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Mindanao Daily

STAY OUT OF MINDANAO! Founded 2006

mindanaoexaminer.com

P10/RM1

Zamboanga City, Philippines

Feb. 11-17, 2013

See story on Page 2

Two Philippine Army soldiers scan the horizon in Mindanao for enemies. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

ARMM

Northern Mindanao

Davao

Manila

Zamboanga Peninsula


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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 11-17, 2013

STAY OUT OF MINDANAO!

A young Muslim farmer covers his face as he and his family pass near a military checkpoint in Shariff Aguak town in the southern Filipino province of Maguindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo) h e Un i t e d St a t e s those areas due to terwarned its citizens rorist and insurgent acnot to travel to Sulu Ar- tivities. “U . S . citizens chipelago and on Mindanao Island in the should continue to des o u t h e r n P h i l i p p i n e s fer non-essential travel d u e t o t h re a t s o f to the Sulu Archipelago, k i d n a p p i n g s a n d v i o - due to the high threat of lence linked to insur- kidnapping of international travelers and viogency and terrorism. T h e l a t e s t t r a v e l lence linked to insurwarning, it said, reflects g e n c y a n d t e r r o r i s m c o n t i n u i n g t h re a t s i n there,” the Department

T

Monib Aukasa (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

of State said. “U . S . citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to the island of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines. Throughout Mindanao, cr i m i n a l g ro u p s h a ve clashed sporadically with the Philippine Armed Forces, particularly in rural areas, and t e r ro r i s t g r o u p s h a ve kidnapped international travelers and carried out bombings that have resulted in injuries and deaths,” it added. It also said U.S. Embassy employees must also have special authorization from Embassy security officials to travel to any location in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. AB U SA Y Y AF ABU SAY Hu n d re d s o f U . S . soldiers are currently d e p l oye d i n Su l u a n d Mindanao where they continue to help the local military in fighting terrorism. Al-Qaeda

a n d Je m a a h I s l a m i y a members are known to operate along side with t h e l o c a l A b u Sa y y a f group and had been linked to the spate of bombings in Mindanao. T h e A b u Sa y y a f i s still holding at least 5 foreigners and two Filipinos kidnapped in southern Philippines. Washington in September also issued a similar war ning to its citizens in the Philippines and told them to take extreme caution, saying the t h re a t against American citizens has been detected by re l i a b l e s e c u r i t y forces. AUSTRALIA ALER T ALERT Last month, Australia also warned its citizens against travelling to Mindanao following the release of a video of kidnapped Sydney adventurer Wa r re n Rodwell, who is being h e l d by a l - Qa e d a linked Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines.

Ro d w e l l w a s k i d napped by gunmen disguised as policemen on December 5, 2011 in his seaside home in the t ow n of Ip i l in Z a m b o a n g a Si b u g a y province. “The Australian travel advice for the Philippines continues to recommend no travel i n c e n t ra l o r we s t e r n Mindanao and warns of the danger of kidnapping in that area,” Aus-

tralian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement. Ca r r s a i d t h e p ro longed captivity of Rodwell remains a major concern. The Abu Sayyaf has demanded $2 million ransom for Rodwell’s safe release, b u t h i s Fi l i p i n a w i f e, Miraflor Gutang, said t h e y c a n n o t a f f o rd t o pay the kidnappers. (Mindanao Examiner)

An army soldier looks through his riffle scope during a patrol in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

PAGADIAN CITY – Bilang na umano ang araw ng mga bandidong grupo sa Western Mindanao matapos na ipag-utos ng militar ang puspusang operasyon upang madakip sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga binansagang kilabot at salot sa lipunan. Ito'y matapos na madakip ang isa sa pinakamost wanted fugitive sa rehiyon na si Monib Aukasa sa bayan ng Tungawan. Si Aukasa at ang kasamahan nito ay nahuli sa isinagawang raid ng pinagsanib na puwersa ng militar at pulisya sa Barangay Langon sa bayan ng Tungawan sa Zamboanga Sibugay province. Nasamsam sa kanila ang dalawang .45-caliber

pistol at isang granada. Hindi na umano nakapalag si Aukasa matapos na mapaligiran ng mga tropa, ayon kay General Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, commander ng 1st Infantry Division. “Resulta ito ng matagal na intelligence operation at ang pagkakahuli kay Aukasa ay magbibigay ng katahimikan sa mga mamamayan. Aukasa is a notorious criminal who had killed many innocent people and we are glad that he was finally captured,” ani Cruz sa panayam ng Mindanao Examiner. Hindi naman sinabi ni Cruz kung paanong natunton si Aukasa dahil may operasyon pa umano kontra sa mga tauhan ng bandido. “The operation

against his other gang members is still going on,” wika pa nito. Sinabi ni Cruz na matagal ng wanted sa batas si Aukasa at siyang nasa likod ng maraming pagpatay, highway robberies, abductions, at arson, piracy at extortion activities, sa Zamboanga Peninsula. Si Aukasa rin ang itinuturong nasa likod ng pagpatay kay Staff Sergeant Aquilles Demecillo at Private First Class Ronald Toledo nuong December 2008; ang pagsunog sa isang Rural Transit bus nuong April 2011 at ang pagpatay sa pasahero nitong si Major Julistidi Arasid, ng 18th Infantry Battalion at kanyang asawa; at gayun rin kay

Bilang na araw ninyo!

