Friday, August 3, 2018

2 Bicolano studes win medals at int'l math tilt

Photo via IMC
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Two Bicolano students are among the young Math wizards who won medals at the 14th International Mathematics Contest in Singapore.

They are Eric Fabian Deiv Mendez of Ateneo de Naga University Grade School and Jonel Edward Rebutiaco of Ligao National High School.

Both got bronze medals in the international competition.

Other participating countries include Singapore, India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Iran.

Apart from Mendez and Rebutiaco, the Philippine team also won 27 golds, 53 silvers, and 114 bronzes.

The Philippines topped the overall medal tally, according to the Mathematics Trainers Guild – Philippines.

3 CAFGU gadan sa Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Tulong miembros kan Civilian Auxiliary Arm (CAFGU) an binawian nin buhay kan makaencrontada ninda mga miembros kan New People’s Army (NPA) kasubagong alas 8:30 nin aga.

Nangyari an incidente sa Brgy. Mactan, Cawayan, Masbate.

Segun sa report na nakaabot sa PNP Regional Office 5, an mga CAFGU nagpapatrolya sa sinambit na barangay kan makasabatan an mga rebelde sa lugar.

Mayo nin informasyon kun igwa man nin nagadan o nalugadan sa grupo kan NPA.

Mientrastanto, tulos nag-sugo an liderato kan Philippine National Police sa mga kataraid na banwaan kan Cawayan, na magbugtak nin mga checkpoints sa mga pili na lugar na pwedeng agihan kan mga rebelde sa pagdulag.

Nagsugo man an intelligence operatives na bisitahon an mga clinica o hospital sa lugar, tangani na aramon kun igwa nin dinara sainda na tawo na may lugad o tama nin bala.

Kusog Bikolandia fortifies region’s fight for prosperity

LEGAZPI CITY—Bicolanos and others who identify with the region can now pin their hopes on Kusog Bikolandia, a new regional political party borne out of the hope to cater to the interests and needs of the Bicolano people.

In an interview with the Bicol Standard, Founding Member Noel de Luna said Kusog Bikolandia is grounded on the efforts of people from a common territory and culture to consolidate their political vision and aspirations.

Formed on July 5, 2018 in a special assembly held in Pasay City, the Kusog Bikolandia team resolved to participate in the May 13, 2019 midterm elections and other electoral exercises.

De Luna explained: “We wanted to give a voice to Bicolanos, whose needs and interests are often relegated to the margins.”

“It is high time that a regional political party which genuinely represents Bicolanos emerges in the political arena,” he added.

Also comprising the list of officers are:

Atty. Jorge Sarmiento – President; Former Post Master General; Former President of PAGCOR; Former USEC of DICT; Atty. Robert Rafael Lucila – Executive Vide President; Current head of Legal Department of GMA Network, Inc.; Former Deputy Executive Secretary of Malacanang; Redencion De Leoz, Jr. – Secretary General; Former Presidential Management Staff Program Head; Flor B. Azotea – Executive Treasurer; Jose B. Perez – Vice President for Sectoral Affairs; Editor-in-Chief, Bicol Mail; Atty. Steve Resari – Executive Director; Vice President for Albay; Atty. Felix Brazil – Vice President for Camarines Sur; Juan Escandor, Jr. - Vice President for Sorsogon/Masbate; Febes B. Rada - Vice President for Camarines Norte; and Fred Gianan – Vice President for Catanduanes

Not part of partylist system

Addressing questions on the nature of Kusog Bikolandia as a regional political party, Atty. Jorge Sarmiento clarified that “it is not part of the partylist system.”

“While the latter forms sectoral groups that primarily seek to promote sectoral interests and enhance representation, particularly among the marginalized and the underrepresented sectors in the corridors of power such as the House of Representatives, we, as a regional political party, advance our distinct political identity and ideology for Bikol progress and growth, just like the Pundok Kauswagan or Partido Panaghiusa in Cebu, the Partido Magdalo in Cavite, and the Hugpong Pagbabago in Davao.”

