The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (August 8-14, 2022)

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Remembering FVR as courageous soldier, great leader MANILA - “Kaya natin ito!” This was the battle cry of the late former President Fidel V. Ramos throughout his presidency as he stressed the importance of unity, solidarity and

teamwork by all sectors to resolve any problem confronting the country. Ramos, or FVR as he is popularly known, showed how this Continue on page 4

mindanaoexaminer.com

INTERIOR SECRETARY Benjamin Abalos praised the peace efforts of the provincial government in Sulu and the security forces for the Continue on page 2

A provincial government photo shows Gov. Sakur Tan with DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos and Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr inspecting the weapons surrendered by Abu Sayyaf members during the formal presentation of 100 surrendered Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos (University of Queensland)

Est 2006

Sulu peace efforts lauded

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August 8-14, 2022

Monkeypox is here! T

HE PHILIPPINES has recorded its first case of the highly contagious Monkeypox disease after a 31-year old returning Filipino overseas worker tested positive for the virus. This was confirmed by pino who arrived home on Monkeypox is the Department of Health July 19. It was unclear why transmitted to humans (DOH), but it did not re- the DOH only announced through close contact lease the name of the Fili- this just recently. Continue on page 2

Marcos says 'no intention' to rejoin ICC Monkeypox (nationalgeographic.com)

China summons U.S. ambassador over Pelosi's visit to Taiwan CHINESE VICE Foreign Minister Xie Feng urgently summoned the U.S. Continue on page 5

THE PHILIPPINES has no plan to rejoin the International Criminal Court, President Bongbong Marcos said, with the tribunal's prosecutor seeking to resume a probe into the ex-president's deadly drug war. Rodrigo Duterte, who left office on June 30, pulled the Philippines Continue on page 5

President Bongbong Marcos (PCOO)

Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific," says U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Half of Filipino families feel poor on last months of Duterte admin

Muslim lawmaker promotes ‘Pis Syabit’

DAVAO CITY - More Filipino families felt poor during the last months of the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte, according to a report by CNN Philippines. The TV network cited the Continue on page 6

Former Presient Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO)

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Eastern Mindanao

Western Mindanao

SULU – True to her commitment to promote the rich and colorful culture of Sulu province in southern Philippines, Kusug Tausug Rep. Shernee Tambut vows to continue her campaign to popularize the “Pis Syabit.” The Pis Syabit is a one-of-a-kind piece of cloth exclusively woven in Sulu, and which she proudly wore during Continue on page 4

Kusug Tausug Rep. Shernee Tambut with husband Capt. John Tambut during President Bongbong Marcos' State of the National Address on July 25, 2022.

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The Mindanao Examiner

August 8-14, 2022

Monkeypox is here! Continued from page 1 with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus. The virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. “The Department of Health has detected the first confirmed case of Monkeypox in the country. The case is a 31-yearold Filipino national who arrived from abroad last July 19. The case had prior travel to countries with documented Monkeypox cases,” the DOH said. “The case was tested and confirmed positive for Monkeypox via Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction or RTPCR, done at the DOH Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on July 28. The case has been discharged well, and is undergoing strict isolation and monitoring at home,” it added. The DOH said it has completed case investigation and identification of at least 10 people who had contacts with the Filipino three of them are from the same household. “All have been advised to undergo

quarantine and are being monitored by the Department of Health. The DOH assures everyone that our public health surveillance systems are able to detect and confirm Monkeypox cases,” it said. The DOH said the Monkeypox disease is now a “public health emergency of international concern,” and everyone can help prevent the spread of the virus by minimizing close sexual contact with suspected cases, especially those with rashes or open wounds. “The DOH wishes to emphasize that anyone may get Monkeypox. If you have a travel history to countries with Monkeypox, and then have symptoms like fever, lymphadenopathy and rashes, seek immediate medical attention. This will help hasten recovery,” it said. Thailand, Singapore too Thailand also has confirmed its first case of Monkeypox after a 27-year old Nigerian man was tested positive for the highly infectious disease, but authorities said the patient has escaped from hospital. Police are now searching for the man and is believed to be somewhere in Phuket. At least 154 people

had contact with the Nigerian and were all traced and tested and none were found to be infected with the monkeypox virus, according to Bangkok Post. The newspaper also quoted Dr Kusak Kukiartkul, chief of the Phuket public health office, as saying the monkeypox detected in the patient was the African variant. He said the man had sought treatment at a private hospital as an outpatient. He was not admitted as his condition was not severe. The Nigerian man had a fever, coughing, sore throat and runny nose, a rash and lesions in his genital area that spread to other parts of his body and face, according to reports, adding the police, immigration and disease control officials have been assigned to find him. Meanwhile, hospitals, sexual disease clinics and international airports have been alerted to strengthen screening procedures for monkeypox. Department of Disease Control chief Opas Karnkawinpong said that monkeypox had been placed on the list of communicable diseases under surveillance. Provincial communi-

cable disease committees, including Bangkok, need to put in place a disease control plan, as required by the Communicable Diseases Act. All detected cases must be directly reported to the authorities. He said the Public Health Ministry had ordered the implementation of a surveillance and screening system for people suspected of having the disease. The symptoms included high fever, headache, sore throat, and blisters on the hands, feet and genitals. All hospitals, sexual disease clinics and disease control officials at international airports must have a surveillance and screening system to detect the disease.

Singapore in June also confirmed one case of monkeypox after a 42year old British national who works as a flight attendant, is tested positive for the virus, according to a report by the Channel News Asia. The Ministry of Health said the man was in Singapore between June 15 and June 17, and again on Jun 19 as he flew in and out of the country. The case had the onset of headache on June 14 and fever on June 16. These symptoms subsequently resolved, and he then developed skin rashes three days later. The man then sought medical attention online on the night of June 19, and was conveyed to NCID on June

20 for further assessment. The World Health Organization has reported that monkeypox is now present in over two dozen countries, and warned the public that there will be more cases as the virus continues to spread. Among the countries with reported monkeypox cases include Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Congo, French Guiana, United States, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Australia. (Mindanao Examiner)

Sulu peace efforts lauded

A provincial government photo shows Gov. Sakur Tan with DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos and Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr inspecting the weapons surrendered by Abu Sayyaf members during the formal presentation of 100 surrendered Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu. Continued from page 1 sustained and successful surrender of Abu Sayyaf members and their supporters. Abalos was recently in Sulu where he formally received 100 Abu Sayyaf members who surrendered separately to authorities in the province. Governor Sakur Tan led security and municipal officials in presenting the former Abu Sayyaf fighters to Abalos. Tan said the support of the community and local government officials and the efforts of the police and military led to the mass surrender. He said those who surrendered were provided livelihood assistance and financial support by the provincial and municipal government, as well as by the police and military as part of the collective peace efforts in the province. The ceremony was attended by Police Lt. Gen.

