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2nd August 2015
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 2, 2015, 6:19 am

Duterte confident he won’t go to prison for corruption

“If ever I will go to prison, it will not be about money,” Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confidently declared before a gathering of judges, lawyers and law students.

Duterte issued the statement during the testimonial dinner for the four new lawyers of the Liceo de Cagayan University College of Law.

The mayor was enumerating the reasons why he does not want to be president when he made the declaration.

“What will I get from that? So many problems: China, Mindanao, ask any mayor who your friend what is the problem and he will tell you ‘drugs,” he said in the vernacular.

Duterte said the problem is so enormous that it can never be solved under prevailing conditions.

“You cannot fix what is unfixable,you cannot save democracy because democracy is fractured,” adding that “it is only for the elite and moneyed people”.

The mayor said there are now three million addicts in a country with a population of 101 million.

If by accident God makes him president, Duterte said going after the criminal syndicates will be “bloody”.

It did not come as a surprise to his audience many of whom are already familiar with his uncompromising stance against illegal drugs and criminality. 

Duterte recalled what it was like when he first assumed as mayor in 1988.

“Davao was a ghost country, my city suffered so much,” he narrated.

During the violent years, Duterte said the city lost 410 policemen, soldiers and militiamen.

The prosecutor-turned-mayor, however, was up to the challenge such that Davao is now the country’s safest city.

Duterte says he has “so many accolades to last me a lifetime.”

“Just thinking about it makes me happy,” he confessed.

Duterte insists that he needs the presidency “like a hole in the head”.

Acknowledging the persistent call for him to join the presidential race, Duterte said the enormous problems are what makes him avoid it “at all cost”.

“How do you deal with police who are into criminality? By what stretch of imagination can you really define due process if you want to reform this government?” he asked.

Duterte said that if anybody can answer these questions, “maybe I will consider it”.

“I will never give a space to criminals,” he vowed.

But if it is his destiny to be president, Duterte told his audience what to expect.  

“After six years, I’m going to give you a new government and a new order,” he categorically declared.

Pointing to the jail time that befell the last two presidents, Duterte hinted that he would be ready to suffer the same fate when he steps down.

If ever that happens, however, the mayor was sure it will never be about corruption.

“It will be about multiple murder or genocide,” he suggested. (CHITO A. FUENTES)


22nd July 2015
Girl reported as missing found
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 22, 2015, 10:16 am


July 22, 2015

MAASIN CITY – The girl who has been reported missing last week has been found in a shallow grave near her house in Soro-soro village this city.

In a live report, DYDM reporter Monchng Buyser, said that the victim, identified as Shalene Milloren Liwag 14 years old, was positively identified by her aunt.

Buyser said the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) operatives is putting chemicals to the victim’s body to prevent it from emitting foul odor.

The DYDM reporter gathered that a group who was looking for the victim, incidentally found the victim’s body in shallow grave while walking along the banks of Canturing river.

“After our motorcycle got flat in the second bridge of the Canturing, we decided to walk along the river bank looking for victim we incidentally found a newly scoured area and combed it with a stick, there we saw a human foot,” Buyser told The Reporter online quoting one member of the group, whowas  looking for the victim.

As of this posting the authorities are still in the area investigating.




DPWH-SLED officials, staff join earthquake drill
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 22, 2015, 2:50 am

MAASIN CITY– About a hundred staff of the Department of Public Works and Highways Southern Leyte Engineering District (DPWH-SLED) office joined the earthquake drill on July 20 to test their ground shaking preparedness.

Led by District Engineer Margarita C. Junia and Assistant District Engineer Allan D. Eway, the 100 employees joined the drill scenario revolving around the occurrence of a magnitude 7 earthquake.

Junia initiated the conduct of an earthquake drill, acknowledging the fact that human resources are the most important assets of an organization.

“We would like to ensure the safety of the workplace environment of its employees by imparting to them the knowledge on what to do and not to do before, during and after an unfortunate happening of a disaster,” Junia said in her welcome remarks.

The more than an hour drill held within the compound of DPWH-SLED office in Barangay (village) Asuncion, this city included a lecture by Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Rey M. Gozon.

The official discussed about impacts of earthquake and rising seas as well as appropriate preparation activities.

“The drill helps administrators and their disaster action groups to design a specific response plan of the office for earthquakes. This will also train managers and employees on how to practice proper action and response during earthquakes,” 

Primarily, the drill aims to ensure safety of managers and employees during and after a damaging earthquake by testing various elements of the response plan designed by the disaster control group.

Eway said the exercise was a learning experiencing for them especially that their building is categorized as vulnerable to earthquake-induced damages.

“We will coordinate with OCD to conduct more drills. This is to help our staff realize that disaster preparedness and response is a serious matter,” he added.

