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Contents

Heightened checkpoint, security operations being implemented in Zamboanga City

By Priam F. Nepomuceno [(PNA), CTB/PFN]

MANILA, Jan. 25 (PNA) -- To prevent a repeat of the bombing incident that left two persons dead and 52 others wounded at a parking lot in Barangay Guiwan, Zamboanga City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday announced that it will help in ongoing checkpoint operations and other security measures being implemented by the Philippine National Police.

As this develops, AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said that the bombing last Friday could be in retaliation for the foiled jail break attempt of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader Furuji Indaman's brother at the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center last Tuesday.

In that attempt, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology operatives prevented the breakout attempt of Bensar Indama after they discovered a .45 caliber pistol stashed at the jail premises.

"Our checkpoint (operations) and other security measures have been heightened while the investigation for the blast is still ongoing," Padilla said in Filipino.

He added that all necessary security precautions will take place until the perpetrators of the blasts are identified and arrested.

UN Habitat kicks off dev planning workshop

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

The first of a series of planning workshops spearheaded by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) for the recovery, rehabilitation, and sustainable development of Zamboanga City kicked off yesterday, January 23 at Centro Latino.

Dubbed as the Zamboanga City Recovery, Rehabilitation and Sustainable Development Planning – Part 1, the main objective of the workshop is to incorporate the recovery and rehabilitation actions and strategies into LGU mandated plans to ensure sustainability of initiatives, and to initiate the local development planning process.

The workshop also highlighted the need to review the existing development plans of the City in a bid to determine its relevance to the current needs of the City, and to identify components, and strategies that need to be included.

In his presentation, City Planning and Development Office Head Engr. Rodrigo Sicat said that the crisis last September 2013 and the resulting Z3R plan which was conceived to address the rehabilitation needs of the affected barangays will be an important and deciding component in all of the City’s future development plans.

“We have to look at the planning of the City from all facets,” he said, underscoring security as one of the critical components that need to be integrated.

UN Habitat Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo said that as a center of trade and culture, Zamboanga City is a “strong magnet”, and faces both opportunities and challenges.

He added that post-crisis efforts should be geared towards the recovery of the whole City as an urban system.

Mayor Beng Climaco expressed her gratitude for the support of the UN Habitat team, and assured the participants that the local government is ready to face the challenges.

“I am ready, by God’s grace, willing and able to face all the problems,” declared the Mayor.

Participating in the workshop were representatives from the local government and its respective departments, national government agencies, the private sector and the academe, the security sector to include the Zamboanga City Police Office and the Task Force Zamboanga, and non-government organizations and civil society groups.

Participants were clustered into groups to determine components that should be included in the development plan for the City, and identify contributing and negating factors and strategies for development.

Two more planning workshop will be held in the next few months, and all inputs will be consolidated in a final overall output to be submitted to the local government.

The City Government of Zamboanga is a recipient of technical assistance from the UN Habitat in the conduct of planning workshops on recovery, rehabilitation and sustainable development. The first planning workshop was spearheaded by the UN Habitat Team in coordination with the local government, through the City Planning and Development Office.

Mayor seeks swift transfer of ARMM properties in Zambo City to Phil gov’t

By Sheila Covarrubias

Mayor Beng Climaco said it is very important that before the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, all parcels of land owned by the ARMM in Zamboanga City be ceded and transferred to the national government as mandated under the expanded ARMM Law.

The City Government for its part, she declared, is “very willing and able to purchase the same (properties) from the national government.”

Mayor Climaco cited the need for the swift transfer of the ARMM properties to the national government during the last hearing on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law called by the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee before the latter submits its recommendations to the House of Representatives.

Apart from unequivocal stand of the Zamboangueños for non-inclusion in the Bngsamoro, equally important according to Climaco is the issue of the ARMM properties situated in non-ARMM areas.

Based on Section 1 of Article XVIII of Republic Act 9054 or the Expanded ARMM law, land and permanent buildings or structures owned, controlled, administered, or in possession of the ARMM located in provinces and cities which do not vote favorably for the inclusions of their respective areas in the ARMM shall be purchased by the national government. In turn, the national government shall, from its acquisition of said land and permanent buildings or structures, sell, transfer, and convey the said properties in favor of the local government unit having territorial jurisdiction thereover and willing to purchase the said land and buildings or structures, or portions thereof.

