Wednesday, December 30, 2009

from Madyaas Pen editorial staff


Baptist Student Center, Epic
Struggle To Success


Exactly 18 months ago, typhoon Frank struck Aklan with unprecedented fury and devastation. Some 53 people lost their lives thousands of homes were damaged, and other properties smoothened by nature’s fury. Properties worth billions of pesos were lost.

Among the ruins was a modest school building in Bulwang, Numancia, Aklan dedicated to nurture young adults in well rounded Christian education. The facility was housing 297 students, made of light materials could never succeed against gale force winds of 150 kilometers per hour. The day after June 21, 2008 lay scattered the books, tables, kitchen utensils and teaching devices all bathed in mud and other debris.

This episode is not peculiar to Aklan Baptist Student Center. In fact this has been true to all Aklanons hard hit by typhoon Frank. Although majority of schools have recovered, nevertheless scars left by the tragedy are still intact with leaking roofs, dusty/damaged textbooks, clogged comfort rooms and others.

In July last year, an appeal was made by Pastor Allan Satira of Aklan Baptist Church to Project Compassion based in Victoria, Australia to rehabilitate the Student Center building. Knowledge of the extent of devastation here in Aklan prompted Dr. Robert James Gray, Minister, Carmel Welsh Presbyterian Church, Sebastopol, Victoria, Australia to actively campaign for fund donation among his members and through his regular radio program.

Today, on the site where ruins once stood is an impressive P600,000 school building on a purchased 170 square meters school lot. This is a sterling testimony to the prayers and cooperation of local and international communities under PH 872, Project Compassion.

The project offers well rounded education that is Christ-centered and freely extended to youth from indigent families beginning at five years old. The classes are held every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays of the week on full scholarship until the child achieves college degree of his own choice. Christian sponsors are based largely from the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom. Australian-based project supports also Baptist Student Center in San Carlos City, and Cebu. Among their donations are Student Center building, transport vehicles, sound system, reference books, bible, and other publications.

Health and medical care are also extended to recipients who may need special surgical treatment in Iloilo City or Metro Manila. Nutritious meals and snacks are provided. School physicians regularly check on children’s health status.

Mr. Renato V. Fuentes, Project Director of PH 872 Aklan said that more people will be given greater opportunity to have access to this unique education program. The Director admits that the previous four years were difficult times but he looks forward with current rehabilitation efforts. He is ably assisted by Rev. Ulysses T. Castor, Senior Pastor of Aklan Baptist Church, seven volunteer – teachers and support of parents. Together, they were able to construct a three room temporary school building in September 2008.

Ribbon cutting and dedication of the new permanent edifice was done by Dr. and Mrs. Robert James Gray assisted by Hon. Prospero I. Templonuevo and Church officers on December 27, 2009. A humble reminder that from the ruins there is an epic struggle of people who remains undaunted by defeat or failure. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Ibajay Candidates In The May 10,
2010 Elections

Perhaps Cong. Florencio "Joeben" T. Miraflores is the luckiest Aklanon this year and for the next three years. He will be unopposed in his reelection bid for congressman of the Lone District of Aklan. My sincere congratulations for the victory on the May 10, 2010 elections for Congressman. Happy New Year as well!

Cong. Joeben’s third term is not only the triumph of Ibajaynons, it’s the Aklanons’ in general.

Hard Fight

However, the lovely wife of Cong. Joeben will be facing a hard fight for Municipal Mayor of Ibajay. Hon. Maria Lourdes Martin "Lulu" Miraflores is the incumbent mayor who is bidding for re-election. She is facing three (3) opponents who are Abraham Salido Bartolo, Carlito Condez Fernandez, and Hon. Pedro Monfort Garcia.

Among the above three named opponents, Garcia appears hard to bet if not winnable. Garcia is the current member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Aklan and also the former Municipal Mayor of Ibajay.

Scattered Brain
Notwithstanding the strength of the Garcias, their power and resources are perhaps scattered that when it hit the target, there will be less power and impact.

It is true, they are the scions of an influential provincial leader, the late provincial governor of Aklan Roberto "Nono" Garcia. Will the Nono Garcia legacy work versus the Miraflores?

Consider this of the Garcia family of Ibajay whose five (5) members are candidates for the May 10, 2010 elections.

They are Roberto M. Garcia, Jr. for Aklan Vice Governor, Pedro M. Garcia for Mayor of Ibajay, Melrose Garcia Umali for Vice Mayor of Ibajay, and Ferdinand Lucas M. Garcia, and Victor Manuel M. Garcia for SP members, Western side of Aklan.

Moreover, Ms. Rebecca P. Mobo, mother in law of Mr. Roberto M. Garcia, Jr. is also a candidate for SP, Eastern side of Aklan.

A few Madyaas Pen readers asked, is the May 10, 2010 election in Ibajay the election for the clans?"

Perhaps, the candidacies of the Garcia clan. But it maybe incidental. Nevertheless, it appears that there is a family feud between the Garcias and the Miraflores. Again, it maybe incidental. Their passion for politics may have coincided as to the time and the place.

Divine Persons

However, the case of the Miraflores is liken to a three divine persons. The father, the congressman being unopposed for his re-election bid; the mother, the mayor; and the son, the SP member. What more can we ask from them? If they win, they can assure us of their service with integrity, accountability, and transparency. Assure us of "service above self", either Garcia or Miraflores.

Cong. Miraflores is sure winner, Mayor Miraflores will battle for the Ibajay Mayorship with Hon. Pedro M. Garcia, presently a member of Aklan SP.

Can Mr. Jose Enrique M. Miraflores master enough votes to be in the top five of the SP on the May 10, 2010 election in West Aklan? Perhaps.

As to the Garcias, they have proven they have won elections since the 1960’s. They may do it again.
2010 Aklan Ati-atihan

It is now January 2. This is now the Aklan annual Ati-atihan season. However, there is news black out as to the preparation of the annual ‘mardi gras’ in the province.

Almost all the towns in Aklan will be celebrating the Sto. Niño Ati-atihan, however, nothing is heard about their respective preparations. /MP

10 Progressive Stories In 2009 In Aklan

Ms. Earth Numancia 2009, Her Majesty Mary Shellanie M. Nallos, (2nd from left) with (l to r) Jeane Frances B. Ureta-2nd runner up, Ernalyn T. Tana-1st runner up and Rea Gizelle M. Sim-Ms. Earth Numancia 2008.

For the year in review, Madyaas Pen is publishing 12 stories it published, one story per month as selected by the editorial staff.

January–PNP Promotes 121 Aklan Cops
Some 121 Philippines’ National Police (PNP) personnel were promoted to the next higher rank. The promotions were done during the time of Police Senior Supt. Clarence V. Guinto.

February–Valentine In The Capitol
To rekindle Aklanons’ interest for culture and the arts, Governor Carlito S. Marquez launched "Concert at the Park on February 14, Valentine’s Day dubbed Valentine’s at the Park, popularized the song "I Can’t Stop Loving You". It was held at the ABL Sports Complex, Estancia, Kalibo.

March–Erosion At Diniwid Beach, Boracay
Mr. Peter Brugger, Vice President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Boracay brought to DENR Sec. Jose L. Atienza, Jr. the terrible, alarming and damaging rapid erosion in the beach of Boracay.

April–10 Outstanding Aklanons.
In commemoration of the 53rd Aklan Day, 10 Aklanons were proclaimed Outstanding. They are: 1. Marcial H. Arac – Government Service; 2. Ellen B. Dioso – Nursing; 3. Teodorico T. Haresco, Jr. – Business; 4. Alberto R. Quimpo – Public Service; 5. Remo T. Alindato – Labor Law Practice; 6. Pedro Ike I. Inserto – Military; 7. Edsel T. Custodio – Foreign Service; 8. Lolito Sta. Maria Tumbocon – Posthumous; 9. Jonathan R. Salvador – Science and Technology; and 10. Nilda B. Tambong – Medicine.

May–Aklan Boxing Champions
Macky Delfin became an Aklanon boxing sensation after winning the Gold in the Palarong Pambansa held in Tacloban City.
Delfin is a student at Ibajay Academy, Ibajay, Aklan. Another Aklanon Noriel Pelio bagged the silver medal. Pelio studies at Soledo National High School, Nabas, Aklan.

June–Aklan Celebrates Triumph Over Frank.
LGU Aklan and the Ati-Atihan town of Kalibo celebrated the gains achieved after Kalibo and Aklan were badly damaged by typhoon Frank on June 21, 2008. Thanksgiving mass, medical/dental mission, gift giving and supplemental feeding program, and concert at the park highlighted the celebration.

