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Friday, November 28, 2014

Sayyaf man linked to Zamboanga kidnappings captured

 Wahid Pingli's automatic rifle seized by soldiers and policemen in his hideout in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Security forces raided an island off Zamboanga City early Friday and arrested an Abu Sayyaf militant implicated in several kidnappings here.

Officials said Wahid Pingli was tracked down by soldiers and policemen on a hideout in Sacol Island where he had been arrested.

An automatic rifle was also recovered by the raiders from the hideout in the village called Landang Laum, said Marine Captain Maria Rowena Muyuela, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command.

Pingli, who also goes by the name of Gaffur, was linked to the kidnappings of a local businessman Inocente Bautista in May 27, 2008 and Vicente Barrios on June 17, 2010.

Muyuela said the militant is currently being interrogated by authorities. “Pingli’s arrest was made possible through the joint law enforcement operations of the military and police,” she said.

No other details were released to the press by the military or the police about the militant or whether Pingli’s group was planning an attack or kidnappings in Zamboanga City.

The Abu Sayyaf previously bombed a karaoke bar in Zamboanga City that injured a policeman. (Mindanao Examiner) 

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Family of Cleveland boy killed in fake gun tragedy says shooting could have been avoided - Fox News

 Nov. 26, 2014: This fake handgun taken from 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was fatally shot by Cleveland police over the weekend, is displayed after a news conference Wednesday. The 12-year-old was shot at a city park after he reportedly pulled the Colt 1911 replica on arriving officers. (AP)

CLEVELAND –  The family of a 12-year-old boy fatally wounded by a Cleveland police officer said surveillance video of the shooting shows that if the officer had not acted so quickly the youngster would still be alive.

The video made public on Wednesday shows Tamir Rice being shot within 1½ to 2 seconds of a patrol car stopping near him at a park in Cleveland on Saturday. It shows the boy reaching in his waistband for what police discovered was a pellet gun that shoots non-lethal plastic projectiles. He died the next day.

Tamir's family said in a statement released by their attorneys that they hope Cleveland police and Cuyahoga County prosecutors "thoroughly examine" what happened at the park that day.

"It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us," said the family. "The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly."

The patrol officer who shot Tamir was identified Wednesday as Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old rookie who began his career in Cleveland on March 3. He previously spent five months in 2012 with a department in suburban Independence, but four of those months were in that city's police academy.

Loehmann's partner that day was identified as Frank Garmback, 46. He has been with the department since 2008. Both are on paid administrative leave pending a decision by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office whether to pursue any criminal charges.

Much of the video footage shows Tamir alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. He is seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appears to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

The gun wasn't real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir's was lacking the orange safety indicator usually found on the barrel and, from a distance, was indistinguishable from a real firearm.

At one moment, Tamir is sitting at a picnic table in a gazebo. He stands and a police car zooms into the frame from the right and stops on the grass, just a few feet from Tamir. The passenger door opens and Loehmann shoots Tamir before Garmback can get out the driver's side door.

It's unclear how far Tamir was from Loehmann when the officer shot him, but Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said Wednesday that it was less than 10 feet.

The low-resolution video shows Tamir reaching to his waistband and then bending over after being shot. His body is mostly obscured by the patrol car when he falls to the ground. Garmback can be seen walking around the car and kicking what is said to be the airsoft gun away from Tamir.

Tomba told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that an FBI agent who was working a bank robbery detail nearby arrived within a few minutes and administered first aid to Tamir. Paramedics arrived three minutes later. The boy died on Sunday at a Cleveland hospital.

Tomba said the city was releasing the video at the behest of Tamir's family.

"This is not an effort to exonerate. It's not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong," Tomba said. "This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We've got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do."

On Saturday, a person had called 911 about a male pointing a gun at others at the park. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that the gun was "probably fake," then added, "I don't know if it's real or not."

Tomba would not discuss statements the two officers gave after the shooting, saying they were part of the investigation. Nor would he discuss details of the radio conversation between the officers and a dispatcher except to say they were apprised that they were on a "gun run."

