Page 1


Volume VI, No. 217



February 17, 2017


320 drums of chemicals for shabu seized in Misor By GERRY LEE GORIT Correspondent

TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental--The Bureau of Customs here in Region 10 (BOC-10) has sought for the issuance of a Warrant of Seizure and Detention for the 320 drums of hydrochlo-

House okays FOI bill

Fast facts: Hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is found naturally in the intestines as an ingredient in human digestive fluid. If spilled on the skin, this acid will actually damaging to the human flesh. In the industrial world, hydrochloric acid is used in leather processing and to remove iron oxide and rust from steel. Meth (shabu) users choose to purposefully ingest this corrosive acid into their bodies. ric acid, a component used in making “shabu” (methamphetamine, a powerfully addictive ice or crystal meth stimulant), shipped

from India to the Mindanao Container Terminal in this sub-port. Intelligence Officer II Alvin Y. Enciso, OIC,

Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of Cagayan de Oro and the Sub-ports, said the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and

THE House committee on public information, in a move to uphold and strengthen the people’s right to information, unanimously approved this week the much-awaited Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. Rep. Antonio Tinio (Party-list, ACT Teachers), committee chairman, presented to the panel a substitute bill, which is a consolidation of 33 measures on the FOI proposal. Under the unnumbered substitute bill, the public drums of chemicals. Examiners from the Bureau of Customs in Region 10 conduct an inspection of the drums it seized containing hydrochloric acid, a component shall be granted See house, page 7

Detention for the chemicals shipped here inside four containers was made after finding out that the consignee, Juchem Enterprises

based in Butuan City, failed to secure and present the essential import permits and licenses. See chemicals, page 7

Heavy rainfall poses risk for landslides in quake-rocked Surigao By Catherine J. Teves of PNA

Expected moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall in Caraga Region is elevating the risk for landslides in earthquake-stricken Surigao del Norte province. “Such rainfall can be an additional trigger for those landslides,” said geologist Ericson Bariso from Staterun Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). He noted the expected rainfall can set off landslides in areas already at risk for these hazards due to aftershocks of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that rocked Surigao last week. Such areas are in hilly locations with either loose soil or ground fractures, he said. “People there must check their surroundings for such features and prepare accordingly,” he noted. In its 24-hour forecast released Thursday, used in making shabu, Tuesday (February 14) at the Mindanao Container Terminal sub-port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit for Mindanao Daily

Sol-Gen moves to acquit Janet Napoles on serious illegal detention charges

See poses, page 7

By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan of PNA

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Wednesday asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider their manifestation on the decision of the Makati court that sentenced to reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment to alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles over the serious illegal detention charges filed against her by whistleblower Benhur Luy. “I reviewed it personally and I was convinced the decision was wrong. The RTC (Regional Trial Court) erred in convicting the accused Janet Napoles for the crime of serious illegal detention. When we look at the evidence, the transcript of records, there are many instances that will support the acquittal of the accused,” Calida said in a press conference held in Makati City. No Balance Billing policy. In celebration of its 22nd anniversary, Philippine Health Insurance CorNapoles appealed the lower court’s decision at the poration (Philhealth), Region 10 awards on February 15, 2017, four government health care institutions in Northern Mindanao for compliance of its No Balance Billing (NBB) policy particularly Bukidnon Provincial Hospital (Talakag, Court of Appeals. Since this is a People of the See charges, page 7

Bukidnon), Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital (Claveria), Doña Maria Tan Memorial Hospital in Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Kauswagan Provincial Hospital in Lanao del Norte. Photo courtesy of PIA-10


SECOND FRONT PAGE mark francisco, Section Editor EDITOR: RUEL V. PELONE



February 17, 2017

Envi groups back Lopez on closure of mining companies By Antonio L. Colina IV of MindaNews

Green advocates here praised Environment secretary Regina Lopez for the closure of 23 mining operations and the cancellation of 75 existing mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) within the watershed areas, a move described as “long overdue action” since the environment has long been degraded by “unregulated mining activities.” Chinkie T. Pelino-Golle. acting executive director of the Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) said they commend the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for its bold decision against mining companies whose unregulated mining activities caused the devastation of the environment. “It is a long overdue action since the environment has already been devastated by the unregulated mining activities. Local communities have long been suffering from the destructions and continue to suffer from poverty,” she said in an e-mail. She added that the mining companies have failed to deliver on their promise of development to the communities and even violated environmental and social justice, citing how the mining operations have destroyed the biodiversity. “Biodiversity, supposedly, will support the needs of the people to survive and will ensure a balanced environment. But with the mining operations, biodiversity is also gone and so are the benefits they give,” she said.

