Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Hanjin to build P37.4M condotel
Breaking the cycle of poverty
Hanjin in first tanker orders for Philippines yard...
Convicted US Marine still in RP, says new VFACom c...
Open Letter to the People of Zambales
Ecozone bills signed into law
RP: One of best values for money in Asia for inves...
8 suspek sa P2M smuggling kinasuhan
Government urged to allow foreign carriers to set ...
PGMA to invest P1 trillion on infrastructure and s...
SBMA law enforcer, customs agents arrested for smu...
BCDA invests P300M for PAF support facilities
BCDA at 15
Subic dolphin show operators face arrest
Korean firm to invest $1.2 million in Subic
SBMA to use Pinoy Invention vs oil spills
Subic phone company to upgrade Internet service
Driver in Nicole case off the hook
SBMA adopts patented works of Filipino inventor to...
Japanese contractors warned on further snag in exp...
Clark has new traffic scheme
Lawmen recover 7 smuggled vehicles
Task force speeds up port projects
Public works chief wants Subic-Clark infra project...
Task force looking for 11 luxury cars spirited out...
"Letters", Philippine Daily Inquirer
Olongapo pols fight for piece of Chiz
5 smuggled luxury cars seized in shop
Roxas: Rescinding of P21-B Subic-Clark road contra...
US woman admiral to GIs in RP: Behave
Local garment firm to invest P576M in Subic
Wartsila and BW Gas Sign Training Contract
Raymundo T. Roquero at Angelita De Jesus-Cruz sa S...


Friday, March 30, 2007

Hanjin to build P37.4M condotel

Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation (HHIC)-Philippines, owner and operator of one of the biggest shipbuilding facilities in the Asia-Pacific region, is set to infuse P37.4 million to construct a condominium-hotel here.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano G. Salonga said on Wednesday that the Board of Directors approved the construction of a condominium-hotel to meet the accommodation facility requirements of its employees.

"The labor workforce of Hanjin-Philippines will reach 3,000 during its full operation by year 2010. When that time comes, more than a hundred Korean technical staffs, consultants and engineers will be occupying the condotel," Salonga said.

The new 42-meter high facility will be developed in a three-hectare lot inside the Ilanin Forest East area.

Early this year, the shipyard, which in a year is expected to fabricate 60 ships of different sizes and types, already accepted orders for 12 ships at 60 million US dollars each from three different companies.

First in the production line is for a French company represented by its president, Krevork Hekimian.

Meanwhile, SBMA Administrator Armand C. Arreza said the construction of the $ 1-billion Hanjin shipyard in the Redondo Peninsula in Subic Bay had its dry-run of operations last March 1 and began fabricating the first orders for the year.

The company is the biggest direct foreign investments (FDI) project in the region that is expected to boost the economic condition of the residents in the area by providing skills training as well as direct and indirect employment.

In February this year, HHIC-Philippines also opened the P240-million Hanjin Skills Development Center (HSDC), the world's largest single shipbuilding training center that could accommodate 500 Filipino trainees per batch.

Most of the trainees were recruited from Olongapo City, and the provinces of Bataan and Zambales, and are already receiving regular salaries and other benefits since day one. Some were sent to South Korea for supervisory trainings.

"What we want to do now is provide stable jobs for the residents in the communities surrounding the Freeport zone and help the national government in providing jobs and thereby lessen under and unemployment in the country. The Hanjin project is one of the major contributors in realizing that vision," Arreza said. (PNA)

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Breaking the cycle of poverty

Myrna must have stared at every conceivable face of poverty countless times before. A fish vendor/laundrywoman, widow, with nine mouths to feed, it would be easy to imagine her blinking, giving up on life.

But instead of cowering in fear, Myrna rose to break the cycle of poverty. On March 26, Myrna Modesto Daplas, 41 years old, of Barangay Nagbaculao, Olongapo City, will cap her lifetime struggle with a rare personal moment of victory – she will receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Olongapo City Convention Center.

“Difficult” is an understatement when describing the road that Myrna took on the way to graduation. “Her story can very well be a tearjerker for a television show, either for 'Maalaala Mo Kaya?' or 'Ripley’s Believe It or Not.' And why not? Although finishing a high school program and pursuing a college degree were just an ordinary thing for others, they were no ordinary feats for someone in Myrna’s shoes,” said Fr. Albert Avenido, the founder and president of the Barkada ng Sagrada Pamilya Foundation, Inc (BSPFI), a non-profit organization, committed to break the cycle of poverty through integral human empowerment.

Without education, the Daplas couple went with the flow taken by most poor couples who engaged in early marriages – uncontrolled reproduction. From 1986 to 2004, the union produced nine children. Sad to say, in 2005, her husband Romeo died.

When he was still alive, Romeo used to fish offshore with a rented boat. Myrna would sell his husband’s catch on foot to the entire barrio, including the rectory of Holy Family where Fr. Albert was a parish priest. Aside from selling fish, Myrna would approach Fr. Albert every time any of her nine kids would get sick or her husband did not have a good catch.

Feeling for her plight, Fr. Albert went beyond extending financial assistance. He bought Romeo a boat so he could go out fishing on a regular basis without the burden of the rental for the boat. Soon enough, Ronalyn, their eldest daughter, was able to graduate from primary schooling in year 2000.

Seeing her daughter finish elementary, Myrna felt she had a chance to realize her own dream of finishing her studies, too. “It was an almost abandoned, yet not totally forgotten, desire for her,” Fr. Albert said in BSPFI newsletter, Pangarap at Pamana. Myrna was forced to abandon schooling in1982 and leave her hometown in Leyte to find a job in Manila. She became a housemaid in the city, and by 1985, she got into early marriage.

Despite the bleak situation, Myrna made it a point to send each one of her children to school. Under a scholarship provided by BSPFI, Myrna did not allow herself to be distracted from her goal by the sheer bitterness of her being poor. Education, for her, was the only thing she could leave as legacy to her children.
She believed that attaining a good education herself would make attaining her goal for her family possible.
Myrna was too determined in returning to school that she was not bothered that her own daughter would be her schoolmate at the Olongapo City National High School. Her dogged determination led her to seek for ways to manage her time. She enrolled in a module-based education program for adults. Myrna had to come to class every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

At home, she would tack her modules on the wall facing her and study while doing the laundry. In between gaps of washing the clothes, she would cook, clean the house, and take care of her children.

It also helped that she was employed by Fr. Albert at the social action office from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to handle housekeeping. In gratitude for all these blessings, Myrna volunteered to be a catechist for the Basic Ecclessial Community on Wednesday afternoons.

Myrna passed the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) and in 2003 graduated from high school even as she was bearing her ninth child. For others in her shoes, having a high school diploma would be “it,” the end of the road. For Myrna, it was not enough. She convinced Fr. Albert that she can pursue higher education at the Mondrian Aura College in Subic Bay Freeport Zone and will take up a Bachelor of Science in Education course, major in English.

Fr. Albert, who now serves the Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in Los Angeles, California, has constantly monitored Myrna's progress. In her failings, he drops in with her to prop her up. In her successes, he raises his hands in thanking and glorifying God.

Myrna was a constant dean’s lister in her class, with a general average of 1.54 (equivalent to 90 percent). She belonged to the top five in her class during the 2nd semester of school year 2004-2005. She was awarded Outstanding/Model Student at the Modrian Aura College in March 2005.

Her parish apostolate also served her well: She won second runner-up in a competition in Basic Ecclessial Communities at the Marian Hills in Olongapo City in January 2005.

In extra-curricular events, Myrna placed among the top four winners in the women's division of an inter-barangay bowling tournament in March 2005, and won as champion in the April 2005 departmental bowling competition in college.

Always eager to recognize the people who have have helped her succeed, Myrna said in a letter she recently wrote for the Foundation, “As a scholar of Barkada ng Sagrada Familia from first year college up to the present in Mondrian Aura College, I thank all those people who shared their blessings to allow me to continue my dream of becoming a teacher someday. Special thanks to the founder and president of the foundation, for without him, I know I cannot pursue this dream. Thank you for the assistance and support you have been extending to me and even to my family. I hope someday I can reach my ambition to become a degree holder and become a professional teacher.”

When she receives her diploma this March 26, Myrna edges closer to her dream of cutting her seemingly perpetual bondage to economic deprivation. She will be a living witness of Christ’s mission: “I came so that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).


Barkada ng Sagrada Pamilya Foundation, Inc. (BSPFI) is committed to break the cycle of poverty and uplift the dignity of Filipino families through the inspiration of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family of Nazareth. Fr. Albert Avenido, the founder and President of BSPFI and a former Social Action Director, believes that breaking the cycle of poverty is the most fundamental element towards a holistic development and integral human empowerment. Through Divine providence and the support of generous benefactors, families and friends (barkada), Barkada ng Sagrada Pamilya had been acknowledged and registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit charitatble organization in the Philippines.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Hanjin in first tanker orders for Philippines yard

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - South Korea's Hanjin Heavy Industries Co. has won its first orders to build oil tankers at its new shipyard in the Philippines, company sources said today, a deal worth an estimated US0 million.

The two tankers, the biggest ever built in the Philippines, are to be delivered from Hanjin's US0 million yard on Subic Bay, on the west coast of the island of Luzon, next year, they said.

''We have secured two orders, for delivery around 2008,'' a Philippines-based Hanjin source told Reuters, declining to provide more details on the buyer or contract value. Company officials in Seoul also confirmed the order.

The two tankers, expected to be each around 75,000-100,000 deadweight tonnes, are slated to carry crude within the Middle East and Europe, the Phillipines-based source said.