David Malik, one of the attorneys representing Tamir's family, said Wednesday that he hoped the shooting of Tamir would lead to reform. He cited Cincinnati, where he said the police department, police union and the community worked collaboratively.

"Hopefully, incidents like this won't occur again," Malik said. (Fox News)


Zamboanga City celebrates ‘Week of Peace’

Photos from Father Angel Calvo and Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar show the thousands of people that joined the celebration of the Week of Peace in Zamboanga City on November 28, 2014. (Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – This southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga has joined the weeklong celebration of peace with thousands of residents parading as a show of unity – a year after a deadly siege left hundreds of people dead and wounded.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar also participated in the event and spoke to the huge crowd. In her message, Salazar urged residents to support peace and cultivate a culture of peace among the people of Mindanao. She also said their is a need for continued communication and dialogue between all peoples – Christians, Muslims, and Lumads – to achieve long-lasting peace for Mindanao’s children.

In support to the celebration of the Week of Peace, Salazar issued Executive Order No. BC 83-2014 enjoining the active participation of all schools, government entities, private institutions, non-government organizations, parishes, church-based organizations, civil society groups, urban poor communities and other people’s organization.

This year’s theme is “Healing the Past, Building the Future”.

Father Angel Calvo, a known peace advocate here, joined the five-kilometer parade from Centro Pastoral to Pasonanca Park.

“Walking with the victims of last year’s war in Zamboanga City is the best way to cure their wounds and to heal social conflicts in local communities,” said Father Calvo in his welcome remarks at the opening program of the Week of Peace held at the Boy Scout Campsite.

The Week of Peace celebration, the 18th held annually here, is “our collective commitment to the struggle for peace despite the daily challenges and problems.”

The celebration was spearheaded by Interreligious Solidarity for Peace that Father Calvo convened. He said peace is a gift from God given in small sizes, which everyone should cultivate to grow and spread.

He said the trek to the Pasonanca Park symbolized the need to walk with the victims of the war to help them rehabilitate and recover the lives they lost by the violence of the attack.

“The Week of Peace 2014 serves to highlight the peace-making challenges before us: psycho-social healing not only of individual victims but also affected social segments, the need to repair our divisiveness and overcome apathy and negativism, the need to redress the immediate victims of all acts violence of the past, the need for peace education among the youth, the need for good governance to reduce poverty and so foster peace in families and communities,” Father Calvo said.

Young wards of Akay Kalinga, a shelter for homeless children also ran by Father Calvo’s Katilingban para sa Kalambuan, Inc., presented a dance and mime number. The ceremony ended with the release of doves and balloons. (Mindanao Examiner and Peace Advocates Zamboanga)

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kelot naburyong sa waswit, muntik pang patayin!

SULTAN KUDARAT - Bukod sa wala na umanong permanente o disenteng hanap-buhay at dati ng may masamang reputasyon sa kanilang barangay sa bayan ng President Quirino nitong lalawigan, muli na namang gumawa ng isang eskandalo sa naturan lugar ang isang lalaki na nanutok ng patalim sa kinakasama nito at pinag-tangkaan pa nitong patayin kundi sa maagap na pag-responde ng dalawang parak

Ayon sa pulisya, dakong 7:40 ng gabi kamakalawa naganap ang hostage-taking sa Purok Maligaya sa Barangay Katiku at nakilala ang lalaki na si Alyas "Dagul" Rufino at ang biktima nitong si Celsa (hindi tunay na pangalan.)

Nabatid na ang dalawa ay naging malapit sa pamamagitan lamang ng ugnayan sa "text" sa cellphone. Batay sa nakalap na impormasyon ng Mindanao Examiner, una ng rumesponde ang dalawang parak na nakilalang sina SP02 Darwin Tambasacan at P03 Balong Rufino, kaanak din ng suspek at naging maayos naman ang pag-uusap subalit nang umalis ang mga ito ay nagwala si Dagul at nagulat na lamang ang mga kaharap nito nang hablutin ang babae at sakalin at sabay tutok ng matalas na patalim sa biktima.

