VP Leni rallies Nagueños’ support, lashes at detractors

Close to 2,000 supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo trooped to Plaza Rizal earlier this evening to attend a prayer rally versus cyberbullying.

Rep. Gonzalez, nagsayumang simbagon an pagboto pabor sa death penalty

Nagsayumang magsimbag sa mga kahapotan kan mga miembros kan lokal na media si Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Gonzalez kun nata ta nagboto siyang pabor sa pag imponir liwat kan sentenciang kagadanan.

SP Cam Sur junks Mayor Bongalonta's motion to dismiss

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur has denied the second motion for an extension of time to file answer to the Administrative Complaint filed against him.

Iwal mag-agom ta mayong bagas, babayi nagadan

Makulit na iwal nin mag-agom huli sa kawaran nin bagas na pansapna an guinikanan tanganing maituklang kan lalaki an agom na babae na nagresulta para an huri bawian nin buhay.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wanted hairdressers, makeup artists, drivers—DOLE

Attention, jobseekers. Around 95,000 jobs are waiting for qualified applicants in the government's official job portal, Phil-JobNet.

Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz announced that there is a need for 4,644 sales clerks, 4,188 call center agents, 3,056 service crew workers, 2,644 production workers or factory workers, 2,328 cashiers, 2,094 hotel housekeeping attendants, 2,000 skilled workers or pisci-culture, 1,931 merchandisers, 1,921 promo salespersons, 1,634 salesmen, 1,456 baristas, 1,114 customer service assistants, 1,100 casino dealers, 1,046 company drivers, 1,020 hairdressers, 1,011 hair stylists, 1,000 makeup artists, and 1,000 makeup artists for government.

Baldoz says that the website is designed to help jobseekers look for work that would fit their qualifications.

Meanwhile, the government is also holding job fairs throughout the country for the same purpose.

Earlier this month, Baldoz announced the schedule of job fairs in the Bicol region.

DON'T MISS: DOLE announces Bicol job fair schedule
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Fermin Mabulo belies massacre; 'illegal miners nagkabarilan'

CAMARINES SUR—Fermin Mabulo, who identifies himself as the Provincial Administrator of Camarines Sur in his Facebook account, blames family rivalries to have triggered the cold-blooded murder of four gold panners in Barangay Gata, Caramoan exactly a week ago.

Fermin Mabulo's Facebook post on the Caramoan massacre
Fermin Mabulo's Facebook post on the Caramoan massacre
In radio interviews, he claims to be the head of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, a special organization under the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur that is duty-bound to implement laws on environmental protection.

As clarification of the incident, he posted on Facebook the following message the other day:

“On Gata Incident: Were still conducting a thorough investigation. Lumalabas na nag away away mga illegal miners nagkabarilan. Now they are blaming it on our SKTF enforcers para umalis doon mga SKTF at makabwelo mga illegal mining operators and illegal fishing operators. Sad, I feel for the victims. Especially yung enforcers na inuusig nila. Good thing my team leader Mr Francis Tria was released early this morning. Indeed, the truth will set you free.

This [referring to photos he uploaded] is part of the coastline and mountains of Brgy Gata, Caramoan. See for yourselves the damage done to our environment by illegal mining condoned by their brgy captain over the years.”

He further said: “Gov. Migz ordered SKTF enforcers to stop them since December last year thats why Brgy Captain Mercy Sueno hated the SKTF so much she wanted them to leave so that illegal mining can go on.”

Later, however, he edited parts of his post. Apart from sections of the previous paragraphs, he added: “Bitter rivalry among clans involved in illegal mining has been going on for years but it has escaped public attention due to its remote location.”

In the comments section, Mabulo also declared: “That's is the role of SKTF to protect environment and human lives. We will not tolerate the offenders.”

Meanwhile, residents belie Mabulo’s version of the story.

In interviews by the media, they maintain that Task Force Sagip Kalikasan has been conducting its own mining operations in Gata.

According to the residents, the presence of heavy equipment such as a backhoe and at least seven bowl mills allegedly owned by the Task Force Sagip Kalikasan group proves that they are not there to implement the law, but to engage in the gold business.

Caramoan Massacre: Backhoe allegedly owned by members of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, according to locals
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard
Caramoan Massacre: Mining equipment owned by members of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, according to locals
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard
Meanwhile, authorities are still conducting a deeper investigation into the alleged involvement of other provincial government officials who are in cahoots with the said Task Force’s supposed illegal operation.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM Bicol Standard on Twitter
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Suspect in Caramoan massacre charged

CAMARINES SUR—Out of the seven suspects in the Caramoan massacre, only Servillano Espares Jr. y Ebuenga was accepted by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in the inquest proceedings.
PNP Bicol Regional Director Victor P. Deona
PNP Bicol Regional Director Victor P. Deona
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard
The six suspects who were released for lack of probable cause were Angelo Refran y Enciso, Luis Palaganas y Cleto Jr., Saetiel Pielago y Buen, Jonah Bolima y Bragais, Florencio Vargas y Venas, and Francisco “Iko” Tria y Ramirez III.

