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27th July 2016
Weesam Express to ply Maasin-Cebu route
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 27, 2016, 3:11 am


July 27, 2016

MAASIN CITY – Businessmen in the city were upbeat over the possibility of a fast craft plying the Maasin-Cebu-Maasin route daily after a visit of Weesam Express executive.

In a press conference on Wednesday held at Kinamot restaurant, Daisy Syppieco, Weesam marketing manager assured the members of Tourism Association of Southern Leyte (TASL) and the members Southern Leyte Chamber of Southern Leyte headed by baker Effipania Sy, that her boss is just waiting for my return to Cebu.

According to TASL official, Pascal Caning, the TASL initiated the talks with Weesam with Capitol tourism head Nedgar Garvez.

“After ocular inspection of the port facilities here and their new port in Guadalupe and of course around the city, I called my boss of the great possibility of favorable entry of our company,” Sypiecco told the businessmen.

She added that “with your overwhelming support I could say that we may have our maiden voyage by first or second week of August,” to the applause of her audience.

“We are very excited ma’am,” said Rody Morano, Philippine Ports Authority manager in the city. “Our ports are very much ready and besides we are long deprived of a comfortable ride to Cebu please make it happen.

He added that our port is being monopolized by one shipping company and it leaves Maasin midnight and very early dawn.

Morano also said there is no worry about south monsoon (habagat) because we have a very safe port in Guadalupe village which is new. Sypiecco confirmed having visited the port.

For his part, Pascal Canning, owner of posh Caimito hotel, pitched that Maasin is very much improved, the people are wealthy compared to nine or so years ago.

The Weesam marketing manager who claim she has a voice in her company’s decision making said, “I don’t want to make sip-sip with you guys but I also have a say in our company’s decision so I might as well make it happen.

She said the fare may come around P500-600 in their business class and lower on their economy class.

The possible entry of Weesam Express was made by the Tourism office, headed by Nedgar Garvez during a travel mart held in Cebu city last year.

Maasin had its last taste of a fast craft vessel long before Maasin became a city. The city will have its 10the anniversary on August 10.



22nd July 2016
DA to pour P100M for abaca rehab
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 22, 2016, 9:46 am


July 21, 2016

MAASIN CITY – The Department of Agriculture will download P100 million in abaca industry rehabilitation fund to Sogod LGU contrary to what DA secretary Manny Pinol has said during a gathering of farmers organization in Sogod, Southern Leyte last week.

The Agriculture secretary was in Sogod July 14 upon the invitation of former vice governor Sheffered Tan and Emmy Tan, reelected mayor of Sogod. Sheffered ran and lost to come backing Gov. Damian Mercado. Pinol claimed that Sheffered is a close friend of his younger brother.

In a press conference at the mayor’s office after addressing the farmers, Pinol committed that P100 million of the P2Billion left unspent by the DA will be used to rehabilitate Abaca industry in region 8, composed of six provinces in Samar and Leyte islands.

He said that all the money will be disposed before December “or else it go back to the national treasury.”

“It’s up to Sogod how fast they can produce the “inusa” variety,” said Pinol when asked if the amount will all be for Sogod.

He pointed out that P50M is allotted for the immediate procurement of planting materials. “This is however, a plant now pay later program”

He informed that President Rody Duterte knew about his coming to the province. Duterte was born in Maasin City. A decade ago, the abaca industry in the province was wiped out by bunchy top.

In a separate audience with Gov. Mercado, Vice Gov. Christofer Yap and all the mayors aside from Tan, the DA secretary said the same about the allocation intended for Eastern Visayas.

However, in article published in the DA website, the secretary said initial funding of P100 million (M) will be downloaded to LGU of Sogod through its Mayor Imelda U. Tan.

It was also reported in two other media outlets.

The reported downloading of the amount to Sogod LGU, doesn’t sit well with other provincials officials. They were asking why when the Secretary had said it will for Eastern Visayas.

