1.13.2011

PIA News Service - Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Pres. Aquino set to visit Butuan City tomorrow

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (13 January) – Following the massive flooding and landslides that Caraga region has experienced on the first week of this month, President Benigno Simeon S. Aquino III is set to visit here on Friday, January 14, 2011 to see for himself the damages brought about by the said calamity in all the provinces of the region.

During the coordination meeting held Wednesday, January 12, 2011 in one of the local hotels here, Ms. Pat Guioguio, Presidential Management Staff (PMS) said the President is expected to arrive at around 11:15 in the morning at Bancasi Airport here, coming from an engagement in Legaspi City, Albay.

Ms. Guioguio also said receiving party of the President is composed of Agusan del Norte Governor Erlpe John M. Amante, Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr., Agusan del Norte 1st Congressional District Representative Jose S. Aquino II, 4ID Commander Maj. Gen. Victor Felix, and Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga Regional Director Reynaldo Rafal.

Moreover, the PMS personnel said from the tarmac, the President and his party will immediately proceed to the office of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) where Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga Regional Director Dr. Blanche Gobenciong will brief the President on the damages of the recent calamity that hits the region.

After the briefing, President Aquino will lead the distribution of relief goods, agricultural equipment and seeds of assorted vegetables and palays for farmers in the region whose agricultural products were damaged due to flood. Also, the country’s chief executive will be distributing medicines. Said items will be received by local officials of the affected provinces in the region.

The Presidential party is composed of Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Solaiman, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo, Presidential Communication Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang, and OCD Acting Administrator Benito Ramos.

After the distribution of relief goods, medicines, agricultural equipment and seeds, Pres. Aquino will immediately proceed to Tacloban City for another engagement. “Thus, the President will only have to stay one hour here,” Ms. Guioguio said. (PIA-Caraga)

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Reg’l police forms two SWAT teams

Police Regional Office 13 has initiated the formation of not only one but two Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams recently.

The newly formed elite police unit is composed of forty-eight (48) carefully selected PNP personnel from the Butuan City Police Office and the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB). The teams are presently being organized and were undergoing the initial two-weeks training under SWAT- Class 01-2011-PRO 13, at the Regional Special Training Unit (RSTU), Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

The SWAT orientation training which commenced afternoon Monday, was guested by Caraga PNP Director Chief Superintendent Reynaldo S. Rafal and other top provincial and regional police officials, led by Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Director PSSupt. Manuel DG Obrera, Police SSupt. Isagani F. Genabe, DRDO, PSupt. Wilfredo L. Rinon, BATCOM, 13th RPSB, PSupt. Adolph C. Almendra, RSTU Training Manager, PCInsp. Nelly T. Villagarcia, chief PIO, PRO 13, PSInsp. Cecilio A. Enoc, ORPHRDD Officer and other officers from the Special Action Force (SAF).

CSupt. Rafal pointed out during his message that SWAT Training is apparently a must for every PNP regional office at present owing to that sad experienced last year, when a sacked police official seized a tourist bus at the Quirino grandstand and took as hostages the occupants including some Chinese tourists. Nine were killed during the incident where eight of them were Chinese (Hongkong) tourists. Rafal admitted that the unfortunate incident had humiliated not only the PNP but the whole country as well.

CSupt. Rafal pointed out what was ironic he said, was that the PNP is very capable to deal with the situation and to resolve the crisis that time. There on the site was a good hostage negotiator, the presence of the PNP SWAT teams, the Special Action Force (SAF) were just in the vicinity, all the elements which according to him might had produced a positive ending. The incident, he said has called for a soul-searching of the whole PNP on what went wrong. And it was found out, according to him, that there really was a need to “go back to the basics” training.

He said that he could not imagine a SWAT team responding to the said incident, bringing with them tear gasses without gas masks. He said that at that time, he was the director of Camp Crame’s logistics support services and there was no truth to the allegations that the policemen, specially the elite units who responded were ill-equipped. They were provided he said with the necessary equipments. The reason really behind, he said despite the proper police training and capability was indolence and negligence.

