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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Zamboanga City Government News Bits March 29, 201

Zamboanga City Government News Bits March 29, 201 
  • Mayor Beng Climaco is to lead the culminating activity of the Women’s month celebration in a ceremony dubbed “Unido Fuerza de las Mujeres Para Paz” at 4 p.m. Monday, March 30 at the Western Mindanao Command grandstand. The activity will be a convergence of women in the police, military and other branches of service to show their active role in peace building. Highlight of the event will be the women formation of the peace symbol and a Zumba fitness activity.
  • The 2-man team from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soil and Water Management which came to Zamboanga City to assess the prevailing condition of the drought-stricken farmlands and crops has formally recommended the conduct of cloud seeding operations. The recommendation is awaiting approval of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
  • The continuing dry spell and prevalent bush fires have caused damage to crops and fishery products to surge to 8,743.9 hectares with estimated value at P129.44 million as of March 24. City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the bush fires due to outdoor burning and slash and burn activities have led to increased devastation of agricultural lands planted with banana, cassava, mango, rubber and coconut.
  • Zamboanga City joined the rest of the world in the observance of Earth Hour, a global call to action to change climate change Saturday evening, March 28. Around 600 participants from the youth sector, the academe, security forces, and local and national government agencies flocked to Plaza del Pilar to support the Earth Hour initiative which was celebrated with the hour-long shut down of power, and song and poetry performances. Also among the highlights of the Earth Hour program were the candle-lighting ceremony, the Doodle Earth board where participants wrote and drew messages of support for Mother Nature, and the Habagat Earth Hour Night Ride which saw 400 bike riders pedaling for nature.
  • The Local Inter-Agency Committee will convene 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31 at the City Hall conference room to discuss among others the draft implementing rules and regulations of the Code of Policies as well as the status of power supply in Z3R permanent housing projects, status of coordination-works on permanent shelter between National Housing Authority and CRS, status of the request of the residents of Ayer Village and PP 69 in Sta. Barbara and several others.

Davao youth groups join Ayala Foundation’s Leadership Communities project

DAVAO CITY – To translate their concern for their communities into meaningful action—this was the challenge posed to ten youth groups from Davao City, as they participated in Ayala Foundation’s Leadership Communities (LeadCom) project. 
Inspired by their dreams for their communities, the teams worked toward refining their projects so they could become more responsive to the needs of their communities. As a culminating activity, participants are showcasing their community projects through an exhibit, which runs from March 31 to April 1 at the Abreeza Mall, Robinsons Hallway. 
Aside from showcasing the projects, the participants also use the exhibit as a venue to seek areas for collaboration and to gain the support of other local organizations. 
Project teams composed of out-of-school youth leaders from the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines in Davao City went through the rigors of community assessment, project planning, implementing and monitoring starting April last year to carry out developmental projects which they deem beneficial to their communities. 
The projects these young leaders implement ranges from establishment of vegetable garden to address food security, establishment of farmers’ training center in conflict affected areas, to training on various skills geared towards capacitating the community members to become productive, gainful and better employability with the skills that they’ve acquired through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority NCII certification. 
“We are inspired by the passion and commitment of Davao’s youth to their community. What we are doing through LeadCom is to help them use their passion to fuel concrete, compelling, and collaborative solutions to their own community challenges,” Joie Lopez, Senior Director for Programs at Ayala Foundation, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. 
She said since April last year, LeadCom participants took a journey of leadership, personal growth and realization through community service and during this year-long journey; they were also linked to a support network, which could help their projects achieve greater scale and impact.
Basilan young leaders to learn from Davao youth 
The showcase of the youth-led projects was even made more meaningful with its presentation to the 28 Basilan Youth Leaders who are in a journey to discover what they can do best in their communities while honing their servant leadership in the Basilan Youth Leadership Program (BYLP). 
BYLP is also a joint-program with the Ayala Foundation, Inc., which saw the potential and supports the same goal of empowering the youth through leadership training. 
The foundation will launch its LeadCom Program in Basilan this summer which will be initially implemented with the BYLP fellows as participants.
“With their exposure and planned visit to different Leadership Communities in the country, it will be easier for the participants with the BYLP experience to undergo the LeadCom process,” Norkhalia Mae Campong, BYLP Program Director, said in the same statement. (Mindanao Examiner)

Higher bonus for Philippine civil employees

MANILA - Employees will enjoy higher mid-year benefits starting June following the implementation of new a law raising to P82,000 the maximum amount of obtainable tax-free bonuses, House Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Mar-Len Abigail Binay said Sunday.

