Cotabato City News
ARMM's regional assemblymen to hold maiden session on Monday
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=425395
- Saturday, May 12, 2012
- By (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, May 12 (PNA) – Regional Governor Mujib Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) assured his constituents on Saturday that the newly- appointed members of the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) are reform-oriented.
Hataman made the statement two days before the 27-member RLA convenes for its maiden session and to elect its Speaker on Monday. Of the 27 assemblymen, six are in hold-over capacity and eight are women.
ARMM-RLA information officer Sammy Peralta said of the 27 appointed regional lawmakers, only 26 have taken their oath of office before President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacanang.
Due to prior commitments, Nedra Burahan failed to show up in the Palace oath-taking.
Hataman also brushed aside reports that there were switching of names of nominees in the selection of regional lawmakers who will help the regional executive in instituting reforms in the graft-ridden yet resource-rich region.
ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Hataman said the new assemblymen will begin performing there mandated tasks on Monday, May 14, at 4 p.m.
In his "Ulat sa Bayan," Hataman said reforms in the regional bureaucracy has reached about 90 percent.
"May pagbabago na sa ARMM, kung may political will, kaya naman pala ang pagbabago tungo sa matuwid na daan (Reforms are taking place in ARMM, if there's political will, we can do it and take the straight path)," he told his ARMM constituents as he reported on what had been done in his first 100 days in office.
Hataman, hand-picked by President Aquino to perform cleansing process in the graft-ridden regional government, said he has the full backing of the Chief Executive and that he succeeded in cleaning the Department of Education with ghost teachers, ghost schools and ghost students that led the ARMM to save about P162 million.
Since he assumed office, the regional government had been stripped of ghost employees who reported for work on paydays and never performed anything for the regional government.
Hataman also succeeded in putting up an open government where several civil society organizations have been closely watching how the regional government is being run.
"We are open, we are transparent and every transaction like bidding and others are done with the presence of CSOs," he said.
"I would like to lay down the foundation of a new ARMM, I know we will succeed with all your support," he told ARMM employees and constituents.
Lanao del Sur and Marawi City farmers, fisherfolk receive agri-fishery aid
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661336708030
- Friday, May 11, 2012
- By (pbc/PIA Cotabato City)
COTABATO CITY, May 11 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has distributed agri-fishery equipment and inputs to 23 cooperatives and four local government units in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur to enhance government’s thrusts on food sufficiency and security.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala together with DAF-ARMM regional secretary Sangkula Tindick, assistant regional secretary Pendatun Disimban, BFAR –ARMM director Janice Musali graced the Farmers and Fishermen forum held May 8, 2012 at the provincial capitol in Lanao del Sur.
DAF-ARMM regional information division chief Dhigs Abdullah said, Alcala assisted by Lanao del Sur provincial governor Mamintal Adiong, jr., turned-over certificates to recipient farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and local officials.
The farm equipment and inputs worth P620,000 include a total of 330 bags of certified rice seeds distributed at 20 bags each to Kamapian sa Ranao Center, Peace Center Incorporated and Unity and Coop Foundation of Lanao del Sur, Inc. all of Marawi City; Liliotun Farmers Assocation and Al-Isla People Economic Multipurpose Coop in Balindog, Tadman Farmers Assocation, Golden Multipurpose Coop, and United Bubong Multipurpose Coop all in the town of Bubong, Shanglan Islamic Development Mulitpurpose Coop, Ditsaan-Ramain, Ompongan o Tanbasok sa Ranao in Marantao, OISCA Farm Development Coop in Poona Bayabao and Al Fallah Multipurpose Coop in Taraka. The Shakba Federation of Irrigators Association of Bubong received 50 bags of certified rice seeds and organic fertilizer while Bubong Kamapian Farmers Association received 40 bags of organic fertilizer and one unit each of abaca stripping machine, wheat and rice thresher and shallow tube well were given to Mindanao Farmers Producer Cooperative of marogong, Tapukan Farmers Multipurpose Coop in Piagapo and Supangan Farmer Producer Coop in Taraka all in the province of Lanao del Sur.
Twelve (12) units motorized banca and eight (8) units fish aggregate devices worth P1.3 million were turned-over to fishermen cooperatives and local government units. Recipients of the motorized fishing banca with two units per cooperative include Sugodian Farmers and Fisherfolks Multipurpose Coop and Ranao Fishermen Islamic Development Multipurpose Coop both of Marawi City; Lakeside Fisher Multipurpose Coop of Balindog, Bairan Farmers and Fishermen Association of Bayang, Siapko Paglas Multipurpose Coop of Buadiposo and Raya Gadongan Fishermen and Farmers Marketing Coop of Ditsaan-Ramain while beneficiaries of the two units each fish aggregate device are the towns of Balabagan, Kapatagan, Malabang and Picong.
In his message, Secretary Alcala stressed the importance of cooperation and partnership in pushing for economic growth that would improve people’s quality of life assuring more livelihood assistance.
“I believe, with our partnership and with the cooperation of the local chief executives, we will be able to hasten the development of the lives of the residents of Lanao del Sur," Alcala said.
In response, Governor Adiong expressed belief that the assistance they received would boost the agriculture and fishery sectors in the province adding that low production due to insufficient support, facility and irrigation system has been the primary problem of the local farmer
As this developed, Secretary Alcala has ordered Administrator Antonio Nangel of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to allocate additional funds for the rehabilitation of Kamanga dam which he earlier visited that could irrigate more than 3,000 hectares of farmlands in the towns of Ramain, Buadiposo and Bubong, and also instructed BFAR-ARMM director Musali to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing a hatchery project near Lanao Lake.
Abdullah also said that Secretary Alcala commits to provide three (3) units of corn mill and twenty (20) heads of carabao with plow and harrow for corn-producing towns in the province and that the agency will likewise coordinate the Lanao del Sur provincial government for the possible inclusion of the area in the Greening Program with rubber, coffee and cacao among the priority commodities.
CRMC receives cervical cancer screening equipment from UNPFA
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661336632234
- Thursday, May 10, 2012
- By Perlita D. Changco
COTABATO CITY, May 10 (PIA) --As a manifestation of a strong public-private partnership, the Department of Health (DOH), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), global healthcare leader MSD and medical societies have pooled their efforts to ensure wider access to screening, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer.
Making the celebration of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month this May more meaningful, UNFPA through the Department of Health donates cryotherapy machines to three government hospitals in the country namely the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital and the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC).
During the whole month of May this year, DOH is offering free screening to women aged 25 to 49 years old at 58 DOH-retained hospitals nationwide including the CRMC using the cryotheraphy machine.
As all women are at risk for cervical cancer, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month coordinator Dr. Gloria Redoble strongly encourages women to avail of the free screening at the CRMC set every Thursday, 9:00-10:30AM and 2:00-3:30PM so as not to hamper other health and medical care services.
Redoble said, the cryotherapy machine is used to freeze and destroy abnormal pre-cancerous tissues in the cervix accessing immediate treatment for women who are screened and found positive for cervical abnormalities at the same hospital.
Based on DOH report, twelve Filipino women die of cervical cancer everyday, and its is estimated that 6,000 Filipino women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year with more than half dying in five years.
All cervical cancer cases are caused by the human pappilomavirus or HPV which is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both men and women, transmission is commonly through skin-to-skin contact.
Primary prevention of the HPV is through vaccination while secondary is through regular screening and healthy lifestyle, Redoble said.
Meanwhile, UNFPA representative Ronel Villas said, the cryotherapy machines would boost the collaborative campaign against cervical cancer assuring relentless support to government’s healthcare programs and services.
“This is ensuring that women won’t die unnecessarily, unnecessary deaths can be avoided thru early detection and cure with the use of the cryotherapy machine,” Villas said. (pbchangco/PIA Cotabato City)
ARMM officials reach out to the MNLF
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661336534535
- Wednesday, May 9, 2012
- By Perlita D. Changco
COTABATO CITY, May 9 (PIA) -- As part of the continuing aggressive efforts in instituting reforms, the leadership of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is reaching out to various sectors and groups that play important roles in government’s peace and development initiative.
On May 8, ARMM-OIC vice-governor Bainon Karon gathered officials, members, and supporters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) all over Mindanao for a consultation-dialogue with ARMM officials, civil society groups, non-government organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders held in Cotabato City.
Karon said, the consultation primarily aims to present and show ARMM’s programs, projects, and services alongside the noted reforms on governance to spur socio-economic development in the region.
As an MNLF member herself from way back, Karon said the present ARMM leadership deems it necessary to inform the MNLF of the ongoing programs and services that they can avail adding that the group fully supports the ongoing peace negotiations between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF).
During the consultation, cabinet officials presented and explained various programs, projects, and services being implemented in the autonomous region aimed at fast tracking economic development to improve the quality of life, Karon said.