She also called on DENR, local government units (LGUs), and mining-affected communities to work together to rehabilitate the mined areas. “Let us give DENR and this government, a chance, to uphold environmental and social justice,” she said. In a text message, Dr. Jean Lindo, an environmental activist from the Panalipdan Mindanao, said several anti-mining activists have been killed in their fight against operations of mining companies in their communities. “These communities have remained poor despite the mining operations. The rivers and coastal areas are very important source of water and food. They suffer food insecurity and health problems. How could we consider this responsible mining?” she said. “The claim of the apologists that mining closure as the cause of suicide is irresponsible. Extreme poverty and disaster will trigger suicide. They cannot use the workers as economic shield. They do not genuinely care about workers. I would rather see the government support agriculture than resource extraction that consumes more than it gives,” she said. Mylai Santos, director of Ecoteneo Division of the Ateneo de Davao University, echoed the same support for Sec. Lopez by saying it was high time that the stakeholders put the environmental and people’s general welfare at the forefront of development. A DENR press release issued on Tuesday See groups, page 6

President Rodrigo Duterte arrives in Surigao City via helicopter, where he saw for himself the ruined mountains of Surigao due to mining. Malacañang photo

Palace: Due process to be observed in cancellation of 75 mining contracts THE latest Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) order cancelling 75 mining contracts throughout the country is consistent with the law, but due process must still be observed before its enforcement, a Malacañang official clarified Wednesday. “The cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) by Secretary Regina Lopez is consistent with Republic Act 7942 that mining applications are closed to proclaimed watershed forest reserves,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto

Abella said in a statement distributed to media. “However, as agreed upon in the last Cabinet meeting, the DENR is to establish that it has gone through due process before enforcing the applicable laws, rules, or regulations,” Abella said. According to the Palace official, “the DENR is to issue a show cause order for concerned mining companies and they will be given seven days to reply.” Lopez on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of the 75 mining contracts in an intensified campaign to

stop extraction of resources in sensitive areas. The cancelled contracts, which cover projects that are still in the exploration stage or are not yet in production, are all located in watershed zones. These include the USD5.9-billion Tampakan gold and copper project in South Cotabato, potentially the country’s biggest foreign investment and believed to be one of the largest gold prospects in the world. Also affected by the cancellation order was the USD1.2-billion copper-gold project of Philex Mining

Corp., one of the country’s biggest miners, in Mindanao. Lopez said that she had to order the cancellation of the MPSAs because they could endanger the water supply. Earlier, the DENR chief ordered the closure of 23 of the country’s 41 mineral mines while five other mines were suspended. The February 2 decision to close or suspend existing mine operations followed a months-long audit of the mines. This prompted an outcry See contracts, page 7

Duterte backs Lopez on Surigao mines closure SURIGAO City--President Rodrigo R. Duterte is supporting Environment Secretary Gina Lopez’s order to close erring mining firms, particularly those in the Surigao provinces. Duterte, who was in the city Sunday to console victims of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake, said he was disheartened by the sight of denuded mountains and silted coastlines during a flyby en route here. “Pahakpahak na ang mga kabukiran diri sa Surigao” (The

mountains of Surigao have been destroyed), he told Surigaonons, among them representatives of mining companies who came to help out in the relief efforts. “I leave it up to Gina. If she says that the mines should be closed, then I can do nothing about it,” Duterte said in his speech at the city auditorium. The President acknowledged that the next problem would be workers affected by the closure. He said he already instructed Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas

to prepare for potential massive jobs loss, but added that the government might have to help find alternative jobs for affected workers once the closure order will be enforced. According to the Caraga Chamber of Mines, 30,000 workers will be affected if the 14 mining firms in the region would be closed. But data from Mine and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) show that the number is less than half – only 13,090 direct jobs. Of the 14 mining firms found to

be violating environment laws and ordered closed by Lopez, seven are in Dinagat Island, four in Surigao del Norte and three in Surigao del Sur. Duterte promised to help find another source of income for the people of Surigao, especially now that some investors have come in. He said the government is offering small and medium livelihood programs for people who will be affected by the expected massive job loss. This, Duterte said, will be undertaken by the Department

of Trade and Industry. MGB regional director Roger de Dios said they have not yet served the closure order against the 14 mining companies in the region. Anti-mining protesters in the Surigao provinces expressed elation upon hearing the President’s words against mining companies. “Mura’g dili ko kaginhawa sa kalipay” (I’m so happy, I’m breathless), said Emma Hotchkiss, one of the anti-mining protest leaders in Cantilan town in Surigao del Sur. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)

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Friday, February 17, 2017



Friday, February 17, 2017


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Rolando sudaria Production

Solon appalled’ by Sol-Gen’s move to acquit Janet Napoles BAYAN Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate yesterday said he is “gravely appalled” by the move of Solicitor General Jose Calida recommending the acquittal of Pork Barrel Queen Janet Lim Napoles of serious illegal detention charges while at the same time pushing for the arrest of NDFP consultants involved in the peace negotiations. In a press statement, Zarate said: “Na-