Vicente Danao Jr., Army Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the Joint Task Force – Sulu; Police Aj. Gen. Eden Ugale, Police Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona, the regional director, among others. Abalos said: “This is truly a historic day. Itong araw na ito ang simula ng inyong bagong buhay, kayo ay may pagkakataon na muling maging produktibong kabahagi ng bansa. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako na kayo'y naniwala at nagtiwala sa pangako ng pagbabago ng ating gobyerno. Kayo man ay sandaling naligaw ng landas, masaya ako na kayo’y nagbalik hindi lang para sa inyong sarili kung hindi para sa ating kabataan.” Those who surrendered were from the towns of Indanan, Omar, Maimbung, Panamao, Talipao, and Patikul. They also handed over 22 assorted weapons. Abalos said the former

terrorists will be enrolled in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and shall receive additional financial and livelihood assistance. Under the E-CLIP grant, qualified beneficiaries are entitled to guaranteed safety and security; cash assistance P50,000 livelihood assistance; P15,000 for mobilization expenses; and firearms remuneration amounting to the value of surrendered weapons. E-CLIP is a government flagship program that aims to help former rebels live a normal life with their loved ones. “Through this program, the E-CLIP aims to address the root cause of the country’s problem on terrorism. We will make sure, na uunlad ang agrikultura at turismo ng Sulu. We will make sure that our children will live in a good, better, and brighter future,” Abalos said. (Mindanao Examiner)


August 8-14, 2022

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The Mindanao Examiner

August 8-14, 2022

Muslim lawmaker promotes ‘Pis Syabit’

Kusug Tausug Rep. Shernee Tambut with husband Capt. John Tambut during President Bongbong Marcos' State of the National Address on July 25, 2022. Continued from page 1 President Bongbong Marcos’ State of the Nation Address on July 25. Made of cotton or silk, sometimes with metallic gold threads incorporated in the weave, Tambut explained that the Pis Syabit used to be worn by Tausug men during very special occasions as a headdress or a decor hung on one’s shoulder to indicate their high social status. “This special cloth made of cotton and often embellished with silk and other threads, is lovingly woven by hand by the artisans of Sulu who do not follow set patterns. It has a glorious history, as it was once worn only by the Tausug males of the upper class. The designs are in the weavers’ minds, thus every piece of cloth is one-of -a-kind,” she said. Tambut she wants to promote the cloth not only to convince more people to sample Sulu’s unique culture but also to preserve a dying art and give Tausug weavers more livelihood opportunities. The lawmaker said she has been most passionate to make Filipinos aware of the beauty and uniqueness of Sulu’s culture and products, especially the Pis Syabit. To demonstrate her deep involvement in promoting the cloth, Tambut has incorporated the Pis Syabit in the clothes she has worn to the SONA since her first term in 2016. For this year’s SONA, Tambut said she wore a terno with a Pis Syabit bodice and sleeves plus a ribbon of the same material artfully trailing down the skirt. Her gown was designed by known designer Francis Libiran. Her husband, international pilot Capt. John Tambut, who also attended the SONA, wore a Barong Tagalog embroidered on the front with Pis Syabit patterns. The barong was also designed by Libiran. Asked why she opted for a terno and not a full Tausug costume, Tambut said she agreed with the designer that a terno - a common formal attire of non-Muslim Filipinas - with a dominant Pis Syabit accent, can best symbolize the unity that Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte are calling for. “You know, the Tausugs, whether living in Sulu or in other parts of the country, are united in support of the President and the Vice President,” she said. Last February, Tambut collaborated with top international Filipina designer Ann Ong in promoting the “Pis Syabit” and bring it to New York City. Tambut sought the help of Ong in promoting not

only the Pis Syabit but the Tausug culture as well along with other Philippine designs. The Pis syabit being woven by Muslims carries only geometrical patterns because Islam forbids reproducing the likeness of living things, whether human, flora or fauna, she said. “I will never tire of promoting Pis Syabit and Sulu culture because we want every Filipino to understand the Tausug way of life by being familiar with Sulu’s beautiful and unique culture. Popular acceptance of the cloth is also an effective means of uplifting the economy of the Tausugs,” she said, adding every piece of the colorful and intricately designed Pis Syabit is an original artwork, so anyone who has a Pis Syabit adorning his or her clothes is assured of ownership of an original piece of art that evokes the history and artistry of the Tausugs. Aside from promoting the Pis Syabit, Tambut also encouraged Filipinos to promote and buy local products to help small and medium enterprises get back on their business which have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Noting the proliferation of cheap, but low-quality imported clothes in the market, Tambut said she wants to start a campaign by encouraging Filipinos to patronize locally-produced clothes and help small retailer stores, as well as local designers recover from their losses due to the health crisis. (Mindanao Examiner)

Remembering FVR as courageous soldier, great leader Continued from page 1 formula worked when he resolved the acute power shortage the Philippines was experiencing when he assumed the presidency on June 30, 1992. Working hand-in-hand with his Cabinet members and the private sector, the power shortage was resolved, and the economy was again booming with foreign investors pouring in. As he gradually try to resolve the economic problem, FVR, a retired fourstar general and defense secretary, also had to attend to the security problem of the country when his administration successfully signed a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on September 2, 1996 that ended the MNLF’s 23-year rebellion in Mindanao. Ramos also succeeded in stopping the rebellion mounted by the military and police during the administration of his predecessor, former President Corazon C Aquino. During his six-year incumbency, Ramos urged local and foreign investors to invest in the Philippines. He traveled to various parts of the world that generated responses from foreign investors. In fact, during FVR’s visit to London in June 1997, the United Kingdom and the Philippines signed a USD29.6 billion project, the biggest foreign investment project. As a soldier, Ramos demonstrated his bravery in combat when as a 21-yearold new graduate from the United States Military Academy, volunteered to go to Korea as a member of the 20th Battalion Combat Team of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. It was in Korea that then 2nd Army Lt. Ramos led a 44-man platoon that successfully conquered the vital Eerie Hill occupied by well-entrenched Chinese communist troops following a bloody gun battle. Upon returning to the Philippines after the Korean War ended, Ramos fought against the Huks in Central Lu-

zon. Another laudable contribution FVR made was when he organized the Special Forces Airborne of the Philippine Army which is trained in conventional and guerrilla warfare. As then chief of the Philippine Constabulary, now the Philippine National Police, Ramos organized the Special Action Force, the police frontline fighting force. This writer had the privilege of covering FVR for almost four decades and wrote three books about the former president. As the defense reporter of the Philippines News Agency, I covered FVR’s practically all official visits to military camps all over the country, and on two occasions caught in the fighting between government and rebel forces in Sulu, but Ramos remained calm until the gun battle stopped with the military driving out the rebels away. Also in many instances, we experienced turbulent weather but Gen. Ramos did not panic as I prayed Psalm 23. FVR, during his presidency, provided one Philippine Air Force plane for members of the media to cover his trips to the provinces so we can write our stories as we see it. During his active military service, Ramos visited at least once a week his troops in the frontline to boost their morale. This also gave him a chance to personally assess the prevailing situation in the areas of conflict. As a soldier, I found out that FVR was a man of prayer when he repeatedly told the officers and men in the military and police to “pray as you work and work as you pray” and put their trust in God. FVR was also fun with anecdotes. One example was when he said that he had found the formula for how to reach 100 years old. When asked what is the formula? FVR answered with a big smile: “Be sure you reach 99 years old because one year to go is not so difficult to reach your goal” as a laugh. Sad to say, FVR was 94 years old when he died on July 31, 2022. (Ben Cal)


