Archive for the ‘disaster’ Category

Flash floods hit CamNorte, Catanduanes

January 18, 2009

VIRAC, Catanduanes — Rampaging flash floods and landslides hit Catanduanes island province during this week as continuous rains pounded the eastern part of the Bicol region.

Relief efforts are in place and one death has so far been reported.

A report from Catanduanes Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council said the continuous rains that triggered floods and landslides have affected 47,729 individuals or 9,505 families in Catanduanes.

Catanduanes Governor and PDCC chairman Joseph Cua in a report to Defense Secretary and NDCC chairman Gilbert Teodoro, Jr. said the calamities affected 315 barangays and totally destroyed 11 houses.

Cua reported to the NDCC that no evacuation has been taking place since the floods are now subsiding and the landslides waning.

Relief operations, however, started in Bato which was isolated by the floods. Some 665 families need help and assistance in the town.

The NDCC reported that goods from the Manila office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are being sent to Catanduanes.

Flooding and landslides occurred due to intermittent rains caused by the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) that enveloped the Bicol Peninsula since last week.

A report by the Office of Civil Defense said that in Catanduanes sporadic landslide and flooding were noted in the towns of Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban, San Andres, San Miguel Viga, and Virac the capital town of the province.

The Catanduanes Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) reported that of some 13,474 families or 69,607 people living in 139 villages of 11 towns were affected by flooding and landslide.

The report said one John Mark Tatad, 5, from Gigmoto town died due to drowning.

In Camarines Norte, flood waters swelled in low-lying areas along the Labo and Busigon rivers affecting 11 villages in the town of Labo, evacuating some 60 families to safer grounds.

Three detour bridges, the Namukanan in Barangay Daguit, Macogon in Barangay Macogon, and the Mataganki in Barangay Exciban all in Labo town are still not passable to all forms of vehicles.

OCD said two provincial roads in Camarines Norte, between Fundado and Bagacay and between Talobatib and Pagasa are still impassable to all kinds of vehicles.

OCD said Provincial Disaster Councils and Municipal Emergency Response Team in the affected areas were activated.(BicolMail)

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3 students drrown in flashflood

November 11, 2008

Williamor A. Magbanua and Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews
Tuesday, 11 November 2008 06:42
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st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/10 Nov) — Rescuers recovered the bodies of two teenagers who were swept by floodwaters Sunday afternoon while taking photographs beside the Saguing River here.


st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } The city search and rescue team found the two cadavers in Barangay Libertad, Makilala, Cotabato, seven kilometers away from this city.

Police identified the victims as Precion Taeza and Janely Antipuesto, both students of Saint Mary’s Academy here.

The victims sustained wounds in the head and other parts of the body when retrieved near the riverbank of Libertad River.

The body of another victim, Krisdan May Dela Cruz, 15, was found today, around 9 am, in Barangay Kalunasan, M’lang, a town next to Makilala.

A team from the Cotabato Electric Cooperative led the search and retrieval operations, according to Marlon Ceballos, head of the 505 Search and Rescue Operations Group in the city.

Dela Cruz’s father, who works at the Cotelco, led the retrieval operations, Ceballos said.

On Sunday afternoon, a group of nine students went to the Landmark River Park to take photographs and celebrated the first anniversary of their friendship when a flashflood occurred.

The students all fell into the floodwaters, but six of them were rescued by Landmark employees and some visitors.

“We were there to celebrate.  We didn’t expect it would end this way,” said Charisse Jane Franco, one of the survivors, in a radio interview.

Franco also swam the Saguing River and was swept by the raging waters.  But a still unidentified man saved her.

“The guy saved my life. I am so grateful to him.  I wish I could thank him.   But until now, I have no idea who that guy is,” she said, adding they already decided to leave the place when one of her classmates again invited them to take a dip.

She said they did not expect the waters at the Saguing River would reach as high as five to six feet because it did not rain.

But Ceballos, in a radio interview, explained the Saguing River serves as a catch basin of many upstream rivers from Makilala and M’lang towns. Early that day, there was heavy downpour upstream.

“At 3 p.m., the waters from the upper portion started to flow downstream. And around 5 p.m., the waters were already high at the Saguing River,” he said.

The landmark is owned and operated by the city government as part of its local tourism promotion.

The Saguing River would usually overflow during heavy downpour.

Landmark River Park, a favorite hangout of many students during weekends, is located along the boundary between Kidapawan and Makilala.

Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco has not issued a statement regarding the incident, although he called for a meeting in response to the incident.

The mayor has ordered the setting up of early warning signs at the riverside.

Ceballos has also suggested that the city government organize a response alert team composed of trained swimmers and rescuers. (Williamor A. Magbanua and Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)

==============

My Take:


The City government must learn a lesson or two from this sad event.


They must have a warning device there (such as bulletin boards and intercom-like device where a voice will repeatedly announce the warning) informing tourists, visitors and all, of a heavy downpour upstream that may cause considerable rise in the river’s water level.

Statements: The Itogon Landslide: A Result of Prolonged Large Mining Operations

October 5, 2008

By Windel Bolinget
Secretary General, CPA

There is much for Benguet Corporation (BC) to account for in the horrendous disaster in Itogon that severely affected the lives of local residents from 80 households in the indigenous community of Beda, and in Antamok last September 22. Putting the blame solely on natural calamities like Typhoon Nina and small-scale mining as done by BC, the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is both lame and weak, when we know for a fact that BC’s socially and environmentally destructive large mining operations since 1903 is to answer for the disaster.

What had happened in Itogon already happened in Colalo, Mankayan in July 1999, where Lepanto Mining has operated for the past 72 years in massive underground operations which softened and weakened Colalo grounds, such that any typhoon can aggravate a disaster waiting to happen.

The 16 miners trapped must be immediately rescued, because BC is accountable for this and to their families. Their effort to rescue is the least they can do and it must not cover up their responsibility and accountability in the whole disaster — loss of lives, the environmental disaster, displacement of the families and the demolished ili that will never be built again. What future awaits the displaced families who have lost their loved ones, their home and ili (village)? Is BC going to pay for the long term effects of its destructive operations? As do other mining companies, BC will resort to a media blitz of corporate responsibility through technical assistance to the victims. That however, is not a long term solution but a coverup of the real situation.

This is what happened in Itogon. The environment and the mountains should never have been disturbed in the first place. The mining disasters in Rapu-Rapu where Lafayette Mines operated since 2005 and in Marinduque, where Marcopper created the country’s largest mining disaster in 1996 prove that the Itogon landslide is not an isolated, naturally occurring incident.

This as well is the very nature of large and corporate miningdangerous and unsafe, and the companiesf claim of any social responsibility is not a commitment of restoring the environmental, economic and social damages loss they have committed. There will always be environmental and social disasters in areas of large mining operations in the same manner that there will always be militarization and human rights violations also therein, as long as the mining policies of the Arroyo administration are based on the Mining Act of 1995 or RA 7942.

We have no hope of any sort from the DENR, when it is DENR Secretary Lito Atienza himself who serves as the company’s spokesperson, when it said blame should not be put on the company, especially in the case of the 14 miners trapped underground. What kind of public official puts last the interest of the public it should be serving?

We call on the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Commission on Human Rights (CHR-CAR), including the municipal and provincial governments to look into the interest and welfare of the Itogon community — both those directly and indirectly affected. The provincial government must decisively act to put a stop to such disasters, for environmental protection and socio-cultural preservation by placing a ban or moratorium to large mining operations in the province. Otherwise, there will soon be no Benguet province to speak of in the future — only a wasteland of mine waste and abandoned communities.

The historical injustice done to the Ibaloi and Kankanaey in Itogon as a result of development aggression — large and destructive mining, in particular must be corrected. This shall emanate from the concerted action of the people of Itogon to aggressively resist and oppose large and destructive mining operations therein, and to reject impending threats from various applications. Otherwise, there will be always be a disaster waiting to happen, hastened by natural calamities.

Other Cordillera provinces, especially those threatened by large and destructive mining operations and overlapping applications, must unite and be vigilant and resist these to defend the Cordillera homeland from further plunder and destruction.

Benguet Corporation, including Philex and Lepanto must be accountable for the environmental and social damages they have caused in indigenous communities in Benguet. An independent investigation that will not again be another case of impunity must be urgently carried out. #

Lax policies blamed for Itogon disaster

October 5, 2008

Corporate social responsibility a myth

BAGUIO CITY — An anti-mining group in Benguet province claimed that the disaster in one of the mining villages of Itogon town that buried 16 small scale miners is traceable to lax environmental and pro-corporate mining policies of the country.


ANOTHER ATTEMPT. Miners make another attempt to rescue their fellows trapped at shaft 114 of Goldfield in Poblacion, Itogon, Benguet last week. Two additional pocket miners were reported to have been missing together with the 14 other that were reported earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Redjie Melvic Cawis/PIA

Virgel Aniceto, spokesperson of the newly formed Benguet Mining Alert and Action Network (BMAAN), pointed out the lax environmental policy of the state is manifested by the absence of a rehabilitation program by the Benguet Corporation (BC) after it profited from mining the Itogon area for many years since 1903. BMAAN is a new organization which advocates sustainable environment.

Aniceto’s pronouncements came in the wake of reports that quoted Itogon Mayor Mario Godio as seeking a review of Republic Act 7076 or the People’s small Scale Mining Act of 1991.

No rehabilitation

“The absence of rehabilitation over the mined out areas shows that corporate social responsibility to affected communities is just a myth,” Aniceto explained in a phone interview.

Aniceto pointed out as concrete example the latest destruction brought by mining in Itogon town.

The landslides in Sitio Bedda in barangay Loakan, Itogon, were mainly caused by the collapse of two BC tunnels below the church of the Iglesia ni Kristo in that area.

The church was among the buildings not destroyed due to the slides, but at least 51 houses were destroyed causing at least 400 residents to evacuate the areas. Residents claimed the landslides and collapse of the tunnels was due to mining.

Trapped miners

The collapsed tunnels, believed 700 feet deep, trapped 16 small scale miners at the height of typhoon Nina.

The miners, mostly from Ifugao in the Cordillera and Quirino in the Cagayan Valley, were allegedly contracted by BC under the Community Mining Program, where a sharing scheme between the company and the miners are agreed on, sources revealed.

The bodies recovered were in the stages of decomposition Thursday night, two bodies were found inside the tunnel when flood waters started to rise. The first body was that of Joel Bulga from Aglipay, Quirino, while the second was identified as Vincent Himmayod from Nagtipunan, also in Quirino.

Earlier, the National Disaster Coordinating Council identified the other 14 as Gilbert Nattem, Garry Ganu, Rudy Boling Jr., Joel Bulga, Jeyson Himmayod, Rudy Himmayod, Jojo Himmayod, Juan Himmayod, Marvin Himmayod, Vincent Himmayod, Joseph Anayasan, Mario Annayasan, Gerry Monyboda, and Robert Buway. Two other missing miners were named as Nitnit Pagulayan and Jose Panio.

Rescue and retrieval

The rescue and retrieval operations for the trapped miners are on its sixth day in Sitio Goldfields in Barangay Poblacion.

Various government, private and non-government organizations are among those joining the operations but community members are leading the rescue despite bad weather.

As early as Tuesday, SN Aboitiz Philippines-Benguet dispatched personnel and equipment to aid in the rescue but to no avail as the rush of flood waters was so strong and the tunnels filled up to chin-deep.

On Thursday and Friday, more groups pitched in, even giving crash lessons in SCUBA diving.

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) in a statement pointed to large scale mining, particularly BC, as the culprit. “Their effort to rescue is the least they can do and it must not cover up their responsibility and accountability in the whole disaster – the loss of lives, the environmental disaster, displacement of families and the demolished community which could never be built again. What future awaits the displaced families who have lost their loved ones, their homes, and their community” the statement read.

Meanwhile, while government environment authorities see corporate liability over the disaster, BC’s Reynaldo Mendoza, vice-president for legal affairs, said the tunnel where the miners remained trapped is a “no mining zone,” insinuating that the miners entered the mines without permission.

BC has been in Itogon for a century. In 1996, it stopped its open pit mining that stripped mountains of its forest covers in Itogon.

In 2000, the company started its community mining scheme where any one interested can join small scale mining activities after company approval.

In 2005, it offered its Antamok open pit as a water reservoir for a bulk water project it won for Baguio City. # Arthur L. Allad-iw (NorDis)

3 die, 19 hurt in Benguet landslides

September 25, 2008

THREE persons were killed and 19 others were injured, after a flood and four landslides hit Baguio, La Trinidad, and Itogon, due to heavy rains brought by Typhoon Nina.

Those killed as a result of two landslides in Baguio during the onslaught of Typhoon Nina were identified Wednesday as Lolita Baroma, 76, who resided here at 172 Guisad Surong; Juan Baroma, of the same address; and Lielany Fetcha, 38, who lived here at 155 Dominican Extension.

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Eleven of those injured in Baguio were named as Kenneth Fetcha, 33; Kayla Fetcha, 9; Emelita Baroma, 50; Mark Anthony Novestera, 37; Rey Bagtas, 34; Jonathan Baroma; Ruth Baroma, 13; Janica Mae Novestera, 8; Magilyn Baroma; Donalyn Baroma; and Michael Baroma.

All 11 victims were rushed by rescuers to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) emergency room after their houses at Dominican Extension and Guisad Surong were covered by separate landslides.

In La Trinidad, Benguet; the six injured were identified as Catalina Paat, 56; Gaspar Handaan, 39; Jessie Tolabis, 21; Rico Yaqui, 13; Monsor Pusawen, 6; and Aya Paat, 4.

All six victims, after being retrieved by volunteers from a landslide that covered their house in Kesbeng, Poblacion, La Trinidad, were immediately brought to the Benguet General Hospital.

In nearby Itogon municipality, the two injured were named Luzviminda Gropo, 45; and Virbek Magatin, 16. Both were hurt in a separate flood and landslide in Ucab, Itogon, Benguet.

In Apayao, a province-wide total power outage or blackout started around 4:30 a.m. of September 22. The Apayao River also swelled.

There was also a province-wide total blackout in Abra, which started 2 p.m. on the same day. The Abra River also swelled.

Due to the devastation wrought by the typhoon, 12 persons from two families were inadvertently affected by the landslide in Kesbeng, Poblacion, La Trinidad; 25 persons from five families were affected by flooding of the Balili River; eight persons from three families were affected by the landslides at Dominican Extension and Guisad Surong; and 280 persons from 56 families were affected by flooding in City Camp Proper, all in Baguio.

Earlier, 14 miners were reported to have been trapped at level 700 of the Antamok Gold Field in Itogon, Benguet after floodwaters reached level 400 of the same mine site on the night of September 22. (ENO)(Sunstar)

Typhoon ‘Nina’ leaves 4 dead

September 23, 2008

By Helen Flores
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

At least four people were killed while some 2,000 were displaced as typhoon “Nina” (international name Hagupit) whipped northern and central Luzon as well as parts of the Visayas and Mindanao with heavy rains and strong winds.

One person died in La Union after he was electrocuted in floodwaters. Three others drowned while crossing a river in Antique.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rescued 21 people from three cargo and fishing vessels that sank in rough waters as the typhoon gathered strength off northern Luzon and the Visayas.

A vessel capsized off Romblon last Sunday, but all 13 crewmen and captain were rescued.

The PCG said that the M/V Margelin 2 encountered engine trouble after it was battered by big waves off Cresto de Gallo Island, a few kilometers from where the M/V Princess of the Stars sank last June.

Another passenger vessel of Sulpicio Lines, the M/V Princess of the South, was hit on its bow by the Aboitiz-owned SuperFerry 12 as it was leaving a pier in Cebu. Minor damage on the Princess of the South was reported.

The Coast Guard also reported that 578 people were stranded in Sorsogon and Albay due to rising floodwaters.

Classes were suspended in La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, and Pangasinan due to flooding and continuous rains.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, storm signal No. 3 was up over Batanes, Cagayan, Babuyan, Calayan group of islands, Ilocos Norte and Apayao, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Signal No. 2 was raised over Cagayan, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Abra and Ilocos Sur, and signal No. 1 over Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Tarlac, Zambales, and Pampanga.

At 4 p.m. yesterday, the eye of Nina was spotted some 115 kilometers north of Aparri, Cagayan, with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph, Pagasa weather forecaster Chris Perez said.

Nina would continue to bring rains over the country, particularly the western section, until today, he said.

The typhoon is predicted to leave the country within the next 24 hours or earlier.

It is expected to be at 360 kms west-northwest of Laoag City or 410 kms west of Basco, Batanes this afternoon.

By tomorrow afternoon, it would be at 830 kms west-northwest of Basco.

Although it did not make landfall, Perez said heavy rains and strong winds were also experienced in Itbayat, Basco, Calayan, Aparri, Tuguegarao, Casiguran, Vigan and Laoag yesterday.

