11.22.2010

PIA News Service - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NUJP Butuan-Agusan del Norte Chapter commemorates Maguindanao massacre 1st anniversary

By: Robert E. Roperos

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Butuan City – Agusan del Norte Chapter conducted an indignation rally participated by the local tri-media in Butuan City and Communication Arts students of Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) in commemoration with the first year anniversary of Maguindanao massacre.

Meanwhile, Engr. Rommel Zerrudo, President of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Butuan City Chapter enjoins the local tri-media and the Butuanons to take part in showing condemnation to the culprits of what is considered one of the bloodiest crimes in the country’s history. (PIA-Caraga)


FSUU partners with DILG and NEDA in a local water governance forum

By: Robert E. Roperos

Cognizant of the need to create an avenue where our local chief executives and other water stakeholders can create a partnership that will support water as a priority in the current administration, DILG and NEDA through the MDGF 1919 in partnership with Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) is currently holding a region-wide “Local Water Governance Forum” in one of the local convention centers in Butuan City today.

Said forum will run until tomorrow where a Ceremonial Signing of Caraga Water Governance Declaration will take place at 9:30 a.m. (PIA-Caraga)


NCIP, Butuan LGU to conduct seminar on IP’s multi-sectoral convergence


By: Robert E. Roperos

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), in cooperation with the City Government of Butuan is set to conduct a follow-up seminar-workshop of convergence partners in connection with the multi-sectoral convergence arrangement for the development and protection of the Mamanwa-Manobo ancestral domain in Jabonga, Kitcharao, and Santiago, all in Agusan del Norte.

Said seminar will take place on Friday, November 26, 9:00 a.m. in one of the local hotels in Butuan City. Program of activities of the seminar/workshop include the presentation of the site-specific convergence framework, finalization of convergence contributions per agency/CSO, finalization of the local version of the convergence MOU, and planning the way forward in relation to the priority activities under the convergence, among others. (PIA-Caraga)
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Surigao Norte’s new PNP Director assumes office

Surigao del Norte (23 November) - Police Senior Superintendent Emmanuel M. Talento was installed as the new Provincial Director of the Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office (SDN-PPO) replacing Police Superintendent Ruben Delos Santos in a simple rites held at the SDN-PPO conference room here Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.

P/SSupt. Talento, in his short message, humbly thanked the officials that he has given a break to serve the people of Surigao del Norte. 

Meanwhile, PNP Reg’l Director P/CSupt. Reynaldo Rafal acknowledged the able leadership of the former provincial director, PSupt. Delos Santos, which he led the entire police force of the province for 138 days with professionalism and integrity.

Gov. Sol F. Matugas, also admired PSupt. Delos Santos for his accomplishments, the lady governor then congratulated and extended her best wishes to the new PD for his new assignment, “I have to congratulate you and extend my best wishes for joining me here in this province.”

She also encouraged the new PD to focus on lessening if not eradicate the illegal activities especially illegal gambling, illegal fishing, and illegal drugs in the entire the province. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


JOHNSON- ILO Country Director visits Surigao del Sur
By Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

Surigao del Sur (November 23) - International Labour Organization (ILO) country Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson encouraged the Indigenous People (IP) leaders to protect their ancestral domain during his visits to the Multi-Sectoral Convergence planning workshop held at Kansilad Resort, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
 
The convergence workshop of Indigenous People Development Program (IPDP) Caraga aimed to empower the IPs for the development and protection of the Manobo Ancestral Domain in San Miguel, this province.

Dir. Johnson , in his message said, “We are here to help, and help your self”. He clearly explained to the IPs the importance of determining their past, and advised them to go on and ensure best practices.

“We talked about issues on productive employment, sustainable environment, the issues on IPs rights and their responsibilities. How can you utilize your resources, the best suits for your needs but also the country as a whole,” Dir. Johnson added.

Some sectors had already committed during the workshop to extend their support financially and technical assistance to help the IPs to empower for the development and to protect their ancestral domain. 

