Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Representatives of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) Pay Courtesy Call on Prime Minister

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi received a courtesy call from the representatives of the youths participating in the "Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP)," at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.


Zambales Vice Gov Mon Lacbain welcomed by Japanese PM

The SSEAYP is a joint program inaugurated by Japan and the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The program has been conducted annually since its inauguration and this year marks the 32nd voyage. Approximately 280 youths from ASEAN countries and approximately 40 youths from Japan will travel for around 50 days on the "Ship for Southeast Asian Youth," visiting Japan and several Southeast Asian nations. The purpose of the program is to promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youths through spending time together and engaging in various exchange activities both on board and in the countries they visit.

Prime Minister Koizumi shook hands with the representatives from each participating country, and following the greeting by a representative of the youths participating in the program, offered his words of encouragement saying, "I hope you all will harness this valuable experience to give your best efforts for the development of your nation, as well as to further develop the friendly relations with Japan."

13 hurt in stampede caused by firecrackers

A wayward firecracker hit a pile of other fireworks at a stall during a festival in Olongapo City, Philippines on Friday, setting off loud explosions and triggering a stampede that injured 13 people, officials said.

Mayor James Gordon of Olongapo, a city 80 kilometers northwest of Manila, said the chaos started after a person attending the festival lit a small rocket he had just purchased at a stall.

"Instead of going up, it went in a horizontal position, hitting the other firecrackers in the stall and that started it," Gordon told ABS-CBN television.

Gordon said 13 people were hurt in the stampede, three of them seriously.

Footage from the scene showed firecrackers exploding, triggering a blaze and sending people running.

Two men carried a woman who apparently fainted away.

The building where the firecracker stalls were located was slightly damaged by the fire.

The panic was quickly controlled and the festival continued, Gordon said. (AP)

Legal war over custody of 4 US Marines looms

A possible legal battle looms over the custody of the four US marines accused of raping a 22-year old Filipina.

This developed after the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office raised a question over the US government’s rights to keep the four Marines in the US Embassy in Manila.

City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni insisted that the US embassy transfer the custody of the accused servicemen to to the jurisdiction of the Philippine court despite a Malacañang’s pronouncement that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) supplanted local laws.

"How can we invoke and exercise primary jurisdiction when we cannot enforce the very law in our country that are applicable to this case?" Jalandoni asked.

He announced his intentions to pursue efforts for the Philippine custody of the four Marines a day after the Olongapo City Prosecutors Office filed charges of rape against Daniel Smith, Keith Silkwood, Dominic Duplantis and Chad Carpentier.

The complaint against Albert Lara and Corey Barris, also US Marines, was dismissed after investigators said that no sufficient evidence or basis is found for them to be included in the charge sheet.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Zosimo Paredes II said, "when there’s a clash between a domestic procedural law and a treaty like the VFA, the treaty prevails."

Article V of the VFA provides that "the custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with the United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings."

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said that the impression he got from a US Embassy statement was that American officials "will insist on custody during the trial."

"I suppose they will politely reject our request and if we are not satisfied, we could insist on negotiating for custody," Gonzalez said, adding that "there could be" a custody battle.

Smith’s lawyer, Benjamin Formoso, said he would fight efforts by the local court to gain custody of his client. "We will not just give in," Formoso said.

He maintained the position that the VFA and its provision on US custody apply to the case.

He said that the prosecutor’s resolution would certainly hit the economy of both Olongapo City and Subic Bay Freeport due to its anti-American message.

Katrina Legarda, the victim’s lawyer, said, "everything about custody and prosecution of the Marines is now in the hands of the (Philippine) government."

"If the Philippine government is going to give it up, what can we do?" she said.

She added, "what is important is whether or not the Philippine government has realized the idea that maybe the VFA is wrong."

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said that now that the case is filed with the court, "let us leave justice to take its course instead of raising speculations that would only mislead the public and affect the legal proceedings."

Bunye said, "both governments have assured that whatever the outcome, it will not, in any way, affect the close ties and friendship that binds the two countries. Philippine sovereignty and justice shall be upheld, while the rights of the accused will be fully protected."

Bunye added that both the Philippine and US governments were for the "swift resolution of this isolated case but always through the observance of due process." (Manila bulletin)

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Arrest of 4 US servicemen pressed
Lawmakers decry US 'double standard'
By Philip C. Tubeza, Armand N. Nocum, TJ Burgonio, Inquirer

LAWMAKERS scored the special treatment accorded four US Marines charged with raping a Filipino woman who are now "detailed" at the Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag), an office within the US Embassy compound in Manila. But the Department of Justice sees nothing wrong with the arrangement, though it is pressing for the court to issue the arrest warrant for the accused.

The Inquirer learned from Ed Malaya, executive director of the Department of Foreign Affairs legal division, on Thursday that the accused were on "temporary duty" at Jusmag.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said yesterday that "what's important is they [US servicemen] are available at the stage of the trial when they are needed," like their arraignment or when witnesses, especially the victim, make an "identification" of the accused.

Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño said there was nothing wrong with the four US servicemen being on duty at Jusmag.

"What's important is the moment we serve the warrants of arrest, they turn over the custody (of the accused) to the Philippine authorities. That's the crucial issue."

He said the Olongapo court should immediately issue the arrest warrants when the court convenes next week.

But he said no warrant had been issued even after a case was formally filed this month because the judges were on leave for the holidays.

He said the case would be raffled off among the four Olongapo judges on Jan. 3. The judge who gets the case would then proceed to issue the arrest warrants.

Like Zuño, Gonzalez said the court should immediately serve the warrants of arrest. "I think, technically, it must be served. That is the process, you have to serve the warrant to the accused," the justice secretary said.

Hitting the "double standard" of the US Embassy, House Minority Leader Francis Escudero said the accused should be detained.

"They should be [kept] in a detention facility very much like Filipinos who are accused of common crimes in the United States," Escudero said.

"Whatever 'special' status they have as US servicemen, they lost it when they committed a crime punishable by our laws," he said.

No violation

The US servicemen are "technically in the custody of the US," the justice secretary said.

"I don't see any violation for as long as the provision on waiver of custody remains," Gonzalez said.

He was referring to a provision in the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that states that should the Americans "demand" custody of its men charged with an offense, the Philippine government can "waive our authority" to take custody of them for the duration of the trial.

"What's important is they are here," Gonzalez said. "Actually, even if they are not here, as long as the US keeps its word that they will cooperate and these people remain available at any stage of the proceedings, that is okay for me because what's important is they are here for the trial."

Six US servicemen originally underwent preliminary investigation before the Olongapo City prosecutor's office on allegations that they raped a 22-year-old Filipino woman inside a van at the Subic Bay Freeport, a former US naval base.

Four of them, along with the Filipino van driver Timoteo Soriano Jr., were formally charged on Tuesday, namely, Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier and Lance Corporals Dominic Duplantis, Daniel Smith and Keith Silkwood. The complaints against the two others-Lance Corporals Corey Burris and Albert Lara-were dismissed.

Wrong

"Of course, it's wrong," said Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño about letting the four US servicemen work at Jusmag instead of spending time in a detention cell.

"Under normal circumstances, they would be in jail. But because our government is such a puppet to the US, it allows these soldiers to trample over our laws," Casiño said.

"If the same thing happened in the US, do you think US authorities would tolerate this? Of course not," he said.

It's up to DOJ, DFA

For the government to gain custody of the accused, the DOJ should work for the issuance of warrants of arrest against them in accordance with the VFA and judicial procedures, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon said.

"It's the DOJ which should provide the requirements for the government to acquire custodial jurisdiction of the four American servicemen. Then the DOJ will ask the DFA to make the formal move," Biazon said in a phone interview.

"The ball is in the hands of the DOJ and DFA to seek custody of the four Marines."

Exercise sovereignty

The senator, who chairs the committee on national defense, is a member of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA chaired by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Rep. Antonio Cuenco.

Biazon remains optimistic that the government has a big chance of gaining custody of the four US servicemen despite expected strong opposition from the other camp.

"If we follow judicial procedures and the provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement, we have a chance," he said, stressing that taking custody of the accused would stop them from "disappearing and evading prosecution."

Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, another member of the bicameral committee on the VFA, pressed the government to exercise its sovereignty to gain custody of the four Marines.

"We are a sovereign country and we have our own criminal justice system to adhere to. No one is above the law. No matter who gets hurt, the rule of law must be the highest interest that we must consider," he said.

Prosecutors earlier demanded custody of the Americans, but Undersecretary Zosimo Paredes, executive director of the Presidential Commission on the VFA, said the VFA allowed the US government to take custody of the accused until the case was decided.

Renegotiate VFA

Akbayan party-list Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales, Casi¤o and Davao del Sur Rep. Douglas Cagas said the lenient treatment of the accused emphasized the need for the Philippine government to insist that it take custody over them.

Escudero, Rosales and Bukidnon Rep. Nereus Acosta said the mere "detailing" of the four accused with Jusmag showed that the VFA should be reviewed or renegotiated "to provide parity" between the two countries.

"This should serve as a painful lesson to us so that government negotiators of similar agreements should provide for more stringent and pro-Filipino clauses that can and will protect the right to redress of our nationals should they be aggrieved," Escudero said.

Acosta said the Jusmag detail instead of detention reinforced the unequal relationship between the two countries. "This points to a clearer need to revisit the VFA agreement and recognize the fundamentally asymmetrical power relation between the US and RP."

Rosales pointed out that the United States considered the VFA a mere executive agreement since the US Senate had yet to ratify it.

"An executive agreement cannot supersede our laws. We have to assert our laws and take custody of the US [servicemen]," Rosales said.

Annex of US Embassy

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan criticized the DFA for its haplessness in dealing with the US Embassy and pressing for custody of the four US servicemen.

Bayan said the DFA should not concede that the Philippines may not get custody of the accused.

"Despite all these developments, the DFA has taken a cavalier attitude toward the US servicemen. Foreign affairs officials seem to be acting as if the DFA is an annex of the US Embassy," Dr. Carol Araullo, Bayan chairperson, said.

"There should be no ifs and buts about the issue of Philippine custody. The DFA officials like Zosimo Paredes should not preempt the courts by conceding at this early juncture that the Philippines cannot gain custody of the four accused," she said. With a report from Norman Bordadora

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Marathon trial sa Gapo rape

Ni Boyet Jadulco, Abante On-Line

Iginiit kahapon ng dalawang kongresista ang pagsasagawa ng marathon trial sa rape case na isinampa ng isang 22-anyos na Zamboangueña laban sa mga Amerikanong sundalong Marino kaugnay ng panghahalay sa kanya noong Nobyembre 1 sa Subic Free Port, Olongapo City.