July–Aklan provincial Tourism Council Organized
To hasten tourism development program of Aklan and by mandate of "An Ordinance Enacting The Tourism Code of Aklan". Provincial Tourism Council is organized.
The organization was done on Wednesday afternoon, July 22 in the Conference Room of the Provincial Governor. As mandated, the Provincial Governor is the chairman and the Vice Governor is the vice chairman. Ms. Vicky Ramos Anotnino was chosen by Governor Carlito S. Marquez as his co-chairman. The election for the four (4) members was held. Ms. Erlinda Quimpo Fernandez Wilson, Mr. Bong Tirol, Mr. Albert Meñez, and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente were elected.

August–Love of Country Through Culture and Sports.
In school campus activities, the Northwestern Visayan Colleges held its NVC Palaro 2009–2010 to promote "Love of Country Through Culture and Sports." It was a 2-day affair held on August 27 – 29 in Carmen Salas Quimpo Gymn.

September–Tibyog - Kusog Coalesce as United Leadership Coalition
In the Aklan political front, two leading political parties in Aklan coalesced. The announcement was made at Café Latté, Andagao, Kalibo on September 12. The prepared statement of the coalition was read by former Congressman Atty. Allen S. Quimpo.

October–Aklan SP Suspends Hon. Antonio T. Maming
For "abuse of authority, misconduct in office and neglect of duty", Banga Mayor Antonio T. Maming was suspended from office for three (3) months. Banga Sangguniang Bayan member Vicente R. Seraspi, Jr. filed the case against Mayor Maming. After several hearings, Aklan SP found Mayor Maming guilty as charged.
However, there is a "Stay Order" from the Office of the President allowing Mayor Maming to continue discharging his functions as Mayor of Banga after the final resolution of the case.

November–Aklan PNP Study Technical Writing and Public Speaking.
In line with its transformation program, Aklan PNP held its Technical Writing and Public Speaking training on November 16 – 21. Some 35 PNP officers attended the training held at Camp Pastor Martelino, Buswang New, Kalibo, Aklan.

December–Candidates In May 2010 Elections File COC’s
The month of December is the month when candidates for the May 2010 elections filed their respective Certificates of Candidacy.
Incumbent Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores found himself unopposed in his re-election bid after Mr. Apolonio III, Jr. Zaraspe withdraw from the race. /MP

New Washington Candidates For May 2010 Election

For the information of the voters concerning the official candidates in the May 10, 2010 elections for Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Sangguniang Bayan members in the town of New Washington, the candidates are as follows:

For Mayor – Willex Borres Meñez – Independent (I); Apollo Barrios Peralta – I, and Edgar Rogando Peralta – Lakas Kampi CMD (LK CMD). For Vice Mayor – Precious Popes Pandongon – I, and Jean Tejada Velarde – LK CMD.

For SB members: Alberto Mesina Andrade – LK CMD; Ruperto Ilidan Cayetano – LK CMD, Celia Carpio Dela Cruz – LK CMD, Lollybe Dela Cruz Leyson – I, Ethel Magalit Manikan – I, Jessica Regenio Mercedes – LK CMD, Rizalino Del Rosario Neri – I, Ely Rutao Peralta – I, Rodolfo Dalida Perucho – LK CMD, Jesus Belonio Quimpo – LK CMD, Junie Delos Santos Repiano – LK CMD, Danilo Recibe Teodosio – I, and Estrella Estrella Velarde – LK CMD. /MP

Roxas Appeals SC Decision On Appointive Officials

Liberal Party Standard-Bearers Senators Noynoy Aquino (extreme right) and Mar Roxas (center) distributing relief goods to residents of Albay who are displaced by the impending eruption of Mayon Volcano. Aquino and Roxas went to Legaspi City, Albay on Tuesday last week to visit and check on the condition of evacuees. Together with Aquino and Roxas is Albay Gov. Joey Salceda (second from right)

He Files Motions To Intervene and Reconsider High Court Ruling

Liberal Party Standard-Bearers Senators Noynoy Aquino (extreme right) and Mar Roxas (center) distributing relief goods to residents of Albay who are displaced by the impending eruption of Mayon Volcano. Aquino and Roxas went to Legaspi City, Albay on Tuesday last week to visit and check on the condition of evacuees. Together with Aquino and Roxas is Albay Gov. Joey Salceda (second from right)

Senator Mar Roxas last week asked the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse its ruling allowing appointive officials to escape being forced to resign from their position after filing certificates of candidacy to run in elections.

Roxas filed the appeal as he asked the High Court to allow him to intervene in the case, saying he has legal interest in the matter as a senator, a voter, a public officer and as a taxpayer.

In his 26-page Motion for Reconsideration, Roxas insisted that the Supreme Court’s Dec. 1 ruling which permitted appointive officials to keep their posts until the beginning of the election period in February 2010 violated the Constitution.

"In allowing public appointive officials to engage in partisan political activity, the Honorable Court’s 01 December 2009 decision effectively encourages these officials to violate the prohibition expressed in (the 1987 Constitution) that no civil service official or employee shall engage in electioneering or partisan political campaign," Roxas argued. The filing of a certificate of candidacy must already be considered a partisan political activity, he pointed out.

Roxas noted that "instead of preserving and upholding the Constitution", the December 1 ruling "even appears to undermine it."

Also, magistrates of the Supreme Court encroached upon the powers of legislature when it ruled appointive officials need not resign even after they have filed the COCs, Roxas claimed.

"Since 1907, the Legislature has recog-nized an evil must be prevented – the possible abuse and misuse of government officials of their authority and access to government funds. Legislature has addressed this evil by considering appointive officials as resigned the moment they seek elective office. Legislative wisdom has also chosen to respect the will of the electorate by not applying the same restriction to elective officials," he argued.

Roxas added: "The Honorable Court has acknowledged that Congress has the exclusive authority to repeal a law, which it believed is being called for by the times. There being no violation of the equal protection clause nor of the doctrine of overbreadth, (I) humbly request this Honorable Court to respect legislative wisdom…by reversing its decision and reverting back to prevailing rule."

Roxas also insisted "there is a compelling need" to reverse the SC decision "as public safety and interest demands" it.

He cited the case of two incumbent Comelec officials who are running for elective posts in next year’s polls that shows the danger created by the December 1 ruling of the Court. "Comelec officials running for office are in a position to manipulate resolutions in their favor or their partymates…they or their colleagues whom they can influence, will be sitting on and deciding on issues, matters and disputes relating to elections."

To stress the danger further, Roxas also cited a scenario where police or military officials continue to serve their posts while running for office, which could be a "disaster waiting to happen."

"The existence of Comelec officials seeking public office may just be the beginning of the Pandora’s Box that the removal of restrictions of appointive officials has opened…There are evils that ought to be prevented in a situation where public officials are allowed to retain their positions while running for office. This Honorable Court (must) reinstate the restrictions on appointive government officials in order to prevent these evils. Public interest demands such reinstatement," Roxas stressed. /MP

Fil-Canadians Want Pacquiao To Win 8th World Crown In Canada

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Fans of World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao in Vancouver, British Columbia have reiterated their request for the hard-hitting Filipino ringster to stage his next fight in Canada when he goes for his 8th world crown or defend his WBO belt.

"We have been waiting for so long for him to fight here," said Estelita Maglayao, storekeeper at the Vancouver International Airport, whose husband, Andresito, watched Pacquiao annihilate Miguel Angel Cotto in the 12th stanza in the "Firepower" WBO 147-lb title bout at ringside at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada last Nov. 14.

Maglayao, 63, said Andresito, 65, is only one of the thousands of Filipino-Canadian boxing fans eager to watch Pacquiao fight in Canada since last year.

"When news broke out last year that Pacquiao was planning to make his next fight here in Vancouver after he defeated (David) Diaz, every Filipino-Canadian was excited and were ready to buy tickets in advance, Maglayao, whose kiosk sells magazines, candies, newspapers, among other items in the ground floor of the airport.

Family members of a retired division chief of the Department of Labor regional office that migrated here three years ago have also offered to act as volunteers in the promotion if Pacquiao’s proposed fight in Vancouver was held here last year.

"My son (who is an aspiring actor and boxer) was ready to assist the Team Pacquiao if the fight was held here before December last year," admitted Carlos Bolaong, a registered boxing manager in the Philippines, who is now based in Vancouver.

Pacquiao had actually hinted in an interview with Vancouver-based publisher Reynaldo Fortaleza late last year that "he was contemplating" on fighting in Vancouver as he was scheduled to hold a concert here arranged by Filipino composer Lito Camo.

When the concert didn’t materialize, Pacquiao’s proposed Vancouver fight
had also fizzled out.

When it was reported that Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach had planned to put up a training camp here in preparation for his showdown with Miguel Angel Cotto, the excitement of Filipino-Canadian fans had reportedly heightened even more.

