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Priest held by ISIS fighters appeals to Duterte, wants troops out of Marawi Maute group attacked the city on May 23. Behind the ruins of buildings destroyed in fierce clashes and the sound of sporadic gunfire, Suganob made an emotional appeal to Duterte to save all of them, saying, the militants are ready to die for their religion. He asked Duterte to stop military assaults, both in air and on the ground, and for security forces to quickly leave Marawi and Lanao del Sur, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. Below is the transcript of Suganob’s appeal: “Mr. President, I was taken as a prisoner of war together with one MSU female professor – the Mindanao State University – two lady church workers, two male teachers of Dansalan College Continue on page 7

MARA WI CIT Y – A C atholic pr iest, who was MARAWI CITY Catholic priest, among 240 civilians being held b y local ISIS by fighters in souther nP hilippines southern Philippines hilippines,, has appealed to P odr igo D uter te to immediately Prresident R Rodr odrigo Duter uterte withdr aw thousands of soldiers fr om Lanao del withdraw from Sur pr ovince wher e secur ity for ces continue its pro where security forces assault on do zens of jihadists still holed out in doz the war -tor nM ar awi City war-tor -torn Mar arawi City.. Father Chito Suganob made the appeal in a video that surfaced on Facebook and the 5-minute clip went viral on social media. In the video, Suganob, the Vicar General of the Marawi prelature, said militants seized him, along with other church workers, including children and adults, mostly Christians, when members of the

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Duterte will not lift martial law, not just yet

TOUGH-TALKING President Rodrigo Duterte said the martial law in Southern Philippines shall continue as long as it is necessary in an effort to crush terrorism in the mineralrich, but restive region of Mindanao where security forces are battling ISIS extremism and communism. Duterte even said he will even ignore the Supreme Court and lawmakers who are opposed to martial rule on Mindanao where the local ISIS affiliate Maute group is fighting for the establishment a caliphate on the largely Christian region of 21 million people. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno during a recent commencement address at the Ateneo de Manila University spoke about fears of human rights violations in Mindanao. She said citizens must ensure that the horrors of martial law that followed the 1972 declaration of then President Ferdinand Marcos do not happen again. “Given the present day, when the possibility of history repeating itself looms imminent, no cause requires your commitment as much as the cause of human rights, justice, and democracy,” she said. The High Court can review Duterte’s martial law proclamation and make a decision whether it has legal basis or not. But Duterte remains firm on his decision in imposing martial rule on

Mindanao. “When will it end? I do not know. Hanggang hindi sinabi ng pulis pati Armed Forces na safe na ang Philippines, this martial law will continue. Hindi ako makinig sa iba. Mga Supreme Court, ‘yung mga congressman, wala man sila dito. Ba’t sila ba ang nagpapakamatay? Sila ba ang naghihirap dito? Sila ba ‘yung…they will suffer the wounds of war? Sila ba ‘yung nagtitiis? Sila ba ‘yung namamatay na nauubusan ng dugo, bleeding? Naghehemorrhage kay walang tulog, walang reinforcement. Hindi sila,” he said during a recent talk with soldiers. Duterte said he will only lift martial law once the military and police assure the region is safe and free from threats of terrorism. “Pero kung sabihin ng Armed Forces pati pulis na, ‘Sir hindi pa talaga panahon, mas maglala ito.’ Then I will just tell them that, you know, don’t fuck with me. Eh ayaw ko nga ‘to eh, dumating naman ito, o ‘di sige. Ngayon, martial law is martial law. It means really the military takes over the civilian government in the meantime. Hindi ‘yang theories-theories ng libro, ‘yung binabasa ko ‘yung talagang anong rationale o mga rason, o pilosopiya bahin sa Martial Law. It’s really to restore order, law and order.” He said the ISIS threat is serious and that illegal drugs is funding terrorism in Mindanao. “Apparently, na-

