicious-looking persons had started staking out the witness’s neighborhood and asking his neighbors about him.

“Threatening witnesses has now become a modus operandi of this government every time it is confronted with the truth,” Suplico said at the weekly Balitaan sa Tinapayan press forum in Manila.

Suplico said the witness was seriously thinking about moving to another house.

Asked if there was a chance the witness would “back out” of the Senate inquiry into the $329-million NBN-ZTE deal, Suplico said: “That’s possible.”

“He is the best judge of his own security…. He has children like you and me,” he said.

Suplico said the witness only wanted “to help in the search for the truth.”

According to Suplico, there may have been two small busloads of officials and aides who accompanied Ms Arroyo, her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. to ZTE’s Shenzhen headquarters.

“If there were 50 officials and not-so-high officials and aides, it wouldn’t take 100 persons to background-check each of those who went on that trip,” Suplico said.

Blowup of Arroyo photo

Suplico presented a blowup picture of top-level officials of the Chinese telecommunications firm who were with President Arroyo on the golf course in Shenzhen.

“It will be best for us if ZTE officials identified who these persons were,” Suplico said.

Suplico, a lawyer, said that so far the witness didn’t need to execute an affidavit on what he knows about the lunch meeting and golf game between Ms Arroyo and the ZTE officials.

He said three parties—Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos and Gina de Venecia, the Speaker’s wife, had confirmed the trip and Ms Arroyo’s meeting with the ZTE officials.

“What he has so far said is that Ms Arroyo went to Shenzhen and met with ZTE officials on Nov. 2, 2006, and he has pictures to show (for it),” Suplico said.

Confirmation

“With the admission of Secretary Ermita, Chairman Abalos and Speaker De Venecia, through his wife Gina, this fact has been confirmed,” he said.

Asked if the witness had more evidence or pictures, Suplico said, “That is possible.”

Suplico had a picture of Ms Arroyo riding a golf cart blown up and cropped the images of a man and a woman who were riding in a golf cart behind her.

The man in a yellow shirt was also in another picture standing beside De Venecia on the Shenzhen golf course while the woman in a pink shirt was taking Ms Arroyo’s picture with the city’s name in the background.

‘Romantic Rose’

The woman’s shirt had the words “Romantic Rose” on the front.

Suplico said he presumed the persons were top officials of ZTE.

Suplico said that as parties to an alleged disadvantageous deal in the Philippines, the ZTE officials involved in the allegedly anomalous contract may be held liable under the country’s anti-graft law.

“Based on these pictures alone, there may be no liability. But taken against the backdrop of the [Romulo] Neri’s cry of bribery, they may be liable under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” Suplico said.

Girlie and Gloria in HK

In Occidental Mindoro, Rep. Amelita “Girlie” Villarosa, a staunch supporter of the President, talked about the Nov. 2 golf game and lunch meeting that President Arroyo had with ZTE officials in Shenzhen.

“I’m not saying anything, kumadre ko si Gina, bahala na kayong magbasa (Gina is my co-godmother, it’s up to you to read between the lines),” Villarosa said in a phone interview late Saturday afternoon.

Villarosa, however, said that on Nov. 2 she went with President Arroyo to Dava Island in Hong Kong. “We rode on a small yacht,” she said.

After lunch, Villarosa said they returned to mainland Hong Kong to pack up their things. (PDI)

TF Usig delists 669 cases from its ‘extrajudicial slay’ list

May 18, 2008

TASK Force Usig, a PNP team investigating extrajudicial killings, has stricken off its list 669 alleged incidents involving the slaying of activists and journalists for three reasons: the alleged victims were found to be alive, the identified victims do not exist, or the victims were killed for non-political motives.

The 669 appears on the list of the militant group Karapatan.

Interior assistant secretary Danilo Valero said of Karapatan’s total of 836 slain activists and reporters as of May 2007, only 121 were included in the PNP list. Forty-six of these cases are still being verified.

Of the 669 cases excluded, TF Usig said 47 were false reports; 34 pertained to non-existent persons as certified by barangays and local civil registrars; six were alleged victims who turned out to be alive; 97 were cases of legitimate armed encounters; 23 were Abu Sayyaf terrorists killed in the foiled Bicutan jailbreak; 15 involved agrarian disputes; 20 involved personal motives; 4 were suicides; 9 involved labor disputes; and one was a victim of an insane relative.

Valero said the rest of the more than 400 other excluded cases involved 309 incidents where the victims had no known affiliations; 23 were civilians killed by the CPP-NPA; nine killed by the MILF Lost Command, two by vigilante groups, and others involved motives connected with illegal drugs, gambling, squatting, illegal logging, mistaken identity, robbery with homicide, rape with homicide, tribal war and business rivalry.

Director Jefferson Soriano, Task Force Usig commander and concurrent head of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management, said the cases excluded “were properly investigated by the local police and excluded from the Task Force Usig list as they did not fall within the context of ‘extrajudicial killing’ based on its special political context and definition.”

Soriano said the task force has so far verified 113 murders involving political activists and 28 journalists who were killed in relation to their work. He said 86 cases of these cases have been filed, 46 of which are now on trial and four have resulted in convictions; 63 involved slain political activists and 23 journalists.

The report blamed the deaths of 28 political activists on communists, 13 on military and paramilitary elements, and five on civilians with alleged links to the military.

Of the 23 cases of reporters killed, the report listed the various suspects as communists, two military men, three policemen and several civilians.

As of the third week of April, TF Usig said 29 investigated cases involved as suspects CPP-NPA cadres, 15 military and paramilitary men, and three policemen.

By end-April, arrest warrants have been issued against the alleged killers of Norberto Cabigayan of Western Samar who was identified as a CPP-NPA supporter and revolutionary tax collector. In the case of lawyer Norman Bocar, Bayan Muna regional coordinator for Eastern Samar, two suspects have already been charged with his murder at the Borongan regional trial court.(Malaya)

NUJP denounces harassment of 2 provincial journalists

May 18, 2008

Does snapping at journalists reflect culture of impunity?

BY ACE ALEGRE
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 15, May 18-24, 2008

BAGUIO CITY (246 kms from Manila) – Does snapping at journalists reflect the culture of impunity, which is the main reason for the unabated killing of not just journalists but also activists?

A media organization says so, going by its stand regarding the abrasive behavior of Alfonso Lista Town Vice Mayor Clarence Polig towards two news correspondents of a national daily.

“The harassment of Malaya correspondent Ma. Elena Catajan and photographer Redgie Cawis illustrates very clearly how the culture of impunity in this country is allowed to flourish and embolden those who would wish to suppress the free Philippine press,” said Joe Torres, chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). The incident had already reached the offices of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which issued an alert.

Studies showed that most of the media killings in the country have happened in the provinces where politicians like Polig reportedly have their own fiefdoms, together with warlords, corrupt military and police officials, and crime lords.

Still trembling as she related her experience while covering a festival in the Ifugao province, Catajan said that she and Cawis were “snapped at” by Polig, even to the point that guns were reportedly drawn.

Catajan and Cawis went to Alfonso Lista together with Department of Tourism-Cordillera regional director Purificacion Molintas last May 10 to cover the town’s festival.

After data gathering and taking photographs, they went to Polig’s house for an interview. Polig is a direct descendant of Alfonso Lista, after whom the town is named.

Catajan said that she first wanted to re-schedule the interview as it was already dark and raining heavily, but Polig said that he would be busy the following day. “I agreed to conduct the interview immediately,” Catajan said.

The interview was reportedly short as the two journalists were tired and hungry too. Polig, however, did not allow them to leave as he insisted that the two journalists should first drink with them. He was reportedly drinking with the town’s jail warden and several others.

At first, Polig was very nice, Catajan said. “Redjie (Cawis) sat beside me the whole time as he felt the men were picking on me based on the personal questions they asked when I stepped out to buy something at a nearby store.”

