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2nd July 2015
NEWSFEATURE: Southern Leyte best farmers, fisherfolks, rural organizations get recognition
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 2, 2015, 7:11 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 27 (PIA)  --  For the very first time, farmers, fisherfolks, and rural-based organization--  the backbone and workhorses of agriculture development  --  took center stage, basking in the glory of their disciplined efforts, hard work, and dignity as a night was set aside for their citations and honor.

In all, fourteen names of individuals and groups around the province let their light shone in newly-discovered fame as winners of the Search for Outstanding Farmers, Fisherfolks, and Rural-based organizations (RBOs), a deserving, fitting tribute to an agricultural territory.

“You are the pillars of the province,” Gov. Roger Mercado beamed with obvious pride in his inspirational message, addressing a crowd of nominees and awardees, this time wearing formal attire  --  far from the rag tag, muddy, sweaty coverings they wore out there in the field  --   minutes before they were announced, in the style of an Oscars Awards event.

The awards night was held Friday, June 26, at the refurbished DILG gym beside the legislative building, a few steps away from the provincial Capitol building, the gym now re-named Southern Leyte Coliseum.

Mercado, whose strong advocacy for the province to make waves in the field of agriculture, was the lightning rod behind the idea, fully supported by the Provincial Agriculture Office, its municipal and city offices, and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)  Regional Office which footed the bill for the modest cash prizes given to the awardees.

In her brief message, Dr. Vilma Patindol, the OIC-Center Director, acknowledged that the provincial government over the years has leveled up the conduct of Agri-fair, this time giving recognition to deserving farmers, fisherfolks, and rural groups.

She challenged the winners to do even better, for they will be facing other provincial winners for a region-wide contest en route to a national championship, even as she encouraged the nominees who did not make it to strive even further to inspire the community.

Also attending the ceremonies were Board Member Atty. Abelardo Alamario, Macrohon Vice-Mayor Wilfredo Madrona, and City Mayor Maloney Samaco, as well as the agriculture officers from the towns and city.

This year’s maiden cream-of-the-crop harvest of business-minded, technology-driven agri entrepreneurs mostly belonged to the middle-age group (60 years old is the current middle age label, so new entrants to the Senior Citizens club should rejoice), but one in ten were young and vibrant youth, an indication farming and fishing had also pre-occupied the text and facebook generation.

The awardees in their respective categories are as follows:

Outstanding Rice Farmer for Hybrid  --  Agripino de Gracia, Ibarra, Maasin City

Outstanding Rice Farmer for inbred  --  Epifanio Mejares, Libhu, Maasin City

Outstanding Vegetable Grower,  Commercial scale  --  Gerardo Tibon, Bontoc

Outstanding Vegetable Grower, Small scale  --  Estelito Ansong, Hinundayan,


Outstanding Livestock Grower  --  Angie Peroso, Mabini, Macrohon (a youth winner)

Outstanding Fisherfolk, Large Scale  --  Rico Vanzuela, Ichon, Macrohon (a youth winner)

Outstanding Fisherfolk, Small Scale  --  Inocencio Mosot, Pintuyan

Outstanding Farm Family (Integrated Farming)  --  Alfredo Pagay, San Rafael, Maasin City

Outstanding Agriculture and Fishery Council  --  Padre Burgos Municipal Agriculture Fishery  Council

Outstanding Farmers’ Association  --  Pansil Association of Farmers, Malitbog

Outstanding Rural Improvement  Club  --  Malapoc Norte, Maasin City

Outstanding 4H Club  --  Guadalupe, Macrohon (a youth group)

Outstanding Industrial Crop Grower  --  Mariano Dumaran, Sto. Nino, Maasin City 

A dinner celebration was earlier held before the formal program began.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

Tesda maintains high standards to produce globally-competitive graduates
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 2, 2015, 7:08 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 26 (PIA)  --  The Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda) has always adhered to the constant need to level-up with current demands in order to come up with a workforce that is competent enough to face the domestic or global market.

This is carried out in partnership with accredited learning institutions in the public and private sector, and with leaders of industry, such as businessmen and members of the local chamber of commerce, according to Rodrigo Lacaba, Tesda Provincial Director.

In an interview at the Provincial Report/Action Center cable TV program Tuesday, Lacaba acknowledged his agency will have its hands full with the complete implementation of the K to 12 program of the Department of Education and the upcoming Asean integration.

