The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (May 22-28, 2023)

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General Says

Countering Hypersonic Weapons Is Imperative

MISSILE THREATS to the U.S. homeland and allies

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A Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornet takes off at Gwangju Air Base, South Korea, April 19, 2023, during the Fiscal Year 2023 Korea Flying Training. The event focused on tactical execution of combat missions. (Photo by Marine Corps

China: Growing and Going to Sea

Warships from the Chinese and Russian navies are pictured after the Joint Sea 2022 exercise in the East China Sea on 27 December 2022, just days after Russian ships transited the Tsushima Strait. (Photo

FOR THE People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), 2022 was another banner year. Although the largest navy on the planet did not commission as many ships and submarines as in 2021, it continued to outproduce the U.S. Navy in total numbers of ships, tonnage, and supersonic Continue on page 4 Continue on page 4

ARE FILIPINO workers safe in Taiwan amid the brewing tension in South Chi-

RE FILIPINO workers safe in Taiwan amid the tension in South China Sea and China’s aggression towards the island nation? Yes, if you asked na Sea and China’s towards the island nation? Yes, if you asked Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman and Resident Rep- Manila Economic and Cultural Office Chairman and Resident resentative Silvestre Bello III, who allayed concerns about the safety of Filipinos in resentative Silvestre Bello III, who concerns about the of in Taiwan which China claims as a breakaway province Taiwan which China claims as a province.

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Parliament opens regular session

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Parliament commenced its second regular session following the approval of a resolution designating MP Said Salendab as the acting Wali of the Bangsamoro government to open the session.

The second regular session, which started on May 15 will conclude in February 2024.

In his address to the Parliament, Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong noted

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NGCP-China partnership in Senate crosshair

AT LEAST four senators are eyeing a review of the National Grid Corpo-

ration of the Philippines’ (NGCP) franchise following a series of power outag-

es recorded in Visayas and other areas in the country.

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De Lima to remain in detention

MANILA – Former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, a staunch critic of then President Rodrigo Duterte, remains in detention despite a recent acquittal of one of the two drug cases filed six years ago.

Judge Joseph Abraham Alcantara of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204, acquitted De Lima on May 12, citing the retraction of former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos that he was coerced into testifying that De Lima received P10 million from high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

SULTAN KUDARAT - Fifteen years ago, Josie Concepcion was walking with her son near a market Continue on page 5 Continue on page 5

Josie Concepcion stands in front of her newly constructed store in Sultan Kudarat province. (Photo by I. Ali/ICRC)

BARMM Eastern Mindanao Western Mindanao Cebu Manila Est 2006 ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT (062) 9555360 or (0917) 7103642 P10 May 22-28, 2023 Are OFWs safe in Taiwan? Solid waste management not followed ZAMBOANGA CITY – An environmental group said the implementation of the Continue on page 6 Continue on page 6
segregation in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines is not being followed as government garbage collectors tear
trash bags to collect whatever they can sell, and the local government has been tolerating this malpractice for many years now. (Photo by Al Jacinto)
Continue on page 6 Continue on page 6 Blast victim gets help from non-profit
Bangsamoro Parliament Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong. by Xu Wei / Xinhua - Alamy Live News) Cpl. Tyler Harmon)
‘China continues to violate Taiwan’s air defence zone’
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr during the combined joint littoral live fire exercise between the United States and the Philippines in April in San Antonio town in Zambales province, just 495 nautical miles from Taiwan.

Are OFWs safe in Taiwan?

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Bello said the Philippine government, through MECO, is looking out for the welfare and well-being of the Filipinos there. “So we would like to assure you, everyone. I’ll take this opportunity to inform you… in Taiwan everything is normal and, if in the remote possibility na magkaroon ng emergency situation, like for example earthquake, mga lindol o even war, preparado po ang Taiwan government not only in protecting their own people but even the Filipinos, especially our workers,” he said.

MECO is the duly designated instrumentality to promote and protect Philippine interests in Taiwan and is authorized and conferred with authority to perform functions usually carried out by Filipino foreign missions but of a non-political, non-security in nature.


Just last month, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian warned the Marcos administration that Washington is stoking the fire and through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with Manila, intends to interfere in the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

Huang even advised the Philippines to oppose Taiwan independence.

“The Philippines is ad-

vised to unequivocally oppose Taiwan independence rather than stoking the fire by offering the U.S. access to the military bases near the Taiwan Strait if you care genuinely about the 150,000 OFWs,” he said.

Safe According to Bello, the National Police Agency of Taiwan has assured him the protection and security of the Filipinos in the self-ruled island nation. “I met with the Director General together with the head of the Home Civilian Defense of Taiwan and they assured us na iyong ating mga kababayan ay protektado nila,” he said, adding, that Taiwan has 89,000 shelters that can accommodate more than its total population.

Bello said 90% of the factories in Taiwan - the biggest microchip manufacturer in the worldare serviced by Filipino workers. He said roughly 160,000 OFWs are in factories and all the rest are highly skilled teachers, farmers, and workers in the hospitality industry.

“So, huwag po kayong mag-alala… everything is normal, our OFWs there are safe and there is no danger of what you call confrontation between China and Taiwan,” he said.

