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September 20-26, 2021

‘Senator Gordon blasts President’

‘No nation deserves Shim’

ENATOR RICHARD Gordon, who chairs the Blue Ribbon Committee, investigating alleged corruption in Covid-19 funds, has said President Rodrigo Duterte betrayed the public’s trust and that “no nation deserves” the outspoken Filipino leader. “Di pa ba natin na- presidenteng ito? Ibang kikita itong laro nitong Continue on page 2

2 years for man who faked RT-PCR

Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon and President Rodrigo Duterte.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A local court has sentenced a man to serve two years in jail after pleading guilty for faking his RT-PCR test result, according to the City Government. The 9th Regional Tri-

al Court sentenced Nadznie Kasim for violating City Ordinance No. 532. “Records of the case showed that on August 20, 2021, Kasim, a private individual, was accused Continue on page 9

Sulu police get new patrol vehicles, villages new dump trucks SULU - The Provincial Government has donated four brand new patrol vehicles to the police

force and tens of thousands of face masks and alcohol intended for cops in the different towns;

and eight multi-purpose dump trucks for the capital town of Jolo donated Continue on page 9

A PCOO photo shows the formal inauguration of the Mindanao Media Hub on March 18, 2021. Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Carpio cuts the ribbon and signals the official operation of the media hub.

Government media as political propaganda tool? DAVAO CITY – The government’s massive buildup of so-called media hub

across the country ahead of next year’s local and national polls may give huge

advantage to Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte, Continue on page 2

ICC begins probe into Duterte’s bloody drug war Gov. Sakur Tan and Vice Gov. Toto Tan donate patrol vehicles and face masks and bottles of alcohol to the Sulu provincial police force. Rep. Samier Tan also donates eight dump trucks to different villages in Jolo town. (Provincial government photos)

ARMM

Eastern Mindanao

THE PRE-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC or Court)

Western Mindanao

said it has granted the Prosecutor’s Fatou Bensouda’s request to com-

Cebu

mence an investigation in relation to crimes Continue on page 3

Manila


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021

‘Senator Gordon blasts President’

‘No nation deserves him’ Senators Leila De Lima and Panfilo Lacson (senate.gov.ph)

Government media as political propaganda tool? Continued from page 1 who is running for vice president when his term ends, and to his presidential and senatorial candidates through “unlimited” political propaganda. Secretary Martin Andanar has boasted about the media hub, calling it as among the legacies of Duterte in government communications for the President Communications Operations Office (PCOO). These include the successful construction of the Mindanao Media Hub, according to Andanar, who is reportedly gunning for a senate seat. Andanar said the Mindanao Media Hub is the first government me-

dia hub outside Metro Manila which now houses the PCOO’s satellite office in Duterte’s hometown Davao; the regional stations of the People’s Television Network, Inc., the Philippine News Agency, Philippine Information Agency, APO Production Unit, Inc., Radyo Pilipinas, and the Presidential Broadcast Staff – Radio Television Malacañang. A similar facility is also being eyed in Mandaue City in Cebu province or the Visayas Media Hub with the inclusion of its initial P200 budget for construction in the PCOO’s proposed allocation for 2022. The Visayas Media Hub - which will be the biggest in the region – is expected to

start its construction soon within the 3,000-square meter property of the Department of Information and Communications Technology in the village of Subangdaku. The PCOO is set to begin the construction of the so-called Government Strategic Communications Academy this year in the town of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon province with its groundbreaking ceremony taking place this month. All those areas - Davao in eastern Mindanao, Bukidnon in northern Mindanao and Cebu in central Philippines – are all strategically located to promote government propaganda through digital platforms. (Mindanao Examiner)

Continued from page 1 klase, no nation deserves him,” Gordon was recently quoted as saying by GMA News, citing Duterte’s controversial remarks, including expletives against the Pope. “No nation deserves him because nagtiwala ang tao and he betrayed the trust of the people.” Duterte strongly criticised, insulted and mocked Gordon after the Blue Ribbon Committee (on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations) started its probe into the alleged overpriced procurement of personal protective equipment by the Duterte administration from the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation. He also vowed to campaign against Gordon should he run for public office next year. Gordon has told Duterte to stop protecting Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a small company - with only over P600 million in capital which bagged P12 billion worth of deals from the government. “Mr. President, hindi niyo po dapat proteksyunan ‘yang Pharmally. You are a Philippine president, you are elected by the country and you must protect the Filipino people,” Gordon said. “Ang pino-proteksyunan niyo ay yung Pharmally at ‘yung mga kasama ninyo, at wala kong sinasabing Pilipino sila pero dapat siyempre mayroong malaking advantage na nakakapagsalita sila ng sarili nilang wika dito. ‘Di natin makausap ng dire-diretso pero lumalabas nagkakaroon sila ng passes na gumawa ng katiwalian,” he added. Duterte also barred his Cabinet members from attending the senate hearing, saying they have to ask his permission first. He called the hearing a waste of time. “I would just like also to remind Senator Gordon na I will campaign against you for being unfit to be a senator of this Republic. You are trying…

