Rep. Paul Daza, Top 10 Richest Congressman of the Philippines

Northern Samar 1st District representative Paul Daza, son of incumbent Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza, made the cut of the Top 10 Richest Congressmen of the Philippines for 2008 placing 10th with assets of P137,900,000 (137.9 Million). And i am aghast, simply because Northern Samar belongs to the Top 10 Poorest Provinces in the Philippines.

I am not insinuating anything here, the said information was supplied by them in their declaration of assets and liabilities, the good congressman may have earned those legitimately but if i have that kind of wealth and i see that my constituents are barely able to get by in a given day, i will have a hard time sleeping soundly.

Army Engineering Corps ambushed in Lapinig

On May 17, 2008 at about 8:50 in the morning, Pfc Randy Pepito and three other enlisted personnel, was ambushed and landmined while hauling gravel at Barangay Roxas, Lapinig, Northern, Samar. All of them are with the 543rd Engineering Construction Battalion, the construction team tasked to undertake the opening of the Lapinig-Jipapad road in order to connect Northern Samar to Eastern Samar. Reports are that the ambush was done by more or less six Maoist Communist insurgents of the New People's Army (NPA) armed with high powered fire arms.

What is ironic is that this is the most revolutionary thing that will happen to Lapinig and the entire province of Northern Samar, a road linking the province direct to Eastern Samar. Previously, one has to go to Samar province (formerly Western Samar) hundreds of kilometers away to get to Eastern Samar. Lapinig in itself is a remote Pacific side town accessible by means of pump boats only and made more dificult to reach by big Pacific Ocean waves.

Col. Eduardo del Rosario, commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade, condemned the NPA ambush as anti-people and anti-development. No casualty was reported on the part of the government side while an undetermined number of casualty on the NPA side was speculated because of the presence of blood traces on the enemy position.


Priest Bikes for Life and Peace

" A Filipino Catholic Redemptorist Priest based in Mindanao" as he describes himself, Fr. Amado Picardal bikes around the Philippines to promote life and peace. He is in his Northern Samar leg. In his blog, he said:

So far, I have already biked 3,890 km. I have already started the Eastern Visayas legs of my journey. Ed Bisco and Ed Rabago will be going back to Luzon tomorrow and the Catarman bikers will bike with me as far as Laoang - 48 km from Catarman. From there I will be biking alone along the an area which, like Sorsogon, has been affected by the armed conflict between the government forces and the New People's army. It's environment has been damaged by logging and mining. This is an area where the culture of death, violence and corruption reign.

I hope the Catholic Church as a whole also realizes what he just stated as obvious, that there is still an armed guerilla force in this country after all these times. And that they also have a military arm and a political arm. And that everything cannot be solved by an armed insurgency. What is ironic is that every Communist regime that took power, one of the very first thing that they do is to suppress freedom and religion, they even destroy churches. We go in circles..


Supreme Court suspends Laoang prosecutor

The Supreme Court has suspended a prosecutor in Northern Samar who was found liable for gross misconduct after he downgraded the charges against four suspected New People’s Army rebels involved in a robbery-homicide case.

In a 13-page decision penned by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, the SC's Second Division partly modified the penalty for Laoang, Northern Samar prosecutor Jesus Clarito Espina from dismissal slapped by the Department of Justice to a mere six-month for gross misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.

But since Espina had already retired, the high court just fined him the amount equivalent to his salary for six months.

The penalty for gross misconduct entails a six-month suspension for the first offense, and dismissal from service for the second.

The SC considered as a mitigating circumstance the fact that this was Espina's first offense in his 33 years of service.

"The record does not show that any of the additional elements to qualify the charge of conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service to grave misconduct had been established," the Court ruled.

The high court noted the resolution of the Office of the President affirming Espina's offense, stating that "respondent has no business being a prosecutor if he will merely act as a puppet for unscrupulous judges."

It said that the filing of motion to dismiss and the subsequent granting of the motion by the Court enabled the suspects to go scot-free.

Based on court records, Espina entered criminal case no. 1276 for robbery in band with multiple homicide against four accused NPA members before branch 22 of Lao-ang, Northern Samar regional trial court in the sala of Judge Mateo Leanda. The accused were then convicted by the court and were imposed the death penalty.

On automatic review of the case, the SC affirmed the conviction but commuted the penalty to reclusion perpetua in 1987.

On June 14, 1993 petitioner Espina, then a prosecutor of Lao-ang, filed a motion to dismiss the criminal case on the ground that the anti-subversion law had been repealed. The trial court subsequently granted the motion to dismiss, and eventually dismissed the case.

Respondents namely Miguel Cerujano, Alfredo Tingkingco and Senencio Cerujano Jr. then filed an administrative complaint for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service against Espina before the DOJ.

They alleged that the grounds relied upon by Espina have nothing to do with the case at all, as the case decided with finality by the court is Robbery in Band with Multiple Homicide and not a violation of the anti-subversion law as advanced in the motion to dismiss. - GMANews.TV