August 8-14, 2022

The Mindanao Examiner - Region

China summons U.S. ambassador over Pelosi's visit to Taiwan

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (center left, in white) meets with Taiwan Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang and caucus whips of the four political parties in the Legislature on Wednesday. (CNA photo) Continued from page 1 Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns and lodged stern representations and strong protests over Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan on August 2. Noting that Pelosi risks universal condemnation to deliberately provoke and play with fire, Xie said that this is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Xie said, adding that it gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence." "The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious. China will not sit idly by," Xie said, adding the Washington must be held accountable. For a while, the U.S. has said one thing and done another thing, constantly distorted and hollowed out the one-China principle. It deleted the key expressions such as Taiwan is part of China from the U.S. State Department website, put Taiwan in its so-called "Indo-Pacific strategy", openly upgraded its ties with Taiwan and increased arms sales to the region and supported separatist activities for "Taiwan independence," according to Xie. He said the U.S. government has indulged rather than restrained Pelosi's wilful act, leading to the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait and seriously undermined the China-U.S. relations. Noting that the U.S. side shall pay the price for its own mistakes, Xie urged the U.S. to immediately address its wrongdoings, take practical measures to undo the adverse effects caused by Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. The American government must not go further down the wrong path, escalating tensions and making the situation across the Tai-

wan Strait and China-U.S. relations irreparable, Xie said. He added that the United States should stop playing the "Taiwan card", stop using Taiwan to contain China in any form, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs. Washington must take concrete actions to observe the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, deliver on the "five noes" commitment made by the U.S. leadership (i.e. not seek a "new Cold War"; not seek to change China's system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support "Taiwan independence"; not look for conflict with China), and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path, Xie noted. Xie stressed that the trend of the times cannot be reversed, the will of the people is not to be defied, and those who play with fire will perish by it. "Taiwan is China's Taiwan, and Taiwan will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland. Chinese people are not afraid of ghosts, pressure and the evil," he said. In the minds of the Chinese people, nothing is more sacred than to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and nothing is more important than safeguarding and realizing national reunification, Xie stressed. He added that no country, no force and no individual should ever underestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese government and people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation. Pelosi called Taiwan one of the freest societies in the world and praised the island's performance in handling the Covid-19 pandemic during her visit to Taiwan's legislature on August 3. She met with Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang and addressed the importance of parliamentary cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan. "We commend Taiwan for being one of the freest societies in the world," Pe-

losi said. "We thank you for your leadership. We want the world to recognize that." Pelosi called for more parliamentary cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan, saying the delegation she led to Taiwan was comprised of lawmakers who were very capable and able to think about economic and security issues strategically which they could share with their Taiwanese counterparts. The American delegation led by Pelosi includes Democratic lawmakers Gregory Meeks, Mark Takano, Suzan DelBene, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Andy Kim. Pelosi is the first sitting U.S. House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997, when Newt Gingrich traveled to Taipei and met with then-President Lee Teng-hui. The House speaker embarked on an Asian tour on July 24, and she arrived in Taipei at 10:44 p.m. on August 2 from Malaysia, with no prior public announcement. Pelosi, who said in an op-ed published by the Washington Post on August 2 that her visit showed the U.S. commitment to democracy, noted during her meeting with Tsai that everything the U.S. Congress had done to support Taiwan was undertaken in a "bipartisan way." When Tsai called her a "good friend of Taiwan," Pelosi said she would take it as a "great compliment," receiving it on behalf of her congressional colleagues. Pelosi reportedly had planned to visit Taiwan in early April as part of a wider tour of Asia, but had to postpone the trip after she tested positive for Covid-19. While Pelosi has described her visit to Taiwan as that of a U.S. congressional delegation to the country, which did not contradict Washington's one-China policy, Beijing announced its plans to hold six livefire military drills in waters around Taiwan which Taiwan's military said could pose a threat to the country's major ports and metropolitan areas. (Xinhua and CNA by Wang Yang-yu, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Frances Huang. With additional reporting from The Mindanao Examiner.)

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Marcos says 'no intention' to rejoin ICC Continued from page 1 out of the ICC in 2019 after it launched a preliminary probe into his drugs crackdown, which killed many thousands of people. ICC judges authorised a full investigation into the anti-narcotics campaign last September, saying it resembled an illegitimate and systematic attack on civilians. It suspended the probe two months later, after Manila said it was looking into the alleged crimes itself. But ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said in June that the request by Manila to defer the probe was unjustified and that it should restart "as quickly as possible". Marcos, who backed Duterte's drug war, has previously indicated he would not cooperate with the ICC. "The Philippines has no intention of rejoining the ICC," he told reporters. Marcos was elected president by a landslide in May with the help of an alliance with Duterte's daughter, Sara, who won the vice presidential race. During his presidency, Duterte refused to cooperate with the court,

Former President Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO) claiming it had no jurisdiction -- an assertion rejected by the Philippine Supreme Court. Under pressure from the UN Human Rights Council and the ICC, the government has examined several hundred cases of drug operations that led to deaths. Charges have been filed in a handful of cases. Only three policemen have been convicted for slaying a drug suspect. The ICC has invited the Philippines "to offer observations" on Khan's request to resume the probe, the presidential communications office said. Manila has until Sep-

tember 8 to respond. Marcos said Monday that a recent meeting with his legal team, which includes Duterte's former spokesman Harry Roque, was to discuss whether the administration would respond. "What we're saying is we have investigation here and it's ongoing, so why do we have to have that?" Marcos said. "It's also possible that we will not bother (to respond) at all because we are not under them." Even if the ICC gathers enough evidence to bring a case against Duterte, its rules prevent him from being tried in absentia. (AFP)

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August 8-14, 2022

Marcos eyes further decen- Organic Kopi Luwak or Civet tralization of govt. functions coffee isn’t really pricey

PRESIDENT BONGBONG Marcos said he formed a team to look into issues of devolution and decentralization of the functions of the local and national governments. Marcos said the team will be headed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), adding he already had extensive discussions with Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas and the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo on the devolution issue, when he was chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government. The original concept, he said, was to use the additional internal revenue allotment (IRA) for the 4th, 5th, and 6th class provinces or local government units (LGUs) and provide assistance to provinces that operate hospitals but do not have funds. The remainder of the IRA would be given according to the provisions of the Local Government Code that varies depending on the LGUs, he said. However, there are difficulties in applying the ruling to some cities, and the decision-making was left at the discretion of local chief executives on how to apportion the money that is appropriated, according to Marcos. “But we are still continuing to look at it. Ang akin kasing tinitingnan is ano ba tala-

ga ‘yung — what belongs to local government and what does not belong to local government,” he said. “Also, some of the functions that have been given to local governments, kung minsan hindi lang nagagawa dahil wala tayong bagong item, wala tayong bagong pondo, wala naman tayong training sa kung ano man ‘yun,” he added. One example is the land use plan, he said, wherein several LGUs face difficulty in implementation because of the lack of money and qualified personnel, adding that the work could be given to the national government. Marcos said another contentious issue is the repair of school buildings. “I was talking to Inday Sara the other day. Sabi ko, ‘paano gagawin natin kasi hindi pa maliwanag ‘yung repair of school buildings sino gagawa, sino magbabayad?’ And so, we were talking with Inday. And she said may budget ng konti ang DepEd but it’s not going to be enough,” he noted. “So, sabi ko why don’t we give the materials or the funding to the LGU. Kaya naman natin administration kung school building lang naman, simple lang naman eh. Kung magtatayo — we can also send assistance.” These things have to be worked out, Marcos said, adding that funding sources must also be identified.