When sought for his comment on Wednesday, Pinol in mobile interview told the Inquirer “what’s wrong with that?”

He added, “I can assure you that the P100M will not go into somebody’s pocket other than what it is intended for. And besides, they were the ones (Tans) who organized the abaca farmers.”

“Please don’t put political colors into our program. It will not be good for the LGUs.”

At the press conference in Sogod he had said in the presence of Mayor Tan, “local political divisiveness has taken its toll on me although I understand being a former local politician. After here I will be with another audience telling the same thing when I should be telling this at one time.”



18th July 2016
pusher killed in buy-bust
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 18, 2016, 9:10 pm


July 16, 2016

MAASIN CITY – A suspected illegal drug pusher who is in the watch list of Maasin City police station was killed during a buy-bust operation on Friday midnight.

Police authorities identified the fatality as 32-year old Jerry “Jerjer” Zamora of Combado village this city.

Maasin city police personnel led by Police Inspector Clea Marie Lapastora conducted the buy-bust operation at the suspect’s rented house in the said village just less than 200 meters from the police station. The rented house was also used as drug den, authorities said.

According to the police, Zamora has sensed that the poseur-buyer P03 Roderick Ingeniero was a policeman he immediately drew his 38 caliber pistol but Ingeniero beat him to the draw hitting the suspect that caused his instantaneous death.

Recovered from the crime scene were .38 caliber with five live ammunition, 3 fired cases of 9mm, two pcs. medium size heat sealed sachet believed to be shabu, two units myphone and P680 in cash.

Zamora was the first known pusher in the city to be killed in the continuing campaign against illegal drugs.


16th June 2016
Stakeholders craft management plan for two So. Leyte caves
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 16, 2016, 9:11 pm

(By Marcelino M. Pedalino, 16 June 2016)

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 16 (PIA)  --  For two consecutive weeks, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional and provincial offices took the lead in gathering various sectors to draft plans designed to manage two caves in the province.

The management function focuses on sustainability, to see to it that the caves remain protected and preserved, ensure visitors’ safety, even as uses for tourism purposes and other development projects are considered.

This week, a three-day workshop is underway , June 15-17, to do just that for the Guinsohotan cave located in barangay Cagnituan, this city, while next week, June 22-24, a similar activity is scheduled for the Cambaro cave in barangay Cambaro, Macrohon.


13th June 2016
Philhealth-Eastern Visayas aims P 4B release this year -- Bacariza
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 13, 2016, 4:40 pm

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 7 (PIA)  --  The Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth) Vice President for Operations in Region 8 is hoping to release as much as P 4 Billion this year in payments to hospitals and individuals for health services rendered.

“We are the only health insurance in the world that is happy when we pay more,” Walter Bacariza, regional Philhealth head, announced Thursday, June 2.Bacariza was in the city to grace the inauguration of a well-improved provincial Philhealth office in the city, which was actually in the same location at barangay Mantahan, on the road leading to the old hospital, but this time Philhealth occupied the entire two-storey building.

Their main office used to be at the second floor, now it is on the ground floor, accessible to the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWDs), said Henry Madula, provincial Philhealth manager.In a short talk during the program, Bacariza recalled that in 2009 some P 200 Million in Philhealth claims were released in Eastern Visayas and, six years later in 2015, this ballooned to P 3.3 Billion.“I hope to do P 4 Billion release this year,”

Bacariza declared.He said the new, expanded office underscored the agency’s commitment to serve the public, to be the beacon on matters of health and wellness, as well as the accompanying financing.

The office of the Congressman was represented by its staff, Jason Calva, while the provincial government was represented by Administrator Jessie Quilanting in the ceremonies.

Calva cited Philhealth for always coordinating with his office, while Quilantang mentioned the creation of a hospital enterprise board in which Philhealth provided insights and suggestions.