Notwithstanding their release, said six suspects are still facing the same case, and will have to undergo a preliminary investigation.

The suspects, it will be recalled, were arrested last Sunday, March 23 at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon by elements of the Caramoan Municipal Police Station.

They were nabbed for their alleged involvement in the gruesome killing of four gold panners in Barangay Gata, Caramoan last Saturday.

Murdered in the incident were Julio Labiano y Rivera, 31, Rene Labiano y Rivera, 28, Salem Virtus y
Elpa, 24, and Jesse Brondia y Altamera, 35, all residents of Brgy Gata, Caramoan.

Following the arrest, the suspects were brought to the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Naga City for inquest proceedings. A criminal case of four counts of murder was filed against them.


One suspect, identified as Joel “Bay” Breso, however, was able to elude the arrest.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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CBSUA Board of Regents to elect new prexy April 2

PILI, CSUR—The new president of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture will be chosen on April 2 at the central office of the Commission on Higher Education at Diliman, Quezon City.
 FROM L-R: Batanes, Oñate, Art Agreda (their former professor), Junsay-Bordado, Oscar Orosco (of the Naga City Environmental Office) and Gil Basmayor (Bicol Standard publisher and former mayor of Minalabac). This photo was taken after an unplanned get-together in Naga City last October 5, 41 years after their high school graduation. (PHOTO: BICOL STANDARD)
Participating in the selection are Chairperson and CHED Commissioner Ruperto S. Sangalang, Vice Chairman and CBSUA OIC President Ramon C. Arimado, Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture Chair Pia Cayetano, represented by Dr. Vivian Eustaquio, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Arts and Culture Chair Roman T. Romulo, represented by Leni G. Robredo, NEDA 5 OIC Director Luis G. Banua, DOST 5 Director Tomas B. Briñas, DA-RFU 5 Director Abelardo R. Bragas, CBSUA alumni Federation President Roberto L. Bayonito, University Student Council Federation President Christian R. Repuya, and CBSUA Faculty Union President Celerino B. Llesol.

Aspirants for the CBSUA top position are Joel Batanes, Georgina Bordado, and Wenifredo Onate, all with PhD degrees and alumni of the University.

The oathtaking of the new University president is scheduled on April 4, during the commencement exercises at the CBSUA main campus.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM


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2nd Peñafrancia Short Film Festival opens

NAGA CITY— The Caceres Commission on Communications has formally launched the 2nd Peñafrancia Short Film Festival last March 26 through a press conference.

Peñafrancia Short Film Festival 2014
2nd Peñafrancia Short Film Festival
This year’s film festival brings to light the call to be like Mary, and the Year of the Laity, according Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD DD.

The theme for this year’s festival is "Choose to be brave, to live and love like Ina." Interested participants must be able to develop a story that centers on a strong and stirring devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Patroness of Bicolandia. They must be able to feature the Bicolano culture, which inherently showcases a deep sense of religiosity.

The theme encourages participants to heed the call of the Year of the Laity: to be active witnesses of Christ, and to spread the Good News wherever one goes. By choosing to be brave in the Catholic faith, they become missionaries, carrying the light of Christ to others.

Through the Peñafrancia Short Film Festival, the Caceres Commission on Communications urges filmmakers to embark on a spiritual journey, with Christ and His mother, Mary.

Those who are interested may check the Peñafrancia Short Film festival official Facebook fanpage at www.facebook.com/FPSFF for more information.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

EDITORIAL: Survivor: Lahuy?

An atmosphere of fear has shrouded Caramoan, a town once praised for its pristine beaches, in the wake of the violence that robbed the town of its peace.

Survivor: Lahuy?
Survivor: Lahuy?
In the municipal hall, the family members and sympathizers of the massacred gold panners have gathered to pray together for justice. In front of them, the coffins of the victims, now known as the Gata 4, are an all-too-tangible reminder of the recent spate of terror.

Some relatives are wailing at the loss of their loved ones, their howls resounding throughout the building. Others, meanwhile, prefer to mourn quietly, still stunned at the cruel fate that has fallen on their family or friends.

Yesterday, when PNP Regional Director Victor Deona, NBI Asst. Regional Director Atty. Tomas Enrile and members of the local media came for the investigation, residents were still visibly unsettled.

“We are afraid of trusting visitors now because of what happened. The last time people visited us, they killed four of our friends,” whispered one resident, who asked for her name to be withheld.

Most heart-wrenching are the children whose eyes are eternally seared with the sight of the slain gold panners and their unfinished supper splattered with their own blood.

The chilling irony is that Lahuy is not the site of an upcoming season of the reality show Survivor (which, incidentally, is set to start filming in Caramoan again come April 30). However, residents have found themselves smack dab in a real-life dystopia as they try to outwit, outplay, and outlast the powers-that-be, their lives reduced to sadistic forms of entertainment.

