Zamboanga Del Sur News

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Province of Zamboanga del Sur - Archived News of Zamboanga del Sur

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Municipalities within Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Sur, Santo Niño, Pagadian city
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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
Lapuyan Falls: The favorite haunt of the fair Subanen maidens of Sitio Baga and all its neighboring areas, usual meeting place with many a young country swain in some secluded cavern beneath the rocky forest lane.
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Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
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Village of Pedagan
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
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Lintugop, Aurora
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Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial human resource management office of santo niño pagadian city
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Civil Service Commision office in santo niño pagadian city

Zamboanga del Sur lawmaker acquitted of graft charge

By Gabriel Pabico Lalu [Reporter, Eden Estopace (Editor)]

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has acquitted Zamboanga del Sur 2nd District Rep. Aurora Cerilles of the graft charge filed against her when she was still provincial governor in 2005.

According to the decision of the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division last May 17, the prosecution failed to prove that Cerilles violated Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when she issued a check worth P483,480 to Baganian Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as payment for public advertisements.

Cerilles allegedly authorized the payment to BBC even if she supposedly knew that the radio station was operating under six radio broadcasting contracts that violated provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The prosecution presented audit reports made by State Auditor III Madelyn Majestrado that revealed that there were no documents to prove that the contracts with BBC were opened for public bidding.

However, the court said that there is no evidence pointing to Cerilles’ participation in the procurement of the radio station, which will air the provincial government’s advertisements.

“A perusal of the evidence on record shows that the accused had no direct participation in the determination of the mode of procurement of the radio station for the province’s media advertisements,” the decision written by Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi stated.

“In fact, the prosecution’s documentary evidence does not show the accused’s participation in any of the correspondences or documents […] the letters accepting the proposal of the BBC, the radio broadcasting contracts, disbursement vouchers, and ALOBS were not signed by the accused,” it added.

The anti-graft court also did not buy into the prosecution’s claims that Cerilles ordered the provincial administrator to sign on her behalf, noting that no other evidence was presented to confirm if she authorized her subordinate.

The accused’s only participation in the offense was her signing of the check, which the prosecution also failed to prove as the genuine signature of Cerilles.

“Indeed, suspicion no matter how strong must never sway judgment. When there is reasonable doubt, the accused must be acquitted even though their innocence may not have been established,” Sandiganbayan said.

After the decision, cash bonds posted by Cerilles were ordered released and returned to her while the hold departure order issued against her was lifted.

Envoy confident Aussie troops safe in Mindanao war games

By Julie Alipala (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, Philippines — The Australian government is confident that its troops who are participating in military exercises in Mindanao are in safe hands despite its advisory against travel to the region.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson told reporters here on Monday that security for the troops had been guaranteed by the Philippine government.

“We have made accommodation for them in terms of security of the troops down here. Of course, with the military general and the police down here and the Navy, our security is good and it’s guaranteed by the Philippine Armed Forces,” Robinson said.


The Australian government, in a travel advisory posted on its website, advised its citizens “to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines,” and “to reconsider the need to travel in eastern Mindanao and do not travel to the areas of central and western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu archipelago, including southern Sulu Sea area.”

The advisory warned Australians about “very high levels of violent crime and high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping” in eastern Mindanao.

Robinson said his government was regularly reviewing and updating its travel advisories.

More than 100 Australian troops—122 from the Royal Australian Navy and 47 from the Australian Defense Force—are in western Mindanao for two separate military exercises.

Joint training

The Navy personnel are engaged in maritime training activity using their new patrol ship HMAS Childers within the waters of Sulu and Basilan provinces, alongside their Filipino counterparts.

Rear Adm. Erick Kagaoan, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said an equal number of Philippine Navy personnel, along with two patrol ships, were involved in the exercise.

The two-week training on regional security patrol started on May 20 and will end in the first week of June.

Another exercise started on May 19 in Pulacan, Zamboanga del Sur. Forty-seven members of the Australian Defense Force are participating in the 27-day training, together with 540 soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, division commander, said the Philippine-Australian exercise “aims to enhance the combat skills, competence on urban warfare operations and interoperability of [personnel of the] Philippine Army and Australian Defense Force.”