“Primarily, the consultation aims to inform them of the programs and projects of the present ARMM leadership that they may avail of and to inform them which office to go when in need of particular services," Karon said.
Karon assured that follow-through consultation/dialogues would be undertaken to ensure increase in level of awareness fostering understanding and solidarity between the regional government and the MNLF. (pbchangco-PIA Cotabato City)
OWWA Anniversary celebration in ARMM a huge success
- Source: http://piazampen.blogspot.com/2012/05/owwa-anniversary-celebration-in-armm.html
- Tuesday, May 8, 2012
- By (ORRivera,OWWA-ARMM/PIA9/ALT)
Cotabato City, May 8 -The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration celebrated its 30th Anniversary on May 7, 2012 (Monday) at RWO-ARMM Office, 2ndflr. MAGS Bldg. in this city, with the Theme: “TatlongDekadangSerbisyongTapat, SerbisyongNararapat.”
The Regional Welfare Office-ARMM celebration was attended by different partners from the Regional and Local Government Units, banking institutions, members of OFW Family Circles and their families.
Among the honorable guests were ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Anwar A. Malang and DOLE-ARMM Sec. Muslimin A. Jakilan.
In his keynote address, Atty. Malang said, “OFWs are big contributors to our economy. Malaking factor ang kanilang remittances sa pag-angat ng ating ekonomiya. Sila ang mga Bagong-Bayani.”
Mr. Uga L. Sulaiman traced back memory lane in sharing the Milestones of OWWA-ARMM since 1996. After that, Amy B. Crisostomo, OIC of OWWA-ARMM delivered the anniversary message of OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon. The highlight of the event was the Awarding of Recognition and Appreciation to Regional institutional partners --Local Government Units and banks for its continued support to the programs of OWWA and its sustained commitment and responsibility to help promote the socio-economic welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers and their families.
Representatives from LGUs and Banks were also given time to convey their messages and commitments to OWWA.
The program ended with a Ceremonial Toast and Slicing of the Anniversary Cake as a Symbolic Renewal of Commitment and Partnership for a better camaraderie and healthy working relationship for many years to come.
The celebration will continue up to next week with a Photo Exhibit showcasing activities and action photos of the agency for the past years and serving free flowing coffee to its clients.
Cotabato athletes in Palaro get P5,000 each
- Source: http://www.goldstardailynews.com/sports/9299-cotabato-athletes-in-palaro-get-p5000-each.html
- Monday, May 7, 2012
- By goldstardailynews.com
THE local government of Cotabato City has extended fi nancial assistance to city delegates who are participating in the Palarong Pambansa this month. On orders of Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr, each of the 29 students from the Cotabato City Schools Division received P5,000 each as travel allowance when they participate in various sports events of the national sports event. During the send off program held at the Cotabato City hall, Guiani told the athletes to "try to bring home the bacon."
Aside from P5,000 allowance, Guiani said those who brought honor by capturing gold medals will receive additional cash incentives. "It is one of the drives of my administration to empower our youth and encourage them to get involved in activities like the Palarong Pambansa," Guiani later told reporters. "This way, they do not only develop their physical strength but also their social capabilities as well," Guiani said. PNA
Indonesian Yordan KO’s PH’s Villanueva in IBO featherweight fight
- Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/42747/indonesian-yordan-ko%E2%80%99s-ph%E2%80%99s-villanueva-in-ibo-featherweight-fight
- Sunday, May 6, 2012
- By Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The Philippines’ Lorenzo Villanueva lived up to his reputation of knocking down his boxing opponents during the first few minutes of the fight. But his eagerness proved to be his undoing and he ended up losing to Indonesian Daud Yordan in the fight for the International Boxing Organization’s (IBO) World Featherweight Title held at the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore on Saturday evening. Villanueva, known as the Thunderbolt from Midsayap, North Cotabato, sent Indonesian Daud Yordan down on the canvass barely a minute into the first round of their fight. The Filipino fighter, who has been signed up by Manny Pacquiao manager Freddie Roach, and underwent a three-week training with the Hall of Fame trainer late in 2011, is considered a street fighter who, while awkward inside the ring, possesses tremendous power and has knocked down all of his opponents as a pro, with 23 of them not lasting beyond 10 rounds. His last three fights before facing Yordan ended in first-round knockouts with the shortest time being at one minute 17 seconds. The last knockout was against Diego Ledesma of Mexico, who only lasted one minute 25 seconds. But on Saturday, Villanueva appeared so eager to finish off Yordan in the succeeding round that he left his defenses down, according to trainer Bruce Lerio, who, along with Villanueva’s manager, former North Cotabato Governor Manny Piñol, flew to Singapore to watch the fight. Lerio said Villanueva, 27, did not listen to the advice to take 26-year old Yordan – a former Olympian considered as one of Indonesia’s two top professional boxers – slowly. Lerio told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by e-mail that Villanueva attacked Yordan at will during the second round and was floored twice instead. He said it prompted Australian referee Phil Austin to stop the fight and declare Yordan the winner. “We were almost there. Yordan was badly hurt but Villanueva’s inexperience did him in,” Lerio said. Villanueva’s relatives in Midsayap, North Cotabato, were saddened by the outcome of his international stint. But they said the pugilist was still young and opportunities abound for him in the boxing world. “He should not lose hope; learning experience was what he got, he is still young,” Susan, Villanueva’s younger sister, told the Inquirer by phone. “I hope he won’t lose hope on his desire to bring home an international title,” Susan said.
Finally, a CHR office in ARMM
- Source: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2012/05/05/finally-a-chr-office-in-armm/
- Saturday, May 5, 2012
- By Bong S. Sarmiento
KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/04 May)—After 22 years, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has set up an office in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. CHR chairperson Rosetta Ann P. Rosales led Thursday the opening of the CHR-ARMM at the regional government compound in Cotabato City. Atty. Laisa Alamia was appointed as director of CHR-ARMM. She took her oath on Wednesday before Rosales and Commissioners Jose Manuel Mamauag, Coco Quisumbing and Norberto dela Cruz on May 3 at the Conference Room of the Office of the Regional Governor in Cotabato City. The CHR regional office, set up by the national body, was inaugurated on the same day, at the JICA Building behind the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in the ORG Compound Rosales vowed to uphold human rights in the autonomous Muslim region not just by CHR standards “but also in the context of the rich cultural tradition of the Moro and indigenous peoples (lumads)” in the area. “The CHR will uphold the rights of the indigenous and Moro peoples in the ARMM in the context of their rich culture and history of struggle for human development,” she was quoted as saying by the ARMM Bureau of Public Information. Rosales said acting ARMM Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman sought the establishment of a CHR office in the region, which groups the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Hataman was appointed caretaker of the ARMM last December with the deferment of the regional elections in August to the 2013 midterm polls. He stressed earlier that human development in the region had been stunted by poverty rooted in alleged massive corruption within the ARMM bureaucracy. Rosales said that ARMM has a rich historical experience in their struggle for socio-economic, cultural and political development. She cited the United Nations Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in vowing to uphold the observance of human rights in the context of a culturally diverse ARMM society. ARMM Executive Secretary Anwar Malang, a human rights lawyer, said the establishment of a CHR office in the region is long overdue.
Rosales said putting up the CHR-ARMM unit is “a dream come true” that she, Hataman and President Benigno Simeon Aquino III “had shared in common since they first met as lawmakers in the House of Representatives.” Massive displacements of people and communities have marred the autonomous Muslim region with the rebellion waged by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which is now holding peace talks with the government. The region is also home to political warlords. On 23 November 2009, a total of 58 people were killed in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao in what is considered the worst election-related violence in the country’s history. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)
Consultation-dialogues continue in Mindanao
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661336104495
- Friday, May 4, 2012
- By Perlita D. Changco
COTABATO CITY, May 4 (PIA) -- The government peace panel continues the conduct of consultations and dialogues in different parts of Mindanao to gather and listen to people’s sentiments and opinions as part of the continuing peace process, assures a member of the government panel.
Based on latest published reports, some sectors in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) clamor for “transparency” in the government of the Philippines-MILF Decision Points as of April 2012 agreed upon by both panels during the latest rounds of talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It is said that the 10-point deal would serve as a discussion framework for the discussion of remaining issues for upcoming peace negotiations.
According to GPH peace panel member Prof. Miriam Ferrer consultation - dialogues continue in Mindanao in reaction to calls of various sectors for “transparency” on the status of the GPH-MILF exploratory talks.
“This week we held consultations in Lake Sebu (South Cotabato) and General Santos City to gather public reaction on the peace negotiation and explain to them the government's objectives to allay their fears," she said.
Ferrer said the panel is elated over the people’s support not only in the conduct of the consultations but to the GPH-MILF peace talks assuring that public sentiments and concerns are given due consideration.
