CL PNP chief: I’ll kill cops, mayors involved in drugs

>> Monday, June 27, 2016

40 illegal drug suspects slain
By Mar Supnad, Manny Galvez and Ric Sapnu

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — With Central Luzon having the highest kills of 40 suspected illegal drug pushers and users nationwide, Chief Supt. Aaron N. Aquino, the new Police Regional Office 3 said Tuesday he would also kill policemen and mayors protecting drug syndicates in Central Luzon.
           “I’ll kill them all whether they are policemen or mayors if they are engaged in illegal drugs or protectors of this illicit trade,” Aquino said.
      On Wednesday, seven kidnapping and robbery suspects were gunned down following a shootout with the police in Pampanga.
        Killed following a protracted running gun battle with the police in Barangay Pandacaque, Mexico town and Barangay San Jose, in the municipality of Magalang Wednesday were kidnapping and robbery suspects Reynaldo Domingo Jr. of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Dante Deogrades of Sta Maria, Bulacan;  Christian DiorgeUy  of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Elmer Ballesteros of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Rolando Castroverde of Bulacan and Jimboy Santos, said to be the leader of the group, and a still unidentified male.
       “The problem in the past is that if you apprehend and charge in courts these scalawag policemen particularly those protecting illegal drugs, they can only pay for their cases and will eventually get their freedom after three months or so.              They will be free again to go back into their illicit trade,” he added.
         The regional director said his command will follow the lead of President-elect RodrioDuterte in showing drug syndicates and their protectors in high places that “we mean business in our campaign against illegal drugs.”
        He allayed fears that there will be abuses by police under his command, saying the first step in the campaign is to identify and verify these policemen and local government officials involved in the illegal drug trade.
         “We’ll validate first the subject persons/policemen if they are really involved in illegal drugs, then we will launch an operation against them,” said Aquino, adding: “If they choose to fight with us, then we have no other option than to kill them.”
         He said the process of identifying who these policemen and mayors are is already underway.
         Since Aquino’s assumption as PRO3 director last May 30, around 40 suspected drug pushers have been killed in Central Luzon, most of whom were from Bulacan and Pampanga.
         In San Jose City, Nueva Ecija,three suspected drug traffickers, who reportedly tried to transport shabu with an estimated street value of P500,000, were killed in a shootout with police officers in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija  on Friday.
        The latest fatalities brought to five the number of drug suspects killed in a series of anti-drug operations in the province within eight days.
        Senior Superintendent Manuel Cornel, provincial police director, identified the three as  Salman Macapundag, 19, of Parañaque City; Ariel Sambrano, 51, of Barangay Novaliches, Quezon City, and Fernando Padilla  of Santiago, Isabela.
       Cornel said the encounter occurred along the provincial road connecting San Jose City and Rizal town.
       He said the suspects were in a white Nissan Sentra (TBB-733) when a team of officers from the city and provincial police signaled them to pull over at a checkpoint in Barangay Palestina.
       Team leader Inspector Roilan Gonzales said the car tried to evade the checkpoint, prompting them to pursue the suspects, which resulted in a firefight.
       San Jose police chief Superintendent Reynaldo de la Cruz said he ordered the checkpoint set up along the provincial road after receiving reports that three men would transport illegal drugs from Pangasinan.
        Investigators recovered several bullet shells, two large plastic sachets said to contain shabu, drug parapernalia and two phones.
       The three were the latest fatalities in a crackdown against suspected drug traffickers rs in the province since June 10.
       Last Tuesday, a suspected drug traffickers identified as Efren Damian was killed in an encounter with police officers in Cabiao town.
        Damian’s killing came four days after a team of police officers shot dead a female drug suspect and her brother-in-law in front of her three children in Talavera.
       Aquino said he is optimistic that the police can significantly minimize the illegal drugs scourge illegal drugs and crimes in three to six months as promised by Duterte.