Polig who reportedly had too much to drink started an argument with the two journalists, Catajan said. He insisted their coverage was “illegal and accused us of trespassing. He claimed we have no work order from him.” He added that all dealings with the town had to pass through him.

Catajan and Cawis said that Mayor Charles Cattling invited them to cover the event through the Department of Tourism. “Polig did not listen. And at that point, we were alarmed because we noticed that Polig and his three companions were bringing out their guns.”

We wanted to leave the town but were stopped by Polig’s companions and an unidentified man wearing a bonnet and heavy sweater suddenly appeared, Catajan said.

“The incident,” NUJP’s Torres said, “is a classic example of how, in the Philippines, petty warlord-politicians can lord it over isolated communities, wielding virtual life and death powers that have time and again proven fatal for vigilant community journalists.”

Catajan said that they managed to flee and went to the Lagawe police station last May 11 to report the incident.

Ifugao Police Director Sr. Supt. Joseph Adnol said that the incident did happen but Polig denied drawing their guns to scare the journalists.

Cawis in his statement at the Lagawe police station said, “We may never prove we saw a gun, as there were no lights but we felt our lives were in danger.”

“Polig maligned us for covering the festival using Tagalog, English and Ilocano curses,” Catajan said.

For his part, Polig said that Catajan and Cawis were showing malicious public display of affection in front of him, insulting his position and presence. Cawis is an employee of the Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera Administrative Region (PIA-CAR) regional office in Baguio City. He also warned that when the matter goes out in the media, careers will be destroyed.

Catajan and Cawis said that they are currently worried about their security. Adnol said, however, that he does not know any official report that Polig has armed goons.

Torres said, “The general inaction to journalists killings by the national government in faraway Metro Manila, which appears to be inflicted with an `out of sight, out of mind’ attitude, if not downright apathy, has only served to embolden these enemies of press freedom. We demand that the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police immediately investigate the despicable action of Vice Mayor Polig.” Bulatlat

Fr. Shay Cullen: What You Do to Them You Do to Me

May 18, 2008

A group of German visitors went with the staff of Preda Foundation last 5 and 6 of May, 2008 to visit the children at the Reception and Action Center (RAC) and the Manila Youth Reception Center (MYRC) to bring snacks and drinks and see the condition of the children detained as prisoners. In the Action center, the kids are 10 years old and below and lives in a bare and empty room. Since our list exposed on this, the children are now allowed to watch TV for a while in the dining room instead of looking at a bare wall all day. Still, they look down from barred windows on the second floor. But on our previous visit, we were shocked to see that two strangely half dressed young men with dyed hair and strange ways were allowed access to these little children. They were not social workers, not in uniform, no IDs and clearly not qualified to be there. (See photos at http://www.preda.org)

They seemed to be in charge with authority. The little kids were following their orders and were clearly frightened of them. The danger of abuse to the children was present and alarming. The council for the Welfare of Children ought to have professional social workers and psychologists visit the children and see the conditions and talk to them to know if any have been abused.

There must be something bad to hide if charity workers are forbidden to visit the children and bring them food. It’s what Jesus of Nazareth commanded us to do. This situation at the RAC and MYRC is harmful to children and youth. The sub-human conditions are a violation of RA 7610, PD 603 and RA 9344, and also the international conventions on the rights of the child. That’s why they don’t want us to visit. They are in violation of the law and harming the youth and children.

That’s one thing that Former Senator, now mayor of Manila Alfredo Lim, really abhors. He is a strict law and order mayor and his own son, recently arrested for drug offenses is to face the full wrath of the law. We expect him to investigate the sub-human conditions and the malnutrition of the inmates all suffering violations of their rights within a short walk of his office. He will see that this is a cruel and unusual punishment of children and youth and he will order it changed immediately. He is that kind of man.

We were also forbidden to visit the youth detained in the MYRC. But we know from previous visits, photographic evidence and the testimony of former inmates that it is a horrible dungeon and the kids are always hungry, deprived and lives worse than animals. The authorities have barred all outsiders from seeing the sub-human conditions. If there is nothing to hide, then why bar visits by charitable groups licensed and accredited by the DSWD such as Preda workers?

The MYRC authorities are acting like the Burmese Generals, they want us to leave the aid and relief supplies and go away. We will take care of it they say. There is no guarantee that the foods and donations will get to the needy and hungry children. They ought not to blame the staff of Mayor Lim for this. I advise the good mayor to lease out the entire compound for development into a ten story building with a commercial ground floor, a floor for the city offices, another for the courts and one for the social services. With the earnings from the rent and lease he can build a best practice and model children’s home on the city land in Marikina. END

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Contact Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines.
e-mail: preda@info.com.ph
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PREDA Information Office
PREDA Foundation, Inc.
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http://www.preda.org

Remembering Rey

May 18, 2008

The military may have cut off his head and mangled his face and body.  But Rey Cayago’s face and name could never be forgotten by his colleagues, his family, and the migrants and their families whom he had helped.

BY EMILY VITAL
HUMAN RIGHTS
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 15, May 18-24, 2008

There is a face to the growing number of those killed under the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. But more than the face is a name, as well as a story of struggle and commitment.

Rey Cayago’s face, name and story are worth remembering.

“We were threatened by soldiers that our community will be transformed into another Marag Valley and Tabbak. They (accused us of being) members of the New People’s Army (NPA). They showed us pictures of community destruction.  They even told us that they were going to bring in soldiers who were trained by (retired Gen. Jovito) Palparan,” said a resident of Pananuman in Tubtuba, Tubo, Abra.

A 29-member fact-finding team went to Pananuman, Tubtuba, Tubo, Abra, early this month to investigate and document cases of human rights violations. Members of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and Indigenous People’s Rights Monitor said in a statement that what they saw reminded them of Marag Valley and Tabbak.

Marag valley in Cagayan was known to have been a “no man’s land” due to heavy military operations which included aerial bombings, shelling, food blockade and forced evacuations. Tabbak, on the other hand, is a community near Pananuman which was once called the “no-man’s land” of the Cordillera. For more than a month, the soldiers are doing the same to the residents of this community.

Desecration of the body

Since May 12, soldiers belonging to the 50th Infantry Battalion under the 503rd Infantry Brigade headed by Lt. Dalven Abdul Rashid Avila and Lt. June Pedregoza have conducted aerial bombings and mortar shelling in the community.

The residents said that on March 24, Avila was heard bragging about cutting a member of the NPA into pieces. He threatened community leaders that he will do the same to them if they do not stop supporting the NPA or refuse to give information about it.

Based on the statement released by members of the fact-finding team, the indigenous peoples who have a high regard and respect for the dead asked Avila to allow them to retrieve the body of the man said to be a member of the NPA to give him a decent burial or bring him to his family. Avila refused.

The residents were only able to locate the body of the alleged NPA member and give it proper burial last April 21, or three weeks after the incident.  The body was later identified as that of Rey Cayago.

The team accompanied Cayago’s family and exhumed the body on May 4.

In an interview, Yboy Macatiag, Migrante staff and member of the fact-finding team said,
“Ayon sa medical team, pinugutan ng ulo si Rey. Nakita ang kanyang ulo ilang metro ang layo sa kanyang katawan. Basag ang likod na bahagi ng kanyang bungo. Yupi at di na makilala ang kaliwang parte ng kanyang mukha. Nawawala rin ang kanyang kanang kamay at kanang paa.” (The medical team said that Rey’s head was cut off. His head was found a few meters away from his body. The back of his skull was severely crushed and fragmented. The left part of his face was beyond recognition. His right hand and right foot are missing.)

