Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, July 31, 2006

Doctor ordered to disclose information given by ‘Nicole’

By Tetch Torres
INQ7.net

THE DOCTOR who examined a Filipina who accused four US servicemen of rape has been ordered by a local court to disclose details of his conversation with the victim.

Citing privileged communication, Dr. Rolando Ortiz of James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital refused to reveal before the Makati City regional trial court information given to him by the victim, whom the court has named “Nicole,” during his June 29 testimony.

The defense filed a motion for reconsideration after presiding Judge Benjamin Pozon of Branch 139 sustained an objection by the prosecution when lawyers for the suspects tried to force Ortiz to reveal what “Nicole” had told him.

In his two-page order, Pozon said the rule of privileged communication between doctor and patient could not be invoked in this case.

Ortiz, a medico-legal officer, had testified that contusions on the victim's genital area were consistent with injuries and lacerations of rape victims.

During cross examination, defense lawyer Jose Justiniano asked Ortiz if, based on his interview with the victim, she had previous sexual intercourse.

But the prosecution objected to the question on the ground of privileged communication, which Pozon sustained.

In its recent order, Pozon noted that there was a point in reconsidering his previous ruling.

"Such privileged communication may be raised only in a civil action and that the information sought to be elicited from the witness is, to the mind of the Court, material and relevant to the case," he said.

Ortiz will return to the witness stand this Tuesday for further cross examination and clarificatory questions from Pozon.

“Nicole” accused Lance Corporal Daniel Smith of raping her inside a moving van at the Subic Bay Freeport, a former American naval base, on Nov. 1, 2005.

She also claimed that three of Smith’s peers, Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier cheered their colleague on.

The four Americans face a 40-year prison term if found guilty.

They were part of a contingent force of US troops that conducted joint military exercises with their Filipino counterparts last year.

DENR links up with other agencies to stop ODS smuggling

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has begun linking up with other government agencies to stop the smuggling of Ozone Depleting substances (ODS) which are used in cars, refrigerators, cleaning sprays and other household items.


The DENR's Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), in enforcing the ban on ODS, specifically needs help from agencies conducting law enforcement or are in charge of ports of entry in the country, said DENR Undersecretary Roy V. Kyamco, deputy head of the National Anti-Environmental Crime Task Force (NAECTF).

"We need reinforcements from the Bureau of Customs, Philippine National Police, Maritime Group ? The Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority since these agencies are the frontliners in monitoring the importation and exportation of goods in the country," Kyamco added.

The DENR said, the country is determined to implement the total phase out of ODS in January 2010 as set by the Montreal Protocol. At the same time, the DENR began strictly regulating the importation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC?s), an ODS.

Smugglers have begun using ingenious methods concealing the ODS in cargo shipments, like hiding them in traveler?s backpacks. Others resort to fraudulent transshipment.

"This environment crime done by unscrupulous smugglers can be prevented by stringent checking of documents, matching import documents with consignment, inspecting the consignment, routine checking of imports of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), using refrigerant identifiers and checking the recycling capacity and vigilance of countries of origin at border crossings. Raising the awareness of customs officers is also one of the preventive measures," Kyamco emphasized.

DENR 6 EMB Regional Director Bienvenido Lipayon believed that the success of the implementation of this program lies not only among the line and other government agencies but also from and among the stakeholders -- the public.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Julian D. Amador is asking the all out support of each and everyone to be vigilant against individual or organized smugglers of these ODS, and report to the nearest police or DENR offices for immediate apprehension and investigation.

EVACUATION SITES PARA SA MGA BINAHA, NAKAHANDA!

Naging alerto ang Disaster Management Office (DMO) sa paglilikas ng mga pamilyang binaha ang mga kabahayan dahil sa malakas na bugso at walang humpay na pag-ulan dala ng Bagyong Glenda.

Nitong umaga ng Hunyo 25, agad na in-identify ng DMO sa pangunguna ni DMO Head Angelito Layug ang mga barangay na umapaw na ang tubig. Ang lugar ng Purok 1 ng Brgy. Sta. Rita, Mactan Old Cabalan, New Banicain, New Ilalim, New Kababae at West Tapinac ay ang mga apektadong lugar. Sa atas ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr., nagtalaga ng mga evacuation sites upang may paglagakan ng mga pamilya na apekatado ng baha.

Ang Barangay Hall ng Old Cabalan ay pansamantalang ginamit upang maging evacuation site ng labimpitong (17) pamilya mula sa Mactan, samantalang ang mga classrooms ng Olongapo City National Highschool (OCNHS) ay ginamit ng labing-apat (14) na pamilya mula sa New Kababae, New Ilalim at Sta. rita. Binisita at kinumusta ni Mayor Gordon kung maayos ang kalagayan ng mga pamilya na pansamantalang mananatili doon hanggat mataas ang baha sa kani-kanilang mga lugar.

Magugunitang patuloy ang mga hakbanging ipinatutupad ng lungsod partikular ni Mayor Gordon upang labanan ang pagbabaha sa Olongapo na dating swamp lands o latian kaya vulnerable sa mga pagbaha.

PAINTING & ART EXHIBIT SA OLONGAPO CITY MUSEUM

Isang pabulusong painting & art exhibit ang ngayo’y masisilayan sa Olongapo City Museum. Ang mga obra maestrang naka-display ay gawa ng mga miyembro ng samahang KALAGAPOS.

Matapos na makipag-ugnayan kay Mayor James “Bong’ Gordon Jr. ang grupo nitong Hunyo 2006, ngayo’y may resulta na ang adhikain nitong ipakilala ang galing ng mga Olongapeñong visual artists at painters. Ang katatatag na organisasyon ng mga visual artists ng Olongapo City, ngayon ay may painting exhibit nang maipagmamalaki.

Binuksan nitong Lunes, Hulyo 24, 2006 sa Olongapo City Museum ang painting at art exhibit sa isang simpleng programa at ribbon-cutting ceremony. Tunay na mapapa-wow ang lahat sa galing ng pagkakagawa ng mga paintings na hindi aakalaing certified gawang ‘Gapo!

Si Mayor Gordon, na siyang nag-ribbon-cuttting ay namangha sa ganda ng mga paintings. “Ang exhibit sa lobby ng Olongapo City Museum ay paraan para maipakilala at maipakita ang mga likha ng magagaling na Olongapeño sa larangan ng sining,” saad ni Mayor Gordon, “hindi malayong makilala ang ating lungsod bilang tahanan ng mga sikat na Filipino artists tulad nina Malang at Abueva.

“Hindi ako nagkamali sa paniniwalang maraming mga magagaling na pintor at graphic artist sa ating lungsod. At sa tamang pagsuporta sa kanila, mismong lungsod ang makikinabang sa kanilang mga galing,” saad ni Mayor Gordon.

Kaugnay dito ay todo-suporta sa grupo si dating Kgd. Yang Elane na siyang department manager ng Olongapo City Museum. “Magandang venue ang ating museum, sapagkat nagkakaroon ng prestige ang mga paintings kung ito ay maididisplay sa maganda at maayos na venue. Bukod dito, ang mga painting exhibit ay dagdag din na dahilan para dayuhin ang ating City Museum,” saad ni Elane.

Ang larangan ng sining ay isang aspeto na hindi gaanong kilala pa sa ating lungsod. Kung kaya’t malaking hamon para sa grupo ang pasikatin, pasiglahin ang sining at kuhanin ang pagtangkilik ng mga ka-lungsod.


Si Mayor Bong Gordon kasama ang mga miyembro ng “KALAGAPOS” habang tinitignan ang kanilang mga Obra Maestra sa kauna-unahang Art Exhibit dito sa Olongapo City Museum.

BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT PARA SA MGA HARI NG LANSANGAN!

Hindi naging hadlang ang malakas na buhos ng ulan upang maisakatuparan ang pagbubukas ng basketball tournament ng mga drivers ng lungsod nitong ika-23 ng Hulyo 2006 sa Rizal Triangle Covered Court.

Pansamantalang iniwan ng mga hari ng lansangan ang kani-kanilang manibela upang lumahok at makiisa sa opening ceremony ng 2006 Mayor’s Cup Olongapo City Drivers Basketball League.

Ang paliga ay kinalalahukan ng ibat-ibang mga transport associations ng lungsod na hinati sa dalawang (2) division.

Ang Public Utility Tricycles’ (Tricycle Division) na kinabibilangan ng anim na sona (zone 1-6) ay magtutunggali sa isat-isa samantalang ang Public Utility Jeepneys’ (Jeepney Division) na kinabibilangan ng pitong (7) assosasyon ang siya ring magtatagisan.

Ang magwawagi sa bawat division ay siya namang magtutunggali sa finals at tatanghaling kampeon ng 2006 Mayor’s Cup Olongapo City Drivers Basketball League.

Ang basketball tournament ay inisyatiba ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. na nagbigay ng mensaheng sumentro sa pagdating ng ibat-ibang malalaking international company sa Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

“Ang pagdating at pagbubukas ng tatlong kompanya tulad ng Hanjin Construction and Heavy Industries, Inc., Cojen, China Glass Manufacturing, Co., at ang konstruksyon ng Subic-Clark-Tarlac Road at Subic Seaport ay limang (5) proyektong nangangailangan ng malaking work force,’’ mensahe ni Mayor Gordon.

‘’At sa Olongapo nais kong manggaling ang bulto ng mga manggagawa sa malalaking proyekto na ito. Ang lungsod ay dapat makinabang sa Freeport,’’ wika ni Mayor Bong Gordon.

‘’Dahil ang mga manggagawa ng Olongapo ay world class ang galing, kaya patuloy ang ating isinasagawang mga mga libreng trainings at seminars na dapat samantalahin ninyo. Kahit na kayo ay namamasada dapat ay lumahok kayo sa mga ito,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

Samantala, nakuha ng Zone - JO1 ang Best in Uniform at tinanghal naman si Ms. Zone - JO6 bilang Miss Sports Fest 2006. Dumating rin bilang suporta sa basketball tournament sina Committee on Transport Chairman Kgd. Cynthia Cajudo, Kgd. Marey Beth Marzan at First Lady Anne Marie Gordon.

Ang tournament na sinimulan nitong ika-23 ng Hulyo 2006 ay magtatapos sa ika-29 ng Hulyo 2006 ay may layuning pag-isahin ang mga drivers sa lungsod ay kasalukuyang ginaganap sa Olongapo City Convention Center.



