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Cops hold ‘person of interest’ in radioman’s murder

SURIGAO DEL SUR Joint police teams now have under their custody one of two “persons of interest” in the murder of Bislig City radioman Christopher Lozada, according to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS). It said the suspects are known to be alleg-

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edly working for Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro, who is also considered to be a person of interest in this case. Navarro has strongly denied any involvement on the ambush of Lozada on October 24. PTFoMS said joint police operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group

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INDI UMANO susupor tahan ng Ar med F or ces of the P hilippines at ng susuportahan Armed For orces Philippines Depar tment of N ational D efense ang balak ni P angulong R odr igo epartment National Defense Pangulong Rodr odrigo Duter te na isang "r ev olutionar y go ver nment" kung magpapatulo y ang uterte "rev evolutionar olutionary gov ernment" magpapatuloy banta ng destabilisasy on ng mga katungali sa pulitika, banta ng mga destabilisasyon rebelde or ismo at pagpapatalsik sa kanya ng C entr al IIntelligence ntelligence Agency ebelde,, ter teror orismo Centr entral Agency.. Ito ang sinigurado ni Vice President patuloy ang clearing operations ng militar Leni Robredo matapos na makipag- matapos itong mabawi sa ISIS. Matapos ng pulong kamakailan kina AFP Chief of Staff briefing ay saka tinanong ni Robredo sina General Rey Leonardo Guerrero at Defense Guerrero at Lorenzana ukol sa banta ni Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Unang Duterte na bubuwagin ang pamahalaan humingi ng security briefing si Robredo sa upang magbigay daan sa pagtatatag ng mga opisyal ukol sa sitwasyon sa Marawi revolutionary government tulad ng ginawa City sa magulong Autonomous Region in noon ni Pangulong Corazon Aquino. Continue on page 2 Muslim Mindanao na kung saan ay

(CIDG)-Region 13, the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Surigao Del Sur Police Provincial Office, and the BIslig City Police Station swooped down November 7 on suspected hideouts of at least two suspects. Continue on page 3

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Nov. 13-19, 2017

Sayyaf still a major threat BASILAN – Despite repeated public pronouncement by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the military’sWestern Mindanao Command that the Abu Sayyaf is now on the run in Basilan, radical militants continue their reign of terror in the restive province. Just last week, Abu

Sayyaf gunmen killed 6 army soldiers and wounded 4 others in an ambush Sumisip, hometown of ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman. Officials said the soldiers were pursuing a band of militants when gunmen - mostly supporters and relatives of Abu Sayyaf fighters – ambushed them in Upper Cabengbeng village.

“As they edged towards the circumferential road, operating troops were met with heavy fire by lawless elements believed to be relatives and sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf bandits,” said Colonel Juvymax Uy, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Basilan. Continue on page 7

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'REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT' Continued fr om page 1 from "Many thanks to officials of the AFP, led by its new chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Rey Guerrero, and Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, for the security briefing they gave me at the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force in Pasay City. Our office requested for a briefing on the security situation in Marawi, as we look to assist in government efforts for communities affected by the clashes. Our AFP officials said they will continue to be on top of the situation, especially as we move toward rebuilding the city." "Among other matters discussed, AFP chief Guerrero and Secretary Lorenzana also assured me that they will not support the rumored establishment of a revolutionary government," pahayag pa ni Robredo na isa sa mga kritiko ni Duterte sa kanyang all-out war kontra droga. Hindi naman mabatid kung ano ang katayuan ni Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa ukol sa balak ni Duterte. Wala rin sinabi si Robredo kung nakausap na ba nito si Dela Rosa ukol sa kanyang katayuan sa isyu ng revolutionary government ni Duterte. Kilalang malapit si Dela Rosa kay Duterte na siyang nagluklok sa kanya sa puwesto. Hindi rin nagbigay ng anumang pahayag si Duterte o sinuman sa kanyang mga kaalyado sa Kongreso at Senado sa sinabi nina Guerrero at Lorenzana kay Robredo.

