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Zamboanga Sibugay News September 2011

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Sibugay Hosts scouts’ Regional Jamboree

by Paul Lontua

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay Sept. 30 (PIA) -- About 7,000 scouts from the different regions in Mindanao gathered at the Capitol Grounds and participated the 7th Western Mindanao Regional Jamboree and 1st Council Jamboree last week at the Provincial Capitol Complex in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Three camp sites namely, Camp Jalosjos, Camp Alibutdan and Camp Yambao served as the official home of the scouts. BSP National Vice-President, Atty. Wendel Avisado, Zamboanga del Norte Governor, Rolando Yebes, and the Executive Secretary of the BSP, Jose Rizal Pangilinan, graced the opening ceremony. Zamboanga Sibugay Governor, Rommel Jalosjos in his speech said the jamboree caused to gain attraction from other places and increased people’s awareness that the image of the province is not as bad as what most people knew from the past. “This would somehow give our province a chance to show to the world that our image is not as bad as what the media and other people projects. I am also very thankful that many responded to our call despite the distance and also the negative image of our province. It’s time that we erase this kind of stigma for Sibugay”, stated Jalosjos. Vice President Jejomar Binay was the scouters honored guest, who during his visit gave financial assistance to the scouters who perished in Gusawan, Monching, Zamboanga Sibugay road tragedy on their way to the jamboree. (NBE/JTL-Zambo. Sibugay)

DA sets up rubber center

by HMH

MANILA, Philippines — Government is establishing the Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) in a 1,000-hectare area in Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay to maximize the potential of the crop.

The site will be donated by the provincial government of Zamboanga Sibugay, according to Gov. Rommel A. Jalosjos.

Located near the Mindanao State University (MSU) campus in Naga, PRRI will help boost rubber’s potential in light of industrial manufacturers’ preference for nature-friendly materials as a climate change-mitigating effort.

PRRI will institutionalize and sustain researches funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

These total to 10 programs spread across rubber-growing provinces Zamboanga, Cotabato, and Basilan, according to BAR director Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar.

“PRRI should become at par with the rubber institutes in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China that have been developing new superior rubber varieties,” Eleazar said.

These research centers have produced rubber clones that are high-yielding, disease-resistant, and with reduced gestation period that allows latex extraction in 4.5 years, much shorter than the five to 10 years range.

BAR is supporting the issuance of an implementing rules and regulation for PRRI which will precede budget allocation, according to BAR coordinator Rudy L. Galang.

“With the draft IRR to be submitted for approval by DA Secretary Proceso Alcala, the national government will allocate a budget of P100 Million for PRRI for 2012, its first year of implementation. This is equivalent to one percent of the gross value added of rubber,” said Galang.

PRRI will enhance rubber research and development programs including establishment of a nursery or a garden for budwood, a shoot or stem of a plant bearing buds suitable for bud grafting.

To enhance farmers’ management practices, they will be trained on fertilization, weed, insect, and disease control, control of mollusks and vertebrates, harvesting, and packing of budwoods and budsticks.

The facilities that will be available in the PRRI are tissue culture laboratory, rubber testing laboratory, product testing laboratory, seedling nurseries, germplasm collections, semi-processing plants, waste water collection and testing facilities. DA will share with PRRI the use of some of these facilities found in DA’s provincial office in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay

“What is important here is a good amount of land where we will test for superior varieties of rubber and grow massive amount of seedlings,” said Galang.

The country’s average dry rubber yield at present is around 1.5 metric tons (MT) per hectare, which is lower than the maximum potential of RRIM 600 of two MT per hectare per year.

The 1,000-hectare area will primarily be an experimental station for breeding and selection of high yielding cultivars.

“New genetic materials should be collected from rubber producing countries to enable plant breeders to develop new clones that will perform well even in non-traditional areas,” said Eleazar.

Collaboration with other countries is aimed to generate good varieties resistant to drought and strong wind, enabling planting in coastal areas.

Genetic engineering and biotechnology will be used to generate value-added pharmaceutical products and special industrial-type latex. Quality control and marketing schemes, and environment-friendly and pollution-free manufacturing systems will be established.

PRRI will serve as a certification and testing center for rubber.