While substantive gains have been achieved particularly the signing of the 10-decision seen by many that could enhance the peace initiative, she said that the signing of the final peace agreement between the GPH and MILF is unlikely to take place immediately. (pbchangco-PIA 10, Cotabato City)
CHR chair lead in establishing Human Rights office for ARMM
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=423689
- Thursday, May 3, 2012
- By (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, May 3 (PNA) -- The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will uphold the rights of the indigenous and Moro peoples in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the context of their rich culture and history of struggle for human development.
CHR chairperson Eta Rosales assured this in a meeting here Thursday with regional officials and representatives of Moro civil society organizations.
Rosales said for the first time in 22 years of ARMM’s existence, the CHR establishes its regional office in the Muslim region, on persistent recommendation made by ARMM officer-in-charge Governor Mujiv Hataman.
However, Rosales said human rights would be upheld in the ARMM, not merely by CHR standards, but in the context also of the “rich experience of the Bangsamoro in their history of continuing struggle in many diverse fields of endeavor, including socio-economic, cultural and political development.”
Representatives from local civil society organizations present during the ceremonies said Rosales effectively cited the United Nations Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was introduced by the international body on April 14, 1994.
Human Rights lawyer and ARMM Executive Secretary Anwar Malang said establishing of CHR regional unit or office in the ARMM had indeed been long overdue.
Hataman lauded what he said were the combined efforts of human rights advocates and peace activists in the government and the civil society in bringing the Commission’s institutional and legal mandates closer to the ARMM, and for the welfare of the Tri-Peoples (Moro, Christian and Indigenous Peoples) among ARMM constituents.
"It is you, with respect to your rich culture and great history of struggle, that would uphold and defend human rights in the context of socio-economic, cultural and political development," Rosales stressed.
Rosales said putting up the CHR-ARMM unit has been “a dream coming true” that she, Hataman and President Benigno Simeon Aquino III had shared in common since they first met as lawmakers in the House of Representatives then.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG), a no-government organization based here, had underscored what it said was the essential role of the media in the recognition of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples in the ARMM for Empowerment and Sustainable Development (IPDEV).
Aveen Acuña-Gulo, IPDEV project manager for IAG, said her group was extending membership of its monitoring group, called the project sounding board, to members of the local media.
Peace panel probes mosque burning in SCotabato
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=802899
- Wednesday, May 2, 2012
- By John Unson
COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Representatives of the government’s peace panel have started investigating the burning of a mosque and harassments by alleged Ilonggo settlers in South Cotabato on the behest of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the government's peace panel assured him of immediate action on the security issues now besetting Barangay Luhib in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, where some 200 T'boli Muslims were displaced due to the alleged harassments.
Lake Sebu is under the jurisdiction of Bernardo, who was chairman of the government’s ceasefire committee before he assumed as commanding general of the 10th IB last April 23.
“Representatives of the GPH panel have already been sent there to investigate,” Bernardo said.
The tension in Lake Luhib, a known tribal sanctuary of the T'bolis, started last month when Ilonggo settlers began complaining about the daily call to prayer, or “bang” being aired five times daily using a public address system from a newly-built mosque where natives gather during traditional Friday prayers.
Four balaclava-wearing men torched the makeshift worship site and two nearby on April 19, forcing Muslim vIllagers to evacuate to safer areas for fear their lives.
Bobby Benito, director of the Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace, said non-government organizations, including the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center, have already initiated a dialogue with local officials, the displaced villagers and members of the Lake Sebu municipal police to determine possible measures that can stave off escalation of tension in Barangay Luhib.
The MILF has tagged six Ilonggo farmers -- Nognog, Danny, Jonjon and Nonie, all surnamed Baniyago, and siblings Dodoy and Nonoy Kapesing -- as responsible for the burning of the mosque.
Bernardo said his emissaries have asked the local government unit of Lake Sebu to mediate on the brewing conflict in Barangay Luhib and formulate peaceful solutions to the security issues besetting the area.
New DIPO-Western Mindanao chief commits to prioritize law and order
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661335769549
- Tuesday May 1, 2012
- By Perlita D. Changco
COTABATO CITY, May 1 (PIA) -- Newly installed head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations for Western Mindanao PC/Supt. Manuel Barcena vows to give priority attention for more vigorous peace and security campaign to maintain law and order in the region.
Formerly assigned with PNP intelligence command, Barcena assumes his new post on April 17 vice PC/ Supt Felicisimo Khu who is assigned to head DIPO-Eastern Mindanao.
On April 26, Barcena held a meeting with members of the Cotabato City Police Office (CCPO) led by city director PSSupt Danny Reyes to solicit support and cooperation as part of the commitment for vigorous and aggressive peace and security campaign efforts.
During the meeting, Barcena stressed the importance of continuous coordination to establish strong partnership between the police, local government unit, community and stakeholders in the maintenance of law and order.
“We are now on the coordination process," Barcena said. "I will give all I can, my sincerity and honesty in facing and addressing the challenges in law enforcement as a commitment to ensuring for a peaceful and stable community.”
As this developed, CCPO director Danny Reyes expressed full support and cooperation with the new head of the DIPO-Western Mindanao for an aggressive and intensified campaign to curb all forms of criminal activities in the city. (pbchangco/Cotabato City)
ARMM gov eyes consultation between LGUs, NSO
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661335749748
- Monday, April 30, 2012
- By Perlita D. Changco
COTABATO CITY, April 30 (PIA) -- To dispel speculations surrounding the results of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, ARMM OIC-Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman is initiating a consultation between local officials and the National Statistics Office in the autonomous region.
Hataman said the consultation aims to clear and resolve issues regarding the 2010 Census of Population and come up with measures that maybe helpful in the conduct of census in the future.
He underscored the importance of the 2010 Census on Population and Housing as a baseline data on economic indicators.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangundadatu and several other town mayors have expressed dismay over the noted decrease of the population in almost all of the provinces and towns in the ARMM, citing the looming reduction of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) adversely affecting implementation of ongoing programs and projects and delivery of basic services.
Figures in the 2010 Census of Population and Housing showed that ARMM’s total population decreased to 3,256,140 from 4,120,795 in the 2007 data.
In reaction to calls of local officials for a re-survey, Hataman said, the issue being raised is the pending reduction in the IRA and the dissolution of newly created municipalities that failed to meet the required population of 25,000 as mandated by law.
“I appeal to everyone not to focus and rely too much on the Internal Revenue Allotment; this should instead serve as a challenge for us,” Hataman said.
Hataman said he is not surprised that newly created municipalities in ARMM by virtue of the legislation enacted by the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) would be dissolved.
Earlier, NSO-ARMM regional director Atty. Commando Pilimpinas said President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed the 2010 Census of Population and Housing making the same final and official. (pbchangco/PIA Cotabato City)
DSWD, OPAPP laud WFP, WB study on the impact of conflict, displacement in Mindanao
- Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/358184/better-air-transport-links-urged
- Saturday, April 28, 2012
- By (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 28 (PNA) -- A research commissioned by the World Bank and World Food Programme noted persistent challenges after displaced households in Central Mindanao returned to their respective homes.
The research found out that cycles of violent conflicts in Central Mindanao have resulted in the mass displacement of nearly a million people from their homes over the past 12 years.
In 2003, the study found out that tens of thousands were displaced by armed hostilities and, more recently, thousands of families had to leave their homes yet again when fighting escalated in parts of Zamboanga Sibugay and Basilan in October 2011.
Currently, several thousand people across Mindanao remain displaced, particularly in Maguindanao, where Moro rebels and government forces figured in several on and off clashes.
Disrupting livelihoods are presenting major challenges to both affected families and the government, these concerns do not necessarily end with the return of displaced individuals to their places of origin, a study by the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) during a launch at the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster revealed.
The findings were released on the media on Friday.
Conducted in the last quarter of 2010, the survey teams interviewed 2,759 randomly selected households from a total of 231 barangays across five provinces – Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as well as adjacent provinces of Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
The study – ”Violent Conflicts and Displacement in Central Mindanao: Challenges for Recovery and Development” – revealed that four in every 10 households in the surveyed areas experienced displacement from 2000 to 2010, with one in five displaced two or more times, and one in ten forced to leave their homes up to five times during this period.
The study found that displacement is detrimental to livelihoods, welfare and social cohesion across virtually every key indicator: food security, access to basic services, income poverty and housing.
Convinced the data is of great help to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman lauded the findings and welcomed it.
"The report has important insights on the inter-related dimensions of conflict, displacement and economic growth in Central Mindanao," she said.
“The data provides a basis that will allow the relevant departments of government and other development partners to offer targeted recovery and render extensive development support in affected areas, especially in the most vulnerable households,” she added.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles, also lauded the study.
She found the report a “very relevant guide” in government efforts to address the needs of conflict-affected communities under the current Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities or PAMANA) program.
