PIA News Service - Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009

AFP cries foul

BUTUAN CITY (October 15) – The 4th ID of the Philippine Army cries foul amidst issues on the militarization and mining in the Andap complex. In a press conference recently at Camp Bancasi, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denies allegations that the military is harassing residents of the Andap complex to force them to support and allow mining in their communities. 

“No harassment in the area, the military is there to do community research and implement the Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP) where each target barangay has a Php5 million allocation,” explains LTC Godfrey Gammad of the 36th IB. 

The Philippine army also belies reports that the recent evacuation at Barangay Diatagon in Lianga, Surigao del Sur is due to the threats of the military’s presence in the area. 

According to the military there was no raging war in the Andap complex contrary to reports of crossfire between the militant and government troops. 

“Not a single shot was fired in the Andap complex and the soldiers who were there were not in combat mode but were doing data gathering on community problems,” says LTC Erwin Lamzon. 

The AFP said that the issue of mining and militarization in the Andap complex is the CPP-NPAs means to broaden their support base. The Philippine army said that the CPP-NPAs accusation has nothing to do with the military’s official mission but just a means to frustrate the government’s internal security campaign. 

LTC Benjamin Pedralvez said that as per unit mission and periodic command guidance and directives their role and task in the area is to dismantle this or that guerilla front. 

“The primary reason for the continued presence of the Philippine Army within the vicinity of the Andap complex is the fact that within the complex are guerilla bases of the CPP-NPA. With or without mining applications and explorations, the Philippine Army will be in Andap because the CPP-NPA has been proven to be operating within and from the different strategic locations in the complex,” stressed LTC Benjamin Pedralvez. 

The Philippine army also belies reports that they are forcing the natives to join the Task Force Gantangan-Bagani to enforce the operation of mining projects in Andap. 

“We are not recruiting Bagani warriors but we are enlisting civilians who want to become CAFGUs or members of the Civilian Armed Auxiliary (CAA). This is a voluntary process initiated as per request from local leaders and tribal elders who have decided to help the government in getting rid of communist terrorists in their communities,” explains LTC Gammad. 

The Philippine army says that the Andap phenomenon is but an extension of the 40-year war between the government and the CPP-NPA. They say that the evacuation in Lianga is no more than plain mobilization to dramatize the issue of military presence in Andap complex. 

In the words of LTC Gammad, the presence of the military in the Andap complex is not about ending insurgency but it is all about achieving peace. (Lovely Laudette Gamba, PIA-Caraga)
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Synchronized Barangay Assembly Day for the second semester of 2009

Pursuant to proclamation No. 342 “Declaring the last Saturday of March 2003 and the third Saturday of October 2003 and every year thereafter as Barangay Assembly Day,” the Synchronized Barangay Assembly Day for the second semester of CY 2009 will be on October 17, 2009.

All Punong Barangays are thereby reminded to conduct the barangay assembly on said date. They are encouraged to include on their agenda disaster risk management and ecological solid waste management. They are also encouraged to discuss the SONA 2009 of the President with their constituents.

In view of the recent calamities that the country has experienced, it is proper and timely to revisit the crucial role that barangays play in disaster preparedness and ecological solid waste management.

The Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee should formulate a community solid waste management program consistent with that of the city/municipality. On the other hand, the Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council is responsible for the crafting and implementation of the disaster preparedness plan.

All members of the barangay assembly, barangay residents who are 15 years of age or over, are enjoined to attend the barangay assembly day. Please ask the office of the punong barangay as to the time and venue of the assembly. (DILG-13/ PIA-Caraga)
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DENR celebrates 14th Anniversary in austerity

BUTUAN CITY – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga celebrated its 14th Founding Anniversary in austere but meaningful rites, recently.

Regional Executive Dorector Edilberto S. Buiser said the celebration was simple as it was because too much fanfare will affect the delivery of basic public services. The austerity measures being adopted by the management will enhance the different functions of the DENR instead of a “work holiday” to commemorate its milestone.

RED Buiser called on DENR-Caraga personnel including its field offices regionwide to observe the anniversary “in the spirit of true public service”.

“We are inspired by DENR Secretary Jose Atienza’s well-known practice of fiscal responsibility, now, more than ever, in the face of the calamity that struck our nation lately,” RED Buiser said.

DENR in Caraga Region over the last 14 years has actively implemented programs and projects with impact in the promotion of a clean, green and healthy environment, and the upliftment of the socio-economic condition in the upland communities in the region.

The DENR is actively campaigning for effective measures that will mitigate the ill-effects of climate change. These include reforestation in geo-hazard areas, environmental research and the implementation of ecological solid waste management.

This year’s anniversary theme – “Our concern: Climate Change, Let’s plant trees!!! – reflect DENR’s cost-effective method of saving lives and helping Mother Nature recuperate: Planting trees! (Ronnel LMV G. Calo, RFAO Staff-DENR-13/ PIA-Caraga)  
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Orientation for the 2nd batch of NARS Program set 

The Caraga Center for Health and Development announced that the orientation for the second batch of the Nurses Assigned in Rural Services (NARS) program is set today, October 15.

This was announced by Dr. Ma. Wilma Joji Yu, Regional Project NARS Coordinator during a press conference held at the CHD conference room yesterday attended by the members of the local media.
 