Drills and exercises are part of the government’s continuing efforts in enhancing preparedness and awareness through participative disaster risk reduction and management advocacy.

20th July 2015
Authorities bag top pusher in Ormoc
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 20, 2015, 11:20 pm

By Elvie Roman Roa

ORMOC CITY, July 18, (PNA) – The illegal drug business here is expected to decrease following the arrest of country’s known drug pusher and seven others that yielded a large quantity of suspected illegal drugs, firearm and explosive in a raid on Thursday, said Ormoc City Police Office Director Senior Superintendent Ferdinand M. Garay. 

Arrested was Ricardo Rondina, 47 who was tagged as the country’s number one in the watch list of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for drug pushing category. 

A search at his house in San Jose village, this city, yielded various drug paraphernalia, roughly 88 grams of suspected illegal drugs, a cash amounting to Php36,735. 9 millimeter caliber firearm, several wrist watches that were believed exchanged with drugs by customers who have no cash. 

Rondina’s common-law wife, Loida Malinao, 32 also possessed several small sachets of suspected illegal drugs inside her bag.  She was included in the warrant. 

The couple did not refute having the illicit trade but Rondina denied he owned the five large sachets of suspected drugs also found inside his room.

A built-in one-way mirror put-up in one of his rooms to check for coming visitors unnoticed. 

Rondina's errand, Oliver Salvo, 38, was also arrested.  

Salvo is in the region’s drug watch list, said Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs and Special Operations Task Group team leader Senior Inspector Jovie Espinido. 

another one-way mirror was also found inside a room where the alleged repacking of drugs was done. 

In not less than 50 meters, the house of Joel Chu and common-law wife Janet Camposano was also searched which yielded four large sachets of suspected prohibited drugs.

Espinido confirmed Chu is also in the region’s watch list.

Earlier, Presidio Saguiped, Jr., 37 was held shortly after the operatives bought from him a sachet of suspected prohibited drug in his house in Valencia village, also of this city.

A grenade was seized from his alleged bodyguard 37-year old Eugene Palilio.

Incidentally, Palilio’s common-law wife, Felicitas Malto, 46, was seized for possessing small sachets of prohibited drugs.

The RAIDSOTG operation delighted village chairman Ramon Conopio but expressed mixed feelings, saying, “I am sad that my constituents are captured but at the same time happy for their arrests mean reduction of drug activities in my village.”

Espinido said the conduct of series of surveillance confirmed that the three subjects used their houses as drug dens.

RAIDSOTG confiscated approximately 150 grams of suspected illegal drugs with estimated cost of Php1.2 million.

The search warrants were issued by Executive Judge James Clinton C. Nuevo of Regional Trial Court Branch 12 on July 15.


GSIS has lowest interest rate at one percent per month
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 20, 2015, 10:40 pm

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 15 (PIA)  --  The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is offering loans to qualified active members at a very low interest rate of one percent a month, the lowest among lending institutions.

GSIS-Maasin Branch Manager Igmidio Ponay, Jr. made this clear in a radio-TV program last week as the state pension firm embarked on its latest borrowing window for active members.

The Enhanced Consolidated Loan, which took effect July 1 this year, is now a regular feature in the GSIS’ list of loans available, and as such it has no deadline, Ponay said at the weekly Action Center CableTV/dySL program Tuesday.

He was reacting to reports that in other branches, GSIS members were rushing to avail of the loan, thinking that the enhanced consol loan can only be enjoyed in a limited period of time.

Ponay also doused the reservations of some members who were under the impression of a high interest rate, saying that in fact GSIS has the lowest interest in the lending market.

As to the new loan program, Ponay explained that the regular consolidated loan of ten months times the basic monthly pay of an employee, which is not less than P 3,000.00 net take home pay, was upgraded  --  “enhanced” is the term used  --  to twelve months if the employee had reached fifteen years of active service and the required premiums paid.

Those who are already twenty five years in active service can make use of 14 months times their basic monthly pay, and those retiring can have some options to avail of the loan, details of which can be explained in a personal visit at the GSIS office, Ponay said.

For those who are not due to retire yet, Ponay advised that they use the many GWAPS kiosks in their nearest location, so as to save on expense and time, and need not visit the GSIS.

There are eleven kiosks installed by GSIS for its area of coverage, which is the whole province up to Baybay City, with five more requested to serve its more than 11,000 members.

Meanwhile, members who are still below fifteen years in service can avail of the usual mode of loans, Ponay also said.  (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)

Ormoc government commends responders of M/B Kim Nirvana-B
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 20, 2015, 10:33 pm

By  Elvie Roman Roa

ORMOC CITY, Leyte, July 15, (PNA) –The city government of Ormoc  approved a resolution on Thursday commending various groups for extending the much-needed help in the search, rescue and retrieval of passengers when M/B Kim Nirvana-B capsized approximately 200 meters off this city afternoon on July 2.