Shipbrokers Clarksons earlier this month estimated the price of a newly built tanker of that size at about US.5 million.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007


Rising Above The Storm.....Who's Who In Asia - Part 3


Convicted US Marine still in RP, says new VFACom chief

MANILA, Philippines -- Convicted United States serviceman Lance Corporal Daniel Smith is "in the country," an official of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement told reporters Friday.

Undersecretary Edilberto Adan, newly appointed executive director, attended the three-day First Policy Consultation with Heads of Post of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"He's in the country. There are regular visits by a team of Philippine officials that make sure he's in the country," Adan said, refusing to answer where in the country Smith is.

It has been almost three months since Smith was spirited out of the Makati City Jail almost midnight of December 28.

Smith was convicted of raping a 22-year-old Filipina, known only to the public as "Nicole," last November 2005 at the former US facility in Subic. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Despite pressure from the government, particularly Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, Judge Benjamin Pozon ruled that Smith should spend his sentence in a Philippine jail until the US and Philippine governments have decided on a mutually agreed place to detain Smith.

The issue of where to keep Smith is pending before the Court of Appeals after Philippine and US authorities took him out of Makati City Jail and brought him to the US embassy in Manila.

Former VFACom chief Zosimo Paredes, who says that the VFA provides that the US has custody of Smith after the sentencing, was sacked for criticizing that action.

Adan, former Southern Command chief and Armed Forces spokesman, replaced Paredes last March 7. He is expected to play a key role in the VFACom when it undertakes the review of the Visiting Forces Agreement to thresh out contentious issues such as custody.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita had indicated that the next VFACom head should be one who would toe the government line on issues concerning the treaty.

He added that the next director should know the agreement intimately and be ready to recommend provisions of the pact that might need review.

The verdict against Smith is being appealed. His co-accused and fellow US servicemen Chad Carpentier, Dominic Duplantis, and Keith Silkwood left the country soon after their acquittal was announced.

( www.inquirer.net )


Open Letter to the People of Zambales

My dear fellow Zambalenos,

The main problem in Zambales that must be addressed by its leaders is POVERTY.

The best strategy in fighting poverty in Zambales is to use the resources of the provincial government in the best way we can that will have direct impact on the lives of the people. The amount of financial resources that is directly controlled by the provincial governor under his office amounts to almost P200 million every year out of the less than P500 million annual budget of the province.

If only this huge amount of financial resources is utilized to provide support to our farmers and fisher-folks for their irrigation systems, fertilizers, agri-credit facilities, marketing support for their produce, technology transfers, post harvest facilities, among many other support for agricultural development that can be extended by the provincial government, the farmers and fisher-folks who comprise the majority of poor Zambalenos can be freed from poverty. We can capitalize on our closeness to SBMA and Manila to create market for our Zambales agricultural and fishery products.

If only this huge amount of financial resources is utilized to promote Zambales tourism on a year-round basis through aggressive and massive marketing activities and by standardizing our tourism facilities and infrastructure facilities including proper training of service personnel of tourist-related establishments, the big amount of income that will be generated from tourists and the big number of employment that will be created by tourist- establishments will free from poverty the people who will directly benefit from successful tourism program. Zambales is a very beautiful province. We can capitalize on our closeness to SBMA and Manila to invite tourists to come to our province.

If only the P17 million yearly indigency fund and other discretionary funds of the governor will be utilized to launch a massive livelihood programs for the women, youth, senior citizens then poverty can be eradicated. Instead of giving those poor people that flock to the provincial capitol with financial assistance of P100 - P200 each.

If only these huge amount of financial resources is utilized to invite investors to come to Zambales then that will create a lot of employment. Zambales is an ideal investment destination with our good road network, big supply of electricity from Masinloc coal-fired thermal power plant, availability of all communications facilities (Smart, Globe, Suncel, PLDT, Digitel, Piltel), good peace and order situation, skilled and educated labor force. If SBMA and other provinces can invite investors to go to their areas why can't Zambales. We just have to be aggressive and very massive on our efforts to market Zambales as an ideal investment destination. We need also good investment policies and programs that are well written in form of promotional materials and implemented by well qualified and highly trained staff.


But in the meantime, even with absence of financial resources in the vice governor's office, we are launching several projects in partnership with non-government organizations and other government agencies who believe in our vision of economic prosperity for every family. Some of which include -

1. Series of medical-dental-legal missions in partnership with Zambales War Against Poverty Foundation, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Rotary Clubs;
2. Establishment of small community drugstores in remote sitios/puroks called Botika Natin sa Nayon in partnership with Zambales War Against Poverty Foundation, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine International Trading Corporation. Please visit www.botikanatinsanayon.com;
3. Operation of small community radio stations called Radyo Natin for massive and aggressive public awareness campaign on local and national issues and concerns affecting them in partnership with Zambales Mass Development Foundation and Manila Broadcasting Company;
4. Employment assistance to job applicants through employment matching and referrals to prospective employers including SBMA locators as well as holding of Job Fairs;
5. Fund sourcing for agricultural projects called Agikultura Natin from national government agencies and leaders;
6. Fund sourcing for livelihood projects called Kabuhayan Natin from national government agencies and leaders including foreign organizations;

Let me clarify however that no matter how I want to work to maximize my performance as vice governor but with the absence of budget during the past more than two years, it is very hard for me to operate our office and perform my duties. With zero budget as vice governor versus the P200 million budget of the governor indeed when people compare about what the governor has done and what the vice governor has done, it appears that the vice governor has not done anything.

But please look at our performance during my first term as vice governor from 2001-2004, even with very meager budget of P3 Million per year, we were able to mobilized so much resources to implement many programs and projects for the farmers, the fisherfolks, the youth and the unemployed. Please visit www.ramonlacbain.com or www.vgovlacbain.com for more details.
Now we are facing an elections and no matter how I wanted to offer my full-time service as governor of Zambales, given my 13 experience as a member of the provincial board, given my 6 years of experience as vice governor and my many years of experience as a manager in many private companies, given my educational background as a master in public management graduate, given my track record and my clear vision for Zambales development BUT BECAUSE I DID NOT ENRICH MYSELF DURING THE PAST 22 YEARS THAT I WAS IN THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT I AM FINANCIALLY INCAPABLE TO RUN AS GOVERNOR OF ZAMBALES.

How can I run as governor when I have to rent a house for my family? How I can run as governor when I can’t even make both ends meet for my families monthly needs with P23,000 salary per month as vice governor? How can I run as governor when I don’t have even a minimum amount just to even campaign for myself, without any political line-up and much more to mobilize the watchers on election day which will amount to more than P2 Million (more than 2,000 precincts P500 per watcher x 2 per precinct).

This is sometimes the sad reality of Philippine politics - “Dahil wala kang pera kasi hindi ka nagpayaman sa pamamagitan ng pagnanakaw sa gobyerno, sorry ka na lang”. This is the reason why I have to say goodbye to serving the people of Zambales after 22 years when my term expires as vice governor this coming June 30, 2007.

I hope I can come back again serving the people of Zambales in the nearest future. But only God knows. I leave my fate to God. At least for now, I can claim with all humility and with all my principles intact and with my unblemished integrity that I have done my best and have maintained my good reputation serving the people of Zambales.

Everytime I am elected for the past 5 elections I consider them miracles because despite the absence of financial resources I still won. So I thank our Almighty Lord and the people of Zambales for trusting me. I know I owe you and the God Almighty my position and I am very proud to say that I have held this position with your interest always on my mind but unfortunately I am not in the right position to make major changes in your lives. Much as I want to be in that right position but no matter how it hurts the reality is I am financially incapable to run as governor of Zambales. So it’s goodbye for now people of Zambales.

God bless to the people of Zambales for this coming elections.


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Ecozone bills signed into law

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday signed into law Republic Act 9400 providing tax privileges to enterprises operating within former military bases that have been converted into free ports or special economic zones in a bid to maintain and enhance the advantages that investors enjoy.

The President also signed into law Republic Act 9399 which declares a one-time amnesty on tax and duty liabilities incurred by certain enterprises within the said free ports or special economic zones as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in July 2005 revoking tax incentives to these entities.

The two new laws, which were signed by the President at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga, will benefit locators at Clark Field in Pampanga, Poro Point in La Union, Camp John Hay in Baguio and Morong in Bataan.

Significantly, the 4,400 hectare-Clark has been classified as a free port under RA 9400, which amends several provisions of the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992.

This means that Clark has been accorded the same status as the Subic Freeport and Special Economic Zone and can now be operated as a separate customs territory ensuring the free flow or movement of goods and capital equipment within, into and exported out of the economic free zone.

It shall also provide incentives such as tax and duty-free importation of raw materials and capital equipment to investors.

But the new law requires that exportations or removal of goods from the Clark territory to other parts of the Philippines shall be subject to customs duties and taxes.

CDC president Levy Laus said the new law specifically excludes a 30-hectare area near Clark’s main gate and the 7.5-hectare Bayanihan Park from being part of the freeport zone.

The former Clark Air Base is under the administration of the Clark Development Corp. Another 29,000 of reverted base lands are located in Angeles City, Mabalacat and Pork towns in Pampanga and Capas and Bamban in Tarlac and will be under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

“The said areas will not enjoy the same tax incentives extended to locators inside the designated free port area. This will give local business enterprises a level playing field,” Laus said.

Senator Ralph Recto, chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means, sponsored the enactment of the two Clark bills after the Supreme Court issued the ruling rescinding the tax and duty free privileges of the locators inside the special economic zone due to legal infirmities.

Malacañang and Congress gave priority to the approval of these bills in the wake of the threat of investors and locators to pull out of Clark unless the incentives were restored.

Under RA 9399, business enterprises operating in the said special economic zones shall be entitled to remedial amnesty for tax and duty liabilities, including fines, penalties, and interests. The law states that the enterprises are required to pay P25,000 amnesty tax within six months after the effectivity of the act.