CAFGU militia Lito dela Cruz. “From January 2010 to June 2012, Aukasa is also a prime suspect in five murders; three frustrated murders; five highway robberies, nine shooting incidents; three arson cases and abductions of villagers in Tungawan town,” sabi pa ni Cruz. Nuong July 2011 ay dinukot rin ni Aukasa ang 6 katao, kabilang ang isang batang babae, sa Barangay Tigbanuang sa bayan ng Tungawan upang hingin sa pulisya ang paglaya ng kanyang asawa na nadakip sa pagtatago ng armas. Pinalaya naman ng pulisya ang asawa ni Aukasa sa takot na patayin ng bandido ang mga bihag. (Mindanao Examiner)


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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 11-17, 2013

OFW in Saudi death row sees light of freedom, says Migrante Middle East

Rogelio Lanuza (Photo by InterAksyon.com) MANILA - A Filipino migrants' welfare group Migrante Middle East rejoiced in reports that an overseas Filipino worker Rogelio Lanuza jailed in Saudi Arabia will soon be freed. It said the Saudi gov-

ernment shouldered the payment of 2.3 million Riyals which Lanuza and his family can use to pay to the kin of the Saudi national he accidentally killed in 2000. For more than 12 long years, Migrante spear-

headed a campaign along with various OFWs organizations in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East dubbed as "Save OFWs on Death Row" with Lanuza being one of our priority cases. John Leonard Monterona, Migrante's regional coordinator, said their group and allied organizations had campaigned hard to save the life of Lanuza and others like him doomed in Saudi jails. "We salute our fellow OFW Dondon Lanuza for his determination as he repent long time ago on what

he had done. On behalf of Dondon and his family, relatives and friends, we would like to convey our sincerest appreciation to the Saudi government under the leadership of his Highness King Abdullah, custodian of the Two Holy Mosques," he said. "To those who have contributed to Save Dondon Lanuza fund raising campaign and to our fellow OFWs who have been with us in our Save OFWs on Death Row campaign, we thank you all. This victory is ours," he

Pautang nga gihanyag sa DA, usa na usab ka dakong pagpanglinga sa mga mag-uuma DAVAO ORIENTAL - Ang Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas nanawagan sa tanang biktima sa Bagyong Pablo (Bopha) nga dili magpa-ilad sa gihangyag nga pautang sa Department of Agriculture - mao kini ang giluwat nga pahayag ni Pedro Arnado, Secretary General sa KMP-SMR, pinakalapad nga alyansa mga mga mag-uuma sa rehiyon. “Wala pa gani nakabangon ang mga biktima sa hapak ni Bagyong Pablo, daw bagyo na usab kining muhapak sa ilang kinabuhi bunga sa maong pautang.” Didto sa Provincial Capitol sa Tagum City, bag-ohay lang, gipadayag sa Department of Agriculture pinaagi ni Bernadette San Juan sa gipahitabong tigum sa DAACPC (Dept Agriculture- Agricultural Credit Policy Council) Special Agriculture Financing Facility for Farmes and Fishers nga pwede ng

mangutang ang tanang biktima sa Bagyong Pablo. Ang DA-ACPC, pinaagi sa ilang partner financing institutions ang Cooperative Bank sa Misamis Oriental ug sa Cooperative Bank sa Agusan del sur mihanyag og loans nga muabot og 150,000 pesos alang sa mga maguuma, mangingisda sa mga lugar diin biktima sa Bagyong Pablo. Ang maong pagpautang adunay interest rate nga 8% ug 4% service fee ug bayran kini matag bulan, kada-3 ka bulan, panahon sa ting-ani or lump sum nga dili mulampas sa usa ka tuig. “Ang maong programa, walay kalainan sa iskemang growership o kadtong pagconvert sa lapad nga mag umahan aron mahimong plantasyon sa saging. Sama sa growership, kinahanglan nilang mangutang sa Landbank aron idevelop ang ilang kayutaan. Apan sa

maong eskema, nalubong na hinuon sa utang ang mga growers ug wala na kini kakayahang makabayad sa minilyong utang, mamahimo ng i-collateral ang ilang mga kayutaan ug maangkon sa mga korporasyon," dugang pa ni Arnado. "Ug dahuman ta nga sa programang pautang sa DA, mamahimong icollateral usab ang kayutaan sa mga maguuma ug kung dili kini mabayran, dili imposible nga maimbargo ang yuta nga ilang gipanagiyahan. Usa kini sa pinakadakong hinungdan sa kalisud ug kawad-on nga nasinati sa mga mag-uuma.” Subay sa KMP, dili pautang ang maka - alibyo sa gipanglukdong suliran sa mga mag-uuma. Kung gustohon man sa panggamhanan nga tabangan ang mga maguuma, pananglitan sa mga mag-uuma sa lubi sa Davao

Oriental, ang P56.5-bilyon nga pundo gikan sa coco levy angay ng ihatag sa mga maguuma sa lubi. Ang gipanghambog sa panggamhanan nga mikolekta kuno sila og 1 trillion tax collection miaging tuig , nganong dili kini gamiton alang sa mga Biktima? Nganong pautang man ang ilang gidus-an? Sa pangkinatibuk-an, angay na usab ipatuman na sa panggamhanan ang tinuod nga repormang agraryo, tungod kay mao lang kini ang tinuod nga solusyon sa dugay ng gilukdong suliran sa mga mag-uuma” “Ang pagkuntsabuhay sa Gubyernong Aquino ug sa mga bangkong tigpautang, makita ang baruganan ug ang tinuod nga hulagway nga ang Republika ni Noynoy Aquino republika sa mga dagkong agalong yutaan, kapitalista ug dili alang sa mga mag-uuma. “

added. Monterona said they will continue to appeal to Saudi to spare the lives of other Filipinos on death row. He said there are still 6 Filipinos on death row. "Our Save OFWs on Death Row campaign will not end upon Dondon Lanuza’s eventual release. We will intensify our efforts until no OFWs are on death row in Saudi Arabia. Like most OFWs, they too were victims of forced migration," he said. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said

the Aquino government expressed gratitude to the Saudi Government for the humanitarian gesture, which paves the way for the issuance of an affidavit of forgiveness (tanazul) in Lanuza’s favor. "This positive development is a result of the tireless effort and steadfast commitment of Filipinos working together. We hope that as soon as all legal procedures are completed, Mr. Lanuza will finally be reunited with his family,” he said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

