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Certificate Forgery: Asian Nurses End Up In Prison

IN A BID to secure jobs in Saudi Arabia, some Asian nurses have allegedly presented counterfeit certificates to prove work experience. Some of these women, mostly from India and the Philippines, have ended up in prison after arriving in the Kingdom or are barred from leaving the country

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pending investigations. The forgery was uncovered by a team of experts from the Ministry of Health during screening of nurses recruited through leading manpower consultants in Manila and New Delhi to work in primary health centers in various parts of the Kingdom. Some of them were employed in the private sector.

The recruits had acquired sufficient qualifications and possessed genuine academic qualifications. However, they furnished fabricated experience certificates with longer than actual work duration to boost hiring prospects with the collusion of recruitment agents. Continue on page 5

Congress ratifies bill raising taxes on coal, minerals, tobacco, fuel and beverages, etc. CONGRESS RATIFIED the controversial tax reform package or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion ( TRAIN) bill which raises taxes on coal, mining, and tobacco, among others. Both the Senate and House of Representatives voted to pass the

bicameral conference committee report after reconciling differences of their respective versions. The ratified report will be transmitted to Malacanang for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature. In the Senate, 16 senators voted to approve

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UL OY ANG MAR TIAL L AW sa M indanao at ULO MARTIAL LA Mindanao ito ay matapos na apr ubahan ng K ongr eso aprubahan Kongr ongreso ang kahilingan ni P angulong R odr igo Pangulong Rodr odrigo Duter te na pahabain pa ito ng isang taon uterte upang or ismo at teror orismo u pang malabanan ang banta ng ter rebely on sa magulong rrehiy ehiy on. ebelyon ehiyon. Landslide ang pag- pahabain ang martial apr uba ng mga rule sa buong Mindanao mambabatas sa martial at sa lalawigan ng law extension at 240 sa Basilan, Sulu at Tawikanila ang bumoto ng Tawi na bahagi ng pabor dito samantalang magulong Muslim au27 naman ang tumutol tonomous region. na palawigin ito. At 14 Nakatakda sanang na senador rin ang magtapos ang martial law panig dito at apat nitong Disyembre 31. Continue on page 2 naman ang pumalag na

the bill while four others opposed it. The bicameral committee agreed to adopt the provision of the Lower House that allows a second tranche of the personal income tax reform that would further reduce income tax rates starting 2023. Continue on page 7

P10 Dec. 18-24, 2017

Suspected ISIS recruiter charged in court A photo released by the National Bureau of Investigation shows Karen Aizha Hamidon who is charged with inciting to rebellion after she is accused by Philippine authorities of recruiting – using social media - foreign jihadists to fight in Mindanao. Hamidon denies all accusations against her.

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) filed criminal charges against a Filipino woman supporting the Islamic State after she was accused by authorities of recruiting foreign jihadists - through social media - to fight in the Philippines. The DOJ, in a 16-page

resolution, charged Karen Aizha Hamidon for 295 counts of inciting to rebellion under Article 138 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175) before the Taguig City Regional Trial Court. Continue on page 5



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The Mindanao Examiner

Dec. 18-24, 2017

Martial Law!

‘Rebelyon, terorismo target sa Mindanao’ Continued fr om page 1 from Inilagay ni Duterte ang Mindanao sa martial law dahil sa atake ng lokal na ISIS sa Marawi City noong Mayo23 at nagtagal ang labanan ng mahigit sa 5 buwan. Sa kanyang kahilingan, sinabi ni Duterte na nagpa-planong umatake sa Mindanao ang mga natitirang miyembro at supporters ng ISIS, gayun rin ang banta ng Abu Sayyaf at iba pang

jihadist groups at rebeldeng New People’s Army. Ang pagpapalawig sa martial law ay base na rin sa rekomendasyon ng pulisya at militar. Sa ilalim ng martial law ay maaaring arestuhin ng awtoridad ang mga hinihinalang rebelde at terorista, at kanilang mga supporters. Maaari rin ikulong ang mga ito hanggang may martial law at suspindido ang writ of habeas corpus

na nagbibigay ng karapatan sa korte na ipagutos ang paglutang ng isang bilanggo. Pwede rin ipag-utos ng militar o pamahalaan ang paglalagay ng curfew sa iba’t-ibang lugar at maggalugad sa mga bahay-bahay ng walang search warrant mula sa korte kung ito ay hinalang taguan ng mga rebelde at terorista Suportado naman ng maraming mga taga-

Mindanao ang martial law upang epektibong masawata ang kalaban ng pamahalaan at mabigyan ng sapat na kaligtasan ang mga mamamayan at komunidad. Sinabi naman ni Kusug Tausug (Sulu) Representative Shernee Abubakar Tan na sana ay ilagay na sa martial law ang buong bansa dahil na rin sa banta ng NPA sa Visayas at Luzon na kung saan ay kaliwa’t-kanan ang

atake ng mga komunista. “The ground is the continuing recruitment of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples’ Army in Mindanao. There are also NPAs in Luzon and Visayas. Therefore, if martial law is good for Mindanao, isn't it martial law is also good for Luzon and Visayas?” paliwanag pa ni Tan. Ngunit hindi naman pabor dito si Defense Sec-

retary Delfin Lorenzana at sinabi nito na mas malakas ang NPA sa Mindanao. “But there are still NPAs and they could also make attacks in Luzon and Visayas, Therefore, as the representative of Kusug Tausug, I reiterate my stand that martial law should be extended not just in Mindanao but in Luzon and Visayas,” dagdag pa ni Tan. (Mindanao Examiner)

