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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kidnapped Filipino mechanic freed

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 28, 2014) – Kidnappers have freed a chief mechanic nearly two weeks after suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen seized him and shot dead his assistant in Sulu province in southern Philippines, police said Thursday.

Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita, the provincial police chief, said the 39-year old Ronald Pelegrin was released on August 27 in Patikul town near where he was kidnapped on August 16.

“Pelegrin was freed by his captors in Patikul town. He is safe and okay,” Orbita told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

It was unknown whether Pelegrin’s family paid ransom or not. Pelegrin, a native of Zamboanga City, works at the motor pool of the provincial government in Patikul town.

Police said about 30 militants swooped down on the motor pool and kidnapped Pelegrin, 39, after fatally shooting Dante Avilla, 29, while trying to escape.

In January 2009, Abu Sayyaf militants also kidnapped three Red Cross workers Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba near the motor pool. They were freed several months later in exchange for ransom. (With a report from Ely Dumaboc.)

Army sergeant killed by own soldier in Zamboanga barracks

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 28, 2014) – An army soldier surrendered to his superior officer after killing his sergeant in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Norte, police said Thursday.

Police said Corporal Greggy Patpat, a native of Cebu City, shot Sergeant Romeo Piedad, of Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur, inside their barracks in the village of Dona Cecilia in Sirawai town. Both soldiers belong to the Charlie Company of 10th Infantry Battalion.

Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, a regional police spokesman, said the shooting occurred on Wednesday morning. He said investigators recovered 21 shell casings of M16 automatic rifle from the crime scene, including the rifle used in the killing.

“Initial investigation conducted by elements of Sirawai Police Station disclosed that the motive of the incident emanated from a personal grudge,” Samuddin said.

He said the soldier surrendered to Lieutenant Chesler Mastino, commander of Charlie Company, who subsequently brought him to the police station.
It was not immediately known what triggered the shooting. (Mindanao Examiner)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why P-Noy wants a second term by Perry Diaz

IN HIS attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to eradicate corruption and poverty, President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III may have violated the Constitution.  In his zeal to continue his “reforms” beyond the six-year term he was elected, he wants to amend the Constitution to allow the president to run for re-election.  In his desire to leave a lasting legacy, he may have overstepped his presidential authority. 

And with two years left in his presidency, P-Noy is running out of time.  Poverty is still rising, reforms are going around in circles, and the legacy he wanted to be remembered by is turning out to be a mirage -- an illusion of a corruption-free and economically progressive society where everybody would have a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Yet, the economy is sizzling or at least that’s what the economic “experts” were saying.  Oh where, oh where then did P-Noy go wrong? Suddenly, P-Noy’s “matuwid na daan” (straight path) had detoured to nowhere.

One may say that P-Noy is just human who is prone to make mistakes just like everybody.  But he is not just like everybody; he is the leader of 100 million Filipinos.   The Filipino people – whom he calls “boss” -- do not expect him to be perfect; but they expected him to rectify his mistakes and solve their problems.  But instead of correcting his mistakes, he denies making them. And instead of fixing the problems, he digs in.

When he was asked why he’d like to stay longer in his job, his response was surreal.  He said that he was now amenable to amend the Constitution to allow him to run for a second term to ensure that the “era of reform” he began would continue beyond his six-year term.   He said that he remembers that he’s only good for one fixed term of six years – that’s what his mom Cory’s 1987 Constitution says – but he felt the need to listen to his “bosses,” the people.   Makes one wonder if he’s hearing voices.

Many believe that the real reason for his attempt to overstay in his job was his running battle with the Supreme Court.    He needs to exact vengeance upon them for all the “defeats” he suffered from the Supreme Court’s high-handed exercise of what P-Noy perceives as “limitless power.”  He believes that the justices had used it to push back his “reforms.”   But what reforms was he talking about?

Real reforms

The three reforms that I believe are the most important are: 1) Freedom of Information (FOI) that is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution; (2) Anti-dynasty, which, too, is enshrined in the Constitution; and (3) Repeal of the bank secrecy law and the Foreign Currency Deposit Act (FCDA) that have provided “safe haven” for corrupt officials to hide their ill-gotten wealth.  These are the reforms that must be instituted.

But after four years of chest-thumping bravura and declaring that corrupt officials’ days are numbered and that “heads will roll,” P-Noy has yet to convict a high-level government official for corruption.  Nada… Zilch… Zero.

But he was able to impeach and convict former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, not for corruption but for omitting required financial information from his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), which every high public official has to file every year.  For that omission, the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, found him guilty of betrayal of public trust.

Hacienda Luisita

Then, on September 25, 2013, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada dropped a bombshell on the Senate floor when he delivered a privilege speech claiming that the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona were each given an additional P50 million in discretionary funds from Malacanang.   It became seemingly apparent then that P-Noy had used every trick to remove Corona.   Why?   Well, the hottest topic that many people had been talking about vis-à-vis the Corona impeachment was “Hacienda Luisita.”  Indeed, many are of the opinion that Corona was instrumental in influencing the Supreme Court justices to vote for the dismemberment of Hacienda Luisita.