Naka-line-up ang bawat team na kalahok sa 2006 Mayor’s Cup Olongapo City Drivers Basketball League nitong ika-23 ng Hulyo 2006 sa Rizal Triangle Covered Court. INSET: Pinangunahan ni Mayor Gordon ang Ceremonial Tossing of the Ball bilang hudyat sa pagsisimula ng liga.



Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hijacked container found in Chinoy trader’s compound

By Marna H. Dagumboy

CAMP OLIVAS -- Operatives of the 3rd Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (Cidu) 3 have recovered a van containing imported garments worth millions of pesos — reportedly hijacked a month ago in Barangay San Agustin, San Simon this province.

Senior Superintendent Zoilo Lachica Jr., Cidu 3IDU regional chief, said the 40-footer van with license plate (PUK-591) was found inside the residential compound of businessman Huassing Go of Barangay Capihan, San Rafael, Bulacan.

Lachica said Cidu agents led by Chief Inspector Rodel Pastor of the Special Action Team (SAT) raided Go’s compound armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Blas Causapin of Guimba, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The raiding team, Lachica said, found the container van emptied of its contents.
He said the van was owned by Limech Garments Manufacturing Corporation with postal address at 38 Golden Future St., Lot 65A, Subic Bay Industrial Park, Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The container van was stolen last June 17 at gunpoint along the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex) road in the area.

Initial investigation by Lachica disclosed that the truck driver and helper were allegedly members of the gang that hijacked the said van, are still missing. He however said robbery charges had been filed in court against them.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Inside America's Private Army

By JOANNE KIMBERLIN AND BILL SIZEMORE, The Virginian-Pilot
Blackwater parachuted onto the public stage in a flashy way this spring at the Virginia Gold Cup horse race in Northern Virginia. The show marked a turning point for a company that has long preferred its privacy. CHRIS CURRY PHOTOS

Blackwater says one of the goals of its parachute team is to interest children in military careers, particularly special operations. The Gold Cup jump was the team’s first public U.S. demonstration. The members, who were veterans in the field before joining Blackwater, have made a combined 36,000 jumps.


“Wow,” says John O’Rourke of Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a management consulting company. “Can’t say I’ve ever heard of Blackwater before, but that jump was phenomenal.”

“Stirring,” adds O’Rourke’s wife, Jenine.

The couple are leaning on a fence, watching as their two children join other kids invited to help the jumpers repack their chutes.

“Isn’t that sweet?” Jenine says.

Impressing the power brokers is more important. Unlike the military, Blackwater must woo its customers. The well-heeled crowd at the steeplechase is flush with the right kind of people – VIPs who could pave the way for a government contract, buy the company’s new products or use its personal bodyguard service themselves.

Blackwater’s hospitality tent buzzes with invitation-only guests. Gathered around white linen tablecloths, they network and nosh hors d’oeuvres. A few stout-looking men dressed in suits stand sentinel, arms crossed , the coiled wire of an earpiece disappearing into the back of their collars.

Erik Prince, the company’s reclusive founder, is reportedly in attendance, but as usual, he steers clear of the spotlight.

Later, Taylor asks a newspaper photographer if he managed to snap any pictures of Prince at the race.

The answer is no. Taylor grins.

“Good. Then we did our job.”


Prince may choose to stay in the background, but his company is bent on polishing its image. A good reputation makes domestic work, like the Katrina contract, easier to line up. It can offset character-damaging accusations, like the two yet-to-be settled lawsuits that portray the company as callous and inept.

Blackwater wants all doors open. The company says it has more than two dozen projects under way, an almost dizzying pursuit of new frontiers.

Among them:


In addition to its ongoing assignments guarding American officials and facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, Blackwater has won contracts to combat the booming opium trade in Afghanistan and to support a SEAL-like maritime commando force in Azerbaijan, an oil-rich former Soviet republic.


On the home front, Hurricane Katrina’s $73 million purse has persuaded Blackwater officials to position themselves as the go-to guys for natural disasters. Operating licenses are being applied for in every coastal state of the country. Governors are being given the pitch, including California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom a Blackwater official recently visited to discuss earthquake response.

“We want to make sure they’re aware of who we are and what we can bring to the table,” said Seamus Flatley, deputy director of Blackwater’s new domestic operations division. “We want to get out ahead of it.”


Last year, the company opened offices in Baghdad and Amman, Jordan. More recent expansion plans call for a Blackwater West in Southern California and a jungle training facility at the former Subic Bay naval base in the Philippines.

Image is already affecting the Philippines deal. News reports out of the area indicate strong local opposition, fueled by fears of an influx of “mercenaries.” A Filipino senator says he intends to investigate accusations that Blackwater is recruiting his countrymen for security jobs in Iraq; the Filipino government forbids its citizens to work there.

Taylor said the locals are overreacting. Clients at Subic and the type of training offered there will be subject to Defense Department oversight.

“We will only teach who and what the U.S. government wants us to,” he said.

Taylor also denied accusations that Blackwater is using its toehold at Subic Bay to recruit for Iraq.

“Why does everyone think that?” Taylor asked. “Why can’t we just be offering training in that part of the world?”

The company confirms that it does recruit in foreign lands. Taylor said Blackwater has hired roughly 20 Filipinos for guard duty in Afghanistan, where there is no ban on such work.

A few years back, Blackwater created a diplomatic embarrassment for Chile by recruiting Chileans who had trained under the ousted regime of military dictator Augusto Pinochet. The new Chilean government was concerned about its country’s reputation abroad and worried that the former henchmen of a toppled dictator would not represent it well.

Similar concerns surface here at home about the way America’s private military companies represent the country overseas.

Thomas X. Hammes, a retired Marine colonel, encountered U.S. contractors during his 2004 tour of duty in Iraq. To the Iraqi people, Hammes said, those contractors were America:

“We are held responsible in the people’s eyes for everything they do, or fail to do.”

SEMINAR-WORKSHOP PARA SA MGA BARANGAY OFFICERS

Isang buong araw na nagsama ang mahigit isandaang (100) mga kinatawan ng barangay nitong ika-24 ng Hunyo 2006 sa FMA Hall ng City Hall.

Sa isinagawang Enhancement Seminar-Workshop on Katarungang Pambarangay ay nagtipon ang mga barangay secretary, lupon members at chief tanod ng walong barangay na kabilang sa 1st batch ng workshop.

Sa pangunguna ni Olongapo City Liga ng mga Barangay President Kgd. Carlito Baloy ay nakiisa ang mga kinatawan buhat sa Brgy. Asinan, Banicain, Barretto, Gordon Heights at East Bajac-Bajac.

Kasama rin ang mga barangay ng East Tapinac, Kalaklan at Mabayuan na matamang nakinig sa mga resource speakers na kinabilangan ni Atty. Raymond Viray buhat sa City Prosecutors Office.

Kinatawan naman buhat sa Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG) na sina Gilbert Cardona, Honorio Castillo at City Director Eliseo de Guzman na nagwikang ang pulong ay upang i-review at magbigay ng guidelines upang maayos na naipapatupad ang katarungang pambarangay.

Si City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. na panauhing pandangal ng workshop ay sumentro ang mensahe sa galing ng Brgy. Barretto, Old Cabalan at Sta Rita.

‘’Gawin nating pattern ang mga pagkilalang tinaggap ng Barretto, Old Cabalan at Sta Rita na nagbigay karangalan sa Olongapo,’’ wika ni Mayor Bong Gordon.

‘’Tulungan natin ang ating hukom. Kung kaya na rin ng ating barangay na ayusin ang isang kaso ay gawin na natin upang hindi nagkakaroon ng traffic sa City Prosecutors Office,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

‘’Yan ang sikreto ng Brgy. Barretto kung bakit sila patuloy na tumatanggap ng Lupong Tagapanayapa Incentives Award (LTIA) dahil sa barangay level pa lamang ay tinututukan na nila ang mga ‘di pagkakaunawaan,’’ ayon pa kay Mayor Gordon.

Samantala, ang ika-31 ng Hulyo 2006 ay susunod naman ang 2nd batch o ang huling siyam (9) na barangay na sasailalim rin sa kahalintulad na workshop.

Matamang nakikinig kay Mayor Bong Gordon ang mahigit 100 barangay officers ng walong (8) barangay na kabilang sa 1st batch na sumailalim sa Enhancement Seminar-Workshop on Katarungang Pambarangay nitong ika-24 ng Hulyo 2006 sa FMA Hall. INSET: Pinangunahan ni Mayor Gordon ang seminar-workshop kasama sina DILG City Dir. Eliseo de Guzman at ABC Pres. Carlito Baloy.

City Public Affairs Office

SILVER MEDAL, INIUWI NG OLONGAPO YOUTH CHOIR MULA SA WORLD CHOIR GAMES

Isang malaking tagumpay ang tinamasa ng Olongapo Youth Choir matapos nitong makopo ang Silver Medal sa kategoryang mixed youth choir sa 4th World Choir Games 2006 kung saan sila nakipagtagisan ng galing sa pag-awit bilang kinatawan ng Pilipinas sa kumpetisyong ginanap sa Xiamen, China noong Hulyo 15-26, 2006.

“Malaking karangalan ito para sa bansa, lalo na sa Lungsod ng Olongapo at para sa mga kabataan ng lungsod na mapasabak sa ganitong uri ng kompetisyon sa labas ng bansa,” ayon kay Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. Tuwang-tuwa si Mayor Gordon at kanyang sinabi na sa susunod na World Choir Games ay personal niya nang sasamahan ang grupo.

Nagpasalamat naman si OCNHS Principal Helen Aggabao sa malaking suporta na ibinigay ni Mayor Bong Gordon sa Olongapo Youth Choir. Bago bumiyahe ang delegasyon ay naglaan ng P375,000 pondo si Mayor Gordon sa pamamagitan ng Olongapo City Fiesta Committee 2006 Chairman at First Lady Anne Marie. Ang pondo ay ginamit pandagdag sa mga gastusin ng choir sa pamasahe, akomodasyon at registration fees para sa kompetisyon. Ito ay bukod pa sa iba pang nakalap na pondo ng grupo mula sa mga konsyerto at mga signature fund-drive campaigns na isinagawa nito.

“Ipinagmamalaki ko ang mga kabataan nating world class ang galing. Simbolo sila ng mga kabataang buhay ang diwang “fighting for excellence!” pahayag ni Mayor Gordon nitong Hulyo 24, 2006 nang ipagmalaki niya ang tagumpay ng Olongapo Youth Choir sa harap ng mga kawani ng city hall matapos ang Flag Raising Ceremony.