ARMM holds summit for micro, small and medium enterprises COTABATO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DTI-ARMM) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMEDC) held on Tuesday, December 12, its first ARMM MSME Summit. The event was intended to help advance the promotion and development of micro, small and medium enterprises in the region by empowering local entrepreneurs and providing them with information on the latest trends in the local and global markets. The DTI-ARMM also aims at assisting MSMEs in overcoming issues and challenges they face in the region through the summit. The 10 most promising

MSMEs in the ARMM were awarded with plaques of recognition during the program. Regional governor Mujiv Hataman said one of the major economic strategies in ARMM’s Regional Development Plan 20172022 is the promotion and development of MSMEs. “Handa po ang regional government na tumulong sa inyong mga maliliit na negosyo, pero ang pakiusap namin, gawin natin itong negosyo hindi lamang para sa ating mga sarili, kundi pantulong na rin sa ating komunidad, lipunan, sa ating rehiyon at sa buong bansa,” he said. The summit carried the theme: “Moving Forward through PESO-PRIDE, or People Empowerment through

Social Enterprise – Poverty Reduction by Industry Development & Entrepreneurship”. The summit gathered hundreds of delegates from ARMM’s five provinces — Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi — and other neighboring areas. The summit’s participants come from MSMEs, local government units, the academe, business support organizations, partner government agencies, chambers of commerce and industry, and MSMED councils. Also present during the program were ARMM Regional Vice-Governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman, Office of the Regional Governor ARMM Chief-of-Staff Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., DTIARMM Secretary Atty.

Anwar Malang, and Director Jerry Clavesillas of the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. The summit was one of the programs organized by DTI-ARMM before the year ends. Other events that would be conducted are the Agro-Industrial Forum and the Halal Chevon Stakeholders Workshop on

December 13 and 18, respectively. Recently, the department has granted P100,000 seed funding and mentoring support to each of the five winners of its first Social Enterprise Ideation Camp. The five winners are Langkit Weaving, Halal Organic Agricrops Production, and Anaya Solutions, all from

the province of Lanao del Sur; Center for Integrated Organic Farming System from Maguindanao; and There is Hope in Daing from Basilan province. The ideation camp was held in partnership with the Strengthening Civil Society Participation in Social Enterprise Education Development. (Bureau of Public Information)

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The Mindanao Examiner

Dec. 18-24, 2017

Letters From Davao by Jun Ledesma TERR ORIST S TERRORIST ORISTS THEY HAD IT COMING. Five Presidents offered the communist rebels and its armed militia peace but the settlements have not arrived into a fruition. The peace negotiation is done thousands of miles away and extremely is expensive. It is not a walk in the park in that if we consider the number of time the peace panel has to fly to the Netherlands every word can translate to a dollar. The last one is the 5th round under the Duterte administration alone, and each round a new agenda and new demands are put across the table. It is an endless exercise and personally I am amazed at the patience of Sec. Jess Dureza and Sec. Bebot Bello in what looks like a bumpy ride in theme park. In the meantime police and military peace patrols are ambushed, in some cases the victims dead bodies are mutilated and if civilians happen to be along the path they are consigned to mistaken casualty. In an apparent affront to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte even the Presidential Security Guards are not spared. And what about the helpless corporate farms and road contractors’ equipment in remote areas that are being harassed and are set on fire for not paying the socalled “revolutionary tax”. I was told by a government official from Davao Oriental that even the PPP beneficiaries are also being taxed! What classic tomfoolery is this? At the height of the Marawi siege when the President was forced to declare martial law in Mindanao CPP chieftain Jose Maria Sison ordered the escalation of NPA hostilities against the government forces. If you do not call that a declaration of war it must be something’s else. Still, Duterte hold his forces and another attempt at backdoor negotiation was dispatched. Before Jess and Joma could say hello, an infant was killed in an ambush in Talakag, Bukidnon. Talks were suspended and finally we are back in ground zero. President Duterte had declared the CPP/NPA a terrorist organization.

In hindsight, it is, or was, the peace negotiation that provided the Netherlands to continually extend Joma and his ilk the mantle of protection even as they were extended some degree of security for having been granted political asylum then. This, even as the CPP/ NPA had been tagged by both America and the European Union as terrorist. But time has changed. The reason for their escape to the Netherland, former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, is now six feet below the ground. It is now President Duterte in the helm of the government and known for his closeness with the NPA rebels. But Duterte cannot allow that intimacy to be abused and his leadership insulted or ridiculed by Joma, his former professor. He is now President and the entire nation depends on him on how to address syndicated crime, corruption and radical insurgency. Duterte has goals to achieve and Joma’s antiquated ideology cannot be a deterrent to his government pursuit in achieving these objectives. Duterte made it clear to Jose Ma. Sison that neither government or any piece of the Philippine territory is subject to negotiations and demands. But one thing is clear, and President Duterte is not reneging on his promises and guarantees, members of the New Peoples Army may return to the folds of the law and live a normal life. Lands, housing and opportunities Duterte will give them. An offer which, I surmised, is not for eternity. After the terrorist tag there are only two options left for the members and those identified and supportive of the CPP/NPA. Lay down their arms and seek amnesty or continue with the armed struggle. A refurbished Armed Forces of the Philippines is more prepared now and ready to deal with those who cannot live in peace. EJK THE FAVORITE DISH of the political opposition, leftists and the pan-handling human rights watch organizations had always been extra-judicial-killing. And

