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Zamboanga del Norte Province, Philippines News

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Province of Zamboanga del Norte - Archived News

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Seal of Zamboanga del Norte
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Norte
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Saint James Cathedral in Dapitan City
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City Hall of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
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Situbo Falls, Zamboanga del Norte
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Statue of Christ, Pangalalan, Sindangan
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Our lady of the most Holy Rosary, Estaka
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Manukan Mini Museum Landmark


Widow, 64, raped by 35-year-old man

By Dan Toribio Jr.

A 64-year-old widow was raped by a 35-year-old man in Sitio Liasan, Barangay Canuto Enerio, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte the other day. Police identified the suspect as Darwin Campilan Y Jaim, 35. He was arrested during a follow-up operation.

Police said that the woman came from bushes after picking fire woods and when she was about to cross a road, Campilan blocked her way and struck her with a hard object hitting at the back of the body.

When the woman slumped on the ground, Campilan punched her several times until she fell unconscious. Campilan then dragged the victim to a secluded area where he raped her.

The victim went to the police station to report the incident after Campilan left the place.

Police conducted a hot pursuit operation and arrested the suspect at their residence. He was detained at the Gutalac Municipal Police Station pending the filing of charges in court.

A Fil-Am artist’s love affair with Central Park


Imagine a trio of women enjoying a scenic boat ride in a Claude Monet painting.

Artist Greta Lood did not just imagine it; she made it happen. She invited two of her Filipina friends to go rowing under Central Park’s Bow Bridge. Instead of wearing summer hats, each one cradled a dainty parasol.

There’s something about New York’s historic and most romantic park that inspires artistic visioning. Greta is a big fan! She is drawn to the scattered elements that give Central Park its splendor: the river, the arching bridges, the trees, sunshine weaving through the leaves. Even the laughter of lovers one hears but does not see. The artist interprets such sparkle using shadows and color.

I asked Greta why she is in love with Central Park. She replied with a hearty laughter, saying, “It’s all in my paintings.” She has so many of them, enough for a full-blown solo exhibit.

“When I came to New York in 2008, I was looking for a group of artists who would paint at Central Park,” said the Zamboanga del Norte-born Greta, whose father was a local politician of the Batasang Pambansa. Finding no such weekend club, she created the Plein-Air Painters of Central Park, which now has 200 registered members of mostly New Yorkers, although about 50 members are active.

They go to Central Park once a week, or once every two weeks. Finding a spot in this 843-acre Manhattan landmark, the artists spread out, unpack their tools, and begin to create. As they paint, they become one of the park’s moving pieces, just like the families enjoying a picnic, the Shakespeare play unraveling at the Delacorte Theatre, or the children running around the ample lawn.

“Why do I love Central Park? First off, it’s close to my house,” replied Greta, who lives a mere three blocks distance. “I just cross the Jackie Onassis Reservoir.”

Greta’s love of landscapes is another reason. “It’s nice to go out there and just paint what you see,” said this UST Fine Arts graduate. She is also a member of the Society of Philippine American Artists based in New York.

It has not always been love at first sight. The first time Greta came to New York in the 1980s, she avoided coming to the park because of the crime she read about in the papers. The Central Park jogger case happened in 1989, a savage rape reported at that time to involve five young men. That story gripped the city and led to some people avoiding the park for a stretch of time.

Things have turned around years later, said Greta. “The city is a much safer now, and people have gone back to the park.”

Greta came to the U.S. in 2003 and lived in Florida. An established artist and by then a single mother of four, she was represented by IOMA Gallery. Also an independent curator, one of her unique and revolutionary concepts was to present art shows in The Gardens Memorial Park, which resembled a beautiful museum in the heart of Boca Raton.

At first, some artists were reticent to participate in a show held at a mausoleum, but by her third exhibition they were already calling. Greta curated a total of eight shows, including the American Society of Media Photographers of South Florida, before moving to New York in 2008.