Sa pangunguna ni Jenivee Tolentino, choir director ng Olongapo Youth Choir at guro ng Music sa Olongapo City National High School-Special Program for the Arts, hinasa ang galing ng tatlumpung (30) kabataan na siyang bumuo sa delegasyong tumungo sa Xiamen, China. “Ang karanasan na nakuha namin ay sapat nang premyo para sa mga kabataang ito at sa kanilang magulang na proud na proud para sa kanila.,” saad ni Tolentino.

Ang World Choir Games ay isang international competition ng mga grupong mang-aawit na nilahukan ng mahigit na pitumpung (70) bansa at 400 choirs na binubuo ng 20,000 na mang-aawit. Ang organizer nitong Interkultur Foundation na base sa Germany, ay may layuning pagkaisahin ang iba’t-ibang lahi sa pamamagitan ng malaking musical event na ito. Ang susunod na 5th World Choir Games ay nakatakda naman gawin sa Austria sa 2008.

SBMA approves 21 projects worth P16.848 billion in June

By BERNIE CAHILES–MAGKILAT
Manila Bulletin

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has approved 21 projects for the month of June with combined investments of $ 324 million or approximately P16.848 billion led by the $ 300-million investment of Hebei Jingnui Crystal Bull Co. Ltd. for its industrial glass production plant.


SBMA administrator and chief executive officer Armand Arreza said that another big project approved by the SBMA in June is Innove Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Globe Telecom, with US$ 6.3 million committed investment.

According to Arreza, Hebei is developing a 30-hectare lot near the Maritan Hills for its glass manufacturing operation.

Hebei’s project involves the installation of two float glass lines, which is the tinted glass, and 2 jade ceramic lines for used in kitchen countertops and bathrooms.

The Maritan Hills was the choice location of Hebei because it is a good staging area for silica sand, which it initially imports from Vietnam.

"But there are other local sources for silica sand like the ones being used by Yamamura San Miguel and Asahi Glass," Arreza said.

Under the original plan, the Chinese group will invest in two float glass lines with a production capacity of 500 tons a day, two rolling crystallite glass lines, glass deep processing lines and glass fiber reinforced plastic yacht.

The glass firm’s other products include float sheet glass, solar control reflective glasses, multicolor high tech rolling crystallite glass with various specifications.

Its products are exported to 70 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.

In addition to the glass manufacturing project, Hebei has also expressed interest to develop an industrial park either in Subic or in Clark, which is one of the 10 industrial parks being planned by the Chinese government in Southeast Asian countries.

According to Arreza, the Chinese government plan is to ask its private sector to develop the industrial parks on their behalf.

For this industrial project, Arreza said that Hebei has already reserved for six months the 100hectare lot in the Tipo area. The six-month reservation period starts this month.

The Philippine government, however, is also offering Clark, which has a better leeway when it comes to huge project development. Clark, Arreza said, has 34,000-hectare lot in the Subzone area.

Arreza also reported that for the first semester this month, SBMA generated P2.2 billion in revenues reflecting a 23 percent increase over P1.8 billion generated in the same period last year.

Arreza said that of the amount the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P560 million from January to June in withholding taxes, income taxes, and other receipts as against P464 million collected by the agency in the same period last year.

The Bureau of Customs, on the other hand, generated P1.6 billion for the first semester from payments of tariffs and duties, which is 24 percent higher than P1.3 billion collected in the same period last year.

He attributed the increase in revenue collections to the new companies which started their operations in Subic and opened employment to thousands of workers from nearby communities in the region

EVACUATION SITES PARA SA MGA BINAHA, NAKAHANDA!

Naging alerto ang Disaster Management Office (DMO) sa paglilikas ng mga pamilyang binaha ang mga kabahayan dahil sa malakas na bugso at walang humpay na pag-ulan dala ng Bagyong Glenda.

Nitong umaga ng Hunyo 25, agad na in-identify ng DMO sa pangunguna ni DMO Head Angelito Layug ang mga barangay na umapaw na ang tubig. Ang lugar ng Purok 1 ng Brgy. Sta. Rita, Mactan Old Cabalan, New Banicain, New Ilalim, New Kababae at West Tapinac ay ang mga apektadong lugar. Sa atas ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr., nagtalaga ng mga evacuation sites upang may paglagakan ng mga pamilya na apekatado ng baha.

Ang Barangay Hall ng Old Cabalan ay pansamantalang ginamit upang maging evacuation site ng labimpitong (17) pamilya mula sa Mactan, samantalang ang mga classrooms ng Olongapo City National Highschool (OCNHS) ay ginamit ng labing-apat (14) na pamilya mula sa New Kababae, New Ilalim at Sta. rita. Binisita at kinumusta ni Mayor Gordon kung maayos ang kalagayan ng mga pamilya na pansamantalang mananatili doon hanggat mataas ang baha sa kani-kanilang mga lugar.

Magugunitang patuloy ang mga hakbanging ipinatutupad ng lungsod partikular ni Mayor Gordon upang labanan ang pagbabaha sa Olongapo na dating swamp lands o latian kaya vulnerable sa mga pagbaha.

Meetings begin on P290-B infrastructure plan

By Michelle Remo, Riza T. Olchondra
Inquirer
THE government's economic team has begun a series of meetings to firm up a list of infrastructure projects totaling P290 billion that the administration hopes to do from this year until President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ends her term in 2010, officials said Thursday.

Arroyo highlighted the massive plant in her State of the Nation Address last Monday, which was immediately met with questions on funding.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said that after listing the projects, the economic team would follow up with feasibility studies by the different implementing agencies.

Some of the big-ticket projects on the list are new airports in Zamboanga, San Vicente in Palawan, Cagayan, Bagabag, Poro and La Union, and improvement of the two airports in Batanes province.

Also planned are interconnection of the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways, extension of Metro Manila's overhead Light Rail Transit to Bacoor town to the south, connection of the north stations of the Light Rail Transit and the Metro Rail Transit, upgrade of the Subic seaport, and construction a roll-on, roll-off port system to link Lucena in Quezon and Boac in Marinduque.

The projects already have sources of financing, said Beltran and Secretary Leandro Mendoza of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC).

Mendoza said they would be funded partly from the government's annual budget and largely with official development assistance (ODA) from multilateral and bilateral donor agencies.

Mendoza also said government-owned or -controlled corporations under the DoTC -- including the Philippine Ports Authority and the Manila International Airport Authority -- had confirmed existence of funds to support the seaport and airport projects.

The ODA will be obtained from the World Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the Chinese government, Korea Export-Import Bank and European governments, the officials said.
Local government units will also be tapped to assist in fund raising, Beltran said.

The economic team includes Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila, Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya and Governor Amando Tetangco of the central bank.

It has set a target of increasing spending for infrastructure to five or six percent of the gross domestic product, in line with ratios in neighboring countries, from the present two to three percent of GDP. With INQ7.net

Subic Freeport posts P2.2B revenue collections in six

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Administration has reported that the Freeport revenue collections were posted at P2.2 billion in the first semester of 2006.

SBMA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Armand C. Arreza said that the combined collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) from January to June is 23 percent higher compared to last year's take on the same period which was pegged at P1.8 billion.

Based on the periodical report, the BIR has collected P560 million from January to June this year which was derived from withholding taxes, income taxes, and other receipts. The current figure is 20 percent higher than the collections in 2005 which was recorded at P464 million during the same period.

The BoC, on the other hand, has posted P1.6 billion for the first semester derived from payments of tariffs and duties, which is 24 percent higher than P1.3 billion pegged during the same period last year.

Arreza added that Subic, through the BIR and BoC offices here, has again made its share to economic development by contributing P2.2 billion to the national treasury.

He attributed the increase in revenue collections to the new companies which started their operations in Subic and opened employment to thousands of workers from nearby communities in the region.

Meanwhile, SBMA Chairman Feliciano G. Salonga revealed that more projects were approved from which more revenues will be generated. In the month of June alone, the SBMA Board of Directors has approved a total of 21 projects that would infuse US$ 324 million.

One of these is the multi-million dollar Chinese investment project, the US$ 300 million Hebei Jingniu industrial glass production plant, and Innove Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Globe Telecom with uS$ 6.3 million committed investment.

Salonga said that also this year, another Grain Production and Processing Base will open an estimated 5,000 new job opportunities.

"When these projects are fully operational, this would make the Subic Freeport maintain its reputation as among the country's top revenue earners and job providers in the region, a realization of the President's vision of the Subic Freeport in her 10-point economic agenda," he added.

Meanwhile, Arreza lauded Task Force Subic (TFS), the anti-smuggling unit of SBMA under retired Gen. Jose Calimlim , the concurrent SBMA Deputy Administrator for Operations.

"Task Force Subic has successfully paralyzed and swept smugglers operating in Subic. These smugglers, which once used the Freeport as their jump-off base, has cheated the government of billions of pesos by not paying due taxes on imported motor vehicles and expensive merchandise they bring into the country," he said.

Arreza said that since the formation of Task Force Subic and the elimination of smuggling operations here, the public is assured that imported goods that are being brought to the country through the Subic Freeport are properly documented and taxed. (PNA)

89 - nakinabang sa Livelihood Program nila Mayor Gordon at First Lady Anne Marie

Iniabot ni Mayor Bong Gordon ang sobreng naglalaman ng financial capital assistance sa 1 sa 89 na benipesaryo ng livelihood assistance program ng lungsod. Ang awarding ay sinaksihan rin nina First Lady Anne Marie Gordon at Livelihood Cooperative and Development Officer Aileen C. Sanchez nitong ika-26 ng Hulyo 2006 sa Lobby ng City Hall.

DOJ Calls Driver Co-Conspirator In Rape Case Against 4 US Servicemen

Komfie Manalo - All Headline News Foreign Correspondent
Manila, Philippines (AHN) - The Department of Justice has asked the court to reinstate driver Timoteo Soriano as a co-accused party in the rape case filed by a Filipina against four US servicemen.

Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno has filed a seven-page resolution before the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 139 to include the driver as a co-accused party along with US Marine Lance Corporals Daniel Smith, Keith Silkwood, Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier.

In the resolution, the Justice Department said the fact that Soriano drove the van slowly while "Nicole" was allegedly being raped, showed "his participation was not merely of companionship." "Nicole" is the court-appointed name for the victim.

It reads, "Respondent Soriano was the driver of the Starex van used by his co-conspirators before and after the consummation of the sexual assault committed against complainant. More importantly, at the time complainant was being raped, he was driving the van in a very low gear to give more opportunity to his co-conspirators to perpetrate his evil desire."

