(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 05 June 2023) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western section of Central and Southern Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming Southwest to West will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (1.0 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, January 6, 2020

With or without martial law, Army to intensify security measures in Caraga

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 (PIA) - The Philippine Army assures the public that they are heightening security measures in the Caraga region despite the lifting of the martial law in Mindanao.

This was reiterated by Brigadier General Maurito Licudine, commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, as he stressed the directive of President Rodrigo Dutere on the implementation of the Executive Order 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict.

He said, there has been a significant number of former rebels who brought along their high-powered firearms as they voluntarily surrendered to the authorities. These former rebels have chosen to live a normal and peaceful life with their families and availed of the assistance from the government for a decent livelihood.

“With or without Martial Law, we can manage. We are intensifying our security measures to preempt any lawless elements from causing any danger to the populace,” cited Licudine.

The official added that Caraga, as well as other regions in Mindanao would become more progressive if peace and order is sustained, and the safety and security of the local populace are ensured. More investments would also come in for Caraganons.

Col. Allan Hambala, commander of 401st Infantry Brigade, also revealed that former rebels have already availed and benefitted from the different programs and services of various government agencies, aside from the financial assistance that they would receive by the time of their surrender through the Enhanced – Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Hambala further bared that a half-way house was built in Agusan del Sur for the former rebels to start a new life.

The troops also continue to pursue the other members of the New People’s Army who are causing violence and abuses to various sectors particularly the indigenous peoples.

Meanwhile, it can be recalled that Butuan Bishop Most Reverend Cosme Damian Almedilla has also expressed his support to the implementation of the Martial Law in Mindanao. He emphasized that martial law has brought more developments in the region, as it helped in maintaining peace and order in the different areas of the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

PNP Caraga to intensify operations despite lifting of martial law

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga vows to strengthen police operations even after the lifting of the martial law in Mindanao last December 31, 2019.

This will be made effective through the directive of Police Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel, Jr., Police Regional Office 13 Director, to lower units to step-up conduct of Special Police Operation such as checkpoint in different areas of the region, the conduct of which is part of crime prevention activities of PNP Caraga.

Data from the Regional Investigation and Detection Management Division (RIDMD) 13 shows that PNP Caraga recorded a crime volume of 14,331 for 2015; 10,029 for 2016 and 3,491 for January 1 to May 22, 2017, having a total of 27, 851. While for the period May 23, 2017, to December 31, 2017 crime volume recorded was 5,650; 9,348 for 2018 and 9,555 for 2019 yielding a total of 24,553.

“PNP Caraga will continue to improve our crime prevention activities to suppress all forms of lawless violence despite the expiration of martial law. Caraganons will live in a peaceful region where progress continues through the help and active support of the community,” said Esquivel.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISlS)-inspired Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. (DMRosales/PNP13/PIA-Caraga)

Lianga Bay in SurSur positive for shellfish poisoning; other areas in Caraga remain red-tide free

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 (PIA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has identified Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur, as one of the seven areas all over the country, positive for paralytic shellfish poison that exceeded their regulatory limit.

This was after the death of a couple on November 27 who consumed uncooked shellfish, which was a popular dish in the Lianga Bay.

A sample collected from the area resulted to a 130.34-417.32 μgSTXeq/100g (microgram of saxitoxin equivalent per 100 grams) of shellfish meat which exceeds the regulatory limit of 60 μgSTXeq/100g of shellfish meat.

The other six areas positive for paralytic shellfish poison the BFAR has identified are: Bataan coastal waters (Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay, and Samal); Puerto Princesa Bay in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Dauis and Tagbilaran City coastal waters; Western Samar – Irong-irong, San Pedro and Silanga Bays; Eastern Samar – Matarinao Bay; Leyte – Cancabo Bay, Tacloban City.

