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Samar Weekly

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THE EXPONENT OF SAMAR PROGRESS

VOL. IX NO. 19

DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo

B� RICKY BAUTISTA CATBALOGAN CITY – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has advised all local government units to designate “firecracker and pyrotechnic zones” where people may light firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in celebrating Christmas and the New Year. The call was also reiter-

DECEMBER 13 - 19, 2011

CATBALOGAN CITY

8 PAGES

DILG reminds LGUs: Allot firecracker zones

ated by DILG-8 director Pedro Noval, Jr. in a gathering attended by local officials in the region recently. Last December 15, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo asked provincial governors, city and municipal mayors and punong barangays throughout the country in an effort to minimize casualties that goes with the revelry this holiday season especially on New Year’s Day. “Let’s strive to minimize

or even go for “zero casualties” in firecracker-related injuries, Robredo said in his advisory. The idea of designating a specific firecracker and pyrotechnic area in a community could help a lot in attaining the common objective, he added. The DILG secretary issued a directive to local chief executives for them to issue the same advisory regulating SEE DILG P3

Samar PNP chief urges public Daram mayor to observe holidays safely receives checks B� NINFA QUERANTE for Agri project CATBALOGAN CITY -- Police Superintendent Nolasco Bathan, Samar provincial police director, urged the public to celebrate Christmas holidays safely by being vigilant. Supt. Bathan, accom- down.” And for the previous panied by his information officer Felipe Tan, relayed months “there was no disturbance whatsoever in some this information during the PIA’s Huruhimangraw police activities we have been Radio Program held on De- conducting,” Bathan said. Supt. Bathan continued cember 15 at Aksyon Radyo “there is a 100% downloading DYMS. of PNP personnel to the city The PNP official said streets to secure the public dothat though this province ing Christmas shopping.” is peaceful, “vigilance is Bathan appealed to the still what we need to ensure the safety of everyone.” Last public that security, peace and order is everyone’s week, the PNP led the concern and that the pub‘Takbo Daang Maharlika lic should not be afraid to Tungo sa Pagkakaisa’ fun run as a sign of a peaceful report any criminality happening in the area and also province. to report suspicious looking The police official has just been assigned as po- individuals. “During these times, our lice director of Samar three misguided brothers may also months and up to now “the crime volume (has so far) gone SEE SAMAR P3

DARAM Mayor Dr. Lucia Astorga recently received checks from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala to finance a project under the “Agrikulturang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino.” Mayor Lucia Astorga travelled all the way to Las Navas, Northern Samar to attend the launching of the “Agrikulturang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino” which was attended by Alcala and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. In a text message, Astorga said that P220, 000.00 was inSEE DARAM P2

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Samar Weekly Express

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REGIONAL NEWS

DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

DOLE launches community December 18 is International projects in Leyte Migrants Day THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) North Leyte Field Office recently launched at the Stephanie’s Smokehaus, the Community Enterprise Project under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program. DOLE Region 8 Director Forter Puguon informed that the launching was highlighted by the conduct of pledging of services for the two enrolled projects in the municipalities of Tolosa and Babatngon, both in the province of Leyte, by the 54 DOLE partners from

government and non-government agencies and from the academe. “The CED Project is under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program which is envisioned to generate income and employment through enhancement and transformation of livelihood projects into community enterprises managed by community groups,” Director Puguon said. The launching cum pledging session was geared towards the objective of “transforming livelihoods into sustainable community

enterprises and this was attended by GOs, NGOs and identified community groups who have jointly committed themselves for the success of the livelihood projects established by the NLFO- DOLE for its target beneficiaries. In attendance during the activity were the officers and members of the community groups Burak Magkaisa Farmers Association of Tolosa and District I Fisherfolks Association of Babatngon who were joined by their respective Municipal Mayors Hon.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS gli�ered in every trees and corners of this province premier park a�racted nightly huge crowds composed of local residents and visitors from neighboring towns. The ligh�ng of en�re 3-hectare capitol park including the obelisk area was “switched on” last December 3 signalling the start of the “Light a Tree” contest par�cipated by various na�onal and provincial offices, non-government organiza�ons in this city.

Photos by Ricky J. Bau�sta

Glittering lights in Samar’s premier park draws huge nightly crowds

Samar Gov. Sharee Ann Tan

CATBALOGAN CITY -- The ‘Light a Tree’ contest sponsored by the provincial government ushering the Christmas Festival in Samar’s capitol grounds has been attracting an unprecedented nightly crowds. For series of observations conducted by this writer it was observed that people from various walks of life visit bringing with them their friends and families, even on rainy nights, and took pictures of the great views of lightings. The entire capitol compound and park was welllighted as around 80 national and local offices, non-government organizations and civil groups have joined the contest. The lights in the “trees” circling the Capitol obelisk and the entire park has been switch on December 3, 2011 and was beautified by decorating or putting a “Belen” and other Christmas-related icons and Santa Claus. As of today, the whole three-hectare area of the Capitol is glittering with colorful Christmas lights and the sound system blaring with Christmas songs. “We’d like to spend our spare time watching these Christmas Lights as it is always inspired us,” a visitor from neighboring town said in vernacular adding that every year their experience exhibits became more and more enjoyable. Meanwhile, among the great entries presented were from SAMELCO 2. It was heavily lighted featuring a small village made of Nipa huts, with ‘linemen’ working and a giant Christmas tree in the midst. Another interesting entry came from the 8th Infantry

Erwin Ocaña of Tolosa and Hon. Charita M. Chan of Babatngon, Leyte. Agencies that have signified their pledges are the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) , the Department of Agriculture through its Provincial Office, the Department of Science and Technology Leyte, the Department of Trade and Industry Leyte, the Visayas State University (VSU), and the social protection partner agencies like the SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig. Heads and agency representatives of the above mentioned agencies laid down their commitments in either technical or additional fund assistance to the projects to realize the vision of a sustainable community Income generating project with the goal of providing and generating employment for the people in their own locality. The commitments were spelled out in a Memorandum of Agreement forged by the partners after a workshop session with the community groups running the projects and the GOs/ NGOs present. The workshop guided the body into some possibility thinking for them to easily find out areas of concern wherein which each agency can come in. This is to have a unified action and pouring of convergent assistance leading towards the success of the identified community projects. Forward looking, the workshop likewise provided for some future plans and scheduled several activities for each group. This then is a concrete manifestation of President Benigno S. Aquino’s advocacy for Private/Public partnership as a strategy in responding to people’s concerns, Director Puguon said. (PIA 8) Division wherein they highlighted a ‘nativity tableau’ guarded by a crew made of ‘dummy’ with heavy military gears. The exhibit of the Catbalogan Coast Guard is also one of the attractive designed and earned numerous thumbs-up from viewers. The PCG builted a white mini-ship scribbled with their name ‘Catbalogan Coast Guard’ with a complete set of ‘nativity’ aboard in its deck. Meanwhile, Samar governor Sharee Ann Tan said the grand champion of the Lighting Contest will receive a cash prize of P50, 000.00 this Saturday, December 17, during the Christmas Party of the provincial workers. (Ninfa Querante with reports from Ricky Bautista)