“If I will declare a revolutionary government, arestado kayong lahat. Hindi ako nananakot. If I think you are about to take over the government, you destabilize the government, bantay kayo,” ani Duterte. “Sige mag-demonstrate kayo, bring it to a point na talagang tatagilid ang gobyerno. Alam ng military isa sa mga active na magdestabilize is the communist. Do you think police and military will sympathize with you?” “I was elected by the people. If I sense the country is about to go overboard, I will declare a revolutionary government. Hindi ko kayo tinatakot pero hulihin ko kayong lahat, and I will declare a full-scale war against the NPA,” wika pa ng Pangulo. Inakusan pa nito si Lucio Tan na kabilang sa mga mayayamang nagnanais siyang patalsikin sa puwesto dahil sa paghahabol nito sa kanilang mga utang sa pamahalaan. Itinanggi ito ni Tan. “Sabi nila kasi magbigay daw ng pera sa kalaban para i-destabilize ka. Sabi ko sige mag-destabilize ka, kapag nag-tilt itong bayan ang abutin niyo sa akin revolutionary government, only good for five years,” sambit pa ni Duterte sa pasaring nito sa mga mayayaman. May nagsabi rin umano kay Duterte na maging ang CIA ay galit sa kanya dahil sa pagkiling nito sa China at Russia. “Mukhang galit ang CIA sa iyo. Gusto ka talagang

yariin,” ani Duterte sa sinabi umano sa kanya, ngunit hindi naman nito pinangalanan kung sino ang source. At hindi rin pinalampas ang news website na Rappler na ayon kay Duterte ay pinondohan ng CIA. Mariin rin itong itinanggi ng Rappler. Sa kabila nito ay todosuporta naman ang publiko kay Duterte dahil malaki ang tiwala ng taong-bayan sa malinis at tapat na hangarin ng Pangulo para sa bansa. At karamihan ay naniniwalang interesado lamang si Robredo na makaupo agad bilang Pangulo. Si Robredo ay kabilang sa oposisyon. (Mindanao Examiner)

Vice President Leni Robredo with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza and Armed Forces Chief General Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

BSP launches PESONet system THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched the Philippine Electronic Fund Transfer and Operations Network (PESONet) aimed as increasing the number of electronic payments throughout the country. BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the Electronic Fund Transfer system will be a big help for the businesses, the government and individuals because it provides electronic payment system because it will enable e-commerce and lower cost of doing business. Espenilla said e-payments system will allow individuals and business to easily pay their taxes and other fees intended for the Department of Finance, Bu-

reau of the Treasury, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Department of Budget and Management. “While this is already being partially implemented we see wider government participation...It will lead to more efficient budget utilization,” he said, citing a study that showed 98 percent of Filipinos can be included in the formal banking system with the help of electronic channels. He admitted that most consumers will have a hard time accepting e-payment as mode of payment because they are not used to it, thus, he asked bank officials to have stronger effort to ad-

dress this problem. At present, some 33 banks and non-bank electronic money issuers in the country have signed up to be part of PESONet, the first automated clearing house under the National Retail Payment System program spearheaded by the BSP. Among the banks that are already part of the system are Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Island, stateowned Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines, Banco de Oro Unibank Inc., Bank of Commerce, China Bank Savings, EastWest Banking Corporation, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Metropolitan Bank and Trust

Company, and Union Bank of the Philippines. John Ong, Union Bank Senior Vice President and head of PESONet Technical Working Group, said transactions using this system will have minimal fee at around the same level as interbank withdrawal fees, which is around P12 to P16 per transaction. “The idea is to make it cheap and competitive,” he said, noting also that the BSP will not dictate pricing on the service fee “so it’s an open market.” Ong said consumers will still have the last decision on which banks to choose, adding, that transaction fee will only be collected from the senders’ side so remitters. (JoannVillanueva)


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Cops hold ‘person of interest’ in radioman’s murder

Continued fr om page 1 from Armed with Search Warrants issued by Judge Cresenciana DC Cruz, of Branch 3 in Nabunturan town in Compostela Valley province, policemen managed to get into their custody the alleged lookout in the gruesome crime. The other subject of the warrant, the supposed driver, remains at large, but PTFoMS said it will just be a matter of time before authorities could arrest the suspect. These persons of interest are both residents of Purok 10 in Sug-Ubon in the village of Tabon in Bislig City. “On behalf of the president, I congratulate the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) and Usec. Joel Egco, as well as the PNP Region 13, for their relentless effort in seeking justice for the victims. This shows the government's resolve to end threats of violence and other crimes posed against media workers and their families,” said

PTFoMS Co-Chairman and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar. “We leave our competent investigators on the field to diligently discharge their mandated tasks, under the tight and close scrutiny of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), whose Executive Director, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, had personally conducted a probe on the incident and since day one has acted as overseer of the operations,” added Andanar. PTFoMS Executive Director Egco vowed to bring the killers of Lozada to justice. “Rest assured that in the interest of justice, our directive is to charge anyone with Obstruction of Justice for obvious cover-up,” he said. The grey van used in perpetrating the killing was reportedly being kept in a garage allegedly owned and operated by

the local government and is now the subject of confiscation by authorities for forensic analysis. The PTFoMS was told that the local government barred investigators from taking hold of the said vehicle. The simultaneous raids were part of our ongoing efforts to ensure justice for Lozada and his common-law wife who survived the ambush. The PTFoMS, Egco said, is committed to bring before the bars of justice all those who may have ordered the attack or perpetrated it. “Again, we reiterate that we will take active participation in the filing of charges against the perpetrators of Lozada's murder, furnishing the police and the prosecutors’ office, all documentary evidence we have collated. The PTFoMS will keep a close watch and strictly monitor the progress of this investigation and even provide legal support and other assistance, if necessary,” Egco said.