It was a big blow to the Cojuangcos (P-Noy’s maternal side) who had been doing everything they could to keep the property intact.  It did not come then as a surprise when then-President Cory Cojuangco Aquino, P-Noy’s mother, issued an executive order that modified the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to include a provision for Stock Distribution Option (SDO), a clause that allows landowners to give farmers shares of stock in a corporation in lieu of giving them land.  Consequently, Hacienda Luisita was incorporated to avail of SDO; thus, avoiding distributing land to the farmers. 

On November 22, 2011, the Supreme Court ordered the total distribution of Hacienda Luisita Inc (HLI) land to more than 6,000 farmer-beneficiaries.  On April 24, 2012, the Supreme Court, voting 14-0, reiterated that ruling.

The bizarre way in which Corona was impeached and convicted and the anomalous disbursement of discretionary funds to the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona lend credence to talks about P-Noy’s undeclared war against the Supreme Court, whose recent unanimous rulings that declared PDAF and DAP unconstitutional were just too much for P-Noy to bear.

Aquino Court

So now, P-Noy wants to stay another six years, which would ensure that every Supreme Court justice he appoints shall be loyal to him.  A case in point was his appointment of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, which P-Noy exerted extraordinary pressure upon the Judicial and Bar Council to make sure that Jardeleza was on the short list.

If P-Noy were to run and win a second term, he wouldn't leave the presidency until June 30, 2022.  Thirteen of the 14 associate justices would have retired by then.  The only two who’d still be around are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who will retire in 2030 and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen in 2032.  By the time P-Noy finishes his second term, all 15 Supreme Court justices would have been appointed by him, which brings up the question: Would an “Aquino Court” protect P-Noy from criminal charges once he sheds his presidential immunity?  

Is that why P-Noy wants a second term?  (

OFWs support anti-pork barrel campaign

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) – More and more overseas Filipino workers are supporting calls to totally abolish presidential and congressional pork barrel funds.

This after various groups and organizations and citizens launched a campaign in the country for the passage of a law that will criminalize the use of pork barrel funds.

In Saudi Arabia, the Migrante-Middle East is one of the prime movers of this campaign and is steadily gaining huge support from OFWs there.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, based in Riyadh, said OFWs who are bonafide overseas absentee voters can also sign up for the People’s Initiative bill that aims to institutionally put an end to pork barrel allocations in the national budget of the government.

“The mere fact that an OFW is a registered OAV, he or she can sign up the People’s Initiative,” Monterona said, adding there is no legal or statutory prohibition for an overseas absentee voter to sign up for the bill.

Monterona said OFWs who are not overseas absentee voters, but are registered voters in their legislative district, can also sign up for the said bill during their annual vacation back home.

“We are also calling our fellow OFWs to urge their kin in the Philippines to sign up the People’s Initiative bill because this is the concrete manifestation of our rejection of the graft-ridden pork barrel that only perpetuates political patronage and dirty politics of bureaucrat-capitalists,” he said.

Gusali ng Sanguniang Bayan sa Siasi inanigurahan ni Sulu Gov. Tan

 Makikita sa mga larawan si Sulu Gov. Totoh Tan sa inagurasyon ng Sanguniang Bayan building ng Siasi kasama ang mga opisyal doon sa pangunguna nina Mayor Musah Muksan at Vice Mayor Abdel Anni.

SULU (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) – Pinangunahan kanina ni Gov. Totoh Tan and at Mayor Musah Muksan ang inagurasyon ng gusali ng Sanguniang Bayan sa isla ng Siasi na dinaluhan ng maraming mga residente.

Hinimok  ni Gov. Tan ang mga residente at opisyal ng naturang bayan na panatilihin ang magandang isla at magsilbing halimbawa ng pagkakaisa upang sama-samang maisulong ang ibat-ibang programa ng pamahalaang Panlalawigan.

Natuwa naman si Gov. Tan sa dami ng mga taong sumalubong sa kanyang entourage at sa maainit na pagtanggap ng mga residente doon. Lubhang malayo sa Sulu ang Siasi, ngunit isa ito sa pinamalinis at pinakamagandang lugar sa lalawigan.

Nagbigay rin ng kanyang talumpati si Gov. Tan bago inikot ang ibat-ibang lugar sa Siasi kasama si Provincial Engineer Abdurasad Baih at iba pang mga opisyal.

“One storey yun Sanguniang Bayan building at naimbitahan si Governor Totoh sa inauguration nito at maraming ang mga taong sumalubong sa pagdating ni Governor for this special event,” ani Engineer Baih sa panayam ng Mindanao Examiner.

Todo naman ang pasasalamat ng mga residente sa pagtungo ni Gov. Tan sa isla at siniguragong patuloy na susuportahan ang magagandang programa nito sa lalawigan.

Kasama ni Gov. Tan ang ilang mga opisyal ng lalawigan, kabilang sina Board Members Basaron Burahan, Ismun Suhuri Mizer Burahan, gayun rin si Administrator Erwin Tan at iba pang. Naroon rin sina Siasi Vice Mayor Abdel Anni at Siasi Administrator Arthur Muksan bukod pa sa ibang mga opisyal ng nasabing bayan. (Mindanao Examiner)

RMN union members hold picket in Davao City

Photos provided by Kilab Multimedia to the Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper show picketing members of the Radio Mindanao Network Davao Employees Union in Davao City.