Meanwhile, Makati RTC Judge Benjamin Pozon ordered Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory forensic expert Chief Inspector Dr. Francisco Supe to produce the complete DNA patterns from their examination of the used condom and victims underwear.

The court said, "The complete DNA pattern will help this court in properly assessing the prosecution's exhibit."

"Nicole" alleged she was raped by Smith inside the moving Starex van inside the former U.S. military base in Subic, Olongapo City on the night of November 1 while his three companions cheered

$300-m Hebei glass plant gets nod

By Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos - Manila Standard Today

the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board has given the nod of approval to the opening of a $300-million glass production plant of Hebei Jingniu Group of China.

The glass facility is one of 21 projects approved by the authority’s board of directors in June. The projects have combined investments $324 million.

Hebei Jingniu Group, a large-scale transnational company based in China that produces and sells high-tech glass products, sealed the commitment to put up a glass production plant in the Subic Freeport for a minimum investment of $300 million.

The project aims to generate 6,000 new jobs.

The plant needs at least 100 hectares of industrial flat lands to accommodate a facility for products such as rolling crystallite glass and coated on-line float glass, which would be shipped to over 50 countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa.

“The company will produce high-tech crystallite glasses that are seven to eight times more wear-resistant than alloy steel and 10-25 times more corrosion-resistant than stainless steel. That is why they are very suitable to use as industry and building materials,” said Hebei president Wang Chang Li.

The company’s other products are float sheet glass, solar-control reflective glasses and multicolored high-tech rolling crystallite glass with various specifications.

Hebei will hire more than 3,000 skilled and nonskilled workers during the construction period and 2,000 operation workers and 1,000 administrative employees upon project completion.

The other big-ticket project approved last month was that of Innove Communications Inc., a unit of Globe Telecom Inc., which committed to invest $6.3 million.

SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga said a grain production and processing base would open later this year with 5,000 job opportunities.

In the first six months, the board reported the combined revenue collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs improved 23 percent to P2.2 billion from P1.8 billion year-on-year.

The BIR collected P560 million in the first six months from withholding taxes, income taxes and other receipts said SBMA administrator and chief executive officer Armand Arreza. The current figure is 20 percent higher than year-ago collections, which reached P464 million.

Customs posted P1.6 billion in the first semester from payments of tariffs and duties, translating to a growth of 24 percent over the P1.3 billion registered in the same period last year.

Arreza said the increase was due to the presence of new companies which opened employment to thousands of workers.

Salonga has projected further increases in revenues next year with the approval of several projects.

MOMMY CABLING, BINIGYANG-PUGAY!

Isang pagpupugay sa katangi-tanging kawani ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Lungsod ng Olongapo ang ibinigay kay Gng. Flora Flores Cabling, mas kilala ng lahat sa tawag na “Mommy Cabling”. Sa isang Resolusyon na inilabas ng Sangguniang Panlungsod, kinilala nito ang mga kontribusyon ni Mommy Cabling sa pagseserbisyo-publiko, at ang pakikiramay sa pagdadalamhati ng mga naulila nito dahil sa kanyang pagpanaw. Ang kopya ng Resolusyon ay ibinigay sa kanyang pamilya noong Hulyo 20, 2006 sa ginanap na necrological rites sa Olongapo City Hall.

Si Mommy Cabling ay namayapa nitong Hulyo 16, 2006 sa edad na 80 taong gulang. Siya ay nanunungkulan bilang Technical Assistant/Consultant ng Office of the City Mayor, posisyon na kanyang hawak hanggang sa kanyang huling sandali. Si Mommy ang pinagkakatiwalaang writer/Technical Assistant ng magagaling na pinuno ng lungsod mula noong manungkulan siya kay dating Mayor at ngayo’y Senador Richard Gordon noong 1982.

Isa rin siya sa mga itinuturing na orihinal na residente ng Olongapo at sa kanyang matalas na memorya at pag-aala-ala, si Mrs. Cabling ay itinuturing na city historian, dahil sa kanyang detalyadong paglalarawan ng kasaysayan ng Olongapo at hanggang sa kasalukuyang kaunlarang tinamasa nito, na kanyang isinulat para sa kapakinabangan ng mga mamamayan.

Dinaluhan nina Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr., dating Mayor Katherine Gordon, at Sen. Richard J. Gordon ang paglilibing sa mga labi ni Mommy Cabling na inihatid sa kanyang huling hantungan sa Olongapo Memorial Park noong Hulyo 22, 2006.

Sinaksihan ni Mayor Bong Gordon ang paggawad ng ilang Sangguniang members ng sipi ng Resolusyon na kumikilala sa mga kontribusyon ng namayapang si Flora Cabling sa kanyang mga naiwanang anak sa pangunguna ni Norma Cabling-Thompson (kinamayan ni Kgd. Cynthia Cajudo). Isinagawa ang necrological rites ni Mommy Cabling sa FMA Hall nitong ika-20 ng Hulyo 2006.

GORDON URGES VILLAR TO ADOPT POLICY OF CALLING FOR A VOTE

Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday urged Senate President Manny Villar to espouse a policy of calling for a vote on vital issues and bills, instead of waiting for consensus which often results in legislative gridlock.

Gordon expressed concern on the practice of seeking “consensus” in the Senate as it sometimes proves to be an impediment in the ratification of essential measures such as the Automated Election Bill which amends an existing law (Republic Act No. 8436) on automated elections which aims to prevent massive, wholesale election cheating.

“We should stop this consensus thing in the Senate. We should divide the House. Nandito tayo para bomoto at hindi porke ayaw ng isa sa mga minority ay aantayin natin siya hanggang makumbinse,” Gordon said

Gordon aired confidence that Villar will be able to bridge the gap between the Legislature and the Executive in order to allow the two to realize their shared aspirations as he congratulated Villar for his unanimous election as Senate President

The senator also expressed his appreciation to Senator Drilon for honoring the Gentleman’s Agreement forged at the start of the 13th Congress in July 2004, thereby allowing for a smooth and orderly transition of leadership in the Senate.

Gordon congratulated Senator Drilon for a job well done. He commended Drilon’s able leadership, under which the chamber enacted several landmark legislation that resulted in fiscal stability and stabilizing the Philippine economy.

“Senator Drilon’s strong resolve was vital in helping the Senate maintain its independence despite determined efforts to undermine its authority. Under his leadership, the Senate as an institution filed a case challenging the validity of Executive Order (EO) 464 and emerged victorious.” said Gordon.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

WAGING ATLETA NG LUNGSOD SA PALARONG PAMBANSA, PINAPURIHAN

Sa bisa ng Ordinance No. 45, Series of 1998 ay nabuo ang isang resolusyon na magbibigay komendasyon sa mga atleta na nagbigay karangalan sa lungsod.

Kaya binigyang-insentibo nitong ika-17 ng Hulyo 2006 sa Rizal Triangle Covered Court ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. ang mga nagwaging atleta ng lungsod sa katatapos na Palarong Pambansa na ginanap noong ika- 7 hanggang 13 ng Mayo 2006 sa Naga City.

Sa pangunguna ni Mayor Bong Gordon kaagapay ang miembro ng Sanggunian ay isa-isang iniabot ang cash incentives sa mga naging pambato ng lungsod na sina:

Name - - - - Event
Silver Medalists
1. Edward Morisson - Taekwando
2. Judith Pineda - Chess
3. Ivy Joy Jarin - Lawn Tennis
4. Crizzabelle Marie Paulino - Lawn Tennis


Bronze Medalists
1. Martin Rivero - Lawn Tennis
2. Roman Paulo Floreza - Lawn Tennis


4th Place
1. Gene Ryan Ebue - Swimming
2. Fritz Agapay - Swimming
3. Robin Jay Goza - 200 Meter


5th Place
1. Trexy Pearl Mamaril - Volleyball
2. Edwin Bombase - Basketball
3. Patrick Campaña - Basketball


6th Place
1. Hillary Lee - Swimming
2. Loralie Lora - Swimming
3. Ethel Santos - Swimming
4. Ryan Ebue - Swimming
5. Fritz Agapay - Swimming


‘’Make Olongapo City truly proud of you,’’ wika ni Mayor Gordon. Saan man kayo makarating palagi ninyong tatandaan na ang Olongapo ay isang lungsod ng magagaling tulad ninyo,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

Masayang tinanggap ng mga atleta ang papuri at incentives kasama pa ang kani-kanilang mga magulang at guro

Hawak ng mga nagwaging atleta ng lungsod sa katatapos na Palarong Pambansa sa Naga City ang mga envelopes na naglalaman ng cash incentives at certificates of recognition na iginawad ni Mayor Bong Gordon. Kasama ni Mayor Bong Gordon at mga atleta ang ilang miembro ng Sangguniang Panlungsod.

RED CROSS OFFERS TRACING SERVICE FOR MISSING FILIPINOS IN LEBANON

As the security situation continues to deteriorate in Lebanon, the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) announced recently that it will begin accepting tracing requests from Filipinos who have lost contact with their relatives in the war-torn country.

“The program will enable immediate families of Filipino workers in Lebanon to send a short message or restore links with their missing relatives,” said PNRC chairman Richard J. Gordon in an interview. “But let me emphasize that this is only for people who have already lost contact with their loved ones.”

Under this program, families can send tracing requests to the PNRC, together with the necessary information to help locate their missing relatives in Lebanon.

As is the procedure with international cases, the PNRC will forward tracing requests to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), which has delegates in Lebanon. In behalf of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC is providing overall leadership in and around the Lebanon crisis.

To the best of its capacity, the ICRC delegation will act on the requests and then report back to the PNRC. However, due to the large number of Filipinos and other nationals displaced, it may not be possible to systematically address the huge task of ensuring that all families restore contact during this difficult period.

Aside from Lebanon, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in neighboring countries including Syria, Cyprus, Egypt and Turkey have been requested to alert the PNRC if Filipinos have taken shelter in their respective countries.

“We already requested other National Societies to give us an update on Filipinos who have evacuated to their respective countries so we can inform their families here,” said Gordon. “We also asked them to take care of our OFWs and to extend relief assistance to them.”

The continued heavy bombing in south Lebanon, Beirut and other areas have led large numbers of people, aided by their respective governments, to head north or leave the country altogether.


The PNRC is in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs with regard to evacuation operations and provision of relief goods to Filipino nationals.


Meanwhile, the ICRC and various Red Cross National Societies continue to distribute relief supplies to displaced families who have fled the hostilities.

For its part, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARCS), expecting another 15,000 evacuees in the coming weeks, has set up four small assistance points at border crossings with Lebanon and is providing food, water, first aid and free mobile phone service.

