Tag Archive: Surigao del Sur

A foreign-looking man believed to be a German national was found dead inside a yacht drifting in waters of the Pacific Ocean near Barobo, Surigao del Sur, police said.

Fishermen found the man around 4:30 p.m. Thursday inside the yacht “Sajo,” about 62 miles from the shores of Barobo, said PO3 Val Warren Polancos, local police investigator.

“Yung mga mangingisda, pauwi na sana nung makita nila ‘yung yate. Nilapitan nila at tiningnan ‘yung loob para malaman kung anong maitutulong nila kasi sira na ‘yung sail. Doon sa loob nakita ‘yung foreigner na nakaupo,” Polancos said by phone.

The body, which was already starting to decompose, was found inside what appears to be the yacht’s radio room.

Documents found on the yacht indicate that the foreigner is one Manfred Fritz Bajorat, a German national, Polancos said.

“Foreigner talaga ‘yung tao, hindi lang namin masabi pa kung siya (Bajorat) talaga ‘yun kasi wala namang kasama,” he said.

The fishermen used their boat to drag the yacht to Cabgan Island and upon arriving there Friday afternoon, radioed for help from authorities in mainland Barobo, he said.

Local police have called in a team from the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) to determine what caused the foreigner’s death.

The incident has also been reported to the Surigao del Sur provincial police so it can inform the German Embassy, Polancos said. (John Roson)

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An Army lieutenant was killed while two other soldiers were injured as government troops clashed with New People’s Army (NPA) members in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur, on Friday, the military said.

The fatality was a second lieutenant and the injured have ranks of private first class, Capt. Christian Uy, Army 4th Infantry Division spokesman, said.

All three belong to the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3rd SFB), he said.

The clash erupted in Brgy. Buhisan around 12:30 p.m.

A company of the 3rd SFB was checking on reports that NPA members were “foraging” in the village, when they encountered about 30 rebels, Uy said.

The firefight lasted for about 20 minutes, after which the rebels withdrew to the hinterlands, he said.

Soldiers did not find slain or wounded rebels, but saw trails of blood along their route of withdrawal, Uy said.

A UH-1H helicopter was later sent to the site to fetch the slain and wounded soldiers. The injured are now being treated at a hospital in Butuan City.

“Sa ngayon tuluy-tuloy pa rin ‘yung operations, nagdagdag tayo ng tropa doon at baka mahagip nila uli ‘yung mga tumakbong rebelde,” Uy said. (John Roson)

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Rebels snatch 10 persons in Caraga

Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members abducted seven militiamen, two policemen, and a civilian in separate incidents in the Caraga region on Sunday and Monday, authorities said Tuesday.

Mario Libanda, 39; Tuloy Libanda, 36; Rejoy Francisco, 25; and Rubio Asalan, 23, all members of the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA), were abducted at a checkpoint manned by about 30 rebels in Brgy. Mahayhay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, around 9 a.m. Monday, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.

The militiamen were riding a motorcycle to Brgy. Binicalan, San Luis, when they were flagged down at the rebel checkpoint, he said.

The fully-armed men at the roadblock are believed to be members of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerrilla Front 88, Cabangbang said.

Militiamen assigned to nearby Army detachments have been directed to track down the rebels while local officials of San Luis have created a crisis management task group to work for the victims’ release, he said.

The abduction occurred only several hours after other NPA members abducted two policemen in Loreto, also in Agusan del Sur, on Sunday night.

PO2 Ronald Alan Muñez and PO1 Nemuel España, both assigned at the Loreto Police Station, were abducted by about six rebels in Brgy. Poblacion around 11:15 p.m. Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

Muñez and España were conducting surveillance operations against the suspect for a stabbing incident in Sitio Moto, when the rebels seized and brought them towards Sitio Marang, Brgy. Kasapa, Gamba said.

The local government of Loreto has activated a crisis management committee to work for the hostages’ release, he said.

Earlier on Sunday, rebels abducted three more militiamen and a civilian in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.

At least five rebels abducted CAA members Evangeline Cabodbod, Leonardo Sevellejo Sr., Danny Sevellejo, and civilian Vicente Bolgado near Road 4H in Sitio Greenfield, Brgy. Sta. Juana, around 10 a.m., according to a report from the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

The four had just attended mass when they were seized by armed men who are believed to be members of the NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerrilla Front 14, the report said.

Capt. Christian Uy, acting spokesman of the 4th ID, confirmed the report, but said the rebels have already freed Bolgado.

The incident occurred less than an hour after five rebel snipers fired at the 23rd Infantry Battalion’s patrol base in Sitio Greenfield.

