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June 7-13, 2021

Senator wants to scrutinize BARMM funds ‘Government allocates P200-billion to Bangsamoro region’

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OTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has been allocated staggering amount of funds worth over P200 billion since last year, but there is “too little progress and change” in the region, according to Senator Imee Marcos. Marcos filed Resolu- omous Region, including tion No. 729 on May 24 the annual Special Develdirecting the Committee opment Fund allocated on Finance to conduct for the rebuilding, rehaan inquiry into the ac- bilitation, and developcounting and liquida- ment of conflict-affected tion of the Appropria- communities. tions and Annual Block She said under the Grants allocated for the General Appropriations years 2020 and 2021 to Act (GAA) of 2020, the Continue on page 2 the Bangsamoro Auton-

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim, and Senator Imee Marcos.

South African Covid-19 variant now in Zambo! IN A report by the Wall Street Journal in April 12, it said a fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus, first discovered in South Africa, has been detect-

President Rodrigo Duterte. (PCOO)

Kaso ng EJKs, hindi pwedeng ilabas sa publiko PINAGIINGAT NI Pangulong Duterte ang Philippine National Police

(PNP) at ang Department of Justice (DOJ) sa paglalabas ng mga dokumento

ukol sa lahat ng kasong may kinalaman sa Continue on page 3

DOTr free rides for health care workers lauded

LTRFB Region 9 photo shows the vehicles use for the “Libreng Sakay Para sa Healthcar Workers.” And DOTr Secretary “Aksyon” Art Tugade.

ARMM

MAYOR BENG Climaco lauded the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for offering free rides to healthcare workers in Zamboanga City. Climaco said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) which is under DOTr, recently launched its “Libreng Sakay for Continue on page 5

Eastern Mindanao

ed in at least 60 countries, including the U.S. The variant, it added, appears to make some Covid-19 vaccines less effective and has raised

concerns that people who already had the disease could get it again from the new strain. Now, the Department Continue on page 3

Covid-19 not a reason to postpone BARMM polls SENATOR PANFILO Lacson warned of the danger of citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a major reason in the need to postpone the first regular elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), CNN Philippines reported. Lacson’s warning came after Senator Continue on page 2

Senators Francis Tolentino and Panfilo Lacson.

Western Mindanao under MECQ! PAGADIAN CITY - The national government has placed the entire Zamboanga Peninsula region under a stricter commu-

Western Mindanao

nity quarantine status following the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases in Western Mindanao.The decision to place

Cebu

the whole region under the Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) status until Continue on page 5

Manila


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Senator wants to scrutinize BARMM funds ‘Government allocates P200-billion to Bangsamoro region’

Continued from page 1 Bangsamoro Autonomous Region was allocated an annual appropriation of P7 billion and an Annual Block Grant of P63.6 billion, including a Special Development Fund of P5 billion. In addition to this, under the 2021 GAA, the region was also given an annual appropriation of P8.6 billion and an Annual Block Grant of P71.6 billion, and a Special Development Fund of P5 billion. “Prior to the establishment of the BARMM, the (previous and now defunct) Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was allocated an annual appropriation of P32.4 billion and Adjustments of P7.2 billion with total available appropriations of P39.7 billion,” Marcos said. “Thus, as compared to the ARMM appropriation of only P39.7 billion, the total BARMM allocation was higher, amounting to at least double the amount of the budget allocated to the ARMM. Despite these allocated appropriations, there is too little progress and change in the BARMM,” she added. Marcos said with the huge appropriations made in the GAA for 2020 and 2021, it is vital for Congress to determine the status of the projects implemented especially since the Bangsamoro Government is still in its transition stage. She said the Committee on Finance shall delve into the accounting and liquidation of the Appropriations and the Annual Block Grants allocated for the years 2020 and 2021 to BARMM, including the annual Special Development Fund. “It is also important for Congress to be informed on the progress of the transition process, implementation of programs and the proper utilization of funds, as well as the reasons for delay which are not attributable to the dire effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and to determine other legislative measures, if necessary, to be legislated by Congress in order to promote the long-term vision of meaningful growth in the Bangsamoro Region,” Marcos said. BARMM is made up of the island-provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi off Mindanao Island. And two other provinces Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao on Mindanao Island. Incompetent

Sulu’s influential Governor Sakur Tan branded as incompetent former rebel leaders now running the BARMM who failed miserably to deliver on their promise and still asked to junk the 2022 elections and give them a three extension. Tan was referring to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaders headed by Murad Ebrahim, who is now the BARMM Chief Minister. Ebrahim wanted to postpone the BARMM elections set by law and extend the term of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority which violates the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). The MILF signed a peace deal with Manila in 2014 ending decades of bloody fighting in Mindanao and this accord is also being used by Ebrahim to hold on to power. Tan, in a part interview with journalist Christian Esguerra, said: “Well, to tell you frankly Sir, I want to be frank para malaman din nila that they are not competent. They have no competence at all to govern. The problem is they want to govern and rule, so mahirap, dapat wag sila mabigla at parang nagkaroon ng culture shock yata eh.” “Yun mga consultants nila, with due respect, ay incompetent din at hindi rin marunong. How would they know if they have not even come to the province of Sulu? There are those who call themselves Tausug, but ask them how many times have you come to Sulu? How long have you stayed in Sulu? Where have you been? So yun dapat ang tanong sa kanila,” he added. Tan said the former rebels do not have the capability to run a government. He said his province voted not to be included in the BARMM during the 2019 plebiscite and many sectors now are also opposing any extension of the term limits of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) members. “May mga manifesto opposing the proposed postponement ng BARMM, BTA elections sa 2022. These are manifesto signed by the governor, the vice governor, all members of the provincial board and 16 of the 19 mayors, the academe, and many more are opposing sa proposal nila (Ebrahim) to postpone the elections and to extend their term by another three years,” he said. “Ang una ay may batas (BOL) na po and in that ba-