Comelec suspends judgment on Mt Province gubernatorial tiff

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Commission on Elections has not yet issued a proclamation on who will sit as provincial governor of Mountain Province by June 30.
Former Mountain Province Elections supervisor Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan said a hearing by the Comelec en banc will still be heard on July 5 regarding annulment of proclamation of  KathyJyllMayaen-Luis who was proclaimed governor by the provincial board of canvassers or the province. 
Provincial folks earlier urged the Comelec to rule before June 30 on the disqualification case filed against Mayaen-Luis or the province will have two provincial governors by that time if the Comelec fails to act on the controversy with dispatch.
If the Comelec doesn’t issue a ruling on the matter before June 30, re-electionist Vice Gov. BonifacioLacwasan Jr. will take his oath as vice governor then as governor while Mayaen-Luis daughter of the late Gov. Leonard Mayaen, is expected to also take her oath as governor despite the legal suits.
The late Gov. Leonard Mayaen died March 31 due to cardiac arrest after filing his candidacy for governor in the May polls.
Lacwasan said he will sit as provincial governor unless the Comelec acts on the matter even as Tabangin-Capuyan said unless the Comelec grants an injunction, Mayaen-Luis will assume as governor.    
In response to the  petition on quo warranto  filed by  voter Thomas Tawagen of Bauko, Mountain Province  the Comelec’sFirst Division in their  hearing last week suspended  judgment on  whether or not a temporary restraining order (TRO) shall be issued preventing the assumption of  substitute-candidate  Mayaen-Luis to the  governorship of Mountain Province.
 To “avoid irreparable damage,”Tawagen in his quo warranto petition said Mt Province might be ruled by a governor who has never been a candidate as her
(Mayaen-Luis) certificate of candidacy (CoC) was denied by Comelec.
The Comelec cited Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code allowing substitution of a candidate belonging to political party in case of death, resignation or incapacity; and Section 19 of Comelec resolution 9984 particularly stating that an independent candidate cannot be substituted.
 The late governor Leonard Mayaen,ran as independent candidate for governor of Mountain Province and died March 31 before the May 9 elections.  
Mountain Province Election Supervisor Ricardo Lampac said the main case on the petition for quo warranto shall be heard after the annulment case shall be decided by the Comelec.  
Petition for annulment proceedings of the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis as governor was filed first week of June by Tawagen basing on the Comelec’s denial of Mayaen’sCoC.
Lampac said the Comelecheard  arguments of both parties- petitioner Tawagen through legal counsel Thomas Padaco and  respondent  Kathy JyllMayaen-Luis through lawyer George Garcia.
Garcia forwarded that Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code is silent on the substitution of  an independent  candidate  while  Section 19  of Comelec resolution 9984  was emphatic that an independent candidate is not eligible for  substitution.
 In said hearing, Garcia accepted that Mayaen-Luis was not proclaimed as governor of Mountain Province, Lampac who attended the hearing said.   
The certificate of canvass and proclamation of winning candidate as attested by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) named Leonard Mayaen as the winning governor of Mountain Province.   
 Concerned  for  the  "welfare of  Atty Kathy JyllMayaen and as a comrade in the legal profession", Lampac said “there might  be a question on legitimacy in case she assumes being governor of the Province.”
 Lampac said the denied COC of  Mayaen-Luis was never  questioned so presumed to have been final.
 Lampacreturned to his former post in Mountain Province- Comelec after a four month stint from February 16 to June 16, while previous PES for BenguetTabangin-Capuyan who was detailed in Mountain Province during the May 9 elections  returned to Benguet. 
 Meantime, the criminal complaint filed at the Office of the Ombudsman charging the  PBOC on having proclaimed substitute-candidate Mayaen-Luis despite Comelec’s denial has not yet been heard.
An administrative and graft complaint against the PBC were filed at the Ombudsman’s Office against PBC members for alleged violations of the law on norms of conduct  of public officials and employees and the anti-graft and corrupt practices Act.
In a 5-page complaint, Salvador Liked stated Tabangin-Capuyan accepted the certificate of candidacy of Mayaen-Luis for her  deceased  father  despite Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code and Comelec Resolution  9984  as amended by Resolution 9989  which provides that substitution is not allowed for an independent candidate.
And despite Comelec ruling denying the candidacy of Mayaen-Luis as substitute of  her deceased father, the PBC proceeded to proclaim her a  winning candidate for governor of Mountain Province night of May 10.
Liked, a resident of Bauko, Mountain Province also said Tabangin-Capuyan abstained in the voting of whether or not to proceed with the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis but signed the certificate of canvass and proclamation.
And by doing so Liked stated that the PBOC knowingly granted benefit and favor of a person neither qualified nor legally entitled to the privilege.
Complainant averred that “due to the resistant and illegal acts of the PBOC who are all highly learned constitute a gross disregard of the highest order or morality in the civil service”  punishable under RA 6713.
Organized positions against the acceptance of Tabangin-Capuyan on the candidacy of Mayaen-Luis and her proclamation as governor drew organized positions protesting this also from Makabayan-Mountain Province.
Other individuals raised their protest against the PBOC though legal actions that reached Comelec aside from the Office of the Ombudsman.
For filing her statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) despite her denied candidacy by the Comelec, Mayaen-Luis was also charged with perjury for allegedly incurring unauthorized expenses.
Registered voter Virgilio Pasking in a petition filed at the Comelec said Mayaen-Luis submitted a “self-incriminating” SOCE where she stated under oath that she is a candidate for governor during the May 9 elections.
Pasking said Mayaen-Luis incurred electoral expenses in the total amount of 149,999 without approval of the Commission despite her certificate of candidacy being null and void.
The Comelec denied the candidacy of Mayaen-Luis basing its decision on Section. 77 of the Omnibus Election Code as implemented by Sec. 19 of Comelec Resolution No. 9984 as amended by Comelec resolution No. 9989 that an independent candidate cannot be substituted.
Comelec regional director Ederlino Tabilas earlier said in Baguio the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis stands unless the Comelec central office makes a ruling on the matter.