Simunul: An Island of Peace

TAWI-TAWI – The island town of Simunul in TawiTawi province is known as the cradle of Islam in the Philippines. This is where the Arab missionary Sheikh Karimul Makhdum first introduced Islam in the Bangsamoro more than 600 years ago. Since then, Islam spread to the rest of the country as more and more people adopted its tenets and practices. Simunul is just 45 minutes away by ferry from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi’s capital town. It has 15 villages—12 in mainland Simunul, and three on the smaller Manuk Mangkaw Island. There is more to this place than it being the birthplace of Islam in the country. The people here are the picture of peace-loving citizens whose shared culture of non-violence makes their town one of very few places in the Philippines with a zero crime rate. A mother of two, the 28-year old Saudia Hasan Yusuf, of Doh Tong village, says the culture of peace and understanding begins at home: “Tinuturo talaga ng mga magulang sa mga anak nila ang magagandang asal—’yung pagbati ng Salam sa mga tao, ‘yung pagpapasalamat — kaya mababait mga tao dito (Parents really teach their children good values and conduct—greeting people with ‘Salam’, saying thank you),” Saudia said. This set of shared values clearly manifests among the locals and in the unique behavior every native of Simunul comports himself or herself with. People here are generally peace-loving. Engaging in acts of violence is considered a

severe transgression of their customs and traditions. Saudia noted that it is natural “for our people to avoid fights. We are a happy people.” Hja. Jubayda Pilihan, 77, a native of Tubig Indangan, said locals avoid any form of violence. Jubayda also said they adhere to a culture of understanding and kindness. “Away bata lang meron dito. Kung meron man ang mga matatanda, naayos agad. Kinabukasan wala na (Here, only the children fight. If the adults fight, they address the problem immediately. Tomorrow, it is over),” she said. Jubayda added that people who live in Simunul grew up living out the community’s teachings of respect and mutual agreements that have been taught from the time of their ancestors. In its annual Sheikh Makhdum Day celebration, the locals of Simunul show all the dominant social characteristic they have as a united and happy people. “Mga bata, matanda, dalaga o binata man yan, makikita mo talaga na tumutulong sa paghahanda. Kahit ‘yung batang maliit, tutulong yan mamulot ng mga basura (Whether they are children, the elderly, or teenagers, you will see them helping prepare for the festivities. Even the small children will help by picking up litter),” Jubayda said. Each individual offers a hand so the entire community can better prepare for the celebration. Some locals prepare the grounds, some put up decorations, while others practice their ‘pangalay’

dances and other performances. “Nagtutulungan kami dito para maganda talaga ang lugar namin sa selebrasyon. Kahit taga ibang barangay pumupunta dito para maayos ang lugar (We really help each other so our community will be beautiful for the celebtation. Even people from other barangays will come here to help prepare our place),” Tubig Indangannative, Hja. Halima Shalim, 65, said. The Simunul locals are always excited to see visitors from other places who come to witness the annual celebration: “Parang hindi na kami makatulog dahil sobrang excited din kami (It’s like we can’t sleep because we are so excited),” Halima said. “Sana makapunta ang iba pang tao dito kahit tapos na ang Makhdum anniversary. Peaceful talaga dito, — walang gulo, walang away. Sana araw-araw may bisita (I wish more people can visit here even after the Makhdum anniversary. It is truly peaceful here—there is no strife, no fighting. I wish we could have visitors every day).” Each place has good news to offer. In Simunul, the people themselves are the good news with their tradition of peace and respect, in a community that is united and happy. “Kapag bumisbisita ang mga hindi taga rito ng ilang araw lang, ayaw na nilang umalis. Gugustuhin na nilang manirahan dito ( When visitors come here to stay for a few days, they usually don’t want to leave. They usually want to live here),” Halima added. (Bureau of Public Information)