“It is our firm stand that this provision of the Expanded ARMM Law is mandatory and has to be complied with prior to the enactment of the BBL,” the mayor asserted.

Climaco said several parcels of land “apparently registered in the name of the Republic of the Philippines/Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Republic/ARMM) are situated in Barangay Cabatangan, Zamboanga City”. However, she said, the Lupon Tagapagpaganap ng Pook (LTP) Building in Cabatangan, a building claimed by the ARMM, is situated inside the lot owned by and registered in the name of the City.

She pointed out that the city had manifested its interest to acquire these parcels of land.

Situated within these parcels of land are buildings and structures of national governmental agencies. These include the Department of Education and Department of Health Training Centers, the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office-IX, the Civil Service Commission Regional Office-IX, the Population Commission Training Center, the National Telecommunications Commission Building, the Philippine Army Engineering Brigade, the Philippine Marines, and the Philippine Navy Barracks, among others. These parcels of land can be transformed into a Governmental Center to cater to the office needs of local and national governmental agencies and headquarters of military installations situated therein, she emphasized.

Also, she continued, some parcels of land are occupied by illegal settlers. “In conjunction with the National Housing Authority (NHA), the City of Zamboanga can transform some parcels thereof as on-site resettlement areas in line with the Honorable President’s thrust to provide decent housing to those who have less in life. Thus, it is imperative that the City take ownership and full possession of these parcels of land to be developed as on-site resettlement areas”.

Thus, it is very important that before the passage of the BBL, these properties be ceded and transferred to the national government and that the city government is willing and able to purchase the same from the national government, she added.

Papal commemorative coins available soon

By Bong Garcia

THE Papal Commemorative Coins will be available for sale to the public starting next week.

Noelle Angela Pamaran, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Zamboanga Research Analyst, said among the papal commemorative coins that will be available for are of P50 and P500 denominations.

Pamaran said the papal coins of P1,000 and P10,000 denominations will be available starting May this year.

Pamaran said nickel brass-made P50 coin will be sold at P100 each; Nordic gold-made P500 coin is priced at P1,000 each; the silver-made P1,000 is priced at P3,500 each; and, P25,000 each for the P10,000 gold coin.

Pamaran said the commemorative coins are sold at higher prices to cover production, packaging and other costs. The coins are minted under a licensing agreement with the Vatican.

The BSP, as a matter of policy, commemorates significant events in our country’s history through the minting of coins, medals or overprints on our banknotes.

Papal commemorative coins were also issued for the 1970 visit of Pope Paul VI, and for the 1981 and 1995 papal visits of Pope John Paul II in the country.

Pamaran said those who want to place an order may download the purchase form at www.bsp.gov.ph and mail it to papalcoins@bsp.gov.ph after filing up the form. They have until June this year to place an order.

Pamaran said the interested buyer will have to wait for the confirmation e-mail to determine when they can pay and pick up the coins at the BSP-Zamboanga.

She added that the payment should be is in cash and a printout of the confirmation e-mail must be presented to the BSP teller upon purchase.

The purchase of the Papal Commemorative Coins is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

DOST set to open rubber laboratory in Zamboanga City

By R.G. Antonet A. Go [(PNA), CTB/TPGJR/RGAAG/EDS]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 21 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to open its rubber laboratory in this city.

Martin Wee, DOST assistant regional director for administrative support and technical service, said Wednesday that the laboratory will be opened by mid-march this year.

Wee said the laboratory will be utilized to determine the quality of rubber produced by farmers in the region, especially from Zamboanga Sibugay and Basilan provinces.

Wee said the DOST has allocated P11 million for the purchased of the needed equipment of the rubber laboratory, which is located at the DOST regional office compound at Pettit Barracks area in this city.

Wee said the laboratory will start operation once the needed equipment such as the laboratory mill and the hydraulic presser will arrive.