Agad namang naki-usap ang ilang kaanak at nang tila hindi paawat ang suspek ay bumalik ang dalawang parak at nang umano ay napansin wala na sa kanyang wisyo si Dagul at tila desidido sa masamang gagawin nito ay agad itong dinakma ng mga alagad ng batas at nagkaroon ng agawan hanggang sa masaktan ang suspek upang mapahinahon lamang at malagyan ito ng posas.

Kasalukuyang nasa piitan ng pulisya sa President Quirino si Dagul habang isang kaso ang ihinahanda ng awtoridad kaugnay sa nasabing insidente habang sa isang banda, ang biktimang si Celsa ay animo tuliro at kina-kitaan pa ng takot sa pangyayari kung saan may mga ilang pasa at sugat ito sa dibdib sanhi ng panunutok ng kanyang live-in partner. (Mindanao Examiner - Rose Muneza)

59 arrested MNLF members in Zambo siege may be freed

 MNLF leader Usong Ugong and his followers and assorted weapons seized by the police in Zamboanga City in September 2013. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

MANILA – More than 50 arrested members of the Moro National Liberation Front who were implicated in a deadly attack in Zamboanga City last year may be freed after the Department of Justice recommended the dismissal of the criminal charges against them, television giant GMA reported Thursday.

It said 59 of over 279 people arrested and charged in connection with the attack are likely to be released. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the DOJ came up with the recommendation after the Pasig court handling the rebellion case ordered the prosecution to undertake a re-investigation.

"Sa tingin ng court, may mga akusado na hindi na-establish ang role," De Lima told reporters in Manila, adding, it is up to the court whether or not to approve the prosecution panel's recommendation.

De Lima also clarified that MNLF chairman Nur Misuari is still among those facing charges of rebellion and violation of the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity were filed in two batches in October and December 2013 against MNLF chairman Nur Misuari and more than 270 others for the assault on Zamboanga City, according to the report.

GMA said some of Misuari’s commanders, including his top leader Ustadz Khabir Malik, have been charged on October 7 at the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court. But Misuari, Malik, and two others are still at large while 57 of those charged are being held at the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City.

The DOJ said the attack on Zamboanga resulted in several casualties and extensive damage within the city, particularly in the villages of Mariki, Rio Hondo, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina, Kasanyangan, Talon-Talon and Mampang.

The report said Misuari and his men were charged with rebellion for taking up arms and attacking government security forces and civilians, and by committing “acts of murder, pillage, disorder, looting, arson, and destruction of private and public properties."

They were also charged for their acts of violence against residents who did not take an active part in the armed hostilities, and for taking non-combatant civilians as hostages during the fighting.

Commander Usong Ugong

It was unknown whether among those who would be freed included the 23 MNLF gunmen led by Commander Usong Ugong that yielded to the police during the rebel siege.

Ugong’s group surrendered to Senior Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo, then the local police chief, in the village of Mampang in exchange for a safe passage back to Basilan province. Ugong claimed that Misuari misled them into believing they would attend a peace rally in Zamboanga, but ended up hiding in the village when fighting erupted.

Malayo was initially reported to have been taken hostage by Ugong’s group, but this had been denied by the police officer who admitted he went to the village to negotiate for the surrender of the rebels.

But other reports claimed Ugong’s group was allegedly paid or working for a politician who sent the gunmen to Zamboanga to pose as surrenderees to demoralize the ranks of the rebel group and as a media propaganda. Assorted weapons were also seized by the police from Ugong’s group.

More than 400 people were killed and wounded in the fighting that lasted three weeks and displaced over 120,000 residents.  Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabella Salazar said she will not allow the rebels to go unpunished.

Rebel forces led Malik stormed several villages in Zamboanga on September 9 and took over 200 people hostage and used them as shield against pursuing soldiers and authorities said almost all captives had been freed or rescued.