Friend to all to President Ferdinand

R. Marcos Jr. recently raised the need to continue developing cooperation on an international scale to resolve soaring tensions in Taiwan. He said there is a need to “fix the arrangements, our alliances, so that they conform to the needs of the day. And that again, comes back again to that process of evolution.”

He reiterated the administration’s foreign policy that “the Philippines shall continue to be a friend to all, and an enemy of none.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) last month said no Filipino in Taiwan is seeking government help for repatriation as of yet amid the current cross-strait tensions. The DFA also reassured the public that contingency plans have been in place in areas where there is a high concentration of Filipino workers, including Taiwan.


According to The Interpreter, which features daily commentary and analysis on international issues, the People’s Liberation Army in February sent 20 aircraft across the median line dividing Taiwan from the Chinese mainland.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry responded to the incursion by putting its own forces on a heightened state of alert, scrambling its own fighter jets and acti-

vating air defence systems.

This breach of Taiwan’s so-called air defence identification zone (ADIZ), a large area encompassing the entire Taiwan Strait and a part of Chinese territory, is only the latest in what has become a fairly common occurrence. The median line, meant to be a temporary

aberration, is no longer respected by the PLA. In 2020, China conducted 380 incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ. In 2021, that number more than doubled to 960. Last year saw the most ADIZ incursions in history, with 1,727 breaches of the zone.

China’s objectives include wearing down Tai-

wan’s military capacity (particularly its air force) in order to weaken the island’s readiness, ensure the PLA is prepared to execute a military operation if necessary, and reiterate the message that the Taiwan issue is an absolute core priority of the Chinese Communist Party. (Mindanao Examiner)

NGCP-China partnership in Senate crosshair

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Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said her panel is now open to reviewing the NGCP franchise, considering the importance of its service to the critical need of Filipinos. “The recurring power outages being experienced by millions of households amid the scorching months should not be the norm,” Poe said.

Even Senator JV Ejercito, said a review of NGCP franchise is really necessary given its partnership with the State Grid Corporation of China, which he said is not really advisable given the Philippines’ ongoing dispute with Beijing over the West Philippine Sea. “Nakakabahala na ang NGCP malaking porsyento, 40 percent is already owned by a Chinese entity owned by the Chinese government,” he said.

State Grid Corporation of China, even if it only holds 40 percent of shares in the NGCP, is actually controlling the NGCP’s operations, Ejercito said, quoting an unnamed sources.

A hearing on the NGCP franchise can either be conducted by the Senate and the House of Representatives, he said.

According to Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, a review on the NGCP franchise “makes a lot of sense given the increasing occurrence of power interruptions in the country.”

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, also sought an investigation of the NGCP performance. “The national grid of the electric power industry is the sole backbone for the transmission of electricity throughout the country... by virtue of its franchise, NGCP is bound to operate and maintain the transmission system, grid and related facilities at all times in accordance with industry standards,” he said.

In 2018, the Senate also investigated the NGCP-China partnership, but were

barred from entering the NGCP facilities.

Senator Risa Hontiveros renewed her calls for the government to regain its control of the NGCP to ensure the country’s protection.

Early this year, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) signed an agreement with the NGCP to protect the Philippines against any attacks in cyberspace, particularly on energy infrastructure.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr even witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding between NICA and NGCP on March 13 in Malacanang Palace. “Since the NGCP is in charge of a very critical aspect of the daily lives of Filipinos, when it comes to war strategy, “we do – we conduct our wars in the same manner that we conduct our business,” Marcos said.

He even raised the parallelism between the previous global wars and industrial development at the time with the current advancements in business through cyberspace, adding, “And that is why we are continuing to shore up our defenses when it comes to cyber-security.”

“And since NGCP is a critical part of our security, of our ability to continue to function as a society, then this is an important day because now we have made more robust the defenses against any possible attacks on our power systems,” Marcos said.

Marcos said the signing of the memorandum is a very good step as the country develops its cyber systems to secure collected data and information and prevent external actors from using them against the Philippines.

Under the agreement, NICA is tasked with integrating collected intelligence information from various government instrumentality, make an analysis, assess the data, and recommend actions in safeguarding NGCP’s transmission assets.

The NGCP, on the other hand, can share vital information on energy-related security issues and provide technical advice to the NICA. Through the memorandum, NICA commits to supply the NGCP with intelligence information to support the protection of power transmission assets that NGCP operates and maintains across the country, while it commits to provide technical assistance to NICA to support and strengthen its cyber-security capability.

The NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid, an interconnected system that transmits gigawatts of power in thousands of volts from generators to consumers.

On the other hand, NICA is the primary intelligence gathering and analysis arm of the government carrying out overt, covert, and clandestine intelligence activities. NICA directs, coordinates, and integrates all government activities involving national intelligence and serves as the focal point for the preparation of intelligence data of local and foreign situations which serve as inputs and guide to the day-to-day decision and policy-making functions of the President as well as other entities.