He said the farmers will no longer ship their rubber samples to the University of Southern Mindanao in Kidapawan City for quality testing once the DOST laboratory opens in this city.

BFAR to launch BoatR regiowide

By Sheila Covarrubias

In connection with the National Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), a program orientation-launching of the National Program for Municipal Fishing Vessels and Gears Registration (BoatR) has been scheduled for February 2015 in the provinces of region 9.

The BoatR program aims to assist local government units (LGUs) to fast-track, enhance and complete the municipal registration of municipal fishing vessels three (3) gross tons and below and fishing gears as required under Executive Order No. 305 s. 2004 and Sec. 19 of the Fisheries Code of 1998. The BoatR represents the second level of technical support to LGUs following the year-long completion of the Municipal Fisherfolk Registration Program or FishR in December 2014.

The BFAR shall work with municipalities and cities to complete the registration in their respective areas using a simplified, standard form and the BoatR database system. Technical support shall also be provided to facilitate the registration process which includes the conduct of trainings for admeasurements, technical documentation of fishing gears and the provision of LGU-customized forms, and IEC materials, among others.

The registration information provided by the LGUs in the BoatR shall be utilized by the BFAR as basis for providing technical, livelihood and other assistance programs to fisherfolk communities and in implementing ecosystems-based approach to fisheries management.

The BoatR Program shall be implemented over a one year period, commencing in January 2015 and completed by end of December 2015.

City turns over projects, consults barangay folks

By Sheila Covarrubias

The city government’s support to the barangays continues with vigor regardless of distance and location.

Mayor Beng Climaco last weekend motored to the east coast to turn over projects to 3 barangays as well as consult with barangay officials in a bid for the city to implement projects and programs that are in accordance with the needs of the people.

Barangays Taguiti, Buenavista and Panubigan—all far flung barangays located east of the city each received a package of projects. These included farm to market roads, a 3-classroom school building and wellness center for Taguiti; fence and gate projects at the barangay hall compound for Buenavista and a barangay hall and farm-to-market roads for Panubigan. Consultations with the barangay officials followed.

The turnover of projects and the consultations were done after the other. Mayor Climaco was joined by Councilors BG Guingona and Roel Natividad and City Engineer Luis Despalo and representatives from other offices. The mayor also turned over wheelchairs to pre-selected beneficiaries.

Present to receive the projects and to join the consultations were the barangay officials in Taguiti, Buenavista led by Chairman Eugene Jumawan and Panubigan headed by chair Jacqueline Magasa.

mayor has been visiting the barangays both in Districts I and II to consult with the officials with regards to projects and programs for implementation this year.

In previous days the mayor also turned over projects in barangay Cawit, Latuan and Muti and also held consultations in the areas concered. Salaan, Pasobolong, Zambowood, Lumbangan, Talon-talon, Tetuan and Zone III were also consulted by the mayor.

The consultations are part of the mayor’s thrust on participatory governance.

Comelec in Zamboanga bares SK elections will push through in 2015

By Nonong Santiago

The local Commission on Elections (Comelec) here in Zamboanga City has announced that the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will push through on February 21, 2015.

District 1 Comelec Officer Atty. Stephen Roy Canete disclosed the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) will be on February 7, 9 and 10 (Saturday, Monday and Tuesday).

He said District 1 composed of at least 37 barangays has at least 5,673 youths while District 2 has at least 7,000 youths who came to the Comelec office last year to register for the SK.

Canete said the campaign period will start from February 11 to 19.

He advised the youths not to overspent and to refrain from campaigning before the campaign period or they will face sanctions.

According to Canete, the candidates are entitled to spent P5 per voter.

“The average voters in every barangay is only about 200 so they can only spent P1,000,” he added.

For this reason, the city government disclosed that the election ban will start from January 22 up to March 2, 2015.

The prohibition will include the issuance of appointments, promotions, creation of new positions and salary increase in the government and other agencies.

Applicants for any positions must submit their application letters after the ban expires.

Mayor unveils P16.5M Latuan road projects

By Vic Larato

Mayor Beng Climaco on Thursday motored to Barangay Latuan in the east coast where she led in the inauguration and turnover of four farm-to-market roads amounting to P16,527,532.98.

