Religious Reflection from Jagna Town

By Joe Espiritu
Bohol Sunday Post
Columnist

On a ledge overlooking the Jagna Bay, far from the bustle of everyday life is found the Shrine of the Birhen sa Barangay and a retreat house. In the altar beside the Cross is the icon of Our Lady. The faces of the Virgin and her Son in her arms are not distinctly Caucasian or even Semitic. This is the only representation of the Virgin among her pictures, which could pass as Filipino, a Filipino mestiza. This could be the effect of her Filipino attire of baro, saya, tapis and head covering.  The background conveys the color of evening skies over Tubod Mar.

 The Birhen sa Barangay did not just happen by chance to come to Jagna. She came from the Sta Barbara Sanitarium of Iloilo via Silay City of Negros Occidental. Antonio C. Gaston, Mayor of Silay City had organized in 1949 the Barangay Sang Birhen Association, a movement patterned after the lines of the Cursillo. Under his influence the Barangay Sang Birhen movement spread to the neighboring towns and cities of the province.

 Gaston conceived the idea of an icon of the Virgin Mary to be a patroness of the Barangay Sang Birhen movement and Our Lady is to be decked in a Filipina costume so the Philippine masses could identify with her. In 1954, he broached the idea to Msgr. Manuel Yap. Bishop of Bacolod Bishop Yap agreed but he set a standard based on ecclesiastical rules in religious paintings.

 In the cathedral of Jaro, Iloilo, one day Rev. Fr. Pixner a Milhill priest of the Sta Barbara Leprosarium told Gaston of a painting made by a patient. The painter, Crisogono A Domingo had executed a painting without hearing about the concept of the painting from Gaston or the standards set down by Msgr Yap. Domingo was a painter with no formal training.

 His painting was done on a lawanit wallboard. However, when photographs of his painting were shown to Msgr Yap, the bishop wholeheartedly approved of what he saw.  In May 1, 1955 the Most Reverend Members of the Episcopal Commission on Catholic action conferred a Certificate of Mandate to the Barangay Sang Birhen Movement. In October 16, 1955, the image was given a canonical blessing and erection in the diocese by the bishop and was called the Birhen sa Barangay.

 To propagate the Barangay Sang Birhen movement, Antonio Gaston took the image on a tour. The icon made its way through the provinces of Negros Occidental, Oriental and Cebu amid enthusiastic receptions. For years, the Virgen sa Barangay had been carried all over the major towns of Central Visayas, until it reached Bohol. On December 1977, the image landed in Tagbilaran City.

 Esteban Bernido, governor of Bohol at that time, was casting around for a place Jagna, which is to be made a tourist attraction. His attention was directed to the Ilihan Hill. Having seen the image of the Virgen, he was impressed by the similarity of the landscape in the image and of the Jagna bay. A shrine to the Virgin was erected in December 30, 1997. The laying of the cornerstone was attended by no less than Antonio Gaston and other Barangay Sang Birhen dignitaries.

 While the icon was making the rounds in the towns of Bohol several Sa Maria chapters and religious groups wanted to have a replica of the image. Photographs of the Domingo painting was sent to Rosalio A. Ortiz of Jagna. Ortiz is a graduate of the College of Fines Arts, University of Sto Tomas. Paintings based on photographs did not do the icon justice. When the icon was installed in Ilihan for a while Ortiz faithfully copied the painting down to the Domingo signature. As an artist, Ortiz must have imposed his imprimatur thus producing a distinctly similar yet subtly different result. The copy caught the attention of Sister Helen Fernandez. The original and the copy were brought by Sister Fernandez to Gaston in Silay City.

 Antonio Gaston was impressed by the Ortiz replica. The original was kept in Silay City while the copy was installed in the Ilihan shrine. The National Commission of the Barangay Sang Birhen movement appointed Rosalio Ortiz as official artist of the icon. All replicas are to be painted by him The Council further set standards on the sizes, which are to be installed in the Chapels and those to be placed in Churches.

 Religious philosophers say that God sends His servants to all peoples of the world but the people receive them according to their cultures and traditions. The Virgin Mary indeed occupies an esteemed position in the House of Islam It is not surprising to find Virgin Mary and Jesus in Islam as Christianity and Islam are daughters of Judaism.

