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Top Malaysian terrorist 'helped plot Marawi siege'

Duterte’s 21 foreign trips should be applauded, not ‘rapplered’ by Rigoberto Tiglao THE ONLINE-ONLY news site Rappler, funded by Americans and controlled by a mining and property tycoon, has done it again, this time claiming that President Duterte’s “costly” foreign trips reflect his exorbitant lifestyle. This news site ignored, among other explanations, that the higher P387 million

Founded 2006

expenses is due to one simple reason. This President has had 21 voyages abroad in his first 12 months in office in order to quickly expand the country’s global network of supporters and to repair the damage done by his predecessor to our relations with China. Duterte has had the most such trips among the past five Presidents. Benigno Aquino

MALAYSIA’S MOST WANTED terrorist, Mahmud Ahmad, was among key militant leaders involved in plotting the deadly offensive on Marawi City, a New Straits Times (NST) report said, citing foreign intelligence sources. The university lecturer-turned-militant,

3rd in same time frame had 11 foreign trips, his mother, 5. Rappler has demonstrated its anti-Duterte bias through a propaganda trick it has invented that I’d call rapplering. which I bet it will do again and again : Distort data to exaggerate things to paint the Duterte regime black.

Continue on page 2

who is highly regarded by fighters battling government security forces in the southern Philippines, had assumed a leadership role among militants in the region with links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the sources. A video clip that is being circulated shows Mahmud

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sitting with a group that included Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute. The two brothers led hundreds of Muslim insurgents in the attack on Marawi on May 23 after government forces botched a raid to capture Isnilon Hapilon, head of the South-east Asia wing of ISIS. Continue on page 3

June 26-July 2, 2017

Mindanao Under Threat From Extremist Groups S

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon inspects a machine gun, one of many ISIS weapons recovered by security forces in Marawi City in this government photo released recently.

ECURIT Y for ces ar e no w battling sev er al ECURITY forces are now sever eral oups allied with the IIslamic slamic S tate groups State jihadist gr eatening the alr eady shaky peace threatening already which is thr and or der situation in the souther nP hilippine Philippine order southern region of M indanao wher eF ilipino leader R odr igo Mindanao where Filipino Rodr odrigo Duter te fears that the str ife may spar k a civil war uterte strife spark war.. Militar y officials Pigcawayan in North have repeatedly urged Cotabato province and the public to be vigilant attacked military posts and help author ities and schools and esfight terrorism by pro- caped with civilian viding information on hostages used as shield suspicious persons in against pursuing army their community. And soldiers. authorities also released Fighting broke out several sets of posters in at least 2 villages and showing photographs of sent civilians fleeing wanted terrorists – from into safer areas to avoid the Maute and Abu getting trapped in the Sayyaf group to foreign battle. At least 200 milimilitants fighting along- tants, whose group side the local ISIS pledged support to the militants. Islamic State, were said Just recently, to have attacked and Bangsamoro Islamic ransacked several Freedom Fighters, schools, although there armed with automatic were no reports of civilweapons, swooped down ian casualties. Continue on page 5 in the town of

Big Dreams for Little Marawi Boy MARAWI CITY – Life in evacuation camps can be difficult and hard. Families have to huddle together in cramped spaces and have to make do with whatever donations they receive. It is

gloomy and not exactly the kind of setting that would inspire someone who has to contend with the struggles of daily survival there to set a life goal. “Dati, hindi ko po alam

ano ba talaga gusto ko paglaki ko. Pero dahil sa nangyari ngayon, gustunggusto ko na maging engineer. Gusto ko makapagpatayo ng mga bahay,” said 11-year old

Jamar Datu Maas as he looks at other families staying at an evacuation camp in Saguairan, a town just few kilometers from Marawi City. The conditions in the

evacuation camp have inspired Jamar to dream of becoming an engineer some day and to help build houses for people in his hometown of Marawi. Jamar is the eldest among a siblings of three,

and their mother Kuray, 28, is a single-mom who peddles vegetables around their lakeside village of Caloocan to be able to support all of them. Continue on page 5