It was unclear whether Marcos or NICA were aware that China controls four of the ten NGCP board seats and represented by Zhu Guangchao, the Vice Chief Engineer and Director General of International Cooperation Department of the SGCC; Shan Shewu, Director General of the Philippine Office of SGCC and Board member of State Grid International Development; Liu Ming, the SGCC Chief Representative of China's Africa Office; and Liu Xinhua, an engineer with a master's degree and a topnotcher in the CPA Board Examination in China. (Sherrie Ann Torres / ABS-CBN News and Mindanao Examiner)

2 The Mindanao Examiner May 22-28, 2023
‘China continues to violate Taiwan’s air defence zone’
3 The Mindanao Examiner May 22-28, 2023

China: Growing and Going to Sea

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Continued from page 1 antiship cruise missiles. The PLAN returned to sea with expanded “far seas operations” highlighted by PLAN carrier operations outside the first island chain, along with support to the PLA’s Taiwan-focused combined arms firepower exercise and increased combined operations with Russia and others. All in all, the PLA demonstrated why it may be the most dominant naval force in the western Pacific and is able to execute all orders—including the increasing likelihood of an invasion of Taiwan.

Worrisome Growth

China commissioned ten warships and one submarine in 2022: one Type 075/Yushen-class amphibious assault (LHA) ship; three Type 055/ Renhai-class cruisers; four Type 052D/Luyang III–class guided-missile destroyers; one Type 054A/Jiangkai II–class frigate; and one Type 039C/Yuan-class air-independent propulsion submarine. Collectively, these displace more than 110,000 tons. The PLAN continues to commission the most annual tonnage globally, as it has done for at least the past five years. The outlook for PLAN production and commissioning in 2023 is on track to exceed that of 2022.

The highlight of PLAN shipbuilding in 2022 was the launch of China’s most technologically advanced aircraft carrier, the 80,000-ton Type 003 Fujian, the largest warship any Asian nation has ever built. Commissioning and sea trials should occur sometime this year.

Electromagnetic catapults will allow the Fujian to launch heavy aircraft such as fixed-wing airborne early warning platforms, which will give it a much greater combat capability than the ski-jump-equipped, 50,000ton Liaoning and Shandong.

The PLAN likewise has been productive with amphibious ships. In September 2022, the PLAN commissioned the third Type 075 LHA (in just 18 months), the 45,000-ton Anhui, which was launched in January 2021 and began sea trials in November 2021. Along with two 25,000-ton Type 071 amphibious transport docks (LPDs) commissioned in 2020, the PLAN’s commitment to developing a robust expeditionary strike group (ESG) capability should be apparent.

It was reported in August 2022 that China has resumed mass production of a class of ships thought discontinued, the Type 052D/Luyang III–class destroyers; five were imaged under construction at the Dalian Shipyard. Twenty-five are already in service. At least one more is being built at the Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai, a shipyard that Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro has noted is larger than all seven U.S. shipyards combined.

The PLAN continues to close the gap with the U.S. Navy submarine force. China has been building new construction halls at the Bohai Shipyard at Huludao, the PLAN’s only nuclear submarine production

facility. These new buildings are estimated to be large enough to allow construction of between four and five nuclear submarines at a time, including both ballistic-missile (SSBNs) and attack submarines (SSNs). In October, commercial images revealed new and larger pressure hulls, indicating construction of a new Type 095 (SSN) or 096 (SSBN), which are expected to be larger, quieter, and more capable than current PLAN submarines.

Activity in Huludao also observed in May 2022 revealed a submarine in dry-dock incorporating what is assessed to be a vertical launch system. The imagery did not clearly show if this is a refit of an existing SSN or the first of the new class, but either possibility signals a concerning capability.

In November, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel Paparo acknowledged that the PLAN has fielded the JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on its six operational Jin-class nuclear-powered SSBNs. Its predecessor, the JL-2, had a range of about 7,200 kilometers (4,464 miles), which would require PLAN SSBNs to operate east of Hawaii to reach the U.S. East Coast. With an estimated range of 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles), the JL-3 allows PLAN boomers to strike all of the continental United States from bastions in the South China Sea.

As Admiral Paparo noted, the JL-3 SLBM was “built to threaten the United States.”

Carrier and Missile OPs

The PLAN will remember 2022 as the year of its first “blue-water” aircraft carrier operations. Remarkably, in little more than a decade, the PLAN went from having no aircraft carriers to having three in the water, with two—the Liaoning and the Shandong—assessed as fully operational. The PLAN has formed its carrier strike groups (CSGs) along the lines of the U.S. Navy’s, with a Type 055 guided-missile cruiser acting as the antiair warfare commander; screening ships such as the Type 052C guided-missile destroyers and Type 054A frigates; and a Type 901/Fuyu-class supply ship.

The PLAN conducted several 2022 CSG operations outside the first island chain after conducting fixed-wing flight operations more than 330 nautical miles east of Okinawa in December 2021.

In the wake of former U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s 24-hour visit to Taiwan on 2 August 2022, the PLA conducted large air-missile-maritime exercises around Taiwan from 4 to 10 August. These tested new PLA joint force operations by employing coordinated use of missile, space, cyber, air, army, and naval forces designed to isolate Taiwan and minimize coastal resistance to invasion forces.

PLAN contributions to what some have described as a Taiwan invasion dress rehearsal included an average of 13 to

14 warships per day, including Type 055 cruisers, Type 052D destroyers, Type 054 frigates, Type 056A corvettes, and possibly one SSN.

Around Japan with Russia Around Japan with Russia

PLAN operations in and around Japan’s waters have increased, many in conjunction with the Russian Navy.

