Thursday, August 13, 2020
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Naga City hall helps “van man” after social media uproar from Atty. Macaraig, netizens calling for “compassion”


By Joey Natividad

(UPDATED) After a lot of brouhaha was raised by local netizens led by civic leader Atty. Areiz Macaraig, demanding “compassion” from Naga City Hall over the pathetic plight of a returning Nagueño traveller, recuperating from surgery, who was left lying cramped up inside his L300 van, city officials finally intervened on Sunday.

“Charlie” now identified as Marvin Clarito by City officials, was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Infirmary, where he would be given medical attention.

On Sunday morning, Naga Mayor Nelson Legacion ordered Clarito’s transfer to the health center.

Clarito, with two companions, arrived in Naga City from Bataan on Saturday morning, despite lacking travel papers were allowed entry by border frontliners and were directed to a quarantine facility.

Clarito is recuperating from surgery on his hack wounds he got in Bataan, and has braces, can barely move. The photo of him cramped up inside a L300 van under quarantine had caused an uproar among netizens, led by lawyer Macaraig who called the attention of City Hall to give “compassion” to a Nagueño in distress.

Other netizens joined the clamor, suggesting that the injured man be brought to the hospital, and that Saturday night, Atty. Macaraig visited the patient who was still inside the van parked under a manggo tree, without a bed offered from the quarantine facility.

On Sunday morning, Naga Mayor Nelson Legacion with Dr. Joseph Sanchez and City Hall officer Frank Mendoza visited Clarito and convinced him to be transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Infirmary where he will be under quarantine and recuperate from his surgery.

Dr. Sanchez, an orthopedic surgeon, will be checking on him. [Bicol Today]

Motorcycle rider dies after hit by car, ran over by trailer truck in Sorsogon


IROSIN, Sorsogon Province – Luck had ran out for a motorcycle rider in Sorsogon Province that after getting hit by an onrushing car, he was thrown away on the opposite lane and was ran over by a speeding trailer-truck and died.

Police investigation disclosed that at about 07:15 PM of Saturday night {May 23, 2020}, at Barangay San Pedro, Irosin, Sorsogon, a motorcycle rider named Joan Guelas Futo, 24 years old, single, resident of Barangay Buenavista, same town, got hit by an Innova and ran over by a trailer truck that resulted to his death.

Witnesses told police investigators, the motorcycle, driven by victim Futo was experiencing mechanical failure in the junction towards Irosin District Hospital.

While Futo tried fixing his motorcycle, and when it functioned, he accelerated towards the lane of southbound direction where the Innova vehicle hit him.

The Innova driven by Darius Namayan Estrella, 48 years old, married, driver and resident of 2361 P. Dela Cruz Martinville Subdivision, Las Piñas City, was approaching from Sorsogon City traversing southbound direction en route to Matnog, Sorsogon, and upon reaching the place of incident, accidentally hit the motorcycle causing the driver to be thrown away and fell on the opposite lane, his motorcycle getting dragged 71 meters farther.

Still lying on the road, the victim was ran over by an onrushing Trailer Truck driven by Rogelio Lozano Palayo, 43 years old, married, driver and a resident of Doña Mercedes, Guinobatan, Albay while enroute to Sorsogon City.

Details of the accident report were given to Police Major Arwin D. Destacamento, Chief of Police of Irosin Municipal Police Station, and furnished to Police Colonel Roqua A. Bausa, Acting Provincial Director of Sorsogon PPO.

Bystanders brought the accident victim to the Irosin District Hospital, but he was pronounced Dead On Arrival by the attending physician.

Suspects and vehicles involved were under the custody of Irosin MPS for proper disposition.

Milk for children pour into lockdown village in Tigaon, Camarines Sur


By Joey Natividad

(UPDATED) Calling on Wednesday for good Samaritans to donate milk for children in locked-down Barangay May-Anao, Barangay Captain Sonny Casasis Bongat happily announced that boxes of milk for children arrived Saturday, May 23.