Yet even more ironic, perhaps, is how the cold-blooded massacre happened right in Caramoan, the town on which the province spent billions of pesos promoting as a haven of serenity and relaxation. With the merciless massacre, all that was rendered meaningless, as the ugly side of the oppressed communities faces the public in an anguished, last-gasp cry for help.

Meanwhile, the gold deposits, which have earned Lahuy the nickname of “Treasure Island” in old maps, turned out to be a curse rather than a blessing; the root cause of the cruel Survivor game of greed where power is the currency, and blood is the price for a handful of glittering specks of rock.
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CamSur media dare Kalikasan head Mabulo: put up or shut up

NAGA CITY—Members of the local media treated as a bluff the threat of Fermin Mabulo, the alleged head of the controversial Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, to file a lawsuit against the members of the media who reported about the massacre of four gold panners in Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur.
Alleged Task Force Head Sagip Kalikasan Fermin Mabulo
In his Facebook post, Mabulo said: “Evidence are now at hand for lawsuit i am filing against irresponsible media practicioners who in their commentaries have accused, tried and convicted my person.”

In the meantime, upon learning of the said threat, broadcasters and other media personalities just laughed it off defiantly, branding the same as a means of persecuting them to cow them into silence on the massacre issue.

This reaction came from the group of media practitioners who joined the group of PNP Regional Director Victor Deona and Asst. Regional Director Atty. Tomas Enrile who conducted an ocular investigation at the scene of the crime in Lahuy Island.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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Tambaluslos earns ire of Legazpi Church

ALBAYThe Roman Catholic Church is asking for an explanation from Governor Joey Salceda regarding the controversial Tambaluslos effigy that was paraded here during the Daragang Magayon Festival.
Left: St. Gregory the Great Church in Legazpi
Right: The controversial Tambaluslos effigy
(Photo from Nelson Bulalacao's Facebook account)
In an interview with Mark Kevin Arroco, Father Rex Arjona of the Diocese of Legazpi reminded Salceda of his promise last year that he would ensure that no scandalous effigies would be part of the said parade.

It would be recalled that an effigy of the Tambaluslos was also present in last year’s Mythos Kan Albay activity.

Arjona called the Tambaluslos effigy indecent. He further maintained that even if the effigy were not displayed at Penaranda Park, it was still paraded through the streets of Albay, where many people, including children, could see it.

Meanwhile Board Member Ric Riva announced earlier that he also wants a legislative inquiry to be conducted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay. Said inquiry will solicit an explanation from the organizers and the governor about the effigy.

Debates on whether the Tambaluslos effigy offends public morality still continue on social media as of press time.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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Caramoan massacre: CamSur mayors seek help of PNoy, Mar, DOJ, PNP

CAMARINES SURLeague of Municipalities President Arnie Fuentebella confirmed today that the group of mayors has already sought the help of President Benigno Aquino III, DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, PNP Director General Alan Purisima, and DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima to step into the investigation of the massacre of the four gold panners in Gata, Caramoan.

Camarines Sur League of Municipalities President Arnie Fuentebella
Camarines Sur League of Municipalities President Arnie Fuentebella
Fuentebella, who is the mayor of Tigaon, said that there is a strong urgency for the issue to be elevated to the national officials to ensure that justice will be served soonest to the victims of the crime.

"We have requested DOJ Manila to take over the prosecution," Fuentebella said in an interview by BICOL STANDARD.

"It's about time that we put a stop to the abuses of the notorious Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, which has been pestering our residents," he added.

It will be recalled that last year, the same group of armed men identified with the Task Force Sagip Kalikasan allegedly terrorized residents of Sagnay town.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time that names of members of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan were linked to criminal activities in the province. The latest of these involves incidents in Calabanga and Camaligan, where unlicensed firearms were confiscated from the apprehended suspects.BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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CSur PNP Provincial Director Bausa relieved of post

CAMARINES SUR—Camarines Sur Philippine National Police (PNP) Provincial Director PSSupt. Ramiro Bausa has been relieved of his post this morning.

Camarines Sur Provincial Director  PSSupt. Ramiro M. Bausa

This was confirmed by PNP Regional Director Victor P. Deona, in an interview by BICOL STANDARD.

SSupt. Arnold Albis will take over as the Officer-in-Charge of Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office, according to the regional director.

Albis was previously the Deputy Regional Director for Operations.

Bausa was allegedly relieved of his post because of the public perception that he did not actively involve himself in the resolution of the Caramoan massacre.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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PHOTOS: Caramoan gold

Caramoan gold: Gata, Caramoan massacre
This piece of rock with gold from Caramoan, Camarines Sur is allegedly one of the causes of the massacre of the four gold panners in Barangay Gata, Lahuy Island. (Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard)

Caramoan gold: Gata, Caramoan massacre
Close-up detail of the gold
(Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard)
Caramoan gold: Gata, Caramoan massacre
One of the mining sites in Barangay Gata, Caramoan
(Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard)
Gata, Caramoan mining site
(Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard)
Gata, Caramoan mining site
(Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard)
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

CamSur ranks 3rd with highest share in poor population nationwide

Amid the claim that the Bicol Region has improved its based on latest survey, another agency says the region contributes the highest percentage of poor to the country’s population.

Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
The Regional Office of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) declared that Bicol ranked number one in the percentage share of the poor population among all the country’s regions.
In the latest report to the Regional Development Council chaired by Albay Govenor Joey Salceda, NEDA said that Bicol contributed some 2.3 million or 9.9 per cent to the country’s 23.8 million poor populations as of last year. It tops the list of the poorest region in terms of population share, NEDA said.

DON'T MISS: Camarines Sur listed among top 10 with poorest households

This means that one of 10 poor people in the country comes from Bicol, a region rich in mineral and marine resources and well-visited eco-tourism destinations distributed among its six provinces, seven cities and 107 municipalities.

Of these provinces, two made it to the top 10 nationwide with the highest share in the poor population. Camarines Sur with 3.3 per cent and ranked 3 and Albay, number 10.

The National Economic and Development Authority  (NEDA) emphasized that of the total of 2,276,848 poor residents in Bicol, 77,984 are in Camarines Sur and 511,636 come from Albay.

Nationwide, Cebu has the highest share of 4.2 per cent and Negros Occidental follows closely with 4.0.

Fourth placers after Camarines Sur are Leyte and North Cotabato, with an equal share of 3.0 per cent in the country’s poor population; Lanao del Sur, fifth with 2.9 per cent; Bukidnon, sixth with 2.8 per cent; Negros Oriental, seventh, 2.7 per cent; Zamboanga del Sur and Pangasinan, eighth with 2.5 percent each; Davao del Sur, Iloilo and Maguindanao, ninth, with 2.4 percent, and in tenth place with Albay, Zamboanga del Norte, with 2.2 per cent. Masbate, one of the two island provinces in Bicol, is in the eleventh place, with 1.9 percent share nationwide.

Meanwhile, NEDA acting regional Director Luis Banua explained that while Bicol Region topped the list of poor population, the regional economy grew by 7.1 per cent as surveyed in 2012- 2013, respectively.

"This means that the its gains are yet to trickle down to the masses," he said.

“There is still a need to come up with more investments to create jobs in the region for these economic gains to be felt by Bicolanos under the poverty line, given that employment with good pay remains the easiest way to break out from proverty,” he added.

The latest report on unemployment situation in Bicol released by the NSCB said that more Bicolanos were out of job in January this year as employment rate dropped to 92.5 percent compared to 94.2 per cent for the same period last year.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Caramoan Massacre: Cry for justice

The wife of one of the victims of the Caramoan massacre bawls hysterically before the coffin of her husband.
The wife of one of the victims of the Caramoan massacre bawls hysterically before the coffin of her husband who was slain last Saturday allegedly by members of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur.
Photo: Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard
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DOLE Bicol records 83 labor cases from January to February

LEGAZPI CITY—Eighty-three alleged violations of the Labor Standards Law in the Labor Code were recorded by the Med-Arbitration Unit of the Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from January to February this year.

Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra announced that 13 of the 83 cases have already been resolved. A total of P216,256.25 has been awarded to the fourteen workers who filed the complaints.

Majority of the cases, Director Lacambra said, came from the assessment results reported by Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOS).

Atty. Karina Perida-Travyilla, DOLE Bicol Mediator-Arbiter said that actually, only 82 cases were filed this year. However, one case was carried over from 2013, making the total number of cases 83.

Said cases commonly involved underpayment of wages, non-payment of benefits, and other violations of core labor standards.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

RELATED:
DOLE announces Bicol job fair schedule
100+ CSur establishments violate minimum wage rate—DOLE

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Caramoan Massacre: Karapatan Bikol, VACC join call for justice

CAMARINES SURTwo organizations known for their crusades against crime have joined the clamor for justice in the massacre of four gold panners in Barangay Gata, Caramoan last Saturday.

The coffins of the victims of the Caramoan massacre before they were buried
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard
In separate statements, Karapatan Bikol and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) have slammed the brutal and senseless killing of the victims July Labiano, Redan Brondia, Salim Virtus and Renan Labiano.

Dante Jimenez, chairperson of VACC, said that their group is willing to provide volunteer lawyers for the families of the victims.

He said that he already called on NBI Director Virgilio Mendez who also assured him that NBI agents are now on the case.

Family, friends, and sympathizers of the Caramoan massacre victims hold placards denouncing the heinous killing in their town.
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard
Jimenez promised that his organization will continuously monitor and give a weekly report on the progress of the investigation.

