Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ITUC-AP’s PH affiliates issue joint statement vs. gender-based violence on workers

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 29 (PIA) - Officials and members of the International Trade Union Congress – Asia Pacific’s (ITUC-AP’s) Philippine affiliates, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) recently made a joint call for action to combat gender-based violence (GBV), including at the workplace, with the goal of achieving gender equality and advancing human rights of women.

During the recently held launching of the Joint ITUC-AP/Philippine Affiliates’ Key Findings on the Impact of Domestic Violence on Workers and in Workplaces in the Philippines last Sept. 23, 2015 in Quezon City, the union affiliates jointly called for the awareness raising on GBV and its impact on households, workers, workplaces and communities, and actions for prevention and mitigation.

It was revealed on the study that one in five respondents reported personal experience with domestic violence (DV) at some point in their life. An additional 20 percent of respondents knew someone at work who had experienced domestic violence.

“[There is a need to] strengthen existing responses, including implementation of relevant laws, policies and guidelines to prevent, mitigate and respond to all forms of GBV, including at the workplace, support and protect affected workers from GBV, but also address the broader challenge of addressing causes of discrimination and gender inequalities,” the statement read.

In the statement, they have also supported the comprehensive, coordinated and well-resourced plans of action, at the national and enterprise levels, on GBV and broader exchange of lessons and good practices, and explore new opportunities for cooperation, partnerships and dialogues including with trade unions and employers, to advance the protection of women and children.

They further avowed to sustain the continued collection, analysis and dissemination of reliable data on GBV, including indicators on work-related violence and costs to workers and enterprises, and develop a systematic research agenda on GBV to assist policy development and improve interventions.

The group also declared their readiness and commitment to collaborate with the relevant government agencies and partners and contribute to eliminating GBV and discrimination in the workplace. (FEA/PIA-Caraga)


Tandag City public high school raises “health hazard” posed by IP evacuees

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 29 (PIA) – The compounding problem "in relation to the ‘health hazard’ posed by the presence of IP evacuees” occupying the Surigao del Sur Sports Complex has been raised to the provincial government here for “appropriate action.”

Tandag City Mayor Roxanne Pimentel immediately brought to the attention of Governor Johnny Pimentel the “Situational Report” of Jacinto P. Elpa National High School (JPENHS) signed by Roger Lozada, secondary school principal IV, per indorsement letter of no less than Tandag City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Gregoria Su dated September 22, 2015.

The situational report had cited seven complaints which primarily include the “Strong odor from improper bowel movement, desegregated waste disposal” and “Strong smoke during cooking which causes teary eyes, nose irritation and sometimes difficulty of breathing,” among others.

Aside from the loud music of the sound system which allegedly causes distraction of concentration during classes, absenteeism of the students who cannot take the strong foul odor from the air, had been pointed out.

The school deemed it wise to attach evidence of hospitalization and other discomforts to prove their claim. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


GSIS resets Stakeholders Dialogue in Surigao City

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 29 (PIA) – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has come out with a revised schedule of the “Stakeholders Dialogue” at the same venue and time at Philippine Gateway Hotel in Surigao City at 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. but resetting it on October 2, 2015.

In an earlier communication, the said undertaking was supposed to take place on September 25, 2015.

Belen Talita, GSIS Surigao City branch manager, in a letter to Governor Johnny Pimentel dated September 14, 2015, no longer cited the reason of postponement to this later date, however, the same purpose of holding the event was pointed out, saying “The dialogue aims to provide an update on the initiatives and reforms undertaken by GSIS, and to foster closer ties between GSIS and its stakeholders.”

“As part of its thrust to promote service responsiveness and transparency, the GSIS Board of Trustees is instituting consultative meetings with its members and pensioners nationwide,” she stated earlier.

Talita likewise informed that “The dialogue will be conducted by President & General Manager Robert G. Vergara and other GSIS executives.” (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Arrest warrants out vs. 3 suspects on lumad slay in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 29 (PIA) – The warrants of arrest have already been issued against the primary suspects on the killings of three lumads in Surigao del Sur on September 1, 2015.

