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July 21 - 27 (3)

‘Glenda’ spares Capiz

Monday, 21 July 2014 00:00

Special for The Capiz Times

 

ROXAS CITY—Tropical storm Glenda brought light to moderate rains for days but left the province unscathed.


This was disclosed by Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Action Officer Esperedion Pelaez as bright and sunny morning of July 17 welcomed Capiceños across the province.

 

“We have no recorded flash floods and areas under floodwater based on our latest monitoring in the field,” he added.


No damage to lives, properties, infrastructures and agriculture have also been reported to the PDRRMO by all Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.


However, a waterspout or buhawi in Brgy. Cogon here was recorded by the Roxas City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office July 15 when the storm was within the Philippine Area of Responsibility.


Under the Project NOAH (Nationwide O perational Assessment of Hazards), PDRRMO has been monitoring the rainfall and water level in various municipalities through the water level sensors and automatic rain gauges installedby the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The generated data from the Project NOAH-installed gadgets are then disseminated to various media outlets, concerned government agencies, local officials and other sectors of the community for reference and public awareness.


Gov. Victor A. Tanco also early directed all local Disaster Risk Reduction and management Offices to stand by for monitoring and possible deployment if needed.


The directive also covered the responding units like the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Phil. Army, Philippine Coast Guard, Phil. Red Cross and Capiz Emergency Response Team, among others.

 

Glenda watch in the province was also done during the National Disaster Consciousness Month celebration this July.


The last major mobilization of the local disaster councils was when tropical depression Agaton brought flood water to some parts of Capiz in January 2014. (PIA 6 Capiz)

REACTING to claims made by Interior Sec. Mar Roxas that 10 billion pesos from the recently declared unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were spent to relocate waterways communities, an urban poor federation leader says it is the exact opposite.


Roxas was reported to have said that, “the money was used for the welfare of the people. The interest of the people always prevails” during the unveiling of the Zero-ISF Water Easement in Barangay Salapan in San Juan City recently.


“Roxas is trying his hardest but obviously failing to paint himself as to looking after the interests of the informal settlers when in fact, the relocation program of the government with or without DAP funds is not beneficial but also consequentially detrimental to the poor,” said Anthony Barnedo of Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML).


Barnedo branded the socialized housing program of the government as “Rated: PG,” or Rated: Pure Gimmickry—for all the housing officials want is to bulldoze them to far-flung areas for us to rot.


According to Barnedo, it is not for the betterment of the poor when the government “saves” us from a danger zone; what it does is only “to condemn us to a death zone.”


Further, “It is categorically untrue that the usage of DAP funds were beneficial to the informal settlers along the waterways because the government’s housing units are not for free, poor families will still have to pay monthly mortgages out of their contractual jobs. The government will even profit out of our miseries through interests”.


“The DAP’s true beneficiaries are the real estate developers who cornered billions worth of government low-cost housing contracts.


The DAP is the milking cow of the likes of Noynoy Aquino’s former classmate, Chito Cruz of the National Housing Authority and Gerry Acuzar, owner of New San Jose Builders, Inc. and brother-in-law of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa,” Barnedo stressed.


The KPML condemned Roxas for using the miseries of the poor to shield himself and Aquino from public accountability by justifying their usage of illegally juggled public funds.


“If there are available public funds and if both Aquino and Roxas truly stand for the welfare of the marginalized as they claim, then (they should) provide free socialized housing and abandon their plans privatize public hospitals for indigents among others”, he said.


The militants believe that the government is heartless because it unjustly and forcibly uproots the informal settlers from their communities, work and school, only to be dumped to areas without even basic necessities and infrastructure such as schools, markets, day URBAN /1 care centers, potable water, and steady supply of electricity and drainage pipes.


The most damaging, they say, “is the lack of jobs or opportunities to eke a living and pay their mortgages”.


The KPML together with ally Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino recently announced that they are now calling for the ouster of Aquino and the establishment of a government of the masses and not the constitutional succession of the vice-president.


The group vowed to mobilize thousands of its members and affiliates during Aquino’s 5th State of the Nation Address on July 28.

Army condemns NPA’s HR violations

Monday, 21 July 2014 00:00

CAMP PERALTA, JAMINDAN, CAPIZ — The New People’s Army (NPA) in Panay continue to violate the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) when it fired upon soldiers in a populated area of Brgy. Mayang in Tubungan, Iloilo recently.


Lieutenant Col. Aldwine Almase, commanding officer of 82nd Infantry Battalion said that his troops were securing the convoy of medical team from the 301st Brigade and civilian volunteers from Operation Blessing (an international humanitarian organization) who came from a medical and dental mission in Leon, Iloilo when they encountered some five armed elements believed to be members of the Southern Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Panay.

 

A ten minute fire fight ensued which resulted in the recovery of a dead body believed to be that of an NPA rebel and a 12-gauge shotgun with live ammunition.


They also saw blood stains along the NPA’s withdrawal route believed to be those of the wounded NPA members.


No casualty from the government troops was reported.


Members of the Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) conducted investigation in the scene of encounter to identify further casualties.


“We join the local government officials, civil society organizations, and the peace-loving people of Panay in strongly condemning this treacherous act.


We regret that despite our efforts to bring the necessary assistance to the people, the NPA answered it in a senseless way. This is a brazen disregard of the CARHIHL of which the communist group is a signatory,” said Major Gen. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the Army’s 3rd infantry division.


The Army personnel and the Operation Blessing conducted a four-day medical and dental civic action programs (MEDCAP and DENCAP) in Tigmarabo in Miag-ao, Mantangon; Igbaras, Igdampog Sur in Tubungan; and Paga in Leon, all of Iloilo. Said mission benefited over 1,500 residents.


The group came from Brgy. Paga, Leon which was the last phase of the MEDCAP and DENCAP prior to the incident.


Earlier, CPP-NPA also violated CARHRIHL when it set off an improvised explosive device (IED) along the highway in the boundary of Guimbal and Miag-ao, Iloilo on July 1, 2014, wounding two soldiers and two civilians.


It also violated Republic Act No. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, NPA /1 specifically Chapter III, Section 4 c.5., for launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians.


According to Baladad, the Army in Panay and all over the region remains steadfast in protecting the civilian and will work even more in providing the necessary assistance to the people.


“We call on the CPP-NPA to lay down their arms peacefully, abandon the armed struggle and go back to the peace negotiating table to put an end to this conflict,” Baladad added.