well, others are trying to be Chinese when they are not; and ikaw naman, you are trying to be an American na hindi ka naman talaga totoong Amerikano. Every time that there is a committee hearing, you subpoena more than a hundred resource persons and witnesses and then more than half of that number comes from the government. Instead of working, they are stuck attending hearings that last for more than five hours,” Duterte said. “Tama ba ‘yang ginagawa ninyo? I mean, are you crazy? Bakit ganoon, can you not approximate the time that you would take to make these persons testify, question and answer? Lalo na ikaw Gordon, abugado ka. Ano bang kakalkalin mo? Nandiyan na ‘yang medisina ginagamit na namin. Para sa akin tapos na ang trabaho. Iyang Pharmally na ‘yan or droga, then we will talk about it. Hintay lang kayo. Iyan ang ano ko. It’s a waste of time. And I am ordering Senator --- ah si Secretary Duque that the next time that he is invited, he should clear the invitation to appear dito sa akin and I will decide. Nasabi na ni Secretary Duque yung kaya niyang. Ano pa ba ang gusto nila pati yung kaluluwa ninyo hatakin?” he added. Senator Leila de Lima said she is not surprised with Duterte’s effort to prevent the unravelling of the truth about any irregularities in his administration by requiring his clearance before his Cabinet members attend Senate hearings, which is effectively a gag order. “Duterte’s gag order relative to Cabinet members’ attendance at the on-going Senate Blue-Ribbon Committee probe on the alleged corruption in his administration’s pandemic response is not even based on executive privilege, but presidential hubris,” she said. “Duterte’s gag order on Secretary (Francisco) Duque and other Cabinet members, preventing them from attending the

Blue Ribbon Committee hearing is expected. It was only a matter of time before Duterte resorted to an illegal action to prevent the unravelling of the truth in the Senate hearing,” she said. “Duterte will continue to push the government to a constitutional crisis, if only to save the Davao boys in their 8.7 billion plunder, the details of which are slowly uncovered in the Senate hearing.” Senator Panfilo Lacson also questioned how Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation cornered nearly P12 billion in contracts from the government. He noted the amount is a huge chunk of the P42 billion that the Department of Health transferred to the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) to procure the personal protective equipment, among others. Lacson told Pharmally chairman Huang Tzu Yen and director Linconn Ong to submit to the committee official records showing how many contracts Pharmally bagged, and how much were involved. Citing figures from the Government Procurement Policy Board, Lacson said Pharmally was awarded at least seven contracts amounting to P8,625,496,016. “If we add the computations of Senators Franklin Drilon and Richard Gordon, it could reach P12 billion,” he said. Earlier, Lacson said the initial information he got indicates only 50,000 face masks would be supplied by the Sitaldas Company and 100 million pieces by the Ferrer-owned EMS, though only 25 million pieces were received. He said a big part of Pharmally’s contract involved P3.82 billion for two million sets of personal protective equipment that Pharmally bought for P1,150 per set and sold at P1,910 for a profit of P760 per set - or a total of at least P1.5 billion. (Mindanao Examiner)


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021

ICC begins probe into Duterte’s bloody drug war

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and President Rodrigo Duterte

Organic Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee isn’t really pricey KIDAPAWAN CITY Coffee lovers in the Philippines may now enjoy the best and the most expensive coffee in the world - Kopi Luwak - but not as pricey as every connoisseurs think. Kopi Luwak is a coffee that consists of partially digested coffee cherries, which have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. The cherries are fermented as they pass through a civet’s intestines, and after being defecated with other fecal matter, they are collected. In Manila, a kilogram of Civet coffee sells for as high as P15,000 and over $500 dollars abroad. But Kopi Luwak can now be enjoyed by every coffee lovers for as low as P150 for a 16 oz. cup that comes with a drip bag, ground organic Civet coffee beans, two packets of brown sugar and a stirrer in a beautiful Kraft paper bag – thanks to the Mindanao Civet Coffee seller in Zamboanga City. The new market player in the coffee business, although small, is now offering affordable organic Kopi Luwak – sourced and picked by farmers from the highlands of Mindanao, cleaned and dried and roasted to perfection to give coffee

lovers that distinct aroma of Civet coffee berries – chocolaty and nutty and smooth bodied brewed drink. Mindanao Civet Coffee, which started as a home reseller of coffee beans, now offers organic Kopi Luwak in 250 grams ground Civet coffee and 250 grams Civet coffee beans – all medium roasted to perfection. Kopi Luwak is also available now in 3rd Cup Café at LM Metro Hotel in Zamboanga City, and re-

sellers in Luzon, Cebu and other parts of Mindanao. The Mindanao Civet Coffee is a favorite among travellers and tourists and coffee connoisseurs. And for those who wanted the perfect gift for all occasions, Kopi Luwak is the best choice. And those who are interested to resell or perhaps enjoy a daily hot cup or cold brew of Kopi Luwak may call the Mindanao Civet Coffee at this mobile number 09153976197. (AJC)

