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MAASIN CITY NEWS & INFORMATION

15th September 2017
DILG installs Yap as new governor of Southern Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on September 15, 2017, 7:58 pm

By: Jani Arnaiz - Correspondent / @janiarnaizINQ

Inquirer Visayas / 07:27 PM September 15, 2017

MAASIN CITY – Southern Leyte has a new governor.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) installed on Friday Vice Gov. Christopher “Coco” Yap as the new governor of the province after beleaguered Gov. Damian Mercado personally received the Ombudsman order dismissing him from his post.

In a mobile phone interview, Mercado told the Inquirer that he personally went to the DILG regional office to receive the dismissal order “to end all speculations surrounding the Ombudsman order.”

Mercado said the DILG immediately installed Yap, who accompanied him to the agency’s regional office along with some board members, upon his receipt of the Ombudsman order.

Accordingly, top board member Jessica Escano Pano was installed as vice governor in place of Yap.

“Although we appealed the Ombudsman’s decision with the Appellate Court, we will abide by its decision whether it’s not in our favor,” Mercado said.

Asked if there is someone to blame for the case that moved very slowly for a decade, Mercado said: “I don’t blame anyone.”

Mercado said he will stay in Maasin, as he has to undergo some minor medical procedure for his illness.

The case of Mercado at the Ombudsman stemmed from his alleged anomalous purchase of three second-hand vehicles, which included his previously owned vehicle, amounting to P2.3 million.

In a resolution released on August 10, the Ombudsman held Mercado liable for grave misconduct in the alleged irregular procurement in 2007, when he was still mayor of the city.  /kga


11th August 2017
Business as usual at Capitol amidst Gov. Mercado dismissal
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 11, 2017, 6:59 pm

By JANI ARNAIZ

August 11, 2017

MAASIN CITY – It’s business as usual at the Capitol less than 24 hours after a stir on the reported dismissal of Governor Damian Mercado by the Ombudsman.

According to Jason Calva, Southern Leyte provincial administrator, they are on standby. “(We’re) on standby to avoid technicalities. So far no legal documents officially received.” He did not elaborate.

On Thursday at the Charter Day program, Gov. Mercado told the The Reporter online in a text message, I will talk to my lawyer first. No comment,” when asked for his statement.

The Reporter online also tried to get the statement from Interior department but provincial director Jess Naquila was on a meeting with his officials.

An employee said, Naquila told them that media personalities will be coming over and that there’s no order yet of the dismissal.

A netizen has commented on FB, what a pity, the dismissal came at the height of the celebration of the 17th Charter Day against the proponent of cityhood who eventually the fist mayor when Maasin became a city. He was referring to then Mayor Mercado.

The case stemmed from the reported anomalous purchase 10  years ago of three second hand vehicles, including one he had previously owned and more than a decade old, for P2.3 million.

In a resolution announced on Thursday, the Ombudsman held Mercado liable for grave misconduct in the alleged irregular procurement in 2007, when he was mayor of Maasin City, the provincial capital.


3rd July 2017
Alvarez considering possible impeachment of Sereno over CA issue
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 3, 2017, 4:40 pm

By: Jani Arnaiz - Correspondent / @janiarnaizINQInquirer Visayas / 04:35 PM July 02,2017

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer) 
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)
 
MAASIN CITY -  Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced on Sunday the possible filing of an impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if it could be proven that she had ordered the Court of Appeals (CA) to defy the show-cause order asking three CA justices to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for granting the petition for habeas corpus of the so-called Ilocos Six.
 
Alvarez, who was here to administer the oath-taking of new members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said he had received a report that Sereno had ordered the CA to defy the show-cause order.
 
"If we found it to be true then we will discuss it in Congress for a possible impeachment case,” he said.
 
The House of Representatives has been locked in a standoff with CA Associate Justices Stephen Cruz, Edwin Sorongon, and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela after they ordered the release of the Ilocos Norte officials detained by the House for refusing to answer questions about an alleged anomaly involving the purchase of P66.45 million worth of vehicles, using funds from tobacco excise taxes.
 
The new members of the PDP-Laban in Southern Leyte who took their oath were Gov. Damian Mercado and his brother, Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, all 19 mayors of the province and their councilors, and all 70 barangay chairpersons of Maasin and their councilors.
 
In his speech, Alvarez announced the postponement of the barangay and SK elections this year.
 
"To all barangay officials who are here will be happy with this news that there will be no elections and that the barangay chairman will just be appointed,” he said.
 
When asked to elaborate, he told the Inquirer that they would legislate the postponement and discuss when it would be held. /atm

8th June 2017
One killed, two wounded in buy-bust ops
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 8, 2017, 5:32 pm

By JANI ARNAIZ

MAASIN CITY - An illegal drug buy-bust operation has resulted to the killing of the drug suspect and wounding of a father and his three months old daughter on Tuesday night in Combado village this city.

RDEU8(Regional Drug Enforcement Unit 8), PDEA RO8 and local police station conducted the buy-bust operation.