In New York, she met criminal defense lawyer Richard Charney. The two got married last year.

Never assume, as I did, that Central Park had a role in their romance. Greta and Richard visited the park together already as a married couple.

Central Park remains one of the most beautiful parks in the world in her view, and Greta has seen so many parks in her travels abroad. She said, “When you step into the park, it’s like you’re not in New York City, but in a forest reserve.”

4 troopers hurt in Zamboanga Del Sur ambush


MANILA, July 28 (PNA) --- Troopers from the 1st Infantry Division are now conducting pursuit operations against the New People's Army (NPA) band who ambushed and wounded four soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Squadron in Barangay Maragang, Tigbao town, Zamboanga Del Sur Sunday morning.

Capt. Franco Suelto, 1st Infantry Division spokesperson, said the incident took place around 9:00 a.m.

He said the soldiers were aboard their service vehicle, an Elf truck, and heading towards Zamboanga City when fired upon by the rebels.

Four troopers were hit initially and return fire from other accompanying vehicles repulsed the NPAs.

The wounded soldiers were quickly rushed to the Tigbao Municipal Health Center for treatment.

Suelto said that all four are now in stable condition.

Troopers from the 53rd and 5th Infantry Battalions were immediately deployed in the area to pursue the perpetrators.

“It is unfortunate and sad that the NPA continue to sow terror and violence just to pursue an irrelevant ideology. The soldiers were on administrative movement on the way to a training exercise when they were treacherously attacked by the NPA. It is a random and unplanned move on the NPA side due to their predicament and hardship in the presence of soldiers in their traditional mass base," Suelto said.

Troops kill 2 bandits in Zamboanga del Norte shootout


ZAMBOANGA del Norte – Combined police and military operatives killed two brigands, one of them listed as the No. 9 most wanted person in the region, in a shootout in a remote barangay in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Thursday.

Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer-in-charge Insp. Dahlan Samuddin identified the slain bandits as Jaojin Salam and Abdullah Ermeron, both well-known extortionists in Zamboanga del Norte province.

Samuddin said the Salam was listed as No. 9 of the top 10 most wanted persons in the region.

He said Salam and Ermeron were killed in a shootout around 9:50 a.m. Thursday in Barangay San Juan, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte.

Samuddin said the shootout ensued when Salam and Ermeron opened fire as they were about to be arrested by the combined police and military operatives.

He said Salam has standing warrants of arrest issued by the Court of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte for the following crimes: murder; frustrated murder; murder with direct assault upon an agent of person in authority.

Pope Francis names new prelates for Pampanga, Dipolog

By Joel Locsin/ELR (GMA News)

Pope Francis on Friday named new prelates for Pampanga and Dipolog City, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said.

The CBCP news site said the pope named Iba (Zambales) Bishop Florentino Galang Lavarias as Archbishop of San Fernando (Pampanga) to succeed Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, now 77.

It said the pope had accepted Aniceto's resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese due to his age.

Lavarias will head an ecclesial province with 3,324,000, Catholics, 176 priests and 155 religious.

Also, the pope named Fr. Severo Caermare, 44, as Bishop of Dipolog. Caermare will head 787,000 Catholics, 68 priests, one permanent deacon and 58 religious.

Caermare, who has been a priest for over 18 years, will head an ecclesial province that covers the entire Zamboanga del Norte. He succeeds Bishop Jose Ricare Manguiran, 77.

Caermare is administrator of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Gulayon, Dipolog City and rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosaryin Dipolog City.

He was ordained in 1996 and holds a master’s degree in Theology and pastoral ministry from the St. John Vianney theological seminary in Cagayan de Oro City.

Caermare served as parish administrator of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and San Isidro in Zamboanga del Norte.

He was also formator, rector, professor and liturgist at Cor Jesus Seminary of Dipolog City and later formator, professor, rector of St. Mary’s Theologate of Ozamis City.