Nina, with sustained winds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) an hour, was exiting the Philippines yesterday and moving toward southern China, with landfall expected there tomorrow (Wednesday), the weather bureau said.

Due to high tide, some portions of Pangasinan, including Barangays Pogo Lasip, Bonuan Binloc, Bonuan Boquig, Bonuan Gueset, and Mangin, were flooded yesterday, said Robert Erfe-Mejia, Dagupan City public order and safety office chief.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod, led by Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, also cancelled its session.

In Nueva Vizcaya, some schools decided to send their pupils home as the weather steadily deteriorated yesterday.

Heavy traffic was also reported at Dalton Pass along the national highway in Santa Fe and the Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet mountain road due to fallen debris and landslides that covered some stretches of road.

In La Union, classes in high school and elementary level were suspended due to flooding and continuous rains.

San Fernando City Mayor Pablo Ortega told The STAR that Rodolfo Villanueva, 27, resident of Barangay Parian, died of electrocution after he stepped on an open live wire soaked in floodwater.

In Bauang town, the OCD reported that fisherman Carlos Quillo, 46, of the coastal village of Pilar, was missing after he went fishing along the Lingayen Gulf Sunday afternoon.

In Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur, two missing fishermen, Sonny Darang and Geoffrey Graycochea, were rescued yesterday morning in the South China Sea.

In Antique, three persons died while six others survived when their wooden boat capsized while crossing a flooded river in Barangay Tigmamale, Valderrama, Antique during heavy rains spawned by Nina Sunday morning.

The OCD identified the victims as Leonila Alejo, her grandson Mac-Mac Alejo, and Clarita Viaje, all of Barangay Bugnay, Valderrama, Antique.

The bodies of the victims were recovered in Barangay Igbalangao, Bugasong, a village several kilometers away from the accident scene.

The OCD said those rescued were Crispin, Cita and Cecilia, all surnamed Puno.

They managed to cling to a piece of wood from the boat River Crosser which got entangled between two big rocks in the riverbanks in Barangay Bugtason, also in Bugason.

Three boatmen also escaped death by swimming to the riverbanks. – With Evelyn Macairan, Jaime Laude, Charlie Lagasca, Jun Elias(PhilippineStar)

Army tags landslide area ‘no man’s land’

September 10, 2008

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:13:00 09/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines – Rescuers recovered four more bodies Tuesday from a village buried by a landslide in the gold rush area of Mt. Diwalwal, raising the death toll to 20, as Army officials declared the area a no man’s land.

Nineteen people remain missing, said Voltaire Rimando, mayor of Maco, Compostela Valley, where two landslides over the weekend buried 28 homes in a mining village.

He appealed for more donations to the families of those killed and the thousands of people forced to leave the village, which lies at the bottom slopes of a mining concession.

The area was classified as highly susceptible to landslides last year, when experts detected soil saturation, officials said.

Ten people died in a rain-triggered landslide in the same area last year.

Soldiers scoured the mining village, and forced residents to move to safer ground after the weekend landslides.

Soldiers were going from house to house to evacuate residents who were ordered by local officials to abandon the village, part of which is now buried under boulders and mud, said Maj. Roland Rodil, an army commander in Compostela Valley.

“We’re hauling away all the people in this village,” Rodil said. “We’re only allowing miners and volunteers to stay.”

“This area has been declared a ‘no man’s land’ for everybody’s safety,” Rodil told reporters.

Troops have been assigned to prevent residents from sneaking back to their houses at night, when rescue operations are suspended.

Rodil said dozens of soldiers, police officers, miners and volunteers have been searching for bodies from under tons of mud and collapsed houses, three days after monsoon rains loosened the soil and buried 45 houses in the village of Masara.

About 2,000 residents had moved out and another 6,000 from both Masara and a nearby village, Mainit, were expected to flock to temporary shelters after local officials decided to shut down Masara. AFP, Reuters

9 more added to landslide missing

September 10, 2008

NINE more persons have been reported missing and two more bodies have been recovered at Barangay Masara in Maco, Compostela Valley Tuesday morning.

Chief Superintendent Andres Caro II said the total number of people reported to be missing have already reached a total of 19, while two more bodies were recovered Tuesday morning, thus bringing the number of fatalities to 16.

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“There are now 16 fatalities, 24 injured, 19 missing,” Caro said in an interview Tuesday.

More and more evacuees are already filling up the evacuation centers in the area as the weather continues to bring in cloudy skies accompanied by rain showers.

The weather bureau reported that the region, especially the eastern part, will continue to experience wet weather.

The wet weather experienced in the area for the past week is believed to have triggered the landslides in the area.

As of the last count, the number of evacuees was already at 350 families. They have already evacuated their homes in Barangay Masara and are temporarily seeking shelter at the Masara Elementary School.

Last Saturday afternoon and early morning of Sunday, two landslides hit Barangay Masara, immediately crushing 18 houses in its path. (CPM)

Typhoon Karen leaves 6 dead in Cordillera

August 27, 2008

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Typhoon Karen left six dead and a total of 69 households evacuated in the Cordillera Region with landslides and flood waters resulting from heavy down pour from early dawn August 26 until August 28 morning.


ROAD, ERODED. The big landslide spanning about 30 meters along Gawa, Tocucan, Mountain Province that stopped traffic for a few days. Photo courtesy of Glo A. Tuazon

At least four were reported dead and 23 families evacuated in Benguet, one in Abra and one in Baguio City.

Reports from the Benguet Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, which Gov. Nestor Fongwan leads, the death toll included three children of a mining couple from Barangay Ucab in Itogon. The other casualty is a 33-year old farmer from Natubleng, Buguias. All four were found dead in mudslides.

The victims from Sitio First Gate in Ucab, Itogon Mark Anthony (1), Lester (8) and Alvin Somera (10), were brought to the Sacred Heart Hospital Wednesday but were reportedly pronounced dead-on-arrival. Their parents, Rogel and Lorenza, small-scale miners, were out of the house with two more of their children, when their house collapsed with the loosened ground.

Twenty-three more households had to be evacuated to the Evangelical Church in Ucab. Ten of the evacuated families are living in temporary dwellings below the Itogon road while the rest are in First Gate, according to Barangay Capt. Eduardo Daniel in an interview.

Daniel said the provincial government sent a relief team in time for the evacuation. It distributed blankets, canned goods, rice and other food supplies.

“Evacuees started fixing their houses as soon as the rains stopped Thursday,” Daniel told Nordis.

Fongwan identified the lone Buguias casualty as Arnold Attiw, who was also covered with mudslides Wednesday.

Two male residents of Sitio Supang in Poblacion, Itogon were injured. Gerry Fabilaran, 33, was hit by a GI sheet while Benguet Electric Cooperative lineman Milton Sotero, 30, fell from an electric post.

Several road networks earlier reported closed due to slides have been opened with concerned local government units initiating clearing operations. Tuba’s Kennon road, Kapangan road and the Itogon road were reportedly closed Wednesday but have been cleared in due time, according to Fongwan.

Farm and crop damages are still undergoing evaluation at the time of the interview with Fongwan. He said, the strawberry fields here were flooded that farmers need new planting materials to replace the damaged crops.

Meanwhile, in Baguio City, the typhoon claimed 72-year old Petra Kadatar of Barangay Pinsao, also due to a landslide, while 21-year old, Hesterlee Anne Carpiso of Barangay Sta. Scholastica was injured.

In Abra, 12-year old Camille Rasalan also died when she was hit by a fallen tree at the height of the typhoon, while in La Union, 77-year old Hilario Badungan also died after being buried in a landslide.

On August 21, the Office of the Civil Defense in the Cordillera reported 14 families in Itogon remained threatened with landslides, while 46 families earlier evacuated in Abra have started returning home. It also said floodwaters in Bangued and La Paz towns in Abra and in Rizal, Kalinga have subsided. # Lyn V. Ramo(NorthernDispatch)

‘Karen’ leaves P166-M crop losses, infra damage in Cagayan

August 24, 2008

By Charlie Lagasca
Sunday, August 24, 2008

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TUGUEGARAO CITY – Millions of pesos in damage to crops and infrastructure were reported in this country’s northernmost Cagayan province as a result of typhoon Karen which lashed through Northern Luzon over the week.

Two coastal towns in the northern part of the province are now under a state of calamity with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to conduct a special session today for the official declaration of the whole province under a state of calamity.

According to initial reports, the province is already losing at least P166 million worth of damage caused by the recent typhoon, of which 90 percent or around P164 million being damaged to agriculture, especially rice, corn and fishery areas.

Most of the damage had been reported in the coastal areas of the province like Santa Ana and Buguey, which are now under a state of calamity, as 50 percent of their rice crop were reportedly irreparably damaged by Karen’s wrath.

A fatality was also reported in Santa Ana town, the lone typhoon victim here, while more than 400 houses have been either partially damaged or washed out, displacing hundreds of families in the process, especially in the province’s northern coastal areas where the eye of the typhoon passed through.

Buguey Mayor Ignacio Taruc said that with the extent of damage to agriculture in his town, farmers would not be able to recover without outside assistance.

Also, power has yet to be restored in at least six towns here as more than 90 wooden electric poles, mostly in northern parts of the province, were toppled, which also brought serious damages to power cables from the typhoon’s strong winds.

Among the towns still without electricity are Santa Ana, Buguey, Camalaniugan, Santa Teresita and Gattaran and parts of Gonzaga and Aparri.

Gov. Alvaro Antonio, for his part, has asked the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here to conduct a special session today for it to officially declare a state of calamity throughout Cagayan, one of the worse-hit provinces in Northern Luzon.

The neighboring province of Ilocos Norte as well as the upland Benguet province and parts of Pangasinan were already placed under a state of calamity, owing to the same degree of agriculture and infrastructure damages caused by the typhoon.

Despite the extent of damage to rice crops, Raymund Tafalla of the National Food Authority said the region has enough buffer stock for its rice needs, including a contingency plan for lean months.

Isabela spared

Meanwhile, unlike in previous typhoons, farmers in neighboring Isabela were somehow thankful to Karen for the rain it brought, expressing optimism that the province would reach its target of 306 percent rice production this year.

Dr. Danilo Tumamao, provincial agriculture officer, said the two-day rains brought by the typhoon here have resulted in minimal damage to crops. In fact, he said, these rains were beneficial for thousands of farmers here who had been waiting for rain for their irrigation.

Tumamao said that whatever damage had been caused by the recent typhoon as far as the agriculture sector is concerned, was inconsequential, and would not affect the province’s target of 306 percent rice production this year, surpassing its output last year.

Last year, Isabela, the country’s major rice and corn-producing province, posted a 230 percent production in rice, meaning that it had a surplus production of 130 percent which is all exported out of the province, especially to areas in and around Metro Manila.(PhilStar)

Karen death toll rises to 9

August 23, 2008

Typhoon caused P57-million damage to 223 schools

By DEXTER SEE & SHIANEE MAMANGLU

BAGUIO CITY — The death toll wrought by Typhoon Karen in the Cordillera region rose to nine after rescuers recovered the bodies of two workers buried by a landslide at a mine site in Tuba, Benguet yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday said Typhoon Karen caused R57 million worth of damage to 223 schools in north Luzon.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the Cordillera identified the landslide victims as Ernest Piduca, 46, and Alberto Caballero, 45, both pit watchers of the Philex Mining corporation in Padcal, Tuba, Benguet.

Before the recovery of the two bodies of mine workers, the National Disaster Coordinating Council reported that Karen left seven people dead and around R3.7 million in damages in Northern Luzon.

The two mine workers were inspecting the subsidence area of the mining company when a portion of the mountain collapsed and buried them, and three bulldozers and two pay loaders owned by the company during the height of Typhoon Karen last Wednesday.

In Tinglayan, Kalinga, a certain Ambrocio Gayad reportedly died after he drowned in the Chico River at the height of Typhoon Karen last Wednesday.

Two of the three missing persons were identified as Mary Andugan alias Banganay, 76 of Besao East, Besao, Mountain province and Faustino Bilema, 66, of San Juan, Abra while another missing person believed to be from Tineg, Abra, remains unidentified.

Andugan was reported missing by relatives last Wednesday. They said she was walking home from Lobon, Tadian town to Besao, Mountain Province via the short cut route.

Bilema was reportedly carried away by the rampaging waters of the Malanas River in San Juan, Abra.

OCD-CAR officials blamed the bogged down communication facilities as the primary culprit in the submission of belated reports especially in the death toll in the Cordillera.

The DepEd Calamity Information Center reported that the recent typhoon damaged 100 schools in Region I, 62 schools in Region II, and 61 schools in the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR). It estimated damage to each region at R15,222,073, R19,230,000 and R22,400,000 respectively.

In Region I, Ilocos Norte suffered damage worth R8,971,000 arising from 42 destroyed schools while Laoag City had 33 damaged schools worth R5,106, 673.

The other areas affected in Region I were in Vigan City with 19 schools worth R1,094,400 and in Alaminos City in Pangasinan with one school worth R50,000.

In Region 2, 54 schools worth R16, 230,000 were destroyed in Nueva Vizcaya and eight schools worth R3 million were damaged in Cagayan province.

In CAR, Abra was hardest hit with 61 damaged school buildings or an estimated damage cost of R22,400,000.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said the figures are still subject for validation. The damages, he added are expected to rise as more reports are coming in from the field.

Before hitting Hong Kong, Karen (international codename Nuri) left seven people dead and around R3.7 million in damages in Northern Luzon, the National Disaster Coordinating Council reported.

Meanwhile, Lapus expressed confidence that the law that provides additional R9,000 compensation to teachers will soon be passed into law after the House leadership assured the immediate passage of the bill.

“Speaker Prospero Nograles and incoming House Appropriation Committee chairman Junie Cua are well aware of the urgency of the measure and have committed to calendar the bill next week,’’ he said.(MB)

Classes in all levels in Metro Manila suspended–NDCC

August 20, 2008

By Joel Guinto, Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 00:23:00 08/20/2008

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Classes at all levels in Metro Manila are suspended starting at 12 noon Wednesday, an official of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) has announced.

NDCC spokesman Anthony Golez made the announcement in the light of heavy rains brought about by typhoon “Karen” (international codename: Nuri).

Earlier on Wednesday, the Department of Education suspended classes in the elementary and high school levels in Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.

Typhoon signals have been raised over northern and central Luzon provinces.

The NDCC announced Tuesday night the suspension of classes in the elementary and secondary levels in areas under public storm signal number 3 and 2, and in seven other provinces on Wednesday.

“In addition to areas under public storm signal 2 and 3, classes in the elementary and secondary levels are suspended Wednesday, in La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Bataan, Pampanga, and Bulacan,” the NDCC said in a statement.

With a report from Katherine Evangelista

‘Karen’ hits Cagayan; drenches most of Luzon

August 20, 2008

Classes suspended in metro, other affected areas

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 07:05:00 08/20/2008

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Typhoon “Karen” (international codename: Nuri) slammed into the tip of the northeast province of Cagayan early Wednesday morning, the chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration said, as he warned of the possibility of tornadoes.

Meanwhile, classes in all levels in Metro Manila were suspended starting 12 noon, National Disaster Coordinating Council spokesman Anthony Golez said later in the day.

On Tuesday night, the NDCC announced the suspension of Wednesday classes in the elementary and secondary levels in areas under public storm signals No. 2 and 3, and in seven other provinces.

Typhoon winds of up to 170 kilometers per hour, and thick clouds, could result in a tornado, said PAGASA Director Prisco Nilo.

The storm slammed into Sta. Ana town, Cagayan at around 7 a.m., Nilo said on RMN radio.

“These winds are very dangerous, this could generate a tornado, especially in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur,” he said.

According to the PAGASA website, “Karen” packs maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour.

Public storm signal number 3 (100-185 kilometer per hour winds) was raised in the provinces of Cagayan, northern Isabela, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and the Babuyan and Calayan Island.

Signal number 2 (60-100 kilometer per hour winds) was raised over the rest of Isabela, northern Aurora, Quirino, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, and Ifugao.

Signal number 1 (30-60 kilometer per hour winds) was raised in Pangasinan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, the rest of Aurora, and Polilio Island.

‘Karen’ strengthens as it moves closer to northern Luzon

August 18, 2008

By Joel Guinto, Jocelyn Uy
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:36:00 08/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Tropical storm “Karen” (international codename: Nuri) strengthened as it moved closer to northern Luzon Monday afternoon, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

At 4 p.m., the storm, which packs maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour with gusts of 100 kilometers per hour, was located at 890 kilometers east of Casiguran town, Aurora province, the state weather bureau said.

Moving west at 22 kilometers per hour, the storm was forecast to be at 480 kilometers east southeast of Tuguegarao City by Tuesday afternoon, 140 kilometers north northeast of Tuguegarao by Wednesday afternoon, 260 kilometers west of Basco town, Batanes province by Thursday afternoon, PAGASA said.

