Dec 102016
Cops involved in Espinosa raid still under restrictive custody –PNP

PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa presents suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to media at Camp Crame early Friday morning, November 18, 2016. Espinosa, son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, is the alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord. Espinosa was brought to Manila after five months of hiding in Abu Dhabi. (MNS photo) MANILA, Dec 3 (Mabuhay) — The policemen involved in the raid which led to the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. are still under restrictive custody even though they were allowed to leave Camp Crame, an official of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS) said Saturday. IAS Chief of Staff Maria Lynberg Constantinopla made the clarification following reports that the restrictive custody status of Police Supt. Marvin Marcos and 17 other policemen involved in the raid had been lifted. “In fact, there is no actual lifting of restrictive custody. They were just allowed to go home to get some information for attachment on their counter-affidavit,” Constantinopla said. She added that PNP personnel are supervising the cops in Leyte while they are getting the necessary documents for their counter-affidavits, which will be submitted on Monday. PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa relieved Marcos and other officers over the slay of Espinosa. In November, suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa claimed that he bribed Marcos with at least P3 million to lay off operations against his drug trade. (MNS)

Jan 062014
Foreign aid donors decline comment on alleged bunkhouse overprice

U.S. Marines provide safe drinking water to typhoon survivors Thursday Nov. 21, 2013 at Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines. AP FILE PHOTO MANILA—Major donors to the Philippines’ response to the humanitarian emergency in typhoon-ravaged Eastern Visayas begged off from making any comment Monday on the reported overpricing of bunkhouses for people rendered homeless by the calamity. The United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union withheld comment on the Inquirer  report on the padded costing for bunkhouses—temporary shelters regarded as critical in the continuing response two months since the emergency. They are among the biggest donors to the relief effort, now entering its second month and gradually shifting to early recovery, including moving survivors from evacuation centers to bunkhouses pending the construction of permanent shelters. The Manila embassy of the UK, the largest donor by far, did not issue any comment. British aid for typhoon relief in the Philippines has reached P11.1 billion, including contributions from both the UK government and private individuals, the embassy said. The UK has also vowed to support reconstruction in Eastern Visayas over the long haul. The Manila delegation of the European Union also withheld comment pending its humanitarian aid department’s aid assessment this month. The EU has so far pledged $26.8 million or P1.18 billion, according to the Philippine government portal’s Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAITH). The US embassy in Manila also did not comment on the issue. A US embassy official privy to American assistance said the embassy “did not Read More …

Nov 222013
Official Yolanda death toll breaches 5k mark, with over 1,000 still missing

More deaths related to Typhoon Yolanda have been validated by disaster officials Friday, bringing the official death toll to 5,209 with 1,611 still missing and 23,404 injured, based on the latest report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Of the total number of fatalities, 4,919 were from Eastern Visayas, the hardest hit region of the super typhoon, while the rest were from Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga. “These were recovered for the past few days but have to be validated,” said Eduardo del Rosario, NDRRMC executive director, referring too the additional fatalities. Validation was done in coordination with mayors and local heath officers, he added. “We had changes because the official validation and confirmation are slowly coming in from the municipal mayors and municipal health workers,” del Rosario explained. The latest death toll was already more than double than President Benigno Aquino III’s estimate of between 2,000 to 2,500 Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria, the relieved Eastern Visayas regional police chief, had earlier estimated that the death toll could reach 10,000. — KBK, GMA News

Nov 212013
‘Yolanda’ death toll nears 4,000-mark

Residents carry a coffin containing the body of a victim of Typhoon Haiyan during a funeral in Tanauan, Leyte, central Philippines November 14, 2013. (MNS photo) MANILA (Mabuhay) – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday morning the official death toll from supertyphoon “Yolanda” has reached 3,976, while the number of families affected also rose slightly as relief efforts from the government and other sectors continue for the victims. The death toll is broken down by regions as follows: CALABARZON, 2; MIMAROPA, 7; Bicol, 5; Western Visayas, 161; Central Visayas, 74; Eastern Visayas, 3,725; Zamboanga Peninsula, 1; and CARAGA, 1. NDRRMC said that 18,175 persons were injured, broken down as: 2 for CALABARZON, 21 for Bicol, 228, Western Visayas; 102, Central Visayas; 17,821, Eastern Visayas; and 1, Zamboanga Peninsula. Still missing are 1,598 individuals and these can be broken down into 19 for Western Visayas, 5 for Central Visayas, and 1,574 for Eastern Visayas. NDRRMC said a total of 2,212,955 families (10,306,318 persons) were affected in 44 provinces, 574 municipalities, and 57 cities. Of the total number of affected residents, 850,058 families or 4,008,894 persons were left homeless, NDRRMC said, prompting over 74,000 to stay inside evacuation centers. Number of damaged houses also rose to 571,806. The cost of damages breached the P10-billion mark at P10,384,690,061, with P1,295,508,600 for infrastructure facilities and P9,089,181,461 for agriculture. NDRRMC spokesman Major Reynaldo Balido said the province with most damages is Leyte with P1.2 billion in agriculture, P1.6 million Read More …

Nov 152013
DOLE sets aside P50M for Yolanda job program

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has earmarked P50 million to provide livelihood to displaced workers in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda. DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz told reporters at the sidelines of the 3rd Philippine Manufacturers and Producers Summit of the Federation of Philippine Industries yesterday, DOLE is ready to provide P50 million for the cash-for-work program in typhoon-affected areas. “All the P50 million will be spent for cash-for-work there (typhoon-affected areas),” she said. She said the fund would be used as payroll for displaced workers to be hired for temporary jobs such as clearing of debris as well as rehabilitation work. “We want to start the program within the year but we need the work plan which will come from the LGU (local government units),” she said. “The idea is to have the P50 million immediately accessible,” she added. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The hiring of workers would depend on the jobs identified by the LGU. As the DOLE’s office in Leyte was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda, the Labor chief said they have no estimate of the number of displaced workers due to the typhoon at the moment. Baldoz noted that most of the workers in the Eastern Visayas region, which covers provinces hit by the typhoon, are employed by small and medium enterprises. “The way I see it, everyone there needs jobs,” she said. The DOLE is still in the process of restoring its operations in the province with Read More …

Nov 122013
Smart, Sun, Globe offer 25 free local and int’l SMS to Eastern Visayas, northern Cebu subscribers

To help the communities severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda, the country’s three mobile phone operators – Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular – have agreed to provide 25 free SMS per day for five days that may be used for local and international text messages. The joint offer will be available to subscribers in Tacloban City and the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Leyte, northern Cebu and the Samar. “This is a time for Filipinos to come together and help our countrymen in their hour of great need.  This joint effort will help Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk ‘N Text subscribers in the typhoon-struck areas to communicate with their loved ones at home and abroad,” said Charles A. Lim, executive vice president of Smart and chief operating officer of Digital Mobile Philippines. “This free service is open to all Globe Postpaid, Globe Prepaid, and TM subs in these Eastern Visayas provinces. This is the company’s way of giving assistance to our customers who are suffering from the typhoon’s onslaught and who need to reach out to their family and friends in the country and abroad,” said Peter Bithos, chief operating advisor for Globe Consumer Business Group. The free 25 daily SMS bundles are available from Nov. 13 to 17 and can be used to send text messages across all networks. There is also an allocation for international SMS. It will be pushed automatically to subscribers at the start of each day. Subscribers will receive SMS notifications once the Read More …