Lito Dagium, one of the militiamen manning the patrol base that time, suffered a bullet wound to the right side of the body due to the sniping.

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A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) member was killed as government troops clashed with the rebel group in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, on Tuesday, only a week after super typhoon “Pablo” devastated the province.

Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias, spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the clash occurred around 9:40 a.m. in Brgy. Lobo.

Members of the 401st Brigade were conducting security patrols when they encountered an undetermined number of rebels, he said.

The rebels withdrew after a five-minute firefight, leaving a still unidentified comrade and an AK-47 rifle behind, Osias said.

The clash occurred only a week after “Pablo” slammed into Surigao del Sur on December 4.

“Pablo” killed at least five people, displaced 5,000 residents, and destroyed more than 20,000 houses in the province, which is now under a state of calamity, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Many parts of the province are still experiencing a power outage, the NDRRMC said. (John Roson)

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‘Pablo’ kills 5; 20 missing

At least five people were killed while not less than 20 others were reported missing when typhoon “Pablo” slammed into Mindanao and the Visayas Tuesday, authorities said.

Senior Supt. Rommil Mitra, Davao Oriental Provincial Police director, identified two of the fatalities as Erlinda Balante, 64, of Manay, and Rossel Along, 22, of Caraga town.

Balante died when her house in Brgy. Poblacion collapsed due to strong winds, while Along was killed after he slipped from the stairs amid the storm’s onslaught, Mitra said in a phone interview.

Four people were reported missing in different areas while two people were injured in Caraga, he said.

One Jigger Gomonit, 30, was killed when he was hit by a tree while riding a motorcycle in Panaon, Misamis Oriental, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Benito Ramos told reporters in Manila.

Elberto Daniel died when he was also hit by a falling tree while riding a motorcycle in Lazi, Siquijor, Ramos said.

Army patrol base washed away; 20 missing

In Compostela Valley, one soldier ranked sergeant died when floowaters washed away their patrol base in Brgy. Andap, New Bataan, Capt. Severino David, commander of the Armed Forces Eastern Command’s disaster response task group, said.

The soldier’s commanding officer, ranked lieutenant, was injured and is reportedly unconscious at a local hospital, David said.

About 20 “civilians” living near the patrol base were also washed away and are now missing, he said.

“Pablo,” the strongest storm to hit the country this year, made landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental, around 4:45 a.m.

The storm packed maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour, with gusts of up to 195 kph as it moved west-northwest at 20 kph.

Roofs ripped off, posts toppled

In Caraga town, the storm ripped off roofs and toppled electric posts and trees, leaving the main road impassable to vehicles.

“Ang sitwasyon ng kalsada unpassable pa hanggang sa ngayon, marami pong mga malalaking puno, puno ng niyog, at saka mga poste, kable ng kuryente ang nakaharang sa daan,” Mitra said, adding that clearing operations by the DPWH and police were underway.

Liza Mazo, director of the Office of Civil Defense in Southern Mindanao, said floods, landslides, and storm surges caused by the storm damaged a number of roads, bridges, in davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

Among those that experienced landslides were Compostela Valley’s gold-rush area, Mt. Diwata, while storm surges hit Davao Oriental’s coastal towns of Banay-Banay, Manay, and Boston.

Strong winds and heavy rain also caused damages in Surigao del Sur while three people, including a mother and her child, were injured after a coconut tree fell on their home in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, Blanche Gobenciong, OCD-Caraga director, said.

Power out

Around 10 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services administration tracked the center of the storm to 50 kilometers east of Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

“It is starting to trip electric posts and trees in Bukidnon. Moderate heavy rains are also felt in Bukidnon,” Chief Supt. Gil Hitosis, Northern Mindanao regional police director, said in a text message 10 a.m.

Malaybalay City experienced a power outage amid strong winds, he said.

“Almost all” barangays of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City also suffered power outages because strong winds cut electric lines, regional police spokesman Supt. Ronnie Cariaga said.

“Sa kabutihang palad naman po ay walang reported casualty so far at mas maganda ang situation kaysa last year,” Cariaga said, comparing the situation to when tropical storm “Sendong” killed more than 1,000 people last year.

Visayas prepares

In Western Visayas, local governments suspended classes at different levels in Capiz, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, Iloilo City, and Guimaras, regional police director, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz said.

The storm was already being felt in the Central Visayas provinces of Cebu and Negros Oriental as of Tuesday evening. (John Roson)

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Thousands of residents in Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and Eastern Visayas have evacuated their homes as typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha) barreled closer to land Monday, authorities said.