Public storm signal number 1 (30-60 kilometer per hour winds) was raised in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, it said.

The storm will enhance the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao, particularly the western portions, it said.

The rest of the Philippines will continue to experience clear skies at least on Tuesday even if Tropical Storm “Karen” is hovering east of Central Luzon said PAGASA weather branch chief Nathaniel Cruz over the phone Monday.

“People may find it odd to experience consistent rains last week without a storm and have fair weather now that there is already one,” he said.

“The public must know that it’s the low pressure on South China Sea that is giving us good weather lately,” Cruz continued.

Tropical storms pounding Philippine seas usually boost the southwest monsoon, bringing in winds and rains to the country.

The heavy rains that drenched Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon last week was brought about by the monsoon trough, he noted.

The country will experience fine weather conditions in the next 48 hours or until Tropical Storm “Karen” travels close to Cagayan Valley, which by then would usher in winds and rains in Luzon, including Metro Manila, he added.

Igme strengthens; Signal no 3 up in Batanes, Babuyan islands

July 27, 2008

MANILA, Philippines–Typhoon “Igme” (international codename: Fung Wong) intensified as it moved closer to the northernmost province of Batanes and Taiwan on Sunday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

At 10 a.m., the eye of the storm, which packs maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour, with gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour, was spotted 280 kilometers east northeast of Basco, Batanes, the state weather bureau said.

Moving west northwest at 11 kilometers per hour, the storm was forecast to be at 290 kilometers north of Basco by Monday morning, and 580 kilometers north northwest of Basco or 260 kilometers west northwest of Taipei, Taiwan by Tuesday morning, PAGASA said.

Public storm signal number 3 (100 to 185 kilometer per hour winds) was raised in the Batanes and Babuyan islands while signal number 2 (60 to 100 kilometer per hour winds) was raised in the provinces of Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte, PAGASA said.

Signal number 1 (30 to 60 kilometer per hour winds) was raised in the provinces of Kalinga, Abra, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, Ifugao, Benuet, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, it said.

“Typhoon ‘Igme’ will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao particularly over the Western sections,” the weather bureau said.

Residents in coastal areas were warned against big waves while those in low-lying areas and mountain slopes were warned against flash floods and landslides.(PDI)

‘RECYCLED’ NFA RICE Eating it is dangerous – exec

July 23, 2008

By MONTESA GRIÑO

ILOILO – A Sangguniang Panlalawigan member warned the public against buying and consuming rice sullied by last month’s flashfloods but are being passed off as brand new by unscrupulous traders.

According to Board Member Macario Napulan of the 1st District, information came his way that some businessmen were “recycling” National Food Authority (NFA) rice that got flooded at the agency’s warehouse in Jaro, Iloilo City at the height of Typhoon “Frank.”

This rice is being mixed with good quality rice, said Napulan, a doctor of medicine.
Eating this rice is deleterious to one’s health, he warned.

“Ang pan-os nga bugas (stale rice) can cause food poisoning,” Napulan said.

The chemical preservatives sprayed to the NFA rice while on storage at the warehouse may also have some ill-effects to one’s health, he added.

“Delikado gid ini (This is dangerous) that’s why we advise the public to discontinue eating this kind of rice if they have bought some,” he quipped.

Napulan urged the Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) to check rice retail outlets in the province.

“Businessmen conducting this illegal activity must be arrested,” he said.

NFA-Iloilo estimated that some 200,000 sacks of its rice worth P271.83 million were damaged by the flood. These were mostly imports from Vietnam and Thailand.

Last week, residents and environmentalists here picketed the NFA office to complain about the foul smell of rotting rice in its warehouse.

The groups scored the NFA for letting the flooded rice rot.

The smell of the rotting rice had made many people living near the NFA warehouse in Brgy. Quintin Salas, Jaro district sick, especially children, according to environmentalists.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. whose house is near the NFA warehouse said he had convinced President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to allow the immediate sale of some 188,000 bags of the damaged rice.

“Someone offered P500,000 for it. So at least we made money out of the damaged goods,” he added.

Gonzalez said the damaged rice had begun to smell and affect residents in the area. He said local authorities wanted to bury it, but he objected because it may contaminate the water.

“That’s the danger to the environment,” he said. “It may sift into the soil and contaminate our water supply.”

Meanwhile, NFA Provincial Manager Hedy Jardeleza said the rice supply in the region, particularly in Iloilo, remains sufficient.

NFA has 379,696 sacks of imported rice available aside from commercial stocks already with traders and households.

The imported rice is sold at public markets as well as at Bigasang Bayan and Tindahan Natin outlets in the province so people can have an alternative to more expensive commercial rice stocks.

Iloilo City and the province have a daily rice consumption requirement of 19,760 bags while Western Visayas still has 650,366 sacks of suitable NFA rice available as of June 2008’s end./PN

Editorial Cartoon: Magic

July 21, 2008

Where are the Goods?

Editorial Cartoon: The Promise

July 18, 2008

At least he’s got one word. Teheee!

Pacquiao to stay overnight at Danding’s mansion in Balbina

July 17, 2008

BOXING sensation Manny Pacquiao is set to arrive in Bacolod City Thursday afternoon from Iloilo and Aklan to hand over his million-peso donation to victims of Typhoon Frank last month.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco and wife, Gretchen, is hosting Pacquiao’s visit in Hacienda Balbina in Pontevedra town.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said it was the request of Cojuangco’s wife, Gretchen, to play host to the newly crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion.

“Pacquiao’s donation will be coursed through the Lion’s Club in Bacolod for proper disposition.”

Aside from Bacolod City, Pacquiao will also give a P1.5-million donation to Iloilo City and P500,000 to Aklan, the mayor said.

There will be a motorcade along the main thoroughfares of the city before the ‘Pacman’ will proceed in front of the Bacolod City Hall for a short program where he will be awarded as ‘Bugal sang Bacolod’ as well as for autograph signing.

From Bacolod City Hall, he will proceed directly to Hacienda Balbina.

Leonardia said this is the only time he had asked Pacquiao for a favor. “I asked this (of him) after the last fight. I have not received a single centavo from him except tickets and accommodation. I am thanking him publicly in behalf of Bacolod City.”

Pacquiao’s last stop in Bacolod was on July 17, 2006.(Erwin Ambo Delilan & Gil Alfredo Severino)

Editorial Cartoon: Bad Breath

July 13, 2008

Real Stinky

Editorial Cartoon: Catching Votes

July 8, 2008

Haaaaaay politika!

Princess of the Stars 5th to sink, not 4th

July 7, 2008

MANILA, Philippines – I wonder why the vessel MV Boholana Princess, also owned by Sulpicio Lines, is never mentioned among the Sulpicio vessels that sank. I also wonder why there was no news of the sinking at that time.

I was a passenger on that ill-fated voyage and here’s my first-hand account: MV Boholana Princess left Cebu for Ormoc at 11 p.m. on Dec. 15,1990. Past midnight, the boat suddenly tilted to the left at an angle of 45 degrees. Passengers were startled out of their sleep, wondering what was happening. But there was no announcement through the public address system, or word from the ship’s captain and crew, about what was going on.

The passengers then scrambled to get life jackets. It was so dark outside the boat that jumping into the sea never crossed our minds. We were stranded for hours. Fishermen arrived to rescue us. But up to that point, there was still no announcement from the captain or from any crew member about what was happening. Finally, we started to evacuate the sinking vessel—with help from the fishermen, but none from the crew. Eventually, we all made it out of the ship.

Oh, by the way, before we left the boat, a guy asked us to surrender the vests we were wearing because they belonged to Sulpicio Lines. Yes, this happened many years ago, but everything is still so vivid in my mind because that incident made me scared of riding boats. This may be hearsay: while we were still on board, there was talk that the boat had hit a reef while the crew were in a drinking session. Still, we were all just grateful to God that nobody perished in that accident. It was all that mattered to us then—that we all came out of the accident alive.

In retrospect, we could have filed a suit against Sulpicio Lines because there was no announcement from the captain and crew about what had happened, and there was no rescue effort initiated by Sulpicio Lines.

Maybe the incident was never reported because there was no casualty. But all the passengers felt that the accident was caused by gross negligence. I hope an investigation into this incident will be conducted, because that will establish that MV Princess of the Stars was the fifth—not the fourth—Sulpicio ship to sink.

—GARDENIA LARRAZABAL, via e-mail

We checked this account with the Philippine Coast Guard. It is indeed on record that MV Boholana Princess, among 14 Sulpicio vessels that figured in an accident between 1986 and 1998, ran aground in 1990.—Ed. (A Letter from a PDI Reader)

The Sunken Ship’s List

July 6, 2008

Below are the list of survivors, passengers, and crew of the MV Princess of the Stars.

List of Survivors

List of Survivors as of June 24, 2008
NAMES MANIFESTED
1 JESSIE BUOT JESSIE BUOT
2 REYNALDO LANURIAS REYNALDO LANURIAS
3 JESUS GICA JESUS GICA
4 OLIVER A. AMORIN OLIVER A. AMORIN
5 REY PAGUIN REY S. PADIN
6 DANILO DEPLANAS DANILO TEMPLANZA
7 RICHIE TAYUNGTANG TAYONGTONG, RITCHE
8 GERRY PALENOR PELIMER, JERRY  (TK#258108)
9 PHILIP VASQUEZ VASQUEZ, PAL PHILLIP
10 URIEL LAGUBAN ONEIL S. LUBGUBAN (TK#259570)
11 RALPH ALAIN DELA PEÑA RALPH ALAIN DELA PENA
12 CARLO JASON ARAVIS CARLO JASON G. ARRABIS
13 RODEL LABORTE RODEL LABORTE
14 PHIL GILIG FEL GILIG
15 JOSE MARIE GARBO JOSE MARI P. GARBO
16 NIÑO LAURO NIÑA LAUROS
17 RUPERTA TAN RUPERT TAN
18 CRIACO NUÑEZ CIRIACO NUÑEZ
19 FAUSTO COLIS FAUSTO COLIS
20 FRANCISCO BATULA BATOLA, FRANCISCO
21 VICENTE BERUAS VICENTE BULANTE BURWAS
VICENTE DIAZ BURWAS
22 REYNANTE ARDINA RENANTE  ARDINA
23 EXUPERTO PENDON EXUPERIO M. PENDON
24 JONATHAN PENDON JONATHAN M. PENDON
25 SUSAN LISBO SUSAN  LIFBO
26 MINERVA TOREMUCHA MINERVA TORMOCHA
27 ANTONIO COSEP COSEP, ANTONIO JR.
28 RONNIE RELATIVO JIMMY RELATIVO
29 RUEL LIBOT ROEL LIBUT
30 ESTANISLAO TURA JR. ESTANISLAO TURA
31 NILO DAYGO NILO DAGYO
32 WRESLEY BLANCO JOSE LESLIE BLANCO