tas ay incorporated na po yung term nila sa transition sa three years, so wala kasing makitang dahilan, na yun magandang dahilan kung bakit kailangan i-extend, especially so na we feel that we should look into their performance after, what, almost two years or more than a year and they still have about 16, 18 months to perform. So hindi naman siguro dapat, especially so na sinasabi namin na they have been there for quite a long time at wala pa silang nagagawa. Dito sa amin wala kaming nakitang nagawa nila, yun BTA,” he added. Tan said Ebrahim’s administration failed to uplift the living condition of the poor in BARMM and has no tangible project to show despite the huge amount of money they are operating. “So una, kaya sila nandidyan ang sabi nila they want to help improve and develop not only the province of Sulu, but the whole region and yet we have not seen anything other than the P5 million they gave us to mitigate this Covid-19 pandemic, and they gave P1 million each for all of the mayors for the same purpose.” Tan said Ebrahim has not even convened the Council of Leaders comprising all 5 governors and city mayors of the BARMM for a still unknown reason. He suggested placing Sulu under the supervision of the Office of the President so the province can move forward in terms of peace and development. Previously, Tan said they wanted to return to the Western Mindanao region which Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi were originally part of. “I was proposing kung puwede kaya ilagay natin ang Sulu directly under the Office of the President parang i-pilot lang ba na kung gumanda ang sitwasyon sa Sulu and nag-improve at maging developed ay dapat sumama na sila (BARMM) sa akin ngayon kung talagang sincere sila na gusto nilang umayos yun mga kababayan nila, yung mga kapwa nila, kapatid nila dito sa Sulu, at kung hindi gumanda babalik na lang ako sa kanila,” Tan said. He said his constituents and those in other provinces see bigger problems ahead if the MILF-led BARMM and BTA continue to insist on holding to power without mandate or elections. “Sa tingin ko lalo tayong magkaka-problema kasi it will become an endless

problem in trying to accommodate (the MILF) every time they tell us, and we feel like are we hostage? Sa lahat ng request nila na hindi tama or outside or what has been agreed especially in the BARMM law, are we hostage to these people? We do not have to accommodate all of their requests, every time they say this and they say that, we accommodate.” “We should not be held hostage by whatever reason that they have. Huwag tayo magpapa-hostage sa ano mang grupo. Hindi tayo papayag. Hindi papayag ang taong bayan na maging hostage. Kawawa yung taong bayan. Ako, I will not allow myself to become their hostage and I will not allow our people to become their hostage. Yan po ay ipaglalaban namin,” Tan said. Polls Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on electoral reforms, said postponing elections in BARMM will also mean a delay in developing the restive region and correcting the historical injustice on its people. Under the law, the BARMM elections are supposed to take place at the same time as national elections in May 2022, but several bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives

have called for postponing the regional polls to 2025. Marcos said that full political legitimacy in BARMM can only be achieved after elections, saying, a balance must be struck between fulfilling the main purpose of the BOL and giving the 80-member BTA enough time to cope with difficulties in governance wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic and thus effect a smooth turnover of authority to elected officials. “Given the purpose of this (BARMM) law, which is to rectify historical injustice - political, military, as well as economic - it is important that we conduct these elections at the soonest possible time,” Marcos said during a hearing of the Senate committee on local government in March. “Decommissioning militants and weapons and achieving a normal way of life cannot take place without full political legitimacy, without inclusive governance, without the complete exercise of the Bangsamoro people’s voting rights. The election has its advantages,” Marcos explained. “Only after elections will the BARMM be able to focus on normalization that has been stymied by the pandemic, and to address

the region’s unique and difficult circumstances,” she added. The BARMM elections can be held “months or a year after” the May 2022 elections, instead of three years later, Marcos recommended, adding, while the BTA is still in place, the BARMM elections will be under the control of Commission on Elections. Peace Accord Ebrahim insisted that running the BARMM is solely vested on the peace agreement his group signed with the national government. He said the peace accord was the basis for them to continue ruling the BARMM. And that is why he and his allies in the BTA are pushing and lobbying for the extension of the interim government. It would also extend Ebrahim’s term and BTA members and those holding key positions in the regional government. But any extension of the interim government would violate the BOL which the MILF and the government crafted. Under the BOL, the BTA will be dissolved once the new parliament is formed after the first regular elections in BARMM in 2022 and any extension in the BTA’s term would require congressional approval. (Mindanao Examiner)

Covid-19 not a reason to postpone BARMM polls Continued from page 1 Francis Tolentino, who is seeking to postpone the polls, said that it is legally impossible to hold the elections since Bangsamoro’s electoral code and parliamentary districts have not been created. He also asked Tolentino what would happen if the Bangsamoro parliament would still fail to accomplish these by 2025. The Senate Bill 2214, filed by Tolentino and Senators Aquilino Pimentel and Richard Gordon, seeks to amend the Bangsamoro Organic Law to allow the resetting of the BARMM polls from 2022 to 2025. It would extend the term of the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Murad Ebrahim, now the BARMM Chief Minister. Lacson said postponing

the Bangsamoro elections would require a plebiscite. “We are treading on a very dangerous ground or precedent here because if the pandemic is the reason for the postponement of the BARMM election next year, it could open the floodgates to a no-el situation in the national and local elections next year,” Lacson said. But Tolentino was quick to say that: “I am sure, Mr. President, Covid-19 will not exist past May 2025 or 2028. The law and this chamber will not permit that to happen.” However, Lacson asked Tolentino to refrain from mentioning the pandemic to avoid the same logic from being used to push for a “no-election” scenario in the entire country in 2022 presidential polls. President Rodrigo Duterte has not certified as urgent the measure seeking to post-

pone the BARMM elections. “Why the rush when there is no certification as urgent ‘yung measure and wala namang galaw sa House? What are we doing here?” Lacson asked during the plenary debates on Senate Bill 2214, adding, the Senate should probably take its time studying possible legal challenges. According to CNN Philippines, Senate President Vicente Sotto III advised Bangsamoro officials that a stronger lobbying might be needed in the House of Representatives, where the measure remains pending at the committee level. The Commission on Elections earlier requested lawmakers to come up with a decision by July so the necessary preparations can be made in case the BARMM polls would push through. (CNN Philippines, Mindanao Examiner)