They were disappointed when the training camp was established in Baguio City. Pacquiao’s next fight however continued to be clouded by uncertainty as he is planning to run for congressman in Mindanao in the May 2010 elections.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the last man standing, also reportedly continued to give Top Rank promoter Bob Arum a headache because of his "ridiculous" purse demands in a proposed duel with Pacquiao. (Mayweather, Jr. also doubt if Manny Pacquiao took drugs before his boxing fights.) /MP

Senate Okay of 2010 GAA Lessens Chance of Budget Diversion

Sen. Mar Roxas lauded his colleagues in the Senate for approving on third reading the 2010 General Appropriations Act. It lessens the possibility of President Arroyo treating the national budget as her personal pork barrel in a crucial election year.

The President would enjoy total control of the proposed P1.5-trillion national budget for 2010 if Congress would hand her a re-enacted 2009 General Appropriations Act, Roxas said.

He appealed to members of the bicameral conference committee to fast-track discussions on the 2010 national budget to ensure that the final version is ratified by Congress before the Dec. break.

Year 2010 is an election year, Roxas said. It was important for the public to remain vigilant to ensure public funds are not diverted for electoral purposes, like what happened in the 2004 presidential elections when P728 million in agriculture funds and billions of pesos more for other agencies were used for the reelection bid of President Arroyo.

Christmas Message

I hope that 2009 has been kind to you as it has been to me. I am thankful for having been united with Korina as husband and wife; for the good health of the people I hold dear; and for the continuing support from friends, family, and the Filipino people. I hope the coming year will bring more blessings to the nation and her people.

The past year has certainly been for you and the nation, a time of joys as well as of tears. The Filipinos’ resilience in the face of crises embodies our commitment to the future: It embodies our collective hope that tomorrow will be better. We will not give up. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Pyramus Ag Thisbe
Natabo rondayang estorya sa dumaang Babylonia hanungod sa daywang ka magka gugma nga sanday Pyramus ag Thisbe. Kontra guid ko andang mga ginikanan nga sanda hay mag padayon sa pag asawa. Ogaling sekreto sandang daywa nga naga estorya ag magkasugot paagi sa isaeang ka gabot sa pader. Owa pa kato it CP.

Bawae kay Pyramus nga mag bisita kay Thisbe. Ro pader ngato hay naga sirbing paminit sa baeay ni Pyranus ag Thisbe. Rato ro naga tunga sa andang baeay.

Ko olihi, nag kasugot sanda nga magkita sa liwan it siyudad. Ko gabii ngaron, una sanda mag hueoeatan sa puno it Narrang kahoy. Hauna nga nag abot si Thisbe. Ogaling may isaeang ka babaye nga lion nga umabot halin sa pagkinaon it isaeang ka karnero. Nag adto ro lion sa isaeang ka sapa agod mag inom it tubi. Hinadlukan si Thisbe. Busa, nag dinaeagan ro daeaga sa kahadlok. Sa pagdinaeagan, nahueog ro anang alampay. Hakita ra it lion ag guin gus-ab, busa napuno it dugo, gisi pa.

Nag-abot man dayon si Pyramus. Hakita nana ro alampay ni Thisbe nga gutay-gutay eon ag puno it dugo. Sa pagpati nga guin kaon it lion ro daeaga, guin bo-oe nana ro alampay ag guin sab-eay sa kahoy nga mulberry. Guin bo-oe man nana ro anang espada ag dayon guin buno ro anang kaugalingon.

Pagbalik ni Thisbe, hakita nana ro natabo. Guin buno na man ro anang dogalingon.

Halin kato, nangin itum ro dating bungang puti it mulberry tungod sa dugo, it daywang ka mag higugma. Owa sanda naka angkon it katigayonan iya sa ibabaw it eogta sa andang paghigugma. /MP


2,236 Square Meters
Located at Dumaguit, New Washington, Aklan
along the Highway, near Dumaguit Port
Apartment For Rent
Corner Sampaguita St. & Provincial Road, Andagao, Kalibo
Those interested, please contact CP No. 09152884297
Tel No. (036) 268-7130, ask for Ms. Brenda Marte

Aklan’s Pictorial Exhibit

Ms. Arcely Pelayo, Provincial Administrator of the Philippine Red Cross, Aklan Chapter posing with Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, in front of Aklan’s pictorial exhibit during the 15th Biennial Convention held at Manila Hotel, Manila on Dec. 14 - 16.

Solar Car

The Philippines launched its second solar-powered car dubbed "Sikat" in a ceremony in Pasay City, Metro Manila. The design and construction of the SIKAT solar car were undertaken by dedicated group of faculty and students from the Mechanical, Engineering, and the Electronics and Communications Engineering, Departments, De La Salle University-Manila, in partnership with the Philippine Solar Car Society, Inc. Voltaire Domingo/NPPA Images/ PNS

Cebu Exec Vows 1-M Votes For Gibo From Province

Cebu province will deliver one-million votes to Lakas-Kampi CMD presidential candidate Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro Jr. in the May 2010 elections.

The chief legal counsel of the influential Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines, Carlos Fortuna, the vice-mayor of Mandaue, said that "Mandaue and Cebu can give Gibo one-million votes in the elections."

"Our people like Gibo for his intelligence, integrity and leadership style," said Fortuna following a visit, the second in as many weeks, by the ruling party standard-bearer to the country’s most populous province.

Last month, in Teodoro’s first visit to Cebu, his presidential bid was endorsed by One Cebu Party headed by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who said the former Defense Chief "is hands-down the best choice among the presidential frontrunners to lead the country."

Gov. Garcia said Cebuanos see Teodoro—a bar topnotcher and a Harvard-trained lawyer—as the "most competent and qualified presidential bet" in the 2010 elections.

Gov.Garcia said further that Teodoro "best represents One Cebu Party’s ideals of competence and excellence in public service."

Gov.Garcia pointed out that Teodoro typifies "intelligence in the service of the people" and will bring "governance that is not dictated by politics but politics dictated by good governance."

One Cebu’s endorse-ment of Teodoro’s presidential candidacy represented a major political gain for the ruling party’s standard-bearer in this province, which gave President Arroyo a decisive edge in the closely contested 2004 presidential elections. Cebu has the most number of voters of the country’s 80 provinces.

The lady governor is a scion of the politically powerful Garcia clan, and her One Cebu Party wields the biggest political clout in the province.

The endorsement signified One Cebu Party’s "trust in the leadership of Secretary Teodoro and in his vision for the country" as it struggles to create jobs, provide quality education and health care, and adopt a comprehensive program amid the global climate change phenomenon.
For his part, Teodoro credited the governor’s leadership for making the province one of the best-performing provinces in the country.

He stressed that Cebu’s economic program under Garcia’s administration must continue as the province leads in the contribution to national development.

He said he was honored to receive One Cebu Party’s endorsement, saying it meant a lot to him in the new effort of Lakas-Kampi CMD, of which he is chairman, to bring new politics and courageous political leadership to the party and the country.

Teodoro pledged to double his efforts in the other provinces to earn their trust similar to the support given him by One Cebu Party, which carries a slate of common candidates for the entire province. /MP

WVSU Development Communication Students Visit LGU-Kalibo’s CBIS Ka-Tribu Radio

Some 60 3rd Year and 4th Year Development Communication students from the West Visayas State University (WVSU) visited LGU-Kalibo’s own community radio station, CBIS DYYM Ka-Tribu Radyo just recently.

Mr. Terence Toriano gave the briefing to the DevCom students. Toriano is the Station Manager who gave the history, achievements and other tasking of not only the station but also of the Public Affairs Information and Assistance Division.

Some of the students expressed their desire to undertake their On-the-Job Training (OJT) in the station as it is part of their Development Communication course.

After the briefing, the students were shown inside the Ka-Tribu Radyo studio. Afterwards, they headed for the Bakhawan EcoPark in Brgy. New Buswang where they took time to explore nature.

The Community Broadcast Information System DYYM 98.5 Hot FM/Ka-Tribu Radyo is a radio station managed by LGU-Kalibo through the Public Information Board chaired by Mayor Raymar Rebaldo that focuses on develop-mental information often neglected by commercial media. (by TERENCE TORIANO ) /MP

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) members (at right photo) shows SP members Daisy Briones, Nemesio Neron, Ariel Igoy, Selwyn Ibaretta, and Jose Yap partaking the sumptuous food being served at the ABL Sports Complex during last week’s Christmas Party of the Aklan Provincial Government. (RECTO I. VIDAL photo)

Sunday, December 27, 2009


The Meaning of Christmas
Do you know what it feels like to be utterly alone? To try to attempt to live your life with no one to fall back on, no safety net, no help? If you’ve been through some desperate times in your life, then you know exactly what this feeling like. The wonderful promise made through the Christ-child Immanuel is that God promises to be with you in your troubles. He will not leave you to your own resources. All of His resources are now available to you.