The amendments to the BCDA Law include the declaration of Poro Point, Morong (Bataan) and John Hay as special economic zones where the same tax and duty free privileges are extended to investors.
By Fel V. Maragay - Manila Standard Today

Thursday, March 22, 2007

RP: One of best values for money in Asia for investors – PGMA

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bared today a $2-billion fresh foreign investments that would greatly help accelerate the conversion and development of former military bases in the country into economic zones and make the Philippines "one of the best values for money in Asia for investors."

Speaking at the 28th national conference of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) this afternoon at the Manila Hotel, the President said she was informed last night by Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila of the new tourism investments in former military bases now under the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

"Just last night, I got a call from Secretary Peter Favila, he was with the Shanghai World Trade group. And they gave me the good news of a forthcoming $2 billion tourism investments in the BCDA," the President said.

She said this good news was confirmed to her during the visit of Chinese Ambassador Li Jinjun this morning in Malacañang.

"We believe the Philippines is one of the best values for money in Asia for investors," the President said.

"There has been a surge in investments. Exports, notwithstanding the strong peso, our exports growth in January was 27 percent," she added.

The President signed Republic Act No. 9400 yesterday converting the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga into a freeport zone.

The Clark Freeport Zone is the country’s second freeport after the Subic Freeport and Special Economic Zone that provides several incentives to locators.

The President said the freeport zones, particularly Clark, will continue to spur investments in the super regions in Luzon, level the playing field in investments, and create well-paying jobs such as call centers and business process outsourcing (BPOs) providers.

As political stability dawns in the Philippines, the President said her administration would continue to liberalize the investment climate, including liberalizing the cement industry to make it less costly to invest in factories and public infrastructure such as roads and bridges. (PIA-MMIO)


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

8 suspek sa P2M smuggling kinasuhan

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Nakatakdang isailalim sa preliminary investigation ang walong kalalakihan na nasakote ng mga tauhan ng Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) sa tangkang pagpupuslit ng P2-milyong kontrabando sa Morong Gate sa Subic Bay Freeport noong Huwebes ng madaling-araw (Marso 15).

Kabilang sa mga suspek na kinasuhan ay sina Diosdado Tayag, 43; Alberto Balenton, 37; Virgilio Jocson, 52; Alex Tirva Pineda, 42; Alberto de Guzman Rodigal, 31; at David Ramon Santos.

Kasama rin sa kinasuhan sina Jesus N. Suing, kagawad ng Customs police; at Ronald G. Ignacio, forest ranger ng SBMA Law Enforcement Department na pinaniniwalaang nag-escort sa anim na iba pang suspek lulan ng tatlong sasakyan na may kargang 100 kahon ng sigarilyo at 400 bote ng ibat ibang klase ng alak.

Nalambat ng mga operatiba ng "Task Force Subic" sa pamumuno ni Major Michael C. Bawayan Jr., ang mga suspek matapos ang mahabang habulan mula sa bodegang pinagkunan ng mga kontrabando hanggang sa Morong Road, Sitio Minanga sa Barangay Mabayo, Morong, Bataan.

Si Ignacio ay kinasuhan din sa ilalim ng Omnibus Election Code at kinumpiska ang kanyang baril dahil walang kaukulang papeles mula sa Comelec.

Nauna rito, inimbestigahan din ng Task Force Subic sa pamumuno ni retired Gen. Jose Calimlim, sina Suing at Ignacio tungkol sa iba pang mga kasamahan nila na posibleng sangkot din sa modus operandi ng smuggling. (Jeff Tombado at Alex Galang - Pilipino Star)

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Suma-ilalaim sa training ang mahigit animnapung (60) kinatawan ng ibat-ibang sangay ng pamahalaan, barangay at NGO’s ng lungsod nitong ika-14 ng Marso 2007 sa FMA Hall ng City Hall.

Pinangunahan ng Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) ang training na kaugnay sa launching ng Bantay-Bugaw Project sa lungsod.

Layon ng proyekto na palakasin ang laban kontra sa human trafficking partikular na ang mga pimps o ‘’bugaw’’ na nagiging daan para sa recruitment ng mga kababaihan.

Kabalikat ng CATW-AP ang Lokal na Pamahalaan ng Olongapo sa pangunguna ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr., na nagbigay ng mensahe kaugnay sa mga ginagawa ng lungsod laban sa women trafficking.

‘’Ang kapulisan ng lungsod ay patuloy na nagsasagawa ng panghuhuli sa mga pimps partikular na sa lugar na identified ng PNP. Ina-alam natin ang kanilang problema at tinutugunan upang hindi na sila bumalik sa kanilang bawal na trabaho,’’ wika ni Mayor Bong Gordon.

Matapos ang training ay isang press conference ang isinagawa na pinangunahan ni Mayor Bong Gordon bilang panelist kasama sina Olongapo City Women’s Council Chair at First Lady Anne Marie Gordon at CATW-AP Executive Director Jean Enriquez.

Kabilang rin sa panel sina PNP City Director Gil Pacia, BUKLOD Federation President Alma Bulawan at Fiscal Evangeline Tiongson buhat sa City Prosecutor’s Office.

Sa Presscon ay sinabi ni Col. Pacia na kamakailan lamang ay labingtatlong (13) pimps ang nahuli samantalang patuloy pa ang ginagawang pagbabantay sa mga napag-alamang lugar na ginagawang tambayan ng mga ito.

‘’Bilang chair ng Olongapo City Women’s Council ay handa kami na tulungan ang mga biktima ng trafficking. Itinayo ng lungsod ang Center for Women bilang tahanan ng mga kababaihang biktima ng pang-aabuso,’’ wika ni Council Chair Anne Marie Gordon.

Ipinagmalaki ng CATW-AP ang Olongapo dahil sa suportang ibinibigay nito sa proyekto at inaasahang higit na maraming kababaihan ang maiiwas sa krimen na human trafficking.

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Government urged to allow foreign carriers to set up base in Clark

The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines is asking the government to allow foreign carriers to set up at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, a perk not enjoyed by domestic carriers.

In a statement, the representatives of various international chambers pushed for the approval of Executive Order 500-B.

EO 500-B has been met with criticism because while it seeks to grant seventh freedom rights to foreign airlines, it does not guarantee similar rights to Philippine carriers.

For example, Japan Airlines may base in Clark and fly to destinations in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the United States. However, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Asian Spirit cannot simply open an international base from Clark and fly to other countries.

The country will still have to bargain for reciprocal rights, a right that was given by the Philippines to the other nations for free should the EO pass.

Meanwhile, the foreign chambers stressed that EO 500-B must be adopted in order to ensure long-term policy stability and ensure growth and investment. They warned that to do otherwise can jeopardize the success of government policy.

"The Philippine government policy to create a stable, progressive environment for growth and investment at Clark is just beginning to yield positive results in passenger and cargo service at the former United States Air Force base," they said.

"But they also pointed out that actions of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) could jeopardize the success of government policy."

In February, CAB awarded Singaporean-based carrier Tiger Airways, which flies from Singapore to Clark and Macau, a three-month operating permit from April to June 2007. The earlier permit granted Tiger was for six months, the traditional worldwide industry practice of setting schedules.

The chambers said CAB justified its decision for shorter operating permit saying it needed time to assess the complaints of local carriers.

"This is punitive action by any terms, unqualified and unjustified as the complaints of the local carrier were not substantiated or verified for merit," the chambers said.

They added that if Tiger was to cancel their flights in the country because of the shorter permit, other carriers will be very wary to enter such an "uncertain market".

This, the chamber said, will then jeopardize the government’s infrastructure projects because the physical expansion and construction of the DMIA is backed by the fees paid by the carriers.

According to them, the government has continuously encouraged airlines to use Clark but only a few have heeded this call. They said the approval of EO 500-B can remedy this.

"In the absence of service to Clark by designated carriers and to accelerate the development of DMIA as a premier air destination, the legal fundamental for the carriers to use DMIA outside the protocols of the bilateral agreement has taken place with the consent of the CAB and should continue and be regularized."
By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - The Philippine Star


GINANAP sa lungsod ang pulong ng Regional Officers, Board of Directors at miyembro ng League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators of the Philippines LLPDCPI-Regional Chapter nitong ika-15 ng Marso 2007 sa FMA Hall.

Umabot sa 20 miyembro at opisyales ng LLPDCPI ang nagpulong kasama na si Architect Tony Karr Balde, ang pinuno ng City Planning and Development Office.

Dumalo rin sa nasabing pulong ang mga opisyales ng lungsod sa pamumuno ni Mayor James “Bong” Gordon na nagbigay ng kanyang pagbati at mensahe sa mga bisita.

“ Ang inyong mga karanasan at kaalaman sa pagpapaplano ay malaking tulong sa kaunlaran at kaayusan ng mga lungsod at munisipalidad sa buong bansa,” wika ni Mayor Gordon.

Bukod sa nalalapit na regional convention ng LLPDCPI ay tinalakay din sa naturang meeting ang mga governing rules and regulations ng COMELEC at Civil Service Commission kaugnay ng nalalapit na eleksyon kung saan naging tagapagsalita sina Atty. Lydia Pangilinan, Provincial Election Supervisor ng Zambales at Atty. Karin Litz P. Zerna, Regonal Director ng Civil Service Commission.

PGMA to invest P1 trillion on infrastructure and social services programs

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced Tuesday that for the next three years until the end of her term in 2010, the government will invest P1 trillion on infrastructure and social services programs to ensure that the Philippines will continue to be an attractive investment destination for both foreign and local investors.

The President made the announcement in her speech at the inauguration this afternoon of the newly constructed Col. Jesus R. Lapus Memorial Sports Complex in this town.