The joint exercises will provide an opportunity to conduct combined mission planning and resolution of a terrorism-related incident, he said.

Ex-cop, 5 others fall in Zamboanga anti-drug ops

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr. (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives arrested a former policeman and five others and seized from them PHP51,400 worth of illegal drugs in separate anti-drug operations here in the region, an official said Thursday.

Arrested were Robert Gaco, 30; Junie Espania, 27; Randy Lukmani, 35; Albaser Usman, 37; Kaiser Abdulhan, 41, a former policeman; and, Jane Santos, 18.

Maj. Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, said Gaco and Espania were caught in possession of some PHP34,000 worth of suspected shabu when arrested in a buy-bust operation by joint police and PDEA agents around 9 p.m. Wednesday at a hotel Barangay Paglaum, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur.

Seized from their possession were five grams of suspected shabu and the PHP19,000 buy-bust money.

The suspects were placed under the custody of the PDEA while charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 is set to be filed against them.

Lukmani, meanwhile, yielded some PHP1,500 worth of suspected shabu packed in five plastic sachets when arrested in another buy-bust operation around 2 p.m. Wednesday in Sitio Sivictol, Barangay Arena Blanco, this city, police said.

Recovered from the possession of Lukmani were PHP200 marked money consisting of two PHP100 bills, police said.

Usman and Abdulhan were arrested in possession of some PHP15,000 worth of suspected shabu packed in 11 plastic sachets around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Love Drive, Barangy Campo Islam, this city.

Also seized from them were PHP200 marked money comprising of two PHP100 bills.

Santos, meanwhile, was arrested around 3:30 a.m. Thursday in Summer Hill Drive, Barangay San Roque, this city.

Galvez said confiscated from the possession of Santos were at least PHP900 worth of dried marijuana leaves packed in nine heat-sealed plastic sachets and PHP100 marked money.

Philippines, Australia hold Army to Army exercise

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr. (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Filipino and Australian soldiers are undergoing a 27-day training exercise to strengthen the capability of both forces in the fight against terrorism.

The training, dubbed as the Philippines-Australia Army to Army Exercise 2019, kicked off Monday in Camp Sang-an that houses the Philippine Army’s First Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said Tuesday the training aims to enhance the combat skills, competence on urban warfare operations and interoperability of the Philippine Army and Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Ancan said the training will provide an opportunity to conduct combined mission planning and combined resolution of terrorist incidents. He said the training will also strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two armies.

“The best gift that a commander can give to his men is training. Make the most out of it and apply it when the time comes,” he said.

He said the 27-day training exercise, which ends on June 21, involves the participation of 540 troops--493 Philippine Army and 47 Australian Army.

He added that the Philippine Army participants are from the different organic and operational control units of Army’s 1st Infantry Division namely, 11th and 15th Division Reconnaissance Companies, 16th Scout Ranger Company, Scout Platoons of Infantry Battalions, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and Engineer Combat Battalion.

Pagadian exec linked to pyramid scam wins as mayor

By Stephen Bryan Esic (

Samuel Co of the infamous Aman Futures Group defeats the incumbent mayor of Pagadian City in the May 13 elections

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur— Despite his alleged involvement in what has been dubbed as the biggest pyramid scam in Philippine history, Samuel Co was elected mayor by a landslide on May 13.

Garnering 51,572 votes, Co of the ruling PDP-Laban defeated incumbent mayor Romeo Pulmones of the Nacionalista Party, who only got 37,482 votes.

Co's running mate, Maphilindo Obaob, was also proclaimed vice mayor while his daughter, Sam Tyra Co, won as councilor.

The winning officials were proclaimed in Pagadian City’s Sanggguniang Panlungsod office on Saturday, May 18. The proclamation came 6 days after election day due to the vote-counting machines (VCMs)’s defective SD cards.

Aman Futures scam

Co previously ruled as city mayor from 2003 to 2013.

In 2013, he ran for Congress in Zamboanga del Sur's 1st district under the Liberal Party but lost.

This was a year before he and and his wife were charged with syndicated estafa for their alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso Aman Futures Group investment scam.

Following a surveillance operation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Co was arrested in December 2013 and pleaded not guilty during his February 2014 arraignment.