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DUTERTE’S 21 FOREIGN TRIPS SHOULD BE APPLAUDED, NOT ‘RAPPLERED’ Continued fr om page 1 from Rappler did it last year with devastating consequences for the country’s image when it distorted police data to report that Duterte’s war against illegal drugs had resulted in 7,080 summar y executions as of September 2016 (See my column “How Rappler misled EU, Human Rights Watch, CNN, Time, BBC — the world.”) While that figure has been totally debunked— it included all other murders the police was investigating—Rappler has not corrected it, and similarly biased Western media have used it to extrapolate that such executions total more than 10,000 by February. This time, the news site boasts to have done an investigative-journalism piece by claiming that Duterte’s foreign trips “cost thrice more than predecessors”. The lede of the piece immediately reveals its intent: “President Rodrigo Duterte projects himself as a man of simple tastes, almost allergic to extravagance and unnecessary expenses. Yet Malacañang records show he spent about triple what his predecessors spent on foreign travels during his first year in power.” The article repeats this false message clothed in

doubtful figures: “Duterte’s exorbitant spending contradicts his projected image of a thrifty and practical President.” The article is classic “rapplering”. Rappler claims its data were all from “Malacañang records” obtained through the Freedom from Information system ordered by Duterte. However, it was only the figures on Duterte’s trips that were acquired from Malacañang, and therefore accurate government info. Rappler’s figures on the cost of foreign trips of Aquino and Arroyo are based on a single article in 2014 by the proAquino Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) intended to show that Aquino was more frugal than his predecessor Arroyo—as well as other “media reports” it didn’t identify. The PDI in turn cited “information from the Commission on Audit”, yet it didn’t report exactly what COA document this was. The COA doesn’t have any report on the actual cost of foreign travels of each president. The PDI article in fact pointed out: “ has yet to receive the data requested from the COA in order to compare the expenses of past administrations. Com-

parison of travel expenses of each President will be the subject of another article.” There never was any such second article. Rappler therefore may be comparing a report by the Duterte’s accountants meticulously counting ever y peso spent on his trips to comply with the FOI system, with reports by the past administrations’ media people understating the cost of presidential trips, and they were able to do this since there wasn’t any FOI during those times. The big trick in counting costs for “foreign trips” – and I know as I have worked in Malacañang and this is the reason that as a journalist I never dealt with issues of costs of foreign trips – is that expenses for such foreign trips, except for plane fares and hotel accommodations, could be classified, depending on the accountants’ whim, with other items under the President’s or other department secretaries’ budgets. For all we know, the Arroyo and Aquino administrations may have counted only costs of airfare and hotel accommodations, while an overeager accountant of the Duterte government counted all expenses to the last centavo when the Presi-

dent and his party were abroad, such as communication, restaurant bills, and office supplies. While providing details on Duterte’s expenses, Rappler repor ted only the total expenses as claimed by past administrations, with no classification as to how much were spent, for instance, on airfare and hotels and other expense. The more accurate assessment of the cost of Presidents’ foreign trips would be based on the item in the government’s Congress-made budget labelled “local/foreign missions and state visits”. As shown in the accompanying table, this amounted to P225 to P255 million for each year from 2010 to 2013. However, Aquino doubled his travel budget to P551, starting in 2014, until its last budget, in 2016. This belies PDI and Rappler’s reports that Aquino had been frugal in his spending during his foreign trips: Why would he order his budget for trips doubled? The amount allotted for foreign trips in Duterte’s first budget, for 2017, was reduced a bit to P472 million, well within the claimed P387 million costs of his foreign trips in 12 months. Rather than nitpicking on how much Duterte may have spent in his

trips abroad, we should admire that this former mayor of what is really a frontier city has hit the ground running in visiting nearly two dozen countries in order to enhance our diplomatic ties abroad and to strengthen our role in multilateral bodies such as Asean, Apec and the East Asia Summit. His predecessor Aquino visited only 11 countries in his first year in office. I myself had not thought that Duterte with his clumsy, Bisayan English and ill-tailored suits would have the confidence to meet with world leaders. Duterte had moved fast to thaw the very icy diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the world’s second biggest economy, China, that emerged as a result of Aquino and his American-boy foreign secretary Albert del Rosario’s suit against China over the Spratlys dispute. That was the first ever such suit against that emerging superpower despite its territorial disputes with over 20 countries. I’m totally convinced that Duterte’s quick reversal of Aquino’s American-inspired antiChina policy and moves will be one of his biggest accomplishments as president. In a span of just a year, Duterte has managed to steer the country

