Zamboanga City, Philippines
Oct. 22-28, 2012
TRIBES DEMAND HALT TO MINING IN ZAMBOANGA
ZAMBOANGA CITY – A group of Subanen tribal leaders have called on the Aquino government to temporarily halt all mining operations in Zamboanga del Sur province in the southern Philippines until Manila acts on their legal claims over a vast tract of ancestral lands.
The Subanen leaders are claiming some 23,800 hectares of lands in the town of Bayog where several mining companies and small scale miners are operating. It also sought the assistance of Amnesty International to bring their cause to the authorities. The group held a news conference simultaneously in Pagadian, Davao and also in Zamboanga City where tribal leader Timuay Basilio Promon represented the 3,000-strong Council of Pigsalabukan Guhom de Bayog. ANCESTRAL DOMAIN “Our present ancestral domain claim in Bayog is just a fragment of our original homeland which has been slowly grabbed from us. Six years after we applied for a title of our ancestral domain (with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples), our application has never reach to the first stage because of various conflicts among us leaders that were instigated by groups who wanted to control us and our domain like mining companies protected by their fullyarmed guards.” “Until such time that we have full control of our ancestral domain, our commu-
nities will be condemned to perpetual conflict and unpeace and there will be more Jordans to become innocent victims of human rights violations,” Council of Pigsalabukan Guhom de Bayog said in a statement, referring to the 12-year old son of Timuay Locenio Manda, who was killed in an ambush in Bayog town last month. AMBUSH Manda was heading to school to bring his son when gunmen attacked them. Two of the 5 attackers, were arrested days later. “In my effort to assert our rights and to protect our people and ancestral domain, my beloved son was sacrificed. It is very painful and I thirst for justice,” he said. “I vow to continue my struggle in order not to make my son's death in vain. I need your support in this most trying time of my life as a father and a leader.” Promon said authorities have not release any details of the investigation into the boy’s killing and the attempt on the life of Manda. “We are victims here, the Subanen people. We were at peace, but the entry of mining companies in the province has divided the Subanen now.
Illegal mining activities in Balabag, Bayog town in Zamboanga del Sur Province. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
All we want is to exercise our rights and live in peace,” he said during a guest appearance over the Mindanao Examiner Tele-Radyo. APPEAL He also appealed to President Benigno Aquino to look into their plight. “We are appealing to President Aquino to help us.” He said at least 38 miners had been killed over the past years – either by hired
Amnesty International-Philippines Board Member Francis Marcial poses with Subanen tribal leader Timuay Basilio Promon and his son during a courtesy call on the Mindanao Examiner Newspaper and Television in Zamboanga City.
guns or mining-related incidents which were mostly unreported in the media. Promon group said: “The PGB is appealing to all those who wanted to mine in our ancestral domain – individual, groups and corporations – to temporarily stop operating and withdraw your armed groups to give peace a chance in our community, to lessen the fear of our women and children because of your intimidating firearms, and so that conflict between tribal leaders inside our community will be resolved.” “(Our) appeal does not necessarily mean that we oppose mining activities but we are asking some time so that we can process the titling of our ancestral domain until we are given the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title, (and) our Indigenous Political Structure is confirmed, and our Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan is crafted.” The Amnesty International appealed to the government to give attention to the plight of indigenous peoples. “The indigenous peoples are the most neglected by the government. We, in the Amnesty International, want the government to ensure that the rights of all, especially the indigenous peoples, whose rights are often violated,” Francis Marcial, of the Amnesty International Philip-
pines, said during the same interview. SETTING RECORD STRAIGHT In a separate statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner, Manda said he is against all illegal activities, including mining. “I believe that mining is illegal if it did not follow the process set by our laws. Our laws on mining and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act clearly state that our consent as indigenous peoples is required in all projects that will affect us and our ancestral domains. So this means that all those who entered our ancestral territories without our consent are all illegal, even if they have sacks of papers to show that they are legal.” “I strongly oppose the entry of people and companies who want to exploit the natural resources in our ancestral territories who do not respect our traditional laws and processes. If because of this assertion I am viewed as an antimining leader, so be it. But I want to make it clear that the issue I am struggling for is not about mining, but our rights as Indigenous Peoples,” Manda said. He appealed to the NCIP to help their community in resolving the conflict among tribal leaders to prevent further chaos, and to fast track the issuance of the title of
their ancestral domain. Even to fellow Subanen natives, Manda said: “I also appeal to you, my fellow Subanen who worked in mining companies, to respect the processes within our community and help explain to company owners and foreign investors on how to secure consent based on our culture and traditions. I also appeal to you to help resolve the conflict between the tribal leaders instead of taking only the side of the leaders who favour your intentions. Favoring them, especially if they are the minority only fuels additional conflict in our community.” PROBE The House of Representatives said it would investigate Manda’s ambush, but the tribal leader also wanted a probe on mining and issues affecting them. “I was informed that the Congress and the Senate have planned to conduct investigations about the ambush. I am happy about such moves, and I am asking that not only the mining issue shall be investigated, but other issues as well that happen inside our ancestral domain. We are the ones whose rights are violated, and whose lands are exploited, thus, we believe that we shall be the ones to be given importance in whatever investigations that will be conducted,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)