Every year on December 18, the world celebrates the International Migrants Day which is an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by millions of migrants to the development of many countries in the world. On that day in 1990, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. The celebration of December 18 as International Migrants Day provides an opportunity to identify the contributions made by thousands of migrants to the progress and prosperity of number of nations around the world. The day provides a venue to highlight the call to curb all kinds of violence and abuse faced by the migrants and their family members and advocate respect for their primary human rights. Further, the celebration is an opportunity to reiterate calls to request governments around the world to refine the UN Convention on Migrant Workers; and to make the governments responsible for the fundamental rights of migrants. Migrant people in Asia began commemorating and advocating 18th December 1997 as an international day of unity with migrants. They selected this date by dint of its symbolic value as it the same day was chosen by the UN General Assembly to adopt the International Convention on the Protection of the Basic Rights of All Migrant Workers and their family members and this was done after almost 10 years of governmental dialogues and relentless endorsement by migrant groups across the world. The first International Migrants Day event was held at the UN Building in Manila, Philippines, and the participation of local bodies, foreign diplomats and delegates of international organization and NGOs was registered. Taking this into consideration migrant groups across the world started campaigning for the UN in the years 1999 to officially establish 18th December to be witnessed as International Migrants Day. These campaigning efforts proved to be a big success and the UN General Assembly on 4th December pronounced International Migrants Day to be observed on 18th December each year. In the Philippines, the contributions of Filipinos overseas are recognized not only by celebrating the International Migrant Workers Day on December 18, but by commemorating the whole month of December as Month of Overseas Filipinos. As a fitting tribute to overseas Filipinos, Proclamation No. 276 was issued on June 21, 1988, institutionalizing the commemoration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos every December. The contributions of Filipinos overseas to the Philippines have been immense. It accounts for about 16 percent of the country’s total current account receipts and 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Very recently, Overseas remittances, through official channels alone, reached an all-time high of US$ 1.77 Billion in October of 2011. Those who eventually acquire the citizenship of their adopted country continue to maintain filial links with people in the Philippines and manifest an abiding interest in the progress or developments in their country of origin.

DARAM from page 1...

tended for the Cabugao and Casab-ahan farmer-families while another P170, 000.00 was for the Valles and Cabiton-an Association. “This amount can help my constituents,” Astorga said. The project guarantees land development and employment opportunities for the sustainable livelihood of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. The launching was highlighted by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala. Under the MOA, both agencies identified the sites and beneficiaries of the project and consolidate farming operations for the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. With Region VIII as the pilot site, the project also seeks to demonstrate innovative farming systems technology, showcase agricultural modernization efforts and adopt the project’s developed technologies and its farmer-beneficiaries. After six months of implementation in Region VIII, the project will be rolled out in other regions to ensure its sustainability. “The project also aims to prepare and encourage the younger generations to go into agricultural farming through trainings and social preparations. The goal is to propagate the project to provide sustainable livelihood for the beneficiaries and their children,” Secretary Soliman said.


Samar Weekly Express

SAMAR from

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take advantage so, let us all be aware,” the police director said. He said he has warned the PNP personnel to refrain from firing during the holidays, though not necessarily putting masking tapes in their gun muzzles. “They should be disciplined enough to sow discipline too,” the police official said. Police information officer Felipe Tan, on the other hand, said PNP these days observe the so called Integrated Patrol System. The system would translate to police visibility in crowded streets, vital installations, terminals and even crowded parks.

DILG from

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the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in their respective localities as mandated by Republic Act 7183. Robredo urged local authorities to make sure that only the following types of firecrackers are manufactured, sold, distributed or used namely, baby rocket, “bawang,” small triangulo, pulling of string, paper cups, el Diablo, Judah’s belt, sky rocket (kwitis) and other types equivalent in explosive content. For pyrotechnic devices, those that are allowed are sparklers, luces, fountain, jumbo, mabuhay, Roman candle, trompillo, airwolf, whistle device, butterfly, among others. Furthermore, Robredo also directed all local officials to take the lead in the conduct of an information campaign on the proper use of all kinds of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, and to be watchful of radical groups that may take advantage of the holiday season’s merriment for their lawless designs. Policemen, which are under the power and control of the DILG, were also ordered to implement its duties in safeguarding the streets in their respective Area of Responsibility. Their firearms were also sealed off in order for them not to use it during the New Year’s revelry on January 1. (rjb)

DA earmarks P474-M for enhancement of agriculture in N. Samar TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is allotting some P474 million to ensure the enhancement of agricultural productivity in Northern Samar. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala made the commitment during his recent visit in Las Navas, Northern Samar where he also forged an agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to undertake an initiative called “Agrikulturang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” DA8 RED Antonio Gerundio informed. Of the P474 million, Secretary Alcala said P209 million is earmarked as an additional fund to complete the irrigation component of the Help for Catubig

Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP). HCAAP is expected to irrigate 4,550 hectares, and benefit more than 1,600 farm families in the towns of Catubig and Las Navas, Northern Samar. Alcala said the irrigation project will double the province’s irrigated area to more than 9,000 hectares, from the current 4,500 hectares, and subsequently increase its annual palay production pegged at 98,300 metric tons (MT) in 2010. The irrigation project, the DA Secretary noted, could generate an additional harvest of about 40,950 MT, at two crops a year and an average harvest of 4.5 MT per hectare per cropping. In 2010, Northern Sa-

mar produced 98,380 MT of palay from 38,183 hectares, of which 88 percent is rainfed. The province contributed 10 percent to the total eastern Visayas palay harvest of 964,145 MT last year. Secretary Alcala also allotted P230 million for the rehabilitation and construction of other irrigation projects, and P35 million for farm-to-market roads in second district of Northern Samar. In the same occasion, Secretary Alcala disclosed the Agency’s plan to put up some very vital infrastructures such us the setting up of a PhilRice Satellite Office and a multi-million stateof-the-art rice processing complex in Catubig Valley that will house modern rice milling and drying

Due to typhoons, overfishing

BFAR expects 2% decline in 2011 fishery output

GUIUAN, Eastern Samar- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is projecting a 2% decline in the 2011 fishery output due to slowdown of tuna catch and major typhoons that affected fishing grounds in Central Luzon this year, a top official revealed. BFAR National Director Asis Perez, however, said that there is still adequate supply of fishery products in the country despite minimal output decline. “We have enough stocks of marine products but we do not expect that there will be growth by the end of the year. We are lower by 2% compared to last year’s harvest. I don’t see the possibility that we can surpass the 2010 output,” Perez told The Express. The tuna sector, which accounts 15% of the country’s

fishery output, suffered a 30% loss in catch due to global warming and overfishing. Perez added that attributing to the decrease is the existing ban by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission on all fishing operations in the high seas. “Two major typhoons also affected about 40% of major production areas in Central Luzon. It will take up to two years for the industry to recover in that area,” he said. The January to September 2011 report of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) revealed that production of commercial fisheries went down by 15.95 percent in the first nine months of the year. The lesser appearance of “tamban” for canning in Zamboanga contributed to the decline coupled with lesser fishing trips in many areas of

the country due to rough seas and strong winds brought about by typhoons and high fuel cost. The same problem also contributed to the 2.70% decrease in municipal fisheries production for the period. Overall, the country’s fishery sector registered a 3.84% decline in production during the first three quarters, according to BAS. Perez said that the country will be able to manage to narrow down the decline for the last quarter with the better performance of aquaculture sector, which represents 55% of the country’s fishery industry. The BAS data revealed that aquaculture expanded by 3.47%. The higher level of brackishwater and freshwater production were attributed to increased stocking, availability of fingerlings, abundant food supply in some areas.