Continued from page 1 within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed in the Philippines between November 1, 2011 and March 16, 2019 in the context of the so-called “war on drugs” campaign. It can be recalled that on June 14, 2021, the Prosecutor filed a public redacted version of the request to open an investigation, initially submitted on May 24, 2021, requesting authorisation to commence an investigation into the situation in the Philippines, as provided for in Article 15(3) of the Rome Statute. Before her term ended in June, Bensouda sought authorisation from The Hague tribunal to open a full investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing war on drugs that killed thousands of people, including innocent children. Bensouda said a preliminary probe that began in February 2018 determined “that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the Crime against Humanity of murder was committed” in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019, which was when Duterte ordered that the Philippines withdraw from the court. The suspected crimes happened “in the context of the government of Philippines ‘war on drugs’ campaign,” Bensouda said in a statement announcing that she was seeking judicial authorisation to proceed with a full investigation. “Information obtained by the Prosecution suggests that state actors, primarily members of the Philippine security forces, killed thousands of suspected drug users and other civilians during official law enforcement operations,” she said. Drug Suspects Duterte launched his deadly campaign against narcotics shortly after his victory in the May 2016 presidential elections. He ran on a single issue

of fighting crimes in the Philippines, and during his campaign and later as president, Duterte repeatedly urged police to “kill” drug suspects. The latest government data shows that as of the end of April 2021, police and security forces have killed at least 6,117 suspected drug dealers during operations, although earlier government figures showed at least 8,600 deaths. A police report in 2017, however, referred to 16,355 “homicide cases under investigations” as accomplishments in the drugs war. As early as December 2016, Al Jazeera had already reported more than 6,000 deaths in the drug war, raising questions about the inconsistency of the government’s numbers. The Pre-Trial Chamber I composed of Judge Peter Kovacs, Presiding Judge Reine Adélaide Sophie Alapini-Gansou and Judge Maria del Socorro Flores Liera, examined the Prosecutor’s request and supporting material. The Chamber also considered 204 victims’ representations received pursuant to Article 15(3) of the Statute. In accordance with Article 15(4) of the Statute, the Chamber found that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, noting that specific legal element of the crime against humanity of murder under Article 7(1)(a) of the Statute has been met with respect to the killings committed throughout the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of the so-called “war on drugs” campaign, as well as with respect to the killings in the Davao area between November 1, 2011 and June 30, 2016. The Chamber also emphasised that, based on the facts as they emerge at the present stage and subject to proper investigation and further analysis, the so-called “war on drugs” campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement opera-

tion, and the killings neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses in an otherwise legitimate operation. Rather, the available material indicates, to the required standard, that a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population took place pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy, within the meaning of Article 7(1) and (2)(a) of the Statute. The Philippines, State party to the Rome Statute since November 1, 2011, deposited a written notification of withdrawal from the Statute on March 17, 2018. While the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Statute took effect on March 17, 2019, the Court retains jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes that occurred in the Philippines while it was a State Party, from November 1, 2011 up to and including March `6, 2019. While the relevant crimes appear to have continued after this date, the Chamber said it noted that alleged crimes identified in the Article 15(3) Request are limited to those during the period when the Philippines was a State Party to the Statute and was bound by its provisions. Human rights groups said the number of deaths could be at least 27,000, and accuse the authorities of carrying out summary executions that killed innocent suspects including children. Countless people were also killed by “unknown” gunmen. Police say the suspects were killed when they resisted arrest and became violent, but there have been documented cases of suspects being executed, or survivors saying police shot unarmed civilians. The drug war killings have also continued even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, as Duterte vowed that there is no stopping in pursuing suspects. Bensouda said Continue on page 5


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 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, and Jolo Municipal Government, Rep. Shernee Tambut)


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021

ICC begins probe into Duterte’s bloody drug war

Agnès Callamard

PCOO trolls? Senate wants records of employees TO AVOID suspicions of state-funded troll farms, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has demanded records of some 1,479 contractual employees of the Palace’s communications group, 375 of which work at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) that were recently flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA). During the recent budget hearing of the PCOO, Drilon aired his suspicion that these contractual employees could be trolls. In internet slang, a troll is a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others’ perception. “Ito yung mga troll? Hindi mo naman aaminin na may troll kayo,” he said. In the PCOO alone, Undersecretary Kris Ablan confirmed they had hired 375 employees under a “contract of service” status with a budget of P76 million. Drilon labelled it as “contract of trolls,” saying he found it odd considering that they have huge vacancies in their plantilla positions and only 2,107 out of 3,883 plantilla positions have been filled up. He said the Palace communications group is asking for P1.9 billion for 2022 from its present budget of P1.62 billion. Of which, the PCOO is allocated with P740.62 million from P502.28 million this year; the Bureau of Broadcast Service with P456.03 million from P405.53 million; the

