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Federalism, to be or not to be By Jun Ledesma

THE EGGHEADS, politicians, lawyers, business and those from varied ideological prisms have been locked in a seemingly endless clash over the draft Federal constitution. This is a healthy exercise except that there are quarters from each of these sector who would rather keep the status quo for reasons that it will impact on their

Founded 2006

respective agenda. Not a few politicians from both in the Senate and House of Representatives, who had benefited from the present electoral process have collectively declared that Federalism is dead. This is quiet understandable given the fact that majority of the incumbent senators will never win in a regional elections. It is for them a

matter of survival so forget the sound bites. Following some vital fiscal issues raised by the financial and economic cluster the draft charter will go through scrutiny and I think that the present Congress is the proper venue provided the members will forget their personal agenda. A constitutional assembly Continue on page 7

Cebu Pacific grows Davao hub, opens a new route and adds frequencies DAVAO CITY – The Philippines’ leading airline, Cebu Pacific (CEB), expands its footprint at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here with the introduction of a new route, as well as additional frequencies. It said starting November 9, 2018, Cebu Pacific will mount daily

flights between its Davao and Clark hubs, improving air connectivity between Central Luzon and Mindanao. Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 986, bound for Clark, departs Davao at 4.10 p.m. daily, and arrives at 6.05 p.m. The return flight 5J 985 departs from Clark to Davao at 1.45 p.m., with scheduled arrival at 3.40 p.m.

TERRORISM FOR ADVERTISEMENTS, PLEASE CALL (062) 9925480 or (082) 2841859

IDAP AWAN CIT Y – Thr eats of terr or ism continue in souther n IDAPA CITY Threats terror orism southern Philippines and authorities have raised the alarm and called on citizens to stay vigilant following a deadly motorcycle bombing in the volatile region being claimed by the Islamic State or IS. The recent bombing in people wounded. SITE founding anniversary and the town of Isulan in Intelligence reported that occurred while the whole Sultan Kudarat province IS’ East Asia Province region is under martial had killed 3 people, one claimed bombing Filipino rule. The motorcycle was parked along the highway of them a child. The soldiers in Isulan. powerful explosion also The blast coincided near several shops in Continue on page 3 left nearly three dozen with the town’s 61st


“Cebu Pacific has been operating flights in and out of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport since 1996. Since our maiden DavaoManila flight, we have not only expanded operations, but consistently maintained our presence in the region. We remain Continue on page 7


September 3-9, 2018


US terror designations target Islamic State’s Southeast Asian network Continued from page 1 call to jihad, encouraging would-be recruits to join the self-declared caliphate’s ranks. The video in question,

titled “The Solid Edifice – The Philippines,” was released in June 2016. It was part of the group’s aggressive push to woo additional people from

throughout Southeast Asia to its cause, including some who were previously aligned with al Qaeda. Treasury describes

Sulu, Tawi-Tawi also in rice crisis; trading center proposed Read story on page 2

Three newly-designated terrorists appeared in a June 2016 video entitled, “ The Solid Edifice – The Philippines.” ON AUGUST 24, the US Treasury Department announced that it had designated three Islamic State recruiters from Southeast Asia as terrorists. The move is the latest in a series of designations

targeting jihadists from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines who joined Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s caliphate building project. The three newlysanctioned Islamic State recruiters are: Mohamad Rafi

Udin, Mohammed Karim Yusop Faiz and Mohammad Reza Lahaman Kiram. All three were “were featured in an official ISIS beheading video” and used the gory executions to buttress their Continue on page 4



Zamboanga residents line up to buy NFA rice at P32 a kilo. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 3-9, 2018

Coast Guard intensifies anti-smuggling ops Zamboanga residents line up to buy NFA rice at P32 a kilo. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Sulu, Tawi-Tawi also in rice crisis; trading center proposed Coast Guard photos (see other picture below) show the seized rice. ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Coast Guard has doubled its efforts to patrol the waters in Zamboanga Peninsula following the recent seizure of some 22,000 bags of rice off Basilan province. The rice shipment was believed to have been smuggled into the southern Philippines from Malaysia. The Coast Guard said it first intercepted the boat ML Overseas near Tamuk Island and discovered 10,000 bags of rice in its cargo bay. It said the shipment had no pertinent documents. Another boat, ML Nadeepa, carrying some 12,000 bags of rice was also stopped by the Coast Guard off Maluso town. The cargo also had no pertinent papers. The Coast Guard did not say if it made any arrest, but claimed the seized shipment were handed over to the Bureau of Customs. “Both vessels were apprehended and escorted to Zamboanga City Port for proper turn over to the local Bureau of Customs officials for disposition,” it said without elaborating further. Customs officials did not issue any statement on the seizure of the rice shipment and its owners. The seizure of the rice shipment came at a time when Basilan and nearby provinces, including the neighboring city of Zamboanga, are suffering from lack of rice supply that resulted in high prices in the market. Just late last month, the National Food Authority said it has started releasing rice stocks to retailers in Zamboanga City, but traders are limiting the sale of Vietnam rice to 3 kilos per person until supply normalizes. “We are only allowed to buy three kilos of rice a day because traders say the stocks they are getting from NFA are limited,” said Lucia Gallo, a 39-year old mother of 5, who was among dozens of people lining up in the market to buy rice imported by the government from Vietnam.

