Rep. Noel confident An Waray won't be delisted as partylist group
Noel said he is “pretty confident” that the An Waray would not be delisted. “But the thing is, it is only the Commission that can say if we can be delisted or not. We have no other choice but to say that...we are serving the people. He added that in case they would be purged, they would elevated their case to the Supreme Court.
But Noel, in an interview with reporters, pointed out that the An Waray's case is very different from other partylist groups.
He cited as an example by comparing the Ako Bicol with the An Waray.
“Ako Bicol registered as a regional political party with a multi-sectoral aim that they would serve. Whereas, An Waray registered as a multi-sectoral organization, regional in scope...We are never the same in personalities. They are a political party, while we are a multi-sectoral organization, regional in scope. So, there lies the difference,” he said.
He added: “We had the benefit of the approval of the (Comelec) en banc. Maybe this is the difference because most of them had passed at the Division level only... (and) this came in handy in due time because we have the approval of the en banc, while they don't.”
Noel said that while he would fight for Ako Bicol being a member of the 15th Congress and being the head of the Partylist Bloc of the 15th Congress, he has no quarrel with the Comelec regarding the puging the existing partylist groups.
He said the Comelec “has the power to cleanse the partylist system. They have the power to approve or disapprove and to make sure that there are no longer pollutants. They are the only body that can do this, nobody else.”
An Waray garnered about 700,000 votes in the 2010 elections, allowing two of its nominees to have seats in Congress. The current congressmen of An Waray are Rep. Noel and Rep. Neil Montejo. (VEN LABRO)
Local bets register at Comelec offices in EV
BY VEN LABRO
Posted Oct. 5, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started to accept on Monday, October 1, the certificates of candidacy of those planning to run in the May 13, 2013 midterm elections.
An Waray paty-list Rep. Bem Noel shows his approved CoC for mayor of Tacloban City.
During the filing of CoCs on Monday, the early birds were reelectionists Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez (LP) of the 4th district of Leyte and Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Lakas-CMD) of the first district of Leyte who both filed their respective CoCs at the Comelec Leyte provincial office.
Rep. Torres's husband, movie actor Richard Gomez, reportedly also filed his CoC in Ormoc City later that day together with his line-up. Running with Gomez are Carmelo Locsin Jr. as vice mayor and incumbent councilors Roland Villasencio and Mario Rodriguez as well as Atty. Benjamin Pongos, Tommy Serafica, Dr. Gerry Penserga, Emma Fiel-Fragata, Dr. Gregorio Yrastorza III, Erlinda Sacay, Vince Rama and Lito Cotiangco.
At the Comelec office in Tacloban City, City, the first to file his CoC was Councilor Jerry “Sambo” Yaokasin who is seeking the vice mayoralty seat as an independent candidate.
On Tuesday morning, Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel, now on his third term as An Waray partylist representative, filed his candidacy challenging two termer Mayor Alfred Romualdez. Noel's partymates, reelectionist Vice Mayor Arvin Antoni and most of his councilor bets, also filed their CoCs.
Thousands, composed of his family, partymates, relatives and supporters attended amass in his honor at the Sto. Niño Church and accompanied him to the Comelec City office where he fled his certificate of candidacy. A short program at the RTR plaza followed by a press conference capped the activity.
In Eastern Samar also on Monday, reelectionist Gov. Conrado “Aklan” Nicart and Annaliza Kwan, the mayor of Guiuan town, were joined in by fellow party-mates Borongan City councilor Emmanuel Tiu-songco, who is running for vice governor, and candidates for board members Jonas Abuda, Gregorio Cabacaba, Joey Sison, Nestor Cablao and Esteban Sabulao in filing their CoCs.
In Biliran, the Espina brothers – Rep. Roger Espina and Gov. Gerryboy Espina - also filed their CoCs for relection as congressman and governor, respectively.
On the mornng of Oct. 3, according to a report from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Rep.Raul Daza of the first district of Northern Samar and Northern Samar Gov. Paul Daza filed their respective certificates of candidacy as relectionists. Both are running under the LP banner. Also running under the LP banner are the incumbent vice governor, Ram Uy, for congressman in the second district and Antonio Lucero as vice governor.
In Borongan City, City Mayor Maria Fe Abunda and City Vice Mayor Fidel Anacta Jr.filed their certificates of candidacy as relectionists filed their CoCs at the city Comelec office without much fanfare. Their candidates for councilor also filed their CoCs.
In Leyte, the biggest province in Eastern Visayas, Rep. Jose Carlos Cari (LP) filed his CoC at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday as a reelectionist at the Leyte Comelec provincial office.