Pupils, school paper advisers attend training in Leyte BORONGAN CITY – Edging the recent provincial screening, around 100 elementary pupils honed their writing skills in the Regional Schools Press Conference last December 16-19 in Tanauan Central Elementary School in Tanuan, Leyte. Division Coordinator Maria Moscare said a total

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DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

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of 94 pupils and 17 school paper advisers coming from the different schools in Eastern Samar converged in Tacloban last Thursday before proceeding to their training venue. Pressing a tight budget for the program, Moscare informed that parents and teachers contributed some amounts just to send their pupils for said training which for them “very important.” She recalled that last year, six of her pupils quali-

fied to the National Press Conference, and one of them luckily grabbed the 4th Place in Filipino Feature Writing. In year 2009, she said that Eastern Samar placed first among the divisions in the region, and 2nd in 2010. This time around, they aim to hit and regain the 1st place they had in 2009 in the national press conference writing contest which is set to be held in Palawan.

facilities. The Agrikulturang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, is meant to “uplift” Eastern Visayas farmers, fishers and rural folk from poverty. The poverty alleviation project is aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, and provides sustainable livelihood and short-term jobs to marginal families, particularly those engaged in rice, corn, coconut, and sugar-cane production, and municipal fishing. It seeks to improve the agricultural productivity and income of marginal coconut farm families; construct paddy dikes, irrigation canals and service roads in undeveloped or unutilized farmlands, and at the same time, generate additional employment;

and implement livelihood projects to benefit marginal fisher folk families. During the launching at Las Navas, DA and DSWD have awarded several farm equipment, tools and inputs to hundreds of family-beneficiaries. From the DA, they also received three units of hand tractors, 100 pieces of hand tools, and 100 bags of certified rice seeds; and from the DSWD, two units of hand tractors, and livelihood project funds. In addition, the DA through the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) will construct a diversion dam in Barangay Guba, Catarman town, and implement an expanded modified rapid composting project in the province, as part of the DA’s organic agriculture program. (PIA 8)

4 villages in Laoang inaugurate KALAHI-CIDSS projects LAOANG, Northern Samar – Residents of four Laoang, Northern Samar villages rejoiced as community projects under KALAHI-CIDSS were inaugurated on December 10, 2011. Said community projects consisted of concrete path walks and two drainage canals which the village folks identified and agreed upon as their priority needs and which they themselves implemented. As Laoang Mayor Madeleine Ong who was present during the inaugurations said, KALAHI-CIDSS is not a project but a process. “The projects are the water system, path walks and canal but KALAHI-CIDSS is a process on which it empowers the people to identify, decide, and envision their needs for their own development,” Mayor Ong said as she cited barangay assembly as activity and a venue where the community’s voice is heard of. KALAHI-CIDSS Deputy Regional Project Manager Eubolo Co informed that the sub-projects that were inaugurated were water systems, footbridge, concrete path walks in Barangays Bongliw and Abaton, and drainage canals in Barangays La Perla and Vigo, all of which are located along the river side of the Municipality. The construction of the 700 linear meters concrete path walk in Barangay Abaton had a total cost of P753, 200.00, with a Local Cash Counterpart of P113, 056.00 and KALAHI-CIDSS (KC) grant of P640, 144.00. Other sub-projects inaugurated were two water systems and a footbridge. In Barangay Bongliw, the construction of the concrete path walk cost P381, 500.00, with a P71, 420.00 counterparts from the Local Government and KC Grant of P310, 080.00. The project started in April 07, 2011 and was completed in August 13 of the same year. In Barangay La Perla, the total cost of the construction of the 600 linear meter long drainage canal is P1, 340, 200.00 with P1, 199, 940.00 as KC grant and an LGU contribution of P191, 260. In Barangay Vigo, the construction of drainage canal has a total cost of P941, 038.00 with a local counterpart from the LGU amounting to P77, 908.00 and a grant of P863, 130.00 from KC. The KALAHI-CIDSS is a community-driven development project that aims to empower communities through their enhanced participation in community projects that reduce poverty. Within 6 years, the project aims to cover 25 percent of the poorest municipalities in the poorest 42 (out of 79) provinces of the Philippines, equivalent to more than 4,000 villages in 182 municipalities. It strengthens community participation in local governance and develops local capacity to design, implement, and manage development activities. Community grants are used to support the building of low-cost, productive infrastructure such as roads, water systems, clinics, and schools. Using a competitive process, villagers select projects from an open menu and prioritize them for funding. Good local-resource mobilization is demonstrated by the high contribution of villagers and their local governments. KALAHI-CIDSS has trained thousands of villagers in project planning, technical design, and financial management and procurement, thus building a cadre of future leaders at the local level. Most important, the project provides villagers with structured opportunities for accessing information, expressing their opinions, and influencing local governance. (PIA 8)


Samar Weekly Express

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OPINION

DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

• EDITORIAL • Christmas Season, a breather Real progress has eluded Filipinos especially among the larger portion of the poor citizenry for a long, long time now. And a change of this reality seems as dark as the cloudy skies we now experience daily. Some doomsayers even predict, openly expressed by one of the leaders attending a summit on poverty that “our nation is an explosive situation.” There is a strong belief of some philosophers that this ugly phenomenon is man made. Truly it is and the bottom line is greed beyond satiety of people who have access to opportunities and power is the culprit. They include the filthy rich and government power-brokers. In general that is. Are we hopeless then? No. Sooner or later this will change. The Christmas season is a breather. God has to make himself man to save us from all troubles so that this “explosive situation” will not happen. As a foretaste, government has allocated billions of pesos to provide government personnel Christmas give-aways like the13th month pay, cash gifts and a lot more. This will surely manifest and eventually result in the improvement of local economies because of the Christmas spending by the recipients from these bonuses. There is hope. After this Christmas season we will see massive government spending to generate employment. A real honest to goodness agrarian reform programs will be on the works. This will in the long run improve the lives of former tenants of the land they now own by virtue of the program, more so if government will provide loans and access to modern agricultural technology. Good governance should dramatically reduce to its insignificant minimum level graft and corruption in the implementation of infrastructure programs to stimulate trade and other income generating pursuits to benefit. The restoration of faith in governance that was hopelessly ebbing in the most recent past administration will become a reality if cases now being heard in courts will see credible fruition as early as possible- with the guilty going to jail. The Christmas season is the initial breath of better things to come ahead of us. This belief is bolstered by the fact that we have a credible leader in President Benigno C. Aquino, who up to this moment has maintained his honest and dedicated stance as the leader of this land.