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Kaso ng EJKs, hindi pwedeng ilabas sa publiko Continued from page 1 kanyang kampanya kontra droga. Maging ang Commission on Human Rights ay sinabihan rin ng Pangulo ukol sa ginagawa nitong imbestigasyon. Naunang sinabi ng PNP at DOJ na iimbestigahan nito ang mga umano’y extrajudicial killings ng mga hinihinalang drug users at pushers sa ibatibang panig ng bansa. At ayon sa mga human rights groups, nagsimula diumano ang patayan ng ilunsad ng pulisya ang “Oplan Tokhang” at tinatayang libo-libo ang nasawi dahil sa mga kadahilanang nanlaban ang mga suspek, o pinaslang ng mga di-kilalang armado sakay ng motorsiklo. Sinabi ni Duterte na talagang nanlalaban ang mga napapatay ng pulisya. “I am just making a statement about the deaths na hanggang ngayon. Despite of our, well, advice to you know to, if it’s possible to hindi na lang makipagbarilan, eh talagang lumalaban itong mga durugista. Now this is really a lesson for the human rights, every day until now nandiyan ‘yan.” “I suggest that you go to the police and look into the records of these deaths. Now gusto ninyong kunin, may - hindi namin maibigay lahat not because we are hiding some facts that known to us, unknown to you. Eh kasali na dito ‘yong, national security issue ‘to eh kagaya rin ng mga NPA,” ani Duterte. Maraming mga high profile cases o personalidad, kabilang ang mga kilalang pulitiko, ang napaslang sa kampanya kontra droga at ang iba pa ay sa loob mismo ng bilanguan o kaya ay sa himpilan ng pulisya

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The Mindanao Examiner

June 7-13, 2021

napatay sa alegasyong nang-agaw ng armas. “We have records that those who have died, but who have derogatory records in our files and may mga references sila na tao and what they do, we cannot divulge it to anybody, but only to the military and to the police. I do not even know kung sino ‘yang mga ‘yan. I do not ask for it and I do not bother to really go out of my way knowing because kasali ako sa mga tao na hindi alam,” paliwanag pa ni Duterte. “What I get is the result of the operations. But as to the basis and to the people involved and suspects and ‘yong mga references nila at ‘yong mga sources ng information, this cannot be revealed. I said, ako mismo, I don’t know if (DILG) Secretary (Eduardo) Año knows about it, but hindi ako,” giit pa ng Pangulo. Sinabi ni Duterte na “result-oriented” umano ito sa operasyon ng mga awtoridad. “Hindi ko sabihin na kasalanan nila o may kasalanan sila. As a matter of fact, ang sinabi ko itong mga pulis o military who perform their duties and had to kill their adversaries, lalo na sa droga, pati itong mga NPA, hindi ho namin puwede ibigay lahat. You can go into the, maybe query as to how the battle was fought, how the gunfight started. But pero kung sabihin mo what prompted the police and the military to go into this kind of operation based on their reports and collated mga dossier, hindi ho ninyo puwedeng pakialaman ‘yan. Truth, as a matter of fact, sabihin ko totoo ‘yan. Maski tanungin ninyo, ni hindi ako minsan nagtanong kung ano-ano ‘yan. It’s because I know that it’s just

confidential,” ani Duterte. Itinanggi rin ni Duterte na sadyang pinapatay ang mga suspek at ipinagpipilitan nito na talagang nanlaban ang mga ito kung kaya’t napapaslang. “And sabihin mo na sinadya na patay(in), hindi ‘yan. Lumaban talaga ‘yan. Kay kung patayin mo lang lahat ng durugista, ah puno ‘yang punerarya. Hindi ‘yan maubusan ng kliyente. Mayroon dito minsan namatay isa, dalawa, itong mga durugista. Hindi --- we are not after for the ito --- itong ano, itong shabu ito ‘yong mga --- ito ‘yong mga talagang kingpin, itong mga drug lord.” “From the drug lords, mayroon ‘yan silang tinyente na magdi-distribute. Saan i-distribute? Doon sa mga peddlers, basurero. Wala kaming makuha diyan. Kay kung hulihin mo lahat o patayin mo ‘yan, walang kwenta. Ngayon, sabihin mo patayin, ‘yong iba, pinapatay talaga ng mga drug lords kasi ‘pag minsan maghuli, para maputol ‘yong kuwento hindi umabot sa kanila, sila na mismo ang papatay sa tao nila. Lalo na kung may parang may naamoy na ang gobyerno tapos tinitingnan nila ‘pag mahuli itong tao na ito pa-piyait ito, sila na ‘yang mga drug lords ang pumatay tapos tayo, kami ang pagbintangan. Iyan ang totoo diyan. So be careful in your, especially the Human Rights --- be careful in your evaluation and assessment because hindi lang ang gobyerno marunong pumatay,” sabi pa ni Duterte. Kasalukuyang iniimbestigahan ng International Criminal Court ang mga kaso ng extrajudicial killings sa bansa at kung ano ang kinalaman ni Duterte sa mga ito. (Mindanao Examiner)