 However, to find a   version of Virgin Mary in the Orient is remarkable. Kwan Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy is likened by the Chinese .to Mary. Through great love and sacrifice Kwan Yin earned the right to enter Nirvana after death. She was standing before the gates of Paradise when she heard cries of anguish from the earth below. Turning back, she renounced her reward of eternal bliss that she may bring relief rather than enjoy the ecstasies but found immortality in the hearts of the suffering. 

Poverty Reduction and Development Initiatives in Bohol Province

     By Angeline Valencia

     The Bohol Integrated Area Development (BIAD) clusters form the concept in this year's poverty reduction and development initiatives fair on October 16 at the Bohol Cultural Center .

      For the unique exposition of project proposals, the only event of its kind in the Philippines, the provincial government dubs this year's event as Bohol Poverty Reduction and Development Initiatives Fair 2008: A Marketplace of Development Initiatives for Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth.

      In the occasion, Country Director Neeraj Jain of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be among the guests, according to Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) Head John Titus Vistal, the event's overall chairperson.

      As the third annual poverty fair since 2006 held every October, the 2008 sequel carries the value-adding component of development initiatives and clustering of participants in the concept.

      The two previous poverty fairs focused on poverty reduction initiatives, while this year's event will showcase an expanded version with the inclusion of development-specific proposals, according to Rogelio Alegado, the event's vice-chairperson.

      This time, the presentation will be based on the BIAD clustering of the municipalities and the lone city according to commonalities and proximity, he added.

      Composing BIAD 1 are the municipalities of Alburquerque, Baclayon, Dauis, Panglao, Antequera, Balilihan, Cortes, Lila, Loay, Tagbilaran City, Corella, Loboc, Maribojoc, Sevilla, and Sikatuna.

      The towns of Buenavista, Calape, Catigbian, Clarin, Getafe, Inabanga, Loon, San Isidro, and Tubigon compose BIAD 2.

      BIAD 3 is composed of Alicia, Bien Unido, Mabini, Pres. Garcia, San Miguel, Talibon, Trinidad, and Ubay.

      BIAD 4, on the other hand, covers Anda, Candijay, Dimiao, Duero, G-Hernandez, Guindulman, Jagna, and Valencia, while BIAD 5 is composed of Batuan, Bilar, Carmen, Dagohoy, Danao, Pilar, Sagbayan, and Sierra Bullones.

      Alegado further explained that this year, PPDO expanded the concept to include infrastructure, environment, and other social and economic projects.

The activity serves as venue for the 47 municipalities and the lone city of Bohol to interact and establish linkages with foreign and local funding and grant agencies which can assist them in implementing poverty reduction and development projects.

      Traditionally, the participating local government units (LGUs) or cluster, this time, put up booths at the cultural center where they can display the profiles of their proposed poverty reduction and development projects. Then, the potential funding institutions- -foreign and local- -will go around, assess them, and pick out which ones they would want to sponsor, Ma. Trinidad Caseñas of the PPDO, who is in-charge of the event's publicity, said.

      An opening program will be held in the morning and the grant agencies will interact with the participating BIAD clusters in the afternoon where there will be perusal and discussions of the project profiles of the poverty reduction and development initiatives, as usual.

Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

By Flora Mae Garrote

     A Boholano who is connected with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is among the safety practitioners who got an accreditation from the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

      Assistant Regional Director for Operation (ARDO) Pepe Rebusa of BFP-Caraga region, who hails from Tagbilaran City, recently received his certificate of accreditation as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) practitioner from BWC Director Brenda Villafuerte in a simple ceremony at OSH Center in Diliman, Quezon City.

      The accreditation was awarded to Rebusa after he had undergone the prescribed training, and written and oral examinations conducted by the bureau which also evaluated his years of experience in the filed of OSH.

      Rebusa was once assigned as city fire marshal of Tagbilaran and provincial fire marshal of Bohol.

      The creation of Tagbilaran City Emergency Medical Response Operation Team (TCEMROT), which is now actively involved in community emergency health care and rescue, was his brainchild.