The K to 12, despite some opposition, mandated additional two years in high school education starting next year, and Tesda is expected to train mentors to cater to Grade 11 students taking up vocational-technical tracks.

As to the upcoming Asean integration, which reports said will start December this year, the challenge is to equip the local labor force with skills to be ready with the anticipated entry of workers from other countries in the Asean region.

But Lacaba said even with or without the K to 12 program, Tesda made sure its mentors undergo rigid screening and assessment, and subjected to competencies as pre-requisite requirements, just like any student taking Tesda tests to gain national certification merits.

The agency has also linked with the local chamber of commerce and industry to match their demand for workers, adding that Tesda is already ISO-certified hence it is already qualified in an Asean integration setting, Lacaba also said.

It was learned that an ISO certification was one of the requirements before an office or agency can be considered ready for Asean integration.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte) 

19th June 2015
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 19, 2015, 2:58 pm

Duterte reaction: “Give it to them”

TANDAG,Surigao del Sur – If Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had any reaction to his impressive no. 3 ranking in the latest Pulse Asia survey, he did not show it.  

“Give it to the people who hunger for it,” Duterte remarked in the only time he referred to the recent survey.

The mayor was in Tandag City to grace the 55th “Araw ng Surigao del Sur” Friday.

At the start of his speech at the Tandag City gym, Duterte immediately doused cold water on expectations that the survey results would appeal to him.

“I have no ambition to run for the presidency,” the mayor declared, eliciting gasp from his audience which included Gov. Johnny Pimentel.

Every available space in the 5,000-capacity gym was filled with people who stood up and cheered when Duterte arrived.  

The mayor acknowledged the expression of support given to him by the governor and other provincial officials but remained firm in his disinterest for the presidency.

He revealed that he is dealing with a “growing rebellion” in his family as talks of a possible presidential refused to die down.

“Mayor Inday and her mother would not allow it,” the mayor said referring to his daughter, former Mayor Sara Duterte.

He acknowledged that many friends have joined in.

“Just allow us to try,” he quoted his unnamed friends who are persistent in their efforts to drum up support for his candidacy.

Duterte scored 15% in the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted among 1,200 respondents from May 30 to June 5.

It was good enough to retain his third place ranking in the previous survey where he tied with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

More importantly, Duterte came within 7% of Vice President Jejomar Binay who dropped to 22% which relegated him to second place.

Sen. Grace Poe seized first place after receiving 30% of voters’ preference. 

In an ambush interview with reporters at the airport before boarding the private helicopter that would take him back to Davao, Duterte was asked if his decision not to run was final.

Duterte’s face turned serious as he looked at the faces of the Davao-based reporters before him.

“We will see each other in Davao, you line up and I will kick each one of you,” he remarked as he slowly broke into a smile.

His response was met with laugher.

It meant his decision is not yet final. (CHITO A. FUENTES)


Environment-friendly LGUs in South Leyte known June 29
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 19, 2015, 1:10 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 18 (PIA) -- A comprehensive search for the most environment-friendly local government units in the province will be revealed and honored on June 29 as part of the activities marking the 55th founding anniversary of this province July 1.

According to lead evaluator Dr. Eva Abad of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Management Office (PENRMO) her team already had the results following a month-long assessment but this will be known only on the said date.

For the purpose of the search, LGUs were classified into first to third class categories, and only this city and the towns of Sogod and Hinunangan can fit in this classification, while the rest of the 16 municipalities fell under the fourth to sixth class types, Abad said during the Provincial Report/Action Center cable TV program Tuesday.

The barangays in each of the LGUs will also be judged based on the above-mentioned categories.

Abad said the main objective of the search, which is held for the first time, was to measure how awareness was matched with concrete action at the LGU levels, to institutionalize pro-active steps towards sustainable development, and to evolve integrated, climate-resilient communities.

The activity will also serve as a venue to recognize the efforts of the meritorious LGUs, share best practices, and push for improvement for those at the tail-end of the list, Abad explained.

In the cable TV program, Abad was joined by Nedgar Garvez for tourism-related activities, and Marina Gador, the provincial Agriculturist, for the Agri-Aqua fair that highlights the works of farmers and fisherfolks, both as individuals and organizations.

