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Cebu City News

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Cebu City - Archived News

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Aerial View of Cebu City


Region 7 starts bid for 4-peat in Prisaa

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REGION 7 vies for a four-peat in the national finals of the Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa), which opens this afternoon at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte.

Region 7 is composed of 350 athletes coming from Cebu, Bohol and Dumaguete.

This year’s premiere collegiate multi-events include a secondary division with selected sporting events making this year’s competition even tougher.

“The inclusion of the high school participants this year will make this year’s tournament more challenging. But we are are still aiming to win our fourth straight overall title this year,” said Bernard Ricablanca.

This afternoon’s opening will be led by Prisaa national president emeritus Dr. Emmanuel Angeles, Davao del Norte and Tagum City officials. It will start at 3 p.m. (ISL)

P785,000 worth of lumber seized

By : Phoebe Jen Indino

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 seized P785,880 worth of teak lumber or flitches (Tectonagrandis).

DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said the confiscation was the biggest in the last two years.

“It has to be stressed here that the shipment of forest products should be covered with original documents for monitoring and controlling purposes and the entries thereat should be consistent with the actual kind of species and quantity of forest products,” he said.

Based on a report released by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Cebu City, a trailer truck with plate number GXU-340 loading at least 917 pieces of teak lumber or equivalent to 8,732 board feet disembarked from a Ro-Ro vessel in Ouano Wharf last Thursday afternoon.

The truck was intercepted inside the wharf by a four-member investigating team created by Montejo. (Phoebe Jen Indino)

Missing Trees

By : Phoebe Jen Indino

Cebu City, Cebu — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 7 (DENR-7) is gathering evidences to file a case against those who were responsible for the unauthorized removal of at least 88 trees due to a road construction at Sergio Osmeña Street here. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages of the road taken by Cebu City Command Center (C3) cameras showed Willy Te Construction is the culprit behind the trees removal, said C3 Chairperson and City Councilor Dave Tumulak, as WT’s vehicles and equipment were seen in the video. Meanwhile, DENR-7 information officer Eddie Llamedo disclosed that they are gathering pieces of evidence and affidavits from various witnesses for the possible case or complaint to be filed on Monday. (Phoebe Jen Indino)

Cebu City skips PNG softball

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THE Cebu City’s softball team withdrew its participation in the upcoming Philippine National Games (PNG) on May 20-28 at Marikina City.

The Cebu City Government was willing to shed P60,000 for the team’s stint but they decided it was not enough for a 20-man team’s expenses in the weeklong tournament.

The players had a meeting with Mark Aliño of Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) last Wednesday to finalize the status of the softball team.

“We agreed to withdraw our participation in the PNG. Our two expected private sponsors have also backed out. So as of now, we have no other choice,” said John Tugot, one of the players.

However, Cebu City will continue to promote softball, especially in grassroots development and the P60,000 originally intended for the team’s stint in the PNG will now be used to fund a baseball and softball clinics.

The free clinic will be on April 22 and offers basic and advanced softball techniques for the little league bracket. Although, it’s for kids below 12 years old, anyone older can also be accommodated.

Tugot said grassroots development is already handled by Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute Technology (SCSIT) coach Dionisio Bacarisas and they are willing to offer help for the improvement of local batted sports.

The initial plan is to create a team for each district which will play in a one-day league event.

“The CCSC and the team initially agreed in the meeting that the clinic will be divided in to two: North and South. Each district will facilitate a clinic, and create two teams for each district. The total four teams on both districts will be the participants in our one-day league league.” said Tugot. (RSC)

Lawmaker vows help for new Cebu Palace of Justice

By : Linette Ramos Cantalejo

CEBU CITY - Senate President Franklin Drilon pledged to help include P1 billion in the national budget in the next two years so a new Hall of Justice can be constructed in Cebu starting next year.

The Provincial Government offered the Capitol-owned lot in Barangay Guadalupe, where the Department of Agriculture (DA) offices used to stand, and another Province-owned property in Barangay Kalunasan as possible sites of the new Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan Hall of Justice.

In a press conference in Cebu City on Tuesday, Drilon said the site of the new building is not an urgent concern at this time.

What is important, he said, is that the initial funding of P500 million is included in the proposed President’s Budget for 2015.

Gov. Hilario Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and some members of the Provincial Board (PB) discussed the need for a new Hall of Justice building during a private meeting with Drilon last Monday night.

“I urged Governor Davide and Vice Governor Magpale to work and I will assist them to request the President to include in the 2015 National Budget the P500-million initial funding for the Hall of Justice. The estimated cost that they have in mind is about P1 billion. It can be a two-year project so that in 2015, P500 million will be appropriated and in 2016, another P500 million,” Drilon said.

“But it’s important that the request be immediately made so that while the budget is being crafted, then the amount can already be included,” he continued.

Drilon was secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) when he and the late Marcelo Fernan led the inauguration of Cebu’s Hall of Justice in the late 1980s.

Fernan, a Cebuano, was the chief justice that time.

The Hall of Justice was severely damaged during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15, prompting court officials to transfer courtrooms to the Capitol grounds.

Last month, the courts were transferred to the Quimonda IT Center in the North Reclamation Area, which the Supreme Court is leasing.

SRP site, too

In a phone interview last night, Magpale said the PB will pass a resolution urging the President to include in the budget the P500 million needed to start the construction of the building.

“We will do that in this Monday’s session. We are not very clear yet on the area where it will be constructed but the governor has offered two lots—the DA lot and a lot in Kalunasan. We offered it but it’s the Supreme Court (SC) that has the final say on where it should be constructed,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Magpale said the SC may also opt to construct the building on the South Road Properties (SRP) lot donated by the Cebu City Government to the Court of Appeals.

Davide earlier announced the Province’s interest to retrofit and occupy the existing Hall of Justice as an extension of the Capitol. The building stands on a Province-owned lot, he said earlier.

“There are several options for the site and we already offered the Supreme Court the properties but they have no comment yet. We’re here to help them get the funds for the building,” Magpale said.

Drilon said whether or not the existing Hall of Justice is still safe and fit for occupancy has not been established, “but whatever it is, we take the side of prudence and I will support the building of the new Hall of Justice here in Cebu.”


He advised Capitol officials to prioritize the funding request and decide on the location, detailed engineering plans and design later. These can be finalized any time until Dec. 31.

“Let us prepare everything else simultaneously with the deliberation in Congress for the inclusion of P500 million. Anyway the location, detailed engineering design, those are not needed yet in the budget (proposal),” Drilon said.

The request for funding has to reach Malacañang before Congress convenes on July 28.

The executive department is required to submit the proposed budget to Congress within 30 days after Congress convenes.

“If the appropriation for the Cebu Hall of Justice is not included in the budget call and in the President’s budget for 2015, there can be no appropriation in 2015 and you have to wait for 2016 before they can start the Hall of Justice. We must start it next year, we must appropriate already in the 2015 General Appropriations Act, and I assured Governor Davide that I will support this project,” Drilon said during a press conference at the Cebu Country Club yesterday noon.


The SC decision declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund as illegal makes the task even more urgent, he said, since there are no more pork barrel funds that can be used for such projects.

In a separate interview yesterday, lawyer Elaine Bathan, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City Chapter, said the lawyers prefer to keep the Hall of Justice in its present location at the back of the Capitol building so it will be accessible to court workers, litigants and lawyers.

“Our preference is to rebuild the Hall of Justice here in Capitol. For us, it’s the best location for our courts. But if it’s not feasible, then the next best area is the DA property or any area that’s not too far from the Capitol. Kalunasan is just not accessible,” Bathan told Sun.Star Cebu.

She lamented that even the Quimonda IT Center at the North Reclamation Area is not accessible for the litigants and the court workers, “but of course, we have to make do with what is available.” (Sun.Star Cebu)

Scholar of Cebu City Gov’t graduates cum laude at CNU

By : Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

JHANEL Flores, 19, didn’t think he would have a chance to go to college when his father Solomon got sick over four years ago.

Solomon used to drive a public utility vehicle in the morning and did welding jobs at night. But in early 2010, Solomon was forced to quit because of high blood pressure.

Jhanel was then graduating from the Camp Lapu-Lapu National High School in Barangay Apas. That same year, the Cebu City Scholarship Program was implemented.

The rationale behind the program is for all high school graduates in Cebu City to have a college education.

Most scholarships are only for those who are in the higher percentage of the class. Open to all

In the City’s scholarship program, all high school graduates from Cebu City public schools are eligible to be scholars in participating schools.

Last March 25, Jhanel accepted his diploma from the Cebu Normal University with a degree in BS Education, major in Math. He graduated cum laude.

Jhanel plans to take the licensure examination on July 27. In the meantime, he has submitted applications for a teaching job in local schools.

The Flores family squats in La Guardia, Barangay Lahug.

Solomon said he had sent Jhanel’s two elder siblings to college: one graduated with a degree while the other got an associate degree.

Paying a visit

When it was Jhanel’s turn to go to college, Solomon was financially hard-up. “Lisud kaayo labi na kay lalaki (It was really difficult especially since he’s a boy),” Solomon said, adding that Jhanel is his only son.

Solomon said he wants Jhanel’s younger sister Rhea, a third-year high school student at the Camp Lapu-Lapu National High School, to avail herself of the program.

Jhanel, accompanied by his father and mother Rosie, visited former mayor Tomas Osmeña in the latter’s house yesterday.

They brought grilled fish, pancit, seaweed, rice cake, sweet potatoes and bananas to thank Osmeña for initiating the program during the end of his last term as mayor.

P150m for Cebu rehab after storm

By : Junex Doronio

CEBU CITY, Cebu—Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said the province has received more than P100 million for rehabilitation of Yolanda-hit communities.

“We have given close to P150 million for cash for assistance program which helps in the rebuilding of their homes,” she told Tuburan Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante on Saturday.

The Cebu chapter head of the League of Municipalities, he briefed Soliman on the recovery of 16 towns at 20 to 30 percent.

She was here to finalize an agreement with Julie’s Bakeshop to boost the Yolanda rehabilitation campaign.

“That’s true. What this means is that people are getting to where they were before,” Soliman said, adding survivors were being helped through cash for work and cash for asset programs.

Soliman said World Food Program donated 10,000 metric tons of rice with 45,000 sacks of rice coming from USAID along with shipments from China and Algeria.

Cult head charged with illegal detention, faces more raps

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THE Office of the Ombudsman Visayas has removed from their posts three officials of the Cebu City Engineer’s Office, who were accused of asking for money and items from a contractor of various city funded projects.