Misuari, who signed a peace accord with Manila in 1996, accused the Aquino government of reneging on the peal deal and launched a new rebellion, the second in more than a decade. In 2001, loyal forces of Misuari also attacked military bases in Zamboanga City and Jolo town in Sulu province and the clashes killed over 100 people. (GMA News. With a report from the Mindanao Examiner)


Australian cricketer Phil Hughes dies after 'freak accident' - CNN

AUSTRALIA cricket international Phil Hughes has died after being hit in the head by a ball on Tuesday.

The 25-year old, who had been hoping to regain his place in the team for next week's Test match against India, passed away on Thursday after failing to recover from an induced coma at a hospital in Sydney.

The South Australia batsman, who would have turned 26 on Sunday, was fatally injured when hit by a "bouncer," a short ball that bounces up towards the batsman's torso, near his left ear -- the ball somehow evading the cricketer's helmet as he swiveled to play a shot.

Australian team doctor Peter Brukner told a press conference Thursday that Hughes suffered a "massive bleed into his brain" during the game on Tuesday afternoon.

He said the ball hit the side of his neck and, "as a result of that blow, his vertebral artery was compressed by the ball. That caused the artery to split and for bleeding to go up into the brain. And he had a massive bleed into his brain. This is frequently fatal at the time."

But he said doctors on the scene, including a specialist who had been in the crowd, managed to resuscitate him. He was later taken to hospital where they made "an intervention" to release pressure on his brain. He was then put in an induced coma but failed to recover.

Family devastated

At the same press conference, James Sutherland, the CEO of Cricket Australia, paid tribute to the young cricketer. "Without doubt he was a rising star, with his best cricket ahead of him," he said.

"He was a hero to kids around the nation and particularly those around his home grounds of New South Wales."

Michael Clarke, Australia's Test captain, then read a short statement on behalf of Hughes' family.

"We are devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother."
"It's been a very difficult few days. We appreciate all the support we've received from family, friends, players, Cricket Australia and the general public.

"Cricket was Phillip's life, and we as a family shared that love of the game with him.

"We would like to thank all of the medical and nursing staff at St Vincent's Hospital, and Cricket NSW medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip, we love you."

Outpouring of emotion

His death has triggered an outpouring of emotion in Australia and among cricket enthusiasts the world over.

A statement from the office of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott read: "Phillip Hughes was a young man living out his dreams.

"His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family. What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. He was loved, admired and respected by his teammates and by legions of cricket fans."

"Australians' thoughts and prayers are with the Hughes family."
Former England international Nick Compton told CNN his former friend had lived "life to the full."

Born in Macksville, New South Wales, Hughes was a talented sportsman who counted both cricket and rugby league among his attributes as a teenager.

However, it was cricket that won out -- with the left-handed batsman going on to represent Australia in 26 Tests, the highest standard of the game after making his debut in 2009 at the age of 20.

Along the way, he would beat a mark set by his compatriot Donald Bradman, considered by many to have been the best cricketer to have ever played the game.

For Hughes was just 20 years and 96 days when he hit his first Test century, so beating Don Bradman's mark by 28 days and becoming the fourth youngest Australian to do so in the process.

It was not the only one of the legendary Don's records that Hughes would eclipse, after the left hander hit 574 runs (including three centuries) in his first five innings during a spell in English cricket, a total that beat Bradman's 566 runs in his first five England-based innings in 1930.

Famous performance

Burgeoning talent at a young age was a feature of Hughes' earliest forays into professional cricket and in 2009, he became the youngest cricketer to score back-to-back centuries in a Test match, a feat he achieved in Durban against South Africa.

Despite the bright start, his technique and form were occasionally put under real pressure -- meaning he was dropped from Australia's squad midway through the Ashes tour in England in 2009.

Hughes would be in and out of the side afterwards but enjoyed his most productive spell in 2012, while one of his most famous performances came against England last year.

Along with teammate Ashton Agar, the duo shared a record 10th-wicket partnership of 163 runs during that celebrated Ashes series.

Hughes' sickening injury on Tuesday came under the watchful gaze of Australia selector Mark Waugh.

Putting together a calm 63 runs off 161 balls, Hughes seemed to be playing his way into Australia's Test squad for next week's opening match of the Test series against India -- especially with captain Clarke himself injured.