In a regular session, the city’s 13th Sangguniang Panlungsod members headed by Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo L. Locsin, unanimously approved the resolution number 2015-14 “commending and thanking the concerned government and non-government organizations and other entities for their untiring and brave efforts in the search, rescue and retrieval operations after the M/B Kim Nirvana-B tragedy.”

City Public Safety committee chairman Pedro Godiardo P. Ebcas proposed the declaration and was passed on mass motion.

The lawmakers found the crucial role provided by various groups in saving lives of the victims wherein some survivors experienced trauma.

It said “had it not for their (responders) combined efforts, many more victims would not have been able to survive and more families would have suffered for the loss of their loved ones due to the tragic event.”

Hailed by the resolution were the rescue groups from different local government units (LGUs) and Energy Development Corporation (EDC), international humanitarian organizations like the Tzu Chi Foundation and IsraAID, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army and its divers, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air force, Philippine Ports Authority, Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Red Cross Ormoc chapter, local hospitals, funeral homes, local contractor, Media, and Mr. Antero Doyon for providing free vehicle.

Haven’t heard of any complain, the responders braved the rough seas during the whole duration of the operation that took roughly four days.

The Ormoc LGU along with its rescuers held on with the bereaved families and also facilitated them in transporting the caskets to Pilar town on board the coast guard search and rescue vessel three days following the sinking.

Mayor Edward Codilla right away established the incident command post at the port area shortly after the passenger banca overturned and provided the needs of the victims.


Sec. Dinky awards Gawad Kalahi to DSWD-8
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 20, 2015, 10:23 pm

The Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan– Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) DSWD Field Office VIII once again received a national recognition from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Office. 

The Highest Community Grants Disbursed in NCDDP Award under the Extra Large Coverage Category and the First Region to Deliver 1B in Community Grants Award were presented by Secretary Dinky Soliman to Region VIII Program Management Team besting 16 regions all over the country. Said awards were given on July 14, during the Mid-Year Project Review and Evaluation Workshop held at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City where Kalahi-CIDSS’ regional and national performance were assessed.

On June 5, 2015, Kalahi-CIDSS Field Office VIII hit the 1-Billion disbursement target making it the first region to deliver the said grant to communities where total of Php 1,008,526,165.63 billion has been released to 1, 865 barangays across six provinces in Eastern Visayas. As of this writing, a total of 3, 885 community-managed sub-projects were already funded under the NCDDP (National Community-Driven Development Program) fund source in the region, 37 of which are already completed. Sub-projects that are basic access infrastructure get the highest portion of NCDDP-funded projects.

These projects include the construction of barangay pathwalks, footbridges, and farm-to-market roads. On the other hand, about 30% of these projects are basic social services chosen by community folks such as construction of elementary schools, day care centers, health station, streetlights, and water system while community production, economic support and common service facilities obtain 20%. Due to CDD approach, communities are becoming more disaster-conscious in the region where 16% of subprojects in the region deal with environmental protection and conservation such as mangrove planting and construction of sea wall. Sub-projects funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in 21 municipalities, on the other hand, are set to be completed this December 2015.

From a total of 1, 089 MCC-funded sub-projects, 660 were already accomplished while 429 sub-projects are still for implementation. MCC has also funded eight Gender Incentive Grant (GIG) projects in Samar and Leyte focusing on non-traditional skills training for women. These projects are now opening opportunities to women who are mostly housewives which will also allow them participate in paid labor.

“The awards bestowed to DSWD-8 deserve celebration. Again the merit should go to every Kalahi-CIDSS worker who are dedicated; one who knows their responsibility as public servant whose value worth emanating”, Regional Director Nestor Ramos proudly said. Kalahi-CIDSS is the poverty alleviation program of the national government that seeks to empower community members using the Community-Driven Development (CDD) strategy.

In Eastern Visayas alone, 617, 131 households across 134 municipalities will benefit from this program; 239, 328 families of whom are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries

12th July 2015
Pilar island in Camotes falls short of food supply amid gale warning
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 12, 2015, 4:02 am

By Elvie Roman Roa

ORMOC CITY, Leyte, July 10, (PNA) – Amidst gale warning, a food shortage was felt in Pilar town in Camotes islands when its only means of transportation to the main lands were cancelled.

This occurred after the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) raised a gale warning disallowing the motorized bancas to navigate particularly to the city of Ormoc.

The residents there regularly purchase their commodities in the city.

This situation made more difficult for the people in Pilar who are still in grief after more than 50 of the residents died when M/B Kim Nirvana-B capsized off Ormoc City.

