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23rd March 2016
'Who are we to say no to him,' Gov. Mercado on Duterte run
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on March 23, 2016, 7:50 pm

March 22, 2016

MAASIN CITY -- Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado, a member of the Liberal Party (LP), stopped short of endorsing the presidential bid of his "fellow Maasinhon" Rodrigo Duterte, who came home to his hometown for a campaign sortie on March 22.

"Please I have an announcement to all and sundry, we cannot disassociate ourselves in terms of culture, blood, and relationship. Here is a person who claims and is very proud to claim that he was born in Maasin, Southern Leyte. Who are we to say no to him?" said Mercado as he settled across Mayor Duterte, who arrived several minutes ahead of the governor. The mayor was set to leave when Mercado arrived.

Mercado ended with "Mayor, we are proud of you as a Southern Leyteño. We will pray hard that you will become the president of this country."

When a reporter asked Mercado if it was an endorsement, Mayor Duterte stopped him saying, “I respect their position. I have been in politics for several years. I visited the LP governor to pay respects, no impositions."


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)


Duterte guests at Liceo testimonial
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 2, 2015, 2:12 am

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s mere presence during the testimonial dinner of the Liceo de Cagayan University College of Law was enough to guarantee a “record-breaking” event.

This was revealed by Jose Pepe Abbu Jr., Law Students Organization president, who organized the event.

“Even non-Liceo lawyers have inquired whether they can attend the testimonial,” Abbu said.

The testimonial in honor of the alumni who successfully hurdled the 2014 bar exams was slated at the N Hotel in Cagayan de Oro

Abbu disclosed that based on the advanced booking, this testimonial would be a record-breaker in terms of the number of people who have already signified their intention to attend the activity.

The mayor has attracted increasing interest as a possible presidential timber after turning Davao City around as from the killing fields of the 80s to safest city in the country.

Despite his consistent denials, his supporters have continued to grow in numbers which was proven when he placed a strong third in the last Pulse Asia survey behind Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

While Poe, Binay and the recently proclaimed Liberal Party bet Secretary Mar Roxas have all waged national campaigns, Duterte until recently had limited himself to Davao which makes his impressive showing even more significant.

The country’s longest serving city mayor after Edsa, Duterte was prompted to go around the country to promote federalism which he described as the country’s “last card” to prevent a fresh outbreak of violence in Mindanao.

While the mayor had expressed opposition to certain provisions of the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law, Duterte has declared his support for it “to buy time and to bide time”.

The mayor’s soaring popularity was proven when he guested on “Gandang Gabi Vice” on ABS-CBN which debuted on second place on world-wide trending behind only the Wimbledon tennis championship.

This proved that the Duterte magic has captured people from all walks of life particularly OFWs now based in different parts of the world. 

Duterte arrived in Cagayan earlier in the day to grace the baptism of the child of Glenn and lawyer Aimee Torrefranca-Neri.

From Cagayan, Duterte will proceed to Camiguin where he will address a forum on federalism in Catarman.

He will also pay a courtesy call on provincial officials led by Vice Gov. James Ederanga.

Surveys show that Duterte enjoys almost a cult-following in his Southern Mindanao base with a mind-boggling 93%.

Pulse Asia gave Duterte a 37% approval rating, the highest received by any of the top presidentiables but Mindanaoans insist this is still very conservative.

If Duterte changes his mind and caves in to the tremendous pressure to run, he is poised to make history not only as the first Mindanaoan president but also the first local official to jump straight into Malacanang. (CHITO A. FUENTES)


17th January 2015
'Amang' makes landfall in Eastern Samar; Metro Manila under Signal No.1
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on January 17, 2015, 1:42 pm

(By Bong Lozada, Inquirer.net | 5:27 PM, Saturday, 17 January 2015)

MANILA, Philippines—Tropical Storm “Amang” made landfall over Dolores, Eastern Samar, and is traversing Northern Samar Saturday afternoon shortly after Pope Francis left.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Amang has maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour and gusts of 130 kph while tracking a northwest path at 19 kph.