      He was a recipient of foreign scholarship grants in Disaster Management and Fire Safety Technology in Japan, and in Engineering in the United States.

      The Safety Organization of the Philippines Incorporation (SOPI) has conferred to him, two outstanding national awards in recognition to his honest commitment and achievement in public safety.

      Rebusa appreciated the formulation of the OSH standards administered and that has DOLE enforced to safeguard the worker's social and economic well-being and his physical safety and health.

      The continuing programs that the BWC carries out will also increase the supply and competence of personnel qualified in promoting and maintaining a safe and conducive working environment in both private and public sector.

Loboc Youth Ambassador Band

By Sunday Post 

    Barely a year after its inception, the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band has already embarked in a two-week series of performances from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5 in schools and theaters in Shanghai and other places in the People's Republic of China, and from October 8 to 14 in various schools in Metro Manila.

      While in China, the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band, together with the Loboc Children's  , participated as guest in the Shanghai International Children's choral contest participated in by choirs from different countries..

      It's a four-day choir competition set on October 2 to 5, aimed to symbolize and promote friendship between children from China and from other countries of the world.

      The 44-member Tarsier Group of the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band, with Rene Balbin as conductor and Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan as head of delegation, left on September 28 for Shanghai and other places of the People's Republic of China. Governor Erico Aumentado is also accompanying the group.

      During its tour, the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band performed at Song Kiang University in Quingpu which was celebrating its 30th anniversary; Chang Shou Gong Yuan in Xiao Zhu Ren Bao, Gao An Lu School, Shanghai Concert Hall, and Hangzhou Youth Palace, among others.

      The Loboc Youth Ambassador Band's repertoire included excerpts from return of the Jedi, In the stone, and Manhattan Skyline; Tuxedo Junction; Tequilla; Tinikling; Impossible Dream mixed with Careless Whisper, The One You Love, Can't Smile Without You, Pure Imagination, Open Arms; and China Olympic Song, and soundtracks from Star Wars, Live and Let Live, and Indiana Jones.

      The tour of the Loboc youth Ambassador Band is sponsored by the Philippine Soong Ching Ling Foundation and contest organizers, Shanghai International Children's Choir Contest, and the People's Government of Xuhui District. Ambassador Carlos Chan and Family is the major patron of the tour.

      The Loboc Youth Ambassador band is a poverty-alleviation project of the Loboc Youth Education Association, with the support of the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), LGU Loboc, the province of Bohol, First Consolidated Bank, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Ambassador Carlos Chan and family.

      To date, there are 164 members of the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band belonging to the first batch of students. A musical instrument is provided free to each of the 164 members, for them to simultaneously perform on stage.

      While the Tarsier Group is performing in China, the Busay Goup continues to perform at the Loboc Children's Theater every Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm.

      There are also additional 400 students enrolled in Batch 2 of the Loboc School of Music.

      Fifty of the students of the Loboc School of Music are enrolled as scholars at the University of Bohol, Holy Name University and Central Visayas College of Agriculture Fishery and Technology.

Philippine Mining Service Corporation

The Philippine Mining Service Corporation has inaugurated Friday the Jetty Pier expansion project located at the company's compound of this limestone-rich town. 

PMSC assistant department manager for operations Winston Bolo said the project is part of the development thrusts of the company and to address the needs of its clientele. 

The inauguration was graced by resident manager Paul M. Espina and vice-president for operations Hitoshi Sato and top guns of the company. 

Unveiling of the marker and ribbon-cutting were administered by Mr. Osamu Makimoto, PMSC president and Yosuke Tomida, PMSC vice-president and treasurer and Mayor Myrna Naldoza Schreurs and other guests. 

Blessing of the new facility was officiated by Rev. Fr. Sabino Rebosura II then turnover of the project by Mr. Takashi Shibuya, Jetty Pier project manager, to Mr. Sato. Mr. Arturo Bajao, assistant manager for maintenance did the inaugural heraldry. 

Fellowship dinner and inaugural program that ensued showed Mr. Paul M. Espina, resident manager welcomed and acknowledged the guests and visitors after which Ms. Virginia G, Palac, assistant department manager-administration led the prayer. Mr. Marcelo Pantollana, manager, human resource department/general affairs, led the ceremonial toast of the inaugural banquet. - Sunday Post

Julius Caesar Herrera vs Edgar Chatto in Bohol Governor Race 2010?