T’boli mine tunnels facing closure GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Dozens of small-scale mine tunnels in T’boli town in South Cotabato province are facing closure after being found to have been operating outside a declared mining area. Agnes Castanares, Environment Management Specialist of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), said these mine tunnels have been operating illegally as they are situated outside the 21-hectare people’s small-scale mining area or Minahang Bayan in the village of Kematu. She said the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) issued a cease and desist order on October 26 to the owners of the illegal mine tunnels. “The order will be served to them (tunnel owners) anytime from now by the deputized enforcers of the PMRB,” Castanares said. Castanares said they are currently determining how many of the affected small-scale mining operators have active permits

issued by the PEMO. Those with active permits would be allowed to operate until the expiry dates but their tunnels would still be subjected to closure, she said. Records from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) show that T’boli town’s gold rush area hosts a total of 159 smallscale mine tunnels. Some 100 tunnels are situated in Kematu and 49 in the neighboring village of Desawo. MGB under acting regional director Efren Carido noted that 34 tunnels are operating within the Minahang Bayan with active permits, 47 have no permits and three had been abandoned by their owners or operators. It said 75 tunnels are located outside the Minahang Bayan area and could be subjected to Application for Product Sharing Agreement (APSA). APSA is an “application for an agreement between a company and the government, under which the government grants to the company the

exclusive right to conduct mining operations, such as smaller-scale exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources within the contract area, but title is reserved to the government.” The Minahang Bayan was declared by the South Cotabato Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) in 1995 based on provisions of Republic Act 7076 or the People’s SmallScale Mining Act. But the area has a pending dispute with mining firm Tribal Mining Corporation (TMC) as it is located within the latter’s 84.98-hectare Mineral Production Sharing Agreement issued by MGB in November 1997. TMC purchased and acquired late last year the rights over small-scale mine tunnels in portions of the gold rush area following an agreement with holders Maguan Clan Small-Scale Mining Association and the T’boli Minahang Bayan MultiPurpose Cooperative.

Supplemental feeding in remote South Cotabato villages launched

GENERAL SANTOS CITY The provincial government of South Cotabato launched a 120-day supplemental feeding program for children in communities with high prevalence of malnutrition. Maria Ana Uy, acting head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, said the special feeding program formally started recently in two sitios in Poblacion of Lake Sebu. She said the initiative will eventually be rolled out in 28 other sitios and puroks in eight municipalities in the province - Banga, Lake Sebu, Norala, Polomolok, Sto. Nino, Suralah, Tantangan and Tupi. “The community-beneficiaries are mostly far-flung areas that were assessed to have high incidence of malnurition,” she said, adding, the program will mainly cater to around

1,600 pre-school children but noted that they will also serve some elderly or senior citizens and breastfeeding mothers. Uy said they have tied up anew with the HapagAsa Integrated Nutrition Program for the implementation of the four-month supplemental feeding. Hapag-asa, a partner of the local government in the implementation of the Good Nutrition Program, will provide for the food packs that would be served to the beneficiaries, she added. She specifically cited the “manna packs,” which are packed meal formulas developed by food science and nutritionists to supplement nutritional needs and reduce problems on malnutrition among children. She said manna packs are “excellent sources of protein, carbohydrates and other important nutrients that

are culturally acceptable worldwide.” Under the program, Uy said they will initially provide the recipients with food packs for the first 60 days. “We have installed a monitoring system to ensure the goods would not be wasted,” she said. In cooperation with the Barangay Affairs Unit (BAU), a special unit under the Office of the Governor, she said the beneficiaries would be monitored by assigned community organizers. Jerry Gamo, BAU chief, said the system also aims to ensure that the targeted impact of the program would eventually be achieved. “Our office is focused on the properly delivery of these services. This is to ensure that government presence is felt by our residents even at the farthest part of our province,” he said. (Annaliza Cabrido)


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ARMM Guv leads 'Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Day'

TAWI-TAWI - High-ranking government officials led by Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao graced the 637th Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Day in Simunul Island in TawiTawi province. The November 7 event also marked the the start of the 28th ARMM Anniversary celebration. Arab trader and missionary Sheikh Karimul Makhdum set foot in Simunul and introduced Islam in the Philippines more than 600 years ago. The first mosque in the country was built by Sheikh Makhdum in Simunul's Tubig Indangan village. "Walang ARMM kung wala si Sheikh Makhdum, dahil hindi magkakaroon ng Muslim sa Pilipinas kung hindi dumating si

Sheikh Makhdum," Gov. Hataman said. Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office and National Security Adviser Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. were also present as guests during the event. "My presence here carries the recognition and respect of our people for the introduction of a world religion that has spread its teachings and civilizations," Sec. Andanar said. Simunul Town Mayor Nazif Ahmad Abdurahman expressed his gratitude for the presence of national and regional executives during the event that recognizes the "significant contribution of Sheikh Karimul Makhdum in nation building." New officers of the

Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque Management Board also took their oath of office before Gov. Hataman. Ayesha Dilangalen, Secretary of Department of Tourism-ARMM, served as the chairperson of the board while Engineer Maritess Maguindra, Director of Bureau on Cultural Heritage, is the vice-chairperson. "The Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque Management Board was created and established purposively to preserve and promote the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque as Bangsamoro's historical landmark," Engineer Maguindra said. Speaking in the SamaBajau language, Tawi-Tawi Gov. Rashidin Matba said the provincial government,

Police step up ops vs. criminals, terrorism

DAVAO CITY - The regional police force said it has stepped up operations against motorcycle-riding criminals and terrorism in the region as part of its intensified campaign to protect the public. Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan, the regional police chief, said “on law enforcement, we are going after motorcycle-riding suspects and pursuing investigation of all drug-related homicide cases which are still pending in the region.”

For now, he said there is no particular group identified who are behind the motorcycle-riding suspects. “Most of these are random suspects in murder and homicide who just use motorcycles because of the swift get away to evade patrols, checkpoints and dragnet operations,” he said. In a separate interview, Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, the city police chief, said that a regional coordinating conference

was held recently at the Public Safety and Security Command Center, and discussed anti- terrorism clearing operations. He said “Oplan Bulabog” – which began following President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration in May - is being conducted weekly to ensure that Davao City is safe from terrorists. Since then, more than 1,800 people had been profiled and resulted in the arrest of wanted persons. (Rhoda Grace Saron)

through the help of the regional and national governments, will continue ushering in development programs and projects in Simunul and the rest of the province. The ARMM government has invested more

than P3 billion worth of infrastructure projects since 2012 in Tawi-Tawi. About P300 million of these were allocated for Simunul town alone. "Noong nagkaroon ng Muslim at lumaganap na ang Islam, nagkaroon din

ng identity 'yung mga Muslim dito nagkaroon ng autonomous region – kaya dapat lang na mahalin natin ang Simunul at ayusin natin ang Simunul," Gov. Hataman said. (Bureau of Public Information)

Davao bananas penetrates huge China market DAVAO CITY – Home-grown conglomerate Anflo Group of Companies, through its newest subsidiary, the Anflo Banana Corp. (ABC), has partnered with a global agricultural firm to penetrate what is touted as the biggest and most flourishing China market for premium bananas. The Davao-based banana firm is apparently taking advantage of the growing Philippine-China trade relation as espoused by the Duterte administration as it is signing a marketing contract with GoodFarmer Banana Trading Corp. (GoodFarmer) for its huge banana production in Davao Occidental, according to Alex Valoria, ABC president. The marketing contract, he said, will allow ABC to have a better price for its produce, while providing the buyer with the best harvest possible. “We are excited to partner with GoodFarmer because we know they are good in what they do,” Valoria said. GoodFarmer is engaged in export-import business, including manufacturing, processing, transportation, sales and marketing of agricultural products. Since its establishment in 2002, it has grown into a global supply-

chain manager of high-quality agricultural products. Valoria said Anflo decided to partner with GoodFarmer due to its access to the China market. “This will provide us with opportunities for huge market and will also allow us to study possible expansion of our farms,” he said, adding the company is always on the lookout for expansion areas. The agreement comes at a time when the Philippines and China have strengthened their trade and linkages boosted by the visit last year of President Rodrigo Duterte. The two countries have since been discussing about strengthening trade relation with the Chinese government as the two countries signed about $24 billion in trade agreements during Duterte’s visit. Duterte said the two countries “have opened formal lines of communications between our government and agreed on the full resumption of the regular bilateral consultations mechanisms which were put on hold for several years.” The President has also been quoted as saying that if there is “(an) investment, we can have more businesses, make the economy grow and

China would likewise benefit from it.” Citing that the initiative of his company in response to Duterte’s call to look for opportunities in China, Valoria sees the partnership with GoodFarmer will allow both companies to grow their respective businesses as the banana producer will have a stronger marketing arm, while the trading company will have a primary source of premium produce. “This is a very good synergystic relationship,” he said. Under the marketing contract, the ABC will sell 840,000 boxes of Class A bananas to GoodFarmer for two years. The banana company will source the premium bananas from its 165-hectare farm in Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental province. GoodFarmer has been able to penetrate the Chinese market, considered among the biggest markets for banana with about 1.4 billion in population based on government estimates. In 2015, based on government data, the country exported about 448,000 metric tons of fresh bananas, most of them coming from Davao Region, with a value of about $157.5 million. (Nelson Bagaforo)


