Friday, October 26, 2018

Palace: Nora Aunor will be National Artist in ‘God’s perfect time’

MANILA -- Malacañang on Thursday expressed optimism that Nora Aunor, known in Philippine cinema as Superstar, will receive the coveted National Artist award “in God’s perfect time”.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after the actress from Bicol was excluded from the new list of National Artists conferred by President Rodrigo Duterte in a ceremony held last Wednesday at Malacañang Palace.

“Ms. Nora Aunor is still young and in God’s perfect time we are optimistic that she will be proclaimed as a National Artist,” Panelo said in a statement he read during Palace press briefing.

“Her non-inclusion does not diminish her iconic stature as the country’s Superstar and her significant contributions to film, theater, television and music industries,” he added.

Panelo said Nora Aunor’s non-inclusion was to spare her “from emotional and psychological torment from the barrage of mixed reactions the award will bring.”

“As she herself stated in her statement: ‘What’s the essence of an award if I -- and those who believe in me -- get to be mocked again and again. The respect of the people I had work with is more than enough for me’,” Panelo said.

In 2014, former president Benigno Aquino III removed the actress from the list of National Artist awardees due to an issue linking her to illegal drugs.

“The artistical and musical legend that is Nora Aunor may not have passed the critical eyes of a select juror and the awarding authority to be bestowed the National Artist award but her enrapturing film artistry and musicality and mass acceptance surpass any technical recognition given by any entity or authority,” Panelo said.

“Her phenomenal rise to movie and musical stardom that counted a generation of shrieking and adoring fans unparalleled in the movie and music industry is a walking testament to her mesmerizing artistry and singing voice and the people’s acceptance. She truly is the crowned people’s artist,” he added.

The country’s new National Artists conferred by Duterte include known composer Ryan Cayabyab for music; Lauro "Larry" Alcala for visual arts, Francisco Mañosa (Architecture and Allied Arts), Ramon Muzones and Resil B. Mojares (Literature), Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio (Theater) and Eric de Guia a.k.a. Kidlat Tahimik (Film and Broadcast Arts).

National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Cultural Center of the Philippines recommended the new National Artist awardees to the President.

Order of National Artist is the highest national recognition given to Filipinos who have made significant contribution to the development of Philippine arts. (PNA)

DSWD to promote accountability, transparency in village leadership

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here will strengthen its community participation program for village leaders through its "Makilahok" project that aims to promote accountability and transparency in the barangay.

Under the project -- to be undertaken through the "Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services" or Kalahi-CIDSS program -- DSWD will conduct trainings in 15 local government units in Bicol.

In an interview on Monday, DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said after the trainings that are set to start next month, each participating village is expected to come up with a Barangay Development Plan with activities, techniques and other implementation arrangements that can be adopted in their planning and budgeting process.

“This initiative will significantly help in heightening our support towards community empowerment and participation through the institutionalization of local development process,” he noted.

The training will cover four areas: Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA); Community Finance; Community Procurement following the Philippine financial and procurement procedures under Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act); and Community Monitoring.

The pilot municipalities that will take part in Makilahok are Manito and Jovellar in Albay; Jose Panganiban and San Vicente in Camarines Norte; Cabusao, Minalabac, Gainza, Canaman and Ocampo in Camarines Sur; Baras and Gigmoto of Catanduanes; Mobo and Palanas in Masbate; and Irosin and Gubat in Sorsogon.

"These municipalities were identified based on their implementation performance of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, completion of community projects and LGUs' readiness to undergo capacity training for all barangays," Garcia said.

The Makilahok project will be implemented with a total budget of PHP7.52 million. (PNA)

6k Bicol cops to be deployed for Undas

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- All police units in the Bicol region will go on full alert starting midnight of Oct. 30 until Nov. 3 for the traditional observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on Nov. 1 and 2.

Bicol police spokesperson, Chief Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, said they will field 6,000 policemen in strategic areas of the region to augment local police units in cities and municipalities and ensure peace and order, especially around cemeteries.

"Hundreds of policemen will be deployed to beef up the existing police force to maintain peace and order on Nov. 1 and 2," she said in an interview on Thursday.

Calubaquib said regional police director, Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, tasked the provincial and city directors and city and municipal police stations to maximize their personnel in providing maximum security to all cemeteries in their respective areas of responsibility.

She noted they will check individuals bringing in any kind of liquor, firearms, and bladed weapons inside cemeteries.

Police will also provide traffic, security and medical assistance to commuters coming from other provinces who will take their vacations, she added.

Calubaquib further reminded Philippine National Police (PNP) units to stay on alert, be vigilant and take precautionary measures against domestic threat groups and other lawless elements that may take advantage of the events.