In 2015, the lower court denied Co's bail petition, noting that he used his position as mayor to influence his supposed victims to part with their money and invest in the scam.

But in October 2016, the Court of Appeals allowed Co to post bail because the prosecution “failed to prove that petitioner performed any overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy.”

By September 2017, Co announced his plan to run for mayor. He was endorsed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Back to politics

Co's alleged involvement in the said ponzi scheme did not deter Pagadian voters from electing him.

On election day, May 13, majority of Co’s supporters were seen wearing orange shirts with the print, “Asenso Pagadian,” along with the Duterte fist symbol.

Orange was Pagadian City's signature color during Co's first term as mayor. “Asenso Pagadian” was also the tagline used during Co’s term.

“Rest assured, dili ko mag-pakaulaw. Sulod sa isa ka tuig, makita ninyo ang deperensya sa siyudad sa Pagadian.” he told reporters right after his proclamation as mayor. (Rest assured, I will not make a fool of myself. In a span of one year, you will see the difference in the City of Pagadian.)

In a separate press conference, Co talked about the kind of city government that residents should expect from him.

“Ang gobyerno nga maminaw sa katawhan; ang gobyerno nga muhatag ug mga proyekto sa katawhan; gobyerno nga muatiman sa iyang katawhan; gobyerno nga patas sa tanan," Co said. (A government that listens to the people; a government that gives projects to the people; a government that takes care of its people; a government that is fair to all.)

Grave Threat Incident

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Zamboanga del Sur - Grave threat incident transpired at Purok 1, Barangay Sinaguing, Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur at about 1:20 PM of May 8, 2019.

Police Brigadier Gen. Emmanuel Luis D Licup, PRO9 Director identified the victim as Benjamin M. Calib-og, Barangay Chairman of Sinaguing Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur.

PNP team of RM MPS while conducting police visibility patrol along the National Highway, particularly at the vicinity of Purok 1, Barangay Sinaguing, Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur, when Hon. Benjamin M. Calib-og, Barangay Captain of Sinaguing Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur, approached to stop the patrol car and reported that there were unidentified persons on board with single motorcycles, and alleged that one of the those person drew a short firearm and pointed at him.

PNP responding team arrived at the area and frisked Jerry Dagooc y Mocoy, 42 years old, male, married, member of Philippine Army in AWOL status and a resident of Purok 4, Barangay Gapasan, Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur, that was positively pinpointed by Hon. Benjamin M. Calib-og the one who drew a cal. 45 pistol at him.

Recovered from the suspect was one holster with markings “Blue Dot 19”. The suspect was brought at Ramon Magsaysay Municipal Police Station for filing of appropriate case.

Zambo Sur town converts campaign materials into school bags

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- The municipality of Dumalinao has launched a recycling project converting campaign materials made of plastic and tarpaulins into school bags.

The project was initiated by Dumalinao Mayor Junaflor Cerilles who led “Oplan Baklas” starting Wednesday to remove campaign materials from the different barangays in that town.

Cerilles, an advocate on environmental protection, said in an interview on Friday that the project is in line with her advocacy “to keep the environment clean and green”.

Cerilles, who formed a team of 44 volunteers, said they collected 631 pieces of campaign materials made of plastic and 658 made of tarpaulin at the start of the project.

“I expect more (collection of campaign materials) on the next few days,” she said.

She also admitted being among the politicians who contributed to “these plastic wastes”.

Cerilles, a reelectionist, as of Saturday is reportedly leading in the canvassing of votes.

She said the school bags will be given to children of poor families in time for the opening of the next school year.

A women’s group has been tapped to make the bags.

Gunmen disrupt canvassing of votes in Zambo Sur town

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- The canvassing of ballots in the town of Dimataling, this province, was disrupted for several hours after the electricity was cut-off at the municipal hall where the counting is being conducted on Thursday night.

Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Luis Licup, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) director, said six masked gunmen shot the power transformer outside the town hall of Dimataling around 11 p.m. Thursday, thus, cutting-off electricity at the municipal hall building.

Licup said the gunmen fled towards Barangay Sugbay Uno when soldiers and policemen responded to the site.

He added that no one was killed or wounded during the incident.

Recovered from the crime scene were 23 empty shells and two live ammunitions of caliber 5.56-millimeter rifle, and two empty shells and three bullets of caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle.