On the other hand, Karapatan Bicol sent BICOL STANDARD the following official statement:
Caramoan 4, Victims of State security forces are having a heyday inflicting state violence on hapless civilians.
Karapatan Bicol- strongly condemns the massacre of Julio Labiano, Rene Labiano, Salem Virtus, and Jessie Brondia, small scale miners in Caramoan, Camariness Sur who were mercilessly killed by Bantay Kalikasan Task Force of Camarines Sur.
The cold-blooded murder is another chilling case of political killing in Bicol. The poor victims eke out a living by engaging in small scale mining in their barangay. The perpetrators are members of the Civilian Security Unit (CSU) of the provincial government of Camarines Sur assigned to Task force Bantay Kalikasan. It is hard to dismiss that the killing is an isolated case and has nothing to do with the powers-that-be in Camarines Sur. Small scale mining is hot in the eyes of politicians in the province and of the military.
The perpetrators did not only snap out the lives of the poor and defenseless victims but sent their families to farther destitution. The massacre was intended to cause a shivering fear to those who may get the ire of those in power and to those who may knowingly or unknowingly stepped into the sphere of economic interest of the powerful ‘untouchables”.
Political killings continue with impunity. Perpetrators who are members of the State security forces are having a heyday inflicting state violence on hapless civilians. The victims of extrajudicial killings in Bicol now reach 46 under the watch of President Benigno S. Aquino III. The list is still growing as this government turned a deaf ear to the national and international calls to put an end to political killings, end impunity, bring the perpetuators to justice, and indemnify the victims of human rights violations.
Karapatan-Bicol demands an impartial, independent, and thorough investigation with due diligence on the case of the massacre of the four small scale miners of Caramoan and on all victims of extrajudicial killings and other form of human rights violations and bring the offenders to justice.
Karapatan-Bicol joins other groups in the call for the ouster of Benigno Simeon Aquino III for incompetence in protecting, upholding, defending and satisfying the comprehensive human rights of all Filipinos, for being ultra-subservient to US imperialism by unashamedly and unconscientiously implementing the US designed counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) that kills and maims Filipinos, uproot villages, subverts due process by filing trumped-up cases, and effect illegal arrests and detention.
Families and friends of the victims have earlier expressed their fear that they will not find justice, as the suspects are allegedly enjoying the protection of provincial officials of Camarines Sur.

Task Force Sagip Kalikasan is an agency of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur.BICOLSTANDARD.COM


"Task Force Kalikasan Berdugo Layas sa Caramoan," says one placard held by a sympathizer
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard

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Tambaluslos controversy: SP to demand explanation from Salceda, organizers

ALBAY—Board Member Ric Riva wants to initiate a legislative inquiry by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay to seek an explanation from the organizers and the governor himself regarding the controversial Tambaluslos effigy that shook the Mythos Kan Albay Higantes Parade during the Dargang Magayon Festival.

Board Member Ric Riva
Photo from Ric Riva's Facebook account
In the said inquiry, ordinary citizens will be invited to express their opinion on the effigy.

In an interview by BICOL STANDARD, Riva said that it is part of the Albayano culture as well as the teachings of the church and schools that private parts are not exposed to the public.

He added that the same holds true even for effigies like the Tambaluslos.

Otherwise, he explained, this may offend spectators, particularly those who are conservative.
Online, netizens continue to engage in a blazing debate on whether the depiction of the Tambaluslos was offensive or not to the Albayanos’ concept of morality.

As of presstime, the Public Information Office of Albay, when contacted by BICOL STANDARD, said that Salceda has not yet released an official statement on the controversy.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

DON'T MISS:
Tambaluslos effigy: art or porn?, Albayanos debate
PHOTOS: Daragang Magayon Festival 2014

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Caramoan village chief pleads for PNoy’s help

CARAMOAN—Punong Barangay Mercy Sueno of Barangay Gata in this town now desperately seeks the help of Malacañang in resolving the gruesome massacre of four gold panners in the quiet island of Lahuy last Saturday.
LEFT: Punong Barangay Mercy Sueno of Barangay Gata, RIGHT: Lahuy Island, Caramoan
Photos by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard, Caramoan Islands
Bullets were pumped into the eyes, head, and chest of the panners at around 9 PM while they were having their dinner. Eyewitnesses point to armed members of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur as the perpetrators.

Tear-streaked and trembling, Sueno said in an interview by BICOL STANDARD that the Palace may be their only hope to find justice, as the persons who are involved in the crime are identified as henchmen of the provincial government.

“I appeal to President Aquino and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to bring to justice those who are responsible for disrupting the peace in my barangay,” Sueno pleaded.

Money, not illegal mining

The punong barangay vehemently denied that the issue at hand is illegal mining

“It’s not even politics,” said Sueno.

“The real issue here is greed. Task Force Sagip Kalikasan, which frequently uses the name of former governor LRay Villafuerte to put pressure on the locals, wants to control the mining operation in my barangay,” she explained.

Task Force (TF) Sagip Kalikasan is allegedly a group organized by the Provincial Government to enforce laws relating to the environment within Camarines Sur

“TF Sagip Kalikasan had been forcing us to sell the gold to Gege Raygon, the only buyer of gold authorized by LRay Villafuerte. In fact, for several times, Tria and Mabulo told us that we can continue with our mining operation, as long as we sell all of our gold to Raygon, as per instruction by LRay Villafuerte,” she narrated.

