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NPA bombs recovered in Southern Philippines PAGE 2

Benipisyaryo ng 4Ps program sa Mamasapano kinahabagan

Philippines working to stop human trafficking, cyber crimes

Typhoon ‘Agaton’ brings destruction, woes in Mindanao

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'No-build zone' in Leyte province opposed

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Extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances continue

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MILF soldiers in Southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)

MILF: 2016 IS DAY OF RECKONING T

HE P HILIPP INES' lar gest M uslim rrebel ebel gr oup or o IIssPHILIPP HILIPPINES' largest Muslim group oup,, M Mor oro lamic Liber ation F Liberation Frront, said it could sign a peace deal with M quino anila either this yyear ear or befor eP Manila before Prresident A Aquino finishes his ter m in 2016. term Peace negotiators have smells impending success in our signed the Bangsamoro Frame- current peace talks, especially this work Agreement and several an- 43rd round of negotiation. “They nexes over the years and both say the signing of the comprehensides expressed optimism that a sive peace agreement is just in the political accord is near. But chief corner. They have diverse reasons MILF peace negotiator to entertain such belief and I canMohagher Iqbal cautioned that not blame them for it. In fact, I this early that the final destina- sympathize with them but not tion of the journey of peace is necessarily taking their view at not within immediate reach yet. face value. But truth is that anyone “We may be able to sign the like me who has been part of the comprehensive peace agree- peace journey since the beginning ment soon as we wish, but that will exactly wish and long for the is not the end of the odyssey,” he day of reckoning to come soon.” “I ask everyone not to stay on said during the resumption of the peace talks in Malaysia, add- the way of these dreamers. Many ing the exit agreement will for- find solace in dreaming and, theremally terminate the peace nego- fore, let them continue to dream of tiations if both sides complied that final peace in Mindanao while with their part of the deal and we in the MILF and government after it is certified by Malaysia continue to strive to overcome all and the Third Party Monitoring those that stand on our way leadTeam. “Ideally that day of reck- ing to the signing of the compreoning will come our way on or hensive peace agreement,” Iqbal said. before 2016.” Sucess He said the impending sucIn his speech, Iqbal said al- cess of the peace talks is gaining most everybody back home wide public support. He wel-

comed this development saying it is far better to see droves of people supporting the MILF and declare oneness with it, rather than join the spoilers and demolish the undertaking. “After all, the fruits of the negotiation will redound to the benefit of everybody. This can include even the spoilers and all those who have never shown even a speck of support to the MILF in its four decades of armed struggle and 16 years of hard bargaining on the negotiating table. Truly, it is the nature of a popular struggle, nay jihadic, that except for few hardened outcasts of society everybody is part of the victory party,” Iqbal said. Praises He also praised the Filipino government peace panel headed by Miriam Ferrer, and Malaysia, which is brokering the negotiations, for the progress in the talks. “We have covered a lot of ground during our last executive session. Thanks to the openness and spirit of accommodation of the parties, the superb handling of the Facilitator, and the absence of rigidity as in formal negotiations,”

Iqbal said. With this, Iqbal said the Bangsamoro Transition Commission or BTC has been conducting public hearings and consultations in Mindanao and that the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, whose deadline is set in April this year, has resumed and would be submitted to President Benigno Aquino in May and transmit it to Congress as a urgent bill. “I trust that the collective wisdom of Congress will ensure the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law very smoothly,” he said. Reaching O ut Out Iqbal said the BTC has visited North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza and Maguindanao Governor Esmail Mangudadatu. He said both officials received the commissioners “exceptionally well” and they promised to support the peace process as well as pushing for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law once the referendum takes place. He said BTC will also visit in February Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan II, and also TawiTawi Governor Nurbert Sahali and

Basilan Governor Jum Akbar, and is also considering Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabella Salazar. “I do not know how she (Salazar) would react and treat this gesture of goodwill from our side, knowing well how she felt bitter, as anybody else of good sense, in relation to the Zamboanga siege last November.” Iqbal said. Iqbal said the BTC has also organized a task force on the indigenous tribes MamaluTabunaway and would hold dialogues with them and to make recommendations, especially on land issues, in aid of the crafting of the basic law. “I assure you, Insha Allah, that as long as the two groups remain reasonable and commit to balance between history and reality and cognizant of their roots as descendants of the two brothers, everything will be settled for the satisfaction of the parties,” Iqbal said. The MILF has been fighting for decades for self-determination and rights of the Muslims in southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)


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The Mindanao Examiner

Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

Lanao police chief ambushed

Photo released byb the Eastern Mindanao Command shows troops inspecting NPA landmines recovered in past military operations.