Tracing is one of the services offered by the Social Services arm of the PNRC. The aim is to restore and maintain contacts between families separated by disasters and armed conflict here and abroad. From January-June 2006, a total of 512 families have already been reunited through its efforts.

The PNRC is open to tracing requests for Filipino workers in Lebanon. For more inquiries, please visit or call the PNRC National Headquarters on Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila, with tel. nos. 527-0000 (loc. 126-127) and 527-0867. Or visit their website at www.redcross.org.ph.

Accused in rape case wants DNA report

THE accused in the Subic rape case insisted yesterday that he be given a copy of the DNA patterns that police supposedly found on the underwear of the 22-year-old complainant to compare them with his blood sample.

Through his lawyer, US Marine Daniel Smith filed a second request to the court to subpoena the PNP-Crime Laboratory to release to him the DNA patterns for both male and female DNA profiles extracted from the complainant “Nicole’s” panties and a used condom.

Lawyer Benjamin Formoso said their copy of the findings would ensure there were no alterations or substitutions in the DNA analysis reports, now that Smith’s blood samples had been taken and were being examined for comparison.

“We’re not afraid of the DNA analysis, but they might change it,” he said.

The prosecution and the forensic DNA analyst who testified in court, Chief Insp. Francisco Supe Jr., provided the court and the defense lawyers only a summary of their DNA findings, Formoso claimed.

Supe had testified that Nicole’s panties tested positive for male and female DNA profile while the used condom had only female DNA profile.

The female DNA profile matched the blood sample taken from Nicole, but the identity of the male DNA profile has yet to be established because it has not been compared to those of Smith’s and the three other accused. Ferdinand Fabella - Manila Standard

2,651 families flee to escape floodwaters in Zambales

By Anthony Bayarong, Manila Times Researcher

SAN NARCISO, Zambales: Floodwaters came rushing into nine barangays of this town early morning on Wednesday, forcing 2,651 families to flee to higher grounds.

No casualty was reported, however, owing to the timely response of rescue teams. The Special Action Force, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the City Government of Olongapo City had sent in people for the emergency evacuation and material assistance later.

In La Paz, 1,021 families had to evacuate their homes for fear of their lives. Here, water rose up to the rooftops, said Mac Iay, secretary to the mayor.

The other affected barangays and the number of affected families in each are San Pascual, 545; Alusiis, 395; San Rafael, 326; Libertad, 132; Bedding, 121; Grullo, 81; Patrosino, 20; and Paite, 10.

Only 119 families of the total number came to the designated evacuation site at the town hall. Most took temporary shelter in the homes of their relatives.

According to Mayor William Lim of San Narciso heavy rains brought flashfloods that in turn breached the town’s irrigation dike. He said damage to property was substantial, although the actual cost had yet to be determined by the proper government agency.

“No vehicle could pass through the main highway in the morning,” Lim said. “Only in the afternoon, when the water subsided, did the road become usable again.”

Lim and the local government continue to provide foodstuffs and medicine for the evacuees. So far, ailments have been kept at a minimum, with only two cases of diarrhea reported at the evacuation site.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of San Marcelino, four separate landslides were reported in the two barangays of Aglao and Buhawen.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Court forces American to give sample of blood

By Ferdinand Fabella - Manila Standard

THE Makati City Regional Trial Court yesterday compelled US marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, the principal accused in the Subic rape case, to submit blood samples for DNA analysis.

In open court, Smith was ordered to let two representatives from the National Police-Crime Laboratory fill a 5-cc vial of blood from his right arm. The sample was sent immediately to Camp Crame for DNA testing.

The test will determine if the male DNA profile earlier found on complainant Nicole’s underwear is that of Smith’s, proving that he had sex with the 22-year-old Filipina on Nov. 1, 2005, inside a van in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The prosecution contends that Smith raped Nicole in the back of the van while his coaccused—Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier and Lance Cpls. Dominic Duplantis and Keith Silkwood—cheered him on.

The four US servicemen deny the charge, and say Smith had consensual sex with the complainant.

In a 12-page order, Judge Benjamin Pozon allowed the taking of a blood sample only from Smith, rejecting as “a useless exercise” the prosecution’s motion to have the other three accused tested as well.

Pozon also turned down the argument of Smith’s lawyer, Benjamin Formoso, that the court should first ensure that the DNA analysis conducted on Nicole’s underwear and the used condom was error-free.

Up to the last minute, Formoso tried to prevent the court from implementing its order, citing his motion for reconsideration.

Pozon told the lawyer to go directly to the Court of Appeals to appeal his decision.

In his July 20 testimony, Chief Insp. Francisco Supe Jr. of the National Police-Crime Lab’s Forensic DNA Analysis Section testified that the analysis on the underwear showed positive female and male DNA profiles.

The female DNA profile matched Nicole’s, but the condom had only female DNA profile.

At the continuation of the trial yesterday, the prosecution presented a clinical toxicologist, Dr. Kenneth Go, to prove that Nicole was too drunk to resist a sexual attack.

Testifying as an expert witness, the third for the prosecution, Go said the blood alcohol level on Nicole during the night she claimed she was raped had reached an incredibly high 444.9 milligram per deciliter.

Go and a team of seven other toxicologists analyzed the alcoholic content of the various alcoholic drinks Nicole had drunk at the Neptune Club before the alleged rape.

Based on the testimony of the club’s bartender Nicole had ingested 60 ml of alcohol that night or more than her body mass could tolerate, Go said.

He agreed with the prosecution’s observation that at that stage of intoxication, Nicole “did not have the capacity to resist an attack and [was] unable to sense impending danger, defend herself, and make sound decision[s] in response to the danger.”

As her cognitive function had been impaired, Go said, the complainant would not have been able to give any consent for a sexual intercourse due to a “serious judgment disorder.”

He said that in this state, Nicole’s inability to remember all the important details of that night was understandable.

In her testimony on July 6, Nicole told the court she saw Smith on top of her and kissing and handling her breasts, but she could not fend off the attack as she was too drunk.

Court junks plea to let van driver testify in Subic rape case

A LOWER court hearing the controversial rape case filed by a 22-year-old Filipino woman against four US servicemen on Tuesday denied the motion of the prosecution to compel the driver of the van where the alleged abuse took place to testify on their side.

In another ruling, the court denied the motion of accused Lance Corporal Daniel Smith opposing the submission of a blood sample for DNA testing and partially denied the motion of the other accused, Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier and Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis.

In a ruling, Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 139 Judge Benjamin Pozon sustained the arguments of Timoteo Soriano, through his counsel Jose Raulito Paras, that he cannot be compelled to take the witness stand since he is still considered as an accused in the case and testifying would prejudice his right against self-incrimination.

The prosecution earlier questioned the non-appearance of Soriano on the day they scheduled his testimony with State Prosecutor Emilie de Los Santos saying that he is technically not an accused in the present case being heard.

He said the Jan. 13, 2006 decision of Olongapo Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 73 Judge Renato Dilag "discharging" Soriano from the charge sheet before he was arraigned is a "mere provisional dismissal" of the present case and not a final dismissal.

"Technically, he is still considered as an accused in the case and being an accused he has the right not to take the witness stand to testify for the prosecution in this case. There is no merit on the claim of the prosecution that only Soriano can personally invoke the right against self-incrimination," Pozon said in his ruling.

The court also took notice of the ongoing preliminary investigation conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine whether he can be charged as an accomplice in the case and the appeal filed by complainant Nicole (the court assigned name of the victim) through her counsel, Evalyn Ursua before the 7th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) questioning Dilag's decision.

The defense said the ruling dealt a major setback to the prosecution, adding that their efforts to prove conspiracy among the accused is now over while adding that they might even consider Soriano as their witness in the future.

"They (prosecution) might not admit it but the ruling is a major blow to their efforts to prove what they said is the conspiracy among the accused," said Silkwood's counsel Jose Justiniano.

The CA recently ordered Dilag to comment on the petition within 15 days under the threat of being cited for contempt.

Soriano became controversial when he recanted his testimony implicating the accused saying he did not witnessed any "gang-rape" as alleged in his first affidavit given to investigators of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Intelligence and Investigation Office (SBMA-IIO). He said he was allegedly coerced by IIO chief Paquito Torres into signing the statement.

In another ruling, the xourt denied the motion of the accused in refusing to submit blood samples for DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing, which the prosecution deemed important in proving their case against the accused especially against Smith who admitted to the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) that he had sex with "Nicole" although he maintained it was consensual in nature.

In a ruling, Pozon sustained the prosecution's argument that the submission of such samples does not prejudice the accused's constitutional right to remain silent nor his right against self-incrimination although the court issued a "partial ruling" for Smith and "partially denied" the prosecution's motion to compel the other accused, Carpentier, Silkwood and Duplantis.

In the ruling, the court said there are already standards that set the guidelines for the application of DNA evidence contrary to Smith's contention that the prosecution should first establish the standards such as how the samples will be collected, handled, stored and the procedures for such testing.

Earlier an expert witness, Dr. Francisco Supe Jr., testified that a female and male DNA were found on the complainant's underwear although only a female DNA was recovered from the used condom.

He told the court that the female specimen matched the DNA of Nicole through her blood sample but added he could not yet ascertain from whom the male DNA came from since the accused has not submitted a sample prompting the prosecution to file a motion before the court.

In open court, medical technologists of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory led by Inspector Jocelle Macapagal and Maria Theresa Bodo took the blood sample of Smith, which the laboratory per order of the court, will conduct the DNA testing.

The taking of blood sample was made despite the vehement objection of Smith's counsel, Benjamin Formoso, who threatened to appeal the case before the Court of Appeals (CA).

"The drawing of blood samples is without any basis, they should have submit to us first the complete DNA patterns for both female and male DNA samples that were extracted from the items such as the underwear and the used condom before taking the blood sample of my client," Formoso said adding that he will file a motion for certiorari before the CA.

During Tuesday's proceeding, the prosecution presented as an expert witness a medical toxicologist from the University of the Philippines (UP), who testified that Nicole was indeed too drunk on the night of the alleged incident to have given her consent.

Dr. Kenneth Go, a toxicologist for 10 years and one of the 15 certified medical toxicologist in the country, said he based his opinion on the testimonies of the bar's security guards, the bartender, the complainant's sister, Annaliza Franco and the complainant itself.

Security guards Tomas Corpuz and Gerald Muyot told the court they saw the victim "swaying uneasily" when she walked inside the Neptune bar while Corpuz said he saw the complainant being carried on the back of Smith to a waiting van outside the bar.