One rice trader said they were only given about 20 bags of 50-kilo rice and sells them at P32 a kilo per person a day. “Once we sell everything, we need to get fresh stocks again from NFA. And this is also the reason why we limit the selling of rice to only three kilos per person a day so everybody maybe avail of the cheap rice,” he said. Local legislators passed a resolution recently placing the city under state of calamity due to the shortage of rice supply. Even supermarkets have run out of rice stocks. The City Agriculturist Office also started monitoring rice prices in different areas here to ensure traders follow the suggested retail pricing of grains and prevent hoarding. The lack of ample supply of rice was largely blamed by traders to the NFA for failing to deliver cheap rice to the market. Just this week, the NFA said it released 10,000 bags of in Sulu province. Sulu’s rice stocks had been depleted the past weeks after the provincial government purchased over 5,000 bags of rice to feed thousands of people displaced by a huge fire in Jolo town. The same also occurred in the cities of Lamitan and Zamboanga following the burning of many houses that displaced thousands of people who relied heavily on rice donations. The supply of rice from nearby Malaysia – which helps stabilized the prices of commercial rice in Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sulu – also declined due to a strict government campaign against “traditional” barter trading in the area. A bag of 25-kilo rice from Malaysia only sells as P650 while commercial rice retails as P1,200 a bag of 25 kilos. Some traders also blamed unscrupulous businessmen they accused of hoarding rice that aggravated the situation which resulted to even more expensive rice prices. “That

is happening, but we are only small time traders and the big ones are controlling the prices of commercial rice. They opposed the entry of rice from nearby Malaysia and it resulted in scarcity of Malaysian branded rice such as Triple A and Sunrise. It is all about controlling the business and make huge profits,” said one local rice trader at the public market. Rice stocks from as far as Isabela province in northern Philippines and imported rice from Thailand, India and Vietnam are now available here and prices of rice are slowly stabilizing. Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar said NFA has made available 40,000 bags of rice with additional supply coming from Cotabato and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces. “This is a very positive development. We are looking at the normalization of rice supply pending harvest this September,” she said, adding, “the NFA and the Department of Agriculture have noticed reduction in rice prices as well as rice availability in the market. Other short term and long term measures are also being explored including the purchase of rice from Cotabato following the declaration of a state of calamity.” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, quoting rice industry stakeholders, said the unusually high prices of rice in the market will taper off and stabilize in the 4th Quarter when farmers start to harvest their last cropping for the year, and rice stocks imported by private sector have been completely brought in by the end of September. According to Piñol, NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said that the first shipment of 250,000 metric tons of NFA rice has arrived in the country and the next 250,000 metric tons would start arriving soon. Rice from Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan imported by traders have also arrived. (Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – While the shortage in Zamboanga City is slowly being addressed by the government, the situation is far worst in Sulu province where people are lining up in long queues just to be able to buy 5 kilos of rice from the National Food Authority or NFA. NFA rice sells at P27 a kilo in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, which is suffering from lack of rice supply. Even rice imported by traders from Malaysia is gone due to a strict government campaign against rice smuggling which locals insist as “traditional” barter trade activities. And neighboring province of Tawi-Tawi which is near Sabah in Malaysia is also facing the lack of rice supply and residents are queuing to buy government subsidized rice sold at NFA outlets. With the rice crisis now in those areas, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has proposed a special importation of 132,000 metric tons of rice by the private sector for Zamboanga Peninsula – composed of Zamboanga City, and the provinces Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte – and Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – all in the Muslim autonomous region also known as ZamBaSulTa – and also considering the establishment of a Rice Trading Center where all supplies coming from other countries nearby, such as Malaysia, would be unloaded, charged with minimal tariffs and distributed only in those areas. “My proposal is that the volume of rice allowed to enter through the Rice Trading Center should not be more than half of the total requirements of the region so that rice farmers in the mainland would not be affected,” Piñol said. Piñol said each of the local governments in ZamBaSulTa should be required to establish a rice production project with an initial 1,000 hectares as pilot area. He said the provincial government of Tawi-Tawi has committed 10,000 hectares while the three others have committed 1,000 hectares each. “Local officials have all endorsed my proposals, but aside from (rice production project) which I could implement at my level, all the others will have

to refer to other agencies for their approval. There is not much time, however, because Tawi-Tawi’s rice supply is only good for 15 days while Sulu only has about 10 days,” he said, adding, the only other option left to the local officials is to allow the resumption of rice smuggling operations in the area. “But that has also become problematic because with the intensified campaign against smuggling by President Duterte, the “tara” of corrupt government officials in the area and other agencies has also increased to P500 per 25-kilo bag,” Piñol said. He said with a tara of P500 per bag, the landed cost of the smuggled rice would come to about P44 per kilo, that is just slightly lower than the rice produced by the farmers from Mindanao. “This is a predicament that could only be addressed if we in government would get our acts together and act fast,” he said. Tawi-Tawi, according to Piñol, which has long been reputed to be the drop-off area for rice smuggled in from Malaysia, the province never had any problem with its rice supply which was sold for as low as P34 per kilo – and when the smuggling route was closed a month ago, residents in Tawi-Tawi suddenly found themselves lining up for rice sold as high as P100 per kilo right after the Eid’l Fitr. “The end of smuggling, which came after the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Malaysia last month where he had a private meeting with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, could be hailed as a success in the government’s campaign against illegal activities but it resulted in a crisis as Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan and Zamboanga City. Piñol was in TawiTawi recently with Assistant Secretary Andrew Villacorta, who handles the National Rice Program, and Phil Rice Executive Director Dr. Sailila Abdulla to assess the rice situation in the province. “The situation is precarious. Even with the arrival of the first 10,000 bags of NFA rice and the expected additional shipment of another 20,000 bags, Tawi-Tawi officials are unsure of where to get additional rice supplies,” he said, adding, with a population of about 600,000 mainly dependent on smuggled rice, Tawi-Tawi alone