He said the national government could provide additional allocation to the local governments that are mandated by law to conduct school building repairs. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling in 2018, giving the LGUs a just share of all national taxes collected and not only from the Bureau of Internal Revenue effective 2022. The LGUs get their IRA from 40% of national internal revenue taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. With the SC ruling, LGUs are projected to increase the IRA by 27.61%. Marcos said he hopes LGUs support the rightsizing thrust of the administration to attain efficiency. “Alam naman natin the bureaucracy kung minsan becomes inflated, becomes bloated and that’s what we mean by rightsizing, when I talked about rightsizing,” he said. “Ang ibig sabihin lang naman nu’n ay lahat ng tao, lahat ng staff niyo kailangan niyo talaga. Eh baka may matira diyan 15, 30 pero huwag na natin damihan. Let’s make them as streamlined as possible,” he added. The president said digitalization will also play a very important part, noting some of the LGUs have already taken the initiative and already started their implementation. (Mindanao Examiner, OPS)

SUPPORT PEACE IN MINDANAO Zambo Norte police chief dies

Col. Rodrigo Maramo DIPOLOG CITY – The provincial police chief of Zamboanga del Norte died in hospital where he was rushed after complaining of dizziness and shortness of breath. Police said Col. Rodrigo Maramo, a native of Zamboanga City, died August 3 of acute respiratory infection at the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial

Hospital here. “The Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office mourns the passing of our beloved Acting Provincial Director, Col. Rodrigo Omega Maramo last night due to Acute Respiratory Failure secondary to Uncal Herniation secondary to ACVD Hemorrhage. In this lifetime, we work with different kinds of leaders with

great passion and dedication in public service.” “Our Acting Provincial Director was one of them who surely made a mark in the hearts of people he worked with, before and until his passing. He inspired and gave us hope that the reforms instituted in the PNP is possible and achievable. It is with great sadness that we experience his kind of leadership for a short period of time. His passing marks in our hearts that will take time to heal. But we will carry on bearing the lessons he instilled in all of us. Have a peaceful journey in paradise, Our Dear PD,” the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police Office said in a statement. Maramo was previously the police chief in Basilan province where he served for 13 months. (Mindanao Examiner)

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 oth-

er 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 resellers 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)

Half of Filipino families feel poor on last months of Duterte admin Continued from page 1 latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released recently. It said the nationwide survey conducted on June 26 to 29 - the last week of the Duterte administration - showed that 48% of Filipino families rated themselves as poor. According to the report, SWS estimated the self-rated poor Filipino families to be around 12.2 million - an increase from the 10.9 million or 43% count in a similar poll

conducted in April. It said around 31% of respondent families evaluated themselves as borderline poor, which SWS defines as the “horizontal line dividing poor and not poor.” The remaining 21% considered themselves as not poor. The SWS survey also showed that “poor” families in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon (areas outside Metro Manila), Visayas, and Mindanao increased, CNN Philippines said, adding Visayas recorded

the highest rise from 48% in April to 64% in June. Metro Manila followed with 41%--up from its 32% count in April; and Mindanao and Balance Luzon tallied slight increases to 62% and 36% respectively. It said the June 2022 survey also found that 34% of Filipino families categorized themselves as "food-poor," while 40% felt they are “borderline food-poor.” The remaining 26% rated themselves as “not food-poor.” (Mindanao Examiner)

Zambo traffic enforcers fail drug test ZAMBOANGA CITY – Five government traffic enforcers were tested positive for drug substance following a surprise test at City Hall. This was confirmed by City Administrator Mario Yanga, saying the random mandatory drug test on at least 57 traffic enforcers was ordered by Mayor John Dalipe. Yanga said there five traffic men will undergo another confirmatory

drug tests. “The surprise random drug test was conducted at the behest of Mayor Dalipe who has been receiving complaints on alleged irregularities such as extortion and other misdemeanors committed by some traffic aides while performing their duties,” he said. He said those who fail the confirmatory drug test will be administratively sanctioned following due process. “Another round

of surprise random drug testing will be conducted for city government employees anytime soon,” he said. Yanga did not release the names of those found positive for drug substance. Prior to the drug testing, the traffic enforcers were also given orientation on proper grooming as well as employee conduct and behavior at work. (Mindanao Examiner)


7

The Mindanao Examiner

August 8-14, 2022 OPINION

Sanity and Sanctity by Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo (Cebu) SANITY IS defined as being in the right mind. It can also mean having a rational or reasonable behavior. In short it is using our head rather than our heart or our feelings. Sanctity on the other hand is holiness or saintliness. It is associated with seeking sanctity or trying to become a saint. These two terms are actually synonymous. Seeking sanctity or trying to become a saint is the sanest thing we can do. It is the most reasonable thing to do because it means trying to achieve goodness to a highest degree because that is the calling of our nature as humans. Philosophy teaches us that we call a car good if it functions well and serves its purpose of transporting people from one place to another without breaking down or with no hitches. A human being will likewise function well if it practices good acts. Sanctity as sanity can be well more defined if we analyze what sin is. Sin which is commonly defined as a violation of God’s commandments is also defined as a word, deed or thought that goes against the right reason. Here’s how the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines sin, “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” (CCC, 1849) First, any violation against God’s commandments is a violation of our human nature because the commandments are based on human nature. That is why the commandments are also called the natural moral law. The word ‘natural’ here means it is based on nature or man’s nature. And man’s moral nature is to do good and avoid evil. If man violates the Ten Commandments he therefore goes against his nature. Second, by proving that all sins go against reason, let’s look at what happens in the aftermath of sin. When we feel guilt for having done something wrong it is usually because of having gone against our conscience and also because we also realize the foolishness of our action. This happens especially if we have

done something very wrong such as insulting another person out of a burst of anger for example. When we come to our senses, we often say to ourselves, “Why the heck did I do that?” or say, “That was so stupid of me doing that!” It only means that all wrongdoings are irrational in nature. Dr. Peter Kreeft would say that we people are oftentimes morally insane. We know that it is wrong and yet we do it. This is the after effect of original sin within us that makes our passion (or feelings) go haywire and obscures our right reason. It doesn’t mean we are totally incapable of choosing the good, but it just makes seeing and doing the good harder. Morality is not something that is hard to know but hard to do. God has placed His law within our hearts. St. Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans, that minus the knowledge of the Ten Commandments the non-Jews or Gentiles are judged by God based on their conscience. “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” (Romans 2:14-16) We get to know the law of God even before we get to know God. This tells us how important morality is to God. God does not mind not being known right away because God knows that if we just follow our right reason, or always doing the right thing, it will just be a matter of time of knowing the right God. This is the basis for the Catholic Church’s teaching that people can still go to heaven without knowing Christ through no fault of their own provided that they follow the natural moral law written in their hearts. People in the far-flung isolated places of Africa who belong to a tribe and who have not heard of Christ will be judged upon death based on how they have followed their conscience. (CC)

