Monday, September 21, 2020
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(UPDATE) SLAIN SORSOGON JOURNALIST Jobert Bercasio, also known as “Polpog”, who was shot dead Monday night by two gunmen riding -in -tandem on motorcycle, was probably shot dead by an automatic Armalite assault rifle, as police investigators found spent casing of M16 bullets at the crime scene, but investigators did not officially confirm their findings as investigation was still being pursued as of presstime. 

Sorsogon City Police Chief Supt. Benito Dipad said “the victim died on the spot, but could not yet be determined how many gunshot wounds he took as autopsy has yet to be performed.”

Dipad said empty casings for M-16 rifle were recovered at the crime scene.

Police investigators are now reviewing CCTV footages along the route taken by the victim for possible identification of the suspects, Dipad added.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) issued an alarm to members nationwide about the killing of the Sorsogon journalist.

According to NUJP, If Bercasio’s murder is proven to be related to his work, he would be the 17th journalist killed in the line of duty under President Rodrigo Duterte and the 189th since 1986. 

Bercasio, who is known for hard-hitting commentaries, hosted a program through Facebook live.

According to reports in Sorsogon City, Bercasio was a “hard-hitting” commentator who tackled issues such as, illegal logging, among others.

But, reports said, an hour before he was killed, Bercasio, in his personal Facebook page, posted about “trucks coming from a “quarry area” in Bulan town that lacked proper documents.” 


(UPDATE) TWO GUNMEN, riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle, fired 5 gunshots at mediaman Jobert “Polpog” Bercasio, of Balangibog TV.
Bercasio was a journalist when  shot dead Monday evening around 8:00 o’clock, September 14, 2020 at Seabreeze Homes, Cabid-an, Sorsogon City.
The gunmen fled, according to witnesses near the crime scene, where they heard the gunshots, and one witness said the suspects fled on a motorcycle toward the direction of city hall where it was dark.
These are some of the information gathered by police investigators following up at the scene of the crime.
No further details were disclosed by police.


A journalist in Sorsogon was shot dead, Monday evening around 8:00 o’clock, September 14, 2020 at Seabreeze Homes, Cabid-an, Sorsogon City.
Victim identified as Jobert “Polpog” Bercasio of Balangibog, an online news portal.

Sorsogon representative Bernardita “Tia Ditas” Ramos tested positive of Covid-19


SORSOGON CITY — Identified as Bicol patient# 1467, Sorsogon Second District Representative Bernardita Ramos tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Ramos, a first term House member, is 76 years old, the 8th member of the House who tested positive, after 1-Pacman Partylist Representative Eric Pineda caught the virus.

This information was announced by House Secretary-General Luis Montales after she developed symptoms and was tested here in the province.

The other House members found COVID-19 positive are Johnny Pimentel of the 2nd District of Surigao del Sur; Samier Tan of Sulu 1st District; Mujiv Hataman of Basilan who recovered; Senior Citizen Partylist Representative Francisco Datol Jr, who died August 10; Northern Samar 1st District Representative Paul Daza; and Luis Ferrer IV of Cavite 6th District.

Rep. Ramos, fondly called “Tia Ditas”, co-authored Republic Act 11478 that increased the bed capacity of Bicol Medical Center(BMC) from 500 beds to 1000.

The law upgraded BMC service facilities and professional health care services by increasing the medical workforce and appropriating funds. It amended R.A. 8053. [Bicol Today]

SCWD role only contract monitoring after JVA with Prime Water


By Felix ‘Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY – The concessionaires of Sorsogon City Water District (SCWD) should understand that its role is now reduced to mere contract monitoring after the perfection of the Joint Venture Agreement with Prime Water owned by the family of Senator Cynthia Villar.

This was revealed by the interim general manager of SCWD Engr. Eduardo Tejada currently the GM of Casiguran Water District in answering the questions regarding the ability of the Prime Water to fully comply with conditions of the JVA.

