‘Ayaw’g idamay ang industiya sa saging’ by Jun Ledesma
ANG PERSONAL nga panagbingkil sa kanhi magkumpanyiro nga si Bebot Alvarez ug Tonyboy Floirendo ningsangko na gyud sa punto nga dili na magkauli ang ilang maayong kabubut-on sa usa’g-usa. Pareho sila nga mga deputado sa duha ka distrito sa Davao del Norte (Alvarez sa Distrito Uno, Floirendo sa Dos). Lagmit
nga usa kanila monegar, apan akong ginatratar ang duha nga akong mga higala sa wala pa ang kampanya, sa panahon sa kampanya, ug human sa piniliay, buot ipasabot, hangtud karon. Ang mga botante sa Davao del Norte ningselebrar sa ilang kadaugan sa Kongreso. Mao sab ang Mindanao, ningduyog sa pagsaulog sa ilang kadaugan. Si Davao
City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte isip kandidato sa pagka Presidente, si Alvarez isip Speaker sa Kamara de Representante ug si Floirendo nga gibantog nga pinakadako og kontribusyon sa kampanya nakakab-ot sa mga pinakatag-as nga angang sa gahum ug pangagamhanan. Continue on page 7
US gives a half-dozen surveillance drones to the Philippines THE U.S. DELIVERED six surveillance drones to the Philippines on Tuesday, bolstering the country’s ability to respond to a growing militant threat. The ScanEagle drones, which are worth more than $13 million, will “increase the Philippine military’s maritime domain awareness, humanitarian assistance
and disaster relief and counterterrorism capabilities,” the U.S. Embassy in Manila said in a statement. The drones can operate above 15,000 feet and stay airborne for 20 hours, according to manufacturer Boeing. They were first deployed to Iraq in 2004 by the Marine Corps. The Philippine Air Force will fly the ScanEagles out of
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Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan province, the embassy said. The drones, provided through the Foreign Military Financing program, are the latest American military hardware given to the Philippines as the country struggles to contain Islamic insurgents in the south. Continue on page 4
P10 Mar. 19-25, 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential Photo)
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The Mindanao Examiner
‘DAVAO DEATH SQUAD’
AVAO CIT Y - The issues surr ounding the D av ao D eath S quad and E xtr a-J udi- Colonel Tan-Gatue reCITY surrounding Dav avao Death Squad Extr xtra-J a-Judicial K illings had become so conv oluted when much of these w er e far cical quested him to announce Killings convoluted wer ere farcical and twisted. These w er e in fact used as political black pr opaganda against that a “Davao Death Squad” ere propaganda wer the undefeatable R odr igo R oa D uter te ears rran an pr actically un- had been organized to who,, for 23 yyears practically Rodr odrigo Roa Duter uterte te,, who ecently ies surr ounding the cr e- counter the vicious NPA liqopposed in vvar ar ious posts he aspir ed for ntil rrecently ecently,, the stor stories surrounding crearious aspired for.. U Until ation of the D av ao D eath S quad and EJK hav e been attr ibuted to P odr igo D uter te uidation squads called es.. R Rodr odrigo Duter uterte Dav avao Death Squad have attributed Prres to discr edit and demoniz e him and ev en br ought this myth in the inter national ar ena Sparrows. I was curious what discredit demonize even brought international arena unmindful of the damage on the image of the P hilippines among the community of it was all about so I again acPhilippines nations companied Pala to the INP nations.. I did several column terror of the CPP-NPA that grated National Police for headquarters. It was there items about these two con- followed, the deadly NPA Region 11. Among his first that I learned that DDS was troversial issues that have Special Partisan Unit (Sparu order was to shut down the nothing but a phantom force. DDS were ghosts as become the favorite fare of or Sparrow) liquidation program of Jun Pala. Three weeks without his well as other phantom forces political oppositions, profes- squads that ruled over Davao sional street rubble rousers, City and the syndicated radio program, Pala was a conceptualized by Tanforeign-funded media orga- crimes that emerged in the virtual wreck. He was a Gatue to match the many nizations and members of metropolis when the NPAs member of MedyaDabaw, a front organizations of the the Catholic Clergy. I have lost control of Davao. Forty been writing for Sun Star and years had elapsed since the my own weekend newspa- CPP-NPA took root in Davao per, the Mindanao Journal. and were driven out from its At certain points I started to urban strongholds politientertain doubts that being cians and money-making a community journalist writ- non-government organizaing from the boondocks of tions still exploit that Mindanao, does not or nightmarish event and unwould not matter much to abashedly used these by my readers. When my creatively twisting the facts to daughter taught me how to suit their political and ecouse Facebook, I would copy- nomic agenda. I consider it paste the pieces that I wrote my personal obligation to on this platform. Until re- write about past events not INP Regional Commander Col. Dionisio Tan-Gatue Jr. cently, I was invited to write because I can write better a column for the Philippine than of my peers but I just press club we organized to NPAs. It was to scare the NPA News Agency. I do get very happened to be there when protect us from the leftists sparrows and their mass positive comments and the many of these events hap- and rightists. I was President base as well, he explained. A of the club and so Pala week later, I heard Pala anshares and likes for each item pened. I will be brief. sought my help. He pleaded nouncing in is program Dav ao D eath S quad I wrote and posted on FB and avao Death Squad this gave me an exhilarating Let me tackle first the to me to accompany him to about another group called ego massage. This, despite Davao Death Squad issue. In see Colonel Tan-Gatue. I was “Christian Soldiers for Democracy”. the ugly fact that very so of- 1979 up to 1984 the Commu- obliged. The meeting took place The third phalanx was ten I am guilty of murdering nist Party of the Philippines the English grammar. and its New People’s Army in the INP headquarters in the more visible “Contra Something bothers me headed by the late Romulo Camp Catitipan. I intro- Force”, this time with Pala though. I have this misgiv- Kintanar, were in virtual con- duced Pala to Tan-Gatue. himself as the head. His ings on myself that printed trol of Davao City. Agdao Before I could tell the colo- headquarters was located in words may not be bringing district which had been re- nel to reconsider his order, one of the abandoned stalls across a credible message ferred to as the Nicaragdao of Pala in his usual rapid talk at MaderazoFruit stand. In especially on the subject that the Philippines, was the harangued Tan-Gatue say- this venue, Pala received Duterte critics and political main bastion of urban unit of ing that if he will be allowed cash donations from various opposition have been feast- the CPP-NPA. On the aver- to mount his program again, quarters, mostly grateful ing on I have decided to age, not less than eight he will do a 180 degree turn- Chinese businessmen. In retcome out with this bit of ex- people were executed by the about, an idea which the rospect, DDS was actually a pository writing. NPA hit squads in Davao City good colonel at first frowned successful ghost force. Since My objective is to bare alone. The NPAs reigned and at. “Just be fair, sobra ka its inception the NPA hit the facts surrounding the control the areas in the rural naman