South African Covid-19 variant now in Zambo! Continued from page 1 of Health (DOH) in the Philippines announced on May 30 that it has detected the same South African Covid-19 (B.1.351) variant in Zamboanga City and warned the public that it is “one of the most virulent variants” today. The DOH also said in March that the U.K. variant was also present in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte after two overseas Filipino workers returned home in February infected with it. The Wall Street Journal report further quoted South African researchers as saying that B.1.351 may be around 50% more contagious, based on the much faster rate of Covid-19 transmission since its emergence and biological studies of changes to the structure of the virus, which appear to make it easier for it to attach to and infect human cells. And that’s not all because according to the report, the results from human clinical trials and laboratory tests released so far suggest that some of the current Covid-19 vaccines may not work as effectively against the South African variant. But the World Health Organization and other experts said that weakened vaccines should still provide protection against serious illness and death, even if they cannot prevent all Covid-19 symptoms. South Africa decided not to use the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca PLC after a small clinical trial there found that the shot did not protect recipients from mild and moderate Covid-19. It has also said that it does not believe that a vaccine developed by Novavax Inc., for which a clinical trial in South Africa also showed significantly reduced efficacy, was fit for use in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal report. It said data on other vaccines, including those made by Johnson & John-

son, Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. has been more encouraging, although laboratory tests for those have also shown that the triggered antibody response was somewhat weaker against the South African variant. Several drug makers, including Moderna and Pfizer, are already testing updated versions of their vaccines to better target the B.1.351 strain. With the South African variant in Zamboanga City and more likely elsewhere in the country, the DOH has urged the public to strictly comply with the minimum health standards such as wearing of face mask and face shield in public places and the frequent washing of hands and maintain physical distancing as well. The same call was also made by Mayor Beng Climaco, head of the local Covid-19 task force. “The City Government reiterates its call to the public for stricter and religious observance of the health and safety protocols and stricter implementation of quarantine protocols to stem the Covid transmission and slow down virus mutations,” she said. Climaco said the local government, in coordination with DOH and Interior Department, has intensified its contact tracing to further slowdown the community transmission of the deadly respiratory disease. But despite the presence of the new Covid-19 variant and probably other mutations since genomic sequencing continues, many residents remain complacent and others do not believe such virus exist. And many more even cast doubts on the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines and believing it would kill them if not sooner, later. Fake news and false information from social media added to their fear of the vaccines. One such news claimed that Covid-19 vaccines contain Nano materials such

as magnet and microchips and even a tracker that forced the DOH to issue a public notice, saying: “Hindi naglalaman ng magnets, microchips, at trackers ang mga bakuna. The Department of Health reminds the public to always verify information available online with legitimate sources.” Zamboanga City now has over 2,000 active Covid-19 cases and more than 400 deaths due to the virus since the pandemic began early last year. Climaco has repeatedly appealed to residents to register and get vaccinated against Covid-19. “We have requested for more vaccines because Zamboanga City has been identified as one of the priority areas of concern in the country. Take this opportunity because it will be an added layer of protection against covid,” she said. “So we appeal to our residents to have themselves registered for vaccination without preference of which brand of vaccine they want though they have the right known the kind of vaccine administered on them,” she added. But Climaco was quick to say that a fully vaccinated person is not totally immune to Covid-19 or can walk freely without face mask and face shield. “It does not mean you cannot be infected anymore. No, there is yet a certain period when the vaccine can develop an anti-body in the system. You still have to observe the protocols, limit your movements to accessing essential goods and services,” she explained. The City Health Office said nearly 36,000 people received their first dose of the vaccines mostly medical frontliners, senior citizens and people with comorbidities or other medical conditions. And more than 4,000 people were fully vaccinated after getting their second and final dose. (Zamboanga Post, Mindanao Examiner)

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The Mindanao Examiner

June 7-13, 2021

Sulu Pictures in the News Sulu provincial government at work. This is where your taxes go. (Photos from the Office of the Provincial Governor, Jaques Tutong, Task Force Covid-19, Jolo Municipal Government, and Rep. Shernee Tambut)


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The Mindanao Examiner

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Western Mindanao under MECQ!

Continued from page 1 June 15 was announced by the Inter-AgencyTask Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID). It took effect on June 1, but Zamboanga City has been under since May 8 due to the high number of Covid infections. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the IATFMEID to place the whole of Zamboanga Peninsula under MECQ. The region comprises the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga delSur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City. Aside from Zamboanga Peninsula, Duterte also placed the following areas under MECQ - the City of Santiago and Cagayan in Region 2; Apayao, Benguet, and Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B; Iloilo City in Re-

gion 6; Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10; and Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in CARAGA region. Duterte also extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, or the so-called NCR Plus and some restrictions shall still be in place, limiting the capacities of certain industries. Also under GCQ status from June 1 to June 30 are Abra, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province; Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11, and Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. All other areas not included or mentioned above are placed under the Modified General Community Quarantine until June 30. Presidential Spokesper-

son Harry Roque also asked the public to get vaccinated. “Tayo po’ymaging parte ng solusyon. Tara na po at magpabakuna – para sa iyo, para sainyong pamilya, para sa inyong komunidad. Balik buhay sa bakuna,” he said. He said the IATF-MEID has approved the vaccination of those under the expanded A4 priority list which now includes workers in the private sector who need to physically report to work outside of their residences, government workers including those under government-owned and controlled corporations, and local government workers. Also included in the A4 priority group are informal sector workers and those who are self-employed who need to work outside of their homes, as well as those who are working in private households. (Mindanao Examiner)

Cop busted in drug sting

Villamero’s Enterprises For all your newspaper publications or subscription to The Zamboanga Post and The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper, please call or text Villamero’s Enterprises at these numbers (062) 955-8677 and 0917-1223496. Located at Campaner Street, Zamboanga City and serving Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Zambo police officer dies from Covid-19

Police photos show the arrested cop, Patrolman Saidamin Bonsalagan Bagul, and suspected shabu and weapons seized from him in Iligan City recently. ILIGAN CITY – Security forces and anti-narcotics agents have arrested a local cop in a drug sting here that resulted in the seizure of 20 grams of crystal meth. The joint operation, launched by members of the Philippine National Police Integrity Monitoring Enforcement Group (IMEG) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the village of Del Carmen, led to the capture of Patrolman Saidamin Bonsalagan Bagul. The suspect is assigned with the 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company of Lanao del Norte Police. The IMEG said the operation against the rogue

cop was in coordination with the Lanao Del Norte Provincial Police Office, the Provincial Intelligence Unit and Special Intelligence Unit, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Bureau of Investigation. Undercover agents seized from Bagul four sachets containing 20 grams of suspected shabu and marked money, a cellular phone, an automatic rifle with five magazines and all loaded with bullets and an automatic pistol with one magazine also loaded with bullets and the policeman’s car. National Police Chief General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar lauded all those

