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MAASIN CITY

25th November 2014
South Leyte Governor refutes Philippine Star Columnist
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 25, 2014, 4:17 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Nov. 24 (PIA)  --  Governor Roger Mercado last week clarified several points raised by a national daily columnist regarding hot issues and latest developments arising from Mercado’s hands-on implementation over quarrying and sand and gravel extraction regulation last month.

In a letter sent to the Philippine Star daily newspaper, which the broadsheet published on its November 21 issue, Mercado discussed intensively his side of the story on the events that happened on October 10, the day he, together with Task Force Subangdaku team, accosted crewmen of a sea-faring vessel docked in Sogod town, along with personnel of a crushing plant.

He also tackled the legal foundations of the provincial revenue code, the lawful grounds or the authority   on Governor’s permit for sand and gravel extractions, and his take on the kidnapping charges and a petition to the President to have him suspended purportedly for grave misconduct and abuse of authority.

Coincidentally, his letter, addressed to Star Columnist Alex Magno in response to Magno’s November 18 column, was aptly titled “Caught in the act,” which was basically Gov. Mercado’s defense on the October 10 incident.  Magno’s Nov. 18 column, meanwhile, carried the title “Governors”, for aside from Mercado, he also criticized another Governor.

Warrantless Citizen’s arrest

“The arrest of the sand and gravel company crews was a straightforward caught in the act (or en flagrante delicto) situation calling for and requiring a warrantless arrest authorized both by the text and spirit of existing law (Sec. 5, (a)& (b), Rule 113, Rules of Criminal Procedure), “  Mercado wrote.

He added:  “The arrestees were caught in the act of committing a crime, namely, theft of mineral resources, defined and punished under Sec. 103 of the Mining Law (Rep. Act No. 7942); they could not even show the police and environment officers permits for the transport of the sand and gravel found in the barge that was about to depart from Southern Leyte.”

Mercado took exception to Magno’s casual line that the workers were not at work at the time they were approached, saying the statement “may be correct in the sense that the plain fact is that they were busy committing a crime.”

He said the “express legal authorization for warrantless arrest is given not just to a duly sworn officer of the law but to a private person or plain citizen so he can lawfully make a citizen’s arrest.”

This, without doubt, according to him, “underscores not just its legal justification but also  --  and more importantly perhaps  --  the urgent need in the real world for warrantless arrests if our ordered society must meet the vital necessity of upholding the law at all times.”

And in the matter of always upholding the law, the concerned government officers, national and local, “were all duly engaged in a relentless effort to enforce laws and ordinances meant to protect the environment and natural resources,” with Guinsaugon landslide and Yolanda as fitting background, Mercado declared.

Provincial Revenue Code, Governor’s Permit for SAG

On the issue of the Provincial Revenue Code which Magno assailed as nearly tripled the extraction fee for sand and gravel, Mercado explained it was well within the Local Government Code, Republic Act No.7160, adding that it was not contrary to the Mining Law “which in particular does not expressly amend, much less repeal, any part of the Local Government Code.”

“As for the governor’s authority to issue permits for sand and gravel extractions or mining activities, irrespective of area in hectares, the same is clearly provided for both in the province’s ordinance and the Local Government Code, and sustained by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Province of Cagayan, etc., et al vs. Lara, G.R. No. 188500, July 24, 2013,” Mercado noted.

Fabricated charges

On the alleged charge of kidnapping and serious illegal detention slapped against him and others, Mercado remarked that those were “pure fabrication meant to harass, cow, and stop us from our relentless enforcement of the laws and ordinances to protect the environment and natural resources.”

“I am asking the Office of the President as well as the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss outright the said alleged charge or charges as it is in violation of Section 1, Rule 6 on Strategic Law Suit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) under Supreme Court Circular A.M. No. 09-6-8 (Rules on Procedure for Environment Cases).

On the offensive

Mercado informed Magno that he had initiated some countermoves.

“I am also asking the Supreme Court thru the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to consider disbarment or disciplinary proceedings against Atty. Winsor Calamba for serious violation of the lawyer’s oath and code of ethic for promoting among other things a malicious prosecution of national and provincial officers who are simply doing their best to protect the environment and natural resources.

“Our lawyers also have brought suit against Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Rolando L. Gonzalez with the Court of Appeals for grave abuse of authority in the case filed against the province by businessmen who were found to be conducting illegal sand and gravel extraction and mining activities in violation of laws and ordinances meant to protect the environment and natural resources.