bureau and mktg staff candy macabale - 09161326483 RIZA O. ARES - 0915-9753-277/0926-2242-653 MISOR - LOLONG NABONG - 0906-875-8650 GINGOOG CITY-MANNY ANSIHAGAN-0936-287-7788 North Buk. - DAHLIA S. BENEMERITO-0936-303-0410 VALENCIA CITY - PHILIP PHIL CALUMBA-0905-652-5407 MARAMAG - roFINA CUALES - 0926-336-1585 quezon, buk. - ROSE GENON Iligan City - JEFFREY OPONDA-0936-1174378 tangub city - bobby mag usara OROQUIETA CITY - PJ TREMEDAL-0919-3452375 ARMM - Sony Sudaria-0947-4810371 cotabato - ANALISA ESPAÑOLA-0916-9351714 davao - tom a. caballero-09756023684 davao - tomas canoy avancena jr.-09177017010 davao del norte - sarah castor - 09263988293 digos city, dvo sur & kidapawan - romeo d. sanchez davao city - rene s. arias (Photo Journalist,) butuan - PAT SAMONTE-0912-8091093 san frans - CRIS PANGANIBAN-09277974193 San Francisco - deding PANGANBAN-0927-7974193 Pagadian City - GRACE FRANCISCO -0912-8484037 ZAMBOANGA - AL JACINTO -09177103642 Member: ORO CHAMBER Philippine Press Institute

Rep. Zarate

Kakampi Mo Ang Batas

Why did Aguirre cancel foreigners’ visas?

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… It is time for you to manila marketing office act, Lord; your law is being 9th Flr, Unit 918, CityLand Herrera VA Rufino cor. Valero St. broken…” (Psalm 119:126, Salcedo Village, Makati City the Holy Bible). TEL. #: 5555392, Cell No.: 0977-152-8860 -oooWHY DID AGUIRRE lani vallido MIJIE JUAT CANCEL FOREIGNERS’ Marketing and Sales MAY IGLECIAS VISAS? One detail that Manager Account Executives needed further looking into in the on-going Senate DAVAO booking OFFICE Door 223, Doña Segunda Bldg., CM Recto Ave., Davao City investigation of the P50 Office in Charge : SARA CASTOR, 0926-398-8293 million bribery scandal Circulation : JOHN PAUL AQUINO, 0907-331-5640 affecting the Bureau of ILIGAN OFFICE Immigration involves the G/F IBJT North Terminal, Tambo, Hinaplanon, Iligan City alleged issuance by Justice Office in Charge: SONNY SURDIA, 0916-349-7422 Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II of an order cancelling the visa of all foreigners EDITORIAL who are engaged in online ALLAN M. MEDIANTE gaming in the Philippines. Editor-in-Chief It would appear from the investigation on Thurs ruel pelone CRIS DIAZ day, February 16, 2017, Managing Editor Executive Editor that the supposed order CHENG ORDOÑEZ MARK FRANCISCO from Aguirre triggered the Associate Editor Lifestyle Editor raid at the Fontana Casino GILBERT Y. CHAO gerry lee gorit and Resorts at the Clark Motoring Editor Photo Journalist Freeport Zone and resulted in the arrest of around PAT SAMONTE CHRIS PANGANIBAN 1,300 Chinese nationals Regional Editor Caraga Regional Editor-Davao who had been working for Rene Michael BaÑos uRIEL C. QUILINGUING Jack Lam, Fontana’s owner. Regional Editor Northmin Contributing Editor Jack Lam’s employees al AL JACINTO JOE FELICILDA legedly did not have visas Regional Editor-WestMin Editorial Consultant authorizing them to work in the Philippines. RODRIGO B. SEVILLA JOE PALABAO The question that Agu Regional Editor-Davao Feature Editor irre needed to answer is this: why were the visas ATTY. MARIO T. JUNI NOTARY PUBLIC- JUNI LAW OFFICE CELL NO: 09352379999/ (088) 8573595 CRUZ TAAL ST., CAG. DE ORO CITY Legal Counsel

kakabahala itong ginawa ng SolGen. Bakit of all cases na nasa opisina ng SolGen, may special interes sa Napoles case.” He added: “Ang nandambong ng bilyong-bilyong pisong pera ng mamamayan gusto palayain pero yung nagsusulong ng tunay na kapayapaan sa Pilipinas ay gusto nilang makulong. Nabaligtad ata ang dapat mangyari.”

of foreig ners engage d in online gaming in the country cancelled by him? If the foreigners already had visas in their favor, and therefore they had authority to work here, why would their visas be cancelled, and then be arrested on the ground they had no visas? This has to be explained carefully, if you ask me! -oooS O L G E N C A L I DA ONLY EXERCISED HIS DUTY: Solicitor General Jose Calida could not be faulted in any way in his decision to submit a manifestation with the Court of Appeals upholding the innocence of Janet Lim Napoles with respect to the serious illegal detention case which a former aid, Ben Hur Luy, filed against her and over which she was found guilty last year. In my practice as a private lawyer handling cases for some accused and for some parties in civil cases, I had encountered in the past, long before Calida became solicitor general, similar manifestations or declarations of previous Solicitor Generals siding with the arguments pro-

pounded by the accused, and discrediting decisions rendered by the courts. It is in fact a part of Calida’s duty to speak out in favor of a person who is an adverse party in a case involving the government if in his honest opinion that person is entitled to be favored, or if the government’s position in a case cannot be supported by the Solicitor General. -oooNAPOLES CAN IMPLICATE TOP PNOY OFFICIALS IN PORK SCAM: The lamentations, therefore, of those who are disagree with Calida’s manifestation are pure hogwash. I am convinced Calida’s critics are assailing his manifestation favoring Napoles because they are merely afraid that Napoles may now seriously think of pursuing her earlier revelations with respect to the P10 pork barrel scam involving lawmakers and other officials of the Aquino government. We should not forget that Napoles implicated former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, a pillar of the Liberal Party of former President Noynoy Aquino as the one who