“It is also important that interventions under PAMANA be based on detailed knowledge of livelihood opportunities and access to land, credit availability and food supply. These indicators vary from place to place,” Secretary Deles noted.
For his part, World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi observed that the report sheds considerable light on the nature and extent of vulnerability across provinces, population categories, and livelihood groups in affected areas.
“It can shape the operational choices of humanitarian, recovery and development agencies and improve outcomes for the population on the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson, said that the study would help agencies like WFP “better target food assistance as well as help communities strengthen their resilience to conflict and natural disasters.”
"The two ARMM provinces in Central Mindanao – Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur – suffer the highest levels of food insecurity. This is exacerbated by high levels of exposure to shocks, such as recurrent flooding and crop disease that make people poorer and more food insecure,” he noted.
Looking at the vulnerability of communities in Central Mindanao, the study found that households experiencing displacement have been “frequently exposed to violence.”
Movements of armed military and rebel groups were cited by 29 percent of the surveyed households as one primary cause of their displacement, while nine percent blamed it on clan conflict or "rido" (family feud).
The report said that host families who welcome relatives and neighbors in their homes, also feel the pressures of displacement from additional financial costs.
Some host families, usually relatives, “had to resort to selling goods or assets to provide food and support” for the displaced people they were hosting.
Of the areas surveyed, Maguindanao province accounted for the highest degree of vulnerability, with about 82 percent of all households in the area affected by displacement due not only to violent conflict but also to weather-related disasters.
These displacements represented the two poorest wealth quintiles, where households suffered the highest levels of food insecurity and the lowest incomes.
When asked to identify their top priorities, surveyed households ranked money, employment, food, health and education, in that order.
Respondents called for government attention to these basic needs, as well as the construction of roads and the need of electricity.
Respondents also identified economic development, the signing of a peace agreement and ending impunity as critical interventions.
The DSWD and OPAPP, in partnership with the World Bank and WFP, plan to disseminate the results of this study through a series of presentations in various fora in Manila and Mindanao.
Better Air Transport Links Urged
- Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/358184/better-air-transport-links-urged
- Friday, April 27, 2012
- By ALI G. MACABALANG
COTABATO CITY — Airline industry leaders from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines (BIMP) have called for collaborative efforts between private and government institutions to fast track and enhance air transport connectivity within the BIMP East Asian Growth Area (EAGA) sub-region.
At the recent 1st Equator Asia Air Access Forum and Airline Executives Summit in Davao City, officials of the Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, MASWings, SEA Air, and Mid-sea Express have aired their respective concerns in taking on the BIMP routes, specifically on issues of infrastructure support, market availability, and costs.
The summit saw players and stakeholders in airline and travel industries discussing and thresh¬ing out vital recommendations on improving air connectivity within the sub-region, the Mindanao De¬velopment Authority (MinDA) said in a press statement on Thursday.
Of the three concerns raised, business cost was considered the most pressing issue, considering that it is requiring policy interventions, the MindA statement added.
It said Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla has reassured industry players that the Philippines is currently working on improvements to facilitate more flights from the country to other BIMP destinations.
“We need to come up with the right regulations and infrastruc¬ture, and we are happy to say that these are already being demonstrated. Infrastructure programs are already being rolled out to improve our air transportation sector,” Lotilla was quoted as saying.
Secluded MILF chieftain praises ‘breakthrough’ in peace talks
- Source: http://mindanaoexaminer.blogspot.com/2012/04/secluded-milf-chieftain-praises.html
- Thursday, April 26, 2012
- By (DED-PDC/PIA12 Cotabato City)
COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 26, 2012) – The secluded leader of the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, praised peace negotiators for the signing of an agreement that would grant them a Muslim sub-state in Mindanao.
“This is a breakthrough in the almost two-year draught in talks under the Aquino administration,” Murad Ebrahim told his commanders and political leaders.
Ebrahim was referring to the 10 Decision Points on Principles signed by the Philippines and MILF peace panels in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, ending a long deadlock in the negotiations for a rebel demand of a Muslim sub-state.
Murad also urged Muslims to pray for “more success” of the peace talks “so that the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao would be finally settled and in order for the whole country to embrace just peace and prosperity.”
He said the MILF is committed to the peace process and wanted to see a political deal with President Benigno Aquino. “A farsighted shift from the “three-for-one” formula to put back on track the continuity of the negotiation process is a leap forward,” Murad said, referring to the 10 Decision Points on Principles, but he was quick to caution the Muslims not to be carried away by the “initial breakthrough” in the peace talks, saying “the road ahead is more rugged and tricky than what has been achieved so far.”
“The real test of the success of the talks hinges on the conclusion of agreements on the substantive issues like power-sharing, wealth-sharing, extent of territory of the new Moro entity,” he said.
Murad said the transition mechanism of the new autonomous political entity will translate the MILF’s political aspirations into pragmatism and how these would lead to the actual empowerment of the Muslims to exercise self-governance is part of the larger agenda.
The MILF has previously said it would not sign a peace deal unless the Aquino government agrees to its demand for a Muslim sub-state in Mindanao.
Marvic Leonen, the chief government peace negotiator, said the signing of the decision points marks a significant and concrete step forward by both sides in their discussions of substantive issues.
He said included in the agreement is the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which is comprised of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao and Maguindanao.
“The autonomous political entity envisioned is a secular political unit, existing within the Republic of the Philippines, located within its territory and subject to its sovereignty as a State,” Leonen said.
Maulana Alonto, a member of the MILF peace panel, earlier said that the document is vital to the success of the negotiation for a new political entity in the form of a Moro sub-state that would replace the ARMM.
“This new sub-state political entity requires transitional or interim mechanisms that would ensure the success of the ministerial form of Bangsamoro government to be established,” he said.
Alonto called on the former Muslim rebel group Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace deal with Manila in September 1996, to close ranks with the MILF in view of the recent developments in the peace negotiations.
“We reiterate the appeal to our MNLF brethren to unite with us as we approach the threshold of this new stage in the peace process. Again, we are reminding them that the MILF is not negotiating for the MILF alone but for the entire Bangsamoro people and that would certainly include our brethren in the MNLF.”
“The immediate gain in this new stage of the peace process is the empowerment of the Bangsamoro people. This empowerment opens wide the door for us to end colonialism in our homeland,” he said.
Bangsamoro people refer to Muslims in the Philippines.
The MILF said the signing of the agreement broke what it called was a stalemate in the almost two years of negotiations with the Aquino government.
The breakthrough, it said, allowed the peace panels to proceed to the discussions on power sharing, wealth sharing, and territory among others as important elements of the sub-state proposal of the MILF.
Lawyer Michael Mastura, a member of the MILF peace panel who presented an overview of the group’s position paper on wealth sharing and alternative choices for wealth creation during the talks, clarified that the substantive issues in the negotiations is the bulk of works in progress now.
“The road map is very much part of our preparatory work. The decisions of principle may even involve a paradigm shift to provide the transition process a function,” he said.
In February, the Oman Tribune quoted Iqbal as saying that President Benigno Aquino agreed to a Muslim sub-state proposed by the MILF. The proposal calls for the direct election by the people of the leaders of the autonomous region to be headed by a chief minister similar to the parliamentary government in the federal states of Malaysia, according to Iqbal.
“No less than His Excellency President Benigno Aquino 3rd agreed to the MILF proposal,” Oman Tribune quoted Iqbal as saying. He said in the interview that the proposed government is to replace the ARMM which is now part of the agreement signed by the Philippines with the MILF on Tuesday.
But it was not immediately known how many more provinces would be included in the proposed expanded Muslim autonomy.
The agreement also said that both sides agreed that the new autonomous political entity shall have a ministerial form of government. They also agreed for a transition period and the institution of transitional mechanisms in order to implement the provisions of the accord.
Both the Philippines and the MILF agreed that there will be power sharing and wealth sharing between the government and the new political entity. It said in the matter of power sharing, the government will have its reserved powers and the new political entity will have its exclusive powers, and there will be concurrent powers shared by both sides.
In the agreement, the Philippines and the MILF agreed that the following are reserved for the competence of the government: Defense and external security; Foreign policy, Common market and global trade, but the power to enter into economic agreements already allowed under Republic Act 9054 shall be transferred to the new political entity; Coinage and monetary policy; Citizenship and naturalization and Postal service.
The Philippines and the MILF also agreed that wealth creation or revenue generation and sourcing is important and that both sides acknowledge the power of the new political entity to create its own sources of revenue, subject to limitations as may be mutually agreed upon, and to have a just share in the revenues generated through the exploration, development or utilization of natural resources.
