Zamboanga City, Philippines
Mar. 4-10, 2013
MALAYSIA TINAWAG NA LAND-GRABBER!
inansagang landgrabber ng mga sultan mula sa Luzon ang bansang Malaysia dahil sa patuloy at ilegal nitong pagsakop sa island ng Sabah na katabi lamang ng Tawi-Tawi province sa katimugan ng Pilipinas. Ito ang pahayag sa Mindanao Examiner ng Filipino Alliance for Integrity and Reforms Movement (FILMAR) na pinamumunuan nina Datu Abdulrauf Mama-O, ang chairman; Sultan Latip Pumbaya, chairman ng Royal House of the Sultanate of Lakandula of Luzon; ang Sultan Grand Imam of the Philippines, Sultan Amerudin Samporna, ng Sultanate of Luzon at Sultan Muhammad Amin Baab Torres, ng Royal Executive Board Union of Sultanates sa Cordilleras. “In the layman’s language in Maranao, what happened to Sabah is considered as among the cases of kapanganyaya or land-grabbing, whereas the Sulu Sultanate and our Malaysian brothers are both followers of Islam which prohibits kapanganyaya or unjust annexation of lands,” ani FILMAR. Pumanig sa Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo ang FILMAR at ibinigay ng buong suporta nito sa grupo. Nagbigay ng malaking tensyon sa Malaysia at Pilipinas ang paglalagi sa Sabah ng halos 600 Sultanate members sa pangunguna ni
Ano ang nasa isp ng batang ito habang nakasulyap sa isang sundalo sa Mindanao na tila baga nagmumuni-muni sa kung bakit may machine gun ito. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark B.Navales)
Sultan Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, ang kapatid ni Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III na siyang kinikilalang lider ng Sultanate. “The claim for ownership to Sabah that is now being resurrected by His Royal Highness Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and his brother Prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin of Sulu, who
are heirs of the Sultan of Sulu, is tied to historical rights. It provides a reawakening of the longstanding, unresolved issue that we hope will draw serious consideration to parties (the claimants, the Philippine government, and Malaysian government) to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the standoff,” ani FILMAR.
“The new generation of the people of North Borneo, which is now called Sabah under Malaysian Federation, may have little knowledge about the truth behind the contested annexation of the Sabah territory to the Malaysian Federation in the 1960s that it was actually brought about by the erroneous mistakes of
British North Borneo Company in turning over the territory to Malaysia,” dagdag pa nito. Nagpadala pa ng barko ang pamahalaang Aquino sa Sabah upang sunduin ang mga Sultanate members, ngunit mariing binatikos naman ito ng Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo at mga grupong Muslim dahil sa
pagpapabaya umano ng Pangulo sa ipinaglalabang karapatan ng mga Moro sa pag-ako sa Sabah. Nagbanta pa ang pamahalaan na kakasuhan ang mga sultan dahil hindi umano nagbabayad ng buwis ang mga ito mula sa salaping natatatanggap mula sa Malaysia taon-taon. (Mindanao Examiner)
‘Senatoriables’ urged to hold sorties abroad MANILA - An overseas Filipino migrants' rights group has urged senatorial candidates to hold campaign sorties abroad so they present their platform and programs that will benefit Filipino workers abroad. Migrante-Middle East said candidates should be able to explain their programs and to woo overseas absentee
voters to give them ‘a chance to see up close and personal and hear their stand on specific issues that directly and indirectly affect OFWs and the Filipinos in general. John Leonard Monterona, the group’s regional coordinator, said over 700,000 overseas absentee voters are expected to cast their voted for the May elections. He ex-
pressed optimism that the two contending major political parties – Team PNoy and Team UNA - as well as independent candidates and party-list groups, will give important attention to OFWs. “Well, 700,000 is a huge vote that could swing senatorial positions between 6th to 12th and even a single vote could make a difference,
so how much more the 700,000 absentee voters abroad,” Monterona said. “Be it known that we, OFWs, will exercise our right to vote and will actively participate in the May 2013 elections,” he added. Monterona said their group will campaign for “our candidates and party-list group to woo
fellow overseas absentee voters.” He likens the socalled “OFW votes” to the votes like that of the “Solid North” from the Ilocandia or Ilocanos, and the Iglesia Ni Cristo, who are believed to have a command collective vote. “OFWs are bread winners. We have a certain degree of economic
power to influence over our dependents and relatives to vote for our candidates. We will certainly exercise that influence to get our candidates win a seat,” Monterona said. “We urge them to hold campaign sorties abroad so that we can hear their platforms and stand on specific issues especially OFWs issues and concerns.”