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Nov. 13-19, 2017

More tourists flock Tawi-Tawi TAWI-TAWI – There is a tourism boom in the province of Tawi-Tawi in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with visitor arrivals increasing three times more this year compared with figures posted in 2016. Mobin Gampal, TawiTawi provincial tourism officer, said the province continues to attract local and foreign tourists despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao in May due to the siege of Marawi City by ISIS. “In one month, we can expect about three thousand tourists both from other provinces and from outside the country,” Gampal said. “One factor that attracts tourists is the stable peace and order situation in our province. Tourists do not request security personnel when they visit the province because they feel secure.” The most visited spots in Tawi-Tawi are Bongao Peak – better known as Bud Bongao – and

Panampangan Island, Simunul, Sitangkai, Panguan Island, and Turtle Island. With the increasing number of development and tourism projects, mostly initiated by ARMM, the province is ready to be the region’s top tourist destination. Since 2012, the ARMM has placed more than P3 billion worth of projects in the province, including tourism infrastructure. ARMM has developed Bud Bongao into an EcoTourism Park with the construction of a visitor receiving center, waiting sheds, view decks, solarpowered post lights, concrete paved steps and handrails, and a 400-meter access road. This tourism project was supported by a P56 million budget from the regional government. The inaugural climb of the Bud Bongao Eco-Toursim Park was held in July this year. Nilma Askali, 22, a resident of Nalil village in the capital town of Bongao, said she has been climbing

Bud Bongao regularly noting the bird’s eye view from the peak relieves her of worries and anxieties. “Nakakawala ng stress sa trabaho, ‘yung pagod mo mapapawi, mare-relax ka ‘pag nasa tuktok ka na at makikita mo yung view,” Nilma said, noting that there are no fees collected in all tourist spots and parks. He also underscored that accommodation, food, and other amenities in the province are affordable and generally budget-friendly. “The lifestyle in Tawi-Tawi is unique. Most of our tourists are coming here not only because of the place itself, but because of the life Tawi-Tawi has,” Gampal said. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has repeatedly invited Filipinos and foreigners to come and visit Tawi-Tawi and learn more about its historical and colorful past, and its people and culture while enjoying nature at its best. (Bureau of Public Information)

South Cotabato papaya now being marketed in Korea

GENERAL SANTOS CITY The popular fresh solo papaya of South Cotabato’s Tupi town has finally reached the fruit market of South Korea, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA) here. Milagros Casis, DA regional director, said Tupi papaya producers have recently shipped - its first ever - the fruits to South Korea. She said at least a ton of papaya was shipped out to Korean distributor Nurida Company. The forging of the supply agreement and the delivery of the initial shipment was facilitated by the agency, she said. “We’ve been exploring and working on sending more of our local products to foreign markets and that is one of our priorities right now,” she said. Citing the supply agreement between Tupi farmers, represented by local consolidator RM Fruits and the Korean firm, she

said two to three metric tons of solo papaya would be shipped to South Korea on a weekly basis following the initial shipment. Casis said RM Fruits netted the Korean deal after joining the agency-led TienDA Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Outlet in Metro Manila. The initiative, which was launched in late July, was conceptualized by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to help bring local agriculture and fishery products to bigger markets, especially abroad. Aside from papaya farmers of Tupi, which is dubbed as South Cotabato’s vegetable and fruit basket, Casis said other farmers and agri-entrepreneurs in Region 12 had started exporting their farm produce. She specifically cited the Tulunan Mango and Fruits Growers’ Association of Tulunan in North Cotabato province that

shipped two tons of carabao mango to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates a month ago. Four years ago, the region’s prime organic colored rice products have also reached the markets in Dubai, Hong Kong and the United States. DA-12 had also assisted the shipment of pork products from the region to distributors serving Overseas Filipino Workers in Dubai. “This is a major accomplishment for our farmers and producers and we will continue to assist them in reaching bigger markets,” Casis said. To sustain these initiatives, she said the agency, through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, is working on the construction of support facilities like treatment plants to further boost export opportunities for various local high-value crops. (Hydee Templonuevo)