But then, tragedy struck in the shape of a cricket ball hurled down the wicket by New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield match.

After crouching over to try to absorb the blow, Hughes simply dropped to the ground -- his wholesale failure to try to break his fall sparking immediate fears.

The game was abandoned soon after.

Sean Abbott is in no way blamed by anyone for his role in Hughes' death and there are genuine fears among those involved in Australian cricket for his well-being.

The bowler was one of the first to attend to Hughes, a close friend, following an incident that has led calls for greater protective gear for the world's top cricketers. (By Piers Edwards and Paul Armstrong, CNN)


Bike for Peace

 PEACE IN MAGUINDANAO: Cyclists gathered in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town and head to the village of Masalay in Ampatuan town - the site of the gruesome November 23, 2009 massacre of 58 people, including more than 30 journalists and media workers.

Maj. Gen.Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, and Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson, Maguindanao provincial police director, lead the “Bike for Peace” in support to the government's peace efforts and media organization in the commemoration of the 5th year of the massacre. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)

Pacquiao to sell Philippine mansion after rich neighbours complain - AFP

 Manny Pacquiao (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)

MANILA - World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao said Thursday he would sell his mansion in one of the Philippine capital's swankiest areas after his neighbors complained of his visitors wearing shabby clothing.

Pacquiao said that as a "man of the masses", he is not finicky with his visitors, even if they are wearing "just shorts and slippers".

The boxer's rags-to-riches story, from being a fish vendor in his hometown to winning world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, has made him wildly popular in the Philippines.

He used his boxing fame to get elected to Congress in 2010 and like many wealthy Filipino politicians, he frequently has to meet with constituents asking for hand-outs and favors.

Pacquiao said he would buy a new house where he could accommodate more visitors, who are mostly seeking financial assistance.

"If there's somebody who is willing to buy, I'm going to sell it," Pacquiao said of the Manila property, which he acquired for 400 million pesos ($9 million) in 2011.

He added that he wants to make a profit from the sale as he had made renovations.

The 35-year-old said he apologized to his neighbors, though some understood why he was accommodating poor visitors. "I may be as rich as some of them here, but my lifestyle remains the same and so is my heart. I am just a simple man. I will never change that," he said.

The three-storey mansion -- in a neighborhood that is home to Manila's old rich -- has five bedrooms, several reception and dining halls, and an office.

Pacquiao also owns a fleet of luxury cars, and his hometown mansion in southern Philippines has a pool shaped like a boxing glove.

He beat American Chris Algieri in Macau last Sunday, in a match that proved to fans that he still has what it takes to face arch-rival Floyd Mayweather. (Agence France Presse)

4 hunters reported missing in Basilan return home

PAGADIAN CITY – Four wild boar hunters who were thought to have gone missing in the restive Filipino province of Basilan have returned home safely on Thursday afternoon, an army spokesman said.

The men - Elmeir Espinosa, Ric Espinosa, Renato Casiple and Frisco Perez – who went to the hinterlands on November 25 to hunt wild animals, have been reported missing after they failed to return to their village of Yakal in Lantawan town.

Captain Franco Suelto, of the 1st Infantry Division, said all the four hunters have returned to their families in the town at around 5.30 p.m. “They are now with their families. The confirmation was made through text (SMS) by one of the immediate family of the hunters,” he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner tonight.

He said the information was also relayed to the local police force, the 11th Marine Battalion Landing Team and other intelligence units in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Suelto said the unconfirmed report of the disappearance of the hunters caused panic and fear among villagers in Lantawan town. “Rampant misinformation on the death and beheading of the hunters quickly spread after unconfirmed televised news on the incident was aired, causing panic and fear in the municipalities of Lantawan and Maluso.”

“The information originated from Zamboanga after a personality asked a resident of Maluso on the alleged beheading in the area. Miscommunication resulted widespread misinformation while the unconfirmed television news worsened the information,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Gerado Barrientos, the regional army commander, has told troops deployed in Basilan to always stay vigilant and alert. Basilan is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf rebels who were blamed by authorities to the spate of killings and kidnappings. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Si Aboo Rami ba ang bomber?