The agreement also recognizes the need to strengthen the Shari’ah courts and to expand its jurisdiction over cases. The new political entity shall also have competence over the Islamic justice system. In addition to basic rights already enjoyed, the following rights of all citizens residing in the new political entity bind the legislature, executive and judiciary as directly enforceable law and are guaranteed, according to the 10 Decision Points on Principles. (Mindanao Examiner)
2010 population in ARMM down by 9%
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661335250479
- Wednesday 25th of April 2012
- By (DED-PDC/PIA12 Cotabato City)
COTABATO CITY, April 25 (PIA) -- The National Statistics Office in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (NSO-ARMM) reported recently that the region’s population decreased by nine percent compared to population data in 2007.
NSO-ARMM regional director Atty. Commando Pilimpinas said based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, ARMM posted a population of 3,256,140 compared to 4,120,795 in 2007 or a difference of more than 864,000.
The 2010 Census of Population and Housing also indicates a decrease in the population of the five provinces under ARMM namely, Basilan recorded 293,322, Lanao del Sur-933,260, Maguindanao-944,718, Sulu-718,290 and Tawi-Tawi with 366,550.
In comparison, the population of Maguindanao in the 2007 census was 1,273,715. Population of the other provinces were 1,138,544 in Lanao del Sur, 408,520 in Basilan, 849,670 in Sulu and 450,346 in Tawi-Tawi.
Pilimpinas said the 2010 census just as any survey is not perfect with possible room for content error and area error and assured that all households have been included in the enumeration.
Citing migration and peace and security as some major factors surrounding the decrease, Pilimpinas acknowledged the decrease in population has an effect in the subsidy by the national government to local government units (LGUs) through the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
Pilimpinas said, after undergoing a thorough validation process, the 2010 Census of Population and Housing has been signed by President Benigno S. Aquino rendering the same official document
Cotabato state college will not hike tuition fees this school year
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=421589
- April 24, 2012, 7:35 pm
- By (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, Aril 24 (PNA) – Here's one good news for poor students here and in nearby Maguindanao province. The state-run Cotabato City State Polytechnic College will not increase its tuition fees this coming school year.
This was the assurance given by Dr. Dammang Bantala, newly installed president of the CCSPC, the oldest government college in South Central Mindanao.
CCSPC said it is not inclined to impose new tuition fee hike anytime soon, while about two dozens private colleges and universities have applied for tuition fee hike before the Commission on Higher Education.
Bantala said the college would concentrate on enhancing capacities and capabilities geared towards raising the school’s public schooling standard to reach out and cater to more indigent students.
"This a government learning institution. I assure students and parents that there will be no tuition fee increase within the period of years to help kids of poor families, the Bangsamoro people, cope with the high cost of living," Bantala said.
As this developed, Bantala said, they fully support the proposal for the conversion of CCSPC into a state university being pushed by Maguindanao 1st district Rep. Bai Sandra Sema through a bill now pending before Congress.
Bantala said CCSPC officials, faculty and students are required to exert additional efforts to meet the requirements necessary for the conversion and upgrade CCSPC’s status to Level II and raise the passing mark in licensure examinations.
Bantala said the conversion of CCSPC into a state university will provide better access to improved school facilities, equipment, laboratories and training as tools to help attain the objective of quality schooling that would redound to the benefit of the people and the community.
Rep. Sema said her bill has been approved on third and final reading and "its just a matter of time it will become a law."
PNP, Marines intensify anti-crime drive in Cotabato
- Source: http://www.zambotimes.com/archives/46637-PNP,-Marines-intensify-anti-crime-drive-in-Cotabato.html
- Monday, April 23. 2012
- By (PNA)
COTABATO CITY — Police and Philippine Marines operatives in the city have launched an intensified drive against lawless elements riding in tandem on motorbikes in carrying criminal acts. Sr. Supt. Danilo Reyes, city police director, said police have leads on the identities of two men, on motorbikes, who lobbed a hand grenade at the residential compound of Army Lieutenant Nasrulah Sema along Rabago Extension, Cotabato City at dawn of Saturday. No one was hurt in the grenade attack but the blast triggered panic and apprehension among peace-loving people of Ramon Rabago extension. "We are following up a lead, I hope it will produce positive reports," he told reporters. Reyes said the past few days the number of crime incidence, including crime against life and against property, have slightly increase. "All the perpetrators used motorcycles, thus we are closely tracking all motorcycles in the city to determine its owners' possible participation in crime," he said. Also on Sunday dawn, a nurse was walking for home at about 2 a.m. when two men riding in tandem on a motorbike grabbed his bag. Nurse Jaypee Sampulna resisted and he was shot by the snatchers. "We are not taking it lightly, your police is addressing it and we need everybody's cooperation," Reyes said.
Muslim group denounces US troops over death of fisherman in Basilan
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=799638&publicationSubCategoryId=200
- April 22, 2012 02:03 PM
- By philstar.com
COTABATO, Philippines (Xinhua) - A Muslim group today denounced American troops over the death of a Filipino fisherman when his fishing boat was rammed by a US speedboat off Hadji Mutamad town in the southern Philippine province of Basilan.
"We denounced it. They always violate the rights of the people," Moro Islamic Liberation Front spokesman Von Al Haq said in a telephone interview.
"We hope the government will do something about it," he added.
On Wednesday night, US soldiers aboard the Mark V speedboat were on their way back to Zamboanga City when they rammed the lightless small fishing boat at about 7 p.m..
Ahbam Juhurin was killed in the incident. Juhurin's son was wounded.
A number of U.S. troops are in Mindanao to train Filipino forces in fighting the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which has linkages with the al-Qaeda terrorist network. The Americans are also providing intelligence information to Filipino troops.
Kato’s alive in video released by followers
- Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/180387/kato%E2%80%99s-alive-in-video-released-by-followers
- 3:47 pm | Saturday, April 21st, 2012
- By Jeoffrey Maitem
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Ameril Umra Kato, leader of the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, has resurfaced, at least in a video in which he is shown telling followers he wanted to put to rest claims he died from a stroke last November. BIFF spokesman Abu Misri Mama, who released the video to the media earlier in the week, gave no indication when it was taken nor did he present proof of its authenticity, saying only that it proves all claims of Kato’s death were false. “It’s not true that I died,” Kato is shown in the video telling BIFF fighters in an undisclosed place in Maguindanao. He said the rumors of his death were started by people who wanted the BIFF demoralized. He did not identify them though. Kato broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front over disagreements concerning peace talks with the government and the failure of the MILF to come to his defense in battles with government forces following the collapse of peace talks in 2008. The talks between the government and the MILF have since resumed. The MILF was in fact among the first to announce that Kato, a former MILF field commander in Maguindanao, had died. Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF political affairs chair, said their information was very reliable and that Kato’s relatives had even offered prayers on the seventh day of his demise, but they never presented any proof. Von Al Haq, MILF spokesman, said they had tapped the help of locals to search for Kato’s grave “to once and for all put to rest the issue,” but nothing was ever heard of the search again. The military made similar claims but admitted not having any proof. The claims of Kato’s death gained some credence when Mama himself said that he and other BIFF fighters had not seen Kato since late November. He said they had also been barred from calling Kato’s phone. In explaining Kato’s long absence when he presented the video to reporters last Thursday, Mama said: “He only took a break as advised by his physicians.” He said Kato was now back at the helm of the BIFF. Meanwhile, the MILF has declined to make any statement on Kato’s video.
ARMM ‘brand new’ P12M mobile clinic smells fishy – gov
- Source: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2012/04/20/armm-%E2%80%98brand-new%E2%80%99-p12m-mobile-clinic-smells-fishy-%E2%80%93-gov/
- Friday| April 20, 2012
- By Bong S. Sarmiento
COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/19 April) – Too fast to conk out. Acting Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao turned the key down on the P12-million German-made mobile clinic rolled out by the previous Adiong administration six months ago. “It was declared as brand new but actually, beneath the stickers, it is full of rust,” he disclosed Tuesday in Filipino before a crowd of at least 1,000 attending his first 100 days in office report. The mobile clinic has been lying idle in the ARMM compound for a few months now, with Hataman stressing the transmission unit of the bus having a defect. “It was pulled back to the ARMM compound after a previous medical mission in Parang [Maguindanao] and Libungan [North Cotabato,]” he said. Hataman showcased the mobile clinic as one of the alleged anomalous transactions uncovered by his administration in line with the efforts to weed out corruption in the impoverished Muslim region. He assumed office on December 22, 2011, after the Supreme Court ruled as constitutional Republic Act 10153, the law that deferred the August ARMM elections to the 2013 midterm polls. It also allowed President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to appoint officers-in-charge until an election is held in the region. Hataman later told reporters that he “will not accept the mobile clinic even if the Commission on Audit will declare it as brand new.” The acceptable solution is for the supplier of the bus to replace the unit, he stressed. Naguib G. Sinarimbo, former executive secretary of the previous Adiong administration, defended the mobile clinic, noting its “purchase went through a tedious and rigorous public bidding.” Saying he was not a member of the Bids and Awards Committee, Sinarimbo said the decision to purchase a mobile clinic was reached at a time when ARMM was under a state of calamity due to massive flooding. “If there are defects in the unit, the proper course of action is to pursue the warranties such as repair free of charge or even replacement if warranted, and we will help the current leadership in this direction,” he said.