“Preparations are underway to see to it that no untoward incident happens that would endanger the lives of the people from elements who would like to sow terror during this religious event,” she said.

"No leave (of absence) is allowed at this time for all the PNP personnel and for those who already filed their leaves, they will be recalled for them to render duties for safeguarding the community. Only maternity, paternity and sick leave will be entertained by this time" she added.

Calubaquib said advisories were issued to the public containing the standard operating procedures or the "dos and don'ts" with regards to the observance of All Saints' Day.

The PNP also advised the public that safety precautions should not only be observed in cemeteries, but also in their homes especially when taking vacation.

"Remember that crimes happen everywhere. No one knows when will the perpetrator attack, personal security must always be observed, let us always be safe," she said. (PNA)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Maternal love

MATERNAL LOVE. A mother weaves a basket which she will sell while waiting to pick up her child at the gate of an elementary school in Gainza, Camarines Sur. (Bicol Standard photo)

An abundance of flowers

AN ABUNDANCE OF FLOWERS. A farmer in Barangay Pacol, Naga City gets his wares ready for All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day when a huge supply of flowers is in demand. (Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Duterte condoles with families of slain, wounded Bicol cops, soldiers

Bicol Standard photo
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – President Rodrigo Duterte led the awarding of medals to members of the police and army who were killed or wounded in the line of duty in various incidents in Bicol.

In a small gathering here Tuesday afternoon, the President bestowed the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kalasag to PO1 Ralph Jason D. Vida, one of the casualties in the recent rebel ambush at Barangay Napolidan, Lupi, Camarines Sur, during the latter’s wake at the Multi-purpose Hall of the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office.

The Rank of Kalasag is given to those who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation in Duterte's campaign or advocacy.

The same Order was awarded to SPO1 Percival S. Rafael, who was represented by his wife Grace Rafael; and to PO3 Carlito S. Navarroza, represented by his wife Jaicil Navarroza.

Following this, Duterte conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kampilan to the following soldiers, who were wounded in action in an NPA encounter in Labo, Camarines Norte on October 14, 2018: Cpl. Christopher A. Bactad, Cp. Joven M. Llorera, Pvt. Johnrex Ferpas, and Pvt. Jesse B. Pausal.
The Kampilan Medal is given to those who were seriously wounded or injured or suffered great loss of property in carrying out contributions to the President’s advocacies.

The Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kalasag was also awarded to Pvt. Ruben Bersabe who was killed in an encounter in Labo, Camarines Norte on October 14, 2018. The same was received by family representative Mrs. Avelina Bersabe, his mother.

CAA Teodoro C. Adoptante, who was slain in Lupi, Camarines Norte on octoebr 16, 2018 was likewise given the same Order. The medal was received by Mr. Arnel C. Adoptante, his brother.

Duterte also condoled with the relatives of the slain cops and soldiers.

Apart from the medals, the families received financial assistance from the government, according to Bong Go, who accompanied Duterte.

Meantime, also present at the affair was Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno, who was the person being escorted when the ambush occurred in Lupi, Camarines Sur last week.

Puno told the media that she was extremely saddened by the incident, and hoped the families would obtain justice.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Catandungan Festival 2018: Celebrating 73 years of Independence

The Catandungan Festival is celebrated every October to commemorate the foundation anniversary of Catanduanes as a province independent from Albay.

The Happy Island of Catanduanes once again celebrates its identity shaped through history and by culture-Catandungan Festival 2018.

In its 73rd Foundation Anniversary, the province offers exciting and fun-filled activities in full colors which resemble the culture we foster over time.

Experience a rush of exhilaration as we give you another blast of our own brand of festival celebration.

The Happy Islanders invite you to witness our spectacle of talents, faith, beauty and culture which make up our identity as Catandunganons.


DILG: Ambush of cops in Camarines Sur shows the futility of talking to Joma

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) condemns the ambush of the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and her police escorts in Camarines Sur saying that such acts show the futility of peace negotiations with Joma Sison.

“We condemn the killing of three police officers during the ambush of a PNP convoy escorting FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno. This violent incident against government officials who are just doing their jobs is a pure act of terrorism that shows the futility of talking to Joma Sison,” says DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año.

On Thursday morning, Puno's convoy, consisting of her main vehicle and two police vehicles, was passing through Barangay Napolidan in Lupi, Camarines Sur at around 9:10 a.m., when around 20 NPA rebels opened fire, resulting to the death of three police security escorts and the injury of three others.

Puno’s vehicle sped off as the assailants continuously shot the tailing police car.