The Mindanao Examiner
Oct. 22-28, 2012
Philippines, MILF rebels sign peace pact
President Benigno Aquino III with Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu during the signing of the Framework Agreement in Manila on Monday, October 15, 2012. Also in the photo are Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Murad Ebrahim, Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles, Philippine peace negotiator Marvic Leonen and his MILF counterpart Mohagher Iqbal. (Photo by Benhur Arcayan)
MANILA – Nations around the world are closely watching the Philippine peace talks with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, following the signing of a pact that would create the Bangsamoro autonomous region in Mindanao. The two sides signed thousands of civilians in a historic pact just recently Mindanao. and the deal is seen as a Organization of huge step towards ending Islamic Cooperation decades of bloody fighting S e c r e t a r y - G e n e r a l that had killed tens of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and
Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak witnessed the signing of the peace pact with President Benigno Aquino in the Presidential Palace. MILF deputy and chief of the peace panel, Mohagher Iqbal, and his Philippine counterpart Marvic Leonen signed
the Framework which Agreement outlines the general features of the political settlement between the two sides. Manila said the pact defines the structure and powers of the new B a n g s a m o r o autonomous entity that will replace the existing Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao composed of Basilan, Sulu, TawiTawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao provinces, including the cities of Lamitan and Marawi. It said the Framework Agreement also sets the principles, processes and mechanisms for the
transition until the regular election in 2016 for the new B a n g s a m o r o autonomous political entity. And it paves the way forward to the just resolution of the historical divide between the Filipino government and the Muslims. (Mindanao Examiner)
MILF dedma lamang sa banta ni Nur Misuari
C O TA B ATO C I T Y – Binalewala lamang ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front ang banta ni Nur Misuai, lider ng isang paskyon ng Moro National Liberation Front, sa banta nitong posibleng magkaroon ng kaguluhan sa Mindanao dahil sa pagbuo ng Bangsamoro. Ang Bangsamoro ang siyang magiging kapalit ng Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at ilang
lugar pa sa Lanao del Norte at North Cotabato ang mapapabilang dito kung tuluyang magkakaroon ng peace accord sa pagitan ng pamahalaang Aquino at MILF. “Maingay lang itong si Misuari dahil ang aming ipinaglalaban ay ang tunay na karapatan ng mga Muslim sa bansa, at hindi lamang ang isang tribo tulad ng Tausug na siyang
grupo nitong si Nur kundi ang buong Bangsamoro people,” ani Commander Black Jack, ng MILF sa pahayag nito sa Mindanao Examiner. Hindi naman agad makunan ng pahayag si MILF chieftain Murad Ebrahim ukol sa aksyon na gagawin ng MILF sakaling magkaroon ng kagukluhan sa Mindanao. Matagal ng tutol si Misuari sa peace talks ng pamahalaan sa M I L F, n a n g a y o n a y siyang pinakamalaking grupo ng mga rebeldeng Muslim sa bansa. Ilang beses na rin binatikos ni Misuari ang naturang peace talks at katunayan ay nakipagalyansa pa ito sa breakaway group ni Ameril Umra Kato na tumiwalag sa MILF dahil sa naudlot na Muslim homeland deal sa pamahalaan. Ngunit binatikos rin ng mga rebeldeng MILF si Misuari at sinabing bigo ito sa kanyang panunungkulan noon sa ARMM bilang gobernador dahil nalunod umano ito sa kapangyarihan. Ilang rin umano itong tumakbo sa Sulu province bilang gobernador, ngunit lagi naman kulelat. Naghain na naman si Misuari ng kanyang kandidatura bilang gobernador sa ARMM sa darating na halalan. (Mindanao Examiner)
Si Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari ng makipagkita ito kay Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement chairman Sheik Ameril Umra Kato sa Camp Al-Farouk sa Maguindanao province nuong November 2011. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)
The Mindanao Examiner
Oct. 22-28, 2012
Ailing OFW in Saudi Arabia needs help
Mundo ng mga musmos sa Zamboanga ZAMBOANGA CITY Ganito ang mga batang ito sa tuwing sasapit ang takipsilim sa lungsod ng Zamboanga sa Mindanao at halos hindi alintana ang sakit na makukuha ng kanilang munting katawan mula sa maruming basurahan. “Ganito po ang ginagawa namin gabi-gabi. Naghahanap po kami ng mga plastic o anumang maaaring ibenta. Tumutulong po kami
sa aming mga magulang at mahirap lang po kami,” ani ng isang bata. Kasama nito ang iba pang mga musmos na tila walang paki-alam sa mundong ginagalawan habang nagkakalkal sa basurahan. “Hindi na kami nagaaral dahil wala naman kaming pera, mahirap lang kami,” wika pa ng isa. Kasama ng mga bata sa basurahan ang mga
naglipanang hayup - daga, kuting at aso - na mistulang mga musmos sa kalye na naghahanap rin ng kanilang pagkain sa bawa’t gabing dumaraan. “Kawawa naman yun pusang maliit at nakapikit pa yun mata niya, pero iniwan na siya dito sa tambakan,” sabi pa ng isang batang babae, ngunit hindi naman nito makita ang sariling kalagayan at ng kapwa bata
sa bawa’t oras at gabi na kanilang ginugugol sa pagkakalkal sa basurahan. Hindi naman mabatid agad kung bakit pinapayagan ng kanilang mga magulang ang ganitong gawain at ang banta sa kalusugan at buhay ng mga musmos sa lansangan ng Zamboanga, ngunit ilan lamang ang mga tanawing ito sa malaking lungsod. (Mindanao Examiner)