Aware of the criticisms hurled against SCWD because of its failure to provide adequate water to its consumers, he said that the operations of the firm is now in the hands of Prime Water. From collections maintenance developing water sources.

The JVA which very complicated has a mandatory review after five years either Prime Water fully complied with its obligations as stipulated. With three years of the agreement Prime Water has not fully complied with the contract obligations. By 2021, the The d of SCWD will review if the agreement has the benefit of extension.

Tejada sits on the Board as ex-officio and can identify the failed obligations, shortcomings, lack of total commitment on the part of Prime Water but it is the Board to decide by 2021 to close the tap of Prime Water. [Bicol Today]

“Kurit-Lagting” Bicol artist group launches online art workshop to benefit displaced artists amid pandemic


KURIT-LAGTING, a collective artistic collaboration of Bicolano artists from Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate and Camarines provinces with art advocacies on human rights and the environment, initiates the Kurit Art and Design Academy (KADA) Hands-Online Workshops to help their fellow artists and members who were forced to put down their cameras, pens, and brushes, including the cancellation of music performances, theater and dance productions due to the pandemic.

“Without much support from the government, we really have to start within ourselves so we organized the Kurit Art and Design Academy’s Hands Online Workshops where proceeds will go directly to Bicolano Artists whose livelihood are severely affected by the current crisis,” Geri Matthew Carretero, Kurit-Lagting co-founder.

“Moreover, the online workshops will help participants discover their passion and dive deeper into their craft by learning from the industry’s top leading professionals. Each workshop is designed so that participants can continue to create and learn the fundamentals of their craft while creating their own original work,” he added.

KADA’s workshops are specialized over a wide variety of visual arts, film and media, as well as art theory and criticism disciplines that include live interactive instruction, group meetings, and additional one-on-one consultations with the instructor.

KADA’s online workshops begin as early as September 26, 2020.

For more info, please contact: Gerald Jintalan, email:

Prime Water may lose the contract with SCWD


By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

CASIGURAN, Sorsogon – The grip to monopolize local water district by Prime Water may soon end by 2021 when its Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Sorsogon City Water District (SCWD) will be reviewed as mandated in the JVA. The mandatory review after five years to determine the obligations of Prime Water to the concessionaires of the city water district is an opportunity to validate if the conditions in the Joint Venture Agreement was fully complied by Prime Water given the daily complaints of its concessionaires.

In video footage, Engr. Eduardo Tejada, SCWD Interim General Manager said, Prime water is responsible for the operation, maintenance, sourcing of new springs collection of payment financing but failed to remedy the lack of potable water supply.

Alternately some areas of SCWD operated by Prime Water experienced twelve (12) hours with dried faucets while others have which could have been remedied using a generator on its pumping stations. This simple solution was never done. The slow development of springs as water sources has left serviceable areas with reliance on deep wells as their source and its potability is questionable. The lack of definite action from the Villar Group has peeved local officials which if nor remedied may lead to a hang man’s noose for Prime Water.

The complicated Joint Venture Agreement will be reviewed on October 17, 2021 by the SCWD Board and the recommendation of the Interim General Manager will be weighted.

When the Villar Group Prime Water was negotiating an entry with the city water district in 2016 four petitioned the court opposing its entry but it fizzled out because of the withdrawal of three petitioners and it was only Franco Eric Ravanilla now a city council member who stood against its possible entry but his Don Quijote posture was reduced by the political maneuvering in Manila by people whose interest was obvious. [Bicol Today]

Ayo UST Growling Tiger head coach resigns ready to face sanctions


By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY — After the bolting of key players from the team UST Growling Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo together with his two deputies resigned and whatever sanctions to be imposed by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines(UAAP) for the training of the team in his personal gym here in Sorsogon City, he took full responsibility for breaching health protocols imposed by UAAP in the light of COVID-19.

The sanctions is yet to be decided by the athletic board and the status of Ayo remains in limbo since the rumor that he is going back to Letran was unfounded.