In a joint statement, the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and the Indigenous People’s Rights Monitor denounced the desecration of Cayago’s body and the AFP’s refusal for the body to be retrieved and given a decent burial. “These are blatant violations of the Protocols of War embodied in various Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Laws as well as in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante International chairperson said, “What they did to Rey proves how vicious state terrorism is. No words can describe their atrocities.”

Regalado said, “Naging mas malinaw ang pasismo para sa mga migrante dahil sa ginawa nila kay Rey. Masigasig silang nagkampanya laban sa political killings. Iba pa rin ang dating kung galing sa sektor ang biktima.” (Because of what they did to Rey, migrants now see fascism more clearly. They have persistently campaigned against political killings but it is different if the victim comes from the sector.)

Advocate of migrant rights

Cayago worked as a full time staff of Migrante from 2005 until December last year.

Regalado said, “Lagi siyang nangunguna sa pag-mobilize sa community. Matiyaga siyang nagpapaliwanag ng mga isyu.” (He is always first in mobilizing community residents to join rallies. He patiently explains to them many important issues.)

Cayago was active in the campaign to save Marilou Ranario, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Kuwait who was sentenced to death.

In her speech during Cayago’s wake, Marilou’s sister Rowena said in tears, “Itinuring niya kaming kapamilya. Lagi siyang nandiyan para sa amin lalo na nang magkaproblema kami sa ate ko. Sinasamahan niya kami palagi. Hindi man lang ako nakapagpasalamat sa kanya. Pero hindi pa naman siguro huli ang lahat.” (He treated us as if we are part of one family. He was always there, especially when my older sister had a problem. He would always accompany us. I never had the opportunity to thank him. But I think it is not yet too late.) Looking at Rey’s picture, she said, “Rey, thank you sa lahat (for everything).”

Macatiag who worked closely with Cayago described the latter as a good organizer and advocate of people’s rights. He said that Cayago was instrumental in the campaign against the demolition in Bgy. Holy Spirit in Quezon City, the community assigned to them.

Regalado said, “Lagi siyang nakangiti. Wala kang masasabi sa kanyang aktitud sa gawain at pakikitungo sa mga kasama. Wala siyang reklamo.” (He was always smiling. There is nothing in his attitude toward work and in his relationship with colleagues that needs to be criticized. He never complained.)

Inspiration

Amy Cayago, eldest sister of Rey, described Rey as a good brother and thoughtful person. “Noong una, hindi ko siya maintindihan. Nagpapaliwanag siya palagi. Sa kanya ko natutuhan bakit tayo ganito, bakit kailangang lumaban.” (At first, I could not understand him. He would always discuss with me. From him I learned why we are like this, why we have to fight.)

She added, “Masakit para sa aming mawala siya. Pero alam ko, masaya siya sa desisyon niya. Pag naiisip ko siya, lumalakas uli ang loob ko. Sa kanya ako kumukuha ng lakas ng loob.” (Losing him is painful to us. But I know, he was happy with his decision. When I think of him, I stop feeling weak. I draw my strength from him.)

Santiago Cayago, Rey’s father, could only say to those extending condolences, “Tuloy lang. Tuloy lang ang laban.” (Just continue. Just continue the fight.) Bulatlat

Sino ang kasali sa bargaining unit, sino ang hindi

May 18, 2008

Atty Remigio Saladero

KUNG manggagawa lang ang masusunod, ang lahat ng rank and file employees sa kompanya ay dapat puwedeng sumali sa unyon. Nang sa gayon, lahat ay makikinabang sa mga biyaya na makukuha ng unyon sa pakikipag-CBA nito sa manedsment. Ngunit may limitasyon ang batas dito. May mga empleyadong hindi dapat katawanin ng unyon dahil sa klase ng kanilang trabaho. Ang kaso ng Standard Chartered Bank Employees Union vs. Standard Chartered Bank, et. al., G.R. No.161933 na denisisyunan ng Korte Suprema noong Abril 22, 2008 ay tumatalakay rito.

Nagkaroon ng negosasyon para sa CBA (collective bargaining agreement) ang unyon at manedsment ng bangko. Matatapos na sana ang kanilang negosasyon maliban lamang sa ilang bagay na hindi nila mapagkasunduan. Kabilang sa mga ito ang usapin kung sino’ng mga empleyado ang kasama sa bargaining unit at maaaring sumali sa unyon.

Ayon sa unyon, ang dapat lang na hindi kasama sa bargaining unit ay iyong mga opisyal ng bangko na may karapatang tumanggap o magtanggal sa isang empleyado (management employee), ’yung mga confidential employee, chief cashier, at human resources staff. Lahat ng empleyado bukod sa mga nabanggit ay dapat isali sa bargaining unit. Ayaw naman ng manedsment sa panukalang ito. Nagdeklara ng deadlock sa pag-uusap ang unyon at naghain ng notice of strike.

Nakialam ang secretary ng Department of Labor at pinatigil ang napipintong welga. Sa ilalim ng kanyang assumption of jurisdiction powers, dinesisyunan niya ang gusot. Ayon sa kanya, tama ang manedsment at hindi dapat isali sa saklaw ng bargaining unit ang mga empeyadong gustong isama ng unyon.

Dinala ng unyon sa Court of Appeals ang kaso pero walang nangyari at ganoon pa rin ang naging desisyon. Napilitang iakyat ng unyon ang kaso sa Korte Suprema sa pag-asang mabago ang hatol.

Niliwanag ng Korte Suprema na sa ilalim ng batas ay binabanggit ang mga klase ng empleyado na hindi maaaring sumali sa bargaining unit at hindi maaaring katawanin ng unyon. Halimbawa, kung ang posisyon ng isang empleyado ay managerial (may karapatang tumanggap at magtanggal ng empleyado) ang kanyang loyalty ay nasa manedsment. Walang dahilan, kung ganoon, para isama siya sa mga empleyadong kinakatawan ng unyon. Magkakaroon siya ng double loyalty, ’ika nga. Kung ang empleyado naman ay tinuturing na confidential, may karapatan siyang makita ang maselang mga rekord o impormasyon ng kompanya. Maaari siyang gamitin na taga paniktik ng unyon. Kaya ito ang dahilan kung bakit labas din siya sa bargaining unit at hindi dapat pasalihin sa unyon.

Walang duda na ang mga bank cashier, human resources staff, at mga manggagawang nakatalaga sa Telex Department ng bangko ay pawang maaaring ituring na confidential employee, sabi ng Korte Suprema.

Ang mga bank cashier ay humahawak ng maselang mga rekord ng bangko, pati kombinasyon ng vault, statements of financial condition, code para sa telegraphic transfer, at iba pang mga lihim ng bangko. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit inuutos ng Central Bank Manual na hindi dapat pasalihin sa unyon ang mga ito. Ganoon din ang mga radio and telegraph operators. Alam nila ang sensitibong mga impormasyon at puwede silang umaktong espiya pagdating sa CBA negotiations, kung kaya’t bawal din sa kanila ang sumali sa unyon at mabilang sa bargaining unit. Ganoon din ang mga HR staff. Dahil sa alam nila ang lihim ng kompanya pagdating sa personnel relations, hindi sila pinapayagan ng batas na sumali sa unyon o mapabilang sa bargaing unit.

Kung nais ng unyon na ang mga empleyado sa nabanggit na posisyon ay mapabilang sa unyon, dapat ay ipinakita nito na hindi pasok sa confidential o managerial empoyees ang nasabing mga empleyado. Dapat ay inisa-isa nito ang kanilang mga gawain para ipakita na hindi sila maituturing na managerial o confidential. Ngunit nagkulang ang unyon sa bagay na ito. Wala man lang itong ebidensiyang ibinigay tungkol sa partikular na gawain ng mga empleyadong nabanggit.