In the impromptu interaction with the local media, Bacariza enlisted their help in getting across the message that everybody can avail of Philhealth benefits.“Even non-Philhealth members,” he added.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte) 


10th May 2016
Mercados dominate again, Duterte wins by 20k over Roxas
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 10, 2016, 1:32 pm

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – The Mercado dynasty continued their dominance in the Southern Leyte province and in the city with an addition to a son-in-law winning as Board Member.

Gov. Roger Mercado, who switched place with younger brother Rep. Damian as lone Representative of the province winning with a big margin (111,340 ) against lawyer and former St. Bernard mayor Rico Rentuza(56,882).

Rep. Damian Mercado who slide down to run as governor won by a landslide (108,190) against Vice Governor Sheffered Tan(68,800).


9th May 2016
Maasin City Comelec partial official result @40 percent
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 9, 2016, 7:50 pm

Official result

  MERCADO 13,814  
  RENTUZA 3,543  
  MERCADO 13,711  
  TAN 4,260  
  YAP 9,100  
  GAMALI 1,683  
  ESCLAMADO 4,088  
  BANTUG 10,360  
  EDILLO 8,411  
  ESCANO 7,728  
  IDJAO 7,042  
  RESOS 5,858  
  ASTORGA 2,800  
  DUMANGCAS 1,594  
  CAMUS 1,338  
  MERCADO 11,593  
  DATOR 4,780  
  SAMACO 11,319  
  SIBI 4,302  
  ABIERA, EFFIE 13,004  
  GERONG, RAFAEL JR. 9,950  
  VERANO, FELIX 9,123  
  ROJAS, BOY 8,946  
  DUBLAN, MELVIN 8,224  
  OLITA, ZALDY 8,167  
  DUMAGAN-CRUZ 2,280  


Update on VCM malfunction
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 9, 2016, 2:31 pm


May 9, 2016

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – Voting continued in two clustered precincts even without using of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs)as voters consented that they will proceed with voting.

Though VCM replacement arrived hours later in the clustered precinct located at Tomas Oppus Pilot school in Mantahan village this city, however, the one in Guadalupe has no replacement yet as of 2:00 p.m., Richy Blasabas, Smartmatic technician assigned at the city poll office told the Inquirer.

He said the VCM that malfunctioned in Guadalupe will be replaced as soon as the go signal from the National Technical Service Office arrives. “The voting will continue and the ballots will be kept by the BEI. All these have the consent of the Comelec.”

Voting stops in two cluster precincts
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 9, 2016, 10:10 am



May 9, 2016

MAASIN CITY – Voting stops in 2 cluster precincts in Mantahan and Guadalupe villages after the VCMs misread or come out without results.

The cluster precincts comprise eight precincts or roughly more than thousand voters.

According to Richy Blasabas of Smartmatic technician assigned at the city Comelec office, after they tried cleaning or inspection of the VCMs still no result comes out prompting them to call the National Technical Service Office what to do. He said they have standby VCM for replacement.

The voting stops after more than ten tries which rendered the same results.



7th May 2016
The ugly face of Southern Leyte politics
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 7, 2016, 10:30 am


May 7, 2016

MAASIN CITY – Politics in Southern Leyte revealed its ugly face at the homestretch of the campaign period when father and son who are in the opposite side washed dirty linen in campaign sorties.

Only on Friday, allegation of hired goons to harm a mayor went viral in the social pages of Southern Leytenos.

Vice governor Sheffered Tan, who is running for governor under UNA and his father former Vice Gov. Orlando Tan, who is allied with the camp of Southern Leyte Rep. Damian Mercado who is running for Governor against the younger Tan, exchanged their personal grudge in their respective rallies.

“Don’t vote for Sheffered Tan because he is disrespectful of his parents and remiss in his job as the vice governor of the province,” said the elder Tan in a meeting de avance of the Liberal party in San Juan town where he was the formal mayor.

In an interview, Vice gov. Tan said he has a controversial childhood because he really didn’t know who his real father is.