With the key players looking for new teams among them CJ Cansino and Rhenz Abando the Santo Tomas community is reeling the development.

The university athletic director Fr. Jannel; Abogado who was responsible for the coaching stint of Ayo with the Growling Tigers stepped down two weeks ago from his post. The university in a statement said that it remains committed for the welfare of its student-athletes while awaiting the verdict of the UAAP board of trustees verdict. By Monday the framers of the Joint Administrative Order responsible for the sports protocol will elevate the case to the justice department. [Bicol Today]

Sorsogon medical frontliner infected with Covid-19


A MEDICAL FRONTLINER connected with the Sorsogon Provincial Health Office was discovered with COVID-19 after swab-test on August 28.

Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero identified the government employee as Fernan Lafuente Ocampo, 52, from OLV, Pangpang, Sorsogon City.

Ocampo is a registered nurse in the Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease or EREID COVID-19 Team of Sorsogon Province.

He is now registered as Bicol Patient No. 1224.

According to reports, Ocampo started suffering symptoms similar to COVID-19 on August 27, 2020, and was immediately sent to Cabid-an Quarantine Facility.

Next day, he was subjected to an RT-PCR test or swab test, revealing positive results of COVID-19.

Medical staff are now monitoring Ocampo’s health, now reported as improving.

At present, the province has a total record of 104 COVID-19 cases, with 24 active cases, 75 recoveries, and 5 deaths. [Bicol Today]

Sorsogon Province is Code 9-1-1 ready


By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY – The soft launching of the Province Emergency Hotline 9-1-1(nine-one-one) demonstrated the resolve and resiliency for quick response time during emergency and disaster where real-time response is critical in saving lives.

All became possible when it was allowed by DILG to use Code 9-1-1, the three-digit use by the national government for emergency response.

The hotline has thirty response units including the local government units of the province and its adjunct national agencies operating within their jurisdiction.

The main server is interconnecting with the LGU’s disaster response offices.

The Bureau of Fire Protection operating within is linked to the system, also the PNP-PPO and city police station, including the Coast Guard.

To access, one must have a minimum of five peso load and simply dial# 911 which will be received by the operator at the main hub, and therein the nearest response team to the location identified by the caller will be a patch for their quick response. One must be in an area where it is not a dead spot for a call to be made.

Because of its infancy, it is not remote that there will be some glitches, but Governor Francis Escudero said that, in a short time, all systems will be running smoothly.

All response vehicles will be geo-tagged to locate one nearest to an emergency call. It was made clear that, except for ambulances that may exceed the speed limit of 80/kph. For responding vehicles exceeding the limit will be red-tagged in the GPS locator monitor at the 9-1-1 local call center.

The Governor also mentioned that the Province is working closely with private hospitals for the inclusion of their ambulances as part of the response vehicles which can be tapped during emergency calls.

To enhance understanding, a massive information drive will be undertaken by respective local governments aside from his request to the Provincial Board to enact an ordinance with possible penal provisions against prank callers.

Escudero is hoping that SORECO I & II will improvise a system of numbering their electric poles as a reference for callers needing hotline assistance. such coded numbers be included in the monthly statement of account of their member-consumers.

The chief of the Province disaster response office Engineer Raden Dimaano, in a separate talk, said that they have clustered the five servers of Sorsogon Citizen Emergency Hotline to handle calls, and have identified dead spot areas that hopefully will be given attention by telecommunication providers.

The nerve center is located at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction office manned by trained information technology personnel.

Code 9-1-1 was the effort of AT & T in 1968 as the emergency code throughout the United States and using the Alabama Telephone Company as its server. On February 16, 1968, the first call was completed at Halleyville, Alabama by Senator Rankin Fite.

9-1-1 was chosen because it best fits the needs of all parties involved. It met public requirements, is brief, easily remembered and can be dialed quickly among other considerations. Code 9-1-1 gives the public fast and easy access to Public Safety answering Point (PSAP). [Bicol Today]