Dahil dito, napagpasyahan ng Korte Suprema na huwag pasalihin sa unyon at huwag ibilang sa bargaining unit ang mga empleyado sa nabanggit na posisyon. (PinoyWeekly)

Looking for Randy Malayao (3)

May 18, 2008

Guilders:
Press conference tomorrow for Randy Malayao, May 19, Bayan conference room, ten am.
To call for his safe return are his Manong Isidro Malayao, fellow Guilders Teddy Casino and Raymund Villanueva, and Desaperacidos spokesperson Aya Santos.  Prescon moderator is Guilder Ruth Cervantes.
Sa mga media practitioners na Guilders, tulong-tulong tayo dito.  Sana macover niyo.
We also need lawyers!
We also need financial contributions.  We also need cars in the next few days kasi malawak ang iikutin para tuntunin ang mga lugars na pinanggalingan niya at maaring pinagdukutan sa kanya.  Huli siyang nakita ng mga kaibigan sa Ortigas Center, papuntang Pasig, Cainta o Marikina.  Mag-iikot din sa mga kampo ng militar at pulis sa Kamaynilaan at Rizal.  Sino ang pwedeng magpahiram, kahit hanggang nitong Linggo lang?
Mag-isip na kung paano makakatulong!
Baka makatulong ito para magalvanize tayo:
http://bukaneg. blogs.friendster .com/my_blog/ 2005/11/youve_ got_to_do. html
Inline text below:
Of all CEGP officers in my time, Randy Felix P. Malayao was about the only officer who did not play coy when asked to sing.  One of the things I remember about him the most was his singing of this song.


I still meet with him a few times .  In the meeting when he informed me of an important event I asked him to write down the lyrics of this song.  He said he first heard it sung when he attended an Asian Students Association conference in Jakarta.  Most probably, he said, it is Indonesian in origin.
I do not know if the song is indeed Indonesian.  As far as I am concerned, it is Randy’s song.  It is my song, too.  It is the song of the many CEGP alumni and many others who are doing more than just thinking, symphatizing and understanding.

YOU’VE GOT TO DO MORE THAN THAT

I.

I think when I see all those pictures about
The children without any food
How hard it must be for their mothers at home
Who just do not know what to do
With children so thin and their ribs sticking out
A terrible plea in their eyes
I tremble to think what starvation is like
But I do try to symphatize.

Chorus:

You’ve got to do more than that
You’ve got to do more than that
For symphathizing is all very well
But you’ve got to do more than that

II.

The men with the truncheons and helmets are out
They’re trying to break up the mob
Of people whose skins are just colored a bit
And all they want is a job
It’s only for whites, that’s the sign they put up
And this is not even their land
I tremble to think what starvation is like
But I do try to understand

Chorus II:

You’ve got to do more than that
You’ve got to do more than that
For understanding is all very well
But you’ve got to do more than that

III.

How dreadful a sight Hiroshima became
With people all broken and maimed
And blinded and mad, so the broadcast announced
It will end all wars so they claimed
But why are they making some bigger bombs yet?
And what are they piling them for?
Should not someone know what the end of it all
But I try not to think of war

Chorus III.

You’ve got to do more than that
You’ve got to do more than that
Forgetting to think is all very well
But  you’ve got to do more than that

Editorial Cartoon: Peacemaker?

May 18, 2008

Peace man, peace!

Dureza is new press secretary; Esperon assumes Dureza’s post

May 18, 2008

MANILA — Malacañang announced Sunday the appointments of presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza and former Armed Forces chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. as press secretary and peace adviser, respectively.

Dureza and Esperon, who just retired on May 12, will assume their new posts on June 16.

Dureza will replace Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye who was appointed earlier to the Monetary Board while Esperon will assume the post Dureza is vacating.

Bunye will continue to act as presidential spokesman and concurrent political adviser until July 3. It is still uncertain if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will name a separate spokesman and political adviser.

Bunye said Dureza, a lawyer and former congressman of Davao, would still wind down his current work before assuming his new post.(SunStar)

AFP taps help of private security agencies

May 18, 2008

THE military’s Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) has tapped the assistance of the different security agencies to help them and the local police in the maintenance of peace and order in Zamboanga City.

TFZ chief Colonel Darwin Guerra said the assistance of the security agencies, whose guards are detailed in almost every business establishment downtown, is a big help to them in monitoring the presence of lawless elements.

Guerra said it would be easy for the security guards to detect the presence of lawless elements since most if not all of the business establishments downtown have private security personnel posted on the entrance and exit doors.

“All they have to do is to report to us, the military or police, for proper action and to avert any attempt of sabotage in our place,” Guerra said.

Guerra however did not disclose whether there is an eminent threat to the city. He simply explained that it is better to be prepared at all times.

Three foreign embassies have earlier issued travel advisory warnings for their citizens against traveling to Mindanao due to terror threats on foreign nationals.

Guerra also urged the village officials to conduct monitoring in their respective places to deny entry of any lawless groups in their villages.(SunStarZamboanga)

Mabinay has highest malnutrition rate

May 18, 2008

THE Integrated Provincial Health Office recent nutritional survey identified the town of Mabinay of having the highest malnutrition rate.

Based on the results, it was learned that Mabinay town has the highest recorded malnutrition rate while Dauin has the lowest rate.

The survey was part of the agency’s Operation Timbang conducted from January to March this year.

In a confirmatory meeting, the Provincial Nutrition Council revealed that of the towns, Mabinay ranked the highest malnutrition rate with 22.1 followed by Vallehermoso with 18.4, and Manjuyod with 18.1.

The town that recorded the lowest malnutrition rate is Dauin at a rate of 3.2.

As for cities, Canlaon received the highest malnutrition rate with 11.7, followed by Bayawan City with 10.3, and Tanjay City, 10.

Dumaguete City meanwhile ranked fourth with a malnutrition rate of 6.4 and Tanjay RHU 2 got the lowest rate with 4.2.

A total of 181, 182 children in the province aged zero to 71 months old were weighed during the Operation Timbang.

It is still currently ongoing with the results expected to be completed by June this year in time for the Nutrition Month celebration. (SunStarDumaguete)

LGU receives P13.5M to make way for Hanjin Shipyard

May 18, 2008

RESIDENTS of three barangays in Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental said Tuesday that the local government unit (LGU) received money from Phividec Industrial Authority (PIA) to allow Hanjin Heavy Industries Inc. to bulldoze their villages.

In a press conference, Tambobong barangay captain Delaila Abellanosa said Villanueva Mayor Juliette Uy received P13.5 million, allegedly as compensation money for the crops and properties destroyed in Hanjin’s clearing operations to make way for its $2 billion shipyard.

Abellanosa presented a document to the media showing how the P13.5 million was divided among six persons, including the municipal engineer and a judge.

“Those who received money are not even residents of our barangay. Why did they receive this money? The families who were affected by the clearing operations should have received the compensation, not them,” Abellanosa said in the dialect.

Jimmy Agcaoili, spokesperson of Mayor Uy admitted that the LGU received the money from PIA. “Under the memorandum of agreement with PIA, the money is in payment for the public properties destroyed as part of Hanjin’s clearing operation, including health center, school and other public buildings,” he said.

Members of the Balacanas-Tambobong-San Martin Workers Association (Batasanwa) said they were not consulted about the compensation to be given by PIA. They also claimed that the municipal LGU negotiated directly with PIA and Hanjin and left them blind.

Agcaoili denied this, saying they conducted a public consultation. Village officials, however, said they were not properly informed and that they never accepted the terms in the MOA.

“The municipal officials did not even honor the autonomy of the barangay. We should have been properly informed. According to the law, the barangay council should approve a resolution accepting a project within their jurisdiction. For the Hanjin shipyard, we never passed any resolution,” said Abellanosa.

She said the document detailing the alleged P13 million payment was distributed to barangay officials on May 5 during a meeting with Mayor Uy. “Gi-sabaan pa ni-a akoa kay ngano man diay na dili ko maka-cooperate (She scolded me and questioned why I could not cooperate),” said Abellanosa.

