Friday, October 23, 2015

Masbate mayor slay suspect shot dead inside prison

MASBATE CITY—Masbate mayor murder suspect Charlie Quidato was shot dead Thursday afternoon by a fellow inmate at the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa City.

New Bilibid Prison
Photo: BUCOR
The suspect, who was identified as Ronald Catapang, used a .357 Magnum revolver to fire at Quidato at around 5:20 p.m. inside Dorm 9.

The victim sustained two gunshot wounds.

In a report furnished to BICOL STANDARD, the police said they are still investigating how the suspect was able to spirit said weapon inside the facility.

Catapang immediately surrendered after the shooting, the report added.

Quidato, a former Masbate City Jail warden, had been serving his life sentence for conspiring to kill Masbate City Mayor Moises Espinosa Jr. back in 2001.

He is also allegedly the leader of Commando Gang.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago.

Sorsogon mat, basket weavers featured at National Museum

Several mat and basket weavers from Sorsogon City will showcase their weaving techniques at the National Museum on October 23 (Friday) and 24 (Saturday), 2015.

Featured weavers are Monserat Discaya, Rosie Bañares, Teresita Ebrada, Serena Detera and Divina Dumamay.

The weaving demonstrations can be viewed from 10:00 am to 12:00 nn and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Reception Room, 4th Floor, National Museum of Anthropology (formerly Museum of the Filipino People), Old Finance Building, Rizal Park, Manila.

The National Museum of the Philippines, in partnership with Senator Legarda, organized the 2015 Weaving Demonstrations as part of the Senator Loren Legarda Lecture Series on Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge.

The senator encouraged visitors of the museum to go to the various galleries-the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino textile gallery, Baybayin gallery, and the Rice, Biodiversity and Climate Change exhibit-joint projects of Legarda and the National Museum.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10% of Cam Sur’s registered voters have no biometrics

NAGA CITY—With a little more than one week before the last day biometrics registration of voters, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Camarines Sur provincial office on Tuesday said 10 percent of the 978,640 registered voters as of July 15 has yet to submit for biometrics; if not, their names will be deleted from the official voters’ list, according to its spokesperson in the province.

Comelec Camarines Sur spokesperson Alexander Marpuri appealed to the 93,225 registered voters in the 35 towns and two cities of the province to avail of the remaining days to register and let their biometrics taken to ensure that they could vote and not to be stricken out from the list of registered voters in the 2016 elections.

Marpuri said some 2,135 voters with incomplete biometrics are included among the voters without biometrics who failed to submit any of the requirements of submitting their fingerprints, specimen signature and photos captured by the Comelec machines.

He said blurred photos of voters are also considered incomplete biometrics.

Marpuri said that from Tuesday until Oct. 31, the Comelec offices are open until 8 p.m. from Monday to Sunday to allow as many registered voters to submit themselves for biometrics because there will be no time for extension.

He said the Comelec found the filing of the Certificates of Candidacies (COCs) to be peaceful even though some “minute” problems were encountered like missing documentary stamps and failing to renounce foreign citizenship of some of those who filed their COCs.

He also announced that the new voting machines to be used had been an upgrade of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) which are now being repaired for use in the next election after the 2016 elections.

Marpuri said the major difference of the PCOS machines and the new voting machines are that the new ones are installed with screen that allows voters to see who they have voted upon when the ballots are feed into the new voting machines.

He said both PCOS and the new voting machines use the same optical-mark-reader technology.
Lawyer Maico Julia, Comelec officer of Naga City, also reiterated that there is no pre-mature campaigning for as long as the candidates are not yet officially declared.

Julia said the official declaration of the candidates falls on Feb. 9, 2016 for national positions and March 25 for local positions.

He said infomercials of those who have filed their COCs are not considered premature campaigning even as those infomercials promote a certain candidate but said the expenses on them will be added in the campaign expenses with standard of PHP1.50 per voter.

Julia reminded that the substitution of candidate is allowed by party on or before Dec. 10 and beyond that date substitution will only be allowed to those with the same surnames.(PNA)

Communion of Saints in Heaven, on Earth, and in Purgatory

Communion of Saints
Image source:
by Fr. Joey D. Gonzaga
Dean, Holy Rosary Major Seminary

What does communion of saints mean? How can we, the faithful on earth, help the souls in purgatory? How can the saints in heaven help us and the souls in purgatory? Can the souls in purgatory help us? How can we help one another here on earth, in this communion of saints? These are the questions I wish to address in this article.

What does communion of saints mean?