"For the next three years (until the end of my term in 2010), we will invest P1 trillion on (various) infrastructure and social services (programs)," the President said in the Kapampangan dialect.

The Chief Executive said once these infrastructure and social services programs are implemented, the benefits to the economy in the form of more foreign and local investments will start pouring in.

"Para maka-agapay tayo sa mga kailangang imprastraktura, at sa imprastraktura naman ay naka-suporta ang ating ekonomiya at ito naman ay nakaka-attract ng maraming investments," the President stressed.

She pointed out that due to the modernization and widening of the North Luzon Expressway (NLE) and the soon-to-be-completed Subic-Clark-Tarlac road project, numerous investors have started investing in Central Luzon provinces such as Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

She said these two major road projects have bridged the distance choking the business transactions between Metro Manila and Central Luzon, where the Clark Freeport Zone and the Subic Freeport Zone are located.

"Now call center (businesses) and factory and manufacturing plants (that used to be concentrated in Metro Manila) have branched out to the outer regions because Clark (and Central Luzon) is now closer to Metro Manila by way of the NLE," the President said.

She said the P1-trillion investment on infrastructure and social services programs would be sourced from the financial gains garnered from the tough economic reforms implemented by her administration.

The reform measures include the Expanded Value-Added Tax (E-VAT) Law which raises the rate of VAT imposed on goods and services from 10 to 12 percent and the National Attrition Law which pushes revenue generating agencies of the government to reach their collection targets or face stiff penalties. (PNA)

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SBMA law enforcer, customs agents arrested for smuggle try

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) are carrying out an investigation into the involvement of some of their agents in smuggling following the interception of an estimated P2 million worth of imported cigarettes and liquor.

A team of Task Force Subic led by Major Michael Bawayan Jr., caught eight smuggling suspects and the contrabands in four vehicles after a wild chase which started at 4:00 a.m. from this Freeport through the forest-lined road leading to Morong, Bataan, last Saturday.

A Customs policeman and a member of the SBMA's Law Enforcement Division, who were escorting the smuggled goods were among the eight suspects arrested.

Anti-Smuggling task force Ret. Gen. Jose Calimlim, said he is withholding the identity of the two government agents until a thorough investigation is conducted on the possible link of other Customs and LED personnel with the smuggling ring.

Calimlim stressed that the mandate of the Task Force Subic is not just to go after smugglers but also to fight corruption and other illegal activities in the Freeport.

Six of the eight smugglers were identified as Diosdado Tayag, 43; Alberto Balenton, 37; Virgilio Jocson, 52; Alex Tirva Pineda, 42; Alberto De Guzman Rodigal, 31; and David Ramon Santos.

The contrabands were loaded into two Mitsubishi L300 vans (ZGS-401/CPV-347), one Nissan Exalta car (ZSR-128) and a Mitsubishi Lancer car (URW-971).

Tayag was reportedly the owner of the smuggled cigarettes and liquor as he is the registered owner of the two vans but he claimed that his vehicles were hired by a certain Agnes Pineda of Juliana Subdivision, City of San Fernando.

Tayag also claimed that Pineda paid him P7,000 for the use of each vehicle.

Calimlim said Tayag was arrested while driving the Nissan car while the Customs policeman and SBMA lawman were on board the Mitsubishi Lancer escorting the group.

The confiscated items were 101 boxes of imported Champion-brand cigarettes, each containing 500 reams; 300 bottles of Elysee sparkling wine and 120 bottles of Jose Cuervo Margarita mix. (PNA)

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

BCDA invests P300M for PAF support facilities

By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - The Philippine Star

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has invested nearly P300 million for the construction of building structures and support facilities for the Philippine Air Force.

In an interview, BCDA president retired Gen. Narciso Abaya said most of the facilities have already been completed while the remaining are nearing completion.

Among the completed facilities include six dormitories expected to house 1,000 Air Force personnel. Other structures are the officers, nurses and doctors’ quarters, Air Force offices and other support facilities.

Abaya said the BCDA is required to replicate structures and facilities of the military base as part of conditions when it took over 25 hectares of the Villamor Air Base in Pasay for disposition.

He said the replicated structures will boost both the morale and welfare of the Air Force personnel. "The enlisted men will directly benefit more than the officers on these replicated structures and support facilities."

For Villamor Air Base alone, Abaya said his office has identified a total of P624 million worth of structures to be replicated.

Meanwhile, BCDA vice president for business development Aileen Zosa said the former Air Force property is currently being developed with the help of Megaworld Corp.

Dubbed Newport City, the project will be composed of commercial, residential and recreational areas including a convention center, sports complex, airport hotel and service apartment.

In 2003, Megaworld won the contract to develop Villamor Air Base on a joint venture and sale mode under Phase 2 of BCDA’s Asset Disposition Program. The outright sale of some sections of the property will be completed in three years, while BCDA and Megaworld will undertake a joint venture agreement for the development of the remaining portions for 25 years.

The property is envisioned to be another premier residential, leisure, commercial and institutional address that will offer the best lifestyle amenities to the discriminating Filipino family.

The present value of total revenues to BCDA after 25 years is approximately P1.7 billion. The amount is already inclusive of the present value of total cash flows to BCDA amounting to P798.1 million plus the replication and relocation cost of Philippine Air Force facilities and community facilities amounting to P889.3 million. This value is apart from Megaworld’s investment commitment of P200 million, which covers the development cost of structures.

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BCDA at 15


The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which turns 15 Monday, is a picture of a young man going "from strength to strength."

For a youthful company, BCDA has already chalked up huge accomplishments older companies have yet to achieve. It could be because it began with an inspired vision, and started off with a big boost from an enabling law - Republic Act 7227.

With a vision to convert former American military bases and selected Philippine military facilities into economic engines of growth, BCDA started off with huge assets in its hands. These include the former US bases - the Clark Air Force base, Poro Point in La Union, Camp John Hay in Baguio, and the Nichols (now Villamor) Air Force Base south of Manila.

BCDA also took over Philippine military facilities, notably Fort Bonifacio.

It could have been easy, though, to allow these facilities to rust away, remain unproductive or sit still as fair game for vested interests in search for prime pieces of real estate.

Fortunately, that did not happen - and credit goes to the BCDA boards, past and present, that made sure these former military installations are put to good use to create jobs, bring forth new industries and commercial centers, and thus shore up the financial situation of a country in great need of cash to fund infrastructure development.

BCDA’s developmental thrust rests squarely on the shoulders of a mild-mannered retired four star general - President and CEO Narciso L. Abaya. His is a familiar name: He once was chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines whose loyalty to the civilian government was demonstrated amidst what usually shook the foundations of a fragile democracy.

President Abaya’s military stint, though, does not show in his amiable countenance, reminding us of the ultimate compliment for a soldier - "an officer and a gentleman." Let not the gentle façade fool you, though. Behind a face that reminds you of rare serenity - and a voice that does not go higher than the decibel meant for intimate talk - is a character unfazed by open challenges thrown by politicians and uncalled-for criticisms emanating from quarters out to extract concessions from him.

The construction of the longest expressway, the 94.5-km stretch called the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), was supposed to be the crucible of fire for this CEO, and he has emerged stronger and more confident in his ability to deliver the first package of roadway on time before year-end. Was it an easy travel down the road?

It was not. Building a new highway passing through communities and cutting through barriers is fraught with possibilities of public resistance, unrest - or even public anger.

Fortunately enough, this military man-engineer-management executive continues to use a different approach for winning hearts and minds (a favorite military catch word) and coming up with win-win solutions for mostly right-of-way issues and negotiations with local executives.

Of course, credit must also be due President Abaya’s board members and team of executives. Managing "group think" requires a virtuoso in motivating a pool of strong individuals who are tasked to manage and operate a number of subsidiaries or joint ventures. The fact that this government corporation is being run professionally like most admired private companies says a lot about the leadership dynamics inside this diversified group.

There is never a dull moment in the life of BCDA - while building the longest expressway, making partnerships work in Camp John Hay, Poro Point and Serendra in the Fort, and shaping policies to attract locators to a number of economic zones, notably Clark Development Corporation (CDC).

The latest development which summoned President Abaya’s reservoir of leadership skills was a Supreme Court ruling that nullified the tax incentives of ecozone locators earlier granted by an Executive Order (by then President Ramos). Joining up with the initiatives of equally driven Levy Laus of CDC, Abaya and his team made several pitches to our senators and congressmen to restore the incentives.

The Abaya-Laus tandem would not accept "no" for an answer - because that would mean the global companies would pack their bags and go elsewhere where policies are investor friendly and predictable. Again, by dint of good fortune and hard work, both houses of Congress restored the incentives.

At 15, if BCDA were a teenager, it would be flexing its muscles, be fired by ambition, wasting youthful energy on unplanned activities and be a little reckless. Thankfully enough, BCDA has chosen to pick up positive things from the youth - tremendous energy, unwavering enthusiasm and prodigiously wise in its choices of visions, involvements - and even corporate battles.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Subic dolphin show operators face arrest

The Philippine Star

A Manila judge has issued arrest warrants for the three American operators of Ocean Adventure at the Subic Freeport for allegedly failing to register their facility before opening it nearly six years ago.

Judge Angelene Mary Quimpo-Sale of Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 32 issued separate warrants for Timothy Desmond, John Corcoran, and Gail Laule last Jan. 8, but Trixie Concepcion, of Earth Island Institute-Philippines, lamented that these have not been served.

In a complaint, Concepcion said the three Americans failed to register their dolphin show with the Bureau of Animal Industry, thus violating the Philippine Animal Welfare Act. – Katherine Adraneda

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Korean firm to invest $1.2 million in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Another Korean firm is set to establish its manufacturing plant here, investing $1.2 million for an industrial complex at the Subic Bay Industrial Park (SBIP).