That same morning, around 9:30 a.m., the Liberal Party provincial bets led by businessman Leopoldo Dominic Petilla and his cousin Board Member Carlo Loreto, who are seeking the gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial seats in the province, respectively, arrived to also file their CoCs.
Those who also filed their CoCs were Vice Governor Mimiette Bagulaya and San Isidro Mayor Alan Ang as board members representing the third district, Gina Merilo and Bob Abellanosa (1st district), Niccolo Villasin and Anlie Apostol (2nd district), Deborah Bertulfo and Mesias Arevalo (4th district),and Florante Gayunda and Emmanuel Gacis (5th district).
Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla (right) files his CoC for congressman of Leyte's fourth district.
Around noon on Wednesday, outgoing Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla also filed his CoC for congressman of the fourth district of Leyte. He will be facing Rep. Torres-Gomez in the congressional race.
Board Member Bernard Jonathan Remandaban separately filed his CoC for congressman of Leyte's 3rd district, challenging reelectionist Rep. Andy Salvacion.
In Samar, meanwhile, the PIA reported that the LP bets in Catbalogan City filed their CoCs at the Comelec city office also on the morning of Oct. 3. They were Councilor Stephany Tan, mayoral bet; Vice Mayor Sherwin Art Gabon who is seeking reelection; and outgoing Mayor Coefredo “Tekwa” Tan, Bethoven Bermejo, Jovito Redaja, Max Pescos, Bing Ilagan, Melanie Macabare, Hermenia Cabral and Vicente Dacanos are all running for councilor.
At 9:45 a.m. on Oct. 3, Atty. Jasper Sumagang filed at the Samar Comelec provincial office the CoC of Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento (LP) through a power of attorney, According to a PIA report. Sarmiento is running for reelection in Samar's 1st District. At 11:50 that same day, Board Member Eunice Babalcon (LP) filed her COC for congressman of Samar's second district.
On Thursday, Mayor Alfred Romualdez and prospective candidates for councilor also filed their CoCs at the Comelec city office. Romualdez has no candidate for vice mayor. They were accompanied by a huge crowd of supporters on their way to the Comelec.
In Southern Leyte, the congressional race would be contested by Gov. Damian Mercado; Marissa Lerias,a daughter of former Souhern Leyte Governor Rosette Lerias; and Mayor Rico Rentusa of St. Bernard town.
In Southern Leyte's gubernatorial race, third termer Rep. Roger Mercado would be pitted against Engr. Robert Castañares.
In Eastern Samar, Rep. Ben Evardone is running for reelection. Former Sulat Mayor Javier "Javiz" Sacate also filed his CoC as governor.
The Comelec only have until October 5 to accept certificates of candidacy. And a candidate who backs out from the electoral race will have until December 21 to be substituted by another candidate.
If after the last day for the filing of COC, the official candidate of a duly registered political party or coalition of political parties dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, he may be substituted by a candidate belonging to, and nominated by, the same political party. However, no substitution is allowed for any independent candidate. Also, no substitution due to withdrawal will be allowed after December 21.
The campaign period for candidates for senators and for party-list groups is from Feb.13, 2013 to May 11,2013. One other hand, the campaign period for those seeking a seat in the House of Representatives and elective provincial, city and municipal officials is from March 29 to May 11, 2013. The Election Day is on May 13, 2013.
Probably by next week, the Comelec will already have the final list of candidates for the different positions up for grabs in Eastern Visayas in the May 13, 2013 polls.
Strong quake hurts 3, damages
P75.86-M worth of infra in EV
Citing a report from Eastern Samar PDRRMC and the DPWH, the OCD said the hospital building in Balangiga, Eastern Samar has suffered cracks on the wall while the Philippine Port Authority building in Guiuan, Eastern Samar has suffered cracks on its flooring.
The OCD also reported that there were cracks along the highway between Barangays Casoroy and Nena and that the Layog Bridge in Barangay Casoroy San Julian town in Eastern Samar is not passable but a detour road can be used.
The Buyayawon Bridge in Barangay Buyayawon in Mercedes town, also in Eastern Samar, has been partially been damaged and is passable only to light vehicles while the San Pedro Bridge in Quinapondan town and the wharf in MacArthur town were partially damaged, the OCD said.
Two road sections, one in Quinapondan and one in Llorente, suffered road surface cracks. Seawalls in Mercedes town have also been damaged.