PAGADIAN CITY - President Benigno Aquino III should sign into law a bill criminalizing enforced disappearances in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said. The Philippine Congress passed the bill - the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 - on October 16, and sent it to the president for signature. The law, if enacted, would be the first to criminalize enforced disappearances in Asia, Human Rights Watch said. It would demonstrate the Philippine government’s commitment to address human rights abuses such as the abduction and killing by the security forces of activists, environmentalists, and journalists. “Enforced disappearances, often involving torture and extrajudicial killings, have been a blot on the Philippines’ human rights record since the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. He said: “To this day, activists are still being abducted by the authorities and ‘disappeared.’ This law would be an important step towards ending these abuses.” The Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 reflects recommendations long made by domestic human rights organizations. It defines an enforced or involuntary disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty committed by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which places such person outside the protection of the law.” This definition is derived from international human rights stan-
dards. The act penalizes violators with a life sentence or decades in prison. It also prohibits amnesty for violators and declares that the government cannot suspend the law even in times of war or public emergency. It states that the commanding or superior officer of the unit or personnel implicated in an enforced disappearance case is just as liable as the person who physically carries out the crime. Crucially, the act also makes the “order of battle” – a document prepared by the military identifying alleged threats and enemies – illegal, stating that “it cannot be invoked as a justifying or exempting circumstance.” Under the act, any person who receives an “order of battle” from their superiors “shall have the right to disobey it.” Many victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings have been listed or said to have been listed in such “orders of battle.”The Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 also deems unlawful secret detention facilities and directs the government to make a full inventory of all detention facilities in
the Philippines. It orders the government to create a registry of every detainee, complete with all relevant details including who visited the detainee and how long the visit lasted. The act also mandates and authorizes the governmental Commission on Human Rights “to conduct regular, independent, unannounced and unrestricted visits to or inspection of all places of detention and confinement.” It allocates 10 million pesos (approximately US$250,000) to the commission, which will be tasked with the initial implementation of the law. Human rights organizations are likewise encouraged to draft the implementing rules and regulations along with the Department of Justice. Enforced disappearances were rampant during the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos, when the military and police routinely rounded up activists and suspected communist supporters and rebels. The practice did not end with Marcos’s ouster in 1986. Many enforced disappearances occurred during the administration of President Gloria Arroyo. At least
11 activists have “disappeared” since Aquino took office in 2010, according to local rights groups, though there are no allegations that the Aquino administration has direct responsibility. Human Rights Watch detailed some of these cases in its 2010 report, “No Justice Just Adds to the Pain,” and in a video released earlier this year in which family members of the disappeared call on the president to live up to his promises of justice. Human Rights Watch urged Aquino to sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and transmit it to the Senate for prompt ratification. In Asia, only Japan has signed and ratified the Convention, placing Asia behind other regions of the world. “Congress has done a great job in taking the initiative to pass a law on enforced disappearances,” Adams said. “President Aquino can show his administration’s commitment to ending this black chapter of Philippine history. He can also assume a role as a regional leader on human rights.”
Human rights group urges PNoy should sign landmark Disappearances Law
Photos released by OFW Join Force-Migrante and Migrante-Middle East to the Mindanao Examiner show the ailing Armando Gozum outside a mosque in Al-Khobar in Saudi Arabia.
MANILA – A Filipino worker, who ran away from his employer in Saudi Arabia due to unfair labor practice, is now suffering from renal disease and needs an immediate medical attention, the OFW Join ForceMigrante reported. It said the ailing Filipino, Armando Gozum, 37, had jumped from one to another to be able to survive since fleeing from his employer in 2007 until he became sick, according to OFW Join Force-Migrante chairman Sonny Rivera and Jules Ragas. Rivera, in a report to Migrante-Middle East, said Gozum, who is a native of Tarlac province, has been sleeping outside a mosque in Al-Khobar. His plight was reported by fellow Filipino workers to the Migrante.
John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of the MigranteMiddle East, said Rivera’s group dispatched a team in Al-Khobar and located the sick Filipino sleeping on a bench outside the mosque. “The OJF-Migrante quick reaction team found OFW Gozum sleeping on a bench alongside a mosque in Al-Khobar. Gozum informed our colleague that he is suffering from kidney failure,” Monterona said. Gozum also told Migrante that he sought assistance from Philippine Ambassador Ezzadin Tago, but got no help. “For sure, Ambassador Tago has his own version of the story. But we are inclined to believe stories of our fellow OFWs on their deplorable conditions rather than the lies of Philippine Embassy and labor officials who are trying to cover up their own ineptitude and would not even mind lifting a hand to help the distressed and abused OFWs,” Monterona said. Monterona urged the Philippines to look into the plight of Gozum and fix his papers so he can return home to his family. “On our part, we will ask Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Carmelita Dimzon to provide airfare ticket for OFW Gozum while awaiting his travel documents and issuance of exit clearance. We will work for his medication and repatriation,” Monterona said.