their principal suspect is then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte now President of the Republic of the Philippines. EJK is actually a political propaganda leveled by the adversaries of the unbeatable Mayor who, during his term as mayor, ran practically unopposed. Those who salivate for the position and dared to run were not only trounced but end up humiliated because the results of the elections have always been lopsided in favor of Digong. The last attempt of his political rivals was to consort with the Commission on Human Rights which was then chaired by Leila de Lima. This was in 2009 a few months before elections in 2010. The local human rights organization and HRW New York connived with CHR to the death of what they claimed were 280 plus victims of EJK. As if this was not enough, they succeeded in bringing in Philip Alston, a Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, to lend drama to the much ballyhooed probe conducted by CHR Chair De Lima. HRW New York also published a book titled “You Can Die Anytime…”. For over five months of intensive and expansive investigation within which time Duterte took a leave of absence and gave up his supervisory over the police, to assure the probers a free hand, De Lima and her team never produced a piece of evidence. CHR Chair De Lima even added spice to her task. All the members of her probe team were from Manila. The summons and warrants she all secured from the Regional Trial Courts in Metro Manila because according to her she cannot trust the judges in Davao because they are scared of the Davao Death Squads of Duterte. Well, she became Secretary of Justice and then Senator. She continued haranguing Duterte with EJK issue. The sound bites had all become too familiar as it had become too boring. When she became Senator, she resurrected the EJK charges against Mayor Duterte, who

ARMM peace council passes anti-terror, drug ops resolutions COTABATO CITY – A resolution mandating local government units in the ARMM to have a regular allocation for traditional madaris was passed during the 4th Regional Peace and Order Council meeting in Cotabato City recently. The December 4 eesolution complements the recent drafting of the Unified Standard Curriculum for the Traditional Weekend Madrasah by the ARMM Bureau of Madaris. Together, these provides a strong foundation for a values-based education in the region grounded on true Islamic beliefs and teachings. It is one of four resolutions that were passed during the meeting, all targeting terrorism and drugs in the region. One resolution

was passed to request the Supreme Court to designate special courts that will handle drug cases in the five ARMM provinces, while the other two resolutions were dedicated to the creation of an Anti-Terrorism Task Force and a Regional Anti-Drug Abuse Council. The memorandum regarding the nationwide anti-drug abuse campaign issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government only mandates that anti-drug abuse councils be established at the various local government levels. Considering the autonomous nature of the ARMM, establishing a council at the regional level is being eyed. Gov. Mujiv Hataman presided over the meeting with members of the RPOC,

including Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Maj. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega of the 6th Infantry Division, and Col. Gene Ponio of the 1st Infantry Division. During the meeting, the Police Regional OfficeARMM also discussed the latest crime statistics in the region, along with rido (family feud), kidnapping cases, insurgency, and other related incidents. Updates regarding threats posed by groups espousing violent extremism in the region were provided by representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, while the Philippine Drug Enforcement AgencyARMM discussed ongoing drug-clearing operations across the ARMM. (Bureau of Public Information)

had been catapulted to the highest position of the land by then. This time she had fellow Sen. Antonio Trillanes to revive her issue against Duterte. The duo produced two witnesses, Matobato and Lascañas who at the start of the senate drama contradicted each other but then later sang the same but discordant tune. Matobato had earlier confessed that by himself he killed over 200 on orders of Duterte. Lascañas who refuted the claims of Matobato later turned 180 degrees and joined him for reasons that can be subjected to millions of speculations. This time the duo claimed they buried more than 2,200 EJK victims in an abandoned quarry which is just about three kilometers from city hall. It was the same (Laud) quarry where, in 2009, CHR Chair De Lima made several diggings to look for cadavers but found none. Oh well, they actually unearthed an incomplete skeletal remains of what looked like a CroMagnon man along with two pairs of a new license car plates. If you do not call that planted pieces of evidence I do not know what those are but the RTC Judge in Makati threw these out for the badly deteriorated skeletons and the license plates are inadmissible in court. As DOJ Secretary and Senator one wonders why she never came back with pick and shovel this time with Matobato and Lascañas in tow. They could have easily pinpoint the graveyard since they alleged they buried their victims there. This time with more than 2,200 victims buried in that small quarry land, one can shoot an arrow in the air and it could fell anywhere on a burial ground and find their victims there. Instead, De

Lima, Trillanes, Matobato and Lascañas opted to unearth their victims in the halls of the senate. I must say though that they succeeded in their quest because they not only increased the numbers of alleged EJK from 300 to 2,200 in Davao City alone and then to 3,000 plus which became the adopted figure of Time Magazine, Rappler and the rest of anti-Duterte publications. The exaggeration did not end there for anywhere from 7,000 to over 13,000 is now what you see in their score board. The amplification of EJK estimates also depend on events. Before the ASEAN summit in Manila, an organization even came out with a jarring figures alleging 30million perished by EJK in the Philippines. Whatever are the concocted figures by whoever extrapolates or publishes it the fact remains that majority of the Filipinos supports President Duterte on his war on drugs. This is reflected by the results of surveys which complimented each other’s findings. The positive indicators however are always drowned by the noise and overestimations of the rabid critics of Duterte. For whatever reasons moreover, recently the razzmatazz over EJK had died down as quickly as the numbers of the victims rise. I can only attribute this to the potential bombshell that the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine will create. Suddenly parents of children inoculated with the vaccine are confronted with a terrible and horrible prospect their kids might suffer the severe attack of dengue. The attack dogs that had a pound of flesh of Duterte had their tails behind their legs and the rabid fangs