Several aftershocks were also felt in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and in Tacloban City. (VEN LABRO)
Uy said that in addition to PASAR, a copper smelting plant and Philphos, a phosphate fertilizer plant, LIDE gained three industry locators. These are McMAI, an aluminum sulphate plant; Century Huang Guang, a nickel smelting plant; and Clean Way Waste Treatment Plant. (PIA 8)
to run unopposed
TACLOBAN CITY -- As the 5 p.m. deadline has passed yesterday, it appeared that businessman Leopoldo Dominic Petilla (LP) and reelectionist Rep. Ferdinand Martin "FM" Romualdez are likely to run unopposed in the May 13, 2013 elections as no other has filed a certificate of candidacy for their positions.
Comelec-Leyte provincial office Election Supervisor Sabino Mejarito indicated to reporters that no other persons had filed their candidacy for Leyte governor and for congressman of the first district except Petilla and Romualdez.
Petilla, a political neophyte and younger brother of incumbent Leyte Gov. Jericho Petilla, is running for Leyte governor while Romualdez is running for reelection as congressman of the first district of Leyte.
Philip Romualdez, brother of the congressman, who was rumored to be running for Leyte governor, was a no-show at the Comelec-Leyte provincial office yesterday, Oct. 5, the deadline to file CoCs.
However, there were two more who filed yesterday their certificates of candidacy for vice governor of Leyte,aside from Board member Carlo Loreto, the LP bet for vice governor.
Former Leyte Board Member Eduardo Polistico and another one have filed their CoCs for vice governor of Leyte.
In the second district of Leyte, reelectionist Rep. Sergio Apostol will have to face Edgar Enerlan who also filed his CoC for congressman of the second district.
In the third district, reelectionist Rep. Andy Salvacion will have Board Memer Benjo Remandaban as opponent.
In the fourth district, the fight will be between reelectionist Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and outgoing Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla.
It was unclear, however, if reelectionist Rep. Jose Carlos Cari will have an opponent if the May 13, 2013 elections. (VEN LABRO/Posted Oct. 5, 2013)
Tans gearing for for reelection; 2 more Tan siblings to run in Samar
TACLOBAN CITY -- Rep. Milagrosa Tan (NPC) and her two children are running for reelection in next year's polls.
Mila Tan is seeking her second term as representative of the second district of Samar while incumbent Samar Gov. Sharee Ann Tan and her younger brother, incumbent Samar Vice Gov. Stephen James Tan, would also be running for another term.
Two of the their younger siblings would also be seeking public office for the first time during the May 13, 213 polls.
Quoting Calbayog City Comelec office Salvador Cruz, the Philippine Information Agency reported that Angeli Tan, another daughter of Rep. Mila Tan, had file her certificate of candidacy for mayor of Calbayog City.
Angeli would be pitted against reelectionist Calbayog Mayor Ronald Aquino and Rey Jims Uy, son of the slain Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo Uy.
Another Tan sibling, Michael Tan, is seeking for the mayoralty seat in Catbalogan City to be vacated by outgoing Mayor Coefredo "Tekwa" Uy.
Tekwa, a third termer mayor, has opted to instead run for councilor in next year's elections.
But he is fielding his daughter, Councilor Stephany Uy, the estranged wife of Vice Gov. Stephen James Tan, as the mayoralty bet of the Liberal Party in Catbalogan City.
Running against the Tan matriarch as congressman of the second district of Samar are Board Member Eunice Babalcon, a lawyer, and Villareal town Mayor Reynato Latorre.
In the first district of Samar, the Tans had fielded a certain Arnold Tan. It was not clear, however, what is his relationship to the Tans. He would run against incumbent Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento.
For the gubernatorial post, Sharee Ann Tan would be pitted against Jessica Uy, a daughter of murdered Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo Uy, who is running under the LP banner.
Jessica's running mate is former Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos of Basey, Samar who would face reelectionist Vice Governor Stephen James Tan. (VEN LABRO/Posted Oct. 5, 2013)
DPWH exec says
fund of district
offices can take
care of minor
TACLOBAN CITY – The regular maintenance fund of District Engineering Offices can take care of the minor damages to infrastructure brought about by the intensity 7 earthquake that jolted Eastern Visayas in the evening of August 31, 2012.
This was disclosed by Department of Public Works and Highways Region 8 Director Rolando Asis who informed that the DPWH in coordination with the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) continues to conduct rapid assessment on all buildings in the Region.
As of September 2, no major damage on roads and bridges along the national roads in Eastern Samar has been reported, Director Asis told the Philippine Information Agency.
On September 1, Director Asis personally conducted an ocular inspection in Samar provinces on the effects of the strong earthquake. Also on hand during the inspection was Assistant Secretary Dimas S. Soguilon.
In Eastern Samar, minor cracks were observed a Sulat Bridge but it continues to be passable to commuters. Minor cracks were reported at the PCCP road at Barangay del Remedio in Sulat but it remains passable.