But to impute malice to the BAC without even undertaking the proper procedure and publicized the same, to say the least, is unfair, Sinarimbo said. The BAC chairperson at the time, according to Sinarimbo, was former Cabinet Secretary Ernie Masorong, who could not be immediately reached for comment. The mobile clinic, said to be the longest custom-built unit in Mindanao, is made up of X-ray machines, electrocardiogram (ECG), laboratory facilities for urine and blood analysis, and dental equipment, among others. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)
Suspected Ampatuan henchman falls in Cotabato
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=798605
- April 19, 2012 02:56 PM
- By John Unson
COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The military on Thursday announced the arrest of a suspected henchman of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Jr. as he was checking in to a hotel.
The suspect, Sonny Pendi, is one the almost two hundred people implicated in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of 58 people in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao. He carries a P250,000 bounty on his head.
Col. Prudencio Asto, public affairs chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Pendi, 27, was nabbed as he walked out of the fenced compound of a hotel to a waiting vehicle.
“He has been under surveillance for many weeks before the arrest was carried out. The long hand of the law finally caught him,” Asto said.
Operatives of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police forced Pendi into their car and immediately brought him to their regional headquarters in Parang, Maguindanao.
The arrest of Pendi alarmed city residents, thinking it was a kidnapping incident.
Operatives of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 immediately tightened security in all of the city’s key entry and exit points, but learned later that Pendi was arrested in a legitimate police operation and was not abducted by a kidnap-for-ransom gang.
Asto said their intelligence units in Maguindanao have received persistent feedback from civilian informants following Pendi’s arrest purporting that he was a close aide of Ampatuan, Jr., the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
The ARMM police said it has turned over Pendi to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, which in turn, will facilitate his commitment to a court in Metro Manila that issued the warrant for his arrest.
DepEd-ARMM generates P162-M savings
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1661334649068
- Wednesday 18th of April 2012
- by Perlita D. Changco
COTABATO CITY, April 18 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has generated P162 million savings from December 2011 to March 2012.
In his 100th day “Ulat sa Bayan” yesterday at the ORG Canopy, ARMM compound, ARMM OIC-governor Mujiv Hataman said the agency has produced savings as a result of the ongoing "honest-to-goodness measures" to eliminate graft and corruption and instilling transparency and accountability.
Hataman identified the education and public works and highways departments as the most problematic agencies in the autonomous region with serious concerns on rampant graft corruption and mismanagement.
Hataman, in his report confirms irregularities in DepEd-ARMM involving ghost teachers, schools and students, which have been unearthed since his assumption to office, adding measures which are in place to address irregularities confronting the agency.
He said, he has directed DepEd-ARMM regional secretary Atty. Jamar Kulayan to intensify efforts to curb corruption adding that investigations are underway to identify and determine the extent of the involvement of school officials in the loan scam.
Hataman warned to take appropriate action including dismissal from service against superintendents and supervisors who will be proven to be in cahoots with the lending groups victimizing many teachers.
Salaries of teachers will now be delivered directly to the schools by competent personnel from the DepEd-ARMM together with representatives of civil society organizations to ensure that teachers receive their pay personally. (pbchangco/PIA Cotabato City)
Another suspect in Maguindanao massacre falls
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=420103
- April 17, 2012, 3:09 pm
- by (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 17 (PNA) -– Police operatives arrested here on Tuesday one of the suspects in the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
Colonel Prudencio Asto, speaking for the Army's 6th Infantry Division, said operatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), collared 27-year-old Sonny Pandi, a resident of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao while he was leaving a hotel in Cotabato City around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Under surveillance for months, the suspect was seen in the city with a back pack entering Sardonyx Hotel. As no rooms are available at the time, the suspect left the hotel but the police surrounded him and presented to him the warrant of arrest issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Reyes for his suspected involvement in the Maguindanao massacre wherein 58 people, 31 of whom were journalists, were killed.
Asto said Pandi did not resist arrest and was brought to Camp SK Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao before he will be handed over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
No more "Hello Garci" in next national elections
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=419708
- April 16, 2012, 4:00 pm
- by (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 16 (PNA) -- In the next national and local political exercises of choosing future leaders in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, there would be no more "Hello Garcis."
The assurance was made by acting Regional Governor Mujib Hataman.
"Hello Garci" refers to an alleged cheating during the 2007 polls where former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made calls to then election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to rig the poll results in the ARMM.
He said ARMM, in many occasions, have been tagged by poll reform advocates as the country’s "vote-cheating capital.”
Hataman was named by President Aquino to institute reforms in the graft-laden but resources rich autonomous government.
Civil society organizations supported moves to reset the polls in a bid to institute reforms, particularly on governance and elections.
"We have gone this far in our direction toward electoral reforms, with the help of the civil society, the advocates among women groups, the Commission on Elections and the National Statistics Office,” said Hataman in Pilipino.
Hataman's first priorities include the cleansing of voters' record in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
"Our desire in our road to electoral reforms was to cleanse the polls registration of underage “voters,” and the “dead” whose names have kept recurring in election time, but were used by the living.
"In our journey to reforms, the women’s sector is never behind us men. In last March’s Women’s Month, they exuded firmness in their commitment to help ARMM constituents attain reforms for their government... The good ARMM Vice-Governor Bainon Karon, whose family has been involved in the decades of Moro struggle, is on the lead together with my better-half, who came not to provide me with more of her caring as a lovely wife," Hataman said.
"But to be with her fellow women in a firm stand to get us men into a greater move for reform through good governance for our dear people,” Hataman added.
He said there is a need to have people's “strong bind in convergence for a collective objective for change and for general welfare,” as a phenomenon in the ARMM that did “not come as a surprise to a government that is open to its constituents and above all, God-fearing.”
He said his government alone could not institute the necessary reforms in the regional bureacracy without the support of the people and peoples organizations to whom the power of the leaders emanate.
2 killed, 32 injured in Cotabato blast
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=797109&publicationSubCategoryId=63
- April 15, 2012 12:00 AM
- by John Unson
COTABATO CITY, Philipines – Two persons were killed while 32 others were wounded when a grenade exploded in a makeshift cockpit in Aleosan town in North Cotabato yesterday afternoon, authorities said.
Police said the explosive was hurled in the middle of a cockfight at around 1 p.m.
The two fatalities, who died on the spot from shrapnel wounds, were identified as Fermin Caloquin and Vicente Sabando, residents of Barangay Lawili, Aleosan town.
Responding policemen and soldiers rushed the 32 wounded victims to different hospitals in North Cotabato.
Lt. Col. Roy Galido, commanding officer of the Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion, said they were verifying information that some families in Barangay Tonganon, also in Aleosan town, could be the targets of the bombing.
Authorities were eyeing clan war as motive behind the attack.
Galido ordered his men to conduct follow-up operations to identify and arrest the grenade thrower.
Cotabato City recipient of Spain’s hygiene and water program
- Source: http://positivenewsmedia.com/blog/2012/04/cotabato-city-recipient-of-spains-hygiene-and-water-program/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cotabato-city-recipient-of-spains-hygiene-and-water-program
- Apr 14, 2012
- by (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 14 (PNA) – The ACF (Action Against Hunger) International has again chose Cotabato City to be one of the recipients of its projects this year particularly the ones concerning the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program. Two villages, Barangays Tamontaka Mother and Mother Bagua are to benefit from the project that costs more than P1-million funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development or AECID. The project, “Support for the Socioeconomic Development of the Communities within Spanish Development Cooperation’s Action Zones in the Philippines”, will concentrate on the water sources and the construction of sanitation facilities such as latrines pf the beneficiary communities. With these projects, the ACF will also conduct training and meetings with the village officials and their constituents regarding hygiene promotion and sanitary health. “We will be identifying the water sources. If the communities say they don’t have access to water, we will see the possibilities of bringing water to the place,” said Eric Fort, ACF country director. Before the implementation of the project, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between the ACF headed by Fort and the local government of Cotabato City represented by City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. The Spanish agency will provide P954,000 and the city government’s P74,000 counterpart. A copy of the MOA has already been forwarded to the City Legal Office for its review and later to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to give authority to the mayor to enter into the agreement. Guiani was thankful that the city has been a regular recipient of Spain’s generosity. The project will run until 2014 and the ACF International is contemplating on sponsoring the same project for other barangays in the city.