Meanwhile, Hinatuan and Bislig Bays in the province of Surigao del Sur continue to be free from the toxic red tides as well as the following areas: Coastal waters of Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Navotas, and Bulacan in Manila Bay; Bolinao, Anda, Alaminos, Sual and Wawa, Bani in Pangasinan; Pampanga; Milagros, Mandaon, and Placer in Masbate; Inner Malampaya Sound, Taytay in Palawan; Gigantes Islands in Iloilo; Pilar, Panay, President Roxas, and Roxas City in Capiz; E.B. Magalona, Talisay City Silay City, Bacolod City, Hinigaran, and Victorias City in Negros Occidental; Daram Island, Cambatutay, Maqueda, and Villareal Bays in Western Samar; Leyte, Calubian, Carigara, and San Pedro Bays in Leyte; Biliran Province; Santa Maria in Davao Occidental; Juag Lagoon, Matnog and Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon; Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa City; Sapian Bay (Ivisan and Sapian in Capiz; Mambuquiao and Camanci, Batan in Aklan); Altavas, Batan and New Washington in Batan Bay, Aklan; Tambobo and Siit Bays, Siaton and Bais Bay, Bais City in Negros Oriental; Dumaquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Taguines Lagoon, Benoni, Mahinog in Camiguin Island; Balite and Pujada Bays, Mati in Davao Oriental.

According to the data released by the agency on December 27, 2019, all types of shellfish and species related to the Acetes sp., local name “alamang”, are declared not safe for human consumption. Toxins present in the said species cannot be removed as the organisms releasing the toxins are heat-stable and cannot be disintegrated by any means, even when subjected to cryogenic temperatures.

However, fish, squids, and crabs are considered safe provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, with the internal organs removed prior to cooking.

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) is one of the most common shellfish poisoning syndromes in the country caused by the high concentration of algae in bodies of water known as red tide. This gives discoloration to the shellfish, ranging from yellow, brown, green, blue, or milky, depending on the organisms present.

Symptoms of shellfish poisoning are tingling sensation in the lips and tongue, which typically spreads to the face, neck, fingertips, and toes within 30 minutes, proceeded by headache, dizziness, and nausea.

Severe cases include muscular paralysis and respiratory difficulty within five to 12 hours. Deaths caused by respiratory paralysis from the poisoning have also been reported. (BFAR/PIA-Caraga)

CNT member surrenders to Caraga PNP on New Year

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 -- Another active member of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army terrorist (CNT) group has withdrawn from terrorism by surrendering to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga on January 1.

Jose Capilitan Rivero, Jr, a 20-year-old resident of Purok-2, Barangay Upper Patag, Sison, Surigao del Norte, was a member of Sentro de Grabidad (SDG), Guerilla Front Committee (GFC) 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) known with aliases “Ka Diesel” and “Ka Ichigo” surrendered and turned-over a hand-grenade to the Sison Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office after three years of being an active member of the CNT group.

Police Brigadier General Joselito TEsquivel, Jr., Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 Director, further disclosed that a former member of the CNT group, a certain Discoro Tumboc, Jr. alias “Ka Judy” who surrendered to Sison MPS last September 29, 2019, convinced him to surrender to the government and start anew as a law-abiding civilian.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Rivero, Jr. became a CNT member when he was just 17 years old after having been convinced with their propaganda and false promises. As it bore no substantial changes to his life, he decided to change paths and renounce terrorism.

Caraga police view such incident as an example for remaining members of terrorist groups to reflect on and follow. The government has promised to provide support upon their surrender through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which will help them establish their lives as functional members of society. (DMRosales/PNP13/PIA-Caraga)

Young NPA vice leader surrenders to AgSur police

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 -- The vice squad leader of the Sandatahang Yunit Pangpropaganda of the Guerilla Front 19, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered recently to the Agusan del Sur Police in their provincial office in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

The 20-year-old squad leader, identified as alias “BL” from Brgy. Los Arcos, Prosperidad, has now vowed to renounce terrorism as he yields his Norinco caliber .45 pistol and disclosed some of the personal details of his three-year service to the NPA.

He cited the hardships he has encountered in the armed struggle along with the persistent counterinsurgency drive of both the military and police forces in the region as his motivators to act on his decision to surrender.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga was in full support of his decision and promised to assist him in creating a new life as a law-abiding civilian. As such, he will be granted access to livelihood programs such as the Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), firearm remuneration, and immediate cash assistance.