Atty. Batas Mauricio

taught her how to deal with lawmakers, in an effort to entice them to allow nongovernmental organizations under her control to use their pork barrel allocations, in exchange for commissions. It must also be noted that after the serious illegal detention case against Napoles was filed in court resulting in the issuance of a non-bailable arrest warrant against her, ranking officials of the Aquino government--namely Secretaries Edwin Lacierda and Mar Roxas, and even President Aquino himself---took time out to personally attend to her before she was finally surrendered to the police! -oooPLEASE LISTEN: “Ang Tanging Daan” (The Sole Way): a Bible Exposition and prayer session online, could now be heard 24/7 (24 hours a day), in the Philippines and the world at Phone: 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email:

Think A Minute

Temper your temper

Think a minute. There’s a story about a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he got angry and lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into the fence! But over the next few weeks, as the boy was learning to control his temper, the number of nails he hammered each day gradually became fewer. Soon the boy discovered that it was easier to hold his temper than hammer nails into the fence. Finally the day came, when the boy did not lose

his temper one time. He went to his father and proudly told him that he’d finally learned to control his anger. His father was ver y pleased. Then he told his son to go back to the fence and start pulling out one nail each day that he continued controlling his temper. Many days later the boy was so proud of himself the day he announced to his father that he had finally been able to pull out all the nails in the fence. His dad said: “Son, you’ve done so well in learning to control your anger. I’m very proud of you. But now look at all the holes in the fence from your nails. This fence

will never be the same! It’s like that when you get angry and say hurtful things to people. Your angry words leave scars just like the holes from these nails. Afterwards it doesn’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry,’ that wound and scar you made in people’s hearts is still there.” Sometimes the hurts and wounds we make with our angry words are the worst kind. Yes, we should always apologize and tell others we’re sorry when we hurt them. But our families and friends would be much happier if we simply learned to control our anger in the first place. Think how much

Jhan Tiafau Hurst

more peaceful and happy our life would be. So if you have trouble controlling your anger, you can give your heart to Jesus Christ today. It’s with His help and power you can start changing. You might start with small steps and control your temper one hour at a time. But the most important step is the first one. So why not take it now? Just Think a Minute.

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The Striker


NCCP Statement

Restoring the death penalty is missing the point

The need to be prepared PEOPLE living in the Philippines must be prepared for eventualities all the time in their lives. Sad to state that our county is strategically located in a place that no one would like it. We have everything of disasters. But this is the only place we have ever since--so we are able to adjust its environment and we live with such things as earthquakes, heavy rains, floods, destructions, fires, hunger at times, joblessness, traffic, discomforts, heat of the sun and perhaps dozens more. Except for the homes of the millionaires, our homes are not air-conditioned and we suffer the brunt of the summer heat. During cold season, we live without heaters and go on with life with just thick clothes. Some wise women put towels on their shoulders to constantly wipe perspirations and still smile with comforts. Men sometimes go out with just kamisitas as a way to feel the air direct to their skins. We survive in all kinds of weather amidst discomfort and deprivations. Many of us never knew what luxury in life is all about. Food is scarce and some of us even eat with no spoon and fork, just the bare hands. In some places in the countryside, Filipinos got contented eating bananas or root crops and drink water from rivers or creeks.. One woman interviewed on a TV newscast

Friday, February 17, 2017

and revealed sometimes they go to bed with an empty stomach. All these things are practically normal to all of us. The evidence in the multi-million plunder case against Sen. Bong Revilla must be strong because the Supreme Court denied his petition to dismiss the said criminal case. Subsequently, the court ordered the Sandiganbayan to proceed trial. Once the Sandiganbayan begins trial, it will not take long and Revilla either is set free or handcuffed and driven to his cell in the national penitentiary. Well, the P227-million pesos involved is quite big funds belonging to the taxpayers. The trouble in a criminal case is if convicted, the accused goes to jail plus he has to pay the amounts involved. Huge plunder cases must be punishable by death to deter public officials from stealing the peoples money. We should target politicians who have the habit of making jokes with our money. They should sit on the electric chair or thrown to hungry crocodiles in the lake. They have fooled us long time ago and now we must stop them. Some of our lawmakers are reluctant to establish the law, perhaps fearing someday they are dragged into the world of monkey business and charged in court. I want erring lawmakers punished

too, like anyone of us. Tensions among superpowers are mounting. Let us always invoke the help of the Divine Providence for understanding and world peace. Conflicts that involved the nuclear military power of nations are very dangerous and could spell the end of the world. The power of prayers could change everything around us and give future generations a chance to come. The Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines should go on with its peace talk despite sporadic firefight in the hinterlands. Let us stop this 48-year-old useless war that has been causing a lot of money for the two groups and thousands of lives lost. This war is stupid. Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre is in favor of putting up air-conditioning units to high profile convicted inmates because the jails are very hot, causing the rise of blood pressure to three of them. Whatever is in the mind of Aguirre, the installation of Air-con units is a special privilege and he should do this to all jails in the country. This is definitely for VIPs. And I should remind him too, that convicts in jail are not tourists and being in jail is a form of punishment for their crimes. Let them suffer. On the issue of blood