who were involved in the drug sting and vowed to run after rogue cops, especially those involved in illegal drugs and other crimes. “This is our warning to all police personnel involved in illegal activities, hindi katanggap-tanggap sa PNP ang ganyang uri ng kalakaran niyo, kaya sisiguraduhin kong sa kulungan ang bagsak niyo,” Eleazar said. “Ito ang dahilan kaya natin ipinatutupad ang nameless, faceless recruitment selection at pagpapaigting ng ating Intensified Cleanliness Policy (among the police ranks). Patuloy nating lilinisin ang hanay ng PNP sa mga tiwaling pulis,” he added. (Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A local police officer succumbed to Covid-19 after battling the deadly respiratory disease for 29 days. The 52-year old captain, whose identity was not made public by the police, was tested positive for Covid-19 on May 1 and was immediately brought to hospital after showing symptoms of the disease. He was eventually transferred May 18 to the intensive care unit and intubated, but died on May 30. The captain was the 66th fatality among

the ranks of the national police organization. The national police said it has more than 1,800 cops who are Covid-19 positive. National Police Chief General Guillermo Eleazar said he was saddened by the demise of the officer and extended his condolences to the family in Zamboanga. “Nakakalungkot po na araw-araw ay may pa impeksyon sa aming hanay, kaya naman patuloy po ang ating paalala sa mga pulis na magdoble ingat. Hindi lamang para

sa kanilang pangsariling proteksyon kundi maging sa kanilang pamilya,” Eleazar said. “Patuloy rin ang ating pagbibigay ng tulong sa ating mga kasamahan at kanilang pamilya na nadapuan ng naturang sakit, libre pa rin ang ating pagpapacheck up kaya sana naman ay huwag magdalawang isip ang ating mga pulis na pumunta sa pinakamalapit na clinic kung mayroong silang nararamdamang sintomas ng Covid-19,” he added. (Mindanao Examiner)

DOTr free rides for health care workers lauded Continued from page 1 Healthcare Workers” and shall run until the end of June. “Thank you so much DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and LTFRB (in Region 9) headed by Regional Director (Johnson) Almazan for the free rides. We thank you for this Libreng Sakay for Healthcare Workers pro-

gram,” the mayor said. Almazan also said the program is pursuant to Republic Act No. 11519 or the Bayanihan II and aims to provide free rides exclusively for frontline healthcare workers. He said the Libreng Sakay for Healthcare Workers program has 3 routes plying hospital zones in the west coast, east coast, and

the central business district. He said the schedule of trips are 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. “The free transport service will run until June 30. For queries, our contact hotlines are 0926-3734052 and 0955-7413073,” he said. (Jasmine Mohammadsali and Zamboanga Post)


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The Mindanao Examiner

June 7-13, 2021

High explosive chemical seized, man arrested in Olutanga PAGADIAN CITY – Security forces are in heightened alert following the recent seizure of 53 bags of ammonium nitrate weighing nearly 3,000 pounds from a man in Zamboanga Sibugay province. Ammonium nitrate, which is widely used by rebels and terrorists in the manufacture of explosives, is banned in the Philippines. Major Shellamie Chang, a regional police spokeswoman, said police forces, armed with a warrant, had arrested Buddy Asamuddin in the village of Pulo Mabao in Olutanga town on May 29. Chang said the warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Anthony Isaw, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 29 in Ipil town. “Confiscated during the operation were 53 sacks of ammonium nitrate, four blasting caps and one detonating cord (which measures) 25 inches and one detonat-

ing cord (which is) 26 inches,” she said. The man, who works as a carpenter and a fisherman, is currently being investigated and it is unknown whether the suspect is a member of a rebel group or not, or engages in blast fishing which is also illegal in the country. Corporal Davy Sanchez, who is investigating Asamuddin, said each bag of ammonium nitrate weighs about 25 kilos. “The ammonium nitrate was repacked in a 25-kilo sack, all 53 bags, and we are still investigating the suspect, who is also a fisherman,” he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner by phone from his office in Olutanga town, some 289 kilometers from here. In February 23, 2019, maritime police also seized 1,100 pounds of ammonium nitrate after a sea chase that led to the capture of 5 men - Ismol Malsani, Kadoh Ka-

hamkam, Jinali Marosali, Makamil Malan and Mastal Malsani in Zamboanga City. The patrol spotted the suspicious boat off Taluksangay village and gave chase after the vessel did not stop for security inspection. The boat was eventually apprehended and its passengers arrested for transporting 20 (25 kilos) bags of ammonium nitrate which was made in South Korea by Huchems Fine Chemical Corporation. In August 2017, Zamboanga police also confiscated 660 pounds of ammonium nitrate and dozens of blasting caps in a raid on a house in the coastal village of Arena Blanco. The house owner, Pagal Aliasan, 25, admitted purchasing the chemical from the black market in Tawi-Tawi, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, and sold homemade explosives to fishermen. (Mindanao Examiner)

9 pro-ISIS fighters captured

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DAVAO REGION ADVERTISING For all your ADVERTISING and PUBLICATION needs, please call our DAVAO REGION office at these following phone numbers: Police photos show forensic investigators going through seized weapons and other items from 9 captured Dawlah Islamiya fighters. LANAO DEL SUR – Police commandos and government troops captured 9 members of the pro-ISIS group Dawlah Islamiya following a firefight in the town of Pagawayan here. Security forces were trying to arrest the 43-year old Faharudin Satar alias Abu Zacaria, a suspected terrorist leader, when his followers opened fire on government troops, sparking a gun battle in Paigoay village. The gunmen were eventually captured, but the others managed to escape during the fighting. There were no reports of casualties from both sides. Policemen and soldiers recovered one Carbine rifle, two M16 rifles with three magazines loaded with ammunition, two .45-caliber pistols with loaded magazines, two bases for radio communication sets, six portable radios, a record book containing the group’s finances and names of var-