The Mindanao Examiner Oct. 22-28, 2012 4 Media hail SC order stopping implementation of controversial cyber crime law
Members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in Davao City march along Davao City’s main routes downtown to express their opposition to the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Gagged but marching with clenched fists, the media union members vowed to fearlessly deliver news to the people. (Photo by Medel Hernani courtesy of davaotoday.com)
DAVAO CITY – The Philippines Supreme Court has stopped the implementation of the controversial “Cybercrime Law” following several petitions by media groups and human rights organizations for a temporary restraining order. “Efforts to stop the implementation of Republic Act 101075, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, gave fruit as the Supreme Court finally decided to favor several petitions for a temporary restraining order on the said law,” said Jerry
Yap, national chairman of the group called Alab ng Mamamahayag, a party-list aspirant. PETITIONS He said the petitions were filed before the Supreme Court along with protest actions by various groups denouncing the inclusion of libel and other provision in the law which according to most are unconstitutional and infringes in the freedom of the press and of expression among other inalienable rights. Yap expressed relief for the reprieve, saying that this
The Mindanao Examiner Media, Film and Television Productions Maritess Fernandez Publisher/Executive Producer (On Leave) Al Jacinto Editor-in-Chief/Producer (OIC) Gregorri Leaño Joanna Valerie Wee Video Editor Mindanao Examiner Productions Web Master REGIONAL PARTNERS Mindanao Daily Business Week NEWS/ADVERTISING OFFICES Mark Navales ARMM
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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Asa Madale Lanao Provinces Ely Dumaboc Zamboanga Sibugay/Zamboanga del Sur/Zamboanga del Norte John Shinn III California The Mindanao Examiner Newspaper/Business Week/Mindanao Daily is published weekly/daily in Zamboanga City and Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, Philippines. The Mindanao Examiner Television is broadcast in Skycable 54 in Zamboanga; Lupah Sug Cable in Sulu province and Basilan Cable in Basilan province. Our business and editorial offices are located at Units 15, 3rd Floor, Fair Land Bldg., Nuñez St., Zamboanga City Phone & fax: +63 62 9925480 Mobile: +63 9152756606 URL: mindanaoexaminer.com E-mail: email@example.com
could pave the way for much needed amendments in the law. He said the inclusion of libel in the Cybercrime Law should be declared null and void because based on the list of crimes punishable under Republic Act 101075; the nature of libel is outside the nature of the enumerated subject crimes under the law. “One big disparity between libel and cybercrimes is that the former is committed by means of publication or making it known to the public while the latter is perpetrated by acts that are in nature hidden. Acts constituting any of the cybercrimes are done secretly as in stealing password, computer hacking or gaining access into computer systems or data, stealing PIN codes of computer data, banks accounts and other records for profit. “ “On the other hand, libel cannot be committed secretly since it has to be made publicly and one element of such a crime is that it has to be publicized through print or broadcast media,” Yap said. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, also praised the Supreme Court for halting the implementation of the Cybercrime Law. “We commend the Philippines Supreme Court for issuing a temporary restraining order against the Cybercrime Prevention Act. The court should now go further by striking down this seriously flawed law,” he said in a separate statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. “Congress, if it still wants to have a law governing online activity, should ensure that such a law will not infringe on civil liberties, human rights, the Constitution and the Philippines’s obligations under international law. All provisions in Philippine law that allow for
imprisonment for peaceful expression should be repealed. Congress should also ensure that any discussion on proposed laws be done in a transparent manner,” Adams said. MEDIA PROTEST CONTINUE Members of the media watchdog National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in Davao City also staged a rally to dramatize their protest against the Cybercrime Law.
“Once again, the powers that be are gagging our fundamental freedoms of speech, expression and the press this time with the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Even with the protests and petitions to the Supreme Court from netizens, journalists and civil society against this Act, the Aquino administration insists that this Act will pursue online criminal acts and not attack our freedom,” the NUJP said in a statement. It said the law essentially would tend to give liberty for the powerful to tag the freedom of citizens speaking out their opinions and views online as a criminal act. “It basically says that people who post online criticisms on public officials or on institutions and anyone who agree on such comments will face the consequences. The consequences in this case are a libel suit, a jail term, and having one’s website or online accounts pulled down by authorities,” it said. NUJP said with the Cybercrime Act, those in power can silence their critics by slapping them with online libel. Just like politicians using libel against journalists, they can and will use this Act to attack citizens. “This only reflects an administration that does not tolerate dissent. It also enforces the reality that repression, which is happening with the deprivation of our right to social services, housing and education, is happening to us online. It shows that Aquino is now the bully as he defies his boss, the people.” “Thus, the right to ex-
press our criticisms becomes vital more than ever. Media, traditional and new ones, serve as the outline of the peoples’ assertion of their rights. As the Supreme Court sits en banc today, we demand that our petitions are heard; we assert that no law should be made to stifle such freedom. As we see an iron-fist rule coming, we face this by coming out on the streets, on media and online with the urgent call to defy it,” it said. OFWs, RIGHTS GROUPS JOIN FIGHT The Filipino migrants’ rights group, MigranteMiddle East, which is actively involved in prot esting the implementation of the controversial law to protect overseas Filipino workers from the harsh provision of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, also lauded the High C o u r t ’s d e c i s i o n , b u t vowed to continue for the repeal of the Republic Act 101075. “We congratulate all overseas Filipino work ers online and onsite, who have joined our fight versus the Cybercrime Law, as the Supreme Court today issued a Temporary Restraining Order halting the imple mentation of the law for the time being. But we vow to continue our fight until the Cybercrime Law is declared uncon stitutional,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante’s r e g i o n a l c o o r d i n a t o r. (Mindanao Examiner)
Oct. 22-28, 2012
The Mindanao Examiner
The Mindanao Examiner
Oct. 22-28, 2012
The Mindanao Examiner
Oct. 22-28, 2012
Zamboanga court disqualifies mayoralty aspirant convicted of rape ZAMBOANGA CITY – A local court has disqualified a former lawmaker, who was convicted of statutory rape, in running in Zamboanga City in the May 2013 elections. M u n i c i p a l Tr i a l Court Judge Nancy Cuaresma, in a 16page resolution, said Romeo Jalosjos, Sr., who is running for the mayoralty post in Zamboanga City cannot exercise the right of suffrage or the right to vote because he is disqualified. “Jalosjos is not qualified to and cannot vote or be voted upon in any national or local elections until his perpetual absolute disqualification s are expressly remitted