The program was implemented by NCIP and ILO as lead facilitator/agency funded by the AECID, in partnership with the Indigenous People’s Organizations, NGOs and Government Agencies/LGUs. 
(PIA-Surigao del Sur)
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259 COPD soldiers set for deployment

Camp Evangelista Cagayan de Oro City - At least 259 soldiers who have undergone the Community Organizing for Peace Development (COPD) from the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) Philippine Army is set for deployment.

The COPD soldiers were equipped with the necessary skills to capacitate them with this new undertakings with the support of the NGOs especially Balay Mindanao Foundation Inc. 

4ID commander MGen Victor A Felix spearheads the said undertakings.  

Unequivocally, COPD soldiers are deployed in the areas where they can immensely assist in facilitating the delivery of basic services, winning confidence, educate barangay folks on the importance of peace and peace building. 

While the CPP/ NPA is intensifying its terroristic activities against the people in the region, we will reshaping our focus on peace and development instead purely combat operations and even encouraging them to support this endeavour for the people sake.  
The batch of deployment will be in Surigao del Norte other details will be discussed in the appropriate Peace and Order Council meeting in the said Province. (4TH Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army/PIA-Caraga)


P4-M Surigao del Sur lighting system completed

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur - Economic activity in this northeastern-tip city of Mindanao (Caraga region) will continue even during night time as the P4 million worth of street lighting facilities have been completed. 

Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel said the “street lights” system would help the economic activity even during night time and will also avert the presence of bad elements or trouble makers. 

It was also learned that the previous administration had implemented the same project to all the municipalities of the fast-growing province of Surigao del Sur. 

Gov. Pimentel assured Surigaonons that there is a continuity of the program implementation from the previous administration. 

To date, under the new leadership of Gov. Pimentel, some completed infrastructure projects are spread in some parts of the province while others are still ongoing such as rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads, construction and rehabilitation of rural health centers, water system project and the locally-funded provincial legislative building, adjacent to the provincial capitol building in Tandag, the capital town of the province. 

“Several projects are on-going and our ground engineers are redoubling their effort to hit their respective timeline,” added Gov. Pimentel. 

In a related development, the city government of Butuan led by Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante and other members of the city’s legislative body spearheaded the "switch on ceremony” of the diversion road lighting facility in barangays Buhangin and Mahay on Saturday. 

The 26 electric posts and labor of the diversion road lighting facility were donated by the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (ANECO) while the electric service drop wires and bulbs were allocated by the city government worth P115,148.01. 

The city chief executive assured that more road lighting facilities will be put up, particularly in far-flung villages of the city. (MUC/PIA-Caraga)


Legarda lauds SC for issuing ‘Writ of Kalikasan’

 Senator Loren Legarda today lauded the Supreme Court (SC) for protecting the environment and the welfare of the people through the issuance of the unprecedented “writ of kalikasan” and a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) against the First Philippine Industrial Corp (FPIC) and First Gen Corporation.

The order would compel FPIC and First Gen to temporarily halt its oil pipeline operations as a consequence of environmental hazards brought about by leaks found underground in the area adjacent to West Tower Condominium along Osmeña Avenue, Makati City.

“We hail this Order as part of the environmental justice that we support as an advocacy to strike a balance between ecological and economic development concerns. The SC has just proven its commitment to serve the best interest of the people,” Legarda said.

“We likewise see the issuance as a precedent and a warning to all sectors that their activities, whether for profit or otherwise, should not in any way be done at the expense of degrading the environment. This is another triumph of the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology,” she added.

During the recent Senate inquiry on the petroleum leak, Legarda, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, voiced out her concerns about the health and safety of residents in the affected area.

Aside from the water and air contamination that could pose serious health problems to the residents of the West Tower Condominium and nearby areas, the Senator was also wary of a possible explosion or fire incident.

“With this writ of kalikasan, I am optimistic that the speedy administration of environmental justice can be achieved through court action on the inspection of the 117-km FPIC pipeline to ensure that there are no threats to health and the environment and that the safety of the public is ensured,” Legarda concluded. (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


Loren urges inclusion of a Gross National Happiness index in government’s economic indicators

Senator Loren Legarda renewed her call for the Philippine government to change the way economic growth is measured, amid increasing interest among countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, to institute a “happiness index” in measuring a country's growth.