Police mounts manhunt for Zambo attackers ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police launched a manhunt for gunmen who attacked a policeman escorting government teachers on a remote village in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines, officials said. Officials said police forces were tracking down the attackers who shot and wounded one policeman in the village of Maasin. Two gunmen opened fire with automatic rifles on the

policeman and escaped after a brief exchange of fire, officials said. No teachers were killed or injured in the attack, said Senior Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo. “We still don’t know the motive of the attack,” he said. It was unknown whether the attack was a failed kidnapping or not, but teachers had been abducted in the past in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

Mansion of scam suspect in Marawi City heavily guarded ILIGAN CITY – Security forces continue to guard the house of scam suspect Jacob Razuman in the southern Philippines for fear of retaliation from angry investors. Just recently, a government soldier was killed after gunmen attacked a detachment outside the mansion of Jacob Razuman, who is accused of duping hundreds of millions of pesos from Muslim traders in Mindanao. Officials said troops are searching for three of the attackers were wounded in the ensuing firefight that erupted outside Razuman's house. The motive of the attack is still unclear, but Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero, the local army brigade commander, said troops and policemen were manning the detachment set up by authorities to prevent angry investors from burning the house of Razuman. “We are tracking down the attackers and three of them were wounded in the gun battle,” he told the Mindanao Examiner. Razuman has surrendered last year to the National Bureau of Investigation after he failed to pay back his investors, who were victims to his Ponzi scheme, similar to the P12billion scam carried out by

Malaysian national Manuel Amalilio who also duped many people in Pagadian City last year. Razuman also invested to Amalilio’s Aman Futures in the hope of getting more money, but the Malaysian swindler fled to Sabah after his company collapsed in October, and was arrested last month by the police in Kota Kinabalu where some of his Filipino victims tracked him down. Investors said they put so much money into the trade after Amalilio promised to pay them as much as 50% profit in just two weeks.

The investment trading began in February last year in Pagadian City and news of its high-yield, high-profit spread like wildfire and attracted even street hawkers and tricycle drivers who poured their hard-earned savings into an overseas stock and money trading. During the first weeks of its operation, investors were paid at least 31% and profits increased to 50% in the succeeding weeks – luring not only ordinary citizens, but politicians as well. The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who

became notorious for using the technique in 1920. His operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States. It was also the same scheme that American stock broker and investment advisor Bernard Lawrence Madoff – who was arrested in December 2008 - used to lure thousands of clients to invest in his scam. As much as $80 million dollars were believed lost to Madoff ’s scam. (Mindanao Examiner. With a report from E. Dumaboc)

JUST SAY

NO!


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Feb. 11-17, 2013

Group promises lifetime OFW membership to OWWA; pensions for retired overseas worker

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h e Fi l i p i n o m i g ra n t s rights g r o u p, M i g ra n t e Middle East said it will push for every overseas Filipino workers lifetime membership to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the government’s premier welfare agency adjunct to the Department of Labor and Employment, mandated to provide programs and w e l f a re s e r v i c e s t o OFWs and their dependents. “We will push for our OFWs lifetime membership to OWWA that majority of us wanted. Non-membership, which means simply a failure to renew and pay the US$25 membership f e e, should not be cited as justification for the government not to render programs and welfare services which are s u p p o s e d t o b e f re e anyway,” John Leonard Monterona, MigranteM i d d l e E a s t re g i o n a l coordinator, said in a statement to the Mindanao Examiner. Mo n t e ro n a , a l s o Vice-chairman of M I G R A N T E S e c t o ra l Par t y o f O F W s a n d families, said OFWs and their organizations strongly opposed the implementation of the OWWA Omnibus Policies, a codification of various rules and regulations of OWWA that was approved on Sept e m b e r 2 0 0 3 by t h e OW WA Bo a rd a n d a b ra i n c h i l d o f t h e n DoLE Secretary Patricia

Sto.Tomas. Sections 3 and 4, Article IV of the OWWA O m n i b u s Po l i c i e s s e t the affectivity and renewal of OFWs membership to OWWA, respectively. “The OWWA Omnib u s Po l i c y i s c l e a r l y a n t i - O F W. Fo r o n e, OFWs membership to OW WA w a s m a d e o n contractual basis of 2year contract. Non-renewal automatically and arbitrarily dismember an OFW as such c o u l d n o t a n y m o re avail OWWA programs and s e r v i c e s,” Monterona said. He s a i d w i t h t h e implementation of OWWA Omnibus Policies, some of the prog ra m s a n d s e r v i c e s were n o t f u n d e d a n d eventually were phased out. “The General Financial Assistance program is an example,” Monterona said. Mo n t e ro n a n o t e d thousands of undocum e n t e d O F W s w ere bared to avail OWWA programs and services with the implementation of the OWWA Omnibus Policies. “Though undocum e n t e d , o u r f e l l ow OFWs are working hard and they continue to s e n d re m i t t a n c e s t o their families that surge local consumption, not to mention the income the govt. is getting from imposing taxes to the banks and remittance companies. Kasama pa rin sila sa mga t i n a g u r i a n g ‘B a g o n g Bayani’, then why ex-

The Mindanao Examiner Media, Film and Television Productions Maritess Fernandez Publisher/Executive Producer (On Leave) Al Jacinto Editor-in-Chief/Producer (OIC) Gregorri Leaño Joanna Valerie Wee Video Editor Mindanao Examiner Productions Web Master REGIONAL PARTNERS Mindanao Daily Business Week NEWS/ADVERTISING OFFICES Mark Navales ARMM