“We expect an additional P30 billion to be put into the pockets of public and private sector employees, in terms of productivity and performance incentive pay, loyalty award, gifts in cash or in kind, 13th month pay, Christmas bonus and other benefits of similar nature.”

“Many state agencies and private firms traditionally distribute these perks starting June, by way of mid-year bonuses, so the money should starting coming in soon enough,” Binay said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

Binay is one of principal authors of Republic Act 10653, which increased to P82,000 from P30,000 the ceiling for tax-exempt bonuses that may be received by employees every year. Malacañang approved the new law on February 12.

Revenue Regulation 3-2015, which sets the implementation rules of the law, takes effect on April 1. The Bureau of Internal Revenue published the order on March 16.

“We are hopeful the P30 billion in incremental bonuses for salaried employees, coupled with the P15-increase in the mandatory minimum wage of workers in Metro Manila starting next month, will help drive household consumption spending and sustain economic growth in the months ahead,” Binay said.

Binay has been batting for highly progressive taxation that would put more income at the disposal of Filipino families. She is also author of bills seeking to exempt from income taxes all night shift differential and overtime pay received by employees.

As proposed by Binay in House Bills 2836 and 4682, all overtime and graveyard shift wages will be expressly excluded from the computation of the gross taxable income of all workers, regardless of their hourly pay rate. (Mindanao Examiner)

4 trafficking victims heading to Malaysia rescued in Tawi-Tawi province

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Philippine authorities have arrested a man who was suspected of trying to illegally cross four people into Malaysia’s state of Sabah near the southern Filipino province of Tawi-Tawi, officials said on Sunday. 
Ensign Chester Ian Ramos, a spokesman for the Joint Task Force ZAMBASULTA or Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi, said Henry Alsamala was nabbed by military and police units on the boat ML Sea Glory while docked on a pier in Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi following a tip off from an informant. 
He said Alsamala’s victims Marilou Olico, Clarisa Pardines, Claiza Ann Lorez and Ritz Pas were also rescued by soldiers and policemen before the boat can sail to Sabah. 
Among those that took part in the operation to rescue the four women were members of the Naval Intelligence and Security Group-Western Mindanao, Provincial Women and Children Protection Desk- Bongao, Tactical Operations Group-SULTAW, Regional Intelligence Unit-9 and 304th Area Intelligence Security Service, according to Ramos. 
“Alsamala is currently being investigated by the police while the trafficking victims were handed over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. We are intensifying law enforcement operations and are continuously being conducted to expedite arrest of lawless groups and curb illegal activities in the province,” Ramos told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. 
No other details about the victims and their recruiter were made available by the authorities while investigation is going on. (Mindanao Examiner)

7 rebels killed in fresh clashes in Southern Philippines

COTABATO CITY – The Philippine military said it killed at least 7 BIFF rebels, including a commander, in a clash Sunday in Maguindanao province in the restive Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao. 
Security officials said the fighting erupted in the towns of Datu Unsay and Shariff Saydona after troops caught up with two groups of BIFF gunmen. One soldier was reported killed in the clash in Datu Unsay. 
Troops were battling the BIFF or Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters the past weeks now after the military ordered an all-out offensive against the small group it blamed for the spate of bombings and deadly attacks on soldiers in the region. 
Officials said several more soldiers and rebels were wounded in the clashes. It was unknown if troops recovered any of the slain rebels, but most of the military reports were based on intelligence provided by villagers in those towns. 
The BIFF has broken away with the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front which signed a peace deal with Manila last year, and continues to fight for an independent Muslim state in Mindanao. (Mark Navales)