Duterte says he is offended by DDB chief’s comment…and fired him

PRESIDENT RODRIGO said he was offended by Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Dionisio Santiago’s “incongruous” public comments on the construction of a mega drug rehabilitation facility in Nueva Ecija province and asked him to resign. “Nagbitaw siya ng salita that it is a waste of money, that ‘it is not the right approach. So he came up with a very incongruous statement. I was offended. He could have asked me for an audience and then tell me all about it,” Duterte said. Duterte said he appointed the former military general to the post in July to advise him

on the problems and possible solutions to the drug problem, and not to air his misgivings in public. “Kaya kita inilagay diyan not to issue statements to the press. Nilagay kita diyan para magpunta ka sa akin kung ano ang problema sa bayan at turuan mo ako kung nagkulang ako, kung ano ang dapat kong gawin. But you do not go open to the press and start to blabber,” he said. Santiago tendered his irrevocable resignation last week following a call from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea telling him that Duterte wanted him to resign. Santiago’s resignation

came a week after he commented in a television interview that the construction of the 10,000-bed drug rehabilitation was impractical. The center was built in partnership with philanthropists led by Chinese tycoon Huang Rulun. Santiago, a former head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said that funds for the project could be used instead in building community-based drug rehabilitation centers that are more accessible to drug dependents. He replaced then DDB chairman Benjamin Reyes, who was also fired by Duterte in May. (Jose Cielito Reganit)

Rchitects Inc.’s Principal Architect Bong Recio, TLDC Chief Operating Officer Lalaine Regino, Dusit International Group Corporate Director of Technical Services Detlef Skrobanek, TLDC President and CEO Tomas Lorenzo, Davao City Councilor Avegayle Dalodo-Ortiz, Vice Chairperson and President of the Philippine Hoteliers Incorporated Evelyn Singson, and TLDC Chief Financial Officer Noel Rapadas

Topping Off Ceremonies Held for Dusit Thani Residence Davao and dusitD2 Hotel

DAVAO CITY – Executives of Dusit International and Lanang Realty Development Corporation, an affiliate of Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation (TLDC), symbolically ‘topped off’ the Dusit Thani Residence Davao and dusitD2 Hotel, marking the formal completion of the development’s structural phase and the first milestone in the Dusit International and TLDC partnership. Last week’s ceremony is a major milestone for the structure, which remains on schedule for turnover in the fourth quarter of 2018. Davao City Councilor Avegayle Ortiz, Evelyn Singson, Vice Chairperson and President of the Philippine Hoteliers Incorporated - which owns and operates the Dusit franchise in the Philippines - Dusit International Group Corporate Director of Technical Services Detlef Skrobanek, and Tomas Lorenzo, TLDC CEO, led the topping off ceremony in the presence of key company personnel, business partners among other guests. “When our doors open

for business in 2018, the Dusit Thani Residence Davao and dusitD2 Hotel will be the very first internationally-branded mixed-use residence and hotel development as well as the first luxury accommodation right in the heart of Davao City. It will also be the first Dusitbranded Residence in Southeast Asia,” said Lorenzo. “It is a place that will blend work and leisure seamlessly with the combination of the finest amenities and world-renowned exceptional service that is distinctly Dusit. We will have a first-class destination that Davao can proudly call its own,” he added. Situated off JP Laurel, Lanang in Davao City, the luxury residential complex will offer the perfect balance between cosmopolitan living and a leisurely escape. The Dusit experience is one inspired by its surroundings and the city’s cultural roots, from the sprawling landscape that frames Dusit Thani Residence’s receiving lobby and the 174 residential units and 120 hotel rooms with indulgent views of the

city, to its own boulevard lined with high-end restaurants and first-class amenities. Singson explained that it is its own brand of service that will make Dusit Thani Residence Davao different. “The Thai tradition, known for its gentleness, grace, and kindness, will be combined with what is knowingly ours – our vibrancy, our gaiety, and our warm-heartedness. Leveraging on a seamless combination of traditional Thai and Filipino hospitality for this first-class development means that we will be bringing something more than what can already be found in the city,” she said. “Patrons of Dusit Thani Residence Davao will experience the fusion that will elevate the potential for both the Thai and Filipino cultures. Anybody can teach anybody to serve a cup of tea, to serve a glass of wine, but it comes down to the small things – the little touches here and there that bring out the genuineness, the heart. That makes all the difference, really,” she added. (With a report from Malou Cablinda)