The difference for you can be like night and day. In past times, God had made this kind of promise to special people in history.

Abraham was an alien in a threatening land, but God said to him, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go." Moses was told to personally confront the most powerful king on the face of the earth with nothing but a staff and the promise from God, "I will be with you!" Moses believed Him and went to Pharaoh at great risk. As a result, God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt through the Red Sea. After Moses died, his apprentice was thrust into leadership. God promised Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Powerful stuff! But what about you and me? That Jesus is Immanuel, "God with us," means that His promise is not just to the great leaders but to all. The promise is to you. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He spoke to His disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

That promise of Immanuel is not just to the apostles, it is to us also, for we see the same promise in the Bible to reassure all the rest of us — "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

God Himself Is With Us in Jesus
The title Immanuel tells us about the mission of Jesus, It also tells us about his nature. Remember the context? Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph’s concern, and the angel’s assurance ("What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit"). At that point it tells us that this fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy, "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ — which means, ‘God with us.’" Matthew’s account of Mary’s conception tells the story from Joseph’s point of view. Luke’s account focuses on Mary’s experience. The angel Gabriel has told Mary that she will bear a son who will be the Messiah.

"How will this be?" Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’

In other words, Immanuel, "God with us," is to be understood literally. Jesus is physical son of Mary in his human nature, but spiritually, He is the Son of God. He has been begotten by God himself.

So when the shepherds and wise men gathered and worshiped the Baby, they were worshipping God himself. Jesus the Son is divine to the same degree that the Father is divine. Jesus is God!

That is the very radical meaning of Christmas. It isn’t about mistletoe and music, or parties and presents, or even the spirit of giving. Christmas is a celebration of the radical fact that God took on human flesh when Jesus was born. Jesus — God Himself — is Immanuel, God With Us! /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Igoy Walks An Extra Mile
I sincerely thank heartily Hon. and Mrs. Wilbert Ariel Igoy for conducting me from Kalibo Airport at 1:00 o’clock dawn on Monday, Dec. 14 to my house in Badio, Numancia, Aklan. It was a very excellent "service above self" of a couple for their friend. It was a very exceptional show of assistance of a couple to a fellowman.

It was 9:00 o’clock in the evening, Sunday, December 13. After I entered the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City, I met the couple inside the airport terminal room waiting for their flight to Kalibo scheduled at 11:00 o’clock that night. It happened that Zest Air plane which they will ride was also the plane I will ride. But the departure was delayed for 45 minutes. Instead, the plane departed shortly before midnight.

Meanwhile, our conversation continued while awaiting for the plane departure. Atty. Igoy asked me if there is someone who will meet me at Kalibo Airport. I told him, Mrs. Villorente will meet me. But how nice! Atty. Igoy requested me to text Mrs. Villorente not to go to the Kalibo Airport. He offered me to ride with them. "But our house is out of the way", I told him. But he insisted "it does not matter". I welcomed the offer.

I thought they were going home to Malinao via Numancia and they can conduct me home about one kilometer from Poblacion, Numancia.

But no, they have a house in Kalibo. And from the Kalibo Airport at about 1:00 o’clock dawn, Monday, December 14, with Atty. Igoy, Mrs. Igoy and his driver in a van drove to Badio, Numancia to conduct me home. Atty. and Mrs. Wilbert Ariel Igoy, I cannot forget that extra service you gave me in the middle of the night. Thank you very much. My lovely wife, Dr. Florencia Fernandez Villorente equally thanks you for the extra service. You saved her from night driving.

Atty. Wilbert Ariel Igoy is currently a member of the Sang-guniang Bayan of Malinao. He represents the Aklan Councilors League to the Sangguniang Panlala-wigan of Aklan.

In the May 10, 2010 election, Atty. Igoy is a candidate for Mayor of Malinao.

Madalag - Banga Bridge

Two weeks ago, today, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and other Aklan top officials held the ground breaking of the proposed construction of a bridge that will travers the Aklan river and will connect Banga to Madalag.

This is a much awaited project designed to spur economic development in that part of Aklan. Madalag has fertile soil and the climate is well suited for orchard production such as Durian and Lanzones. There are also livestocks which can be transported to the lowland and fattened to improve its meat quality before slaughtering.

Madalag is also abundant of water resources which could be developed into power generating plants to produce cheaper electricity. The excess water could be used to irrigate rice, fruits, and vegetable crops.

The completion of the said bridge will also hasten the improvement of the Banga-Libacao road. As the volume of traffic will greatly increase thereby benefiting the people of Libacao. If not cemented, maybe asphalted the least Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores can do to make a difference in the lives of the Aklanons specifically Banganhons, Madalagnons, and Libacao-nons. Transport of products and travel of people are made easier with improved communication system.


In view of the Christmas and New Year holiday season, Kapehan Sa Aklan will be suspended until January 9, 2010. Merry Christmas! /MP

Watch For Expired, Defective Christmas Goodies

Senator Mar Roxas this Christmas season called on the government to be more vigilant in protecting public interest against unscrupulous businessmen who take advantage of the holiday rush consumer spending by selling expired and defective Christmas delicacies and stuff.

Roxas, chairman of the Senate Trade and Commerce Committee has been receiving complaints on expired Christmas goods like hams and cheese balls and defective flashing lights and other holiday displays.

"The abuses of these scheming businessmen in the country are too much. We have to be vigilant to avoid being their next victims," said the former secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry.

"Government must keep watch over the welfare of the public. Our economy is down. I feel sorry for our poor countrymen who could be the next victims of these schemes," he added.

DTI complaint desks nationwide have been swamped with consumer protests for expired goodies they have bought in supermarkets. Expiry dates of the goodies – which include pear-shaped, cured or sweetened hams and other cold cuts, cheese balls, canned goods and pasta noodles – were either erased or tampered with.

Every year, the DTI gets complaints about defective Christmas decors and other decorations sold in "tiangge" stalls, which usually spring up months before the Holiday season.

Roxas said the public must be more meticulous in checking out expiry dates of Christmas delicacies sold in markets all over the country to avoid getting sick.

"Let us all be careful. Christmas is best spent with our loved ones in the comfort of our homes. It is very lonely to be at the hospital during this season," he pointed out.

"Let’s celebrate the blessings of this year and greet 2010 with hopes in our hearts," he said. /MP

ROXAS: Where’s The Second Medicine List?

Liberal Party President Senator Mar Roxas this week scored the Department of Health’s (DOH) leadership for its seeming lack of enthusiasm and political will to ensure the timely release of a second set of medicines to be subjected to the Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP).

Four months after the first list of medicines under MDRP, the primary author of the Cheaper Medicines Law lamented that the DOH is claiming that it is still in the process of gathering information, despite the growing clamour of patients to subject more essential and life-saving drugs to the MDRP.

"I’m surprised, disappointed and aghast that there seems to be no next round. It would seem to me that, after the first 21 where you have relative success, you would already have a list of 100 which you will then narrow down," Roxas said during a hearing by the Quality Affordable Medicines Oversight Committee.

"This is like failure by negligence, by disinterest, it’s as if this was designed not to go forward beyond the 21 medicines. Was this, by the way, part of the deal when GMA met with those companies? I was surprised that there was no directive from the Secretary, who is vying for a public position," Roxas stressed.

Dr. Robert So, head executive assistant of DOH Sec. Francisco Duque, said during the hearing that DOH is still in the process of gathering information, and that the next list may come out between January and March. Duque was not present during the hearing.

"What kind of information do they need that is difficult to source, given that these are not likely to be trade secrets anyway? How difficult is it to get these information, given the powers granted to the Secretary of Health under the Cheaper Medicines Act?" Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, a co-author of the law, said the DOH should have antici-pated the information needs and kept the momentum with the law in place. She stressed the need to actively monitor the law’s implementation, noting that MDRP is just one of the law’s provisions, such as the amendments to the Intellectual Property Code, and strengthening domestic generics produc-tion, among others.

Cancer Warrior Foundation Executive Director James Auste pointed out that while the first list of drugs under MDRP included medicines for children’s cancer, one of the most important drugs to cancer patients – Leunase – was not included in the list. Leunase costs roughly P3,000 in the Philippines, but it only costs P1,400 in Singapore and P1,000 in India.

Meanwhile, retired actor Subas Herrero, a stroke survivor and diabetic, suggested to the DOH to put the consumers’ interest vis-a-vis high priced medicines. "Wouldn’t it be possible to make that second list dependent on how the medicines cost, rather than the therapeutic effects of the medicines?"

Roxas noted that the means to attain relevant information on international benchmark prices are available anyway to the government, such as the foreign trade service attaches who could be tasked to canvass prices in their assigned countries.