Caraga, Rafal said has no SWAT unit and there is this directive from the national headquarters to retrain all such units. Thus the regional office saw the necessity of the formation of the said units. “We do not have to wait for a crisis situation before forming our own SWAT team,” Rafal said. He also said that the personnel composing the teams were all volunteers, yet they still had undergone a stringent process of selection. According to him that the forty-eight trainee-candidates stood out of the more or less 80 personnel who volunteered to undergo the said training. The candidates had passed through the physical or agility, plus the “one-man carry” test. Then there was the four-kilometer run, the neuro-psychiatric test. “It takes mental stability, right and quick judgment for one to become a good SWAT team member,” Rafal said.

He said that the apparent hesitation manifested by the SWAT team during the November 23, 2010 Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking incident, is not the way to conduct an assault. “When the command to do the assault will be given, a good SWAT team has to go all the way, and not to retreat even if the action may entail casualty,” Director Rafal said. The director also said that they have to make use of the available equipage they have at present. He mentioned that a one-million peso contribution from Congressman Jose “Joboy” Aquino II out of his priority development assistance program (PDAF) will be used for the procurement of additional firearms for the Butuan City Police Office, and the legislator, Rafal said, had expressed his desire for additional contribution for the development and improvement of BCPO police service.

CSupt. Rafal also said that the BCPO SWAT team will be utilized to respond to any crisis incidents which might occur in the city while the regional SWAT team will respond anywhere in the region.

More teams, he said, will be formed in the other city police stations in the future. (Noel B. Najarro, The Butuan Star/PIA-Caraga)


UNIT Meet to start on January 14 in Surigao del Sur

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

Tandag, Surigao del Sur (January 13) - The Unit II Athletic Association of Surigao del Sur is set to start the Unit Meet on January 14 at the Gregorio P. Murillo Sports Center here in Tandag.

Ten schools from seven municipalities will compete from Elementary and Secondary for the different events in preparation for the upcoming Provincial Meet next month.

According to report, 12 events will be featured on January 14-16. This include: arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, gymnastics, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, softball and volleyball.

The ten schools from seven (7) municipalities are composed of San Agustin, Marihatag, Cagwait, Bayabas, San Miguel (District 1& 2), Tago (District 1 & 2) and Tandag (District 1 & 2). (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano News: Unit Meet ipahigayon sa Surigao del Sur karong Enero 14

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

Ang Unit II Athletic Association sa Surigao del Sur mopahigayon ug UNIT MEET nga pagasugdan karong Enero 14, 2011. Kini ipahigayon sa Gregorio P. Murillo Sports Center dinhi sa Tandag.

Napulo ka mga eskwelahan gikan sa pito ka nagkalain-laing munisipyo ang magsangka sa nagkalain-laing athletics ug ballgames aron sa pag andam sa umaabot nga Provincial Meet sunod bulan.

Sumala sa taho, ang 12 ka nagkalain laing dula nga ipahigayon karong Enero 14 hangtod sa 16 mao ang mosunod: arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, gymnastics, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, softball ug volleyball.

Ang napulo (10) ka school districts gikan sa pito ka nagkalain-laing munisipyo mao ang mosunod: San Agustin; Marihatag; Cagwait; Bayabas; San Miguel (District 1& 2); Tago (District 1 & 2); and Tandag (District 1 & 2). (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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PNP bares accomplishment report on illegal logging

BUTUAN CITY - A mini dump truck with plate number RGN-704 loaded with undetermined volume of sawn Hindang specie lumber driven by Joseph Tibor y Calang, 41 years old, married and a resident of Sitio Dakuman, Brgy. Ipil, Surigao City was apprehended by elements of San Francisco Municipal Police Station (MPS) led by Police Inspector Angelo Vertudazo around 3:00 O’clock in the afternoon of January 11, 2011 at the West Junction of Brgy. Poblacion, San Francisco of the said province. Said lumber was illegally owned by one Remy Salera y Villegas, 58 years old, married and a resident of Brgy. Macopa, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte which was also apprehended later by the said PNP elements. 