Licup said the town's election officer has ordered placing all the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) at the municipal treasurer’s office while the security personnel and poll watchers stayed inside the town hall.

Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion commander, confirmed about the incident and said security has been tightened at the municipal hall.

Patria said the canvassing of votes resumed after power has been restored at the municipal hall around 7 a.m. Friday.

“We leave it to the police to investigate and establish the identities of the perpetrators,” Patria added.

Initial results showed that incumbent Dimataling Mayor Maria Dolores Baya is leading the mayoralty race with 3,151 votes against her opponent Abel Yrauda's 2,536 votes.

VCM destroyed in Zambo Sur town fire

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur - One of the eight Vote Counting Machines (VCM) with still uncanvassed votes was intentionally burned in the town of San Pablo, this province.

Capt. Herminigildo Bajao Jr., San Pablo police chief, said the incident occurred around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday at the town’s central elementary school.

Bajao said that before the fire broke out, a grenade exploded near the fire station that diverted the attention of security forces and poll watchers detailed at the school.

Suddenly, he said a fire broke out in the school, particularly at the classroom where eight VCMs with uncanvassed votes due to defective Secure Digital (SD) Cards were kept for safekeeping.

He said firemen managed to quickly put off the fire while the responding policemen secured the VCMs except for one, which was placed near the window.

The burnt VCM with 427 uncanvassed ballots is from Barangay Lumbayao, San Pablo.

The eight VCMs were placed in the classroom for safekeeping while waiting for the defective SD cards to be reconfigured so that the election results could be transmitted to the Municipal Board of Canvassers.

Bajao said investigation showed that an unidentified person poured gasoline into the room through the window and set it on fire.

Data from the local election office showed that the town of San Pablo has so far transmitted the votes canvassed from 23 of the 31 clustered precincts representing 74.19 percent as of 4:26 a.m. Thursday.

1 killed, 7 hurt in Zambo Sur election eve shootout

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A political supporter was killed while seven others, including a mayoralty aspirant, were wounded in a shootout on the eve of the election in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, a military official said Monday.

Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, disclosed that the shootout occurred in Sitio Sibuan, Purok 3, Barangay Tubod, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur at about 10:15 p.m. Sunday.

Besana said the shootout broke out when the troops returned fire after the group of Domingo Mirrar, a mayoralty candidate in Lakewood, fired upon the soldiers who were on mobile security patrol.

He said the shootout resulted in the death of one supporter of Mirrar, whose identity was not immediately available.

Mirrar, although wounded, managed to escape while the troops arrested six of his supporters, Besana said, adding that they have requested the police to conduct an investigation over the incident.

Recovered at the shootout site were a caliber .45 pistol with two magazines loaded with ammunition, and three magazines of M-16 Armalite rifle with ammunition, the military official said.

Alleged NPA rebel nabbed in Zamboanga Sur

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – An alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in Barangay Ocapan in the nearby town of San Miguel, this province, late Monday, police said.

Police identified the alleged rebel as Saturnino Albacia Calayca, 39, said to be a member of the Section Committee Kara under the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee.

Calayca was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest for murder issued by a regional court here in 2009. No bail was recommended. The suspect is under the custody of the San Miguel Police Station for proper disposition.

Pagadian City declares state of calamity due to dry spell

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- The City Council here declared the city under a state of calamity Tuesday following the estimated PHP102 million damages on agricultural products brought by the dry spell.

City Agriculturist Annie Tenorio said the drought has affected more than a thousand farmers from the city's 40 barangays.

Tenorio said damages in rice reached PHP9.3 million from the 18 barangays while corn damages reached PHP69.6 million from the eight barangays.

Tenorio said corn incurred the most severe damage as the drought transpired during the maturity stage of the crops, while the planting season for it is just about to start.

Tenorio said they quantified the opportunity loss of farmers or the supposed average of harvest for the season.

She said the other barangays also suffered damages on high-value commercial crops and seaweeds costing PHP23.4 million, with big losses in almost all their standing crops as irrigation waters fell below the ideal amount.