      Vice Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera is still hoping that Rep. Edgar Chatto will not go up against him.

      A source close to the vice-governor said the latter is still optimistic that a fight with his long-time political ally and friends will be averted.

      The source spoke on condition that he will not be named.

      "The vice-governor is still hopeful that he and the congressman will not be fighting each other and keep their political alliance intact," the source said.

      Although he has not issued a categorical statement, Herrera has made no effort to deny his gubernatorial ambitions.

      "Gov. (Erico) Aumentado knows it, Cong. (Edgar) Chatto knows it, everybody knows it," the source added.

      The vice-governor feels that since he has made known his political plans, a gubernatorial bid either by Chatto or Rep. Roberto Cajes is a direct challenge.

      A Herrera-Chatto fight will be a nightmare to many of their mutual political lieutenants and most are hoping this will not happen.

      The source said many people have told the vice-governor that the last thing they want is a fight between two close friends.

      Herrera however feels that if there is anybody who is spoiling for a fight, it would not be him.

      "I have made known my plans. If there is anybody who will aspire for the same position, it means he is the one who wants to fight me," the source quoted the vice-governor saying.

      The source said Herrera however made it clear he will not take it against anybody who will run for the top position to be vacated by Aumentado in 2010.

      "He has always said it is the right of anybody to run for governor," the source added.

      Herrera had said in the past that the governorship is not a post that anyone can give.

      The vice-governor had disputed reports that Aumentado wants him to be his heir as a reward for his loyalty.

      Herrera made it clear that while he had cooperated with the governor and supported his leadership, it does not mean that the governor owes him anything.

      The vice-governor said Aumentado does not owe him any political debt in the same manner that he is not asking for payment for his cooperation and support.

      "We both serve the people and the reason why we worked together is for the greater benefit of the people and not our political interest," he added.  - Sunday Post

Rape Murder Case Saga in Panglao Island

     The counsel for a witness who have instead been charged for the rape-slay of Vivian Dumaluan has cited the lack of due process in the filing of the case for rape with homicide against Alex Dasco.

      Lawyer Menedio Thadeus Bernido filed two motions in a bid to stay the filing of the case against Dasco.

      Bernido filed a motion to defer further proceedings with manifestation and an ex-parte motion to recall information.

      In the first motion, Bernido said the Bohol Provincial Prosecutor's Office through the majority members of the panel of prosecutors has not yet resolved the motion for reconsideration dated and filed on Aug. 1.

      If they have been resolved, Bernido said they have neither furnished Dasco nor his counsel a copy of the resolution.

      Bernido also pointed out that there was no preliminary investigation conducted on Dasco prior to the filing of the information for rape with homicide.

      The motion said that without having resolved first the motion for reconsideration or if they have resolved it, they did not furnish Dasco or his counsel a copy, the majority panel of prosecutors "did not only commit grave abuse of discretion but also denied (Dasco) of his constitutional right to due process."

      Bernido pointed out that preliminary investigation is required before an information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four years, two months and one day without regard to fine.

      He noted that Dasco is charged with a heinous crime where the penalty prescribed by law is death (although it cannot be imposed now) which is much higher than the imprisonment of four years, two months and one day.

      "There is no question therefore that Dasco should have been afforded a preliminary investigation before the information for Rape with Homicide was filed against him," the motion stressed.

      In filing the motion to recall information, Bernido said the right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being bound over to trial and formally at risk of information "is not a mere formal or technical right".

      The lawyer stressed that "it is a substantive right".

      "To deny petitioner's claim to a preliminary investigation would be to deprive him of the full measure of his right to due process," the motion noted.

Romeo Cordova Wycoco: Boy Scout of the Philippines Retired Official Passes Aways

By Gregorio Tavera
Sunday Post

      A Jagnaanon retired executive of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) succumbed to lung cancer on Wednesday at the age of 72.

      Romeo Cordova Wycoco died at the Wycoco residence in barangay Pangdan on October 1.