overtaken tayo ng events. ISIS is…hindi purely ‘yan. It would be a lie to say that puro ISIS na ‘yan sa Marawi ngayon. Ang puno’t dulo diyan is droga kasi diyan ang hotbed ng shabu pati drug sa Mindanao. Hindi pa nga dito eh. Diyan ‘yung lahat ng mga politiko na gustong yumaman, kahit sino doon na kung marunong lang.” “Kaya ‘yung mga Maute, magkapatid ‘yan na pulis, noong nakita nila sa Maynila na maganda ang Negosyo (ng shabu), umuwi ‘yan sa Marawi, nagtayo ng malaking laboratory. Hindi lang nakuha ng news ‘yung sa likod nung ni-raid nila, iyong sa tatay nila ‘yon. Diyan nag-umpisa. Ngayon ito naman dito sa Abu Sayyaf, more or less sabihin natin na mga spill over ‘yan sa (Nur) Misuari faction (ng Moro National Liberation Front). Iyong mga bata na parang naniwala na doon sa mga scholar,” he said. Illegal D Drrugs Duterte insisted that illegal drugs are funding terrorism in Mindanao. “They want to be identified with Maute, who were really two brothers (Abdullah and Omar) who went into drugs. Tapos ngayon pretending to be allied with the ISIS because si (Abu Sayyaf chieftain Isnilon) Hapilon nandoon and he was anointed (by the Islamic State). Iyan ang giyera ngayon. Actually (it) started with drugs. And they were producing (illegal) drugs

President Rodrigo Duterte with former Sulu Governor Dr. Abdusakur ‘Datu Shahbandar’ Tan during a recent visit to government soldiers in Sulu Province. (Photos courtesy of Kusug Tausug Partylist)

halfway, not really to negosyo, but to fund terrorism kaya maraming armas,” he said. The President said he repeatedly warned everybody that he will declare martial law if terrorism continues and may include the Visayas and Luzon if the threats of ISIS spread elsewhere in the country. “Pinaka-madali actually and I was warning everybody, I think I even pronounced it here: Do not force my hand into it. Ako mismo ayaw ko. I hate to declare martial law. I hate to wage war against my own people.” “Sabi ko huwag ninyo akong pilitin. Eh pinilit nila ako. Ngayon eh nakipagsapalaran ‘yung mga kriminal pati terorista. Yung ideology at yung wala, ah sabi ko, putang ina, magdedeclare ako ng martial law. And I have been warning everybody: Huwag ninyo akong pilitin. Do not create a situation that would be right for a declaration of martial law. Ngayon, kailan ito matapos? Ewan ko, sabi nila 60 days? Punta ako sa Congress, I don’t know; sabihin ng Supreme Court they will examine into the factual, bakit? I don’t know; hindi sila sundalo at hindi nila alam kung ano ang nasa ibaba,” he said. Join U Uss Duterte also encouraged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its rival Moro

National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels to join the military and fight terrorists in Mindanao and offered them to be integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines and become regular soldiers. He said MNLF Chieftain Nur Misuari has offered to send fighters to deal with Maute group. Duterte said he will accept Misuari’s offer. “Itong kay Nur is a very good one. Tanggapin ko ang offer ni Nur. At kung mag-offer ang MILF, tatanggapin ko rin, at lahat, pati mga NPA. Pag nagbaba kayo, automatic, gawain ko kayong sundalo, at same privileges, and i-prioritize ko ang — para ma-supervise ko kayo,” he said. “Bigyan ko kayo ng suweldo kagaya ng sundalo, gawan ko kayo ng bahay. Kalimutan natin lahat. Basta huwag lang kayong magl a n d m i n e - l a n d m i n e. Talagang naga-dumot? (galit) ako diyan. You are easy to invoke Geneva Convention, if it is in your favor. Pero kayo sige kayo gamit ng… Sa Mindanao, ganon eh, pati dito. Ako, I’m appealing to… Hindi ninyo ako — Moro rin ako. I’m appealing to all Moro: Join me. Dalhin ninyo ’yung baril ninyo dito. Pumunta kayo dito, magpalista kayo. Babalik ako maski bukas. Gawain ko kayo na sundalo na… At kung medyo maganda ang