Ben Emata Jr.

pressure, let the doctors examine them. Aguirre should not prescribe airconditionings units. That is illegal practice of medicines. Another thing, it was Aguirre who said drug lords, pushers and other criminals are not part of humanity. Elementary pupils know that the pronouncement is WW or wrong word used in grammar. After the suspension of the fight against the illegal drugs, Quezon City drug lords are reportedly back to business. This must be the result of the government’s selective war against this menace to society. These drug lords knew, for a fact, only the poor are being shot to death and the powerful and influential are untouchable. This only proves my contention that President Duterte will fail in his battle against the use of illegal drugs, because addiction is like smoking of cigarettes that is really difficult to stop. I should know because I was once a heavy smoker for twenty years and I fought it off the hard way.

THE National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) re-iterates its strong objection to death penalty. No person is beyond God’s redemptive love. This was NCCP’s stand conveyed to the Constitutional Commission which framed the 1986 Constitution. At its 14th General Convention in November 21-24, 1989, the NCCP opposed the death penalty on the following grounds: a) it violates the right to life and is an ultimate, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment; b) its imposition and infliction is brutalizing to all who are involved in the process; c) it is irrevocable and can be inflicted on the innocent; and, d) it is unnecessary in an enlightened penal policy which emphasizes the rehabilitation of offenders rather than retribution. The same Convention said “the imposition of death penalty misses the point in leading our country towards a more democratic life. The rise in crime and insurgency cannot be abated by the restoration of the death penalty because the measure does nothing to address the very reason why Filipinos are driven to criminality (and insurgency). It is poverty and inequality that must be addressed by government and all responsible sectors if violence must be lessened. Another point is that the example set by so many of our leaders is one of graft, corruption and incompetence. Citizens no longer have respect for those who create and preserve the law. This breakdown . . . leads some to justify their violent actions.” Christian teaching affirms God as the creator and redeemer and nobody has the right to take human life away, even though a cursory look at the Old Testament seem to suggest that “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and “a life for a life” are acceptable. Jesus Christ who is the fulfillment of the law has inaugurated the commandment upon which the law and the prophets stand – the command to love God and to love neighbor (Matt 22:37-39). Paul expounds on this further in his appeal to the Romans to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. (Rom 12:2) Thus, we preach love and See MISSING, page 7



All-out peace rather than all-out war

ALARMED by the recent announcement of an all-out war by the Philippine government through Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front (NDF), following President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to terminate the formal talks, we, members and allied partners and networks of the All-Out Peace (AOP), urge both the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the CPP/NPA/NDF to instead work towards all – out peace. We urge them to pause and contemplate on the possible repercussion of an all-out war scenario especially on people on the ground, who, for the last five decades, have been at the receiving end of this prolonged armed-conflict. The AOP speaks in behalf of its constituency among the women, children, youth, peace workers, indigenous peoples, even spouses and relatives of soldiers, guerillas and specially those innocent victims caught in

the crossfire and the rest of the most vulnerable sectors in times of war. This war, waged in the name of the people, is as vicious as its aftermath. This has to stop. And the people, their future and welfare, must be given premium if we, as one nation, intend to live up to our collective desire to arrest this cycle of senseless wars. The people have had enough. Looking at the cost of war for decades, with previous governments lavishly spending billions of taxes on arms and ammunition instead of allocating the national budget for social services such as health, housing and education, brought us further to exasperation and hopelessness. The continuation of this war is essentially a thievery from and a crime against the people. Any war of attrition such as this five-decade old armed conflict has proven futile and detrimental to the interests and welfare of the people especially to communities. Historically, a military approach has been proven to be ineffective to

curb the conflict as it has brought further unrest to peaceful communities, and caused destruction of livelihood and displacement of thousands of families. This has been in fact recognized by this current government thus its initial bold and fresh approach to the process. At this particular juncture, we urge both the GRP and NDF to refrain from throwing accusations against each other and instead maximize the official negotiating table to settle their differences and reaffirm the primacy of the peace process—the peace process that was a byproduct not only of the peace panels’ tedious negotiations but of the people consistently engaging this process for a durable and lasting peace. We urge both sides to stay the course for genuine peace, and towards this direction, we implore both sides to at least re-install their unilateral ceasefires. For us, there are still reasons to be optimistic and recent setbacks are mere challenges that can be See PEACE, page 6

R.E.R. Highway, Kauswagan, Cagayan de Oro City Telefax. No. (088) 856-5763, Cel. No. 09268376542