Together, the three formed the TEA team, for Tourism, Environment, Agriculture -- the main governance agenda of Gov. Roger Mercado.

This year’s 55th anniversary theme is “I love Southern Leyte.” (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)


18th June 2015
Knowing the real Rody Duterte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 18, 2015, 10:37 pm


By Manny Piñol

"When I close my eyes and compare being mayor to being President, I see not much difference except that Davao City is a lot smaller and easier area to govern than the whole country."

Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte was not playing coy when he repeatedly declared in the past that "I do not covet the Presidency. I don't need it."

Duterte meant it and believe it or not, he may not really run for President at all, that is unless the call for him to lead the country is overwhelming.

Political analysts, including Senate President Franklin Drilon, have suggested that Duterte, who is being pushed by his party, PDP-Laban, and hordes of supporters to vie for the Presidency, is either a hypocrite or a wise politician for denying that he eyes the highest post of the land while at the same time making a nation-wide tour promoting Federalism.

These people do not know Duterte and are showing political ignorance by lumping the colourful Davao City Mayor with the group of traditional politicians who proverbially "beg, steal, lie and cheat" just to win a coveted political post.

"Duterte is a different breed of politician," said Maribojoc Mayor Jun Evasco, a former priest and long-time political adviser of the city mayor.

People who have followed his colourful political career spanning 23 years, as mayor for three 9-year terms, as one term congressman and as vice mayor, swear that never had they heard Duterte ask people for vote for him.

"He will just go up the stage during campaign sorties, tell funny stories, endorse his party mates and sometimes national candidates and then end his speech by telling people to decide whether they needed him to serve them or not," said lawyer Pantaleon Alvarez, a close friend of Duterte and former congressman and secretary of transportation.

Duterte is known to have refused political contributions, especially if the funds would come from groups with business dealings with the city government.

In the last elections, contributions from big business establishments in Davao City were returned on orders of Duterte saying he did not need campaign funds because he was running unopposed.

Perhaps, one of the biggest reasons why Duterte is a reluctant candidate is because he feels at home in Davao City.

He would buy fish being peddled by ambulant vendors in the low-cost housing subdivision where he lives and enjoys eating what usually is a late breakfast using his bare hands.

The people of Davao City have come to accept him for what he is and what he does.

In spite of and despite his crassness and vulgar language, Davaoeños look at him as just another "barkada" who talks about his love life in public and admits being grateful to Pfizer, the maker of Viagra.

As a leader, however, people of Davao City know he is strict emphasising that the law applies to everyone.

Even his daughter, former City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio, was not spared by traffic cops who apprehended her for going beyond the 30-km speed limit within the city.

The Mayor also submitted himself to traffic policemen when he realised that he was riding his motorcycle without a safety helmet and voluntarily underwent a driving seminar.

Perhaps, what endears him to Davaoeños is his unequalled concern for their safety and security, especially the children and youth.

Davao City is the only city in the Philippines with a working 911 Emergency Response which responds to calls for assistance in 10 minutes and the service is free.

HIs focus on security and peace as the foundation of his governance transformed Davao City from a killing fields of communist assassins in the late 1970s up to the 1980s to one of the world's safest cities today.

Duterte's 23 years of public service has stood out untainted by issues of corruption.

It is in this light that people will have to understand that Duterte is not dying to become President.

He will not go around the country with open hands to beg for financial contributions or strike deals with political groups to become President.

That is simply not the Rody Duterte the people of Davao know.

"If the people really need me to lead, I have to see a genuine call. Otherwise, I would rather enjoy my life in Davao,' he said.

Will Duterte run?

That is a question not for Duterte to answer.

That is a question that the Filipinos today who are confronted with problems of corruption, drugs, criminality, joblessness and poverty in the countryside and the lack of discipline have to answer.

Rody Duterte is ready when the nation is ready for a new kind of politics.


Duterte believers grow, Survey results reveal
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 18, 2015, 10:20 pm

Despite his expressed disinterest for the presidency, more people say they will vote for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte if the elections were held today.

Pulse Asia released the results of its latest survey Friday which was conducted from May 30 to June 5.

The big story was the ascent of Sen. Grace Poe to the top when she got 30% of voter preference, toppling long-time survey front-runner Vice President Jejomary Binay who slid down to second with 22%.

Duterte, who vaulted into third place in the previous survey after being disregarded in the past, continued to rise with 15%.