panahon, bigyan ko kayo ng negosyo. Dito ‘yung isda. Ang asset ninyo dito, ‘yung lupa,” he added. Do N ot F ear Not Fear Duterte also allayed fears by many that martial law will result to widespread human rights abuses. “Ang martial law, if you are a lawabiding, God-fearing citizen of this country, wala ka talagang problema. I am the least — the soldiers and the policemen are the least, ‘yan ang pinakamaliit na problema ninyo. Mas problema ninyo hanapbuhay.” “Ngayon, kung kayo’y terorista, kay diyan man talaga nag-umpisa ‘yan. Droga at sinakyan ngayon ng ideology ng ISIS na walang ginawa kung ‘di mag-putol ng ulo ng tao, ay may problema kayo. Kaya nandiyan ang martial law, ‘yan ang ka-kapote sa mga pulis at sundalo. At ako, hindi ako papayag na may sundalo o pulis makulong. At sinasabi ko time and again, I and I alone, Presidente, will bear the responsibility for all consequences, for all — kung anong mangyayari dito, akin ‘yan. Akin ‘yan at ako ang makulong. Kasi itong mga tao na army, pulis, lahat Navy, sumusunod lang ‘yan sa order ko. ‘Yan ang dapat na marinig ninyo,” he said. (With reports from Moh Saaduddin and Beñez.)

ARMM gets 8 PCSO ambulances COTABATO CITY – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) donated 8 ambulances to different municipalities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to help improve health service in the region. Atty. Laisa Alamia, ARMM Executive Secretary, said the regional government is thankful for the PCSO’s Ambulance Donation Program, adding, “the ambulance service will allow recipient municipalities to better respond to health and other

humanitarian emergencies.” The ambulances were received on Wednesday in Cotabato City. She said the vehicles would be distributed to the municipalities of Matanog, Barira, Paglat, Sultan Mastura, Datu Hoffer and Ampatuan, all in Maguindanao province. And Bacolod-Kalawi in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Sulu provinces. Alamia also congratulated the recipients and for showing not just “the need for ambulance in your municipalities but also the capacity of the local gov-

ernment units to utilize and maintain the ambulance.” PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said that as of November 2016, the PCSO donated a total of 1,503 ambulance units to beneficiaries that included different local governments, hospitals, health institutions, state universities and other government agencies. He said the PCSO allotted about P37.4-billion in funds for its ambulance donation program in 2015 and this was further increased to some

P40-billion in the first quarter of 2016. Balutan said the amount of each ambulance unit is about P800,000 and were all purchased from the proceeds of the PCSO’s responsible gaming services that in-

clude the expanded Small Town Lottery, Lotto, Keno, and Sweepstakes. The PCSO’s small town lottery, he said, is the only legal and authorized numbers game nationwide and it aims to support chari-

table deeds for the benefits of the people nationwide. Balutan said the PCSO is eager to do more for the less-fortunate in the region with the help of the ARMM government. (Bureau of Public Information)

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Civilian casualties mounting in Marawi as ISIS fighting rages enters 2nd week

Some bodies of civilians killed by Maute group in Marawi City. (Photo courtesy of New Marawi City Pulse) MARAWI CITY – The number of civilian casualties killed in fierce fighting between security forces and ISIS fighters continue to climb up as more bodies were found on a village in Marawi City in the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Sur.