Pope Francis was in Leyte Saturday morning to celebrate Mass with the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”


7th November 2013
Strongest typhoon of the year slams Philippines
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 7, 2013, 8:15 pm

(By Jim Gomez, Associated Press, 7 Nov 2013)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — One of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded slammed into the Philippines Friday, cutting communications and blocking roads in the center of the country amid worries of serious damage and casualties.

Telephone lines appeared down as it was difficult to get through to the landfall site 650 kilometers (405 miles) southeast of Manila where Typhoon Haiyan slammed into a rural area of the country.

Weather officials said that Haiyan had sustained winds at 235 kilometers (147 miles) per hour, with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall at Eastern Samar province's Guiuan township.


7th October 2013
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2013, 10:42 pm

(By Sarwell Q. Meniano, 7 Oct 2013  |  10:02 PM)

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has lifted the shellfish ban in Eastern Samar’s Matarinao Bay, five months after toxins were found in water and shellfish samples.

In a bulletin issued last week, the bureau said all types of shellfish gathered in Matarinao Bay are now safe for consumption. The bay includes the municipal waters of Salcedo, Quinapondan, McArthur and Hernani in Eastern Samar.

“Shellfish samples collected from the bay have been free from paralytic shellfish poison from three consecutive weeks of sampling in the area. Marketing of shellfish harvest is now permitted,” BFAR Regional Director Juan D. Albaladejo said.

He said frequent rains brought by the southwest monsoon “pushed” the toxins from the shallow waters to the deep sea.

The toxins were first recorded in Matarinao Bay in March 2010 and lasted for one year. It recurred for four months in 2011, six months in 2012 and five months this year. -- Sarwell Q. Meniano

Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2013, 7:53 pm

Anglo Nubian Purebreed

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, October 7 (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture in Eastern Visayas recently distributed newly acquired superior breed of goats to some beneficiaries of the Samar Island Small Ruminant Rural Enterprise Development (SAIS-RED) Project.

Dr. Wilson A. Cerbito, DA-8 Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations and Manager of the SAIS-RED Project, disclosed that 12 pure-bred Anglo Nubian goats comprising of 10 bucks and two does from the Alaminos Dairy Goat Farm in Laguna were purchased and distributed to initially identified project recipients.

Said animals, weighing 30-35 kilograms, were priced at P30,000 per head inclusive of freight and air transport fees, Dr. Cerbito said.

“This is the first batch of Purebred Anglo-Nubians we bought to improve goat stocks in farms that we have initially identified. These are areas with existing quality upgraded goats and categorized as semi-commercial farms,” RTD Cerbito said expressing hope that next year, DA will be able to infuse another 20 bucks for the next-in-line recipients.

RTD Cerbito explained that Anglo-Nubians are considered a dairy or dual-purpose breed suited to local conditions and are known for the high butterfat content of their milk. They can live in very hot climates and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats, he added.

In Samar Province, beneficiaries from Calbayog City and Sta. Rita each received a buck. Same number of goats was allocated to San Isidro, Catarman, San Roque and Palapag in Northern Samar as well as in Balangkayan and Salcedo,Eastern Samar.

The remaining two bucks and two does were delivered to the DA-8 regional goat farm in Malitbog, Southern Leyte for breeding and multiplication purposes.

The station also distributed seven (7) locally born crossbred Boer-Anglo Nubian bucks for project recipients with small hold backyard goat farms in the same areas, RTD Cerbito added.

Moreover, in order to complete the package, planting materials of forage legumes and grasses were provided by the department to ensure the availability of feeds for the animals.

All in all, some 9,500 assorted legume seedlings (Indigofera, Flemegia, Sesbania and Rensonii), 800 cuttings of dwarf Napier grass, 500 Humidicola root stocks, 800 cuttings ofGuineagrass, and another 800 cuttings of Brizantha, have already been planted on the ground in preparation for the infusion of animals.