Ito ay alinsunod umano sa probisyon ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) na bumibigkis sa dalawang bansa.


Bukod dito, hiniling din nina Isabela Rep. Edwin Uy at Lanao del Sur Rep. Benasing Macarambon na dapat lang na isulong ng pamahalaan ang karapatan ng Pilipinas na maisailalim sa kustodya nito ang akusadong mga Kanong sundalo oras na maipalabas ang arrest warrant laban sa mga ito.


Ipinaliwanag ni Uy na alinsunod sa sandaling maibaba ang warrant laban sa mga akusado ay pagpapasyahan ng korte kung saan ikukulong ang mga ito.


Gayunpaman, aminado rin ang solon na kumplikado ang kaso dahil sa ilang probisyon ng VFA na nakakasagasa sa umiiral na batas at sa mga karapatan ng Pilipinas sa kaso.


Naniniwala rin si Uy na ang ipinakikitang determinasyon ng Olongapo City Prosecutors Office sa pag-usig sa mga akusado ay sapat nang batayan para maisulong ang isang paspasang paglilitis.


"It would be an injustice to the 22-year old Filipina victim if the case is not resolved in court just because the deadline has expired," anang mambabatas

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Drilon: Gov’t should insist on custody of 4 US Marines

SENATE President Franklin Drilon yesterday said the government must assert its rights to have custody of the four US Marines charged with the rape of a 22-year old Filipina inside the Subic Bay Freeport last Nov. 1.

"We should continuously request through the appropriate channels custody over the four accused," Drilon said.

Charged with rape by the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office last Tuesday were Daniel Smith, Chad Carpentier, Dominic Duplantis and Keith Silkwood.

Two other US Marines, Correy Barris and Albert Lara, were cleared due to insufficiency of evidence.

Timoteo Soriano, the driver of the van where the alleged rape was committed, was indicted as accomplice.

Benjamin Formoso, Smith’s lawyer, on Wednesday said the accused will invoke Paragraph 6, Article V of the VFA which says "the custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings."

Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño has said the custody issue will be a big question once the proceedings start.

He said even if the case is already in court the United States can retain custody of the respondents if they invoke the VFA provision on custodial rights.

He also said the case may even reach the Supreme Court that would result in further delay in the proceedings.

He said if the government fails to get custody of the accused, the US government must ensure their presence when ordered by the court.

Zuño sees a delay in the issuance of the warrant of arrest against the four US servicemen.

The Olongapo court is expected to raffle off the case on Jan. 3. – JP Lopez, Malaya

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DOJ: RP to abide by VFA on custody of four US Marines
By Jose Rodel Clapano

In the wake of calls by some lawmakers for the government to seek custody of the four US Marines charged with raping a 22-year-old Filipina, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said yesterday he will abide by the terms of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) regarding their custody.

Calls for the government to take custody of the US Marines stemmed from reports that two of the servicemen earlier cleared of rape charges by the Department of Justice have flown back to their base in Okinawa, Japan.

"We will concentrate on the proper prosecution of the case. The question on the Marines’ detention pending the litigation of the case is a matter covered by the Philippine government’s commitment under the VFA and it cannot be overridden by the prosecutors. That is a treaty. We cannot renege and cannot impugn a treaty. If the lawmakers want, they can renegotiate the terms," Gonzalez said in a telephone interview.

He said that under the VFA, the Philippines has practically waived custody over US soldiers facing criminal cases in the country.

Gonzalez said the US Embassy has given its commitment to make the US Marines available when required by court proceedings.

Albert Lara and Corey Burris, two of the six US Marines accused of raping the 22-year-old Filipina at the Subic Freeport last Nov. 1, were reassigned to their base at Okinawa, Japan after being cleared of the charges.

Gonzalez said the Philippine government must respect the VFA, which was ratified by the Philippine Senate.

"I will just follow the treaty. That is the Philippine government’s obligation in that treaty. But If we want to be a rogue country, we might as well bomb the US," he said.

Gonzalez said the call by some lawmakers for the government to seek custody of the four remaining suspects is merely stirring up emotions among Filipinos.

"We are fanning emotions here. Let us just let the process go on. Then we can try the sincerity of the Americans. Whoever these people are and wherever they are, whether they are at a mall or somewhere else, we can always try them in absentia," he said.

‘Warrants meaningless’

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday that the US government can invoke the VFA so the four US Marines will remain in the custody of the US embassy, but this would effectively make warrants of arrest issued by local courts meaningless.

DFA spokesman Gilberto Asuque said the US embassy in Manila is "expected" to work on getting custody of the Marines because they assured local officials that the accused would be present during the hearings.

"In case of different view on the warrants of arrest, it will be resolved at the diplomatic level," Asuque said.

He cited a Supreme Court (SC) decision in the case of Basco vs Judge Rapatalla, emphasizing that confining the accused in jail before conviction is meant to assure his presence at the trial.

While the high court ruled that the accused should be in jail prior to conviction, Asuque said that "in this case the US embassy has assured they will be presented during the trial so we have to take that into account but those matters will have to be left to the judge to make the decision on the manifestation of the counsels of both parties."

Asuque said the Philippines has already asked for custody of the accused because officials consider this an "extraordinary" case.

"We would like to emphasize that first the DFA has already sent a note verbale to the US embassy on the issue of custody stating that the Philippine government wishes to have custody of the accused in view of the extraordinary nature of the case. We shall follow that procedure, criminal procedure as well as criminal law applicable in this case," he said.

The case will be raffled off on Tuesday following the recommendation of the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office to formally file charges against them before the court. — With Pia Lee-Brago, PhilStar

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cash Gift for Olongapo City Gov't Employees

ABOT-ABOT NA TUWA NG MGA KAWANI NG CITY HALL SA PAMASKO NI MAYOR BONG!

Tinanggap na nitong Disyembre 27, 2005 ng bawat Kawani ng Olongapo City Hall ang limang-libong piso (P5,000.00) na karagdagang Cash Gift na siyang ipinangako ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. bilang pamasko.

Malaking pasasalamat ng mga empleyado ng gobyerno dahil sa malaking tulong ito para maipagdiwang ng masaya at masagana ang Bagong Taon. Sa katunayan ay naging emosyonal at labis na pagkatuwa ang ipinakitang reaksyon ng mga kawani ng Olongapo City Hall nang ihayag ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. nitong Disyembre 23, 2005 na kanya nang ipinag-utos sa Finance Committee na ibibigay ang buong P5,000 Cash Gift tulad ng natanggap ng mga National Government employees.

Mula ng mag-announce si Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo na may matatanggap na Cash Gift ang mga national government employees, inasahan ng mga empleyado sa lokal na pamahalaan na gayundin ang biyaya sa LGU. Ngunit dahil sa iba ang pondo ng nasyonal sa lokal kung kaya't hindi awtomatiko na makikinabang din ang mga kawani ng Local Government Units (LGU).

Ayon sa Circular No. 2005-48 mula sa Department of Budget Management na may petsang Disyembre 7, 2005, inaaprubahan ng pangulo ang pagbibigay ng karagdagang Cash Gift sa lokal na pamahalaan, lamang kung may pondo ito na mula sa 'revenues' at 'savings' ng lokal na pamahalaan, na nakaayon sa Republic Act No. 6686.

Kaya nga't upang matugunan ang kahilingang Cash Gift, agarang ipinag-utos ni Mayor Gordon sa Budget, Accounting at Treasury Departments ang pag-alam kung may mga savings at sapat na pondo na mailalaan upang maibigay ang Cash Gift sa mga kawani sa panahon ng Kapaskuhan.

Kaya nga't labis ang emosyon ng mga empleyado sa pagkarinig ng magandang balita. Saad ng butihing Mayor: ' Naniniwala ako na sa pagpapabuti ng kalagayan at kapakanan ng mga empleyado, bubuti rin ang kanilang pagseserbisyo. Alam kong mahirap ang panahon ngayon, at naiintindihan ko ang inyong mga pangangailangan. Nais ko na maging masaya ang pamilya ninyo sa panahon ng Kapaskuhan at Bagong Taon kaya't inatasan ko na ibigay ang buong P5,000 cash gift sa inyo!'

Sabay sa himig ng tugtog na 'I feel good!' naghiyawan, nagpalakpakan, at kinamayan si Mayor Gordon ng mga empleyado ng Olongapo City Hall na may malaking ngiti sa kanilang labi.

Bukod pa dito, ibinalita rin ni Mayor Gordon na sa taong 2006, inaprubahan niya ang karagdagang 8% sa sahod ng bawat manggagawa kung saan ang budget ay inihanda na.

Ang mga kawani ng pamahalaan na katuwang ni Mayor Gordon sa paglilingkod sa mga mamamayan ng Olongapo ay lalong magpupursige upang lalong aayusin ang pagseserbisyo sa publiko para sa tuluy-tuloy at lalong ikauunlad ng lungsod.

New Year's reminder from Mayor Bong

PAALALA NI MAYOR BONG SA PAGGAMIT NG PAPUTOK

Paulit-ulit ang pagpapa-alala ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. sa mga mamamayan ng Olongapo na iwasan ang labis na pagpapaputok sa nalalapit na Bagong Taon upang makaiwas sa disgrasya.

Maagang nagpakalat ng impormasyon ang lokal na pamahalaan kaugnay sa nilalaman ng Republic Act.No. 7183 na may titulong 'An act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.''

Layunin ng pambansang-batas na ito na magtalaga ng panuntunan upang i-regulate at kontrolin ang paggawa, bentahan, distribusyon at paggamit ng firecrackers at iba pang pyrotechnic devices na bahagi ng pagsalubong ng bawat Pilipino sa pagpapalit ng taon. Nakasaad dito ang mga paputok na may pahintulot ibenta at gamitin at yaong mga ipinagbabawal na paputok dahil sa maaaring idulot na sakuna.

'Iwasan natin dito sa ating lungsod ang mataas na bilang ng casualties bunga ng maling paggamit ng firecrackers,'' wika ni Mayor Gordon sa kanyang lingguhang programa sa himpilang DWGO sa radyo, ang Mayor's Corner.

Pinaghahanda na rin ni Mayor Gordon ang mga Bumbero, ang James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital, at pati na rin ang mga Kapulisan sa darating na pagsalubong ng Bagong Taon.

Isa ring suhestiyon ni Mayor Gordon na sa mga susunod na taon ay ipaubaya na lamang sa Fire Department ang pagpapaputok ng mga fireworks upang makontrol ang sunog at aksidente, dagdag pa na makatitipid pa sa pagbili ng mga firecrackers.