Blanche Gobenciong, director of the Office of Civil Defense in Caraga, said 1,577 families or 7,885 persons have already evacuated in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, alone.

The “pre-emptive” evacuations started Monday morning as “Pablo” came closer to Hinatuan. Hundreds of people are also being evacuated from flood-prone areas in Tandag City and Bislig City, Gobenciong said.

“Pablo” is expected to be 30 kilometers of Hinatuan Tuesday morning, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

The state weather bureau earlier predicted that “Pablo” will hit all provinces in Caraga, but announced Monday afternoon that the storm will strike an area between Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental.

“Kahit pa kung saan ‘yan, kasi makikita natin kung gaano kabuo ‘yung bagyo, matatamaan pa rin kami dahil sa hangin at ulan. Hindi man mag-landfall dito, tatamaan pa rin kami ng heavy rain,” Gobenciong said.

“Pablo” has a 600-kilometer radius and packs winds of up to 175 kph and a gustiness of up to 210 kph, the strongest to hit the country this year, according to PAGASA.

Cagayan de Oro City, which felt the wrath of tropical storm “Sendong” (Washi) in 2011, started evacuating its residents around 1 p.m. and suspended classes so even students can prepare.

As of 3 p.m., more than 100 families in have been evacuated from flood-prone areas in Brgys. Carmen, Balulang, Consolacion, and Macasandig, the areas which “Sendong” ravaged, acting city police director Supt. Antonio Montalba said.

Policemen were ordered to help bring the evacuees to schools and gymnasiums located on higher grounds, he said.

Chief Supt. Gil Hitosis, Northern Mindanao regional police chief, said all police units in the region were also ordered to check the “usability” of rescue equipment, especially rubber boats.

Iligan City, which was also heavily devastated by “Sendong” like Cagayan de Oro City, is also in Northern Mindanao.

Gobenciong said evacuations in her region started in Hinatuan, a town that has several island-barangays (villages).

“‘Yung mga island-barangays nag-start sila na i-evacuate, dinala na sa mainland, magkakaroon din ng massive evacuation lalong-lalo na for residents along the coastal areas,” she said.

Classes in the entire Caraga region have also been suspended as many of the provinces were placed under storm warning Signal No. 3, she said.

Sea travel and fishing expeditions were also ordered cancelled, Gobenciong said.

Some 1,685 people, 19 vessels, 54 rolling cargoes, and 10 fishing vessels are now stranded in ports all over the country, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Edgardo Ollet, chief of the NDRRMC’s operations center in Manila, said evacuations have also started in Surigao del Norte’s Siargao Island, the Dinagat Islands, as well as in Leyte and Samar of Eastern Visayas.

Capt. Dranreb Canto, spokesman of the Army’s 802nd Brigade, said pre-emptive evacuations were also conducted Monday in several barangays of St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, the site of a landslide that buried an entire village in 2006.

Among the areas evacuated were Brgys. Sug-angon, Nueva Ezperanza, Tabon Tabon, Libas, and Ayahag.

“Yun kasing mga barangays dun ay prone talaga sa pagpasok ng tubig galing sa taas,” Canto said.

Rey Gozon, director of the Office of Civil Defense in Eastern Visayas, said residents of the region have been advised to also make “personal” preparations.

“Mag-prepare na rin sila ng mga pagkain, at least man lang good for three days, damit, tulugan, at saka ‘yung members of the family na mayroong maintenance medicine, isama na din ‘yun sa kanilang preparation,” he said.

Fishermen were also advised not to venture out to sea to avoid maritime incidents.

“‘Yan kasi ‘yung mahirap na ginagawa natin na response tuwing may bagyo, ‘yung mga nawawalang fishermen, so sana makinig sila sa advise na binibigay sa kanila para maiwasan natin ‘yung untoward incidents,” he said.

On Monday, PAGASA placed the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Siargao, the Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Davao del Oriental under storm warning Signal No. 3.

Signal No. 2 was hoisted in Southern Leyte, Bohol, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, and Compostela Valley.

Signal No. 1 was raised in Cuyo Island, Biliran, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Samar, Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Siquijor, the entire Zamboanga Peninsula, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, North Cotabato, and Maguindanao. (John Roson)

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A farmer was killed while his daughter was injured after being shot by armed men at their home in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, Friday night, police said.

Presco Doloricon, 52, succumbed to three bullet wounds to the body while his daughter Judith, 11, was wounded on the legs, Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

The incident occurred around 6:45 p.m. while the Doloricons were sitting outside their home in Purok 3, Brgy. Siagao.