“Along with the gross domestic product and other traditional economic yardsticks, it is equally important for us to know whether our economic activities make our people in the environment they live in healthier, educated and better acquainted to their cultural roots,” Legarda said.

Senator Legarda, recounting her advocacy mission in Bhutan in May 2009 as United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, added, “We should be inspired by The Kingdom of Bhutan. Their development philosophy of Gross National Happiness transcends the concept of Gross National Product as it presents its four pillars --- sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, environmental conservation, promotion and preservation cultural, and good governance. The adoption of these GNH indicators, in fact, makes the Bhutanese people strive to preserve their environment and cultural heritage and thus promotes sustainable development.”

“Our government avidly monitors the growth rate of the country, with a decimal increase provoking a barrage of expressed pride among economic managers. But there still remains gross inequality of income among social classes. On top of that, and this is probably the height of injustice, disasters are added misfortunes that the poor simply cannot and should not be made to bear. I believe this neglect stems from the fact that we don't measure growth by other more meaningful standards,” Legarda lamented.

“As we continue to measure growth in terms of economic indicators, we forget those equally important factors such as good governance, socio-economic development, environmental and cultural preservation. We should incorporate these criterion in our country, just like in Bhutan.”

 “I am eager to work with the government’s economic team, should it require legislation, for us to go the extra mile of taking into account the quality of life of our people and the quality of our environment in measuring growth. New indices that factor in environmental protection and investments in disaster risk reduction would more accurately reflect development, particularly of the vast majority of our people who can no longer accept the growing gap between statistics that show continuing progress in growth and the increasing hardships they experience in their daily lives. Most important, this will provide context and perspective for crafting and implementing fundamental policy changes that will be needed by the government to sustain and foster life in the country,” Legarda concluded. (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


Disaster risk reduction meet of Asian Parliamentarians in Manila 
 
Senator Loren Legarda in a privilege speech announced that leaders from all over Asia, particularly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal and Thailand, are en route to Manila for a Consultative Meeting for Asian Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held from November 25 to 27.

“This is a prelude to the Asia Leader’s Summit in Manila next year which I will again jointly organize with the United Nations.”

The Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Climate Change explained that this meeting aims to make disaster risk reduction a regional, national and community priority in order to increase disaster resilience and protect our precious development gains.

“By this meeting, we also hope to integrate our disaster risk reduction work with efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

“Asia Pacific is struck by more disasters as compared to its other regional neighbors. A United Nations Report presented at the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in South Korea last October presented a definitive lay of the land – “People in the Asia-Pacific region are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those in Africa; and 25 times more likely than those in Europe or North America. Moreover, it is alarming to note that from 2000-2008, the region’s share in global disaster deaths increased to as much as eighty-three percent (83%).”

Legarda emphasized, “For a region that has 690 million of its population surviving on a US$1 a day, these impacts are daunting. Our sense of urgency needs to be translated into concrete actions. We need to discuss the ways forward for creating a more enabling environment for:

1. Making disaster risk reduction a tool for achieving sustainable poverty reduction;

2. Making schools and hospitals safer from disasters;

3. Making disaster risk reduction gender sensitive; and

4. Increasing national and local investment (both human and finance) in disaster risk reduction. “

“The upcoming Consultative Meeting will leverage on the role and duty of legislators to make change happen. Parliamentarians are political leaders mandated by the people to convey local concerns to national governments, oversee national progress and investments, and campaign on issues affecting the daily lives and livelihoods of their constituents.” 

“When we legislate for disaster-resilient development and promote disaster risk reduction in our constituencies, the entire country triumphs.”

 “It is disturbing to discover that in the last 30 years, the number of disaster events have increased 3 times in the Philippines. Although the reported number of deaths has slightly decreased over the same number of the population affected by disasters, the economic losses from these events have drastically increased by more than seventeen-fold.”
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 “The government can use the example of the Kingdom of Bhutan, which uses a “Gross National Happiness” index in measuring their country’s development. Along with the gross domestic product and other traditional economic yardsticks that measure mere physical outputs, they take into account other factors that affect the well-being of their people, such as good governance, equitable socio-economic growth, environmental protection and cultural preservation,” Legarda recommended.  