source: http://www.sulpiciolines.com

LIST OF PASSENGERS

Last Name First Name MI
Aballe Joselito R
Aballe Keisha Amidahla
Aballe Rosalina
Abano Iannah Therese
Abano Jayson
Abano Mary Jean
ABARQUEZ MYLA
Abduhadi Flamima
Abedania Arturo D
ABEJO TRISTAN A.
Abelgas Chona
ABELLA ANNABELLA
Abellana Adoracion
ABREN EMIL
ABUZO JOSA
Acebedo Ricardo
AGNASIN MARY JOY
AGUIPO HELENITA
ALBE WHILMORE
Alberca Jaime
Alburo Almario
Alcalde Antonio
Alcantara Evangeline Y
Alcantara Hannah Mae
Alcayde Petra
Alcazar Erlinda
Alcober Sunday
Alejo Encio
Alindahao Edelito
ALINDAJAO JOHN EMMAN
ALIPIN PETRA V.
Alipin Rogelio
Allagones Roberto
Allmorin Aladin Z
Alon Rusty
ALONZO ALMA
ALONZO ROSARIO
Alvarez Glen
Amacna Ester
Amad, Jr. Antonio
Amancio Jun-Jun
AMOOS MARIA CORAZON
Amorin Oliver A
Amper Janine S
Amper John Nino S
Andradi Vidal
ANGCO LABERNE
ANTINEARO JONATHAN
APAD JR II SIMPLICIO
APAT RAUL
ARAO ARAO FLOR DELINDA
Ardina Renante
ARGANTE RODRIGO
Arrabis Carlo Jason G
Arranchado Maisa
Arregadas Luceno
Arters Johnuel
Artes Justine
Artes, Jr. Sotero
Asuncion Christian
Atienza Rosevelt
Aurestila Cirilo
Autida Eutropio
Auza Lorna
Ayade Alejandro
Bacalanos Cesar
Bacalanos Rubelyn
BACUS ANNABELLE
Bacusa Madelyn
BAGUIO DESIDARIA
BAJADOR MARIA CARMENCITA
BAJADOR MONZA
Bajet Antonio
Balane Roland Jay
Balanga Jelly
Balocos Solomon
Balunan Charito
Bardilas Evelyn
Bardilas Romeo
Baring Roldan
Barret Armand
Bartilec Bon Ryan L
BARUC SHAINA JOY
Basa Marjorie
Basnillo Glen
BATERNA JABEL
Batiancila Sarah
Batola Francisco
Batulan, Jr. Jessie James M
BAUSTISTA LUZVIMINDA
Baya Lourdes
BAYNO IRENEO
BEJOC SR. REYNALDO
Bejona Pablito
Belanizo Vernie
Beretria Antonio P
BERMUDEZ PAUL
Berwas Vicente Diaz
Binaro Edelina P
Binaro Elvira P
BINONDO FLORAMIE
BITOME JENALYN
Biton Vergenia
Biyok Raul A
Blanco Jessie Rey
Blanco Jose Leslie
Blanco Rheafe
BLANCO ROSALINDA
Bohol Pascualito
Boltron Sheena May
BOMOTANO GLORIA
BOMOTANO JAYDER JAME
BOMOTANO JESSICA MAE
Bongato Francisco
Bonghanoy Rogelio I
BONILLA FERDINAND M.
BORIGOR ABEGAIL
Bucag Russel
Bula Democrito
Bulawin Desirie Buen
Bulawin Noche Buena
Bulawin, Jr. Desiderio
Bumarlong Herculano
BUOT JESSY
Burwas Vicente Bulante
Cabalquinto, Jr. Candido O
CABANOS MA. GERTRUDES
Cabansag Geniroso
Cabansag Gerald
Cabansag Rose
Cabucos Delia
CAGADAS JUNNIE
Cajes Jordan
Calago Anastacio
Calago Dondy
Calago Gregorio
Calago Paulina
Calatero Ireneo
Calayag Jonathan
Callelero Mathew F
Callelero Michael John
Caluyo Dann Kean Rai
Caluyo Janwelve
Campumanes Abundeuo
Cañada Randell B
CANAGA CECILE
CAÑETE MELJUDE
CANSON CHERYL
Cantay Rolindo
Cantillas Adelaida
CAPAYAS GLORIA
CARABALE JEFFREY
Caralde Felipe
Caralde Paul
Carano-o Aljun
Carano-o Glory Jean
Caray Jenelyn
CARMONA, JR. ARTURO
Cartonilla Jimmy B
Castillo Arturo C
CASTRO KAREN
Catimbang Jamal S
Catipay Emedito
CAYANAN VERNIE R.
Chavez Fernando
CHAVIT LORIE
CHUA BENEDICTO
Chua Henry
Cinco Aluel B
Cita Nicolas
Clarin Arlene R
COLINA PABLITO C.
Colis Fausto
Colis Vergelio
COLOYAN ALICIA
Compra, Jr. Cesar G
Conchas Roque Y
CONDES DEVINA
CONDRILLON BALTAZAR
CONDRILLON KEVIN
CONDRILLON NAEZAR
CONDRILLON NANCY
Conejos Marblecille
CONTRERAS LORNA
Corpuz Ferdinand
Corsiga Samuel M
CORTON RODOLFO
Cosep, Jr. Antonio
COYOCA ABDEEL
COYOCA JAPET
COYOCA JOCTAN
COYOCA LUZVIMINDA
Cruz Reynaldo
Cueva Orlando
CUTANDA ATILANO
Dagpin Perlita E
DAGYO NILO
Dait Avelina
Damalerio Oscar
Damaso Roycy
Dapatnapo Leandro
Dayanan Rolando
DE GUZMAN MARITES
de Jesus Reynaldo
de los Reyes Dolores
Dejacto Natavidad
DELA CERNA EDWIN
dela Cerna Ricardo
DELA CRUZ ALEX
dela Cruz Eric V
dela Cruz Gregorio
dela Cruz Jan Claire
dela Pena Ralph Alain
Delfino Eno
delos Reyes Rita
Dennis Anit
Desilva Engarcial
Deticio Estelita
Deticio Exequiel
Detiquez John Malcolm
Dicepolo Albert
DIDA SAAD
DIONALDO VICENTE
Docuyanan Ryan Jeff V
Dolera Charito Okaba
DOMINO OMEGA
DOROT MELODY JOYCE
Dumas Arjay Wilson C
Duroy Pearl Grace
EBALLENA JOEL T.
Ebanez Editha
Eltagon Jonnie
Embana Hermenigildo
EMMANUEL ALINDAJAO
Encenso Marichu
Ermac Victor
Escaran Ramil
Escartin Jonathan
Espina Bien Amhet
ESPINA PURISIMA
ESTORIA DANIEL A.
Evarola Felipa
EVELINA GALAMAY
Fabroa Rory Crisostomo
Fajardo Leonides
Fajardo Randy
FAJICULAY QUENNIE
FARIOLEN JORNALYN
Fariolyn Glen
Fausto Antonio
FELIX GIANNE ROSE
Fiel Jerico
Fiel Rose
FLORES RALPH EDISON
FONTANILLA ELIZABETH
FONTANILLA JOSE GHIRLAND
FURIA JOCELYN
GABISON JONATHAN
Gabumpa Anne Liese T
GALANIDA ELESITA
GALDO DHANY
Galdo Hermogenes D
Gamis Stefane Mae
Ganade Cherry Amor
Ganade Joel
Garbo Jose Mari P
Garces Lourdes T
Garces, Jr. Lorenzo E
Garcia Socrates
Garcia, Jr. Herminigildo
Gasilos Ariel
GAUDEL AILEN
GAUDEL BARRY
GAUDEL LUCY
Gemongala Delia
Gemongala Wedelisa
Genovia Susan
Geromo Eddie
Gevero Constancia
GIANGAN JOVENAL
GICA JESUS
Gijapon Eddie
Gilbuena Jessica
Gilbuena Justine
Gipgano Joselito
Gipgano Richard
Gipgano Rosalia
Glabog Michael R
Go Chezel Mae
Go Eugene Ray
Go Iris
GO, JR. ROBERT
Golez Francisco L
Gomez Riza
Gonzales Bob
Gorobat Nolan
GOYENECHEA MICHELLE
GRANADA EVANDER
GRANADA WENEBETH
Guinaling Jay Ann
Guinaling Mary Grace
GUINITARAN MARLON
Gumaling Joselito
Gustilo Josephine
HERMANO EDNA
Hermosilla Maida
Hermosilla Nemesio
HILARIO, JR. RICARDO
Himaya Jerluma
HOYOHOY JAY
Ibarola Arnelia
IGNACIO BERNADETTE
IGNACIO, JR. MACARIO
Illustrisimo Janeth
Illustrisimo Kristine Mae
Illut John Lawrence
Illut Josephine
Ilustrisimo Archelle A
Ilustrisimo Nenita
ILUSTRISIMO STEVEN
Jasper Canoy
Javier Jennifer
Javier Renz Anthony
Jayson Ulyses
Jeyson Espina
JIMENEZ, JR. MIGUEL
JINAYON NELISA
Jocelyn Fariolen
JONAVEL SALINAS
Juanico Marites
JULIUS LABOCA EUFRAN
La Luna Anita
La Luna Jamie Lyn
Labad Cheryl
LABAJO JONATHAN L.
Labang Cesar
Labang Juanita
Labis Cheryl
LABORTE ALVINO
LABORTE EMILIO
LABORTE RODEL
LABORTE TERESITO
LACARA EDGAR
Lacay Allan E
Lacay Maridel E
LAGAHID DEXTER
Lahay Lahay Andrilio
Lanchinebre, Windy
Landero Arnel
Lanit, Jr. Dalmacio
Lapaz Emmieliza
LAPUERTA RODRIGO
Largo Cecilia
Largo Jecelle
Largo Mae
Lariosa Roldan
Laturnas Juneven
Laurel Banjo V
Laurel Dodgie V
Laurel Esther
Laurel Jackie
Laurel Jacknil
Laurel Jonil V
Laurel Nilo
Laurente Debra
Laurente Jacoba
Lauron Gladys
Lauron Kent
Lauron Mark Brian
Lauron Marley
Lauron Shirley
LAUROS NIÑA
Lawas Loel
Ledesma Arceni
Legan Roselyn
Leones Dante
LEONILO SALAVER
Lequigan Esmeralda I
LERIN MARINA
Lifbo Susan
Limboy Rey
Limocon, Jr. Roberto
LOBERO JOROSS
LOBERO ROSEMARIE
Lobredo Antonio
Lobredo Jun Jun
LOGROÑO PATRICK
Logroño Romulo
LORETO, JR. ALIVIADO
Louie Alarde Ivor
Luardo Celerino
Lubguban Oneil S
Lucenara Nestor M
LUNASAN NICANOR
LUZADA NOEL
Macalipay Eliorindo
Macapaz Alan Gabriel
Madredijo Donald Eric E
MAGLASANG MARISSA AGUANTA
MAHINAY JOSIE
Mahusay Roel
Malunes Robert S
MALUYA EDWIN
Manango Jorinda S
Mangguilimotan Hermogena
Mangorale Aric
Mangorale Enrique
Mangorale Erica
Mangorale Mariel
Mangorale Marlou
Mangyao Elizalde
Mangyao, Jr. Santiago
Mangyao, Sr. Eduardo
Manigos Erica Marie
Manigos Filcire Marc
MANLAPAZ MARVIN
Manlunas, Jr. Felomino
Manuel Lumapas
MANUGAS RALPH
Maquilan Dionesia
MARA MARA DANILO
MARA MARA RODEL
MARK DIAZ
MARTIN RAMIRO
MARTINEZ ROMEO
MATIAS ANGELITA
MATIAS ELENITA
MATIAS RENATO
MATIAS WILFREDO
MAUNES ALEJANDRITO
Medrano Robelyn
Mejares Richard S
Mejias Richard
Mendoza Rea L
Mendoza Rica L
MIGUEL JECEL
Mindoro Marlon
MIPARANUM LYDIA
Modelyn Jadena
Molina Dexter
MOLINA RODOLFO
MONGAYA GEMMA
MONGAYA LEONARD
MONGAYA MA. ELAINE
MONTERDE ROGER
Montero Alyn S
Monterona Cristy Marie
Montesclaros Jose Alex S
Mortejo Generosie
Musa Jamal
MYARES JOSHUA
Nacua Aliza
Nacua Cyre Dominic
Nacua Danica
Nacua Liza
Nadela Mary Grace
NARISSA MANIGOS
NAVALES, JR. RODOLFO
Nemil Valentino
Nengasca Bonifacio
Nigparanon Alfredo M
Nunez Cesar
Nunez Lovelle Faith
Nunez Mary Razel
Nunez Roger
Nunez Sarcisio
Nunez Uriel
Nuqui Helen
Nuqui Jennifer
Nuqui Kathlyn
Nuqui Klaris
Nuqui Korine Kate
Nuqui Kyla Mae
Obena, Jr. Conrado
Obenza Celerina
Oca Geraldine
Ocampo Darling
OCAMPO GRACE
OCAMPO IVY
Ocampo Jamaica
OCAMPO JV
Ocariza Leya Mae
Odiada Recto
Okabe Teresita
OLEDAN WILFREDA
Oleo Angelo B
OREJUELA JOCELYN
Orfiano John Lester
ORIAS ROMEO
Ortega Leo
Osabel Eddie
OSORIO SOZETTE
Ouano Annaliza
Oyao Lolita C
OYAO MARICEL
Oyao Ronaldo P
Pacana Jaime
Padin Rey S
Padua Jacqueline
Padua Roy D
Pagalan Arnold
PAGALAN JOSELINO
Pahigdana Jonathan
PALOMADO JAN LAURENCE
Palomado John Michael
PALOMADO JORYN
Pandanon Eliza
PANGILINAN RODA
Pantojan Rogelito
PANTOLLIANA LUCINA
Panugan Michelle
Paradero Teofanis
Paradro Nemesias
Paras Jhoevany
Parba Cupertino E
Paredes Michael
Paris Josephine
Paris Quennie
Patalita Jovane
Patalita Sherlyn P
Payawal Rafael
Pelimer Jerry
Pendon Exuperio M
Pendon Jonathan M
Pepito Reinchel V
Peralta Evelio
Pescante Rinalyn
Pescante Rizalino
Pigar Lorenza
Pitogo Christian Jay
Pitogo Jelhwa Marie
Pitogo Jerily
Planas Jhon Melvin
Planas Joselito
PONCIANO EINSTEIN
Ponpon Narciso P
PORONES MARLON
PORQUIADO, JR. ROMEO G.
PRENCIONA ELLA JANE
PRENCIONA URSULO
Pulgo Alexandre G
Punzalan Virginia
Puson Jeremiah
QUILATON DARVEY
QUINAPONDAN ROGELIO
Quinton Benfedie A
RABE GLORIA
RABE RENATO
Rafols Jopet
Ramirez Jaime Antonio
RAMOS EDWARD
RAMOS LENIE
REAMBONANZA ROLDAN
REBAYA NELSO V.
REBUYON ARNULFO
Refuya Marlon
Relativo Jimmy
RELLIN, SR. NESTOR D
RELOS VIRGILIO
REQUILME JUVELYN
Reyes Froxelle Dane
Reyes Juan
RICO FE
RICO JOY
RICO MAUIE
Rico Sheila
Risma A
Risma Angeline
Risma Maria Merle
Risma Zyann
ROBERT FARIOLEN
Rodriguez Cheryl Q
Rodriguez Jhon Cleo
Rojas Socorro R
Roloma, Jr. Jimmy A
Romo Antonina
Romo Cloy Cloy
Rosales Anita
ROSELL ROSALIE
Rosos Ronald
RUELAN TEODORO
Rulida Anastacia
Rulida Xyron
Rusiana Jolito
Rusiana Jundel
Rusiana Junedie
Rusiana Rodger
SABALANDE GINO
SABALANDE ROSEMARIE
SABALONES NARDITA T.
SABALONES WENIFREDO
SABAN PIO
Sabit Renato T
SABUERO MARY JANE
Sagareno Eduardo
SAMSON ALBERTA S.
Samson Ernesto C
Sanchez Charisse
Sanchez Luis Z
SANCHEZ TERESA
SANGUENZA LUCRECIO
Santiago Anthony
SARCOL ROSENDO
Sardoma Mely
SATOR MA. CORAZON
Satorre Nenita E
Selerio Genelyn
Sepe, Jr. Epifanio
SERENADO DAISY
SERENADO DEMOCRACIO
SERENADO NICOLE SHANE
SEREÑO REYNALDO
SHEILLA RAMIREZ
Silao, Jr. Ricardo
Sillar Aquiles
Sim Annie Marie
Simbaco Abeking L
SINGCO RUSSELL
Sinina Antonio
Sismar Neressa
Sister Fe
Sister Manuel
Solante Terry Joseph C
SONGCO REYNALDO
Sotelliza Jennifer C
Sotto Solomon C
Sotto, Jr. Pepito C
SUN JONATHAN
SUPERALES NOEMI
Suson Marites
SUYAT VICENTE B.
Suzette Dulay
Tabanao Reynaldo I
Tabat Marcelina
Taboada Marcelino
Talaboc Cesar
TAMBIGA CARMEN
TAMBIGA LELAND
TAMILAS, JR. DANIEL
TAMPUS ANALYN
Tampus Girlie B
Tampus Nelson M
TAN RUPERT
TANDAN KIT T.
TANGOAN ANITA
Tangpos Sarah
Tao Ricardo
TAPING DAYLINDITA
TAYONGTONG RITCHIE
TAYONGTONG, JR. EPHRAIM
TE KATHLEEN
TEJERIO JOSEPH
Templanza Danilo
TESADO AILYN
Tibon Bennedict
TIGCOM OPHELIA
Tillano Glenn P
TILLOR HELEN
Timajo Christopher
TINGAL MA. SHIELA
TINIO GERMINITA
TINIO JERIC
TINIO RAUL
TINIO ROWINSON
TINIO, JR. MARCOS
TISSLER LOURDES
Tomara Lucky
TOMORCHA MINERVA
TOÑON JENIFER
Torida Bonie
TOSTON ARNULFO
Traballo Eliza
Traballo Marelen
Tribunalo Rex Vincent
Trinidad Junie
Tudtud Venice A
Tulda Joram
Tulda Neil
Tulda Prescilla
Tumakay Sally Ann
Tunacao Angelo
Tunacao Fe
Tuquib Jose Ramil
UMACOB JERRY
UMACOB TERESITA
Ungsod Jocelyn
Ungsod Karyle Ann
VALDERAMA IZABEL
VALDERAMA VILMA
VALDEZ ROWENA
VALDEZ SHAINLY
Vanessa Bridildo
VANESSA PUGADO
Vasquez Pal Phillip
Velasquez Antonio V
Vergara Amalia L
Vesagas Rany
Vesagas Redgie
Vesagas Richard
Viadnes Julito
Vidal Felomina
VILAS ENRIQUITA
VILLACARLOS LEVI
VILLANUEVA KERT CHRISTOPHER
Villareal Adolfo A
Villarta Rodelio S
VILLARUEL ADELITO
Villaruel Estrella S
Villaruel Rogelio R
Villas Jennelyn
Villauel Adelaine Nicole
Villoria Josefina
Vincent Reinoso
Vitor Alejandro
VITOR JEMAFELYN
VITOR JESALYN
Wilma Carabio
Ybañez Joan
Ycong Ferolino
Ygona Fidel
Ynot Ricardo
Yurong Hermenio
ZIEGFRED, JR. BACHO