Barangay May-Anao, Tigaon, Camarines Sur is under total lockdown after Health authorities discovered a resident infected with Covid19.

The boxes of milk came from Congresswoman Marissa Andaya {1st District, Camarines Sur}, wife of former Congressman Rolando Andaya.

On Wednesday, May 20, Bongat aired his concern for donations of milk for children in the barangay which has 950 households, a sizeable percentage belonging to Tigaon’s urban poor.

The following day, Thursday, online news Bicol Today reported Bongat’s concern for more milk.

The village has been receiving donations of various foodstuff, mostly consisting of rice, canned goods, and noodles, but milk for children are few.

On his video report via Facebook, Bongat specified that milk for 0 to 2 years old children are urgent as lockdown families are suffering difficulties.

Appreciating the donated milk, Bongat said the children will get their share of milk, hoping that more milk donations will come.

Meanwhile, PAGCOR thru its Chief Operating Officer/President Atty. Alfredo Lim, gave sizeable volume of foodstuff to the village on Friday.

Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation gave hundreds of pieces of whole chicken for barangay residents.

Private donations also poured in, coming from Joel Brutas of Rose Computer; Dane Natalia Supermarket; Nora Prieto, Seloy Bautista, Jerick Cama and family, Allan Clariño, Cesar Lee, Adith Tam, Rey Clariño, Mean Plazo, Bongulto family, Charry Dancil Dacuba, Efren Plazo and family and others who remained anonymous.

Goa Mayor Marcel Pan gave 20 sacks of rice.

Lagonoy Mayor JB Pilapil, Presentacion Mayor Manghai Delena, Sagñay Mayor Jovi Fuentebella, and Poblacion Barangay Captain Tess Pilapil with 22 barangay captains also gave assistance.

The Local Government of Tigaon under Mayor Chiqui Fuentebella has been sending foodstuff, while Congressman Arnie Fuentebella also contributed rice and canned goods.

Board member Awel Llaguno with Seagull Gun Club also donated, and DSWD-MSWD gave the usual food relief assistance.

Civic leader Macaraig to Naga City Hall: Give compassion to injured man in van under quarantine


By Joey Natividad

A man from Bataan returning home to Naga City, Camarines Sur, still recuperating from surgery, was sent directly for quarantine, not to a hospital, by checkpoint frontliners Saturday morning, and when night fell, he was still holed up inside an L300 van.

Charlie (not his real name) is still recuperating from body injuries and with braces that he could barely move.

He was not redirected to a hospital, but frontliners left him lying cramped up inside his vehicle while undergoing quarantine.

His pathetic situation has caused netizens to call City Hall officials to show more “compassion” for a Naga native in distress.

Civic leader Atty. Areiz Macaraig called the attention of City Hall authorities, thru social media, to give compassion to “Charlie”, a Nagueño, who just arrived from Bataan.

On Saturday night, the patient is still inside the L-300 van, said Atty. Macaraig, who visited and brought him some items.

“He should have been given a bed to sleep on,” said the lawyer.

“Charlie” was feeling depressed after authorities told him he would be turned back to Bataan for allegedly travelling to Naga without the necessary travel permits and IATF, PNP clearances.

This angered lawyer Macaraig, as mentioned in his FB posts, who told authorities to show compassion for “Charlie”, a Nagueño, who has the right to return home to his residence and not to be shooed back to Bataan.

The quarantine facility is in Barangay Carolina, an upland village near the Mount Isarog foothills.

Other Naga netizens insisted that “Charlie” should have been redirected to a hospital for his wounds.

A City Hall checkpoint frontliner earlier insisted that “Charlie” left Bataan without the necessary clearances, such as travel passes and IATF and PNP approval.

Reds extend ceasefire until April 30, fighters ordered “on defensive, stop fighting mode”


LEGAZPI CITY, 16April2020 — Despite a shaky ceasefire with both sides accusing each other of mounting combat operations amid the coronavirus pandemic, the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ordered yesterday its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA) to extend the nationwide ceasefire for 15 more days to “prioritize the fight against the pandemic and ensure the safety, health and well-being of everyone.”