Raygon was the supported candidate of LRay Villafuerte for punong barangay during the last election. She lost to Sueno.

Meanwhile, Francisco “Iko” R. Tria III is the district supervisor of TF Sagip Kalikasan in the fourth district of Camarines Sur. Tria was the candidate of LRay Villafuerte for mayor of the town of Sagñay. He lost to incumbent mayor Evelyn Fuentebella.

Fermin Mabulo, for his part, is the administrator of TF Kalikasan, a former mayor of San Fernando, and a former provincial administrator of Camarines Sur. Last election, he lost his mayoralty bid in San Fernando town against incumbent mayor Eugenio Lagasca, Jr.

Sueno said that the locals have repeatedly refused to sell the gold to TF Kalikasan’s anointed buyer.
“The problem is, her buying price, which is P900 per ounce, is significantly lower than the prevailing P1,200 per ounce that other buyers would offer. In Naga City, the price for an ounce of gold is P1,600,” she explained.

Their refusal, said Sueno, angered Tria’s group and prompted them to look for excuses to harass the miners.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM


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Sorsogon PENRO pushes for power service interruption on Earth Hour

SORSOGON—The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office here is seeking to effect a one-hour power service interruption to coincide with this year's observance of Earth Hour.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO-LGU) Department Head Engr. Maribeth L. Fruto
Photo: Provincial Administrator, Province of Sorsogon
A worldwide program organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for the planet, the Earth Hour promotes increased awareness of the the public's massive energy consumption. This year, Earth Hour is scheduled on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 to 9:30 PM local time.

Annually, activities in observance of Earth Hour are organized by Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO-LGU) Department Head Engr. Maribeth L. Fruto.

“We are trying to [coordinate] with the Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative (SORECO II),” Engineer Fruto said. "But, a compulsory brown-out would necessitate a go-ahead from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippine (NGCP), who maintains and operates the country’s power transmission network," she explained.

“Besides, it was recommended during the recent meeting of Earth Hour organized partners that an enforced power service interruption on March 29, 2014 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM (Earth Hour) [may be carried out in place of] another upcoming power service stoppage in Sorsogon City,” Fruto further said.

On the other hand, according to the PENRO-LGU chief, if this plan does not materialize, Sorsoganons can still turn off the lights voluntarily during Earth Hour.

Earth Hour encourages individuals, communities’ households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. The yearly event engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide, and the one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.

In accordance to this year’s Earth Hour theme, "Use your power to make change a reality," Fruto emphasized that change for better or for worse, is still an option for everyone. “Saying yes or opposing the Earth Hour’s endeavor to lessen energy consumption and the effects of greenhouse gas that causes global warming still lies within our hands,” she enthused.

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2ng suspek sa paggadan kan PDEA agent, arestado

ALBAY—Dinakop na kan mga autoridad an duwang suspechado sa panggagadan sa PDEA agent na si Arnel Estrallado.



An mga suspechado iyo sinda Adonis Casimiro y Bartolome, 33, asin Joseph Cris Rantael y Rivera, 33, parehong residentes kan Brgy. Bagumbayan, Oas.

Sinda binisto kan mga eyewitness sa pambabadil ki Estrallado kan fecha 22 kan Marso sa Samantha's Canteen, Barangay Tugos, Sorsogon City.

Pinagkumpiskar sa poder kan mga suspechado iyo an sarong cell phone, asin sarong motorsiklo.

Enot kaini, inako kan Celso Minguez Command kan NPA na sinda an nagpagadan ki Estrallado.

Segun sa statement na ipinaluwas ni Spokesperson Samuel Guerrero, embuelto si Estallado sa pagprotectar sa mga drug pusher sa Sorsogon, asin nagpapabakal mismo kan ilegal na droga sa mga paragamit.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

RELATED STORIES:
Sorsogon PDEA agent murdered
NPA admits killing of Sorsogon PDEA agent

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Mga magurang, tinirigbas kan aki sa Libmanan

LIBMANAN—Sarong lalaki an pigdakop matapos na pagparatagaon an saiyang ama asin ina sa Villa Socorro, sarong bukid na barangay digdi.

Libmanan, Camarines Sur
Si Jico Tordelia y Albus, an suspechado, ipig-suko kan official nin barangay sa Libmanan Municipal Police Station kan sarong aldaw.

Pigtigbas kan suspechado an saiyang ama na si Matias Tordelia y Bonite, 49 anyos, sa manlaen-laen na parte kan lawas kaini, segun sa report kan pulis.

Pigtaga man suspechado an walang kamot kan saiyang ina na si Liba Tordelia y Albus, 38 anyos, na nagprobar kuta na pugulon an aki sa pag-atake sa saiyang ama.

Tulos man na idinalagan sa Libmanan District Hospital an mga victima, asin pigbubulong.

Nagsisiyasat pa an mga autoridad kun ano an ginikanan kan humang paggadan kan aki sa saiyang mga magurang.