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 4-10, 2013
OFW money, a push for hometown investing MANILA — The money earned in a foreign land may probably push the overseas Filipino and the migrant family in some rural hometowns to invest and do business there, according to a study by the University of Santo Tomas entitled Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns. The UST study of overseas migrants from Magarao in Camarines Sur and Maribojoc in Bohol done by professors Alvin Ang and Jeremaiah Opiniano found that the amount of remittances, the length of time sending money, and the percent of remittances to a household’s income may induce entrepreneurship and hometown investing. Researchers also discovered that the larger the remittances that families receive and the longer the length of time receiving these incomes “could possibly influence the likelihood of having a business in the hometown.” These factors to induce investing and doing business in the two rural hometowns were results of statistical tools that RICART employed to determine the relationship between remittances and investing and doing business in rural hometowns. This is while some 40 percent of both the 69 remitters and 158 migrant families surveyed from the two hometowns were found to be investing and doing business already in Magarao and Maribojoc. Magarao is a fifth-class income municipality whose estimated remittances from abroad amount to P43.874 million coming from some 300 overseas Magaraoenos. Maribojoc, on the other hand, has an estimated P40.548 million of overseas remittances from nearly 900 migrant Maribojocanons. Overseas earnings are the leading income sources in both municipalities. If harnessed through hometown programs, policies and incentives that help overseas migrant entrepreneurs and investors, these have a potential for local economic development, the report said. Previous studies by economists from De La Salle University found that remittances have a negative and significant impact on the probability of migrants to engage in entrepreneurship. “While there is no general link between owing a business and investing in hometowns with overseas remittances… the entrepreneurial potential of these incomes are fitting for poverty-stricken rural communities and the country as a whole,” said Ang and Opiniano in their report. The Philippines received over US$200 billion in remittances coursed through banks in the last 38 years. This is even if the growth rates of annual remittance inflows have not reached double-digit figures since the 2008 global financial crisis. The country’s five-year development plan under the current administration had mandated the initiation of savings, investment and entrepreneurship programs for overseas Filipinos and their families. As well, the 2011-2016 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Plan has included overseas Filipinos as a target sector. The Japan government’s Ministry of Finance and the New Delhi-headquartered Global Development Network supported RICART’s conduct when Ang and Opiniano, in 2011, won an international research contest that GDN organized. Rur al entr epr eneurship pr obable ural entrepr epreneurship probable It had to be tested: Will financial literacy impel the rural-born overseas Filipino to engage in business back home? If they have satisfactory knowledge, more so excellent knowledge in handling money, these moneyed rural town mates will probably do business in the rural birthplace, RICART said. What about those with limited levels of financial aptitude? Migrant remitters who do not keep financial records “are less likely to open a business,” it said. Most remitters from both rural hometowns claim to have “satisfactory” knowledge about handling money. While most migrant families from Maribojoc also have satisfactory knowledge in finance, many counterpart families from Magarao were said to have no knowledge in finance. These findings contrast to what a recent online poll on financial literacy by Citi found that Filipino consumers have im-
proved their financial quotient or financial well-being; and that more and more citizens now understand the value of budgeting, retirement planning and saving. Surprisingly, a significant majority of all 69 migrant remitters and 158 migrant families surveyed said they do not need assistance on handling money. And if a household is fully dependent on remittances, RICART’s analysis showed that the migrant or migrant household will not go into business. Overseas earnings are the leading income sources in both municipalities. Magarao is a fifth-class income municipality whose estimated remittances from abroad amount to P43.874 million coming from some 300 overseas Magaraoenos. Maribojoc, on the other hand, has an estimated P40.548 million of overseas remittances from nearly 900 migrant Maribojocanons. Given the findings, “financial literacy interventions for overseas migrants and their families will help them provide positive outcomes on financial management,” Ang and Opiniano wrote. RICART’s findings are relevant for country whose citizens, whether here or abroad, have been pummelled with books and seminars on financial education in recent years. Yet the country’s overall savings rate, which is just above 20%, is among the lowest in Asia. At least 54% of remitters and 65 percent of migrant families from the rural hometowns surveyed by RICART are saving. Power costs epayment hamper costs,, loan rrepayment rur al business ural Families receiving overseas remittances, and who are running micro and small enterprises in their rural birthplaces, find rising power costs and ability to repay loans as major constraints in doing business, RICART said. The Philippines is among the top Asian countries that charge the highest electricity rates, with rates as high as US$0.20 (some P8) per kWh. Overseas migrant families from Magarao found electricity costs, land ownership, bank loan procedures and the ability to pay loan instalments to be major problems in the fifth-income town’s business climate. Counterpart migrant families from Maribojoc, on the other hand, say that power rates, costs associated with local road access, and loan repayment through instalment are the major constraints in their local business climate. Typical low-income rural municipalities such as Magarao and Maribojoc thrive on agriculture and retail trade, as there is also low business activity. In the case of these two towns, overseas remittances are the leading sources of household incomes: P43.874 million for Magarao (coming from some 300 overseas Magaraoenos), and about P40.548 million for Maribojoc from nearly 900 town mates abroad. At least 55% of migrant families in Magarao, and 31% of counterpart households in Maribojoc, currently run enterprises in their birthplaces. But Ang and Opiniano estimated, using statistical tools, that remittances may induce migrant families, as well as migrant remitters, to do business back home. They also found that those who receive regular remittances and who own a savings account and who have a higher assessment of their financial literacy will likely invest and do business in their hometowns. On the part of migrant remitters, RICART found that the longer overseas migrants are working abroad, the higher the probability that they will open up a business in the rural hometown. Ang and Opiniano said that it will be helpful if local government units initiate business climate reforms, like what Maribojoc had done in recent years, to support the creation of more enterprises in rural localities. “Since remittance senders and recipients are thinking of having a business or of investing in their hometowns, these prospective migrant entrepreneurs should be targeted and assisted with business advisory assistance and financial intermediation,” the authors said.