Mahigpit rin ang paalala ni Mayor Gordon laban sa pagpapaputok ng baril dahil ito'y maaaring makadisgrasya ng kapwa.

'Pagtulungan nating iwasan ang aksidente at salubungin natin ang bagong-taon ng ligtas.'' pagwawakas ni Mayor Bong Gordon.

Olongapo City Fiesta Queen Coronation Night

ISANG GRANDIOSONG GABI PARA
SA BAGONG REYNA NG OLONGAPO

Kinoronahan na noong gabi ng Disyembre 28, 2005 sa Rizal Triangle Covered Court ang bagong Olongapo City Fiesta Queen 2005. Si Victoria Khouri Elias ng Brgy. Old Cabalan ang tinanghal na Reyna mula sa labimpitong Kandidata na kumakatawan sa bawat barangay matapos ang tatlong Canvassing na ginanap nitong Oktubre, Nobyembre at Disyembre 2005.

Isang maningning at grandiosong Coronation Night ang isinagawa para sa Search for the City Fiesta Queen 2005. Mga kilalang personalidad pa ang inimbitahan upang maging host ng naturang programa na kinabibilangan ni VJ/host/actress Iya Villania at young matinee idol na si John Pratts, kapwa mga talent ng ABS-CBN 2 at si Arlene dela Cruz na news anchor ng Net 25. Rumampa tulad ng isang tunay na Reyna ang bagong Fiesta Queen na nakasuot ng kumikinang na gintong kasuotan habang sinalubong ito ng nakaka-aliw na putok at ilaw ng mga fireworks.

Nagbigay ng mensahe si SBMA Director Ted Del Rosario sa ngalan ni Administrator Armand Arreza ukol sa tuluy-tuloy na kooperasyon ng Olongapo at SBMA. Si Olongapo City Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. naman ay nagpahayag ng maikling accomplishment report at plans para sa taong 2006 para sa kaalaman ng mga mamamayan ng lungsod. Matapos nito, malugod niyang binati si Kgd. Mareybeth Marzan na siyang Fiesta Committe Chairman para sa tagumpay ng programa hindi lamang sa pondong nalikom ng Fiesta, kundi sa galing ng mga konsepto at pagbuhay sa sigla at saya ng Fiesta spirit sa lungsod na tunay na nadama ng mga Olonga-peño.'Saludo ako sa tatag at sigasig ng buong City Fiesta Committee, lalo na sa Chairman nitong si Kgd. Bebeth,'ayon kay Mayor Gordon.

Natapos ang maningning na gabi para sa mga reyna sa Farewell Walk ng City Fiesta Queen 2004 Aira Ghia Ferrer at ang pagputong ng korona sa bagong Fiesta Queen na si Victoria Khouri Elias.

Ang Olongapo City Fiesta Queen ay isang beauty and talent contest kasabay ng fund-raising activity ng mga Kandidata. Bawat isang barangay ay namili ng kalahok na binibini upang siya nilang suportahan at tulungan sa paghahanda at paglilikom ng pondo. Ang Fiesta Queen ay isa sa mga major fund-raising component ng City Fiesta. 'Mula sa suportang ibinigay ng mga barangay sa bawat Kandidata nagmula ang pondo para sa ikatatagumpay ng City Fiesta na pakikinabangan ng Philhealth Indigency at Scholarship Programs ng lungsod,' ayon kay Kgd. Mareybeth Marzan na Chairperson ng Olongapo City Fiesta Committee 2005.

'Ang mga Kandidata para sa City Fiesta Queen, na tunay namang ipagmamalaki sa ganda at talento, at ang kanilang pamilya ay dapat lamang na pasalamatan,' pahayag ni Mayor Gordon at matapos na kanyang pananalita ay isa-isang kinamayan ang mga Kandidata.

'Hindi lang ito basta money-contest. Napatunayan ng ating Fiesta Queen na si Victoria Khouri Elias at ng iba pang naggagandahang mga Kandidata na masasalamin sa kanila ang ganda at galing ng kadalagahang Olongapeña,' ani Kgd. Marzan.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

4 GIs charged with rape Prosecutor demands custody of accused

By Tonette Orejas, Ansbert Joaquin

OLONGAPO CITY -- The case of the alleged rape of a 22-year-old Filipino woman by US Marines at the Subic Bay Freeport is now in court.

Olongapo Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni and Assistant Prosecutor Raymond Viray yesterday filed rape charges against four of the original six American suspects and their Filipino driver, and demanded custody of the Americans and their detention in an Olongapo jail.

The four Americans are the first foreign soldiers to be charged with rape since the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was implemented in 1999 to allow military exercises between the Philippines and the United States.

But in Manila, Undersecretary Zosimo Paredes, executive director of the Presidential Commission on the VFA, has all but given up on the Philippine government's efforts to gain custody of the soldiers.

The VFA allows the US government to keep custody of the accused "until the completion of the case," Paredes told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
"Warrants of arrest can be issued, but they can't be served if the US invokes the VFA. They can be refused unless the US grants our request," he said.

"When there's a clash between a domestic procedural law and a treaty like the VFA, the treaty prevails," he added, conceding that the provisions on custody were "really in [the Americans'] favor.

Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño told reporters that the Department of Justice would "abide by the VFA agreement that the US Embassy can retain custody of all the accused."
But Zuño said this did not mean that private prosecutors could not ask the court to assert its jurisdiction and order local authorities to acquire custody of the Americans.

He said the "final decision" would "come from the court."

Zuño also said it would not be far-fetched for the custody issue to reach the Supreme Court. But he said this would be disadvantageous to the prosecution given the fact that it had only one year to complete the judicial proceedings.

Sought for a reaction, the 22-year-old woman and her family -- who have since returned home to their native Zamboanga City -- sent the Inquirer a text message saying they were "very happy."

Those charged were Staff Sergeant Chad Brian Carpentier, Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Dominic Duplantis and Keith Silkwood, and van driver Timoteo Soriano Jr.

Two other American soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Albert Lara and Cpl. Corey Burris -- were cleared after a month-long preliminary investigation.

"We believe that the victim was raped," the prosecutors said in a resolution filed before lawyer John Aquino, clerk of court at the Olongapo Regional Trial Court.

"The US military authorities holding them in custody pursuant to the [VFA] are hereby authorized to release them [to local authorities] unless held for some other cause or causes," the prosecutors said.

The alleged rape occurred on Nov. 1. The woman filed a complaint on Nov. 3.

'Least guilty'

The prosecutors dismissed the complaint against Burris and Lara because "it cannot be inferred from the records that they were inside the van when the incident occurred, despite the earlier allegation of the unreliable Soriano."

Jalandoni said Silkwood and Duplantis were the "least guilty" and could turn state witness.
Soriano was named a principal accused because he "drove the van in a slow and roundabout way, precisely to give Smith more time to sexually ravish the victim," the prosecutors said, adding:

"Thus, Soriano, like Carpentier, having exhibited overt acts, conspiracy among them is established."

They said Carpentier, the platoon leader, failed to exercise his "moral ascendancy" over his men.

Citing VFA provisions, Viray said the prosecution would leave it to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to determine the appropriate detention center for the four Americans.
Among the possible detention sites are the jails in Olongapo, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the "brig," a prison facility maintained by the US Navy until 1991 at the then Subic Naval Base, now a free port.

Jan. 3 raffle

The raffle of the case to at least three RTCs in Olongapo is set for Jan. 3, said clerk of court Aquino. The judge assigned to the case will then issue arrest warrants for the five accused.

But according to Jalandoni, the accused may also voluntarily surrender.

Viray and Jalandoni said they would serve as public prosecutors during the trial and allow private prosecutors to assist them.

Jalandoni said the judicial proceedings should be completed in one year, in accordance with a provision of the VFA.

Citing the DFA interpretation, Viray said the reckoning would start on the date of the filing of the information for the charges.

But even as the four accused undergo trial in a Philippine court, the US Navy has set court-martial proceedings against them in Okinawa, Jalandoni said.

"We will have parallel proceedings," he said.

Petition for review

Katrina Legarda, lead counsel of the complainant, said that while the legal team was glad about the filing of charges, it was "seriously considering" a petition for partial review questioning the exclusion of Lara and Burris.

She pointed out that Smith, in a report on his interrogation by the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service, admitted the presence of the two other Marines in the van.

Benjamin Formoso, counsel for Smith, said he would file a motion to quash the resolution.
He claimed that what had transpired between Smith and the woman was sex with consent.
Formoso also said the resolution had "prejudiced" the business climate in Olongapo and the free port.

"No ship will dock anymore," he said, adding that "two big [US military] ships" were diverted to Singapore in November as a result of the incident.

The custody issue alone will "take time," Formoso said, adding that he would ask the court to determine if it would be appropriate to hand Smith to local authorities.

Still here

The US Embassy in Manila has kept custody of the six original suspects, saying they had remained in the country to face judicial proceedings.

In a statement yesterday, the embassy said those charged were still here, and mentioned Smith and company by name.

It noted that the complaint against the "other US military personnel"-referring to Burris and Lara -- had been dismissed, but did not make clear if they were still in the country.

The DFA formally asked the US Embassy on Nov. 16 to turn over the six soldiers, to no avail.
"The US will continue to cooperate with Philippine authorities in accordance with the VFA as the case moves to trial under Philippine jurisdiction," the embassy said, adding:

"[Washington remains] committed to seeing that justice is served, and looks forward to a fair and impartial process that can provide for a just outcome." With reports from Volt Contreras and Armand N. Nocum in Manila

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Jamboree all set

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Core personnel in the preparation of the first NCR-CLR boy scouts jamborette confirmed today that all preparations were made to ensure the successful jamboree hosting of James L. Gordon Council Olongapo City. Above photo R-L: Arlee Cruz (SBMA), Ronald Manila (Secretariat), NCR-CLR Director Chavez, Chairman for Jamborette Operations Yang Elane, Bataan and Olongapo SCE Ding Ancheta and Olongapo contingent head Edwin Piano

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mga kompanya sa SBMA magsasara dahil kay Calimlim?

Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – May posibilidad na magsara ang mga kompanya sa loob ng Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) matapos ang ginawang pangha-harass ng Anti-Smuggling Task Force (ASTF) laban sa isang duty free store ng isang locator na ngayon ay tuluyang nagsara.