AusAID gives $10m for schools, day care

By Antonio Perez Rimado

DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte—-The Australian Assistance for International Development (AusAID) recently granted $10 million to several municipalities in Western Mindanao for the construction of rural schools and day care centers.

Region 9 Director Zenaida Arevalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) identified the recipient towns as Katipunan, Siayan, Kalawit and Leon Postigo in Zamboanga del Norte; Dumaliao, Vincenzo Sagun and Lapuyan in Zamboanga del Sur; and Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay.

She said the local government units are covered by the DSWD’s Kalahi-Comprehensive and Integrated Deliver of Social Services project to improve the educational system in the Southern Philippines.

Arevalo said the AusAID grant was crucial to the agency’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to “ease the physical burden of rural school children who, due to remote distance of their villages, often have to cross rivers, mountains or treacherous pathways just to be able to reach their learning centers just to acquire basic education”.

According to Maribel Bue, DSWD information officer, through the AusAID grant “community volunteers are trained in engineering, finance and other concepts to see their sub-projects completed and sustained” with the LGUs counterpart funds.

Noting that the assistance also covered water systems and health stations, Arevalo said the thrust “is part of the government’s convergence approach in which several agencies come together to help poor families attain a better socioeconomic life”.

5 'green' Filipino-made innovations to watch out for

By Pia Ranada (

Here are 5 inventions spotted in the 2014 National Science and Technology Week that can help Filipinos live 'greener' and more sustainably

MANILA, Philippines – Can Filipino technology come to the aid of Mother Nature? The latest innovations exhibited in the 2014 National Science and Technology Week are definitely a step in the right direction.

Rappler picks 5 inventions with big potential to make industries, lifestyles and even government policies more sustainable.

These new ideas are proof that you don't need to look too far for high-tech. Nature provides astounding raw materials with the boundless human mind as the magic ingredient.

1. Aquaponic Urban Vertical Garden

Do you live in the city but have always wanted to grow your own vegetables?

A contraption devised by students from Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija allows you to grow a garden of leafy vegetables within one square meter of space.

A submersible pump in a water-filled cylinder lifts the water into hose pipes running through shelves of vegetables.

The water being pumped through the entire system is nutrient-rich because of the freshwater fish swimming in the cylinder. The manure of the fish acts as organic fertilizer for the vegetables.

After going through all the vegetables, the water streams into a filter made of gravel (where you can also plant more veggies). Cleansed of bits of soil it picked up along the way, the water goes back to the cylinder for the process to start all over again.

NATURAL FILTER. Dirt and soil from water that has gone through the vegetables is filtered by gravel in this try before returning to the cylinder belowNATURAL FILTER. Dirt and soil from water that has gone through the vegetables is filtered by gravel in this try before returning to the cylinder below

The demo garden on exhibit had kangkong, lettuce, pechay and mustasa planted in plastic cups of carbonized rice hull. But garden soil will work fine as well.

You can use any fresh water fish but red tilapia is recommended because they are adaptable and do not thrash around as much as other fish.

This vertical garden needs 35 watts of energy to activate the pump. You can turn it off but not for too long or else mosquitos may breed in the water.

2. Watershed Information Portal for the Philippines

Not everyone knows what a watershed is, much less how important it is to human communities. Watersheds are ecosystems that, through the hydrological cycle, provide us with the water for drinking, bathing, cleaning and all its other uses. Watersheds also happen to be the habitat of amazing flora and fauna.

For the first time ever, any Filipino can learn about the unique characteristics of the country's various watersheds just by going online.

If you visit, you'll have access to a comprehensive database of all the empirical observations related to each watershed – everything from what kinds of trees and animals can be found there to how rainfall can affect the quality of its water.

The site is a project of leading state universities, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

So far, the portal has data on only 3 watersheds but eventually, it hopes to cover all major watersheds in the country.

