Monday, June 30, 2014

PDEA leaks presence of 
lethally mixed “fly high”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 27, (PIA) – Not done with eliminating illegal sex enhancements and shabu, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is again confronting another head-ache: a drug that sends a user on a sexual “flying high.”

PDEA 7 director Espiridion Javier told the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in a joint meeting with the Regional Development Council in Bohol Thursday, that the illegal substance is a dangerous cocktail of viagra or cialis, ecstasy and shabu. 

Viagra or Cialis are drugs used to remedy erectile dysfunction; ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and another known stimulant shabu (methamphetamine) renders a user about 4-5 days of tireless sexual hyper-activity, sleeplessness and possible loss of appetite for food, according to Dir. Javier.

Known in party circles as “superman” or “fly high,” because of the soaring sexual it can give, the substance could also cause heart attacks, according to medical experts.

Also known as party, many believe this is owing to the pill, which could be shared by two to eight users, according to an article by Rappler.com.

Sold at P3,000 and up, fly high, Director Javier hinted, could already be in the region.

This poses another high alert status for drug operatives who have their hands full against shabu, nubain, sexual enhancement drugs, marijuana, a few cocaine and other controlled substances which are reportedly present in the region. 

With “fly high” giving 4-5 days of lack of appetite, insomnia and hyper sexual activity, medical experts said users could get ulcers for not eating, and the substance long term effects could be mental dis-orders associated with artificial high. 

As this happened, the Police Regional Office has reported a total Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) value of confiscated drugs in Bohol at P6,862,451.70, most of these shabu, with 117 operations during the reporting period. This constitutes third in the regions’ drug interdiction groups.

This figure is P300,000.00 more than the sum of drugs confiscated in Cebu City, which had P 6554,474.00 in 217 operations, according to the Regional Police Office-7. 

The entire region amassed a total confiscated drug street value of P37 million, topped by over P10 million in operations done by the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group which had 17 operations, followed by some DDB valued P8, 039,091.00 in 71 operations in Lapulapu City. (PIABohol/RAC)

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Solon proposes drugs summit to
unite enforcement, prosecution

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 27, (PIA)—In a move never done before, anti-drug authorities here are sweeping characters off streets.

But, to everybody’s disappointment, most of those nabbed drug personalities are back in the streets and their nefarious business in no time at all. 

At the recent out of town Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting held in Catigbian, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Bohol showed Bohol may have stellar accomplishment in apprehending drug characters, but has less than desirable performance in keeping these people in jails. 

PDEA said Bohol recorded 32 apprehension but in its decided cases, it only scored 2 convictions, 6 acquittals and 3 dismissals.

This has scored massive demoralization in the ranks, admit a police chief, who now fears for his life after a nabbed high profile drug personality again strolled out of detention as the cases filed against him circled out of the sky failing technicality tests.

With the way authorities are progressing in the drive against illegal drugs trade, Bohol I Congressman Rene Relampagos believes it is high time for the province to unify its efforts against drugs and finally dent on the goal of equalizing apprehension with convictions.

He proposed come up with its own anti-drugs summit. 

The summit, which incorporates seminar workshops, honest to goodness evaluation of the real drugs situation and other activities aimed at coming out with findings on why we have failed in meting out justice for those involved in the illegal trade, explained Relampagos whose stint as governor marked Bohol’s breaking through the poverty walls. 

“We can’t condone this problem, the proliferation of drugs in our midst would certainly destroys the future of Bohol,” the solon remarked during the out-of-town meeting of the provincial peace council. 

PDEA, through agent Chona Egam, explained that affiants not able to convince the courts on the chain of custody of evidence, thus the high acquittal rate.

On this, Governor Edgar Chatto, PPOC chairman updated council members about a PPOC move on the matter. 

The governor said concerned authorities has just completed a training for police officers on the nitty-gritty of case building and enhancing the capability in case prosecution.

“For police and prosecutors, we need to continue our support for their capability in case prosecution,” Chatto pointed out. 

The governor also told the group that the Provincial Legal Office and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines have been assigning lawyers to review all drug cases as mentored by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor.