Dr. Leonora Sulay, city veterinarian, also declared damages on livestock products in the different barangays stating the need of farmers for assistance as they could no longer afford for the feeds since they have no income due to damages in their farmlands.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) in their resolution suggested the need for assistance to farmers through a possible cash-for-work program allocating funds from the Quick Response Fund (QRF) for their daily needs especially after Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared the drought is expected until June, this year.

In the entire province, Engr. Francisco Maca, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management action officer, said the local DRRMOs in the municipalities were still conducting assessments on the damages caused by the dry season.

Maca said Dimataling town was the first to declare a state of calamity last week.

39 ex-NPAs undergo values formation, psychosocial activity

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr. (PNA)

ZAMBOANGA CITY --Thirty-nine New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderers completed a three-day values formation and psychosocial activity on Thursday in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

The activity was initiated by the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion to address the needs of the surrenderers who recently yielded to military authorities.

“After returning to the mainstream of society, former rebels have to be indulged in activities like this (values formation and psychosocial activity),” said Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief.

Dela Vega said the values formation and psychosocial activity will help the NPA’s reintegrate into the mainstream society.

The activity, which started on Tuesday, was held at the Executive Hall, capitol compound, Pagadian City.

It was made possible through the military's collaboration with the Zamboanga del Sur provincial government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Department of Agriculture.

43 Zambo Sur rebel returnees get P2.7 million aid

By Roel Pareño, Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — At least 43 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Zamboanga del Sur have received livelihood and emergency assistance worth P2.7 million.

The rebel returnees each received P65,000 under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the 53rd Infantry Battalion in Guipos town on Friday, Capt. Clint Antipala, public affairs officer of the Army’s First Infantry Division, said.

The military said surrenderees who turned over their firearms also received remunerations ranging from P50,000 to P60,000.

The groundbreaking ceremony for a halfway house in Zamboanga del Sur that will serve as the venue for the rehabilitation and skills training of former NPA rebels was also held on Friday.

In Mountain Province, an NPA guerrilla identified only as Bonie surrendered in Barangay Poblacion, Sagada also on Friday.

Senior Inspector Carolina Lacuata, Cordillera police spokesperson, said they are assisting the surrenderee avail himself of government assistance.

Army to build halfway houses, farms for ex-NPAs in ZamboSur

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- Halfway houses and farms are set to be developed on a 19.5-hectare land of the provincial government for the “From Arms to Farms” project.

Intended for former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, the project is a joint undertaking of the provincial government, Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The half-way houses and farms will be located at the back of Camp David Sabido that houses the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion headquarters in Guipos town.

This, after an agreement was signed Friday by Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio Cerilles and Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion commander.

Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu, the chairperson of the Task Force Balik Loob, witnessed the signing of the agreement.

In his speech, Mapagu noted that insurgency has been contributing to the deterioration of peace and order in the countryside.

"This should be ended, with the unity of each Filipino," Mapagu said.

“We converge for a common goal that is peace and development,” said Mapagu, adding that “former rebels are also victims as they were deceived”.

PHP5-million budget

Patria said the half-way houses and its facilities are worth PHP5 million, funded by the DILG through the Task Force Balik Loob.

The houses will serve as temporary shelter for surrenderers before they return to their communities. It will also become a venue for livelihood education and processing of the former rebels.

In his speech, Cerilles told the former rebels to strive and learn good farming methods as well as avail of scholarships under the state colleges in this province.

Changing lives

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan commander, said the activities in the halfway house will help former NPAs recuperate from the "bad experiences they’ve encountered at the hands of the NPA".

Ancan also called for the remaining NPAs in the mountains to come down and take advantage of the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“We will also ensure their safety and well-being and assist them together with other stakeholders for them to become productive Filipino citizen,” he said.

Financial assistance

After the groundbreaking of the project Friday, 43 former rebels received PHP2.75-million financial assistance from E-CLIP and firearms remuneration from the DILG.

Each surrenderer received PHP65,000 as livelihood and emergency assistance while those who surrendered firearms received additional cash as remuneration.

Drought damages 143-ha rice fields in Pagadian City

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- Extreme drought has brought damages to an estimated 143 hectares or 90 percent of the rice fields in Barangay Tawagan Sur here.

Dennis Peralta, a farmer of Barangay Tawagan Sur, on Thursday said his five-hectare land was among the estimated 143 hectares now filled with dried grass, that even his two cattle died after experiencing extreme heat.