NPA bombs recovered in Southern Philippines DAVAO CITY – Army officials said troops have recovered dozens of landmines and various materials used in the manufacture of improvised explosives in the southern Philippines. Officials linked the explosives to the communist rebel group New People’s Army in Loreto town, Agusan del Sur province. The cache of landmines was discovered by civilians in the village of Mansanitas, according to Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the

Eastern Mindanao Command. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, the Eastern Mindanao Command chief, praised the bravery of the civilians who informed the military about the explosives. “We thank our people for their cooperation. Our soldiers are always ready to respond anywhere and whenever needed. If the NPA is sincere about peace, they must stop manufacturing landmines as these

their companions waited outside the karaoke house in the village of Santa Maria in Leon Postigo town. Saldon arrived first at the karaoke house owned by Ricky Busca and then the two rebels came later along with their group and shot the victim repeatedly. The gunmen escaped after the killing.

who is a member of the elite Special Operations Group, was shot and wounded and rushed to hospital in Marawi City. “We have received reports the ambush was perpetrated by more or less 20 fully armed men, believed to be combined members of the ATGs and the MILF led by a certain (Commander) Umpa,” Capt. Jefferson Somera, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. ATG is the acronym for Auxiliary Threat Group which also refers to the Bangsamoro Islamic Free-

dom Movement and its army of so-called freedom fighters. Army troops were deployed in the town to pursue the ambushers, but did not catch up with them. Somera said Brig. Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, the division commander, told army commanders in Lanao del Sur to stay on alert following the attack. The MILF did not give any statement about the ambush and its spokesman Von al-Haq was also not answering phone calls from journalists. Somera said the motive of the attack is still unknown. (Mindanao Examiner)

Passenger terminal in Port of Zamboanga gets improvement, amenities

kill people and destroy properties,” Cruz said. He said the discovery came a day after two NPA rebels - Robert Daging and Abet Guinson – surrendered to the 36th Infantry Battalion in Carmen town in the province of Surigao del Sur. The duo also handed over two automatic rifles. The NPA has been fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

Rebels execute ex-government militia DIPOLOG CITY – Suspected communist rebels barged into a small karaoke house and fatally shot a for mer government militia in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Norte, police said. Police said Fernando Saldon, 51, died instantly from the attack carried out by two young New People’s Army rebels as

PAGADIAN CITY Suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels ambushed a police convoy carrying a provincial police commander and wounded one of his escorts in the southern Philippines, officials said. Officials said about 20 rebels were involved in the attack which occurred along the highway near the village of Ilian in Lanao del Sur’s Picong town. Senior Superintendent Nickson Muksan, police commander in Lanao del Sur, was among those ambushed. His police escort PO1 Jerson Muhammad,

“The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds in his chest, stomach, left hand and at the back portion that caused his instantaneous death,” a police report said. The rebels have been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a separate communist state in the countr y. (Mindanao Examiner)

Children's playground at the passenger terminal in the Port of Zamboanga. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - E. Dumabo) ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Ports Authority and the Coast Guard have improved the passenger terminal at the Port of Zamboanga and installed television sets and a children playground to entertain travelers while they wait for boats to bring them to their destinations. And passengers are

enjoying the new amenities and praised the joint project, saying, it will help the pass time while waiting for boats. The terminal is being used by passengers travelling to Basilan, Sulu and TawiTawi province, all under the Muslim autonomous region. Coast Guard Zambo-

anga Commander Jomark Angue said they continue to work for the improvement of the terminal. “We now have one of the best and cleanest passenger terminals in the region,” he said. The terminal also boasts of a clean rest room, eateries serving Halal foods. (E. Dumabo)

KISMET Cable Channel 63 Pagadian City


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The Mindanao Examiner

Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

Corruption still a problem in the Philippines

Photos released by the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center to the Mindanao Examiner show the 18-member delegation from the graduate program on Conflict Management of the Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies who arrived in the central Mindanao city of Cotabato City for a three-day visit.

Johns Hopkins University scholars visit Mindanao COTABATO CITY - An 18member delegation from the graduate program on Conflict Management of the Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies arrived in the central Mindanao city of Cotabato City for a three-day visit hosted by the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center or MinHRAC. The group, headed by Professors Emeritus P. Terrence Hopmann and I. William Zartman, aims to study the evolution of the peace process through the signing of the October 2012 Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, as well as the prospects and challenges attendant to its full implementation. The contingent of

scholars from four different continents, composed of 5 Americans, 7 Europeans, 2 Asians, 1 Middle-Eastern, and 1 African, plan to engage in meaningful dialogues various key actors and stakeholders in the peace process including officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front- Central Committee and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the newly-created Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the International Monitoring Team, Cardinal-designate Orlando Quevedo, the Bangsamoro Development Agency and Bangsamoro Leadership and Manage-

ment Institute, as well as the delegatipn counterparts from 3 local universities and civil society leaders. The activity is part of the Johns Hopkins University program held every January which aims to give its students an opportunity to understand the background and causes of the conflict and to apply the principles of conflict management, resolution, and post-conflict peace building to a real conflict setting. In previous years, they have been to Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Haiti, Cyprus, and other countries. In 2011, JHU-SAIS, in coordination with MinHRAC, visited Mindanao to study the aftermath of the collapse of

the 2008 Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain. MinHRAC's Executive Director Zainudin Malang said that part of their efforts to bridge the divide in Mindanao is to bring scholars and journalists to the southern region so that they may hear voices that are rarely heard. "This is why we have hosted in recent months and years such other foreign groups as the Third Party Monitoring Team, correspondents of various news agencies, and officials of aid agencies. Hopefully by helping facilitate a greater understanding of the conflict and peace process, MinHRAC is also contributing to lasting peace," Malang said.

