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President Rodrigo Duterte with Sulu Vice Gubernatorial Candidate Toto Tan.

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Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte with his official lone candidate for Governor in Sulu Sakur ‘Datu Shahbandar’ Tan.

Sayyafs threaten to execute 3 hostages

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bu Sayyaf militants, whose group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, have threatened to execute two Indonesian and a Malaysian hostages, being held captive in southern Philippines is ransoms are not paid in exchange for their lives, Malaysian media reports said. It said militants, who guarded by gunmen. The hind their back, made spoke in Bahasa Malay- Malaysian hostage, Jari an emotional appeal for sia, released a video clip Abdulla, 24, was not with their government to save which showed the Indo- the duo. them. nesian hostages - believed One militant even The captives, their to be Heri Ardiansyah, 19, eyes covered with black held a bolo on the neck and Hariadin, 45 - being cloth and hands tied beContinue on page 2

Police told to dismantle poll campaign posters An undated photo from ISIS website shows a group of Abu Sayyaf militants.

Beijing welcomes Muslim autonomy law CHINA WELCOMED the ratification of the new expanded Muslim autonomy law in the Philippines, which marks an important step toward the country’s peace process, China’s Foreign Ministry said. Geng Shuang, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, said the successful passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) shows that the Philippines has taken an important step in its national peace and

ARMM

reconciliation process under the leadership of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The remarks came after a majority in the southern Philippines voted for the law in a plebiscite weeks earlier, which would allow the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a larger autonomous region with more autonomy, to replace the old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), for

the local Muslim minority. BOL is viewed as a successful product of the peace agreement between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), to end decades of conflict. Reuters reported that the conflict has kept these parts of Mindanao among the poorest regions in Asia. They also face high terrorist risks and instability. Li Kaisheng, a research fellow at the Continue on page 2

Eastern Mindanao

Police Director General Oscar Albayalde and President Rodrigo Duterte PRESIDENT DUTERTE has ordered police forces to dismantle election campaign posters and advertisements displayed in

Western Mindanao

all government buildings, facilities, or properties, a regional police spokesperson said. “Campaign posters

Cebu

and advertisements will be removed from all government-owned property on orders of Continue on page 2

Manila


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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 25-Mar. 03, 2019

Sayyafs threaten to execute 3 hostages Continued from page 1 of Hariadin as he spoke to the camera in forested area. The video, reports said, surfaced several days after Abu Sayyaf gunmen phoned Jari’s

wife, Nadin Junianti, saying that no Malaysian authorities or negotiators have contacted them to secure her husband’s release. The gunmen said that her husband would face

difficulties if there was no contact from Malaysia. They also asked her for telephone contacts of Malaysian journalists. Nadin has appealed to Malaysian authorities to help secure her hus-

ARMM turns over housing for Marawi evacuees

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman leads the handover of a housing project in Saguiaran town in Lanao del Sur for 100 families displaced by war in Marawi City in 2017. LANAO DEL SUR – A total of 100 families displaced by war in Marawi City two years ago will now have their own starter after Governor Mujiv Hataman, of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), officially turned over Tuesday a housing project in the town of Saguiaran here. The P300-million project at Barangay Pagalamatan is under the ARMM Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment which began in September last year. Hataman said the government assures the welfare of all the individuals affected by the 2017 Marawi Siege. “Ang mga proyekto

at programa para sa lahat ng naapektuhan ng siege ay hindi kaya ng gobyerno lang, kaya kailangan natin lahat magkaisa,” Hataman said. He also recognized the help provided by Pagalamatan Barangay chairman Wahab Pangcoga, who donated four-hectare parcel of land on which to build 100 houses. “Pinabilisan talaga natin ang pag-construct para makalipat na iyung mga pamilyang nakatira sa evacuation centers,” David Ali, ARMM BRIDGE project manager said, noting that they prioritized families from the city’s ground zero. “On-going din ang construction ng bagong

housing project dito sa Saguiaran na may isang daang bahay.” Besides the houses, the beneficiaries will also receive food supplies and assistance through livelihood programs. And for Solaiman Macarambong, one of the 64 evacuee families staying in the Saguiaran evacuation center for two years, said that the project is a big help and thanked Hataman for the house. “Unti-unti na kaming nawawalan ng pag-asa kaya malaki ang aming pasasalamat dahil mabibigyan na kami ng sariling bahay at hindi na makikipagsiksikan sa evacuation center,” Macarambong said. (Bureau of Public Information)