The Buyayawan Bridge in Mercedes, Eastern Samar was partially damaged and only one lane is passable to light vehicles.
Meanwhile, Layug Bridge in San Julian, Eastern Samar was also partially damaged. The DWH said that the bridge is undergoing reconstruction so it has a detour that is passable, contrary to the news that both approaches of the Bridge are not passable. Even before the earthquake, the bridge was already subject of reconstruction; hence there is an existing detour that is being utilized by the motorists.
In Northern Samar, transverse cracks on asphalt pavement and settlement of asphalt pavements occurred at Kilometer 0681+K000 to Kilometer 0684+000 along the San Isidro-Allen Section; and Kilometer 682 –Kilometer 684 along San Isidro-Caglanipao Section.
Moreover, cracks on piles and girders occurred at the Calbayog-Catarman Road particularly the Maroyondoyon and Caglangkoy Bridge in Catarman, Northern Samar.
Rapid assessment of the national roads and bridges was also conducted in Southern Leyte and so far, the result showed minimal damage limited to transverse cracks on road carriageways.
It was also noted that some road sections with previous road slides were worsened to some degree threatening a road cut-off that may ensue any time.
Southern Leyte District Engineer Carlos Veloso said among the effects of the earthquake are blown up pavement observed along the Liloan-San Ricardo National Road particularly at the Son-ok road section; major transverse cracks through the full width of the Habay road section of the Liloan-San Ricardo National Road; and collapsed pavement with subgrade settlement at the Himayangan-Silago National Road particularly at the Hindag-an Road Section.
Also among the damages are the collapsed pavement at the boundary of Silago- Abuyog road section particularly at Kilometer 1005+200; collapsed road shoulder and damaged erosion control structure at Kilometer 1007+400 of the Silago-Abuyog road section; and previous roadslip/slide worsened at the Liloan- San Ricardo National Road particularly at the Sudmon section. (PIA 8)
Samaco: Leave new cities alone
TACLOBAN CITY – If Mayor Maloney Samaco of Maasin City will have his way, he would just leave alone the 16 new cities in the country and let them chart their future.
But it seems that the League of Cities of the Philippines, headed by its president, Mayor Oscar Rodriguez of the City of San Fernando, is bent on questioning the legality of their cityhood status. The LCP is reportedly planning to revive the issue of the cityhod status of the 16 new cities before the Supreme Court.
“Let us let them become cities because we qualfied when the requirement then was only to have an income of P20 million,” Samaco said in his speech during the recent soft opening of the Maasin Zoo.
He added that he did not join the LCP's rally at the Supreme Court because all the mayors are his friends, especially those of Borongan (Eastern Samar), Catbalogan (Samar) and Baybay (Leyte) that are all situated in Eastern Visayas.
On February 15, 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the cityhood of 16 towns in the country.
In an en banc ruling dated April 12, 2011, the Supreme Court, in denying “with finality” the motion for reconsideration of the LCP, stressed that “(w)e should not ever lose sight of the fact that the 16 cities covered by the Cityhood Laws not only had conversion bills pending during the 11th Congress, but have also complied with the requirements of the LGC prescribed prior to its amendment by R.A. No. 9009. Congress undeniably gave these cities all the considerations that justice and fair play demanded.”
Aside from Borongan, Baybay and Catbalogan, the other new cities are Mati, Davao Oriental; Naga, Bogo and Carcar in Cebu; Tandag, Surigao del Sur; Lamitan, Basilan; Tayabas, Quezon; Tabuk, Kalinga; Bayugan, Agusan del Sur; Batac, Ilocos Norte; Guihulngan, Negros Oriental; Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte; and El Salvador, Misamis Oriental.
Samaco disclosed that with the addition of the16 new cities, Maasin City lost P47 million this year of its share in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
But despite the reduction of its IRA share, Samaco congratulated the new cities. He expressed hope that the new cities in the region “will push for the progress of Region 8 (Eastern Visayas).”
In an earlier interview, Baybay City Mayor Carmen Cari said in a brief interview at her office in Baybay City that the 16 new cities are being “ostracized” by the LCP. She added that they are not being invited to LCP meetings or gatherings.
“So, we have our own group, the 16 new cities,” Cari said, adding that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala attended their last meeting.
“Pero, everytime there are meetings, conventions...for the League of Cities, hindi kami (invited),” Cari disclosed, adding that the reason for this is “masakit pa raw ang kanilang loob.”
“Anyway, we (16 new cities) stick together,” Cari said.
Mayor Maria Fe Abunda of Borongan City also confirmed in a separate interview in her office at Borongan City about their not so good relationship with the LCP. (VEN LABRO)