ious people and sketches of suspected terror plans and other subversive materials. Brigadier General Eden Ugale, the regional police director, identified those captured as Camaroden Tindug, Sabdullah Sarip, Oter Macaungun, Asnare Alisood, Alisood Dima, Sowaib Abdullah, Saaduden Adapun, Zaenal Abdulatip and Salih Pitiilan. National Police Chief General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar ordered security forces to track down and arrest those who escaped. “We will file appropriate criminal charges against these armed suspects. Ang

ating kapulisan ay hindi titigil hanggat hindi natin mahuli ang mga salarin at kelangan pagbayaran ang kanilang ginawang kasalanan alinsunod sa ating batas,” Eleazar said. “Ang ating kampanya kontra terorismo ay isa sa ating pangunahing sinusulong na community cleanliness sa ilalim ng ating Intensified Cleanliness Policy. Tayo ay umaasa na sa pamamagitan nito ay unti-unti na nating masugpo ang mahabang panahong problema sa insurgency at terorismo sa bansa,” he added. (Mindanao Examiner)

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June 7-13, 2021

The Mindanao Examiner

Sulu Pictures in the News

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The Mindanao Examiner

June 7-13, 2021

Across : 1. Table part 4. Wood strips 9. Conceit 12. Anger 13. Blooming bush 14. Wicked 15. Fish feature 16. Praiseworthy 18. Adolescents 20. Thick slice 21. Pep rally sound 22. Vanity 26. Con game 28. Scatterer 31. Overdue 32. Objective 33. Char 34. Quarantines 36. Rustic hotels 37. Kitchen gadget 38. Building site 39. Guess 42. Garlic’s kin 45. Without meaning 49. Undercover gp. 50. Restaurant bill 51. Scoundrel 52. Swiss peak 53. “One Day ___ Time” (2 wds.) 54. Positive replies 55. Caustic chemical

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Richard Suarez Down : 1. Hoist 2. Great Lake 3. Electricity source 4. Long cut 5. Pot cover 6. Charity 7. Peacock’s pride 8. Skin abrasion 9. Subside 10. Lass 11. Shelley work 17. Scrape 19. Anonymous 23. Like some twins 24. College official

25. Miscalculates 26. Petticoat 27. Mexican house 28. Made a lap 29. Diner dessert 30. Kitchen and parlor(abbr.) 35. Blood vessel 38. Misplaces 40. Burn balm 41. Entreats 43. Greasy 44. Neck region 45. Train depot (abbr.) 46. Devour 47. Hoop gp. 48. Take to court

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Maritess Fernandez The Mindanao Examiner The Zamboanga Post

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The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper is published weekly in Mindanao, Philippines. ZAMBOANGA CITY OFFICE: 3/F, JLC Building, Don Alfaro Street, Tetuan Phone & Fax: (062) 9555360 Mobile: (0915) 3976197 DAVAO CITY OFFICE: Door 2, 402 Nidea Street, Barrio Obrero Phone: (082) 2841859 Mobile: (0925) 7621914 URL: mindanaoexaminer.com E-mail: mindanaoexaminer@gmail.com

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The Mindanao Examiner

June 7-13, 2021

How Brad Pitt and a Filipina Grandma Helped This Hollywood Exec Bottle Happiness ‘Before working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Cristina Patwa learned the fundamentals of business -- and tea -- from her Filipina grandma’ I WAS born in a rural town called Davao in the southern Philippines. Picture dirt roads and animals roaming around. As a child, I spent most of my time outside surrounded by tropical plants, food, and nature. It was a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, where I got my first job after graduating from business school, working with consumer products at Disney ABC. I created video games, apparel, and DVDs around hit TV shows like Shonda Rhimes’s Grey’s Anatomy and J.J. Abrams’s Lost.

‘A Hollywood name in her own right, Cristina Patwa worked with the likes of J.J. Abrams, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt before tapping into her Filipino heritage to launch Enroot, a Los Angeles-based and certified B-Corp beverage company she co-founded in 2019 alongside Pitt and Hollywood producer John Fogelman. Created in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, Enroot’s organic teas pay homage to Patwa’s grandmother, a small-scale farmer and food entrepreneur in the southern Philippines who taught her granddaughter a critical business lesson.’ -- As told to Anna Meyer Abrams’s agent at the time, John Fogelman, was one of the owners of the William Morris Agency. Soon, I joined him at WMA, where we helped Hasbro make media, movies, and TV out of multimillion- and

billion-dollar toy franchises like the Transformers, GI Joe, and My Little Pony. Eight years ago, John and I left the agency and, with another friend, started our own company, a TV network and lifestyle stu-

Malaysia deploys jet after Chinese planes intrude into airspace

A plane with a Chinese flag on its tail is seen in this handout picture, May 31, 2021, obtained by Reuters June 2, 2021. (Royal Malaysian Air Force Handout) MALAYSIA SCRAMBLED its fighter jets following an intrusion of at least 16 Chinese air force planes into the country’s airspace. Kuala Lumpur described the intrusion as a “serious threat to national sovereignty and flight safety” after Chinese planes flew within 60 nautical miles off Sarawak in Borneo. Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said it would summon China’s envoy to explain the intrusion into its airspace which coincided with suspicious activity over the South China Sea. The Chinese planes did not contact regional air traffic control despite being instructed several times, the air force said. Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysia will issue a note of diplomatic protest and ask China’s ambassador to explain the “breach of the Malaysian airspace

and sovereignty.” “Malaysia’s stand is clear, having friendly diplomatic relations with any countries does not mean that we will compromise on our national security,” the Malaysian news agency Bernama quoted Hishammuddin as saying. China’s embassy said the air force planes conducted routine flight training and strictly abided by international law without violating airspace of other countries. “China and Malaysia are friendly neighbours, and China is willing to continue bilateral friendly consultations with Malaysia to jointly maintain regional peace and stability,” an embassy spokesperson said. Malaysia’s air force said the planes, comprising Ilyushin il-76 and Xian Y-20 strategic transporters, had travelled in an “intrail” tactical formation at between 23,000 and 27,000 feet. Last year, a Chinese

survey ship held a monthlong standoff with a Malaysian oil exploration vessel within Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Malaysia’s move follows months of diplomatic protests by the Philippines over the presence of hundreds of Chinese fishing boats in its EEZ, which it says are manned by militias. China has largely ignored the complaints. China has been pushing an expansive claim over the South China Sea, through which about $3 trillion worth of shipborne trade passes annually. It has also built military facilities on manmade islands. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to various islands and features in the area and China’s coastguard routinely warns foreign boats and aircraft to leave what it calls its territory. (Bernama, Rhoderick Beñez and Malou Cablinda)