OPINION

When God seems harsh to us by Fr. Roy Cimagala (Cebu) “IT IS not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” (Mt 15,26) These words of Christ certainly must have sounded harsh to the Canaanite woman who begged him to cure her daughter who was tormented by a demon. But instead of being turned off, she persisted in her request. She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” And that’s when Christ said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. (Mt 15,27-28) Sometimes God tests our faith if only to purify and strengthen it. We should just persist in going to him even if he seems to reject us. With God we should not be afraid or ashamed. He always cares for us. This should be the attitude to have. It’s an attitude that can only indicate our unconditional faith and love for God who is always in control of things, and at the same time can also leave us in peace and joy even at the worst of the possibilities. We have to follow the example of the many characters in the gospel who, feeling helpless in the many predicaments they were in, earnestly rushed to Christ for some succor. They went to him unafraid and unashamed and they got what they wanted. It may happen that we may not get what we want. And in this, we should not be too surprised or too worried. What is sure is that God always listens and gives us what is best

for us. If our request is granted, it’s because it is good for us. If our request is not granted, it could be because what we asked is actually not good for us. Examples of this kind of cases are plenty, and many would later on realize how lucky they were that what they asked for was not granted. We should not forget that God will always listen to us and will act on our requests promptly and in the best way for us, considering both our immediate and the ultimate needs, and no matter how imperfect the object, motives and manner of our petitions are. Remember the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge narrated in the gospel of St. Luke, chapter 8. The conclusion of that parable is the following lesson we should learn at heart: “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off.?” (7) This lesson is reiterated in the gospel of St. Matthew where Christ said: “What man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (7,9-11) We should therefore have no fear or shame in going to God for all our needs. We should persist in our requests even if he appears to be harsh to us or even to reject us. His heart will give in with our persistence! (FRC)

POETRY: Drugs Harām Mayta’ Subay Natu’ Tuud Pu’puun Tinggalan by Gamson Jr Mawallil Quijano In akkal sin mnusiya’ Tuhan in nag anughara’ Ni’mat sangat landu’ halga’ Wjib yan maparihala’

Awn da isab makapangusiba’ pa In maas-langgung kalauwgan na Makadhit ampa makasusa Sabab in pikilan nalassun na

In kamu DEALER, ayaw ABUSER Sabab NIYU laksa’ in na pa JAIL Hundung na kamu bat wayna USER Pa Tuhan kamu katn surrender

Katn makakangi’ kaniya Layui way pag isa-ruwa In ahli mu pagpikila ra Bat sila di’ mu ma anyaya

Bukun tuud langug in hl ini Kumusug na in pag guni-guni Manakaw na arta sin pagkahi Bangman drugs in sila makapami

Bang awn sakit ha laum kawman Subay ra ubatan sin katn Bang mag buta-bisu pasran Ündag migtus katiluagan

Shabu iban sin paniban Makalassun yan sin pikilan Kabuhi’ way kasalmatan Sakit-silap in kananaman

Misan sin maas piya-iintul Humukaw na misan mag iskul Pa maas nila manugarul Malawa’ in pag addat masl

Bang kakasi awn na pasihati In siya nag drugs na timagnai s-s kaw pa REHAB paubati Bat di’ na magsusun ha mahuli

XTC, cocaine, cough syrup Tantu makakangi’ utuk Düwman iyadlawan kiyukuuk Misan kansiyu tumanduk

Giyaha’ jantung limummi’ in nyawa Sambil Tuhan diya na nagkuntara In saytan bagay luggiya’ niya na Halga’ pagka tau liyupa na

In magpa ubat di’ ikaluman Bukun tuud in yan kasipugan Maraw pa masipug makaminsan Ayaw na sin magsusun hawlihan

Rugby, shabu, marijuana In pikilan malimun lawa’ Piyagkugdan in maas bata’ Kawman landu’ nagkajuljana’

Maka hansul sa landu’ pikilun Pais namanhud wayna nanamun Mabut in buktun gali’ galiun Sapantun ista’ sung pirituhun

Subay lawagun in parsababan Kusugan sambil duwaa pa Tuhan Bangman dumayaw ra in pikilan Mura-murahan hidul sin Tuhan

In arta’ sin mau-maas mu Magkalawa’ na kailu In ikaw tuyu’ mamaylu Piyami muna tuwi’ shabu

Tau kawman kaymu hanggaun Wayna pag tuwg marayaw ha düwm Bang in by mu sin pulis raid-dun In sila mamidpid damagun

In gama nagpatumtum Baran ayaw jawlakaun Ayaran iban lasahun Paangkatün parulihun

Bang in pikilan mu kumangi’ na Kaluwarga’ aturun kuntara In ikaw kanila humalli’ na Awun waktu mabunu’ muna sila

Malayu’ nakaw pa kasanyangan Gumun buta na in lalabayan Ina’ ama’ mu ha kasusahan Di’ mu baha’ sila kaulungan??

Magm pag iskul in pyaruli Bat way susunan ha mahuli Mangadji’ pa madras humti Itindug in pag ammal sli

In kaybanan makapang lagut na Tuktukun pangatud hs salaksa’ Pagsayu kakasi sa luggiya’ Andu’ in kabuhi’ naluppas na

Pagdayaw-baran langganaün In kunsmun mu patigidlumun Hula’ kawman mu halubiluhun Malawa’ kaymu bulan bituun

Uh taymanghurun ku mulliya Pa akkal niyu parukuta In kamu kaüwgan palmata Sin gama Hula’ Bangsa ta

Harām Drugs: Why It Must Be Eradicated and Shunned English Translation by Warina Sushil A. Jukuy The intellect of mankind is nurtured by The Lord God A Gift so much priceless Thus, it’s imperative to safeguard.

Others may even resort to rape Their own elders and siblings violated How terrifying and so appalling Because their darken minds deadly toxified.

Everything that can ruin you Avoid it don’t you think twice Consider your beloved family Oppress them you must not.

Indeed, such matter is never a joke Paranoia sets in, heightening Stealing others’ riches to that extent Just so drugs be bought for them to toke.

Shabu and its kith and kind All these will just poison your mind Your life will be devoid of bliss Mental delusions you will experience.

Even if by parents not neglected Desire for school has now waned They’d rob their own parents At times their respect lost in defiance.

XTC, cocaine, cough syrup Surely will blow your mind Schizophrenic from dusk till dawn You lock horns with anyone.

Heart rusty, soul tarnished Even war against Allaah been declared Accursed Satan now their true friend Value of own humanity all forgotten.

Rugby, shabu, marijuana Engulfing your reason as if drowned Hitting the young and old In our community there is chaos.

How utterly devastating it is to think Their skin numbed, could feel nothing Until own arms they’d slice feeling no pain Like fish slit ready for frying.

Wealth of your parents Is now vanishing How adamantly you deny But Truth is you’ve spent it to buy shabu.