At least 8 corpses had been discovered under a bridge in Matampay village. They were believed executed by jihadists after soldiers found a cardboard with the word “munafiq” among the pile of dead bodies. In Islam, munafiq means “hypocrite,” de-

ARMM steps up humanitarian interventions in Marawi crisis

ILIGAN CITY – The incursion of the local terror group Maute and elements of the Abu Sayyaf into Marawi City has inflicted immense sufferings to residents in the city that are bound to persist long after the end of the siege. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has recorded nearly 85,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are either staying in designated evacuation centers or in their relative’s houses in nearby towns in Lanao del Sur or Iligan City. Its crisis management center has also confirmed at least 3,717 stranded individuals and 59 missing persons in the city. ARMM Gover nor Mujiv Hataman immediately activated and convened the region’s Crisis Management Committee to plan and evaluate the region’s response upon confirmation of the crisis. He called for the establishment of a crisis management center at the region’s seat in Cotabato City with emergency hotlines to facilitate assistance to affected residents. Meanwhile, Regional Vice-Governor and concurrent secretary of the region’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headed to Marawi City to lead the ARMM’s emergency response on the ground. The ARMM government through its

Humanitarian and Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) has already provided help to 13,522 internally displaced families and will be dispatching more relief operations to identified evacuation centers. The IIslamic slamic City of M ar awi arawi Marawi is one of the only two cities in the ARMM. It is situated in the province of Lanao del Sur and has a population of more than 200,000 based on the 2015 census, a vast majority of whom are Muslims. It is home to the main campus of the Mindanao State University (MSU), a premier state university that attracts thousands of students all over Mindanao and the rest of the country. The terror and displacement have made the obser vance of Ramadan unusually sombre and taxing for the city’s vastly Muslim population. Halfway H Home ome It was a typical afternoon of May 23 at the MSU Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU IIT ) campus in Iligan City when Dr. Marie Joy Banawa, dean of the school’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), heard news of the unfolding crisis in Marawi City. She was alarmed upon seeing a post of MSU students in distress in her social media feed. Dean Joy said she didn’t know then where

to get the resources or how to mobilize support, but she was determined that her campus must help. With the support of MSU IIT’s chancellor, her fellow faculty and student volunteers, Dean Joy established a halfway center at the CASS building for MSU students caught in the fighting. She said through the donations and student volunteers, they were able to provide food, shelter, minimal financial assistance and psychosocial aid to the affected students. Dean Joy said they have already catered to approximately 800 students. Among those they’ve assisted are the Altorino siblings Francis, Janelli and Joseph who hail from Butuan City. The eldest, Francis, 24, a first year law student in MSU Marawi City said they were initially reluctant to evacuate. “Medyo sanay na po kami kung barilan lang ang naririnig. Di lang namin inexpect na ganito kalala. ( We were used to hear ing gunfights. We didn’t expect that it would get this worse),” Francis said. He said they were alarmed about reports that the terrorist group only targets Christians like them, but they worry more for the people trapped in their homes amidst the gunfight and airstrikes. The siblings are confident that the crisis will not erode the bond among people of

different faiths in Marawi City. Student Volunteer MSU IIT ’s halfway center has also attracted volunteer students like 19-year old Esnaira Tambie, a junior high student from Marawi City who herself is an evacuee. She and her family now stay at a relative’s house in Iligan City after making an arduous 12-hour travel to escape the fighting. Esnairah said she feels heartbroken for what’s happened to her city and for the families who might have to spend the entire month of Ramadan away from home. Despite her personal ordeal, Esnairah keenly volunteered to assist in the halfway center for the distress students. ARMM is rready eady Marawi City has never faced a crisis of this extent which threatens to break not just its thriving infrastructures but also the spirit of its people. The ARMM government, on the other hand, is expecting a drawn-out crisis and is preparing for a comprehensive humanitarian intervention. Governor Hataman assured residents that the regional government is ready to respond to their needs and is working closely with other government agencies and private institutions to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians. (Bureau of Public Information)