 Ang larawan ng mga miyembro ng Abu Sayyaf sa lalawigan ng Sulu na siyang bumihag sa dalawang German hostages. Mismong Abu Sayyaf rin ang naglagay ng litarong ito sa Internet upang ipakita ang kanilang puwersa.

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Nananatiling tahimik ang tagapagsalita ng Abu Sayyaf na si Aboo Rami kaugnay sa pagsasampa ng pulisya ng kasong kriminal laban sa kanya matapos itong isabit sa dalawang pambobomba sa karaoke at massage parlor sa Zamboanga City na ikinasugat ng isang parak.

Ayon kay Supt. Ariel Huesca, ang commander ng Zamboanga City Public Safety Company, ay naghain na sila ng kaso laban kay Muammar Askali (na inulat pang Askalani at Askalni) alias Aboo Rami na siyang nagsilbing tagapagsalita ng Abu Sayyaf sa kasagsagan ng negosasyon sa paglaya ng dalawang German hostages noon nakaraang buwan.

Sa kabila ng pagsampa ng kaso laban kay Aboo Rami ay nananatili pa rin ang mahigpit na siguridad sa Zamboanga, ayon kay Huesca. “The police are still directed to maintain their stance on alertness and vigilance,” ani pa ng opisyal sa inilabas na pahayag ng City Hall.

Sinabi ni Huesca na ang pagsasampa ng kaso kay Aboo Rami ay base sa ibinigay na deskripsyon ng mga saksi ukol sa bomber na siyang namataan diumano sa Deluxe Karaoke and Massage Parlor sa downtown Zamboanga bago sumabog ang mga bomba nitong Nobyembre 9.

Ngunit marami ang nagduda na sabit si Aboo Rami sa atake dahil hindi naman ito maglalakas loob na umalis ng Sulu at magpunta sa Zamboanga upang pasabugin lamang ang bomba sa karaoke bar. At naganap ito ilang lingo lamang matapos na matanggap ni Aboo Rami ang P250 milyon ransom kapalit nina Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, at Henrike Diesen, 55 na pinalaya noon  Oktubre 17.

Mismong si Aboo Rami ang nagkumpirma sa Radio Mindanao Network saZamboanga City na pinakawalan nito ang mga bihag kapalit ng P250 milyon ransom.

Naunang sinabi ng Western Mindanao Command na isang tauhan ni Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Puruji Indama ang nasa likod ng pambobomba. Magkaiba rin ang dalawang larawan na inilabas ng pulisya na umano’y si Aboo Rami. At malayo rin ito sa mukha ni Aboo Rami na inilabas ng Abu Sayyaf sa Youtube ng matanggap nila ang ransom para sa German hostages. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Lola nagbigti sa kuwarto!

DAPITAN CITY – Isang lola sa Dapitan City sa Zamboanga del Norte ang nagbigti sa hindi pa mabatid na kadahilanan, ngunit sinabi ng pulisya na walang nakitang foul play sa trahedyang sinapit ng matanda.

Kinilala ng pulisya ang biktima na si Remedios Calunsag, 72, at natagpuan itong nakabitay sa kisame ng kanyang kuwarto sa kanilang bahay sa Barangay Antipolo kamakalawa ng umaga.

Sa pahayag ng asawang si Samuel Calunsag, 79, ay sinabi nitong nasa kusina siya ng magpatiwakal ang kabiyak.

Galing umano ito sa kusina at nagpunta ito sa kuwarto upang ayain na mag-almusal ang asawa, ngunit nagimbal umano siya ng makita itong nakabitay. Agad umano niyang pinutol ang lubid na nakapalupot sa leeg ng matanda, ngunit wala na itong buhay.

Ayon sa imbestigasyon ng pulisya, nasa tatlong metro lamang ang taas ng kisame mula sa sahig. “Post-mortem examination conducted disclosed that the victim died due to asphyxia by strangulation secondary to hanging and no foul play found,” wika ni Insp. Dahlan Samuddin, ang regional police spokesman.