needs about 60,000 metric tons of rice every year. Piñol said all of this happened during the lean months when farmers in Mindanao were not harvesting their crops yet and the arrival of the NFA and private sector imported rice was delayed. He said working closely with NFA Administrator Jason Aquino, he was able to arrange an allocation of 30,000 bags for Sulu, TawiTawi and Basilan while 100,000 bags of NFA rice were earmarked for Zamboanga City. “Sulu’s problem is that it has virtually zero rice production which I believe was caused by the dependence of the area on smuggled rice. When I visited the NFA office and warehouse in Patikul town, I saw about 5,000 bags of newly unloaded NFA rice stocks. The NFA manager said it took them three days to unload the 5,000 bags and another three days to unload the remaining bags loaded in a vessel which was provided for by Governor Toto Tan,” he said. Piñol said he also directed Undersecretary Eduardo Gongona, of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, to coordinate with Philippine Navy officials for the use of a naval vessel to bring the additional 20,000 bags from Zamboanga City to Sulu. The Department of Agriculture, he added, will also consolidate commercial rice stocks now available in Mindanao to be shipped to the province to beef up the NFA rice supply. “The commercial rice would definitely be more expensive given the logistical requirements to ship the stocks from the mainland of Mindanao to Jolo (Sulu’s capital town). Unless the NFA Council acts immediately on the request for a special importation by the private sector of additional rice stocks specifically for the ZamBaSulTa, things could get worse. These are the times when government has to show to the people that it is not a lumbering bureaucratic elephant but a shifty gazelle who knows how to handle and avoid danger,” he said. Piñol said his proposals were contained in a memorandum to Duterte which was coursed through Special Assistant to the President Bong Go; Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. (Mindanao Examiner)

The Mindanao Examiner

September 3-9, 2018


Continued from page 1 Kalawag village when it exploded and two other improvised explosives were recovered not far from the area. At least 35 people wounded in the blast were rushed to hospitals. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF whose leaders

have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State also claimed responsibility for the daring attack. The BIFF, whose members were mostly former Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters, is one of several pro-IS militant groups fighting for the establishment of a caliphate on Mindanao.

Security forces have been fighting militant groups in the southern region the past years. The blast occurred following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the armed forces to crush terrorism. Just last month, a Moroccan ISIS soldier Abu Katheer al Maghribi, exploded his van filled with

Duterte visits wounded troops in Sulu

President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by former Sulu Governor Sakur Tan during his recent visit in Jolo town where he inspected troops wounded in clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in these photos from the Facebook page of Mr. Nahdin Jubaira. SULU – President Rodrigo Duterte visited soldiers wounded in firefight with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said. Duterte was welcomed by provincial government officials and military commanders and briefly spoke with former governor Sakur Tan in the capital town of Jolo. The visit saw Duterte inspecting wounded soldiers inside a military base in Jolo. The Wester n Mindanao Command did not release any statement on Duterte’s visit to Sulu where security forces are battling pro-ISIS militants. But the P r e s i d e n t i a l Communications Operations Office said Duterte has commended troops for their relentless campaign against terrorists. In his speech before troops gathered at Camp Teodulfo Bautista, Duterte strongly

emphasized that insurgency and terrorism have always hindered the nation’s progress, especially in Mindanao. “You are here today for one reason only, because you have answered the call to maintain peace and ensure safe communities for ever y Filipino,” Duterte said. “I assure you that you have my full support as you conduct intensive military operations against these terrorist groups, particularly those who subscribe to the extremist ideologies of the Islamic State and AlQaeda.” Duterte also praised the gallantry and resiliency of the troops. “ With your braver y, selflessness, and patriotism, I am optimistic that we will one day defeat all threats to our democratic institutions and secure a brighter future for our beloved country.” “All I can say with

pride: You are not alone in this fight. The Filipino people stand beside you, and I stand with you every step of the way as we advance the common good and promote the safety and security of our nation,” he said. The President also awarded medals to the wounded soldiers, 21 of them, who clashed recently with Abu Sayyaf in Patikul town. Those who received the award were Sergeants Wilmar Salde, Jonathan M a m a l o m p o n g , Alejandro Bautista, Agripino Pagauitan, Randy Menor; Corporals Jeffrey Zippagan, Jeramil Canipas, Edward Tamangen Jr., Arnel Walay, Raffy Jay Hernal, Joel Wawoc; and Privates First Class Delim Cawas, Arnold Daria, Raib Pannal; also Privates Leo Molina, Ronnie Galinggan, Jonel Ramiscal, Jackson Ramos, Ruben Ruping Jr., Jobert Galas, and Jake Venezuela. (Mindanao Examiner)