Benipisyaryo ng 4Ps program sa Mamasapano kinahabagan MAGUINDANAO – Sinigurado ni Mayor Benzar Ampatuan ng bayan ng Mamasapoano sa Maguindanao ang suporta ng pamahalaang lokal sa anti-poverty program ng gobyerno. Sinabi ni Ampatuan na malaking tulong sa mga mahihirap ang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ng gobyerno na ipinatutupad naman ng Department of Social Welfare and Development o DSWD. Ibinibigay ng DSWD ang maliit na halaga sa bawat maralitang pamilya na dumaan sa screening ng naturang ahensya upang matiyak na lehitimo ang mga ito.

Si Mamasapano Mayor Benzar Ampatuan habang kausap ang mga benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ng gobyerno na ipinatutupad ng Department of Social Welfare and Development. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales) Mismong sa bangko sa pamamagitan ng ATM o automated teller machine makakuha ng isang pamilya ang halagang

inilagak ng pamahalaan para sa mga benepisyaryo nito. Ilang ulit na r in binibisita ni Ampatuan

ang mga benepisyaryo ngunit naaawa umano ito sa paghihirap ng mga pamilyang na pumipila pa ng mahaba upang makuha sa ATM ang tulong-pinansyal ng DSWD. Mino-monitor naman ni Ampatuan ang programa ng DSWD upang makasigurong sa lehitimong benepisyaryo ito mapupunta. Halagang P1500 bawat pamilya ang ibinibigay ng DSWD sa mga ito. (Mark Navales)

MANILA - The Philippine government defended itself from criticism following a latest survey that showed corruption remains a problem in the four-year old Aquino administration. The survey by the Social Weather Station of Enterprises on Corruption conducted from July to November 2013 showed a spike in how respondents from the public sector perceived the corruption in the government - From 43% in 2012 to 56% in 2013. But Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the recent survey findings manifest the government’s effective efforts to carry out reform in the country’s bureaucracy and eliminate corruption. Coloma, avoiding issues on the dip in anticorruption rating, pointed out that the Phil-

ippines’ ranking in the International Finance Corporation’s “Doing Business 2014” report jumped 25 places to 108 from 133 in 2013, citing marked improvements in areas such as getting credit, dealing with construction permits, paying taxes and resolving insolvency. The Transparency International also reported in 2013 that the Philippines’ ranking improved significantly to number 94 from 105 the previous year. These findings are recognition of the government’s determination to carry out reforms that will promote good governance pursuant to its commitment to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption through the 21point agenda announced by the President last December, according to Coloma.

Slay suspect murdered in Pagadian City PAGADIAN CITY – Police said a man accused in killing his neighbor was himself murdered in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province. Police said Edgardo Gallarde, 53, was shot in the chest by a lone gunman who waited for the victim to arrive in his house at Purok Nawasa in the village of Napolan. Gallarde, who also resided in Malim village in Tabina town, died instantly from the attack. “Investigation disclosed that the victim had just arrived at his residence when the unidentified suspect armed with undetermined type of firearm approached and confronted the victim and without any apparent reason shot him once. He sus-

tained lone gunshot wound in his chest which resulted to his instantaneous death while the suspect immediately fled to unknown direction after the incident,” a police report said. “Further investigation also revealed that the victim was the primary suspect of the killing of his neighbor at Malim in Tabina, Zamboanga Del Sur in which the Pagadian City police believed that a possible retaliation of the suspect to the victim was the motive of the incident,” the report added. No individual claimed responsibility for the killing and the victim’s family did not give any statement about the murder. (Mindanao Examiner)

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The Mindanao Examiner

Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

Troops accused of extrajudicial Farmer stabbed dead, fingers killings in restive South DAVAO CITY — Youth group Anakbayan has accused government troops as behind the series of killings in Compostela Valley and Davao provinces in the southern Philippines. It said the murders were allegedly perpetrated by the 71st Infantry Battalion and blamed the government’s anti-insurgency campaign called Oplan Bayanihan. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines are not just brutal killers, but are protectors of large-scale mining corporations and foreign companies operating particularly in Pantukan, Maco and Mabini towns, who aim to occupy the lands of our fellow farmers and lumads for their selfish interests. And that would only be materialized thru armed men and guns,” Anakbayan Southern