away from its centuryold subservience to the US, drawing us closer to the two superpowers closer to us, China and the Russian Federation. I don’t think any other President could have, or would have done, that. I suspect the Rappler reporter who wrote critically over Duterte’s trips has never travelled abroad. If she did, she would have an inkling that foreign trips on government time aren’t as romantic as tourist vacations shown in TV advertisements. Foreign government trips are the most hectic and tiring part of any President’s job. When I was presidential chief of staff during Arroyo’s administration, I selfishly begged off from further joining her trips after the fourth, sick of the sight of airports and of the smell of airplane food. I am certainly not suprised that after 21 trips abroad, Duterte has taken time off to rest and re-charge. For a 72-year-old grandfather like Duterte, who is so tied to his Davao home and to his own bed, foreign trips would be a real struggle. Yet this Americanf u n d e d , tycoon-controlled news site claims his foreign trips demonstrate his exorbitant lifestyle. (First published on The Manila Times.)


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ARMM to build sanitation facilities for Marawi evacuees MARAWI CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will construct sanitation facilities in some of the evacuation camps in Lanao del Sur to help ensure the health and well-being of families staying there. While majority of the almost 46,000 families displaced by the armed conflict in Marawi City have sought shelter in their relative’s houses, some families are forced to crowd into evacuation camps. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the unfavorable conditions in

evacuation camps expose individuals staying there, especially the children, to potential health risks. Hataman led a team of ARMM officials, which included Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia, in the inspection of evacuation sites in the town of Saguiaran in Lanao del Sur recently. Based on initial evaluation, sanitation facilities are needed in at least three evacuation sites in Lanao del Sur – two in the town of Saguiaran and one in Malabang. The ARMM’s Depart-

ment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will construct a total of 20 toilets in two evacuation camps in the town of Saguiaran and 10 toilets in Malabang. The construction will also include washing and bathing facilities and the provision of water tanks. The facilities, which will be separate for male and female, will cater to a total of at least 500 families. Hataman said it will help improve conditions in the evacuation camps and reduce the risk of health problems.

Top Malaysian terrorist 'helped plot Marawi siege' Continued fr om page 1 from In the video, Hapilon, who has a US$5 million (S$6.9 million) bounty on his head, is shown listening intently as Abdullah briefs the group. Hapilon does not appear to be injured, as has been suggested in recent media reports. Sitting across from Hapilon is Mahmud, a former Universiti Malaya (UM) lecturer responsible for recruiting Malaysians to become ISIS members. Media reports have suggested that he could succeed Hapilon should anything happen to the latter. While Hapilon is on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's mostwanted list, Mahmud has largely managed to stay under the radar. In the video, Abdullah mainly addresses

Mahmud in Maranao, a local dialect. Mahmud responds using the same dialect. Mahmud also appears more chiselled than in the mugshots released by police after he escaped a dragnet to join the Abu Sayyaf group, the NST report said. In the video, he interjects several times with questions on plans to attack Mindanao State University in Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur province. Another target was Butig, a former training base for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Philippines' largest Muslim secessionist group. "Among the group led by Hapilon, Mahmud is a well-respected leader," one of the intelligence sources told the NST. "His military training ex-

perience at the Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, aside from the fact that he has a strong Islamic background, including as a lecturer, has earned him respect from militants in the area." Aside from Mahmud, at least four other Malaysians are known to have become fighters in the Philippines, NST said. One of them was Mohd Najib Husen, who ran a stationery shop in UM and later became Mahmud's right-hand man. He fled to the Philippines with Mahmud and was reportedly killed in a shoot-out with government troops in 2015. (A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'Top Malaysian terrorist 'helped plot Marawi siege''.)

The ARMM, in coordination with other government agencies responding to the Marawi City crisis, is utilizing the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) system to ensure efficient relief distribution and to evaluate the status and appropriate needs of affected families.

In addition to the region’s Crisis Management Committee in Cotabato City, the ARMM has established operation centers in Iligan City and the town of Malabang to facilitate the coordination of its humanitarian response, which include relief and medical aids and rescue and retrieval operation of trapped

civilians. Hataman said the ARMM will be transferring its operation center in Iligan City to Marawi City to improve relief efforts and other humanitarian interventions to families who have evacuated to different towns in Lanao del Sur. (Bureau of Public Information)

