PIA News Service - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Symposium on “Building Balanghai Boat” set tomorrow in Butuan

BUTUAN CITY (22 September) – A symposium on “Building the Butuan Balanghai Boat” is set tomorrow, September 23, 2009 at Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) Little Theater, Archbishop Carmelo Morales Campus, Libertad, this city.

With FSUU and the Butuan Historical and Cultural Foundation (BHCF) co-sponsoring the event, the Butuan Global Forum (BGF) is spearheading the conduct of the activity aimed at promoting the historical culture and tourism in the city.

In a statement sent to PIA, Jorge Navarra, Project Committee Co-Chair of Butuan Balanghai Boat who is also the Secretary of BGF) said the Butuan boat will start construction upon the arrival of the boat-building crew in the coming weeks and will be launched to Butuan waters before the end of November this year.

Dubbed as “Voyage of the Balanghai,” it also “aims to celebrate the toughness of our Filipino character to surmount the most formidable odds, highlight our ancient history as a maritime nation, and instill pride in our world-class maritime skills long before the coming of foreign powers, skills that we must now continue to develop,” Navarra said.

Navarra also said the team has already put together a crew of Badjao boat-builders who built an exact replica of the “balanghai” based on the remnants of the Butuan boat excavated in this city in 1970s. “The Badjaos used their traditional boat-building techniques and tools, the same methods and implements used by our ancestors in the building of “balanghai.”

It can be recalled that the Manila-built “balanghai” boat was named “Diwata ng Lahi” to symbolize the spirit of Filipino race, depict the Filipinos common heritage as a maritime people, and awaken our nation, especially the youth, to apply our collective strengths as communities to help in the progress of our country. “Diwata ng Lahi” began its voyage last September 1.
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The project requires the combined resources of Butuanon organizations and families in and outside Butuan. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-13)

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Surigao Mayor, DOH ASec lead Caraga’s first rehab center groundbreaking rites

SURIGAO CITY (September 22) – City Mayor Alfonso Casurra and DOH Assistant Secreatry Dr. Elmer Punzalan led the groundbreaking last September 15 of the P35-million Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Center to be constructed in Barangay Anomar this city.

Mayor Casurra revealed that the lot for the proposed rehabilitation center was donated by the city government of Surigao.

The construction of the facility however is being bankrolled under the Office of Special Concerns of the DOH.

“This project as you can see is in Phase 1, P7.5Million because the total project costs about P35Million. We hope to complete it before my term ends. In June of 2010, the succeeding phases of course will be handled by whoever will be the next mayor of the city of Surigao but according to the Regional Director, by hook or by crook, this will be opened before my term ends,” said Mayor Casurra.

Casurra revealed that the proposed rehab center is a very strategic one for it will cater not only to patients in Caraga Region but also in neighboring provinces.

“This is a good area that could provide us this kind of services not only in Caraga Region but also in the area of S. Leyte. As you all now we are far more nearer S. Leyte than Tacloban itself in Region VIII so these areas can better serve by this facility and I am happy to tell you this will become an integrated approach of this kind of facility,” Casurra said.

He also described the event as a very historical one. “Historical, in the sense, that nobody would even think that this kind of a treatment facility would be coming to Surigao not even in my wildest dreams.”

Meanwhile, DOH Caraga Regional Director Dr. Leonita Gorgolon, revealed that it was more than a year now when the idea of putting up a drug rehab cropped up due to a number of reasons.

“First, we have the legal mandate, RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Drug Act of 2002. Second, is that, there is a pressing need to put a drug rehab center because of a high incidence of drug abuse problem as evidenced by the results of a national random drug testing in secondary and tertiary students in 2002 and 2005 wherein Caraga region ranked as among those highest students who tested positive of marijuana and shabu.”

Also, ASec Punzalan said that the abuse of substances and its related problems continues to be a public health and social concern. “At present we still continue to experience problems in drug abuse and Caraga is one of the regions in the country noted to be with a high prevalence of drug use thus the conceptualization of the plan.”

Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared herself as the drug czarina in the country and the said project in the region is part of her campaign to prevent and curb drug problems and provide rehabilitation and treatment to victims of drug abuse. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
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36IB recovers P94,500.00 worth of superdyne explosives

By: 2LT GABATIN

The Filipinos are fed-up...

The NPA has lost their touch in influencing the minds of the civilian populace. They have proven themselves to be manipulators of the innocent minds and extortionists of the business sector. Their promise of freedom for the oppressed have been over-turned wherein they are now the oppressors and they create such havoc and chaos in our present existence.

Our fellow Filipinos have seen these things, their destruction to the peace and order towards the development of our country. Indeed, they are helping the Philippine Army, your true Army to the path of the total annihilation of the Extortionist Syndicate Group - CPP/NPA/NDF or what we now call the Extortionist Syndicate Group. Our co-Filipinos have led the troops of 36 Infantry “Valor” Battalion under LtCol Dennis Godfrey F Gammad, that led into series of patrols and incidentally the discovery and unearthing of number of gallons of superdyne explosives. 

On September 13 2009, at around 6 o’clock in the morning, troops led by 2LT SANGRIA recovered one (1) gallon of superdyne explosives and other components for bomb making at Sitio Furi, Sta Juana, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur. On the same day at about midnight, other elements of 36IB recovered another four (4) gallons of the same war materials at Brgy Sta Maria, Trento, Agusan del Sur. Yet just yesterday, 20 September 2009, at Sitio Agpan, Brgy Imelda, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur elements of 36IB unearthed another two (2) gallons of superdyne dynamites. In total, for only a span of seven (7) days, the troops of 36IB recovered seven (7) gallons of these explosives which can destroy thousands of innocent lives and destroy millions of infrastructure projects and establishments.

If we convert these war materials into Philippine Peso where every gallon can contain an average of forty-five (45) superdyne sticks and each stick cost around $5.99 or P300.00 then the recoveries of the 36IB troops is equivalent to a very depressing Ninety-four thousand and five hundred pesos (P94,500.00). Whew! imagine the money they purposely wasted for senseless cause. Imagine how much investment they have whacked just to let people suffer so as to revolt against the government. This is not a joke, how many books could it buy for the students, how many sacks of rice could it buy for the urban poor, how many roads could it construct and the misery goes on. It’s not yet late for the attainment of peace and development of the Philippines, we invite everybody to join us in our crusade to eliminate the root of our poverty. Let us hand in hand destroy the Extortionist Syndicate Group.
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POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Philip Amer Posas Mazo; PO2 Darlin Cabalinan-Migullas; 
and PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania

PNP arrests wanted person

On September 18, 2009 around 3:50 in the afternoon, elements from Lianga Municipal Police Station of Surigao del Sur led by PInsp Christian Rafols II arrested one Elmer Tagupa at Lianga Municipal Hall by virtue of Warrant of Arrest (WOA) issued by Hon Judge Alfredo P Jalad docketed under Criminal Case no. L-2294 for highway robbery with fixed bail bond of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 100,000.00).

Tagupa was presented to Regional Trial Court (RTC) for the issuance of Commitment Order before he was turned-over to the Sub-Provincial Jail at Lianga, Surigao del Sur. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on landslide

On September 18, 2009 around 2:00 o'clock early dawn along Sumilao River at Purok-6 Lagnasan, Barangay San Teodoro, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, nine families with a total of 40 household members were affected by landslide due to gradual soil erosion in the area but no casualties were reported.

Elements of Bunawan Municipal Police Station led by PSI Romeo Villalobos Jr., Chief of Police and members of Municipal and Barangay Disaster Coordinating Councils immediately conducted rescue operations and evacuated the affected families at the covered court of said barangay. Coordination has been conducted with DSWD and the Municipality of Bunawan for the necessary assistance to the evacuees. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Initial report of burning incident 

In Surigao del Sur, PNP elements of Tago Municipal Police Station led by SP03 Marlon Serrano together with members of 58th IB, Phil Army led by LT Col Erwin Rommel Lamzon the Battalion Commander, proceeded to Sitio Cabalawan, Barangay Anahao Daan, Tago, Surigao del Sur to verify the veracity of the report on NPA atrocity. 