kasi. Parang kami na squads had slowed down. Palo-P ala C onnection alo-Pala Connection much ballyhooed DDS and barangayswith about seven ang pinakasamangtao sa Pala was not the only EJK in order to disabused the battalions, dubbed as gue- buongmundo”, he told Pala. minds of those who still be- rilla fronts. In the urban Tan-Gatue then motioned to anti-communist radio comlieve that some of the stories center, police do patrols in me to type Pala’s re-instate- mentator in Davao who was and so-called statistics platoons or the very least by ment suggesting how it will drafted by Tan-Gatue. Leo which have been perpetu- squads, only during day be worded and addressed to Palo Jr., a hard-hitting radioman, ran a program in ated and exponentially time. By nightfall the NPAs the station management. As I was typing the re- tandem with Jun Pala. Palo raised all these years as true are in virtual control of most were in fact blatant lies. This of the city proper. Policemen instatement letter on the old was broadcasting from dxRA time I will intersperse my ac- were the most endangered Olivetti, I could hear Pala while Pala was with dxOW, a pouring his lament before new station where he transcount with pictures and species in Davao. the chief cop. “Three weeks ferred later when he felt he Jun P ala sometime later with video Pala interviews to leave no stone A central figure in the akong walang trabaho, wala was hunted by his former unturned. spread of communist move- halos makain, ni isa sa mga comrades in Agdao. The duo Philippines der ous hilippines,, a mur murder derous ment was an komonista na yan ay walang linked up on air in a program countr y? country? anti-government propaganI do not care much dist, Juan Porras Pala Jr, who about the battle of President is known as Jun Pala in his Duterte against his critics radio program “Operation who continue to pillory him Tulong” at dxRH which was for I know he is used to that based in the heartland of kind of verbal warfare and Agdao. A rabid critic of black propaganda, but I can- Marcos, he metamorphosed not countenance the into an NPA propagandist. It prevaricators that do not was quiet surprising that destop at depicting our coun- spite his freewheeling attack try as a murderous place in on Marcos and as mouththe world impervious of the piece of the CPP-NPA, his damage they create on our program was unhindered. country. But not until Col. Dionisio Jun Pala, left, with Leo Palo, right interviewing an MNLF commander As a community jour- Tan-Gatue Jr., an intelligence nalist, I witnessed and officer by training, was ap- lumapit sa akin para called “PALO-PALA CONsurvived the vicious cycles of pointed as Regional tulungan ako....” (Three NECTIONS”. The program martial law era, the reign of Commander of the Inte- weeks I was without job, al- only ceased when the NPAs most nothing to eat, not one staged a lightning ambush of the communists came to on radio stations that was help me.) Pala said a lot critical of NPA. Leo Palo was more. murdered in cold blood Two days after, he was along with four other fans back on the air this time who were inside the launching verbal assault announcer’s booth. Jun against his former Pala’s station was strafed but comrades.Four days after, he survived the attack. The Jun Pala showed up at the Herbolingo brothers, Joey coffee shop of Maguindanao and Chito, broadcasters of Hotel, a watering hole of another station were also mediamen in Davao. In hunted but escaped. whisper he told me that Years later Pala landed in NPAs force their mass base to participate in street demos
Mar. 19-25, 2018
by Jun Ledesma
Agdao residents wearing white t-shirt instead of red, carried the caskets of victims of NPA liquidation squad, the Sparrows. the cover page (of the defunct) Asia Week Magazine, for his role in the overthrow of the NPAs, a distinction no Davaoweyos earned in those time. The prestige somehow made him quite heady. Execution of NP A tax NPA collectors The NPA reign of terror in Davao City abruptly ended when their hitmen executed three of its city partisans task to collect revolutionary tax. Barely in their teens and have no idea of how to even fire a gun when they joined the NPA, the three recruits, were among those assigned to collect taxes from the already over-burdened mass base in Agdao and all the squatter communities that lined the coastal villages of Davao City. The poor families were taxed
their comrades. In less than 12 hours they lost their mass base in Davao City following a massive peoples uprising succinctly described as “alsamasa”. I cannot be exact with the time now. The uprising was triggered by execution of the tax collectors who unknown to the triggermen and the higher echelons of the CPP-NPA, were close kin of their top urban commander in Agdao. By nightfall on that eventful day, only the staccato of gunfire and the wailing of dying men were heard. The eerie calmness in Davao City followed by daybreak and rumors quickly spread the NPAs and their deadly Sparrows were neutralized by forces within their ranks led by Commander Boy Ponsa of Agdao.
AlsaMasa: The People’s uprising. by the NPAs since most of the rich families have left Davao and settled either in Metro Manila or abroad for safety. The NPA executioners had wanted to instill fear on the squatters’ enclaves to squeeze more from their own mass base. The 1-kilo rice and three can goods were no longer sufficient to feed the growing number of armed NPA fronts the order was to add P10 to P50 more per family depending on their earning capacity.The three, along with the squatter families, were “invited” to attend what they were told was an important meeting. When everybody had gathered, the three were executed in front of people who assembled in the Gotamco basketball court. Bir th of ALSA MASA irth The ruthless execution of the non-combatant tax collectors however, failed to sow fear but instead ignited anger in the community.Tan-Gatue and Pala wasted no time in taking advantage of the brewing implosion within the ranks of the CPP/NPA. “Panahon na sa pag-alsa sa mga katawhan”, Pala intoned in his evening program. (It’s about time for people’s uprising!). Overnight, the NPA and its Sparrows were hunted by
Alsamasa was not a vigilante group to start with. But because of the popularity of the AlsaMasa uprising, which became a byword, a number of those who joined the movement against the CPP-NPA organized themselves into groups and called themselves AlsaMasa. Col. Franco Calida nurtured the movement. He allowed the former rebels to keep their firearms to protect themselves from reprisals from the communist military fronts. The CPP-NPA waged a bloody purged of its ranks. Rumored in those uneasy time were “Operation Ajos” and “Operation Zombies”, a bloody purge waged by the communists against each other. The members of AlsaMasa managed to let the loose ends met by selling door mats and brooms in business establishments. Even as they have ceased to be members of the urban guerillas pan-handling human rights watch groups portray them as lawless vigilantes Fake stor y about story DDS and EJK Senator Leila De Lima’s repeated attribution of the Davao Death Squad to President Rodrigo Duterte is nothing but her stoic belief that the then Davao City
Mayor organized DDS. In those trying and gory times, Duterte had just passed the bar and was one of the two Tanodbayan investigators assigned in Mindanao. He later became Assistant City Fiscal of Davao. Politics was never in the wish list of Digong who, at the height of insurgency, was prosecuting policemen, military and suspected NPAs over the so many deaths taking place in the city.