2 of 7 Ipil gas stations obtain compliance certificate - DOE

by Zamboanga Today

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay - Out of the seven (7) gasoline refilling stations in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay only two (2) have complete documents for the procurement of a compliance certificate from the DOE. This is what Fred Paclar, a representative from the Department of Energy (DOE)-Field Office based in Davao City said in an interview.

Paclar, together with other representatives from the DOE, visited the municipality of Ipil for a calibration and general inspection of all existing gasoline refilling stations which was personally requested by the Committee Chairman for Trade and Industry of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Ipil, SB Member Alberto Alcoriza, Jr.

During the inspection, the DOE Inspecting Team checked every pumping gas station. A calibration bucket was used by the DOE personnel to see if the pumping stations refills accurately.

According to Paclar, all pumping stations should be calibrated to ensure accurate readings on the quantity of gasoline products that customers get from gas refilling stations.

He further said that the DOE team also got samples of the gasoline products from every gasoline refilling station to check if certain standards are followed like octane levels, etc.

“We are very particular with the accuracy of the pumping stations so that the consumers get quality gasoline products and accurate quantity so we are strictly implementing standards in our calibrations and sampling”, said Paclar. The samples are set to be sent to the National Office of the DOE for laboratory tests and the results along with the recommendations from the said government agency will be sent to the concerned gas refilling station.

SB Member Alcoriza also expressed his thanks to the DOE team for answering his call for a calibration and general inspection to the gasoline stations in Ipil to protect the interests of the consumers as well as the owners and operators of the said gas stations because they can check whether their services need improvement and their facilities more upgrading and standardization.

Alcoriza also explained that the safety and protection of the motorists and the public as a whole is also one of the main reasons why the inspection was conducted.

“I am thankful that the DOE never failed Ipil in its request for an inspection because we really need this kind of activity every now and then for us to protect the interest of our business operators and more importantly the public. The safety of the Ipileños as well as the Sibugaynons is also one of our reasons why we requested for this inspection”, explained Alcoriza.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Chief, Edito Lumacang, and other representatives from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office of Ipil also came along with the DOE Inspecting Team to personally witness the inspection.

However, Paclar and his team were slightly dismayed when the result of the inspection revealed that there were some pumping stations that have inaccurate readings in their refilling of gasoline products. The DOE team immediately sealed the said defective gas pumping stations and imposed penalties to the owners and operators.

“We have no choice but to implement sanctions on these gas stations because they have violated our regulations. The penalty is also based from the existing national mandate from the DOE and the owners can only reopen their sealed gas pumping stations if they would fix them and pass another calibration test and after paying penalties imposed on them”, Paclar pointed out.

Gas stations that have incomplete papers for securing the compliance certificate of the DOE were also given sanctions and further recommendations to completely satisfy the requirements set by the DOE for a gas refilling station.

Some motorists appreciated the inspection conducted by the local government of Ipil through the DOE because it also gave them the chance to identify gas stations with defective pumping stations and patronize those that have accurate and quality gasoline products.

Alcoriza concluded that the result of the inspection would prompt him to fully and religiously enforce and implement standard schedules of calibration and inspection to all gas stations which is every six (6) months.

“We will be very strict now and follow the standard schedule for inspection and calibration which is every six months”, ended Alcoriza.

Gas station pumps are regulated by the government by a bureau or division centered on standards and weights. In the Philippines, the DOE regulates and inspects gas stations to keep the sale of gasoline fair for consumers. Inspections are routinely done throughout the year for retail gas stations. Tests are employed to check calibration of the pumps to ensure a fair meter count and quality of the product.

Forest campaign

by Mindanao Newsbits

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay (PIA) – Natives or indigenous people of Sitio Tiling, Barangay San Fernandino, R.T. Lim town, Zamboanga Sibugay, welcomed the representatives from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) for a session of awareness and orientation on the important points of the Certificate of Forest Stewardship Agreement that was held recently.

A team of CENRO personnel headed by Serena Cabrera went to the remote area to teach people living in forested areas on the importance of forest preservation.