“Among other things, the suit assails Judge Gonzalez’ violation of the Supreme Court kalikasan rules prohibiting RTC judges from issuing injunction writs against government actions to protect the environment,” Mercado stressed.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

 

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10th November 2014
Indon pug vows KO vs Aguelo in 4th round
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 10, 2014, 1:00 am

JANI ARNAIZ

November 10, 2014

MAASIN CITY – Indonesian pugilist Elly Ray has promised to knock out Maasinhon Asian Boxing Federation (ABF) titlist Adonis Aguelo Singwangcha in fourth round.

Ray will challenge the ABF lightweight crown of Aguelo Singwangcha on November 11 at the Maasin gym at 6:00 p.m.

It would the first title defense of the Maasinhon who ABF lightweight last year in Talisay Cebu.

“I’m prepared much for this title. I promise you I will knock him out on the fourth round,” said Ray as interpreted by his lady manager Rose Corano during a brief press conference before weigh-in held at the bus terminal here on Monday.  

Rose, who manages two other Filipino boxers, said, “I believed my boxer even if he lives and trained in Bali and I believed he will knocked out the Filipino.”

Both have almost even records with Aguelo’s record of 24 fights 12 by ko’s and 10 losses and two draws against Ray’s 25-14-11. Aguelo said most of his losses were fight outside the country. “Those losses I got were from my fights abroad. Even if I win some of those fight, I lost because of hometown decision,” said Aguelo, who is from mountain village of Matin-ao in Maasin City. He is now based in Thailand. He started his boxing career in the city at the helms of Maasin City Sport Council.

Maasin City Mayor Malone Samaco, who brought many boxing bouts in the city including the championship bout of Pagara brothers, who are both from the city against Indonesians including this one said he will continue to bring big fights to the city.

“We want to continue to inspire our athletes here by bringing fights like this. We will hone-up our boxers in their amateur days and recommend them to big promoters thereafter. But they have to finish their schooling first.”

The mayor was forced to answer he will be running for vice-mayor next election when asked whether his expertise in training athletes be brought to the province when he should intend to move up to the province after he finished his term on 2016.

“I will not move up. I will remain in Maasin and run for vice-mayor. That’s my frank revelation.”

Meanwhile, Aguelo’s handler, Naris Singwangcha, who co-promote the championship, said “I love the Philippines and the Filipinos and I love Maasin.” He added that he loves boxing very much. “I don’t take anything from my boxers.”

 

 

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9th October 2014
PSA-Southern Leyte joins 25th National Stat Month celebration
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 9, 2014, 1:52 pm

BY REBECCA S. CADAVOS

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Sept. 29 (PIA) -- The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) formerly National Statistics Office Southern Leyte Provincial Office will be celebrating the 25th National Statistics Month (NSM) on October, said PSA provincial office statistician Jimmy Dagupan.

Dagupan said that, PSA Memorandum No. 01-14 issued by Socioeconomic Planning secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan enjoin all agencies of the government, local government units, academic institutions, and the private sector at the national and sub-national levels to actively participate in and support the celebration of the 2014 NSM.

The conduct of the NSM is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 647 that has the following objectives: (a) to promote, enhance and instill nationwide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics to the different sectors of the society; and (b) to elicit the cooperation and support of the general public in upgrading the quality and standard of statistics in the country.

This year’s   NSM silver anniversary celebration carries the theme, “NSM at 25 Years and Beyond: Solid and Responsive Philippine Statistical System in Support of Globalization and Regional Economic Integration.”

The theme highlights the objective of the newly established Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to be a solid and responsive Philippine statistical system, Dagupan disclosed.

For the month-long celebration, PSA Southern Leyte has lined-up several activities to highlight the relevance of statistics which include: hanging of streamers; radio and TV information dissemination; conduct of civil registration information drive and statistics quiz in secondary schools in the province; conduct of basic statistics training for municipal planning officers; conduct of corporate and social responsibility activities (environmental related activities); and the conduct of court decrees and legal instruments processing training for city/municipal civil registrars, Dagupan added. (jrc/rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)

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TESDA-SoLeyte caters TWSP scholars
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 9, 2014, 1:45 pm

BY REBECCA S. CADAVOS

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Oct. 4 (PIA) – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Southern Leyte awarded scholarship certificates to 25 beneficiaries for the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) in a a ceremony held at Hinunangan Skills and Technological Center (HSTC), Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, October 1.

ESDA administrative officer Jocelyn Gidal informed that the scholars will undergo five months training in Shielded Metal Arc Welding at HSTC.

“TESDA will shoulder the training cost amounting to P10,000.00 as well as assessment fee in the amount of P500.00,” she told.

She added that the 25 awardees were chosen through the Community Training and Employment Coordinators (CTECs) that is composed of the local Social Welfare Office personnel from the different municipalities in the province.

“The scholars come from the Pacific towns of St. Bernard, San Juan, Anahawan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan and Silago,” Gidal disclosed further.