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‘Blue Christmas’ for other Samar employees LAST WEEK, no less than President Simeon Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III himself gave the assurance that all government workers will receive their Christmas bonuses otherwise known as Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) amounting to P10, 000.00 as another holiday bonus for everyone working in the government not only for those working as permanent or regular but also to include those hired on a temporary, casual or contractual basis. According to Aquino, this amount is on top of the 13th month pay and the P5, 000.00 cash gift for everyone. The full amount of P10 thousand intended for PEI, however, is to be given only to those employees who had rendered at least four months of service as of November 30. For example, if an employee received a monthly salary of P10, 000, plus the 13th month slip of another P10, 000 then added with PEI P10, 000 and a cash gift of P5, 000, he/she will received at least a cold cash of P35, 000 this December, enough to make his/her holidays a “white Christmas.” The amount can buy adequate food in the table, upgrade appliances, pay their debts and save the rest. I’m sure there’s no reason for these people not to enjoy the spirit of gift-giving on our Lord’s natal day. But this doesn’t work for other workers and government employees in Samar. An employee of the Catbalogan City hall leaked that, still, many of them didn’t received yet their PEI for the reason of “lack of budget.” The same source narrated that the budget of the Catbalogan LGU was only reenacted and it cannot make a supplemental budget for the PEI and other bonuses. Is this true Mayor Coefredo Uy, sir? Kun ungod gud man ine, kairo man liwat hine nga mga empleyado. We’ll, I knew it can help a lot but it’s not enough for you employees not to enjoy the holidays. Being with your respective families on DALMACIO C. GRAFIL Publisher RICKY J. BAUTISTA Editor CATHERINE GERADILA Office-in-Charge

ALMA GRAFIL Bus. Manager

Columnists, Writers and Account Executives: Chito Dela Torre, Atty. Batas Maricio, Fr. Roy Cimagala, Ismael Amigo, Juan Mercado, Rommel Rutor, Roger Soria, Myra Tambor, Jenna Igdalino, Gina DeanRagudo, Lilith Sabuco - Teña

Christmas day is a blessing and you should be thankful. But, back to the benefits, I still believe this is unfair to the city hall employees. This sad occurrence happened not only in the city hall of Catbalogan but also to some other municipalities that has a reenacted budget. Also, not all of the villages in Samar can claim the full amount of P10, 000 because it will then depend on their local budget and savings. Some of the municipal accounts and municipal treasurers do not let them use the “calamity funds” which majority of them insisted. Just a reminder to everyone working in the government. Let’s just follow what the law says and we’ll have no problem with the COA and other accounting offices. By the way, to the city officials, in my future columns, watch out for the reminders I will give to be “always transparent and honest” in publishing your local ordinances. As of now, I’m in the process of consolidating evidences for my next write up. Always be honest in your constituents please! -o0oChristmas scams proliferate online Filipinos looking to beat the Christmas rush by doing their holiday shopping online would have to be extra careful as cyber criminals are currently on the prowl against unsuspecting online users looking to tick off their gifts list online. A Russian IT security firm Kaspersky Lab said users of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter should practice extra precaution, as cyber thieves have crafted scams specifically targeted to these popular online sites. Kaspersky sounded off particularly on phishing scams–where users are lured into a fake site that looks a lot like their bank’s — that may come in the form of viral videos, direct messages on Twitter, cloned retailer websites and “too-good-to-be-true” deals. “Phishing messages use deceptive information or fake websites in order to get consumers to disclose personal or financial information,” the security firm explained. Filipinos are known to be frugal when it comes to giving gifts, but Kaspersky cautioned those who are looking to save a buck or two against discounts and deals that may eventually rob them of more money. “A recent Facebook scam featured a Starbucks gift card, telling Facebook users if they re-posted the fake message, they would receive a $50 gift card. Similar scams have appeared promising cheap or even free iPads,” Kaspersky SEE VIEWS P8

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Samar Weekly Express

DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

COMMENTARY BY JUAN L. MERCADO

juanlmercado@gmail.com

A clutch of carols “THAT is my favorite carol,” declares our granddaughter Kristin, 8. “Mine too,” says Kathie, 5. The two meant “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” — the hijacked Tagalog version of “Kasadya Ning Takna-a”, the winning daygon, first played at the 1933 Cebu Christmas festival. The two kids plan to carol in their subdivision. When?” we ask. “After Alexia and Tai Noelle arrive”. Their two cousins, age 9 and 6, fly in from San Francisco for Christmas. “Being fluent in French, they can belt out “Joyeaux Noel”, the wife tells the two. “But “Kasadya” will be new to them.” The late Vicente D. Rubi of Cebu composed “Kasdaya”. .Mariano Vestil scribbled the lyrics. A Manila recording company swiped their work in 1938. Both were never compensated or given credit. Until his death in 1980, impoverished widower Rubi would shuffle to his gates and teach startled carolers how to sing his daygon. Lyricist Vestil went to his grave, in 2004, noted only by an inside-page-below-the-fold newspaper obituary. “It remains supreme irony that not the slightest effort has been made to attribute the beloved carol “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” to Vicente D. Rubi” and Mariano Vestil of Cebu”, Columnist Jullie Yap Daza wrote in 1978. From upland barangays, impoverished “promdis” trek into cities, this season, and sing, for a few coins, now rarely-heard daygons. Cops meanwhile round up out of

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS BY ATTY. MELANIO ‘BATAS’ MAURICIO NOTARY PUBLIC Anarchy, violence grip Hacienda Luisita LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned…” (Isaiah 9:2, the Holy Bible). -o0oANARCHY, VIOLENCE GRIP HACIENDA LUISITA: Anarchy, lawlessness and violence are erupting in the once peaceful Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, ever since the Supreme Court released its decision ordering the distribution of the vast estate to 6,000 of its 10,000 or so farm workers a month ago, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap and other provincial officials and ranking officers of the Philippine National Police were told last Thursday, December 15, 2011. The reason, as found by Yap and his colleagues in the Capitol? Well, even as the tribunal’s decision is still pending reconsideration, many of the Hacienda’s 10,000 or so farm workers are now already staking claim to specific portions of the vast estate, forcibly appropriating for themselves the lands, and even burning with impunity the sugar cane and other agriculture products planted thereon by independent planters. Yap met with the independent planters, numbering about 20, last Thursday, in connection with their request for police protection. The independent planters told Yap there is now a total breakdown of law and order at the Hacienda, as many people who claim to be farm workers have taken control of the lands in the estate despite the absence yet of guidelines as to how distribution is to be made, or who are to be awarded with the lands. -o0oREPORTS OF LAWLESSNESS REACH TARLAC GOV: Here are some of the reports of violence that Yap and Tarlac PNP officials received from the independent planters, already published by local media: Sherwin Sibal, an agro-industrial businessman, leased several hectares of idle land at the Hacienda from farm workers, and planted them with sugar cane with the aid of the farm workers themselves. Last week, a group of unidentified people came and cut down Sibal’s cane crops. When he confronted the group, their leader told him that the produce is theirs,