The residents also complained that the bulldozing of their homes and crops were done without notice. “The bulldozers came at night. We could not do anything but watch our crops destroyed,” said Eugene Payusan, a resident of Barangay Balacanas.

Parents and teachers of the said barangays are also wary about the impending demolition of the Balacanas Elementary School to make way for the shipyard.

Ramil Factura, president of the General Parents Teachers and Community Association (GPTCA) of Balacanas said the demolition of the school will leave their children without any place to study in the coming school opening.

“Where will our children hold their classes? They should ensure first that a new school building had been put up before demolishing the elementary school. What they are doing is a violation of our rights,” said Factura.

Edygardo Roa, coordinator for Lumayaka-Northern Mindanao, a multisectoral umbrella organization, said the plight of the Villanueva residents is another case of development aggression practiced by Hanjin and tolerated by the government.

“It is a great paradox that the government has been all praises about Hanjin’s billion dollar investments in the country. They seem to be so enthralled by Hanjin that they are, deliberately or not, ignoring Hanjin’s clear violations of our laws and its wanton disregard of our people’s welfare,” said Roa. (SunStarCDO)

Ched tells MCC to stop offering courses

May 18, 2008

MEMBERS of the Board of Nursing in Manila will visit the Mandaue City College (MCC) next month to evaluate the school’s nursing program.

The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) 7 has ordered the school to stop offering its nursing, hotel and restaurant management and engineering courses this school year if it cannot comply with requirements.

MCC’s Dr. Elmer Ripalda said the situation in the school is abnormal, as Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes has ordered their Ibabao campus padlocked last April 18.

But the MCC is still offering nursing and hotel and restaurant management courses, he said, adding that they will comply with Ched requirements before yearend. He added that they phased out engineering years back.

Return equipment

He said they are also asking the mayor to return their equipment after City Hall conducts its inventory on items at the Ibabao campus so they can submit to Ched’s inspection.

Ripalda admitted that the school earned millions in 2007, but they also spent millions on salaries and to buy office and school supplies. He showed up at Sun.Star Cebu yesterday with a letter from Ched, another letter from the Professional Regulation Commission and the school’s financial statement.

More for salaries

The school’s financial statement from April 2006 to May 2007 showed that the MCC earned P7,445,387. But it also spent P6,822,610, leaving only some P622,000 in net income. Of their expenses, salaries accounted for the bulk, at P6.202 million. The other expenses covered seminars, office and school supplies, transportation and traveling expenses, repairs and maintenance, light and water insurance and representation.

Ripalda said the net income financed MCC’s operations from June 2007 up to the present.

But with a drop in the number of students because of the school’s situation, Ripalda said their earnings have also decreased. This is why some personnel have yet to receive their regular pay. Since the mayor ordered the Ibabao campus padlocked, MCC has been holding its classes at the Eversley Childs Sanitarium in Barangay Jagobiao.

Ched letter

In a letter last May 9, Ched 7 Director Enrique Grecia told the MCC’s Dr. Paulus Mariae Cañete: “You are enjoined not to continue offering the cited programs if they have not been found to have complied with the existing policies and standards.”

Grecia’s letter followed the MCC’s objection to the scheduled Regional Quality Assessment Team (RQAT) inspection last May 7. Cañete believed that the school was not ready for it.

Ripalda said their medical equipment remain in the mini-hospital inside the Ibabao campus, which is padlocked, and that’s why they objected to the inspection. He added that their mini-hotel and restaurant facility inside Central School has also been affected by the mayor’s move.

Ripalda said they requested Ched to extend its inspection period until December so the school can prepare and retrieve its equipment after the inventory.

The RQAT inspection is meant to check if a program complies with government policies and standards. Once the program passes the inspection team’s scrutiny, Ched accredits it.

Carmencita Abaquin, nursing board chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission, also informed Cañete, through a letter last May 16, of their scheduled visit to MCC to evaluate the nursing program.

Ripalda said the school would be ready by that time.(SunStarCebu)

LTRFB approves wage hike for buses, jeepneys

May 18, 2008

MANILA — Jeepney and bus commuters in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon and Calabarzon-Mimaropa) will have to pay a higher pay starting May 21, Wednesday after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved the “provisional” increase in minimum fare.

LTFRB chairman Thompson Lantion said his office has approved the P0.50 increase in minimum jeepney fares in Metro Manila and in the said regions effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Lantion said with the increase, minimum fares in public utility jeepneys will be raised to P 8 from the present P7.50 for the first four kilometers (kms), while fares in ordinary buses will be adjusted to P9 from P8 for the first five kms.

Minimum fares in air-conditioned buses will likewise be increased to P11.50 from the present P10.

There will be no increase on the rates for every succeeding kilometer for both Metro Manila jeeps and buses, Lantion said in announcing the latest fare hike.

Provincial regular buses will increase their fare from P8.50 to P9 for the first five kms and P1.40 for every succeeding km. (SunStar)

Cosme destroys homes, takes lives in Pangasinan, La Union

May 18, 2008

AT LEAST four people have been reported to have died, two others were injured, and thousands of families have been affected due to tropical storm Cosme that has been wrecking havoc since Saturday, a spokesman for the multi-agency National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

Anthony Golez, NDCC spokesman and concurrent deputy administrator of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), said they received initial reports that the four fatalities from La Union and Pangasinan died due to electrocution, hit by fallen trees or hit by flying galvanized irons.

He said the death toll is not yet official unless the Department of Health (DOH), an attached agency of the NDCC, is able to verify the deaths.

“There are four unconfirmed deaths — three from La Union and one from Pangasinan. The DOH is currently verifying the deaths,” said Golez.

He said based on the monitoring, Zambales and Pangasinan appeared to be the hardest hit. NDCC chairman and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. flew to the two provinces on Saturday to oversee the ongoing relief efforts by field units and the local government units (LGUs).

Golez said roofs of the majority of the houses in San Narciso in Lingayen, Pangasinan were flown due to strong winds.

He said Teodoro has asked the local NDCC to make a make a damage assessment, which he said will be the basis in the amount of assistance to be given. (SunStar)

Gov’t forces refute harassing brgy dad

May 18, 2008

Government troopers who are assigned here flatly denied the accusation they harass a barangay kagawad for refusing to hand over the list of names of those who conducted a medical mission lately here.

Fears gripped some residents of barangay San Jose of this town following the “grave threat” against barangay Kag. William Boybanting allegedly perpetrated by members of the Bravo company led by 2Lt. Petronilo Aguedan, commanding officer of 43rd IB, Philippine Army.

Boybanting accused Aguedan and company of harassing him on the evening of April 20, 2008 when the latter with long arms surprised a “visit” to his house. According to human rights group Karapatan represented by coordinator Eliza Serenio the official alleged that Aguedan threatened him by uttering, “Angay ka hiposon kay gahi ka’g ulo.”

Karapatan said that the threat caused distress among farmer members of Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Mabini (HUMABI), under the umbrella of the Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Bol-anon (Humabol), an affiliate of the leftist Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). “Boybanting and HUMABI officers and members can not find peace and safety of their lives,” it said.

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Aguedan, who is an Ilocano, flatly denied the accusation during the visit of the provincial peace and order council probe team last Thursday. He also dismissed allegations that they held the kagawad as “captive” at barangay hall. He said that he and the kagawad had just a chat to extract the list of medical mission members at the vicinity of the barangay hall.

Aguedan and company has been allegedly monitoring the medical mission that composed the Visayan Health Care believed to be leftist group. Barangay folks indeed benefited from the medical mission services, said barangay captain Busbus.

Aguedan said in his affidavit that how can he utter those threat when he can hardly speak the Visayan language. In fact he always brought with him a translator Sgt. Ricky A. Mendez. His company has just arrived recently.