Abala ang magniniyog na ito para sa kanyang copra production sa Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Geo Solmerano)
Buko juice sa Zambo, dapat busisiin! ZAMBOANGA CITY – Ingat sa pag-inom ng fresh buko juice, lalo na kung hindi sigurado sa kalinisan at kung paano ito inihanda. Ito’y matapos na maispatan ang mga nagkalat na nagbebenta ng buko juice sa bagsakan ng mga gulay sa palengke ng Santa Cruz sa Zamboanga City na kung saan ay nakunan pa ng video ang aktwal na paghahanda nito. Sa video ay makikitang walang gamit na anumang guwantes o gloves ang isang matandang lalaki na ang tanging gamit lamang ay ang kapirasong pangkayod nito ng laman ng buko. Wala rin itong suot na mask o kaya ay takip sa mukha maliban lamang
sa kanyang sombrero. Mismong sa tabi rin ng kalsada ginagawa ang pagbibiyak ng mga buko at pagsalin ng tubig nito sa isang malaking plastic container. Maging ang mga maruming daliri nito ay sumasayad na sa buko sa kanyang pagkayod. Dedma rin ito sa mga dumaraan na mga mamimili. Kapuna-puna rin na wala itong permiso mula sa City Health Office sa paggawa ng buko juice na ibinibenta sa halagang P10 bawat isang baso. Maging ang paglalagay nito ng selyo sa mga baso ay tubig na maiinit lamang ang gamit. Ta l a m a k ang ganitong gawain sa n a t u ra n g p a l e n g k e a t ang ilan ay gumagamit pa umano ng tinatawag n a “m a g i c s u g a r” n a
gawa mula sa kemikal na sodium cyclamate na banned naman sa Zamboanga dahil umano sa banta sa kalusugan sanhi ng carcinogen properties nito na nakakadulot ng cancer sa mahabang panahon ng paggamit. Wa l a r i n u m a n o o madalang ang pagbisita sa palengke ng mga health inspectors kung kaya’t namamayagpag ang ganitong gawain. Minsan ay nakunan rin n g l a ra w a n a n g i s a n g binatilyo na umihi sa cellophane sa loob mismo ng tindahan ng mga buko at juice sa Santa Cruz na kanyang binabantayan at saka ito itinapon sa mga nakatambak na mga basura sa di-kalayuan. (Mindanao Examiner)
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 4-10, 2013
Freed Zambo resto owner says no ransom paid for freedom ZAMBOANGA CITY – Freed kidnapped victim Edgar Fabella told reporters in Zamboanga City that no ransom was paid for his safe release from the hands of suspected Abu Sayyaf captors. Celso Lobregat, the mayor of Zamboanga City, presented the 42-year old restaurant owner at City Hall where Fabella spoke to reporters. He said he was treated well by his captors during his six weeks in cap-
tivity in Sulu province. Inspector Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, said Fabella was released near the Jolo pier. Lobregat, chairman of the local crisis management committee, the release of Fabella was a relief to authorities and the government. Fabella said he also cooked food for the kidnappers and that he was freed out of pity.
He did not say whether the kidnappers were members of the Abu Sayyaf, but police and military suspected the group was behind the kidnapping and that ransom was probably paid for Fabella’s freedom. Fabella was kidnapped by gunmen on January 11 from his small roadside restaurant on a coastal village in Zamboanga City and escaped on a motorboat. (Mindanao Examiner)
An aerial view of flooded areas in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces where thousands of villagers are affected by the recent typhoon ‘Crisping.’ (Mindanao Examiner Photo – Mark Navales)
Maguindanao, North Cotabato flooded after Typhoon 'Crising'
Freed kidnapped victim Edgar Fabella with Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat during a news conference in City Hall.Also in the photo are Zamboanga City Police Director Edwin de Ocampo and Western Mindanao Command Deputy Commander Eugenio Clemen. (Zamboanga City Government Photo)
MAGUINDANAO – Villagers have appealed for more aid and shelter after rivers overflowed and flooded in the aftermath of the recent typhoon that hit the southern Philippines. Many areas in the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato are underwater and tens and thousands of people were affected by the floods, particularly in the towns of Pagalungan and Datu Montawal. Those displaced by the typhoon moved to higher areas, some in temporary shelters, but the number of refugees continues to rise as more and more people are seeking humanitarian aid. The Muslim autonomous region to which Maguindanao belongs has launched “Oplan Crising” in an effort to provide aid to typhoon victims. Crising was the codename of the latest typhoon that ravaged the region. Social welfare Assistant Secretary Pombaen Karon Kader said Governor Mujiv Hataman instructed her to deliver relief goods and to assess the situation in Maguindanao’s flood towns. Kader, accompanied by Ramil Masukat, director of the Technical Management Services of the Office
of Regional Governor, handed over the relief goods to typhoon victims in
Datu Montawal town. (Mindanao Examiner. Mark Navales)
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao sends relief goods to typhoon victims (ARMM photos - Myrna Jo Henry)
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 4-10, 2013
Create a Sabah Committee
O Hind alintana ng mga batang ito ang dalawang sundalo na nagbabantay ng kanilang lugar sa Maguindanao province. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)
Group thumbs down 'unjust' tuition fee hikes MANILA - A network of young individuals and groups calling for transparent elections and genuine political reforms urged the Aquino government and political candidates address the dilemma of escalating tuition rates in colleges and universities as tuition rate doubled since 2001 and more than 350 schools are expected to increase tuition next year. RockTheVote Philippines said based on the data from student consultations held by member organizations, the average tuition rate in higher education institutions nationwide climbed from P257.41 in 2001 to P536.31 in 2012, amounting to a 108.35 percent increase. It said in the National Capital Region alone, the average tuition rate increased from P439.59 to P1,078.60, constituting a 145.36 percent hike. More than 350 schools have posted tuition increase proposals for the next schoolyear. In the last academic year, the Commission on Higher Education ap-
proved the proposals of 367 HEIs, the group said. “Contrary to the statement of the Commission of Higher Education (CHEd) that the increase can hardly be felt because hikes are pegged at only five to 10 percent, students and parents are now struggling under the weight of bloated education costs. In the course of a decade, the five to 10 percent increases have accumulated to more than 100 percent, thus doubling the rate since 2001,” Pauline Gidget Estella, spokesperson of Rock The Vote, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner. “If this is the case, then we can question the idea that Aquino is concerned with basic social services, one of which is education, if that is what he implies with distributing PhilHealth cards in a Liberal Party campaign sortie. Of all the possible venues and time, why during a campaign sortie? Commissioner Sixto Brillantes was quick to defend Aquino, but we believe that he missed the context: the distribution was
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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Asa Madale Lanao Provinces Ely Dumaboc Zamboanga Sibugay/Zamboanga del Sur/Zamboanga del Norte 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: email@example.com
done in a campaign sortie, making it all the more political in agenda,” she said. Since Aquino was elected president in 2010, the average tuition rate in HEIs increased by P150-P200 per unit, according to data from RockTheVote. “Hence, we have to ask, is Aquino campaigning for the Liberal Party using public funds (PhilHealth funds)? If so, this act merits a complaint because it gives undue advantage to a party which already had the edge in this election,” Estella said. “However, wage levels and generation of decent, stable jobs lagged far behind the rate of tuition increase. Many Filipinos could not simply keep up with the cost of education, supposedly a constitutionally guaranteed right, and accessibility became limited to those who can afford. We have heard many stories of student dropping out of universities or student engaging in jobs like prostitution to pay for their tuition. These anecdotes should not remain as anecdotes – it should inspire action,” she added. As the midterm elections approach, Estella said advocates from the youth sector, demand from the candidates a clear platform on quality and accessible education, and a vow to stop unjustified tuition increases.