scribed in the Quran as outward Muslims who were secretly unsympathetic to the cause of Muslims and actively sought to undermine the Muslim community. The hypocrisy itself is called nifaq. More than two dozen decomposing bodies of civilians had been found elsewhere in Marawi after ISIS fighters killed them since the start of the siege of May 23. Photos posted on Facebook also showed a child alongside a man and a woman as among the dead. Sporadic clashes continued in the Islamic City, now a virtual ghost town, after tens of thousands of people fled their homes and sought safe refuge in nearby cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro where Christian residents offered free foods and bottled water along the roads to terrified refugees. Governor Mujiv Hataman, of the Muslim autonomous region, has already mobilized huge groups of social workers to feed and assist those who fled Marawi. The Department of Social Welfare and Development also sent 10,000 food packs for refugees in Iligan City. The military now said dozens of militants, including foreign fighters, had been killed since the start of the violence, but at least 13 soldiers and two policemen also perished in street battles with more than four dozens injured. It was unclear how the military counted the ISIS casualties with troops failing to recover bodies of slain militants. There were also reports that many of the jihadists managed to escape from the military assault, although some of the hardened fighters and snipers were left behind to hold back advancing army soldiers. A military tank was also destroyed in the battle and ISIS militants in black robes even posed on top of the armored vehicle.

Many houses were also destroyed by aerial bombings carried out by military planes on suspected hiding places of ISIS fighters. But it was not immediately known whether the air strikes had killed or injured civilians, although security officials said most of the assaults was so-called “surgical” to minimize “collateral damage” or civilian casualties. While the military is battling the militants, ISIS propaganda also continue in social media with supporters and agitators using false identities urging Muslims to join in the fight and defend Marawi from the “infidels,” but there were also anger among those affected by clashes and blamed the Maute group for their situation now. However, little can be heard from imam or preachers, although many ulama or scholars condemned the attack. ISIS has already threatened ulama and their families for condemning the militants and for participating in a recent anti-terrorism summit organized by Hataman in Cotabato City. Prompted by the threats, Hataman said they would hold more such forums in the region to combat violence and extremism. “To those who have Ulama relatives, warn your parents, brothers, and children not to attend the said summit because if something happens to them along the way or in the end, don’t tell us you were not warned,” a statement released by the Dawlah Islamiya or Islamic State said. Hataman has said Islamic scholars can “contribute largely to the advocacy against terrorism by educating people about the true teachings of Islam, most especially on the principles of justice, compassion, peace, and harmony.” (Moh Saaduddin and Rhoderick Beñez)


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Priest held by ISIS fighters appeals to Duterte, wants troops out of Marawi

A screenshot from a video posted on social media shows Catholic priest Chito Suganob appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to pull out security forces in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province. Suganob said he and 240 others, including mostly Christian civilians and children, are being held by local ISIS fighters. (Mindanao Examiner) Continued fr om page 1 from Foundation Incorporated and five female teachers of Dansalan College Foundation Incorporated, along with us are about 200 carpenters, household helpers, children and youth and ordinary Christian settlers and other Subanon tribes with us as captives and as prisoners of war. Mr. President, we are in the midst of this war, we are asking your help to please give what your enemies are asking for – this simply am not asking for anything just to withdraw your forces away from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City and to stop the air strikes, your air attacks and to stop the canons. Mr. President, from out heart, please consider us. You know it is hard Mr. President from time to time we hear bursts of gunfire from the ground of your enemies, heavy firearms from your side, it’s hard. And Mr. President, we do not ask for anything, we just ask that you leave this place peacefully, do not give so much attack, the city in my background is ruined like this and Mr. President if you are in our place, you will really consider us because you’ll hear the outburst of gunfire and everything, bombs and canons. We are

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June 5-11, 2017

victims and Mr. President, if you have a good heart for us considering, Mr. President, about 240 prisoners of war are asking your good heart, please consider us, we want to live another day, we want live another month, we want to live few years, and in your heart, we know you can make something, they do not ask anything Mr. President after all this is their place give them the land and Mr. President, you are attacking from your heart, do not use violence because your enemies they are ready to die for their religion, they are ready to die and their laws will be followed in this place. Mr. President you are from Mindanao, you know the conflict in Mindanao, you know the problems and I hope Mr. President you understand them. I am also saying these things Mr. President because you know the history; they have the right to live here, they have the right to their own laws be respected and Mr. President, you cannot use force because they have their commitments, they will die for this, they are ready to die for this, Mr. President we ask you please consider us, we are in the midst of war, we are victims, do not be happy Mr. President that we are the collateral damage of war,