Sa press conference na ginanap sa isang restaurant sa Olongapo City, ipinahayag ng isang imbestor at opisyal ng Subic Bay Motor Vehicles Importers Association (SBMVIA), na mapipilitan silang magsara ng kompanya kung hindi titigilan ng Anti-Smuggling Task Force (ASTF) ang pangha-harass sa mga lehitimong locators at imbestor na nakabase sa Subic Bay Freeport.

Kinondena ng nasabing asosasyon ang ginawang pagsalakay ng mga tauhan ni ASTF chief ret. Lt. Gen. Jose Calimlim sa isang kompany na walang search warrant at kaukulang dokumento para sa kanilang operasyon at ilegal na pagkumpiska sa mga imported brand na sigarilyo at alak.

Sa ginawang harassment ng mga tauhan ni Calimlim ay hindi malayong mangyari sa kanilang mga kompanya ang sinapit ng nagsarang imbestor.

Kinuwestiyon din ng nasabing samahan ang ginawang aksyon ng mga tauhan ni Calimlim at pagkumpiska sa mga kagamitan ng nasabing duty free store na nasa loob ng Freeport Zone.

Hindi anila makatarungan ang ginawang raid ni Calimlim dahil hindi maituturing na smuggling operation ng kompanya dahil nasa loob pa ng Freeport Zone. (Jeff Tombado)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

BSP NCR-CLR Jamborette 2005

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Official Logo of the 1st Joint NCR-CLR Jamborette in Subic Bay to be held December 26-30, 2005

Saturday, December 17, 2005

FINAL BSP JAMBOREE CAMPSITE INSPECTION

Camp Directors conducted inspection this morning to finalize campsite lay-out of the first joint jamborette of National Capital Region and the Central Luzon Region of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines
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Below is the Final Campsite lay-out for the joint NCR/CLR Jamborette this coming 26-30 Dec 2005 at Phase Two of SBDMC, Subic Bay, Freeport. An estimated 10 thousand Boy Scouts will participate in the 5-day event
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Follow link below for bigger pdf file
http://subicbay.ph/images/2005/bsp/campsite.pdf

Robbers shoot Brit and Pinoy seaman

By Ernie B. Esconde, Manila Times Central Luzon Bureau 
 
DINALUPIHAN, Bataan: Five unidentified men shot at passengers of a Victory Liner bus they held up at the Gapan-Olongapo Road in Barangay Saguing here at dawn Friday after two passengers, one of them a police officer, attempted to fend off the robbers.
 
Wounded were six passengers, including a Filipino seaman and a British man who are in serious condition.
 
Sr. Supt. Hernando Zafra, Bataan police director, identified the passengers in critical condition as seaman Francis Dolera, 40, of Barangay Paanan, Botolan, Zambales; and British national Paul Howard, 58, a resident of Jansen Extension in Olongapo City.
 
The two were rushed to the James Gordon Memorial Hospital in Olongapo City together with the other wounded passengers: Sarah Jane Saguin, 34, of Botolan, Zambales; Florencio Chavez, 43, of Lubao, Pampanga; Noel Monte­mayor, 32, of Jansen Extension, Olongapo; and Police Sr. Insp. Adriano Adsuara, 53, of the Maritime command of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
 
Reports showed that the five men boarded the Victory Liner bus, with plate No. CWX-619, in San Fernando, Pampanga. The bus was coming from Pasay City and bound for Iba, Zambales.
 
When the bus reached the Gapan-Olongapo Road in Saguing, Dinalupihan, the five men who had been scattered in various seats during the trip suddenly rose to announce the holdup at about 1:45 in the morning. They brandished a .45-caliber pistol, a .38-caliber revolver, a 9-mm pistol and a fan knife, police said.
 
While starting to divest Dolera of his valuables, the seaman resisted but was shot several times by one of the robbers positioned near Mario Quijano of Calumpit, Bulacan, the bus driver. The seaman suffered multiple gunshot wounds but the driver was not hurt.
 
Maritime Captain Adsuara then fired his service pistol and hit one of the robbers but one of the suspects stabbed him in the left shoulder, rendering him immobile.
 
The other suspects then fired indiscriminately and wounded four other passengers.
 
The suspects carrying with them their wounded companion then boarded a waiting white vehicle of unknown make and drove off toward Olongapo City, Intelligence officer Chief Insp. Luisito Magnaye said.
 
Colonel Zafra said he has alerted all police units in Bataan and asked other units in Pampanga, Olongapo City and Zambales to be on the lookout for the still unidentified robbers.
 
Police agents were also directed to inspect all hospitals in the area for the possible confinement of the wounded robber
 

Favila confirms plan to place BCDA under DTI

By Marianne V. Go, The Philippine Star

Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B. Favila confirmed yesterday that President Arroyo has discussed the possibility of placing the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) under the supervision of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In a statement from Hong Kong, Favila confirmed that "the transfer of supervisory power to line departments is part of the ongoing devolution of government agencies and other instrumentalities presently attached to Malacañang."

Favila assured that he would accept any additional functions Malacañang gives him.

However, Favila said that he has not yet received any order from President Arroyo.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Waldo Flores, for his part, only confirmed that Malacañang is "doing a lot of devolution."

He explained that the devolution of agencies attached to the Office of the President is in compliance with commitments made by President Arroyo during her State of the Nation Address (SONA) this year.

Flores admitted, "we’ve started to devolve agencies attached to the Office of the President. I wouldn’t be surprised if it (referring to the BCDA) is one of those."

He added that "in the SONA, the President wanted attached government agencies to be run with less interference from the Office of the President. The idea is with less bureaucracy, processing will be faster."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Banicain Fishport Inauguration Today

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The New Banicain Fishport will be officially inaugurated 10am this morning by Mayor Bong Gordon and Project Manager Anne Marie Gordon. Columban Parish Priest Paul Lizada will lead the Blessing Rites while Livelihood and Cooperative Consultant Aileen Cuevas-Sanchez will give the opening messages.

Olongapo DepEd Wins National School Journalists Awards

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DepEd Assitant City Schools Superintendent recieving the award from Mayor Bong Gordon

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Linggo ng Kabataan

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Youth of Olongapo City were given a chance last Monday to act as city officials as part of the annual Linggo ng Kabataan Celebration

City Mayor - Jennifer Navarro OCNHS - SSC
City Vice-Mayor Joey Marie Saldaña OCNHS - BEC
City Councilors
Roonie Deves St. Anne Academy
Ria Angelica Hermoso St. Joseph College
Aldrin Bonayog OCNHS – BEC
Katrina Arta Danuya OCNHS-SSC
Mon Calvin S Ecleo OCNHS – BEC
Jennifer F. Rios St. Anne Academy
Milca S. Carlos OCNHS – ICT
Kevin Barrera St. Joseph College
Alquin Dagamina NCNHS
ABC President - Sarah Jane Yasay GHNHS
SK Federation President - Jermay Alexis Ocon OCNHS –SPA
Sec. to the City Mayor - Claire Nicolas OCNHS-BEC
Sec. to the City Council - Jayson Imperial OCNHS –ICT
City Treasurer - Jayson T. Pradel GHNHS
City Budget Officer - Genise Jade Jose Sun Beam C. Academy
City Accountant - Dyanne B. Domine BNHS
City Planning and Dev’t Ofcr - Robert Jones Sun Beam C. Academy
City Assessor - Krizza Cercado OCNHS
CSWD Officer - Joseph Jaffar Palma OCNHS – SSC
Acting City Engineer - Leevi Paul Lavina HIJC
Chief Hospital - Michael F. Morales JLGIS
City Health Officer - Julia Ann Yanga HIJC
City Director, OCPO - John Dominic M Pagot JLGIS
Gen. Manager, PUD - Jecel De Jesus OCNHS
City Legal Officer - Mike Angelo Talisog GHNHS
Head, ESMO - Michael P. Tuyay OCNHS-SSC
City Auditor - John Leo Palencia GHNHS
Gen. Services Officer - Marilou Daguinod SSEMS
Hospital Administrator - Kimberly Rose Cabiles OCNHS-SSC
City Director, DILG - Mon Paolo Lejarde OCNHS
Head, Business Permit - Gretchen O. Afau OCNHS-BEC
City Librarian - Cathleen M. dela Porre OCHNS
Personnel Officer - Leonard Faustino RSHS
Local Civil Registrar - Muhammad Otto Sar Jaafar RSHS
City Tourism Officer - Emerson Alves GHNHS
Chief, Bu. of Fire Protection - Matthew Aucheta BNHS
Livelihood Development Officer - Trista Emylle S. Reyes OCNHS-BEC
Head, City Museum - Ronnel Lumbao OCNHS-BEC
Administrator Gordon College - Roselyn Arbitrario SSEMS
Head Convention Center - Vera Ellen Sunglao OCNHS-SPA
Public Affairs Officer - Christine Caira Lleva NCNHS

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Mayor Bong Gordon Turned over the helm to Jennifer Navarro elected City Youth Mayor

Monday, December 12, 2005

5 Taiwanese firms infuse P432-M fresh investments in Subic

By Bebot Sison Jr , The Philippine Star

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Five Taiwanese locators have infused a total of P432 million in fresh investments in this economic zone, which is expected to entice more foreign investors with the setting up of the Subic-Taiwan Economic Corridor.

Taiwan’s Economic Minister Mei-Yueh Ho has forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for the establishment of an economic corridor between the special economic zones of Subic Freeport and Kaohsiung County in Taiwan.

SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga expressed strong confidence that the signing of the agreement would serve as the conduit towards a more active trade and economic alliance between the Philippines and Taiwan.

"Subic Freeport being an economic zone is expected to benefit from this agreement through fresh investment package from Taiwan which will be complemented with lower manufacturing costs of Subic-made products and better tariff arbitration," Salonga told The STAR.

The new investors are Taiwan’s leading producer of auto radiator tank Liankuann Enterprises, gas steamer manufacturer Gei Huan Corp., industrial steel brushes maker Lee Chia Brush, OEM electronic product manufacturer Gigatek Inc. and waste water treatment system maker Kintech Technology Co. Inc.

"The SBMA is looking forward to see the increase investments of Taiwanese firms engaged in manufacturing with the entry of cluster industries that will uplift export production and trading of goods and services in Subic Freeport," SBMA administrator Armand Arreza told The STAR in another interview.

The MOA will contribute to the full development of Subic and Clark as a manufacturing and logistics hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

Arreza disclosed that the five new Taiwanese investors have already signed contracts with SBMA for the building of various manufacturing plants.

He added that the Taiwanese companies would initially employ about 600 highly skilled workers inside the Subic Industrial Park.