Tourist police gets DOT TOPCOP training

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sept. 25 (PIA) -- Some 60 policemen directly assigned and involved in protecting and looking after the welfare of tourists got a “Tourist Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection” (TOPCOP) training from the Department of Tourism (DOT). The recently conducted three day training was held at the Police Regional Office (PRO) 9 in Camp Romeo Abendan, Barangay Mercedes, here. The training involved handling and approaching tourists, basic courtesy, securing tourist destinations, and differences in culture and traditions. Lecturers/trainers include: P/Sr. Supt. Christian Haveria- Asistant Chief Public Safety Division and Chief Tourist Safety and Protection from the Philippine National Police- National Headquarters in Manila; Dr. Susan Reyes-Anthropologist and Director of Philosophy; Luz Navarro-Team North America of DOT; and Mila Say of DOT Planning Division. Training participants include Tourist Police, Aviation Security Group and police from the Regional Office IX . DOT Regional Director Mary June Bugante said the training was just in time for the city’s grandest annual event-the Fiesta Pilar celebration or Zamboanga Hermosa Festival this October. It is during this October festivity month where hundreds if not thousands of tourists are expected to visit the city for the various activities lined up for the event. (JPA/PIA 9-Zambo City

Fishpond operators receive 500,000 Tilapia fingerlings

by PIA Press Release

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay, September 24 -- Fishpond operators and owners wore happy faces when they received their share of the more or less 500,000 of Saline Tolerant Tilapia fingerlings displayed in front of the Provincial Office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Barangay Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay during the distribution of the tilapia fingerlings on August 31, 2011. Henry Lopez, Chief of the Fisheries Division of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) of Zamboanga Sibugay said the government’s program of granting small and big time fishpond owners and operators tilapia fingerlings is a very big help to the since they (fishpond operators) really need all the support that they can get to recover from great losses in the previous years. “I am very happy to bear the good news that BFAR granted these people from the fishpond industry tilapia fingerlings for their respective fishpond areas because these people need to recover from overwhelming losses in the past years”, said Lopez. It can be recalled that fishpond operators and owners in Sibugay asked the help of the government for assistance because of the frequent rise of the water level in the rivers which caused some fishpond areas to overflow destroying everything inside the fishpond which resulted to great loss of income. Some operators and owners even resorted to selling their fishpond areas because they can no longer sustain the financial needs to rehabilitate or repair their destroyed fishpond areas. However, many operators are still trying to recover from the great losses and the national government through BFAR extended its help by distributing the tilapia fingerlings. The recipients were given bags which contained more or less 1,600 Saline Tolerant Tilapia fingerlings. The number of bags each fish pond operator received depended on the size of their fishpond area. “The bigger the area, the more bags given and we already have the list of the names of the beneficiaries all over Zamboanga Sibugay through the help of the Municipal Agriculturists of every recipient-municipality”, explained Oscar Moreno, BFAR-Sibugay Fisheries and Aquatic Technician. Seven municipalities were the recipients of the tilapia fingerlings wherein two of the recipient-municipalities received more due to the size of their fishpond areas. The municipalities of Ipil, Naga, Kabasalan, Siay, R.T. Lim, Malangas and Alicia were the municipalities that were granted tilapia fingerlings from BFAR and the two municipalities that received the biggest share were Siay and Kabasalan with more or less 100,000 tilapia fingerlings each. Estrella Macapobre, BFAR-Sibugay Provincial Head hoped that that somehow the losses from the previous years will be augmented and fishpond owners may be able to recover soon. Macapobre also added that in the market each of the tilapia fingerlings it costs P0.25 (twenty five centavos) and each bag that contained more or less 1,600 fingerlings amounts to P400, a big savings on the part of the operators and owners and a significant increase of income after three to four months. “This can result to a very huge impact on the fishpond industry here in our province because they will have bigger chances of recovering”, Macapobre pointed out. (Paulnazer Lontua/ALT-PIA9/Zambo Sur)

Truck-bus collision in Zamboanga Sibugay kills 4, injures 21


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Four elementary school pupils died while 21 others were injured when the vehicle they were riding on the way to attend a jamboree collided with a passenger bus in Zamboanga Sibugay province, military and police officials disclosed Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesman, disclosed the incident took place around 2:50 p.m. Wednesday in Sitio Gusawan, Barangay Monching in Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Zamboanga Peninsula police director Chief Supt. Elpidio de Asis said the boy scouts, at the time, were on board the municipal dump truck of Mabuhay municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Investigation showed the dump truck was going to a regional boy scouts jamboree in Ipil town, the capital of Zamboanga Sibugay, when it collided with the Rural Transit passenger bus in Sitio Gusawan.