'Human trafficker' nabasyo; 4 babae nailigtas sa Tawi-Tawi

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Nailigtas ng mga awtoridad sa lalawigan ng Tawi-Tawi ang 4 na kababaihan na umano'y ipupuslit sana ng isang hinihinalang 'human trafficker' sa Sabah, Malaysia, ayon sa militar kahapon.
Agad nadakip ng pinagsanib na puwersa ng militar at pulisya si Henry Alsamala na umano'y utak sa bigong pagtawid sa Malaysia sa loob mismo ng barkong ML Sea of Glory habang naka-daong ito sa bayan ng Bongao, ani Ensign Chester Ian Ramos, ang spokesman ng Joint Task Force ZAMBASULTA o Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi.
Nabatid na isang informant ang nagbigay ng impormasyon ukol sa plano ni Alsamala na dalhin ang mga babae sa Sabah matapos na ma-recruit sa ibat-ibang lugar. Kinilala naman ni Ramos ang mga nailigtas na sina  Marilou Olico, Clarisa Pardines, Claiza Ann Lorez at Ritz Pas.
Naging mabilis umano ang operasyon dahil papaalis na sana ang barko patungong Sabah ng lusubin ito ng mga intelligence agents at madakip si Alsamala.
Kabilang sa mga kasama sa operasyon ay mula sa Naval Intelligence and Security Group-Western Mindanao, Provincial Women and Children Protection Desk-Bongao, Tactical Operations Group-SULTAW, at Regional Intelligence Unit-9 and 304th Area Intelligence Security Service, ayon pa sa opisyal.
“Alsamala is currently being investigated by the police while the trafficking victims were handed over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. We are intensifying law enforcement operations and are continuously being conducted to expedite arrest of lawless groups and curb illegal activities in the province,” ani Ramos sa Mindanao Examiner.
Walang ibinigay na detalye si Ramos ukol sa mga biktima at kay Alsamala habang hindi pa tapos ang imbestigasyon ng mga awtoridad sa kaso. Nais umanong malaman ng mga ahensya ang lalim ng operasyon ni Alsamala at kung ilang biktima na ang nadala o naipuslit nito sa Sabah, o kung anong sindikato ang kinabibilangan nito.
Karamihan sa mga babang bikitma ng human trafficking sa Sabah ay pinangangakuan ng malaking sweldo at maayos na trabaho, ngunit kalimitan ay sa prostitusyon ang bagsak ng mga ito. At kung mga lalaki naman ay sa mga palm oil plantation o construction sites ang bagsak nito at ilegal na pinagtatrabaho doon kapalit ng mababang sweldo. (Mindanao Examiner)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Alps kamikaze declared unfit to fly, hid doctor’s note - New York Post

THE co-pilot who rammed Germanwings Flight 9525 into a French mountainside this week was shattered after his schoolteacher fiancée dumped him a day earlier and he was declared “unfit to work” by a shrink — a diagnosis he hid from his bosses, authorities said Friday.
A note from a psychiatrist and a second from a neurologist both indicate Andreas Lubitz should never have been at the controls Tuesday, when he crashed the Airbus 320, killing himself and 149 others.
The stunning revelation came as a German newspaper quoted another of Lubitz’s ex-girlfriends recalling that within the past year, he had promised her that one day he’d “make everyone remember him.”
The ex, identified by Bild newspaper as “Maria, 26,” also said Lubitz would wake up in the middle of the night screaming, “We’re crashing!”
“When I heard about the crash, one thing that he said kept going through my head: ‘One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember it.’ ” the woman told the paper.
“I didn’t know what he meant, but now it makes sense.”
The doctors’ notes were found “slashed” to shreds along with other medical records during searches at his homes in Dusseldorf and Montabaur, Germany, prosecutors said.
The notes revealed that Lubitz was being treated for “an existing illness,” the prosecutors said, though they declined to specify what it was.
“The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his colleagues,” said Ralf Herrenbrueck of the Dusseldorf prosecutor’s office.
Lubitz’s pilot license was up for renewal in June, and friends said he may have been terrified his mental state would derail his career if his superiors found out, Britain’s Mirror reported.
“He was obsessed. He would have died if he hadn’t passed the tests to [remain] a pilot,” a former classmate told the paper.
Lubitz, 27, had dreamed of flying jetliners since childhood.