Aside from creating awareness about watersheds, the site can also be used by government officials and the private sector in order to make good decisions on how to best manage their watershed.

What happens to the quantity and quality of water if a portion of the watershed is deforested? Where can the community put up an agro-forestry program without affecting the water quality? Leaders can now make science-based decisions on these concerns.

3. Classy furniture using forest waste

You don't need to cut down trees to make beautiful furniture and building materials if you have Naturescast, a wood-like material that is actually made of stuff you usually see on the forest floor.

Twigs and other debris that fall from forest trees are ground and then hardened using a water-based binder. The grainy mixture is hand-pressed into a mold and naturally dried.

What you get is a very sturdy material that appears in a variety of textures and hues.

ECO WOOD. This structure is completely made of NaturescastECO WOOD. This structure is completely made of Naturescast

Nature's Legacy, the group behind Naturecast, uses it to make lamps, vases, chairs and even walls and ceilings. Renowned Filipino furniture designer Ito Kish carries some of their products in his store. The Body Shop has used boxes made from Naturescast as packaging for some of their products.

Naturescast is 100% biodegradable and made using a non-toxic process.

4. Coconut milk for treating burns

The tree of life lives up to its name by being used to heal wounds.

After realizing how expensive burn treatments can be, Filipino nurse Denver Chicano invented a treatment using nata de coco. Coconut milk is used to create a "cellulose" or tissue-paper-like material that is applied to burns and other skin wounds.

The coco cellulose, which feels like a strip of coconut meat, adheres to the skin and has a high water-holding capacity, making it an ideal treatment. It also has a cooling effect that helps ease the pain of patients.

COCONUT TO THE RESCUE. VERMAC was invented by a Filipino nurse who wanted to develop a more affordable burn treatmentCOCONUT TO THE RESCUE. VERMAC was invented by a Filipino nurse who wanted to develop a more affordable burn treatment

The treatment, called VERMAC (Vitro-Engineered Restorative Micro-cellulose Absorbent Covering), is produced by XYDERM Corporation Philippines and is now being used in several doctors' clinics all over the country.

Aside from providing a cheaper alternative to healing wounds, coco cellulose is a new way of adding value to coconut products harvested by Filipino coconut farmers. Its widespread use can mean more livelihood for them.

5. Wood engineered from coconut fronds

Coconut farmers have another reason to celebrate. Palwood uses coconut fronds, typically considered an agricultural waste, to make "wood" that can be use to make furniture and even houses.

The Zamboanga del Norte-based company buys coconut fronds from farmers and grinds them into a mixture which is then applied with a binder and hardener.

This type of engineered wood is 70% made of coconut frond and is said to be even harder than coco lumber (derived from the trunk of the coconut tree).

Coconut fronds, or palapa in Tagalog, is the leafstalk of the coconut leaf from which the smaller leaves (called leaflets) grow.

An eyesore when it falls to the ground, it is usually just thrown away by coconut farmers. But with Palwood, they may now be able to make money out of it.

But Palwood is not yet able to mass-produce because they lack the necessary machinery. Interested investors can get in touch with them by emailing

Dead man fished out of Dipolog river


The body of a dead man was found floating on a river at Bypass, Purok Pag-asa, Barangay Barra, Dipolog City around 6 a.m. last Monday.

Police said the dead man who was wearing polo shirt and long pants, barefooted, around 5’1” in height was later identified by his daughter.

The body was spotted by Dioscoro Gumacial Y Rublico, 44, single, fisherman.

Mrs. Ophelia Pesquira Y Adriatico, 35, a resident of Canibongan, Villahermosa, Polanco, Zamboanga Del Norte identified her dead father as Benjamine Adriatico Y Lacay, 67, of Lower Gabi, Villahermosa, Polanco.

According to Pesquira, her father had a drinking session with his neighbor early Saturday night (July 19) and had been missing thereafter.

Further investigation revealed that the victim was drunk and was believed to have fallen into the river and drowned.