In addition, 500 packets of Indigofera seeds were given out to same goat raisers, compliments of Alaminos Goat Farm to build up feed supply and nutritional requirement of goats. A four-hectare pasture land of semi-commercial goat farmers is also being developed and assisted by DA RFU 8.

Meanwhile, RTD Cerbito disclosed that identified recipients, LGU partners and the regional team members of the SAIS-RED Project are set to participate in the upcoming Experiential Learning on Integrated Goat Management System to be held at the DA-8 station in Malitbog. This will be followed with a Lakbay Aral to progressive goat farms in Leyte from October 8-10, 2013.

Ms. Jessa Faye Macapañas, DA assistant information officer said that the SAIS-RED Project is a five year, 2013-2017, multi-agency initiative focusing on goat and sheep production. It aims to alleviate poverty among small farmers in the three Samar provinces. (eotiu/PIA­ 8)

3rd August 2013
Army chief wants peace talks with rebels at the local level
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 3, 2013, 6:42 pm

 (The Freeman) 

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines — With the stalled peace negotiation between the CPP-NPA-NDF and the GPH panel, Philippine Army chief Lt.Gen. Noel Coballes on Friday told The Freeman the military is still open to any form of dialogue with the rebels, but in the local level.

"We wanted to talk to them. If it cannot be done in the national level because of some political hindrances, we would like to do it in the local level. Para kasi sa akin mas madaling kausap ang mga local units," Coballes said during the 25th anniversary of the 8th Infantry Division based in Samar province.

Coballes, speaking before several LGU chief executives, congressmen, POs and heads of various government agencies from Eastern Visayas lauded the efforts of the 8th ID, headed by Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug, in pushing for peace with the rebels in the region.

The Phil. Army top official said maintaining an open peace-channel is important as this yielded positive results on the part of the 8th ID, citing the recent negotiated surrender 'en masse" of rebels in Northern Samar.

Layug, for his part, told The Freeman that members of the CPP-NPA-NDF were given assurance that the government will assist them, should they decide to lay down their arms and start a new life under the folds of the law.

"Apparently, this assurance is likewise being emphasized by their former leaders who are now living peacefully in different communities and are now calling upon them to end this conflict and altogether face a brighter future," Layug said.


With the partnership of the military, the LGUs, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process and other government line agencies, as well as the sincerity in peace talks with local insurgents, "there's no way that we cannot address most of their concerns," Layug added. (FREEMAN)

1st September 2012
7.6 quake hits easter PH
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on September 1, 2012, 1:23 am

No reports of extensive damage as of press time

(By Inquirer Bureaus, 1:23 am, Saturday, 1 Sep 2012)

A minute-long 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit off the Philippine’s coast on Friday, triggering a tsunami warning for the eastern part of the archipelago and Indonesia, US seismologists said.

Philippine authorities said the quake shook the eastern Philippines but as of press time, there were no reports of extensive damage.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a depth of 34 kilometers and hit at 8:47 p.m. (1247 GMT), 139 km east of the city of Sulangan on Samar island. The epicenter was located at 93 km east of Sulangan in the resort town of Guian in Samar.


31st August 2012
Tsunami alert level 3 raised in Samar, Leyte, Surigao Phivolcs
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on August 31, 2012, 11:53 pm

(By DJ Yap, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 11:53 pm, Friday, 31 Aug 2012)

MANILA, Philippines­Tsunami Alert Level 3 has been raised in Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao Sur, said Renato Solidum, director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Friday night.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Benito Ramos said first responders have been deployed to the concerned areas.

“Strong tremors were felt up to the Cagayan Valley even, but there were no reports yet of toppled structures,” he told the Inquirer by phone.

As of 9:30 p.m. Friday, Ramos said the agency had received no reports of casualties and damage. But he warned people living on the coastlines and seaboards from Cagayan to Surigao del Norte to be on the alert,

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