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OPINION

school kids who carol with bottle-cap tambourines These grimy “street troubadours” never heard of a former president who’ll listen to carols in a hospital suiteas-prison-cell. Tell them about a “midnight” Chief Justice whose 19-0 decisions are “untarnished by a negative vote” against the jailed president. All you get is a blank stare. These mean nothing to often food-short kids who should be in school. Here, 22 percent of people are undernourished. (Compare that to Malaysia’s two percent). Poor nutrition stunts almost a half ( 47 percent ) of kids in Negros Occidental and Northern Samar Yet, their carols are about “a season that gives us an array of luminous images that hint at all manner of annunciations”, New Yorker magazine notes. Some carols go back centuries. And old favorites, like “Adeste Fildelis” and “Silent Night” endure but whatever happened to those lilting Spanish carols like “Nacio, Nacio Pastores”? Grey-haired “oldies” like us wonder. “Every Christmas Day, we still sing these villancicos (Spanish carols) songs, in front of the belen, in my mother’s home.” Ricky Gallaga emailed from Bacolod City. “We have done that over the years. “Our Nativity set survived World War II. It has been in our family for the past 80 years. In the 50′s, my grandaunt, Tia Trina, would sit in front of the piano and lead the family singing these villancicos. “Among the carols we sing are: “Vamos, pastores, vamos, vamos a Belen” to “A ver en aquel nino, la Gloria del Eden.” My mother continues this tradition. And my brothers and a sister teach these to our grandchildren’ “These carols truly reflect what Christmas is all about. I feel sad when people tell us to be politically correct and greet each other “Happy Holidays.” Christmas is Christ.” Filipino Overseas Workers have brought these carols to over 193 countries and territories Roughly 3,752 Filipinos leave daily today that’s 28 times the first clutch of timid migrants who left five decades back. They’re young. Majority are between 25 to 44 years old. And 36, out of every 100, have a college degree. Their remittances or padalas home may crest at $23 claiming they now have the exclusive authority over the land which, they said, was part of the land that was ordered distributed by the Supreme Court. Mayor Noel Villanueva of Concepcion, Tarlac on the other hand, reported that some 44 hectares of his sugarcane field, located adjacent to the Hacienda, were burned by unidentified men also last week, while Boy Masanque, another independent investor, said that his young cane crops that were not yet ready for harvest were cut down by people claiming to be members of militant groups. And as Yap and the independent planters were meeting, several men swooped down on the nursery area of Central Azucarera De Tarlac saying the land is theirs. A guard explained that the area is not a part of Hacienda Luisita as it is only the source of cane points that are distributed during planting season. The men, however, insisted that the land is part of what they are claiming. The area is close to the residential area of the Cojuangco and Aquino families. -o0oDEADLY WAR AMONG FARM WORKERS TO ERUPT: All of these are just the start of something really explosive and volatile and, of course, deadly and destructive. At present, farmers (or people claiming to be farmers) are now concerned only with the lands that could be claimed from the Hacienda. But sooner or later, they would be concerned with claiming the lands already occupied by their fellow farm workers. Since the Supreme Court decision directed the awarding of land to only 6,000 of the Hacienda’s 10,000 or so beneficiaries, a war is going to erupt, as sure as the sun rises and sets, among the farm workers themselves, who would be fighting to the death for an opportunity to own a part of the estate. The government must find a fast solution, or else, it will have the blood of many men and women in its hands.

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in the opinion and commentary sections do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Samar Weekly Express. The SWE does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication, however, reserves the right to edit contributions for clarity, as it sees fit. - Ed.

billion this Christmas – up from $14.4 billion in 2007. Filipinos are world’s fourth highest remitters, after Indians, Chinese, and Mexicans. Malapit na ang Pasko mahal, says a typical text message from the spouse left at home. (Majority are male.) Ang daming gastos. Dagdagan mo ang padala mo. (Christmas is near, dear. Our bills are increasing.”) “Pasko na anak, a parent writes. (It’s Christmas, son.) “Padala ka naman ng bagahe, Sabay mo na rin ang aginaldo namin. (Send the pack. Include our gifts.) Very often “not even a thank you note will be sent”, wrote an OFW. “Christmas in the Middle East is just an ordinary working day unless it falls on a Friday…. It’s the season of joy for most but it’s also the season of homesickness for us” That blog reminds us of Christmas Eve at Society of Divine Word mother house in Rome. Star lanterns festooned Verbiti. Lights blinked from a Nativity crib or belen. Even lechons were on the table. Filipino OFWs sang carols. These included “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” and “Pasko Na Naman” . Tears slipped past tightly-closed eyes. Christmas is “Emmanuel God with us” in the dark, loneliness and pain, Filipino SVD fathers told their expat flock. Here is part of the diaspora’s untabulated costs. Hidden behind those foreign exchange remittances are:pain, separation, alienation, trauma even. Tiene cara de hambre. “You have the face of hunger.” “The Bethlehem story gives us an ‘array of luminous images’, theologian Catalino Arevalo SJ writes “The night sky (is) alight with bright angels, simple shepherds startled from sleep, magi. It is a happening for the deepest heart….” “And the 1861 (?) Carol says of the little town of Bethlehem: “The hopes and fears of all the years / Are met in thee tonight.” Indeed, the unique grace of Christmas is that both carol writer and carol thief can say, together with kings and shepherds: “Let us go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has made known to us.” Email: juanlmercado@gmail.com)

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Samar Weekly Express

6

NATIONAL NEWS

DOH: Firecracker injuries now at 201 INJURIES due to firecrackers con�nue to grow and reached 201 as of Wednesday, the health department reported. The total numbers of vic�ms were recorded from December 21 to 28. Of the numbers, 189 were caused by fireworks, seven by stray bullets and five by inges�ons. Leading the list of notorious firecrackers are piccolo (96), kwi�s (18), five-star (15), whistle bomb (9), boga (9), and triangle (7). The Department of Health also gave first aid �ps for firecracker burns and poisoning. Na�onal Epidemiology Center (NEC) head Eric Tayag said first degree burns should immediately be ran through water before drying and wrapping it in gauze. “If may bleeding, put pressure on the wound directly para ma�gil then elevate the arm kase pwede himatayin ang bata,” said Tayag. On the other hand, burns with phosphorus should first be wiped out from chemicals before washing it with water. In cases of poisoning, the vic�m must be fed with five raw eggs to coat the gastrointes�nal tract, preven�ng the chemical from s�cking to the stomach. “Dalhin sa ospital kase doon pwede magbigay ng an�dote for poisoning,” stressed Tayag. (Sunnex)