Giovanni Solmerano Eastern Mindanao

Merlyn Manos Iligan City

Geonarri Solmerano Southern Mindanao

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Asa Madale Lanao Provinces Ely Dumaboc Zamboanga Sibugay/Zamboanga del Sur/Zamboanga del Norte John Shinn III California The Mindanao Examiner Newspaper/Business Week/Mindanao Daily is published weekly/daily in Zamboanga City and Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, Philippines. The Mindanao Examiner Television is broadcast in Skycable 54 in Zamboanga; Lupah Sug Cable in Sulu province and Basilan Cable in Basilan province. Our business and editorial offices are located at Units 15, 3rd Floor, Fair Land Bldg., Nuñez St., Zamboanga City Phone & fax: +63 62 9925480 Mobile: +63 9152756606 URL: mindanaoexaminer.com E-mail: mindanaoexaminer@gmail.com

clude them from availi n g OW WA p r o g ra m s and services just because they failed to renew their membership to OWWA?” Monterona asked. He s a i d t h a t s u p port mechanisms should be put in place to accommodate the concerns of undocumented OFWs while working abroad and of former OFWs who have d e c i d e d t o s t a y ‘f o r g o o d’ i n t h e Ph i l i p pines. “OW WA fund, pooled from US$25 m a n d a t o r y f e e f ro m OFWs believed to have re a c h e d P 1 4 . 8 - B i n cluding assets and investments, must serve the needs of OFWs-whether documented or not, whether with or without contract -- and their families as well, through concrete services and benefits including medical assistance, burial, repatriat i o n , s o c i a l s e c u r i t y, pensions and other w e l f a re e s s e n t i a l s,” Monterona said, adding that Migrante will renew its campaign for t h e s c ra p p i n g o f t h e anti-OFW OWWA Omnibus Policies. He said the creation o f a n OW WA C h a r t e r that will safeguard and p ro t e c t O F W s t r u s t fund and to ensure that t h e re w i l l b e e n o u g h programs and services to OFWs and their dependents is on Migrante’s agenda once the group won a seat in Congress via party-list election on May 2013.

Photo shows poverty in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Economic gains meaningless if Filipinos remain poor, says JV Ejercito Estrada MANILA - Senatorial candidate and San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada reminded the Aquino administration that its economic gains may be meaningless if it will not be able to improve the lives of Filipinos and lift millions out of poverty. Ejercito Estrada said the 6.6% economic growth posted by the Philippines last year will not mean anything to "Juan de la Cruz" unless it translates into more jobs, higher pay, and an over-all improvement in the quality of his life. "If the country's economy performed 'beyond expectations,' why then did we have more unemployed Filipinos last year?" the young lawmaker asked. The San Juan solon pointed out the results of the October 2012 Labor Force Survey which revealed that 2.76 million Filipinos are unemployed. The survey showed that some 120,000 additional Filipino workers joined the ranks of the unemployed last year.

Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada The country's unemployment rate went up despite the fact that prior to the release of the survey, the Philippines posted a 6.5 percent increase in its gross domestic product - the sum of goods and services produced within the country's borders - in January to September 2012. "President Aquino and his Cabinet should also ask the 10.9 million Filipino households who considered themselves poor in an SWS survey whether the 6.6 percent economic growth in 2012 had an impact on their

lives," said Ejercito Estrada. In a survey by the Social Weather Stations in January, an additional 1.4 million Filipino households rated themselves "poor." The SWS poll, which was conducted on Dec. 8 to 11, indicated that 54% of respondents or 10.9 million Filipino households considered themselves poor. This is higher than the 47% 9.5 million Filipino families recorded in August 2012. The young lawmaker also noted that while the salary of minimum wage earners have remained the same, the prices of basic goods and services such as food and utilities rise every year. "Our minimum wage earners practically have no respite from the continuous increase in the price of basic goods and services. So before the Aquino administration flaunts its economic gains, it must first examine whether these have really trickled down to the people," he said.


5 A Year of Pluses, Minuses on Rights Decrease in Killings, But Impunity for Abusers The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 11-17, 2013

MANILA - The Philippines had adopted landmark human rights legislation in 2012, but it failed to make significant progress in holding the security forces accountable for serious abuses, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2013. In its 665-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including an analysis of the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In the Philippines, Human Rights Watch spotlighted the disturbing trend of increased threats and attacks on environmental and anti-mining activists by alleged members of the security forces. “The overall human rights situation in the Philippines improved in 2012 with fewer extrajudicial killings and the passage of historic laws promoting rights,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “But the government has failed to address impunity for the most serious abuses. On prosecuting rights abusers, it needs to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.” In late 2012 the Philippine Congress passed, and President Benigno Aquino

signed, a landmark law that makes it mandatory for the government to provide reproductive health services. They also enacted a law that criminalizes enforced disappearances, the first such law in Asia, and one that could end the scourge of such abductions that have destroyed countless lives. On January 18, Aquino signed a law instituting policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers. Other bills promoting human rights are pending in Congress, with at least one other, a bill compensating victims of abuses during the martial law period in the 1970s and 1980s, awaiting Aquino’s signature. However, Congress also passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act in September, which, if enforced, could severely undermine freedom of expression and the Philippines’ status as a regional leader in internet freedom. The law allows for stiff criminal sentences for broadly defined online defamation. Aquino signed the law into force, but the Philippine Supreme Court suspended its enforcement in October, after a public outcry

Pres. Benigno Aquino III led by free-expression law,” Adams said in a statement to the groups and bloggers. “The Philippine Con- Mindanao Examiner. In the past year, the gress has shown the capacity to craft laws that Aquino administration promote and protect hu- said it would “actively enman rights, but it also gage international bodies passed a poorly thought in seeking ways to imout cybercrime law that prove the criminal justice could prove disastrous for system,” and promised to internet freedom. The expedite human rights inchallenge now is for the vestigations and improve government to implement the justice system. No progress on acthese good laws in an effective manner while countability for extrajudiworking to immediately cial killings, disappearoverturn the cybercrime ances