The passenger bus from Zamboanga City with body number 9146 is bound for Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur province.

The pupils were to attend the week-long regional jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) in Ipil set on Friday, Sept. 23, until Sept. 29.

Kidnapped businesswoman rescued

8September 20, 2011 12:00 AM

by Alexsi Romero

MANILA, Philippines - Elite military troops yesterday rescued a businesswoman who was abducted by members of the Abu Sayyaf in Zamboanga Sibugay province this month. Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman for the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command, said the victim, identified as Luisa Galvez-Morrison, was rescued by Scout Ranger troops in Sumisip, Basilan at about 3 p.m. Before the rescue operation, members of the 4th Scout Ranger battalion had been verifying reports about the presence of armed men in Barangay Baiwas in Sumisip town. “Upon reaching the area, firefight ensued against the armed group who later on turned out to be group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Radzmer Temmeng Jannatul and Sub-ldr Juhayver,” Cabangbang said in a text message. One soldier identified as Pfc. Arjae de Ramos was wounded during the clash. Cabangbang said the Abu Sayyaf had Morrison in custody when the encounter happened. “According to reports on the ground, Abu Sayyaf members Abu Sa-id, Abdul Aziz and a certain Mukim were killed while seven others were wounded,” he said. Cabangbang said Morrison, a common law wife of a British national, suffered injuries in her legs during the clash. She is now in safe condition and is recovering at the base of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion. Morrison, 34, is the owner of RL Salon and Spa and a resident of Barangay Magdaup in Ipil town. She was kidnapped by three unidentified armed men on Sept. 4.

Research institute in Zamboanga Sibugay to improve rubber production

by Anna Valmero

NAGA, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY – The Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) will be established in a 1,000-hectare area in this town to develop products for the export market.

PRRI will help boost the country’s potential for rubber exports given the strong preference of industrial manufacturers for environment-friendly materials in efforts to mitigate climate change, said Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, director of Bureau of Agricultural Research at the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAR).

The project is important for the country’s bid to expand production from the current 130,000 hectares of rubber farms in the country to meet global demands of 12.4 million metric tons by 2020.

“PRRI should become at par with the rubber institutes in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China that have been developing new superior rubber varieties,” Eleazar said.

These research centers in neigboring countries have produced rubber “clones” that are high-yielding, disease-resistant and with reduced gestation period that allows latex extraction in 4 to 5 years, much shorter than the average range of 5 to 10 years range, according to Eleazar.

Genetic engineering and biotechnology will be used to generate value-added pharmaceutical products and special industrial-type latex at PRRI. With the new cultivars to be developed, local rubber farmers could improve their income; world market prices is very attractive at $4,000 to $5,000 per metric ton for semi-processed rubber.

Based on the draft IRR (implementing rules and regulations), to be submitted for approval by DA secretary Proceso Alcala, the national government will allocate a budget of P100 Million for PRRI for 2012 during its first year of implementation, said DA BAR coordinator Rudy Galang.

“The amount is equivalent to one percent of the gross value added of rubber,” said Galang.

Galang added that PRRI will further rubber research and development programs including establishment of a nursery garden for budwood, a plant shoot or stem suitable for bud grafting.

To enhance farmers’ management practices, they will be trained on fertilization, control of weed, insect and plant disease, control of mollusks and vertebrates, harvesting, and packing of budwoods and budsticks.

The PRRI will include facilities such as tissue culture laboratory, rubber testing laboratory, product testing laboratory, seedling nurseries, germplasm collections, semi-processing plants, waste water collection and testing facilities, said Galang.

“What is important here is a good amount of land in Zamboanga Sibugay where we will test for superior varieties of rubber and grow massive amount of seedlings,” said Galang. He said the 1,000-hectare area will primarily be an experimental station for breeding and selection of high yielding cultivars.

At present, the country’s average dry rubber yield is 1.5 metric tons per hectare, which is lower than the maximum potential for RRIM 600 variety of two metric tons per hectare each year.

Collaboration with other countries is aimed to generate good varieties resistant to drought and strong wind, enabling planting in coastal areas, said Eleazar.