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES) CITY OF ZAMBOANGA ) s.s x----------------------------------------------x SUPPLEMENTAL AFFIDAVIT (Re; Discrepancy in Gender) I, AL-QHADAR ADDIH IDON, of legal age, single, Filipino citizen with residence and postal address at Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City, Philippines, after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law hereby depose and say; That I was born on April 26, 1994 at Patong-Patong, Talipao, Sulu, Philippines to the spouses Mariam S. Addih and Idon S. Mahalayam, both Filipinos; That this facts of birth was registered with the Office of the Civil Registrar in Talipao, Sulu under registry no. ___; That however in the said Certificate of Live Birth issued by the Office of the Civil Registrar in Talipao, Sulu (NSO copy) my gender erroneously appeared as FEMALE instead of MALE as evidenced by my other pertinent documents; That my correct gender is MALE; That having found out the discrepancy only recently, it is only now that this Birth Certificate if being supplemented by this affidavit; That I am executing this affidavit freely and voluntarily to attest to the veracity of the aforementioned facts and for whatever legal purpose this may serve; That further affiant sayeth naught. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 14th day of June, 2017 at Zamboanga City, Philippines. AL-QHADAR ADDIH IDON Affiant SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 14th day of June, 2017 in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

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June 26-July 2, 2017


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June 26-July 2, 2017

Big Dreams for Little Marawi Boy Continued fr om page 1 from Their life before the May 23 siege was simple, but they were happy, he said. Jamar said he was playing with friends outside their house that faithful afternoon or May 23 when the fighting between security forces and Maute group members broke out. “Naglalaro kami ng mga kaibigan ko tapos may nakita kami na limang ISIS (Maute and Abu Sayyaf group members) na dumaan, natakot kami at tumakbo kasi baka barilin kami,” Jamar narrated as he tries painfully to visualize the unimaginable violence that broke out in the village and spread throughout the city. Armed only with prayers and the will tom survive, Jamar said he and his siblings,

all towed by their frightened mother, took an 11-kilometer journey by foot – with the little belongings they managed to carry – as they dangerously escaped the fighting. “Simula bahay namin, tumakbo, naglakad lang kami papalayo kasi wala kaming sasakyan, hanggang sa nakaabot kami dito sa Saguiaran,” he said. Despite the weeks of government offensives, part of the city, including Barangay Caloocan, remains in the control of the terrorists. More than 240 families, including Jamar’s, are all crowded together in a 900 square-meter covered court in Saguiaran that has limited sanitation facilities and little protection from the elements. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

(ARMM), led by Governor Mujiv Hataman, has promised to start building additional toilets, washing and bathing facilities in the camp. The harsh conditions in the camp haven’t dampen the spirit of Jamar and children like him, whose formal education has now been put on hold. “Sana matapos na itong gulo, gustung-gusto ko na mag-aral. Gusto ko matulungan ang nanay ko kasi kawawa lang siya, at siya ang bumubuhay sa amin lahat. Pero paano ko siya matutulungan kung magulo sa lugar namin, wala na kaming bahay dahil binomba,” Jamar said as he tries to hold back his tears. Most of the houses in Barangay Caloocan have been destroyed by the fight-

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell Ubial turned over one ambulance – donated by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation – to the Tungawan municipal government and is received by Mayor Carlnan Climaco. Other mayors from Zamboanga Sibugay province are also present during the handover ceremony in these photos released by the Tungawan Public Information Office.

ing because it is within Marawi’s Marinaut disctrict which has been the target of intense aerial bombardment by the military. Jamar, who is on 5th

grade, promised to embark on becoming an engineer when the situation normalizes. He beamed with enthusiasm and said:”Pag naging engineer na ako,

gagawa ako ng bahay para sa lahat ng mga tao dito sa evacuation center, libre na yun.” (Bureau of Public Information. With a report from Rhoderick Beñez)

Mindanao Under Threat From Extremist Groups

Continued fr om page 1 from Abu Misry Mama, a spokesman for the BIFF, confirmed his group launched simultaneous attacks against military targets and said they took several civilians during their escape. The BIFF raid coincided with the on-going battle between local ISIS fighters and security forces in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province. But a military spokesman, Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, was quick to say that the BIFF attack was not connected to the Marawi crisis, now entering its second month. “It was purely an opportunistic attack and is not connected to the Marawi fighting,” he said. The Department of Education in North Cotabato suspended classes in the town, citing the breakout of violence in the villages of Malagakit and Simsiman. It was unclear how the BIFF managed to launch attacks without being detected by the police and military in the town and during the state of martial law imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte in the region in an effort to quell the ISIS rebellion in Marawi and other parts of the Mindanao. Security officials would not say if there was failure in intelligence gathering or lapses in security in the province. Prior to the raid, security forces also killed 2 alleged BIFF members in a firefight in Maguindanao’s Shariff Aguak town. Officials said policemen, backed by sol-