Hindi agad mabatid, ani Samuddin, kung ano ang nagtulak sa matanda upang kitilin ang sariling buhay. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Thousands march for peace in Sulu

 Thousands of people participate in the celebration of the Sulu Week of Peace which begins on November 27, 2014. (Photos by Franzie Sali)

SULU – Thousands of people participated in the celebration of the Sulu Week of Peace as provincial government leaders urged citizens to continue supporting peace and development efforts to sustain the economic progress here.

The celebration, which began with a walk from the capital town of Jolo to the Provincial Capitol in Patikul town, was led by Hajja Nurunisah Tan, who is the chairwoman of the Sulu Provincial Women’s Council (SPWC); and Vice Governor Sakur Tan.

Sulu Governor Totoh Tan supported the weeklong peace celebration which was participated by provincial government employees and civil workers from different government agencies, and various sectors from the academe to the Muslim and Christian religious groups and organizations, to the local municipal governments, the business and police and military and civil society groups and students from local schools.

The celebration also coincided with the observance of the SPWC’s 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women. Vice Governor Tan also gave an impromptu speech and talked about the importance of having peace in Sulu, and urged the locals to support it.

Hajja Nurunisah also thanked all those who attended the march and called on every resident continue supporting the government’s efforts to sustain peace and development in Sulu.

In her speech, she urged the public to help in raising awareness on violence against women and children. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to address you today on this very important occasion, trying to raise awareness on violence against women and children. I cannot overstate the importance of this initiative. Violence against women and children is a terrible reality that affects the lives of thousands, if not millions, all over.”

“Although violence is a threat to everyone, women and children are particularly susceptible to victimization because they often have fewer rights or lack appropriate means of protection. Ang malala pa dito, mga kaibigan, ang nambibiktima o nananakit sa ating mga kababaihan at mga bata ay yaong mga taong malapit at kilala nila,” she said.

She said everyone has a responsibility to act and emphasizing that violence against women and children in any form, in any circumstance, and in any community, is unacceptable.

“Tackling violence against women, at home and even outside, is one of the priorities and advocacies of the Sulu Provincial Women’s Council. Our actions are founded on firmly held principles. We believe that where women live free of violence, have equal access to education, healthcare, political and economic opportunities, societies are healthier, more prosperous and more peaceful.”

“SPWC commits itself to helping end and prevent violence against women and children from happening, holding perpetrators to account for their actions and providing support to women and children who experience violence,” she added.

Hajja Tan said the people’s support is important in pursuing the advocacy and for it to succeed in Sulu. She appealed to everyone to support the advocacy by reporting abuses on women and children, and even domestic violence.

“Alam namin, sa tulong ninyo, sa tulong ng lahat ng sektor ng ating lipunan, tayo ay magtatagumpay sa adhikaing ito. We need your support in order to educate and engage our community to positively change attitudes and behaviors. Schools, the media, our workplace and local community should help promote respectful and non-violent relationships and equality,” she said.

“Let me say that this peace celebration is doubly significant for us. We are not just trying to promote awareness at ending violence against women and children; we are also promoting peace and so I say to you now that peace in Sulu will not reign unless our homes, our families and our communities, particularly our women and children, are free from violence,” she added. (Franzie Sali)

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TVI mining firm nilusob ng mga raliyista

 Ito ang palatandaan ng mga nakaarang protesta ng mga Subanen kontra TVI Resource Development, Ic. sa bayan ng Bayog sa Zamboanga del Sur province. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

MANILA – Nahagip ng malaking protesta ang TVI Resource Development, Inc. sa harapan ng tanggapan nito sa Makati City matapos na lumusob doon ang mga environmental advocates na tutol sa mining operations ng kumpanya sa Mindanao.

Kasama rin sa mga nag-rally ang mga miyembro ng Panalipdan Mindanao sa pangunguna ni Dulping Ogan, ang secretary general ng naturang grupo na galing pa sa katimugan ng bansa.