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) – Members of the Radio Mindanao Network Davao Employees Union held a picket in front of their radio station in Davao City to urge management to negotiate the economic provisions outlined in their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Union President Gina Hitgano said that their union conducted a strike balloting and came up with a decision to hold the picket Tuesday. Based on the CBA, RDEU and RMN management should sit down together and talk about the economic provisions and this also serves as a venue for both sides to discuss these concerns every three years.

Members of the union also decried alleged union busting after the management reportedly denied workers' democratic rights and violated certain provision in their CBA. Instead of addressing the legitimate demands of the media workers, the RMN management hired contractual workers without informing the union.

"RMN management is clearly committing grave violations and this is nothing short of union busting," Hitgano said, adding, out of 22 union members, there are only 17 members left to date.

RMN management reasoned out that it will not hire replacements since other members of the operations unit already have the capacity to do the additional job.

Union members said an unidentified man took videos of the protesters in the picket line and afterwards drove away in a vehicle without a license plate tailed by another man on a motorcycle.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno said it is supporting the union members in their fight against the RMN management.

According to KMU Southern Mindanao Region Secretary General Romualdo Basilio, the plight of union members mirrors the general situation of workers who fall prey to union busting, harassment, violation of CBA, among others.

Hitgano reminded the RMN management that they will not stop fighting for their rights and pushing forward their legitimate demands.

MoneyGram Foundation, The Asia Foundation to distribute 28,000 books

Students from Rizal High School in Pasig City who are recipients of the books.

Officials of MoneyGram Foundation and The Asia Foundation handed over books to Sta.  Lucia High School.  From left to right: Sabrina Chan, MoneyGram Regional Marketing  Manager, Alex Lim, MoneyGram Country Manager, Yogesh Sangle, MoneyGram Senior Director of Asia, Sta. Lucia High School officials, The Asia Foundation Country Representative Dr. Steven Rood, and Books for Asia Program Coordinator Reynald Ocampo.

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / August 27, 2014) – Some 28,000 books will be distributed over 30 various schools across the Philippines and providing them enhanced access to learning resources and impacting millions of school-age children and young adults, The Asia Foundation said.

It said the project is in partnership with the MoneyGram Foundation and part of the The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program.

“We believe education leads to an improved livelihood over the long term, benefiting entire families in the future. MoneyGram believes early education is at the heart of a better life—economic opportunities, healthier families, individual freedom and empowerment,”said Yogesh Sangle, MoneyGram Senior Director of Asia.

He said the MoneyGram Foundation focuses solely on helping children around the world gain better access to educational facilities and learning resources.

The Philippine book distribution launch is only the beginning to a larger global giving program in Asia that aims to empower children through education. The campaign was launched through an inaugural turnover of more than 2,500 books at the Rizal High School in Pasig City.

Through the grant from the MoneyGram Foundation, the books will be distributed to more than 30 schools in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao.  The books and educational materials are aimed to develop children’s English language skills, improve profession and examination skills, enhance knowledge in the business, legal, and science professions, and infuse children with an early love of reading that is critical to literacy.

“Education can be instrumental in helping youth and their families restore their hope and dignity. MoneyGram is focused on providing the youth more reasons to attend school, read more books and ultimately build a better livelihood. We hope that by further improving learning centers and school libraries in the Philippines, we are likewise contributing to the betterment of the quality of education and information that the youth are getting. We are very happy that the Philippines is one of the recipients of this donation.”

“This is my first time to witness our school donation events in such big scale by MoneyGram in the Philippines. I am so proud to be able to witness this as a beginning, as we will be distributing more books in later months to other key regions in the Philippines,” Sangle said.

The distribution event was spearheaded by Sangle together with MoneyGram Country Manager Alex Lim, MoneyGram Regional Marketing Director Sabrina Chan, The Asia Foundation Country Representative Dr. Steven Rood, TAF Books for Asia Program Coordinator Reynald Ocampo, and representatives from MoneyGram agents in the Philippines.

The Historic Resort City

LAPU-LAPU - The City of Lapu-Lapu, formerly called Opon, has launched its new branding and not just the beautiful place, but the people itself.

Mayor Paz Radaza has taken a step higher than the rest of the local government units in launching it’s new brand - "Lapu-Lapu...The Historic Resort City" not only brands its beaches, economics and resorts, but as home of people with values of the first ever hero that defended the country.

"We are a city, named after a hero, you must think that it is exceptional, out of the ordinary and a cut above the rest. In fact, it is...but it is only as world-class as its people," Radaza said.

Radaza said it is the heroism of every individual Oponganon that makes Lapu-Lapu truly The Historic Resort City.

"The collective heroism of the Oponganons both in the public and private sectors create that world-class brand that makes visitors come to Lapu-Lapu City," she said.

The City's icon and hero "Lapu-Lapu" and ths sun with its vibrant colors represent the core values of Oponganons and its diversity and dynamism. Its colors are sky blue - trustworthy, dependable, secure and responsible and golden yellow – for positivism, light, warmth, motivation and creativity; and persimmon orange that represents vitality, fun, playful exuberance and forest green - for wealth, health, prestige and serenity.

Other than visual branding, the Mayor also launched a jingle entitled "Come to Lapu-Lapu and Free Yourself."

"We created a brand for Lapu-Lapu City based on its distinctive appeal developed through a deeper insight on how values, attitudes, behavior and characteristics developed into core competencies of the city, and how they fit into the emerging trends," she said.