He also warned multinational pharma-ceutical interests against making any other effort to block or delay the implementation of the law.

"You said let’s go slow in looking beyond the 21 medicines because companies cannot absorb the losses. This idea is dead on arrival. That is totally unacceptable," he said in response to a representative of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines who was present during the hearing.

"We had to pass a law because every effort to bring down prices of medicines in our country has been met with stonewalling, was met with harassment and suits that were filed against those that were making an effort to bring down prices," he said.

Since the first MDRP list containing 5 medicines was passed, prices of these medicines have been brought down by 50 percent. These include the anti-hypertensive drug Norvasc, which costs P46.25 per 5mg tablet before the imposition of MDRP, was brought down to P22.85 per tablet.

But in July, instead of imposing MDRP on all 21 medicines previously determined by DOH, the government instead negotiated with other multinational companies to voluntarily drop prices on 16 other medicines. Although less than ideal, the prices of the 16 drugs were reduced too by 50 percent, such as the antibiotic drug Ciprobay, which now costs P41.90 per 500mg tablet from its previous price of P83.75.

Roxas also noted that despite the imposition of MDRP, drugstores are able to maintain roughly a 5 percent margin over medicines they sell.
"What we see here is that the high price of medicines is not much due to the retail’s markup. Meanwhile, to the multinationals like Pfizer, it could be said that they are charging exorbitantly," Roxas quipped. /MP

Ibajay Candidates In May 2010 Election

For the information of the voters concerning the official candidates in the May 10, 2010 elections for Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan members, Madyaas Pen will publish by municipalities their names and political party affiliations. The candidates for the town of Ibajay are as follows:

For Ibajay Mayor – Abraham Salido Bartolo – Independent (I); Carlito Condez Fernandez – Bagumbayan VNP (B-VNP); Pedro Monfort Garcia – Pwersa Ng Masang Pilipino (PMP); and Maria Lourdes Martin Miraflores – Lakas Kampi CMD (LK CMD). For Vice Mayor – Nelson Dalisay Santamaria – (LK CMD); and Melrose Garcia Umali – PMP.

For SB members: Ariel Masangcay Alag – (LK CMD) Roger Santia Calizo – (LK CMD) Elmer Felomino Colangoy (LK CMD); Julio Masangcay Estolloso – PMP; Remia Tan Ibea – PMP; Emilio Sangilan Ilinon – PMP; Salvador Salido Maagma – (LK CMD); Edgar Soledad Magbiray – (LK CMD); Patricio Cabales Masangkay, Jr. – PMP; Ainor Dailisan Orencio – (LK CMD); Cris Solano Selidio – (LK CMD); Plaridel Mangilaya Solidum – (LK CMD); and Renne Telan Tefora – PMP. /MP

3ID: No SOMO Until GRP-NDF Peace Talks Resume

The Philippine Army will follow the national policy of suspension of military operations if the government resumes talking peace with the communist rebels. It can be recalled that the government’s preliminary talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) did not push through because there was no ample time to prepare and push with the preliminary talks with the NDF in Oslo, Norway which the communist movement scheduled in Sept. 2009.

Major General Vicente Porto, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division based in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz, projected that there will be policies that will impact on their programs once the government pushes the peace process with the NDF.

According to Maj Gen Porto, "No suspension of military operations has been declared yet for the coming holiday season since peace talks were stalled between the GRP and the CPP-NPA-NDF. Therefore, the army contingent will continue performing its combat and civil-military operations in Western Visayas.
In fact, the army is more emboldened to push for development projects through civil-military operations in many peaceful areas and even more so in terrorized com-munities. With regards to the impending peace talks all agreed that the sincerity of both parties is important for the peace process to prosper. The military has already lifted the JASIG as a sign of its sincerity in pursuing a lasting peace but it has yet to see the NDF reciprocate."

"They must clearly state the real names of their leaders who will be afforded with the provisions of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and not just through their aliases, if they are truly sincere to talk peace," Porto pointed out.

The Army is anticipating that through the JASIG, the communists would likely ask for the release of their leaders in custody by government forces in many areas of the country. With the peace process, the military will be taking a defensive posture. It therefore continues to urge our prodigal brothers to renounce the armed struggle and give peace a chance to be realized through dialogue. /MP

‘Manny Is Helping Heal The World, Like Michael Jackson’

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – A priest from Davao del Sur, Philippines has compared Manny Pacquiao’s penchant to spread the gospel of God to the late Michael Jackson’s passion to "heal the world" saying "God can use even a boxer to preach evangelism in a massive scale."

Fr. Elieser D. Capuyan, DCD of St. Joseph The Worker Parish in Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur, said most international celebrities like the dead pop star and the boxing superstar "are using their focus and opportunity not just to anoint themselves but to spread the gospel of the Lord in a global stage."

In Michael Jackson, Capuyan was referring to the same title of song that the late pop icon had popularized where it conveys a message of love to "heal the world and make it a better place" for all regardless of sex, age, nationality, political and religious affiliations.

"Without him knowing it, Manny challenges everyone to show the faith in God because that is our vocation," said Capuyan, who joined Team Pacquiao in early morning jog while in the United States.

The priest revealed he was surprised when during their arrival prayer inside Pacquiao’s posh room at The Hotel on the 63rd floor evening of Nov. 9, before his fight with Cotto. It was the best boxer in the world pound-for-pound who led the praying of rosary.

"I thought that since I was invited to join the prayer together with a small group, I would be the one to lead the prayer as a priest," Capuyan chortled. "Manny showed the basic principle of being a Christian to preach the evangelism and he is responding to his calling."

As a priest, Capuyan said he knows that his capacity to preach the gospel of God is limited within his church. "Manny has all the world (listening) to hear his message," he added.

More than his skills as a prizefighter, Capuyan said he admired the 31-year-old Pacquiao’s "religiosity, his faith in God and his humility because he always attributes everything as coming from God."

Capuyan admitted it was his first meeting with Pacquiao in the United States although he already knew him way back in Mindanao where Pacquiao originally came from.

Pacquiao dethroned Miguel Angel Cotto, the Puerto Rican’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight bauble when the two tangled for 12 rounds in a title fight dubbed "Pacquiao vs Cotto: Firepower" at the Event Center of MGM Grand, Las Vegas on Nov. 14. Cotto gave up after the 11th round.

Pacquiao and Cotto are devout Christian and also preaching the gospel of God in their own way. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Kaakig Ni Reyna Likas
Kato anay, mabuhay eon nga toyempong nagtaliwn, malinong ro palibot sa kaharian ni Reyna Likas. Mahugod nga naga bantay ro anang mga sakop sa tanan nga mga kasapatan, mga katamnan ag mga busay agod padayon nga maga-ilig ro tubi.

Kon gabii, mahayag ro palibot ag libre nga naga hinampang ro mga onga. Naga pamasyar man ro mga miron ag daeaga sa kabukiran. Tongod sa kalipay it Reyna, naga tao it premyo si Reyna Likas sa mga pumoeoyo sa datag paagi sa pagtao it bueawan o mga prutas eabi guid kon maeapit eon lang ro Paskwa. Ogaling bukon pa it kontento ro mga tawo. Bu-ot pa guid nanda ro owa it tupong nga manggad busa, guin pamukan ro mga maeagko nga kahoy nga imaw ro naga suyop it tubi kon umuean ag naga pahupa man it tubi kon magbaha. Guin dakop ro mga kahayupan agod ibaligya ag guin obrahan it punong ro mga busay agod obrahon nga patubi ko mga paktorya.

Nag umpisa it pagkabaeaka si Reyna Likas tongod amat-amat nga naga sangkiri ro naga ilig nga tubi sa busay. Naga pangayaw pa ro ibang hayop ag anang mga sakop sa ibang parte nga bugana ro tui. Nagtao it kalisod sa pangabuhi ro guin obra it mga tawo sa datag. Isaeang ka maatag nga reyna si Reyna Likas ogaling indi nana mapaeampas ro guina inobra it mga tawo.

Golpeng nag uean. Naglinong. Ro mga bukid sa palibot hay nagkaea-timpa. Tongod sa sobrang uean, nag eapaw ro tubi sa mga pampang it sapa ag nag ilig idto sa idaeum. Nag daeom it mayad ro tubi nga may daeang eapok. Sige ro pagtimpa sa sari-saring parte it ruyong lugar. Owa maka pahaum it mayad ro iba ay sa sugaean naagahan. Ro iba hay sa mga inuman, ag ro iba hay hamuok sa andang katoeogon sa andang mga baeay.