      He was regional scout executive of the Eastern Visayas before he retired. He had also been a provincial scout executive prior to his stint at the regional BSP office.

      Romy, as he was fondly called by friends and relatives, was born on April 14, 1936 in Tagbilaran City.

      He was once dubbed as a disciple of Lord Robert Baden Powell, the English founder of the BSP.

      Family members, in a way, attributed his ordeal with lung cancer to his smoking habit.

      During his fight with lung cancer, Wycoco regularly went to the family doctor for physical check up, they said.

      He was survived by his wife, Caritina "Caring" Jamisola, and daughter, Melanie.

      Caritina is a retired teacher of the then Bohol Provincial High School (now Cecilio Putong National High School) before her transfer to the DepEd regional office in Cebu City.

      He met her during their student days in Tagbilaran and got married after finishing school.

      Wycoco was once Bohol's BSP chief in 1970 and was instrumental in the construction of the Bohol provincial BSP headquarters and the Camp Magsaysay in Bilar.

      Later, he was promoted to the regional office in Cebu City and one of his landmark achievements there was the establishment of the Cebu City Capitol Hills BSP Center.

      Wycoco had also received an outstanding alumnus award from the University of Bohol.

      The requiem mass will be at 2:00 p.m. on Monday at the Saint Michael, The Archangel Church, to be followed by the interment at the Jagna Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cota. 

Crime Prevention and Peace Consciousness Month

By Onad Munalem     

      The local government unit (LGU) here observed the 2008 Crime Prevention and Peace Consciousness Month, and the culmination program of the 108th Civil Service Month celebration on September 26 at the President Carlos P. Garcia Multi-Purpose Center (PCPGMC).

      With the theme, "Kapit-bisig Kabataan Tungo sa Kapayapaan, Now Na", the LGU joined the whole province in the observance of 2008 Crime Prevention and Peace Consciousness Month.

      In a caravan initiated by the provincial government, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), chaired by Governor Erico Aumentado, visited this town to advocate crime prevention and lasting peace.

      The event was attended by all fourth year students and teachers of all three secondary schools in the town like the Blessed Trinity College (BTC), Bohol Institute of Technology-International College (BIT-IC) and San Jose National High School (SJNHS).

      The short program that was held started with an invocatory dance rendered by selected pupils of Special Education.

      Local Government Operations Officer V (LGOO V) Angelo Mahinay took charge of the introduction of the participants and guest, and gave the statement of purpose of the caravan.

      Councilor Nomie Valmoria, chair of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Committee on Peace and Order, delivered the welcome address.

      Rev. Fr. Chito Lozado, director of Diocesan Social Action Center discussed the meaning of peace.

      He said peace is a must in our heart and mind, family, community, town, province and the country as a whole.

      "We cannot have peace unless we learn to understand and respect the rights of others. We must understand and respect other people around us. With this, we can achieve a lasting peace- -an instrument for a place to develop and move forward," he said.

      Civil Military operations officer, 1Lt. Nelson Boticario of 2nd Special Forces Battalion of the Philippine Army gave a presentation on the Crime Justice System of Bohol province, focusing the discussion on the students who are easy target of the people in the underground movement.

      SP02 Narciso Laruga, chief police investigator, discussed the criminal justice system and useful tips in crime prevention.

      Jeffrey Bernasor, LGOO V and DILG-Bohol planning officer, led the team who conducted the caravan for peace.

      The program clinched with the signing of the Covenant for Peace done by the barangay officials of Poblacion, San Jose, San Francisco and San Isidro, teachers and student of the three high schools, and LGU officials and employees of this town.

      Meanwhile, Mayor Juanario Item gave certificates of recognition to 15 local LGU retired employees during the culmination program of the 108th month-long Civil Service Commision celebration held at the President Carlos P. Garcia Multi-Purpose Center of the town.

      Vice-Mayor Restituto Auxtero and Acting HRMO Sarah Henson assisted the mayor during the distribution of certificates to the honorees.

      A short program was also conducted to kick off the culmination activities of the CSC month-long celebration.

      Dr. Julius Credo of Garcia Memorial Provincial Hospital (GPMH) led the opening prayer and Remedios Auxtero of the Department of Education led the singing of national and provincial hymns.