Communion of saints means the union of the living members of the Church on earth, the blessed members of the Church in heaven and the suffering members of the Church, those who are undergoing final purification of their sins in purgatory, with Jesus, their Head. Taught in the Scriptures, the doctrine of communion of saints is defined by the Magisterium of the Church in this way: “The life of each God’s children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person.” (Paul VI, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, no. 5; CCC, no. 1474; For scriptural passages on the doctrine of the communion of saints, see, for instance, Acts 4: 32-37; 1 Cor. 12: 12-27; Col. 1; 1 Jn. 3: 16-18)

In the communion of saints, the threefold members of the Church, help one another and care for one another, so that in the end all of us will be united in Jesus Christ, our Lord in eternal life. What brings us together and supports us, in the communion of saints? Our Catechism teaches that charity and exchange of spiritual goods between members of the Church join all of us in and through Christ.

These spiritual goods which we exchange and which God, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints offer to us and to the souls in purgatory refer to the satisfactions and merits of Jesus, the prayers and good works of Mary and the saints, which they merited through Christ when they were still alive. (See CCC, 1474-1477)

What about the souls in hell? Do they belong to the communion of saints?

Obviously, they are not included because they opted to separate themselves from the love of Christ, by their mortal sins. We don’t pray for them because our prayers will not relieve their eternal pain and suffering due to their un-repented and un-forgiven mortal sins. The souls in hell will stay forever in hell until the last judgment, where their bodies will join their souls in the eternal exclusion from communion with God, Mary, the angels and saints.

Grace unites us the members of the Church. Sin breaks ecclesial communion. How do we, the faithful on earth, restore or re-establish communion? The Sacrament of Penance restores us and re-establishes us in the Communion of Saints.

How can we, the faithful on earth, help the souls in purgatory?

We, the pilgrims on earth, can help the suffering members of the Church in purgatory by praying, fasting, good works, offering indulgences and offering Masses for them. The souls in purgatory are assured of heaven. Through our prayers, good works, fasting, offering of indulgences, and Masses for them, their entrance into heaven is hastened. Certainly, only God knows when the souls will finally be relieved from purgatory.

How can the saints in heaven help us and the souls in purgatory?

We, the faithful on earth, pray to the blessed members of the Church in heaven. Now that they are with the Lord, the blessed “intercede unremittingly with the Father on our behalf, offering the merit they acquired on earth through Christ Jesus…” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, no. 5) We pray for the souls in purgatory but pray to the blessed in heaven, so that they may intercede for us the faithful on earth and for the suffering souls in purgatory.

Can the souls in purgatory help us?

The souls in purgatory, inasmuch as they are members of the communion of saints, can help us by praying for us but they can no longer pray for themselves. Moreover, they can no longer make satisfaction or reparation for their sins. We, the faithful on earth, their relatives, friends, family members pray for them and make reparation for their sins by doing good works, offering indulgences and Masses for them.

How can we help one another here on earth in this communion of saints?

We can help one another attain communion with God by practicing charity and by performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

All saints and angels of God, come to our aid. Lead us into life eternal, God's heavenly home.

PHOTO | Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary, Matnog, Sorsogon

Instagram user @gapinoy shared this incredible snapshot of the Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary in Matnog, Sorsogon.

DSWD’s Listahanan to validate initial list of poor in Bicol

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 5 through the Listahanan will validate the initial list of poor this end of October until November in all barangays in the region.

“The department was able to assess 1,056,722 and subjected to Proxy Means Test (PMT) 1,006,991 households. Of these, 410, 186 were identified as poor,” announced Regional Director Arnel Garcia.

Photo: DSWD Bicol
For the initial list, Masbate posted the highest percentage in terms of assessed per province with 77,269 or 51.63 % identified poor households out of 149,656, followed by Camarines Sur having 139,750 or 43.10 % out of 324,220, Sorsogon with 56,301 or 38.58 % of 145,916 assessed, Camarines Norte 38,934 or 37.10 % of 104,925, Catanduanes 17,477 or 31.03% of 104,925 and Albay with 80,455 or 34.22% out of 235,076.

According to Garcia, the list of those identified as "poor" will change after the validation and finalization phase where the community is given a chance to transparently review the accuracy of the initial list.

The Validation is an activity that provides opportunity for the review of the preliminary list of poor households generated after the initial Proxy Means Test (PMT) and further identifies wrong entries for verification purposes.

“This is also the time for those households who were not enumerated due to the absence of households during the regular enumeration, refusals, and no qualified respondents for them to be assessed,“ said Garcia.