Local folks alarmed by you Sleepless at night tossin and turnin When cops suddenly raid your home Not you but them stricken shall tremble.

If your mind turn warped Own family becomes foe to your sight From them stay away you must Time will come when you’ll slay them in cold blood.

How far you’ve distanced yourself from serenity A tangled tight knot is your blind path ahead Your mother and father both forlorn Don’t you even feel pity for them?

Others go berserk hacking wild Chopping what seems thousand serpents to their eyes But ònce lucid only realizing it’s their beloved own blood How tragic to waste their precious lives.

Your well-being by drugs is desecrated Your tomorrow’s light obliterated Consumed, your homeland into turmoil reduced By the moon and stars you are eluded. O you DEALER, don’t be ABUSER You have thrown thousands to JAIL

Please stop so there’d be no more USER To Allaah, you all must surrender. If a disease exist in our land Together it must be healed by everyone If we were just to turn a blind eye It will permeate unchecked to afflict everyone. If you perceive symptoms in your beloved manifesting It’s a warning into drugs he’s initiating Rush him to REHAB for immediate treatment So you won’t regret at all in the end. It’s not embarrassing to seek a cure Truly it can never be regarded as a shame It’s better to be humiliated just once Than in the end to be mortified with regret more than once. The cause surely must be sought and found To Our Lord our supplications let’s fortify That may their minds be secured and sound May this magnanimously be granted by Our Lord Allaah. Islam has time and again reminded us Sanctity of our body never to defile To safeguard it and to love To elevate it, and to cherish forevermore. It’s prudent to prioritize your study So ultimately no remorse comes your way Go learn your Deen in the Madrasa Establish righteous deeds consistently. Oh my beloved noble brethren Do etch it deeply in your minds You are likened to the most prized priceless gems Of our Deen, our Homeland and our Nation.


8

The Mindanao Examiner Gallery

August 8-14, 2022

Photos from the Office of the Sulu Provincial Governor, Jaques Tutong, Maimbung Municipal Government, Rep. Shernee Tambut, Radyo Pilipinas Jolo, Noenyrie Asiri, and Aziz Salapuddin


9

The Mindanao Examiner

August 8-14, 2022 Across :

MAF Trading Zamboanga

1. Santa’s employee 4. ___ Moines, Iowa 7. Fragrant flowers 12. Suffer 13. Picasso’s field 14. Eve’s fruit 15. Boston ___ Party 16. Big, hairy spider 18. Dissertation 20. Mideast country 21. Germ-free 24. Dragon’s home 25. Eternally, in poems 26. Writing implement 29. Concurred 32. Inhabit 34. Opposite of NNW 35. Originally called 37. Afresh 38. Skin tightener 41. Table supports 44. Writer ___ Hemingway 45. Conducting contact 47. Cleaning cloth 50. Let 51. Free (of) 52. Mama sheep 53. Basil sauce 54. speak 55. Shade tree

062-9555360 / 0917-7103642

Answer to last week’s crossword:

Down : 1. Consume 2. Fabrication 3. Roadside problem (2 wds.) 4. Calendar numbers 5. Remove 6. Skunk feature 7. Moved swiftly 8. Vision related 9. Prod 10. she, in Madrid 11. Penn or Connery 17. Fall blooom 19. Give a job to 21. Poetic lament 22. Pesters 23. Animosity 26. Coniferous evergreen (2 wds.)

27. Adam’s garden 28. Politician ___ Gingrich 30. Certain dashes 31. Prevent 33. Wilts 36. Baseball blunders 38. Broad tie 39. Gandhi’s nation 40. Poor 41. Bound 42. ___ Macpherson 43. Hardens 46. Pair 48. Punching tool 49. Jewel

Weekly Sudoku:

Answer to last week:

Maritess Fernandez Publisher/Executive Producer Al Jacinto Editor-in-Chief

Reynold Toribio Graphics/Video Editor

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10

The Mindanao Examiner

August 8-14, 2022

Philippines hands off on Sulu sultanate heirs’ claims on Sabah, but…

C

OTABATO CITY - The Philippine government has distanced itself from the Sabah claims being pursued by the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu, but President Bongbong Marcos said his administration would not relinquish even a square inch of the country's territory. “From what I understand, the case is in the nature of a private claim by the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu with Malaysia. Therefore, it is not an issue of sovereignty or of territory at the moment,” Press Secretary Trixie Angeles told reporters in Manila. “The President’s articulation of his statement about not giving up a square inch of territory will have to be reduced into writing and into specifics, after which, we will announce these to you if they are in any way related to the Sabah claim. At the moment, wala pa pong articulation, so we have to wait,” she added. Angeles was referring to a statement of Marcos during his first State of the Nation Address. The president said while his administration pursues the “friend to all, enemy to none” stance, it would not relinquish even a square inch of Philippine territory. Marcos said the Philippines will be a good neighbor that will always look for ways to collaborate and cooperate with the end goal of mutually beneficial outcomes. He did not say anything about the historical claims of the Sultanate of Sulu on Sabah. On July 12, the assets of Petronas’ two subsidiaries in Azerbaijan were reported to have been seized by court bailiffs acting on behalf of the sultan’s heirs who are claiming US$14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) from Malaysia. The move was said to be part of legal efforts launched in 2017 by the heirs to receive compensation over land in Sabah which they claimed their ancestors had leased to a British trading company in 1878. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will protect the country’s assets over claims by the Sulu sultanate heirs. “Since they brought the case to court, we will also protect our assets through legal channels. I give the assurance that we will not compromise or even budge an inch in defending the country’s rights and sovereignty,” he told reporters after opening the 2022 National Security Conference here. Ismail was responding to the legal action by the Sulu sultanate’s heirs who were reported to have threatened Malaysia’s interests and assets overseas, especially assets belonging to government-linked companies. Ismail said he was made to understand that Petronas and law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar would give an explanation to Parliament soon on the seizure of the Petronas assets in Azerbaijan. He said the Cabinet had, on July 14, agreed to set up a special task force to study, monitor and formulate an appropriate action plan based on the provisions of the law to address the issue. When asked about the need to mobilise security forces to defend the country’s assets overseas, he said: “It’s not easy to bring security forces to other countries, unless under the United Nations flag.” The Paris Court of Appeal allowed the Malaysian government’s application to stay the enforcement of the final award issued by the arbitration court on the grounds that it would affect the immunity of Malaysia’s sovereignty. Wan Junaidi said that as a result of the suspension order given by the Paris Court of Appeal, the final award cannot be enforced in any country until a decision is made by the Paris court regarding the Malaysian government’s application for cancellation of the final award. The dispute arises after “heirs” and “successors-in-interest” to Sultan Jamalul Kiram II initiated a claim against the government of Malaysia through an international arbitration proceeding in Madrid, Spain, Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) had said in a joint statement in March. The ministry and AGC said the claim is based on an agreement Sultan Mohamet Jamal Al Alam, the Sultan of Sulu at the time, and Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent entered into in 1878 under which the Sultan of Sulu granted and ceded in perpetuity the sovereign rights over certain territories located in North Borneo, now forming part of Sabah, Malaysia. “As a token, RM5,300 per annum was to be paid to the then Sultan of Sulu, his heirs or successors. Following the Lahad Datu armed invasion, payment was ceased in 2013,” the statement read. The statement was issued after the French arbitration ruling, a ruling which Malaysia pointed out it had not participated in. “The government of Malaysia does not recognise the claim and did not participate in the purported arbitration proceedings because Malaysia has always upheld and has never waived its sovereign immunity as a sovereign state,” Pu-

