Northern Samar Provincial Legal Officer Shot Dead

Northern Samar Provincial Legal Officer, Atty. Eduardo Potot, was shot dead this afternoon in his rented residence in Brgy. Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar. Atty. Potot just arrived from his office at the provincial capitol, also located in Brgy. Dalakit. The victim’s neighbors said they saw Potot arriving in his car and heard him blowing the car horn, while waiting for his household staff to open the gate to the house. The neighbors said they later heard four to five gunshots after which they saw two unidentified men casually jogging away from the area. As of press time, it was not yet known what is the angle that the police are looking into with the assasination of Atty. Potot.


GMA-7's Biyaheng Totoo in Northern Samar

GMA-7's Biyaheng Totoo news feature story focused on malnutrition in Northern Samar, particularly the towns of Laoang and Pambujan. Watch the video below for Biyaheng Totoo: Northern Samar. It was shown on GMA-7's 24 Oras and on QTV-11's Balitanghali.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV


Lapinig to Jipapad Road Inaugurated

The Lapinig, Northern Samar to Jipapad, Eastern Samar Road was inaugurated on November 14,2009. The Lapinig to Jipapad Road is a 5.22 kilometer all-weather road connecting the hinterland and rebel infested towns of the provinces of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar. The road was realized after a promise by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, funded out of the President's Social Fund. The road project amounted to P20 Million and was constructed by the 53rd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army. The P20-million road project was started on August 11, 2005 and was reported to have been completed on November 5, 2009.

Present at the road inauguration were Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas, Cynthia Nierras; Brigadier General Arthur Tabaquero of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army; Congressman Paul Daza of the 1st District of Northern Samar; Lapinig Mayor Romualdo Menzon; Jipapad Mayor Joji Montillana and the officers and men of the 53rd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army.


San Antonio LGU Worker Slain

The latest victim of the continuing violence in the province of Northern Samar is a lowly civilian, a government employee of the local government unit (LGU) of San Antonio. Chief Supt. Mario T. San Diego, PNP Region 8 Director, identified the victim as Crusada Serrano, 48 years old and a resident of Brgy.Burabod, San Antonio,Northern Samar.

Reports said Serrano was watching a DVD movie in the afternoon of October 25, 2009, inside his house, when the lone suspect barged into his house and shot him dead. The still unidentified killer according to reports has used a .45 caliber pistol to shoot Serrano.

The lone suspect immediately fled to the poblacion proper of San Antonio. The San Antonio police is now conducting an investigation into the shooting.


Lavezares Mayoralty Row

There is an on-going mayoralty row in the town of Lavezares. The political stand off came to a head when a division of the Commission on Elections unseated Mayor Quintin Saludaga and ordered his 2007 Mayoralty opponent, Antonio Balag to assume his post as the new mayor of Lavezares. The Comelec’s 2nd Division proclaimed him the winning mayoralty bet with 5,276 votes against Saludaga’s 5,149 votes. Balag then took his oath of office as mayor before N. Samar Governor Raul Daza.

Supporters of Saludaga had since been demonstrating outside the Lavezares town hall to protect it from being taken over by supporters of Balag. Saludaga claims that he won and was duly proclaimed winner in the May 2007 polls after garnering 5,913 votes against Balag who, he said, got only 5,168 votes.


Father Cecilio Lucero Murdered in San Jose

Something horrible happened in Northern Samar over the weekend. Father Cecilio Lucero was murdered on Sunday. Father Cecilio Lucero is the parish priest of Catubig, Northern Samar. Police reports said that Father Cecilio Lucero was on board his Toyota van, when he was attacked in Barangay Layuhan, San Jose town, at around 8:30 a.m. of Sept. 6, by around 30 unidentified armed men. A jeepney full of passengers plying the Allen-Catarman route almost got caught in the ambush, they were just 50 meters from Father Cecilio Lucero's vehicle. Father Cecilio Lucero reportedly just came from a wedding. His two companions, identified as PO2 Eugene Canaler and Isidro Miras, a civilian, were hit by bullets in different parts of the body and are being treated at a hospital in the province.

The murder of Father Cecilio Lucero is said to be the first in the 400 year-old history of Catholicism in Northern Samar. Father Cecilio Lucero is active in human rights advocacy and is the chairman of the human rights and justice committee of the Catarman diocese.

Father Cecilio Lucero is also a brother of Northern Samar Vice Governor, Atty. Boy Lucero and former 2nd District Representative Wilmar Lucero. Father Cecilio Lucero is 48 years old. His body will be interred on Sept. 14, exactly 22 years since his ordination as a priest. As of press time, his body is lying in state in St. Roche Church in San Roque, Northern Samar.

There is now confusion amongst the residents of the entire province as it was plunged into darkness, a brownout started early morning of Monday, Sept. 7 and is still ongoing as of this time, 8 PM. The national TV evening news of the major networks failed to mention the murder in their newscasts.


Famous Fashion Designers from Bobon

Puey Quiñones

Some very talented folks from Bobon and are not only nationally famous but are also winning praise from abroad. They are Puey Quiñones and Dennis Lustico, who are both from Bobon. Puey Quiñones is the "it" drsigner of the moment, dressing the country's more famous celebrities and the political elite. From Kris Aquino to Ruffa Gutierrez, you name it, they have donned Puey. Puey Quiñones was born in Bobon N.Samar to a policeman father and a high school biology teacher mother who loves fashion.
Puey Quiñones
Puey Quiñones' journey to stardom all started when his townmate, Dennis Lustico made it big in Manila and was also the celebs favorite. Dennis Lustico took in the young Puey as an intern and soon after they became colleagues. And the rest as they say is history.