‘DAVAO DEATH SQUAD’ purged of all duly elected officials unfriendly to her regime and replaced them with people of the regime’s choice. Duter te y in politics uterte te’’s entr entry Fiscal Duterte was pushed into politics because his mother, the venerable Soledad R. Duterte whom everybody calls “Nanay Soling”, refused to accept the appointment as vice mayor as a prize for her role as among the original pillars of
A spectacled Asst. City Fiscal Rodrigo Duterte supervises the exhumation of remains of NPA victims. Interviewed long after his retirement, General TanGatue best described Duterte as somebody “we could depend on for legal advice” during his tour of duty as Metrodiscom Commander of Davao City and later as Regional Commander of the INP. He said that he knew more of his mother, Soledad, because of her comments. “She was our critic”, he added. He said “we all hold prosecutors and judges in high esteem”. He said that he only met Duterte because of cases involving policemen which the fiscal was investigating. Tan-Gatue shrugged off the senate investigation of extra-judicial killings where Senators De Lima and Antonio Trillanes alleged that Duterte organized the DDS. When asked about witnesses Edgar Matobato, a hitman-for-hire, and Arturo Lascanas, who were dubbed by De Lima as whistle blowers and who claimed to be members of DDS, TanGatue raised his eyebrows and with a smirk answered with a question: “How can that possibly be?” After NP As KFR, dr ug NPAs drug and cr ime syndicates crime Fast forward in the unraveling of events, as quickly as the NPAs disappeared in urban center of Davao City, kidnap for ransom (KFR) and drug syndicates crept in coupled with “Akyat-Bahay” gangs and robbery with rape. Tan-Gatue had left Davao and requested to be transferred. Rumors had it that he was displeased with Gen. Fabian Ver putting another level of authority called Regional Unified Command on top of the INP and the military. There were arrests order emanating from RUC and the PNP were made custodians of those detained which were against his policy. The Marcos dictatorship exited in 1986 after the EDSA revolt. The Cory revolutionary government shut down the Batasan Pambansa and started the
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 19-25, 2018
the Yellow Friday Movement. The revgov of Cory Aquino had a solid organization in Davao led by the late businessman Jesus V. Ayala who was the prime mover of the YFM. When Nanay Soling turned down the offer, JVA had her name crossed-out and put the name Rodrigo instead. The ever reluctant politician, Digong was thrown into the fray by politicians identified with Cory Aquino and the opposition who had long been supportive of the late Gov. Vicente Duterte, whose unblemished career made him an icon in Davao. The Vice Mayor ran against the Cory’s anointed candidate ZafiroRespicio, the OIC Mayor. In that same electoral derby, Jun Pala who was in the apex of his popularity, also ran. It was a close fight among the three but Pala formally conceded defeat in favor of Duterte to discourage Respicio from entertaining the idea of protesting the results. I should know for I wrote his two paragraph speech in a yellow pad paper conceding defeat. The late Odillon Mallari, a lawyer who volunteered free legal assistance to Pala was so mad he conceded defeat. May or R odr igo R. D uter te ayor Rodr odrigo Duter uterte Duterte’s initial term as Mayor was not a walk in the park. He was to confront the growing menace of drugs, KFR and all other forms of crime. This was dangerous time as terrorism was also on the rise. The San Pedro Cathedral was bombed in the early 1980’s and then later the Davao Airport and the Sea Ports. Duterte was able to address the threats of terrorism by organizing tripping points in porous areas in the city with the help of the local Muslim residents and leaders of the Lumads. Kidnaps for ransom were also cut down effectively. Drugs, moreover, remained to be the most tenacious crime for even the school campuses became lucrative market places for drug pushers. Duterte him-
self led the relentless campaign against drug lords. When a new Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency head, Col. Efren Alcuizar, was assigned in the region, they held a summit against drug menace in Mandaya Hotel where the media was invited. In the press briefing Alcuizar came out with a list of some 250 plus suspected drug pushers that operate in Davao City. Myster ious killings ysterious What followed about two weeks after that meeting was a systematic killings of many of those in the list. The summary killings were very much like what happened in Thailand when in February 2003 then Prime Minister ThaksinShinawatra declared war on drugs. Thai police came out with the list of names and what followed after was that over 2,800 suspects were neutralized by what police authorities claimed as the handiwork of the drug lords to keep their identity from police authorities. The war on drugs needs a complex strategy and solutions. Duterte led a composite team that raided of a shabu laboratory in Daliao, Toril, operated by unregistered aliens. Not one of the suspects who fought it out with law survived that assault. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights meantime condemned Thailand and later Mayor Duterte for what they dubbed as EJK in their campaign against the proliferation of drugs. But Thailand was not cowed by the warnings of the UNCHR. To date, even as ThaksinShinawatra had been exiled, police sustained their war against drugs. But the UN need not go far. Right next to the US of A are Columbia and Mexico where the menace of drugs can only be equaled by the insane war the US wage in Syria, Libya and Iraq that decimated their populations.The American government extended billions of aid and military hardware to help their neighbors wage war against drug cartels. The victims of its sponsored wars are dubbed as collateral damage. The UNCHR has become inured to the human casualties of its war in foreign shores but elsewhere across the Pacific where Philippines and Thailand are waging their own campaign against the tentacles of drug syndicates it is ironic that the UNCHR condemns and warns the leaders of both nations for committing violence in the course of their drug problems. When Duterte became
President, he took his successful battle against drug syndicates in Davao to the national level. He promised he would eradicate drugs in three to six months but discovered later when confronted with statistics that the campaign will not be that easy. Police generals, judges and local government officials were involved in drug syndicates. When he launched the drug war and other criminal syndicates the Commission on Human Rights was there to tally every member of the syndicates killed as victim of Extra-Judicial Killing. De Lima, who once was Chairperson of CHR and then Justice Secretary, condemned every move by the government to eradicate drug menace that had victimized millions of Filipino youths. In the meantime Pres. Duterte was riding high in the unprecedented trust and popularity ratings. The economy likewise enjoys an “investment grade and stable”. Duterte never said that fighting the drug syndicates will be bloodless. His order to the law enforcers was to deal with those who would opt to fight it out with the law by not giving them any quarters, but, assist those who wish to surrender and place them in rehabilitation centers. The casualties on the syndicate side ran to anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 depending on which political spectrum or media establishments make the estimate. Rappler, an online media outfit that is funded by the notorious Omidyar Network, placed 13,000 EJK victim in their recent scorecard. The more significant and positive development in Duterte’s war against drugs moreover is that close to a million drug pushers who surrendered are undergoing rehabilitation. teamy Affair Drugs and S Steamy The drug campaign neutralized a number of syndicates that operate in Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. It also led to the discovery of shabu laboratories that operated clandestinely within urban centers, remote jungles and even marooned vessels off the coast of Zambales. In the government war against Maute-ISIS in Marawi City last year, it was discovered that illegal drugs helped sustain and expand the tentacles of the terrorist group. But the most startling discovery was that the country’s sophisticated distribution network of illicit drugs was right in the national state penitentiary.