Dr. Yu said that the first batch which had started on April 1, this year ended its deployment on the 30th of September and culminated last October 2. There were 331 successful graduates of the said program who were recognized.
 
NARS is an inter-agency program led by the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). The latest government agency added on the list for the second batch is the Department of Education (DepEd). The project aims for the hiring and assignment of 5,000 new nurses for assignment to the 1,000 poorest regions or provinces in the country which had barely received any health services.
 
About seventy-one of these “poorest places” are here in Caraga region. There were 355 nurses supposed to be deployed in the region wide during the first batch. However, as dr. Yu explained that only 331 made it, as some had backed out after spending some periods with their assignment in some remote areas. Others had pending visa applications before their assignment and had opted to stop upon the approval of their visas. 
 
Among the innovations of the said program for the second batch is that all the targeted areas will be covered this time. Before, Butuan City and Nasipit were not included with the deployment of nurses. They will be included in the program this time, she said.
 
Yu also explained the inclusion of the DepEd in the list of the lead agencies as schools will be among the institutions for deployment this period. Part of the assigned tasks of the nurses to deployed in schools will be to address the school’s health program like food for the children, monitoring of malnutrition and also to monitor the possible resurgence of Influenza A (H1N1).
 
They are targeting to accept 365 nurses for this batch. The program will be open to the newly graduated nurses, below 35-years old with PRC License. The nurses will be receiving P8,000.00 incentive from the government. Additional incentives will be provided by the host LGUs. She clarified however, that the giving of incentives is voluntary on the part of the local government units. The program even awarded 25 LGUs during culmination rites of the first batch as they had contributed greatly to the success of the program.

The DOH is tasked for the training and monitoring of the nurses. They will be assigned for some few months to some hospitals before they will be fielded to their respective areas of service. They will be serving in their assigned areas for six months and it will be renewable should they wish to continue.
 
The program, DOH said is in line with the government’s thrust in job generation for nurses and at the same time may further hone their skills for future employments. (Noel B. Najarro/PNN)
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POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Philip Amer Posas Mazo

Voluntary surrender of loose firearms 

On October 12, 2009 around 4:00 in the afternoon, a caliber .22 revolver without serial number was voluntarily surrendered to SPO1 Delfin Mission of Cabadbaran Municipal Police Station by a male person who requested anonymity. Said firearm is now in the custody of Cabadbaran Municipal Police Station for proper disposition. 

At around 10:23 in the evening, one alias “Eugene”, 41 years old, farmer and a resident of Barangay Tudela, Trento, Agusan del Sur voluntarily surrendered a home made "pistolized" 12 gauge shotgun to PCI Mangandog Arab, Chief of Police of Trento Municipal Police Station. Said firearm is now in the custody of Trento Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.  

Also, on October 14, 2009 around 9:00 in the morning at Barangay Banza, Butuan City, personnel from Intelligence Section of BCPS1 led by SPO1 Emelio Andales conducted operation against loose firearms which resulted to the voluntary surrender of a caliber .22 revolver Smith and Wesson with serial number 869676 (paltik) by a certain Benjie, 40 years old, married. Said firearm is now in the custody of BCPS1 for proper disposition. 

At around 11:00 in the morning, a home made 12 gauge shotgun was voluntarily surrendered by a barangay official to PInsp Lawrence L Ganuelas, Chief of Police of Gigaquit Municipal Police Station, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

Said firearm was surrendered during the "Barangay Pulong-pulong" conducted by Gigaquit Municipal Police Station personnel in relation to Executive Order 817 (Final Firearm Amnesty). Said firearm is now in custody of Gigaquit Municipal Police Station for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)  

PNP arrests wanted person 

On October 14, 2009 around 10:00 in the morning at Crossing Tigao, Cortes, Surigao del Sur, a certain Romy Plaza Gonzales alias "Mimi" 37, years old, widower, farmer and a resident of Sitio Lubcon, Barangay Mabahin, Cortes, Surigao del Sur was arrested by joint team from RIU 13 and IG 13 led by SPO3 Antonio M Garrido by virtue of Alias Warrant of Arrest (WOA) under Criminal Case No. 3082 issued by Hon Judge Ermelindo G Andal, Branch 27 RTC 11th Judicial Region, Tandag, Surigao del Sur for the crime of robbery with recommended bail bond of Eight Thousand Pesos (Php 8,000.00).

During the arrest, a caliber .357 revolver home made with serial no. 66556 with one live ammo for cal .357, one live ammo for cal .38 and empty shells for cal .38 and .357 was recovered from his possession.

Romy Gonzales was unable to present legal documents for the said firearm. He was then remanded to the court and turned-over to Surigao Sur Provincial Jail while a case of Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammos are being prepared for filing in court. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)  

Report on shooting incident 

On October 12, 2009 around 10:00 in the evening at Purok-5 Barangay Dimasalang, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, Santiago Undayoy aka "Datu Makahusay" 68 years old, married, farmer and a resident of the said place was shot by an unidentified person using undetermined caliber of firearm.

Victim was hit at his right hip and was rushed to San Luis Rural Health Center. Minutes later he was rushed to DOP Memorial Hospital at Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur for further treatment.

Suspect fled after the incident. San Luis Municipal Police Station is still conducting in-depth investigation for possible identification and filing of appropriate charges in court against the suspect. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)