Cyber crime la w ma y TR O na naman! Cybercrime law may TRO PINURI NG ALAB Ng Mamamahayag (Alam) party list group ang Supreme Court sa desisyon nitong bigyan ng indefinite temporary restraining order ang pagpapatupad sa kontrobersyal na Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 matapos lumipas at mapaso ang 120-araw na pansamantalang palugit nito. Ang extension ay sagot sa petisyon ng 15 grupo laban sa kontrobersyal na batas na nagsasakriminal sa libelo sa internet. Sa isang pahayag sa media, sinabi SC acting information chief Atty. Gleo Guerra na ang indefinite extension ay magpapatuloy hanggang walang utos Korte na itigil ito. Ayon kay ALAM chairman Jerry Yap, tama lamang na ipahinto ng Supreme Court ang

pagpapatupad ng Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 dahil batay sa Seksyon 4 (c) (4) ng nasabing kautusan, ang electronic libel ay lumalabag sa mga karapatan ng isang tao sa tamang proseso, pantay na proteksyon sa ilalim ng batas, at malayang ekspresyon. Laban din umano ito sa double jeopardy law. Kamakailan lamang ay muling pinigil ng Korte Suprema ang pagpapatupad ng kontrobersyal na batas na cybercrime sa gitna ng alalahaning malubhang pag-abuso sa kalayaan sa Internet. Ayon naman kay Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, dahil sa bagong temporary restraining order sa nasabing panukalang batas ay hindi ito maipatutupad, ngunit iginiit naman ng opisyal na nakabinbin lamang ang pagpapasiya upang

mapag-aralang mabuti ang merito ng mga petisyon. Pinirmahan ni President Benigno Simeon Aquino III ang nasabing batas noong Setyembre 2012 sa gitna ng malaking protesta dahil sa mabigat na pataw ng pagkakulong para sa online libel at pagbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa estado upang i-shut down ang mga website at subaybayan ang mga online na aktibidad. Noong Oktubre, nagisyu ang SC ng apat na buwang injunction sa pagbibigay diin na mismong si chief lawyer, Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza ay nagsabing ang pagpapasara ng mga websites ay maaaring ilegal nga. Gayunman, sinabi rin ni Jardeleza na hindi ito sapat na dahilan upang ibasura ang buong batas. (Nanet Villafania)

Little progress was made in successfully prosecuting cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture, Human Rights Watch said. Since 2001, hundreds of leftist activists, journalists, rights defenders, and clergy have been killed by alleged members of the security forces. Local human rights organizations reported approximately 114 cases of extrajudicial killings since Aquino came to office, though the number dropped sharply with just 13 reported in 2012. Environmental activists appeared to bear the brunt of threats and attacks during the year, Human Rights Watch said. Aquino also signed an executive order that aims to institutionalize reforms in the Philippine mining sector, but it is silent on the issue of rights abuses arising from mining investments, and on the deployment of paramilitaries at the mines. He defended an earlier directive to allow the use of paramilitary forces to augment the military in its campaign against insurgents, and to secure the operations of mining companies. Members of these forces have been implicated in serious human rights abuses.

The communist New People’s Army and Islamist armed groups in the south continued to commit serious human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said. Despite strong evidence that military personnel have been involved, investigations have stalled. Not a single case of extrajudicial killing by the security forces resulted in a conviction in 2012, and no such conviction has been reported since Aquino became president in 2010, Human Rights Watch said. Last year, Aquino did not keep his election promise to revoke Executive Order 546, which local officials cite to justify the provision of arms to their personal security forces. These “private armies” are responsible for much of the violence that has become common in the Philippines during elections. Although the government said it has disbanded 28 of these “private armies,” nearly 100 still exist, according to the Interior Department. “If 2012 was the year for new laws promoting human rights, then 2013 should be the year for effective action,” Adams said.

New fuel price hike criticized Youth group Anakbayan cr iticized a new oil price hike as unjustified in the face of claims by the Aquino administration of an improving' economy and better peso-dollar exchange rate. " In p a s t y e a r s , o n e o f t h e m a i n re a s o n s a l w a y s g i v e n i s that the peso's value versus the dollar is getting lower. Now that the peso is supposedly improving, we are still experiencing oil price hikes. What's the real deal Noy n oy ? " asked Ve n c e r Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan. O i l c o m p a n i e s i n c re a s e d their pump prices by the following: .45 centavos for diesel, .75 centavos for unleaded gasoline, and P1.05 for premium gasoline and worse, the Department of Energy has war ned of another looming hike in fuel prices, said Crisostomo. For his part, Kabataan party l i s t n a t i o n a l p re s i d e n t Te r r y Ridon, said oil price hikes are absolutely unjustified. "Time and time again, many

think-tanks and research groups have shown that the oil cartel is overpricing their products. Virtually all of the petroleum products are sold by the 'Big 3' of oil companies." " W h e n e v e r t h e re i s a n o i l price hike, they claim that it is a 'natural result of market forces'. But in truth, they are all colluding with each other to raise prices," he said. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier said that Philippine economy grew by 6.8 p e rc e n t i n t h e 4 t h q u a r t e r o f 2012, bringing full year growth for 2012 to 6.6 percent. " T h e c o n t i n u e d g r ow t h o f our GDP is proof positive of our ability to sustain a united march for wards along the straight path toward equitable progress. Rest assured that while our administration is encouraged by these successes, we will continue to work even harder to maintain our economy’s upward trajectory," he said.

Mindanao Examiner Tele-Radyo is a Commentary & Opinion Show (news talk) broadcast in Mindanao Examiner TV in Pagadian City (KISMET Cable TV & Pagadian City Cable TV Channel 63), and Mindanao Examiner TV in Basilan province. For block time, booking or guesting, advertisements and sponsorship, please call our Zamboanga Studio on telephone number (062) 9925480 and mobile number (0926) 1401713 or email us at mindanaoexaminer@gmail.com.