This marked a 3% increase from his previous 12% which puts him just 7% behind Binay.

Duterte continued to soar in Mindanao where he tallied 37%, the most received by any survey participant.

Just like the previous survey, Duterte dominated Mindanao with 35%, a testament to the impact made by the country’s longest serving city mayor in the post-EDSA era.

Duterte has been going around the country in his advocacy for a shift to federalism from the present unitary system which is being blamed for much of the country’s problems.

The listening tour instead has turned Duterte into a legitimate presidential contender when more and more people who saw him up close and personal for the first time turned into instant believers.

While Duterte continues to parry the calls for him to throw his hat into next year’s presidential race, his supporters continue to grow by the day.

Duterte himself acknowledged that supporters have become more brazen as shown by the running of infomercials on TV, billboards in many parts of the country, the distribution of t-shirts, stickers and ballers.

While the mayor has publicly declared that he will wrap up his listening tour after his last scheduled sortie in Catanduanes, his public appearances are assured after his office was swamped with invitations to various events in different parts of the country.

Duterte was scheduled to grace the 8th charter day anniversary in Tandag, Surigao del Sur Friday after speaking before the 20th Caraga region business conference in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur Tuesday.

The tough-talking mayor who has captured the imagination of a growing number of Filipinos wary of the rising criminality and the increasing boldness of drug and criminal syndicates has been unequivocal against running for president.

His pronounced aversion for a national position has not deterred his supporters who are actively campaigning for a national draft hoping that Duterte will eventually change his mind and give in to the emerging national draft.

Duterte’s rising popularity has baffled political strategists as the mayor speaks his mind on many issues with categorical declarations that normally would have antagonized voters accustomed to sweet talks and motherhood statements.

The mayor also shows little concern for public image by revealing even unflattering aspects of his private life in public gatherings which separate him from other contenders.

This growing appreciation for the unconventional provincial leader who turned his city around from the killing fields of the 80s into the safest city in the country in the new millennium is what drives his supporters to plod on.

Duterte himself is feeling the increasing difficulty of resisting the clamor, conceding that if it is his destiny, he cannot do anything about it.

With what he did to Davao, his supporters are working harder to win over more believers enough to make history by installing a provincial official straight to Malacanang, at the same time the first Mindanaoan to make it all the way to the top. (CHITO A. FUENTES)


15th June 2015
Babatngon No. 3 on drug list nabbed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 15, 2015, 4:49 pm

Top 3 drug suspect in Babatngon town in Leyte falls

By Elvie Roman Roa

BABATNGON, Leyte, June 15, (PNA) – A 45 year old drug suspect who was the town’s number three in the drug watch list on Thursday was nabbed for possessing prohibited drugs and drug paraphernalia following a buy bust operation and a search in his house.

According to Senior Inspector Delfin Bardellon, Mario Villaflor was arrested shortly after selling a small sachet of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) to a police asset accompanied by a confidential informant using marked PHP500 at the back of his house in Dist. 4 of town’s poblacion. Babatngon is located in the northern part of Leyte, some 33 kilometers from the city of Tacloban.

In a search, the police recovered another 3 large and 4 medium sachets of the prohibited drugs, weighing scale, drug paraphernalia and cash believed to be proceeds from the illegal trade amounting to PHP17,000.  

The search also yielded one cal. 38 revolver loaded with five live ammunition, three and 40 pieces for super 38 revolver and M16 rifle live bullets, respectively.  

Bardellon added, the search warrant was issued by Branch 15 Judge Yolanda Dagandan in Burauen, Leyte.

The successful operation was jointly conducted by the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs and Special Operations Task Force (RAIDSOTF), Intelligence of Leyte Provincial Police and the town police.

The local officials expressed a sigh of relief on Villaflor’s arrest with the hope to lessen the illicit activities in the locale.

The suspect underwent inquest proceeding on Friday for violation of articles 5, 11 and 12 of section 2 of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 at the provincial court.

While a regular filing of the case for the firearms may follow pending the verification result of the legitimacy of his possession.


Kidnapping case vs Gov. Mercado, others dismissed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 15, 2015, 4:40 pm


June 4, 2015

MAASIN CITY – Southern Leyte Governor Roger G. Mercado said he feels vindicated over his crusade against illegal quarrying of sand and gravel at the biggest river in the province after a case of kidnapping filed against him was dismissed by a joint panel of prosecutors for lack of probable cause.