During the awarding program, TESDA OIC-provincial director Rodrigo Lacaba presented the scholarship certificates to the beneficiaries assisted  by scholarship focal person Alma Mesa, competency assistant Silvestre Paedlin Sr. and HSTC Chancellor Wilma Elivera. (jrc/rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)

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26th September 2014
Sen Marcos Bill to benefit retiring bgy. officials
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on September 26, 2014, 5:36 am

By JANI ARNAIZ

September 26, 2014

MAASIN CITY – Retiring barangay officials including its workers stand to benefit from Senator Ferdinand Marcos’ bill in the senate which the senator said already passed in the committee level.

The senator who “gate crashed” at the first Southern Leyte tourism summit held at Lourdes convention center here in the city on Friday, told tourism stakeholders including LGU officials on the side about his bill (SBN 12) an act providing retirement benefits to Barangay officials and barangay workers.

“I am optimistic that the Bill will be passed in the Senate considering that 11 senators have co-authored my bill after I submitted my committee report.”

He said in jest that in the Senate they now have a different mathematics. “We are supposed to be 24 members but three are on vacation and another is on medical leave. With the 11 senators as co-authors we are already the majority.”

Marcos said that included in Bill is the provision of Philhealth for every member of the family of the barangay officials.

“In the House, they have a similar Bill but different provisions. But with the prodding of LGU officials to their representatives I think this will become a law.”

He said “It’s about to return the favor to the hapless barangay officials and workers who are only receiving honoraria but if without them there will be no government because they are the ones who will deliver the basic needs of our people.”

With the Bill, village chiefs stand to receive P100,000 cash benefits if they have completed their three terms, so with barangay kagawads, P80,000 and other workers like tanods, BHW and other barangay workers stand to receive from P30,000 to P50,000.

 

 

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10th August 2014
Maasin City keen on 'No Smoking Capital of the Philippines'
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on August 10, 2014, 11:35 am

(By Ronald Reyes, PNA | 10 Aug 2014, 1:43 pm)

TACLOBAN CITY, Aug 10 (PNA) --Amid resistance from tobacco companies and smokers, Mayor Maloney Samaco of Maasin city in Southern Leyte is determined to turn the city into a “No Smoking Capital of the Philippines.”

After bagging the Department of Health- Red Orchid Hall of Fame awards for its comprehensive implementation of 100 percent tobacco-free environment in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) for three consecutive years since 2010, the city government’s role in maintaining its reputation is getting more challenging.

“Sometimes we use the iron hand by imposing penalties and closures of some stores who violated our laws,” Samaco said.

Read more...

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29th July 2014
Earthquake damages 2 schools in Southern Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 29, 2014, 1:39 pm

By JANI ARNAIZ

Inquirer Visayas

 

MAASIN CITY, Philippines—At least two school buildings in Hinundayan town, Southern Leyte province, will have to be condemned after these were badly damaged when a strong earthquake shook the municipality and parts of the province on Friday.

 

Mayor Evelyn Lee of Hinundayan said the classrooms of Plaridel Elementary School and Bugho Elementary School should not be used because there were cracks on the beams, walls and floor.

 

She said the 40 pupils of Bugho Elementary School would hold classes in makeshift tents while the covered court in Plaridel would serve as a temporary classroom for the pupils of Plaridel Elementary School.

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit the province at 7:57 a.m. on Friday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

 

The epicenter of the quake, which was tectonic in origin, was recorded at 8 kilometers of Hinundayan. The earthquake had a depth of 6 km and likely came from the Leyte segment of the Philippine Zone Fault, the Phivolcs said.

 

 

Lee said the town sustained damage during the quake but she could not estimate the total cost.

 

“It was so strong that people were jolted by the quake that lasted about 10 seconds. Had it been longer, I could not imagine the extent of the damage,” Lee told the Inquirer.

 

The houses of at least 50 families in Plaridel and Bugho were damaged during the tremor.

The earthquake cut off or dislodged the town’s water pipes, Lee said. She assured the public that the water supply would be restored by Saturday.

 

Lee said the wall of their gym also collapsed.

 

Three bridges in San Juan and Hinundayan towns remained impassable due to damage sustained during the earthquake, according to Alan Eway, assistant engineer of the Southern Leyte District Engineering Office. At least P4 million is needed to repair the damage, he added.

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25th July 2014
More damages were reported in Hinundayan, St. Bernard
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 25, 2014, 12:14 am

UPDATE ON EARTHQUAKE
By Jani Arnaiz

July 25, 2014

MAASIN CITY -- Gov. Roger Mercado has ordered the suspension of all classes in the six towns heavily hit by the quake pending the assessment on the extent of the damages caused by the temblor. The municipalities are St. Bernard, Hinundayan, Hinunangan, San Juan, Anahawan and Silago.