SC to PNP: Probe Cordillera militant leader’s kidnapping

James Balao disappearance case 

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The Supreme Court has ordered the Philippine National Police to pursue its investigation into the disappearance of James Balao, a leader of the militant Cordillera Peoples Alliance, in this capital town in 2008.
           In a resolution released on Wednesday, the high court rejected the recommendation of a regional trial court (RTC) in La Trinidad, to archive the writ of amparo petition filed by Balao’s siblings, but agreed with its findings that the initial investigation was ”limited, superficial and biased.”
 The SC said the PNP should look into the claim of a witness that Balao was seized by his comrades.
     “The PNP is given six months from notice to submit the result of its investigation. Within 15 days… the PNP shall submit the results to the RTC. Within 30 days thereafter, the RTC shall submit its full report and recommendation to the court for final action,” the SC resolution stated.
         “While it appears that an impasse was arrived at by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its investigation, there appears to be a valid lead on the part of the Philippine National Police,” the SC said.
Balao, a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Baguio City, was seized by unidentified men in Tomay town.
         The CPA had earlier claimed that Balao was abducted by government lawmen.  
         The CPA and the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) said they were enraged over the maligning and insinuation that CPA was behind the abduction of Balao.
           “In three media reports written by Tetch Torres-Tupas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) dated June 22, 2016; Ina Reformina of ABS CBN News on June 22, 2016 and TarraQuismundo of PDI on June 23, 2016, they cited a Supreme Court decision ordering the Philippine National Police to investigate CPA as an angle of the abduction of Balao,” the groups said in a statement released Friday.
                 “The CPA, CHRA, our legal counsel and the family have yet to receive the SC decision.The angle by which these articles were written is malicious and outrageous.  This is being played up by the PNP and CHR to intensify the political vilification and persecution against the CPA and more so, to wash their hands off their accountability on James’ enforced disappearance. This is another effort to distract us from searching for James and searching for justice. 
          There was no effort to reach out to the CPA, the CHRA and the family before the article was released.
         “For the record, the investigations conducted by the PNP and AFP have been found to be inefficient and superficial.  It was through the effort of the CPA and the CHRA that we found out after two weeks where he was abducted including the description of who abducted him.  We went from camp to camp, station to station that we can reach in our efforts to find him making sure no stone is left unturned.  We attended court hearings, supported witnesses to testify in court and investigations.

          “We are the victims here and the blame should not be placed on us.  We urge the media to be more objective in the reporting of human rights cases.  The side of truth is always the side of justice.”