In a press conference at his office, Mercado said they can now proceed with the filing of a case against their accusers for stealing minerals at the Subang Daku river in Sogod town in violation of Section 103 (theft of minerals) RA 7942 .or Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

The case stemmed from the apprehension of workers at a crushing plant in Sogod town by the provincial officials led by Governor Mercado himself. The employees of the crushing plant, including the plant manager, Federico Ozon, the skipper of a barge and several crew members were brought to the provincial police office after they failed the show the necessary permits to extract and documents for loading extracted materials.

The incident prompted the complainants to file a case with the provincial prosecutor’s office for serious illegal detention or kidnapping against Mercado, SPO! Rogelio Orit, PO3 ovanni Galo, PO2 Windee Lim, Atty. Cromwell Gerong, provincial attorney, Eva Abad, prov’l environment officer and Noel Mercado.

In their compliant, Emmylou Sinagan, deck cadet of the LCT 369 and Engr. Federico Ozon, plant manager of Ernesto Dacay owned Shemberg Corporation, accused Gov Mercado and several officials of the province for violation of Article 267 of Revised Penal Code or Kidnapping or serious illegal detention.

They alleged “that on October 10, 2014 Gov. Mercado and his escorts SPO1 Rogelio Orit, PO3 Jovanni Galo and PO2 Windee Lim entered the said crushing plant and started making arrest by force, threat and intimidation then pushed people in the crushing plant to enter a coaster owned by the province.”

They further alleged that they are aware that respondents are public officers but considering that they acted neither in furtherance with their official functions nor in the pursuit of any legal authority vested in them, they charged them with the violation of Article 267 of the revised penal code.

In his counter-affidavit, Mercado alleged “that they were at the sand and gravel extraction area of Shemberg Marketing Corporation/Prime Rocks Aggregates in Subang Daku river in Sogod on October 10, 2014 for an inspection and the conduct of og on the spot investigation of the reported ongoing illegal extraction in the said area.”

Mercado said that “when the plant manager, Federico Ozon and the barge skipper Emmanuel Mausisa could not produce the required documents to extract and load extracted sand and gravel materials, they were brought to Maasin City and turned over to the provincial police office for violation of Section 465 of the local government Code and Section 103 for violation of RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.”

In reply to Mercado’s counter-affidavit, Ozon alleged, “Respondent Mercado was not performinghis function under Section 465 of the Local Government Code because he was restrained by the RTC to implement his functions and power. And that the arrest was illegal because the respondents were not deputized by the MGB or DENR on the date of the incident.”

In their joint resolution, the panel of provincial prosecutors resolved, “After a careful evaluation of evidence on record, we are convinced that there is reallyno kidnapping or serious illegal detention to speak of . It is very clear that there was no motive on the part of the respondents to resort to kidnapping of the alleged date of incident. They have no personal interest on the herein complainants and their companions. They are ust performing their duties and responsibilities as requiredby law.”

“the lack of motive to esort to kidnapping is manifested by the determination of the respondents to deliver the arrest persons to the proper judicial authorities. The case ofor theft of minerals was filed before this office for inquest proceedings but the respondents, the herein complainants and companions opted to avail their right to a preliminary invstigation and waved their righrt under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.”

The joint panel of prosecutors stressed, “that it beas stressing that the arrest was made in good faith for the the herein complainants and companions failed to present pertinent documents regarding permits on the extraction, loading and transport of the sand gravel on the daate of the incident plus the confirmation of the PNRMO-SAG monitoring the LCT 369 is loaded with sand and gravel illegally extracted from the are without any valid and existing permit.”

“Foregoing premises considered, the undersigned respectfully recommends the dismissal of these cases for lack of probable cause.”

The dismissal was signed on May 14, 2015 by Raymundo C. Clavejo, Deputy provincial prosecutor, “Felix B Vivares, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, Judy O Ramos-Navarrosa, Assistant provincial Prosecutor and approved by Anotonino G. Ruiz, Provincial Prosecutor.

When the case was filed last year, it saw print in some national paper after complainants’ lawyer Winsor Calamba, told the weekly media forum at Annabel’s in Quezon City, that ‘‘Governor Mercado, who is a lawyer, knowingly broke the law and brazenly defied a court injunction.”