Police told to dismantle poll campaign posters Continued from page 1 President Rodrigo Duterte thru Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año,” Chief Inspector Helen Galvez said. She said Police Director General Oscar Albayalde also issued a directive to all PNP regional directors to take immediate action and take down all election campaign materials in government offices and facilities such as billboards, tarpaulins, posters, steamers, banners, and similar campaign materials, to add more teeth to the en-

forcement of provisions of COMELEC Resolution No. 10488. “The PNP is duty bound to ensure a level playing field for honest, orderly and peaceful elections in May as an apolitical and non-partisan deputized agency of the Commission on Elections,” Galvez, quoted Albayalde, as saying. “To be more emphatic about the strictly apolitical stand of the PNP, I am serving notice to all police personnel to remain steadfast along this command policy with due regard to existing rules and regulations that prohibit

personnel from engaging in partisan political activity,” Albayalde added. Some 181,775 policemen are expected to be deployed on May 13 midterm polls for public safety and general law enforcement duties. Of this number, 99,976 police personnel (55%) will be deployed in polling centers, while 54,532 personnel (30%) will be assigned to Quick Reaction Teams and 18,177 personnel (10%) will compose the Reactionary Standby Support Force, and the remaining 9,089 will be assigned to the headquarters. (Mindanao Examiner)

band’s release. She said it was second time the kidnap group had contacted her. Malaysian media did not say how much ransoms the Abu Sayyaf is demanding for the safe

release of the hostages. The militants are believed to be holding nearly a dozen captives, mostly foreigners. Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah has said that

they were working with their Philippines counterparts to secure the hostages’ release. The hostages were kidnapped at sea off Sandakan in Sabah on December 5, 2018. (Mindanao Examiner)

NOTICE TO DISSOLVE THE COOPERATIVE LSK MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE DATE & TIME: March 3, 2019 at 1 o’clock in the afternoon VENUE: LSK MPC Bldg., Lower Saguing, Makilala, Cotabato AGENDA: VOLUNTARY DISSOLUTION OF LSK-MPC

Beijing welcomes Muslim autonomy law Continued from page 1 Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the new law will exert a positive influence on the Philippines’ peace process as it helps resolve the long existing divergence between the local Muslim community and the central government. “It [the law] could also prevent the spread of terrorism from the grass roots,” Li told the Global Times. MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim said in an interview that “a vote for the BOL is a vote for peace, a vote for justice that will be experienced not just by the Bangsamoro people but also by many,” Manila Bulletin reported.

Ebrahim also stressed in the previous interview that extremist groups may take advantage if the BOL would not be passed. Many Filipinos and local organizations also hailed the peaceful effort to address the region’s long-standing issue. But the work is not an easy task. A twin bomb attack at a Catholic church took place only days after Muslims voted “yes” in the referendum, which killed at least 20 people. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported. Li said that the terror attack doesn’t mean that the BOL won’t be useful. “The BOL is meant to unite the government with Muslim communities that once held diver-

gent views, not terrorists. After the BOL takes effect, the government can concentrate its energy on fighting terrorism.” Local news agency GMA reported that the plebiscite results showed the BARMM will be composed of the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, as well as Marawi City, Lamitan City and Cotabato City, and 63 villages in North Cotabato. Under the new law, the region could enjoy rights, including expanded land and water jurisdiction, fiscal autonomy and an increased share in national government resources, the report said. (Xie Wenting - Global Times)

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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 25-Mar. 03, 2019

Intell ops heightened after gun shop raid in South

Sabah intensifies hunt for Sayyafs

Military photos released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner show security forces following a raid on an illegal gun shop in Maguindanao province. COTABATO CITY – Police and military have heightened their intelligence operations following a recent raid on an illegal gun shop in the troubled province of Maguindanao. Policemen, backed by army soldiers, raided the shop in Bukuan town which was allegedly supplying weapons to pro-ISIS groups and criminal gangs in Maguindanao, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. Security forces arrested a 60-year old gunsmith Abusama Abpun and seized four assorted rifles, including six Tommy guns and a tripod for .50-caliber heavy machine gun and

several unassembled firearms. Police Senior Superintendent James Gulmatico, regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said Abpun was believed to be supplying weapons to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and criminal groups in the province. “The suspect was the source of firearms for criminal elements, including the BIFF. Our informant showed us videos of the suspect while repairing a gun owned by a BIFF member who personally brought the defective weapon to his shop,” he said, adding, they had a warrant to search Ab-

pun’s premises. Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc, commander of 33rd Infantry Battalion, who led soldiers in the operation, said the campaign against lawlessness is gaining grounds following the arrest of Abpun. “We have removed another logistics support source of the BIFF and other lawless elements. We will defeat them by cutting-off the sources of their weapons,” he said. There was no immediate statement from the governor of Maguindanao, Esmael Mangudadatu, on the presence of the illegal gun shop in his hometown. (Rhoderick Beñez)