"How can Joma expect to have meaningful peace negotiations when they are killing our police officers and ambushing government officials including the FDA head who was just there to attend a government event?," he asks.

Año says that Sison's new offer to resume peace talks is a clear attempt to relieve pressure from the NPA who are losing the battle in the mountains to government forces. "More than a thousand former rebels have since returned to the fold of the law and they are feeling the pressure. Peace talks are a way for them to regroup and strengthen their forces," he says.

The DILG Chief says that Sison’s new offer is a futile attempt to divert the people's attention from their foiled Red October plot to oust the Duterte administration.

"Sison wants to take the Filipino people for another ride. Now that their Red October plot has fizzled, now that they realize that there is no hope to oust this administration, they now suddenly want to go back to the negotiating table," he says.

Año, however, insists that there is no use talking peace if government forces and civilians are dying and if the rebel groups continue to commit lawlessness and pure acts of terrorism like the Camarines Sur ambush.

"Peace requires confidence-building measures, and the CPP/NPA/NDF has failed in this respect. They have only themselves to blame," he says.

If Sison and his minions are truly sincere, Año says the communist terrorists groups should stop all forms of hostilities, extortion activities and burning of construction or farm equipment and instead build mutual trust with the government to achieve genuine peace.

"When you offer peace with your left hand but shoot with your right hand like what they did to our policemen in Camarines Sur, that's the height of duplicity," he says.

“We in government are working double time to ensure peace and order in the country. Instead of talking to Joma, we will instead pursue localized peace talks as mentioned by the President because we will never give up on peace,” says Año.

“We will pursue localized peace talks in every region where there are communist rebels. Peace and order is our top priority and we will uphold these local peace talks until the last rebel lays down his arms,” he says.

'Not guilty,' sabi ni Atty. Isidoro sa caso sa mega shabu lab

MANILA (Bicol Standard) -- An dating acting regional director kan NBI Central Mindanao Regional Office na nag aatubang nin casong conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs, sa nadiscubreng mega shabu lab kan 2016, nag sabi sa jusgado na "not guilty" siya sa sinambit na akusasyon kasubago.

Si Atty. Augusto Eric Isidoro detinido ngonian sa Makati City Jail poon kan Septiembre kasunod kan order kan Makati City Regional Trial Court.

An mega shabu laboratory nadiscubre kan mga awtoridad kan 2016. Nakua sa sinambit na lugar an kantidad P100 million na shabu asin ephedrine.

An mega shabu laboratory namumugtak sa Brgy. Palta Small, Virac, Catanduanes, suboot pag rugaring ni Sarah Sarmiento. Pina arkila ini ki Angelica Balmadrid, na iyo suboot an kasaroan ni Isidoro.

Si Isidoro nag aatubang nin casong conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs. Kabale sa akusasyon iyo an minasunod: Xian Xian Wang, Pido Bonito, Paolo Uy, asin Jayson Uy, na at large pa hasta ngonian.

An iba pang akusado, si Lorenzo Pinera II, kinasohan nin possession and manufacture of illegal drugs kaiba an limang ika pang akusado na at large pa ngonian, an mga Uys, Paolo Palisoc, Phung Yuan Estorco, asin Sheng Wang.

Sa mga akusado, solamente si Isidoro asin Pinera an naarestar asin ditinido sa city jail sabi ni Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, an pamayo kan DOJ Task Force on Illegal Drug Cases.

An caso pig dadangos sa sala ni Judge Selma Palacio Alaras, presiding judge kan Makati RTC Branch 62.

Suspects in killing of Sorsogon cop charged

Photo courtesy of PRO5
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- A case of Murder has been filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Sorsogon against three persons tagged in the killing of PO1 Michael Monte Villalobos of the Irosin Municipal Police Station.

The suspects were identified as Noel Galido Fumera, Jose Marie Estiller, and Renante Millares Delos Santos.

In a report sent by the PNP Bicol to the Bicol Standard, it was narrated that Villalobos was treacherously gunned down by two suspects armed with a caliber .45 at Mike Motorcycle and Spare Parts located at San Pedro, Irosin, Sorsogon at past 4:00 p.m. on September 20, 2018.

The Regional Office added that prior to the incident, Fumera, who acted as the lookout, pointed the exact location and direction of the victim to the two gunmen, Estiller and Delos Santos.

The gunmen casually approached the victim and subsequently shoot the unwary cop and vehemently carted away the service pistol of the wounded cop who was sprawling helplessly on the roadside after he was shot.

PNP Bicol said it will exert extra effort for the immediate arrest of the suspects.

