Eastern Samar Police Provincial Office
History of the Province
Eastern Samar is one of the three (3) provinces of the island of Samar. It became independent province by virtue of Republic Act Nr. 4221, which was approved by congress on June 19, 1965. The act divided the province of samar into three independent provinces: Northern Samar, Western Samar, Subsequently renamed, Samar and eastern Samar. The conversion of Eastern Samar into a separate province was upheld by the plebiscite held simultaneously with November 1965 general elections. In 1`967, Eastern Samar elected its first set of provincial officials and on January 2, 1968, the provincial board held its inaugural session at the Borongan town hall which served as the temporary capitol. Eight months later on September 7, 1968, the formal inaugural of the province took place at Borongan, the province capital.
On March 16, 1521, Magellan landed in humunu (Homonhon) island situated at the southern tip of the province. They landed on Sunday during the feast of St. Lazaruz, marking the beginning of the Christian faith of the country. Magellan called the place “Homonhon Island” the watering place of good signs.
However, before the coming of Magellan, the province had already been long inhabited by scattered tribes of pagans and Muslims. On the later part of 16th century early Spanish settlements were founded by the Jesuits, followed by the ASugustinians and later by the Franciscans.
During the Philippine-American war on September 28, 1901,one of the fiercest battle took place at the town of Balangiga, remembered as the “Balangiga Massacre”. On this date, Samarenos rag tag forces armed only with bolos and spears almost annihilated the American occupation forces, a convincing victory of the Filipino revolutionaries. However the American reinforcement forces turned their ire of revenge on the whole population, Non-stop killing took place-real massacre of civilians and had the place set on fire for six months. It converted the whole samara into “howling wilderness”. To commemorate the Samarenos display of bravery, valor and heroism, Republic act 6672 was enacted by congress on February 10, 1989. The act declares September 28 as “Balangiga Encounter Day” and a special non-working Holiday in the province of Eastern Samar. Every year, grand anniversary celebration is held to commemorate the historic event.
Location and Composition
Eastern Samar stretches on a rough north-south axis on the Eastern Coast of the Island of Samar. It is one of the eastern most province in the country. The mainland body is located at approximately from 125 to 50 east longitude and from 10 5 to 12 22 north by Northern Samar, on the west by Samar and on South by Leyte Gulf which further merge the southern portion with Surigao Strait.
The largest offshore Island of Homonhon and the Island of Suluan in Guiuan, both figured prominently in the province historical past that lies off to the southern tip of the province guarding the eastern gateway. The other main islands of the province are: Manicani and Tubabao in Guiuan, Gutusan in Arteche, Catalab-an in Sulat, Hilabaan in Dolores and Oras, Divinubo in Borongan and Butig in Salcedo.
The municipalities are located at an average distance of 74.8 kilometers from the provincial capitol of Borongan; only five (5) municipalities are located within the 50 kms radius of Borongan. These are San Julian (19.5 kms); Maydolong (20 kms); Balangkayan (24 kms) ; and Taft (47.5 kms). Seven of the municipalities namely: Arteche, Balangiga, Guiuan, Jipapad, Lawa-an, Maslog , and Mercedes are situated more than 100 kms from the provincial capitol.
THE HISTORY AND BACKGROUND OF EASTERN SAMAR POLICE PROVINCIAL OFFICE
The Oral History of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) in Samar dated back on the year 1901. When the American Pacification campaign reigns of government, which eventually got under the American control the First Philippine Constabulary Unit activated the Island of Samar was named as Samar Philippine Constabulary Company with a Headquarters stationed at Sitio Sabang, Borongan, Samar, housed in a rented old building of Tabacalera. A business entity owned by a Spanish-Mestizo. The Philippine Constabulary Unit in Samar then underwent transitions and changes in unit designations. Actually, the PC as the Insular Police in the country was founded in August 8, 1901, Hence, during the American Regime.
Camp Asidillo, the name of the present camp, originated from an unofficial source and no authority butt early folks and military trainees named it, as seemingly reminds them a history of the protector from the oppressor. Through, there are no written records in this command to substantiate the existence of the name. However, popular and reliable information states that Francisco Asidillo became the protectors of the weak. A native of Sulat, ( Eastern Samar). He then a well-known revolutionary leader in this area, who took part in the famous revolt against the forces in the town of Balangiga that uprising is now popularly known as “Balangiga Massacre”. A revolution of early freedom loving Filipinos resulting in the complete annihilation of 125 Officers and men of the American Marines. Francisco Asidillo intensified and extended his exploits and campaign against the Americans and the “Pulahan” movement then became everyday household words. At the time this rampaging band gained massive support at various sectors of the Islands people from all walks of life. Asidillo made the little town of Sulat his permanent headquarters and continued his campaigns there from. However, his exploits were short-lived when a ruthless traitor from the town of Oras killed him.
Sometimes in 1935, a portion of land was acquired by the Commonwealth Government at Sitio Bato, now a barrio of Borongan, Eastern Samar, a land intended as site for the training the 20 year old trainees of the Philippine Army, in the same year, construction of building and preparations of the military reservation undertaken. In 1936 Trainee Instruction began there and then the personnel of the Philippine Constabulary Unit at Sitio Sabang were utilized as instructions on that training. The reservation became the 4 th Cadre Training Center under the 9 th Military District of Samar and Leyte. Then, said 20 year old trainees became the nucleus of the first regular division of the Philippine Army in this Island.
In 1941, at the outbreak of World War II, the Philippine Constabulary Unit stationed at Sitio Sabang was disbanded until the year 1945. After the liberation of the Philippine Island by the American Forces, then the situation returned to Normal on 16 June 1946 to be exact. The Philippine Constabulary Company in Camp Asidillo Headquarters transferred to Guiuan, Eastern Samar. On January 1, 1950, this unit was again re-designated as the 46 th Philippine Constabulary Company with Headquarters still at Guiuan. On February 1, 1952 the former headquarters at Sitio Sabang was transferred to its present (Now Brgy Alang-alang) location, at Camp Asidillo, Sitio Alang-alang, Borongan, Eastern Samar.
On January 1, 1954, the unit again was re-designated as the 65 th Philippine Constabulary Company and on 16 June 1967 the same unit became a detachment of the 361 st Philippine Constabulary Company stationed at Catbalogan, Samar. When the province of Eastern Samar was created on January 1, 1968 (under RA 4221) this detachment in Sabang, then 361 st Philippine Constabulary Company in Borongan, Eastern Samar became 364 th Philippine Constabulary Company and became the Provincial Command of Eastern Samar with its headquarters stationed at Camp Asidillo, in Brgy Bato, then later on Sitio Alang-alang became barangay of Borongan, this province.
Its first Provincial Commander was Col. GUILLERMO UPOS. During the incumbency of Lt Col MARIO A AGDA, Chief of Eastern Samar Philippine Constabulary Commander was awarded with “The Medal of Valor to C1C JACINTO MORENO PC (Now PSUPT at PNPA) others gold medal during the unsuccessful CPP/NPA attack last May 1985 in Maslog”. The Last Provincial Commander COL ROGELIO VALENTN (GSC) PC. Then, the first Provincial Director was Major OSCAR C CALDERON, (Now retired PDG and formerly C,PNP), where this ESPCC became Best Provincial Office of the year in 1993. During the incumbency of PSSUPT PIO LAHER MANITO he was also awarded as the Provincial Director of the Year and ESPPO became Best Provincial Police Office of the Year (Regional Level), Now Eastern Samar Police Provincial Office is under the stewardship of POLICE SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT PRUDENCIO ANCHETA DELA CRUZ (DSC), stationed in aforementioned Camp.