In April and December, PLAN warships transited the Osumi Strait, heading into the Philippine Sea. Despite China complaining when foreign warships transit the international waters of the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea, Japan’s Defense Ministry reported two PLAN warships entered Japan’s territorial waters off Kuchinoerabu Island south of Kyushu.

In December, while China’s three-ship 41st Naval Escort Task Force returned to the East China Sea via the Miyako Strait and two other PLAN warships passed eastward through the Osumi Strait into the Philippine Sea, three Russian Navy ships concurrently crossed the same waters in the East China Sea. The cruiser Lhasa and a PLAN destroyer also passed through three of Japan’s strategic straits—Tsushima, Soya, and Tsugaru—completely circumnavigating Japan, as a Chinese-Russian joint flotilla did in October 2021. Many of these operations occurred well inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, something else China complains about anytime foreign warships enter the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait.

In August, the PLA dispatched forces to join Russia’s Strategic Command Exercise Vostok 2022. Following this, a combined force of PLAN and Russian warships conducted additional joint patrols.

Near Hawaii during RimPac Near Hawaii RimPac

In July, for the fourth time, the PLAN dispatched an intelligence collection ship (AGI) to collect on the Rim of the Pacific exercise in the waters surrounding Hawaii. Given the plethora of new platforms and weapons being used by the 26 nations participating in the exercise, the PLAN once again reminded us of its dual-standard of condemning foreign military collection operations inside the First Island Chain while conducting their collection operations in U.S. and allied waters.

Ready for War for War

Now into the second year of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine, the world wonders if China might similarly invade Taiwan. During the March 2023 National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference—known as the “two sessions”—Chinese President Xi Jinping gave four speeches saying he is preparing for war. Given the PLAN’s production and activities in 2022, if Xi is asking Central Military Commission leaders if the PLA is prepared to invade Taiwan, the most probable answer will soon be yes. (Captain James E. Fanell, U.S. Navy (Retired), U.S. Naval Institute)

Bangsamoro Parliament opens regular session

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the Bangsamoro Parliament’s dedication and hard work in fulfilling its mandate of crafting laws that will shape the future of the Bangsamoro region by passing 35 measures since its establishment in 2019. The Parliament also adopted a total of 324 resolutions.

“These legislative measures cover a wide range of sectors and issues, all aimed at bringing about positive change and addressing the needs of the Bangsamoro people,” said Speaker Balindong.

He said the passage of the remaining priority codes and the legislative agenda of the Government of the Day are among the important issues that the Bangsamoro Parliament will address during the second regular session. To date, the Parliament has enacted four priority codes, such as the administrative, civil service, education, and electoral codes, he added.

“These accomplishments are just the beginning. The Bangsamoro Parliament remains committed to its task of passing more codes and legis-

lative measures that will further uplift the lives of our people. We recognize the need for comprehensive laws to address other sectors such as health, agriculture, social welfare, and others. Let us approach this second regular session with renewed determination, a spirit of collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of our people,” Speaker Balindong said.

The Government of the Day will also give priority to medical services, education, strategic infrastructure, and social services by building and upgrading hospitals, creating additional health infrastructure, providing comprehensive medical assistance, and building more schools, according to Speaker Balindong.

Meanwhile, in his report to the Bangsamoro, Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim highlighted the priority agenda for the new legislative calendar, including the enactment of the Bangsamoro Local Governance, Revenue, Indigenous Peoples’ Codes, and other important measures in the second regular session. He also asked

the Bangsamoro Parliament to enact the Local Governance Code and submit the Bangsamoro Revenue Code before the end of the year.

Other cabinet legislative agenda of the Government of the Day are: Bangsamoro Holidays Act, revolving fund, Bangsamoro Budget System, redistricting the parliamentary seats in the BARMM, creation of municipalities in the Special Geographic Area, Bangsamoro Investment Code, Labor Code, Bangsamoro Agri-Fisheries Training Institute, Bangsamoro seat of government, a law on the rights of the internally displaced persons, Magna Carta for persons with disability, Bangsamoro Gender and Development Code, Lake Lanao Development Authority, creation of the government-owned and controlled corporations, Bangsamoro Science High School, strengthening the Regional Madrasah Graduate Education Act of 2003, and Bangsamoro Code of Muslim Personal Laws. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

4 The Mindanao Examiner May 22-28, 2023

Blast victim gets help from non-profit organization

Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1 in Sultan Kudarat province in southern Philippines when she heard a sudden, massive explosion.

Chaos and confusion ensued. In a few minutes, she heard sirens blaring and people screaming for help. Shaken, Josie checked on her son, who was unscathed from the blast, but she was not as fortunate: doctors later said the explosion left extensive trauma on her left leg. It was badly fractured.

The 40-year-old laundrywoman went through a series of surgeries to restore the full use of her left leg. Despite the treatment, her leg was still badly fractured, and couldn’t heal properly. She walked with a limp. It was in the hospital that she met a volunteer of the Philippine Red Cross who gave her crutches. She will have to use them, she was told.

“I cried and screamed in fury. I felt rage; I threw them away. I refused to accept that I will have to rely on them to be able to walk. I asked myself endlessly why it had to happen to me,” Josie says.