In its order posted Thursday, April 16, at the CPP’s website, the CPP Central Committee extended to 11:59 p.m. of April 30 its earlier ceasefire declaration which started on March 25.

The CPP ordered the units of the NPA and the people’s militias “to continue to desist and cease from carrying out offensive military actions against the armed units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and other paramilitary and armed groups attached to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).”

The aim of the ceasefire extension, according to the Party CC, “is to ensure quick and unimpeded support to all people requiring urgent medical, health and socioeconomic assistance in the face of the public emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Party said all revolutionary forces are “ever ready to cooperate with all other forces and elements to achieve this objective.”

It also reiterated the call for the “urgent release” of all political prisoners and for declaring a general amnesty. It also expressed desire for the resumption of the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations.

It commended all units of the people’s army and people’s militias for their discipline in observing the ceasefire order and shifting priority to the anti-Covid-19 campaign.

It said that the Party’s ceasefire order has been observed “despite the difficulties and dangers brought about by the continuing occupation of AFP combat troops of guerrilla zones and base areas, the widespread and intense intelligence and psywar operations, and the attacks mounted by the AFP’s strike forces against detected NPA units.”

The CPP reminded all NPA units to “maintain strictest secrecy” and not allow themselves to be exposed to AFP attacks.

The recent armed encounters which the AFP misreport as NPA ceasefire violations are results of the offensive actions of the AFP.

During the ceasefire period, all NPA units must strictly limit themselves to active defense operations which shall be carried out only in the face of imminent danger and actual armed attacks by the enemy forces.

Church group worries over quarantine extension amid government inefficiency


“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” Isaiah 58:10

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) is deeply concerned about the two-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

“We are worried that greater vulnerabilities will surface that will put the poor majority into further suffering – hunger, paranoia, and the socio-psychological effects of quarantine. Things that could have been prevented by a well-planned and timely response,” said leading members of NCCP.

“The provision of food was the most evident difficulty that was observable during the first three weeks of ECQ,” NCCP observed.

“While we laud the provision of DSWD’s Social Amelioration Fund for the poor and the support to the affected workers from DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program,” NCCP continued, “misinformation, incoherence of data, and the lack of clear guidelines on the distribution have further delayed the already snail-paced and bureaucratic implementation of the emergency assistance”.

The NCCP statement was signed by Rev. Felipe B. Ehican, Jr., Chairperson; The Rt. Rev. Joel O. Porlares, Vice Chairperson; Dra. Gay B. Manondon, Vice Chairperson; Ms. Ma. Kay Catherine F. Almario, Vice Chairperson; and, Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, General Secretary.


“We are also disturbed over the government’s militaristic approach and its fixation on arrests and imprisonment in a time of a public health crisis,” NCCP declared.

The group continued: “More than twenty thousand have been arrested by the police and military from March 17 to April 5, even more than the number of COVID tests conducted to date.”

“Arresting and putting them in crammed spaces defeats the purpose of social distancing. The remarks “Shoot them dead” and “No mercy” coming from the current administration has turned this crisis into a spectacle of persecution of the poor.”

NCCP cautioned “The United Nations pointed out that “a state of emergency, or any other security measures, should be guided by human rights principles and should not, in any circumstances, be an excuse to quash dissent.”


“We also say again our plea to the government to release, on humanitarian grounds, the sick, elderly, and the prisoners of conscience who have been wrongfully incarcerated because of their political beliefs, especially the pregnant women and nursing mothers.”

The 394% congestion rate in detention facilities poses grave, potential and unmanageable consequences should a single detainee be infected.

“It is our hope that the government will heed the call of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently address the catastrophic risk,” NCCP said.


In the light of the extended ECQ, the NCCP reiterated its call for a more prompt, efficient, and relevant implementation of service delivery – that is transparent and free from politicking – to ensure the well-being of the people.

“It is imperative that aside from the containment of the spread of COVID-19, which is also contingent on effective mass testing, the vulnerable people are provided with what they need in order for them to stay at home in these critical times.”