explosives in Lamitan City in the volatile Muslim province of Basilan, several nautical miles south of Zamboanga. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the July 31 suicide attack that left over a dozen casualties. In a post on its Amaq News Agency, the Islamic State said a Moroccan man carried out the daring assault against Filipino soldiers and identified the executor of the suicide

bombing as Abu Katheer al Maghribi. “A martyrdom attack leads to 15 Filipino soldiers being killed in the city of Lamitan on the island of Basilan in the southern Philippines,” it said. Philippine authorities said 12 people were killed when a car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint after government militias stopped the suspicious vehicle in Bulanting village, about 2 kilometers away from downtown Lamitan. The


province is also a known stronghold of the militant group Abu Sayyaf whose leaders also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Several foreign fighters had been killed in clashes with soldiers in Basilan in recent years. The military earlier urged the public to be on alert and stay vigilant at all times following attempts by pro-ISIS militants to bomb civilian targets in the restive southern region. (Mindanao Examiner)


The Mindanao Examiner

September 3-9, 2018

US terror designations target Islamic State’s Southeast Asian network Udin as “the most senior Malaysian ISIS leader in Syria” as of Nov. 2017. Udin has had a lengthy career waging jihad, with Treasury dating his “militant activities” to 1998. He was “arrested and detained from 2003 to 2006 for fighting on behalf of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI),” an al Qaeda-affiliated group whose membership gravitated toward Baghdadi’s c a u s e . Udin relocated to Syria in 2014, appearing alongside Faiz and Kiram in the June 2016 beheading video. In that same video, according to Treasury, Udin called upon Muslims to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi and also encouraged “individuals in the Philippines to join together under the command of now deceased Isnilon Hapilon.” Hapilon previously led the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), another al Qaeda-linked group that joined the Islamic State after its caliphate declaration. According to authorities, Hapilon was killed in Marawi in 2017. Like Udin, Faiz traveled to Syria in 2014 and was also previously imprisoned years before joining the Islamic State. Treasury says Faiz, an Indonesian, was jailed “in the Philippines for nine years on charges of illegal possession of explosives and weapons.” Kiram, who is from the Philippines, relocated to Syria along “with his wife and daughter in 2015.” Treasury says he “was a member of a

Philippines-based militant group that pledged alliance to ISIS” and trained “recruits in 2014.” Police in the Philippines suspect Kiram “was responsible for the Zamboanga, Philippines bus bombing in 2012.” Previous US designations targeting the Islamic State’s Southeast Asian network Since 2015, the US has issued a string of designations targeting the Islamic State’s network stretching from Southeast Asia all the way to Iraq and Syria. The evidence cited by the US government in these previous matters indicates that the organization’s Southeast Asian branches have not merely adopted the Islamic State’s notorious branding, but are instead connected to Baghdadi’s mother organization in various ways. The ties have been a two-way street. Personnel based in Southeast Asia have sent recruits off to fight for the caliphate’s cause. Meanwhile, jihadists who relocated from the region to Iraq and Syria have facilitated the transfer of funds back to their compatriots and also provided specific guidance on terrorist plots. On Sept. 29, 2015, Treasury added two Indonesians to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. The two are Tuah Febriwansyah and Muhammad Sholeh Ibrahim. Febriwansyah (also

known as Muhammad Fachry) helped build the Islamic State’s organizational capacity inside Indonesia. Jemmah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT) was one of the many Indonesian extremist groups influenced by the rise of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s enterprise. In mid-2014, according to Treasury, JAT “leaders sought Febriwansyah’s support to bolster JAT during a schism over allegiance to” the Islamic State. Officials credited Febriwansyah and his comrades with recruiting “as many as 37 Indonesians on behalf of” the so-called caliphate. Febriwansyah was arrested on March 21, 2015. The other jihadist, Ibrahim, served as a senior JAT leader and swore allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014. On Jan. 10, 2017, Treasury added two more Indonesians to the US government’s list of terrorists. The first, Bachrumsyah Mennor Usman, left for Syria “at the end of March 2014.” He went on to serve the Islamic State in senior roles and lead one of its main Southeast Asian fighting groups, Katibah Nusantara, in Syria. From his position inside the lands of the caliphate, Usman was implicated in plots in his native Indonesia. Treasury reported that, in early 2016, Usman “had transferred $105,000 to the leader of a group of terrorists in Indonesia.” This unit was known as the “Bekasi cell.” The Islamic State “ordered