The police identified the suspect, as 42 years Jason Go, jobless of Tagnipa village, Maasin City. While the wounded were identified as Marcelo Sarocan Serata, 34, and his 3-mos. old daughter Grace Jane.

Police said Go was considered as HVT level 2. His parents are in the US as migrants and he is a nephew of a Maasin City councilor.

PSupt. Harry Sucayre, RDEU head, said the suspect was under surveillance for months before they conducted buy bust operation.

In her report, Maasin PNP deputy chief, Police inspector Clea Marie Lapastora, said, a poseur-buyer bought a sachet of “shabu” from the suspect but when he sensed the presence of police officers, Go reportedly drove his Yamaha motorcycle prompting other members of the team to give chase using their service vehicle Toyota Revo.

While in motion, the PNP deputy chief reported that the police officers asked the suspect to stop but he speeded away instead that “he accidentally bumped and stumbled.”

The report stated that Go managed to run and while chased, the suspect drew his gun and fired at the apprehending team that prompting them to fire back killing the suspect.

The wounded, who were standing along the side of the street, were hit by a parked multi-cab when the cab was bumped by the Police service vehicle as the driver evaded the line of fire.

Recovered from the scene were two slugs, cal. 45 pistol, cartridges of a 45 and 9mm pistols.

Yamaha FZ model, 6 heat sealed sachet of “shabu” and P2,000 in five hundred peso bills including the marked money.

 

 

 

 

 


20th February 2017
DPWH to build coastal bypass road in Maasin City
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 20, 2017, 3:41 pm

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – This city will get an alternative link to the commercial district – a 4.71-kilometer coastal bypass road with reclamation component meant to ease traffic woes and expand the city’s development.

The planned road, which will cost P1.5 billion, will get an initial budget of P50 million this year, said Ma. Margarita C. Junia, chief of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Southern Leyte district engineering office.

The proposed road, one of the key infrastructure projects in Eastern Visayas, will connect the city’s commercial center in Lib-og village to nearby populated village of Mambajao. It will traverse coastal areas of Abgao, Tunga-Tunga, and Combado villages.

The preliminary release, strongly lobbied by Rep. Roger Mercado for inclusion in the 2017 appropriations, will be used for the preparation of feasibility study for multi-year implementation, initial road construction, and some slope protection.

“The main roads leading to the city center are already congested even if those roads are restricted to one lane,” she said, referring in particular to R. Kangleon and Tomas Oppus Streets. “We cannot expand to the other side of the city since it’s mountainous.”

Maasin, a fourth class city and capital of Southern Leyte province, has a land area of 211.70 square kilometers with a population of 85,560. The city’s terrain is characterized by relatively flat lands along the coastal plains where population areas lay, and becomes rugged and mountainous towards the interior.

DPWH Southern Leyte planning section chief Vincent Sy said the proposed budget for the project in 2018 is P200 million. “Releases in the next years will mainly depend on the outcome of feasibility study, which will be completed within the first half of the year,” Sy added. The project is in compliance to Secretary Mark Villar’s directive to decongest traffic through construction of by-pass roads in populated areas. (PR)


15th December 2016
Barangay excluded in granting of PEI
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 15, 2016, 3:38 pm

4th update

By Jani Arnaiz

MAASIN CITY – The Productivity Enhancement Incentive or PEI given to LGUs and other government institution during Christmas as additional benefits is here for the taking but not for Barangay workers.

The Barangay LGU, the so called front liner in giving government service to the people, is not included in the PEI at least in the city thru the courtesy of City Budget Officer Essie Garvez.

“Hugno ang tanan,” said a village chair when Garvez announced during the Liga ng mga Barangay Christmas party.

According to Garvez, said the barangay captain, Barangay was not specifically mentioned in the Budget circular granting the PEI to LGUs.

"So is the city or the province are not specifically mentioned because the Circular only states all LGU heads. If  her logic says that Barangay is not among the beneficiary of the PEI, then only the military or the PNP would benefit from the PEI since they were specifically mentioned."

The Budget Circular No. 2016 – 8, issued on December 12, by Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno addressed “TO All Heads of Departments, Bureaus, and Agencies of the National Government, Including State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs); Heads of Local Government Units (LGUs); and All Others Concerned.”

“Payment of the PEI shall be made not earlier than December 15, 2016,” states the Budget Circular.

But the barangay chairmen who attended their Christmas party on December 15 said “Garvez would have none of it for the Barangay LGUs.”

Christmas this year would be bleak this year just like the other year, said a Barangay Captain.

According to Tagnipa Kagawad Along Lutero, President of the Barangay Kagawad League of Maasin City, there are three composition of LGU, that is the Province, the City or Municipality and the Barangays.

Officially local government in the Philippines, often called local government units or LGUs, are divided into three levels – provinces and independent cities; component cities and municipalities; and barangays.

Provincial Budget Officer Joey Duarte said, barangay officials elected or appointed are entitled to PEI.

The Reporter tried to contact Garvez but to no avail.