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator and CEO Armand Arreza identified the new locator as Wooju Inc., which is engaged in the manufacture of electrical equipment such as circuit breakers, control panels, and switch gears.

Wooju president Moon Jong Cheol said his company decided to locate in Subic because of the Freeport’s impressive performance in attracting businesses last year, including the $1-billion shipbuilding project of South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. – Bebot Sison Jr. - The Philippine Star

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Monday, March 12, 2007

SBMA to use Pinoy Invention vs oil spills

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Giving support to local ingenuity, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is using an oil recovery system invented by a Filipino as part of its emergency response program for destructive oil spills.

SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga said they would also endorse the patented system of Filipino inventor Doroteo Gaerlan on safe oil recovery operations in sunken vessels to the Coast Guard and its auxiliary organizations to use during oil spills.

Gaerlan said his invention provides a "safer, easier, cheaper and simpler" way of recovering oil from sunken vessels, as proven by comprehensive tests and simulations done by experts.

Salonga said the SBMA has a holistic risk management and emergency response program for sea tragedies causing oil spills, considering the presence here of the depots for oil, petroleum and lubricants of Coastal Petroleum and PTT Oils of Thailand.

He added that major oil companies like Petron, Shell and Caltex regularly utilize the Subic port for the transshipment of various oil products.

The government has identified the Subic Freeport’s potential to become one of the oil transshipment hubs in the Asia-Pacific Rim because of its strategic location and oil depot facilities.

Salonga said both the government and the private sector should support Filipino ingenuity to encourage aspiring local inventors.
By Ric Sapnu - The Philippine Star

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Nakibahagi ang mahigit tatlong-libong (3,000) mga kababaihan ng lungsod sa selebrasyon ng ‘’International Women’s Day’’ ngayong Marso 2007.

Napuno ng mga Olongapeña ang Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center matapos ang mahabang parada na pinangunahan ni Olongapo City Women’s Council Chair at First Lady Anne Marie Gordon.

Nilakad ng mga kababaihan ang kahabaan ng R.M. Drive at Rizal Avenue habang winawagayway ang mga banderita at lobo na kulay ube, ang kulay na itinalaga ng International Women’s Council bilang simbolo ng kababaihan.

Isang masiglang programa ang ginanap na dinaluhan ng ibat-ibang ahensiya at NGO’s ng lungsod kabilang na ang DepED-Olongapo, Senior Citizens, SAMPOL, BUKLOD, ang all women’s group na Soroptomists International at mga kababaihang residente ng Olongapo.

Kasabay ng programa ay dinumog rin ng mga kababaihan ang ibat-ibang mga inihandang booth ng council para sa ‘’trabaho-assistance’’ ng Public Employment Services Office (PESO), free legal assistance, medical at dental mission, pap-smear screening, trade exhibit at mobile certificate registration.

Pinilahan rin ng mga kababaihan ang libreng gupit buhat sa mga graduates ng ‘’Isang Gunting, Isang Suklay’’ na isa sa mga naunang programa para sa mga kababaihan ni Council Chair Anne Marie.

Nag-uwi rin ng pack of groceries, reading glasses at t-shirts ang mga mapapalad na Olongapeñang nabunot ang kanilang pangalan sa isinagawang pa-raffle.

Sumentro sa kahalagahan ng kababaihan ang mensaheng ibinigay ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. ‘’Malaki ang bahagi ng mga kababaihan sa tinatamasang kaunlaran ng Olongapo, nakita na natin yan sa maraming paraan’’.

‘’Patuloy rin ang lungsod na nagsasagawa ng mga programa para pangalagaan ang mga kababaihan. Bukas ang Women’s Center bilang pansamantalang tahanan ng mga kababaihang nakakaranas ng pang-aabuso,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

Sa pamamagitan ng Livelihood Cooperative & Development Office (LCDO) ay namahagi rin ng assistance si First Lady Anne Marie Gordon sa mahigit limampung benepisaryo. Matatandaan na kamakailan lamang ay tumanggap ang LCDO ng 1 milyon buhat sa pondong nalikom ng 2006 City Fiesta sa pangunguna rin ni City Fiesta Executive Chair at First Lady Anne.

Samantala, upang higit na mabigyan ng kaalaman ang mga kinatawan sa council, ay dalawang (2) seminar ang ginaganap tungkol sa RA Act 9344 o ang Juvenile Justice & Welfare Act of 2006 nitong ika-7 hanggang 9 ng Marso samantalang sa ika-14 at 15 ng Marso ay ukol naman sa Human Trafficking ang tututukang talakayin.

Bilang kulminasyon ng buwan ng kababaihan ay isang ‘’Women’s Summit’’ na sponsored ng Olongapo City Government ang inihanda sa ika-28 ng Marso 2007.

Target ng summit ang mahigit limangdaang (500) kababaihang dadalo buhat pa sa ibat-ibang panig ng bansa. Dito nakatakdang balangkasin ang estado ng mga kababaihan ng bansa at bumuo ng mga katanungan at kasagutan sa mga suliraning makikita.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Subic phone company to upgrade Internet service

IN ORDER to improve its broadband services, Subic Telecommunications Company Inc. (Subictel), a subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Company, will double the speed of its broadband Internet service within the economic zone at no cost.

"Aside from offering innovative services such as broadband Internet through DSL technology, we want our clients to enjoy the best of what our technology can offer through continuous service improvements," said Subictel general manager Henry Abes.

Abes said last month alone they have connected another 45 Mbps bandwidth pipe with PLDT, thus doubling their bandwidth capacity. "We intend again to significantly increase our Internet backhaul in the next three to six months to meet the growing demands of our customers," he added.

He said Subictel has tapped Fujitsu Philippines, a leading provider of customer-focused information technology and communications solutions, to maintain Subictel's facilities and provide data services such as digital subscriber lines (DSL).

Since 1994, Subictel has invested P1 billion to develop the telecommunications infrastructure at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Subictel was formed in 1994 after PLDT, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and AT&T of the US decided to engage in a joint venture to provide state-of-the-art telecommunications facilities at the freeport.

Abes said Subictel's Internet services remained online even during the recent Taiwan earthquake, which caused a downtime in telephone companies and Internet services in the region.

"This is just the start. Existing and prospective clients can expect other innovative service offerings from Subictel in the coming months. With this network upgrade, we can affirm our claim that we have the best Internet wire-line value for money services in the region," said Abes.

Subictel continues to invest in the development of the telecommunications infrastructure at the freeport to meet the needs of locators and potential investors there.

Aside from Internet services, Subictel also provides residential lines, private leased lines, and Virtual Private Network (VPN). (MSN/Sunnex)

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Driver in Nicole case off the hook

Subic rape victim, “Nicole,” has decided to lay her hands off Timoteo Soriano, the driver of the van where American serviceman Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith allegedly assaulted her.

In a two-page manifestation, Nicole’s lawyer Evalyn Ursua told the appellate court that her client was no longer interested in seeking the re-instatement of Soriano as co-conspirator because she wanted to focus her attention on Smith, who is now in the custody of the United States embassy in Manila.

Meanwhile, Nicole asked the appelate court to allow her to withdraw the petition she filed, questioning Soriano’s removal from the list of the accused involved in the Subic rape case.

“Petitioner informed her counsel that she is no longer interested in pursuing the criminal case against the private respondent, Timoteo Soriano Jr., and would rather focus on her other cases pending before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court against Daniel Smith,” her motion said.

Ursua said Nicole was exhausted by the trial of the American servicemen accused of gang-raping her and would not want to go through the same ordeal, hence her decision.

“Petitioner would not wish to go through another round of criminal trial against the private respondent after her exhausting experience with the trial against the four US Marines involved in the instant case,” she stressed.

The Filipina victim had asked the CA to reverse the decision of the Olongapo Regional Trial Court dropping Soriano as a co-conspirator in the rape case she filed against him and four US soldiers.

Soriano drove the van while Nicole was being sexually assaulted inside. He earlier said he witnessed the gang rape in the van, and that he drove slowly as Smith raped Nicole and the three other soldiers cheered Smith on. He later recanted his statement, saying he was only forced to sign his first affidavit.

The prosecution tried to bring Soriano to the witness stand but he refused and invoked his right against self-incrimination since he was then facing cases filed by Nicole to reinstate him as an accused in the rape case.

Of the four accused soldiers, only Smith was convicted. The three others—Chad Carpentier, Dominic Duplantis and Keith Silkwood—have since left the Philippines.

Following his sentencing, he was detained at the Makati City Jail on the order of Judge Benjamin Pozon.

Smith stayed in his cell for less than a month. He was taken out during a late-night transfer and brought to the US embassy even while his petition before the Court of Appeals questioning his detention at the city jail was pending.

This prompted Nicole to appeal to the CA to order Smith’s arrest, describing the latter as a fugitive from justice, and to cite for contempt the officials responsible for his transfer.
By Rey E. Requejo - Manila Standard Today

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

SBMA adopts patented works of Filipino inventor to avert oil spills

To ensure environmental protection and safety of the vast marine resources, the patented works of a Filipino inventor on oil recovery system would be adopted here as part of its emergency response program on sea tragedies.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano G. Salonga said that the patented system developed by Filipino inventor Doroteo Gaerlan on safe oil retrieval operations on sunken vessels would be adopted in case sea tragedies occur in this premier Freeport zone.

"This is part of our holistic risk management and emergency response system particularly on sea tragedies causing destructive oil spills," Salonga said.