Christina Patwa with her grandmother. (Inc. Magazine) dio called El Rey. One of our food-related projects was helping Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sell olive oil through their wine-making business. Brad wanted to do more in the food space, and, with the resources and connections I was gathering, I was just starting to ask myself: “What do I truly want to do?” The question brought me back to my time in the Philippines. Growing up, I was often left with my lola, my grandmother, who marched to the beat of her own drum. A force in her own right, she felt like she had to match her presence with that of the men in our family. She had her own fruit farm, and my brothers, cousins, and I would run around the farm while women packed and shipped guava and mangoes, and men picked bananas and coconuts from the trees. We’d have a daily merienda, an afternoon snack, often taking a mango from a tree and wrapping it in our local newspapers as we ate to keep flies away. If I was thirsty, I’d hack open a coconut and stick a straw in it. It really was the most joyful part of my childhood. But in the 1980s, the Philippines was experiencing conflict and civil unrest. After my family was held at gunpoint, my parents, siblings, and I abruptly moved

to the United States, to a studio apartment in Flushing, Queens, in New York City. I went from a tropical jungle to a concrete jungle. Once there, I studied hard like most immigrant children have to do. I watched Three’s Company and I Love Lucy to learn English. When you move to a new country as an immigrant fleeing for safety, you don’t really have the choice of asking yourself what you would like to do. You’re in survival mode: What’s safe? What’s stable? Both of my parents worked as CPAs and expected me to become a CPA as well. Pursuing finance in college, I first landed a job as a consultant for Deloitte. It felt safe, but it wasn’t me. I was forming my own identity as a Filipino American by then, and on Wall Street, there were few women or Filipinos around me. No one could relate culturally to what I had gone through. It wasn’t until I first moved to L.A. to pursue my MBA that I started to actually follow my own voice. Years later, when I finally had the connections and resources to do whatever I wanted to do, the answer to that question became clear: I wanted to make teas with the flavors and recipes from my childhood. Working with John and Brad, we launched Enroot earlier this year. Drinking

the sparkling raspberry, mint, and white peony tea, or mango, turmeric, ginger, and guayusa flavor takes me full circle--right back to my grandmother’s farm and to the happiness I felt there. I was elated when our recipes won Best New Organic Beverage at the 2020 NEXTY Awards, held at Natural Products Expo West. My grandmother is 95 and still lives in the Philippines. She teared up when our family explained to her that her granddaughter was doing this for her, and I tear up just thinking about it. These days, leadership is open for reinvention. With more opportunities for minorities and immigrants to start businesses, we now get to ask ourselves what authentically feels right to us as leaders. How can we create more opportunities for others? And what types of companies do we want to rally behind and support? We can lead with the traditions and traits from our varied cultures. I learned from my grandmother about business and agriculture, community, and sustainability. But more important, she taught me the confidence to be proud of who I am. Through a child’s eyes, I was unable to give words to what that was--but now, it’s the greatest gift to my career. (By Anna Meyer / Inc. Magazine)