City mayor hits COA for denying workers’ benefits

By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan assailed the Commission on Audit for denying benefits of city government employees here, saying he will not allow concerned government agencies and independent constitutional bodies to infringe into autonomy of local governments pursuant to the Local Government Code and related issuances by government agencies.
The local chief executive said he received several letters from retiring city officials and employees questioning the withholding of a portion of their retirement benefits representing disallowed bonuses they previously received.
“We will continue to fight the issue out until we reach the Supreme Court because the previous decision of the COA disallowing the bonuses granted by the city government to its officials and employees in 2013 and 2014 is a direct affront to the local autonomy of local government units, considering that such autonomy has been prescribed by pertinent laws, rules and regulations,” Domogan said.
         The appeal of the city government regarding the disallowance made by the city and regional offices of the COA on the bonuses received by the officials and employees of the city in 203 and 2014 is now pending decision with the Commission en banc.
He informed city officials and employees that the local government will use legal and administrative remedies to ventilate the issue on local fiscal autonomy as the release of additional bonuses to government workers have been covered by appropriate circulars from the budget department explicitly providing that the grant of additional compensation shall be subject to availability of funds from the concerned local government.
According to him, the disallowed bonuses had been received by government workers for over a decade now but it is unfortunate that it is only now that the COA comes out with a ruling declaring that such compensation to officials and employees are disallowed because the compensations are allegedly excessive and beyond the limit set by the budget department.
Despite the passage of pertinent ordinances backed up by certificates of availability of funds from the local finance committee covering the grant of additional compensation for city officials and employees in 2013 and 2014, the COA still ruled against the grant of such compensation equivalent to one month salary plus an additional P20,000 for every official and employee.
Domogan urged officials and employees to understand the current predicament of the city government relative to the said issued where it has to fight it out in order to dispute the claim of the COA that the previously granted compensations are beyond the prescribed authorized amount, saying that the SC has to rule on the matter as there are numerous jurisprudence upholding local autonomy in the disbursements of public funds.

He said the city legal office will take the necessary steps in order to get a favorable ruling in favor of the city so that the officials and employees will be able to receive their 2015 additional compensation that was put on hold because of such disallowance rulings of the COA on additional bonuses on said years.


PNP: Crime down in Cordillera

By Julie G. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY - A downward trend in crimes committed was reported during the recent Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council meeting here.
From January to April 2016, regionwide crime volume was 4,749; 1,674 index and 3,075 non- index; compared to 6,945 during the same period in 2015, Police Regional Office (PRO-Cordillera) Senior Supt. Brent Madjaco reported, a 31.62% decrease.
During first quarter of 2015 and 2016, all Cordillera provinces registered decrease in crime: Abra, 69.27%; Apayao, 14.28%; Benguet, 50%; Ifugao, 21.11%; Kalinga, 78.34%; Mt. Province, 67.75%;  as with Baguio City, 24.15%;
The reduced crime volume was attributed to 90% personnel assigned on patrol duty, and remaining to offices, it was known.
Top wanted criminals were also arrested and firearms confiscated.
In a report from PDEA regional director Juvenal Azurin, 135 barangays are drug-affected regionwide, from the earlier 124. Vehicles for hire are often used in the transport of said drugs. No laboratory exists in the region, Azurin clarified.
Seizures of illegal and prohibited drugs were done in January up to April 2016, for crystalline Methamphetamine (shabu), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana) leaves, hash, bricks, seeds, seedlings, stalks and grown plants. A new form of illegal drugs, liquid shabu was also confiscated.
Coordination between and among the community, PNP and other agencies matter much in the war against illegal drugs, it was known.
In an earlier meeting and during the forum the establishment of a drug rehabilitation venue was suggested at the Luis Hora Memorial Hospital in Bauko, Mt. Province.
It was also requested during the forum that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) be informed of individuals having questionable drug and criminal backgrounds.
In the DENR BantayGubat report, forest guards are still working against illegal activities, forest fires, encroachment and destruction over 290,742 hectare. They also do site clearing, fire line clearing, foot patrol, seedling potting and other plant nursery activities.
In the comprehensive local integration program, 52 former rebels were assisted, with P132,300 administrative support; immediate financial assistance, P705,000; livelihood assistance, P2,300,000; firearm remuneration, P10,000 for a total of P3,147,300.00.
A downward trend in crimes in Baguio was also reported by City Police Office during second quarter City Human Rights, Justice, Peace and Order Council meeting at city hall.
The meeting was presided by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, and attended by Councilors Roberto Ortega and Mike Lawana, Prosecutor Elmer Sagsago, Acting BCPO Director Senior Supt. George Daskeo, National Police Commission (NaPolCom ) head Soledad Benwaren, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) head Gil Castro, Barangay Official Editha Ibarra, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Baguio Field Office head Evelyn Trinidad, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) officer April Rose Ayangwa, and other concerned agencies.
The BCPO report focused on crimes on a weekly basis. Theft cases topped the list, with physical injuries and robbery next. There were a case each of motornapping and homicide, within four weeks.
In April 20 to 26, there were 43 crimes committed. On illegal drugs, PDEA regional head Castro reported existence of liquefied shabu (methamphetamine) in the city in addition to that in crystallized form.
Liquid shabu is easy to ingest, while fruiting tops and stalks of Cannabis sativa (Marijuana or weed) are now preferred, Castro said. Solvents are commonly bought and used by children on streets, he added.
Since January this year, 23 operations were conducted, 27 drug personalities arrested, and 140.2116 grams of Shabu and 1,709.51 grams Marijuana, three Marijuana seedlings, 2.4 ml liquid Shabu and other suspected illegal drugs were confiscated.
According to Councilor Ortega, chair of the Human Rights, Justice, Public Protection and Safety, Peace and Order committee, a rehabilitation center for those addicted to illegal drugs is mulled. Ortega added rewards are given to tipsters on drug pushers and merchandisers.