Salonga noted that the presence here of the 2.4 million barrels of about 381 million liter-capacity depot facilities for oil, petroleum and lubricant products of the Coastal Petroleum and the PTT Oils of Thailand have been given by the SBMA the importance on its risk management system.

Apart from the Coastal-PTT depots, major players in oil industry such as Petron, Shell and Caltex are regularly utilizing the Port of Subic as its transshipment harbor to import various oil products for local market distribution.

Salonga said that the Gaerlan system would be endorsed for the use of the Philippine Coast Guard and its auxiliary organization during "distress calls" on future oil spill incidents.

"Filipino ingenuities should be given much attention and support from both the government and private sector to encourage our aspiring local inventors to develop worthy and relevant discoveries," Salonga said.

Likewise, the government has identified Subic Freeport as one of the possible future sites to become the country's oil transshipment hub in the Asia-Pacific rim because of its strategic location and oil depot facilities.

For his part, Gaerlan said that he has invented a "sure, safer, easier, cheaper and simpler" way of recovering the oil cargo of sunken tanker which is being touted as the "modern oil recovery system of the world."

"The system has been proven effective based on comprehensive experimental testing and simulations conducted by our experts," Gaerlan said.

Gaerlan revealed that the patent is based on principles of physics and other related branches of science which the oil recovery system could be completed at a maximum speed and velocity rate of 300,000 liters every six hours.

The system could be used in the Guimaras Island to fast track its recovery operations. (PNA)

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Japanese contractors warned on further snag in expressway project

CLARK ZONE, Pampanga — A Malacañang official warned yesterday the Japanese contractors of the R21-billion Subic-ClarkTarlac expressway project against further delay the construction of the major road link.

Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan, chairman of both the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC) Luzon Urban Beltway (LUB), issued the warning after he reported to President Arroyo that the principal contractors of the expressway project have incurred a 8.35 slippage that has already delayed the construction by three months.

A 15 percent slippage can be a ground for rescission of contract, he said.

Pamintuan’s office, which is tasked to monitor and fast-track the implementation of at least 25 priority projects of the President, has found out that the Japanese contractors have so far complied with only 50-percent mobilization of new and big heavy equipment needed in the road project.

Pamintuan said that the contractors have been using old and inefficient heavy equipment.

He said that the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which is overseeing the construction of the expressway project, has yet to formally communicate with him on the project delay.

Pamintuan said that he had also asked BCDA officials to conduct an aerial inspection of the project. Under the contract, the project is to be completed before the end of this year.

He noted that the Japanese contractors have promised to pay the fine or penalty for the delay in the construction. But he said that payment of the penalty would not solve the problem, and the project has to be finished according to the stipulated timetable.

Pamintuan arrived here yesterday for the inauguration of the SCADC office and briefing on the progress of the other projects of the President in Central Luzon.
By FRED ROXAS - Manila Bulletin



Hindi binigo ng mga atletang naging pambato ng Olongapo ang mga ka-lungsod nang mamayagpag ang mga ito sa apat (4) na araw na Central Luzon Regional Athletics Association (CLRAA) Meet 2007 nitong ika-26 ng Pebrero hanggang ika-2 ng Marso.

Sa sampung (10) siyudad at pitong (7) lalawigan sa Region-3 na nagtunggalian sa Malolos City, Bulacan sa CLRAA ay 3rd runner-up ang Olongapo na nakakuha ng 228.5 points.

Ang Olongapo Delegation na may kabuuang 86 na medalya ay nag-uwi ng 38 golds, 23 silvers at 25 bronze medals. Partikular na humataw sa swimming at lawn tennis nang tanghaling kampeon para sa elementary at secondary level ang team Olongapo.

Nagpakitang-gilas rin ang Olongapo athletes sa iba pang events tulad ng Badminton, Chess at Gymnastics at nakakuha ito ng magandang puntos sa pointing scheme ng CLRAA.

Samantala, masayang ipinag-malaki ni City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. sa Flag Raising Ceremony nitong ika-5 ng Marso 2007 sa Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center ang mga atletang nagbigay ng karangalan sa lungsod.

‘’Buhay sa bawat atleta at mga opisyales ng Olongapo Delegation sa CLRAA ang temang Discipline, Teamwork and Excellence dahil sa ipinakitang sigasig ng bawat isang manlalaro,’’ wika ng punong-lungsod.

‘’Hanggang sa Bulacan kung saan ginanap ang 2007 CLRAA ay bitbit ng mga atleta ang ating city slogan na ‘Fighting for Excellence!!’. Sa pamamagitan ng ibat-ibang city sports activities ay higit pang hinahasa ang mga kabataan ng Olongapo upang patuloy na magbigay ng karangalan,’’ dagdag pa ni Mayor Gordon.

Magkatuwang na pinagtulungan ng City Government at ng Department of Education (DepED-Olongapo) ang pagtungo ng delegasyon sa Malolos.

Ang mga nagsipag-wagi sa bawat events ay magiging kinatawan ng Central Luzon sa nalalapit na Palarong Pambansa 2007 na gaganapin sa Coronadal, South Cotabato sa buwan ng Abril.
Si Mayor Bong Gordon kasama ang mga athletes, coaches, DepED at city officials sa katatapos na Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) na ginanap nitong ika-26 ng Pebrero hanggang 2 ng Marso sa Malolos City, Bulacan.

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Clark has new traffic scheme

CLARK ECOZONE -- Officials of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) have announced a traffic-rerouting scheme that will give way to the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) inside Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ).

CDC Customer Service Department officer-in-charge Bernardo Angeles Jr. said the rerouting took effect on Monday.

Motorists who are entering Clark will have to use the newly constructed Portland cement concrete pavement along M.A. Roxas Highway (formerly Mitchell Highway).

Angeles said motorists who are bound for the CDC main building, Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), and other commercial and industrial sites are advised to use the new traffic route which will start before reaching the construction of the underpass (part of the expressway project).

Motorists entering Friendship Gate will have to pass by the same road when entering the ecozone but those who are leaving Clark using the same gate will have to use portion of the old M.A. Roxas to access Friendship Gate going to Angeles City.

"We ask the public to bear with this inconvenience for the time being as the completion of this infrastructure project will benefit all motorists and commuters of the (soon-to-be established) Clark Freeport Zone," Angeles said.

The P21-billion 93.7-km infrastructure project would be completed by December this year. The expressway project is one of the key projects of the Arroyo administration's Luzon Urban Beltway super region.
By Reynaldo G. Navales - SunStar


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lawmen recover 7 smuggled vehicles

THE authorities seized seven luxury vehicles that were allegedly among the 16 cars that were smuggled into the country last October, Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said yesterday.

Morales said customs agents seized two Mercedes Benz cars at the Subic Bay Freeport while five other vehicles were seized in Angeles City. The cars were allegedly part of the October shipment, worth about P80 million, that lawmen have been searching for the past four months.

The two Mercedes Benz sedans—an S350 and S550— were been recovered at a warehouse of one of the locators at the free port. The Mercedes Benz S550 has an estimated market value of $86,525 or P4.3 million, while the Mercedes Benz S350 is estimated to be worth $64,900 or P3.18 million.

The five vehicles seized at Angeles were an Infinity FX45, BMW 75li, Audi A8L, Cadillac Escalade EXT pick-up and Escalade SUV. They were found at the premises of the Viper Auto Trading Center in Barangay Cut-cut in Angeles City.

The recovery of the vehicles brought to 12 the number of vehicles recovered by the bureau.

“We have already turned over the vehicles to the Port of Subic under collector Tita Zamoranos. The cars are now under warrant of seizure and detention,” Morales said.

Morales said his men are now conducting an operation in a northern Luzon province he refused to identify to track down the other smuggled vehicles.

“I will not stop until all of the missing vehicles have been recovered,” he said, as he urged those who may have information about the contraband to step forward and infor the authorities.

On Friday, joint operatives of the Task Force Anti-Smuggling headed by its director Alexander Arcilla and Task Force Subic, under retired Gen. Jose Calimlim, seized five luxury vehicles during a raid at Autotrend Car Shop on Timog Street in Quezon City. Seized were one Corvette, a Nissan Armada, two BMWs and an Audi.

The lawmen conducted the raid after Morales received a report that several imported brand new luxury vehicles were stolen from the legitimate importers by two Koreans, who allegedly forged the receipt of the vehicles and spirited them out of the Subic Bay Freeport without paying the proper duties and taxes.

Morales said the bureau will conduct seizure proceedings to determine who were the culprits behind the incident and if there were customs officials involved.

“After the submission of documents, we will also be able to determine who are the culprits behind the incident and who are the customs officers liable for administrative or criminal charges,” he said.
By Joel E. Zurbano - Manila Standard Today

Task force speeds up port projects

Up to 28 priority port projects with a combined cost of P23.5 billion are being constructed, expanded or upgraded to complement the Strong Republic Nautical Highway which was launched by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the start of her administration.

Secretary Cerge Remonde, director general of the Presidential Management Staff, said yesterday that 17 of these port projects are set for completion this year— about eight months after the President unwrapped her infrastructure program for the five super regions in her 2006 State-of-the-Nation Address.

Remonde, who also heads the Infrastructure Monitoring Task Force, said three of these projects are scheduled to be finished this month. These are the Pantao Port in Libon, Albay; the Liloan Ferry Terminal Port in Southern Leyte and Sasa Port in Davao City.

He said the Jagna Port in Bohol and the Cawayan Port in Masbate are set for completion in April and May, respectively this year.

The Subic Bay Port Development Project in Zambales is expected to be completed in June and the Cagayan de Oro Port in Cagayan de Oro City in July.

Other ports set for completion in the succeeding months are the Ubay Port in Bohol, the Balbagon Port in Mambajao, Camiguin, the Limasawa Port in Southern Leyte, and the Naval Port in Biliran.