MALAYSIA INTENSIFIED its campaign against the Abu Sayyaf following the capture of a militant in Sabah. The militant, who fled the Philippines in March last year, has been arrested by the police in the federal state where he was working as a construction man, according to Malaysian media. Quoting an official police report, Malay Mail said the 21-year old militant, whose identity was not made public by security officials, illegally entered Malaysia in 2018 and is highly skilled in handling firearms. The Filipino is believed to be a follower of Puruji Indama, whose notorious group, is operating in Basilan, just 30 minutes by boat from the southern port city of Zamboanga. “The department also scored another hit when they arrested a Filipino man who is a member of the notorious

Abu Sayyaf Group, known for its kidnapping-for-ransom cases in southern Philippines and Sabah.” “The suspect aged 21 had illegally entered Malaysia in March 2018 and have been working at a construction site. The suspect is highly skilled in handling firearms and has direct connections with Furuji Indama, the current leader of ASG,” said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun. He said 5 other suspected terrorists were also captured separately in anti-terror raids in Malaysia. One of them is a 48-year old Singaporean man, who had planned to attack the Freemason building in Johor, according to Harun. He said they are also holding a 31-year old Bangladeshi, who was arrested in Selangor, and is a supporter of ISIS who was involved in recruiting local militants for the extremist group. And two Malaysian

suspects, both aged 38, who were deported to Malaysia after they were found to have channelled funds to ISIS militants while working at a farm abroad. Harun said police also arrested another terror suspect from a South Asia country in Selangor after police received information that the 26-year old militant had been giving protection to another terror suspect whose name is listed under Interpol’s red notice for his involvement in serious terror activities. No other details were made available by the police on the Filipino, except all of those arrested have been detained under the Security Offences Act of 2012. The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including the Philippine National Police, have not release any report about the Filipino militant’s arrest. (Mindanao Examiner)


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Zambo bans use of plastic bags

Feb. 25-Mar. 03, 2019

We offer political campaign t-shirt with your own full color (Sublimation) print (A4 size) for only P95 a piece. Minimum order is 1000 t-shirts. And free lay-out of campaign design, logo or photo of candidate. For order, please call (062) 992-5480 or (0995) 5202358 in Zamboanga City.

Private teachers in Cebu eyed to serve in May 13 polls Mayor Beng Climaco ZAMBOANGA CITY – Mayor Beng Climaco has urged shoppers and market goers here to use paper or buri bags instead of non-biodegradable plastics as she signed an order prohibiting the use of shopping bags made of polyethylene. Climaco also signed Executive Order BC4532019 banning the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags during weekends as part of the local government’s ecological solid waste management program. The order enjoins all business establishments, markets and residents not tom use plastic bags. She said most plastic bags are considered as

non-biodegradable being made of polymer substance known as polyethylene that cannot easily be decomposed by microorganisms and shall remain as environmental pollutant, thus posing health risk. According to Climaco, data on waste characterization showed that non-biodegradable waste accounts for 40% of the total garbage disposed and 17% of this constitutes plastics. The order, she added, is complementary to the existing broad-based and comprehensive approach policy on solid waste management. “This (executive order) is an initial priority action on waste reduction

for non-biodegradable materials towards the enactment of an ordinance, proposing an inclusive approach to regulate the use of non-biodegradable and disposable plastic sando bags and the like as bagging materials, including the enforcement of regulatory procedures on the use and trade, and the penalty clause thereof,” she said. Climaco also instructed the Zamboanga City Health Office and Zamboanga City Environment and Natural Resources Office to conduct massive information and education campaign on the effects to the environment of the use of plastic bags. (Mindanao Examiner)