PPI members win in first IP awards Indigenous peoples (IPs) took the center stage as eleven stories about them were recognized in an international reception organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on December 12 in Makati City. Among the eleven stories recognized as outstanding, were five articles from member-publications of the Institute namely, BusinessWorld’s Discontent in a Mining Wilderness by Romer Sarmiento, Sun.Star Davao’s As Precious as Life Itself by Stella Estremera, Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Mt. Pinukis an Arena of Debate on Mining by Ryan Rosauro and Cordillera Organic Rice Finds a Strong Market at Home by Edgardo Espiritu, and Northern Dispatch’s Anti Dam Activist Gets Laureate Award by Arthur Allad-iw. All four won in the online, print and photo essay categories. The winners received trophies. The outstanding stories in all of the five categories were revealed in the ILO Year-end Reception that underscored the indigenous peoples as “partners in development”, and the journalists who presented them in unique storytelling that provided insightful glimpses of their culture, aspirations and indispensible efforts towards making a difference in their communities and showing the society their critical importance in nation-building. The short list of outstanding stories from print, radio, television, online and photo essay was a result of a evaluation of more than 80 entries from August 2009 to August 2011 by a pool of experts on IP issues and from the media that comprised the screening committee and the judging panel. The first ever “Pagkilala sa mga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo” which served as the highlight of the reception that gave importance to members of IP communities in the Philippines, also showcased ethnic or indigenous dance, music, products and snapshots of the colorful life of the IPs in the country. “It was a good mix of stories that show the other side of our IP brothers and sisters,” Joseph Alwyn Alburo, vice-chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and member of the judging panel, said. Both the screeners and the judges lauded the efforts of the writers who took time and effort to share to the public that indigenous peoples are “indeed partners in development” and that “more

stories can be written about them in the future”. “The stories are not about the journalists who produced them. They are about the IPs who are out there struggling to be part of a bigger community,” Ramon Tuazon, president of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and a member of the board of judges, said. Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, who read the message of President Benigno S. Aquino III during the opening program, also lauded the efforts “for hailing the part that indigenous peoples plays in development”. She said that there are now IP desks in 16 regions of the country. “Ituwid ang daan para sa mga katutubo,” Baldoz said. Stella Estremera, editor-in-chief of Sun.Star Davao, in her acceptance speech on behalf of the awardees, said that interacting with the IPs to listen to their stories and relaying these with their purest intentions at its most unadulterated narrative, is a journey into one’s soul. “It is a rediscovery of our identity as Filipinos. Like any other journalist, I started looking and writing about them with pity in my eyes. That was until I listened to their stories and beliefs and saw in them the true resilience of the Filipino spirit, and a deeply ingrained dignity that has withstood the endless years of marginalization. Along with that came the realization that the pity is on us for sweeping these away to the margins and denying our children these stories. To ILO, thank you for this recognition, but the greater gratitude is for the IPs for waiting so long for their stories to be told. ” In the end, she urged fellow journalists not to make them (IPs) wait much longer. The Probe Media Foundation served as the project secretariat. The PPI was the coordinating arm for print entries.

POEA intensifies campaign vs illegal recruiters TACLOBAN CITY -- Philippine Overseas Employment Agency in Eastern Visayas vows to continue its intensified campaign against illegal recruiters in the coming year. Rose Gervoso, POEA regional coordinator disclosed that aware of the existence of illegal recruiters victimizing jobseekers, the POEA regional office major plan for the coming year is centered on the campaign against illegal recruiters through the conduct of pre-employment seminars for Filipino jobseekers.

Gervoso explained that the conduct of said seminars is aimed at making jobseekers understand the importance of choosing a licensed recruitment agency and ensuring the existence of a job order. The non-existence of job order means that there will no immediate deployments of jobseekers. The POEA regional coordinator also said the conduct of the seminar activities will include fresh graduates including the high school graduates in search of job opportu-

nities abroad. The inclusion of such a group is to educate on how to identify a legal recruitment agency, motivate such group in choosing the legal mode in applying for a job and the preparation done for employment. POEA will also intensify its coordination with local government units (LGUs) through coming up with memorandum of understanding to generate more overseas jobs not only domestic helpers but other opportunities as well. (PIA-8)

DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

FLOODS from page 1... ern Philippines raged outside the store where she works, Amor Limbago worriedly called home to check on her parents, but their cellphones just kept ringing and later went dead. Limbago, 21, rushed home as soon as the flash floods receded and confirmed her worst fear: Her parents and seven other relatives were gone, swept away from their hut by the river. They had eagerly planned a small Christmas dinner in that hut just days earlier. “I returned and saw that our house was completely gone,” a weeping Limbago told The Associated Press from Cagayan de Oro city. “There was nothing but mud all over and knee-deep floodwaters.” Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) blew away Sunday after devastating a wide swath of the mountainous region on Mindanao island, which is unaccustomed to major storms. Most of the victims were asleep Friday night when flash floods cascaded down mountain slopes with logs and uprooted trees, swelling rivers and killing at least 532 people. The late-season tropical storm turned the worst-hit coastal cities of Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan into muddy wastelands filled with overturned cars and broken trees. Most of the dead were children and women, Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said. With 458 others reported missing, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and top military officials flew to Cagayan de Oro to help oversee search-andrescue efforts and deal with thousands of displaced villagers. Among the items urgently needed are coffins and body bags, said Benito Ramos, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency. “It’s overwhelming. We didn’t expect these many dead,” Ramos said. Although the disaster-prone Philippines is lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms annually, the devastation shocked many, coming close to Christmas — the predominantly Roman Catholic nation’s most-awaited time for family reunions. Army officials in the south said they canceled Christmas parties and would donate the food to homeless survivors. Limbago said she and her mother, Jean, 50, and father Amancio, 63, planned to have a simple Christmas dinner of spaghetti. Those plans had evaporated Sunday as she and surviving relatives checked crowded morgues, hospitals and evacuation centers for any sign of her missing parents. Others lost homes and belongings but were happy to have survived. Edmund Rubio, a 44-year-old engineer, said he, his wife and two children scrambled to the second floor of their house in Iligan city as floodwaters engulfed the first floor, destroying his TV set and other appliances and washing away his car and motorcycle. Amid the panic, he heard a loud pounding on his door as neighbors living in nearby one-story houses pleaded with him to allow them up in his second floor. He said he brought 30 neighbors into the safety of the second floor of his house, which later shook when a huge floating log slammed into it. “It’s the most important thing, that all of us will still be together this Christmas,” Rubio told the AP. “There was a nearby shantytown that was smashed by water. I’m afraid many people there may not have been as lucky as us.” Army officers reported unidentified bodies piled up in morgues in Cagayan de Oro, where electricity was restored in some areas, although the city of more than 500,000 people remained without tap water. At least 239 died in Cagayan de Oro and 206 in nearby Iligan, the Red Cross said. The death toll was expected to rise because many isolated villages still had not been reached by overwhelmed disaster-response personnel. “Our fear is there may have been whole families that perished so there’s nobody to report what happened,” Red Cross chief Pang said. Both Iligan, a bustling industrial center about 485 miles (780 kilometers) southeast of Manila, and Cagayan de Oro were filled with scenes of destruction and desperation. A lone worker gingerly embalmed scores of bodies laid side by side in an Iligan city funeral parlor. Outside the embalming room, seven white coffins were placed in a corridor, surrounded by weeping relatives. “Many mothers, fathers were walking from one funeral parlor to another, looking for their children,” said army Maj. Eugenio Osias, who led a rescue effort in Cagayan de Oro. Ramos attributed the high casualties “partly to the complacency of people because they are not in the usual path of storms” despite four days of warnings by officials that one was approaching. In just 12 hours, Washi dumped more than a month of average rain on Mindanao. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of local police, reservists, coast guard officers and civilian volunteers were mobilized for rescue efforts, but were hampered by flooded-out roads and lack of electricity. Rescuers in boats rushed offshore to save people swept out to sea. (AP Report)