He admitted however that he went to Boybanting’s house with his company and barangay tanod Cris Tinao on the evening on April 20, 2008 “just to get list of names who conducted the medical-dental mission” in the morning on April 19. It was not clear why Aguedan was very interested with the said list.

Witnesses interviewed by the team contradicted to what Aguedan has tesitified. One of them said that Aguedan with his men carrying firearms and surrounding the house forced Boybanting, who was sitting at the baranda, to divulge the names of the medical mission members, including doctors. But Boybanting could not remember all their names, except a certain Dr. Molina, who slept at his house before the medical mission took place at barangay proper.

Other witnesses interviewed revealed that not only once that Aguedan went to Boybanting’s house but thrice which was also dismissed by the military.

At this developed, the team, including representative of the Commission on Human Rights may find it hard to determine who is telling the truth or lie based on the initial probe.

Officer-in-charge Provincial Human Resource Officer Romy Teruel, Philippine Information director Yvette Matabalan, Provincial Social Welfare Officer Inday Tuacao, Social Action Center of Tagbil;aran diocese, Social Action Center and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan composed the said team.

The team conducted interviews with Aguedan, barangay captain Donato Busbus, (nephew of Boybanting) and Boybanting’s wife Fermina at her house. But the team failed to talk to Boybanting himself since he left for Tagbilaran in the morning after waiting for the team which was supposed to arrive early. (BholChronicle)

Judge fined P20T for ignorance of law

May 18, 2008

For gross ignorance of the law, a Regional Trial Court judge here in Tagbilaran City is reprimanded by the Supreme Court and ordered to pay a fine of P20,000.

RTC Branch 3 Presiding Judge Venancio Amila was found guilty by the high tribunal of gross ignorance of the law in connection with his decision involving two criminal cases.

The Court’s ruling, promulgated on March 28, 2008, is an offshoot of three separate complaints filed by Atty. Lord Marapao at the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) against Judge Amila in connection with three rulings promulgated by the latter which were allegedly erroneous.

The high court dismissed the first and third complaints since both cases are still undergoing trial while Judge Amila’s conduct in the second case was found to be in violation of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.

The second case, which stemmed from Criminal Case Nos. 14988 and 14989 both entitled People of the Philippines v. Ricardo Suarez for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 (Bouncing Checks Law), is an appeal of a Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) decision.

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The MTCC convicted Suarez for issuing bouncing checks. The ruling was appealed at the RTC Branch 3 presided by Judge Amila who reversed the MTCC decision saying that the defendant (Suarez) is absolved of criminal liability and that the penalty imposed by the law is harsh and oppressive.

In turn, Marapao appealed Judge Amila’s decision at the Court of Appeals which annulled, set aside said ruling and reinstated the MTCC order.

Marapao asserted in his complaint that Judge Amila’s decision was “contrary to prevailing jurisprudence.”

The judge, for his part, admitted that he was not conversant with recent jurisprudence because of his lack of time to read and he has many cases to attend to; and oftentimes his decisions were based on codal provisions and in common sense on what he believed just, fair and equitable.

Quoting Canon 6, Sec. 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct, the high court’s resolution cited that, “Judges shall take reasonable steps to maintain and enhance their knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for the proper performance of judicial duties, taking advantage for this purpose of the training and other facilities which should be made available, under judicial control, to judges.”

“A heavy case load is no reason for a judge not to keep abreast with recent decisions of the Supreme Court. Ignorance of the law excuses no one,” the resolution said.

According to the Court, a judge must “be conversant with basic legal principles and be aware of well-settled authoritative doctrines” and should “exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and rules.”

The Supreme Court resolution likewise gave stern warnings to Judge Amila that a repetition of the same act will be dealt with more severely. (BoholChronicle)

Hanjin workers seek justice on SC ruling

May 18, 2008

JUSTICE! Lawyer Joseph Bernaldez, counsel of Hanjin workers. They trooped to the Department of Labor
(DOLE) last Thursday, but the government labor arbiter failed to show up. Foto DANNY REYES

Some 428 Boholano workers continue to demand justice after they were not paid
by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) despite the finality of a Supreme Court decision awarding backwages and benefits to them.

In lieu of this dispute, two lawyers handling the labor case of the workers against Hanjin are urging local government units, agencies and corporations of the government to blacklist the South Korean firm.

Labor lawyers Joseph Bernaldez and Erwin Estandarte said in an interview with the Chronicle that unfair labor practices can be a ground for the disqualification of a contractor to participate in public biddings of government projects.

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Compliance of fair labor practices is a requirement under RA 9184, the Government Procurement Act, the lawyers said.

Having a pending or even a decided case in the courts can be an impediment for a contractor that wishes to bid for a government project, Estandarte said.

While it is obvious that the South Korean contractor has been acquiring more projects here in the country, the lawyers said, “It is either they did not comply with all bid requirements or they must have railroaded the bidding process.”

Hanjin has several ongoing projects here in the province, among which are the controversial Bohol Irrigation Project (BHIP) Stages 1 and 2 (Malinao and Bayongan Dams) and the Tagbilaran City Drainage Improvement Project.

The same company undertook the completion of the multi-million Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project (BCRIP).

The said workers were hired by Hanjin during its construction of the Malinao irrigation dam in Pilar town.

Aside from its pending claims settlement here in Bohol, Hanjin is presently in hot water for its construction of forest condominiums at the Subic Freeport in Zambales without environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

The firm also figured in allegations of bribery in connection with its $2-billion shipyard project in northern Mindanao.

Here in the city, the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently adopted a resolution requesting the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) not to accept the turn-over of the city drainage project unless the contractor and the DPWH-District 1 cannot comply with commitments to clear the drainage from wastes and cut-off illegal connections coming from some 40 establishments and households.

“NOT A HINDRANCE”

For his part, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Handel Lagunay when asked for comment regarding the possibility that Hanjin is among the bidders of the airport project, he said, “It is basically up to the bids and awards committee (BAC) of the MIAA and DOTC to evaluate the capacity of the bidder under RA 9184.”

Asked if their track record on unfair labor practices can be used as a ground for its blacklisting, Lagunay said, “It may be a collateral matter that they would look into, but it will all depend on the substance of the qualification of a contractor to undertake the project in accordance with RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Act.

However, under 9184, “I don’t think it will become an issue when the bidder’s qualification is evaluated,” he concluded. (BoholChronicle)

BC marks 54th year in community journalism

May 18, 2008

The Bohol Chronicle, a local weekly newspaper and Bohol’s enduring newspaper here, turned 54 last Friday as it completes more than five decades of uninterrupted service to community journalism.

We who had once worked with this paper can write an account of its life in the fist person. Indeed, the Chronicle’s record of existence is the longest in local journalism history.

On May 16, 1954, its maiden issue done in hand-set first appeared in this city.

Tagbilaran, then was a fledging town. To think it could sustain a weekly was, to many, a fool-hardy attempt to defy a tradition of failure.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

It has survived on hard work and patient struggle to seek the truth and print it. In turn, this has nourished a strong faith in it from its thousands of readers.

This paper started with a one-man job. Now a full staff works for the paper with an AM and FM radio stations as part of this media outfit.

Where before the first issue of the Chronicle was hand-set and later produced with a modern linotype machine, it is now being printed in off-set process back up by a laser-desk-top computer and jet printer, the latest used in modern-day publishing.

Scanning the back issues of the Chronicle is just like taking a glimpse through the past 52 years of Bohol’s history.

Dr. Crispin Maslog, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, who was formerly director of the Institute of Journalism of Silliman University, wrote a case study of the Bohol Chronicle as one of the most successful community newspapers in the Philippines.