trajaya said in its March statement. “In addition, the subject matter of the claim is not commercial in nature and thus cannot be subject to arbitration and the 1878 Agreement contains no arbitration agreement. We further stress that the claimants’ identities are doubtful and have yet to be verified,” it added. The Financial Times also reported that if Malaysia continues to ignore the ruling, the money owed to the “heirs” is set to increase, and the claimants’ lawyers indicated that they would pursue more state assets if a resolution was not reached. The arbitrator in France previously highlighted that for every year the Sulu heirs are getting unpaid, Malaysia’s outstanding liability to the heirs will rise by 10%, the report noted. Bernama in May, citing Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, reported that Malaysia will be sending diplomatic notes to 168 countries that signed the New York Convention as an early notification on possible unilateral legal claims by descendants of the Sulu Sultan. The proactive move was taken so that 168 countries were aware of the unilateral claim, apart from hoping that the countries involved would inform Malaysia if there were such applications filed in their countries, Saifuddin reportedly said. Unpaid cession money In March, descendants of the Sultan of Sulu have filed a case against Malaysia in a French court to claim over $32 billion in unpaid cession money as well as how much they believe they are owed for the oil and gas found in Sabah. The Sultanate of Sulu, founded in 1457, continues to lay claim to Sabah which it obtained from Brunei as a gift for helping put down a rebellion on Borneo Island. The British leased Sabah and transferred control over the territory to Malaysia after the end of World War II. The Sulu Sultanate said it had merely leased North Borneo in 1878 to the British North Borneo Company for an annual payment of 5,000 Malayan dollars then, which was increased to 5,300 Malayan dollars in 1903. The Sultanate of Sulu is believed to exist as a sovereign nation for at least 442 years. It stretches from a part of the island of Mindanao in the east, to Sabah, in the west and south, and to Palawan, in the north. But North Borneo was annexed by Malaysia in 1963 following a referendum organised by the Cobbold Commission in 1962, the people of Sabah voted overwhelmingly to join Malaysia. According to the Malaysian newspaper The Star, a French arbitration court has “instructed” the Malaysian government to pay $14.92bil (RM62.6bil) to the descendants of the last Sulu sultan. It reported that Arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa, who is from Spain, issued the award in a Paris court. The decision was based on the alleged violation of payments of RM5,300 cession money under the 1878 agreement signed by Sultan Jamal Al Alam, Baron de Overbeck and the British North Borneo Company’s Alfred Dent. Malaysia stopped paying the Sultan Sulu’s heirs their annual RM5,300 cession money after over 200 armed followers of the Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III led by his younger brother Agbimuddin Kiram landed in Lahad Datu town in Sabah in 2013 to press the ancestral claim on the oil-rich territory. Malaysia responded by sending troops and launching airstrikes before the stand-off ended. The conflict, which lasted more than a month, resulted in the deaths of 68 men from the Sulu sultanate, nine Malaysian armed services personnel and six civilians. The Star also quoted a report by the Spanish news website La Información which said that Stampa had issued the award, ruling that the 1878 treaty was a commercial “international private lease agreement.” By not paying the cession money since 2013, Stampa said Malaysia had breached the agreement and would have three months to pay up failing which interest would be charged if the decision was not accepted. On March 17, 2020, Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Datuk Martin Indang ruled that Malaysia was the proper venue to resolve disputes arising from the 1878 Deed of Cession and not the Spanish courts, which do not have authority nor jurisdiction over Malaysia. Justice Idang said this when deciding in favour of the Malaysian government in its suit against eight of the supposed descendants of the sultan of Sulu at the Kota Kinabalu High Court on March 17. He said there was no binding agreement between the Government and the sultan’s heirs that compelled either party to also submit to arbitration in the event of a dispute. The heirs’ claims were originally heard in Madrid until the Madrid High Court annulled Stampa’s appointment on grounds that Malaysia was not properly informed about the case and was thus “defenceless”. The case was later moved to the French capital. Sultan Esmail Kiram III died in 2015 from renal failure at a

hospital in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines. His body was brought to his hometown in Sulu’s Maimbung town and buried beside the tomb of his elder brother, Jamalul, whom he succeeded in 2013. The 75-year old sultan was one of the most influential members of the Royal Sultanate. Agbimuddin also died early of cardiac arrest the same year in Tawi-Tawi province after escaping from Lahad Datu at the height of the Malaysian assault on his group. Datu Phugdal Kiram, another brother, has reportedly assumed the throne, but the sultanate does not hold any power anymore in the modern-day Philippines, and is more of a title although Malaysia previously paid an annual rental for the island to whoever sits as the head of the Royal Sultanate. But there are dozens of sultans claiming to be the legitimate heir to the throne. North Borneo Bureau Two years ago, the Philippines said it would revive the “North Borneo Bureau” to exert its claim to the mineral-rich Sabah even if Malaysia insisted it was theirs. Then Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. told lawmakers that he had decided to revive the North Borneo Bureau to uphold the country's claim to Sabah. Sulu Governor Sakur Tan previously said the cession money that Malaysia paid annually to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu was insulting. “The amount is insulting anyway, you can never change history,” he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. A report by ABS-CBN also quoted Locsin as telling members of the House Appropriations Committee that: “While we fiercely guard our waters, we are not forgetting our terrestrial domain. In pursuit of securing what is ours, I have decided to reactivate the North Borneo Bureau.” “After realizing that the rest of us have almost forgotten our Sabah claim, casually designating it as another country’s territory, well we have not forgotten. This is one of several international disagreements we can afford to conduct in our best interest without any risk of loss of any kind for our country,” he said, adding, “Our honor is involved here.” Even Nur Misuari, chieftain of the Moro National Liberation Front, said that what Malaysia pays to the Sultanate of Sulu (and North Borneo), was but a pittance. Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte’s Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government has not abandoned its claim on Sabah. “The position of the President, meron tayong claims. Eh totoo namang may claim tayo di ba? That has been a bone of contention ever since,” he said. Sultans Sultan Ibrahim Bahjin-Shakirullah II said North Borneo is an inextricable part and parcel of the Sultanate of Sulu. He said the Sultanate of Sulu asserts its position on the following: 1.) The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo was never lawfully ceded to the Republic of the Philippines, and therefore remains a sovereign and independent state; 2.) The stipulation in the Deed of 1878 that the lessees of North Borneo shall administer the territory for “as long as they choose or desire to use them” places it in the category of a “perpetual lease”, effective for 100 years under international law. The contract of lease has therefore expired and possession over North Borneo should now be exercised by the Sultanate of Sulu, its rightful owner. And 3.) The heirs of Jamalul Kiram III do not have private ownership of Sabah. The territory continues to be owned by the Sultanate of Sulu, and not any private person. In view of the history of the Sultanate and the circumstances surrounding the lease of Sabah, he said: “We desire the recognition of the independent statehood and sovereignty of the Islamic Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.” But Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram, who claims to be the 35th Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo, said his grandfather, Sultan Mohammad Esmail Enang Kiram, who was recognized by the Philippine government in 1957, “transferred the rights of North Borneo under the government of President Diosdado Macapagal in 1962.” Kiram said his father, Sultan Mohammad Mahakuttah Abdulla Kiram, and he, being the Crown Prince of Sulu, confirmed the transfer of the rights of North Borneo to the Philippine government and this was made official through Memorandum Order No. 427 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1974. “We aspire for an amicable solution to the predicament that affects us all in this region,” Kiram said, adding, “The Royal House of Sulu firmly believes that diplomacy will allow us to move forward as governments and other parties involved play a crucial role from alleviating our people from poverty.” The two are only among the 5 recognized sultans in Sulu. The others are Sultans Mohammad Venizar Julkarnain Jainal Abirin, Muizuddin Jainal Abirin Bahjin and Phugdalun Kiram II. (Free Malaysia Today, The Edge Markets and Mindanao Examiner)