Sarmiento added: “Although we may be focused more on local or domestic interests and confined to a smaller territory, we possess as much rights and privileges as a full-fledged political party just like PDP-Laban, Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, Liberal Party, and others, whose reason for existence is guaranteed by our Philippine Constitution.”

“As an agenda-based political aggrupation, Kusog Bikolandia focuses its attention on concerns affecting the Bicol region. Its fundamental beliefs reflect the prevailing regional culture. We gather our strength and draw inspiration from our own people, such that we are independent and separate from other traditional national political parties but may enter into tactical alliances with other interest groups based on principle and commonality on regional aspiration and priorities.

Furthermore, he stated: “We, in the KB, subscribe to a Supreme Being who orchestrates all things in the universe. We agree to protect Nature which is the very basis of the survival and extinction of every living being in this planet.”

Kusog Bikolandia’s core values

Sarmiento said that to widen the perspective of development, Kusog Bikolandia believes that the patriotic sense of the party is indispensable requirement for us to serve the common good and interest of Bicol, the fellowmen and family, by endeavoring to be self-reliant.

“We espouse developmental values, participative governance and local government autonomy without sacrificing our nationalism.”

Social equality

Kusog Bikolandia as a political party also champions genuine social equality.

“Majority of Bikolanos need to have access to basic needs like health services, education, livelihood and emergency assistance, pension, shelter and job creation through tourism development. We shall also endeavor to institutionalize political reforms by developing and training potential regional and sectoral leaders, with emphasis on youth, who will nurture Filipino and Bikolano traits, values, and morality in public office,” he explained.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fr. Tirao faces Murder complaint in Rapiñan slay

Fr. Paul Mart Tirao
Photo from his Facebook account

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – A complaint for Murder has been filed against Fr. Paul Mart Tirao as the principal suspect in the death of Jeraldyn “Ai-ai” Rapiñan at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Camarines Sur here.

Tirao, who is at large, has been pinpointed by several witnesses who fetched Rapiñan at around 6 p.m. from Baao town, according to the complaint.

The complaint was signed by Vivencia Rapiñan, the mother of the victim.

Tirao is a parish priest at St. Jude Thaddeus parish in Iriga City, but is presently on leave.

It would be recalled that Jeraldyn was 28 years old a resident of Barangay San Jose, Baao when she was slain.

Her cadaver was discovered at Barangay Del Pilar, San Fernando, Camarines Sur on June 15, 2018.

Interviewed by the Bicol Standard, Provincial Prosecutor Atty. Richard Cu said he has not yet fully read the complaint, which was filed earlier this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Are 3 BMC buildings 'white elephants'?

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Presidential Assistant for Bicol Affairs Usec. Marvel Clavecilla again showed his displeasure regarding three unused Bicol Medical Center (BMC) buildings here which remain empty despite having been inaugurated twice in the last two years.

In a meeting organized by the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce today, Clavecilla emphatically called the buildings a “white elephant” which cost the government a whopping P1.2-billion for its supposed “state of the art” and “world-class” facilities.

The three buildings include one with eight floors, another with five floors, and another with four floors.

They were intended to be cardiac and cancer centers, Clavecilla said.

“However, until now, they are empty and unused,” he lamented.


Asked whether they are already preparing complaints against the officers responsible for the undue delay, Clavecilla said: “We are still in the process of fact-finding and investigation. In fact, a technical working group has been organized to gather documentary evidence.”

“If we find probable cause, we will elevate the issue to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and even to the President,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the PACC who was also an invited resource person, disclosed that on July 25, he had already requested the second-in-command of the Department of Health (DOH) to furnish the PACC with a timeline of the project completion.

The regional offices of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and other stakeholders are also monitoring the project, Luna said.

“We are not here to find faults, but to call the attention of the agencies involved to prevent undue injury to the government and the constituents, in compliance with the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” the commissioner said.