“The goal is to learn from the experience, know why we got a dismissal or acquittal, so we can have a basis for building the next similar case,” Chatto hinted. 

“Every drug case in Bohol would be subject to review as per our agreement,” he governor announced.

This is so that the PPOC, would not just be appraised of the statistics but real cases, according to Chatto.

He also hoped that “in the process of implementing our advocacy, close coordination can be strengthened, hopefully that will invite more support from the community,” he advanced. (PIABohol/RAC)

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Bohol school children involve
in disaster response planning

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 27, (PIA) – Start them young and everything should follow.

At least, this is what most teachers here believe as the Department of Education and an international humanitarian organization Save the Children (StC) signed an agreement on School-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, one that lets school children be an active part in disaster planning and risk reduction. 

During a signing activity at the South Palms Resort in Panglao, StC Bohol project director Roxanna Epe said town disaster reduction and management plans are so generic, the children and their needs have not been among its focused areas. 

There are towns with disaster response plans, but those are only known in paper, communities are lucky if they see these plans, so you don’t actually expect people to know and respond according to plans, said a teacher from a school in Maribojoc town, who was there during the signing of the agreement. 

Signing for the agreement were DepEd Bohol authorities and StC authorities led by Edward Olney, StC country director. 

The dire need for the school based DRRM was best exemplified in a case when, in an aftershock, a child was seen in a yard, arms wrapped around a tree, his head planted on the ground.

Asked why he did that, the boy replied: “I think the world was going to invert itself, if that happens, I would be upright, I could easily wrap my feet around the tree and not fall off. 

In Bohol, stories of how children shiver and shout at the event of an aftershock depict a psychological trauma which is common among people who were not properly-appraised of a disaster and were not aptly prepared for what would happen in such, a leading Boholano behavioral psychologist pointed out. 

Children who were traumatized in the October 15 aftermath were just left to fend on their own, and their needs were not among the high priorities for response if not for humanitarian organizations seeing this specific need, admits Leah Bugtay, Save the Children Communications Officer bared at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

The project, funded by Prudence Foundation and implemented by StC gets to be piloted in 2 earthquake damaged towns of Bohol: Maribojoc and Loon, where children, teachers and immediate community are given trainings on disaster related skills to better respond to any disaster, Bugtay remarked, during the forum aired live on DyTR Thursday. 

The worst this is that parents think schools are the safest places for a child during a disaster, not really realizing that the teachers and the kids do not have any plan on what to do in times of disaster, Bugtay added. 

The program would allow kids to set up early warning signals, coordinate disaster evacuation routes and designate evacuation areas, plan for the mobilization and eliminate panic which is often the culprit for most disaster response flops, she said. (PIABohol/RAC)

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PHO notes more dengue 
cases in populous towns 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 26, (PIA) –If the dengue affectation data were analyzed, places where there is a huge concentration of people would tend to have more dengue cases than sparsely populated towns. 

In the list of Bohol’s top dengue cases in the first six months of the year, Tagbilaran City (population 98,792) tops with 65 cases as reported by health authorities, and followed by Jagna (32,566), which has 27 cases.

Populated Guindulman (31,789) and Loon (42, 800) ranks third, with 18 cases each, while small town Cortes (15,294) and northeastern population dense Talibon (61,373) pick fourth with 16 dengue cases. Cortes town center however is about 10 kilometers from Tagbilaran, but has barangays which are adjacent to the city. 

Another populous town Carmen (43,579) had 15 dengue cases, ranking fifth along with Duero (17,580) who had similar number of cases. 

Sixth in most number of cases is Batuan (population: 12,421) with 12 cases while Garcia Hernandez (23,038) takes the seventh spot with 11 cases.

Dauis (39,448), a town some three kilometers away from Tagbilaran is eighth with 10 cases while Panglao (28,603) which had 9 is close ninth. 

Trinidad (38, 828) town occupies tenth place with 7 cases.

On this, the dengue program coordinator and focal person at the Provincial Health Office has said dengue this year may have behaved calmly considering that in the first six months, Bohol suffered a single casualty. 

One dengue patient reportedly died in Bilar during the first six months of the year where Bohol recorded 350 cases.