SRP for rice in Bicol to be set this week

MANILA -- The Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for both imported and locally-grown rice in the Bicol region will be set by the National Food Authority Council on Tuesday (Oct.23) , Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said last week.

This, he said, is in a bid to arrest profiteering by some traders.

Piñol said it was agreed that the SRPs could change depending on world market prices for imported rice and other factors affecting the Philippine rice market.

Piñol said the use of fancy names like ‘Senandomeng’, ‘Super Angelica’, ‘Yummy Rice’, and others will no longer be allowed.

Rice sold will only be classified as regular milled, well-milled, premium and special rice, he added.

State of calamity in Virac lifted

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (MDRRMC) hold a meeting for an update on the water crisis which recently affected Virac, Catanduanes. (Photo: LGU Virac)

VIRAC, Catanduanes (Bicol Standard) -- The state of calamity declared in the town of Virac  due to the lack of potable water supply has been ordered lifted by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), the Public Information Office of Virac confirmed this morning.

The town, it would be recalled, was placed under a state of calamity following the recommendation of the Sangguniang Bayan on August 20, 2018 due to the drought brought about by the southwest monsoon, which affected the province of Catanduanes.

Virac Mayor Samuel V. Laynes sought for help from the Philippine Red Cross, which immediately provided assistance by sending a water filtration system, water bladder, and water truck that could carry some 10,000 liters of water.

Since August 27, 2018, the Joint Watsan Operation of the Philippine Red Cross and the MDRRMO has brought no less than 515,000 liters of drinking water to thirteen barangays, including Calatagan Proper, Calatagan Tibang, Sogod Tibgao, San Isidro Village, Palnab Del Sur, Danicop, Hawan Ilaya, Palta Big, Palta Small, Palta Salvacion, Balite, Pajo Baguio and Pajo San Isidro.

In a meeting on October 18, PAGASA Virac head Juan Pantino reported to Mayor Laynes, the MDRRMC Chairman, that their agency has noted a substantial weakening of habagat and a signal of the start of amihan.

Pantino added that thunderstorms, easterlies, Intertropical Convergence Zones (ITCZ), Low Pressure Areas (LPA), Ridge of High Pressure Area (HPA), tail-end of the cold front, and typhoons should thus be expected starting this October up to March.

Former Bula, Cam Sur mayor charged in Sandiganbayan

Photo from Decena's Facebook account
MANILA (Bicol Standard) – Former Bula, Camarines Sur town mayor Benjamin Decena has been indicted for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for his alleged failure to return a government vehicle after the expiration of his term in 2013.

The Ombudsman has recently filed with the Sandiganbayan the said case when Decena refused to turn over a Mazda Bongo that was issued to him as his service vehicle during his incumbency.

The Ombudsman said that Decena’s refusal caused damage and prejudice to the government as he misappropriated the property for his personal use and benefit.

Bail amounting to P50,000.00 was recommended for his temporary liberty.

The criminal charge, which was signed by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in March 2018, was reviewed by Ombudsman Samuel Martires this month.

Ex-NBI chief linked to Virac shabu lab to be arraigned today

Atty. Isidoro
File photo
MANILA (Bicol Standard) – Former Chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Region VII Atty. Augusto Eric Isidoro, who was linked to the mega shabu laboratory at Palta Small, Virac, Catanduanes, will be arraigned today at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 62, with Judge Selma Palacio Alaras as the presiding judge.

Isidoro is facing a criminal charge for violation of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, due to his alleged involvement in said drug lab.

Police reports said that the laboratory had the capacity to produce at least 100 million pesos’ worth of illegal drugs.

It will be recalled that this case was originally filed at the Virac Regional Trial Court, but was transferred to the Makati RTC upon request of the Department of Justice.

Isidoro is presently detained at the Makati City Jail.

Meanwhile, the other accused persons, namely Xian Xian Wang, Pido Bonito, Paolo Uy, and Jayson Uy, are still at large.

Lorenzo Piñera II, the caretaker of the property where the mega shabu lab was located, along with Paolo Uy, Jayson Uy, Paolo Palisoc, Phung Yuan Estorco, and Sheng Wang, will stand trial for Possession and Manufacture of Illegal Drugs.

THE SUNNY PHILOSOPHER | Funny stories, funny characters Or how the Filipino survives

Funny stories, funny characters
Or how the Filipino survives

THERE was a popular anecdote about a youth lying beneath a fruit-laden guava tree, his mouth watering but too lazy to pick the delicious fruit himself, so he opened his mouth waiting for the guava to fall. 

Who the youth was, people knew him well. The story of Juan Tamad, a simpleminded character in Filipino folk talks, is as old as your grandfather. In our town in Caramoan, he is known as Juan Osong, who is everybody’s friend. 