ARMM guv is now certified barista

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman working on an espresso machine. COTABATO CITY - ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman was awarded the National Certificate Level II on Barista after successfully passing the competency assessment conducted recently by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA at the Moro Café here. Assessment process on barista course include the following tasks: prepare espresso; texture milk, prepare and serve coffee beverages; perform basic maintenance of machines and equipment; and perform

basic cashiering and general control procedures. Hataman was also chosen as the ARMM Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ambassador to help promote the advancement of TVET in the ARMM as acceptance of technical vocational education in the region has been notably low despite the various interventions extended to the communities. “Ini-encourage natin ang ating mga kababayan na pumunta sila sa TESDA kasi merong mga scholarship

programs na ino-offer yung TESDA, tapos magpa-certify sila para mabilis din silang makahanap ng trabaho. Dahil maraming pag-asa sa TESDA,” said Hataman. Other TESDA courses offered for free include English language proficiency, electrical installation and maintenance, electronic product assembly and servicing, plumbing, computer system services, masonry, carpentry, dress making and many others. (Bureau of Public Information)

Earn Mor e, Be an Ad ver tising More Adv ertising Ag enc Agenc ency! Do you want to earn more? Be any! ADVERTISING AGENCY and DEALER for the Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper and earn hefty commissions. Apply now. This offer covers Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. ZAMBOANGA CITY OFFICE: DAVAO CITY OFFICE: Unit 15, 3rd Floor, Fairland Building, Door 2, 402 Nidea Street, Barrio Obrero, Davao City, Philippines Mayor Vitaliano Agan Avenue Phone: 082-2841859 Phone: 062-9925480 Mobile: 0947-4823453 Mobile: 0995-5202358 URL: E-mail:

that the money” transferred by Usman “be used to carry out attacks in Indonesia” and Usman had “ordered an associate to plan attacks similar to the January 14, 2016 bomb attacks in Jakarta.” Usman also funneled additional funds to the P h i l i p p i n e s . Oman Rochman, an influential ideologue, was designated alongside Usman. Even though he was imprisoned, Rochman was “likely communicating with [Islamic State] leaders in Syria” as of early 2016. From behind bars, Rochman played a major role in disseminating the Islamic State’s propaganda throughout Indonesia and also “authorized” the Jan. 14, 2016 attacks in Jakarta. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for those same attacks. At one point, Rochman “required” recruits to receive his personal endorsement before traveling to Syria to join Baghdadi’s enterprise. The State Department also issued a terrorist designation for Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) on Jan. 10, 2017. JAD “was formed in 2015” when nearly “two dozen Indonesian extremist groups” joined together to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi. The JAD provided the muscle for the Jan. 2016 Jakarta operation. On Mar. 30, 2017, Treasury named Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian, and Muhammad Wanndy Bin Mohamed Jedi, a Malaysian, as specially designated global terrorists. The two were tied to a number of plots inside their respective home countries. From their safe havens in Iraq and Syria, the pair remotely guided various cells. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Indonesian authorities hunt Islamic State operative’s cyber recruits.] On Feb. 9, 2018, Treasury designated Abdulpatta Escalon Abubakar, an Islamic State bagman who was detained by Filipino authorities “as he was traveling from the Gulf to the Philippines” in Sept. 2017. The US found that Abubakar had spent time in Jeddah and Daina, Saudi Arabia, where he was presumably fundraising. The money he procured was used to purchase ammunition and weapons for the group’s “network in the Philippines.” At least some of this activity was done on behalf of the aforementioned Isnilon Hapilon. Treasury also stated that the Islamic State had “sent” some of the money Abubakar handled, implying that the mother organization provided at least partial funding for the jihadists’ operations in the Philippines. On Feb. 27, the State

Department designated the entire Islamic State branch in the Philippines, with a special focus on the “Maute Group,” which was also listed as a terrorist entity. The Maute brothers were instrumental in the group’s short-lived takeover of Marawi, but were reportedly killed there during the fierce fighting. [See FDD’s LongWar Journal report, State Department designates 7 ISIS-affiliated groups as terrorist organizations.] Myrna Mabanza, an Islamic State facilitator, was named a terrorist by Treasury on Apr. 30. The US government noted at the time that Mabanza had “served as an intermediary between Hapilon and ISIS elements in Syria.” Treasury does not explain what Mabanza’s liaison role entailed. But in the following month, Mar. 2016, she “coordinated” a “transfer of funds with Hapilon.” A “senior ISIS official in Syria” also “planned to send financial support to” the Islamic State in the Philippines “through Mabanza.” [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Treasury sanctions ISIS facilitator based in the Philippines.] UN report on the Islamic State in Southeast Asia As elsewhere, the Islamic State has suffered setbacks in Southeast Asia. Some of the personnel designated by the US have been killed in Iraq or Syria. And the loss of control over Marawi in Oct. 2017 was a blow to the group’s a s p i r a t i o n s . However, a team of analysts working for the United Nations recently warned that jihadists loyal to the Islamic State still pose a threat to Indonesia and the P h i l i p p i n e s . The UN team pointed to the role that three families played in planning “a wave of attacks” in Indonesia in May 2018. The UN found that members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah ( JAD) orchestrated the attacks, which relied on women and children to strike various locations. The international body says that the Islamic State’s main organization “seems to have played no direct role” in the plots, but it is not clear how this determination was made. The JAD has been tied to the Islamic State’s mothership before. The jihadists have carried out other operations this year as well. [For more on the May 2018 attacks, see FDD’s Long War Journal report: Authorities say ISISlinked family conducted suicide bombings at Indonesian churches.] The UN warned that in the southern Philippines the “threat from terrorism persists despite losses suffered by groups linked to”