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The Mindanao Examiner

Jan. 14-20, 2013


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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 11-17, 2013

President Aquino binatikos dahil sa FOI Bill

Pres. Benigno Aquino III

B

inatikos ng pamunuan ng Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) party list group ang malamig na pagtanggap ng Malacañang sa paglalabas ng isang Executive Order na kahalintulad ng Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill. Ayon kay ALAM Chairman Jerry Yap, ayaw na nga itong sertipikahang

urgent ni President Benigno Aquino, ibinabasura pa ang isang opsyon upang maipatupad ito. “Nasaan na ang sinasabi niyang pumapanig siya sa media?” ani Yap. “FOI Bill nga lamang hindi niya mapayagang maipasa, paano pa malulutas ang mga media killings? Ito ba

ang sinasabi niyang tuwid na daan? Parang hindi naman,” ani Yap. Matatandaang ipinanukala ni Sen. Edgardo Angara na kung hindi kayang maipasa ang FOI Bill bago mag-recess ay gawin na lamang itong EO. Gayunman, sinabi ni Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte na kahit walang EO ay matagal nang nagpapatupad ng transparency measures ang administrasyong Aquino, kung saan ang halimbawa umano nito ay ang advocacy site ng Department of Budget and Management na Budget ng Bayan, zerobased budgeting at ang pagsali sa mga stakeholders sa paggawa ng budget ng gobyerno. Binanggit din niya ang paglalagay sa website ng gobyerno ng inilalabas na Priority Development Assistance Fund o pork barrel ng mga mambabatas. Gayunman, sinabi ni Yap na ang mga inilalagay sa website ng gobyerno ay ang nais nilang malaman ng bayan. Nakatago pa rin umano ang mga anomalya, na makikita lamang kung huhukaying mabuti. Idinagdag pa ni Yap na kakaunti na ang session days ng Kongreso at hindi na kakayaning ipasa ang FOI Bill. Ayon naman kay

ALAM President Berteni Causing, parang may kinatatakutan si PNoy kaya hindi niya masertipikahang ‘urgent’ ang FOI Bill. “Sa dami ng mga batas na hindi naman gaanong mahalaga na sinertipikahan niyang ‘urgent,’ bakit itong FOI Bill lagi na lamang nasasantabi?” ani Atty. Causing. “Sa tingin namin, ayaw rin ni PNoy na maipasa yan. Bakit kaya? May itinatago rin ba siya? O baka may kinalaman na naman dito ang KKK niya. Yung mga Kaibigan, Kamag-anak at Kabarilan.” Nagkaisa ang mga pamunuan at mga miyembro ng National Press Club, Alyansa ng F i l i p i n o n g Mamamahayag, National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, Philippine Press Institute at Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas na igiit sa Kongreso na maipasa ang FOI bill bago ang kanilang mahabang bakasyon bilang paghahanda sa eleksyon sa Mayo. “Alam naming nagkakaisa at umaasa ang lahat ng miyembro ng media - print man, radio, TV at online – sa kahilingang ipasa ang FOI Bill ng House of Representatives,” ani Yap. “Isa itong constitutional obligation na hindi dapat naka-aapekto sa

pansarili nilang concerns. Hindi sila dapat matakot na maaabuso sila ng media dahil kung wala naman silang bahong itinatago, kahit ano pang gawin ng kahit sino ay wala silang mahuhukay na skeleton in the closet.” Sa administration draft ng FOI Bill na isinumite sa Congress, hinihingi ang online publication ng Statements of

Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth ng pangulo, Vice President, miyembro ng gabinete, mga mambabatas, miyembro ng Korte Suprema, mga opisyal ng Armed Forces of the Philippines na ang ranggo ay mula sa heneral hanggang flag officer, at mga miyembro ng Constitutional commissions aat iba pang constitutional offices. (Nanet Villafania)

Translate 'Kasambahay' contract into different dialects MANILA - The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines has proposed to the Department of Labor and Employment to translate the employment contract between household helpers and their employers into different local dialects to make it more understandable. “Since they are one of the most vulnerable workers for very obvious reasons, we have to enhance the protection of our household helpers from possible onerous or disadvantageous contract that might arise or be used by abusive employers in trying to circumvent the law. They (helpers) must know what they have just entered into,” Gerard Seno, TUCP Secretary-General, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner. The Kasambahay Law

is an Act Instituting Policies For The Protection And Welfare of Domestic Workers. It was signed by President Benigno Aquino into law on January 18. The law gave DOLE ninety days to come up with the implementing rules and regulations. Seno said the TUCP made the proposal through a letter they sent to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on the occasion of the drafting of the law’s implementing rules and regulations. It requires the DOLE to draft, print and make available the copies of the employment contract but it does not say what dialect to use. The TUCP is part of the technical working group tasked to draft the implementing rules and regulations.


8

The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 11-17, 2013

Akba yan member s in Akbay members Aquino g ov't criticiz ed go criticized MANILA - A youth group called Anakbayan has released a supposed list of the members of the party list group Akbayan, an ally of President Benigno Aquino, in the National Anti-Poverty Commission, holding sensitive positions in the government agency, with some being in charge of the distribution of the controversial coconut levy funds. Acting on confidential tips from disgruntled NAPC employees, Anakbayan have so far unearthed 9 Akbayan and affiliate leaders among the 149 contractual and parttime employees of the agency, and among them

were lawyers. "This confirms what coconut farmers and peasant groups have been saying all along that Akbayan is out to hijack part of the coco levy fund for their 2013 election campaign and other nefarious purposes," Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner. "We cannot blame the farmers for demanding that the coco levy funds be given directly to them, instead of passing through the corrupt hands of President Aquino's favorite party list group," he said. According to

Crisostomo, the tipsters were inspired after last year's efforts to disqualify Akbayan from the 2013 party list race included an exposition in the irregular practice of hiring 100 contractual personnel, including 19 consultants. He said no less than the Commission on Audit questioned the expenditure of P27.97 million in salaries for the said employees for 2011. This was the biggest item in the NAPC's budget for the said year, he said. There was no immediate statement from Akbayan about the allegations. (Mindanao Examiner)