clamped. It is time to think of how to parry the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Their lord and master and the lieutenants who carried out the contract with Sanofi Pasteur, makers of Dengvaxia, with such indecent haste are in the firing line of an angry, very angry public. The manner of negotiation and the gargantuan un-programmed budget of over P3.5-billion are suspects. It is also interesting to know what motivated then Pres. Benigno S. Aquino and Health Sec. Janette Garin to personally fly off to faraway Paris to talk terms with Sanofi over an experimental drug which has a potential health hazards to children that have not had dengue. Too many questions to ask like: Where did Budget Sec. Florencio Abad get the P3.5-billion for Dengvaxia? The amount is so much bigger than all the immunization programs of the government combined. The answer will bring us back to the Disbursement Acceleration Program, a shell fund of the Aquino administration that was used to impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona. DAP was a war chest intended to address problems like Corona who committed the mistake of awarding Hacienda Luisita to the long suffering tenants of that AquinoCojuangco estate. For now only detained Sen. Leila de Lima and CHR Chair Chito Gascon are defending President Aquino from his alleged complicity in the Dengvaxia negotiation and vaccination program. Health is a Human Rights issue in capital letters and we hope and pray that children subjected to this experiment will not be victims of a potential strain of EJK.( Jun Ledesma)


The Mindanao Examiner

Dec. 18-24, 2017

How to recognise an alien spaceship If an emissary from an alien civilisation visited the solar system, how would we detect it? Lauren Fuge investigates. IN OCTOBER 2017 the first interstellar visitor ever spotted by human astronomers passed through our solar system. It had been passing through for years and was on its way out at high speed, having slingshotted around the Sun, when the Hawaiibased Pan-STARRS telescope noticed the interloper. Even so, astronomers were able to figure out it was no spaceship; it was a weirdly-shaped asteroid they christened `Oumuamua, which in Hawaiian means “a messenger from afar arriving first”. Too bad for alien enthusiasts. But what if it had been an extraterrestrial spacecraft? What tell-tale signs would give it away? Chasing far -flung stars far-flung We know there are at least a few spaceships exploring outer space because we sent them. In 2012 the Voyager 1 spacecraft made history when it became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space, and Voyager 2 is close on its heels. New Horizons reached Pluto in July 2015 and is on its way to rendezvous with an object way out in the Kuiper belt by 2019. One day our probes will explore nearby star systems, and they might do more than just beam back data. One possibility, proposed by mathematician John von Neumann in the 1940s, would be to send robotic

probes that clone themselves using raw materials mined from asteroids and then spread out across the galaxy. Other intelligent, spacefaring civilisations – if they exist – would surely come up with the same elegant idea. So if an alien probe does turn up in our corner of the galaxy, how would we recognise it? Identifying an interstellar visitor It’s hard to interrogate a faint, fast pin-prick of light in the vast blackness of space. The only reason we have any chance of spotting interstellar objects is thanks to new automated surveys like PanSTARRS, the Catalina sky survey and the ATLAS survey, which scour the sky for moving objects. So what can we find out about such alien objects? The first thing that stood out about `Oumuamua was its orbit. Though it passed through our solar system, it was not captured by the gravitational pull of the Sun. “It is the only object seen so far with a strongly hyperbolic orbit, meaning that it is travelling so fast that the Sun's gravity cannot hold it back,” explains astronomer David Jewitt at the University of California, Los Angeles. This immediately indicated `Oumuamua could be something novel, according to Jonti Horner, an astrobiologist at the University of Southern Queensland. But “extraordinary claims re-

quire extraordinary evidence, so people across the planet went into a frenzy to get more observations and lock things down.” Tell-tale obser vations observ One key observation was to determine whether the object was surrounded by a fuzzy coma of dust and gas, the signature of a comet heating up and releasing gas as it approaches the Sun. `Oumuamua didn’t show any signs of such comet-like activity. Another is to track how its brightness changes over time. Asteroids have irregular shapes and tend to spin through space, so they appear brighter or dimmer as they tumble in the sunlight. The brightness of a spaceship, on the other hand, would be likely to be more stable. `Oumuamua showed significant fluctuations in its brightness, suggesting it was an asteroid. Computer analysis of the shifting brightness pattern concluded the rock was highly elongated, roughly ten times as long as it is wide, leading some armchair scientists to draw comparisons to science-fictional artefacts like the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the starship from Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. Olivier Hainaut, astronomer at the European Southern Observatory, is quick to point out that such

speculation was quite a stretch: “We don’t have anything that hints it is not what it seems to be: a big chunk of rock.” Ar tificial signs Artificial `Oumuamua seems to be exactly what we would expect of an interstellar asteroid. But what if it wasn’t? What would reveal the fact it was an alien spacecraft? An obvious giveaway could be found by listening for radio transmissions across a range of wavelengths. “Narrow radio emissions, especially if they are modulated in some way, don't really happen in nature,” says Hainaut. Astronomers can also extract information about the surface properties of the object by analysing the spectrum of reflected light. `Oumuamua, for example, was found to have a dark reddish hue, perhaps indicating that its surface is covered with a carbon-rich material. Unexpected signatures in the spectrum could point to materials such as spacecraft paint. Seeing bright, short flashes could also indicate an artificial polished surface. If an object is rotating, that might be a hint that it is creating artificial gravity — think the rotating ring of the Hermes spacecraft in Andy Weir’sThe Martian, or the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey. `Oumuamua is rotating, but way too slowly to

be useful. At 7-8 hours per rotation, “it would not help anybody living in there,” say Hainaut. It would need to rotate more like once a minute. A spacecraft might also give off a heat signature from an engine or an internal energy source, visible to us in the thermal infrared. Its engine might also give off detectable emissions; American aerospace engineer and author Robert Zubrin suggested in 1993 that theoretically we could detect exhaust from antimatter engines. If the object strays off the path of a natural gravitationally-driven orbit, this might be another indication of an engine. However, outgassing can also slightly disturb the orbits of comets, so it would take a large variation for the orbit to truly signal an artificial spacecraft. Would w e spot an alien we pr obe at all? probe In Horner’s opinion, it is enormously unlikely that we would spot any interstellar object, regardless of origin: “We're only just reaching the technological level to have a good chance of catching these things.” For interstellar objects to be spotted by automated surveys like Pan-STARRS, they need to come close enough to the Sun and Earth and need to be in convenient places in the sky. Horner believes that if `Oumuamua had come along just a fortnight earlier or later, we