The corridor is also envisioned to allow the free movement of goods, human resources and exports. The economic corridor is intended to allow automatic and parallel registration of locators in the special economic zones enjoying similar incentives and benefits.

The benefit of such an arrangement for the Philippines would be more investments from Taiwan, more employment and the transfer of manufacturing technology, specifically optho-electronic technology that involves the manufacture of liquid crystal displays, polymers and semiconductors.

At present, there are about $1.5 billion worth of registered Taiwanese investments in the Philippines.

However, at least two delicate issues would have to be resolved first such as the free movement of Filipino and Taiwanese workers between the special economic zones, and financial transactions.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

P3-B buwis nakolekta sa SBMA

Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Lalong naka-ungos ang ekonomiya ng bansa mula sa pagkakasadsad nito dahil sa krisis-pulitika, makaraang makapangalap ng buwis ang Bureau of Customs-Port of Subic at Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ng may P3 bilyon sa kaban ng gobyerno na puntirya sa pagtatapos ng 2005.

Sa collection target report na isinumite nina Customs Assessment Division Chief Atty. Carlito Pascua at BIR-Subic Regional District Officer Edgar Tolentino kay BIR Commissioner Jose Marie Bunag, nakakolekta ang BoC-Subic ng may P2 bilyong buwis mula sa tariff and duties ng mga imported goods simula noong Enero hanggang Oktubre 2005

Nalampasan ang koleksyon ng buwis noong 2004 na nakakolekta lamang ng P1.9-B, subalit ayon kay Pascua, magiging mas mataas pa ang kanilang makukuhang buwis dahil sa inaasahang pagdating ng mga imported goods at bulk materials ngayong Kapaskuhan at sa masigasig na pagbabayad ng multi-milyong taxes ng ilang mga oil companies sa Freeport.

Malaki rin ang naiambag sa koleksyon na ipinapasok na buwis ng Enforcement and Security Service-Customs-Police District (ESS-CPD) sa pamumuno ni ESS District Commander Capt. Ramon Policarpio dahil sa sunud-sunod na pagkakalambat ng mga ipinupuslit na mga luxury vehicles.

Sa nakuhang koleksyon naman ng BIR, sinabi ni Tolentino na nakapagtala ang kanilang tanggapan ng may P780-milyon mula sa ibinabayad ng may 60, 000 SBMA workers at mga imbestor simula ng Enero hanggang Oktubre 2005. (Jeff Tombado)

10 Taiwanese firms to invest P1b in Subic

By Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos Manila Standard Today

Ten Taiwanese firms have committed to infuse a total of P1.02 billion investments in new and existing projects at the Taiwanese Industrial Park in Subic Bay Freeport.

“The infusion of P1.02 billion worth of expansion projects and new investments is a clear indication of the continued confidence of the Taiwanese business community to invest in the Philippines, particularly through the Taiwanese Industrial Park here,” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman Feliciano Salonga said in a statement.

The Taiwanese investors made their commitments after they signed sub-lease agreements with the Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. (SBDMC) during the recent visit of Taiwan’s Economic Affairs Prime Minister Mei-Yueh.

The sub-lease agreements pave the way for the establishment of five new firms inside the Subic Bay Industrial Park (SBIP) and the infusion of additional investments into five projects.

The five new companies, which will infuse P432 million investments, expect to generate jobs for 570 skilled workers from nearby communities of Olongapo, Bataan and Zambales.

Water treatment provider Kintech Technology Co. Inc. to bring in P162 million and create employment of around 250; leading auto radiator tank producer Liankuann Enterprises Co. Ltd. to infuse some P108 million and would employ a total of 120 skilled workers.

NPA attacks SCTEP expressway construction site in Tarlac

ANGELES CITY — The Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) has tightened security at the construction site of the P27.4 billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) portion in Concepcion, Tarlac after a Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) personnel was killed last Wednesday when 10 suspected New People’s Army rebels tried to destroy the project.

Nolcom commander Maj. Gen. Romeo Tolentino ordered Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, commander of the 7th Infantry Division, to secure the ongoing construction of the SCTEP as well as other vital government flagship projects in Central Luzon so as to prevent any attempt to destroy government projects in the area.

Lt. Col. Preme Monta, spokesman of Nolcom, said that last Dec. 7, three armed men believed to be communist rebels carnapped a Besta van (CPY 166) belonging to Tarlac Electric Co. about 10:30 a.m. in Barangay Sta. Maria, Concepcion, Tarlac.

Monta said that on that same day about 7:45 p.m., at least 10 armed NPA rebels on board a Besta van strafed the 2nd SCTEP Security of the 70th Infantry Battalion Detachment in Barangay Alfonso, Concepcion.

Monta said a firefight ensued resulting to the death of a Cafgu identified as Rolando Berido.

He said the detachment was about 25 meters away from the SCTEP site when the rebels suddenly approached the detachment manned by some 13 soldiers headed by T/Sgt. Frisco Mamoyac.

Monta said the rebels fled, while the military recovered shells of M-14 and 68 empty shells of M-16 rifles after the firefight as well as an unexploded hand grenade in the area.

Monta said the Besta van that was carnapped by armed men was the same vehicle used by the rebels in attacking the SCTEP site in Concepcion.

Monta said the military recovered the Besta van in Barangay Corazon de Jesus left by the rebels, adding that they recovered inside the van eight empty shells of M-14 and 20 empty shells of M-16 ammunition and sandbags.

Monta said the rebels were out to destroy the ongoing SCTEP in Concepcion but failed to disrupt the construction.

“This is a barbaric act of the terrorists, antipoor and antidevelopment,” Monta said.

Meanwhile, Tolentino yesterday said that a certain “Ka Satur” has ordered the execution of a soldier who was abducted five days ago by a group of suspected NPA rebels in Barangay Pulong Masle, Guagua, Pampanga.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines vehemently condemned the brutal and senseless killing of Marine T/Sgt. Marlon Oronan who was abducted five days ago by a group of NPA terrorists in Pampanga,” Tolentino said.

He said Oronan got the ire of his captors led by Jose Jackson Carmen alias “Ka Roman,” secretary of the Kilusang Larangan Gerilya-Northwestern Pampanga District Committee under the Pampanga Provincial Committee when they failed to extract details of military information from the victim.

“Sensing the futility of holding the victim, it was learned that a certain Ka Satur sent words to the leaders of the local terrorist group to execute the soldier, which they did without any hesitation. It can be recalled that Ka Satur was the one who gave P5 million for the purchase of explosives and to finance the training of NPA rebels in bomb-making in relation to the destabilization plot against the Arroyo administration,” he said.

Tolentino together with other military officials in Camp Aguinaldo was referring the Ka Satur nom de guerre to Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo who, in turn, had flatly denied the accusation.

Citing reports reaching Nolcom, Tolentino said Oronan’s body was dumped and found somewhere in the tri-boundaries of Guagua, Lubao and Sasmuan where the Army had been sent to retrieve the victim.

Oronan was assigned at the 6th Marine Battalion based in Lanao del Norte. He was survived by his wife, Lilia, and two children Marly, 2, and John Paul, 14. Rendy Isip and Florante S. Solmerin

No rape: Subic driver contradicts his 1st affidavit

By Tonette Orejas, Ansbert Joaquin -- Inquirer

OLONGAPO CITY—Now he’s singing a different tune.

Timoteo Soriano Jr., driver of the van used by the US Marines accused of raping a 22-year-old Filipino woman at the Subic Bay Freeport on Nov. 1, has denied witnessing the crime inside his vehicle.

In a three-page sworn statement submitted yesterday by his lawyer, Jose Raulito Paras, Soriano also said he was coerced by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority investigator Paquito Torres into claiming that he had witnessed the gang rape of the woman.

Paras said his client was neither a witness for the woman nor an accomplice of the US servicemen in the rape that supposedly took place in his van as it drove through the Subic port on the night of Nov. 1.

Soriano, 31, as well as the woman and her alleged rapists, was not present at the third and final hearing of the case's preliminary investigation held yesterday.

Olongapo City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni was angered by the actions of Paras and Soriano. He said the two men were "making a mockery of the proceedings."

At the same hearing, Paras also filed a four-page motion seeking Soriano's exclusion as a respondent in the case.

Soriano said there was "absolutely no cause" for his inclusion.

Not recanting

Paras, however, declined to call Soriano's sworn statement dated Dec. 8 a recantation of the first statement dated Nov. 2, or a counter-affidavit.

But in his second statement, Soriano contradicted his first, which, he said, he was forced into signing.

While Soriano's first statement recounted in detail the supposed events on the night of Nov. 1, the second statement only mentioned that he drove some American servicemen on "liberty" in Subic on the night of Nov. 1 until 1:30 a.m. of the next day.

Jalandoni noted the Dec. 8 document, and asked that it be subscribed to him by Soriano before Dec. 19, the extended deadline for the submission of memoranda by the opposing parties.

The prosecutor said Soriano remained an accomplice because, based on the evidence submitted, he had shown "some complicity" in the alleged rape.

Exasperation

Minerva Ambrosio, one of the lead lawyers for the woman, expressed exasperation at the turn of events.

But Jalandoni said Soriano's Nov. 2 sworn statement remained on the record.

Ambrosio countered that the statement might be deemed inadmissible because Soriano made it in the absence of his lawyer—a violation of the Miranda Doctrine that guarantees the right of the accused to have a lawyer present during questioning.

After the hearing, Ambrosio told the Inquirer that losing Soriano as a witness had not weakened the case.

"It's the complainant's statement that will see her complaint through," Ambrosio said.

With Soriano wanting out of the case, only Ma. Fe Castro, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority security officer Noel Paule and two Neptune Bar and Restaurant security guards are left as witnesses.

All three were not present at yesterday's hearing.

Correa's affidavit

At the last hearing on Nov. 29, five of the six US servicemen submitted their version of events in sworn statements, disputing the allegation of rape and suggesting there was "consensual sex."

The sixth soldier has yet to submit his sworn statement.

At yesterday's hearing, the lawyers of two respondents-Corporal Corey Burris and Lance Corporal Albert Lara-submitted an affidavit of their fellow Marine, Corporal Juan Victor Correa III.

In the two-page statement sworn before the judge advocate of the US Marine Corps at Naha, Japan, Correa said he did "not remember" seeing Burris and Lara, as well as the co-accused—Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis—"hanging, dancing or talking with any Filipina."

Correa also said he, Burris, Lara and one Corporal Balaszek ate together at a pizza parlor and saw Burris and Lara walk to their ship.

Soriano's account

In his Dec. 8 statement, Soriano said he was accosted at the gates of the Subic Bay Freeport as he was leaving and brought to the "Subic headquarters"-an apparent reference to the SBMA's Intelligence and Investigation Service Office.