P/Supt. Joseph Boquiren, PNP deputy provincial director for administration (DPDA) here, bared the information during the Peace and Order and Public Safety Committee Meeting chaired by Board Member Henrich Pimentel held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall on September 28.

Boquiren, representing P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero, PNP provincial director, who was said to be out of town due to an official business, showed up at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through the invitation of the Committee on Peace and Order and Public Safety, together with Col. Isidro Purisima, brigade commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (PA).

The police official identified the accused as Bobby Tejero, Loloy Tejero, and Garito Layno, who are facing charges of three counts of murder, robbery, grave coercion, and arson.

No bail was recommended, he stressed.

In this connection, Task Force Bangkaw headed by P/SSupt. Verdadero, was already created to go after the perpetrators allegedly responsible for the death of three lumad victims—Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo, Boquiren added.

The respective warrants of arrest for the three accused were issued by Acting Presiding Judge Edwin Malazarte of Branch 28 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Lianga, this province on September 22, 2015, it was learned. (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


We will not surrender – Tejero

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 29 (PIA) - “We will not surrender,” this was the statement of Datu Bobby Tejero, one of the suspects in the killings of three people in Lianga, Surigao del Sur recently.

In an exclusive interview with Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga regional director Abner Caga, Tejero admitted that they are former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who veered away from the injustices and criminal activities of the communist group as well as atrocities against innocent civilians especially the lumads, which are in contrast to the rebels’ pro-people and pro-human rights claims.

“We realized how fighting with them became a lost cause after experiencing suffering from the rotten system of the revolutionary organization,” he added.

Tejero also claimed that they have around 1,500 armed baganis with 48 leaders ready to fight against the NPA rebels.

“We will target all their legal fronts and we will not stop until they will be decimated and defeated because they are the ones occupying our area,” said Tejero.

“They (NPA rebels) trained us to be fierce and fearless with the use of ammunition, we just want to give back what we have learned from them,” he added.

He then accused the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod or MAPASU and the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. or ALCADEV as the legal fronts of the NPA.

“These organizations are the ones manipulating the indigenous peoples. The MAPASU organization is also responsible in the mass evacuation of the lumads in Tandag City. We want to end this manipulation, because our brother lumads have long been wanted to go home,” said Tejero.

Meanwhile, the warrants of arrest have already been issued against sibling Datu Bobby and Loloy Tejero as well as Garito Layno, and several John Does of the bagani paramilitary group who were held responsible for the killings of ALCADEV executive director Emerito Samarca; MAPASU chair Dionel Campos; and civilian Aurello Sinzo last September 1 in Lianga.

They are facing charges of three counts of murder, robbery, grave coercion, and arson. (FEA/PIA-Caraga)


Army welcomes DOJ’s investigation

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Sept. 29 (PIA) - The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army (4ID, PA) welcomes the move of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the creation of a Special Investigation Team to look into the killing of three people at Sitio Han-ayan, Brgy. Diatagon, Surigao del Sur last September 1, 2015.

The Special Investigation Team that will initiate a “thorough and in-depth investigation and case-build-up” will once and for all separate the facts from propaganda. Also, it may look into the underlying events that brought the conflict affecting the indigenous peoples (IPs) living peacefully in their communities.

It can be recalled that the 4ID assisted the provincial government of Surigao del Sur specifically the Peace and Order Council on its fact finding mission to aid the investigation. It resulted to the establishment of Task Force ‘Tejero,’ a joint AFP-PNP law enforcement operation that is tasked to capture the perpetrators of the recent killing incident in Surigao in order for them to shed light on the crimes they have committed.

The 4ID, PA, in a press statement, said the presence of the army in the area is to promote peace and assist government agencies in the delivery of government services in isolated IP communities who are very much vulnerable to the New People's Army (NPA) rebels' exploitation. They are there for peace-keeping mission to prevent further escalation of violence, the statement read. (FEA/JPMartinez/PIA-Caraga)