Meanwhile, Napolcom officer Soledad Benwaren called on those interested to join the police force. Online applications for the Oct. 16, 2016 entrance examinations is on July 18 to 22, for Police Officers, July 25 to 29, and for all other positions, applications will be on Aug. 1-5. 


NDF-gov’t peace talks ‘positive’

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) lauded the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) negotiating panel and representatives of the incoming Duterte regime for attaining positive results in the June 14-15
preliminary talks held in Oslo, Norway.
The meeting was facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government.
“The CPP fully supports the agreements made during the preliminary talks,” the CPP said in statement Wednesday.  “The positive atmosphere and outcome was reflected in the joint statement issued on June 15. The CPP is elated that an agreement was reached to pursue peace negotiations starting the third week of July on the basis of previously signed agreements.”
The CPP welcomed the plan to accelerate negotiations to complete the remaining substantive items of socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and ending hostilities and disposition of forces.
The CPP said it supports the plan to reconstitute the list of personnel who will be protected under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and release all political prisoners through an amnesty proclamation to be concurred to by the Philippine Congress.
“The CPP is also pleased that the Duterte panel will recommend to have all NDFP consultants released in order to allow them to participate in peace talks. Their
plan to recommend the release of political prisoners on humanitarian grounds is also highly commendable.”
The CPP also welcomed the plan to discuss an interim ceasefire and its modalities.
“The attitude of the incoming Duterte regime toward peace negotiations with the NDFP is big departure from that of the Aquino and Arroyo regimes. Under the previous two regimes, peace negotiations were regarded mainly as a psywar operation that was a secondary to and served only the counter-revolutionary war of suppression.
“Considering how the incoming Duterte regime is vigorously pursuing talks with the NDFP, even before being formally inaugurated into office, the CPP and all revolutionary forces expect peace negotiations with the Duterte regime to move forward with unprecedented speed. If the Duterte regime will continue to pursue this path, the CPP expects peace negotiations to attain historic achievements over the coming period. The CPP and revolutionary forces under the NDFP are looking forward to discuss and forge agreements with the Duterte regime with the aim of serving the nationalist and democratic interests of the people and pursuing their democratic empowerment.”