Maguindanao MDG-YEM scholars complete high school
- Source: http://pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R12&article=1661334296019
- Friday 13th of April 2012
- by (pbchangco/PIA Cotabato City)
COTABATO CITY, April 13, (PIA)-- Some 139 high school scholars of MDG-Youth Employment and Migration (MDG-YEM) in Maguindanao in Maguindanao in partnership with the International Organization on Migration (IOM) have successfully completed their secondary education during graduation rites held last week of March, this year.
Of the 179 total Education Subsidy Scholars, 139 have graduated high school while 40 are incoming senior students enrolled in different public secondary schools, namely: the Maguindanao National High School, Talayan National High School, Parang National High School, Datu Saudi Uy Ampatuan Memorial National High School, Mamasapano National High School and Buluan National High School.
According to Oliver Rivera of OWWA-ARMM, the program is spearheaded by IOM-Philippines through the Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration (YEM): Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth funded by MDG-Fund, International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with OWWA-ARMM, DOLE, DepEd, DSWD, DTI, NTC, TESDA, Office of the Regional Governor-ARMM and provincial government of Maguindanao.
Salient features of the scholarship include a fixed amount of not more than P500 for school-related fees and miscellaneous expenses duly authorized by Department of Education, fixed monthly allowance of P1,000 and other support costs for special needs such as psycho-social support, remedial, etc.
A joint IOM and OWWA-ARMM team led by OIC-director Amy Crisostomo, Miguel Menez-IOM Junior Programme Assistant and Rahima Alba-IOM-Maguindanao Field Coordinator witnessed the graduation rites of the 139 scholars.
Rivera said, as the program’s primary goal is to increase participation and retention rates of youth in secondary education, both IOM and OWWA-ARMM officials are elated that most of the recipients belong to the top 10 of the graduating class.
“We just wanted to improve school participation and retention rates but the students gave more that what we asked for. They graduated with honors,” OIC Crisostomo said in her message.
Cotabato City recipient of Spain's hygiene and water program
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=418873
- April 12, 2012, 8:59 pm
- by (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 12 (PNA) - The ACF (Action Against Hunger) International has again chose Cotabato City to be one of the recipients of its projects this year particularly the ones concerning the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program.
Two villages, Barangays Tamontaka Mother and Mother Bagua are to benefit from the project that costs more than P1-million funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development or AECID.
The project, “Support for the Socioeconomic Development of the Communities within Spanish Development Cooperation’s Action Zones in the Philippines”, will concentrate on the water sources and the construction of sanitation facilities such as latrines pf the beneficiary communities.
With these projects, the ACF will also conduct training and meetings with the village officials and their constituents regarding hygiene promotion and sanitary health.
“We will be identifying the water sources. If the communities say they don’t have access to water, we will see the possibilities of bringing water to the place,” said Eric Fort, ACF country director.
Before the implementation of the project, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between the ACF headed by Fort and the local government of Cotabato City represented by City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr.
The Spanish agency will provide P954,000 and the city government's P74,000 counterpart.
A copy of the MOA has already been forwarded to the City Legal Office for its review and later to the Sangguniang Panlungsod to give authority to the mayor to enter into the agreement.
Guiani was thankful that the city has been a regular recipient of Spain's generosity.
The project will run until 2014 and the ACF International is contemplating on sponsoring the same project for other barangays in the city.
PNP, AFP appeal bus firms to load passengers only at terminals
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=418663
- April 11, 2012, 9:22 pm
- by (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 11 (PNA) - Police and military authorities in North Cotabato have asked the management of bus companies operating in North Cotabato to stop the practice of picking up passengers in between bus terminals.
The appeal was aired following a powerful blast from improvised explosive device in Carmen, North Cotabato Wednesday morning that left three dead and 16 others wounded.
Supt. Rogelio Salinas, North Cotabato police provincial director and Colonel Benjie Hao, 7th Infantry Battalion commander, made the separate appeal to Rural Transit Bus and Weena Bus company, two bus firms which have been subjected to several bomb attacks by extortion gangs.
Salinas said the suspect in Wednesday morning's bomb blast was a man who boarded the bus in between Kabacan and Carmen.
The man, in his early 30s, disembark before the bus, (body number 2922 and license plate KVS-740) reached the Carmen terminal at 10:40 a.m.
“We have been asking bus operators to stop the practice of picking up passengers in between bus terminals to avoid things like these,” Salinas said.
Army and police bomb disposal teams, with bomb-sniffing dogs, have been deployed in bus terminals in North Cotabato, to check on baggage and passengers before allowing the bus to leave.
The suspected bomber placed the IED, a 60 mm mortar with mobile phone as trigger mechanism, at the baggage compartment.
Killed were Dima Causing; her daughter, Rona Causing; and Gladzin Himposo, 10 years old. The fatalities who were seated directly above the compartment suffered shrapnel injuries in different parts of the body.
Wounded were Guirea Danggo, 21, Basilisa Anipot, 45, Marvin Nacional, 23, Sonny Balanay, 39, Leo Limciano, 44, Alvin Diaz, 19, Lovena Acyo, 46, Lea Fabiona, 52, Analyn Soico, 35, Hara Janine Cosco, 11, Allan Himpiso Sr, 33, Allan Himpiso Jr, 6, Judy Ann Simailon, 9, Shiela Lunez, 18, Rosa Delia Garbo, 41, Alberto Isidro, 36.
The victims are being treated now at the Kabacan Medical Specialist Hospital.
Colonel Leopoldo Galon, speaking for Eastern Mindanao Command, said the Eastmincom has ordered all military units under its area of jurisdiction to strictly check all baggage being loaded to passenger bus to prevent similar attacks in the future.
MinDA, ARMM ink MoA to boost investments in Muslim Mindanao
- Source: http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?menu=2&webregion=R13&article=1701334022545
- Tuesday 10th of April 2012
- by (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/MinDA)
COTABATO CITY, April 10 (PIA) -- Local and foreign investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are seen to grow this year following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the ARMM-regional government.
Signed during the 1st ARMM Economic Summit held here recently, the MOA is aimed at boosting local and foreign direct investments in the ARMM, which is among the three-pillar thrusts of the new ARMM government, along with reforming its bureaucracy and upholding peace and security.
With the MOA, MinDA and the ARMM regional government shall establish a one-stop-shop that would facilitate business transactions faster, easier and more convenient for prospective investors.
The partnership shall also embark on a strengthened campaign to promote and facilitate investments ranging from small and medium enterprises to agro-industrial ventures.
The ARRM-Regional Board of Investments (RBOI), in coordination with MinDA, is currently facilitating the entry of two companies which are planning to expand their banana plantations in ARMM.
"Said investments are valued at P1.5-billion,” said Larzon Santos, ARMM-BOI research division chief.
In his keynote speech during the summit, Gov. Mujiv Hataman said that uplifting the social and economic conditions of ARMM following years of downturn entails aggressive measures on enterprise development, harnessing existing industries, and drawing more businessmen to invest in the region.
In a study commissioned by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), it was found out that like the rest of Mindanao, ARMM has an excellent agro-climatic conditions which is conducive to producing a wide range of high value agricultural crops.
The study also revealed that ARMM’s fertile soils yield crops like cassava, white corn and coffee that are superior to those grown elsewhere in Mindanao.
Unlike neighboring regions whose lands are now extensively farmed, there remain large tracts of land available for farming in ARMM.
The study also boasts of the region’s competitive labor cost which is 20 percent lower than in Davao, 26 percent lower compared to Central Luzon and about 43 percent lower than in Metro Manila.
“It is useful to note that there are a number of companies that have dared to invest in ARMM and have actually done well,” said Dr. Ciel Habito of the Brain Trust Incorporated, economic advisor of Hataman.
Habito said that La Frutera, a banana export venture in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao of the multinational firm Unifrutti and Agumil, a Malaysian-owned palm oil processing company in Buluan, has shown the way.
He added that Matling Industrial and Commercial Corporation has been processing cassava into flour in Malabang, Lanao del Sur, since 1928 and is the largest cassava processor in Mindanao.
“Lamsan Incorporated has been manufacturing cornstarch and other products from corn in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, for four decades now. Philippine Trade Center Incorporated is another cornstarch manufacturer in the same municipality,” he said.
Moreover, Habito said that EA Trilink Corporation registered a P1.5 billion investment in ARMM last year to upgrade the region’s information and communications technology capabilities to world standards.
In spite of these seeming advantages, the study showed that ARMM has not only failed to attract the investments it needs to bring more jobs and incomes to its people; it has also sunk into deeper poverty.
Hataman said that the keys to achieving economic growth in ARMM are transparency in governance and the active participation of private sector.
“Kaya nating baguhin ang takbo ng pamamahala sa ARMM (We can change the way ARMM is being governed)”, he said adding that his administration is keen on following the “tuwid na landas” (straight path), President Benigno Aquino’s platform in governance.