NCCP continued: “The government must expedite the process of the distribution of additional food and cash assistance as the situation of millions of vulnerable families might worsen under the extended lockdown.”

“Moreover, the government must have a more comprehensive and strategic plan that will address the public health concern and socio-economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

1 NPA dead in Sorsogon clash


PILI, Camarines Sur- A fighter of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter with state troops in Sorsogon Province on Thursday morning (April 16).

According to an initial report from Camp Elias Angeles, the 9th Infantry Division headquarters in this town, a shoot-out occured between Army troops and an NPA group in Sitio Tongdol, Barangay Gabao, Irosin, Sorsogon. The clash happened about 7:40 in the morning, Thursday, April 16.

However, the NPA command in Sorsogon Province has not issued a statement regarding the Army-reported incident.

According to Army report, joint elements of 31st Infantry Battalion (31IB), 1st and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company were conducting security operations in response to a report about the gathering of NPA fighters in the area when the clash broke out.

The firefight lasted for ten minutes before the NPA fighters scampered towards different directions, leaving their dead comrade behind.

One M16 rifle, several anti-personnel mines, and other subversive equipment and supplies were recovered in the encounter site.

Hot pursuit by Army troops is still on-going.

Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) under MGen Fernando T. Trinidad AFP commended the troops for the successful operation.

The Sorsogon NPA has not confirmed if it suffered a casualty.



QUEZON CITY — Strict definition of COVID-19 deaths according to DOH protocol has hampered final description of the 20 cadavers piling up in a hospital in Quezon City, either as COVID-19 deaths, or deaths from other diseases.

Only East Avenue Medical Center {EAMC} in Quezon City was reported so far of having 20 cadavers that have piled up due to lack of sufficient equipment, a freezer to store dead bodies from COVID-19 infections.

There are no reports from other hospitals of similar situation with EAMC, a situation whom medical experts say “might occur if the health system collapsed as more bodies started piling up daily, feeding the pipeline.”

According to EAMC, “that so far, none of the bodies have tested positive for COVID-19, saying that they will wait for test results to know if they have the virus – hence they are considered as persons under investigation (PUIs).”

This was admitted by EAMC on Black Saturday, one of the country’s major hospitals involved in the fight against COVID-19 saying, “bodies have ‘piled up’ in the hallway of its morgue facility.

According to EAMC, its morgue could only handle 5 cadavers.

The number of deaths nationwide has been rising steadily whom the Health department recorded as 247 deaths, which was added by 26 new fatalties as of Saturday. DOH has posted total of 4428 COVID infections, with an additional 233 new infections on Saturday.

With the strict definition of a “COVID-19 death”, a PUI who died, owing to lack of final laboratory result, is classified as death of a PUI, adding confusion to data compiled under “COVID-19 deaths”.

EAMC is the hospital referred to by Arnold Clavio, television newscaster, when he posted in Instagram about an {alleged} DOH order to hospitals to stop counting COVID deaths, a posting that had went viral on Black Saturday, prompting DOH Secretary Duque to issue a denial.

EAMC admitted the twenty cadavers have not been picked up by relatives or Health personnel for cremation, but because of the media expose, the bodies had been picked up with only six cadavers waiting for pick up as of Saturday afternoon.

Bad stench had filled up the hospital surroundings coming from some of the cadavers.

The hospital made the confirmation after Clavio posted on his Instagram account ‪Saturday morning‬ about what was allegedly going on inside a hospital in Metro Manila.

Under Section 4.6 of the Interior Department’s guidelines for handling PUI and COVID-19 deaths, local governments “shall designate and commission reputable funeral parlors and crematoriums to handle the remains of confirmed COVID-19 cases and PUIs.” They are also mandated to shoulder logistical, fuel, and salary expenses involved in the process.



By Joey Natividad

Allegedly issuing orders to hospitals to keep COVID-19 deaths secret was denied by the Department of Health (DOH).