Initial investigation conducted disclosed that more or less 30 fully armed men with high powered firearms identified themselves as members of the NPA raided the DOLE Phils plantation and uprooted the banana seedlings, discarded the sacks of fertilizers and burned two heavy equipment: one bulldozer owned by DOLE Phils and one back hoe owned by Rowie Yu. 

After the incident, the NPA left and headed towards the mountainous area. Tago Municipal Police Station together with DOLE Phils Investigating Team is yet to determine total cost of the damage. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on traffic accident 

One MITS Pajero driven by Carlito Matin-ao Cardoniga, 46 years old, married, driver of Luciano Construction and a resident of Purok-8, Barangay Sta. Irene, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, accidentally bumped a five year old child, identified as John Manuel Dao Botingal, a resident of Purk-3, Barangay Beltran, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte on September 19, 2009 at around 3:45 in the afternoon. 

Victim was immediately rushed to Kitcharao District Hospital but pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician. Driver voluntarily surrendered to Jabonga Municipal Police Station. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on shooting incident 

One Cornelio Villa, 56 years old, married, farmer and resident of Poblacion Sta Josefa, Agusan del Sur was shot by two unidentified persons using cal .45 pistol on September 20, 2009 at 6:30 in the evening at Baybay Dos, Barangay Dapdap, Barobo, Surigao del Sur.

Victim sustained four gunshot wounds on his head and body and was immediately rushed by the responding PNP personnel of Barobo Municipal Police Station led by PSINSP Ramonito S Bajala to DO Plaza Memorial Hospital for medical treatment but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Suspects fled towards unknown direction after the incident. Initial investigation disclosed that the victim together with his family were having a beach party at Acebes Beach Resort and the two suspects approached him and without apparent reason shot him in close range. Thorough investigation is now conducted by PNP elements of Barobo Municipal Police Station for possible identity and apprehension of the suspect. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)
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Report on alleged accidental explosion 

On September 20, 2009 at 5:45 in the afternoon, an alleged dynamite explosion transpired at the vicinity of Purok 2, Barangay Lapinigan, Claver, Surigao del Norte victimizing the following persons to wit: Saturnino Najial, 38 years old, married, fisherman; Norberto Sumbilla, 53 years old, married, fisherman; and 
Rosita Arayan, 66 years old, househelper, all residents of said place.

PNP members of Claver Municipal Police Station proceeded to the area and conducted investigation and hot pursuit operation which led to the apprehension of the suspect identified as one John Richie Calaycay, 22 years old, single, fisherman and resident of said place.

Victims were brought to Gigaquit District Hospital for medical treatment and were declared on stable condition. Initial investigation disclosed that the suspect and one Margie Sajulga were having a heated argument when the suspect threw a dynamite explosive at her. However, she escaped unhurt. Said dynamite accidentally exploded and hit the above-cited victims.

Suspect now detained at Claver Municipal Police Station while appropriate charges now prepared for filing in court. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on illegal gambling 

On September 20, 2009 at 7:00 in the evening at the National Highway, Barangay Zone III, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, PNP members of Lanuza Municipal Police Station led by PINSP Renars Salubre while conducting mobile checkpoint apprehended one Christopher Tan, 23 years old, single and resident of Zone II, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur for driving XRM motorcycle, color red bearing plate no. MS 8050 without valid driver's license.

The PNP elements were able to recover illegal gambling paraphernalia from backrider identified as one Junel Maquiling, 15 years old, single and resident of Derigay Street, Sone II, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur to wit: Five pieces last two/swertres tally sheets; one piece of last two receipt; and bet money amounting to Php 1,989.00.

Confiscated items and suspects were brought to Lanuza Municipal Police Station for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)