The initial list of poor will be posted in conspicuous places in the barangays for 5 days. Thereafter queries, appeals and complaints will be entertained by the Listahanan Area Supervisors and will forward to the Local Verification Committee (LVC) for resolution.

The members of the  Local Verification Committee (LVC)  include the Local Chief Executive, Municipal/City Social Welfare and Development Officer, Municipal/City Planning and Development Officer and two other representatives identified by the LCE.

The grievances/complaints that may be filed are the following;
• Individual claims that a certain household should not be included on the list of poor households (INC 01)
• Individual claims that they are poor and must be included in the list of poor (EX 01)
• Individual claims that they have not been visited by an enumerator for an interview (EX 02)
• Individual complaints that interviewer incorrectly entered data in the FAF (ER 01)
• Individual claims that the list is incomplete and does not represent the actual poor households in the community (ER 02)

Household assessment will be conducted immediately after consolidating all complaints and appeals to update the record of the households and will re-run to the Proxy Means Test.

After the validation, the official and final list of poor families is shared with data users to serve as their basis in selecting beneficiaries of social protection programs.

Meanwhile, as one of the main stakeholders in the Listahanan implementation, all Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDO’s) in the 6 provinces were gathered for the orientation on all components of the validation and finalization phase on October 13-16 and 20, 2015.

The result of the second round of assessment was presented to them before the conduct of the validation in their respective municipalities. The orientation also served as venue for the feedback generation on the concluded assessment in their areas and planning for the upcoming validation.

Listahanan, formerly known as National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), is an information management system that aims to establish a database of poor households that will become beneficiaries of social protection programs.

ONE TIME BIG TIME | 25 nabbed for drugs in Daet

DAET, CNorte—Twenty-five suspected drug users were arrested here over the weekend despite the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Lando.

Leading the arrest were officers from the Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office, headed by Senior Supt. Harris Fama, Camarines Norte Provincial Public Safety Company, Camarines Norte Criminal Investigation and Detection Team, 5th Regional Intelligence and Detection Unit, Albay CIDT, and the 49th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

The composite team served 15 search warrants for the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Collared were Marilyn Ramos Canaria, Elmer Flores Ebano, Jeanette Ibasco, Magno Montoya Flores Jr., Marlon Legado, Emmanuel Q. Jardinero, Dennis Sancho Alem, Bryan Miranda, Francis C. Raymundo, Riezel Delos Santos Calpo, Denson Villafranca, Cindy Espila Miranda, Christopher S. Royol, Rodel S. Soria, Ricky I. Zabala, Janela rada Cabisudo, Eliseo A. Dando, Jonathan Rada Ecalner Canapit,  Encarnacion "Nanay" Sardeña, Jesus Tabor Concepcion, Ferminia Villafranca, Aurea Jardinero Sacramento, Cesar "Sarbot" G. Vasquez, Rafael Manalo Corpuz and Meriam Garcia Felomino.

Recovered from the suspects were 48 sachets of a substance believed to be shabu, a bag of leaves believed to be marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia, two unlicensed revolvers, six pieces of live ammunition, and cash amounting to Php135,000.

Said items will be turned over to the Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination. Meantime, the arrested suspects are now under the custody of the Provincial Police Office for proper disposition.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

TO SERVE AND PROTECT. PNP Bicol has 307 new recruits

TO SERVE AND PROTECT. Three hundred and seven new police recruits took their oath in front of the officials of Philippine National Police Bicol headed by Acting Director Chief Supt. Augusto Marquez Jr. on Monday morning. (Photo: PRO5)

PAINTERLY LANDSCAPE. Zigzag Mountain View in Milagros, Masbate

PAINTERLY LANDSCAPE. Zigzag Mountain View in Milagros, Masbate offers a breathtaking backdrop for scenic travels by car, bicycle, or foot.(PHOTO: DOT BICOL)

Bicolanos take stand on West PH sea crisis

LEGAZPI CITY—“If we will leave China’s claim unchallenged, our country could lose about 80 percent of its resources-rich Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Charles Jose said at a press conference with the media at Hotel St. Ellis here Wednesday last week.

Asec Jose led the information campaign on the West Philippine issue in the Bicol region conducted by the DFA in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) across the country for the public to better understand the country’s concern behind the disputed territories.

“The Philippines is an archipelago and our economy is dependent on the sea with at least five million Filipinos depending on the waters for their livelihood. So if we will lose the 80%, it’s like stealing our country’s rich resources and stripping livelihood of our people,” he added.