It found Juanito Pua Jr., head of the construction division of the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW); Joel Pasatiempo, project inspector; and June Nadine Sison, assistant city engineer, liable for grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Respondents’ solicitations from complainant (businessman Robert Montenegro) with temerity show an element of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule or norms of public service,” read Graft Investigator Edsel Ensomo’s decision, which was approved by Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol.

Prior to their dismissal, Apostol had suspended the three officials for six months without pay in February last year.

Apostol directed Mayor Michael Rama to implement the dismissal order and submit a compliance report.

‘Not yet final’

City Engineer Jose Marie Poblete, though, said Pua, Pasatiempo and Sison will continue to work at the DEPW. “I would prefer for them to continue working as they occupy and perform critical positions in the DEPW hierarchy,” Poblete told Sun.Star Cebu.

He said the three officials are still entitled to other legal remedies and should be allowed to exhaust these before the ombudsman order is deemed final and executory.

“So I think the prudent and proper thing to do is to allow due process to take its course. We will just wait until this matter is resolved with finality,” he said.

The case stemmed from an administrative complaint filed by Montenegro, who accused Pua, Pasatiempo and Sison of asking for a computer and a camera for the City Engineer’s Office.

During the court hearing, Montenegro also accused the three officials of soliciting various items from him, including cash.

Fe & A Construction Services, which is owned by Montenegro, handled the stone masonry work in Sitio Riverside, Sanciangko St. and Barangay Pahina Central.

Montenegro said the engineers asked him to allow them to sub-contract one of his projects, using a dummy.


His firm received an order, dated January 23, 2012, suspending all contracted work under the City’s Project Cluster 4.

He said the engineers also refused to release the P150,000 retention money for a road-concreting project he implemented, even though he submitted a project completion report on June 11, 2012.

Two of his employees, Dionisio Parba and Mark Khem Aguilella, executed a joint-affidavit supporting his complaint.

They said they saw the three officials demand a computer and a camera from the businessman.

Pua, Pasatiempo and Sison denied asking for or receiving cash, a computer unit or a high-end camera from Montenegro.


They also denied withholding Montenegro’s 10-percent retention money on the roadconcreting project, arguing that the money could not be released since the contractor’s project “had so many defects.”

Although a certification attesting the completion of project was issued, they said the City did not issue a separate certificate of acceptance.

The three officials also submitted the program of works and estimates, minutes of the pre-construction meeting, police blotter, letters and photos of the project for their defense.

Ensomo, though, found Montenegro’s complaint and his court testimony to be “credible and sincere.”

“Complainant, with witnesses, positively identified respondents to have solicited from him various items repeatedly in violation of the norms of public service while respondents were exercising their official functions,” he said. (GMD/With a report from JGA)

Cult head charged with illegal detention, faces more raps

By : Jeandie O. Galolo

CEBU CITY—A cult leader is facing a criminal complaint after he was accused of detaining a 33-year-old woman who was allegedly used as his sex slave for five years. Casiano Apduhan, alias “Tatay Loloy” and known to his followers as “Dios Amahan,” also faces a murder case for the death of a 14-year-old boy whose decomposing body was found in a tunnel underneath his house in Balamban town, about 48 kilometers west of here. The complaint for serious illegal detention was filed by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas on Thursday in the provincial prosecutor’s office. A separate complaint for illegal possession of firearms was filed after NBI agents found two handguns in Apduhan’s house during a raid on Wednesday. Another complaint for murder and human trafficking, particularly on the provision against forced labor, will also be filed against him, said NBI supervising agent Rey Villordon. Apduhan is accused of using Angelo Repuela as a human sacrifice, supposedly for the gods to help him find gold. NBI agents found Repuela’s body wrapped in a blanket in the tunnel. Apduhan, who is detained at the NBI regional stockade, denied the allegations, saying his followers will swear that he is a good man. “I am innocent. I hope that I can get justice,” he said. Apduhan’s two-story house was raided by the NBI on Wednesday on the strength of a search warrant after the woman’s mother claimed that her daughter was kept against her will. But when the woman was rescued by the NBI, she told her mother not to berate Apduhan but to respect him. “Don’t, ma, because Tatay Loloy is holy,” she told her mother softly. The woman was brought to a rehabilitation center where she will undergo psychological treatment and counseling, said Heda Largo, the province’s gender and development implementing officer. “We want to know the extent of the damage [on the woman] after she has been detained for more than five years,” said Largo, also a consultant of the Provincial Women’s Commission. NBI agents also noticed that Apduhan’s house was designed like a prison, since its lone entrance was barricaded with padlocked steel grills. “Other doors and windows were heavily barricaded and the grills were locked. There is no way for a member of the household to escape,” Villordon said in an affidavit. He said the dead boy’s father, Eleuterio, was a member of Apduhan’s cult. In 2012, Apduhan offered the boy as a sacrifice for a treasure-hunting activity and promised the parents that the boy would be brought back to life in 2013, said Villordon. Ritchie Fajardo, a former cult member, said in a separate affidavit that, on instructions of Apduhan, the boy’s body was laid on a green bed sheet and wrapped in a brown blanket with a pillow placed under the head. The body was placed in a small cave in the tunnel and its entrance was sealed with cement. He said that while working for Apduhan, one of the rooms in the house was off-limits to anyone except for a woman who has not been identified. Fajardo said he left Apduhan’s house in October 2013 because he was made to do difficult tasks without pay and was sometimes beaten and punched by Apduhan.

Developer launches P700M office tower

By : Jeandie O. Galolo

INSTEAD of going residential for its first vertical project, homegrown developer King Properties decided to jumpstart its first high-rise project with an office tower in the center of Cebu City’s major business hubs.

The P700-million tower, Avenir, will house a mix of office spaces, which include office suites, executive offices and home office suites. It is situated in a 25,000-square-meter property at the heart of Barangays Lahug, Mabolo, and Banilad.

Richard King, King Properties executive director, said the decision of the company was prompted by the high demand for offices in Cebu, especially now that there is a growing number of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, entrepreneurs and independent professionals.

“Cebu is an entrepreneurial hub…There really is a high demand for such kind of projects in Cebu. There’s a lot of lawyers, accountants, freelancers and consultants who need offices,” King told reporters.

The project highlights its home office suites, which offer the flexibility of having a home unit and an office unit. Floor area ranges from 25 to 60 square meters. To optimize the owner’s working and living space, units come out in an optional fit-out package.

Lorraine Tan, King Properties sales and marketing consultant, said the company is one of the first in Cebu to offer home office suites. A home office suite, she said, comes with a kitchen, toilet and bathroom.

Of the 256 offices in Avenir, 183 will be home offices, 66 will be executive offices and seven will be premier offices.

Avenir’s premier offices, which will offer bigger spaces, are ideal for BPOs, said Tan.

Avenir will also be equipped with a fiber-optic backbone to serve the telecommunication needs of BPOs and other businesses. The developer has also promised to provide 100 percent back-up power generation.

Avenir is a Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited site, which means locators can avail themselves of the government’s fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

To address service needs of businesses, it also has put up a business club, Avant, which will provide subscription-based business solution services like call and mail handling, print and copy services, contract management, and lead generation, among others.

It will also offer shared facilities like a business lounge, virtual workstations and conference rooms.

Aside from end-users purchasing an office suite in Avenir, Tan has called on potential buyers to invest in office units in the same way they consider buying a condominium unit as a form of investment.

She said investors can rent their office units to others for a minimum contract of three years. “This is a good investment because rental increases by year,” she said.

She expects there will be a 20 percent appreciation of unit prices after the turnover, which is scheduled in the third quarter of 2016.

King Properties Corp. is also the developer of Modena subdivisions in Mactan and Minglanilla. It has already constructed 400 houses and will add 150 houses in the town of Consolacion, with the project launch targeted this year.

King said for their vertical projects, the company will concentrate on office towers. Vertical residential towers are still not in the pipeline.

Happy colorful summer fitness sessions at Ayala Center Cebu

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AYALA Center Cebu launched its Happy Colorful Summer campaign recently, a series of workshops for kids and fitness enthusiasts throughout March, April and May plus a line up of new store openings, international artists, summer concerts, fashion shows, music and art festivals and other events for the whole family.

The city’s premier destination for shopping, dining and entertainment is set to become a fitness hub this summer for those who want to embark on and commit to a healthier lifestyle through regular exercise combined with a more balanced diet. It brings together different workout disciplines with some of the city’s top gyms to offer a variety of fitness activities for everyone.

Head over to The Terraces, where admission is free, and take any of the Hardcore and Body Combat Sessions by Fitness First, 6– 8 p.m. on certain Mondays - March 24 and 31, April 21 and 28 and May 5 and 19 or learn the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira Roda by the Capoeira Martial Arts Academy which combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music on April 7, May 12 and May 26, 6 – 7 p.m.

An exciting mix of dynamic exercises and core workout sessions to improve overall conditioning and shape and tone arms, thigh and abs await everyone with Cititgym’s Summer Outdoor Movement (Yoga, Pilates, HulaHoop, Hiphop) all Saturdays of April-May, 5 – 6 p.m. at the Zen Garden (across Belo). Achieve peace of mind and realize your full potential with the calming and holistic approach of Yoga every Saturday of April and May.

Get yourself in top shape and enroll to the Metafit Summer Boot Camp by Coach Allan Choachuy. Registration starts on April 1 at the Active Zone with a fee of P2,500 for six weeks and P2,000 for early birds until April 15. Classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from April 22- May 29, 6 – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 6- 8 a.m. at The Terraces. Metafit Cebu is the most successful boot camp in the country with the famous patented 4-minute workout of Coach Jim Saret used by the “Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition” contestent Allan Choachuy who lost 124 lbs. and went on to finish the Ironman

Make working out enjoyable with Zumba, a fun and effective workout system that combines Latin and international music. Dance it out at the Zumba Fitness Party by Holiday Gym & Spa all Wednesdays of April – May, 7:30– 9:30 p.m. at The Terraces with an admission fee of P50 per session.

Achieve your fitness goals, keep your body beach ready and sweat your way to a healthier, sexier you. Discover this and so much more at Ayala Center Cebu’s fun-filled Happy Colorful Summer. Follow Ayala Center Cebu at and Twitter and Instagram @AyalaCenterCebu. Share your Ayala summer experience by tagging #ayalacebusummer.

Two men shot dead in separate incidents

By : Bryner L. Diaz/FPL

CEBU, Philippines - Two people were shot dead, including a man who is facing a string of criminal complaints, in separate incidents last Monday.