Three unidentified men came and suddenly fired upon Presco and his daughter using a shotgun, Gamba said.

The younger Doloricon was brought to the San Miguel Community Hospital but was later transferred to the Adela Sera Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag City for further treatment.

Local police are still tracking down the assailants, who quickly fled towards the mountainous area of Brgy. Siagao, Gamba said. (John Roson)

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Surigao folk flee quake

Some 120 families in coastal areas of Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, fled their homes when a magnitude-6.5 earthquake shook the province early Saturday, police said.

SPO1 Versatile Pacate, investigator at the Tandag City Police Station, said the quake was felt around 2:17 a.m.

The quake, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, was felt at Intensity V in Tandag City, Intensity IV in Surigao City, and Intensity III in Bislig City.

“More than 100 to 120 households ang nagsilikas papunta dun sa Provincial Capitol, which is 1.2 to 1.3 kilometers from Ttandag City proper. ‘Yung provincial capitol is a high ground and even without a tsunami warning, alert ang mga tao, nagsilikas na agad,” Pacate said in a phone interview.

“So far sa mga infrastructure, sa mga government installation, mga roads, bridges so far po walang na-damage dito, maliban sa mga kasangkapan sa bahay na natumba dahil sa lindol,” he added.

About 30 minutes after the quake struck, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council confirmed that no tsunami warning was issued and allowed the evacuees to return home, Pacate said. (John Roson)

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DENR employee gunned down

Armed men shot dead an employee of the Department of Environment and natural Resources (DENR) in Barobo, Surigao del Sur, the other day (Wednesday), police reported.

Ricardo Magallanes, 53, a resident of Brgy. Tambis, was brought to the Democrito Plaza Memorial Hospital due to a bullet wound on his back, but was declared dead on arrival by doctors, Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

The incident occurred around 8 a.m. while Magallanes was riding his motorcycle to the public market.

Two men riding on another motorcycle tailed Magallanes and shot him in Brgy. Poblacion, Gamba said.

Members of the Barobo Police recovered two fired cartridges, believed to be from a caliber-.45 pistol, from the crime scene.

Investigators are still trying to determine the assailants’ identities and motive as of this writing. (John Roson)

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A policeman ended up getting killed while an alleged teacher was injured when their group shot it out with a soldier after a holdup spree in Cortes, Surigao del Sur, on Friday, police reported.

Killed was PO1 Arnold Olvida, assigned at Mati City, Davao Oriental, while his cohort Tomie Olvida, who claimed to be a teacher, suffered a bullet wound on the nose, according to a report from the Caraga regional police.

Three other suspects managed to escape and are now being hunted down.

The shootout occurred shortly before 6 p.m., after the Olvidas’ group staged back-to-back heists in Brgy. Burgos.

The Olvidas, along with three still unidentified men, first held up businessman Nomeriano Curada inside his store, according to the report.

Curada told local police that five men went to his store looking for snacks, but suddenly pulled out guns and declared a heist.

He said the armed men took P400,000 cash, P14,000 worth of jewelries, and a cellphone before escaping towards the National Highway.

Upon reaching the Cortes Municipal Hospital, the robbers tried to take a green motorcycle from Tomas Burnales and his son Vincent.

The Burnaleses resisted so the robbers shot Vincent on both legs and poked a gun on his father’s face, the report said.

It was then that the robbers crossed paths with Msgt. Eleno Leopoldo, of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion, who happened to be walking along the road after visiting his farm.

As Leopoldo passed by, the robbers fired but failed to hit him.

The soldier, who was carrying his caliber-.22 rifle, returned fire, killing one of the robbers on the spot and hitting another on the nose.

Tomas and Vincent Burnales were later brought to the Adela Sierra Ty Memorial Medical Center.

Wounded suspect Tomie Olvida was brought to the same hospital after policemen captured him in a pursuit.

He yielded a caliber-.45 pistol, two magazines loaded with 17 bullets, a wallet containing an ID card from the Professional Regulation Commission, firearm license, Philhealth ID, and P150 cash.

Authorities recovered from PO1 Arnold Olvida’s body a caliber-.9mm pistol, two magazines loaded with 21 bullets, a wallet containing identification cards from the PNP, AFPSLAI, PSSLAI, Philhealth, Pag-ibig, an ATM card, and a payslip for February 2012.

Also found on his body were a metal class ring, a homemade caliber-.45 pistol loaded with five bullets, and another wallet containing P13,040 cash believed to be owned by Curada. (John Roson)

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