Kidnappers free boy, 9, in Zambo Sibugay

by Roel Pareño

Kidnappers free boy, 9, in Zambo Sibugay By Roel Pareño The Philippine Star Updated September 16, 2011 12:00 AM 0 comment to this post ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Kidnappers freed a nine-year-old boy they had held captive for more than six months, in a village in Zamboanga Sibugay the other day, police said.

The boy was released along the highway in Barangay Kitabog in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay at around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday and was picked up by police intelligence agents, said Chief Superintendent Elpedio de Asis, Region 9 police director based here.

De Asis said the boy was brought to the police intelligence headquarters for medical checkup and debriefing before he was reunited with his family.

De Asis could not say if ransom was paid in exchange for the release of the boy, who was seized last March 9 while on his way home from school in Titay town.

The kidnappers, who had brought the boy to Basilan, initially demanded P25-million ransom from his family.

The ransom though was later lowered to P5 million, according to the local crisis committee.

The boy’s family had sought for proof of life, and the kidnappers sent a video clip showing him crying while holding an M-16 rifle.

De Asis directed the police forces in Zamboanga Sibugay to track down the boy’s kidnappers and “bring them before the bar of justice.”

Meanwhile, there is still no word on a salon owner who was snatched in Ipil town last Sept. 4.

Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operation for Western Mindanao, said there has been no contact yet from the kidnappers of Luicita Galvez Morrison, 34, owner of RL Salon. Morrison’s live-in partner is a British national.

1,900 studes attend reproductive health symposium

by Paulnazer Lontua

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Sept. 15 (PIA) -- More or less 1,900 students of Sibugay Technical Institute Incorporated (STII), a local school in Ipil, attended the one-day symposium on adolescent reproductive health recently held at the STII Gymnasium in Barangay Lower Taway, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay through the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) and HealthPRO. According to Erwin Cenas, STII School Registrar, the school was grateful that majority of the students responded to their invitation and just manifests that most of the young generation are eager to learn about reproductive health. “We actually have a 98% attendance now and this is a very good sign that our students here welcome reproductive health education and are eager to learn new things”, Cenas said. Resource speakers who are experts in their respective fields tackled fertility awareness, men’s health and involvement, reproductive health planning and sexually transmitted infections with the crowd of hungry for knowledge students. One student, Arvin James Bioy, a 2nd year Practical Nursing student, said that he was grateful that his time was spent with learning and knowledge. He further said that the speakers were able to put the message across the students and the latter acquiring the basic things to know about reproductive health. “This is a good experience. We were able to grasp the ideas that our speakers imparted to us and at the same time we learned a lot and had fun. My time was not wasted and I am grateful that our school gave us this opportunity to learn more”, said Bioy. Zamboanga Sibugay 2nd District Board Member, Eufemio Javier, Jr., former President of STII, who was also present during the symposium, said that students deserve the right to know things about reproductive health and he also expressed his appreciation to the Administration and work force of the school for initiating the said symposium and giving quality education to the students. “This one of the basic rights of our students and I am giving two thumbs up to the people behind this event. Students as well as their instructors learned a lot”, Javier said. The speakers were Agnes Ortega Dr. Sherwin Bastero, Julia Revantad and Dr. Adnilre Verzon, all from the local and provincial health agencies of the province. The symposium is part of the campaign of the IPHO and MHO-Ipil to increase the awareness of the people especially the students about reproductive health, family planning and sexually transmitted infections. (NBE/ PL, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay)

Floods displace 60 families in Zamboanga

by Jewel Reyes

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – At least 60 families in Tungawan municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay temporarily fled their homes Tuesday afternoon due to floods.

Flashfloods hit Barangay Guilinan and Tigpalay Tuesday afternoon. A report from the Office of Civil Defense said a whirlwind also hit towns of Batungan and lower Tungawan.

Engineer Alejandre Cordova of the Department of Agriculture in Region 9 said he and his officemates were on their way to Zamboanga City when they got stranded in a highway following a heavy downpour.

Police said the floodwaters have since subsided.

There were no casualties reported.

DOLE-9 to intensify drive against child labors

by ALT-PIA9/Zambo Sur

Pagadian City - Many children have been reported to be engaged in work, employed or recruited for employment under extremely hazardous and exploitative conditions, including cases of prostitution, bonded child labor and other worst forms of child labor.