Most of his jokes have made fun of himself and the foibles of his friends. Call his jokes a harmless attempt to lighten his dark life. You know, he is very poor like Juan Tamad, his ancestor. 

Juan Tamad is long gone, existing only in the memories of old folks. But Juan Osong still lives in remote villages and the city’s back streets, making people laugh. Osong means a funny man. So you see, he lives up to his name. 

The destitute Filipino survives the harsh live because of his ability to laugh. He laughs a lot. No other individual has this gift. It is his way of keeping himself sane. 

The number of people committing suicides in this country is negligible because the Filipino has an outlet: laughter. He can laugh at his own misfortune. He is like the jilted lover who cries his pain in songs he writes. Or in several bottles of ginyebra. 

In Japan, suicides are reportedly common because the Japanese do not have the resiliency of the Filipino. The Filipino has the character of the pliant bamboo growing abundantly on the hillsides. 

Have you seen the bamboo in your backyard after a severe typhoon? It stands tall, unruffled by strong wind, while the sturdy trees nearby have been uprooted or their branches twisted, mangled or blown away. 

The Filipino has the character of the bamboo, bowing low when hard wind blows but standing again after nature’s wrath is over. And laughing at the disaster’s failure to defeat him. 

He loves anything funny. That is how he makes light of his life. Rib-tickling movies particularly appeal more to him because such movies makes him forget his foodless days. 

Vice Ganda’s movies have topped the income chart not only in the recent FAMAS because the movies tickle people’s ribs. The movie, Larawan, which earned several awards, was nowhere near the top. Moviegoers seemed uninterested in finely crafted serious films. 

That is no surprise. The dirt poor Filipino finds funny movies the anti-dote to his difficult life. If he were well-off, he would go for other kinds of movies. 

The rich which is only a minute fraction of the population are not tickled white by cheap movies. They are busy counting their money. The poor do. They love Juan Osong for what he brings into their lives.

CASE IN POINT | Certificate of nonforum shopping

Certificate of nonforum shopping
Certificate of nonforum shopping applies to natural and juridical persons. 

In Societe des Products, Nestle, S.A. v. Puregold Price Club, Inc., G.R. No. 217194, September 6, 2017, Carpio, J, the SC once again had the occasion to rule that the requirement of certificate of non-forum shopping is applicable to natural and juridical persons. 

In Zulueta v. Asia Brewery, Inc., 406 Phil. 543 [2001], it was ruled that the requirements under the Rules of Court involving the certification against forum shopping apply both to natural and juridical persons, to wit: "[t]he requirement that the petitioner should sign the certificate of non-forum shopping applies even to corporations, considering that the mandatory directives of the Circular and the Rules of Court make no distinction between natural and juridical persons." 

In Fuentebella v. Castro, 526 Phil. 668 [2006], it was likewise held that the certification against forum shopping must be signed by the principal party. In case the principal party cannot sign, the one signing on his or her behalf must have been duly authorized, to wit: "the petitioner or the principal party must execute the certification against forum shopping. The reason for this is that the principal party has actual knowledge whether a petition has previously been filed involving the same case or substantially the same issues. If, for any reason, the principal party cannot sign the petition, the one signing on his behalf must have been duly authorized." 

Juridical persons, including corporations, that cannot personally sign the certification against forum shopping, must act through an authorized representative. The exercise of corporate powers including the power to sue is lodged with the board of directors which acts as a body representing the stockholders. For corporations, the authorized representative to sign the certification against forum shopping must be selected or authorized collectively by the board of directors. In Eslaban, Jr. v. Vda. de Onorio, 412 Phil. 667 [2001], it was ruled that if the real party in interest is a corporation, an officer of the corporation acting alone has no authority to sign the certification against forum shopping. An officer of the corporation can only validly sign the certification against forum shopping if he or she is authorized by the board of directors through a board resolution or secretary's certificate. In Gonzales v. Climax Mining Ltd., 492 Phil. 682 [2005], the Court ruled that a board resolution authorizing a corporate officer to execute the certification against forum shopping is a necessary requirement under the Rules. A certification signed by a person who was not duly authorized by the board of directors renders the petition for review subject to dismissal. 