Other delayed projects in Bicol
The PACC is also looking into other delayed government projects in the region, including the Naga Airport, the Calabanga Municipal Fishport, Calabanga Ice Plant Project, Bicol International Airport, and the Bonga-San Roque circumeferential road in Albay, among others, according to the PACC.

They also reported that the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEX), which spans 417 kilometers from Lucena to Matnog, and is worth P700-billion, is now being fast-tracked.

“If you are aware of any anomalies, please feel free to report the matter to us even in confidence only,” Luna said.

“Let us join hands to work against corruption in government,” Clavecilla added.

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission was created on October 4, 2017 through Executive Order No. 43 to directly assist the President in investigation and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees in fulfillment of the President’s mandate to stop corruption.

The Commission is directly under the Office of the President.

The PACC officers are Chairman Dante La. Jimenez, Commissioner Gregorio Luis Contacto III, Commissiner Grego Belgica, Commissioner Rickson Chiong, Commissioner Manuelito Luna, and Executive Director Eduardo Bringas.

Bicol Standard tried to get the side of the Bicol Medical Center, but was informed that the hospital will just communicate with the paper once the responsible official is available.



Monday, July 30, 2018

Lauraya is new UNC President

Photo: Bicol University
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya, Ph.D. was introduced as the new President of University of Nueva Caceres at the Town Hall Meeting at 3 to 5 p.m. at the UNC Gym.

Lauraya previously served as the President of Bicol University in Albay.

Alfredo Ayala, the outgoing President, will now serve as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In speech, Ayala said that Lauraya is the daughter of two educators, and was a working student while she was still in school.

Ayala asked for Lauraya to be given the same support that the UNC community extended to him.

Meantime, in her speech, Lauraya said she aims to make UNC number one.

She also bared her plans for the university, including having a top management commitment for students, faculty, and personnel welfare.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

DA offers P25k loan to Mayon-affected farmers

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- Some 277 farmers from 15 barangays in Oas town, Albay province can now avail of loan with no collateral, no interest and payable in two years or four cropping seasons.

Small farmers and fisher folk in areas under a state of calamity could avail of loans under the Survival Recovery (SURE) Access Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office in Bicol, DA-Bicol information officer, Emily Bordado said in a phone interview on Friday.

Recalling their helplessness early this year when Mayon Volcano erupted and covered their ricefields with ash and volcanic pebbles, 62-year-old Armando Rebagoda, a farmer with three children, expressed his gratitude for the loan program, which, he said, could help his family recover from the calamity.

Rebagoda is from Barangay San Isidro, which is 11 kilometers away from the permanent danger zone. Residents in the village, most of them farmers, were severely affected by the volcano's eruption last January.

Oas municipal agricultural officer Leonardo Ondiz said other beneficiaries will be using their loan proceeds to engage in swine, coconut, cacao, pili, fruit, corn, peanut, rice and vegetable production.

"Asked if they can afford to pay PHP6,250.00 cash every cropping season, said they said, 'ay siyempre man sir (of course, sir)' because they will be given ample time to save compared to private banks and loan sharks," Ondiz added.

The DA-SURE access loan can be availed of through its conduit bank-- the Banco Santiago De Libon (BSDL) -- which allocated PHP6.6 million for the program.

BSDL project management head Ma. Liza Dycoco also informed the farmers that this year, the bank offers a small farm financing loan to help them purchase equipment.

“This is like a mission of the bank to help our farmers,” she said.

There is also the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) for marginal and small farmers and fisher folk who want to avail of fast, convenient and affordable credit.

For Albay, the conduit banks include BSDL, Camalig Bank, Rural Bank of Pilar and Rural Bank of Guinobatan.

For Camarines Sur, the conduit entities include Magarao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), Sampaloc MPC, Camarines Sur MPC, Maymatan Farmers MPC, and San Antonio Farmers Irrigators MPC. (PNA)

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