Inakusahan ng mga raliyista ang TVIRD - na pagaari ng Canadian company na TVI Pacific - ng kung anu-anong bintang at kabilang dito ang alegasyon na maraming mga natibong Subanen ang apektado ng large scale mining operations ng kumpanya sa Zamboanga Peninsula na kung saan ay may open-pit ito na siyang ikinababahala naman ng mga environmentalists dahil sa nakaambang peligro na posibleng magiba ito sa dami ng waste water mula sa minahan.

Libo-libong natibong small-scale miners ang sinasabing apektado ng mining operation ng TVIRD sa bayan ng Bayog sa Zamboanga del Sur province. Lumipat doon ang TVIRD matapos na mahinto ang open-pit mining operations nito sa kabundukan ng bayan ng Siocon sa Zamboanga del Norte.

Wasak ang malaking bahagi ng Mount Canatuan sa Siocon dahil sa mining operations.

Mahigpit rin ang pagtutol ng Katolikong Simbahan at ni Zamboanga del Norte Bishop Jose Manguiran na siyang nangunguna sa mga protesta kontra TVIRD.

Noong nakaraang taon lamang ay nagtungo rin sa bayan ng Bayog ang mga religious leaders at human rights advocates na tutol sa operasyon ng TVIRD para sa isang solidarity mission at kabilang sa mga ito ay si Bishop Antonio Ablon, isa sa mga conveners ng Advocates for Peace.

Sinabi ni Bishop Ablon, ng Diocese of Pagadian City-Iglesia Filipina Independiente, na nakipag-usap sila sa mga residente ng nasabing bayan kasama sina Bishop Manguiran at miyembro ng United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines at Karapatan at tutol diumano ang mga natibo sa mining operations sa Bayog.

Nabatid na may Mineral Production Sharing Agreement ang TVIRD para sa 4,779 hectares sa Bayog. Bukod sa Bayog ay may nickel mining operations pa ang TVIRD sa Agusan del Norte province.

Target naman ng New People’s Army ang TVIRD dahil tutol rin ito sa mining operations ng kumpanya at dahil na rin sa mga alegasyon ng ilang grupo laban sa kanila. Ilang ulit ng itinanggi ng TVIRD ang lahat ng akusasyon laban  sa kanila. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Rising “star” in Sogod, another Cebuano pride

CEBU - Each year when the Christmas spirit sweeps across towns and cities in Cebu, the “parol” or the traditional Filipino Christmas lantern becomes the center of attention and this is especially evident in the northern part of Cebu – in the town called Sogod - which is among the towns in northern Cebu affected by last year’s super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

Makers of Christmas parols and other handicrafts in Sogod displayed their high-quality products on the sides of the highway to show their creativeness, skills and most importantly, their resilience.

The 46-year old parol maker, Jessie Retiza, said he and his brother started their business three years ago, but their sales started to improve only last year. “Nagsugod dyud ug kadaghan ang among orders ug halin kadtong pagkahuman nahitabo ang bagyong Yolanda. Ang mamalitay kasagaran ang mga foreigners (Our orders started to pick up after Yolanda happened. Most of our customers are foreigners,” Retiza said.

He said they would start displaying their products on from September until December and prices of Christmas decors range from P150 to P2,000, depending on sizes or designs.

Retiza said they are starting to have regular clients and resellers on a consignment basis. “Ingon nila ilahang i-display ang mga items sa ilang tindahan. Kung naay mga orders nga dinaghan, tawagon ra mi nila (They said they will display our items in their stores. If there are bulk orders, they will just call us),” he said.

Intricate details are noticeable in their craftsmanship. This is because most of the makers used to work in one of the export-quality rattan furniture factories in the province. They not only use their superb weaving skills and expertise for business, they also teach some of their neighbors so they can also have their own livelihood.

“Maayo na lang makatabang ta sa atoang kabanay o mga silingan sa kadtong ganahan makat-on (It’s a good thing to teach someone in the family or our neighbors),” Retiza said, adding, their products are durable and world-class and made from natural, eco-friendly materials, such as abaca, lampakanay and bagon. (Heart Rizarri)

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