we are already victims of heavy gunfire for seven days. Mr. President, if you want me to kneel before you just to have your heart in favor of our families, who are crying out there in different places, for our relatives and for those other 240, Mr. President we will do that. So Mr. President, I am asking you consideration.” There was no immediate statement from the military on Suganob’s appeal, but there were no signs troops were pulling out from the city as clashes continue without letup. The army claimed at least 65 militants had been killed since the fighting began and that 42 bodies were allegedly recovered by soldiers, although journalists covering the war have not confirmed this report. But over a dozen civilians, mostly Christians, had been killed by militants as ground troops, backed by army tanks and air force planes, were searching for jihadists hiding in buildings and houses. More than 500 civilians had been rescued by troops since the start of the battle, but 20 soldiers also perished in the fighting with many more wounded in the clashes. (Moh Saaduddin and Rhoderick Beñez)

HEALTH: Solusyon sa Body Odor Payo ni Dr. Willie T. Ong 1. MALIGO araw-araw. Sabunin at kuskusin ang buong katawan, lalo na ang mga lugar na madalas mangamoy. 2. Hugasan ang kilikili, singit at paa ng 2 beses sa isang araw. Ibang klase ang pawis na lumalabas sa mga lugar na ito dahil mas maamoy kaysa sa ibang lugar. 3. Gumamit ng sabon. Pumili ng sabon na babagay sa iyo. Puwedeng subukan ang mga anti-bacterial na sabon. 4. Maglagay ng kontra sa pawis o antiperspirants sa kili-kili. Puwede ang tawas, rollon, baking soda, at iba pa. Hanapin kung ano ang mas epektibo para sa iyo. 5. Subukan ang alkohol sa kili-kili at paa. Kapag napatay ang m i k r o b y o , mababawasan din ang amoy. 6. Umiwas sa pagkaing spicy at maaanghang. Umiwas

Dr. Willie T. Ong din sa mga bawang, sibuyas, curry at maamoy na isda. Alam ba ninyo na ang mga pagkaing ito ay lumalabas din sa ating pawis? Kung mahilig ka sa sawsawang sili, suka, patis at bagoong, baka mangamoy suka ka rin. 7. Uminom ng 8-12 basong tubig, para luminis ang iyong katawan. 8. Magsuot ng cotton at linen na baro, pantalon at under wear. Mas mabilis matuyo ang pawis sa cotton at linen na tela. Umiwas sa mga nylon na baro. Mas mainam din kung maluwag ang

kasuotan. 9. Labhan maigi ang mga baro. Magpalit ng baro at medyas arawaraw. Kapag mabango ang iyong baro, mas hindi ka mangangamoy. Huwag ulit-ulitin ang baro. 10. Huwag masyado magpapawis. Kung alam mong may meeting ka sa hapon ay huwag nang magehersisyo o dumako sa maiiinit na lugar sa umaga. Kapag pinawisan ka ay mangangamoy na. Magbaon ng extrang baro at medyas. 11. Magrelaks lang, Kapag kinakabahan ka, lalo kang papawisan. 12. Magpakonsulta sa doktor kapag may body odor pa rin. May mga espesyal na deodorant na binibigay ang mga doktor. Kailangan din masuri ng doktor kung may iba kang sakit tulad ng goiter, nerbiyos o talagang mapawisin ka lang. Good luck po!