The authority of the representative of a corporation to sign the certification against forum shopping originates from the board of directors through either a board of directors' resolution or secretary's certificate which must be submitted together with the certification against forum shopping. In Zulueta, the Court declared invalid a petition for review with a certification against forum shopping signed by the party's counsel which was not supported by a board resolution or secretary's certificate proving the counsel's authority. This Court dismissed the case and held: "[t] he signatory in the Certification of the Petition before the CA should not have been respondents' retained counsel, who would not know whether there were other similar cases of the corporation. Otherwise, this requirement would easily be circumvented by the signature of every counsel representing corporate parties." Likewise, in Eslaban, it was held that a certification signed by counsel alone is defective and constitutes a valid cause for the dismissal of the petition. 

In Development Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, 483 Phil. 216 [2004], it was said that the failure to attach a copy of a board resolution proving the authority of the representative to sign the certification against forum shopping was fatal to its petition and was sufficient ground to dismiss since the courts are not expected to take judicial notice of board resolutions or secretary's certificates issued by corporations. 

Accordingly, the CA did not err in ruling that the petition for review should be dismissed due to the failure of Nestle to comply with the proper execution of the certification against forum shopping required by Section 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court.

THE PASSERBY | Prayer just a placebo?

Prayer just a placebo?

MANY of the so-called millennials think so. They say that prayer simply serves as a tool to calm them down, relieve them of some worries, but it hardly has any real effect. By that claim, they seem to mean that even with what they consider as their fervent prayer, life continues to go on. That is, with many of their petitions, dreams and desires unanswered and unfulfilled. 

This is, of course, regarding prayer from a wrong perspective. But in spite of that, I would readily reassure them that any placebo effect of prayer should not be belittled. For prayer to have a placebo effect is already a good and tremendous benefit, and should not be a reason or excuse to reject it. 

In fact, if only for its placebo effect, prayer should be resorted to always. Even doctors do that when the case they are handling cannot be cured so far by any drug that they know of. We should never ignore the importance of a placebo unless we use it to deceive ourselves and to justify the lack of due responsibility. 

But prayer, irrespective of whether it only gives us a placebo effect, is a necessity for us. It is the basic way of relating ourselves to God who is always with us, who always loves and cares for us. It is the first thing we do to correspond to God’s love and goodness for us. 

The important thing to remember is that we be always sincere in our prayer. It should come as consequence of our faith in God, of our love for him. It is our way of worshipping him who is actually everything to us, of thanking him for the many blessings we have received from him, many of them we may not even be able to account for. 

It is also our way of asking forgiveness for our sins as well as a way of making reparation for them. And, of course, prayer is our way of asking for some favors from God—and favors and requests we will never run out of. 

Prayer serves a lot of purposes. The only thing we have to remember is that we do it with utmost sincerity and humility. We should avoid just going through the motions of prayer. We should mean what we say in our prayer. We should, with our faith, feel a certain intimacy with God who is a father to us and who loves us always. 

To consider prayer as a waste time or that it simply serves as a placebo is to misunderstand prayer. Such misunderstanding can come about as a result of a certain mentality, so common nowadays among the young ones. It is the mentality of entitlement. It is to think that they do not have to do or work so much to be entitled to some benefits or advantage. 

This is now a big challenge. While it is true that  today’s generation enjoy more things compared to what the previous generations enjoyed, or that they know more things, etc., it does not mean that they are exempted from work and from prayer, especially those types that involve a lot of effort and sacrifice. 

In fact, given what they have and enjoy now, today’s generation should have a keener sense of  responsibility of growing more in the different virtues—hard work, justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude and many others. They should be aware of the dangers of complacency and self indulgence. They have to understand that these things can only spoil them if they do not do anything about them. 

They have to know how to make good use of their time and of the many conveniences the modern things are giving them. They have to have a keener sense of the spiritual and the supernatural, and avoid wallowing in the mud of the material and the transitory things. Thus, they really have to pray properly.

Fr. Cimagala is the chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City. E-mail him at roycimagala@gmail. com.

GENTLE BREEZE| The Red Sweater

The Red Sweater 

We walk by faith, not by sight. 


John Croyle told the following story in Focus on the Family magazine: 

One day a father took his children for a boat ride. They were traveling downriver when suddenly, the motor stopped. When the father looked behind him, he noticed a red sweater tangled up in the propeller. Then his young son yelled, “Sherry fell in!” 

In horror the father saw his little girl entwined in the propeller of the boat. She was submerged just beneath the surface of the water, looking straight into the eyes of her father and holding her breath. He jumped into the water and tried to push the motor up, but the heavy engine wouldn’t budge. Time was running out. Desperately, the father filled his own lungs with air and dipped below the surface. Then he took a knife and quickly cut the sweater from the propeller and lifted his daughter into the boat. She was rushed to the hospital. 

When the crisis was over, the doctors and nurses asked the girl, “How come you didn’t panic?” 