German media said the avid jogger suffered from severe depression, anxiety attacks and a broken heart after splitting with his fiancée, whose last name is Goldbach but who has otherwise remained unidentified.
The couple had been together for seven years and shared an apartment in Dusseldorf, where a mailbox in their building shows her last name alongside his.
They had planned a 2016 wedding, but she ditched him on Monday, French TV channel iTELE reported.
Lubitz had bought two brand-new, his-and-her Audis several weeks before the plane crash — but only one had been delivered, the German news magazine Focus reported.
The owner of a pizza shop near the Dusseldorf apartment described them as a cordial couple.
“She was a polite and attractive woman.,” Habibalah Hassani, 53, told the MailOnline. “They would come in once, maybe twice a week. He used to tip well.”
A neighbor said the woman was distraught and was believed to be holed up with her family at an undisclosed hotel.
“I think she will be with her family grieving at the moment,” the unnamed neighbor said. “It is very sad.”
The fiancée is on the list of witnesses prosecutors plan to interview but is not a suspect, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A shrink in the Rhineland wrote the note in which Lubitz “was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work,” prosecutors said, according to Germany’s Süddeutsche newspaper.
It was unclear if the second note was also written by a psychiatrist or another medical doctor.
But a spokesman for Germanwings insisted that Lubitz “had a clean bill of health” and that the airline never saw the notes in question.
Under German privacy laws, a doctor isn’t required to tell a patient’s employer about any illness, and notes excusing the person from work should not include information about the patient’s condition.
Even though they are not required to report an illness, doctors have the discretion to do so if they think the patient poses a clear risk to others. — which did not happen in this case. Lubitz’s condition had not been reported.
Herrenbrueck said investigators so far had found no political or religious motivation for Lubitz’s actions.
His troubled past included seeking psychiatric help for “a bout of serious depression” after completing flight training in 2009, and he was still getting help from doctors, Bild also reported.
IAnd a note in Lubitz’s aviation authority file recommended regular psychological assessment for “depression and anxiety attacks,” the paper said.
Dusseldorf University Hospital confirmed Lubitz had been a patient there over the past two months, with his last visit for a “diagnostic evaluation” on March 10 — but denied reports that it had treated Lubitz for depression.
Investigators were also exploring whether the co-pilot had stopped taking prescription medication and were questioning local druggists, Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported.
“The police have visited the pharmacy this morning. But I cannot talk about anything that occurs inside the pharmacy. We are required to protect all information about patients,” a pharmacist who works near Lubitz’s Dusseldorf apartment told the newspaper.
Lubitz struggled with depression six years ago, as a student at the Luft­hansa flight school in Phoenix, Ariz., where he was ultimately found “not suitable for flying,” Bild reported.
Former classmates also said Lubitz took time off for “burnout syndrome” or depression, Der Spiegel magazine reported.
And Le Parisien wrote that Lubitz was “obsessed” with the area of the crash scene in the southern Alps and had flown in a glider over the area where the Airbus 320 went down.
“Andreas took part in a training course with my niece, who was a good friend of his, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region. I am certain that he knew the sector of the crash because he had flown over it in a glider,” Dieter Wagner, a member of Lubitz’s flying club, told the paper. “He was passionate about the Alps — obsessed even.” French police on Friday said they retrieved up to 600 pieces of human remains from the crash site but as yet no intact bodies.
And Lufthansa said it would offer 50,000 euros — about $54,500 — in immediate assistance to the families of each victim. (By Yaron SteinbuchDanika FearsJoshua Tanzer and Bob Fredericks. Additional reporting by Brigitte Stelzer – New York Post)