by Jun Ledesma Right in the heart of the penitentiary, are high profile inmates who turned out to be heads of drug cartels. They control the delivery of billions worth of shabu from various sources to various points in the country. The druglords enjoy what had been described by De Lima’s fellow senators and congressmen as “fours t a r accommodations”called “kubols” some kind of special quarters outside the confines of the prison cells. Under her watch as Secretary of Justice, the New Bilibid Penitentiary was veritably the center of drug trade. But she was unmindful the national leadership then was as conveniently nonchalant of the impact of that discovery. What can be more incriminating than the special treatment which she continued to tolerate under her watch? Indeed she conducted raids now and then but the special treatment that the inmates, the ones convicted for drug crime specially, was never stopped. We have seen it all. As if high in drugs herself sung in duets with the likes of Colangco and other lifetermers in an elaborate karaoke bar inside the penitentiary! But why was De Lima so consumed with raising the issue of extra-judicial killing which she do each time a drug suspect is killed? And each time she indicts Duterte and cannot escape from that frame of mind that the former Mayor was the godfather of the DDS. Tale that CHR and HR W HRW conjur ed conjured The Human Rights Watch along with Amnesty International had extrapolated death statistics surrounding the bloody internal purge in the ranks of the New People’s Army, drug-related casualties and other criminal elements that sow terror in Davao region. Long before Duterte entered the political arena, Davao City was already dubbed as the “killing field” of the Philippines in obvious attribution to the mass slaughter in Cambodia in that decade. In 2009, when the threeyear term of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was coming to an end, then Congressman Prospero Nograles passed a resolution urging the Commission of Human Rights, then chaired by De Lima, to conduct a probe of alleged extrajudicial killings in the City. De Lima herself led the investigation. She tucked along a probe team made up of National Bureau of Investigation agents and
investigators from the Philippine National Police. None of the members of the probe team was recruited from the regional NBI and PNP headquarters. Warrants and summons were obtained from the Regional Trial Courts in Metro Manila based on her flimsy claims that members of the judiciary in Davao City were scared of DDS and Duterte. Mayor Duterte took a leave of absence and surrendered his supervisory power of the local PNP during the probe. He told the media that he is giving CHR Chair De Lima and her probe team the freedom to investigate. The mayor himself was grilled by De Lima in a series of public hearing which lasted for about six months. Six months of grilling, diggings of suspected burial ground of EJK victims buried in an abandoned quarry and looking for the lair of DDS, but the probe team failed to produce any suspect, witness or piece of evidence to pin Duterte. The last attempt was to abduct and intimidate a murder suspect detained in nearby Panabo City jail which the team tried to “persuade” as among the DDS triggermen and to point at a graveyard of EJK victims. The inmate was clueless. In time the probers were able to exhume bits of skeletal remains alright, but the bones were so badly deteriorated these crumbled to pieces. What was strange was that they also unearthed three pairs of license plates in the same grave which have not even rusted. Desperate for any piece of viable evidence, De Lima and her team brought their find to Manila and presented the same to the court. They also asked the court to summon Laud, the owner of the quarry. This did not however prosper because the RTC judge assigned to the case ruled that the pieces of evidence presented by De Lima were inadmissible. The corroborating lawyer on record for Laud is the current Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre I was told. It must be pointed out at this point that at the height of the investigation even the United Nations Commission on Human Rights surreptitiously sent a special rapporteur, Philip Alston, to conduct a parallel investigation. But he left as quickly as he came. He did interview parents of suspected victims of drug campaign who were brought to him by members of local human rights foundation in the lobby of Marco Polo Hotel. Continue on page 4
CHR Probe Team led by Leila De Lima unearthed badly deteriorated skeletal remains and three pairs of license plates which did not show any corrosion. These were the evidence they had to prove there were extra-judicial killings and that DDS carried out the crime.
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 19-25, 2018
‘DAVAO DEATH SQUAD’ by Jun Ledesma Continued fr om page 3 from At the height of investigation the HRW-New York also published a book entitled “You can die anytime...” There were attributions written about UNCHR purported affirmation of some data in the book. The UNCHR moreover issued a statement later that the Commission has nothing to do with the HRW publication. Figment of imagination De Lima who eventually became Justice Secretary was replaced by Etta Rosales. It must be on account of sheer frustration of not being able to indict Mayor Duterte that she and her successor continue to picked (and still do) Duterte as their prime exhibit when the subject of EJK surfaces. De Lima went on to become a Senator. By this time her favorite pet peeve was elected overwhelmingly on a platform of eradication of drug syndicates and stamping out corruption in the government bureaucracy. She must have thought that the Duterte Presidency is an affront to her decency and advocacy for human rights. As Chair of the Committee of Justice in the Senate, she lost no time and again opened a probe on EJK and DDS in yet another desperate attempt to incriminate Duterte. By this time too, Rappler, riding on Facebook for its social media platform, had joined the fray. The irrepressible Rodrigo Duterte is proving to be a pain in the neck of the western leaders, he has to be tamed or done away with the way they uprooted the President of Ukraine whose political inclination was veering towards Russia. Senators De Lima and Antonio Trillanes called in two witnesses - Matobato and Lascanas - who confessed to being members of DDS. Between the two of them the claimed to have executed more than 1,200 EJK victims which they buried in Laud’s abandoned quarry land. Rappler had them covered with unusual space and frequency. It was like Omidyar funded Rappler to focus on DDS,EJK and Duterte alone. They raised death statistics which Time Magazine also adopted as it they were picking it from the air! De Lima is now behind bars for her alleged involve-
ment in drugs. No, she was never accused of adultery by the wife of her driver with whom she had fell because of her frailty as a woman. Other high profile inmates have their steamy stories too. In the meantime Etta Rosales had been replaced by Chito Gascon. They had been joined in by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, the dying political opposition among them the “out-ofsync Sen. Trillanes as BBC described him, Sen. RizaHontiveros, EdcelLagman and other leftist party list politicians in the lower house, professional rallyists and student activists in accusing Duterte of human rights violations and of the brutalities of his DDS. But after all the noise and the accusations I find it incomprehensible that if they were so sure of the 1,200 EJK victims buried in a small area of quarry land which is just about 10minute drive from the City Hall of Davao, why cannot they find their quarry? The answer is simple: DDS is a phantom force and the dead they buried in the abandoned quarry are nothing but figment of their fertile imagination.