Gerry Laguna, 21, of Barangay Sacsac, Dalaguete succumbed to two gunshot wounds in the chest and stomach.

Laguna was reportedly mulcting money from habal-habal drivers at the Poblacion, Dalaguete when a motorcycle-riding gunman shot him twice. He was seen drinking liquor with his brother before the shooting.

Senior Police Officer 1 Veronico Centino said personal grudge could be the motive behind the killing because the victim was facing a string of criminal complaints before the prosecutor's office and even in court.

Laguna was previously charged with direct assault after he alleged engaged in a shootout with the members of the town police last year.

Centino said that his colleagues responded to a shooting alarm when Laguna, who was accused of shooting a certain Francing Gamboa, fired at the responding policemen.

The shooting of Laguna was allegedly caught on closed circuit television camera but the footage was not clear, making it difficult for police investigators to identify the gunman.

In another incident, a "trisikad" driver was shot dead in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City.

Felipe Pancho, 34, resident of Barangay Mambaling, was waiting for passengers at the Forbes Bridge along Tupas Street when the suspects, Emmanuel Orongan and a certain James Taga fired at him several times.

Pancho was hit in the head, right eyebrow, and left leg. He was brought to Cebu City Medical Center where he was declared dead on arrival.

The suspects fled but Orongan was arrested in a hot pursuit operation conducted by the members of the San Nicolas Police Station. The police recovered seven empty shells of .45 caliber and a cellphone from Orongan. His companion remains at large. — (FREEMAN)

March 29 is global observance of Earth Hour

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ON March 29, the world will once again plunge into darkness for the observance of Earth Hour.

In Cebu, establishments and local government units announced the activities lined up for the global switching off of lights at 8:30 p.m., which will last for one hour.

SM City Cebu and SM City Consolacion, in partnership with the local government units, will start the program at 8 a.m. in front of SM City Cebu’s The Northwing.

Highlighting the program is the participation of Cebu bikers, Tindak Sugbo, in preparation for the launching of bike lanes in Cebu City. The bikers will converge in SM City Cebu and will go around the city’s major streets.

Percussionists and fire dancers will bring entertainment to the audience during the program.

SM City Consolacion together with Shelter Foundation will light the solar lamps from Liter of Lights at 8:30 p.m.

Liter of Light is a multinational social enterprise, which repurposes discarded plastic bottles and installs them as environmentally friendly, sustainable lighting in improvised housing and developing districts.

Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) and subsidiary Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) will also join the global activity. The companies own and operate Cebu Park District, which refers to two major business and commercial hubs in the city–Cebu Business Park and Cebu I.T. Park.

For the hour-long switch-off of selected lighting and electrical equipment, an estimated 6,906.77-kilowatt hour will be saved. This is inclusive of Cebu Business Park, Cebu I.T. Park, including Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu Holdings Center, Ayala Life FGU Center, City Sports Club Cebu, Park Towers 1 and 2, Amara, Garden Ridge Village, eOffice, The Walk and eBloc 1 and 2.

At the Ayala Center Cebu, various activities are being held to increase awareness among shoppers on the fight against global warming.

Merchants are encouraged to participate in the Earth Hour and dining outlets are encouraged to use alternative lights during the switch-off.

The countdown to the global switch-off will be initiated at The Terraces and will feature Aria-University of Cebu Dance Company, University of Cebu Chorale, Poi Galore, Body Bioluminiscene Collection of Barbie Alvez and Naga City’s Dagitab Festival.

It will be followed by an after-dark music show dubbed as Folk for the Earth featuring local bands Mother Folker, Wonggoys, Ella Mendez and Womb.

The participation and promotion of the Earth Hour campaign is part of CHI and CPVDC’s continued commitment to sustainability.

Espina: Women’s Month, ambassadors, Bargain, Walt Disney

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NO guts, no glory! March is Women’s Month. In My Diary presents an overview of Cebu’s empowered women with guts (strength) to serve, to attain glory (success which touches the mind and heart of the community).

A random sampling of visible (non-government) women leaders spanning decades of services: Ingrid Sala Santamaria (music); Marian Aboitiz (community service); Linda Alburo and Felisa Estimade (research and education); Amparito L. Lhuillier (business and scholarships); Beling Go Ching Hai (environment); Felisa Chiongbian (charity and service); Anita Y. Sanchez (professional career and socio- civic leadership); Stella Bernabe (career and civic leadership); Tess Chan (business); Jessica Avila (Food and culinary arts); Esperanza Garcia (cooperative); Tess Fernandez (advocacy); Dr. Suga S. Yuvienco (health-related services); Marisa Fernan (mall management); Armi Garcia (consular leadership and tourism); Nelia Neri (media and travel); Petite Garcia (arts council); Fe Villarica (performing arts); Dr. Lourdes R. Quisumbing (education) and the list continues.


The Benedicto College presented Walt Disney’s Treasures led by the Basic Education Department, coordinated by school director Jun Visayas and principal Natividad Bugar, assisted by teachers Junreb Ardiente, Rachel Balmes, Juvy Daguman, Ana Luna Sayson, Sherwin Glabog and Rodita Cabreros. Participants were elementary, high school and college students of Benedicto College.This was the project of Lilian Benedicto, in cooperation with the Speechcom and Lhuillier (University of San Jose-Recoletos) scholars and directed by this writer. It was a successful musicale.

Ambassador Frank Benedicto hosted dinner for the newly appointed Philippine Ambassadors led by Ambassador Victoriano Lecaros; Ma. Amelita Aquino, Consul General; Melita Sta. Maria; and Anjie Sta. Catalina.

Salon de Rose opened its new branch in Ayala; Dr. Suga Sotto Yuvienco turned 95 with a grand celebration at Marco Polo. The Zonta 1 celebrated the Women’s Month with an interactive seminar on personality development, team building and effective communication, with this writer, to enhance further their leadership skills.

Bargain, a new hardware store, conceptualized by Michel Lhuillier, is the best place to get the best affordable price scheme. “Find an item with the cheaper price and we refund you the difference!” promised Michel. Let’s visit Bargain at 38 Gorordo Ave., Cebu City.

Red leaders captured CPP-NPA head among 7 nabbed in Cebu

By : Connie E. Fernandez, Nikko Dizon Inquirer Visayas, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Benito Tiamzon, the head of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), and six other members of the CPP central committee were arrested on Saturday in Carcar City, south of Cebu City. One of those arrested was Wilma, Tiamzon’s wife, who is also a top-ranked central committee member and the CPP finance officer. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed the arrest of the Tiamzons Saturday night. “Yes, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon have been arrested. This is an Army project,” Gazmin said. “They are now undergoing tactical interrogation,” he added. A high-ranking military source said Tiamzon’s arrest would be a “big blow to them [the communist rebels] as he is the chair of the CPP-NPA.” Finding the Tiamzons was “a long operation,” he said. All seven suspects were members of the CPP central committee, he said. The five others arrested were not identified. They were riding in two vehicles, a Starex van and a Toyota Innova, when they were arrested at about 3:15 p.m. in Barangay Aloguinsan, Carcar City, sources said. The operation was conducted by members of the Intelligence Security Group, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp), the Philippine Army, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Carcar police. The Tiamzons were served with arrest warrants for frustrated murder (criminal case 4702) and murder (criminal case number 4703) that have been pending before the Regional Trial Court Branch 31 in Laoang, Northern Samar. The group was brought to the Armed Forces Central Command for tactical interrogation, the sources said. They did not resist arrest, the source said. Saturday was the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Army, which has been at the forefront of the war against the communist insurgency for more than 40 years.

All of the country’s high-ranking security officials, led by Gazmin and Armed Forces Chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, were in attendance at the anniversary celebrations held early Saturday at Fort Bonifacio. In his speech, Army Chief Maj. Gen. Hernando Iriberri referred to the significant gains that the Army has made in internal security operations. Little did everyone know—or it could be that top security officials were simply being tight-lipped—that the government would catch the two biggest fish of the communist insurgent movement. Last week, President Benigno Aquino III announced that the government would be landing another “big fish” following the arrest of fugitive housing developer Delfin Lee. In August 2012, Mr. Aquino reiterated that the bounty for the capture of Tiamzon still stood at P5.6 million. According to intelligence sources, Tiamzon and his wife Wilma are now the ones “in charge” in the communist hierarchy. The couple has long been considered more influential than Jose Ma. Sison, the founder of the CPP and its political arm, the National Democratic Front, who lives in exile in the Netherlands. Reports as of November 2012 described Tiamzon as the “top New People’s Army leader” while his wife Wilma was described as the “head of the CPP’s national finance commission.” Tiamzon, along with another communist guerrilla leader Jorge Madlos, has a standing arrest warrant for alleged involvement in violent incidents, including attacks on civilian targets.

Cebu public school students complete HPV vaccination

By : Razel V. Cuizon

ABOUT 9,000 girls from different public schools in Cebu received yesterday the last dose of vaccines under the school-based HPV vaccination program of the Department of Health (DOH) 7.

The DOH and the Department of Education (DepEd) initiated the program in 2013 to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes cervical cancer.

Under the program, more than 7,700 girls were vaccinated in other provinces in Central Visayas.

The girls received two doses of the vaccine last year.

Dr. Eugenia Cañal, officer-in-charge of DOH 7’s non-communicable diseases section, said cervical cancer is the fourth leading cause of death for women.


She said some students were not vaccinated because their parents did not allow it.

Some received the first dose of the vaccine but were disqualified from getting the next dose because they experienced allergic reactions.

The vaccines were provided for free by MSD, an international health care company.

Michael Alzona of MSD said the vaccine can be administered to males, but the program gives priority to girls.

Students, aged 10 to 14, of the Guadalupe Elementary School in Cebu City were among those who received the vaccine. Qualified students of public schools in the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay were also vaccinated.

Vaccination will also be given to public school students in the towns of Consolacion and Mingallanilla.

NBI 7 summons four HPG 7 officers in relation to Cebu lawyer’s ambush-slay

By :

CEBU CITY, March 21 (PNA) -- The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Region 7 on Friday summoned four officials of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 to explain their involvement in the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and two of his aides in Dalaguete town in southern Cebu last month.

NBI Regional Director Max Salvador said the four were asked to appear at their office on Monday for an investigation after NBI operatives Thursday seized one of four vehicles reportedly used in the ambush-slay inside the impounding area of the HPG 7 in Sudlon, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

The four are HPG 7 chief Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Senior Inspectors Eduardo Mara and Joselito Lerion and SPO4 Edwin Galan.