The Mayor also posed a challenge to every residents to live up to the created brand inculcating the culture of tourism. This culture, according to Radaza, empowers Oponganons to demand from their local government five-star service just like how our visitors look forward to five-star resort service.

"A culture where we, as a people, will constantly and consciously provide warm hospitality to our guests. A culture where we as Oponganons cherish our past, defend our independence and always be  self-reliant," she said.

The Mayor also assured that the city government will make sure that they can provide the citizens with high quality of life.

Lapu-Lapu City is also host to the 3rd Cobra Ironman. Lapu-Lapu is a highly urbanized city of Cebu province that has the first ever export processing zone and is the location of the international airport.(Ferliza Contratista)

Meningococcemia patient dies in Cebu

CEBU - The Department of Health has confirmed the first case of meningococcemia in Central Visayas following the death recently of a male patient in Cebu City.

The DOH said it is closely monitoring the victim's family members and those who came in contact with the patient for any manifestations of the fatal disease.

Renan Cimafranca, Nurse V of the DOH-7 Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, said the victim was a resident of Danao City.

According to Cimafranca, the immediate family members and those that handled the cadaver were given prophylaxis to prevent the development of the disease in case of exposure. The victim was immediately buried to prevent any exposure to the virulent virus.

“We are continuously monitoring the family members and others that came in contact with the victim. We are also coordinating with the Danao City Health Department to check within the vicinity where the victim lived of any manifestations of meningococcemia,” Cimafranca said.

Cimafranca said meningococcemia is a very fatal disease and if not immediately treated can result to death. “Those exposed to meningococcemia can die three to four days following the onset of symptoms.”

Cimafranca said the victim was first hospitalized at Danao City District Hospital and then brought to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City a day before he died. The victim had no travel history prompting health officials to surmise that possible exposure to the virus could just be within the area in Danao City.

Meningococcemia is a bacterial infection caused by the Neisseria meningitides bacteria. This is the same type of bacteria that causes some types of meningitis. When the bacteria infect the membranes (meninges) that cover the brain and spinal cord, the infection is called meningitis. When the infection remains in the blood, but does not infect the brain or spinal cord, it is called meningococcemia.

Neisseria meningitides bacteria are common in upper respiratory tract and do not necessarily cause illness. The disease spread from person to person when someone infected with the bacteria sneezes or coughs. Although anyone can get meningococcemia, it is most common in babies, children, and young adults.

An infection by Neisseria meningitidis, whether it becomes meningitis or meningococcemia, is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention, according to the medical website Health Line.(Fayette C. Riñen)

Group blames Aquino on energy woes

  President Benigno Aquino

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) - The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) said there is nobody else to blame other than the Aquino administration for the current state of energy in the country.

During a recent briefing on the proposed 2015 national budget, Cabinet officials placed the blame upon the Supreme Court for the looming power crisis saying that had the high court not issued a temporary restraining order on the Redondo power plant project, the problem of a possible power shortage would not exist. 

“Throwing the blame at the Supreme Court will not absolve the government of its culpability,” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ. “The decision of the Supreme Court merely reflected the will of the people that are against coal. The writ was reflective of the people’s stand against this government’s push for increased dependence on coal.”

Under the Aquino administration, permits granted to coal mining projects have doubled, from 39 coal operating contracts (COCs) in 2007 to 71 COCs in 2013.

The number of approved coal plants has increased in the same period. In addition to 17 coal plants (with 28 boilers) with a total of 5506.2 MW capacity are currently operational across the country, 25 more coal plants (with 45 boilers) of up to 9,054 MW capacity have been approved as of mid-2014 (committed and indicative) and railroaded for final construction by 2020.

This is up from 17 coal plants (with 29 boilers) with 4,584 MW approved in less than a year ago. This is in addition to another 12 more coal plants with 2,480 MW capacity proposed in the same year, Arances said.

“From the very start, the Power Development Planning of the government was already flawed. It failed to provide the people a meaningful participation in the decision-making. It did not provide a mechanism that would give the people an avenue to confront the government in the event that the people felt that their choices are not reflected in government decisions,” Arances said.

In August 2012, the Supreme Court, in a decision on the petition filed by residents of Bataan and Zambales along with other civil society organizations issued a Writ of Kalikasan against Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RP Energy). The Writ prevented the company from constructing a 600 MW coal-fired power plant within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area which would have been online by 2014.

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla also said that they want “a bill which would fast-track the processing of permits and, if possible, no TRO against [energy] projects.”

Arances said that the act of throwing the blame onto the judiciary is part of the grand design of the administration to circumvent democratic processes, to dis-empower the will of the people, and to discredit legal measures to accommodate the choice of the people.

This crusade is led by none other than Petilla, supported fully by Aquino himself, to prepare the way for the exercise of emergency powers, he said.

The government should apply the lessons it learned at the DOE- sponsored Panay Multi-Sectoral Development Planning (MSPDP) process in 2004. The MSPDP was initially created to address the power crisis and growing concerns on the environmental impacts of power plants which resulted to a transparent process designed to provide people’s participation in the industry’s priority-setting process, according to Arances.

He said the Panay MSPDP must be replicated as it was efficient in demonstrating that a grassroots process can have the technical rigor practiced by the corporate sector or the state in energy management.

Furthermore, considering that RE Law have been in effect since 2008 and the negotiations on the RP Energy project began in 2011, the government already had 3 years to perform its mandate to allow the increase of RE share in generating capacity.