To help achieve the goal of “child labor-free” Philippines by 2015, the Department of Labor and Employment is intensifying its drive against child labor through the institutionalization of several programs and activities, one of which is the reactivation and strengthening of existing Child Labor structures.

DOLE Regional Director Ponciano Ligutom said members of the Provincial/City Child Labor Program Committee will gather for a 2-day re-orientation on the Philippine Program Against Child Labor Strategic Framework 2007-2015 and Child Labor Knowledge Sharing System at Sibugay Grand Plaza Hotel in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on September 13-14, 2011.

RD Ligutom said the activity aims to renew and intensify awareness and understanding of line implementers on the issue of child labor, thereby improving delivery of services to child laborers and their families.

Further, it is also seen to help increase the number of convictions using child labor laws and statutes through improved knowledge, skills and attitude of enforcers and partners.

Culminating the activity will be the renewal and the signing of program commitment by all line agency partners and stakeholders.

These include the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Provincial Health Office, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Liga ng mga Barangay, Department of Justice, Philippine Information Agency, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, National Statistics Office, peoples’ organizations and non-government organizations.

Child labor is defined as the illegal employment of children, where they are not directly under the sole responsibility of their parents or legal guardians or the latter employ other workers, apart from their children, who are not members of their families, or the work of children endangers their life, safety, health and morals or impairs their normal development including schooling.

Crisis panel tasked to handle kidnapping of salon operator

by Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Police and local government authorities activated a crisis management committee to deal with the kidnapping of a salon operator in Ipil town in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Ipil town Mayor Eldwin Alibutdan said the CMC, which he chairs, had not received information on whether the kidnappers have contacted the family of Luicita Galvez Morrison, 34, owner of RL Salon and a live-in partner of British national Raymund George Morrison, who was seized Sunday night from her salon in Barangay Magdaup, Ipil town.

The provincial joint peace and security control center, chaired by the Army’s 102nd Brigade chief Brig. Gen. Santiago Baluyot, was also mobilized to help track down the whereabouts of the Morrison.

Unconfirmed reports said the kidnappers demanded a P10-million ransom.

3 gunmen grab wife of Briton in Zamboanga


ZAMBOANGA CITY: A Filipino woman married to a British engineer, was abducted by gunmen in Zamboanga Sibugay, security officials said.

Officials said the woman, Luisa Morrison, 34, was snatched Sunday evening by three gunmen in the capital town of Ipil. The woman’s husband is working at an oil rig off Malaysia.

The woman, who owns the RL Salon and Spa in the town’s business district, was seized by three men who posed as customers. She was forced into a small van which was later found abandoned and burned in the coastal village of Bangkerohan.

Officials said Morrison moved to Ipil town from Malaysia last year and put up her own business.

“We have sent troops to track down the abductors and rescue the woman,” said Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command.

Colonel Santiago Baluyot, commander of military forces in Zamboanga Peninsula, led troops in the operation to rescue the woman.

No group claimed responsibility for the abduction, but previous kidnappings for ransom in the province were largely blamed to Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels (MILF) who are actively operating in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

In 2009, MILF rebels also seized three government teachers - Noemi Mandi, Jocelyn Enriquez and Jocelyn Inion near Ipil town. The three women were on their way to school in the neighboring town of Naga when seized by gunmen and taken to Basilan province, just several nautical miles off Zamboanga City.

They were freed six months later after government negotiators paid ransoms for their freedom.

In 1995, Abu Sayyaf rebels also raided and pillaged the town and killing 54 people.

Gunmen seize trader in Zamboanga Sibugay

by Bong Garcia

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated 11:19 a.m.) -- Armed men believed to be members of a kidnap-for-ransom group (KFRG) seized a Filipina married to a Scottish national in Zamboanga Sibugay province, a military official said Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesman, said the incident took place around 7:20 p.m. Sunday in the village of Poblacion, Ipil town, the capital of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Cabangbang identified the victim as Luisa Galvez Morrison, 34, the owner of RL Salon and a resident of Nizorecom Subdivision, Barangay Magdaup, Ipil.

Cabangbang said the gunmen with the victim sped away on board a multicab.

Investigation is ongoing.

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