The OCD in-charge in the province said at least one school building and four houses were partially damaged in Bugho village, Hinundayan, while the town ‘s gym was partially damaged with its wall collapsed and the beam cracked.

Tan also said that the flooring and beam of the Red Cross bldg. in St. Bernard cracked. Cracks were also seen on the wall of a school bldg, principal’s office, LGU/ Municipal Compound, Tourism Office has  long, big crack in wall.  Brgy. Himatagon Town Cevillage centerbldg. has cracks in walls near stairway, and near beam.

In the Guinsaugon relocation center’s school, one teacher and two students lost consciousness, while another student was lacerated in the leg. All the victims were brought to the Anahawan district hospital.

Earlier, initial report from the Office of Civil Defense in Southern Leyte showed that minor damages were caused by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit 8km southwest of Hinundayan, Southern Leyte at around 8:00 Friday morning.

Marichu Tan of the OCD said that the beam of the isolation ward of the Anahawan district hospital cracked. No one was injured among the patients who were evacuated outside the hospital.

In St. Bernard town, all classes were suspended. Tan also reported that several residents were injured. She said all MDRRMOs in the towns hit by the earthquake were still conducting rapid assessments regarding damages or needs.

According to Betty Martinez of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, there was no damage to NGCP electric posts. “The Leyte-Samar sub grid remains intact as there has been no reported cases of power interruptions and damaged transmission facilities in the said area,” said Martinez.

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24th July 2014
Intensity 6 earthquake hits Hinundayan, St Bernard, minor damages reported
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 24, 2014, 10:07 pm

By JANI ARNAIZ

July 25, 2014

MAASIN CITY --  Initial report from the Office of Civil Defense in Southern Leyte showed that minor damages were caused by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit 8km southwest of Hinundayan, Southern Leyte at around 8:00 Friday morning.

Marichu Tan of the OCD said that the beam of the isolation ward of the Anahawan district hospital cracked. No one was injured among the patients who were evacuated outside the hospital.

In St. Bernard town, all classes were suspended. Tan also reported that several residents were injured. She said all MDRRMOs in the towns hit by the earthquake were still conducting rapid assessments regarding damages or needs.

According to Betty Martinez of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, there was no damage to NGCP electric posts. “The Leyte-Samar sub grid remains intact as there has been no reported cases of power interruptions and damaged transmission facilities in the said area,” said Martinez.

Phivolcs said the earthquake was also felt in nearby areas:

Intensity VI – Hinunangan and St. Bernard, Southern Leyte
Intensity IV – Tacloban City
Intensity III – Palo, Leyte
Intensity II – Cebu City and Talisay City; Surigao City
Intensity I – Lapu Lapu City

The tectonic quake was likely to come from the Philippine Fault Zone Leyte Segment.

 

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3rd July 2014
So. Leyte key role for post-Yolanda recovery pushed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 3, 2014, 1:46 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

CAPITOL SUNKEN GARDEN, MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 2 (PIA)  --  Two guest speakers invited for the 54th founding anniversary of this province July 1 spoke about the potential vital role of the province in the rehabilitation phase of the places worst hit by the world’s strongest typhoon eight months ago.

“I hope and trust that Southern Leyte would lead Region 8, for betterment of Eastern Visayas, after Yolanda,” said Pedro Noval, Jr., Regional Director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in his message here during the anniversary program.

Another guest of honor and speaker, Senator Cynthia Villar, admired the unity, strength, and courage of the people of the province, and the fast action done for the search, rescue, and other assistance extended to the distressed communities.

“Ang Southern Leyte ay tumulong sa mga lugar na nasalanta ng Yolanda,” the Senator said in an apparent tribute to the efforts mobilized by the province led by Gov. Roger Mercado at the height of the disaster.

That the neighboring province will be able to recover sooner will also be good for Southern Leyte, as the economy of the island has been inter-related, Sen. Villar also said.

Both speakers noted that the province was blessed as it was spared by the wrath and fury of the storm.

DILG Director Noval went on to report that the province had passed the Seal of Good Housekeeping last year, even as he prodded its officials to “work harder to get the seal of good governance, which is an upgrade on the seal of good housekeeping,” and enjoy the monetary reward that goes along with the citation.

For her part, Sen. Villar also reported how she and her husband helped the Yolanda victims by giving roofing materials so they can build immediate shelters.

In an “ambush interview” after the anniversary dinner, Villar said she is working closely with Gov. Mercado for Tesda scholarship for 150 qualified students.

Cong. Damian Mercado earlier introduced Villar as the day’s second guest speaker.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

 

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LOCAL WEATHER & NEWS
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