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June 7-13, 2021


June 7-13, 2021

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Gwen: I am not defiant

C

EBU - Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said is not against the protocols set by the national government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on how to handle the arrival of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROF). This, after she received on arriving OFWs and ROFs is “Next time that you tell a information from Marin- not against the IATF policy, but lie, make sure nga wala’y corduque Governor Presbitero was only adjusted to suit Ce- respondence and walay mga Velasco Jr. that two Cabinet bu’s situation. klaro nga figures that will Garcia issued an execu- prove the inaccuracy of your officials reportedly plan to file legal action against her tive order, which was adapted statement,” Garcia said withfor alleged “insubordina- into an ordinance by the Cebu out specifying who among tion” because of her refusal Provincial Board, requiring a the Cabinet members she to suspend the Province’s maximum of three days stay was referring to. policy on OFWs and ROFs in a hotel, as against the IATFRationale to give way to Resolution MEID’s resolution that requires Garcia also presented to 10-day quarantine in a hotel. 114 issued by the IATF. President Rodrigo Duterte the She said once tested neg- rationale for Cebu’s arrival Velasco is also the President League of Provinces of ative, OFWs and ROFs who are protocols for OFWs and ROFs. Cebu residents, will be allowed Duterte told Duque to critique the Philippines (LPP). “I am not defiant. I’m to go home and continue their these “innovations” and the just trying to look for the best home quarantine, where they possibility of applying Cebu’s possible way that we may im- will be swabbed on the 7th day. Covid-19 response measures plement policies that will not Non-Cebu residents will be nationwide to manage the viral further burden our people,” turned over to their local gov- outbreak in the country. ernment of destination subject Garcia said, saying “If you see something Velasco sent her a text to their own protocols. working, wouldn’t it be worth Garcia she did not want to it to study it?” Garcia said in message that Interior Secretary Eduardo Año informed further burden Filipinos who a press conference on June 1, him that Justice Secretary are coming home by making a day after she and other top Menardo Guevarra and them stay long in a hotel that Cebu officials met with DuterPresidential Spokesperson would cost them money. te and other key Cabinet memHarry Roque are taking leInterior Undersecre- bers in Malacañang on May 31. gal action against her. tary Epimaco Densing earGarcia pointed out that “... but he (Año) said lier said that this was an Duterte instructed Duque to IATF is firm that reso 114 “innovative” way to imple- find out why Cebu’s Covid-19 should be strictly complied. ment IATF-MEID’s policy by protocols, particularly its They are worried about trans- adapting to the local govern- swab-upon-arrival policy for mission of variants. He said ment’s situation. OFWs and ROFs, are “workSec Harry and Meynard Gue“As far as I know, I have ing and perhaps be applied to varra are considering legal been acting fully in conformity other regions.” action against you,” Garcia with my responsibility as gov“May I cautiously state in said, quoting Velasco’s text ernor of this province, tasked being able to present to the message to her. to look after my constituents President our position why But Garcia does not in this province,” Garcia said. we have done it, and how evbelieve Roque will be filing Garcia also raised the is- eryone was on board in coma case against her. “I know sue regarding the lack of ho- ing up with this policy. In fact, Secretary Roque. He has a tel rooms in Cebu for arriving very sharp legal mind and OFWs and ROFs, after learning he knows his law. So, I doubt that she was accused of lying if in fact he is planning to about it during a recent IATFinstitute legal action. . . but MEID meeting in Manila. She this is the claim of Secretary showed documents to prove Año to Governor Presby Vel- the shortage of hotel rooms asco,” she said. for incoming OFWs and ROFs, CEBU – Governor GwendoGarcia believes she did which had prompted the Mac- lyn Garcia has thanked Presinot violate any law. She also tan-Cebu International Airport dent Rodrigo Duterte and the invoked Section 105 of the not to accept international ar- Partido Demokratiko PilipiLocal Government Code, rivals for two days. no-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Lawhich states that the national A document certified by ban) for holding its National government through the De- Department of Tourism Re- Council Meeting in Cebu City. partment of Health can only gional Director Shahlimar Garcia, who attended the take over a local government Tamano showed that on May recent meeting, recalled that during a pandemic for a peri- 13, only 515 of the 2,694 ho- “six years ago, a handful of tel rooms for OFWs and ROFs us decided to throw our lot in od of six months. The IATF-MEID, which were vacant. But this was be- with a man who espoused the is headed by the Health Sec- cause the DOT head office did advocacies that we believe in retary (Francisco Duque), not act on the request of local - anti-drugs, anti-criminality, has been issuing guidelines hotels and the Regional IATF- anti-corruption and, above and protocols for more than MEID to allow Cebu hotels to all, federalism.” a year since the start of the also accept regular guests as “We rallied behind his Covid-19 pandemic. “What opposed to only quarantined candidacy for President, crime did I commit? What law OFWs and ROFs. This would we believed in him and so did I violate?” Garcia asked have resulted in more rooms did 16 million other Filiand explained that her policy available. pinos. The rest was histo-

Governor Gwen Garcia during May 31 meeting in Malacañang with President Rodrigo Duterte and also attended by (L-R) Edmun Liu of the private sector’s Project Balik Buhay, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Deputy Chief Implementer of the IATF-MEID in the Visayas Mel Feliciano, DOH-7 Chief Pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, Senator Christopher Go, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. (Photo from the Office of the Presidential Assistant to the Visayas) well-represented…I think, in the sense, that the President was able to be given a different point of view,” she explained. Garcia also cited Roque and Sen. Christopher Go for recognizing Cebu’s success in managing the Covid-19 crisis. She said Go has seen how Cebu has managed the pandemic and even opened up its economy since last year. BFF Roque said: “While all LGU’s must follow national policies, we need to answer why Cebu has been on MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine) for 10 straight months. This has never happened in Metro Manila,” he said.

He also clarified that he has no plans or authority to file cases against Garcia over Cebu’s alleged non-compliance to the national government’s swabbing policy OFWs and ROFs. “Wala pong katotohanan ang mga lumalabas na report na may plano ako kasama diumano si Justice Secretary Meynard Guevarra na mag sampa ng kaso laban po kay Governor Gwen Garcia. Napakahirap pong magkaso po ako laban kay Governor Gwen dahil unang-una, hindi po ‘yan kasama sa katungkulan ko bilang isang spox. Laway lang po ako bilang spox,” he said. Roque also noted that it is known by many that he and Garcia are “best friends

forever.” “Maski ako’y bigyan ng ganyang kapangyarihan, alam naman po ng marami na mag-BFF po kami ni Governor Gwen at hindi ko po magagawa ‘yun. Siguro ibang tao pong gagawa nun kung kinakailanga,” he said. Roque said Garcia simply innovated when she decided to slightly modified the swabbing policy. “Pero naniniwala naman po ako na nag-innovate po ang ating Governor Gwen Garcia nung siya’y magpa-implement ng polisiya na hindi kapareho ng Maynila nung mga panahon na kulang po ang kanilang mga kama for isolation,” he said. (Sugbo News, Carlo Lorenciana, Azer Parrocha, Cebu Examiner)

Governor thanks PDP-Laban for holding ‘important’ meeting in Cebu

ARMM

Eastern Mindanao

ry. Mayor Digong became President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Garcia said. “And how Cebu delivered -– with a margin of 1.2 million votes -– over his closest rival because that is how Cebu delivers. When they believe in a man, when they believe in his cause,” she added. Duterte is the chairman of the ruling PDP-Laban party. “I thank the national leadership for choosing Cebu to be the venue of this all-important gathering. Truly, by so doing, you have underscored the importance of Cebu in the coming national elections. And judging from how Cebu

Western Mindanao

can deliver, perhaps it might not be too much to say that where Cebu goes, so will the rest of the country,” Garcia said in her welcome speech. Garcia also pointed out that PDP-Laban candidates captured the majority of positions in Cebu during the 2019 elections, from the governor to members of the Provincial Board and leaders of the tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu. “We are gathered here once more in this huge assembly of PDP leaders to take stock of where we are and to define the direction by which PDP and Cebu will be going, especially since there’s

Cebu

a looming 2022 presidential election,” Garcia said before 106 PDP-Laban leaders from provinces all over the country who joined the meeting online. Among those in attendance were Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon Secretary Raul Lambino, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, PDP Laban interim Secretary General Melvin Matibag and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino and mayors, vice mayors and councilors from all over Cebu Island. (Eleanor Valeros)

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