Franco and Nicole admitted that they downed several glasses of alcoholic drinks and that Nicole felt dizzy afterwards. Nicole later testified that she could not recall exactly the incident although she told the court that she remembered Smith on top of her while kissing and touching her breast.

Go said the complainant likewise would not have the capability to exactly recall every detail of the incident nor she could have the strength to resist her attacker. He also said the amount of alcohol she imbibed is the reason for her "fragmented recall" of details of the incident.

He also told the court that the level of toxicity of the complainant could have been affected by the amount of the food she took before imbibing those drinks.

"A person with an empty stomach has more rapid absorption of alcohol," said the witness in response to the question of Ursua.

But the defense dismissed his testimony with Justiniano saying that "it amounted to nothing but mere estimation since no alcohol test was done on the complainant" while the urinalysis conducted by the James Gordon Memorial Hospital has yet to be submitted by the prosecution.

The hearing resumes on Thursday for Go's cross-examination by the defense. (AH/Sunnex)

Bataan's Pentor Dam collapses ....

The Pentor Dam in Dinalupihan collapsed while the Torres River, also in the town, suffered a breach Tuesday afternoon, causing flood waters to rise in four barangays of the municipality and threatened 16 others in the poblacion.

Mayor Joel Payumo said sandbagging operations were going on to lessen the flow of water from the Pentor dam that had become swollen due to heavy rains since Sunday.

The Dinalupihan mayor said he has directed rescue operations in barangays Pentor, Daan-Bago and Sta. Isabel and asked residents to go to higher grounds. Payumo said the portion at the old Pentor dike could no longer control too much water and collapsed at about 1:00 in the afternoon.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority sent its rescue team on standby at the municipal hall ready to assist. The mayor said he has ordered the preparation of repacked relief goods for immediate distribution to evacuees.

At 3:00 p.m., Vice-Mayor Leonardo Cruz said that a portion of the Torres River also got breached with flood waters threatening 16 barangays in the poblacion of Dinalupihan. He said that flood waters in Barangay Torres was already 5 feet high..

He said flood waters from the Torres river that is connected to other big rivers in Dinalupihan and Pampanga were already felt rushing to the poblacion of Dinalupihan. The vice-mayor said sandbags were ready to be dispatched in Torres.

Tess Senora of the Office of Civil Defense said the road in Layac, also in Dinalupihan and Sta. Isabel, were no longer passable by cars and other light vehicles as of 11:00 a.m. Waters from the collapsed dam and the breached river contributed to floods in the area.

Engineers and workers from the provincial government, the Department of Public Works and Highways and Philippine Army personnel rushed to Pentor to help in sandbagging operations.

Senora also reported that five barangays in Hermosa were with flood waters of from 2 to 6 feet deep. The affected villages were Almacen with 5-6 feet flood waters, Daungan and Pulo (3-4 feet) and Burgos and A. Rivera (2-3 feet).

She reported that there were no affected families in evacuation centers so far. (PNA)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Masinloc probe starts today

A CONGRESSIONAL investigation is set today into the questionable acquisition of the Masinloc power plant in Zambales by what has been described as a bankrupt company despite the departure for abroad of officials reportedly involved in the controversial transaction.

Rep. Alipio “Tikbong” Badelles (Lakas, Lanao del Norte) said he tried, but failed, several times to contact officials of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), the agency tasked in the privatization of the government’s energy assets, to confirm their attendance in the inquiry to be conducted by the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) at the Senate.

He said Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, a PSALM director, has sought a postponement of the JCPC meeting because he would be “out of the country,” as well as the other officials of the agency who could be joining the trip.

“I have been contacting them but they were not responding,” according to Badelles, chairman of the House committee on energy.

The investigation will focus on the circumstances behind the sale of the 600-megawatt Masinloc plant to YNN Pacific Consortium, a Filipino-Chinese company, that has been described by Rep. Teodoro Casiño as a “totally bankrupt” firm that had to sell its shares to the Ranhill-Berhad of Malaysia to bail it of its obligations.

Invited to attend the hearing, to be conducted at the Senate, were Lotilla, Finance Secretary and PSALM chairman Margarito Teves, PSALM President Nieves Osorio, Energy Regulatory Commission Rodolfo Albano, Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) chairman Manolo Lopez, YNN Pacific owner Sunny Sun and PSALM consultant Garry Makasiar, who brokered the deal.

Badelles recalled that YNN Pacific, which won the bidding for the sale of the energy plant, has continuously failed to produce the upfront payment of $227 million to acquire the firm, despite the two deadlines given earlier by PSALM.

As a result, the government forfeited its $14 million performance bond for the transaction.

Raul S. Beltran - Journal Online

77 workers from Bataan told to walk

DINALUPIHAN, Bataan - Workers from Bataan at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority complained of being laid off allegedly without due process after the appointment papers of 77 of them were not renewed on June 30 this year.

The concerned employees, who came from the SBMA Seaport and Law Enforcement departments, said there was no basis for their walking papers or for their services not to be renewed. "The only reason we are aware of is [that] we were from Dinalupihan," they explained.

The employees asked not to be identified in the hope that SBMA management would reconsider its decision and rehire them. Some have been with the SBMA for more than three years; some, seven years.

They told Mayor Joel Payumo of Dinalupihan that right after they were informed of the nonrenewal of their employment contracts, they learned that replacements were ready to take over their positions the following day.

Some of the workers said they were even required to present a clearance or a recommendation from Gov. Enrique Garcia of Bataan before the renewal of their appointments, which they complied with although this proved useless.

"Appointing authorities disregarded the recommendation of our governor and we were terminated," they said.

Payumo said he would look into the matter and ask SBMA officials to observe due process before terminating the services of workers. "Why not initially reprimand the employees instead of outright dismissal if they committed some minor violation?" Payumo said.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said there was no truth to the complaints of the workers that their contracts are terminated because they were from Dinalupihan or Bataan.

"As long as they possess the necessary criteria for employment, they have no case and their performance was satisfactory, they do not have to worry about being terminated or not being rehired," Arreza said.

He said that the SMBA is apolitical and does not hire employees on the basis of residence, or whether they are from Olongapo City or Bataan or any other place. What is important is that they comply with requirements, explained Arreza.

Lolita Mallari, SBMA Human Resources Management Officer, said the Authority had terminated the employment contracts of 129 contractual workers, 77 coming from Bataan, on June 30.

She said endorsements from anybody do not guarantee employment.

Records show that in May 2006 the SBMA had in its employ 2,577 workers. Of this number 804 are from Bataan, 648 from Olongapo City, 295 from Zambales and 830 from other areas.

Mallari said the number of workers does not include those employed at the Free Port Services Corp., a subsidiary of the SBMA. Others are employed by private enterprises in the former American naval base.

Ernie B. Esconde - ABS CBN

Monday, July 24, 2006

Salonga: Steering SBMA into greater heights

At the helm of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is Feliciano G. Salonga, a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York where he was consistently awarded with the Scholastic Star until he finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering in 1953. He attended the MBA program in the University of the Philippines in 1959-60, and is a graduate of the United States Mine Sweeping Course in 1956 and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Intelligence Specialist Course in 1954.

Salonga is also vice chairman of Bataan Shipyard & Engineering Co., Inc.; managing director of Marine Consultancy Division of B.P. Mata & Co., Inc.; marketing director of MLD & Associates, a marine consultancy firm, chief of the Aids-to-Navigation Group, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) National Command; director of the O.B. Montessori Grassroots Leadership Foundation, Inc.; and president of the Mt. Pinatubo Hidden Temple Shrine & Community Foundation.

Prior to his chairmanship of the SBMA, Salonga was the president of Ganda Energy & Holdings, Inc., an independent power producer from 1997-1999.

Other positions he held were executive chairman of Sabah Shipyard Philippines, Inc. (1994-1999); president & general manager of Philippine Shipyard & Engineering Corp. (1987-1994); vice president for marketing of the Philippine Shipyard & Engineering Corp. (1984-1987); commercial manager of PNOC Marine Corporation (1981-1984); chairman of Traders Industrial Supply Co., Inc. (1980-1983); marketing director of Dynamarine Corporation (1966-1980); president and general manager, B.B. Fischer & Company, Inc. (1973-1980); senior department head for Research & Development Department of the Philippine Packing Corporation (1960-1963); Commissioned Officer (LT. SG), Philippine Navy, TF-04 Intelligence Officer, Patrol Force Staff Engineering Officer, Division 21 Chief Engineering Officer (1953-1960)

In February 2006, Salonga was awarded the Blue Falcon Award by his alma mater, the V. Mapa High School, for his achievements and contributions in maritime industrial management.

He was made an adopted son of Zambales, on October 24, 2005 in recognition of his goodwill and support to the people of the province "with the common vision for excellent service and development of the Freeport and Zambales Province."

In 1998, Salonga was named "Outstanding Professional Achievement Awardee for the year 1998" by the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni in Kings Point, New York.

He was also awarded a presidential citation for Successful Privatization of the Philippine Shipyard & Engineering Corporation by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1994 and "Adopted Son of Subic" for Service to the Community in 1989.

He is also former commander of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, 103rd Squadron (Zambales); former first vice president & director of the Philippine Shipbuilders & Repairers Association (PHILSAR); former president of the Shipbreakers Association of the Philippines, former president of the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association, Inc.; and former chairman & governor of the Chamber of Maritime Industries of the Philippines.

He was a member of the East Asia Committee of Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, London from 1996 to 1998, and the Technical Committee of the American Bureau of Shipping in 1982.

Chairman Salonga is a licensed 3rd Assistant Engineer of the United States Coast Guard and currently Commodore of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, Aids-to-Navigation Group.

Working closely with his Chief Administrator Armand C. Arreza, Salonga has helped effect major breakthroughs in the Freeport like the recent groundbreaking of Korean Shipbuilding giant Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. (ADL)

A group of Chinese businessmen who recently visited the Philippines said the Subic Bay Freeport is now being regarded as "a big piece of cake" due to its strategic location in the Asian region .
According to Arreza, the Chinese businessmen from Jilin Province regard the Freeport as an ideal place to open an investment hub in the region.


"Because of Subic’s strategic location, the Chinese officials will be visiting the Subic Freeport to discuss with us the desire of the Chinese business groups to put up investments in Subic," Arreza said.

The delegation, led by Fu Xilai, the State Minister for Trade, and Yang Quing Cai, vice-governor of Jilin Province, visited the Freeport to meet with Salonga, Arreza, SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations Jose Calimlim, and Sec. Rene Diaz, Presidential Adviser for Central Luzon.