“We’ll we’ve grown up on the river,” Sherry said, “and my dad always taught us that if you panic, you die. Besides, I knew my daddy would come and get me.” 

Children have such inherent trust in their parents. Teach your children to have this same simple faith toward God. 

Reference: God’s Little Lessons

Camarines Norte State College cited as 1st PWD-friendly HEI

Ms. Malyn Manalo (center), Disability Inclusion Officer of CNSC also received a plaque of recognition from the Provincial Government for her efforts in advocating disability-inclusive policies and programs that promotes the rights and welfare of the PWD sector in the province.

by Marjorie R. Garcia

The Provincial Government of Camarines Norte thru its Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) recognized the efforts of Camarines Norte State College (CNSC) for its commendable efforts and exceptional commitment to the inclusion and mainstreaming of Persons with Disabilities by implementing innovative and laudable programs intended to address the needs and encourage the advancement of its PWD constituents.

Gov. Jonah Pimentel led the conferment of 1st PWD - Friendly Higher Education Institution (HEI) in Camarines Norte held at CNSC Main Campus in Daet, Camarines Norte last September 10, 2018 as part of the 118th CSC Anniversary Celebration. Through the leadership of College President Dr. Rusty Abanto, CNSC have initiated the following disability-inclusive programs in the campus:

Formulation of “Make the Right Real” program targeted in alleviating the plight of persons with disabilities as its flagship commitment to the goals of the 3rd Philippine Decade of PWDs from the period of year 2013 to 2022;

Upgrading of existing and installation of new facilities such as ramps and toilets that complies with the standards of B.P. 344 (Accessibility Law) and conforms to the principles of Universal Design;

Conduct of research and extension activities that sought to promote the rights of the PWD sector and seeks to establish greater understanding on their situation;

Appointment of a Disability Inclusion Officer (DIO) that would coordinate and monitor the programs and services intended towards effective mainstreaming and inclusion of students with disabilities in the college.

Gov. Pimentel on his speech expressed his deepest admiration to the noble initiatives of CNSC and its vital role in providing affordable and quality education not only to the whole student population in the province but more so to its constituents who have disabilities.


Sir Tudok

Kan nakaaging taon, may nagsumbong sako 
Respetado kong propesora ko kaidto sa kolehiyo , 
Bitbit an bareta na gikan sa lima nyang amigo,
Na anas negosyante dyan sa lumang centro, 
Gabos daa nagsumbong sa panunudok kan sarong empleado.

Hinapot ko kun ano an ngaran kan pastidyong empleado, 
Huyom sana nanggad su nagin kasimbagan kan maestra ko; 
Kaya, su sabi ko, ‘Marhay pa, Mam. Hulaan ko.’

Ay ta! Kan may ngaranan nanggad ako, 
Nagburulakog su mata ni mam, sa pag-ngalas sako, 
Natu’dan ko daa an persona, sararoan, eksakto.
An sabi ko: ‘Mam, imat-imat ko tabi iyan kan yaon pa ako sa serbisyo. 
Dakol na ako nadangog kan saiyang iyan na gibo-gibo.’

Saka na nagdagdag pa nin palabras si mam: 
Na su limang negosyante sasaro sana palan su pigngangaranan, 
Iyo na idtong pigsambit kong pangaran! 
Nagtao pa sya nin detalyes sa mga ginibong kaoragan.

Bueno, sabi ko man, ‘Bako man sana sya an kabali sa pa-sistemenang iyan 
Grupo tabi sinda, mam!’ Pigsambit ko su iba pa na dapat man bantayan. 
Totoo po na kun sweldo sana an ginikanan, bakong bigla an saindang pagyaman.’ 
Nakakabwelo an mga kino, ta turog su basog na ikos sa ibabaw kan duyan.

FLASH | Ex-Mayor Andre Hidalgo killed in car crash

Andre Hidalgo
Photo grabbed from Facebook
NAGA CITY– The former mayor of Milaor, Camarines Sur, was killed in a road mishap at around 1 a.m. Monday at Barangay F. Simeon, Ragay, Camarines Sur.

Andre Hidalgo, 65 years old, who also served as former vice-mayor of Milaor town, was seated behind the driver.

He was not wearing a seatbelt when the accident occurred, the investigation revealed.

Meanwhile, incumbent Vice Mayor Senen Bermas, Vicente Claro, and driver Noel Caceres also suffered injuries and are presently receiving medical treatment at a hospital here.

The initial investigation said the Toyota Fortuner they were riding skid out of control on the slippery road and crashed into a tree.

The group was heading back to Milaor from Manila.

Meantime, the Local Government Unit of Milaor announced this morning that it will fly its flag on half mast due to the passing of its former public servant.