and restored by pardon,” the judge said. The aging political kingpin, who was convicted in 1997 for raping an 11-year old girl, was able to register with the Commission on Elections in Zamboanga City, but this was opposed by Congresswoman Maria Isabelle Salazar on the grounds that the former politician is disqualified to register as a new voter here because of his conviction. Jalosjos, who was convicted with two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness, insisted his right to s u ff r a g e , a d d i n g h e had served his sentence. But Salazar said
Jalosjos who was sentenced to suffer “reclusion perpetua” and “reclusion temporal” for each count of his crimes, is not qualified to run. The penalty for reclusion perpetua shall be from 20 years, while reclusion temporal is from 12 years. And Salazar said Jalosjos was granted a mere commutation of sentence by then President Gloria Arroyo in 2007 which resulted in the reduction of his original sentence. Official records with the Bureau of Corrections also show that Jalosjos was discharged from the National Bilibid Prison only on March 18, 2009, less than the 5-year period prescribed under the
The municipality of Sindangan in Zamboanga del Norte province. Sindangan was created on December 22, 1936 by virtue of Executive Order 97 signed by then President Manuel L. Quezon. Formerly an isolated barrio of the municipality of Katipunan, Sindangan is now among the top revenue generating municipalities of the province of Zamboanga Del Norte, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
Hustisya sa pinatay na mga natibo sa South Cotabato DAVAO CITY – Hustisya ang hiling ngayon ng mga natibo sa Midnanao matapos na mapatay ng mga sundalo ang isang pamilyang B’laan sa South Cotabato. Napatay diumano ng militar ang isang ina at dalawang anak nito matapos na lusubin ng mga sundalo ang bahay ng mga biktima sa bayan ng Tampakan sa South Cotabato. Ayon sa ulat na ipinasa ng Alyansa Tigil Mina sa Abante ay kinilala nito ang mga biktima na si Juvy Capion, 27, at anak na Pop Capion, 13, at John Capion, 8. Sugatan at nasa kritikal na kondisyon naman ang kanilang ama na si Daquil Capion. Pawang mga miyembro ng B’laan tribe ang mag-anak at matagal ng tumutuligsa sa mining operations sa kanilang ancestral domain sa Bong Mal.
Ibinintang ng ATM sa 27th Infantry Battalion na pinamumunuan ni Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo, ang naturang pamamaslang. Agad itong kinondena ng ATM at ng Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates. “We denounce this gross violation of human rights and unnecessary loss of lives and call on the government and the Commission on Human Rights to immediately investigate these killings and bring the perpetrators to justice. We call on the Aquiino administration to also pull-out the military not only in Tampakan, but in all mining-affected communities,” ani Max de Mesa, chairman ng Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates sa pahayag nito sa Abante. Sinabi naman ni Jaybee Garganera, ang ATM national coordinator, na ang pamilyang Capion ay ang siyang nagtatanggol sa
ancestral domain ng mga natibo sa lugar. “We strongly condemn this barbaric and treacherous act of the military, against Daguil and his family,” wika pa ni Garganera. “He is a B’laan warrior tasked by his clan to protect the ancestral domains. In this case, the most obvious threat against their domain right now is the Tampakan Mining Project of SMI.” May minahan ang SMI sa naturang bayan, ngunit hindi naman mabatid kung ano ang nagbunsod sa militar na atakihin ang mga inosenteng sibilyan. Hindi rin nagbigay ng pahayag ang 10th Infantry Division ukol sa pamamaslang at maging ang tagapagsalita ng 27th Infantry Battalion na si Lt. Bethuel Barber ay hindi rin sinasagot ang tawag ng Abante sa kanyang cell phone. Wala rin pahayag si Bravo ukol sa mga bintang laban sa kanyang unit. (Mindanao Examiner)
Voter ’s Registration Act, according to Salazar. The Election Registration Board also ruled in favor of Salazar, who is also gunning for the mayoralty post in Zamboanga. “The decision of the Honorable Court serves to strengthen our faith in our justice system. With this, we will continue our advocacy of protecting the electoral system from unqualified or ineligible voters and candidates alike, whose participation in the election would only serve to desecrate and insult the electoral system whose sanctity we seek to preserve,” Salazar said. (Mindanao Examiner)
Hindi alintana ng isang parak na ito sa Zamboanga City ang pagmamatyag sa kanya ng ibang mga motorista at publiko dahil sa paglabag nito sa batas-trapiko habang nagmamaneho ng kanyang motorsiklo na walang plaka at wala rin itong suot na helmet. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
A policeman stands guard in downtown Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province. Ipil is fast becoming a trading area in Zamboanga Peninsula. It is a first class municipality headed by Mayor Eldwin Alibutdan, whose peace and development efforts are largely credited for the progress of Ipil. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
The Mindanao Examiner
Oct. 22-28, 2012
Defy Repression of New Media - NUJP ONCE AGAIN, the powers that be are gagging our fundamental freedoms of speech, expression and the press this time with the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Even with the protests and petitions to the Supreme Court from netizens, journalists and civil society against this Act, the Aquino administration insists that this Act will pursue online criminal acts and not attack our freedom. But the problem with such argument is that it insists on a law that essentially would tend to give liberty for the powerful to tag the freedom of citizens speaking out their opinions and views online as a criminal act. It basically says that people who post online criticisms on public officials or on institutions and anyone who agree on such comments will face the consequences. The consequences in this case are a libel suit, a jail term, and having one’s website or online accounts pulled down by authorities. The Cybercrime Prevention Act thus prevents people from speaking out. The essence of democracy is having citizens speak out their views on political and social issues. With that, the people have taken to new media, the Internet, as a venue to address basic problems and realities. This is seen this with recent online criticisms on the Aquino administration’s failure and branding such as “Noynoying”. Such criticism is
not a personal attack, but reflects the people’s frustrations of inaction amidst spiraling prices, unemployment, floods, plunder of our natural resources and more. But with the Cybercrime Act, those in power can silence their critics by slapping them with online libel. Just like politicians using libel against journalists, they can and will use this Act to attack citizens. This only reflects an administration that does not tolerate dissent. It also enforces the reality that repression, which is happening with the deprivation of our right to social services, housing and education, is happening to us online. It shows that Aquino is now the bully as he defies his boss, the people. Thus, the right to express our criticisms becomes vital more than ever. Media, traditional and new ones, serve as the outline of the peoples’ assertion of their rights. As the Supreme Court sits en banc today, we demand that our petitions are heard; we assert that no law should be made to stifle such freedom! As we see an iron-fist rule coming, we face this by coming out on the streets, on media and online with the urgent call to defy it. Junk the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012! Don’t criminalize criticism! Defend our freedom of expression, speech and the press! Resist tyranny! (NUJP)
Securit y up in Tacurong KIDAPAWAN CITY – Government forces tightened security in Tacuring City follwoing a recent bomb explosion. Policesaid there were no casualties in the explosion. But the blast raised fears that Muslim rebels opposed to a peace deal signed recently by Manila with the rival Moro Islamic Liberation Front may be linked to the attack. The explosive was left near a branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines, although police would not say who the target of the bombing was or whether it is connected to the peace deal.