n February 12, news reported that 100 men, some of them armed with a motley of rifles, belonging to the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu, landed on a remote village in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia. Led by Rajah Mudah (Crown Prince) Agmuddin Kiram, brother of Sultan Jamalul III, they originally stated that their purpose was peaceful: to visit their "homeland". Later, the Rajah Mudah stated that they are reasserting their dominion over the contested territory to which the Philippines has a dormant historical claim, acting on a royal decree from the Sultan, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III. As of today, the forces of the Royal Army are engaged in an uneasy standoff with Malaysian security forces: the former insisting on their right to stay, and the latter demanding that the Sultan's men leave. The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, on one hand, had urged the party of the Sultan to leave peacefully. On the other hand, the Moro National Liberation Front primarily based in the Sulu archipelago and led by Chairman Nur Misuari, has expressed its support of the Sultan’s Sabah claim while calling for a peaceful resolution of the situation. As this unanticipated event developed, there is fear that it might negatively affect the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, facilitated by the Malaysian Government. The Philippine government and the MILF had signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) on October 15, 2012, with the support of Malaysia. The rising tension over the situation in Lahad Datuh needs to be resolved not just expeditiously but peacefully. It is necessary to ensure that the standoff does not deteriorate into violence. A violent resolution of the Lahad Datu situation will have negative impact on the finalization of the Philippine Government-Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace process. Significantly, the FAB is seen by critics to have apparently left out the MNLF and again cast aside the Sabah question. The Framework Agreement covers a territory that includes the island provinces of Sulu, Tawitawi and Basilan. These provinces are part of the domain of the Sultanate of Sulu, which has historical claim over Sabah. Thus, while there is no mention about Sabah in the FAB, there is a Philippine claim over Sabah, which has been brought to the International Court of Justice. Leaders of the island provinces, part of the Sultanate of Sulu, have always maintained that the historical claim to Sabah must be taken into consideration in the peace process. In this light, the Philippine Center for
Islam and Democracy (PCID) strongly supports a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the Sabah standoff between the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysian security forces in Lahad Datu, Sabah. The involvement of key players, such as MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari and the Sultan of Sulu will be instrumental in resolving this impasse. They, together with the Malaysian and Philippine government leaders, must ensure that the situation does not escalate into violence. All avenues must be taken to avoid bloodshed. The PCID also urges the Aquino administration to reactivate its pursuit of the resolution of the Philippine claim over Sabah, which it had filed before the International Court of Justice. A just and peaceful resolution of the sovereign claim of the Sulu Sultanate, erstwhile ceded to the Philippine Government, will remove a thorny issue that has caused much uncertainty in the relationship between Malaysia and the Philippines. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Further, the Philippine Government should protect the proprietary rights of Sultan Jamalul Alam's heirs, identified in the 1939 ruling of Chief Justice C.F.C. Macaskie of the High Court of North Borneo. The heirs were Dayang-Dayang (Princess) Hadji Piandao, who was acknowledged as the major share-holder with 3/8 share; Princess Tarhata Kiram and Princess Sakinur-In Kiram, were to have 3/ 16th share each; Mora Napsa, Sultan Esmail Kiram, Datu Punjungan, Sitti Mariam, Sitti Jahara and Sitti Rada, who were awarded 1/24th share each. All the principal heirs have died. The rights of their heirs, most of whom are Filipino citizens, must be protected by the Philippine Government. The PCID calls on the Philippine Government to create a Sabah Committee, under the Office of the President, to address the Philippine Claim to Sabah. The members of the Committee should include the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, Department of Local Government, Department of National Defense, Mindanao Development Authority, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, a representative of the Sultanate of Sulu as well as a representative of the heirs to Sabah. Past Philippine Administrations have attempted to address the Sabah claim but were unable to reach a lasting and generally acceptable conclusion. However, this must not discourage the stakeholders and peace advocates from pursuing an inclusive, just and sustainable formula that will satisfy the concerns not just of the Philippine and Malaysian Governments but particularly of the Sulu Sultanate and the private heirs to Sabah.
Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 2013
The Mindanao Examiner
The Mindanao Examiner
Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 2013
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 4-10, 2013
Moro professionals declare support to peaceful settlement of Sabah standoff
Walang kamuang-muang ang batang ito sa maurming kapaligiran sa isang refugee center sa Mindanao. Maraming mga refugee centers sa Mindanao ang hindi nabibigyan ng sapat na atensyon ng pamahalaan kung kaya’t maraming mga bata ang nagkakasakit dahil sa maruming kapaligiran. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)
Manila hosts Passion Forward 2013: The Asia Pacific Fundraising Conference MANILA - The Philippine capital is the venue for this year's Passion Forward: The Asia Pacific Fundraising Conference, a four-day event that aims to gather at least 150 champions, professionals, volunteers, sponsors, direct implementers, active promoters and benefactors of non-profit organizations, organizers told the Mindanao Examiner. It said the participants are specifically involved in the application and pursuit of innovative, excellent and sustainable solutions
in resource mobilization and non-profit management. The conference on April 8-11 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City, is expected to assemble leaders, not only from the Philippines but from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Micronesia, and Australia. Successful Filipino development advocates and fundraising practitioners will be joined by interna-
tionally-renowned experts as speakers from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, United States, Germany and the Netherlands. Built within the conference are opportunities other than for learning, such as socials and countless occasions for networking and promotions. A special welcome dinner, networking nights and gala celebration have been planned and are open to patron support. The Conference highlights three features namely; the Master Class, the Convention, and the Exhibit. Organizers said those interested could log on to www.passionforward.fundphilippines.com or contact the Conference Secretariat at telephone number (+63) 4700833. The conference is organized by the Fundraisers’ Network for Development which is a membership organization of fundraisers. Its mission is to address the professional capability building and standardization concerns of fundraisers and fundraising organizations. It is comprised of professionals and advocates working with a variety of causes.