Among the other activities held in the region are a multi-sectoral forum, focused group discussions, campus tour and radio guesting.

Participants in the the activities came from various sectors including the academe, church, government agencies, students and other stakeholders.

The country has filed its case against China over the West Philippine Sea at the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) tribunal and has asserted its claim in the oral hearing on July 7.

“We are anticipating to be invited back for another round of hearing on the merits of the trial. We want to settle the issue peacefully and we believe that the case is the most effective and enduring solution to overlapping territorial claims,” he said.

Jose furthered that member countries of the UNCLOS such as US, Japan, Australia and Europe have expressed support to the Philippines to settle issue peacefully and let rule of law prevail.

“Although the decision of the tribunal is binding it has no enforcement power. However should the decision be favorable to the Philippines, it will be binding to both countries as signatories to the UNCLOS. Thus we will rely to the international community to convince China to adhere to the decision,” he noted.

However, even as the country reiterated its claim and is still waiting for the decision of the tribunal, China has pressed ahead with the construction of structures on areas within the Philippine territory claiming their indisputable sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea as represented by its nine-dash line claim.

“China structures constructed in the West Philippipne Sea cause massive and irreplaceable damage as coral resources, which took hundreds of years to grow, are dug and destroyed to be used as fillings for their structures,” the DFA Asec said.

Asked on the possibility on engaging into physical confrontation with China, Jose said policies and actions of the government are guided by two principles: settling the issue peacefully and upholding rule of law. Thus war is not an option to resolve conflict.

Furthermore, Jose stressed that the dispute does not sum up the relationship between the two countries noting that they have maintained good diplomatic relations despite the conflict. (by Sally Atento-Altea, PIA)

DSWD Albay reaches limit for educational aid

LEGAZPI CITY—Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Arnel Garcia has announced that it will no longer offer educational assistance for the second semester in Albay because the provincial office has reached its limit.

Those who enlisted at Embarcadero on May 2015 and are scheduled for interview on November 9 to 12 and 25 to 27, he said, are now directed to proceed to the DSWD Regional Office in Buraguis, Legazpi City.

The educational assistance helps defray the school expenses and the cost of sending children to school, such as school tuition fees, school supplies, transportation allowance, and other school-related expenses.

The amount of assistance that can be extended to clients ranges from P3,000 to P 25,000, based on the assessment of the social worker.

Garcia further clarified that the Albay office will continue to provide medical assistance for up to 60 people per day.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago

Bicol observes Juvenile Justice Welfare and Consciousness Week

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol through the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) celebrates the 4th Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week on from October 18 to 24.

Bicol observes Juvenile Justice Welfare and Consciousness Week
For this year it adopted the theme “Bata ay Gabayan, Batas sa Juvenile Justice Bigyan Daan!” which focuses on the continued efforts of government agencies, non-government agencies, and non-government agencies and other partners and stakeholders to protect the rights of the children in conflict with the law (CICL) and the children at risk (CAR) in ensuring a bright future for them.
Proclamation Number 459 signed by his Excellency Benigno C. Aquino III declared 4th week of October of every year as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week.
This is in conjunction with the annual celebration of the National Children’s Month. The state recognizes the need to mainstream awareness and consciousness of the Filipino people to emphasize the rights of every Filipino youth including the children at risk and children in conflict with the law (CICL).
DSWD Asst. Director Arwin Razo shared that this year’s celebration aims to raise the awareness of the Bicolanos on the current issues, status and condition of the Children In Conflict with the Laws (CICL’s) and Children at Risks (CAR) with the help of the stakeholders and media partners.
A fun walk cum Zumba and a short program signaled the start of the week’s celebration. This was led by Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal and other members of the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council such as; DILG, DOH, PNP, BJMP, LGU Bulan, COMPRE children, DepEd, CHR , media partners and DSWD. This was followed by a press conference at La Roca Veranda Suites and Restaurant.
The Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (RJJWC) believe that the mass media play an active role in the promotion of child rights and delinquency prevention by relaying consistent messages through a balance approach.

The RJJWC hopes that with every awareness-raising activity conducted, we are able to strengthen the commitment of each duty bearer to perform their respective functions in ensuring that the rights of the children are protected at all times. (eejerusalem)

Gov. Tallado seeks suspension reconsideration

DAET, Camarines Norte—Gov. Edgardo "Egay" Tallado has filed a motion for reconsideration in connection with a one-year suspension order over his refusal to implement Civil Service Commission (CSC)’s order to reinstate Edgardo S. Gonzales in his position as provincial veterinarian.