      Participating barangays in the Barrio Fiesta included the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DepEd, GMPH, national agencies and the LGU.

      Vice Mayor Auxtero gave his welcome message, while Mayor Item shared his inspirational message.

      The distribution of certificates of recognition to LGU was conducted and followed by the awarding of certificates of participation to all provincial and national agencies who participated in the CSC celebration.

      Retirees who received their certificates of recognition were Leonides Tubo, SB secretary; Aida Cornelio, HRMO III; Zenaida Deiparine, Anecita Padillo, Virginia Buhay, Felixberta Anzano, midwives; Macrina Mejorada, municipal librarian; and Irenea Ocon. social welfare officer I; and utility workers- -Francisco Lareta, porferiio Getigan Olimpio Autida Jovela Evardo Constancio Millanes, Moises Autida and Alejandro Pantollano.

      On the other hand, Mayor Item, assisted by Vice-Mayor Auxtero and Henson, awarded the cash prizes and trophies to the winners of the different events conducted during the CSC celebrations. 

Tennis Club Tournament in Bohol Philippines

     Inabanga tennis duo went home with the P10-thousand hefty champion's purse and trophy in the recent Edward Du and Venerandu Du Tennis Tournament on September 28 that catered a good benchmark for members of the Jagna Tennis Club (JTC).

      Declared champion was Inabanga's Mato-Toper tandem, while The second prize of P5,000 and trophy went to Gales-Boca duo of HNU-Tagbilaran.

      Semi-finalists, Castro-Castro and Bunado-Bunado tandems, each got the P2,000 consolation prize.

      The hard matches of the 12 participating teams catered to the real fight in the two-day duel of the racket wielders playing in double matches.

      The competitors posted a minimal entrance fee of P300.

      Dr. Mariano Ll. Salas, the over-all chairman of the tourney, was assisted by Sangguniang Bayan Members Alberto Cabrestante Jr., Pacheco Rances and Jesus Acedillo, and ABC president Andrew Tadena- -the playing JTC members, as tournament officials.

      The management of the tournament beforehand invited all active tennis clubs of Bohol but only 12 responded: Antequera, Ubay, Loboc, Valencia, Duero, Guindulman, Alecia, Inabanga and Tagbilaran team.

      In the initial encounter the tandems of Tavera-Ranan of JTC, Malo-Toper of Inabanga, Castro-Castro of Capitol/Tagbilaran, Tadena-Tagapia of Valencia, Damolo-Abueva of JTC, Gales-Boca of HNU-Tagbilaran, Arguilla-Rebosura of Antequera and Bunado-Bunado of Duero survived the elimination round. 

12 Bouts of Boxing Promotion in Jagna Bohol

By Gregorio Tavera

      Part of fiesta highlights, the local government unit of Jagna showcased a total entertainment to boxing enthusiasts in Bohol and nearby provinces in Visayas and Mindanao during the big fight in the afternoon of September 29 at the CMM Quadrangle.

      Jagna Mayor Exuperio Lloren, a sports-minded himself, poured full support to the amateur boxing bouts as part of the municipal government's sports promotion program.

      Fielding boxing heroes were the nearby towns of Garcia-Hernandez, Duero, Guindulman and Talibon.

      The neighboring towns submitted three entries to fight the four-round blow combat. The whole card was played by 12 pairs including the single main event card.

      In the first match, Ronald Castrodes took on Romano Galig of Talibon, while Robert Awitin defeated William Caseñas of Tejero, Jagna in the second fight.

      Malou Talili of Guindulman also outpointed Melchor Abecede of Taytay, Duero in the next match.

      Jome Abinomen of Garcia-Hernandez failed to outpunch Dodong Nueva of Pangdan, Jagna.

      Steve Llido of Odiong, Jagna was up versus his fellow Jagnaanon, Aljun Acebes.

      In the sixth match Gary Salan of Odiong, Jagna outscored Janro Lloren of T-Monte, Jagna.

      In the next fight, Joseph Cuadra of barangay Cantagay outmatched Robert Salamanoa of Pagina Seawall.

      A Guindulmanon, Hector Rejoca succumbed to Aierl Acojero of Tejero, Jagna.