Police said the blast left a small crater at the site. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest bombing, but it clearly showed a dangerous breach in the local security and how vulnerable Tacurong is to terrorist attacks. President Benigno Aquino signed the Framework Agreement with the MILF that would replace the existing five-province Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with Bangsamoro which literally means Muslim Nation.The Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace accord with Manila in Sep-
tember 1996, is opposing the government’s peace deal with the MILF, saying it violates the previous agreement. MNLF leaders also warned that the Bangsamoro deal would spark unrest and could trigger new hostilities in Mindanao. Manila shrugged off the threats and said the peace deal - supported by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Malaysia, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, among others would benefit some 4 million Muslims in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)
Pass Alternative Minerals Management Bill MANILA - Various groups have called on Philippine lawmakers to pass the Alternative Minerals Management Bill and repeal the Mining Act of 1995. Lawmakers Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Carlos Padilla, Kaka Bag-ao, Walden Bello, Rufus Rodriguez, and Erin Tañada are also supporting the calls. “I call on my fellow legislators to urgently pass the alternative minerals management bill that would repeal the Mining Act of 1995,” Baguilat said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. “It is time to correct the historical injustices committed against indigenous peoples and give due justice to their struggles. We should throw away our long standing colonial framework in mineral extraction and institute a rational needs-based mineral governance that would cater to our sustainable development,” he added. Baguilat’s statement following a caravan participated by some 2,000 AMMB supporters from communities in Metro Manila who joined the 350-strong leaders of indigenous communities, farmers,
fisher folks and church leaders. The caravan, which started on October 14 from Nueva Vizcaya, culminated at the House of Representatives, to call on legislators to pass the AMMB. Carmen Ananayo, who belongs to an indigenous tribe from Nueva Vizcaya, said that the passage of AMMB is prowomen because with mining, violence in affected communities escalates and the indigenous women are the first to
become victims of this aggression. Apart from the passage of AMMB, the contingent also urged Congress to revoke the FTAAs of OceanaGold Philippines Inc. for the Didipio Gold and Copper Project, and SMI/Xstrata, for the Tampakan Copper Gold Mining Project, and moratorium on all large-scale mining operations in the country. FTAA refers to Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement.
Mindanao Examiner Central Mindanao Bureau Chief speaks during his Mindanao Examiner Tele-Radyo program aired over Mindanao Examiner TV Channel 54 in Zamboanga City and Mindanao Examienr TV Channel 63 in Pagadian City. (Photo by Alvin Lardizabal)
‘Top 12’ sa Zambo politics, malakas pa rin! ZAMBOANGA CITY – Nangunguna pa rin sa mga informal surveys si Zamboanga City Congresswoman Maria Isabelle ‘Beng’ ClimacoSalazar laban sa mga pulitikong sasabak sa pagka-alkalde dito, ngunit hati naman ang pulso ng publiko sa mga kasalukuyang opisyal na muling tumatakbo sa halalan. Si Salazar ay kabilang sa partidong Liberal ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino at siya rin House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao. Kilala ito sa kanyang pagiging matulungin at sa ibat-ibang advocacies na may kinalaman sa mga kababaihan at kabataan. Malaking suporta rin ang tinatanggap nito mula sa ibat-ibang sektor sa Zamboanga City dahil sa kanyang mga accomplishments at naipanukalang batas. Makakabangga ni Salazar sa pagka-alkalde si Zamboanga City Congressman Erico ‘Erbie’ Fabian at ex-Zamboanga del Norte Romeo ‘Nonong’ Jalosjos, Sr. Ngunit parehong nasa buntot ng surveys sina Fabian at Jalosjos. Mahina rin umano ang line-up ni Fabian at
halos hindi nito napunuan ang kanyang partido at si Jalosjos naman ay hinahabol ng kanyang nakaraan at ngayon ay malaking isyu ito sa mga tagaZamboanga City. Isang convicted child rapist si Jalosjos at mahabang panahon ang inilagi nito sa bilangguan at ibinasura rin ng Commission on Elections ang kanyang voter’s registration sa Zamboanga dahil na rin sa isyu ng legalidad nito. Umapela naman sa korte si Jalosjos, ngunit ibinasura rin ito ng Municipal Trial Court. Isyu rin ang pagtatatag nito ng political dynasty sa Zamboanga Peninsula dahil lahat ng lalawigan nito – Zamboanga del S u r, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, at Zamboanga City – ay nais mailagay sa ilalim ng kanyang kontrol. Matunog rin sa mga unofficial surveys ang masipag at magaling na si Councilor Rommel ‘Meng’ Agan, na anak naman ng dating Zamboanga City Mayor Vitaliano Agan. Pasok rin sa surveys sina Councilors Melchor ‘Mel’ Sadain at Cesar ‘Jawo’