Ritwal sa Kapayapaan (Tulak Fantag Kétanék 'in Téduray')

“KAMI ay nababahala sa mga kasalukuyang nangyayari ngayon sa Bangsamoro. Ang mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Timog-Gitnang Mindanaw ay nangangamba na lalo pang lalala ang kaguluhan sa ating mga komunidad sakaling wala tayong gagawing pagkilos,” ayon kay Timuay Labi Sannie Bello ng Timuay Justice and Governance.
Pagkatapos ng nangyari sa Mamasapano noong Enero 25, 2015 ang tropa ng pamahalaan ay naglunsad ng “All Out Offensive” laban sa Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) at pinaniwalaang terorista na si Basit Usman. Mula Pebrero 25 ng sinumulan ang opensibang militar, mahigit 130,000 sibilyan na ang nagsilikas sa kanilang mga pamayanan at patuloy na dumadami habang dumaan ang mga araw. Ang mga pamayanan ng mga katutubo sa loob ng Maguindanao ay lubos rin apektado sa patuloy na kaguluhan. Habang naghahanda ang mga Katutubong Mamamayan sa kanilang nalalapit na ritwal, isang komunidad ng mga Katutubo sa Sitio Fute at Mari, Ahan, Guindulungan, Maguindanao ang sapilitang pinalilikas ngayon dahil pinaghinalaan na may nagtatagong mga BIFF sa kanilang komunidad ngunit ito’y kanilang pinabulaanan na hindi totoo.
“Sa mga nagdaang panahon, marami ng pagkakataon na nagkaisa ang mga Katutubong Mamamayan sa Timog-Gitnang Mindanaw sa pagsagawa ng ritwal para sa isang layunin at nagbunga naman ito ng maganda,” paglalahad ni Datu Roldan “Brunz” Babelon ng Gempa te Kalindaan nu Kamal ng Erumanen ne Menuvu sa North Cotabato.
Dahil dito, ang mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Timog-Gitnang Mindanaw na kinabibilangan ng Téduray at Lambangian ng Maguindanao at Sultan Kudarat at Erumanen ne Menuvu ng Lalawigan ng North Cotabato ay nagka-isang magsagawa ng sabayang Katutubong Ritwal sa bawat fenuwo (village) ngayong ika-28 ng buwan ng Marso upang hilingin ang tulong ng  Dakilang Lumikha na magkaisa ang lahat ng Mamamayang Pilipino para sa kapayapaan sa Timog-Gitnang Mindanaw at sa buong Pilipinas at ipatuloy ang pagsulong sa usaping pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GPH at MILF sa pamamagitan ng pagpasa ng pangkalahatan at makatarungang Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“Naniniwala kami na ang mga Katutubong Mamamayan sa lahat ng panahon at lalo na kapag kaharap ng anumang krisis ay kailangang lumapit sa Dakilang Lumikha …at ito ang aming nakitang tugon sa mga kasalukuyang krisis sa ating mahal na Mindanaw. Kasama sa aming panalangin na pakinggan ang aming mga minimithi at kahilingan na isali sa binabalangkas na Bangsamoro Basic Law ang kalipunan ng mga batas na magpo-protekta sa karapatan ng mga katutubong mamamayan sa aming pagkakalinlan, lupaing ninuno at sariling pamamahala,” dagdag ni Timuay Labi Bello.
“Dahil napaka init ng mga kinaharap na usapin ng Timog-Gitnang Mindanaw sa kasalukuyan, ang sabayang ritwal ay gagawin eksaktong alas dose ng tanghali ngayong Marso 28,2015. Ito ang munting mai-ambag ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan upang makamtan ang tunay at makatarungang kapayapaan na hinahangad ng bawat mamamayan sa Bangsamoro, sa Mindanaw at sa buong Pilipinas, ” paglalahad pa ni Orlando “Rendaw” Mosela, Punong Bilyan ng Timuay Justice and Governance.
Tinatayang mahigit isang libong mga katutubo ang sasama sa katutubong ritwal na sabay na gaganapin sa iba’t-ibang bahagi ng Teritoryong Ninuno ng mga Téduray at Lambangian, sa mga komunidad ng Tuladan sa Sitio Kiféng-féng, Darugao, Upi; Kansad Gadung sa Sitio Lahangkéb, Rempis, Upi; Mirab, Upi; Nuro, Upi; Sitio Rakéf, Blensong, Upi; Fénuwo Burut; Fénuwo Gédan; Fénuwo Bénahaw; Fénuwo Babat; Pedro Colina (P. C.) Hill sa Cotabato City; Sitio Balalaén sa Mompong, Datu Odin Sinsuat; Sitio Brow, Matuber, Datu Blah Sinsuat; Sédém, Datu Blah Sinsuat; Lamud, South Upi; Sitio Refra, Looy, South Upi; at Sitio Bénuan, Kuya, South Upi, lahat sa Lalawigan ng Maguindanao at Sitio Pangawan, Bulibak, Lebak Sultan Kudarat.
Samantala sa teritoryo ng Erumanén ne Ménuvu, ito ay gaganapin sa mga Lupaing Ninuno sa mga Bayan ng Carmen katulad ng: Manobo Village, Kitulaan, Luuk-Aroman, Crossing Tugas, Bunuwang, Sungayan, Lelewigan, Kilala, Rinurugan, Kiulambey, Kilavew, Misupa, Mirakurak-Lagpan, Tumahak, Ki-evud, Meulantew, Kituved, Kumerit, Bintangan, Gawasan, Kiaring, Malugasa, Kalusisiyen, Atras, Kirusa, Pelenti-en, Abanti, Rumahangrang, Neluvasan-Campo, Tagimtim, Dinaag, Pagalungan, Minlayin, Keyumangen, Pedlembiren, Cadiis, Kivalis, Tambad, (Nigan-Surung) Malapag,  Marani-Lower, Marani-upper, Pinengerutan, Dalagingan, Bekbaken, Sendaan, Beruyen, Kewilawen, Puntur te Belala, Mekebinban 1, Pikit, Aleosan, (Bituka, Salunayan, Upper Bulanan, Arizona, Milaya, Malamote, Kimagango) Midsayap, (Simbuhay, Tamped, Dilutan) Kabacan, (Buluan, Lebpas, Datu Inda, Sundungan, Lamalama, Kipentawen, Tinayong, Batobato, Kimahuring) President Roxas, Libungan .
At Pigcawayan  sa Probinsiya ng North Cotabato pati sa mga nayon ng: Behukanen, Kememeenan, Meysa, Geri-Matampay,Husayan, Malinao, Baroy, Pidlenggavan-Mabuhay, Kabagyangan, Beu-uwen, Kezingag, Kizelug, Kisawi, Kimanait, Sinilu-an, Inlansang, Maulawi, Kipaducan, Dimakiling, Barandias, Bang-bang, Ki-inura, Lantey, Adtoyon, San Miguel, Betangan, Makew, Mibedtzan,  Makatiak, Penluyungen, Marak; Munisipyo ng  Kalilangan, Pangantucan, Kadingilan, (Inator, Enepuwan, Kalewkalew, Puwalas, Imbayew, Denggawan); Don Carlos, (Kiuraw, Rumagook, Old Kibawe, Pinamula, Sanipon, Mikasili) Kibawe, (Kimaya, Negevaan, New Visayas, Mintubukan, Miyaray, Kapalaran, Tagungtong) Dangcagan, (Kauyunan, Malobalo, Kaulamiyan, Bulakawon) Kitaotao, Quezon at (Angga-an, Basag, Omonay, Sarawagon, Tangkulan, Tukod) Damulog sa Probinsiya ng Bukidnon. (Via Lanog Mindanao)