      In the main event which was strongly contested by Samuel "Flash" Galinato, the hot flyweight sensation of Guindulman exploded his left-right combination in the third and fourth round strongly that toppled down Alvin "Pacman" Edqueland of Mabini. 

New Barangay Captain in Loay Bohol Takes Oath

By Angeline Valencia

      Recount victor, Narciso Avelino, recently assumed office as barangay captain of Poblacion Ibabao in the municipality of Loay after the about 10-month course of election case that booted out Ricardo Duco, the declared winner in the October 2007 elections.

      Avelino took his oath before Mayor Rosemarie Lim-Imboy on September 5.

      This was after the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) Branch 13 in Loay, covering the Loay-Alburquerque-Baclayon jurisdiction, issued a writ of execution dated September 4, 2008, through Clerk of Court Gertrudes  Romero.

      This was based on the order of MCTC Branch 13 Presiding Judge Alejandro Canda, bearing the same date, that directed the issuance of the writ of execution for the implementation of the court decision.

      Canda explained in his brief order that the decision of MCTC Branch 13 "has attained finality upon the 'order of dismissal of the appeal with finality' dated August 21, 2008" that the Commission on Elections had issued, and the entry of judgment also dated August 21, 2008.

      Avelino, through his counsel, Lawyer Aleck Francis Lim, submitted a manifestation/compliance on September 2 before the MCTC Branch 13 showing that he received on that day, copies of the entry of judgment dated August 21, 2008 and the order from the first division of the Commission on Elections also dated August 21, 2008 denying Duco's urgent manifestation/motion to defer implementation of the order dated July 23, 2008 "for lack of merit". It was to manifest that the Comelec had already dismissed Duco's appeal with finality and that it's already in the Book of Entries of Judgment.

      The entry of judgment, that Director Betty Pizaña of the Electoral Contests Adjudication Department (ECAD) issued, certified that the first division of the Comelec issued an order on April 30, dismissing Duco's instant appeal for failure to file his notice of appeal and failure to pay the appeal fee as prescribed under the Comelec Rules of Procedure within five-day reglementary period; that an order dated May 22, 2008 denied Duco's verified motion for reconsideration for failure to pay the required motion fees; and that the order dated July 23, 2008 called for the issuance of the entry of judgment in the instant case and directed the Judicial Records Division-ECAD of Comelec First Division to remand within three days, the entire records of the case to MCTC Branch 13 for proper disposition.

      Earlier, MCTC Branch 13 issued a decision in January this year finding Avelino as the duly elected barangay captain of Poblacion Ibabao with a total of 325 votes against Duco, who only got a total of 321 votes, based on the recounting done.

      This restrained Duco from assuming as barangay captain of Poblacion Ibabao.

      In January this year, Duco filed an appeal before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the reversal of the decision of MCTC Branch 13 that dismissed him after finding irregularity in the counting of votes during the October 2007 polls.

      The court found Avelino actually leading by four votes based on recounting.

      In a seven-page decision, MCTC Branch 13 Acting Judge Jennifer Chavez-Marcos cited that of the 326 votes counted in favor of Duco, five were stray votes. This leaves Duco with only 321 votes, actually.

      On the other hand, Chavez-Marcos considered the four ballots bearing only the official nickname of Avelino, as valid. This added four votes to Avelino, making it 325 instead of just 321 as previously counted.

      The case stemmed from Avelino's instant election case filed on November 8, last year against Duco after four ballots bearing his nickname, Sisoy, were considered invalid during the canvassing in four precincts.

      Avelino then sought for the dismissal of Duco, alleging fraud in the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 29, last year.

      Duco denied Avelino's allegations of irregularity in the counting of the ballots for the barangay captain.

      But Avelino called for a recounting of ballots from Precincts 0004A-0004B, 0005A-0005B, 0006A and 0007A-0007B.

      During the pre-trial conference on November 3, last year, it was disputed that Avelino got 321 votes in the four precincts, while Duco got 326 and that Avelino's watcher failed to raise objection on the Neighborhood Rule applied on the seven votes intended for him and the declaration of the three ballots bearing his nickname as invalid.