Jimenez at dating Zamboanga City Vice Mayor Mannix Dalipe. Malakas rin si dating Catholic priest Crisanto dela Cruz, na ngayon ay tumatakbo bilang congressman sa Zamboanga City at kilala ito bilang isang pilantropo na siyang nasa likod ng tagumpay ng Nuevo Zamboanga College at Lantaka Hotel. Maging si Councilor Gerky Valesco, na siyang aktibo sa mga iba't-ibang tourism campaign sa Zamboanga City ay nangunguna rin sa mga surveys at tumatakbo ito sa ilalim ng Liberal Party ni Salazar. Pasok rin sa surveys ang civic leader na si Councilors Myra A b u b a k a r, E d u a r d o ‘Eddie’ Saavedra, Percival Ramos, Luis Biel III at Miguel ‘Mike’ Alavar. Ang mga nabanggit ay ang pinakamalakas sa mga kasalukuyang tumatakbo at pasok sa “Top 12” base na rin sa kanilang mga naging accomplishments at ganda ng panunungkulan.(Mindanao Examiner)
The Mindanao Examiner
Oct. 22-28, 2012
Migrante frowns on new hike in government fees MANILA – A Filipino migrant’s rights group feared that a hike in government fees and other documentations would have a huge impact on Filipinos who are working abroad. President Benigno Aquino signed the Administrative Order No. 31 which took effect this month. The rationalization of fees aims to provide improved services of various government agencies. Migrante-Middle East said the government is imposing unreasonable increases in government fees without considering its effect on ordinary Filipino workers who are sacrificing abroad to send money back home to support
their family. “The Aquino administration should stop using ‘effective government services’ as a reason or guise in order to impose unjustified and unnecessary government fees and charges to its own people, including overseas Filipino workers and their families,” said John Leonard Monterona, the group’s regional coordinator. He said Aquino’s Administrative Order No. 31 is anti-OFW. “We, OFWs and our dependents are already bleeding dry from unnecessary government fees and charges impose to us,” Monterona said. He said OFWs are now being charged as much as P30,000 for
documentation needed for deployment formalities and this is on top of the placement fee equivalent to one month salary. OFWs, he said, has also to pay documents needed for abroad such as authentication of birth certificate, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, authentication of school credentials, passport application or renewal, community tax certificates, and fees collected by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Home Development Mutual Fund, Philippine Health Insurance, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration among others. “President Aquino is so insensitive to the economic hardship of OFWs and their families, and the millions of ordinary Filipino workers and the urban poor. We call on our fellow OFWs and families to join our campaign calling for the scrapping of Aquino’s anti-OFW and antipeople Administrative Order No. 31,” Monterona said.
A motorist passes on an asphalted road in Zamboanga Del Sur province in Western Mindanao. Many national roads and highways from Zamboanga City to Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte provinces in Western Mindanao had been asphalted by the Department of Public Works and Highways even though they are in good condition, but leaves dilapidated roads unattended in the region. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
Oxfam, Dakila promote ‘brown’ rice in the Philippines While the Philippines used to be Asia’s rice bowl, the country has become one of the biggest importer of rice in 2010, according to Oxfam International, and one solution it said that may help the Philippines become rice self-sufficient is if Filipinos switch their eating habits from white rice to organic brown rice. “Brown Rice can become the hero to our rice problem, but only if we help it becomes one. This is because Brown Rice has less wastage in the milling process, which means there will be an increased production. At the same time, we help our local farmers,” Noel Cabangon, Brown Rice advocate and Dakila Vice President, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. While some people have switched to brown rice, oth-
ers believe it is too expensive. The price of brown rice ranges from P45 per kilo in the provinces to P90 per kilo in the city. However, a study published by the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (Rice Science for Decision Makers Vol. 2 No. 3) showed that that If all Filipinos would eat brown rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner just once a month, the country’s rice importation would shrink by an average of 50,000 metric tons per year, valued at US$20.32 million (or P812.81 million pesos) savings yearly. “Given the fact that a large number of families in the country are below the poverty line, the consumption of brown rice can ensure that every member of the family is provided with the necessary
nutrients they need even though their diet is largely dependent on rice,” Cabangon said. According to a research conducted by Oxfam, the milling recovery of brown rice is 10% higher, which can lead to additional sacks of rice that can be leveled with the amount of rice we import. This means that the country would have the capability of producing enough amounts of rice that would prevent us from importing from others. Under Oxfam International’s Grow campaign, and in partnership with the artist collective, Dakila, the Brown Rice campaign aims to revive brown or “unpolished” rice back to the regular diet of the Filipino and promote sustainable agriculture and climate mitigation.