the Islamic State “during the siege of Marawi City…with remnants regrouping, reactivating training camps and recruiting, attracting hundreds of followers both inside and outside the” island nation. The presence of foreign fighters, “some of whom travelled to the Philippines using stolen or false documents and/or broken travel routes,” remains a concern. Though the Islamic State’s arm contains several constituent groups that still appear to be loyal to the socalled caliphate, leadership losses have made some aspects of the jihadists’ operations difficult to assess. The UN reported that after the death of Hapilon in 2017, the “affiliation of the Basilanbased” Abu Sayyaf Group with the Islamic State became “less clear,” because “many members have disassociated themselves from [the Islamic State] and focused more on criminal activities to raise funds rather than on ideology.” The UN cited only “Member State information” for this point, so it is not clear how widespread of a problem this is for Baghdadi’s network. Pointing to the US designations listed above, specifically the Feb. 9 and Apr. 30 announcements, the UN said that “domestic designations have highlighted the key role of intermediaries in the [Islamic State] network in Southeast Asia with regard to financing, procurement of weapons and training, and also demonstrated connections among regional players, as well as between regional operatives and the [Islamic State] core.” For instance, “intermediaries have facilitated financial transfers from” the “core” to “affiliates in the Philippines and arranged bomb-making and firearm training for JAD recruits from Indonesia at camps in the Philippines.” According to the UN’s “Member States,” funding from the Islamic State’s “core” has been supplemented with “millions of dollars” acquired “by looting banks and homes in Marawi.” The funds have been used “to recruit, reportedly paying would-be fighters a joining fee of $300 to $400 and also providing a firearm.” Therefore, despite the losses it has endured, the Islamic State retains a network in Southeast Asia. It remains to be seen how potent it is going forward. (By Thomas Joscelyn. The author is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal. First published at the FDD's Long War J o u r n a l )

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September 3-9, 2018

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September 3-9, 2018

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Eduardo A. Sode 0917-308 7366 044 Mabini St. Cebu City The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper is published weekly in Mindanao, Philippines. ZAMBOANGA CITY OFFICE: Unit 15, 3/F, Fairland Building, Mayor Vitaliano Agan Avenue Phone & Fax: 062-9925480 Mobile: 0995-5202358


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Federalism, to be or not to be By Jun Ledesma

Continued from page 1 can only be credible in a joint session. Constitutional Convention is ideal but at this time when we need every centavo for our i n f r a s t r u c t u r e development the way to go is declare a revolutionary government reconvene the Concom and revisit the economic and financial issues then proceed with the ratification. But this partakes of an extreme process. Ah what scatter brains have I become. ConAss is the most expeditious and inexpensive. Despite the fact that we have a sprinkling of buffoons in Congress there is no question that we too have brilliant lawmakers who can put the missing parts in the draft that would address the inadequacies that the economic cluster in the cabinet had raised. The change in the House leadership came in the crucial time when Congress needs someone who understands the complexities of finance and economy, but for how


The Mindanao Examiner

September 3-9, 2018

long? The problem here is that we all agree to put up all the necessary matrix of infrastructures to address the complex problems that range from transport (air, land and sea) to dispersal of industries and end the evil of centrist government through a Federal form of government. Alas, we need trillions of pesos to achieve these. And we need to borrow money for taxes alone will not suffice. Already we whine about the prices of rice and fuel and blame the tax reform law for the uptick in inflation unmindful of the fact that oil production in Iran and Venezuela had virtually ceased. Of course rice supply problem is another story. Some bastards in charge rice distribution blame the weather for not being able to unload rice imports. Add to this are rice traders who buy from NFA rice retailers then horde these until consumers are forced to buy at their dictated price. Am curious why nobody is not guillotined for this sabotage.

There ought to be a formula on how the nation’s indebtedness should be addressed. While we say that 75/25 in favor of the region states was fair and just, then maybe there ought to be a rational distribution of indebtedness based on whose getting the biggest percentage of budgetary allocation for the number and cost of infrastructures the region will be benefitting. Then make it time-bound. The best thing in the world is paid. That’s what I learned in my travels in the Scandinavian countries. From the use of toilets to Wi-Fi, we have to hammer this into the national consciousness. Time and opportunity are of the essence. In no other time is the Philippines being offered cheap money by China and Japan and all these because of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte’s radical changes in foreign policies and alliances that shocked the traditional pro-western diplomats. And so we end this discourse with the quote: “To be or not to be. That is the question...”

