Iloilo’s 2012 Kasadyahan Festival goes regionwide

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 13 (PNA) –- Expect a more grandiose Kasadyahan Festival next year following the expected participation of best festivals not only from the province of Iloilo but from other provinces of Western Visayas.
Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena announced that the Department of Tourism (DOT) currently under the auspices of Atty. Helen Catalbas, OIC regional director has committed support to the project.
He added the DOT will be the one to send out invitations to various provinces. It will also extend subsidies to participating groups and provide accommodation to accompanying local government officials.

If realized, the 2012 Kasadyahan Festival will be a showcase of the region’s best festivals.
The Kasadyahan Festival is staged during the second day of the three-day highlights of the Dinagyang Festival.
It used to be participated by schools and local government units from Iloilo. (PNA)

Photos courtesy of Hawili Hurom (from Aztik Photography)

San Joaquin, Iloilo celebrates 101st Foundation Day

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 13 (PNA) – The southernmost town of Iloilo, San Joaquin, is now celebrating its 101th foundation anniversary.

The celebration kicked off Monday with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. gracing the opening program.
Gov. Defensor lauded San Joaquin Mayor Ninfa Garin for her sterling performance in making her town progressive as he assured full support to all the endeavors of the mayor and the municipal government.
Coinciding with the opening of the town’s Foundation Day celebration was the inauguration of the municipal covered gym called Garinasium.

The Garinasium is a gift to the people of San Joaquin with the help of Rep. Janette Garin.
Mayor Garin said the Garinasium is “another feather in our cap as San Joaquinhon”.
She said that the highlight of the celebration will be the 7th Bayluhay Festival, originally held as part of the town’s fiesta celebration in January.
Garin said they tried to move the Bayluhay Festival to December to give prominence to the event which is usually sidelined by the Pasungay during the fiesta celebration.
Various activities have also been lined up from December 12 to 24 in celebration of the founding of San Joaquin as an independent municipality. (PNA)

Photos courtesy of Hawili Hurom

Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago Tops Election for International Criminal Court Judges

13 December 2011 - The Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York reported that Professor Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago was overwhelmingly elected as Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in elections held on December 12 in New York.

Dr. Santiago becomes the first ever female judge from a developing state in Asia to join the ICC as Judge.

She topped the first round of elections, making it to the Court with 79 votes out of 104 valid votes, an indication of the strong support from States Parties.

To be elected, candidates had to receive two-thirds majority of the total number of votes cast, with majority of States Parties voting.

She was the first to be elected out of 18 candidates vying for six seats on the Court. For the first round of voting, she bested candidates from every region.

During the four month campaign and run-up to the elections, Dr. Santiago gained the support of States Parties for her pre-eminent expertise in the international law and outstanding experience as trial court judge.

"Dr. Santiago is eminently qualified. She has shown competence and commitment in defense of the rule of law. She has demonstrated her intelligence and legal acumen through her decisions that have been cited by the Philippine Supreme Court. She has shown independence and integrity in her actions. She is more than qualified for this position," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

"This is the message that we emphasized in the campaign. We are pleased that the international community has listened to us. Indeed, it is a new day for the Philippines, a day of pride for our country and a day of honor, knowing that this is a tremendous responsibility and mandate placed upon our compatriot," he added.

"The Philippines has found its rightful place in the International Criminal Court. As a strong democracy dedicated to the fight against impunity, the Philippines - under President Benigno Aquino III - considers this victory historic, as historic as the day we ratified the Rome Statute," Secretary del Rosario stated.

In her remarks during the events organized for her campaign, Dr. Santiago was candid with her experience and expertise, and also passionate and articulate in her ideas about what the ICC should be doing.

"I believe that justice delayed is justice denied, so this is one area that the Court should work on," she said.

During the campaign, Dr. Santiago was also seen as a symbol of women empowerment. In her statements, she emphasized too the unique perspective she could give as a female judge, citing that many crimes of impunity were directed at women and that many complainants were women.