Pagkaaga, isaeang ka tinabunan it eogta ag nagkalhit ro nga wasak nga pamaeay ro hakita sa palibot. Hamuok gihapon sa katoeogon ro nasambit nga barangay tongod owa guid it nakalibre. Guin adtonan it mga manog pahayag sa peryokido ro lugar ogaling pulos guid lang retrato ro andang guin bo-oe tongod owa man sanda it mapangutan-an. Napaea sa mapa ro barangay. Solo si Reyna Likas guid lang ro naka sayod.

Isaeang ka leksyon rondaya sa mga tawo. Hueaton pa baea naton nga mawra man ro matabo katon sa atong lugar? Bugtaw eon! /MP



On December 7, 2009 Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was in Aklan. She inaugurated two important projects. One is the bio-mass power plant in Venturanza, Banga, costing about 30 million US dollars with a capacity of 12 mega watts.

The other is the opening of a Roll On Roll Off (RORO) new route in New Washington. Incidentally, the projects are owned or controlled by only one family and it helps a lot when the owner is a friend of the president or her husband as the president got to inaugurate both on the same day.

The concern here is on the bio-mass power plant. When the same will be finished in about a year or so, it will supply 2.5 megawatts of the power needs of Aklan and Antique. A few months ago, Ms. Arroyo visited Aklan. She went to Libacao to also inaugurate hydro projects. It is projected that the hydro-electric projects that will be constructed in Libacao will generate more or less 8 to 10 megawatts of electricity initially. But will have a capacity of more than 50 megawatts when completed. It is believed that the owners of the hydro electric power projects in Libacao are also friends of the President for no president has yet gone to the mountains of Libacao just to open a project.

Another company is in the process of starting a hydro power project in Madalag. It will not be surprising if the president will again come to Aklan to inaugurate this project. It is not yet known how much electricity this project will generate, but it is assumed this will not be lower than 8 megawatts.
With all the power projects being undertaken in the province of Aklan and if they all go ahead with their plans it is foreseen that there will be excess electric power produced in Aklan than what it needs. Presently, the need of Aklan and some parts of Antique is only 30 to 35 megawatts. Non-peak consumption is only about 17 megawatts.

So what happens to the excess power? Aklan is part of the Panay grid in electricity distribution. Panay grid is in turn a part of the Visayas grid. The transmission lines for the whole grid intersect and power from other parts of the Visayas may be distributed to other parts within the grid. Aklan has always been in the receiving end and in fact it is the end of Panay and even the Visayas grid. The province’s geographic location is one of the reasons for its unstable supply of electricity.

It seems that some bright boys have already the answer and have even prepared for this excess power situation. Distribute the power to the Visayas grid. How to do this? Through a good trans-mission line of course. It will be observed that there is a new transmission line being constructed spanning the whole province. Glistening steel towers span mountains, rivers and fields from Altavas up to Nabas. The towers come all the way from Capiz. This 133 KV line is not yet operational but it will not be long before it is completed. It is supposedly complementary to the existing 69 KV line that we have. Its real use may not bring in electricity to Aklan, but to send it off to other parts of the Visayas grid.

Again, during its inauguration or switching on, it is not surprising if the president will come to do the honors. The new transmission line may not even be owned by the government at that time (TRANSCO) but by a private company that will no doubt be close to the president or her husband. Power really corrupts. /MP


Aklan media condemns Maguindanao Massacre Members of the Aklantri-media aired their sentiments regarding the wholesale massacre of 57 people, 30 of whom were journalists in the Maguindanao Massacre on November 23. The Aklan tri-media held an indignation rally in the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 11 at Pastrana Park as shown in the picture at left. (Recto I. Vidal photo)

Philippine Red Cross Aklan Chapter "Always First, Always Ready, Always There" held its Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 22 which was attended by the Board of Directors chaired by Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, the management and staff, and Red Cross volunteers (group 143). Held at its headquarters, Ms. Arcely Pelayo, Administrator welcomed the guests and visitors. Atty. Tolentino delivered his Christmas message. There were gifts giving and exchange gifts. The program ended with the closing remarks of Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, Vice Chairman. The picture above shows the 143 group singing the Christmas carol.

Hon. Nemesio P. Neron, SP member of Aklan commending the men and women of the Aklan Provincial Police office under Police Sr. Supt. Epifanio Bragais for keeping Aklan’s peace due to their high crime efficiency solution rate. Neron delivered his privilege speech during the Aklan SP session. He called for an investigation regarding the regional PNP report indicating Aklan has (7) towns under its "watch list". (Recto I. Vidal photo)

WVRAA-Aklan, A Haphazard Planning?

The Proverbial clock is ticking for the West Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet scheduled on February 21-26, 2010 at the Calangcang Sports Complex in Makato. Significance is that Aklan has last hosted WVRAA in 1995. Since that year, it will host again the sportsfest participated in by six provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occ., Guimaras, Antique, Capiz and Aklan.

Weekly Kapehan on December 19, 2009 had the topic on "West Visayas Regional Athletic Meet" to know the preparation being done by concerned officials of sports facilities and the competing athletes. Everyone knows that the plan to host the Regional meet was aborted due to abysmal failure to build the proposed infra in due time.

Panelist was Ms. Mary Ann A. Lopez, Education Supervisor, DepEd in behalf of Dr. Laroza. Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, President, Aklan Press Club, Inc. assisted her.

Dr. Villorente noted that nations who are excelling in sports are also progressive in their socio-economic life. Interest in sports could be traced to 8th century Greece where athletes outperformed each other in several matches proving their physical prowess, speed, endurance, agility, and strength. Greek philosophers believe this is necessary to promote health hence better prepared in times of war and peaceful economic pursuits. Alexander the Great was a product of the former ideology.

Modern day sports are governed by international rules, the passion not limited to youth but also adults like Paeng Nepomuceno (bowling) and Efren "Bata" Reyes (billiard).

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino said that several Aklanons have recently excelled in sports like track star Merlie Teodosio, Mira T. Mirano – chess, Maki Delfin – boxing, and Winnie Arboleda – basketball. Old track star Olympian is Pedro A. Yatar of Malinao.

Ms. Lopez revealed that engineering work on the Calangcang Sports Complex is on schedule. Oval track will be coated with asphalt and rubberized. Swimming pool maybe completed at the end of December 2009. Two bleachers, one facing the oval track and another facing the Olympic size swimming pool are scheduled to be finished in January. A designated room for working journalists and their communication equipments will be provided.

Aklan has recently improved its athletic standing in overall performance from 6th to 3rd place according to Ms. Lopez. Amazing feat could be due to rigorous training program, series of games elimination and packages of incentives given to players.
Lopez bared accommodation of different delegations namely: Antique delegates to be hosted by Makato; Guimaras, Lezo; Negross Occidental, Numancia; Iloilo, Kalibo Elem. School I and II; Capiz, Aklan Catholic College High School; and Aklan National High School for Arts and Trades, Andagao.

Taekwondo will be held in Lezo; Sepak Takraw and Chess – Provincial Training Center, Old Buswang; Arnis – NVC Gym; Gymnastics – Aklan Catholic College Gym; Volleyball (Elem.) St. Gabriel College, Old Buswang; Lawn Tennis – Capitol Grounds; and Badminton – Manolita Acevedo Compound, New Buswang, Kalibo.

Field events at Calangcang will be basketball, track and field, volleyball (secondary), sepak takraw, swimming and football (Elem. and Secondary).

The opening day will be at Calangcang Sports Complex followed by fellowship night at ABL Sports Complex, Kalibo Cultural contest falls on the second day of the games and will feature search for Mr. and Ms. Palaro.

Aklan province will provide free transportation to all official guests only on the first day. However, technical officials will be fetched from their quarters to their respective game assignments. Police and security personnel are expected to be on heightened alert for the entire duration of the sport events.

Gov. Carlito S. Marquez is unaware of Executive Order No. 64 that mandates for the creation of Provincial School Sports Council. This is headed by Schools Division Superintendent as Chairman, Governor is Vice Chair while all municipal Mayors are members.

Obviously, financial difficulties are faced by coaches and trainers when funds are inadequate or released late. Technically, we have outstanding athletes and potential gold medalists. The problem lies with the adequacy of equipment and the procrastination to hone one’s talent.

Sports analyst eyes the following sporting events promising for Aklan athletes: they are swimming, volleyball (boys), chess, taekwondo, badminton, sepak takraw, and boxing. Raring to go but until now, athletes haven’t issued their playing equipment, mobilization fund yet to be bolstered by coaches on a caroling streak. Turning to the physical infra taking shape at Calangcang Sports complex, at this time (Dec. 22) barely 60 percent of the work has been done. Oval ground is newly asphalted, main bleacher/grandstand is 45 percent complete while bleacher of swimming pool is just a steel skeleton.