probably would have missed it, as it would have been too far from Earth or too close to the Sun in the sky. “We could be missing most objects of this sort of size,” British space scientist Duncan Steel agrees. “If there are many such objects that are smaller still – as is to be expected – then the vast majority will not be detected by present surveys.” Future technology will expand our abilities to spot and study interstellar objects. According to Jewitt, in 2022 Pan-STARRS will “be eclipsed by the much more powerful Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which should pick [interstellar objects] up by the bucket-load.” Astronomers estimated at least one interstellar asteroid similar to `Oumuamua passes through our Solar System every year. According to Hainaut, every one of these objects will be a challenge to study. “No object is ever exactly like any other that we have observed before,” he says. “Each object is an opportunity to learn something more.” Detecting and carefully studying these objects will allow us to build up a database of their properties. If an artificial visitor does arrive, we’ll have a better chance of recognising its true nature. And then the real fun will begin. (LAUREN FUGE is an Adelaide-based author and science communicator. Published on Cosmos Magazine)

Continued on page 1 “Respondent’s act of inciting others to commit rebellion was done by posting various messages through social media multiple times,” according to the resolution prepared and signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong and was approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Officer-in-Charge Amor Robles and Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. The charges against Hamidon were based on the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). The DOJ said the NBI was able to present evidence that she

Suspected ISIS recruiter charged in court incited others to the execution of any of the acts of rebellion even as it dismissed the complaint for rebellion for lack of merit. “Respondent’s acts of inciting others to commit rebellion was done by posting various messages through social media multiple times. In sum, respondent should be charged for 295 counts of inciting to rebellion in violation of Article 138 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175,” the resolution reads. Hamidon denied all the accusations against her and said she was instigated by an NBI undercover agent to com-

mit the crime, an allegation dismissed by the DOJ. “The same deserves scant attention, since the contents of the messages and the multiple times these were posted defy her theory of instigation,” the DOJ said. Government investigators conducting undercover work and a forensic examination had accused Hamidon of using messaging apps Telegram and WhatsApp, where they said she was "prolific in her recruitment and promotion activities for ISIS”. "The Islamic State invites you to join in the Philippines. We note that the door to immigration is

Certificate Forgery: Asian Nurses End Up In Prison

Continued fr om page 1 from It also came to light that in some cases the agents had submitted forged experience certificates on behalf of the nurses without their knowledge. A few fraudulent agents have tainted the reputation of hardworking and well-qualified nurses from these countries, officials said. The nurses who were found guilty of forgery have been lodged in various prisons in Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qassim and other regions. At least a dozen nurses from the Philippines have been arrested in Jeddah and other cities of the Makkah province while 30 others face probe in Riyadh and the Eastern Province. Also, a significant number of nurses from India are facing a similar fate for falsification of certificates, according to sources. The Public Prosecution is handling the cases in coordination with the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) and under the supervision of the provincial emirates. One of three Indian nurses who were arrested in Taif was found innocent by the court, which ordered the Ministry of Health to reinstate her.


The Mindanao Examiner

Dec. 18-24, 2017

However, the ministry terminated her services and repatriated her. Another is out on bail while the third is still behind the bars. The Indian Consulate is working to secure her release, said the sources. In an earlier case in Qassim, a nurse was able to prove that she was not aware of the false certificate the agent in India had submitted on her behalf. However, she was slapped with a fine and deported following an unsuccessful appeal. Some of the nurses had obtained bank loans to complete their education and placement, and are now unable to repay the loans after losing their much-coveted jobs in the Kingdom. A few of the nurses who had allegedly submitted fake certificates left the Kingdom prior to the beginning of the probe to avoid legal consequences. In addition to the newly recruited nurses, some nurses who have served in the Kingdom for a long time with proven track records are also facing problems after the authorities made it mandatory on them to produce their certificates for the renewal of licenses. These nurses say some of the institutions they graduated

from or worked at were either closed or relocated, making the verification of their credentials difficult. A nurse with more than 10 years experience in a private clinic in Yanbu was arrested on charges of certificate forgery. Another nurse was arrested in Badr while two others in Dammam are languishing in jail on similar charges. The SCHS has made it mandatory for all health professionals in both private and public sector to produce academic and experience certificates prior to the issuance or renewal of licenses to practice the profession in the Kingdom. An international agency carries out the verification of certificates in India, the Philippines, Egypt and other countries. An official from the SCHS has told Saudi Gazette that certificate forgery is not a major problem for the commission to deal with in recent years. The Ministry of Health is according priority to maintaining the highest standards in quality of services at its facilities, which are seeking international accreditation. The certificate verification of health professionals is one of the criteria for such accreditation. (By Irfan Mohammed - Saudi Gazette.)