Six ports will be finished in December—Batangas International Port in Batangas, Cawit Port in Boac, Marinduque, Siquijor Port in Siquijor, Guinsiliban Port in Camiguin, and Lucena Port Terminal building in Lucena City, and Dingalan Port in Aurora.

Remonde said that in an archipelago country like the Philippines, ports—especially roll-on, roll-off ports play a strategic role in facilitating the transport of people, goods and services from the production base to the market and population centers.

“They are important to our economy’s sustained growth, Ro-Ro ports, in particular reduce transport costs and ultimately the cost of goods in the market. They are also necessary in promoting tourism,” he told a press briefing at the Malacañang New Executive Building.

The PMS chief said the initial phase of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway—which inter-connect various islands through the Ro-Ro ports—has effectively reduced travel time between Mindanao and Luzon by 10 hours and cut transport cost for passengers by 40 percent and for cargo by 30 percent.

Most of the 28 port projects are being implemented by the Philippine Ports Authority. They are identified in the administration’s Medium Term Public Investment Program from 2006 to 2010. Fel V. Maragay


Public works chief wants Subic-Clark infra projects expedited

Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan has ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office to fast-track two major infrastructure projects in Central Luzon which are included in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Subic-Clark Development Program.

Bonoan, in his visit to this component city, reported the DPWH's fast implementation of the Manila North Road (MNR) widening project and the rehabilitation of Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo (GSO) Road.

His instruction was directed to DPWH Regional Director Alfredo Tolentino, who was recently installed to the position after his predecessor Ramon Aquino was elevated to DPWH assistant secretary.

"These projects will not only decongest traffic in Central Luzon but also in Metro Manila as it speeds up travel from the metropolis towards the Clark and Subic Economic Zone," Bonoan said.

He claimed the projects, once completed, would accelerate and improve socio-economic activities in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Olongapo, Zambales and Tarlac by increasing investment and employment opportunities in the area.

"To further improve the country's road network especially in Northern Luzon, we are conducting detailed engineering evaluation on the possible extension of North Luzon Expressway (Nlex) from Tarlac to La Union which is now included in National Economic and Development Authorities' (Neda's) list of priority projects for funding" Bonoan also said.

Last week, the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) formally turned over to the DPWH the newly rehabilitated 1.4-kilometer access road linking Manila North Road to Nlex.

Bonoan and MNTC president Jose de Jesus and other DPWH officials led the turnover ceremony.

Through a memorandum of agreement (MOA), the MNTC rehabilitated the P20-million access road and eventually transferred it to the DPWH for maintenance and monitoring, the core objective of the agency's "Bantay Lansangan" (National Road Watch) Program.

Bonoan will sign Wednesday a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the national stakeholders, represented by the lead coordinating entity, the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN).

"Bantay Lansangan is one of the DPWH reform efforts to enjoin the participation of the stakeholders in closely monitoring the situation of national roads," Bonoan said.

The Bantay Lansangan Program is a partnership that aims to mobilize non-government and private stakeholders to work with the DPWH and other government agency in enhancing the delivery of quality national road services responsive to users needs through efficient and transparent use of public resources.

Among the national stakeholder categories that will be represented in the MOU are National Road Asset Managers, Road Service Providers, Road Users, Governance Advocates, Regulators and Enforcers, Government Anti-Graft Agencies, Citizen and Elective Representatives, Centers of Expertise, Media, and Government Development Partners.

Included in the program are monitoring and assessment of implementation and maintenance of DPWH projects, provision of vital information on national road services through media and international networking, advocacy on greater public awareness and transparency, education of stakeholders on the basic DPWH operation, and training of stakeholders on effective monitoring.

"This program will not only increase the public's access to information on DPWH projects, but it will also lessen if not totally eradicate graft and corruption in our road building and maintenance efforts," Bonoan said. (ABL)

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Matapos ang apat (4) na araw na palaro ng Central Luzon Regional Athletics Association (CLRAA) Meet 2007 ay muling nakopo ng Bulacan ang kampeonato sa pagkakatala ng 498.5 points, ang pinaka-mataas na iskor laban sa iba pang 16 na kalahok na mga delegasyon.

Ang 2007 CLRAA na ginanap sa Malolos City, Bulacan noong ika-26 ng Pebrero hanggang ika-2 ng Marso ng 2007 ay nagtapos sa isang simpleng ceremony at awarding na isinagawa sa Bulacan Sports Complex.

Sa pamamagitan ni CLRAA Technical Records Management Committee Chief Dr. Elizabeth Perfecto, inihayag ang mga nagsipagwagi.

Wala pa ring nakakaagaw sa matagal ng pinangangalagaang trono ng Bulacan na muling tinanghal bilang over-all champion sa CLRAA Meet 2007. Humataw ang team Bulacan sa Gymnastics, Badminton at Taekwondo Events at lumamang din ng puntos sa iba pa.

Nakuha naman ng Pampanga ang 2nd ranking na may 366 points habang ang Nueva Ecija na nasa 5th ranking lamang ng 2006 CLRAA ay umakyat ngayong taon at nakuha ang 3rd place na may 299.2 points ay humataw naman sa ibat-ibang field events.

Ang 2007 CLRAA Final Tally ay ang sumusunod:

Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total
Bulacan 153 85 238 142 118.5 260.5 498.5 Champion
Pampanga 70 88.5 158.5 112 95.5 207.5 366 1
Nueva Ecija 51.5 56.2 107.7 104.5 87 191.5 299.2 2
Olongapo 41 50 91 74 63.5 137.5 228.5 3
Malolos City 31 33 64 80 60 140 204 4
San Jose, del Monte 32 30 62 50 38 88 150 5
Tarlac Province 48.5 30 78.5 59 8 67 145.5 6
Bataan 44 47 91 33 15 48 139 7
Angeles City 27 49.7 76.7 34.5 23 57.5 134.2 8
Aurora 33 19 52 26 10 36 88 9
Tarlac City 34 13 47 26 28 28 75 10
City of San Fernando 30 4 34 18 12 30 64 11
Cabanatuan City 17 7.7 24.7 14.5 9.5 24 48.7 12
Balanga 35 2 37 4 6 10 47 13
Muñoz 0 4 4 14.5 10 24.5 28.5 14
Zambales 7 2 9 4 0 4 13 15
Gapan 0 0 0 0 4 4 16.5 16

Matapos ang awarding ay sinimulan ng ibaba ang mga banners ng bawat delegasyon bilang hudyat ng pagtatapos ng CLRAA Meet 2007 na bagamat naging tagisan ng lakas, bilis at tapang ay higit na nangibabaw ang spirit of sportsmanship sa pagitan ng ibat-ibang mga siyudad at lalawigan sa Region-3.


Humarap kay Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. ang ikatlong grupo ng mga vandals na nahuling naninira ng mga billboards na pag-aari ng lungsod ngayong ika-5 ng Marso 2007 sa Olongapo City Hall.

Ito’y upang humingi ng tawad at mag-alok ng community service matapos pormal na masampahan ng kaso sa City Prosecutors Office.

Sina Jay-ar Election, 20 at Brian Perez, 25 ay sinampahan ng pormal na reklamo ni Vic Vizcocho Jr., head ng Public Affairs Office (PAO) base sa salaysay ng testigong si Mickey Umpar, 26 , isang street vendor na nakasaksi sa paninirang ginawa nila Perez at Election.

Ayon kay Umpar, nakita diumano nya ng suntukin at sadyang sirain ni Election at Perez ang billboard sa may Ulo ng Apo Rotonda, 2:40 ng madaling araw noong Marso 4, 2007.

“Ang paghahain ng pormal na reklamo laban kay Perez at Election ay isang hakbang upang maprotektahan ang mga pag-aari ng pamahalaan laban sa bandalismo at upang pag-ingatan rin ang mga proyektong mula sa buwis na ibinabayad ng mamamayan,” paliwanag ni Vizcocho.

Ang sadyang pagputol at paninira sa mga puno, damo, halaman, daan, gutter, kanal, water pipe, building at mga bakod at iba pang pag-aari ng lungsod ay mahigpit na ipinababawal ng City Ordinance no. 7 (series of 1967).

Magugunitang may kampanya ang lungsod laban sa vandalism at ang makapagtuturo ng mga vandals ay maaaring makatanggap ng pabuyang P5,000.00 kapag nakasuhan ang suspect.

Si Mayor Bong Gordon kaharap ang dalawang (2) kalalakihan (ikalawa at ikatlong nakalinyang kaharap kay Mayor Gordon) na sangkot sa paninira ng mga billboards sa may Ulo ng Apo Rotonda na pag-aari ng lungsod. Sinamahan ang mga susupects ng kanilang guardians nitong ika-6 ng Marso 2007 sa FMA Hall sa paghingi ng tawad sa ginawang Vandalism ng mga ito.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Task force looking for 11 luxury cars spirited out of Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Task Force Subic is looking for 11 luxury cars which were smuggled out of this Freeport.

Earlier, five "hot luxury cars" were seized by operatives of Task Force Subic, Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Office of the President’s Task Force AntiSmuggling (TFAS) in a car showroom in Quezon City.

"We are still looking for 11 luxury cars that have been spirited out of the Subic Bay Freeport despite our seizure of five cars last Friday, Task Force Subic chief Gen. (ret.) Jose Calimlim said.

"This is certainly the biggest operation we ever had. We are after 16 high-end vehicles that are priced between R3 and R7 million each," he said.

He also said that the vehicles will be impounded in this Freeport where these were smuggled out.

Subic Customs Collector Marietta Zamoranos said that two Koreans — Tae Young Young So and Seng Jin — were involved in the smuggling of the high-end vehicles.