Jade Nombrado, a Kagawad in one of the barangays of Macrohon town said they availed of PEI.

 

 

 


1st December 2016
Teenage prime suspect in rape case arrested in Taguig Metro Manila
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 1, 2016, 7:01 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

December 1, 2016

MAASIN CITY – Police authorities have confirmed the arrest of seventeen year old prime suspect of a rape of a 15 year old student in Barangay Nasaug this city.

Police said he was arrested in Taguig, Metro Manila.

The heinous crime was committed sometime in July 2015 in Barangay Nasaug this city.

The victim was reportedly waylaid by three suspects who were drinking in a hut in Barangay Nasaug (all minors) when she passed by them on her way home in nearby Barangay Canturing.

She went missing until her body was found already in decomposing state half naked buried in shallow grave along Canturing river bank just a few meters from her house.

According to the police authorities the suspect will be presented to the media upon their arrival from Manila.

 


28th November 2016
SOLECO, LGUs share efforts for pro-poor DOE electrification program
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 28, 2016, 6:06 pm

(By Marcelino Pedalino, PIA-8 Southern Leyte | 28 Nov 2016)

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Nov 28 (PIA)  --  Local power distribution utility Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (SOLECO) has coordinated with the different local government units (LGUs) in the province to extend electricity connection for poor households by 2017.

Thus far, some 9,753 households are qualified to avail of free electric connectivity by virtue of Household Intensification for Nationwide Electrification (HINE), a project of the Department of Energy (DOE) coursed through local governments and power coops.

Priority for connection are those having flying connections of electricity from neighbors and relatives, with HINE granting them P 3,750.00 worth of wiring materials, said Alan Ferrer, SOLECO’s member development officer (MDO) during the Action Center Kapihan sa PIA cable TV program last week.

Ferrer was also the focal person in-charge of Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), a continuing line extension project so that unlit homes in remote areas capable of paying electric services can have access.

He explained that HINE is more on areas with already existing power lines, and those qualified as determined by the LGU through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be given the necessary materials, but the monthly bill will be shouldered by the beneficiary.

Benson Mindajao, member service development head, downplayed insinuations intended recipients may be lost in the selection due to politics, saying SOLECO will validate the list submitted by the LGUs prior to installation.

He advised those who may qualify to approach their Punong Barangay and have his, her name included in the list for submission to the municipal level for there is a second batch of HINE qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Mindajao also mitigated the common fears that sudden on-and-off flashes of power in a passing brownout can increase one’s power bill. 

He said this has no impact on power consumption, or the amount one pays for using electricity, but do have negative effect on home appliances especially those without voltage regulators.  (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)


24th October 2016
Alleged drug pusher killed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 24, 2016, 6:32 pm

MAASIN CITY – An alleged drug pusher was killed when he attempted to shoot it out with the policemen during a buy-bust operation at Mantahan village on late Monday afternoon.

Police identified the victim as Mark Lorzano, who resides at said barangay. His companion, Andro Milloren was arrested.

Southern Leyte PNP provincial director, PSSupt. Warren de Leon, who was at the crime scene, said Lorzano drew a 45 caliber when police operatives tried to arrest him prompting the arresting officers to shoot him during a buy-bust operation.

The victim and his companion tried to drive off their motorcycle after sensing that the poseur buyer was a policeman but was block by the service vehicle used by the apprehending policemen.

"Nanglaban kaya patay. Tingnan mo kasama nya buhay kasi hindi lumalaban," said De Leon.

According to the police director, the victim was the sixth killed in a legitimate police operation in the province and 42 others were arrested since the start of “operation tokhang”.


29th August 2016
Crimes committed in South Leyte greatly reduced within first 50 days
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 29, 2016, 10:11 pm

Marcelo M. Pedalino PIA8-Southern Leyte   

Figures, it has often been said, don’t lie.   

While it is true that the turn-out of surrendering drug personalities is overwhelming the direct impact on the non-commission of crimes is just as staggering.   

The numbers gathered from the Camp Alfredo Bantug Southern Leyte Police Provincial Office (SLPPO) show that for the 50-day period from July 1 up to August 18, 2016, 16 crimes were committed, as against 93 unlawful acts carried out in the same period last year, July 1 – August 18, 2015 all over the province.   

 

“Dako kaayo og kalainan (There’s a real big difference),” said PO3 Russel Balansag, the Provincial Crime Registrar, adding that clearly this has been the concrete results of the Oplan Tokhang (Tok-Tok, Hangyo; knock, appeal) and Double Barrel.  

Balansag was candid enough in assessing that not all of the crimes are drugs-related, even as he affirmed that a quick reality check on recurring heinous incidents were generally traced to the unimpeded use of the banned methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.  

But noteworthy items in the stats reveal that in the same period last year there were nine rape cases, while for this year there was none;  there were 32 physical injuries listed, now there were only five;  29 cases of theft lessened to only 5;  11 robbery cases now zero; 8 homicide cases, now only two. (PIA)


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