Apprehended persons were brought to San Francisco MPS and confiscated lumber were turned over to the DENR for proper disposition.  

On the other hand, around 7:00 O’clock in the morning of same date, a ten wheeler truck with plate number CYA-314 fully loaded with Falcata logs, driven by one Ariel Almora y Bersano, 46 years old, married and a resident of Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte was being flagged down by elements of Alegria MPS led by Police Senior Inspector Kristopher Son Ang Cauilan, Chief of Police during the conduct of a checkpoint along the National Highway, Brgy. Gamuton, Algeria, Surigao del Norte. 
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Said logs were owned and transported by one Montano Laid Jr. of legal age and a resident of Brgy. Alipao, Alegria of the said province. Upon verification, the owner failed to present pertinent documents for the legality of the logs being transported. Suspects and confiscated logs were brought to Alegria MPS for proper disposition.  

Meanwhile, on January 12, 2011, around 7:00 O’clock in the morning at P-7, Brgy. Basilisa, RTR, Agusan del Norte, elements of RTR MPS led by Police Inspector Tex Ariston T. Maghanoy and Intelligence Operatives of Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office led by SPO4 Elaquim Villahermosa conducted joint operation for the arrest of one Reyzaldo Pablo Jr. y Bagtasos, 38 years old, married and a resident of the abovementioned place. 

Said suspect has a standing Warrant of Arrest docketed under criminal case numbers: 2009-7-34451 for three (3) counts of Murder; 13558 for Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention; and 10836 for Grave Threats. Said Warrants of Arrest were issued by Hon. Merlyn Pacaro-Cañedo, Presiding Judge of RTC 11th Judicial Region, Branch 29, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; Hon. Edgar Manilag, Presiding Judge of RTC 10th Judicial Region, Branch 33, Butuan; and Hon. Nemosio Cañete, Presiding Judge of MCTC Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte respectively. 

During the arrest, the suspect resisted, drew his firearm and aimed at the arresting officers which prompted them to shoot him. He was brought to Butuan City Medical Center by the arresting officers but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician. Recovered from the possession of the suspect were one (1) unit caliber .38 revolver snub nose and a hunting knife, which were brought to RTR MPS for proper disposition. 

Meanwhile, one Romerito Becera y Napa, 36 years old, single and a resident of P-1, Brgy. Crossing, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte was arrested by elements of Kitacharao MPS led by SPO4 Marcelino Awid, around 5:00 O’clock in the afternoon of January 11, 2011 at the abovementioned place. 

Said suspect was arrested by virtue of Warrant of Arrest issued by Hon. Carlos B. Cambray, Acting Presiding Judge, 3rd MCTC, 10th Judicial Region, Jabonga-Kitacharao, Agusan del Norte, charged for Attempted Homicide, docketed under criminal case number 3625. Arrested person is now under the custody of Kitcharao MPS for proper disposition.  

Also, a certain Bayani Desierto y Rachel, 37 years old, married, farmer and a resident of P-5, Brgy. Pag-asa, Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur was arrested by joint elements of Sta. Josefa MPS, Trento MPS and 26IB, Charlie Company, Philippine Army, around 4:00 O’clock in the morning, January 12, 2011 at the abovementioned place. Said suspect has Warrants of Arrest issued by Hon. Maminohara Papa Mangobara, Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 2, 12th Judicial Region, Iligan City charged for Murder docketed under criminal case number 12769 with no recommended bail bond, criminal case number 13703 issued by Hon. Oscar Victory Badelles, of RTC Branch 5, 12th Judicial Region, Iligan City, charged for Frustrated Murder with recommended bail bond of P200,000.00 and criminal case number 06-13249 issued by Hon. Valerio Mama Salazar, Judge of RTC, Branch 6, 12th Judicial Region, Iligan City charged for Arson with no recommended bail bond. Arrested suspect was brought to Sta. Josefa MPS for proper disposition. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)


Legarda: Disaster risk reduction means genuine development

Senator Loren Legarda, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Regional Champion, today stressed the importance of reducing disaster risks to achieve sustainable development and economic growth.