Her struggle Her

Life stopped for Josie. She had to endure negative emotions daily –denial, anger, and depression. As the years passed, the changes in her life became unbearable. She felt powerless, as if she were a useless mother and a burden to her family.

Her emotional struggle was exacerbated by the ridicule she received from acquaintances and strangers whenever she leaves her home. “When I walk outside or attend Mass, everyone would look at me. People would say, ‘Here comes the cripple.’ It was painful,” she says. “I wanted to escape. I wanted to end my suffering. But in a fleeting moment, I thought of my family. What will happen to my children? My husband?”

Josie’s husband was her rock, her biggest supporter. Never for a moment did Josie feel that her husband’s affection for her diminish. She never feared that he would abandon her. “My husband comforted me. He gave me strength. He encouraged me. He said I was not alone. I should be grateful that I am still alive. I can do it. He assured me that he would not leave me because of my disability,” she says.

Thanks to her husband, Josie became steadfast in her

faith. She soldiered on despite the struggles. She kept going to church despite the gossip mongers. She prayed for a happy, productive life.

Renewed hope Renewed

In 2018, her prayers were answered. Josie accompanied her husband during a visit to a doctor when a provincial social worker approached her and asked: “Do you want to walk without crutches?” The social worker mentioned that there is a program at Davao Jubilee Foundation (DJF) which helps people who were victims of armed conflict.

The DJF program, sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), provides custom-fabricated mobility devices to people who have been affected by armed conflicts. The ICRC provides partial funding for DJF’s physical rehabilitation services as well as in-kind donations such as food and transportation for beneficiaries.

Josie was told that if she were to use an orthoprosthesis she would no longer have to use crutches. At first, she was sceptical but she kept thinking about DJF and the social worker. “I was tired of using crutches. I decided I should try. I called her, she asked me to visit her office, then we visited DJF’s office afterward,” she says.

Healthcare professionals at DJF noticed that her legs were not of the same length, which explained why she had a hard time walking.

When Josie was fitted with the orthoprosthesis, she sobbed uncontrollably. This was her chance to live a better life.

After learning how to walk with her mobility device, Josie’s life vastly improved. “It seemed my life was extended. I didn’t think that I could still walk again as I used to,” she says.

With the orthoprosthesis, Josie can walk more freely, move comfortably, and do household chores independently. She became more confident. Her better mobility encouraged her to open a small corner convenience store, a business that she started through the ICRC’s Micro Economic Initiatives’ project.

The program helps conflict-affected residents of Mindanao start or revive their own businesses

by providing productive grants. “With the sari-sari store, I am occupied. I can help my family. We even used the income from the store for the baptism of my youngest child and grandchild in February. We couldn’t have done it with just my husband’s salary,” Josie says.

There was no competition when she first opened her store. But after four months, three of her neighbors opened their own stores. She had to step up. “My strategy now is to encourage my customers to stay for small talk in my store. The longer they stay, the more food they buy and eat. It is good to catch up with them while they have a snack. And I earn more,” Josie says.

And Josie is not running out of ideas. Far from it. Her store is now offering WiFi service to customers for a fee. She is also planning to sell gasoline to neighbors. Josie is relentless because it’s her family that keeps her going. “I used to think I was useless, hopeless. I didn’t know what to do. Then I realized, that should not be that way. I should strive hard for my children. There are people who love me unconditionally,” she says.

She is grateful for the help that she received from DJF and ICRC. And now, she is ready to pay it forward—she has introduced two people to DJF, where they received much-needed physical rehabilitation.

“I saw them using crutches and I know how hard it was. I even went with one of them to DJF. I realized it is not enough that I am now able to walk. I should also do something to help others,” she adds.

No longer ashamed No ashamed

Her life has become better, but Josie has one dream left: to see her children graduate from school. “I have nothing to leave to them but their education. I encouraged my son, who is a consistent honor student, to keep up his good work. It is my dream to go up on stage for his graduation. Before, every time he received an award, I refused to go on stage because of my crutches. Now, I want to go on stage without it. I have found my confidence.

I am no longer ashamed,” says Josie. (ICRC, Mindanao Examiner)

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De Lima to remain in detention

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De Lima thanked God and her supporters and even released a statement shortly after her acquittal. “I was bestowed the wonderful Grace of a Court-decreed exoneration from one of the spurious drug cases filed against me,” she said. “I never wavered in my deep faith in our all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful and loving God. I also never wavered in my firm conviction on the power of truth and justice. God is truly great.”

De Lima said she had no doubt from the very beginning that she would be acquitted in all the cases the Duterte regime has fabricated against her based on the merits and the strength of her innocence.

“That's already two cases down, and one more to go. I am of course happy that with this second acquittal in the three

cases filed against me, my release from more than six years of persecution draws nearer. I am extremely grateful to all those who stood by and prayed for me all these years. Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng naniwala at sumama sa aking laban. Hindi ninyo ako iniwan. Hindi ninyo ako pinabayaan. Maraming salamat sa inyong paninindigan na balang araw ay makakamit ko ang katarungan, lalaya, at makakasama kayong muli,” De Lima said.