Arreza also said that the China Agriculture Technology Transfer Center, Grain Production and Processing Base will soon be constructed in Subic.

Salonga said that the good news only signifies the continuing confidence of the international business community in the government and that the economy of the Philippines is on the right track.

Salonga added that the Subic Freeport is anticipating a significant upsurge of foreign investments after the completion of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)-funded $215-million port development project and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Tollway which will be completed by next year.

The tollway will link Subic to other industrial ecozones in Northern Luzon, particularly the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) in Pampanga and Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac.

"Among the latest investors from China is the Hebei Jingniu Group, a large-scale transnational company based in China, which would infuse $300 million in committed investment for the setting up of a high-tech industrial glass production plant in Subic," Salonga said.

He noted that the SBMA Board of Directors has already approved the project proposals for the setting up of the China Agriculture Technology Transfer Center, Grain Production and Processing Base in Subic.

"There will be more than 5,000 new job opportunities that will be opened to Filipinos by these new companies. This is in line with the vision of President Arroyo to create more jobs to help promote better living to every Filipino family," Salonga said. Malaya

1 more added to death toll of Left

Inquirer
PALAUIG, ZAMBALES—The killing and abductions of political activists and their supporters have resumed in Central Luzon after a two-week respite.

Just more than 24 hours apart, a supporter of the party-list group Anakpawis was gunned down, a labor leader was illegally arrested and four activists were abducted, reports from the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said on Saturday.

Arnel Guevarra, a vendor and an Anakpawis supporter, was shot and killed by a lone gunman in his house in Mexico, Pampanga, at 10:30 p.m. on Friday.

Police said the gunman, armed with an M-16 rifle, shot Guevarra, 41, in the head. The suspect and his two companions fled toward the Abacan River in Angeles City, according to the police.

Witnesses said the suspects were looking for Guevarra’s father, Oscar, and his brother, Marlon.

Bayan said Lowie Sangalang, a labor leader at a poultry farm, was picked up by soldiers in his house in Barangay Quebiawan in the City of San Fernando on Thursday night.

Col. Ricardo Visaya, commander of the 69th Infantry Battalion, on Saturday confirmed that Sangalang was in the Army’s headquarters in Mexico.

Visaya said Sangalang was invited for questioning on his links with the New People’s Army. He said the labor leader agreed to come on the approval of the barangay captain. Roman Polintan, Bayan Central Luzon chair, said Sangalang was being held and interrogated without a lawyer.

The four activists, on the other hand, were abducted in Lupao, Nueva Ecija, also on Thursday night. Polintan said no other details were available as Army officials barred the entry of Bayan’s fact-finding mission there.

In Isabela, a member of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas was shot and wounded in front of a public market in Ilagan town on Friday.

Supt. Romeo Uy, Ilagan police chief, said Benjamin Lozano, 52, also village chief of Santa Victoria, was taken to the Faustino Dy Sr. Memorial Hospital and was reported to be in critical condition.

Uy said Lozano was shot in the back by two men aboard a motorcycle at about 3 p.m.

The attack came a day after Madonna Castillo, Anakpawis-Isabela secretary general, was shot and killed by two men in Echague town.

In Baguio City, relatives of a suspected NPA rebel, who was arrested by soldiers in an encounter on June 7, asked Army officials to present him.

Benita Cariño said her son, Delfin, 23, has been missing since the encounter in Sallapadan, Abra. She said her son was wounded in that clash. Tonette Orejas, PDI Central Luzon Desk, and Villamor Visaya Jr. and Desiree Caluza, PDI Northern Luzon Bureau

No Classes Today --- All level due to Typhoon

Faculty member of some Colleges --- such as Gordon College --- are required to report for work

Saturday, July 22, 2006

BOKSINGERO NG ‘GAPO PASOK SA NATIONAL TEAM

Matapos magpamalas ng galing sa katatapos na 2006 Philippine Olympic Festival Amateur Boxing Challenge Championship na ginanap sa Tubod, Lanao, del Norte, tumanggap ang pambato ng lungsod na si Artist Martin, Jr. ng imbitasyon mula sa Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) upang mapabilang sa national training pool.

Si Martin, Jr., labingsiyam (19) na taong gulang buhat sa Brgy. Barretto ay nakakitaan ng bilis at lakas ni ABAP President Manuel T. Lopez. ‘’He has the potential to give the best for our country,’’ bahagi ng liham na ipinadala niya kay City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. sa pamamagitan ni Olongapo Boxing Team President Angelito Layug.

‘’Magandang balita ito para sa ating boxing champ at sa ating lungsod. Nangangahulugan lamang na epektibo ang ating mga isinasagawang Inter-barangay Amateur Boxing Competition,’’ wika ni Mayor Bong Gordon.

‘’Dahil nakakatuklas tayo ng mga pambato ng lungsod at ng bansa sa mga malalaking kompetisyon kaya dapat lamang na ituloy-tuloy na natin ang pag-iikot ng Amateur Boxing Competition sa ibat-ibang mga barangay,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

Sa ngayon ay naghahanda na ang ABAP para sa nalalapit na 2006 Asian Games na gaganapin sa Doha, Qatar nitong buwan ng Disyembre.

Samantala, magpapakitang-gilas ang mga boxing aspirants ng Brgy. Barretto sa ika-29 ng Hulyo 2006 kung saan gaganapin ang 2nd leg ng Inter-barangay Amateur Boxing Competition matapos ang matagumpay na opening salvo sa Brgy. Sta Rita nitong buwan ng Hunyo 2006.

Wish Ko Lang Bong Gordon Style

SIMPLENG HILING NG PASLIT, AGAD TINUGUNAN

Isang munting kahilingan mula sa isang bata ang agad na tinugon ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr.

Si Florence P. Sulse, isang Grade 5 student na nakatira sa Upper Domingo St. Gordon Heights, ay lumiham kay Mayor Gordon. Sa kanyang sulat, sinabi ng bata “mabait daw po kayo, kayo po sumulat ako sa inyo,” habang humiling ito ng mga kagamitang pang-eskwela para sa kanilang limang magkakapatid dahilan sa pinansyal na kakulangan ng kanilang magulang.

Hindi naman binigo ni Mayor Gordon, kasama ang kanyang maybahay na si First Lady Anne Marie, ang bata. Agarang pinasundo ang mga bata para tanggapin ang mga school supplies na inihanda para sa kanila.

Lubos ang pasasalamat ni Florence kay Mayor Bong at ipinangakong pagbubutihin ang pag-aaral. Saad ni Mayor Gordon, “natutuwa ako sa liham mo at hindi ka nag-atubili na sulatan ako. Patunay lang na desidido ka sa iyong pag-aaral, kaya’t dapat lang na tugunan ko ang hiling mo,” habang iniaabot ang mga notebooks at iba pang school supplies.
Magkatuwang na iniabot nina Mayor Bong Gordon at First Lady Anne Marie kay Florence P. Sulse ang mga gamit pang-eskwelang kanyang kahilingan sa punong-lungsod. Kasama ni Florence na tumanggap sa City Hall ang kanyang nakakatandang-kapatid.

MGA BANGLADESHI, HUMANGA SA POPDEV INITIATIVES NG ‘GAPO

Bumisita sa Lungsod ng Olongapo ang mga opisyales ng bansang Bangladesh Ministry of Information nitong Hulyo 20, 2006 para sa isang UNFPA-supported advocacy project. Ang delegasyon ng Bangladesh ay binubuo ng siyam na opisyales.

Ang UNFPA o United Nations Population Fund for Assistance ay sumusuporta sa mga programang may kinalaman sa population control & development, reproductive health at gender sensitivity. Katulad ng Bangladesh, kasama ang Olongapo sa mga napiling lungsod sa Pilipinas na suportahan ng UNFPA para sa limang taong programa nito. Ang pagbisita sa lungsod ng mga Bangladeshi ay isang lakbay-aral upang makita nila ang mga inisyatibong isinasagawa sa Olongapo.

Isang mainit na pagsalubong ang ibinigay ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. para sa mga bisita ng dumating ang mga Bangladeshi sa Olongapo City Hall para sa orientation ng mga programa ng lungsod sa Population Control & Development, Reproductive Health at Gender Sensitivity. Pinangunahan ni City Health Depatment Dr. Arnildo Tamayo ang talakayan at naging mabunga ang mga usapan.

“Kami ay lubos na nagagalak na napili ninyong bisitahin ang aming lungsod upang maging huwaran ninyo sa mga programang nauukol sa Population Control & Development, Reproductive Health at Gender Sensitivity. Bukas kami sa pagbabahaginan at pagpapalitan ng mga kaalaman para sa pareho nating kapakinabangan,” saad ni Mayor Gordon sa mga bisita.

Sa mga tinalakay sa Orientation, bumilib sila sa mga konkretong programang isinasagawa ng lokal na pamahalaan. Napatunayan pa ang kanilang paghanga ng bigyan sila ng Tour sa James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital, partikular sa pasilidad nitong Women’s Clinic at HIV Core Team. Dinala rin ang delegasyon sa bagong bukas na Women’s Center sa Mayumi St. sa Sta. Rita para i-address ang gender-sensitivity issue, at dinala rin sila sa mga Barangay Health Centers na siyang frontliners ng lungsod sa mga mamamayan para i-address ang population control at reproductive health sa community level.

Naging mabunga ang pagbisita ng mga Bangladeshi sa lungsod at ipinangako nila na ang mga nakita nilang magagandang programa ng lungsod ay dadalhin nila sa kanilang bansa para sa epektibong pagpapatupad ng layunin ng UNFPA sa Bangladesh.
Si Mayor Bong Gordon habang nagbibigay mensahe sa mga bumisitang opisyales ng Bangladesh Ministry of Information. Ang isinagawang lakbay-aral ng delegasyon ay bilang pag-obserba sa mga programa ng lungsod kaugnay sa Population Control & Development, Reproductive Health at Gender Sensitivity

LION’S AT ‘GAPO NAGKAISA!

Nagpahayag ng pakikiisa ang Lion’s Club, International D 301-D1 sa Lungsod ng Olongapo sa pamumuno ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr.

Sa isang courtesy call na isinagawa nitong ika-17 ng Hulyo 2006 sa FMA Hall ng City Hall ay buong pwersang tumungo ang Lion’s International Region 1 – D1 na nakadaupang-palad si Mayor Bong Gordon.

Kasama ang Peninsula, Subic Bay, S.R. Executive at Subic Tambuli Lion’s Club ay isa-isang nilatag ng grupo ang kanilang kahandaang makipag-tie-up sa mga programa ng lungsod.