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Matapos na magbanta sa posibleng kaguluhan sa Mindanao dahil lamang sa peace pact ng pamahalaang Aquino sa Moro Islamic Liberation Front ay binawi naman ito ngayon ni Nur Misuari, ang leader ng karibal na Moro National Liberation Front. Si Misuari - na lumagda MNLF sa Mindanao. “If I want hostilities to ng peace agreement sa pamahalaang Ramos nuong resume, why would I anSeptember 1996 - ay nagbigay nounce it? A person who unng kanyang 'palabra-de- derstands war knows that the honor' sa one-on-one meeting element of surprise is very nito kay Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan important; I would have kept silent if that was what my insa Zamboanga City. Inaayawan ni Misuari tention. In fact, I am running ang Bangsamoro autonomous for ARMM governor this region ng pamahalaan sa coming May 2013 polls. I am MILF dahil ang ARMM na a politician now, we only want papalitan nito ay produkto ng what is good for our people,” 1996 peace accord. sabi pa ni Misuari kay Tan. Ayon kay Tan ay Kinabibilangan ng ARMM ang lalawigan ng Basilan, napakiusapan na nito ang Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, MNLF na suportahan na Maguindanao at Lanao prov- lamang ang peace process inces, gayun rin ang lungsod upang sumulong na ang ng Marawi at Lamitan, at kapayapaan sa Mindanao. “MNLF commanders are ilang lugar sa Lanao del Norte making their rounds in some at North Cotabato. Naunang lumabas sa mga parts of Sulu and I was able pahayagan at radyo ang banta to talk to them and sinabi ko ni Misuari na magkakaroon na pagbigyan nila tayo tungo ng kaguluhan sa Mindanao sa kapayapaan. I also sent kung tuluyang mabasura ang word to my brother Chairman Nur Misuari and one of these ARMM. “I was misunderstood. days mag-uusap kami. What I said was the frame- Ipinarating ko sa kanya na work (of the peace deal) might maging mahinahon, sa be a recipe for a crisis which ganitong paraan we can remay include war,” ani Misuari solve any misunderstanding sa kanyang paliwanag kay and have genuine peace in Tan. Sulu and the whole of Nakipagpulong si Tan Mindanao.” “I have made my appeal kay Misuari matapos na mabalitaanan ang banta nito to everybody to keep their at sa pagiikot ng mga MNLF cool. Walang mangyayari sa commanders sa Sulu na agad atin kung tayo ay babalik na naman nitong pinaliwanagan naman sa nakaraan, kawawa ukol sa peace process ng ang mg tao dito sa Sulu at sa pamahalaan sa MILF. buong Mindanao,” wika ni Ilang ulit na itinanggi ni Tan. Maging mga civil sociMisuari kay Tan ang mga ety at religious groups sa balitang mangugulo ang ARMM ay pumanig na rin
Zamboanga City, Philippines
Oct. 22-28, 2012
Makikita sa larawan ito na ipinasa sa Mindanao Examiner ng Sulu provincial government sina MNLF chairman Nur Misuari at Sulu Governor Sakur Tan sa kanilang one-on-one meeting sa Zamboanga City. Sinabi ni Misuari na hindi sila mangugulo sa Mindanao dahil lamang sa Bangsamoro autonomous region na siyang papalit sa Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
kay Tan sa pagsulong ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao. “We cannot sacrifice again the people of Mindanao; they have already suffered so much. I told the (MNLF) commanders that the government is sincere in pursuing peace in the region; and that their role as leaders of the MNLF is very important in the achievement of this goal, as leaders they should set the example,” ani Tan. “Walang repormang mangyayari kung ang kapayapaan ay hindi natin pagbibigyan. I will not support and allow anything that is not pro-people at handa akong makiusap at pigilan ang kahit sinong grupo na magsisimula ng gulo dito sa Sulu at Mindanao.”
Maging ang mga ARMM governors are suportado rin ang peace pact ng pamahalaan sa MILF ay ayon kay Tan ay ayaw na nila ng kaguluhan sa Sulu at Mindanao. “Jolo and other populated areas of Sulu are always the first to feel the brunt of war from the MNLF. We must recall that Sulu was the center of the MNLF uprising in 1969 and Jolo was totally burned down in 1974 during the fiercest battle between the MNLF and the military under the Marcos Administration. We have done so much to bring progress and stability back to Sulu and I can’t allow that to happen again,’’ sabi ni Tan. Sinigurado ni Tan kay Misuari na tapat ang
Pangulong Benigno Aquino sa hangarin nitong kapayaapan sa Mindanao. “An information campaign on the Framework Agreement will be mobilized so that our citizenry will understand what this agreement is all about and decide competently for themselves if they want this to be part of the future of the Bangsamoro People,” sabi pa ni Tan kay Misuari, ngunit duda pa rin ang dating rebelde at sinabi niutong maraming kasunduan ng pamahalaan sa MNLF ang hindi natupad. “In fact, claims that the MNLF was consulted on this matter were untrue. I will not tell a lie to say we were never consulted,” Misuari told Tan, referring to the new
Bangsamoro region of the MILF, which broke away with the MNLF in 1978. “I feel insulted about the government entering into an agreement with such a small group,” ani Misuari kay Tan. Subalit ayon kay Tan ay iba na ang pamahalaan ngayon at katahimikan ang mithiin ngayon ni Aquino sa buong bansa. “What is important to me is the constitutionality of the agreement and its potential to attract investments in the region to spur economic growth by resolving the question of providing a climate of good governance in the scheme of things,” sabi pa ni Tan kay Misuari na nangako naman na hindi mangugulo sa Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)