“Climate change poses a great challenge to achieving sustainable development. But if we include similar GNH variables in the government’s development indicators, which I would gladly work on with our economic managers, then maybe, our policies that seek to protect the environment and ensure that we have adequate resources for the future will be strongly enforced.”

Legarda concluded, “ After this conference, the Philippines will attain invaluable knowledge from its neighboring countries and will build a strong working relationship with each other for the well-being of our countries, and Asia as a whole.” (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


Pope’s recent statement on condom use disappoints lady RH author

One of the main authors of the still controversial reproductive health bill expressed disappointment on the recent declaration of Pope Benedict XVI on condom use. 

Rep. Janette L. Garin of the 1st District of Iloilo, main author of HB 101 or the “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2010” laments the apparent double standard of morality on condom use. “I wonder why the Pope considers it morally upright for male prostitutes to use condom and yet condemn couples using it to protect the spread of HIV and AIDS among their offspring,” said Garin. “I call this a double standard of morality.”

Garin who is a medical doctor has been exposed to real life experiences where innocent children are infected with HIV and AIDS because their parents failed to use anything for protection. “My heart bleeds for these children, they are innocent ones and they are just victims by circumstances,” explained Garin.

However, in the midst of the seemingly never-ending controversy, Garin remains unmoved and still strongly pushes for the passage of the reproductive health bill. “As a responsible legislator, I owe it to Filipino people to continue on pursuing this advocacy until such time that it becomes a law so the Filipino people will have the opportunity to live quality lives and enjoy the benefits of reproductive health,” said Garin.

Garin further stressed, “the government is under obligation, not only to educate the people, but also to provide reproductive health services to those who wants to avail of them, despite of what the Pope or some Catholic leaders say on the issue.”  

Meanwhile, Garin appeals to the Pope and to Catholic leaders to accept the reality and heed the call of the majority of the Filipino people who has been clamoring for reproductive health education and services. “We owe it to them,” Garin concluded. (Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc./PIA-Caraga)


POLICE REPORTS
By PO2 Darlin Cabalinan-Migullas

Agusan del Norte cops arrest wanted person

Intel operatives of Agusan del Norte PPO led by SPO4 Eliaquim Villahermosa arrested a certain Junrey Camarines y Mandag, of legal age and a resident of Brgy. Kolambugan, Sibagat, Agusan del sur on November 21, 2010, around 8:00 O’clock in the evening at Sitio Labintik, Brgy. San Antonio, RTR, Agusan del Norte. Said person has a standing alias Warrant of Arrest issued by Hon. Orlando F. Doyon, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 34, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte for the crime of Robbery with Homicide docketed under criminal case number 2004-57 without recommended bail bond. 

Arrested person is now under the custody of Cabadbaran MPS for proper disposition. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on illegal drugs

Joint operation against illegal drugs was conducted by Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force (AIDSOTF) personnel led by Police Inspector Junyd Marohom and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), thru a buy-bust, which led to the apprehension of one Ronald May y Colangco, alias “Bolantoy/Michael”, 23 years old, single and a resident of Luz Village, Purok-1, Brgy. Bayanihan, Butuan City on November 22, 2010 at around 10:20 in the morning at JC Aquino Avenue, near Petron Gasoline Station, P-1, Brgy. Bayanihan, Butuan City. 

Confiscated from the possession of said suspect were 12 sachets of suspected shabu, 5 pieces PhP100.00 bill, 2 pieces Nokia cellular phones and one (1) round M16 live ammunition. 

Said operation was witnessed by Mr. Bedrijo, DOJ representative, Mr. Aurom Satorre, Media personality, Hon. Ruel Angay and Hon. Elpedio Omandam, Both Brgy. Kagawads of the said Barangay. 