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WE IN THE Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) declare our stand that we support a peaceful settlement of the ongoing standoff in Sabah due to the resurgence of the historical claim by the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu, our fellow Filipinos, to the contested territory. We believe that it is our national interest that diplomacy with the Parties involved (Malaysia and the Sultanate of Sulu) and prudence, not the use of force, will be pursued to resolve this longstanding issue. For decades, the claim to Sabah has been deemed to be as a “non-issue” or seemed “dormant”, but the stand-off in Lahad Datu shows that it remains to be an unresolved matter that requires decisive resolution considering its implications in the areas of peace, security, and national or territorial sovereignty of the country and of course our bilateral relations. Today marks the 27th Anniversary of EDSA People Power revolution, certainly an unprecedented democratic exercise and peaceful way of the Filipino people to regain freedom by overthrowing martial law. Celebrating this historic milestone means learning lessons from the past and cognizant that the bygone continues to have remnants that still need settlement and as such many tasks needs to be done for our country’s healing and transformation. Despite that there are differing opinions on the standoff in Sabah – that possibly there are political agenda to the reassertion of the claim or that this is a
way to sabotage the peace process – notwithstanding, we believe that the issue on Sabah needs to reach a conclusion and clear answer once and for all through peaceful settlement. Instead of bloodshed, dialogue and consultation by all parties involved must be explored—so that all out justice can truly be encompassing and real to the lives of the people including those in the southernmost areas of our country. For the sake of Almighty Allah and love to our countrymen and neighbors, again we reiterate our support and call on all Parties (Philippine government, Malaysian government, and the Sultanate of Sulu) involved to agree on a peaceful process, in a cautious yet urgent manner, for a final settlement of the issue on Sabah. Moreover, we laud the announcement today of the appointment by the President of the members of the Transition Commission who are mandated to work together to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, through a consultative and inclusive process. It is our hope that the implementation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) continues to gain ground towards the political settlement of the armed conflict and at the same time other issues of unpeace particularly the Sabah claim are being addressed, because it is part and parcel of achieving just and lasting peace in our country and preserving peaceful relations and stability in the region. In Shaa Allah.
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 4-10, 2013
The siege on the Vatican
Abala ang tinderang ito sa kanyang mga ibinibentang cactus na kalimitang idini-display sa mga tahanan at opisina. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Geonarrin Solmerano)
Kin of freed POWs vow to rebels DAVAO CITY – Families and relatives of an army soldier and a policeman freed by communist rebels expressed gratitude for the safe release of the the prisoners in the southern Philippines. New People's Army rebels last week released Private First Class Jezreel Maata Culango, of the 60th Infantry Battalion, and Police Officer 1 Ruel Pasion who were captured separately on January 17 in Compostela Valley province. The duo was handed to Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who fetched them on hinterland village in the province, a known stronghold of the NPA, which has been fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state. A rebel spokesman Rubi del Mundo said the release of the Culango and Pasion was in response to the decision of the National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao to free the prisoners of war. The release of the prisoners came two days after the rebels declared a unilateral truce in the towns of Kapalong, San Isidro, Asuncion, New Corella, all in Davao del Norte; and
Laak in Compostela Valley on February 19 Del Mundo said the captives were investigated by the NPA before their release to determine whether they were involved in human rights abuses or anti-people military operations in the provinces. “As an act of humanitarianism, the NDF deems it appropriate to archive the documentation pertaining to its preliminary investigation against the two POWs who were involved in the 60th Infantry Battalion and Philippine National Police's counterrevolutionary and antipeople military operations in Compostela Valley and Agusan boundaries,” Del Mundo said. “The investigating body formed by the NDF found the two POWs to have committed lesser offenses, and thus recommended for their release. This, however, does not prevent the revolutionary forces from initiating future arrest against the two POWs should they be found to commit crimes against the people and other human rights abuses.” (Mindanao Examiner)
HEN POPE Benedict XVI announced that he was going to resign on February 28, 2013, it sent shock waves around the world. Being the first Pope to leave the papal throne – alive -- in 600 years, two billion followers of the Roman Catholic Church are in a state of disbelief. Although Pope Benedict had become the lighting rod of criticism against members of the clergy for “crimes against children,” he had steadily weathered the maelstrom of controversy that engulfed Christendom’s seat of power, the Vatican. Indeed, as soon as Pope Benedict announced his resignation, the enemies of the Catholic Church laid siege on the Vatican. Yes, it was time to strike while the iron was hot. And strike they did, hitting the Pope when he was vulnerable! An obscure organization called International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) issued a media release on its website, saying that Pope Benedict resigned because he found out that an unnamed European government was going to issue an “arrest warrant” against him once he had vacated the papacy. He would then be charged of crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy. The person behind the ITCCS attack on the Pope is a certain Rev. Kevin D. Annett, a priest of the United Church of Canada, who is identified as ITCCS’s Secretary. Power str uggle? struggle? But the siege on the Vatican might be overshadowed by a developing story that attributes the Pope’s resignation to a power struggle within the Vatican. A source said that Pope Benedict’s decision was “brought on by his declining health in the context of a major power struggle within