Bureau of Communications Services with P70.59 million from P68.62 million; the National Printing Office with P9.13 million from P11.89 million; the News and Information Bureau with P129.20 million from P133.12 million; the Philippines Information Agency with P333.54 million from P317.60 million; and the RTVM with P171.86 million from P178.79 million. Drilon asked for proof that the 1,479 temporary hires are “legitimate and existing” and not “ghost employees,” specifically the 375 employees in the PCOO that were flagged by COA. He asked the PCOO to submit their records, including their names, addresses and job description. The committee also asked for the employees’ daily time record. Ablan said they would comply, but would have to seek the opinion of their legal office if the addresses can be provided, citing the Data Privacy Act. But Drilon quickly countered the Ablan, saying that there are public funds involved. “These are public records and you are asking for public funds. You better provide us with these documents that we need in order for us to be convinced that this budget will be properly used,” Drilon said. “So, don’t invoke any confidentiality here, because these are public funds and these are subject to audit and if these are subject to audit, these are subject to scrutiny by the branch of the government who is holding the purse. You are asking for the appropriation of public funds and it is our right

to know. As part of our right to know, it is to make sure that they are not fictitious names,” he added. Drilon said even if they are trolls, “we will accept that as long as they are legitimate and existing. We are not asking for their fingerprints, mind you.” He also questioned the rationale for the construction of a media hub in the Visayas, which Drilon labelled as propaganda hubs, worth P200 million amid a pandemic. Aside from the P200 million for the construction of the Visayas media hub, the PCOO has also allocated P50 million for next year for a training academy in Bukidnon province. The PCOO, which is under Secretary Martin Andanar, has inaugurated last March another media hub in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte. “I think a rational assessment would tell you that these are not urgent projects - putting up a building to house an academy for propaganda and having P50 million again as MOOE for propaganda,” Drilon said, referring to Maintenance and Other Operating Expense. “We have been hearing the budget and it is very obvious that we need funds for Covid-19 response. Every single peso of resources should go to Covid-19 response and the much-needed vaccines,” he added. Drilon suggested that the PCOO projects be delayed for 2023 and the funds be used to augment the country’s pandemic response. (Mindanao Examiner)

Continued from page 3 prosecutors also reviewed allegations of “torture and other inhumane acts, and related events” dating back to November 1, 2011, “all of which we believe require investigation”. Duterte’s drug war, she said, shows “a State policy to attack civilians”. Those allegations center in the city of Davao, where Duterte served as mayor for about two decades. In 2017, a retired police officer had linked Duterte and his men to nearly 200 killings in Davao. Will Not Cooperate In one of his regular press briefings, Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, dismissed the decision as “legally erroneous and politically motivated.” He said: “The President will never cooperate until the end of his term on Jun 30, 2022.” He also said that the ICC “has no jurisdiction” of the alleged crimes, adding that the police officers have “the right to defend” themselves using “reasonable force” during drug operations, “and therefore, justified by the principle of necessity and proportionality.” In an address recorded a week before the news of Bensouda’s request broke, Duterte called on human rights organisations to take a closer look into his war on drugs. “You would notice that there are really persons who die almost daily because they fought back,” he said, warning drug dealers: “Do not destroy the country. I will kill you.” Duterte had previously called Bensouda “that black woman,” while calling another international human rights investigator, Agnes Callamard as “skinny” and “malnourished.” Callamard is now the Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The “war on drugs” has been a cornerstone of Duterte’s presidency since he came to power promising to crush crime, despite criticism from opponents and human rights groups of widespread abuses. Landmark Step Amnesty International welcomed what it described as a landmark step noting that the killings continued unabated. “This announcement is a moment of hope for thousands of families in the Philippines who are grieving those lost to the government’s so-called ‘war on drugs’,” Callamard said in a statement. “This is a much-awaited step in putting murderous incitement by President Duterte and his administration to an end.” In Manila, the news of the ICC prosecutor’s move was welcomed by human rights groups. In a statement, Param-Preet Singh, of the Human Rights Watch, said that Duterte’s previous threats “may finally come back to haunt him”. A possible investigation is “especially welcome given the United Nations Human Rights Council has yet to effectively condemn the Duterte government’s atrocities,” she

said, while urging the UN body to back the probe and “course-correct” and stand up for the victims of the killings. The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) also pressed the Human Rights Council to act and initiate “a long overdue independent investigation” into the killings. Peter Murphy, ICHRP spokesman, said the case against Duterte “is already well documented,” and it is up to the UN body to “send a strong message that it too will no longer allow the Philippine government to continue its campaign of human rights violations with impunity.” The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia said the announcement “was all worth the wait, notwithstanding the long nights of grief and grim days of fear”. “Crimes against humanity are crimes against all. No one is exempt or invincible, no matter how arrogant the impunity, or deceiving the pretension,” he said in a statement to Al Jazeera. In a separate statement to Al Jazeera, the human rights group, Karapatan, which has been assisting families of slain drug suspects, said the Bensouda’s decision “is yet another damning indictment of the Duterte government’s murderous policies that have killed – an continue to kill – thousands of Filipinos with impunity.” Many of those killed in Duterte’s crackdown had been on a drug watch list compiled by authorities or had previously surrendered to police, while a significant number of children and teenagers were victims, Bensouda’s office said in a report in December. In June 2020, the UN Continue on page 6