Brigadier General Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr., Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 Regional Director, commended the now-former rebel's decision and assured him that he had made the right decision. The police official also urged remaining active members of the terrorist groups to abandon terrorist ideologies which will serve as their contribution to the on-going peace development in the country. (DMRosales/PNP13/PIA-Caraga)

AgNor town leads indignation rally vs CPP-NPA-NDF

By Arvin Reyes Silvosa 

MAGALLANES, Agusan del Norte, Jan. 6 -- The local government unit (LGU) of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte joined recently the Philippine National Police (PNP) in spearheading the simultaneous nationwide conduct of indignation rally in condemning the atrocities and illegal activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CNN).

“There’s no place for terrorism and communism in Magallanes. Sama-sama nating labanan ang terorismo sa pamamagitan nang pakikipagtulungan sa awtoridad at Gobyerno,” said PLt. Tejanne Q. Zarzoso, OIC Chief of Police of the Magallanes Municipal Police Station (MMPS) during the indignation rally conducted at the People’s Park, on the same day the Communist Party of the Philippines celebrated its 51st founding anniversary.

“We, the people of Magallanes have spoken. We want peace as we believe there can only be development if there is peace,” said Mayor Cesar “Bubu” Cumba, Jr., in his message of support for the Whole Of Nation Approach as he condemned the evil ways of the CNN which hampered the development of the town from decades ago.

In a statement, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said the activity was part of the Duterte administration’s effort to end the decades-old insurgency problem in the country by 2020 and to attain sustainable peace and development through multi-stakeholders' active participation. SILG Eduardo M. Año issued a Memorandum Circular which encouraged other members of the society, including the private sector and members of the community, to support peace and development building initiatives of the government. Joining the rail y were at least 300 individuals from the municipal government, barangay units and barangay peacekeeping teams, other national agencies, and private sectors, civil society organizations and transport organizations.

Among the activities during the indignation rally include the following:

- Motorcade / Caravan during the Indignation Rally while showcasing Placards/Tarpaulins re: NO TO CPP/NPA/NDF;

- Messages on expression of support and indignation by the local officials, national agencies, former rebel, and barangay officials;

-  Reading of the Municipal Resolution Declaring the CNN and all its legal fronts as Persona Non-Grata in the Municipality of Magallanes by Sangguniang Bayan Member James dela Fuerta, as based on the consolidated Barangay Resolutions of all barangays of Magallanes approved during the barangay assemblies;

-  Video presentations depicting the lies and evils of the CNN; and

-  Burning of Joma Sison Effigies/NPA Flag during CPP/NPA/NDF Indignation Rally Leaflets distribution re: NO TO CPP/NPA/NDF during CPP/NPA/NDF indignation rally.

Cpl Jovanne Elleso, of the 29IB Philippine Army, said that the CNN continues to thrive on three kinds of support from the people: (1) financial; (2) material; (3) moral. He further explained that in order for the terrorists to cease to exist, this support must be stopped, for the government cannot end the communist insurgency problem alone without the active participation of its partners from the different sectors.

The said rally is a nationwide protest against violence, terrorism, and all forms of atrocities. Said undertaking is also in line with the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order No. 70 on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) as part of the Whole Of Nation Approach (WONA). (DILG Magallanes, Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Caraganons closely observe the promulgation of judgment on Maguindanao massacre case

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 (PIA) - The Caraganons fixed their attention in witnessing the promulgation of judgment on the Maguindanao massacre case via live telecast.

Alexander Lopez, bureau chief of the Philippine News Agency based in Caraga region and formerly assigned in Cotabato was one of those who closely monitored the verdict against the accused.

He said, despite the hard wait for the decision of the jury, he still feels happy that the court has finally released the judgment against the accused individuals who are responsible for the detestable crime that they committed.

Lopez further revealed that one of the victims was his former colleague and he was disappointed with his untimely death especially that the victim was just doing his job as a media practitioner.

“I feel relieved that finally the verdict against the suspects was released, though we waited for a long time, yet I’m happy that justice was served to the victims,” cited Lopez.

Ramil Bangues, president of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) Agusan del Norte-Butuan City Chapter, also expressed his joy on the verdict specified by the Regional Trial Court against the responsible individuals, particularly the influential family of the Ampatuan.

“This only shows that the justice system in the country is working and justice for our co-journalists who were killed were served to them,” bared Bangues.

Meanwhile, Dina Torrepalma, a resident of Barangay Doongan, Butuan City, conveyed her hope that the other suspects of the Maguindanao massacre who are still at large would now surrender and face the consequences of the crime they committed.