They were also named in the search warrant issued by Cebu City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Soliver Peras for the four vehicles used in the ambush.

The search yielded a red Toyota Corolla Vios with license plate numbers GSC 675 which is now under the custody of the NBI for forensic investigation.

NBI investigators found inside the vehicle bags, umbrella, slippers, a commemorative "PNP 111" plate, a golf bat, and documents, among others.

The documents include a furnished copy of a motion for extension filed by Jane Catherine Go and Chris Reinz through Archival before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor addressed to Lerion.

The HPG earlier filed a complaint for carnapping, anti-fencing law and illegal transfer of vehicle license plate numbers against the two.

Salvador said the said document is a great help in their investigation.

"That is a good twist and a nice lead,” he said.

Salvador said the seizure of the vehicle is another step to the solution of the murder of Archival and his aides Candido Miñoza and Alejandro Jayme.

Another aide, Paulo Cortez, was wounded in the attack.

Archival and his companions were on board a Ford Escape heading back to Cebu City from Dumaguete City when they were ambushed in Barangay Corro, Dalaguete town, last February 18.

Archival had just come from a hearing representing Jesuslou Elcarte Alegria, the alleged mastermind of a pawnshop heist, before RTC Branch 38 in Dumaguete City.

It was also learned that Archival was the counsel of Maria Paz Yu, who filed administrative and criminal complaints before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices against Iglesia and 13 others for dishonesty, grave misconduct and falsification of public documents for allegedly falsifying a plate number of the vehicle she owned. (PNA) LAP/EB/

Cebu fire destroys 500 houses


CEBU CITY – At least 1,500 families, or 7,000 individuals, were rendered homeless when a huge fire razed about 500 houses in the densely populated Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, this city, on Tuesday, while the country observes the Fire Prevention Month.

The Cebu City Council approved yesterday an ordinance declaring the fire-hit barangay under the state of calamity, allowing the city to utilize part of its P200-million calamity fund this year to aid the fire victims. As of the last count yesterday morning, at least 500 houses were totally damaged in the fire that took firefighters nearly three hours to control. The blaze was tapped at 4:57 p.m. and was declared under control at 7:26 p.m., Tuesday. Councilor Dave Tumulak, also head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the victims comprise 1,500 families or roughly 40 percent of the barangay population. The blaze allegedly started in the house of one Bobby Hortezano in Sitio Kamansi and then spread to six other sitios – Lawis, Seares, San Roque, Laguna, Laray, Quadrangle and Itum-yuta. The cause of the blaze was still being investigated. “It was like an inferno, the fire spread so fast that I only managed to save my self,” said 59-year-old Jose Labastida. Adelfa Miagao, who said she could not walk easily because of arthritis, managed to carry a two-door refrigerator into the street. “I didn’t know how it happened basta when I heard that there was fire, I just grabbed the refrigerator and carried it to the street for safety,” Miagao said. Strong winds and low water pressure enabled the fire to spread quickly through houses made of light materials. Large fires have hit the barangay at least three times since February 2001. While the barangay is located near the city center, firefighters find it hard to penetrate the area because there was only one access road that they can use. Firefighters from the towns of Sibonga, Minglanilla, Consolacion, Liloan helped in dousing off the blaze. “The city government will immediately implement a reblocking of the barangay and construct more roads so that our firefighters will not have a hard time reaching the area when similar incident happens in the future,” said Councilor Tumulak.

Capa sings different tune; now wants to make up with PNP chief

By : Carmel Loise Matus

CEBU CITY, Philippines—A week after his outburst, Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa is willing to patch things up with Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima and plans to make the first move. He told reporters on Wednesday that he and Purisima had a “misunderstanding” on the term “promotion,” which he did not immediately feel was what his transfer to Cebu meant. Capa pointed out that he could not take back what he said last week when he criticized the PNP chief for transferring him to Cebu. He admitted he had not talked to Purisima since the police chief’s press conference on March 14. Capa said he would make the first move to reach out to Purisima as he was in fact happy with his new assignment. “He’s my brother. It’s more than friendship. It’s thicker than blood,” he added. “I’d take the first step, [I] being the junior one. I’m just taking my time. I love my boss. I respect him. I was eating at his quarters” in the past, he said. Capa served as Purisima’s intelligence officer when the PNP chief was Central Luzon police director in 2010. Capa was upset when Purisima removed him as head of Task Force Tugis in the wake of his arrest of Delfin Lee, a fugitive businessman long wanted for syndicated estafa for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-peso housing scam. But his frustration turned to anger when Purisima announced at a news conference on March 14 that he was being transferred to Cebu as deputy director for operations of the Central Visayas regional police command. Purisima had told reporters that Capa’s transfer was a reward and a step toward his promotion to chief superintendent, equivalent to brigadier general in the military. But Capa criticized his superior officer, saying Purisima was fooling the public because his new post could not be considered as a promotion as his new assignment made him only the third highest ranking police officials in the region. Capa reported to his new post at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and was welcomed by Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, the regional director. He replaced Senior Supt. Orlando Ualat, who has assumed the post of deputy director for administration after his predecessor, Senior Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., was transferred to Camp Crame. Capa maintained that he deserved a promotion for arresting Lee. “And I deserve that reward. I’ve captured one of the most wanted persons in the Philippines. I deserve a promotion but no, I did not get a promotion. Can you blame me if I felt bad about it?” he told reporters. He added, however, that as deputy director for operations he would make the regional command the “best in the Philippines.” He said that it was his first time to be assigned to Cebu although he used to frequent the province on vacations. Constantino said Capa was fit for his new assignment of monitoring the implementation of anti-crime campaigns of the regional command. Constantino echoed Purisima’s statement that Capa’s transfer was a stepping stone for police officers who want to be promoted to the rank of chief superintendent.

2 Cebu grads land in top 10

By : Kevin A. Lagunda

CEBU CITY -- Two graduates from Cebu, a former seminarian and a woman who was seven months pregnant when she took the exams, made it to the top 10 of the 2013 Bar exams.

Tercel Mercado-Gephart, a graduate from the University of San Carlos (USC), placed fifth with a rating of 83.90 percent. Manuel Elijah Sarausad, a cum laude graduate from the University of Cebu (UC), placed sixth, with 83.80 percent.

Both Gephart and Sarausad, in separate interviews, admitted they prayed to become topnotchers. They had joined 5,293 graduates who took the exams during four Sundays last October.

About 300 who were supposed to take the exams did not do so. Out of the total 5,293, only 1,174 passed. [CHECK: Result of the 2013 Bar examination]

“I hoped and secretly prayed to land in the top 10. I did not tell anyone about my aim because I would sound boastful,” said Gephart, 28. “In the churches I visited, I always prayed, ‘Lord, can I be on top?’”

Former seminarian Sarausad, 28, who hails from Carcar, said: “I prayed, but I did not expect.”

Opportunities open for a topnotch law student, they both said. They further said support from their families and friends made them determined to pass the exams.


Gephart, a resident of Barangay Banilad, Cebu City, dreams of becoming the Supreme Court chief justice someday. She took the exams while she was seven months pregnant. (She has since given birth to a girl, Nicola Karyss.)

“I fought off morning sickness and stomach pain,” she told Sun.Star Cebu. “I was really determined to pass the exams because it would be hard for me to take it again when my daughter is already born. I would be busy taking care of my daughter then.”

She said she found some remedial law questions difficult, while Sarausad said he stumbled on mercantile and taxation laws.

According to the Supreme Court, 5,641 law graduates applied for the 2013 exams. Of that, 5,593 were admitted, but only 5,293 eventually sat for the exams last October.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion said the latest passing rate of 22.18 percent is a significant jump from the 17.76 percent passing rate in 2012, a 12-year low. Brion chaired the 2013 Bar.

The successful applicants will take oath as new lawyers in the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila on April 28.

New car

UC President Augusto Go said he is glad about the achievement of Sarausad, who is the third topnotcher the UC law school has produced since it opened in 2002.

He said he will give a brand new Toyota to Sarausad and UC College of Law Dean Baldomero Estenzo.

“This is my way to encourage students to study hard,” said Atty. Go. “We are very happy and proud.”

Go added that law schools should be ranked by the Supreme Court to encourage other schools “to strive to be better.”

Estenzo said that Sarausad was among the 11 of 31 bar takers from UC who passed the exams. He described his former student as being the silent type.

“I didn’t even notice him asking questions during my class,” said Estenzo.

Sarausad, however, was also a full scholar. He graduated last year as class valedictorian and cum laude, with a grade of 1.7. He belonged to the team that represented the Philippines in a Hong Kong moot court competition, where they won a bronze medal.


Meanwhile, USC law school Dean Joan Largo said that 47 of 58 students passed the bar, for a rating of 81.03 percent for the college.

“It is really a good performance,” she said.

Largo said she always told her law students to “embody excellence with virtue” if they become lawyers. She also said that Gephart, who plans to focus on corporate law, can teach at the USC law school, if she wishes.

Dizziness caused by her pregnancy forced Gephart to attend a review class in Manila for just a day. She thanked her husband, Kark Philip, for taking care of her.

Gephart had taken up management economics at Ateneo de Manila University, while Sarausad completed his undergraduate studies in the seminary run by the Redemptorist Congregation in Cebu City.

After he graduated with a degree in philosophy in 2006, Sarausad dabbled in teaching high school students. He left teaching and enrolled at UC law school two years later.

“I almost pursued the priesthood,” he said. “But I realized my calling was in another field.”

Both Gephart and Sarausad said they were inspired by their fathers to get a law degree.

Fathers’ dreams

Sarausad’s father, Manuel Jesus, earned a law degree at the University of the Visayas, but did not take the bar due to financial difficulties.

Gephart said her businessman father, Allan Emigidio, also dreamed of becoming a lawyer.

“He said ‘Pick what you want, not what will make you rich. If it is your passion, you will really enjoy it and money comes afterwards,’” she said.

Allan Emigidio, an engineer, said he hopes his daughter will serve her fellow Filipinos well. Gephart’s mother is in the US.

Sarausad, who has two daughters with his wife Liezl, said bar takers should not lose hope if they fail to pass the exams during their first attempt.

“They should be strong,” he said. “They should persevere and pray to God.”

Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) Personnel Services Division Chief Rey Cris Panugaling, 28, is one applicant for whom the 2013 Bar was the second attempt.

Cloud nine

“I feel like I’m on cloud nine,” Panugaling said upon learning he was among the passers.