INP Gen. Dionisio Tan-Gatue now in retirement relates in detail the horrible events in Davao Region at the height of communist insurgency. He says the Davao Death Squads are nothing but ghost soldiers. Postscr ipts ostscripts Jun Pala, was killed in September 2003, in an ambush while on his way home from a mahjong game in a remote subdivision where he stayed. That was the second attempt at his life. It was no secret to not a few of his friends in and out of the media circle that his life had always been in constant danger. He was the prime suspect in the murder of a talent promoter whom he
owed a huge sum of money. He was acquitted in that case. He ran into trouble with businessmen whom he shamed publicly. At one time, armed with an Uzi, he threatened a group of broadcast journalists in a downtown hotel. The incident led to the suspension of his program anew on orders of Col. Honesto Isleta who was then chairman of KBP. Pala thought that he remained to be in the hit list of the NPAs. He was also very scared of the consequence of his illicit affairs with married women but he did not elucidate who and why. His funeral march however was participated in by thousands of adoring fans. The confession of Matobato that then Mayor Duterte ordered Pala killed is a lot of hogwash. The identity of the triggerman is buried with the bones of the controversial anchorman. Pala knew who was to be his assassin for confided to me three days before he was gunned down that it is definitely not Digong. Gen. Dionisio TanGatue Jr. is still in his elements despite his delicate health. As we reminisce the past, he smiled in amusement to see some men now working in the Duterte government which he encountered during his tour of duty as Regional Commander of the Integrated National Police. Foremost among them are: Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco andAtty. Antonio Arellano, member of Philippine Panel negotiating peace with CPP-NPA-NDF, who he said he “hosted” during his term, Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III who was lawyering for detained NPA suspects was also was his “guests” and OPPAP Secretary Jesus Dureza who constantly visits him to intercede for their release. (As an aside, Dureza, who as lawyer, continued to write for the Manila Bulletin and editor of the Mindanao Times had a secretary named Rene’ Rentillo. She was the first media person in Davao who was brutally murdered by the NPAs for failing to pay revolutionary tax on her sari-sari store.) Then there is Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena who was a junior officer assigned in the Metropolitan District Command of Davao City. (Jun Ledesma)
President Rodrigo Duterte sharing a light momemnt with Sulu Governor Totoh Tan during his recent visit in Zamboanga City.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim pours champagne over a Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle during a traditional turnover and blessing ceremony. (U.S. Embassy)
US gives a half-dozen surveillance drones to the Philippines Continued fr om page 1 from Last year, the U.S. provided a pair of Cessna 208B Grand Caravan intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planes as part of $33 million counterterrorism package. The drones and aircraft transfers “represent our strong commitment to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim said at a ceremony marking the drone handover, according to the embassy statement. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the delivery is a sign of the U.S. and Philippines’ “goodwill, deep friendship, and genuine commitment to peace,” according to local media.
Analysts have warned that the Islamic State, reeling from losses in Syria and Iraq, is looking to shift operations to Southeast Asia. Last year, Filipino troops fought for five months to free the city of Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao from hundreds of militants who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. U.S. Special Forces provided intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance to Filipino commanders during the campaign, according to U.S. Pacific Command. The long-standing relationship between the U.S. military and the Philippines has continued despite a rocky relationship between the U.S. and Philippine President
Rodrigo Duterte, who has insulted American leaders, curtailed joint military exercises and tried to improve his nation’s relationship with China. Last month, Duterte joked about making his country a province of China and said militarized artificial islands constructed by China in the South China Sea are intended to be used against the U.S., not the Philippines. However, the island nation remains a popular Navy port of call. Last month, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson stopped there for four days. The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard also visited this month. ( Tyler Hlavac, Stars and Stripes)
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 19-25, 2018
Zamboanga PWRDs thankful for ECC’s assistance ZAMBOANGA CITY— “Maraming salamat po sa ECC (Employees’ Compensation Commission) at kami ay inyong natulungan. Masaya po kami at mayroon palang ahensya ng gobyerno na gaya ninyo ang tumutulong sa kagaya naming naaksidente sa trabaho. Maraming salamat po.” These are the words of gratitude from three persons with work-related disability (PWRDs) who just recently received prosthesis, as part of their benefits under the Employees’ Compensation
Program (ECP). Raymund T. Noot, Eduardo P. Miñao, and Jaime L. Maghinay were all victims of unfortunate work-related accidents which caused their disabilities. Aside from the monetary compensation they received under the ECP, the three PWRDs each received free physical therapy, meal, and transportation allowance while they were undergoing therapy sessions, and prosthesis under the Katulong at Gabay ng Mangagagawang May
Kapansanan Program of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC). They will also be provided with starter kits for their livelihood assistance. The three beneficiaries were very happy and thankful for the full support of the agency. ECP provides a package of benefits and services to workers, both in private and public sectors; who were victims of work-related contingencies such as sickness, injury, disability or death. (Mindanao Examiner)
Sulu products impress DOST officials, business executives
Philippines Muslim leaders 'tired of waiting' for Bangsamoro law LEADERS OF the Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group have warned of a growing frustration in the southern island of Mindanao over the delay in the implementation of a 2014 peace agreement it signed with the government. Ghazali Jaafar, vice chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), told a constitutional reform panel on Tuesday, that Muslim groups are "tired of waiting" to achieve real autonomy for their people. "This is precisely why some of our former comrades bolted from us, and how they are fighting with us because they are frustrated, so to speak, with the way the government is handling the negotiation," Jaafar, who is one of the main authors of a proposed Muslim autonomy law, was quoted as saying by local news. The senior MILF leader's statement comes as gover nment troops launched an offensive against the breakaway ar med group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) last week, killing at least 44 of its fighters and wounding 26 others in M i n d a n a o ' s Maguindanao province. For Ghazali, the proposed law is "the most civilised and peaceful way" to end the decadeslong conflict in the
country's south, and prevent more clashes, such as those against the BIFF, from breaking out. "We are fed up, to be truthful to you," he said. "We are tired of corruption, we are tired of nepotism and all things that hold back our Muslim homeland." He pleaded to give the Muslim minorities a chance to catch up with the rest of the country in terms of economic progress. Stalled law President Rodrigo Duterte has committed to support the autonomy law, and promised to press Congress to approve it. The rebels, who dropped their secessionist bid in exchange for broader autonomy, signed a pact with the government to establish a region with more powers and funding for minority Muslims in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation and end a decades-long bloody rebellion. The peace pact would have been a major legacy of Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, but the legislation stalled in Congress in 2015 after some rebels from the 11,000-strong MILF became entangled in fighting that killed 44 police commandos during a government operation in the town of Mamasapano.