Nurse Teresita Sarigumba hinted that the dengue behavior may have something to do with the noted cycle of dengue affectation which health authorities have loosely established.

She also pointed out that the intervention which Gov. Edgar Chatto did in issuing policies and engaging barangay officials against dengue may have also largely contributed to the reduced cases noted here. 

Gov. Chatto issued a memorandum circular and an executive order mandating local government officials to involve themselves in the fight against dengue.

The Chatto directive also asked local governments to conduct the basic 4S in Bohol’s coordinated fight against the disease spread by mosquitoes aedes aegypti. (PIABohol/RAC)

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Guv wants PRO-7 to help
Bohol become drugs-free

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 25, (PIA) –He has barely warmed his seat as the region’s top crime buster, and Police Chief Superintendent Prudencio Bañas now has a mission, handed to him in his first official visit to Bohol. 

Installed only last June 11, PCSupt Bañas told media in a press conference after a courtesy call with Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, that his instructions are to make Bohol a pilot area in successful anti-illegal drugs campaign. 

“The desire of the governor is to declare Bohol drugs free,” Bañas, who admitted it as a huge challenge to make Bohol drugs-free, shared.

Big challenge, it could be, but PCSupt Bañas was on to it. 

“We will not buck down,” the new chief and former police human rights advocate told media.

Our fight against illegal drugs is serious, we will focus on this as the dent doesn’t just affect us, but the community as well, PCSupt Bañas bared to media gathered at the Agricultural Promotions Center Conference Hall. 

A mission without any time table as yet, Bañas said they would approach the mission with extreme caution. 

“We would initiate an assessment and a sound study before making a comprehensive plan to achieve the goal,” he said. 

The governor’s aim for drugs reflects the same thing when Bohol capped a glorious victory against insurgency when in 2009, the country honored the province with an “Insurgency Free Province.”

The challenge even becomes more intimidating as Bañas could be fighting not just known enemies in the illegal drug trade, but to supposedly allied police and local government officials who have been reportedly protecting the very lucrative business. 

Although not categorically admitting about the list, PCSupt Bañas urged hos police officers to be ready, be threatened because it is the essence of a police officer.

“We are dealing with our men, and the involvement of officials,” the police official who had just been name new PRO-7 chief less than 2 weeks, beamed. 

hat the police have now the names of illegal drugs protectors in a list recovered from a slain drug-lord in Bohol, CSupt Bañas assured that he would be validating the list to be assured that they would be morally convinced on the involvement, when the police organization would make necessary actions. 

He said. “The list does not suffice, we must be convinced,” meaning meting out punishment only after the individual has had due process of the law. (PIABohol/RAC)

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Physical injury reports
Scaring off investors?

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, (PIA) – Lest Bohol be misunderstood as investor-unfriendly, for its high incidence of physical injuries, no less than a state prosecutor reiterates a request to police statisticians to categorize and segregate these seemingly harmful incidents so as not to be misconstrued as dangerous for business. 

Provincial Prosecutor Macario Delusa reminded police statisticians to categorize cases of physical injuries, as this could scare off investors thinking Boholanos are troublesome.

It may be recalled that in a previous Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting, council members have pointed out the alarming cases of physical injuries in Bohol.

To this, former police provincial director Constantino Barot explained that physical injuries, as listed in police crime statistics are not strictly the usual mauling, fistfights or physical confrontations that leave parties bruised or injured. 

Physical injuries here also include vehicular accidents, reckless driving causing injuries or just plain motorcycle accidents where people get injured, assailed Camp Dagohoy crime statisticians. 

This too as crimes in Bohol during the fiesta month increased by 89 cases as Bohol police finally attempts to seriously smoke out criminality which the drug problem has brought along.

And of all crimes during the two months, physical injuries ranked highest on both months at 136 and 197 for April and May followed by theft at 130 and 150 for April and May. 

Records from the Bohol Provincial Police Office indicate that in April, there were only about 639 cases of crimes recorded in police stations logbooks all over Bohol.