THE TOP election officer in Central Visayas on Friday said his office has prepared contingency measures allowed by law if some public school teachers would not participate in the May 13 midterm polls in the town of San Fernando, Cebu province. Commission on Elections (Comelec-7) Regional Director Rafael Olaño made the statement as he dispelled fears of public school teachers from San Fernando, who refused to serve as electoral boards after the town was placed under the “red” category of possible hot spots in the region. “Hindi dapat matakot ang mga teachers na magserve. It (hot spot) doesn’t mean na intention natin na takutin sila (They should not be afraid to serve. It doesn’t mean that

it is an intention to scare them),” said Olaño in a radio interview. Olaño said declaring an area as hotspot during elections is to give more attention to the polls, with the aim of preventing a repeat of a previous violence. More police and military men will be placed in order to secure a hotspot area with a history of violent incidents, he added. Olaño, however, said the Comelec is ready to hire teachers from private schools as a contingency measure. If private school teachers would also refuse also to serve, he said that they will tap government employees from different public offices to sit in the electoral boards. “While it’s in the law that we cannot compel public school teachers

to serve (in the electoral boards), the law always provides for measures in employing other individuals who are able and willing to serve,” Olaño said. The regional election official’s reaction came after a report that 20 public school teachers expressed their refusal to serve, following the Jan. 22 ambush incident, which injured their mayor, Lakambini Reluya, and killed her husband Ricardo, who was the Association of Barangay Council president. Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 (Central Visayas) regional director, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, on Tuesday declared the towns of San Fernando and Tuburan as election hotspots due to intense political rivalry, possible presence of armed groups, and history of violence. (By John Rey Saavedra)


Feb. 25-Mar. 03, 2019

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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 25-Mar. 03, 2019

Across : 1. Engrossed 5. Desertlike 9. Plant juice 12. Beige 13. Dancer___Kelly 14. Bind 15. Tootsies 16. Prank 18. Mummy name 20. Sooner 21. That woman 23. Rushed 25. Ampersands 26. Strong belief 30. New Delhi native 31. Certain engine 35. ___school 37. Acquire by labor 40. Mighty tree 41. Formerly named 42. Skinny 45. Took a chair 47. Pull apart 49. Limping 52. Baseball stat 53. Egg-shaped 54. Not nearby 55. Hog home 56. Brew coffee 57. Soothsayer

Answer to last week’s crossword:

Down : 1. TKO caller 2. Fighter pilot 3. Make believe 4. Ballet skirt 5. Birthday number 6. Take offense at 7. Andean mountain native 8. Cherished 9. Laundry problem 10. Assisted 11. Looks intently 17. Neptune, e.g. 19. Courtroom event 21. Physics, e.g. (abbr.) 22. Deary 24. Teen skin problem 27. Capital of Austria

28. Brainstorm 29. Pig’s sounds 32. Capital of New Mexico (2 wds.) 33. Before, poetically 34. Caustic chemical 36. Building cement 37. Curved letters 38. On the ball 39. Settle a debt 43. Let fall 44. Roof edge 46. Lamenting cry 48. Lodge member 50. Hollywood’s___West 51. Blunder

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OPINYON:

The HnP election juggernaut By Jun Ledesma THE SENATORIAL and Party-List race has begun and for the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HnP) the starting point is in vote-rich Pampanga. It is a show of force, a second chapter in the emerging Regional Party that in the first canto of its foray in national politics cut short the term of the third most powerful person in the Philippines. HnP started and nurtured in Davao and on the basis of its basic agenda for genuine change in the government bureaucracy its network spread like wildfire to the north and central Luzon and now has engulfed nearly the entire country. Hugpong Ng Pagbabago was forged by political leaders of various party affiliations to have a better and stronger position to secure if not demand support from legislators in the lower and upper chamber including the Executive Department. Headed by the feisty Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio, HnP also agreed to harmonize its development and economic programs so that industries and job opportunities will be dispersed in the entire region and not be concentrated in just one place causing population explosion and traffic congestions. What we have here is a unique Davao coalition of leaders that transcends political differences. This is not a utopian political frivolity for we see how this cohesion of diverse forces works. A schism between then Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and HnP Chair Mayor Inday Sara started when the former described HnP as an opposition party. That merited a simple asshole retort from the city mayor. That’s all there was to it. When again Mayor Inday heard of an alleged off-the-cuff statement from Bebot: “Ang sabi mo in a crowd, ‘President iba siya, Speaker ako (You told the crowd, ‘He’s the President, I’m the Speaker), I can always impeach him!’ And you call me opposition? Somebody should tell the President about the truth. Antay ka bukas (Just wait tomorrow), I have another story…” And the exciting episodes fit for prime time TV begun. Alvarez denied making such remarks. “Hindi ko