In a telephone conversation with Neriza Roa, a teacher said the commercial rice that usually costs Php44.00 a kilo raised its price to Php48.00 and NFA rice at Php34.00 a kilo has risen to Php38.00

And other prime commodities that had fallen short resulted to increased cost.

She added, a roll-on roll-off (RORO) carrying National Food Authority (NFA) rice arrived Friday morning but no supplies and commodities included.


Roa hopes that with the coming of rice supply, its cost will get back to normal.

Her husband Jayson, a village councilman is in a barbecue business.

She said, the cancellation of trips affects their business due to lack of meat supply coming from the city where they get daily stocks.

Due to the situation, the provincial government of Cebu sent food packs to the island, composed of rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits and coffee.

The suspension of M/B Kim Nirvana-A after its sister boat capsized brought only one banca remained operational.  However, the coast guard disallowed it from sailing.

Another passenger banca M/B Hebrewelah that travelled Ormoc and Pilar island is currently on dock after its engine failed to work, hours before M/B Kim Nirvana-B got an accident on July 2.

Its supposed passengers transferred to the next trip that capsized including the operator 40-year old Rolyn de la Torre who was one of the fatalities.

Following the sea tragedy, coast guard offered free trips through one of its vessels to the island as the trip was still suspended due to rough seas.

7th July 2015
NFA: Fake rice not here but be vigilant
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 7, 2015, 9:03 pm


July 7, 2015

MAASIN CITY – An official of the local NFA office here has doused the alarm that fake rice has reached the province as he informed rice retailers to still be vigilant on the kind of rice they are getting from their rice suppliers.

Accompanied by local media personalities, Daniel Avila, senior enforcement and investigation officer of the NFA in the province made an ocular inspection at the rice retail section at the city’s public market on Tuesday afternoon.

Avila gathered around rice retailers and told them that if they were caught selling fake rice they are as well as liable as the suppliers for violating the law. “You already know how fake rice look, you should not accept it because you would be considered as an accomplice.”

Reiterating, the NFA investigator described the fake rice “as shiny as it is mixed with resin, a chemical used in making plastic and the quality of its texture is finer than our first class rice that are commonly sold here.”

He added that the form is “perfect” compared to our rice because the rice supplied locally has a broken ends and if it washed before cooking you can already see the difference because there is frothing of the water.

Avila also said that “if you grind it with your palm there is chalky effect, meaning it would crack unlike the genuine one even if how hard you pressed it would not crack.”

The NFA officer though was optimistic that fake rice would not be sold here considering the smallness of consumers in a small city.


The news of the fake rice reaching the country has not affected locally, said retailers but they admitted that people were asking of fake ones before buying. But the retailers assured their suki that what they are selling are genuine ones.

They asked though the NFA officer how to avoid and not be implicated in getting fake rice somehow. Avila said that they should ask for an official receipt. “It’s okay if you got your stapples from suppliers that you knew.”


When asked about the possibility that the fake rice may have been produced locally (in the country) using DOST machine used in producing fortified rice, Avila dismissed it in jest that it may be linked in the controversy between China and the Philippines over territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

Avila admitted though it would be hard to distinguish fake rice if it is mixed with the genuine ones. “We would not know because there are unscrupulous traders who would probably resort to it."

6th July 2015
More hospital beds from Belgian philanthropist
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 6, 2015, 11:24 pm


July 7, 2015

MAASIN CITY – A Belgian philanthropist is looking for a legitimate NGO or organization who will help him out in transporting hospital implements to be donated to different hospitals in the Visayas.

Belgian Patrick Haghedooren said he has already secured several hospital beds and mattresses and other hospital equipment that is ready for delivery to Camotes and Southern Leyte hospitals but, “could not afford to handle custom fees and transportation cost.”

In an interview with The Reporter online during the awarding ceremonies of the most outstanding Southern Leytenos where his wife Sandra Peroso was one of the awardees, he said, “It’s too expensive and besides the processing of papers are tedious. You know the intricacies in bringing donated materials here”

He added that the hospital implements are ready for delivery from Belgium to a hospital in Camotes Cebu and the province of Southern Leyte.

“I hope there will be NGO’s or other civic organization that will help me out in transporting the hospital implements,” he said.

Only in July last year, the couple donated more than a hundred modern and fully equipped hospital beds and wheelchairs to the new Southern Leyte provincial hospital in Dongon before the hospital was operational.

They also distributed several beds and mattresses to the Anahawan district hospital also last year.

Governor Roger Mercado and the rest of the provincial hierarchy including Southern Leyte Rep. Damian Mercado has been very grateful to Patrick and Rosario Haghedooren of their donation because it helped a lot to the new two-storey state-of-art hospital, which has a total floor area of one hectare.

“It was very timely that the beds were already in-place before it became operational,” Gov. Mercado had said.

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