Mindanao Region spokesperson Angelynne Alapag said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. She said the military has been deploying troops near schools and churches and other areas where there are large civilian communities and civilians fear for their safety. “Militarization isn’t just a problem of peasants and workers. We can’t just isolate ourselves just because we can’t directly feel the effect of Oplan Bayanihan. The youth must see this as a serious problem that they have to be aware of,” she said. “Instead of resolving the chronic poverty and crisis that the people had been experiencing due to extreme exploitation, Aquino intensified suppression thru militarization in country sides and

AFP deployment in communities, usually near houses, schools and barangay halls,” she added. Alapag also cited a report by the human rights group Karapatan that showed victims of extrajudicial killings had already reached to 152 nationwide — 27 of which were from southern Mindanao — from 2010 to 2013. Most of the victims were leaders and active members of progressive organizations and groups. The Philippine Army has strongly denied Anakbayan and Karapatan’s allegations and branded it as mere propaganda by leftist groups. It also urged both Anakbayan and Karapatan to condemn the atrocities committed against civilians by the communist rebel group New People’s Army.

Philippines working to stop human trafficking, cyber crimes MANILA - The Philippines said it is determined to fight human trafficking and renewed campaign with government agencies intensifing efforts in addressing it, a government spokesman said. “I would like to emphasize that our government is determined to stop human trafficking in all its forms and manifestations through concerted

action by all concerned government agencies in cooperation with other countries,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. The statement came after Australia, the United States and United Kingdom started investigating child sex abuse cases in the Philippines and have released a report about the problem, but Coloma said that even before the

The Mindanao Examiner Media, Film and Television Productions Maritess Fernandez Publisher/Executive Producer (On Leave) Al Jacinto Editor-in-Chief/Producer (OIC) Ahmed Baldomero Joanna Valerie Wee Graphics/Video Editor Mindanao Examiner Productions Web Master REGIONAL PARTNERS Mindanao Daily Business Week Mindanao Star NEWS/ADVERTISING OFFICES Mark Navales Central Mindanao Richard Suarez Pagadian City Zamboanga del Sur

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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Richard Falcatan Basilan Province Ely Dumaboc Zamboanga Peninsula The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper is published weekly in Mindanao, Philippines. The Mindanao Examiner Television is broadcast in KISMET Cable TV and Pagadian Cable Television Channel 63. Our business and editorial offices are located at Units 15, 3rd Floor, Fair Land Bldg., Nuñez St., Zamboanga City Phone & fax: 062- 9925480 Mobile: 0917-7103642 URL: mindanaoexaminer.com E-mail: mindanaoexaminer@gmail.com

publication of the report, the Aquino government has been working to address it. “Let me point out that even before the publication of this report, the government has already committed itself to doing everything that needs to be done through an interagency effort, through legislation, and through other administrative measures to stop this trafficking,” Coloma. He said the government is also addressing cyber crimes happening in the country and that one of the major initiatives is the crafting of the Cyber Crime Prevention Law.

cut off in bizarre killing

DIPOLOG CITY – Police said a farmer was stabbed dead and three of his fingers, bizarrely, were also cut off and missing when his body was found on a village in the town of Sindangan in Zamboanga del Norte province in southern Philippines. It said Ronilo Ansono, 41, was last seen alive together with

Tindong Lumulan, who fetched the victim from his house in the village of Bato. Ansono’s family said Lumulan asked the victim to help him bring his ailing mother to the hospital. Village watchmen discovered Ansono’s body several blocks away from his house. The body bore a single, but deep stab

wound in the chest. His fingers were also missing, police said. Police rushed to Lumulan’s house, but his neighbors said the man had fled. He was spotted carr ying a backpack and appeared to be in a hurry leaving his house. The motive of the killing is still unknown, police said. (Mindanao Examiner)

Police recover blasting caps following small blast in Zamboanga village ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police recovered over two dozen blasting caps following a small explosion on a village in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, officials said. Officials said police rushed to Lobregat village in Upper Calarian after residents reported the explosion. There was no report of injury or damaged to property and the owner of the blasting caps remains unknown. But police a group of

children discovered the blasting caps and lighted it at a vacant lot that caused the explosion. Police recovered 34 pieces of commercialgrade blasting caps which is commonly used as detonators for explosives in mining activities. Meanwhile, in the neighboring town of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province, police arrested the 25-year old Nestor Medur, Jr., for illegally possessing a fragmenta-

tion grenade. Police said the man, who works for the Mindanao Enterprises, was driving his motorcycle when stopped during a routine inspection at a checkpoint in the village of Magdaup. The grenade was recovered in the utility box of the motorcycle. It was not immediately known why Medur was carrying a grenade. Police are investigating Medur. (Mindanao Examiner)

2 men hunted by police in gay’s murder in Pagadian City PAGADIAN CITY – A homosexual was allegedly strangled to death in a room he was renting in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province, police said. Police said the 33-year old Alex Nodado was discovered dead by his neighbor at Purok Sunshine in the village of Santiago and informed authorities about it. Forensic investigators

said a scarf was found tied around Nodado’s neck and legs. Two men, who were last seen with Nodado, are also being sought by the police and investigators

said robbery was likely motive of the killing. Police said witnesses pointed to the men who were spotted with Nodado before he was murdered. (Mindanao Examiner)


The Mindanao Examiner


The Mindanao Examiner


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The Mindanao Examiner

Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

Typhoon ‘Agaton’ brings destruction, woes in Mindanao

Army (Eastern Mindanao Command) photos released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner show some damaged bridges in Compostela Valley province.