Lanao security heightened Over a dozen killed in MNLF - ASG clashes ahead of poll campaign ZAMBOANGA CITY – Po- told the Mindanao Exam- Sayyaf to release all their in Pakistan. PAGADIAN CITY - The Philippine Army has tightened its security in the southern province of Lanao del Norte in anticipation to the start of the political campaign for the May general elections. Military and police commanders have met with poll officials to discuss security measures to ensure the campaign period and the conduct of elections are peaceful. Just last week, a motorcycle packed with explosives went off outside a restaurant in the town of Tubod in Lanao del Norte and wounding at least 5 people. Officials said no individual of group claimed responsibility for the attack that took place outside Ysmael Res-

taurant. The identities of those wounded in the blast were not immediately known, but the army said among those in the restaurant was former Salvador mayor Sultan Jhony Tawantawan and his lawyer Yusop Omar. It was unknown whether Tawantawan or other individual was the target of the bombing or if the attack was related to terrorism. The blast occurred ahead of the political campaign. Elections in the southern Philippines are traditionally violent because of warring political clans and the presence of different rebel groups. (Mindanao Examiner. E. Dumaboc)

lice said at least 21 gunmen were killed in sporadic clashes between former Muslim rebels and members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the southern province of Sulu. Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, the provincial police chief, said 8 members of the former rebel group Moro National Liberation Front and 13 from the Abu Sayyaf group were confirmed killed in fierce battles since Sunday in the hinterlands of Patikul town. “Official police reports put the casualties at 21 on both sides and many others wounded in the fighting between the groups of MNLF and Abu Sayyaf,” he

iner. Freyra said police forces have secured civilians areas in Patikul and neighboring towns. “We have secured civilian areas in Patikul and other neighboring municipalities to ensure the safety of civilians,” he said. The fighting erupted after MNLF forces attacked Abu Sayyaf militants who are holding several kidnapped foreigners – two European wildlife photographers, a Malaysian trader, a Jordanian journalist, a Japanese treasure hunter, and an Australian adventurer. The MNLF under Nur Misuari previously demanded from the Abu

hostages, but the militant group flatly rejected the demand. Just recently, the Abu Sayyaf released two Filipino assistants – freed kidnapped victims Rolando Letrero and Ramelito Vela - of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani, who is Al Arabiya TV’s bureau chief

The trio was held prisoners in June last year after secretly went to interview MNLF and Abu Sayyaf leaders in Sulu. The Abu Sayyaf demanded $3 million for Atyani’s safe release, but authorities could not say whether the Jordanian has been freed or not. (Mindanao Examiner)


9

The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 11-17, 2013

A Tale of Two Reefs By Perry Diaz IN A MATTER of days, the Philippine government took strong actions against the two most powerful countries in the world – the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Now, that’s what I call “wow, wow!” Yep, a double wow, indeed. But as it turned out, the country was hit with a double whammy! The first whammy was China’s seizure of the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) that is within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Last August, after China tricked the Philippines into withdrawing her vessels from the lagoon, China roped off the only entrance into the lagoon; thus, preventing other fishermen from getting in. Only Chinese fishing boats are allowed to enter the lagoon. In effect, China has taken de facto possession of a piece of Philippine territory…without firing a shot. Bajo de Masinloc, as Scarborough Shoal was named as far back as 1734 during the Spanish era, is 124 miles west of Masinloc, Zambales in the South China Sea. The shoal is a triangle-shaped chain of reefs with a circumference of 34 miles and an area of 58 square miles. Many of the reefs are just below water at high tide. The lagoon contains a large variety of fish and other sea life including endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks, and giant clams. Arbitr ation Arbitration Helplessly unable to defend her territory, let alone recover those she already lost, the Philippines had no other recourse but to turn to the United Nations to resolve the territorial dispute. Last January 22, the Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario formally notified China that the Philippines is bringing the case before the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The issue is China’s claim to about 90% of the entire South China Sea delineated by an imaginary – and arbitrary – “nine-dash line” drawn by China. In reaction, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, Ma Keqing, reasserted China’s “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea. However, she said that China supports a negotiated settlement through “peaceful means.” Well, with several Chinese warships permanently deployed inside the lagoon, “peaceful means” might just be another convenient tool from China’s bag of tricks. Doublespeak Last January 28, China’s supreme ruler, Xi Jinping, told the 25 members of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee Political Bureau (Politburo): “China will stick to the path of peaceful development. No foreign country should expect us to make a deal on our core interests and hope we will swallow the bitter pill that will damage our sovereignty, security and development interests.” And as before, “core national interest” is not negotiable, peacefully or otherwise. As China had demonstrated in the past three decades, her salami-slicing tactics of grabbing other countries’ territories – Paracel Islands, Mischief Reef, Macclesfield Bank, Scarborough Shoal -- have been successful. And now her biggest – and most ambitious – goal is to annex the South China Sea and the East China Sea all the way to the Okinawa Trough as a prolongation of China’s continental shelf. That would be the fulfillment of China’s dream. Evidently, China’s “talk and take” approach is paying dividends… until Japan decided to use force -- if necessary -- to counter China’s aggressive attempt to grab the Senkaku islands near Okinawa in the East China Sea. Recently, during Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to the U.S., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a “veiled warning” to China not to challenge Japan’s control of the Senkaku islands. She said that the islands were under Japan’s control and therefore protected under the U.S.-Japan Treaty. Her remarks instantly ignited a war hysteria in China. Xi Jinping ordered the People’s Liberation Army to get ready for war, quickly! Tubbataha R eef Reef Meanwhile, about 600 south in the Sulu Sea, Tubbataha Reef is getting a lot of attention since an American warship, the minesweeper USS Guardian,