“Subalit nakakalungkot na sa tagal ng aking pagkakulong ay marami akong mga kaanak at kaibigan na hindi na makikitang muli. Ito marahil ang pinakamasakit na nangyari sa panggigipit sa akin. Gayunpaman, itinuring ko itong pagsubok sa tatag ng aking loob at lalim ng aking pananampalataya sa Panginoon. Sa huli, tayong lahat na lum-

aban para manaig ang katarungan ngayong araw na ito ang nagwagi, gaano man tayo sinubukang durugin at patahimikin ng mga lumapastangan sa ating bayan. Sa pagkamit ko ng hustisya sa araw na ito, malinaw sa akin na hindi rin ito ang katapusan. Tuloy ang aking laban,” she added.

In 2021, she was also acquitted on the first charge of conspiracy in which she was accused of extorting P30 million from inmate Peter Co in 2016. De Lima, also a former senator, was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading. She remains in detention at the police custodial center because of the pending case at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 256 in which she was accused of tolerating the widespread drug trade inside the NBP.

(Mindanao Examiner, Vera Files)

Solid waste management not followed

U.S. General Says Countering Hypersonic Weapons Is Imperative

Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1 and partners abroad will only continue to grow, said the commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

must be recognized as essential to contingency plans at home and for power projection abroad, VanHerck said, adding that it's vital that all military planning account for that. “In an area of incredible innovation and technological achievement, inflexible, outdated processes are a greater impediment to success than many of our competitors' advancements,” he said.

Agency are co-developing hypersonic ballistic tracking from space.

Later this year, hypersonic and ballistic-tracking, space-sensor satellites will demonstrate tracking and targeting to support hypersonic engagements. Those satellites will participate in flight tests and real-world threat collections throughout fiscal year 2024, he said.

Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, was a total failure in many parts of the country.

The MakakalikasanNature Party Philippinesciting a recent report from the Commission on Audit (COA) which claimed that the solid waste management goals had been missed - is a clear indication of the lack of political will and commitment to address the solid waste problem in the country.

The group said the root causes of the solid waste problem are the lack of awareness, education, and participation of the community, as well as the weak enforcement of the law.

“The failure of the implementation of R.A. 9003 is evident in the national and local levels,” it said.

In 2002, R.A. 9003 required every community to implement segregated collection and to encourage

recycling and composting, yet few of the 1,810 communities in the country have complied, according to the Makakalikasan - Nature Party Philippines. “The lack of community awareness and participation is a significant factor in the failure of the implementation of the law,” it said.

It said the COA report revealed that only 30% of the local governments have complied with the law's requirement to establish Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) which is essential in the segregation and proper disposal of solid waste.

The group called for stricter implementation of the most crucial aspects of the problem of solid waste management, saying, the national government must prioritize the establishment of MRFs in all local governments and ensure the communities are aware and educated about the importance of proper waste management.

“The lack of awareness, education, and participation of the community must be addressed through information campaigns and education programs. The weak enforcement of the law must also be addressed by imposing stricter penalties for non-compliance,” it said and urged the government to take immediate action to address the solid waste problem in the country.

In Zamboanga City, the local government also failed terribly in imposing the law. Many garbage collectors employed by the local government are themselves violators of the solid waste management law. They tear trash bags and get whatever they can sell - from plastics to metals - instead of performing their duties diligently, and this practice has been going on for many years now because the local government and village chieftains tolerate them.

(Mindanao Examiner)

Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck - who testified recently before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing regarding the fiscal year 2024 defense authorization request and the Future Years Defense Program – said Russia and China continued to aggressively pursue and field a number of advanced capabilities, including hypersonic weapons and delivery platforms designed to evade detection across multiple domains and strike targets anywhere on the globe, including North America, he said.

“Hypersonic weapons are extremely difficult to detect and counter given the weapons' speed and maneuverability, low flight paths and unpredictable trajectories," he said.

Hypersonic weapons challenge NORAD's ability to provide threat warning and attack assessments for Canada and the United States. I believe the greatest risk for the United States stems from our inability to change at the pace required by the changing strategic environment,” he said.

Homeland defense

Navy Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency, testified that countering hypersonic weapons is a challenge now and for the future. To meet the hypersonic defense challenge, the Defense Department has integrated tracking capabilities between existing space-, groundand sea-based radars, he said. "That capability is here today."

Today's sensor architecture and command and control can track hypersonic threats to support warnings and domain awareness. Aegis ships equipped with the sea-based terminal capability can now engage some hypersonic threats in the latter part of the missile's flight path, called the terminal phase.

“Due to the global maneuver capabilities of hypersonic missiles, a space-based tracking and targeting capability is in clear need,” Hill said, adding, the Space Force and the Missile Defense

The agency is working closely with the Navy to upgrade its sea-based terminal defenses to counter more advanced maneuvering and hypersonic threats. “Based on the threat evolution, we will deliver the next SBT incremental upgrade in 2025. Aegis SBT is the only active defense available today to counter hypersonic missile threats,” Hill said.

In order to expand the battle space against hypersonic threats, the agency has initiated the Aegis Glide Phase Interceptor program. That program uses proven Aegis weapon system engage-on-remote network sensors to provide the depth of fire needed for terminal defenses, he added.

John F. Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, and Army Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commander of the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, also testified. (David Vergun)

6 The Mindanao Examiner May 22-28, 2023

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Organic Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee isn’t really pricey

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 connoisseur thinks.