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021

ICC begins probe into Duterte’s bloody drug war

Continued from page 5 said at least 73 children had been killed in the drug war, with the youngest just five months old. Duterte announced that the Philippines was withdrawing from the ICC in March 2018. The decision came into force a year later. The court, however, still has jurisdiction over the alleged crimes that happened while the country was still a member of the court. When he announced he was going to withdraw from the court, Duterte defended his drug crackdown, saying in a 15page statement that it is “lawfully directed against drug lords and pushers who have for many years destroyed the present generation, especially the youth”. Callamard said Bensouda’s announcement “is a moment of hope for thousands of families in the Philippines who are grieving those lost to the government’s so-called war on drugs. This is a much-awaited step in putting murderous incitement by President Duterte and his administration to an end.” While the Philippines has long faced issues with impunity prior to the Duterte administration, the situation significantly worsened with the widespread and systematic killing of thousands of alleged drug suspects since 2016. “The ICC’s intervention must end this cycle of impunity in the country and send a signal to the police and those with links to the police who continue to carry out or sanction these killings that they cannot escape being held accountable for the crimes they commit,” she added. Former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima said she welcomed the ICC’s fullblown investigation of the thousands of killings un-

der the Duterte regime’s murderous war on drugs. “Sabi ko naman noon pa, hindi pang-habangbuhay ang kapangyarihan. May galaw ang hustisya na hindi mako-kontrol ng politika ninyo at kapangyarihan. Hindi ‘yan karma, that’s the march of justice about to trounce you. Let’s return to Mr. Duterte the favor and give him a taste of his own medicine: “Kung wala kang kasalanan, hindi ka matatakot.” “That’s why it is called the Rule of Law. You can’t just play with the law of humanity and use your own set of rules. Kahit pa ang pangalan mo ay Duterte. So the International Criminal Court is now at your door, behind it are thousands of victims of your bloodbath,” she added. De Lima said the recent development means that Duterte’s days are coming to an end, stressing that the only question now is whether Duterte’s own death will come as a boon and save him from the trial and judgment of the ICC for his crimes against humanity. “He might actually be entertaining that notion now, better to die first than to suffer the humiliation of being dragged in chains to The Hague as one of the few individuals in history to be tried as hostis humani generis, an enemy of mankind,” she said. Pray for Duterte De Lima, adding insult to injury, further said that Filipinos should pray for Duterte’s long life and good health because his death would be unfair to the thousands of poor Filipinos killed under his orders. “It would be an injustice for him to escape his coming trial and conviction by the grace of an early departure from this world. No, that should not happen. Let us all pray for Duterte’s long life and good health, so that he

may go through the ICC trial that would follow his arrest after the start of the investigation of the Office of the Prosecutor,” she said. “All power, no matter how absolute, is always fleeting. Only justice is permanent. Let it be done though the heavens fall.” enator Risa Hontiveros also hailed Bensouda’s statement and said the day of reckoning is coming. “The International Criminal Court is an important part in the global fight against impunity and Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s tireless pursuit to exact the truth behind this administration’s bloody war on drugs is highly laudable,” she said. War on drugs continues Duterte’s former aide-turned-politician Senator Bong Go said in spite of calls by Bensouda to probe the President, “the war against drugs will remain relentless to provide future generations of Filipinos a safer Philippines.” “Hindi po titigil si Pangulong Duterte sa kampanya kontra droga. Inumpisahan na po ito ni Pangulong Duterte. Ramdam na po ito ng taumbayan,” Go told reporters, adding, the campaign against illegal drugs has made the country safer and more secure and Filipinos trust law enforcement authorities now more than before. “Magtanong po kayo. Nakakalakad na po ang kanilang mga anak sa gabi, sa tulong po ‘yan ng mga pulis. Ang mga pulis ngayon, malalapitan niyo po, maasahan niyo po. Ramdam po ng taumbayan na secure po at meron tayong peace of mind na umuwi ang kanilang mga anak,” Go said. “Kumpara po noon kesa ngayon, makakauwi po ang ating mga anak na meron tayong peace of mind na walang gagalaw sa kanila, dahil po ‘yan sa sakripisyo ni Pangulong Duterte para sa ating mga anak.” Go said that the war on illegal drugs is in line with Duterte’s mission of providing a safer country not just for Filipinos today but for generations to come. “Ang kampanya laban sa droga, ginagawa po ni Pangulong Duterte hindi lang po para sa atin ngayon para po ‘yan sa ating mga anak. Sinugal niya po lahat. Sabi niya hindi siya titigil hanggang sa huling araw ng kanyang termino. Galit si Pangulong Duterte sa mga durugista,” he said. (Al Jazeera, Amnesty International and Mindanao Examiner.)