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Friday, February 17, 2017

Peace... from page 5

surmounted through active dialogue. We likewise appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his decision to terminate the formal talks as this will bring the whole country back to square one. In just a short period, the recent talks had been making significant advances compared to earlier negotiations such as the agreement on free land distribution to landless farmers under Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) which also seeks to address the root causes of conflict; formation of the Bilateral Working Teams of Reciprocal Working Committees (RWCs) in order to accelerate the drafting of CASER; exchange of drafts and initial discussion on Political and Constitutional Reforms; signing of a Supplementary Agreement for the operationalization of the Joint Monitoring Committee for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL); and agreement of both parties to discuss the government’s proposal for a binding bilateral ceasefire pact on February 22 to 25 in the Netherlands. These remarkable achievements, we at AOP believe, are enough reasons to add our voices to the mounting call for the resumption of peace talks between the GRP and NDF. Terminating the formal

talks therefore would only put to waste these substantive gains. Ending the talks will put in jeopardy the “most compelling reason” why peace negotiation must continue—that war can never be a substitute to the people’s yearning for a just and lasting peace. As part of the broader movement for peace in the Philippines, the AOP appeals for sobriety, mutual respect and calmness to the members of the peace panels. We fervently hope that by the time they decide to resume the peace talks, the interest of the people will be the core of their peace table. NO TO ALL-OUT WAR! YES TO ALL-OUT PEACE! All-Out Peace Movement: BALAY Rehabilitation Center (BALAY), Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (GZO-PI), Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace), Center for Peace Education (CPE) - Miriam College, Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN), Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), Violeta Gloria, PeaceBuilders Community Incorporated, The Center for Legislative Development, Coffee For Peace (CFP), Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW).

Groups... from page 2

quoted Lopez as saying that her decision is backed by the provisions of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 that gives her

the power to regulate and make decisions pertaining to watersheds and even cited the Forestry Code, which “mandates that surface mined areas should be brought back to its natural state.” “This is to show you that whatever dictum I make on watersheds, this is in fact protected by the Mining Act of 1995 which says that we must enhance national growth in a way that effectively safeguards the environment and protects the right of the affected communities,” the release quoted Lopez. The release added that last week’s closure of 23 mining operations – 15 of them operating within the watershed areas – were based on the outcome of the industry-wide audit conducted by DENR since July 2016. Due process Rodulfo Palma, president of the Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region (ARMOR) 11, called for “due process” in the issuance of closure orders and cancellations of MPSAs by the environment chief. “It’s not even a usual Valentine’s gift for all the communities, specifically members of the host communities of the mining companies,” he said. He said mining companies will take appropriate actions after they receive the show cause orders to allow them to respond within seven days “why their MPSAs should not be cancelled for threatening watersheds, which are a

major source of drinking and recreational water for many communities.” “For mining companies, what we are waiting for is the serving of the notices so that the mining companies can also evaluate and know the specific basis for the cancellation or issuance of such order without which, the mining companies would be in limbo on what to do,” he said. Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 11 director Wilfredo G. Moncano expressed dismay over the environmental chief ’s pronouncement by saying her decision is not only killing the mining industry but also veering away from President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s promise of industrialization. “It’s a sad day because …the statement or pronouncement of President when he assumed office

that the direction of the country is for industrialization. Now what will happen to that direction if the mining industry is slowly being killed? The mining industry for that matter is an important component of industrialization. We want to produce our own steel products, we need to have mines operating to feed to these steel manufacturing companies. It will really be a direction that is contradicting the direction of a president,” he said. Lopez announced on February 14 that 75 MPSA’s will be given show cause orders, 37 of them in Mindanao. Nine out of the 37 are in Davao Region – four in Compostela Valley (Kingking Mining Corp., Alsons Development and Investment Co., Inc., King Eagle Exploration and Mining

Corporation, Napnapan Mineral Resources, Inc.) and five in Davao Oriental (Dabawenyos Minerals Corporation, Phil. Youbang Mining International Corp., Sinophil Mining and Trading Corporation, Core Mining Corporation, Oro-East Mining Company, Inc.) He said about 400 direct workers will be displaced by the closure order but he added mining companies will suffer from major losses in terms of future investments. “If they proceed with the cancellation, it will result in the loss of taxes, loss of royalties, loss of real property taxes, loss of employment, loss of social development and management program for the communities, and of course, the aspiring professionals. All of these will be lost,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/ MindaNews)