By May however, the figure rose to 728, a fact police crime statisticians ascribe to the crime opportunity presenting itself as Bohol opens its gates to fiesta revelers, and where the unexpected summer heat, easily available booze, and a prodigious combination of men and men in open dancing venues easily ignite trouble. 

According to the report by Police Senior Inspector Roland Desiree Lavisto, who reported for Camp Dagohoy chief PSSupt Dennis Agustin, both index and non-index crimes in May increased as compared to April. 

May had 270 index and 458 non index crimes, while the previous month had only 263 index and 376 non-index crimes. (PIABohol/RAC)

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Humanitarian group grabs
“Bayaning Filipino Awards”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, (PIA) –Another Boholano non-profit foundation involved in selfless community service especially to the deaf and most recently to earthquake and typhoons victims here and Leyte capped this year’s most coveted Gawad Eugenio Lopez Bayaning Filipino Awards. 

International Deaf Education Association (IDEA) Philippines in Bohol was picked as Bayaning Pilipino Awardee in a national search for modern-day heroes continuing to make a difference in spite of limitations. IDEA is the second Bohol group to bag the coveted awards. . 

IDEA came next after Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons Inc., (BFDPI) which capped the same award a decade ago.

IDEA is an American non-profit foundation working to educate poor and neglected deaf children in Bohol and Leyte. 

More than 400 deaf children has attended or are still attending IDEA supported special education classes, all of these through a sponsorship program by which American or European families and individuals financially support the schooling of a student assigned to them.

“IDEA envisions a society in which the Deaf in the Philippines enjoy social and economic equality, exchanging isolation for community, servitude for self-reliance,” according to its website’s homepage. 

“Our mission is to foster self-reliance by providing academic, vocational, physical, spiritual, and economic opportunities for deaf children, adults, and families,” it said.

In Bohol, when the deaf have had school, IDEA Philippines Founder Dennis Drake went into operating a restaurant to get these people productive by gaining employment. IDEA operates Garden Café in Tagbilaran and Jagna and Dao Diamond Hotel here in the city, apart from providing cottage industries to its graduates, said Mateo Quilas. 

Seeing this, Boholanos Mateo Quilas and journalist Benjie Culpa nominated IDEA to the Bayaning Filipino awards. 

Mateo Quilas heads the BFDPI and Culpa heads the Association of Writers and Radio Announcers (AWRA) Foundation Incorporated. 

As to the award which was launched since 1995, the Bayaning Filipino was envisioned by the late Don Eugenio Lopez, Jr. for which this award is also named, aims to recognize ordinary men who have done heroic acts and extraordinary deeds.

The Bayaning Pilipino Awards, comes as a fitting tribute to fine Filipino values of humanitarianism, industry, determination and dedication to public service. 

It is intended to hold in high public esteem “existing heroes who have rendered service to the Filipino people,” quotes IDEA, in their website.

As envisioned, the annual search for the Bayaning Pilipino Awardees will promote Filipino values by highlighting their accomplishments in the field of public service.

IDEA Philippines was nominated and won the Regional Competition in the Institutional Category and was listed as a finalist and entered in the competition for the National Level. (PIABOhol/RAC)

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80’s Phils Mr Football 
holds soccer clinic here

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 23 (PIA) He was then known as Philippines Mr. Football when he was a member of the Republic of the Philippines Youth team in the ‘80s, and now, Australia based Elmer Lacknet Bedia brings his soccer expertise to Bohol June 21-22 with his Bedia Soccer Clinic.

Bedia, who has shown intent in building the backbone of the Philippine soccer through sustainable grassroots trainings was accompanied by members of Elmer Lacknet Bedia Football Academy (ELBA), some of them members of the Philippine Homeless Team, last year’s World Cup Champions.

The team came here to teach the children of Bohol the fundamentals of the beautiful game, Bohol Football Association (BFA) president Edmar Thaddeus M. Simpao recently said.

Simpao also added that the clinic which adopts ‘Be cool play football and stay in school’ was held at the Carlos P. Garcia football field in Tagbilaran City. 

Attending the clinic were several football clubs and schools from all over the province sending as much as 120 age group players.