Mayor Michael Rama said he is proud of Panugaling and Acting City Accountant Mark Rossel Salomon for juggling their work in City Hall with their review for the exams.

Panugaling recalled he grew more inspired to take the exam after what happened to CCMC after the October 15 earthquake.

“I saw the picture of what happened in Cebu, to CCMC in particular, and it pained me. It pushed me to study hard to pass the exam,” Panugaling said.

Dr. Gloria Duterte, chief of the CCMC, said that Panugaling always shows excellence in all the things he does for the hospital.

“I cannot contain my happiness because he has been so dedicated to CCMC,” said Dr. Duterte. She hopes Rama will let Panugaling stay and continue to serve CCMC. Panugaling hopes the same, too.

“I feel CCMC needs a full-time lawyer,” he added.

Mayor Rama said he is open to extend incentives to the two new lawyers from City Hall and the two topnotchers from Cebu schools. (Sun.Star Cebu)

PNP: Cebu a transit point for illegal drugs

By :

CEBU CITY – Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, Police Regional Office 7 director, yesterday belied a recent disclosure that Cebu is one of the top provinces in the Philippines where illegal drugs business thrives.

Constantino said Cebu has been identified as a transit point for drugs and not necessarily a haven for the trade.

He made the clarification after a statement of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 7 officer-in-charge Esperidion Javier that Cebu is number one in the illegal drugs trade in Central Visayas, followed by Bohol and Negros Oriental.

But Constantino said this was not the disclosure during the recent meeting of the Regional Peace and Order Council in Bohol, where Javier was also present.

He said drugs in Cebu are sourced from Luzon and Mindanao. “Cebu is a transshipment point and then from here to other places,” Constantino said.

He said Javier may have his reasons for making the statement, considering that the drugs problem is still a major concern.

Constantino said efforts are strengthened at the barangay level, especially those located in coastal areas, to curb the transport of drugs through the sea.

He said there are reports that drug couriers utilize fishermen and their boats to ship supplies to and from Cebu, so they can avoid ports and, in effect, avoid authorities.

He said residents in the barangays have also been tapped to help keep an eye on suspicious activities.

Constantino said the PDEA remains as the lead agency in the campaign against illegal drugs, particularly for high-value targets, with the PNP’s efforts geared toward street-level drug pushing.

He said the PNP is also on standby should PDEA need support for its operations.

But Constantino said the PNP in the region itself lacks manpower, with a ratio of only one policeman for every 900 civilians.

Constantino said both the PDEA and the PNP are undermanned, but the PNP will detail their personnel when the PDEA needs assistance, resulting in joint PNP and PDEA anti-drug operations.*PNA

25 percent of water ‘gone’

By : Liberty A. Pinili

IF GROUNDWATER extraction continues unregulated, about 25 percent of Metropolitan Cebu Water District’s (MCWD) well fields in Talamban, Cebu City and Mandaue City will yield saline water in 2025.

MCWD assistant general manager for operations Ernie Delco said 25 percent of the projected supply of 200,000 cubic meters (cu.m.) is about 50,000 cu.m. That’s the volume of freshwater that is lost to MCWD consumers every day.

The figure represents the worst case scenario of Metro Cebu’s water supply up to 2025, based on a Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) study presented last Thursday by MCWD. In the situation, extraction of groundwater by MCWD and private wells continue unregulated.

The second scenario involves the possibility of regulating MCWD extraction and leaving extraction by private wells unchecked. The third scenario considers the possibility of regulating MCWD and private well extraction.


In the other two scenarios, saltwater intrusion into the aquifer will still occur, although not of the same extent as the first scenario.

The study uses the allowable level of chloride of 250 parts per million in drinking water as set by the World Health Organization, said Ronnel Magalso, MCWD groundwater division manager.

Magalso said the study stresses the need to regulate groundwater extraction.

MCWD Board Chairman Rene Mercado said at the closing of a groundwater workshop last Friday that the “critical state” of Metro Cebu’s aquifers made the water district decide to stop drilling additional wells.

To cope with the growing demand for water, MCWD bought water from private suppliers who tap groundwater outside of critical aquifers, as in the case of Abejo Builders which get water from Minglanilla.


Mercado said MCWD’s future supply will come from surface water sources in Carmen, Danao City and the proposed weir in mountain barangay of Bonbon, Cebu City, which is projected to produce 35,000 cubic meters a day.

Magalso said MCWD only accounts for 46 percent of existing groundwater wells in Metro Cebu. The rest are private wells.

A recent inventory conducted by MCWD and the National Water Resources Board in cooperation with the Lapu-Lapu City Government revealed that there are almost 16,000 private wells, mostly by domestic users, on Mactan Island.

The initial results of an inventory in Mandaue yielded 1,200 private wells so far.

The Water Resource Center of the University of San Carlos found about 19,000 wells in Metro Cebu in the 1990s.


Lasaro Salvacion, MCWD Water Resources Knowledge Center manager, said groundwater sources should be replenished.

The Maghaway Valley in central Cebu has been identified as a major recharge area for Metro Cebu aquifers. But Salvacion said the amount of rainfall that actually seeps into the groundwater table cannot equal the extraction rate.

Salvacion said that because of Cebu’s topography and the denuded state of the watersheds that feeds central Cebu’s rivers, most of the rain that falls on recharge areas end up in the sea as runoff.

To address the issue, MCWD sponsored a workshop as an initial step toward the development of an integrated water resource management plan, which seeks to involve all stakeholders—government and the private sector—in protecting and managing central Cebu’s river basins.

The output of workshop participants will be presented to the Regional Development Council 7’s infrastructure committee, said Delco.

Canada prioritizing ‘Yolanda’ survivors

By :

Cebu City, Cebu — The Canadian Embassy will prioritize and speed up processing of applications for immigrant status already in progress of Filipinos directly affected by super-typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”) in the Visayas. According to the embassy’s website, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced last November that “effective immediately, Canada will be prioritizing the processing of applications already in progress on request from Filipinos who are significantly and personally affected by typhoon Haiyan.” The advisory also read that in support of these measures, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has set up special email addresses and a dedicated phone line to respond to requests from applicants and their families. At the same time, more Filipinos are expected to migrate to Canada this year after the Canadian Embassy announced last March 6 an additional 40 more job categories under the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP). The new employment opportunities are on top of the 24 job categories already prioritized under the Federal Skilled Occupancy (FSO) program. Under the Provincial Nominee Program of Nova Scotia the top job categories include engineers, hospitality workers, healthcare professionals, construction workers, computer technicians, mechanics, welders, automotive service providers, crane operators, truck and bus mechanics, industrial electricians, heavy duty equipment mechanics, and machine related operators, among others. Nova Scotia is a small Canadian province located in the northeast Maritimes region of the country. Its capital city, Halifax, is known as a major center for culture and the arts as well as for its high standard of living. Immigration solutions company Pinoy Care Visa Center Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Prisca Niña Mabatid said this special program would only require lesser percentage in English proficiency exam or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) from the normal 6.5 score to a requirement of only five passing rate. Moreover, these 40 job categories do not require applicants of the traditional “point system” of the normal Visa application to Canada. “This is the perfect time for Filipinos who have plans to migrate to Canada to hurry up and start processing their papers now,” encouraged Mabatid, who operates her visa consultancy firm for 15 years now with presence in different cities across the Philippines.

DENR-7 organizes local community fire bridge

By : Hazel F. Gloria

CEBU CITY, March 14 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) here has stepped its efforts in preventing a forest or bush fire as a result of the coming ‘dry’ months by organizing local community fire brigades.

DENR-7 regional executive irector Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said, DENR has constituted a fire brigade in the national greening program (NGP) plantations particularly on critical or hotspots areas under the administrative jurisdiction of community environment and natural offices (CENROs).

These are the areas with large greening program and ‘old’ growth plantations that include Argao and Oslob in Cebu; Ubay, Buenavista, Getafe, Pilar, and Talibon, in Bohol; Ayungon and Bindoy in Negros Oriental.

“It is more practical and sensible to prevent forest fire rather than controlling them through regular monitoring and intensive and aggressive information, education and communication efforts,” Montejo added.

Aside from these, he also pushed to set up firelines, a 10-meter wide vegetation-free strips that are usually established at the borders of the plantation and at given intervals inside the plantation to contain fire if it breaks out.

“We poured in a lot of funds to maintain and grow these plantations and it would be a sad situation when our reforestation initiatives will turn into ashes,” he said.

He explained the carelessness and irresponsible activities of humans that may cause a fire to break out include thrown lighted cigarette butt, a campfire with still live cinder or charcoal left by hunters or campers, and a pasture land burned to improve live-stock grazing.

In a campaign to prevent bush or forest fire, he said the role of people’s active participation by organizing and mobilizing the members of the community to serve as volunteers at a barangay, sitio or purok level is very important.

Montejo said that grasses and other vegetation dry up and become very flammable during summer or dry months. He suggested that these dried litters should be collected and removed from the site as they are potential source of fire.

“I have instructed all our provincial environment and natural resources officers and CENR officers to continuously monitor and conduct regular patrol in all protected areas and plantations in the region so that we would be able to prevent the occurrence of forest or bush fire,” he concluded.(mbcn/HFG/PIA-7/DENR-7)

120 participants of Urban Search, Rescue Training set to graduate

By : Hazel F. Gloria

CEBU CITY, March 12 (PIA) --- Some 120 participants from both the military and civilian disaster response groups are set to graduate on Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) training today. In a press statement, Central Command (CENTCOM) deputy commander for administration Col. Frederick Evans Ramos said, the training aimed to build and enhance the capacity of the command’s urban search and rescue operations and to exercise interoperability with civilian rescue teams and internalize standards in rescue operations such as the incident command system (ICS). It has brought together the various urban search and rescue teams under CENTCOM, which is composed of the 3rd and 8th Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army, the Naval Forces Central (NAVFORCEN) of the Philippine Navy, and the 2nd Air Division (2AD) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF). Civilian USAR teams like the Emergency Response Unit Foundation (ERUF), Phil. Red Cross- Cebu Chapter, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) and the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CPDRRMC) were also among the participants in the training program. The participants underwent a series of practical exercises in disaster response specifically on rope rescue operations and shoring of collapsed structures. Col. Ramos, who also heads the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) office of CENTCOM said, “the string of disasters that occurred last year has taught us to always prepare for the worst.” A team from Hawaii National Guard (HING) conducted the 10-day training for disaster response units which started last week. The combined forces of the Armed Forces Philippines (AFP) USAR and HING USAR Teams as well as subject matter experts (SMEs) from the Office of the Civil Defense 7 (OCD7) composed the training staff. “The assistance provided to us by our counterparts in the Hawaii National Guard will surely allow us to improve our craft when it comes to responding to disasters,” Col. Ramos added. He bared, “being among the first responders, it is the priority of your military in the Visayas to ensure that we are capable and equipped to handle rescue operations especially in the Metro Cebu areas.” The training program is among the list of bilaterally approved program under the Mutual Defense Board- Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its United States counterparts.(mbcn/HFG/PIA-7/CentCom)

Utzurrum: Leisure living and ice cream delights

By : Chinggay V. Utzurrum

NOT just a home, it’s a getaway. Not just a resort, its nature’s playground. Its not just living, it’s Tambuli Seaside Living!