Subject to the engineering integrity and the usual government auditing procedures, Mayor Climaco first unveiled the concreting of Bongal to Calabasa, Latuan road (950 linear meters) costing the city government P6,433,798.60.

From there, she proceeded to inaugurate the Sitio Bitayan to Betong, Sapa Moro to Pagsanghan, Latuan road measuring 273 ln.m in the amount of P1,944,774.44.

Climaco and her entourage then convoyed to Sitio Sapa Moro and turned over to Barangay Latuan the rehabilitated farm-to-market road of 966 ln.m worth P6,156,190.75; and later the road concreting project (232 ln.m) amounting to P1,992,769.19.

Mayor Climaco said the newly completed road projects will uplift the living condition of the people in Laturan and nearby villages, especially the farmers as they will no longer have difficulty in bringing their produce to the markets.

She said more roads are expected to be opened in different parts of the city as it was the thrust of her administration to make people’s lives easier and the countryside more livable; thus fostering peace in the community.

Joining the mayor in Latuan were City Engineer Luis Vicente Despalo, Councilor Ismael Musa and the barangay officials headed by Chairwoman Rosita Macarandang.

Today, the chief executive together with Engr. Despalo and other city officials will again preside over the inauguration of the newly constructed barangay hall and road projects in Barangays Tumitus and Taguiti, also in the east coast.

Zamboanga City set to convert dump site into ecopark

(PNA), LAP/TPGJR/R.G. ANTONET A. GO/RSM

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 16 (PNA) –- The city government is set to convert this city’s controlled dumpsite in Barangay Lumbangan into an ecological park (ecopark), an official announced Friday.

Eng’r. Reynaldo Gonzales, Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) head, said they are now in the process of closing the controlled dump site in Barangay Lumbangan, 8.85 kilometers east of this city.

Gonzales said that the controlled dump site will be converted into an ecopark once it is completely closed.

However, Gonzales said the material recovery facility will remain in the area.

He said they are already preparing the plan and terms of reference for the final closure of the controlled dump site.

He said the city government is appropriating P10 million to undertake improvements before completely closing the dump site and in preparation for its conversion into an ecopark.

He said the improvements they will introduce includes capping, drainage system, linings, gas vents and slope stabilization.

He said they will finally close the controlled dump site in Barangay Lumbangan once the P83-million sanitary landfill in Barangay Salaan, 15 kilometers east of this city, will start operations.

City’s clean-up drive visits Masepa TS

By Sheila Covarrubias

In line with the City Government’s health priority, the clean-up drive continues with more vigour this year with the first activity to be held at the Masepla transitory site in Mampang today.

The City Health Office under Dr. Rodel Agbulos spearheads the activity dubbed “Limpiesa de Nuevo Anio” with the overall intention of ensuring health and sanitation in Masepla, now the biggest transitory site.

The massive clean-up activity is a coordinative effort of the different departments to include the General Services Office, Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Office of the City Mayor and other government agencies.

Just like in the past, the clean-up drive is meant to show to families housed at the Masepla transitory the benefits of cleanliness and sanitation in the surroundings, according to Agbulos.

He said it is expected that after the activity, the families themselves will sustain the effort realizing the effects of a clean environment.

The families themselves will be involved in the massive clean-up drive today.

Similar activities were held in the grandstand evacuation center and transitory site as well as other transitory sites including the public market and in the barangays.

Aside from the clean-up activity, Masepla transitory site will also be the venue for the Dia del Alcalde, a one-shot service package where key city departments will roll out their frontline services. These departments include the CHO, City Agriculturist, City Veterinarian, CMO, City Civil Registrar and numerous others.

Mayor Climaco spearheads the Dia del Alcalde activity.

Zamboanga City – Bird’s Paradise

By Dante Corteza

Thanks to the 9th Philippine Bird Festival held in our city last year, there are several endemic bird species found and discovered in Zamboanga City that most locals are not aware of. It can make Zamboanga City a haven for God's flying creations - Bird's Paradise. It is an good indicator too that our city's environment is healthy and clean.