MILF stops construction of political headquarters in Zamboanga City ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities stopped a group of Moro Islamic Liberation Front members from putting a political headquarters in Zamboanga City after villagers panicked from the construction and informed police and military about it. A small group of International Monitoring Team led by a Malaysian contingent and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group also rushed to Zamboanga to defuse the tension in the area. The local mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar was also shocked

to get the news about the MILF headquarters in the village of Cawit and stopped its construction. The head of the Malaysian peace monitor Colonel Zulkipli Hashim and former rebel-turned-soldier Major Abdurasad Sirajan, of the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group held a dialogue with the MILF headed by Jusali Musali and explained to him that they cannot put up a political office in Zamboanga City, which is not even included in the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement signed in October 2012. The accord paves the

way for the putting up of a new Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao. Musali apologized for their action and ordered workers to stop the building of the political office. He said his action was unilateral and not sanctioned by the MILF Central Committee. Manila is currently negotiating peace with the MILF, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, in an effort to forge a deal that would put an end to decades of bloody fighting in the South. (Mindanao Examiner)

DAVAO CITY – Government workers have put up a steel bridge in the town of Linamon in Lanao del Sur province after typhoon Agaton destroyed the concrete bridge linking it to other areas. Provincial buses also resumed its regular operations in the province after days of repair. A landslide which cut off the highway linking several towns in Surigao del Sur province was also cleared, according to the army. Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said heavy rains softened the soil and eventually

eroded causing a massive landslide in Lanuza town. "Army troops were sent to the area to help the Public Works (department) to clear the highway and assist in the evacuation of residents near the area," he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. Caber said typhoon Agaton forced hundreds of people from coastal villages in Cortes town and Tandag City in Surigao del Sur to evacuate to safer areas due to danger posed by storm surges. He said 27 people had died from the typhoon with one more missing and 28 others injured. The

typhoon submerged many areas and caused flash floods that affected over 51,000 families in 257 villages in 53 towns in Eastern Mindanao alone. He said 20 bridges were either damaged or destroyed by the typhoon - 15 in Davao Oriental; three in Compostela Valley and two in Agusan del Sur. Just late last year, super typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction and deaths in central Philippines and up to now, tens of thousands of survivors are still in evacuation areas, living in tents and bunkhouses. (Mindanao Examiner)

2 gunmen rob provincial bus in Zambo Sibugay ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY – Two gunmen held up a provincial bus along the highway in the town of Imelda in the southern Filipino province of Zamboanga Sibugay, police said. Police said the gunmen posed as passengers and declared the robbery near the village of San Jose. The bus, owned and operated by Rural Transit Mindanao, came from Zamboanga City and was travelling to the province when the rob-

bery occurred. They took the wallets of the 44-year old driver Elpidio Remitera, Jr., and his conductor Reymar Derotas, 24, and cash amounting to over P3,000 from ticket sales. The armed med spared the horrified passengers and fled after the robbery. The victims reported the incident to the police. Just last month, five gunmen also robbed a Rural Transit bus near the

town of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province. A bus passenger was injured after he was attacked by one of five gunmen after he refused to surrender his wallet. The gunmen also posed as passengers and took off with over P50,000 in loot. It was unknown if the bus had a security camera, but highway robberies are common along the stretch of the Zamboanga highway. (Mindanao Examiner)

Police seized illegally cut mangrove flitches POLICE seized a huge quantity of illegally cut mangrove tree on Sacol Island off the southern Filipino port city of Zamboanga. Police said two men Balolong Barahim and Abdua Halim – were also apprehended for transporting the flitches. The

duo was spotted by policemen led by Chief Inspector Nonito Asdai, of the Sacol Community Police Action Center, and intercepted them. The illegal cutting of mangrove in coastal areas in southern Philippines, particularly in the western region, continues un-

abated and environment authorities are virtually helpless in stopping the locals from destroying the marine habitat of many sea animals and fishes. Locals used the mangrove as poles for thatched houses and as firewood. (Mindanao Examiner)