Now you can bask in a paradise home 365 days of the year—amidst sun, sky, sea and sand. Why? You can be on vacation mode every single day!

Tambuli Seaside Living is located in Mactan Cebu, boasts of 11 hectares with a ready 200 meters of prime, pristine beachfront of powdery white sand and within the huge area, loom majestic acacia and banyan trees to ensure ample shade as you do your morning stroll.

This resort is the first solely residential development in Cebu and can best be described as modern tropical with unlimited open spaces making for a laid-back lifestyle and easy comings and goings.

Aside from the stunning beachfront, there are 4,000 square meters of inviting amenities, composed of a modern Asian clubhouse, commercial complex, swimming pool, lagoon-type with bar, kiddie pool, resort spa, fine dining, Asian and native restaurants, wine and cheese tapas bar, gym, dry sports/water sports facility area, golf carts, mini-waterfalls, etc.

Proudly Cebuano, the six-tower project has as developer TyTans Properties and Development Inc., headed by its chairman, Montano Ty and president Gerard Tan with offices at G/F ZR&DC Bldg., C. Rosal St., Cebu City.

Way back in the 70s and 80s, when this place was known as Tambuli Beach Club and a favorite leisure destination for locals and foreigners alike, Ty would just fondly reminisce. Today, he is part of it. Like him, wouldn’t you want to be a part of this paradise?

It's scorching! It's summer! It's time for Blue Bell ice cream! The activity center at Ayala Center was transformed into a county fair, complete with lively country music, a stilt walker, balloon twister, face painter, some dancing, songs and games, and oh how the kids loved it! Of course, the barnyard of fun was not complete without the star of the show. Blue Bell Ice Cream, straight from its manufacturer, The Little Creamery at Brenham, Texas.

Beaming with pride and joy were the Philippine distributors in the Visayan Region, Visfood Corp., making Cebu the first city in the country and the entire Asia Pacific, to try and taste the “best ice cream in the United States.”

As Ebe Puno, vice president for marketing of Visfood Corp., said, “Your idea of best is about to get better.” Indeed with 14 flavors of value, quality, and variety, how can you go wrong with Blue Bell? To name some of their flavors: Butter Crunch, Krazy Kookie Dough, Moo-lennium Crunch, Dutch chocolate, homemade vanilla, red velvet cake, rocky mountain road, strawberries and homemade vanilla, etc. We won’t tell you all, drop by Ayala Center and try them. Also available at Rustan’s Supermarket at Ayala Center and Paseo Arcenas, One Pavillion Mall in Banawa, Gaisano Country Mall, Mooon Cafe in Ayala and Cebu I.T. Park, etc. Try one, try all!

Being now in the season of Lent, here’s a reminder: The St. Theresa’s Alumnae Association would like to announce its yearly Lenten recollection on Saturday, March 15, from 1 p.m. To 5 p.m. at the audio visual room.

The facilitator will be Sr. Perry Inso, a Cenacle nun. The Recollection fee includes a light snack. An anticipated Mass (for Sunday) will follow at 5 p.m. Bring the whole family to hear Sr. Inso’s inspiring message. See you all, Theresians and friends!

A place that's cool and cold

By : Luis A. Quibranza III

IF YOU do not want to head home yet after dinner, or you find yourself battered by the summer heat and you’re looking for a cold fix, this place is for you.

Ice Giants Desserts and Snacks has opened two branches in Cebu, specifically one at The Strip, Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City and another one at City Time Square, located along Mantawi Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

“Our (couple) biggest dream was to own an ice cream restaurant and it took quite a while—three years in fact to conceptualize. My work experience of 16 years in managing one of the international food chains in the country helped a lot. In 2009, the very first Ice Giants was born at the “land of promise” in Davao City,” proprietor Joseph Villaceran shares a little bit of history behind the dessert brand. The two branches in Cebu are the first ones outside of Davao City where the business is originally based. Davao has three Ice Giants branches and is now looking toward a national expansion.

As the name suggests, this food place isn’t just some typical dessert spot. Although its menu is pretty varied, Ice Giants is well-known for Ice Giants concoctions: three-kilo desserts good for eight to 10 persons and perfect for sharing among family and friends. For now there are three flavors to choose from namely Halo-halo, Chocolate Titans and Mango Magnifico.

Besides the gigantic desserts, there items on the menu as well that should be perfect for individual consumption. From ice cream parfaits to sweet desserts whipped up from fine-shaved ice, Ice Giants may very well stomp on any sweet tooth’s craving leaving the latter satisfied. And being based from Davao, it would just be fitting for the establishment to come up with a dessert called the premium durian delight. It should be a treat for Cebuanos, as Davao is well-known in the entire country for its durian.

Here is a fun bit of trivia. According to a staff in one of the branches, Ice Giants does not put any more sugar in their desserts as it is already sweet as it is.

Also, the place serves up a line of snack to complement the desserts. The tasty choices, which are inspired from American comfort food, range from sandwiches, pastas and fried chicken.

Besides the menu, everything else about the place—including the very colorful interiors—exude a charm that’s nothing less than “happy.” The servers are dressed up like sailors as well; as the company tries to make the dining experience something more of like stress-free vacation.

Indeed, dessert places like these look to serve everyone. Both the young, and the young at heart. Ice Giants branches here in Cebu are open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and up to 12 midnight on weekends.

Developer unveils Cebu project

By : Mia A. Aznar

BULLISH on the Cebu real estate market, Taft Property hopes to strengthen its presence in Cebu while also looking to expand in areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Christopher Narciso, Taft Property senior vice president for project development, said they are lining up future projects, launching their third project in Cebu by the second half of the year with another launch slated for next year. While he did not disclose much of it, he said it will be a “very exciting and iconic project” for the company.

What he did highlight was their second vertical development in Cebu. Taft Property launched the Soltana Nature Residences Friday, a mid-rise condominium project meant for the middle income earners. The first phase, estimated at P1 billion, will start its site development next month while construction of the first two towers is scheduled for the third quarter.

Natural land forms

Inspired by the peaks, hills and valleys of Cebu, the property developer designed the project to mimic these natural land forms within its 5.6 hectare development in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City. He explained that these peaks and valleys were what people of Mactan could see while viewing Cebu and that the architects designed their project around that concept.

The 15-storey structure represents the peaks while the seven-floor buildings with roof deck amenities represent the hills. As for the valleys, the development includes 65 percent open spaces featuring themed gardens.

The location, he said, will attract buyers due to its proximity to the beach, commercial areas, the airport, schools and the bridge that connects Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.

The entire project will consist of nine buildings, with each building having 280 units. Narciso said they will implement it in four phases.

They also plan to open a retail component to complement the needs of its residents and enhance their living experience. The prices range from P2.3 million to about P5 million for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.

He also proud of their amenities, saying they combined all the good amenities being offered by top subdivisions and offered everything at Soltana.

Narciso said Taft Property is building its executive and management team and is a relatively young company but is composed of experienced executives and managers.

Very high demand

Seeing a lot of potential in Cebu, he said they are expanding their portfolio as they project a very high demand. He added that most of their buyers are end-users rather than investors, which he sees as a good sign that they are hitting the right market segment.

Asked if they are considering developing office buildings, he acknowledged the high demand for it, with Cebu being a top choice for business process management companies.

He said they are exploring the possibilities and that the company has existing land to develop for such projects.

As for their other vertical project, the Horizons 101 on Gen. Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City, Narciso said it is also doing well, having sold out its first tower and more than 50 percent of its second tower sold in a little over a year. Even with the recent earthquake, he assured construction is on schedule and he is confident that their design passes all safety criteria.

Cebu Expressway eyed

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CEBU CITY -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Central Visayas is conducting a feasibility study on the construction of a Cebu Expressway from Carcar City to Danao City.

DPWH-Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director Nonie Paylado said that if this expressway is built, it would cut the travel time from Carcar to Danao by half. The two cities are around 73 kilometers apart.

The plan is for the expressway to pass near the Lagtang Public Market in Talisay City and through the mountain barangays of Cebu City. This way, motorists from either city will avoid traffic-prone areas in downtown Cebu City, Mandaue City and the towns of Consolacion and Liloan.

Paylado revealed the ongoing feasibility study after Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) officials pointed out that the concreting of Hernan Cortes St., its extension and the Cebu Circumferential Road were not included in the proposed national budget for 2015.

The board had recommended that these projects be included for funding.

Engineer Arnold Jobellar, MCDCB planning and general support manager, raised the complaint on behalf of MCDCB during the meeting last March 5 of the Infrastructure and Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC).

Paylado presented during that meeting the DPWH-Central Visayas programs and activities for endorsement to the RDC Full Council.

Jobellar recalled that on January 7, 2013, DPWH-Central Visayas Director Ador Canlas met with him, MCDCB co-chairpersons Roberto Aboitiz and Dondi Joseph, and Engineer Fortunato Sanchez, where they presented their concerns and proposals.

In that meeting, Jobellas said, the DPWH agreed to include the projects MCDCB recommended for funding in the department’s budget for 2015.

Where’s budget?

Paylado explained that for Hernan Cortes St., a section of the road was included in the 2014 budget, while Hernan Cortes Ext. is included in the DPWH Sixth Engineering District’s budget.

Improvements on Hernan Cortes St. are expected to decongest the parallel Banilad Road. Cortes St. needs to be decongested, concreted, widened and provided with a drainage system.

As to the inner Cebu Circumferential Road, Paylado said it will be part of the ongoing feasibility study for the expressway.

Jobellar told the IDC-RDC that the circumferential road from Pardo to Talamban has a feasibility study and detailed engineering prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which DPWH ought not to waste.

However, General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), who attended the DPWH presentation, commented that the Jica study was done in 1993 yet and can no longer be used as basis for construction.