the Holy See.” The source also said that Pope Benedict recently made two major appointments including the installation of the new head of the Vatican Bank. The source also said that four cardinals, including two from Latin America, are the leading contenders to succeed the Pope. The rumored frontrunner is “a cardinal who was close to John Paul II, trusted by Benedict, skilled in Vatican maneuvering, and who has been in the front lines dealing with the rise of radical Islam.” Protecting the P ope Pope Last February 15, Reuters News reported that Pope Benedict decided to live in the Vatican after he steps down. This would provide him with security and privacy. The Vatican would also provide him with legal protection – and immunity -from any attempt to prosecute him for any complicity with sexual abuse cases committed by Catholic priests around the world. “His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” a Vatican official told Reuters. One consideration in deciding that Pope Benedict should live in a convent inside the Vatican after his resignation is his personal safety and privacy, which the Vatican police would be able to guarantee as long as he is within the walls of the Vatican. And the second consideration is his potential exposure to legal claims over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals. While Pope Benedict is not currently named as a defendant in any case, the Vatican would not rule out the possibility of future lawsuits against him. And if he lives outside the Vatican, it might attract the “crazies” to file lawsuits or he might be arrested and brought to the International Criminal
Court (ICC) for alleged acts while he was head of state. As a resident and citizen of the sovereign state of Vatican City, Pope Benedict would have the full protection of the state under the provisions of the Lateran Pacts, which guarantee his immunity while he is in the Vatican or even if he travels in Italy as a Vatican citizen. In 1929, Italy and the Holy See signed the Lateran Pacts that established Vatican City as a sovereign state. But Pope Benedict’s resignation is not going to solve the Catholic Church’s problems with all the sexual abuse scandals. And as long as these scandals exist, the likes of Kevin D. Annett and other enemies of the Vatican would cause the next Pope innumerable problems. St. M alachy’ ophecy Malachy’ alachy’ss pr prophecy In 1139, then Archbishop Malachy O’More of Ireland went to Rome to give an account of his diocese to Pope Innocent II. While in Rome, he received the strange vision of the future wherein was unfolded before his mind the long list of illustrious pontiffs who were to rule the Church until the end of time. The last on that list was the 268th Pope. Pope Benedict’s successor will be the 268th Pope. And if St. Malachy’s prophecy were true, then the next Pope would be the last. But that is an easy way to interpret the prophecy. Could there be another interpretation? Yes, there is! E cumenical C ouncils Councils The First Ecumenical Council, known as the Council of Nicea, took place in 325 A.D. by the order of the Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine. Nicea was located in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. At the Council of Nicea, Emperor Constantine presided over a group of Church bishops and leaders with the purpose of defining the true God for all of Christianity and eliminating all the confusion, controversy, and contention within Christ’s church. The Coun-
cil of Nicea affirmed the deity of Jesus Christ and established an official definition of the Trinity -- the deity of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit under one Godhead, in three coequal and co-eternal Persons. (www.gotquestions.org/council-ofNicea) Between 325 A.D. and 1563 (Council of Trent), there were a total of 19 ecumenical councils. It took another 307 years before another ecumenical council took place, the First Council of the Vatican in 1870, which defined the Pope’s primacy in church governance and his infallibility. The Second Council of the Vatican took place in 1962-1965, which addressed pastoral and disciplinary issues dealing with the Church and its relation to the modern world, including liturgy and ecumenism. Quo vvadis adis adis,, Vatican? Perhaps it’s time for the Third Council of the Vatican to take place. There is a clamor for change from a small liberal faction of the Church. The conservatives have the numerical strength but the liberals are more aggressive and vocal. The next Pope would be faced with certain issues that could turn Vatican III into a battle for supremacy that could crack the “Rock” of Christendom. A slew of issues -- such as celibacy, ordination of female priests, samesex marriage, stem cell research, and family planning -- could create an atmosphere for schism to grow. There is only one way to prevent this from happening – reform. The next Pope could indeed be the “Last Pope” as we know him. But he could also be the “First Pope” after the Catholic Church’s reformation to bring it to the realities of the 21st century and conform to the norms of society today. (Perry Diaz)
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 4-10, 2013
Visayan Forum files perjury charges vs ex-staff
Avid Readers. Seryosong-seryoso ang tatlong avid readers ng regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner matapos na makakuha ng kopya sa Zamboanga City. Ang pahayagan ay umaabot sa ibat-ibang bahagi ng Mindanao at may mga bureau offices sa Cotabato, Kidapawan, Marawi, Iligan at Pagadian cities.