Had the government been diligent in pushing coal and enforcing the RE Law, that puts RE as a preferred energy choice. The energy supply in Luzon would have been sustained without the Redondo coal plant. In its own study and RE program, the DOE puts the RE potential of the country at a high level. Even without solar power, the country has 200,000 MW of potential renewable energy sources, he said.

“The people must not be deprived of their right to participate in government affairs and their preferred choice of accessible and affordable clean, renewable energy ,” Arances said.

Sayyaf man in Sabah raid falls in Tawi-Tawi

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) – Security forces have arrested an Abu Sayyaf militant linked to kidnappings in Sabah, Malaysia following a raid in the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi, police said Wednesday.

Police said Mobin Hailil alias Kahumbo was arrested on Tuesday in Bongao town. Police commandos and soldiers also seized a pistol and fragmentation grenade from him.

Hailil is also being linked to the killing of a Malaysian policeman Kpl Rajah Jamuan, 32, on Mabul Water Bungalow Resort during an Abu Sayyaf raid in July this year. Rajah’s companion Kons Zakiah Alejp, 26, was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf and is being held for ransom in southern Philippines.

It was not immediately known how security forces were able to track down Hailil, but his arrest came a month after the Eastern Sabah Security Command passed information to Philippine authorities about his Abu Sayyaf activities.

Eastern Sabah Security Command Intelligence Director Datuk Ahmad Nadzer Nordin said at least 14 groups from southern Philippines were involved in cross-border kidnappings in Sabah.

Malaysia’s Star Today also quoted a report by former Abu Sayyaf hostage and Mindanao State University lecturer Octavio Dinampo as saying that Hailil is “an intelligence gatherer for Abu Sayyaf, whose main duty is to identify possible targets for the gunmen to kidnap.”

“As an urban operative, he would be familiar with places like Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Semporna,” Dinampo, who was kidnapped in June 2008, told The Star, adding that Hailil would blend in with the Tausug and Yakan communities in these districts.

“These operatives use their knowledge to identify possible kidnap victims and watch their movements as well as the fast boats to be used in the abductions,” he said, adding, any information from Hailil would enable Philippine security officials to know the inner workings of the Abu Sayyaf.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abd Rahman earlier tagged brothers as Nilson and Badong Muktadil as among those involved in kidnappings in Sabah. The two brothers were also linked to the raid on Mabul Water Bungalow Resort.

Star Today also quoted Jalaluddin as saying that the brothers were part of a kidnap-for-ransom group based in Tawi-Tawi province. They were believed to be involved in the April 2 kidnapping of Chinese tourist, Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipino worker Marcy Darawan, 40, from the Singamata Reef Resort off Semporna in Sabah. Both women had been freed in exchange for a huge ransom. (Mindanao Examiner. With additional report from The Star Today)

'Doodle 4 Google' launched in the Philippines

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) - The Department of Education has urged students to join the Google Philippines’ Doodle 4 Google Program, a competition that gives Filipino students—both in formal and non-formal schools—the chance to create and to design a Google doodle that shows their contribution in nation-building with the theme “What can I do for the Philippines?”

“We support Google Philippines Inc., in its aim to encourage Filipino youth to be creative both online and offline through Google 4 Doodle,”  Secretary of Education Armin Luistro said.

He added that this competition will open opportunities for the learners to learn 21st century skills, which is one of the goals of the K to 12 Program.

Country Marketing Manager for Google Philippines Ryan Morales said: “We look forward to inspiring the nation with a doodle that will not only reflect the beautiful synergy between art and technology but also speak of the beautiful spirit of selflessness and service of the Filipino people through the eyes of the children.”

Luistro said that the Department hopes the program will not only ignite passion for art and culture among the youth but will also inspire them to move for the betterment of the country.

The competition is open to students and learners aged 5 to 17, residing in the Philippines and currently enrolled in formal school or enlisted in an alternative learning system from both public and private schools. Entries are classified into four groups: a.) 5-8 years old; b.) 9-11 years old; c.) 12-14 years old, and d.) 15-17 years old.

Public voting for the finalists’ doodles is from October 6 to 26, 2016. Announcement of winners will be on November 8, 2014. The overall winning doodle will be featured on Google Philippines’ homepages for 24 hours in November.

3 sugatan sa pamamaril sa Basilan

BASILAN (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 27, 2014) – Sugatan ang dalawang mag-asawang negosyante at kanilang anak matapos silang pagbabarilin ng isang armado sa Isabela City sa Basilan province sa Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Ayon kay Insp. Dahlan Samuddin, ang regional police spokesman, ay pauwi na sa bahay ang mga biktima mula sa kanilang tindahan ng maganap ang pananambang kamakalawa ng gabi sa Tugung Street sa Barangay Kaumpurnah.

Nakilala ang mga biktima na sina Madsalih Ajinuddin Ajik at Kasla Mandang Ajik, at anak na si Dexter Marjuki Ajik. Hindi naman agad mabatid kung ilan taon na si Dexter at ang mag-asawa, subali’t sinabi ni Samuddin na patuloy ang imbestigasyon sa kaso.

Nakatakas naman ang salarin matapos ng pamamaril at nabawi sa lugar ang tatlong basyo ng bala mula .45-kalibre pistol.