He said that he saw a number of American officials there, and that in an office, SBMA investigator Torres showed him his lost trip ticket.

This was Soriano's account, as stated in his statement:

Torres asked Soriano if he had witnessed a rape inside the Starex van that he was driving

He answered: "None."

Torres then punched him twice in the back, an action that was witnessed by an unnamed official and a Filipino from the US Embassy.

The two witnesses later went out of the office, leaving Soriano and Torres behind.

Torres asked Soriano some questions, typed his answers, and then showed him a copy of his statement.

"I complained when I read in the document that I claimed having witnessed a gang rape," Soriano said.

He refused to sign it.

The following morning, Soriano was again brought to the headquarters and told to sign the statement.

"Tired and without sleep, combined with fear of being involved in the case, I decided to sign the document," he said.

He was sent home afterward.

To interview victim

Jalandoni told the Inquirer that he wanted to hear the woman's story before wrapping up the case.

He said the woman's credibility should be established.

"I want to meet her, interview her, before we prepare the resolution. That's an ideal situation. I'm willing to meet her outside the [hearing] proceedings," Jalandoni said.

The accused Marines are being held in the custody of the US Embassy in Manila.

Washington has not responded to a request by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs to transfer custody of the soldiers to local authorities.

"We will resolve the case before Christmas," Reuters quoted Jalandoni as saying.

Outside Olongapo's Hall of Justice, dozens of members of the militant women's alliance Gabriela protested. They demanded the scrapping of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, which allows US soldiers to train and advise Philippine troops.

Subic expressway guard gunned down

By Dante M. Fabian Sun Star

CAMP OLIVAS -- A security man at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) was shot dead by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) in Barangay Alfonso, Concepcion, Tarlac last Thursday.

Police said the slain security man was identified as Rolando Merido, 47, of San Julian, Moncada, Tarlac was rushed to a hospital in Concepcion but he died later of several bullet wounds.

Merido was a former member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) and among those employed to provide security to the SCTEP construction in Concepcion.

The SCTEP is being implemented by government through the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) now headed by former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Narciso Abaya.

Many farmers and landowners displaced along its 94-kilometer path have reportedly grown impatient with the failure of the BCDA to fulfill its promises of compensation for their right-of-way (ROW) claims.

A report reaching the office of Chief Superintendent Alejandro C. Lapinid, director of the Central Luzon police, blamed the harassment on six armed men believed to be NPA members.

The military and police reported that the rebels were led by Oliver Millo alias "Ka Red" and Renato Gonzala alias "Ka Joe" who are operating in the province of Tarlac.

Police said the alleged communist rebels, armed with M16 and M14 rifles, alighted from a light-colored van of unknown plate stopped near the Philippine Army (PA) Detachment along Alfonso Concepcion Road and shot at the victim. The first volley of gunfire hit Merido, prompting the soldiers and Cafgu volunteers to fire back that forced the rebels to speed away headed to the town proper.

BCDA ordered to stop roadwork in Luisita

THE Department of Agrarian Reform has directed the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) to temporarily stop the construction of an expressway project passing through the 5,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

In a press briefing, Romeo Zarate, Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (Catlu) board of director, said the lawyer Ibra Omar of the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance sent a letter to BCDA after granting the petition of hacienda farmworkers.

“We wanted to stop the project because there’s still a pending case with the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council [PARC] on the stock-distribution option [SDO], that could pave the way for land distribution to farmers,” he explained.

Zarate said, “The BCDA has been ignoring the order. It continues doing construction work during evenings with the assistance of the 48th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army to block the farmworkers’ from opposing the roadwork.”

Catlu and the United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) suspect the deployment of the military in the hacienda has something to do with the expressway project.

The group wants the military to pull out, especially the 7th Infantry Division of Major Gen. Jovito Palparan.

The farmers’ strike has ended after the two labor unions and the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) signed new labor agreements.

Zarate said the HLI received P100 million from BCDA in payment of the right-of-way needed for the expressway project. “But only 3 percent of that amount was given to farmworkers who are part-owners of the hacienda if the SDO is to be believed,” he continued.

“It should be 33 percent. That is the stake of the farmworkers in the company.
--Ronnnie E. Calumpita - Manila times

Friday, December 09, 2005

Van driver denies witnessing rape by US servicemen

First posted 04:13pm (Mla time) Dec 09, 2005
By Tonette Orejas, Inquirer
INQ7.NET Breaking News

OLONGAPO CITY -- In a statement submitted to the prosecutor's office here on Friday, Timoteo Soriano Jr., the driver of the American soldiers accused of raping a Filipina at the Subic Bay Freeport on November 1, denied witnessing a rape or gang rape inside his van.

Soriano, who was absent in the third hearing in the case's preliminary investigation on Friday, also said he was coerced by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority investigator Paquito Torres to claim that he witnessed a gang rape involving the Americans and the Filipina.

Raul Paras, Soriano's counsel, said his client was neither a witness nor an accomplice in the case.

But City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni insisted he had already declared Soriano as an accomplice because of signs of "some complicity" in the alleged rape. Inquirer Central Luzon Desk

Third court date for Subic rape case

OLONGAPO CITY — Will the victim and respondents show up?

Today (Dec. 9) is the schedule of the third preliminary investigation (PI) on the controversial rape case filed by a 22-year-old Filipina against six members of the United States Marines last Nov. 1 inside a rented van at the Subic Bay Freeport zone.

Olongapo City chief prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni said the presence of complainant, suspects and witnesses during the PI were too important despite the submission of the counter affidavits of five of the six accused military personnel. Both parties have to be present for clarificatory questionings, he added.

One of the respondents, Daniel Smith, have yet to submit his counter affidavit beside his “oral statement” during investigation and interrogation by agents of the Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS), Jalandoni said.

Jalandoni said another accused, former witness Timoteo Soriano, the driver of the green Starex van where the alleged rape took place, needs to show up at the preliminary investigation to clarify matters whether he will stand on his first sworn statement before the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority- Intelligence and Investigation Office (SBMA-IIO) or will have another statement on his counter affidavit which he or counsel will submit before the honorable prosecution body.

Soriano, 31, a resident of no. 1 Tatiana Street, L.D. Tala, Caloocan City, driver of Tourist Bus Starways Travel and Tour located at Guadalupe, Makati City, drove one green 1999 diesel Hyundai Starex van (WKF-162) registered to Walter Wassmer of #63 Barcelona Street Merville City, Parañaque, on the night of the Nov. 1 rape incident, with five of the six accused US personnel and the Filipina woman on board.

In his first sworn statement, Soriano stated that he witnessed a rape inside the Starex van he was driving of a Filipina victim where five US military servicemen were also on board.

In his statement, about 9:30 p.m., on Nov. 1, he drove Staff Sgt. Carpenter to Arreses Restaurant where they ate dinner, then proceeded to Neptune Club. “Iyong apat na US servicemen na sina Smith at Borris at iyong dalawa na kasama pa nila na hindi ko alam ang pangalan ay naisakay ko sa may Neptune Club.”

He said he knew SSgt Carpenter, Smith and Borris for they were his customers for more than a week when they stayed in Clark Air Base.

“Bandang 10:32 ng gabi ng Nov. 01, 2005, ay pumasok kami ni SSG Carpenter sa Neptune Club, pagdating namin doon ay uminom ng tig-isang beer, samantalang si Borris ay umiinom din at ito namang si Smith ay nagsasayaw at kasayaw niya iyong babaeng nagrereklamo na kanilang pinagsamantalahan. At iyon din po ang babaeng isinakay nila sa Starex van sa may Neptune Club.”

On the last page of his statement, Soriano stated that “Narinig ko ang biktima na sumisigaw kaya lang ay hindi ko maintindihan dahil maingay itong mga Amerikano at malakas ang stereo.”

“Sinabihan ko si Carpenter na ninenerbiyos ako sa ginawa ninyo, at mga bandang alas 11:40 samantalang mabagal akong bumabagtas sa Waterfront Road at noong malapit na kami sa Subic Telecom Bldg ay bigla nilang ipinahinto ang van at hawak nitong sina Smith, Borris na isang Negro at iyong dalawa pa nilang kasama na hindi ko alam ang pangalan ay binuhat ang biktima na parang baboy at ibinaba at iniwan itong biktima sa tabi ng daan at nakita ko na ang maong na pantalon ng biktima ay nakababa hanggang tuhod.”

In the second preliminary investigation held last Nov. 29 at the Justice Hall of this city, Soriano failed to appear before the prosecution panel for clarificatory questionings. His counsel, lawyer Raul Paras, represented his client and was furnished with the necessary documents in which his client has to submit a counter affidavit this day.

Jalandoni said once the case is submitted for “resolution” it will take one more week to file the case in court. “We only have 60 days in which to finish the preliminary investigation and render a decision,” he added.

Jalandoni added if both parties would not attend this last PI and counsels for any of the parties requested for extension of time, he would deny and will base their opinions on the statements and affidavits already submitted to the prosecution panel. Malou Dungog, Manila Standard Today

Gordon to PTA: Dispose of white elephants

By Rey E. Requejo Manila Standard Today

The government has to privatize the assets of the Philippine Tourism Authority or open it for joint venture with private investors if the PTA cannot profitably operate them, Senator Richard Gordon said yesterday.

“What is PTA doing when all its facilities are losing millions of pesos?” asked Gordon, who once served as tourism secretary.

Gordon made the proposal after PTA general manager Dean Barbers admitted during a Senate budget hearing that all PTA-owned and managed entities lost a total of P25.78 million this year.

Only one entity, a PTA-leased property, the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, recorded earnings for this year, noted Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on tourism.

Among the PTA-managed properties losing money are the Hilaga Project in Pampanga amounting to P10 million; Boracay Water Sewerage System, P7.9 million, and the Zamboanga Complex, P3.8 million.

Gordon said that after six months, the committee on tourism will call a meeting with tourism officials to monitor the performance and reevaluate the PTA entities.

“The government cannot afford to lose more money and if the PTA cannot properly manage its properties, we might as well privatize them or enter into joint venture with the private sector to be able to operate these infrastructures,” the former tourism secretary stressed.

During the Senate budget hearing on the proposed 2006 budget of the Department of Tourism, Gordon assailed the DoT’s failure to maintain and preserve the glamour Intramuros as a tourist spot.

“Intramuros has started to lose its face,” Gordon lamented.

Gordon said that one of the major tourist attractions in Metro Manila, the Intramuros History Town, is poorly maintained and has lost its luster.