Hindi ako ama ang nagnakaw DAHIL sa matinding sama ng loob sa kanyang ama ay tinuldukan ng isang 21anyos na lalaki ang aklat ng buhay nito at ngayon at todo ang pagdadalamhati ng kanyang pamilya sa sinapit ng binata. Nagpatiwakal umano si Wilmar Simborio sa pamamagitan ng pag-inom sa kerosene matapos itong pagbintangan ng sailing ama na siyang kumuha ng kanyang wallet at salapi. Natagpuan ng mga naglalarong bata ang malamig na bangkay ni

Wilmar halos 100 metro ang layo sa kanyang bahay sa Barangay Rizalina sa bayan ng Rizal sa Zamboanga del Norte. Ayon pa sa mga kapitbahay ay nakita umano nila sa Wilmar na tila lasing ngunit nagulat na lamang ng mabatid na nagpakamatay ito. Kinumpirma naman ng pamilya ni Wilmar sa pulisya na kinagalitan nga ng kanyang ama ang biktima matapos na pagbintangan na nagnakaw sa wallet. Hindi naman umano akalain ng pamilya

na magagawa nito ang magpatiwakal. Sinabi ng pulisya na nakita malapit sa bangkay ni Wilmar ang isang karit, bag at plastic container na may laman pang kersone. “Post-mortem examination conducted by Dr. Leonard Mah, the Municipal Health Officer of Rizal, disclosed that the cause of death was poisoning due to the intake of kerosene and there was no sign of foul play and ruled it as a case of suicide,” ayon sa pulisya. (Mindanao Examiner)


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The Mindanao Examiner

'No-build zone' in Leyte province opposed CEBU - Sur vivors of typhoon Haiyan have been barred by authorities from rebuilding their destroyed houses in coastal areas in the central Philippine province of Leyte which was ravaged by calamity last year. Youth group Anakbayan also protested the government's no-build zone policy and demanded Manila to provide P40,000 financial assistance for each family whose houses were destroyed by Haiyan. "Instead of helping

the storm survivors rebuild their lives, the Aquino administration's rehabilitation plan is more concer ned with helping big business make money out of the wreckage of Easter n Visayas," Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. He said that many aspects of the rehabilitation plan, including the no-build zone, are actually anti-poor and favors business interests.

"For example, the nobuild zone can be used as an excuse to clear large swaths of land for the planned Tacloban City Economic Zone. The ecozone includes plans for developing Tacloban's beaches into tourist facilities." "Another troubling aspect of the rehab plan is the bloated budget and while damages are pegged at P36 billion, the total rehab plan has a purse of P361 billion. Why the large funding? Revelations of overpriced bunkhouses are an indication of why and so the government can inflate the price tags of infrastructure contracts and award them to their allies," Crisostomo said. Crisostomo said that they will also support the daily protests of various groups and sectors in Leyte and Samar. "The people of the Visayas cannot expect any meaningful and significant efforts from this bumbling, nincompoop president. They should learn from the experience of typhoon Bopha survivors - only through the power of protest and collective action can they rebuild their lives and receive the help which they deserve to get," he said.

Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

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Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

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The Mindanao Examiner

Extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances continue THE PHILIPP INE GO VERNMENT failed to match its PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT r hetor ic in suppor ights in 2013 with hetoric supportt of human rrights meaningful action to end impunity for extr ajudicial extrajudicial killings tur e, and enfor ced disappear ances ukillings,, tor tortur ture enforced disappearances ances,, H Human Rights Watch said in its World R epor Repor eportt 2014. It said the tenuous na- lems and the reality on the ture of human rights pro- ground,” said Phelim Kine, tections in the Philippines deputy Asia director at is reflected in the surge of Human Rights Watch. killings of journalists with In the 667-page world little accountability. report - its 24th edition Twelve journalists Human Rights Watch rewere killed in 2013, bring- views human rights pracing the total number of tices in more than 90 Filipino journalists and countries. Syria’s widemedia workers killed to 26 spread killings of civilians since President Benigno elicited horror but few Aquino III took office in steps by world leaders to June 2010. In only six of stop it, Human Rights those 26 cases have police Watch said. A reinvigorated docarrested suspects. In May, the Commit- trine of “responsibility to tee to Protect Journalists protect” seems to have designated the Philippines prevented some mass as the third “most danger- atrocities in Africa. Maous country” in the world jorities in power in Egypt for journalists, after Iraq and other countries have suppressed dissent and and Somalia. “The body count of minority rights. And EdFilipino journalists speaks ward Snowden’s revelavolumes for the wide gap tions about US surveilbetween the Aquino lance programs reverbergovernment’s rhetoric in ated around the globe. The government’s failaddressing rights prob-

ure to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of journalists highlighted the climate of im-

ary 11, 2004 – the masterminds of those crimes remained at large. However, the Philip-

punity for rights abusers in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said. In the only two cases in which the authorities have secured convictions for serious rights abuses – the killings of radio commentator and environmentalist Gerry Ortega on January 24, 2011, and journalist Rowell Endrinal on Febru-