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The Mindanao Examiner

Feb. 25-Mar. 03, 2019

po sinabi ‘yun at hindi ko po maaring sabihin ‘yun (I didn’t say that and I cannot say that),” he said in a statement. In the intervening days, Alvarez demonstrated his power as Speaker. He ordered the dismantling of the quarantine checkpoints in Tadeco banana plantations owned by the family of his erstwhile bosom friend and benefactor Tonyboy Floirendo. The Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association had raised the red flag against the spread of fusarium wilt otherwise known as Panama disease that wiped out the entire banana plantations in that country. For Davaowenyos, Alvarez and Tonyboy friendship can do down the drain but to subject the banana industry in peril is another story. The major dollar-earning industry in Mindanao particularly of Davao is the backbone of the regional economy and employs hundreds of thousands excluding the indirect beneficiaries. The stakeholders and industrial leaders did not take that lightly and their political leaders were listening and alarmed by the consequence of that insane act of removing the quarantine stations. In the days that followed Mayor Inday doused Alvarez with tongue lashing the most telling of it all was: “The Philippines will be a better country if Alvarez is not Speaker” and “PRRD will be a stronger President without Alvarez”. Congressional leaders who were not happy with what was going on in the lower house heard the reverberating sound of fury and before Alvarez can blink the call for his ouster is in the doorstep of the lower chamber. The regional leaders touched base with HnP and it did not need a Presidential coaching to jettison a Speaker. Alvarez was ousted in a blitzkrieg that saw former President now incumbent Representative of Pampanga, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo installed as speaker immediately after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte delivered his 3rd State of the Nation Address on July 23, 2018. Fast forward to current time, Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio had filed her leave of absence to launch and present the

HnP-backed senatorial bets in vote-rich Pampanga province, the political bastion of Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo. Emblazoned in the stage is prominent and symbolic logo of Hugpong Ng Pagbabago. Speaker GMA assured the Presidential daughter that Pampanga will deliver a landslide victory for the senatorial slate endorsed by HnP. This includes: Christopher “Bong” Go, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Imee Marcos, Cynthia Villar, Francis Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Zajid Mangudadatu, Jiggy Manicad, Jinggoy Estrada, Koko Pimentel and Bong Revilla. Davao City Mayor Inday expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support for HnP bets. Amidst the well-attended kick off rally and festive atmosphere are bellows calling the Mayor as the next President of the Philippines. Meanwhile, the main opposition senatorial slate – Otso Deretso, composed of Bam Aquino, Gary Alejano, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Pilo Hilbay, Romy Macalintal, Erin Tañada and Mar Roxas took to the campaign trail. Lacking the local support and can hardly muster a visible crowd, OD resorted to what they describe as ‘door-to-door campaign”. Mar Roxas however split from the group and did his own campaign sortie an early symptom of bicker in their ranks. Nancy Binay and Grace Poe went on the separate campaign paths too. The three obviously do not want to be dragged to perdition by OD bets which this early are referred to as political sinkers. Come March 29, when the campaign for local bets commences Mayor Inday Sara will start the juggernaut in her own turf. She and most of her party mates are running unopposed and as she had pledged in every HnP forum in Davao region, that she, alongside a retinue of volunteers, will spend time campaigning in the 1st District of Davao del Norte to push for the candidacy of Anthony del Rosario, the HnP congressional candidate against the ousted Speaker Bebot Alvarez. Early in their feud, Mayor Inday Sara sent a stinging message to Bebot: “You messed with the wrong girl”.

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Businessman Peter Lim, accused as drug lord, still missing BUSINESSMAN Peter Lim, who is being accused by President Rodrigo Duterte as a drug lord, remains in hiding since last year after police failed to serve a warrant for his arrest. Now, Duterte said Lim is still active in his illegal transactions despite being in hiding, but he could not say whether the businessman has fled the country or not. “The network and the money laundering of Peter Lim is very much alive. So I’m just reiterating my warning here na this drug problem is a national security threat. Meaning to say it can destroy the Philippines. And the orders are: destroy the enemy,” Duterte said, adding, Lim