diers, were trying to arrest Raul Angkay and Edz Dalending when they engaged security personnel in a gun battle. Angkay was also included in the list of wanted terrorists. Troops also recovered a .45-caliber pistol and a fragmentation grenade from Angkay. No other details were made available by officials. Duterte has urged Congress to hasten the approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL, which was previously rejected by mostly Christian lawmakers citing unconstitutional provisions in the draft law. Despite a massive government campaign for the BBL, many politicians are opposing it for fear that provisions in the proposed law may include their areas in the Bangsamoro regional government which would replace the current Muslim autonomous region. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is fighting for the passage of the BBL after it signed an interim peace deal with the Aquino government in 2014. But Christian groups and some Muslims and tribesmen were also opposing the BBL, especially in in Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Zamboanga and Iligan, including Isabela in Basilan, saying they are already at peace and living harmoniously with each other. Villagers said shortly after the peace deal was signed, some groups have emerged and started claim-

ing farmlands owned by Christians as theirs and invoking their ancestral rights in Wao town in Lanao del Sur. Since then, many residents have started arming themselves for fear that once the new Bangsamoro autonomous government is installed, other groups will take away their lands which they inherited from their clan. Majority of the town’s 40,000 inhabitants is Christians, although Lanao del Sur is under the autonomous region. In Sultan Kudarat province, villagers in the town of President Quirino were also facing the same dilemma, but many also have purchased illegal weapons to protect their families and lands from unjustified takeover by Muslims who warned them that they should leave the town immediately once the Bangsamoro autonomous region is installed because they would take over their farms. Leaders of the Christian cities of Zamboanga and Isabela also vowed to fight against their possible inclusion in the new Bangsamoro homeland, although many of the residents there are Muslims and supportive of the peace deal. Others were opposing the BBL because of vested interests, especially those who have huge landholdings in the autonomous region which was previously under the rule of the sultans. (With a report from Rhoderick Beñez.)

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Your smartphone needs two memory types to carry out its daily functions / © AndroidPIT ALL SMARTPHONES come with a certain amount of memory and this is one of the key points you should consider when you buy a new phone. There are two types of memory: RAM (immediate) and the ROM (internal). RAM usually has a smaller capacity and helps the processor to have all the information it needs quickly in order to run. ROM, or internal memory, is more like long-term memory and this is where the entire operating system can be installed as well as apps and files. Let's take a more in depth look at these! What is RAM? To understand what RAM is, you need to know what it stands for: Random Access Memory. it's called this becauseit can be read and written at any point without needing to wait in a queue of processes. This speeds up the search for information considerably since, unlike ROM or microSD, the physical location in which data is stored can be easily accessed. RAM memor y featur es memory features RAM is where everything a device needs to run is loaded, that is, the operating system, the applications in use and the ones running in the background. RAM is where the processor receives the required information directly. Therefore, the RAM and the


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processor are contained in a single (indivisible) module that is soldered directly to the motherboard. RAM only works when the device is switched on RAM only works when the device is turned on, which means that this type of memory is not able to store information once the device is turned off. This is why there is a slight delay when you turn on your smartphone this is the time the phone takes for its system to load the RAM. Types of RAM There are many different types of RAM and it can get quite complex. In general, the main differences are in reading speed and power consumption. The earliest reports on RAM came in the 1960s, and since then, every new generation has more capacity, is faster and consumes less energy. In smartphones, a special type of RAM called LPDDR is used, which consumes little energy, heats up very little, is very small and, of course, is rather expensive. Currently, the most common RAMs are LPDDR2, LPDDR3 and LPDDR4. These are the last three generations of this kind of memory for mobile devices. The main difference between each is that with each new generation, the transmission speed is doubled. What is R OM memor y? ROM memory? If RAM is read-write

memory, then ROM is a read-only memory. The data stored in the ROM can't be changed, or at least not easily or quickly. In more recent generations, such as EPROM or Flash EEPROM (flash memory), the content can be deleted and rewritten multiple times, but it is still considered "read-only". The main reason for keeping it named "read-only" is that the process of reprogramming (erasing and writing) is usually slow and can only be written in places determined by formatting. ROMs built into smartphones these days are much faster than traditional computer hard drives and are also soldered directly to the motherboard. It's in this ROM that the bootloader is stored (a program that starts the device and loads the operating system), as well as the operating system itself and all user data and applications. Typically, the modified versions of the operating system are also referred to as ROMs. A quick online search will tell you that there are a number of customized ROMs that exist. ROMs are thus named because they are a system image similar to the one installed in the ROM in the factory. (Luis Ortega, AndroidPIT)