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 lover 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 backyard 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 want 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 0915-3976197. (AJC)


How to Talk to Anyone

HERE ARE some insights on a good book entitled “How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships” by Leil Lowdes that gives us a number of tips in managing that chat with someone whom we’ve just met and keep that conversation interesting and engaging.

According to the author one, way to reduce conversation anxiety is to view a conversation like a friendly game of pingpong – serve up a comment or a question your conversation partner can hit, and then keep the rally going. And so, the next time you have a conversation with a new guy or gal, remember the acronym W.I.T for We, It and They.

Option 1: Start with the “We” or “Us” comment - If you’re waiting for a keynote speaker at a conference, you could turn to the person next to you and say, “I hear she’s a great speaker, we are in for a treat.” If you’re at a workshop, turn to the person seated next to you and say, “I wonder what they’ll have us do?” Author Leil Lowndes says, “When you prematurely say we or us, even to strangers, it subconsciously brings them closer. It subliminally hints that you are already friends.” Since a “we” or “us” comment makes the person you have just met feel like you are already friends and they will casually respond to your comment and get a conversation started. The “we” or “us” word will likewise make the other party feel he or she is not isolated and lonely since someone is new in that place too and having the same experience.

Option 2: Start with an “It” question. “It” being the big news of the day - Find an “it” before attending a social gathering by quickly browsing the latest news on your phone and finding a compelling story the people at a party, meeting, or conference will enjoy talking about. If you’re going to a party where there will be many basketball enthusiasts, browse nba. com or for the latest news on game results and other updates.

If you’re about to attend a party where people are likely to talk politics, catch up with

what the latest policy the government is implementing. With an “IT” in mind, you can then initiate conversations by saying, “Have you heard about…?” or “What do you think of…?” After asking either question, the person you’re asking will either be eager to give their opinion or not be informed and want to know more.

Option 3: Start with a “They told me…” “they” being the host of the party or someone you and the new fellow know. “They told me…” might be, “Bob told me you’re into art.” Or “Janice told me you’re a huge Ginebra fan.” Before attending a social gathering, ask your friends about the people attending the event. Remember the acronym H.I.P. (hobbies, interest, and profession): Who has interesting hobbies? Who has similar interests with you? Who has an interesting profession? When you deliver a “He or she told me…” you imply to the person you have a common friend that signals ease in getting familiar with you and increases the willingness to talk. And an alternative to option 3 if you can’t get anyone to give you a background of the person whom you are going to strike a conversation with, is to start with the question, “What are you busy with right now?” which is a better question to “What do you do?” because they might not like their profession but instead want to talk about their hobby.

And a final tip to make the other party talk more is to parrot back words they’ve said. For example, after asking someone how they have spent most of their time at a conference, they might say, “I went to a halfday workshop. It was great!” At which point you could say, “Halfday workshop?” or “I’ve heard good things about that workshop.” Or you could simply parrot back the last word and say, “What made it great?” People are eager to talk about themselves and a good conversationalist is someone who gives them the floor and let them say their piece but not just doing it as a conversation technique but really has interest in them as a person and in the story that they talk about themselves. (ECC)

The Mindanao Examiner 7 May 22-28, 2023

Pictures in the News

8 The Mindanao Examiner May 22-28, 2023
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The Mindanao Examiner 9
May 22-28, 2023
Valentine symbol 6. ___ guilty 9. Corn piece 12. Senior 13. Time period 14. Ike’s inits. 15. Wed secretly 16. Soldier 18. Coat part 20. Beige 21. Manors 24. Many times 25. Grand 26. Ranch animal 28. Most feeble 30. Gets up 34. Penny pincher 36. Lady’s escort 37. Hebrew feast 40. By this time 42. Make arrangements 43. Laundry appliance 44. Made of clay 46. Name tag 50. Had brunch 51. Cold cubes 52. “___ of Two Cities” (2 wds.) 53. Apple color 54. Pea holder 55. Baker’s need
: 1. Laughing sound 2. House addition 3. Bustle 4. Substitute 5. Act toward 6. Most modern
Kind of exam 8. Asphalt 9. Proclamation 10. Love to pieces 11. Show again 17. Use the kitchen cooler 19. Irritating ones 21. Slippery fish 22. Health farm 23. Actor ___ Robbins 24. “___ the ramparts...” 27. Ahead of time 29. Knight’s title 31. Caribbean ___ 32. Conclusion 33. Pig’s pad 35. Merited 37. Pointed weapon 38. Please greatly 39. Risked
Pass along
Art ___ ( ‘20s movement)
With it
Sheep’s sound
City railways
10 The Mindanao Examiner May 22-28, 2023
The Mindanao Examiner 11 May 22-28, 2023

DOH deploys volunteers to help in vax drive

Marcos renews Malampaya contract

CEBU - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed the Service Contract (SC) 38 renewal agreement with members of the consortium - Shell Philippines Exploration BV (45%), Chevron Malampaya LLC (45%), and Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) (10%) - for the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-toPower Project, adding, his administration is committed to ensuring energy security in the country.

the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) recognized it as part of the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

China’s so-called “nine-dash line,” a set of line segments on various maps that accompanied its claims in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, includes the Malampaya natural gas fields.

way to handle the problem other than that,” he said.