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September 20-26, 2021

The Mindanao Examiner

Sulu Pictures in the News

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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021

Across : 1. Grating sound 5. Lamb’s father 8. Whip 12. Choir voice 13. Flying saucer (abbr.) 14. Dines 15. Red wine 16. Golf hazard (2 wds.) 18. Street sign 19. Quality 20. Falsehood 22. Necessities 26. Acceptance of others 31. Large tub 32. Gardening tool 33. Monastery head 34. Australian bird 35. Rainy mo. 36. Dispersed 38. Publish 40. Part of the UK 41. Investigate 45. Irritates 48. More elegant 51. Heredity carrier 52. Talented 53. Maui garland 54. Cat’s cry 55. Fog 56. Wind dir. 57. Picnic visitors Down : 1. Sharp blows 2. Thanks ___! (2 wds.) 3. Baby buggies 4. Savory pastry (2 wds.) 5. Corrode 6. Not nearby 7. Leonardo’s “___ Lisa” 8. Actress ___ Davis 9. Corn piece 10. ___ glance (2 wds.) 11. Recipe unit (abbr.) 17. Eating area 21. Blackboard wipers 23. Having leaves year round 24. ___ Helen Mirren 25. Wall support

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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021

Sulu police get new patrol vehicles, villages new dump trucks

Sulu provincial government photos show the eight brand new dump trucks donated by Rep. Samier Tan (signing deed of donation) to different villages as part of his peace and development projects. Continued from page 1 by Rep. Samier Tan. Gov. Sakur Tan said the donation was received by Brig. Gen. Eden Ugale, the regional police director; and Col. Jaime Mojica, the provincial police chief. He said Vice Gov. Toto Tan also donated face masks and alcohol to policemen who are at the forefront of the government’s Covid-19 response. “Kailangan natin tulungan ang ating kapulisan dahil we are partners in peace and progress, and in fighting Covid-19,” Tan said. The governor highlighted the efficient and effective mitigation of Covid-19 cases in Sulu resulting in the low number of infections, and the positive changes brought about by the improved peace and order in the province. “This is historic and we are one of the best, if not the best, in the mitigation of Covid-19 at 12 active cases lang meron tayo. Ang mga tao ngayon ay laging namamasyal at nagpupunta sa iba’t-ibang lugar dito sa Sulu, (there is) law and order, peace and order at yan ang nakikita ngayon,” he said. “Sa ating kapulisan, sana ipagpatuloy ninyo ang efficiency at professionalism na ipinakikita ninyo at gawin pa nating mas mabuti at maayos ang ating trabaho para lalong gumanda pa at mapayapa at ating probinsya, Suportado namin ang kapulisan,” he added. Calling the donation of the vehicles as “logistical blessing,” Ugale thanked Tan and the vice governor for their continuing support to the police. “Definely a

logistical asset to aid us for immediate action and response in the service of the people. This is a logistical blessing, Let us cherish this blessing, maraming salamat po, Governor at Vice Governor,” Ugale said in a press statement. “Gratitude to the Provincial Government sa sobra-sobra na suporta galing sa inyo. Aming susuklian ito ng mabuting serbisyo, pipilitin namin na ang Sulu ay maging katulad o higit pa na maayos at maunlad katulad ng ibang probinsiya sa ating bansa,” he added. The provincial government previously donated two armoured vehicles and motorcycles to the police force. Sulu Rep. Samier Tan said the dump trucks were turned over to the different villages in as part of his peace and development projects. He said the beneficiaries of the trucks were the Walled City, Tulay, Takut Takut, Asturias, Busbus, Alat,Chinese Pier and San Raymundo and received by their respective village chieftains in a simple ceremony attended by municipal officials. The lawmaker said the peace and order situation in the province improved drastically over the past years and largely credited President Rodrigo Duterte’s unwavering support to Sulu’s progress, and the hard work of the provincial and municipal leaders. “We are now benefiting from the improved peace and order and thank you to President Duterte, and all the hardworking leaders of Sulu from the provincial government to the municipal mayors and the Tausugs

as well,” he said. “The town of Jolo holds a very special place in my heart and I consider it a blessing to be in position to help our communities and the people.” The lawmaker also put up over 2,000 solar street lights in many villages in Sulu and provided hundreds of school children with computer tablets so they can cope with their online classes or blended learning during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Aside from the dump trucks, each barangay kagawad of the eight barangays will receive an allocation of five solar street lamps at their disposal and namahagi din po tayo ng mga electronic gadgets or educational tablets para sa ating mga students upang makatulong sa kanilang pag-aaral ngayon panahon ng pandemya,” he said. He also noted that the improved peace and order situation in the province also resulted in the rise in recreational attractions and outdoor facilities, including restaurants and small businesses. “Talking about the peace and order (situation), we are currently experiencing a boom in recreational attractions and outdoor facilities in the province today. All these businesses also provide livelihood to our people,” he said. Due to Sulu’s low number of active Covid-19 cases, the province is now under Modified General Community Quarantine. The Sulu Covid-19 Task Force said there are only 11 active cases in the province due to the strict adherence of the locals to the public health protocols. (Mindanao Examiner)