MILF Releases 'Mamasapano Clash' Report

MILF Releases 'Mamasapano Clash' Report
The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper Mar. 30-Apr. 5, 2015
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Bangka tumaob sa Davao, 5 nalunod

DAVAO CITY – Limang katao ang nalunod matapos na bumaligtad ang kanilang sinasakyang bangka sa karagatan ng Davao City, ayon sa pulisya.

Limang iba pa ang himalang nakaligtas sa naturang trahedya na naganap niotng Biyernes ng hapon at kinilala ng pulisya ang mga nasawi na si Antonio Echavez, 63 at mga batang sina Carl Vincent Intod, 6; Morren Intod, 5; Rafael Oros at Justin Kirk Intod na parehong 3-taong gulang.

Ang mga nakaligtas naman ay sina Roland Ratayan, 32; Massfer Mata at Rizza Joy Oros, parehong 10-taong gulang; at sina Ryza Jane Amado, 7; at Kissa Faith Mata, 3.

Nabatid na binayo ng malalaking alon ang bangka kung kaya’t tumaob ito. Galing umano sa Matina Aplaya ang grupo at patungo sa Muslim village sa NHA Bangal ng maganap ang aksidente. (Mindanao Examiner)

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US Soldiers Rape Minor Colombian Girls, Sells The ‘Footage’ As Porn - Report

MEN in US military uniforms savaged 54 underage Colombian girls between 2003 and 2007, and get off scot-free because US forces enjoy immunity from local laws there.

An 800-page report, part of a broader analysis to determine the causes of violence in the 50-year-long conflict that has claimed over seven million lives, was commissioned by an independent commission established by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group. The report alleges that these cases of sexual assaults occurred mostly in the town of Melgar, where American troops and military contractors raped underage girls, filmed the abuse, and sold the films as pornographic material.

According to Colombia Reports, a US Army sergeant and a former US military officer raped a 12-year-old girl in 2007. Colombian prosecutors established that the girl had been drugged and subsequently raped inside the military base by a US sergeant and a defense contractor. However, the prosecution was not allowed to arrest the child rapists; the two offenders were subsequently flown out of the war-ravaged nation, as the terms of the US-Colombian Status of Forces Agreement  gave US personnel immunity from local laws. Ironically, it was the poor girl and her family that had to leave Melgar due to the continuous harassment and threats they received from the US-allied government forces.

There exists abundant information about the sexual violence, in absolute impunity thanks to the bilateral agreements and the diplomatic immunity of United States officials,” scholar Renan Vega said. Vega’s work on the report involved documenting the alleged sexual assaults perpetrated by Americans in Colombia because of ‘Plan Colombia’. ‘Plan Columbia’ is a mission that backs the Colombian government against Marxist regimes.

According to the Colombian daily El Tiempo, there were 23 reported cases of sexual abuse committed by active American soldiers in 2006 while there were 14 formal complaints in 2007. Five decades of armed conflict has claimed 220,000 lives and displaced millions in Colombia. According to the government, 7,234 Colombian women have been registered as victims of sex crimes during the conflict. (Anonymous)