‘’Nakikita namin ang sinseridad ng punong-lungsod sa pagpapahalaga sa kapaligiran kaya handa kaming makiisa sa mga reforestation projects ni Mayor Gordon,’’ wika ni Lions Club, International Reg. Chairman Lion Carlos Gamboa.

‘’Sa pamamagitan ng City Planning & Development Office (CPDO) ay maghahanap tayo ng isang lugar na maari tayong makapagtanim,’’ ayon kay Mayor Gordon.

Samantala, ang Medical & Dental Mission, Sight Conservation at Livelihood Projects ay ilan pa rin sa mga nakaabang proyekto ng Lion’s na nais maging bahagi ang lungsod.

‘’Isa lang naman ang nais nating lahat ang magbigay ng serbisyo sa mamamayan ng Olongapo kaya magtulungan tayo para rito,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

Buong pwersang tumungo sa FMA Hall para sa isang courtesy call ang mga opisyales ng Lion’s Club, International District D301 – D1 sa pangunguna ni Lion Carlos Gamboa. Sa pulong ay ipinahayag ng grupo ang kanilang pakikiisa sa mga programa ng lungsod sa pamumuno ni Mayor Bong Gordon.

CITYWIDE EARTHQUAKE DRILL

All systems go ang Lungsod ng Olongapo sa isasagawang Citywide Earthquake Drill nitong ika-21 ng Hulyo 2006.

Ang bawat mamamayan ay may malaking partisipasyon dahil ito ay lalahukan ng lahat ng mga pampubliko at pribadong elementarya, sekondarya at pang-kolehiyong paaralan sa lungsod.

Maging ang mga business establishments at ang mga residente ng labingpitong (17) barangay ay magiging bahagi rin ng malawakang drill.

Eksaktong alas-9 ng umaga ay sabay-sabay na tutunog ng isang (1) minuto ang mga sirenang matatagpuan sa iba-ibang barangay sa lungsod bilang hudyat sa pagsisimula ng drill.

Ito rin ang takdang oras na ang lahat ay sabay-sabay na magsasagawa ng duck, cover and hold -ang tawag sa physical gesture habang mabilis at maingat na lumalabas ng gusali.

Ang drill na tatagal ng tatlumpong (30) minuto ay magbibigay ng pagsasanay bilang paghahanda sa panahon ng pagyanig.

‘’Dapat ang bawat mamamayan ng lungsod ay kargado ng kaalaman at impormasyon dahil ito ang magliligtas sa atin sa panahon ng kalamidad,’’ wika ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr.

Pangungunahan ng City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) ang drill kung saan ang Disaster Management Office (DMO) sa pamumuno ni DMO Head Angie Layug ang lead department kasama ang ibat-ibang miembro ng council.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Burden of Cellphone Registration

Paul Vecchiatto -- IT WEB

Registering prepaid cellphone users will probably have a muted long-term impact on the economy and fighting crime, while inconveniencing companies and individuals. However, we do need it.


Registering prepaid cellular phone subscribers is proving to be a sticky issue in the drafting of the amendment to the interception law. While it probably won't have the negative economic impact the cellular network operators claim it will have, there are some practicalities that drafters have to take into account.

To give it its full name, the Regulation of Interception and Provision of Communications-related Information Act (RICA) was originally drafted four years ago, but it is only now coming into effect.

From 1 July, the network operators, or anyone who provides a telecommunications service to subscribers, have to start registering their customers over a period of 12 months. Network operators will also be obliged to install interception equipment.

This is to provide law enforcement agencies with a route to lawfully intercept calls being made by criminal suspects. It will allow them to trace the ownership of handsets used to commit crime, such as distributing and downloading child pornography, setting up organised criminal rings, transacting illicit deals such as drug dealing, intimidation, and threats to state security.

In terms of the RICA amendments being debated, the network operator must obtain from a prepaid subscriber his or her full names, ID number and three addresses (physical, business and postal). Furthermore, the person's personal details must correspond with a SIM card number, cellphone number (also known as the MSISDN number) and the handset manufacturer's IMEA number.

Furthermore, the law also wants the private sale of a handset to be recorded. If one person sells it to another who is not a family member, then both parties' details have to be captured.

The network operators, to a lesser or greater degree, counter this by saying these requirements place a particular burden on the informal sector, where the access to equipment to do this is limited. Their proposals include the capture of initials and surname, the cellular number because that is automatically linked to a SIM card, and only one address, as most people in the informal sector do not necessarily have physical or postal addresses.

The operators also state they have no control over handsets. Less than 10% of the country's handsets actually come through the formal distribution channels, while the large majority are from grey marketers and other indirect importers. But a handset is automatically linked to a SIM card once the two are connected to the network and a record is kept of all the handset numbers used by a SIM cardholder.

Recouping the costs

The network operators are also complaining about the cost burden.

While these costs will not be directly passed onto the subscribers, the network operators will try to recoup them. That is the way businesses work, no matter how profitable they are.

Then there is the registration logistical nightmare.

RICA's impact on the economy is still uncertain. The network operators say it will slow economic growth as it will be more difficult to get a connection.

Muted impact

But then again, this law will probably also have a limited impact on fighting crime. Criminals live not only for making money despite the law, they also look for opportunities that such laws provide. I would not be surprised to hear of all sorts of fraudulent activities going on during the period, such as false registration points being set up.

Law enforcement does need a tool such as RICA to do its job effectively. But it must be good law that impacts the cost of doing business and the individual as mildly as possible.

Hanjin, TransCo sign MOU

The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) signed a memorandum of Understanding last Monday, July 17 with Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC-Phil., Inc.) for the direct power connection of Hanjin's shipbuilding facility to be built inside the Special Economic Zone in Castillejos, Zambales inside the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) complex.

TransCo President Alan Ortiz and HHIC-Phil., Inc. President Jeong Sup Shim signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their companies.

"We welcome this partnership which will allow one of the biggest shipbuilding companies in the world today to relocate their entire facility from Korea to the Philippines, bringing in jobs, technology, and new confidence in the Philippine economy," Ortiz said.

As stipulated in the MOU, HHIC-Phil., Inc. will design, finance, construct, test, commission and own a 220-km 230-kV double circuit steel tower transmission line and a 230-kV substation which will together serve as the shipbuilding project's power source. The connection facilities should conform to TransCo's standard design and specifications.

TransCo shall subsequently assume the operation and maintenance of the facilities subject to a mutually agreed amount to be shouldered by HHIC-Phil., Inc.

Hanjin said it expects to generate jobs for about 1,000 Filipino workers during the construction of the shipbuilding facility and directly employ about 3,000 to 7,000 professional managers, technical staff, and skilled shipyard workers.

It will likewise produce about $1-2 billion worth of exports and an investment inflow of about $1 billion during the erection of the plant and put the Philippines on the world map of large scale shipbuilding. (PIA-MMIO)

KFC VS. JOLLIBEE

Tunay ngang buhay ang magandang takbo ng pagnenegosyo sa lungsod dahil sa pagdating ng mga bagong establisyimento, na nagbubunsod din sa lalong-lumalakas pagpapalakas ng healthy business competition at climate na para sa kapakinabangan ng mga mamamayan ng Olongapo.

Kamakailan ay nagbukas na sa Olongapo ang inaabangan at kinasasabikang sikat na fast-food chain, ang Kentucky Fried Chicken o KFC – Olongapo Branch. Pinasinayaan ang bagong tayong gusali ng KFC nitong Hulyo 15, 2006. Ang dalawang-palapag na gusali na agarang naipatayo ay nakapwesto sa Rizal Avenue, malapit sa Ulo ng Apo Rotunda. Si First Lady Anne Marie Gordon at ang mga matataas na opisyales ng KFC ang siyang nagsagawa ng ribbon-cutting sa Grand Opening Day nito. Nagkaroon din ng motorcade at mga give-aways para sa mga unang customers ng restawran. Ayon kay Store Manager Mayette Palomo, marami pang kaaabangan ang mga mamamayan ng Olongapo sa KFC tulad ng pagkakaroon nito ng playland para sa mga bata at mga function rooms para sa mga parties at seminars.

Dahil sa patuloy na pagdagsa at haba ng pila ng mga customers sa KFC, pahayag ni Palomo na “Natutuwa kami sa mainit na pagtanggap ng Olongapo sa KFC, at sana’y magtuluy-tuloy ang magandang pagnenegsyo ng KFC dito.”

Samantala, kaalinsabay naman ng grand opening ng KFC, hindi naman nagpahuli ang Jollibee Ulo ng Apo, dahil maging ito ay nagkaroon ng sariling motorcade at mini-program sa labas ng kanilang outlet. Ang Jollibee, na walong-taon na sa Olongapo, ay patuloy pa ring tinatangkilik lalo pa ng mga bata, at malakas pa rin ang negosyo. Kamakailan lamang ay naparangalan ito bilang Business Permit Awardee ng lungsod dahil sa magandang kontribusyon nito sa ekonomiya ng lungsod.

Panalo naman ang mga customers dahil kapwa magagandang offer at masasarap na pagkain ang alok ng magkalapit na restawran kaya’t enjoy na enjoy kapwa ang mga bata’t matatanda.

Sa isang panayam kay Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr., inihayag nito na “Ang pagpasok ng KFC ay indikasyon lamang na masigla ang ekonomiya dito sa atin.” Saad din niya na “Makikinabang din ang mga mamamayan sa business competition na bunsod nito, dahil sa mas maraming pagpipilian at mas magagandang promo offer para sa mga customer. Lahat tayo ay may pakinabang,” pagtatapos ni Mayor Gordon.

Magugunitang sa administrasyon ni Mayor Bong Gordon, nagsipasukan sa Olongapo ang mga food chians tulad ng Kenny rogers, Henlin, Red Ribbon, at iba pa. Nais ring magbukas ng Burger King at nais namang magbalik ng Shakey’s Pizza.
City Public Affairs Office

SPA Choir bagged silver in China World Choir Olympics

Olongapo Youth Choir bested almost 400 other entries from 70 countries to bag silver in the World Choir Games held in Xiamen, China.

The 27 member team from Special Program for the Arts of the Olongapo City National High School was trained by Genevie Tolentino.

The team is due to arrive today to the rousing welcome of Olongapenos.


Photo above was taken 13 July during the team's send-off ceremony where Mayor Gordon and Fiesta Committee Chair Anne Gordon gave P 360,000 to cover the team's expenses in the China World Choir Olympics


 

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