Legarda made the statement during the launch of the UNISDR’s “Making Cities and Municipalities Resilient” campaign in Cebu City, where 51 mayors and vice mayors of various cities and municipalities in Region-7 expressed their commitment to the Ten Essential Actions to Reduce Disaster Risks.

“As national and local government leaders, we have the moral responsibility to usher and achieve genuine development for the country and our communities. Disaster risk reduction essentially means genuine development -- development that is sustainable and economic growth that is resilient,” she said.

The Senator cited statistics showing that in the past thirty years, the Philippines was hit by 243 storms that caused economic losses amounting to $6.2 billion. She added that according to a UN report, those in the Asia-Pacific region are four times more vulnerable to natural disasters than those in Africa; and 25 times more at risk than those in Europe or North America.

Legarda said that the impacts of disasters, especially on developing nations, are daunting, which is why she was impressed with the sincerity and readiness of stakeholders in Region-7 to cooperate in raising awareness in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation among local government leaders and in forging local government commitment to action.

“I wish to congratulate Governor Gwen Garcia for her exemplary leadership in advancing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Cebu. I also wish to commend the leaders and champions whom we have just recognized here today for their significant work in building the resilience of their local constituencies to disasters,” Legarda said.

She explained that since local government leaders are closest to the people, they have the privilege to translate national policies, plans and programs into concrete and visible actions for the people. 

“The people expect good governance. But let me assure you that governing with effective disaster risk reduction is certainly a mark of good local governance. The people expect a better life, a brighter future. Let me further assure you that there is no better way to realize that aspiration than planning rightly and pursuing development that promotes equitable and sustainable growth and good care of the environment,” Legarda stressed. 

“Delivering well in these two expectations are legacies that you could certainly be proud of and for which the people will surely appreciate and long remember your service to them,” she concluded. (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


112th celebration of the formal, official hoisting of PH flag in Mindanao set in Butuan City

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – The City government here will be spearheading the celebration of the 112th anniversary of the formal and official hoisting of the Philippine Flag in Mindanao on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 at the Rizal Park, this city.

During the celebration, Caraga Artists Network (CAN), an organization of local artists will have a theatrical performance of the re-enactment of the formal and official hoisting of the Philippine Flag to enhance the historic value of the said event.

With this, all government agencies are enjoined to attend and take part of this historic event. (PIA-Caraga)


ACE new set of officers will sworn to office

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – The Association of Caraga Executives (ACE), will hold its general assembly on January 17, 2011 at the Almont City Hotel (fronting Rizal Park), this city.

ACE is an organization of heads of offices from different government agencies in Region XIII which is aimed at professionalizing the corps of CESOs and eligibles. ACE members not only provide financial assistance through the members' contributions to civic groups' programs but also undertake outreach programs for the less privileged sector of the society.

It was learned that during the assembly, induction of the new set of officers for 2011-2012 and turn-over ceremony of the outgoing officers to the incoming officers will be conducted.

Also, Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, will be the guest of honor and inducting officer. The event will also serve as an opportunity for ACE members to make a New Year’s call to the city’s chief executive. 

New ACE officers are the following: President – DILG-Caraga Regional Director Atty. Rene K. Burdeos; Vice President – COMELEC-Caraga Regional Director Francisco G. Pobe; Secretary - RTWPB Board Secretary Earl dela Victoria; Treasurer – DBM-Caraga Asst. Regional Director Helen Dumayas; Auditor - DBP Butuan Branch Manager Sisinio Narisma; and Public Information Officer – PIA-Caraga Regional Director Abner M. Caga. 

Meanwhile, newly elected board members are: DOST-Caraga Regional Director Lyndo Villacorta, DAR-Caraga Regional Director Faisar Mambuay, TESDA RD Florencio Sunico, and DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Cruzita ZM. Taala.

The said new elected ACE officers are committed to do its responsibilities, guided with the association's constitution and By-laws, and continue to provide services to different sectors in this region. (PIA-Caraga)