Gov. Mercado had heavily criticized the publication of the kidnapping case without taking his sides. “Some papers just showed their irresponsibility by publishing the story without getting my side.”


14th June 2015
DSWD-8 Director to 4Ps: show that public funds are spent well
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 14, 2015, 10:39 am
By Marcelo M. Pedalino
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 11 (PIA)  --  Social Welfare Regional Director Nestor Ramos issued a direct challenge to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps):   that every peso they got from the government is worth the effort they make to make 4Ps a success.
“Show that the money was invested, indeed, in health and education for your children,” Ramos said in his closing message during an event that celebrated the first batch of 4Ps graduates, among them top-notch honors of their class, June 9 at the city gym here.
Ramos addressed his call in particular to the parents attending the ceremony, in which more than 300 fresh secondary graduates in March this year coming from the 18 towns and one city of the province were gathered, all wearing their respective high school uniforms of their respective schools.
He reminded them that education is the parents’ primary responsibility, saying the government extended support to them from taxes generated from paying taxpayers, hence the funds must be used in the most prudent manner.
“DSWD invested in education, for this will be a lifetime treasure we can provide for our children, our enduring legacy for them,” Ramos said.
Education is also widely seen as a ticket to escape the never-ending cycle of poverty among the poorest of the poor, he added.
The DSWD regional boss had some exciting tidings up under his sleeve when he announced that he will continue to renew his partnership and commitment to the various local government units in the province.
This year, 2015, the 4Ps coverage in the province will be expanded in close coordination with the LGUs, Ramos said, adding that by now enumerators are going around to list those qualified but not covered by 4Ps.
He said he expects the data from enumerators be available to him by July or next month.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

13th June 2015
South Leyte SAG monitoring team doing their duties, responsibilities, prosecutors rule
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 13, 2015, 10:17 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte,  June 11 (PIA)  --  The sand and gravel (SAG) monitoring team of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Management Office (PENRMO) got a boost in its no let-up fight on unregulated extraction along the Subangdaku river, after four prosecutors dismissed a case filed in October last year against individual members of the team.

“They were just performing their duties and responsibilities as required by law,” the prosecutors wrote in their May 14, 2015 ruling that recommended “dismissal of the cases for lack of probable cause.”

On October 10, 2014, the SAG team conducted an inspection in Subangdaku, Sogod, and found a representative of a quarry operator unable to present documents, as well as personnel of a loaded barge who also were unable to show pertinent papers.

The SAG team then apprehended them and the others citing the doctrine of citizens’ arrest for being caught in the act of committing a crime, in this instance, theft of mineral resources as alleged, and they were subsequently brought to the provincial police headquarters in this city for further processing.

In a counter move, Emmylou Sinagan, an on-the-job trainee of barge LCT 369, and Federico Ozon, plant manager of a crushing plant of Ernesto Dacay, Jr., filed a complaint with the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, charging the SAG team for kidnapping or illegal detention in the aftermath of the October 10 incident.

Named respondents of the charge were the SAG monitoring team that included Gov. Roger Mercado, SPO1 Rogelio Orit, PO2 Windee Lim, PO3 Jovanni Galo, Atty. Rafael Cromwell Gerong, Eva Abad, and Noel Mercado.

In their decision, the Prosecutors declared “that after a careful evaluation of the evidences on record, we were convinced that there is really no kidnapping or serious illegal detention to speak of.


“It is very clear that there was no motive on the part of the respondents to resort to kidnapping on the alleged date of incident.  They have no personal interest on the herein complainants and their companions.  They were just performing their duties and responsibilities as required by law.

“Lack of motive to resort to kidnapping is manifested by the determination of the respondents to deliver the arrested persons to the proper judicial authorities  .  .  .

“Also, it bears stressing that the arrest was made in good faith for the herein complainants and companions failed to present pertinent documents regarding permits on the extraction, loading and transport of the sand and gravel on the date of incident plus the confirmation of the PENRMO-SAG Monitoring that LCT 369 is loaded with sand and gravel illegally extracted from the area without any valid and existing permit,” the decision said.

The ruling was signed by Raymundo Clavejo, Deputy Provincial Prosecutor; Felix Vivares, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor; Judy Ramos-Navarrosa, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor; and Antonino Ruiz, Provincial Prosecutor.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

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