“Stalls have been abandoned, lamp posts are busted and the streets around it have turned into dark alleys, restrooms are padlocked, trash bins are missing and garbage are dumped in corners,” the senator noted.

Gordon deplored the tourism department’s failure to preserve and sustain Intramuros as tourist spot, which created thousands of job opportunities for Filipino entrepreneurs, vendors, tourist guides, performers and artists.

He added that the influx of local and foreign tourists that used to frequent the place even on ordinary days have been a thing of a very recent past.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano admitted that he has focused more on international tourism concerns and had merely delegated the management of Intramuros History Town to the Intramuros Administration.

Nonetheless, the DoT chief vowed to personally look into the place and implement measures to revive its luster.

In 2002, under the leadership of Gordon, the once barren and grimy Intramuros, filled with squatters, was cleaned up and revived by thousands of volunteers. Lights were installed and the place was turned into a Philippine exhibit and cultural complex, Gordon said.

Businessmen from the various regions of the country hold an exhibit at the Clamshell and earn about P25 million a month, Gordon said

Reader's Comments

L: Not Hirap magkaroon ng justise why not to tell yourself why and how they run. GOBYERNO ang problema pakitaan mo lang ng pera
American Citizen: Let the court decide if they really rape they go to jail but, dont ever ever tell that we dont need american.
lis: Di naman sabihin n pabayaan ang kaso at lease maresolve na yan pero wag naman po natin sabihin n walang naitulong ang puti sa atin.Bakit kung hindi ba sa pag aasawa ng puti makarating ka rito
American Citizen: so dont tell that american doesnt help us
American Citizen: If your here ibig mong sabihin di ka nagpapadala and about the work pinapahirapan ka ba ng boss mo. how about baliktarin natin how much is your salary in pinas
American Citizen: I'm not arrogant, I'm just saying is wag mo namang sabihin n walang naitulong ang kano. and now sinasabi mo may naitulong at married ka rin pl sa kano
Elie: I married to Kano, ang dapat sisihin e ang government natin. ni hindi nga nila mahandle and ating bansa. Lalo na ngayon dumarami ang terorista sa tin
!!Veteran: Why not to ask yourself about our policy. Our policy is even worse. Kung higpitan nila ang ating policy sa pinas masasabi kong ito n ang ikakaginhawa sa tin
!!Veteran: Watch out your mouth u just said na ano ba ang naitulong ng kano sa atin . and now u admitting that they helps us
Gret: He knew na nagiging unfair sa ibang countries ang US at isa na riyan ang Pilipinas kaya nga he is ashamed of it.
Gret: I DONT HATE Americans. Because If I do, why would I be married to one? Fortunately, my husband is not a defensive American.
Gret: Don't get me wrong here. Ang kinaaayawan ko sa Amerika foreign policy nila. They're very scheming. No necessarily galit ako sa mga Kano.
Gret: Pero kinokonsider ba nila yan? Binibigyan ba tayo ng respeto gaya ng pagsasamba nating mga Pinoy sa kanila? Never!
Gret: Hindi ko ikinakaila na tumutulong ang US sa atin pero naisip lang ba natin kung ano rin ang naitulong natin sa kanila? Malaki din naitulong natin.
Gret: No wonder hirap magkaroon ng justice ang mga biktima ng kano.
Gret: kung may naitulong Amerika sa atin malaki pa din ang repercussion nya. tingnan nyo lang, ha? halos lahat sa atin di matapus-tapos pasasalamat sa US.
Gret: American citizen hindi lang po ikaw ang tumutulong sa Pilipinas. I bet malaki tulong mo but to say wala na ba kayong "magawa sa buhay nyo..." is being arrogant.
helen: i suggest they must open all the rape cases to be fair to everybody at least makuha nila ang katarungan. Dont focus to only one case focus it to all cases
helen: many kids were rape evey week doesnt have any attention but for only one case gusto nilang kalkalin thats unfair. they must be more alert too to open those rape cases not only one
WWII VET: US Veterans and World war 2 Veterans suffered from mental, and physical hardship as well as financial benefits. Veterans hospital in the philippines that is supposed to be for World war 2 veterans use extensively by the philippine Congress, Senate, but those who suffered the most are Not being taking care off. What kind of leadership is being practice by the philippine congress ? Former President Ramos should look into the matter since he is war veterans himself. Filipinos that served the world war 2 must be taking care off. Our greatest achievement in life is not how much we make but how we take care of those who made ultimate sacrfice, our Veterans that survived must be taken care off. No country will endure for a longer period of time without giving respect to our fallen heros and veterans of war.Let's not forget that freedom is not cheap. Soldiers have to die for it and give life to others. MABUHAY, MY FELLOW VETERANS

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pinoy Big Brother Jenny in Olongapo

MAYOR BONG at JENNY NG PINOY BIG BROTHER, NAGSAGAWA NG OUTREACH SA MGA AMERASIANS

Nakipagtulungan si Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. sa outreach activity ni Jenny Suico, isa sa mga dating housemates ng reality-based TV show na Pinoy Big Brother ng ABS-CBN Channel 2.

Sa ilalim ng 'Child Nourishment Program', nagsalu-salo ang mga batang Amerasians at tumanggap pa ng mga regalo nitong Disyembre 6, 2005 sa Olongapo City Convention Center. Si Jenny, na lumaki sa Olongapo ay isa ring Amerasian.

Nagbigay ng maikling pananalita si Tommy Luis Newman Jr., presidente ng Olongapo Filipino-Amerasians Association Inc., para pasalamatan si Jenny, ang buong staff ng Pinoy Big Brother at si Mayor Gordon. May halos dalawandaang (200) mga bata ang umuwi ng may malalaking ngiti sa kanilang mga labi matapos ang programa.

'Ang mga ganitong gawain ay tunay na nagpapakilala sa tunay na 'Pinoy' na makapagmamalaking tao-para-sa-kapwa,' sambit ni Mayor Gordon patungkol sa awiting 'Pinoy Ako' na pinasikat ng sikat na TV program. -- Balitang OZisero

Fiesta Queen 2005 2nd Canvassing

MS. BARRETTO, MULING NAGWAGI SA SECOND CANVASSING CITY FIESTA QUEEN 2005

Isang naiibang programa ang isinagawa ng Olongapo City Fiesta Committee 2005 upang lalo pang patingkarin ang isa sa mga highlight ng City Fiesta -- ang 'Search for the Olongapo City Fiesta Queen 2005'. Sa Second Canvassing na ginanap noong Nobyembre 29, 2005 sa Olongapo City Convention Center, ang gabi ay puno ng pagrampa ng mga magagarbong kasuotan ng lapimpitong Kandidata .

May temang Ice Night: A Fashion to Remember ang programa kung kaya't ipinakita ng mga Kandidata ang mga kasuotang gawa ng mga lokal na couturier na tunay namang maihahanay sa mga pinakamagagaling sa bansa. Iba't-ibang kasuotan tulad ng smart-casual outfit, cocktail dress, at mga gowns ang inirampa ng bawat Kandidata na tila lalong gumaganda at nag-iimprove sa kanilang pagharap sa mga tao. Isang bonggang production number ang naging panimula ng programa na talagang pinaghandaan ng mga Kandidata.

Sa ikalawang pagkakataon, muling pinatunayan ni Ms. Barretto Cheenee Hoya na malaki ang suporta sa kanya ng mga ka-barangay at kaibigan sapagkat siya ang muling tinanghal na Over-all Leader matapos ang Second Canvassing na may naipasok siyang P34,131.00.

Samantala, 2nd Place si Ms. Gordon Heights Tuingtle Joy Lindholm at 3rd Place naman si Ms. Old Cabalan Victoria Khouri Elias. Umabot sa P195,185.50 ang kabuuang nalikom na pondo mula sa una at ikalawang pagbilang.

Bilang Special Award, tinanghal na Ms. Elegance ng gabing iyon si Ms. Sta. Rita April Dawn Gloria at siya rin ang tinanghal na Best in Costume kung saan ang kanyang couturier na Soberon Bridals ay nag-uwi naman ng tropeo bilang Designer's Award. Ang tinanghal namang Star of the Night ay si Mr. Kirk Soberon ng Soberon Bridals.

Nagagalak si Kgd. Mareybeth Marzan, chairperson ng City Fiesta Committee 2005, sa tagumpay ng programa. 'Makikita natin talaga ang tulungan ng mga barangay para suportahan ang mga Kandidata. Malaki rin ang pasasalamat ko sa mga Local Designers' natin na talagang tumrabaho para makita natin ang the Best of the Best ng lungsod pagdating sa Fashion!'

Pinasalamatan rin ni Kgd. Marzan ang malaking suporta na ibinigay ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. sa Fiesta Committee. Bukod pa rito, mismong dinaluhan ng butihing Mayor ang gabing iyon upang masaksihan ang tagumpay ng pagsusumikap ng Fiesta Committee. 'Bilib ako sa mga nangangasiwa ng City Fiesta sapagkat buo ang loob nila para maging matagumpay ang lahat ng aktibidad,' pahayag ni Mayor Gordon. 'Pinananawagan ko rin sa lahat na suportahan ang fund-raising ng City Fiesta sapagkat bukod sa ito'y pagpapakilala sa ating lungsod, ang beneficiary ng proceeds nito ay ang Philhealth Indigency Program at Scholarship Program ng lungsod na makatutulong sa maraming mahihirap nating ka-lungsod.'

Malaki rin ang naitulong ng mga sponsors ng gabing iyon na kinabibilangan ng iba't-ibang Rotary Clubs sa Olongapo. Isa-isang binigyan ng munting parangal ang bawat sponsors sa kanilang pagsuporta. -- Balitang OZisero

PR: 72% diskwento sa Mass Land Titling, hanggang Dec na lang

MASS LAND TITLING PROGRAM,HANGGANG DISYEMBRE 2005 NA LAMANG
Balitang OZisero

Ngayong Disyembre 2005 ang huling buwan ng Mass Land Titling Program ni Mayor James 'Bong' Gordon Jr. Ilang araw na lamang ang ibinibigay sa mga mamamayan ng Olongapo para samantalahin ang programang ito kung saan aabot sa 72% na diskwento sa regular na gastusin ng pagpapatitulo ng lupa.

Kung kaya nga't mas lalong dagsa ang nagkukumpleto ng mga required documents at nagpapasa sa City Planning Development Office.

Sa kasalukuyan, maraming aplikasyon ang naipasa na sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) na naghihintay ng approval, kung saan marami pang lupa ang isinusurvey pa.