In a statement, Philippine Permanent Representative Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan said, "Dr. Santiago's triumph is a victory for the entire Philippines and a demonstration of the international community's complete faith and confidence in her outstanding abilities and of the country's commitment to the global fight against impunity."

"In our campaign, we were tireless in our pursuit, believing strongly that this was a campaign of the entire country. We are happy that all the hard work paid off. We are elated that a Filipina will sit as Judge at the International Criminal Court," he added. 

Text from GKGK FB account, Photo from MDS FB Account

Iloilo City is best Pantawid Pamilya Program implementer in Western Visayas

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 6 (PNA) – This city has been chosen by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as outstanding implementer of the national government’s Pantawid Pamilya Program in Western Visayas.
Being the best program implementer in the region, Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog was invited to share this city’s best practice in the National Consultation Workshop with City Mayors (with Pantawid Pamilya Areas) organized by DSWD in Davao City on Tuesday.
“We are honored that in the whole region our implementation of the program has been recognized thereby showing our city’s concern for the welfare of indigent families,” Mabilog said.
Alfredo Villanueva, department head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said the smooth and effective implementation of the program here is due to the harmonious relationship between the implementers and beneficiaries.
“So far we have no major problems or complaints here when it comes to implementing the program,” Villanueva stated.
It is very easy to access households in the validation, conduct assessment and even the delisting of beneficiaries, he added.
Iloilo City now has a total of nearly 8,000 beneficiaries, with 4,828 during the program expansion this year, and 2,812 grantees since 2008.
DSWD’s consultation dialogue gathered more than 70 local chief executives and their representatives to draw together inputs and recommendations to further improve the program next year.
It intends to strengthen the relationship between the national and the local government in order to reach the objectives of Pantawid Pamilya.
Aside from Mabilog, others who shared their best practices were Mayor Philip Tan of Tangub City, Mayor Amelita S. Navarro of Santiago City and Mayor Cecilia V. de Asis of Naga City.
The Pantawid Pamilya Program invests in the education and health of children aged 0-14 years old through conditional cash transfer.
It is implemented by the DSWD in partnership with other national government agencies in coordination with local government units. (PNA)

5 die in motorcycle crash in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PNA) - Five persons were killed while another injured in a bloody motorcycle crash midnight of Saturday in San Enrique, Iloilo.
SPO1 Nerio Gecoli of San Enrique Municipal Police Station, identified the victims as Aron Casamayor y Aguilay, 25 and his four backriders Arvie Maritana y Alaro, 19; Jenelle Sucaldito y Perez, 17; Michael Angelo Satonino y Lamera, 17, all residents of Brgy. Madarag, Passi City; and Warren Palmes y Casamayor, 14, of Brgy. Hagimitan, Passi City. The fifth backrider, Rogelio Albasete y Alaro, 19, also of Brgy. Madarag was injured.
Gecoli said the Honda 155 motorcycle driven by Aron Casamayor with five backriders on board was speeding when it crashed into the big talisay tree at the roadside in Brgy. Asisig, San Enrique town.
The violent crashed resulted to the fatal injuries of six persons onboard the ill-fated motorcycle. They were rushed to the Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial Hospital in Passi City where the attending physicians pronounced the five of the victims dead on arrival.
Albasate is presently confined at the hospital in Passi City. (PNA)

Iloilo City police now ready for ‘Simbang Gabi’

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 5 (PNA) – The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) is now ready for the traditional "Simbang Gabi" starting December 16.
ICPO director S/Supt. Marietto Valerio said that there will be maximum police visibility in all thoroughfares where there are churches aside from plain clothes personnel who will be deployed to neutralize crime elements.
Nevertheless, he said that they are not expecting much cases this month as even in Metro Manila, Director-General Nicanor Bartolome also announced during his visit to Negros Occidental last week that the volume of crime incidents has declined by around 18 percent.
Last year, crime cases in this city reached around 158.
The low incidence was attributed to the police integrated patrol system, implementation of special laws, checkpoints, arrests of wanted persons, maximum police visibility and the police’ performance of its other mandatory functions. (PNA)