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Baretang "konektado" sa BICOL

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  Jul 22, 2006 12:11 PM  
Sabado, Hulyo 22, 2006
Mga rebeldeng NPA, Coast Guard official patay sa bakbakan

Tatlong rebelde at isang pulis ang nasawi sa pag-atake ng New People’s Army (NPA) sa Matnog, Sorsogon nitong Sabado.

Magkakasabay na inatake ng 80 rebelde ang Philippine National Police at Coast Guard district station, PNP Traffic Management Group at ang Cafgu detachment sa nabanggit na bayan.

Dalawang improvised bomb ang inilagay ng mga rebelde sa tulay papuntang detachment. Ayon sa mga awtoridad, matagal na umanong plano ng NPA na lusubin ang police station ngunit ngayon lang ito naisakatuparan dahil nagkaroon lang ang grupo ng konting pagkaantala.

Matapos ang ilang oras na putukan bumungad sa mga pulis ang bangkay ng tatlong rebelde. Patay rin ang isang miembro ng Coast Guard. Wala namang nasugatan sa linusob na Cafgu detachment.

Nakilala ang apat na sugatan sa panig ng gobyerno na sina Petty Officer Armando Penollo ng Coast Guard, hepe ng TMG Sorsogon na si Senior Police Officer 4 Edgar Masarate, Enrico Quilang ng TMG Sorsogon at Police Officer 3 Nelson Hazo.

Hindi pa nakikilala ang mga nasawi.

Sa imbestigasyon, gamit ng mga rebelde sa paglusob ang isang bus, jeepney at ambulansya ng PNP Irosin na kanilang itinakas.

Patuloy ang pagtugis sa mga rebeldeng komunista kung saan ilang miyembro nito ang sinasabing nagtago pa sa isang simbahan.

May the pain I have known and the conflict I have experienced give me the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism.

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  Jul 22, 2006 12:26 PM  
NPAs attack Sorsogon police station, 5 killed

By RHAYDZ B. BARCIA, The Manila Times Correspondent

LEGAZPI CITY - A coastguardsman and four communist guerrillas were killed when the rebels raided the police station in Matnog, Sorsogon, before dawn Saturday.

A report reaching Camp General Simeon Ola here identified the Coast Guard official as Penolio Malasarte. Two members of Traffic Management Group, Eduardo Malasarte and his nephew, Enrico Malasarte, were wounded in the raid.

Mayor Guillermo So of Matnog said in a radio interview that the New People’s Army rebels simultaneously attacked the Matnog police station and the Coast Guard detachment but were repulsed.

The report did not say how many rebels staged the raid.

Lt. Col. Florante Isles, spokesman for the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, told The Manila Times the rebels, probably coming from Samar, arrived on boats in the coastal villages of Mambahog, Manorabe and Sua, Matnog, and joined up with another NPA group.

The fierce battle lasted for 90 minutes.

Police Superintendent Ely Bron, PNP regional spokesman, said the police suffered no casualties.

Some of the rebels withdrew to the sea in pump boats while others commandeered a bus from Metro Manila bound for Samar. Government forces caught up with the bus on Maharlika Highway, killing four of the rebels.

Three rifles and electrical wiring, apparently intended for use in bombs, were recovered by government forces.

On July 4 two police officers were killed in an ambush carried out by the NPA’s San Juan Theresa Command in Catanduanes.

Senior Inspector Alexander Diaz, commander of Police Provincial Traffic Mobile Group, and Police Officer 1 Joselito Tibo Jr. were killed. Senior Police Officer 1 Rodel Lasvapie, Police Officers 1 Michael Romero, Ernesto Sandrino and Demetrio Panti Jr. were wounded.

Sorsogon is one of three areas in Luzon where the military has launched a major offensive against communist rebels.

Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Ylanan, assistant division commander of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon are NPA strongholds in Bicol.

He said the NPA’s Larangan Guerrilla Fronts 77 and 78 in Albay and Sorsogon are the strongest and most active among the 12 fronts operating in Bicol.

The 7,400-member NPA is one of the world’s oldest Maoist movements still waging a guerrilla war.

President Arroyo shelved talks with the group two years ago.



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  Jul 26, 2006 12:03 PM  
Special Features (as of 1:01 AM)

Cagsawa belfry on verge of ruin

By RHAYDZ B. BARCIA, The Manila Times Reporter

DARAGA, Albay - For three centuries the belfry of the church in Cagsawa has been the mute witness to Mount Mayon’s deadliest eruption.

On February 1, 1814, the volcano blew, covering the countryside around it with ash and lahar. An estimated 15,000 people died, including 1,200 who sought shelter inside Cagsawa Church.

Subsequent eruptions further covered the church until only the bell tower remained aboveground.

The belfry has become one of Albay’s most famous landmarks and is one of its most popular tourist attractions.

Recently, however, there were concerns that the structure was weakening and could eventually collapse.

Pita Pacres, municipal tourism officer and Cagsawa Ruins administrator, told The Manila Times that since last year stones from the belfry had been chipping off.

"The structure itself is still durable, but there might come a time when the belfry will fall if not given attention," Pacres said.

The problem is that her office doesn’t have the funds or the expertise to save the belfry.

She said work on the belfry requires experts like Javier Galvan, director of Instituto de Cervantes, to check what kind of materials is needed, as well as financial aid from the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Tourism Authority and local government units.

"We will ask funds from concerned agencies. Our office and the Daraga Cultural and Historical Commission, led by Mediatrix Villanueva, are working together to help us preserve the belfry.

"We hope that by next year we can come up with a budget to carry out its renovation," Pacres said.

Mayor Gerry Jaucian said that next fiscal year his office will allocate at least P200,000 to preserve the belfry.

Maria Nini Ong Ravanilla, DOT regional director in Bicol, said Cagsawa Park is one of the best tourist spots in Albay, bringing in almost P2 million in revenues annually.

Local traders selling novelties, handicraft products and souvenirs report that business is booming, especially during recent weeks, when Mayon began to act up.

Store owners ring up sales of P10,000 to P15,000 a day during summer, the peak season.

The eruption that buried Cagsawa Church was the fifth and the strongest, based on accounts of recorded previous eruptions since 1616.

Besides Cagsawa, a neighboring town, Budiao, was laid waste by Mayon’s fury. Only the walls of Budiao’s church remain today. Three other towns—Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao—also suffered death and destruction.

As the story goes, the parish priest of Budiao was the lone survivor of the catastrophic eruption. He saved himself through a bent coconut tree.

Cagsawa Church was buried gradually by volcanic deposits from subsequent eruptions. Sand, gravel and boulders were washed down the slopes by rain, and got lodged along the banks of the river near the church.

May the pain I have known and the conflict I have experienced give me the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism.

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