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With the Institute of Development Communication of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Dr. Maslog wrote a book under a Ford Foundation grant entitled “Dragon Slayers in the Countryside” with a Foreword by Joaquin “Chino” Roces which documented outstanding exposes of seven highly respected community newspapers in the country which left great impact in their respective communities.

On the exposes published by The Bohol Chronicle against graft and corruption, Dr. Maslog in his Preface, wrote: “A few cases, however, rise above the others in significance: the Bohol Watergate of The Bohol Chronicle campaign waged by that paper against graft and corruption.

“It is perhaps not too much to think of these community journalists as the modern day St. Georges of our society. We salute these dragon slayers in our countryside.”
Excerpts of Dr. Maslog’s case study on The Bohol Chronicle follows.

This article was also reprinted in the book “The Rise and Fall of Philippine Community Newspapers” launched by the Philippine Press Institute and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The Horatio Alger story of The Bohol Chronicle is an inspiration to the struggling community newspapermen in the Philippines. It shows how the dedication and talent of one man can overcome obstacles and make a success of a local paper that was predicted by a priest to die six months after birth.

THE PAPER’S HISTORY

When the first issue of The Bohol Chronicle came off its rickety printing press on May 16, 1954, an American priest working with the Divine Word College in Tagbilaran City predicted, half in jest and half in earnest that either the paper of its editor would die in six months. Other papers had come to Tagbilaran City before and they all eventually died.

As a matter of historical fact, the newspaper has never failed to come out with its weekly issue every Sunday during the past years. Neatly bound volumes of all its issues are displayed in the compact and near office of the paper and printing press on Mabini Street (now B. Inting Street) in Tagbilaran City showing how the paper has kept faith with its readers.

The Chronicle is now being printed in offset by its own printing press. This success did not come easily to the late publisher-editor Atty. Zoilo Dejaresco Jr., known to his friends as Jun. He had to work hard, day and night. He had to overcome public apathy to a local paper and lack of advertising support and other serious obstacles along the way in the past 40 years before he reached the prominent position where he is today.

The first issue was very timely from the newspaperman’s point of view. A big typhoon smashed Bohol, killed several persons and rendered thousands homeless. This was a big story in that province where typhoons rarely visit, and the paper capitalized on it.

This was the first banner story of the paper, and the paper sold. It was one of the ironies of the journalistic profession – a misfortune for the province, but a fortune for the paper.

MANILA ROTARY CLUB AWARD

The Bohol Chronicle once carried a nine-week series of articles exposing the connivance between highway district engineers and anapog (limestone) suppliers. It earned the paper praise from its readers. The startling exposes earned for the Chronicle the “Community Newspapers of the Year 1970″ the highest community journalism award from the Rotary Club of Manila at its Fourth Annual Journalism Awards.

The Manila Rotary Club awarded the Bohol Chronicle “for courageously but dispassionately and objectively publishing a series of exposes which effected solid constructive changes in the life of the community, and for demonstrating that a community newspaper, in spite of the economic odds against it, can effectively carry on its avowed mission with enthusiasm, dedication and fearless determination.”

BRANCHES TO AIRLANES

In 1956, the Chronicle pioneered the operation of the first wire broadcasting station here and in 1961, the printed pages of the Chronicle branched out into the airlane. In 1961, Station DYRD-AM was on the air and in 1980, the Bohol Chronicle Radio established Station DYRD-FM, the pioneer multiplex stereo station in Bohol. (BoholChronicle)


City water treatment facility starts August

May 18, 2008


NON-FUNCTIONAL. This P5 million drainage project in front of the Central Market seems not to function as flooding and foul odor are noticed in the area up to the road fronting the Island City Mall. Can City Hall explain well why flooding continues. Foto DANNY REYES
The much awaited water treatment facility which is needed to save the seawaters at the City Port from turning into like the dirty waters at Manila port will start construction not later than August this year.

This was the pronouncement made yesterday by City Mayor Dan Lim in the wake of mounting public clamor to address the drainage problem in the city. The project is estimated to cost P100 million which will be funded by a loan with the Development Bank of the Phils (DBP).

The mayor said he will await the formal authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod regarding the DBP loan to finance the water treatment facility to be constructed near the Shell depot along Graham Ave. this city, where the water outfall is situated.

The construction of the facility will be completed between 9 to 12 months, Lim said after consultation with Engr. Cecil Corloncito, city environmental consultant.

The city government will still determine the scheme in funding the project, he continued.

Meantime, the inspection of septic tanks of houses and business firms along CPG Ave did not materialize last Wednesday as earlier mentioned by the mayor. However, he said the team from the City Health Office under Dr. Antonio Porticos will field this week to conduct said inspection.

Earlier, the mayor said that those found without septic tanks will “suffer the consequence under the law…”

WATER LAB RESULTS OUT

Laboratory results of water samples taken from the city’s drainage shows it is more dangerous to keep the outfall closed than having it opened.

City environmental consultant Engr. Cecil Corloncito confirmed his initial pronouncement that while a water treatment plant has yet to be constructed, opening the drainage outfall has lesser consequences than keeping household and commercial waste water stagnant in the drainage system.

Corloncito bared that water samples taken from the drainage show the pollution level during rainy days at 10 parts per million (PPM) which is below the environmentally acceptable standard of 50 parts per million (PPM).

However, when it is not raining, the laboratory results show that concentration of pollutants in the drainage is 84 PPM.

At this level of pollution, Corloncito explained, if the waste water is discharged into the sea, it can easily be diluted.

According to Corloncito, exposing waste water to oxygen can further dilute the concentration of pollutants.

He said that keeping the wastes inside the drainage could exponentially increase its pollution content to over 1,000 PPM.

“This is the reason why I have been recommending for the opening of the outfall,” Corloncito said.

“It should be understood by the public that if waste is not exposed to air, the bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) or the strength of pollution increases exponentially,” he said.

Corloncito stressed that while the pollution is still within manageable levels, the best thing to do would be to establish a water treatment plant at the outfall.

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“Eventually, the increasing population of the city will have a greater impact in the years to come,” he explained.

According to Corloncito, the water sampling and analysis should have long been done by the DENR.

The result of the tests would be the basis for the design of the water treatment, the city consultant said.

The results of the water tests will be presented by Corloncito on Tuesday during a meeting with city officials at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall.

JOINT SP COMMITTEE
FIND 3 CULPRITS

A joint Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee meeting with highways, engineering and environment officials identified three culprits for the drainage mess in Tagbilaran City, feared to become a “City in Decay.”

These are the contractor’s tolerance to the illegal connections to the drainage system, failure of the city government to cut them, and absence of a wastewater treatment facility.

Provincial Board Member Cesar Tomas Lopez, chairman of the SP health committee, said contractor Hanjin and city hall should “work hand in hand” to cut illegal tappings that flush wastewater into the storm-rainwater drainage channel.

The discharge of wastewater into the new drainage system is prohibited based on City Ordinance C-205, according to Provincial Board Member Alfonso Damalerio II, chairman of the environment and natural resources committee.

Lopez said that based on the existing measure, the city government, thru the City Engineering Office (CEO), should be “very active” in this mandate.

The meeting held at capitol Friday was jointly called by the committees on environment, health and public works.

Others in attendance were Board Members Jose Veloso and Bienvenido Molina, District Engr. Celestino Adlaon of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-I), Acting Chief Rosalina Gaterin of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-Bohol), Engr. Greta Mende of the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and representative of the capitol-created Bohol Enviornment Management Office (BEMO).

The EMB and its mother agency, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), are firm against the drainage outfall opening unless the illegal connections are cut and wastewater treatment plant built.

Lawyer Raul Barbarona of the Enviornmental Legal Action Center (ELAC), Liza Flores of PROCESS Foundation, and Executive Director Jovenal Edquilag of the Maribojoc Bay Executive Management Office (MBEMO) also came.