The first batch of hot cars were recovered at 6 a.m. last Friday morning at a showroom on Timog Ave. in Quezon City. Seized were one BMW 750Li, an Audi Quattro 4.2L, a Nissan Armada, a Mercedes Benz L-series, and a Chevrolet Corvette sports car, all brand-new.

Calimlim said that it appears that the vehicles had been consigned to the company operating the showroom and the owners of the company were not in any way connected with the group behind the smuggling.

He led the task force to two other showrooms on Timog Ave. and later to a car dealer on Meralco Ave. in Pasig City, but did not find any of the 11 other smuggled vehicles.

The Task Force Subic raiders escorted by Special Action Force troops led by Maj. Michael Bawayan Jr. left Subic in a convoy of eight vehicles and reached Metro Manila before 6 a.m.

Calimlim said that President Arroyo issued the seizure order after the ambassadors of the United States, Japan and Korea complained about the smuggling of the luxury vehicles. They said that smuggling is a blatant disregard of fair trading.

Calimlim said that the contrabands were smuggled out of Subic Bay Freeport last Jan. 21 while he was on leave.

He said that the smuggling syndicate was in cahoots with their Filipino partners.

Customs personnel led by Executive Director Alex Arcilla were still looking for two more Audis, two BMWs, two Cadillac Escalades, three Mercedes Benzes, two Nissan Infinitis, and two Mazda sports cars.

They were being supported by the Office of the President’s Task Force Anti-Smuggling (TFAS), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).
By JONAS REYES - Manila Bulletin


"Letters", Philippine Daily Inquirer

Once again, Olongapo City Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino, the renegade protégé, is on the loose and spewing fire and brimstone due to burning ambition.

This is evident in his allegation that Mayor James "Bong" Gordon, Jr. shoved him away from Genuine Opposition senatorial bet Francis "Chiz" Escudero during a press conference in a local restaurant (PDI, 3/05/07).

Well there's nothing new in his exaggerated version of a minor incident where he claims "it seemed his lungs would collapse by the sheer force" of the alleged panghahawi. Since entering politics, Paulino has mastered the art of exploiting a particular issue or personality to turn the odds in his favor. Poor Chiz, his presence in Olongapo was taken advantaged of in a desperate attempt by the vice mayor to elicit sympathy and earn pogi points.

Escudero came to Olongapo first and foremost to campaign for his candidacy. To meddle in local politics certainly never crossed his mind because he would have nothing to gain from it. As a visitor to the city and the Escuderos, being long-time family friends of the Gordons, it was but natural for Mayor Bong to welcome Escudero and help him in making a pitch to the local voting population. Thus, Gordon tagged Chiz along to his regular morning jogging sortie around the city for Escudero to personally meet local residents. After which Chiz invited the mayor to join him in his press conference scheduled later that day. This explains the presence of Mayor Gordon at Escudero's press conference which, as it turned out, was peopled by the local opposition.

In fairness, Mayor Gordon doesn't need a "piece of Chiz". He doesn't need to ride on the popularity of other politicians to boost his reelection bid in the forthcoming May elections. It's the other way around. Escudero needs Gordon's support to win votes in Olongapo. The mayor did his share because he strongly feels that Chiz deserves to be in the Senate.

Being seen or photographed in the company of national politicians doesn't mean local residents will easily forget one's dismal performance in office and deliver the votes.

Still, the bottom line is performance, not appearances.


Tinipon ng Olongapo City Government sa pamamagitan ng Public Employment Services Office (PESO) ang mahigit dalawangdaang (200) kabataang kabilang sa Special Program for Employment of Students o SPES.

Kasama ang kani-kanilang mga magulang o guardian ay ipinakilala ni PESO Manager Evelyn delos Santos kay City Mayor James ‘’Bong’’ Gordon, Jr. ang mga kabataang nakapasa sa pamantayan ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) upang mapabilang sa special program.

Ang orientation na isinagawa sa Olongapo City Convention Center (OCCC) nitong ika-28 ng Pebrero 2007 ay may layuning ipa-alam sa mga SPES qualifiers at sa kanilang mga magulang ang mga nakapa-loob sa kontratang pipirmahan ng mga kabataan.

Kabilang na rito, ang halagang matatanggap, bilang ng araw na kinakailangang bunuin upang ma-kompleto ang summer program at ang inaasahang attitude ng mga employers buhat sa mga papasok na kabataang SPES.

Ang SPES ay taunang inilulunsad ng Local Government Unit (LGU) at nang DOLE upang bigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga estudyante at out-of-school youth na nasa labinglima (15) hanggang dalawamput-limang (25) taong-gulang na makapagtrabaho at kumita.

Dito ay magkatuwang na babalikatin ng LGU at DOLE ang halagang P224.00 kada araw na tatanggaping sahod ng mga kabataan na ang animnapung por-siento (60%) ay magmumula sa pondo ng LGU samantalang ang nalalabing apatnapung por-siento (40%) ay magmumula sa DOLE.

Para naman sa mga SPES na ma-a-assign sa private sector, halagang P254.00 kada-araw ang tatanggaping sahod, animnapung por-siento (60%) ay sagot ng business establishment samantalang ang apatnapung por-siento (40%) ay buhat sa DOLE.

Animo’y lumusot sa butas ng karayom ang pinag-daanan ng bawat kabataang kabilang sa SPES dahil tiniyak ng pamahalaang local ng lungsod na bagamat mahirap ay may sipag, tiyaga at talino ang mga ito.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Olongapo pols fight for piece of Chiz

By Arlyn dela Cruz - Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- They all wanted a piece of “Chiz.”

Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Francis “Chiz” Escudero was literally caught in the middle of a “tug-of-war” between rival politicians in Olongapo City during a press conference arranged for the GO candidate.

The incident which happened on Thursday in full view of local media involved incumbent Olongapo City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon and Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino who is running against the former in the May elections.

There were two versions of the story. One said it really happened while the other said it was all “drama” and that no such thing happened.

But a source who was with Escudero’s party said the young senatorial candidate was stunned. “Chiz was speechless,” the source said.

One account of what happened came from a cameraman based in Olongapo who said: “The mayor pushed Rolen away from Chiz.”

The cameraman was among those who attended the press conference arranged by local media consultant Armin Santos at Wimpy’s Restaurant on Rizal Avenue near the Olongapo City Hall.

“I didn’t exactly see it for my attention was somewhere else but a local media man whispered to me that “hinawi” (he shoved) that was the word used, ni mayor si Rolen.”

Santos said he himself was taken aback. “I was surprised at the turn of events because in the first place I didn’t expect the mayor to be there.”

There was even confusion as to who really had arranged the press conference for the popular opposition candidate.

Another source said it was not Santos but Mike Pusing who had arranged the press conference.

Eggai Geniza, a local broadcaster who interviewed Escudero for his morning show over radio station dwHL, said, “Rolen, according to several eyewitness accounts, was shoved by the mayor who suddenly entered the restaurant where the press conference for Escudero was supposed to be held.”

In a phone interview, Paulino confirmed that he was indeed shoved. “It seemed that my lungs would collapse by the sheer force of it.”

Asked how he reacted, Paulino said he left the restaurant and restrained himself from reacting physically in deference to Escudero who is a party mate in the Nationalist People’s Coalition.

“Mas nakakahiya kay Chiz kung para kaming batang nagpang-abot doon kaya lumabas na lang ako at pinabayaan na lang si mayor na masolo si Chiz (It would be a shame if we would act like children so I just went out and gave way to the mayor).”

Paulino, a former protégé of the Gordons, said the rest of the local media who witnessed the incident walked out with him, leaving behind only the crew of local station STV-6 and Pusing’s group.

But Vic Vizcocho Jr., public and media information chief for City Hall, denied the incident.

From Wimpy’s Restaurant, Gordon and Escudero held a motorcade up to Gordon College and then parted ways.

Escudero went on to Mansion Restaurant where Paulino was waiting and there faced members of the media who had earlier walked out.

Escudero declined to comment on the incident.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


MULING DINALAW ni Cong. Chiz Escudero ang tinatawag nyang “mentor” noon sa Kongreso, ang three-termer Congressman ng unang distrito ng Zambales at ngayon ay mayor ng Olongapo, James “Bong” Gordon Jr.

Bilang isang matagal nang kaibigan, kusang sumama si Cong. Escudero sa jogging-inspection ni Mayor Gordon sa Purok 1, Barangay Sta. Rita kung saan nakita ng Kongresista ng Unang Distrito ng Sorsogon na ngayon ay kandidatong senador, ang mga proyekto ng lungsod at kalagayan ng mamamayan sa naturang barangay.

Sa kanilang magkasamang paglibot sa iba pang bahagi ng lungsod ay kitang-kita ang malalim na samahang nabuo sa pagitan ng dalawa noong nasa Kongreso pa sila. Palibhasa’y naka-tatlong termino, malaki ang naging pag-galang ng mga nakasabayang Congressman kay Mayor Gordon , kabilang na si Cong. Escudero.

“Bukod sa naging kasama ko sa Kongreso si Chiz, matagal na naming family friend ang kanyang mga magulang kahit noong kami’y mga bata pa,” paliwanag ni Mayor Gordon.

Samantala, mainit namang tinanggap ng mga Olongapeño si Escudero, kasama si Mayor Gordon, sa kanyang pagbisita sa lungsod lalo na sa mga paaralan at kolehiyo.

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This is a joint private blog of volunteers from Subic Bay. It is being maintained primarily to collate articles that may be of importance to decision making related to the future of Subic Bay and as a source of reference material to construct the history of Subic Bay.

The articles herein posted remains the sole property of original authors and publications which has full credits to the articles.

Disclaimer: Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence before using any article herein posted for whatever intended purpose it may be. This private web log will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained from volunteers of this private blog.

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