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Citizens, OFWs write ‘Letters of Hope’ for troops, Marawi evacuees COTABATO CITY - People from other regions and those living overseas can now reach out to government troops as well as displaced residents of Marawi through "letters of hope." The campaign was started by a group of private individuals in Luzon in coordination with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) Cabinet Secretar y Khal Mambuay-Campong. "Actually, this idea started when a doctor who visited Marawi City launched a donation drive for garments and thank you notes to the soldiers in the city fighting the local terror groups," Sec. Campong said. Assisted by her colleagues from Luzon, Sec. Campong initiated the delivery of the letters not only to soldiers but also to civilians affected by the month-long fighting between gover nment troops and local terror groups. Official data from ARMM’s Crisis Management Committee, as of

June 15, showed a total of 252,282 individuals, or 51,651 families, were displaced by the crisis and are now in evacuation centers, or are staying with their relatives. Rinz Araneta, a teacher from PAREF Woodrose School in Ayala Alabang in Metro Manila, said her group has seen the positive impact of this campaign to the soldiers thus extending the campaign to include civilians, especially those most affected by the crisis. The campaign also allows sending messages of hope through the email address: "As our letters make their way to our noble soldiers, let us also extend this spirit of love and oneness to those severely affected by this war – our displaced brothers and sisters," Araneta said. "Let us send them letters that express love, that give hope, that show, or maybe, even just attempt at understanding." She explained that a page with a heartfelt message can motivate

the victims. The Education department’s provincial office in Cavite also issued a memorandum requesting all the schools to encourage teachers and students to send letters to the victims. "It is an expression of motivation and hope. We, the people of Marawi, need the prayers and words of hope," said Campong, who is a native of Marawi City. She said those who are interested in sending letters to children and parents in Marawi City can send through Araneta's e-mail address, or through drop-off points at Quezon City Science High School and at Veritas Catholic School in Paranaque. She noted that many individuals have expressed their interest in delivering the letters. In the first week of July, the group of Sec. Campong and Araneta will distribute the collected letters to the evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte. (Bureau of Public Information)

ARMM spends P35-M for Marawi humanitarian aid COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said it has spent over P35 million in humanitarian aid for the victims of the Marawi City crisis. The expenditure covers urgent relief for over 200,000 individuals now based in evacuation centers, staying in their relatives’ houses, or temporarily sheltered in the region’s operation center. ARMM Gover nor Mujiv Hataman said the aid is aimed at meeting the growing humanitarian needs of communities struggling with the current situation in Marawi City. “We need to help ease the burden and alleviate the suffering of the people of Marawi. The city is part of the ARMM,” he said. Hataman said current funds from the regional government can still respond to the needs of the evacuees. He said the government has so far allocated about P77

million for the victims of the crisis. Latest update from the ARMM’s crisis management committee indicated the regional government served relief packs to 200,234 evacuees and provided medical services to 4,003 individuals. The committee responds to the emergency needs of the Marawi residents through a 24/7 emergency helpline. During the threeweek battle between government troops and local terrorist groups, the committee managed to save more than 5,132 trapped, or stranded, civilians in Marawi’s war zone, while 1,079 civilians are still inside the battle zone and need to be rescued immediately. The ARMM’s Health department, meanwhile, has set up an operation center in Iligan City to provide medical assistance to the evacuees. To ensure equal and timely relief distribution to indi-

viduals struggling with the situation in Marawi City, the ARMM uses a system dubbed Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC). The system is applied by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to validate the status of families affected by the crisis, which will serve as a reference in the provision of appropriate interventions. The DAFAC, ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia noted, will also be used in future rehabilitation and recovery programs for Marawi City. “We are encouraging residents of Marawi City, whether staying in the evacuation centers or not, to register with their social welfare office,” Atty. Alamia added. The DSWD-ARMM, is the lead agency manning the operation center established in the municipality of Malabang in Lanao del Sur. (Bureau of Public Information)

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Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper June 26-July 2, 2017  

June 26-July 2, 2017

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