      The Board of Election Tellers declared seven votes from Precincts 0005A-0005B, 0006A and 0007A-0007B as invalid since Avelino's name was written on the space other than the designated one for barangay captain in the ballot.

      The Board of Election Tellers also declared three votes from the three precincts invalid since only the word, Sisoy (Avelino's official nickname) was written on the space intended for choice of barangay captain in three ballots.

      Revision was conducted from November 29 to December 3, last year from which the chairman of the Revision Committee, Gertrudes Romero, came up with a report dated December 7, 2007.

      Based on the report, the court cited the Rules for the Appreciation of Ballots in section 211 of Article XVII (Counting of Votes) in the Omnibus Election Code which explains that "…the object of the election is to obtain the expression of the voter's will", and that "every ballot shall be presumed valid unless there is clear and good reason to justify its rejection". For the ballot in precinct 0007A-0007B that contained the name S AELINO on the space for barangay captain, the court considered that "it is very close in spelling and similarly sounding" to "Avelino".

      The court cited the rule of "sounding the same or nearly alike" which explains that "if the name as spelled in the ballot, although different from its orthographically correct spelling, sounds practically the same when pronounced according to our method of pronunciation, it is sufficient designation of the individual to whom it refers, and the error of the writer must not be taken into account.

      The court also explained that "the misspelling of a name or lack of skill in writing it, should not be taken as a ground for rejecting the votes apparently intended for a candidate, so long as the intention of the voter appears to be clear". Rule 7 of section 211 of the Omnibus Election Code also states that "a name or surname incorrectly written, which when read, has a sound similar to the name or surname of a candidate when correctly written shall be counted in his favor," the court cited.

      The votes for Avelino that the Board of Election Tellers rejected included those contained in three ballots, two from Precinct 0006A, one from Precinct 0005A-0005B, and one from Precinct 0004A-0004B which all contained the name "Sisoy" on the first line for the position of barangay councilor.

      Citing the neighborhood rule, the court opined "that a vote for a candidate for a position written near the line or space for such position which is left vacant is a valid vote for such candidate".

      On the other hand, Avelino also protested four ballots for Duco, of which three were from Precincts 0006A, 0005A and 0005B which contained words that were unreadable and one from Precinct 0007A-0007B with a name that was neither the real name, nor nickname, nor surname of Duco.

      The court considered them stray votes as far as the position of barangay captain is concerned, since the names on the space for barangay captain in the four ballots were totally unreadable and could not stand for a particular candidate.

Panglao Bohol International Airport Update

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has endorsed Gov. Erico Aumentado's request to frontload the 2010 budget for the Panglao Bohol International Airport to 2009.

  In a letter to Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya, DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza favorably endorsed Aumentado's request seeking the frontloading, citing among other reasons, that 2010 is an election year.

  As such, Aumentado had explained, Congress might not be able to approve on time the calendar year 2010 General Appropriations Act (GAA), giving the country no other choice but to operate on a reenacted budget.

  A reenacted budget would jeopardize the airport project, the governor pointed out, because the 2009 budget carries only P307.5 million for the airport. The balance of the amount that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier approved for DOTC to come up with stands at P690,971,398 for a total allocation needed of P998,471,398.

  The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will take care of the other P3 billion requirement, which it will take from the payable of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for its exclusive use of an airport terminal. PAL chief honcho Lucio Tan has committed to settle the obligation – for the government, particularly MIAA, to use to build the Panglao airport with.

  Mendoza reminded Andaya that the development of the Panglao airport is one of the priority projects of President Arroyo, and that the MIAA and DOTC have been tasked to complete the project before the end of her term of office.

  The site for the new airport ois now 89 percent acquired while the procurement of consulting services for the conduct of detailed engineering design and construction management supervision of the project will be conducted shortly, he added.

  It is expected that its construction will commence by early next year, he said.

  Assistant Secretary for planning and project development Elmer Soneja provided Aumentado a copy of the Mendoza letter to Andaya, copy furnished President Arroyo, Mendoza, Secretary Cerge M. Remonde of the Presidential Management Staff and Rep. Edgar Chatto of Bohol's 1st District. - June Blanco, Government Writer