The statement said the CPP and all revolutionary forces reiterate its full support to the NDFP negotiating panel, its head Luis Jalandoni, NDPF senior political consultant Jose Ma. Sison, and NDPF panel members Fidel V. Agcaoili, Julie de Lima Sison,ConiLedesma and their consultants and assistants.


COA investigates P85 million missing from Laoag treasury

By Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Some P85 million of city government funds is missing and agents of the Commission on Audit (COA) and Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) have arrived here to investigate the matter.
Laoag City Mayor Chevylle Fariñas confirmed that the fund missing from government coffers was discovered by city accountant and the investigation has centered on City Treasurer Elena Asuncion.
The COA has established that the city government’s bank accounts in the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Rang-ay Bank have zero balance as of June 15.
Right before the controversy broke out, Asuncion reportedly fled for Honolulu, Hawaii a day earlier.
Fariñas said that what he knows, so far, is that government auditors found out that Asuncion had allegedly falsified deposit slips for the bank accounts of the city government in the three banks.
Apparently, this had been going on since 2007.

Fariñas has already issued a memorandum for Asuncion to explain what happened to the missing funds and requested the Bureau of Immigration in Pangasinan to put local treasurer on its watchlist.


Ifugao rep rails vs Duterte warning against lawmakers

By Aiza Liza Namingit

LAGAWE, Ifugao – Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. protested president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s command to lawmakers not to stand in the way of his anti-crime campaign by conducting investigations.
“I take offense with the president-elect’s warning against lawmakers who wish to conduct investigations in aid of legislation on his anti-crime campaign,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat was reacting to Duterte’s statement given in a thanksgiving party last Wednesday. “Don’t investigate me. The road will end with me. The buck stops here. We are going to have a fight,” Duterte was quoted as saying.
Baguilat believes Duterte’s warning threatens the country’s democratic system. “Does he wish to entrench an iron rule by dictating what Congress should do, throwing aside the independence of the branches of government?” Baguilat said.
“The separation of powers of the branches of government is essential in any democracy, even in a Federalist system which president-elect Duterte is reportedly advocating. Congressional investigations in aid of legislation are not conducted merely to find fault but to offer suggestions on how to improve the executive agenda, and through these hearings, officials can lobby Congress for  budget and appropriate legislation,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat recalled how even Duterte’s running mate, Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, conducted investigations on Vice President JejomarBinay’s public spending as Mayor of Makati. Those investigations led to cases before the Ombudsman against Binay, and several proposed laws on public bidding.
“In government, there is no monopoly of good ideas or of commitment to the people’s welfare. Lawmakers will not be obstructionist or demagogues in their critique, and I for one sincerely wish to offer constructive suggestions through these hearings,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat cited the recent drug-related deaths at the Closeup Forever Summer concert last month as an opportunity for the executive and legislative branches to strengthen the campaign against illegal drugs.
“Some criminals have found loopholes in current laws, and it is important for the executive and legislative branches to tighten the net against these outlaws,” Baguilat added.

“I support a strong anti-crime drive to fortify the rule of law in the Philippines. That will make the country a better place for its citizens as well as foreign investors. But for the protection of those same law-abiding citizens and foreigners, any campaign against crime must respect human rights and uphold the Constitution. The check against executive overstepping offered by Congressional investigations is one way of ensuring that,” Baguilat said.


Saving maritime habitats from decades of abuse, pollution

Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte  — Sen. Loren Legarda urged the international community to act in unison to halt and reverse the damage to the world’s marine habitat brought by human activity.
“We have relied so much on the oceans for our existence – for food, for employment, for energy and for recreation. However, rapid population growth along with unsustainable marine practices such as overfishing, waste dumping, oil spills, among others, have seriously damaged marine habitats and life in the sea over the years,” she said.
In celebration of World Oceans Day recently, Legarda called for the prevention of plastic pollution in the ocean and promoted the use of reusable bags in lieu of disposable plastic bags.
Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean, plastic debris dumped into oceans reached between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons.
The Philippines is the third top contributor with around 0.28-0.75 million metric tons of plastic marine waste annually, next only to China and Indonesia.
“Plastic can choke and poison marine species and damage marine ecosystems. Ultimately, it can affect us humans through the seafood that we eat. Thus, we must take this challenge seriously. The effective implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law is vital in this campaign,” said Legarda, principal author of the ESWM Law or Republic Act 9003.
The Senator also highlighted the need to address the impact of climate change on oceans and marine ecosystems.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, said, “Studies have shown that oceans have acidified, having absorbed about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted, which has caused coral bleaching.”
A strong advocate of marine conservation, Legarda said carbon emissions reduction is crucial in protecting our oceans.
Re-growing mangroves, seagrass beds and marshes, which absorb up to five times more carbon than tropical forests, will greatly help alleviate ocean acidification.