It only rained once in the area last January and could not suffice the needed water for another crop planting, he said.

Peralta disclosed that they were also challenged by insufficient water their irrigation could provide, and decided not to gamble into planting rice after their last harvest in October last year.

He said their family attempted to plant watermelon thinking that the crop could survive even on dry season but later failed as there was no water available.

“Even the simple lemongrass could not survive despite being known to grow in warmer areas,” Peralta said.

City Agriculturist Annie Tenorio told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that her team is on the process of consolidating all reports from the 39 agricultural barangays in this city, which will be presented in a meeting with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) on Friday.

Alvin Rex Lucero, Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) focal person of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, quoted the Mindanao office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Regional Services Division announcement of a weak El Niño presence in the tropical Pacific that will likely continue until June this year.

Both Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur were seen to experience drought while Zamboanga del Norte is projected to experience dry spell.

According to PAGASA, a drought is defined as three consecutive months of way below normal (60 percent lower than average) or five consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent lower than average) rainfall.

Dry spell, on the other hand, is three consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent lower than average) rainfall or two consecutive months of way below normal (more than 60 percent lower than average) rainfall.

Priest reminds Catholic faithful of 'meaning' of Ash Wednesday

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- As Ash Wednesday opens the Lenten season, the Catholic faithful were reminded that it is the time for fasting, prayer and perform acts of charity.

“Repent and believe the gospel,” Rev. Fr. Rolando Allan Onden said as he put a cross using ashes on Catholic believers’ foreheads during the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Sto. Niño Cathedral in this city.

In his homily, Onden said Ash Wednesday is the start of fasting and abstinence pointing to each individual to “not being imprisoned in our physical desire, which is a way to cleanse our hearts.”

He added that practicing the acts of mercy could be sharing “of the food that we will not eat today and we give them instead to the poor and hungry.”

The cross on the forehead “reminds us that we will go back to ashes,” he said.

Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting using ashes of the branches blessed on Palm Sunday on the previous year.

“These branches are now browned, made to ashes and are not good to look at, like us in imperfections and sins,” the priest said.

He said the placing of the cross using ashes on the forehead is not a private affair but a community act, showing publicly each individual’s penance.

Philippine Army, stakeholders join simultaneous coastal clean up

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, March 6 (PIA)-- In support to the Philippine Army’s environmental restoration program, the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army in collaboration with the CMO Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Battalion, Army Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, and 9th Regional Community Defense Group, and other stakeholders participated in the Army Wide Simultaneous Coastal Clean Up Drive held in Barangay Combo, Labangan town.

The activity served as the kick-off ceremony of the month-long celebration of the 122nd Philippine Army Anniversary this March.

LtCol. Manuel Valdez, commander of the CMO Battalion, thanked the stakeholders for joining the coastal clean-up activity saying that their participation contributed in bringing back the cleanliness of the coastline as they collected volumes of trash and debris scattered in the area.

“It’s overwhelming to see the different units of the Philippine Army and stakeholders joining in the clean up, which means that more people are now proactive in caring for our environment,” Valdez said.

“We were inspired to help remove the huge trash and debris in the coastline. In fact, our troops alone were able to collect 15 sacks of trash from the area,” Capt. Dandy Nelmida, CMO officer of the 1st Field Artillery (Beat ‘Em) Battalion, Army Artillery Regiment, said.

Nasser Tabuan, barangay councilor of Combo, said they feel very happy and proud that their barangay was chosen by Tabak Division as pilot area for the clean up drive, considering that their barangay is about five kilometers from the highway.

Meanwhile, Valdez urged the parents to make the children aware about the impact of throwing garbage indiscriminately.

“We will teach our children the proper methods of waste disposal so that they will become part of the solution,” he concluded.

Drought to hit 10 provinces in March


The number of provinces grappling with drought will double to 10 from 5 this March, the state weather bureau said Tuesday.

PAGASA defines drought as either 5 consecutive months of 21-60 percent rainfall reduction, or at least 60 percent rainfall reduction for 3 consecutive months.

Ilocos Norte, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Maguindanao and Cebu are experiencing drought since February, said PAGASA climate monitoring chief Analiza Solis.