Sayyaf still a major threat Continued fr om page 1 from He said two of the Abu Sayyaf leaders involved in the fighting have been identified as Siar Alhamsirol and Parong Tedi who managed to escape the military operation. The heavy fighting, according to Uy, lasted over 4 hours and needed air force bombers to support ground troops battling the militants. The clashes were so intense that the army had to deploy the 64th and 68th Infantry Battalions to augment members of the 18th Battalion fighting the Abu Sayyaf. The Western Mindanao Command said the bodies

of the slain soldiers were handed over to their grieving families. And the wounded soldiers were brought to a military hospital in Zamboanga where they have been recuperating. “We are sad to report the death of six of your soldiers during the encounter yesterday in Basilan,” said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command. He said military operations against the Abu Sayyaf and their support groups are continuing in Basilan, just several nautical miles south of Zamboanga City. “As we

mourn, combat operations against the bandits will be intensified with our intelligence operations and sustained campaign to defeat the remaining terrorists. Rest assured that this will not stop us from crushing the enemies of the state,” Galvez said. Both Galvez and Hataman have previously trumpeted victory against the Abu Sayyaf and the surrender of many of its fighters in Sumisip and other parts of Basilan and claiming the government is winning the war against terrorism in the province. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Nov. 13-19, 2017

DTI Negosyo Centers nationwide now 661

CEBU – The Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development and Industry said it has already established 661 Negosyo Centers nationwide and that in Visayas alone at least 146 have been put up with 342 of these Negosyo Centers in Luzon and 173 in Mindanao.

It said Negosyo Centers assist in business registration, provide business advisory services, promote business information and advocacy, and monitor and evaluate business processes for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said they allotted some P530 million

to establish 150 Negosyo Centers this year. The DTI has already surpassed its full-year target having put up 209 Negosyo Centers to date. There were 452 Negosyo Centers across the country by the end of 2016. The agency began establishing Negosyo Centers in 2014. (Kris Crismundo)

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DBM supports any ‘Malampaya Fund’ probe BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno indicated his willingness to support any investigation on the alleged misuse of the Malampaya Fund. But Diokno was quick to say that they could not run after agencies or any individuals regarding the utilization of Malampaya Fund outside its authorized use, adding, his agency “is not a prosecutorial body.” “We have other agencies for that, but we are willing to participate. We are willing to provide necessary evidence, SARO (Special Allotment Release Orders) releases, etc. We will cooperate fully on whatever the di-

ARMM

rection of the government on this matter,” he said. The Commission on Audit has forwarded to the DBM its report on Malampaya, covering 184 SARO releases to various agencies from January 2004 to May 2012 amounting to P38.8 billion. Diokno explained that under the law, the Malampaya Fund, which was created through Presidential Decree 910 in March 22, 1976, can only be used for the exploration, exploitation and development of indigenous energy resources to boost economic growth. To date, the fund has an outstanding amount of nearly P200 billion and

continues to grow because of the monthly inflow from the Malampaya natural gas project off the coast of Palawan. Diokno said they are not considering any move to change the rules on Malampaya Fund use for it to be utilized for other purposes, pointing out also that this needs Congressional approval. “Our people know what to do. It has always been the policy of the DBM to only release funds on the basis of a request,” he said. “Looking forward, this is a clear message to all people in the bureaucracy that we should be careful in the use of public funds.” ( Joann Villanueva)

Eastern Mindanao

CEBU CITY - Combining whimsical storytelling with tangible plans, 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee lawyer Antonio Oposa, Jr. raised environmental awareness and the benefits of edible gardening and road-sharing during a forum at the University of the Philippines. Oposa used symbolism and acronyms in sharing his ideas to preserve the environment. He said that in order to restore the LAW (Land, Air, and Water) of Life, give CPR (Conservation, Protection, and Restoration) to the vital organs of life on earth. To do this, he brought up two concrete solutions that everyone can do: edible landscaping and road sharing. Developing urban permaculture and edible gardens in available spaces

such as parking lots will help feed families and have a sustainable source of food, he said. Meanwhile, road sharing involves giving way to pedestrians, setting up bicycle lanes, and improving public transportation which can help ease traffic. These ideas are also found in his book entitled ‘Shooting Stars and Dancing Fish.’ He aims to change the economic mindset of mindless extraction and consumption to “ecocentric” model of CPR. “The problem with us is that we patterned our development after the West and we called it progress. Even a simple basic need as food, we have turned into money,” Oposa said. He also said that the people can make use of the law and start initiatives in their communities through

the Local Government Code Sections 120-127. It cites that at least 1,000 people in provinces and cities, 100 people in municipalities, and 50 people in barangays may file a petition with the Sanggunian to propose the adoption, enactment, repeal, or amendment of an ordinance.Petitioners can invoke their power of initiative if there is no favorable action within 30 days of the filing of petition. Oposa is known for representing Mother Nature and future generations in the court to preserve and restore the environment. He also won the Supreme Court case in 2008 which compelled government agencies to clean up the Manila Bay. (Ayin Visitacion)

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