could be imprisoned for up to 200 years if caught, charged and found guilty of the crimes he is being accused. “Eh ‘di ako sa kanya magpakulong ako, mag-suicide na lang siya,” he said. Duterte said the illegal drugs problem is a national security threat “because it is an enemy which can cause destruction of a country or we render it a failed state”. “I could not be more emphatic and be clearer about it. Huwag ‘yang droga. I’m declaring war and I’ve raised it to the level of a national security. When a national security threat it’s a game of self-preservation. Either I destroy

you or you destroy me,” he said. In August 2018, Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 65 Presiding Judge Gina Palamos issued an arrest warrant and a hold departure order against Lim after the Department of Justice filed two counts of the non-bailable offense of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade against the trader along with self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. The case stemmed from a complaint filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group accusing Lim as the alleged source of shabu being sold by Espinosa. (PNA. With a report from Mindanao Examiner)

Release of ‘narco-list’ up to DILG, says Duterte PRESIDENT RODRIGO Duterte has left the decision to make public ahead of the national polls the so-called “narco list” to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Duterte said it is up to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año to decide on the release of the list of politicians allegedly involved in illegal drugs. “It is up to Año to decide on that. I do not interfere in his job,” he

said. Año said he wanted to make public the narco list so citizens would not vote for politicians being accused as involved in the illegal drug trade. Duterte said he supports DILG’s proposal to release the list. “Would you rather - hindi na talaga lalabas yun pangalan nila? Galit ako sa droga,” he said. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

earlier said the release of the list of politicians would help voters make an “intelligent choice” in the May polls. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said the list currently includes 83 politicians. The campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups started on February 12 while that for the local post aspirants will kick off on March 30. (EJ Roque)

Corporation code finally revised THE REVISED Corporation Code of the Philippines recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to simplify corporate governance, provide a more business-friendly environment and boost the competitiveness of the country’s economy. Duterte said the Revised Corporation Code which seeks to simplify corporate governance standards and establish a more business-friendly environment will now

enable corporations and other juridical entities to thrive. He said one of the salient provisions of the new law is the removal of the minimum limit on the number of shareholders required to register a corporation from five to allowing one person to register a business as a corporation. Other provisions include allowing stockholders to vote remotely on meetings and giving the Securities and Exchange

Commission power to remove directors and update the provisions on records-keeping and records access based on current technologies. The new law also provides protection to minority stockholders by requiring corporations vested with the public interest to have independent directors. The measure amended the Batas Pambansa 68, or the Corporation Code of the Philippines, that was passed on May 1, 1980 (EJ Roque)


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Rice Tariffication law to boost Customs revenues

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EBU CITY — Fully lifting quantitative restrictions on rice import under the Rice Tariffication law signed recently by President Rodrigo Duterte will mean a boost to Customs revenues in district ports, a Cebu customs official said. Lemuel Er- public Act 11203 or the Rice “Rice tariffication levels the win Romero, deputy col- Tarrification Act of 2019, im- playing field in importing lector for assessment of the portation of rice will no lon- rice. Even rice retailers or Bureau of Customs (BOC) ger need import permit from wholesalers can now import here, said that under Re- the National Food Authority. rice under the new law as

Congressional bet gets death threat CEBU CITY — Former Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Gaye Yapha, who is running for a congressional seat in Cebu province has received a death threat and reported the matter to the police. Yapha said her driver the death threat written on a piece of paper and accompanied by 2 bullets left at the rear of her pickup truck parked outside her house in Barangay Labangon here

which is about 68 kilometers from her hometown. The note reads: “W-draw (withdraw) or die. 2 bullets. 1 for you. 1 for driver.” She believed the threat to her life has something to do with her running as 3rd District representative. “I could not think of anything else but politics. Whoever sent me the letter wanted me to withdraw my candidacy, and the election is drawing close,” she said

in a video posted on Facebook. Yapha said her driver, Rex Zamora, found the note and reported it to her. “Election period man so it’s the Comelec that should decide. Manghinaot ta hatagan sa Comelec og gibug-aton atong nahitabo karon,” Yapha said. Yapha said she has no bodyguard and asked the police to investigate the death threat. (John Rey Saavedra)

long as they pay the correct tariff,” Romero said. Although the district port is yet to receive directives from its central office pending approval of the implementing rules and regulations, he said they are readying their personnel in case the law is fully implemented. He said district ports like Cebu need the guidelines for BOC personnel in charge of valuation. Under the law, if the rice is imported from countries that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the tariff rate is 35 percent of the value. If the rice import is within the minimum access volume (MAV) of 350,000 metric tons of rice from countries outside ASEAN, the law imposes a 40 percent tariff.