These coastal ecosystems likewise serve as buffers for storm surges and tsunamis.


8 types of drivers you meet on the road


While there may be tons of drivers you meet on the road, there are some that are easily recognizable. These are the distinctive drivers that you just can’t help but notice, who make you laugh or frustrate you like no other.
The following are the types of drivers you might meet daily on the road:
The Disc Jockey
How to spot the Disc Jockey? Don’t worry, it isn’t too hard. With the latest EDMs booming from their stereo, you’ll spot them quickly. Their windows are usually rolled down and you’ll see the driver bobbing their head in sync with the music.
They’re usually chill and are just enjoying the car ride. Some of these drivers will even look around while flashing a smile. But sometimes you’d wish they would lower the volume because you’re trying to enjoy your music too.
The Can’t-Stop-Won’t-Stop
Over speeding? Check. Beating the red light? Check. Faster than a flash? Check. These drivers are always in a rush to what seems like the best day of their life. They often break traffic rules; sometimes they get away with it, sometimes they don’t.
But frighteningly, this type of driver is usually the cause of road accidents and worse, deaths. These drivers need to review and go back to basic driving lessons. And they should also remind themselves that they’re not on a race track.
The One-Who-Can’t-Make-Up-Their-Mind
Swerve here, swerve there, swerve everywhere! One moment they’re in the inner lane, next moment they’re in the outer and then next they’re back in the inner again! They just simply can’t decide which lane to take in order to beat the traffic, but what they don’t know is that they’re causing it themselves.
While the Can’t-Stop-Won’t-Stop drivers also cause traffic congestion, the One-Who-Can’t-Make-up-Their-Mind drivers are more often the culprits. But it’s even worse when these drivers are behind the wheel of a PUV.
The Travelers
These drivers are the opposite of the Can’t-Stop-Won’t-Stop drivers. They go as slow as they can, enjoying every moment of their drive. They will drive the way they want to and don’t care if you’re late for work or for school.
Like the two previous types of drivers, they are also often the cause of heavy traffic. Good thing they are often calm and avoid confrontation!
The Buzzer
Oh, the pain in the ears when you’re next to a Buzzer! Unlike the Disc Jockey, these drivers are far more annoying, especially when the traffic is already building up. These drivers think they are a part of a TV Contest, pushing their car horn every 2 minutes.
Sometimes these drivers receive angry looks and yells from other road users. However, they will more than likely continue to make as much noise as possible.
The Real Chill
These drivers are the ones who can find fun for themselves while stuck in a heavy traffic. They sometimes roll down their windows and initiate conversation with the drivers around them. They don’t easily get in a rage; instead, they lean back and wait patiently.
These drivers are relaxed. But the bad thing about them? They tolerate the traffic rule breakers.
The Angry Ones
They don’t take excuses from anyone, especially when they’re late for work. They’re often mad at the drivers mentioned above and often start a fight at the drop of a hat. Unlike the Real Chill drivers, the Angry Ones are often seen rolling down their windows when stuck in a traffic, shouting obscenities like, “what the **** is wrong?”
These drivers are no stranger to trouble with their foul mouths and uncontrollable anger. They are the ones who get out from their cars and confront whoever they think needs some discipline- unfortunately, more often than not it is them that need a good talking to.
The Good Citizen
At last! These drivers are the ones you wish would occupy the roads more often. Since they are good citizens, they follow the traffic rules and they don’t commit traffic crimes intentionally. They are well aware of road safety and they practice it.
These drivers are the ones that everyone should be like. Like the Real Chill, they’re perceptive, but if they have a chance, they will confront you, but will be polite. So, which driver are you?!


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