The order for suspension without pay, together with its accessory penalties, was issued shortly after Tallado filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for governor.

Also ordered suspended were Provincial Legal Officer Sim O. Mata, Jr. and provincial government employee Mario de la Cruz.

Tallado, Mata, and de la Cruz, according to the suspension order, were administratively guilty of Oppression and Grave Abuse of Authority.

The charges, however, against Provincial Human Resource and Management Officer Magdalena B. Toledana, Utility Worker Enrique Macatangay were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

Gonzales’ camp rejoiced at the decision, which it claimed was a victory of the employees of the provincial government.

Meanwhile, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Adan Marcelo Botor maintained that the governor’s political opponents are behind the issuance of the suspension.

Botor said the same opponents also likely worked for Tallado’s expulsion from the Liberal Party (LP) in June.

Tallado is seeking re-election under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) party for his third term as governor.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

'Lando' damage in Bicol reaches P39-M

NAGA CITY—Although the Bicol region was not hit directly by Lando, the typhoon managed to destroy some P39-million pesos' worth of agricultural products.

Emily Bordado of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5's Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section said the estimated amount is based on reports from the towns of Camaligan and Nabua in Camarines Sur, and Daet in Camarines Norte.

Around 1,700 hectares of agricultural land were affected due to the strong winds and flooding.
Some 200 hectares, she added, have been totally damaged and can no longer be recovered.

Meanwhile, the DA national office reported that across the nation, the damage to agriculture reached over P6 billion, with rice production incurring the largest loss.

Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala said that only 269,694 hectares of 272,006 hectares of rice land have a chance of recovery.

He added that he hopes for good weather so those who are close to harvesting stage can be saved and reaped with the use of combined harvesters.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM /With report from DA

NFA Bicol assures rice sufficiency

NAGA CITY—The National Food Authority Regional Office 5 has given assurance that it has enough supply of rice amid growing concerns that stocks are inadequate due to El Nino.

Nora Follosco
Acting General Manager Nora Follosco said the Bicol regional office has augmented its supply to around 90,000 sacks of NFA rice for the first quarter of 2016. This is in addition to its current rice inventory, which stands at around 50,000 sacks. Such supply, she added, may last the region up to the end of the year.

NFA rice continues to be sold at prices between P27 to 32 per kilo.

Earlier this month, the NFA national office announced that it procured some 750,000 metric tons of rice as emergency buffer stock.

Around 250,000 metric tons are expected to arrive in November and Decemeber, while 500 metric tons will be delivered early in 2016.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Ayala eyes Manila-Legazpi railway project

Conglomerate Ayala Corp. has formally expressed its interest in the government’s biggest public private partnership (PPP) deal thus far—the South Line of the North South Railway Project—after interested groups were given more time to prepare qualification documents.

PNR file photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM
PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said Ayala unit AC Infrastructure bought bid documents for the project last week.

This means at least three groups may qualify for the P171-billion project, which aims to revive commuter rail operations in Luzon, including a long-haul line from Manila to Legazpi City, Albay.

The two other groups are San Miguel Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

Assuming no further delays, these groups are expected to submit their qualification documents on Dec. 1, 2015, a deadline the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) had already moved from Oct. 15, 2015, after one bidder sought additional time.

Canilao said other groups might still purchase bid documents in the coming weeks although she declined to give names.

Ayala and Metro Pacific have teamed up to bid for railway PPPs in the past. The tandem won the automated fare collection system PPP and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 extension and operations projects.

But Metro Pacific chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said the two groups have yet to finalize any partnership for the South Line of the North South Railway Project because of the uncertain schedule, with President Aquino stepping down in mid-2016.

“We have no idea yet as to the timing and whether they can bid it out in time,” Pangilinan said.

Based on its initial instruction to bidders before postponing the qualification process, the DOTC said they plan to award the project by April 27, 2016.

The PPP project, which involves 653 kilometers of railway lines, is expected to be operational by 2020. The winner of the deal will operate, maintain and upgrade the line over a period of 34 years.

Upon full operations, the DOTC said there would be 10 daily trips with seven train sets passing through 66 stations.

It is expected to yield a demand of 316,000 passengers a day on its opening year and is projected to entice around 44,000 public and private vehicle users to shift their commutes to the modernized railway.

The private sector partner is expected to design, construct, install, commission, finance, operate and maintain the existing 56-km commuter rail line from Tutuban in Manila to Calamba City, Laguna. (by Miguel R. Camus)

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