pines government did make progress in one of

the country’s most emblematic cases of impunity. In October, Philippine Army Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr., a prime suspect in the enforced disappearance of farmer rights activist Jonas Burgos, surrendered to a Manila court for his alleged role in the April 2007 abduction. The fighting in September 2013 between Muslim rebels and government forces in the southern city of Zamboanga resulted in violations of international law by both sides, including the use of human shields by the rebels. Some detainees in government custody, including several children, described to Hu-

man Rights Watch being tortured and otherwise illtreated while being held. A much-vaunted initiative by the government to address impunity – the creation in 2012 of a socalled “super-body” to expedite the investigation and prosecution of cases of extrajudicial killings – remained inactive during much of 2013 even as new cases were reported by domestic human rights groups. “The Aquino administration has said all the right things about ending abuses in the Philippines, but what’s missing is the political will to translate those promises into action,” Kine said.

DILG launches 'Seal of Good Local Governance' The Department of the Interior and Local Government has launched the Seal of Good Local Governance following the successful run of the Seal of Good Housekeeping. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the SGLG, which originated from the SGH program in 2010, is introduced to provide greater challenge to our local governments to continue good governance practices while providing better services. The Seal of Good Housekeeping measured the levels of compliance to the DILG's Full Disclosure Policy, particularly in the areas of budget, revenues and procurement, among others, having no adverse audit findings, as well as meeting the requirements of Anti-Red Tape Act. “Panahon na para itaas ang pamantayan ng good local governance mula sa balangkas ng matino at tapat na pangangasiwang pinan-

syal. Tunay na napakahalaga nito - ngunit kulang sa pagsukat ng kung ano ang makabuluhan para sa mama-

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (ABS-CBN Photo) mayan,” Roxas said. He said some 1,372 local government units or about 84% of the total number of LGUs, have already met the minimum requirements of good housekeeping, which only shows their readiness to take on more challenges. “Ibig sabihin, handa na ang karamihan ng mga LGUs para sa mas mataas at malawak na pamantayan ng good local governance,” Roxas said. With the introduction of the SGLG, Roxas said the DILG aims for a condition where LGUs do not only sustain the practice of accountability and transparency, but are also able to prepare for the challenges posed by disasters and are sensitive to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the society. He said the SGLG also drives LGUs to encourage investment and employment, protect the constituents from threats to life and security, and safeguard the integrity of the environment.

Roxas said for an LGU to become an SGLG recipient, it needs to pass all the three core assessment areas – Good Financial Housekeeping, Social Protection and Disaster Preparedness, and at least one from the essential assessment areas – BusinessFriendliness and Competitiveness, Peace and Order or Environmental Management. LGUs meeting the minimum criteria shall not only be conferred with the SGLG, but will also entitle them to a package of incentives, such as the Performance Challenge Fund and access to other national performance-based programs. For LGUs that do not make the mark, Roxas said the DILG will provide capacity development interventions for them to help them earn the prestigious seal. “Walang iwanan. Tutulungan natin silang maiangat ang kakayahan ayon sa pamantayan ng SGLG sa pamamagitan ng capacity development assistance ng DILG at Local Government Academy,” Roxas said. To be implemented annually starting this year, the SGLG will cover all provinces, cities and municipalities. The DILG with partner organizations shall select qualified LGUs starting on the third quarter, while the awarding shall take place in October of each year. “The SGLG symbolizes integrity and good performance of local governments.Let it be a continuing challenge for provincial, city and municipal governments to do better today and in the years to come,”Roxas said.


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PROTESTS GREET NEW POWER RATE HIKE

V

ARIOUS GR OUPS GROUPS hav e pr otested an have protested impending incr ease increase in electr icity rrates ates b y electricity by the M anila E lectr ic C ompany Manila Electr lectric Company as public outr age continues to outrage mount against one of the P hilPhilippines gest po w er comippines’’ lar largest pow pany pany.. The youth group Anakbayan and the League of Filipino students also joined the protests in the country’s capital and both groups vowed to hold more street rallies to dramatize their anger over what other activists branded as “corporate greed.” The Supreme Court is hearing the case against the power company after it issued a temporary restraining order in December stopping MERALCO from billing its customers the new rate. Some lawmakers are threatening to fight the imposition of the new power rate after the government’s approval of it without conducting public hearings. The temporary restraining order ends in February, but it is unknown whether the Supreme Court would be able to resolve the issue. EP IRA EPIRA There is widespread clamor for the Aquino government and Congress to repeal the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA, saying, this has allowed power companies to dictate electricity charges. “Lagpas isang dekada na ang pandurugas at pangingikil ng MERALCO sa mamamayan. Ngayon, dinadaan pa nito sa blackmail ang pagsamo nitong alisin ang TRO sa dagdag-singil sa kuryente. Di na dagdagsingil yan, kundi holdap,“ Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan chairperson, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. Crisostomo emphasized on the need to repeal the EPIRA which mandates the privatization of the electric power industry, the deregulation of power rates hikes, and the passing on to consumers of National Power Corporation or NAPOCOR debts through various charges. He also criticized the government's refusal to put a stop to incessant power adjustments and scrap EPIRA law.