“I could still remember how he brought me up as a child. It’s like I am not his son. I’m like Poe (Grace),” said Tan.

He added that when he was a mayor of Sogod, he made a mistress one of my employees. “This might be the reason why I’m estranged with him.”

Vice governor Tan on Friday at around 10:00 in morning called the Sogod Police station that they accosted five persons with arms including the van driver who he believed was hired by his rival Rep. Damian Mercado to kill his wife, Sogod mayor Emmie Tan after he reportedly berated and hit the alleged suspects.

According to Tan, his attention was called when his leaders saw a suspicious van in Mabicay village. He said he immediately went to the area with his men and confronted the suspects.

When he asked who hired them they said Rep. Damian Mercado.

“I admit I hit some of them because they said they were hired by Mercado to kill his wife,” Tan told The Reporter online in an interview at the police station.

How would you react to that. It’s my wife they are going to kill? Tan said justifying his action to hit.

His rival though belied the accusation of Tan saying it’s his desperate move to gain sympathizers. It’s a drama to say the least, Mercado said in mobile interview Saturday morning.

“We are winning why we should do that. Everybody in Sogod or Southern Leyte for that matter knew who I am. I don’t employ with that kind of action in all my political life.” Mercado said adding his line of questioning to the suspects was bereft with motives.

“I don’t know who they are. It’s their drama.”

Earlier in an interview with the driver, Rodulfo Vargas of Hilongos town said he was told by his employer, Vanvan transport, to go to Sogod because somebody would hire their van.

He said he didn’t know who hired the van. When asked if his passenger were bringing with them guns, he said he didn’t know.

The suspects did not make any statement.

According to the police chief Police senior Inspector Kenny Tantiado a policemen assigned near the area called us and we responded. “When we arrived the five were already sitting on the ground.”

He said they will conduct further investigation on what really transpired.

Tantiado identified the five as Fromencio Alconten Diolas, 46 married of Papaya, San Vicente, Butuan City, Wilfred Agustin Penig, 33, of Poblacion, Sibugat, Agusan del Sur, Leo Diolan, 53, married Bgy. Makasil, Butuan City, Ben de Paz, 47, married of Bgy. Rizal, Sogod, Southern Leyte and the driver, Rodulfo Vargas, 49 married of Hilongos town

Viral video on “hired killers”

A video showing four persons berated by a man, supposedly Vice Gov. Tan, repeatedly asking who hired them and what gun they use. Each of the four answered Damian Mercado but the man asking told to make it louder. The video also showed guns sprawled in the ground. The video was posted in So Good Southern Leyte went viral. It earned 171,462 views, 3,775 shares and 800 comments.

Two other videos residents in the village narrating what transpired at the “crime scene” posted by FB account Sogod So. Leyte Terrorism, also went viral with combined 28,700 views and 800 shares in just few hours. The two videos supposedly posted by the Mercado camp.


Your Link to the regional weather outlook for Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
Weesam Express to ply Maasin-Cebu route, July 27, 2016, 3:11 am

pusher killed in buy-bust, July 18, 2016, 9:10 pm

July 2016 Cebu Flood, July 2, 2016, 9:34 am

THE PREZ AND THE PRESS, June 29, 2016, 6:14 am

DA to pour P100M for abaca rehab, July 22, 2016, 9:46 am

THE PREZ AND THE PRESS, June 29, 2016, 6:14 am

Weesam Express to ply Maasin-Cebu route, July 27, 2016, 3:11 am

DA to pour P100M for abaca rehab, July 22, 2016, 9:46 am

pusher killed in buy-bust, July 18, 2016, 9:10 pm

DA to pour P100M for abaca rehab, July 22, 2016, 9:46 am

Update on VCM malfunction, May 9, 2016, 2:31 pm

Voting stops in two cluster precincts, May 9, 2016, 10:10 am

Elected councilor shot dead in Leyte, June 2, 2016, 9:27 pm

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