source: http://www.sulpiciolines.com

LIST OF CREW MEMBERS

CREW
1 CAPT. FLORENCIO M. MARIMON, SR. MASTER
2 C/M RICARDO C. PELICANO CHIEF MATE
3 2/M JAY FRANCO LABIAGA SECOND MATE
4 3/M EMILITO AYAPANA THIRD MATE
5 C/E MARIO B. NUÑEZ CHIEF ENGINEER
6 2/E ROSS RILLERA SECOND ENGINEER
7 3/E GILDO R. SABORDO THIRD ENGINEER
8 4/E DIYZON LIBRADO FOURTH ENGINEER
9 RICKY GONZAGA AUXILLARY 4TH ENGINEER
10 SANTIAGO DOROY, JR. RADIO OPERATOR
11 DR. RAYMUNDO QUIROZ SHIP PHYSICIAN
12 JOEL GUIOGUIO BOATSWAIN
13 MICHAEL SUMASAY QUARTER MASTER
14 LEONARDO ACUZAR QUARTER MASTER
15 RUEL LARIBA QUARTER MASTER
16 JEFFREY CENIZA WATCHMAN
17 FRANCISCO CABANGANAN WATCHMAN
18 EDWARD DIMOL WATCHMAN
19 EFREN EDISAN O.S TOOLKEEPER
20 DEXTER PARDILLO ORDINARY SAILOR
21 VICTOR ROSELLO ORDINARY SAILOR
22 VYNER ARANTILLA ORDINARY SAILOR
23 AGAPITO COMETA ORDINARY SAILOR
24 PEDRO YURAG ORDINARY SAILOR
25 GILBERTO SOLATORIO ORDINARY SAILOR
26 ROBERT VINCENT DELA CRUZ ORDINARY SAILOR
27 ALLAN ROSEL FORKLIFT OPERATOR
28 REYNALDO RAVANES FORKLIFT OPERATOR
29 JOHN TOMAS INSO APPRENTICE MATE
30 RUDOLF SABLAS APPRENTICE MATE
31 DENNIS RANAN APPRENTICE MATE
32 JAYSON FONTALBA APPRENTICE MATE
33 LEONILO ANGELO UBALDO APPRENTICE MATE
34 JOVEN HAYLO APPRENTICE MATE
35 JAYSON ALEGRIA APPRENTICE MATE
36 REYNAN BERONIA APPRENTICE MATE
37 WALTER VERGARA ASST. ELECTRICIAN
38 PHILIP RANDY ALAGBAY ASST. ELECTRICIAN
39 DARIO ANO-OS REEFERMAN
40 MARK ANTHONY EULDAN MACHINIST
41 JONATHAN ECONAS OILER
42 CABALLERO VERULO OILER
43 ABNER SANCHEZ OILER
44 RODOLFO TABOADA, JR. OILER
45 FLORWEN PAYUD APPRENTICE ENGR.
46 HERBERT OMALE APPRENTICE ENGR.
47 FEL GILIG APPRENTICE ENGR.
48 ROMEO HARA APPRENTICE ENGR.
49 PABLITO GEMINO HOUSEKEEPER
50 ROMMEL PERALES HOUSEKEEPER
51 SHEVA ROMARATE STEWARDESS
52 ERIC RUBIO SHIP NURSE
53 ENRICO BARTIDO CHIEF PURSER
54 ARMILIA BOHOLITO ASST. PURSER
55 GINO CARLO AVENTURADO ASST. PURSER
56 JOEY AVENIDO APP. PURSER
57 FELIXBERTO LAGURA CHIEF STEWARD
58 AVELINO RECLA ASST. CHIEF STEWARD
59 SANTIAGO DINAGUIT CHIEF COOK
60 CEDRIANO QUIRONG ASST. COOK
61 BARRY LAGUNA ASST. COOK
62 ROEL LIBUT ASST. COOK
63 REYNALDO VULABOS ASST. COOK
64 ROBERTO MONTERDE ASST. COOK
65 ABEL TANTANO ASST. COOK
66 ROSELLER CACAS STOREKEEPER
67 HIPOLITO MONDRAGON MESSMAN
68 GLENN DELA TORRE MESSMAN
69 LYDIO APDOHAN MESSMAN
70 RONALD FANLO MESSMAN
71 FELIPE LINAWAN MESSMAN
72 CRIS SALES MESSMAN
73 RENOIR COMAJIG MESSMAN
74 ADONES QUIÑANCLA MESSMAN
75 NONITO GULFAN MESSMAN
76 RAMIL ENJAMBRE MESSMAN
77 ALEJANDRO BUENAFLOR MESSMAN
78 JOSE SANELITO LANADA MESSMAN
79 JOMER LAURENTE MESSMAN
80 CIRIACO NUÑEZ MESSMAN
81 RICKY TINDOGAN MESSMAN
82 FERNANDO VILLAR MESSMAN
83 OWEN RAAGAS MESSMAN
84 JEFFREY CORTES MESSMAN
85 FELIPE OMANDAC JR. MESSMAN
86 ESTANISLAO TURA MESSMAN
87 MAYO DUALOS MESSMAN
88 DEXIE FELOMINO MESSMAN
89 RICHANEL ARRANGUEZ SANITARY SUPERVISOR
90 RONNIE OSTIA SANITARY PERSONNEL
91 WALTER OLASIMAN SANITARY PERSONNEL
92 ARNEL JALIPA SANITARY PERSONNEL
93 IGNACIO LAVADIA SANITARY PERSONNEL
94 ARCADIO REMULTA SANITARY PERSONNEL
95 ARNIEL CASIA SANITARY PERSONNEL
96 DANNY BANTOLINAO SANITARY PERSONNEL
97 JUNREY ALBARICO SANITARY PERSONNEL
98 NOVAL ANANIAS SANITARY PERSONNEL
99 LEMAR DIAMOS SANITARY PERSONNEL
100 DANILO MALUYA SANITARY PERSONNEL
101 ALLAN COYOCA SANITARY PERSONNEL
102 HENRY TIRO SANITARY PERSONNEL
103 JHONDY CASTRO SANITARY PERSONNEL
104 ELMER LAWAN SANITARY PERSONNEL
105 JIMBEJAIME DESCARTEN SANITARY PERSONNEL
106 RENATO LANURIAS SANITARY PERSONNEL
107 ALBERTO GASTARDO SANITARY PERSONNEL
108 JUANITO UMPAD SANITARY PERSONNEL
109 JAYSON NECESARIO SANITARY PERSONNEL
110 TONY DINGAL SANITARY PERSONNEL
111 SONNY GUIRHIM SANITARY PERSONNEL
112 JULITO ABAÑO VESSEL HOUSEKEEPER
Non-Crew
1 JOEL MOLO Security Officer
2 GIL MARAMARA Security Escort
3 FERDINAND OLISA Security Escort
4 ARNEL BERGADO Security Escort
5 DOMENCIANO ALVARADO Security Escort
6 ROMY ASEVEROS Security Escort
7 DENNIS CERINA Security Escort
8 RONNIE TINIDERO Security Escort
9 GILBERT OLIVA Security Escort
10 BOYET RIVAS Security Escort
11 DANIEL ROMULO JR. Canteen Personnel
12 RENATO OMBRERO Canteen Personnel
13 FELIX VILLARINO Canteen Personnel
14 JERRY PAUTAN Canteen Personnel
15 LEONITO MARAMAR Canteen Personnel
16 JULIE MENDOZA Parlor Personnel
17 JAINA SEPE Parlor Personnel
18 JOJIE ALECHA Parlor Personnel
19 ESTRELLA NAVESIS Parlor Personnel
20 SUSAN BOHOL Parlor Personnel
21 JULIETA ABATAYO Parlor Personnel
22 JON LOUIS AMOLO Videoke In Charge
23 PO1 RICARDO MARAMAG Sea Marshall
24 PO2 REYNALDO MACARAEG Sea Marshall
25 SN1 CHARLON RAMOS Sea Marshall
26 PO1 GERARDO VALLOZO Sea Marshall
27 RAMIL MISA Canteen Personnel
28 MERCEDITA E. ADOLFO SPA Personnel
29 NELIA DEMETILLO SPA Personnel

source: http://www.sulpiciolines.com

Editorial Cartoon: Stealing the Goods, Stealing the Votes

July 5, 2008

Another sign that the election season is on

Nograles opposes gov’t takeover of Sulpicio

July 4, 2008

By Delon Porcalla
Friday, July 4, 2008

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Speaker Prospero Nograles yesterday said the government must make the “disaster-prone” Sulpicio Lines pay for the death of at least 700 passengers of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars, rejecting proposals for a government takeover.

“The government has no business getting into private businesses,” Nograles said in a statement, effectively shutting down the takeover proposal.

Nograles instead suggested that government apply “the full force of the law to punish whoever is responsible for the mishap, which now appears to have been caused by negligence and bad judgment.”

Heads should also roll in the Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and the Department of Transportation and Communications on who allowed the ferry to sail amid the presence of typhoon “Frank.”

“Officials of the agencies that oversee the maritime industry should be asked to step down or resign from their posts,” Nograles said.

He said government must have the resolve to modernize and streamline maritime operations to ensure the safety of all water vessels.

“I don’t think that the government’s takeover of Sulpicio will improve our record on maritime safety. Government has no business getting into private business. Its business is not to make money but to address the basic social needs of the people,” Nograles said.

“The correct supervision, regulation and oversight of the DOTC officials and its responsible agencies are some of the major defects that cause sea mishaps. And their incompetence will be rewarded by allowing them to take over? In other countries, they would be asked to resign,” Nograles said.

As for the management of Sulpicio Lines, Nograles said that the company’s license to operate may be revoked and criminal and civil charges should be filed against the shipping company.

Nograles has endorsed a marathon investigation on the Princess of the Stars mishap.

The main objective of this investigation, he said, will be to craft measures that will improve the country’s maritime industry and, at the same time, plug the loopholes of existing maritime laws.

Nograles noted that the overlapping functions of several agencies might have also been the culprit behind the country’s embarrassing maritime safety record, thus recommending the streamlining of agencies involved in the regulation and supervision of vessels in the country.

Even Sen. Pia Cayetano agreed with Nograles that Malacañang should look into the problems of the country’s maritime industry instead of contemplating the takeover of Sulpicio Lines, Inc.

Cayetano stressed that even if the government bases the takeover on a constitutional provision, it would still not address the problem within the agencies responsible for the safety of our seas. – With Christina Mendez

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My Take:

Normally, I would clap my hand in agreement with Nograles.  But something is telling me that this latest Nograles-antic is a no Nograles-regular.

I am posing this question thus: Bakit?  Anong interes ang pinoprotektahan ni Nograles sa Sulpicio lines?

Sana eh “wala” ang sagot dito.  But if anyone out there knows something we dont, you can enlighten us here.

🙂

My prayers to the victims of the mishap.

Quezon execs mull civil suit vs Sulpicio

July 4, 2008

By Perseus Echeminada
Friday, July 4, 2008

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It’s now Quezon’s turn to threaten Sulpicio Lines with a legal case reportedly for the huge damage inflicted on the province’s livelihood by the sinking of the M/V Princess of the Stars.

“We are studying the option of filing a civil suit,” Quezon Gov. Dante Nantes told reporters at a news forum at Danarra Hotel in Quezon City yesterday.

The governor’s pronouncement came a day after Romblon officials announced plans to sue Sulpicio Lines for damages.

Nantes said the province’s fishing industry suffered heavily after the sinking because a health department ban on fishing in Romblon has caused a widespread aversion to fish among consumers.

The government earlier ordered a temporary ban on the consumption of fish caught in Romblon due to possible contamination of endosulfan, a container of which was in the cargo hold of the sunken ship.

Compounding the province’s woes, Nantes said, was its having to deal with corpses washed ashore, particularly in the coastal town of Mulanay.

“The fish scare is affecting the livelihood of the people,” he said. He said the province also lost more than a thousand fishing boats due to the onslaught of typhoon “Frank” (international codename Fengshen).

The governor stressed that fish harvested in Quezon waters – even if they fed on human flesh – are safe to eat.

He also assuaged fears of possible chemical contamination in Quezon’s waters.

“If the eyes (of fish) are red then the fish are exposed to certain chemicals,” he said.

Nantes said the site of the sinking is far from Quezon and that any spillage or chemical contamination would be evident in Sibuyan.

Princess of the Stars sank on June 21 off Sibuyan Island in Romblon while trying to seek shelter at the height of typhoon Frank. It was on its way to Cebu with more than 800 passengers and crew on board when tragedy struck. Only 57 were reported to have survived and hundreds more are missing.

Livelihood assistance

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap will propose to President Arroyo a P35-million livelihood assistance for some 1,500 fishermen affected by the fishing ban in San Fernando, Romblon.

Duque said at a press briefing that he had recently discussed the idea with Yap and that they agreed to propose it to Mrs. Arroyo.

He said the plan involves the distribution of P16,000 to every affected fisherman for three months or just about the time it will take for experts to refloat the sunken vessel.

Duque said they based the amount on the assumption that a fisherman normally harvests 10 to 15 kilos of fish daily which they sell for P40 to P50 per kilo.

But Duque said the proposed assistance program should not stop Sulpicio Lines from extending its own aid package to fishermen.

“Sulpicio Lines, as an expression of its corporate social responsibility, should actually approach the affected fisherfolk and see how it can mitigate the dilemma confronting these fishermen and the threat to their fishing industry,” Duque said.

The DOH will conduct daily tests on San Fernando waters until the ferry’s toxic cargo is retrieved.

Duque reiterated that fish sold in Metro Manila are safe for human consumption because they come from Palawan and not from Romblon.

Speedy help promised

Sulpicio Lines promised yesterday to fasttrack the release of compensation to the legal heirs of the victims in the ferry sinking.

In a statement read by lawyer Arthur Lim, the firm said that SLI would cut down the waiting period from one year to one week. “If we can deliver the check in one or two days’ time so much the better,” Lim said.

He added that they would no longer wait for the authorities to complete the retrieval of the bodies before they hand out the P200,000 check to each of the beneficiaries. If all the 724 victims were compensated, the SLI would be spending P144 million.

“SLI has decided to cast aside technicalities and waive the waiting period of one year within which missing passengers will be compensated,” the statement read. “There is no need to hire the services of a lawyer because the claims will be acted upon with dispatch and with a simple documentation as possible.”

Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos has admitted that Edgar Go, SLI senior first vice president, recently asked for his help in convincing the government not to ground the liner’s vessels.

“I went to Malacañang the other day (June 30) because of the request of the owner of Sulpicio Lines,” Pueblos said in an interview with Radio Veritas. He said Go requested him to make an appeal to Malacañang against the grounding of the firm’s vessels.

He said he relayed Go’s message to a Malacañang official whom he declined to name. The official, he said, responded “positively.” – With Sheila Crisostomo, Evelyn Macairan, Mike Frialde(PhiliStar)

RP losing P15 B annually to disasters – World Bank

July 4, 2008

By Christina Mendez
Friday, July 4, 2008

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The country has incurred an annual direct damage amounting to P15-billion as a consequence of natural disasters in a span of 30 years, the World Bank reported yesterday.

Between 1970 and 2000, the Philippines incurred an annual direct damage of P15 billion due to natural disasters, representing 0.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product each year.

Sen. Loren Legarda said such losses can be moderated if the country invests in disaster and climate risk vulnerability assessment and prevention.

Legarda also agreed with the World Bank study which stated that it is more cost-effective for developing countries to invest in disaster risk prevention.

“For every dollar spent in prevention, there is a corresponding savings of seven dollars,” she said.

She added that poverty and social pressures make people more vulnerable to natural disasters, pointing out that the poor are forced to live in dangerous locations and on unsafe, easily destroyed dwellings such as shanties on creeks and hills.

She noted that developing countries like the Philippines could improve their abilities to absorb the cost of natural disasters if they would incorporate updated economic analysis of frequently occurring catastrophes.

“Focused attention on disaster planning is an important pillar of economic growth and poverty reduction,” Legarda said.

She stressed the need for government to fund and put in place disaster-mitigation measures to minimize human and economic losses caused by natural disasters and calamities like typhoons.

“The Philippines sits within the typhoon and earthquake belt of Southeast Asia, thus the importance of us being ready to face calamitous events, including floods and landslides, so as to minimize their adverse impact,” she said in the aftermath of the sinking of M/V Princess of the Stars off Sibuyan Islands, Romblon last month.

Legarda stressed that it is necessary to mainstream disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into the country’s development policies, structures, programs and budget.

“An example of this, would be knowing beforehand where floodwater is most likely to flow in the event of excessive rainfall, so that vulnerable communities can be better situated, ditto with agricultural lands,” Legarda said.

“This way, we can minimize loss of lives and agricultural produce, instead of people scurrying for safety and tons and tons of produce being lost whenever typhoons hit our country.” (PhilStar)

Sulpicio loses court case

July 4, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

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CEBU – A Regional Trial Court judge here awarded P6 million to the heirs of one of the fatalities in the M/V Princess of the Orient, another ship owned by Sulpicio Lines Inc., which sank off Batangas in 1998.

Reporters got a copy only last Wednesday of the ruling issued by Judge Estella Alma Singco last Feb. 1. The judge found Sulpicio Lines liable for civil damages for the death of Ernesto Unabia, one of 70 confirmed fatalities when Princess of the Orient sank after being battered by strong waves near Fortune Island in Batangas on Sept. 18, 1998. Eighty passengers and crew remain missing.

Sulpicio Lines is currently facing a possible class suit for the death of more than 800 people after the company-owned liner M/V Princess of the Stars sank off Sibuyan Island in Romblon at the height of typhoon “Frank” last June 21.

Singco ordered the shipping company to pay Unabia’s heirs P6.240 million in compensatory damages for lost earnings, P100,000 for moral damages, P50,000 indemnity and another P50,000 for attorney’s fees and litigation cost.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Verna Unabia and her three children over the death of Ernesto, a seaman in an international ship earning $3,000 a month.

Singco, in her 19-page decision, said that Sulpicio Lines’ failure to take disciplinary action against the ship captain, Esrum Mahilum, who also figured in several sea mishaps prior to the Princess of the Orient tragedy, made the firm’s management liable for negligence.

Records of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) showed that the Princess of the Orient touched bottom at the entrance of North Harbor in Manila, sideswiped another container vessel and the engine room even caught fire while berthed at North Harbor, and the vessel was towed from Manila to Cebu then to Singapore for repairs and dry docking.

But, despite all these incidents, Sulpicio Lines retained Mahilum as the ship’s captain until the vessel sank.

The Board of Marine Inquiry that investigated the mishap found that the company lacked the initiative to discipline Mahilum.

“For failing on the part of the defendant to take disciplinary action against Capt. Mahilum relative to those incidents, and allowing him to retain his job, the defendant unnecessarily exposed the vessel and the passengers to the tragic mishap,” Singco said in her decision.

Singco cited investigation reports of the Marina that blamed Mahilum for his incompetence and negligence.

Mahilum, who remains missing until now, failed to supervise his officers and crew in the process of abandoning the ship.

According to the court, while it (Mahilum’s retention as skipper) did not cause the sinking, “such failure doubtless contributed materially to the loss of life.”

Singco said that Sulpicio Lines failed to overcome the presumption of fault or negligence that arises in cases of death or injuries to the passengers.

“Under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, owners and managers are responsible for damages caused by the negligence of a servant or an employee, the master or employer is presumed to be negligent either in the selection or in the supervision of that employee,” Singco said.

The judge added that such presumption may be overcome only by satisfactorily showing that the employer exercised the care and diligence of a good father in the selection and the supervision of its employees, as ruled by the Supreme Court in the case Pestaño vs. Sumayang.

Singco said that based on evidence presented by the complainant, Sulpicio Lines clearly failed to exercise due diligence in the supervision of its employees.