Edquilag said a wastewater treatment facility should be constructed because not just the coastal waters of Tagbilaran City are adversely affected by the toxic discharges through the drainage outfall.

Adlaon said the list of illegal connections to the new drainage system was long provided to city hall, including the City Health Office (CHO), for appropriate action.

All agreed in the meeting to “pressure” the contractor into cutting the illegal connections which it allowed and tolerated right in the construction phase of the new drainage.

This recommendation will be relayed to the Philippine Japan Highways Loan (PJHL) – Project management Office (PMO).

The points for action will also be raised by Damalerio, as authorized in the joint committee meeting, during the conference of the city council called by Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso with invited highways, environment and other technical persons on May 23.

The city ordinance prohibiting the waste discharge into the drainage system says: “All persons, establishments, entities and other stakeholders affected by the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby given a period of six months after the effectivity of this Ordinance to comply to its provisions.”

It says further that the “Office of the City Mayor is hereby authorized to issue Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) necessary for the proper implementation of this Ordinance”

The measure was enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod presided by then Vice Mayor Nuevas Tirol-Montes and approved by Mayor Dan Lim in June last year.

In October of the same year, Gov. Erico Aumentado issued Executive Order 15 “strengthening the initiatives to prevent water pollution by enforcing the installation of wastewater treatment facilities for hotels, resorts, and restaurants, and such other industries which require usage of water volume in commercial quantities.”

In March this year, a technical conference with the DENR-EMB people would have been attended by DPWH-I and city officials and Hanjin people. Only a DPWH-I representative came.

Commitments were made in that meeting, namely, the disconnection of all existing sewerage tappings within 30 days, prevention of further connections to ensure that the drainage system is free from pollution and domestic wastes, and submission of compliance report after the cutting of all existing sewer connections after one month period.

It was reiterated in the joint SP committee meeting Friday that cutting the illegal connections is a collaborative job of the contractor and city government.

The drainage project cannot alone be turned over from the contractor to the government because it is just a component of the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project-Phase II.

Adlaon said the project to be accepted, therefore, is not solely the drainage system but wholly the circumferential road.

LIM TWITS DAMALERIO

Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim lashed out at “the ugly head of politics” as he got back at Board Member Alfonso Damalerio II after the latter delivered criticizing the city government’s proposed solutions to the drainage problems.

Speaking at his weekly radio program over Station DyRD, Lim said Damalerio’s has no basis for his criticisms except his own opinion.

The mayor said Damalerio has neither the expertise nor the qualification to take issue with the experts who designed, prepared and proposed the solutions to the problem.

He also asked why Damalerio is suddenly interested in the drainage problem only now when the solution is near.

Lim pointed out that the drainage system has been his priority project even as far as 1992 when he served as city administrator to then Mayor Jose Ma. Rocha.

During that time, he was responsible for the construction of the drainage system along Lamdagan street and Remolador extension.

“Damalerio is not aware of that but the residents of these places are my witnesses,” the mayor said.

He also noted that when he assumed in 2004, the drainage problem was among his first concerns when he negotiated for the upgrading of the CPG avenue road improvement project.

At the time, Lim said the project was only for an overlay asphalt but he lobbied for the inclusion of a drainage component and for it to be upgraded to concreting.

“This is the reason that even though Cong. Edgar Chatto, the god of Damalerio, was not concerned about it, the drainage system was incorporated in the CPG avenue road improvement project,” Lim added.

The mayor also took issue with Damalerio’s claim that the national government through the efforts of Chatto and Gov. Erico Aumentado poured in P43-million into the San Jose outfall.

“I challenge him to show that Cong. Chatto allocated funds from his CDF for this project,” Lim declared.

The mayor said that if there is anybody who should claim credit for the project, it would be Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aumentado and then Budget Secretary Romulo Neri.

Lim also took issue with Damalerio’s claim that the “polluter’s fee” sends a wrong signal to the people that “it’s okay to pollute as long as you pay”.

“It does not mean that people are allowed to pollute just because they can pay. It is an economic instrument where people are made to pay now when they have not been paying before,” the mayor said.

Lim said that since there is only one drainage system, it would be impossible to follow a defective ordinance that allowed only rainwater into the drainage.

“Is he aware that there are 90,000 violators and that the Capitol where he holds office is among the violators whose connections would be cut if he insists on implementing the ordinance that prohibits discharges aside from rainwater?” he asked.

Lim said that the collection of the polluter’s pay, which is a sort of carrot and stick approach, is provided for in the Clean Water Act.

The mayor said that if only Chatto allocated a bigger chunk of his discretionary funds that totals P70-M annually, Tagbilaran would have availed of not just two drainage systems that Damalerio wants.

(BoholChronicle)

Looking for Randy Malayao (2)

May 18, 2008

Fellow Guilders:

Kaugnay ng apela ni Ruth Cervantes sa baba sa suporta sa paghahanap kay Randy Felix P. Malayao, CEGP vice president for Visayas, 1991-1994:

Binubuo natin ang Friends of Randy group.  Sabi ni Ruth ay ok na si Teddy.  I also asked other colleagues and friends tulad ni Jaz Lumang ng Ibon at Cherry Clemente ng Anakpawis.  I also asked the help of Panay’s Karen Faith Villaprudente para sa batchmates at brods sa Beta Sigma sa Miag-Ao.

Erel, Jon, Bos P, “Gang”, Panay and Visayan Guilders, atbp, please help.

May nakahandang bank account para tumanggap ng inyong suportang pinansyal sa paghahanap sa ating kapatid.  Maaring sumagot sa personal kong email addy para rito o para sa anupamang may kaugnayan sa paghahanap natin kay Randy.

Maraming salamat!
Bukaneg
VP for Luzon, 94-96

Kinakapatid ni Randy

KMU warns: Anti-militant ads will abet killings

May 18, 2008

MANILA, Philippines – A labor group on Friday criticized actor-satirist Manuel Urbano Jr. (a.k.a. Jun Urbano) for starring in a government bank infomercial depicting militant groups as troublemakers even as it said that the recent killing of a peasant leader was the ‘opening salvo’ of a new campaign against militants.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) warned Urbano he could be held responsible if the commercials of the Development Bank of the Philippines trigger another wave of extra-judicial killings.

“It has been observed that for the last few days a black propaganda against militant legal organizations, purportedly a patriotic commercial TV ad, have been shown in TV programs with Mr. Shooli (Jun Urbano) as lead actor,”the KMU said.

“With flags of KMU and League of Filipino Students providing ad backdrop, Jun Urbano warns off militant organizations and disparage concerted mass actions and people power-type mobilizations in affecting social changes,” the KMU added.

The statement was posted on Friday night in its website.

Urbano gained fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his portrayal of the “Mr. Shooli,” a Mongolian trying to learn the ways of the Philippines.

Mr. Shooli, who “starred” in the television and movie satire “Mongolian Barbecue,” poked fun at government officials during its run.

But now, KMU said the DBP commercial declares the illusory “pagbabago’y nasa sarili” or self-remolding as alternative solution to Philippine crisis.

“By allowing himself to be used in such devious commercial, and in the context of the menacing Oplan Bantay Laya, Jun Urbano contributes in putting in danger the safety of the progressive activists. And he could be held guilty and accountable in future extra-judicial killings by the military,” KMU said.

It added the ad was reminiscent of a similar move in 2007 where an anti-KMU black propaganda full-length VCD starring Bembol Roco was circulated in factories, communities and rally areas.

KMU said no solution to the extra-judicial killing of peasant leader Celso Pujas of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas can be expected from President Arroyo, whom it described as “the tyrant herself, the practitioner of state terrorism.”

“And no real and honest investigation can be expected from the PNP, the AFP and the department of justice because their preoccupation is to cover up and let the death squads continue their dirty and murderous acts and discredit the human rights organizations and fact-finding missions,” it said. – GMANews.TV


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