If They Only Have A Northern Samar Highway

northern samar
So much has been said about the highway to and from Tacloban City, and how dilapidated it is, If They Only Have A Northern Samar Highway..Why? Because it was built through the specifications and direct supervision of the Australian Government, and as is the case of Western standards, up to now, the highway, 20 or so years after is still well and good, despite the numerous severe storms it has weathered.


Gloria Vows to End Brownouts in Northern Samar

Brownout for three days in a row now in Northern Samar. A ray of hope looms in the future still though. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vowed to end the perennial brownout problem in Northern Samar. The President on a visit to the province to inaugurate the Las Navas Bridge bared plans for the upgrading of the transmission lines through the 138 KV Wright-Calbayog backbone transmission system to accommodate the load growth, address the low voltage problem, and improve system reliability.

At present, Northern Samar's existing supply line is a 69 KV wood pole base system. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has started to bid out the transmission line component of the Wright-Calbayog transmission line on June 4. T8he timetable for the completion of the Wright-Calbayog transmission line will be on the fourth quarter of 2010.

When completed, the perennial power interruptions in Northern Samar will not be totally be avoided but will be significantly reduce by 30 to 60 percent.

Another project on the way is the upgrading of the transmission line from Calbayog-Lope de Vega to Catarman which is yet to be approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also ordered the energy department to prioritize the electrification of the municipality of Silvino Lobos.

“Northern Samar is a focus for our infrastructure development efforts and the patience of the people of this region will be rewarded with increased power supplies as soon as these projects come on stream,” the President said.


Rising Star is from Capul

Alvin Aguilar

Alvin Aguilar is slowly making a name in Philippine Showbiz. This 21-year-old in demand model has been recently in Eat Bulaga and is a favorite in such events as the Folded & Hung's Streetcast Fashion Show and at the annual Cosmopolitan Bachelor's Bash.

A proud Abaknon, Alvin Aguilar is a graduate of the Capul Agro-Industrial High School before venturing out to Manila and breaking into the exclusive circle of the Philippines male model's league. Surely, Alvin Aguilar's star will still rise. Check him out soon in bigger and better Showbiz prjects.


Sase Vicencio Assassinated

Former Catubig mayor and a candidate for Congressman in the second district of Northern Samar in the 2007 elections, Saesar "Sase" Vicencio, was killed in an ambush staged by unidentified armed men in Catubig town Tuesday.

The assailants attacked the victim, Saesar "Sase" Vicencio, after a meeting of the association of barangay captains that he headed. Vicencio who is incumbent Barangay 2 chairman of Catubig town, was shot in different parts of the body at 12:45 p.m. He was brought to the provincial capital's Catarman General Hospital, a distance of roughly 50 kilometers from Catubig, where he succumbed to gunshot wounds in the chest and stomach a few minutes after reaching the hospital.

The incumbent mayor of Catubig town is Sase's wife, Cristina Vicencio. Sase's father, Atty. Romualdo Vicencio, was the former congressman representing Northern Samar's second district.


Lavezares Landslide kills 6

A family of 6 were killed when a landslide buried their house in a hillside of Barangay Ocad, Lavezares, Northern Samar at about 1 a.m. Saturday. The family died instantly when the mudslide composed of big rocks and rushing water totally wrecked their wooden house while they were sleeping. The fatalities were identified as: Gemma dela Cruz, 32, four months pregnant; her husband Edwin, 31, and daughters Dina, 5; Ina, 4; Carla, 2 years and six months old; and Rowena, one year and four months.

Two other persons were injured, one of them seriously. Their houses were also completely destroyed. Luckily they were able to escape before their houses collapsed. They were identified as Pacita Esplana and Victor Espiña, 42. Espina suffered serious injuries and is now being treated at THE Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman.

Barangay Captain Reynaldo Doniquin of Barangay Ocad said they heard a loud explosion and went on to investigate. There they found out that it was due to the mudslide. He said he and some residents immediately tried to rescue the victims, to no avail.

He also revealed that prior to the landslide, they advised the residents living around the area to leave their houses because of heavy rains and a crack was already seen on the hill where a Globe cell site was located.

Some residents were blaming the Globe cell site for the incident. They said the perimeter wall of the cell site tower facing the houses collapsed and a big rock beside the wall rolled to the houses. The powerhouse and generator of the cell site were carried down by the mudslide.

It is feared that the foundation of the cell site tower has already weakened and anytime the cellsite tower itself may also collapse. Power lines supplying electricity to the area, including the cell site, was already cut off to avoid further accidents.

Tindahan Natin outlet scam in Catarman

A Tindahan Natin outlet in Catarman is being investigated by the National Food Authority (NFA) into allegations that it has been diverting government rice and selling these to local traders instead of their intended beneficiaries, the poor and the indigents of Catarman and the entire province of Northern Samar as a whole.

Tindahan Natin is a program of the National Food Authority (NFA) under the Office Of The President, tasked to sell to the intended beneficiaries a mandated and subsidized price of P18.25 per kilo of the so-called NFA Rice.

A Concerned Citizen of Northern Samar took it upon himself to expose this scam and complained to the National Food Authority (NFA). The kibitzer wrote the NFA alleging that the Tindahan Natin outlet sells NFA rice at P19 per kilo, 75 centavos higher than the mandated P18.25 per kilo. The complainant also alleged that the operator sells NFA rice to local businessmen at P1,100 to P1,200 per sack. The traders sell the rice to consumers at P25 per kilo, the price of commercial-grade government rice.

NFA regional manager Benjamin Marta said he instructed their provincial office in Northern Samar to look into the complaint made by the concerned citizen. If the outlet operator is found guilty, his accreditation will be cancelled.

Mr. Marta explained his action by saying that, "If we cancel accreditation, it is not the store owner who will suffer but the people who buy the rice because they will be deprived of their right to buy cheaper rice."