FOR SALE Residential Lot in P asobolong, Z amboanga City Pasobolong, Zamboanga

P 30,000,000


Almoranas At Sugat Sa Puwit (Part 1) Ni Dr. Willie T. Ong Napakarami ang may a l m o r a n a s (hemorrhoids o piles sa Ingles). Pagdating ng edad 50, mga 50% ng tao ay may almoranas na. Ano ang almoranas? Ito’y mga ugat at laman na lumalabas sa puwit. May mga ugat sa loob ng puwit, at sa katagalang pag-iire, puwede itong lumalabas, maipit at dumugo. Ang sintomas ng almoranas ay ang pagsakit at pagdurugo (pulang dugo) kapag dumudumi. Makakapa din ang almoranas sa puwitan. Mga sanhi (o risk factors) sa almoranas: 1. Namamana ang almoranas sa ating magulang. 2. Ang pagtitibi at pagiire ang pangunahing sanhi nito. Kumain ng maraming gulay at prutas para lumambot ang dumi. 3. Ang pagire sa panganganak ay nagpapa-almoranas din. 4. Ang pagkain ng mga maaanghang at spicy foods ay nakaiirita sa almoranas. Solusyon sa almoranas at sugat sa puwit: 1. Palambutin ang dumi. Kumain ng mga prutas

Dr. Willie T. Ong tulad ng papaya, pakwan at ubas na nagpapalambot ng dumi. Damihan ang pagkain ng gulay (mataas ang fiber ng mga ito) at bawasan ang karne. Uminom din ng 8-12 basong tubig. Huwag umasa sa gamot na pampadumi tulad ng bisacodyl tablets dahil lalo ka lang magtitibi pagkatapos ng epekto nito. 2. Huwag umire sa banyo. Ang pag-iire ang talagang nagpapalala ng almoranas. Huwag piliting makadumi kung ayaw pang lumabas ang dumi. Subukan muna na maglakad-lakad at magehersisyo para bumilis ang galaw ng bituka. 3. Huwag magbasa ng diyaryo, magasin at komiks sa kubeta. Umupo lamang kapag malapit

nang lumabas ang dumi. 4. Gumamit ng petroleum jelly. Kung matigas ang iyong dumi, puwede mong pahiran ng petroleum jelly ang loob ng puwit. Ayon kay Dr. Edmund Leff, isang colorectal surgeon, nagpapadulas ito sa paglabas ng dumi. 5. Gumamit ng basang tissue paper o tabo ng tubig pagkatapos dumumi. Huwag gumamit ng tuyong tissue dahil baka magasgas lang ang almoranas. 6. Maging malinis sa katawan. Hugasan maigi ang puwit para hindi maimpeksyon. 7. Huwag kamutin ang almoranas kahit ito’y makati. Baka masugat mo lang ito. 8. Huwag magbuhat ng mabibigat na bagay. Ang stress ng pagbubuhat ay katumbas na ng pag-iire sa banyo. Magpatulong sa iba. 9. Huwag umupo o tumayo ng matagal. Nagdudulot din ito ng almoranas. Kailangan ay papalit-palit ang puwesto natin para hindi ma-pressure ang almoranas.

ARMM cook fest ends

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Call Broker

0995 - 520 2358

Cebu Pacific grows Davao hub, opens a new route and adds frequencies Continued from page 1 committed to helping play a pivotal role in the growth of Davao,” said lawyer JR Mantaring, Vice President for Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific. Since 2008, the Francisco Bangoy International Airport has been serving as one of the airline’s hubs in Mindanao. Beginning October 28, 2018, CEB will be adding flights between Davao and Cagayan de Oro (7x to 11x weekly); Iloilo (7x to 11x weekly); Dumaguete (3x-4x weekly); and Bacolod (4x to 5x weekly). On December 01, 2018, Cebu Pacific will also be doubling its flights to and from Singapore, from twice weekly to 4times-a-week.

“The expansion of our Davao route network will not only boost trade and tourism, but will also open opportunities for commerce, entrepreneurs and domestic investments. This in turn, will help spur economic growth and provide travelers with more route options to get to their destinations,” Mantaring said. On top of this, CEB also opens a new route connecting Tagbilaran in Bohol and Clark. Both new routes are on an introductory sale with a base fare of P599 up to August 28, or until seats last. Travel period is from November 9, 2018 to March 30, 2019. Lowest yearround base fare for the

Davao-Clark route is at P1,088, and P888 for Tagbilaran-Clark. Aside from its Davao and Clark hubs, Cebu Pacific operates flights out of five other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro (in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental province). The carrier has maintained leadership in the domestic market with 37 destinations, 76 routes and over 2,130 weekly flights. As of end-June 2018, Cebu Pacific flew 7.6 million passengers, comprising 73% of the 10.4 million passengers flown from January to June 2018. (Mindanao Examiner)

ARMM cooking competition. COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao wrapped up its cooking competition held at the “Tawi-Tawi Village” inside the ORG Compound in Cotabato City. With the theme “Legacy of ARMM”, the contestants from the different provinces in ARMM, cooked a 7-dish meal for the judges. One of the competitors is a 16-

year old aspiring chef. “Considering the transition we are facing, we are trying to send a message that we have this culture and competency that we are showcasing to everyone that even the young ones are still practicing the tradition,” said Rosalie Esturco, of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. One of the judges,

ARMM Chief of Staff Khal Mambuay-Campong, said: “One way to know about the Bangsamoro is to have a taste of our food. Food is important for the survival of the culture and the community.” She said Bangsamoro food is distinct because of its meticulous preparation, levels of spiciness or hotness. (Bureau of Public Information)



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September 3-9, 2018

Philippines, China speed up implementation of infra projects MANILE AND BEIJING have affirmed their commitment to speed up the preparation and processes needed to ensure the timely implementation of the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure projects with financial support from China, according Finance Carlos Dominguez. Dominguez, who recently met with Chinese Foreign Affairs MinisterWangYi, said the preparation for the projects have already been moving quite fast ahead, particularly the South Long Haul Manila-Bicol Railway and the ClarkSubic Railway projects. “Under the guidance of President Duterte, we have been working very hard to achieve both the goals of President Duterte and President Xi Jinping in the development of the relationship between China and the Philippines,” Dominguez was quoted as saying during the meeting. Wang, for his part, said that what are needed now are specific and concrete actions to move forward practical cooperation across the board. “What I hope you and our other friends sitting here today will do is to have more communication with your counterparts so that jointly, we can fully tap the potential of our cooperation,” he said. Also at the meeting were the other members of the Philippine delegation were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and president-CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority Vivencio Dizon.