Costs more now

For one thing, construction costs have soared in the last 21 years, said Villarete, who was once a Cebu City Government urban planner.

Villarete suggested that DPWH conduct the feasibility study for the inner circumferential road (Pardo to Talamban) so it can source funds.

Paylado agreed with Villarete, saying the inner circumferential road can be connected to the expressway. But they have to revisit the old feasibility study by Jica because there are buildings and subdivisions that might be affected.

“As much as possible, we should not pass areas with buildings, otherwise we would need a huge amount of money for road right-of-way,” Paylado said.

He said the feasibility study for the expressway will be completed in January 2015.

“Once the feasibility study for the expressway with three alignments will be completed, we will recommend to our central office in Manila what’s the most feasible alignment,” Paylado said.


He said that DPWH will recommend the implementation of the project next year either through foreign assistance, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or inclusion in the 2016 annual budget.

Meanwhile, to ease the heavy flow of traffic in the area, officials of Barangay Talamban are asking the Cebu City Government to fix or widen roads in the community.

In a resolution, Talamban officials asked the City to implement immediate road widening of the Tintay road.

“The traffic situation in the area is too heavy especially during rush hour. We have already received several complaints about the traffic situation in the area from passing motorists, businessmen and the academe,” they said.

Talamban officials headed by Barangay Captain Dario Arcilla said that the City, particularly the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), already came up with a program of works and estimates for the widening of Tintay road.

Soon, please

They are hoping that the project will be implemented soon.

The barangay officials are also asking the City to widen Highway II.

This, they said, will address the traffic situation in the inner portion of the barangay, considering there are already high-end subdivisions in the area.

The officials said the barangay doesn’t have enough funds to implement the project and they hope that the City will appropriate funds for it.

Another project that the barangay wants the City to implement is the repair of a portion of the M.L. Quezon Ave. in Cabancalan, which collapsed many years back.

The collapsed road, they said, endangers the lives of passing motorists, commuters and residents in the area.

Talamban’s resolution was forwarded to the City Council, which referred the matter to its committee on infrastructure, DEPW and the DPWH. (EOB/With PDF/Sun.Star Cebu)

Under the media radar

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SINCE I decided to lose weight almost three years ago, I’ve been going to the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) almost every day.

I just walked at first. In fact, I could barely make two rounds at the oval without huffing and puffing, and the occasional wheeze. But I persevered.

I used to put on my headphones and listen to my favorite jazz or RJ 100. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about what people thought of me. I mean, at 245 pounds, I must have been a sight to behold. (Behold gyud, Pubs?)

I realized, though, that jazz or standards is not conducive to exercising so I switched to Y101 for more upbeat music. It’s funny how, after over a decade, I began watching MTV and Channel V again. I actually know who One Direction is and I can sing along to Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” (okay, so the song has a ‘70s vibe and not that I grew up in the ‘70s).

With a hipper tempo, my pace quickened. I no longer lumbered. Instead, I was making long, powerful strides, able to make 12 rounds in an hour. Yeah!

After several months, Abellana became my fourth home (first there’s my home in Banilad, then my grandma’s house in Urgello, then the office along P. del Rosario and so fourth… ahem).

And after two years, I no longer needed the headphones. I had met a group of eclectic runners, one of whom encouraged me to level up and start jogging. So I did. I now jog.

But this column is not about my journey from 245 pounds to 171 pounds. Oh no. Nor is it about how my waistline shrank from 45 inches to 34. Not at all.

Every Thursday, starting last Feb. 20, a group of policemen, and policewomen, have been showing up at the oval. They’re very conspicuous in their navy blue shorts and light blue shirts. They come in all shapes and sizes…and ages. They’re accompanied by street children.

I initially thought they were doing zumba, but it turned out they’re doing tae bo.

Afterwards, the policemen and policewomen and the children get on the track and run a few laps (I don’t know how many exactly since I didn’t count). They’re joined by Fr. Carmelo Diola, executive director of Dilaab Foundation Inc.

I later learned that the cops are assigned at the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 right across the street.

According to the PRO 7’s website, the PRO 7 has partnered with the Dilaab Foundation “to promote awareness on the plight of less fortunate children.” It is committed to protect women and children and will not stop initiating projects “for their welfare and development towards the right path.”

I texted PC/Supt. Danilo Constantino, PRO 7 director, and asked him if he could give me more details about the activities. He called and we talked.

RD Constantino told me he merely revived the PRO 7’s fitness program. He said they exercise on Tuesday, which they hold inside Camp Sergio Osmeña, and on Thursday at the CCSC. And no, it’s not mandatory but they do take attendance.

He said those who participate are grateful for the exercise, especially when they notice its health benefits. I agree with him. I see it on the smiles on their sweaty faces when they make punches in the air.

As for their involvement with the street children, RD Constantino said he and Fr. Diola have known each other for quite some time. When he became PRO 7 head, he asked Fr. Diola if there was anything he could do to help the group. Fr. Diola told him about their work with the street children, which also involves a feeding program and lectures.

RD Constantino says he made arrangements with the CCSC to allow the children to enter the facility for free. The PRO 7 also provides them with snacks after the activities.

Apparently, all these slipped under the media radar. I don’t remember reading about these in the papers or the activities being featured on TV.

So my hat off to RD Constantino for not making a big fuss about the PRO 7’s involvement with street children. Working for and helping the community should be the rule for every police personnel. Not the exception.

Demolition in Apas halted

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EBU -- After learning that a minor was hired for the wrecking crew, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Central Visayas region on Thursday ordered the demolition of 157 houses in Barangay Apas, Cebu City, stopped.

Dole Regional Senior Labor and Employment Officer Russel Cañete issued the work stoppage order to Sheriff Edilberto Suarin at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Cañete arrived at the demolition site in Sitio San Miguel around noon to interview Suarin.

Suarin, not the owner of Lot 942 and Lot 947 Aletha Suico-Magat as earlier reported, had hired the 200-member demolition team.

Cañete had wanted to conduct a profile of all demolition crew members to see that no underaged worker was among them. Suarin had ignored him.

Also on Thursday, at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Soliver Peras ordered Suarin to stop the demolition pending his resolution on the petition for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order filed by 15 families affected by the writ of demolition.

“Do not touch anything,” Peras told Suarin.

Peras gave Suico-Magat and Suarin until 9 a.m. today, March 8, to submit their position papers.

Without any last-minute save from the court on Thursday, it was the looting, instead, that bought the residents some time because it forced the court sheriff to stop the wrecking crew for about four hours.

That, as Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged on Thursday all agencies concerned, including the Cebu City Government, to consider the plight of those being displaced.

“While some say that this is done in the name of development, there should always be balance. We must consider those who are displaced, where they should be relocated or if we are helping these people find jobs,” Palma told reporters.

Palma said he is coordinating with the Cebu Archdiocese’s discernment group to help those displaced by the demolition.

The hiring of a minor for the demolition job was found out when tanods of Barangay Apas and policemen apprehended for looting a 16-year-old member of the wrecking crew.

The boy’s name is in the list of demolition team members Suarin had submitted to the barangay.

Cañete was waiting for Suarin and the demolition team at the command post set up by the barangay and City Hall at Sitio San Miguel.

Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman received a report from the affected residents that Suarin and the demolition team had started to tear down a house.

This led Ayuman, Mayor Michael Rama’s executive assistant Janesis Ponce, and Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) chief Collin Rosell to rush to the site.

Rosell and Ponce, both lawyers, questioned Suarin’s move to demolish the houses.

They said the members of the demolition team were not properly identified because some of them didn’t have valid IDs.

This violates Republic Act 7279, known as the Urban Housing and Development Act (Udha) of 1992, which requires proper identification of all persons taking part in the demolition.

Ponce and Rosell told Suarin that either they will do a “citizen’s arrest” or he go with them to the command post and face the Dole official.

Suarin went with them and faced Cañete.

At the command post, Cañete told someone on the phone that he was being arrested. Talking over the phone, he walked back to the demolition site and did not return to the command post.

A few minutes after, Ayuman received a report that Suarin and the demolition team had proceeded with the demolition.

Ayuman, Rosell, Ponce and Cañete went back to demolition site.

Cañete then issued a work stoppage order to Suarin and told the sheriff that he could not go on with the demolition until he cleared the crew of minors and formally answer all allegations against him.

Suarin stopped the demolition.

Suarin refused an interview with reporters.

Rosell said what Suarin did was “gross defiance and disregard of authority” of the Dole officer.

Since the demolition started Tuesday, the crew has torn down six of the 157 structures.

Two families had volunteered to dismantle their own homes.

After the hearing at the RTC Branch 10 Thursday afternoon, both Ponce and Rosell said the court sheriff violated some laws in the enforcement of writ of demolition.

Ponce said the City Government will file charges against the court sheriff for alleged violation in the enforcement of the demolition writ.

Suarin said he would heed the judge’s order, but said that he did not violate any law in the implementation of the demolition writ.

In their petition, the residents argued that Judge Pamela Baring-Uy of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 6 did not acquire jurisdiction over the case.

Baring-Uy issued the writ of demolition dated January 23 against the families, who occupied the properties owned by Magat.

The families occupied lot 947, with an area of 7,411 square meters, and lot 942, with an area of 9,753 square meters.

Both lots were supposed to be part of the expansion of the then Lahug airport.

The residents also said the lot claimant failed to state in her complaint that their stay on the property is by mere tolerance.

There is a need to issue a restraining order, the residents said, since pursuing the destruction of their houses would cause them “great and irreparable injury.”

The petitioners are Rosalinda Gambit, Bradley Manos, Alan Nava, Vicenta Tuyor, Myra Gumahad, Edwin Pedrano, Rona Sayson, Melchor Abellaneda, Jocelyn Francisco, Mary Jane Magpali, Ester Demecino, Margarita Salabsab, Ledwin Linaban, Lando Calumba and Marites Beltran. (PDF/GMD/with JKV/Sun.Star Cebu)

Carcar City photo and video entries candidate to CBMS Awards

By : Ferliza C. Contratista

CEBU CITY, March 5 (PIA) --- Carcar City is calling Cebuanos to support its video and photo entries for a national awarding body.

Candice Acuna, Carcar City Information Officer, said their entries for the advocacy video and photo was chosen as candidate for the 3rd Community Based Montitoring System-Philippines Special Awards.

CBMS is a program adapted and implemented jointly by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with the City of Carcar.

Its goal is institutionalizing a community-based monitoring system to generate baseline data for poverty diagnosis, planning, and target monitoring.