Philippine Airlines unveils Christmas ticket promo THE Philippine Airlines (PAL) will launch tomorrow (14 December 2011) its biggest, longest and most exciting international and domestic ticket sale for the year titled “12 days of Christmas.” PAL is offering giveaway rates for all its international and domestic destinations for the next 12 days starting December 14 until December 26. Travel period is from January 10 to March 15, 2012. All tickets will earn double miles under PAL’s Mabuhay Miles program. As a special treat, PAL will also offer daily surprise “add ons” or “sweeteners” on top of attractive promo fares. Passengers are advised to watch out for daily announcements on print, radio, the PAL website and Facebook for the latest updates on freebies. Seats are limited and are on sale on a “first come, first served basis”. Based on the promo mechanics, roundtrip tickets to the following destinations are priced accordingly (excluding fuel surcharges and government taxes): Beijing US$80; Shanghai US$60; Xiamen US$50; Delhi US$108; Sydney US$298; Melbourne US$298; ManilaTokyo US$248; Cebu-Tokyo US$298; Nagoya US$248;

Fukuoka US$248; Osaka US$248; Honolulu US$308; Guam US$228; Bangkok US$48; Saigon US$48; Singapore US$48; Jakarta US$48; Hong Kong US$30; Macau US$30; Taipei US$30; Las Vegas US$498; Vancouver US$498; Los Angeles US$498; San Francisco US$498; All Luzon – Economy P788, Business Class P3,988; All Visayas - Economy P788, Business Class P3,988; and all Mindanao – Economy P1,388, Business Class P4,988. Vivienne Tan, PAL executive vice president-commercial group said the promo is the flag carrier’s way of thanking passengers for their loyal and continuing patronage especially on the flag carrier’s 70th annniversary. “PAL’s schedules and services are back to normal. We’re launching the biggest and longest promo to end the year with a bang. Families can extend their holidays since this promo allows everyone to travel right away starting January 10. It’s truly a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” Tan said. For more details about these special deals, please log on to www.philippineairlines.com, call PAL Reservations at 855-8888 or visit your nearest travel agent.


Samar Weekly Express

Republic of the Philippines REGIONAL TRIAL COURT 8th Judicial Region BRANCH 41 Gandara, Samar IN RE: PETITION FOR THE DECLARATION OF HEIRS OF ASONCION C. TANMAHINAY: ELIODORO T. MAHINAY, FELICISIMA T. MAHINAY and BONIFACIO T. PAGHUGASAN; Petitioners, SPL. CIVIL ACTION NO. 40 FOR: DECLARATION OF HEIRSHIP x-----------------x ORDER A verified Petition has been filed by Petitioner though counsel on November 28, 2011, praying that after due hearing, judgment be rendered declaring ELIODORO T. MAHINAY, BONIFACIO T. PAGHUGASAN and FELICISIMA T. MAHINAY, as the sole heirs of ASUNCION C. TAN-MAHINAY. The Petition reads: “1. That they are all of ages, with capacity to sue and be

sued, and domiciled in Brgy. Quezon, San Jorge, Samar, where they may be served with summons and court processes; 2. That PETITIONERS are the children and heirs of the late ASONCION CABALLERO TAN-MAHINAY, who was born on October 13, 1912, in Brgy. Sto. Niño, Samar, and who died at the age of 79, in Brgy. Quezon, San Jorge, Samar. Attached herewith as proof are the Certificate of Live Birth of Eliodoro T. Mahinay, Felicisima T. Mahinay and Bonifacio T. Paghugasan, the latter being a half-brother of the siblings Eliodoro and Felicisima, and the Certificate of Death of Asuncion C. Tan; 3. That during the lifetime of said ASONCION C. TANMAHINAY, she acquired by inheritance the herein-below described real property, to wit; a. A parcel of agricultural land situated in Brgy. Ilijan, Sto. Niño, Samar, designed as Cadastral Lot. No. 640D, covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 25638, in the name of the Heirs of Asuncion Tan and Assessor’s Lot No. 978, and registered

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LEGAL NOTICES

DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

for taxation purposes in the name of Asuncion Tan Under Tax Declaration No. 0517007-00172, and bounded on the North and East by Lot No. 979 (037), on the South and West by the Seashore; with a total area of 1-63-08 square meters, more or less, with a assessed value of Php23,380.00” 4. That attached and forming integral parts hereof is a machine copy of the original Certificates of Title NO. 25638 and Declaration of Real Property No. 05-1700700172 of the above described property; 5. That to the best knowledge of the PETITIONERS, their decreased mother has no other children of heirs, and therefore, they are instituting this Petition seeking for a court’s declaration that they are the heirs of Asuncion C. Tan-Mahinay.” Finding the Petition to be sufficient in form and in substance, notice is hereby given that this case be set for hearing on February 2, 2012 at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon before this Court, at which date, time and place, all persons who have an objection thereto may file any oppo-

HINTS & TRACES BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

roycimagala@gmail.com

Experience God IS it possible to experience God, to feel his presence, to know his will and to participate in his own life? To all these questions, the answer is a loud yes. Not only is it possible, but also, first of all, it is God’s will. Besides, he has endowed us with the power that would enable us to achieve these feats. God as our Creator and Father always intervenes in our life. He is never away from us even if we fall into the state of sin. We only lose him in hell. But in our whole earthly sojourn, he is in us, right deep in the core of our existence. That’s because he is the giver and maintainer of our existence. For as long as we exist, God is in us. Our existence does not depend on our biological constitution alone, nor on food and air and health only. Even before these things become indispensable to us, it is God who gives and keeps our existence. And since we have been made in his image and likeness, he links with us through our intelligence and will, through our thinking and loving, and thus he comes to us as objects of our innate desire for truth, goodness and beauty. That’s why we have to be most careful in the exercise of our spiritual faculties—how we are thinking, judging, reasoning, loving, etc. These human operations have to be firmly grounded on God, and not just made to be mainly dominated by the twists and turns of our bodily and natural conditions. Our thinking and willing, our knowing and loving should be properly engaged and not allowed to just drift anywhere, and especially when they are given only to the instance of our instincts, emotions and passions. They have to be properly inspired and directed. The need to experience God has become an urgent necessity these days because the spiritual and moral health of our life, taken individually and collectively, depends on this fact and on no other. Pope Benedict emphasized this point recently. In an address to some lay faithful, he said the following: “How do we reawaken the question of God so that it becomes the fundamental question?…The question of God is reawakened in meeting those who have a living relationship with the Lord. God is known through men and women who know him. The way to him

sition and and show cause why the same should not be granted. Let copies of this Order be published at the expense of the Petitioners once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks prior the above-setting in a newspaper of general circulation in the province of Samar and in Calbayog City; Finally, let copies of this Order together with a copy of the petition and its annexes be furnished to Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Calbayog City, the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority, Director of Lands, Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Regional Office, Tacloban City and the Register of Deeds of Catbalogan, Samar and the adjacent property owners of OCT. NO. 25638. SO ORDERED. GIVEN this 5th day of December 2011, Calbayog City for Gandara, Samar, Philippines.