Inilipat na rin sa Zamboanga City ang mga biktima upang doon magamot. Hindi pa malinaw kung ano ang motibo sa kaso o kung ito ba ay may kinalaman sa negosyo o away-pamilya. (Mindanao Examiner)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gobyerno naningkamot nga maka-mugna og daghang trabaho alang sa mga Pilipino

CEBU - Giseguro sa Malakanyang nga himuon sa gobyerno ang tanan aron makamugna og daghang trabaho alang sa mga Pilipino. Gipahayag kini sa Malakanyang atubangan sa gamay’ng pagsaka sa gidaghanon sa mga walay trabaho sa nasud base na usab sa resulta sa gipahigayong survey sa Social Weather Station (SWS).

Matud pa ni Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma, padayon nga gipaningkamotan sa gobyerno ang pag-mugna og dugang trabaho ug dili lamang basta trabaho apan disenteng panginabuhian nga adunay taas nga suholan ug  maayong kundisyon sa pagtrabaho.

Gitumbok ni Coloma nga ang poverty reduction ug empowerment of the poor and vulnerable pinaagi sa paghatag og panginabuhian, parte sa Philippine Development Plan (PDP) nga maoy tumong sa administrasyong Aquino.

Base sa SWS survey nga gipahigayon niadtong Hunyo 27 hangtud Hunyo 30 nga adunay 1,200 respondents, migawas nga nisaka sa 300,000 ka mga Pilipino ang walay trabaho sa katunga sa tuig 2014.

DTI, subling nipasidaan sa kakuyaw sa paggamit og butane canister isip container sa LPG

CEBU - Subling nipasidaan ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) nga dili angay gamiton ang mga butane canisters nga container o butanganan sa liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Daghang taho gikan sa Mindanao nga gigamit ang butane canister sa pag-refill og LPG alang sa ilang pagluto tungod kay mas barato man kini sa tangke sa LPG.

Apan matud pa sa Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) sa DTI, nakalatid sa Philippine National Standard ang kabag-on sa puthaw sa tangke aron ma-contain ang pressure sa LPG. Mahimong mobuto ang gamay ug nipis nga canister kun gamiton kini sa LPG.

Samtang nipasidaan ang DTI-BPS batok sa mga gas refilling companies nga namaligya og mga butane canisters nga adunay refill sa LPG. Giingong pasakaan og kaso sa DTI ug Department of Energy ang mga kumpanyang adunay produktong “Nalo Stainless Rechargeable Gas Cartridge”.

DILG launches 'Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit'

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2014) - The Department of the Interior and Local Government said - starting this year - it will assess the performance of local government units in the delivery of social services that promote the welfare of children.

Dubbed the Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA), the audit system will measure performance by local governments in the delivery of services that would generate positive results for children, according to DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

He said under the CFLGA, all cities and municipalities shall be assessed to gauge their level of performance in implementing child-friendly programs and instituting measures that promote children’s welfare.

He also urged provincial governors, city and municipal mayors including local officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to support the CFLGA.

In a circular, Roxas ordered DILG regional directors to organize and mobilize audit teams at all levels to coordinate with the local governments in the conduct of the CFLGA.

“Kailangan ng pakikipag-tulungan ng local na pamahalaan bilang pangunahing sandata sa pag-bibigay ng serbisyo publiko kasama na ang mga kabataan upang matagumpay na maipatupad ang programa para sa kapakanan ng mga bata” Roxas said.

He said the national government’s efforts in tandem with the local governments are geared towards addressing the four broad categories of a child’s right to survival, development, protection, and participation.

“Isa itong paraan upang isulong ang pagiging child-sensitive at child-friendly ng ating mga komunidad,” Roxas said.

The Council for the Welfare of Children has adopted the audit and would be using the audit result as inputs in the conferment of the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance.

LGUs shall be assessed based on 12 assessment criteria. These are Percentage reduction in the deaths among children below five years old; Percentage reduction in the number od children under six with below normal weights; Percentage increase in the number of three to four year-old children attending center-based day care services; Completion rate for elementary schooling.

Absence of child labor or percentage reduction in child labor cases; Percentage reduction in the number of children victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation (all forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation, and trafficking in persons). Safety measures for children in the community and schools; Extent of mainstreaming of Children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation in the core development agenda of LGUs.

An ordinance establishing Barangay Violence Against Women and their Children Desks; 2013 Philhealth accreditation in its main health facility or rural health unit for Maternal Care Services and Primary Care; A Local School Board (LSB) Plan for 2013 that is aligned with the School Improvement Plan (SIP); and Completed at least 70% of its LSB Plan for 2013.

The assessment criteria shall use benchmarks and a scaling system in measuring the results and performance of the local governments consistent to national standards, averages or targets.

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President Aquino confers Order of Sikatuna on outgoing Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe

 President Benigno Aquino confers the Order of Sikatuna upon outgoing Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2014) - President Benigno Aquino has bestowed the Order of Sikatuna (Grand Cross, Gold Distinction) to outgoing Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe, who paid a farewell call on Malacañang Palace.

Urabe was accompanied by Japanese Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Tetsuro Amano and Political Minister Hironori Shibata.

Aquino cited Urabe for "his significant contribution to the peace process and development in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao."

The Order of Sikatuna is an Order of Diplomatic Merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Philippines.

Just this March, Urabe signed eight grant contracts with recipient organizations for various social development projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

These projects were funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects implemented by the Japanese Embassy as part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development.