Aside from conducting the clinic, Bedia also brought and handed football equipment like soccer spiked shoes, socks, and balls to give to the poor football playing kids of Bohol who suffered from a strong earthquake that hit the province last year. 

“The clinic was also timely because school is just starting. It would be very good for the children to see how Elmer Bedia coaches and play football,’’ Simpao added. The clinic is for boys and girls aged below 16. 

Bedia and company also met Bohol governor Edgardo Chatto and some officials, including those who dished out sponsorship packages including Bohol Bee Farm, Jjs Seafoods Village, Julies Bakeshop, individual sponsors who give their full support of the project. 

Bohol Football Association (BOHFA) brought Bedia in, a move which had the former Philippine striker as famous as the current Chieffy Caligdong, said Simpao. 

Other officials of the Bohol FA who have supported this project are VP Emmanuel Gamonez, secretary Louie T. Supremo, treasurer Dario E. Rosalejos, PRO Ma. Claire M. Fudalan, Auditor Patrick Thomas C. Clarino, and Board of Directors Rev. Fr. Gerardo F. Saco, Fernando Magallanes, Andrew Balatero, Pete Roselyn Gulay and Apolinario G. Echavia Jr. (PIABohol)

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Family to sue SWAT, cop 
team in “Owen operation” 

CATIGBIAN, Bohol, June 18 (PIA)—Members of the joint police and Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team involved in neutralizing the alleged criminal elements holed up in a resort in Bien Unido could be in hot water.

A recent report reaching Camp Dagohoy indicate that a family of one of those slain in the gunfight is suing them for alleged human rights violations. 

It may be recalled that a day after armed men in two cars sprayed bullets on a vehicle which Ubay Police Chief PCInsp. George Cana was driving on the early evening of June 7, police in hot pursuit operations swooped down on a resort in Bien Unido. 

And as if a human rights suit is the last of their worries, reports leaking to police intelligence hinted a key official protector of the drug group in Bohol could pull strings and play marionette on the fate of key officials involved in the operation. 

A composite team of Bien Unido cops led by PCInsp Alvin Futalan, Provincial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau Chief PInsp Jojit Mananquil and SWAT Chief PSinpector Roland Desiree Lavisto immediately surrounded a resort in Puerto San Pedro in Bien Unido town, where the men and the vehicles tagged in the ambush were reportedly seen. 

As the ambush suspects were surrounded in the Aplaya resort, a look-out and three others surrendered and negotiated for the group. 

But five other men, armed with KG9 submachine pistols, shotguns and high powered hand guns including alleged drug lord Owen Rosales’s un-surrendered M16, decided to fight it out with authorities and reportedly started shooting. 

Rosales, who used to be a member of the police force but was dismissed for absence without leave also refused to return his issued automatic rifle, which he accordingly used to kill Cana. 

When the gunfire subsided and the smoke settled, five men and Rosales were killed and the responding police gathered an assortment of firearms and ammunition, most of them unregistered except for Rosales’ armalite rifle.

Corpses bore at least two gunshot wounds, which could have pushed family members to believe there was excessive force used, according to PSIncpector Lavisto, at the PPOC. 

As this happened too, Police Regional Officer in Charge PSSupt Orlando Ualat, in reports called Bohol operation against Rosales and his men as legitimate and went on to claim that there was no excessive force used. 

Ualat, in print reports reasoned out that the weapons which police recovered after the gunfight showed the men were armed and extremely dangerous that what was done was necessary. 

“It is impossible not to use force by using their fire-arms against the suspects because it was also the suspects who first opened fire at them” Ualat was quoted in newspaper reports. 

“If there is anything excessive, it was how they killed Cana,” Lavisto who pointed out that the slain police chief whose head was literally mangled and “rearranged” died in a spray of automatic gunfire. 

Last Wednesday, at the PPOC, Lavisto then pleaded to the council for legal support to the police, who would tend to be demoralized when left to defend themselves and on their own. 

While Governor Edgar Chatto and the council did not categorically assent to the SWAT Chief pleading, all indications show that the PPOC is right behind the legally embattled officers and gentlemen, if the case progresses. (PIABohol/RAC) 

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