RECIPE: Pininyahang Manok

INGREDIENT S: INGREDIENTS:

– 2 lbs. chicken, cut into serving pieces – 12 ounces pineapple chunks, canned – 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped – 1 cup bell pepper, cut into thick strips – 1 medium sized carrot, wedged

– 2½ tbsp fish sauce (patis) – ½ cup fresh milk – 2 tbsp garlic, minced – 1 medium sized onion, sliced – 2 tbsp cooking oil

INSTR UCTIONS: INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Marinate the chicken in pineapple juice/concentrate (derived from the can of pineapple chunks) for 20 to 30 minutes 2) Pour the cooking oil in a cooking pot / casserole then apply heat 3) Sauté the garlic, onion, and tomatoes 4) Put-in the chicken and cook until color of the outer part turns light brown 5) Add the pineapple juice/concentrate marinade and fresh milk then bring to a boil 6) Add the pineapple chunks and simmer until the chicken is tender and half of the liquid evaporates (about 20 to 30 minutes). 7) Put-in the carrots and simmer for 5 minutes 8) Add the bell pepper and fish sauce then simmer for 3 minutes 9) Remove from the cooking pot / casserole and transfer to a serving dish. 10) Serve hot. Share and enjoy! (http://www.panlasangpinoy.com)


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June 5-11, 2017

Visayas continues to attract tourists CEBU CITY – Tourist arr ivals in Central Philippines reached over 5.4 million in 2016, but this is expected to increase as the Department of Tourism said it was only a partial data. DOT said it is expecting to breach the 5.8 million target for tourist arrivals once all the data are completed. Of the 5.4 million tourists that visited the region, some 3.22 million accounted for domestic arrivals and 2.21 million were foreigners, according to DOT-7 regional staff Gloriece Glen Do during the recent meeting of the Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO -7). Do said Cebu province had the highest visitor count in the region which comprises 62

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the 79.43 percent growth rate in the visitor count coming from China. From 128,358 in 2015, the number of Chinese tourists grew to 230,318 last year. In 2015, visitor arrivals in the region reached 4.6 million, surpassing the 4.4. million target. Do said the region currently caters to 19 new direct flights. She also announced the inauguration of two new set of direct flights from Tagbilaran City to Incheon in South Korea and to Clark in Pampanga via Philippine Air Lines (PAL) scheduled on June 22 and 23. Just recently, a new direct flight from Cebu to Kunming in China was also inaugurated. (Carmel Loise Matus)

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SSS completes release of P1,000 hike to pensioners CEBU CITY - The Social Security System (SSS) in Cebu said it has completed the release of P1,000 hike for its pensioners. Alexander Genelza, information officer of SSS - Cebu Branch, said the release was done in March covering the first quarter of this year barely a month after President Rodrigo Duterte signed and approved the P1,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pension of some 2.2 million SSS retirees. Genelza said that surviving spouse of pensioners also received the increase. Melvyn Desuyo, also an information officer,

percent or 1.98 million for domestic arrivals and 80 percent or 1.77 million for foreign arrivals. This was followed by Bohol with 643,864 (domestic) and 259,727 (foreign); Negros Oriental with 554,550 (domestic) and 141,853 (foreign); and Siquijor with 44,905 (domestic) and 40,971 (foreign). Korea remains the top source of foreign visitors with 43.09 percent or 824,265. DOT-7 noted an 11.93 percent growth rate compared to the data in the same period in 2015 with 736,425 visitor count. The other top foreign tourist markets of Central Visayas after Korea are Japan, China, USA, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Taiwan, and Canada. DOT-7 highlighted

emphasized that the implementation of the P1,000 increase does not mean an increase in the contribution of its members. “We are doing other measures nga mamahimo lang dili na lang gyud mag-increase ang contribution (We are doing other measures so that there won’t be an increase in the contribution),” she said. Currently, SSS has an 11 percent premium rate. The proposed contribution hike is 12.5 percent or 1.5 percent higher than the premium rate. But Desuyo reiterated that the increase still remains a proposal since there was no approval on its implementation yet.

Desuyo urged employers to remit their contributions on time to avoid paying penalties. Under the Social Security Law, employers are required to remit their contributions monthly. Desuyo said this also includes employers of ‘kasambahay” (household help). Employers who failed to remit contributions face a three percent penalty of the amount due for remittance for that month. Employers are also encourage to set an appointment with SSS and have their employees undergo a briefing on the agency’s services and programs. (Carmel Loise Matus)

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Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper June 5-11, 2017  

June 5-11, 2017

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