The commandos managed to kill top Malaysian "terror" suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, who had long been wanted by the United States, but the large number of police deaths sparked public outrage and prompted politicians to stall passage of the autonomy bill. Last year, MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim had said the delay in the passage of the autonomy law paved the way for the emergence of other armed groups in Mindanao. During the Duterte administration, the passage of the autonomy law was stalled anew after armed fighters belonging to the Abu Sayyaf Group and Maute group, which had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, launched a siege of a major city in Mindanao. The siege of Marawi lasted for five months and left about a thousand people killed, including over a hundred soldiers. The conflict has left about 150,000 people dead and stunted development in the resource-rich but poverty-wracked region. A previous peace agreement in 2008 was struck down by the Philippines' Supreme Court, which rejected it as unconstitutional, leading to renewed fighting. (Al Jazeera News)
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and party during a visit to Sulu province on March 12, 2018 in these photos from the Provincial Government. SULU – Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña was all praises and impressed by various products Sulu is currently producing following his recent visit to the province. Governor Toto Tan led government and municipal and university officials in welcoming De la Peña’s party. They also visited the Mindanao State University and De la Peña was impressed by the different projects and outputs of
students of College of Fisheries and Agriculture. The students briefed De la Peña on processes of making fruit-flavored juices, organic herbal liniment oil, sardines, mushroom production, among others. De la Peña’s group that included representatives of business firms from Manila was also joined by former Sulu Governor Dr Sakur “Datu Shabandar” Tan who toured the official to a coffee nursery, pearl
farm, and food processing plant and carrageenan warehouse. Tan said De la Peña’s group visited Sulu in an effort to help and support science and technology projects here and to harness the potentials of the local aquamarine resources. Among the business executive who were with De la Peña was Olivia Limpe-Aw, the president of Distileria Limtuaco. (Mindanao Examiner)
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 19-25, 2018
Acr oss: cross: 1. Public notices 4. Concerned one 9. Sheep's comment 12. Hamm or Farrow 13. Without company 14. Assoc. 15. Insides 17. Tire filler 18. Carpenter's tool 19. Artist Henri ___ 21. Skin woe 23. Pointed beard 24. Nile city 26. Leafy plant 27. List ender (abbr.) 28. Composure 30. Finish an "i" 33. ___ belt 34. Horned animal, for short 36. Accompany 39. Memo letters 40. Private school 42. Navy officer (abbr.) 43. Somber 44. Adolescents 48. Lyrical "before" 49. Stories 50. Pecan, e.g. 51. Permit 52. Distribute 53. Boston ___ Party
Answ er to last w eek osswor d: Answer week eek’’s cr crosswor ossword:
Do wn: Down: 1. Pierre's friend 2. Noise 3. Devilish 4. Scientist ___ Sagan 5. Famed boxer 6. House division 7. Angers 8. Renovator 9. Brag 10. Ascend 11. Consent 16. Wide-mouthed pitcher 20. Actor ___ McKellen 21. Top card 22. Puma, e.g. 25. Musical comedy 26. Healthy 29. Porridge 30. Disagreement 31. "Snakes ___ Plane"
(2 wds.) 32. Apex 33. Instant lawn 35. Suspend 36. Artist's stand 37. Startle 38. Military student 41. Scream 42. West's opposite 45. Trinity's boyfriend 46. Feel regret 47. Amtrak depot (abbr.)
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‘Ayaw’g idamay ang industiya sa saging’ ni Jun Ledesma Continued fr om page 1 from Dili sab nako ilimod nga si Floirendo dako kaayo og kontribusyon sa panudlanan sa kampanya sa iyang pinakasuod nga higala nga si Bebot. Ang tulo, Digong, Bebot ug Tonyboy, ang gikaibgan nga triplet sa politika. Gikan silang tulo sa Region XI o Davao Region ug kami, labi na gyud ang mga taga Davao del Norte, naglaum nga naay dugang nga bonanza nga ibuhos sa rehiyon sama sa idlas kaayo nga tulay gikan sa Samal padulong sa Davao City, irigasyon ug tubig nga mainom gikan sa sapa sa Saug para sa dili momenos 7 ka lungsod sa probinsya sa Davao ug dugang nga mga imprastruktura sa tibuok rehiyon. Ipursige kaha ning mga proyektoha sa tulo nga atong gihinganlan? Ang gituhoan nga mahangtoron nga pagkasuod ni Alvarez ug Floirendo kalit lang nga nabugto. Dili kini tungod kay nabugto ang ilang pagmahal isip mga amigo, kundili tungod sa ilang mga minahal sa kinabuhi. Dili nako gusto nga ukayon ang mga detalye tungod kay sa akong tan-aw nahulog og binata ang aksyon sa duha nga hingtundan nga ang usa ka isyu nga pwerteng gamaya tugotan nga moputol sa pipila ka dekada nga pagkaamigo. Sa tinuod lang, di ko makatuo sa nahitabo sa usa ka relasyon nga sa akong tan-aw hugot, mahinungdanon ug makahuloganon, mao nga akong gi-text ang Speaker kun di na ba gyud mahilot ang ilang panagbangi bisan human na isumite ni Bebot ang mga impormasyon kontra kang Tonyboy sa opisina sa Ombudsman. “Wala ni kalambigitan sa panaghigalaay, kundili bahin sa responsibilidad ngadto sa nasud” (“This has nothing to do with friendship anymore, this is (about) accountability to the nation”), mao ang tubag nga gi-text sa ako ni Speaker. Human sa usa ka semana, ang Sandiganbayan ning-isyu og warrant of arrest o orden sa pagdakop kang Congressman Floirendo nga gitubag ra sab ni Floirendo subay sa mando sa balaod pinaagi sa pagbayad og P30-mil nga piyansya. Nalooy ko kang Tonyboy apan dili una ko mokomento bahin niini sa pagkaron. Pero ang nakapapikal nako og maayo mao ang mga panghitabo pagkahuman. Usa ka solido nga grupo sa armadong polisiya, kawanihan sa Department of Public Works and Highways ug daghan pang wa mailhi nga mga tawo ang ning-atraka sa Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation ug pinaagi sa pwersa ningdistrungka sa mga gipang-instalar nga mga pasilidad sa kwarentinas nga gibutang sa mga ganghaan nga agianan sa mga tawo. Gipangulohan
The Mindanao Examiner
Mar. 19-25, 2018