Huli kan bagay na ini, naghahanda man giraray nin kaso criminal an mga autoridad kontra sa suspechado.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Swindler, nagpabakal 3ng gapo sa kantidad P600,000 sa Libmanan
Newscaster, beauty queen from Libmanan appears in The Legal Wife

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2, hinold-up sa Donsol

DONSOL, SORSOGON—Duwang empleyado kan kompaniya na nagpapautang an pig-holdup kan duwang dai pa nabibistong mga persona sa bawaan na ini bandang alas 10:49 nin aga kan sarong aldaw.

An mga victima iyo sinda Jovelyn Jardinel y Sernal, 29, asin Nadia Remelio y Apitan, 26.

Si Jardinel iyo an loan officer kan ASA Philippines Foundation na may oficina sa Brgy. Dao, Pilar, Sorsogon asin South Centro, Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Sipocot, Camarines Sur. Mientrastanto, si Remelio saro man na member kan nasambit nang kompaniya.

Sinabi sa report na an mga victima nakasakay sa saindang Honda Wave 100 motorcycle. Pag-abot sa Brgy. Tinanongan kan banwaan na ini, sinda pinundo kan duwang suspechado, na armado nin sarong badil asin patarom. Tulos nagdeklarar nin holdup an mga suspechado, asin dali-daling inagaw an backpack kan saro sa mga victima.

Nasa laog kan bag iyo an Loan Officer Registry (LOR), nagkapirang form asin passbook, withdrawal slip, calculator, cellphone, asin kwarta na may kantidad P8,600.

Sa presente, pinaghahanap pa kan mga autoridad an mga kagibo kan crimen.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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RD Deona gifts Malinao gradeschoolers with pedicab

MALINAO, ALBAY—In this town, one act of kindness inspires another.
Tatay Irving, Jennielyn, and Clarisse Bonaobra try out their new pedicab, a gift from PNP Bicol Regional Director Victor P. Deona, for the very first time. Standing next to the vehicle are Police Senior Inspector Arthur R. Gomez, Officer-in-Charge of Malinao Municipal Police Station (MPS), and another police officer from Malinao MPS. (Photo: Malinao Municipal Police Station)
Tatay Irving, Clarisse, and Jennielyn Bonaobra, who were previously featured in this newspaper after the cops of Malinao Municipal Police Station discovered that the children were doing their homework by the light of streetlamps, are now the recipients of a pedicab from Philippine National Police Regional Director Victor P. Deona.

Earlier, they were gifted with a rechargeable lamp by elements of the Malinao Municipal Police Station, who took the initiative to solicit money from residents of the community.

The lamp, according to Police Senior Inspector Arthur R. Gomez, Officer-in-Charge of PNP Malinao, would allow the children to study right inside their own home, instead of having to go outside at night.

This time, the pedicab would help Tatay Irving earn extra income for the family.

The Bonaobra family's new pedicab bears the names of Tatay Irving's two precious daughters.
(Photo: Malinao Municipal Police Station)
As Tatay Irving takes the vehicle for a test ride, Clarisse and Jennielyn make themselves comfortable on the passenger seat.

The padyak proudly bears their names, the two children whose burning passion for learning and life continues to move Bicolanos to do good.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Malinao cops illuminate grade school dream

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Tambaluslos effigy: art or porn?, Albayanos debate

ALBAY—Controversy clouded over the Mythos Kan Albay Parade of Higantes during the Daragang Magayon Festival when an effigy of a mythical creature called tambaluslos was brought out.

Tambaluslos effigy: art or pornography? Albayanos ask
RATED SPG? This effigy of the tambaluslos stirred controversy during the Daragang Magayon Festival in Albay.
Photo grabbed from Nelson Bulalacao's Facebook Account
The towering effigy of a skinny dark-skinned creature with an enlarged phallus sparked the age-old debate over the boundary between art and pornography.

Some spectators declared that they were shocked over the effigy, particularly because numerous children were watching the parade.

Others questioned the basis of the pervading characteristic of the mythical creature.

Several, meanwhile, asserted that the freedom of expression of the artists behind the effigy must be upheld.

The debates continued on social media, where Albayanos voiced out their conflicting sentiments about the effigy.

One of the commenters said: "Kadustaan na dakula. An turismo sa ibang lugar igwa nin mensahe asin kulturang pigrerepresentar sa mga taong nag-eerok. Sa mytiko, si Daragang Magayon, Ibalong, Handiong. Ano ta isinabay ni Salceda an tarogo ni Tambaloslos. Yaon sa parada asin nag-iihi pa. Sayang kan kuwarta kan Albay, gamit sa pagsamba sa tarogotom."

Vince Casilihan of Karapatan Bikol remarked that even if one asks the local elders, they would say that the effigy of the tambaluslos as presented during the parade is false and misleading.