Radio man wounded in Dagupan City

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2014) – A radio commentator in Dagupan City outside Manila was wounded after being hit with a bullet before dawn Monday, the media watchdog National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

It said Orly Navarro was hit in the shoulder while talking to a tricycle driver near his house at around 1 a.m.

Navarro is the acting manager of radio station dwIZ and is a known hard-hitting commentator who hosts a news and commentary program “Orly sa IZ.”

The NUJP did not say whether Navarro was shot by a gunman or hit with a stray bullet and whether the victim was receiving death threats due to his commentaries on various issues.

“Navarro was on his way home at around one o’clock in the morning and was about 15 meters away from his house in Barangay Pantal, Dagupan City, when he heard a gunshot.  He then felt his left shoulder numb and heavy.”

“He told the tricycle driver, to whom he was talking, to bring him to the nearest hospital.  He is being observed before he will undergo an operation to remove the bullet lodged in his shoulder,” the NUJP statement said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Paramilitary, vigilante groups alarm Davao tribesmen

Photos provided by the Kilab Multimedia to the Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper show tribal leaders during a news conference on the proliferation of paramilitary and vigilante groups in Davao del Norte province.

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2014) – Tribesmen in the southern Philippines have expressed grave concern over the proliferation of paramilitary and vigilante groups in the region.

According to PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao, these armed groups are being supported by the military and also notorious human rights violators, especially in Davao del Norte province.

The military are using these militia groups to fight the communist rebel group New People’s Army, but there were many reports that even innocent civilians are also being targeted on mere suspicion they are either supporters or members of the NPA.

Hanimay Suazo, Secretary General of Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, also said paramilitary groups bring fear and terror among tribesmen and farmers because militias would often harass and coerce them into supporting the government’s anti-insurgency campaign.

There was no immediate statement from the military about the concerns raised by PASAKA and Karapatan. Both organizations demanded the dismantling of the militia groups. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Hepe ng pulisya sa Davao pinalagan

 Makikita sa larawan ng Kilab Multimedia na ipinasa sa Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper ang rally kontra hepe ng pulisya sa Davao City.

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2014) – Naglunsad ng rally ang Gabriela sa Davao City upang hingin na managot ang hepe ng pulisya doon dahil sa paglabag ng batas sa the RA 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004 matapos na lumutang ang video nito na hinampas ang asawa sa gitna ng kanilang pagtatalo sa loob ng kanilang bahay.

Inakusahan ng Gabriela si Senior Supt. Vicente Danao ng paglabag sa batas, ngunit naunang sinabi ng opisyal na siya ay naset-up lamang ng kanyang asawa at anak. Mismong ang anak nito ang kumuha ng video gamit ang kanyang cell phone at ito ay na-upload sa Youtube at naging viral.

Sinabi naman ni Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte na personal itong problema ni Danao. Wala rin tugon o hakbang ang Philippine National Police sa naturang insidente.

“Alarming, this is how we describe, at the very least, the actions of Davao City Police Chief Sr. Supt. Vicente Danao Jr. who was caught assaulting his wife in an uploaded video, and dismissing it thereafter as a private matter. To say that we are aghast at this police officer who publicly admitted to his crime, yet tries to escape responsibility in the pretext of privacy is an understatement,” pahayag pa ni Mary Ann Sapar, ang Secretary General ng Gabriela.

Nanawagan rin si Sapar sa pamahalaang lokal na patawan ng disciplinary action si Danao o kaya ay suspindihin bilang hepe ng pulisya.

“We demand that he be suspended from his post for no one is above the law. Women, as our laws mandate, “have the right to the prevention of and protection from all forms of violence and coercion against their person, their freedom, their sexuality, and their individuality. If Sr. Supt. Dano gets away with his crime, it would be a perilous precedent against women’s rights,” wika pa ni Sapar. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Sayyaf man shot in Lamitan City

BASILAN PROVINCE (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 25, 2014) – An unidentified gunman shot dead Monday a suspected Abu Sayyaf member in Lamitan City in the southern Philippine province of Basilan, police said.

Police said the gunman fled after shooting Abdul in downtown Lamitan. It was unknown if the militant was on a mission, but police said Abdul was not a resident of Lamitan, but Ungkaya Pukan town.

Abdul died instantly from the attack. Police did not say if the assailant had been identified or not, or whether the attack was connected to a feud.

Authorities have largely blamed the Abu Sayyaf to the spate of ransom kidnappings and killings in Basilan, one of five provinces under the restive Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Aquino leads commemoration of National Heroes Day as Filipinos protest use of pork barrel fund

 President Benigno Aquino at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers during the commemoration of the National Heroes Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Monday, August 25, 2014. (Photo by Rey Baniquet)

And Filipinos in Hong Kong protest continued use of pork barrel by the Aquino government in these photos released to the Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper by Bayan in Hong Kong.

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 25, 2014) – President Benigno Aquino on Monday paid tribute to the country’s past and modern-day heroes as he led the commemoration of the National Heroes Day.

Aquino urged citizens to emulate the noble deeds of Filipino heroes.  He also extolled ordinary Filipinos, like teachers and soldiers, for their contribution to nation building. “Nariyan ang bawat mamamayang nagsisikap na paunlarin ang sarili, upang maging kapaki-pakinabang na miyembro ng lipunan,” he said.