“I hope that those other eighty suspects would surrender and face the consequence of what they have done, so justice be served to the victims,” said Torrepalma. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Caraganons nakinabang sa libreng wifi ng gobyerno

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Enero 6 (PIA) -- Libo-libong Caraganons ang nakikinabang ngayon sa free wifi sites na hatid ng Free Wifi For All Project ng Department of Information and Communications Technology o DICT sa Caraga region.

Ayon pa sa DICT, sa taong 2019, may 105 free wifi sites na ang na-install nila at patuloy pa itong dadami dahil patuloy pa rin ang kanilang proyektong mabigyan ng libreng connection ang publiko.

Nasa 84 na sites na ang ang na-installan ng libreng wifi sa lungsod ng Butuanat iba pang mga bayan ng Agusan del Norte; apat sa Agusan del Sur; 13 sa Surigao del Norte; at apat din sa Surigao del Sur.

Bilang isa sa mga nakinabang ng proyekto, malaki ang pasasalamat ni Mayor Judy Amante ng Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte dahil mas mapapadali na ang komunikasyon, trabaho at magkakaroon pa ng koneksyon kahit saang lugar sa mundo sa pamamagitan nito.

Masaya din si Abril Romano, isang Cabadaranon at miyembro ng Agusan del Norte Emergency Response Team sa libreng wifi ng gobyerno dahil malaki ang tulong nito sa kanila, lalo na sa pagbibigay ng impormasyon sa panahon ng kalamidad.

Ayon naman kay Direktor Evamay Dela Rosa ng DICT Mindanao Cluster 2, sa kabuoang target ng ahensya, ang Agusan del Norte ay magkakaroon ng 212 free wifi services.

Ayon naman kay  Engr. Lawrence Salang ang provincial officer ng DICT Agusan del Norte tinututukan rin nila sa pagkakabit ng wifi services ang Siargao island at Dinagat islands sa taong ito.

Upang mas lalo pang mapakinabangan ang proyektong ito ng Gobyerno, pinaalalahanan din ni Agusan del Norte governor Dale Corvera ang mga nakikinabang nito na dapat gamitin ang free wifi sa mabuting paraan at pangalagahan ito ng maayos. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

Caraganon sinubaybayan ang pagbaba ng hatol sa mga sangkot ng Maguindanao massacre case

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Enero 6 (PIA) - Seryusong sinubaybayan sa telebisyon ng mga Caraganon ang pagbaba ng hatol sa mga sangkot ng Maguindanao massacre case. Isa na dito si Alexander Lopez, bureau chief ng Philippine News Agency – Caraga region, na dating nakadestino sa Cotabato.

Ayon kay Lopez, mabagal man ang naging takbo ng hustisya, ngunit masaya siya at mananagot na ang mga akusado sa nangyaring karumal-dumal na krimen.

Kwento pa niya, ang isa sa mga media practitioners na nadamay sa insidente ay dati niyang kasamahan at lubos nilang ikinalungkot ang sinapit nito lalot ginagawa lamang niya ang kanyang tungkulin bilang isang mamamahayag.

“Bagamat matagala na panahon din an gating hinintay, sa wakas ay nailabas na rin ang hatol para sa mga suspek at nakamit din ang hustisya ng mga biktima. Nakakalungkot man balikan ang mga pangyayari, subalit masaya ako at naibigay na rin ang hustisya sa kanila,” banggit ni Lopez.

Lubos naman ang  galak ni Ramil Bangues, presidente ng Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) Agusan del Note-Butuan City Chapter sa naging hatol ng Regional Trial Court lalu na sa maimpluwensyang pamilya ng mga Ampatuan.

“Nagpapatunay ito na gumugulong talaga ang hustisya sa Pilipinas. Nakamit na rin ng ating mga kasamang journalists na napatay ang hustisya para sa kanila,” sabi ni Bangues.

Samantala, umaasa rin si Dina Torrepalma ng Barangay Doongan, na mahuhuli na rin ang iba pang suspek na hanggang sa ngayon ay at large pa rin at makasuhan na rin ng korte.

“Umaasa ako n asana ay sumuko na ron ang iba pang mga salarin at harapin ang kanilang pagkakasala sa batas,” ani ni Torrepalma. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)