He emphasized that “all efforts towards pump-priming ARMM’s economy will be put into waste if its people are not cooperating”.
He said that the new ARMM government needs as much cooperation from its people as it can get.
For its part, MinDA believes that a strengthened and empowered local government unit (LGU) and communities are the prime-movers of a bottom-up development as embodied under the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan (Mindanao 2020), Mindanao’s peace and development blueprint for the period 2011-2030.
The Mindanao 2020 envisions a stable, autonomous, self-reliant and effective governance mechanism for the Bangsamoro people that is widely acceptable and finds active support from its citizenry.
Holy Week celebration peaceful in Cotabato, bishop says there's hope for peace
- Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=418070
- April 9, 2012, 5:07 pm
- by (PNA)
COTABATO CITY, April 9 (PNA) - Police visibility and deployment of mobile checkpoints around the city made the Holy Week celebration peaceful.
Sr. Supt. Danny Reyes, city police director, in his report to PNP-Regional Office No. XII in Gen. Santos City, said no major incident have occurred during the week-long observance of the Holy Week.
Except one isolated grenade throwing incident that left nobody hurt in Good Friday evening, the city was generally peaceful.
All Churches where there were religious rites were securely guarded by combine elements of Philippine National Police and the Philippine Marines' 7th Marine Battalion Landing Team.
Uniformed policemen backed by bomb sniffing dogs were deployed in three major Churches in the city, namely the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, the Rosary Heights Parish Church, Queen Peace Chapel, Our Lady of Penafrancia chapel, Notre Dame Village chapel and many others.
Officials said the peaceful and solemn observance of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was also attributed to the peoples' active participation in the peace and order campaign of the city.
Unlike previous religious celebrations, this year's activities were "very quite and peaceful."
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI, DD, said the Easter Sunday celebration reminds every Catholic faithful that there is hope for Mindanao.
"There is hope that peace will reign in our communities, our Mindanao and our country because Christ's resurrection simply means there is hope," Quevedo, former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said in his Easter message.
Grenade blast hits Cotabato City
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=794625
- April 07, 2012 12:25 PM
- by John Unson
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – A grenade blast struck a wealthy residential area in this city on Good Friday just as hundreds of devotees congregated for the traditional Lenter prayer rites in a nearby Catholic Church.
Investigators said one of two men riding a motorcycle in tandem hurled a fragmentation grenade at the frontyard of businessman Juanito Lao and sped away. The incident happened at around 8 p.m.
Lao’s residence is not far from a roadside detachment of the 7th Marine Battalion manned by operatives helping secure wealthy Chinese traders residing in the area from kidnappers.
No one was hurt in the grenade attack, but the incident triggered panic in the neighborhood.
Intelligence operatives of the city police are still trying to establish the possible motive for the bombing.
Members of the Lao family said they have no known enemies and are not involved in any rido (clan war) either.
The spot where the grenade went off is just two blocks away from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, erected by Jesuit missionaries in the 1920s.
An unidentified bomber, who was captured in security camera, set off a powerful improvised explosive device almost three years ago near the entrance of the cathedral, killing three worshipers and wounding more than 20 others.
MILF-MNLF Unity Bid Backed
- Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/356402/milfmnlf-unity-bid-backed
- April 5, 2012, 5:47pm
- by ALI G. MACABALANG
COTABATO CITY – The Aquino government has cited the expressed bid of the Moro Islamic Liberation (MLIF) for unity with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), welcoming it as the “only way for lasting peace” in Southern Philippines.
The two revolutionary groups, then united under the mainstream MNLF, should “settle their differences because that's the only way for permanent peace to reign in the region,” a statement from Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles said.
“We cannot see the way to a lasting peace if the MILF and the MNLF are at cross-purposes with each other,” Deles said, stressing that the current negotiations with the MILF involve the same core territory and people that are already the subject of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) with the MNLF.
Deles was reacting to an earlier expressed desire of the MILF to “forge a united front in pushing forward the Moro aspiration for genuine self-governance” in the south.
Similarly, she said, "the government is pushing for a convergence framework that will join together three strands to bring permanent peace in Mindanao.”
Remote Villages Get Health Care
- Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/356292/remote-villages-get-health-care
- April 4, 2012, 4:52pm
- by ALI G. MACABALANG
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Remote villages in the once scary Maguindanao province and the southernmost tips of Tawi-Tawi islands are now receiving health services and medical care which rural folks had longed for decades.
Reports about the trend-setting outreach services surfaced at the education and health summit conducted here recently.
Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr., incumbent health secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), told summit participants that more than 2,000 “deprived people” of Tawi-Tawi received medical attention and health services in a week-long (March 18-25) caravan on the island towns of Sapa-Sapa and Languyan.
The “geographically disadvantaged” villagers of the two island towns received various “medical-surgical-safe motherhood outreach” services never done in one setting before, Sinolinding said in his presentation backed by statistics and photos.
“Braving the scorching heat of the sun and the staggering hours of travel by sea, we once touched hearts and brought vision and hope among more than 2,000 people in Languyan and Sapapa island towns,” said the ARMM health official cum expert ophthalmologist.
Soldier dead in Malaybalay clash
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=793961&publicationSubCategoryId=200
- April 03, 2012 12:12 PM
- by John Unson
COTABATO CITY, Philippines - A soldier was killed while another was wounded as fighting between Rangers and communist rebels broke out in a village in Malaybalay City on Tuesday.
Major Ricky Canatoy, who is also the civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 403rd Brigade, said the slain soldier belonged to the elite 43rd Reconnaissance Company, a team sent to run after guerillas of the New People’s Army collecting revolutionary taxes from farmers in far-flung towns.
“We cannot divulge his [slain soldier's] name yet because we still have to notify his family...,” Canatoy said.
The reconnaissance team was sent following reports by farmers of the growing number of NPA members seen around Barangay Kibalabag in Malaybalay City.
The NPA members fired at the soldiers even before government troops could get close to the center of Barangay Kibalabag.
Members of Bukidnon provincial peace and order said the NPAs could have suffered fatalities as indicated by the heavy stains of blood in their escape route.
Villagers fleeing from the scene said they saw the rebels carrying five wounded companions as the NPA members escaped to a hinterland in a nearby town.
A soldier who was wounded in the firefight was taken to a hospital.
Other government troops also recovered food provisions, assorted ammunition, an empty magazine for a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, and various documents from the rebels who left the items along the routes they trailed as they fled in haste.
Military planes pound NPAs in Bukidnon
- Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=793631
- April 02, 2012 03:39 PM
- by John Unson
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Soldiers recovered landmines, assorted ammunition and other combat provisions after two separate clashes with the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Mindanao on Monday.
The military was forced to use fixed-wing SF-26 attack planes to pound the positions of NPAs that clashed with patrolling members of the Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Sampaguita in Kibawe, Bukidnon.
The Bukidnon provincial police said the attack planes from the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group 11 in Davao City fired 14 rockets at the NPA rebels after they have surrounded the combatants of the 81 IB, led by a certain 2lt Fulgencio.
The rebels fled hastily, leaving behind bags containing subversive documents, assorted gun parts, food supplies and lists of business establishments from where they forcibly collect “protection money” on a regular basis.
Several hours later, members of the Army’s 75th IB and a band of communist rebels figured in a brief running firefight in Barangay Anomar in Surigao City.
A soldier identified as Pfc. Victor Damaso was wounded in the ensuing encounter.
The NPAs retreated to another barangay after sensing that Army reinforcements from detachments in towns around Surigao City have started closing in.
Pursuing soldiers found landmines, assorted ammunition and combat uniforms left in the rebels’ escape route.
ARMM Acts To Boost Investments
- Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/355996/armm-acts-to-boost-investments
- April 1, 2012, 3:13am
- by ALI G. MACABALANG
COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) have teamed up to intensify investments generation for the former, a 22-year geo-political unit that is still lagging behind all other regions in the country.
Caretaker-Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, acting as chairman of the ARMM’s Regional Board of Investment (RBOI), and MinDA Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino forged the partnership at the 1st ARMM Economic Summit here on March 27.
Organizers described the partnership as a bold step to ease and magnify investment in Mindanao, particularly in the socio-economically and politically-saddled autonomous region.
Under the partnership dubbed as "Investment Facilitation in Mindanao," the RBOI-ARMM leads all local enabling efforts with the national Board of Investment (BOI) assisting in the form of technical services in developing networks with prospect investors, Regional Trade Secretary Marites Maguindra told reporters.
The team-up aims to establish a trade and investment databank compiling Information Education Communication (IEC) materials on ARMM’s trade potentials, conduct capacity building activities to hone MinDA and RBOI-ARMM investment facilitators, and organize joint promotion initiatives such as stakeholders consultation, forums, dialogues and immersions, Maguindra said.
The older news reports are kept here.