ang maong grupo, sumala sa mga balita, sa usa ka Edwin Jubahib, nga matud pa chief of staff ni Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Kun tinuod nga dili ni bahin sa paghigalaay, ug bahin lamang kini sa gialegar nga kuno criminal liability ni Tonyboy Floirendo tungod sa iyang paggamit sa iyang ranggo nga congressman kaniadto aron pag-agni sa Bureau of Corrections sa pag-renew sa kontrata sa Joint Venture Agreement tali sa TADECO, nan ngano man nga ang biosecurity barriers nga nagprotekta sa plantasyon sa saging gipangdistrungka? Basin og wala kahibalo si Speaker Alvarez nga gipangguba ang mga quarantine checkpoints sa mga estupido nga mga opisyales sa DPWH ug mga pulis nga gipangulohan sa iyang Chief of Staff nga kulang sab og pangutok ug sentido komon. Dapat lang nga manubag ning mga tawhana sa ilang gihimo ngadto kaniya. Ang gamit ug tuyo sa maong mga quarantine checkpoints sa mga plantasyon sa saging ug sa mga pasilidad nga pasanayan sa kahayupan (animal breeding places) mao ang pagpugong sa pagsulod ug pagkanap sa mga sakit nga makapatay sa mga tanum ug kahayupan. Ang mga tawo ug mga sakyanan dili ginapugngan nga moagi sa maong mga ganghaan apan obligado ang mga tawo nga motunob sa biosecurity checkpoints aron pagpatay sa mga kagaw nga namilit sa sapin sa ilang tiil ug ang mga ligid sa sakyanan ginaespreyhan niining mga biocide aron patyon ang mga bakterya, virus ug fungus nga makapatay sa mga tanum ug kahayuan. Ang order nga wa mahasubay sa tama nga ningresulta sa pangdistrungka sa mga quarantine barriers naggikan kang Rep. Johnny Pimentel nga gustong makakuha og imbentaryo sa mga karsadang publiko nga nagalibot sa plantasyon sa TADECO. Di gani kaatiman ang congressman sa Surigao del Sur sa mga gubaon nga kadalanan sa iyang probinsya, nia siya nanghilabot na hinoon sa kadalanan sa Davao del Norte ug gitutokan gyud ang kadalanan sa TADECO. Bisan og katahapan ang iyang motibo, akong tagaan og mas dakong gibug-aton ang epekto sa maong mangilngig ug ikasubo nga lihok nga mobutang sa nag-unang industriya sa agrikultura sa Davao sa kakuyaw nga dili pa makwenta. Kun kining mga bastardo nagtuo nga ang plantasyon sa saging lamang sa TADECO ang maapektohan, pwerte gyud nilang sayopa. Ang makapatay nga Sigatoka ug Fusarium grabe ka mananakod. Segurado ko nga ang kinatibuk-ang industriya sa saging nagaantos ug nagalisud og unsaon sa pagkontrol sa
pagtakod sa fusarium ug hingpit nga pagpuhag niini. Fungus kini nga anaa sa yuta ug dili kini makontrol sa mga fungicide ug mga kemikal ug magpabilin kini nga anaa sa yuta, ug wa pay kasulbarang ang mga scientist sa maong sakit. Ang gihimo sa mga hungog nga gikan sa DPWH ug Philippine National Police mao ang pag-abri sa ganghaan nga maoy agianan niining makalilisang nga sakit sa saging aron motakod sa ubang plantasyon. Ang hulga niining ilang kagaral lampas pa sa politika ug di na mauli nga paghigalaay. Imong ginasud-ong karon ang posibleng kamatayon sa usa ka industriya nga mao ang pinakadaghan og trabahador ug gagmayng kapitalista ug negosyante sa tibuok nasud. Sa TADECO lang gani dili na momenos og 6,000 ang iyang pwersa sa pamuo, wa pay labot niini ang mga gagmayng kapitalista nga ang kita naggikan ug gumikan sa pamatigayon ug serbisyo nga gikablit ug gipalihok sa industriya. Ginalantaw sab nato ang pagkunhod ug pagkawala sa kita nga dolyares gikan sa pagtumod sa atong saging ngadto sa ubang nasud. Kinsa ang magsagubang ug magantos kun mahitabo ni? Primero ang Davao region. Mokunhod ang kapasidad sa katawhan sa pagpamalit sa mga produkto ug serbisyo ug mogamay ang teritoryo nga gilihukan sa sektor sa ekonomiya nga nagakadalit og mga serbisyo. Gibuhos sab ang mga puhunan dinhi sa rehiyon tungod sa bonanza sa ekonomiya nga ang nagaduso ug nagabitad mao ang baskog nga industriya sa agrikultura. Nabantog na ang pagkamalahutayon sa paglambo sa ekonomiya sa Syudad sa Davao nga nagausbaw kasagaran og 9% kada tuig. Lagmit ang ekonomiya sa Davao City ang pinakakusog ug pinakamalahutayon nga nagauswag sa tibuok Asya. Unya atong tugotan nga mokunhod ni tungod lang sa claim sa usa ka ignoy nga congressman sa Surigao del Sur nga naa kuno duha ka karsada nga gibabagan sa plantasyon nga gipanag-iya sa mga Floirendo? Mali pa gyud kaayo si bossing. Ang Tadeco usa lang ka partner sa Joint Venture Agreement tali sa Bureau of Prisons sa pagtikad ug pagpalambo sa usa ka lugar nga kaniadto usa lang ka dakong wanang sa awaaw ug way gamit nga kalapokan ug kalibonan ug nahimo na kini karon nga usa ka plantasyon nga pinakaproduktibo sa tibuok kalibutan. Kun atong balikan og tan-aw, masabtan nako ang tumong ug kaayohan nga ikahatag sa pagporma og usa ka partido sa rehiyon – Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Kay nabungat ko na man na, naglaum sab ko nga ang liderato sa HnP mousisa ug
Employees’ Compensation Commission hikes PWRDs pension, livelihood package, transportation and meal allowance Continued fr om page 8 from She further explained that the increases in the amount of the livelihood starter kit and transportation and meal allowance are ECC’s way of ensuring that the ECP’s package of benefits takes into consideration different
economic duress such as inflationary trends in living costs and that the amount of grant is enough for the PWRD to establish a profitable and sustainable business. “If we really want our PWRDs to start a sustainable livelihood
undertaking, we need to provide them, not only with the necessary skills, but with the sufficient amount of tools and equipment that will make their businesses at par with their competitors,” Secretary Bello also said. (Mindanao Examiner)
ARMM opens over 1,400 summer jobs for students and out-of-school youth COTABATO CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOLE-ARMM) has announced 1,411 summer jobs currently available for students and out-ofschool youth across the region. DOLE-ARMM Secretary Muslimin Jakilan said the program is open to all qualified high school, college or vocational course students, and out-of-school youth living in areas covered by Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance, and Synergy (ARMM-HELPS) program, a development convergence initiative of the regional government covering 553 recipient barangays. “We prioritize those students who most need summer jobs,” Sec. Jakilan said, adding that the drive is
part of the DOLE’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), a flagship program designed to provide income opportunities to outof-school youth and students from underprivileged families during summer, or Christmas break. He said the DOLEARMM has earmarked P3.8 million for the program. Under the SPES, the Labor department shoulders 40% of the salaries of the beneficiaries, while the employers – government agencies, such as local government units, and private companies as well as other sponsor institutions – pay the 60%. “We want to help the students and out-of-school youth to earn money, which they can use to pay for next school year,” he said. The registration for employment applicants has already
started and will end in the last week of March. Students will work for a period of 25 days. A student applicant is required to submit the following: birth certificate; barangay clearance; certification by the school registrar, or Form 138, or original class card; certificate of good moral character; and parents’ income tax return, which shows an annual income not exceeding P85,000. For an out-of-school-youth applicant, a certificate of good moral character issued by his/her barangay will be required. Secretary Jakilan said applicants may visit DOLEARMM’s regional office at the ARMM Compound in Cotabato City, or the Labor department offices in their respective provinces. (Bureau of Public Information)