(Sgd.) FELICIANO P. AGUILAR Presiding Judge SWE Issue Dec. 6-12; 13-19 & 20-26, 2011

passes, in a concrete way, through those who have met him.” This is just but natural. God is not just an idea, a theory, a philosophical or theological term. Christ is not just a historical figure nor an object of curiosity. God is alive. In fact, he is the very foundation of reality and of life itself. It’s not in his character to stay away from us or to hide from us or to play hard to get. Thus, the Pope said that God should be the central point of reference in our thinking and acting. He warned that ignoring God will harm our humanity. “A mentality that rejects every reference to the transcendent has shown itself to be incapable of preserving the human,” he said. “The spread of this mentality has generated the crisis that we are experiencing today, which is a crisis of meaning and of values before it is an economic and social crisis,” he added. How true! God actually engages us every moment of our life. This is what providence is all about. We have to learn how to correspond to that continual divine governance, by learning how to pray, how to know and follow his will, how to offer whatever we are doing to him, how to live in his presence all the time, how what we are doing at the moment fits in his plan, etc. For this we need to study well the doctrine of our faith, to have recourse to the sacraments, to develop the virtues, and to commit ourselves to a certain plan of continuing piety so that whatever may be the circumstances of our life, we can manage to be with him always. To experience God is not an impossibility. Nor is it meant only to some gifted if not strange people. It is for all, though we need to help another, since to achieve that condition involves a lifelong process with endless stages, aspects and possibilities. To experience God should be second nature to us. With the proper attitude and skills, with the relevant plans and virtues, this is always possible. Nowadays, the world needs people who have direct experience of God!

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Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barreto in the last offering of “Spooky Nights” for 2011 “Spooky Nights” goes full-force on horror in its last episode for the year, featuring celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto with Magic Palayok child star, Angeli Nicole Sanoy. 2011 has been a good year for the horror program and it continues to dominate its time slot on Saturday nights. Last December 3 and 10, “Spooky Nights” scored 29.7% and 29.9% household audience shares in Mega Manila respectively, according to overnight data supplied by Nielsen TV Audience Measurement. This Saturday, “Spooky Nights” promises to keep viewers glued to their TV sets once again with a scary yet heartwarming episode. Set in a small carnival, “Perya” tells of two lonely people who rediscover the meaning of Christmas when they meet an orphan named Alice (Angeli). Jackie (Claudine) has been fooled by too many men that she has lost her faith in love. Now, she disguises herself as a boyish woman to discourage men from courting her. On the other hand, her friend Jilmer (Raymart) is a soft-hearted man who always ends up being brokenhearted because women take advantage of his kindness. Jackie meets Alice because of an incident in the carnival that she manages. Upon knowing that the girl is an orphan, Jackie decides to take her in despite Jilmer’s warning that Alice might be a part of an illegal syndicate. Unknown to the two adults, Alice is worse than a syndicate. She has a very dark past and her desperate need for parental love becomes a psychotic obsession that makes her kill the people who disappoint her. Can Jackie and Jilmer get away from Alice now that she has entered their life and begun killing the people around them? With Mel Kimura and Tom Olivar, “Spooky Nights Presents: Perya” is created for TV by Director Uro Q. Dela Cruz and Headwriter Senedy Que. Do not miss the last offering of “Spooky Nights” in 2011 after Manny Many Prizes this Saturday on GMA-7.

VIEWS from page 4...

pointed out. “If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is,” it added. In the same vein, the company stressed that even though users generally trust the connections they have on social networks, they should still be wary about divulging personal information that could be used by criminals to break into their online accounts. “By trusting a seemingly safe post, game, or even group on Facebook, you could accidently enter into a world of spam,” it added. To protect themselves against cybercriminals’ ploys on social networks, Kaspersky advised users to “type in the URL instead of clicking a particular link,” to prevent them from visiting a potentially malicious website. The security software provider also reminded users to “install updates on [their] antivirus software” to ensure that they are protected against the latest types of viruses. To make sure that online consumers are protected against these kinds of scams, Senator Edgardo Angara urged the government to pass Senate Bill 2796, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act. “Cybercrime is a silent epidemic,” Angara noted. “People are aware that it is happening, or have even experienced it, but they are often uncertain how to deal with it and which agency should cybercrime victims report to. Is it the PNP, NBI, DTI or the bank?” The Senator, also the chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), also said the government “ought to be more active in protecting the interests of online consumers.” Angara made the call amid reports of rise in cybercrime incidents in the country, ranging from identity theft to hacking and even cyber prostitution. Just recently, the Philippine National Police reported that reports of cybercrime in the Philippines were on the rise, reporting as much as 109 cases of various cyber attacks

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as of end-November. PNP-Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division (PNP-ATCCD) Police Inspector Felizardo Eubra, Jr., however, stressed that these are only the ones reported to the agency, as some victims are not even aware that they have already been victimized. “This is just the tip of the iceberg. No one is safe from these types of attacks, more so if you’re a company because attackers will target those that they see as more lucrative especially because of the information they keep.” Angara said that once the measure is passed into law, computer users would be protected from illegal access, interference of data and systems and misuse of devices such as computer programs and stealing of passwords.

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Samar Weekly

EXPRESS THE EXPONENT OF SAMAR PROGRESS

DECEMBER 13-19, 2011

PAGE 8

Marian to replace Rhian in upcoming prime soap Marian Rivera will replace Rhian Ramos as Dingdong Dantes’ leading lady in the upcoming Kapuso primetime soap opera “My Beloved.” It will be the couple’s fifth primetime show together, following “Marimar,” “Dyesebel,” “Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang” and “Endless Love.” It will be recalled that Rhian, the show’s original leading lady, asked that she be replaced. She also asked GMA for a few weeks’ leave from work because of the trauma brought about by her involvement in the Mo Twister controversy “My Beloved” should have been Rhian’s reunion project with Dingdong, with whom she first teamed up in “Stairway to Heaven” in 2009. “My Beloved” is slated to premiere in the first quarter of 2012.

Marian Rivera

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DILG reminds LGUs: Allot firecracker zones  

SWE Dec. 13-19, 2011 Issue

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