According to the foreman, they are hampered by frequent rain showers and obvious shortage of transit concrete mixers and dump trucks. The one month on site training of local athletes at Calangcang will just be called off considering heavy load schedule of contractual laborers and passing heavy equipment. At least newly planted carabao grass inside the oval track must not be disturbed for the next eight weeks in order to establish itself. Meanwhile, swim-ming pool couldn’t be finished until second week of January 2010.

Aklanons await with baited breath whether the Iloilo – based contractor could make good its promise to finish the sports facility before February 21, 2010. Otherwise this is a P45 million question and another looming fiasco that is often the result of haphazard planning. Remember retired District DPWH Engineer Marcial Arac’s slogan to success? Internalize the 4 P’s namely: Planning prevents poor performance. He is do damn right. /MP


2/F, Sampaton Bldg., Roxas Ave. Kalibo, 5600 Aklan
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Tel. No. (036) 268-6238

Joint Manifesto On The Maguindanao Massacre of the Aklan Press Club, Inc., Aklan Media Forum, Publishers Association of the Philippines-Aklan Chapter, KBP Aklan, Kalibo, Aklan

A manifesto condemning in strongest term the massacre at barangay salman, ampatuan town, maguindanao of not less than fifty seven (57) persons who are journalists; relatives; supporters and constituents of the Mangudadatu family; and lawyers allegedly by leaders of a political clan and their private armies regarded as most brutal, inhuman, heinous, barbaric, atrocious, unequal in the annals of political violence in the Philippines and urging all the pillars of the justice system to investigate and prOsecute the culprits without fear and favor, and promote equal justice for all

WHEREAS, as of the latest report, fifty seven (57) dead bodies were already recovered, to include two lawyers, at least 32 journalists, relatives and supporters of the Mangudadatu political clan in Maguindanao as a result of the daring, heinous, barbaric, and brutal massacre incident at Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao in the morning of November 23, allegedly by leaders and the private armies of the opposing political clan and reportedly, some one hundred (100) armed followers, on their way to the Maguindanao Provincial Office of the Commission on Election at Shariff Aguak while composing a convoy supposed to file the Certificate of Candidacy of one Datu Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu, Vice Mayor of Buluan, Maguindanao, for Governor of Maguindanao Province;

WHEREAS, the victims were reportedly abducted by the private army of a political clan somewhere near in Barangay Saniag at around nine o’clock in the morning and brought them at gunpoint to the vicinity of Barangay Salman and Malating which is about 10 kilometers from a national highway where the carnage was supposed to have taken place and some of the dead bodies were buried in a deep common grave at a hilltop in Barangay Masalay excavated by a backhoe allegedly owned by the provincial government of Maguindanao, virtually transforming the area into a killing field;

WHEREAS, the barbaric incident perpetrated by the ruthlessness of the perpetrators have no equal in its brutality and the number of lives lost in the annals of political violence in the Philippines that even the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971 which killed nine (9) at a rally of the Liberal Party very much paled in comparison;

WHEREAS, some 32 practicing journalists have been killed in that incident, the worst single tragedy in the history of Philippine journalism that not even one incident in insurgency – rocked Iraq has there been many journalists killed in one incident, the Maguindanao massacre being deliberate only confirmed the status of the Philippines as among the most dangerous and deadliest countries for the working press;

WHEREAS, the Maguindanao carnage was a gruesome massacre and unequalled in the history of the country that even women, lawyers, and mediamen were not spared;

WHEREAS, the Maguindanao massacre was indeed heinous and gruesome where heads of the victims were bashed, body parts dismembered, and clearly many women were raped as their lower vests were already pulled down displaying their abused private parts;

WHEREAS, the massacre goes beyond the borders of press freedom and the liberty of expression and ruined the very foundation of democracy;

WHEREAS, the gruesome incident is a national embarrassment in a civilized world where human lives shall be protected at all cost;

WHEREAS, Maguindanao massacre was a blatant display of naked power and fearlessness and disregard to the rule of law and societal order;

WHEREAS, every civilized citizen of the country, including the government, must stand in solidarity and firmness to provide the necessary support to assuage the fears and agony of the victims’ families and their community and law enforcers of this country shall leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators of this gruesome and heinous crime before the bar of justice.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the above-named media organizations in Aklan in a meeting duly assembled and held at Kusina Sa Kalibo, Kalibo, Aklan on November 25, 2009; TO CONDEMN IN STRONGEST TERM THE MASSACRE AT BARANGAY SALMAN, AMPATUAN TOWN, MAGUINDANAO OF FIFTY SEVEN (57) PERSONS AS PER THE LATEST REPORT COMPOSED OF JOURNALISTS, RELATIVES, SUPPORTERS, AND CONSTITUENTS OF THE MANGUDADATU FAMILY, AND LAWYERS ALLEGEDLY BY LEADERS OF A POLITICAL CLAN AND THEIR PRIVATE ARMIES IN WHAT IS REGARDED AS THE MOST brutal, inhuman, heinous, barbaric, atrocious unequal in the annals of political violence in the Philippines and urging all the pillars of the justice system to investigate and prosecute the culprits without fear and favor and promote equal justice for all

Let copies of this manifesto be furnished to:
1. Her Excellency, President of the Philippines, Malacañang Palace, Manila
2. Secretary, Department of Justice, Manila
3. Director, National Bureau of Investigation, Manila
4. Director General, Philippine National Police, Camp Crame, Quezon City
5. Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila
6. All newspaper editors, Iloilo City Metro Manila
7. All Radio/TV stations, Iloilo City and Metro Manila

On Maguindanao Massacre

Senator Loren Legarda condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent killing of 57 people, including a number of women and media personnel, by a powerful clan in Maguindanao province.

The details of the Maguindanao massacre indicates it could be the first major election-related violence in the country, as it involves two rival political clans.

The victims are said to be members and supporters of the Mangudadatu clan who were on their way to the Provincial Capitol to file a certificate of candidacy with the Commission on Elections. They were accompanied by media people who were asked to cover the event. They were waylaid by about 100 armed men believed to be followers of the Ampatuan clan and subsequently killed in a brutal and barbaric manner, with some of the victims even decapitated.

"I call on authorities to fully investigate this incident and to bring to justice not only the perpetrators but also the masterminds as soon as possible. No one should be above the law. This is heinous and reprehensible crime that deserves the maximum penalty the laws provide.

I urge the government to put in place adequate measures to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections in Maguindanao and other areas where intense political rivalries could erupt into violence and bloodshed. The proposal to impose a total gun ban during the election campaign period is fundamentally sound and should substantially reduce the number of election-related violent incidents in the months ahead. /MP

West Visayas Regional Athletic Meet

How prepared is Aklan to host the West Visayas Regional Athletic Meet scheduled on the last week of February 2010?

The preparation the local government of Aklan and the Department of Education are making was discussed during the Kapehan Sa Aklan on Saturday, December 19 at Kusina Sa Kalibo.

Ms. Mary Ann Lopez of DepEd was the lone resource person. Dr. Victorina Laroza, Schools Division Superintendent of Aklan and Engr. Victory M. Fernandez, Provincial Engr. were not able to attend the Kapehan.

Ms. Lopez however, ably explained the extent of preparation as to venue of the games, committees organized to manage the athletic meet, hosting of athletes from various delegations, accommodation, and other requirement. Ms. Lopez is shown in the above picture (left) with Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente discussing the preparation being done. (Recto I. Vidal photo)

West Visayas Regional Athletic Meet

How prepared is Aklan to host the West Visayas Regional Athletic Meet scheduled on the last week of February 2010?

The preparation the local government of Aklan and the Department of Education are making was discussed during the Kapehan Sa Aklan on Saturday, December 19 at Kusina Sa Kalibo.

Ms. Mary Ann Lopez of DepEd was the lone resource person. Dr. Victorina Laroza, Schools Division Superintendent of Aklan and Engr. Victory M. Fernandez, Provincial Engr. were not able to attend the Kapehan.

Ms. Lopez however, ably explained the extent of preparation as to venue of the games, committees organized to manage the athletic meet, hosting of athletes from various delegations, accommodation, and other requirement. Ms. Lopez is shown in the above picture (left) with Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente discussing the preparation being done. (Recto I. Vidal photo)

LP Rebukes Comelec for Unseating Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca

Liberal Party officials last week slammed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for allowing itself to be used by the Arroyo government for its "vendetta" politics against local executives who have allied themselves with the opposition.

"What is at stake here is the credibility of the Comelec and the 2010 elections. Why did Comelec officials allow their institution to be used by Malacañang for its bullying tactics against its critics?" asked LP President Sen. Mar Roxas.

"The electoral protest against Gov. Grace Padaca was suddenly revived after she allied herself with the Liberal Party. This is obviously a harassment scheme," Roxas believed.