Wang said the bilateral relations between the Philippines and China have vastly improved and entered a fast track of development under the guidance of President Duterte and President Xi. “There are many works of cooperation to be advanced. I hope and I believe, through your current visit, we will reach even more consensus and cooperation between our two countries to deliver even greater benefits to the Chinese and Filipino people and make our respective contributions to regional peace and stability,” he said. Dominguez said that since Duterte assumed office, the relationship between the Philippines and China has become very close. He informed Wang that the Philippines has received a lot of investments from China, as well as Chinese tourists have been steadily visiting the country. Wang informed Dominguez and the rest of the Philippine delegation that he and Cayetano “and our two foreign ministries will coordinate with other respective departments to do as much as we can to foster a sound condition (and) atmosphere for the economic cooperation between our two countries.” The warm relations between the two countries were restarted when Duterte assumed office in 2016 and had led to rising Chinese investments in the Philippines. Net foreign direct investment (FDI) from China from January to May this year registered a 534 percent increase over the net FDI from that country for the entire 2017. Total approved investments from China, meanwhile, grew by 57.14 percent over the previous year. Bilateral trade with China has also increased since 2017,

MARINA to accredit cruise ships operating for 20 years THE MARITIME INDUSTRY Authority (MARINA) announced cruise ships that have been in service for 20 years will undergo a process of accreditation to ensure the seaworthiness of ocean vessels traversing along the Philippine seas. This, as the agency said it supports the development of the cruise shipping industry to strengthen tourism in the country.“We are encouraging companies to operate cruise ships in the Philippines. By kickstarting the cruise shipping industry, we aim to advance local maritime industry through the boosting of Philippine tourism,” MARINA Administrator Rey Leonardo Guerrero said. He said they will strictly implement policies for the acquisition and operation of local cruise ships including their accreditation to ensure maritime safety and security by September this year. He said they will also open to grant special permits to foreign cruise ships to operate in areas

that are not currently serviced by local cruise ships. And newly-built or previously owned cruise ships will be mandated to be classified by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and must adhere to its regulations on maritime safety and protection. For its part, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has earlier said that it is developing international hubs for cruise liners in Metro Manila, Davao, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Subic and Zamboanga to support the cruise tourism industry. The PPA also initiated programs for the development of cruise terminals in the ports of Puerto Princesa, Currimao in Ilocos Norte and Catagbacan in Bohol Province. As of January this year, cruise tourism arrivals registered an increase of 1,952.82% to 9,156 passsengers from only 446 for the same period last year.The other areas that posted positive cruise tourism arrivals include Coron, Boracay and South Harbor. (Aerol John Pateña)

with total trade between the two countries reaching $13.9 billion in the first half of 2018. The number of Chinese tourists entering the Philippines hit almost 1 million in 2017. The Philippines’ target for 2018 is to bring in 1.5 million tourists from China.

Cebu Pacific opens cadet pilot program CEBU PACIFIC (CEB) has opened applications for aspiring Filipino pilots for it the fourth batch of Cadet Pilot Program. Launched in October 2017, the program offers “study now, pay later” scheme for college graduate holding a passport valid for at least two years prior to the start of the program. CEB said successful applicants will undergo a rigorous screening process - a 52-week integrated flying program, flight theory, and education course at the Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia. FTA provides customized aviation training solutions for the fixed wing and rotary wing industry. It’s goal is not just to train cadets for them to obtain a license, but to produce future airline and helicopter captains. After 52 weeks in FTA, trainees would return to Manila for another four-week training to be able to get a pilot license from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. The program's batch 1 has 16 cadet pilots, while batch 2 has 17. Those in the batch 3 are still awaiting visa approvals, and CEB is yet to confirm the number of those with released visas.CEB has allotted $25 million for this program, which it plans to run for at least five years.Samuel Avila, CEB Flight Operations vice president, said the training starts in Clark before the trainees would leave for Australia. “It (training) takes them a year. The first batch left last June. But they have already done their first solo flight -- which is the first milestone for every pilot, when you fly without anyone beside you,” he said. Avila said they aim to get 16-20 trainees per batch, and they would be all guaranteed an employment if they pass and qualify. “We just ask them for their commitment, to work with us. It's a good deal,” he said, citing the high cost of pilot training. In terms of getting back the investment, Avila said the airline management is confident that all the program's trainees would pass since the screening process is very robust. (Maria Cristina Arayata)

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Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (Sept. 3-9, 2018)  

September 3-9, 2018

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (Sept. 3-9, 2018)  

September 3-9, 2018