Sa Mass Land Titling Program ni Mayor Bong Gordon, makasisiguro ang mga aplikante na magkakaresulta agad ang kanilang pagpupursige na mapatituluhan ang kanilang mga lupa. Si Mayor Gordon mismo ang nakipag-ugnayan kay Sec. Mike Defensor ng DENR upang mapadali ang proseso at nabigyan pa ang Olongapo ng exemption sa Department Adminstrative Order (DAO) #20 na nagpapataas ng bayarin sa pagpapatitulo. Nagtalaga na rin ng opisyal ng Provincial Environment & Natural Resources Office (PENRO) na siyang pipirma sa lahat ng aplikasyon sa Olongapo upang bumilis ang pag-release ng mga titulo.

Ayon kay Mayor Gordon, 'Ang mga may-ari ng titulo ay makapagmamalaki na na pag-aari na nila ang kanilang mga lupa. Sa Mass Land Titling, credit-power na ang lupa para sa mga may-ari nito, income pa para sa gobyerno.' Sa kampanya ng MLT Program, mariing isinasaad na ang lupa ay hindi mo pagmamay-ari hanggat wala kang titulo.

Kaya nga't hinihikayat ang lahat ng mamamayan na samantalahin ang pagkakataong ito upang magpa-titulo ng lupa at humabol sa deadline na hanggang Disyembre 2005 lamang. Matapos ang Mass Land Titling Program, maaaring bumalik ang dating mataas na halaga ng pagpapatitulo ng lupa.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Subic food processing center to rise

By Cecille Garcia, Manila Standard Today

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – A P500 million food processing complex with 15 factories will soon rise in this premier free-port zone after project proponent Bonsure Evergreen International Corp. (BEIC) broke ground over the weekend.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Feliciano Salonga led the ceremony at the Subic Bay Industrial Park for the establishment of the first food processing center here, signaling the start of “global invasion” by foods processors.

“I would like to see this project grow successfully,” Salonga said. “I’m also gratified to note that the target market of this product will be worldwide, and it would bring export quality Subic-made food products to all the corners of the world.”

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said Subic Freeport had received a lot of interest from Taiwanese groups to redevelop industrial park in Subic Bay with Bonsure Evergreen International spearheading the effort.

“This would be the start of a new complex with 15 different food factories which hopefully will continue to grow, and we in Subic Freeport hope to nurture that growth,” Arreza said.

Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. (SBDMC) president Jeff Lin said the establishment of a food processing center inside the Subic Industrial Park was a welcome development.

He said the project would “serve as showcase” for other prospective investors, particularly those engaged in global marketing, to come and invest in Subic Freeport.

“A few months ago, I have relayed to the Investment and Processing Department (IPD) of SBMA our investment plan to have an array factory buildings for the food processing complex of international standards,” said BEIC president Betty Ong.

Bonsure Evergreen is engaged in export trading of processed food products such as dried shredded tuna which are mainly shipped to Europe, Asia and America.

“We will be occupying four hectares of prime land inside the Subic Bay Industrial Park to house not just one unit of 2,000-square meter factory building but up to 15 similar plants to compete our five-year program,” Ong said

Rookie canoe-kayak bets good for silver

The Philippine Star

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Philippine team could only come home with a solitary silver and two bronzes but it was enough to surpass its 2003 Vietnam medal haul in the canoe and kayak competitions at the 23rd Southeast Asian Games at the Malawaan Fishing area here.

Rookies Jeremiah Tambor and John Oliver Victorio faded in the homestretch against the Indonesian dynamic duo of Asnawir and Romadi to wind up second in the 500-m men's canoe double, good for silver medal honors. The pair of Aung Lin and Win Htike of Myanmar settled for the bronze.

The two homegrown paddlers, who both hail from Taytay, kept within striking distance of Asnawir and Romadi but lost steam, logging 1:49.50 behind their Indonesian counterparts who submitted a winning time of 1:48.16.

Norwell Cajes and Marvin Amposta carted away the bronze in their respective events, Cajes in the 500-m canoe single and Amposta in the 500-m kayak single.

Cajes, 20, thus emerged behind eventual gold winner Nguyen Due Canch of Vietnam and silver medalist Yuyu Fernando of Indonesia who checked in with times of 1:59.84 and 2:00.41, respectively.

Amposta edged out Nguyen Din Ha of Vietnam for the bronze behind Phone Myint Tayzar and Indonesia's Sayadin.

Head coach Len Escalante said that while their medal haul was modest, it was enough to eclipse the lone bronze medal feat accomplished by Carmelito Dacasin in the canoe singles division in the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games.

April Mae Peñalosa went home empty-handed after she wound up fourth in the 500-m kayak women single ruled by Sarce Aronggaer of Indonesia. - Manny Galvez

Archers pick up two golds

By Manny Galvez, The Philippine Star

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT' The Philippine archery team struck paydirt, snatching two more golds' in the men's recurve and women's compound finals' in a controversy-marred last day of archery competitions at the Remy Football Field here yesterday afternoon.

The men's compound team was not as lucky though as it fell prey to powerhouse Malaysia to settle for silver as the curtains fell on archery competitions of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG).

The men's recurve team registered the first gold medal win of the host nation when the quartet of Marvin Cordero, Mark Javier, Christian Cubilla and Florante Mactan survived a strong charge by Indonesia to win in a shoot-off, 25-24, after engaging the visitors in a 235-all stand-off after 27 arrows.

The Indonesians, with Kuswantoro, Lockoreco, Rahmat Sulistiyawan and Hendro Suprianto at the firing end, looked headed for the gold by dominating the first and second ends, 159-156 and 80-77, respectively.

After the last arrow was released, the Indonesians were actually celebrating prematurely, thinking they had the gold in the bag without waiting for the final official scores. The players even doused water on their coach and on each other with their Filipino counterparts even shaking their hands in a show of sportsmanship.

But when the scores were finally released, it turned out that the two teams had identical tallies of 235, with the Indonesians shaking their head in disbelief. A brief commotion ensued, prompting chief arbiter, Cuban Sergio Fort Milian to re-check the scores, thus, causing a suspension of the proceedings.

Milian, vice president of the FIT or the International Federation of Archery and head of the FITA technical delegate ultimately ruled a tie, paving the way for a shoot-off. The Indonesians apparently lost their focus and lost by a hairline.

Luk Yee Mei Elsie, a judge from Hong Kong, who was also monitoring the event appears convinced that the Indonesian had won the battle. "Indonesia was ahead. How come they made it equal," she told The STAR.

But Jun Cortez, coach of the recurve team, said it was no longer their fault if an error was committed in the scoring. "It's finished already. They allowed us to play the shoot-off. They should have confirmed it first," he protested vehemently.

The women's compound team put in a gallant fight to beat many-time champion Indonesia, 236-226, in a gripping final to win the country's third gold in archery

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Golds for RP Archery Team and a silver in canoeing

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Bemedaled members of Philippine Archery Team shows their accomplishment
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Amaya Paz displays her top notch accuracy in archery and bagged two gold during the 23rd SEAG

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Indons (lane 1) beat RP for C2 gold in a close battle during the final hit in scenic Malawaan Subic Bay, Filipino paddlers (lane 4) settled for silver
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Gold-silver sa Pinay archers

Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

Subic Bay Freeport--Pinana na ng tuluyan ni Pinay acher Amaya Paz ang ginto matapos talunin ang kanyang karibal at kababayan na si Jennifer Chan sa Women’s final Individual compound competition ng Southeast Asian Games Archery event kahapon sa Remy Field dito.

Bagamat hindi gaano ang pressure dahil parehong Pinay ang naglaban, naging seryoso pa rin sa pagpana ng ginto si Paz kung saan umiskor ito sa huling final 4 arrows kay Chan, 115-114.

Bagamat talunan si Chan, na nakunteto sa silver, umiiyak na niyakap at binuhat ang kababayang si Paz.

"Hindi ako makapaniwala na tinalo ko siya, ang alam ko sa unang round pa lamang ay makakaungos siya sa akin pero ginalingan ko talaga," wika ng 20 anyos na si Paz sa kalaban na beterano ng international competition.

Tinuhog naman ni RP No. 2 acher Rachel Ann Cabral ang bronze medal matapos ilaglag ang kanyang kalaban na si Novia Nuraini ng Indonesia sa iskor na 101-98 sa katatapos na Women’s Individual Recurve final competition.

Nasungkit naman ng pambato ng bansa na si Marvin Cordero ang bronze medal. (Jeff Tombado)

Bronze in SEAG Triathlon in Subic Bay


Last one in is a rotten egg. Participants race to the water’s edge at the start of the triathlon men’s finals at the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in Subic. RP bet Arland Macasieb picked up the bronze in the event. Mosh Lafuente, Manila Standard

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Gold in Women's Individual Archery

Amaya Paz bagged the Gold in Women's Compound followed closely by teammate Jennifer Chan for the Silver and Gul Maryanne of Singapore for the Bronze Medal
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While in women's Recurve Division, Indonesians Rina Puspita and Yasmidar Hamid took Gold and silver medals respectively and The Philippines Rachele Anne Cabral got the Bronze.
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Men's Compound was dominated by Malasians Lang Hon Keong and Ting Leong Fong while in Recurve Division, Myanmar's first gold was delivered by Zaw Win Htike, Malasian Bin Wan got the siver and Philippines Marvin Cordero took the bronze.
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Team Events (Finals) will start 8am tomorrow December 4 at Remy Field

RP paddlers make it to canoe finals round

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT--Filipino paddlers have placed themselves in the lead in the women's K1 and men's K2 divisions in the canoe/kayak competitions of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine bets April Mae Penalosa and the tandem of Jonathan Villalino and Jonard Saren are now ready to gun for the gold in their respective divisions Sunday, hoping to win more medals for the host country.

Penalosa kept Singapore's Lim Ling Min in sight, then outdistanced her in the 100 meters to win the race with a clock-in of 2:09.51. Lim clocked in at 2:11.18.

Penalosa will be heading on to go against Vietnam's Doan Thi Cach, Myanmar's Aye Mi Khaing and Indonesia's Sarce Aronggear.

Villalino and Saren made it to the finals in the K2 class with a lead time of 1:39.09, winning by a hair against Myanmar's Phone Myint Tayzar and Aung Kyaw Moe, who checked in 1:39.66,

Thailand's Piyaphan Paophat and Anusom Sommit took the honors finishing at 1:38.31.

It was the first time the Filipinos made it to the finals in the K2 class of the 11-nation biennial meet.

Anthony Deleon, INQ7.net contributor


 

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