For rice imports outside or beyond the MAV and at the same time originating from non-ASEAN country, the law slaps a tariff of 180 percent of the value. “The law clearly provides for the tariff rates, (customs) examiners can no longer play with valuation,” Romero said, explaining that “if the quality of rice imported is better, it has higher value and since the value is higher, the higher the duties to be paid.” He did not, however, discount the possibility that unscrupulous importers may resort into technical smuggling through mis-declaration of quality and weight of rice import. “We need to be vigilant against mis-declaration of quality and under-declaration of quantity or weight (of

the rice import),” he said. Romero added that “players” may face difficulty in mis-declaring its weight because of strict weight monitoring of goods arriving at the Cebu International Port (CIP). “Right now, we have safeguard as to the weight of the goods. We require magna scaling of all the goods that enter our jurisdiction,” he said. He said the weighing scale at the CIP yard intended for containerized cargos has made the job of customs examiners and appraisers easy in determining if the actual weight of the goods is the same as reflected in the customs entry and in computing the right duties and taxes. (John Rey Saavedra)

Shipping firm launches ‘MyBoat’ CEBU CITY — Metro Cebu commuters may soon opt to escape the gruelling road traffic by taking a catamaran in going to their destinations after MCE Shipping Lines is set to launch its “MyBoat” coastal routes in Naga City. Dr. Nelson Mejia Jr., CEO of MCE Shipping Lines, said passengers from the southern towns and cities in the Metro Cebu will have a maximum travel time of 30 minutes when the south coastal routes start next month. Mejia said the catamaran can carry at least 64 passengers and is now 90 percent finished and will soon be delivered by its manufacturer, Steven Deans Marine Inc., a Maritime Industry Authority-accredited shipbuilder, in Liloan, Cebu. Aside from the catamaran, commuters can also choose to ride in a 15-seater speedboat

for shorter travel routes. According to Mejia, commuters who will take the sea routes will have a maximum travel time of 30 minutes from Naga City to Pier 3 in Cebu City. He added that the company is also planning to put two more coastal travel lines, the Minglanilla-Cebu City and Talisay-Cebu City. “Minglanilla to Pier 3 will take you for only 20 minutes. When you are from Talisay, you only have 10 minutes to reach Cebu City. Our business plan is research-based model being considered by maritime and land transport experts,” Mejia told theofficial Philippine News Agency. The 27-year old CEO said he is willing to share his business model. “It can help Mega Cebu achieve its vision. Traffic congestion is a sign that there is progress in a place. On the other hand,

each one of us has experienced traffic. Sea transport system will augment such problem,” he said, citing Japan International Cooperation Agency’s first quarter of 2018 studies, which said that Metro Cebu’s traffic has translated to P1.1-billion in economic and opportunity losses. Mayor Elanito Peña, said his town of Minglanilla is willing to provide the company with a parking space so that motorists who wish to go to the city would not have to take the congested south national highway, and take the catamaran or sea jeepney, instead. “They have presented to us their proposal and we studied it,” he said. The mayor said the company needs to negotiate with a private firm, Primary Structures, that is currently undertaking a reclamation project in Minglanilla’s coastal barangay of Calajoan in order to operate in the area.

Dr. Nelson Mejia Jr. (seventh from left), chief executive officer of MCE Shipping Lines, leads the ribbon cutting ceremony during the launching of MyBoat, a concept of sea travel using 64-passenger capacity catamaran or 15-passenger sea jeepney. Also in photo are Mayor Elanito Peña of Minglanilla (left), Cebu 6th District Rep. Samsam Gullas (third from left), Cebu’s 3rd District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (fourth from left), Naga City Mayor Vanessa Chiong (fifth from left), and Maritime Industry Authority OIC Narciso Vingson Jr. (Photo by John Rey Saavedra) For his part, Mejia said they need only a short wharf in Minglanilla, where they can dock a vessel to pick and unload passengers. While there is no commit-

ment from the city yet, Naga City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said the company needs to complete its permits first before it can operate. Maritime Industry Authori-

ty OIC Narciso Vingson Jr. also vowed to assist Mejia’s company in completing its papers so that it can serve the Cebuano commuters the soonest possible time. (John Rey Saavedra)

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