“Hence, the defendant (Sulpicio Lines) is liable for the death of the plaintiff’s husband,” the court ruled.

In awarding the damages to the complainant, the court computed it based on the victim’s gross annual earnings multiplied by the number of years he was supposed to be employed until his retirement. According to the wife, her husband was only 37 years old at the time of the incident, which means he still had 13 years before retirement as a seaman working on foreign vessels.

Seaman Unabia was earning $3,000 a month or P120,000 based on the P40:$1 exchange rate in 1998. Based on the court’s computation, Unabia would have earned P6.240 million until his age of retirement.

Unabia’s case is the first to be decided among the cases filed by other victims of the Princess of the Orient tragedy.

Another civil case is still pending before the RTC branch 23, which is reportedly due for judgment in August.

Unabia’s family is among the very few who refused to amicably settle their claims with the shipping company.

Among the passengers of the ill-fated ship that survived were Cebu City councilor Edgardo Labella and his wife and the late Colonel Napoleon Sesante, who died of cancer.

Labella and Sesante did not join the class suit that some of the victims’ heirs have filed against the shipping company. – Fred Languido/Freeman News Service

Typhoon victims to get P120,000

July 4, 2008

BACOLOD City – A team from the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) currently conducting information dissemination activities here will be turning over P120,000 to the Roxas City government. They money is for the typhoon victims.

CFO Senior Immigration Service Officer Kimberly Joy Dizon said the amount came from “Feed the Hungry,” a non-stock, non profit organization based in Virginia, United States run by Filipinos.

The donation is made possible thru the “Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino” (LINKAPIL) program that coordinates with international Filipino organizations worldwide, encouraging them to help the country.

“Through the LINKAPIL or Link for Philippine Development Program, overseas Filipinos are able to channel their assistance to projects in livelihood/micro-enterprise development, education, health and welfare, small-scale infrastructure and technology transfer,” Dizon said.

CFO maintains links with Filipino associations and other possible donors overseas, as well as local partners in the country. The team is set to conduct series of information dissemination activities in Roxas City this week. (PIA/PN)

Diarrhea cases in province climb to 724

July 4, 2008

By NIÑA JANE A. SOURIBIO

ILOILO – Diarrhea cases in this province have now reached 724, reported the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

The figure could still rise, said Provincial Health Officer Patricia Grace Trabado, as municipalities grapple for potable water.

Respiratory and skin diseases are also being looked into by the PHO, said Trabado.
The town of Barotac Viejo, one of the municipalities devastated by Typhoon “Frank,” has the highest number of diarrhea cases with 43. It was followed by Miag-ao with 23.

Respiratory ailments like colds, on the other hand, reached 1,877 across the province.
There were 1,285 recorded cases of various skin diseases, PHO revealed.

“Health officers were dispatched to evacuation centers to prevent the outbreak of diseases,” Trabado said.

She had one simple advice to Ilonggos: boil their drinking water first.

Diarrhea cases have gone up to 724 cases from the previously 233 cases, respiratory tract infection to 1,077 from 1,029, headache to 1,140 from 628, injuries to 2,045 from 1,048, and skin infection to 1,425 from 448.

Trabado stressed, however, that the situation could not be considered alarming.

She advised people to seek early intervention if they are sick by going to the nearest barangay health stations, rural health units, and even submit to medical missions being conducted in their areas./PN

‘LEPTOS’ KILLS 2

July 4, 2008

City posts two more post-typhoon deaths

By DAVID ISRAEL SINAY

ILOILO City – Two died of infectious leptospirosis in this city, bringing to three the number of casualties since Typhoon “Frank” left.

Jose Militar, former village chief of Brgy. Banuyao, La Paz district, expired yesterday.

The other leptospirosis victim was 28-year-old Severo Villamucho, a resident of Brgy. San Roque, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras but worked and temporarily resided in Mandurriao district.

Villamucho had been hospitalized at the Western Visayas Medical Center since June 27. He died on Monday.

Leptospirosis is a water-borne disease usual in flooded areas. It is caused by the contamination of the flood water with animal urine. Infection begins when the contaminated water comes in contact with broken skin.

Friday last week, this city recorded its first post-typhoon casualty from a water-born disease. The 21-year old Florence Natalie Dagohoy of Brgy. Bolilao, Mandurriao was the first recorded casualty of diarrhea.

Yesterday, Mayor Jerry Treñas ordered the release of P20,000 for the procurement of antibiotics – like doxycycline and profilaxis – for the treatment of these diseases.

The medicines will be dispatched to various health centers in the metropolis.

City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Urminico Baronda said prone to infection are those with open wounds and treading on murky and contaminated waters.

Treñas urged residents to immediately see a doctor if they think they are sick.

But he admitted that the CHO lacks manpower – doctors, nurses, midwives, etc. – in health centers.

Still, Baronda remains confident that post-typhoon illnesses, especially gastrointestinal diseases, would be manageable.

His office has recorded some 50 cases of stomach problems.

CLEAN WATER
Treñas yesterday said water supplies being distributed by the city’s fire trucks and water tanks are potable drinking water and not other purposes.

Treñas said the local government resorted to water distribution as 75 percent of the city’s 418,000 population are without available drinking water.

The residents’ need for potable should be prioritized and attended to, the mayor stressed.
Thousands of bottled water being provided are not sufficient to the daily demands of city residents, the mayor admitted.

Several water treatment plants are now stationed in critical areas, where water sources and supplies are scarce.

The city has stationed three small water treatment plants from Ayala-Metro Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) compound.

MIWD presently provides free three to five gallons of water to city residents daily.
The water treatment plant the Spanish government donated will be stationed in Jaro district, Treñas said.

The Department of Health and the City Health Office had issued health advisories on water-borne diseases that may emerge – diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever and leptospirosis, among others.

Typhoon “Frank” swamped almost half of the city’s land area with water and mud, contaminating almost all sources of potable water. Even some water refilling stations were not spared by the inundation.

The CHO advised residents to boil first their drinking water./PN

Editorial Cartoon: M/V Princess of the Stars, a Tragedy by Men

July 4, 2008

Kaninong sala?

Disaster, Disaster sa Paglubog ng MV Princess of the Stars

June 30, 2008

Ang bumibida sa disaster management ay si Noli de Castro, bise presidente bilang pagkatagpo ng isang solido at lingering media moment. Si Arroyo ay virtual at surrogate na nagma-manage ng disaster. Ang long-distance teleconferencing ay pagpapadiin sa kanyang pagprioridad sa interes ng U.S. imperialismo kaysa lokal na affairs. Kaya kawawa naman ang ibang lugar na naapektuhan ng bagyo – Iloilo, Kalibo, mga bahagi ng Mindanao – dahil ang prioridad ng gobyerno ay ang media opportunity na inaalok ng paglubog ng MV Princess. Na tulad ng nakausling bahagi nito sa ibabaw ng dagat, ang imahen ay ang labi ng isang entidad na hindi na maililibing.

NI ROLAND TOLENTINO
KULTURANG POPULAR KULTURA
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 21, June 29-July 5, 2008

Four strikes na ang Sulpicio Lines. Ang pinakamalaking maritime disaster ay hawak nito—4,341 nasawi sa pagbangga ng MV Dona Paz at MT Vector noong 1987. Ang MV Dona Marilyn ay lumubog isang taon matapos ang naunang trahedya, at 300 ang nasawi. 150 naman ang namatay noong 1998 nang lumubog ang MV Princess of the Orient. Sa tatlong disaster, pinawalang-sala ang Sulpicio Lines.

Nitong Hunyo 22, 2008, mga 700 katao ang tinatayang nasawi o nawawala sa paglubog naman ng MV Princess of the Stars. Kahit parang crown jewels ang turing sa pagpapangalan sa mga barko, mga higanteng kabaong ang katangian at kung magkagayon, ang nagiging kinahihinatnan nito.

Kalakhan ng mga barkong pumapalaot sa dagat ng bansa ay mga refurbished na cargo at fishing vessel.  Segunda mano o ukay-ukay, kaya a la chamba ang pagbili at pagtangkilik ng mga ito. At mahaba pa ang listahan ng mga lumubog na barko sa kagyat na kasalukuyan.

MV Cebu City, 1994, 140 nasawi; MV Kimelody Cristy, 1995, 31 nasawi; MV Gretchen I, 1996, 50 nasawi; SuperFerry 14, 2004, 116 nasawi; at MV Princess of the World (Sulpicio Lines din), 2005, nasunog sa dagat. Kung sa maunlad na bansa ay grinound na ang mga barko kada may aksidente hanggang di pa lubos na naiinspeksyon, sa Pilipinas ay para lang domino na isa-isang inaantay natutumba, o sa kaso nito, lumulubog ang mga barko.

Kaya patuloy ang mga gawang-tao na disaster. Patuloy dahil nasa interes ng estado (malaking negosyo at gobyero) na gawing tila natatangi ang pagsulpot ng disaster para lamang sa huli, ito ang magmukhang bida. Sa konklusyon ng “disaster management” o ang pagkakahon ng pagbulwak ng gawang-taong disaster, ang estado (ang mga GOs at si Gloria Arroyo) ang itatanghal na bida.

Ang gawang-taong disaster ay isang aberasyon, blunder at hindi lang pagkakamali, freak of nature, at pati “God’s will,” gaya nang sinasambit ng management ng Sulpicio Lines. Hindi ordinaryo dahil hindi nga naman araw-araw na lumulubog ang barko at may daan-daang namamatay.

Gawang-tao ito dahil katambal ng pagtitipid sa gastos ang inaasam na maximisasyon ng kita ng negosyo. Kung sino man ang nakasakay na sa barko ay alam na overloading ang kalakaran. Luma na ang mga makina at fasilidad. At pikit-mata at taimtim na nagdarasal na lamang na hindi lumubog ang barko kahit pa walang super-typhoon.

Kasabwat din ang Coast Guard at iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno sa pagtangkilik sa kalakaran ng negosyo. Para hindi malugi sa isang araw na kita, at dahil nga naman signal number 1 pa lamang sa Metro Manila kahit number 2 at 3 na sa ibang bahagi ng bansa, kasama ang patungong Cebu, naglayag pa rin ang naunsyaming MV Princess.

Wala pa rin kahandaan ang gobyerno sa disaster kahit na ilang disaster na ang humahagipis rito taon-taon, at sa okasyong ito, kahit pa ilang barko na ang lumubog sa nakaraan. Maluwag ang alaala ng gobyerno dahil sa panghihikayat sa negosyo na higit pang kumita. Kaya wala itong body bags, light gears sa underwater expedition, manwal sa pag-handle ng mga patay, monitoring system, at iba ang lohistika at sistema sa disaster management.

Wala o karumaldumal na kulang dahil hindi naman ito ang prioridad ng gastusin ng gobyerno. Makitid ang pag-iisip nito na hindi handang maggayak para sa peryodikong kaganapan. At dahil na rin, pwedeng idahilan, force of nature nga kaya hindi naman lubos na nakakapaghanda sa disaster.

At nang lumubog ang barko, tulad ng hinudyat ng mother-of-all-disaster-movies na “Titanic,” mabilis ang kaganapan. Sa pagitan ng lumulubog na barko at dumadagundong na dagat, saan pupunta ang karamihan na galing sa economy class na pasahero?  Kaya rin hindi kataka-taka na kalakhan ng mga nasawi ay nanatiling nasa loob ng tumaob na barko.

Na tila hindi rin hiwalay kung paano ginagawang double-dead ang mga nasawi sa post-disaster na yugto ng management: sa pagitan ng nagtuturuang ahensya ng Coast Guard at may-ari ng Sulpicio Lines na humingi ng tawad sa mga pamilya ng nasawi nang hindi pa rin binabago ang linyang kagustuhan ni Lord ang kaganapan, walang kabuhay-buhay na mahihita sa imbestigasyong may nakasulat na ending na.

Nilisan na ni Arroyo ang sityo ng disaster – bago, sa sandali ng pangyayari, at matapos ang disaster.  Tumungo na ito sa U.S. para sa pilgrimahe sa papaalis na pangulo ng bansa, at sa malamang na papalit rito. At nang mabalitaan ang kaganapan, video-conferencing ang best effort ni Arroyo.

Na wala ang presidente ay hindi naman aksidental. Ito ay insidental lang naman kung paano pa rin, sa huling pagtutuos, aakdain ng estado ang management at ending na magbubura sa disaster. Sa simula ay makikisisi si Arroyo, higit sa lahat, sa management para sa nangyari.  Ang best scenario, may mapapalitan na opisyal.  Pero hanggang dito na lamang at maraming salamat po.

Sa paninindigan ni Arroyo, kahit pa may higit na 600 ang tukoy  na nasawi sa supertyphoon na Frank, mas kailangan ang kanyang presence sa U.S.  Malamang, ito na ang kanyang farewell walk at kailangan matagal ang wave sa publiko.  Kakausapin ni Arroyo ang maraming opisyal at negosyante para higit pang maipindeho ang yaman ng bansa.

Una ay maamo ang mukha ni Arroyo sa video conferencing na ginanap ng madaling-araw sa Malacanang. Na ang it’s-a-fake na hitsura ay hindi nakapanghimok ng simpatya kundi dismaya sa simulated na imahen ng pakikiisa. Kaya balik sa tantrum si Arroyo, nilalait ang Coast Guard kung bakit pinayagang bumiyahe na sinisi naman ang PAGASA sa ulat nito.

Kaya walang kasalanang maiakusa sa Sulpicio Lines maliban sa pagkagahamang kumita, na hindi naman krimen kundi kalikasan ng negosyo na siya namang hinihikayat ng gobyerno para sa pagpapaganda ng kanyang pambansang ekonomiyang statistika.  Paano mo isasakdal ang Sulpicio Lines sa ikaapat na pagkakataong ito?

Sa disaster management, ang mina-manage ay hindi naman ang naging epekto ng disaster kundi kung paano idi-deflect ng gobyerno ang sisi sa kanyang sarili. Ito ang tagahanap ng consensus sa representatibong kapamilya ng mga nasawi at ng may-ari ng negosyong nagbunsod ng disaster.

Kung titignan pa lamang dito, wala na ang mga nasawi sa konfigurasyon. Ang tanging ina-appease ay ang mga pamilya via ng pamilyang negosyateng may-ari ng barko. Hindi rin pwedeng chakahin ng gobyerno nang todo ang negosyante dahil baka madismaya naman ang iba pang pamilyang negosyante.  Maliit lang ang bilang ng kasapi ng burgis kumprador sa bansa. Baka wala nang mag-invest.

Ang bumibida sa disaster management ay si Noli de Castro, bise presidente bilang pagkatagpo ng isang solido at lingering media moment. Si Arroyo ay virtual at surrogate na nagma-manage ng disaster. Ang long-distance teleconferencing ay pagpapadiin sa kanyang pagprioridad sa interes ng U.S. imperialismo kaysa lokal na affairs.

Kaya kawawa naman ang ibang lugar na naapektuhan ng bagyo – Iloilo, Kalibo, mga bahagi ng Mindanao – dahil ang prioridad ng gobyerno ay ang media opportunity na inaalok ng paglubog ng MV Princess. Na tulad ng nakausling bahagi nito sa ibabaw ng dagat, ang imahen ay ang labi ng isang entidad na hindi na maililibing.

O matagal nang patay? Paano ililibing ang isang nakalutang na higanteng kabaong? Paano ililibing ang mga tao sa economy class na matagal nang pinagdamutan ng mismong estadong ngayon ay pinagkakaabalahan ang paghanap sa kanila sa loob ng barko?

At sa mga bangkay na napapadpad sa pampang, ang naisip na rekurso ng lokal na pamahalaan ay ibaon ito kaagad. Mabilisang pagbubura sa mga katawang hindi katanggap-tanggap nang sila ay nabuhay, at maging sa kanilang kamatayan.  Anong saklap ng buhay, hindi ba, Kuya Eddie?

Muli ang venue ng solidaridad ng pamilya ng nasawi ay ang mga dingding malapit sa opisina ng Sulpicio Lines. Sa pamamagitan ng litrato, sulat, kandila, bulaklak, at memento, lumikha sila ng memorial. Na tulad sa memorial sa labas ng isa pang trahedya, ang sunog sa Ozone Disco, ang konsolidadong imahen ng buhay ang pantapat sa imahen ng kamatayang dulot ng media.

Pero pampamilya mode ang memorial na ito. Na sa isang banda rin ay kabahagi ng sistematikong pagkakahon sa disaster bilang konsern lamang ng mga pamilya ng nasawi. Ang kanilang pagwawala sa loob at labas ng opisina, ang pagtangis at pagkahimatay ay physiological na anyo ng pagbabalikwas sa isang abstraktong sistema.