Casilihan said: “’Tambaloslos’ is the name of a mythological creature commonly heard in stories from the Visayas and Mindanao regions of the Philippines. It is described as an apparition that emerges from behind the woods in forested areas, and some would speak of it looking like an ordinary person with a bizarrely large head and mouth (In the Visayan language the name is usually used to described a person that has a big smile, or someone who has a weird snigger). The fascinating thing that happens to someone comes across it loses their way, and as it comes nearer and nearer its large smiling mouth gets bigger and bigger and resulting in the victim getting more lost by the moment. The only solution of finding their way back is to take off all their clothes, and putting them back on inside out, and go through the creature’s mouth which by this time would have covered up its whole face, and they materialize back to where they where safely with the tambaloslos gone. So if you are alone in the woods, and see someone darting between trees, just be careful, and don’t look at it, you’ll never know if it’s a tambaloslos.”

Meanwhile, other commenters posted: “Honestly speaking, madaming ayaw kay Tambaluslos. I support Magayon Festival but not this one. Please paki alis na lang nyan next time. Hindi nakakatuwa, rated SPG esp sa mga bata. This is my honest opinion.”

"Okey lang po sakin kasi may right an artist kayan. Kumbaga interpretasyon nya lang po yan kan tambaloslos."

“Base po sa storya kan mga gurang ang tambaloslos, sarong nilalalang na dakula an ngimot na mala daw pag mina ngarakngak naga echo an kapalibutan, bako dakula ang kinabuhay.”

“This is being taken out of context. The "creature" is Tambaluslus, mythological being prominent in Bicol lore. It being the star of the higantes parade is understandable due to the artist's rendition of it's oversized phallus, which is where the misunderstanding begins. Tambaluslus has an oversized scrotum, rather than this gigantic penis we see in the parades. This is also the root of the Bicol word "luslus" referring to the medical condition suffered by many men. I personally see nothing wrong with parading this "creature" u all so erroneously misjudge. The higantes parade is a good attempt at re-education, re-introduction & elevating folkloric awareness of our own heritage & culture. Have any of u any idea how many of our young have already forgotten the stories of old because they prefer the Avengers & the Xmen over stories of the aswang, the manananggal, the santelmo or the tawong lipod? Most think that because these creatures aren't real, they are not worth discussing! But these stories are the stories of our people, our heritage! They are no less real than Captain America or Batman but we pay top money to go to the movies & watch these Hollywood films BECAUSE THEY ARE FROM HOLLYWOOD! But what do we do to our own heritage? We call it a scary creature, & blame it for a social affliction.”

“Sayang kan opening mass ninda kun si tambalolos man sana ang piga isip, hain so kristianismo kan albay.”

“Istorya man po kan ama.. ko then..sa libro and subject sa Bicol University....college of Arts and Sciences...tamabaloslos is a BIG MOUTH.”

"marasapa..ano na an..gstos lamang msagwa pa pghilingon,dpat sna ipamugtak ang pundo ta dkol ang dpat tang tabngan."

On the other hand, the Albay Public Information Office, in its report about the parade, stood by the portrayal of the the effigy. It described the the tambaluslos as “an awkward, lanky, wrinkled black creature, that has long, thin, wobbly legs, hooves and big joints and punished by Gugurang by enlarging its phallus to gargantuan proportions for its promiscuity.”

Apart from the tambaluslos, effigies of Gugurang, Onglo, Magayon, Kikik, Ibingan, Angongolood were featured in the parade.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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6, dakop sa drug raid sa Naga

NAGA CITY—Anom na suspechado sa paggamit nin droga an dinakop poco mas o menos alas 7 kasubanggi sa barangay Balatas sa ciudad na ini.

Balatas, Naga City
Binisto an mga suspechado na sinda Mark Anthony Melgar y Loles, 18, asin residente kan Zone 7, Balatas; Jojo Caneso y Nayve, 30, kan Zone 7, Avocado St., Michael Rolloque y Caneso, 19, kan Zone 7, Balatas; Jose Borromeo y Celesial, 52, kan Zone 7, Balatas; Christian Caneso y Nayve, 34, kan Urban Poor, Pacol; asin Christian Blanquera y Orince, 32, kan Zone 7, Balatas.

Sinda dinakop sa pinagsarong fuerza kan Naga City Police Office asin SWAT.

Nagconducir nin raid an nasambit na grupo sa sarong pinagtutubudan na drug den sa Zone 7, Avocado St. sa Balatas.

Mayong nakuang illegal drugs sa raid, alagad pig-confiscar an mga minasunod: sarong digital weighing scale, sarong mayong laog na plastic sachet.

Mientrastanto, sa residencia ni Jojo Caneso y Nayve, na pinag-raid man kan mga autoridad, nakua an 30ng pedaso nin heat-sealed na plastic na igwang laog kan kemikal na pinagtutubudan na shabu; sarong improvised tooter, sarong disposable lighter, sarong gamit nang pedaso nin aluminum foil na igwa man kan kemikal na pinagtutubudan na shabu; asin nagkapirang wallet na may laog nin kwarta.

An mga pinagconfiscar na mga bagay na ini ipapadara sa Camarines Sur Provincial Crime Laboratory Office tanganing imbestigaran, mantang pigpepreparar naman an mga reklamo kontra sa mga suspechado.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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