open to the cities of Marawi and (the southern region of ) Mindanao," state investigators quoted Hamidon as saying in a Telegram post. Hamidon earlier insisted that she is an Islamic missionary who used social media for religious purposes. Describing herself as a “weak woman,” Hamidon, a former call center agent and flight attendant, said she had no means to take arms against the government. “As a matter of fact, she owes the government so much because she was raised by her parents through their salaries from being government employees, specifically of the Philippine National Police,” Hamidon’s counter-affidavit prepared by her lawyers said. Hamidon also denied that she intended to recruit fighters to join the Maute group, who had claimed allegiance to the ISIS. “I vehemently deny the charges against me because there was instigation on my part which is illegal. The acts allegedly committed were not done voluntarily and against my will and caprice,” she said in her counter-affidavit. But for the DOJ, the contents of the messages and the multiple times

these were posted defy her theory of instigation. “As to her arguments that she was not committing any crime at the time she was arrested and at the time her mobile phone was seized, and all the afore quoted social media posts do not bear her name, these arguments are evidentiary in character which are best ventilated in a full-blown trial. The presumption prevails that complainants regularly performed their official duties and ordinary course of business has been followed,” the DOJ said in the resolution. The DOJ said Hamidon can post her bail of P20,000 for every count charged against her or a total of P5.9 million. On the other hand, the DOJ turned down the recommendation of the NBI to file rebellion charges against her since “there is nothing to show that respondent took arms or was in open hostility against the government”. “Their evidence only points to respondent’s acts of inciting others to the execution of acts of rebellion, among others, to go to Marawi-City or Mindanao and join those fighting for the establishment of a Wilayah of ISIS East Asia,” it said. Under the law, the

DOJ explained she could also be charged with rebellion if those who heeded her call took up arms. “In this case, there is no showing that rebellion was actually committed by the persons to whom the aforequoted messages were sent,” it said. The 36-year-old Hamidon, who is a native of Zamboanga, was arrested by agents of the NBI’s Counter-Terrorism Division at her residence in Taguig City on October 11 and has since been detained at the NBI headquarters in Manila. Hamidon was the exwife of Singaporean militant Muhammad Shamin Mohammed Sidek as well as the widow of slain Ansar Khalifa Philippines (AKP) leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid who was killed in a gun battle with police commandos in Saranggani province in January this year. Sidek is detained in Singapore for his links with ISIS, while the AKP has been identified as the group behind the September 2016 Davao City night market bombing and the foiled bombing outsidethe United States Embassy in Manila in December last year. (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

DepEd holds Brigada Eskwela in Marawi City COTABATO CITY - The Department of Education (DepEd) brought together volunteers and resources from its offices nationwide as it launched Brigada Eskwela in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province. The volunteers repaired, painted, and cleaned some of the schools that were damaged by the five-month fighting in the war-torn city. Education Secretary Leonor Briones and DepEd-ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) Secretary Dr. John Magno led the Brigada Eskwela last week covering 16 schools. Volunteers came from various DepEd offices across the country. The activity was a joint effort among DepEd offices nationwide, with the regional offices in Mindanao providing the manpower and the Visayas and Luzon regional offices providing the resources. Marawi City has a total of 69 schools, 22 of which were totally damaged in the war affecting more than 62,000 students who were enrolled in public and private schools as well as in state universities and colleges. In November, the DepEd-ARMM started to repair seven damaged schools in Marawi City and 54 others in various parts of Lanao del Sur. “The (initial) budget for

the repair, which is over P34 million, came from the regular program of the DepEd,” said Alfhadar Pajiji, DepEd-ARMM Assistant Secretary. The following schools benefited from the Brigada Eskwela: Bito Elementary School; Rorogagus Elementary School; Mipagaga Elementary School; Pendolonan Elementary School; Abdulazis Elementary School; Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak Elementary School; Sugod Central Elementary School; Sultan Conding Elementary School; Sikap Elementar y School; Banga Primary School; Cabingan Primary School; Datu Tambak Primar y School; Basak Elementary School; Pandi Elementar y School; Marawi City National High School and Amai Pakpak Elementary School. “Education must continue. Let’s all give quality education to the learners. The Department of Education will help rebuild damaged schools here in Marawi City,” Secretary Briones said. She also underscored the need to provide psychosocial assistance not just for the students but also for displaced teachers. “Di namin pababayaan ang Marawi City. Umpisa lamang ito. Hindi natin ititigil ang Br igada Eskwela hanggang hindi natin matapos maayos ang

lahat ng paaralan sa Marawi,” she said. Jomairah Noor, 5th grade student of Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak, said: “Nagpapasalamat po kami, dahil nakikita namin na hindi kami pinapabayaan. Marami po tumutulong sa amin. Sana po hindi na ulit magkagulo dito sa Marawi para tuluy-tuloy na pag aral namin at para maging masaya na kaming lahat dito.” Tanjirea Mascara, Grade 6 teacher in Amai Pakpak Elementar y School, reiterated the challenge of teaching students who are victims of the siege. “Ang challenge para sa amin ngayon ay kami mismo mga teacher ay biktima din ng kaguluhan. Imbes na umiyak ako at magmukmok, kailangan ipakita sa mga estudyante namin na matatag kami. Kailangan turuan at tulungan yung mga bata na maging matatag sa kabila ng mga nangyari,” she said. “At kailangan namin gawin ang lahat ng aming makakaya para tulungan ang mga bata na ipagpatuloy ang pag aaral dahil napakahalaga ito para makamit ang kanilang pangarap sa buhay,” she added. DepEd-ARMM said it is continuously monitoring the situation students and teachers affected by the Marawi crisis. (Bureau of Public Information)


The Mindanao Examiner

Dec. 18-24, 2017

Acr oss: cross: 1. Get by 4. Petticoat 8. Mimicker 12. Dad's partner 13. Singer ___ Turner 14. City Field predecessor 15. Globe 16. Opposing 18. Tantalize 20. A Great Lake 21. Sincere 23. Walk heavily 27. Appraises 28. Fight 29. Pass, as time 31. Dishonor 34. Had been 35. Peeler 36. Snaky shapes 39. Gathered 42. Wail 44. Transparent 45. Instantaneous 49. Memorable period 50. ___-do-well 51. Mix 52. BOrder 53. Is unable 54. Roosters' mates 55. Briny deep Do wn: Down:

Answ er to last w eek osswor d: Answer week eek’’s cr crosswor ossword:

1. Ham it up 2. Seoul'd country 3. Humiliate 4. Roads 5. Stretch the truth 6. Map parts 7. Poker holding 8. Daisylike flower 9. ___ Beta Kappa 10. Poetic dusk 11. Cleaning cloth 17. Occupy a chair 19. Finger sound 22. Comprehend 24. Superintendents 25. Soccer's ___ Hamm 26. Fountain ___ 29. Lamb's mom 30. "Leaving ___ Vegas" 31. Beaver's creation 32. Blackboard wipers

33. Interlock 35. Roof of the mouth 37. ___ & Roeper 38. Downhearted 40. Mysterious 41. Stage offering 43. Aspiration 45. Business abbr. 46. "Cry ___ River" (2 wds.) 47. Guys 48. Can metal

Weekly S udoku: Sudoku:

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The Mindanao Examiner

Dec. 18-24, 2017

HEALTH: Trabaho Sa Gabi, May Epekto Sa Kalusugan Payo ni Dr. Willie T. Ong AYON SA pag-aaral, may posibleng masamang epekto sa kalusugan ang pag-trabaho sa gabi. Kasama rito ang mga call center agents, entertainers, security guards at iba pa. Kapag nabaligtad ang ating pagtulog, bababa ang lebel ng melatonin (isang mabuting kemikal) sa ating katawan. Napag-alaman na ang lebel ng melatonin ay naka-depende sa liwanag ng ating kapaligiran. Tumataas ang lebel natin ng melatonin kapag madilim ang lugar at tulog tayo. Bumababa naman ang melatonin kapag may sikat ng araw o maliwanag ang ating paligid. Ayon sa World Health Organization, ang pagtrabaho sa gabi ay posibleng magdulot ng mga sakit tulad ng prostate cancer, breast cancer, katabaan at sakit sa puso. Para malunasan ang ganitong sitwasyon, mayroon akong mga payo:

Dr. Willie T. Ong 1. Habang naka-duty sa gabi, bawasan ang liwanag sa iyong paligid. Babaan ang sinag ng computer. Puwede din gumamit ng yellow light sa kuwarto imbes na puting fluorescent light na napakaliwanag. Ito’y para huwag gaano bumaba ang melatonin natin sa katawan. 2. Bawiin na lang ang tulog sa araw. Subukang makatulog ng 7-8 oras para makabawi sa puyat. Mas maganda kung tuluy-tuloy ang tulog mo kaysa putolputol. 3. Ayusin ang iyong kuwarto na maging madilim. Lagyan ng

madilim na kurtina o takip ang mga bintana. Ang lebel ng melatonin ay tumataas kapag madilim ang lugar. 4. Gumamit ng eye shades (pantakip sa mata) at ear plugs (pantakip sa tainga) para mabawasan ang liwanag at ingay sa paligid. 5. Piliting sumunod sa malinis na pamumuhay at kumain ng masustansya. Huwag manigarilyo o uminom ng alak. Sa ganitong paraan ay malalabanan natin ang mga peligro na dulot ng pang-gabing trabaho. 6. Bilang panghuling payo: Kung kaya mong mabawasan ang duty sa gabi ay makatutulong ito. Sa mga health workers ay bawat 3 araw ang duty nila sa gabi. Kapag nightshift ang duty mo bilang security guard ay baka puwede kang lumipat sa morning shift pagkaraan ng isang buwan. Posible din namang makahanap ka ng ibang trabaho balang araw. Good luck po.

Congress ratifies bill raising taxes on coal, minerals, tobacco, fuel and beverages, etc.

ARMM holds dialogue with development partners MANILA – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has conducted a dialogue with its development partners through a regional development forum that seeks to get insights and support for its programs and projects. The forum was held in coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). The multisectoral partners that were represented in the dialogue include various national government agencies, local and international nongovernmental organizations, and business chambers. Atty. Laisa Alamia, ARMM Executive Secretary, said the forum served as venue to inform and to show to these development partners and stakeholders the milestones and accomplishments achieved by the regional government. “The ARMM RDP (Regional Development Plan), its 21 chapters, is anchored on the national long-term vision, a living document of the region’s vision for the Bangsamoro,” Atty. Alamia said. The ARMM RDP, covering the years 2017-2022, was presented during the forum held two months ago. The five-year medium-term plan serves as the blueprint for the implementation of regional

priorities in support of the attainment of the ARMMBisyon 2040, which represents the collective vision and aspirations of the Bangsamoro. The ARMM drafted the long-term vision consistent with NEDA’s AmBisyon Natin 2040. “By 2040, the peoples in the Bangsamoro are selfgoverning with predominantly middleclass society living in safe communities, having a dynamic economy including a Halal ecosystem, enjoying inclusive peace and diverse cultures, who shall enhance sustainable development ensuring that responsibilities and benefits are shared by all.” The ARMM has identified six development goals as focus of its priority interventions during the RDP years. These are: Open, transparent, accountable and inclusive governance practiced and sustained; Improved access of ARMM communities to basic services for human capital development; Sustained improved environment for more secured communities; Increased investments, employment and income; Accelerated infrastructure development for the region’s socio-economic growth; and Enhanced integrity of ecosystems, adaptation to climate change, and di-

saster resilience of communities. As identified in the regional development plan, the growth of Gross Regional Domestic in 2022 will increase to 5.25% from 0.3% in 2016; poverty incidence among families will be reduced to 33.2% in 2022 from 48.2% in 2015; and labor force participation rate would increase to 65% in 2022 from 53.1% in 2016. The plan is more than just a ‘to-do’ list since it will set the agenda for the future of the Bangsamoro – one which the current administration understands and implements with due diligence and which will serve as a guide for future leaders. It follows a framework that will guide the region’s continued development while securing transparency and accountability in a society where – in the course of institutionalizing good governance and meaningful reforms – nobody will be left behind. During the forum, the different line agencies of the ARMM have set-up booths to showcase their department’s accomplishments. Some of the region’s best products such as cultural artifacts, hand-crafted native products, and different Moro delicacies were also placed on exhibit. (Bureau of Public Information)