Four-month SSS collections in Mindanao jump 13 percent to P 3.2-B


DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, July 22 (PNA) -- The Social Security System (SSS) has collected P3.2 billion in members’ contributions in Mindanao from January to April this year, up by 13 percent from P 2.9 billion over the same period in 2013, with nearly 80 percent of overall collections coming from the employed sector.

Atty. Rodrigo Filoteo, SSS Assistant Vice President for Western Mindanao, said the contributions from regular and household employers from Mindanao rose by 13 percent to P 2.5 billion. About P1.6 billion of these payments were from “large account” employers, or businesses with at least 100 workers.

“Meanwhile, contributions from the smaller ‘branch account' employers reached P959 million during the four-month period. Double-digit collection growths were attained for both large and branch employer accounts in Mindanao at 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, which attests to the sustained efforts of SSS branch offices to promote employer compliance in the area,” he noted.

Filoteo, along with other senior officials headed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr., are in Dipolog City on July 21 and 22 to meet employers, branch heads and employees in Western Mindanao as part of management's continuing drive to promote closer ties between SSS and its stakeholders.

The SSS has over 135,000 registered employers in Mindanao, of which 99 percent – including some 33,000 household employers – fall under branch accounts, while about 1,400 employers are classified as large accounts. In terms of number of covered employees in the area, 2.9 million members are employed by businesses, and about 7,300 more are household workers.

Collections from self-employed and voluntary members amounted to P698 million, reflecting an increase of 13 percent from the P 618 million within the first four months of 2013. The SSS has 1.2 million covered self-employed and voluntary members in Mindanao.

The AlkanSSSya Program helped contribute to the increase in collections from informal sector workers, who are covered as self-employed members. As of April 2014, a total of 110 informal sector groups representing 11,735 workers in Mindanao have already joined the AlkanSSSya. Workers enrolled in the program are given their own secure compartment in their organization's AlkanSSSya unit, where they can store their daily SSS savings until these are collected, counted and remitted by their ISG to an SSS branch or collection partner at the end of each month.

Filoteo said another option for interested ISGs or associations is to enroll in the e-AlkanSSSya Program, which entails the automatic deduction of contributions from workers' salaries and wages that will be remitted monthly by the organization to the SSS.

“The e-AlkanSSSya Program addresses the social protection needs of job order and contractual workers in barangays and other government offices who are excluded from the mandated coverage of social security institutions for regular public sector employees,” he explained.

The SSS has 31 branch and representative offices as well as eight Service Offices in Mindanao. Its operations in the area are supervised by four SSS division offices stationed in the cities of Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao North), Davao (Mindanao South 1), General Santos (Mindanao South 2) and Zamboanga (Mindanao West).

Tambulig launches Climate Change Advocacy Campaign

By Claro A. Lanipa (FPG/CAL/PIA9 with reports from Nilo Munoz/PIO-designate of Tambulig)

TAMBULIG, Zamboanga del Sur, July 22 (PIA) – To get his constituents ready for the new weather phenomenon, Mayor Caridad B. Balaod of this town and other municipal officials have launched on Friday, July 18, a Climate Change Advocacy Campaign (CCAC).

All the municipal officials and employees were wearing the CCAC brand T-shirt in the said activity, which joined by the personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Chief Inspector Benjamin Napigkit and the personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) headed by the Municipal Warden, SJO4 Aladin Salinding.

The activity started by putting up and establishing CCAC brand billboards in strategic areas within the poblacion, the barangays along the national highway and at the municipal integrated bus/jeepney terminal, aimed at generating public awareness on climate change adaptation and resiliency.

In the afternoon of the same day, the municipal officials and employees together with some 220 ROTC cadets from JH Cerilles State College brought along CCAC brand streamers (PUNUAN), as they joined the tree planting activity at barangay Upper Lodiong. Some 1,000 mahogany trees were planted along the road of said barangay.