The former local chief executive has just filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for Sangguniang Bayan of Milaor last week.

He is survived by his wife, former Punong Barangay Josephine S. Hidalgo and their six children.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Naga City is Galing Pook 2018 awardee

A Barangay Literacy Worker (BLW) does her regular monitoring of the out-of-school children, youth and adults in the city.
MANILA — LGU Naga’s Barangay eSkwela-Barangay Literacy Worker (BLW) program was triumphantly adjudged one of the 10 outstanding governance programs during the 25th Galing Pook Awards which was held last October 11.

 During the awarding ceremony, Naga City was privileged to be accorded with one more recognition when its entry on accessible and sustainable health care program for PWDs was chosen as one of the 19 finalists from 152 entries that were submitted by different local government units across the country. 

The eSkwela-BLW program is a comprehensive approach to promote education for out-of-school children, youth, and adults (OSCYAs) in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

 Ernani Suron, head of Education, Scholarship, and Sports Office, said the program, which offers ICT-enhanced educational packages under the Alternative Learning System, operates thru the Barangay eSkwela centers which were established in the city’s 27 barangays.

Mayor Bongat, in his presentation before the Galing Pook National Selection Committee, said: “To supplement the efforts of the Barangay eSkwela program, the Barangay Literacy Program was introduced to bring together dedicated literacy volunteers at the barangay level to undertake literacy mapping and organize learning groups to encourage OSCYAs to enroll and/or re-enroll in ALS or to formal schooling.”

Galing Pook finalist Comprehensive PWD Rehabilitation Program with focus on Community-Based Rehabilitation Approach works as the city government’s facility for implementing its sustainable and accessible health care agenda for persons with disability.

In an interview, Dr. Vito C. Borja, city health officer II, said the program intends to improve the quality of life of PWDs and their families by allowing them to meet basic needs and ensuring inclusion, participation and access to health and social services as well as education and livelihood programs.  “It introduced home-based patient management and therapy services as its main innovation,” he says.

Naga, along with 5 other cities (Navotas, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Tagum and Valenzuela) and four trend-setting municipalities (Del Carmen in Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte; Bindoy, Negros Occidental; Loboc, Bohol, and San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte) rounded up the top 10 LGUs.

The awardees, who met Galing Pook’s criteria for responsive, effective, empowering, innovative and sustainable governance as well as local government leadership, presented a new brand of innovative programs on literacy and education, land occupancy, community safety and security, environmental protection and conservation, cultural heritage perpetuation, and healthcare (With report from Jason Neola, CEPPIO)

EDITORIAL | Teacher Mhai: Modern-day Bicolana heroine

This weekend, the body of 23-year-old slain DepEd Albay teacher Maylene Durante was laid to rest.

Her death last week struck a chord in the hearts of many, especially since Teacher Mhai, as she was fondly called by her pupils and loved ones, was the picture of a model educator.

An undoubtedly contemporary heroine, Teacher Mhai would often recount her countless sacrifices only to realize her dream of helping the Filipino youth in a far-flung elementary school in the town of Pioduran, Albay, even though it meant living far from her husband and kids who were in Polangui town.

Apart from the long and perilous travel on unpaved pathways to the site of Oringon Elementary School, Teacher Mhai had to make do with a dilapidated classroom and school facilities.

But instead of complaining as many in her distressing situation are wont to do, she would find joy in making the most of what she had.

Pictures on her Facebook account, for instance, showed that her classroom, which had soil for its flooring, was decorated by Teacher Mhai with pink chairs and pink curtains, if only to make it more comfortable and conducive for learning for her beloved pupils.

Those who were under her care and tutelage also attested to her extraordinary diligence in teaching, which brightened the atmosphere in her classes.

Meantime, her friends and relatives recalled her perpetually jolly disposition and helpful ways.

And if these were not enough, police investigators said that in the last moments of her life, Teacher Mhai could have sacrificed her own safety for the welfare of the two pupils who were accompanying her in her sleeping quarters.

Indeed, there are no words to express how much of a shame it is that the world had to lose Teacher Mhai, especially in a senseless killing allegedly perpetrated by someone whom she personally knew.

As it is, the world has too few people who are willing to dedicate their hearts and souls to not only enduring the hardships that teachers have to deal with, but also to seeing the bright side in the dire circumstances.

We thus salute and thank Teacher Mhai—a modern-day Bicolana heroine who deserves to not only get recognition for her actions, but also to find genuine justice.

Further, we hope her death will not be swiftly forgotten, but inspire change in education policies, and even bring to the fore a review of the juvenile justice system.

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