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2 years for man who faked RT-PCR Continued from page 1 of having wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously falsified or caused to be falsified a commercial document, RT-PCR negative result certification, in his attempt to enter the City,” the local government said in a statement. Mayor Maria Isabella Salazar has issued an executive order making it mandatory for all travellers - whether they are fully vaccinated or not - entering Zamboanga to present their negative RT-PCR test results to ensure they do not carry the deadly respiratory virus and infect other people, especially now that Delta variant is the dominant variant not only in the country, but around the world. The Delta variant was first detected in India, but quickly spread in more than 130 countries. She ordered a strict border control and implementation of the health protocols in Zamboanga, saying travellers must have negative Covid-19 test results, whether by Saliva RT-PCR tests or nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test, before they enter Zamboanga. She previously issued Executive Order 651-2021 that mandates all inbound passengers, whether APOR (Authorized Persons Outside Residence) or private individuals, regardless of reason or purpose of entry, including transit travellers to present negative RT-PCR test result within 5 days from date of specimen collection and their valid identification cards before they can enter Zamboanga City. The mayor said these are temporary measures designed to curb the sudden spike in Covid-19 cas-

es in order to promote the health and safety of the general welfare of the citizens. Zamboanga City, which is under General Community Quarantine status, has over 700 active Covid-19 cases and the number continues to increase. City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite also noted that Covid-19 has already affected even the younger population with deadly consequences. But with dozens of cases daily, the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Infectious Diseases may change Zamboanga’s quarantine classification to allow the local government impose stricter measures or granular lockdown in areas where there are high numbers of Covid-19 cases, and prevent the spread of the deadly respiratory disease. The spike in infections in the community are largely blamed to the Delta variant of the Covid-19 and the complacency of residents who continue to violate public health protocols despite repeated warnings from the local government and the City Health Office. Salazar, who chairs the local Covid-19 task force, has repeatedly called on residents to strictly follow the health protocols as the local government continues its massive vaccination program to be able to achieve herd immunity or inoculate at least 70% of Zamboanga’s almost or more than one million populations. Just this month, at least a dozen village officials from Basilan’s Isabela City who arrived here without health and travel requirements were inter-

cepted by local authorities at the Port of Zamboanga. Zamboanga City Tourism Officer Sarita Sebastian said the officials face sanctions based on the guidelines set by local Covid-19 task force after they failed to present negative RT-PCR test results and S-PASS, among other documents. S-PASS is short for Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage Digital Travel Management System developed by the Department of Science and Technology which is being used across the country upon order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government during this pandemic period. It was institutionalized this year as a one-stop-shop application or communication for travellers. The local government also started random rapid antigen tests among travellers, including those under essential services, at all entry points here to help curb the spread of Covid-19, especially the Delta variant. Sebastian said the travellers, who arrived here on board a private boat, were also quarantined in a hotel while awaiting their Covid-19 test results. She did not identify the village officials and the Isabela City government has not issued any statement. But Isabela Mayor Djalia Turabin previously said that the strict health protocols and quarantine guidelines imposed by Salazar are for the safety of everybody. She even thanked Salazar for her strict implementation of the public health protocols. Isabela is a sister city of Zamboanga. (Mindanao Examiner)


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The Mindanao Examiner

September 20-26, 2021


September 20-26, 2021

The Mindanao Examiner

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September 20-26, 2021

Public interest remains government priority T

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech as he joins the Cebuanos in celebrating the 40th Sinulog Festival at the Cebu City Sports Center Grandstand on January 19, 2020. (Rey Baniquet)

People with comorbidities told to stay at home CEBU CITY – Acting Mayor Michael Rama said the “Oplan Puyo” will continue despite the city’s shift to the more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ) classification. Rama said stakeholders recommended a gradual transition in easing restrictions despite the imposition of the less strict GCQ and the downtrend in Covid-19 infections based on the latest data of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas. “In our regular meetings of the multi-sector Covid-19 task force, the convergence group recommended and proposed the gradual transition to avoid another spike (in Covid-19 infections). We want to achieve a sustained pace towards a new normal,” Rama said. Rama said the Emergency Operations Center is supporting the proposal to gradually move to more relaxed quarantine protocols and reiterated the need to educate residents on the importance of staying at home to prevent further spread of coronavirus, especially the more transmissible Delta variant. Rama said village officials and the local police force must work together in the continued quarantine control points and foot patrols. He said the presence of policemen and force multipliers or volunteers, and barangay tanods became a deterrent to residents leaving their homes for non-essential purposes. “Any person who are under 15 and above 65 and those who suffer immunodeficiency, comorbidity, and oth-