The weather condition is also expected to blanket Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Ilocos Sur and La Union provinces this month, she told DZMM.

The number of drought-hit provinces can hit up to 22 in April, Solis added.

The country is experiencing less rainfall and warmer temperatures due to a weak El Niño, PAGASA earlier said.

On Monday, the country's highest temperature was recorded in Tuguegarao at 34 degrees Celsius, said PAGASA weather specialist Ezra Bulquerin. The temperature in Metro Manila peaked at 33.6 degrees Celsius, he added.

Shooting Incident

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

TIGBAO, Zamboanga Del Sur - Shooting incident transpired inside the house of Teddy Tampos Y Dumaging, situated at Purok 1, Barangay Maragang Tigbao, Zamboanga Del Sur at about 8:50 PM of February 25, 2019.

The victim was identified as Max Dequito Y Rebatado, 42 years old, Filipino, married, farmer and a resident of Purok 4, Barangay Maragang, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur. He was sustained one (1) Gunshot Wound on his left forearm and passed through his right chest and was immediately rushed to Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center, Dao Pagadian City for medical treatment.

The unidentified suspect fled unseen to vegetated area of said place after the incident.

Investigation conducted disclosed that victim visited the house of his cousin identified as Teddy Tampos to celebrate the birthday of Teddy’s son, however, while they were preparing to cook a native chicken for their dinner, unfortunately they heard a one (1) burst of a fire arm coming from outside of said house while the main door was opened, both of them was shocked, fortunately victim evade fatality and able to run towards the kitchen of said house.

Responding team recovered one (1) piece cartridge case of alleged caliber .45 pistols. Motive of the incident is apparently personal grudge.

Stabbing Incident

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

LAKEWOOD, Zamboanga Del Sur - Stabbing incident transpired at Purok Mauswagon, Barangay Tubod, Lakewood, Zamboanga Del Sur at about 3:15 PM of February 24, 2019.

The victim identified as Jessie Recaña y Magdadaro, 35 years old, married, farmer and resident of Purok Bagong Lipunan, Tubod, Lakewood, Zamboanga Del Sur.

The suspect identified as Wilfredo Magdadaro y Dabalos, 53 years old, married, farmer and resident of Purok Mountain View, Barangay Bolisong, Kumalarang, Zamboanga Del Sur.

The victim allegedly stabbed by his uncle the suspect with the use of gaff or locally known as “Bulang” and upon arrival of the responding PNP elements of Lakewood MPS at the area of incident, the said victim was already brought to Hemillarin Hospital, Pagadian City while the suspect voluntarily surrender to Hon. Arnel Pano, Barangay Captain of Tubod, Lakewood, Zamboanga Del Sur before it was turned-over to the responding team.

The suspect is now under custody of Lakewood MPS for proper disposition.

Top 9 Most Wanted Person, Captured in Tabina, Zambo Sur

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

TABINA, Zamboanga del Sur - Joint PNP personnel of Zamboanga Del Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company and Tabina MPS conducted manhunt operation against Top 9 most wanted person (Municipal level) at Purok San Lorenzo, Brgy. Baganian, Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur at about 11:20 PM of February 25, 2019.

The operation was resulted to the arrest of Junrel Paalisbo y Enanor, 34 years old, single and a resident of Brgy. Baganian, Tabina, Zamboanga Del Sur.

The suspect was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest docketed under Criminal case Nos. 18-097 issued by Hon. Ruben N Bance, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 29, 9th Judicial Region, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur for the crime of Murder with No Bail is recommended for his temporary liberty.

San Fernando, Cebu Councilor shot dead in Zamboanga del Sur

By Dona Magsino (/BAP, GMA News)

A councilor from the town of San Fernando in Cebu province was shot dead in Zamboanga del Sur, according to a report on Saksi.

A motorcycle-riding suspect shot Alfonso Donaire, who was on foot and on his way to his house in Ramon Magsaysay town.

Donaire is the fourth San Fernando town official who was killed since January.

He was arrested in 2017 in cases related with illegal drugs and firearms.

In January, Barangay Chairman Ricardo Reluya, the husband of incumbent San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya, was also killed in an ambush.

Zamboanga del Sur Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.