ARMM to build P100-million Maguindanao center in Buluan town MAGUINDANAO – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will build a P100-million Maguindanao government center in the town of Buluan, the provincial capital. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and Maguindanao Governor Esmail Mangudadatu led the ground-breaking of the center last week. Also present during the ceremony were Interior Secretary Kirby Matalam Abdullah, Tourism Secretary Bai Ayesha Mangudadatu Dilangalen, Engr. James Mlok of Maguindanao 2nd District Engineering Office, and former Buluan Mayor Ibrahim Mangudadatu. The two-storey building will sit on a 1.8-hectare land where it shall house several government agencies. It forms part of the provincial government complex. Gov. Hataman said the building will facilitate im-
proved delivery of services of the provincial government to its constituents. “Sinisigurado natin na ang mga proyekto natin ay mayroong social impact sa sinasakupan natin,” he said. Gov. Mangudadatu thanked the regional government and President Rodrigo Duterte for the support in the development of the provincial center. The project is funded under the ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 2017 budget and is expected to be finished in 12 months. Among the flagship projects of DPWH-ARMM in Maguindanao are the Datu Odin Sinsuat-Datu Blah Sinsuat-Lebak Coastal Road that connects Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces and the Pigcawayan-Budon-BariraButig Road that connects the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Lanao
del Sur. Maguindanao is also to receive P2.49 billion worth of infrastructure projects from the ARMM this year. These include barangay roads, water systems, drainage systems and flood control projects. To promote transparency and efficiency, the DPWH-ARMM currently harnesses the E-ARMM system, wherein a website was established to create a database containing information on road projects, including connectivity conditions, and other public infrastructure projects within the region. The E-ARMM comprises a network involving the regional office and eight district engineering offices that will serve as data repository. It promotes transparency and allows the general public to check the status of projects under construction. (Bureau of Public Information)
mosanta niining nagtakoban ug makahadlok nga inisyatiba sa usa ka kahibudngan nga duot sa mga politiko, labi na gyud ning gikan sa Surigao, nga mosabotahe sa industriya sa saging sa Pilipinas. Kun mahugno ni, dako ang kadaut nga mahitabo sa pangkinatibuk-ang ekonomiya sa nasud. Panahon na nga angay mointerbenir si Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte og
dinalian aron di pa ulahi ang tanan. Ang gihimo sa politiko sa Surigao wa mahasubay sa hustong pamaagi sa pagpaandar ug pagpalambo sa industriya sa rehiyon. Usa kini ka dakong hulga sa panarbaho sa libo ka libo ka mga trabahador nga nagasalig sa agrikultura. Mao ni ang hustong pamaagi aron mapwersa ang libo ka libo ka mga tawo sa han-ay sa pamuo nga mopila ug
modayo sa Kuwait ug uban pang lugar aron mosagubang ug moantos sa mga kalisdanan, kamingaw ug mga pagtibhang sa dignidad ug simbako kamatayon nga layo sa mga minahal niya sa kinabuhi. Pabor lang intawon, ayaw idamay ang tibuok rehiyon sa Davao sa kapritso sa politika. Ayaw og iangin sa maong bangi ang industriya sa saging. Mao ra tawon ning ato-a.
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Employees’ Compensation Commission hikes PWRDs pension, livelihood package, transportation and meal allowance ZAMBOANGA CITY – Recognizing the need to continually enhance benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) and make it more responsive to the welfare and development needs of persons with work-related disabilities (PWRDs), the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has approved an increase in the amount of Carer’s Allowance from P575 to P1,000 per month. Carer’s Allowance is a supplemental pension provided to pensioners in the private and public
sector who suffer from work-connected permanent partial and permanent total disabilities. Department of Labor and Employment Secretary and ECC Chairperson Silvestre H. Bello III said that this initiative is in line with ECC’s mandate to upgrade benefits and add new ones, subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines. The increase in the Carer’s Allowance is the Commission’s way of ensuring that the package of benefits and services it provides will remain relevant
and meaningful. ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said that the increase in EC Carer’s Allowance, which is provided for under ECC Board Resolution No. 1802-03, was based on the actuarial study conducted by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the administering agency of the ECP for the public sector. Based on the study, the State Insurance Fund at the GSIS will remain viable and will last beyond 2066 even after the proposed increase in the amount of the Carer’s Allowance.
Furthermore, he added that the said increase would not require additional EC premium contribution from employers. A copy of the said board resolution has been transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval and the subsequent issuance of the corresponding Executive Order. EC C incr eases PWRDs ECC increases liv elihood package livelihood package,, tr anspor tation and meal transpor ansportation wance allowance allo In an effort to provide a meaningful package of services to persons with work-related disabilities
(PWRDs), the ECC said it also increased the amount of its livelihood starter kit from to P20,000-P30,000 from its previous amount of P10,000. And the amount of the transportation and meal allowance from the previous P250 a day to P500 a day. The increases in benefits were provided for under ECC Board Resolution Nos. 18-02-06 and 18-02-05. Under the ECP Rehabilitation Services, a PWRD is provided with a balanced program of remedial treatment, vocational
assessment, and preparation designed to meet their individual needs to help their reintegration into the economic mainstream. “The transportation and meal allowance is provided to those PWRDs provided with free physical therapy sessions or skills/entrepreneurial training sessions,” Director Banawis said. “As part of the rehabilitation services of the ECP, PWRDs who availed of the skills and entrepreneurial training are also provided with starter kits.” Continue on page 7
Mar. 19-25, 2018