ran aground in its vicinity. The reef consists of two coral atolls five miles apart and each reef has a single small islet protruding from the water. More than 1,000 species inhabit the reef of which many are considered endangered including manta rays, tortoises, clownfish, lionfish, and sharks. There are 350 coral species and 500 fish species. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Asia and inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is called the “Crown Jewel of the Coral Triangle.” On January 17, 2013, the USS Guardian ran aground on the reef. An initial visual inspection showed that at least 10 meters of the reef were damaged. Aerial photographs made by the Philippine military showed the “ship’s bow sitting atop corals in shallow turquoise waters, with the stern floating in the deep blue waters.” The warship was bound for Puerto Princesa after routine refueling and supply replenishment in Subic Bay. Initial reaction from Malacañang defended the Guardian’s presence in the protected area. “I confirmed with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin that there was such a port call request made for Puerto Princesa by USS Guardian,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. “There was a request made and the request was granted.” Apology The following week, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. apologized for the incident. When the apology was relayed to President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III -- who was attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland at that time – he told reporters who were covering his trip that an apology was not enough. He wanted a thorough investigation to ascertain how the USS Guardian ran aground on the reef. But the United States Navy already made its commitment to do everything it can to repair the damage caused by the minesweeper. Didn’t he know that? Yet P-Noy continued to question, “How it could happen when the minesweeper, a U.S. made vessel, was supposed to be possessing of high technology military navigation devices?” He said that the U.S. would have to comply with Philippine laws regarding the incident. “They violated it, there are penalties. Then they will have to address all of these violations of our pertinent laws,” he said. But P-Noy didn’t realize that the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) had already fined the U.S. Navy for “unauthorized entry.” However, it did not disclose the amount of the penalty. Under Philippine law, the maximum penalty for unauthorized entry is of up to a year in prison plus a fine of up to P300,000 ($7,300). The TPAMB decided not to include the jail option in the penalty. VF A VFA When a reporter asked P-Noy about the call of some groups to review the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the U.S. and the Philippines in the aftermath of the Tubbataha incident, he toned down and said that the VFA only governs the conduct of visiting American troops when they're in military exercises in the Philippines. He explained that the VFA has no connection to the Tubbataha incident; it’s a question about violating the country’s ecological laws. Meanwhile, Fernando Hicap, the chairman of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas, called for the filing of a “millennium class suit” against the US Navy for damaging the reef, saying that the US should pay the country a considerable amount following the destruction of the reef. P-Noy was also criticized by Anakbayan national chairman Vencer Crisostomo and Kabataan Partylist national president Terry Ridon for his statements, which they claimed was tantamount to a “whitewash” on the incident. But what is interesting to note is that these leftist groups are quick to attack the U.S. for any “infraction” but are quiet about China’s aggression against the Philippines. What would they do if one day they wake up to see an armada of Chinese warships in the Sulu Sea on their way to Puerto Princesa? (PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

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USS Guardian (US Navy website)

Crane barge to pull out grounded USS Guardian in Tubbataha Reef MANILA - The Philippine Coast Guard said one of two crane barges contracted by the United States Navy to retrieve its minesweeper USS Guardian stuck on a coral reef in Sulu Sea has arrived. Coast Guard commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena said the barge, which came from Singapore, is now in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan province. The second barge is now on its way to the Philippines. The 68-meter USS Guardian, which came from Subic Bay in Zambales province in Luzon Island, hit the protected atoll of Tubbataha Reef last month after ignoring warning from park rangers and Filipino authorities that the ship is nearing the marine sanc-

tuary. Park rangers said they tried to approach the ship to talk to its officers, but the crew instead went to battleship position forcing the Filipinos to back off. The arrogance of the officers and crew of the ship drew wild protest from various patriotic and environmental groups. The ship, manned by a crew of 62 officers and sailors, is based in Japan and equipped with Mine neutralization system and two .50 caliber machine guns. Tubbataha, a marine sanctuary, is just 98 nautical miles southeast of Palawan province. U.S. troops are deployed in the Philippines and training Filipino soldiers in anti-terrorism warfare. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Zamboanga City, Philippines

Feb. 11-17, 2013

SULU FOCUSES ON DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan and Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin and other municipal and provincial officials during the inauguration of the road project in Jolo town and the hand-over of a pump boat engine to Kabukan Elementary School. (Ahl Salinas) Sulu G ov. S akur Tan has inaugur ated a newly conGo Sakur inaugurated str ucted rroad oad pr oject in JJolo olo that will no w connect structed project now sev er al villages and ease tr affic congestion in the sever eral traffic capital to wn. town. The road project will gine that they can use for also give access to the re- their wooden boat in cently inaugurated transporting students and Women’s and Children’s faculty members from the Center in downtown Jolo. town to the island of Mayor Hussin Amin, of Kabukan. Jolo, and other provincial Tan saidthe projects part of the and municipal officials at- are tended the inauguration. government’s peace and Provincial engineer development efforts and Abdurasad Baih said more anti-poverty programs projects are to be inaugu- that will benefit the locals. rated soon. “We are concentrating Tan also donated a on many development pump boat engine to the projects and there are still Kabukan Elementary more projects pending inSchool off Panglima Tahil auguration,” he told the Mindanao Examiner. town. Last month, Tan also Teachers have requested a pump boat en- donated 10 computer sets

ARMM

for the Kawmpang Elementary School in the town of Patikul in an effort to promote Information technology among the young students in the southern province. Gabir Sarajali, the school principal, praised Tan for the donation, saying “it was a dream come true” for students and teachers. “It was really a dream come true to all of us in Kawmpang Elementary School and we thanked our beloved and hardworking Governor for donating these computer sets,” he said. Tan handed over the computer sets, including tables and chairs, to the teachers and students

Northern Mindanao

Davao

headed by Sarajali in a ceremony attended by over a hundred students, who cheered to the sight of the donation. “I challenge all of you to be competitive and productive in today’s computer world,” Tan said to the students and teachers at the school compound. Tan also told provincial engineers headed by Abdurasad Baih to draw a plan for the school’s covered court where students and teachers can hold their important activities comfortably. Some of the students were moved to tears by the generosity band support of the governor as they chanted

Manila

Tan’s name and thanked him for his benevolence. Kawmpang is only one of many governmentrun schools in Sulu that Tan donated various

equipment and supported. He also built many schools that benefit thousands of Muslim students. (Mindanao Examiner. Ahl Salinas)

Zamboanga Peninsula

Mindanao Examiner Newspaper  

February 11-17, 2013

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