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Chemicals... from page 1

The shipment’s broker is identified as Abel Avergonzado of Davao City. Enciso said the result of the initial examination done on the shipment last Tuesday, February 14, showed a discrepancy of being “restricted or regulated good without import permit or clearance.” He said: “The close coordination of the BOC’s CIIS and the IG (Intelligence Group) and PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), especially with the instruction from President Rodrigo Duterte to monitor incoming shipments in line with the anti-drugs campaign of the government, the shipment, consisting of four 20-footer containers, is found to be one of the regulated essentials chemicals being regulated by the PDEA.” “It is considered a dangerous chemical if it goes to the wrong hands. It is one of the essential elements or chemicals used in making shabu,” Enciso said. Although there are many other uses of the hydrochloric acid, Enciso explained it is regulated because the government wants to know where it will be specifically used because it is considered a dangerous chemical. “Me binato po sa atin na impormasyon ang PDEA na me papasok na hydrochloric acid galing sa abroad (kaya) hinigpitan po natin ang monitoring at natumbok nga po natin ang apat na containers with hydrochloric acid coming from India,” said Enciso. Enciso said the owner of Juchem Enterprises appeared before his office, and claimed that they do not know that the shipped chemical is regulated. “Marami pong violations ang nangyari sa importation na ito -- violation ng PDEA regulations, violation ng Dangerous Drug Board regulations, violation ng FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) at DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) regulations, at lalong lalo na po sa bagong batas natin, ang Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, mhigpit pong pinagbabawal ang pag import ng regulated items ng walang corresponding import permits,” Enciso said. Juchem Enterprises alleged the chemicals will be supplied to a mining company, yet PDEA and CIIS are still verifying where the chemicals will be used. “We also intend to visit the company or companies where they claimed they are supplying the chemicals so we would know where exactly they are using the chemicals,” Enciso added. “But, just the same, PDEA is preparing to file cases against this importer. As per instruction from Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and Deputy Commissioner Atty Teddy S.

Raval, and as communicated by the new director of CIIS, Neil Anthony Estrella, that the shipment be opened immediately,” Enciso said. Nasrudin Guro, chief of the Assessment Division, said prior to importation, there must be clearance from PDEA and FDA. “We found out that upon entry (of the shipment) there were none. So, we recommended for the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention of the shipment,” Guro said. “For now, they have to present all the necessary papers to the legal department. We have already endorsed it for WSD,” he added. Prior to the examination last Tuesday, the CIIS, after receiving an information of the shipment from the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA), requested for an Alert Order against the the four containers of Hydrochloric Acid, which arrived the sub-port on January 31, 2017, which Request for Witness Examination was approved by Atty. Tomas Alcid, district collector of Bureau of Customs in Region 10. Enciso said he requested for Alert Order for suspected violation of the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, series of 2003, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts of 2002, and lack of special permit for Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemical (CPECs) from PDEA and DDB, lack of permit to import from the Philippine National Police’s Firearms and Explosive Office, lack of FDA and DENR permits on toxic and hazardous substances and wastes. A thorough examination on the contents of every drum is being prepared to determine the exact contents of the shipment, in coordination with PDEA, FDA, DENR and other concerned agencies. Enciso said the chemicals may produce hundreds of millions worth of shabu, if it went to illegal drug producers.

Poses... from page 1

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned of possible landslides and flash floods from moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall and thunderstorms expected in Caraga, Davao and Soccsksargen regions. “Such weather will likely persist there until Friday,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja. He expects weather in the three regions to begin improving afterwards. The tail-end of a cold front bringing rainfall there will likely be already moving northwards away from Mindanao this weekend, he said. Phivolcs reported already recording, as of 11 a.m. Thursday, 190 aftershocks from last week’s Surigao earthquake.


Friday, February 17, 2017 The strongest of those was a magnitude 5.0 aftershock this Tuesday at 4:03 a.m., said Phivolcs. Nineteen of the recorded aftershocks were felt. Eight people in Surigao del Norte were reported dead f rom last week’s earthquake, said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in its situation report 7 released Thursday. NDRRMC also said around 202 people sustained injuries from the earthquake but they already received medical treatment. The earthquake affected about 16,655 people in 60 villages of Surigao del Norte. Authorities concerned so far estimated at almost PHP700 million Surigao del Norte’s damages from the earthquake, NDRRMC said. It noted the earthquake damaged several roads and bridges, port facilities, power and water facilities, a hospital, drug treatment and rehabilitation center, other public infrastructure and facilities, a school and various school facilities in the province. Around 3,257 houses in Surigao del Norte also sustained damages from the earthquake. (PNA)

Charges... from page 1

Philippines case, the Solicitor General was ordered to respond. “The OSG is the defender of the Republic and at the same time the tribune of the people. I am a servant of the law and I took an oath to uphold the rule of law adding that the personalities involved in the case is immaterial to the decision of his office to comment and file the pleading before the appellate court,” Calida noted. “We did not file our manifestation for the purpose of acquitting the person. It is just to let the Court of Appeals know what our opinion on the matter. It is up to the justices of the CA to assess the weight of our pleading and modesty aside, the OSG is considered as the 16th justice of the Supreme Court because we are partners with the judiciary,” he explained. The OSG said in its manifestation that it reviewed Napoles’ reply brief dated Sept. 20, 2016, wherein appellant Napoles said the “element of deprivation of liberty is absent and wanting in this case”. Based on such review of the evidence presented by prosecution and defense, the OSG said, “the evidence presented does not support beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed crime of serious illegal detention.” The OSG also noted that the conduct and behavior of Luy during the time he was supposedly being detained against his will did not bear out his allegations of coercion and restriction. “Indeed, the conduct and behavior of Benhur