Paano lalabanan ang isang entidad na naniniwalang wala silang sala, o ang maysala nga ay si God? At ang imahen ng nagbre-breakdown na pamilya ay paukol sa mob na katangian ng masa. May potensyal na mag-mob, kaya bago dumating sa puntong ito ay kailangan nang iappease.

Ang alok ng negosyante: tig-P200,000 bawat nasawi, libreng pamasahe at hotel sa Cebu habang nag-aantay ng resulta sa paghahanap, at may allowance pa. Habang nag-aantay, naagnas na ang mga katawan, kinain na ng pating at malalaking isda ang nakalutang na bangkay, ibinaon na ang mga napapadpad sa mga isla.

Kaya ang special offer ng Sulpicio Lines ay akma sa self-preservation nito. Huwag po, Lord kahit si Lord ang sinasambit nito. Composed sumagot ang madalang magpakitang opisyales na pamilya ng negosyo. At itong composure ang naghihiwalay sa kanila sa mob mentality ng masang pamilya at ang nade-decompose na katawan ng mga nasawi.

Intact ang negosyo, maging ang gobyerno. Hanggang sa muli, sa susunod na pagputok ng bagong disaster. In the meantime, nandiyan pa ang laban ni Manny Pacquiao sa kanyang pagtatagpo sa dakilang tadhana sa kasaysayan ng boxing. Mas hindi makakahinga ang bansa sa umaga ng Linggo ng laban.

Titigil muli ang buhay ng bansa. Maluluwag ang mga kalsada sa dalawang oras ng laban. Kolektibo ang pagdanas ng inaasahan na namang pagtatagumpay ng underdog (na kahit hindi ito si Pacquiao sa pagkakataong ito, dahil siya Filipino, underdog naman parati ang turing). At pagdating ng katanghalian, lalo pang nabura ang disaster ng MV Princess.

Para na lang character si Pacquiao sa isang computer game. Handang magpagamit sa estado sa pagsalo nito sa kahinaan at kakulangang ikinikilos sa binuburang mga indibidwal na biktima ng disaster.  Disaster man sa MV Princess, disaster man sa pagkapangulo ni Arroyo wala pa ring rekurso sa hustisyang makakamit.

Walang tala na mapapaluhod. Na mismong si Arroyo, Pacquiao at ang U.S. imperialismo ay umaawit na ng nakakapanghalinang muling magpapaidlip sa bayan. Bulatlat

Trahedya at Midya

June 30, 2008

Sana’y ang ating pagdepende sa midya sa panahon ng trahedya ay maging okasyon para sa mas lalong maging kritikal sa impormasyong nakukuha mula sa mga ito.

NI DANILO ARAÑA ARAO
Konteksto / Pinoy Weekly
Inilathala ng Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 21, June 29-July 5, 2008

Sa gitna ng brownout dulot ng bagyong Frank, muli nating nakita ang kahalagahan ng radyo sa paghahatid ng pinakahuling balita. Hindi tulad ng telebisyon at Internet na kailangan ng suplay ng kuryente para magamit, baterya lang ang kailangan para paganahin ang isang portable radio.

Bagama’t ang mga modernong mobile phone ay kaya nang mag-access sa Internet, hindi hamak na mas malaki ang gastos kaya hindi praktikal na gamitin ang ganitong klaseng telepono sa pag-surf sa Internet. At sa usapin ng presyo, alam nating mas mahal ang 3G (third-generation) mobile phone kaysa portable radio.

Pero mapapansing tayo ay talagang nabubuhay sa tinatawag na TV generation. Aminin mo na: Hindi ba’t nang muling magkaroon ng kuryente, pinatay mo na ang iyong radyo at binuksan mo ang telebisyon para malaman ang direksiyon ng bagyong Frank?

Kung estudyante ka, hindi ba’t mas umasa ka sa telebisyon sa anawnsment hinggil sa suspensiyon ng klase? Siguro’y napatalon ka sa tuwa nang marinig mo ang balitang walang pasok noong Lunes (Hunyo 23).

At kung nagtatrabaho ka na, siguro’y inantabayanan mo rin sa telebisyon kung may pasok ba sa opisina mo o wala. Kung arawan ang suweldo mo, siguro’y tuwang tuwa ka dahil makakapasok ka’t may kikitain ka, gaano man kaliit ito.

Kanya-kanyang pinagmulan, kanya-kanyang interes sa pagtunghay sa balita. Tungkulin ng midyang ibigay ang impormasyong kailangan ng publikong may napakalawak na interes.

At sa konteksto ng impormasyong kinakailangan, iba ang bentahe ng telebisyon dahil kaya nitong maghatid hindi lang ng audio kundi ng biswal na presentasyon ng isang pangyayari. Hindi natin masisisi kung ang karamihan sa mga mamamayan ay tinitingnan ang telebisyon bilang mas mainam na midyum kumpara sa radyo.

Sa katunayan, lumalabas sa isang pag-aaral ng Pulse Asia noong 2004 na ang telebisyon ay may pinakamataas na kredibilidad, ayon sa 67 porsiyento ng mga Pilipino. Sinundan ito ng radyo (20 porsiyento) at diyaryo (5 porsiyento).

Mas matanda ang dyaryo at radyo kaysa telebisyon, kaya ang mga tao’y mas kabisado na ang unang dalawang porma ng midya. Halimbawa, alam ng nakararaming Pilipino ang maaaring “daya” sa paghahatid ng balita sa diyaryo’t radyo.

Sa mata ng publiko, hindi lahat ng nakalathala sa print (salita man o litrato) ay dapat tanggaping kapani-paniwala. Hindi ba’t may mga nagsasabing ang tanging bagay na sigurado tayong tama sa diyaryo ay ang petsa nito?

Sa konteksto ng radyo, hindi ba’t minsa’y tampulan ng biruan ang ginagawa ng isang brodkaster sa radyo na kunwari’y nag-uulat sa isang delikadong lugar pero nasa loob lang pala ng kuwarto niya, binabasa ang balita sa diyaryo at gumagawa lang ng kung anu-anong sound effects para maging kapani-paniwala ang kanyang balita?

Kahit na sabihing ang telebisyon ay hindi libre sa mga pandaraya sa pag-uulat, hindi pa rin ito gaanong kabisado ng nakararaming Pilipino. Ilan lang, halimbawa, ang may alam sa paggamit ng blue screen para palabasing ang isang peryodistang nasa loob ng studio ay nag-uulat sa isang lugar.

Karamihan ay basta-basta na lang naniniwala o walang pakialam sa sinasabing ulat na eksklusibo sa isang network. Ang ganitong klaseng paniniwala o kawalan ng pakialam ay makikita rin sa mga ulat na sinasabing live report pero matagal na palang naihanda, at ang mga tanging live na bahagi ay ang intro at extro ng isang peryodista.

Masyadong makapangyarihan ang telebisyon para basta-basta na lang tanggapin ng mamamayan ang mga nilalaman nito. Lubhang kailangan ang pagpapalawak at pagpapalalim sa kaalaman ng mga tao hinggil sa midyang tinutunghayan nila.

Sana’y ang ating pagdepende sa midya sa panahon ng trahedya ay maging okasyon para sa mas lalong maging kritikal sa impormasyong nakukuha mula sa mga ito. Pinoy Weekly / Inilathala ng Bulatlat

Para makipag-ugnayan sa awtor, pumunta sa www.dannyarao.com.

Disasters, Disasters

June 30, 2008

The Filipino people are barely able to cope with weekly oil price hikes, increasing prices of rice, pork, food, and groceries, worsening unemployment, high tuition and costs of education, and impending fare hikes when Typhoon Frank wreaked havoc on the country.

BY BENJIE OLIVEROS
ANALYSIS
Bulatlat
Vol.VIII, No, 21, June 29-July 5, 2008

The Filipino people are barely able to cope with weekly oil price hikes, which has jumped by almost P14 per liter for diesel and P15 for unleaded gasoline, increasing prices of rice, which has risen by 32 percent, pork, food, which jumped 14 percent, and groceries, worsening unemployment and underemployment, high tuition and costs of education, and impending fare hikes when Typhoon Frank wreaked havoc on the country.  And now we are in the midst of confronting another maritime disaster: the sinking of MV Princess of the Stars with 124 confirmed dead, 56 survivors, and majority of the 862 passengers and crew in the manifest still missing.  It could still be worse considering that shipping companies routinely overload their decrepit ships to maximize profits.

June 25, another disaster was reported in the news: the Philippines was adjudged by the World Bank, in its 2008 Worldwide Governance Indicators, as having the worst corruption incidence among East Asia’s ten largest economies.  The country is among the bottom 22 percent in the world in terms of perceived corruption incidence.

As if that was not enough, on June 26, the country was mentioned by HSBC as the weakest Asian economy after Vietnam and the most vulnerable to rising prices and global economic slowdown.  It cited the ballooning trade deficit and the country’s inability to finance it as a major problem.

The National Statistical Coordination Board recorded a trade deficit of P41.3 billion for the 1st quarter of 2008.  The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) projects the trade deficit for the year to reach $11 billion, which could even be worse given the economic slowdown in the US, the top export destination of the country. As it is, the projected trade deficit for the year is more than double the $5.05 trade deficit in 2007, when the Arroyo government was trumpeting a supposed “unprecedented growth.” The trade deficit in 2006 was $4.3 billion, $6.1 billion in 2005, and $4.35 billion in 2004.  The country has actually incurred a trade deficit in most of the last 18 years, except in 1999 and 2000.

Add to this the culpability of the Arroyo government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the numerous, unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the unresolved killings and kidnapping of journalists, and the still questionable mandate of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and we probably have the worse administration and the most disastrous period in the country after the Marcos dictatorship.

We are being plagued by natural disasters, and more are yet to come; we are experiencing the destruction of the people’s livelihood amid an economic disaster; and we are experiencing a crisis in governance that is threatening to implode if the country’s problems would remain unabated.

Perhaps the worse is yet to come, if the Filipino people would not act collectively and decisively to confront these problems now. Bulatlat

Int’l Envi Groups Hit Presence of Pesticides in Sunken Ship

June 30, 2008

Two international environmental groups have condemned the presence of a shipment of Endosulfan, a highly-toxic pesticide, aboard Sulpico Lines’ M/V Princess of the Stars, which sank last week with 57 survivors so far out of 895 passengers amid the onslaught of typhoon “Frank.” The shipment was headed for the pineapple farms of the multinational Del Monte Corporation.

BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 21, June 29-July 5, 2008

Two international environmental groups have condemned the presence of a shipment of Endosulfan, a highly-toxic pesticide, aboard Sulpico Lines’ M/V Princess of the Stars, which sank last week with 57 survivors so far out of 895 passengers amid the onslaught of typhoon “Frank.” The shipment was headed for the pineapple farms of the multinational Del Monte Corporation in Mindanao.

Manufactured by Bayer Crop Science, Endosulfan is a neuro-toxic organo-chlorine substance that has been restricted in the Philippines since 1994. The Pesticide Action Network-Asia and the Pacific (PAN-AP) has described it as “one of the world’s most dangerous pesticides.”

Various scientific studies have indicated that it endangers the health of farm workers, children, as well as those living in proximate areas – with poisoning symptoms including headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures; and, in extreme cases, unconsciousness and even death. A suspected endocrine disruptor, it has been linked to autism, male reproductive harm, and birth defects. It also affects the nervous system, causing hyper-excitement and convulsions, as well as the respiratory system and the heart. It can harm skin upon contact and is even more toxic upon inhalation and swallowing. It is feared to cause long-term damage to the aquatic environment.

Cases of Endosulfan poisonings resulting in death or severe disability have been reported mainly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Effects on survivors include congenital deformities, delayed male sexual maturity, female hormonal disorders, congenital mental retardation, cerebral palsy, psychiatric disturbances, epilepsy, cancers; skin, eye, ear, nose and throat problems; impaired memory, and chronic malaise.

“It is totally scandalous that Endosulfan, which is banned in the Philippines, is allowed for use by cash-crop industries such as Del Monte and Dole!” said Sarugani V. Renjam, PAN-AP executive director. “The Philippine government has failed in its responsibility to protect the people of the Philippines, it should have imposed a total ban on this extremely hazardous pesticide. Why are there exemptions on Endosulfan use for these multinational companies? And it is only due to this tragic event that these issues have come to light!”

“It is outrageous that a shipment of a highly toxic substance was allowed on board a passenger vessel,” Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace campaign manager, meanwhile said. “We demand that Del Monte and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority be made fully accountable for this unfolding chemical disaster, the former for continuing the use of such highly toxic chemical and the latter for allowing multinational companies to use them despite the national prohibition and the scientific evidence of their toxicity.”

“This pesticide has also been found to be highly toxic to birds, fish and other aquatic organisms,” Baconguis added. “This is the reason why the Philippines has severe restrictions on the use of Endosulfan especially near or around bodies of water. The M/V Princess of the Stars disaster has now exposed that a multinational corporation like Del Monte is using tons of banned pesticides on their pineapples meant for export. That it took a tragic disaster to expose another ongoing disaster is infuriating.”

The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) had banned Endosulfan, but exemptions were made for Dole and Del Monte in the Philippines.

“In 1994 the Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee made recommendations to ban Endosulfan to the Philippines Pesticides Authority,” said Dr. Romeo Quijano, a toxicologist at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine and president of PAN-Philippines. “And the exemptions for Dole and Del Monte should only be in place for two years. But after this call for a ban, the Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee has not called for another meeting and has been dormant since!”

Endosulfan has been banned in the European Union and in many other countries, including Sri Lanka. The substance has been the subject of a Campaign for a Global Ban by the Pesticide Action Network, the International POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Network and other concerned groups. It is being considered for global elimination under the United Nations Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, or the Stockholm Convention – to which the Philippines is a signatory.

Meanwhile, Del Monte, Sulpicio Lines, and the Philippine Coast Guard are pointing fingers at each other as to who should be held responsible for the Endosulfan that was precariously lodged inside the sunken M/V Princess of the Stars. Because of the risk of contamination, search operations have been stopped and the people prevented from fishing in the waters of Sibuyan Sea, thereby depriving them of their primary source of livelihood. Bulatlat

43 bodies from sunken ship reach Bicol waters

June 30, 2008

LEGAZPI CITY—The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol Wednesday has accounted so far 43 dead bodies retrieved from the waters of the region and listed some 54 survivors from a number of sea mishaps at the height of Typhoon Frank, of which MV Princess of the Stars recorded the highest fatalities of over 800 passengers.

Aside from the MV Princess of the Stars that sank in rough seas off Sibuyan Island in Romblon, the OCD Bicol reported that at least eight fishing boats and one cargo vessel also went down under the sea last Saturday.The OCD said that among the fishing boats that capsized from the battering of Typhoon Frank included F/B Mary Eugence, F/B Junar, F/B Nicole Louise 2, M/V Princess Claire, F/B South Seas, a cargo vessel loaded with coal, and Lake Paoay. There were some 129 crew members in the eight fishing vessels.

Supt. Theodore Reuben Sindac, police provincial director of Masbate, reported that the 43 dead bodies retrieved by fishermen in the waters off Masbate Island and he added that in his province another 14 persons were missing and 15 persons rescued after the sea mishaps.

Sindac said that four crew members of F/B Nicole Louise 2, a 44.33 tonner vessel owned by certain Allan Daniel of Cadiz City, were rescued in Barangay Mahayahay, Cawayan, Masbate.

He identified three survivors from Escalante, Negros Occidental the fishermen of Masbate rescued as Rogelio Ancayos Mermida, 62, of Danao Port, Geronimo Sante Guardiana, 36, and another one from Cadiz City identified as Salvador Marcos Sina, 38.

Sindac said the fishing vessel of the survivors was hit by a tornado at the height of the typhoon in Cebu City and later they were swept to the waters off the coast of Masbate.

He said that the list of missing persons from the sea mishaps included Sandy Guelos, Eusenio Artajo, Victor Nepangue, Freddie Mansan, Antonio Hugasan Jr., Nandy Pasilan, Dondon Nepangue, Junel Sagal, Ronnie Nasic, Raymundo Barellas, Joel Abargues, Joseph Siboyro, Eduardo Bagaporo and Roger Avanud.

The Masbate police director said that a certain Benedicto Tamayo, 47, of Sebunag in Guimaras, Iloilo was also rescued Monday in Barangay Pasig, Claveria, Burias Island. Tamayo was a crew of F/B Mary Eugence.

A day earlier, Jomer Siasco, Antonio Berder and Allan Posadas were rescued while 11 dead bodies were also retrieved in the shores of the towns of Esperanza and Balud in Masbate province.

OCD Bicol chief Bernardo Alejandro told Bombo Radyo-Legazpi Wednesday that officials from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Philippine National Police had accompanied him to the search and rescue operation in the towns of San Pascual and Claveria.

Alejandro said the team went to the coastal towns on board a two helicopters the Southern Luzon Command provided.