ARMM

New porwer rate hike by Manila Electric Company is being opposed in the Philippine capital. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

“Habang patuloy na nalulugmok ang karaniwang tao sa bigat ng gastusin at lalo pang pagtaas ng mga bilihin, lumalangoy sa tubo ang mga electricity companies,” Crisostomo said, citing a study by the IBON Foundation which shows that the power industry accounted for 11% of all combined profits from corporations in the country. “Lumalakas ang loob ng ganid na power industry cartel na magtaas ng singil dahil ang mismong kasosyo nila ay ang Pangulo,” Crisostomo said, referring to the President’s close ties with the owners of the three biggest electricity producers in the country - Danding Cojuanco, the Lopez family, and the Aboitiz family. Crisostomo strongly reiterated that the only solution to the relentless rate adjustments is to nationalize the power industry rather than privatize it. Student gr oups groups The League of Filipino Students said the implementation of the P4.15 per kilowatt hour hike sought by MERALCO is being o[posed not only by civil society groups and various organizations, but by the public as well. “This (protest) is to show that we are determined to stop the pro-

Southern Mindanao

posed increases. MERALCO has no right to blackmail us. We will not waive even if the inutile Aquino regime will not stand for us, we will assert against power rate hike. It is infuriating that amidst the increasing poverty and crisis, the Aquino regime, MERALCO, and other power generating companies collide in the name of escalating profit,” Pats Ombion, LFS Education and Research Officer, said in a separate statement. Like other groups opposed to the new power rate hike, the LFS said because of the EPIRA, the government virtually granted permission to private power companies to automatically pass charges to the consumers and increase the power rate as they please. “Since our power industry is privatized from generation to distribution and prices are deregulated, power firms gain more profit while the youth and the people suffer more. MERALCO and other power firms are downright greedy. It is more enraging that the Aquino regime is treating power as business to gain profit instead of a social service that the people need,” Ombion said. Ombion said they are also demanding the immediate scrapping of the proposed power rate

Davao

hike and EPIRA, adding there is a need to nationalize the power industry instead being privatelyowned. “This reflects that there is basically wrong with our current socio-economic system. We call on to our fellow youth and the people not just to continue to fight against power rate hike but to push for a genuine social change through our collective action. We see the need to overthrow a regime that protects the interest of these private companies instead protecting the needs of the people,” he said. Metr o wor kers etro workers Workers in Metro Manila belonging to the labor coalition Nagkaisa also asserted that since the enactment of EPIRA - which led to the deregulation of the generation of generation sector, privatization of NAPOCOR assets, the creation of spot market, and the introduction of performancebased regulation - fraud allegedly became the norm in the power industry as shown by rising prices controled by cartels. “It is no secret that owners of power firms, the so-called Voltage 5 (Aboitiz, Lopez, San Miguel, Henry Sy, and Pangilinan) have been earning record high profits from record high tariffs of their power-related firms,” it told

Manila

Mindanao Examiner. The labor coalition recalled that lowering the cost of power was the pledge of the Arroyo administration when it prodded Congress to pass the EPIRA upon assumption to power 13 years ago. It likewise chided the Executive for peddling the line that the only choice for now is between expensive power, or having no power at all. “We hope the Supreme Court brings light to a dark decade of power hikes, naked greed, and blackmail amid unreliability of power supply,” Nagkaisa said. But electric cooperatives in Luzon are also increasing power rates to as high as P3.22 per kilowatt hour due to the high cost of electricity in the spot market. No to unjustified po wer rrate ate hike pow Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., a government spokesman, reaffirmed the Aquino administration’s stand against unjustified power rate hikes. He said the government continues to keep tabs on the issue. “Patuloy ang pagsusubaybay ng Pangulo at ng pamahalaan sa isyung ito at patuloy ang determinasyon huwag pairalin ang hindi makatuwirang singil sa kuryente (The President and the government will continue to monitor developments on this issue. They remain determined not to allow an unjustified rate adjustment),” Coloma said on state-run Radyo ng Bayan. Coloma said the government respects the views of the protesters and said the Aquino administration is willing to listen to groups if they have concrete suggestions related to the grievances they have raised. The Department of Energy or DOE has already started public consultations to include the power industry stakeholders on its proposed amendments to EPIRA or the Republic Act 9136. The consultations, which started January 10, ends on February 5. The DOE, citing the results of the 2011 Household Energy Consumption Survey, said electricity remains as the most common source of energy used by household in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

Zamboanga Peninsula

Mindanao Examiner Newspaper Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014  

Jan. 27- Feb. 2, 2014

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