In an article written by Albert Balbutin Jr., “Zamboanga City, Birding, and the 9th Philippine Bird Festival," (April 2014 in the Haribon Foundation website),” he mentioned several discoveries that Pep Talk is proud to share.

First discovery, Balbutin wrote that the migratory bird, the Great Egret (Ardea alba), has made Zamboanga City their new home, hence, technically they are "not migratory" anymore. These immaculate white birds have been breeding at the mangroves forest of Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST). You will be amazed by their beauty and flight.

To the credit of Dr. Milavel Nazario, ZSCMST president, her school built a viewing bird's deck for the general public to do bird watching for free. The best time to view these birds is sunset. Other birds identified there by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines are the Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), Rufous Night Herons (Nycticorax caledonicus), and Brown Shrikes (Lanius cristatus).

Second, Zamboanga City holds one of the largest watersheds in the country, the Pasonanca Natural Park, with large area of 17,511.9 hectares. Several bird species were sighted here such as egrets, eagles, and kingfishers. The Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilus) and a Silvery Kingfisher (Alcedo argentata) found only in the Philippines made this place their home too.Thought this place is not open to the public but an environmental tour can be arranged with the office of DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources).

Third discovery, one of the many environments recommended by the writer is Mt. Baluno. The Philippine Bird Festival delegates were amazed with the beauty of this mountain. They had trekked down a dirt road where a beautiful Bagras tree (Eucalyptus deglupta) also known as the Mindanao gum or Rainbow gum, stood to welcome visitors. Within this same facility, nests of Glossy Swiftlets (Collocalia esculenta) were found on beams in the ceilings. A Philippine Falconet (Microhierax erythrogenys), the smallest raptor in the Philippines, welcomed them as it stood perched with its black head and wings. Further down more birds were spotted, like the Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata), a beautiful bird with whisker-like white streaks on its head.

And the fourth discovery is the natural wetland areas of Baranggay Victoria. It serves as a nesting place for many birds. One is the black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus), identified by their pink legs and black wings. Pep Talk hopes the people of Victoria can take advantage of their God-given environment and make it as an eco-tourism site.

"Help people help the environment" is the movement of the Haribon Foundation and our city can do it Pep Talk believes. All we need to do is love our environment - plant more trees such as mangroves, conserve our watersheds and wetland areas, among others.

And Pep Talk is sure more birds will come to live with us in peace.

Zambo City business permits rose 11% in 2014

(PNA), RMA/TPGJR/R.G. ANTONET A. GO/EDS

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA) -– The Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) issued 9,232 business permits in 2014, up 11 percent from 8,393 issued in 2013.

BPLO chief Benjie Barredo said Tuesday that 8,230 of the 9,232 business permits were renewal while the remaining 1,002 were new issued licenses.

In 2013, of the 8,393 business permits issued, 7,667 of which were renewal while the remaining 726 new permits.

Barredo attributed the increase in the issuance of business permits to the implementation of a three-step processing.

These are the following: first is the application with BPLO where they will be asked to fill up and submit the application form; second, assessment and payment at the CTO; and, third, get the temporary permit to operate (TPO).

The business operations can start immediately following the issuance of the TPO but the requirements and clearances are to be complied within the prescribed 30-day period for the issuance of the actual business permit.

Barredo said that most of the businesses registered for 2014 were under food and retailer to include sari-sari stores, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Meanwhile, Barredo said they are optimistic business permits issuance this year would reach 10,000.

Mayor welcomes new hospital in Zambo City

By Sheila Covarrubias

Mayor Beng Climaco on Saturday graced the groundbreaking ceremonies for a new hospital that will rise in Canelar Street, another proof of the city’s growing investments and constantly improving health care facilities.

“We welcome you to Zamboanga,” Mayor Beng Climaco told the officers of the Board of Metro Zamboanga Hospital and Medical Center, as she joined District I Cong. Celso Lobregat in gracing the groundbreaking rites.

She praised the doctors and other incorporators of the new hospital for honing their skills in medical schools outside the city and coming back to Zamboanga City to serve their people.