Luy during the period of his alleged detention belie the fact that he was detained or deprived of his liberty, contrary to the findings of the trial court in its April 14, 2015 decision,” the OSG said. The OSG manifestation was based, among others, on the testimony of one priest, Fr. Peter Edward Lavin and the NBI-special task force team leader who helped Luy, and the security guards at the condominium building where Napoles lived. Calida said he was convinced after reviewing the case filed against Napoles by pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy that Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda erred in convicting her in 2015. Among the evidences that he said convinced the OSG of Napoles’ innocence in the case is the fact that Luy was not restrained and was even able to see his family three times during his supposed captivity. Luy, who was employed in Napoles’s JLN Group of Companies, claimed he was detained by Napoles and her brother, Reynaldo “Jojo” Lim at the Bahay ni San Jose, a Catholic retreat house in Magallanes Village, Makati City, occupied by priests, and then at the Pacific Plaza Towers in Taguig City, where the Napoles family resides. Calida said there is no witness that testified about Luy’s detention. He adde d t hat Luy was able to see his family and even resisted the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who was supposed to rescue him at Napoles’residence in Taguig on March 2013. “So you can see the conduct and behavior of Luy during that time belie his claim that he was being detained against his will,” Calida said adding that as an agent of law, he is dutybound to state the facts of the case and “not sent an innocent person to the gallows.” He reiterated that as Solicitor General, his interest is to see to it that justice is served. At the same time, he said President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing to do with his actions on the case. “Where did they get that idea? The President has nothing to do with this. I’m just doing my job and President Duterte does not instruct his Cabinet members on what to do. We are talking here about the rule of law and my mandate is to see to it that justice is done,” he explained adding that those who link the action of his office to alleged deal with Napoles have fertile imagination. Still, he said it is still the Court of Appeals’ discretion if it will consider their manifestation. Napoles is now detained at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City. Apart from the serious

illegal detention case, Napoles is also facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam implicating some lawmakers and other government officials. (PNA)

House... from page 1

“access to official records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.” The measure covers all government agencies in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches as well as the constitutional bodies; all agencies, departments, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities of the national government; Constitutional Commissions and constitutionally mandated bodies; local governments and all their agencies; regulatory agencies; chartered institutions; government-owned or –controlled corporations (GOCCs), including wholly-owned or controlled subsidiaries; government financial institutions (GFIs); state universities and colleges (SUCs); the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); the Philippine National Police (PNP); all offices in the Congress of the Philippines, including the offices of Senators and Representatives; and the Supreme Court and all lower courts established by law. It mandates the President of the Philippines, Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, senators, congressmen, SC justices, members of Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and AFP generals and flag officers to disclose their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) in their respective official websites. The bill further orders all agencies in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government to publish in their websites and update on a monthly basis the public interest documents and records, including, among others: the annual budget; itemized monthly collections and disbursement; summary of income and expenditure; annual procurement plan and procurement list; items for bidding; bid results on civil works, goods, and services; abstract of bids, as calculated; procurement contracts entered into; private sector participation agreements or contracts in infrastructure and development projects; audited financial statements, annual budgets, revenue allotments, and expenditures; utilization of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), Special Education Fund, Local Development Fund, and other Local Government Unit (LGU) funds; and loans from domestic and foreign financial institutions, and loans, grants for development assistance, technical assistance, utilization of all forms of donations for

calamity-stricken areas and programs entered into by a government agency. Depending on the gravity and repetition of the act, the bill seeks to impose administrative and criminal liabilities and penalties against any public official or employee for violation. Another salient feature of the bill is the integration of “the right to information, the principles of accountability and transparency, democracy and leadership, and good governance” in the elementary and secondary curriculum. A “Congressional Oversight Committee,” composed of six members from the Senate and six members from the House of Representatives, shall also be created to oversee the implementation of the proposed legislation. The substitute bill is a consolidation of House Bill Nos. 32, 63, 75, 77, 112, 120, 127, 161, 197, 224, 236, 237, 251, 330, 334, 463, 560, 684, 685, 737, 903, 913, 973, 1030, 1055, 1121, 1251, 1295, 1476, 1479, 1647, 2284, 2309, 2331. / ABR

Missing... from page 5

not hate, not repaying evil with evil, but to consider what is noble for all, striving to live peaceably with all (Rom 12:17-18). The death penalty breeds resentful and vengeful hearts. It does not a community make. We preach sharing of God’s providence and bounty that all may be fed, clothed, enjoy the comforts of a home and be free from sickness and thirst (Matt. 25:31-40). God of life, lead us to peace and justice. Amen.

Contracts... from page 2

from the mining industry, represented by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), which maintained that due process were not observed in the proceedings. On February 7, Abella said that President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet decided to give affected mining firms the opportunity to present their side. “This means companies affected by mining closures for violations of environmental laws and regulations will be given the opportunity to respond to or dispute the audit, or make the necessary remedies to ensure compliance with government standards,” Abella said. (PNA)


Coal mining is an industry rife with mismanagement, corruption, greed and an almost blatant disregard for the safety, health and quality of life of its work force. Everyone knows this. Everyone has always known it. --Tawni O’Dell


Friday, February 17, 2017

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Mindanao Daily Set A (February 17, 2017)  

Mindanao Daily Set A (February 17, 2017)