Mga kandidato nga mobitay sa ilang poster sa punuan sa kahoy mahimong kasohan OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental – Gitambagan sa Comelec kun Commission on Elections ang mga partido ug mga kandidato sa paghunahuna sa makaduha aron dili nila ipadayon ang pagbitay sa ilang mga poster diha sa mga punoan sa kahoy. Gumikan kay ang pagbuhat sa ingon ang nahisupak sa balaod sa Comelec, taliwala nga nahisupak usab kini ug maoy maka-ingon nga sila pasakaan ug sumbong sa ilang paglapas sa Republic Act No. 3571, nga gititulohan “An Act Prohibiting Against the Cutting, Destroying or Injuring of Planted or Growing Trees, Flowering Plants and Shrubs of Plants,” (Usa ka Balaodnon nga Nagdili sa Pagputol, Pagdagasang ug
Pagpasakit sa mga Tinanum nga Kahoy, Bulak ug uban pang Talamnon). Subay sa Comelec Resolution No. 9615, sa tanang higayon, walay bisan usa ka matang sa kahoy, bulak ug uban pang talamnon diha sa karsada, plaza, parke, eskwelahan, o uban pang pampublikong dapit ang tugotan nga himon ug gamaiton nga common poster area. Gitin-aw saComelec nga ang gitawag nga common poster area, wala magpasabot nga usa kini ka poste, punoan sa kahoy, dingding sa usa ka building o usa ka estraktura nga pampubliko ug kamulo pa nga gigamit. Kini nga common poster area ang temporaryong itukod sa tumong nga dinhi i-plastar
ug ita-od ang mga poster sa mga kandidato ug partido aron masayran sa kadaghanan nga sila magpapili sa katawhan. Alang niini nga katuyo-an, ang mga partido, ingon man ang mga kandidato nga independente, ang mahimong magpatukod sa ilang kaugalingon gasto sa usa ka common poster area, kun aduna sila’y panugot gikan sa Comelec, pinaagi sa City o Municipal Election Officer (EO) sa mga dapit diin sila buot motukod niin. Dinhi unya sa maong mga common poster area, mahimo na silang mopapilit, mo-anunsiyo ug mopasundayag sa ilang mga poster, nga mag-agad sa limitasyon sa Comelec sa gidak-on. (Rutchie C. Aguhob)
FOR MORE THAN twenty years, Visayan Forum (VF) worked to end human trafficking and to promote the rights of domestic workers in the Philippines. We fought to disrupt traffickers’ networks and stop their crimes. Together with our partners, VF risked life and limb fighting this powerful and influential million-dollar underground industry. We faced threats from traffickers eager to shut down our operations. Yet, through it all, VF never compromised its integrity, not even with the many attempts at bribery by our enemies. Over time we managed to gain precious ground against the traffickers. But, an utterly unexpected turn of events halted VF’s progress. On August 31, 2012, upon the request of USAID, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), armed with a search warrant, raided Visayan Forum’s Office. The raid came as a complete surprise and shock to VF. All of VF’s enemies, including traffickers, have since then expectedly exploited the situation and taken the opportunity to attack and smear the entire organization and the name of Ms. Cecilia Oebanda, VF’s President and Executive Director. While the accusers were quick to air their allegations in media, they were slow in pressing their claims in the proper venue. It has been a full six months since the raid, but to this day, NO formal complaint has been served on VF. In the meantime, as we continue to wait and drown in this issue, the operations of VF have been crippled. We have been forced to abandon some of our strategic programs, especially the operation of halfway houses located in ports and airports. In effect, an average of 100 children and women per month (the number of victims rescued by VF in August, 2012 while VF was operating normally) has been denied the services of VF. This means that in the past six months, about 600 children who probably could have been saved by VF are now the likely victims of human trafficking.
At present, we are struggling to keep operational our Center of Hope, where high-risk survivors and witnesses, mostly children, are sheltered. Further, almost 1,000 students classified as children-at-risk of slavery and whose education is being supported by VF are now in danger of dropping out of school by next year. Most of them are child domestic workers and children in poor communities. These past several months have been extremely difficult for us, but we are thankful to our supporters and partners who, despite the false and libelous allegations spread against VF as an organization, have kept their faith in us and continued to contribute to our cause. Know that we are strengthening and improving our internal policies and procedures. We have filed with the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office Perjury cases against Celestina Medina – Aguilar, a member of the audit team of BF Medina, and Maria Annalie Villacorte, VF’s former bookkeeper, for falsely testifying under oath in support of the application for search warrant against VF last 31 August 2012. In a sense, we welcome this opportunity to start anew. And despite our setback, we – and our true and steadfast partners - have every reason to still celebrate. We had long lobbied for and finally saw the enactment of the Domestic Workers’ Act or Batas Kasambahay of 2012. VF also helped in the passage of the expanded Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2012 and we pushed for the ratification of ILO Convention 189. Visayan Forum will do everything to continue the fight. We cannot allow our twenty one years of hard work and untold sacrifice to be put to waste because of this accusation. We at VF never for a moment expected the fight to be an easy one; the difficulties we have encountered only served to spur us to fight even more, so long as modern-day slavery remains a reality and a threat to the Filipino people.
KISMET Cable Channel 63 Pagadian City
Zamboanga City, Philippines
Mar. 4-10, 2013
BASILAN HEIGHTENS SECURITY BASIL AN - M ilitar y for ces tightened secur ity in B asilan BASILAN Militar ilitary forces security Basilan follo wing an attack on a po wer bar ge that disr upted following pow barge disrupted supply of electr icity in the island-pr ovince electricity island-pro vince,, officials said. Officials said addi- aminer. tional patrols were ordered Regional Governor off Basilan and coastal ar- Mujiv Hataman, who was eas to prevent similar at- informed of the attack, said tacks and protect vital gov- the identities of the gunernment installations. men were not immediately Unidentified gunmen known. “We don’t know opened fire on a power who were responsible for barge last week in Isabela this strafing, but authorities are investigating the City. Authorities said there attack,” he said in a sepawas no report of casualties, rate interview. No individual or group but the attack which was carried out on the open sea claimed responsibility for under cover of darkness, the strafing, but it was not cut off power in the Muslim the first time the diesel-fed province. power barge had been at“There is no damage to tacked. Last year, the barge the power barge and the was also strafed by gunguards immediately retali- men on motorboats and ated against the attack,” authorities said extortion Colonel Carlito Galvez, was likely motive of the atcommander of the 104th tack. Infantry Brigade in the The barge provides province, told the regional electricity to the province. newspaper Mindanao Ex- (Mindanao Examiner) To the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu, Sabah