He reported that they found 12 decomposing bodies in San Pascual town who were ordered buried after health officials took samples from the cadavers for identification.

In Claveria town, Alejandro said, 20 survivors were sent home after their identities had been recorded and added that six fishermen fatalities were identified with the aid of the fellow fishermen.(BicolMail)

Editorial Cartoon: Campaign Period

June 30, 2008

It officially started.

Editorial Cartoon: SOS

June 27, 2008

🙂

Editorial Cartoon: The Hole

June 27, 2008

Yuckie!

World stops for bereaved; lives are put on hold

June 27, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—The world has virtually stopped for the families of the missing passengers of the sunken MV Princess of the Stars.

Anxious, tired and worried, they have abandoned their regular routines and put their lives on hold for the round-the-clock wait for any word that the next batch of survivors or bodies found could include their loved ones.

Cielo Gaudel, 18, has not reported for work in a restaurant as she keeps vigil in Sulpicio Lines Inc.’s office at the North Harbor in Manila to wait for updates about the search and rescue operations.

Her mother Lucy, brother Barry and his wife Aileen, and her 7-year-old nephew Joshua Mijares were all on the ferry and were supposed to catch another ride to Butuan City after the ship shall have docked in Cebu.

Gaudel has been at the Sulpicio Lines office since Sunday, and the wait has been excruciating, especially since she thinks the shipping company has not been doing enough to help her and other relatives.

“A minute feels like an hour,” she said.

Feelings hurt

Gaudel expressed frustration that Sulpicio Lines had not made good on its supposed promise to bring the families to Cebu to check if their loved ones were among those whose bodies have been recovered. She said many relatives were banking on the shipping company to keep its word.

“Our hurt feelings are being hurt all over again,” she said.

Gaudel said she would accept the news that her loved ones were all dead. All she wanted was to recover their bodies to give them a proper burial. But a part of her was still hoping that they had been recovered.

Acknowledging that she could hardly sleep because of worry, she said she would rather remain at SLI to wait for news.

Gaudel has been asking other family members to bring her clothes and food at the Sulpicio Lines office, which she has made her new home since the tragedy.

Pictures of happier times

Outside the door of the Sulpicio Lines office at North Harbor, the walls and a board were plastered with pictures of the missing passengers, along with the contact numbers of their kin.

Several of the pictures were candid shots showing smiling people, taken during happier times and belying the possibly grim fate that had befallen them.

One colored photo showed four young, smiling girls whose ages range from 4 to 12 years old, and are named Kathlyn, Kyla, Korine and Klaris Nuqui.

Alongside their photograph was that of a 39-year-old woman named Helen Nuqui, presumably their mother.

Another photograph showed the smiling faces of Estrella and Rogelio Villaruel, aged 51 and 58, respectively. On the sides of the photo were the contact numbers of their relatives, who are waiting for word about the couple’s fate.

Legal action

With families despairing from the lack of any word about their missing kin, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Thursday offered to help them gain access to the recovered bodies to see if any of their loved ones were among them.

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta met with the worried relatives at the Sulpicio Lines office Thursday and promised to help convince authorities to either bring the recovered bodies to Manila or to at least take pictures of these so that those in Manila could take a look at these.

If there was still no help, the PAO would take legal action against Sulpicio Lines, possibly filing petitions for recovery of bodies, habeas corpus, damages or replevin, a process in which seized items are restored to their owners pending the outcome of an action, according to Acosta.

She also said the PAO would help the victims file the class action suit that they were thinking of resorting to if no adequate help would come from Sulpicio Lines.

She said PAO, through the prodding of the VACC, tapped the help of the University of the Philippines’ independent forensic group to help in identifying the bodies.

VACC chair Martin Diño appealed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander Yano to provide aircraft for transporting the bodies to Manila.

Diño also criticized Sulpicio Lines for not taking immediate action to preserve the recovered bodies so that these would be identified.

He wondered why Sulpicio Lines did not send a helicopter to Romblon province immediately after news of the capsizing was broadcast to bring formalin, embalmer and body bags so that the bodies immediately recovered could have been preserved for identification.

Diño said pictures could have been taken using the cameras of cellular phones, and implored rescuers to do this.

Bodies first before P200K

He scoffed at the P200,000 reportedly offered to the families of the victims. He said before this was paid, the bodies had to be recovered first.

The presence of PAO and VACC officials seemed to enliven some of the families keeping vigil at the Sulpicio Lines office.

Families pressed around Acosta as she briefed them about what the PAO would do, clinging to hope that she provided. Pictures of passengers as well as contact numbers were pressed onto her hands, along with requests for quick action.

As Acosta advised relatives not to lose hope because there was still the possibility that survivors could be found, whispers of “sana nga” (I hope so) were heard from the crowd.(PDI)

Forensic expert bats for systematic examination of bodies

June 27, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—Dr. Raquel Fortun, a University of the Philippines pathologist, said there must be a systematic and detailed external examination of all the remains recovered while the soft tissues were still there for documentation and proper identification.

Fortun detailed the proper handling of the dead after monitoring—from news reports, photographs and video footage—some slips in handling the bodies retrieved from the sunken ferry.

She said she had seen a video footage of bodies in bags being laid down on a floor. “That won’t serve any purpose. You don’t show the dead to the people looking for their missing relatives because visual recognition is unreliable,” she said.

Retrieved bodies must be collected in one place where there is an examination facility attended by pathologists, or trained doctors, a dentist and a fingerprint technician from a crime laboratory.

The bodies must be separately bagged and labeled inside and out. Where it was retrieved and “which body came from where”—for instance, the body was retrieved from the first class dining area of the ship—must be carefully documented, Fortun said.

The gender and the estimated age (either adult or adolescent) must also be noted.

During the external examination, features must be identified in detail “from head to toe.” These include the color and the style of the hair, the dental structure, the clothing and its size, the presence or absence of birthmarks, scars, moles and tattoos, among others.

Any deformities must also be noted, Fortun said.

“There’s no rush to dispose of the dead. It is disturbing to have these dead people around but it is a misconception that the dead spread diseases,” she said.

Fortun said that before a body was to be buried, it should have undergone an examination for identification purposes.

She advised against allowing grieving relatives and families to directly identify their dead kin.

“It is subjective. Some of them are in denial so they are bound to make mistakes,” she said.

What they could do, she suggested, was to provide authorities with “ante mortem information,” or a detailed description of their missing loved ones. Authorities, would later on compare their notes with those provided by the families,” she said.

The forensic expert also disclosed that she would be flying in to Cebu on Friday to help in the identification of the bodies.(PDI)

Latest figures put death toll from Typhoon ‘Frank’ at 622

June 27, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—Its international name means “God of Wind” and the typhoon unleashed some of the ungodliest winds this country has seen in recent years.

Relief agencies Thursday said Typhoon Frank (international codename: Fengshen) had so far claimed 622 lives while displacing an estimated 2.4 million people in 14 of the country’s regions.

Of the fatalities, 498 were killed mostly in flash floods in 22 provinces, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

The other 124 fatalities have been retrieved from the capsized ferry MV Princess of the Stars, the Philippine Coast Guard action center said.

The NDCC report Thursday put the number of missing in Frank’s wake at 263 and the number of injured at 288.

The death count rose sharply compared with Wednesday’s figures after reports came in from areas not previously heard from, officials said.

With more reports trickling in and with retrieval operations still going on near Sibuyan Island in Romblon province, where the ferry capsized, the death toll from Frank is expected to rise.

Forecasters baffled

Frank had followed what the weather bureau said was an erratic course in its sweep through the Philippines. On Tuesday night, it took another surprise turn and slammed on China’s southeastern coast.

Of the 498 fatalities recorded in incidents other than the capsizing of the Princess of the Stars, 221 have been identified, the NDCC said. Another 277 bodies have been recovered but their identities have yet to be established.

The NDCC said 416 of the deaths were registered in hard-hit Western Visayas. This includes the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, Negros Occidental, Capiz, and Guimaras.

Reason for delay

Explaining the belated field reports, Office of Civil Defense administrator Glenn Rabonza said information on casualties, especially with respect to the identities of the dead, had to be cross-checked at the municipal, provincial, and regional levels before it was passed on to the NDCC.

Power and communication lines were also down in most of the ravaged areas, delaying the transmittal of information to the NDCC headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Rabonza said in a phone interview.

Damage: P5.5B

The NDCC said that of the 2.4 million people displaced, 1.4 million were from Western Visayas.

In Iloilo alone, 673,088 people were affected by the flash floods.

The NDCC said the typhoon destroyed an estimated P5.5 billion worth of infrastructure and agriculture in Ilocos; Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon); Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan); Western Visayas; Eastern Visayas, Western Mindanao, and Northern Mindanao.

Winnie and Reming

Regardless of its name, Frank has become one of the fiercest typhoons to strike the Philippines in recent years.

Typhoon Winnie in November 2004 killed 893 people, with 443 others missing.

In November 2006, Typhoon Reming also battered the country, causing 734 deaths, with 762 missing. With reports from Jocelyn Uy and PDI Research, and Agence France-Presse(PDI)

Editorial Cartoon: Politiko

June 25, 2008

Mga tantarado.

Editorial Cartoon: Flood’s Way

June 25, 2008

Mahigit 2 yrs nang ginagawa, ilang milyong piso na ang nagastos, isang malaking hukay pa lang din ang floodway project ng gobyerno.

Editorial Cartoon: Binaha

June 22, 2008

Nasaan na ang Flood Control Project?

Cebu bears Frank’s wrath in Central Visayas

June 22, 2008

By Mia E. Abellana & Rene H. Martel
Sun.Star Staff Reporters
With Garry Cabotaje & Oscar C. Pineda

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TYPHOON Frank hit Cebu the hardest in Central Visayas.

Strong waves damaged about 100 houses and affected some 300 families in the coastal barangays of Talisay City.

Landslides left roads in Cebu’s mid-north impassable, while power and telephone posts fell from strong winds in many parts of the province.

Power blackouts hit Tabogon, Borbon, Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Medellin, Daanbantayan, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, San Remigio and Poro, while Bogo City and Bantayan Island suffered power outages and damaged phone lines.

Disaster coordinators, however, have not received any report of casualties.

The Talisay City Rescue Emergency Action Team (Treat) rushed to the scene after a hut in Sitio Kalubihan, Barangay Poblacion was reportedly swept away by waves at the height of the storm yesterday morning.

The Talisay City Social Welfare Office (CSWO), though, still had to get the identities of the household members. There is no report of any casualty, though.

Poblacion Barangay Treasurer Luna Mae Bacalso said big waves from strong winds crushed more than 30 houses in four coastal sitios: Kalubihan, Mahayahay, Asan and YMCA.

Powerful waves also left knee-deep water and widespread flooding in these areas, forcing CSWO personnel to temporarily put off their inspection and assessment report.

Twelve more houses were destroyed while 50 others were damaged in Sitio Litmon, Barangay Dumlog, said Talisay City Social Welfare Chief Felipa Solana.

Despite constant prodding by authorities, majority of the dwellers, however, refused to transfer to the sports complex, barangay halls and chapels in the two barangays.

“As of Friday night, only 10 families opted to stay at the sports complex in Poblacion, the rest are not keen on leaving their homes,” said Bacalso.

The CSWO and barangay personnel gave food to the storm victims yesterday.

Province

Since Friday, much of the anxiety over typhoon Frank focused on the northern towns, which were placed under typhoon warning signal number two.

But reports from the northern towns in Cebu were hard to come by, said Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Operations Officer Neil Angelo Sanchez. Radio repeaters were affected by the strong winds.

The Cebu Provincial Police Office had the same problem in relaying reports.

However, Sanchez said, they relied on the Federation of Visayas Radio Club to transmit reports to the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council.

Some areas in Barangays Panalipan, Basak and Binongkalan in Catmon town were deemed impassable due to fallen trees, as were the roads in Barangay Lugo, Borbon and Barangay Sagay, Tabogon.

Barangays Paypay, Lanao and Malingin in Daanbantayan town were flooded while a house was reportedly swept by the flood.

A minor landslide occurred in Barangay Cabongahan, Danao City, damaging a house owned by Marcelo Denaem, but his family evacuated unhurt.

The OCD also received a report about a damaged cell site in Medellin, but Sanchez said they were unable to confirm this. However, he said, it is possible because they were having difficulty reaching the mobile phones of social welfare officers in the nearby towns.

The typhoon also blew off the roof of the Bantayan Sports Complex.

A house was damaged in San Remigio town due to strong winds, but no one was hurt, while banana and fruit trees were uprooted in the town, as well as in San Francisco, Camotes Island.

Cebu City

In Cebu City, the typhoon hit farm crops in the mountain barangays. No major incident was reported in the urban areas.

The Cebu City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCCC) reported a landslide in Binaliw, which blocked the road and created a cave-in.

Water level in the rivers rose, but the CDCC received no report of any untoward incident.

Binaliw officials and tanods tried to clear a portion of the landslide to make the road passable.

Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo said a payloader and a dumptruck were sent to the site to clear the road.

The Cebu City Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) was instructed to collected landslide debris to fill up another part of the road that caved in.

“Generally, our city is okay. There’s a small landslide in Binaliw, but with our monitoring, what was worst hit were the crops, corn and banana plantations were damaged by strong winds,” Carillo said.

He said that after the typhoon made landfall in Samar last Friday night, they expected the weather to improve.

Yesterday, though, personnel were sent to the coastal barangays of Suba, Pasil and Sawang Calero to monitor the sea walls battered by huge waves.

Carillo said the Cebu City Government will start draining the rainwater that flooded private properties in Sitio Manggahan, Barangay Mambaling.

“Water level has been high. We’ll drain it again,” the councilor said.

Talisay City

Meanwhile, a Sambag tree fell on three houses and damaged a portion of the Barangay Hall in Lawaan 3, Talisay City.

The tree crushed one of the houses and hit part of the hall where Lawaan 3 Elementary School pupils held their classes.

Barangay residents helped cut the tree in pieces to clear the area. No one was reported injured.

Also, two families in Sitio Tangub, Barangay Lagtang fled to safer grounds following a landslide that covered a portion of the Lagtang-Toledo road.

Solana said the affected families voluntarily transferred to the houses of their relatives in Campo 4, a hilly village in Talisay City.

Using a payloader and backhoe, Talisay City Hall personnel removed the huge boulders and mud that blocked the road, said Lagtang Barangay Captain Celiapo Cabuenas.

The landslide that cascaded from a hillside private quarry of the Aznars occurred past 3 p.m. last Friday, making the road impassable to motorists.

It happened hours after a portion of the riprap wall of the Manipis Elementary School caved in past 7 a.m., spilling sand and gravel on the hallway that separates two school buildings.

No one was hurt in these two incidents.

Mandaue City

No major damage was reported in Mandaue city, except flooding near a quarry site in Barangay Tawason and in low areas in Barangay Cabancalan.

A family also sought shelter in Barangay Labogon Elementary School, said Barangay Captain Damaso Tumulak as wind broke portions of their house.

Mandaue City’s Disaster Coordinating Council convened last Friday and will meet again if the need arises, City Administrator Briccio Boholst said.

In Barangay Tawason, the site of massive quarrying, Barangay Captain Jun Arcilla noted knee-high flooding in Sitio Huyong-Huyong, near the elementary school and in H. K. Plastic.

But the roads remained passable.

Cabancalan Barangay Captain Corregidor Cosedo used pumps to drain waist-high floodwaters in Pilit road. The place is near the river.(SunStarCebu)

Thousands stranded on rooftops in Iloilo City (3:05 p.m.)

June 22, 2008

ILOILO City Vice-Mayor Jed Mabilog said Sunday around 20,000 persons were stranded at rooftops in Iloilo City due to floodwater caused by heavy rains, an ABS-CBN report said.

The mayor said that while the rains have subsided Saturday night, a high tide however occurred.

Half of the city, the report said, was still covered by floodwaters.

The flooding is considered the worst flooding that has hit Iloilo in history.

Relief supplies needed by affected residents include potable water, food, clothes and blankets. (Sunnex)

Update sa Bagyong Frank

June 22, 2008

As of this moment, 155 na ang patay ayon sa Red cross.

101 sa Iloilo

6 sa Antique

45 sa Romblon

tig-iisa sa Cotabato, Capiz at Leyte.

==================

Nailigtas na rin ang mga sakay ng lumubog na ferry.

==================

Tinamaan na  ang Metro Manila, Signal 3 na ngayon ang kabuuang maynila.

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Ayn sa mga radio report naman, 60 ang patay sa Iloilo City at province, 16,000 + pamilya ang apektado, 2,000+ bahay ay nasira.

==================

Cong. Javier of Antique said… 7 ang patay

==================

Ilang mga ospital naman sa Ililo binaha. sa munisipyo ng Janiuay, at dumangs, hanggang bewang ang baha.

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)