Roxas said the ruling of the Comelec 2nd division would allow Malacañang to regain control of Isabela and prevent its imminent defeat in next year’s polls. Roxas noted that the same poll body division ruled similarly in the electoral protest lodged against incumbent Bulacan Gov. Jon-Jon Mendoza.
"This administration will stop at nothing to stay in power. It will do anything and everything to get back its bailiwicks. The Arroyo administration is applying all foul means to prevent its impending defeat in 2010," Roxas lamented.

He added, however, he would forge on and pursue its fight for reforms and good governance. "The LP will not allow this vendetta politics to reign in our country. We must make sure that the ‘Islands of Hope’ that our local allies have started are not put to naught by this greedy administration. We will impede these blitzkrieg operations against our local allies," Roxas vowed./MP

190 New Soldiers Join The 3ID

Some one hundred ninety (190) candidate soldiers were sworn in as Privates into the Armed Forces of the Philippines by Major General Vicente M Porto, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division during the graduation ceremony of Candidate Soldiers (Matikas) Class 209-09 held in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz on Thursday, Dec 17, 2009.

The class started with 200 able-bodied recruits who began their training last July. They hail from different parts of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros islands. Their training consisted of three (3) months honing their basic military skills and another two (2) months of application through the Jungle Warfare and Mountain Operations Course at the 33,100 ha Military Reservation, Jamindan, Capiz.

Maj Gen Porto, the Guest of Honor and Speaker of the ceremony, congratulated the graduates in his speech. He urged them to be loyal and serve to protect and to enhance the name of the Armed Forces of the Philippines particularly the Philippine Army. He also underscored the role of the new privates as catalysts for peace and development in our country. "As new soldiers, you must posses the qualities of SARS- a combination of Skills, Attitude, Responsibility and Spiritual Guidance," Porto stressed.

For this year alone, the 3ID has graduated a total of 286 soldiers after being given a ceiling of 300 for recruitment. These soldiers will be distributed to our different subordinate units to replenish their ranks and to maintain our effective strength so that we may continue to perform our mission in Western Visayas. There are still currently 300 fresh recruits undergoing training in Camp Peralta who are divided into two Candidate Soldier Courses: CSC Class 218 with 100 recruits and CSC Class 231 with 200 recruits. They are expected to complete their training by April 2010.

The Spearhead Division takes pride in producing professional and service-oriented soldiers. This is why so many of our fellow citizens are inspired to take up the profession of arms. This is shown by the increase in the turnout of applicants for this year’s recruitment. Your army is optimistic that in our future recruitment efforts we can hope to entice more applicants with professional skills as we continue to enhance our technology as well as our capabilities. (by 1LT MARK ANDREW T POSADAS PA) /MP

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Maguindanao Massacre, Product of Dirty Politics


The Maguindanao massacre will go down in Philippines history as the worse pre-election violence to date. Both Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General and Irina Bekova, Director General of UNESCO were shocked. They called for the immediate action "using all resources at its disposal to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Panelists to the weekly Kapehan on December 12 included PNP Chief Inspector Adan L. Agradante, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, Pres. North-western Visayan Colleges, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, former Vice Governor, and Engr. Winston Carillo, Pres. Aklan United Media Association on the topic the "Maguindanao Massacre".

The case stemmed from the filing of Certificate of Candidacy of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu for Governor of the province of Maguindanao. The act of filing was delegated to his wife. They were a convoy of six vehicles en route to Shariff Aguak where Zaldy Ampatuan, Governor of Maguin-danao exercised absolute political dominion and power. In that convoy were 31 media men, two lawyers, relatives, and supporters of Vice Mayor Mangudadatu.

However, at a check point in the boundary between Ampatuan and Shariff Aguak, the convoy was stopped, ushered to another direction just at the outskirt of Poblacion, Ampatuan town. Before they knew it, about 100 enlisted men (PNP, Cafgu, CVO) were already waiting for them. Several burst of gunfire killed all the 57 victims, their bodies littered the grassy area.

Two days earlier, the backhoe Province of Maguindanao owns excavated portions of the hill. It turned out that this was in preparation for the mass graves of the victims, including two of their vehicles. At least 50 witnesses pointed to Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. as the mastermined. He was seen at the scene of the crime on November 23, 2009. The suspect is presently detained at NBI headquarters in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has 28 cases of murder charges filed against Ampatuan, Jr. as the mastermind of the killings on November 23, 2009.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo initially declared Presidential Proclamation No. 1946 placing Maguin-danao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City under National State of Emergency. Moreover, on Dec. 4, 2009 she issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1959 declaring Martial Law for the province of Maguindanao. Secretary of Justice Agnes Devanadera said there is "looming rebellion" to justify Martial rule and the restoration of law and order.

Fortunately, the President lifted martial Law in Maguindanao on December 12, 2009 amidst unpopular partisan support from both Houses of Congress. The Senate resolution voted 18 versus 5 in favor of the revocation stating that based on the 1987 Constitution, proc-lamation of Martial Law may be done only when there is actual case of invasion or rebellion where the President is empowered subject to concurrence of Congress by a two thirds vote.

Reactions and comments on the above brief narrative report were thick and fast. It should be underscored that strong condemnation of the barbaric crime was enacted by thousands of civic, religious organizations including print and broadcast media and Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Protest rallies and street demonstrations in Aklan on December 11 marked public indignation and cry for justice to the victims and their families.

Atty. Tolentino said there should be righteous indignation for the victims of Maguindanao massacre. He called it as tragedy of the first order recalling international observance of Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) and 18 day Campaign Against All Forms of Violence against Women (November 25 to December 12).

He noted the death of 31 mediamen in a single day that registered an all time high of 67 since 2004. Indeed culture of violence is unmatched by any other country in the world!

Tolentino underscored that members of the Bar are persons in authority, officers of the Court and Public Officers, thereby giving due recognition and tribute to the courage of Attorneys Connie Brezuela and Cynthia Oquendo–Ayon (a native of Linayasan, Altavas).

Chief Insp. Agradante mentioned that PNP estimated that the nine towns comprising the province of Maguindanao has 22,000 loose firearms. There is however an on-going firearms amnesty program dubbed "Kontra Buga" to be availed of by gunholders. Agradante said that under Martial Law, the operation of the judicial system is still enforced hence erring enlisted personnel of the armed forces may be court marshaled and members of PNP administratively charged. Death toll based on bodies recovered stood at 64.

Engr. Carillo have insights into culture of violence and deprivation of our Muslim brothers in the South. He said that the average Muslim family places high priority on owning a gun rather than work animals. Wide stretches of fertile plain and valleys lying idle owned by a handful of powerful individuals contribute to worsening poverty, fragile peace and leftist ideology. Engr. Carillo spent his younger days in Surallah, South Cotabato as a high school student before his family moved to Aklan.

The Maguindanao massacre is considered shocking disbelief to many if not all. Mindanao was a "wild west country" in 2003.

There are three factors which are considered preeminent in explaining the tragedy of November 23 to wit:

a) Prevalence of loose firearms mostly in the hands of irresponsible people. At the back of mansion of former Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Sr. was unearthed a weapon and ammunition cache totaling 800 firearms mostly assault rifles – M14 and M16. By day, members of PNP and paramilitary units are law enforcers of the civil government but at night they transformed as security battalion of political warlords. Just going to the office a Mayor or Governor has backup support of two to three vehicles brimming with enlisted men and armor.

b)Widespread poverty. While the national average poverty threshold level is 41 percent, Maguindanao the third poorest province has 80 percent. The Ampatuans who exercised political supremacy since 1987 virtually siphoned public funds into their pockets. The result is anemic government spending on roads and bridges, schools, hospitals, health centers, public markets, and irrigation. Of course the only way to prop the authoritarian regime was by means of guns and goons plus the able support of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

c) Low level of literacy. Muslims and Lumads in Maguindanao comprise two thirds of population while one third is Christian. There is wide disparity between the two – i.e. cultural communities have 61 percent literacy rate while Christians achieve 91 percent. Reason of the decline is the incomplete integration of Madrasah schools into the DepEd. Facilities in Madrasah schools are very inadequate. The curriculum covers only four subjects namely: Koran, Arabic language, Math, and Shariah law.

It appears that the Arroyo Administration failed to justify declaration of National Emergency and Martial Law in resolving the Maguindanao massacre. From the evidence of weapons stockpile, partially burned voters’ ID and registration certificates, bodies recovered from shallow graves by the military authorities only prove collusion between the armed forces (PNP and PA) and local politicians in perpetuating a regime of violence, corruption and electoral fraud.

Certainly, this democratic government would not allow degeneration of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao into a failed state like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Sudan where tribal warlords reign supreme. What this country needs is more teeth in implementing laws and strengthening government institutions. The blood of those slain journalists, attorneys, and political supporters be upon us if we do not address the evil done by dirty politics. /MP