August 8-14, 2022

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Cebuanos Celebrate 453rd Founding Anniversary

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EBU – Cebuanos have joined the celebration of the province’s 453rd founding anniversary after two years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the vibrancy of celebrating Cebu’s birth as the country’s oldest province reverberated across the Capitol marking the start of a month-long festivities. In her speech during these three years about this we survived. We did not only the opening salvo, Gov. disease,” she added, refer- survive, we prevailed. And Gwen Garcia highlighted ring to how Cebu has learned we showed to the rest of the the event as a celebration to treat Covid-19 just like any country this is the way we of Cebu’s victory above the usual diseases that exist in shall go. That is Cebu. We are the Cebuanos. We are a cut challenges that it had to society. “Diseases are here to above the rest,” she said. face in the last three years. She also called on her fel“It’s been three years and stay. The challenge is to it is with so much joy, with boost our immune system. low public servants in Cebu so much gratitude that we To ensure that we protect to join her in the journey to now again celebrate the ourselves. But never again regain Cebu’s strength in the Founding Anniversary of should there ever, ever be an- next three years. “Magkuyog kita puno sa paglaum nga the Province of Cebu as other lockdown,” she said. Garcia was beaming ang mosunod nga tulo ka tuig normal people. We’re back with so much pride when panahon na nga mamawi ta, to normalcy,” she said. “And yet remembering she narrated how Cebu has panahon na nga ibalik ta ang what we have been through, risen from all these challeng- kanhi kapiskay, kamadasigon we must now define the di- es. “We have been tested. We ug makusganon nato nga rection that we shall take. I have faced sometimes the ekonomiya. Ug ato kanunay, speak of normalcy because most insurmountable ob- di gyud ta paapas, ato gyud we have learned so much in stacles and beyond all that, kanunay huptan ang talagsa-

Government services caravan ends CEBU - Indeed, hardships bring people together. Such synchronicity, synergy and cohesiveness of Cebu leaders and government agencies have been manifested once more in a show of force during the culmination of the “Caravan of Provincial Government Services” for the third quarter hosted by the Municipality of Argao. No less than Sandiganbayan Justice Geraldine Faith Econg, who served as judge in Oslob for nearly a decade, joined the caravan to support the members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter headed by Atty. Cheryl Pamela Condat who, along with the Provincial Legal Office team, offered free legal consultation and services for the constituents of the second legislative district. Vice Governor Hilario Davide III, a native of Argao, joined the caravan for the first time in response to the governor’s invitation. “Bulahan kita dinhi sa Argao ug sa segundo distrito kay duna kitay gobernador nga nagpangga gyud kanato, nga manggihatagon kaayo, nga kanunay naghuna-huna sa inyong panginahanglanon,” Davide said in his speech. "Bisan dili mi pareha

ARMM

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III are flanked by Cebuanos during the culmination of the provincial caravan. (Photo by Junjie Mendoza) og grupo apan maayo gyud kaayo si Gov Gwen kanako. Og dunay kalihukan sa Kapitolyo 'nya imbitaron kita, magka-istoryahanay mi, maayo gyud kaayo ang among panaghisgutay,” he added. Davide called on Cebuanos to continue supporting Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her programs. “Ipadayon ang inyong suporta ug pagsalig kang Governor Gwen Garcia, kay kahibalo na man kita nga siya ang numero unong gobernador sa numero unong probinsya sa Pilipinas,” he said. The Registry of Deeds in Cebu Province headed by Atty. Ariel Condat, joined in rendering free legal advice

on real estate and property issues and helped in the distribution of hygiene kits from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter to caravan beneficiaries. Even the Department of Interior and Local Government also gave their share by distributing flip-flops to the people; the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the region gave food packs. Their involvement, including the Department of Agriculture, made the event a powerhouse of inspiration and faith that Cebuanos, affected by both the pandemic and super typhoon Odette, reclaim their lives and celebrate as normal people – back to normalcy. (EEV)

Eastern Mindanao

(Gov. Gwen Garcia and provincial officials during the opening of the celebration. (Photo by Junjie Mendoza) ong distinction nga sa tibuok Pilipinas, ang Sugbo numero uno!” Garcia said. The celebration started with the flag raising ceremony where Garcia was joined by Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III and members of

the Provincial Board, three congressmen, all mayors and vice mayors from the different municipalities and component cities, and national government officials in Region 7. It was then followed

by the ceremonial switchon of the fountain at the Capitol Heritage Garden, a tree planting activity and launching of the “Tabo sa Kapitolyo 2022 Agri-Fisheries Fair.” (Carlo Lorenciana)

DOTr vows to upgrade airports CEBU - The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it will prioritize the enhancements of various airport projects to global standards, said Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista, adding he would use his experience in the aviation industry to modernize the country’s transport facilities, especially the upgrade of local airports. "We will build upon the dozens of aviation-related projects completed in the past administration and identify areas for technical upgrade to allow them to enhance their operational capabilities," Bautista said. He took note of President Bongbong Marcos’ plan to continue the "Build, Build, Build" program with focus on developing the railway system. "The President's order to the DOTr is clear it's full speed ahead for our transport projects," he said. During his State of the Nation Address, Marcos pointed out a dozen rail projects all over the country with a combined projected cost of P1.9 trillion. The large-scale projects include the NorthSouth Commuter Railway, the Metro Manila Subway, the Mindanao Railway Proj-

Western Mindanao

DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista ect, the Panay Railway Project and the Cebu Railway System. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said it is supporting Bautista's commitment to Marcos, who issued directives for the transport sector, particularly in the aviation sector. "CAAP vows to actively pursue and champion Secretary Bautista's commitment to President Marcos’ goals for the aviation sector by pushing for efforts that will increase the capacity of our facilities and improve

Cebu

the safety and security of our airports also in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards," said CAAP Acting Director General Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo. Tamayo said they will enable more airports to be capable of night-time take-off and landing to allow more flights and longer operating hours in regional airports. He said at least seven more airports will be equipped with the necessary facilities to operate night-time flights. (Cebu Examiner)

Manila