Continued fr om page 1 from This tax reform package would raise the take-home pay of Filipino workers while self-employed and professionals earning below P250,000 will be exempted from income tax starting January 1, 2018. On the other hand, those with gross sales or receipts of P500,000 and below will be exempted from three percentage tax. The tax exemption cap of 13th month pay and other bonuses was raised to P90,000. One of the new features of the proposal included during the bicameral conference is increased excise tax on tobacco products from the current P30 per pack to P32.50 from January to June next year. It will also be raised to P35 from July 2018 to December 2019, and

P37.50 from 2020 to 2021, P40 from 2022 to 2023 and a four percent annual indexation in 2023 onwards. The package also raises coal excise tax from P10 per metric ton to P50 per in the first year of implementation; P100 in the second year, and P150 in the third and following years. Excise tax rates on all non-metallic minerals and quarry resources, and all metallic minerals including copper, gold and chromite increased from the current two percent to four percent, and on indigenous petroleum from the current three percent to six percent. For fuel petroleum products, new taxes will be imposed on cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas increasing every year by P1 in

2018, P2 in 2019, and P3 in 2020. For diesel fuel, a P2.50 tax would be imposed starting 2018, P4.50 in 2019, and P6 in 2020. While tax on regular and unleaded premium gasoline would be raised to P7 in 2018, P9 in 2019 and P10 in 2020. Sugar-sweetened beverages will be taxed P6 tax per liter, especially those using caloric and non-caloric sweeteners and P12 per liter for beverages using high fructose corn syrup. Automobile taxes were also raised and those valued up to P600,000 and up would be imposed a four percent tax; 10 percent for P600,000 up to P1.1 million; 20 percent on over P1.1 million to P2.1 million and 50 percent on over P2.1 million. (Azer Parrocha)


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Dec. 18-24, 2017

Cebu mayors asked to come up with list of Dengvaxia vaccine recipients CEBU CITY - Compelled to come up with a master list of children vaccinated with Dengvaxia, the Cebu Provincial Health Office (PHO) has urged all mayors in Cebu province to submit the names of those who received the controversial anti-dengue shots. The Senate has started investigation into the P3.5 billion vaccination program launched by the Department of Health in the previous Aquino administration. The vaccine was feared to have an alleged ill-effect to those who received it. Dr. Rene Catan, PHO Officer-in-Charge, said in order for them to have a wide-ranging and more cohesive approach in addressing the problem, they needed to have a list of the children’s names for their database. Catan said aside from the names, the list from the mayors should also in-

clude the addresses, contact numbers, dates of vaccination, and whether a certain child has a history of dengue infection. All these information will be placed in a database which will be made available to all private and government hospitals for reference whenever a child patient is suspected of being infected with the dengue virus. Catan also appealed to parents to voluntarily go to their respective rural health centers and submit the names of their children. “I’d like the parents to understand that they need to go to their rural health units and submit the needed information about their children, especially those who have been vaccinated or have been infected by dengue before,” he said. “If a particular child has been infected before and already had his or her anti-dengue vaccination, there’s a big chance that child is already protected.

But if a mother could not remember whether her child has been infected before, then they need to keep an eye on that child.” A child previously infected with dengue and underwent vaccination has a 96-98 percent chance he or she would not be infected with severe dengue. There are different levels of treatment and there are cases that provincial or district hospitals can manage, according to Catan. “If they will be hospitalized in a provincial hospital, it will be for free. They are not going to pay anything because they will be covered by PhilHealth, or by any government aide such as the MAP (Medical Assistance Program). We also have support programs for indigents. But that assistance is only for the towns and municipalities. I cannot speak yet for cities such as Mandaue and LapuLapu,” he said. (Levirose Caballero)

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Eastern Mindanao

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) recently conducted three days of training for both judges and prosecutors in keeping up against the growing threat of cybercrimes. DOJ Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said the International Workshop on Judicial Training Strategies on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence was held in Cebu City. He said the workshop aims to equip judges, magistrates, and prosecutors with relevant knowledge to fulfill their roles effectively to keep up with the ever increasing challenges posed by the rise of crimes committed by, through or with the use of computer systems.

Western Mindanao

The event was organized by the DOJ-Office of Cybercrime in partnership with the Council of Europe and the European Union under Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) Project. “The event was set to provide an opportunity to discuss judicial training programs and identify international best practices, key principles to design, implement, develop and assess training strategies on cybercrime and electronic evidence,” Balmes said. He noted that the training will enhance knowledge of the participants on how to build, enact and assess an effective and sustainable judicial training strategy on


cybercrime and electronic evidence; identify key requirements, challenges and best practices in the implementation of capacity building programs dedicated to judges, magistrates and prosecutors; and provide inputs and contribute to further developing the existing judicial training programs available. Those who participated in the event included representatives of judicial authorities, prosecution service, and relevant training academies and judicial institutions from the member-countries of (GLACY+) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)


Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper Dec. 18-24, 2017  
Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper Dec. 18-24, 2017  

Dec. 18-24, 2017