ARMM

Mayor Michael Rama er health risks are required to stay at home,” Rama said, stressing that they are only allowed during emergencies or in obtaining essential goods. He said curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. of the following day should remain in order to sustain the gains in preventing Covid-19 transmission suspected to have occurred in night-time establishments such as bars and restaurants. Rama said all other restrictions under GCQ as defined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases such as the operational capacities for establishments are still followed under his Executive Order 142 he signed last Tuesday. Cebu City has over 3,000 active Covid-19 cases. (John Rey Saavedra)

Eastern Mindanao

HE DUTERTE administration assured that the interest of the majority remains the focus of all the efforts undertaken by the government as it continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Secretary Martin An- hindi naman matatapos ments of the President danar, of the Presidential agad. Malamang ay aabot during his term. He said Communications Opera- ito sa halalan. So kapag that this initiative sets a tions Office, said Filipinos umabot pa itong halalan benchmark of good govcontinue to support the bago na po ang pangulo. ernance for succeeding Kapag nag-transition kail- administrations. government’s programs. He stressed that the “Let us follow the Pres- angan po maayos na naident because he knows kalatag ang ating recovery implementation of the Duterte Legacy camwhat he is doing and as of plan,” he said. He went on to say that paign is a way of reportnow it is only the interest of the majority that we are a foundation for the work- ing to the public, rather concerned about. Kung ing sectors should be put than the claim of critics ano ang maganda para sa in place so that Filipino that it is propaganda. “Hindi po propagannakararami ay yun po ang workers will still be able ating tutukan for the next to compete in both in- da yan. Hindi po fake 9 months,” Andanar said. ternational and local job news yan. Yung mga biAndanar noted that markets while regaining nanggit ko naman ay niyo, preparations for the coun- the business sectors’ con- mararamdaman masasalat, try to be able to bounce fidence in investing across makikita, mahahawakan. Hindi back to its days of progress the country. Andanar said the pi- naman natin ugali ang are being laid down by the Duterte administration as lot legacy communica- mag-sinungaling, tayo it prepares to transition to tions campaign of “PCOO ay nag-rereport lamang,” the next elected president. Duterte Legacy,” high- Andanar said. (Cebu Ex“Itong pandemic lights the accomplish- aminer)

Nurses in Covid hospitals get aid from charitable foundations CEBU CITY – A group of private charitable foundations turned over the first tranche of salary and bonus assistance to nurses who are serving in Covid-19 hospitals in Cebu as part of its “Project Balik Buhay’s Salary and Bonus Assistance for our Bidas” (PBB-SalBaBida) program. The Cristina Lee Dino Foundation, SM Foundation, Inc., BDO Foundation, LH Foundation Inc., PLDTSmart Foundation, Juanito I. King Foundation, Inc., Visayan Electric Co., Cebu Landmasters, Inc., Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Century Pacific Group Rspo Foundation Inc. pooled their resources to be able to help the nurses who are at the frontline of the government’s Covid-19 response in this time of the health crisis. The foundations released the first monthly allowance of P15,000 to each of the nurses, according to Presidential Assistant for

Western Mindanao

the Visayas, Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino. He said the stipend for the nurses was borne out of the generosity of various private foundations. “These foundations are headed by big businessmen who are working together to help the government address the impact of the pandemic to the local economy of Cebu. They want to help in the fight against Covid-19 by helping hospitals acquire personnel to man their ICUs and Covid-19 beds,” he told the Philippine News Agency. The program was launched last July to encourage nurses to continue serving the frontline facilities. The nurses were deployed to private hospitals in August at the height of the Covid-19 surge in Cebu which overwhelmed the healthcare system and affected the critical care utilization rate of medical facilities due to lack of personnel. Among the hospitals that benefited from the de-

Cebu

ployment of the nurses were Chong Hua Hospital-Fuente, Chong Hua Hospital-Mandaue, Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital Group, Perpetual Succor Hospital, ARC Hospital, and Cebu Velez General Hospital. And the Adventist Hospital Cebu, Southwestern University Medical Center, St. Vincent General Hospital, Maayo Well Cebu and Visayas Community Medical Center. “The fight against the Covid-19 virus continues and it is our collective appeal for all Cebuanos to each do our part by strictly observing the proper health protocols and helping protect each other, as we move forward in our shared mission of saving lives and restoring livelihoods,” Dino said as he thanked the medical workers for their dedication in fighting Covid-19 and the foundations for their assistance. (John Rey Saavedra and Carlo Lorenciana)

Manila

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Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (September 20-26, 2021)  

Tels. (062) 955-5360, (0915) 3976197 | 3F, JLC Bldg., Don Alfaro Street, Tetuan, Zamboanga City, Philippines | mindanaoexaminer@gmail.com |...

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (September 20-26, 2021)  

Tels. (062) 955-5360, (0915) 3976197 | 3F, JLC Bldg., Don Alfaro Street, Tetuan, Zamboanga City, Philippines | mindanaoexaminer@gmail.com |...

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