“Carcar City is one of the first cities in the Philippines to adapt the CBMS. We need everyone’s support for the online voting,” Acuna said.

In order to vote, one must ask to join the Facebook account of CBMS International Network Group, then like the entries of LGU Carcar City for Best CBMS Advocacy Video and Best CBMS Photo.

The online voting period is from February 25 until March 25 at 10 pm.

There are three entries for the Best CBMS Advocacy videos by LGUs and 22 entries for the Best CBMS Advocacy Photos.

CBMS is one of the tools developed in the early 1990s to provide policymakers and program implementers with a good information base for tracking the impact of macroeconomic reforms and various policy shocks.

It is an organized way of collecting information at the local level for use of local government units, national government agencies, non-government organizations, civil society and development partner agencies for planning, program implementation and monitoring. (rmn/FCC/PIA Cebu)

Cebu City Development Programs Involve Dredging (The Philippines)

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An official from the Cebu City Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Region 7 said that they plan to implement some P404.2 million worth of projects in the city this year. District Engineer Fernando Cruz said the projects include the P289.5-million concreting and widening of the Don Serging Osmeña Ave. which is under contract with WT Construction. He added that among projects to be implemented this year are the P15-million reconstruction and rehabilitation of a damaged national road, including drainage on M.C. Briones St.; P7.6 million for Arellano Blvd.; P5 million for the arterial road on N. Bacalso Ave.; P20 million for the dredging of Subangdaku River at the boundary of Cebu City and Mandaue City; P8.19 million for flood control along Inayawan River; and P900,000 for the maintenance of Sanciangco Bridge. Cruz also said that all preventive maintenance projects will be done at night to avoid congesting traffic.

Cebu Customs report P209-M collection

By : Junex Doronio

CEBU CITY, Cebu – Amid the ongoing reforms to curb smuggling and corruption, the Bureau of Customs Port of Cebu continued to meet its collection target , with a surplus of more than P209 million last month.

Port of Cebu district collector Roberto T. Almadin said they were able to collect a total of more than P1 billion or exactly P1,151,778,228 in the face of its collection target of P941,989,000 for the month of February this year.

“We are happy that we met our target last month,” Almadin said.

It was noted that since Almadin assumed office three months ago, he has instituted reforms in the Cebu port district to discourage misdeclaration and undervaluation of goods.

Last January, which is considered a lean month, the Port of Cebu also collected more than one billion pesos as against its target of P997 million and realized a surplus of more than P53 million.

The BOC Port of Cebu has set a target collection of P12.4 billion this year or P3 billion more than what it collected last year.

Almadin noted that this year’s revenue target is 43 percent higher than their P8.7 billion target last year.

Last November, Cebu ranked sixth nationwide in revenue collection by generating more than P9 billion of its P8.7 billion target. Junex Doronio

Women Safety Module says forms of violence include emotional, economic

By : Kevin A. Lagunda

A DAY before Valentine’s Day in 2012, a public prosecutor went inside a mall in Cebu City with her sister and daughter.

The prosecutor later noticed her former boyfriend following them. Manuel (not his real name) later tried to hug her, to no avail.

He continued to follow them.

Manuel then grabbed the prosecutor by the arm when they were already outside the mall. Manuel forced her estranged lover to go along with him, but the prosecutor pulled away.

After she found out that Manuel’s marriage was not yet annulled, the prosecutor ended her relationship with him.

The mall incident pushed the prosecutor to charge Manuel with a complaint for violating Republic Act (RA) 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

“I was really assuming he would be the man I would spend the rest of my life with, and he initially gave me every reason to expect that that was what he wanted also,” the prosecutor said in her affidavit.

Women’s Month

The Philippines celebrates Women’s Month every March. RA 9262 was enacted on March 8, 2004 to protect women and children suffering from domestic violence.

Under RA 9262, a woman can file a complaint even if she was not physically abused.

The Women Safety Module, produced after the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in 2008, states that the forms of violence are physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and economic abuses.

“Emotional and other forms of non-personal violence are the most common types of spousal violence. One in seven ever-married women experienced physical violence by their husbands while eight percent experienced sexual violence by their husbands,” the NDHS reported.

Violence against married women “tends to decline as husband’s age increases, education increases, and wealth quintile increases.”

The NDHS further reported that violence against women are prevalent in Central Visayas, Caraga region, and Soccsksargen.

The prosecutor’s case against Manuel was among the 162 cases filed in different court branches in Cebu City in 2013 by her fellow prosecutors under the justice department.

The highest number of cases was filed in August last year with 21, while the lowest was in October with five.

There were 16 cases filed in court in January, 14 in February, 14 in March, 19 in April, 13 in May, 10 in June, 17 in July, 16 in September, 8 in November and 9 in December.

In 2012, 192 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed in courts.

The law states that violence against women and their children refers to “any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

Meanwhile, the 2008 NDHS revealed that one in five women aged 15-49 experienced physical abuse since age 15.

It further stated that “14.4 percent of married women have experienced physical abuse from their husbands; and more than 37 percent of separated or widowed women have experienced physical violence, implying that domestic violence could be the reason for separation or annulment.”

NDHS further reported that at least there was “one in 25 women age 15-49 who have ever had sex ever experienced forced first sexual intercourse the law to be effective.

According to NDHS, only “one in three women who experienced physical/sexual violence reported having physical injuries such as cuts, bruises or aches.”

“More than 10 percent reported to have suffered eye injuries, sprains, dislocations or burns, and about the same proportion reported that they attempted to commit suicide.

GUESS | What is the country's oldest street? Clue: It's in Cebu

By :

The online news portal of TV5

CEBU CITY -- Local businessmen are helping revitalize trade and commerce on Colon Street, the Philippines’ oldest street, and other areas in the city’s downtown area. And Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama praised the businessmen for their efforts.

Among the businessmen commended by Rama were Jose “Dodong” Gullas, chairman of The Freeman newspaper and executive vice president of the University of the Visayas; Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, whose family owns a chain of movie houses; and the Gaisanos, whose chain of stores in the city’s downtown area is making Colon a place of trade and commerce.

Rama also thanked lawyer Augusto W. Go, owner of the University of Cebu (UC); Aboitiz Group, which operates City Savings Bank; the Lhuillier clan; and the rest of the businessmen who invested millions of pesos along the oldest street in the country.

Rama said the local businessmen played a vital role in the city’s revitalization program and bringing back the old and historic Colon.

“My deep appreciation to the Avilas, Gullas, Go, Gaisano, Aboitiz, Lhuillier, and other entrepreneurs that never lost their trust in Colon,” Rama said.

Rama said he was happy to see the revitalization in the downtown areas and the restoration of the “glorious, classical, and magnificent downtown color.”

Rama initiated the downtown revitalization program, which aims to light up the whole stretch of Colon, maintain peace and order, promote clean and green program, improve the traffic flow, regulate the vendors, and boost business in the area.

He said he wants to restore and bring back what was Colon before as the city’s major trading hub and the center of commerce and industry.

Siblings fall in Carcar drug bust

By : Davinci S. Maru

A SUSPECTED big-time drug dealer, his sister and a companion were arrested by authorities during simultaneous raids in Barangay Poblacion I, Carcar City, Cebu at dawn yesterday.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 Director Lyndon Aspacio said that Jay Camotes, 36, is a major drug player in Carcar City who allegedly owned a squad of goons.

“Parang ang tingin nila may stronghold sila sa area (They behaved as if the area was their stronghold). They couldn’t be arrested or touched,” he said.

About 50 operatives from PDEA 7 and Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 7 conducted the joint operation at 3 a.m. using search warrants against Jay and his sister Joan, 46.


They rounded up the suspects, who were caught by surprise, in less than one minute to avoid a gunfight with Jay’s goons, Aspacio said.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) 7 Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras issued the warrants last Feb. 20.

Samuel Barcelonia, 56, of Barangay Campo 6, Talisay City was slightly wounded after he attempted to resist the agents. He was described as Jay’s errand boy.

“Nakipagbungo sa amin (He resisted) and he tried to reach for the firearms,” Aspacio said.

Jay, together with his companion, was caught in his house while Joan got arrested in their ancestral house, located nearby on P. Del Corro St.


Seized from Jay were two medium packs of shabu believed to be worth P50,000; a .45 pistol; a 12-gauge shotgun; two 9mm live bullets; an improvised lighter; weighing scale; two high-capacity magazines with 18 live bullets; four live bullets for a shotgun; a KG9 magazine with two live bullets; and more than P5,000, believed to be drug proceeds.

Joan, on the other hand, was caught with a 9mm pistol with seven live bullets, a .38 revolver and drug paraphernalia.

Aspacio, during the interview, said they confirmed that Jay hired goons after five of them ran away, apparently sensing the presence of authorities.

He said they have been monitoring Jay and his sister, who is also allegedly involved in selling drugs, for two months. They were considered high-value targets.

Aspacio said the suspects mainly operate in Carcar City, but their patrons were from other areas. The PDEA 7 is also monitoring other suspected drug personalities in the city.

With the siblings’ arrest, he said the volume of drugs in Carcar City will be affected momentarily. “But eventually, other players will come in and cover yung naiwan niya (what was left open),” Aspacio said.

Jay, when interviewed by reporters, denied the allegations. “Wala ko kahibaw nganong naa ko ana. Natog ra man ko sa balay (I don’t know why I’ve been accused of these things. I was just sleeping at home),” he said.

Last 2010, he was arrested after being accused of masterminding the killing of a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Carcar City.

Complaints for possession of illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms will be filed against the suspect.

Caught at home

In a separate operation, another suspected drug pusher was arrested by police during a buy-bust in Barangay Poblacion, Cordova, Cebu yesterday morning.

Confiscated from Geno Pilapil were a large pack and 15 small packs of alleged shabu, worth at least P100,000 in street sales.

The Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Raidsotg) of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 conducted the operation at 7 a.m. outside Pilapil’s house.

Senior Insp. Henrix Bancoleta of Raidsotg told Sun.Star Cebu they bought a small sachet of shabu worth P200 from the suspect.

When Pilapil noticed he was dealing with a police decoy, he ran into the room and locked his door. The raiding team caught him inside.

During an interview, the suspect said he resorted to selling drugs after his grandmother who owned a resort in Lapu-Lapu City passed away.

“Mao man kuno ‘toy mosuporta nila (He said they had depended on their grandmother),” Bancoleta said. Pilapil will face complaints for illegal possession and selling of drugs.

Cebu City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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