“Sa ngalan ng sambayanang Pilipino, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. Kayo po ang patunay na ang lahing Pilipino ay tunay ngang lahi ng mga bayani,” he added.

While Aquino led the commemoration of National Heroes Day, thousands of Filipinos also flocked to Luneta Park in Manila to protest the continued use of pork barrel by the Aquino government.

Protesters from various groups and organizations have gathered thousands of signatures as part of its campaign. They wanted a law to that will make criminal the allocation of pork barrel in presidential and congressional funding.

Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan said Aquino has also done nothing to fix the country’s problems.

“Instead of attacking the problems of our society, the Aquino administration is attacking those who expose the rotting system and those who are vulnerable. Aquino is tilting at windmills just like Don Quixote, believing that branding those who cannot defend themselves as enemies and attacking them will end the problems of our society and make him a hero,” Crisostomo said.

In Hong Kong, Filipino workers also held their own protest in support to the anti-pork barrel rallyists in Manila.

“Filipino migrants in Hong Kong are in all-out support to the people’s initiative to end the pork barrel system, and not to the perpetuation of the pork-filled regime of Noynoy Aquino,” said Eman Villanueva, chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Hong Kong and Macau.

He said the idea of a people's initiative against pork barrel has been suggested by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno last year and is now being pursued by a broad rank of anti-pork forces.

“The people's initiative is actually a recognition by anti-pork advocates that elected government official cannot eliminate something that greatly benefits them. The people themselves have to take matters into their own hands and legislate an anti-pork measure that cannot be easily overturned by corruption-ridden institutions of governance in the country,” Villanueva said.

The people's initiative is a legislative process guaranteed by the 1987 Philippine Constitution that requires the signature of at least 10% of the total number of registered voters in the country, with at least 3% in each legislative district. Afterwards, the bill drafted by anti-pork oppositors will have to be affirmed as law in a national referendum through a simple majority of votes.

Villanueva said that registered voters under the Overseas Absentee Voting could sign for the people’s initiative. Aside from this, he said that voting family members of OFWs would also be urged to support the drive. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Granada sumabog sa labas ng kapilya sa Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 25, 2014) – Isang granada ang sumabog sa labas ng isang kapilya sa bayan ng Datu Odin Sinsuat sa Maguindanao province, ngunit wala naman inulat na nasaktan.

Ayon sa ulat ng pulisya, naganap ang pagsabog nitong Linggo ng gabi sa Tamontaka, ngunit hindi pa matiyak ang motibo nito. Naispatan umano sa lugar ang dalawang lalaking nakasakay sa motorsiklo ilang minute bago ang pagsabog at hinihilang sila rin ang naghagis nito.

Walang umako sa pagsabog at patuloy na iniimbestigahan ng pulisya ang naganap. Nabawi rin ss lugar ang safety lever at pin ng granada. Hindi pa malinaw kung sino ang target ng “riding-in-tandem” sa lugar na napapaligiran rin ng mga kabahayan o kung may kinalaman ba ito sa away-pamilya.

Kamakailan lamang ay isang pampasabog rin sumambulat sa Cotabato City na kung saan ay 5 katao ang sugatan. (Mindanao Examiner)

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ISIS nakakuha ng recruits sa Davao

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 25, 2014) – Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ay inamin ni Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte na may na-recruit ang grupong ISIS sa kanyang lugar at ikinababahala ito ng pulitiko.

Maging ang pag-amin ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters ng suporta nito sa ISIS ay inulutang rin ni Duterte. Sinabi nito na may mga natanggap na siyang ulat ukol sa mga recruit ng ISIS sa Davao at katunayan ay naka-alis na umano ang mga ito at posibleng nakikipaglagban na sa Iraq at Syria.

Nirerespeto umano ni Duterte ang prinsipyo ng bawat isa at tanging hiling lamang nito ay hindi madamay ang Davao.”Dako man ko respeto basta prinsipyo na. I just hope dili ma generate into something bad for us here. They are driven by religious principles. Islam is a very good religion. I just hope that they are there to fight for religious purposes and not for hatred. I just hope that they are well there. Whatever it is, they are still Filipinos,” ani Duterte.

Kalat na ang suporta sa ISIS ng ilang mga grupo sa Mindanao at sa Marawi City lamang ay halos mga kabataan ang nasa likod nito. Karamihan sa mga ito ay sumusuporta sa Islamic caliphate na isinusulong ng ISIS at nais na isulong ito sa Mindanao na dating nasa ilalim ng kapangyarihan ng Sultanate.

Maging ang Abu Sayyaf ay nagbigay na rin ng kanilang suporta sa ISIS at kamakailan lamang ay sinabi ni dating Pangulong Fidel Ramos na mahigit sa 100 Pinoy ang ngayon ay nasa Iraq at sumama na sa ISIS.

Dedma lamang ang militar sa mga ulat ukol ng suporta ng mga grupo sa Mindanao sa ISIS. (Mindanao Examiner)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Zamboanga widower ends own life

PAGADIAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 24, 2014) – A septuagenarian widower had killed himself following a spat with his sister in Sominot town in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur, police said Sunday.

Police said the body of the 73-year old man was discovered in his room.

Forensic investigators reported that the old man stabbed himself and cut his wrist with a hunting knife also found in the room.

There was no immediate statement from the victim’s sister about the incident. (Mindanao Examiner)

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