“I know your dreams and aspirations and I hope that this will be realized with equipping the hospital and giving a legacy for all our patients. On behalf of the City Government, may God bless and enlarge your territory and find success in healing people,” she continued.

For his part, Cong. Lobregat cited the medical facilities existing and rising in Zamboanga City, which he stressed are equal to those in the major cities like Metro Manila.

The proposed new hospital is owned by a number of doctors and investors with Dr. Ningh Singh as the chairman, Dr. Anthony Chan as the president of the board and Dr. Justin Paber as Secretary of the Board.

Dr. Chan said the incidents particularly the 2013 siege did not dampen the incorporators’ desire in opening up the new hospital putting in mind that if there are new hospitals and new investments in the city, people will not leave the city.

“Anywhere you go tiene gayot cosa ta pasa,” Chan said referring to problems in peace and security. “Mas malo pa gane na Manila.”

Beng firm against smuggling activities

(Daily Zamboanga Times)

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said that she will not tolerate smuggling and other illegal activities in this city.

Salazar’s statement came after the port police informed her that earlier Friday several people attempted to retrieve the confiscated smuggled sugar from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) warehouse purportedly per instruction from her.

“I will not tolerate the use of my name for smuggling activities. I will not tolerate smuggling and all other illegal activities,” Salazar said.

However, the PPA authorities did not honor the verbal request.

Deposited at the PPA warehouse were the 58.8 tons or 1,170 sacks of 50 kilos each of smuggled sugar that were intercepted on Tuesday by combined police, military and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel off this city.

The confiscated shipment of smuggled sugar is estimated to be worth Php 2.5 million based on the prevailing market price of sugar at Php 43 a kilo.

Salazar said she wrote a letter on Wednesday addressed to Bureau of Customs (BoC) Commissioner John Philip Sevilla questioning the delay in the response of the Customs-Zamboanga District Office to efforts by police, military and PCG to turn over the seized smuggled sugar.

The smuggled sugar were seized on Tuesday aboard M/L Ylaiza Maye V near the beach of Barangay Bolong, 32.60 kilometers east of this city.

The vessel, escorted by the police, military and PCG personnel, was brought to the local wharf around 8:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The vessel, cargoes and crew were formally received by a representative from the Customs-Zamboanga District Office only at 9 a.m. Wednesday or more than 12 hours after the items arrived at the port.

“The response from the Customs Collector came 12 hours after. We have to show fast action versus smuggling,” Salazar said.


Beng firm against smuggling activities

(Daily Zamboanga Times)

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said that she will not tolerate smuggling and other illegal activities in this city.

Salazar’s statement came after the port police informed her that earlier Friday several people attempted to retrieve the confiscated smuggled sugar from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) warehouse purportedly per instruction from her.

“I will not tolerate the use of my name for smuggling activities. I will not tolerate smuggling and all other illegal activities,” Salazar said.

However, the PPA authorities did not honor the verbal request.

Deposited at the PPA warehouse were the 58.8 tons or 1,170 sacks of 50 kilos each of smuggled sugar that were intercepted on Tuesday by combined police, military and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel off this city.

The confiscated shipment of smuggled sugar is estimated to be worth Php 2.5 million based on the prevailing market price of sugar at Php 43 a kilo.

Salazar said she wrote a letter on Wednesday addressed to Bureau of Customs (BoC) Commissioner John Philip Sevilla questioning the delay in the response of the Customs-Zamboanga District Office to efforts by police, military and PCG to turn over the seized smuggled sugar.

The smuggled sugar were seized on Tuesday aboard M/L Ylaiza Maye V near the beach of Barangay Bolong, 32.60 kilometers east of this city.

The vessel, escorted by the police, military and PCG personnel, was brought to the local wharf around 8:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The vessel, cargoes and crew were formally received by a representative from the Customs-Zamboanga District Office only at 9 a.m. Wednesday or more than 12 hours after the items arrived at the port.

“The response from the Customs Collector came 12 hours after. We have to show fast action versus smuggling,” Salazar said.

Zamboanga City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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