Apprehended person and confiscated items were brought to Butuan City Police Office for proper disposition. Said person was properly appraised of his rights under the Miranda Doctrine.
(PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)  

Report on shooting incident

Elements of 23IB Bravo Company, Philippine Army led by 1Lt. Darwin Manalo reported to Talacogon MPS that a shooting incident transpired inside their detachment at Brgy. Kauswagan, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, around 9:50 in the evening of November 21, 2010. 

Said incident resulted to the death of one Mauricio Torcende y Pacot, 42 years old, single, SCAA member and a resident of Brgy. San Rafael , Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Said incident involving one Carolex Tolentino y Baletar, 32 years old, single, a resident of Brgy. Lucina of the same municipality and also a SCAA member, using his issued M14 rifle with serial number 1205750, Wenchester make, shoot to death said victim. 

After receiving such report, elements of Talocogon MPS led by Police Inspector Ephraim Detuya, OIC proceeded to the crime scene and conducted investigation. Initial investigation disclosed that while the suspect was performing his duty as guard on post, the victim arrived at the said detachment. 

The suspect informed the victim that he is the incoming duty guard. Heated argument ensued between them. Subsequently, the victim threatened the suspect, and then he went inside his bunks and took his issued firearm that prompted the suspect to shot the victim. 

Victim sustained three (3) gunshot wounds, one on his right shoulder, right arm and right thigh respectively, which resulted to his instantaneous death. Suspect voluntarily surrendered to the responding elements of Talacogon MPS and now under their custody for proper disposition. Motive-personal grudge. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
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Stabbing injures Surigao Mayor’s political analyst

Surigao City (November 23) – A political analyst of City Mayor Ernesto Matugas was seriously injured in a stabbing incident Monday evening, Nov. 22 in front of his residence at the corner Roxas and Gonzales streets this city, according to Police Station Chief PC/Insp. Charlie Cabradilla.

The victim was identified as Balgamelo Cabiling Ma, 59 years old, married. He is presently recuperating at Surigao Medical Center, this city. 

Initial investigation disclosed that at about 5:45pm, the victim was riding his single motorcycle from the city hall going to his residence and upon arrival, an unidentified person approached the victim, then and there, stabbed the latter using an improvised bladed instrument, hitting on the left-side part of the body of the victim. 

The suspect again tried to stab the victim, but this time, the suspect was pushed by Pepito Ma, the victim’s son, who at that time was waiting for his father in front of their house. On that instance, the suspect then stabbed the victim’s son but was able to evade it. The suspect then ran while the victim’s son chased the former but ceased to do it when the suspect pulled out an undetermined caliber of firearm. The suspect continued to run heading towards Roxas and Borja Streets.

The victim then rushed to Surigao Medical Center sustaining one stabbed wound on the left-side of his body and lacerated wound on the front part of his belly.

Further investigation revealed that the victim was clueless as to the identity of the suspect, but can still recognize the suspect’s face. 

The suspect, as described by Pepito Ma, used his left hand in stabbing his father, about 5’9” in height, thin face, fair complexion, wearing a black bull cap, black jacket and long pants.

Personnel of the Surigao City Police Station are still conducting hot pursuit operation to trace the identity of the suspect for his immediate arrest. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Surigao City Mayor offers reward in stabbing incident

Surigao City (November 23) - City Mayor Ernesto Matugas has offered P50,000 for any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect who stabbed Mr. Balgamelo Cabiling Ma, his political analyst, yesterday evening.

In his statement, Mayor Matugas strongly condemned in the strongest words the senseless and dreadful incident which took part at the victim’s residence. 

Ma, 59 years old, was stabbed using an improvised bladed instrument by an unidentified suspect last Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 at around 5:45pm hitting on the left-side part of the body of the victim.

The stabbing incident occurred in front of his home along Roxas corner Gonzales Streets, this city.

The victim is now recuperating at the Surigao Medical Center.

Surigao Police Station Chief PC/Insp. Charlie Cabradilla said that his connection to politics and a work-related issue at the city hall were possible motives of the crime. Cabradilla also said they are still conducting hot pursuit operation to trace the identity of the suspect. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)