is only worth 5,300 ringgits (the equivalent of US$1,500), the annual rent the Sultanate has been receiving from the Federation of Malaysia since 1963 when the federation was created from a group of former British colonies including Sabah. But with Sabah’s large quantity of natural resources including oil and gas, the revenue generated is out of proportion to the rent paid to the Sultanate of Sulu. It’s cheap… obscenely cheap. But the Federation of Malaysia has enormously benefited from Sabah. Figures from FACTS Global Energy show that Sabah has about 1.5 billion barrels of oil and about 11 trillion cubic feet of gas in its reserves, which represent about 25% and 12% of Malaysia’s oil and gas reserves, respectively. Socio-economic gr owth gro In November 2011, Reuters reported the discovery of oil offshore of Sabah of which initial estimates put the well’s oil reserves at 227 million barrels. It didn’t take the giant Petronas long to infuse billions in investments. Petronas began five major projects: Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP), Sabah Oil & Gas Terminal (SOGT ), Kimanis Power Plant (KPP), Kimanis Petroleum Training Centre (KTC), and Kinabalu NAG (nonassociated gas) upstream
Aerial view of the diesel-fed power barge in Isabela City in Basilan province in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
What is Sabah worth? development. The SOGT has a daily capacity to handle up to 300,000 barrels of crude oil and one billion cubic feet of gas. But while Sabah is the sixth biggest contributor to Malaysia’s national economy -- contributing more than 25% of the total oil and gas produced in the country – it is the poorest state with the highest unemployment rate in the country. Is it probably because the money generated from tapping its natural resources is being funneled out of the state into the coffers of the national government and pockets of out-ofstate companies; thus, leaving the state – and its people -- mired in poverty? Sabah, with an area of 76,115 square kilometers, is the second largest of the 13 states in the Malaysian federation. With a population of more than 3.2 million -the majority of them are Tausugs from Sulu -- it has a large number of overseas Filipino workers. Of the 600,000 Filipinos working in Malaysia, most of them are in Sabah. Filipinos come and go and nobody would pay any attention… until now. It did not then come as a surprise to Malaysian authorities in Sabah when about 250 Filipinos slipped into the town of Lahad Datu. But when they found out who they were and why they came, all hell broke
loose! The group of Filipinos turned out to be members of the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu. Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, leads the group. And they want their ancestral land back. The question is: Does the Sultan of Sulu have any legal claim to ownership of Sabah? Histor ical milestones istorical Records show that Sabah was originally part of the Sultanate of Brunei. In 1658 (1704 from other sources), the Sultan of Brunei ceded Sabah to his cousin, the Sultan of Sulu, to compensate him for helping the Sultan of Brunei quell a rebellion in Brunei. From that time on, that territory became part of the Sultan of Sulu’s domain, which came to be known as the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo. In 1878, Sultan Jamalul Ahlam of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo leased North Borneo -which became known as “Sabah” -- to Gustavus Von Overbeck, an Austrian, and Alfred Dent, his British partner. The written agreement used “padjak,” the Tausug word for “lease.” However, the lessee interpreted it to mean, “grant” or “cede.” The annual “lease” amount was 5,000 Mexican gold pieces (called Mexican dollars). The agreement also speci-
fied that the rights to Sabah couldn’t be transferred to any other person or country without the Sultan of Sulu’s express consent. In 1881, Dent formed the British North Borneo Company (BNBC), which was chartered by the British government. Subsequently, BNBC assigned the lease contract to the United Kingdom. That was the beginning of the colonization of Sabah. In 1885, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain signed the Madrid Protocol, which recognized the sovereignty of Spain over the Sulu archipelago in exchange for Spain relinquishing all her claims to Sabah in favor of the United Kingdom. However, the Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah was not a party to the tripartite agreement. In 1888, Sabah became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. This is one step closer to colonization. In 1936, BNBC stopped paying the rent when Sultan Jamalul Kiram II, the 32nd sultan of Sulu, died. The reason for the suspension of rent was because of President Manuel L. Quezon’s refusal to recognize Kiram II’s heir, Sultan Punjungan Kiram. In 1946, British North Borneo Co. transferred all its rights over Sabah to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom’s colonization of Sabah was a fait ac-
compli, although BNBC continued to exploit her natural resources… and pocketed the profit. In 1950, Kiram’s heirs filed a case in the Sessions Court of North Borneo, which ordered BNBC to resume paying rent. BNBC complied with the court’s order. In 1962, the Sultan of Sulu ceded sovereignty of Sabah to the Philippines, which empowered the Philippine government to pursue to claim Sabah. In 1963, when the United Kingdom granted independence to Malaya and created the Federation of Malaysia, Sabah was made part of that federation. To protest the inclusion of Sabah in the Federation of Malaysia, the Philippines severed diplomatic relations with Malaysia. Malaysia took over the responsibility of paying the annual rent to the Sultanate of Sulu through the Malaysian Embassy in Manila. It’s interesting to note that Malaysia insists that the amount is an annual “cession” payment while the Kiram heirs consider it as “rent.” In 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed, which included the Philippines and the Federation of Malaysia among its charter members. It was at this point that the Philippines ceased to actively pursue her sovereignty claim over
Sabah. In February 2013, the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu entered Sabah to reclaim their ancestral land. S tandoff Standoff The $64,000 question is: Would the Federation of Malaysia willingly return Sabah to the Philippines or the Sultanate of Sulu? Or would the standoff lead to bloodshed? With multi-billion economic developments going on right now, it’s doubtful if Malaysia would pack up and voluntarily leave Sabah. There is just too much money, infrastructure, and resources already invested in Sabah. However, like anything else, nothing is impossible if all parties would compromise to make everybody happy. Could it be possible that the Philippines, Malaysia, and the Sultanate of Sulu form an economic consortium divvying up the profits from the revenue generated by the companies doing business in Sabah? With the Philippines retaining sovereignty, Malaysia driving the economic growth, and the Sultanate of Sulu receiving royalty or franchise fee, they might all turn out to be winners – a trifecta! What is Sabah worth then? To the Philippines, Sabah is all about sovereignty. To Malaysia, Sabah is all about money. But to the Sultanate of Sulu, Sabah is worth dying for. (Mindanao Examiner. Perry Diaz)