The event ended with a radio program “Ikaw ug ang Palibot Karon” (You and the environment today) hosted by Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer designate Nilo A. Munoz over DXDC-FM Radio, a local radio station operated by the LGU.

CCAC radio plug, “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na para Magbago… Nagbago na Ako” is also being aired daily over the same station.

Polanco vet exemplifies genuine public service

By Mary May A. Abellon

“Becoming a public servant is not a matter of chance but a choice,” declared Dr. Alfred Mel P. Dagaylo-an, a veterinarian of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist in Polanco town and one of the 2014 semi-finalists for the Dangal ng Bayan Award of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Choosing the path of simple yet happy life, Dr. Dagaylo-an has been resolute to go back to his hometown, leaving his money-spinning private practice as veterinarian in Metro Manila. He joined government service as Veterinarian I, a position he holds for 11 years now.

Everyone in the municipal government took notice of Dr. Dagayloan’s untiring dedication to public service through his eagerness and enthusiasm in performing his duties. Besides, his adherence to the highest degree of professionalism and political neutrality has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and friends.

Working beyond regular office hours: His designation as Veterinarian I does not include the task of serving as meat inspection officer at the municipal slaughterhouse. However, for lack of skilled and competent meat inspector in the municipality, he volunteered to do the work even beyond his regular office hours without additional pay.

If there was no vehicle that could take him to the slaughterhouse, he would wake up as early as 3:00 a.m. and walk three kilometers from his residence just to ensure that the consuming public gets wholesome, quality meat. To some, it may be burdensome. But to Dr. Alfred it means walking an extra mile for the welfare of the community.

Presently, he is a veterinarian from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., a nursing student from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and a meat inspector at 3:00 to 4:00 a.m.

Almost lost his life: In September 2006, it was the first time for the municipality through Dr. Alfred to have confiscated “double-dead” meat being sold in the municipal public market.

It was disappointing that even the former municipal mayor at that time asked him to return the confiscated meat to the meat dealer, the veterinarian recalled. But he stood pat believing that the municipal government should protect the health and welfare of its people.

Dr. Alfred continued with his advocacies. He filed cases against the offenders that got him death threats in return. And on one fateful day, when he was about to confiscate beef and pork that did not undergo ante mortem examinations, Dr. Alfred was shot four times - hitting his chest, arm, thigh and head. By God’s grace, he survived that tragic incident. The bullet that was meant to end his life did not pierce through his skull, giving a second lease on his life to continue his campaign against unscrupulous practices among meat dealers/traders.

After six months of recuperating, he opted to report even in crutches for duty, dismissing any fear to prevent him from serving the public.

His other advocacies: He advocates food safety as a concern of everyone and the value of meat inspection in order to have healthy and safe meat on the table.

Moreover, he is conducting lectures on livestock production and, at the same time, teaches the farmers the basics of financial management.

In 2012 Dr. Alfred initiated an aggressive Rabies control program aimed at stamping out rabies in the municipality by 2020 in support of the Bureau of Animal Industry’s vision.

His team is conducting house-to-house anti-rabies vaccination in all barangays of the municipality, crossing rivers and hanging bridges and climbing the hills even on weekends just to reach out to all barrio folks in the remote barangays, serving all and sundry regardless of political affiliation, religion or tribe.

His services go beyond his municipality, as he gives lectures on livestock raising in other municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte. He had been to Subanen communities in the municipalities of Siocon, Baliguian, Gutalac, Liloy, Sindangan, Godod, Siayan, Salug and Tampilisan to impart his knowledge about livestock production. This earned him recognition from Provincial Indigenous People Coordinating Unit (PIPCU).

The tragic event in 2006 which left him with scars and a metal plate implanted in his left arm did not stop Dr. Alfred to continue serving the people with utmost diligence and dedication to better the lives of the people in the community.

Zamboanga del Norte Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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