The project The

CEBU CITY – The Department of Health

(DOH) in Central Visayas deployed EBU CITY – The of Health in Central about a hundred volunteers to drum up the national government’s free sup- about a hundred volunteers to drum up the national government’s free supplemental immunization program targeting 700,000 children in the region immunization program targeting 700,000 children in the region.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH regional director, said the effort to catch up with the target number of children to be vaccinated is ongoing, with local health workers working hard to visit children in their houses if they cannot go to the rural health units for their measles, ru-

bella and polio vaccines.

He urged local government officials to support the national campaign dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas” which aimed to immunize children aged 5 years old and below to prevent outbreaks of diseases in the future.

Dr. Joan Antonette Albito,

DOH regional family health section head, said the region Central Visayas so far has accomplished 41%r of the target number of children to be vaccinated. Albito observed a slower accomplishment among local governments, citing weather conditions that made nursing mothers afraid to bring their children to the barangay health centers for their jabs. “Not all barangays have started the vaccination campaign promptly when the program started in the last two weeks because they have other programs to attend to,” she explained.

She said barangay health workers are also trying hard to reach the far-flung areas for house-to-house immunization of children, especially those who are living in the mountain areas. “We need to vaccinate 37,000 children per day in the entire Central Visayas for the next 10 working days to reach the 95 percent goal. That is computed based on the remaining unvaccinated eligible children as of May 15,” Albito said.

With the augmentation of volunteers from the central office and the DOH’s Center for Health Development in Central Visayas, Albito said they are hopeful that they can catch up with the 90% target within the next two weeks.

(John Rey Saavedra)

“As we renew Service Contract (SC) 38, we optimistically look forward to the continued production and utilization of the remaining reserves of the Malampaya gas field, as well as further exploration and development of its untapped potential,” he said.

Marcos said his administration is committed to actively pursue the exploration, development, and utilization of the country’s indigenous energy resources.

The Malampaya project, according to Marcos, will reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports and ensure a more stable supply of cleaner energy from an indigenous source.

He also called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to oversee the implementation of the project and to strictly monitor and make sure the consortium’s goals are aligned with the country’s national interests.

Marcos said the government will continue to generate revenues from the project through a favorable sharing scheme. At the same time, the President expressed gratitude to the administration’s partners in the private sector for keeping faith in the government’s resolve.

“Through our strategic partnerships, we will remain on course towards the attainment of our goals of total electrification of our country, and of energy adequacy, reliability, and affordability, all for the betterment of the lives of the ordinary Filipinos,” he said.

Just recently, Marcos said the Malampaya natural gas fields, just 50 kilometers offshore Northwest Palawan, belongs to the Philippines and not China. He said this after Beijing has claimed particular areas where the Malampaya fields are located and even

“The nine dash line covers just about the entire West Philippine Sea. We, on the other hand, have established our baselines which have been recognized and accredited by UNCLOS and therefore there is that conflict and so what happens now especially when it comes to exploration in — for energy — for our energy needs are which law will apply because we say this is part of Philippine territory and therefore Philippine law should apply,” Marcos said.

He said the only way to resolve the issues is to come to a consensus. “It is not an easy process but the Malampaya fields, natural gas fields that lie in our, within our baselines and within our exclusive economic zone and that again is being questioned in certain cases, in certain areas by China and we continue to negotiate with them. We continue to find a way — the essential problem, the essential roadblock to that whole process has been very simple,” Marcos said.

However, the President pointed out that both parties are “slowly inching towards a resolution” regarding their claims on the Malampaya fields.

“It may have to come down to a compromise that will just limit that application, the application of laws maybe to the vessels that are involved in this exploration and exploitation of whatever natural gas fields we can access,” Marcos said, noting that it is just one of the suggestions both parties are looking into to resolve the issue.

“There is no silver bullet where you say, we’ll do this and it’s done. As I said, we are inching slowly towards the resolution and that’s why we must be constant, we must be transparent and we must be accountable for all that we do. And I cannot see any other

The Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power began its commercial operations in January 2002 and has contributed over $12 billion in revenues to the Philippine government while powering up to 20% of Luzon’s electricity requirement. It is one of the largest and most significant industrial endeavors in Philippine history and a joint undertaking of the national government and the private sector.

The project is spearheaded by the Department of Energy, and developed and operated by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. on behalf of joint venture partners Udenna Corporation and the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation.

Since it began operations, the Malampaya project has produced cleaner-burning natural gas which supplies four power plants in Luzon, the country’s largest island, with a combined capacity of 3,200 megawatts. Malampaya is benefiting the country in countless ways, including reducing oil imports, ensuring a more stable supply of cleaner energy from an indigenous resource and meeting up to 20% of the country’s energy requirements.

In 2013, the company embarked on Malampaya Phases 2 and 3, which aimed to maintain the level of gas production to fulfill commitments under existing gas sales agreements, thus ensuring the steady supply of natural gas to power the Luzon electricity grid.

Two additional production wells were successfully installed in 2013 to signify the completion of Malampaya Phase 2. In 2015, Malampaya Phase 3, which involved the design, fabrication and installation of a new Depletion Compression Platform was completed. This is the first offshore platform to be fully built in the Philippines, thus enhancing local employment opportunities and bringing technical expertise into the country. (Cebu Examiner)

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A DOH photo shows a woman holding her child as health workers administer a vaccine.

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