On Saturday, April 11, DOH said, in an official post in its website, “there have been circulating reports that a hospital based in Metro Manila was allegedly instructed to stop counting COVID-19 deaths.”

“DOH clarifies that it has never issued any order to stop the census or reporting of deaths, or any case related to COVID-19 to any health facility,” the official statement said.

“We urge the public to exercise discretion when sharing information, to fact-check and verify first through DOH’s official channels and legitimate sources,” DOH reminds the public.

The DOH denial came after media and TV newscaster Arnold Clavio said in an Instagram post about a hospital was allegedly instructed by DOH to stop counting COVID-19 deaths. Similar postings were monitored in the social media.

DOH claimed it has contacted Clavio for clarification.

DOH said it is a mandatory policy requiring hospitals to report on matters related to COVID-19 cases, including data on admitted patients, recoveries, and deaths.

Meanwhile, DOH discourages public spraying and misting being done by town/city level health personnel.

The agency says it does not recommend spraying or misting. There is no evidence to support that spraying of surfaces or large scale misting of areas, indoor or outdoor with disinfecting agents, kills the virus.

Spraying or misting has an additional health concern as it can:
1. Cause pathogens to be dispersed further during spraying
2. Result to skin irritation and inhalation of chemicals
3. Cause environmental pollution

DOH advises to soak objects or disinfect surfaces to kill the virus.



By Joey Natividad

“Poorest among the poor” has become the most used and abused cliche’ by bureaucrats and politicians in order that more money can be squeezed from the national treasury.

The words “poorest among the poor” have turned into a “mantra”, their mere utterances by repetition on the “whereas” clauses can already unlock the treasury vaults.

There is much mystique behind the “poorest among the poor” than the generalized usage of “poor”.

But, that “mystique” vanishes when the “poorest among the poor” start demanding their dues, whom the bureaucrats and politicians are inclined to deny them, except for crumbs already allotted for them.

This is the cliche’ that has glazed the “social amelioration package” making its objective “noble” that would calm down the social discontent already brewing on the streets.

But, poverty survivors have known there is a wide gap between the “poorest” and the “poor”, also the gap between the urban poor and rural poor.

For instance, the “urban poor” are highly vulnerable when there are turbulences affecting their stomachs and incomes, while the rural poor can manifest resiliency amid the lockdown owing to their backyard animal-raising, vegetable gardens, small lots planted with food crops – these things the urban poor do not have.

The rural poor can still manage their food security from animal-raising and small farms, while the lockdown disables the capability of the urban poor to produce their own food when there are work shutdowns, lost income and unemployment, and the strong order to stay home amid threats of penalty if quarantine measures are violated.

The “poor” in general can be quantified by their monthly income, but the statistics are deceiving that they may be employed on contractual basis, below minimum wage, or a wage rate a little bit higher, but its end-of-contract period may extend for several weeks without jobs.

The “poor” are close cousins of the “lower middle class” who easily slide down toward the “poor rank” when the economy takes a downturn.

In normal times, the “lower middle class” work so hard to keep themselves afloat, maintaining their dignified “middle class” status, despite being lower, rather than slide down at the level of the “poor”.

These are the favorite target sectors by politicians, technocrats, and bureaucrats who want to dip their hands into the national treasury by justifying the much-repeated phrase “urgency of the situation to address the needs of the poor and the poorest among the poor”.

It is fair game among the states men to use the “poor” as excuse or justifications to adorn the objectives of their development programs as to make their programs “pro-poor”, the perfect mantra to open the vaults of the national treasury.

By crafting development programs, the middle class, the rich are ignored in the justifications, but in the final end, these affluent social classes benefit more from these government programs, while the poor will be cast aside temporarily, to be used again as “justification” for the next program-development cycle.

For the bureaucrats, politicians, and technocrats, the “poor and the poorest among the poor” shall be maintained at their level, never to be alleviated since they are needed as target justifications in the next cycle of project developments to be cooked up yearly.

For them, the poor sectors are needed, to be used as mantras to open up the national treasury for more funding.